Posts filed under ‘current events’
I get it. It’s a rock and a hard place. Trump is the Scylla, and Hillary is the Charybdis. You hate them both. You wanted Bernie Sanders, and now that he’s out, you’re taking your toys and going home. The game is rigged, and your little slingshot is no match for the Goliath that is American Politics.
But the next time I hear the phrase “Hillary is WORSE than Trump,” I’m gonna have to start pulling the tab on my can of whoop-ass. On what planet is *anyone* worse than Trump? I would vote for my cat before I voted for Trump! My cat’s main hobbies include sleeping and barfing up hairballs, 2 things that would probably be more beneficial to this country than a Trump presidency. Never mind that he’s loud, annoying, brash, rude and has bad hair. Let’s focus on things he says.
Let’s break it down:
- Trump is pretty racist, and not shy about letting the world know it.
- Trump thinks nothing of committing war crimes.
- He is not great about being pro-choice, if he is, he considers pandering to pro-lifers more important than defending abortion.
- He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I mean, Obamacare is not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.
- He thinks climate change is a hoax, and wants to do away with the EPA.
- He wants to also do away with the Department of Education and put more funding into (for-profit) charter schools.
- He wants to appoint Supreme Court justices who are “as close to Scalia as [he] can find.”
Hillary is not my favorite candidate ever, but I will give her credit where credit is due. She is pro-choice. She believes in climate change.
Listen, no candidate is perfect. No candidate will *ever* be perfect because he or she has to appeal to a large amount of people which automatically means ::boring::
Voting is not an exercise of personal expression. The point of voting is not to make some kind of statement of sticking it to The Man or whoever. Nobody cares about your write-in candidate. Your write-in vote is just helping whoever wins a tiny bit. Nobody is going to sit down and say “hmm. 90 people wrote in a vote for Mickey Mouse. What is it about Mickey Mouse that appeals to these people?”
BUT DEMOCRATS ARE BULLLLLLLLYING MEEEEEEE! you cry. Those big, bad Democrats are trying to scare me into thinking that the world will end if I don’t vote for lying, cheating, corporate whore Hillary! It’s not myyyyy fault if Trump wins, it’s the fault of the Democratic party for not giving me my customized choice of perfect candidate for office! Why should I listen to those big meanies who are invalidating my awesome opinions?
Because the president of the United States isn’t your personal mascot, that’s why. This isn’t about YOU. Voting is a strategic decision for the benefit or harm of the NATION. The office of the president is going to be there whether you like who is sitting in it or not. The president is the person who represents this country, the one who sits down at the table with the leaders of other countries to decide who is going to get bombed and when. The President is the one who gets to enforce or ignore the mediocre changes outlined in non-binding environmental treaties, and I would at least like someone sitting at the table who believes that climate change exists.
I want a president who really believes that climate change exists. Period. I also want a president who believes in LGBT rights and racial equality. Voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson may make you feel like the special snowflake you truly believe you are because you didn’t “sell out” or whatever, but it won’t do anything to protect the planet or the rights of minorities. Voting for the president isn’t like finding the perfect wallpaper for your iPhone– you only have two choices. Everything else is just noise. “but we need a better candidate! What is this, the Soviet Union?” No shit we need better candidates. The 2-party system is bullshit, but that’s what we’ve had for the entirety of our lifetimes so suck it up and deal. You know the way to make a viable 3rd party? Vote for 3rd parties in local elections. Volunteer for a local 3rd party candidate’s campaign, heck, you could even run for a local election under a 3rd party. You can’t change the system from the top down, you need to nurture and grow the seeds of change, or some metaphorical crap like that.
Hillary is not my idea of the perfect candidate, but I will vote for her. Do it for the current Supreme Court, if nothing else! The Notorious RBG is 83. Anthony Kennedy is 80. Stephen Breyer is 77. Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas are both in their mid-late 60s, which would put them at retirement age for most normal jobs. There is already one vacant seat because @#%@$ Mitch McConnell won’t approve Obama’s pick. So, the next president will *definitely* get to appoint at least one Justice. This person will be a justice for an average of 26.1 years. That is somewhat longer than a generation. If Trump gets elected, and appoints someone “close to Scalia,” here’s a small sampling of what you get:
1. calls to overturn Roe v. Wade, generally anti-abortion
2. Anti- gay rights, gay marriage
3. Pro Citizen’s United
The Supreme Court is important, and will be around long after whoever gets elected president this November is around. Clinton’s possible Supreme Court Justice wish list looks a lot better than Trump’s.
So, you think Hillary is a crook, and Hillary lies or she’s a corporate shill war monger or whatever. Probably nothing I could say would make you change your mind about that, so I’ll leave this article here saying that she *is* for a lot of good stuff.
So even if you don’t like Hillary, you think she’s shrill and corrupt, and a liar (even though many of these allegations are totally blown out of proportion), vote for the Supreme Court Justice who will shape not only your life, but the lives of your descendants.
With the recent Supreme Court decision about Hobby Lobby, lots of people have been pointing out that birth control has lots of other uses besides just preventing babies. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of folks pointing out all sorts of alternate things The Pill is good for (lists here and here). These posts are in a vein of “THESE WOMEN AREN’T SLUTS, LOOK! YOUR GRANNY MIGHT BE TAKING THESE!” By posting all these lists, people are trying to draw attention to the fact that by limiting birth control, you may be keeping a perfectly innocent non-whore from being healthy. This tactic may appeal somewhat to the old white men that are in charge, but I think it does harm to constantly point out and sanitize the birth control debate. Also, the Hobby Lobby case wasn’t about female contraception in general, it was just about Plan B (aka the “morning after pill”) and IUDs, which they (albeit based on faulty science) consider to cause abortions. That’s beside the point, as many people don’t get that. It’s good that it has opened up a wider argument, though– I think conversation about sexuality in general is a good thing. All too often have we pretended that sex was some weird deviant thing that went on behind *other peoples’* closed doors.
While it is true that there are lots of other medical uses for birth control, I think we’re forgetting the main thing is that people just like having sex. Face it, contraception or not, you’re not going to stop people having sex for fun rather than for reproductive purposes anytime soon. Think about it. Sex for the sake of sex and not for the purpose of babies is really not as bad as you think. You’ve probably done it! We need to stop the whole stigmatization of women who want to just have sex and not worry about the consequences. In fact, the word “consequences” is not the best word I could have chosen. I mean, it’s perfectly fine for men to go out and have sex simply for fun. However, in society’s eyes, women who have sex just for the sake of having sex are considered questionable at best. Remember the whole Sandra Fluke debacle? I remember my mother telling me about how when the Pill was first widely available, in order to get a prescription, she had to prove not only that she was married, but also had to get her husband’s permission. God forbid women not be held accountable and/or have a babysitter to account for their whorish antics!
So yes, it’s true– birth control does have uses other than for preventing babies. I don’t know the statistics off hand, but I’ll bet that most women who are on birth control are using it for –gasp– preventing pregnancy. The sooner we acknowledge that sex is just sex, and that it’s not this heavy moral thing, the better.
Will we, as a society get over it? Probably not in my lifetime.
For some reason, I haven’t been able to sleep lately. Blame cat butts in my face, Daylight Savings Time, being too hot, too cold, whatever. I don’t know. Anyway, after tossing and turning for a couple of hours last night I decided to watch something on my new awesome tablet. Since I cancelled my Hulu Plus and Netflix subscriptions because I didn’t use them enough, and Amazon Instant Video only works on iThings, I turned to my old friend PBS. Yes, one can watch all the PBS videos one wants on an Android tablet. I scroll through all the programs until I come to one called Secrets of the Dead. SECRETS OF THE DEAD! Who wouldn’t want to know some secrets from dead people at 3:30 a.m on a Tuesday morning? Awesome! I fired it up, and the first episode was about the Cuban Missile Crisis. I wasn’t sure what this had to do with secrets (although I’m sure there are plenty of classified documents about it) or the dead (but as I found out, one person died in the event, the U-2 spy plane pilot that Castro shot down), but hey! Maybe it would bore me to sleep. I’ve never been a huge fan of 1960s history, preferring other eras instead. As a kid in the Baby Boomer-run 1980s, the 1960s were held as the Greatest Era in History and we learned in great detail everything that went down then; none of it interested me that much. So hey. The Cuban Missile Crisis.
Basically, this documentary-style show was like a historical submarine movie. It was mostly shot from the point of view of the submariners aboard the subs that were carrying nuclear missiles from the USSR. They interviewed a couple of the guys who were on that sub and their wives (maybe that’s where the secrets of the dead come in? Since this happened 50 years ago, some of the participants have died).
Have I mentioned before that I FREAKING LOVE SUBMARINE MOVIES?!!? I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Phantom, starring David Duchovny and Ed Harris, which is about a submarine that, uh, does submarine stuff. I don’t really care what; I just love sub movies! There’s pretty much only one plot a submarine movie can have, anyway– there’s a submarine. Someone is trying to destroy it. It has to dive deeper, which puts stresses on the sub because of water pressure. Can it escape and not be crushed under the unrelenting weight of the ocean? Can a bunch of guys trapped in a small, confined space keep it together and not go crazy? Unfortunately, Phantom was only in the theaters for about 0.8 seconds, so I missed it. Alas. But Submarines AND David Duchovny? How can you go wrong?!?
But back to the Cuban Missile Crisis… I didn’t finish watching the show, because the innernets crapped out and the streaming died half way through. I’ll probably watch the rest of it tonight or tomorrow or something. Anyway, it awakened all sorts of 1980s Cold War anti-nostalgia for me. I remember being terrified of nuclear annihilation when I was a kid. My favorite anecdote about environmentalism is how we were told that it was our PATRIOTIC DUTY to stop global warming– because if global warming happened, then all the permafrost in Siberia would melt, making it fertile farmland. Meanwhile, the breadbasket of America would turn to desert, and how would THAT affect the balance of power?
We watched all the same propaganda films in school that they watched in the 60s– the ones about “history” where the map of Europe is all happy and brightly colored until a dagger stabs into Russia and bleeds red all through the former Soviet Bloc.
Baby Boomers liked to scoff at how they had drills where they had to “duck and cover” under their desks in case of nuclear war, and how it wouldn’t do anything. What we took away from that lesson as kids was that in the event of nuclear war, we’re all screwed. Maybe duck-and-cover wouldn’t have helped, but at least it showed a tiny bit of optimism. Maybe while kids were ducking and covering, their last thought would have been “HOLY SHIT I’M GONNA DIE… maybe…” rather than the message we got which was “WE ARE ALL SCREWED. PERIOD.”
Anyway, I got up this morning fresh from weird 1980s inspired Cold War dreams and stumbled to the computer to look at the news headlines, like I do every morning. I see that Kim Jong-Un is vowing to “annihilate the enemy” and wants to blow up some South Korean island. Seriously? I’m getting those pangs of “HOLY SHIT WE’RE ON THE BRINK OF WAR” like I had when I was a kid. It’s odd, since I haven’t really worried about this stuff in decades. What is that crazy douche up to? Geez. I thought this was the 21st century. Of course, who knows what’s really going on– the media is far from unbiased on both sides of the ocean.
It just seems that that kind of country-border dick measuring is SO pre-second millennium!
Dear oppressed (and “oppressed”) people,
The next person or group to compare their struggle to the Civil Rights movement is going to get a giant bitch slap from me. If you don’t have to use separate drinking fountains, shut up. You’re not finding your loved ones hanging from trees. You don’t have to sit at the back of the bus and have your kids go to crappier schools just by virtue of whatever sets you apart. Nobody is burning crosses in your front yard.
This goes for groups on the left as well as the right! (I’m looking at you, animal rights people!)
Ditto for comparing whoever you don’t like to Hitler. Your perceived enemy is not putting people in concentration camps and gassing them. STFU. He/she is not crowding you into filthy, disease-ridden ghettos in preparation for shipping you off in boxcars packed past capacity with bodies, dead and alive, to go to be used for medical experiments or to work you to death.
There’s plenty of inequality to go around, just come up with some original rhetoric, OK? I’m all about hyperbole– I love it so much I would marry it if I could. However, bringing up these tired comparisons again and again just diminishes the seriousness of your problem and shows an extreme ignorance of history. It also makes light of horrible events that should never be made light of.
I’ve been getting emails from Gladys Messerschmidt for a couple of years now. They are always the “Inspirational” variety of schlock that one would expect from an elderly person who has just enough technical skills to hit “forward” on her AOL email program. I think she thinks I’m her friend Dot Dosch (my email address is dotdash after a Wire song), and in the past, I have tried to politely let her know that if she thinks Dot is getting her invitations to, say, garage sales and stuff, she’s not. My original intention was to eliminate any tension between Dot and Gladys, lest Gladys think that Dot is ignoring her pleas to visit certain fundraisers or send emails back so the sender knows exactly how much Dot thinks Jesus is awesome or whatever else. However, my emails go largely ignored, except for one that was sent by Edith, a crony of Gladys’s. (see this old post)
Today’s email (OK one of many of today’s email since I get like 5 of these a day) just kind of pissed me off. Here it is:
Which side of the fence?
If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!
If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Democrats demand that those they don’t like be shut down.
If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat will delete it because he’s “offended”.
Well, I forwarded it. Will you?
My original feeling was that “OK, I’m going to tell Gladys in no uncertain terms to freaking take me off her stupid email list once and for all!” But then i realized that that is exactly what the email predicted.
Yes, I’m kind of offended by this email, but not because of what it says. It’s not because I don’t have a sense of humor about things, it’s just because it’s STUPID STUPID STUPID!! Instead, I think I’m going to re-write it.
(note the sensationalist imagery invoking Hitler! Glenn Beck would be so proud!!!)
Which side of the fence?
If you ever wondered how you can eliminate subtle nuances and see the world in simple black and white, this is a great test!
If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he still thinks it’s ok for everyone to own an AK-47.
If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he would appreciate it if he didn’t get shot for no reason.
If a Republican is a vegetarian, he probably belongs to some weird cult.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, it’s probably because he grew up too white and middle class.
If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life in the closet and solicits strangers only in airport bathrooms.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he thinks it might be a good idea if teenagers stopped committing suicide over it.
If a Republican is down-and-out, he blames it on Democrats, Socialism and black people.
A Democrat tries to spread the wealth around so poor people don’t take the biggest hit.
If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he shoots his TV.
Democrats roll their eyes and make fun of FOX news, but acknowledge that the First Amendment covers lame stuff too.
If a Republican is a non-believer, he lives quietly in the closet, but goes through the motions for the family on holidays.
A Democrat non-believer grows weary of religion getting shoved down his throat.
If a Republican decides he needs health care, he bitches about how Michael Moore is a Socialist.
A Democrat thinks maybe poor people shouldn’t have worse health care than rich people.
If a Republican reads this, he’ll compare the sender to Hitler.
A Democrat will delete it because he’s sick of people sending stupid pointless emails all the time.
Well, I rolled my eyes. Will you?
Facebook seems to be the new place where weirdos, family members, people you haven’t seen since elementary school, people who you met once at a party etc. can get together and annoy each other. There are many instant ways to do this, the old “POST THIS AS YOUR STATUS IF YOU DON’T THINK OBAMA SHOULD KILL KITTENS” statuses, “liking” groups and pages such as the now famous “DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN.” and the 80 million pages to ban it. For the record, i did not think this page should be banned– sure it’s in bad taste, but once we start banning things that are mildly offensive, there’s no limit to what will go since I’m sure you could probably find someone who is offended by things like kittens and puppies.
Anyway, there’s a lot of Christian ranting that goes on, but thankfully I don’t get too much of it since I don’t have a lot of crazy Christian friends. I do, however, have a crazy Muslim “friend.” I “friended” a bunch of random strangers because I needed more neighbors for this stupid game I’m addicted to (My Town). One of these people is always posting stuff about Allah being awesome and the like. Now, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt because she’s Muslim and in general, Muslims don’t get in my face and bug me like Christians do. However, I am not a fan of any kind of fundamentalist religion, be it Judaism, Christianity, Islam or even Buddhism. Wiccans and Pagans have been known to get on my nerves as well. So anyway, am I being a racist jerk when stuff like this really annoys me?
Kufir = “non-believer”
Insha’allah = “god willing”
Afwan = “you’re welcome”
P.S. those aren’t the real pictures that were up on FB.
I don’t know what irritates me more, the righteousness or the bad grammar and spelling. Every religion has people like this, but this chick posts like 800 things a day. It’s not just messages like this, though– she also posts articles of dubious credibility about all sorts of conspiracy theories. She seems to think that the government is about to implant microchips into all of our brains (she posts a lot of things along these lines).
The moral of the story is: don’t friend random strangers, no matter how hard up you are for neighbors in My Town!
On another note, it kind of bugs me that people are freaking out about an Islamic Community Center that’s being planned near the site of the World Trade Center Towers. Come on people, you can’t hold an entire religion responsible for what a few zealots do. The Muslim community is building a center for everyone in order to promote cooperation and community between different religions and stuff. It’s not just for Muslims. People need to chill out. Notice how I’m not saying all Muslims are like the above Facebook Freak, just like they are not all about to strap bombs to themselves and blow up school buses. This world is whack, yo.
Some water main broke out in Westford, which means that all of Boston and surrounding areas have to boil their water before drinking it. One of these surrounding areas is NOT Cambridge, though! Cambridge has its own water supply which it only shares with Watham and Woburn I think. Don’t quote me on that– it’s 2 other smallish places with at least one of them starting with a W. Anyway, all the towns bordering Cambridge 2 or 3 deep on all sides are without water while I have all of the ice cubes, iced tea and water I can drink. This is awesome because it was 87 degrees out yesterday and potable water was definitely something I appreciated.
I went to K-Mart to pick up some clothespins and they were all out of bottled water. There was practically rioting. Apparently this is happening all over the place as people are rushing to stores and hoarding water like crazy. My friends aren’t too affected by this– they’ve just switched to drinking booze, but a lot of people are freaking out.
Come on people– boiling water isn’t that hard. At least you don’t have to haul muddy water from a well and then strain it before boiling! Be thankful you have water at all!
Also, there hasn’t been any sign that Montezuma’s Revenge or Beaver Fever or anything else lurks in the water; boiling is just a precautionary measure. People need to calm the fuck down. Of course, this is coming from the person who is drinking a tall glass of clean fresh water as we speak (I brought a jug from home to work today).
Cambridge water tastes kind of gross. I noticed this when I first moved from Boston, but I will never complain about it again!