laylainalaska: funereal-disease: So one thing I’m not seeing mentioned much but that I think is…

Monday, February 20th, 2017



So one thing I’m not seeing mentioned much but that I think is really important to acknowledge is: not every member of a hate group is equally radicalized.

See, a lot of our rhetoric re: dealing with them assumes that every member is a hardened lifetimer. But there are always many, many lackeys to every kingpin. Not every terrorist sympathizer is Osama bin Laden. Cultlike movements are largely composed of people who are isolated or gullible or otherwise vulnerable. Their leaders know this. They capitalize on an underlying dysfunction and turn it into something monstrous. In any such movement, there will be people who have doubts but fear being crushed for their dissent. And those are the people it’s critically important to reach out to.

I think a lot of people assume that compassionate outreach is about, like, nicely asking hardened leaders to stop. It’s not! I frankly resent seeing pacifism strawmanned so badly. It’s about undermining those leaders’ bases. It’s about getting through to people who aren’t yet in too deep. When we write them off as exactly as bad as the people recruiting and manipulating them, we’re implicitly yielding ground. We’re ceding a huge number of potential allies to hateful causes, and I am not willing to do that. I want as many people on the side of good as possible. To do that, we have to be willing to get in and help deradicalize.

It’s laughable to expect that someone like S p e n c e r will just wake up one day and realize he’s wrong. It’s not impossible, but it’s not worth banking on. But what about an eighteen-year-old flirting with dangerous ideologies? Isn’t giving up on him implicitly ceding him to S p e n c e r ‘ s side? Do not conflate the psychological profile of someone who’s just beginning to become radicalized with that of someone who’s been entrenched for decades. That difference matters.

This is something I need to remind myself more often.

And it’s also one of the areas where I feel that allies can be the most useful and important. Someone who is the target of a hate group’s hate CANNOT be expected to expose themselves to those people, taking on physical and emotional risk, in the name of building bridges. But allies can.

I actually feel – and here again, I’m giving advice to myself more than anyone – that for allies, the kind of anger and withdrawal that’s 100% justified in the targeted group is an indulgence for us. Not that we can’t get angry too, not that we can’t take a step back for mental health reasons or just to rest. But in a lot of cases, if we really want to help, the best way we can help is by doing the difficult emotional labor of not getting angry (even if we really, really want to be angry) and instead putting ourselves out there calmly to have those hard and miserable conversations. It’s being strong enough to not blow off steam by posting a billion furious memes to Facebook so our relatives or friends-of-friends write us off as someone who can’t be reasoned with, but instead managing to stay calm in the face of a dozen difficult conversations to try to convince them that our point of view has merit, and having the patience to gently point them to primary resources and “own voices” sources on whatever-it-is so they can learn more about it from a good, authentic source.

There is a lot of research that suggests whatever your difference is (religious differences, political differences, ideological differences over something like abortion) that getting to know people on the opposite side, getting to see them as people instead of ~the enemy~, has a real and tangible effect on making someone more open-minded. And I want to stress, like I said at the top, that it is not the job of people in a particular oppressed group to try to change someone’s mind about it. But allies can help with that.

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unacaritafeliz: what a great weekend on tumblr dot com where you’ll learn how all your faves are…

Sunday, February 19th, 2017


what a great weekend on tumblr dot com where you’ll learn how all your faves are problematic and not want to follow or like anything ever again.

now with bonus advertising featuring a red trucker hat with “make X great again” and a link to a report on optimizing your stock portfolio to profit during the coming time of ethnic cleansing.

really, @david? really?

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tastefullyoffensive: #TinyTrump is my new favorite meme.

Friday, February 17th, 2017


#TinyTrump is my new favorite meme.

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I deleted that earlier reblog of mine of the quote about the proposal to use the Nat Guard for…

Friday, February 17th, 2017

I deleted that earlier reblog of mine of the quote about the proposal to use the Nat Guard for undocumented worker roundups. Subsequent chatter on twitter raises the possibility that the story was an earlier, no-longer-being-pursued draft proposal intentionally planted with the AP by the White House (i.e., Bannon) to be able to then decry it as “fake news”.

Also, I’ve learned a new word today: provokatsiya.

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“The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard…”

Friday, February 17th, 2017

“The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press. The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general. While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.”

Trump weighs mobilizing Nat Guard for immigration roundups
(via dendroica)

Nope nope nope. All the nope.

The fact that the US lacks a national police force is not a bug. It’s a feature. It’s a legacy of our history as a union of formerly independent states, where the will of a would-be autocrat is limited by the fact that without the cooperation of local law enforcement his ability to carry out peckerheaded schemes like this is limited.

We, like, literally fought a revolution over this.

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Town Hall Project 2018

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Town Hall Project 2018:


Find the nearest town hall and tell your reps they work for you! Staffers will tell you in-person meetings matter most—and that decisions get made by those who show up.

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amuseoffyre: highwaytohell-a: every time I remember about this…

Friday, February 10th, 2017



every time I remember about this spectacular moment, it just makes me happy (and also proud) that this joke was most probably written by an openly gay man (Chris Kelly) and performed by an open lesbian woman (Kate Mckinnon) in live tv. and that is just glorious.

This is how you take an SNL skit: with humour and acknowledgement that you’ve cocked up along the way. Not by being a pissbaby about it on twitter all night long

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puppygamer:my brother in law voted for trump even tho his wife has had cancer and is in remission so…

Friday, February 10th, 2017


my brother in law voted for trump even tho his wife has had cancer and is in remission so an ACA repeal could kill her… we have a serious issue with propaganda in the US right now and I don’t know how we can fix it

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windandwater: Forth now, and fear no darkness!—J.R.R. Tolkien,…

Friday, February 10th, 2017


Forth now, and fear no darkness!

—J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 5

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congressarchives: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the…

Friday, February 10th, 2017


Today marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 25th Amendment!

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution did not clarify,
in the event of a vacancy in the Presidency, whether it was only the
“powers and duties” of the President that devolved onto the Vice
President or if the office itself did, too.

Before passage of the 25th Amendment,
succession was determined by legislation. Congress passed laws at
various times establishing the President pro tempore of the Senate, the
Speaker of the House, or the Secretary of State as third in line for the

Read more about the Succession of the Presidency on Prologue: Pieces of History

relevant to my interests

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A note from the Indivisible Team

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

A note from the Indivisible Team:


A note for all of us who feel defeated after Sessions from the Indivisible Team: This is the long game. We are going to lose a lot. We are going to get good at losing. We are going to lose cabinet votes for terrible nominees. We are going to lose bills that are offensive and appalling. But while we are losing, something else is going to happen. We are going to keep raising our voices and slowly our representatives are going to start listening to us. We’ve seen it happen. 

It won’t happen because of next week’s call to action. It’ll happen over months, where you keep showing up, regularly. Then, we are going to start winning. It’ll sneak up on us. We won’t understand why we are winning. But it starts with losing in a particular way- where we raise our voices and call it out when we aren’t listened to, where we get close but not quite there.

The first 100 days of a President’s term are the honeymoon period, the moment when he’s most likely to get his agenda enacted. Trump is spending his first 100 days mired in controversy, scandal, and backbiting – and that’s because you haven’t for a moment let anyone in Washington forget just how unpopular he is.

Every time we change the narrative, every time we delay, every time there’s a newspaper story about a member of Congress avoiding his or her constituents, that’s a win. And it matters.

You have already made history. You’ve delayed the confirmation of Trump’s cabinet picks longer than any time in recent history. You stopped the gutting on the congressional ethics office. You’ve made Republicans so nervous about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act that it’s been pushed further and further down the road. You caused an uproar of historic proportions over Trump’s Muslim ban and saved lives and reunited families in the process. You’ve inspired people who have never before taken action to make their voices heard and learn how to do things like check how their members of Congress voted and call them out for it.

We’ll never even know about some of the victories – because those will be the fights that this Administration considered starting and then realized it couldn’t win.

We’re in this together. Every visit. Every call. Every loss. Every win. That’s just what friends do. #StandIndivisible

In solidarity,

The Indivisible Team

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imaginarycircus replied to your quote: This is just the clearest statement of…

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

I’m glad you’re calling! I haven’t called Elizabeth Warren’s office because we all know where she stands in this mess. But I feel like calling and pushing for impeachment is good. Although people with Rep need to push hard because it won’t happen w/o Rep rebelling.

Good luck with your storm. And good luck to us all with the nor’easter bearing down on the republic.

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“This is just the clearest statement of what has been obvious for months. President Trump sees the…”

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

“This is just the clearest statement of what has been obvious for months. President Trump sees the United States and his family businesses as a fully integrated entity because he is President. Remember, just a few days ago the President’s wife argued in court that a disputed and subsequently retracted article damaged her ability to take advantage of the business opportunity of being First Lady. That literally means that her public office is a thing of specifically quantifiable monetary value to which she has been wrongly deprived and for which is seeking compensation. He is the state. He is the business. That may sound dramatic and even hyperbolic. But look at Spicer’s own words. They’re not. As I’ve been saying, stop talking about ‘conflicts of interest’. Those are guide rails meant to help ethical people to stay ethical or unethical people put on a show of it. There’s no show here. Trump is openly using the Presidency as the world’s greatest marketing opportunity. Happily, there are some signs his efforts to punish companies that don’t enrich him and his family may be backfiring. But that’s irrelevant to the question of intent. He’s openly doing this. The only question is who helps him and who refuses to accept this as a normal state of affairs.”

Three Dimensional Integration
(via dendroica)

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micdotcom:People are turning Mitch McConnell’s dig against…

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017


People are turning Mitch McConnell’s dig against Elizabeth Warren into a feminist rallying cry

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unrulygingerlesbian: ummmm???? do people forget that hitler’s rise to power didn’t START with the…

Monday, February 6th, 2017


ummmm???? do people forget that hitler’s rise to power didn’t START with the holocaust??? like it wasn’t like day one he became chancellor and said “okay from now on, all jews are going to be put into camps”. it started so much more subtle than that. he started with quietly and subtly removing jewish people from civil services, from government positions, then from the entertainment industry, then from being on radio, then from medicine and sciences, then from not letting them go to university, THEN the nuremberg laws that officially classified jewish people as outcasts. THEN Kristallnacht. THEN ghettos. and then THEN the rounding up into camps. this all happened over a span of YEARS.

dictatorship doesn’t arrive with a slimy red bow, dripping with venom. it comes promising to make your country better by putting the blame conveniently on the backs of people that are easy targets and slowly raises the temperature on them until it reaches a boiling point. make no mistake. these ARE the signs of fascism. don’t pretend that there’s an overreaction when there really REALLY isn’t.

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I’ve been away

Saturday, February 4th, 2017


But my mind is still going, trying, working, attempting to make sense of everything.

The positives, can I stick with those?

I’m so much a feminist, but the wave I’m on may as well be a crinkle against the beach, so much of the power of it comes from people before me.  I had the privilege to never experience a glass ceiling, a lower wage, or anything less than respect in my career.  I had the privilege to explore my sexuality openly at a young age.  I had the privilege of many, many lessons and gentle guidance and attentive and experienced mentors.

It is not bad to remember, reinforce, and recollect the roots of this.  To be shoved up in front of the question and answer it: why are human rights important?

It is not bad to remember why collectives are more powerful than individuals, and reconfirm that unification is more powerful than division.

I feel triumph in actual humans turning the giant monoliths of Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus around.  It’s just the beginning.  It’s just two weeks in.  We cannot change the mind of the president of the United States, but we can change what that office means.  To us, to the world.  We can take power from the corporations.

Didn’t we believe in Adbusters as timid ninth-graders, hovering behind our mothers at the health food store checkout line, hating when they wore those shawl and house dress combos in public, yoga clothes when surely they never went to yoga class?

Didn’t we believe in zines?

Didn’t we believe in our power?

I understand there are problems.  Severe problems.  I’m not a Pollyanna (or maybe I am) but I’m not going to apologize for my energy.  I am motivated to make light, to make art, to make conversation, and to motivate change.

I want people to understand how the government works.  If they do not understand this, they cannot transform it.

I want people to understand that they are powerful.  I want people to understand that they are not bound by fear.  We live on this earth for such a short time, and we are capable of so much more than we think we are.

I want people to understand what a folk hero is.  It isn’t a white man with a guitar from the 1940s, although it has been.  Roxane Gay is a folk hero.  Dave Chappelle is a folk hero. I want people to understand that they can receive protection, inspiration, and energy from the words of people who have the microphone right now, and that their support acts to turn the volume up.

Read Woody Guthrie or Utah Phillips if it makes you feel better, even though they have left the earthly plane.  Read Rebecca Solnit.  Read Hannah Arendt.  Do not diminish protesters.  If you protest, may you experience energy, safety, and warmth.  May you be inspired.  If you do not protest, may you find the heat of change from other spaces.

And if you do not have the luxury to feel anything but fear right now, may the energy of the population who fights reach you in some way.  I believe in its power.  I believe in our power.  I believe in the tools we’ve learned: Twitter, Google Docs, longform journalism, short form social media posting.  Yes, they can be maddening, but they are the tools we made.

It’s time to put them to use.

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gehayi: booksandcatslover: iceageiscoming: spaam: micdotcom: …

Friday, February 3rd, 2017






Kellyanne Conway invents fake terrorist attack “Bowling Green Massacre”

  • In a Thursday night interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s travel ban with what she would call “alternative facts” — the rest of us would call them lies.
  • Trump’s top adviser spoke of the “Bowling Green Massacre,” which she said was carried out by two Iraqi refugees.
  • She slammed the press for not covering the tragedy, which is why, Conway maintained, most people don’t know about it.
  • However, as the Washington Post notes, such a terrorist attack never occurred in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
  • Conway seemed to be referring to the 2011 arrest of two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green who were charged with attempting to send money and weapons to al-Qaida. Read more

Quando s’invocava la fantasia al potere m’immaginavo altro.

E invece…


Oh, this is priceless. There’s a page:

If you go to the donation area, it redirects you here:

Trolling level: 111,000. I love it.

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profeminist: “To announce that there must be no criticism…

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017


“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” 

– President Theodore Roosevelt

 “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.“ 

– George Orwell

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and the government when it deserves it.“ 

– Mark Twain

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“Get into the habit of telephoning your senators and House member at their local offices, especially…”

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

“Get into the habit of telephoning your senators and House member at their local offices, especially if you live in a red state. Press your senators to ensure that prosecutors and judges are chosen for their independence—and that their independence is protected. Support laws to require the Treasury to release presidential tax returns if the president fails to do so voluntarily. Urge new laws to clarify that the Emoluments Clause applies to the president’s immediate family, and that it refers not merely to direct gifts from governments but to payments from government-affiliated enterprises as well. Demand an independent investigation by qualified professionals of the role of foreign intelligence services in the 2016 election—and the contacts, if any, between those services and American citizens. Express your support and sympathy for journalists attacked by social-media trolls, especially women in journalism, so often the preferred targets. Honor civil servants who are fired or forced to resign because they defied improper orders. Keep close watch for signs of the rise of a culture of official impunity, in which friends and supporters of power-holders are allowed to flout rules that bind everyone else.”

David Frum, How to Build an Autocracy | The Atlantic (via sociolab)

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For our third anniversary my wife and I spent a few days staying in a northern California B&B….

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

For our third anniversary my wife and I spent a few days staying in a northern California B&B. It was run by what I thought of at the time as an “older couple”, though they were probably not much older than we are now.

Carol was the personable one who greeted us on arrival and said hello when we were coming and going. George was quieter, less in evidence. He brought the breakfast tray to our cottage each morning, but left it at the door. The few times we spoke with him we noticed his thick accent; Carol told us that he was from Hungary, having been one of those who made it out in ‘56.

We only had one real conversation with George. It was after we’d been there a few days, when he’d relaxed enough to open up a bit. I don’t remember how we got on the topic, but we ended up discussing politicians, and political protest (this was during Reagan’s second term, and the local community was outraged over plans for offshore oil drilling).

“Eh,” he said. “The thing with politicians is, every now and then you have to take a few of the worst of them and hang them from a tree.” He grinned at us, raising his eyebrows. “Nothing else works. Then afterwards, whenever they start getting too full of themselves, all you have to do is point at the tree.”

I’ve thought about that conversation from time to time. Lately I’ve been thinking about it more.

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