Linkdump for October 2nd through November 9th

Sometime between October 2nd and November 9th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Linkdump for September 3rd through September 23rd

Sometime between September 3rd and September 23rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Linkdump for September 1st through September 3rd

Sometime between September 1st and September 3rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

So Tired of the Greenies

Great rant from The Root: Enough With the Shit, Green Party. The Coming Midterms Are Too Important for Your Shenanigans.

In theory, the Green Party is vitally necessary for a two-party system with party platforms so rigid and legacy-laced that not all potential candidates can get with either of them. I get it.

But in practice, the Green Party has become a catch-all for wackos and faux-Democrats who wouldn’t have a shot in hell in winning the dominant parties’ bids to continue fucking up the country for the rest of us.

Ohio’s congressional special election on Tuesday between Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor is so close that less than 1 percent separates the winner from the eventual loser. While the race is essentially a practice run for November midterms, it was a prime opportunity to send a strong message to the Trump administration. A Democratic victory in Ohio, a state Trump won handily in the 2016 presidential election, would signal to Trump that America is tired of his bullshit.

Enter: Green Party candidate Joe Manchik.

Who is Joe Manchik? Who the fuck knows. He’s just a white guy with a braided ponytail who gave this disastrous interview while wearing a peace symbol T-shirt, in which he couldn’t even remember what a debit card is and had trouble articulating how to donate on his own campaign website.

Joe Manchik couldn’t even remember his own fucking website! And yet, Joe Manchik is also responsible for winning over 1,100 votes, or some 0.6 percent of votes that probably would have gone to O’Connor.

And that’s my biggest beef with the Green Party; your LaVar Ball-ish sideshow shit is taking votes from viable Democratic candidates who are actually trying to implement change.

Linkdump for July 16th through July 30th

Sometime between July 16th and July 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Linkdump for May 26th through July 11th

Sometime between May 26th and July 11th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Staying out of politics is privilege

Hey, I’ll be honest. I’m one of those for whom it would be very easy to just “stay out of politics”. To post snide remarks about how all of you can argue about politics, but I’m just not going to waste my time with the bother. To shrug it all off. After all, I’m a well-educated, 45-year-old straight white cisgender man, in a heterosexual marriage, in good health, within accepted norms of physical attractiveness, employed, and (even with the move back to the Seattle area and going back to apartment living) fairly comfortably middle-class with a healthy financial cushion in the bank. I have so, so much privilege, and could so easily use it to just “stay out of politics”.

But on very real, personal, ethical and moral grounds, I cannot and will not do that. I know far too many people, many of whom are very close to me, who do not have the privileges I do, and who stand to be — or already are — in very real, present danger because of where our country stands right now. They have no option to “stay out of politics”. For them, “politics” isn’t some esoteric theoretical concept to be debated in classrooms or over coffee (or booze) and cigarettes in the wee hours of the morning, but a very real, very present, life-or-death situation.

Women, minorities, the non-Christian religious or non-religious, poor people, people with medical issues, people whose sexuality or gender identities and expressions fall somewhere other than cisgender and straight, and various combinations of those identities and more. I have many friends and loved ones that fall into those groups, who do not have the option to choose to “stay out of politics”, and for me to do so would be callous, uncaring, and cruel.

So, yes. I’m going to continue to post the links, articles, and occasional profane rants. Because it is far, far better for me to use the privilege I have to call attention to the concerns and plights of those who do not have the advantages that I do. As I do that, I have been and will continue to make an effort to quiet my own voice in favor of amplifying the voices of those who are oppressed. Of linking to those who speak from a place of personal knowledge about experiences I have never and in many cases can never experience. Of recognizing when I need to listen, rather than speaking out about things I can never truly understand. Of doing my best to call out my fellow straight/white/male/privileged people when they overstep their bounds, and listening and learning when I’m called out for overstepping mine.

Because this is what needs to be done. Not just to ease my conscience, but to do what I can to let those people in my life who are struggling know that they’re not alone, that we haven’t abandoned them entirely, even if it so often seems like it. Because I believe that we can be better than we seem to be right now. Because I grew up on Star Trek and its vision of an optimistic future, and that’s the future I want to live in, and to do that, we have to work towards it.

And we can’t do that and “stay out of politics”.

(Originally prompted by the embedded photo when seen on Facebook, posted to Facebook, and then re-posted here. Very minor apologies to those who are seeing this twice.)

More Shaming

Faced with the unceasing cruelty and degradation of the Trump presidency, liberals have not taken to marching around in public with assault weapons and threatening civil war. I know of no left-wing publication that has followed the example of the right-wing Federalist and run quasi-pornographic fantasies about murdering political enemies. (“Close your eyes and imagine holding someone’s scalp in your hands,” began a recent Federalist article.) Unlike Trump, no Democratic politician I’m aware of has urged his or her followers to beat up opposing demonstrators.

Instead, some progressive celebrities have said some bad words, and some people have treated administration officials with the sort of public opprobrium due members of any other white nationalist organization. Liberals are using their cultural power against the right because it’s the only power they have left, and people have a desperate need to say, and to hear others say, that what is happening in this country is intolerable.

— Michelle Goldberg,  We Have a Crisis of Democracy, Not Manners 

Shame

There are only so many official channels for enforcing moral standards in American public life. One is elections, which happen pretty rarely, and, thanks to gerrymanders and the electoral college, frequently reward popular vote losers. Another is the law, where courts are increasingly stacked against the majority. Under those circumstances, shame is a potent weapon, and it’s little surprise that people invested in the status quo want those who can wield it to unilaterally disarm.

— Brian Beutler, Shame the Trumpers

I absolutely stand behind those who shame and shun Trump’s supporters (whether that be his inner circle or the public). We as a people should be — and, I hope, can be, though I’m getting more and more cynical about that every day — so much better than we are right now, and shaming is a simple and effective way to deal with those who continue to work to bring us down.

Fuck Trump.

Fuck Trump.

And if that upsets you, especially because I used such uncouth language, and we on the left must not stoop to such levels if we want to avoid alienating people, read this Twitter thread and re-think your outrage. (And if it didn’t upset you, read it anyway, because it’s a good thread.)

I haven’t been posting quite as much lately because I’ve been a little overwhelmed by all the absolute shit our country is in the middle of, much of which is deeply, sincerely morally reprehensible to me, and I haven’t known what to say about it.

So, right now, this is what I can say.

Fuck Trump (and everyone who supported him then, and supports him now).