The Bias of Devices.

Getty Images.

Getty Images.

A lot of people are enamored with the idea of artificial intelligence, imbued with the rosy hues of optimism, eternal life, and other amazing feats. What you don’t hear about so much are all the little problems which creep in, like the very real biases and bigotry of humans infecting devices which are made to learn. The term artificial intelligence has always struck me as inherently biased, underlining the point that organic intelligence is always superior. Why not machine intelligence, or some other actually neutral term? Anyroad, we aren’t that far along that terminator fears need be realized, but Wired has a good article up about how good humans are at providing devices with the very worst of our intelligence.

Algorithmic bias—when seemingly innocuous programming takes on the prejudices either of its creators or the data it is fed—causes everything from warped Google searches to barring qualified women from medical school. It doesn’t take active prejudice to produce skewed results (more on that later) in web searches, data-driven home loan decisions, or photo-recognition software. It just takes distorted data that no one notices and corrects for.

It took one little Twitter bot to make the point to Microsoft last year. Tay was designed to engage with people ages 18 to 24, and it burst onto social media with an upbeat “hellllooooo world!!” (the “o” in “world” was a planet earth emoji). But within 12 hours, Tay morphed into a foul-mouthed racist Holocaust denier that said feminists “should all die and burn in hell.” Tay, which was quickly removed from Twitter, was programmed to learn from the behaviors of other Twitter users, and in that regard, the bot was a success. Tay’s embrace of humanity’s worst attributes is an example of algorithmic bias—when seemingly innocuous programming takes on the prejudices either of its creators or the data it is fed.

Tay represents just one example of algorithmic bias tarnishing tech companies and some of their marquis products. In 2015, Google Photos tagged several African-American users as gorillas, and the images lit up social media. Yonatan Zunger, Google’s chief social architect and head of infrastructure for Google Assistant, quickly took to Twitter to announce that Google was scrambling a team to address the issue. And then there was the embarrassing revelation that Siri didn’t know how to respond to a host of health questions that affect women, including, “I was raped. What do I do?” Apple took action to handle that as well after a nationwide petition from the American Civil Liberties Union and a host of cringe-worthy media attention.

One of the trickiest parts about algorithmic bias is that engineers don’t have to be actively racist or sexist to create it. In an era when we increasingly trust technology to be more neutral than we are, this is a dangerous situation. As Laura Weidman Powers, founder of Code2040, which brings more African Americans and Latinos into tech, told me, “We are running the risk of seeding self-teaching AI with the discriminatory undertones of our society in ways that will be hard to rein in, because of the often self-reinforcing nature of machine learning.”

I don’t understand why anyone would assume tech to be more neutral than we are, after all, this is not a scenario where machines and devices are having a board meeting and figuring out how to maintain neutrality and purge biases. All the code, it comes from us naked apes, who truly suck at neutrality en masse. Even when we think we are neutral about this or that, implicit bias tests often show us deep biases we weren’t altogether aware of, and how they influence our thinking.

As the tech industry begins to create artificial intelligence, it risks inserting racism and other prejudices into code that will make decisions for years to come. And as deep learning means that code, not humans, will write code, there’s an even greater need to root out algorithmic bias. There are four things that tech companies can do to keep their developers from unintentionally writing biased code or using biased data.

I imagine the suggestions will give all the bros serious indigestion, but they are suggestions which need wide implementation, given the human penchant for racing ahead in technology while lagging woefully behind in social evolution. Wired has the full story.

Oh, that fucking wall.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

The projected cost for President Donald Trump’s border wall continues to rise, and Trump has no good plan to contain it.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the border wall will be much more expensive than the $10 billion figure Trump repeatedly cited during his campaign or the $12–$15 billion cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) last month.

“Trump’s ‘wall’ along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct,” Reuters reported, citing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security document the outlet obtained.

And it could end up costing even more than that.

“Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion,” Reuters reports.

On Saturday morning, Trump responded to that news by assuring Americans that costs of constructing the wall will come “WAY DOWN” as soon as he gets involved in the negotiations.

<Tweets snipped.>

But Trump’s citation of the reduced cost of F-35s should give no one confidence he’ll be able to bring down the exorbitant cost of his border wall.

That’s because on January 30, Trump took credit for cost cuts to the fighter jets that were already put in place before he got involved. A Washington Post fact-check gave Trump’s claim that he was responsible for cutting $600 million from the F-35 program “Four Pinocchios.”

[…]

Trump has repeatedly taken credit for deals that were in the works long before he won the election or became president. For instance, he’s overstated his role in deals with Intel, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and Sprint to take credit for saving American jobs.

[…]

Last year, Reuters reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents don’t think the type of border wall Trump has long supported is necessary for national security. Instead, they seek better equipment and technology.

Not only is this wall idea the epitome of idiocy, people tend to forget a different cost of such idiocy – the high cost imposed on animals, the environment, and various ecologies. This sort of arrogant assholery is little more than a chest-pounding display of cruelty, a game for bully boys. Unfortunately, such people don’t much give a shit about the planet which gives them life, or the diversity of life on our earth, which has no use for the concrete idiocy of naked apes intent on warring with their neighbours. You can read a bit about this high cost here.

Full story at Think Progress.

NO DAPL Roundup.

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama has chosen to stand with Standing Rock.

A group of 100 people gathered in Park City to protest the revival of the project by new U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, Malia Obama joined the protester who were holding up signs that read: “Exist. Resist. Rise.” and “Impeach corporate control,” according to the Daily Mail.

Along with protesting the construction of the pipeline, which will disturb sacred grounds and introduce contaminants into the local water supply, the group was protesting the festival sponsorship by Chase Bank, which is invested in the pipeline. The rally was held in front of the Chase Sapphire on Main lounge.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Chairman Archambault on MSNBC: ‘President Is Circumventing Federal Law’.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.

“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what’s to come if in the first four days we’re witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It’s not right, and it’s something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”

The tribe wants closer study of the pipeline’s potential effects on water supply, sacred sites and treaty rights, he said, and Trump is trying to do an end run around such statutes as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“The troubling thing is that this president is circumventing federal law,” Archambault said. “We have Treaty rights, we have water rights with our Winter’s Doctrine, we have NEPA.”

The Keystone XL Pipeline Will Create Just 35 Permanent Jobs. Don’t Believe the Lies.

For those who still insist fossil fuels are the future, the Trump administration represents a new day for some old ideas. In an early sign of things to come, the president showed his faith in big oil when he signed documents Tuesday pressuring federal agencies to support construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Each of these projects faced enormous protests and was put on hold by the Obama administration because of legitimate environmental and due process concerns.

Congressional Republicans frequently howled at far less heavy-handed exercises of executive power under the previous administration. Today, they applaud Trump’s move on the mistaken premise that these pipelines are good investments. Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.

Standing Rock Chairman Archambault Sends Strong Letter to Trump.

Editor’s note: Reaction was swift and strong when President Donald Trump signed a series of Presidential Memoranda and Executive Orders designed to move the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) forward and revive the Keystone XL pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responded immediately, and on January 25 Standing Rock Chairman Archambault wrote a letter to Trump explaining the legal constraints, the support that the Environmental Impact Statement and the tribe have, and the need for a leader-to-leader meeting. The full text is below.

DAPL Profiteers Steal Marty Two Bulls Designs.

You’ve probably seen and shared at least one of the many brilliant political cartoons by Marty Two Bulls at some point in time. Marty Two Bulls—an artist from the Oglala Lakota Nation—has been drawing political cartoons with great success for many years. His work has long been a staple on the pages of ICTMN. He’s known for bringing clever humor and hilarious imagery to hot, controversial issues: most recently the anti-DAPL movement in Standing Rock.

But now, you might see his work in places it shouldn’t be: dozens of t-shirt sellers who are hoping to make a buck from the #NoDAPL campaigns have ripped off Marty Two Bulls designs and been using them to sell t-shirts of their own with no credit, profit, or acknowledgement offered to the artist. Now, Two Bulls has taken the matter into his own hands. In addition to filing dozens of reports to stop production of the rip-offs, he has decided to sell t-shirts of his own.

The design thieves are mostly from overseas with no connection to Native country.
“So far I caught over 20,” Two Bulls said, “I go online, I search terms like #NoDAPL and Water is Life on Facebook, and there they are.”

Marty is an amazingly talented artist, and one of the best political cartoonists in the world, he’s brilliant. Please, if you want to show support for Standing Rock, take the time to make sure your item is coming from the actual artist. Most artists aren’t rolling in money, and this theft hurts, one more than one level. Marty is trying to do something for his people, and if you want to help, and like his artwork, please buy from Marty Two Bulls.

A Different Kind of Alt.

CREDIT: Images via Twitter.

CREDIT: Images via Twitter.

There’s a good alt on the rise!

…If anyone should know that it is, as a practical matter, impossible to force a willful individual to stop tweeting, it’s President Donald J. Trump. So perhaps he was least shocked of all to see that, on Tuesday night, a new handle popped up on Twitter: @AltNatParkSer.

By way of introduction, the anonymous founders tweeted: “Hello, we are the Alternative National Park Service Twitter Account activated in time of war and censorship to ensure fact-based education.”

The account is less than a week old. It has issued over 300 tweets — on the Trump White House, on climate change, on the importance of peer-reviewed and factually-accurate science — and racked up 1.24 million followers in the process.

Within days, at least a dozen Twitters claiming to be the rogue employees of the government agencies for which they work appeared, describing themselves as the “unofficial resistance”: @RogueNASA, which already has 628,000 followers; @altUSEPA whose bio reads “Environmental conditions may vary from alternative facts” already has 184,000 followers; @RoguePOTUSStaff, allegedly tweeting from “inside the White House,” has a follower count of nearly 60,000. The National Weather Service, the State Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Education, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services,: all have alternative accounts with thousands of followers a pop.

The tone is tongue-in-cheek, but the messaging is clear: Climate change is real. Facts are facts. The public has the right to know the truth. Science should not be dictated by politics. Attempts to silence official means of communication will only spark alternative means of communication. It’s a fitting act of rebellion under a president so taken with Russia: Resistance to Trump, via samizdat-com.

There’s also something satisfying about seeing the word “alternative” used against Trump and not for him, seeing as it was recently adopted by Kellyanne Conway as a modifier for “facts” (her way of defending White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s blatant falsehoods about, of all things, the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration) and co-opted by neo-Nazis as half of their more media-friendly, less-obviously-fascist title of choice, “alt-right.” The alt-NPS Twitter teams give “alternative” back to the public, for its correct use.

[…]

Trump and his ilk, like Breitbart-alum-turned-chief-strategist Steve Bannon, stoke distrust in the mainstream media like an abusive boyfriend insisting that no one else in your life really wants what’s best for you like he does. When the president is a pathological liar who does everything within his power to prevent government agencies from arming the public with accurate information, something as simple as telling the truth becomes a radical act.

The Trump administration’s efforts to deny readily apparent truths is, as Masha Gessen writes, a means of “assert[ing] power over truth itself.” But these rogue Twitter accounts are a means of asserting truth over power itself. They are a way of announcing to the president — who is surely paying attention, considering how much time he spends on Twitter — that facts will not quietly be dethroned by fiction.

VIVE LA RESISTANCE!

Think Progress has the full story.

400 Sparkling Nipples.

nip1

nip2

In a new artistic statement against censorship, this time in response to Facebook’s anti-nipple legislation, the Madrid-based artistic group Luzinterruptus lit 400 plastic breastfeeding nipples with LEDs at the entrance of Facebook’s Madrid headquarters. For an hour, the 400 nipples shone brightly outside of the office, beautifully illuminating the sidewalk and reminding passersby of just how harmless nipples are.

[…]

The project took five hours to set up and was removed completely after the exhibition was finished. Luzinterruptus wrote on their website that they now have 400 nipples available for any artists who would like to install a related project. And, it is possible that this project will morph into related anti-censorship statements, just as Luzinterruptus’ environmentalist projects have continued to make powerful statements about global warming in different incarnations, filling the fountain in Trafalgar Square with glowing garbage and raining condoms.

In addition to protesting the censorship of Facebook policies, Luzinterruptus wants to call attention to other elements of the restrictive policies. Specifically, they are reacting to what they see as a hypocritical stance on potentially disturbing images. While Facebook removes photographs of breastfeeding women, they allow violence, racism, and misogynistic content to roam free. Finally, Luzinterruptus wants to make viewers aware of the third-world workers who they believe are exploited by Facebook to as they work for very low wages to censor Facebook content. Even in reactions to the installation, Luzinterruptus has seen backlash. “Many magazines commented that they couldn’t publish articles [about the installation] because of editorial politics,” Luzinterruptus tells the Creators Project. The reactions to the installation have shown the artistic group just how much influence Facebook has. Will 2017 be the year we finally #freethenipple? We’ll have to wait and see.

The Creators Project has the full story.

Facebook, Oh Facebook XVI.

god

Facebook banned God, who has over 3 million followers, for the above post. Facebook God is a progressive sort of god, and I guess that got up some FB angel’s nose.

While God might not be safe from the wrath of Facebook, his swift reinstatement shows that hell hath no fury like millions of social media fans who want their deity back.

Last week, God – the verified Facebook page with more than three million followers – posted the following: “Dear Americans, Stop making your military so damn huge and give people medicine and education because you’re sick and stupid. Thanks, God.”

Two days later, God was slapped with a 30-day ban.

God, being God, wasn’t having it though. “I posted this opinion on the day it was announced that Obamacare will be defunded and 24 million people will lose their healthcare,” he said in an article on Good. “The opinion goes viral, gaining over 100,000 likes and 15,000 shares. A few hundred people disagree with the opinion. Rather than move on, or even use the ‘angry’ reaction face, what do they do? They report the opinion as being offensive.”

god1

“Today I was notified by FB that My Account has been restored! THANK YOU, HUMANS! I am sure that the huge response from you yesterday was the difference in achieving this so quickly,” God wrote.

“YOU. YOU ARE AWESOME.”

Via Scary Mommy.

‘Man Up’.

I came across this wonderful response to the phrase ‘man up’ thanks to Wisconsin senator Steve Nass, who is all manner of bent over a course at UW-Madison: “Unpacking Masculinity At UW-Madison” and seeks to address the ways “media, hook up culture, alcohol, violence, pop culture” create expectations of masculinity.

Sen. Nass was terribly alarmed, and fired off an email:

Sen. Steve Nass, a frequent UW System critic, sent an email to his fellow lawmakers on Wednesday entitled “UW-Madison Declares War on Men and their Masculinity — Not a Joke.” The email accuses UW-Madison of being part of a national liberal effort to rid male students of their “toxic masculinity.”

Our friends at UW-Madison, not happy enough with labeling ‘whiteness’ as a societal problem, now are attacking another social ill …, Men and their masculinity,” the email says.

“The supposedly underfunded and overworked administrators at our flagship campus have scrapped (sic) together enough dollars to offer a six-week program open only to ‘men-identified students,” the email goes on. “In short, the highly paid leaders at UW-Madison now believe that Wisconsin mothers and fathers have done a poor job of raising their boys by trying to instill in them the values and characteristics necessary in becoming a Man.

The email concludes by encouraging legislators to reform the UW System in the next state budget.

What Sen. Nass misses entirely is that a lot of young men are seeking paths through all the baggage hanging from the concept of masculinity so that they can be themselves, in happiness, in pride, and in security. Why that would be awful, when toxic masculinity is right there, after all, it’s worked for thousands of years, right?

I visited the course site, and it all looks good to me, I wish such courses were all over the place.

Via Associated Press and Raw Story.

Facebook, Oh Facebook XV.

allen-shooting-300x225

A days-old argument between two groups of people that escalated on Facebook led to a shooting Allen Tuesday night.

The Allen Police Department said that disagreement was between nine people from South Dallas and seven from Allen.

Sergeant John Felty said the Dallas group drove to a home on Hawthorne Drive near South Jupiter Road in Allen for a confrontation. He said it was about to end peacefully when someone fired shots.

“Well I can’t imagine what would be so important that it would end like this. It is a tragedy,” he said.

Four people were shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Officers detained eight of the nine from Dallas and the other, who police believe fired the shots, is in custody.

“The good news is… if there is any good news in this… is that the people that are responsible for this are detained or in custody,” he said.

The fact that the shooting stemmed from a Facebook argument was not lost on authorities.

“We’ve had social media disagreements for quite some time but never to this degree where it turns into a shooting,” said Fenty.

Oh good. Great Americans are going to drag their guns out over FB arguments now. If this shit continues, there won’t be all that many people left to worry about, will there? I know how infuriating people can be, who doesn’t know that? Even so, grabbing a gun is not a good idea because someone on the internet pissed you off. If we start killing people on that basis, there really won’t be anyone left.

Via WBAP.

Oh, For Fuck’s Sake. What. A. Twit.

Donald Trump again lashed out at President Barack Obama in a wounded tweet — and he was buried in online mockery.

The president-elect — who will keep using Twitter as “a really exciting part of the job,”according to his press secretary — pulled out his phone Wednesday morning to continue the feud that erupted when Obama suggested he could have beaten Trump.

Emphasis mine. Upon reading that, there was a headdesk with a bounce. A Twitter mosquito thinks he’s going to run a whole country. In light of the recent news that President Obama has been declared the most admired man of 2016, and this is the ninth time President Obama has been chosen as most admired man, I suppose we can expect that to occupy Trump’s tiny mind for some time to come.

I really, really wish this was some sort of bad joke that was going to end.

Via Raw Story.

Merry Christmas and Long Live the King!

Reint-a-Claus (Fritz Liess).

Reint-a-Claus (Fritz Liess).

The Twittersphere has been exploding throughout the holidays, and with good reason. Apparently, not one person in the “Trump Team” is capable of anything except gaffes, which they happily publicize all over the place, then have to rush in and try to spin it with very poor excuses. Normally, I’d say this would be a banner time for comedians, except they are in fear of all those Trumpoids, who seem to be singularly humourless.

On Sunday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) tweeted out a Christmas greeting that included a reference to a “new King.”

“Merry Christmas to all!” wrote RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and co-chair Sharon Day, according to TheHill.com. “Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.”

Twitter users were baffled and a little horrified to see a major political party calling its Republican-elect a “king” before he’s even sworn into office.

Oh look – we now have an official godling and a king. Oh joy. The idiot lunatics are in charge. You can see some of the choicer twitter reactions at Raw Story.

Oh, The Constitution.

1-frqzk1ykisd5_y33q_l9eg

The Constitution. My feelings about it? Fuck the constitution. That superannuated paen to the rich and the immoral should have been scrapped long ago, and been replaced with something progressive and relevant. The very worst of people worship that ragged document, twisting it to support evil ideologies and actions; much like people with their holy books of myths (for the hard of thinking, yes, that includes the bible). Gun fondlers adore it, as do all manner of right wingers. Republicans routinely mouth off about their constitution love, and how great and grand it is, etc. It isn’t grand. It isn’t great. It’s a document of its times, put together in the flush of a successful genocide, by wealthy, bloodthirsty men, who weren’t overly concerned with moral or ethical behaviour. You can, of course, see the appeal to republicans, but more than anything else right now, the constitution highlights the abject hypocrisy of all conservatives.

Republicans are always the first to scream “constitution!” whenever there’s something proposed which they don’t like, and they are always the first to search for the tiniest of constitutional violations in the case of someone they find appalling, like President Obama. The conservatives went lunatic fringe, searching for anything which could constitute a violation, so they could oust him from office. Now, the pres-elect will be violating the constitution in the same manner he violated a very long line of women, but who wants to bet the republicans will be zealously pursuing those violations with an aim to impeach? I don’t imagine I’ll have any takers on that bet. I’d be willing to say they are going to find every gorram excuse in the book to absolve Donny in all the violations, and with that, they will demonstrate how little they actually care about that supposedly hallowed document.

What kind of nation allows the loser of a national election to become president — and then does it again 16 years later?

What kind of nation retains an electoral process that was originally designed to inflate the influence of slaveholders?

What kind of nation permits its Congress to write a time bomb into law that periodically forces rival factions into a game of chicken that could wreck the world economy?

What kind of nation fights a civil war over the question of whether people of African descent are people or property, and then looks the other way when the loser ignores the resolution of that war? What kind of nation waits until 1965 to guarantee black people’s right to vote?

Americans speak of our Constitution as if it were a religious text. To label a law “unconstitutional” is not simply to say that it violates some procedural rule or legal technicality, it is to label it fundamentally unAmerican. To do so is to question the values of any lawmaker despicable enough to support such a law, and to suggest that those values are at odds with who we are as a nation.

But our Constitution has not served us nearly as well as we would have been served by other systems adopted by our peer nations. Nor has it lived up to the expectations of its drafters.

Now, our country is facing a man of superlative ignorance. A racist. An admitted sexual assaulter of women. A man poised to violate the Constitution the very instant he takes the oath of office. A man who openly encouraged Russia’s efforts to usher him into the White House. A man who owes his election to the underhanded efforts of deep state actors within our nation’s internal police agency. A man who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. And the Constitution has placed this man in the White House.

The Constitution gave Donald Trump command of the world’s most powerful military and an nuclear arsenal that can eradicate all life on Earth. It let him name a racist as our nation’s top enforcer of its laws. It let him use his office to sell hotel rooms to foreign diplomats. The Electoral College has voted. Trump will be our next president. This is what the Constitution hath wrought.

It did this because our Constitution remains the product of a compromise with moral monsters who believed that human beings could be owned as property. It did this because our Constitution offers no guarantee, or even much in the way of likelihood, that the men and women elected to lead the country will share the preferences of the nation as a whole. It did this because our Constitution fosters voter ignorance. It did this because our Constitution can be gamed — and was gamed quite successfully by the Republican Party.

Emphasis mine. And right there is exactly what the constitution means to conservatives: a means to get their way, to make sure fascism comes marching in, wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible. Nothing is sacred to conservatives, nothing at all. Well, no, a couple of things are sacred to conservatives: the state of their wallet, and the power to oppress and destroy other people.

The full story is at Think Progress, a highly recommended read.

ETA: It seems that even those republicans who might have spoken out are now too overcome by fear to do so. Ain’t fascism fun?

ETA: It’s begun, let’s write special laws, and Donny can just pardon people as he goes along!

Fuck every single person who has brought us to this, and fuck all those who will stand by silently, letting it happen.

Backing Black Business.

CREDIT: iStock.

CREDIT: iStock.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) just launched a database of black businesses to support, with the goal of “[building] long-term economic power for Black communities.”

On Monday, the organization unveiled backingblackbusiness.com, an interactive map and directory of online stores where customers can purchase food, health and beauty supplies, entertainment, and lifestyle goods — all from retailers owned by black people. The site also includes nonprofits, and allows business owners to add themselves to the database.

The full article is at Think Progress.

I clicked over to backingblackbusiness.com, and while I’m not in LA or NY, plenty of business owners have online shops, and after perusing a few (I got completely caught up in Loving Anvil, and am plotting on when I can spend money there) I don’t think I’ll have any problems at all, supporting black businesses. The site is brand new, so a bit rough, but there’s a lot to explore!