Indigenous Peoples Day 2020.

On Friday, the preferred president of assholes everywhere issued a shitty proclamation declaring that today’s federal holiday is exclusively a celebration of Italian-American contributions to our nation and the exploits of a particular 15th century Italian explorer, said exploits necessarily encompassing the ensuing brutal colonization and genocide of Indigenous people in the Americas. This proclamation is much, much worse than I even imagined. (And I write this as a person with significant Italian-American heritage.) If you choose to read on, you will first want to ensure that your irony meter is in excellent working order and – this is the important part – still under warranty.

For one thing, consider what Pres. Alpha Asshole and his Merry Minions of Masklessness would be saying and doing about Italian immigration a hundred years ago. You know: before Italians suddenly and miraculously became white. I’m pretty sure my grandmother, who happened to be exceptionally dark-skinned even for southern Italy, would have been locked up in a cage along with her sister and all the other Italian immigrant children.

Of course those among us who think we should instead recognize and reckon with the truth of our nation’s history are deemed “radical activists” and “extremists” who “seek to squash any dissent from their orthodoxy” and instead promote a “radical ideology” and “revisionist history” just to “spread hate and division.”

Let us pause for a moment here so that you can recalibrate your irony meter and/or attempt to extinguish the flames emanating therefrom.

Okay now? Good. The preceding was merely setting the stage for what I really want to talk about on this Indigenous Peoples Day. If you guessed that is “Indigenous people,” you win all the internetz! 🏆⭐️🏅

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TAX THE EVIL.

Carl Icahn, billionaire investor, and his ilk have made hundreds of millions of dollars this year betting America’s malls would default on their loans.

WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT AMERICA’S MALLS WOULD BE AFFECTED BY A HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS AND DEADLY VIRUS.

Oh right: anyone. Even me! Believe it or not, I could have totally predicted that! I am a professional psychic, after all. Yet strangely, I myself have NOT made hundreds of millions of dollars recently. WTF?

And hold on…my spirit guides are now telling me…that…

…millions of retail workers across the country, who were not exactly raking in the big bucks before COVID-19 and are now unemployed, somehow did not make hundreds of millions of dollars either. Huh.

I guess we can only conclude that Carl Icahn has worked hundreds of millions of times harder than those retail workers have. Simple. That’s how capitalism works, right? American Dream! Bootstraps, and all of that!

A system that generates profits for a tiny minority of elites from the misery, misfortune, death and destruction of others is inherently evil.

Health insurance companies.

“Defense” contractors.

Slumlords.

Fossil fuel exploiters.

Hedge funders.

This is hardly a complete list. But every single one of these industries should be re-incorporated as non-profits, with excess revenues going to programs that ameliorate the damage and carnage they so casually wreak.

‘Twas Ever Thus: U.S. Women 100 Years Post-Suffrage.

Uh-oh! Must be a day that ends in Y! The New York Times is pissing me right off.*

Today’s email briefing starts with a splashy paean to the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. The 19th Amendment, which granted (some) women voting rights, was enacted on this date one hundred years ago.

The email piece naturally links to recent Times articles on women’s suffrage and related topics. As usual, their failure to connect the blazing red dots of our history – history they themselves reported – does a criminal disservice to readers. And as usual, what they don’t deliver is at least as damaging as the disinformation they do.

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NYC pushing kinky COVID sex!

My little town is reopening in more ways than one. On Monday of this week, the day the city entered Phase 1 of reopening, New York City’s Health Department published a guidance document entitled “Safer Sex and COVID-19.” I am posting it below in its entirely because (1) it’s amazing, and (2) I have no idea whether other states (or countries) are doing anything similar. For instance, I highly doubt Alabama is following suit, since sex toys are illegal there. And something tells me all those conservative panty-sniffers in states where “abstinence-only” non-education is standard fare in public schools would start shooting their elected officials if they dared to publish anything so…so… reality-based.

But in order to appreciate just how good NYC’s safer sex guidance is, it is worth noting how gawdawful it is elsewhere. In case you are blissfully unaware of (or have blissfully forgotten) how disturbingly fucked-up the US is with regard to sex and sexuality, just consider a few facts. According to Guttmacher:

  • only 17 states require sex education programs in public schools to be medically accurate.
  • only 20 states (plus DC) require teaching information on contraception. (Uhh, seems to me if 30 states are not teaching students about contraception, then they really cannot call whatever it is they’re doing “sex education.” FFS.)
  • only 3 states prohibit these programs from promoting religion. (!!!)
  • at least 6 states require only negative information to be provided on homosexuality and/or positive emphasis on heterosexuality, including Alabama (I KNOW SHOCKER!), Arizona, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and Texas. (W. T. F.)

39 states are on the taxpayer-funded abstinence-only train to STDs and teen pregnancies.

  • 10 states and DC require that abstinence be covered.
  • 29 states require that abstinence be stressed.

This is a good analysis and debunking of the smugly touted “100% effectiveness rate” of abstinence as birth control. All you have to do is measure it by the same standards as other forms of contraception, i.e. rates of “perfect use” and “typical use.” (SPOILER ALERT! Epic fail!)

Since nearly 80% of states have been engaging in this educational malpractice for decades, perhaps that explains why STD rates are at record highs.

And that’s hardly the only damage abstinence miseducation causes:

According to a 2004 report prepared for House Democrats, language used in abstinence-based curricula often reinforces “gender stereotypes about female passivity and male aggressiveness” — attitudes that often correlate with harmful outcomes including domestic violence, the report notes.

Okay, one more – and this one’s personal:

  • 36 states and DC allow parents the option to remove their child from instruction.

Mine did.

There are more jaw-dropping statistics and state-level details at that Guttmacher link, and of course none of this takes into account over a million kids homeschooled by conservative Christians. These benighted children are indoctrinated with sex-role stereotypes and abstinence-until-marriage, under penalty of eternal damnation and hellfire, right along with stories of Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark as explanations for the origins and diversity of life on Earth.

I could go on (and on and on…) but I think this paints enough of a picture of the status quo to contrast with NYC’s…different approach. Please enjoy this reality-based document, and feel free to forward the information and/or the link to anyone and everyone you think may benefit. Especially people in Alabama.

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COVID Chic!

As I am sure my many tens of loyal readers will recall, I had to leave my apartment for the first time in months for a doctor’s appointment. This was a perilous endeavor, for two reasons I mentioned:

The virus appears far deadlier for cancer patients, according to a study by the Lancet“Researchers found that 13 percent of the current and former cancer patients died within 30 days of testing positive for coronavirus, a far higher mortality rate than has been observed in the general population.”

And:

(HealthDay News) — Ten percent of COVID-19 patients with diabetes die within a week of entering the hospital and 20% need a ventilator to breathe by that point, a new French study found.

And there’s a third: I am a goddamn New Yorker. Virus or no virus there are RULES here, people – and one breaks them at one’s peril. I speak of fashion, of course. If I die of shame, the consequences of a misstep here are worse than contracting COVID-19!

So what’s a New York City diabetic cancer patient to do wear?

I had already decided that I was gonna rock this shit like the motherfucking Queen of England.

Her Majesty Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

And so I did.

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I hate the New York Times, reason #6,858,944.

Hey, remember that one time I invented the world’s bestest ever and also most useful ever acronym ever? You know: #muschniwogdowis?

Of course you remember! It is simply unforgettable! And, it just rolls off the tongue like the smoothest chocolate ganache. Prediction: #muschniwogdowis will continue to be of critical importance to our national discourse until it is no longer true that Most US Citizens Have No Idea What Our Government Does Or Who It Serves.

There are many reasons for this sad state of affairs. One of them is, indisputably, the fucking New York Times. [Read more…]

IRIS ♥︎ Danica.

“Identity politics!” is not just a weaponized shibboleth conservatives deploy against lefties; the very mainest of mainstream media tosses around the phrase without a trace of critical analysis, never mind introspection. The standard blather usually goes something like: “Democrats made a strategic decision to play identity politics while Republicans focused their party’s campaign on [family values/bootstraps/abortions/tax cuts/whatever shit they happen to be slinging that day].”

But what has long been obvious to me, despite the Democrats’ typical weak-sauce response to the terrible accusation of “playing identity politics” is this: white cis het male is a fucking identity. IT’S TRUE! (I know, right?!) And of course it is the one identity whose supreme position in the socio-political hierarchy it is that conservatives wish to conserve, at all costs, and at the expense of literally everyone else.

Women. People of color. LGBTQ people. Muslims. Immigrants.

Why Democratic leaders (and “journalists”) do not point out this simple, irrefutable fact at every conceivable opportunity is perhaps a topic for another day. (Believe me I have my theories, not least of which is the problem that so many in Democratic leadership positions are themselves white cis het males, as are the money men of Wall Street they serve and upon whom they rely for campaign funds.) But today, I want to highlight a Democrat who calls out this identity politics bullshit brilliantly: Danica Roem.

What’s so awesome about Danica Roem? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.

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Whose pain matters?

Since there are currently no pressing problems facing our great nation, the US House of Reprehensibles has just passed HB 36, a national ban on abortions after 20-weeks. Charmingly entitled “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” the legislation would force a pregnant patient who is carrying a fetus that is dead, dying, or incompatible with life to carry it to term and give birth, unless the patient is in grave danger of death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

According to reality, fetuses are not capable of feeling pain until at least 28 weeks. But since conservatives are highly allergic to reality, perhaps Your Liberal Media™ might helpfully report on this egregious tripe from another angle. Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that a fetus is indeed capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks.

SO FUCKING WHAT?

You know what’s really painful? Giving birth. (So I’ve heard – I personally dodged that bullet thank Vishnu.) I would like my legislator to promptly propose a bill entitled The Pain-Capable Pregnant Person Protection Act, which provides free abortions on demand to anyone who wishes to avoid the pain of childbirth. The bill should have no problem passing in this congress, seeing how the majority is so concerned about sparing citizens from painful medical procedures.

We suck. Help save the oceans.

(image via Avaaz)

It’s no secret that I have no love for homo sapiens (or for Sciuridae for that matter, but they are not the goddamn problem FOR ONCE). I do, however, harbor deep affection and compassion for our cousins that dwell in the Earth’s seas.

This is a picture of all my aquatic friends in Costa Rica.
I don’t have an underwater camera. But since I snorkeled extensively in these waters, I can assure you they are fucking amazing.

Unfortunately, when it comes to marine habitats all over this planet, humans suck giant walrus balls. Hard. In fact, it invites karmic justice of the highest order that President Cheetohead and his merry band of motherfrackers are busy ensuring Earth’s glaciers and polar ice caps completely melt, covering the entire surface of the globe in water. (BONUS: this would also solve the fucking squirrel problem once and for all. Lard knows future space alien cephalopod visitors shouldn’t have to deal with that shit.)

But at least occasionally, we humans attempt to mitigate some of the worst aspects of our lamentable existence. If only momentarily, we will put our violent domination proclivities on hold and shift to a collaborative worldview, as if our very lives depended on it. They actually do, of course. And this is one of those moments.

Go over to Freethought Resistance and sign the Avaaz petition to ban single-use plastics. It only takes a minute, and who knows? Perhaps your future space alien cephalopod overlords might just spare your life.

Not like we have an “in” with anyone around here.