The State of the Vaping Union

I don’t think I’ve mentioned much that I vape. I started vaping to give up cigarettes, and I’m extremely close to giving up nicotine entirely. I did do a post on my old blog a few years back talking about a study claiming to have found formaldehyde production in vapes, but I think that’s the last time I talked about it on either blog.

What I want to do in this post is give y’all a surface-level breakdown of the state of the vaping union as it is right now. I’m going to go over some of the science, a little bit of the misinformation, where the laws in the US stand, and also what’s going on with vaping communities (there will be discussion of things going on with Reddit right now).

The summary is that, for people who vape or are interested in vaping, the whole thing sits in a pretty hellish limbo right now. There is a lot of misinformation out there in large part because bad science is getting more publicity than good science, the tobacco industry is pushing regulations that could destroy the industry, and communities like Reddit, separate from regulations, are basically destroying vaping subreddits. This post may, in some instances, come across as rather libertarian and anti-FDA because I really hate the regulations currently in place. But if you know me, you know that I am very much a fan of regulation and I support the FDA usually. But the way this is all being handled is pretty horrible right now, so keep that context in mind.

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#WhoAgainstGuns – Doctor Who Fans Unite for Gun Control

I’m late to this. The deadline is March 12th.

I want to bring attention to this… it’s important.

We’ve all been moved by recent events. The survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are using their voices to speak for those who cannot, to say “never again,” and demand change.

We are asking the Doctor Who community to follow their example and to shine a light on this urgent issue.

This March, representatives of all your favourite Doctor Who podcasts and some special guests will be coming together to do a podcast commentary of the 1969 Patrick Troughton story The War Games.

But here’s the thing: we’re not putting out this podcast on any one show’s feed. We’re only releasing it to listeners who provide a donation to an organization committed to ending gun violence.

Click the link to find the organizations they want you to donate to, and follow the instructions to get the special commentary podcast from there.

Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Doctor Who, it’s important to fight for gun control. Really, we should have done this years ago. But better late than never, right?

It’s time. It’s time to regulate an industry that has blood on its hands. It’s time to reject the NRA. It’s time to regulate guns.

Join Doctor Who. Join the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Speak out FOR gun control.

ETA: Since they announced, they’ve raised well over $10000, so back on March 6th, they added raffle giveaway opportunities. So please… donate and send them your receipt. It really is worth it.

Welp… Guess I’m a Terrorist, Now…

Okay… I should probably qualify that title a bit… thanks to my anxiety, I haven’t actually participated in many protests (though I’m working up the courage to actually start participating in more… and I have participated in dialogues and such). Plus, despite realizing that I’m not a pacifist, I’m actually a coward who’s usual reaction to face-to-face conflict is to curl up into the fetal position and cry for Mommy. So… you know…

However, I do support Antifa and consider myself Antifa, and I’m friends and comrades with Antifa. Despite the qualifications above, I am part of it… or at least I try to be…

So… that title? It’s not clickbait.

The DHS has officially classified Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.

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Jared Kushner Actually Thought this Would Work?

From Salon

This hasn’t been a good week for Jared Kushner.

After it was revealed yesterday that the presidential son-in-law was being targeted by the FBI as a “person of interest” in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the Washington Post dropped another shocking revelation today in a report stating that Kushner asked Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak if they might set up a “secure communications channel” in a “Russian diplomatic facility,” which would allow the Trump team to have an open and private channel to the Kremlin.

Um… that’s not… you can’t…

What?!?

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Breakdowns of Agent Orange’s Budget Proposals

Angry Peter Capaldi

Angry Peter Capaldi

I’m genuinely getting sick of talking about the Thin Skin in the White House. I had to take a break. But here I am, again, because details of his nasty budget are out, and it isn’t pretty. Dude wants to cut a whole lot of important stuff.

We’ve already seen a bit of this. The blueprint of this was released back in March. And it’s even worse than that…

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Ivanka Trump as Our First Woman President? Please No.

This is a seriously surreal article over at Ozy magazine. I don’t know how to handle it…

While the world remains distracted by the constant circus surrounding the Trump White House, I sense a different kind of power play, and potential American future, brewing beneath the surface at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Ivanka Trump becoming the first female president of the United States.

Whatever you think of the character and presidency of Donald Trump, it’s clear he adores his daughter Ivanka, and cherishes the totemic power of his name. And what better way to ensure his family’s legacy than by setting up his daughter, already installed in the West Wing, to assume the presidency? In our current topsy-turvy political era, stranger things have already happened. Let’s take a look at a few potential Twilight Zone scenarios, which aren’t as unlikely as they once might have seemed.

And we’re already off to perhaps one of the most horrific episodes of The Twilight Zone ever dreamed up…

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Agent Orange Asked Comey to Stop Investigating Flynn

This is looking worse and worse…

From the New York Times

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would “raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede” the F.B.I.

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Watchdog Seeks to Investigate New Jersy Congressman for Ethics Breach

From AP News

A nonpartisan watchdog group asked Tuesday that officials determine if a New Jersey congressman violated House ethics rules when he notified a bank board member that an employee had joined a group critical of him and President Donald Trump’s policies.

The Campaign for Accountability asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

Saily Avelenda says Frelinghuysen included a handwritten note on a letter to a Lakeland Bank board member that said a “ringleader” of the protest movement worked there. Avelenda says she wasn’t asked to resign but was uncomfortable about being confronted over her outside activities and ended up quitting her job.

Frelinghuysen’s campaign office has said he wrote a “brief and innocuous note.”

Avelenda is part of the group NJ 11th For Change, which refers to Frelinghuysen’s district number. The group has criticized Frelinghuysen for not holding in-person town hall meetings to discuss issues, including the Republican-crafted health care plan.

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He Actually Leaked Classified Info to the Russians. Seriously.

I don’t even know what to do with this…

From the New York Times

President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday.

The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump in a meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies.

So… he just wants us to know that he was hand-picked by Putin, doesn’t he?

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Jeff Sessions is Racist

Of course we all knew that, but this is just more evidence

In a recent op-ed in USA Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated that his Department of Justice will move away from federal oversight of local police departments plagued by abuses and officer-involved killings. In doing so, Sessions will undermine a key policy stemming from the beating of black motorist Rodney King in March 1991 by Los Angeles police officers. The subsequent LA riots, sparked by acquittals of the officers accused in King’s beating, began 25 years ago this Saturday.

After those riots ripped through LA, Congress went on to pass legislation granting federal oversight authority for police departments. Since then, the Justice Department has launched 70 investigations into state and local law enforcement agencies and has negotiated 40 reform agreements, half of which are court-enforced consent decrees. The Obama administration was particularly active with this policy, enforcing 14 consent decrees for troubled police agencies, from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore. Sessions now threatens to undo that work, downplaying any systematic problems with American policing.

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