Author Archives: Andy

About Andy

Gay Hoosier Taurus INFJ ex-playwright pianist gymbunny published author in San Francisco.

Children Suffering Is the Whole Point

From Reddit:

“There’s an element to this that people really need to get

“The suffering of these children isn’t an unfortunate accident. It’s not a temporary bump in the road because something didn’t get funded, it’s not a weird outcome of some other idea that nobody saw coming. It’s not one of those weird things you hear about where nobody is really in charge, and is just taking a strangely long time to get fixed. It’s not even like those horrifying things you’d hear about governments of old doing, where they’d take kids away from natives to re-educate them. At least back them, the government was merely indifferent to the suffering of those children.

“But we’re in a whole different moral ballgame now.

“The suffering of these children isn’t a byproduct, it’s the point.

“The Trump administration has been trying to pin this on the Democrats, claiming that it’s something nobody wanted and making sad, sad noises over the whole thing. This is horseshit, because leaked notes show that this is something they were planning right after Trump got sworn in as a “deterrent.”

“Everybody needs to pause and let every implication of that sink in, and I mean really sink in. The wails of these frightened children aren’t because of some unfortunate oversight or some unexpected externality, it’s the desired outcome of a deliberate policy choice. Remember, it’s a “deterrent.” They want to scare families away. The policy completely fails if children are not shaking, terrified and screaming.

“What’s all the more flabbergasting is that none of this was even remotely necessary. There’s no crisis that necessitates such a draconian policy – illegal immigration has fallen since 2009. Not only that, but a lot of these kids aren’t even one of those scary “illegal immigrants” at all. Families are willingly presenting themselves to border authorities to freely announce that they’re seeking asylum, only to have their children stripped away from them:

So the idea of zero tolerance under the stated policy is that we don’t care why you’re afraid. We don’t care if it’s religion, political, gangs, anything. For all asylum seekers, you are going to be put in jail, in a detention center, and you’re going to have your children taken away from you.

“The little girl wailing in this picture isn’t from some skeezy band of gangsters trying to tunnel under and steal all the glorious fruit-picking jobs, she’s with a family fleeing horrific violence, seeking asylum and protection from what one presumes is a great nation.

“This is an important point, and one that bears repeating – this is a policy of deterrence which is being directed at asylum seekers. Okay, sure, let’s say that there’s a lot of people to process, and that can be difficult. If they government worried about the number of people they have to process, the Trump administration could simply throw up a few more shelters or hire a few more bureaucrats to work through the paperwork. Hell, the country ain’t even close to broke – Trump is always talking about the “booming economy” and just recently proposed a militarized “space force” whose price tag is sure to be unfathomable.

“But instead of doing this, they instead decided that it would be cheaper to make little children suffer, in the hopes that the sound of their screams might be broadcast into lawless lands and act as a deterrent upon people considering whether to flee to safety. And even this, the presumption that it’s all about money, is the charitable interpretation of their actions, given the President and his staff’s noted distaste for the nonwhite world.

“But regardless of their exact motivation, they are the government which represents all Americans, and that’s a country which now gets to wake up, look in the mirror and say “Today, our choice was to make children suffer.

Full discussion/context.

Dear “Oppressed” Trump Supporters

From a Reddit thread:

“I love this, native Americans had their lives systematically destroyed for no reason other than their land, Jews were rounded up and mass murdered because they had different beliefs, blacks were made into slaves over the color of their skin then upon being released to this day still have a stigma against them, homosexuals couldn’t come out without risking being beaten or murdered over something they couldn’t control nor change, transexuals have been made out to all be pedophiles for wanting to use the gender appropriate bathrooms after a full transition, North Koreans live under a violent deranged dictator who gets his kicks by threatening to throw the world into a nuclear apocalypse, Chinese citizens live under extreme censorship without so much as the ability to access the full internet, Japanese citizens were rounded up and thrown into camps in the country they lived in just because of their ethnicity, Mexican children within the US are forced to represent themselves in court at an age where they can’t even read, yet are told they can simply be taught immigration law so they can defend themselves, blacks to this day are shot in cold blood by the police over thinly vieled racism and their murderers face the horrible punishment of paid vacation and reassignment

“Yet here we are, with the trumpeteers, who love calling everyone “triggered snowflakes” yet get their jimmies in a bunch over football players kneeling to protest police violence, trying to convince everyone that they are the most opposed group, because they support a racist, misogynistic, idiotic, xenophobic, flaming pile of garbage and make the compelling arguments for supporting these shitbags as “b…but both sides?!!” Trying to convince themselves that they are the most oppressed group in the world, as they support a man who loves nothing more than oppressing minorities and selling out this country for a quick buck

“I wonder why the reasonable level headed people hate you, because you sold out your own fucking home for some shitbag president in the name of “triggering libtards”

“You shot yourselves in the foot to make sure the gun worked before shooting this country in the heart and delivering a nearly fatal blow

“You continue to relentlessly and blindly support a man alienating us from the world, destroying relationships with long time allies over what can be equated to “I didn’t get my way so fuck you”

“And you continue to support a man hell-bent on exploiting this country for every dime it’s worth, while trying to shut down an investigation into treasonous acts quite possibly committed by the president of these United States, citing “it’s a massive waste of money” when the entire investigation has cost less than Trump has spent golfing on his own fucking course (a world record of wasted money by the way, by an incredibly wide margin, something that Trump and all of you bashed Obama for using a fraction of the amount) and very likely will uncover the biggest scandal this country has ever seen

“Trump is your revenge for Obama, he’s not your leader, he’s not making this country better, he’s not good at his job, he wasn’t even good at his previous jobs. Trump is nothing more than a republican “fuck you” for the Obama administration, and even he realizes this and has made it clear he’s hell-bent on destroying Obama’s work regardless of if it’s universally believed to be good or not

“You turned the running of this country into a fucking sport, where it’s “stand by your team no matter what” and you drafted the biggest disaster the game has ever seen, you’ve actively attempted to destroy this country in the name of upsetting the other side, and now you cry about opression when you’re in the staggering minority who still refuses to open their fucking eyes and realize what a massive mistake you’ve made, who refuses to see just how much you’ve hurt this country you claim so much to love, how you sold out yourself, your family, your friends, your enemies, and every Ally who supports this great nation in the name of “LE TRIGGERED SJW SNOWFLAKES XDDDD” and you wonder why everyone is turning against you, because what you’ve done is reprehensible, unforgivable, and disgusting, but hey at least as you burn in the hell that you’ve created, as you watch the Titanic sink thanks to the glacier you’ve steered it into, you can see all those “triggered sjw snowflakes” go down right?

“You attacked the integrity of this country, and now that the country is fighting back you cry about how you’re being bullied, you make a pathetic attempt to feign innocence and laugh at how “triggered” everyone is, as you sell out your own lives and everyone else’s for absolutely no personal gain, just so you can say “I triggered le snowflakes guys!!!?!!?!” As the man you supported Robs your home blind and destroys it’s relationship with the world. But hey I’m sorry you’re so “oppressed” in having to be called out on your actions like the adults you are, yet refuse to behave like.

Full discussion/context.

Photo from US News.

Are You Sure?

From a thread about women who say they’ve never been catcalled, harrassed, or experienced any form of sexism:

“Are you sure? You’ve never been told you can’t play because you’re a girl?

Never been told your worth is in your virginity?

Never been told to “submit” to your husband, or ensure that you’re “pure” for him (even though you haven’t met him yet?) Never been blamed for not being submissive/pretty/etc. enough or not having been a virgin on your wedding night if this guy cheated on you or abused you?

Never made less than a man doing the same work at the same company?

Never been told to smile when you didn’t feel like it?

Never received crass comments from a car full of teenage boys?

Never been hit on while you’re working?

Never been groped by a patient? Or been mistaken for a nurse when in fact you’re a doctor?

Never been told not to use a title you earned, such as “Dr.” or “Rev.” because it might hurt some man’s ego?

Never had life choices concerning marriage or children questioned?

Never had your achievements ignored in favor of how you look?

Never been told that when a boy acts like a jerk it means he likes you?

Never been encouraged to leave your career for your kids even if that’s not what you want?

Never been made to feel that your worth is all in your looks?

Never watched your brothers get away with murder while Mom and Dad kept you on a tight leash?

Never been told by a doctor that it’s all in your head, or that it’s just part of womanhood, when you know that something’s wrong?

Never had some yutz you met less than an hour ago send you a picture of his dick?

Never been told “Tits or GTFO!” when you tried to play an online game?

Never been told you’re a fraud for wearing makeup and at the same time told you look terrible without it?

Never been leered at even though you were wearing a chunky sweater and a maxi skirt?

Never been told you’re too this or too that, or not this enough or not that enough?

Never been thought of as clueless at the mechanic or dealership?

Never been told you can’t be a minister/priest/etc. because you’re a woman?

Never been expected to do all the housework while your partner coasts along?

Never been taught that your wedding day is the pinnacle of your existence?

Never been told you can’t go to college, or denied financial help with college because of your sex?

Never been told you can’t move out before marriage while your younger brother goes backpacking through Europe by himself?

Never been denied a medical procedure because your future husband might disapprove, or “you might change your mind someday?”

Never had some dude turn ugly when you told him you didn’t want to go out?

Never felt unsafe going out at night by yourself?

Never been told that you’ll “invite trouble” or “distract the boys” by wearing certain things?

Never had some guy try to explain something to you that you already know and didn’t ask him to explain?

Never been told that you can’t make the first move because it’s “desperate” or “wrong?”

Never been told to stay with someone who’s treating you badly and just pray that you can be a better/more submissive wife?

Never been pressured to marry right out of high school?

Never been shamed for your sexual history or lack thereof?

Never been pressured to diet even though you’re perfectly healthy?

Never had to pay extra for a razor just because it’s pink?

Never been shamed for body hair, stretch marks, etc.?

Never been unable to take your shirt off on a hot summer’s day because doing so would be considered “obscene?”

Never been shamed for breastfeeding discreetly in public?

Never had your parenting authority questioned?

Never had your partner get praised for changing one diaper, while you’re expected to just do those things without expecting or receiving any such accolades?

Never been called “bossy” or “bitchy” just for speaking your mind, even though you weren’t bossy or bitchy about it?

Never had your leadership qualities dismissed as “OMG, she’s such a bitch!” while a man with those same qualities is “a born leader?”

Never been threatened implicitly or explicitly with rape?

Never been told you’re shallow for turning down a man you’re not physically attracted to, even though “lack of physical attraction” is a totally valid reason for him to turn you down?

Yeah…okay. Sure. Whatever.”

Link/context.

A Con Man With No Empathy

Explaining the trade war from POTUS point of view:

“Something we need to understand about Trump is that he is, at his core, a con man with no empathy. It’s what has driven his success, and his ruthless, non-politician style is what so fiercely magnetises his base. He assumes that everyone he deals with is also a con man with no empathy, and that every exchange of goods and services that exists in this world is, on some level, a con.

“Let me try and explain. Trump assumes every transaction in the world – between people, businesses, nation-states, even between two different agencies of the same government – has a winner and a loser, a scammer and a sucker. He believes if you’re not ripping someone off, you’re getting ripped off. From an economist’s perspective, this is of course complete nonsense. Unless there are major information asymmetries or distortions of market power, and often even then, most transactions are generally to the mutual benefit of both parties. Otherwise, no deals would ever get made, so it’s a constant battle with reality to believe that deals struck only ever benefit one party.

“But Trump – the same man who created an illegitimate university, made stiffed contractors, hired the mob, filed for bankruptcy six times, and has slogged through two divorce settlements – cannot believe his. So he goes out of his way to cherrypick how he sees the world, so that everything we do looks either like a ripoff or a steal. It’s not simply that Trump doesn’t think the Paris Climate Agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, TPP, NAFTA, or luxury cars from Germany are a good deal for America. It’s that he can‘t think that. It’s an alien concept to him that a deal other people want with him could also help him.

“To Trump’s mind, the mere fact other countries sought out these deals with us, and that their own economies benefit, is unassailable proof that he got ripped off. He can’t see the evidence they helped us too. His mind will only cherry-pick potential ways it could be bad for us. This is why Trump will never, ever, be able to negotiate with the rest of the world. He doesn’t believe in mutual benefit. The second anyone tells him, “This is your end of the deal”, he’ll rip it up. He believes only one party can have an end of the deal, and it shouldn’t be him. I hate to tell you this, but he’s only getting started. He will forego billions, maybe trillions, of dollars in world trade. He will renege on bilateral security agreements. He will walk away from the table the moment he senses equilibrium. And if he ever gets something from another nation it will be by force.

“Which brings us full circle to my conclusion: You’re fucked. And not just on the level of foreign policy, but domestic too. Think about the last few months in particular: it explains his behaviour over DACA, spiking two bipartisan deals even though they fulfilled what he asked for. He assumed if Democrats were willing to talk, his deal wasn’t ripping them off, ergo it would rip him off. That implies if Democrats win Congress, we are going to enter an all-out legislative standstill like we’ve never before seen. The American political system is entirely reliant on compromise, but compromise isn’t compatible with Trump’s beliefs. America will struggle to pass even basic reauthorisations. This nightmare is not going to end until this pathological con man is thrown out of office.

“He is not just bad at being president, he has a defective way of seeing the world that is not compatible with being president. And the US, along with her frustrated allies, will pay for it.”

Full discussion in context.

A Mother’s Regret

From /r/askreddit:

“I didn’t want to post, but after having a couple glasses of wine I will. I agree with you, I wish I would could take back the decision to have our little girl. She has down syndrome and the first 5 years everyone supported us, family and friends, we were so courageous. Then it started going down hill, the amount of care insane and when no one wants to help it gets worse. We felt like a burden to everyone and pretty soon we weren’t invited to parties or over to see family. Just the major holidays, and it starts taking a toll. I had to quit my job to take care of our daughter, my husband has two jobs, I never see him anymore, we are rarely intimate, I gained a lot of weight, my life is ruined. I cry a lot when I’m home alone with her, and I started drinking to numb the pain. My husband hasnt said it, but I know he want to leave, the love is gone. I recently found out he was cheating on me with another woman, but I can’t get a divorce because I can’t support my little girl in my own.

“If I had one thing to say to any other woman out there, unless you’re rich, it’s better to abort the pregnancy if you know.

“I had a friend who found out she was going to have a down syndrome kid, I told her not to do it, and I drove her to get the abortion. That day was so emotional because I had to bring my daughter along. She didn’t tell the husband, and we made up a story that she had a miscarriage. A year or so later they had a beautiful healthy baby boy.

“I can’t write anymore, I’m crying so much…I wish I never had her…and I hope one day I wake up to find she died in her sleep. Sometimes I even think of letting go of her hand so she can run into oncoming traffic. I would never do it, but this is real, it’s not fun, and it will ruin your life.

“When people ask me how things are going, I always lie, always. Everything is great, we are doing so good, she is a blessing.”

Context.

Photo from Leave It to Beaver.

What Russia Gains from a Destabilized West

Thread from /r/worldnews:

“It’s as you already know pretty complicated as to why he’s doing this apart from you know just for the kicks. But let me try to put down three reasons that to my mind drives their agenda.

  1. Food.
  2. Oil.
  3. Trade.

“Food : Global population is topping off and a food crisis is looming and approaching fast. Russia has the most land resource compared to any other country in the world. And global warming means more and more uncultivable tundra land will be freed up and made available for farming. Allowing Russia to become the top food supplier to the world. This will give it unassailable power in any global stage.

  1. Oil : As the middle-east dries up the world will turn to the Arctic deposits for its fuel needs. Rosneft has the capability in most cases to drill through the depths of ice to get to the good stuff. But drilling through ice is expensive and raises the cost per barrel for the company. Guess what would help the bottomline? You got it, Global Warming. Becoming the primary crude supplier to the world has its benefits.
  2. Trade : Shipping routes the world over are concentrated around the equator. Most of the freight travels from China and surrounding Asian countries to North America and Europe. But once the ice caps loosen up due to Global Warming, it opens up the Polar shipping route, the shortest distance between the suppliers and the buyers. And Russian ports on the pole will become the loading hub for the millions of tons of cargo that gets shipped from Asia to the West every day. How about that petty cash?

“So, it all boils down to this. Russia has too much to gain from Global Warming to just sit back and let the West and the rest of the world take steps to slow it down. Every election it meddles in, every referendum it influences is driven by the need to destabilize the west. An unstable west will start working on their internal issues and stop working on wider issues like global climate change. Which means that the Western global leadership can no longer execute the plans to control climate change through consensus and global alliances.”

Comment in context.

Photo from WaPo.

How Steve Bannon Perverts Racist Tropes

Commenter on Metafilter:

“A mix of concerted efforts and accidental activism have chipped away at the definition of racism for some time. These attacks narrowed the definition from “the historically rooted pattern of social stratification and exploitation rooted in race” to “mean people.” They have belittled the consequences of racial violence and focused cultural attentions on small slights to one’s identity.

“That said, what Bannon is doing here, and neo-Nazi’s all over have been doing globally, is different still. They are extending the popular tropes that suggest claims of racism are really rooted in ‘excess sensitivity’ and ‘weakness.’ And that extension says, ‘See. To be called a racist ONLY means that you are angering the sensitive and the weak. That’s all racism really is!’

“This perversion of our moral compass is not just nauseating. It is dangerous. It is how we lose the moral authority to name racism for what it is.

“Importantly, the solution is not to stop calling things racist (lest the word lose its meaning). The solution is to insist on the right definition. And to pair the murderous rhetoric these ideologues use with their historic consequences. This stuff is not just politics. It’s not a joke. This stuff kills whole groups and generations of people. Just because it’s not happening yet, doesn’t mean it’s not the same as before.”

Full comment in context.

Photo from this CNN article.

Robert Mueller is the Anti-Trump

Commenter on Metafilter:

“He’s also the Anti-Trump:

“He actually hires the best people

“He actually is a smart person

“He actually knows the best words and uses them judiciously

“He obviously knows how to use publicity and the media to achieve specific results

“He is actually delivering on his mandate and doing it super-fast

“He shuts his fucking mouth ALL THE TIME and puts his shoulder to the wheel and works his ass off without saying a damn word to anybody

“He actually inspires loyalty and professionalism and devotion to duty — PAPADOPOULOS happened four months ago with nary a peep from anyone

“He actually understands and practices the art of the motherfucking deal”

Full discussion in context.

The Republican Party is the Problem

From a commenter on Metafilter:

“I keep hearing that Democrats should either talk about economic issues or pitch their message to the emerging, more-diverse electorate — but I don’t understand why this has to be an either/or choice. Democrats who can’t figure out how to do both should get the hell out of big-league politics, in favor of people who can walk and chew gum at the same time. […]

“But please, please, please: Make the point that the Republican Party is the problem. The Republican Party has contempt for you if you’re non-white or LGBT or if you’re unemployed or need health care for a child with chronic illness or live downstream from a chemical plant. The key to changing America is not electing Republicans.

“But what are we doing? We’re fixating on Donald Trump and portraying him as an anomaly, not as the culmination of long-term trends in his party. We’re cheering on supposedly brave Republicans such as Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, ignoring the fact that the entire GOP, including, on most votes, Corker and Flake, has circled the wagons to protect Trump. We’re rehabilitating George W. Bush, which, as Ryan Cooper writes, is nuts: […]

“We’re falling into the trap Hillary Clinton fell into: We’re assuming that “real Americans” don’t trust any idea unless it’s ratified by a Republican, so we’re seeking Republican validation for our opposition to Trump. That just reinforces the notion that Democrats aren’t worthy of respect.

Democrats: Be proud of who you are, speak up for yourselves, and talk about what Republicans have done over the past few decades and how their extremism hurts ordinary people. The problem is the Republican Party, stupid.”

From No More Mister Nice Blog linked from this comment on Metafilter.

Former Republican on the GOP

The former VP of the Berkeley College Republicans:

“The giant, unstated truth of American politics of the last decade is the staggering, insane levels of bad faith that Republicans have shown in federal governance, and the unwillingness of mainstream Democrats or supposedly neutral observers to take it seriously.

“The story of what has happened to the GOP is actually a very, very simple story. They had a Presidency which they fully supported under George W. Bush, and it was an immense failure, a failure of a presidency of the kind not seen in generations.

“The GOP’s response to this was not to introspect, but to become a defiant, salt the earth opposition party. Rather than look inward to try to understand what had happened to them such that their governance was such a failure, they decided upon the election of Barack Obama that complete and total opposition – to everything – was the way to go. This was documented at the time – you can read the reporting about a meeting of GOP leadership after the 2008 election (but before the inauguration) where they made a tactical decision to 100% oppose everything Obama did, no matter how reasonable, because by rejecting everything they would deny him the appearance of bipartisanship and thus make it look him he was the radical one. They united themselves in this opposition.

“And it was immensely successful. It took years before anyone other than liberals like Krugman or Jon Chait noticed what was happening. It took Obama about 3 years to realize himself, to realize that you can’t negotiate substance with the GOP because refusing to negotiate was the substance. That’s the definition of reactionism. There was nothing Democrats could to prevent this from happening.

“While this was bad, what was worse was the combination of (i) the GOP’s hollowed-out hatred was an immense success and (ii) their base didn’t know they were being cynical lying sacks of shit. Eventually, even the party officials themselves bought their own nonsense. You can’t live for years with a knowing lie – you eventually convince yourself that the lie is in fact the truth.

“And so we’re now in a position with a party which has no ability to govern anything at a national level, but no one other than liberals realize it. And because they have so thoroughly poisoned the well against liberalism as an identity, no one listens to us liberals. The GOP’s toxic stew of empty, hateful resentment led them to elect Donald Trump, because the only actual qualification for being a conservative nowadays is hating liberals, and Trump was the most straightforward and vicious in his hatred.

“This party is poison. And we may be way too far down to benefit from any antidote.”

Discussion in context.