Memo to Steve Prattor, Donald Trump, and Donald Trump: THANKS FOR KEEPING AMERICA SHITTY SOME MORE.
The American nightmare-scape continues apace, as IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!
"The ones that you can work, the ones that can pick up trash, the work release programs — but guess what? Those are the ones that they’re releasing! In addition to the bad ones… they’re releasing some good ones that we use every day to wash cars, to change the oil in our cars, to cook in the kitchen… well, they’re going to let them out!" - Louisiana sheriff Steve Prattor, objecting to his state’s new prison reforms.
We live in a horrible place. Not the most horrible of places, but a very, very horrible place, and that’s why it’s infuriating when people talk about how great this country is, even the leftists who say that sometimes we just don’t live up to our great ideals. But our prisons are fucking for-profit labor camps, and this pigfucker gets cranky when a prison release program takes away his free oil changes and meal service.
The secret shame of America is that your happiness is inversely proportional with your involvement in The System. If you need The System to survive, you’ll be treated as sub-human, forced to pee in a cup for a meager assortment of food stamps or have paper towels hurled at you by a billionaire. And if the System gets its hands on you, you’ll be forced to wash some racist white sheriff’s car like it’s a fucking early 70s exploitation movie. There was a time when a sheriff who pulled shit like this would get wrecked by a Hulked-out Bill Bixby, but those times are long gone.
“You could ask General Kelly, ‘Did he get a call from Obama?’” - President Garbage, still unsure what the worst thing he was going to say that day was.
I can only assume that John Kelly puts his hand between Trump’s hand and the nuclear button between four and eight times a day, or else he’s a soulless monster. Because protecting us from the worst this madman has to offer or complete sociopathy are the only reasons anyone would continue to work for this festering wound on the ass-cheek of America.
Let’s be clear here - Trump raised the specter of John Kelly’s dead, killed-in-combat son to defend himself from completely valid criticism about how he handled his own personal failure to give a shit about the four servicepeople killed in Niger. Every single hour John Kelly spends in this job is either a new condemnation, a deep personal sacrifice, or both, and the only way we’ll know for sure is to survive long enough for his book to come out.
”Yeah, well I hear it. And people have to be careful because at some point I fight back. I'm being very nice. I'm being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back, and it won't be pretty." - President Garbage, threatening to yell at an 81-year-old near-retiree with brain cancer.
This is especially irritating to me, because I’m forced to live through yet another hagiography of John McCain. Between the cancer and the health care vote, his bullshit “maverick” image is in such full effect that he can give a speech where he doesn’t even name Trump and just criticizes the “America First” ideology and it’s got MSNBC asking Democrats who their John McCain is. We don’t need John McCains, we need people who have principles when the cameras are off them.
But that old Trump magic is in full effect. And his sad, pathetic little attempt at bullying is so deeply flawed that if he said the same thing about Hitler, I’d be wondering whose side I should take. Luckily, that’ll never happen, because Trump has way more respect for Hitler than he does for John McCain. Trump’s magic is so powerful they keep playing John McCain condemning nationalism to the “ash cheeks... ash heap” and none of us even get to laugh about it, dammit.
Socktober is still a thing over here. I had a brief dalliance with the beginnings of a shawl at Knit City, but it didn’t quite take hold, though it might have stood a chance but for Megan. My mum loved clothes shopping and did heaps of it for all of us, so I was trying to be a good grandmother, and asked her what Elliot needed. She answered that he could use a sleeper or two, and that she likes the ones with feet. I went shopping, and had trouble finding footed ones that would fit him. (Being of average weight for his age but of a rather diminutive stature, our wee lad is a bit of a square.) I bought the one footed one I could find, and two that didn’t have feet, and forked them over to Meg. When I did, she mentioned that the reason she likes the footed ones is because his little feet get so cold at night and then she said maybe he needed more booties or socks or something like that and I felt a feeling that must be exactly like the way sharks feel when they pour the buckets of chum in the water.
I went the knitter equivalent of bananas. It was all I could think of. Babies are enough to set me off, but the thought of a cold baby who could only be saved by knitting? Lunatic. I was a lunatic with wool. My grandson had cold feet and I was unstoppable. Hours later:
One pair with ribbed cuffs and a stockinette foot, and another pair where I kept the ribbing going on the top of the sock, and gave way to stockinette on only the bottom. (No pattern, though you can find lots on Ravelry if you look – wait, I did it for you. These ones by Kate Atherley look perfect.) The good news is that not only are his feet warm, they fit just fine:
Maybe a little big, but he’s growing fast, and they are apparently delicious.
The green ones especially.
I am disquieted by the “me too” campaign that is going around social media. It involves people, mostly women, repeating a statement that they, too, have been subjected to sexual harassment or abuse. The apparent purpose of the “me too” campaign is to show just how pervasive sexual assault and harassment are. Another purpose is to lend support for, and, I suppose, credibility to the women who share their stories of sexual harassment and abuse.
Public testimony is an important element of having a message heard. But why must so many say what one voice should be able to say just as forcibly and believably? Yes, it happens all the time. I wrote about sexual harassment in the workplace a few years ago in a blog post titled Clarence Thomas, Bill Cosby, and the Absence of Memory. And though the personal episode of harassment I wrote about occurred many years ago when I was a law student, that was only the first of many such experiences. Me, one.
On the topic of the “me too” campaign, I find instructive a series of Tweets by Ijeoma Oluo:
<You don’t need my “me too” and I don’t need yours.
I believe you. Even if it’s only you.
It’s not only you. But you knew that. I knew that.
Because we believe women. If others don’t, they need to start. Not because it’s 100 women. Not because its 1 million women. Not because it’s 1 in 5 women. But because it’s each woman who says she was. Each one.
One woman should be enough.
The gendered history and weaponization of sexual assault aims to silence and shame you. It aims to keep your numbers from even being known.
I’m not coming for what y’all are doing. Or to force anyone to justify why. I’m saying you shouldn’t have to. Again.>>
I’m with Ijeoma Oluo.
I will also add to Ms. Oluo’s comments that, sadly, some women are complicit in this culture of silence around sexual assault and harassment. I have seen and experienced having sexual harassment used as a weapon by women who perfectly well know that it happens, but choose to ignore it, not out of fear, nor out of not knowing what to do, and not out of having no power to act. Rather, some women use sexual harassment as a way of hurting or marginalizing other women. For some women there is a grim satisfaction when the monster with the potential to harm us all catches one of us that is disliked or devalued by others. So it goes sometimes.
Perhaps worse yet are the allegedly sympathetic friends who “want to believe you” when you tell them, but they have doubts, because “he’s such a nice man,” and “he never did that to me.” Only when they see it for themselves, or when it happens to someone they care about, does it dawn on them that you are a truth teller.
I wish us all the best in this campaign of shining light on the problem of sexual harassment and abuse. However, I think that we may need to consider some reframing of this notion of needing the voices of so many to show what one voice should be amply able to show. Because me, one.
(cross-posted from Ain’t I a Feminist Legal Scholar, Too?)
- The Interview with the Vampire screening at MoPop was wonderful. I hadn't seen it on the big screen since it was released!
- Work is work. The super-close deadline was pushed out by two weeks, Yay! The actual deadline was pushed up by two weeks, WTF BOO! Actually, there are good reasons for the actual deadline to be pushed up, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.
- Went to the zoo over the weekend with some wonderful friends. My beloved red panda was waaaaaay up in a tree, snoozing, and wouldn't come down no matter how much I beseeched and made flaily hands. But at least I got to see his cute face as he sleepily groomed his fluffy tail.
- Speaking of cute faces, Vlad has been extra needy, and has taken to standing on my office chair (did I mention I have a standing desk now?), and gently patting my hip when I'm not paying attention to him. On the one hand, it's adorable. On the other hand, I wish his sister liked him right now. (She doesn't. She Very Much Doesn't.)
- OMG IT'S MY FAVORITE MONTH! THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO DO! Which means I'm super-busy and kind of tired, but it's worth it. Not to mention it's our 20th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. :D
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of two healthy litters of Tasmanian Devil joeys! According to keepers, this is one of the most successful years to date for the Zoo’s Tasmanian Devil conservation breeding program.
The first litter of three joeys arrived on March 19 to mother Lana. Keepers were recently able to take a close look at each joey and confirm their sex (two males and one female). Another female, Pooki, birthed four joeys more recently on June 19, which are yet to emerge from the pouch.
“We’re very pleased to see nurturing, maternal instincts from both Lana and Pooki, who are both two-year-old females and first-time mothers,” Taronga Western Plains Zoo Senior Keeper Steve Kleinig said.
“The three joeys born in March…are now weaned (meaning they have left mother Lana’s pouch) but they still remain close by her side. They are now playing with each other and exploring independently outside the den.”
“The four joeys born in June are starting to open their eyes and become more aware of their surroundings. While they are still attached to their mother's teats, we’re expecting they will begin to leave their mother’s pouch in the coming weeks,” Steve said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is part of a national insurance population program designed to help save the Tasmanian Devil from becoming extinct as a result of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease*.
The Zoo’s breeding success this year is the result of a more targeted approach, and has benefited from favorable breeding recommendations. These are based on the unique characteristics and genetics of a breeding pair and, combined with their compatibility upon meeting, can determine breeding success.
“We are continuing to collaborate with other breeding institutions to improve the long-term viability of our program, such as Devil Ark in the Barrington Tops, where Lana and Pooki came from, and Tasmania’s Trowunna Wildlife Park, where the father originated,” Steve said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has two breeding facilities for the Tasmanian Devil located behind the scenes. The Zoo has bred 31 healthy Tasmanian Devil joeys so far - a significant boost to the regional zoo-based insurance population of this endangered species.
With Tasmanian Devil numbers in the wild currently dwindling to between 15,000 and 50,000 individuals, every birth is significant. The mainland breeding program of which the Zoo is a part could play an important role in helping to re-establish healthy wild populations of the species in Tasmania if needed in future.
The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae. It was once native to mainland Australia, but it is now found only in the wild on the island state of Tasmania, including tiny east coast Maria Island where there is a conservation project with disease-free animals.
The Tasmanian Devil is the size of a small dog and became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the Thylacine in 1936. It is related to Quolls and distantly related to the Thylacine.
It is characterized by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odor, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. The Tasmanian Devil's large head and neck allow it to generate among the strongest bites per unit body mass of any extant mammal land predator, and it hunts prey and scavenges carrion as well as eating household products if humans are living nearby.
A breeding Tasmanian Devil female can produce up to 50 young that are about the size of a grain of rice. Competition for survival is fierce, and only the first four joeys are able to latch onto the mother’s teats.
In 2008, the Tasmanian Devil was assessed and classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. In 2009, the Australian Government also listed the species as “Endangered”, under national environmental law.
*Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is an infectious cancer that only affects Tasmanian Devils, and is transmitted through biting, fighting and mating. Since the first official case of DFTD in Australia in 1996, there has been a decline of up to 50-70 per cent of the Tasmanian Devil population across the majority of Tasmania.
This HaBO is from Mai, who’s been searching for this book for months:
I am not quite sure if this is a full-length novel, a novella, or part of an anthology.
It’s a historical book — the male lead is probably an earl or a duke of some sort and he’s married with children, but routine has dampened his and his wife’s relationship quite a bit. The man starts to leave his wife little notes to rekindle their love and I think these notes are about his fantasies or maybe he asks her out; I’m not too sure exactly.
I also remember that the male lead thinks a friend of his wife might be after her and that’s why he is so desperate to have her fall back in love with him.
Does anyone know this one?
But for me, so much of weeknight cooking is a random suggestion that pops into my feed that doesn’t have to be overtly revolutionary, just something I hadn’t considered before and immediately want to make before anything else. In a moment, I go from lethargically considering a bunch of options I’d rejected on previous evenings for various reasons to mentally calculating how long it will be until dinner and wishing it was now now now. Finding these moments is my primary cooking interest.