RBOC

  • The fabric I ordered from Spoonflower for my MIL said it would come in over a month, but then when that time period passed it added another month delay.  Good thing she’s not expecting an order!  Update:  The internet says it was delivered late June.  Update:  When we talked to her, she said she was wondering if she’d ordered it herself and had just forgotten, so we must have done a good job picking out fabrics she’d like!
  • I also ordered a case of hand sanitizer from Office Depot that was supposed to come May 22nd (many weeks after I’d ordered), but by May 30th it still hadn’t come, so I went and ordered more of the overpriced scented glittery tiny hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works because they had some that were clear (DC2 is allergic to red dye) and I am fairly sure they will actually come because my previous two orders came.  Update:  It came.  My glittery stinky hand sanitizer army grows.  Even the “for men” has glitter in it and smells like horrifically strong aftershave.  (Update:  not all of the little dots inside are glitter– some of them are little black dots that just dissolve on your hands.)
  • My Office Depot hand sanitizer order came deep into June.  I am now SET for hand sanitizer and may even be able to give some of the larger bottles away.  The kids have been having fun reorganizing the bottles into different configurations.  Currently it’s definitely set up like an army from a battle game like Shogun Total War.
  • I ordered a bunch of Statistics related face masks from redbubble.  I hope they come before school starts.  Update:  They came and they’re adorable, but I would not recommend because they’re only 2-layers and they don’t have nose stuff so they want to slip down.  I will probably wear them in conjunction with my single-layer math balaclava.  It is going to be SO HOT teaching.
  • I just realized I know wikipedia brown’s husband.  I wanna be like all fangirly next time I see him but I will try to control myself and not be like, did you know you’re married to Wikipedia Brown??  Because I’m fairly sure he is aware.
  • It’s crazy to me how many people go to all the effort of going to a protest but then just aren’t registered to vote.  This means that protests are an excellent place to get people registered to vote.  But then there’s the problem of folks actually voting.  Usually I see this with college students, probably because they don’t quite know how to register and my state does not make it easy (and they don’t know that they’re allowed to register where we live and their home high school didn’t follow state law about registering seniors), but this time around there were quite a few adults (including minorities) whose registration had lapsed because they didn’t vote in the last local election.  That was astonishing to me.
  • I wish that more of these housewives of doctors blogs that seem to be popping up on blogrolls would say something about doing activism things instead of just talking about decluttering and being socially isolated.
  • I have heard from several of my students (minority and non-minority activist) talking through processing this moment in history and specifically our school’s response.  At our weekly research meeting I brought this up, and not surprisingly, only the women and minority faculty have heard from students, and none of the white men.  I know that white women should be doing more, but I HATE that white men are never expected to do anything.  They do not shoulder emotional burdens.  They do not brainstorm to come up with ways to make things better.  They get to say yes or no, but they don’t actually make things happen.  They’re given a pass for being clueless.  I’m especially not happy that this burden is falling to our untenured junior female faculty much moreso than our tenured white dood faculty.  But also the tenured white dood faculty haven’t done the basic work to have the most basic of conversations.  They want to be good people and they don’t get in the way (which is a step up from many departments), but they don’t want it enough to actually do anything that isn’t super easy.  I told them they should all get a copy of So you want to talk about race or White fragility.  Paper copies may be unavailable some places, but electronic versions are not.  But I don’t think that they will.
  • To fix systemic racism, it’s really mostly white people who need to be fixed.  So all these seminars and so on that are mostly minority students in attendance teaching them about how they’re discriminated against… not so useful.  Seminars teaching them mentory stuff would be more useful, but it is not enough to teach people how to swim, as the NSF says, we must instead drain the pool.  It’s so easy to have fun programs that teach people how to swim, but the hard work comes in draining the pool.  And there are a lot of white people who are full of water.  (Maybe that’s pushing the analogy too far.)
  • After a couple weeks of dealing with the stupid ways my department is dealing with BLM, I now understand what it means when people are upset about a white woman (well-meaning or not) making it all about her.  I want to reiterate that this is NOT the same as white women listing out places to donate/protest/call/etc.  What this looks like is either a well-meaning white woman with little actual knowledge talking about her very recent journey to wokeness in the context of how it makes her feel as a seminar (see above bullet) and then taking questions as an expert, or WORSE a “victimized conservative Christian White lady” who wants to be the “voice of victimized white Christian conservatives” (her words– we LIVE IN THE SOUTH, she is part of the majority) going on paragraph long screeds about what her very narrow definition of racism is and how no other kind of racism other than the overt calling people the n-word exists.  Please, bloggers, keep with your lists and publicizing your actions.  You are not these ladies.
  • Our black students have been very clear on what they want, and continued “conversations” in which white people with no actual knowledge talk at them is not it.  So very much not it.
  • My RA’s husband got Covid and then her entire family (parents, brother, herself) caught it from him.  One of my free summer RAs has gone MIA (they have an internship requirement).  I can’t blame him because he was free, but also I wish he’d said something instead of just disappearing.
  • … One of my senior colleagues died suddenly of a heart attack.  Completely unexpected and he was so healthy (not to mention supportive and productive and just an all around good person).  I’m still in shock.

Things I want at work to better help with the BLM movement

I’m a university professor.  Here’s places I think the university should be throwing resources.

  • Bystander training both for general situations for everybody and for what the professor can do in class.  I would very much like to expand my tool-box about what I can say when a student says something racist.  Especially when it’s something racist out of the blue.  I’m generally better at dealing with racist comments when I can guess what they’re going to be and am expecting them (like when I’m teaching something with common misconceptions that I can treat as such), but in the past I’ve been shocked at students out of the blue denying the fundamental humanity of immigrants, or interrupting a statistics lecture to go on a racist screed about Hispanic-Americans (that last guy has a restraining order against him and was escorted out by police the last time he visited the department and thankfully dropped my class before the midterm after not doing any of the homework meant he could not pass mechanically).
  • I want my colleagues to get training on how to make a comfortable environment for underrepresented people to speak.  Things like allowing time to write down the answer to a question before cold-calling.  How to sure cold-calls are evenly distributed, etc.
  • Another student climate survey.  The last one was done 4 years ago, generally every 5 years seems reasonable for these kinds of surveys, but so much has changed since then, it makes sense to do this one early.  Maybe even annually for a while.
  • A major problem is that there are a small number of faculty, mostly contract or untenured (but also me and one of my white male colleagues who just got tenured this year) who are getting the bulk of the emotional pressure from when our underrepresented students are treated poorly.  It is hard and we don’t get service credit for it and the contract and untenured folks are endangered by it.  I’m brainstorming with my chair and another chair they’re bringing in about this problem later this week, but either we need to spread this out somehow or we need to concentrate it into an ombuds-type position and give the faculty member service credit for it.
  • Before the Corona virus we’d had reports of several students across several sub-fields in several classes say horrific things that denied non-white-non-US-non-etc. their basic humanity.  (Things like, if it’s in the US’s best interests, shouldn’t the US government encourage dictators to genocide?  Also basic Fox news talking points about why children deserve to be in cages because their parents “broke the law” [sic].  )  When it gets to this level, it needs to be addressed somehow from a department-wide basis in order to show support for underrepresented students and to show bigoted students that their behavior is really not acceptable across the board (and not just in one class from one teacher).  But how?
  • Bringing in outside people as consultants who are not horrible, preferably minorities with consulting businesses who are probably going to (and should) be terribly expensive this coming year.  But it can’t just be “we brought in a consultant for a 3 hour training”– the training has to actually be more helpful than harmful.  And it shouldn’t just be an implicit bias training– our leaders need training on how to make systemic change, and we need advice on things like how to shut up white conservative Christians who have joined the student diversity committee to “provide the voice of victimized white conservative Christians” (have I mentioned again that we live in the heavily white Evangelical South?).  Given the Corona situation, I’m hopeful that some of these expensive consultants will make video trainings available, but we probably also need to have leadership talk with an expert about our specific situation.  And we need someone to tell the dean that having agendaless “conversations” to which everyone is invited (including white police officers?!) and given equal time is going to shut out underrepresented groups.
  • Getting rid of that last bigoted statue on campus and replacing it with the prominent black alum one they’ve been talking about since the 1990s WITHOUT requiring private donations to do it.  Come ON.  One of my colleagues just donated $500 for it and my dean wanted to make a big fundraiser among our faculty, but this is something the University should be doing.  I know we’re getting budget cuts and no raises for the foreseeable future, but this should have institutional weight behind it.  (That said, if an outside private donor wants to give the university a restricted donation, I’m aok with that.)

 

What else should I be suggesting?  What would help you at work to help your marginalized students/coworkers/etc.?

I don’t just seem like I’m perfect on the internet: Why being a crab in a bucket is really not the way to help your self-esteem

Grumpy Readers,

I am amazing. I truly am.  I have achieved more than I ever could have dreamed of as a child.  I try to make the world a better place.  I am continually living and growing and working and doing what I can to make my utility curve hit my budget constraint, wherever that is at the time.

YOU are amazing too.  I mean, assuming you don’t post racist memes or put kids in cages or donate to anti-LGBT causes because you don’t want people who are different to be happy.  (One would think that would be a pretty low bar, but hey, it’s 2020 and Trump is president.)  But there are other things about you that make you amazing, not just the absence of being a horrible person (horrible people sometimes hate-read, but they don’t tend to stick around, so we’re fairly confident in assuming you’re not one of them– if you are, maybe stop being horrible?).

Think on some of the ways in which you are amazing for a moment, and while you do it, pretend that the patriarchy doesn’t exist so when you start on the, “but..” part after the amazing part just shut that down and end it with a period.  There are so many ways– and they are all valid (unless they include hurting vulnerable people).

There’s research that shows that people are, on average, happier when they’re off Facebook, and that the reason they’re happier is because they’re not comparing themselves to other people as much.  But something hidden in that research is that it’s only true on average, and only true for a certain kind of people.  Some people are VERY affected by comparing themselves to others and some people are not affected at all.  And that difference has to do with personality traits, not things like income or types of friends (probably– there’s still more research to be done in this area).

I strongly believe that this need that some people have to feel better than others, high on the relative scale of worth rather than just high in terms of levels is one of the reasons that we have so many social ills today.  Some people are racist because they want to feel better than a group of people no matter how terrible things are for them.  They are sexist for the same reason.  They want to keep the poor from eating because people not like them are undeserving and shouldn’t eat.  Or from marrying because they themselves are not lgbt.  Or from being included because they consider themselves to be an exclusive sort of prosperity-gospel Christian and others are non-Christian.  From this viewpoint, there’s only so much awesome to go around and they need to keep other people from having it, particularly people who are different.

But that doesn’t have to be how it works.  Awesome grows more awesome.  Making the world a better place creates more benefits for everyone, except people who get off on being bigots.

And you, grumpy readers, are not those people.

You know that if you focus on relative awesomeness there will always be someone who appears to be better in one aspect or another.  That can’t be a healthy measure of one’s own worth.  It’s much better to plant your own garden and focus on your wants and your goals.  The argument that everybody has problems they’re hiding so you should feel good about yourself is a good way to keep people down.  The only way to win that game is to not care if other people don’t have problems, and instead to focus on yourself and make comparisons to yourself.  Learn from other people– don’t pull them down.

Grumpy nation, when someone on the internet or in real life seems pretty awesome, that doesn’t mean they have inner demons or a horrible family life or etc. etc. etc. that they’re just keeping hidden.  Maybe they’re just pretty awesome.  And maybe if you want to be like them, you can learn from what they do.  And if you don’t want to be like them, you can be secure in that choice.  Sometimes people have instagrammable holiday decorations because that’s what they value, and maybe that’s not what you value.

Where people end up is a combination of so many factors– structural advantages, luck, effort, preferences, and so on.  We can work to reduce structural disadvantages.  We can remember the importance of luck.  We can change our effort level, or remember why we don’t actually care enough to do so and be mindful of the things we do care about.  What we don’t need to do is pull someone down because they have something we wish we had.

So I’m not going to say that it only seems like I have a charmed life but in reality there’s things going on behind the scenes… because really there’s not.  Each day I think of my blessings with astonishment.  As a child, I never actually believed my life could be this comfortable.  Or maybe you don’t value the things I value and value other things and that’s fine too (assuming you don’t value bigotry– then that’s not fine)!  Remember that when someone else brings perfect Christmas cookies, you get to eat the cookies without having put forth any effort to make them.  And that’s much better than feeling threatened by someone else’s perfection.

In this New Year, if I have any hopes for the grumpy readership, it is that you will think upon how you can use your awesomeness to make the world a better place.  Because there are people with so many disadvantages who are under attack because bad people feel threatened by them.  We have the privilege and the power to fight.  Let’s make 2020 a year of action.

Happy New Year!

What is at least one way in which are you awesome?  (Warning:  NO but/although/even though/etc. allowed.  Just put a period without a disclaimer.)  What are your hopes for helping the world in this New Year?  What are some suggestions for what we can do?

Ask the Grumpies: How bad is Chick Fil A really?

Debbie M asks:

I would like to know more about the Chick-Fil-A controversy. Here is where my knowledge has been over the years.
* First – Wow, they are so dedicated to their religious morals that they are closed on Sundays. That’s got to be costing them money. So I respect that. Also, the secret to their lemonaid deliciousness is that it is made with lemon juice, water, and sugar. No garbage.
* Later – Yikes–they’re funding de-gayification torture. Okay screw that. I mean it’s one thing to have different beliefs from me (I’m an atheist-leaning agnostic), but quite another to torture people, even in a misguided attempt to help them get to heaven. Not something I want to help fund.
* Recently – they’ve decided to stop funding anti-gay charities, but one of them was the Salvation Army. Is there something I don’t know about the Salvation Army? (Of course they are claiming they actually help more gay folks than most other charities, if for no other reason than that they’re gigantic.) Neither of these seem like the de-gayification place. Then I heard they stopped funding that one already, years ago.
* Then a bunch of Christians decided to boycott them for stopping this funding.
* Now they’re backtracking.

So how bad are these charities? Do the anti-gay beliefs of these charities infiltrate their work? Also, is Chick-Fil-A a bad place for gay people to work? (I mean worse than for other people? Though at least they pay more than minimum wage.)

People in our town like Chick Fil A because they don’t tend to screw up catering orders and they have playgrounds.  I have not eaten there in over 10 years because they taste like Hate and are also just super salty and greasy and once when one of our kids was still in diapers someone (I think my in-laws, see above re: playgrounds) fed hir chick fil a and I have never smelled a more disgusting poo.  We don’t eat at any national fast food chains (except occasionally Subway or similar regional chains), so our boycott really means nothing.

teresa says:

Chik fil a has been/still is openly opposed to marriage equality. As far as the organizations they are not contracting with anymore [ed:  actually, their “not contracting” lasted a day– they backtracked]:

The fellowship of christian athletes requires members to pledge that they will not “engage in homosexual activity.” Which is pretty openly discriminatory.

Salvation Army is openly a fairly conservative evangelical christian organization. They hold the position that it’s not sinful to *be* lqbtq+ but it is unacceptable to *act* on it (or have anything but heterosexual married sex) and also opposed marriage equality. Telling a group that they don’t deserve a full human life and basic civil rights is maybe not the same kind of overt torture as conversion therapy but it’s still not okay.
It seems like in recent years they took down the formal position page on their website that explicitly states this but have not made any statement about changing their beliefs. Their more recent statements are along the lines of “wellllll we love all sinners so we also provide charity to people even though they’re lgbtq+” and formal statements that they “don’t lobby to roll back marriage equality because we don’t employ lobbyists” and extend benefits to employees’ same sex spouses “because the law says we have to right now.” People have also still reported being turned away or discriminated against at Salvation Army facilities for being trans (apparently with the excuse that it makes other clients uncomfortable to have a trans person around).
It’s not the issue under discussion but they’re also still openly anti choice.
There’s probably more nuance I don’t know.

delagar adds:

They have also donate to Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and Exodus International, all of which are anti-LGBTQ groups. They’ve promised before to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ groups, and then backtracked and resumed donating.

Vox has a pretty good article, here: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/5/29/18644354/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-donations-homophobia-dan-cathy

And an older one here: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/3/21/18275850/chick-fil-a-anti-lgbtq-donations

Here’s what a recent (and well-worth reading) Forbes article says about being an LGBT patron at Chick Fil A (the article also has more detail about the organizations they fund):

I will admit I was once a patron of Chick-fil-A. And I have had earnest conversations with local franchisees about the company’s funding of anti-LGBTQ groups. Those conversations were a lot like the one I had with my local Roman Catholic church pastor, who assured me I was welcome, and that they would always welcome me, no matter what was said by the corporation (or in the church’s case, the bishop or pope).

She is now eating elsewhere and is no longer Catholic.

Back in 2012, Chick Fil A said they would stop donating to political causes… and they did, sort of.  They donated to organizations who had hate as only one of a few objectives, or that specifically excluded LGBTQ beneficiaries, rather than organizations whose only objective is to promote hate.  Of course, there’s some discussion in the twitterverse about whether or not the owners who are getting rich from Chick Fil A profits still donate to the hate-only causes with their own wealth.  I don’t know, but I would not be surprised.  I’d rather not have intolerant people getting rich and having all the political power that comes with wealth.

Even if they made the best chicken sandwich under the sun, I do not want money I’m giving a company to go towards funding anti-LGBTQ groups.  There is zero benefit to funding hate and so much harm.  So, no, don’t eat at Chick Fil A, and let people know why you don’t.

These white Christian people seem so nice.  So genuinely likeable.  And yet… they thinkingly or unthinkingly do these things that encourage hate on a large scale.  In person and individually they’re so nice.  But eating at an organization that sponsors hate is not a politically neutral act.

RBOC

  • One of DC2’s extracurricular activities got bought by a creepy 20-something mega-Christian.  We didn’t find out until one of their events in which the new owner started by talking about how Jesus was more important than [extracurricular activity] and how they incorporate Jesus in every class and then we were asked to pray.  We asked DC2 and zie confirmed that zie had been asked to pray in class.  The place’s website has also been modernized since we signed DC2 up and talks about Jesus on a little text thing that comes and goes.  I was already pretty pissed off at this place because of the unannounced mommy participation day.  And it was fairly obvious from the older kids’ that this studio really isn’t focused on [extra-curricular activity] at all– I have been to so many of these events in my life and this one was easily the worst.  As soon as we got back home from said event we withdrew DC2 and looked for a studio that focuses on [extracurricular activity].  I really hate stealth proselytizing.  (I am also not a fan of [extracurricular activity] but DC2 is, so what can you do?)
  • The kids’ piano teacher also starts recitals with some musings about Christian religion, particularly the Christmas recital, but for some reason that doesn’t bother us as much.  It could be that since she was DC1’s music teacher when zie was at a religious school we were forewarned, but we think it’s more that she makes it clear that she’s talking about her personal faith and she doesn’t make everybody pray.  (The quote on the program this time was Isiah, “The people who walk in darkness shall see a great light,” and she talked about how every morning there is a sunrise and it seems like we’re living in dark times, but there will be light again, and the Christmas season reminds us of that… which I dunno, seems pretty accurate and not something that the person in the previous bullet is even aware of.) It is a Christmas recital, but non-Christians also play non-Christmas music (both of the holiday and non-holiday varieties).  So it seems more inclusive.
  • Some academic self-proclaimed feminists sound really transphobic on their twitter accounts these days.  I strongly suspect that this “problem” they talk about of people forcing kids to change their gender is not really a thing, but acting like it is probably does actual harm.  I don’t see how the existence of trans women who are attracted to women hurts other lesbians in any way. (And definitely not in any way that wouldn’t disappear if the patriarchy were dismantled!) These “feminists” seem to think that being trans is an act or a lie or something that people are tricking other people into doing. I will admit that I do not “get” gender identity at all– with respect to me, I only see gender as a way that the rest of the world categorizes and interacts with me, not the way I see myself (except as is reflected by the rest of the world). It is really easy for me to take the path of least resistance. Sure I’d rather be a guy just because the patriarchy means that guys have it easier, but being a trans guy, and being a trans guy who is attracted to my husband, that seems really hard. But I also understand that many people do have strong gender identities, and that gender identity doesn’t always match up with the sex they were assigned at birth and those people don’t need people like [insert “feminist” tweeter here] telling them that they’re being duped by society and hurting other LGB people… as if someone can be convinced by society to become trans in this culture. Really? Trans people are real people who are fully dimensional and have life stories and opinions and thoughts and histories and feelings just like everybody else. Excluding them, telling them they’re wrong… that is not what feminism should be about. That’s a pretty piss-poor feminism.
  • Speaking of the above bullet– I think it is easier to imagine people complexly (to paraphrase John Green) if you know a lot of different people and read/watch a lot of media in which people tell their stories and fictional people are drawn complexly.  Deirdre McCloskey was the first trans person that I ever really listened to on the topic (there were some trans folks at my high school, but they weren’t really in my social circle, though they may have been in #2’s)– I’d spent two semesters reading and loving her work published under the Donald name (economic history) and had heard stories about how horribly she’d been treated by her family from other professors whose own advisors had been involved in the march to get her out of the mental institution her relatives had committed her to (in IL you only needed 2 people to commit you!).  Then she gave a talk about being a woman in economics, “notes from a novice” and answered any and all questions we had (my question was, “should we cite your pre-transition work as Donald or Deirdre?”– she said Deirdre and that she hoped to get it all changed).  Deirdre McCloskey is a trans lesbian and a truly wonderful person.  Well loved and known to be a fantastic mentor.  She’s not harming anybody.  I also love the contrast of Claire in Questionable Content compared to Carla on Dumbing of Age.  (Claire is neurotic and wonderful and so much with the terrible puns, while Carla is kind of a jerk, but a jerk who generally does the right thing.  Completely different people.)  The trans students I’ve had in class have been, to my knowledge, trans men or trans gender neutral.  I don’t know much about their lives other than the standard student stuff because they’re also just people trying to learn statistics and economics like everybody else.  But they’re the reason I’ve spent so much time on the phone with legislative aides pleading and arguing about various bathroom bills over the past several years.  Bathroom bills are a genuine threat to people’s lives.  Not this fake garbage that creates some kind of LGBTQ hierarchy.  That’s BS.
  • Ok, maybe I do know a little bit more about my students than their statistics knowledge:  I recently learned a valuable lesson from one: never impulse buy flying squirrels on a road trip in an overcrowded car, even if they’re for sale at an open market you stop at.  One of my colleagues and I agree that they should sell the story to National Lampoon as a Christmas family road trip.
  • You can create new regency romance titles by switching out “Squirrel” with “Earl” in Squirrel Girl volume titles.  “Earl, You Really Got Me Now”
  • … thank you, Mint, I guess, for sending me an email the other week telling me I’d lost $30K in the previous week’s stock market crash.  I’m not sure how to feel about that.  Good, I guess?  I mean, that’s a lot of money.  (I didn’t check to see if that was actually accurate– sometimes Mint double counts one or more of my retirement accounts.)
  • I’m seeing a lot of New Years posts with people talking about how they’re going to ignore the news in 2019.  I hope that you all don’t do that– I know I’ve been feeling a lot of political fatigue especially since the last election, but we can’t give up now.  I don’t have time right now to do a super long pep-talk, but we have to keep pushing forward with activism.  We have to keep fighting.  Children’s lives are at stake… the environment, women’s rights, minority rights… so many things.  Rest and relax, but don’t stop moving forward.

Facts and Opinions are not the same thing: Part 2

Part one from five years ago at the private school where they do not teach untruths about the civil war but still do not understand the difference between objective statements and opinions.

As promised, DC1 ended the semester being tested on the idea that the cause of the civil war was not reaaaaalllly slavery, but state rights.

I read out the reasons for the civil war given by the southerners who withdrew from the union.  They are PRETTY CLEAR that it was about slavery.  On top of that, South Carolina was pretty pissed off about NY getting to keep its state right of not allowing people to be property in its borders so that Southerners couldn’t take slaves with them to do business in NY.

Then DC1 said, “people have a lot of different opinions”.

And that led to a really lengthy discussion about what is an opinion and what is an untrue statement of fact.  DH and I threw around a lot of terms like “subjective” and “objective”.  Also “hypothesis”.  We talked about climate change.

It drives me nuts that people label incorrect statements as “opinions” and don’t seem to understand the difference between objective truths (which are true no matter what we believe, but sadly cannot always be tested) and subjective opinions.  (“Can an opinion ever be wrong?” DC1 asked. “Sure,” I said, “Saying ‘Eggnog is the best drink in the world’ is an example of a wrong opinion.”)  And this is codified in the South through the K-12 system and reinforced by Fox News.  It is in the airwaves.  I hate it.  And I don’t want to have to add it to my stats class, but maybe I should.

Last year I asked my grad students if we should spend some time on what is “fake news” and they all said no, they understood.  This year they’re not as sure.  Last year “fake news” really was fake– spewed out by what we now know were Russian bots.  This year Republicans have labeled reputable news organizations as “fake news” so it’s more confusing.  On top of that, even formerly reputable news organizations like WSJ have been taken over by ideologues so there’s a lot of crud coming out.  (NYTimes has always had a contingent of crud, and NPR started to kind of suck a couple of years ago.)

How do you all deal with the difference?

link love

One of us was gone this week, the other will be MIA next week (hopefully she’ll get to tune into the convention!).  But we’ll be back to usual come August.

His only demands were, “don’t shoot me or my unarmed client”  ICYMI.   I can’t even with the police.

These racist narratives MAKE NO SENSE.

On African American women’s voices and bodies

Why yes, I am sick and tired of it.  I’m also getting really sick of comedians and their lame and tired sexist narrative.  C’mon guys, stop being lazy.  (Here is Jimmy Kimmel not being lazy!  Kudos to Kimmel!)  There’s humor in the Clinton campaign that doesn’t rely on sexist tropes about powerful women.  Seriously.  That goes for you too, MSM.  Stop with the false equivalences and double standards.

Yes there is a difference.  We are better than Trump.

My jaw dropped a lot this past week.  Here was one of the first times.  Just… how… wha?

Leslie Jones twitter abuse.

Track whether or not men are talking too much.

This is also my story.  Next time they call I’m going to affect an accent and tell them they have the wrong number and I’m voting for Trump.  We will see if that works better than just asking them to take me off their damn list.  DO NOT give any political organizations your phone number EVER.

The choice is clear.

Historiann on menses and other wimmin things.   Also I’ve been debating calling up Pence‘s campaign to ask about whether it’s more immoral for me to use birth control or to allow fetuses to die given my higher chance of miscarriage.  Or you know, to just update him on the state of my cycle.

Thankfully my doctor knew what to do about granulation, but with my first baby I definitely did not mention it as early as I should have.

Personal finance tips from Ghostbusters

If you’re starting to phase out of itemizing and have 25K that you plan on spreading out in donations in the future (for however many years) apparently you can easily start your own charitable foundation with Vanguard for tax purposes.  This is AWESOME.  And we might do it next fiscal year when our tax situation will have settled and we’ll be back at full salary and no longer have any mortgage interest.

This was exactly what my DH said was the plot too!

The secret apartments of ny libraries.

Congratulations to evolving pf!

Baby sloth pictures.

 

We live in interesting times

We live in interesting times.

I often think that this is must have been like what it felt for our parents growing up in the 60s.  Marches and riots and violence in the news all the time, but a sense that progress was finally being made.

Life was so much easier during the booming 90s.  Of course, that’s not really true.  Life was easier for us white folk, and we just didn’t know about what was going on elsewhere.  The Rodney King riots were a glimpse into what life was like for others, but the rest of us really stopped paying attention until recently.

One of the reasons Hamilton is doing so well is that it isn’t really about the 18th century.  It is about today.  This musical number really encapsulates it.

Change comes slowly and then it comes all at once.

Change comes with violence.  Or rather, that’s what we perceive.  Those of us who are sheltered and privileged.  The violence was always there.  On the plantations.  Against share-croppers.  Burning crosses on lawns.  Killing people in our cities.  Lynching, rape, murder, beatings.  Those of us who are outside don’t notice.  We believed things were accidents and tragedies or isolated incidents or provoked by criminals.  But that’s not what was going on.  That’s not what is going on.

Like now, change happens when violence is made visible.  Then violence escalates.  Violence escalates because the people in power, the ones doing the terror attacks against minorities, the ones subjugating their wives, girlfriends, and daughters, are afraid.  And they are afraid.  And violence is their only real weapon.

Which isn’t actually true.  Violence is not and has never been their only real weapon.

The Voting Rights Act was in response to their hold on local governments.  They own state and local governments again.  We MUST organize locally.  We must pay attention to downstream races.  We must run candidates even in red areas.

They’ve owned the media before, they own some of the media now.  Fox News isn’t the first news organization to have a racist misogynist agenda.  Not the first media organization to sway angry poor uneducated white men for their own causes.  It makes sense for uneducated white losers to want to keep women and minorities down– if they don’t have them to scapegoat and feel superior to, then they’ll be at the bottom of whatever metaphor you can think of.  It doesn’t make as much sense for the people who control these empires.  Why are there evil rich people?  Is it because they want more power than their horrible rich white associates?  But isn’t it better to be a Philanthropist than a Bond Villain?

Revolution means progress.  But revolutions are rarely easy.  Those in power fight back to maintain the status quo.

It’s best when revolutions occur with the fewest lives lost.  With the least blood spilt.

I think there’s a politician and bureaucrat who can help the revolution shed less blood while moving forward.  But she can only do it if she gets support downstream.  Senators.  Representatives.  State Government.  VOTEWRITE.  Be angry.  Protest.  Support protestors.  Become woke and stay it, even when the media moves on to the next story.  We want a government for all people, not just some of the people.

And after this movement dies down, we’ll still have a long way to go.  But let’s go as far as we can towards equality of opportunity, freedom, peace, and happiness as we can, so that maybe it won’t be as hard or dangerous next time around.  And so people can live closer to their best lives while we wait for the next revolution to bring them closer still.

#Imwithher

What are we reeeading

When previously we discussed books, #2 had recommended Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School.  #1 now vehemently recommends this book as well.  Sooooo good.  DC1 also loved it.

Speaking of DC1 and books about magical schools, both DC1 and I have really enjoyed the The Ever Afters Series by Shelby Bach, about a fairytale after school program.  I couldn’t put the second book down, though I had to put the third book down from time to time because, like with Harry Potter, that’s when stuff gets real.  We have the final book on hold at the library.  (Currently reading!)

I’ve started reading Elizabeth Hoyt.  Her books are fine, but it is true they are a bit repetitive.  Probably best not to read all of them in a row, but to just pick out the best or to take long breaks between.  Check out, don’t buy.  Think late 18th century batman complete with revenge motives.  Lots of batmans with lots of different revenge motives (including the standard dead parents) and different Arthurs and different aristocratic super villains.  Also, for some reason, dogs.  Duke of midnight was going fine until an attempted rape of a minor character whose sole purpose was as a macguffin and to show the good character of a male character, and shortly after the hero roughly shakes the heroine until it hurts her.  Ugh.  The next book in the series has a minor female character beaten to death (in the past) as another macguffin (also as character development for the heroine and another villain).  And after that Dearest Rogue has rape of a minor female character (in the past) as macguffin and character development for the hero!  Also attempted rape of the heroine.  Good grief, can’t she come up with any other way to drive the plot or develop character?  But if you don’t mind the violence-against-women-as-macguffin-and-character-development trope…

This Rake of Mine by Elizabeth Boyle was great fun if you can completely suspend your disbelief and ignore historical accuracy (the main complaints in low star reviews).  If you think of it as a farce it’s fun!  Though about 3/4 of the way through there’s a couple of spots where the author obviously ran out of time (and the editor didn’t fix it) and told rather than showed.  Not great literature, but no sexual violence against women!  Along came a duke though was super boring and I skipped most of the middle.  That could have used less writing.  Her highest rated, the viscount who lived down the lane was fine but could have used editing.  I think I will not seek out the rest of her stuff.

Tried a Lisa Kleypas, specifically Dreaming of You, but she is REALLY into attempted rape as a trope.  I mean seriously, lady.  Also so much gratuitous stupidity.  I can buy the matchmaking lady inviting the hero and the heroine to a house party without them knowing about the other, but inviting the woman who sent the goons who scarred the hero’s face (that the heroine shot in the first chapter) to the same house party when you’re trying to set the hero and heroine up and you know that the villain will try to kill the heroine if she knows that the hero loves her…  That’s just causing drama for drama’s sake.  There was a better way to arrange that (and one that wouldn’t, you know, involve yet another attempted rape on the heroine).  *Sigh*

Meanwhile, back in #2 land, I finished Tam Lin by Pamela Dean.  This book is for you if you liked The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  It’s good, but long, and there’s quite a lot of the main characters talking about poetry and analyzing plays and quoting things at each other.  I’m on Volume 2 of Gotham Academy.  I’ve been catching up on Maria V. Snyder and some very naughty books and stories that can’t go on this blog.  I’ve also  caught up (almost?) on Ilona Andrews, and read a bit of nonfiction.  My current read, which I love so far, is Nevada, by Imogene Binnie.  At the start of the book, the main character works in a huge used bookstore and her life is kinda bad.  I sense that big changes are coming.

What are YOU reading, Grumpeteers?

link love

What I know about America after being thrown out of a trump rally

Some history of black science fiction.

Indiana abortion law

Back in the day when abortion was illegal, women were still getting abortions.  Just not safe ones.  Those days are returning.

Hope?

Racists for trumpHeil!

Sold out.

Why Bloomberg isn’t running

It wasn’t feminism that killed Rome…

Students need to learn our history so we don’t repeat it so often.

Clinton made a big promise

A grandma for Clinton

British Imperialism in the words of a woman affected by it.

Everything is crumbling.  Aiee, Baumeister can’t be reproduced?

Irony!

This is strange

One blogger’s way of doing monthly finances.  And here is another’s!  It is neat how there are different ways of managing money.

Experiences vs. things and conspicuous consumption

Plagiarism in crosswords, or Timothy Parker has some explaining to do.

So do we, so do we.

Dear Ms. Undine.

So cute!