[syndicated profile] shakespearessister_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Islamophobia.]

The White House's attempts to get around court rulings staying their Muslim bans by adding countries that aren't predominantly Muslim didn't work exactly as they'd hoped.

Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post reports:
A federal judge on Tuesday largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing the latest version of the president's controversial travel ban, setting up yet another legal showdown on the extent of the executive branch's powers when it comes to setting immigration policy.

The decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii is sure to be appealed, but for now, it means that the administration cannot restrict the entry of travelers from six of the eight countries that officials said were either unable or unwilling to provide information the U.S. wanted to vet their citizens.

The latest ban was set to fully go into effect in the early morning hours of October 18, barring various types of travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela. Watson's order stops it, at least temporarily, with respect to all the countries except North Korea and Venezuela.

...The measure was only put into effect after an extensive process in which the U.S. negotiated with other countries for information, and the list of countries affected now includes two countries that are not Muslim-majority: Venezuela and North Korea.

Challengers to the ban argue, though, that the additions are mainly symbolic: the ban only affects certain government officials from Venezuela, and very few people actually travel to the U.S. from North Korea each year. They note Trump himself promised a "larger, tougher, and more specific" ban — meaning the new version would have the same legal problems as the prior iterations.
Basically, the ruling is: Nice try, but we ain't buying it, pal. That's good news for now — but this is still far from over.

Beware #6: The Thing from Beyond

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:54 pm
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher posting in [community profile] scans_daily

"At least my face can't turn out like the Joker's, or a giant red light bulb as in that Richie Rich comic...right?"

Okay, time to bring out the heavy stuff here. This tale of revenge upon revenge is so ridiculously, over-the-top grotesque and brutal it makes EC's "Foul Play" look like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by comparison. Warning for violence/gore.

'There! There! There! Suffer! Suffer! Suffer!' )
[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Meg Sri

Last week, the United States’ men’s soccer team lost 2-1 in a World Cup Qualifier to Trinidad and Tobago, the only team below them in the group standings, sending them crashing out of the Men’s World Cup for the first time since 1986 in what some are calling “the worst loss in the history of U.S. Men’s Soccer.” It seems a good a time as any to remember that it was only in April this year that the U.S. women’s too, lost an important fight: the battle to gain equal pay with the men’s team. And it also seems a good time to remember that while the U.S. men comically crashed out of the World Cup, the women won it in 2015.

The deeper one dives, the more embarrassing the record is. The U.S. women’s team’s record in World Cups the past twenty years includes two victories, one second-place finish, and three third-place finishes. The men’s involves one non-qualification, two exits at the Group Stages, two at the Round of 16, and one high of a quarterfinal finish. The women have lost only two Olympic gold medals between 1996 and 2016. The (under-23, but nonetheless) men did not qualify three times in the same period.

The history of U.S. men’s soccer is far from illustrious in general, especially on the international stage. As FiveThirtyEight points out, “In the 1998 World Cup and the 2006 World Cup — the last two on European soil — it combined for one tie and five losses. In 2015, the team was stunned at home in the Gold Cup semifinal by Jamaica, which at the time was ranked 76th in the world by FIFA.” Meanwhile, the women’s team has been characterized by roaring  successes, entertaining play, stimulating victories, and renewed public interest in soccer. They also now bring in more game revenue than men, bringing in $23 million last year, and turned over 3 times as much profit as the men in 2016. U.S. Soccer predicts the same will happen in 2017 for the women — while the men are expected to turn over a loss of $1 million.

In March 2016, five of the U.S. women’s team players filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that U.S. soccer acted discriminatorily in paying its female players less than those on the men’s team. The complaint pointed out some startling figures: women, if they won and including their win bonus, would earn $4,950 per game; the men would earn $5,000 just for showing up (and a whopping $8,166 if they won, rare as that might be). If women won all their games in a year, they’d earn $99,000 — still less than the men’s salary for just showing up and losing every game, at $100,000. And that’s not counting the litany of smaller discriminatory practices: coach flights vs. business class; dangerous artificial turf vs. real fields; and lower per diems and pay for sponsor appearances.

The fight did end in some form of victory in April this year: women’s players got pay raises of over 30%, better bonuses, higher per diems, and other financial benefits. And yet U.S. soccer couldn’t take the final leap and pay a multiple World Cup-winning, tremendously victorious side that is more financially profitable the same amount of money as a mediocre side that crashes out of a World Cup and expects to net a revenue loss.

Last week’s World Cup qualifier loss was a sobering reminder to some soccer fans about systemic problems with U.S. men’s soccer. But to many of us, it is also a sobering reminder to women: you can be twice or thrice as good as men, but you still cannot expect to be treated or paid on par with them.

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Northern California Wildfires Thread

Oct. 17th, 2017 02:30 pm
[syndicated profile] shakespearessister_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Fire; displacement; death.]

Last Friday, I reported that there had been 31 confirmed deaths from the wildfires in California. By yesterday, that number had climbed to 41. Erin McCormick and Julia Carrie Wong at the Guardian report:
The fires have thus far burned over 213,000 acres and destroyed approximately 5,700 structures, according to the state fire agency. Forty people died in last week's flames, making it the deadliest week in California wildfire history. On Monday, another fatality was reported after a driver delivering water to the fire lines was killed when his truck overturned.

About 100 people remain unaccounted for in Sonoma County, where more than 1,700 were at one point listed as missing.

..."The biggest challenge for us is the sheer number of people who need help," said [Sonoma County's newly organized emergency assistance] center's director, Michael Gossman, who is usually an administrator with the county water agency but took on a new role to help with the relief efforts. About 500 fire victims had been served by the center by midday Sunday.

...In all, about one in every 20 homes in the city were wiped out over the past week, a crisis that will only exacerbate an already tight rental market. The city's rents grew 50% over the past five years, the fastest growth in the country, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Zillow data.

But recovery will probably be significantly more challenging for renters and low-income people, especially if they did not have insurance.

Diego Pacheco's family helped him apply for Section 8 housing vouchers and rental assistance, but Rios said that they had been informed it could take months for the applications to be processed. Relief workers also distributed a list of current apartment vacancies in Santa Rosa, but most were renting for $1,200 to $1,600 a month, well above the $700 rent Pacheco paid at the mobile home park.
The fires continue to burn, although a break in the weather, including the possibility of rain, will help with containment. There have been substantial losses, in lives and property, and there is vast and urgent need.

Since yesterday morning, Donald Trump tweeted 11 times, including one retweet. Four of those tweets were about how awesome the stock market is doing; three of those tweets were shit-talking Democrats; two of them were about his appearances; one was about Rep. Tom Marino withdrawing from consideration as Trump's drug czar; and one was about "Crooked Hillary." He did not tweet about the wildfires.

In fact, he has not tweeted about the wildfires at all. Not a single time.

A San Francisco Chronicle editorial asks: "California Burns: Where's the President?"
Trump has offered no more than a few perfunctory words about the Wine Country fires that have left at least 40 dead, consumed thousands of structures, and stretched the physical and mental mettle of the dedicated firefighters and medical professionals to the edge of exhaustion.

On [October 10], before welcoming the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, Trump said he had spoken with Gov. Jerry Brown and that the federal government would stand with the "people of California and be there with you in this time of terrible tragedy and need."

That's it? No talk of visiting California? No expressions of appreciation for the first responders? No condolences for those who lost their lives, or the many more who lost their homes? No recognition or pledges of federal support for the monumental task of rebuilding the neighborhoods and business that were devoured in the fire?

Then again, how much is a Trump pledge worth, anyway? His typically rapid-fire succession of tweets this week included some that seemed to blame Puerto Rico for its post-hurricane financial crisis and a warning that "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

This is a president who views tweets as his primary means of connecting with the people, without the media filter he loathes. Dare we suggest that forcing NFL players to stand for the national anthem — to name one of his recent obsessions — is not a life-and-death situation. The fires are.

And how many times has Trump tweeted about the fires since they were whipped by winds into life-threatening force early Monday: zero.
But he's had time to tweet this: "A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag. 'Stand for Anthem or sit for game!'"

And this: "With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have 'tanked,' in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!"

And this: "My great honor to host the 2017 back-to-back #StanleyCup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins at the WH with FLOTUS today!"

And this: "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!"

And this: "Joining @SeanHannity tonight at 9pmE on @FoxNews. Enjoy!"

And this: "Clips from tax speech and @seanhannity on @foxandfriends now. Have a great day!"

And this: "People are just now starting to find out how dishonest and disgusting (FakeNews) @NBCNews is. Viewers beware. May be worse than even @CNN!"

And this: "Such a wonderful statement from the great @LouDobbs. 'We take up what may be the most accomplished presidency in modern American history.'"

And this:

And ten heaping dumpsters of similar garbage. Because he is an utter disgrace to the office of the presidency and to this nation.

I am so sorry to the residents of California who are being let down by their president on top of what is already a complex and devastating crisis.

As ever, please feel welcome and encouraged to share information, ideas, and resources in comments, and let's keep this an image-free thread. Thanks.

#MeToo: On Trust

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Maya Dusenbery

#MeToo, of course.

I consider myself exceedingly lucky to have only experienced minor forms of harassment and mostly as an adult, so that its impact on me has felt comparatively very small. But to paraphrase Jessica Valenti, who would I be if I didn’t live in a world of pervasive sexual violence? That’s a question none of us can answer. 

As Mahroh discusses in her piece, there are things to like and dislike about this #MeToo campaign, but I appreciate that it seems to be getting at a few basic things that I think are important for men—since they are the main problem here—to understand:

Literally every woman you interact with has probably had experiences of sexual harassment, assault, and rape, that have been more or less traumatic to her, and you likely don’t know where on that spectrum we fall and how it has shaped us. If you are a person who wants to have any kind of relationships based on mutual trust with women, that should scare you to your core and be something you want to help change—for ethical but also purely self-interested reasons.

Women are affected not just by our own direct experiences but also by those of other women. We talk. We should probably talk more actually, but we clearly talk more to each other about these experiences than we do to you. Maybe you are surprised by all the “me too” posts, but we are probably not. It can, I think, be difficult for those who don’t live it to fully grasp that it’s the cumulative effect of these experiences, individual and collective, big and small—which is visually represented nicely by the stream of posts in our Facebook and Twitter feeds this week—that’s so damaging.

And it’s also this: the perpetual uncertainty about when the “minor” stuff might turn into the “major” stuff, and how the latter gives the former far more power. My own experiences being harassed on midwestern streets and NYC subways are nothing like being raped, of course. But a cat-caller is only scary at all because we don’t know when one might follow us home. And a guy who aggressively pushes for sex wouldn’t make us so queasy if we felt 100 percent sure he’d listen if we said no.

I hope that men see every “me too” post as representing a very good reason—and usually more than one—for all women not to trust men. #YesALLmen because it’s precisely that uncertainty—and the consequent need for constant guardedness—that’s so corrosive. If being distrustful of a whole gender strikes you as terrible and unfair—well, yes, that it absolutely is. It is no way to live but that is the reality that all women are forced to manage in some way.

Sometimes, some of us—the lucky ones whose direct experiences have been minor enough that they haven’t been etched into our very nervous systems—may try to distance ourselves from the collective trauma and delude ourselves into believing that we are immune. That the major stuff only happens to other women or perhaps at the hands of other men. That we are smarter, tougher, more careful. Sometimes, some of us—and I’d count myself in this—may recognize that it’s just a matter of luck (often with a good dose of privilege) but consciously and recklessly choose to trust men anyway because, whatever the risks, being always wary takes a toll on your soul too. Sometimes we are just afraid.

him, though

Image via Liz Plank

One of the valid critiques of the #MeToo trend is that it is focused, as these conversations so often are, on the survivors, rather than the perpetrators and enablers; that it asks women to bear their pain instead of asking men for reflection and accountability. I agree that a turning of the tables is useful here, and while like Mahroh, I’m not sure that this current outpouring will change much, if it does provoke some self-analysis among men, I’d suggest starting here: How does it feel to know you are distrusted because of your gender? What toll does that take on your soul? And how much power are you willing to give up to make that not true?

Header image via

[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
hedgehogs with long ears

Long Eared hedgehog are different to their close hedgehog cousins due to their huge ears, the length of which varies from 3 to 5 centimeters. This size of the ear is an adaptation to the hot climate area, which is inhabited by these animals. Long-Eared hedgehogs are found in deserts, semi-deserts and steppes. Check out these adorable photos. Via: Sharesloth

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Tagged: long , ears , hedgehog

Daily Dose of Cute

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:30 pm
[syndicated profile] shakespearessister_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt lying on the floor in front of my desk chair with her front paws crossed politely, looking up at me
Zelda patiently waits for me to return to my desk.
"These posts aren't gonna write themselves, Two-Legs!"

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

We Resist: Day 271

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:15 pm
[syndicated profile] shakespearessister_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Weinstein Made Us Pay Attention. What Next?

[Content Note: War on agency] AP/USNWR: Bill Bars UW Employees from Working at Planned Parenthood. "University of Wisconsin employees would no longer be allowed to work part-time at Planned Parenthood under a bill supported by anti-abortion advocates that's up for a public hearing. ...The measure would prohibit UW employees from performing abortions or providing training at facilities where abortions are performed, other than hospitals. It targets an arrangement between Planned Parenthood and UW in which faculty members work part-time at the organization's Madison clinic."

As Eastsidekate, who sent me this item, said (which I'm sharing with her permission): "They're specifically trying to prevent med students and young doctors from obtaining training on reproductive health. There was a bill this Spring prohibiting UW from teaching abortion, this is meant to close the loop."

This is another part of the "chip away at Roe" strategy: Anti-choicers don't need the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade if they render it an empty statute by eroding abortion access the nation. And what better way to erode access to abortion than to make sure no doctors are trained to terminate pregnancies?

This puts me in the mood to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a hundred million years ago during the Bush Era, there was a movement on the feminist blogs to teach women how to perform abortions. And a bunch of people (progressive dudes) were all WHAT A BUNCH OF HYSTERICAL ALARMISTS ALSO YOU ARE TERRIBLE ABORTIONS SHOULD BE DONE BY PROFESSIONALS YOU CREEPS, and we were all, uh, yeah, we agree, but what about when that's not an option? We're planning for that. And people (progressive dudes) were like SHUT UP THIS IS WHY WE HATE FEMINISTS. The end.

Now I'm just an ancient feminist harpy who doesn't know how politics work and you should definitely never listen to me, but I think this is a very compelling case study in how often the most intransigent barriers to feminist work aren't conservatives but progressive men.

It wasn't right-wingers who were raising hell about feminists trying to disseminate information about how to perform abortions. To them, it was just like, of course that's what feminists are doing because they love abortion and are demons.

It was the progressive bros who were SLIPPERYSLOPE!-ing us and telling us that we were the problem with the left and all the usual horseshit, silencing us under the auspices that we were going to "hurt the movement" with our alarmism and extremism, instead of listening to us and understanding that we were sounding alarms with good fucking reason.

Instead of taking us seriously and allying with us, they pushed back against us, doing the work of our opponents. And now here we are. Again.

Way back when, a hundred million years ago, Shakesville used a different commenting system, which is now defunct, and that is sad, because I wish I could link to a thread that reached 500+ comments and was about disseminating abortion instructions and followed this exact dynamic. Aphra_Behn and I were just recalling how TERRIFIC that thread was; some of you longterm readers may remember it, too — as a libertarian dude now famous for his Hillary hatred was a prominent participant.

I literally had progressive dudes screaming at me that I was the reason Bush was reelected because I supported sharing information about how to perform abortions, in the event access was completely eroded in some or all parts of the country.

And now here we are. It turns out that we were not the worst threat to the progressive movement, but ahead of the fucking curve. Again. And the people shouting at us that we were the worst threat to the progressive movement misdirected their energies. Again. And conservatives just marched right on to enact the agenda we were trying to tell you was their agenda in the vacuum of inattention caused by the progressive dudes who are convinced that feminists are their worst enemy. Again.


* * *

Here is a clip of Donald Trump just boasting about his malice (specifically, destroying the Affordable Care Act):

At best you could say it's in its final legs. The premiums are going through the roof; the deductibles are so high that people don't get to use it.

Obamacare is a disgrace to our nation. And we are solving the problem of Obamacare, okay?

Thank you all very much. Thank you.
"Obamacare is a disgrace to our nation" may be the ultimate statement of projection.

* * *

Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump: I've Called 'Virtually' All Gold Star Families. "Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had called 'virtually' every family of service members who have died during his presidency. The White House did not answer TPM's questions about whether 'virtually everybody' included the families of the four Green Berets who were killed in Niger on Oct. 4. On Monday, Trump acknowledged in an impromptu press conference that he had not yet contacted the families, 12 days and counting after the ambush that left their loved ones dead. ...Trump also baselessly accused former President Barack Obama and other former presidents of not calling the loved ones of fallen service members, an accusation that multiple former Obama administration officials swiftly denied." This fucking guy.

Rachel West, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, and Melissa Boteach at the Center for American Progress: This Is How Much Average Americans Will Pay for Trump's Tax Cuts for the 1 Percent. "According to analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, under Trump's plan, the average household in the bottom 99 percent would see its taxes decrease $343 in 2027, the final year of the conventional 10-year budget analysis. Meanwhile, the average household in the top 1 percent would see a tax cut of $207,060 — more than 600 times larger. And while ultrawealthy households would reap huge benefits, by 2027, 1 in 4 households would actually see their taxes increase under Trump's plan."

Jason Zengerle at the New York Times: Rex Tillerson and the Unraveling of the State Department. This whole thing is quite a read, but woo this shit right here:
But building a good rapport with the head of state of his own country has, so far, proved to be beyond Tillerson's formidable abilities. According to some people who are close to Trump, his disappointment with Tillerson is as much personal as it is professional. "Trump originally thought he could have a relationship with Tillerson that's almost social," says one Trump adviser, "the way his relationships are with Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin."

But unlike Trump's commerce and treasury secretaries — plutocrats who, like Trump, are on their third, younger wives — Tillerson, who is 65 and has been married to the same woman for 31 years, has shown little interest in being the president's running buddy; instead of Saturday-night dinners with Trump at his Washington hotel, Tillerson favors trips home to Texas to see his grandchildren or to Colorado to visit his nonagenarian parents.

(The White House, provided a detailed list of questions relating to Tillerson and his relationship with Trump as described in this article, responded with the following official statement: "The president has assembled the most talented cabinet in history and everyone continues to be dedicated towards advancing the president's America First agenda. Anything to the contrary is simply false and comes from unnamed sources who are either out of the loop or unwilling to turn the country around.")
I love (ahem) how that authoritarian garbage is just a parenthetical in the story. The normalization is extraordinary.

Speaking of which, this is such a good observation:

[Content Note: White supremacy] Lois Beckett at the Guardian: Florida Governor Declares State of Emergency Before White Nationalist's Speech. "Governor Rick Scott of Florida has declared a state of emergency ahead of a speech by a white nationalist leader this week at the University of Florida, in order to free up resources to prepare for possible violence. Richard Spencer's speech on Thursday in Gainesville is part of a national campaign to use outrage over racist events on university campuses to draw attention to white nationalist ideas. The tour is also designed keep fringe provocateurs like Spencer in the media spotlight." But one million thinkpieces on how progressive snowflakes are ruining college campuses.

Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed: Outbrain Is Investigating Whether Russian Trolls Used Its Platform for Election Propaganda. "The content recommendation ad network Outbrain, whose clicky content sprawls across the web, is investigating whether Russian ads or other forms of election tampering took place on its service during the 2016 election. Outbrain claims to reach more than 550 million visitors per month via content recommendation modules it places on websites of publishers such as CNN, People, and ESPN. Outbrain is 'currently conducting a thorough investigation specific to election tampering and continue[s] to monitor our index,' the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News."

I'd argue that, at this point, any content network shouldn't be asking "if" Russia used its platform for election influence, but "how."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

The Wild Storm #7

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:55 am
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[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily

This is a book about the characters and themes that Jim [Lee] and his friends created, way back when, and me, trying to do right by them. -- Warren Ellis

Read more... )

Discussion Thread: How Are You?

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
[syndicated profile] shakespearessister_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

The news has been incredibly tough and triggering the past couple of weeks. I know a lot of people are overwhelmed, emotionally drained, hitting maximum capacity for processing everything that is happening as well as whatever might be coming up from their own past because what's in the news.

Weinstein, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, the mistreatment of Jemele Hill, wildfires, Mogadishu, Kirkuk, the relentless malice of the Trump administration and the Republican Party... That is not a complete list, by any means. Just some of the things on my mind.

It's a lot.

Anyway. Here's a place to talk about that, if you need to. ♥
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[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily

That sets up a Batman I want to read. That sets up a Batman whose pain comes from guilt, not just from inaction. I think a lot of us, when we think about the worst parts of our life, we think about ourselves being involved in them. It’s not just the pain that was done to us but [also] the pain we caused ourselves. In looking at Batman and making him more human and raising the stakes of the series, I wanted to bring out that guilt. -- Tom King

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