Regarding the 2nd Amendment

It’s been a fucker of a week. Lots to say over here. But I’m going to start with the respawn of the gun control/gun sense debate in the wake of the horrific shooting in Parkdale, Florida.

I’ve been really annoyed by people who regurgitate old, already-debunked talking points like “What about Chicago” (not the gun murder capital of the US, people) and “It’s not about guns it’s about mental illness” (no, it’s really not) and then say the 2nd Amendment must be protected.

Thing is?

The 2nd Amendment is already not being followed because we don’t have any well-regulated militias. That’s what the damn amendment STARTS with. It’s supposed to be part of the whole dynamic.

Because of that, when talking to 2A proponents I’m gonna REALLY put the 2nd amendment in their faces. So – you want a gun? I propose you join a militia. I propose militias be legal entities registered with the Department of Defense, which would be put into play during disasters in their local areas, helping clean and protect people who have lost walls and locks and whatnot. Anyone can start a militia… and this means even a new Black Panther party. (The number of concealed carry license applications are up for Black women in Chicago, so I can totally see women starting their own militia.) Gun purchase would require proof of current well-regulated militia membership in good standing. Any gun carry requires valid and current militia membership card, and any citizen who sees a civilian carry is entitled to demand they show their card. Militias would be responsible financially for ANY collateral damage one of their members inflicts or suffers…. including paying for toddlers’ funerals. If someone goes off the rails, the militia is fined for not regulating their membership and no one can buy, use, or carry a gun for the next however long. Militias are not allowed to lobby, and no one is allowed to bring a gun to a political protest where emotions will run high.

Let’s tell the 2A proponents we’re making this as obvious as asking someone for their keys when they’re too drunk to drive – asking someone for the keys to their gun safe when they’re angry or frightened, and assure them they’ll have protection from the rest of the militia.

And since that’s all in alignment with the 2nd amendment? the NRA should be on board, right?

 

As if a tweet is going to bug Kirsten Gillibrand…

In case you haven’t seen it, content warning for the tweet mocking KG having shaming implications.

I’m not going to post it here, because this isn’t a news blog.

But.
But.

44.5 called Senator Gillibrand “Schumer’s flunky.”

ahaha. aha.
*snerk*

*reads it again*

BAHAHAHAHAHA!

The woman who is the ONLY senator in Washington who voted against all 20 of 44.5’s nominees, a flunky for that guy? THAT guy? Ohhh that just shows how desperate 44.5 is. Deeesperate. She stood stronger than either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders in those hearings and continues to stand strong. I mean, sure, she’s a politician like any other, and has her flaws. But she’s placed her flag, and it’s firmly on the progressive side.

Woooo I had been avoiding the news because it’s like everything is opening a new wound, but that one had me laughing.

“A Real Catastrophe”

Lin-Manuel Miranda was right. 44.5 IS going straight to hell.

He’s the real catastrophe.

Between that awful, evil statement about Puerto Rico today and this article on Vox, I might explode from rage. And I don’t even have any relatives there – just an ex-coworker from there. I can’t imagine what folks who have family/friends there are feeling right now. Particularly since they’ve been in budget crisis for years, so this is the worst of all possible scenarios.

I send anyone affected all my love.

So Much Going On In the World

It’s the time of year when sorrows overflow. Hurricane season is beating up the coasts, from the Caribbean and the US southeast to South Asia on up to freaking Nepal. Brutal forest fires line the whole West Coast of America. Rohingya refugees flee from Myanmar to flood-wracked Bangladesh. Earthquakes in Mexico. We’re fighting real Nazis here in America, as well as people who claim they’re just conservative but who are really Nazi-adjacent. They’re like Vichy America.*

Finally, there’s 44.5 and his bullshit over DACA.

Seriously. If a group of politicians really wanted a better replacement for something, they would not suggest repealing it first. They come up with a bill to modify or replace, and submit that fucker to Congress.  44.5 tried the whole “get rid of it then we start over” with health care and no one bit.

These kids are amazing, extraordinary kids. They’re *paying* to stay here; they’re not getting anything for free. This has been as much their home as anyone who grew up here. For most kids, we don’t think of home as where our passport is from – we think of home as where we went to school, or learned to ride a bike, or first realized that that kid on the swingset with us was our best friend.

This jackass up there in the seat of power doesn’t care how cruel he is. And I’m seeing a lot of similarities in the people who support him.

In the middle of all the other devastation happening in the world, I can’t even wrap my mind around why.

 

 

* More about this one later. It’s been wriggling around my mind since Charlottesville.

No Justice For Philando Castile

I’ve been trying to figure out what to say, here.

The man who shot another man – he shot an innocent man, a man who did *everything* right according to law and public opinion – was acquitted.

It’s not like I’ve seen justice for others. The list of names to say is very long.

The thing that hurts here is that Castile did everything perfectly. There’s nothing to argue with here (though I know tons will try). On the live tape, when his partner asked, in terror, why the officer shot Philando Castile… the officer answered “I don’t know.”

Twice.

I saw that. I saw that on that video. The officer *didn’t know* why he pulled the trigger.

For that to be excused, to be glossed over? That’s nauseating. So any person at any time can be gunned down by a police officer and nothing will happen….

Oh wait. Except for white folks who shoot at people of color. They don’t get gunned down at all. They get taken alive.

Seriously, what the fuck?? There’s no justice here. The system worked the way it is supposed to work but there is no justice. I have believed that for years, but now I really know in a way I didn’t before.

Also, this travesty was just a few days after the shooting of GOP politicians. Those folks are crying and accusing “the left” of causing this.

Oh really? *looks pointedly at the list of acquittals*

Things have GOT to change.

 

I am being denied Services I Paid For…

NASA meatball

NASA had to create a rogue Twitter account to get around a gag order.

And so is the rest of America.

We PAY for those governmental agencies that are currently being censored on Twitter and in general. The EPA was not allowed to tell people who *depend on their grants* that they weren’t going to get their money. NASA, the Parks Service, and other organizations that are paid for through my tax money – and that I WANT to pay for through my tax money – are having their public speaking curtailed.

I am fucking furious. I pay for these things. I want to pay for these things. That’s MY stuff.

And it’s yours too.

Speak out. Those orgs are yours. You have been paying for them for years and at the VERY least we deserve a download of our data (thanks for taking the initiative, NASA) and an announcement that our services are being curtailed – PLUS a reason.

I mean, really, folks. If Comcast or ATT or or had cut off our internet, we’d be screaming bloody murder.

Let’s apply the same fury now.

We Take Care of Our People

captain_americas_shield

Created by Ponfield. Used under Creative Commons license BY-SA 4.0

Excuse me while I indulge in some comic book geekery.

I have to admit, I was never a Captain America fan. I came to comics when comics came to TV, where Wonder Woman, Hulk, and Spider-Man were visible and adored. The late-70s movies for Captain America weren’t interesting and didn’t tap into the 1940s FDR-loving ideals of the comic – I know I watched them, but I don’t remember them at all. So I went on my way, blissfully ignorant of what an amazing character Cap was at start.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like Cap was an easy character to write after 1960. In the 1940s, assigning a compelling enemy was easy. Super heroes fought Hitler. Wonder Woman, my favorite, started that way. Thing is, Diana Prince has a rich history of Greek mythology to work with when Nazis are not the most popular villians (the fact of which astounds me but is completely true). Cap came of age in the Great Depression, in Brooklyn, with the Axis powers as the greatest evil America had faced. Once they were gone? That made it tougher. Who else was out there for Cap to fight, to stand against in the name of American values? While one would think, based on his history as a Great Depression kid, poverty would be pretty high on the Cap hit list? That never quite flew in a politics-averse publishing industry. DC Golden Age had characters with a lot of options for stories. Golden Age Marvel is not half as rich with characters we know and love today*.

But really, while I love Wonder Woman/Diana (will always love Diana), America is not her people. I admit that. Paradise Island/Themyscira is her people. She leaves her people to help us. Superman is set up with the same scenario but more distant, and Batman? Well, only Gotham is his people. In the Marvel world, Hulk doesn’t have *any* people because of his situation, and most of the Avengers kind of have that “do we have people?” conundrum.

But Captain America?

His people fill the United States. We are his people.

He explicitly fights for ALL of us, not just white folks or an ambiguous American Way that you just put on a flagpole to pay lip service. In the 40s he used to fight corporate tax evaders. (I’d love to see one of those stories resurrected these days.) He fought in WW2 with a multi-cultural group of people. He fought for Jewish folk, for black folk (though all-too-briefly for my taste), for immigrants, for anyone threatened by fascism.

And that leads me to my point today.

We need the spirit of Cap. We need the lessons he provided. We need the memory of his shield, given to him by President Roosevelt, nearly indestructible.

We know who we are. We take care of our people.

Together, we will be that shield.

 

*(Side note – it’s interesting to me that Groot existed before Guardians of the Galaxy did. I’m hoping someone at Marvel will resurrect Warwolf.)

The Alt-Right Are Not Only White Supremacists Let’s Stop Using That

Just a reminder, folks, that as we’re making sure to define alt-Right for what it is… using white supremacy as the way in which we define them harms anti-racist conversations in the long term. The term “white supremacy” is used also to define a system of normalizing white people at the expense of POC, and creating a white Christian perspective on American culture that centers political, social and economic power in white hands. White supremacy is a system all white people inadvertently … well, some inadvertently, some deliberately – participate in here in America, and it is oppressive and detrimental (I know, redundant) to people of color in this country.

This means that if framing alt-right as white supremacy succeeds, anyone with good intentions hearing the word will have a gut-level “oh God no I’m not like them.” This will hobble anti-racist efforts trying to educate others using white supremacy to describe the system rather than the belief.

The alt-right are white nationalists.  That includes white supremacy.