Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Every 30 Year Old Should Have A Unicorn and a Magic Ring...


This sort of delusion bullshit just goes to show that "financial planners" and "experts" have no idea how most of the USA actually lives.


In fact, less than 60% of our country now earns enough to live a secure middle-class existence. Almost no one can afford to save any money, much less a "three to six months of living expenses." Almost everyone is in debt -- almost always due to living expenses, including medical expenses. Only 40% of the country can handle a $400 emergency.

This is America right now.

Frankly, I am impressed that Ocasio-Cortez had $7000 in the bank, and I promise you she only had that much because she had no children, and has had no medical emergencies. Before I was married and before I had cancer, I had a big chunk of money saved too.

"Plan to save 15%" is charming advice. Plan all you like. Life has other plans.


Monday, November 19, 2018

Oh Look


Trump's favorite philosopher:





Scamming People for Jesus


Over at Patheos some time back, Libby Anne wrote about a tactic young Evangelicals use -- are taught to use -- which is quite similar to one con men use, not surprisingly.

They find an "in," some area of commonality between them and the 'target,' as Evangelicals call it (or 'mark,' to be more honest about what they're looking for).

In other words, they're looking for common human ground between them and their mark, something they can play on. Once they find this common human ground, they exploit it.

This has happened to my kid, up in Fayetteville, more than once now. My kid is very sweet, with a lot of empathy. They also look gay -- so gay. (Dyed bright purple hair, plaid denim jacket, no makeup.) Invariably a pretty little Evangelical Christian child will sit down next to them and say, in friendly voice, "I like your hair!"

Among the LGBT kids, this is code for, I'm queer, are you queer too?

So my kid responds with a friendly, "Thank you!"

And the Evangelical Christian does some friendly chat, just as if she actually likes the kid, and actually wants to be friends with the kid. And the kid is thinking, aw, I've found a friend, a queer friend, this is nice.

And then the Evangelical asks if the kid wants to come learn about Jesus.

And now my Kid feels stupid, like they're an idiot for thinking anyone would actually want to talk to them, or be friends with them. This Evangelical has made it very clear that the only reason anyone would sit down next to them is in order to run a scam on them -- to lie to them, to cheat them, to con them.

Because they're broken, obviously.

Because they're something that needs to be fixed.

Is this what Evangelicals think their God wants them to do to people? That's what Jesus commands them to do?  Lie to people? Treat them like marks to be cheated and conned into their churches? Make them feel like fools and idiots for trusting people?

I hope one day these people grow up and never stop cringing at how they treated their fellow human beings.


UPDATE: Just to make it clear, I don't blame this little Evangelical child. She's been sent out by someone -- likely someone as brainwashed as herself -- and told to do this horrible thing to her fellow human beings. She's been given a script to follow. She's been told she has to do this, or these poor LGBT sinners will burn in hell. So no. I don't blame her. It is still an evil thing to do, and it is an evil thing to teach her to do. There is a reason bearing false witness is a sin.






Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday Links


Have some links!

Anne Theriault makes a connection





I...what?



Why Trump (and his base) want to repeal the 14th Amendment (Spoilers: it's because they're racists)

This YouTube series on Mad Max: Fury Road is really good. Kind of long, but it's broken into 8 or 9 minute segments, so you can pace yourself.



Doggo has a COMPLAINT:



Saturday, November 17, 2018

My Kid Does Comics


You should be reading my Kid's comic!




You can find it here or here!

We'll Get the Rest in 2020


Some Good News





Update on Rod Dreher's Exorcism


This is my surprised face:


I mean, really, this isn't even remotely funny. This poor woman and her terrible husband are deeply disturbed, and since he probably has her convinced that she's possessed by demons, she's in deep trouble.

Religion can do a lot of good in the world. I've seen that happen. But it can also do horrible, ugly, evil things like this. This is the main reason I'm so wary of it. I've seen it destroy too many people and their families. Once you start believing in one impossible thing, it's very easy for a charismatic leader to make you believe in other impossible things.

Once you lose your ability to determine what is factually true, to tell what is real from what someone is making up -- once you can no longer evaluate evidence, in other words, and determine what is real and what is fantasy or myth or propaganda or just something someone else made up, for whatever reason -- you are lost.

Anyone can tell you anything, and make you believe it. How will you know? This demon is why your tooth hurts. That chemical is why your child can't read. This crystal will cure your backache. Those people are possessed by witches, they are the enemy of the people. Any of those could be true, or all of them. You have no way to tell. You'll just believe whatever the 'right' people tell you, and disbelieve whatever the 'wrong' people tell you.

And then you'll end up drinking Kool-Aid in a jungle somewhere, or voting for Donald Trump, or having your husband hold you down while a priest performs an exorcism on you, grimly insisting that the reason you hate him is that you're infested by a demon.

Yeah, that's the ticket.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Two Posts


Yesterday Rod Dreher tweeted this:



(This seems to be the 'friend' he is talking about. Notice how earnestly he insists these people must be believed because they travel in Europe.)

Today, he posted this charming item, in which he detailed, scathingly, a young trans man's interview about his journey through an adolescence marked with anxiety and depression, among other things. As someone who has dealt with the psychiatric community, I know how much a 'diagnosis' is worth. And I know why Scout calls himself crazy -- it's a way of reclaiming the word.

Rod uses inaccurate and frankly vicious language about Scout, misgenders him, and finally claims that he's an "abomination." This is typical of Rod, of course. I don't know what his issue is with queer people in general, and trans people in specific, but boy does it run deep. It's not just hatred: He's obsessed.

Anyway! My point, and I do have one: Who do you think needs more time in a therapist's chair at this point, Scout or Rod?


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Review of my Novel at Analog


This is nice -- my novel Fault Lines got a lovely review in Analog:

Fans of fun space opera are a sure audience for this book, but you might also consider giving it to anyone who likes stories of families, either biological or chosen. Those who fancy historical tales about mercantile dynasties would also enjoy it.

New Review up at Strange Horizons


My review of Virginia Bergin's Who Runs the World is up at Strange Horizons.


Go here to read it!


Moving to the Left


Camestros makes an interesting argument here.

I may just like it because I have thought for years that we should move further to the Left as a country, mind you. What we call 'Left' in the USA is laughably conservative.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Doing Without


So it's been almost two weeks now without gluten, and I'm feeling much better.

Sadly, this makes me conclude that gluten is probably the culprit.

Sadly, because that means I've gotta continue to give up gluten. I've been living on fruit, eggs, nuts, rice, and cheese, potatoes, coffee and cream for the past 13 days. I am here to tell you it is a diet that can get old.

On the other hand, doing with stomach cramps, nausea and exhaustion is quite nice.

I guess I'ma have to start reading some of those gluten-free cookbooks.

Bah.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Shared Mythos on the Right


For my sins, I read more RW blogs than are probably good for me, and I can attest that the common myths Camestros discusses here are right on.

One of them, the Islamic takeover of Europe, featured on Rod* Dreher's blog just today. And of course, there is the ever popular notion that at universities we do nothing but brainwash students and shriek about gender issues and racism sexism trans people. One blog I visit which makes these claims is run by someone who works at a university, so it's not that this person doesn't know better.

Of course I know why conservative bloggers push these lies and nonsense -- it gets eyes on their pages. Anything for money, I suppose, here in America, where the One True God is Capitalism.






*To be fair, I think Rod Dreher might actually believe these conservative myths. He really is that gullible, after all -- he's always running stories on his blog about how some ghost or the other spoke to someone's dying cousin, or a statue bled ichor that cured some orphan in some mountains somewhere. If he had lived in the Middle Ages, he'd have a house full of One True Crosses and finger bones from Saint Peter.


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Whaaaat?


Yeah, here's a shock.

The White House has shared [doctored] footage posted by an editor of [the] conspiracy theory website [Infowars] showing Jim Acosta making contact with a Trump aide, in a bid to justify its suspension of the CNN reporter’s press pass.
Mr Acosta “placed his hands on” a female aide trying to retrieve a microphone as the journalist repeatedly questioned the president, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed in a statement posted to Twitter.
Apparently the whole "Acosta assaulted that poor girl" started on the White Nationalist Twitter feed, and -- of course -- the Trump White House picked it up and made it part of their narrative.

And the mainstream Conservatives seized on it, because White Nationalist narratives are their brand.

This is America.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Who You Gonna Believe?


This thing with Acosta is amazing.

We have it on video. We can all watch the video -- over and over if we want to. We can all see that Jim Acosta did not, in fact, "lay hands" on the White House aide.






And yet, Trump supporters are coming out with escalating stories, ramping up their versions. I just saw one who claimed that Acosta "threw her aside like a rag doll."

I suppose that once you start down that road, leaving facts and evidence aside for lies and propaganda, once you start making up the world, reality soon becomes entirely irrelevant.

ETA: Yes, this:




ETA #2:

NOW someone on Twitter is claiming that in the video Acosta "clearly" grabs her breast. And therefore it is sexual assault. OMG.

Rod Dreher claimed on his blog that if Democrats didn't take the House back liberals would "lose their minds." I guess as usual he was projecting, since we see what's happening to conservatives now that Democrats did take the House.