xenologer: (bye bye)
Logicgate and I have decided that my personal polysphere is basically Paradigm City.

Here. You'll want to play this in another tab.

Nobody in our poly/kinky/gamer/burlesque monkeysphere appears to have any memory of their past. If they are smart enough to figure out how to operate cell phones and each other's genitals, they can have something of civilization. People can survive without knowing what did or didn't happen in the past. And each day they try their hardest to do just that.

Logicgate was concerned that because she has memories, she will be murdered. But I reminded her that she has the option of achieving mecha apotheosis instead, which is the option she is choosing.

Me? I perform a much-needed job in this city of amnesia. We even made a list of all my (pro bono) clients, and it was surprisingly long. Embarrassingly long. Such a long list, growing name by name without me noticing. Looks like even I live day to day playing out this role, the role of Paradigm City negotiator, without any memory of how I got here. But memories, like nightmares, sometimes come when you least expect them, these memories that tell me I am this person we call blueXenologer.



No matter what, no one on this planet can possibly know everything... no one. Just because it comes naturally does not mean it's my destiny. When others turn away from the lessons of their own pasts, do I always need to be the one to remind them? When they turn their eyes away from their own memories, leaving them in the dark that causes humans such instinctive fear, can I conquer that fear for them?

No. No one can conquer another's fears. Even when it comes as naturally as opening an umbrella in the rain, even if my memories tell me that it is what I have always done, people are not ruled by their memories. We have choices. Some people like to stand in the rain without an umbrella. That's what it means to live free.
xenologer: (Lisbeth)
Okay, so. I'm reading a lot about how Dynasty Young's mom shouldn't have sent him to school with a taser, generally because two wrongs don't make a right yada yada self-defense perpetuates the cycle of violence blah blah I am a privileged piece of shit who can count on people to sympathize with my problems and either protect or avenge me should things really get messy etcetera etcetera some Just World Fallacy in there as well because if Dynasty got expelled then he and his family definitely did something wrong here or it wouldn't have happened.

Here's my deal.

Victim-blaming is siding with the assailant. Yes it is. Yes. It is.

Considering that the school board basically told Dynasty it was his fault for being bullied because he comes off as being too gay, I think they know why he was being bullied and what was happening to him just wasn't important to them.

Now, it could be said that it wasn't important to them because they don't do jack about victims of bullying in general, which has been my experience. However, considering the victim-blaming Dynasty received, it doesn't sound like the school board disagreed with the bullies' opinion of LGBT people. They just might have liked the bullies to "express" that opinion off school grounds.

From what I learned about how public schools handle bullying, the right thing to do is always to tell an adult, but it's not generally going to do any good. There are certain kinds of people whose lives are just plain worth less to everyone else, and members of those groups always learn where they stand sooner or later.

For the record, my parents didn't send me to school with a weapon that was against the rules for me to have or that could be confiscated. Note that I didn't say they sent me with nothing. My dad just understood that if I can't count on administrators, then they must be assumed to be extra hazards.

If Dynasty's mom made any mistake here, it's in not treating the administrators as being as much her son's enemies as they really turned out to be. Dynasty deserved that weapon, but it gave administrators the excuse they needed to help homophobic bullies make his life miserable, and of course they took that excuse and ran with it.

Still, giving them an excuse to help homophobes mess with a gay kid's life doesn't make it her fault that they did. The administrators are still accountable for the fact that they took that opportunity and used it to make the situation even worse by picking the victim of bullying to make an example of.

That is such a cynical way of looking at it.

I don't mean to sound overly cynical here, because I am an optimist that we can make things better. The world doesn't have to be like this. However. This is what the world is like now; this is what we've got. I don't think Dynasty mattered to the administrators, because certain kinds of people are often treated as disposable, particularly for the sake of "keeping order."

The difference between me and a cynic is that I know we can do better than this. I just am not so starry-eyed that I'm willing to candy-coat what Dynasty's really up against and how long the list is of people who'd lose ZERO sleep over harm to this kid because of his orientation.

But! But! How can you say that adults don't care? I'M AN ADULT! D:

I think so many adults want kids to trust them SO BADLY that they've forgotten how few adults kids can really count on. We're not supposed to tell kids, "We can't protect you so you'll have to learn to protect yourself." But um. For a lot of kids it's true, and I think a lot of people reading probably learned that firsthand.

For those who didn't? Take it from me. Failing to teach children the real limits of what they can count on adults for is not merely teaching a lie--it's teaching a potentially dangerous one. There's generally a point at which politely requesting help from the powerful but disinterested authorities fails. As activist type people (which many of my friends are) many of us are aware of it, but get squeamish about applying it to children, because then we're including ourselves in the group of people that they can't always depend on, and that hurts.

It's still true, though.

I cannot romanticize my own younger years nearly hard enough to forget that. Maybe some people can, and anybody can talk a good long line about all of the things Dynasty's mom could have done beyond getting the school board and an independent panel to review the situation, but it seems like everything on that list amounts to a polite request for justice.

We all know how effective those are.

The only reason to make those polite requests is to preserve moral high ground for later. Basically: Do it so that you can say you did. You will need to be able to say that later for when every adult who promised to have your back inevitably betrays your trust, because your only weapon against them is your ability to destroy their credibility. Talk to them first to set up the shot.

It's not going to help, though. Maybe a lot of adults don't remember that, but some kids don't have the luxury of forgetting.

Also posted this over at Dissent of a Woman. As usual, if you want to share this, that's awesome, but if you could keep my LJ and Dreamwidth between us, I would appreciate that.
xenologer: (Lisbeth)
Okay so a gay high school student named Darnell "Dynasty" Young was getting bullied in my city and got suspended (in fact, I think he faces expulsion) because he brought a taser to school with him that he got from his mother because he was apparently afraid he'd need it! So he gets suspended, natch.

People who are not monsters are upset about this, because maybe if IPS did jack shit about the problem, he and his family wouldn't feel like he had nobody to protect him but himself. This is correct, in my opinion.

The problem is that someone I know who likes to have his name on shit decided to organize an action at a school board meeting a week from now and only after I'm like "hey are there organizations like Indiana Youth Group that are doing stuff that we should be supporting?" and then I find out that the dude's apparently had a few phone conversations with the IYG ExecDirector and is doing this on their behalf BUT DIDN'T MENTION THEM ON THE ORGANIZING PAGE.

Because that's not relevant information at all, right? Their participation is so trivial that he doesn't even need to tell anybody he called them. BAD SIGN.

So I am like, "Hey guys. Maybe the organization for LGBT teens should be the heart of this because it's about an LGBT teen. Maybe we should find out what they want by way of support before we try to offer it so that we do right things." An action on behalf of an LGBT teen without LGBT teens or people who've been LGBT teens is doomed to eventual failure because it failed at the start to empower the people WITHIN the movement that the movement seeks to empower overall.

Organizer guy: "...Oh. Yeah, we should do that."
Immediate response from other people: "Oh, hey! I didn't see anything about IYG. If this is an IYG thing, I'm in."
Me: =D

I have time, money, and no small number of ideas and a reasonable pile of organizing experience to offer, but if IYG is going to be a focus or beneficiary of this work, I refuse to treat them like they need this done for them. This is their fight; I'm just a resource. I'm willing to offer time, money, and organizing experience, but there is no reason why an action focused on the lives of LGBT teens should be entirely comprised of adult-aged straight people. Even if the guy who wants his name on this shit is right that they're geared toward offering programs and not political action, that still doesn't mean it's our job to do this for them and then offer them involvement.

Maybe this is just because I'm a canvasser, but just because someone doesn't know what to do doesn't mean they're useless and should just sit down and be grateful that someone else will handle it. It just means that they need some options to choose from and an opportunity to suggest new ones. We may know politics (though including this guy in that categorization is pretty generous considering how he conducted himself during Occupation stuff), but they know themselves. In what universe does this mean they're unable to contribute unless the middle-aged straight cisman makes calls and hands them a political action?

So I don't fuckin' know. Hopefully that thinking has been derailed early enough that something good will actually get organized with input from the organization in our city that exists to provide a support system for LGBT teens. I'm hoping that pointing out the GODDAMN OBVIOUS FACT that these are the people who best know the needs of the community we're trying to help has cut this shit down early enough, but I don't know. I'm going to keep an eye on it.

I knew that this happened, but I've never seen it in these early stages before. I know where it's headed because I've seen what this turns into, but wow. Never seen how it begins before. This is ridiculous. I just can't believe that he thought IYG's involvement was such a trivial matter that it wasn't even worth mentioning, but that he's doing this "on their behalf." Then, um. Why didn't you invite any of them to this discussion? O_o
xenologer: (objection!)
Clinical Trials and the Cultural Mania for Torture

I am against clinical trials.

Rather, I am against clinical trials as they are now conceived and implemented.

I am against the mass “treatment” of the desperately ill via the marketing of hope (and often one of “only hope”).

I have no stats and I’ll certainly update this next contention should someone share some valid and pertinent data with me: Surely most clinical trials offer zero benefit to any subjects in terms of quality of life and likely not even in quantity of life. (...)

With that as backdrop I’d go further and argue that “applied science” in the service of the consumption economy is intensely evil at its core as it becomes realized in this very way. We are subjects in one very long experiment. It is in utter dismay that I confront the fact that we honor, or at least offer deference to, by calling “science” and “research” and the noble character trait of man, the mania for discovery (exploration).

Harlow and Suomi, as vile as they are, are no exception. The “mad” scientist is the norm, fellow subjects, and the mad patient is his collaborator.


Douglas Storm doesn’t seem to know anything about experimental research after the sixties. I did my bachelor’s thesis for my anthropology degree on the use of authority and power in online communities, and I had to get IRB approval to interview people. To /talk to people/ under circumstances in which they were free to just not answer questions, and in which they were free to choose how I’d refer to them later if I did so. Why? Because that counts as human experimentation.

Now, the author undoubtedly wasn’t intending to discuss research like mine. I am fully confident that ethnographic fieldwork like mine isn’t even on the author’s radar, because it looks a lot like Storm doesn’t actually realize the full breadth of what he’s condemning. That’d require him to do more than read the Wikipedia article on Harlow’s research (and there are so many similarly awful old studies that the fact that he only mentioned Harlow suggests to me that he didn’t spend very long researching his opinion) and get really upset at everybody who so much as sorta seems like a scientist.

So to more directly address Storm’s apparently narrow area of exposure to research… Storm’s opposed to clinical testing, but is he opposed to marketing and selling /untested/ products? At that point, we’d all know they’re still being tested. They’d just be tested on people who didn’t consent and don’t know what they’re getting into, whereas contrary to what reading about one of the many nasty studies from decades ago might have indicated to Storm, there are standards for clinical trials or any kind of experimentation on living creatures (particularly creatures that can feel pain).

However, Storm’s against clinical testing. What does he propose happen to products intended for animals or people before they’re sold, then? I guarantee you we’d have a lot of the same medications and other consumables, but they’d be coming without that package insert that tells you what you’re getting into. I don’t know about you, but I like that package insert. It’s how I accomplish a little thing that researchers call “informed consent.” What Storm is suggesting is wildly irresponsible and would result in danger and harm to a lot of people.

How do I know this? Because that’s how it used to be before clinical trials were A Thing. That’s how snake oil salesmen worked. That’s how antifreeze ended up getting used as a sweetener in children’s medicine. Nobody did trials or studies because nobody had to, and you know what? People died. As someone whose loved ones /must/ take a whole host of medications for serious chronic ailments, I’m a little bothered that Storm is suggesting that “applied science” is an “intensely evil” force in our consumption economy.

I think Storm is blinded by his own able-bodied privilege in that he can just decide that science is bad and he doesn’t want any, and he can just decide that all of its effects are evil despite how many of them keep other people alive. Frankly, if Storm or his students have received vaccinations for lethal or disabling illnesses, “applied science” is keeping him alive, too. He’s just obviously able-bodied enough to ignore it.

Scientists need regulation. They need rules and ethical standards and accountability and consequences when those standards aren’t met. Why? Because, contrary to Storm’s narrowly-researched and ill-considered opinion, we need them.

A lot of people need them just to function day to day, and if Storm cares more about some bizarre notion of ideological orthodoxy ("applied science" is categorically "intensely evil" and no benefit to anyone can be admitted) than he cares about keeping chronically ill or disabled people alive and healthy, then Storm can seriously climb a wall of cocks.
xenologer: (I have arrived)
I've been following my local occupation protest, and have found it really fulfilling and energizing so far. I haven't been posting much by way of updates here because I do my organizing on Facebook for the most part these days. It's not inherently better for it, but for whatever reason that's been more effective, so I have concentrated my energies there.

MY CONTRIBUTION

What I've been doing during the Indy occupation's first week is what a lot of supporters have been doing: waiting to be told what they need. I know they speak for me, and I trust the people I know and have spoken to personally to be getting the issues discussed that I care about and considering solutions I'll find acceptable. What I didn't know was what I could possibly do to help. I contributed financially to the Wall Street Occupation because I know not everyone can. I offered at the medical tent at our kick-off rally to buy necessary supplies that hadn't been donated, because I was short on time but can financially do what a lot of them can't: pay for things.

Yesterday a friend told me that they needed notebooks and pens to take proper minutes at the meetings. I showed up with them, at the actual "let's be here round the clock" occupation for the first time, and asked to whom I should give them. Who's taking minutes?

Someone laughed and said, "You are!" I laughed and did it.

So that's how it worked. If you see a need and when you ask, it's not immediately apparent who is doing it, do it. I took minutes, and it felt great. I'm going back tonight specifically because I'm a good note-taker and I'll be able to get them posted online quickly. That will help keep the ground shifts and internet arms of the Indy occupation in communication with one another.

You can guess which of these made me feel like I was more a part of things.

Now, I can think of ways for us to make it easier for people to pitch in. We need to inventory our supplies, and if nobody has done that, I can do it tonight. That way we'll know what we have and what we still need. We need to streamline the way that the various working groups talk within the group and make the various discussions more orderly to follow than FB groups will allow, so I am hoping to help with a message board that gives each of our many working groups a subforum where their threads won't be dicked around by Facebook's scrolling format.

I have figured out how to find things to do, and my intended contribution is to spoonfeed those opportunities to people who haven't learned that yet. It's what I was waiting for someone to do for me at the start, which is my motivation to see that it's done for the next people.

BUT WHAT DO WE WANT?

There is still a lot of talk in the media right now about how the occupation movements are a fucking mysterious directionless mob that has no idea what it wants because they haven't presented a list of unified demands for everyone in it.

People who ask this are missing the point. I have been talking to people on Facebook who are confused that there's no bumper sticker statement that they can decide whether to sign onto or not. They want to know exactly what's been determined to be the priority of the movement before they go down and get involved. This is a reasonable desire, and it's the best idea when dealing with top-down sorts of organizations where priorities are announced and members can either sign on or join elsewhere.

That's not what this is, though.

If you want something specific and you aren't sure whether your local occupation is going to agree to push for it, then the solution is not to sit at home and wait to see what the attendees have decided.

For people who want a specific list of demands:

I can speak for many in my local General Assembly, I think, when I say that one reason a list of demands has not come out is that the specific things we want are enormous things like, "Stop letting corporate money influence elections." Rather than make that list and camp out until we get it, my General Assembly is talking about educating people about the problems in our electoral system, because frankly a lot of people do not even know yet.

How can we get people behind a list of demands if they:

A: Don't know the problem, and
B: Don't realize that decision-making could happen any other way than by having a list of options that all serve corporate interests more than our own?

We're teaching people about what money can do (and shouldn't do) in our country, and we're teaching them how direct democracy and consensus work.

I don't know what your General Assembly is doing, but if you don't like how they're handling themselves, I suggest you show up there to vote.
xenologer: (vagina)
Had to get up really early to be at the state house this morning, but it was worth it. I was testifying against a bill in a committee hearing to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana, and I got to be the first of the opposition to speak (right after the lady from Right to Life, sitting there with her mouth all pinched up tightly as a cat's asshole).

I'm pretty proud of how I did, and I think I helped. One of the Planned Parenthood lobbyists asked me to email her my testimony so that they could use it as an example of How It Is Done (eeeeee!) and so I thought I'd relay it to y'all as well.

My name is [my name], here on behalf of Planned Parenthood, mostly because of how much I owe of my own health and success to Planned Parenthood. I'm the first woman in my family to get a college degree. My parents were supportive, but we're a military family and as you're all aware, people don't enlist for the money.

My parents were proud, but when it came to the financial end of a $120,000 education, that was entirely up to me. I had no money left over for doctors. I literally endorsed my paychecks and physically handed them over to Butler University.

It would have been easy to sacrifice my health for the sake of being the first woman to finish, but thanks to Planned Parenthood it wasn't necessary. They clearly don't believe young women should have to choose between an education and basic preventative care, and Planned Parenthood are the people doing something about it.

I'll be 25 in a month and I've only had one routine pelvic that wasn't provided at reduced cost by Planned Parenthood. For years, that made Planned Parenthood the only place I could afford to get checkups. I had one shot to get a degree, and I was willing to put everything else second.

I still did do it. My late great-grandmother, who was a young woman during the Depression, got to see our family, after almost eighty years, produce a woman with a college degree. We're talking about a woman for whom birth control pills might as well have been magic. I wasn't stopped by poverty. I wasn't stopped by the looming threat of pregnancy derailing this dream for yet another generation.

If not for Planned Parenthood, I might have been. I see in this legislation a clear statement that women in my position should have to choose between our health and our education, that I should have had to choose: either I can have doctors or knowledge but not both.

It's 2011... and we can give women better options than that. Planned Parenthood are the people offering better options.

Reliable access to preventative care and birth control were the difference between the women in my family for the past eighty years and this woman now. When you're asking yourself whether you approve of Planned Parenthood's impact on this state, you are asking yourself about me.

Do you approve of Planned Parenthood's impact on my life? Or don't you?

Because Planned Parenthood gives women access to a legal procedure that some people may wish you could keep them from having, are you really going to let my success story be one of the last?

This bill has to go, and by saying so here today I hope to repay in small part the debt I owe to this organization. I'm proud to give this act of testifying and my tax dollars for Planned Parenthood and the patients who need them. Thank you for your time.


There's a chance the bill will indeed fail, because the Democrats on this committee are people I pretty much trust not to be horrible shits. I also don't think it'll pass because they try this every damn year. However, both the House and Senate in Indiana are controlled by Republicans, so there's no saying for certain what fuckery they'll get up to.

I'm going back tomorrow, and this time the mister is coming with me. I mentioned offhand to the Planned Parenthood people that he's a pharmacist, and they told me the House added a bill regulating a RU-486 in a particular very stupid way to the committee schedule at the last minute. I got an emphatic Facebook message from the Planned Parenthood lobbyist ("CALL ME" and her phone number. "Right now?" "YES."). She wants him to be available to read a statement on the bill written by one of his former professors and answer questions if the representatives have them.

The Planned Parenthood lobbyist who alerted me to all this told him that we're her new favorite couple. We're my favorite couple, too. The couple that cockpunches the patriarchy together stays together, yeah?
xenologer: (cocky Kamina)
Dear Apathetic and Cynical Democrats:

If anybody screws up our momentum and advantage, it's going to be you. You're sitting there, wallowing in your learned helplessness, telling yourself that you already worked hard, and it didn't make everything all better. Can't you just sit this one out? You'll have the bonus of being right about yourselves: you can't do anything, nothing that you manage to do will matter, and nothing that you do which matters will last.

I don't want that. Do you? Maybe. Does it have to be that way? No. You were laying groundwork before, and you were laying it for this. You think it won't make a difference whether you work to get more Democrats in office or not? You think it won't? Why? It did last time. Six months ago we got the first piece of our health care reform passed, and a lot of it goes into effect today. Right before the mid-term election, things have changed.

Health Care Reform Changes Effective Today
Starting today, for example, insurers won't be able to exclude children from coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Rescission, which led to many Americans losing their coverage when they needed it most, is forbidden. Young people can now stay on their parents' plan until age 26. Preventive care -- including colonoscopies, mammograms, and immunizations -- must now be covered without co-payments.

Republicans intend to take all of this away, of course, and will fight tooth and nail next year if voters reward them with a majority.


For more details, the White House has a website dedicated to the new law, and you can probably find some good stuff in there.

I'm posting this as a reminder to everybody that this, new credit card regulations, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Tribal Law and Order Act, and a host of other things are why you guys need to get up off your asses and make sure that the Republicans don't take back the House this November. The few small reforms we've managed to get done are all things that they hate, and they absolutely will take them away if we invite them in the door. You know it and I know it.

About the Democratic candidates, and about us: )
xenologer: (Default)
The Gratitude Project was begun several years ago by a LiveJournal user called estaratshirai . The rules are simple. Every day between Lammas (August 1st) and Mabon (the Autumnal Equinox) one must find something to be grateful for in life. No repeats - one can be grateful to people more than once, but it has to be for different reasons.

Friday:

I'm grateful to live in a city where we can get out of a movie at midnight and just sort of go find something to do for another couple of hours.

Saturday:

I think it's awesome that I bought these jeans for five dollars. I'm grateful for that.
xenologer: (Default)
The Gratitude Project was begun several years ago by a LiveJournal user called estaratshirai . The rules are simple. Every day between Lammas (August 1st) and Mabon (the Autumnal Equinox) one must find something to be grateful for in life. No repeats - one can be grateful to people more than once, but it has to be for different reasons.

Friday:

I'm grateful to live in a city where we can get out of a movie at midnight and just sort of go find something to do for another couple of hours.

Saturday:

I think it's awesome that I bought these jeans for five dollars. I'm grateful for that.
xenologer: (Default)
The Gratitude Project was begun several years ago by a LiveJournal user called estaratshirai . The rules are simple. Every day between Lammas (August 1st) and Mabon (the Autumnal Equinox) one must find something to be grateful for in life. No repeats - one can be grateful to people more than once, but it has to be for different reasons.

Friday:

I'm grateful to live in a city where we can get out of a movie at midnight and just sort of go find something to do for another couple of hours.

Saturday:

I think it's awesome that I bought these jeans for five dollars. I'm grateful for that.
xenologer: (Default)
This is why we can't have nice things.

Take a wild guess precisely where in central Indiana we are right now.

xenologer: (Default)
This is why we can't have nice things.

Take a wild guess precisely where in central Indiana we are right now.

xenologer: (Default)
This is why we can't have nice things.

Take a wild guess precisely where in central Indiana we are right now.

xenologer: (Default)

I hear a lot of oddball stuff at the door from people who don't believe that what Citizens Action Coalition does matters. We generally go for the consumer rights angle with these people, since talking to them about the air they breathe doesn't work (it just reminds them that Rush Limbaugh doesn't believe in global warming), talking to them about the water they drink doesn't work (since most of them have enough money to buy bottled water and do), and talking to them about their rates going up doesn't always work either (because they believe that standing up to the utilities will only increase the cost of doing business and therefore raise their rates in the end).

All that I can deal with. It's really not that unusual or difficult, since it all amounts to one thing. "None of those things can happen to me. I have money, therefore I am invincible."

But there are a few things that they bring up that are really sort of mind-bending. Not all Republicans are dumb like this; there are a lot of them who are far more environmental in their approach than they want to admit (perhaps because it might get them associated with liberals to admit that they care whether we pollute our groundwater). Some of the best logical disconnects I've seen are as follows:

"Wind and solar can't replace coal. What we need is more nuclear." Never mind the fact that wind and solar can and--in some states--do replace coal. The good bit is what often follows. "In France they get all their power from nuclear, and they've even got a way to recycle the waste so that it's clean now, too. That's what we need to do."

That's right! I have heard hardcore Conservative Republicans tell me that America should be more like France. Are you seeing why this totally blows my mind? The appropriate reply to them is obviously that French citizens pay half or more of their income in taxes, a huge amount of which goes toward paying for their nuclear program. Don't believe nuclear is expensive? Then why do nuclear states have electric bills twice as high as non-nuclear states. If Republicans want their rates or their taxes to go up, they should pick which way they want to pay. Either way they will.

AND ANYWAY WHEN DID THEY WANT US TO BECOME MORE LIKE FRANCE WTF

I also love hearing from these people that nuclear is so clean because the reactor only puts steam into the air. What the fuck do they care? These people don't believe in global warming anyway, so it ought to matter to them that the reactor puts out less air pollution, but at the expense of

  • contaminated water (and less of it, since nuclear power plants require billions of gallons of water that they're legally allowed to take from nearby cities' drinking water in a drought, since the choice between thirsty poor people and dying crops is cake compared to a nuclear meltdown),
  • national security risk (since even a decommissioned nuclear plant is an awesome target for a terrorist attack, and we can't mine all our uranium in the USA anyway, often getting it from countries that don't like us),
  • higher utility rates,
  • and the use of taxpayers as collateral for everything nuclear-related (see the Price-Anderson Act, which means that if a company wants to build a nuclear plant and defaults on their loan, if a company makes a mistake and the plant melts down, or really anything goes wrong, they're not liable; taxpayers are).

So yeah, it's a little better for the air, but all of those others things outweigh that. They should outweigh that even further for Republicans.

So why are they so pro-nuclear? Because the coal-dependent utility companies who make more money by spending more money (and yes, they're paid based on their expenses, which means their projects don't have to be successful or efficient--just expensive) did an advertising campaign decades ago talking about how great nuclear power was for the environment. These ads stopped because those companies got sued for lying in their ads, but not everyone knows that or cares.

Now, the fact that our government is actually acknowledging that global warming happens means that this is coming up again. They're being more careful not to state that nuclear power is actually environmentally-friendly at all (since now they know they can get sued over it and will lose), but they're still pointing out that this'd be an awesome way to reduce our carbon footprint (never mind that 1% of our coal plants in this country go to power uranium refinement and that'll only increase if we build more nuclear power plants).

This is something I hear a lot. "You guys aren't in favor of nuclear, are you? You've kept them from building any nuclear plants in this state; I don't support you guys."

The appropriate answer is, "Nuclear power is expensive, and if we let utility companies charge you for a nuclear plant, your rates would double. Everyone's rates would double, which is our members don't want. Also, we're not the ones who shut down Marble Hill. The regulators did that because the spending had gotten so high that it was no longer the project they'd approved. We're just the ones who got ratepayers a refund for all the money that had been wasted building a plant that never went online. We keep rates low in Indiana. Is that work you can support?"

At which point I point them back down to our support statement, and if they say no, I walk away and hope their neighbors are smarter than they are. Staying and arguing wastes my time, and only lets people like that think they're important.
xenologer: (did they hear me)
Place we canvassed today kind of pissed me off, because I was supposed to walk back to our pickup point along about a quarter of a mile of totally unlit suburb and unlit country road. A couple male coworkers met me along the way and I had a big fucking stick that I'd picked up early in my shift, but it still kind of freaked me out.

Then I found out on our ride home that Martinsville is apparently a huge Klan haven in Indiana. Which explained why the other burb went to Greencastle instead. One of our canvassers is black. According to one coworker, in a place like Martinsville and when it's getting dark now before we finish at nine, "he'd be dead."

And you know what? First off, it just burns me that there are places like this that my employer just straight-up has to make sure his black canvassers do not go. Secondly, if people in Martinsville are that fucking hateful and violent... is a woman alone all that much safer there than a black guy?

The most frightening thing about racist people, at least to me, is not how deeply and insanely they are capable of feeling and acting upon hate. It's how nice they seem when they're talking to a white girl. It's how fucking friendly and fucking concerned for my goddamned safety they are in a town where those very same people would string me right the fuck up if I weren't the same color they are.

God damn this place. I never want to canvass there again. Night left me feeling like shit. As my partner said, "I'm sorry. I know it's not my fault, but in a cold and impersonal universe that will never apologize, somebody should."

To every person of color I know and to every white person with a conscience, please accept my apology on behalf of this fucked-up universe we live in.
xenologer: (did they hear me)
Place we canvassed today kind of pissed me off, because I was supposed to walk back to our pickup point along about a quarter of a mile of totally unlit suburb and unlit country road. A couple male coworkers met me along the way and I had a big fucking stick that I'd picked up early in my shift, but it still kind of freaked me out.

Then I found out on our ride home that Martinsville is apparently a huge Klan haven in Indiana. Which explained why the other burb went to Greencastle instead. One of our canvassers is black. According to one coworker, in a place like Martinsville and when it's getting dark now before we finish at nine, "he'd be dead."

And you know what? First off, it just burns me that there are places like this that my employer just straight-up has to make sure his black canvassers do not go. Secondly, if people in Martinsville are that fucking hateful and violent... is a woman alone all that much safer there than a black guy?

The most frightening thing about racist people, at least to me, is not how deeply and insanely they are capable of feeling and acting upon hate. It's how nice they seem when they're talking to a white girl. It's how fucking friendly and fucking concerned for my goddamned safety they are in a town where those very same people would string me right the fuck up if I weren't the same color they are.

God damn this place. I never want to canvass there again. Night left me feeling like shit. As my partner said, "I'm sorry. I know it's not my fault, but in a cold and impersonal universe that will never apologize, somebody should."

To every person of color I know and to every white person with a conscience, please accept my apology on behalf of this fucked-up universe we live in.
xenologer: (did they hear me)
Place we canvassed today kind of pissed me off, because I was supposed to walk back to our pickup point along about a quarter of a mile of totally unlit suburb and unlit country road. A couple male coworkers met me along the way and I had a big fucking stick that I'd picked up early in my shift, but it still kind of freaked me out.

Then I found out on our ride home that Martinsville is apparently a huge Klan haven in Indiana. Which explained why the other burb went to Greencastle instead. One of our canvassers is black. According to one coworker, in a place like Martinsville and when it's getting dark now before we finish at nine, "he'd be dead."

And you know what? First off, it just burns me that there are places like this that my employer just straight-up has to make sure his black canvassers do not go. Secondly, if people in Martinsville are that fucking hateful and violent... is a woman alone all that much safer there than a black guy?

The most frightening thing about racist people, at least to me, is not how deeply and insanely they are capable of feeling and acting upon hate. It's how nice they seem when they're talking to a white girl. It's how fucking friendly and fucking concerned for my goddamned safety they are in a town where those very same people would string me right the fuck up if I weren't the same color they are.

God damn this place. I never want to canvass there again. Night left me feeling like shit. As my partner said, "I'm sorry. I know it's not my fault, but in a cold and impersonal universe that will never apologize, somebody should."

To every person of color I know and to every white person with a conscience, please accept my apology on behalf of this fucked-up universe we live in.
xenologer: (specious argument)
It has occurred to me that not everyone reading who is from Indiana is following our state politics. I'm obviously not going to share any insider information (or at least, I wouldn't if I had any), but if you're following various blogs and whatnot, you'll get something like this:

Cut for MORE PIE THAN YOUR STATE HOUSE HAS ROOM FOR. )
xenologer: (specious argument)
It has occurred to me that not everyone reading who is from Indiana is following our state politics. I'm obviously not going to share any insider information (or at least, I wouldn't if I had any), but if you're following various blogs and whatnot, you'll get something like this:

Cut for MORE PIE THAN YOUR STATE HOUSE HAS ROOM FOR. )
xenologer: (specious argument)
It has occurred to me that not everyone reading who is from Indiana is following our state politics. I'm obviously not going to share any insider information (or at least, I wouldn't if I had any), but if you're following various blogs and whatnot, you'll get something like this:

Cut for MORE PIE THAN YOUR STATE HOUSE HAS ROOM FOR. )

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