Sunday, February 25, 2018

American Gun Rights: Why are we fighting to keep guns in the hands of future criminals?

The idea that some person with guns is going to fight off the government isn't a sound one for arguing for gun rights. For one thing, the examples of Waco and Ruby Ridge should have pretty much summed up by now why that's a bad argument. If the government wants to take you out, they are taking you out. That in itself is a major problem that gun culture is not only NOT solving, its probably making worse by suggesting to people that having stores of weapons is somehow going to make them safe in a conflict, whereas we're probably just more likely to witness another standoff wherein children are put into danger and more often than not, killed.
In the same breath I hear "criminals don't follow laws so how is making guns illegal going to stop them", which lines "criminals" out like people that aren't any of "us" and that's ridiculous. Things that are perfectly legal in ONE state would make you a "criminal" in another. Criminality comes usually out of a place of desperation, lack of education and/or opportunity, existential threat, deprivation, etc. Most people are not born with a "criminal" mindset, and even the mentally ill are usually not specifically more dangerous to a society (some extremely rare exceptions do exist, but writing the mentally ill off as a whole is a careless and dangerous thing to do). A life circumstance beyond your immediate control could force you into engaging in "criminal" acts to save your life or protect your family. You know, like shooting a person (which is pretty much illegal).
For some, legal use of guns and legal gun ownership is considered more criminal than others. We have a law enforcement and judicial system that disproportionately impacts people of darker skin. Racism in relation to gun access and laws is a whole different Pandora's box of problems, as well. Philando Castile was not a criminal, informed an officer appropriately about having a gun that he was licensed to carry, and was shot to death as a passenger in a car in front of his girlfriend and her toddler. Had that jumpy ass officer aimed his gun so much as an inch to the right, he'd have SHOT that toddler in her car seat. More guns did not help that situation. Marissa Alexander was being abused and was in fear of her and her infant's life, so she fired a WARNING SHOT into the upper corner of a wall in her home to scare back her abusive husband and was GIVEN 20 YEARS in prison, while the next year in the same state George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, whom he had literally stalked during the course of an evening and was told by law enforcement to stop following and he was let off on the same "stand your ground" defense that failed Ms. Alexander (whose conviction was thrown out on appeal after a few years, thank God). More guns are not helping in these situations either.
So, we have some incompatible ideas going on here. If you engage in a standoff against police (enforcement arm of government), that's pretty illegal and would be considered criminal behavior. Hell, I would think that planning for such an event in advance by its own nature would be considered conspiracy in regard to future criminal acts. Yet, I find that a commonality found with the pro-gun crowd is a pro-police mentality, yet at the same time, the pro-gun crowd tends to bandy about the idea that you have to have guns to fight off the government which would first be ..the police. So, you don't want "criminals" to be the only ones getting guns cause what.. if.. you.. need.. to do something.. criminal, too? I don't get it.
Rather, I do get it, but it's hypocritical as fuck and a dangerous mindset to feel that you're entitled to kill people but no one else is. Yet at the same time, lets make sure people have more guns.
Seriously, fuck this. Keep a lever-action rifle at home in case shit gets hairy or you have a maniac banging down your door. Tell me why you need to not only have guns, but an armory full of guns that can kill people faster than fuck, like rapid-fire weapons?
Who are these "criminals" again?

Yeah, they probably won't, dude..
yeah, they probably won't, huh?

The Feminine Context

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Progressive Community Clusterfuck Breakdown, a la TFC

*deep breath*
#1: I have left almost all the online Green groups I have belonged to for the better part of a year.
I support the Green party platform. I do NOT support the rise of the "Green party twatform".
Take your party shaming, purity testing shit down the ramp. We can have these kinds of petty difference squabbles when we knock down a few immediate, looming, BIG FUCKING PROBLEMS we should probably be dealing with instead.
Get your noses out of joint, goddamnit. We have shit to do, all of us. I'm done listening to everything and everyone be maligned over some nonsensical tinfoil hat, chemtrail, hippie bullshit purity tests that literally any and everyone could fail. I'm done watching people IN the Green groups nitpicking each other and everyone else to death. It's counter-productive and I'm not going to be involving myself in it, listening to/reading it, or entertaining that bullshit. Keep it AWAY from me.
#2: We all know INTENTIONAL, institutional racism is wrong and shitty. It's literally killing people every day. We seem to be way too content with ignoring inadvertent personal racism, and that's the death of progress.
Inadvertent personal racism is also wrong and shitty, but its both common and a phenomena that (as we can see from the last week or two) gets caught in a web of cognitive dissonance and hurt feelings, then silkspun by a great big defensive spider to the point that we can't even see the elements to the problem anymore. Fuck, we could barely see it to begin with and that's why it occurred.
It's not terribly difficult to fix, in practice. We're just scared of the practice for a variety of reasons (upon which people can, have, and do write endless academic papers that I won't emulate here). The point being, we sometimes need to shut up and listen and not assume we're being maligned because someone wants us to stop what we were doing and CONSIDER doing something else. You're not being attacked for being asked to listen to an alternate viewpoint.
We're making assumptions that are defensive and insecure, and its literally suffocating any hope of a productive conversation. When you are confronted, the assumption is NOT (and should not necessarily be immediately perceived as such) that you are a BAD person because you did something that someone found offensive or that you were oblivious to something that elicited very strong, negative reactions in someone else. If that were the case, the person petitioning your ear wouldn't be bothering. The assumption instead is that you are a GOOD person with sense who might simply be unaware of aspects to certain situations that you haven't had the opportunity to experience the exact same way as someone else.
That's it, y'all. The assumption you can actually SAFELY make is that we all see the world through different lenses, crafted by our experiences, relationships, and society. The SAFE assumption from that is simply that your experience is quite probably not exactly the same as someone else's. From that assumption, you can drop the defensiveness and actually hear what someone else has to say when they question your statements or actions. Being asked to think is not a punishment.
Inadvertent racism helps to support intentional racism, which is why it must be carefully deconstructed. Now, sometimes unpacking this inadvertent racism can be tricky. Know that its not SUPPOSED to "feel good" all the time. Growth does not come from remaining perpetually in comfortable and familiar places. Sometimes that means you're going to have to call out that one relative you really like, like Auntie Clau--- er.. CINDY, and tell her she's got shit backwards. It's going to make you feel like crap because you know she was oblivious to what she did, but you also know that there are at least five truths you can count on here:
1: Right is right, and it applies to everyone.
2: ^ Same thing goes for "wrong".
3: It might be better that you be the one to take her aside and try to explain things, before everyone on the Internet hands her a silver platter with her own ass on it.
4: "Letting it go" as a friend/family member only reinforces more of that behavior/speech/action. If you're never "wrong" there's no incentive or reason to change.
5: Being a hypocrite is lame and you don't wanna.
and one more..
#3: Can everyone stop being so fucking reactionary for like FIFTEEN MINUTES?
With the amount of drive and heart within progressive people, we might actually make something out of that fifteen minutes if everyone could stop trying to find excuses to change their status to "Butthurt" at all times.
This goes for everyone. Not just the people getting the hurt feels. This goes for you assholes with the witty comments who KNOW you're rubbing salt in an already salty wound.
For fucks' sake, knock this shit off for a week. Everyone needs to either organize and get the fuck over shit, or take a brief vacation.


The Feminine Context

Monday, February 6, 2017

Divide to Conquer: Progressive Parties For All

Okay fellow and beloved progressive people. We need to have a civil, polite, respectful conversation about party affiliation. We need to pick parties. We need to accept not only that we're not all going to pick the same parties, but that it might be in our best interest to NOT all pick the same party. Even better, supporting each other toward taking needed, differing directions might be the most empowering thing we could do to forward progressive change in our country.

I've seen people suggesting that we join the Republican party to forward progressive candidates THERE because the Democratic party is far too corrupt to trust again. Some of us want to go Green/Independent/(Insert Alternate Party Here), and some of us want to go rip roots out of the current Democratic party and start there. As you continue to read, when I refer to the Green party, please assume I am referring to them and any other 3rd party that is trying to create its own power base.

The true answer is that all of these approaches can and will work, provided everyone can stop being assholes about it. We can actually divide and conquer, moving all of these directions simultaneously. I think that might be the best way to go, if purely for the sake of MOVEMENT. Right now, we're not moving anywhere and doing anything. Currently, we're all too damn busy beating one another about the head for so much as considering a party affiliation that seems to oppose our own party of choice.

A progressive infiltration of any party, and even all parties at once, very much COULD work. Ripping one another to shreds is going to make this multi-pronged attack a lot more difficult, though.

Personally, I'm heading back into the fray of the Dem party SPECIFICALLY to go in there and cause nothing but hell for the people currently in power. My aim is to help elect NEW people and to maintain my ability to vote where it counts, object where it counts, and I don't have any notions of uniting with corporatist Dems. I will not be donating money directly to the Dem party to do what it wants to do - if I were to donate time or money, it will be toward SPECIFIC candidates trying to move into that party who reflect my progressive values.

I don't know how successful the idea of moving into the Republican party will actually be, but the mere act of moving forward and attempting to work on common ground principles within the GOP could only result in one of two things: either progress toward building better Republicans, or a massive "brick wall" opposition of exisiting Republicans, which should be enough to get progressives to eventually abandon the idea and find a party affliation they CAN work with. I can see a lot of good work being done by progressives should they enter the Republican party, if just because that party (like the Dems) requires a bit of agitation in its ranks and a re-evaluation of what's important to American voters.

I do NOT believe we will encounter the same sorts of resistance in the Democrat party because progressive voters and Democratic voters do share a lot of the same ideals and values. The disagreement between the two left-leaning groups focuses mainly on whether the DNC is trustworthy or properly conducting its business. While Dems and Progressives DO agree, Progressives would like to take their fight farther left and the main argument with current Democrats is simply that they don't think its entirely possible. This is not exactly a disagreement so much as a lack of faith in a system that BOTH groups can agree is slow, ineffective, and unwilling to take bold steps.

As the Trump administration carries on, I see a huge potential for the Dem party to sweep in a massive number of members for the sole purpose of ridding our country of Trump. The republican party is currently doing itself no favors by backing him in all of his obscenely awful executive orders, and its becoming abundantly clear that Trump has no idea what he's doing from day to day. There is every reason to believe that as the public grows weary of Trump, they're going to lean to whichever direction appears to be the strongest opposition to him. The majority of American voters lean toward one of the two major ruling parties, and since Republicans chose Trump as their man, there's only one clear direction to go to oppose him.

I think we're foolish to assume that the Democractic party will do anything but strengthen as Trump's admininstration continues to agitate the American public. As such, our standing on our "principles" by avoiding them entirely isn't going to hurt Team Blue a goddamn bit. The Democratic party doesn't need US to get the majority numbers they will need to rise in power. Trump's going to do all that work for them, and they can sit back and reap the rewards of it in due time. Leaving the DNC to its own devices, staying OUT of it and not demanding any change from them is going to allow corporatist Democrats to run wild with power in 2018 and 2020.

We've seen this before. While there are a handful of us (comparitively speaking) who will do our research and will ask the hard questions, most voters are fairly apathetic. A large number of people who intend to vote, somehow don't make it out. Lots of people will flat out tell you they don't vote because they see no point in it. The general unwillingness to vote is a clear indicator of how habituated Americans are to corruption, and it results in a certain kind of listless apathy which makes voters easier to manipulate.

That being said, I really and truly support Green candidates across the board, as the Green party doesn't accept or promote corporatism. When possible in general/midterm elections, I'm happy to vote for Greens if no one progressive enough for my liking is running under the Blue banner or if said Green candidate is a better choice. If I feel this way about Greens, why am I not JOINING the Greens?

Greens are simply weak, if not utterly ineffective in the face of the two predominant ruling parties. On the state level, Greens can start working to gain a lot of power in their regions and should do so. Purely on state and regional levels, Greens COULD, in fact, make a lot happen. On a national level, the two ruling parties are going to need to have their foundations rocked and their monolithic presence chiseled down a bit to afford the Greens ANY potential as a national force to be reckoned with.

It's going to take a weakening of the two national parties' dominance and opposition to a third party uprising, and some major grassroots effort on the part of the Green in order for this to happen. There is literally no way around the fact that a lot of changes will HAVE to be made to allow for third parties to get a foothold, and that we desperately need more than two parties if we're ever to have proper representation of the needs and will of the people.

Take note of this in that I am not writing off the Green party entirely. Our problem is that we need to pursue realistic long-term goals, and its going to take some time to develop the Green party appropriately to present a national threat to the current duopoly. Those of us in states where there's not a snowball's chance in hell at developing a strong Green base can actually HELP along the Green party by aligning ourselves with one of the two major national parties and raising what hell we can toward the pursuit of placing progressive-minded candidates in whatever party positions we can. It's more realistic to consider 3rd parties an eventual goal that currently needs participants within all parties to ensure their national viability in the future.

I think we're shooting ourselves in the damn foot with all this division, silencing, purity testing, and nonsense. It's going to take all of us, but we're not going to be afforded the luxury of moving in one specific direction (as we did behind Bernie) for the greatest amount of change to occur. Some states have a GREAT number of progressive citizens and common ideals, and Greens have an excellent starting point to build a hell of a party within those specific regional areas. On the national level, however, the two party system currently reigns supreme and I cannot fathom any way to break that stranglehold unless the Republican and Democratic parties are either weakened or modified from the inside, with a strong emphasis on changing how they typically do business and why.

So, in essence, JOIN the party that you want to pursue change within. It's fine. Join the one you see avenues and angles you could work. Either way any of us go, its going to be a hell of a fight. We have to cease the infighting, though, lest it just be used against us and our goals. I think we're better off with representatives everywhere, pushing forward, than we are sitting in our frustrated herds and nitpicking one another to death.

Why couldn't we do this, instead? Why couldn't we not only join the parties we feel we could exert changes and progressive empowerment within, and STILL be united. We could share strategies and campaigns between us, crossing party lines and developing non-partisan solutions, pushing forward a progressive agenda from all angles.

For the love of fuck, join SOMETHING. We're all stagnating while we argue about it, and at the end of the day, we all want the same things. Going multiple directions isn't necessarily going to result in failure, and might be the unique, forward-thinking, PROGRESSIVE approach needed to shake this broken, failing, damnable system.

Bonus Reading: A basic guide to elections from 

The Feminine Context