#Truth

Bodies aren’t meant to stay the same. We are supposed to grow and change. We shouldn’t be making people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, etc. feel like they need to strive for the bodies they had in their teens and 20’s. Or making people feel like they ‘need to get their bodies back’ after they have had children. These mindsets aren’t healthy and change is inevitable.”

As I’ve written about before, I have to say that cancer (and to a lesser extent, simply getting older) was my own body image wake up call. Among the other things it changed in my life, cancer obliterated my decades-long obsession with losing weight. Except for during my 20s when I wore size 31 jeans, I’ve always been—in Sears catalog parlance—husky, and when the weight started padding on in my mid-30s, my mantra became, “If I could only lose another 20 lbs. I could…wear tank tops to pride parades, get a boyfriend, win the lottery, blah, blah, blah.” (Truth be told, even when I was wearing size 31 jeans I considered myself fat.) After I came through on the other side of the cancer treatment however, for the first time in my life, none of that was important any more. I was actually comfortable in my own skin and I learned that it was so much easier to just take care of myself, eat as healthy as possible, and simply accept who I was rather than to fixate on what size jeans I had to buy.

On Blogging

There a few reasons why I’m sad about the decline of independent blogs, and why I think they’re still worth fighting for.

Ultimately, it comes down to two things: ownership and control.

Here, I control my words. Nobody can shut this site down, run annoying ads on it, or sell it to a phone company. Nobody can tell me what I can or can’t say, and I have complete control over the way it’s displayed. Nobody except me can change the URL structure, breaking 14 years of links to content on the web.” ~ Andy Baio

My Westworld Theory

For those of you who have been watching HBO’S Westworld, and are as obsessed with the story as I am, I have a theory.

SPOILERS AHEAD…

For several weeks I’ve been entertaining the idea that not only was Bernard a host (confirmed in Episode 8), but so is Ford. This seemed to be revealed in a brief bit of dialog last night that I didn’t catch until a second viewing. When Bernard confronted Ford in cold storage and demanded full access to all his memories, Bernard looked at Ford and said, “Arnold built us, didn’t he? Which means maybe he had something different in mind for us. And maybe you killed him for it.”

Built us.

There were only two people in that scene: Ford and Bernard. (Clementine was in the room, but standing off to the side and I believe her presence can be safely ignored since it was not even implied that Arnold had any part in her creation).

Furthermore, it is my belief that not only is Ford a host, but also that he—despite the fact we were told last night that Dolores committed the act—was the one who actually killed Arnold…

A Letter to My Electors

I emailed the following to my state’s electors who provided contact information. You can find a list of your Electors here. I seriously doubt that enough of them can be swayed (all of mine are Republicans) to keep Trump out of office, but we can sure as hell try.

_________________________________________

Respected Electors,

We are rapidly approaching a pivotal moment in American history. On December 19th, you and other members of the Electoral College will be called upon to cast your votes for the next President of the United States.

This election has been contentious and fraught with questionable behavior on the part of both candidates, but only one of those candidates was supported by a small group of racist, nationalist individuals who owe their history to and base their philosophy on the KKK and rise of the Third Reich in Germany in the 1930s.

Since his election on November 8th, Donald Trump has begun assembling his Cabinet and support staff from what are inarguably the least qualified individuals in the history of this Republic; a vast majority of whom have no—or at the least very limited—experience in government. Instead of “draining the swamp” as Mr. Trump vowed during the campaign, he has surrounded himself with exactly the type of individuals beholden to the corporate interests whom he had promised to remove from the machinery of government.

There is no disagreement that both parties offered the American people flawed candidates. As was often heard, “This is the best we can do?” but only Mr. Trump has shown his unwillingness to adhere to long-standing existing international treaties and his steadfast refusal to embrace to the most basic tenants of what is required for the successful transition of power—not to mention his unrestrained emotional outbursts, his unbridled narcissism, and his continuing blatant disregard for established constitutional law calling upon him to divest himself of his worldwide business dealings really call into question his overall fitness to assume the Office of President. Running the country is not an episode of Celebrity Apprentice.

Please remember this is the man who during his campaign vowed to jail his opponent, dismantle the First Amendment and said, “We have nukes. Why can’t we use them?”

In addition, serious questions are being raised regarding the part Russian Intelligence and hacking played in this election, as well as Mr. Trump’s and his advisors’ ties to Vladimir Putin, leader of a nation openly hostile to the security and interests of the United States and our longstanding allies in western Europe. Currently efforts are underway to audit the vote in several key states to verify the integrity of this election, a process that is necessary regardless of the eventual outcome so that the American people can be secure in their knowledge that our elections are free of outside influence and accurately reflect the will of the voters. The level of distrust in the results of this election and the fact that the pre-election polls were so wildly inaccurate are unprecedented in American history and need to be properly addressed before the next President takes office.

As of this writing, Hillary Clinton is winning the popular vote by more than two million ballots and that number is rising daily. Mr. Trump may have won the Electoral College November 8th, but he has lost the popular vote. More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. Please keep that in mind.

When the actual number of eligible voters versus the number of people who actually voted is taken into account, Mr. Trump won not by a close 50-50 split, but rather was selected by only about 25% of the American public. He has no mandate from the people to enact the kind of sweeping changes to our country that has many fearing for their lives and their ability to live as free American citizens.

As we approach the date when a final determination of the winner of this election must be confirmed by the Electoral College, I ask that you look into your heart and ask if Donald Trump’s vision of America—something that flies in the face of our 240 years of history and for which millions have fought and died to protect—is something you want for yourself, your children, and your grandchildren. Enough red flags have been raised to say this election is not business as usual, and unlike the Germans in the 1930s who had no historical precedent to warn them of the horror that was approaching, we do—and the parallels between 85 years ago and what Donald Trump is proposing in 2016 are unnerving.

You have a momentous choice ahead of you: vote for the candidate called on November 8th, abstain from voting altogether, or vote for the admittedly imperfect but infinitely more qualified candidate who actually won the popular vote, Hillary Clinton. For the good of the country and our planet, I respectfully ask that you put country before party and do the latter.

I’m Going To Miss Seeing Pictures Like This

And considering there are no plans to send any more probes to Saturn during my lifetime I’m incredibly lucky to have lived during this mission.

Cassini Completes Final Close Enceladus Flyby

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun transmitting data and images from the mission’s final close flyby of Saturn’s active moon Enceladus. Cassini passed Enceladus at a distance of 3,106 miles (4,999 kilometers) on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 9:49 a.m. PST (12:49 p.m. EST).

After revealing Enceladus’ surprising geologic activity in 2005, Cassini made a series of discoveries about the material gushing from warm fractures near its south pole. Scientists announced strong evidence for a regional subsurface sea in 2014, revising their understanding in 2015 to confirm that the moon hosts a global ocean beneath its icy crust.

Trying To Make Sense Of It All

I know it’s a losing proposition, but I was standing in the shower this morning trying to figure out where all this unbridled hate that’s running in the streets of this country has come from. Why now, and most importantly, what do the 25% of eligible voters who actually voted for the asshole and apparently agree with—or at least overlook—the overt racism Trump has vociferously denounced encouraged actually think is going to happen when the man assumes power?

Okay, for the sake of argument let’s assume that Trump gets his magic wall constructed (who is going to build it and exactly how the thing is actually going to get built remains another huge question) and somehow manages to successfully rip countless families apart and deport several million undocumented immigrants to Mexico. Do he or his minions have any idea what that is going to do to the economy? Do they seriously think that many people can be removed from the machinery of commerce without any negative repercussions? Do they even care?

“No, gol-durnit, because all those Mexicans are gonna be gone!”

I believe that not too long ago a group of regressive legislators in some southern hellhole tried to rid their state of all those pesky undocumented laborers and found themselves with millions of acres of cotton (or some agricultural product) rotting in the fields for lack of workers to pick it. Did all their state’s out-of-work white workers line up to take their places?

Of course they didn’t. BECAUSE AMERICANS DON’T WANT TO DO THESE JOBS. If they did there wouldn’t be a market for undocumented workers in the first place!

Who exactly do they think is going to pick their vegetables (or scrub their toilets, or pave their roads or perform the myriad other unskilled labor jobs that are ostensibly performed by non-whites—documented and otherwise—in this country)? Do they think their unemployed cousins, nieces, aunts, brothers, sisters, or other blood relatives are going to flood the employment offices in a rush to clean urinals? Are they willing to stand out there in the soon to be universal hundred plus degree summer heat and lay asphalt? (Because apparently not only are we going to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, but we’re actually going to roll back  existing environmental regulations as well, pretty much assuring that Florida will be completely underwater sooner rather than later—and considering the role that godforsaken state has played in recent elections that might not be such a bad thing.)

Of course they won’t…and they certainly aren’t going to agree to do it for minimum wage (which will probably also be abolished before long, come to think of it). But don’t worry—Trump is going to bring all those manufacturing jobs back to ‘murika!

Get ready for your shiny new iPhone to cost $2000—at least—if Apple is forced to bring their manufacturing back to these shores.

The people who seem to want to “make America great white again,” AKA the low information voters who apparently think the Cheeto-faced Shitgibbon is going to wave a magic wand and make all their lives better don’t really seem to have a clue about the unintended consequences of what Trump’s promises (if they’re even actually fulfilled) will do to their lives, because that would actually involve thinking beyond their blind racism. No, it’s easier to blame their own continued unemployment on the hoards of brown-skinned workers literally flooding across the border (Faux News said so!) instead of—I dunno—actually doing something about improving their skill sets so they are employable in a 21st century economy.

Are they prepared to take on their aging parents’ medical expenses after Medicare is wiped out? Do any of them have financial portfolios (or enough money stuffed in a sock under the mattress) that will provide the bare minimum of subsistence that Social Security would at least provide?

Somehow I seriously doubt that as well.

And who’s going to pay for their medical care after “Obamacare” is repealed?

And since we’re on the subject of rolling back all social progress of the last 80 years, can someone please tell me how preventing gays from marrying (or mixed races for that matter, because while nothing has been said about it I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to hear that’s coming once the easy targets have fallen)—or worse—is going to improve their marriages and their lives? In fact, how is taking away someone else’s rights supposed to increase your own? Just once I’d like to hear one of these troglodytes explain how that happens.

I’m Not Alone

From Wil Wheaton:

It is five in the morning. After a little over four hours of restless sleep, I got out of bed before my tossing and turning woke up Anne. I’m not sleeping much recently, and what sleep I do get is plagued by nightmares.

It’s been raining all night, which I realize isn’t something worth mentioning for most people, but it hasn’t rained here in Los Angeles since 1856, so it’s kind of a big deal. Back in the old days, when it rained a few times a year, before the myth of climate change tricked us all into believing that we’re having a terrible drought that apparently doesn’t really exist, we would sleep with the window open on rainy nights, so we could hear and smell the rain.

My dogs looked at me with confusion when I got out of bed, then did the dog equivalent of shrugging their shoulders and burying themselves back into the covers. My cat wants me to let him out, stop the rain, dry off the patio, and then let him back in. And then back out. And then back in again because he’s a cat.

So. Let’s get to it: we’re fucked. Nothing matters, everything is terrible, and we’re living in a nightmare that hasn’t even begun to hint at how bad it’s going to get. I’ve been spending a lot of time going through the stages of grief, and though it’s mostly a lot of anger, I’m bargaining: maybe the Electoral College will step in and prevent this fucking catastrophe from happening. Maybe the vote will be audited in some of these states where the devil won by just barely over one percent, which is honestly kind of suspicious. Maybe the Democrats in Congress will be joined by a few principled Republicans (they exist, right? They have to exist, don’t they?) and the white nationalist cabinet this president elect wants to install won’t be confirmed.

Bargaining. I know it isn’t going to happen. I know we’re fucked.

Twenty-five percent of eligible voters elected a racist demagogue who has never held a single elected office in his life, a seventy year-old man who has the temperament of a child. I still can’t believe it. When I hear the news say “President Elect Trump” it turns my stomach. It’s such an affront to the country, to the office of the presidency, it feels like it isn’t real.

Hate crimes are happening all over the country. White supremacists, anti-semites, and the absolute worst of humanity feels validated by this election, and they are boldly and fearlessly attacking people, declaring that this election — votes cast by one in four eligible voters — endorses their hateful, bigoted, regressive world view.

Anger. This never should have happened.

How can so many people, even if they are a statistical minority, have no problem supporting a racist for president? What are these fucking idiots going to do when all the things he promised them don’t happen? They say they were voting against corruption and lobbyists and Establishment Washington, but one look at the men this narcissistic sociopath wants in the highest positions of government reveals that none of those things will be reflected in his administration. They won’t get their jobs, they won’t get their draining of the swamp, but we’re all going to get the racism, bigotry, ignorance, and white supremacy they had no problem voting for.

Denial. Somehow, someone is going to do something to stop this from happening. He’s breaking all sorts of ethical rules. He’s breaking diplomatic norms. He doesn’t even want to live in the fucking White House! He doesn’t want the job, he just wants the attention. This can’t be happening.

And back to Anger. And then more Bargaining.

And Depression. So much Depression.

Paul Ryan is going to destroy Medicare, just because he can. Because he is a selfish, evil, despicable man. For the first time in the history of the nation, the Senate refused to confirm a Supreme Court justice (and apparently even the fucking Democrats who we’re supposed to count on to fight back are fine with it) and now our nation will deal with a regressive, right-wing majority on the court for the rest of my life. The Republicans are going to roll back and undo and destroy as much of the social progress of the last 40 years as they can, and in the richest country in the world, our citizens will suffer needlessly, because people like Paul Ryan subscribe to a selfish, hateful, myopic philosophy created by an asshole who never had to experience the consequences of her bullshit.

All of this, and more, because of twenty-five percent of voters.

Oh, there’s Anger again.

And so it goes, this cycle of grief, for my country, for the freedom and hope and opportunity I’ve always believed is fundamental to the American identity, for my fellow humans who are going to suffer now and in the future.

All because twenty-five percent of voters looked at this despicable, hateful, ignorant liar, and voted for him and everything he represents.

Kakistocracy

Over the past few days, I’ve stumbled upon a word that more of us should know as it so perfectly captures this moment in time. Commit this one to memory, because you’re probably going to want to use it often:

Kakistocracy n. (kak·is·toc·ra·cy / kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi) Government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.

REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

The origins of kakistocracy are actually pretty neat. The term was first used around 1829 and was coined as an opposite to “aristocracy”. It comes from the Greek “kakistos” or “worst”, which is the superlative form of “kakos” or “bad”. Switch the “k” to a “c” and you have the root of modern words like “cacophony”.

But here’s where it gets even more fun. “Kakos” is closely related to “Caco” or “defecate”. As we saw above, it’s essentially the same phonetic sounds and has similar modern words derived from it.

Today, you’ll find this in the Greek “Kakke” “human excrement”, Latin “cacare”, Irish “caccaim”, Serbo-Croatian “kakati”, Armenian “k’akor”, Old English “cac-hus” or “latrine”, Dutch “kak”, German “Kacke”, and the school-yard favorite “caca”.

So in this trying time, remember the word “kakistocracy”.

Quite literally, government by the shittiest.

(Source)

I Think My Anxiety Has Finally Caught Up With Me

I woke from a dream this morning that has left me both shaken and reassured.

A storm had blown into town. It was one of those once-in-a-century things (much like the storm that hit Phoenix a year ago in August). The sky was dark. I mean dark. It hadn’t started raining yet, but the wind was whipping about, and that was pretty bad in and of itself. Ben and I were sitting in the living room when all of a sudden we heard a tremendous thud on the roof.

I went outside. The wind had died down and it was eerily quiet. The darkness was now punctuated by a ray of sunlight coming from a break in the clouds, hitting squarely on our yard, allowing me to clearly see survey what had happened. The first thing I noticed were the rivers of what at first thought was water pouring off the eaves of the house. It looked like rain, but on closer examination it was actually dirt. That’s weird, I thought. I then stepped off the porch and looked around. The tree out front was stripped of its leaves and branches; there was debris everywhere. Then I looked up.

There were a lot of shingles missing from the roof. “Nothing that can’t be repaired,” I thought. But then as turned my head the source of the tremendous thud was apparent: there was now a huge, 15-foot side hole in middle of the roof, and the edge of a pallet full of rolled sod was now sitting where that part of the roof used to be.

It could only have been a tornado, I thought.

“Ben!” I yelled, “Come here!”

Ben came out and looked and the damage. I swear I’d never seen him so frightened in my life; the color completely drained from his face. At the same time my thought was, “Nothing inside was damaged. We and the dogs are all safe. The hole can be covered with a tarp until it can be repaired. And most importantly, our landlords (who live right next door but whose home seemed undamaged) have insurance on this place.

“We need to go next door,” I said. Ben motioned for me to stay put, and as he started walking over there, he fell to the ground on all fours and started wretching.

I came away from this dream with several insights. Yes, a storm is coming. There will be damage, but Ben and I will survive. And most importantly, there are people out there who will have our backs.

 

This Man…

…has more class in his little finger than the entire incoming Trump administration possesses in its entirety.

(Photos via Pete Souza)

While I never agreed 100% with everything Obama did during his tenure in the White House, I will still take solace in knowing that if the United States descends into madness after 20 January 2017, I had the pleasure of living through what was still one of the greatest Administrations this country has seen.

Barack, Michelle…I’m going to miss you and your exceptional family. After Tuesday’s election I’m not sure we ever deserved you, but I’m grateful we had the opportunity.

What the Trumplodytes Can’t Seem To Grasp…

…is that even though their God Emperor won the election (yet lost the popular vote, by an ever-increasing margin), this does not give them license to freely go around beating up anyone they don’t like and act like they’re now above the law.

BECAUSE THEY AREN’T.

The United States is a still a country of laws, and if they go beating on someone, threatening lives, or commit any number of the other horrific acts that have occurred in ONLY THE LAST TEN DAYS and they’re caught, they will pay the price. They will go to jail. This isn’t a free-for-all, and it isn’t The Purge.

So if you see any of this shit going down, intervene if you feel safe doing so, or at the very least get a good description of the assailants, use your goddamned cell phone for something beyond Candy Crush and CALL THE FUCKING COPS so these animals can be caged…while you still can.