Thoughts on politics, religion, violence, inequality, social control, change, and random other things from an autonomous, analytical, adopted, abolitionist, anarchist who likes the letter A

Archive for the ‘Misc’

Things You Might Have Missed

May 16, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc


Cool SOA Watch posters can be procured here.

If any of you read Italian, one of my blog posts is in A-Rivista Anarchica.

A small victory for us. The PG County police did not live tweet a prostitution sting. In fact, there was no sting.

Short and fascinating interview with Jessica Gordon on her new book about the history of black cooperatives.

If skipping school had been an imprisonable offense when I was a kid, I’d still be in prison.

Of course, they’ll lock you up for going to school to.

Victoria Law’s newest on women getting strip searched and filmed by male guards in prison just made my skin crawl.

Also creepy as shit, Violet Blue on our future of total surveillance. But don’t worry says the government. Future us won’t have read 1984.

“You have no idea. People in this state are scared that the little things they do have, they’re afraid they’ll be taken from them,” he says. “You know how people talk about the Confederacy? This still is the Confederacy. Besides fast-food, Alabama’s main industry is prisons.” – says the fast food worker on strike who was later arrested.

Everyone is talking about those girls in Nigeria. Lots of people are calling for military action without having any idea of he history there. Please read Glen Ford’s article before you start beating a war drum.

Interesting interview with Peggy McIntosh, the woman who really kicked off the “privilege” conversation.

Rural hospitals are getting screwed by their local anti-Obamacare governments and by the Obama administration.

Depressed after reading all of these? Don’t worry. Total societal collapse is only a couple decades away.

Things You Might Have Missed

May 05, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Orozco painting in the Museo de Arte Carillo GilEver wonder why the whole world celebrates labor day on May 1st? Did you know that May 1 in this country is “loyalty day?” The Nation explains.

In case you have ever thought about a volunteer vacation, read this on how growing Western demand for altruistic vacations is feeding the white-savior industrial complex.

Speaking of the white-savior industrial complex. There is a very good article on Reason about how early “white slavery” scares justified our current surveillance state.

It is so important for people to understand how children of color are targeted and harassed by cops. The stop and frisk stats just don’t bring it home as clearly as this.

In Phoenix, if you offend the delicate sensibilities of the state, you will have your choice of prison or church. In PG County, the police will just live tweet your arrest.

Wisconsin is now the first and only state to require that police shootings not be investigated by the police. I’ll be curious to see if it helps any.

Which women get thrown in solitary confinement? The ones who report sexual abuse by guards, or have a mental illness…You can read more here.

A new study shows that a conservative estimate of false convictions of those sentenced to death is 4.1%. Radley Balko has been asking his readers how many innocent people put to death would be acceptable to them.

What about for other cases? How many innocent people in prison is acceptable? And when someone is innocent, is it acceptable that they lose days, months, or years of their lives with no compensation?

You know what, I don’t actually want to read about the longevity revolution on the same week I read about how the life expectancy of poor women is actually decreasing.

Good post by Sikivu Hutchinson on Unpacking White Jewish Racism.

And finally Questlove on How Hip Hop Failed Black America.


Four Decades Doesn’t Totally Suck

May 02, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Gold sequin disco shoesAs some of you may have picked up on from reading my birthday post from last year, I wasn’t too happy about turning forty. I think I spent the entire preceding year in denial. And then there was that attempt I made to celebrate for 40 days straight. I’m fairly certain that my liver still holds a grudge. Today I’m feeling surprisingly o.k. about being an old fart. And that is despite some chronic health bullshit that is making me all too aware that the body isn’t gonna be getting any better.

So I’ve been sitting here thinking about whether or not I’ve learned anything in 41 years.

This is when I’m supposed to go into some nonsense about how life gets better and we all get wiser. That’s a lie. Sometimes life gets worse. Health almost always gets worse. A lot of us are getting poorer. People get sick and die. Governments repress. People do terrible things to one another. And there are a whole lot of people who use their years on earth perfecting their ability to remain willfully ignorant rather than actually learn something.

I don’t know how much I’ve learned. But I do know I’ve changed.

  • My wanderlust has decreased significantly. I still like adventures, but I don’t want to spend all my time travelling and there are many places in the world I am quite fine with never seeing for myself.
  • Instead of travelling I’d rather spend more time with my friends, building the kind of communities of trust and support that make life and social change possible. (And also getting wasted.)
  • I used to think I could just put my nose to the grind and get things done and was contemptuous of people who spent all their time shmoozing. Now I think life is about relationships and that I need to learn the art of shmoozing.
  • I no longer think the next thing is going to be better. Sometimes it is. Sometimes the next thing sucks ass.
  • I try to stop myself from thinking big. It’s the little things that add up. Too much focus on the grand gestures, the big protests… It can really fuck us up. It is part of the ladder climbing mentality that we need to escape.
  • I’m a huge grudge holder, but I’ve gotten better knowing all the mistakes I’ve made.
  • I still feel the need to always be accomplishing something, but am working on my ability to do nothing without guilt.
  • I have to work harder to dig up the righteous anger that we should all feel for every single injustice, even when the story is as old as time.
  • I believe middle-aged hormones are even worse than teen hormones. But I have more agency and can make people get out of my face easier.

I’m sure there is more, but I need to get off my ass so that I can go get wasted and nap in a park. Because the weather is beautiful. And I plan on spending this birthday weekend getting drunk with friends, doing nothing without guilt, and feeling very lucky that I am spending my birthday with dozens of beautiful, imperfect people who I love and who are willing to wear polyester for my ridiculous disco party.

Also I have ludicrous shoes.

Today does not suck.


Things You Might Have Missed

April 20, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Graffiti in DCThis article about social security going after people for their parents supposed debts made me so furious.

You may be following the protests in New Mexico. But don’t forget that murderous cops are everywhere. Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin put together a body count for Memphis.

The thing about protesting immigrant detention from the inside is that they can just deport you.

A little reminder about the struggles that indigenous people are in, especially on the border.

More Than 900 Workers Have Already Died Building Qatar’s World Cup Infrastructure. How is this even a little bit ok?

Cannot wait to read Astra Taylor’s new book. This section on women and the internet is spot on.

We all need to take up the cause of working less. Getting our time back might just be the most important bit of activism we can do.

Also helpful would be making our spaces a lot more hospitable to children and caregivers.

And can we all keep ego out and remember that activism comes in many forms, not just the ones that put you in the spotlight.

This came out like a month ago, but on the off chance that you did not read Ta-Nehisi Coates takedown of liberals willful ignorance at how white supremacy works, it is here.


Things You Might Have Missed

March 30, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Not one more deportationI have to start these posts again, because I keep losing track of articles and it is a pain in the ass to find them again on twitter.  So here goes.

If you did not catch this Ta-Nehisi Coates post about how “progressives” deny white supremacy and structural racism, read it. Coates says they “misunderstand.” I think its more than misunderstanding. At the very least, we should call it willful ignorance. But he’s way nicer than me.

More hunger strikes. Now they are coming from immigrant detention centers in Takoma and Texas. Both owned by The GEO Group.

As I was arguing with my fellow jurors the last few weeks, one of them brought up the changes that will occur because of the new DC marijuana laws. But I tend to agree with the folks in this interview that it won’t do a damn thing to help the black kids being picked up for street selling. They won’t be getting licenses to sell legally.

If we cannot get people to care about the record number of exonerated last year and what they go through once they get out, how much more impossible to get people to care about those who actually did do something violent?

Really, in order to get people to care about the people in prison, we have to get them to care about the poor and the mentally ill. But even when people hear about the bipolar woman who was locked up for more than two years without charges or the homeless vet who baked to death in Rikers, they still don’t want to face how fucked up things are. I guess nobody wants to think about the fact that poverty or mental illness could happen to them too.

Here is another thing that came out so clearly in jury duty. People really believe that everything is scientific. They were expecting ballistics reports and DNA. Instead they got unreliable witnesses and sloppy police work. Not that it mattered. Even without bullshit experts or real evidence, people were happy to indict.

Part of the problem is how much people want to believe police, despite all the reasons police have to lie and the long history of them being caught in those lies.

I am still turning over in my head how the people in jury duty could have the racial disparities staring them in the face every day and not have a problem with it. Speaking of disparities, did you know that “Native Americans make up little more than 1 percent of the nation’s population” but “at any given time, 43 percent to 60 percent of juveniles held in federal custody were Native American”?

And finally, since being in jury duty made me despair for humanity, I will end with this post about Kitty Genovese. She was the woman attacked in Queens in 1964 and whose case became proof that New Yorkers just didn’t give a shit. Supposedly, all these people heard her attack and did nothing. But that turns out to be mostly bullshit.


Bank of America is the Spawn of Satan

February 18, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Skank of America

My work, sadly, still has credit cards with Bank of America.  I have been on hold with them for the last 38 minutes and counting. You see Bank of America decided it was an awesome idea to fire a bunch of people  so that they could have “fourth quarter 2013 net income of $3.4 billion.” Oh no. Sorry. Did I say fire? I meant “lower personnel expenses…to streamline processes and achieve cost savings.”

Why are we not outside these banks with pitchforks again?

Maybe some people actually thought that a portion of the 8.5 billion fine for foreclosure abuse and the 11.6 billion to Fannie Mae was punishment enough? Not even a year’s worth of profits people.

More about Bank of America’s run for most corrupt bank here.



Oh Hello. Are You Still Here?

January 27, 2014 By: Mel Category: Misc

Finally got around to getting the site back up.  Thanks to those of you who checked in.  I am indeed alive and may perhaps even drop a line or two on here in the nearish future.

Things You Might Have Missed

June 12, 2013 By: Mel Category: Misc

Remember back in 2003 when people found out about the Total Information Awareness program? Sen. Feinstein was one of the people who cosponsored the amendment that was supposed to stop it. Now she is out there calling Snowden a traitor for exposing the fact that her politicking meant nothing… Wait a minute. Maybe I actually get it now.

And awwwww. Look at baby Obama blasting NSA spying in 2006. They grow up so fast.

Hope that Snowden dude has some serious plan B. Because if they can charge an 82-year-old pacifist nun as a terrorist, pretty much anything goes.

Old colonialism. New colonialism. But we’re “helping.”

Alternatives exist in Greece, (and everywhere else) but few are hearing about them.

We’ll have to wait almost a year to know what, if anything, is going to happen to  Efrain Rios Montt in Guatemala.

You gotta give it to the British bureaucrats. They sure can create a paper trail. The people of Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco will probably not be happy to learn about the arms from Israel.

Have you all heard that police can collect DNA at your arrest the same way they collect fingerprints? Anti-rape groups say it is just fine. Wagatwe Wanjuki begs to differ.

What if all the teachers resigned with scathing letters and then started free schools? Hey, I can dream.

Don’t know how I never came across that dish sign before now. But it is totally going up in my kitchen at work. I think the insurrectionist one might be my favorite.

Things You Might Have Missed

June 07, 2013 By: Mel Category: Misc

I’m sure none of you have missed the NSA spying scandal, which will probably blow over in about 10 minutes. Or maybe people will finally freak out when they find out all their phone sex and dick pics are being filed somewhere. How intricate do you think their filing system is? A homeland security style color coding range for smut?

Continuing from my last post, this zine of Do’s and Dont’s for the Dudely Organizer is great.

Guess what? It is totally fine to shoot an escort if she won’t have sex with you. And in related news, Selling Consensual Sex Means Jail. Doctor Sexually Assaults 7 Women, No Jail.

Tweeting all the stop and frisks in NY is a great idea.

You all should really read this article on Samantha Power and the Weaponization of Human Rights, especially if you have ever bought into the idea that we have a responsibility to intervene (“protect”) people.

Wow to the Vegas psychiatric hospital busing patients to strange cities and dropping them off with a “one-way bus ticket, six Ensure nutrition shake bottles, and a three-day supply of psychiatric medications.”

Money as art? Interesting.

Land grabbing continues in Honduras with more campesinos being killed. (Video in Spanish.)

And in the U.S., a slightly more elegant and bureaucratized form of land grabbing.

“It’s a shame that pregnant women should study since their only use is in the kitchen and to work in the fields,” says a Mexican politician/asshole.

Also in Mexico, isn’t it just lovely to see international cooperation? Israel and Mexico swap notes on abusing rights.

In Colombia, while we are all being told to be hopeful about the peace process, repression of workers and peasants is escalating.

And in El Salvador “At least 628 Salvadoran women have been convicted for undergoing abortions (and in some cases, first-degree murder) since abortion was completely banned in 1998.”

Arrested for a thong bathing suit? Are you shitting me? May I suggest South Beach where a thong and rollerblades are pretty much the standard uniform.

Can anybody fill me in on what the common core standards actually are?

Things You Might Have Missed

May 23, 2013 By: Mel Category: Misc

Anarchist PandaI did a bunch of blog reading last weekend, which means you are about to get link bombed. Sorry.

So pissed that the Ríos Montt verdict was thrown out. Silly me for having a little bit of hope for the injustice system.

You have probably been following the protests outside the DOJ. Best part – The foreclosed homeowners who got arrested gave bank execs names instead of their own.

I doubt you missed this, but Why isn’t New Orleans Mother’s Day parade shooting a ‘national tragedy’?

Does anyone really doubt that the government is spying on journalists more than we know? In related news, is suing the FBI.

Continuing the discussion on my post about gifted classes, this article about the connection between race and IQ is worth reading. I know, CATO. What can I say. Sometimes they are ok.

A Florida teen is being prosecuted for statutory rape. Her parents claim it is because she is a lesbian and the other girls parents are homophobic. Maybe. But can all the people sending this around in LGBTQI circles please remember that this shit happens all the time – often to teenage dudes whose girlfriend’s parents think their daughters should have a chastity belt. Shame that this girl and so many others will end up on a sex offender list, like this nine year old.

And if wrongfully convicted and later exonerated of some crime, good luck getting that record expunged and being able to get a job.

So much anarchist related news this last month. It seems that some of it was spurred by the Boston bombing. Maybe Boston PD are embarrassed that they spent their time spying on occupiers instead of investigating real shit.

Harry Reid was apparently given some congressional homework to learn all about the evils of anarchists. Sad that the American Conservative has the most reasonable story on anarchists I read this weekend.

What’s worse? condescending liberals who don’t know fuckall about about anarchism or support from Lou Dobbs?

Spanish anarchists were arrested for “praising terrorism.”

I’m going to bet that 50% of the fire setters were undercover cops and the other 50% grew up in a cushy suburb. Any takers.

All this horseshit around DGR and Derrick Jensen. Wow.

I don’t approve of sending explosives through the mail. But I do have to admire the creativity behind sending explosive sex toys to Catholic leaders.

Maybe all we anarchists really need are more mascots.

Can we please stop pretending that only privileged college kids were against the Vietnam war?

We will know the world is getting somewhere when people would rather have their kids be porn stars then bankers. Until then, we can only laugh at the irony of banks refusing to let sex workers have accounts with them on moral grounds.

And speaking of asshole bankers, how about foreclosing on someone for making their payments too early.

How do Finnish kids excel without rote learning and standardized testing? Hint – autonomy, collaboration, less-hierarchy…

I can’t believe Disney had the cojones to try and trademark Dia de los Muertos.

Liked this TED video about guerilla gardener Ron Finley.

Christ, Chris Matthews is an asshole. How do people watch news shows?

Creepy student films girl in shower. He gets away, but the police catch him by tracking his student ID card. I am equally creeped out by the second part. Cause let us imagine for a second that it is this cop who can track you like that.

Last week it was kitten sex. This week the cops are called for frog sex.