Jan. 26th, 2017

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Senate Democrats are expected to filibuster, so tell your Democratic Senator (and the two pro-choice Senate Republicans, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski) that you don’t support this bill and don’t want it to pass the Senate.  


The bill, which passed by a vote of 238–183, codifies the Hyde Amendment, a rule passed in 1976 that prohibits any taxpayer money from being used to fund abortions. What H.R. 7 will do, in effect, is cut off taxpayer funding to insurance plans that choose to cover abortion, even though those funds have been prohibited for use on abortion care ever since the Hyde Amendment was passed four decades ago. That’s why the bill’s title, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017,” is misleading — it’s already illegal in the United States for federal tax dollars to be used to fund abortions.

H.R. 7 also takes the Hyde Amendment a bit farther and would prohibit abortion coverage from being offered in multi-state health insurance plans created under the Affordable Care Act. According to a statement released by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the bill would cause millions of American women to lose insurance coverage for abortion.

Tweet from today from the Senate Minority Leader, D-NY Charles Schumer.
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Too fired up to sleep! I dug out the form I faxed Wells Fargo two weeks ago and looked and they were complaining that i didn’t fill it out right because i left a line blank.

The blank was “name”. My name. Which is the name displayed on my email address, the name they confirmed on the phone twice, each time I called, the name on the cover sheet for the fax, and the name on the check, the name on the line two lines down where it asked what my name was on the bank account. My name. I left the line blank because I didn’t see it. 

And then under that, there was a ticky box they wanted me to check, whether this was a new account or an updated account. And NEXT TO that ticky box, it says, for some reason, but it says this, I’m not making it up, it says “Verbal client authorization is permissible”, and so when I called them the second time and they said “yes this form wasn’t quite right” and I said “what do you need to know” and they said “can we confirm the details” and I confirmed the details with them, somehow that wasn’t enough for them, they couldn’t ask me what this blank ticky box should be and fill it in for me even though they had just asked me to confirm the details and it says right on the form, for some reason I don’t understand, that verbal client authorization is permissible?

I don’t know why it says that, it doesn’t say anything like that on any of the other million ticky boxes on the extremely complicated and confusing form. It’s just that ticky box, it says “verbal client authorization is permissible”. 

I told them, and I’m not even making this up, I said this verbatim, “You are bad at what you do, and I hope you feel bad, and I hope bad things happen to your company.” 
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yesssss maybe, or just in a ring around the whole thing or something.

so here’s the thing I have fabric glue and I have heat-set rhinestones and then I have bicone beads I could sew on and I CAN’T DECIDE.

CLEARLY I need to do TRIALS where I make something with the iron-on ones and then I make something with the fabric jewel-set glue ones, and then I wear them both a lot and see which works better!!!!!

I’m going to bedazzle the crap out of everything, brace yourselves. 
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I feel like the key White Pathology that explains Trump is this idea that everything in life is graded on a curve, not just wanting to have good things, but to have MORE of those things than other people. A pathology that’s both the opposite of stronger together and the opposite of the Lake Wobegon Effect.   A hypothetical Trump voter (especially the white woman voter who unexpectedly swung Trump) wants her child to go the BEST school.   She doesn’t want the schools in Detroit to improve because then her child’s school will be less dramatically BEST.  Or the Trump voter who is making a fine amount of money, owns his own business, own his own home, but feels that the success of the Pakistani-American engineer who lives down the street lessens his own success in some way.  It might even be more satisfying to see things get worse overall, as long as they get More Worse for other people.

I’m not saying I know how to combat it, but I guess it starts with naming it.

I can personally testify that a lot of people who tend to vote Republican in general have this weird-to-me tendency to fret about the possibility that someone, somewhere might be getting money, resources, or a lucky break that they “don’t deserve.”  This is different from the worry that a less “deserving” person might take something away from a more “deserving” person.  Even if no one loses anything, and there’s plenty to go around, they’ll get worried and indignant that someone might get more than they “deserve.”  It’s even more bizarre that members of this group often have stated theological beliefs that seem completely at odds with that attitude.

this makes me think a lot about Weber and the growth of capitalism-as-ethics in the wake of the Reformation.

for those unfamiliar, Max Weber was an early sociologist who posited that modern capitalism grew out of the psycho-social conditions created in western Europe by the destruction of the pervasive institutions of the Catholic church. his thesis was that prior to the Reformation, people were comfortable in the assurance of their salvation as long as they received the sacraments of the church and acted (more or less) under its authority. but with the security of the Catholic hierarchy and claim to One True Churchness gone, most people did not have a sufficiently developed personal spirituality to feel assured of salvation anymore. this was particularly acute amongst Calvinists because of the belief that God had already predestined who was going to Heaven and who was going to Hell- but there was no formal institution to tell you that you were deffo predestined for Heaven, no worries buddy, so you had to find ways to constantly reassure yourself.

and of course if you were one of God’s Chosen Elect, your life would surely be pretty great, and you’d be rich- or at least better off than those bad awful sinners who were born going to Hell. so you worked hard and made your work a spiritual calling, and you weren’t profligate with your money because you needed it to prove you were living the blessed life of the elect. and eventually accumulating money became an ethical end in itself, intertwined with other aspects of virtue- this was a big thing for Benjamin Franklin, amongst other major figures in the founding history of the USA. this also went hand-in-hand with disdain for the kinds of charitable practices that are central to Catholicism- if a person was poor, it was a sign of their non-electness, and they deserved to stay that way. the whole system requires that some peoples’ lives are shit, because then otherwise how can you be sure who’s going to Heaven?

and the same principles apply to white supremacy. it was easy to be confident and comfortable in your belief in the inherent superiority of white people when you had vast social institutions backing you up. in the Jim Crow south, you could be a poor as shit white person, but at least you got to drink from the ‘whites only’ fountain. but now those institutions are gone or going, and despite every effort against them people of colour are clawing their way to economic and social equality. 

there’s nothing left to reassure the white supremacist. they can’t look at the corridors of political power and feel a bit better, because the head of state is a highly-educated black guy. they can’t even go the Calvinist route and pile up a big soothing stack of money, because you can’t tell by looking who’s God’s Deserving Elect, but you sure as hell notice when a black family moves into your suburb and are driving a nicer car than you do.

but if you can fuck yourself over in a way that you can be dead certain is going to fuck over people of colour worse, well, that just proves you were right all along, huh? now you’ve got more money than that black family, even if all of you are worse off.

tl;dr: requiring there to be people worse off than you as proof of your innate superiority is one of the founding socio-ethical principles of the USA and Protestant societies in general, which maps neatly onto the white supremacist need for people innately inferior to you to be worse off.

I think there’s a lot more to be said about Weber, Calvinism, and the development of white supremacy as an ideology, but I am no longer an academic so

On that topic, here’s an excerpt from an article published in the local legal press recently:

Lee is described by The American Lawyer as “one of the country’s top intellectual property litigators.”…

Lee, who is of Chinese descent but whose family has been in the US since 1948, recounted how he was filling his Mercedes-Benz SUV when a man approached him and asked how he could afford such a car. The man also reportedly said Lee was not welcome in the US.
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I am just a towering pillar of Crankiness today. It’s one of those things, where if I could just– not be cranky, that’d be great, but the thing is, I’m justifiably cranky, there are a lot of things that are by any objective assessment really shitty at the moment, for me and in general, and so trying to just not be cranky isn’t working because I can’t exactly soothe away my illogical feelings when they are so logically reinforced as well.

Crankiness is inherently illogical and disproportionate. My phone being unusually difficult to unplug from the charger or my bag’s strap tangling around my foot are not Cosmic Injustices, but when I’m already on the verge of tears just from breathing, they seem like special Terrible Things being Personally Visited Upon Me by some deity. (And the only logical consolation, which is that there is clearly no deity that gives any kind of a particular shit about me, is not really very comforting.) 

I am extra-cranky over Wells Fargo, because despite my best efforts at self-restraint, I all-caps emailed them at least about six times last night, and while I really tried to not swear, I know I did at least once, and I know that’s not how these things should go, but on the other hand, they’ve had this account for eight years and have been unresponsive this entire time to any of my efforts to actually figure out what was going on, and the whole point of it was that I was supposed to have an advisor to tell me what to do, and they just never did that. And then I’m not kidding, two weeks ago I faxed them a form in which I neglected to tick a box that expressly says that verbal direction from the customer is acceptable, and then when I called them about it two days ago and absolutely clarified my intentions and begged them to let me know if there was anything else I was supposed to do, somehow that wasn’t enough for them to tick that box for me or tell me I had to tick it. 

I just. You are bad and should feel bad. 

My favorite thing about being an Irrational Woman™ in a relationship with a cis dude, though, is how whenever something like this happens, something Supremely Frustrating that I do not have the tools to cope with, and I flip out and know I’m flipping out and do my best to mitigate it (no swears, no personal threats, no threats of violence, no obscenity, etcetera), it’s still worthy of Dude literally rolling his eyes at it, and instead of laughing with me, like, oh I know how impossible it is to be dignified when stymied on all fronts, it’s always him rolling his eyes at me for having the audacity to resort to Flipping Out when left frustrated and powerless.

And that’s not even really a dig on Dude; I’ve watched my friends’ husbands/boyfriends/dudes/occasionally girlfriends too all around do shit like this. And it’s like, you know what, fuck you buddy, I don’t need that on top of everything else. When you’re upset, I do my best to help you out and calm you down and if there’s anything I can do I do it, and if there isn’t I make you tea or whatever. And you’re going to fucking roll your eyes at me because I can’t keep cool about it. (A friend of mine’s husband told her, while she was furious about a terrible hotel experience and grieving a miscarriage and dealing with incredible hormonal shifts from that and her body had betrayed her and this goddamn hotel had lied about its amenities and she’d been stuck for two days with nothing but bagel chips and rum because the “restaurant within walking distance” was a hot dog stand an hour’s walk away [and remember she just had a miscarriage, so an hour’s walk was kind of a lot for her to manage] kind of deal– he told her that writing a letter wouldn’t do any good and she was better off just letting it go and we were both like buddy you’re really going to choose right now to tell her that none of her feelings matter in any way and when she stormed off he looked at me like this was something I could fix. I’m like, buddy, this is when you shut your fucking face and volunteer to make a phone call on her behalf even if you know they’re just going to hang up and delete the voice mail.)



I am sending them the fax again. God help me if that transfer doesn’t go through immediately. 

If I weren’t so exhausted and distraught and furious maybe I could construct some sort of coherent essay about how being called upon disproportionately to care about the feelings of others without having my own feelings and needs considered to that extent in return tends to wear away the part of you that is good at keeping its cool always in all situations, but I was up until 1am because I was so mad about all this, and I had to get up at 6, and I won’t be home until 9:30 tonight, and the rain just turned to snow and we’re supposed to get up to two feet lake effect and I have to drive an unfamiliar highway to downtown in the middle of that and don’t know how I’m to be notified if the thing I have to go to is cancelled, so

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And now the fax machine isn’t working so I can’t re-send the thing. They said “if you just call us we can simply send you the balance as a check” which means HA HA however long it takes them to cut the check + however long the mail takes + however long it takes me to get to the bank to deposit it that they get to keep my money, instead of the automatic transfer this is all supposed to be for. So NO, FUCK THEM. They’re presenting that to me like some kind of concession when really it’s just yet MORE delay of them getting to earn interest on my money.

I am going to get this faxed. I am going to. One way or another. 

The kicker is, it’s not just Wells Fargo, it’s Wells Fargo ADVISORS, the idea being they ADVISE YOU on your money, and #1 they never advised me on shit the entire time I had my shit there, including when someone called to try to sell me something, and I said “what accounts do I even have, they got transferred and I don’t know?” and he was like “i can’t find that out for you, sorry” and that’s the only time in eight years Wells Fargo spoke to me, and #2 when I finally called them and they figured out I wasn’t interested in remaining a customer, they couldn’t even be bothered to advise me on how to fill out the fucking form properly, even when I called them back and expressly asked them why the thing hadn’t gone through they couldn’t tell me it wasn’t filled out properly or how to fix it. 

It’s not JUST that the bank sucks, it’s that their advisors are expressly avoiding giving me any fucking advice when I didn’t want to buy anything. 

Fortunately I’m too exhausted now to flip out. I’m just going to sit here and stare blankly at nothing for the hour or so until my coworker gets in and can hopefully show me how to use the fax machine.
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On a cheerful note, I have kept picking away on writing things, and mostly because I got a few sweet notes on Found Cat etc. over the last couple of weeks, I did manage to get off my duff and incorporate the Bodhi/Cassian thing with it, and so the minor roadblock I hit in the B/C story is solved by just writing a sequel to the last installment of Found Cat, so they’re going to cross over after all.

Finn had never actually seen Poe in the outfit before. He’d seen it on the hanger, so he knew it was ornate; the base fabric was black, but the lapels of the jacket and the sleeves were heavily ornamented with silver braid, as were the sides of the trousers. But that hadn’t really prepared him for how good Poe looked in it.

“He looks like a doll,” Iolo marveled.

“His ass looks amazing,” Jess said.

“His ass looks really amazing,” Finn said, unable not to stare at it. The jacket made his shoulders look even broader than they were, and showed off his slim midriff beautifully.

“The hat is ridiculous though,” Iolo said.

“Excuse me,” someone said to Finn, touching his arm, “are you waiting for anyone or can I steal your last two chairs?”

“I think this is all of us,” Finn said, looking up at a slightly-built man with a black coat and strikingly large dark eyes. He tapped Iolo’s shoulder. ‘We’re not waiting for anybody else, are we?”

“No,” Iolo said, “oh, please, sit,” and gestured to the man.

The man grinned, a sweet and bright expression, and gestured to someone across the room. “Thanks,” he said. “We didn’t think it’d fill up in here so fast.”

He sat down next to Finn, and Iolo leaned over to say, “Your accent is really cool, where are you from?”

“London,” the man said.

“Oh cool,” Iolo said.

“Shh,” Jess said, “guys, they’re starting!”

Finn recognized instantly that the tiny woman next to Poe must be Marisol, and the tall woman behind Poe was Julie. Marisol had been speaking, a few words, but now the band was playing. The newcomer to their table’s companion joined him– a hawk-nosed man in a fur-hooded parka who shed the coat immediately and smiled sort of shyly at Finn as he sat down. Onstage, Poe and Marisol were singing in very pretty harmony.

“I can’t believe of all the things to do in this town you insisted on bringing me to a mariachi show,” the parka guy said to his friend, who laughed. The parka guy had an accent like Kes’s. “Of all things.”

“It looks cool,” the first guy said, laughing. “And it sounds pretty. Now hush, these people are actually here to listen.”

The parka guy rolled his eyes, but glanced over at Finn and smiled apologetically.
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So for 2017 I’m trying to sew/paint every day. Today’s project is one I’ve had set aside for at least three years: cut the toes and heels off this pair of @sockdreams socks, darn the holes, and hem them to be wristwarmers. Bonus: rainbows help you forget that you haven’t seen the actual sun in a couple of weeks.
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I was looking for just the “I saw it” part of that gif and this is the best I could do. 

I have been thinking a lot about the handmade hats and all. And the conspiracy theory on the right wing about how all that was somehow astroturf is hilarious, but– and how all the signs were handmade–

I want to make a website or a blog or something about how the Resistance will be handmade. Something. I just feel like our only hope of survival is to do it ourselves.

I haven’t given up on that idea I had of a left-wing prepper site. I haven’t crystallized it in my mind, exactly. But I’m still thinking about it. 



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