Emotional Labor and Activism

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I am committed to activism. It's important to me that I be engaged in civil society, maintain a decent level of knowledge about current events, and act upon that knowledge in accordance with my values. It's important to me that I support those organizations that have personal meaning to me either through financial contributions or by donating my time to the cause.

But I'm not going to fool myself into believing that this commitment comes without a cost.

For me, that cost comes in the form of emotional labor. It takes intellectual and emotional work for me to support my values through volunteerism and activism. And sometimes the labor is light, and sometimes it's not.

And here lately, I've had other things that have been placing demands on my emotional labor. So I've been kind of lackadaisical about keeping track of the latest shenanigans coming out of White Nationalist Administration, and have not been contacting my Congressmen every day. I've been less engaged than usual with my volunteer activities. And that's okay.

We all have only so much emotional labor to go around, and needing to spend some on things other than politics and activism allows me to fulfill my obligations to those I care about, and also to myself. It just means I'll have to come back another day to fulfill my commitment to things that may be less personal to me.

So I'll probably be scarce around here in terms of Link Me Up posts and other content. I'm sure you all will find another dancing Internet monkey to entertain you in the meantime. I've always found Go Fug Yourself a source of endless entertainment if you're looking for something new.

Random Thoughts and Words to Live By, Part 22

Friday, April 14, 2017

Continually trying to make unreasonable people see reason is an exercise in futility. Sometimes it's an issue of a single (or multiple) blind spots, but sometimes the person is simply divorced from reality. Sometimes you can open the eyes of the former, but the most you can hope for in the latter case is to marginalize them to the best of your ability and hope they don't do any serious damage while you're waiting for them to go away.

Link Me Up, Scotty - Humble Pie Edition

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Infamous former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's reign of bug-fuck crazy has reached a most ignominious end as his life's work is dismantled by wiser, more compassionate public servants and he faces charges of criminal contempt. Ah, karma, though art a spiteful and timeless purveyor of schadenfreude.
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It always astounds me when nutbags who work for other nutbags are suddenly all offended when their employers turn out to be...nutbags. The empty headed douchecanoe Tomi Lahren is suing the misogynistic never-met-a-conspiracy-he-didn't-believe douche-nozzle Glenn Beck for wrongful termination. Because apparently it never occurred to her that expressing an opinion that implied a woman might have some agency would be anathema to a the alt right. Living in a state of denial must be so comforting.
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Funny library signs. Libraries really are a place where a large variety of people congregate. Sometimes to the librarian's chagrin.

H/T Debbie the Librarian
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Looks like 45 and his White Nationalist Administration are feeling a little pressure as their 100 day anniversary looms, as it does not appear that this milestone will be kind to them. Reality: You can't really wish it away, no matter how much money you have. 
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An opinion piece on how far medicine has come in the treatment and care of transgender youth. Providing appropriate medical care to these youngsters can literally be a matter of life and death for them, as their historical suicide attempt rate during adolescence is almost 50%. With treatment, early indications show a marked decline in this statistic, which, in my opinion, more than justifies this standard of care world-wide.
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From the "Restoring My Faith in Humanity" files: Repo man not only pays off an elderly couple's vehicle after being forced to repossess it, but now helps the wife, a new widow, address some tough financial times.
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Moyers & Company releases a list of top independent investigative journalism organizations. I don't agree with all these choices - Mother Jones, says the liberal, has some serious bias issues. But there's enough meat in there to justify passing it along. See especially: ProPublica.
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John Oliver wants to buy some commercial air time on the O'Reilly Factor. Because of course he does, magnificent beast that he is.
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The 2017 Pultizers have been announced, and I'm pleased and proud that so many of the nominees and winners have a prominent place in my "Today's sources" list on every Link Me Up entry. The truth matters, y'all.
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It's National Library Week! Take a moment to support or celebrate your local library. Libraries have the opportunity to be a pivotal member of their communities, not only providing materials for check out, but programming, resources (such as Internet access and computers), homework help, seminars on starting your own business, meeting rooms, and more. You probably already support them with your tax dollars, but most libraries measure their success by how much they engage with their communities. So engage today and see what your library has to offer!
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The Hubble Space Telescope now has its own website so you can check out what its looking at and why, including links to the accepted proposal.

H/T Brother Tom
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Video of my Heart: An oldy but goody, the Chattanooga Fire Department resorts to disco to liven up their PSA about CPR. I especially enjoy the disco balls hanging from the booms on the Fire Trucks.




Today's sources:
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • CNN: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias and basic reporting. 
  • Daily Mail: Right biased media source with a mixed degree of factual reporting. 
  • Politico: Left-Center bias with a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • New York Times: Mainstream media source with a minimal partisan bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Good News Network: A clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive news stories from around the globe.
  • Moyers & Co: Left-Center bias with a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • I Love Libraries: An initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries.
  • Space Telescope Live: A live website displaying the current view of the Hubble Space Telescope with links to the accepted proposal.  

Link Me Up, Scotty - Such a Badass Edition

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The story of Etta Shiber, an American housewife whose work in the Paris Underground during WW II saved approximately 150 soldiers who were in hiding in France after the Nazi invasion. "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
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Winners of the Sony World Photography Contest. 
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Bill O'Reilly and 45: birds of a feather, and both awful, awful human beings. 
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Also, Why is Trump failing? Because Americans hate his agenda, and it's also based on lies. The Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire-in-Chief is learning the hard way about the old adage about fooling all of the people, all of the time. What a shame. 
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These high school journalists forced their principal to resign with some good old-fashioned investigative journalism. This is why I'm not interested in your crappy opinion about Millennials. In my experience, this generation is smart, focused, and intensely interested in the world around them. 
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And speaking of high school badassery, young Ifeoma White-Thorpe has been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. Oh, and Sanford. That, too. And this kid from North Dakota is in the same boat sans Sanford. And also this kid from Oklahoma. Because those Millennials are all such slackers, don't you know.   
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I can't decide if this Mariachi cover of Van Halen's Hot for Teacher is horrifying or off the hook. You decide.

H/T Charles
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Video of the Day: Alonzo Lerone Reads detention slips from real students.




Today's sources:
  • Smithsonian: A source consisting of legitimate science and evidence based stories through the use of credible scientific sourcing with a very high degree of factual reporting.
  • The Atlantic: Skews left with a high degree of factual reporting and in-depth news.
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias and a high degree of factual reporting.
  • The Sacramento Bee: Mainstream media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 

Link Me Up, Scotty - Managing What Matters Edition

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My favorite Christian Pastor on the marginalization of families of color compared to our obsession with 45's shitstorm of daily Tweets on the supposed State of the Union. Some things matter. Other things don't. And I would say the disappearance of young girls of color matter far more than 45's most recent temper tantrum.
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Rescue dogs are the bomb-diggity, and we still don't know exactly how the olfactory sense works. A short synopsis about what we know so far, including an appearance by Sue, the Chicago Field Museum's T-Rex.
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A spinach leaf is transformed into beating human heart tissue. No shit.

H/T Brother Juan
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45's popularity is steadily dropping - it's now lower than President Obama's worst approval rating over his entire presidency. But that's not really the bad news for 45 and his White Nationalist Administration. His approval rating is dropping among his base. 
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Remember those Turd-Pops who tried to discredit Planned Parenthood with their "undercover videos" that turned out to be complete B.S.? Yeah. Them. They've been charged with15 felony counts of violating the privacy of health-care providers by recording confidential information without their consent. I believe that people of good conscience can fundamentally disagree about the topic of abortion - I believe it to be a real moral dilemma, and I respect the positions of those who disagree with my own analysis. But I have to ask - if your position is so all-fired righteous, why do you need to lie and mislead in order to further your point of view? Douchebags.
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I swear, Sean Spicer has gone completely off the rails, condescending to and insulting April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks. On television. And women - including Hillary Clinton, who is now making public forays once again - are not having it. 
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Oh, look - Republicans in Washington, D.C. care more about corporate America's desires than they do about their constituents. Shocked. Shocked I am by this turn of events. Every day we come closer to Corporations becoming our actual government, and it makes me more than a little ill. 
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Today's sources:
  • Things That Need to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz.
  • PBS Newshour: Skews left but still reliable source of news with highly factual reporting.
  • National Geographic: Consists of legitimate science or are evidence based through the use of credible scientific sourcing with a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream media source with minimal partisan bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 

Ravenclaws, Unite!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Do you love the Harry Potter stories? Do you love to read, and want to share reading with underserved children who may not otherwise have an opportunity to develop a love of reading?

Then this fundraiser is for you!

The Harry Potter Alliance, a charitable organization dedicated to encourage Harry Potter fans to be active in advocacy, is holding their Annual "Accio Books!" fundraiser in support of the Friends of the Apparating Library initiative. The purpose of the fundraiser is to provide books to underserved youngsters:
For millions of children across the world, basic access to books and literacy programs is hardly a given. The Harry Potter Alliance is engaged in a permanent campaign to balance the scales. Our ultimate goal is to raise 1 million books for schools, community centers, and literacy programs across the world. We also endeavor to build 25 permanent libraries in places that need them. Last year, we had our most successful Accio Books yet, with over 100,000 books raised for 50 literacy programs across the world and a new library established at a new school in Masaka, Uganda!

This year, we are partnering with Words Alive, an organization that provides literacy and education services to over 5,000 children and families in Southern California. HPA chapters and members will raise thousands of books for Words Alive, allowing the organization to provide quality books to students of all ages for many years to come. Many chapters outside the western United States will choose to donate books to schools and programs in their local communities. Overall, we expect to match last year’s incredible effort, with dozens of communities across the world transformed by the generosity of our members.
As you all know, libraries are a passion of mine, and while I love to work with and donate to my local Library District, my County is hardly underserved in this regard. So it's a good thing to support communities who may not have as many resources to share in encouraging a love of reading.

Reading is fundamental, y'all, and lifelong readers reap the following rewards:
  1. Reduces stress
  2. Improves conversations
  3. It may push back the effects of Alzheimer's disease
  4. Increases imagination
  5. Sharpens senses
  6. Improves sleep quality
  7. Boosts analytical thinking
  8. Grows brain cells
  9. Improves empathy
  10. Increases success in life
But kids can't enjoy these benefits unless they have access to books and are encouraged to read. 
Are you a Ravenclaw (like me)? A Gryffindor? A Hufflepuff? A Slytherin? Support the cause by donating to your House Team, and get a chance at neat prizes!

Link Me Up, Scotty - TFP Edition

Friday, March 24, 2017

A man who was so enamored of Trump that he quit paying his mortgage and sold his business' equipment to follow him all over the country during the campaign now feels betrayed. I want to be absolutely clear, here - no one feels more empathy for this father at the loss of his son to addiction than I do. No one. And yet I find I'm completely unsympathetic to his sense of betrayal. This is what happens when you put your faith in a serial, compulsive liar who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, and it's not like he didn't have plenty of data to draw from in making his decisions. 
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I find this article about how the Koch Brothers' are threatening incumbent Republicans to vote "no" on the new Health Care to be the scariest fucking thing I've read this week, in a week full of scary fucking things. You don't often see the money = votes dynamic of our political system so brazenly on display. But why shouldn't they be brazen? They have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being so.
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And speaking of scary fucking things, 45 has once again taken leave of any passing acquaintance he may have with facts to Tweet complete falsehoods about his Administration and government agencies following testimony by FBI Director Comey and NSA head Admiral Rogers to the House Intelligence Committee. I swear, the guy does not even live in the same universe as us. Check out this analysis for further research on the Liar, Liar Pants on Fire-in-Chief.
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Democrats are planning to filibuster Judge Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court. While this may be an emotionally satisfying tactical decision, I'm not sure that's it's the best strategic decision for Democrats at this time. A change in the rules on this issue is something BOTH parties will have to live with.
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Want to know why our political climate is so polarized? Don't look at the Internet.
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Get your cutes on with these photos of adopted pooches in their new digs. And it's National Puppy Day! And here are some sled dogs getting their mush on!
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We have met the enemy, and they're inside us. More than two thirds of all cancers may be caused by random DNA mutation during cell division. On the other hand, lifestyle choices that promote health are never a bad idea, because there's always that additional 29%.
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Am I the only one who's getting an increased number of solicitation calls on my cell phone these days? Well, the FCC wants to help block at least the Robo-calls. Since my cell number has been on the Federal Do Not Call list since 2011, the current regulations clearly aren't working. Also, note to outbound call center agents: I know how your technology works. So don't tell me you're "having a problem with your headset" when your autodialer doesn't connect you to a live answer right away. You're not having a problem with your headset, you're technology is just shitty.
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Libby Bakalar of One Hot Mess is at it again, this time with a confirmed study that the size of a dead fish correlates directly to the penis size of the man holding it. It's obviously true because SCIENCE.
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Today's sources:
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream media source with minimal bias and a high degree of factual reporting.  
  •  CNN: Mainstream media source without in-depth investigation and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Slate: Skews left with a high degree of factual reporting and in-depth news. 
  • Eternally Sunny: Media aggregator for positive stories. 
  • The Atlantic: Skews left with a high degree of factual reporting and in-depth news. 
  • The Boston Globe: Skews left with a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • One Hot Mess: The personal blog of Libby Bakalar.