Fuck Nazis

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fuck Nazis. They have no place in our country, and their opinions are completely unworthy of consideration. Fuck them.

I am stating for the record - I am a white American of Northern European descent. And if I had my way, those vile, racist, morally reprehensible motherfuckers would be shipped to an island and dropped off, cast-away style. They can leverage their "White Culture" civilization building skills to build their White Aryan utopia, away from right-thinking folks.

These cockroaches have no place in my America. NO PLACE. They can either get their minds right or they can be prepared to have their ideas and themselves marginalized, outed, doxed, sneered at, disrespected, and made fun of. I can't believe I even have to say this, but there is no middle ground, no justification, no excuse, no quarter when it comes to Nazis. Because they're NAZIS. ACTUAL, FUCKING NAZIS. My family has served this country in uniform for every generation since the Civil War*, and did not do so this scum could crawl out of the swamp with impunity. I don't give a shit what that miserable fuck in the White House says. NAZIS.

NOT IN MY AMERICA.

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*My great, great, great, grand-uncle was General William Tecumseh Sherman. Yes, that Sherman. So all you Nazi shits can just kiss my ass. We didn't serve to support the likes of you.

Taking the hit so you won't have to. Because I'm a giver like that.

Monday, August 7, 2017

I recently read (in full) the anti-diversity screed penned by a Google software engineer that has been making the rounds of late. You're welcome.

As most of you know, I am an engineer working in the tech field. I have worked in male-dominated organizations my entire adult life. I came of age in the Pre-Tailhook Navy. For the last ten years, I have been the only woman in my team. This guy's commentary speaks directly to my 34 years of professional experience.

And in all my time working in the middle of this sea change, never have I read a more pseudo-intellectual, MRA inspired poor me-pity party from a dude whose basic complaint is that he feels he shouldn't have to give up his unearned privilege in order to ensure a more egalitarian industry.

Consider his main points:
  • The company exhibits a left-leaning political position in terms of culture. He feels all political positions have equal merit. 
This is a dog whistle. "The Right" is code for "up with unearned privilege!" He's advocating a culture where it's perfectly fine to continue to marginalize under represented groups, because that's the way we've also done it.

With the caveat of freely admitting I don't personally know anything about Google's culture, I will say that with my tribe, we don't dislike or disrespect the conservative or liberal viewpoints per se. We dislike douchey, discriminatory behavior. If you're a conservative and you act like a douche, I'm not going to respect you. Just as I would not respect a liberal who was a douche. YMMV.
  • Women are underrepresented in tech and leadership basically because our Ladybrains are not well suited to these endeavors. I especially love how he slips in language about how women who really do the same quantity/quality of work as their male counterparts are paid equally. Wink, wink.
Bite me, you clueless Neanderthal. There's a reason girls are equally adept in STEM and leadership in a controlled environment. The change happens in Middle School, and the reason doesn't have much to do with testosterone.
  • Women have too many fee-fees to be as effective as men in a professional setting. 
The ridiculousness of this viewpoint is so extreme I can't even. Has this douche considered the idea that the ego driven nonsense most often attributed to men makes them less effective in the workplace? Bueller? Bueller?
  • Dudebro refers again and again to "illegal discrimination." 
Here's the thing, Mr. MRA - "illegal discrimination" can only occur if the person being "discriminated against" is in a protected class. Last time I checked, white dudes were not on that list. Also: "Reverse discrimination" is not a thing. It's an excuse MRAs use to cry about how not everything's about them.
  • Diversity is bad, even though he gives it lip service.
 This entire memo has flavors of "I love diversity, but..." and "I'm not sexist. Some of my best friends are women." Transparent much?
  •  We're all blind to his brilliant, transformative ideas because there's a liberal conspiracy...or something. 
Yeah. A liberal conspiracy. That's why 45 was elected to the highest office in the land, you know. Because liberals are secretly pulling the strings from behind the curtain.

The lack of logic, cherry picking, and self-serving whining about how tragic it is that not everything is about him now makes this laughable. And dudebro felt perfectly comfortable sharing this drivel with the company internally. Perfectly safe. Because apparently, this type of mindset is just A-OK in Google's culture.

And that's why Google is, in fact, evil. They give lip service to diversity and equal opportunity to the point where MRAs like this douchey author believe they're being "marginalized," while the company is simultaneously being investigated by the Federal government for egregious application of the gender wage gap. They can't find female or non-white employees to take jobs at Google, because regardless of their efforts, Google still has a reputation where women and non-white associates are paid less, marginalized more, and (obviously) make no impact on the culture.

Evil, indeed.

ETA: Turns out dudebro is one James Damore, and his particulars are so ironic I may sprain something. He's white. He's a Libertarian. He claims a Ph.D he did not earn (from Harvard, no less). And he's been job offered by no less than Julian Assange, ::sproing!::

An Open Letter to my Congresspeople

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dear Senators Bennet and Gardner, and Representative Buck,

I am writing you today to strongly encourage you to support bi-partisan efforts to shore up our nation's healthcare troubles and find a solution that works. 

The items in included in the solution proposed by the Problem Solvers Coalition seem to me to be a good start in making this happen. Permanently funding Cost-Sharing Discounts and allowing states greater flexibility to manage their marketplaces are just two of their ideas, and each solves a particular problem that each party cares about. It's the nature of compromise, and it's something that is sorely lacking in our Republic. 

In my view, EVERY member of Congress should be a "problem solver." Every. Single. One. If an individual's  aim is to be obstructionist, petty, unwilling to compromise, then they are unfit to serve our nation. We elect Congresspeople to find solutions, not to engage in endless partisan bickering. It's past time for Republicans and Democrats to stop this nonsense, ignore the unserious man-baby currently occupying the Oval Office, and make a concerted effort to save the Republic. 

Please - just do your jobs. It's not too much to ask.


Signed, 

Janiece

Keeping love alive

Monday, July 31, 2017

Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of my baby girl, Maureen.

It's been a strange four years. My grief journey has ranged from being unbearable to being grateful for my tribe. It's gone from nearly catatonic with grief to maintaining a stable, healthy life. It's gone from raging against the reality of the world to accepting - albeit with sadness - the new normal that is life-without-Moe. I still cry at triggering events, and I suspect I always will. But my life is stable now, by the grace of my people and my grief work.

One of the things I've learned about this journey is that while I will never look at my daughter's death as anything but tragic, I still have the opportunity to use her loss as an impetus to make the world a better place. For me, that means doing work that supports the things she cared about. It means donating money to causes she was passionate about. It means mentoring other young women as they move into adulthood and helping them discover the person they want to be. This work helps me keep the love and gratitude alive on my bad days, when I miss her more than usual, or I find I want to share something with her and then realize I cannot.

And this year, for the first time, it means I will participate in activism to support Suicide Prevention.I haven't felt up to it until now, and there's still a possibility that I may fall apart during the event. But I want to try, so I'll be participating and fundraising for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Denver Metro Walk.

This will be the fifth year the Maureen's Marchers team is hitting the road in my baby girl's name on the annual Out of the Darkness Denver Metro Walk. The money raised in this event will go to fighting suicide and supporting AFSP's goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.

I can't bring my Moe-Moe back, but I can do what I can to ensure other families never have to walk this grief journey, and experience the devastation that is losing a child to suicide.

If you're a local, please feel free to join our team and come walk with us on September 23rd at Coors Field in honor of our baby girl.

If you wish to donate to the cause, my fundraising page may be found by clicking the icon below. This icon is also pinned to the right sidebar.




Every year on this date I reflect on how very cursed I am to have lost a child, and how very blessed I am to have my people around me when I need them most. Thank you for your support and love on this journey, and for supporting the work of an organization whose mission is to save the lives of people like Moe.

An Open Letter to my Senators

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dear Senators Bennet and Gardner, 

I am writing today to express my disbelief and disgust with the current plan to revoke the individual and business mandate in the Affordable Care Act. While it isn't working as well as analysts had hoped, removing it will do nothing but increase the number of uninsured Americans, and increase premiums for everyone. 

The numbers from the CBO don't really lie - 16 million Americans will lose their healthcare, and healthcare premiums will increase by 20% for the individual market. How is this "better?" How does this constitute "more Americans being covered?" The completely immoral remarks concerning the free market by the President of the Senate notwithstanding, this plan is clearly bad for Americans. 

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record - how about country before party for a change? How about voting in accordance with your constituents' desires and best interests? How about more bi-partisan work on this issue? 

Please come up with a COMPREHENSIVE plan for health care in this country. I know it's hard, but it's YOUR JOB. Please do it for a change.


Signed, 

Janiece

Link Me Up, Scotty - Mortality is our lot edition

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

An essay surrounding the language we use when discussing cancer, people who have cancer, and the occasions when cancer is terminal. I'm still working through my feelings about the idea of death positivity, but I agree with this author's comments. Dying of a disease is not a failure. You don't lose if available medical treatment does not cure you. Everyone has to die of something, and choosing our own path to death is the key factor - not that we die of cancer, or an accident, or whatever.
________

Why the media should be more thoughtful in covering cases of suicide. I think this applies to all writers, and I have to admit that when I hear someone use the phrase "committed suicide" my reaction can go from apoplectic with rage to a desire to educate. My baby girl did not "commit" suicide, like her struggle with mental illness resulted in her engaging in a criminal act. She died of suicide, with a proximate cause of mental illness. Language matters, and changing the narrative around mental illness and its sometimes devastating results will help our communities help those most in need.
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And speaking of "apoplectic with rage," my favorite Christian Pastor takes on those who believe victims of suicide are "selfish" or "weak." Short answer: They're not, and assuming they are is the worst form of privilege. Instead of being a smug, self-righteous douchebag, perhaps the people who think this way should show some fucking gratitude that they themselves are not stricken by mental illness and have never had to deal with the ramifications of such a disease. Next they'll be blaming cancer patients for their condition.
________

Our charming President just kicked trans people out of our Armed Forces. A couple of things to note: 1. 45 keeps talking about he and "his generals" discussing the matter, but the Pentagon only learned about the new directive through....you guessed it, Twitter. So where were the Pentagon Generals in these discussions? I suspect they were a figment of 45's imagination. 2. Have you read those tweets? There's no way 45 wrote them, as they're coherent and well-written (if awful). This has Pence's fingerprints ALL OVER IT, the fuckstick. 3. Does anyone actually believe this is anything other than a disgusting attempt to engage in cultural warfare in order to deflect people from 45's legal problems? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
________

From the "Liar, liar, pants on fire" files, here are 29 lies told in 26 hours by the Liar in Chief. Can't somebody put a muzzle on this guy? Seriously. 
________

Today's sources as rated by Media Bias/Fact Check:
  • Confessions of a Funeral Director: The personal blog of Caleb Wilde, professional funeral director and writer. 
  • LA Times: Commonly referred to as the Times or LA Times, is a paid daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country. Well sourced with a left-center editorial bias.
  • Stuff that Needs to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz.
  • The Washington Post: The Washington Post is an American daily newspaper. It is the most widely circulated newspaper published in Washington, D.C., and was founded on December 6, 1877.  The newspaper has won 47 Pulitzer Prizes. This includes six separate Pulitzers awarded in 2008, the second-highest number ever awarded to a single newspaper in one year.  Post journalists have also received 18 Nieman Fellowships and 368 White House News Photographers Association awards (Wikipedia). The Washington Post has a liberal bias in reporting choices, however they are typically well sourced to credible information.  Sometimes they rush stories to be the first to break them, which leads to poor sourcing. This has occurred on a few occasions in 2016.  When an error is made the Washington Post responsibly makes corrections.

An Open Letter to the Coward Cory Gardner


Yesterday you voted to open debate on your excretible bill on healthcare, in spite of rampant confusion about what it contains. You immediately followed that bit of Party-First hucksterism by voting "yea" on the actual bill in question. You know, the one that everyone is confused about, but surely will increase premiums, price people out of the market, and reduce funding for the least among us. 

I think the most obvious question here is WHY. Why would you vote for this bill, knowing that your constituents hate it? Why would you vote for this bill, knowing that your own approval ratings here in Colorado have dipped 30% as a direct result of your failure to listen to your constituents about what they want? Why would you vote for this bill knowing that your constituents will suffer (and yes, even die) due to your political actions? Why?

And I think I have the answers! I think it's because you're a hypocritical liar, liar, pants on fire. Let's consider the facts:

1. You voted to open debate on this mystery bill because (and I quote):
I voted to allow debate today because we can no longer subject Coloradans to a failing healthcare system without working toward solutions, and today’s vote will allow that debate to continue. We can now offer amendments in an open setting to fix our nation’s healthcare system and bring relief to the American people. 
Fair enough, if it was true. But - and here's the part where you're a big, fat, hypocrite - you immediately followed up by voting "yea" on a bill without the aforementioned amendments.

Hypocrite: 1. Credibility: 0.

2. You say that you want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, health care legislation that enjoys a 55% approval raring, because (and I quote):
Under Obamacare, Coloradans have had to pay for double digit premium increases year after year and the 27 percent average increase for premiums on the individual market next year is only more of the same. While 500,000 Coloradans have had their plans cancelled, 145,000 Coloradans were forced to pay a penalty under Obamacare instead of purchasing insurance because their options have become so limited and unaffordable. In every healthcare meeting with Coloradans, we discuss the problems of Obamacare and how the status quo is simply unacceptable. 
Simply unacceptable, huh? But it's perfectly okay to defund Medicaid (in the future, of course, when you'll presumably be safe from the consequences of your ill-conceived vote) when you promised you wouldn't and leave those who can least afford a cut in their healthcare to suffer and die. It's perfectly acceptable to remove the employer and individual mandate, thus driving premiums even higher. It's perfectly acceptable to increase premiums on seniors with fixed incomes so you can suck up to your rich buddies. Uh, huh.

Hypocrite: 2. Credibility: 0.

3. You've made quite a show of supposedly "considering" the ramifications of revised healthcare law, meeting with Seema Verma for "wink, wink, nod, nod" assurances that Medicaid patients would be taken are of, at least until you can safely deflect the blame for cutting their benefits. But the simple fact of the matter is that you wrote this crappy legislation. You were on McConnell's super-secret committee to bring this steaming pile of immorality to the Senate, and you're responsible for it. You can act concerned all you want, but this is your dumpster fire. Quit trying to fool your constituents into thinking the buck doesn't stop with you, because it does. And this is one issue that people are going to remember in 2020. You can bet on it.

Hypocrite: 3. Credibility: 0.

4. Speaking of you being McConnell's butt-monkey, how are those plans coming for your fundraiser at the home of Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz next month? I think it's just swell that McConnell will also be in attendance so that you can lick his boots in full view of the .01%.

Pandering Hypocrite: 4. Credibility: 0.

You are simply unbelievable, the way you try to make out like you're all thoughtful and deliberative, when everyone knows you're going to vote the Republican party line regardless of the consequences to your constituents and the communities you supposedly represent. You put party before country, every single time, and I have to say I look forward to campaigning for your opposition in 2020. I'd even settle for a new Republican, provided they had a moral compass and kept their oath of office, since you obviously can't be included in either of those cases.

Signed,

Janiece