Getting better all the time.
Here is your presumably 10th rendition of Mi Mamacita Communista, or Things My Mother Taught Me, which I first wrote for May Day 2008, shortly before the country found its mind and elected the smart nice Black guy, and started serializing I guess in 2012, when I bought this joint. Some different things have happened since then! I no longer think Stalin was hilarious, and it turns out Daniel Ortega is not that awesome of a Nicaraguan president, so that's upsetting. But after last year's rendition featured "global pandemic" and "President Trump," well, once again the country has found its mind. It only ever takes absolute world-on-fire catastrophe to set a slim majority straight.
And the things, they are getting better. A weekend — 17 weekends? — ago, I went to Detroit for my little brother's college graduation from U of M. At some point, my hard Berner brother looked at me, and with a Tucker Carlson golden retriever face, asked, unprompted: "Becca: Joe Biden .... GOOD????"
So far, God willing and the creek don't rise.
Love your mother — and your brother.
And so today is May Day! We can have — or heave! — a cocktail for the working man. We can put on Our Marching Zapatos of Ocupado Justice! We can do lots and loads of things! But me, I'm missing mi mamacita communista. She didn't die or anything, she just retired and moved back to Oklahoma, where they still (unaccountably) haven't burned her for a witch.
These are things my mother taught me.
* The dog can drink out of the pool.
* It's best if the babies are naked.
* Protesting is fun! Marching is better!
* It is our patriotic duty to cuss loud and creatively. Lenny Bruce wants us to stick it to the squares. For America. And the children.
* Good names for America's pets and children include Rosie, Emma, Fidel and Diego, and any of her children who don't comply will have their kids' and pets' names changed unilaterally. Rodents should be named after baked goods.
* The best name for getting arrested under while demonstrating is Emma Goldman.
* Good places to get arrested are the Nevada Test Site, Diablo Canyon, and the mean streets of Thousand Oaks, California, during Gulf War 1.
* Bad places to get arrested are on warrants for failure to appear.
* All the words to "Union Maid."
* Contra Barbara Ehrenreich, it is perfectly acceptable to pay a lady to clean your house. You just have to pay her three times the going rate, and you may not use the sort of slave agency that can afford to advertise in the Yellow Pages. You must find a lady via reference or supermarket bulletin board.
* C-Span is a joy and a privilege.
*Do not stand around doing nothing if someone else is working. This applies equally to camp-outs and the lady cleaning your house.
* High levels of wealth may be forgiven if they are spent on cliffside or canyon Modernist homes.
* How to make freeway offramp banners out of bed sheets and shelf liners.
* How to choose a losing candidate.
* The names of a high proportion of local flowers and trees.
* The "Hail Mary."
* The "Our Father."
* Liberation Theology.
* All 15 stanzas of "The Cremation of Sam McGee."
* There's no need to hold a grudge for more than a couple of hours, unless your friend is 100 percent right and you are 100 percent wrong, in which case you may stay angry for the next 15 years.
* Blame America first!
* Un pueblo unido … can never be divided!
* I should not wear whore shoes. (She finally gave up on that.)
* Good places to pick fights are at parties and in line at the grocery store.
* There is never an inappropriate time to talk politics.
* DO NOT fail to appear.
* Fun fact! Ronald Wilson Reagan = 666
* George H.W. Bush: Not much better!
* Also, April Glaspie totally told Saddam we didn't care if he went into Kuwait.
* Seriously, that whole war was based on LIES.
* You know, as opposed to this last one.
* I would regret my Nader vote like she regretted hers for Eldridge Cleaver.
* Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
* No, really, I am not allowed to vote for Ralph Nader.
* WHAT DID SHE TELL ME!
* Read "Catch-22." A good place to do this is on the sand at Hermosa Beach in 1966.
* Read "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit."
* Read Mother Jones and the Utne Reader.
* Read "A Prayer For Owen Meany."
* Read Evelyn Waugh and the sainted Miss Ivins.
* Erma Bombeck was funny too. No, really, she was!
* Read Eda LeShan, and take her childrearing tips to heart. Forgive yourself if you snap and smack your kid, but it's a lot better to do it because you're out of control than if it's in-control and premeditated. Also, kiss your husband or wife before your kids when you get home from work, because the best thing you could possibly give your kids is parents who are happy and in love.
* Read e.e. cummings, Bukowski, and Thompson. The best way to do this is out loud at the dinner table. Also, the scene in "Tracks" where someone takes a shit on Louise Erdrich's pillow.
* Reading trashy romance novels is giving me a skewed vision of life, and I will never marry and will always be sad.
* I should marry an ugly guy. He will love me.
* I should do my son's homework for him but make him watch. Eventually he will pick it up by osmosis.
* It is better to have a kid who cusses than a little prig who goes "ooooh I'm telling" when someone else does.
* If you don't take your kids to parties and restaurants and concerts and galleries and city council meetings, you are loosing an idiot on the world.
* That entails making them behave. Princes and princesses reflect badly. On YOU.
* A little violence never hurt anybody, so there's no reason not to take a three-year-old to see Lethal Weapon 4.
* Weed will save you from alcoholism.
* There will come a day when I no longer look cute on a barstool.
* How to make a martini.
* How to clean a kitchen.
* How to do all her phone-treeing for the Democratic Club meeting.
* How to use chopsticks.
* Water is life.
* My plants are screaming in anguish.
* If I don't water my plants, she is going to take them away, because I do not deserve to own plants.
* Also, my dog.
* And my son.
* Whom she will rename Fidel.
* Both of them.
* If people start with their overwrought bitching about STALIN! And 20 MILLION DEAD! don't bother to respond about the Butcher of Santiago making Chile safe for capitalism, and our complicity in the Disappeared, or about any of our other complicities (even Iraq). Just point and laugh.
* The Contras really shouldn't have raped those nuns.
* Roberto D'Aubuisson really shouldn't have assassinated Archbishop Romero and Che.
* Ronald Reagan really shouldn't have committed treason by sending George Bush pere to Paris before he was elected to promise the Iranians missiles should they be kind enough to keep our hostages just a little bit longer.
*No, Ollie North did not look "sexy" in his uniform, Jesus Christ.
* Viva Sandino!
* Viva Chavez!
* Viva Fidel!
* It's okay, I can love Jimmy Carter if I want.
* Too bad about Ronald Reagan's treason and all.
* How to pronounce "primer," as in a schoolbook: short i.
* How to pronounce "mauve": long o.
* There are UFOs in Topanga.
* Just because you are driving a crappy old Geo Metro does not mean you are friendless, as the crabby cop who kicks your 57-year-old schoolteacher ass will discover when the former head of Amnesty International and the legal director of the ACLU takes your case.
* The Southern California ACLU got its start in San Pedro, after Upton Sinclair got arrested for reading the First Amendment out loud on Liberty Hill.
* Serious people don't care if a boycott's "over" or "doesn't exist."
* Brown rice, not white.
* If you love Martin Luther King in 1961 Oklahoma, boys in your high school will threaten to "make you dead."
* Down with Whitey.
* And the Man.
* And most women too!
* When your kid has to write an essay on What the Flag Means to Him, and you are writing it for him just like she told you to, be sure to include The Right To Burn It.
* Why are you leaving out the best part?
* She knew you were going to leave out the best part.
* Love your mother.
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The answer, for some reason, involves Mike Tyson.
After four years of Donald Trump and lord knows how many years of MGTOWs ("Men Going Their Own Way") and Incels and the general "manosphere," one might think it is impossible to be shocked by any cafone bullshit. But it is always possible for things to get worse/more stupid.
Meet Andrew Tate. Andrew Tate — who it turns out is some kind of MMA fighter — appeared on the podcast of some other chooch who calls himself "Dating Coach Steve" and shared what he believes is an "Example of Healthy Masculine/Feminine Polarity" from his own life.
Before you watch, allow me to note that the Instagram post of this same video clip includes the caption "@cobratate with an example of how men and women are not equal but compliment each other instead." Just to prepare you for what you are about to see and hear.
Andrew Tate reveals how he maintains healthy male / female, masculine / feminine polarity. #dating #datinghack #datingexpert #datingadvice #realtalk
One of my chicks, I'd make her make me two coffees every morning. She'd make me two coffees. And one I would drink and the other I wouldn't even drink, I would just leave it to go cold.
And she'd say "Why do you make me make you two coffees, the second one's just like an insult because you never drink it, you just make me make it, cause you want me to bring it to you, but you're not going to drink it."
And I said, if someone broke into this house at night, I will die trying to protect you. That's my job. I will literally risk my life. If we're walking down the street and a guy tries to grab your ass, it's on. I have to risk my life against Mike Tyson, whoever he may be, he might be strapped, he might have anything. I have to risk my life to protect you. That's my job as a man. And you have a problem making a coffee?
Does it matter if I drink it? Does it really matter? I like knowing that you do your job, if I need coffee you're gonna do it, and you get to know that if it ever goes off, I will do my job. As a man. And from you, all I ask for is two cups of coffee. It doesn't matter if I drink them.
This is not a guy to be taking dating tips from unless you want to end up with a pot of hot coffee poured directly on your lap. Which is what we can assume happened, given that this loser is talking about this whole scenario in the past tense. Like most women, she probably had more need for someone who wasn't a Keurig-cup-wasting asshole than for someone to "risk his life" to protect her in the unlikely event that she had her house broken into or Mike Tyson grabbed her ass.
If her job is to make coffee, she's not a girlfriend, she is a barista. If your job is to "risk your life" to save her, you are not a boyfriend, you are a bodyguard. And even if there is a very romantic movie called The Bodyguard, it seems highly unlikely that Kevin Costner would have forced Whitney Houston to make him two cups of coffee, one of which he doesn't drink, every day. Or that Whitney would not have thrown the coffee pot at his head were he to try.
Now, to be fair, if the only reason this "chick" was hanging around with Andrew Tate was because she was being constantly followed around by an ass-grabbing Mike Tyson or having her house broken into, then two coffees, one of which he doesn't drink, would be a reasonable trade for all that life-risking he was doing, day in and day out. But that's not a relationship. That is simply a weird bartering arrangement with a bodyguard.
[H/T YSF on Twitter]
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Aw! They've found a new kind of marriage to be mad at.
Glenn T. Stanton, Focus on the Family's director of Global Family Formation Studies (whatever that is) and columnist at The Federalist, is feeling silenced.
He's not being arrested for his beliefs, he's not being murdered for them, he's not having his vocal cords severed. He has published multiple books and has many platforms on which to share his beliefs. But, nonetheless, he feels silenced.
Why? Because according to a New York Times trend piece, people are entering into platonic marriages and did not even bother to check with him first to see if he was okay with that. Rude!
"Love is love" is the undying mantra designed to silence anyone who believes some family forms are more virtuous and valuable than others. It demands we exchange what we know to be true for the belief that any family form is right and good as long as it is freely and mutually chosen. No one has a right to a dim view of another's choice and everything must be equally affirmed, it asserts.
To be clear, it's not that "love is love" or any other slogan "silences" people who believe that or any other equally asinine thing so much as that it is not their business and no one cares what they think. In exchange, those people don't get a say in how Glenn T. Stanton manages his personal relationships either, insofar as he does not hurt anyone.
People absolutely have the right to a "dim view" of another's choice — what they don't get to have, in most cases, is a say in it. I, for one, have a very dim view of Stanton's decision to write this article. But I shall let him continue anyway, because I am gracious like that.
Yet it remains a silly phrase. Why? Because it doesn't say anything. It's a tautology, the equivalent of saying "A thing is a thing."
Interestingly enough, that fact represents most of the source of the phrase's slippery rhetorical power — you can't argue with it because it doesn't assert anything new. Still, the phrase has taken root in our collective conscience as an uncontested "truth" because so many have become sentimental thinkers rather than critical thinkers, increasingly "thinking" with our cultural conditioning rather than our minds.
Like assuming that one's religious and personal view of what marriage should be is the only plausible definition of what it is? That kind of cultural conditioning? What kind of critical thinking would lead one to assume that it is any of their business whom someone loves?
Now, in what is clearly intended to be a serious news article about a wholly legitimate form of an old institution, The New York Times freshly demonstrates where this failure has taken us: best-friend marriage. No, this is not about a man or woman marrying "their best friend." This is something else.
What the Times is celebrating is non-romantic, platonic friends sealing their friendship in marriage. They call it "platonic marriage" adding, "A platonic marriage is a deep bond and lifelong commitment to a nesting partner you build a shared life with."
Conservatives like Stanton love marriage. They love "small government" and claim that it is the Left who want to control the populace — probably by not getting involved in their personal, consensual relationships.
After criticizing the Times article for presenting the choices of several platonically married people without criticism or pearl clutching, Stanton then is angry that this hot new trend of people marrying people they like actually started with the end of people marrying people they didn't like, for the sake of raising children.
Penn State's Paul Amato, a leading sociologist of the family, explains that beginning in the late 1950s, "Marriage changed from a formal institution that meets the needs of [children and] the larger society to a companionate relationship that meets the needs of the couple and their children and then to a private pact that meets the psychological needs of individual spouses."
Expressive marriage naturally led to unquestioned no-fault divorce, entering intentionally childless marriages, same-sex marriage, polyamory, and now, "friend marriages."
And apparently this is a bad thing. Oddly enough, one of the first articles about "expressive marriage" I was able to find was also written by Glenn T. Stanton. His belief actually does appear to be that everything went downhill once it started mattering whether or not married couples actually liked each other. Also bad? Women having jobs and using birth control.
You can probably guess why that is, but I will tell you anyway. Financial independence and family planning allowed women to be more picky about the men they married — or not marry at all — and made it so they could get a divorce if their husband was terrible without having to worry about ending up on the street. Quelle horreur!
The working wife was less dependent on her husband's income and now felt more liberty to leave a bad marriage. And the single working woman did not feel the need to "get a man" as quickly because she could find better employment and independence, as portrayed in the 1970s Mary Tyler Moore Show. The new working woman certainly wanted a man, but she could be more selective in finding "Mr. Right" because she felt less pressure to settle for "Mr. Good-Enough" now.
Yes, Glenn T. Stanton, au courant stander athwart history yelling NOT GROOVY, is still mad at Mary Tyler Moore. He hates spunk!
This is not the first time I have heard this argument, of course. It comes up a lot over on the various incel boards, which are traditionally filled with men who are mad that women are permitted the choice to not be romantically involved with them.
Students of the family need to appreciate that each of these aren't increasingly concerning slides down a slippery slope, but individual natural manifestations of the bottom of a slope that, at its heart, was the slow emergence of self-defined "marriage" in the service of personal happiness.
We when we make marriage primarily about the rights of adults — their personal life-fulfillment and self-actualization — and forget its other essential social functions, anything becomes possible. And it has. Marriage between "besties" is simply the next step in this regression.
Just to recap: It's bad when people get married because they love each other romantically and want to be happy together. It is also bad when two best friends get married. The only truly and pure marriage is one where both parties feel basically kind of meh towards one another, but have a lot of children and then stay together no matter how miserable they make each other. Because getting married isn't a thing you are supposed to do for "personal life fulfillment," it is a soul-sucking job that you go to every day for your whole life and then you die and go to heaven and Jesus is like "Great job on doing life, Glenn!"
Then the rest of us go to hell because we refused to have a bunch of babies with someone we didn't like all that much or stay with an abuser and also because we silenced poor Glenn T. Stanton when all he wanted to do was tell us about how "some family forms are more virtuous and valuable than others."
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This is probably the worst one yet, and that's saying a lot.
Now that the Supreme Court has a conservative majority, some states are going all out on the terrible abortion bans, in the hopes that their terrible abortion ban will be the one that makes it to the highest court in the land and leads to Roe v. Wade being overturned. And as terrible as Texas's abortion laws have been in the past, they're about to outdo themselves entirely.
On Wednesday, the Texas state Senate passed the kind of fetal heartbeat bill with which we are all now very familiar — which is why I shall spare you the traditional "It's amplified electrical impulses, the heart isn't even developed yet" spiel. Like all the other heartbeat bills, it is meant to ban pretty much all abortions, as fetal pole cardiac activity frequently starts before a missed period, the traditional first sign of pregnancy.
But this one has a little twist.
It will also allow absolutely anyone to sue anyone else who "aids and abets" an abortion that violates the statute. Specifically, anyone who:
(1) performs or induces an abortion in violation of this chapter;
(2) knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced in violation of this chapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this chapter.
If the random person suing the abortion abetter wins their case, they will be awarded "adjunctive relief sufficient to prevent the defendant from violating this chapter or engaging in acts that aid or abet violations of this chapter," which will be at least $10,000.
This would mean that if you, a person who is not even a resident of Texas, were to give your friend some money to help pay for their abortion, some creepy random anti-choicer (who also doesn't have to be a resident of Texas) could hypothetically sue you and you would have to give them over $10,000. The statute of limitations on this is six years, and can be retroactive. Meaning that if a court blocks the legislation, but then Roe v. Wade is overturned and it's allowed to go through, someone who funded or performed an abortion while it was blocked can still be civilly sued.
Those who are sued cannot recover lawyers' fees in the event the suit is thrown out. Which means that anti-choice groups could just go around suing any provider or abortion fund whether or not they have standing and financially hobble them that way.
It could also make rape into a lucrative money-making venture. A man could go around raping women and then, if they end up getting pregnant and get an abortion (as this bill provides no exceptions for victims of rape or incest), sue everyone involved for over $10,000. While an amendment was added to "prevent" this, it likely would not do much to help those who did not report their rape and would not prevent friends or relatives of said rapist from cashing in.
The bill justifies these civil suits in the bill by suggesting that Roe v. Wade only protects the rights of women to have an abortion, not the right of anyone to fund them.
(a) A defendant against whom an action is brought under Section 171.208 does not have standing to assert the rights of women seeking an abortion as a defense to liability under that section unless:
(1 The United States Supreme Court holds that the courts of this state must confer standing on that defendant to assert the third-party rights of women seeking an abortion in state court as a matter of federal constitutional law; or 2) The defendant is an abortion provider, an employee of an abortion provider, or a physician who performs abortions.
(b) A defendant in an action brought under Section 171.208 may assert an affirmative defense to liability under this section only if:
(1)The defendant has standing to assert the third-party rights of women seeking an abortion in accordance with Subsection (a); and (2) The defendant demonstrates that the relief sought by the claimant will impose an undue burden on women seeking an abortion.
The bill was initially introduced in the House by Rep. Shelby Slawson, who explained that the impetus for the bill was the fact that doctors had advised her mother to have an abortion due to potential complications with the pregnancy.
"Now 44 years and two days later, that little baby girl is standing in this chamber, her heart beating as strongly and as rapidly as it did all those years ago, as she lays out before you Senate Bill 8," Rep Slawson explained while introducing the bill to the Senate.
That is lovely. Really. It's nice that she turned out to be okay and that the doctors were wrong. It's even understandable that she has some feelings about abortion as a result of that, and may never want to get one herself as a result. But it's highly unlikely that the doctors were just lying to her mom because they wanted more abortions to happen. Her mother had the ability to choose whether or not to have an abortion, she was allowed to go against the advice of her doctors, and that worked out great for her. That doesn't mean that is the right choice for everyone.
Democratic state legislators tried to explain to Rep. Slawson that the "science" behind her bill was fundamentally flawed, to no avail.
"I value life. My pregnancies, I was very grateful for my children and grandchildren, I'm very grateful for it, but it doesn't always work that way for everybody," Rep. Donna Howard, D – Austin, began at the podium.
"According to the science, the Doppler fetal monitor that has that sound that you gave us a while ago, is not actually the sound of a heartbeat, but an amplified version of signals. You're not hearing a heartbeat, you're hearing an amplified version of electrical signals. Did you know that?" Rep. Howard questioned.
Rep. Slawson said she fundamentally disagreed with that fact.
"Representative, I've had a lot of ultrasounds and they never once referenced an electrical impulse. It was measured in beats per minute," Rep. Slawson said.
"I'm just telling you what the science says. And I can't say what you've been told. I'm telling you what the science is now," Rep. Howard said.
A group of 200 physicians in Texas sent out an open letter to the legislature explaining that the bill would result in chaos and the deterioration of the doctor-patient relationship.
We are specifically concerned that SB 8/HB 1515 grants "any person" the right to sue physicians and medical staff who may provide information or referrals for abortion care. This right to sue includes individuals who do not reside in Texas or have any connection to our patients.
The language of SB 8/HB 1515 is written so broadly that the private cause of action could apply to all specialties, regardless of the type of medical care we provide. This includes pediatrics, primary care, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and internal medicine, to name just a few. It would impact all types of healthcare facilities, from private practices to community health centers and hospitals. Patients facing difficult medical decisions should be able to openly consult with their physicians about every option available to them in order to make an informed choice.
When the state interferes in the doctor-patient relationship by enacting medically unnecessary restrictions or preventing us from making appropriate referrals for healthcare that a patient has decided to receive, it impedes open communication and can cause confusion and mistrust.
The bill is now being sent back to the House for another vote before being sent to Governor Greg Abbott's desk to be signed, which it very likely will be.
Texas has next on this. A heartbeat bill is making its way through the Texas legislature. I look forward to signi… https://t.co/WhZctkPbpW— Greg Abbott (@Greg Abbott)1619461267.0
Every heartbeat bill that any state has tried to pass has been blocked by the court system, but that is not going to be the case forever. The Supreme Court will almost definitely overturn Roe at some point soon — and when that happens, it's likely that the laws that states like Texas come up with to prevent them will be even worse than this.
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