Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cynical Sincere Proverbs 1:31 (The end of an era)

Because you demanded it, the LAST issue of <s>Dazzler</s> Cyncial Proverbs!

Yep, I decided to retire this feature for now. So let's end it with a bang, with an importance slice 'o wisdom that's particularly relevant in these times.

"Be wary of people who claim to have their finger on the pulse of society because often their extremities are somewhere a lot lower and smellier.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

How to talk with a representative (which you shoud)

I got this from a message board (who then got it from the group listed below) but thought it was crucial to share to people who want to reach their congresspersons about the gazillion things that are becoming fucked up about this country:

Long, but hopefully useful to some - from the March on Science Facebook group:
For folks who are expressing themselves to congresspeople, this comes from a high-level staffer for a Senator (who is a friend of my friend XXXXXXXX XXXXX):
There are two things that all Democrats [ED: or anyone leaning progressive wanting to register their opinion] should be doing all the time right now, and they're by far the most important things. [If you want to share this, please copy and paste so it goes beyond our mutual friends.]
--> You should NOT be bothering with online petitions or emailing.
1. The best thing you can do to be heard and get your congressperson to pay attention is to have face-to-face time - if they have townhalls, go to them. Go to their local offices. If you're in DC, try to find a way to go to an event of theirs. Go to the "mobile offices" that their staff hold periodically (all these times are located on each congressperson's website). When you go, ask questions. A lot of them. And push for answers. The louder and more vocal and present you can be at those the better.
2. But, those in-person events don't happen every day. So, the absolute most important thing that people should be doing every day is calling.
You should make 6 calls a day: 2 each (DC office and your local office) to your 2 Senators & your 1 Representative.
The staffer was very clear that any sort of online contact basically gets immediately ignored, and letters pretty much get thrown in the trash (unless you have a particularly strong emotional story - but even then it's not worth the time it took you to craft that letter).
Calls are what all the congresspeople pay attention to. Every single day, the Senior Staff and the Senator get a report of the 3 most-called-about topics for that day at each of their offices (in DC and local offices), and exactly how many people said what about each of those topics. They're also sorted by zip code and area code. She said that Republican callers generally outnumber Democrat callers 4-1, and when it's a particular issue that single-issue-voters pay attention to (like gun control, or planned parenthood funding, etc...), it's often closer to 11-1, and that's recently pushed Republican congressmen on the fence to vote with the Republicans. In the last 8 years, Republicans have called, and Democrats haven't.
So, when you call:
A) When calling the DC office, ask for the Staff member in charge of whatever you're calling about ("Hi, I'd like to speak with the staffer in charge of Healthcare, please") - local offices won't always have specific ones, but they might. If you get transferred to that person, awesome. If you don't, that's ok - ask for their name, and then just keep talking to whoever answered the phone. Don't leave a message (unless the office doesn't pick up at all - then you can...but it's better to talk to the staffer who first answered than leave a message for the specific staffer in charge of your topic).
B) Give them your zip code. They won't always ask for it, but make sure you give it to them, so they can mark it down. Extra points if you live in a zip code that traditionally votes for them, since they'll want to make sure they get/keep your vote.
C) If you can make it personal, make it personal. "I voted for you in the last election and I'm worried/happy/whatever" or "I'm a teacher, and I am appalled by Betsy DeVos," or "as a single mother" or "as a white, middle class woman," or whatever.
D) Pick 1-2 specific things per day to focus on. Don't go down a whole list - they're figuring out what 1-2 topics to mark you down for on their lists. So, focus on 1-2 per day. Ideally something that will be voted on/taken up in the next few days, but it doesn't really matter - even if there's not a vote coming up in the next week, call anyway. It's important that they just keep getting calls.
E) Be clear on what you want - "I'm disappointed that the Senator..." or "I want to thank the Senator for their vote on..." or "I want the Senator to know that voting in _____ way is the wrong decision for our state because..." Don't leave any ambiguity.
F) They may get to know your voice/get sick of you - it doesn't matter. The people answering the phones generally turn over every 6 weeks anyway, so even if they're really sick of you, they'll be gone in 6 weeks.
From experience since the election: If you hate being on the phone & feel awkward (which is a lot of people) don't worry about it - there are a bunch of scripts (Indivisible has some, there are lots of others floating around these day). After a few days of calling, it starts to feel a lot more natural. Put the 6 numbers in your phone (all under P – Politician. An example is McCaskill MO, Politician McCaskill DC, Politician Blunt MO, etc...) which makes it really easy to click down the list each day.

Edited to Add (2-1-2017): Here's a good resource to utilize to schedule some of that "face-to-face" time mention above. Oh and note to "Senator Flake": You seem to living up to your name with your potential no-shows and all.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Question from the audience (Freedom: 2017)

From the dark, dank recesses of evil (by which I mean a Youtube comment section*):

Sue T: Why do I care where you stick your dick?

Me: Sue T. Because other people "care" and use it as an excuse to treat other people as less than human and as something "inferior." After all, many heterosexual celebrities can talk openly about their relationships without any hand-wringing worries about "where they stick their dicks at". It's something that "real" people do and gay folks are part of reality. And if anyone else wants to live on the REAL world they have to truthfully acknowledge what exist in it.

*RIP George Michael. Also, free video! (One his bestest!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

(Belated) Holiday Wishes for the Politically Inclined

As one of his final acts, I wish Barack Obama would tells people to breathe so that that way a particular segment of our society will compulsively stop doing so.

Happy Holidays! 😊

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Da Mic Drop: Austin "Teebore" Gorton

Da Mic Drop is a regular segment, where we look at people who make such a pointed "standing-ovation-worthy" commentary in regards to a person or issue that it has to be highlighted. 

Kinda sad (and yet oddly appropriate, on this political climate) that some of the most insightful commentary on Trump's election to presidency is from a comic-book site. And yet Austin "Teebore" Gorton, proprietor of the perpetually entertaining Gentlemen of Leisure has taking a break from recapping 90s X-Men comic (one of the few things almost as horrifying as a Trump administration) has delivered an epic post on the feeling of despair that gripped many people after the election results came in It's all a good read, but the end is especially powerful:

America just told all those people, my wife, my son, the planet itself, that it doesn't value them, it doesn't like them, it doesn't care what happens to them so long as they can feel safe and pretend new jobs are going to magically appear out of nowhere and go about their lives like it's still 1950 without anything anything even slightly outside their definition of "normal" coming along to shatter that illusion. 
Yesterday, I went to my polling place and exercised my constitutional right to vote, an act which has always made me feel immensely proud to be an American. 
Tomorrow, I will try to take heart in the fact that those of who didn't give in to fear and hatred yesterday are strong, and technically more numerous than those who did. That the majority of us are fundamentally good people, and that even the good can occasionally fall, that the better angels of their nature can be, momentarily, overwhelmed by their fear or ignorance, and that they'll eventually see the error in aligning themselves with the truly evil, those who legitimately believe the hatred and bile routinely spouted by our new president. 
I will try to believe that we will pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, and continue to fight the good fight, continue to do good, no matter how much harder it is now, no matter how many obstacles are put in our way, for as long as we have a planet to fight on. 
Because doing good is the right thing to do. But today...Today, I have never been more ashamed to be an American. (emphasis mine)


Actually that whole thread is a must read. As many of the comments are just as profound. Particularly fantastic is this retort from regular poster "Jason" regarding the constant contrarian-scold concern-trolling excuse-making for Trump supporters calling voting  against their best interests some kind of "political revolution":

People are tired of the guys who spout fucked-up and incoherent messages, so they voted for Trump.
That makes sense. I myself am tired of this persistent,pesky cough I've got so I voted for the bubonic plague.


Indeed, this will now be my go-to response to the 5,987,654 such hand-wringing articles that pop up about how we need to treat such attitudes as "sincere political reform" and not the illogical, destructive behavior it is. But we sure showed that ol' cough a thing or two, eh? (Hack, wheeze, ack!)

In a related note I gave a response that noticed an unflattering link between the characters featured in the books Teebore usually reviews and the regrettably  frequent "characters" that enabled this idiot to rise to leader of our country (Warning: Chromium Age nerd culture alert) :

In a bizarre case of ironic timing, this site has recently covered the beginning of the "Iceman's bigoted dad" subplot in Uncanny X-Men #289. And we are currently only a few issues away from Graydon Creed's appearance in #299. The funny thing is that when both of these people appeared, at the time they were being derided for being too exaggerated and over-the-top with their prejudice to be believable. Before this year, that was an assessment I would have agreed with. Now though...

There seems to be an effort on to too many voters to reduce themselves to caricature, to find "identity" in conforming to the most outlandish stereotype. That's just sad, people! (especially when you end up less nuanced than 90s X-books.)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton the country lost (part 100,000 apparently)

Don't let the numerous fumbles of the political bench-warmers doing their post-election "armchair quarterbacking" fool you. I have the true deep analysis on where Hilary Clinton went wrong and the horribly offensive stratagems her team utilized. Here is the real reason she lost:

Her campaign overestimated the decency and common sense of a huge swatch of Americans. HOW DARE SHE?!?

(Ok I know I'm suppose to try to cynically exploit the chaos in order to promote a narrative through tenuous links of specious reasoning. But this is just the  TL:DR version of what those guys...often inadvertently...end up saying anyway. Albeit with a bit more inexplicably smug gloating, like "How condescending to have faith in the sensible decision-making skills of the public. Loser!")

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Da Mic Drop: Calvin (?!?)

Da Mic Drop is a regular segment, where we look at people who make such a pointed "standing-ovation-worthy" commentary in regards to a person or issue that it has to be highlighted. 

And yet another segment of the "VOTE  DAMMIT " feature as we enter the home stretch of the 2016 elections. I don't think anyone has captured the political id of the nation's consciousness like cartoonist (and inadvertent) political prophet) Bill Watterson. An example of that is his most famous creations Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" explaining his position as the president supreme-dictator-for-life of the "Voter Apathy Party" with the appropriate amount of maturity and thoughtfulness that only a bratty self-absorbed 6 year-old can muster!

Update (11-12-2016): Obviously, we decided to spend the next four years "blaming things than fixing them" (To be fair it is a lot more "fun")