Weather Whiplash: As Polar Vortex Brings Deep Freeze, Is Extreme Weather Linked to Climate Change?

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The Sanctimonious Self-Righteousness of Politically Correct Jerks

The Left is plagued with more Politically Correct than thou sanctimonious jerks.  They exhibit the same mindless true believer self-righteousness one often associates with extreme right wing jerks.

A few days ago I found myself laughing my ass off while reading a piece on The Portland Intelligencer.

See:

Sanctimonious Portland Activist Tells Native American to Not Self-Reference as an ‘Indian’

This and other attempts to teach him to behave in an appropriate manner fall on deaf ears.

By
Published: 01/02/2014

PORTLAND, OR — Wynter Amelie is, among other things, an activist, who hails from Portland, OR. Her hobbies include traveling around the world, to witness and learn. “I like to base my opinions on first-hand experience,” she explains.

But when Amelie’s journey brought her to the Puyallup Indian Reservation, she found her tolerance — and her patience — tested to the limits, and perhaps a good deal beyond.

“He was frying up something called popovers, in olive oil this time,” retells Amelie, “when he asked if I had ever had Indian food before.”

“It took me a moment to realize that he must have meant Native American food,” she recalls, with obvious discomfort. “I clearly had a lot of work to do.”

“Before long, I was teaching him about sustainability and locally-empowered community structures, when I went to help myself to some beer, and I noticed the Cascadian flag sticker on his refrigerator. Talk about neocolonial erasure! I told him that joining a cult of bioregionalism does not make him a radical®, and that he needed to be flying the flag of his First Nation, instead — whichever one it would be, I really don’t know.”

“I quickly reached my breaking point with his oppressive use of language,” Amelie recalls. “It was time to do some calling-out.”

“The thing of it is, he didn’t even seem to ‘get’ what was going on. He seemed to think that this was ‘sharing time’ — he started talking himself about examples of oppression, and kept offering stories about his family that were supposed to be somehow related to the topics I was covering. And, ugh — I was so disgusted when he brought up the draft, that I completely lost my appetite! I ended up having to throw away most of my food, right into the trash. His non-apology for even bringing it up was pretty weak.”

“Then he began talking about Wall Street and the banks, as if this was 2011 or something. That was my first clue that this dude was just racist — and then he quoted a misogynistic Ani Difranco lyric! ‘Women learn to be women, men learn to be men.’ Wow! I mean, if he’s going to start quoting white supremacists, why doesn’t he just play some Saga while he’s at it?”

“Our conversation, overall, was quite stimulating. Her knowledge of the history of this land is quite keen,” blandishes Rogers. “I offered some personal stories about what’s happened over the past few generations of my family, to continue the narrative. Specifically, about how my father was drafted into the war, and how he never really came back — his descent into depression and alcoholism; and how that manifested abusively, ultimately leading to me and my siblings being raised by my grandparents. My grandfather was also drafted, into World War II, and he constantly relived the nightmare, which had its own impact on our domestic life,” he whiningly drones on, as if this were a paid therapy session. “Much of my own issues, as an adult, stem from this violence, despite my personally never having been in the military. The effects of wars from generations ago are still visited onto our children, even today.”

“Don’t misunderstand that to mean that I am appropriating the issues faced specifically by my father or grandfather,” he adds, just after having blatantly appropriated their issues — seemingly oblivious to, or at least uncaring of, the erasing effect this has on their voices.

Complete article at:  http://pdxintelligencer.com/sanctimonious-portland-activist-tells-native-american-to-not-self-reference-as-an-indian/

I’ve gone through this scenario in the past with a number of the politically perfect Transgender Borg who have told me how my forty-five years of living as a transitioned woman do not give me the experience to contradict their dogma or even voice a dissenting opinion.

This sort of behavior isn’t really about furthering any sort of solidarity or meeting of the minds through any sort of discussion. It is really about demonstrating one’s superiority, how one is morally better, more sensitive etc than others.

Among the tools that get used in this game are the insistence on “trigger warnings” when ever anyone is describing a violent situation they may have survived, thereby taking attention away from the person who survived the situation and placing it on the sanctimonious soul who is sensitive to having her bad memories triggered by merely hearing about another person’s horror story.

This sort of behavior is movement killing stuff.

There has been a piece going around the Trans-Intertubes the last couple of days about men who wear these silicone second skins that make them appear like female rubber dolls.

‘When I put on a mask and wig I become one of the beautiful people’: Secrets of men who dress up as rubber dolls revealed in new documentary

Years ago I remember seeing such a thing  in a sex toy catalogue one of my BDSM friends had.

I found some of the stuff in the catalog pretty strange and incredibly expensive.

I sort of find the whole idea really pretty creepy, unsettling in the same way the photography of Cindy Sherman or Joel-Peter Witkin is disturbing and creepy.

When one of my friends questioned my being creeped out by this I explained how I can understand cos-play and even the Plushy/Furry thing but how this seemed almost like the character in Silence of the Lambs donning the skins of women he had murdered.

I asked how people would feel about someone who donned such a mask if the person donning the mask were white and the mask made them appear black?

Cultural appropriation is something people get taken to task for.   I have a hard time taking accusations of cultural appropriation seriously because as the world grows ever more multicultural and less culturally segregated these things like food, clothing, art and music become part of the greater cultural commons.

Yet there is something unsettling about this donning of a mask.

Transsexual and transgender people transition to reveal their true selves. Masking on the other hand is an act of appropriation of the form of another that hides the wearer’s true self.

The semiotics of masking aside though.

I have the right to find the act creepy.  Being trans does not require me to embrace the world of kink.  I can or should be able to say, “I find this behavior creepy,” without being accused of bigotry by some self-righteous twit who is convinced of her own moral superiority.

After all being creeped out by something is not the same as saying the person engaging in said activity should be persecuted or discriminated against.

Let’s role play substituting vegans and their disgust towards meat eaters. Does the disgust of vegans for meat eaters make them bigots?

Wealth Inequality in America

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An Economy That Benefits Ordinary People? What We Learned From the 1%

From Yes Magazine:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-to-eat-like-our-lives-depend-on-it/what-we-learned-from-the-1-about-long-term-planning-for-a-new-economy

When thinking 40 years into the future, people step out of the current political situation, and our sense of what’s possible becomes much more expansive. We are not only able to think bigger—we crave it.

by
Dec 31, 2013

National People’s Action members recognize that to reverse the economic and political conditions that are crushing American families, we need a long-term strategy. We believe that if we let the challenging circumstances of now lower our expectations of what’s possible, we’ve already lost. Instead, we have decided to completely reimagine what is possible.

That is why 500 NPA members worked for a year to develop the Long-Term Agenda to the New Economy. Family farmers and public housing residents, employed workers and those seeking work, new immigrants and those whose families have been here for generations worked together identifying the structural reforms necessary to change the balance of power to favor people and democracy over corporate interests. Our members provided direction to the process from start to finish, building an agenda that is truly representative of people.

We started by dissecting the agenda of the corporate elites that produced what we call the 1% economy. The economic and political reality of today is not accidental. Corporate CEOs, think tanks, and political operatives created the 1% economy. Their strategy was to expand the focus of corporate America from simply amassing profit to aggregating power. They organized individual companies and families into a corporate infrastructure, working to build power to advance their agenda. Over the course of decades, they have gained control of our political process, government, and media and used them to shape an economy that serves their interests at the expense of the American people.

With that in mind, we built our own agenda. Imagine a new economic ethos in America. Imagine it creates an economy in which the prosperity and well-being of all people is accounted for in our national bottom line. One that lifts everybody up, and is defined by a robust commitment to dismantling the structural barriers that lock poor and working-class people, people of color, and women out of economic opportunity. Envision a society where global sustainability is a defining economic priority. Imagine that the best-case scenario isn’t simply hoping to share in the prosperity of corporate elites.

That is the world that the members of National People’s Action are fighting to create.
In creating the agenda, we learned a key lesson. When invited to think 30 and 40 years into the future, people are able to step out of the morass of our current political environment, and our sense of what’s possible becomes much more expansive. We are not only able to think bigger; we crave it. Those of us struggling every day in the 1% economy want and need to think beyond the limits of our current reality.

Continue reading at:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-to-eat-like-our-lives-depend-on-it/what-we-learned-from-the-1-about-long-term-planning-for-a-new-economy

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Is ‘Polar Vortex’ Attributable to Climate Change? Yes.

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/01/06-7

As temperatures plummet, a reminder: ‘Every weather event in the modern world is attributable to climate change.’

Jon Queally

Weather isn’t climate and the climate isn’t weather, but if someone asks whether the ‘polar vortex’ now being experience by tens of millions of people across the country is driven by climate change, you don’t have to wait for the next wave of scientific research to come out. The answer is ‘Yes.’

Sadly and predictably, however—as much of the nation faces the coldest temperatures seen in nearly two decades on Monday and into Tuesday— the push of bone-chilling arctic air into southern Canada and much of the United States has the climate change denialists pushing their familiar falsehoods about how near-record lows nationwide somehow disproves global warming.

In just one example, multi-millionaire and political pundit Donald Trump took to Fox News on Monday morning to say that the freezing temperatures help prove that there is a great “hoax” around climate change. “You know,” Tump said when asked to explain, “I think the scientists are having a lot of fun.”

On Monday, federal and state agencies issued dire warnings about freezing temperatures that have blanketed the midwest, saying that millions of Americans are under threat by windchill temperatures today and tomorrow that could be life-threatening. Temperature readings, factoring in windchill effect, were reported as low as -63°F in Montana and -50°F in places in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/01/06-7

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The Year of the Great Redistribution

From Robert Reich:  http://robertreich.org/post/72265646495

Robert Reich
Saturday, January 4, 2014

One of the worst epithets that can be leveled at a politician these days is to call him a “redistributionist.” Yet 2013 marked one of the biggest redistributions in recent American history. It was a redistribution upward, from average working people to the owners of America.

The stock market ended 2013 at an all-time high — giving stockholders their biggest annual gain in almost two decades. Most Americans didn’t share in those gains, however, because most people haven’t been able to save enough to invest in the stock market. More than two-thirds of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.

Even if you include the value of IRA’s, most shares of stock are owned by the very wealthy. The richest 1 percent of Americans owns 35 percent of the value of American-owned shares. The richest 10 percent owns over 80 percent. So in the bull market of 2013, America’s rich hit the jackpot.

What does this have to do with redistribution? Some might argue the stock market is just a giant casino. Since it’s owned mostly by the wealthy, a rise in stock prices simply reflects a transfer of wealth from some of the rich (who cashed in their shares too early) to others of the rich (who bought shares early enough and held on to them long enough to reap the big gains).

But this neglects the fact that stock prices track corporate profits. The relationship isn’t exact, and price-earnings ratios move up and down in the short term. Yet over the slightly longer term, share prices do correlate with profits. And 2013 was a banner year for profits.

Where did those profits come from? Here’s where redistribution comes in. American corporations didn’t make most of their money from increased sales (although their foreign sales did increase). They made their big bucks mostly by reducing their costs — especially their biggest single cost: wages.

They push wages down because most workers no longer have any bargaining power when it comes to determining pay. The continuing high rate of unemployment — including a record number of long-term jobless, and a large number who have given up looking for work altogether — has allowed employers to set the terms.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/72265646495

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