Sink or swim it's your choice!

Guarding the dumpsters from the starving

Please consider donating to one of these aid groups below to help Texans during this devastating disaster.

Meanwhile it’s probably not a good sign for our rapidly approaching future/already arrived present that the immediate Republican response to a climate emergency like this was to blame it on green energy in order to placate their money guys and score culture war points while a lot of libs’ immediate response was to say Texans deserve it for not voting the right way. I’m sure this dynamic will become very familiar up to and even beyond the day Miami sloughs off into the ocean.

Even then we won’t be able to come to a consensus on reality. “Cultural Marxists want you to believe that ‘Florida’ ever existed” they’ll say.

“Are coastal refugees bringing disease to the heartland” the headlines not long after that will read.

There are unconfirmed rumors this morning that Ted Cruz and family travelled to Cancun yesterday while his constituents are suffocating and freezing to death and I wish someone would sort this story out soon because I’ve been reserving my judgment on whether or not Cruz is a cowardly slug this whole time and this will finally give me the evidence I need.

There’s certainly some stiff competition for Biggest Piece of Shit In Texas right now but you’d be hard pressed to do worse than this from the now former mayor of Colorado City Tim Boyd.

“No one owes you [or] your family anything; nor is it the local government's responsibility to support you during trying times like this!" he wrote on Facebook as the storm devastated his state. “Sink or swim it's your choice! The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING! I'm sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout.” 

To be clear none of that above is a deviation from the standard issue conservative’s actual thoughts you’re just not supposed to say any of it out loud during an emergency. It’s fine at all other times though.

I’m saddened by the passing of Rush Limbaugh yesterday at the age of seventy but only because I wish it had happened much sooner.

I briefly took some solace as many of us did in his death but it’s hard to maintain more than a fleeting buzz when one of these monsters croaks as soon as you remember just how overwhelmingly successful they were at their lifelong project of weaving unending suffering into the fabric of the country. I’d say the world is a better place without this man in it but everything he stood for is alive and well and not going anywhere anytime soon.

You’ll find no shortage of enthusiastic grave-pissing all over the internet but here are a few bits from our man David Roth’s obituary on Defector I liked.

…A long career in slavish service to power and pretend royalty followed, broadcasting under his (ridiculous, like the name of a dimwitted plantation owner who is repeatedly swindled out of his pants in a lesser Mark Twain short story) real name for the first time at Kansas City’s KMBZ. His name would in time become synonymous with conservative media and Republican politics, which is the sort of thing that would look like a compliment to someone unfamiliar with either of those things.

It was, in its way, all perfectly Limbaugh, both in terms of how he Invited Controversy and Sparked Conversation without actually saying or doing anything interesting or insightful or remotely new himself, and also because the combination of his bottomless carny cynicism and sincere personal reprehensibility made it impossible to parse just how much of a calculated work it really was. In his later career, Limbaugh pretty much did the same shit he always did, for a tremendous audience but far from the mainstream success that he simultaneously sought and reviled as part of his broader gambit. He spent his last years sucking up to Donald Trump, one of the few men alive to match Limbaugh’s own passions for getting divorced and listening to himself talk, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year.

I’m sort of surprised but not really that people actually tried the “don’t speak ill of the dead” and “so much for the tolerant left!” shtick for this superlatively evil man. That sort of thing is always a joke when it’s someone like Limbaugh but personally speaking he also happens to have had some insulting shit to say about me so I think I get a pass.

Anyway thanks for the shout out you old dead fuck. My only regret is that the Hell so many of his followers believe in isn’t real.

I found out Limbaugh died yesterday standing in a massive line during a rare trip to the grocery store to buy rock salt for my skating rink driveway and when the child they have working the register rang it up one of the bags broke open a little and he said oh let me get you a new one and I said no it’s fine and so he took a bunch of those bright orange circle stickers they put on bananas or whatever and tried to patch up the hole and I carried it out to the car leaving a trail of salt behind me like some kind of fairy tale idiot. It seemed like a metaphor for something.

I read a tweet just now that went like so: “The American state has disintegrated to the point that it’s literally incapable of efficiently administering anything but punishment. No social services, no public health capacity, no infrastructure resilience. Just policing and war.”

Here’s some related material.

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Dig Boston has a good piece on the efforts to build a new women’s prison here which local activists are trying to stop.

For more than a year, the Massachusetts Department of Correction has been trying to build a new women’s prison. And for more than a year, activists with Families for Justice as Healing, an organization focused on ending the incarceration of women and girls, have pushed back on the project, pointing out issues with how the state is trying to get it off the ground, and in the process leading to officials twice pulling plans after FJH criticized them as trying to circumvent public scrutiny.

Now, the DOC has a third plan to get the prison off the ground, and as with the previous proposals, the department is promising the new facility will be constructed with “trauma-informed design to create welcoming and therapeutic spaces.” Families for Justice as Healing is fighting this proposal as well, arguing that prisons with “trauma-informed” care are not possible in the first place, and that the DOC is ignoring the voices of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women who are advocating for community-based rehabilitation.

Hmmm a prison with “trauma-informed design to create welcoming and therapeutic spaces.”

“There’s no such thing as trauma-informed care in prison,” said Leslie Credle, who was incarcerated for five years, including a year at MCI-Framingham. “I say that because the atmosphere and environment inside prisons is toxic. When you first walk through the door, you are automatically humiliated, stripped of everything that makes you you. Every day you wear that uniform and that’s what you are, a name and number … It comes with a punitive approach rather than rehabilitative.”

“When you talk about building new prisons, you are putting out the message that those of us that live in these communities that you are intending future generations to be in those beds,” Andrea James of Families for Justice as Healing said and that is something that should seem so obvious yet it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks anyway right now. The idea that when a prison is constructed in your community it’s a sort of implied promise. It will be filled one way or the other. Demand must be met.

3.

Life expectancy in America dropped by an entire year in 2020 overall “a staggering decline that reflects the toll of the covid-19 pandemic as well as a rise in deaths from drug overdoses, heart attacks and diseases that accompanied the outbreak,” the Washington Post reported citing newly released government data.

“Black Americans lost 2.7 years of life expectancy, and Latinos lost 1.9. White life expectancy fell 0.8 years.”

“The last time life expectancy at birth dropped more dramatically was during World War II.”

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Throughout all that people have been desperately scrambling for help in the face of an uncaring and indifferent government (and god). Just ask our unofficial healthcare provider the guy who runs GoFundMe.

“From March 1 to Aug. 31 alone, people started more than 150,000 fundraisers for COVID-related assistance on our site, and the requests for help have yet to abate,” Tim Cadogan wrote in USA Today recently. “Last month, even after Congress passed a second relief bill in December, the number of new fundraisers on GoFundMe was higher than in May during the first wave of the pandemic.”

The situation is nothing short of a national emergency. Congress should treat it as such by quickly passing a large relief bill whose generosity is commensurate with the need.

We’ve known for years that most Americans don’t have $500 to spare to cover unexpected emergencies, like a car breakdown. Now, it’s as if their entire lives are breaking down again and again and again. The scale and variety of the fundraisers we see point to the level of desperation among Americans and give us a window into where the relief could be most helpful…

5.

Elsewhere in Portland this week where they’re dealing with a cold and storm emergency of their own grocery chain Fred Meyer disposed of perishable food that they said was “destroyed” by power outages.

“Images on social media showed mountains of packaged meat, cheese and juice, as well as whole turkeys and racks of ribs that had been tossed into two large dumpsters near the store,” Oregon Live reported.

When some local residents turned up to retrieve the food for distributing to those in need around a dozen police arrived to guard the dumpsters.

“None of this makes sense to me except through the lens of severely ingrained policing and a culture of disrespect for human dignity,” Juniper Simonis a local activist on hand said.

After Biden said earlier this week he will not allow the Schumer/Warren plan to forgive $50,000 in student debt to happen and that he instead favored around $10,000 I was reminded once again of one of the more disgust-inducing Hell Worlds in a while.

Since then some other readers have chimed in with similar stories of their own:

  • By my reckoning I have paid out a total of $112,000 since 2008 on a $90k balance after graduation. Have refinanced/consolidated a few times to push interest rate down. Currently owe $69,000. I’m glad that it hasn’t gone up but Jesus Christ people you’ve made your money.

  • Took out $40k that turned into $80k to pay for a school that doesn’t exist anymore to get into an industry that’s fighting for a $15 (?) min wage. I should have worked harder imo

  • I’m in this same boat. Took out 32k and after 4 years I’m like at 42k. We need debt relief/cancellation so bad.

  • I borrowed $23,000 in 2003, I still owe $17,879.32. Haven't missed a payment in over 10 years, was deferred for about 3 years while taking classes at another spot, and on forbearance when I couldn't afford to pay due to cost of city living. FUN! That means I've paid around $48,000 on a $23,000 loan and still owe $18,000 basically.

  • I hate you all for making me do this math. I took out 24k in 2006 and have paid 32k, still owe 7k and will have paid 40k when it's done in 2023. I dropped out after two semesters so it's basically just a penalty I pay every month.

  • 3 loans down, 3 loans left. $49,531 total borrowed, $58,160.39 total paid so far. $12,265.82 to go.

  • I borrowed $64,500 for grad school in 2008. 12 years of repayments later, I owe $108,500

  • Finished undergrad (state school) in 2001. 2 private loans are paid off. Consolidated federal loans in 2003 (+/- $16k). Loan has been transferred so many times I literally can't tell how much I've paid. Rough math says $32,000. $900 left to go.

Even if you're one of those people who say “Well they took on the responsibility of the loan...” etc SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE LONG SINCE PAID OFF THE ACTUAL AMOUNT OF THEIR TUITION AND YET STILL OWE TENS OF THOUSANDS. WHO THE FUCK ARE WE PAYING AT THIS POINT AND FOR WHAT?

It just occurred to me that staying in my house for about 99% of the past year to avoid Covid really calls into question that whole “I want to be dead” persona I thought I had going on there this whole time. I feel like you all deserve a refund.

No that’s not right I think it’s still in there it’s just hard to express it in new and interesting ways without it seeming derivative at this point on account of the aforementioned geographical stasis. I gotta go stand someplace else for a while in order to unlock it like when a slumping athlete gets traded to a new city and all of a sudden finds their stroke again rejuvenated by the new scenery. Everything here has been flattened and sadness needs contrast in order to stand out it’s like when you hold up a color swatch to the wall when you’re thinking about painting the room a new color and all of a sudden everything looks different.

Another day at the dick sucking factory Michelle just said when she came down from bed this morning and not in the good way. She beat me to it because I was already going to say the same thing.

Still though my heat is functioning and monotony seems like a privilege at this point.

The auto-correct wants me to change that word to “heart.”

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