How to Rage-Donate Against Chuck Grassley

From the article:

Well, that was quick: Less than a day after Grassley’s performance at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing investigating Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault against nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a Crowdpac has been started to fund his future opponent in 2022. In roughly 14 hours, it’s raised about $63,000.

The fund was started by Ady Barkan, the activist behind the Crowdpac to fund Maine senator Susan Collins. Unlike Grassley’s Crowdpac, Collins’s is specifically tied to her vote on Kavanaugh: If she votes yes, the more than $1.6 million already raised goes to fund her opponent in 2020.

Source: How to Rage-Donate Against Chuck Grassley

It’s now up to $162,813 as of this writing. Get on it!

Court rules antigay protesters rights were violated when police asked them to cross the street / LGBTQ Nation

From the article:

A federal court ruled that the city of Nashville violated the free speech rights of anti-gay protesters by asking them to move across the street from pride festivities.

In 2015, John McGlone and Jeremy Peters stood on a sidewalk at Public Square Park during Nashville Pride, using bullhorns and audio equipment to declare their hatred of gay people.

A police officer who was working security for the pride festival told them that they’d be arrested if they stayed on that sidewalk. So they crossed the street and continued their protest for a few hours.

McGlone and Peters sued. The city said that it had a right to ask them to move since they “interfered” with the message of the pride festival.

Source: Court rules antigay protesters rights were violated when police asked them to cross the street / LGBTQ Nation

As much as I hate these fuckers, this is incredibly tricky. I hate that these assholes show up to every Pride related event. I hate that they show up outside Planned Parenthood. I hate everything about them.

Yet, these tactics, of moving protestors where they have no impact, are used against liberal protestors too. Remember the free speech zones? It was a way to shove all criticisms and protest so far to the side that it didn’t even matter.

I’m older, and have my roots in a more punk subculture when I was young. That means I don’t think lawful protest is always going to get the job done. As I’ve aged, I really think social change comes from a combination of the good lawful peaceful protests combined with more aggressive elements here and there.

The problem is that if you do everything right, and get shoved into a free speech zone, nothing you do is going to matter. Police forces and politicians have had since the 1960s to figure out these tactics and completely nullify them. That’s why seeing idiots with signs outside the courthouse does little more but annoy folks that they are in their way to get in the door.

Then the 80s/90s came and more black block tactics started to rumble up. It’s disruptive, and got notice. That’s what it was supposed to do. The legacy of that is anti-fascist groups that have stepped up to fight our bona fide Nazi problem at protests. I support those glorious bastards, because if you want to be a Nazi? Get punched like a Nazi.

But that means that I am not sure making it legal to move asshole anti-gay protesters at Pride events is a good thing. At my first Pride parade one of these groups set up shop right behind us. Our group heckled and pressed them into the wall, where an apartment guy stole there hate banner. Made my day actually.

Sure we could mitigate the shittiness of their presence by making it legal to push protestors to the side, but that law will apply to everyone. I’m just not okay with that.

So while I hate these people, I am okay with this legal ruling. What I find more interesting is that these court rulings seem to only benefit anti-gay protestors and Planned Parenthood stalkers. That’s of more concern to me.

Shedding Some Light on Dark Money Political Donors — ProPublica

From the article:

Political nonprofits don’t have to disclose the names of their donors. But thanks to a good-government group, you can now find out about nearly $763 million in donations to these “dark money” organizations.

Source: Shedding Some Light on Dark Money Political Donors — ProPublica

This is very important. Lobby groups are very good at shuffling money in ways that it skirts our existing laws and no longer needs reported. In politics, and a lot of areas in life, you have to follow the money. It often makes things very clear on why people do the things they do.

ProPublica has an excellent track record on this kind of thing. I high recommend taking a look.

Firefighters boycott Pride march in solidarity with banned police officers · PinkNews

Okay, the timeline of events. The police submitted to enter the Madison, Wisconsin Pride Parade. Their application was rescinded because there is not a lot of goodwill between the LGBT community and the police, and many people under the LGBT umbrella feel unsafe.

The parade welcomed all officers out of uniform, and without their weapons, but said no official uniformed and weaponed police, please. The police threw a wobbler, because they can’t understand why anyone would feel unsafe by having uniformed police with guns around.

Now the fire department “Doesn’t want to divide the community” and has done so by making a loud pronouncement and pulling from the parade because they are about as self reflective as a bowl full of dicks.

Funny enough, the University of Wisconsin police department, separate from Madison’s finest, who were also effected by the ban on uniformed and weapon holding presence managed to tweeted a fully supported tweet on the day of the parade.

Source: Firefighters boycott Pride march in solidarity with banned police officers · PinkNews

This is the thing. A lot of us have bad histories with uniformed police not because we are criminals but because a police officer that is a bigot can wield their power as a cudgel to enforce their bigotry while on duty. There are officers that do this to the black community up to including murdering black people. There are officers that do it to the LGBT community, and definitely to the trans community.

Until I got my driver’s license gender changed, I was very nervous to be pulled over for any reason. At the time I had to fly to the South for work, and a young transgender man, like me, had been thrown in jail for a week because of that little F, for female, on his drivers license. It was just a traffic stop. Yet the officer totally fucked him, and then the Southern justice system further fucked him over.

These are facts. This happens to us.

Yet, we have police that are in communities that are scarred and fearful of them demanding to be a part of our celebration without doing the work of repairing those relationships.

I did find that Madison has an MPD Pride, LGBT Resource group. They also adopted a policy on dealing with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, spearheaded by MPD Pride. I could not find anything else regarding the MPD’s relationship to LGBT folks with Google, though.

This is all very recent, and it’s a good start. Yet, like most places, there is an endless history of fear from the police in the LGBT community. We’ve seen a few false starts over the years where police department’s attempts at goodwill only lasts as long as the officers spearheading it are there, then it’s back to business as usual.

Pride is not just a big dumb gay party, it IS about politics. This is a way for the MPD to hear from the LGBT community that they are still fearful. That there is still work to be done to repair these relationships.

The fire department? Seriously, fuck them and their entirely divisive decision because they “don’t want to divide the community.”


Have You Had Problems Changing Your Name or Gender… — ProPublica

From the article:

We’re investigating the barriers transgender and gender-nonconforming people face in changing their name or gender marker on government-issued IDs.

Source: Have You Had Problems Changing Your Name or Gender… — ProPublica

If you have had any problems getting your documentation, Pro Publica wants to know. Their reporters want to hear all about it. This is great, because they are the good guys. They really dig into the stories.

Let them know anything you ran into. I’m battling Arizona over my birth certificate right now, so I was happy to submit my experiences.

Use Your Frequent Flyer Miles to Help Families Separated at the Border

From the article:

Michigan Support Circle says it uses the miles to either bring parents to their children, or to unite parent and child with other relatives. You can register your miles here. The organization is requesting money to help pay for school supplies for children whose parents have been detained by ICE.

Source: Use Your Frequent Flyer Miles to Help Families Separated at the Border

Want to help? Have Frequent Flyer Miles? This is how you can help.

Strawgate: The Ableist and Useless Straw Ban

From the article:

It is also irresponsible to place the weight and accountability of solving the ocean plastics problem onto individuals. The majority of ocean plastics are from a handful of powerful industrial conglomerates that pollute our oceans despite being warned of the consequences to their behavior since the 1970s. But so-called developed nations have not been making enough substantial, concrete, and legislative changes to seriously help the environment.  In addition to not doing enough in holding big businesses accountable for their waste, developed nations often blame developing countries as the sole contributors to our ocean plastics problem, while they quietly ship these countries their plastic waste for disposal. Countries like the United States also refuse to sign onto global conventions attempting to address this urgent issue. While individuals in the west pay more than 90% of the cost of recycling, their governments of these developed nations hand out huge subsidies to big businesses in fossil fuels—even though plastics are made out of fossil fuels.

It is indeed an overdue necessity that we clean up our oceans and find sustainable alternatives to our plastic problem, but straws that can make the difference for disabled people as a necessary accommodation are not the hill ableds should die on. We often hear “every little bit counts,” but even if every single person in this world reduced their plastic consumption drastically, it will not have ANY significant effect on our oceans. Instead of putting the onus of reducing ocean plastic waste onto an already marginalized group, why are we not holding these huge multi-billion-dollar corporations accountable for the massive amount of pollutants and plastics they’ve disposed of that are steadily obliterating our environment?

Source: Strawgate: The Ableism Behind Exclusionary Activism – The Establishment

This is an article from a disabled writer that discusses the straw ban at length. personally, I felt it was dumb because banning straws is nothing more than a feel-good, but do-nothing, action that isn’t going to help anyone at all. It might actually impact a small percentage of disabled people adversely.

For me, any action that ultimately doesn’t do anything, and adversely effects anyone is a bust.

The two paragraphs I quoted are the ones most people will care about.

Swedish student’s plane protest stops Afghan man’s deportation ‘to hell’ | World news | The Guardian

From the article:

A lone student activist on board a plane at Gothenburg airport has prevented the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker from Sweden by refusing to sit down until the man was removed from the flight.

Her successful protest, footage of which spread rapidly across the internet, shines a spotlight on domestic opposition to Sweden’s tough asylum regime, at a time when immigration and asylum are topping the agenda of a general election campaign in which the far right is polling strongly.

Source: Swedish student’s plane protest stops Afghan man’s deportation ‘to hell’ | World news | The Guardian

This young woman is a hero. I am so impressed with her actions, and her compassion to the asylum seeker that was going to be shipped back to a place he would likely be murdered.

I am truly moved and inspired.

What to Do If You See ICE in Seattle

From the article:

Call WAISN’s hotline: 1-844-724-3737.

WAISN volunteers work to confirm reports they receive and then distribute that information to immigrants and other affected communities. Reporting to the hotline can not only help verify the officers are in fact ICE, but can help summon legal advocates and others to assist the people being targeted

Source: What to Do If You See ICE in Seattle – Slog – The Stranger

This is the first time I’ve seen this. This is cool. If you are in Seattle, then this is who you call if you see ICE.

Are there any other hotlines? I’d like to post them up as well.