Spare a thought for Barron Trump

I see everyone talking about how people shouldn’t make fun of Barron Trump, and I’m going to join the chorus.

I’m about the same age as Chelsea Clinton. I remember when Bill Clinton became President, and the media had a field day in bullying Chelsea. Oh yes, it was everyone’s favorite hobby to talk about how ugly the new First Daughter was. Such a great way to treat a 12-year-old girl.

So with that in mind, wouldn’t it be cool if we could now be the country that doesn’t gang up on kids who have to live in a fishbowl? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could choose not to repeat the abuses we heaped on Chelsea Clinton? Wouldn’t it set a great example if we could make the distinction between DJ Rump and all he represents, and a 10-year-old boy who didn’t ask for any of this?

And after 4 years (hopefully JUST 4 years) of DJ Rump’s time in Washington, plus several years more after that of being DJ Rump’s son, suppose Barron grows up to be his father’s worst nightmare? Imagine if Barron becomes the kind of person who can hit back against the damage his father’s done to our country?

Because if that happens, then we’ll be glad we handled him gently when he was 10. If he grows up to be his father’s son, then he’ll be grown up, and THEN we can be vicious to him.

In which I miss out on the fun times

Well, everyone, I’ve been sick with a cold for the past week. I only went to work for one day last week, and I expect my workday tomorrow to be a trainwreck. I finally started feeling sort-of better last night, so, no marching for me. I live not even 10 miles from Washington, DC, I’ve marched and protested before, I enjoyed it, but I will not do that to myself when I’m sick. Which is a shame, because the march looked fabulous and amazing in every possible way. I’m still knitting my pussyhat. I haven’t ruled out wearing it in public every day until warm weather arrives.

I’ll miss the Obamas. I would’ve been okay with another 4-8 years of them in the White House.

I finally watched Selma today. Anyone who thinks violence never accomplishes anything: Ava DuVernay and Dr. King would like to have a word with you.

Also, I am totally supportive of punching Nazis in the face. Or the gut. Or the crotch. Whatever part presents first.

 

Tired of this basic-ass shit

Just spotted this putz on Twitter:

mattgarzadeleteyouraccount

Yeah, first of all, if you’re going to tag your Tweet as “just saying,” try spelling “just” correctly. Not the sort of thing that requires an advanced degree.

I am so far past DONE debating reproductive rights at this level. Abstinence is not a contraceptive strategy, it is a condition defined by absence. Being in a situation in which you don’t need contraception, is in itself NOT a contraceptive method. You’re not having sex? That’s fine! It’s not a position from which to determine health coverage policy.

Most of all, I am not the least bit interested in playing this game where some lying fuckhead says “well if you don’t want a baby then don’t have sex” and I respond as if this person actually expects us to stop having sex. I no longer accept that premise. They don’t realistically expect us to swear off sexual activity, and they would not be happy if we did so.

The difference between the alleged sexual profligacy of “this generation” and the supposed restraint of previous generations is that we no longer see a virtue in systemically punishing fertile young women for doing what everyone does when they get the chance. We are not interested in going back to the era of pregnant women hiding out in homes for unwed mothers, and their offspring growing up in orphanages. We don’t want to produce even more hungry mouths to grow up to become cheap labor and cannon fodder, and we don’t think that makes us less virtuous than our ancestors who had no better options.

Couchsurfing for abortion access

Is there a social network or database of people who live in states with pretty liberal abortion rights, who are willing to host pregnant people who need to travel to get abortions?

Because I live in Maryland, and I’ve got couch space available for people coming from Ohio. Must play nicely with my cat. Free lodging, food, Internet, reading material, and I’ll give you a ride to and from the Metro station. Ask nicely and I’ll pay for Lyft rides to and from the clinic.

#922: “Is it selfish to break up with this person even though he’s not doing too well right now?”

Oh, hell, I’ve been dumped for much less and still recovered. Walk away and don’t look back.

Captain Awkward

Captain,

It might be selfish, but I need to break up with this guy. We’ve been going out for just about 4 months, and for over a month of this time, I have been on the receiving end of hearing about how terrible this guy’s life is and how I’m the only thing that makes him happy.

I have listened, I have offered advice when asked (and I have been asked a lot), I have…probably put up with this for longer than I should have. I am no longer having fun with him.

He goes on and on about how his ex (with whom he has a son) is working behind his back to take their kid to live abroad without his “permission”, or how his work is so hard and he just doesn’t want to go in any more.

On the rare occasion he does ask how I am…

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GRRM’s idea of a good leader

Winter posted this long-ass video interview with GRRM today. I have not watched the video because my attention span isn’t that long, but they also posted some edited highlights, and there are some really interesting answers there. I’m actually nowhere near as interested in what he says about the content of Winds of Waiting (it’s not really giving me any useful information) as much as his answer of who “deserves” to get the Iron Throne.

I don’t know that ‘deserve’ is really an operative word. The Iron Throne doesn’t necessarily go to who deserves it, but to who has the power to take and to hold it. But there are things in the books where I indicate what a king should be, what separates a good king from a bad king…It should be a public service position. The king’s job is the land, the people of the land, to make them prosperous, to protect them, to defend them, to provide them with justice. And that’s what the ideal king should be. There have been previous few of them in human history, sad to say.

Actually, I love this answer, because we can gather something about GRRM’s worldview from how he approaches this question. I think GRRM is an is/does/will sort of thinker, rather than building his narrative around matters of “should” and “deserve” and “right.” He’s thinking in terms of outcomes, rather than moral abstractions. The role of king/queen is a job, not a prize. The leader serves the people, not the other way around. A good leader is one who makes good things happen for the people, regardless of what that leader as an individual “deserves.” Furthermore, part of the king/queen’s job is to hold the throne. It doesn’t matter how morally upright and principled they are, how generous or gentle or clever, how hard they’ve worked to win that position; if they cannot stay on the throne for very long, they cannot look after their people.

What this tells me is that the endgame of ASOIAF will revolve around questions of who makes the metaphorical trains run on time, rather than deciding who deserves what.

In which my cat is still outside.

I’ve made a bit of progress on my displaced indoor cat.

I took the day off work and spent about two hours just walking all over the neighborhood with Purrion’s favorite tassel toy. Didn’t see any sign of the cat, but my neighbors two doors up said they’d seen a “black streak” get chased under their back deck by another cat. 

Eventually, I went down to the police station, and the ladies in Communications helped to connect me with Animal Control. They have lent me a humane trap and wildlife camera, which are now set up in my backyard. The shelter folks say it generally takes a cat going hungry for 2-3 weeks before it’s desperate enough to walk into a trap, and I hate the idea of my cat being outside for that long, but if that’s what it takes to get him back in my house, then I’m glad for the trap.

A bit earlier this afternoon, after doing a bit of housecleaning, I went outside again and…I saw my cat. 

Of course he’s still not home with me. He’ll let me see him in daylight, but he won’t come close enough to touch him.

He seems to like hanging out under the back deck at the house two doors up from me, so, yes, that “black streak” getting chased under there by another cat was probably my Purrion. That yard is where he seems to be hanging out for the time being. I’ve approached a couple of times, and I managed to engage him a little bit with his favorite tassel toy, but he’ll only interact with me a very little bit before he pulls away again.

Anyway, he looks healthy, I have a good point of reference for his location, and I feel better for having seen him. The neighbors in that house have seen him, so we’re on the same page. He’ll come back to my house when he’s ready.

Now I can’t help but think back to that conversation I had with Bill at AAA Emergency Tree Service, in which he told me to get on with my day rather than pay hundreds of dollars for one of their guys to come over and get him out of the tree.

In a limited sense, Bill was right, in that Purrion did eventually come down from the tree. Unfortunately, he’s still out of my hands two days later. I would have gladly paid several hundred dollars to have him brought down from the tree and into my house, rather than spend all this time trying to get him back. I don’t know how many more days it’ll take before Purrion comes home. I don’t know how much longer he’ll go hungry before he’s back inside. I don’t know what kind of shape he’ll be in when he reaches the point of coming back to me. Yes, I would have happily paid for him to be professionally de-treed after only a couple of hours, rather than let him stay out in the neighborhood for an undetermined number of days. I would have paid that much to correct my mistake.

The ladies in Communications at my local police station are awesome. The nice people at the animal shelter are awesome. The guy who picked up the phone at the tree service, however? Not so much.