Opinion, Politics

IS HISTORY WATCHING ALL OF US?

There has been a lot of mentions of history in the last week. In arguments in favor of keeping statues of the Confederacy, history is intrinsically connected to these physical monuments, and to tear them down (or, more realistically, remove them from public spaces) would be to erase our history. In arguments in favor of removing those statues, history is also painful and detrimental to people who view those statues as relics of oppression.

History is being fought over so much, you’d think it was the First Impression Rose on a premiere of The Bachelor. And yes, that is the second time I’ve mentioned The Bachelor franchise in as many articles. It’s a cultural touchstone, people.

People are so obsessed with history: preserving it, protecting it, acknowledging it. In a Twitter statement of his response to the Charlottesville tragedies, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) admonished President Trump and mentioned history:

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Essay, Politics

ACKNOWLEDGE WHITE PRIVILEGE

Header credit: Wikimedia Commons


When I first saw the photos of the march through the University of Virginia’s campus, of white faces oiled by sweat and contorted by rage and chants, lit by the flames of tiki torches, a small flicker of surprise almost went unnoticed amidst the chill of horror that climbed up my spine.

Brief surprise that white supremacists, Nazis, would march through the streets, unhooded, uncovered – unabashed because they were so certain in their rise. And then just as quickly, that flicker of surprise turned to sickness and shame in my stomach. I should not be surprised by the evilness and callousness of people. As a gay man, I have been groped, harassed, called “faggot” and “queer”, unfriended by people whose parents did not want me in their home. I write on the Internet – I was once called a faggot for an article I had written on the CW show Riverdale. I know how cruel and vicious people can be.

I should not be surprised that white supremacists felt comfortable enough to march in the streets, but I was. I was surprised because of my own white privilege.

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Politics

A TAKE ON THE NORTH KOREA-TRUMP SITCH THAT STARTED LIGHT BUT GOT REAL DARK, REAL FAST

Header photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense 

I can’t decide if Twitter jokes about nuclear war makes me want to laugh or cry, and really that’s the best description I can think of for Twitter – and the internet world in general.

So I’m coming off working my first freelance job, and it was very exciting but a little draining for someone who, until now, has considered wearing pants with zippers to be the greatest triumph of any given day. So I almost considered skipping this, because I knew it would have to be about the whole Trump-North Korea thing and I just wasn’t ready to put on my journalist hat. But then I realized, infusing humor and drama into politics is what I do best. So I’m going to give you a Casual Cool Hip Take on the Trump-North Korea dramz.


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Body Health, Politics

SENATOR CORY BOOKER INTRODUCES FEDERAL BILL THAT WOULD LEGALIZE MARIJUANA

Header image source: Wikimedia Commons


Today, August 1, Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey introduced via Facebook Live the Marijuana Justice Act, which would remove “marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level,” according to the press release from Senator Booker’s website.

The bill attempts to reverse “decades of failed drug policy that has disproportionately impacted communities of color” by retroactively applying to those incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. Booker is attempting to address, largely, the fact that black people are disproportionately arrested for marijuana use, getting arrested roughly four times more than white people despite the two groups using the same amount.

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Politics

SCARAMUCCI IS OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE

Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci was let go from his position as the communications director of the White House at the behest of the new chief of staff, John Kelly, according to the New York Times.

Scaramucci was only communications director since July 21, during which time he missed the birth of his son to attend Donald Trump’s speech at the Boy Scouts’ Jamboree and had an expletive-filled tirade during a phone call with a reporter from the New Yorker, where he called Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff, a “f*cking paranoid schizophrenic” and threatened to fire everyone in the White House until the leaks stopped. In comparison, I have done very little since July 21.

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LGBTQ, Politics

TRUMP’S BAN ON TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN THE MILITARY

Some research on exactly how transgender military personnel play into the larger scheme.


On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump used Twitter to announce a reversal of the Obama-era policy that allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military.

In the three tweets, Trump wrote, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allowTransgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelmingvictory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.

The decision caught officials at the Pentagon “off guard,” according to a New York Times article on the subject. “They had been studying, per the orders of Mr. Mattis [Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis] how transgender troops in the military affect other service members, but not with a view toward removing transgender people from the military, several defense officials said.” Mr. Mattis was on vacation when the president made his announcement, and it’s unclear if Mattis was aware that Trump would be making this decision.

Mattis, a retired general, had recently requested a six-month extension on the implementation of the plan to update “medical standards to accommodate transgender service members.” However, Mattis said that the extension did not presuppose a ban on transgender military personnel, according to a Washington Post article. 

From the track record and history of Trump’s tendency to lie (from the size of his inauguration crowd to his belief in voter fraud), the immediate reaction when reading these tweets is not to believe that this is a decision based on hours of careful, rigorous research.

So, in approximately five minutes, I was able to come up with the numbers of how exactly transgender people serving openly affects the military. Now, the breakdown.

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Humor, Politics, pop culture

JARED KUSHNER’S CLOSED-SESSION MEETING WITH SENATE INTELLIGENCE

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the president, has stated, after his closed-session meeting with Senate intelligence staffers, “I did not collude with Russia.”


Photo source: Bravo via Jezebel


Do you remember when you were a little kid, and you did something wrong (broke a fancy glass; accidentally deleted a work file off your parents’ computer; failed a math test) and you had the rest of the afternoon to figure out a good-enough lie to tell to your parents when they got home?

And when they got home, you totally blew the secret because you told the lie in its shiny, well-packaged entirety before your parents even had a chance to discover what you had accidentally done. “And that’s why I failed that test,” you said, vibrating with your lie.

Your parents gave you a long, measured look before calling you on your shit. And even as you were telling it, you knew that they wouldn’t buy it. The truth is weird and messy and doesn’t make sense. Lies, especially lies that you’ve had enough time to concoct, are too clean.

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