Daily WTF: Trump’s Claim That It’s Okay to Be Misogynistic If You’re Not Running For Office

Donald Trump is running his Presidential campaign on one core principle: he is not like all of the lying, manipulating politicians we have in Washington. He is an outsider who hasn’t been poisoned by Washington interests and is completely uninfluenced by money (since he’s financing his own campaign – sort of). People like him because he’s “honest” and “speaks his mind,” even if doing so results in hateful, misogynist, xenophobic, and childish language.

Why then did Trump state that he would have toned down the misogyny if he knew he would one day run for office? Continue reading

Gun Laws, State by State – Hawaii

Note: As mass shootings gain more media attention, more and more people are discussing gun control. While many seem to believe that registering all guns, requiring background checks for all purchases, and preventing identifiably dangerous people from purchasing guns are all good ideas, just as many seem to be afraid that any gun control law will mean the loss of all civilian guns. Organizations like the NRA play on these fears, telling people that guns are already too regulated and any further action will mean the loss of the much cherished 2nd Amendment (which is more for well-regulated militia than civilians, but that’s an argument for another day).

So I wanted to see what exactly the gun laws are in each state. Are guns too regulated? Do states with tight gun laws have more gun violence or less? What does it even take to get a gun nowadays? With these questions in mind, I’ll be starting a new weekly series – Gun Laws, State by State. I will try to document the most up-to-date gun laws in each state as well as provide facts on gun deaths in each state. Hopefully, by the time I get to the last state, we will all be better educated on gun control and gun deaths. If you have any additional information on the state in question, add it in the comments.

Previous post: Mississippi Continue reading

Daily WTF: Ignoring Terrorist Attacks that Don’t Happen in the West

Photo: Men mourning the deaths of their relatives, photo taken from http://tribune.com.pk/story/1073825/blast-in-lahore-leaves-several-injured/

On Tuesday, March 22, members of the Islamic State militant group attacked Brussels, detonating bombs in three locations that killed 35 and injured another 340. This was the largest terrorist attack in Europe since the November 2015 Paris attack that left 129 dead and over 352 wounded. For both attacks, the world has mourned, with people throwing up #JeSuisParis and artists flooding social media to show their solitary for those lost.

And yet, in the interim, non-Western countries have experienced dozens, even hundreds, of terrorist attacks that have left thousands dead – almost all of which have been greeted by media silence. On January 7, 2016, a suicide truck was detonated in Libya, killing 60 and injuring 200. Less than two weeks later on January 16, Islamic State militants attacked neighborhoods in Syria, killing over 135 and wounding an additional 300. On January 31, at least 60 were killed and 110 wounded in the Sayyidah Zaynab bombings in Syria. On February 21, there was another series of bombing in the same area that killed over 80 and wounded an additional 180. A week later on February 28, 78 were killed and over 100 wounded in a bombing in Iraq. A week later, there was another bombing in Iraq that killed 61 and wounded 95. A week later in Turkey, there was a bombing that killed 37 and wounded 125. And just yesterday in Lahore, Pakistan, 72 people were killed and 340 injured in a bombing at a park. Women and children were present. And these are just a fraction of what has happened in the last three months. Continue reading

Adventures in Reading – February 29 – March 6, 2016

What did I read (and finish) this week? Look below to find out!

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (2014) – This book collects interviews from six transgender or gender-non-conforming teens and young adults and asks them about how they came to their gender expression, how their families and communities reacted, and where they are now. It attempts to be diverse, incorporating people from different racial and socio-economic backgrounds with different perceptions about what it means to be transgender. It took a little to get into the book, but I really liked it. It was nice to hear from transgender people who aren’t supposed to be figureheads or know everything about transgender people and their experiences. This was really low-key and accessible. Continue reading

Daily WTF: Blaming the Arizona Primary Clusterfuck on Hillary Clinton

Photo: The line to vote in Arizona, photo taken from https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2016/03/22/officials-ineligible-independent-voters-show-up-to-polls-cause-long-lines/

On Tuesday, March 22, the people of Arizona headed to the polls to vote for their Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates. It was a closed primary, meaning that people had to register either Democrat or Republican to participate, which many people did. And yet, when people (overwhelmingly Democrats) got to the polling stations, many found that they had been incorrectly registered – even if they were long-time Democrats. They also found that the amount of polling stations had been reduced by over 60%, there weren’t enough ballots, and the lines were very, very long. Some people had to choose between waiting in line over three hours and just going home. Many went home.

Even before Hillary Clinton was declared the winner by the Associated Press, liberals (see: Sanders supporters) cried foul. They claimed that the DNC, which is totes in cahoots with Clinton, had rigged the election in her favor, negating the voices of Independents and Sanders-supporting Democrats and curtailing the amount of polling locations so that people couldn’t vote for the revolution.

The only problem? That doesn’t make any sense. Continue reading

There Will Be Awkwardness: On Writers’ Personalities and Meet-Ups

* Photo taken from The IT Crowd

Writing is a solitary pursuit. Writers come up with ideas and then force themselves to sit and think intensely about them while intermittently plucking away at a keyboard. We listen to our friends and family just outside our doors cooking dinner, watching TV, and gossiping about the day, and we make the choice to divorce ourselves from that – at least for a little while. Then, and this is perhaps the harder of the two tasks, when we’re done, we have to go out into the waking world and forget what we just did.

You see, when you’re not writing, it doesn’t exist. No one else knows what you’re doing. No one, to some extent, really cares. Even when you try to explain it, you’re not going to be able to do the work justice – that would require them to read it. And, unlike most work, it’s not always possible to see what the writing will become in its incipient stages. Too often, when we start something, we have to tear it down completely – the equivalent of building a house and demolishing everything but the fireplace. Continue reading

Adventures in Links – March 26, 2016 (Holi)

Photo taken from http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/03/holi-festival-colours-160324071718985.html Bikas Das/AP

Theme: Holi

On March 23 and 24 this year (depending on where you live), Hindus all across the world celebrated Holi, a festival of color and spring. It’s one of India’s biggest and most popular celebrations, characterized by people throwing colored powder and water on each other. However, there’s a lot more to it than that. So, if you want to learn more about this really cool holiday, read on! Continue reading

Daily WTF: State Governments Sneaking Around to Deny Transgender Citizens Their Rights

Photo: North Carolina General Assembly Sergeant at Arms Garland Shepherd, right, stops a person from speaking following the close of the public hearing portion of the the Judiciary IV Committee meeting at the Legislative Office Building on Wednesday, in Raleigh. The person was escorted from the meeting. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article67845317.html#storylink=cpy

~~~

Over the past several years, various state governments have attempted to impose restrictions on transgender people’s use of bathrooms – Kentucky, Texas, North Dakota, Georgia, and North Carolina all come to mind. In the best cases, they demand that separate facilities be built for transgender people. In the worst cases, they force transgender people to go to the bathroom of their birth sex. The reason? Because they fear that someone will claim they’re transgender in order to go into a women’s bathroom and assault someone – though this has never happened.

Continue reading

Daily WTF: Sheriff Joe Arpaio and His Horrifying Tent City Prison

Photo of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, taken from the People Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio Facebook page

The United States has the largest prison population in the world – over 1.5 million adults. Many of these people are jailed for petty offenses like minor possession, violating the three strikes rule, or being financially unable to pay tickets. And yet, instead of protesting our unfairly punitive laws that do nothing, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona decided to build a concentration camp.

Yes, you read that right: he built a concentration camp. Continue reading

Gun Laws, State by State – Mississippi

Note: As mass shootings gain more media attention, more and more people are discussing gun control. While many seem to believe that registering all guns, requiring background checks for all purchases, and preventing identifiably dangerous people from purchasing guns are all good ideas, just as many seem to be afraid that any gun control law will mean the loss of all civilian guns. Organizations like the NRA play on these fears, telling people that guns are already too regulated and any further action will mean the loss of the much cherished 2nd Amendment (which is more for well-regulated militia than civilians, but that’s an argument for another day). 

So I wanted to see what exactly the gun laws are in each state. Are guns too regulated? Do states with tight gun laws have more gun violence or less? What does it even take to get a gun nowadays? With these questions in mind, I’ll be starting a new weekly series – Gun Laws, State by State. I will try to document the most up-to-date gun laws in each state as well as provide facts on gun deaths in each state. Hopefully, by the time I get to the last state, we will all be better educated on gun control and gun deaths. If you have any additional information on the state in question, add it in the comments.

Previous post: New Hampshire Continue reading