How does adding the word terrorist change things, there have always been people who for various reasons wanted to kill other people they didn’t know
Yes the next stranger you meet might be a serial killer instead of a friend, but this is a new twenty first century problem, how?
Yea someone might blow up a building or two, but again, how is this new?
I suppose if the word terrorist is said enough, we’ll all collectively lose our fucking minds, go into a panic meltdown, and do whatever we are told will protect us
Yes the government watches your emails, and yes they have the legal ability to lock you up without warning or trial or even charges, indefinitely, and yes Obama has killed American citizens without trial through drone strikes, and yes the police regularly rape and kill the citizens they are supposed to protect
But if we create a boogieman, maybe you’ll be in too much of a panic to think straight
“One of the reasons for the extraordinary pressure of consumerism, which goes back to the 1920s, is the recognition by the business world that unless it atomizes people, unless it drives them to what it calls the “superficial things of life, such as fashionable consumption,” the population may turn on them. Right now, for example, about 80% of the U.S. population believes that the country is, in their words, run by “a few big interests looking out for themselves,” not for the benefit of the population. About 95% of the population thinks that the government ought to pay regular attention to public opinion. The degree of alienation from institutions is enormous. As long as people are atomized, worried about maxing out their credit cards, separated from one another, and don’t hear serious critical discussion, the ideas can be controlled.”—Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
At gunpoint, two 18-year-olds and a 15-year-old robbed a dozen other teenagers at a house party, taking money, phones, and marijuana. No shots were fired, but one of the 18-year-olds struck someone with the butt of his gun.
The crime is unquestionably serious. Witnessing a robbery can cause severe psychological trauma, especially for people younger than 18. For their offense, the two older boys accepted serious prison sentences of 10 and 13 years in exchange for pleading guilty.
But the younger boy, Travion Blount, declined to plead guilty and turned down the prosecution’s offer of 18 years in prison. He went to trial, was found guilty, and received a mandatory 118 years in prison, without parole, for 24 firearm counts—each time Travion or his codefendants held a gun to one of the 12 people, the entire group committed two felonies with a firearm: armed robbery and abduction. On top of that, he received six life sentences. His only chance to exit prison alive is through geriatric release at age 60, which is almost never granted. He will most likely die behind bars.
There’s no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it’s rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of.
Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full course load, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 12:30AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix.
When I got pregnant the first time, I was living in a weekly motel. I had a minifridge with no freezer and a microwave. I was on WIC. I ate peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because they were 12/$2. Had I had a stove, I couldn’t have made beef burritos that cheaply. And I needed the meat, I was pregnant. I might not have had any prenatal care, but I am intelligent enough to eat protein and iron whilst knocked up.
I know how to cook. I had to take Home Ec to graduate high school. Most people on my level didn’t. Broccoli is intimidating. You have to have a working stove, and pots, and spices, and you’ll have to do the dishes no matter how tired you are or they’ll attract bugs. It is a huge new skill for a lot of people. That’s not great, but it’s true. And if you fuck it up, you could make your family sick. We have learned not to try too hard to be middle-class. It never works out well and always makes you feel worse for having tried and failed yet again. Better not to try. It makes more sense to get food that you know will be palatable and cheap and that keeps well. Junk food is a pleasure that we are allowed to have; why would we give that up? We have very few of them.
The closest Planned Parenthood to me is three hours. That’s a lot of money in gas. Lots of women can’t afford that, and even if you live near one you probably don’t want to be seen coming in and out in a lot of areas. We’re aware that we are not “having kids,” we’re “breeding.” We have kids for much the same reasons that I imagine rich people do. Urge to propagate and all. Nobody likes poor people procreating, but they judge abortion even harder.
Convenience food is just that. And we are not allowed many conveniences. Especially since the Patriot Act passed, it’s hard to get a bank account. But without one, you spend a lot of time figuring out where to cash a check and get money orders to pay bills. Most motels now have a no-credit-card-no-room policy. I wandered around SF for five hours in the rain once with nearly a thousand dollars on me and could not rent a room even if I gave them a $500 cash deposit and surrendered my cell phone to the desk to hold as surety.
Nobody gives enough thought to depression. You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn’t give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don’t apply for jobs because we know we can’t afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary, but I’ve been turned down more than once because I “don’t fit the image of the firm,” which is a nice way of saying “gtfo, pov.” I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won’t make me a server because I don’t “fit the corporate image.” I am not beautiful. I have missing teeth and skin that looks like it will when you live on B12 and coffee and nicotine and no sleep. Beauty is a thing you get when you can afford it, and that’s how you get the job that you need in order to be beautiful. There isn’t much point trying.
Cooking attracts roaches. Nobody realizes that. I’ve spent a lot of hours impaling roach bodies and leaving them out on toothpick pikes to discourage others from entering. It doesn’t work, but is amusing.
"Free" only exists for rich people. It’s great that there’s a bowl of condoms at my school, but most poor people will never set foot on a college campus. We don’t belong there. There’s a clinic? Great! There’s still a copay. We’re not going. Besides, all they’ll tell you at the clinic is that you need to see a specialist, which seriously? Might as well be located on Mars for how accessible it is. "Low-cost" and "sliding scale" sounds like "money you have to spend" to me, and they can’t actually help you anyway.
I smoke. It’s expensive. It’s also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It’s a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding.
I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It’s not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn’t that I blow five bucks at Wendy’s. It’s that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be. It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase. I will never have large pleasures to hold on to. There’s a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there’s money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway. When you never have enough money it ceases to have meaning. I imagine having a lot of it is the same thing.
Poverty is bleak and cuts off your long-term brain. It’s why you see people with four different babydaddies instead of one. You grab a bit of connection wherever you can to survive. You have no idea how strong the pull to feel worthwhile is. It’s more basic than food. You go to these people who make you feel lovely for an hour that one time, and that’s all you get. You’re probably not compatible with them for anything long-term, but right this minute they can make you feel powerful and valuable. It does not matter what will happen in a month. Whatever happens in a month is probably going to be just about as indifferent as whatever happened today or last week. None of it matters. We don’t plan long-term because if we do we’ll just get our hearts broken. It’s best not to hope. You just take what you can get as you spot it.
I am not asking for sympathy. I am just trying to explain, on a human level, how it is that people make what look from the outside like awful decisions. This is what our lives are like, and here are our defense mechanisms, and here is why we think differently. It’s certainly self-defeating, but it’s safer. That’s all. I hope it helps make sense of it.
A rough calculation of current rates of soil degradation suggests we have about 60 years of topsoil left. Some 40% of soil used for agriculture around the world is classed as either degraded or seriously degraded — the latter means that 70% of the topsoil, the layer allowing plants to grow, is gone. Because of various farming methods that strip the soil of carbon and make it less robust as well as weaker in nutrients, soil is being lost at between 10 and 40 times the rate at which it can be naturally replenished. Even the well-maintained farming land in Europe, which may look idyllic, is being lost at unsustainable rates.
Well, if you deplete it and neither replace it nor allow nature to replace it, what do you expect???
“I sometimes feel like an alien creature for which there is no earthly explanation Sure I have human form walking erect and opposing digits, but my mind is upside down. I feel like a run-on sentence in a punctuation crazy world. And I see the world around me like a mad collective dream. An endless stream of people move like ants from the freeway cell phones, pc’s, and digital displays “In Money We Trust,” we’ll find happiness the prevailing attitude; like a genetically modified irradiated Big Mac is somehow symbolic of food. Morality is legislated prisons over-populated religion is incorporated the profit-motive has permeated all activity we pay our government to let us park on the street And war is the biggest money-maker of all we all know missile envy only comes from being small. Politicians and prostitutes are comfortable together I wonder if they talk about the strange change in the weather. This government was founded by, of, and for the people but everybody feels it like a giant open sore they don’t represent us anymore And blaming the President for the country’s woes is like yelling at a puppet for the way it sings Who’s the man behind the curtain pulling the strings? A billion people sitting watching their TV in the room that they call living but as for me I see living as loving and since there is no loving room I sit on the grass under a tree dreaming of the way things used to be Pre-Industrial Revolution which of course is before the rivers and oceans, and skies were polluted before Parkinson’s, and mad cows and all the convoluted cacophony of bad ideas like skyscrapers, and tree paper, and earth rapers like Monsanto and Dupont had their way as they continue to today. This was Pre-us back when the buffalo roamed and the Indian’s home was the forest, and God was nature and heaven was here and now Can you imagine clean water, food, and air living in community with animals and people who care? Do you dare to feel responsible for every dollar you lay down are you going to make the rich man richer or are you going to stand your ground You say you want a revolution a communal evolution to be a part of the solution maybe I’ll be seeing you around.”—
I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual.
We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.
He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years - I have a busy work schedule.
Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you.
- Feeling Betrayed
You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your sexuality to show him how easy it is.
Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice – to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.
I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.
When you ‘forget’ a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.
Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong.
If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.
A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is PFLAG.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.
Does anyone else find it crazy that you can be so fucking depressed and no one around you notices? Not your parents, your siblings, your friends, your teachers, your classmates, no one. Like you can literally be on the verge of tears, drowning, and everyone is totally oblivious.
Yes and no. From memory of being there, absolutely yes! How did they NOT SEE? BUT, from the perspective of understanding that we know people are angry or happy because of the energy they are sending out, it makes perfect sense, because when we are that depressed, we don’t really send out any energy. We barely have enough to get out of bed, let alone broadcast ourselves to the world.
“You know what’s interesting about assassination….did you ever stop to think about the people we kill? It’s always those who tell us to live together in harmony and try to love one another. Jesus, Gandhi, Lincoln, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, John Lennon. They all said live together in harmony… BAM! Right in the head. Apparently we aren’t ready for that yet.”—George Carlin (via arzitekt)