The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Hoosier Hooch Hut'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

Programming Note: We're going to have a few mods out over the next few days, and I could really use a break, so we're wrapping up early this week, and we will be back on Monday. If you're a person who marks Easter or Passover, I hope you have a nice holiday, and, if you're a person who doesn't, I hope you just have a nice weekend!

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Number of the Day

[Content Note: War on agency.]

235: The number of abortion restrictions which have been proposed in US state legislatures since January of this year.

There have been at least 235 anti-choice bills introduced in state legislatures in the first three months of 2015—bills that would place restrictions on abortion providers or erect barriers to abortion access, according to analysis by RH Reality Check.

Thirty-two bills have been voted on and passed by at least one legislative chamber so far this year; 11 of those have been passed by both chambers, and have either been signed by the governor or are awaiting signature.

Almost every state legislature has been in session this year, and so far lawmakers in 39 states have introduced at least one bill to restrict reproductive rights.
Fucking hell.

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: White supremacy.]

"Instead of having a problem with Black Girls Rock, have a problem with the White supremacy that constantly tries remind Black women and girls that we don't. Direct your energy towards a world that refuses to recognize our collective humanity."—Bougie Black Girl, in a terrific essay responding to white people complaining about First Lady Michelle Obama participating in the annual Black Girls Rock event.

If you hear "Black Girls Rock" and immediately hear "White Girls Don't Rock," the problem is not with Black Girls Rock. The problem is with you.

[H/T to Mary Drummer. Related Reading: Janelle MonĂ¡e at Black Girls Rock.]

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Pizza and Progressives

[Content Note: Classism; homophobia.]

So, one of the common responses I'm seeing—mostly on Twitter, although it came up in comments here, too—to the Indiana pizza place refusing service is: "Har har who even has pizza at a wedding?"

Poor people.

That's who has pizza at a wedding.

I mean, some people who have money to spend, but just want a casual wedding, have pizza at their wedding receptions, too.

But.

It's not unusual around here to see weddings, or funerals, catered by a pizza place. Pizza is all that many people can afford.

Weddings are often held in church basements, or the lodges of community organizations, or at VFW halls. Because that's also what people can afford.

Pizza, fried chicken, tacos, mostaccioli, giant trays of roast beef, potato salad, mixed greens. This is a pretty standard menu for lots of wedding receptions, funeral dinners, graduation open houses, church picnics, showers, retirements.

When people can't even afford pizza, we do pot-lucks. Everyone brings something, to celebrate.

That isn't unique to Indiana, of course. It's one of many places across the country where this is part of the culture.

By necessity.

This smug guffawing at the idea of catered pizza is just another indication that people don't understand and don't care about this state. This culture.

And it's many of the same people advocating withholding money from Hoosiers with a boycott who are then turning around and laughing at people who can't afford upscale catering.

Just stop. Please. Stop with the classist shit. It's so ugly.

Progressives should be ashamed of ourselves that the best we can do is laugh and point at poor people.

(And lest one imagine otherwise, plenty of the people whose celebrations I've attended with exactly that sort of catering are queer Hoosiers. This rhetorical buckshot is hitting the very people about whom they presume to care so much that they must boycott our state.)

I was told on social media that this rank classism is not intentional. It's "unwitting." What a neat word. What a useful word to elide what is, in actuality, cultivated ignorance against a "flyover" state not worthy of knowing.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt sitting beside me on the sofa, grinning
Happy Dog is happy. "It's a day!"

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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The Wednesday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by plasters.

Recommended Reading:

TLC: This Transgender Day of Visibility, Trans Women of Color Educated the White House

Aura: [Content Note: Hunger strike; sexual abuse; misogyny; racism; anti-immigrationism; carcerality] Why Mothers Are on Strike at Karnes Immigrant Detention Center

Gersande: [CN: Online abuse; gaslighting] Flickering the Gaslight: Tactics of Organized Online Harassment

Ragen: [CN: Fat hatred; misogyny] The Fat Bitches Club

Paige: Robotic Bear Hopes to Relieve Hospitalized Kids of Their Anxiety

Anita: The Scythian: Sword & Sworcery

Diamond: "Douglas Family Gold": Gabby Douglas Gets Her Own Show

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



John Mellencamp: "Small Town"

This week's TMNS features performers from Indiana.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

The results of Nigeria's election are in: "Muhammadu Buhari beat outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan by 2.5 million votes. Mr Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), became the first opposition candidate to win a presidential election in Nigeria."

[Content Note: Homophobia; Christian Supremacy] Memories Pizza in Walterton, Indiana, has become the first business to promise to deny service to gay customers: "'If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,' says Crystal O'Connor of Memories Pizza. ...'We are a Christian establishment,' says O'Connor. The O'Connor family prides themselves in owning a business that reflects their religious beliefs. 'We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything,' says O'Connor." Have fun going out of business!

[CN: Description of airline crash] A video recovered from the Germanwings crash wreckage confirms what the investigation has suspected about the final moments of the flight, as does "the information from the 'Cockpit Voice Recorder,' one of the A320's two black boxes," on which the captain can be heard shouting, "For the love of God, open this door!"

Senator Elizabeth Warren on not running for president and Hillary Clinton's possible campaign: "No. I'm not running and I'm not going to run. I'm in Washington. I've got this really great job and a chance to try and make a difference on things that really matter. ...I think we need to give [Clinton] a chance to decide if she's going to run and to lay out what she wants to run on." I like her.

[CN: Rape culture; guns] I don't even know: "National Rifle Association News host Cam Edwards lashed out at a Daily Tar Heel editorial that argued guns are not the solution to campus sexual assault by claiming that the 'burden' of stopping sexual assaults and other violent crimes as they occur 'is on the victim.' According to Edwards, 'it is the truth that if you are the victim of violent crime or the victim of an attempted violent crime, it is not the patriarchy that puts the burden on you to defend yourself, it is not rigid gender roles, it is—it's a fact of life.'" He seems nice.

[CN: Anti-choice terrorism] These fucking people: "Anti-choice activists staged a protest Sunday that included large graphic images outside of Jackson, Mississippi, churches during Palm Sunday services. ...Protesters held graphic images of supposedly aborted fetuses and attempted to hand out pamphlets and shouted at church members as they arrived for Sunday services." Why? Because Jackson is home to the state's last abortion clinic.

Fascinating: "Solo planets may be surprisingly common: Out among the stars, toward the constellation Capricornus, a red sphere floats freely through space. It doesn't have enough mass to fuse atoms for fuel, as stars do, and it's too small to be a failed star. In nearly every way, this drifter, known as PSO J318.5-22, is like a planet. Except it fails one key test for planethood: It does not orbit a star. PSO J318.5-22 is homeless. With no parent star to give it heat or light, it drifts in eternal darkness, a rogue of the Milky Way."

And finally! This cat really wants a hug, y'all. ♥

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A Thought

[Content Note: Antisemitism; misogyny; fat hatred; domestic violence; regionalism.]

So, the new host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, has a history of tweeting shitty "jokes" about Jewish people, fat women, domestic violence, and people in "flyover" states.

(As an aside, I've watched one of his stand-up specials, much of which was fairly solid, so it's pretty crappy to know he's capable of punching up but is happy to punch down in other spaces.)

And many people have reacted by accusing The Daily Show of failing to properly vet Noah.

Except that sort of ignores the fact that the The Daily Show is pretty much fine with xenophobic, fat-hating, misogynist, regionalist humor.

Imagining this was a vetting problem is contingent on forgiving disablism, fat hatred, mockery of intersex bodies, reproductive policing (with more fat hatred), jokes about how feminists are so scary and violent, etc. That's hardly a complete list. The Daily Show, with Jon Stewart at the helm, did a lot of punching down, when it should have always been punching up.

Maybe this isn't a vetting problem. Maybe this is a decency problem.

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Arkansas to Pass Similar "Religious Freedom" Bill

[Content Note: Christian Supremacy.]

Fucking hell:

Amid intense criticism of Indiana's religious liberties law, which has prompted lawmakers in that state to vow to fix the legislation, another state charged ahead with a similar measure. Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday passed their own religious freedom bill, putting the state on the verge of formally adopting a law that could lead to another firestorm.

On Tuesday afternoon, after some debate in the state House of Representatives, lawmakers signed off on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law now heads to the desk of Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), who has said he intends to sign it into law.

"This legislation doesn't allow anybody to discriminate against anybody, not here," State Rep. Bob Ballinger, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "The bill does just the opposite. It focuses on the civil rights of people believing what they want to believe, and not letting the government interfere with that."
That is, of course, bullshit. Like Indiana's law (and unlike other states' "religious freedom" laws), Arkansas' legislation grants companies the same rights as individuals to claim religious discrimination based on personal belief.
"It's substantively different from other laws that are on the books in other states, and it's right in line with Indiana's," Adam Talbot, a spokesman for the Human Rights Council, said Monday. "Indiana and Arkansas both grant 'personhood' to all corporations."
I am so sorry, friends in Arkansas.

One of the arguments I heard over and over made by outsiders supporting the boycott of Indiana was that the boycott of my state would stop this from happening elsewhere. Welp. How's that working out for you?

I will reiterate my suggestion not to abandon Indiana, or Arkansas. Arkansas doesn't need progressive divestment any more than Indiana does, and needs progressive investment every bit as much.

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Pranks Are the Worst. Don't Prank People.

[Content Note: Pranking; hostility to consent.]

Today is "April Fools' Day," a terrible day dedicated to pranking. I have mentioned once or twice or fully one million times that I hate pranks. Pranks are the fucking worst. And April Fools' Day can go straight to hell.

Anyway. I don't have anything to say about pranking that I haven't said a dozen times before (PRANKING IS TERRIBLE), so here's a thread to talk about pranks you see played today, previous April Fools' pranks you hated, or whatever.

In conclusion: Fuck pranks.

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Open Thread

image of a doberman pinscher lying in the grass, holding a red rose in hir mouth

Hosted by a Doberman Pinscher.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker lightbird: "If you had a chance to take a long vacation (1 month plus), what would you do/where would you go?"

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Good Grief

[Content Note: Homophobia.]

Republican Senator Rand Paul doesn't believe in the concept of gay rights "because I don't really believe in rights based on your behavior." Does believe in the right to bear arms. Is total asshole.

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Homophobia.]

"When a CEO of a corporation makes a decision that irreparably harms the company that he or she runs, they oftentimes step aside voluntarily or are asked to by the Board of Directors. If Governor Pence can't even answer a simple question on national TV and defend our state and Hoosiers everywhere, he needs to look himself in the mirror and ask whether he has the leadership that Indiana needs right now. If Indiana was a corporation we'd be asking the Governor to step down. It's too late for clarifications. For the good of Indiana Governor, please step aside and let new leadership fix the harm that you've caused all of us that are proud to call ourselves Hoosiers."—Democratic Mayor of Hammond, Indiana, Thomas M McDermott, Jr., in a statement released today.

Damn! Shorter Mayor McDermott: "GTFO, Pence."

Right on.

The thing I love about this statement is that Pence wants Indiana run like a corporation. He wants to privatize everything and decimate all public services. So, yeah, let's hold him to account like Indiana is run like a corporation, exactly the way he wants.

He'll never step down, but I still love this. A lot.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat snuggling up on my chest
Sophie in her favorite cuddling spot: Right in my face.

(I'm not complaining! ♥)

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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On the Trans Day of Visibility

Today is the sixth annual Trans Day of Visibility, which many trans* folks are marking on social media by posting selfies and telling their stories.

If you're on Twitter, you can follow the hashtag #TransDayOfVisibility.

Visibility is important. It is everything. It is an invitation, a proclamation, a demand. It is safety. It is action. It is personal and political.

When you are part of a marginalized population who is excluded, whose images in popular media are few and far between, it is radical.

It is strength and it is vulnerability—making oneself seen, and asking to be seen.

To my trans* family, friends, and colleagues: I see you.

And to those who do not yet feel safe enough to be seen, I will listen to what you need, in order that you might someday feel safe.

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The Creative Endeavors Thread

by Shaker Socchan

image of actor Terry Crews, a middle-aged black man, playing an artist in a Sesame Street video

Hello, all! Time for the next Creative Endeavors thread! As promised, hosted by Terry Crews!

As a reminder, this is a post dedicated to Shakers discussing creative things that they're doing. This can be traditional medium arts (painting, drawing, etc), writing anything, composing, performing, or recording anything, fibercrafts (anything with thread/string/yarn), coding, fannish stuff, whatever! As long as it's creative and it's something you're working on, I want to hear about it.

So how about it? Have you started or finished any projects since the previous thread? Have you made any progress on something you've been working on? Pictures, excerpts, and descriptions are all more than welcome!

For discussion this time around: Has anyone ever asked you to do work for them? What do you tell them? (Inspired by a similar discussion in Monday's Open Thread.)

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



Cole Porter: "Anything Goes"

This week's TMNS features performers from Indiana.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

News from the Nigerian election: "Partial results from Nigeria's election give ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari a substantial lead over the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan. With only five states left to declare, Gen Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) is ahead by almost three million votes. ...BBC Nigeria analyst Jimeh Saleh says that Delta and Edo are the only pro-Jonathan states still to declare, so it is hard to see how he can overturn Gen Buhari's lead."

[Content Note: Homophobia] LGBT rights attorney Mary Bonauto and former assistant US solicitor general Douglas Hallward-Driemeier have been chosen as the attorneys to present marriage equality arguments to the Supreme Court on April 28: "Bonauto will present arguments for DeBoer v. Snyder on Question 1, 'Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?' ...Hallward-Driemeier will present oral arguments on behalf of plaintiffs in Ohio and Tennessee for question 2, 'Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?'"

[CN: Misogyny] Annie Lowrey on "Ellen Pao and the Sexism You Can't Quite Prove." Otherwise known as: The Sexism That People Who Don't Want to See Sexism Refuse to See.

[CN: Racism; carcerality] Fucking hell: "Sixteen states have more people in prison cells than college dorms." Which can be traced to a legacy of both institutional racism and, I would argue, progressive institutional neglect. Because it's not like there isn't profound racism in the north, too.

[CN: War on agency] Oh dear: "Pro-Choice Advocates on Radical Kansas Abortion Law: 'We've Never Seen This Language Before': The bill redefines the D and E procedure as 'dismemberment' abortion, language that is key to NRLC's strategy, as anti-choice advocates push similar bills in other state legislatures, many controlled by Republicans. The NRLC strategy is to pack the bills with graphic, medically inaccurate language describing the D and E procedure. 'We've never seen this language before,' Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues associate for the Guttmacher Institute, told the Kansas City Star. 'It's not medical language.'" The bill has already been approved by the Republican-majority Kansas house and senate.

[CN: Death penalty] This is A Big Deal: "A leading association for US pharmacists has told its members they should not provide drugs for use in lethal injections—a move that could make carrying out executions even harder for death penalty states. The declaration approved by American Pharmacists Association delegates at a meeting in San Diego says the practice of providing lethal-injection drugs is contrary to the role of pharmacists as healthcare providers. The association lacks legal authority to bar its members from selling execution drugs but its policies set pharmacists' ethical standards. Pharmacists now join doctors and anaesthesiologists in having national associations with ethics codes that call on members not to participate in executions." Which doesn't mean that health professionals don't still participate in executions, but making it an ethical violation certainly matters. A lot.

[CN: Worker exploitation; class warfare] A landmark labor case against McDonald's moves forward: "Monday marked an important step in a landmark labor case that could bring greater corporate accountability and worker protections, as a federal agency moved to consider whether McDonald's should be held responsible for what employees call poor working conditions. More than 300 unfair labor practice charges have been brought against the fast food giant since November 2012... The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided in December to move forward with about 80 of those charges by bringing complaints against the company, and on Monday the board took up consideration of the consolidated case. The case is notable because the NLRB will be for the first time treating McDonald's as a 'joint employer,' meaning that the corporation can be held liable for labor law violations committed by its franchises."

Noooooooooooooo! Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is opening his lead on challenger Chuy Garcia. Fucking fuck.

I barely even understand what this means, but I'm sure it's very exciting for people who understand it! "IBM Investing $3B in Internet of Things."

And finally! This video of a cat and dogs eating watermelon might be the cutest thing you see all day!

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