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(via symonalisa)






Ok but seriously if you were an Earth Kingdom citizen wouldn’t you prefer Kuvira

Is she a ruthless warlord? Absolutely. Will she crush you under an iron foot to achieve her goals? No doubt about it. Is she on the tyrannical side? That’s a loud yes

But let’s look at the alternative. We have Prince Wu. A spoiled spineless brat who so far hasn’t indicated with anything that he would be any less tyrannical then his great aunt

So if I had to chose between two despotical rulers I think I would much rather go with the competent badass one. What about you?

Nope. It is a false choice. I would not choose dictatorial monarch over a totalitarian or vise versa. The problem is shown with both Mako and Bolin having ignored the realities they have been placed in (and the past they have both struggled against and survived) and so has the Earth Kingdom. They are fearful of the chaos Zaheer created, but do not realize that from that chaos is coming fascism. 

Once more the benders who have claimed to protect the world have allowed the egomaniacal to take over with little care or concern. Team Avatar Korra always saves the world, but only after they have utterly failed it.

Perhaps the word choice is wrong. Preference is probably better. Because for the average Earth Kingdom peasant there is no choice. They can only endure

Well it’s not like there is a choice. Korra is a surprisingly realistic show and politics is not easy. Unless Korra forecfully takes over the entire Earth Kingdom herself and installs a democracy there isn’t much Team Avatar can do. And frankly this would cause immense problems

And it’s not like fascism is something new to the Earth Kingdom. They have always lived with an all powerful monarchs and a huge seperation between the upper and the lower class

I agree with many of your points. I was merely answering your question.

LoK is a smart show with an strong grasp on politics. They have beautifully handled the ease with which humans accept fascism throughout the seasons. My comment on the failure of Team Avatar is just a reality they will always have to accept, because humans always ignore fascism, we always let it fester on the earth, because we are too scared to ask more of ourselves and others.

The leaders of the world (especially the other three in the second image) look at the world and are not willing to say “People deserve better.” And the answer is not Korra taking over the Earth Kingdom and then giving democracy, it is in giving THE PEOPLE their voices back and asking them, for once, what they want. And maybe it is a united Earth Kingdom, or maybe it is small nation-states. Or maybe something else. 

I guess I do not want to look at a fool with no knowledge of suffering and a fascist with no concern for suffering and have to pick.

Again, the failure is in the leaders of the world (which Team Avatar always sits reluctantly) not asking for more, in accepting the former status quo because it is easier, in ignoring the realities of the masses for ease of their sleep.

Indeed. It’s human nature to ignore what we dislike I suppose. However Republic City did manage to gain some form of democracy so perhaps there is still small hope. Although I don’t see this for the Earth Kingdom, Perhaps I am too much of a pessimist but I think the Earth KIngdom is just too large and has too much horrible history of opressio for the people to find their voice any time soon

Agreed, but maybe that is the point. It is too large. Why must the Earth Kingdom be a singular nation? I am excited to see how the show handles the politics of this forcefully united Earth Kingdom.

Every feminist, every anti-racist, every queer theorist, every animal scholar, every person who has ever seriously engaged with the vicissitudes of identity and justice are all sick and tired of being that woman. Trust me, I know I am sick of being that guy. The one at the seminar or conference, after an anthropocentric and unsupportable point is made (we are humans because we play, or write sonnets, or whatever the idiocy is), and I sigh and raise my hand and they don’t want me to be that guy, but trust me, I don’t want to be that guy even more. It gets so bad that other people make me into that guy even when I am not being. I was at a recent conference, and I was asking a question not at all about animals or anthropocentrism, and the speaker decided my question was setting her up about animals and started answering a question totally different than the one I asked. Of course, is that persistence, that constantly being that person even though no one, especially you, wants to be that person that makes you willful.
It is, indeed, the vegan’s refusal to just get along that is justified for so much hatred. However, as any vegetarian or vegan will tell you, it matters little how polite you are. Your very being there disturbs everyone. “An attribution of willfulness involves the attribution of negative affect to those bodies that get in the way, those bodes that ‘go against the flow’ in the way they are going. The attribution of willfulness is thus effectively a charge of killing joy.” (As a side note, you can see how this concept from Ahmed is a pretty effective critique of grounding our politics in spinozian conatus). As someone who became a vegetarian as a teenager in south Georgia, let me tell you, no one wants you over for dinner. It doesn’t matter how much you apologize, how much you stammer that it is about environment and personal aesthetics and whatever, and it certainly doesn’t matter how much you don’t bring it up—it will be brought up for you, you will be challenged, and most likely made fun of. Years of dealing with such abuse is what politicized me. After all, if it really was a small personal affectation and minor environmental move, it certainly wasn’t worth putting up with this much shit, and if it wasn’t, that meant I needed to be more serious about it politically.

Whedon On Romney

Important shit to know before voting.

So that means, fuck the debates and politics, much better comedy is waiting!

This is a great, thoughtful piece that I definitely recommend reading all of, but here are two snippets from it that sum up the argument.

Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can’t bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn’t believe in Darwinian evolution, and they’ll nod along. Say that you’d never vote for a politician caught using the ‘n’-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney’s flaws, which I’ve chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama.

Don’t they see that Obama’s transgressions are worse than any I’ve mentioned?

I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers. 

… … ….

I find Obama likable when I see him on TV. He is a caring husband and father, a thoughtful speaker, and possessed of an inspirational biography. On stage, as he smiles into the camera, using words to evoke some of the best sentiments within us, it’s hard to believe certain facts about him:    

  1. Obama terrorizes innocent Pakistanis on an almost daily basis. The drone war he is waging in North Waziristan isn’t “precise” or “surgical” as he would have Americans believe. It kills hundreds of innocents, including children. And for thousands of more innocents who live in the targeted communities, the drone war makes their lives into a nightmare worthy of dystopian novels. People are always afraid. Women cower in their homes. Children are kept out of school. The stress they endure gives them psychiatric disorders. Men are driven crazy by an inability to sleep as drones buzz overhead 24 hours a day, a deadly strike possible at any moment. At worst, this policy creates more terrorists than it kills; at best, America is ruining the lives of thousands of innocent people and killing hundreds of innocents for a small increase in safety from terrorists. It is a cowardly, immoral, and illegal policy, deliberately cloaked in opportunistic secrecy. And Democrats who believe that it is the most moral of all responsible policy alternatives are as misinformed and blinded by partisanship as any conservative ideologue. 
  2. Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. Obama’s kill list transgresses against the Constitution as egregiously as anything George W. Bush ever did. It is as radical an invocation of executive power as anything Dick Cheney championed. The fact that the Democrats rebelled against those men before enthusiastically supporting Obama is hackery every bit as blatant and shameful as anything any talk radio host has done.  
  3. Contrary to his own previously stated understanding of what the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution demand, President Obama committed U.S. forces to war in Libya without Congressional approval, despite the lack of anything like an imminent threat to national security. 
In different ways, each of these transgressions run contrary to candidate Obama’s 2008 campaign. (To cite just one more example among many, Obama has done more than any modern executive to wage war on whistleblowers. In fact, under Obama, Bush-era lawbreakers, including literal torturers, have been subject to fewer and less draconian attempts at punishment them than some of the people who conscientiously came forward to report on their misdeeds.)

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has spoken out in favor of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. Yahoo has published a letter that Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote last week to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, urging him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee.” This is Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s response to Burns.

Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,

I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):

1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.

2. “Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.” Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who’s “deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland”? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have “no place in a sport”? I can’t even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for “beautiful oppressionism”).

3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you’ll start thinking about penis? “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!” Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)

I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?

In closing, I would like to say that I hope this letter, in some small way, causes you to reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot in mouth clusterfuck you so brazenly unleashed on a man whose only crime was speaking out for something he believed in. Best of luck in the next election; I’m fairly certain you might need it.

Chris Kluwe

P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.

Chris Kluwe is a punter for the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter, @ChrisWarcraft.

Well how about that. Mitt Romney has chosen that nice young Boy Scout from down the street who’s offered to fix our finances, Rep. Paul Ryan, to be his presidential running mate.

A few things about Paul Ryan: He wants to end Medicare and give people (those who are 55 and younger at the time of passage) coupons to buy private insurance plans on the market instead. Those coupons would be explicitly designed not to keep up with medical inflation, ensuring seniors pay higher out-of-pocket costs each year until the market collapses.

He wants to convert Medicaid and food stamps into block grants sent to the states and sharply reduced levels. He wants to bring non-defense discretionary spending down to 3% of the federal budget. He wants to slash taxes on the wealthy, giving them an average 12.5% in additional after-tax income. The only reason his budgets haven’t said a word about privatizing or dramatically cutting benefits in Social Security is because his fellow congressmen demanded he not take that on in addition to everything else, at this point. He voted for the Iraq War, Medicare Part D, and TARP.

The Ryan Budget is not just about saving money. He thinks broad social spending programs are immoral in how they foster “dependency.” There’s no other reason to cut every modest discretionary program like that.

Paul Ryan worships Ayn Rand, a sociopath who sneered at those who would give to charity.

So let’s see some campaign ads and shit, right?

Congratulations to Rep. Paul Ryan and his family, who have much to be proud of tonight.

We are in an age dominated on one side by the New Politics of Sadism. Hurtful policies are enacted, not because of any logical benefit they might bring, but specifically because they hurt people the Republicans want to hurt. The thoroughgoing abandonment of the notion of a political commonwealth, cheered on by degrees since the elevation of Ronald Reagan and whatever ideas people could cram into his empty head, has reached the point among American conservatives where it is now the kind of faith you find in the most unshakable of perversions. It manifests itself everywhere. It’s expressed politely by people like that intolerable foof, David Brooks, who’s never taken a position in his life that cost him so much as a dinner invitation. On the radio, and on cable news, it’s expressed crudely by people who are far more honest about their contempt for their fellow citizens.

Paul Ryan is a thoroughgoing fraud. He went through high school and most of college on Social Security survivor benefits after his father’s death. He voted for almost all the Bush programs — including both off-the-books wars — that ballooned the deficit he so piously condemns now. And this week, as he rolled out his lunatic conception of a federal budget, Paul Ryan produced the definitive statement of his political philosophy: There are those Americans who deserve to live and those Americans who don’t. Period. All of the former are very, very wealthy. All of the latter are poor, or struggling, or old. Paul Ryan believes the true mission of government is to bring as much pain to the parasites as it can because, by doing so, it can liberate the genius of those people who deserve to live. When Paul Ryan dreams of a free nation, it is one in which the seventy-two-year-old spouses of seventy-five-year-old patients are free to go out and shop in a rigged insurance market for the $100,000-plus they’re going to need over a lifetime of tending to that patient. If they insisted on feeding themselves, and even risking the odd vacation, over the course of their working lives and they failed to anticipate what might befall them, then the spouse is going to have to starve and the patient is just going to have to sit there in his own filth, until market forces determine that they should die.

Look at him when he talks about dismantling the hard-won protections of the shrinking middle class. He is so positively lubricious about it that his teeth seem to be sweating. Pain (not his) purifies the nation. Pain (not his) makes us free. This is what Paul Ryan dreams of when he dreams of a free people.

I’m not sure there is an easy link between movies and gun violence. I think the link is between the violence and the publicity. Those like James Holmes, who feel the need to arm themselves, may also feel a deep, inchoate insecurity and a need for validation. Whenever a tragedy like this takes place, it is assigned catchphrases and theme music, and the same fragmentary TV footage of the shooter is cycled again and again. Somewhere in the night, among those watching, will be another angry, aggrieved loner who is uncoiling toward action. The cinematic prototype is Travis Bickle of “Taxi Driver.” I don’t know if James Holmes cared deeply about Batman. I suspect he cared deeply about seeing himself on the news.

Should this young man — whose nature was apparently so obvious to his mother that, when a ABC News reporter called, she said “You have the right person” — have been able to buy guns, ammunition and explosives? The gun lobby will say yes. And the endless gun control debate will begin again, and the lobbyists of the National Rifle Association will go to work, and the op-ed thinkers will have their usual thoughts, and the right wing will issue alarms, and nothing will change. And there will be another mass murder. 

This would be an excellent time for our political parties to join together in calling for restrictions on the sale and possession of deadly weapons. That is unlikely, because the issue has become so closely linked to paranoid fantasies about a federal takeover of personal liberties that many politicians feel they cannot afford to advocate gun control. [emphasis mine]

Feeling, I taught, was a heightened form of thinking. It shared in political resistance in being what was human as against the brutal and brutalizing. The essence of corporate culture is advertising, the aggressive stuffing and clogging of the mind. The enemy wants us blunted, inert, available for shunting to however it wishes to employ us. Art (as experience) is the mind on its own, the ego spreading hyper-sensitive tendrils further out into the where-in-hell-are-we, from where we wave back THIS WAY, I SEE SOMETHING OVER HERE, and trade confidences. We become acquainted with possibility. We become…difficult.
Ken Jacobs (via thegreatdamfino)
I say it is much ado about nothing: many presidents have vacadtioned at questionably-named resorts. For instance, Chester A. Arthur spent all his summers at ‘Thieving Chinaman Springs.’ And Richard Nixon used to go fly-fishing at ‘Jews Control The Media Creek.’ Even Barack Obama spends a lot of time at Camp David, which — until recently — only admitted white presidents.


“We’re Gay. Get Over It.”

One week from today, the military will officially be done with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Judging from the upcoming Marine Corps Times cover story, it looks like the military’s ready.

(via timekiller-s)



Wasn’t the PATRIOT Act Supposed To Be About Stopping Terrorism? | Techdirt

The PATRIOT Act was all about stopping terrorism, right? We were told that special provisions that ate away at our civil liberties were needed specifically to catch dangerous terrorists — and that the reason for such an abdication of our rights had nothing to do with simply giving the government more useful surveillance powers. Aaron DeOliveira points us to a fascinating chart that shows how often law enforcement has been using “sneak-and-peek” warrants. These warrants let officials search private property without letting the target of the investigation know. Again, we were told that these expanded powers were needed to stop terrorism. So what have they been used for? Take a look. +

via New York Magazine - 

Before 9/11, when politicians spoke of “patriots,” they usually meant soldiers. Now prosecutors and the FBI were reaching for the same vanity—that they were the hard tip of freedom—and the same license to pursue enemies without much oversight or meddling. When it was signed into law six weeks after the attacks, the act made it easier to wiretap American citizens suspected of cooperating with terrorism, to snoop through business records without notification, and to execute search warrants without immediately informing their targets (a so-called sneak-and-peek [P2]). Privileges once reserved for overseas intelligence work were extended to domestic criminal investigations. There was less judicial oversight and very little transparency. The bill’s symbolism mattered also, signaling that the moral deference previously given to the Special Forces would be broadened until it encompassed much of the apparatus of the American state. Local prosecutors, military policemen, CIA lawyers—these were indispensable patriots too. +

If you thought for a second that the PATRIOT Act wasn’t just an opportunistic measure to make it easier to violate your right to privacy and civil rights, you are shockingly naive.


(via stfuconservatives)