Labeling people as “Illegal Immigrants” benefits capitalism and corporations.
As long as America continues to threaten migrants, it will benefit economically. Now, many naysayers and tea partiers will disagree — the rhetoric of “they took our jobs!” etc. The fact is, as long as people are threatened about their paperwork status on being here, they can be mistreated and forced to work shit pay — and companies routinely do this. It is cheaper and more “cost effective” for them to keep a lid on the status of their workers so they don’t have to pay for things like health benefits, an actual fair wage, and compensation for injuries (since majority of the jobs in factories and agriculture are labor-intensive and full of risk).
One of the best reasons to buy organic when it comes to fruit that must be hand-picked (all berries other than cranberries; grapes; cherries, apricots and many other stone fruits; most melon varieties; figs; and the list goes on, but you can usually infer from how delicate the fruit in question is) — besides the fact that those are also some of the most-poisoned produce, between insecticides and herbicides and fungicides, and besides the fact that they lead to significant soil and water pollution when grown “conventionally” — is that it’s common for agribusinesses, and even some smaller farms, to spray assorted poisons on fruit fields while there are migrant workers in the field picking fruit.
Yeah; on top of
- the illegally-long shifts without breaks;
- the inadequate provision of water, for drinking or otherwise;
- the inadequate provision of sanitary facilities, i.e. toilets or port-a-potties (even after multiple e. coli outbreaks led to thousands of dollars’ worth of produce needing to be recalled and destroyed, and thousands of dollars more lost due to consumers’ fears after the outbreaks were contained);
- the complete lack of overtime pay, sick pay, vacations, etc.;
- the complete lack of workers’-compensation coverage for injuries or illnesses due to / during work;
- the complete lack of healthcare coverage;
- the typical lack of a first-aid station on premises, or even a handful of band-aids, despite frequent occurences of heatstroke, heat exhaustion, severe dehydration, heart attack, and other work- and/or working-conditions-related medical emergencies among farm workers;
- and the illegally-low pay;
- migrant workers get poison sprayed directly onto them, typically without any warning, and without any way to wash themselves off until many hours later.
There’s a reason why so many migrant farm workers are undocumented (“illegals”); most people who are citizens, or legal residents with work permits, won’t work under illegally-dangerous, illegally-unpleasant conditions for illegally-low pay!
If you want strawberries badly enough to pay $2 for them, then you probably want them badly enough to pay $3 or $4 for them…
[Trigger Warning: Dead Baby Animals] PETA’s secret slaughter of companion animals
1. A pile of garbage bags, mostly black with a few white or transparent, in what appears to be a commercial Dumpster-type waste receptacle with rusty-crusty metal walls and floor. The context implies the bags are full of the corpses of companion animals, but the bags’ contents are not visually discernible.
2. In a field, on a sunny day, a human wearing a white “clean suit” and some sort of rebreather-type mask is holding a dead puppy by its hind legs at arm’s length over a black garbage bag. Someone out-of-frame except for part of their nitrile-displosable-glove-clad left hand is pointing down at the open garbage bag. (The other human is wearing what appear to be latex disposable gloves, as they are off-white, whereas the out-of-view human’s glove is purple, a color typically used for nitrile gloves so they’re readily distinguishable from latex ones for latex-allergy reasons.) Several vehicles are parked in the background, at least one of which has a blue law-enforcement light (turned off) on its roof.
3. A hard-plastic pet carrier, large enough to hold a medium-sized dog or two adult cats who like one another, is situated on some sort of metal grating. The carrier’s metal-grate door is open, and a tabby-striped kitten, appearing roughly three to five months old, is lying on its side on the floor of the carrier, its tail towards the viewer. The kitten is wearing what appears to be a paper identification collar, similar to hospital wrist-IDs for human patients. From its unnatural position and stiffness, and the peculiar way its fur is mussed, it is clear that the kitten is dead… or possibly “merely” comatose.
End of image descriptions.]
I reblogged this as text because the great big triggery photos show up before the trigger warning, otherwise. Those who want to see the photos, click through here (or click any of the next four links).
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an organization that publicly claims to represent the best interest of animals — indeed their “ethical treatment.” Yet approximately 2,000 animals pass through PETA’s front door every year and very few make it out alive. The vast majority — 96 percent in 2011 — exit the facility out the back door after they have been killed, when Pet Cremation Services of Tidewater stops by on their regular visits to pick up their remains. Between these visits, the bodies are stored in the giant walk-in freezer PETA installed for this very purpose. It is a freezer that cost $9,370 and, like the company which incinerates the bodies of PETA’s victims, was paid for with the donations of animal lovers who could never have imagined that the money they donated to help animals would be used to end their lives instead. In fact, in the last 11 years, PETA has killed 29,426 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other domestic animals.
Source: The Huffington Post
Another post about why Autism Speaks should STFU
(This started as a brief response to thispurplepoet's question, “How can someone be an advocate for Autism if they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about?" and turned into a long-ish rant, so I decided to make it a separate post.)
Autism Speaks does NOT advocate for people with autism, and it never has. Rather, it advocates on behalf of parents (and/or other family members) who feel their autistic child (or other relative) is a burden to them — and, to a lesser degree, on behalf of “concerned” citizens who feel most or all autistics are a burden to “society” — and whose goals are as follows:
- ideally, a magic “cure” to make autistics become just like neurotypicals/alltistics;
- or at least close enough that we can “pass” for “normal”;
- failing that, some miracle drug or other medical intervention that would allow (or force) those of us on the “low-functioning” end of the spectrum to behave “normally” and/or live independently;
- or at least behave more “normally” and/or live more independently than before “treatment” (and some people are willing to go to very extreme measures in pursuit of these goals, cf. Judge Rotenberg Educational Center);
- finding a cause or causes for autism spectrum disorders, so that the victims (i.e., the families of autists, not autistic people ourselves) have someone to blame and/or sue — though finally, years after every reasonable scientist conceded that all evidence showed neither causation nor possible mechanism for causation (and multiple scientists and executives left AS over its refusal to stop wasting money on it) they seem to have given up on the vaccination-autism hypothesis;
- "educating" the public about what a horrible burden [sic] autistic children are on their families, partly in order to inspire donations;
- and also, in addition to the above: developing a magic injection, or genetic/fetal screening, or some other method that would/could prevent there being any more autistic people in the future.
- (Oh, and helping individual families of people with autism… but they spend less on that annually than on their executive salaries. Really, they’d be better off just not claiming they even do that.)
There are many thousands of people on the autism spectrum who do live mostly- to entirely-independently, and who are “verbal” or otherwise capable of communicating with other humans, and who are perfectly capable of advocating for ourselves.
I should know; I’m one of us.
Not surprisingly, many autists take a dim view of AS’s goal of genocide against us — and if you think that’s hyperbolic language, consider that there’s already a genetic test for at least one condition (so-called fragile X) that frequently occurs along with autism, and strong evidence both that most forms of autism are inherited and that most families into which one person with autism is born already have, or will have in the future, another family member or members with autism.
But many of us take issue with the other goals of Autism Speaks as well. If someone with autism can live semi- or fully-independently, with or without supports, but engages in stimming behaviors and rarely makes eye contact… well, so fucking WHAT?! Other (non-autistic) people have annoying personal habits, too, but it’s almost never seriously suggested that such people be subjected to electroshock torture or food deprivation to “cure” them of wearing too much cologne, or belching with their mouths open, or dressing like they’re auditioning for Jersey Shore.
Our biggest beef, however, is always going to be with the fact that, when actual autistics do speak (or otherwise communicate),
Autism Speaks ignores us.
To them, we are irrelevant. We’re the object, not the subject (grammatically speaking). They’re not advocating on behalf of people who are silent; they advocate on behalf of those who need us to remain silent, and it is no coincidence that they continue to promote the MYTH that autistic = nonverbal, over a quarter-century after Temple Grandin first made headlines.
* A note on language: There is no consensus among people on the autism spectrum about how we wish to be described, or how those who are not on the spectrum should be referred to when contrasting the two groups. No matter what terminology I choose, someone would take issue with it. Cycling through the most commonly known and/or preferred options (as far as I’m aware of them) seemed the best compromise; if I’ve offended any of my fellow autists, I apologize.
** Bonus points for everyone who spots the terrible pun I made with a very serious paragraph.
Happy Autism Awareness Month!
Why the Obesity Epidemic is Like Modern Art
PETA: You’re fat because you eat meat. We can cure fat by making meat-eating illegal.
ENVIRONMENTALISTS: You’re fat because you drive everywhere instead of bike. We can cure fat with higher gas prices.
LOCALVORES: You’re fat because you eat fast food and over-processed junk instead of cook with local ingredients. We can cure fat by taxing fast food and processed food, and by subsidizing local farms.
ACADEMICS: You’re fat because you’re not educated enough. We can cure fat with widespread campaigns teaching people what to eat and how much to exercise.
INTERVENTIONISTS: You’re fat because bad food and gas is too cheap and poor neighborhoods are too unregulated. We can cure fat with tougher zoning laws and price regulation.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT FANS: You’re fat because you drive everywhere. If you used public transport you’d burn those extra calories taking stairs from train levels and walking to your train/bus stop. We can cure fat by expanding public transportation options.
WALKING/BIKING/RUNNING FANS: You’re fat because you sit on a bus, then sit at a desk, then sit at home. We can cure fat by building more bike lanes, walking trails, and parks.
LIBERTARIANS: You’re fat because you lack personal responsibility. We can cure fat by engendering a sense of individual pride in people.
RELIGIOUS FOLKS: You’re fat because you display the sin of greed. We can cure fat by teaching our children the correct values.
POLITICIANS: You’re fat because the previous administration didn’t care about the health of the nation and the costs of healthcare. You can cure fat (and save the economy!) by voting for me.
EMPLOYERS: You’re fat because you have a poor work ethic. We can cure fat by refusing to hire fat people, thus forcing them to lose weight in order to get a job.
And that’s funny and all, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that much of the “cause” of the “obesity epidemic” is that they keep moving the goalposts.
Also, brush up on your middle school math for calculating the volume of a rectangular prism, then ask yourself why the almighty BMI chart expects someone 6 feet (72”) tall with shoulders 20” across to have the same weight profile as someone with shoulders 16” across…
Rich and/or White Americans take an unfairly large share of government benefits.
Black people, who make up 22% of the poor, receive 14% of government benefits. White people, who make up 42% of the poor, receive 69% of government benefits.
Just so we’re all clear on what we just read. Black people make up 22% of the poor but only 14% of the government benefits. Meaning, 8% of poor Black people are not taking government benefits when they need them.
While, white people make up 42% of the poor but receive 69% of the government benefits. Meaning, there are white people who are classified as middle class who are receiving government benefits.
…but welfare queens and stuff.
LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT!
Black people make up 22% of the poor BUT only 14% of the government benefits.
White people make up 42% of the poor BUT receive 69% of the government benefits.
This needs to go viral.
This is essential piece of information revealing racial bias AGAINST Black people in receiving government benefits.
Never again do I want to hear about White people living in poverty.
Never again do I want to hear about Black people living on government benefits.
Reblog this. Over and over again. POST IT ON EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA SITE WHERE YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNT.
I DON’T WANNA HEAR ANOTHER FUCKIN WORD ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE AND WELFARE
NOT ANOTHER FUCKIN WORD
Among the interesting facts that turned up: almost 10% of “entitlement program” benefits went to people in the top 20% of households by income. There’s some wasteful spending that could be cut, instead of always going for stuff like “let’s make sure poor kids don’t freeze to death over the winter — if we can keep the program funded” or “every kid needs to eat breakfast and lunch if they’re going to be able to learn in school — and they will unless the program’s funding gets cut.”
I was disappointed that there didn’t appear to be any breakdown of benefits received vs. benefits eligible for, as far as Native Americans and Latin@s (although the latter category can and does overlap with both Black and White, depending on who’s asking and how the questions are framed; in this particular study, wherever it says “White” it does specifically mean non-Hispanic White) or any other ethnic group other than Black and White Americans.
Other facts of note from the study:
- Over 90% of benefits paid went to Americans who are either retired and thus (typically) no longer working, Americans who are substantially disabled and unable to work, or to Americans in working households.
- In other words, less than 10% of benefits went to people who weren’t working but could have been working.
- The distribution of what Alan Greenspan calls “tax entitlements” is even more problematically skewed: The Americans in the top 20% income bracket are not only taking 10% of the ‘traditional’ entitlement benefits (you don’t have to need Social Security or unemployment to be eligible for them, after all); they’re also the beneficiaries of 66% of tax-expenditure benefits.
- That ain’t a typo. Sixty-six percent of tax entitlements go to the people already enjoying the top twenty percent of income.
- That’s on top of those rich folks taking a larger share of other entitlements than go to people actually living on benefits instead of working — the ones Mitt Romney pretended to be so incensed about get less from so-called “entitlement programs” than Romney’s wealthy peers.
- Far cry from Romney’s claim that 47% of Americans were on the dole and happy to stay there sucking money out of the pockets of hard-working (HA) Americans like Mitt.
Let’s not just bat these stats around tumblr. Write letters to the editor (people who read those also tend to vote), bring a copy of the study to your city council meeting (or whatever they call it in your area), make sure your legislators at the state and federal level know about these and ask them to bring the study up on the floor of their chamber. Heck, make copies of the points you consider most salient and hand out flyers on street corners — if you live somewhere that can be done without it getting you arrested. We’ve got a heck of a lot better resources for spreading the word and inflaming outrage at injustices than the pamphleteers of eighteenth-century America, after all…
Transcripts and why I hate the rise of video discussions
I’m in a ranty mood after seeing yet another cool-seeming podcast that has NO TRANSCRIPT. So I’m going to insert:
Do, definitely, if you’re reading this, click through and read hastybooks’s rant about the lack of transcripts for audio and video content.
I’m not deaf, as hastybooks is, but I am somewhat hard of hearing, and find spoken language particularly difficult to parse at times. So I tend to use captions when they’re a) available and b) not so badly-realized their only value is the absurdist humor of their meaningless mangling of the words they’re meant to transcribe.
(Put on the closed captioning on your TV sometime and see how far off the captioning sometimes gets — for programming that has captions at all. If your set isn’t CC-ready, try a hospital waiting room or a bar, two public places where captions are often enabled, or at least where they’ll be able and even willing to put the captions on if asked. Check out YouTube’s “automatic captions” ‘feature’, too.)
Also like hastybooks, I try to put image description text on any post I make with images that weren’t already image-captioned before I reblogged it. I haven’t managed it 100% of the time, and I’m aware of that. (I also try to properly credit any image I post or reblog, which is a whole separate rant for another post, and no, I haven’t managed 100% with that goal, either.) Both image descriptions for people who can’t view the image — whether due to anatomical or technological issues — and transcripts for people who can’t listen to audio and/or video files are things most of us can do to help avoid shutting out people with limited hearing or vision.
Do you have to do an image description or voice transcript of everything you post? No. It isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. As I said, I don’t manage 100%; sometimes I don’t have the energy, or I want to post something ASAP and plan to add the accessibility aid later, or I just can’t figure out how to describe an image, or I can’t parse the audio well enough to transcribe it myself.
But every little bit helps. Every post. Every image in a multi-image post that gets a description helps. Every audio or video file that has even a partial transcript.
One last thing, and the lecture will be over (for now):
If you come across a post that has image descriptions and/or proper attribution and/or a transcript, and you want to reblog it? Please, please do NOT remove any of those features. You can add your own commentary if you want, of course. But removing attribution is tantamount to stealing from the person who created the content you deem worthy of reblogging (and in some cases is exactly stealing from them). And removing accessibility features that someone else took the time to put there is saying to the people who need those features in order to access that content that we don’t matter, that we don’t deserve to enjoy something you felt was worth sharing, and that the people who put those accessibility aids into the post wasted their time.
So, bare minimum… if you’re not going to make your posts accessible, at least don’t make them less-accessible than they were when you found them. And if there’s attribution information, don’t delete that, either. Just… don’t be a dick, y’know?
Why I am against Autism Speaks (made rebloggable by request)
Autism Speaks is the most well-known charity autism charity. Just because they have the most media coverage and celebrity support does not mean they are a good organization.
- Autism Speaks does not have a single autistic member on their board.
- Autism Speaks only spends 4% of their budget on “family services”.
- The majority of Autism Speaks’ money goes toward research, and the majority of that research is to find a way to rid the world of autism, and thus, autistics.
- Autism Speaks produces advertisments, small films, etc. about what a burden autistic people are to society.
- Autism Speaks was responsible for “Autism Every Day”, which featured a member of their board talking about contemplating murder-suicide of her daughter in front of her daughter. This has now be removed from Autism Speaks’ Youtube channel but can still be found elsewhere.
- Autism Speaks is responsible for the atrocity known as “I am Autism”, a short film comparing autism to cancer, AIDS, and blaming autism as the reason why marriages break up.
In short, Autism Speaks makes it much harder for those of us who have autism to be taken seriously. Autism is considered to be a child’s disease (not that it’s even actually a disease at all), and you will often hear people say “where are all the adult autistics?” Well, we’re right here in front of you. We may have been misdiagnosed with learning disorders, mental retardation and other mental illnesses when the diagnoses of autism, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s weren’t as precise (or even existent) as they are now. We vary in where we fall on the spectrum. Don’t make assumptions about us because we can use a computer.
For further reading, here are a few resources about Autism Speaks:
Editing the original post so that I can include which Autism related charities to support. Let me say that besides the first one, all of them are very parent-oriented organizations, meaning that adult autistics may have issues with them. These are ones that I have either heard recommended highly by autistic parents (meaning autistic people who are parents, not “autism parents”) or that I’ve personally interacted with. None of them are perfect, but these are far better places to donate your money if you’re looking for a charity to support.
The ARC (this is not autism specific, but our local one has a couple of autism-specific events, so was worth including).
Edited 9/13/2012 to include this link, which is a news segment about a mother whose job offer with Autism Speaks was rescinded after she asked for accommodations in regards to caring for her autistic son. She later resolved the issue with childcare, but they rescinded their offer anyhow.
every once in a while i reblog this
About a week ago, teland and I were in a doctors’-office waiting room where they had one of those looped edutainment/advertising videos playing. Mostly unobjectionable, though seeing the results of Sanjay Gupta’s recent(?) plastic surgery creeped us both out. Then… an ad for Autism Speaks came on.
I may have gotten a bit loud.
It’s Johnny Depp’s birthday today.
I’m very fond of his work with Tim Burton (the bloke on the right, there) despite my deep discomfort with the culturally-appropriating and othering choices that have been made in other films he’s been in — the Pirates of the Caribbean films most egregiously. If he does indeed have Cherokee ancestry, a claim which First Nations activists often question due to his not being listed with any of the federally recognized* Cherokee Nations, then he really should use his star status to pressure the directors, producers, screenwriters, costumers et al. he works with to refrain from slandering Native peoples, and from casting non-Native actors to play Native characters.
I mean, as far as I’m concerned, everyone with sufficient Hollywood cachet to make demands (whether they work in front of the camera or behind it) should refuse to participate in films that are racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-polytheist, anti-atheist, sexist, cissexist, heterosexist, ageist, ableist, and so on. But yes, I do also think that if you identify with any demographic that’s marginalized in Western culture, you have more of an obligation to not just give people a pass when you have the authority to hold them accountable.**
oh. okay then, dearie. :P
where’s that quote from?
Gotta admit, I’m curious as to the source of the aardvark quote, too…
* The problem with distinguishing Native people who are enrolled in a federally-recognized tribal nation from those who aren’t is right there in the phrase “federally-recognized” — meaning, of course, recognized by the United States federal government in the form of the notorious Bureau of Indian Affairs. (Yes, they still call it that. In 2012.) The BIA routinely denies recognition to extant tribal groups who can document their history so long as White property owners who stand to either lose real estate, face economic competition, or both, argue “persuasively” enough against recognition. And that’s not even getting into all the Native populations who can’t meet BIA standards of proof because Whites destroyed records and/or exterminated a high enough percentage of Native populations — or because the BIA itself took Native children away from their families to be re-educated and adopted into White families and thus created a break in the passing down of their tribe’s cultural traditions.
Then there are people like me, who probably would be “federally-recognized” in Canada, but because I and my parents and grandparents were all U.S. citizens, and neither the Métis nor (unless there was intermarriage with another, border-spanning tribe or tribes which we haven’t discovered via genealogical research) any of the currently-recognized Canadian First Nations my ancestors belonged to are recognized by the BIA, I fall outside both U.S. and Canadian definitions for recognition. Members of tribal nations south of the U.S. border — from Mexico down to the southernmost tip of South America — face the same refusal of recognition under U.S. law.
** Having the authority to hold others accountable for their prejudiced speech and behavior creates an affirmative obligation to do so, in my view. This does not apply to people who lack the situational authority to correct the offending person, though some brave individuals may do so anyway; I would definitely not argue that anyone has an obligation to challenge bigoted speech or behavior from, say, a supervisor who can fire them, or a police officer who’s just pulled them over. Personal safety comes first.