Bit(ch) 13: Fuck!

The Supreme Court Just Made It Harder For Women To Exercise Their Right To Choose. 6/26/14. Think Progress.

Thanks, Supreme Court. With Governors Jindal and Walker competing to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics ["abortion clinics" they're called though only 3% of what PP clinics do nationwide is abortion services; much of what PP does is STI/STD
testing/treatment and contraception] and clinics that provide abortions [along with other services] as an audition for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination [http://www.gop.com/act/presidential-straw-poll], this is another Fuck You! and if you think this is “just some women’s issue,” wait until the Supreme Court comes for your ass.

Yes, I’ve had an abortion. I feel no shame and had no “negative effects” or guilt and not because I’m a sociopath. [Honestly, I felt relieved and hungry.] Men making those decisions for women is patriarchy [from The Males of Games] without a smile.

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Flood into Baton Rouge: June 28

Flood into Baton Rouge: June 28

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Email Subject Line: Due process unconstitutional?

______,

On Tuesday morning, teachers across California got up, went to their schools and dedicated their day to helping students learn and grow.

While teachers led their classrooms, a judge in a Los Angeles courtroom said that for students to win, teachers have to lose.

You’ve probably seen news about Vergara v. CaliforniaWe want you to hear directly from us about how we’re fighting—in California and across the country—to support students, protect teachers and tackle the real issues facing public education.

Before we get into the details, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge the teachers in California’s classrooms. Our opponents have spent months—and millions of dollars—vilifying California teachers to push a political agenda. So we want to start by telling teachers across California that we see their dedication, and we’re grateful for their service.

Sign our thank-you card to California teachers, and let them know you honor their commitment and courage.

If we want every child to have a chance to thrive, we must retain and support a stable teaching force—especially in high-poverty schools. By attacking the rules that protect and support teachers, the Vergara decision destabilizes public education.

Make no mistake: Last Tuesday was a sad day for public education. While the decision was not unexpected, the rhetoric and lack of a thorough, well-reasoned opinion are disturbing.

For example, the judge believes that due process is essential, but he ruled California’s protections for teachers unconstitutionalbecause he believes two years is not long enough for probation.

The judge argues that no one should tolerate bad teachers in the classroom. We agree—and in many states we’ve reformed the process to protect teachers and ease the burden on schools. But in focusing on teachers who make up a fraction of the workforce, he strips the hundreds of thousands of good teachers of any right to a voice.

In focusing on who should be laid off in times of budget crises, he omits the larger problem at play: full and fair funding of our schools so all kids have access to the classes—like music, art and physical education—and opportunities they need.

The judge seems to think teachers are the core of the problem facing public education. We know that teachers hold our schools together, especially in the toughest times.

Sign our thank-you card, and tell California’s teachers that you know they’re the glue that holds public education together.

Sadly, while the court used its bully pulpit to criticize teacher protections, there was no mention of funding inequities, school segregation, high poverty or any other out-of-school or in-school factors that have been proven to affect student achievement and our children.

And perhaps worst of all, there is nothing in this opinion that suggests a thoughtful analysis of how these statutes should work, or lays groundwork for a path forward. Other states have found ways that don’t pit teachers against students but instead lift up entire communities.

This will not be the last word. As this case makes it through an appeal, we will do what we’ve done in state after state. We will work with parents and communities to fight for safe and welcoming neighborhood public schools that value both kids and the women and men who work with them. No wealthy benefactor with an extreme agenda will detour us from our path to reclaim the promise of public education.

We’re fighting back. When Secretary Duncan praised this flawed ruling, we publicly called him out for his mistaken views. We’ve been making our case in every form of media, all while gearing up to appeal the case in higher courts.

Stand with us in the fight to reclaim the promise of a high-quality public education for every child. Start by showing California teachers that we see and appreciate their dedication.

In unity,

Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
Joshua Pechthalt, California Federation of Teachers

P.S.: We’ve included some fair, well-reasoned coverage of the case below, in case you’d like to read more.

Why the California Tenure Decision Is Wrong and Will Hurt Disadvantaged Students,” American Prospect
Making It Easier to Fire Teachers Won’t Get You Better Ones,” Los Angeles Times
Why that ruling against teacher tenure won’t help your schoolchildren,” Los Angeles Times

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“The truth is that George Will is lying.”

If you didn’t know that George Will is an idiot, his opinion on June 6 sealed it.

Lynn Beisner breaks down his opinions this way:

Like most publications of some repute, the Washington Post does not typically print opinion that is based on clearly fanciful representations of facts. For example, I highly doubt that they would publish a piece in which George Will opined that all extraterrestrial aliens should be required to wear pink in public. Even though that would be nothing more than an opinion, it is based on facts that are not in evidence: that extraterrestrial aliens walk among us and wear clothing.

If you take away the guise of opinion, what you have in Will’s opening lines are propaganda statements that are absolutely contrary to the facts. For Will’s “opinion” to be worthy of printing, the Post had to believe that there is some truth in the following statements:

1. Women receive positive attention for being raped. Having a “coveted status that confers privilege” requires that someone else confer that status and those privileges. Someone must be giving the average survivor so much positive attention that we all want to have the label of survivor.
2. Women want to be raped. After all, anything that is both “coveted” and “confers privilege” is something that women must be dying to experience.
3. Rape is not the reason that rape “victims proliferate.” Will suggests that the reason we have high rape statistics on college is not because rapists rape—it’s because we have made being a rape victim something that is “coveted” and that “confers privileges.” In other words, the problem is not that rape happens. It is that progressives grant that women have the nerve to talk about it. And what will cure that pesky old rape problem is kicking those darn progressives out of university life.
4. Dealing with rape is so “excruciating” for colleges and universities that the pain of victims pales in comparison. Therefore, we must alleviate the suffering of college administrations even if that encourages rape and inflicts more pain on survivors.

Let’s be very clear about what happened here: Under the the guise of giving space to one man’s opinion, the Washington Post has told men that women want to be raped, that women get positive attention for it, and that the real problem is that women talk about it.

The Washington Post has just given young men permission, if not an incentive, to rape.

Will tries to support his amoral opinion by offering two pieces of evidence. The first are data that he willfully misinterprets. It must be a willful misinterpretation since I am fairly sure I could get a chimpanzee to understand why there might be a difference between rapes reported to campus security and what is reported to social scientists. But let me put it in the most simplistic terms I can: Police do not always file reports on rapes reported to them. And many women are afraid to even tell the police what happened to them because they know how horribly our justice system will treat them. So they are more likely to tell the truth in anonymous surveys than to the police.

Will’s other piece of evidence is a story of campus rape. He pulls selective quotes from transcripts and extrapolates that one story is representative of all date rape on college campuses. The smoking gun for him are the following facts: that the woman had a prior relationship with her rapist, that the woman was there of her own free will, and that she had engaged in foreplay with the man in question.

Since Will seems to think that one story can make a case, let me offer another story of a young woman in college who went to the house of a man she had known her whole life. In fact, they had grown up together. She went to this man’s house of her own free will, engaged in foreplay, took off her own clothing, and even agreed to engage in sex.

That excludes her from the category of a “legitimate” rape victim in Will’s eyes, does it not? And if she talks about it or files a complaint, she should be ignored, right? After all, she must be just looking to get that “coveted status” and the privilege that comes with it.

The excerpt below includes very graphic, horrifying descriptions. But they are there to tear Will and his psychopathic opinions into bloody bits:

So here is the story: When I was 19, I decided to have sex with a man I had known my whole life. I went to his house in my favorite outfit—jeans and a trendy sweater. Under it were my favorite matching baby blue bra and panties. We made out on his sofa, and I followed willingly when he led me to his room.

By the time we got to his bed, I was naked from the waist up. I remember being ashamed of the tiny pooch of my belly, worrying that he would find an extra inch of flesh unacceptable. I shucked my own panties and jeans before I climbed into bed.

You will have to forgive me if I cannot offer a complete narrative of what happened after I entered the bed. I know how guys who excuse rape, like George Will, feel about women who pass out during sex—that they deserve whatever happens. So I know that some will mock me when I freely admit that between pain, shock, and blood-loss I lost consciousness several times.

The man who sexually assaulted me did it with such force that he tore my vagina from the opening through the cervix. I gushed blood, which he later licked up as if he were a vampire. He continued to pound me after he had torn me, banging my intestines for what felt like hours and spreading bacteria throughout my peritoneal cavity.

I drove myself to a friend’s house, and she took me to the hospital. By the time that I got there, I was in critical condition. I coded twice before they could get me stabilized. I saw the white light and had a near-death experience. Surgery and blood transfusions saved my life.

You’d think that with that kind of an injury, I’d definitely experience the status and privilege that George Will claims sexual assault victims are afforded. Everyone would believe my story, and no one would dare say that a woman who had been so brutalized wanted it or had it coming. Right?

But the police would not even file a report or record my statement. In so many words, they explained to me that no reasonable jury could believe that taking off my panties wasn’t a tacit agreement to having my vagina ripped and my intestines pounded and the exterior of my colon bathed in semen. As a single woman, I had entered the home of a single man, so it did not matter how much of his bedroom was bathed in my blood, or that there was a trail of it out of his door and in my car. I had engaged in foreplay with him, so whatever followed, even if it killed me, was fair game.

It never ceases to amaze me how heartless, how anti-empathetic humans can be toward each other. Wait—this case actually did. Wait—most cases of rape and torture do. And leave me breathless, my own PTSD humming in the background.

In reality, I have been humiliated, blamed, and faced with death threats.

A few years ago, I received a rape and death threat against my daughter so gruesome and personal that I have felt obligated to write under a pseudonym since.

The truth is that George Will is lying. There is no privilege or status granted to those who have been sexually assaulted. We are counted as liars or trouble-makers. We become the objects of gossip, attacks, and other people’s projected shame.

I am someone who has born witnessed to and been a victim of the kind of a sexual assault that Will tacitly condones. And without an ounce of sarcasm, I can say that it has given me “a coveted status that confers privileges”—so long as the status you covet is that of advocate, and the privilege you long for is to help others.

…Will lied, and with those lies he gave his tacit permission for college-aged men to rape. For this gross breach in the most basic rules of journalism, he deserves to be fired from any and all media-related jobs. And I, for one, will judge the ethics of media outlets by how they respond to his “opinion.”

Bam.

I expect few spots of honor among thieves media outlets.

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“too crazy even for the Bundy people”

Cenk Uygur: It was ‘pathetically weak’ for the Vegas shooters to use guns to fight the system. The Raw Story, 6/10/2014.

“Crazy”? No, they are/were terrorists. Any other label is a fucking lie.

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“the fictitious epidemic” and “this production line mentality”

Uploaded: Oct 14, 2010

I was always wary of medicating The Girl Teen so she’d sit and finish worksheets faster [or at all]. And I have respectable reservations about high-stakes standardized testing and the corporate structure that comes with it that takes so much focus away from the alleged “clients,” teachers, students, parents and guardians, neighborhoods, cities, states, regions.

The cynicism of high-stakes standardized testing and the teacher “evaluations” and “restructuring” that come with it is that “some” kids just need to be coached enough to pass the tests and if teachers are punished enough, test scores will go up. Threaten, drug/”anaesthetis[e],” fail, shut down, rename, ignore results, hand out bonuses and do the same things next year, just more.

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Jazz Fest 2014: Dancer at Os Negoes of Bahia-Brazil, May 4, Jazz & Heritage Stage

I used to be able to crank my shit like this. I planned to do so into my 50s and later.

[She did this most of the set. It was a joy to witness.]

But “a potentially severe disease with diverse manifestations, usually requiring multidisciplinary treatment*” [that is not FM] has fucked that. Now I can only watch and remember, while I still can.

——-
*Braun et al. 2010 update of the ASAS/EULAR recommendations for the management of ankylosing spondylitis. Ann Rheum Dis 2011, 70:896–904. doi:10.1136/ ard.2011.151027. PDF.

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“Women of color should not have to prove the legitimacy of their illnesses in order to get treatment.”

It all came to a head when, after entering the emergency room and asking to be admitted, I was held in an ER room for six hours, while doctor after doctor came in and attempted to convince me that I did not have lupus and that I did not need to be in the hospital. It was only at hour seven, after I was hysterically crying, yelling at doctors, and having my hand held by an empathetic nurse, that a new doctor came on to the rotation, took one look at me, and admitted me without further dispute.

While I will forever be grateful for his individual empathy and compassion, women of color should not have to continuously depend on the kindness of one or two individuals to get adequate care within these health complexes.

Alex Moffett Bateau. Chronic Pain, and the Denial of Care for Black Women. RH Reality Check, 3/4/2014.

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G Bitch Abroad: 1585 from b2l2

Published May 20, 2013 at an earlier configuration of b2l2.
FYI: Today is day 1943.

The average cold lasts 5-7 days; the flu can leave you feeling dragged out for a couple of weeks. Even a broken bone heals eventually.

I have had daily chronic pain since 2009. 4 years, 4 months and 19 days. 225 weeks. 1585 days. Almost 40,000 hours of nearly non-stop aching, burning, gnawing, itchy, lancinating, pulsing, radiating, shooting, spreading, tearing and/or throbbing pain.

knob-pain-m

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2009, which slowed me down, but a[nother] herniated disc, pseudoclaudication, and spinal stenosis since December 15, 2012 have added new levels and kinds of pain and stopped me cold. Only for 152 days, though.

“Chronic pain” lasts weeks or months longer than it “should.” There could be an initial injury or a chronic pain-causing condition like osteoarthritis [OA] or rheumatoid arthritis [RA]. A chronic condition or acute injury can use the plasticity of the nervous system against the body to create pain and other symptoms caused not by observable physical injury but by the dysfunction of the central nervous system.

Neuroplasticity is also called Brain Plasticity [PDF]. Neuroplasticity is the ability of your brain to reorganize neural (nerve) pathways in the brain. In simple terms, every time you learn how to do something, you are unconsciously memorizing the process of how it’s done and what the outcome will be. As you learn, your brain is making subtle changes to accommodate the new information and ability.

…Where neuroplasticity comes in is when acute pain develops into chronic pain. Your body reacts to acute pain as it warns you that something is wrong. Usually, once the acute pain has been dealt with, either with medications or other treatments, the pain goes away and becomes a distant memory. However, over the course of a few weeks, months, and sometimes even years, your brain’s “wiring” may reorganize itself and tell your body that the chronic pain should be there and will stay there.

Because of the prevalence of back and other spinal problems, including multiple back surgeries, in fibromyalgia [FM] patients, and in those I’ve met in person and online, I think that some form of pain coming from the spine without it being damaged, or obviously damaged, enough to be recognized as a chronic condition but it still wreaks havoc on the nervous system and the body as a whole, and eventually the constant pain, the sleep problems, the fatigue, the digestive problems, become consistent enough to be “fibromyalgia.”

[“Plasticity” does not mean an easy, mind-over-matter fix. If you have RA or serious OA, it is not a rule that meditation, attitude adjustment and “gratitude” will solve your pain. Non of that, nor yoga nor exercise nor prayer, stop the pain---these things help you cope with chronic, intractable, crazy-making pain. I can tell you that meditation, heat, massage, distraction help but the pain doesn’t go from 8 to 4 because I meditated or talked to a therapist about how frustrating it is to be This New Me I Don’t Like; the pain is still 8 but I am not adding to it with tension, worry, fear, or being totally overwhelmed by everything. It is not a “cure” or real treatment or proof that neural plasticity is a cure-all or, conversely, that chronic pain is caused/created by not having the right attitude or not toughing it out or not handing it over to God.]

I sit for longer than 10-15 minutes but it hurts, a lot, more and more, and I get up when it is too much of a distraction or “Shit!” and a Lortab are not enough. Standing doesn’t stop the pain but eases the intensity in some places. For a while. Then standing is as bad as sitting is as bad as bending is as bad as twisting is as bad as getting up from anything. The only moderately comfortable position is on my back, knees up on pillows. It is hard to read or do much of anything in this position, unless the big-screen TV is on the ceiling.

I have to buy different shoes because the ones I have either do not have enough support to absorb the shock of my foot hitting the sidewalk that goes up my spine and through my hips, occasionally making me gasp or curse outloud, or are too heavy, or are hard to get into because the arthritis in my fingers makes getting them on too painful, or they are worn down so much they keep my spine off balance and just standing in them causes extra hip, spine, lower back, mid-back, and leg pain.

I have bought a walking stick to go with the foldable cane.

No one, except me, is that concerned about the psuedoclaudication, numbness, almost-daily tingling, the numbness and pain in my toes or the burning in the soles of my feet–it feels like my feet sat in a thin layer of rubbing alcohol too long. The Pop Rocks sensation in my left calf got a quarter of a nod from the specialists and a gabapentin prescription from my fabulous, compassionate GP.

The pelvic pain is not crampy or even the tearing of severe menstrual cramps but burning stabs and spikes, prickling and stinging, heavy pressure that feels like it might pop but never does. Sometimes, for hours, it feels like each hair [not on my head] has been tugged until the follicles are inflamed.

But I’m not disabled. Not legally. Only in quality-of-life terms, which few people give a fuck about. We apparently earn or court our own suffering. That said, life-as-suffering doesn’t help either. Without any breaks, relief, escapes and, sometimes, compassion from anyone…Chronic pain sufferers have high rates of suicide, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.

Martha Ainsworth, founder and director of Metanoia, a non-profit organization dedicated to suicide prevention, describes the problem of suicide succinctly. She writes, “Suicide happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.” There are many kinds of pain that may lead to suicide, and individuals vary greatly in their capacity to withstand pain.

Your relationships suffer or end or fade because Non-Chronics don’t understand you bailing out at the last minute, not going to x or t which you did last year or for the previous 10 years and why can’t you walk the whole route; needing to get up from the table “too often” or apologizing for losing a train of thought or your own train of thought mid-syllable; not being able to absorb the needs, demands, projections, and psychodramas of others; and saying No more in 1 week than in the previous [I keep typing it as “precious”] 4 decades.

After I got sick and my energy was so much scarcer, I realized that in some of my relationships I had been doing most of the work to keep us connected. Once I began living within my energy envelope, I found that I was no longer able to sustain these relationships without overextending myself.

Some people in my life adapted to my new limitations and our relationships continue. Some, for whatever reason, were unable to adjust and we gradually drifted apart.

They don’t get it. It’s like a secret society. After I had an abortion in 1993, I found a whole sisterhood I hadn’t known about. We chronics are online, a lot, and not just Googling health info so we can harass doctors who, too often, write off chronic pain patients as hypochondriacs, complainers, or depressed women who just need to get over themselves or exercise. Or we are when we can be—it’s hard to type flat on your back or if your photosensitivity or shingles or RA is flaring.

I was thinking last summer because of FM that I needed to scale back/down my education research goals and fantasies. Now, I need to scale down to 0 because I can’t hold more than a few trains of thought, long-term, at once not because I’ve gone stupid but because the pain is too tiring, draining, distracting, and it takes 4x what it used to to concentrate and finish what I used to multitask through. My brain is already multitasking pain and is too busy to be bothered with my fool-ass shit. 

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Ben Franklin HS Alums, Parents, Students, Staff—Support the Union Vote!

The Board of Directors of Advocates for Academic Excellence, Inc. (“AAEE”) will hold a public hearing on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at six o’clock (6:00) p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin High School auditorium. The hearing is for the purpose of receiving comments, in advance of a board vote currently scheduled for May 15, 2014, on the request that AAEE voluntarily recognize the United Teachers of New Orleans, Local 527, LFT, AFT, AFL-CIO (“UTNO”) as exclusive bargaining representative for the purpose of establishing wages, salaries, hours and other conditions of employment for all full-time and part-time professional instructional and student service employees employed by AAEE at Benjamin Franklin High School, including, but not limited to the following job classifications: teachers, guidance counselors, college/academic counselors, school nurses, social workers, librarians, and excluding all confidential, supervisory and managerial employees. All interested parties are invited to attend such public hearing to express their views. Questions or requests for additional information may be directed to Board President Duris Holmes, dholmes@dkslaw.com, (504) 593-0659. Any interested persons unable to attend the hearing may submit their views in writing to Mr. Holmes prior to the date scheduled for the hearing. [emphasis added]

Ben Franklin High School
2001 Leon C Simon Dr, New Orleans, LA 70122

Ben Franklin board to hold public hearing on faculty union Thursday: nola.com

Decision near at Ben Franklin on whether to accept petition for faculty union: The Lens

Ben Franklin board to vote on faculty union Thursday: BayouBuzz.com

Why Teacher Unions Are Good for Teachers—and the Public: They Protect Teachers’ Rights, Support Teacher Professionalism, and Check Administrative Power—Diane Ravitch at aft.org.

 

 

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