Guns Only Exist for Violence

There. I said that shit.

Wear orange to fight guns and honor Hadiya Pendleton:

Wear orange to fight guns and honor Hadiya Pendleton:

What Does Gun Violence Really Cost? Mother Jones, May/June 2015.

Why the lack of solid data? A prime reason is that the National Rifle Association and other influential gun rights advocates have long pressured political leaders to shut down research related to firearms. The Annals of Internal Medicine editorial detailed this “suppression of science”:

Two years ago, we called on physicians to focus on the public health threat of guns. The profession’s relative silence was disturbing but in part explicable by our inability to study the problem. Political forces had effectively banned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies from funding research on gun-related injury and death. The ban worked: A recent systematic review of studies evaluating access to guns and its association with suicide and homicide identified no relevant studies published since 2005….

In collaboration with Miller, Mother Jones crunched data from 2012 and found that the annual cost of gun violence in America exceeds $229 billion. Direct costs account for $8.6 billion—including long-term prison costs for people who commit assault and homicide using guns, which at $5.2 billion a year is the largest direct expense. Even before accounting for the more intangible costs of the violence, in other words, the average cost to taxpayers for a single gun homicide in America is nearly $400,000. And we pay for 32 of them every single day.

Our investigation also begins to illuminate the economic toll for individual states. Louisiana has the highest gun homicide rate in the nation, with costs per capita of more than $1,300. Wyoming has a small population but the highest overall rate of gun deaths—including the nation’s highest suicide rate—with costs working out to about $1,400 per resident. Among the four most populous states, the costs per capita in the gun rights strongholds of Florida and Texas outpace those in more strictly regulated California and New York. Hawaii and Massachusetts, with their relatively low gun ownership rates and tight gun laws, have the lowest gun death rates, and costs per capita roughly a fifth as much as those of the states that pay the most. [emphasis added]


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Day 2316: Enthesitis and Peripheral Joint Synovitis

Enthesitis…is the main cause of the pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the spine experienced by AS patients. Enthesitis often presents as swelling over the inflamed area, with patients reporting that the affected area is tender to the touch upon sitting or when touching selected objects. Sitting on hard surfaces can be extraordinarily difficult for a person with AS if the area covering pelvic bones is inflamed [29].

Ligaments bind bone to bone. Tendons bind muscle to bone.ligaments joints 1

Tendons in the body diagram

Patients with AS may also experience peripheral joint synovitis, an inflammation of the synovial joints that occurs in about 50% of AS patients, targeting the hips, knees, ankles, fingers, and toes….It appears to affect not only the synovial lining of the joints [as in rheumatoid arthritis] but it also affects the joint capsule, the enthesitis attachments, and even the lining of the bones….it can affect an entire finger [not just the joints] or toe, and sometimes the locations can be just one, two, or three joints around the body in what seems like a random pattern [30].

Weisman, M. Ankylosing Spondylitis. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

The structure of synovial joints

I forgot my anti-inflammatory yesterday.

It feels like fireworks and scatter bombs are going off all over me: fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, spine, SI joints, coccyx, feet, toes. Even my scalp hurts today. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Myths from


“inflammatory arthritis” + “pain management” = Tylenol?!?


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Day 2311 of daily, much of it severe, pain from AS. It started like most do:

I’m half-awake, half-falling asleep for 2 or so hours, turning or changing position every 15-20 minutes to move off one sharp pain, throbbing, stabbing, shooting, or numbness or another. Then I’m fully awake because

a) my heels are throbbing, or

b) my lower back is so sore my ribs hurt, or

c) my spine is so sore my ribs hurt, or

d) my ribs hurt so much my spine hurts, or most likely,

e) all of the above.

And my spine feels red. And hot. And my stomach is cramping. Some of my finger joints feel swollen and/or stuck in position. A few fingertips are numb or going numb, along with 2 or 3 of my toes.

It’s not that I have trouble getting out of bed—it just hurts and I have to be careful not to make it more painful. Roll to the side. Breathe. Which hurts my ribs. Bring knees up. Breathe gently. Push up with my hands, swing legs off the bed. Breathe gently. Push to my feet and not curse because the soles of my feet feel like I’m walking on rocks. 

Stretching is too painful. I need time to build up to that, to psyche up for it.

It hurts to sit so I do it as long as I can, stand or walk a circle, sit again, stand or walk again, sit again….Every 10-20 minutes, the pain [SI joints, lower back and ass–oh, the ass pain–, spine, ribs] increases enough that I have to move, though sometimes I can do so without cursing, grimacing, or growling. Growling is my new favorite.

That gets me to about 7 a.m. When the fatigue settles back in.

I do yoga. Slowly. Not very well. I meditate. Not very long because of the sitting thing. I take a shower.

By 10 a.m., I’m ready to go back to bed.

And it’s 10 a.m.

G Bitch Abroad: 1585 from b2l2

Ankylosing Spondylitis


“inflammatory arthritis” + “pain management” = Tylenol?!?

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Krashlander – Ski, Jump, Crash!: Official Trailer

I laughed outloud. With the joy of revenge and destruction. I think I want this game. Free today at iTunes. HT: Kinja Deals.

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hctiB G: Okay, Mother’s Day Me

originally posted May 10, 2015

…the first Mother’s Day was dreamed up by a woman named Anna Jarvis, in 1907, the idea didn’t really catch fire until 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson infuriated women’s rights activists by proclaiming the second Sunday in May an official holiday. “Many of the era’s suffragists . . . were already resentful of Wilson, and they objected to this sentimental response to women’s economic and legal problems,” reports Doris Weatherford in American Women’s History,…

No doubt Wilson was sick and tired of suffragists by the time he signed off on Mother’s Day. They had just about ruined his 1913 inauguration, mounting such a militant demonstration and storming 5000 strong down Pennsylvania Avenue, that it completely diverted attention from his own ceremony. He just didn’t get it: in 1916, when he finally addressed the National American Woman Suffrage Association, he told the assembled, “you can afford a little while to wait.”

But women were in no mood to be patient. Those involved in the struggle had tasted liberty, a strange sensation for people who had spent the previous 100 years tight-laced into corsets, covered by bonnets and parasols, barely daring to speak above a whisper. Looking back on the heady days of the movement, English feminist Ida Alexa Ross Wylie reminisced: “To my astonishment, I found that women, in spite of knock-knees and the fact that for centuries a respectable woman’s leg had not even been mentionable, could at a pinch outrun the average London bobby. . . . For two years of wild and sometimes dangerous adventure, I worked and fought alongside vigorous, happy, well-adjusted women who laughed instead of tittering, who walked freely instead of teetering . . . we shared a joy of life that we had never known. Most of my fellow-fighters were wives and mothers. And strange things happened to their domestic life. Husbands came home at night with a new eagerness. . . . As for children, their attitude changed rapidly from one of affectionate toleration for poor, darling mother to one of wide-eyed wonder. Released from the smother of mother love . . . they discovered that they liked her. . . . She had guts. . . .”

Happy Mother’s Day.


Yaeger, Lynn. “Mommie Dearest: The Hidden History of Mother’s Day.” Village Voice, May 4, 1999.,215765,5328,15.html

pic by my_new_wintercoat

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LA House Bills 117 and 149 + LA Senate Bill 241

About a week before the Louisiana Legislature convened, state Rep. Dalton Honore trekked to Denver for field research related to legislation he’s pushing in Louisiana. The journey brought him just a few blocks from the Colorado State Capitol, to a marijuana dispensary.

The 72-year-old is a former sheriffs deputy who has “never had a marijuana cigarette in my life.” Moreover, he said, he’s never been in the company people smoking it. But Honore said it is time stop locking people up for using the drug and start treating it more like alcohol by focusing on education and treatment.

Honore’s legislation, House Bill 117, proposes to put a measure on the 2016 presidential ballot asking residents to vote on marijuana legalization. He chose that date because it falls after re-election for most of his colleagues in the Legislature and because there’s likely to be higher voter turnout.

[State Rep. Austin] Badon’s [D-New Orleans] legislation, House Bill 149, would drop the maximum sentence for second-offense marijuana possession from five years in prison to two years. It would also drop the maximum sentence for third-offense possession from 20 years to five. Subsequent convictions could allow for a maximum sentence up to eight years, but the habitual offender law could not apply to marijuana possession. 

[State Sen. J.P.] Morrell’s [D-New Orleans] legislation, Senate Bill 241, carves out a new section of the law that deals strictly with possession of an ounce or less of marijuana or synthetic marijuana — all the offenses would be considered misdemeanors.

The primary goal of the legislation, Morrell said is to prevent people from earning “the scarlet letter of felony drug possession” when they’re caught with an ounce or less. Felony drug charges, he said, can impact offenders’ employment eligibility for the rest of their lives.

Marijuana in Louisiana: 1 state lawmaker pushing to get legalization on the ballot while others fight for less jail time. The Times Picayune|, 4/27/15. Links to text of bills, not the original article links.

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AFT Survey: Quality of Work-Life in Education

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Education is both a profession and a calling. But just because the work is rewarding doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging too.

We know very little about the impact of work on the health and well-being of educators and school staff. While many countries have studied the effects of work environments on these workers, no real study of the issue has been done in the United States.

We’ve created a robust survey to find out how work affects you, and to help make the case for a thorough scientific study.

Please take our anonymous survey on how the conditions at work affect your life.

By joining thousands of other educators and school staff, you’ll help us make the case for a major study on how working conditions affect the adults who power our schools.

The AFT health and safety team met with dozens of educators and staff from around the country to design a thorough survey to help us gauge how issues in the workplace are affecting our members.

Take the anonymous survey on school working conditions and help us make the case for a major study.

The survey will be open until May 1. I hope you’ll take the time to help us make the case for a major study by sharing your own experiences.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

P.S. Please share this survey with your colleagues and help us learn as much as possible from others on the frontlines in education.

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Murder, Part Deux

But, this distrust can be pervasive, spreading to a general skepticism about the truthfulness of their own accounts of their own experiences. If women’s feelings aren’t really to be trusted, then naturally their recollections of certain things that have happened to them aren’t really to be trusted either.

This is part of the reason why it took an entire high school football team full of women for some of us to finally just consider that Bill Cosby might not be Cliff Huxtable. It’s how, despite hearing complaints about it from girlfriends, homegirls, cousins, wives, and classmates, so many of us refused to believe how serious street harassment can be until we saw it with our own eyes. It’s why we needed to see actual video evidence before believing the things women had been saying for years about R. Kelly.

There’s an obvious parallel here with the way (many) men typically regard women’s feelings and the way (many) Whites typically regard the feelings of non-Whites. It seems like every other day I’m reading about a new poll or study showing that (many) Whites don’t believe anything Black people say about anything race/racism-related until they see it with their own eyes. Personal accounts and expressions of feelings are rationalized away; only “facts” that have been carefully vetted and verified by other Whites and certain “acceptable” Blacks are to be believed.

Damon Young. Men Just Don’t Trust Women. And This Is A Problem. VSB, 12/16/14.

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Another Stupid LA Senate Bill

Legislation seeks to define life as beginning at conception. The [New Orleans] Advocate, 4/7/15.

The proposed constitutional provision, Senate Bill 80, is narrowly tailored to address the right to life of the unborn. But those opposing propositions similar to Louisiana’s say there are a host of unintended consequences because the unborn child becomes a “legal person.”

Among the consequences cited: criminalizing birth control; eliminating abortion exceptions for rape and life of the mother; scrapping the death penalty; allowing a fetus to be counted as a dependent for tax purposes and welfare benefits; and potentially lowering the legal age at which a young person can drive, smoke and drink by nine months.

Will miscarriage be “involuntary manslaughter”? 

“Life begins at conception!” is a religious tenet, a patriarchal religious belief that asserts life, and therefore “legal personhood,” comes from the sperm, not from gestation or birth or breathing or the essential ovum and uterus. The pregnant woman is an adult, a citizen, but if the zygote, embryo, fetus is a “legal person,” whose rights will be honored? If a husband chooses to save his wife, will he and the doctors be charged with murder? Or could the mother claim self-defense? Will Viagra become sacred? If someone broke into my house and moved a couple people in, I could legally have them removed from my home but if some creep ass shitbox rapes and impregnates me, I have to carry that shit to term? So the rapist can lock me up in court with custody battles and visitation rights that he gets because he committed a crime? Against me? My body and integrity? 

Laws about Pregnancy by Rape, State by State:

“I was astonished,” said Shauna Prewitt, who was raped when she was a senior in college.

Her daughter was six months old when she found out that the man who raped her wanted partial custody.

“How could I possibly entrust my beautiful … baby to him,” she wondered, “but beyond that I didn’t know how to spend the next 18 or more years of my life tethered to my attacker.”

Child custody rights for rapists? Most states have them. CNN, 8/1/13.

Filing for custody is another way to harass, stalk, psychologically torture a survivor of sexual assault, which is a lifetime of survival, not a few therapy sessions and a good cry. Any man who does that to another human being—and women actually are human, though if you’re reading a blog called The G Bitch Spot, you probably don’t object to that idea—should be considered unfit. But I’m no fool and know how badly the world works when you are a woman, a victim/survivor, poor, in need, confused, a child, etc.

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