the weight of all things

Posts tagged politics

26 progressive New Years resolutions worth making


It was touch and go, but it looks like we have survived 2012. We made it through the best and the worst the universe threw at us — the election, Benghazi, the Olympics, the Mayan apocalypse. 

Now we have a clean slate. Yes, 2013 is yours for the taking. What will you resolve to do?

Let’s put aside the ready-made, run-of-the mill resolutions. If you haven’t quit smoking already is it realistic to think your New Year’s Day hangover will be enough to make you throw that pack of smokes into the rubbish bin? 

Do you really want to join the gym with all the chubby resolutioners in their brand-new sneakers and workout clothes on Jan. 2? Wait until it starts getting sunny and take up jogging. 

Want a resolution that will be the envy of your friends? We have 26 of them, all progressive, all good for you and your fellow man, and all completely possible to keep for the entire year.

Be a better you in 2013. You deserve it.

1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Burn calories instead of coal. Your booty will thank you.

2. Join Meat-free Mondays. (It’s OK to be a vegetarian just one day a week).

3. Donate to Planned Parenthood.

4. Switch to CFL lightbulbs.

5. Buy fewer pre-packaged grocery items. Not only will you create less waste, but you’ll reap the benefits of buying farm-fresh organic food.

6. Get rid of your second car.

7. Do more free-cycling.

8. Bike more. Less gas, more money to spend at the organic farmer’s market.

9. Plant your own garden.

10. Vote in elections big and small. You can’t complain about who wins if you didn’t participate.

(click through for the remaining 16)

"“Your question is: why am I so interested in politics? But if I were to answer you very simply, I would say this: why shouldn’t I be interested? That is to say, what blindness, what deafness, what density of ideology would have to weigh me down to prevent me from being interested in what is probably the most crucial subject to our existence, that is to say the society in which we live, the economic relations in which it functions, and the system of power which defines the regular forms and the regular permissions and prohibitions of our conduct. The essence of our life consists after all, of the political functioning of the society in which we find ourselves. So I can’t answer the question of why should I be interested; I could only answer it by asking why shouldn’t I be interested? Not to be interested in politics, that’s what constitutes a problem. You should ask someone who is not interested in politics; “Why, damn it, are you not interested?”"

- Michel Foucault (via theyoungradical)

(via theyoungradical)

Georgians-for-Obama edition


Georgians-for-Obama edition

More on the AR-15


Neight Kelly, a student from Ohio who posts his thoughts on a Tumblr blog called Anti-Government Extremist (which was formerly called Evil Teabagger)*, took note of the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle post I published last year and reblogged yesteday. He didn’t care for my use of this photo:

Kelly writes:

This is misleading.

You post the picture because it looks scary but you don’t know anything about the functional capabilities of the firearm. Just so we’re clear an AR-15 generally has a 30 round mag and shoots a round smaller than a .45. Many people also believe that they are fully-automatic which is not the case.

This is a good example of someone who likes guns twisting himself into knots in an attempt to refute a point about guns that isn’t in need of refutation.

I didn’t post the picture because it looks scary. I posted the picture because it’s a picture of the AR-15, which is the weapon in question … both in this year-old story from Lincoln, Nebraska and from last week’s mass murder in Colorado. I suppose I could have scoured the internet for a sky-blue AR-15 with flowers coming out of the barrel … but that would have been misleading.

Kelly then explains that the AR-15 isn’t a particularly good weapon and that he’d prefer a more powerful and more deadly weapon:

AR-15s are, in my opinion and experience, incredibly inefficient and I would rather have a .45 with an extended mag. More stopping power and much easier to conceal than an AR-15.

This might very well be true … and, if so, we can all be grateful. Apparently the notoriously inefficient AR-15 jammed during the murderous rampage in Aurora, Colorado (though not as a result of the weapon itself but due to a malfunctioning add-on magazine). As a result, fewer people were killed.

But nowhere does Kelly explain why someone needs a semi-automatic weapon with an extended magazine; he just notes that those who want them should be sure to purchase .45s instead of AR-15s.

Before all the fans of the Second Amendment and all those who fear the government jump all over this post, let me be clear that I don’t have any desire to ban guns or prevent people from exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and to join a well-regulated militia. I am well aware that most gun owners don’t leave their semi-automatic rifles in their unlocked cars, as did the negligent owner in Lincoln, Nebraska last year. And I know that most gun owners don’t walk into a movie theatre and open fire on the crowd.

But some do.

And the ones who are negligent and homicidal have the same easy time legally purchasing these semi-automatic weapons with extended magazines as the non-negligent, non-homicidal folks who just want to go duck hunting or to feel safer.

I just can’t understand the need for a semi-automatic weapon with an extended magazine that’s easy to conceal and that has serious “stopping power.” And let’s be clear that there’s a big difference between wanting something and needing it. So what I’d like is for someone to explain to me the reason that we can’t adopt the seemingly reasonable position that allows responsible adults to own certain guns without allowing absolutely anyone who feels like it to own absolutely any sort of weapon.

Have at it.

*These are blog names that Kelly has apparently chosen for himself.



President Obama stopped shaking hands for a moment today so that he could embrace a sobbing woman whose uninsured sister recently died of colon cancer.



President Obama stopped shaking hands for a moment today so that he could embrace a sobbing woman whose uninsured sister recently died of colon cancer.

(via barackobama)

If you’re under 18 and you have outspoken opinions on controversial issues (re: abortion, homosexuality, feminism, socialism, etc)…

then I will respectfully listen to you, but I will not give you much credence. Up to this point in your life, you have probably believed everything that you have been taught by your parents/peers/religion/community etc. And I don’t blame you for that. If you’re not accustomed to critical analysis and thinking for yourself, then you probably have never even questioned your beliefs. But you’re approaching the age in which doing that is imperative. And your opinions will likely change.

#I know not all <18 year olds are like this.

#But most are.

#I was like this.

"Some of us may not like some or all of the prevailing myths. Some of us may wish they were very different. If enough people share that wish, very slowly the myths can change. But changing national myths is rather like crossing the Rocky Mountains: We may wish the mountains were not there; the trip would go so much more quickly and smoothly without them. but they are facts that cannot be simply wished away, and the trip is bound to be a slow one. To make the journey most efficiently we have to know the lay of the land very precisely and use it to our best advantage. New myths have the best chance of prevailing in the future if mythmakers take careful account of and make the best use of the dominant myths of the past and present."


Understanding American Myths (via azspot)

Every action undertaken in the public arena in the name of society at large is undergirded by some part (or perhaps all) of the web of mythology. All of the debates that shape public life — debates about economic policy, foreign policy, the environment, social behavior, and so much else — are at some level (the deepest level, it seems to me) debates about national myths and the interpretation of those myths. That’s the most important point about American myths and the most important reason for observing them more closely: They have such tremendous unseen power to shape perceptions, understandings, interpretations, values, and therefore ultimately behavior.

This article is absolutely fascinating. ^^^^

(via brownboyman)

First of all, I have to say I don't think I've ever found someone with political views so similar to mine. Thank you for insightful input. Secondly, as a teenager on chemotherapy for an auto-immune disorder I see my fair share of nurses/nursing students, and I want to say thank you for all you do! You don't know the difference a great nurse can make! (P.S. guys who are social activists for women's rights are H-O-T) ;)


aww, that means the world to me, thank you so much! 


(via demnewswire)