Two Visions of Patriotism Clash in the Midterm Elections – The New York Times

Denise Bubeck, a Republican in Grimes, Iowa, works for an advocacy group that promotes “family values” such as heterosexual marriage and opposition to abortion.

For her, standing to show respect for the flag is nonnegotiable. When she sees athletes kneeling in protest of police brutality during the anthem, she thinks of a grandfather who was killed in the battle of Iwo Jima. “People actually shed blood for the freedoms we have,” she said. “We need to show respect for this country.”

Dear Denise,

Your grandfather was killed, fighting for the rights the athletes are exercising. Isn’t it at all ironic to you that you’re trying to brow beat your fellow citizens into not exercising their rights? And really, kneeling is a pretty respectful way to protest.

Re: How to deal with fear in polyamory?

I have made a strategy for dealing with fear and maybe it’s wise for you to do the same. Sit down when you feel good and are not dealing with massive triggers. Think about what you need to feel safe. This is my strategy for dealing with fear:

  1. I’m not this fear I’m feeling. I’m reminding myself that I’m the observer of fear that is triggering me right now. Can I see the little girl inside me who’s afraid?
  2. Close your eyes and visualize this little girl. What is she afraid of? What does she need right now? What can I do to make her feel safe?
  3. Are there any emotions that want to be released? Do you want to cry or scream?
  4. Sitting inside makes me go inside. Go outside, into nature if this is possible. Look at the clouds and the stars. Remember that you’re not alone.
  5. Whatever you do, don’t drink alcohol and try to stay away from overeating. You know it makes you feel worse.
  6. Move your body. Go for a walk or do a soft, heart-opening yoga flow.
  7. What would make you happy? Do you want to draw, write, listen to music or watch a movie?
  8. If nothing helps, call friend A, friend B, friend C or friend D. Or call them anyway if you want to.

This is a really great article about dealing with fear/jealousy. I think lots of relationships can use some advice on how to deal with jealousy.

These practical strategies really appeal to me and my nature. I need to print them out and post them everywhere in my house!

Re: Trump administration orders closure of PLO office in Washington

The closure was announced by the State Department shortly before White House national security adviser John Bolton, in his first major policy speech, threatened U.S. punishment for individuals and countries that cooperate with the International Criminal Court, where the Palestinians have lodged complaints against Israel.

“The United States supports a direct and robust peace process,” Bolton said, “and we will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense.

I’m honestly not sure how I still have the capacity to be shocked by this administration yet, here we are.

Frustrated with social media

I’m pretty frustrated with the current social media landscape. I personally prefer Twitter over Facebook but lately, I’ve been on Facebook a lot more for reasons I won’t get into here. Recently, I’ve been making a conscience effort to get back into my tweeting ways only to find out that Twitter is deprecating their API to make 3rd party apps less appealing. So let’s just go through my list of complaints.


  • I’ve always felt very frustrated by Facebook’s stupid timeline. I want to see posts from my friends, in the chronological order those posts are posted. Instead, I get a weird list of crap, with ads that I don’t want to see.
  • Facebook is deprecating some of their API features so I can no longer use IFTTT to cross post content from my various sources to my Facebook timeline. So for instance, this blog post will need to be manually published to my Facebook timeline. Grrr. The problem of course is that this will just push me away from the platform, not make me decide to use their platform exclusively.


  • Twitter is deprecating some of the features on their API too. This handicaps 3rd party twitter apps (my fav is Tweetbot). I believe this is a push to get users to use the official twitter app. No thanks. I don’t want another fucking company, telling me how to consume my timeline.
  • Vine. Fuck you Twitter. I miss vine.

I’m almost to the point that if you need to communicate with me, send me a text. I’ll be over here banging away on my blog like some old curmudgeon.

Re: Finding It Hard to Focus? Maybe It’s Not Your Fault

I’ve felt for years now that it’s harder to not be distracted by my technology. I’ve seen and know people who are so involved with their phones that it doesn’t seem they’re even 50% present and that’s not what I want for myself. So when I saw the article, Finding It Hard to Focus? Maybe It’s Not Your Fault, scroll by on my Twitter stream, it really grabbed my attention; pun intended.

My phone home screen. Trying to minimize distractions!

I’ve tried to set up my notifications to be pretty minimal. I’ve disabled Facebook notifications and generally feel that notifications are evil.

When I’m at work, I put my phone and my Mac both on do not disturb mode so that I can focus on what I’m trying to do instead of constantly looking at the notifications from my phone and Mac.

Recently, I’ve really felt that I’ve had an unhealthy addiction to Facebook so I uninstalled both the Facebook and Messenger applications. I’m surprised at how often I find myself just idly reaching for the phone to refresh the app. I was watching the latest episode of Sharp Objects last night and was irritated at myself at how many times I reached for my phone, while watching the show, to check Facebook. Grrr.

Even when I’m reading, it seems like I can only go a few minutes before I’m reaching for my phone to see if anybody has messaged me, to see if there’s any new likes on that dank meme I just posted… to see if anybody liked my selfie. Do. Not. Like.

What are some strategies that you use to decrease the distractions of our technologies?

I sometimes really hate night time…

I find that the wall I build up around my emotions to function during the day is the thinnest and weakest at this time. There’s about a three-hour window in the evening, before going to sleep where this happens. Not every night but more than I’d like and it can vary in intensity.

All the things that are on my mind and bothering me are really at the forefront of my thoughts and I’m unable to do much about it other than to just be with those feelings. That thing I can do during the day, where I’m able to compartmentalize, reframe and rationalize the negative emotions using my brain, just seems to be wore out after doing that all day.

I’m not sure what to do about it.

Re: Rudy Giuliani accuses Robert Mueller of collusion

The former New York City mayor said Mueller’s investigation is “illegitimate” and questioned why the special counsel wasn’t delving into the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele that contained unsubstantiated but salacious details about Trump.“

Can it get any worse? I mean, what do we need to know that this is a totally illegitimate investigation based on a report, a dossier that was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats — probably the biggest illegality so far, the biggest collusion so far,” Giuliani told Hannity.

Source: Rudy Giuliani accuses Robert Mueller of collusion

This is a completely false claim by Giuliani and is easily discredited.

Re: I Don’t Want To Talk About My Tattoos With Strange Men

Recently Amanda and I were grabbing some dinner at Cheddars when a woman walked up to me to comment on my tattoos. I didn’t mind and generally do enjoy when people – men or women –  want to talk to me about my tattoos but I also understand I have lots of large, tattooed, white guy privilege. I understand that the perception and experience of women is very different. Amanda tagged me on this because it reminded her of our experience at Cheddars.

But lately I’ve been noticing that nearly every interaction I have with strange men about my tattoos, even when they aren’t street-harassing or being explicitly sexual, ends up feeling creepy and predatory.

This quote from the piece really has me being introspective and examining my motives and I have to be honest here. I have used tattoos as a reason to speak to women at bars or concerts and I’m mortified that I could have come off as creepy and predatory. It seems the comments Emily is writing about seem to happen when she’s just moving through public space. Like, she’s at the grocery store or a coffee shop and somebody walks up and makes a comment and is inspecting her body.  Ok whew, I’ve never done that.

In general, I try to be pretty aware of how my presence is affecting women in my general area. Like, if I’m walking to my car and there’s a woman ahead of me, I might slow down to give her some more space or I’ve even crossed the street so she doesn’t have a large, tattooed guy following her.

So anyhoo, my take away from this is just to be aware of this and to be mindful that I’m not doing this in public, non-socializing spaces.

Re: Trump uses latest raucous rally to slam recent press coverage

Trump opened up with a chat they had after the Singapore Summit.

“I go home, I see my wife. I say, ‘Honey, we’re gonna get the greatest [news coverage] — I just did something so great today. I just stopped missiles from being launched every two seconds in Korea,’” Trump recounted.

“Baby, what I did with North Korea was great. I got along great with Chairman Kim,” the president recalled saying, noting how that was “a good thing, not a bad thing.”

“And you know what baby, I got the hostages back. I didn’t have to pay anything. And you know what honey? They’re not testing anymore nuclear [weapons]. They haven’t had a test in nine months…And you know what else? They’re not sending rockets over Japan…They haven’t launched one in nine months.

”Trump went on to say that he told Melania, “Ohhh, the media is gonna treat me, finally, so good” as a result of the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“I mean, it’s gonna be so great baby. I’m looking so forward to getting up tomorrow and reading those dying papers,” he recalled telling the first lady. “And what do I read? What do I read? ‘Donald Trump isn’t moving fast enough.’ Can you believe it?”

Good grief. This dude really just has a daddy complex. Somebody didn’t get enough praise as a child.

Re: Sessions: ‘A dangerous movement is eroding our religious freedom’

Conservative groups immediately praised Sessions for promising to protect deeply held religious convictions, though critics of the Trump administration have repeatedly voiced concerns that the attorney general’s stance undercuts LGBT rights and favors the rights of Christians over those of other faiths.

Eh. I don’t think religious freedom should be used to discriminate against LGBT people. We all have a right to practice religion right up to the point where it infringes on another person’s right.