Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

Archive for the category “Politics”

Trumpwatch 8/15/2017

Yesterday, the president went in front of cameras and, through gritted teeth and only after being told to by everyone from his daughter to the people he watches on Fox News, condemned the Nazis who held a rally to protest a statue of Robert E Lee being relocated.  The media and his supporters will say that he has corrected a misstatement from the weekend where he said there was hate “on many sides” and (and this is the one that shows his true feelings) “We must cherish our history.” 

Should I remind you that the Nazi were chanting about how their history won’t be erased?  How the essence of the current white power movement is that diversity is erasing the great civilization created by white men?  How Trump has retweeted members of the white power movement? Took over a week to condemn David Duke?

I am reading people who aren’t Trump fans who apologize for him by saying, “He’s doing it for votes and knows they are part of his base.”

Don’t. Be. Fooled. 

As we keep hearing “Why won’t he condemn them?”, I keep asking a golf question.

How many mulligans do we give this guy?  On the day of their rally, he didn’t condemn the Nazis and instead said he was against the hate “on many sides”, which white power websites said shows he’s with them.  And. They. Are. Right.  He condemns them days later, in prepared statements, like a 7 year old who has been told to apologize by his mother.  In his twitter feed, which is the window into his soul, he has no problem attacking CEOs who condemn the Nazis, Rosie O’Donnell, and his own party, but not a peep about Nazis who march with torches chanting “Blood and soil.”

His dad was arrested in 1927 for taking part in a KKK riot in New York.  He’s been investigated for racial discrimination in housing.  He’s called for the execution of black teenagers, later proven innocent and refuses to take it back, still saying they should have been executed.  Said in MULTIPLE interviews he doesn’t like having black people work for him.  And on, and on, and on, and on.

Everyone who doesn’t see this, see that it is intentional, is getting played for chumps.

“We must cherish our history.”

Remember that.  That’s who he is.  That’s what he believes. 

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In Which Our Hero Discusses Comics and Milkshakes

In a Facebook comics discussion group, someone posted a picture of a Marvel publishing employee and her friends with milkshakes and said, “This is the problem with comics” as if we all immediately understood what he meant.  Others joined in and said yes, and I asked what he meant…and was met with snotty responses and name calling. 

I replied by saying, and I will admit I was being snotty, “I was just trying to determine if you were ageist or sexist.”

Which, of course, upset this snowflake, who felt he should be able to hate on women without anyone calling him on it.  They then went on and on about these KIDS are ruining Marvel, these WOMEN don’t know anything about comics and the like.

Never mind that Marvel was pretty much run by people in their 20’s through the 70s and into the 80’s.  Never mind that Marvel has expanded into libraries and schools over the last decade.  Never mind that ALL of publishing has fallen apart, with even major publishers like Gold Eagle and Harlequin having to shutter due to poor sales.

Nope, it’s women.  Young women.  They’ve ruined everything.

I don’t know how to break it to people, but physical media has fallen on hard time.  Borders used to be a multi billion dollar company before people quit buying books.  Blockbuster, Media Play, Musicland, Tower Records, Hastings, your local mall and on and on and on, all of them have been killed by the “new economy.”

The comics industry is trying to diversify, not just its content, but its revenue streams.  Tell me all you want about those icky girls are killing comics and I will gently point at Saga, which has a primarily female audience is making money hand over fist.  Tell me about how kids don’t read comics and I will point you toward the Scholastic book sales and how Marvel makes a LOT of money from them.  As well as library sales. 

I’m betting these He Man Woman Haters read a few comics edited by Karen Berger over the years, who expanded comics in the 80’s and 90’s in a way that grew the audience and made everyone in comics a lot of money.

Blockbuster had a chance to buy into Netflix early on, and passed as it didn’t fit their business model.  For all of the belly aching about Marvel, DC, who has kept a lot of the “old school” way of creating comics, has seen its sales drop as well.  Comic shops are part of a last ditch distribution network, and in many ways, if THEY don’t diversify their product lines and customers, they tend to go under as well.  We talk on the podcast I do all the time that if you shop JUST sells comics, you probably are doomed, since that market is shrinking as digital, Amazon and people abandoning physical media continues to grow. 

I guess those milkshake drinking young women are destroying them as well, which shows just how powerful they are, I guess.

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“Just Joking”

“Just joking” is something we now hear repeatedly from the White House. Trump tells cops to beat up suspects, and the explanation is “just joking”. Ed Butowsky pressures news outlets to run the fake story about Seth Rich saying “The President wants it run” and now says he was “just joking.”

“Just joking” is the excuse given by abusers who know there is no way to cover up what they did and shifting the blame to YOU for being upset. I mean, don’t you have a sense of humor? Don’t you understand a joke?  Are you that clueless that you take it seriously?

“Just joking” is a red flag that lets you know that the person you are dealing with is dangerous and WILL attempt to hurt you.

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To serve and protect

I don’t comment on every tragedy, but here in Minnesota, we’ve had another incident of a policeman using lethal force against someone who was not a danger to themselves or others. These incidents have been happening more and more, and I believe there is a very simple reason why:

We have turned our police into a military force who are trained to kill.

The concept of the “warning shot” is a quaint idea for a long forgotten past. We have been giving military equipment to the police since 9/11 as we’ve been dumping money into “Homeland Security”.  Crime is it the lowest levels since WWII, and yet we are all freaked out about it due to endless media reports and politicians telling us that the US is a war zone and we are surrounded by carnage.  Police leaders tell us that they are in constant danger so that we don’t investigate them too closely.  Officers are trained to empty a clip into a suspect.  When the police kill someone involved in a minor offense, we are immediately shown the most thuggish picture available, and they are presented as a subhuman danger to society.

Police no longer “walk a beat” where they walk the neighborhood and get to know people. They don’t live where they work.  They are taught the military way of looking at the world where everyone is a potential enemy.

41 officers were killed by gunfire last year, a tragic number, but not the “hundreds” our President and his people have said. 1162 citizens were killed by police last year.

Here in Minneapolis, an officer with a history of violence against suspects shot and killed a meditation instructor who had called 911 for help. We won’t ever really know what happened because the officers involved parked their car where the dashboard camera couldn’t capture what happened and they did not turn on their body cameras as required to.

The media is demonizing protestors because THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE TOLD TO DO. However, this doesn’t make their message any less valid.

Our police are to serve and protect, not be judge and jury. We need to demand that they return to their function and if they don’t, we need to demand that politicians force them to return to their functions, and if they don’t?  We need to shut it down, shut it all down.

Our lives are at stake.

 

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You know it don’t come easy

I have said over and over in my little essays that my goal is to “Love everybody and make ‘em feel good about themselves.” Michael Des Barres, who I knew little about until I started listening to him on his Underground Garage radio show, states that he is “Your Humbler Servant” which was something I adopted to put words to how I see my life.  I didn’t come to this easily, and for a portion of my life I was embittered, cynical, and felt that I had been given the fuzzy end of the lollypop.

 

I made the change in my thinking, and I am NOT one of those people who believes “the secret” or that positive thoughts bring you positive results. In fact, the world around me hasn’t changed.  I’ve still had to struggle, deal with financial and emotional upheaval, had people in my life who did me wrong and the like.  None of that changed, and the people who say “thinking positively will always make you rich!” are scam artists just as big as the Nigerian Prince who used to e-mail you about helping him get his money transferred to another bank.

The world didn’t change. I still have been laid off 4 times since 1999 when I made the mental change.  I have had a dear friendship dissolve in a painful way.  I have had five relationships with women I loved end.  I have suffered huge financial setbacks, increased anxiety, family tragedies and the like.  What changed was how I saw it.

With people, I assumed positive intent and gave forgiveness, knowing that they did what they thought was a good idea at the time. With employment, I made sure to keep myself learning and got away from thinking that my job is who I am, and instead see it as how I help others.  With family, I realize that things will be good at times and not good at others.  With my own mental health, I realize that I can do what I can to take care of myself and to get help when I need it, same as I would for an infection or a chronic condition.

I wake up every day knowing that my internal weather determines how I see the external circumstances. That everyone is a person with hopes, dreams, fears, desires and needs and while what they do may affect me, it’s all in how I react to that.

I have also seen people whose lives are defined by who and what they hate, and the more I se4e it, the more I realize it’s not my job to oppose them, but to avoid them and not let their anger change how you live your life. I fail at this, and tend to take criticism much more easily than praise, but I’m trying to do better.

I want to live in a world where everyone gets what they want. Even my enemies.  It ain’t easy, but since we’re all we’ve got, we have to help each other.

Much love to friends old and new and I hope that you learn to live a life defined by forgiveness and hope rather than anger and fear. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.

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Mr. Trump, I am upset as well

I am about to make some people mad, but…sorry, not sorry.

The Trumps have said that their son was upset by seeing Kathy Griffith picture of Trump’s bloody face. I’m sorry he saw that, and you should be a bit more diligent in what you allow your son to see.  As a single father, I took great care as to what media was son was exposed to, which is hard in the days of the internet, but it is possible.

My son is upset that his health care is going to be taken from him. As an asthmatic who works a low wage starter job he enjoys, the ACA has brought down costs for him that he can afford the medication that helps him breathe so that he’s not in and out of the emergency room.  He’s also upset that you’ve rolled back protections for safe water supplies, as he would like to not be subject to pollution and water borne diseases in his drinking water.

He’s also upset that your cavalier sharing of intelligence information has made it easier for the people who want to do us harm economically, internationally and physically to know classified information. He’s also upset that your administration is looking into removing protections for LBGTQ people much like your Vice President attempted to do and that he can be fired if he happens to date someone of the same gender.

He is also upset that you have thrown in with white supremacist hate groups by retweeting their messages and endorsing their statements. You have even appointed people with ties to their organizations into your administration.  He is upset that you only seem to recognize minority terrorism and when white people commit acts of terrorism, you ignore it until days or weeks later, giving the appearance that you only get upset when minorities commit crimes, which is a lifelong pattern with you.

He’s upset with your past business ties to mod bosses like Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano, your use of illegal immigrants and the long history of illegal and corrupt business dealings. He’s upset with your lifelong poor treatments of women, including the sexualization of your daughter Ivanka starting when she was 12.

But that’s just MY son. YOUR son is the scion of a President.

I guess only the children of Presidents should be shielded from upset.

However, I’m betting that Obama’s children were upset that you claimed their father was not an American citizen. That your detectives in Hawaii had found blockbuster evidence that we are still waiting for to their day.  That their father was such a poor President that America will never elect another African American.  That you are trying to destroy everything he did in office, that you lie about your accomplishments to diminish and delegitimize him.

Then again, your son may also be upset in how you treat his mother, ignoring her at events, berating her while cameras are running, mocking her looks after she gave birth to him, your sexual advances on other women while you were married to her and other ways you show that she is just another of your possessions.

What Kathy Griffith did was failed art and in poor taste, but I think stating that your son was upset by it doesn’t hold a lot of water for me. That’s on me.

Guess I have a long way to go before I am as empathic and caring as you are.

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Just checking

Let me see if I understand this. Republicans hold both the House and the Senate as well as the White House, and we may get a government shut down because they are having trouble passing the bare minimum of bills to keep the lights on.  One of the big hangups is the fact that Trump is demanding that we start funding his border wall.

That he said Mexico would pay for.

And both former and current presidents of Mexico have said publically, and this is a quote, “We will not pay for your fucking wall.”

Oh, and those pictures your Trump loving friends are sending of a wall on Mexico’s southern border are from Israel. The southern border of Mexico is not a desert and you’d know that if you had any knowledge of geography.

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I told you not to be stupid, you moron

What can we learn from Ardian Syaf’s mistake putting in anti-Christian and anti-Semitic messages in his X-Men comic art? A lot, really:

  • Getting there is only part of the battle. Once you get to where you want to be, treat it the same as you did on your way up.
  • As Aretha Franklin sang in “The Blues Brothers”: Think! Make sure that you are willing to answer for what you put in EVERYTHING to you. In the zombie novel I am writing now, a child is going to die in a pretty horrify way, and I didn’t just DO it, I thought about how it fit into the story, WHY I am doing it, and what is the best way to write it. Is that “inside joke” worth it if the meaning gets out?

People walking around everyday, playing games, taking scores

Trying to make other people lose their minds.

Well be careful, you’re gonna lose yours.

  • Don’t lie about what you’ve done. Mr. Syaf said that he didn’t do it, then that it didn’t mean what it meant. In doing so, he made it so his employer can’t trust him. If you have a franchise you are trying to rebuild, you want people on your team you can trust.
  • Do NOT cost your employer more money than they can make off of you. A hard, cold fact fo life in the capitalist world is that your employer needs to make money off of you. If you cost more than you possibly bring in, you’ll be gone in a gnat’s heartbeat.
  • THINK!
  • Are your political beliefs worth losing your job over? Social Media, interviews and the like are powerful promotional tools, but putting out controversial statements will alienate parts of your audience. Just ask the Dixie Chicks, Bill Maher, the ghost of Bill Hicks, various comics creators and others who put their politics front and center and saw audiences turn on them. I do not believe in the “shut up and sing” crap, but I DO believe that if you are going to be controversial, pick the time, place, audience and venue.
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A little about me so that Homeland Security has something to arrest me for

I read over the weekend that the Border Patrol was taking people phones and looking at their Facebook posts to determine if they were a risk or not, and it is alleged that the Trump Administration is looking for the authority to read people’s Facebook statuses to see “where they are, politically.”

So, since I want to be a good citizen, I am going to make it easy for those tracking me, so here are the main things I like or believe in:

  • Pizza is one of the best foods on the planet
  • Pie is the best food on the planet
  • I’m a friendly atheist, after going through an angry atheist period.
  • I’m a liberal in the mode of Paul Wellstone, Harry Truman and Bartcop. Not a Democrat, a liberal.
  • I am a friend to creative people. Artists, writers, dancers, singers, anyone who does creative stuff
  • Christina Hendricks is darn pretty. As is Kate Micucci.
  • I like-a da comic books.
  • No, really, I love pie. Pie is great
  • I do not wish they all could be California girls
  • I think the current “President” is a short fingered vulgarian and have though that since 1988.
  • Diet soda makes me go. Hot Tea is my favorite drink.
  • I drink rarely because I work all of the time. In fact, not a day goes by that I am not asked to take on more hours and more shifts.
  • I mean, have you seen the picture of Christina Hendricks in a corset? Great Googley Moogley, the only picture I’ve seen that takes my breath away more involved a chef in a bikini.
  • I help people because I feel we are in in this together and the only thing that can fix the state of the world is us, doing small things to help each other.
  • I need pie as soon as possible.
  • I believe in punching Nazis. Nazi ain’t got no humanity. They’re the foot soldiers of a Jew-hatin’, mass murderin’ maniac and they need to be dee-stroyed. And the Nazi won’t not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives.
  • OK, I won’t do any of that stuff, but damn but I love Quinten Tarentino’s writing.
  • I like crime novels, detective novels, literary novels and pulp stuff. I don’t read much SF and Fantasy any more because it seems like everything is part of an on-going series.
  • I like professional wrestling, art films, TV shows like Justified and Deadwood, comedies like Kimmy Schmidt and The Good Place and Dawn of the Dead and Blue Velvet are my favorite movies.
  • That bikini pic? Best Work of Art ever.
  • I judge people by their e-mail service. AOL?  Really?
  • I like kind people. I will put up with selfish people, I eliminate narcissists, racists, and users from my life.  We’re all flawed, but when those flaws become hurtful to myself or the people I care about, I walk away.  I forgive everyone, and have been willing to pay the price for that.
  • I also judge people on how they treat wait staff and if they wait for people to get OFF the elevator before they try to get ON.
  • Really, if you want me to be your friend, send me pie. I’ll do pretty much anything for pie.  Everything the things I won’t do for love.

Hopefully, this is enough for our new Russian Overlords to know me and I am not brought in for “enhanced interrogation*. If not, can any of my foreign friend hide me in their attic for a few years?

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Today, we do the tell

This you know:

the years travel fast, and time after time I done the tell. But this ain’t onebody’s tell. It’s the tell of us all, and you’ve gotta listen and to ‘member, ’cause what you hears today you gotta tell the newborn tomorrow.

I’s lookin’ behind us now into history back. I sees those of us who got the luck and started the haul for home, and I ‘members how it led us here and how we was heartful ’cause we seen what there once was. One look and we knewed we’d got it straight.

Those what had gone before had the knowin’ and the doin’ of things beyond our reckonin’ — even beyond our dreamin’. Time counts and keeps countin’, and we knows now: finding the trick of what’s been and lost ain’t no easy ride, but that’s our trek. We gotta travel it, and there ain’t nobody knows where it’s gonna lead.

Still in all, every night we does the tell so that we ‘member who we was and where we came from. But most of all we ‘members the man who finded us, him that came a-salvage. And we lights the city, not just for him, but for all of him that are still out there. ‘Cause we knows there’ll come a night when they sees the distant light and they’ll be comin’ home.

-Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

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