minimum standard

Not fake news. Just the facts.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE REPUBLICAN AMERICAN


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.


He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.


Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.


Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.


If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.


It’s noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.


Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.
He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.


Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.


Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

anonymous asked:

I'm curious about what procedures you think need to change in the livestock industry?

Practically, or philosophically? There is so much that can be talked about in this field

From a practical standpoint, there are a number of areas where current livestock practices are far from ideal. Farming has a huge history behind it, and many of these practices are ingrained and so difficult to change.

Before I go through the list, I should preface that if you’re not comfortable with the fact that farmed animals die for human benefit, if you just want all farms to stop using animals, then you’re not going to find this list satisfactory. If you’re fundamentally uncomfortable with livestock industries, and you haven’t already questioned why you consume the products it produces or what your alternatives are, then it might be worthwhile.

For now, these industries are not going anywhere. They’re certainly not perfect but we could improve them. Regardless of whether you personally believe all these industries should be ‘just stopped’ you have to agree that will not happen overnight, and that other welfare improvements could happen today.

  • Pain relief being more widely used. There has historically been an aversion to using pain relief medication in livestock due to expense, drug residues and the lack of products made for and tested in the species. This is beginning to change so there are not more options for pain relief at castration and mulesing , for example, but this needs to be more widely used. Another hurdle to this is that they are prescription products, and in order for a veterinarian to prescribe them they must have been out to that farm within the last year and be familiar with their set up and stock. Not every farm will call out a veterinarian on a regular basis.
  • Minimize transport time. Transport, whether by road, train, boat or plane, is incredibly stressful for livestock of all kinds. We can measure their physiological stress, so this is definitely not just anthropomorphism. Livestock are more stressed in transport than they are by witnessing death, which is the opposite to what many people would think. 
  • On-farm slaughter and refrigerated transport. Following on from the previous point, we have the technology to transport chilled carcasses. Performing slaughter on farm removes or eliminates a large percentage of the transport an individual animal needs to be exposed to, and will improve their welfare. Animals don’t perceive death the same way we do, having a mini abattoir at the farm entrance isn’t going to bother them.
  • Using genetics instead of procedures. It astounds me in this modern day that we still have breeders of hereford cattle that breed the horned version, and then de-horn the calves, instead of selecting stock with the polled (no horns) trait. If you want horns then fine, but if you’re going to cut/burn/cauterize them off anyway when why not remove them genetically? The polled gene exists! Similarly there are a small number of merino sheep with a ‘bare breech’ trait, which don’t need mulesing. It would be ideal to spread this trait through the Australian sheep population, but with millions and millions of sheep and a ram only about to impregnate about 60 a month, that will take time.
  • Enrichment. Toys. Something for animals to play with, to investigate, to do. This has been historically neglected for a long time because originally animals weren’t though to have souls, or to be thinking, feeling entities. We know differently now. Enrichment only improves the lives of these animals, and often reduces unwanted or destructive behavior, like piglets biting off each others tails.
  • Dam-neonate bonding in certain industries should be reconsidered. In some situations, the dairy industry in particular, neonates may be taken from their mothers within 24 hours to reduce disease transmission in eradication of certain diseases, like Johnes disease, but in other situations it’s because for some mind boggling reason it is more cost efficient for a farm to sell the mother’s milk and feed the neonate on milk replacer.  
  • In a similar vein, giving sows enough space to nurse their litter would be great. They’re kept in sow stalls (basically a cage that they can stand up or lie down in that the piglets can run through) so that they don’t squash their piglets and kill them. That’s great and all, except you can accomplish the same thing by giving the sow more space to turn around it and slopes on the wall of the pen.

So, the important question I hope you’re asking is why don’t we do these things already?

There are lots and lots of reasons someone could grab, but the short (and I dare say more honest) reason is this: Money.

Granting an animal more space costs you money because it reduces the number of animals you can stock in your space. Using more pain relief medication costs you money. Calling out a vet costs you money. Providing enrichment costs you various amounts of money. On-farm slaughter and refrigerated transport is more expensive than the current system.

So if this is all about money, is it the fault of greedy farmers? Well, generally no.

Most farmers actually like the species of animal they work with. And most of them, especially with recent droughts, the current political climate and monopolization of the companies that buy their products, are not making big buckets of cash. More and more farms are selling up and small producers are not keeping up.

They are under constant pressure to lower the prices of their animal products because there’s only a few big buyers, and right now it’s the buyers that dictate what price they’re willing to pay. Because these animal products are perishable, you can’t save them for a rainy day if you don’t sell them, and these buyers are big enough, they can hold out and only pay what they want to pay. This severe downward pressure means farmers get paid progressively less, and these companies make more profits while claiming it’s good for consumers.

^ Look familiar?

So we get cheaper food, the company makes more profit, and the individual farms get screwed.

Especially with milk, there was a huge crisis recently where one of the big milk buyers suddenly declared it had been overpaying dairies, and that not only was it now going to pay them much less for the season (on contract mind you), but that all their dairies now owed them thousands of dollars. After years of downward price pressure on their product many farms could not, and can not, afford this. You can get an overview here.

The point I’m trying to get to is that if these industries are gong to improve, then we need to value the individual animal and its experience of life more than we currently do. 

If we value the experiences of the individual animal, and consequently put our money where our mouth is when it comes to their products, then there should be both motivation and financial ability to improve their lives. We could progress from mere ‘prevention of cruelty’ and minimum standards towards animal welfare and good welfare states.

Changing consumer patterns is probably the only way to do this, and it’s quite hard when you’re already paycheck to paycheck, but a in depth rant/discussion about politics/policy/economics etc is beyond my scope, though I would happily add veterinary and industry specific detail to a discussion if someone wants to tackle that side of it.

anonymous asked:

What exactly did trump change about animal rights?

The big kerfluffle is mostly that the USDA website seems to have purged any references to proper welfare. Not that the USDA standards were the best of the best but they allowed layfolk and animal keepers to easily access a standard of minimum care, and also allowed outsiders to have a point to compare something to if they saw a situation they thought was amiss.

Purging that info doesn’t really serve a purpose except to hide practices and make it more difficult for already touchy areas of animal care like the housing of wild animals and the running of factory farms to be even harder to call out when they pull something shady.

Specifically it stands to effect domestic pet animals because those guidelines also govern things like puppy mills.

What worker unions gave America
  • The 40 hour work week
  • Holiday pay
    • Every work holiday other than July 4th and Christmas
  • Overtime pay
  • Hazard Pay
  • Sick days
  • Holiday time
  • Disability insurance
  • Mandatory fire escapes on the job 
    • on top of other basic-shit like requiring handrails, notices for dangerous chemicals, safety equipment, asbestos abatement, and more
  • Mandatory lunch breaks
  • Well-paying blue-collar work
  • The breaking of Robber Barons of the and early 20th Century
  • Decreased income inequality
  • The Minimum Wage
  • Medicare
  • Social Security
  • Pensions
  • The 401k
  • Increased standards of living
  • The Civil Rights Act and the EEOC


Don’t wait until Labor Day to thank the men and women who literally fought and died to give you the benefits of the society you’re living in today.

anonymous asked:

Have you ever seen Supervet? Idk of it's shown in Australia but it's a tv show based in a vet practice called Fitzpatrick Referrals and the guy does all sorts of technologically amazing treatments but I have to admit, I don't know if he doesn't sometimes take things too far and should just be euthanising these suffering animals. It also fits in with something I saw recently about a man giving horses prosthetic limbs when they'd normally die after a broken leg. How far do you think is too far?

Within the industry, specialist surgeons have a reputation of being very ‘cut happy’, generally speaking. It’s like when all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.

I have seen some of the episodes, quite a long time ago. He certainly seems to know his stuff, but I don’t like the dramatization. I also don’t like how the show just skims over costs of these procedures and didn’t emphasize the simple fact that experimental surgery sometimes doesn’t work.

If someone is going to go to extreme lengths to save an animal, they should do it properly and a well equipped specialist hospital with a knowledgeable surgeon is the place to be. However, not every case can be saves.

I’ve said previously that I try to avoid making judgement calls about ‘should’. The exception to this are cases where the animal’ welfare is compromised. I feel like it’s our job to advocate for our patient’s welfare, particularly making sure that minimum standards are not compromised.

I think the proliferation of two legged dogs that are allowed to live to adulthood are an example of things going too far. The  media treat these stories as inspirational, when really they shouldn’t have been allowed to get this far. This is sad, not inspiring, and I feel bad for the dogs and cringe at the thought of their orthopedics.

And the  media just praises it for trying to survive without so much as tossing it a pair of wheels.

I mean, if you’re going to try to keep an animal with a disability to make yourself feel better, either do it well or don’t do it at all.

Technology and medical techniques should advance over time. It’s not unreasonable to expect the scope of treatments we can offer to expand. On the topic of horse limbs, the difficulty in treating horse limb fractures is due to their size and damage that occurs to the other legs while they’re healing. Small horses cope with some prosthetics, but large and flighty horses tend not to.

How far we can push treatment will no doubt change in the future, but we need an ethical framework to ask ‘should we do this’. If we’re undertaking a treatment for our benefit over the animal’s, I have to ask why. It is their welfare that should be a priority in these decisions. Not human ego.

3

This week thousands of indigenous participants are UN Headquarters in New York to discuss issues affecting human rights defenders, indigenous women and youth.

They are also marking ten years since the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on indigenous peoples’ rights and established a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples.

📷: UN Photo / Evan Schneider, Rick Bajornas

Time to unite and fight the right, not collude and be co-opted

I’m appalled by WoLF and other radical feminists walking into the co-optation trap with the Heritage Foundation and Fox News. We are in a political emergency. Now is the time to unite and fight the right, not get in line with them. If radical feminists are going to stretch outside their comfort zone to try to win protections for women, the Heritage Foundation is not where to go to achieve that end. Finding common cause with liberal feminists and trans people is difficult work, but possible and necessary. Many trans people do not recognize their own lived experiences in the rhetorical excesses of the extremist trans activists–and many do not find their real interests represented by these extremists’ current campaigns. Many, many liberal women feel ill at ease with their own interests being run over–they are simply afraid to stand up or second-guessing themselves. Many are unsure and confused, watching and making their decisions about where to stand based on who else will be standing with them.

If WoLF’s interested in coalition work, it could make bridges there. But as we’ve seen, they’ve been unwilling even to listen to other radical feminists when we’re also detransitioned women. These collusions with the Right are exactly the type of wildly off target actions we’ve tried to question and interrupt in their strategy approach, brought to a worst-case scenario conclusion. I watched the Heritage panel discussion in horror as a Fest dyke spoke about transwomen infiltrating Michfest–as though the likes of the Heritage Foundation had not also infiltrated and tried to shut down Michfest, infiltrated the Land and the message boards, tried to dig up some salacious s&m content in order to paint us all as perverts–and as a sinister threat to women and children. The right doesn’t differentiate much between those they consider perverts and deviants. When the Right says they’re concerned about who is using women’s accommodations, don’t think for a minute that lesbians, gay men, or anyone who gets mistaken as such will not be harmed by their “solution.”

WoLF are working with one of the women who passed HB2 in North Carolina. To my knowledge, she’s the only one in their so-called “coalition” who has been part of actually passing legislation on this issue, and it was HB2. Do they not understand what HB2 is?

It’s not just a bathroom bill, but even if it had been, you gotta ask the question–who will be hurt by this law in North Carolina? Safe bet Black lesbians will get hit the worst. Not white autogynephiles, primarily–they’ve got their white male privilege to insulate them. It’ll come back on Lesbians. Butch dykes. Bearded women. Flaming gay men, particularly if they’re Black. Getting everyone on high alert about “evil interlopers” in the bathroom does cause additional hardship for anyone who is perceived as ambiguously sexed, trans or not.

But it was not just a bathroom bill. HB2 eliminated rights and employment protections very broadly–removing anti-discrimination protections on the basis of RACE, SEX, NATIONALITY, RELIGION. It removed any chance of legal remedy for any such discrimination in North Carolina. It removed all protections on lesbian and gay rights to public accommodations. It banned any future ordinances which could try to win them back. It eliminated minimum wage standards and health insurance standards for public contractors. It eliminated family leave policies, child welfare protections, and requirements for workers to be allowed to take breaks. It banned future ordinances to reverse those losses.

And the blond lady on the panel with Miriam Ben Shalom and Mary Lou Singleton–Kami Mueller–you know, the one who could barely conceal her distaste for those she sees as freaks whether they be lesbian, gay, or trans–spoke proudly about how she helped pass that legislation. She told a story about being a mom against having her children, nieces and nephews forced into co-ed bathrooms and against insane gender ideology being forced on them in school. And that story was the ammunition she brought to the battle for HB2. That’s a nice story, I guess, if you ignore why she has an issue with these things. But it’s not the story of what HB2 actually is. Or who she actually is. She’s not some random mom who happened into a conflict with her kids’ school. She’s been working in PR and strategy for the Republican party, organizing against women’s reproductive rights, and generally doing Focus on the Family-esque campaigns for her entire career. In fact, both of the right wing women who participated on that panel are PR and Communications professionals. The WoLF women…do not have that background. They have so badly underestimated the right wing women. This is no equal coalition between individual women from different walks of life. This is a power move by the right, co-opting the only visible feminist resistance in order to entirely neutralize any chance of its message gaining traction or appearing reasonable.

Nobody of conscience is going to stand with WoLF when it cozies up to the elite power-holders on the right. They are allowing themselves to be co-opted and used. Being co-opted isn’t just about what you believe or what you say. It’s about what you represent, what you have been willing to compromise, and what you are being used to accomplish. It doesn’t matter what anyone says. It matters what end you’re serving. Just like HB2 wasn’t about the compelling stories some women told about protecting the legal category of “female.” The right’s only interest in that legal category is as a mechanism of control and repression.

It says a lot when WoLF can see their way clear to “common cause” with those whose stake in this particular issue is the repression of women, including lesbians; gay men; and anyone they mistake for one of the above. Please understand who we are talking about here. The Heritage Foundation is funded in part by the Koch brothers and the DeVos family, was instrumental in selecting Trump’s transition team. They did oust Jason Richwine for being too overtly white supremacist, but I think that was strategic with regard to his being too obvious about it, not a real difference in values. Now that “MAGA” is the order of the day, the game has changed on that front too. The Heritage Foundation’s current leadership is a Tea Party guy who has been taking them in an even bolder direction than their usual.

It’s not clear whether there are direct ties with The Family, but these people are of that ilk. The Family are the US-based right wing political organization that brought Uganda its “kill the gays” bill. These are people who want a theocracy here in the US, and they are closer to achieving that than they have ever been. Many of them literally think lesbians, other “bad women,” and gay men should be stoned to death.They are anti-poor, anti-worker and white supremacist as a matter of course. But they’re getting savvier about how to represent those values. They have dressed it up pretty and they are smiling politely to your face. For now.

Miriam Ben Shalom noted that she wasn’t being yelled at and was treated respectfully at Heritage Foundation, whereas radiqueers shouted her down at the last panel discussion she participated in. The Heritage crowd might not be yelling, but it’s only because they know how to cook a frog–and what they are up to is far, far more dangerous. WoLF’s strategy is to set aside “differences” to work with them.

But WoLF–despite its stated value of female solidarity and the greater salience of sex over “gender identity”–could never and would never do the work to make common cause with, say, transmen. Hell, they couldn’t even work with radical feminist detransitioned dykes. We were ready and willing to talk to them about refining their strategy into something less allergic to nuance and help equip them to bridge subcultural differences–but instead they’ve doubled down on their bludgeon tactics, metastasized their strategy into something dangerous to most women. It’s very telling that they got down with Heritage instead of ever listening to the likes of us.

It’s not a “coalition” when you’ve walked into the den of patriarchal power and handed over the collective credibility of radical feminists in an attempt to make a devil’s bargain. Do not think for a minute that a right wing think tank and social engineering force would champion your radical feminist cause if they thought it would actually help you win. Understand–at this political moment, if all you have to say to the Heritage Foundation is “look, we have this one thing in common, for opposite reasons”–you are basically asking the big mean daddy to protect you. That is never gonna work in favor of women, of female human beings, collectively. And make no mistake about which women will be hurt first and worst.

And because WoLF’s the only big public radical feminist organization, by extension they’ve allowed any women who organize or write under that banner to be co-opted as well, unless we speak up loudly enough to say no to this. Fox News is pretty loud. The Heritage Foundation is pretty loud. WoLF have made our work–those of us who actually try to organize on points of female solidarity, regardless of political difference–next to impossible. And maybe that was the point, at least from the right’s perspective.

But I’m interested in doing the opposite of what they’re doing. I actually don’t care about calling it radical feminism. You can call it whatever you want. Call it George. I care more about what it accomplishes in our lives than in the name. I have plenty of common cause with many who believe radical feminism is anathema, though they may not truly understand it. (Allying with the right will not help them understand.) Regardless, I can hold those disagreements, some of which come down to semantics, far more readily than a “disagreement” over whether female human beings ought to have bodily autonomy, or a “disagreement” over the human rights of women, including lesbians; gay men; people of color; Muslims; or Jews.

anonymous asked:

Following the euthanasia discussion, you've talked a lot about end of life care, but how do you decide when intervention is worthwhile for a sick or hurt pet? Taking out cost as a factor, are there injuries that, even if they can heal, it's not worth it to try, due to the recovery time/pain? What about continuing treatment of a sick animal, if there's the potential for recovery but, if they don't recover, you're needlessly putting them through painful treatments or surgeries?

So, basically I try to avoid making this decision. It’s a judgement call, and I’m not here to judge my clients for the decisions they make, I’m here to guide them towards the better options, and away from the outright bad choices they might otherwise have made.

Most of the time, as long as you chose something, it’s better than nothing.

Take lymphoma treatment for example. After a pet is diagnosed with lymphoma, you have three basic options.

  1. Chemotherapy. 30% chance of surviving more than 3 years
  2. Prednisolone. Will feel much better for 1-2 months, then very much worse
  3. Euthanasia.

As long as something gets chosen in the following few days, it’s not my place to say which one is ‘correct’ because none of these options are wrong. There may be other factors, such as age of the pet, the owner’s own experience, or the pet’s temperament that affect their choice, but it’s not my place to decide whether these big choices are worthwhile.

As another example, Osteosarcoma of the limb in large breed dogs has treatment options that look more like this:

  1. Limb sparing surgery, + chemo or radiotherapy, average survival time 6 months
  2. Amputation + chemo or radiotherapy, average survival time 6 months
  3. Amputation alone, average survival time 4 months
  4. chemo alone, average survival time variable (spontaneous bone fracture can still occur and require euthanasia)
  5. Lots and lots of pain relief.

I’m not going to make the judgement call for somebody else’s dog. I would make the judgement call for my own dog, but I know what my reasoning is. I can guide someone through why they could consider each option, but I can’t make the choice for them.

Factors I encourage people to consider are:

  • Are the odds of success or average survival times good enough in your view to make this decision?
  • If the recovery time is X and the expected lifespan of your pet is Y, are you comfortable with this?
  • Are you comfortable with the expected cosmetic result after treatment? (eg after amputations)

And if it is at all possible for me to do so then I will make the pet comfortable and encourage owners to take 24 hours to make a decision. Sometimes it’s not possible to grant them that time and I have to force them to think quicker, but I hate having to do this. The animal, however, has to remain my priority.

As a side note, there are ways for me to steer the conversation and lead people towards making the decision that I want them to make, but I rarely do this. I usually only use this technique when there aren’t very many good options and the pet needs a fast decision, or if the owner is stuck. I try to avoid doing this because it could be ethically questionable to lead people into making big decisions in this way.

But in conclusion, while I will attempt to enforce a minimum welfare standard for all my patients, for more extreme interventions I try to abstain from making judgements about what’s ‘worthwhile’, only presenting facts.

Creepypasta #1051: Crawl

Length: Long

I was renting a run down house in a low income neighbourhood in the west end of town. It was the kind of neighbourhood that is populated by small, independently run convenience stores every couple of blocks. The kind of stores that have shelves stocked with dusty old bags of pasta, and canned soup, veggies, and beans with faded labels, and strange tiny bottles of “ginseng shot” on the counter. People didn’t buy food at these stores. People bought lottery tickets, energy drinks, six packs of watery beer and cheap packs of cigarettes. Outside the shop doors they met up with hoodie-clad figures with shifty eyes to pick up dime bags or a gram or two of coke, even tranquilizers. These stores sold distraction; an escape from the mundane existence of those struggling below the poverty line.

The streets were dirty and full of litter and the houses were shabby and too close together. Permeating the smog filled air was the constant cacophony of sirens, thudding bass, revving engines, garbled noise from television sets, barking dogs and even the occasional shrill screech.

For three years I called this neighbourhood home as I dredged through long, miserable hours working in the legal department of a company that made gaskets. This company put more money into their legal department than it did into the safety of their employees, adopting the philosophy that it was cheaper to pay legal to get them out of nasty little lawsuits than to spend the millions it would cost updating their machinery. They scraped by on bare minimum safety standards and employed people like me to ensure that no claims had to be paid out.

It was a job that came with little sleep, too small of a pay check, and a heavy conscience.

While I was working at this company, the only place I could afford was this beat up little house in the West End. It was small, kind of drafty, and had the perpetual and inexplicable odour of wet dog kibble. It had dirty, peeling linoleum floors, badly patched drywall, and leaky plumbing. It was definitely full of mould and the space behind the walls was just about at capacity with mice.

It sounds like an absolute shithole, but if you saw it, it was actually much worse. The one thing this house had in the way of saving graces was the back porch. It was covered with a faded, striped awning that had once been red and white, but had taken on the colours of rust and too many cigarettes. This porch had enough space to fit an old threadbare sofa and a small wooden end table.

After a soul crushing ten hours at the plant, I would drag my weary body home, sit down on that sofa, light up a premium cigarette while sipping a glass of bottom-shelf red wine, and day dream about the day my real life would start.

It was just about the only time I had to relax. I could close my eyes and imagine I was sitting on the balcony of one of the colourfully painted town houses somewhere in a coastal town in Italy, a soft breeze ruffling my hair. The sounds of sirens and stereos would fade and be replaced by the sound of waves crashing, sea gulls calling, and music being played in the market place below. The stale, acrid smell of dog kibble would dissipate into the smell of marzipan, salt water and garlic, and the bougainvillea that dripped their fragrant blooms from hanging baskets all around.

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anonymous asked:

Wait, you actually think the EU is better than the US? I'm from the USA and we're fine, you should visit sometime. I have actual friends from France and Germany that came here for study abroad and want to stay because of how shitty Europe is. I don't think you can compare the the crumbling EU to the U.S.

😑 Thank you but that’s not necessary I actually have been to the US and I actually live in the EU (UK, so soon-to-Brexit but yeah). Just so there are no misunderstandings, this started because I posted something complaining about people- especially Trump supporters- depicting the EU as a total hell hole on the brink of collapse, overrun with refugees, the very fabric of national culture going up in flames. It’s a condescending and insulting caricature, especially coming from people who don’t even live here? It’s not that we don’t have problems- as I readily acknowledged- but the way so many people distort and warp things to fit their narrative. Yeah, there are some people here who agree with Trump, but there are a lot of us who think what he’s saying about Europe is a lot of rubbish too. But we get written off as people embarked on national suicide and ‘political correctness’ huh. 

How the EU as a political institution copes with Brexit and the other challenges remains to be seen. It has areas where improvements are needed. But…that goes for the US as well? That’s my point. There are protests going on about racism and police brutality, against Trump, over the Dakota Pipleline, the country spends way more than healthcare than the rest of the developed world with much poorer results- but does that mean your country is on the brink of total collapse? Because there are loads of areas the EU performs better and if you think we are crumbling what does that make the US? I’m saying that the day-to-day, our quality of life- what things actually are like is nowhere near as uniformly bad or simple as what you think it is. Immigration and terrorism that’s another hot-button issue in the US, isn’t it? The White House appears to be in quite a mess- your VP even had to come here to tell us to disregard what the President said. So, why is the US ‘fine’ and the EU ‘shit’?

And yes, if you so confidently think the US does everything best, you should revisit that. It’s not even that I think the US is a terrible, shitty place. It’s an interesting and dynamic country. I really liked visiting it. It’s on the cutting edge of a lot of areas especially tech companies and producing cultural products. American popular culture is immensely influential. But I can see clear as day there are areas that EU countries tend to do better. I like my free healthcare, for one. I couldn’t believe how much my sister had to pay when she was at Yale because here it is free at the point of need. I like our lower homicide rates. I like the rigorous anti-discrimination laws built into EU directives that have helped give me, as a woman, far more rights in the workplace and if I should choose to have children- a minimum standard of maternity leave. I like our extensive public transport network across Europe. No need for a car.

None of these mean we have zero problems. But I’m tired of people -especially if you’ve never even been here- oversimplifying it. Especially about immigration or the refugees. Because guess what? This isn’t the first rodeo for Europe, when it comes to immigration and refugees. For the UK in particular? Why, a Tory politician called Enoch Powell even gave a very dramatic speech called Rivers of Blood about immigrants from the (non-white) British Commonwealth. That such people would never ever assimilate and completely destroy the UK’s national character. ‘It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre’. He even claims a constituent told him, ‘In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.’

That was in 1968. It’s almost 50 years now. And it was a lot of rubbish and racism. I would know, because I’m from the British Commonwealth myself and I speak English as my first language. No doubt, there were difficulties for many in the first generation. But their kids were born here and it becomes the only country they know. They become British, in their own way. Some even become Mayor of London. And during the Brexit referendum, I found myself beseeched by the Leave campaign to vote Leave, that no, they were not xenophobic- see? They didn’t mind immigrants like me who were ‘British’ enough, that we are different because we integrated after all, why being from the old British Empire must have helped, all those connections to jolly Britain. Just not those Eastern Europeans and Syrian refugees. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony.

Integration and all those other challenges aren’t shit that get solved with a snap of the fingers. I don’t know for sure what the future holds for the EU and Europe. But what I know is I’m sick to death of the hysteria. It’s massively over-simplistic, centred around distorting and warping things and is more concerned about scapegoating certain groups of people and scoring political points than offering real solutions. Which, unfortunately, is not only being spread around by the European far right but now also American politicians for their own agenda. 

P.S I think it’s rather quite daring of those French and German friends of yours  to want to exchange their excellent universal healthcare for the US system. 

The notion that economic populism pedaled by Sanders is a big tent everyone can get on board, while social issues are limiting and divisive is just patently false.

Before anyone goes, why can’t the left, esp the democrats, be about both & we don’t have to choose? Well that’s what the democratic base - made up of people of color, esp black women - has always been saying, that Democratic Party needs to be both, coz we can’t just deal with economic issues while letting social issues take a back seat, because that’s how we often end up with economic inequality.

Race and gender are very much part of any economic issue yet often missing in economic policymaking; and the focus on class warfare alone isn’t fixing, doesn’t fix, and hasn’t fixed the underlying causes of our economic inequality.

Take this latest fiasco on reproductive rights as negotiable in favor of more “neutral” economic issues. Those who get less pay, not considered for certain jobs and promotions are because we have a uterus and/or are still expected to maintain traditional female roles, while trying to compete professionally under a very white and patriarchal cis male playing field. We get periods, get pregnant, are expected to raise kids, leave work early for PTA meetings, call off work when kids get sick, and/or stay home when we can’t get a baby sitter - and these are used against us to not get the same pay, get jobs, get promotions, advance in our fields at the same pace as our male counterparts, etc.

While it is true more men are taking paternity leaves and not all women get pregnant or have kids, but it’s women, regardless of what reproductive choices we make, are still the ones who get penalized economically.

So if you just advocate for equal pay and paid leave, but not have women, especially women of color, help develop the policy or at least form policies with race & gender lenses/minimum standards in mind, then you’ll create policies that speaks to and benefit mostly white, mostly male and mostly in the upper class.

Additionally, the sanders economic populism is short-sighted, which is why he often don’t get anything passed legislatively, even though they’re well, popular economic ideas.

Take also the fight for 15, which is one of his hills to die on. I applaud the unions and labor groups fighting for a living wage, and that’s what unions do, collectively fight for better pay for workers. But when you’re leadership or seeking leadership in a political party, or already an elected official, you have to have broader ideas and policies for jobs than just increasing minimum wage.

Even if we accept that the reason white working class voted for trump is solely coz of jobs, their main concern wasn’t they’re not getting $15 per hour, it’s they’re losing their jobs all together and they’re not getting them back. Yet Sanders economic populism, like Trump’s economic nationalism, has given lots of platitudes but still has no real policy answer to that.

Right now, we are also dramatically losing jobs that pay by the hour to automation, especially in retail and fast food restaurants, jobs mostly held by women and working class of color. Nothing, even platitudes, is given to address that. By the time we have $15 minimum wage, there won’t be anymore hourly jobs to take.

Economic populism that caters to white working class by default doesn’t transfer to benefit everyone else also, it in fact leaves the most vulnerable behind and keeps people of color invisible.

Sanders and any democratic leader can’t talk about jobs by paying platitudes to white working class at the expense of ignoring working class of color and women, because then they’re intentionally ignoring their own base who demand leadership that addresses and prioritize their economic concerns as well, and leadership that doesn’t treat social issues as secondary issues and in silos.

Sick, tired and stressed. New job is easy work, but I got my first full week’s paycheck yesterday and it ruined my mood. I can barely live on it, let alone save for top surgery. Took today off to job search and try to relax, there’s some great job openings where I’m living now, here’s hoping I get something worth my time 😟

Do you want to talk about how underpaid teachers are?

fandomsandfeminism:

life-grips:

fandomsandfeminism:

I get paid $44,000 a year, give or take, which is actually higher than many districts in my area. 

Assume, for a moment, that my job was…just babysitting. (It’s not, of course, but let’s assume.) And Let’s assume that I’m a REALLY REALLY cheap babysitter. Let’s say I charge $5 an hour per kid. Below minimum wage. 

Let’s ASSUME that I’m only at school from 8am to 4pm. (I’m not. I’m really there from 7 to at LEAST 5, sometimes later, but we’ll assume.) So 8 hours a day, per kid. 

Let’s ASSUME that I have an average of 25 kids in my room at a time. (I don’t. Last year my largest class was 29 students. The Science teachers regularly had in the mid 30s. But we’re assuming)

Let’s say that the only days I actually get paid are days when there are children in the classroom- 180. (Not including staff development or summer training or work I do on the weekends.) 

$5 and hour X 8 hours a  day x 25 kids at a time x 180 days in a year = $180,000

If I got paid $5 per hour per kid to baby sit, I should get $180,000.

I get $44,000. 

Be nice to your teachers. 

THIS shit is important. Reform this, not minimum wage

No. Reform BOTH. Put everyone on a basic universal income system. Raise the standard of living for everyone. 

anonymous asked:

when training a psd, like just starting out with public access, is it best to wear a vest (even on a puppy) stating their a psd in training so it minimizes the opportunities for people to distract them?

Hi Anon! 

If your dog is a young puppy, I wouldn’t start public access training. Instead, I would focus on socialization. This may sound contrary to what you’d want to do with a future service dog, but you need to take your service puppy out let them socialize with a wide variety of people as you would with a normal puppy. Have everyone you meet pet them, offer them treats, play with them, and gently mess with their ears, paws, tail, mouth, etc. This is FAR more important than teaching them to behave in public settings. Thus, I do not recommend throwing a service puppy into a vest and starting public access work

Here is a chart which lists 100+ things to socialize a service puppy to. Keep socialization FUN and POSITIVE! Keep training sessions short so you don’t go over the puppy’s threshold.

Once your puppy is confident around many people, places, and objects; you can also begin working towards your dog’s CGC, CGCA, and CGCU titles. These are great because all training/testing takes place in pet friendly environments. Here are links to each:

You can break down the skills on the CGC tests and depending on your dogs pace, focus on one new skill per week. For example, week one would be SIT. On the first day, teach sit and practice in low distraction environments. Each day, add a new distraction until your dog can reliably sit anywhere. Week two could be STAY, week three could be HEEL, etc.

Like socialization, training should should always be kept positive and fun. Work at your dog’s own pace, and don’t necessarily feel like you HAVE to follow a set schedule. If your dog is working quicker than intended, increase the difficulty. Likewise, if your dog is struggling, take a step back and re-focus on the basics.

And just for reference, here are IAADP’s Minimum Training Standards for Public Access. The page also has a nice example weekly training log.  

Once your dog is socialized, trained, and ready to start public access training, THEN introduce him to the vest.  I generally recommend getting something bright and bold which clearly announces your puppy is “IN TRAINING!”  That way, the public understands that your puppy is still learning all the ropes of how to be a service dog, and their behavior will not be perfect. 

Good luck on your service dog journey! I’m here if you need anything :)
~ Lex (& Faith)

slut-for-flowers  asked:

How would the chocobros react to a curvy s/o having a difficult time comparing her body to the way the boys look? (Ps I love your headcanons so much, and I always look forward to your Ignis fics ; u ; !!!)

[ISEB Author’s Note: I’m skipping a couple of Asks in my inbox to answer this one because A) the others are taking me a bit longer to hash out (never fear—they’re still on my to-do list), and B) this was simply too cute to resist working on right away. I know you specifically mentioned ‘her’ in your prompt, my dearest slut-for-flowers, but I hope you don’t mind that I used a gender-neutral voice to be more inclusive; also, my apologies for making it a teensy bit NSFW—I simply couldn’t help myself! #ffxvtrashforever]

Noctis: The crown prince can scarcely run a quarter mile without wheezing like a Pink Jade Gar out of water, so he wouldn’t so much as bat a single one of his excessively long eyelashes at the notion that his paramour’s figure was anything but perfect. Smooth skin and captivating curves are right up his alley, since the only thing more blissful in his mind than the lure of his blankets is a soft and warm body underneath them ready and waiting to be snuggled. Should his paramour prove reticent to trust in his reassurances, Noct will resign himself to the one thing he loathes to do in front of his friends: take off his shirt and poke fun at his own less-than-washboard abdomen. When the sight of his pasty and pathetically undertoned musculature elicits a small grin from his lover, he’ll guide them mischievously toward his beloved bed and point out that it’s only fair of them to take off a few of their garments as well.

Prompto: Blondie knows firsthand what debilitating body insecurities feel like; he also knows that dropping weight doesn’t automatically equate to being comfortable in one’s own skin. So when his paramour expresses similar sentiments of inadequacy that he’s all too familiar with, he’ll stress the importance of embracing each and every delightful dimple their curvaceous figure has to offer; he’ll even go so far as to take them on a shopping spree even though he doesn’t have any real concept of the value of gil to help his lover find just the right outfit that will complement their voluptuous physique. After he’s politely requested a fashion show exhibiting their updated wardrobe—and newfound confidence—he’ll relish in the experience of unwrapping them like a personalized birthday present to himself.

Gladio: There’s a common misconception within the Citadel that Gladiolus looks the way he does out of vanity; in truth, the prince’s sword shield has cultivated an athletic physique solely for the purpose of being able to do his job effectively. He knows a healthy body presents itself in many ways, and that bulging biceps aren’t necessarily a sign of strength; luscious curves certainly never stopped his lover from joining him on his morning hikes near Lambath Haven, for instance, and he’ll happily point out that fact should they voice their concerns about measuring up to him. And just as his job requires him to be in peak physical condition, the job of turning Gladio on and igniting his ardor requires a set of strong thighs to properly wrap around his neck.

Ignis: Initially, the strategist is perplexed by his partner’s anxiety about not meeting the minimum standards of physical beauty; reason would lead Ignis to believe that his commitment to them is a statement of his attraction in and of itself. But he also recognizes that the notion of self-worth does not always stem from a logical source, and that comparing oneself to others is a basic human instinct. To that end, he’ll approach their concerns from an objective standpoint; perhaps his own selfish desire to see them enjoy the fruits of his culinary labors has negatively impacted their body image. But his lover’s shapely figure has always held his wanton appeal, and life is simply too short to survive solely on a diet of Gysahl Greens for the sake of attaining an entirely subjective concept of perfection, so he proves his continuing adoration of their curves by serving up a new recipe—Wennath Salmon sashimi, complemented by a bottle of hot Lestallum sake—only this time, he offers to devour it directly off his paramour’s naked form.

anonymous asked:

if jon ended up with anyone other than sansa, you would be angry and say it's 'out of character' and 'bad storytelling'. you are pushing two women to fight each other for no reason sansa and dany would naturally get along. you are a sexist and a shipper.

It’s actually really sexist to assume that every set of two women will be friends. Women have feelings, values, opinions and beliefs that differ. Being a woman isn’t really enough to build a friendship on, given that 51% of the world is women.

It’s bad feminism to like a woman just because she’s a woman, if what she has done would be morally wrong if a man has done it. It’s sexist of you to think that  women can do no wrong. Women can do anything. Even be villains. Even be morally ambiguous. 

I am a feminist. But I’m not a White Feminist. For instance, I don’t believe one of the struggles we should focus on is to make sure female CEOs make as much as male CEOs. They’re all making a lot of money. The majority of people who work at the minimum wage are women (mostly woc). Therefore, the truly feminist thing to do is to fight to raise minimum wage and the standards of living for the poorest in a given society.

It’s not feminist to put a woman on the Iron Throne if in doing so countless women will get raped and murdered. Wartime sexual violence is a crime against humanity and the women of Westeros have suffered enough. This is one of the tactics of the Dothraki. Dany knows this. And she’s essentially powerless to stop it, unless she’s going to burn the Dothraki alive?? Dany knew how terrible it was in AGOT, but has forgotten by s6/ADWD. She may have once been weak, but she has lost sight on what it’s like to be truly vulnerable.

Forcing Sansa and Dany to be friends makes no sense if Dany wants to rule over Sansa, and make her give up her kingdoms independence. If Sansa did the same to Dany, you would all be arguing Dany should kill Sansa for taking what’s hers. With fire and blood. But Sansa doesn’t have the luxury of defending what’s hers to you people. 

Also, no. I wouldn’t mind of Jon ended up with nobody, Arya, Meera Reed, Brienne (unlikely but I wouldn’t care), Val 2.0, Sansa, or somebody new. Meera and Jon would make a great couple. Book Meera and Jon are the same age, and they already have something in common – they are Northerners, they care about defeating the WW, they would die for the Starks. That’s a better foundation for a healthy relationship than what the leaks say Dany/Jon will be. I don’t want him to betray the memory of the people he loves dear to become Dany’s leige lord/lover. 

(Shared from a friend)

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE #45 supporter-
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.


All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It’s noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.
Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

How to analyze a POT. $$$

I read a lot of girls posting analysis of income, and tell if the guy can afford to have a sugar baby.
Here is my take:
Big city and single: 250k
Big city and married: 350k
Not big city and single: 150k
Not a big city and married: 250k
Net worth and income do not always have a direct relationship with each other.
Scenario 1: guy makes 50k and inherited 5 million
Scenario 2: guy makes 300k and spends it all.

I think you should use this for a basis of what you are looking for a pot to spend minimum: 3000/month big city and 2000/month not big city.

Now, I firmly believe that someone who is making more than 400k per year is smart enough not to reveal his true net worth. Why would someone smart enough to make that kind of money put himself at risk of blackmail by showing off? What girls should be more concerned about is how much he is willing to spend on you. I think anyone making 200k has the spending power (depending on circumstances) to afford at least 2000/month.

For my profile, I put an income and net worth to portray the type of allowance I want to spend. I don’t reveal my true income. I don’t reveal my true net worth.

How to tell if someone is rich AND willing to spend $:

Not by how he dresses. My father used to take me to clothing trade shows when I was young. He pointed out. See everyone in suits! They are not the rich guys. Look for the guys who are dressed casually in T-shirts ( Egyptian cotton), they are the ones who don’t have to look nice because they hire people for that.

Not by his car ( although there are minimum standards. An E class would be a minimum as well as A6, 5 series, etc “hybrids excluded”) anyone who drives anything less is either lying or cheap. If you make 200k and drive a civic, ur not gonna be spending thousands on an arrangement. Reason being, these cars are safer, more comfortable, and shows that a man is into luxury hence, able to afford a SB.

Drinks. Anybody making 50k can afford a restaurant bill. But they can’t afford good champagne. On your next pot date, tell them you like champagne and ask if they would like to “have champagne with you” ( never ask to share a bottle) In effect, what you have done is tactfully put them in a position to reveal what they are comfortable with or whether they are comfortable and accommodating. A man who is serious about impressing a girl will order a bottle whether they like it or not. Anyone who has money has had champagne and can tolerate it even if they don’t like it. If they tell you they will have something else, in effect they are forcing you to order by the glass (aka shitty stuff). ( this is my opinion and may not be correct for all guys) but one thing is true, if he orders a bottle of something nice, he is willing to spend money on you. You can’t get good champagne at a restaurant for under 150 dollars (small city prices) and 250 (big city). This, in my opinion is a good sign for a pot date. Lol. So many guys are gonna hate me for this but I’m tired of all these bullshit guys ruining it for real SD’s.

His watch. At some point, ask him the time and compliment him on his watch. Ask about it and take genuine interest. Google it later and if it’s worth 5k and up, he is a pot that will have money for a consistent arrangement. I know a lot of rich people and 98% of the ones making 300k+ have a watch worth 4-5k minimum. No exceptions. This shows he has disposable income to spend on himself and you. Nobody poor spends their tax return on a 5000 watch. 1000 maybe. Watches for men is the gift they treat themselves for being successful. They all do it. If you spend 1000 on a watch, you only have one. If you spend 5000 on a watch, chances are you have more than one. Also, anyone with a Rolex is a douche (opinion) because they just want to show off. For that price, there are so many other options that are far more satisfying than a Rolex. Now, if he says the watch has sentimental value (eg. his father gave it to him) then price is not important.

Travelling. (Note: this applies to 80% of pots) Anyone with money and who is willing to spend money on you (aka discretionary spending) will like to stay in nice hotels. This is not a maybe or an option because rich people (half have expense accounts) don’t stay in shitty hotels in big cities (does not apply to small cities due to lack of options) Talk about travel. Then mention ritz Carlton or trump hotels. Ask them if they have stayed in those chains. Ask them what hotel chains they like. You can read up on them online and pricing. When a man doesn’t cheap out on hotels, this is a big $$$ sign that they like luxury (aka:you) and will pay for it.

With these three things, you will be able to determine if he is willing to spend money on you. Being rich doesn’t matter if they are cheap. All that matters is if they are willing to part with their money.

A little something about privilege that I think needs clearing up.

Privilege is not something that doesn’t happen to you.
Walking down the street and not being assaulted or harassed isn’t privilege.
Not being shot by the cops unnecessarily isn’t privilege. 

Things like this are the bare minimum standards our society tries genuinely to uphold. When these things happen to someone, it’s not a privilege for everyone unaffected. It’s a disadvantage for the person the bad thing happens to. Crucial but often overlooked difference. 

More and more it seems the word “privilege”, usually qualified with white or male affixed to it, is with a sort of accusational tone. It’s subtle but nevertheless divisive. The marxist class-conflict rhetoric still lingering in sociology courses and other publications defines privilege as a bourgeoisie trait, which the humble proletariats lack - making them oppressed. But what once only applied to people of different levels of wealth is now adapted to discourse surrounding race, gender, etc.

Truth is, almost everyone wants to be privileged. It makes life that much easier. Yet this negative tone surrounding privilege stigmatizes it. I understand it’s because people believe there are oppressive systems in place and that the privileges some white people or men or whatever are gained from that. But the claim is demonstrably false when you observe that not everyone in those groups has the same privileges. 

Perhaps that is why the lack of privileges is a notable trait of all communist countries that have existed. Privilege, viewed as a trait of the evil bourgeoisie, is abandoned in the process to equalize everyone.