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Sympthsical's Journal
Sympthsical's Journal
June 1, 2022

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard verdict in

Will be read at 3pm EDT.

Should be interesting. I've followed the trial. She clearly lied her head off to take advantage of Me Too. He's a broken mess of anxiety and addiction. So . . . don't date either of these people.

Did she defame him? Seems pretty obvious she did. However, the law is not that straightforward, and defamation cases in this country are very, very hard to get a verdict on.

So, I'm about 50/50 on the verdict.

A small part of me thinks the jury will vote against both of them (Heard is counter-suiing). Pox on both your houses sort of thing.

May 10, 2022

Do we live in an age of false empowerment?

Having had a week to observe the reaction to the Roe leak, I've seen hundreds to thousands of articles, posts, and op-eds discussing the situation, and maybe 95% of the time, I find myself leaving the piece thinking, "That's all very nice, but what are you going to actually do to change things?"

I've long had a fairly negative opinion of what has come to be known as "slacktivism" in social media spaces. Someone writes a post or changes their profile picture to a flag or banner that addresses the Issue of the Moment. And it seems like there is this illusion of something having been done or accomplished. "I have retweeted this Very Important Half-Thought from Phil in Beaverton. I can do no more for my country."

There was a comedian some years back - I can't remember who - who joked about how people and celebrities were forever "raising awareness." They weren't doing anything. They were just raising awareness. It was a cost-free, no inconvenience necessary way of feeling virtuous, being "one of the good guys" out there making the world a better place with pixels.

With the sea change that the overturning of Roe will bring to this country's women, our laws, and how the government controls our personal choices, I keep looking for solutions of gravity. I think, "Ok, let's see some good ideas. Maybe a general strike. Let's see some action items of impact."

And . . . it's Twitter. "I will not be silenced . . . on Twitter!" I guess some people want to make more hats now? I suppose the increased yarn sales at Hobby Lobby will be darkly ironic.

So in all this cacophony of speaking out and not sitting down and taking it and this total lack of silence, I kept thinking and asking, "Do social media channel voices in such a way that they are rendered inconsequential while allowing the users the illusion of productivity?" Are you empowered, or are you given the illusion of empowerment by being able to direct your voice and energies in a way that will ultimately not change any structures of power and consequence?

Has technology literally put everyone on a hamster wheel without them noticing it? We're speaking out more than we ever have in history, so why does it feel like we never go anywhere with it? No one can say the past ten years have been particularly kind to an America that is more empowered than ever to speak their minds, both individually and collectively. Where is the power behind all those voices? We're very good at Sound and Fury.

So in the hundreds of posts on DU I read in the past week, I saw one by WhiskeyGrinder (sp?). It was a short post about what you can do. It gave advice about assisting local abortion provider networks. No Twitter. No ten dollar donations to national organizations like Planned Parenthood to assuage the conscience. Community level. Women who live near you. People who need money with no overhead. Women who need transporation, an ear, and a support.

The tangible, the concrete, and the unpixelated.

That post got maybe four replies.

Once finals are all done, I'm going to go do that. The unpixelated. I'll know, without a sliver of doubt, that I have "done something" and I'm going to encourage those around me, in person, to help out.

Imagine if people decided, "For every hour I spend on social media talking, I will devote 15 minutes to in-person assistance on this issue." How many lives could be tangibly, concretely changed and helped?

Or are we just really happy with the current illusion? Because maybe, just maybe, real work is something that is hard to be bothered with.

May 7, 2022

Opposition to abortion isn't generally men vs. women

I was listening to Bill Maher's show this morning, and he was reading off some facts about abortion he was unaware of. One of them is that it isn't really men vs. women when it comes to wanting to ban it. I was curious, because my assumptions had been that the numbers between men and women would be fairly different.

I wanted to find polling. However, I wanted to find polling that wasn't affected by recent events, so I looked around for polls from about two years ago. Just to see what people said before the latest Court situation. Here was one example of the breakdown. Other polls yielded similar results:


So how is opposition being determined? Age, education, and religion.

Why post this? I just want to highlight that women's equality and rights isn't necessarily a battle between the sexes. It isn't racial. It's a battle between equality and conservatism/regressivism. I've spent my whole life working towards LGBT equality, and one of the things I've always kept in mind is that my battle isn't against straight people as a general force. It has always been against religious influences, conservative impulses, and people who simply resist any kind of change.

One of the things that I think the LGBT community has done successfully and what turned a corner over the past 20-30 was how many of us came out. It's hard to be ignorant when we're people you know, your friends and family, your coworkers, the person from church or on your softball team, your doctor or your mechanic.

I think one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal is when women share their stories.

May 5, 2022

Half of Online Political Media right now:

"Who cares about the leak? The leak's not important! People need to stop talking about the leak!

And now here are eight paragraphs on my personal theory of who leaked and why.

Please like and subscribe!"

I've been sort of enjoying it. Maybe it's just me.

May 3, 2022

Anyone want to ask Manchin about that child tax credit now?

Since he seems so keen on not rocking any boats to combat the Court's likely decision.

Gonna be a few more kids in the future for families who can't entirely afford them.

May 2, 2022

We're losing Latinos. Marist Poll shows Latinos prefer GOP 52%-39%

We've observed this shift/trend for a while now. Now this result from an A-rated poll.


How does our party deal with this before midterms?

April 26, 2022

One thing to keep in mind about all social media

You're not the customer.

You're the product.

April 18, 2022

Good news: Wages increased 4% last year. Reality: Rents increase 17% in past year.

February Highlights

February 2022 marks the seventh month in a row where rent growth has reached double digits for 0-2 bedroom properties (17.1% Y/Y).

Despite a dip in the growth rate, the median rent in the 50 largest metros reached a new high, $1,792.

Studios continue to catch up with faster recent rent growth, but have the slowest growth over the last two years. Rent by size: Studio: $1,474, up 17.1% ($215) year-over-year; 1-bed: $1,648, up 16.4% ($232); 2-bed: $2,002, up 16.2% ($278).

Rents continue to increase the most in the Sun Belt metros, at an average growth rate of 22.5% Y/Y. Miami, FL was the fastest growing market, followed by Orlando, FL; Tampa, FL; Austin, TX; San Diego, CA; Las-Vegas, NV; Phoenix, AZ; Jacksonville, FL; San Antonio, TX; and Memphis, TN.


In February 2022, rent was less affordable than the previous year. Renters earning the typical household income devoted 29.7% of their income to lease a typical for-rent home (vs. 24.8% in February 2021).

14 of the top 50 metros had a rent share higher than 30% relative to the median household income. Miami, FL, was the least affordable rental market in February 2022. The median rent for a typical 0-2 bedroom unit in Miami, FL, is twice as high as the estimated maximum affordable rent for the median household.

Kansas City, KS, is the most affordable rental market in Feb 2022. The median rent for a typical 0-2 bedroom unit was 34% lower than its estimated maximum affordable rent.


And that is why touting "Best economy ever. Best wages ever! Stop complaining!" is not hitting average voters as well as is assumed. When your rent is up 17% but your pay is up only 4%, you're not going to count it as one of your better years within that blazing economy.

Reality is a thing that must be grappled with when formulating a strategy to at least break even come November. These numbers are the reality for tens of millions of Americans.

I've seen some variation of, "Why are voters unhappy when wages are doing the best in years?!"

This. This is why. Mix in food and energy prices, and we need better messaging than, "Best economy ever!" Because people are not feeling it.

It is not . . . trickling down.

February 19, 2022

Canadian Civil Liberties Association to sue federal government over Emergencies Act

I'm still a liberal who believes in civil liberties. Not going to give that up. That comes with the package, not when convenient.


Mendelsohn acknowledged reports of "violent, racist and homophobic acts" occurring within the Ottawa protest but said the presence of those elements doesn't justify the introduction of measures the CCLA considers a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The act gives the federal government temporary powers to quell protests by, among other things, banning travel to protest zones and prohibiting people from bringing minors to unlawful assemblies. The act also allows the federal government to restrict protesters' access to bank accounts.

"Protest is how people in a democracy share their political messages of all kinds, whether they be environmental activists, students taking to the streets, Indigenous land defenders, workers on strike, people who know that Black lives matter, and others who oppose government measures of all kinds," Mendelsohn said.

"Not every person may agree with the content of every movement."

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