Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

Do you give to charity? My friends (some of whom make more than I do) totally recoiled when I said I give a significant portion of my income to charity. I have zero idea how prevalent it is.
Yes. I give to Planned Parenthood, March of Dimes, and two local charities that I can’t name without revealing my location.

How do you tell someone to get over it (!!!) without coming across as harsh? My brother is heartbroken over someone he dated (drama the entire time) for like 3 months and I can’t keep being sympathetic. I know this makes me sound like a complete dick and I hate myself for it.
It requires that you be both empathetic and firm. Respect that the pain he feels is real while at the same time enforcing emotional boundaries that prevent him from wallowing in your presence. Say something like, “I understand that you’re still heartbroken, but you can’t bring that shit around me anymore.”

Is my life going to get better?
I can’t predict the future, and “better” is an impossibly subjective concept, but you can definitely change your circumstances. Start there and see what happens.

What is the title of the last one of those three books in your ‘stay wild’ photo? I can make two out: Triggers by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith and Diplomatic Pursuits by Joseph van Westphalen, but not the very last one.
The third book is Ernest Hemingway on Writing. (I love that my readers are such bibliophiles. You guys are impressive even when you’re being creepers.)

Why does Hillary act like she’s making history as if she’s the first rich white woman to succeed at the expense of marginalized women?
Oh, fuck off. Hillary isn’t perfect, but goddamnit, she is making history. If you can’t see that, then you’re blinded by that massive fucking chip on your shoulder.

Do you still do drugs sometimes like in your wild days or did you get over it?
Both. I’m over it, and I still party on special occasion. I’ve gone from a couple times a week to a couple times a season.

I’m addicted to you. I need more updates please! (sorry I know you have a life and whatnot but I NEED MORE.)
Patience, dear. I come and go in waves. Always have, always will.





108 thoughts on “On more fun-sized advice

  1. Becky says:

    I have such hugely conflicted feelings about Clinton. To me, she really represents a horrifically broken status quo. So while she is extremely qualified, I still feel a desperate sense of anger and frustration because she also sort of looks like she’s just one more duplicitous fucking politico serving money and gain before anyone else. And I’m frustrated with the people who are so insistent on voting for her because she’s better than Trump because that’s not exactly a high bar.

    So really, my frustration is with the broken oligarchal shitshow of US politics. I’m gonna vote for her because I live in a normally red state that might actually swing this year, but not without a lot of anger and resentment that I once again am being forced to choose between a douchebag and a turd sandwich.

    • VeryOff says:

      My biggest problem is that she wants to frack everywhere.
      My problem after that is that she was all for the TPP until it became a political weight.
      John Stewart thinks there’s someone still in there. I think there isn’t and she’s just computing what the path of least resistance is.

    • Diggin says:

      She’s just another cog in the US war machine, and having a family who have been at the receiving end of cruise missiles and bombs laden with depleted uranium, I feel fortified in my hate of the Clintons.

      You guys deserve better.

    • unicornsrpeople2 says:

      Sorry you have to make that choice, I’m so thankful I live in a Blue state where I can “waste” my vote on Jill Stein. I’d rather cast a protest vote this year than participate in the Clinton anointment. But yeah, respect for making that difficult decision, Trump seriously scares the shit out of me and I would do the same in your shoes.

    • Betsy says:

      I’m in Europe, so Hillary’s neocon foreign policy are truly my biggest fear in all of this. We are far closer to the consequences than Americans are. I don’t know why many Americans think they can and should remake the world to their own image – even if you *want* things really badly to be different, playing god abroad simply does not work. Whether you find popular traditions and cultures objectionable or not, attempting to remake them by overthrowing foreign governments is not much more rational than religious superstition. Sure, you will change things, but not really in the way you’re expecting.

      • The Coquette says:

        Hillary doesn’t have a foreign policy. She has a State Department record. There’s a difference, and for your biggest fear to be Hillary’s experience over Donald Trump’s ignorance, it means you’re either already assuming Hillary has won or you’re fucking blind to the much scarier possibility.

        • Betsy says:

          Sure, it’d be great if she let us know what her foreign policy is. Right now, all I have to go on is her record, and she invokes her experience all the time. She also acquiesced to the Honduras coup, and models herself after Kissinger. I’m not ascribing her approach to malice – it’s like the damage of those policies seem truly beyond her comprehension, based on what seems to be exceptionalism. But I certainly do hope that my fears are unfounded.

          To ascribe them to ignorance – I don’t actually prefer Trump, my “biggest fear” phrasing is based on my belief that she’ll probably win. Trump’s foreign policy is likely to be an existential threat to humanity. Possibly a geopolitical/ecological disaster for anybody south of the US border, to say the least.

          (I’m also Latin American, hence my sensitivity to that sphere and US foreign policy in general. Yes I’m all over the place. Anyway.)

  2. definitely not batman says:

    I have seen people ON THE LEFT say they prefer outright dictators to Clinton. With no irony whatsoever. I don’t know what to make of it. The hate is so visceral. I get hating politicians and the oligarchy and all that jazz but this is just a whole other level of ugly that I haven’t seen before. And if I say it’s misogyny, I get dismissed as playing the woman card because there is no way all these leftists are misogynists, why, they fight for women’s rights! Can anyone please explain it to me, it’s freaking me out that apparently I am surrounded by men (and some women) who I thought were safe only to discover they can turn on you in an ugly way, and fast. What the hell kind of a compass do these people have?

    • Rainbowpony says:

      It’s misogyny, a youthful idealism that doesn’t recognize compromise, and a lack of history (they weren’t there when Clinton argued for single payer health care, or when she talked about campaign finance reform. She was ahead on these things by a decade, she stopped talking about them because they had no traction at the time.)

      • definitely not batman says:

        We’re all of the same age, give or take a year or two. Meanwhile I’m not out there saying horrifyingly stupid shit. And they feel so comfortable saying it, too. Like they just take it for granted that people will agree with them. And judging by the reactions, they’re not exactly wrong to think that. So I feel like I’m silently screaming into the void or something. I repeatedly find myself alone on the one side of these kinds of conversations so I just started wondering if I’m not the one with the problem. It’s disorienting when you discover that the yardstick you used to measure people’s character (I guess) was never where you thought it was. On the one hand I’m glad because now at least I know what I’m dealing with (Thanks, Hillary), but on the other, now I may have to find some new friends (Thanks. Hillary).

      • Sally says:

        “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires”

        • Radio says:

          What’s the participation rate for local elections and whatnot across the US? Pretty low. Not that there isn’t a shit ton of gross inequality and rigging of things, but like…we could do a whole lot better.

          • coskel says:

            holy crap, THIS. Most folks don’t understand that the majority of real political change takes place much closer to home

          • Ashley says:

            as someone who tries to vote in local elections, theres two problems. one, the candidates usually suck and just parrot the talking points of their party. two, the local news does not hold them accountable at all, whatsoever. there is very little practical information about where they stand on the issues, what their background is, what their successes and failures are, etc.

            i vote in every election (including odd years where its only very local) as a matter of principle, but I’m tired of just voting by the party line without having a clue about the candidates (even when i go out of my way to research them, i still often come up empty). all of the news outlets including the local ones mainly focus on the national and state politics, not the truly local stuff.

          • J Lynn says:

            Local news coverage has gotten a lot worse in many parts of the country over the last 10-15 years as the financial viability of local papers has collapsed. My early career was in working for alt-weeklies, and we did the sort of thing you say you want to read — for even the tiniest local elections. We’d interview the freaking dogcatcher candidates. Then we published a “voter’s guide” with endorsements, usually tho not always for the more progressive candidate. Those venerable rags went from 100pp in 2000 to 30 pages today, if they exist at all. Most are on the web in some form, but still don’t have as much news content as they used to.

            SO … if there aren’t some good political bloggers/local websites in your area, you’re going to have to learn directly from people, not media. If your area is small enough, you maybe be able to meet and ask questions of the candidates themselves at town halls. Make friends with likeminded people or neighbors who are up for learning more about local politics and do it as a social thing. A lot of times your local county Democratic committee has public meetings … in small areas you will be drafted to join. There is probably at least one semi-cool youngish person holding some kind of elected or appointed position in your area. Find those few semi-cool people and get to know them and they will lead you to the network.

            Also: You’ll need to take a genuine interest in some local issues. Don’t join just to angrily rant about national or international policy.

          • Radio says:

            What J Lynn says. There’s also a lot more to do at the local level than just voting. Ballot initiatives, town hall meetings, lobbying/canvassing/other volunteering, writing your representatives, and so on. It can take more work to knowledgeably participate in a lot of local elections, but the payoff is important. School boards are usually elected, and they’re huge in the fight for LGBT issues as well as science vs creationism, etc. My city is currently facing its own anti-lgbt bathroom law shit, and it’s at the metro council level.

    • Becky says:

      If you only say it’s misogyny, you’re getting blown off because you’re not being fair. Clinton has a lot of really glaring flaws and there are a lot of very legitimate criticisms of her policies and history. She has also shown that she is, as with the majority of establishment politicians, more or less completely willing to lie and cheat to maintain her power. These are very real problems that are endemic to the system and many or even most of the people who oppose Clinton have rational reasons for doing so. If they talk shit about her looks or her tone or some superficial thing, yeah, probably misogyny. But if they’re objecting to the things she’s actually done and you accuse them of only caring that she’s done shitty things because she’s a woman, that misses their point.

      • definitely not batman says:

        Read my post again. Her flaws aren’t really much different than those of most other politicians, including Obama. But you cannot sit there with a straight face and tell me actual dictators are preferable. The hate is visceral. It goes beyond your regular resentment of politicians. People talk about her like she’s the spawn of Satan. No, she’s not perfect, but taking her flaws and magnifying them tenfold to give some release to your misogyny is repulsive behaviour. I’ve seen people link dictionary definitions of “whore” online when that whole “Democratic whores” thing happened. Dictionary definitions. Implying that he wasn’t really wrong to say that because, technically, she IS a whore, they’re JUST SAYING, you know. Wink.

        It makes me want to barf.

        • Becky says:

          I definitely think misogyny contributes, but I don’t think it’s the only or even the primary reason most of the people who hate her are so against her

        • WilhelminaMildew says:

          Lots of politicians have flaws, I don’t see Clinton’s as any worse than the rest (and she’s a damn sight better than many.) It’s really obvious that people/media are making huge, HUGE deals out of things they would gloss over or ignore she were a man. It happens all the time! The misogyny involved is crystal clear. At least to me it is, but then again I’m pretty unusual in that I’ve been able to clearly see the misogyny, sexism, and gender bias in society since I was a really little kid.

          I remember when Clinton was advocating single payer health care in the 90s. As someone who has had a lifelong chronic illness that I must take medication for to, you know, be alive, and also went more than half my life (I’m 49) without health insurance or any way to get it- that meant a LOT to me. I always admired her for being a strong woman with a voice and opinions of her own.

    • Ashley says:

      female here, and misogyny is not the reason i straight up HATE her.

      i hate her because of the iraq war. i hate her because of her ties to wall street that she pretends are no big deal. i hate her for her obvious, in your face flat out corruption. i hate her for pretending to be for women, yet shaming women who accused her husband of sexual assault. i hate her for getting a rape suspect a lenient sentence. i hate her for pretending she’s socially liberal and accepting, when she was against gay marriage until 2013. i hate her for her corporate first policies around the world. i hate her for her fracking around the world. i hate her for threatening to bomb iran, threatening an air war against russia in syria via the “no fly zone”, i hate her for being instrumental in the decision to invade libya, i hate her for being against accepting refugees, i just flat out fucking hate her. i hate her for the fact that she CONSTANTLY plays the “vote for me I’m female” card. obama didnt tell people he was black. sanders didnt tell people he was jewish. both of those are historic. but does she really need to play the woman card on a nearly daily basis? we see she’s a woman. she doesn’t have to remind us, as if thats a qualification for the presidency. its a slap in the face to women everywhere. “elect me, I’m female!”

      i would rather trump. why? not because i like him. i despise him too. but the only way the DNC will ever learn is if he is elected over her. i see him as a boogie man, i find it suspicious that he called bill clinton days before announcing his run. i find it suspicious that he and the clintons are friends. i find it suspicious that he was a supporter of democrat causes and then changed around the time obama was elected calling for his birth certificate and shit (then again, racist democrats definitely exist!). i truly believe he is putting on a show and manipulating the public, i really do. he’s an expert in manipulating the public, i mean, he’s a reality tv star! even if he is elected, i don’t believe all of the terrible things he says he’s gonna do are gonna happen, because of congress and the judicial system.

      people keep pointing out SCOTUS, but do you really think hillary is going to nominate pro-left wing justices? if so, i have a bridge to sell you in brooklyn. I’m tired of voting out of fear. I’m not doing it. i never have. I’m tired of seeing other people vote out of fear of the greater evil. in my eyes, hillary and trump are EQUALLY EVIL.

      im voting for jill stein, if sanders (likely) does not secure the nomination. don’t blame me and my fellow sanders supporters for a trump win, blame the DNC.

      • julie says:

        Yeah, you’ll really be stigginit to the DNC and not to women, POC, and religious minorities if you do that.

        Don’t worry, those are all groups used to being thrown under the bus when baby can’t get their bottle.

      • The Coquette says:

        It’s fine to hate all of those awful things, but to make Hillary the vessel for all of your hatred is something else entirely. You can claim that misogyny isn’t the reason, but you don’t even recognize how much internalized misogyny is required to even suggest that you prefer Trump over Hillary. Honestly, take a step back from yourself, Ashley. Your heart is in the right place, but your head is most certainly up your own ass.

        • Diggin says:

          She’s articulated legitimate reasons for not supporting Clinton. She’s donkey voting out of despair. I’m not sure I follow the jump to “internalised misogyny”.

        • Becky says:

          I think Ashley and a lot of other people who have aligned with Bernie or Bust are primarily motivated by a belief that the long-term damage caused by a Trump presidency can’t exceed the benefit of teaching the DNC and the GOP a lesson about classism. The defining quality of Sanders and his campaign was the rejection and refusal of moneyed interests. So people who really latched onto that point aren’t distinguishing between the overt classism, misogyny and racism of Trump and the more subtle damage to trans people and women and POC caused by Clinton’s participation in, connections with, and presumptive allegiance to the interests of the 1%. It’s absolutely a failure of understanding as relates to intersectionality, but I am hugely skeptical that it’s actually about misogyny. It’s about a profound sense of righteous anger directed towards extremely wealthy people that occludes their ability to see anything else. And in that capacity, Clinton and Trump are fairly indistinguishable, so they are betting that four horrific years under Trump will be preferable to another decade of policy that maintains an unsustainable degree of income inequality.

        • cichlidhead says:

          I just can’t see voting for someone you hate/don’t agree with out of spite. I don’t know what I’m going to do come November, but I’d never outright vote for someone as racist, misogynistic, and ignorant as Trump. Isn’t the whole point to vote for the candidate you believe in?

      • definitely not batman says:

        Wow. This is exactly what I was talking about.

        People like you are literally saying “Hillary is Satan, and always will be, but Trump will definitely change his tune later, nobody is that evil.” Really?

        Give me a break. It’s misogyny. To quote a great philosopher of our time, Chrissy Teigen: “You know how Bruce Willis didn’t know he was dead? It’s like that.”

      • Gaybeard says:

        It would be better not to vote than to vote for Trump if you feel so strongly about Hillary.

        If you’re frustrated with the options on the table then you might want to consider redirecting your political energy to finding and supporting electoral reform initiatives locally and at the national level. It’s what I did when I realized I wasn’t likely to have my views represented in parliament by any party with an actual shot at winning or being part of government. You might think it’s a dead end to work for electoral reform but a few cities in the US have already been successful at changing their elections to ranked ballots (in Minneapolis, for example).

  3. Chops says:

    As much as it burns to say it, Hillary is gonna be a more effective president than Sanders would have been. Sanders nomination would have made a statement but can you imagine the GOP congress? Look what they did to Obama just by claiming he was a socialist. What on earth would they do with an actual socialist (well, American Socialism Lite) in the white house?

    Hillary is, generally, not a terrible person. And as someone who came of age in arkansas during the clinton ascendency, Im supposed to hate her. Or at least think she had people killed or some such.

    I dont agree with her 100% (or even 75% if we’re honest) but she’s a pragmatic person and she’ll get shit done. And I’d rather have that than an idealist who triggers a GOP filibuster every time he takes a shit.

    • Bruce says:

      The Clintons have been at the top of Republicans’ hate list for decades. Hillary, of all people, will not find a more pliable Congress than Obama did.

      Not her fault. No one will, really. Obama bent over backwards to find middle ground with the Republicans his first two years, and all they did was move the goal posts.

      At least someone like Bernie would have forced the center of the legislative dialogue more to the left. Or as Coquette once put it, given the government a “course correction” to the left.

  4. Richard says:

    I read a really good facebook post by Anne Rice today where she talked about how rhetoric that constantly scrutinized Hilary and made everything a scandal used to be a staple of the Republican party. Somehow that rhetoric has made it into the Democratic party where before we always dismissed it out of hand as the nonsense that it is.

    Aren’t Berniebros tired of sounding like the talking heads on Fox News?

    • Becky says:

      I kind of hate the implication that anyone on the left who objects to Clinton is necessarily a Bernie bro. It’s the same kind of reductive partisan bullshit that got us into this in the first place.

      • Richard says:

        I kinda hate that people who object to Clinton immediately think I’m talking about them when I merely mention the term “Berniebro.” Sometimes it isn’t about you.

        • dani says:

          I kind of hate that you can use the word ‘reductive’ and people think that you know what you’re talking about. Hillary is being criticised for the same things that politicians have always done; it’s not great and people are waking up BUT they are not levelling the same criticism at Obama. Leftists who want to stamp their feet and object to Hillary need to get jobs and see who actually gets things done: people who toe the line, play by the rules, and then push the boundaries once they’ve earned respect. Let’s keep our ideals but also look at the world we live in. You can question Hillary, sure, but if you are a Bernie supporter but actively object to Hillary, you are misinformed and boring af.

          • unicornsrpeople2 says:

            I’m a female Bernie supporter, not sure what the terminology is lol. Berniegirl? Anywho, I also criticize Obama and have never considered myself a “Democrat” because I don’t like to drink anybody’s kool aid. Let’s all stop generalizing about each other please, it’s not fair to either side, especially since the Clinton camp are the ones who now need to strive for unity if they want to get their candidate into the white house.

            Also, I was totally down to vote for her when the primary started, but was put off by her policies and her tendency for prevarication in every debate and town hall I watched. It is now her job to earn my vote, but I don’t see it happening since the more I hear her speak the less I feel I can vote for her. But I’m a flaming leftist who plans on moving to Europe once I finish my masters in a few years regardless of the outcome of this year’s election, I’m not trying to speak for anyone but myself right now.

          • Becky says:

            So wait, I don’t know what I’m talking about because I failed to criticize Obama while expressing my frustration with Clinton for being too establishment? I mean, I could give you a short list of my objections to the Obama administration, but what purpose does that serve when he’s on his way out and it’s totally irrelevant to the upcoming elections? My frustration with Clinton as a candidate is that for once there was a candidate I wanted to support because his platform was in sync with my general political ethos, but once again I am voting for the candidate I do not dislike as much as the other candidate and that sucks. It sucks that the status quo is a baseline level of corruption and conflicted interests. It sucks that the status quo is an unacceptable level of moneyed influence. It sucks that the nomination process is shitty and fairly broken, and that we have a two-party system at all. It sucks that people have to pick a side, especially because it encourages people to look at someone on the other side and see an enemy, which is what I’m talking about when I say “reductive partisan bullshit.” It’s unfortunate that you appear to be doing exactly these things that concern me as relate to the political climate in the US. We shouldn’t be approaching this as enemies.

  5. MoD says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for donating to March of Dimes. I’ve worked for them and they’re a great organization. 🙂 PP is too, of course. Basically, thanks for being an A+ human and supporting charities, both national and local.

    • Donor says:

      Woo yeah! That’s so amazing you worked there. I was a premie (born 2 pounds!!) who fortunately grew up to be healthy. Can’t believe I made it.

  6. Rose says:

    I assume because they’re on your shelf you’d recommend those books, yes? I’ve already downloaded one from my library. Goddamn, I love the internet.

  7. Das says:

    Remember when Coke was called a ‘white feminist’ a few weeks ago?
    This is why. To even refer to Hilary Clinton who has voted against pro-black and pro-queer legislation consistently during her time in Congress, who will continue bombing nations for their oil and is basically the political face of every single major corporation that is committed to destroying this planet, as ‘making history’ tells you exactly what sort of politics Coke is shillin’.

    • Anna says:

      Coming from an outsider’s perspective here. Every 4 years the entire world shits itself while the US spend months agonizing about who will be their next President. Clinton doesn’t seem any worse than the previous ideologically corrupted ppl they’ve elected, that’s good enough for me. I don’t expect much more from this particular political process.

    • The Coquette says:

      Please list all the pro-black and pro-queer legislation that you say Hillary has consistently voted against. By all means, be specific and thorough. (And if you’re feelin’ frisky, hows abouts you share your candidate of choice? Who will you be voting for this November?)

      • Ashley says:

        she was against gay marriage, and she called young black men super predators. she supported her husbands dismantling of the welfare system which left the extreme poor, poorer (and continued to use the welfare queen rhetoric) – many of whom happen to be POC, particularly blacks. she supported the drug war, again, disproportionally affecting POC, particularly blacks.

        so specific pieces of legislation that she voted on, with the exception of gay marriage (she supported don’t ask don’t tell and defense of marriage act), mostly she wasn’t in elected office to vote on legislation. but instead she supported her husband. if she’s going to use her first lady experience as a qualification for presidency, then she should be criticized for supporting the bad policies of her husband.

        oh! and don’t forget her corporate contributions from the private prison industry. she’s a fucking snake.

        • The Coquette says:

          You clearly don’t have a grasp of the political climate of the 1990s. You have no idea how different it was back then. The religious right had dominated national politics for a dozen years. The culture was openly homophobic, and what you don’t realize is that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was super progressive at the time. It was a necessary half-step towards allowing gays to eventually serve openly in the military.

          Plus, back then, there was a very serious movement to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. For real. That shit almost became a part of the US Constitution. DOMA was a necessary evil to defuse that movement, and the bill was veto-proof. The Clintons didn’t support it like you’re saying they did. They held their noses and ate shit to prevent something even worse from happening.

          And Hillary said “super-predators” (not even her term) once in a speech back in 1994, and she was referring specifically to violent gang members. Are those remarks racially insensitive by today’s standards? Of course they are, but if you’re gonna act like she was talking about “young black men” in general, then you’re either deliberately twisting her words or you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

          Honestly, you’re cherry picking issues out of context from a quarter century ago that you don’t even fully understand to support your fundamental dislike for Hillary.

          Now, you guys can call Hillary a snake and y’all can come at me for being a “white feminist.” Whatever. That’s fine. My comment section is here for your opinions, but y’all should really do yourselves the favor of contextualizing your facts so I don’t have to come back and give you another civics lesson.

          • J Lynn says:

            THANK YOU COKE. It was also a culture that attacked Hillary and Anita Hill (one of the most commendable women to ever have lived) as socialists and “femi-Nazis,” a new term that Rush Limbaugh had just invented and popularized. Rush is still influential today, but back then he was new on the scene and frighteningly popular.

            “Hillarycare” — as proposed, more progressive than the ACA we finally got — was called “socialized medicine,” and attacked relentlessly on conservative-funded TV ads.

            Hillary was also relentlessly, misogynistically attacked for her rather anodyne statement of “it takes a village to raise a child.” It was a slogan in support of so-called “women and children” issues like Head Start, subsidized day care and what eventually became the Family and Medical Leave Act. Conservatives attacked her as if she had just burned June Cleaver in effigy above a barrel of burning bras.

            There is an excellent PBS American Experience episode available online about Bill Clinton’s presidency. It is perfectly clear that they went in in ’92 as young, idealistic liberals. Clinton won because, whatever else you may say of him, he was tremendously charismatic and also because Ross Perot played spoiler. The Clinton Admin tacked to the center — the famous/infamous “triangulation” tactic — AFTER the 1994 midterm elections, called “the Republican Revolution,” led by Newt Gingrich. It was the first Republican controlled Congress in FORTY YEARS. Just as liberals abandoned Obama in 2010, they lazily left Clinton out to dry in ’94.

            The so-called Republican Revolution, with huge gains in the House and Senate, and which hamstrung the Clinton presidency, was the culmination of decades of down-ballot party work. I don’t like ’em but politically speaking they earned it. Again, the Republicans hadn’t held Congress since Eisenhower, but they got it by laying the groundwork at the LOCAL and STATE levels, and Dems have only had both houses 4 years out of the last 24.

          • J Lynn says:

            Coincidentally, I just encountered this pretty good socio-cultural opinion on Quora about why the Republicans and some on the left have irrationally hated the Clintons more than other Democrats since they first appeared on the national stage since the early 1990s. This doesn’t attempt to justify/repudiate any particular policy, but it’s good gestalt-type historical context:

          • Bruce says:

            For sure, Hillary’s First Lady years were a different political era. But that Terry Gross interview pretty much put to bed the idea that she had been a secret gay ally, coolly manuevering among hostile opposition to minimize damage to the cause. By her own words, Hillary Clinton was just no fan of equal rights for gay people until later. We can guess at exactly when, but it wasn’t the 90s.

          • frankie says:

            Can I just stipulate you are right on some of this but woefully wrong on others? You’ve read Balko, you do talk about him quite a bit, recently. So how could you give the Clinton admin’s successes and failures to the RR? That isn’t fair to those of us (mostly non-white groups) who continually fought against his COP Act or the introduction of mandatory minimums. She shouldn’t be blamed, but she also shouldn’t get a free ride. Paying attention to racism, prejudice and institutional discrimination isn’t NEW, only to white liberals is this shit so cool in the 2010s. We have been loud and proud for decades, and so many people are catching up, blaming the ‘culture’ of the 90s. If she was brave, she would’ve been right there alongside us, trying to shatter our ceilings too, but she wasn’t. It’s not just that I think you may be a white feminist, but just willfully defensive when someone questions your ability to be sympathetic about race. When you said ‘oh, fuck off’ in your answer, I rolled my eyes so hard I almost reached another dimension. My god, how fucking entrenched in your own ideas of dismissive liberalism do you have to be to say that? I know you aren’t here for our struggle, and neither is she. Fuck, I’ll vote for her, but realize that black and brown women are the ones sweeping up after her when she shattered that ceiling. Confront your whiteness. Read some Tim Wise if you can.

          • J Lynn says:

            I guess I used “culture” in my answer, but it was sloppy and I really just meant historical and political context. Drives me nuts that Tumblr thinks it discovered these issues, too, when people have been working hard on them for literal lifetimes. Clinton is better than the other 2016 choices (including Bernie, IMO) but that’s only relative praise and I respect what you’re saying. POC women are taken for granted in the Democratic party, without a doubt. As in so many parts of life they do more work proportionally than the thanks and reward they get. I hope a Hillary presidency might prove to be *little* better than some on this, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. I think the rest of your post was for Coke, so I’ll leave off here.

    • Rainbowpony says:

      I’m interested in why you say that, because hillary does pretty well with black and Latino voters, better than bernie did.

    • unicornsrpeople2 says:

      I’m 100% against Hillary Clinton for president. I’m going to go to Philly to protest at the convention and, since I live in a solidly blue state, I feel no guilt over voting Green Party this year. But, for a woman to win the democratic nomination and potentially the presidency is historically significant. I just wish it wasn’t another empty historical milestone, like our first black president who never quite delivered on all that Change he was selling.

  8. Benjamin Silverstein says:

    I also donate a significant portion of my income to charity (mostly to homeless & housing charities or nonprofits), to my family’s chagrin. I don’t really know why it bothers them – I say them, but it’s really only my mother – so much. It’s not hurting me at all and it helps people in need.

    • Anna says:

      Maybe she’s worried about who will pay for her retirement home ?
      Sounds cynical, but if you haven’t had the “old age” conversation with your parents, it’s worth thinking about.

    • Donor says:

      Awesome!! Yeah, I’m in the same situation as the original asker. I really care about the issues, and I’m not gonna lie, it gets rid of some of my privilege guilt. I’m not crazy well off, but I do prioritize being able to give over getting designer clothes/furniture/cars. How can I take a bubble bath when some people don’t have clean water? We have so much, I feel like it’s only right to give back.

      • Giuliana says:

        maybe you are being hyperbolic, but i have never understood this mentality. i took a bubble bath tonight and enjoyed it greatly. i am not sure how my not doing so would have helped people who do not have clean water.
        that is not to say i do not support giving to productive charities (or volunteering, or any other form of helping to improve the lives of others), but my motivation is that it is a good thing to do to help others. also, a private thing, because the motivation should not be to show how good one is, or how productive one is being with one’s guilt, as the case may be. to my eye, it is not more complicated than that. i have never felt guilty for a minute for what i won from the life lottery, and i have never understood feeling this guilt or inflicting it on others as a motivator.

      • WhoAmI says:

        I believe getting stuff you want if you can doesn’t make you a bad person.
        I for another would certainly prioritize buying high quality clothes. That is, if I had the luxury to wonder about that kind of expenses, which I certainly don’t, and never have.
        Spending money just for the pure, absolute heck of it is a whole different matter (I’m looking at you rose petal cigarettes and gold leaf champagne).

  9. Bob Qwerty says:

    Hillary’s stances on income inequality and minimum wage and the like are rooted in socialism. It is status baiting pure-and-simple. If we believe that we are all in this together – globalization, and what-not – then you need to be aware that with 7+billion people on the planet and 315+million Americans, we are all, by definition, in the 1%. “We’re all rich bitches,” (said in a Dave Chappell voice).

      • Rainbowpony says:

        Seriously tho, travel. Volunteer abroad. American government has corruption, but it is not corrupt. If you think American government is totally morally bunkrupt, you’ve never seen a truly disfunctional government. Same goes for being poor. Should america do more for the poor and working class? Absolutely! But America’s poor have far more resources than the poor in most other countries.

        • WhoAmI says:

          I don’t even know where to start with your comment…………
          First thing first I am not american and have never lived in america.
          Second thing, I have actually travelled quite a bit, thankyouverymuch (and by travel i do not mean staying at the Hong Kong Hilton Hotel for two weeks).
          Thirdly I know about corrupt governments alright, Brasil and northern african countries are awful in that consideration.
          Lastly if you believe you’re better off being poor in a “”first world”” country you need to go to mediterrannean Europe

        • Anna says:

          Ironically, unless you have some kind of technical skill necessary to the local economy or society (let’s say doctor in a war zone or human rights lawyer in a repressive regime) “volunteering” abroad is one of the most 1st-world-privileged things you can do.

          • rainbow pony says:

            Anna, I don’t really understand your criticism. Priviledge shouldn’t stop you from learning or experiencing. Its a priviledge to go to grad school, but your still going to go.

            I don’t think that’s what you really mean.

            I think you are raising a critique of a type of volunteering where a bunch of white people descend on a non-white non-Western community for a week, build a well, congratulate themselves and take a bunch of pictures for facebook, and peace out. I couldn’t agree with you more. But not all international volunteering has to be like that.

            This summer, my SO is volunteering with a doctors without borders type non-profit and hes going as…. an adminstrative assistant. Thing is, you don’t have to have high level skills to contribute to those kinds of NGOs because there are all types of people on volunteer staff. The NGOs brings in local doctors, dentists and other types of volunteers, along side any number of international volunteers that come from all over. There are dentists and there are cooks to feed the dentists. There is always more work to do and never enough people to do it.

            In a few weeks I’ll be joining him on this adventure and I asked if there was a way to help out. I’m an epidemiologist, but they don’t need that skill from me right now. So, I might help them out with some IT issues, because apparently its been difficult for this NGO to recruit IT type people (whether local or international) to a remote town in a central american country.

            Previously, I’ve volunteered with international conservation NGOs that work with local and non-local environmental experts. I helped replant a desert landscape that had been decimated by over grazing in a reclaimed wildlife refuge in Chile, and I helped conduct an animal survey in a recently restored forest in Costa Rica. I had these experiences when I was much younger, and my undergraduate biology degree was skill enough for what they needed.

            Its good to learn about other places and the absolute best way to learn about other places is to do something that allows to you meet people and see how things work there. Take a class, volunteer, get a job, make some friends. You can be aware of the community and how you aren’t really a member and still contribute in a way that is meaningful and respectful, because there is never enough help and there is always something more to be done.

        • HJK says:

          “volunteer abroad”, I’m south american, typing this from a south american contry and also having quite some experience as an interpreter for foreigners in charity projects involving americans volunteering abroad: that’s one of the whitest advices you gringos can offer one another, most of the time you guys go back just as clueless as you’ve arrived.

          • rainbow pony says:

            So …. what? The dentists that volunteers in Costa Rica is a hero, but the guy carrying around the medical records is some sort of entitled asshole?

            Volunteering shouldn’t be for the education of foreigners. If its set up that way, its a failure. I imagine it’s possible to have a lot of bad experiences with this stuff. It’s not my point that you should volunteer to learn because those experience exist for us as foreigners, but I think if you have those experiecnes and you don’t learn anything your a fool and an asshole.

            There is money and time to give, and necessary projects that don’t have enough of those things. NGOs have to decide if the costs of inviting international volunteers is worth the help they recieve.

            Another example: So the SO is working as an administrative assistant right now. However, on the weekends, there is the additional project where they visit a state run home for the elderly and provide some light medical care.

            The home isnt awful but its not great. As I mentioned before, its a rural area, and not a lot of money makes it out there. A sizable percentage of the people living there were abused before they arrived – usually not provided adequate food or hygiene and largely ignored. Many are found wondering the streets alone, or are dropped of by relatives, never to be seen again. One lady was locked in a back room by her son and essentially starved until she was rescued by a neighbor, who only had the funds to buy a water taxi to bring the woman to the home and drop her off. For the most part, these people have no one except the overworked attendants that run the home. Some attendants are great, some not so great. There aren’t enough.

            So the doctors go on the weeks and help with hygiene. My SO helped people brush their teeth, a care they rarely get, and many don’t have the mobility to do it themselves. The SO was intimidated by the idea of helping out at first because he didn’t know how he would fit in, if the people in the home would even want him there, want him in their mouth (!) etc, but it turns out people like their goddamn teeth brushed.

            So the question is, is the SO contibuting more than he is offiensive/annoying to the people he is trying to help? IDK, I guess you would say no?

          • WhoAmI says:

            “I think if you have those experiecnes and you don’t learn anything your a fool and an asshole.”
            Yeah, that’s what they’re saying. Most white americans who volunteer abroad are fools and assholes.

          • J Lynn says:

            But, Rainbow Pony’s friend sounds like neither a fool nor an asshole. (Well, anyone who’s new to any foreign country is a inevitably a fool, in the sense of being a newb, but he sounds like no more of a fool than is inevitable.) He sounds like a genuine person who is doing useful work, not imposing himself where he’s unwanted.

            The annoying type of volunteer is the probably the church gang who go en masse on a “mission” to do some minor project and require more management than the value they actually provide. But I assume they don’t just show up — they are probably invited by some of their local co-religionists. In that case, the trip would more about religion than useful work, which seems dumb to me, but if both the local and visiting religious get something out of it, who knows, maybe it has value to them.

            If you didn’t see these naive white volunteers congratulating themselves on social media, would it even matter much? Would anyone notice or care enough to be offended? Are we really offended by their actions (which don’t really amount to much one way or another) or by their dumb smiles and “white savior” optics?

            Another thing that may annoy people is that “volunteering” means someone is well-off enough to skip working for wages for a while. This might not be true — maybe they hustled like crazy waiting tables to save up. But, it usually is true. At the very least, these people came from families who could provide a safety net when their offspring returned to the US jobless. When I was in my 20s, I was often envious of that financial freedom, so that led me to look down on most of these adventures, worthy or not.

            Anyway, there’s good and useful volunteers, and then there’s dumb and useless ones. It’s an arena for sensitivity and caution, for sure, but an ideological blanket dismissal of voluntarism doesn’t sound savvy, it sounds equally inexperienced, like a talking Che Guevara shirt.

    • unicornsrpeople2 says:

      Enjoy explaining that to hundreds of thousands of homeless americans, many of whom are children. Dave Chappell is a great comedian and a very intelligent person, but please don’t get your facts from him.

      • Bob Qwerty says:

        Dave did not say it. He said “rich bitch” on almost every program under various circumstances. Americans are 1% ers. Check with UNESCO, UNCOR, or any major university (American or not) who does anthropological, sociological, and economic studies on the less fortunate. I give 35% to charity and have served in refugee camps on several continents. As to America’s homeless… tragic, without a doubt. But if you get even one meal a week from a shelter, clothes occasionally from a church or goodwill, get an infrequent EBT card from social services, and can walk into an emergency room for free health care … you are more privileged than BILLIONS of souls on our planet. Pull your head out.

    • killerwail says:

      So the U.S. makes up 4.5% of the the world’s population… and only 37% of the world’s 1% live in the U.S.

      tl;dr: America has poor people.

      • Bob Qwerty says:

        You’re stumbling over the obvious… you cannot use grade school math in either the micro or macro of the world’s economies. Let me see if I can say it even more clearly. 100% of Americans are “the 1%.” Or, even more simply put … our bottom 1% are still in the top 1% when compared to the other 6.6 Billion folks cohabiting earth with us.

        • J Lynn says:

          Being able to get one meal a day in a homeless shelter doesn’t make a person the “global 1 percent.” But even if it did, technically, according to your irrelevant calculation, so what?

          There are people in the USA who suffer and die because they lack basic necessities. There are people in every other country on earth — except maybe Iceland or Norway or some such — who also suffer and die for lack of necessities. In some counties, more individuals per capita meet that fate than others. In a poor country, thousands of children die as toddlers from simple diarrhea for lack of treated water. In rich San Francisco, someone might make it to 50 before dying needlessly on the streets from an infected open sore. Children also die from lack of necessities in the “first world,” just not as many as in the “third.”

          In all these examples, it doesn’t matter whatsoever the nationality of the poor individuals. They ALL died needlessly given the technology the human race now has at our disposal. Comparing the truly miserable suffering of those who lack basic necessities against each other is inhuman. It’s a callow intellectual argument divorced from compassion.

          • Bob Qwerty says:

            I don’t disagree with you at all. We can both be (and are) right. Our country has it good with some citizens having it better (of course) than others. We can and should do more. How much “food insecurity” is caused by bad public policy; such as, Panera Bread (every restaurant in the country for that matter) being forced to throw out thousands of pounds of grade-A food stuffs daily because they are prohibited by law from giving it away – even to government run shelters/kitchens? Or what about the shame of diverting high-quality ingredients from the human consumption chain for dedication to pet food manufacturing?

          • J Lynn says:

            LHi Bob,
            Indeed, in the USA and other rich countries there is not an absolute shortage of food. In other words there’s no famine. Like you say it’s an:
            – economic problem (basic poverty ie lack of income),
            – logistical problem (getting perishables to those who can use them, your Panera example, another is bureaucratic obstacles to accessing the food stamps program)
            – societal problem (two examples, child neglect and untreated mental illness).

            I think those are the big three broad categories, but we could spend hours listing more examples or coming up with different categories.

            Pet food surprises me; historically your Alpos and Purinas used meat scraps a cut below hot dogs, but now that we have Yuppie Chow for dogs made from fillet mignon, wild salmon and organic quinoa, I suppose it’s possible. I think the latter is still a relatively small market though. Anyway, it doesn’t matter that much, because even with pampered pets, we still don’t have a food supply problem, but a food distribution one.

            You might be glad to know that in the last 10 or 15 years (since I started following it), there have been a lot of local public-private-partnerships to get unsellable prepared and perishable foods to meal sites and food pantries. It usually does take some coordination with local government because usually food safety regs lie at the city or county level. And the stores/restaurants need to be legally freed of liability before they will risk official participation. But I’ve seen these partnerships succeeding in the last several years. Of course there’s much further to go to capture the majority of food waste. The Food Not Bombs anarchokids have been doing it in a sort of guerrilla way in advance of legality.

            Finally, and I know I might be stating the obvious, food isn’t the only basic necessity where want is causing death in the U.S. and elsewhere, although it’s a big one. There’s also shelter, clean water, social connection or esteem, and health care.

            Thanks for talking, Bob Q!

        • Gaybeard says:

          You might be right from a purely material point of view, but wealth is a) relative and b) contains intangibles. For example, the negative social mythology surrounding being poor in the US (and Can) has a huge impact on quality of life for people in poverty.

    • Gaybeard says:

      Poverty alleviation and minimum wage legislation are both firmly rooted in modern, small l liberalism. The minimum wage has its origins in early socialist movements but it has been adopted as part of liberal policy for over 70 years (at least).

  10. Pikk says:

    I donate 2% of my base salary (pre-tax) every year. it’s not nothing, and I am not rich by any means and I could definitely use this money to, for example, stay in a nice hotel when I travel, but… I get to travel. I’m very lucky.

    It makes me happy to know that we are not alone.

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