Monday, November 20, 2017


I'm not often one to issue direct calls to action. But this cannot be allowed to pass:
"President Donald Trump-appointed Pai’s plan would jettison rules that prohibit internet service providers from blocking or slowing web traffic or creating so-called paid internet fast lanes, the people familiar with the changes said.

Pai also will follow through on his plans to scrap the legal foundation that the FCC’s old Democratic majority adopted in 2015 to tighten federal oversight of internet service providers, a move he contends has deterred the industry from investing in broadband networks. Internet providers have feared that legal foundation, if left in place, could set the stage for possible government price regulation of internet service.

The chairman’s approach, to be voted on at the FCC’s Dec. 14 meeting, would also get rid of the so-called general conduct standard, which gives the FCC authority to police behavior by internet service providers it deems unreasonable. [...]
The move could also re-ignite interest in legislation to codify net neutrality rules, which Republican lawmakers and ISPs have pushed for this year. Some FCC watchers believe Pai’s dismantling of the rules could bring Democrats to the table to negotiate a legislative solution to the debate."
If the Dems are forced into a bargaining position over net neutrality, they'll lose. If they lose, we all lose. Please call/write the FCC and beg them not to allow this to happen. Unless you want to learn how to make a VPN just to make a dime online.

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Ajit Pai, Chairman

Friday, November 17, 2017


On the first episode of Pink Elephants, I tackle labor organizing with Robert Hisle, a member of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Board of The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1414 in San Mateo, California, who also happens to be my dad.

In the late nineties, after years of having their protections and benefits stripped and of their reputation being dragged through the mud, Robert and his fellow machinists worked together to install the first labor union in thier company’s nearly century-long history.

He went on to serve as his union’s steward for another fourteen years until his retirement, and remains passionately dedicated to the pursuit of labor rights to this very day.

The Hoovers – Our Secret Someone
No Flow – Amplify
Rebelskamp – Oldest Trick (feat. Sean Black)
Sweet HayaH – Backwards

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Sound familiar?
“In all the various subconscious messages that Clinton’s election represented from the nation to itself, and for all the ways he is a metaphor for the deep-seated national conflicts we can stand to neither face nor finish, Clinton may be American democracy’s last futile and ineffectual grasp. He is neither visionary enough to transcend national rage nor depraved enough to exploit it; and because rage is exhilarating to an otherwise enervated nation, we’re not willing to give it up to anyone who can’t redeem or justify it. It doesn’t matter how often we are told by however many reliable sources that the national deficit has been reduced by nearly a third during the past two years; national surveys show we insist on believing it has grown larger. It doesn’t matter how often we are presented the facts that less that one in 50 of us had our income taxes raised in the 1993 budget, we insist on believing it was “the biggest tax increase in history.” In short, we insist on our rage in the same way we insist on our cynicism, because it is the last easy thing we know how to feel, the last simple emotion we can understand, and the last from which we can still draw a sense of power, no matter how fraudulent it may be. […<br />] 

In the shortest and meanest terms, all of this may be viewed as “merely” a partisan effort to destroy Clinton at any cost. In fact, it is worse. Questioning Clinton’s legitimacy, the leading spokesmen for the Right insidiously question the legitimacy of democracy itself. They speak of Clinton’s election as a kind of foreign coup -- an insinuation made by the new House Speaker in ever bolder variations on Republican National Committee Chairman Rich Bond’s comments two years ago about “real Americans,” and James G. Watt’s jocularity of the early ‘80s that there are two kinds of people: “Americans and liberals.” If Clinton’s presidency is the product of the democratic process and that product is illegitimate, then the process that produced it is by definition illegitimate; in essence, the Right argues that a democracy that produces a Clinton presidency invalidates itself. This is more than just ruthless partisan politics, more than the “same old thing” political opponents have been doing to each other for years. No one in a much more turbulent America similarly questioned the legitimacy of Nixon’s election in 1968, when he received a percentage of the vote resembling Clinton’s. Indeed, we may not have seen anything quite like it since the election of 1860, when half the country considered intolerable any democracy that would produce the likes of Abraham Lincoln (who received a smaller percentage than either Clinton or Nixon)."
For all intents and purposes, this could have been written about Hillary last summer and not in 1995, mere months before her husband would kick off his second successful presidential campaign. Read through this essay long enough and you’ll see that many of the same players are still involved, having managed to wriggle their way out from under one career-busting set of lies and deceits after another.

Despite ultimately amounting to yet another hollow appeal to a smooth, creamy center that didn’t exist then and certainly doesn’t now, this essay still manages to produce a number of rather salient points. Lord knows I’ve read far less articulate claptrap on the Internet. And with that, I leave you with this to chew on:
"We find indignant solace in the single greatest myth of the contemporary political landscape, which holds that the problem with the country is the government and the politicians and the process as a whole. This myth, that the process has grown helplessly out of touch with what we really want and feel and need, is the opposite of the truth. The truth is that we are the problem with America. The process and politicians, the lobbyists and “special” interests -- by which we mean any interest that doesn’t penterain to us -- have reflected us all too perfectly; and we hate them for it."
I would ask that God save our woebegone republic, but she appears to have absconded for Sasketchewan some time ago. For the health care, of course.

Monday, November 13, 2017


It pains me that I’ve had so little time to write as of late. Writing is seriously one of my favorite things in this world to do, and with the apple cart that is my life being completely upturned once again a few weeks ago, it’s been next to impossible to find the time.

However, it certainly hasn’t been for a lack of desire for productivity on my part. That energy’s just been devoted elsewhere, like getting a new job (Hallelujah!), dealing with the complexities of the medical system as a recently-uninsured patient (there are few things more maddening, lemme tell ya), and most importantly to you I imagine, putting the finishing touches on the first episode of my shiny, brand-new podcast.

I’m literally days from dropping the first episode, and I can’t begin to tell you how fucking excited I am. I’m bursting at the seams like I’ve had to pee for too long, and now my back teeth are floatin’. In light of recent events, I’ve had to make a few compromises regarding my release plans, so there won’t be any first-round binging in the works like I originally anticipated. There just won’t be enough time for me to make it happen.

But frankly, I don’t care. I’m just so excited to have come this far, and to be on the verge of making Pink Elephants happen for real. For years, I had convinced myself that there was no way I could produce a podcast on my own, that I didn’t have the knowledge or the resources or even the drive to make it happen. And while I haven’t done it on my own exactly, it couldn’t have happened without me.

Creating this show has been as much a process of self-discovery as it has a means to create something with which to entertain people, and that journey is only just beginning. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

As always, I want to give a 5,000-megaton shout out to everyone who has helped me along the way, whether you actually read this or not, and to all of my readers and prospective listeners, without whom none of this would be possible, let alone conceivable. Y’all are the unsung heroes of this operation, but if you want to change that, become a Patron or make a PayPal donation to Pink Elephants and you’ll get a shout out on Episode Two.

I’ve got some other exciting incentives in the works as well, but it all starts right here, right now, with your help. You’ve already done so much, I know. But if you believe in the work I’m doing here, then I hope you’ll believe it’s worth the round you know I’d have you back for in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


The hardest part about gratitude is admitting that you have something to lose.

I am grateful for my home, a comfortable space with loving, supportive roommates in which I am able to work and create with few restrictions or limitations. Having just been laid off from a good job that has handsomely subsidized both my home and my ability to create, I am terrified of losing my home, and the closest thing I’ve had to family in quite some time.

I am grateful for my access to proper medical care, which has allowed me to manage both my physical and mental health in ways that are long overdue for someone who contends with ailments such as mine. I am terrified that, having just lost my job in a market that offers little for someone in my position, I may no longer have access to that care, and will once again be forced to operate under increasingly severe handicaps.

I am grateful for my parents, who will and have always done their part to ensure that things like this won’t happen to me, because they love and care for me and want to ensure that I am taken care of. I am terrified of losing them and their support some day, all the more so for having no say in the matter.

I am also grateful for my girlfriend, whose love and support for me has been unwavering practically since the moment we met and seems to grow with every passing day, and who can make me laugh longer and harder than anyone I have ever known. She makes me want to be a better person, and I am terrified of losing that, and her.

Lastly, I am grateful for myself, for having been able to build and maintain these relationships and create so much art throughout my life and somehow keep most of it – and me – intact, despite dealing with considerable adversity along the way. I am terrified of losing what I have gained, and I am even more terrified of losing myself in the process.

Until then, I will keep gratitude in close company, for knowing that I have so much to lose means knowing that, for me, there’s still so much to live for. I’d very nearly forgotten what that felt like. Now that I remember, I am terrified of forgetting again.