“Doctor-inflicted pain and infirmity have always been a part of medical practice. Professional callousness, negligence, and sheer incompetence are age-old forms of malpractice. With the transformation of the doctor from an artisan exercising a skill on personally-known individuals into a technician applying scientific rules to classes of patients, malpractice acquired an anonymous, almost respectable status. What had formerly been considered an abuse of confidence and a moral fault can now be rationalized into the occasional breakdown of equipment and operators. In a complex technological hospital, negligence becomes “random human error” or “system breakdown,” callousness becomes “scientific detachment,” and incompetence becomes “a lack of specialized equipment.” The depersonalization of diagnosis and therapy has changed malpractice from an ethical into a technical problem.”

Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health, by Ivan Illich



“Highlights is in a mansion. Like, it’s pretty cool. It’s a very unconventional office space.”

“We’re lucky to work in such a neat old building. Makes you want to be creative, makes you want to do the best job possible for these kids.”

“The work life here, it’s unlike anywhere else I’ve worked.”

“They do psychological testing on you before you’re hired here.”

“I distrusted it when I first came here. I thought, this has gotta be disingenuous. How is it possible that people are in this good a mood all of the time?”

“I think we try to bring out the best in each other, I think we try to really just encourage each other and boost each other up.”

“In terms of wholesomeness, I mean I hate that word because it sounds like goody-goody, and that’s not what we are here. We’re just honest genuine ethical people.”

“It’s a good brainwash but yeah it takes you over.”

“We’re in a bubble of sorts. Our minds are so entrenched and focused on the children, and being kind and being thoughtful, and the rest of the world isn’t like that, you know? And if they are, it’s false. I don’t know, I’m very disappointed, though.”

“It is a little different here. It’s quiet. The socioeconomic level is maybe not reflective of many of our readers. So we do work hard to make sure that we are not too secluded and too isolated from the rest of the world.”

44 Pages (documentary about the children’s magazine Highlights). Series of quotes from employees about the company culture.

Does this creep anyone else out???

Honestly I got like halfway down this before being like “ oh the childrens magazine thing” because if you omitted that I would have legit assumed this was some kind of weird institution thing.

Like the first few about the building reminds me of how institutions will make themselves look nice to trick people into thinking the service is also nice.

The everyone in a good mood/testing shit sounds like the sort of mandatory enforcement of positivity you would get for putting on an act for the clients, like people who take those jobs “getting used to it” and desensitized. Full on mention of brainwashing.



“They do psychological testing before you’re hired here.”

44 Pages, employee quoted in documentary about Highlights children’s magazine

In context, this is supposed to be about what a great place it is to work because everyone is genuinely cheery and well-adjusted and wholesome and shit.

I just figured out why it bugs me:

I hate when people manufacture a utopia by excluding people without cause, and then act like they’re all beautiful and utopian as a result.

A much, much worse example on a much more devastating scale… I never trusted Bhutan’s publicity crap about being a beautiful Buddhist utopia (playing on Western stereotypes of  where everyone’s success is measured in happiness.  But I had no idea how they’d gotten to be a Buddhist utopia until I met refugees forced out in utterly horrific ways for being Hindu or otherwise non-Buddhist…

Obviously discriminatory hiring practices aren’t even in the same league as ethnic cleansing.  And I don’t mean to imply that they are.  They’re just two examples I’ve seen where someplace declares itself practically utopian… after making sure that everyone or nearly everyone within that place fits certain criteria, whether by forcing people out or making sure they never get there in the first place.

I always consider the use of psychological testing in hiring contexts discriminatory.  But this one is bugging me more than usual, probably again because of the way it’s being used to weed out anyone not utopian enough and then declare a place a utopia.  It’s like there’s a giant sign out front saying “Don’t even bother applying to work here, we don’t want people like you, but we’re a wonderful place to work because y’all aren’t here!”  And they probably see absolutely nothing wrong with any of this…



I haven’t read these yet but I found them on sci hub:

Women-Identified Women: Trans Women in 1970s Lesbian Feminist Organizing

Girl in a Kink’s Shirt: A socio-cultural examination of butch transwomen and the trans community 

An Exclusionary Revolution: Marginalization and Representation of Trans Women in Print Media (1969-1979)

I read the first article, and the author (Emma Heaney) noted the importance of retrieving the “perishable” trans-feminist archive, which isn’t as prominent/reprinted as the transmisogynist lesbian-feminist archive. In that spirit I also wanted to share some letters printed in the newspaper “Lesbian Connections,” which show – if not direct trans-feminist resistance – at least glimpses of the presence and acceptance of trans lesbians into some lesbian-feminist communities. [cw for outdated and transmisogynist language even in the supportive responses]

The first “item” is a series of responses to a transmisogynist article, “An Open Letter to Olivia Records,” which appeared in the November 1977 newsletter, rebuking Olivia Records for their inclusion of trans lesbian Sandy Stone and rejecting Stone’s claim to womanhood and lesbianism. Several responses followed in the February 1978 issue. Two letters agreed with the article, while nine rejected the author’s bigotry and called for inclusion (starting with the last letter to begin on the linked page). Two respondents cited experience with trans lesbian friends and a trans lover to counter the message of the original article. 

Responses continued in the May 1978 issue, but were dominated by transmisogynist submissions provoked by the supportive letters in the earlier issue. Seven agreed with the original rejection of Sandy Stone, while only one solidly supported her (starting with “I would like to present my views…” on the linked page). I only checked the Responses section in the next (June 1978) issue, and the topic didn’t continue there; I don’t know if it continued in later issues, although earlier and later “Lesbian Connection” issues contained isolated transmisogynist references. 

What I find notable here is that the trans-affirming and transmisogynist “sides” were evenly matched: 10 trans-affirming and 10 transmisogynist, including the original article. An additional short ‘trans people are people too!’-style response in the May 1978 issue tips the scale in favor of trans lesbians. The rejection of trans lesbians wasn’t universal or uncontested by cis lesbian-feminists.

The second “item” is an article called

Organize a Lesbian Support and Singles Group” which came years later in the March/April 1986 issue. It talks about the creation of a support group for single Lesbians, “womyn of all ages and kinds.” In describing the qualifications for attendance – in addition to being single – the author notes that the group voted to exclude bisexual and straight women from general meetings, but voted unanimously for the full inclusion of a trans lesbian member.

The membership policy of this group provides a counter-example to the more commonly-cited coalitions between bi and trans people (especially women) based on a common rejection from gay (especially lesbian-feminist) spaces, or between cis lesbian and bisexual women (such as Robin Morgan) based on the rejection of trans lesbians from lesbian-feminism. The clearly-defined Lesbian identity of this group didn’t preclude trans lesbianism.

That’s all the “new” stuff, but I’d also direct you to “Beyond Two-Genderism
Notes of a Radical Transsexual
” (published in “The Second Wave,” 1972) and a 1978 letter by a trans lesbian also printed in “The Second Wave.”

Climate justice? Yes, let’s talk neocolonialism and borders




Ok, this is going to be a very depressing post.

I know it really sucks, but we probably gotta stop talking about ‘preventing climate change’ as if we can still avoid a massive catastrophe. All we can do is limit the impact of it by now. We’ve fought to ‘prevent’ this for decades, but that’s a battle we lost. (And no, not just because this summer is hot. All the science is screaming that massive climate change is really happening)

We need to keep talking about CO2 reduction as something that limits the extend of the catastrophe, but we need a significant shift of focus. As activists, our conversations about climate justice need to focus way more on who is going to be hurt most by the things that are now inevitable. (& They should have been focused more on that years ago to be honest, but the mostly non-western, mostly people of color talking about it weren’t acknowledged.)

When it comes to climate justice, neocolonialism and borders need to be the two points at the top of our agenda.

We need to talk about neocolonialism because as parts of the world become significantly less inhabitable and natural disasters become more common, companies will be bottling the last drops of drinking water for profit and charging a fortune for life vests made at the sweatshop that is now under water.

We need to talk about borders because as parts of the world become significantly less inhabitable, the EU-US-AUS-CAN clusterfuck is putting higher fences and more weapons on its borders, building camps and preparing watch towers ready to shoot refugees, all to make sure that people effected by climate change stay in the country where they are and die there. To make sure that the guilty have to carry none of the burden of the mess they created.

You think the cruelty of companies and immigrant detention is bad now?
Give it 10 or 20 years and a few more natural disasters and you’ll see
real horrors. And the sham we call ‘democracy’ in it’s current form is probably going to let them because the people of
the EU-US-AUS-CAN clusterfuck

will have their own smaller disasters to deal with and will convince themselves that now is the time to worry only about themselves.

I know it’s scary. I’m scared too.

If someone has some uplifting words and ideas right now, I’d really love to hear them. I’m serious, I really would. But I can’t find comfort in denial.
The next climate deal just isn’t going to save us anymore.
Capitalism, borders and the states that maintain them need to go and we
are running out of time.

And our activism should reflect that reality.

yes to all of this! i was literally talking about this yesterday. “preventing” climate change is no longer an option, all science agrees we’ve likely passed the point of no return. we NEED to shift our focus to adapting to climate change and building resilience.

i work in environmental justice research and it is a widely accepted fact that poor and marginalized communities (as well as countries) are largely more susceptible to the negative effects of climate change than the privileged, as they lack the resources to mitigate the destruction. for those of us lucky enough to come from privilege, we NEED to start making spaces for these peoples.

this includes, but is not limited to, gathering and sharing knowledge related to adaptation and sustainable consciousness (also social ecology); creating actual physical spaces for peoples affected by disasters, as well as social space in which they can operate; dismantling systems of oppression that are hindering these peoples’ access to resources, as well as using our own to help; and most of all working cooperatively in grassroots and local settings to help communities develop new modes of existence/subsistence that do not rely on global superstructures.

adapting to climate change will HAVE to be bottom-up. our strategies have to be as varied and unique as the environments we live in. top-down solution making will NOT work, and i think most people can see that’s already pretty clear. grassroots activism needs to start now!

and for all my witches out there, this is especially where we can help. our ability to attune ourselves to a specific place is KEY in developing sustainable systems. ecology is going to be changing so quickly that we’re going to need people like us to keep up with the changes so that our adaptations won’t become irrelevant within a couple years. plus a little help from the genii loci will always help, they want to protect their land just as much as we do. but remember, even spirits don’t know everything, and the amount of change that we are going to experience is unprecedented in earth’s history. once again, cooperation is going to be key. everyone is implicated in this disaster. we will need all sides to contribute if we are going to have a chance. but “all sides” is likely not going to include to government.

I have no opinions on witchcraft and related spiritual practices and know nothing at all about it but everything else in this reply sounds absolutely spot on completely right to me so ‘YES’ to my witchy comrades in this struggle.

Those are some hella good points to which I would add that we need to develop and widely share the skill and networks needed to break the law and get away with it, since the law is almost certainly going to be deadly to many of us. That lawbreaking should involve border crossings on a pretty massive scale, since the border is going to play a pretty big role in who lives and who dies. .

And the power to defend what we build from state violence, since our goals are very likely to be the opposite of governments and we can not be dependent on their mercy. And yes, the power to attack things that threaten our continued survival.





One of the biggest myths I see being promoted in the polyamory community is that people can control their feelings to the same extent that they can control their behavior. Couples who use “rules” will often include rules that aren’t just about behavior (i.e. “Ask me before you spend the night with someone else”) but also about feelings (i.e. “You can have sex with other people, but you can’t fall in love with them”; “We can’t love any other partners more than we love each other.”)

While you can, in theory, respond to unwanted feelings with behavior that neutralizes them (i.e. breaking up with a partner you’re developing feelings for), that will often be emotionally difficult and very painful, and also sets up a situation where people are very likely to break their promises in a very human and understandable way. 

But even leaving the issue of rules aside, poly people (myself included) often make decisions based on the fantasy that we can control our feelings.

How many of us have gotten involved with someone who has made it very clear that we will never be allowed to be as intimate with them as they are with their “primary,” that certain forms of intimacy–being publicly known as partners, spending holidays with each others’ families, sharing a home, raising children–are forever off the table, all because we assumed that we can just choose to never *want* those things?

It’s easy at the beginning. You have a first date with someone from OkC, or you hook up with a friend, and you’re thinking, Wow, this person is super cute, I’ll see them casually cuz they don’t want to/aren’t allowed to be serious with anyone else, it’ll be great. Maybe it will. Sometimes that’s how it’s been for me. Other times it’s led to massive heartbreak when I realized that I wanted her to be my girlfriend all official-like, or that I could see myself living with him someday, but that would never happen because that person had already decided before we’d ever even gone out or kissed or fucked that it wouldn’t.

That’s why, nowadays, if someone tells me that their preexisting relationship literally precludes certain forms of intimacy with others (except the ones I truly don’t care about, like children and marriage), I won’t even fuck with it. Even if right now, you’re just a random friend I think is cute. Because we don’t control our feelings and I have way too awesome a life to live without sitting around mired in heartbreak because we love each other but can’t hold that truth up in the light and really look at it.  

I like potential. I like being casual because that’s how the two of us have decided to do things, not because some third person I didn’t choose to be in relationship with has decided with you, for me.

The problem is, even rad consent-aware poly folks are rarely upfront with this. It’s usually only weeks or months into a dating situation that it comes up that, hey by the way, you’re always by default less important to me than this other person, sorry not sorry.

As far as I’m concerned, if I didn’t know from the beginning that that’s how your polyamory worked, then I didn’t enter into our relationship with informed consent.

True! The “you can totally control your feelings and make reliable agreements about what feelings you will have” thing also comes up a lot in regards to what we’re comfortable with when your partners do go out and have intense intimate relationships. 

Like, for example, I can promise not to limit what kind of relationships my partners can have. That is an action. I can promise not to try to control the intensity of the relationships my partner can have. That is an action. 

I can not promise not to feel ugly if they have 4 partners and I have 1, of not to feel lonely if they spend a month without me, or not to feel insecure if they have a child with another partner. I can control my actions, not those feelings. I can’t not have ‘the wrong’ feelings. I could hide those feelings but it wouldn’t be healthy for me or for my relationships.  

And a lot of ‘advice’ from poly people comes down to “no don’t feel that way, feel this other way that makes more rational sense”. Stuff like “but your insecurities are all about YOU” often boil down to “you have to feel this other way”. Which is absolutely incredibly massively fucking useless.  

That’s all very well and true, especially as someone who used to be the “third” who wanted more

But as someone who is now a primary of the same person in question, I’m not really sure what to do with this information.. You’re telling me that hierarchical poly doesn’t work and I can see why you’re saying that, but.. we don’t want non-hierarchical poly…

Read the post again. No one here is saying ‘this can’t work’. People are saying:

-don’t pretend that you can always control how you feel
-don’t pretend you will never have unplanned or unexpected feelings
-accept that the ‘rules’ you once set together may one day be unacceptable to you or your partner(s) because of feelings you could not predict
– accept that if you put limits on your ‘secondary’ relationships some people will say ‘no thanks’ to being your partner because that’s not what they want and that’s okay
-don’t lie to any of your partners about those things because intimacy through deception is not consent.

The last point should be common sense and the other 4 create challenges in ANY relationship

More Asbestos! More Asbestos! More Asbestos!



On June 1st, the EPA enacted the Significant New Use Rule, which allows the government to evaluate asbestos use on a case-by-case basis. Around the same time, the EPA released a new framework for how it evaluates chemical risk. Not included in the evaluation process are the potential effects of exposure to chemicals in the air, ground or water. It’s as absurd as it sounds. “It is ridiculous,” Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, who recently retired after four decades at the EPA, told the New York Times. “You can’t determine if there is an unreasonable risk without doing a comprehensive risk evaluation.”

The new evaluation framework is a nifty way for the EPA to circumvent an Obama-era law requiring the EPA to evaluate hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals. Asbestos is among the first batch of 10 chemicals the EPA will examine, and also one of the most blatantly dangerous to public health. Its use is banned in over 60 countries, and though it is only heavily restricted in the United States, asbestos is no longer used in construction because of the health risks it poses. Direct or indirect exposure to the carcinogen can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, and it has been found to kill 40,000 Americans annually. The World Health Organization wrote that “all types of asbestos cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis.”

As an amoral New York City real estate developer, Trump has long supported the use of asbestos. In his 1997 book The Art of the Comeback, the future president wrote that asbestos is “100 percent safe, once applied,” despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the contrary.

As with many of his more insidious actions as president, there’s a Russia connection. As theWashington Post points out, until recently, 95 percent of asbestos used in the United States came from Brazil, while the rest came from Russia. But the South American nation recently banned the mining and sale of the toxic substance, opening the door for Russia to fill the gap, which will be even larger if the U.S. resumes using the carcinogen in building materials. Russian asbestos manufacturers are thrilled. In July, the Russian company Uralasbest posted an image of its asbestos packaging, which features a smirking President Trump.

More Asbestos! More Asbestos! More Asbestos!