Photo of the Day – The Double-toothed Kite (Harpagus bidentatus) is named after its most distinguishing trait, two tooth-like emarginations on the cutting-edge of the upper mandible. This species is widespread throughout the Neotropics, and although it is superficially similar to many small raptors, it is easy enough to separate from all other raptor species by the dark line down its throat, its white leg tufts and its behaviour.

This photo was taken by Adam Riley in Ecuador

ICE Is Targeting Activists in Vermont. And the State’s DMV Has Been Helping Them.


In October 2017, Vermont-based Migrant Justice scored a major victory in the organization’s campaign to extend labor protections to undocumented farmworkers in the state. After years of public action and lobbying, they reached an agreement with Ben & Jerry’s that established basic labor standards at the farms supplying dairy products to the company. Those standards included one day off a week, a minimum wage of $10 per hour, and accommodations that included electricity and running water — a milestone for farmworkers’ rights in Vermont. For many Migrant Justice organizers, who were themselves undocumented and had worked long hours in those dairy farms, the victory was personal.

But while Migrant Justice’s organizers were celebrating their victory, according to a lawsuit filed this week by a coalition that includes the ACLU of Vermont, Immigration and Customs Enforcement was carrying out a targeted operation to arrest and deport them. Using tactics that law enforcement agencies typically employ to disrupt organized crime, the lawsuit alleges that ICE agents planted at least one informant in Migrant Justice, attempted to hack into the email accounts of the group’s members, and compiled detailed dossiers on their movements and social circles.* And ICE had an eager partner in those efforts — the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.

In 2013, Migrant Justice played a critical role in the passage of Vermont’s Driver Privilege Card law, which allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain legal driving permits. But a public-records request filed by the ACLU revealed that DMV officials systematically passed the private information of applicants for those permits directly to ICE, even in cases where ICE agents hadn’t asked for it. Email correspondence obtained in the request show DMV workers using racist language to describe those applicants, referring to “South of the Border” names and in one case lamenting that the state was being “over run by immigrants.”

ICE agents used the information they obtained from the Vermont DMV to track down Migrant Justice organizers who’d played critical roles in the group’s labor rights campaigning. According to the lawsuit, since early 2016 at least 20 Migrant Justice members were arrested by ICE, including the four plaintiffs in the suit. ICE agents referenced the group’s activism during some of those arrests, warning that other Migrant Justice organizers would be “next.” In other cases, agents indicated knowledge of the location and time of private meetings for Migrant Justice members that they could only have gained through intensive surveillance.

“The individuals in the complaint were targeted for political repression in retaliation for their constitutionally protected activity,” said Lia Ernst, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Vermont.

The lawsuit describes ICE agents tracking the movements of Migrant Justice organizers through a combination of surveillance operations, social media data mining, and DMV records. Leaders of the group were targeted since at least 2014, despite the Department of Homeland Security policy that supposedly prioritized enforcement against immigrants with serious criminal records. Two of the plaintiffs in the case, Enrique Balcazar Sanchez and Zully Palacios Rodriguez, were labeled “high-profile targets” by ICE, despite having no criminal record of any kind. Both were highly visible activists in Migrant Justice’s campaign to organize farmworkers.

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ICE Is Targeting Activists in Vermont. And the State’s DMV Has Been Helping Them.




not all men? you’re right. aragorn son of arathorn son of arador son of argonui son of arathorn son of arassuil son of arahad son of aravorn son of aragost son of arahad son of araglas son of aragorn son of aravir son of aranuir son of arahael son of aranarth son of arvedui son of araphant son of araval son of arveleg son of arvegil son of argeleb son of araphor son of arveleg son of argeleb son of malvegil son of celebrindor son of mallor son of beleg son of amlaith son of earendur son of elendur son of valandur son of tarondur son of tarcil son of arantar son of eldacar son of valandil son of isildur would never do this.

What, not going all the way back to Elros?

kellyclowers is Legolas’ Tumblr, pass it on.








(Honestly, I’d rather we didn’t make fun of straight people at all. Heteronormativity? Have at, it’s ridiculous. People? That’s kinda pointless and mean imo.)

@fandom-is-for-pleasure‘s tags: 

#HONESTLY#one of the reasons large swathes of my ‘community’#make me feel like I have to endure nails-on-chalkboard#I’m not here for hatefulness#even if people twist themselves into a pretzel to justify it

Lord yes. I am so used to Mean Tumblr Gay that I find myself feeling reluctant to call myself gay even though my last couple partners have been women and I am extremely happy to have a super awesome girlfriend right now.

Some of my friends are straight men who would like to have girlfriends too. Given that my friends are super neat and my girlfriend is awesome, I would like them to also have girlfriends who are awesome. ‘Cause it’s pretty neat.

Tumblr-gay is so aggressively about “stealing all the poor unhappy girls from Straight Men” that I feel… vaguely like wanting my friends to find healthy relationships makes me Insufficiently Gay.

I fucking hate it so much. I’ve mentioned before that I’m thankful I’ve had a concept of lesbian culture before finding the tumblr version, or I’d feel queasy even wanting to call myself that. Nasty cruel teenage goblins are so not my thing.

I do get it, though. Having just spent two weeks around aggressively straight people who assume everyone is straight and operate in this framework in which the world doesn’t make sense unless women date men and men date women… It makes me feel defensive. It gives rise to unlovely impulses. It makes me want to make them feel the way I feel – weird, gross, like part of who I am is a dirty secret.

And then, less dramatically, it just makes me want to be around people who give me a little distance from this heterosexual monolith, who step back from it and mock it as the Other instead of presuming that it’s the only thing that exists. I mean, queer women laugh about our mothers saying “when are you going to find a good man to marry”, but when you’re hearing it all the time, it actually is fucking demoralizing.

Mocking people is immature. When it’s not a one-off but something condoned and practiced by an entire community, it becomes indefensible. But I get it. Some teenagers are constantly spending time around cishet parents and teachers who have power over them, and their resentment at that arrangement can get redirected to less powerful targets. Everybody who acts poorly toward others has a life that we don’t know about, and maybe if we knew then we’d get it.

I think part of this is who you’re mostly around, though?

I mean, homophobic straight people (and homophobic gay people–tumblr doesn’t want anyone to talk about them but they’re definitely out there and can hurt us worse than our more obvious enemies) are common enough that we’ve all encountered them. But I think different people have different views about how common they are.

Like I keep wondering if people I hang with casually will be startled if I mention my GF, and they keep… not doing that, and just being excited that I have a partner and wanting to know what she’s like and wondering when they can meet her.

It’s kind of hard to see most hets as the hateful overlords when only a few of them actually act like hateful overlords.

It makes it really hard for me to stay bitter in the way Tumblr seems to mark as a distinguishing characteristic of Gay.

(Also most people I happen to know have straight parents. Bad parents are terrible, and most parents aren’t perfect and most of us have a couple emotional scars…

…but it breaks my brain to even attempt to presume ALMOST EVERYONE I KNOW has a bad person for a mom and a dad BOTH.)

Hm. I’m not really talking about straight-up bad homophobes, though. Most people I encounter aren’t explicitly homophobic. I’m privileged that way, but I’m guessing so is much of my tumblr circle (incl you), so take that as read. I’m talking about, like, hanging out with my Indian relatives, my mom is nervous about me telling them I have a girlfriend and wants me to take the pride pins off my purse so I don’t come off as weird, she’s prone to minor fits of teariness when she starts worrying I’ll never get married to a man, everybody I encounter at a wedding assumes I’ll end up with a guy and some ask me questions that presuppose that, that tiny look of surprise when I divulge this information, the hesitant “so are you gay, or…?” –

It’s not that they make life that hard for me. As a reasonably self-possessed adult, all of this I can handle. It’s that it’s their world and I’m just living in it, and sometimes it gets fatiguing. I’m aware that I have it good, though. Many trans people, of course, have the Hard Mode version of this shit.

So I’m saying, note that some people might be dealing with frustration you don’t feel, and although you recognize that doesn’t make their actions right, you can try to understand where they’re coming from.

Ah, okay. Yeah, living in a world that doesn’t accept you is very fatiguing. And I’m pretty sure I’ve done the thing too—when I first got into the bdsm community it was more underground than it is now. I definitely had a bit of a “the vanilla mundanes just don’t understand us” attitude, and… yeah, when you feel really alienated that’s a bit of a soothing balm.

The thing that made that… less appealing to me over time was… well part of it probably WAS just time passing. But I think another part of it was I feel so different from other people so much of the time that if I adopted that attitude about being gay and kinky and disabled and a gifted kid and someone who likes dark fic and and and I’d look down on everyone.

And that’s a lonely place to be. And when I read those posts about the hetties lmao smh smh that’s the overwhelming vibe I get from them: I’m going to reject you before you reject me.

And someone who does that isn’t happy, no matter how loudly they snicker at other people.

I know I definitely wasn’t.