Trump’s America – Week 1

Flint water crisis? What’s that?

Testing for clean drinking water in schools? Who cares?!

Ignoring Native American land rights ain’t no thang. (To be fair, Obama waited until 2 weeks to do squat. Thanks. Let alone Congress.)

I get not giving illegals privacy rights. I get wanting to make sure criminals face justice. I understand that. But how the actual fuck do you justify publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by members of a specific ethnic group? But how the actual fuck do you justify publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by members of a specific ethnic group? 

Every week, I could publish a list of crimes committed by African Americans, Asian Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community. It would be easy. Just as easy as publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by white Americans, Jewish Americans, plumbers, pilots, Catholics, or blue jean aficionados. It’s almost as if GASP crimes are committed by all sorts of people!

( Not bothering to post anything on education. The last time the federal government made a positive impact on education, Eisenhower had to call out the National Guard.)

From Facebook (Unverified as of now):

To recap:
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.
* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”
* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

And [Jan. 25]: the wall and a Muslim ban.

Congratulations. You have your country back. Sorry, we couldn’t get you all the way to 1945. Only got as far as 1969. Enjoy!

Snowflakes, mount up.

Know what’s really weird, though? I’m not even a liberal! I’m pro-life, I’m a practical Catholic, and I think socialism doesn’t work. I just think we should throw First Nations people a bone once in a while, protect the environment in which we live — and upon which we depend to survive as a species — and occasionally help those who cannot help themselves. You know. Like Jesus said to do.

Image result for whatever you do for the least of these

The superhero comic is dead. Long live the superhero comic.

I love Marvel Comics. Always have. Especially the cosmic stuff, Busiek’s Avengers run, and the Uncanny X-Men as written by the inimitable — a word I see everywhere but cannot define — Chris Claremont.

But things just aren’t as fun anymore. Look, I know what you’re thinking. And no. This has nothing to do with the recent changes to the Avengers line-up. Riri’s cool. Jane Foster as Thor kicks butt. I love Sam Wilson.

My favorite scenes in Captain America: Winter Soldier are when Cap and Falcon are out of costume, just being friends.

I would watch the hell out of a Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson buddy movie. Like, no superhero stuff. Just Steven and Sam renting a condo for the summer and getting into wacky shenanigans. Maybe Carol Danvers shows up, and the three of them crash a party at a swanky resort where they act all silly and there’s this old lady going “Well, I never.”

I would watch the shit out of that.

As for having Sam as Cap? It works. All-New Avengers volume 1, the one with Miles Morales, the new Nova, and the new Ms. Marvel is fantastic. Miles Morales is written hilariously, and Nova and Ms. Marvel’s interactions are some of the most amusing cringe-fests ever commited to paper. Falcon (he’s always Falcon to me. I just love me some Falcon) has to deal with haters who comment “Where’s the real one?” and “Not my Captain America,” echoing the sort of people who start their sentences with “I’m not a racist, but…

(Kind of like I did at the start of this post. Isn’t it weird how white guys like me are more worried about being perceived as racist than trying to figure out how we can combat racism itself?)

But here’s the thing. These comics, for me, just aren’t as much fun as they used to be.

Maybe it’s because grad school combined with a full-time job has left little time to catch up on story lines (the Red Skull did WHAT?!). Maybe it IS the shifting demographics in Marvel. Am I that thin-skinned as to be put off by increased diversity?

Is it the fact that Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and several of the other so-called heroes have been outed as almost as evil as the evil they oppose?

I missed most of the comics dealing with the incursions and the Builders and all that world-ending stuff. It looked cool, yeah, but what the actual fuck, Marvel? It’s like they lost their damn minds. They realized nobody reads comics anymore* and just decided “Heck with hit. No one’s reading anyway. Let’s just go crazy!”

In the end, maybe the problem is just that the times are a-changing and comics are finally changing with them. The increased emphasis on diversity — gender and racial — is part of it (and long overdue, frankly). But you know what? It’s more than that. Marvel (and DC for that matter) have (for once) stopped giving us the same stories over and over. You know. The Busiek stories. The fun stories. The safe stories. The House of Ideas and the House of El are doing something fans have been demanding for decades now: Actually advancing and resolving character plot-lines. Actually changing. Having stories with — gasp! — consequences. Dealing with real-world issues. Basically, doing a lot of what makes comics good.

Don’t get me wrong. Ultron still wants to destroy all humans, and Lex Luthor is still (I assume?) a bad guy. But even though Cyclops got Phoenix powers, the resolution to Avengers vs. X-Men was NOT  a redo of the Dark Phoenix Saga.

But you know…Sam Wilson is not my Captain America. And Miles Morales is not my Spider-Man. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t like those characters. I love both characters, and I’m ecstatic over the fact that Marvel is finally acknowledging the fact that they have millions of nonwhite fans.

I think I’m just not comfortable right now with the stories Marvel is telling. I’m having trouble finding an entry point into Avengers, specifically (X-Men has been consistently awesome, more or less, since the early 2010s. Mostly in X-Force.) This is a shame because I subscribed to Avengers at the very start of Busiek’s run back in the 90s (a happy coincidence). These all-new, all-different guys just…aren’t the ones I grew up with. That’s all. I dunno. I like to think that the changing demographics of the Avengers line-up is just the surface of what’s got me so hot and bothered. I hope it’s not residual racism rearing up from the reptilian section of my brain. But if it is, I hope I have the courage to change — to adapt — as Marvel has.

Without adaptation, a species cannot survive.

The superhero comic is dead. Long live the superhero comic.

Meanwhile, old geezers** like me who grew up on exaggerated tales of killer robots, alien invasions, and other Troperiffic fare will just feel like the folks in this Monty Python clip which my 12-year-old students would find exceedingly boring:

Footnotes:

*Nobody reads comics = very few people go into comic stores and buy physical books. A few hundred thousand or so. Millions and millions read free comics on scans-daily, download comics through apps, and watch both live-action and animated adaptations. Hell, I used to think X-Men #1 was about Jubilee escaping the Sentinels.

**People who remember Geocities, Neopets, and Friendster. (Think your dad’s Facebook account, Pokemon GO, and MySpace, kids.)

Bubblegum-Man 2.21

B-Man 2.21

I know this issue is a bit talky. Never fear. Issue 3 has much more action, as our brave heroes encounter Dr. Mollusk’s latest plan for mass carnage: The Bubblegum Clones!

But even if our heroes are victorious, what will happen when the Archons arrive on our world?

Until next time, kids. See you in the funny papers!

Bubblegum-Man 2.8

B-Man 2.8

Just six days! Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!