library-grrl asked:

I read your response to one blogger's question on piracy and it brought to mind a question of my own. I don't pirate books, I buy them. But I am a lower class citizen so most of my book buying happens in second hand shops. My question is does buying used books hurt authors?


Not in the slightest sense of any word you can come up with.

I grew up poor.  Dirt poor.  Literally, because we couldn’t afford to heat the apartment in the winter (and this was when California still had winters, there was ice on the sidewalk when I walked to school in December) and we couldn’t afford to pay for drugs if one of us caught pneumonia from going to bed with wet hair.  Used books were my SALVATION.  Used books created an ecosystem in which I, as a child who picked up pennies because they added up to nickles added up to dimes added up to quarters added up to a dollar and that was enough for two clearance paperbacks at Bay Books, was allowed to participate.  I understand being so poor that a single book is a huge investment, and I still buy used books, because sometimes that’s the only way to get something that’s out of print.

(Many midlist authors go out of print because people aren’t buying them new, which results in used bookstores becoming the only option.  Fun for the whole family.)

I do not give any fucks about the fact that if Person A resells their books, I don’t get money from the secondary sale.  Two reasons:

#1. Person A paid for the book in the first place, and
#2. Those are the only books.

A book sold at a used bookstore is part of a vital ecosystem that keeps authors eating and people on limited budgets reading.  And once it’s gone, it’s gone.  A book that is illegally downloaded may keep the people on the limited budgets reading—although it’s a very privileged means of balancing those scales, since it assumes a computer, a stable internet connection, and a certain amount of technical know-how—but it doesn’t keep the authors eating, and it’s not the original book that Person A paid for.  It’s a clone.  Potentially one of thousands.

One resold book is nothing.  It is legal, it is right, it is important.  One thousand copies run off in the office and then handed out for free?

That’s a problem.  That’s a BIG problem.

I genuinely wish people (not you, asker of the question I am now answering; you didn’t do this, it’s just something I see frequently) would stop equating used bookstores and libraries and library book sales with illegal downloads, because they are not the same.  A secondhand book is a part of a grand tradition of reuse and economic trickle-down.  I buy the book new.  I sell it to my local Half-Price Books.  Susie buys it.  By the time she’s done with it, HPB won’t take it back, but Goodwill will.  Rachel buys it at Goodwill, and re-sells it at her next garage sale.  The book costs a little less with every iteration.  The doors open a little wider with every iteration, and it’s all completely legal and expected.  The used bookstore is built into the publishing model.

I cried tears of joy the first time I saw one of my books on the shelf at a used bookstore.  The tears I cried over my first illegal torrent were not joyful ones.



"I’m the only one that cares about you"

when you hear those words, you turn tail and run as fast as you can. you run before it’s too late. These words are an abuse tactic

you are worth the world, and never, even in your darkest, believe that this one person is the only one who gives a shit. I have seen the kindness of strangers and friends alike, and you are not unloved. do not believe them.


(via tenhoursinthelab)




The prison-industrial complex is just a myth…right?

Jesus he didn’t even have us do the damn math. He just said it.

…yeah. I suppose there’s no point in finding flowery rhetoric for it. “Putting people in jail is good for business” is pretty much the size of it. 

(via seananmcguire)


Anonymous asked:

Hi, the way I trained my kitty to love her scratching post was to scratch it myself with my nails to make the noise and she became curious and joined in! seeing as they think we're cats too, I show them how to cat properly instead of punishing her :)



Thanks! I’ve done that too!

This actually works.  Especially if you make a fuss verbally about how excellent the post is, and make sure to do it again periodically while they are learning.  Run up and scratch the post after they do, or if they are nearby.  Always praise them when they scratch the post, even if they are older cats who have been doing it properly for years.



Over 700 Jefferson County High School students are staging walkouts and protests over proposed changes to the Advanced Placement History curriculum. According to Colorado Public Radio:

Last week, a school board member proposed that advanced placement history classes be required to promote free enterprise and patriotism and be required to avoid classroom materials that encourage social strife or civil disobedience. Two high schools in Jefferson County closed Friday after dozens of teachers called in sick in protest.

According the online petition to be delivered to the School District:

Jeffco Public School Board has just proposed a change of curriculum stating that, “Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage.”

This means that important parts of our history such as the Civil Rights Movement, Native American genocide, and slavery will not be taught in public schools. If these important lessons are not taught, children will not learn from them, and what will stop them from happening again? This is a severe form of censorship intended to keep the youth ignorant and easy to manipulate. I’m hoping to get enough signatures to prove that this is a public issue, so, please, if this is important to you, please sign. Do not let our youth grow up in ignorance; we all deserve the truth!

You can sign the petition here.

You can read more articles at The Denver Post, CBS Denver (with video), and Colorado Public Radio.

Thanks to theseacaptainsdaughter for dropping a link in my inbox.

UPDATE: Over 40,000 people signed the petition, which was presented to the School Board, but this backlash to APUSH isn’t only happening in Colorado:

But at last week’s session of the Jefferson County Board of Education, hundreds of people lined up two hours in advance to get in. One man waved a copy of George Orwell’s “1984” at the board. Two high school students hauled in cardboard boxes containing 40,000 signatures to a petition they had circulated online. Another one told the five-member panel, “America was founded on what you are trying to prevent!”

Jefferson County has become ground zero for a new culture fight — this time over how to teach U.S. history to high-achieving 10th-graders.


On Sept. 19, the Texas State Board of Education went on record against allowing the new AP curriculum framework in state classrooms. Legislators and activists in South Carolina and Tennessee are discussing similar moves. And at its summer meeting in August, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution branding the curriculum “a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.”

Read More

(via zionangel)







look at this fragile delicate flower of a man look at how precarious his value and identity is wonder at the marvel that is masculinity

This makes me want to cry blood.

This is a prime example of patriarchy at work. He can’t handle holding a fucking purse for 2 fucking seconds before he has to bust out his “man bag” so he can feel validated by his male peers who are rooting him on for not wanting to be feminine. Is his ego and sense of masculinity so fragile he can’t possibly brush it with the slightest amount of femininity before he crashes and burns??

Not to mention the fact that a symbol of feminity is being equated to a literal piece of shit.

or maybe he just doesn’t want to hold a fucking purse? god fucking damn it.

You’re right. We shouldn’t for anything in the world ever think about why he wouldn’t want to hold a purse, why he would feel it’s reasonable to drop it like it’s radioactive and then treat it both like toxic waste and a shameful secret, or why an audience of men would applaud him for treating it in this way instead of just holding the thing his wife asked him to hold.

Masculinity is too fragile to withstand investigation. We must protect it at all costs.

Maybe he just doesn’t want to hold a purse?  But … he’s still holding the purse.  Literally nothing has changed except him putting up a visual barrier around it so other people cannot see it.  He’s not objecting to holding anything.  He’s objecting — fucking stupidly — to the perceptions he believes this will cause people to have of him.

Let me break it down for the hopelessly dense.

1) People might, gods forbid, think he’s gay.  Putting aside the fact that women’s clothing and accessories are not how men telegraph “I am gay,” but are ways men telegraph “I like these things and don’t see why I should not enjoy them”, what’s the problem with being seen as gay?  There’s not one, unless you think there’s something wrong with being gay.

1B) It’s shameful because it’s acting like a woman.  See above.  There’s nothing shameful about acting like a woman unless there is something shameful about BEING a woman.  Really, this should be #1, because fears of being perceived as gay are, at their root, fears of being perceived as womanly.

2) People might think he’s whipped.  This is rooted in the idea that the man is being expected to endure some sort of affront to his masculinity by holding the purse.  That he’s being asked to do something onerous, not ordinary.  Because gods forbid a man do anything for a woman, especially anything that makes him look less like a man.  There are hideous assumptions about both men and women throughout that entire ridiculous line of reasoning.  I invite you to find and list them for yourself.  Twenty-five points to the House of your choice.

I am sure there are other stupid reasons, but those are the big ones.

A “real man” who is not an emotional weakling would proudly hold that fucking purse.

A “real man” would realize it says “I have a female companion” and “I don’t mind doing the most negligible of favors for my girlfriend/wife/sister/mother/daughter/friend because I am not a giant crybaby who fears my testicles will wither and fall off like raisins if I touch girly things for five goddamn minutes”.  And a “real man” doesn’t fucking care what ignorant-ass troglodytes think of him.  A “real man” isn’t afraid, constantly, of being perceived as feminine, because he knows there is nothing shameful about being feminine.  How exactly is it insulting to be compared to a woman?  It’s not, unless you hate women.

(There is not, by the way, any such thing as a “real man”.  Hence the quotes.  I’m just using the term for the sake of argument, because “I won’t do that, I’m a REAL MAN” is such a common go-to cop-out for cowardly, testicle-clutching poltroons who think that if the stupidest tooth-sucking, stump-fucking goober on the planet looks at them and sees anything other than a REAL MAN, they are performing their masculinity wrong, and they need to start yelling “NO HOMO, BRO!”, start a Gatorade IV, and aggressively catcall the nearest available women while insisting they are a Nice Guy, or risk suffering an attack of the vapours.  Guys trying to be “real men” usually care way too much about what other people think.  They’re chickenshit.)






It’s one thing to misplace your keys, your wallet, a receipt from Macy’s or your favorite pen, but Georgia’s secretary of state cannot account for approximately 40,000 voter-registration applications that, if processed, would enfranchise predominantly black and Hispanic Georgians.

According to an Al-Jazeera report, it’s a sentiment that the staffers at Third Sector Development are expressing. The nonprofit organization was on a mission to register as many black and Hispanic people in the state of Georgia as possible so that voter turnout for the upcoming midterm elections in November would be high. And they were successful at it, until they received word that about half of the applications they submitted for processing have gone missing in action.

“Over the last few months, the group submitted some 80,000 voter-registration forms to the Georgia secretary of state’s office—but as of last week, about half those new registrants, more than 40,000 Georgians, were still not listed on preliminary voter rolls. And there is no public record of those 40,000-plus applications, according to state Rep. Stacey Adams, a Democrat,” Al-Jazeera explained.

Georgia Secretary of State Brain Kemp explained that his office is not doing anything differently from how it usually processes applications. But some people aren’t buying his story, seeing as how he’s a Republican, and black and Hispanic people tend to vote for Democrats.

Georgia Republicans have been raising eyebrows for some time now with regard to early voting and voter-ID issues. One state Republican didn’t like how black and Hispanic voters had easy access to early-voting opportunities.

The “Republican whip of the state Senate complained that DeKalb County, Ga., was making it too easy for minorities to vote by allowing early voting in an area mall close to many predominantly African-American churches,” Think Progress reports.

Third Sector Development is not taking lightly the news that no one knows what became of its hard work to get people to register to vote. The group is going to court so that a judge can look into it.

“To that end, Third Sector Development announced yesterday that, after weeks of fruitless negotiations with the state, they were going to court to find out the status of the missing registrations—or, more to the point, the eligibility of more than 40,000 potential voters,” Al-Jazeera reports.

Read more at Al-Jazeera and Think Progress.  

Source: Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele for The Root

Woooow. You see how they do??


This happened at my undergrad—the county courthouse “lost” over a hundred registration cards that had been collected on campus, because they didn’t like the idea of students voting in local elections. But this to orders of magnitude more frightening.



Help Teja and her mom keep their house







In January 2011, I moved from California to western New York state to stay with my friend Teja and her family in order to try to seek out better opportunities for myself than I had back in my hometown. It’s because of their support and generosity that I’m now fulfilling a childhood dream of living, working, and supporting myself in New York City. They’re like a second family to me, and I owe the biggest part of my success to them.

Unfortunately, Teja and her mom Christel are now facing foreclosure on their home, and don’t really have anywhere else to go if they can’t come up with the money to pay their mortgage within a month or so. Teja is about to start a new job, but even with that in place, their future is really shaky. If I had the means to pay it off myself, I would, but I can’t do more than probably a couple hundred dollars myself.

I’ve experienced such generosity from Teja and her family. Please, please help them if you can. I won’t be keeping a cent of anything that’s collected here for myself. I know that when I was personally in a really tight spot and facing homelessness in NYC myself a couple of years ago, I discovered that people can be astonishingly kind when the stakes are high. I hope that can happen again.

My friend Megan made a donation page last night - if anybody would be willing to signal boost this for us, I would be eternally grateful.  When I told my mother that 12% of the owed mortgage payments had been raised last night, she almost started to cry, and me with her.

I’ve got to take a drug test for a job I applied to, and then I should be set - though things will be tight I am sure that once I am employed making mortgage payments from here on in will be much easier for her and I - it’s just the back payments that are currently a problem for us.  When we’re faced with utility bills and car payments, the mortgage is often the first thing that goes unpaid (because it is the biggest bill - usually if she does this she pays a little bit of it but not in full, and that’s how we fall behind).

Thank you, all of you who have donated and boosted this, from the bottom of my heart.

reboggling for the dayshift

I’m sorry, guys, you’re probably gonna see me blog this a lot for the rest of the month!

The month is halfway over - please consider donating or boosting if you haven’t already!

Signal boosting this again! Please help out if you can!


YOUNG HERO: A 14-year-old Bay Area boy risked his life to enter a burning apartment to save the life of his neighbor, who is disabled. Latrell McCockran then ran back in a second time to also save the man’s dog.

look at this heroic baby!!

(Source: socialismartnature, via knitmeapony)


Racism in Italy -  Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s first black minister and target of increasing racial slurs, had bananas thrown at her while making a speech .. the lady responded coolly that it was ‘a waste of food’..  (more here)

(via knitmeapony)




Viola Davis talks about the childhood hunger problem in the U.S. at Variety’s annual Power of Women luncheon. (x)

And it never goes away.  It never, never goes away.

I grew up with immense food uncertainty.  I did all these things, and I did most of them with two much smaller sisters.  I resented them for getting to eat before I did when I was nine and they were two and three, because I was old enough to understand hunger, and they weren’t.  I hated my mother for years because we never had anything to eat, and it took until well into my adulthood to realize that she had hated herself, too.

I start asking people what they want to do about dinner starting around nine in the morning when at a convention or other vacation spot.  I need to know.  Even if the plan is just “oh, food court” or “oh, we have those leftovers,” I need someone who is not me, someone who is less wrecked over their relationship with food, to promise me that I am still allowed to eat.

It never goes away.

Childhood hunger is never satiated.

I have never been in straits quite that dire, but…there was an odd stretch of my childhood when we had very limited food. My mother was very depressed and working unspeakably long hours. Sometimes when she came home, it was easier just to let her sleep than to nag her about food. When I had exhausted cooking everything I knew how to cook (it wasn’t much) I wouldn’t eat. (I imagine she didn’t either.) We had very little money for groceries anyway. There was food in the pantry, since it was my grandmother’s house, and she’d stocked it, but it was like twenty bottles of bulk bbq sauce and expired cans of crushed tomato and stuff. I didn’t know how to turn that into food. Possibly there was no way. Some nights—this was back when you could get tacos for 39 cents at Taco Bell—we would take a dollar and eat and then she would go back to sleep.

The nadir of this came during one summer, when I didn’t have school lunches to fall back on, and so I would frequently go a day or two without eating. I didn’t really feel like I was being starved, because it was a thing I was choosing to do, to help out. I think I believed on some level that if I bothered my mother, she would find a way to fix it, I just didn’t want to bother her because she was so tired.

We got food stamps a little while after that, and it was…I can’t really explain what that was like. We couldn’t believe we were being allowed to have this much food and that it was okay. Mom cried a bit, I think. That whole summer was like we were in this weird little bubble and it wasn’t as good as other people’s bubbles, but it was suddenly so much better in there.

Anyway, TL;DR, anybody who says food stamps are for lazy people, you can unfollow me now and kindly fuck yourself on the way out.


(Source: getawaywithgifs)


Ahead of Toronto’s upcoming municipal elections, Ward 2 candidate Munira Abukar has been the target of racial hatred and vandalism. City councillors, members of the public, and other candidates have outwardly shown support for her on Twitter, including mayoral candidate Olivia Chow (who has herself been the target of racism and threats of violence on a large scale).

#IStandWithMunira trended city-wide last night, and you can donate to her campaign here to help replace the signs and pictures that have been destroyed. x

(via knitmeapony)