Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cooking for my Mom

"These are the ingredients of a memory that’s neither eulogy nor miracle. Stock, wine, garlic, onion and fat. Heat, cancer, childhood, sorrow and love. I wish I could cook for her again."

Today in The Washington Post.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Biscuits!

I'm still figuring out the relationship between my blog and posts on my patreon site. My wife and I are so grateful for all the love and financial help in this difficult moment, so she wrote up her biscuit recipe. It's amazing (she's a pro). Happy eating. Post open to all (but if you had 2$ a month to spare to support my writing and her recipe development, we'd be grateful).

Friday, November 16, 2018

HQ2 Shows Whats Possible

Whenever I argue about universal healthcare, building a robust safety net, fully empowering people with disabilities to live lives based on maximum autonomy, or otherwise articulate a vision in which government alleviates suffering, I get one answer - oh yeah! How are we gonna pay for it!

But the obscene spectacle of governments competing for Amazon's second headquarters shows what's possible when leaders feel the payoff is worth it and the political price for not competing would be too high.

Now just imagine those resources were expended on making life better for people who need help, rather than building infrastructure to enforce income inequality.

A man can dream. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

50 (white) Mums and 50 (white) kids with Down syndrome

This is a very pretty and hyper viral (4 million views) PSA of UK mothers and their kids with Down syndrome. It's cute. It was well crafted for virality. But there's one big problem ....




... all of the kids present as white.

I don't know the racial demographics of Down syndrome in the UK (anyone have those). The UK is about 80% "white." Down syndrome appears in all ethnicities, so it's likely that at least 20% of the people with Down syndrome in the UK are not white. These mums all met online, so what we have here is an example of racial stratification in the UK Down syndrome community. That's true in the US, too, of course, where white parents dominate the fundraising and messaging around Down syndrome. It's made the global image of Down syndrome into a cute while child. That's just got to change.

The stakes, in fact, are life and death. Black people with Down syndrome die much earlier than white people.
There's nothing wrong with this video. It's cute. But if you're going to feature 50 families, think about diversity and representation.

(Note: I have a new patreon. You can support my work here.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Joe Biden Gives George W. Bush A Medal

For Veteran's Day, Joe Biden gave a "liberty medal" to George W. Bush. He said nice things about being "the opposition, not the enemy."

George W. Bush is directly responsible for the deaths and maiming of tens of thousands of U.S. troops and perhaps as many as a million Iraqis, the loss of trillions of dollars, the corrupt dealings with profiteers like Halliburton and Blackwater, and the lack of support for soldiers with PTSD leading to a massive suicide crisis. And oh yes, he also put on a flight suit. "Mission accomplished," I guess.

There are plenty of other things to argue about regarding W.'s legacy, but when it comes to war and veterans, he surely deserves no praise.

So what is Biden, who wants to be president, doing? I assume that he believes his own message, but also believes that Democratic primary voters will reward centrism, reward outreach to perceived moderate Republican voters and draw a line between W. and Trump.

I, a Democratic primary voter, disagree. As I said in the Twitter thread, W. is a better person than Trump in terms of personal characteristics, and by the time Trump is out of office he may do much more damage than W., but that hasn't happened yet.

(Note: I have a new patreon. You can support my work here.)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Voting Rights Now

My first piece for HuffPost Opinions:
“Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his decision in Shelby County v. Holder. Congress had reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by a 98-0 Senate vote and a gaping 390-33 tally in the House, but in 2013 the Supreme Court’s conservative justices voted 5-4 to strike down its key pre-authorization provision.
The result has been predictable ― systematic disenfranchisement of voters across the South and beyond, undoubtedly contributing to the defeat of Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Georgia (the latter is still being contested), and perhaps even enabling Ted Cruz in Texas to keep his Senate seat.
Now that Democrats have reclaimed the House and key governor’s mansions, and flipped hundreds of state legislative seats, we have a chance to do something about it. It’s time for them to go all-in on the universal right to transparent and accessible voting.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Stimming Beauty

My son stims with beads. Most people see just a boring repetitive moment. But slow it down. Watch. Set it to Bach. #Neurodiversity #DownSyndrome #Autism #Parenting (Note: My son approves of this video).



Monday, October 29, 2018

Murder in Kentucky

I mostly share pieces now via Twitter and Facebook, but am going to make a new site to share stories (Both mine and those of others) soon! Just waiting to see what next year brings at Pacific Standard. Meanwhile, here's my latest:
Read it all here.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Hutch for Sheriff

New at Pacific Standard:

Hutchinson wants to show respect toward groups that feel excluded and bring them into the conversation. "I agree that black lives matter," he says. "They [community groups including BLM] deserve a voice and deserve to be heard."
If elected, Hutchinson may have one advantage when it comes to drawing in the diverse groups that make up Hennepin County: his own identity as a gay man. He doesn't fold his sexuality into his pitch, which remains focused on policing and basic issues of justice—but he also doesn't hide it. He mentions his husband, Justin, within the first few minutes of our conversation, and when I ask him later about the impact of his sexuality on his politics, he grows reflective. "I understand what it's like to be not in the majority," but he adds he has also learned that people turn out to be pretty accepting of differences, once they get to know you. "I was outed a few years ago when [someone] sent pictures of Justin and I getting married to all these old cops. Everyone was completely cool. Most cops are great people who don't give a crap as long as you do your job."
"As sheriff it shouldn't matter. It will matter to some," he admits, but the core issue for him is that he has learned to treat everyone the same. As Hutchinson says, "If you're a person in Hennepin County, you shouldn't be treated any differently because of who you love, what you look like, where you're born, who you pray to, whether you have disabilities or not. Hennepin County, we're a community. We're better together"