How to help with Texas — and what doesn’t help

Watching Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey ravage the western Gulf Coast, with no apparent intention of leaving before the entire region is under water, and feeling helpless? Reasonable. When what people need is to be literally boatlifted from their flooded homes, it’s hard to sit hundreds of miles away and feel like there’s nothing you can do to make anything better. But you can! There are things you can do to help.

Four non-Confederate-general ways to not forget history

Confederate statue enthusiasts have argued that removal of such statues amounts to an erasure of history, and that they have to remain to remind us of how bad slavery is. But believe it or not, there are ways to memorialize difficult, painful, and contentious parts of history without glorifying, for instance, generals who led the wrong side of a war to perpetuate slavery. Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park provides several examples of different ways to do this with statues and sculptures memorializing the Civil Rights movement. Individually and collectively, they send the message that bigotry is bad, and equality is good, and fighting for freedom is noble, all without putting a single Confederate general on a literal pedestal.

Yes, this is America.

This isn’t how we want America to be. This doesn’t fit into the ideals we have for America. This isn’t how we see America when we squint at it like we’re looking at a Magic Eye painting whenever reality gets scary or disappointing. But it’s America.

Because We Need It: YOU DON’T.

You know how the world sucks, and everything is bad, and the U.S. president seems to be really trying to start a nuclear war, like a kid in middle school who talks big to show off to his friends but doesn’t realize that the other kid he’s messing with is dead serious when he talks about beating the crap out of the first kid? And the tech community is all “but what if women really are genetically bad at software” and women in said community are all “but no” and the community is all “hush woman, [DEATH THREAT]?” Well, here’s a guy on Twitter asking how to hit on a woman in the gym whose headphones should be an obvious sign that she DOES NOT WANT YOU TO DO THAT.

Notes From My Boner: Man Courageously Finds Wife Attractive

So this dude posted on Instagram with a photo of him and his wife at the beach and a lengthy note about his love for her “thick” thighs, ass, and waistline. And I know he’s gotten a lot of positive attention and that a lot of women (his wife included, thank God) see it as the most romantic thing in the world. But a dude getting infinite back pats because he finds his own wife attractive? The post is mostly about his love for big butts.

Because We Need It: The gentlelady from California reclaims her time

Representative Maxine Waters (D-California) has long been known for her firm and outspoken views, even more so since Donald Trump emerged as a presidential contender. Most recently, she’s been celebrated for her interaction with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during his testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee. Mnuchin made it clear from the beginning that he was going to provide meaningless drivel in place of real answers, and Rep. Waters made it clear that she knew exactly what he was doing and that she literally didn’t have time for that.