Majority
Saturday November 12th 2022, 9:09 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

We did it. They just called Nevada. 50 in the Senate. Done.

All those people in Georgia who told reporters that yes, Walker was a terrible candidate but they were going to vote for him anyway for the sake of Republican control of the Senate–

–but now that that’s not happening, they can vote in the runoff for a person they want to be able to proudly tell their grandkids years from now that they had. Because Warnock is a profoundly decent human being who puts people first, and we will only learn more about that as these next six years happen.

So very kind of you to take such good care of those conflicted Georgians, Nevada. Thank you.



14th them
Wednesday November 09th 2022, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Politics

I was trying to see if Colorado had had the good sense to kick out their Rep who failed her GED exam multiple times and who gave guided tours of the lower-floor hallways to some of the Jan. 6ers the day before the attack on the Capitol.

I keep waiting for the justice system to hold all the insurrectionists ineligible for public office per Amendment 14 of this thing we call the Constitution. Only one has been so far–but it’s a start.

She’s down by 64 votes with 1% left to count.

But what that search led me to that I hadn’t heard about was that Colorado had a ballot measure (with a 10 point lead tonight) to tax the richest to pay for school lunches for all kids. Across the board. So that getting a free lunch wouldn’t be a stigma to be avoided, so that kids wouldn’t go hungry for the sake of peer pressure, but instead they and everybody else would simply pick up their tray and go sit with their friends to eat. Food would just be food, and much of it would be locally produced, helping out Colorado farmers as well.

I remember how surprised I was in high school when a friend mentioned she had to be at school early. I asked why?

She didn’t want the word to get out, but, she was eligible for a free breakfast as well as lunch.

I didn’t even know they did breakfasts.

She never told me any details about the boats and the guns and the escape and the ones who didn’t make it and having to learn a new language in a place where only a few classmates looked like her. She simply showed up one day, along with a few others, studied hard and learned fast and was friends with everyone who showed the least bit of kindness, grateful to be welcomed and safe and out of the war.

I was so proud of Maryland for doing right by the most vulnerable.

California just voted down a tax on the richest to pay for wildfire protection and electric charging stations after the governor said the rich would just leave.

But wait. If all the states asked those who’ve benefited the most from our political system to contribute a more just share towards maintaining it, where exactly would they all go?

After all, (looking at Boebert) the US has some of the cheapest politicians campaign contributions can buy.

For now.



Election night
Tuesday November 08th 2022, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Politics

The politicians are playing musical chairs and racing around those last few unclaimed seats but the music’s about to stop.

And it looks for this moment like, welcome to the new Congress, pretty much the same as the old Congress.

There isn’t a word for relieved+exasperated, but there should be. Exasperieved?



In order to form a more perfect union
Monday November 07th 2022, 10:28 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Tuesday we the voters decide whom the faces of our states will be before the rest of the country:  whom we choose and thus who *we* are.

Destruction of the social good? Of the election process? Overt fascism like my father put his life on the line to fight against to the death if need be?

How many people cheering on those committed to ending Medicare and Social Security are thinking this through? Why do the grandmothers need to starve in the streets so that (name any oligarch) can become even more twisted in their substitution of money and power for human empathy and connection?

Why do women have to be afraid of pregnancy for fear that a miscarriage will land them in jail? This has already happened. But only to women who aren’t white.

Do we want a Beto O’Rourke who drove to every county in Texas to meet and listen to people he knew would never vote for him, but whose voices he wanted to hear in hopes that he could represent them well? Who tried to make the gravity of the power of the Senate a personal responsibility both for him and for those whom he met up with? Who made democracy feel real?

Or Herschel Walker, who held a gun to his ex-wife’s head and threatened to kill her? Who paid for his girlfriend’s abortion and tried to coerce a second but would throw you in jail if you had one? Is there anybody that thinks that man would put anybody else’s anything before himself?

More just. More united. More committed to the ideals of democracy. To supporting and cheering on one another as our fellow Americans. United we can stay standing.

The Ukrainians have gotten a taste of what it’s like to have people in power with integrity who care passionately about them and about their country, and they want to preserve that with everything they’ve got.

We should, too, and all we have to wield is a ballot.

We can do this.

VOTE.



Vote!
Saturday November 05th 2022, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Politics

We did it. We delivered our ballots at City Hall. It felt so deeply satisfying to know we’d done our part. The rain let up for the time it took to walk from the car and back before setting in again as if cheering us on.

Now we wait.



Unbelievable
Friday October 28th 2022, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Politics

The mail came.

Rarely does a political flier at election season bother me enough to make me go, WHAAAAAT?

He claims our House Representative, a Democrat well known locally because she’s worked hard these many years at serving her constituents, is in cahoots with Kevin McCarthy to destroy Medicare.  And to back himself up he references his Mercury News op-ed, offering a link to–notice, not at the Merc but his website. Data harvesting R Us.

I’m on her mailing list. I know for a fact that if she’d had her way we’d have Medicare for all by now, but that she’s also a pragmatist who was thrilled to see Obamacare pass. She wrote part of it!

I searched every way I could think of on the Merc’s site, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but clearly there is no such op-ed there. Even just searching his name and the word Medicare–zero results. He’s lying again.

So having run against her before and lost, now he thinks he just wasn’t dishonest enough? Wow wow and wow.

I have friends who got audited year after year, who got told their quarterly tax payments hadn’t arrived even though they had the stamped registered mail proving they had and pictures of themselves handing the envelopes to the postal clerks. An offhand comment made it clear that one agent took great exception to the (completely innocuous) name of one of them, and they finally in desperation called our Rep’s office.

She promptly slapped an investigation on the local IRS office.

And suddenly everything was resolved and they were told that yes, in fact, they had indeed done everything correctly and on time. Then it happened again the next year. All they had to do was call our Rep and the problem vanished before the investigation even started that time. There was never a problem again.

And nobody knew about it except my very grateful friends, our Rep, and her staff. (And me, because the wife spilled the story one day.) Just part of the job.

Can you imagine, say, Ms. Jewish (sic) Space Lasers bothering with the likes of you if there’s not a camera involved?

We have to pay attention in this election. We have to do our homework. We *have* to vote!

The guy is right about one thing: McCarthy has said outright that he wants to do away with Medicare and Social Security and that if the House goes Republican he will do everything he can to make that happen. Not to expand healthcare to all but to yank it away from all. The rich can live but the rest of you, die, suckers, and women, especially. That’s. What. That. Means.

Roe Roe Roe your vote. And remember that every office matters.



Our ballots arrived a couple of days ago
Sunday October 16th 2022, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Politics

An official letter was read to the congregation today: a reminder that the Church is officially neutral on all things political, but asking that members consider the words and teachings and example of Jesus Himself: to seek for those who try to live by His message of love and empathy towards all others, be that office-seeker of whatever or no religion they may.

(And then get out there and do right by your fellow citizens and VOTE.)

I will add here that, Utah notwithstanding, the actual stance of the Mormon Church on abortion is that although it is highly discouraged in cases that are not medically necessary, it is ultimately rightfully only the choice of the woman, her doctor, and her God.



Bottled sunshine
Friday October 07th 2022, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,History,Politics

Anne gets the thanks for this one. A note from her got me looking: Ukraine is of course known for its sunflowers and as a large producer of sunflower oil.

What happens when you grow lots and lots of big bright yellow flowers?

You get lots and lots of honeybees.

I had no idea that Ukraine produces 10% of the world’s honey, although of course they do; it’s just that most of it never makes it over the ocean to here.

In the US, Congress has allowed corporations to adulterate both olive oil and honey and to sell deliberately mislabeled blends as the real thing. If you’re allergic to corn like a nephew of mine, that’s kind of a big deal on both counts. Can we please vote in people who care about people?

Which is why it’s wonderful to find a company that tracks its sources down to the individual farmers and verifies that what they’re passing on to their customers is nothing but true pure honey. (Re the olive oil: California’s law requiring Californian-grown organic extra virgin olive oil to only be that has been grandfathered in. That one you can trust.)

So. Anne found a jar of Ukrainian sunflower honey from a company that not only does that source tracing but is donating 100% of profits for it to World Food Kitchen and to Medical Teams International’s efforts on behalf of Ukrainian refugees in Moldova.

Even with the FedEx shipping, that sixpack of bottles comes to $12.50 per two-pound jar. The local stuff I’ve been buying is a dollar an ounce.

Do you have friends who need Ukrainian sunflowers in a jar for Christmas? Some of mine suddenly do. And it’s already here on our side of the ocean. While the money heads over there where it’s so badly needed.



The tantrum
Thursday June 30th 2022, 9:37 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Curious. So, reading this, the Trumps’ effort at adding their chosen White House china to the history books failed even though there’s a group that that’s what they do, they assist The First Spouse in designing, ordering, and stocking a set for each new incoming administration.

Because what they wanted cost too much (I remember when Laura Bush was criticized for spending nearly half a mil) and was taking too long for the couple to bother with anymore.

The Obamas’ set? With its Pacific rim? (How did the reporter miss that pun just begging to leap onto the page after they said the blue was for the waters of Hawaii?) Or any slightest suggestion of blue states? No way.

But Hilary Clinton’s included “ornate, shiny gold plates” and it even matched a certain someone’s favorite commode. Well there you go.

Puts a new angle on the former guy’s smashing the porcelain against the wall, doesn’t it? He was trying to dish it to Hilary’s place at the table.

I think if she’d had any idea who would be coming later she’d have picked something with blue, too.

It’s not hard to think he must have wanted solid gold or at least gold-plated plates, and that if he’d gotten them, they’d be at Mar-a-Lago now even though they would have been White House property.

But he couldn’t have it, and he was no longer going to be invited to dinner, so he broke hers.

Well. He did say he was going to beat china.

 

(Props to an unknown person on FB for that last sentence.)



Friends time to the rescue
Wednesday June 29th 2022, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Friends,Politics

1.My friend Karen is as much a political junkie as I am, raised by activist parents, and she was itching to talk about yesterday’s hearing and asked if she could come on over. We ended up talking for hours and solving the problems of the world; now all the politicians have to do is listen to us and they and we are golden. Right?

2. I thought I’d fill out my Real ID application as long as I was on the DMV site paying the car registration. I think their user interface was designed by unpaid interns–it was just so badly written. C’mon, California, you’ve got Silicon Valley right here, you can do better than this. You shouldn’t have to guess on what they meant to say vs what they did say while you’re jumping through hoops. Aargh.

Which means, 3. I’ll finish that tomorrow because there are only so many hours in the day and I’ve about run out of this one’s.



Needles and threads, too
Monday June 27th 2022, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,History,Life,Politics

I got a message.

San Diego Jennifer, whom we adore from when she was in law school at Stanford, said she was flying into town for a wedding but there was a problem with her bridesmaid dress and did I have or did I know who had a sewing machine she could use for a few minutes and could we hopefully possibly get to see each other?

It’s been about ten years. I miss her. YES!

When she said what time she’d be getting off the plane I mentioned that it was our anniversary and what time our dinner was set for. She said she could come tomorrow.

Oh what the heck, she came today and when she ran out of time she borrowed the sewing machine, but not till we’d had a great time catching up for far too short a time. Her friend who’d picked her up from the airport got invited in too because of course.

I offered them peaches from Andy’s.

I got to see the complete surprise on Jennifer’s face as her eyes flew open and then closed in ecstasy at that first bite. Her friend’s reaction to her own was simply, Wow. When I offered a second peach, the friend hadn’t been going to ask by any means but she was sure glad to take me up on it.

I sent them off with another two for the road. Those peaches are at their very most perfect today and they should be enjoyed just like that.

Our dinner arrived minutes later. I’d ordered it delivered so that there wouldn’t be any last minute tension or scramble, it would just come, and turns out Richard’s meeting, the real wild card in all this, had gone over. So it was just as well we weren’t wrecking a restaurant’s reservation schedule.

So: 42: Life, the Universe, and he’s my Everything.

Richard’s family had served all the raspberries anybody could eat at our wedding breakfast. His grandfather had a quarter acre berry patch in Northwest Washington, DC in what’s now the Obamas’ neighborhood, where in the 1930s he’d bought the plot next door as well as the one he built his house on and forever after refused to sell it because that was his garden and his raspberry patch. He was born a farm boy and wanted to work some land. (Even if he was the lawyer who wrote the laws governing the new Federal Radio Commission, which became the FCC with him as chairman at one point and–I need to ask my sister-in-law to be absolutely sure, but our memory is that he was the author of the Fairness Doctrine.)

Yesterday’s recipe? We ate it for breakfast. It had to be raspberries. Go Grampa H.

And I get a second visit with Jennifer when she brings the sewing machine back. We’ve made an appointment to go out to lunch.

—-

Before I forget, for those who missed the announcement. The January 6 committee said today that they had new information and were holding an emergency hearing at 1:00 Eastern Tuesday, with some of them flying back to DC for it after having gone home for the Congressional recess.

It should be interesting.



The hearings need the listenings
Thursday June 16th 2022, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Politics

The third January 6 hearing today: I missed part of the second due to the time zone difference–I was not getting up at  6 a.m., thanks. But listening to bits and snippets afterwards of what reporters thought were the main points just didn’t have the same effect as listening to the whole thing start to finish.

One of the things about being hearing impaired since my teens is a need to see someone’s face when they’re talking. It’s not just the words that matter, it’s how they feel about those words as they’re saying them and I wanted to know.

I remember the chapter in Dad’s book about the wealthy Texas oilman turned art collector who could never be fooled by frauds and fakes as long as his deaf wife was alive. She could always tell if the seller believed his own words–or not.

And man did he get swindled after she was gone.

There is such an enormity to the story of our first violent transfer of power in history, and it felt last time like a dereliction of democracy not to have paid attention to the entire hearing.

So today’s, I did. (With the quick exception of answering one email while the retired judge was choosing his words very carefully as history watched, and v e r y  slowly.)

I wanted to say to some of the people involved in this mess, Didn’t your parents teach you to make choices that you would always be glad to publicly acknowledge you’d made? Didn’t they tell you that cheaters always get caught–if not by anyone else then by their own consciences, and that feels even worse? How not putting that burden on yourself, much less others, is far more the way to go in life, hon?

“Get yourself an f’in good criminal defense attorney, John, because you’re going to need one.”

And not just him.

Man, am I grateful for my folks.

——-

(Dad’s book, The Fabulous Frauds, got him and the publisher sued by one of the forgers who was still alive but hiding from the French authorities in South America. The book got republished without that chapter and another the publisher was antsy about, so if you’re interested in it at all, the purple Weybright and Talley imprint is the one you’d want. But in one of the other stories, someone did copy the Mona Lisa about a hundred years ago, stole the original and put their fake in its place and nobody noticed for a week or two. –edit: two years.–  No worries, the Louvre got the real deal back and held him accountable.

Wait. There’s an analogy lurking in there.)



Follow up
Wednesday May 11th 2022, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life,Politics

So this post is a little like the fledgling finch I watched trying to land on the newest leaves of an apricot seedling today: kind of flapping its wings all over the place with its feet flailing before flitting off thataway.

Pete Buttigieg, talking sense and being reasonable on the whole Roe issue before the Court.

Last night I was going to start Gansey squares above the brim next on the requested gray hat–when all that other stuff happened. I took it to the emergency dental appointment because you just never know.

But my brain was just not doing patterns. Stockinette on auto-repeat only.

Just need to decrease at the top now.

My new Skacel olivewood needles showed up for tomorrow’s highly anticipated new start in brighter yarns and I’ve never had olive ones before. I know it’s a particularly dense wood. If you’ve tried them I’d be curious to hear what you think.

(And yesterday’s post should have been titled, Another one bites the dust. I think my brain is back.)

I took a gross picture of my face. My husband, with better lighting, took a grosser one and sent it to all the kids. Um, thanks I guess?

The new dentist called this evening to follow up to make sure things were okay. I like this guy.



Arrivederci
Friday March 11th 2022, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Life,Politics

Tony and I couldn’t talk politics at all, but we could definitely talk fruit trees with enthusiasm.

I’m pretty sure he would have loved watching one of my apricot seedlings grow up, knowing he was nourishing something both rare and the best to be found. He loved to cook, and he would have done really great things with those in a few years.

But it was not to be. Last night our Italian friend peacefully passed on at a ripe old age as his beloved garden was starting its new season of blossoms and green and fruit and growth for his wife and daughter to hold him close by.



An interesting Thanksgiving table
Friday February 25th 2022, 10:07 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

This made a good metaphor for the moment–sometimes you *do* have to push the bear away that’s threatening your loved ones, even when it has claws and you don’t. (BBCnews link.)

Meantime, Pres. Biden’s Supreme Court pick for the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is married to a man whose twin is married to the sister of former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s wife. Ryan praised her intellect, her character, and her integrity (his description) today.

We’re going to have a great Justice on the Court.

Such a strong, strange-feeling mixture in the headlines this week.