Today is Election Day
Tuesday November 08th 2016, 10:28 am
Filed under: Politics

Missed my blogging time last night because we were, for the final time, going over the very long California ballot item by item, talking it out. We don’t agree on quite everything except for how important it is to get out there and be heard.

The polls here close at 8 pm, but if you’re in line by then they have to let you participate. Please. VOTE!



VOTE!!!
Wednesday October 19th 2016, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Politics

The final debate.

After all the things that man has said, after all the times he’s been in-your-face dishonest, denying having said things he’s just been reminded are on video or tape of him saying, projecting onto all his opponents along the way anything that he himself is guilty of. Even after he encouraged his followers to assassinate, well, it wasn’t clear if it was Hillary or judges she appoints or both.

When Chris Wallace invoked the great power of American history being our peaceful transitions of power, that that has always been so, and asked the candidates if they would accept the results of the election.

He answered angrily, I’m not going to tell you.

I thought I had heard everything I might ever hear out of that man but in that moment my jaw hit the floor, stunned, and I turned to Richard: Did you HEAR that?!

When Wallace pressed him again, he snarled, I’m going to keep you in suspense.

That right there was a flat-out no. No he didn’t want to and no he won’t. Anything that wasn’t an immediate, stunned, who-do-you-think-I-am Of course I would! shows exactly what he thinks of the American people if they don’t give him everything he covets, all the power, all the prestige, all the glory that he so believes belong to him and him alone.

And in that moment he treated us all, every single American, the whole world, like he treats–all his accusers aside, we have heard it with our own ears from his own mouth–women.

 

(Note: post edited to banish his name from my space.)



What do we want our children to think power looks like?
Sunday October 09th 2016, 11:28 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

I watched the debate. I watched the Republican candidate doing everything he could to physically stalk and literally belittle his opponent, noting which camera was on and moving in so as to be seen towering right behind her almost any time she was speaking. The camera moved? So did he. Its attention could only be on him.

Any woman who has ever had to deal with a seriously creepy guy (and that’s probably all of us, isn’t it?) would instantly recognize what he was doing. He violated her space; he tried to intimidate her; he leaned over and held her chair, which was shorter than his. Dominating, glowering, threatening.

But that was the least of it.

I’m going to let Ezra Klein of Vox take it from here.



Playing ketchup
Wednesday September 21st 2016, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Knitting a Gift,Politics

Lots of waiting times today, part of what happens when you only have one car and (helpfully delayed) appointments six cities apart. And the lab. And the…

How much time?

This much, minus the half-repeat I started it with several days ago and the two hours added this evening. Cashmere, about 50g worth of tomato-colored, knitted on 3.5mm needles. About 13″x9″measured flat. Done!

Meantime, I got an email purporting to be from an organization I’m familiar with but from an email address I am not, saying that I needed to check my voter registration.

Given that there were a number of Democrats who showed up at the primary polls in Arizona to find their party affiliation scrubbed from the records–including an official from said party who likewise found herself disenfranchised despite having been on the rolls for years–yeah, not a bad idea.

But I wasn’t about to click through their links. Who knows…

So we went to California’s Secretary of State site, clicked on our county, found Voter Registration, and on that secure site found ourselves verified as registered to vote, and since it’s not the primary, party doesn’t matter so we stopped searching at that point. We can always verify at the polls.

But we felt it was worth checking.



Defensible thing to do
Thursday August 04th 2016, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Politics

Another ripe fig, and again, very very good.

On a totally different tangent, that title is both a pun and a statement.

I remember a conversation with my favorite high school teacher, Bill Cormeny, the one time I got to see him after I’d graduated from college, gotten married, and, you know, all that grown up-type stuff. He taught history, my mom was in the school’s English department and I was back visiting that day.

He found out my husband was in grad school and thoroughly approved: being married and in school? That’s the way to start out! Teaches you what’s important! Teaches you humility! Teaches you–he chuckled knowingly–poverty.

Man ain’t that the truth. I think this was when we were living on $600-something a month, rent on campus was $200 and we had been married a few years and had an infant. The memorable splurge of a year was when we bought a carton of ice cream. Many times over the years since I’ve reflected on his words and reminded myself to keep holding onto his wisdom, to not let materialism trip me up, because he was right.

That child of ours sent a link today that reminded me of that good man. I’m sure he would love to hear this little bit of new history.

Missouri’s governor with his vetoes was not obeying Missouri’s state constitutional requirement to keep the public defender’s office funded.

I wonder if he ever had to make do on a fellowship with a wife and child, if he ever learned… At least in grad school you have the relief of knowing it’s a temporary thing, but still.

After a lot of wrangling and being ignored, the head of that state office finally hit on a novel solution. The law said he could appoint any member of the bar there to take part if the poor were going unrepresented, and so he did: he ordered Governor Nixon himself to serve in a case.

I like it.



It’ll be YUUUUUGE
Monday May 30th 2016, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Politics

Heaven is finding out that not only is Bernie Sanders doing a rally in Silicon Valley, he is doing so a two-minute stroll from my house.

Some may remember that my oldest used to live in Vermont. Sanders was her Senator, and before that he’d been mayor of the town, which sets at the edge of Lake Champlain.

That waterfront was coveted by developers who knew that view could command big bucks.

Sanders said no: once it’s gone it’s gone forever. He rallied the town around the idea that it had always been for everybody and it should stay that way. The hotels could be built further out. They could even have more reasons for people to want to book rooms in them: and so the waterfront was made a park with biking and hiking trails, and that is why, snow levels and all, Burlington recently got named the #1 nicest city in the country to live in. And let me tell you, it is gorgeous.

I liked Sanders’ vote against the Iraq war and his willingness to stand up for what he felt was right again and again–coupled with a willingness in The Amendment King to reach across the aisle to make small changes for the better when the big ones were out of reach. Ethics and practicality both.

I don’t agree with all his planks. And yes, he could stand to freshen up his stump speech and I wish he were younger. But I value his character and his experiences, going all the way back to his Civil Rights Movement arrest.

I paid each year’s college tuition in the late ’70’s with summer jobs; my daughter paid $60,000 tuition for a one-year grad school program. The cost of living did not go up by a hundred times in between to justify that. I don’t know that public university tuition should be free but it should definitely be a lot more like it was when the Greatest Generation was sending its kids off to college. You want people to be able to choose to get ahead, you make it so they can.

Anyway. So. Sanders is having a rally and it’s right there and how could it possibly get more convenient then that?!

Hell is finding out…

…that it’s at the same day and time that you were going to be leaving for the airport.

And remembering all those news stories of people camping out in line before dawn.

All those thousands and thousands of people trying to find a place to park will also be hoping for a two-minute walk. From my street. Whether security will be stopping cars to this far out I have no idea, I’ve never been through this before.

I’m missing getting to see the guy who likely won’t win at this point, but whose voice–and ours–still matters. There have been a lot of Presidential-contest losers whose ideas still won out over time because enough people wanted them to.

This guy champions my grandchildrens’ future and I have long wanted to see him in person to cheer him on.

Only for you, Daddy. Gladly, for you, Daddy. Happy 90th. I love you. Mwah!



Uncle Bob
Thursday May 05th 2016, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Politics

Some of the best notes of the day:

Here–wait, nope, what lives on Facebook wants to stay on Facebook. Scott Howell recounting a conversation to the Utah Debate Commission. Let me summarize.

When Uncle Bob got primaried by the Tea Party, he went home that night feeling very low. Went into his study (and I can just picture him in that big brown leather chair there) and tried to fathom what had just happened.

The phone rang.

He wasn’t going to answer it. And yet, something about it… He picked up the phone rather in spite of himself.

“This is Barack…” Our President told him how sorry he was to hear about the election and said he wanted to thank him for his service to his state and his country, for his willingness to reach across the aisle to listen and to work with his colleagues. He left my uncle feeling that he had been the right person in the right place at the right time when it had mattered.

That phone call made such a difference to Uncle Bob.

And then there was this release.

One more thing: my cousin Jim added that when President Obama found out that Uncle Bob’s cancer had metastasized, he sent him a handwritten note. Personal, comforting, just a lovely thing to do, because he wanted to reach out to his old friend. Again.



On Good Friday
Friday March 25th 2016, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Garden,History,Life,Politics

The Tangy Green Columnar from two angles. Most apples don’t need a pollinator but it does, and so the Yellow Transparent gave up a twig with the same stages of blooming this evening.

Meantime, in politics…

Time Magazine did a photo shoot with the Republican candidate (his unmentionable name deleted) with a Bald Eagle for their cover–it was only later that they released the footage of the eagle starting to attack him as he rears back and away. (Scroll down slightly to the GIF to skip the ad in the video.)

A video that’s a lot more fun: in the middle of a large campaign rally today, a Pine Siskin flies to Bernie Sanders’ “A future to believe in” sign and, resting on that perch, turns its head to get a good look at the candidate. At 56 seconds in, it flies  towards Bernie himself before veering upwards in no particular hurry, not having minded the sounds of the crowd in any of this. (And I have seen how they zoom away when a hawk arrives. That one was not afraid.)

I love Bernie’s delight as he stops right there to take in and appreciate what life has suddenly brought him, his laugh for the sheer joy of it.

I was pulling weeds tonight just a few feet from the patio when an Oregon junco flew in beside me. A Bewick’s wren came from the other direction and joined in.

Wild things know.



The back stabbers
Monday March 07th 2016, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Garden,Politics

You start with one seed sprouting. The new plant sends out runners that create new plants all around it, and new around them, the leaves gradually weaving under and over with more baby plants squeezing into every available space till it’s hard to find where one starts under there to get your fingers under all the leaves of just that one to give it a good hard effective yank. Out.

Invoke your Citizens United metaphor here–or not.

Picturing my grandchildren walking across the sharp-spiked seedheads and crying for pain spurred me to keep going no matter how tired I got: it wasn’t raining, I was only coughing a little bit, don’t stop.

Gasping for breath is not a good sign. I did stop and went inside and put my feet up. I was able to stand it for about five minutes, then I got right back to it–I don’t want poisons, I can’t afford, not in money nor energy, to cover the whole back yard in mulch. Go.

I think I freed us of about fifty pounds’ worth and glancing back at last Tuesday’s post, I’d forgotten I’d gotten nearly this much out that day, too–before I started today you would never have known that. Darn. I did clear out one entire patch. I have to win.



A debate and a gesture
Thursday March 03rd 2016, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Life,Politics

We were watching the Republican debate tonight. Marco Rubio’s voice was getting hoarser and hoarser and he looked like he’d felt better (but then it’s easy for me to think that way when I’ve been waking up with a stiff fever all week, gradually settling mostly down over the course of each day.) He was less, if I dare use the word Trump has politicized, energetic.

So. At the end, John Kasich walked across the front of the stage to go shake Rubio’s hand at the other end. Trump, though, standing right next to Rubio, totally beat him to it.

I guffawed at what happened next: so Rubio shook Trump’s hand, but then as Rubio turned to Kasich there was a moment’s briefest exchange between the two men and Rubio, with Kasich moving a split second behind in kind, bent their arms and reached their elbows towards each other.

I so recognized that. I was on a chemo drug for six and a half years. I always shook elbows. I still do sometimes (and should, given my immune train wreck.)

Trump would have found a way to twist such a gesture into an insult and a rebuke of his opponent and he would never have understood doing something that might convey the slightest whiff of vulnerability. In front of the cameras! Trump got the ordinary handshake he wanted.

Kasich and Rubio exchanged smiles and comraderie in their moment while Rubio was looking out for the other guy, hoping to protect Kasich from his germs. I’m no fan of Rubio for many reasons and would never vote for him. But I have to say, that split-second decision spoke well of him.



Throwing dirt
Saturday February 13th 2016, 11:48 pm
Filed under: History,Politics,Wildlife

Those leaves at upper center aren’t in front of the fence: they’re under it. That’s a skunk-size hole. I can stop feeling guilty now for cinnamoning the root-eaters over to the neighbors’ garden. Gophers beware. (Besides, how often do you get to cheer on a skunk?)

Meantime, wow, what a news day. My condolences to Justice Scalia’s family and friends.

I can talk about money being the megaphone rather than the actual speech another day.

So. About that Republican debate tonight where Rafael Eduardo Cruz was talking about his dad’s humble underwear and Trump was yelling LIAR! at Jeb when he wasn’t yelling it louder at Cruz and he almost, almost threw in the pants on fire part and you just knew he wanted to and Rubio got into a shouting match with Ted and Jeb and back to Trump… Cruz accusing Rubio of saying things in Spanish on Univision and Rubio shooting back, “You don’t speak Spanish!”

Dig a little deeper, guys, keep going–as Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian put it, Some Jerry Springer guests have more decorum, this is great fun to watch!



We’ll see tomorrow
Tuesday February 02nd 2016, 12:15 am
Filed under: Life,Politics

I’ve never watched the Iowa caucus results like this before. It’s past two am their time and they’re still counting!

Clinton, Bernie, O’Malley: 695, 693, and 8 SDEs, ie State Delegate Equivalents, and yes, I had to go look up how the caucuses are done in the two parties in Iowa and it is a strange system and also one that denies any sense of privacy in one’s voting.

Clinton hits 696… Wait, Sanders is at 692 now? Did it go down? Can it go down? Did I see it wrong a moment there or did it really do that? Huh.

Meantime, the phone rang this evening. The oven comes tomorrow morning.



Snow job
Monday January 25th 2016, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Politics

Grabbed what was closest and softest to hand from my stash and knitted up a third of the first skein of Woolfolk Far while watching the Iowa town hall meeting tonight. After shivering in DC last week I was stuffing that cabled yarn onto size 4mm needles for a thickly-knit cowl.

Which happens to be in black, because that’s what there was. The sooner I finish it the happier my eyes will be but the longer my hands get to caress it the happier they’ll be.

The Democratic National Committee had threatened the candidates that they would be banned from future official debates if they set up their own, so instead they took that stage and the questions from the audience one candidate at a time, competing in the immediate sense only with themselves, connecting better with those who’d come to see who they were. I liked it.

Meantime, in solidarity with the good folks back home trying to dig out of their record-breaking blizzard, one of my peach trees broke out in a bit of spring for them. The name of the variety? Tropic Snow.



Full context on time-delay
Sunday December 20th 2015, 12:07 am
Filed under: Politics

Oh, so that’s what happened.

I was reading someone’s complaint that the Democratic candidates’  debate that was supposed to start at 5 pm Eastern didn’t at all because the pundits spent the first half hour guessing what was going to be said, making everybody wait on them. And yeah, I might have been annoyed had I set aside the time to watch it–which I would have, had we been home.

But that delay is why we got to see the last half hour of it after we got back from a friend’s Christmas party.

When it was over, I tried to see if anyone had the full video available yet. Nope–only Clinton’s, and only Clinton’s, opening statement. Curious. Eh, wait a day or two. And now there are highlights posted. I don’t want highlights and pundits: I want to see all of what the candidates said, how they said it, and how they responded to each other so that nobody’s making my decision but me.



Well, this is one story will last awhile
Saturday December 19th 2015, 12:25 am
Filed under: Politics

I wrote a long post. I deleted it. I’ll just let this guy say most of it.

Note that the contract the Democratic National Committee had had Sanders’ campaign sign when they rented out the voter data to them put no requirements on what they could or could not do with what they found there–it was a badly written contract, but it meant that even the staffer Sanders immediately fired for downloading Clinton’s information had done nothing wrong per what they had agreed to.

But the DNC sure did. They ignored the Sanders campaign’s repeated pleas to close their security breach. They had stated in their contract that ten days’ notice would be given before cutting off data to a campaign and they did no such thing. Bernie Sanders landed major endorsements and got his two millionth donation and had a very very good day and suddenly they cut him off from his own data and donors. Whatever you may think of any of the candidates, that’s wrong and blatantly anti-democratic.

Here’s one petition that got over a quarter million signatures in one day. Go git’em.