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May. 11th, 2014

An appeal to womanhood throughout the world

The Mother's Day Proclamation, by Julia Ward Howe

 

(Video Direct Link: Democracy Now!)
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly : We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.

Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace. This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/503987.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

May. 8th, 2011

On Mother's Day

Every year for Mother's Day, this is the hope I post. Once again, here it is. Let us make of today and everyday a remembrance and an ongoing labor toward peace and tolerance.

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, written in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/487287.html. comments posted to original post.

Mar. 12th, 2011

let me sum up

I wrote this at Con-Jour in Clear Lake, but as they did not have wifi available for the public at the University facility (???), I had to wait until I got home to actually post it. Here it is:

Well, the last few days have been super busy. So busy that I have a precarious stack of dishes overtaking my kitchen. It's all been great fun, though.
Let me 'splain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I've been writing )

and drawing )

and pondering costumes )

and engaging in a brief, fruitless studio search )

and attending a lecture by Dr. Jane Goodall )

and attending Con-Jour 2011 as an ApolloCon rep. )

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/482999.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 17th, 2011

Food, politics, and creativity

Today's card: Two of Water (again), Gaian Tarot
Two of Water, Gaian Tarot )
This again? Hm. Well, it's certainly apt as usual, because there's a lot of really exciting stuff happening, and I'm feeling lots of creative vibes.
New collaborations are in the works, plus progress is being made on writing and art that had been sidelined. Yay!
I have new connections of all kinds through Nefertem the magical purple smartphone, too. Never underestimate the power of FourSquare, I guess. Except I can't get it to post to Twitter (probably a good thing, really).

I had something really important to post about but I got distracted because, you know, work and stuff. Now I don't remember what it was. Possibly something political, but just thinking of all the petitions and congressional faxes and whatever else I've been sending is depressing. Democracy Now! every morning is depressing. Politicians' being assholes is depressing. Rape culture is infuriating, and the political attacks on womens' health are part of it! Rar! My Facebook overfloweth. And my state reps are screwing us over, too. Fun times, indeed.

I got spoiled for Fringe in a pagan blog, of all places. Oops. But I'm still totally engaged and watching Season 2.

I picked up some kale at the Farmers' Market this week and sauteed it with olive oil and garlic powder and it was AMAZING! Good grief. I want it, like, all the time, now. Bring me all the kale and garlic in the land!

Also on the subject of food, the H-town Streats lunch truck continues to be awesome, and Kim and I are planning to go to Inversion on other days, too, to hit the other two local trucks. Nom nom nom. Today for lunch we had beef sliders with bacon jam, parmesan truffle oil fries, and deep-fried chocolate coconut brownies with dulce de leche sauce. *swoon*

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/478837.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Jan. 21st, 2011

Card of the Day: The Builder

Today work was fun but busy, which seems to be about par for the course these days. I really need to get out of the office to eat lunch, especially once the weather warms a bit.
I've finished all my Netflix DVDs of Fringe and have to wait a few days now for more. I am a little less than halfway through the first season now, and it's great.

I have been trying to get going on this ficlet for my challenge, and may have figured out a way into it. I drew cards for it, but first the Card of the Day:
The Builder, Gaian Tarot )
Aw, man, this one is so awesome and yet so much a rebuke, in some ways. Or perhaps I'm too hard on myself. The Builder is the card about sustainability, environmentally responsible development, and co-operative living. This card represents a power and authority over one's own life and place that allows one to choose wisely for the future.
I recycle. :P That's about it, really, when it comes to very practical things. And I probably don't do that enough. I try not to buy rayon, or bamboo fabric, or chemical cleaners, or things with excessive packaging, but sometimes I do all of those things. And it's hard to imagine that my choices will impact the larger picture, especially when there are places all over the world that are suffering from a disturbing lack of clean drinking water.
In any case, my own hang-ups about lifestyle aside, the builder is also about building a responsible and compassionate life, and being aware of the great truth of the universe: we aren't, any of us, alone. No one acts in a vacuum. Everything we say, or do, or type, changes the world.
I used to write poetry about that - how breathing displaced molecules that would otherwise have been moving with their own inertia and that changed everything - when I was in the midst of my greatest spiritual crisis, and stopped believing in an immortal soul. Crazy the way images and ideas carry such great reminders of the past. I can even think of the sidewalk in Astoria, Queens that I walked down while composing that poem in my head.
Sometimes it's really hard to remember that, but I think it's important to get these reminders every so often. And to be gentle with myself when I think I've fallen short.

I just had an idea for my story (the original one, not the fanfic, although I may have a clue for that one, too). Gone writing, be back later.
If anybody on gmail wants to ping me, feel free. I miss my writers' chats.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/474254.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Nov. 11th, 2010

it all happened again and again and again and again

On this Day of Remembrance, two songs by Eric Bogle about the First World War, lest we forget:





A couple of quick hits:

10 Hard Truths About War for Veterans' Day and Every Other Day

For Desperate or Troubled Veterans There are Options and Resources

Pop-out from this article, because my family has been touched by this issue and others like it:
The VA offers a wide range of mental health services. In addition, and perhaps most important, the Veterans Administration also offers suicide prevention services.

If you or a family member or friend is in trouble, you can call 1-800-273-8255 any time of the day or night. Trained, caring professionals will be there to help.


If you're a US citizen you might also consider calling or writing your Senators or Representative and urging them to fund the VA and veterans' support programs. The Congressional Switchboard is a toll-free call: 800-828-0498.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/463930.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Sep. 10th, 2010

stuff and things

Ok, so I can predict things pretty well, because last time I posted I said that I would screw up in class after thinking I had things down, and lo - I did!  I talked a lot more in general, but I also had totally done half the sentences wrong.  What fun!  I commiserated with a couple of classmates afterward. We all feel like idiots, so at least there's that much consolation.

In other news, yesterday evening Mom and I went to a lecture by Retired Colonel Ann Wright about her experiences with the military, diplomacy, and the Gaza Flotilla.  She was really quite amazing.

Now I am working on my art entries for the [community profile] eid_ka_chand community challenge. Fun times!

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/454353.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Aug. 19th, 2010

de-friending, and DW codes

For those who have been reading and care, the cousin I was engaging on Facebook has sent me a note full of vitriol and the kind of fear-mongering peddled by FOX et al,  and apparently de-friendedblocked me.  (How can I tell?  I can't reply to her note, is that what it means?)
This makes me sad, because it just shows that there is neither respect nor listening happening. I don't have the tools or connection with her to attempt further reconciliation (and she obviously doesn't want it), so I'm going to try to let it go and concentrate on areas where I can change things.

And for anybody who is interested, I have Dreamwidth codes available. Drop me a line. I'll edit this post when they're gone.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/451936.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Aug. 18th, 2010

Top 5 Lists: Round 1: Politicians

So, [profile] forg asked me for my Top 5 Politicians.  Gee, don't start me off easy or anything.  ;)

I am going to place a few limits on this list, just for clarity and also because otherwise I would have gone crazy. These are currently or recently active politicians, within the last decade at least. You know that if I'd opened this up to the dead, Cicero would go right to the top, right?  Anyhow...  With the caveat that every politician I've ever heard of has at one point or another done something to piss me off, here's a list for you:

#1: Senfronia Thompson, rocking the Texas House of Representatives since 1972. She is the longest-serving woman, and longest-serving African-American in the Texas Legislature. She has been fighting the good fight on behalf of women, children, the disenfranchised, working Texans, etc for a while, and is a pretty inspiring speaker. She famously gave a blistering speech in opposition to the anti-same-sex marriage amendment, denouncing the measure as bigotry. You tell 'em, Senfronia!

The next two aren't really ranked one over the other. They are connected, and both are pretty cool.
#2: Antanas Mockus, mayor of Bogotá, twice - once 1995-1997 and once 2001-2003.
#3: Enrique Peñalosa, mayor of Bogotá, 1998-2001.
These two mayors were part of a tremendous change in urban living in Bogotá, and used creative and ground-breaking techniques to improve the city for all its residents.  They improved public safety, infrastructure, and traffic efficiency. Peñalosa was interviewed in Ode Magazine about the changes wrought in Bogotá and his work on city planning after his term in office.  (Both Peñalosa and Mockus considered a run for president. Mockus ran this year to a runoff with the eventual victor.) Mockus was a guest speaker at the DeLange Conference here on Rice campus when the topic was Transforming the Metropolis: Creating Sustainable and Humane Cities.

#4: Dennis Kucinich, the only presidential candidate I ever felt was worth my wholehearted support. He currently serves in the House of Representatives for Ohio and continues to be one of the few leaders in that body who show consistent integrity in their decisions.

#5: Barbara Boxer, serving in the Senate for California. She has a good record on many issues close to my heart.

Now that I've closed up the five, I just want to make another shout-out to Senfronia Thompson, because she is just that awesome.  Yay!

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/451708.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Aug. 17th, 2010

and then there's Facebook

Ok, so remember what I said about dealing with the fact that people will disagree with me on things, but I should post anyway?
I posted to Facebook today about the Cordoba Initiative's Park 51 building, and linked to Olbermann's Special Comment about it, which my mother emailed me this morning.
My post:
"The continuing discrimination and hate-mongering is really starting to get me down. I ask my fellow seminarians (many of whom have worked with Imam Rauf, or been taught by him, as I was) for help dealing with my own grief and anger, and then figuring out how interfaith activism can help, not just in NYC but across the country, anywhere religious freedom is threatened."

And one of my cousins (a fellow minister and a Navy chaplain assigned to a Marine unit) posted that he was also saddened by the events.
One of my Seminary classmates posted an encouraging note.
And one of my other cousins wrote this:
"Kerri, Are you for a Mosque being built close to ground zero???? Those freaks need to build it in their own country, not ours!"

Now, leaving aside the fact that she's my relative and still misspells my name (It's pretty common, really - big family, not immediate relationship. I give everybody a pass because I can't remember everybody's spelling either. We shall ignore the fact that the correct spelling is plastered all over FB), this makes it worse.

This is the culture of fear, the knee-jerk reaction against something we don't understand, the price of ignorance.  And it makes me so ANGRY.  And then it also makes me so SAD.  And I don't deal well with either of those emotions. ANGER makes me snippy and want to bang things and shout a lot. SORROW makes me curl up and cry, and that doesn't actually happen very often, that I do that snail-curl. It also makes me FRUSTRATED. Because how can I change someone's mind about this when it becomes so confrontational? How can I share the deeply spiritual and loving nature of the Muslims I know, the tolerance taught by Imam Rauf, the inclusiveness and understanding of the New Seminary, when I am so caught up in these negative emotions? That's no place from which to start teaching or talking.

I hope my responses didn't come off as completely crazed:
"As an interfaith minister, [Cousin], I am aware that Islam DOES NOT equal terrorism, anymore than Evangelical Christianity equals Terrorism or Conservative Judaism equals Terrorism. That kind of ridiculous blanket condemnation of an ENTIRE PEOPLE is a step on a slippery slope to exactly the kind of horror that the American colonists were fleeing in the first place."
and
"Also, I hate to break it to you (not), but the folks who are building and would be using this community center are American citizens. THIS is their country."

But aaaaaaargh. How can we create a community of tolerance and love? Give me some ideas, please. I feel totally powerless, and this is just the top-level news-worthy problem.  How many other places of worship and community (Mosques, but also maybe Hindu temples, or Druid groves, or Pagan spaces, or metaphysical meeting places) are being denied in other places, but won't ever make the news?
Slippery slope, indeed.

Edited to remove cousin's name, oops.
ETA: I have now calmed down somewhat, despite further infuriating posts, and folks who are interested in this issue may also be interested in this article, it's quite good: Ground Zero mosque as Wedge Issue: Muslims vs "real" Americans.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/451464.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Aug. 2nd, 2010

in which I blather more

a) Toddlers are hilarious.  Lando's biggest thrill when I visited was to have me sit in the armchair, then he would go to the other end of the room, start shrieking, and run run run run to throw himself onto my lap. I flipped him upside down, then, of course, which only made the game better.  And then he'd do it all again. And again.  And again.  ;)  Ah, to be two.

b) Lughnasadh was nice. Jon grilled and we had a tremendous harvest meal. It was a lovely day, indeed.

c) I've been seeing a lot of stories cross my feed and sometimes my flist about the proposed Cordoba House in NYC. It boggles my mind that there is so much negative press about it, in fact. And since it's crossed my flist and feed so many times, I just thought that I might give it some screen time. It's an idea that I first heard mentioned when I was in Seminary in New York, by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf himself. Imam Feisal was our lecturer in Islam and leader in a zikr. He is a wonderful teacher and inspiring leader. It is tremendously exciting to see the Cordoba Project reaching the point of having a building, a community center, in New York. 

d) I spent a large part of Sunday sewing. Good grief, there was a lot of sewing.  It takes me a lot longer than I think it will to cut and sew strips, but I eventually shaved a few minutes off each step by not ironing the seams between every step.

e) Still enjoying Sherlock from the BBC, but The Blind Banker was not as good as A Study in Pink. I was a bit disappointed by certain character developments, but on the whole it was still entertaining. spoilers ahoy ) Despite this, I will keep tuning in. (Plus the fanfic is choice.)

f) I have a few really exciting art projects on the horizon. I am trying to figure out what project to work on for this semester's studio course. Fandom deadlines for the most part preclude using any of those projects, but one never knows.

g) I think that's it for now.  I'm sure there are plenty of other things I could blather about - in fact, I was thinking of blathering about a few in more detail, but I'm not sure if a public forum is the best way...  one of the topics is religion, the other is crafty projects. (They will doubtless at times intersect.) Does anybody want to follow that kind of blather?

Good night!

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/449920.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

May. 27th, 2010

catching up - the bullet points version

So, I keep meaning to post something and then getting sidetracked.  I've even drafted things and then closed the window.  Fun times. It's been busy here, though.

- Of course, ApolloCon is coming up very soon and that takes up a lot of bandwidth.
- I blew through the Twilight saga at last, on Donna's recommendation, and actually I really enjoyed it. I didn't find nearly as many objectionable political themes as some reviewers, and while I found Bella rather unappealing as a protagonist I certainly enjoyed the world and many other characters in it.  I also watched the first two movies, and they were pretty blah. The second was better than the first by miles, which is true of the books as well, but I don't hold out too much hope for the translation of the books to screen.  Look what movies did to Harry Potter.  Anyway, the point is that they were fun books and I enjoyed the heck out of them, and while I won't be jumping to find some Bella/Edward fic on the internet any time soon, I would totally be down for some explorations of Caius's experiences with the Children of the Moon.  Anybody? 
- Still enjoying the heck out of the new Doctor Who, and very much in love with the characters, most especially Rory.
- I am now reading Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld book, and it's quite fun. On deck are a whole slew of YA fantasies from the library, and then I really must get back to the Dresden Files so I can catch up and stop avoiding spoilers.
- Enjoyed a great benefit concert at House of Blues Houston with the family. It was really nice to be out just the four of us, and it was an interesting evening full of fabulous music.
- Went to my first Geeks Who Drink pub quiz in Houston with a co-worker, her husband, and their friends.  I hope it will become a regular thing. It was a fun quiz, with the usual moments of woe and of genius, plus bonus outdoor patio bar with friendly dogs. I wore my Heroines of Science: Marie Curie t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
- I was accepted as a College Associate for one of the residential colleges here, which basically means that I get to have lunch in their servery sometimes and hang out with the students, support the college in its projects on campus, and maybe be more involved in other things as well.  I understand the definition of the role is still somewhat fluid, so come the fall semester I'll find out more. It'll be nice to have a connection on campus proper, since my office/cave is off on the far side and I don't get to mingle much with the undergrads or faculty.
- I've been mainlining Legend of the Seeker Season 1 on Netflix for the last few weeks.  It's a bit awesome and a bit awful, not sure yet where the balance will end up. I may be slightly skewed in my viewing after watching part of Season 1 of Xena, though.
- Been getting a lot of "Thanks for your opinion, but I'm on the opposite side of the issue" replies from my congressional representation again, which is typical but for some reason coming in floods now.
- I had a brilliant idea for a story while on my morning commute the other day, listening to Democracy Now! on KPFT. I'm not certain it will work, but it's exciting to feel inspired.  Also, I have some direction on my current WIP that my crit group will love to see, if I can get it all typed out in time to turn in on Monday.
- I'd really like to take an art class this summer, so I'm counting pennies and figuring out schedules to see if I can work something out. Hopefully I'll still feel like working after showing my illustrations at ApolloCon (eep!). At least I finally got my drafting table and lamp set up. Yay workspace! Now I just need to break out the watercolors again.

And now it is time to sleep.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/446660.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

May. 9th, 2010

Mother's Day for peace

Every year for Mother's Day, this is the hope I post. Let us make of  today and everyday a remembrance and an ongoing labor toward peace and  tolerance.

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, written  in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of  tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions  decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us,  reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not  be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them  of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be  trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated  Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The  sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe  out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often  forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women  now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of  counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and  commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other  as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be  appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the  earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance  of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of  international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.


This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/444897.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Dec. 3rd, 2009

a random rant + stuff

Getting e-mail responses from my senators always makes my blood pressure skyrocket.  It's not that I don't understand that they are pretty much absolutely opposed to my views on just about everything, but I still get so peeved to get these long involved letters that pretty much tell me that I am an idiot. I may be over-sensitive here, but I wish they would just skip the overly text-heavy reply and just say that they received my message, some intern made a note somewhere of the general gist, and they are going to do what they want anyway. Better that than this ridiculous response in which they pretend to relate to me when it couldn't be more obvious that it's a canned platform response. They even say that it's because of citizens like me that they will keep blocking the very legislation I wrote in to support (or vice versa). Do they have no concept of a constituent writing in to disagree?
Also, I don't appreciate the informal greeting, nor the generic "Friend".  I'm not a friend of my congresspeople, I am one of their many constituents.  Call me "Constituent" if you can't automate a Title and Surname off the e-mail form. Let's be real about our relationship.
One good thing I can say is that so far I haven't gotten any letters. My old rep (Democrat, not that it seems to matter) used to send those canned, patronizing responses on expensive letterhead (sometimes two pages worth!) even after I asked the folks on the phone not to send me a response.
At least the interns who answer my phone calls have so far been unfailingly polite.

Maybe I should go have a drink and relax. I am obviously overthinking today. 

Can I just say, too, while I'm ranting, SNOW?! In December? In Houston? Seriously, what is that? Oh, climate change, how we love you. The birds are going to be so flipping confused. Not to mention the trees. They all still have leaves!  Anyway...

Lunchtime is over. Got stuff to do today and then I'm driving to Austin in the morning. Cons... there are some events when having a smartphone with web access would be quite useful.

I'm going to add in a small squee, because I can: Merlin Series 3 got the green light from the BBC! w00t! Why must my only currently airing fandom be something none of my RL friends likes or has heard of? I need some folks to squee with...  oh, well. 

Also, here, in pretty font this time:

the ♥
fanart love ♥ meme

Nov. 11th, 2009

it all happened again and again and again and again

On this Day of Remembrance, two songs by Eric Bogle about the First World War, lest we forget...

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda (YouTube)

The Green Fields of France (YouTube) (performed by the Dropkick Murphys; video is historic photos)

And now some concerns for the servicemembers and veterans alive today, from Democracy Now! Because a 'thank you' means more when it's backed up by decent support and care:

Study: Over 2,200 US Veterans Died in 2008 Due to Lack of Health Insurance

Sexual Assaults, Inadequate Healthcare Among Spate of Issues Facing Women Servicemembers

And my usual barrage of quotes for the day:

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official...
~Theodore Roosevelt

The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
~John F. Kennedy

It doesn't require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder, and if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won't be U.S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the Senate.
~George McGovern

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There's a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried. The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other. I remember looking it over and thinking it was a forest of graves. But the rows were like this, dizzying, diagonal, perfectly straight, so after all it wasn't a forest but an orchard of graves. Nothing to do with nature, unless you count human nature.
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Oct. 18th, 2009

Quilt Show Day 2 + politics

More from the Quilt Show:
Mom and Me at the GRB

photos )

Aug. 25th, 2009

it's tuesday

So begins my quest to blog more frequently...

Last night I visited the ancestral homestead, where I picked up various fun things like my laundry, a box of things Mom wanted to get rid of (mostly my bookends - two of them are carved stone figures that are bloody heavy, even for bookends), and some of Mom's lentil soup, this time the cumin and coriander variation.
I am eating the soup right now and it's awesome, but I do wish I'd had the forethought to add some cheese to it before I left. There are so few foods that cannot be improved by the application of some extra sharp cheddar.

It's a rather nice change to have so much of my floor visible at home, although I still don't have all my flat spaces cleared. I can't sew yet, for one thing. But I'm close, very close.

Yesterday I did actually draw something, too. It may or may not morph into a full-blown illustration, we'll see.

Also, I took a Democratic Party political survey, the mail-in kind, and I mostly wished I had a big red marker to strike through half of it. "Mark the issues most important to you right now" - well, it's hard to do when they aren't even on your stupid list, Democratic Party. I added some write-ins.
"Which party do you trust to look after your interests?" NONE.
I hope they don't just throw my survey away because it has so much writing on it, outside of the "Please tell us anything else you think we should know" box. I have extremely neat handwriting, Democratic Party interns, you can handle it!

Feb. 7th, 2009

this is the part where we keep working...

Toll-free Congressional Switchboard: 800-828-0498.

Who is making the decisions that will affect your future? People as old or older than your parents who won't have to deal with the fallout? Don't let Congress gut the programs that could help us. 800-828-0498. Call today. And tomorrow. And the day after that.

Paul Krugman's Op-Ed: On the Edge, should you need talking points.  (NYTimes)
Also: List of Current United States Senators by age (Wikipedia)
Note that age does not necessarily say anything about political viewpoint, but that doesn't change the fact that the people we have deciding the fate of the country very likely won't live long enough to see the consequences. And have perspectives and poltical views mired, most of them, in long-ago decades of Washington political playing.  These are the John McCains who don't bother learning how to use a computer, who don't understand social media or the digital world that we all live in, and who don't tend to have a global vision.  (With some exceptions, of course.)

And on a partisan point, these are the Republicans who are taking their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh, who has stated in so many words his desire for the FAILURE of this president.  Does no one have the vision to understand how such a failure would affect this country, on a world stage if not domestically?  Does he have so little patriotism that he can wish disaster on his fellew Americans in his quest to take down one man? Because that's sure what it sounds like.  What else are we to think when every Republican turns his or her back on us, in lock-step? They need real leadership in their party, not this poisonous rhetoric. Where are the men and women of integrity and intelligence who represent their constituents rather than corporate or celebrity overlords? (And that question can be asked of both parties.)

Toll-free Congressional Switchboard: 800-828-0498

If you don't know who your elected representatives are, http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov
I'll even call our local asshole Big John, although it feels rather like spitting into the wind.

Ask them point-blank if they've even read the whole stimulus bill.


Because sometimes it seems like they forget that they should be trying to create jobs and offer educational programs and child-care programs that will allow Americans to be productive.

Nov. 5th, 2008

oh, and by the way. . .

One of the reasons for jumping up and down, and one reason to be very excited down here in Harris County - the Democratic Party set out in this election to turn the county (the 3rd largest county in the nation) blue.
We won a huge number of judicial seats for Democrats, and swept through a tremendous number of local offices as well, including Sheriff.  This is a *fantastic* reason to jump up and down, in Texas.
I know people think that it can't be done, but what the hell is hope for if not to give us the drive to work to make the change we want to see in the world? We did it with Harris County, we can do it for more counties, we can work together to overcome the monstrous gerrymandering that has skewed the state ballots for years, and we can bring true representation to this state.

Just for the record though, "Big John" Cornyn's win, expected as it was, made me cry a little. I am so disappointed to know that he is going to back to Washington to "represent" some strange amalgam of Texas that he and the various corporate overlords have dictated.

We have only just begun to fight

Well, after the jumping-up-and-down stuff last night, this morning brought to light the realities we will face in the coming year and coming term.
This morning on Demacracy Now! Amy Goodman's guest (whose name I didn't catch, and the transcript isn't up yet) said, "Barack Obama's victory is a victory over racism in this country. But it is not a victory for the left. Progressives in this country must keep fighting." Or something to that effect.
And it's so true.

I am hopeful, but I am also determined. I want this election to be a sign not only of the changing face of American political power, but also of increased and consistent activity on the part of citizens to shape their world. I want people to think about what they are voting for - and what they are enshrining into their state constitutions. (The returns from states with anti-gay marriage and anti-gay adoption measures just depress me, then infuriate me. The returns on the "personhood" and feticide propositions give me a smill measure of hope, although too many such laws are already on the books and damaging women's rights and health.) I want people to get out in their neighborhoods and learn how their local politics affect what happens to them, to find common ground with one another so that discrimination of any sort can be stamped out as we come to know one another as human beings. I want people to go back to the candidates they supported, or to the candidates they opposed, and tell these people what they think.

I want people to get out and take part in their democracy even after this morning's hangovers fade. This is not the win. This is not the magic fix. This is, as Barack said, a chance to work for the change we want.

Let's get to it.

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