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Monday, July 24, 2017

Should we in fact, 'try Kamala Harris'?

So names are popping up for possible party leadership or possible challengers to our nectarine nightmare in 2020. One of those names has been Kamala Harris. She's been composed, intelligent, concise and persistent in the face of stodgy white male supremacy in the Senate and everything you'd want in an elected official questioning potential Cabinet members. I admit, I've enjoyed her outspoken statements and tweets. I get her emails and I've imagined her as President. Of course I have. 

OPINION | Dems need a fresh face for 2020: Try Kamala Harris

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/national-party-news/343224-dems-need-a-fresh-face-for-2020-try-kamala-harris

I disagree that lack of experience as a legislator is a serious problem- Obama was a junior Senator and Trump had ZERO. She seems to be nationally known with the several instances of being interrupted and calling attention to sexism in the Senate- the piece seems to think she's not that well known.

Here's her commencement speech to Howard University:


BUT. . . we should also consider a few things. She's a prosecutor. I know! One thinks usually that's not a place for liberals, looking to get convictions ruthlessly, fill jails, be tough on crime, etc. 

I did read this, though, which sheds a bit different light on that part at least:


Through a Facebook group for my favorite podcast, Radio Dispatch, I became aware of these other stances Harris has taken. She has the fortitude and composure to really make a splash and shift things to the left - hopefully. These couple of stances though, if indicative of her current mindset, really don't bode well for her being a candidate I could support enthusiastically.

Prop K was going to finally address the prostitution issue and stop criminalizing the women (and targeting women of color) and rather rehabilitate them. Harris called it ridiculous. There's the tough on crime liberal I was hoping not to see. 

And while it didn't hurt her election to the Senate obviously, it's problematic to see these blips.


So, in short, I don't know, but I do know we should soberly look into any possible candidate. Don't simply get star struck because she speaks intelligently and we haven't heard anything like that in months.


Fad diets and nutrition trends





I saw a video the other day that made me think a few things, so I figured I'd write them down.


Is 'Clean Eating' a Dirty Trend? - I'm failing at embedding this, so it's here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/clean-eating-trend-harmful_us_59727ce3e4b0e79ec1995d54


Wow. So perhaps clean eating isn't what I thought it was? I don't take fads all that seriously. I remember Michael Pollen's advice that sounds close to common sense and is as catchy as any of these silly fad mantras: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Plans that exclude entire food groups or include some kind of extreme deprivation send up red flags for me. I try to eat more veggies and greens, drink more water, eat less bread and don't deprive myself, all in moderation- the more and less being just for me because I know what I'd eat if I didn't pay attention to it. It doesn't matter what I eat, that's not the point I want to make. I only give my opinion there to say that clean eating sounded like what I shoot for in general. But that turned out to be wrong.

At first blush clean eating seems fairly innocuous as far as trends go. Eat more fruits and veggies, eat less white bread (processed!). I totally agree. But it goes a lot farther than that. . .and I'm not even talking about the religion/lifestyle aspect and eating disorder encouragement yet.

I grabbed this explainer so we can get some specifics on what someone thinks clean eating is.
https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/plans/diets/clean-eating/?page=1

It takes a few good points- don't eat too much over processed stuff with a lot of preservatives and eat more greens- and takes it to the absolute extreme. It discusses 'processing' and puts adding salt, mashing apples to applesauce, steaming your broccoli or stir frying your veggies in the same category as removing bran to create refined bread and adding preservatives you can't pronounce to prepackaged food. It does say not all processing is necessarily bad (yay for facts!), but doesn't clearly sort that out in a way that doesn't seem completely nuts to a person who has studied science for at least 4 years. As in me. I graduated in microbiology, took a nutrition class while there and worked in science for 10 years. Putting things in a blender is processing them, then say processing is bad. I would say that smoothies are not the best choice because you add milk and sugar instead of just eating the fruit, the chopping isn't the problem here. *Add the overblown uninformed GMO bogeyman and you have a great pile of junk science. You might as well have told me to down some capsules filled with essential oils for HEALTH, Mr. Bodybuilder turned amateur fake nutritionist says so, trust him! Believe!

*GMO bogeyman- 

Is clean eating about GMOs?

Eating Clean in 2017- this is a pro- clean eating piece, fact checking needed, but it might give you an idea of the GMO stance in the movement.
https://livingnongmo.org/2017/01/01/clean-non-gmo-eating/


On the  GMO scare cult, akin to vaccine avoidance . . . from Cornell University
http://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/mark-lynas/gmo-safety-debate-over
"If you vaccinate your kids and believe that climate change is real, you need to stop being scared of genetically modified foods."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I know people will push back, saying surely not everyone who eats clean will have an eating disorder, but the lifestyle rather than diet plan and the wild interpretations of nonspecific rules don't really make this a great choice for anyone unless they are constantly fact checking with scientists and doctors. Be careful who you are getting your information from. 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/clean-eating-disorders-ugly-damaging-health-diet-food-pemberton-ella-woodward-a7848381.html
Whilst the rules of clean eating are far from clear cut, the underlying commonality is the omission of certain food groups – whether it’s gluten, dairy, grains or meat.
***

Another piece urging balance, not necessarily this clean eating lifestyle business- it talks about gluten too, which has become another trend probably sparked by the benefit seen in those with celiac disease for whom it was a medical necessity.

Clean eating: the good, the bad and the unhelpful

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I added this based on he number of food photos and hashtags I saw in 2016:
http://www.nzeatingdisordersclinic.co.nz/new-blog/2015/9/26/unhelpful-hashtags

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Let's look at the other side then.

Can We Stop Condemning ‘Clean Eating’?

 I don't agree with that as a journalism tactic, but I'm not a journalist. I'm not asking about the Nakba or Holocaust and entertaining the morality of the other sides of an anti- genocide stance. For fun, let's see how the clean eating people are taking the pushback on their lifestyle choice.

This pushes back on clean eating bashing, you can take for what it is. The last paragraph flummoxed me. I value seeing the other side of an issue, so it was informative. The author even addressed the possible unhealthy direction the fad could take. In the last paragraph, though, she seems to completely buy into the harmful aspect of the lifestyle and encourages others to join her, like in religion. She latches onto the good vs evil unhealthy aspect she momentarily acknowledges in the second to last paragraph. Ugh.

"One can only hope that the British public won’t be deterred from making a nutritious green smoothie once in a while due to bad editing and lazy research."


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Here's one about juicing! Shall we go there??

http://slate.me/2uDsqHn



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Forced pregnancy and religious freedom

Over the course of a day last week, I saw this article about a 12 year old forced to carry her rapists' baby to term and a CPC was quoted, it was #ExposeFakeClinic (CPC) week as well, then I saw one about anti-abortionists violating the law to block the door to the only clinic in Kentucky. Either Trump's incompetence is opening the door for religious extremists to bring us closer to state religion or they're able to move us backwards regardless. Some say that after history is made - electing our first African American president - that it's normal to move backwards a bit before continuing forward as with desegregation, among other events. I hope, as the saying goes, that the arc bends toward justice, but it sure does look dismal sometimes.

Alabama lawyers say a 12-year-old rape victim shouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion
http://www.salon.com/2017/07/21/alabama-lawyers-say-a-12-year-old-rape-victim-shouldnt-be-allowed-to-have-an-abortion/

From this article about the 12 year old girl:
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"Mullins, the executive director of COPE Pregnancy Center in Montgomery, which provides counseling but not abortions, said that the girl likely had trouble deciding what clothes to wear to school, let alone determining whether or not an abortion was appropriate."
----

What is a CPC?



Keep in mind in this Alabama case- NO ACTUAL COUNSELING WAS INVOLVED- these CPCs peddle lies (abortions cause cancer!) and guilt and prey on women in general.


The girl can't decide what to wear to school, so yeah, the natural conclusion is she should be forced to carry her rapists' baby to term, causing more trauma and disrupting her schooling, thereby limiting her choices further! Brilliant! And by brilliant I mean you cruel lying manipulating authoritarian fundamentalist PsOS.


Your religious freedom allows YOU when you get raped to CHOOSE to carry your sweet precious reminder of that trauma to term, IT DOES NOT let you make that decision for others. That is outside of the bounds of your freedom; you are now infringing on someone else's. Like the misnamed Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Pence's home state and several others



The Religious Freedom Restoration Act Is Used to Discriminate. Let's Fix It.

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Here are two more references for those CPCs if you want to know more- one's an older investigative piece and the other is a recent update:

King County's "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" Can No Longer Say They're Health Clinics 7/20/2017

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/07/20/25302789/king-countys-crisis-pregnancy-centers-can-no-longer-say-theyre-health-clinics

Exposing Fake Women’s Health Clinics: My Visit to a Local Crisis Pregnancy Center from 2009
- - - - - - - - 

Seeing this last story made it a little harder to be optimistic about all the progress being made with regard to race, the glass ceiling, and marriage equality. There was a specific ruling made that you cannot block the door to clinics; women have to be able to walk in free of interference. A sea of people sat down in front as though they were protesting segregation or some real civil rights violation. Instead, they are angry they cannot yet control where you walk and what health decisions you make according to their religious preferences. It's not enough for them to freely practice their religion, they want the right to force you to make choices based on what they believe too.

Judge Says Protestors Can’t Block Door To Kentucky’s Last Abortion Clinic
http://huffp.st/ZbdvRP6


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And to top that week off, I'd forgotten to add this bit about a legislator trying to prevent doctors from even learning how to perform the procedure, so that even in an emergency, eventually there will be no one to help women. That is dangerous and irresponsible to even consider. Leave medicine to the doctors and women's heath decisions to them and their doctors.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/07/this-republican-wants-to-prevent-med-students-from-even-learning-how-to-perform-abortions/

Friday, July 7, 2017

Antisemitism or media bias?

Antisemitism or media bias?

No, I'm not asking this in general, so please don't take the gloves off yet. Relax. There has been a specific controversy lately and very little pushback on a large scale. There was an excellent discussion on this in the FB group for a podcast I love, Radio Dispatch, they considered the charge and as new facts were brought to light, people didn't double down on the original position or throw around baseless personal attacks, which was refreshing and productive.


NYT smear piece: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/opinion/im-glad-the-dyke-march-banned-jewish-stars.html


Another, rather worse, smear piece I became aware of through a supposedly liberal organization online:

http://time.com/4839592/anti-semitism-lgbtq-pride/?xid=homepage

Always a good resource, here's what Mondoweiss had to say on the whole thing:
Anti-Semitism accusations against ‘Dyke March’ prove pro-Israel lobby will torch LGBT rights for marginalized people
http://mondoweiss.net/2017/07/semitism-disproved-accounts/


This TIME article is particularly bad because it is not only devoid of facts, but also makes wild baseless accusations. First, it asserts that Jews were denied expressing their intersection of religion and sexuality, which is false - others with stars of David on shirts, signs and flags were welcomed and not ejected. Which begs the question, what did these three individuals do differently?


Greenblatt of the ADL in the TIME piece pointed to these things as examples of intolerance

Last summer, a plank in the platform of the Movement for Black Lives bizarrely accused Israel of genocide.
Linda Sarsour, a leader of the women’s rights movement, has lambasted Zionism as incompatible with feminism and advocates for the exclusion of pro-Israel Jews from activist groups. And some in the anti-Israel movement have accused Israel of “pink-washing,” claiming that Israel and its supporters celebrate freedoms enjoyed by the LGBTQ community in Israel to divert attention from Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Genocide? Bizzare? It's a frequent consideration due to the indiscriminate use of deadly force and talk of "demographic threats." Here's one example of Holocaust survivors' concern for Israel's genocidal tendencies:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/holocaust-survivors-and-their-descendants-accuse-israel-of-genocide-9687994.html

The TIME piece ends by saying they, the ADL,". . . demand that our allies observe those fundamental values that we also seek to live by: equality, fairness and respect for all."


This is a noble goal, but when you try and whitewash history and ignore Palestinian suffering at the hands of the oppressed turned oppressor, you are no longer heading in the general direction of these ideals; you're going the opposite direction.

Zionism is to many, by definition, a colonial and genocidal undertaking. Maybe we need to be asking what do YOU mean by Zionism? What do you mean by a Jewish homeland? The right simply to exist in peace with equal representation such that all peoples' rights are protected? Great! Or do you mean the right to exist as a Jewish entity protecting Jewish rights, thereby necessitating the ethnic cleansing of another group, namely Palestinians? The right to continue the Occupation until a (suitable to you) government emerges from the rubble of the starved open air prison you created? When a person objects to Zionism, you cannot charge antisemitism automatically.

A few notes and facts can be found in the links to the official statements of several groups below, facts which are missing in the TIME and NYT articles that only seem to quote one woman who was kicked out and no other witnesses or organizers or Palestinian groups that may have been involved to make this grand pronouncement of antisemitism. From what I gathered, one or all of the three ejected were members (one was a director, possibly?) of A Wider Bridge, a problematic organization in support of various IDF actions against Palestinians that go against the anti-colonial position of the March and violate human rights more broadly. They weren't just there as LGBTQ Jews, they were loudly anti-Palestinian and increasingly belligerent when asked to be respectful of the March's aims and others marching.


Chicago Dyke March Collective's statement:
https://chicagodykemarchcollective.org/2017/06/27/chicago-dyke-march-official-statement-on-2017-march-and-solidarity-with-palestine/

JVP statement:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VG2cPkufLCFVSv4DmvRbOSQnzMdUt7so8AlrQHcXSyA/pub If Not Now statement:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/ifnotnow-chicago/ifnotnow-chicago-statement-on-the-chicago-dyke-march/1160560540756467/



More on A Wider Bridge and why these individuals as opposed to other Jewish participants were asked to leave:
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/chicago-dyke-march-accuser-wider-bridge-has-record-fabrications


Among problems with A Wider Bridge are (from EI article above):

+ In 2016
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-advocates-falsely-claim-chicago-lgbtq-protest-disrupted-jewish-prayers

+ "In 2014, A Wider Bridge sponsored rallies addressed by Israeli government officials in support of Israel’s 51-day bombing campaign that devastated the Gaza Strip and left 2,200 Palestinians – more than 550 of them children– dead."

 + And at the March-  "the altering of chants to erase the word “Palestine,”" among other things.

+ In general- "A key goal of Israel and its lobby groups in recent years has been to inoculate Israel against criticism by obscuring the line between anti-Jewish bigotry, on the one hand, and criticism of Israel and its state ideology Zionism, on the other."




Saturday, April 22, 2017

me, tomboys and transgender. . .



Ok, so this has nothing to do with transgender issues as far as I can tell. I want to make sure it's known though, that I do support trans people and will support however you identify and do what I can to help keep you safe and protect your rights. This post and article aren't really about that. This is more about expanding society's definition of what a girl "is" and is "supposed" to look and act like.



My Daughter Is Not Transgender. She’s a Tomboy.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/opinion/my-daughter-is-not-transgender-shes-a-tomboy.html?_r=0

I loved reading this because I felt I was this girl when I was little. There are a few differences though. Transgender issues weren't a thing yet in my story - or no one spoke about it. Ever. I was never asked how I wanted to identify. This little girl had a short haircut and picked out her own clothes- I had long hair so the part about being mistaken for a boy really wasn't there and I really can't remember if I picked out my own clothes. I'm pretty sure my mom made sure I matched, though I fought hard not to wear dresses if at all possible. She developed an affinity for ties and blazers, while my uniform then, as now is jeans and a t- shirt. I wore some amazing shoes- I must've won a concession on dress shoes at some point. In at least one photograph, I'm wearing some very brown, chunky, possibly E.T. themed shoes with my pink frilly dress. If I can find a photo, maybe I'll post it.




I'd refuse anything pink with ruffles, ricrac, frills or any other itchy, confining flowery detail. All my friends were boys and we ran around the playground pretending to be animals or making up He Man or superhero themed games (I wasn't a fan of the latter as I'd always get stuck with a lady part and that was always a let down) that involved climbing monkey bars, swinging and jumping off at the highest point and performing pathetic feats of gymnastics that felt like flying to us. Do THAT in a dress! Plus, they'd sing that song" I see London, I see France. . ." and I didn't want to be consumed all day with keeping my underwear covered in a garment that kind of seems DESIGNED to show all your business. I just wanted to play soccer, kickball or this other kicking game I think they called 500 for some reason. Who cared about clothes anyway??

I also loved the part that said the little girl wanted to be the pet or police officer in a game of family- I also tried to get the part as the family pet if I got stuck playing family. Mostly my friend and I would abandon the family part and just be cats for the entire indoor recess period. 

Which brings me to the other element of this which nearly intersects somewhat but still misses the transgender issue. One day on the walk out to the playground of my Christian school, an older kid (I assume, I can't remember who now) asked me if I wanted a sex change operation, they can do that now, you know. (The year is 1986 or 1987?) Shock. I had no idea. I was maybe 3rd grade or younger and lived a pretty sheltered and conservative existence up to now. Well. What about that. I'm sure I paused a bit and imagined being a boy because I still entertain funny scenarios while people are talking if something strikes me, but I answered (possibly silently) the same way I answered any question like that about changing myself- do you wish you were taller? why don't you talk? don't you have anything to say? I told them I was fine with what I had, most likely. It's equally likely I didn't say a word, but my mind was going 100mph and I knew what I thought. This was before puberty, so there was a lot less self doubt! But I guess they assumed what that teacher in the article assumed, that because I dressed and played how they thought boys dressed and played and played with mostly boys that I must be unhappy with who I am and want to look like the group I chose. It was the first time I became partially almost aware that I'm playing a game I didn't know existed and I don't know what the rules are- I couldn't articulate that til much later of course- but suffice it to say, I was made aware of a difference. My thinking was obviously that I already play with boys and wear jeans and t-shirts, so why would I want to be a boy, what's to be gained? It's not necessary. Maybe that question would have been difficult if I'd been strictly forbidden to do the things I was most interested in- or if for instance I felt I WAS a boy.

While I appreciate that teacher's sensitivity in the article, I really do, I'm progressive too- my assessment is that people are still, in general wholly devoid of imagination and stuck in some really antiquated ridiculously narrow binary gender stereotypes.




**I want to make it extra clear that this is not to say all transgender people are just tomboys or that I would in any way support the position that how you "should" identify is only determined by your physical genitalia- as though I have any idea what you feel or any authority to tell you who you are. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day Without A Woman, March 8, 2017

Photos in this post are mine taken at CCB Plaza, Durham, North Carolina.

A Women’s Strike Reader




There is a lot to process in thinking about the day, it's effectiveness and how different segments of the population reacted to it. 

At first blush, I thought well, isn't that what the men want? Then they can joke, have their locker room talk and not have to bother with equality. Maybe they'll decide they like it better that way and won't help right the system. On the other hand, when some teachers announced their intent to observe the day, even in our "right to work" state, a few school systems chose to close for the day. Some people recognized the impact and prepared for it. And if mothers who take kids to school, cook, clean, buy groceries, do laundry, whether or not they also have full time jobs outside the home were able to pull off striking completely in all work at least men might notice and even be compelled to switch up or divide labor differently than before the strike. This second example wasn't as widespread it seems, I even failed on several counts. Was it a failure then?

I considered striking as a privilege, though the history of strikes would negate that, some still maintain that. I did consider that those women who can strike might make more work for those who can't, though this might happen in other strikes, that you hurt the group you try and help.
This might help muddle through this point:
https://www.thenation.com/article/when-did-solidarity-with-working-women-become-a-privilege/
And what about this ability to strike? Is it that some of us are actually unable- or is it unique to women, unique to this strike - that we've been conditioned to not be disagreeable, to be too polite even when it means hurting ourselves hence we don't feel confident we can all walk out like in a predominantly male profession.


And there was this perspective. . . 
Image may contain: text


What to make of it- I don't think it's about the percent who participated in one particular way or evaluating your own self worth, as some have insinuated. It's a call to action to some, an education to others, or maybe a renewal of the commitment to anti-capitalism and the forces that perpetuate the patriarchy.





On Radio Dispatch coverage of the Women's Strike, there were two great articles detailing the history of the strike and movement:

Here are the two podcast episodes:
Analyzing Women’s Strike Coverage  March 10, 2017
https://btrmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/DJRadioDispatch031017.mp3


  • Breaking down a NYT piece about the "failure" of the strike
  • Feminism for the 99% what it means
  • Clara Zetkin, the movement's roots in socialism and the origin of the strike
  • Dangers of lean in feminism- it can't be solely about arguing for higher pay, that marginalizes others, the pay gap is still an issue but leaves out a large portion, such as the trans women killed in February
  • Be explicit in our politics (see Bryce Covert's piece, New Republic)-  woman president, women CEO, like Sandberg at Facebook is not victory for ALL women, it's a victory for some- read wealthy white women
  • Name capitalism as the enemy, it'll reinforce misogyny, patriarchy-- think Clara Zetkin, reordering society 

Anyway, do yourself a favor and listen!

**********



 Trust women, get it??















**********

And some more examples of why we need feminism:

Ok, so this below is why I have gotten angry in some of my Twitler voter posts. Yes, I believe I can be friends with Cheeto's fans and yes I know we can differ on budget or health care plans and not be outrageously offended, BUT when it comes to racism and sexism or denying someone rights because they don't agree with your religious views, this should be UNACCEPTABLE. It should be unacceptable NOT because you have a black friend, a daughter or a wife, it is unacceptable because another human being is being treated as LESS. That absolutely should be offensive to you and outrage is justified. If you are not offended by people being treated as less that human beings on the basis of race or gender or religion, perhaps YOU should re-evaluate YOUR position and stop your complaining about hateful libtards and feminazis.

http://mashable.com/2017/03/07/what-men-secretly-say-about-women/
"The rest of the page's members, it appears, just looked the other way. They probably shrugged their shoulders and said to themselves, "It's just locker room talk." If that defense worked for the president of the United States, it'll probably work for a bunch of patriotic Marines."

#persisterhood
#notgoingback
#womensrightsarehumanrights
#blacklivesmatter
#respectexistenceorexpectresistance
#freedomofreligion
#freedomfromreligion

**********

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2016/06/12/why-men-and-women-are-held-to-dramatically-different-standards-and-women-are-punished/amp/


Discusses the disparity, but breaks down a bit on the solution. I think we need more than just to clean up our own house. Maybe it should start there, I can see that- how can you help anyone else if you can't stand up for yourself. But I don't know if that's the only thing holding us back.

**********

Women Held To Higher Ethical Standard Than Men, Study Shows

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Obama Farewell


A little late, but I wanted to record a few fun things, accomplishments and odds and ends. . .

*** *** *** *** ***

White House photographer's favorite photos of Obama:
http://www.boredpanda.com/barack-obama-photographer-pete-souza-white-house/
https://medium.com/obama-white-house/behind-the-lens-2016-year-in-photographs-9e2c8733bbb3#.dznpiavxs


*** *** *** *** ***

Obama/ Biden BROTUS memes! Some mentioned another Biden go at the presidency (please blog no) but we sure do love him here:
https://www.inverse.com/article/23764-best-joe-biden-memes

even cnn:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/politics/joe-biden-memes-trnd/

*** *** *** *** ***
This was a look at how the Obama White House handled letters from the public and how mail in general is handled, which given my particular interest in postcrossing and snail mail, I found fascinating:


To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/magazine/what-americans-wrote-to-obama.html

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Five times Obama went viral:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQyM3-88FW0

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38572192

*** *** *** *** ***

The Meaning Of Sasha And Malia Obama
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-meaning-of-sasha-and-malia-obama_us_5873ae87e4b043ad97e49e4b

*** *** *** *** ***

Obama and books!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/obamas-secret-to-surviving-the-white-house-years-books.html?smid=fb-share
*** *** *** *** ***

The early voting video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be0nydyj8MI
*** *** *** *** ***

From President Obama's Farewell Address:
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-obama-farewell-speech-transcript-20170110-story.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/politics/obama-farewell-address-speech.html

Word cloud of his speech:
https://twitter.com/bbcworld/status/819165406342610944

Hard not to quote the whole thing but here are some favorite parts---

***
This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.
...
It's the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing; that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.

(On inequality )
After all, if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.

(He had good advice for many groups in the context, but this hit home because I've heard people I know say these things in the course of my life and I know they are untrue and unjust and those things make me angry. Injustice makes me angry like few things do.)
For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they're not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; that when they wage peaceful protest, they're not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our Founders promised.

(The key. And here he begins talking to everyone as in both parties, saying hard things, but necessary, where before he was talking everyone as in the nation.)
So regardless of the station we occupy; we have to try harder; to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.

(Hitting the nail on the head)
This trend represents a third threat to our democracy. Politics is a battle of ideas; in the course of a healthy debate, we'll prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts; without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, we'll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible.

(So many good points, stressing participation, we need that right now.)
And all of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power swings.

Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it's really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power - with our participation, and the choices we make. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.


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Response that made the rounds- shared, copy/paste- what to say when someone says "I survived Obama!"
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/2/12/1632893/--We-suffered-for-eight-years-Now-it-s-your-turn

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Obama accomplishments and legacy
http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/januaryfebruary-2017/obamas-top-50-accomplishments-revisited/

http://www.snopes.com/barack-obama-accomplishments/

Friday, February 17, 2017

Women's March - Raleigh, NC - January 21, 2017

There were said to be 17,000 people in attendance!

These photos featured are my own from the actual event in Raleigh, but there are links to many more at the end!

https://womensmarchonraleigh.org/program/

Here's some local coverage for the Raleigh event:
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article127914819.html


Marches on every continent, here are some photos of that:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/21/world/womens-march-pictures.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0





Many Congressmen bowed out of inauguration attendance and a few stood with the women marching the next day, notably Gutierrez:
https://gutierrez.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/why-i-will-not-be-inauguration-and-will-be-marching-women
http://m.democracynow.org/stories/16989 
Here are some more not attending, though it may not reference the Women's March. Some 70 Democrats boycotted.

 http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/14/politics/democrats-boycotting-donald-trump-inauguration/
http://people.com/politics/members-of-congress-boycott-donald-trump-inauguration/


A week before the March, Trump made a claim, then some evidence to the contrary was presented. . . 
I wrote at the time- didn't the Cheeto elect just say formal wear in DC is sold out :p
". . .to retail shop owners saying they’ve never seen less demand for formal party wear. ."
D.C. official: We've received 200 bus parking applications for inauguration, 1,200 for Women's March
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/1/12/1619764/-D-C-official-We-ve-received-200-bus-parking-applications-for-inauguration-1-200-for-Women-s-March


This below may not be credible, but certainly is true to his character. There was a Rogue POTUS staff account that we all were hoping was legit in the early days that likely isn't. In the spirit of the time capsule, I'll keep it in the mix.

Insider: Donald Trump, exasperated by protesters, yells “Don’t they know I’m the f—ing president?”




Lard being sent to office of NC senator who knocked women’s marchers


What did she say??
“Message to crazies @ Women’s March - If Brains were lard, you couldn’t grease a small skillet. You know who you are,” Krawiec’s tweet said.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article128870129.html#storylink=c
py
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article128870129.html




One of the leaders of the Washington, DC March, Linda Sarsour, was accused of terrorism by the right leaning tabloids simply for being a Muslim Palestinian American- or rather- excuse me- for holding up her index finger?! (because that's an ISIS sign???)





Since the election, I've seen many activist groups spring up, some very good, some less good in dealing with diversity, or intersectionality. I've read comments from people of color feeling unwelcome and alienated, some were all white to begin with, in the women's groups. I struggle myself with how best to use my privilege to help, how the majority can show up and support (as in being there in such numbers to prevent police violence) but not take over and tell them how to run a movement a minority is leading (such as Black Lives Matter). I feel clumsy talking about it, I certainly am no expert, but we all need to do better listening to each other to do the most good.  

What every White Person Attending the Women's March Needs to Know:
https://www.bustle.com/articles/201378-what-every-white-woman-attending-the-womens-march-needs-to-know

Or, as feminist icon Gloria Steinem told the New YorkTimes, “Sexism is always made worse by racism — and vice versa.”

Two articles I found helpful in parsing the difficulties of race within sexism:


**http://www.harlemlovebirds.com/2017/01/i-attended-womens-march-now-what.html?m=1























There was an anti-choice rally very near the Women's March event on the same day and there was a sign war near the end. I hope the pictures show some of it. 

In the Women's March Washington, DC, The pro-choice and anti-choice groups butted heads but decided to march together. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/womens-march-abortion_us_5883d51be4b096b4a23245f8


A post march confrontation of sorts?


 Not so for the Women's March in Raleigh, I believe- they had their own rally:

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article127968199.html


Note the creeping in of the giant fetus sign of anti-choicers trying to be visible from the front near the stage and the dedicated effort of other sign holders to block them out. I have a hard time calling them pro-life with the disregard for education, birth control, welfare, peace, healthcare and other programs that help once you're outside the womb.





Other signs from the Women's Marches: