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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Obama Farewell

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

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White House photographer's favorite photos of Obama:

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Obama/ Biden BROTUS memes! Some mentioned another Biden go at the presidency (please blog no) but we sure do love him here:

even cnn:

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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

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Five times Obama went viral:

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The Meaning Of Sasha And Malia Obama

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Obama and books!
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The early voting video:
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From President Obama's Farewell Address:

Word cloud of his speech:

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!"

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Obama accomplishments and legacy

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!

Here's some local coverage for the Raleigh event:

Marches on every continent, here are some photos of that:

Many Congressmen bowed out of inauguration attendance and a few stood with the women marching the next day, notably Gutierrez: 
Here are some more not attending, though it may not reference the Women's March. Some 70 Democrats boycotted.

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

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:

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:

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:


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.

A post march confrontation of sorts?

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

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:

SCROTUS disrespect for Black History Month

Black History Month remarks

He starts out by calling the event a “little breakfast.” What does THAT mean?

Then talks about incredible sacrifice and him being introduced to "places he wasn't familiar with" in relation to Black History. . .so is he on another unrelated tangent or is he saying he went where black people lived (as though they live in one place and they're really hard to find?!?!) and he doesn't usually do that?

He goes on to spend a bit of time saying the media said he removed a bust of MLK Jr, but it wasn't true, how dare the fake media report fake news. Again on that old false theme.

“Last month, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. “

Here's the only thing he really has to say about black history:

“I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact. “

Does he know Fredrick Douglass is dead? Twitter blew up over that.

After that informative appreciation of the history of an oppressed people where institutional racism still exists, he goes on to thank supporters at the table, Darrell especially. ??? And of course calls CNN fake news again. And thanks Fox, wherever they are, for “treating him nice.”

He switches to campaign mode in talking about better schools, wages, inner city and how he's going to solve all of this with law enforcement, which I'm sure made everyone cringe through those tight, forced, plastered on smiles.

And ending on a confusing note:

“I’m ready to do my part, and I will say this: We’re gonna work together. This is a great group, this is a group that’s been so special to me. You really helped me a lot. If you remember I wasn’t going to do well with the African-American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things, we ended up getting—and I won’t go into details—but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who had run in the past years. And now we’re gonna take that to new levels. I want to thank my television star over here—Omarosa’s actually a very nice person, nobody knows that. I don’t want to destroy her reputation but she’s a very good person, and she’s been helpful right from the beginning of the campaign, and I appreciate it. I really do. Very special.
So I want to thank everybody for being here.”

His first sentence in the last paragraph sounds like the person helping him was trying to point him in the right direction- here's where you talk about working together despite differences. . . then it goes off the rails. He's going to fix black people's problems by doing more law enforcement in inner cities??? I'm not watching this, but I imagined a collective cringe from everyone, even the most supportive supporter invited. He assumes all black people exist in the inner city and more law enforcement, not racial justice and work on discrimination and police violence and trust is the way to fix everything? And he ends with defending Omarosa, his Apprentice minion, who appeared on the PBS Choice 2016 documentary defending the indefensible- him.

I Have a Dream Speech

Interview with John Lewis

Lewis is 'all talk, no action' says Trump- Daily Show

Trump Attacks Civil Rights Hero Lewis As 'All Talk' After He Questions His Legitimacy

He could have gone with any number of ways with his address- science, art, civil rights or bridging the divide, but he chose "the media lied" and "remember that time I won the electoral college bigly?"

Trailer for 'I Am Not Your Negro'

Muslim Ban, court acts to reign it in and echoes of Internment

I started this with a link on remembering the Japanese Internment during WWII, but it morphed into a post including the Muslim Ban since some lawmakers alluded to it and thought it was a good idea, which obviously is abhorrent. So you can skip to the end for the protests on the Muslim Ban or consider the Japanese Internment along with it.

The Incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II Does Not Provide a Legal Cover for a Muslim Registry

Daughter of Civil Rights Icon Fred Korematsu Reflects on Internment, Executive Orders

So a few times Trump and supporters have evoked the Japanese internment when talking about the Muslim registry for barring them from entering and casting suspicion and inviting hate crimes for citizens. Remember these?

A top Trump supporter favorably cites Japanese internment camps. Here we go again.
Dec 8, 2015
Roanoke Mayor David Bowers (D) on Wednesday described his objection to housing Syrian refugees in his city in part by noting that President Franklin Roosevelt "felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor."

Dec 12, 2015
 “But this time, their recollections were resonant not only because of the recent anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, but also because of Mr. Trump’s evocation of the post-attack internments to justify his call, after the killing of 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., for excluding Muslims from America.”

Then Dec 15, 2016, it came up again in response to barring immigrants from entering, assuming people fleeing a war zone to be violent and our already stringent vetting not sufficient, so that we need extreme vetting AKA a religious test for entering the country on VISA and for immigration.

Rep. Mike Honda, Who Lived Through Japanese Internment Camp, Condemns Immigrant Registry

And the executive order or Muslim Ban signed by Trump upon entering office in Jan 2017, drew the same criticism:

Dem compares Trump immigration ban to Japanese internment camps

A lesson from America's Japanese internment camps

Comic relief by those in the community:

Nothing likely came of this, but it was one item in the firestorm of opposition to the Muslim Ban:
California legislator calls for Melania Trump immigration records

Jan 30, 2017
Feds Blow Off Judge and Congressmen to Enforce Trump’s Orders at Dulles

Jan 30, 2017
Trump fires acting AG for refusing to defend travel ban

ACLU: Trump’s Executive Order on refugees and immigrants violates the Establishment Clause. That’s why this week we’ll see his administration in court. Donate to help support our work.

Jan 29, 2017
After Trump order, Duke leaders vow not to release student records

Jan 31, 2017
Hundreds of State Department Officials Sign Memo Condemning Muslim Ban

Sean Spicer wants these diplomats, appointees, whomever disagrees with the SCROTUS's Muslim Ban. . .

Feb 9, 2017
Federal appeals court rules 3 to 0 against Trump on travel ban

This is just funny:

Protesters turned out again to defend and support democracy and American values or diversity and freedom:

Jan 29, 2017- locally
1,500 Protesters Converge on RDU to Protest Trump’s Muslim Ban

Nationwide that weekend, more than a few airports cooperated with protesters showing solidarity with immigrants:

Jan 29, 2017 After restraining order on the ban, Trump calls the judge a so-called judge, blames them for future attacks and draws criticism from his supreme court pick.
Justice Department files appeal notice to judge's decision that strikes down Trump’s travel ban

Feb 4, 2017- locally- No Ban No Wall No Fear Rally

Photos of the No Ban No Wall No Fear Rally Feb 4, 2017 Raleigh:

Feb 4, 2017
State Department Reverses Visa Ban, Allows Travelers With Visas Into U.S.

A local man affected by the travel ban appeals for help at the rally:

Trump addresses the CIA- and insists he won the election bigly. Again.

Many are calling this debacle a disaster, I'll tell you.

In front of a memory wall where Presidents usually acknowledge the sacrifice and contribution of those in the intelligence community and talk about how they will work together- for which he would needed to have studied a bit, made cheat sheets and put some thought into how he's going to do his job- he instead talked about the inauguration crowd again (because size matters and he's continually coming up short), blasted the media for reporting facts he doesn't like and lied to the intelligence community to their faces, saying that he didn't ever say he had a problem with them. He also told them he was smart and bragged about how many covers of Time Magazine his presence has graced. Informative, let me tell you!

At CIA headquarters, Trump boasts about himself, denies feud

Ex-CIA director John Brennan: 'Trump should be ashamed of himself' over CIA remarks

Trump and his great relationship with the intelligence community, he'll so support them:


Flynn stepped down because he spoke with Russia about dropping sanctions Obama put on them in the transition period, as a private citizen, before he was appointed and lied about it. Trump asked him to step down, yet complains about how badly Flynn was treated by the media??
Jan 15, 2017

Trump’s War With the Intelligence Community Is His Biggest Yet

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Reading in 2016/2017- survival, education, openness


Good Girls Revolt Reading List

Insane Clown President: Matt Taibbi Chronicles Election of "Billionaire Hedonist" Donald Trump

So You Want to Read Dystopian Fiction: Here’s Where to Start

6 Books That Have Donald Trump to Thank for Their Sales Spike

Handmaid's Tale Trailer


My Life On the Road

The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve

President Obama says novels taught him how to be a citizen

Political Divide

Brave New World, NOT 1984!

Obama's recommendations:

339 books referenced in Gilmore Girls

For a helpful book for parents that explores this issue in depth and offers practical strategies to foster girls' assertiveness, resilience, and integrity, check out "The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence" at