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    February 2018
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Here was my neighborhood last night
      Because the family of a mentally ill Philadelphia man holding a knife called for an ambulance, and the cops showed up. They claim he “charged” them and they shot and killed him. The mental health unit is a pilot program and isn’t paid to work on the weekends. Protesters didn’t do this, looters did. (Maybe … Continue reading Here was my neighborhood last nigh […]
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Night music

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit – Forever.

Last night, I was thinking about why it was that there seems to be so little pushback from our side and it hit me that the reason was that Hillary is out of the picture and the media has put her supporters on mute.

It suddenly dawned on me just what a powerful woman and politician she was for so many years. She was so threatening that it took 20 years and billions of dollars to take her down. Now that she’s stepped in to the background, it feels like there’s a vacuum.

There’s no one to replace her right now. The next generation of Democratic leaders are establishing their reputations but they haven’t been tried by fire yet.

But don’t count her out. The Women’s Marches were the brainchild of a furious Clintonista on Election night 2016. We’re still out here and we’re channeling our fury into something else. And we know who each other are. We’re instantly recognizable. We look knowingly at each other whenever #metoo takes down another male journalist or when Trump praises a domestic abuser or when another state rolls back reproductive rights or when another immigrant is separated from her children or another school district in Oklahoma reduces classes to 4 days a week.

I’m reprinting this post I wrote back in 2007 on DailyKos. Some of it just sounds weird to me now. Like the bit with Campbell Brown. Does anyone remember her? Anyway, the rest of it is still as true today as ever. We are…

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit

There I was on Thursday night, letting my Sandstone Pearl toenails dry while I reread one of Rebecca Wells Ya-ya books and trying to decide whether to watch Steel Magnolias or Terms of Endearment on the DVD, when I heard a familiar word coming from the background noise of the Democratic Presidential Debate that I use to relax. “Campbell”, it said. Hmmm, there was something very knowing and mysterious about that voice. So, I backed up the DVR and replayed it. There was Hillary Clinton in her light gray tweedy jacket and asbestos pants (and great makeup, by the way) gently chiding the gravid Campbell Brown. And it suddenly occurred to me: Karl Rove must be sweating big time. It will be so much harder to suppress the female voters than the African-American voters. Someone *might* notice.

I mean, sure Campbell Brown is married to former Iraq CPA official, Dan Senor.  Sure, she’s bought into the Villager cocktail party circuit, where they are no doubt planning her baby shower complete with Peg Perego stroller with a mini-bar, reclining seat and internet connection for the little tyke.

But when Hillary said, “Campbell”, we women instantly recognized the voice of authority of the high priestess reminding the backslid acolyte of her obligations to her sex.  (Note to self: buy new candles for the altar and perform the rites tonight in the nude.)

I sipped my Cosmo pensively.  I’m very concerned about Tweety.  He will be so exorcised over this in the next week that if he doesn’t speak fast enough, he will surely drown in his own spit.  The “He Man Women Haters Club” has no place for an upstart girl who will want to come in and reupholster the chairs in a Laura Ashley floral. There is no room in the tree house.

But Tweety has nothing to fear, really.

No, just because every woman can remember some time in her life when she was given a little less attention than the boys in math class or got less praise than Raymond C. Persic in Organic Chemistry (Nyah-Nyah, scored higher than you on the ACS exam), that doesn’t mean anything.

Or all of the times when our ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands called us “bitch” and “c$^t” when we dared to assert our rights.  Or the times that our bosses gave the one raise in the department to a guy with a newborn- year after year after year, there’s no reason to think we might want to level the playing field.

Or the fathers who preferred our brother’s company after we became adolescents.  Or all of the family members who told us we could never succeed in science or medicine or law because we were the first in our families to want to go to college and it was too much money to spend on a girl who was probably going to get married anyway, perish the thought of righteous indignation.

Or the husbands who questioned our expenses, by saying, “What did you spend your allowance on anyway?!”  (You women my mother’s age know what I’m talking about.)  Or just because of the men who said, “*I* make the money, I make the rules!”, we are not looking for a champion.

Or the church elders who chastised our skirt lengths while we were going through a growth spurt, simultaneously staring at our shapely calves and thighs. Or the priests and bishops and fundamentalists who condemned us to hell for having SEX out of WEDLOCK while setting the terms of that wedlock to be perpetual obedience to our husbands, does not mean that we have any expectation that a manly God will exact justice on our behalf.

No, Tweety, you have nothing to worry about.  Do not be troubled that we might want to exercise a little authority, assert our rights, seek vengeance or see one of our own, who seems to know what the fuck she’s doing, succeed to the most powerful position on earth.

It’s not like Hillary Clinton is a personification of a pagan moon goddess who is going to re-establish our supremacy through some matriarchal social system, even if that did kinda work out for us.  Ha-ha-ha!, that is so silly of you. I mean, there’s no reason to vote for her because she’s a girl

No, that would be petty and anachronistic and un-Christian and speaks of gender identity politics and that is soooo outre.  We aren’t out to settle the score for the millenia of mistreatment and disrespect. Perish the thought!

Then again, I did detect a little glisten in Campbell’s eye.  Just a little one.  I saw it.  And if I’m right about these things, Dan will completely miss it as Campbell gently kisses him on the lips and pinches the baby’s cheek just before she steps into that voting booth next year to worship at the Temple of the Sisterhood.

BTW, sisters, make sure you update your social security cards, driver’s licenses and voter registration ID to be consistent before going to vote.  Karl’s not finished yet.


Sunshine on a cloudy day

Normally, I resist cute animal videos (they’re kinda cliché) but this one was too good to resist. And anyway, after Trump defended a wife beater on national TV and regretted the temporary hit to his precious, precious career 🙄, we need something with a little more soul.

So, without further adieu…

A corgi on my pony on my boat?

Wasn’t that nice? Do you feel refreshed? Less in need of a shower to wash the Trumpollution off your skin?

Me too.

Here’s a little more cheeriness. BiFF and I sang this on a beer bus last week after 5 breweries. A good time was had by all. Everybody sing:

Taker Tykes

The Trump administration is drafting rules that would prevent US born children of *legal* immigrants from using CHIP, Headstart and heating assistance. Parents who enroll their American children in programs they are legally entitled to would be at risk of losing their visas and green cards.

The goal is to make immigrants choose whether they want to stay in the US in the event they are not able to support themselves even temporarily.

True story: my lab partner, who has a PhD in Structural Biology, was laid off with me when her US born daughter was about 2 yrs old. My lab partner had her green card but it was very restricted. It didn’t give her a lot of options. She had to find another position quickly or she’d have to go back to France. The idea that her daughter might have had to go without health insurance in the meantime or that they might not have had heat in their condo in the cold NJ winter incenses me.

No parent should ever have to make these kinds of choices when they’re already stressed and out of work. It’s not the human thing to do to other humans.

It’s cruel.

Why don’t we just appliqué big yellow “I” to their snowsuits now so we can see them from a distance and have time to collect rocks and insults for the little taker tykes?

Trump voters have absolutely no shame. I’m questioning whether they have souls at this point.

Another beautiful theory destroyed by ugly facts.

So, Donald Trump wants more immigrants from Norway and other non-sh*thole countries, not Haiti and El Salvador. We all know what he means. {{Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more, guv’nor}}

Norwegians are from northern Western Europe where all the people with the creamy pale skin are from, right? White skin, blue eyes, long silky blonde hair. For time immemorial.

{{insert game show wrong answer sound here}}

Let me introduce you to Cheddar Man.

Cheddar Man was discovered in a cave in England back in 1903. He’s almost a complete skeleton and his bones are dated to 9000 years ago. That’s when hunter gatherers were still roaming Europe. Thanks to modern molecular biology techniques, his DNA has been retrieved and sequenced. Using the information from his DNA, coupled with 3D imaging and modeling of his skull, we now have a pretty good idea of what our ancient English Rose ancestors looked like.

I give you … CHEDDAR MAN…

Not what you expected?

I’m not surprised.

It turns out that light skin mutations happened about 6000 years ago. The blue eyes are striking. Cheddar Man was dark skinned and we’re not talking tanned. We’re talking dark brown to black, according to the paper.

Oh, you say, but migration of light skinned people into Britain displaced his people.

{{insert game show wrong answer sound here}}

In fact, Cheddar Man’s ancestors migrated from Southern Sweden. That’s where the blue eyes came from. AND it turns out that Cheddar Man’s descendants still live in the Cheddar area.

Yup, Adrian Targett, a retired history teacher, is a direct descendent of Cheddar Man. Targett is as white as the driven snow. Which just goes to show how stupid it is that we put so much emphasis on skin color mutations as a basis for segregation and discrimination. (Read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond for a rational explanation of how we all got to this point in human evolution).

It’s pretty obvious that Targett is descended from a black dude. As are many Britons no doubt. And other Western Europeans. They’re just trying to pass for white to get into this glorious country of ours where they can die from some untreated ailment Rand Paul style, and work themselves crazy with little vacation time like all the other Americans.

We’re number 1! We’re number 1!


Please, Trumpers, no more “us” vs “those people”. We ARE those people.