owlmoose: (Obamoose '08)
This is it folks, this is the big one. I don't need to tell you that, I suppose, but here we are. Even in California, where my Senators are firmly No-votes and leaders in the resistance, there are things we can do to stand up and fight -- here's a short to-do list for anyone who lives in a state with two Democratic Senators.

A few links on healthcare:

And other things:
  • The Brookings Institution put out a scathing editorial on voter suppression in the United States, a good overview of recent court decisions with some damning statistics.

  • The Associated Press published a report on the effects of gerrymandering, and it's not pretty.

  • It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the Democrats lost the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, and in fact the narrow loss continues the trend of being competitive in districts that ought to be safe GOP, but given how much effort and money we poured into that district, it's also understandable that people were disappointed. But the rush of pundits and BernieBots to blame Nancy Pelosi for the loss is both a headscratcher, and almost unbearably stupid. Charles Pierce explains why.

  • And maybe before you get too invested in demonizing one of the most powerful women in the Democratic party, maybe you should consider who is in the trenches, doing the actual work in places like the Georgia 6th.

  • Meanwhile, another Congressional special election flew completely under the radar: the South Carolina 5th. The Republican won that seat as well, but by an even smaller margin. This is not a seat that any polls suggested ought to be competitive, and the Democrats spent almost no money here. This ought to scare the GOP; we'll see if they heed the warning.

  • Maryland and the District of Columbia have sued Donald Trump for violations of the emoluments clause and other conflict of interest laws.
owlmoose: (otter)
Welp, here we are. Day 7. Here's hoping we make it the rest of the way.

  • More proof that California is not remotely fucking around: Governor Jerry Brown's State of the State address. He's previously had some strong words on taking action against climate change, but he laid down the law on a bunch of other issues too: immigration, healthcare, etc. California has 10% of the nation's population and the world's sixth largest economy; that's a lot of weight to throw around, and I fully support doing it. I have friends who keep making noises about a "Calexit", but I think that's both mean-spirited and short sighted. We need to be leading the charge against Trumpism, not running in the other direction.

  • Protest Works: Jamelle Bouie on the power of the 1/21/17 Women's March and why it proves we need to stay on the offensive.

  • Fortunately, it looks like there are a lot more protests in the works: The Scientist March (no date set yet, but they seem to be moving quickly), the Tax March on April 15th, a National Pride March on June 11th (I might even try to get to DC for that one). I think a big protest every two months, with rapid response gatherings in response to specific things like the immigration rallies yesterday and the GOP gathering in Philadelphia today, sounds about right. I hope we can keep it up.

  • As these protests, marches, and rallies come together, I hope that we can be mindful of the many legit criticisms of the Women's March around intersectionality. This is one example, on race issues, but there are many, many others. We can celebrate the good aspects of the march while still listening to the critiques, learning from them, and trying to do better next time.

  • From 2016 but always relevant: Why Rep. John Lewis is not to be trifled with.

  • One of my favorite pieces of resistance (much as I hate that it needs to be done) are the "rogue" Twitter accounts being created by government employees to get around the limits that the new administration has been placing on the spread of information. Unofficial accounts for the National Park Service and individual parks, NASA, the EPA, the USDA, and over a dozen others have started popping up. [twitter.com profile] StollmeyerEU is maintaining an updated list here. Who knew that, when the revolution came, that the National Park Service would be leading the way? (Well, maybe this lady.)

And for today's bit of fun: remains of giant prehistoric otters have been found in China.
owlmoose: (think)
I went to the Women's March in San Francisco today. Because there was an anti-abortion protest earlier in the day (organized months earlier -- they do a march here on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade every year), city officials asked the organizers to make their event later, so the rally started at 3pm. It was a little weird, being at home and watching all the pictures and reports coming in on social media when my march was still hours away.

I ended up only walking about half the march route, for two reasons: rain, and T came along with me despite crowds not being at all his scene, and I didn't want to push him into overdoing it. Still, even if I didn't participate as fully as I could, I'm so glad I had the chance to be part of this amazing and historic event.

Some pictures I took are posted on my Tumblr, and I linked to a few others.

I haven't been to many protest marches, but I always leave them feeling supported and invigorated. Now to turn those feelings into action, tomorrow and every day that follows.
owlmoose: (Default)
I spent far too much time today posting to Facebook about the election. (I actually made a post apologizing to my friends for getting all up in everyone's notifications to yell about the Voting Rights Act.) But I also came across a few gems, which I would like to share here. Hopefully soon I will have brainspace to think about other things, but not yet.

That's all for tonight. I shared a number of these on Twitter, which seems to be my main home for linkspamming these days. If people are interested, I'll try to do the occasional round-up, but for the latest-greatest, follow me over there at [twitter.com profile] iamkj
owlmoose: (Default)
Really awesome write-ups and photos from all around the country:


And now, for my contribution. First of all, today was gorgeous. Perfectly clear blue sky, temperatures easily in the 70s, a light breeze. Literally, I don't think we could have asked for better weather. So that was a plus, although the minus is that I didn't bring a hat. I did wear sunblock, at least.

A, who was in town for work this week, and SB came from from Sunnyvale to join us; we left the house around 10am and arrived a little before 10:30. R & S met us there, and we walked over to the Civic Center, where the protesters had gathered in front of City Hall. We hadn't gotten our act together to make signs, so we were mostly there to add our voices and our headcount. Speakers included current State Senator Carole Migden, her recently-elected replacement Mark Leno (who sponsored the two bills legalizing same-sex marriage that the CA Legislature passed but the Governator vetoed), the Rev. Amos Brown (who was easily the most inspiring and charismatic of the lot -- no surprise, since he was taught by Dr. King himself), and many local community members and organizers. Unfortunately, it was hard to hear much and impossible to see at all, because they spoke on the steps of City Hall, not a raised platform, and the sound system was really inadequate. The chant we heard most frequently wasn't any particular call for equal rights, but rather the word "Louder!" But what I could hear was mostly energizing and hopeful, and it was nice to be part of a crowd. As we were walking from the subway to the plaza, we were all trying to remember the last time we had been part of a group action like this, and I decided it was probably my freshman year of college, when A and I went down to Washington DC with a bunch of other BMC folks for the March for Women's Lives. There's something exhilarating about being surrounded by people who feel strongly enough to get up early on a Saturday to lend their voices to a cause.

So the rally held in place for about an hour and a half, and then a group of folks broke off into a march. After about half the crowd had left, a speaker told us that the march was unofficial, but anyone was welcome to join. So we consulted, and then decided to follow. We marched down Polk Street to Market, then turned right to head for Castro. Clearly this march had not been planned, because except for Polk, none of the streets were officially closed, although there were cops around and they did direct traffic for us. Anyway, our turn toward the Castro led to some debate as to whether that neighborhood was really the best place to demonstrate in favor of gay marriage -- I think I said something about coals to Newcastle -- but then we reached Van Ness, and a large group had switched directions, shouting "Turn around, go downtown!" And we saw the effectiveness of chants and mob rule as the majority of walkers did indeed follow. We discussed our options; hunger beat out curiosity, and so we headed to Hayes Valley for lunch.

So it wasn't the best organized event ever. But it was satisfying, and I continue to be energized enough to stay involved. I don't know that there's much to do while the various cases wind their way through court, but I will keep my ears open for opportunities to lend my voice and my time.

Some more of T's photos here.
owlmoose: (Default)
I really wanted to include this graphic in yesterday's post re. the Prop 8 protests tomorrow, but I couldn't find it online until now. I saw it as a poster in the Muni station on my way home last night, and I just loved the evocation of so many Americans standing together as one.

(The list of cities on this map isn't anywhere near exhaustive, btw; complete list here if you're looking to join in.)

My night

Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:49 pm
owlmoose: (Default)
So I went to the No on 8 office tonight, as planned, and I ended up on the phones after all, calling people who had volunteered for Get Out the Vote efforts tomorrow, making sure that marriage equality supporters know how to vote and answering any last-minute questions from undecided or unsure voters. I was a little nervous about it at first, but it helped a lot to know that I wasn't cold-calling, and every person I talked to seemed glad to hear from me. Every person confirmed their shift but one, and she was double-booked doing Get Out the Vote for the Democratic party. But she promised to do her part against Proposition 8 at the same time, and it's hard to ask for more than that.

I feel pretty good about it, overall. It was nice to talk to a bunch of like-minded folks, even if I did spend more time talking to voice mail than to people. I even got one person who was standing on a street corner with a "No on 8" sign at that exact minute! And I do feel like I made a little bit of a difference. Probably not much. But a little.

Damm I hope it's enough.
owlmoose: (Default)
I still remember discovering Bitch Magazine. I was wandering the streets of Berkeley, probably while I was doing an internship at the library there, and wound up in Cody's. At the time, I was casting about for progressive news sources -- I had attempted subscriptions to Mother Jones and The Nation, but I found the former was too radical and the second too much reading to come up with as a busy grad student -- and so I went to the alternative section of the magazine rack and bought a couple of titles. One of them was Bust; I liked it, but I found it focused a little more on girly stuff like crafts and fashion than I really wanted. I'll still pick up an issue from time to time, but it has never really spoken to me.

Bitch was, of course, the other. It was this issue (I can still recognize it by the cover!) and I was immediately taken with it. I liked that it took pop culture seriously, I liked that it came explicitly from a feminist perspective and wasn't afraid to own that. So I bought the next issue, and the next, and about a year later I got around to subscribing. I've read every issue ever since (several years as a subscriber, then let it lapse out of pure laziness and went back to buying single issues off the newsstand). I don't agree with everything in every issue; far from it. But the articles always make me think and look critically at the how women are portrayed in pop culture and treated in the world, and it brings books and music to my attention that I would never notice on my own. It's been my favorite magazine for years...

And now it's in danger of going away.

The print publishing industry as a whole is staring into a void. Across the board, newsstand magazine sales are in a slump, subscriber numbers are down, and paper and postal costs continue to rise. But it's not magazines like US Weekly or Vogue that you'll see disappearing from the newsstands—they have the parent companies and the resources to weather industry ill winds. It's the small, independent magazines like Bitch that will disappear, because the odds are already stacked high against us. And simply put: We need to raise $40,000 by October 15th in order to print the next issue of Bitch.

Now it's true that Bitch is no longer the lone voice it seemed to me back in 1999. There are many blogs and other online sources that cover similar territory these days. But I don't see the blogosphere as a substitute for print publications. For one thing, as Latoya at Racialicious reminds us, Bitch publishes articles by many of these same voices, and it's one of the few places that a feminist writer can know that her work won't be gutted. And even today not everyone has easy access to the Internet. A magazine can catch people's attention in places and at times that the Internet isn't practical, or even available.

So I've finally renewed my long-lapsed subscription, and donated a little bit over and above that. Not only because I, personally, adore this magazine, but because I think independent media sources are more important than ever. If we've learned nothing else from this presidential campaign, it's that the mainstream media has a long way to go in its coverage of women and women's issues. Alternative voices like Bitch are a breath of fresh air, and we need them.
owlmoose: (Default)

Read. Donate. (If you can.) Pass it along. If you want to make the Internet safe for fandom, this is the way to make a difference.
owlmoose: (Default)
For the last couple of weeks I'd been meaning to write up my thoughts on LJ's announcement and clarifications regarding exactly what constitutes unacceptable content according to their terms of service. Given the latest developments, I don't know whether to be glad or sorry that I never got around to it.

Really, really long. )

I'm not saying not to be angry at LJ. I'm pretty irritated myself, especially given that I've stood up for them throughout this mess and now I'm starting to feel like they're going out of their way to prove me wrong. Protest, and leave if you feel you need to, and take whatever measures you need to take to protect yourself. (Although really at this point I wouldn't worry about fic too much -- the obscenity standards for textual materials are much stricter than those for images.) But what if we took all this energy we've built up being upset at LJ and turned it into action to get behind the Electronic Frontier Foundation? What might we be able to do? What if we found a way to make this about something more than "OMG they took away my pr0n!!11!"? This might be our opportunity to become a force for change, not just on LJ, but in the larger world. Something to think about, anyway.
owlmoose: (Default)
The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Cecilia Fire Thunder, is talking about opening a Planned Parenthood on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Wow.

If you are interested in donating to this cause, more information is available here.

Thanks to xerne for both links.


Mar. 7th, 2006 07:47 am
owlmoose: (CJ)
Our downstairs neighbors are doing some work on their unit. When I came home last night, I was assaulted by some sort of chemical fumes, varnish or paint thinner or spray adhesive or something. I threw open a bunch of windows, and that cleared out the smell from downstairs, but with upstairs it did not help. We tried to open the skylight but there was too much rain, so we left a fan running all night instead. It helped, but I can still smell it. Bleah.

I really do love our apartment but there are some hateful things about living in a trendy building. All this remodeling -- feh.

Speaking of fuming, South Dakota. It is not often that something happens and my first reaction is "where do I send my check?" but this is one of those times. If you are so moved, Planned Parenthood has more information. NARAL is a good organization, too.

On to lighter topics. Song lyrics game today, around 10 AM PST.
owlmoose: (Default)
I think most of you who read this and are in CA also read Jed's blog, but for those who don't: He has a long post on the bill, which includes a number to call to show your support (or lack thereof, if that is your inclination). I never do these things, but I've tried to call. It was busy, but I will persevere.

The shoulder is a little better; it still aches a bit and doesn't really want to move. I have most of my range of motion, but I have to move it slowly and carefully, and it creaks and pops and twinges when I do. It's surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising to those of you who remember the original injury) difficult not to do things I know I shouldn't, like lift boxes of books. I have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow morning. The nurse I talked to on the phone is amazed that I didn't turn up in the emergency room yesterday, writhing in pain. (Which happened when I threw it out the first time.) She told me to ice it, and continue with the drugs, and to keep using it gently -- apparently the biggest risk is that it will lock up. Thanks for all the sympathy as well as the much-needed kicks in the ass.

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