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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 45,179

Journal Archives

"Without impugning the motives" -- Sorry, I'm done with that since 2000. I impugne the motives...

...the brains, the heart and soul, of those who would vote Third Party in an American presidential election. We do not have a parliamentary system, there are no "coalition governments," third parties wield zero power in Congress -- and there are no do-overs.

The way it works is strictly binary in this country. In the General election if you want your vote to count you vote for either a Republican or a Democrat, because either a Republican or a Democrat will win. It is what it is. Don't tell me someone who does otherwise "means well" if the outcome is disastrous to us all and fatal to many.

As long as the head of FEMA is a political appointee and not a Civil Servant professional ...

...such as, for instance, a civil engineer, it will be a political football. Let me lay a little history on you, just off the top of my head. If I get a few things wrong, at least I am trying to get the substance right.

Two major earthquakes in California, the Northridge Quake and the one up in San Francisco/Santa Cruz (Loma Prieta?) both of which did such terrible damage, had two vastly different FEMA responses. Let's just say Bill Clinton's administration took FEMA's role seriously (Northridge) and the Republican before him probably went for benign neglect. FEMA was professionalized under Clinton's administration, and they responded professionally.

Then Dubya was "elected," and Heckuvajob Brownie was appointed to head FEMA. You know the rest. A couple of years after Katrina, I read that someone did a series of interviews with long-time civil service employees and some of them actually wept over their agency's poor response to Hurricane Katrina under Brown and Bush.

Obama. Eight blessed years of respite from GOP malignancy. FEMA was restored.

Trump. And here we are today. Monsters are in charge of the Federal government. Monsters.

That's most of human history and all cultures at one time or another. There is no land...

...that has not been soaked in blood at some point. Not anywhere.

At least we try in America -- and we do progress, however slowly. Women, who led the Abolitionist movement to free the slaves, can now vote too. You can't just go down to the public square or the docks and pick up a few slaves. We are a deeply flawed country -- but we keep moving forward.

My background is History, and ultimately Mythology/ Depth Psychology. I remember more than one person in my classes pondering why anyone with a religion as rich and beautiful as Hinduism would even consider converting to Christianity. Just off the top of my head I said: the caste system and bride burnings. They were shocked -- they had never considered the effects of the caste system and they thought I was making it up about bride burnings, which remain a persistent and pervasive problem in India. China a century ago? Footbinding. Africa today? Female genital mutilation. And just to forestall any accusations on that front, I am not even Christian any more, so that is not the basis of my argument.

I am a lifelong Democrat, and as women a century ago would have put it, I believe that "progress and moral suasion" will effect the changes we seek.

Thanks for my first smile of the day

In my recently-departed neighborhood we had crows, hawks, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, and an abundance of "little brown birds." Only a few blocks away is a wild area with many more species. (I love to spot birds, but my inherent myopia makes it difficult. Nonetheless I have several paperbacks on California coastal birds and over the years have checked off everything I could identify.)

The mockingbirds are very brave for their size -- they will pair up to chase predator-birds away, especially hawks. Crows are harder to chase off, as they hunt in gangs, but I've seen the mockinbirds do it to singles. I've seen crows separate a pair of hawks and chase them from the neighborhood -- it made me worry about the fate of that pair of hawks. Unlike with mockingbirds, seeing a gang of crows go after the hawks seems unfair. The mockingbirds stop after awhile -- the crows didn't.

There's a saying: "a murder of crows." (A pride of lions, a flock of geese, a litter of kittens, a pack of dogs...) If you've ever seen a whole flock descend in your back yard and act as judge, jury, and executioner of one of their own, you will understand. I saw that once as a little kid in the San Fernando Valley.

Our (former) street is lined with liquid ambar trees, and after a strong wind shakes the spiky pods off all over the street the crows take interest. Even better is after the cars have run over the pods and threshed them, so to speak. The crows descend in numbers for easy pickings.

I've read about crow intelligence -- they do seem absolutely amazing.

Our new neighborhood in Ventura is tucked just behind some low foothills. We're just getting used to the abundance of coyotes. (We have a 12 pound dog, and the Tricksters are bold and unafraid.)

The neighbors tell us that there used to be both quail and roadrunners in the area. I'm sorry they departed. I've seen red tailed hawks and turkey buzzards overhead. Inside the hedges I can hear many other birds, but unless they come out from the leaves and twigs I probably will never know what they are. One has a lovely liquid trill. There definitely have to be more species than I have seen so far. I look forward to meeting them.

The Mad King said it was too hard to get aid to Puerto Rico because you can't drive a truck to it...

Please donate to Direct Relief at DirectRelief.org. They are top-rated, have no overhead costs, and send container ships of medical supplies and professionals to devastated areas. Visit their website for more info.

I was planning on sending them a donation on behalf of the people of Florida and Texas until yesterday, when I heard our president, civilian Commander in Chief of the US Air Force and US Navy, say that it was really too hard to get help to Puerto Rico, because ...because... it is an island surrounded by water in the Atlantic Ocean, and you can't just drive a truck down there like you can to Texas and Florida. As is typical of his rhetorical style, he repeated these thoughts several times just to make sure we got the point. PR: just too hard for the mighty US to get to in any kind of hurry.

I lost it at that point.

I grew up on an island myself -- full of Americans of all colors, as it happens, and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, as it happens. People in Hawai'i are Americans --as are the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Islands. THIS is now the criterion for not receiving timely aid from Uncle Sam, to whom we all pay taxes?

This makes my teeth itch, it is so awful. But that's how I ended up sending my 300 bucks to Direct Relief earmarked for some American islands in the Atlantic Ocean. If it were not for the president's comments, I would have simply said: where most needed -- but I kind of lost it.

Please help -- where most needed.

That would be a complete waste of time and energy. Trump has no respect to give back to anyone...

His entire life he has won "public feuds," and finally made it to the WH. He has no shame, he has no conscience, and he will tell any lie to advance himself if only for a moment.

The idea of taking anyone to court to fight the smears against both Clintons is almost laughable. It's been a GOP industry for 30 years -- the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. If Bill and Hillary had gone to court they would have been obliterated long ago. Instead they have proceeded with their lives, earning some money for themselves in the great American tradition, and by the way doing a lot of good in the world.

As for Hillary "fighting back" -- you may have noticed that she is. She wrote a book and is giving increasingly candid interviews. Yet some people on both the Left and the Right want the little lady to STFU and retreat to a cave to lick her wounds. We're still fighting that out here on DU, depending on the day of the week.

Hillary is doing her part, with dignity, poise, and blunt honesty. It's up to us to do the rest. Resist, tell the truth, and GOTV 2018.

I can think of several California congressMEN who are evil and obnoxious...

...Darrell Issa and Dana Rohrabacher are just two who spring to mind. Both are GOP, both are dishonest, both are Californians, both are men, and one is in Putin's pocket.

To go after Nancy Pelosi in this fashion is so counterproductive and flat-out stupid that it makes me wonder if this crowd and its leaders are even who they say they are. She is one of the best legislative allies the DREAMers will ever have.

It reminds me of the crowd that shouted down, jostled, and disrespected Dolores Huerta, a living hero who worked alongside Cesar Chavez in dark and dangerous years and has never ever backed down from working to improve the lives of, specifically, Mexican and Mexican American workers.

What do these two people have in common? Well, they are both women, which seems increasingly like some criterion for persecution by people who claim to have some kind of progressive values. They are both small and older -- and Dolores Huerta is over 80 and tiny.

So I ask again of these protestors: Who the hell are they? Are they even who they say they are? Whose idea was this?

When the country was attacked on December 7, 1941, it was understood as an Act of War

Was it useful to "look backward"?

As in: Why did this happen? How was it carried out? Who in Japan was supporting this? What were the ties to Germany and Italy? Were there any US citizens supporting the ideologies of, say, Hitler? Was there infiltration into the US government itself? How badly had our internal security been breached?

Do you think FDR et al. simply started the draft and the munitions plants without asking these questions?

WE WERE ATTACKED BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT AND ITS AGENTS LAST YEAR. Sure, a Democratic candidate "lost" the presidential election, but she is also one of the finest analytic minds in the business. Should we be telling her she has nothing to contribute? Why?

She not only has every right to speak out, but why on Earth would we deprive ourselves of her voice at this time? Why?

It was kind of random, you know?

Her dad is from Jamaica and her mom is from India. She is not bi-racial but multi-racial.

But this being America, where the media could never get a grip on Tiger Woods being half Thai and he finally gave up and just let them call him black, I think it was also the media that definitively decided Kamala Devi Harris is African American.

Or maybe, confronted with a row of "pick only one" boxes all her life, she assigned it to herself. I follow her on FB, and her posts are heavily weighted toward African American achievements.

I am an Irish-American, raised in a multi-ethnic culture where it was the norm to be multi-racial. At some point in my youth I realized that both cultural identity and race itself are malleable. (In 1968 a college roommate told me the dread secret of a friend of hers: he was an octoroon. I looked at this young man with the square Saxon face, blue eyes, and straight blond hair, and realized that traditional Southern attitudes toward race were 100% insane.) Kids where I grew up could reel off the family tree from Denmark to China and all of Polynesia with a grin.

Sorry to go on like this, but it is a pet peeve of mine. I tried to write last night but had to quit. I have been back on the Mainland for almost 40 years, and can still be taken by surprise, tho why I don't know. After all, in Hawai'i I was just another haole (Irish? Pfft), but in California was informed by an African American co-worker that I am an Anglo, which would make my Irish ancestors turn over in their graves. My husband was born a Jew in Belgium, raised a Jew in New York, and transmogrified into an Anglo in California. When I was on the County Affirmative Action Commission, a younger Latino said in an accusatory tone that all the members of a particular subcommittee except himself were "WASPs," but I laughed in his face. I said, "Wrong by definition. Two Jews, two Irish, and a Catholic will never be Anglo-Saxon Protestant."

No one will ever be 100% -- I am just fed up with fools who cannot see what we will lose...

...if Senator Feinstein is primaried and defeated. It means the Dems enter the GE bloodied and weakened, and more likely to allow a Repub to gain the seat.

What people outside California often fail to understand is the sheer diversity of this place. We have more people than the country of Canada. We are on the cusp of a nonwhite majority. Many Asians trend Republican, not Democratic. We have swathes of very conservative people: I mean who do you think sends Dana Rhorabacher and Darell Issa to Congress year after year? We have some some very liberal Democrats indeed, as well -- but someone like Nancy Pelosi comes from a very liberal city indeed.

Our Senators reflect a lot of that. When liberal Dem. Barbara Boxer retired, we had not one challenger, but several good people lined up to fill a vacancy, and were lucky to get Kamala Harris (who some here have complained about for being insufficiently POC, when what she is is very mixed race). But her GOP opponents will be back, challenging DiFi with lots of money to back them up.

Diane Feinstein strikes some here as "too old" and "too moderate." But she is a thoroughly reliable Democrat who gets re-elected in this state year after year. People can certainly sound her out about retirement plans, because if she retires it will be like Boxer -- it will give a bunch of good Democrats a chance to run for a vacancy, rather than one spoiler trying to unseat one of our best Dem Senators.

My question would be: who among us is willing to lose that seat to a Repub in order to unseat Feinstein -- and why would that be?
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