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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 69,924

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Oh ffs. It's HALLOWEEN. By its very nature it is transgressive. Standards change with the times...

...to be sure. No one in their right mind would wear blackface and go as Aunt Jemima, and good riddance to that, say I. My uncles used to commit minor acts of vandalism (Trick or Treat!) tipping over outhouses and at least one Model T Ford. We don't laugh that off as boyish hijinks any more, do we?

However, my late sister in law Patty used to lead her girls on excursions to TP selected houses. Jack-O-Lanterns on my street routinely get rolled downhill by older kids after the littles have gone home.

Disney Princesses, some have argued, are already bleached-out representations/ stereotypes of womanhood and girlhood. Little girls of all ethnicities really, really want to be "princesses" and ride sparkleponies. For gods' sake. They're under 10. They need to role-play, and if imagining themselves as a different ethnicity at least leaves a trace that opens them, a few years hence, to try to see the world a different way...

As for Moana and Maui, as a mythologist and kama'aina I watched the movie with just a bit of gritted teeth, but tried to take it for the entertainment it is. The kids adored it, here in California, and my niece wanted a Moana doll for her birthday -- I got the last one at the mall.

Maui is a demigod, and Trickster -- not a complete buffoon, really. Iz wrote a song about him callling Maui the Hawaiian Supahman. He's a culture hero across Polynesia. The marks on his skin are Polynesian tattoos, and a costume that replicates those is hardly racist. From my seat they looked authentic enough, but I don't have a picture in front of me. As for Moana, points to Disney for giving her a somewhat authentic body-type, and making her a spunky girl.

I do not know what is going on with a site that calls itself raceconscious.org -- are they by any chance the same people that tried to tell all of us we can't wear hoop earrings unless we are Latina? Because of cultural appropriation?

Yesterday the thermometer under our eaves registered 107. Overnight it dropped to the 80s.

We don't have AC. Living in the Santa Barbara/Ventura region, we expected maybe one week a year to be the worst, and the rest quite pleasant. Not any more -- the change came on some years ago, and stayed.

"Hysterical"? I don't think so. Think wildfire.

We are in a drought that has lasted for years. The chaparral, the hills, the forests are all crispy. One survivor of the Santa Rosa Fire, where 8,500 buildings were leveled and several dozen people died, said the fire came on "like a blowtorch."

Well, yeah. Where I am we have almost zero humidity and the hot Santa Ana winds have been gusting over the past few days. Just one spark. A downed power line. A power tool where metal hits a rock. And we are having yet another heat wave.

Impressive knowledge for such a new poster

Did we all meet before under other pseudonyms? Or was the use of the term "socked up" just a slip of the tongue, as it were?

He's a tinpot dictator wannabe who loves "his" generals & would dress up as a Generalissimo...

...if he could get away with it. The lower ranks don't even register in his brain except as extras in the movie that plays in his head. He doesn't "hate" them -- he just doesn't see them any more than he sees the bellboys in his hotels.


"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.

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