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BlueMTexpat

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 11,479

Journal Archives

Not ALL of Montana is red, thank heavens!

My second youngest sister sent me a clip of herself and my youngest sister at yesterday's protest in Billings, MT against Orange Herr Twitler's zero tolerance and family separation policies.

They are captured in the second photo here (Bethany Baker credit). While they are sitting on the grass in the photo, my sister said that they were truly inspired, even though the photo may not capture their inspiration, LOL.

https://billingsgazette.com/news/local/photos-protesters-gather-for-the-families-belong-together-rally-at/collection_25e23d2a-3b0e-5ab6-afe2-ac06eac7a0df.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share#anchor_item_2

This is great to see. Marches took place in Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena and even - Great Falls!!!

Here's a report from the march in my beloved MIssoula: https://www.missoulacurrent.com/government/2018/06/immigrant-march-missoula/

Hundreds of Missoulians marched through the streets Saturday to protest the separation of immigrant families on the southern border under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy – and to demand that ICE leave Montana.

“I think the Missoula community has been watching pretty aghast at what’s been happening at the borders,” said Rebecca Weston, co-director of Montanans for Immigrant Justice. “I think this is both an opportunity to share our rage, but also then to continue the demand that we actually want real change.”

As a psychotherapist, Weston said she knows the trauma children experience when they are forcibly separated from their families.

“I know deeply what this means to kids,” she said. “My mom was a refugee at age 3 and was in an orphanage. I know deeply what it means and the consequences that are generational.”

Democrat Kathleen Williams won Montana's House primary slow and steady, county by county

I am so thrilled for Kathleen Williams and hope that her winning run continues. There were some excellent Dem House candidates, but she was the one who prevailed. If they all encourage their supporters to join in to support her (Heenan and Kier already have), she may very well be able to rid the House of one of its more loathsome GOPer scumbags, Greg Gianforte (R-Felon).

Wednesday, people were still trying to figure out exactly how Williams, 57, pulled off the win. There had been no public polling in the race to suggest Williams’ victory was truly an upset, but campaign observers throughout the primary season considered her a long shot. There were three candidates announced for the race before Williams launched her campaign late last October. A little more than two months later, her campaign war chest was just $73,000. John Heenan and Grant Kier, the presumed frontrunners, each had $250,000 at that point. Williams didn’t have that kind of coin until May.

But what Williams lacked in money she made up in time. With her slide-in camper fitted to the bed of her pickup, Williams zigzagged 1,100 miles of Montana back roads in a week. Wherever she was invited to speak, she went. Wherever she wasn’t invited, Markoff called to book a room.

“I kid you not," Markoff said, "When we were scheduling a meet and greet in Ekalaka, the first person I asked to help me set up the event laughed at me. He said, ‘Are you serious? You’re actually going to send your candidate to Ekalaka?’ I had to assure him I wasn’t faking it or losing my mind. There are parts of the state that don’t see candidates frequently, and showing up makes a big difference.”

There are 6.8 Montanans for the each of the state’s 147,040 square miles. In some places, the concentration is much more. In Carter County, where Ekalaka is the county seat, the density is far less. Tucked away in southeast Montana, the county’s emptiness is used for flight training by B1-Bombers from nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. Williams' trip there earned her a commanding 57 percent of the Carter County vote. That’s 16 votes of Williams' statewide total of 37,146. There were a lot of county victories like that in Williams’ win column.


https://billingsgazette.com/news/government-and-politics/democrat-kathleen-williams-won-montana-s-house-primary-slow-and/article_a06d5f14-519a-5e4d-be22-5b84dfb4c5a1.html

Williams is one of the many Dem candidates in 2018 who understand that it isn't just about the money (although money always helps!). It's about meeting the people and listening to their concerns so that they really feel that they have a say in how their government works.

Bravissima, Kathleen!

Former Vice President Joe Biden energizes Democrats at sold-out event in Helena

http://helenair.com/news/government-and-politics/former-vice-president-joe-biden-energizes-democrats-at-sold-out/article_51617ffc-1808-550a-8a0c-34251270669c.html

On a night meant to energize Democrats around the state of Montana, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a sold-out crowd about 1,300 people at the 40th annual Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner in Helena.

Biden took the stage late Saturday night, calling U.S. Sen. Jon Tester an authentic person and "a guy who looks like he can lift an ox out of a ditch."
...
The event is the main Democratic gathering and fundraiser each year and was broadcast to the party's central committees around the state, executive director Nancy Keenan said.
...
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock told the crowd Democrats have a "heck of a lot to celebrate," but said Republicans in the state Legislature are "acting more and more like Republicans in D.C." He called on voters to flip the GOP-dominated body and show up for Tester in November. He also told attendees it was important to vote out U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte.


Good for Biden to get MT revved up! Jon Tester has been a good Senator for MT! There are some excellent Dems vying in the primary to go against Gianforte! I like Kathleen Williams but can't vote in MT as I'm no longer a resident. But two of my younger sisters are supporting John Heenan as they know him personally.

Gov Bullock will be termed out in 2020, which could make him an ideal Dem candidate to run against Daines (R) in the Senate. Bullock has already won two statewide elections, even when most of the state voted red for other candidates.

But MT also needs to turn the state legislature blue. Hopefully the DNC and top national Dems - as in the Howard Dean era - will step up there as well.



Thank you so much for the lovely heart!

Having had my own heart thoroughly broken by the results in Nov 2016, but encouraged by the Women's Marches in 2017 and 2018 (in which I participated) - as well as by all the recent Dem election successes and the wonderful women candidates putting themselves forward in 2018, I haven't been on DU too much lately.

I was thus delighted to receive a heart from some wonderful person sometime in the past couple days. Thank you for making my day!

I've been traveling since Sat night and am now returned to my Trump-less Swiss haven, where I refuse to listen to or watch any news program that mentions his name.

My reading material on my flight eastward was the wonderful 2016 novel, "The Underground Railroad," by Colson Whitehead.
If you haven't read it, please do.

Just watched the outstanding Netflix movie "Mudbound."

It is excellent and well worth a watch.

Here is one review: http://time.com/5030321/mudbound-movie-review/

Mudbound works as a thumbnail picture of midcentury American racism and injustice, and as a reminder of how slowly things really change in this country, as much as we like to think of ourselves as progressive thinkers and lovers of freedom. But you can’t just write ideas on the screen: Your performers have to embody them, and there’s not a minute in Mudbound that doesn’t feel deeply felt and believable. Rees, who previously wrote and directed the 2011 coming-of-age drama Pariah, has shaped the material beautifully: This is just a good story, period, and Rees never loses sight of that. It’s told from the shifting points of view of each of its major characters, but it never feels cluttered or confusing. And the movie’s sense of history is woven tightly into its landscape. At one point Mulligan’s Laura reflects, in voice-over, on the muddy bleakness of her surroundings (“I dreamed in brown”), and Rachel Morrison’s cinematography provides the visual evidence. Morrison makes this world look both enduring and unsettling, the kind of place whose spirit creeps into your bones. Although Mudbound is being released in select theaters, it’s also available on Netflix, and its complex visual beauty works even on the small screen.


Sadly, we seem to have learned too little over the years.

Liberian refugee elected mayor of Helena

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/montana/liberian-refugee-elected-mayor-of-helena/653475208

Along with all the other good news from yesterday's elections, this one is a real gem ... and a major victory.

****************

HELENA, Mont. - Voters in Montana's capital city have elected a Liberian refugee as their next mayor.

Wilmot Collins ousted four-term Helena Mayor Jim Smith 51 percent to 48 percent Tuesday in the mail-in election for the non-partisan post.

Collins campaigned for more affordable housing, addressing homelessness among military veterans and teens and for increasing staffing for the police and fire departments.

Collins is a state child protection specialist and an adjunct instructor at Helena College - University of Montana. He is also a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves. He fled the civil war in Liberia in the early 1990s.


Congratulations, Mayor Collins!

Hillary Clinton to visit Swansea for university honour

A good friend who is Welsh and who is excited about this visit just called to tell me this news after hearing Hillary interviewed, so I looked it up for myself. As it happens, in my own American "mutt" heritage, one of my earliest New World ancestors was also Welsh.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-41611316

The former US secretary of state and 2016 American presidential candidate will be presented with the award during a ceremony at Swansea University's Bay Campus.

It recognises her commitment to promoting the rights of families and children around the world.

Mrs Clinton's great grandparents were from south Wales.

Vice chancellor Prof Richard Davies said the university was honoured to present the award to the former first lady, the wife of former US president Bill Clinton.


More at the link.

**************
The world STILL appreciates this great woman.

Roger Federer survives first round scare against 70th-ranked Frances Tiafoe

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/29/tennis/us-open-first-round-federer-tiafoe/index.html

As a fan of watching tennis (I am no player myself, but my husband is and he has educated me on the finer points) and a fan of the great Roger Federer (as a resident of Switzerland, it's almost an obligation to be, LOL), I watched last evening's thrilling first round US Open tennis match and was very impressed with the playing and general demeanor of Frances Tiafoe. While Roger literally hung on by a thread to win, Tiafoe looks to be one of the most impressive American men's tennis players right now and should have a brilliant career ahead of him if he keeps on the way he has begun.

I am posting this CNN article because it is one with more details about the young man himself. IMO, they make him even more impressive.

Reportedly a quiet, thoughtful teen, Tiafoe credits much of his development to his father, Constant Tiafoe, an immigrant from Sierra Leone.
The elder Tiafoe helped build, and later became the custodian of, the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland, where Frances has trained since he was a child.
While working around the clock, his father was forced to move into a vacant storage room at the tennis center, where his two boys would stay with him, sleeping on a massage table, while their mother worked night shifts as a nurse.
...
At just 15 years old, Tiafoe won the prestigious Orange Bowl, becoming the youngest boys' singles champion in the tournament's history -- a remarkable feat considering the list of previous champions, which includes Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
While many junior prodigies have come and gone, Tiafoe's unique background and work ethic set him apart from the rest. He said of his parents, "with them trying so hard, I felt like I didn't want to let them down. I felt like I didn't want to let the opportunities go for granted."


He's someone I'll be paying attention to from now on and I wish him ALL success!


Some recent articles on the French Presidential elections today..

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/23/france-presidential-election-voting-begins-eu-le-pen

France’s interior ministry said turnout at midday was 28.54%, a slight increase on the previous poll in 2012 and well up on the record low 21.4% in 2002, when Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie advanced to the runoff in a major upset. Analysts have said the abstention level could play a big part in this year’s vote.

Topless demonstrators from the Femen activist group briefly caused a commotion as they staged a protest against Le Pen outside a polling station in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont where she was heading to vote.


More recent reports indicate that since noon, the turnout has been slightly less than in 2002.

The Telegraph (UK) is really playing up Marine Le Pen, but other sources say that Macron is slightly ahead of her. I believe that The Telegraph is considered RW or right-leaning. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/23/french-election-live-results-exit-polls/

There is no real breaking news as the candidate spread is still tight according to the latest polls and some believe that any of the top four (Macron, Le Pen, Fillon, or Melenchon) could still be chosen for the top two slots for the run-off. The general consensus, however, is that there the run-off will be between Macron and Le Pen and Macron appears to be leading as of the latest reports.

One site in French (actually it's in French-speaking Belgium) that seems to be updated the most regularly is RTBF: https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_presidentielle-francaise-la-participation-a-midi-direct?id=9587638#

Le Monde reports that there is a LONG line of French expats waiting to vote in Montreal: http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/video/2017/04/23/election-presidentielle-2017-a-montreal-des-centaines-de-metres-de-file-d-attente-pour-voter_5115864_4854003.html

This link at Le Monde is also being regularly updated: http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/live/2017/04/23/election-presidentielle-suivez-la-journee-du-premier-tour-en-direct_5115735_4854003.html

The polls in France will close in a little more than an hour from now.

I had actually liked Manuel Valls best (he was Prime Minister until December 2016; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Valls), but the Socialist Party did not choose him as its candidate. The Socialists have not been able to rally around the candidate that they did choose. Valls has also thrown his support to Macron, infuriating some Socialists. http://en.rfi.fr/france/20170330-french-socialists-turmoil-over-vallss-macron-support

Unless Fillon is able to pull off a minor miracle, it looks very much as though neither of France's traditional parties will have a candidate in the run-off election.

As a globalist myself, I very much prefer Macron to ALL other candidates currently in the race. But should the race be between Le Pen and Fillon, I'd back Fillon in a second over the female version of DJT, although I must admit that Le Pen is MUCH more intelligent than Man-Toddler. At least, Fillon is also a globalist.












Black and Brown Girls Matter

From my email inbox this morning: https://www.womensmarch.com/missing-girls/

In March, a social media meme went viral stating that 14 Black and Latina girls went missing from the DC area within a 24-hour span. While the statistic was incorrect, it sparked a much-needed conversation about missing girls of color in America, and the overall lack of attention from the media and white communities. This was glaringly obvious at a recent town hall meeting in DC on the missing girls, which was attended almost exclusively by Black folks, and left many women of color wondering where the white women they marched with in January were. For many white women, it may be painful to hear that they have not shown up for their sisters of color; it is also painful for women of color to be ignored by their white sisters when children of color are missing.

While all missing youth face obstacles and are at risk of some kind of violence, girls of color, particularly Black and Indigenous girls, face intersecting threats of gendered violence, racial violence, and mistreatment and violence within systems and institutions that are supposed to serve them. Trans, queer, and gender nonconforming young people, as well as disabled youth, also face intersecting violence and represent a disproportionate share of homeless youth.

The response to #MissingGirlsDC has shown just how pervasive this violence is - and how invisible it is to those who are not directly impacted by it. It is not invisible. We all know it is happening. And we all must act.

Today, Women’s March is launching an awareness campaign to connect people, huddles, and communities, to resources around the issue of the missing Black, Latinx, and Indigenous girls. We are committed to supporting, advocating for, and uplifting the work of local organizations that have long been dedicated to finding and caring for these girls, and for all missing youth - including trans and gender nonconforming youth. Below, we’ve included some organizations based around the country for you to consider supporting - whether by attending meetings and events, volunteering, spreading the word on social media, or through financial support.


I am a white woman who currently lives abroad. I support ALL my sisters - EVERY SINGLE ONE!
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