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In August of 2004, I was at a friend's birthday party. Someone came up to me and said that the people who lived in the middle of the country, the ones who were going to be voting Republican were, and I quote, "stupid." When I disagreed, he said, "What do you call people who vote against their own interests?" We then got into a discussion about totalitarianism's definition (he was using the word fascist when he meant totalitarian) and whether or not Bush was totalitarian (in my opinion, no, but Cheney probably was) until we finally circled back around to his original, "they're all stupid." He also called me a Republican and we had to have a side discussion on what independent means.

At that point, I said something along the lines of, "This is why you'll lose. You're not willing to find out why they aren't voting in their economic interests." More discussion.

Finally, I made my point, which is that the Democratic Party had a chance to reverse people's belief that it was made up entirely of elitists who didn't care about the middle of the country. What they needed to do was go out at a very grassroots level and talk to people door to door, set a spell on a front porch drinking the sweet tea that would be offered and ask about what's going wrong in America or in the neighborhood and take notes. Then go to the next front porch and do the same thing. At that point, we, and I'm counting myself there as an East coast elitist who is traditionally Liberal, had up to three years to figure out how to reach middle America and drop our elitist language.

We didn't. Obama won. And we forgot that this project still needed to be done.

Make no mistake, this is about class and privilege in the United States. While white privilege exists (hoo boy, does it exist), people who are in extreme poverty, without work, and with drugs devastating their communities don't see themselves as privileged.

Until and unless we build this bridge, we will lose the hearts and minds of the middle of the country and their kids. Seeing that Grandma's medicare doesn't get her the help she needs or that his children are more likely to find meth than a job, alienates people and they are told by the ministers they listen to that a thrice married sociopath is better than a God-fearing Methodist who's stayed with her husband because the "values" shared aren't tangible. It doesn't matter that Hillary Clinton isn't warm and fuzzy, that can be overcome. It matters that the Democratic Party is bad at pointing to the concrete actions they have done to help. It matters that the Liberals don't deplore abortion, for instance, while explaining why it needs to remain legal with human and relatable anecdotes.

I work with numbers. I've learned to respect statistics. But I'm also southern culturally, and nothing is really understood within my culture without a story to explain it.

In a Guardian comment, I once said: In my jurisdiction, most of the women who choose to abort already have two or more children. They are making the choice, in part, to make certain the children they already have will be fed, schooled, and reared with fewer financial constraints. This is not the choice for toys. This is a choice for children to have the essentials of life.

You want to end abortion? Then make certain there are programs which provide safe havens for abused women. Make certain that every child who is already here has a safe place to sleep and sufficient to eat. I promise you, the abortion rate will go down drastically.

That's a strategy that has a story to be told. Sharing that story could get middle America supporting the right to choose if it's framed right (I admit, I picked a tough one as an example.).

But Liberals can't tell these stories until we've set on a porch and listened to their stories.

When my cousin who was more like a grandmother to me was in her late 80s, I said something inadvertently which led her to ask me about "the gays." I approached my answer through the bible using the ten commandments, the New testament superceding the Old, and 1 Corinthians 13 to buttress my argument. She listened because I was family, in part, but also because I was educated, because I approached it through the book she loved and the religion she practiced, and because I listened to her whole question.

I don't know how we can do this, but I know that we must.
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Tip of the hat to Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian for suggesting this in his column today.

The Philadelphia Story (9/10) Movie CLIP - The Whole Affair (1940) HD
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From an article in The Washington Post, there are people becoming more vocal and public about their lack of support for Trump (and some are even voicing support for Clinton). If I may point out, I predicted back in August that Utah would go blue at the Presidential level. Let's see if it's true in 26 days.
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Your result for The Golden Compass Daemon Test...

Multi-Faceted Soul

In a way, you are a truly balanced person. You have a good sense of self, but you have periods of worry and self doubt. You don't like to be alone a lot, but you don't like being constantly surrounded, either. You can be shy in some situations and bold in others. You can tell people how you feel, but you don't wear your heart on your sleeve. You aren't "TOO" anything: You aren't too shy, you aren't too aggressive, you aren't too extroverted, you aren't too introverted. However at any one time you can be any combination of these things.

You tend to adapt yourself to match the situations in which you find yourself. You may be quiet and sensitive with some people, or joking and loud with others. These are all facets of your personality. People tend to perceive you as they want to perceive you. They may even tend to idealize you a bit. Then, when you do something that doesn't fit their concept of who you are (like have an outburst of anger, or a fit of shyness, or make an insensitive joke)they can be shocked and surprised. Does anyone know the real you?

Your daemon would represent your multi-faceted and ever-changing personality, as well as people's tendency to idealize you. He or she would get angry when you did not, be calm and poised when you felt ruffled and anxious, and always be the voice of emotion and reason in your ear.

Suggested forms:
Swan, Elephant, Koala, Panda, Chameleon, Wolf.

Take The Golden Compass Daemon Test at HelloQuizzy

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From their live factcheck, written by Alan Yuhas, of the Vice Presidential Debate:

Kaine: Even Richard Nixon released his taxes

Richard Nixon did not release his tax returns while running for president in 1960 or in 1968 – he released them in 1973, after his second term began. In 1968 Nixon only gave a limited glimpse of his a magazine writer, and only released the returns under pressure from the Watergate inquiry. He released the returns despite an audit by the IRS, which Trump had repeatedly claimed was his reason for not releasing returns.

You can look at Nixon’s returns at the Presidential Tax History Project. You can look at Trump’s 1995 returns at the New York Times. If you can somehow see Trump’s later returns, feel free to send copies along to our offices at 222 Broadway, New York. (emphasis mine)
fabrisse: (YuletideDeer)
Dear Yule Goat -- I've been a good girl and posted lots of stories.

In general, I'm thrilled that you're writing for me and I'm thrilled to be taking part in another Yuletide.

I've put any fandom specific limitations in the prompts, but there are some things I just really love or hate.

General nos: Extreme violence. Rape or Dubcon. There are certain acts which just don't turn me on: scat, blood play, golden showers.

All BDSM must be safe, sane, and consensual.

General yeses: Exploration of emotions and the consequences of actions. I'm fine with explicit slash, het, or threesomes (or moresomes).
The fandoms are :
Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
Hellspark! by Janet Kagan
Kingdom of Heaven
The Shadow
The detailed requests )
Dear, dear author -- thank you so much for writing for me. I can't wait to read it.
fabrisse: (PhoenixHarry)
Since I am a slight Harry Potter nerd. (Apparently, Pottermore has changed and I had to get re-sorted into a house, too. Goodbye, Ravenclaw. *sniff* Hello, Slytherin? I hate snakes. *shudder*)

Anyway, the Patronus gives you a very short time to pick a word, sometimes with a question, but not always. It kept saying, "You have a very rare one. Just one more question." Seriously, I had about five "one more questions." I ended up with Fire Salamander.
If anyone doesn't like salamanders or lizards, please don't click here. There's a picture of the thing. )
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It's no secret that my favorite car of all time is the Citroën DS. I've never owned one, but my "when I win the lottery" fantasies all include owning at least two DS (a convertible for which will be left in California for when I visit my folks in burgundy with a cream interior and a navy blue hard top with tan interior for the east coast).

It's my fantasy; I can dream big.

I also have an abiding love for the first car I ever picked out rather than inherited from my parents: the Deux Chevaux, also by Citroën. I adored that car. It didn't matter that it was made out of tin foil -- seriously the air-conditioning was a flap over a chicken wire screen -- it had a great ride, was comfortable for 4 people, and could hit 70 mph (~120 kph) on a flat road. Uphill was another matter, but it was still a fascinating car to drive with a fantastic suspension system. It was designed to drive across a furrowed field with a basket of eggs in the passenger seat without breaking any. It had a very smooth ride, and I'm probably one of the few Americans who can handle a Duesenberg shift.

The Citroën CX managed to look so futuristic, that a group of Californians in 2007 were wondering if it was a prototype for a Prius competitor. The car they were discussing in the grocery store parking lot was made in 1982.

All of this is in aid of the new Citroën CXperience prototype which I read about at the BBC site this morning. OMG! I think I'm in love. Even the logo is elegant.

I can haz one, pliz? Seriously, I haven't driven more than a few miles in years, but I want this car to drive across country and back. Maybe drive it across Canada, too, or try from DC to Montevideo. It's gorgeous.
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I was never lucky enough to see him live. He had a club in Brussels, but we seemed only to hear about his appearances after they happened. He lived and played well into his 90s. It's not a common jazz instrument, but he did wonderful things with it.

His obituary in The Guardian
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Chef Michel Richard died. His restaurant Central is one that I took out of town guests or other friends to when I needed somewhere nice but not too formal.

When I volunteered at the Smithsonian's Seafood Sustainability event during my unemployment, I was tasked to look after him for the evening book signings. The line for Alton Brown was vast. Maybe three people came up to Chef Richard's table and only one bought a book (I was too broke, sadly). For 45 minutes we talked about his time in Belgium and what it had taught him about food. We discussed restaurants we'd both eaten at and what made the Belgian approach different from the French approach and I don't know what all. We went back and forth on language spoken as one or the other of us groped for a word a reverted to our own tongue, but I just remember that fairly brief meeting as one of genuine kindness.

With my first paycheck, several months later, I took myself and a friend to Central for dinner. It was lovely.

Here are his books:
Happy in the Kitchen,

Sweet Magic

Home Cooking with a French Accent which is only available second hand.


Aug. 11th, 2016 01:53 pm
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I'm on the ballot. I have one person running against me. He just graduated university and bought a house. I think if I concentrate on the people in my apartment complex -- most of whom are poor -- I have a shot at winning. Money will be tough. My calculations are that I'll need a minimum of $650 for flyers, etc. But I can spread the cost out over two months (September and October, next week's paycheck is already spoken for).

Keep your fingers crossed.
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Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

This is how I see it going with no states in play. The shade indicates whether I think it will be close in a state (paler means closer and I had the option of three shades for each). As an example, Louisiana is paler red because I think the gay and black populations will weaken the Republican base, but, ultimately, this is the state which gave us David Duke.


Aug. 4th, 2016 06:02 pm
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I have my temporary DC Driver's License. I have made certain my voter registration is current.

I picked up my petitions to get on the ballot for ANC, and I already have 12 valid signatures (and 7 invalid ones). I need 25 valid signatures total before 5 pm on Wednesday (which, by the way, is 90 days to the election).

Wish me luck.
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I'm looking at 270 to win, the Toss-Up map. It says there are 130 electoral votes in play. The guaranteed are 191 for the Republicans and 217 for the Democrats. I'm not certain I agree with some of their calls.

Read more... )
Here's my call to arms. If you can vote early without a crowd, please do it. If that's not possible, and you have a job which will allow it, take election day off, especially if you're in a "boots on the ground" state.

I'm going to leave this as is and revisit it on November 9 to see if I was prescient about anything.
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My new laptop is Windows 10. I set a password for my laptop. Windows 10 updated. Now I have to log-in with my hotmail account rather than the laptop password. This is actually worse security than I had before.

Can anyone tell me how to stop this? This is as bad as having to use Apple.


Jul. 29th, 2016 04:53 pm
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Yes, this is petty, but still...

I've done something which means if I ever log-in to my GoodReads account again, it will link to my Amazon account. Do. Not. Want.

If anyone has a solution, please let me know.

I'm Real

Jul. 29th, 2016 04:17 pm
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That was my first thought when I got my new passport. My last one expired three years ago, and I hadn't had it renewed yet. For some reason, it felt like a weight lifting from my shoulders to have it in hand again.
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“Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw.
It was its tendency to bend at the knees.”

― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

Sadly, after last week's convention, that's what I see in many supporters of Trump.

Would that it weren't true.
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There is a performance art piece happening all over Britain today. On Twitter the hashtag WeAreHere will find people's reactions. There's an article on it in The Guardian.

It's been a weepy day.


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100 years ago today, the battle whose name is a byword for the futility of war, began at 7:30 a.m. French time (1:30 a.m. EDT).

There were 19,240 killed just on the British side on the first of the 141 days of the battle. Another 40,000 men were wounded.

To put that into perspective, 58,315 were US soldiers were killed between 1964 and 1975 during the Vietnam War.

The German losses were between 10,000 and 12,000 (their records were lost to Allied bombings in WW2). German commanders were given no option for retreat by their command. They were required to hold to the last man -- mostly because there were so few reinforcements available.

The French only lost 1,590 on the first day, but they ended up with very heavy losses throughout the battle.

141 days of battle. There were several sub-battles, including Delville Wood (and the sub-sub battle of High Wood) where tanks were first used. This is the battle where Churchill, who as the architect of Gallipoli was no stranger to wasted lives, finally stood up and said, "We must find better ways of stopping a German bullet than with a khaki shirt."

[livejournal.com profile] elainasaunt sent me a link this morning: How J.R.R. Tolkien found Mordor on the Western Front. The Daily Mail, which I usually reserve for emergency toilet paper, has good photographs of the various memorial services.

For anyone who looks upon the Red Baron as a noble opponent, here's a quote from him:

During my whole life I have not found a happier hunting ground than in the course of the Somme Battle. - The Red Baron - Manfred von Richthofen

I don't know what else to say.


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