June 2011

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Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 04:56 pm
Why a so-called "pro-life" world has a lot of dead women in it. It isn't really pro-life unless it includes food and shelter and clothes for everyone, health care for everyone, and income for everyone. That's pro-life. RetroRepublicans are only pro-birth; they don't give a damn what happens once that baby is here.

In Missouri, if you use birth control, had an abortion or are pregnant (covering all bases, you notice), you can lose a job, be fired, be not hired. I assume they are not counting condoms as birth control, or they'd have to fire a lot of men, and that just wouldn't do, would it? ::sarcasm filter on full blast:: More on this ignorant stupidity here.



***

Police are literally dragging people away from Sen. McConnell's office as protests break out over the Republican anti-health bill. I refuse to call it a health bill; it is against health.

The Trump occupation will allow nursing homes to strip residents of their legal rights. I want this one to go all the way to the Supreme Court so it can be slapped down so hard it echoes. And Trump has removed protections for Yellowstone grizzlies. Can we have *him* tell the grizzlies that? Up close and personal?

Oh, and His Trumpetness's minions say diabetics "don't deserve" health insurance.

***

The Supreme Court unanimously made it harder for the government to revoke anyone's citizenship.

Why aren't bisexuals more welcomed at Pride?

A hospice for elderly dogs who have been abandoned by owners who can't/won't deal with the medical costs that come with age, or whose people have died and have nobody to take them.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 01:32 pm
The new campsite was a dozen or more miles away, next to a creek, and the only sign of bear was aged dry bear scat that was old and dry enough that it didn't smell. Scotty headed for the outhouse -- and backed out. I took a look in -- I've seen pincushions less full of needles. It seems that a porcupine had climbed in through the outhouse's tiny window (chewed a bit larger for the trip, from the teeth marks) in order to gnaw on and lick salt from the toilet seat (yes, sweat contains salt.) Scotty took a pair of plyers from the car and spent half an hour pulling the most obnoxious of the porcupine quills so the place was usable. (I kept a handful of them for years; I think they vanished in a move.)

We put up the tent, hiked a bit more, cooked dinner, put the rest of the food in the car (the creek was too nearby, and we'd used up the things that needed to be chilled. It was a dark night, clouded over, so we went to sleep fairly early.

And in the middle of the night I woke up.

I had the sense that someone was watching me.

It wasn't Scotty. He was asleep, like a rock.

I could barely hear something walking around outside the tent, circling, looking in at the flap (which was zipped to keep out mosquitos but had a gap where it tied,) and circling again. And again. A faint sense of someone breathing. Not as big as the bear, but with more intention and curiosity. It must have circled half a dozen times before it left.

I fell asleep again.

In the morning, it was plain that we'd had a visitor -- a wolf whose paw prints, with the clearly marked claws, were longer than my hand (and I have long fingers). He'd left us an indication that this was *his* territory -- a small mountain of wolf droppings at least a foot high, right in front of the Mustang's fender. We didn't see him again, and I didn't sense him, but I wished I'd had a bit of plaster of paris to make a cast of one of those tracks, and find some proportion chart to learn just how big he was.

We didn't have any more encounters, and stayed there the rest of the time -- but I had my ears and eyes open in case that wolf was keeping an eye on us still.
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 07:18 pm
It was grad school, and I had a short break coming up. Scotty, the guy I was dating, and I decided to go camping in the Adirondacks for a few days. He was from Alaska; I had gone camping for several years with Girl Scouts. We had the equipment, and we headed off to a campsite in the mountains; you didn't have to reserve one, you could just show up and if it wasn't being used, you could have it.

It was raining the first night we were there, so we slept in the Mustang; Ford should know that Mustangs are designed as road cars, not as hotel rooms. Not the best way to sleep, so I wasn't that awake the next day. I made a fire, we had breakfast, and after we hiked for a bit to find the nearest stream and look around, Scotty went to see if there were any other campsites open, such as ones with a lean-to -- those usually need reservations, but you could get lucky.

I stayed at the campsite, which had an outhouse, a fire pit, and not much more. We'd sunk the food in the creek to keep it cool and also reduce the food smell for any animals around, so I wasn't that worried. It was quiet. I went into the outhouse to do what you do in an outhouse.

And, not long after I'd turned the wooden latch on the door, I heard footsteps outside, heavy footsteps, and the kind of deep-in-the-throat growling that comes from something very large. I thought at first that it might be a puma; they're not common in those mountains any more, but they come through sometimes -- but they're shy. This was a big animal, sniffing and sniffing and muttering to itself. And then it pushed on the outside of the outhouse and made a scraping noise, and I nearly stopped breathing. Then it got quiet. I stayed in the outhouse, barely moving at all, until Scotty's Mustang turned off the road and around the corner into the grassy parking area.

And then I got out, several shades whiter than usual. And told him what had happened.

"Bear," he said. And we both looked up at the scratch marks on the outhouse, about eight feet up. "Marking his territory.

We'd seen a much-rolled-upon area in the tall grass about a mile away that he'd said was probably where a bear had slept -- but neither of us had expected it to visit. It was probably looking for food, which we had not had nearby. We decided to move to a different campsite ....
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 07:00 pm
Chris Christie's opioid commission and the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Re the article on psychologists who were involved in torture, the movie Doctors of the Dark Side is about this, and is supposed to be good.

Where are the nurses trained in dealing with sexual assault, to take the evidence for a rape kit?

The Supreme Court on free speech and gerrymandering.

The NY State Division of Human Rights is investigating Fox News over claims of sexual harassment and retalliation.

The Seneca Nation of Indians has stopped payments from its casino earnings to state and local governments, based on their interpretation of a contract; the state says the payments should continue, based on further paperwork.

New York State raises the age for marriage to 18, eliminating child marriage. Which confuses me a bit, since I knew a couple who ran off to Virginia to get married because they could do it there but not in NY. She was 18 and he was 17 then; according to this article they might not have needed to cross two or three states to do it.

It will take a village to save the Colorado River.

Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have become the stars of the Russia inquiry, and rightfully so for their incisive questions. And we are told that, despite the possibility of blackmail, former National Security Advisor Flynn had access to the most sensitive intelligence.

The race to solar power in Africa.

A new industry in China: mistress dispellers.

Nora Ephron on making "Julie and Julia", and much more. An older article but a good one.

My body doesn't belong to you.
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 11:35 am
The wildcats you've never seen.

Color-linked feline personalities, and more.

And dogs that are trained to find human remains, even just bones, are to be used to find Amelia Earhart. Thing is, they may be looking in the wrong place. In Adela Rogers St.Johns' memoir "The Honeycomb", she writes about getting to know Amelia when she was flying in the US, and, after WWII, long after her plane disappeared, speaking with Marines who told her that they had taken the body of a white woman that had been identified as Amelia from the island where they had found her, and under strict orders to keep it quiet, flew her back to Hawaii and buried her in the military cemetery called the Punchbowl, without a marker. So I don't know. Either Adela was lied to -- and she had a superb bullshit meter -- or someone else was buried secretly by night in the Punchbowl. It's not a large place; I'm not sure how it could have been done without being noticed by someone.
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 10:34 am
Even the Republicans want more details about the health care bill.>/a> And yes, it is frightening that the health care of millions of us depend on a handful of Senators. In addition, some Senators want to change the rules to avoid reconciliation (of the bill) and proceed more quickly. I would call it a deadly scam in the making if it didn't mean life or death for so many of us. But if Mitch McConnell is going to play dirty, Democrats are willing to match him and raise the stakes.

Meanwhile, RetroRepublican VP Mike Pence explains that the Disney movie 'Mulan' is a ploy to get women in the military. He apparently missed the part where a) it's historical, b) she went in instead of her elderly and ill father, c) it's a movie for kids, it's not Top Gun (which could have racked up a lot of enlistments if they'd had recruiters in the theatre hallways when it opened.) Or maybe he's a bit of a nutcase.

298 million US voters' personal information leaked in a security lapse. Read this one.

Trump is taking action against LGBTQ Americans.

Should Amazon become The Place To Buy Everything? And does it want to be more like Apple?

The Green Revolution will happen -- without Trump. But it would work better and faster if pale environmental groups included more diversity.

New Orleans and the Gulf brace for flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy, who is speeding up. Unrelated to Cindy but still FEMA-related, FEMA is preparing for a solar superstorm that would (not could, would) take down the grid in huge sections of the country. We don't know when this one would happen. At least the Trumpets aren't trying to get rid of this... so far.

No, Han Solo isn't a comedian; he's a cynical, sarcastic, selfish jerk (most of the time). And that's why the directors of his movie have been fired, and are being replaced in mid-shoot.

Laura Dern would like actors to get over themselves, please. She should know; she grew up in the business with her father, Bruce Dern, and mother, Diane Ladd.



What the Watergate Committee taught me. The difficulties that cause problems are political alliances, cynicism and fatigue -- sound familiar? Read this.

Where did 'We the People' go?

A lawsuit filed on behalf of former prisoners reveals details about psychologist-approved torture techniques from the psychologists who approved them -- and who now may be held responsible for their use.

Journalist's notebook: Into the battle of Mosul armed with a camera.

The king of Saudi Arabia has replaced his heir with his son. I have no idea how this will affect things, but it will.

The Supreme Court announces broad protections for Internet surfing rights, including for sex offenders.

New York's governor would like to treat hemp like any other crop. This is somewhere between ironic and hilarious to anyone who went to college in the early 1970s--the Doonesbury cartoon about Zonker being jailed for one weed seed is scarily accurate to the times. Yes, I am delighted that hemp is back, and I look forward to being able to buy comfortable hempcloth shirts here instead of going to Canada for them.

The US is relocating a town because of climate change. And this is unlikely to be the last one.

Cats domesticated themselves. And tabby coloring is relatively recent.
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 01:35 pm
I was reading this one at the same time as I was reading Sorting The Beef From The Bull, which was like a natural sciences one-two punch; I would read Sorting while commuting, and Remarkable Creatures in bed at night. 

Remarkable Creatures is the fictionalized story of two real-life people, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, who were fossil hunters in Lyme Regis in England back when we were just starting to like, figure dinosaurs out. It follows their relationship, and their struggles to be seen as legitimate contributors to the scientific record, for several years.

I didn’t actually know the account was based in real life until after I’d finished reading, which did ameliorate some of my disappointment with the book, because it’s hard to make a climactic narrative out of peoples’ real lives – reality just doesn’t flow as smoothly as fiction. But I won’t lie: I am still pretty disappointed that Elizabeth and Mary didn’t end up together. I thought that was totally where we were heading.

Mind you, the story of their friendship is compelling, and Chevalier did find a way to create rising action within the story, even though as she put it in the afterword, Mary Anning basically did the same thing every day for years, in terms of hunting fossils. 

As an account of fossil hunting, of the religious wrestling that people had to do with the concept of extinction, and of the way women were treated in the era, it’s a really great book. And it’s also a fast read, which I’ve come to expect from Chevalier. And honestly, this is the first book of hers I’ve read where the female leads don’t get married, though this is in part because the real-life Mary and Elizabeth didn’t either. 

But it still feels like Chevalier’s books are always about women settling. It’s the same problem – I know that’s what women have had to do, and I’m sure she does it intentionally at least in part to remind us of that fact. I just want more for these heroines. 

But if you’re interested in paleontology, Do Recommend, it’s a good book. Less frustrating than The Last Runaway, certainly, and the characters feel more compelling, more three-dimensional, than some of those in Girl With A Pearl Earring. 

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Monday, June 19th, 2017 09:40 pm
I don’t know why it surprises me, my summers are always bananas, but July looks especially bonkers this year. Of the 20 possible workdays in July, I’m out for conferences, vacation, or workshops for a full half of them. I’m properly working only ten days in the entire month of July. 

I mean, I’m not unhappy about it. And thank god for a great paid leave package. I’m going to be traveling to cool places and doing neat things. It’s just kind of surreal. Like how last year I was only in the office for one week in all of June. 

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Monday, June 19th, 2017 03:06 pm
Reviving a lost language of Canada through film. I am looking forward to this movie -- I thought Atanarjuat (which I have probably just misspelled -- The Far Runner is the translation) was stunning.

National Geographic on the effects of melting in Antarctica.

Another far-right theocrat for the Trump Team.

The Atlantic on how ill-suited traditional the ideas of traditional masculinity are for the life we have now.

TED's playlist of how to deal with everyday life.

Is Mike Pence walking a tightrope? Or is this invisible man one of the ones causing it to exist in the first place?

How the Cosby mistrial happened, and what could be next.

A sociology of the smartphone.

New York City was hilly, varied farmland, with a lot of small farms and communities, at its start -- and here are photos of how it looked before it was leveled.

Photographer Harry Pollard's photos of First Nations people from Alberta, Canada.

Paul Krugman on the inadequacy of understanding of what Trumpcare will do to devastate health in the US -- the silence of the hacks. And here is the impact of Trumpcare, by state, with the people to contact to yell about it.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods may usher in the end of the line for many cashiers.

Why many House members aren't rushing to declare themselves candidates for the Senate. Money, money, money.

The incredible shrinking Islamic state -- no matter the noise made by its believers, it's getting smaller.

Podcast: the budget disconnect within the Trump administration.

And it's 3:30 and I just heard the coyote howling again. But it's getting dark and we have storms just west and south that will be moving in. I still have heard only one -- and as I understand it, coyotes howl when they're looking for other coyotes. Maybe it's significant (maybe not) that none of the neighborhood dogs are barking.
Monday, June 19th, 2017 11:19 am
Taking a little break from Tracy Chevalier (we’ll be back to her soon)...

So, [tumblr.com profile] terrie01 recommended this book to me during a discussion on food fraud, and it’s been a really...interesting experience. On the one hand it’s a very informative book, packed full of detail and data, but on the other oh man is it dry. I didn’t realize what a struggle it was to get through until I started reading Extra Virginity this morning, which is about the same general topic (focused on olive oil) but is much more engagingly written.

Sorting the Beef From The Bull focuses on food fraud from a legislative and economic angle; I can imagine for people working in the industry it’s a little more accessible, and I don’t think it’s a badly written book. It’s just jammed with a combination of dense law and complex biochemistry, when what I (a non-lawyer, non-scientist) wanted was like...war stories about food fraud.

text )
Monday, June 19th, 2017 08:24 am
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we begin, a quick reminder: when you submit a link and a blurb, you guys are your own best advocates. Try to look at the sites you're submitting and think, If I knew nothing about this situation, would what I'm seeing be helpful? And if not, try to include more context. You can give me more than one link, and it's often helpful to do so.

(This isn't specific to this week, just starting to notice a trend over the last six months where not enough context is available for me to write the blurb, let alone for others to be informed about it. Just a gentle nudge in the right direction!)

Ways to Give:

Julie is raising funds to cover rent; she has a job lined up but won't have a paycheck in time for July's rent. (This is a link I'm sharing rather than one that was submitted to RFM, so while I wasn't sure I should post Julie's username, I'll vouch for her personally.) You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] charlietheskonk is fundraising for a new Montessori preschool with wrap-around care; the fundraiser is to support startup and licensing costs, and supports a queer-owned business. You can read more and reblog here, or check out the fundraiser and give here.

[tumblr.com profile] digitaldiscipline linked to Jenn Vs. Trevor, a charity deadlift battle to raise funds for the winner's local Humane Society branch. You can reblog the link here and read more and donate here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

Anon linked to the EPA, which is soliciting public comment about the Second Five-Year Review Report for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site. The report indicates that the levels of PCBs in the river are still too high, but the EPA is not planning any active measures to reduce them. You can read more here and find contact information here to tell the EPA the Hudson River deserves better.

RSF linked to public comments solicitation about a plan to "trim" the US National Monuments; activists are working to make it known how important they are, and that monuments like Bears Ears should be saved. You can learn more and comment here.

News to Know:

[tumblr.com profile] drgaellon linked to a linkslist for religious LGBTQ people who are struggling with their faith's attitudes towards their orientation; included are sites that validate queer orientations for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, including a site specifically for trans Jewish people. You can find the links and reblog here.

Housing:

[tumblr.com profile] worldsonpaper is looking for a new flatmate in Sydney, 15 minutes by train from the CBD. She is LGBT+ friendly but requests no male applicants. Bedroom with a shared bath, $250/wk plus internet; electricity and water are covered in the rent. $900 bond. You can contact her via ask on tumblr or at wieldswords at gmail.com.

[tumblr.com profile] blackestglass is looking for a roommate in the greater DC/Northern VA area, to move in on August 1. She is in a 2br/2ba condo, Metro accesible, with free parking, gym access, and in-unit laundry. Master suite is available for $1290/mo plus utilities, or the smaller suite is available for $1190/mo, with lower rent if the parking space isn't needed and can be rented out. You can read more and get in touch here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
Sunday, June 18th, 2017 10:08 pm
Well, we made it to our new condo with a 26ft Uhaul full of junk and two kitties. We are just starting to see the light at the start of the organization tunnel but the 28ft trailer will be delivered on Wednesday and the pro movers will show up Thursday to vomit all of that out into our space. I'd ask how I got so much junk, but I know how - too many people died and I kept a bunch of their stuff!

We have a plan regarding storage/sorting/getting rid of things that will go into effect as soon as our large furniture gets put into place. It will be nice to finally have my books out of boxes. Many of them are writing references and not having them has made it difficult for me to even think about writing.

This place is far from perfect, but it's a start. It got us out here. And my foot is very unhappy with all the up and down on 2 flights of stairs when I have to do when attempting laundry. Still, I will think of it as PT and strength training for the bugger. As for other things, we will shift from a life above ground to staying with the cats in the unfinished basement as soon as we pick the people doing our upstairs in hardwood. When they bring the wood to get adjusted to our home we will trot down and wait until they are finished to get the rest of the upstairs unpacked and ready to roll. Should be somewhere around three weeks.

I'll try to take some photos at some point and post them. I pick up paint tomorrow for our living/dining area so the major walls where the entertainment unit, couch, and bookshelves go will have time to cure before Thursday.

In short, massive busy. Insert Kermit Flail gif here.
Saturday, June 17th, 2017 10:00 pm
I am sitting here, in bed, listening for the same thing I heard before I went to bed.

And it's something I did not expect to hear in urban Maryland.

There's a coyote howling out there, somewhere within a block or so.

This development was built in the postwar 1940s, leaving as many of the big oaks and tulip poplars and other trees in place. There's a park at the bottom of the street that runs about 8 miles -- we are somewhere near the middle of it. It has deer, raccoons, possums, foxes... and we saw a coyote a few years ago. One coyote, cutting through the back yards. Normal sized, about 25 lbs.

There are dogs in the area, and when they're outside and want to ocme in, they bark and yip. That's not what I'm hearing out there. This is a howl -- it's singing -- and it's not singing at the moon since we're in the last quarter and it's not that bright. Whoever is howling is moving around a bit, calling from a slightly different place each time.

And it's a deeper voice than I'd expect from a 25-lb coyote. Coyotes tend to be sopranos or altos, in terms of range; this is definitely a tenor with a tinge of baritone. That argues a larger animal making the sound, possibly a coydog--that's what happens when a coyote in season gets caught by a bigger horny dog, and the coyote raises the pups to be coyotes. They can be up to 50 lbs. -- they were that big a dozen or more years ago in Virginia, across a couple of bridges and about 15 miles. And according to studies, the coyotes that are moving in cities are actually coywolves, crossed with Canadian or Adirondack wolves, again, something larger.

I made sure to bolt the back door. I'm pretty sure whatever it is has been around, marking the doorstep and the brick wall -- Beautiful has been afriad to go into the yard at times recently, and when she did, she stayed within sight of me, which she seldom does when she first goes out in the morning.

I wish the coyote, whatever it is, well -- but it is similar to Tevye asking God to bless and keep the Tsar... far away from us. I want it to live on mice or rabbits or squirrels (there are plenty of all three) and not on cats or small dogs.

And now it's quieter...

It will probably be a flurry of comments on the neighborhood listserv tommorow.
Saturday, June 17th, 2017 11:44 am
Need to fix something? Don't know where to start or how? You might check iFixIt.com for ideas, reference manuals and encouragement.

How a Philly ob-gyn ended up delivering a baby gorilla.

***

From Yes magazine:

How to handle a toxic relationship.

How photography shapes our view of Native Americans.

Philadelphia's alternative to gentrification spreads opportunity much further for everyone.

What Japanese internment taught us about standing up for our neighbors.

***

A classics historian received a death threat from a group that does not like her research and findings of multiple ethnicities in ancient Greece and Rome.

Trump's financial disclosure forms report hundreds of millions in income. All things considered, I have to wonder if they're factual.

The Amazon vs. Walmart showdown.

All the questions the jury -- which is deadlocked -- has asked during the Bill Cosby trial. ETA: A mistrial has been declared.

Podcast: Inside the Senate's secret health care talks.

Buying a plane ticket with a layover got a father who was leaving the US anyway detained by ICE. Yes, this is ridiculous.

Why is Trump frazzled, angry and pissy? Mueller is following proper investigative procedure -- he's following the money trail. What does that tell you? I'm on the side of the author of this opinion post: he had no business becoming president.

Bil Moyers: The other things that happened while Trump was tweeting.

***

To the women over 40 and the 20-somethings who write about them.
Saturday, June 17th, 2017 09:31 am
These are the 15 people criminally charged in relation to the Flint water crisis.

Whether the Republicans realize it or not, not one state supports Trumpcare.

Religious liberals are gathering to fight Trumpcare and the other hideous policies of this Administration. And here is a look at the party registration of Christian religious leaders, by denomination. It does not include Quakers, but many Quaker meetings don't have pastors (we rotate responsibilities among members) so, again, we're outside the statistical view.
And it does not include the views of leaders of Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, Asatru, Pagan, Native American Church, Christadelphians, Vodoun and other religious groups, though Jewish leaders are included. I would like, for once, to have *all* religious leaders included in things like this, not just Christianity and Judaism.

Just like Trump, Sessions is uninterested in Russia hacking US computers and interfering with democracy here.

Small towns where former migrant workers have settled and established businesses and lives are being devastated by Trump's ICE taking 'illegals' away -- never mind that these people are part of the community and have been there for years, living their lives, paying taxes and following the law. And here is a Holocaust survivor testifying against anti-immigration laws that tear families apart.

Simplifying the search for birth control.

The National Park Service explains the crippling effect of Trump's proposed budget. Bear in mind, again, that Trump's budget has no legal or fiscal standing, and the budget is made by Congress, not the president.

Vanity Fair: A personal look at Robert Mueller and the FBI investigation.

Ancient food traditions in Guatemala.
Friday, June 16th, 2017 07:22 pm
If you were planning to go to Cuba to hit the beautiful white-sand beaches, think again.

A woman is suing a casino that tried to give her dinner instead of her $43 million jackpot.

Governors from both parties want a bipartisan approach to health care, not this Repubs in the room, Dems not allowed business that's going on now.

According to EU sources, the UK has to sort out its Brexit situation before there can be trade talks.

You know it's getting serious when Trump's lawyer hires his own lawyer.

Trump is considering travel restrictions on North Korea since Otto Warmbier has returned after 18 months, in a coma and with significant loss of brain tissue and function. Seriously -- who would want to go there, except international aid workers who would not be welcomed by the regime?

Marco Rubio confirms details of Comey's testimony during Sessions' testimony. Complicated enough yet?

Trump picked a right-wing blogger for a judgeship. His confirmation hearing was *such* a train wreck. Maybe choosing someone who compares abortion to slavery wasn't such a good idea?

The EPA and the Department of the Interior (which is in charge of parks and monuments) held a private meeting at Trump's hotel with 45 gas and oil CEOs. This does not smell good.

Jeff Bezos, who may be the world's richest man, is asking people on Twitter to help him form his philanthropic goals.

A student who lived in the Grenfell Towers pulled an all-nighter bringing food and help to people who had escaped the fire in the tower, then took his A-level exams.

Los Angeles lit the Bat-Signal in memory of Adam West.

Trump's transition team orders aides to preserve Russia-related materials. Hmm. How very un-Republican of them.

How do you draw a circle? The answer may depend on where you're from.

Some Republican congressmen will go to any excuse to avoid meeting with their constituents, who don't necessarily like what they're doing.

The Dutch have solutions to rising seas. They've been living with flooding forever; they find ways to accommodate it and keep going.

The continued effort to silence Kamala Harris speaks volumes.

An Ohio coroner warns emergency personnel: throw away the latex gloves when you're dealing with opioid overdoses, because the gloves can become a way for the opioid to get to you.
Friday, June 16th, 2017 02:07 pm
Republican Senators say their phones aren't ringing about keeping the ACA and dumping Trumpcare so here's the contact list.

The mayor of Jackson, Wyoming, has removed Trump's photo from City Hall because we don't live in a dictatorship, and he'd rather post an organizational chart of local, state and federal government.

Oh, interesting. Trump's power broker has resigned from the company he founded and sold all his stock in it, one day after it was revealed that he is a massive slumlord. Apparently most of the 31,000 houses he owned through the company were badly built and are falling apart, and -- oh my! -- someone noticed this.

Trump is facing three emoluments lawsuits.

"Dreamers" can stay for now -- Trump says so -- but nobody knows their longterm fate.

Michelle Carter, who sent her boyfriend dozens of texts telling him to kill himself, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter -- the boyfriend killed himself with carbon monoxide in his truck, and she told him to get back into it when he texted her. She didn't call anyone -- his family or police -- when he was killing himself. She could be sentenced to anything from probation to 20 years in prison. Warning: someone who tells you to hurt yourself is not your friend.

Twitterer RogueSNRadvisor said Trump is really upset today, very freaked. And then someone sent him the transcript of the Comey tapes -- yes he did tape that conversation, and here's Page One.

A Vox reporter who has covered the ACA since day one has never seen lying and obstruction as bad as this before.

A new solar powered device can pull water out of the desert air. Think of the possibilities for places with little to no groundwater or streams.

Facebook wants input on hard questions about censorship and terrorism.

A local paper's dogged search for information about the congressional shooter. I am not calling it the Virginia shooting -- it took place in Virginia only because the ballfield was there; it is not about Virginians or Virginia politics. It is about Congress.
Friday, June 16th, 2017 12:53 pm
From Sarah(from here)'s tweetstorm, collected for non Tweeters by Cassandra Troy on Facebook:


A Rant About the Reaction to the Congressional Shooting:

It was okay when it was just a lady Democrat getting shot in the head.

It was okay when it was just twenty six year olds in a school.

Was okay when it was a black President being burned in effigy or asking "2nd amendment people to do something" abt a woman candidate.

Was okay when it was folks walking, driving, living while black.

It was okay 153 times in 165 days this year, but now, NOW rich white people are getting shot at and lines must be drawn.

And now--NOW--it is all the fault of the party that is telling the truth about what those rich white guys want to do to their constituents.

The party that wanted to do things like deny guns to people with arrest records for domestic violence, by the way. The party of gun*sense*.

And now these people that hang around outside mosques open-carrying so as to intimidate peaceful worshippers--

These people who refused to re-up the Violence Against Women Act and who treat violence as their religion--
--are going to cry on the news because "my kid was at that field with me."

Yes. Because 153 other times this year, it was other folks' kids.

And you did not really care about any of them. Not one. Because guns were sacred to you when it was our lives.

Now it's your life, and your supporters are all over Facebook like "OMG KATHY GRIFFIN," bc when Obama was lynched in effigy for EIGHT YEARS
that was all fine, but now that someone is angry about a white President who wants to kill thousand of poor Americans, that's unthinkable.

The sanctimony of the gun-waving right. Unbelievable.

I would never want to see anyone get shot. But the Republican party drove drunk with rhetoric for 8 years, and now they are surprised?

I am sorry anyone is hurt. I am not surprised. I am surprised it took this long.

And anyone pretending that it's because liberals are telling the truth about health care, climate change, etc that this happened--no. No.

You voted in monsters that only cared about themselves and you handed out guns like candy and *this is what you get*.
Friday, June 16th, 2017 11:28 am
Food wars and skirmishes:

Amazon is buying Whole Foods. (Maybe some of their worse employee policies can change, like employees finally getting health care.) This is apparently part of the unseen-by-shoppers grocery wars, in which major combatants are Amazon and WalMart. I am assuming Wegman's is not big enough to count for this yet. In other areas, you may want to stock up on Butterfingers -- Nestle is planning to sell its US confectionary business, which is apparently not in line with its plans to provide more healthy food. Dear Nestle: healthy food includes the right to drink the water that is under your land or adjacent to it. Get the hell out of the business of merchandising a vital need -- water-- and btw how about shutting up your CEO who says that access to water is not a human right?

***

In other matters, the FBI issued a warrant for Lyle Jeffs, one of the leaders of the polygamous radical Morman sect that endorsed child marriages (his brother's in prison already on charges relating to that.) Jeffs was wanted for 'federal food stamp fraud.' (See, it's not people of color that cops should be looking at for that, but skinny white guys running communes.) But he was captured, after nearly a year on the run -- he was apparently living in his car. And he seems to have used olive oil to get rid of the GPS tracker that was attached to his ankle for earlier misdeeds. But Lyle has not been a kinder or gentler version of his brother. Quote from the Salt Lake Tribune:

"Lyle, in his brother's name, has enforced rigid doctrines unlike any the faith has had before, former members say, with bans on marriages, sex among spouses [you can read more on this rule here] and a grocery list of foods, such as beans, milk, sugar and chocolate. No one is allowed to read or watch secular media or view the evidence law enforcement collected against Warren in Texas. Lyle also has evicted perhaps hundreds of men, women and children. Others have left on their own. ...

"Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Lyle, some FLDS businessmen and the church itself to pay fines totaling almost $2 million for using children and unpaid labor during a 2012 pecan harvest. The fines remain under appeal and have not been paid."


And, from a NPR report earlier this year:

" 'This indictment is not about religion. This indictment is about fraud,' U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said in a statement.

"In the indictment, prosecutors say FLDS church members receive millions of dollars in SNAP benefits each year. The program is intended to help low-income families and individuals buy food. Jeffs and other church leaders allegedly ordered members to give their SNAP benefits to the church, which then redistributed them to the community. In some cases, prosecutors say, church leaders told members to transfer their SNAP benefits to church-owned stores without receiving food.

"The money from the alleged scheme, prosecutors say, helped finance the purchase of paper products, a tractor and a truck — all of which are ineligible under SNAP rules."


***

And in the same spirit as the previous section, there's a new study on why men harass women. It focuses on the Middle East, but I think it's applicable elsewhere.
Friday, June 16th, 2017 12:06 am
My credit union just upgraded its online system, and in the process of this I had to relog, change passwords, go through email verification (not fun -- email was slow and their system didn't allow enough time for me to put the new code in, so I had to repeat) and then had me review my information.

And at that point it got a little odd.

The system seems to think I'm a saint. Or a street. The prefix before my name was St., not Ms.

It also thinks I'm the first in a long line of saints or streets -- the info added Sr. after my name.

I called the info number for the credit union and learned that this is a bug that has hit a lot of people and they'll be dealing with it.

But I'm charmed by the idea of being considered a saint without having to deal with the Vatican at all -- it's encouraging and broadens my notions of what saintliness might be, since it now seems to include me. And if it includes me -- and I'm so far from what the Vatican might consider qualified, including no longer being Catholic -- it might well include everyone I know, which I think is great. (And it undoubtedly includes many people I don't know, since it's everyone in the Credit Union.)

Isn't it wonderful how sainthood spreads subversively and unexpectedly?
Thursday, June 15th, 2017 11:26 pm
Just because Congressmen got shot at doesn't mean they'll change how they do things, despite America's lethal politics.

The universal phenomenon of men interrupting women.

Anita Pallenberg affected fashion far more than you might think.

How New York is saving a fish that swam with dinosaurs -- the lake sturgeon.

Trump declares the FBI and Robert Mueller 'very bad people' as he deals with the obstruction investigation -- or doesn't deal with it. And his aides admit he brought it on himself with his twittering.

Most of Trump's properties (which he tends to lease, not own) are being bought by secretive shell companies.

In Virginia, Danica Roem won a healthy victory in a four-way primary to become the Democratic candidate for the 13th State House district this fall. She is a transgender woman and plans to take on the Republican sponsor of Virginia's hideous bathroom bill.

The Guardian: Jeff Sessions is an amnesiac who somehow doesn't have to follow normal rules. And if you believe that, there's a bridge for sale...

A bill to authorize automatic voter registration has been introduced in Congress.

States are leading the fight against birth-control restrictions levied by Trump.

What to read after 'The Handmaid's Tale.

22-year-old Otto Warmbier is in stable condition since his release from prison in North Korea -- he was brutalized for 18 months.

Slate tries to figure out the Administration's latest non-answers about Robert Mueller.

Since Roger Ailes left, and died, Faux News has abandoned any effort (or slogan) concerning being 'fair and balanced'. Well, truth in advertising -- they never were fair or balanced.

A sexist audition for a movie -- no, the movie didn't involve a bikini, but the audition did.
Thursday, June 15th, 2017 10:51 pm
Republicans don't want to protect creatures that are helpless to protect themselves from humans. This time, they've gotten rid of a rule that protects whales and turtles.

Caroline Kennedy wants to put her views against Trump into action; she's running for the Senate in 2018.

Gorsuch's first Supreme Court opinion lets debt collectors run amok.

Here is the Congress.gov listing for HR-861, To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. At this point it has only been introduced in the House; this is the time to contact your Congressperson about not letting it out of committee, and talk to your Senators about not supporting any concurrent bills or this one if it gets anywhere. It has been sent to these House committees: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, House Agriculture Committee, House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, and
House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment. You can look those up at Congress.gov to see which House reps are on them, and concentrate on those people if you want.

Since neither Trump nor Sessions are doing a damn thing about police violence in Chicago, civil rights groups are suing Chicago about the police abusing people there.

I guess this is a sign of climate change -- a woman not 5 miles from me being bitten by a copperhead snake that climbed up into her bed. We're a bit further from the creek than she is, I think. We get deer, raccoons, possums, foxes, the occasional coyote, and any number of bunnies, birds, chipmunks, etc., but no snakes that I have ever seen. One turtle, about 15 years ago, and that was all.

After the shooting at the Congressional baseball practice, it all turned into politics fairly quickly. And a Republican Congresswoman gets a threatening note indicating that someone was after the rest of the Republican House members.

***

A Russian lobbyist just blew a hole in Session's words under oath. Has he picked up the habit of easy lies from Trump? Also, here's a photograph of Sessions and the Russian ambassador together at the Mayflower Hotel. Conan O'Brian has identified the 'tell' that indicates when Sessions is not telling the truth.

Comey's way of dealing with a bad boss may provide some suggestions for others in similar bad-boss situations. Though I truly hope nobody's boss is quite *this* bad. I have to say, the interaction between Comey and Trump sounds very much like the kind of emotional blackmail that I would expect in a sexual abuse complaint.

As a prosecutor, Kamala Harris's determination to get to the truth was praised; as a senator, the sexists are calling her 'hysterical'. Yet another attempt to cut down a strong and impressive woman doing her job.

***

The policing of women, then and now, and how to curb it.

Why did Greenland's Vikings vanish?

The dark architecture of national security.
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 01:05 pm
Highlights of Sessions' testimony. Of course, he says there's nothing wrong with the FBI chief talking to the president. And he didn't know about any staff contacts with the Russians. All this, when Russia's cyberwar on the US is obvious and verified. It's also obvious that the stakes are very high. Among the proof: Russian interference affected vote totals in 39 states. And more on the Russian cyberhacking.

A US District judge has ordered Sessions to produce the clearance form that should show all of his contacts with the Russians. We'll see if he complies.

The Senate didn't, actually, change the rules governing how reporters talk to Senators in the Congress building, but there was a kerfuffle about it with the Senate sergeant-at-arms and the rules committee. And the reason that the rules weren't changed was journalists and others raising hell about it. Why? Journalists were barred from filming hallway interviews with Senators, because of complaints about their aggressiveness.

Is Dennis Rodman serving as Trump's secret back channel to Korea? Seriously. Not a joke.

***

"Pulse nightclub was my home."

Why Bill Cosby's legal defense lasted only 6 minutes.

Verizon has bought Yahoo.

The long, lonely road of Chelsea Manning.

***

Editor & Publisher: (so you can see some of the other side of the media)

Protecting the truth under Trump.

Choosing the future.

How the Washington Post is training video polymaths.

How publishers use emotion to promote content on Facebook.

How the Reality Winner case is a cautionary tale for journalists.

***

A rescued, half-blind deer has been adopted by the vet who treated her, and spends her days swimming, playing with her poodle sister, and eating spaghetti. And being loved.
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 08:57 am
You never know what you'll find in someone's garage -- like a lost Jackson Pollock painting worth $15 million.

Cities and states may be able to join the Paris accord without the country's agreement.

What with all of Trumpet's Tweets, cyberbullying, and so much more, is social media on the table in the 2020 election? How could it not be?

Occult legislation: That's what the Senate is trying to do with the health care bill that would take coverage away from 23 million people and seriously affect others. It's all being done in the dark, in secret, in ways that none of the Founders would like.

And why is the resistance to the Republican Senate bill so halfhearted? There is no public campaign on television and cable, no uprising by doctors or doctors' associations, and far from enough outrage from AARP, whose voting bloc is one of the largest in the country and is one that will be disproportionately affected by the change. Where are the outcries from major lobbyists? Are they all that terrified of Republicans?

Also, much as you may not want to think about it, you're probably going to need Medicaid, because it pays for nursing homes and rehab centers not covered by ordinary health insurance. So people don't lose their homes trying to pay for a spouse's or family member's nursing home care. I would rather not think of the actual effects on families and on people in nursing homes now if the Republican Senate bill passes.

Where are the airlines getting these people they hire, and can they send them back? A violinist's hand was injured when an American Airlines crew member tried to grab her expensive, very old violin out of her hand. And yes, instruments do fly with professionals, and not in the baggage hold. Violin cases aren't that big; they fit in the overhead nicely.

Kansas, for once realizing that its supply-side economics was near to destroying the state, and its lack of support for public education has been declared unconstitutional, has raised taxes. With a Republican legislature. Gov. Brownback, most hated governor in the US, vetoed the bill; the Lege overrode the veto. Quote:

Because Republicans are not supposed to raise taxes, ever. In Washington or in the states. This goes back to President George H. W. Bush’s agreeing to a bipartisan tax increase in 1990 after famously saying in his 1988 campaign, “Read my lips: no new taxes.” Afterward, the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, started making Republican candidates for Congress and state houses sign a no-tax pledge.

Ever since, with scattered exceptions, no Republican member of the House or Senate has voted for a tax increase. For 27 years. If you wonder why problems arise and Congress never does anything about them, the tax pledge is usually the answer, or at least an answer.

Think we need to build bridges and roads and lay freight rail lines? Of course we do. But we can’t. It would require a tax. Think rural Americans need better access to broadband? You bet they do. But doing it right would need a tax. Think we ought to be spending far, far more than we are currently on this hideous opioid crisis, with drug overdoses now being the leading cause of death for Americans under 50? We most surely ought to be. But no — gotta pass those tax cuts.

The Republican no-tax position even bears a share of the blame for our current polarization. Republicans once recognized the principle that public purposes sometimes justified the raising of additional revenue. They might have balked at the specific number the Democrats proposed, but they accepted that taxes were negotiable....


Fifty years after the Loving case that legalized mixed-race marriages, "we are not unusual any more."

I am not abandoning hope, despite all this pundit roundup lists Trump doing. I am just that stubborn.

Here are some photos of young Roger Moore modeling knitwear. I linked to one before -- here's the whole package. And Danish upper classes were buried in fancy wool hats and shawls, 3500 years ago.

Chinese footbinding wasn't just for sex; it was to keep women at home to work. Still not a good idea, and owwww.

What does a costume designer do? Read this and you'll know a lot more.

***

ADDENDA:

Rep. Steve Scalise, House majority whip, has been shot while playing baseball in the Congressional baseball league -- the teams play early in the morning, before work. A man from Illinois was the shooter; he is dead. Scalise was hit in the hip, and is in stable condition after surgery.

Farewell, Anita Pallenberg.

How much longer can Sessions stay in office?

The Senate wants sanctions against Moscow; will Trump veto? Much more on this from the NY Times here.

This looks far too much like the movie 'Towering Inferno'.

Why won't NYC officials admit they were wrong in imprisoning two men for years when they were innocent? The men sued and are getting (jointly) $25 million.

Tracy K. Smith is the new poet laureate of the US.
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 10:53 pm
Dutch Baby is by far the most dramatic of all the pastries. 

Look how impressed my owl spoon rest is and DO NOT look at how oh my god filthy my stove is….

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2roILyM
via IFTTT
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 01:35 pm
You know the Senate health care bill sucks horse apples (I'm being polite here) when they won't make it public. Meanwhile, they have no idea what is *in* the bill, or how it affects people in the real world where the rest of us live.

In spite of court orders otherwise, Trump's companies destroyed emails and documents. How very Republican of them.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is assembling an investigation team of people who have taken down the Mafia, Nixon and Enron. No wonder Trump is wibbling about firing him. Yeah, right.

The new, nearly invisible, class markers that separate the elite from everyone else.
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 03:33 pm
Trying to get back into the swing of reviewing books, especially since I’m no longer re-reading the entire Nero Wolfe canon…

So, I recently found a stash of Chevalier’s ebooks on my tablet and decided to re-read Girl With A Pearl Earring, which I very much liked, and then picked The Last Runaway out of the others. The book centers around a young Quaker woman from England, Honor Bright, who at some point in the mid 19th century (I’m a little shaky on the exact date, but pre-Civil War) decides to immigrate to America with her sister Grace after Honor’s fiancee breaks their engagement to marry outside the faith. Spoilers below. 

spoilers! )
Monday, June 12th, 2017 06:48 pm
A schoolgirl thrash band is smashing stereotypes -- in Indonesia.

About the Watergate -- the hotel, and yes, I had dinner there back in 1973 with my aunt and uncle. Amazing food. And nobody thinks of the food when they're comparing it to the so-called Trump International Hotel, which to me is always going to be The Old Post Office Pavillion. Which had fabulous inexpensive food and great ice cream, B.T. (Need I explain the initials?)

Getting married where the caterer is a pretzel vendor.

Why this mom refuses to teach her girls to "dress modestly."

Teaching hope: Rwanda's children of rape are coming of age, against the odds.

Paulina Porizkova, on how America made her a feminist.

Writing with color.

English is not normal. As someone who has studied Latin, Greek and German in high school/university, and picked up bits and pieces of French, Italian and a few other things since, I love this article fervently.

25 photos of little girls dressed as Wonder Woman. Let's start with inspiring and just keep going.

It's getting harder for Trump to get his domestic agenda going. Awww. Let me play the tiniest violin for you. Meanwhile, DC and Maryland sue Trump over violations of the Emoluments Clause.

An analysis by Roll Call of all the questions asked of Comey last week in the hearing.

Gabrielle Giffords is the first living woman since Martha Washington to have a warship named after her.
Monday, June 12th, 2017 10:25 am
Trump says Comey lied; Trump Jr. says Comey is right.

Diane Feinstein asks Comey: why didn't you stop Trump and tell him this is wrong? “Maybe if I were stronger, I would have,” Comey replied. “I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in.”

And former US Attorney Preet Bharara says Trump fired him less than a day after one of those 'uncomfortable calls' that sought to have Bharara give personal allegiance to Trump. So it's not just something that happened to Comey. This may be a regular thing with Trump-the-dealmaker-who-wants-to-be-don, not just Donald. Not a coincidence that Bharara was investigating Trump's dealings in NY at the time.

Sessions says he'll testify tomorrow about questions about Russia. But the cloud over Sessions' head is getting darker.

I can't resist this headline: Former Rep. Corrine Brown wants a new trial over the Holy Spirit. Seems that a juror was dismissed because he said the Holy Spirit said she wasn't guilty.

Even without the ban, fewer travelers come here from those six Islamic countries. And the Washinton Post points out that the travel ban is useless against homegrown terrorists.

Washington Post: Trump cares more about himself than about his country.

Ignoring the smoke screen of Comey and Russia, Democrats are sticking to the health care message.

How Theresa May blew the general election.

Nevertheless, she resisted -- problem students and hunting girls.

How about some beautiful photos, to help balance the heaviness above?
Monday, June 12th, 2017 10:24 am
The research for this book was done within miles of me here; I can go walking on the Rachel Carson Trail any time I want. It is still timely, and here it is, all of it, as it was originally published in the New Yorker.

Silent Spring, part 1

Silent Spring, part 2

Silent Spring, part 3

***

How the earth is changing.

In the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the Koch brothers' campaign becomes overt.

Were there any heroes in the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico?
Monday, June 12th, 2017 08:10 am
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] natasharomanov is a film major with Cerebral Palsy, living in Los Angeles; she recently lost her dream job with a film producer, and is raising funds to keep a roof overh er head and bills paid. She is offering commission work on icons, video edits, and graphic design; you can check out her work and get in touch here.

[tumblr.com profile] in-real-life-there-is-no-algebra will be teaching next year as an 11th grade English teacher in Texas, at a school with very few resources and located in a food desert. She would like to stock her classroom in a way that makes her kids, the majority of whom are Latinx or African-American, feel like they are in a first-rate school with supplies and a great classroom library. She's set up an Amazon Wishlist here where people can help buy books for her students to enjoy.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Strange Horizons, an online SFF magazine which is seeking two volunteer Associate Editors. The position requires about 3-5 hours of work per week, and works across all departments, assisting with the running and development of the magazine. They are strongly encouraging applications from queer, minority, and non-US/UK residents. You can read more and apply here.

[personal profile] brainwane also linked to WisCon, a feminist SFF convention which is seeking ideas for next year's programming. You don't have to be attending to suggest panels, workshops, and session ideas. Per their website, "WisCon encourages programming that has at least implicit, but preferably explicit, recognition of and engagement with an expansive definition of feminism. We encourage programming that is attentive to issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, disability, and other issues of oppression and/or identity politics." You can read more and make suggestions here.

Housing:

[tumblr.com profile] blackestglass is looking for a roommate in the greater DC/Northern VA area, to move in on August 1. She is in a 2br/2ba condo, Metro accesible, with free parking, gym access, and in-unit laundry. Master suite is available for $1300/mo plus utilities, or the smaller suite is available for $1200/mo, with lower rent if the parking space isn't needed and can be rented out. You can read more and get in touch here.

News To Know:

Carter linked to information about the upcoming Leverage Big (And Mini) Bang, which will be opening for signups in August. You can read more at their tumblr, [tumblr.com profile] leveragebigbang and they're trying to generate as much interest and awareness as possible!


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
Sunday, June 11th, 2017 12:59 pm
While we were watching Comey, the House RetroRepublicans passed a bill to undo financial regulation of big banks. This does not mean the Senate will agree; feel free to harass your Senators about this, to make sure they won't pass a version of it.

Unpacking the birth-control mandate rollback. When I needed it most, when I was making $160 a week? A pack of pills was $20-25 a month. If I'd had that $20-25, I would have been able to eat better (this was the 1980s, when that would buy a week's groceries, or a tank and a half of gasoline.) And it's no different now for rural women whose free access to contraceptives of their choice may go away. (Can we get Wonder Woman to smack down the fatasshats who came up with this way to interfere in women's lives?) But then, again, Trump is the culmination of an invisible war on women around the world.

And, while we're at it, f'godsake, quit making excuses for hateful white men.

Why everyone in the West Wing needs to lawyer up, right now.

This is your brain on exercise.

An atlas of indigenous languages in Canada wins the Governor-General's Award. And grocery stores are using local indigenous languages on food labels. Why not here?

Killing coyotes doesn't help ranchers.

In Kentucky, after coal, a healthier and more creative economy.

A Blackfoot woman leads her tribe back to historic food sources and traditional recipes.

Save food for the future -- save seeds. You realize, of course, that Monsanto and those others who create 'seedles' crops are in the business of business, not of health and good eating in the future, right?

Why we are driven to search for truth.

Robert Reich: Don't slow down on seeking impeachment.

Zoot suits and Mexican-American resistance.

How to keep your college admission offer -- start with digital literacy.
Saturday, June 10th, 2017 06:16 pm
How Russian propaganda spread from a parody website to Faux News.

A primer on Trump, Comey, and obstruction of justice. Note the properly placed Oxford comma.

Remember the kid who had the idea for a solar-powered device to get plastic out of the oceans? He's back, and it's happening.

How 7 Trump associates are linked to Russia. Hmm. This just sits there begging for a bad Snow White joke and I can't think of one bad enough...

How bad are the airlines? Here's what it was like for 8 days of flying in America.

And yes, Trump did steal money from a children's cancer charity.

I don't know if these are the best flea markets in Europe and the US, but here they are.

Trump doesn't want to keep wild mustangs roaming the west, protected. He wants them killed for meat. I do not have words bad enough for what I think of this. Let me put it this way: horses are intelligent, curious, and conscious beings that do not deserve to be terrified by being slammed into trucks, electrocuted with cattle prods, and terrified on a slaughter line -- none of them. It's primitive, vicious treatment of creatures that do not deserve it. And even if there were more humane ways of doing it? I'd say no. We still need to have wild horses in America -- and tame ones don't deserve this either. [Comments defending the human consumption of horses will be deleted without warning. Rude comments will get the commenter banned from this journal.]

Hawaii is the first state to pass a law that aligns with the Paris agreement.

Five possible scenarios for Brexit in the UK now.
Saturday, June 10th, 2017 05:32 pm
How a Russian journalist exposed the anti-gay crackdown in Chechnya.

A jolt of humanity at the grim trial of Bill Cosby.

A lost lizard returns.

Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned from life and writing.

Yes, I linked this before. It's worth listening to twice: Bob Dylan's Nobel lecture, about where his songs come from -- and it's literature. Listen to that intense, weedy, loving voice.

And another TED talk: The beauty of being a misfit.

How to make friends with crows. Also, The 10 best and worst things to feed a crow. I sit outside most days in the morning and play Navajo flute for Beautifulcat (she comes back when she hears it) and for the trees. And lately, a crow has been sitting high up in the hickory tree, or the oak, and making crackly grumbly noises after I stop, and then flying away. The first article says grumbly noises mean approval. Thank you, Sister Crow!

Americans are heading toward divorce.