wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I went to see Wisc. State Rep. Fred Kessler talk about the case (Whitford v. Gill) against the Wisconsin redistricting that was recently ruled unconstitutional, and which Wisconsin's GOP government is appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States.

He first introduced himself, talking about his history and how he got into politics. He was first elected to serve as a representative in Madison in 1960, when he was a very young man, and he has also served as a Judge before returning to working as a politician.



He gave us this background so we would understand why he immediately recognized how unfair the current electoral map in Wisconsin is. He immediately started talking to people about whether a legal case could be made to challenge it. I don't have all the names, as most of the notes I was taking were in the form of sketching the speaker, but it was interesting to hear how the case developed. Little things mattered--for instance, one of the people invited to a meeting brought his then-girlfriend, who agreed that this was a big issue, and who volunteered to do some fund raising, as she knew people who she thought would agree that this was an issue of basic fairness and very important to the continuation of our democratic form of government.

She came back to the group at their next meeting with pledges for over $150,000.

Now you have to understand that this money did not go to the lawyers--they are donating their time, and won't get paid unless they win--but this money meant that the lawyers could start the process, doing all the little and big things that are needed for a lawsuit, from the trivial (filing and serving the lawsuit) to the most vital and most expensive--paying for copies of documents as part of the discovery process, hiring experts, paying them to do the research necessary to have a properly informed opinion, depositions, and so on.

He talked about the importance of choosing plaintiffs who were representative of the various different districts in the state--and the importance of having one of those be a lawyer and law professor very familiar with the process and with the implications of the various choices that would have to be made in the course of the lawsuit. He talked about his worries that a Republican-appointed judge was assigned to their case, and how that Republican judge ruled quite clearly against the unconstitutional gerrymandering that the GOP created in Wisconsin.

He says that if the Supreme Court rules for the plaintiffs in this case, upholding the lower court's ruling that Wisconsin's districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered, he thinks that this case will prove as important to our country as Brown v. Board of Education. He talked about GOP efforts in a number of states and admitted that the Democrats had done some gerrymandering, though not to as severe an extent, in Massachusetts. He said that it is very important that a standard be established. In his opinion it doesn't much matter who is tasked with drawing up the maps if there is a very clear, fair legal standard.

As to that, another thing that happened early on was that someone knew about then-unpublished research that would allow a non-subjective test of the fairness, a way to measure whether a map was fair not only by race, but by party affiliation or political philosophy. He felt it was essential to winning this case that this study existed, and that it was accepted as a valid test by the Court.

He also said that there were four important legal points that had to be met in order to win the lawsuit--the courts had to find the following:

1. That members of a political party (or perhaps it was people who lean one way or another politically) are a protected class
2. That the map did deprive said members of a protected class of their rights
3. That the map was drawn with the intent of depriving members of a protected class of their rights, and
4. There was no other justifiable, legal reason to have drawn the map the way it was drawn.

Now, my lawyer readers should keep in mind that I'm doing my best to report his words accurately, but I am not a legal scholar and did not record the meeting. I am relying on my memory and a few scribbled notes on the back of the meeting agenda, so I might have gotten some important nuance wrong. But this is accurate to the best of my recollection and understanding.

At the end, he took questions.

One person asked if this government in Wisconsin was elected unconstitutionally, then are they legitimately in office? Rep. Kessler said that is a very interesting question, and no one knows the answer. For instance, if they are not legitimate, then no one knows whether some of the more outrageous laws that were passed by the people elected using an unconstitutional map can be challenged in Court as invalid.

I asked if there is support for eliminating the Electoral College. He said that he is not convinced that is a good idea, and talked about the chaos that the Republicans caused trying to make sure that the Florida recount could not be accomplished in a timely and accurate fashion, and said that he didn't want to see that chaos on a national scale.

In answer to another question, he noted that, now that the GOP has instituted their very restrictive voter ID law, he anticipates that they will try to eliminate Wisconsin's election day voter registration and early voting provisions, to further suppress the vote.

It was a small group, perhaps in part because of the Women's Rally today, but clearly there were more questions at the point when the regular Southside Democrats' agenda had to be hurriedly finished, since the public library was about to close. Some of the attendees headed to a local pub for more discussion, but we had other errands to do and one of the stores we needed to stop at was closing shortly.

The meeting was definitely interesting, and I was very glad to hear from such a careful and informed person that he is very optimistic about what the Supreme Court ruling on this matter will be.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
So, we have this room off the TV room, either a very large closet or a very small room. The ancient carpet in it resisted being pulled when we moved in, so we left it there. We put the cat box in it, and plants, and some logs for the cats to climb on. Sadly, eventually an elderly feline started leaving messes there when the cat box wasn't as clean as he wanted. So the carpet had to go.

I've been working at cleaning the remaining carpet pad, which was glued (by intent or entropy) to the wood, up, a little every day. I got mad at something the current tweeter-in-chief did and overdid it a few days ago, and had several days where my wrist hurt. Last night, I got back to the painting, but not for long--after a while, even painting with my tiniest brush was more than I could do. But, I got her face and the imaginary friend roughed in.



Today, after getting the headlight fixed on the car (and it's 100,000 mile tuneup), I picked up some potting soil and seed starter (I have a lovely garden plot to plant in, after all), paid the bills (it hurt to write and type even more than it hurt to paint, over the last couple of days), and got back to painting.

The photos aren't great--I was holding the painting in one hand and the cell phone in the other--but at least you can see the progress I'm making.



So far, I have the goat and the necessary three of the other items for the challenge: the humanoid child, the imaginary friend, and the bubbles. I'm considering whether I should bother with the flag or the balance-scales. The humanoid kid does need a bubble-wand and jar of bubble-soap still, and work on the face. There will also certainly be more bubbles. I'm enjoying the bubbles.

And I'm really glad my wrist isn't hurting any more! It might even have healed faster if I wasn't too angry at watching Mitch McConnell officially silence Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor for milder language than all the guys get away with using. That man needs his grandma to tell him she's ashamed of him. I sent a fax, but somehow I doubt it will have the same impact as a nice visit from Grandma Marley's ghost would. Or am I mashing up my stories too much? Still, it's not a bad daydream, and a better thought for bedtime than dwelling on the reality.

But regarding the painting, as always, comments and suggestions are welcome.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
My sister, Dragon, and I made a plan to go march with the women in DC, because the voices of women and minorities matter, and if our new President understands anything, it's ratings, and I am hoping he will see all the women and QUILTBAG people and other minorities and allies who care enough to travel to his city to send him a message, and that he will want to earn our vote. If not, well, our other elected representatives will see us, and will remember we care. The house and cats and fish are well-tended, just not at the moment by me.

As I often do when I get together with this sister, we sat and painted together, each on our own projects, but with conversation and critique, sharing of supplies, and cheering each other on.

So, here is the revised (and still very much unfinished) painting:



As always, your comments & suggestions are welcome too (meaning, not just my sister's)!
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
A few days ago it was Mother’s Day, and—as is usual on my Facebook these days, because I have friends who care deeply and passionately about our world and the people in it—there was a lot of politics on my wall. One of the things on my wall was a friend (admittedly not a Clinton fan) who expressed horror that Hillary was willing to accept support from Republicans. In her mind, that was proof that Hillary doesn’t share any values with liberals.

And I cringed. This was, after all, Mother’s Day, a day when we all—liberals, conservatives, the apolitical, and people whose politics are best described on some other axis—celebrate our marvelous mothers or console our friends who had the misfortune to be born to mothers who aren’t so marvelous. We all value family, just as we all value warmth when it’s cold. Like today—cold and rainy, prompting me to reach for something warm. I tried a sweater, and it was too scratchy. With all the political uproar, I wanted more comfort than that.

There’s this old silk jacket I have. I bought it at the thrift store years ago even though it was a bit threadbare because the colors—purples and blues and greens—are marvelous and it fits gently around me and it’s so soft and sensual. It feels good, like a warm hug made of rose petals. It was old when I bought it, and now the outer silk is pulling apart in strips and shreds. Periodically, I pick this jacket up and give in to the illogical urge (why not just replace it?) to take satin scraps or shapes cut from old silk shirts and patch the areas that are the most tattered.

I pick it up today and put it on long enough to warm up a little, and rip it some more trying to put my phone into a place that, as it turns out, is not the pocket after all. I look again at my Facebook and see more vitriol against that other mother who hopes to help the world from the big white house in DC, and I take the jacket off again. I cut a bit of purple from a ripped silk sleeve I’ve been using to clean my glasses and start stitching it to the coat, and I feel comforted.

Our social fabric is tattered right now, pulled apart by low income and bigotry and fear. But we can’t just throw it away and buy a new one. Someone has shared a quote showing that Trump thinks he can get the nation through hard times by not paying our debt. I sigh. I so very much don't want to see more things like that, so I switch over to Live Journal on the computer and read a poem where a policeman tries to help a person with superpowers who has PTSD. Then I listen to an interview of Hillary, so I can close that tab on the web browser. I enjoy listening to Hillary when she can actually talk about her hopes for what she can accomplish if she’s President, and it’s easier to sew when I’m listening instead of reading. I reflect that our world is kind of like the poor super-kid in the poem, broken and traumatized and scared.

The bit of purple silk stitched firmly to the sleeve, I go looking to see what I can find that’s suitable to put next to it. Our youngest cat, Nebula, is sleeping in a box of material, and is quite bemused when I pull the box out and dig through things around and under her. She blinks at me, strange human, and I rub her under her chin. I find a scrap of white brocade not much more than an inch wide, and some blue satin and green brocade, and part of a tie whose off-white lining could work. And a hairball. Ugh. I brush the old dried mess into the trash and consign that bit of cloth to the laundry, along with some clothes that will probably be donated.

Then back to my old jacket with safety pins and material. I cut and lay down several more pieces and pin them in place. Some of them will doubtless get moved around as I stitch, but it’s a plan. I thread the needle again and continue. The lovely smooth texture of the silks and brocades calms me. It feels as if each stitch is sending healing energy out into the world, a gentle prayer or bit of kind sympathetic magic to help us all in our quest to make the world a little healthier, a little less ragged, and a little more beautiful.

I use up the thread on my needle and tie it off. Next is a spot where the original fabric is just gone, the rough lining showing through. It reminds me of the places where lies and hatred have hurt me and people I care about, but I smile, because here on this jacket I can fix things. More green, I think, to cover this spot. Green would look good. We could use more green in our politics too, and fewer lies. More kindness and less fear. I pin and I stitch, and I send my good wishes out into the world, and in my head is a line from science fiction that has, contrary to all expectations, become popular culture: “Make it so.”
wyld_dandelyon: (Creative Joyous Cat)
A couple of days ago it was Mother’s Day, and—as is usual on my Facebook these days, because I have friends who care deeply and passionately about our world and the people in it—there was a lot of politics on my wall. One of the things on my wall was a friend (admittedly not a Clinton fan) who expressed horror that Hillary was willing to accept support from Republicans. In her mind, that was proof that Hillary doesn’t share any values with liberals.

And I cringed. This was, after all, Mother’s Day, a day when we all—liberals, conservatives, the apolitical, and people whose politics are best described on some other axis—celebrate our marvelous mothers or console our friends who had the misfortune to be born to mothers who aren’t so marvelous. We all value family, just as we all value warmth when it’s cold. Like today—cold and rainy, prompting me to reach for something warm. I tried a sweater, and it was too scratchy. With all the political uproar, I wanted more comfort than that.

There’s this old silk jacket I have. I bought it at the thrift store years ago even though it was a bit threadbare because the colors—purples and blues and greens—are marvelous and it fits gently around me and it’s so soft and sensual. It feels good, like a warm hug made of rose petals. It was old when I bought it, and now the outer silk is pulling apart in strips and shreds. Periodically, I pick this jacket up and give in to the illogical urge (why not just replace it?) to take satin scraps or shapes cut from old silk shirts and patch the areas that are the most tattered.

I pick it up today and put it on long enough to warm up a little, and rip it some more trying to put my phone into a place that, as it turns out, is not the pocket after all. I look again at my Facebook and see more vitriol against that other mother who hopes to help the world from the big white house in DC, and I take the jacket off again. I cut a bit of purple from a ripped silk sleeve I’ve been using to clean my glasses and start stitching it to the coat, and I feel comforted.

Our social fabric is tattered right now, pulled apart by low income and bigotry and fear. But we can’t just throw it away and buy a new one. Someone has shared a quote showing that Trump thinks he can get the nation through hard times by not paying our debt. I sigh. I so very much don't want to see more things like that, so I switch over to Live Journal on the computer and read a poem where a policeman tries to help a person with superpowers who has PTSD. Then I listen to an interview of Hillary, so I can close that tab on the web browser. I enjoy listening to Hillary when she can actually talk about her hopes for what she can accomplish if she’s President, and it’s easier to sew when I’m listening instead of reading. I reflect that our world is kind of like the poor super-kid in the poem, broken and traumatized and scared.

The bit of purple silk stitched firmly to the sleeve, I go looking to see what I can find that’s suitable to put next to it. Our youngest cat, Nebula, is sleeping in a box of material, and is quite bemused when I pull the box out and dig through things around and under her. She blinks at me, strange human, and I rub her under her chin. I find a scrap of white brocade not much more than an inch wide, and some blue satin and green brocade, and part of a tie whose off-white lining could work. And a hairball. Ugh. I brush the old dried mess into the trash and consign that bit of cloth to the laundry, along with some clothes that will probably be donated.

Then back to my old jacket with safety pins and material. I cut and lay down several more pieces and pin them in place. Some of them will doubtless get moved around as I stitch, but it’s a plan. I thread the needle again and continue. The lovely smooth texture of the silks and brocades calms me. It feels as if each stitch is sending healing energy out into the world, a gentle prayer or bit of kind sympathetic magic to help us all in our quest to make the world a little healthier, a little less ragged, and a little more beautiful.

I use up the thread on my needle and tie it off. Next is a spot where the original fabric is just gone, the rough lining showing through. It reminds me of the places where lies and hatred have hurt me and people I care about, but I smile, because here on this jacket I can fix things. More green, I think, to cover this spot. Green would look good. We could use more green in our politics too, and fewer lies. More kindness and less fear. I pin and I stitch, and I send my good wishes out into the world, and in my head is a line from science fiction that has, contrary to all expectations, become popular culture: “Make it so.”
wyld_dandelyon: (Creative Joyous Cat)
So, I've been thinking about politics, which will be no surprise to anyone who's reading my Facebook. Lately, a number of friends have shared the post where Bernie talks about creating a grass-roots political movement to take back our government, which is, after all, supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people--all the people, not just people of one color or one religion (and certainly not a government of billionaires, by billionaires, and for billionaires).

So, first, to the Bernie supporters out there--Bernie is right about this thing.

Yes, as a woman who has liked Hillary for years, I am standing up publicly to say it.

Bernie is right. We need an influential, a humongous (I won't say "yuuuuuuge") grass-roots movement. I love it that Bernie is working to create a community of empowered voters. But--and it's an important but, for reasons I'll go into below--I have online friends who cringe when faced with Bernie supporters because in their experience, in recent days, any dissent (and especially any support of Hillary) has been met with such bad behavior that they felt they had to shut up to be safe. Think about that for a moment. That's no way to build the legacy that Bernie has asked you to build. Now, not all Bernie supporters are like that. But each one who is diminishes Bernie's legacy!

Bernie is right that we need a broad grass-roots movement. To get big money out of politics, we need a movement that is, at least for a few years, so big that no politician has any hope of getting elected without it. It takes time to build a community. That means that Bernie is absolutely right to stay in the race to the convention no matter what his numbers are, because that lets him keep the spotlight on building the political "capitol" to make the changes we need. (Or at least he's right so long as his supporters are engaging in community-building rather than deliberately alienating likely allies this grass-roots movement needs.)

To the other Bernie-lovers out there (and yes, I'm a Bernie lover even though I have admired and respected Hillary for a long time), I have to say, let's see what you can do to build a movement, to bring in women and minorities rather than telling us to shut up and know our place. Because without us, you are too few and your movement is too small to defeat the big money.

I'd say it's kind of like a union, except that the billionaires have managed to convince so many voters that "union" is a bad word. But the concept is sound--if you don't have the money, you need to have a way to negotiate with the people who do. In politics, that comes down to votes. Each and every vote counts, whether it's inspired by a slick, expensive commercial or a grass-roots community working together for the good of all.

To the Bernie-lovers out there, I point out his record of reaching across party lines and working with people who he mostly disagrees with, for the purpose of doing good for the American people, little bit by little bit. I suggest you take his example, and every time you're faced with someone who disagrees with you on something, treat them with respect and reach out to work with them. Bernie can't build a community all by himself. Even Jesus couldn't do that!

If you love Bernie, don't you think he deserves to have you build his movement and take back the government whether or not he wins this Presidential primary? If you love him and his plans for our country, then ask yourself how can you use your words to help build his legacy. Whether or not he wins this battle, it's possible to win in the long run. We can build Bernie's legacy one person at a time, and in the end enjoy Bernie's legacy for many years to come--but only if we reach out and build a coalition, only if we have sufficient numbers that money can't buy the votes that the rich dudes have come to count on.

And with each and every interaction you have with someone who doesn't think Bernie is the best candidate, you have a chance to make a person feel respected and listened to and valued and a part of a community of people that is devoted to getting big money out of politics, a community devoted to promoting human dignity and American opportunity.

Or you can make that one person feel disrespected and scared of the very movement Bernie has asked you to build.

Every single time you talk to someone who isn't already a Bernie supporter, you have a chance to build his legacy or harm it.

Your choice.
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
There's so many reasons, but this story really touches the heart of the matter.

http://lydy.livejournal.com/76885.html

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] lydy
wyld_dandelyon: (joyouscat by Djinni)
I'm feeling the knots in my back relax.

I remember sitting listening to a rich man talk to the lawyer I worked for about 20 years ago. He was talking about sports and elections, and saying the older he got, the less he cared about the home team and the more fascinated and focused he became on elections. Which football team wins affects the mood of a day or a week--who makes our laws affects everything.

My Angel and I have a tradition of going in to vote near the end of the day, and keeping a record of what number is written by our names in the book. Usually the turnout in our area is dismal, probably due only in part to the number of non-citizens who live here. Today, we got there at about 6:20. There was no line, but there were a lot more people there than usual, including a table full of people registering to vote. (Wisconsin lets you register and vote the same day.)

We were #432 and 434 in our ward/precinct. The nice young lady behind the desk said, with a big smile, that they haven't had a break all day!

We had three instead of the usual two precincts at our polling place. We were #695 and 694 placing our ballots in the box. The other two precincts were in line with the usual voting numbers for our precinct.

Both numbers were substantially higher than at any previous election here, with Obama's last run for President being the next highest. Somebody must have really inspired the voters in our neighborhood!

Although I haven't always agreed with the people I've talked with about this election, I have been heartened by the fact that people care.  They're paying attention and they care who we elect and I find that very hopeful.

And I am so, so glad to have candidates I believe in elected this time!  Not only Obama, but also Tammy Baldwin, who is soon to be the first female Senator from Wisconsin and is the first openly gay person elected to the U S Senate. 

I am also so very glad that it looks like we will not have to spend weeks worrying about recounts and possible lawsuits. 

The election results I'm hearing today makes me believe that the world I live in is changing for the better.  Slowly with many stumbling points, but still in the right direction. 

Soon, the once and future President will speak, and then I'll head to bed to dream of a world where people in love can marry regardless of sexual orientation, where skin color and gender don't limit a person's success, and where people who are willing to work can earn enough to support a family.

I've been looking at my cell phone and saying, "I love living in the future" for a while now.  Maybe before I die I'll look at demographic data and be able to say that about social issues too.

I'm not holding my breath, mind you.  But tonight I'm cautiously hopeful.

2012-05-08_18-03-20_991 
wyld_dandelyon: (Allegedly Sleepy)
I could use a more colorful word there. Tomorrow is Wisconsin's primary election, and so the Republican comedians candidates and all their rich friends are plastering our TV with commercials.  Both parties are sending us robocalls to remind us to go vote tomorrow.  I don't mind so much when I get to talk to a real person, but a recording?  You're interrupting my evening so I can hear a recording? 

I do vote, and I think voting is important.  But I've got a life--and not as much time for it as I want.  Besides, a recorded message is just another commercial--and one that makes me run to the phone in hopes that a friend is calling!  *sigh*

If I were undecided about who to vote for, I'd vote for the candidate that wasn't so rude!

On the other hand, having a cute young redhead show up on my porch to tell me about the candidate he and the AFL-CIO prefers wasn't bad at all. 

wyld_dandelyon: (In my Garden)

The more I ponder our economic woes, the more I come to the conclusion that everyday middle-class consumers are the wind that powers our economy.

 

Let me explain why I say that.

 

Certain politicians right now are making a big point of giving economic power to “job producers”. In other words, they want us to make sure rich people and big corporations can keep paying a lower percentage of taxes than a middle-class family, and be happy about that because of a belief that this means they will automatically create new jobs. However, I have not seen this happen. Instead, over and over, I’ve seen corporate executives say, “not enough people are buying our product, so we have no choice but to lay off workers.”

 

Bailing out the banks didn’t stop that behavior, tax loopholes didn’t stop that behavior, lower tax rates on corporations didn’t stop that behavior—and why should it have? If few are buying, paying more workers to make more stuff is not profitable. It could even reasonably be called wasteful.

 

Big business is all about profit. To a corporation, taxes are just a cost of business. If they can still make a profit, higher taxes on a business won’t convince them to stop participating in the economy.

 

Families, however, are about living and having a good life—now and on into the future. To a family, money isn’t an end—it’s a means. A means to food, shelter and clothing. A means to fun and beauty. A means to security.

 

If a family doesn’t have enough money to survive comfortably, they cannot participate meaningfully in the economy. If they don’t have enough to feel secure, even if they have a good surplus of income over basic costs they will dramatically cut back their participation in the economy, saving for a rainy day in the hopes that if they save enough, they will survive the next layoff, illness, or other disaster.

 

As a result, and in contrast to a business, taking more taxes from a family that's already scared or struggling has a dramatic effect on that family's ability and willingness to participate in the economy.

 

It’s not the “job producers” that drive the economy. They’re just the people at the wheels of our figurative sailing ships. With no wind to fill the sails the guys at the wheels may have power and prestige, but the ships drift. For the ships to move, you need to fill the sails with the wind of commerce. For the ships to move, you need millions of people buying things.

 

For the ships to pick up speed, you need the breeze created by money freely and joyously changing hands.

 

So sure—squeeze the middle class and the poor. Give the money to the steersmen, who will save it up hoping for a sunny day in the future when they can use that cash to make more profit. After all, we're doing just fine drifting around, right?

wyld_dandelyon: (In my Garden)

The more I ponder our economic woes, the more I come to the conclusion that everyday middle-class consumers are the wind that powers our economy.

 

Let me explain why I say that.

 

Certain politicians right now are making a big point of giving economic power to “job producers”. In other words, they want us to make sure rich people and big corporations can keep paying a lower percentage of taxes than a middle-class family, and be happy about that because of a belief that this means they will automatically create new jobs. However, I have not seen this happen. Instead, over and over, I’ve seen corporate executives say, “not enough people are buying our product, so we have no choice but to lay off workers.”

 

Bailing out the banks didn’t stop that behavior, tax loopholes didn’t stop that behavior, lower tax rates on corporations didn’t stop that behavior—and why should it have? If few are buying, paying more workers to make more stuff is not profitable. It could even reasonably be called wasteful.

 

Big business is all about profit. To a corporation, taxes are just a cost of business. If they can still make a profit, higher taxes on a business won’t convince them to stop participating in the economy.

 

Families, however, are about living and having a good life—now and on into the future. To a family, money isn’t an end—it’s a means. A means to food, shelter and clothing. A means to fun and beauty. A means to security.

 

If a family doesn’t have enough money to survive comfortably, they cannot participate meaningfully in the economy. If they don’t have enough to feel secure, even if they have a good surplus of income over basic costs they will dramatically cut back their participation in the economy, saving for a rainy day in the hopes that if they save enough, they will survive the next layoff, illness, or other disaster.

 

As a result, and in contrast to a business, taking more taxes from a family that's already scared or struggling has a dramatic effect on that family's ability and willingness to participate in the economy.

 

It’s not the “job producers” that drive the economy. They’re just the people at the wheels of our figurative sailing ships. With no wind to fill the sails the guys at the wheels may have power and prestige, but the ships drift. For the ships to move, you need to fill the sails with the wind of commerce. For the ships to move, you need millions of people buying things.

 

For the ships to pick up speed, you need the breeze created by money freely and joyously changing hands.

 

So sure—squeeze the middle class and the poor. Give the money to the steersmen, who will save it up hoping for a sunny day in the future when they can use that cash to make more profit. After all, we're doing just fine drifting around, right?

wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Just when I start getting my notifications for comments again, LJ is attacked. I've managed to load the firs page of my friendslist once today. *sigh* I miss you folks!

So, I went to a job interview today. I'm not holding my breath for the results; it's in an area of law that I have no experience in. However, the ladies I was talking to seemed comfortable that I could do the work, so I'm not writing it off either. Of course, last time I was looking intensively, one lawyer told me he was certain I could do the job--and that there were another 25 people he was sure could do the job who he'd also interviewed.

Then I get home and read:

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.  


The rest of the story is here:  http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/119159584.html  The author's theory is that he got the job because his father donated big time to the Walker campaign.  Even without knowing about his father's deep pockets, with all the unemployed people out there, I'd have trouble believing he was the most qualified applicant.

*sigh* 

In better news, tomorrow I get to go vote.  Here's hoping the people who stayed home when Walker got elected have realized that voting matters. 

A girl's gotta dream.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Just when I start getting my notifications for comments again, LJ is attacked. I've managed to load the firs page of my friendslist once today. *sigh* I miss you folks!

So, I went to a job interview today. I'm not holding my breath for the results; it's in an area of law that I have no experience in. However, the ladies I was talking to seemed comfortable that I could do the work, so I'm not writing it off either. Of course, last time I was looking intensively, one lawyer told me he was certain I could do the job--and that there were another 25 people he was sure could do the job who he'd also interviewed.

Then I get home and read:

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.  


The rest of the story is here:  http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/119159584.html  The author's theory is that he got the job because his father donated big time to the Walker campaign.  Even without knowing about his father's deep pockets, with all the unemployed people out there, I'd have trouble believing he was the most qualified applicant.

*sigh* 

In better news, tomorrow I get to go vote.  Here's hoping the people who stayed home when Walker got elected have realized that voting matters. 

A girl's gotta dream.

Graceless

Mar. 1st, 2011 12:57 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Cookies)
I recently had a net-encounter that reminded me of dinner at a friend's house, back when I was in High School.

Now, see, my friend and I used to debate just about everything, often taking opposing positions just for the fun of debating them. She was fearless, at least at my house, willing to debate anybody. And mostly we hung out at my house just because the chaos factor at her house was...impressive...due to the sheer number of siblings.

But this one time I had dinner at her house, and her Dad tried to start a conversation. And I didn't pick up the clues my friend and her siblings were trying to give me. So I ended up in a solo debate with this grown man--a professional, in a profession that requires brains.

As a debate, it was disappointing long before he got up, insulting me, and insulting me again, exited the room.

What a pitiful way to end a conversation. All I could do was apologise for submitting his family to his rudeness--though, on further reflection, I decided that I must have been winning the debate for him to resort to such behavior.

And then I look at the spectacle happening in my state, with a few brave Democrats doing the only thing they could do to allow public debate, and a governor who insults them, trying to convince the world to blame them for the things he is threatening to do if they won't "behave".

Sadly, unlike internet trolls, the governor has the power to do more than sling insults.

It almost makes a person appreciate trolls.

Graceless

Mar. 1st, 2011 12:57 am
wyld_dandelyon: (Cookies)
I recently had a net-encounter that reminded me of dinner at a friend's house, back when I was in High School.

Now, see, my friend and I used to debate just about everything, often taking opposing positions just for the fun of debating them. She was fearless, at least at my house, willing to debate anybody. And mostly we hung out at my house just because the chaos factor at her house was...impressive...due to the sheer number of siblings.

But this one time I had dinner at her house, and her Dad tried to start a conversation. And I didn't pick up the clues my friend and her siblings were trying to give me. So I ended up in a solo debate with this grown man--a professional, in a profession that requires brains.

As a debate, it was disappointing long before he got up, insulting me, and insulting me again, exited the room.

What a pitiful way to end a conversation. All I could do was apologise for submitting his family to his rudeness--though, on further reflection, I decided that I must have been winning the debate for him to resort to such behavior.

And then I look at the spectacle happening in my state, with a few brave Democrats doing the only thing they could do to allow public debate, and a governor who insults them, trying to convince the world to blame them for the things he is threatening to do if they won't "behave".

Sadly, unlike internet trolls, the governor has the power to do more than sling insults.

It almost makes a person appreciate trolls.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
A lawyer of my acquaintance, knowing my interest in things science-fictional, forwarded me pages 27 and 28 of a ruling in an action where someone apparently wanted to remove our current President from office.  Specifically, this is from an order sanctioning Orly Taitz. The entire opinion is at http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/Taitz sanctions.pdf  I'm only quoting part of page 27 here, for your edification.

I added the emphasis below, so you can easily see the portion of the text that seemed most intriguing:

One can readily see the wisdom of entrusting the elected representatives of the people with the ultimate decision as to whether President should be removed from office rather than litigating the issue in our courts. Although counsel’s present concern is the location of the President’s birth, it does not take much imagination to extend the theory to his birthday. Perhaps, he looks “too young” to be President, and he says he stopped counting birthdays when he reached age thirty. If he refused to admit publicly that he is older than the constitutional minimum age of thirty-five, should Ms. Taitz be allowed to file a lawsuit and have a court order him to produce his birth certificate? See U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 4. Or perhaps an eccentric citizen has become convinced that the President is an alien from Mars, and the courts should order DNA testing to enforce the Constitution.7

7The Court does not make this observation simply as a rhetorical device for emphasis; the Court has actually received correspondence assailing its previous order in which the sender, who, incidentally, challenged the undersigned to a “round of fisticuffs on the Courthouse Square,” asserted that the President is not human.

You know, I really don't know what to say about this.  Except that the world really is a strange and interesting place.

If you want to comment, play nice!

wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
A lawyer of my acquaintance, knowing my interest in things science-fictional, forwarded me pages 27 and 28 of a ruling in an action where someone apparently wanted to remove our current President from office.  Specifically, this is from an order sanctioning Orly Taitz. The entire opinion is at http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/Taitz sanctions.pdf  I'm only quoting part of page 27 here, for your edification.

I added the emphasis below, so you can easily see the portion of the text that seemed most intriguing:

One can readily see the wisdom of entrusting the elected representatives of the people with the ultimate decision as to whether President should be removed from office rather than litigating the issue in our courts. Although counsel’s present concern is the location of the President’s birth, it does not take much imagination to extend the theory to his birthday. Perhaps, he looks “too young” to be President, and he says he stopped counting birthdays when he reached age thirty. If he refused to admit publicly that he is older than the constitutional minimum age of thirty-five, should Ms. Taitz be allowed to file a lawsuit and have a court order him to produce his birth certificate? See U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 4. Or perhaps an eccentric citizen has become convinced that the President is an alien from Mars, and the courts should order DNA testing to enforce the Constitution.7

7The Court does not make this observation simply as a rhetorical device for emphasis; the Court has actually received correspondence assailing its previous order in which the sender, who, incidentally, challenged the undersigned to a “round of fisticuffs on the Courthouse Square,” asserted that the President is not human.

You know, I really don't know what to say about this.  Except that the world really is a strange and interesting place.

If you want to comment, play nice!

wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
What an honor for him, and what an honor for our country!

I've known for a long time that people are often less honored in their hometowns than elsewhere, but still, this gives me hope.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
What an honor for him, and what an honor for our country!

I've known for a long time that people are often less honored in their hometowns than elsewhere, but still, this gives me hope.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I've been thinking lately about how people interpret others' use of words.  Being able to speak well--intelligently and clearly--is good, right?

If it's so good, how did we (USA) end up with a President who tripped over his words constantly?  Why are politicians who speak well so often looked upon with suspicion?  I mean, besides the fact that people look at all politicians with suspicion.

Maybe it's that many people don't see a reason to get really good at words for telling the truth.  After all, if something is true, you don't need to say it beautifully, do you?  By that thinking, the only reason to practice using words well is to lie.

I have trouble imagining that attitude, but it would explain some things.

But, just in case any of my readers wonder why else people might want to be good at words, I will share a few more thoughts.

I think that clear communication is a perfectly reasonable goal in and of itself.  There's so many ways for your meaning to go astray if you aren't aware of how grammar affects meaning, of how people in different areas use the same words differently, of puns and double-entendres, of the connotation as well as the denotation of words, and

More than that, words are, in essence, magical, in that they can change the world.  Think about it--words shape our thoughts, our emotions, and our actions.  And there is nothing that has changed the Earth more than human actions while we've been around.  Sure, we could all be wiped out by cosmic mischance, but until and unless that happens, our words have power.

But the people who are best at words, in my experience, simply love words.  They love the sounds, the rhythms, the fact that these unlikely sounds have meaning.  They care about their use, their history.  They care about all the poetry and stories that are given form with words. 

So, why do you care about being good with words?

And if you have other thoughts about why people are suspicious of people with a "silver tongue", I'm interested in hearing that too!

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