Tuesday, November 20, 2012


We just put two pecan pies in the oven in preparation for the family Thanksgiving, and boy did they look delicious--even raw.  Thanksgiving is a time to offer thanks, but more important it's time to put work and politics and diets aside and come together for mountains of food, turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, fresh and canned cranberries, and homemade pies--pumpkin and pecan with whipped cream.  Thanksgiving is a time for expandable attire.  When I was a kid the holiday began with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.  Dad was born and raised in New York, and he'd attended the parade as a child, so this informed our viewing of the broadcast.  This parade was real, in other words, because Dad had actually been there, in the crowd as the high school bands passed by, and the drum and bugle corps, baton twirlers, cheerleaders, clowns, cowgirls on horseback, elaborate floats and finally Santa Claus, a month early, ready to begin his stay in the famous department store on 34th street. My favorites, though, were the balloons.  Massive and dreamlike, surreal as any Dali paintings, these towering inflatable cartoon creatures floated through midtown Manhattan into our holiday nightmares: Donald Duck and Underdog and Spiderman, some ten stories high, fighting the wind and the occasional smart aleck kid with a BB gun.  I sat transfixed Thanksgiving morning, chin on the heel of my hand, as Mom prepared for the great feast in the kitchen.  Dad would be making his famous plum sauce, and preparing for the theatrical roll of turkey carver, but he might sit on the couch with me and watch for a while as the parade went by.  Later, I learned that these dream balloons were blown up at four in the morning, in the streets around the American Museum of Natural History, and then pulled through the parade by workers holding guy lines.  Genius!  This old film was taken in November of 1941, a different time.  Maybe my Dad was in the crowd.  Watch the balloons and you can understand how they could fill any child's head with awe and magic.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


In this clip from Bill Moyer's conversation this week with author Naomi Klein, she talks about how she became a radical. The child of two Vietnam War resisters, she grew up in Canada and jokes she "stayed for the health care."

Monday, November 12, 2012


The Republicans are licking their wounds and trying to figure out what to do next time to win over women and minorities. Here's a clue. How about not confusing "Americans" with White Anglo-Saxon Males? How about stopping all the rape jokes and apologies and start caring about the issues facing women, not the least of which is ass-backward smirking yobbos like you? How about losing the concept of skin color privilege and learning to stop portraying people "who don't look like us" (minorities?) as the fifty percent (or 47%) who want something for nothing?  Minority moochers?  How about supporting a fare tax code, and not always siding with the super-rich, the CEOs, the politically-connected lobbyists, the captains of industry and the corporate elite?  How about opening the door to moderates, liberals (God forbid!) and people who believe in education and science, including environmental science--and not just ignorant fundamentalists, shock-talk pundits and angry Tea Party types bitching and moaning about the loss of White Power? How about distancing yourself from your hate-mongering supporters like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Donald Trump?  

Of course, you can always remain out of touch ideologues on the wrong side of progress.  You can always go back to Mordor and breed bigger and tougher Orcs, but you won't bully your way into the heart of America because you don't know what America is. Read a history book and realize that America isn't just white and male and conservative--America is a wide-ranging collection of races, ethnicities, genders, sexual preferences, religions, philosophies, income levels and classes. Get to know your neighbors and stop crying over the loss of white domination. America is all of us, so stop freaking out and let's start working together. In this clip, John Leguizamo talks politics and takes on the self-pitying pundits of the Grand Old Party.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Hooray for Obama's re-election! After many nerve-racking months we went down to the wire and scored. Mitt didn't concede until very late, and then Obama gave a rousing 2AM victory speech in which he thanked everyone, including Romney. I don't have to be so gracious: the fear and lies of Mitt and his class war on progress were routed by a huge diverse coalition. The GOP and their Tea Party full-speed-backwards movement was rejected. The right wing ideologues are understandably bitter.  Donald Trump said the election was a "Total Sham And A Travesty," and suggested "Revolution Is Necessary." Thanks, Donald, but we just had one.  Sorry you missed it.  Here in Washington state, we went blue for Obama, approved the rights of gays to marry, and legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


 Please watch this video and vote against this idiot. The Republicans seems to be proudly anti-science and anti-environment, and they think global warming is a joke. This shortsighted view is more than simple ignorance; it's self-serving propaganda that works against environmental regulations and safeguards that protect all of us while justifying their greedy plundering of the planet for profit.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


This photograph taken during the civil rights movement by Bruce Davidson reminds me that many people struggled, organized and even died for the right to vote in this country. It reminds me that some of the same obstacles exist today, and that some reactionaries still want to silence people--not just African American voters--by making voting less accessible scrambling voting districts, and trying t o scare off voters-not to mention sewing apathy and confusion and a "What does it matter?" attitude. This photograph reminds me that even if the system is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful and politically connected (and it is) people can fight City Hall, and they can change even the most entrenched institutions. This picture reminds me of more than the Freedom Riders who risked jail, beatings and murder while registering disenfranchised voters throughout the South, but also the present-day activists who fight for positive social change and work to protect our civil liberties and the wide range of voices regardless of money, class, gender and sexual orientation. This photograph reminds me that Rage Against the Machine isn't just a clever name for a band. This photograph reminds me that even the most powerful person in the top 1%, who enjoys better health care and other luxuries, and who enjoys an unfair advantage influencing elections buying campaign ads and giving "donations" that amount to bribes, only gets one vote, and I can match that. This picture reminds me to vote.