Why I'm a Liberal

Monday, June 26, 2017

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the "why" of my politics. It's not enough to simply state "I'm a liberal" or "I'm a conservative." Since I live in a representative democracy, I have an obligation to understand thoroughly why I believe what I do, and which of my values drives my decision making process.

One of the reasons I believe this to be true is that politics are a very emotional business. People vote for who they like, or who's like them, or who shares their faith tradition. None of these reasons are good enough when the stakes are so high. There has to be some guiding principles that can help me make my decisions about candidates and issues with a rubric that isn't based on emotional response. And while I have always tried to be a very informed voter, and have attempted to reduce the amount of emotional influence I subject myself to, I have never actually analyzed my thoughts and values with the critical eye I apply to other issues.

And the answers I came up with? I believe in the categorical imperative, and I'm an adult.

For those not familiar with Immanuel Kant, the categorical imperative is defined as "act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."

It's a lot more complicated than that, of course, but this definition will do for the purposes of this discussion.

When making my decisions about politics, I ask myself, "Is this the best option for everyone, or just for me? If everyone votes the way I do, what would happen to the world, the country, my state?" The answer to that question has led me to vote for tax increases, universal health care in Colorado (which will cost me far more than my current corporate coverage), and eliminating the requirement for Party registration in Primary Caucuses.

Different people will answer that question in different ways, of course, but for me, that's the guiding principle. And sometimes, the answer to that question is "neither choice is good for anyone," and that's when being an adult comes in.

One of the keystones of being an emotionally mature adult is understanding - really understanding - the concept that when you make a choice, you are also choosing the consequences of that choice. This has all sorts of ramifications in personal, public, and professional life, but the maxim is still the same.

So if I choose to support the Republican Health Care Bill, for example, I am also choosing the consequences if that Bill becomes law. Millions of people losing health coverage. Reducing health care for the poorest children. Approving of increasing seniors' premiums to an unmanageable rate. Do I want these consequences? I do not. The categorical imperative tells me that even though my own costs went up with the ACA, and my health care coverage didn't change, the country would be a far worse place if my support of this Bill was something everyone shared. So I oppose it.

The same applies when I vote for a candidate. If I had chosen to vote for 45, I would bear the responsibility of the consequences of that decision. Having my country's leader be a laughingstock on the world stage. The U.S. being considered no longer consequential in foreign affairs because our President acts like a narcissistic toddler. My country being categorized into the same bucket that contains Syria. All of those things are now true, indisputably so, and had I voted for 45, I would bear the burden of that consequence. Personally.

Because here's the thing about being an adult. Adults take responsibility for their choices, whether the outcome is good or bad. I chose action X, I am responsible for consequence Y. That responsibility doesn't evaporate because I have buyer's remorse, or I claim I "didn't know." With very few exceptions, I can reasonably be expected to understand the consequences of my choices.

So I voted for Hillary, because when I looked at the categorical imperative and the consequences of my decision, I analyzed the possible outcomes and I found that the consequences of this choice would be far less damaging to our country (and the world) than the alternative. Would she have been perfect? Of course not. Would I then have been personally responsible for whatever negative consequences resulted from her Presidency? You bet I would.

No one is perfect, and there's no such thing as a perfect decision in politics. All choices involve some level of compromise. But this system allows me to analyze my own choices in a way that I hope allows for the least amount of damage to the fewest people. When you add in a core value that dictates that people have an obligation to help one another, especially the least among us, that puts me squarely in the liberal camp. Not the Democrat's camp. The liberal camp.

Because to do otherwise would be to compromise the core of who I am. And I won't do that. Least of all for expediency's sake.

Link Me Up, Scotty - "Don't Bluff" Edition

Sunday, June 25, 2017

David Frum - who is not exactly a bastion of liberal thought - examines how 45 has damaged his credibility to the extent that other counties have no reason whatsoever to take him - or the United States - seriously. Great job, Chump.
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A Canadian Special Forces sniper has hit a target that was 2.2 miles away. Technology meets extreme marksmanship.
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A truly epic rant about the hypocrisy of the Red South.
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From Random Michelle, check out Mighty Girl Eqbal Dauqan, a Yemeni professor of biochemistry at the University Kebangsaan Malaysia. She's had more than her share of troubles, and kept on keeping on through it all. True grit.
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From the ZOMGWTFBBQ you're so stupid and so is your employer files: CenturyLink, a telecommunications provider headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, used to have a Chief Diversity Officer named Odell Riley. Mr. Riley is homophobic douche whose LinkedIn profile states his major interests include:
-Growing and developing people (as long as you're not LGBTQ)
-Building high performing team by leveraging a variety of diverse individual experiences to build a strong effective culture (as long as you're not LGBTQ)
Odell Riley, the homophobic douche, is still employed at CenturyLink, and still has his title of "VP of Human Resources" on his Linked In profile from 2010-2012. One wonders how stupid this motherfucker has to be to allow this type of "opinion" to be filmed and published to the Internet when he clearly has corporate ambitions beyond being a homophobic douche. And one also has to wonder just how incredibly tone-deaf and stupid CenturyLink's senior leadership has to be for them not to have paid this guy off to make him go away. Inquiring minds want to know.
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The definitive list of 45's lies since taking the oath of office. This is going to be somebody's full time job for the duration of this administration.
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A U.S. led coalition kills nearly 500 civilians in one month in Syria in record high. Charming. Every day I wake up, living in the United States becomes more and more like living in a banana republic. This is not why I served.
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And in case you live under a rock, the once estimable Bill Cosby plans to spend some time teaching other men how to avoid sexual assault charges as they make their way through the world behaving badly. You can't make this shit up.
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My platonic semi-celebrity girlfriend Sally Yates has a few words to say about criminal justice reform and Confederate Apologist Jeff Sessions. This woman is a national treasure, I swear.
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Today's sources:
  • The Atlantic: Mainstream media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • NPR: Mainstream media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Stranger: Online repository for LGBT news and opinion.
  • The Oregonian: Local mainstream media source with a right-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • New York Times: Mainstream media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Telegraph: UK based mainstream media source with a right-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 

Link Me Up, Scotty - Make Them Hear You Edition

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How 45 has become the unreliable narrator of his Presidency, and what that means.
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Guess who doesn't have a clue about what is included in the Republican's health care bill? The Republicans that are drafting it, that's who. GRAIN OF SALT WARNING: Vox is a left biased news source, but the questions and responses are direct quotes, which leaves us free to draw our own conclusions.
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Turns out 45 has hundreds of millions of dollars in financial liability. The new financial disclosure also outlines where his money is coming from in a general sense, and the fact that 45's promises to "donate" money to the US Treasury that was earned from foreign governments is basically lip service. Can you say "emoluments clause?" I knew you could.
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The GOP is still crafting their Health Care Bill in secret and behind closed doors. I have daily missives going to my Republican Senator on this issue, with calls for transparency and PUBLIC hearings. I'm not holding my breath, however - the Coward Cory Gardner has never disobeyed his Party Masters, and as my divorce attorney used to say, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."
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"Two-and-a-half miles below the ocean near Australia, there is crushing pressure, total darkness and a collection of some of the strangest creatures on the planet — if you're willing to go find them." And scientists are, with the help of a grant. All of time and space, and the wonders and horrors therein.
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Another fine example of how 45's Presidency is the Presidency of bigotry, apathy, and ignorance. This administration is so lacking in basic human kindness and compassion, every day they remain in the once-proud White House is another day where I'm further embarrassed to be a voting member of a Republic that would make such a miscreant our President.
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Check out this performance of Three Mo' Tenors recorded in 2001 at (of all places) Troy High School in Troy, OH. A wide variety of music sung by three STUNNING tenor voices who are obviously having a great time.
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I loved this story of former NFL player Ryan O'Calloghan's journey to self-acceptance and purpose. Too many young people don't get the support they need, when they need it, and I'm happier than I can say that our culture is slowly making strides to accept people in the LGBT community.
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My favorite Christian Pastor with observations on Carrie Fisher's unrelenting battle with mental illness and substance abuse. Addicts are weak my ass. Carrie Fisher is one of the bravest human beings I've ever heard of, and her passing only re-emphasizes for me how much grit it took for her to live as long as she did. An amazing woman.
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And speaking of awesome music, the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington chose to respond to the protesters at the Knoxville Pride event with song. You know, like you do. I love this response so very much. It clearly emphasizes the hate and vitriol of the so-called Christians while the chorus sings about love and courage. Way to go, gents!




Today's Sources:
  • NPR: Mainstream Media source with left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Vox: Internet Media source with left bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • NBC News: Broadcast Media source with left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • New York Times: Mainstream Media source with left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The YourTube Channel of Jazz Music Vault 
  • Outsports: An online source for LGBT athletes.  
  • Things That Need to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz
  • The YouTube Channel of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington.

Link Me Up, Scotty - We Heart Uncle Joe Edition

Monday, June 19, 2017

Terry Gross interviewed Vice President Joe Biden, and the resulting recording is insightful, interesting, and moving. I do loves me some Uncle Joe.
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Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island's Teacher of the Year, is FABULOUS, and I love him.
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It looks as though a number of sailors have been killed in the collision of the USS FITZGERALD and a Japanese container ship. I have many feelings about this news, but foremost is the always present knowledge that the profession of arms is dangerous, in more ways than one. This could have just as easily been me, or my son, or any of hundreds of sailors I've known over the years. Fair winds and following seas, my shipmates.
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Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman takes a look at Congressional Republican's handling of the Health Care Bill and determines that the Party basically consists of Vampires and Zombies.
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People suck so much, I can't even.
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My favorite Christian Pastor takes on those who would conflate disagreement and resistance to our current administration to a failure of patriotism. I will put up my service and dedication to our nation and its people against anyone's, thank you very much. I haven't served as much, sacrificed as much as some, but it's a safe bet that I've served and sacrificed more than most, and the fact of my liberalism doesn't mean conservatives get to question my patriotism or my dedication to the well-being of the Republic.
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Smart Man and all-around good egg David with his latest observations on the State of the Union. I especially like #16, although I myself frame the observation in this way: When someone says they're tired of being "politically correct," what they really mean is that they're tired of having to treat others with respect or face the social consequences.
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ExtraNewsFeed give us...18 reasons 45 is a better President than President Obama.
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Star Trek: Discovery has announced its premiere dates. BEGIN GEEKERY.
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Oh, look - our allies aren't taking 45 seriously, and are now going so far as to publicly mock him. While I can't really blame them - after all, 45 has to be one of the most unserious political figures in history - this does not bode well for our position on the world stage.
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Today's Sources:
  • NPR: A mainstream media source with a left-center bias and highly factual reporting. 
  • The Washington Post: A mainstream media source with a left-center bias and highly factual reporting. 
  • The New York Times: A mainstream media source with a left-center bias a highly factual reporting. 
  • Stuff That Needs to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz. 
  • 4 Quarters, 10 Dimes: The personal blog of professional historian David. 
  • ExtraNewsFeed: Satire and humor. Their tagline: "The same political rants you see on Facebook, but they’re well written."
  • StarTrek.com: All things Star Trek
  • Vox: On-line media source with a left bias and highly factual reporting. 

Link Me Up, Scotty - Short Form Edition

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Libby Bakalar of One Hot Mess takes on Disney's Beauty and the Beast with the help of her 6 year old son, with hilarious results.
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Oh, look! Evidence that the Russians tried to hack into election data in ways that would directly affect the outcomes of elections. This is my shocked face.
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Because I know you need more Trump/MAGA jokes in your life.
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What the hell is wrong with people? No, seriously - what? I dislike 45 and the morally bankrupt Republican Party as much as the next tax-and-spend liberal, but shooting them down like rabid dogs is wrong on every level. We still have some investment in the rule of law around here, regardless of 45's efforts, and such events only hurt the liberal cause. And then there was a workplace shooting in San Francisco. I don't understand people at all. 
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An interesting look at how when it comes to living in harmony with our fellow creatures, humans are looking at the problem in the wrong way. In other words, hive collapse isn't the problem, it's the symptom. 
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June 12th was the 40th anniversary of the verdict in the case that struck down miscegenation laws nation-wide. Like most people in this country, they just wanted people to leave them alone.
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Sources: 
  • One Hot Mess: The personal blog of Libby Bakalar.
  • Bloomberg: Mainstream Media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Nib: A web comic.
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream Media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • NPR: Mainstream Media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 

The Unforgivable Sin

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I'm a big believer in forgiveness. It's good for me, as it allows me to move along smartly with my life without allowing those I perceive to have wronged me taking up permanent residence in my head. Sometimes it takes me a long time to forgive someone who has done me particularly grievous harm, but eventually I'll come around, forgive the person in question, and move on with my life. Typically the person in question is no longer welcome in my life after that, but hey, I'm okay with that.

But there is one thing that falls under "unforgivable sin" in my forgiveness rubric. And that thing is causing grievous harm to those I care deeply about.

I don't know why I'm willing to forgive those who do me harm, but not those who do harm to people I love, although I'm sure there's some deep psychological reason for it. Maybe it's because I know I have the skills and the practice to be able to manage such things, and I'm not sure if my loved ones do, as well. Maybe it's because when something like this happens, I want to fix it, and relieve the pain of the person I love, but I can't. So I'm not only railing against the perpetrator for causing harm to the person I love, but also for making me feel powerless. Maybe it's because Karma just doesn't work fast enough for my tastes, and really I'm just a vengeful bitch.

But one thing's for sure. There are two people on this list, and I wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire. Sometimes I feel bad about that, and think I need to work harder at being kinder and more forgiving. And sometimes I'm just grateful the list isn't longer.

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NOTE: I'm not going to write about the example that precipitated this blog post, as it's not my story to tell. But believe you me, if there was ever someone who fell into "unforgivable" category, it's the individual who caused this pain.

Reasons I Think MRAs Hate Wonder Woman - A Noncomprehensive List

Friday, June 9, 2017

Now that I've actually seen the Wonder Woman movie - which was fucking awesome, by the way - I think I'm informed enough to speculate on why Men's Rights Advocates (MRAs) hate this movie with the fire of a thousand burning suns. Here we go:

1. MRAs have a problem with Copernicus. It is their belief that the entire universe revolves around them, or at least it should, and they truly can't understand why this movie doesn't. To make matters worse, when they try to make it about them, the ladiez (and a great number of men) are rolling their eyes, laughing in their faces, and merrily flooding the box office with ticket sales to this fabulous movie.

2. The Wonder Woman character refuses to apologize for being a woman. Her attitude is more like, "Why does anyone care that I'm a woman?" Historically, strong female characters had to justify their strength to their male compatriots, ensuring they don't bruise the tender egos of the menfolk. Wonder Woman doesn't do that, and doesn't understand why she should. Fuckin' A, Diana of Themyscira.

3. The Wonder Woman character was not written as "broken." She's an amazing warrior because she came of age in a warrior culture, and worked hard to become amazing. There's no hidden motivation regarding a man, her desire to get revenge, her overwhelming desire to have a child of her womb, or whatever. She's just a badass. And we all know that being a fully whole badass is a state solely reserved for the menfolk.

4. Gal Gadot is not be trifled with. She was an Israeli Defense Force Combat Instructor. In preparation for this role she took swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, capoeira, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. She did all her own stunts for the Fast and the Furious franchise. She did the reshoots for Wonder Woman while five months pregnant with her second child. She's been happily married for almost nine years. She and her husband are richy, rich, rich. AND she was 2004's Miss Israel. So she's smart, stable, accomplished, gifted, strong, rich, beautiful, and she doesn't give a good goddamn when MRAs think about her or her movie. Intimidating much, Ms. Gadot? YES YOU ARE, SISTER, AND GOOD FOR YOU.

5. Wonder Woman is a morally and physically superior being. This should not be a surprise, after all - she's a demigod, for fuck's sake. But apparently only male demigods (like Thor, for example) are allowed to be superior to men. Not uppity Amazons with a penchant for love and justice.

6. Many MRAs believe this movie was made solely to make the DC Universe politically correct. Apparently that domestic opening weekend haul of over $103M - exceeding Dr. Strange, Iron Man, and Thor - is just a coincidence. Because really, what studios are REALLY interested in is being politically correct and inclusive, not making money. Amirite, ladiez?

7. Wonder Woman is getting great reviews, both from the masses (93% on Rotten Tomatoes) and from professional movie critics. That there is a hard pill to swallow, I imagine, after all the vitriol expended on its irrelevance and accusations of kowtowing to the femi-nazis.

SUCK IT, MRAs. Wonder Woman is the feminist icon of our time, and she is AMAZING. 

Why I Cried During Wonder Woman

Thursday, June 8, 2017

We saw Wonder Woman last night at our local theater. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie since it was announced, as I was fan of the Lynda Carter era Wonder Woman and the only reason I ever watched The Justice League was to see Wonder Woman. And Aquaman. But that's another story.

And I cried.

Like many women who have watched this movie, it touched me in several fundamental ways, and this Super Hero movie became much more to me than a fun entertainment.

I cried because Diana is a badass. But she's a matter-of-fact badass. She worked hard to attain the skills and strength that are her birthright, but really - it's not that big of a deal. It's just part of who she is, and I loved the fact that her will was forged in the cultural fire of her people, not in some tragic event (usually involving either a man or her uterus or both) that left her broken or on fire for vengeance or some shit. She came of age in a warrior society, and she's a warrior. That's it, nothing to see here, move along. When was the last time I saw a female character in a movie that was strong, tough, undamaged, totally passing the Bechdel test - without apologizing for who she is, or for smashing patriarchal norms? Never, that's when. And the inclusion of this character in the modern zeitgeist makes my heart soar.

I cried because Diana does what is right, not what is easy or expedient. Like Steve Rogers, she's the moral center of her Super Hero universe, and she gave up everything she knew and loved in order to do the right thing. Watching her run head-long into No Man's Land made me weep with pride and longing.

I cried because Diana is an advocate for capital "J" Justice. You do what you need to do, but don't make the mistake of assuming she will follow any moral compass but her own. She's the master of self-determination, something we all wish for ourselves and our children.

I cried because our Moe-Moe was a fan of Wonder Woman, as well as having many other geek interests. Prior to her death, she was so looking forward to this movie, hoping that the studio's portrayal would be a well-rounded one, including the core of who Diana is, without failing the Bechdel test (as so many movies do). I know she would have been delighted with the end result. It breaks my heart that she was robbed of this experience - and so many others - by her mental illness.

I cried because this is the movie I've been waiting for my entire life. It provided, in its daring and complete vision, an example of what female characters should look like, but don't. Diana was a fully formed character, with nuance, complexity, emotional vulnerability, strengths, weaknesses, substance. Her life, desires and values didn't revolve around a man, or a tragedy, but around her duty. And in the end, she chose love. Not the love of a man, but the love for the very best of humanity, while acknowledging that the very worst is always there, as well. The brave choice, the tough choice, the generous choice. A true Super Hero.


Link Me Up, Scotty - Dumber than a Box of Rocks Edition

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cthulhu's children, 45 is so stupid. He's now compromising his own SCOTUS case regarding his ridiculous "travel ban" by failing to STFU about it and follow the Justice Department attorneys' advice. What is wrong with him?
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Local peeps: Douglas County Library's Summer Reading Program for kids and adults is now in full swing. And, of course, so is mine.
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GRAIN OF SALT WARNING: Yahoo News' factual accuracy is sometimes suspect, and I have been unable to find this news reported anywhere else.

Apparently four law firms who are considered some of the best in the United States have turned down retainers from the President to defend him in the on-going Congressional and Justice Department investigations surrounding improprieties during the 2016 election. The reasons? 45 doesn't pay his bills, he won't listen to experts in their fields, and the firms themselves are concerned about their reputations if they're associated with the President of the United States. That is some fucked up shit, right there.
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From the "an embarrassment to us all" files: London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is calling on the British government to cancel 45's state visit (after throwing 45 some shade for his stupid Twitter rant) basically because our President is a Grade A Tool.
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And....no one wants to work for 45. Including the spouse of one of his closest advisors. Completely understandable - what if some that gets on you and you can't get it off?
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You know that $110B deal 45 supposedly made with Saudi Arabia for arms? Yeah, totally not a "deal." And totally started during the Obama administration. What a troll.
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Orly has collaborated with Muslim Girl to create Halal certified nail polishes for Muslim women. Speaking as an Atheist, I have to say that this is what inclusion looks like. Accommodating these women's faith tradition in your product line is not only the right thing to do, it just makes good business sense.
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Let's end on an inspirational note, shall we? Meet Mandy Harvey, a contestant on America's Got Talent who touched my heart with her story and her amazing talent.


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Today's sources:
  • Outside the Beltway: An online journal of politics and foreign affairs analysis written by a highly educated and ridiculously qualified staff. 
  • Douglas County Library: The public library special district of Douglas County, Colorado. 
  • Yahoo News: A mainstream media news source with a left-center bias and a mixed degree of factual reporting. 
  • The Guardian: A mainstream media news source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting.
  • The Washington Post: A mainstream media news source with a left center bias and a high degree of factual reporting.
  • The Brookings Institute: A research group with a left-center bias and a very high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Glamour: A fashion and beauty magazine with a high degree of factual reporting.

Link Me Up, Scotty - Do the Right Thing Edition

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Professional badass and superior role model Sally Yates speaks to Harvard Law graduates how the defining moments of our lives come without warning. Every time this woman speaks I admire her more.
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Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has a message for 45, and schools him most appropriately.
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A Denver Post sports reporter is now in the unemployment line after tweeting how uncomfortable he was with a Japanese driver winning the Indy 500. But it wasn't "personal," so I guess it's okay.
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A different look at feminism and how women seizing power is the best avenue towards the ultimate goal. I am a feminist, and can see the value in this argument. Because, after 27 years of work in the civilian world, I am still the only woman on my team, and the only woman in my chain of command.
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I love Alamo Draft House and want to have its babies. As another writer pointed out, the men opposing their "women only" screenings of Wonder Woman have a serious case of How can I make this about me? Which is basically the motto of the MRA movement.
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Elephants in a refuge rush to greet and comfort an orphaned baby when he's brought in. Elephants are so cool.
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For Memorial Day, let's remember the Code Talkers who so successfully helped the United States and her allies win WWII.
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Religious scholars issue a joint fatwa against suicide bombing. So where's the joint statement from evangelical White Christan leaders against racist fuckwits who harass Muslim girls and then stab their defenders to death? Just askin'.
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Teen Vogue addresses the issue of radicalized white terrorists in our nation's narrative. *cough*institutional racism*cough*
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I apologize for the lack of cited sources information this time. I'm out of town, and blogging from my iPad is a pain in the ass.

The 7th Annual Maureen "AJ" Ramey Memorial Summer Reading Program

Monday, May 29, 2017

It's that time of year! Time for the Seventh Annual Maureen "AJ" Ramey Memorial Summer Reading Program, brought to you by Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men! 
Each year, Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men sponsors a summer reading program in honor of my beloved late daughter Moe. The one consistent thing in my daughter's life was her undying affection for the written word. So we'll read in her memory, and raise a book to honor her devotion to reading.

Moe came by her love honestly, as our family LOVES reading. We read on our Kindles, on our iPads, on the Internet, and occasionally using a paper book. Some of us listen to Audiobooks whenever it's not practical to read words in a row. Reading and books are a deep seated cultural norm for us. 

So once again, I'm sponsoring this reading program to benefit the Douglas County Library through the Douglas County Library Foundation,* in Moe-Moe's name. The proceeds from this program go to purchase the naming rights on the Parker Library's Maureen "A.J." Ramey Memorial Garden, which was dedicated last summer.  

 
Here's da rules:
  1. The contest will run from May 29th (Memorial Day) to September 4th (Labor Day).
  2. When you finish a new book, post a comment on the 2017 Hot Chicks and Smart Men Read contest page with the title and author of the book. One comment, one book, and PLEASE ensure you post your reading THERE and not HERE. If you post them here, they won't count.
  3. Audiobooks count. eBooks count. ANY book counts, with the exception of picture books. If you are reading a chapter book to a youngster, by all means, enter it, but picture books juke the stats.
  4. For each book that is read and registered in the comments by me and my readers, I will donate $1 to the Douglas County Library Foundation, with a guaranteed donation of $500.00. This money is earmarked by the Foundation to secure the naming rights to the garden at the brand new Parker Library. 
  5. In years past, people have asked if they can help fund the naming rights for the new Parker Library Garden. I can't tell you how happy it makes me that people want to contribute, but the Smart Man and I have already fully funded this endeavor. It's something we wanted to do for ourselves, and we're happy to earmark that money in our charity budget in perpetuity. 
  6.  However, if you want to help us remember our Moe and do something fabulous for a cause she cared about, please sign up for a "matching donation" for the contest. Simply pick a local library in your community that is under-served or strapped for cash, and then commit to making a donation in whatever amount you wish in Moe's name after the contest ends. Then send me a note, letting me know the dollar amount and the Library you've chosen to support, and I'll post it below. For each dollar you commit to donate, I'll add another random number to your name for the prize drawing.
  7. When the contest ends, I will use a random number generator to find THE WINNERS. THE WINNERS will each get a $25.00 gift certificate to Amazon. Each unique comment (one comment, one book) will be an entry for the gift certificate, so the more you read, the better chance you have to win. Please note that if you commit to donating to your OWN local library, you increase your chances of winning! Note: I sucked at getting the prizes out to the winners last year. I promise I'll do better this time.
  8. If the number of comments exceeds 500, the additional monies will be donated to an underserved or needy Library outside Douglas County, since our own library is neither underserved or needy.

READ! READ! READ!

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*Full Disclosure: I am the President of the Douglas County Library Board of Trustees, but this project has nothing to do with my duties there, and is a private endeavor on my part.

Random Thoughts and Words to Live By, Part 23

Friday, May 26, 2017

When I wonder if I should reevaluate my behavior, I ask myself, "Does this action increase the net good in the world?" If the answer is "no," then it's a pretty good bet that it's unkind, unnecessary, or just a dick move.

Link Me Up, Scotty - Back to Politics Edition

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Over the weekend I made the decision to skip politics on my personal Facebook feed, just as I did during the election, and reserve such things for my blog. While FB has the advantage of "instant gratification," it also has the capability to offend and hurt the feelings of those I care about who may not agree with my political positions. Since I care more about my relationships than being "right," I'm taking this step to preserve those relationships. Coming here to HCDSM requires an act of will, so you can either come here, or not.
________

Hey, look! 45 decided to dig his hole even deeper when it comes to the investigation surrounding ties between his campaign and the Russians! Shocked, shocked I am by this turn of events said no one ever with a modicum of critical thinking skills. The author makes a good point, though - we are very early in the process, and it's going to take some time for investigations to complete and action to be taken, provided the latter is warranted. Let's not count our articles of impeachment before they're written.
________

Zen Pencils takes on the inspiration to work with commentary from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Self discipline. For adults, there's no other kind.
________

Teen Vogue is at it again, this time with a history lesson on why President Andrew Jackson was actually a racist, genocidal douchebag rather than the swell guy 45 purports him to be.
________

Dame Helen Mirren gave the Commencement Address at Tulane this year, and knocked it out of the park like the 100% badass that she is. Note to other 2017 commencement speakers: This is how you don't get booed, disrespected, abandoned by the graduates, and find yourself speaking the backs of the graduates.
________

And the former Director of the CIA is on the bandwagon in terms of nailing the Trump Administration's coffin shut. They're coming out of the woodwork, I swear, shouting their stories from street-corners rather than meeting in dark parking garages.
________

A new study shows that women's professional credentials are often ignored because they happen to be women. This surprises no professional women, ever, in the history of the world.
________

In 45's America, you can use the same money twice in your annual budget! I'm totally going to dedicate my mortgage payment not only to Chase, but to Fluevog, as well. What could possibly go wrong?
________

The Brooklyn Public Library has a "Drag Queen Story Hour," and it is AWESOME. PSA: Don't watch the "related videos." Comments on the AP link are disabled, but predictably, the religious right is losing their shit. I guess because Jesus had so much to say about gender identity.
________

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu made a speech about removing Confederate Monuments.  This should be required listening in the South.
________

British Grandmother saves the day by taking over 50 children under her wing after the explosion in Manchester. As my man Mr. Rogers notes, "Look for the helpers."
________

We'll end today a non-political pick-me-up: 28 people who are too good and pure for this world.
________

Today's sources:
  • Outside the Beltway: An online journal of politics and foreign affairs analysis written by a highly educated and ridiculously qualified staff. 
  • Zen Pencils: A cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories by Gavin Aung Than
  • Teen Vogue: A fashion, news and culture magazine targeted at teen girls. 
  • NPR: Mainstream media source with a left-center bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Buzzfeed: An internet media company with left-center bias and mixed factual reporting that focuses on entertainment, but does have content for breaking news and politics.
  •  Vox: Mainstream Internet media source with a left bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 

The Great 2017 Press-On Nails Experiment, Part 5

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today we're going to talk about the products that I like when I'm using the press-on nails.

Glue

I know a lot of people on line have complained about the Kiss brand glue that comes with the press-on nails, but I really like it. It sticks for as long as I want it to, i.e., for one week, which is the longest I want to wear a specific set of nails. Each full set comes with a small tube of glue, and the bulk sets come with a larger bottle. You can get the larger bottle here.

Nails

The only brand of nails I tried were the Kiss brand, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt. I like the Kiss nails because they're very thin at the cuticle end, making the fit look more natural. They have a variety of styles, lengths, and colors. You can find them here, but I've found the selection and price is much better in-store. Of the stores I'm willing to go to (yes, I am looking at you, Wal-Mart), I found Walgreen's has the best selection.

Polish

My new favorite polish for any purpose is the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, in spite of my notoriously poor skills in applying said product. It does not require an ultraviolet or LED light. Instead, you apply the color, then seal it with a separate product. The reason I like this product is because it saves the skin on my hands from extra UV exposure, while still looking like a gel manicure. Beware: the sealant dries to the touch very quickly, but the polish will remain pretty soft for a longer period of time.

Base Coat

I use the OPI Sensitive and Peeling Nail Envy product for my base coat. I've always liked OPI products, and this is no exception. It protects my nails while the nails are applied, and also when I'm taking a break between sets.  

Remover

In order to remove the nails that require nail glue, you have to soak them in acetone, which is a pain the ass. To make this go more quickly, I bought the Kiss All or One artificial nail remover. It's basically a container that has space for your thumb and four fingers and is filled with acetone. The openings have little plastic brushes inside to provide friction in getting the acrylic removed. You still have to soak the nails for 10 minutes, but then the brushes take of the soft acrylic remains with little trouble. You can replace the acetone in the container as needed, so you can buy the container once, then refill it with the cheap generic acetone. You can get the container here, although again it's less expensive in-store.

This will probably be my last entry on this experiment, unless I find something new that really blows my skirt up. Press-On Nails have come a long, long way since the 80's. Enjoy!

Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.
Part 3 can be found here.
Part 4 can be found here.

The Great 2017 Press-On Nails Experiment, Part 4

Monday, May 15, 2017

The next experiment involved two changes. The first was the inclusion of an OPI Nail Envy base coat on the nail bed in  order to seal the nail bed against moisture between the nail bed and the artificial nail. This is a technique recommended by a nail technician on a forum I read, and it's not only supposed to seal the nail bed, but protect and strengthen it from damage. The second was the use of unpainted nails.

Here is what I bought for the base coat:

This essentially looks like a clear nail polish, and comes off easily with nail polish remover. I've started using this between nail applications, in an effort to keep the nail bed strong.

The next new product was the unpainted nails, which comes in a packet of 100 along with a larger container of nail glue.


These went on similarly to the original French nails described in Part 1. Each container provides enough nails to support five applications of a full set of nails if you want to use the same sizes every time. I gave my extras (the ones that didn't fit my nail bed) to Sister Stacey. As usual, I made a mess with the glue, and then had the added opportunity to make a further mess with the nail polish:


Aside from the shitty job I did in applying the nail polish, these appeared to have a similar look to the ones I applied in part 1. In this case I used Sally Hansen's "Miracle Gel" product in "Street Flare."

Pros: Nice natural look. Gives the opportunity to decorate the nails as you wish. They stayed firmly in place until I removed them on Day 8.

Cons: The color hides visual clues that the nail might be lifting, making the base coat even more important. I suck at painting my own nails, so they don't look as tidy. As the nails grew out, the line between the cuticle and the painted nail became more obvious. I suspect painting the nails before you applied them would mitigate this.

Final Verdict: These require more effort than the other varieties, since they're not painted, so the only time I'll probably wear these is if the brand I prefer (Kiss) does not have a set in a color I really want.
________

Part 1 may be found here.
Part 2 may be found here.
Part 3 may be found here.
Part 5 may be found here

A Letter to My Auntie

Friday, May 12, 2017

We lost my Auntie to cancer this week. She has been terminal for some time, and she was so very ill towards the end that I consider her passing a blessing. No one wants to suffer (or see someone they love suffer) in such a manner.

When my Auntie was first diagnosed in February of last year and we were told how serious it was, I decided to take that opportunity to tell my Auntie what she meant to me, before it was too late. I never got this chance with Moe, and it was important to me to tell her how I felt.

I've decided to share what I wrote, because it also makes a fitting eulogy for one of the best people I've ever known.
_____________

Dear Auntie Michel,

As the news of your cancer diagnosis sinks in, I want to take this chance to tell you what you mean to me. Whether you’re with us for two more months or twenty more years, I cannot let another day go by without telling you how you’ve changed my life and what you mean to me.

Of all the people I know, you have demonstrated to me most clearly that being kind is always, always worth the effort. When I think back over my life your presence has been a constant reminder that being kind matters, that doing for others in even the smallest ways can make a difference in the outcome of someone’s life. You have a unique ability to soothe, simply by being there, and your presence in my life has long been a nonjudgmental anchor for me in a sometimes tumultuous existence.

Your example has encouraged and inspired me, again and again, to do better. To treat others better, with kindness and respect, regardless of who they are or where they came from.

You have taught me that regardless of what happens to us in our lives, we all have a choice about the kind of person we become. Losing Moe was the worst thing that ever happened to me, but by your example, you have shown me the bad things don’t have to define us or shape our lives without our permission. We can choose to use our experiences, no matter how terrible, to become the people we want to be, and make a difference in the lives of others. I always knew and admired this about you, but what a gift this has been in the years since we lost Moe. I will never get over her loss, but I don’t have to let it define me in a negative way, and you taught me that, with the example of your life.

During the very worst times of my life, you have been there. You have loved me without condition or judgement, and shown me a new way simply by being who you are.

You’ve often told me that you admire my intellect, and wish you had more of an opportunity to develop and educate yourself. But my own opinion is just the opposite - I often wish I had your gifts, and admire you more than I can say for your ability to be one of the very best people I’ve ever met. You are decent, and kind, and patient - the very best Auntie I could have hoped for, and far more than I deserve. With some fairly rare exceptions, intellect doesn’t change the course of people’s lives. Your own virtues are the ones that move the world, one person at a time.

I know you’re scared by your diagnosis, and I’m scared with you. But as you face this, I want you to know that regardless of what happens, your presence in my life has changed me. I’m a better person because of you. I have a better life because of you. The world is a much better place because you’re in it, and I couldn’t love you more.
____________

I'll miss you, Auntie. More than I can say.

If anyone is so inclined, the family would appreciate donations to the Massachusetts General Hospital GCS Research Fund in memory of Kris Kier

The Great 2017 Press-On Nails Experiment, Part 3

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Next up in our trial was imPRESS One-Step Gel Manicure. Here is what I bought:






These nails are applied not with nail glue, but with these little glue tabs that are pre-applied to the artificial nails.





In this case, I applied only two nails before taking them off. My issue with the way they look is that the glue tabs are very gel-like, and are relatively thick. As a result, the part of the nail that abuts the cuticle was higher than the cuticle, making the nail look like it was simply resting on top of the nail bed. This looked very unnatural to me. Here's a sample from the Internet, as I didn't take a picture of the ones I tried:





It was my opinion that the nails applied with the nail glue looked much more natural (and apparently stay on longer, to boot). Here's the Kiss French for comparison:





I kept the set I bought, just in case it's operator error, so I can try again.

Pros: Easy to apply, easy to remove, easy on the nail bed.

Cons: unnatural look at the cuticle, don't last as long as the nail glue application technique.

Final Verdict: Not for me, unless I can figure out how to apply them without a fake cuticle look. 

Part 1 may be found here.
Part 2 may be found here.
Part 4 may be found here
Part 5 may be found here



The Great 2017 Press-On Nail Experiment, Part 2

Monday, May 8, 2017

My next experiment with new, modern press-on nails was another Kiss product, along with a new type of nail glue. I decided a brush-on glue might serve me better than the tube in terms of mess-making.

Here's what I bought: Kiss Everlasting French in Really Short.



Here is the nail glue I bought: Brush-on nail glue from 5 Second Nail Cosmetics.


This was not a successful experiment. Here they immediately following application:


As you can see, lifting appeared almost immediately. There clearly wasn't a good seal between the nail bed and the artificial nail.

This was made exceeding apparent the next day after I took a shower:


You can literately SEE the water bubbles between my nail bed and the artificial nails. I took them off after less than 24 hours of wear. Because again, NO FUNGUS.

I believe the reason they lifted immediately is that the brush on glue does not provide enough volume to fill the ridges on my nail bed. The reason I need false nails to begin with is that my nail beds are permanently damaged from slamming doors on them, living in a not-friendly-to-nails environment for many years, and generally ignoring them for decades. There are ridges, and places that are so weak they crack in the same place no matter what I do, and bumps, and in one case, an actual deformed nail bed from slamming a door on my finger when I was still growing. It's all lopsided and grows in a curve. Weird.

Pros: The nail glue was much more tidy to apply than the tube.

Cons: Immediate lifting due to a incomplete seal. The "Really Short" length from Kiss is exactly as advertised - REALLY SHORT. Too short for my preference.

Verdict: A nice try, but I'll probably toss this nail glue and stick with the tubes, messy as they are. I'm still sold on the Kiss brand product, but prefer their "short" and "medium" lengths. 

Next up: imPRESS one-step gel manicure with dual-layer adhesive.



Part 1 may be found here.
Part 3 may be found here.
Part 4 may be found here
Part 5 may be found here

The Great 2017 Press-On Nails Experiment, Part 1

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I was at the grocery store, and I noticed a product near the blood pressure machine that caught my eye. The product was press-on nails, and I bought a set, wondering what advancements had been made since the days of Lee's Press-On Nails, which tended to fall into the "you'll poke your eye out" category, both for their length and for their distressing tendency to fall off at the most inopportune moments.

So I bought Kiss Everlasting French in Medium Length: 


I made a big ole mess when I put them on, of course. They're attached with a tube of nail glue, which was included in the kit, and since I'm such a neophyte, I did a poor job of keeping the glue off my skin, my desk, the towel I was using, etc.

Here is what they looked like on Day 1:


I thought they looked pretty darn snappy for a $6 impulse buy.

Here's what they looked like on Day 7:


As you can see, they still looked okay, but I was noticing "lifting" between the artificial nail and my nail bed. This is one of the things dermatologists are concerned about when discussing artificial nails - water can get caught between the nail bed and the artificial nail, thus inviting bacteria and other undesirables into the fold. Since I'm not really a fan of having fungus-among-us, I removed them on Day 8.

Pros: They look as good as salon nails for several days after application. The nail glue application method does not require roughing up the nail bed to increase adhesion, which I really liked, as this is the reason I stopped getting gel manicures.

Cons: The danger of fungus growing between the nail bed and the artificial nail. They take about 20-30 minutes to remove, as the nails need to be dissolved off with acetone. I'd rather do that than prying them off and removing the top layers of my nail bed, though.

Verdict: An inexpensive, attractive alternative to salon nails that's easier on the nail bed than other products. I would advise taking them off after a maximum of one week of wear to prevent infection and fungus on the nail bed. 

Next up: Kiss Everlasting French in Really Short applied with brush-on nail glue from 5 Second Nail Cosmetics.

Part 2 may be found here.
Part 3 may be found here.
Part 4 may be found here
Part 5 may be found here

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Friday, May 5, 2017

I bought a new audiobook the other day. It's called On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder.

I listened to this yesterday. And then I listened to it again. And I'll probably listen to again several more times until its message is burnt into my brain.

It is my opinion that every American who is concerned about the current administration and the shenanigans associated with the 2016 election should read this book. Actually, I think all Americans should read this book, but if this election has taught us anything, it's that Americans are not exceptional when it comes to falling for the con of nationalism and the emotional manipulation of would-be tyrants and oligarchs.

Timothy Snyder, the author of this work, is a the Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University. He received his Ph.D in modern history from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He speaks five languages, and reads four more. He's written a number of books on the history of Europe, with particular emphasis on the Holocaust. I call this extremely qualified to speak on this subject, but I'm sure the alt-right would describe him as a "liberal academic" or an "elite tool of the left" or something. Because in 45's America, being extremely educated in a specific topic, and then speaking about that topic, is a bug and not a feature. But we know better, don't we?

For me, this book is so important because it's basically a professional historian's handbook for the Resistance. He compares sociological historical events from the twentieth century to our current situation here in the United States, and his conclusions are scary as fuck. So he provides some lessons - and some guidance - about how patriots (but not "America! Fuck, Yeah" patriots) can resist the historical trend and stand up for democracy in these most troubling of times. From where I sit, this could just as easily have been titled "How to be a Decent Citizen in a Representative Form of Government." That's not very catchy, though.

I don't want to synopsize the work, since it's really quite short anyway, and a good summary by the author may be read here. And while I encourage you to read the entire book, this article is a good place to start.

The main points:
  1. Do not obey in advance.
  2. Defend the institutions. 
  3. Beware the one-party state.
  4. Take responsibility for the face of the world.
  5. Remember professional ethics.
  6. Beware the paramilitaries.
  7. Be reflective if you must be armed. 
  8. Stand out.
  9. Be kind to our language.
  10. Believe in truth.
  11. Investigate.
  12. Make eye contact and small talk.
  13. Practice corporeal politics.
  14. Establish a private life.
  15. Contribute to good causes.
  16. Learn from peers in other countries.  
  17. Listen for dangerous words.
  18. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
  19. Be a patriot.
  20. Be as courageous as you can. 
The book gives historical examples of why these things matter, and how citizens of other countries failed to employ these strategies to their everlasting grief. And it gives every citizen - every single one of us - a blueprint for the Resistance, things you can do now, today, to stop a historical trend that would most assuredly end badly.

It's certain that I have given more in service to the United States than 45 and his entire family combined. And I will not let them and their cronies continue to move us into tyranny, oligarchy, dictatorship. Not without a fight.

#RESISTANCE

Extrovert? Not so much...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

I recently finished a book entitled, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. The author is a former Wall Street attorney who is an introvert herself, and wanted to learn about how our culture tends to reward extroverts and punish introverts, even though introverts have their own gifts. It's a best seller from several years ago, but my to-read pile is so enormous I'm just now getting around to it.

This book caused a great deal of self-examination for me. When I was younger, I thought I was 100% extrovert, because I had a talent for leadership and really wanted to share my ideas with others. This notion - that I was an extrovert, and that was the most desirable state to be in - was reinforced by the environments in which I lived and worked. Because let's face it - paramilitary and military environments don't really reward introverted behavior, especially when living quarters are cramped at best. 

And acting like an extrovert brought me professional success. I was promoted quickly in the Navy. I went from an entry-level technician position to a Senior Systems Engineer in six years when I began my civilian career. I worked hard, and enjoyed most aspects of my work. But I was also tired ALL THE TIME. Up until now, I'd considered the constant fatigue of those years to be a by-product of undiagnosed depression. I still think that's true, but I also think it was aggravated by my attempt to force my national tendency toward introversion into the mold of an extrovert.


My personality has many of the hallmarks of introversion:
  • Large, crowded events make my teeth hurt. Whenever I'm in a position where I have to attend a professional conference where the expectation is to be "always on" and I'm forced to be in crowded spaces, I become very uncomfortable. If it goes on long enough, I experience claustrophobia and anxiety. 
  • Being around people generally wears me out. It's not that I don't enjoy my relationships with other people, or enjoy spending time with them. I do. But when the visit is over, I'm ready to hide in my office and read, knit, or watch The West Wing on Netflix. I need quiet time to offset my social events in order to feel centered. And no good comes of my over-committing my social calendar. No good at all.
  • When it comes to learning styles, I prefer lecture or reading to more kinesthetic learning activities. Living inside my head comes naturally to me, and while I like sharing my ideas with others, my own learning is best served passively, or with a limited amount of the Socratic method. 
  • I absolutely detest working on "group projects." Ugh. For me, the perfect committee size is one, and I've always felt this way.
Of course no one is 100% introvert or 100% extrovert. Like sexuality, it's a continuum, and all of us fall somewhere in the spectrum. But reading this book has given me insight into how I can behave like an extrovert when I think it's required or expected (often, in my professional life), and yet still self-identify as an introvert the rest of the time. According to Ms. Cain, introverts are often capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything the introvert values highly. This very clearly describes my own self-evaluation of my personality and behavior. My extroverted self serves my goals and my values, but it's not at the core of who I am.

Who I am is someone who would really rather read a book than go to an event. I'm someone who treasures time spent with people I love, but not in too large a group. I'm someone who will behave in an extroverted way in service to those I love or a core value, but needs some down-time after that. I'm someone who loves living a life of the mind, and strives to keep learning. And I'm someone who is trying to see clearly the value of introversion after 50 years of cultural conditioning telling me otherwise.



Emotional Labor and Activism

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I am committed to activism. It's important to me that I be engaged in civil society, maintain a decent level of knowledge about current events, and act upon that knowledge in accordance with my values. It's important to me that I support those organizations that have personal meaning to me either through financial contributions or by donating my time to the cause.

But I'm not going to fool myself into believing that this commitment comes without a cost.

For me, that cost comes in the form of emotional labor. It takes intellectual and emotional work for me to support my values through volunteerism and activism. And sometimes the labor is light, and sometimes it's not.

And here lately, I've had other things that have been placing demands on my emotional labor. So I've been kind of lackadaisical about keeping track of the latest shenanigans coming out of White Nationalist Administration, and have not been contacting my Congressmen every day. I've been less engaged than usual with my volunteer activities. And that's okay.

We all have only so much emotional labor to go around, and needing to spend some on things other than politics and activism allows me to fulfill my obligations to those I care about, and also to myself. It just means I'll have to come back another day to fulfill my commitment to things that may be less personal to me.

So I'll probably be scarce around here in terms of Link Me Up posts and other content. I'm sure you all will find another dancing Internet monkey to entertain you in the meantime. I've always found Go Fug Yourself a source of endless entertainment if you're looking for something new.

Random Thoughts and Words to Live By, Part 22

Friday, April 14, 2017

Continually trying to make unreasonable people see reason is an exercise in futility. Sometimes it's an issue of a single (or multiple) blind spots, but sometimes the person is simply divorced from reality. Sometimes you can open the eyes of the former, but the most you can hope for in the latter case is to marginalize them to the best of your ability and hope they don't do any serious damage while you're waiting for them to go away.

Link Me Up, Scotty - Humble Pie Edition

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Infamous former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's reign of bug-fuck crazy has reached a most ignominious end as his life's work is dismantled by wiser, more compassionate public servants and he faces charges of criminal contempt. Ah, karma, though art a spiteful and timeless purveyor of schadenfreude.
________

It always astounds me when nutbags who work for other nutbags are suddenly all offended when their employers turn out to be...nutbags. The empty headed douchecanoe Tomi Lahren is suing the misogynistic never-met-a-conspiracy-he-didn't-believe douche-nozzle Glenn Beck for wrongful termination. Because apparently it never occurred to her that expressing an opinion that implied a woman might have some agency would be anathema to a the alt right. Living in a state of denial must be so comforting.
________

Funny library signs. Libraries really are a place where a large variety of people congregate. Sometimes to the librarian's chagrin.

H/T Debbie the Librarian
________

Looks like 45 and his White Nationalist Administration are feeling a little pressure as their 100 day anniversary looms, as it does not appear that this milestone will be kind to them. Reality: You can't really wish it away, no matter how much money you have. 
________

An opinion piece on how far medicine has come in the treatment and care of transgender youth. Providing appropriate medical care to these youngsters can literally be a matter of life and death for them, as their historical suicide attempt rate during adolescence is almost 50%. With treatment, early indications show a marked decline in this statistic, which, in my opinion, more than justifies this standard of care world-wide.
________

From the "Restoring My Faith in Humanity" files: Repo man not only pays off an elderly couple's vehicle after being forced to repossess it, but now helps the wife, a new widow, address some tough financial times.
________

Moyers & Company releases a list of top independent investigative journalism organizations. I don't agree with all these choices - Mother Jones, says the liberal, has some serious bias issues. But there's enough meat in there to justify passing it along. See especially: ProPublica.
________

John Oliver wants to buy some commercial air time on the O'Reilly Factor. Because of course he does, magnificent beast that he is.
________

The 2017 Pultizers have been announced, and I'm pleased and proud that so many of the nominees and winners have a prominent place in my "Today's sources" list on every Link Me Up entry. The truth matters, y'all.
________

It's National Library Week! Take a moment to support or celebrate your local library. Libraries have the opportunity to be a pivotal member of their communities, not only providing materials for check out, but programming, resources (such as Internet access and computers), homework help, seminars on starting your own business, meeting rooms, and more. You probably already support them with your tax dollars, but most libraries measure their success by how much they engage with their communities. So engage today and see what your library has to offer!
________

The Hubble Space Telescope now has its own website so you can check out what its looking at and why, including links to the accepted proposal.

H/T Brother Tom
________

Video of my Heart: An oldy but goody, the Chattanooga Fire Department resorts to disco to liven up their PSA about CPR. I especially enjoy the disco balls hanging from the booms on the Fire Trucks.




Today's sources:
  • The Washington Post: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • CNN: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias and basic reporting. 
  • Daily Mail: Right biased media source with a mixed degree of factual reporting. 
  • Politico: Left-Center bias with a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • New York Times: Mainstream media source with a minimal partisan bias and a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • Good News Network: A clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive news stories from around the globe.
  • Moyers & Co: Left-Center bias with a high degree of factual reporting. 
  • I Love Libraries: An initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries.
  • Space Telescope Live: A live website displaying the current view of the Hubble Space Telescope with links to the accepted proposal.