The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

Happy Saturday (and Sunday) Widdershins.

We have survived another week. This week was off to a rough start because Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 campaign, “What Happened,” was released and before its4c498a1fa3498d0d740dfb69e25bea87--american-life-time-magazine.jpg release virtually every pundit on TV and Twitter had a meltdown about it. How dare Hillary say anything? People have been talking about her publicly for 30 years, but at this point, they said, she needed to go away. But an odd thing happened as the week progressed: as people actually read the book, they found they liked it. Ok, so maybe not the usual pundits. Those have a case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome so strong that nothing would appease them. (No really: Slate wrote an article questioning why Hillary isn’t angrier… like really, this happened.) But the more reasonable types found themselves not unhappy. And Clinton gave a number of remarkable interviews, everyone from Vox (Ezra Klein) to Rachel Maddow to The View. Turns out what Hillary has to say is not only interesting, a lot of it is important. Like the discussion about Republicans potentially working their way to a Constitutional Convention. This needs to make bigger headlines.

So, we found ourselves lifted up by Hillary Clinton once again. She may not run for office, but she herself said that she is not retiring from public life and from politics. Things are too important and too dangerous to step away from.

So, like Hillary, we will continue to fight.

Our weekend fight: Trumpcare is back folks. It’s back, like a zombie that will not die. Republicans are trying to repeal the ACA again. This is not a drill and not a joke. Start telling your friends to call their Senators and Representatives again. It is important. It is happening. Start calling 202-224-3121.

And for our weekend musical theme, the theme is: Fight. Fight. Fight.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

 

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Good Monday, all. Today, the sun will be completely eclipsed by the moon, a very rare event indeed. Even rarer, it seems, is what has been going on since the horrible terrorist attack in Charlottesville: people are starting to talk about the real reason people voted for Drumpf, the true secret of his appeal.

Two years too late.

Roxane Gay wrote this painful editorial in the New York Times last week. I think she speaks for a lot of us, not just here at TW, but all over America.

A week ago, in Charlottesville, Virginia, white men assembled to rage for a world long lost – one where their mediocrity was good enough. These were men emboldened by a President who shares their odious beliefs.

I’ve watched in horror as they’ve been energized by his campaign and his presidency. It’s possible that hate like this would have been on the rise anyway, given eight years of the Obama presidency and, animus towards Hillary Clinton. But now we don’t have hate on the fringe; we have it reinforced in the White House…

…Back in November, pundits began attributing Mr. Trump’s win to “economic anxiety,” because they were unwilling to face the blatant racism that fueled his popularity. Look where that thinking has brought us. Everyone who says, “This is not America” or “This is not us” is being willfully ignorant of both the past and the present. We all need to acknowledge that yes, this is indeed us, the very worst of us…

Roxane’s eloquent anguish resonates so strongly with me. When that evil orange turd “won” the election, I felt as though the entire country had lost its mind. Instead of electing the first woman President, who would lead us where we need to go so badly, Drumpf voters had embraced a sexually twisted, misogynistic, racist monster because they didn’t care what he would do to this country, as long as he made them feel good about themselves. His language of hate and fear was like poisoned music, a siren’s song telling them that at last, at last, they could blame someone else for their useless and bitter lives. Drumpf made it clear to white men that it really IS women and people of color and Jews and LGBT who are responsible for your pain and suffering, and not only that, it’s good and right for you to think it, and say it, and shout it out loud. Who could resist such a validation? And as a result, instead of the world we all knew would arise with Hillary’s Presidency, a world where #LoveTrumpsHate, a new, awful world seemed to arise.

But was it really that new? No. It had only been hiding, lurking like a tumor, inside of the Republican base. And it’s at the heart of all of their policies, for the past few decades. As Russ Feingold wrote this weekend,

The lesson from Charlottesville is not how dangerous the neo-Nazis are. It is the unmasking of the Republican party leadership. In the wake of last weekend’s horror and tragedy, let us finally, finally rip off the veneer that Trump’s affinity for white supremacy is distinct from the Republican agenda of voter suppression, renewed mass incarceration and the expulsion of immigrants…

Words mean nothing if the Republican agenda doesn’t change. Governors and state legislatures were so quick to embrace people of color in order to avoid the impression, they too share Trump’s supreme affinity for the white race. But if they don’t stand up for them they are not indirectly, but directly enabling the agenda of those same racists that Republican members were so quick to condemn via Twitter.

Gerrymandering, strict voter ID laws, felon disenfranchisement are all aimed at one outcome: a voting class that is predominantly white, and in turn majority Republican.

This is the hard truth that we don’t want to face. We all have Republican friends, relatives and colleagues. We’d like to think that they vote Republican because they want lower taxes and “small government,” whatever the hell that means. Unfortunately, though, those reasons can no longer be used to mask the hatred that hides in the heart of the GOP. It’s become a heart of darkness, and anyone who votes Republican now, shows that they have darkness in their hearts as well.

As Drumpf retreats further and further from a country whose people are loudly protesting what he stands for, vastly outnumbering the Neo-Nazis in Boston by tens of thousands, there is beginning to be a wide recognition that he cannot last much longer as President of the United States. But when he goes, and takes all the nightmare Cabinet members and Javanka with him, and probably takes Pence down too..what then? Are we going to pretend he never happened, that he was a terrible aberration, and that the “real” Republicans never wanted him in the first place?

I am quite sure the media, addicted to equivalency as they are, will try to smooth this horrorshow over and make it seem as though the Republican Party temporarily lost its mind to der Drumpfenfuhrer, but is now sane. We cannot let them do it. We must continue to hold them responsible and accountable for what they’ve done to our democratic institutions and the mental and moral health of our country.

We’ve done really well after a blow that could have crushed us, Widdershins. Together, the Resistance has halted the destruction of ACA, the tax cuts for the wealthy and the infrastructure whatever that, I’m sure, would have done nothing but shovel more money into billionaires’ pockets. But we won’t be finished until we have dragged the racists and misogynists, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century.

I think we can do it, don’t you?

This is an open thread. Enjoy the “oldie” but goodie below.

It’s a crazy world out there folks. I don’t have to actually say that, of course. It’s always been crazy to some degree, but the current degree is basically hell. But did you know that the first dishwasher was invented by a woman? I know that seems random and it is. I just wanted to change the subject from the madness of the world with something to distract us for a minute or two and wasn’t sure of a graceful way to do it.

So anyway, Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913) from Ashtabula County, OH, was the co-inventor of the first automatic dishwasher. (Her maternal grandfather, John Fitch, apparently invented the steamboat!) Cochrane designed the first model of the dishwasher in the shed behind her house.

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To build the machine, she first measured the dishes and built wire compartments, each specially designed to fit either plates, cups, or saucers. The compartments were placed inside a wheel that lay flat inside a copper boiler. A motor turned the wheel while hot soapy water squirted up from the bottom of the boiler and rained down on the dishes. Her dishwasher was the first to use water pressure instead of scrubbers to clean the dishes inside the machine.

Mass production on this modern marvel started in 1897 at the Garis-Cochran factory, though the dishwasher didn’t become common until the 1950’s.

Did you know that Hedy Lamarr invented a bunch of things? One of the most talented and gorgeous of all Hollywood actresses spent her life inventing things. Like trying to improve the traffic light and a pill to make carbonated water (not a successes.) Howard Hughes thought she was a genius and funded a lot of her “tinkering,” like a new design she made of plane wings that made them less square and made planes fly faster.

During World War II, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes, which could 220px-Hedy_lamarr_-_1940.jpgbe important in the naval war, could easily be jammed, thereby causing the torpedo to go off course. With the knowledge she had gained about torpedoes from her first husband, she came up with the idea of somehow creating a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. She contacted her friend, composer and pianist George Antheil, to help her develop a device for doing that, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals. They drafted designs for the frequency-hopping system which they patented.

Though Lamarr got a patent for her invention, the US military was too busy at the time (world war and all) and didn’t accept inventions from outside the military. However, in 1962 (during Cuban Missile Crises) a revised design of her invention appeared on US Navy ships. Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. This invention laid the foundation for WiFi and GPS.

Do you have a home security system? You should thank Marie Van Brittan Brown. She was born in Queens, NY in 1922 and she invented a security system in 1966 that included cameras that fed a signal to a monitor. Residents could also unlatch the door by remote. Brown said she was inspired to invent this because of the long time it would take the police to arrive after being called by residents. She died in 1999; her invention lives on and keeps people safe in their homes around the world.

United States Navy rear admiral Grace Murray Hopper was a pioneer of computer engineering. She believed that computer codes could be written in English. Many years of research led to the creation of COBOL, the high-level programming language still in use today. Though she was not personally involved in the creation of COBOL, it was her research that led to it and she is commonly referred to as “the (grand)mother of COBOL.”

This is an open thread.

 

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Happy Friday Widdershins!

If you are reading this then good news: a nuclear was hasn’t started yet! But it is early, so we’ll see how things play out.

This morning I won’t bore you with my thoughts on Dump and whatever the latest shitnado he has unleashed on the world. There is so much happening and it’s happening so quickly that sometimes the brain feels like it will short circuit. So we will stay current on the news in the comments section, as always. If Dump launches a nuke at North Korea or California, please post here ASAP!

Instead I will tell you about a nearly forgotten artist. I listen to classical music almost exclusively and I have not heard of Maryla Jonas until just a week ago when Sony released a remastered box set of Jonas’ complete recordings made for Columbia in the 1940s and 50s. Granted, her recorded legacy was not big, only a bit over 3 hours of music. But it’s amazing how an such an important artist of her day could be so nearly forgotten, even though at the time famed critics like Virgil Thompson and Edward Downes counted her among the greats.

Maryla Jonas was born on May 31, 1911 in Warsaw, Poland. She became something of a child prodigy at the piano and though her father had serious misgivings about his daughter having a successful career as a musician, she did make her concert debut at the age of 9. At the age of 11 she was accepted to study at the Warsaw Conservatory. Over the years she studied with the famous pianist and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

‘When I was no more than seventeen. I played a Ballade of Chopin for [Paderewski], and he said, very calmly and quietly, more pedal here—less pedal there—there, more tone—there, more speed. Such things. Also, he took my music and marked everything down in red pencil. Good! I went home and studied hard everything he had said. Like a parrot.

‘Then I went for a concert to Denmark. I played this Ballade, exactly as Paderewski had said. Well, a friend of his who was there, said it was no good! He told Paderewski I had played it no good. So the next time I came to Paderewski, he asked me what I did to play so badly, and told me to sit down and play the Ballade for him. I did, exactly as he had said. And this time he too said it was no good! I said he himself had told me all this, and he said, ‘No, that was impossible!’ I showed him his own red writing on the music, and again he said, ‘No!’ At that time, I was heartbroken. But today, I see exactly what Paderewski meant! He meant that the first time, he was in a mood to want the Ballade one way, and the next time, not. That is all. But it showed me that teaching can never be a matter of do-this or do-that’. (“The Etude”, February 1947, interviewed by Rose Heylbut).

When she was eighteen , Miss Jonas says an incident happened in her life which, more than anything else, influenced her subsequent career. ‘I had finished playing a whole program for Paderewski and he took me to the window and pointing, he said: “You see that street over there? You see how it winds down into that alley? It looks sordid, doesn’t it. Well, there is life. Go out and find out for yourself. Live an experience and come back to me in a year. You’ll be a better pianist”.

Throughout the 20s and 30s she toured across Europe, including recitals at the Salzburg Festival and Bayreuth. She married a famous Polish criminologist. And then Germany invaded Poland. Her husband and three brothers joined the underground resistance. Her sister, who had married a Viennese Jew, fled to Brazil. Jonas and her parents’ home was requisitioned by the Germans, so they spent months moving from shelter to shelter. They were eventually arrested and after an interrogation by the Gestapo Jonas was offered to be sent to Berlin if she would join the Nazi party and become an official Nazi artist. Jonas refused. She and her parents were sent to a concentration camp.

After several months in camps, a German officer recognized Jonas as a pianist he had heard perform before the war. He arranged to have her released from the camp and advised that she go to Berlin and appeal to the Brazilian embassy for safety. Jonas walked from Warsaw to Berlin: about 321 miles. She slept in barnes and under the moon, eating only scraps that she could find. Finally in Berlin the Brazilian embassy arranged to smuggle her out of the country on false papers, pretending to be the wife the ambassador’s son.

Jonas joined her sister in Rio, but her health had very seriously deteriorated from the long and arduous journey from Warsaw to Berlin. She then received news that her parents, her husband and one of her brothers had been killed in Poland and she suffered a nervous breakdown. She spent several months in various sanatoriums in Brazil. She decided that she would never play the piano again, but at the encouragement of her sister and a chance visit to Rio in 1940 by one of the most famous pianists in the world, Artur Rubinstein, changed her mind.

He had known Maryla in Warsaw, and called on her. He urged her eloquently to resume playing. He told her she was now a representative of Poland. It was her duty, he said, to keep reminding the world that her country had stood for something, and to work and earn money to help rescue other Poles from their Nazi-dominated homeland. She agreed with every word. But she could not play.

Rubinstein was rehearsing for several recitals he was to give in Rio and asked Jonas to come to the theater to offer him advise. At the theater he said he wasn’t sure what the img041_a_200dpi.jpgacoustics of the hall were like, so he asked Jonas to play while he walked to the back of the auditorium to sound-check. Jonas obliged… and found herself musically reborn. She decided to start playing again and within few months was giving recitals across South America. In 1946 she came to the United States and on February 25 gave a recital at Carnegie Hall. That seems to have been a very lightly attended show (someone joked the ushers outnumbered the audience), but a glowing review from the highly regarded Jerome D. Bohm of Herald Tribune: “the finest woman pianist since Teresa Carreno” he wrote. He continued that on her next appearance Jonas “will be greeted not by a handful of listeners . . . but by the sold-out house which such artistry as hers deserves.” Five weeks later her second Carnegie Hall recital was sold out. Olin Downes of the New York Times wrote that “The shimmer of the harmonies, the haunting song that they half revealed and half concealed, was something to remember.” Soon Jonas was engaged to play a Beethoven concerto with the New York Philharmonic. Sold out concerts and glowing reviews, and a record deal with Columbia followed. Jonas also married a surgeon.

During a Carnegie Hall recital on January 27, 1951 she got sick.

Persons familiar with the Schumann work [Carnaval] sensed that something was wrong when some passages were skipped. They were puzzled when the pianist got up after a gentle number about two thirds of the way through. She walked unsteadily to the left side of the stage and just beyond the edge of the dusty-rose curtain she fell.

… Miss Jonas had not been feeling well all week, according to her representative, so her physician, Dr. Franz Groezel, and her husband, Dr. Ernest Abraham, both were in the auditorium. They went back-stage to attend her and ten minutes later John Totten, manager of the hall, emerged from the stage door to say she would continue the program.

The pianist returned to the stage looking white and shaky, but once she was seated she seemed all right. She played the Nocturne, the Waltz, the Berceuse and two of the four Mazurkas she had scheduled. She also managed two encores, though the last one was given with the house lights on as a hint to the audience not to expect a third.

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In 1952 Jonas was stricken with a rare blood disease and put her concert career on hold. She was bedridden for two years. She returned to Carnegie Hall on December 1, 1956. It seems that physically she was no longer able to play well. Edward Downes of the New York Times wrote:

The Andante cantabile of the middle movement was an achievement of rare artistry. But toward the end of the sonata Miss Jonas began to sound nervous. As the Mozart group progressed there were moments of exquisite lyricism, but they became rarer as one sensed that Miss Jonas’ strength was ebbing under physical and nervous strain.

[…]

Friends who inquired backstage after the program were told that a physician was attending Miss Jonas. Later it was announced that she was not ill but suffered only severe nervous tension.

This was Maryla Jones’ last concert. She died on July 3, 1959. (Her husband, Dr. Ernest Abraham, was an amateur cellist and encouraged his wife’s career. He died a few weeks after her.)

Hello Widdershins, and a very good Tuesday to all of you. Today I want to make a statement about women and the Democratic Party.

We’re reclaiming our time.

Maxine Waters Doesn’t Take Your Crap, Bro

As we know, the “election” of Drumpf was a devastating blow to those of us who knew, just knew, that this time we’d get the President we wanted and deserved. Obama set off red flags in 2008 with his sexism and lack of qualifications, and we hated the obvious push to hand him the nomination by rigging the DNC rules to favor caucuses. So we declared “Party Unity My *ss,” and the Obots swarmed and won. In 2016, when it should have been obvious that Hillary would run unopposed, that narcissistic, lazy sh*thead Bernie Sanders decided to start a Party of One…and the Obots swarmed, newly reborn as Bernie Bros/brogressives. This time, they lost, and lost YUGE. It was surely, finally time for Hillary!

But it wasn’t. Bernie had done a lot of damage to her reputation, and that, along with so many other factors, doomed her to lose once again. And as if that weren’t enough, the Democratic Party is still cosseting and kowtowing to the man who lost the primary by 4 million votes, AND who will not even show the most basic respect of declaring himself a Democrat. His followers are primarying Democratic candidates instead of supporting them, and creating ridiculous smear campaigns against any Democrat who doesn’t fit the Bernie mold. You know what that means: white, male, sexist and self-righteous.

Look what they’re doing to Kamala Harris, whose voting record is the second most progressive in the Senate. (Bernie is not even in the top 10. Surprise!)

Cosmopolitan goes so far as to say, “Leave Kamala Harris Alone,” pointing out in no uncertain terms:

Kamala Harris doesn’t have a Bernie Sanders problem. The so-called “Sanders Left” has a black-woman problem. In fact, the entire left has a black-woman problem. On May 25, a group of black women wrote an open letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez requesting that he meet with black women politicians and policy makers. The letter noted that the 115th Congress has “20 Black women—the largest number in history” and reminded Perez that in 2008 and 2012, black women were the party’s most loyal voting bloc. The DNC refused to even give black women an official response to the letter. I say this, because I want to be clear that the DNC is no friend to black women. However, if 2016 is any indicator, the vast majority of black women rejected the Sanders solution as a model for the kind of left politics that meets their needs.

Let me be clear: Bernie Sanders and his sexist brogressives will NEVER stop demonizing women, no matter what color they are. Look what venerated feminist blogger Melissa McEwan of Shakesville posted today. Everyone knows she is a progressive – but OMG she supported Hillary!!!11111!!! so she must NOT BE!

“Sanders Democrats” don’t own the left.

For thirteen years, I’ve been occupying this space, advocating for progressive policy and social justice. I support universal healthcare and a basic guaranteed income. I am pro-choice, anti-death penalty, a prison abolitionist, and advocate for vast criminal justice reform. I strongly reject privatization schemes and strongly support free public education. I am an intersectional feminist; an anti-racist; a fierce defender of LGBTQ rights; an advocate for dismantling the rape culture; a disabled survivor; a fat activist; a Democratic critic and a Democratic supporter.

Those are not conservative positions. They are not even centrist positions.

They are leftist positions.

And I have spent the last thirteen years of my life being mercilessly inundated with gross harassment for taking those positions.

RECLAIM YOUR TIME, MELISSA!!! What the hell have the Keyboard Kommandoes of Bernie’s non-existent ‘revolution’ sacrificed for their position? How dare they abuse and disdain women who have been working for many years for liberal causes, just because they favored Hillary over #TheBernout?

So now, finally, more and more women are getting it. The Democrats won’t give us our time unless we stand up and demand it. Women must have a voice in the Democratic Party, and we want candidates that represent us. This means, tell ENORMOUS LOSER Bernie Sanders to go sit in a corner and rename a post office. That’s all he’s ever been good for.

And for us, let’s find a group to join and start promoting and registering women in the Democratic Party. There are a lot of them out there, including Hillary’s PAC. I joined this one on Monday.

Hey, DNC: We’re no longer asking. We’re telling.

This is an open thread.

 

 

 

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We are going to be stuck with Donald Dump for the foreseeable future. Republicans will not impeach him. Nothing he can do will force them to abandon him. Even as the country tries to absorb Dump Jr’s e-mails confirming he met with a Russian lawyer with government connections to get dirt on Hillary Clinton – GOP collectively yawns. Mitch McConnell says he has no comment. Paul Ryan is MIA. John McCain is concerned and Lady Graham is disturbed. That’s as bad as the recriminations got. (Bernie Sanders, by the way, says we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. The strongest response came from Moe Scarborough who announced he’s leaving GOP to become an independent. Which is nice, but who cares?) The right-wing media has closed ranks around Dump and his abominations. Collusion with the Russians isn’t so bad, Breitbart and Fox have declared. Besides, shouldn’t Hillary Clinton be prosecuted, Sean Hannity asks?

The best response so far came from a surprising source: Trey Gowdy-Doody.

Someone needs to get everyone in a room and say, from the time you saw ‘Dr. Zhivago’ until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris, you list every single contact with Russia,” Gowdy said, referring to the 1965 movie.

But Gowdy-Doody says he will investigate nothing via his House committee; he’s leaving it all to Bob Mueller.

Vice President Pence’s courageous response via his spokesperson was:

The Vice President is working every day to advance the president’s agenda, which is what the American people sent us here to do. […] The Vice President was not aware of the meeting. He is not focused on stories about the campaign, particularly stories about the time before he joined the ticket.

“Before he joined the ticket.” That’s Pence trying to have it both ways. Standing by Trump’s agenda and “Hey, don’t look at me, I just work here!” in case the story has legs. But considering each new story feels like the one that breaks the camel’s back and then it doesn’t… we shouldn’t expect this new story to be any different. Dump is here to stay. If he is to go, it can only be accomplished if Democrats take both House and Senate in 2018 (unlikely), and then the 2020 elections. Until then… we must fasten our seat-belts and get comfortable. The ride will continue to be bumpy.

Which brings me back to Mike Pence’s statement. “The Vice President is working every day to advance the president’s agenda.” What is this agenda? What is the future that Republicans want? It’s all bad. All bad. Mitch McConnell has postponed Senate’s August recess by two weeks, hoping to cobble a coalition that passes their healthcare abomination. Hopefully The Resistance continues the push-back and enough Rethugs are afraid enough of their constituents to vote Nay.

There is another story that came out last week from El Salvador that should chill all our spines because this is essentially the future Republicans want in the US too.

This week a court in El Salvador sentenced 19-year-old Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz following her conviction for aggravated homicide.

Hernandez says she became pregnant after being raped in the small community where she lived, according to her trial statements. She says she did not report the attack out of fear and did not realize she was pregnant.

In April 2016, Hernandez said, she felt strong abdominal pains and lost consciousness in the bathroom. She was taken to a hospital and treated for vaginal bleeding from an out-of-hospital delivery, but there was no newborn.

Authorities opened an investigation and later found the fetus. She was initially charged with having caused in abortion, which is illegal in all situations in El Salvador. The charge was later changed to aggravated homicide.

Hernandez said she did not know she had miscarried. She has been in prison since the incident.

GOP’s assault on women’s right to control their own bodies is decades old. They started fighting abortion rights the minute SCOTUS ruled on Roe v. Wade. They have never la-fg-c1-el-salvador-women-20150415wavered, they turned the issue into perhaps the single biggest cultural wedge issue in the country. And over decades they have chipped away at abortion rights bit by bit by bit. They have been great at branding (GOP always is), controlling the debate, redefining terms (“partial birth abortion,” for example) and seeing abortion rights erode. With Trump and Pence in the White House, and Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, abortion rights are as much at risk as anything else right now. We should look at El Salvador, where abortions under all circumstances – no exceptions – is illegal, as the future we might have in the US. In El Salvador judges rule abortions and miscarriages as homicide and sentence women to decades in prison. World Health Organization estimates that 68,000 women die each year as a result of unsafe/illegal abortions. This is an issue we must remain vigilant about because we know Pence has it in his sight.

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Just in time for Independence Day, NBC News wrote an article about the excavation of Sally Hemmings‘ living quarters at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation. The byline reads: “Thomas Jefferson’s mistress Sally Hemings’ secret living quarters finally discovered.” NBC’s use of the word “mistress” is unfortunate. Hemmings was a slave. She was 14 years old when Jefferson first raped her. What editor wrote this byline without a bolt of lighting striking them down?

We are living in a diseased world. Trump himself is not the disease, he is a symptom. He used the disease of misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc., to get himself elected. He launched his campaign by declaring all Mexicans as rapists and murderers. (And some, he assumed, were ok.) We are living in the same world that also houses Brock Turner. On January 18, 2015 Turner raped an unconscious woman. He was convicted of his crime. The presiding judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, sentenced Brock to 6 months in jail. A year since that ruling, Judge Persky has finally decided to explain himself. ““I have a reputation for being fair to both sides,” Persky says. Let that sink in for a moment. Persky was looking at a victim of rape and the man who raped her while she was unconscious. And Persky prides himself on being fair to both sides. He is running for reelection. I’d like to say that there’s no chance Persky will get reelected, but we are living in a Trump world. He might.

I ran into this article at Mother Jones about men taking credit for women’s work. (Last week Bernie Sanders embraced Hillary Clinton’s public option healthcare plan. It was the same plan he and his Bros previously excoriated Clinton for. But now Sanders is taking credit for it, and some in the media are happily giving him credit. Sanders also previously embraced Hillary’s college tuition plan after being vehemently against it. The  media gave him credit for Hillary’s plan too.) Mother Jones digs far, back to cave paintings. Newest research suggests they were painted by women. From Mary Shelley to Ada Lovelace to the rapper M.I.A. and singer Taylor Swift – the more things change, the more men continue to take credit for women’s work. (Remember when Michael Moore claimed to be the leader of the Resistance? Yeah, no Michael Moore. You’re NOT the Resistance.)

We’ve all heard the word “mansplain.” It’s a word that has entered the lexicon fairly quickly. I didn’t even notice it, it was just sort of there. I did not realize it originated with a 2008 essay “Men Explain Things To Me” by Rebecca Solnit. Solnit related an anecdote that at a party she got into a discussion with a man who had heard Solnit was an author. She began to tell him about her latest book about Eadweard Muybridge and the man interrupted her to inform her that just last year a new and popular book about Muybridge came out. Had she heard of it? It so happens that she had. Solnit wrote it.

And finally: on June 26th we celebrated the 20th anniversary since the publishing of the first Harry Potter novel: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” (Retitled “The Sorcerer’s Stone” in the US.) Joanne Rowling famously started jotting down the novel onJK-Rowling a napkin in an Edinburgh cafe when she was a single mother and broke, living on welfare. She finished the manuscript on an old-fashioned typewriter. It was rejected by 12 publishers. Finally a small children’s publisher Bloomsbury accepted. They asked Rowling to create a gender-neutral name because a novel about a boy wizard was likely to sell better if boys didn’t know a woman had written it. So Joanne became J.K. Rowling. Bloomsbury printed 500 copies of the original hardcover (now worth a fortune!) 300 of those copies were sent to libraries and only 200 into the wild. The rest, of course, is history. Over the course of seven novels Rowling’s story of the boy wizard and his best friends Ron and Hermione’s struggles against forces of evil have inspired generations of children and adults. Movies and a play made billions. Rowling herself became a billionaire (Forbes claims she is the first writer to make a billion dollars from writing alone), and at one point Rowing was proclaimed to be richer than the Queen of England. However, Rowling gave away so much to charity that Forbes had to remove her from their list of billionaires. She is currently said to have only about $840,000,000.


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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

***Hurricane Harvey support/donations***

Quick links for donations.

Charity Navigator **does** give their ratings/evaluations of the organizations.

Charity Navigator Harvey Page:

Charity Navigator – Harvey

Donations for our furry, and other critter friends:

Texas SPCA Donate Page

Houston TX SPCA Donation Page

Red Rover Group

What Cassidy/Graham bill would do: