Get your National Park senior pass NOW!

July 5, 2017

Currently if you are a U.S. citizen and 62 or older, you can get a lifetime pass to all national parks for $10 at your nearest national park. Not near a park? It will cost you $20 by mail. There’s about a six week waiting period so get it NOW.

Why?

Because on October 1, 2017 the cost of a senior lifetime pass will go up to $80. That’s right. $80. You can thank REPUBLICAN senator Udall from Utah.

Here’s information on the passes: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

If you are permanently disabled, the pass is still free. But knowing our current congress, I wouldn’t count on that continuing either.

I have my pass but will be buying a second one and keeping it in a very safe place just in case my first is lost. Because if I lose it, I’d have to pay for another. At $80, not likely.

Nice to see our public servants are looking out for the public and making sure we have access to all of the public lands that we “own.”

See them now before they are all sold off or desecrated for private profit.

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The Ides of Trump

March 15, 2017

Today is the Ides of Trump.

Get a postcard and tell him exactly what you think of the job he’s doing.

 


The Advanced Pussyhat

January 17, 2017

Sorry, no photos.

If you are knitting a Pussyhat for this Saturday and are a fairly advanced knitter (who hates to seam) this is for YOU.

Use two sets of double ended needles size 8. It’s easier. Unless you have some with really long cords, like a Denise set. I’m using two sets of Crystalite #8 lavender.

Cast on 50 stitches on the bottom and 50 stitches on the top using Judy’s Magic Cast On.

Knit until the “pocket” (from the cast on to the needle) is 7.5 inches. Remember, you’re working in the round here so as you go, your hat will form a pocket.

Start your stockinette and knit 2 purl 2 for 4.25 inches.

Use Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Sew in the two tails and you’re done.

I hate seaming so working in the round like I do for toe up socks makes a great hat. Goes really fast too.


Learn a little media literacy

November 30, 2016

In order to prevent the spread of fake news, here is a quick guide to spotting it.

1. Read Past The Headline

2. Check What News Outlet Published It

3. Check The Publish Date And Time

4. Who Is The Author?

5. Look At What Links And Sources Are Used

6. Look Out For Questionable Quotes And Photos

7. Beware Confirmation Bias

8. SEARCH IF OTHER NEWS OUTLETS ARE REPORTING IT

9. Think Before You Share

Now, give it a try:

Bernie Sanders could replace President Trump with a little-known loophole. 

(Actually, he can’t. That title is for those that don’t bother to even read beyond the title!)

I’ve made one change. Share LAST! Nothing should be shared until you have really checked out and verified the veracity of your source.

1. Read first. 

2. Check the source (and their sources).

3. Watch out for recycled stories.

4. If you care about facts, ignore the blatantly slanted.

5. Google it. (but be careful)

6. Then share.


How to make sure Congress hears you.

November 20, 2016

How to effectively talk to your member of Congress.

Emily Ellsworth explains:

First, tweeting or writing on Facebook is largely ineffective. I never looked at those comments except to remove the harassing ones.

Second, writing a letter to the district office (state) is better than sending an email or writing a letter to DC.

But, the most effective thing is to actually call them on the phone. At their district (state) office. They have to talk to you there.

Also, recognize that your letters and your emails get seen by staffers, just like your phone calls get answered. That’s the way of it.

If you want to talk to your rep, show up at town hall meetings. Get a huge group that they can’t ignore. Pack that place and ask questions.

We held town halls consistently that fewer than 50 people showed up for. And it was always the same people. So, shake it up.

As always, please be kind but firm with those staffers. They will listen and talk to you. I always, always did.

If you run an advocacy group, invite local staffers to show up to your events. Let them talk to people you work with and set up meetings.

Invite staffers on “field trips” and show them what it’s like in your communities. Show them the work you are doing. It works.

Are you noticing a pattern here? The staff are the ones who run the ground game for Congress. Work on helping them understand and learn.

Because, if the staff knows you, when they have a question about a piece of legislation or amendment, they will be the one you call.

Sending a personal letter to your congressman’s state office is absolutely effective. If you can’t call on the phone, try to do that.

Another FAQ: how do I know if my representative is having a town hall meeting?

Sign up for their email list and you’ll get notifications.


Michael Moore has a plan.

November 16, 2016

Way back in July, Michael Moore blogged about exactly how Trump would win, and it went down exactly as he predicted. Just goes to show a native of Michigan was more politically savvy than the Democratic leadership and their hand picked nominee.

Nothing can be done about the past. Mistakes were made by many, including the many Trump supporters who will slowly embrace the same buyer’s remorse the U.K.’s Brexit voters are suffering from. Not only couldn’t the Trump supporters learn anything from post WWI Germany they couldn’t even learn from Brexit, that JUST HAPPENED.

Michael Moore has mapped out a plan.

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn’t let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must “heal the divide” and “come together.” They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn’t wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that’s about to begin. 

4. Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked.” What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You’re fired!” Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that. 

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: “HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!” The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don’t. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we’ll continue to have presidents we didn’t elect and didn’t want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there’s climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don’t want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the “liberal” position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above)

Stop signing useless petitions and sending useless e-mails. They are not effective and only give you a false sense that you are doing something useful. You’re not. Instead, continue with Michael Moore’s plan.

1. Must quickly and decisively form an opposition movement, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s.

I will do my part to help lead this as I’m sure many others (Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, MoveOn, the hip-hop community, DFA, etc.) will, too. The core of this opposition force will be fueled by young people who, as with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, don’t tolerate b.s. and are relentless in their resistance to authority. They have no interest in compromising with racists and misogynists.

2. Prepare to impeach Trump.

Just as the Republicans were already planning to do with President Hillary from day one, we must organize the apparatus that will bring charges against him when he violates his oath and breaks the law ― and then we must remove him from office.

3. Must commit right now to a vigorous fight (including civil disobedience, if necessary) which will block any and all Donald Trump Supreme Court nominees who do not meet our approval.

We demand the Democrats in the Senate aggressively filibuster any nominees who support Citizens United or who oppose the rights of women, immigrants and the poor. This is non-negotiable.

4. Demand the DNC apologize to Bernie Sanders…

…for trying to fix the primaries against him, for spinning the press to ignore his historic campaign, for giving Clinton the questions in advance at the Flint debate, for its latent ageism and anti-Semism in trying to turn voters against him because of his age or religious beliefs, and for its anti-democracy system of “superdelegates” who are elected by no one.

We all know now had Bernie been given a fair shot, he probably would have been the nominee and he ― as the true outsider and “change” candidate ―would have inspired and fired up the base and soundly defeated Donald Trump. If no apology is soon forthcoming from the DNC, that’s ok ― when we take over the Democratic Party (see yesterday’s to-do list, #1), we will issue the apology in person.

5. Demand that President Obama establish a special prosecutor…

…to investigate who and what was behind FBI Director James Comey’s illegal interference into the presidential election 11 days before the vote was held.

6. Begin a national push, while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind, for a constitutional amendment to fix our broken electoral system.

1. Eliminate the Electoral College ― popular vote only.

2. Paper ballots only ― no electronic voting.

3. Election Day must be made a holiday for all ― or held on a weekend so more people vote.

4. All citizens, regardless of any run-ins with the criminal “justice” system, must have the right to vote. (In swing states like Florida and Virginia, 30-40 percent of all Black men are prohibited by law from voting.)

7. Convince President Obama to immediately do what he should have done a year ago.

Send in the Army Corps of Engineers to Flint to dig up and replace all the poisoned pipes. NOTHING HAS CHANGED; the water in Flint is still unusable.


If you are a Trump Supporter, these are 9 things I assume about you.

November 16, 2016

If you are a Trump Supporter, these are 9 things I assume about you.

1) You think a great America consists of disrespecting our nation’s veterans, particularly our POW’s.  

On July 18, 2015, Trump said of former Navy pilot and POW John McCain, ““He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

2) You believe that in a great America it’s okay to mock people with physical disabilities.

At a rally in South Carolina last year, Trump mocked Serge Kovaleski, a reporter known to have a condition called arthrogryposis which affects joint movements.  Because Kovaleski denied that a 2001 article he’d written supported one of Trump’s claims, Trump publicly “imitated” Kovaleski, jerking his arms about in a manner reminiscent of the disability’s symptoms.  Though Kovaleski had covered Trump extensively during the 80’s and early 90’s, meeting with him repeatedly and knowing each other on a first name basis, Trump denied he was mocking Kovaleski’s appearance, claiming that he didn’t even know him.

3) You think a great America is where a woman’s purpose is to be a beautiful piece of a**.

Trump famously said in an interview with Esquire in 1991, “”You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of a**.”
This is not to mention disrespecting his own first wife Ivana by having an affair and marrying his mistress who was 17 years his junior. Should we assume that his 2nd marriage didn’t last because she didn’t satisfy him either?  To his “credit” he seems satisfied for now with his 3rd wife whom he married when he was 58 and she was 34.

4) You hope for a great America that strongly dislikes or refuses to accept entire people groups (and there’s a word for that).

Last year Trump made controversial comments that Mexico was sending us drug dealers and rapists as an argument for why we should round up and deport millions of illegals and build a wall.  He also proposed that we put a ban on all Muslim immigrants.
Many, as a result, have accused him of being a “racist.” But it’s the continued pattern of activities and statements over a period of time that has many designating the label. But if that label of “racism” won’t stick, there’s another word that should.  Its definition is:
a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.: a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, that word is “bigot.”

Dictionary.com has the broader definition of “a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.”  With his aggressive attack style, it’s hard to imagine a person more intolerant of other’s beliefs or opinions than Trump. As a Trump supporter you have not only failed to hold him accountable for any such statements or actions, you have often openly cheered him.

5) You look forward to a great America that is politics as usual.

In the last two decades Trump has gone from being a Republican to an independent to a Democrat and back to Republican.

He previously supported universal healthcare but now opposes it.  He once proposed a tax increase on the rich but now stands against it.  In 2010 he praised President Obama as having done a good job but now describes him as “incompetent.”  In 2008 he supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign and In 2012 he said she was a terrific woman; but now he states that she is “the worst Secretary of State in the history of our nation.”

He once said he was “very pro-choice” and now he says he is “very pro-life.”  In 2000 he supported longer waiting periods on gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons but now is against those.

Up until 2011 he had made more financial contributions to Democrats than to Republicans.

Just on the recent campaign trail itself he has flip-flopped on issues such as ISIS, Syria, Afghanistan, Planned Parenthood, military spending and the flat tax.

6) You fight for a great America where the ends justify the means and things like faith and character do not matter.

In your frustration and desperation for change you have compromised some of the very things that were once important to you.

There was a time where the particular faith of the President was of extreme importance to you.  Right or wrong, many of you even questioned in the last campaign whether we could trust a Mormon president.  You questioned the legitimacy of President Obama’s faith, arguing that he is really a Muslim.  But now you strongly endorse a candidate who is clearly not Christian.

7) You believe in a great America in which the best way to win is to bully (and maybe you’re a bully, too).

It’s no secret that when challenged, Trump’s modus operandi is to attack a person’s character rather than substantively address the issue.  No one who has questioned him is free from his degrading wrath.

His decision to publically give out Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number and social media bashing brings to mind the maturity and scheming of a teenage Mean Girl who belittles everyone around her.  Only this Mean Girl you want to make into the school Principal.

Many mental health professionals have come out to say that Trump meets the classic symptoms of a Narcissist.  They opened up about this out of great concern for what a Trump presidency could mean, in spite of a professional rule (as stated in this article) that you are not normally supposed to publicly comment on the mental state of an individual without directly examining them.

So why support a narcissist and a bully?  Is it, again, because the ends justify the means and you’re happy for him to do the dirty work?  Or is it, like in all the movies, bullies have their sidekicks?  If you’re a supporter, are you a bully, too?

8) You dream of a great America with a strong central government that monitors and controls civil liberties such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press (and possibly even the right to bear arms).

And in terms of speech, Trump has already demonstrated he’ll use whatever means necessary (giving out a person’s cell phone #, having protesters thrown out, verbally assaulting and social media bullying, and even boycotting debates) in order to silence his opponents.

Furthermore, there was his questionable statement about closing down the internet:

“We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way… Somebody will say, ‘Oh, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.”

In regards to the press, Trump has threatened to sue the Washington Post for reporting on one of his bankruptcies.  His own lawyer once warned a newspaper that if they reported about rape allegations against Trump, he was going to mess up the reporters’ life.  He stated, “Tread very f—ing lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting.”

Now if he’s currently willing to use whatever weapons he has available to him to try to quell any opposing views or press reports, what happens when he has the chief lawyer of the land (the Attorney General), Homeland Security, the FBI, the Bureau of Land Management, the IRS, the ATF, and other Federal offices at his disposal to continue to do the same?

9) You think a great America is one that looks like Donald Trump.

Trump has promised to “make America great again,” invoking the idea of making it great like the past.  Most discerning people now recognizes that there are things in our past that were good, such as things your “momma” or “daddy” taught you about honesty, hard work and respect, and there were things in our past that were bad, such as bigotry, misogyny, and abuse of power.

So far Trump’s demonstration of “great” seems to be a return to our past in what was bad, while ignoring the things that were good.

Many conservatives themselves, including “Tea Party” leaders, have said that Trump is actually dangerous for America.

While he may not claim to be a prophet, Libertarian author David Boaz heeds a similar warning now for us when he wrote for the National Review:

And yet, you as a Trump supporter, so far have ignored this, along with all the other warning flags.

Trump launched his campaign talking about Mexican rapists and has gone on to rant about mass deportation, bans on Muslim immigration, shutting down mosques, and building a wall around America. America is an exceptional nation in large part because we’ve aspired to rise above such prejudices and guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to everyone. Equally troubling is his idea of the presidency—his promise that he’s the guy, the man on a white horse, who can ride into Washington, fire the stupid people, hire the best people, and fix everything. He doesn’t talk about policy or working with Congress. He’s effectively vowing to be an American Mussolini, concentrating power in the Trump White House and governing by fiat. It’s a vision to make the last 16 years of executive abuse of power seem modest.

You’ve put Orange Adolf in the Oval Office and he’s busy putting together his Schutzstaffel of bigots, racists and fascists. Next, the FBI will become the Gestapo and people will begin to disappear in the night. You didn’t learn from history class . Now we’re repeating Germany of the 30s and there is nothing to stop it since we have a Republican House and a Republican Senate and soon we’ll have an extreme right wing conservative Supreme Court Justice, thanks to the obstruction of the Republicans. If we lose any more justices on the Supreme Court, we are looking at a right wing activist Supreme Court that will be 5-4, then 6-3, then 7-2 for decades.

Kiss your rights goodbye. The First amendment isn’t the only one Trump would like to ignore.