chhotii: (Default)
I want to signal-boost something hammercock linked to on LJ a while back: How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind Lots of advice on how we can collectively keep from burning out and wearing out before this fight is over.

Really, really, really important read. If you ever go to protests, make phone calls, baby-sit so other people can go to protest or make phone calls, or whatever, or ever think you might get around to doing any of the above, read it! We need you to not die.

I am glad that this article validates that I do not read all the news every day-- I unplug from news quite a bit, starting 2 weeks for the election, because I knew intuitively that following every twist and turn of all the news would kill me.

It also validates that I do not skimp on sleep. (Other self-care I am lacking on, though.)

And that I focus on an issue or two of most important to me. You cannot be all outrage all the time about all the issues. There are so many issues, they will crush you.

But also DO NOT argue with other activists "you should work on my issue rather than yours, mine is more important and here's why." Be supportive of everyone focusing on any anti-Evil issue.

I would also add to this: SHOW UP FOR VISIBILITY ACTIONS RELATED TO OTHER PEOPLE'S ISSUES. Recent article that hammercock also linked to (ref?) made the point that protests are more effective if we have big attention-getting umbrella protests (the events of Jan. 21st were a great example) rather than splintering into a bunch of little protests for all the different issues. Thus, I do not have time for attention to more than 2 (maybe 3) of my top issues but I showed up in the cold for the LGBTQ/Immigrant protest even though neither of those are in my top 3.
chhotii: (Default)
Oh, hah-hah, an answer to my question in my previous post has already materialized: How to support Ellison's bid for DNC Chair.

I will be writing that handwritten letter.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the Democratic Party.”
chhotii: (Default)
The year 2016 proved that the Democratic Party has lost its way. Their actions proved that their #1 priority was what was in the best interests of the Clintons, not what was in the best interests our country. Thus they strangled Sander's campaign and stuck us with a candidate who was so unexciting and so out of touch with the mood of the country that she lost to Donald Trump, of all people. Meanwhile they gave the down-ticket so little love that Trump has the gift of a Republican Senate, so nothing really stands in the way of his fucking everything. The DNC has proved itself to be lacking in imagination, lacking in vigor, and out of touch. Cynically I think that there are elements of the DNC that thought that 2016 went just great!!! because OMG look at how much MONEY they raised!!! Hillary Clinton was a champion fundraiser (probably still is) and losing to insane scary idiots is also great for DNC fundraising.

I really don't like how the Democratic Party has been run. I've been seeing these dynamics personally for about the past 21 years.

Thus I wish I had a real say in electing who is running the Democratic Party. I've been a steadfast supporter, a large donor, and a tireless volunteer, for decades, and never have been offered any clue in how to obtain a voice in the decisions regarding who is running things in the party. I get mail from the Democrats, and it's all about my membership at some bullshit minion level, and asking me for more money. I guess there were some town meetings I should've been going to all along to be involved in the Democratic party in some role other than "sucker", but I didn't know that.

Now the DNC is electing a new Chair. I haven't done extensive research but what little I know sounds like "new visionary" vs. "same-old same-old". There's this guy named Keith Ellison, one of the Sanders crowd. He specializes in organizing; he understands that Climate Disruption is an issue of compelling moral clarity; he has a Youth Plan; he has a Rural Plan. Here's an editorial in the Boston Globe making the case in favor of Ellison. On the other hand, the old hands support someone named Thomas Perez, "a perfectly good man but from the ruling wing, not the organizing wing, of the party". (Why the fuck does the Democratic party have a "ruling" wing?) I imagine that Perez is probably from the Clinton-esque school of thought: great at producing detailed policy proposals and fundraising, not imaginative when it comes to winning elections. IT'S THE ELECTIONS, PEOPLE. WIN THE ELECTIONS OR DIE.

I've signed an on-line petition in favor of Ellison's candidacy, but I understand that that has all the weight of a small down feather.

Whom do we talk to if we want to make our opinions on this felt?
chhotii: (Default)
The Bad news: Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General. OMFG, I don't even...

The Good news: Resistance works. Not well enough to keep bad things from happening when the Party of Evil controls all 3 branches of the gov't, of course. But resistance does cut down on the rate and size of bad things. Phone calls! Protests! Resist! Resist!

One of my favorites: Planned protests cause a cancellation of Trump's visit to Harley-Davidson. If we can keep him from pretending that he's good for American manufacturing...

free-cycle

Feb. 6th, 2017 09:57 am
chhotii: (Default)
Small computer desk that I wish to give away to a good home or a bad home, whatever:
picture of small computer desk Boston-ish area.

21" deep, 36" wide, 29" high desk surface (35" high overall)
chhotii: (Default)
I took a walk today, at the end of which I had to admit that it is rather cold out.

Still may be going to the protest thingie, though.
chhotii: (Default)
For those who are into protest march type actions, there's a protest today on Boston City Hall Plaza: the Facebook event page. Weather will be unseasonably warm in Boston. Hey, if global warming is going to give us spring-like weather during the winter in Boston, might as well take advantage of it and protest the guys who oppose fighting global warming.

I'm not sure how the logistics will work out for me. I hope to be there as much as possible, but I also should be picking up Sophia in the middle of that time (in the car). So whether Sophia wants to go to this too, and I go after picking her up, or whether I leave the protest early to pick her up... I don't know. Try texting me if you want to try to find a familiar face in the crowd?
chhotii: (Default)
Last night I did not get to go to the movies with friends. Sophia had a headache, and did not feel well enough to get ready to go to her friend's house.

Tonight, however, Sophia will go to my mom's and I will get out. I am going to see Theatre @ First's reading of Cage of Light, which is at 20:00 at Unity Somerville (6 William Street, just off College Ave.)

Before the show I would like to eat in Davis Square. Perhaps at around 18:00. I don't know where. Somewhere not to expensive, not too loud, actual food not a coffee shop, not burritos. Suggestions?

Of course, I would vastly prefer to have company. Do you want to have dinner in Davis Square tonight?
chhotii: (Default)
I mostly agree with this, an editorial on Bill Moyer's website.

The one bit I would criticize: the claim that "many [Trump voters] are now having buyer’s remorse." Is there any evidence for this? Republicans in Congress may be having some heartburn. Average Joe Shmo probably doesn't see what all the fuss is about, and is happy that Trump is acting so "strong".

However replace "Trump voters" with "non-Hillary voters". The half of American voters who did not show up at the polls, are they having some remorse now? Or will they? All those people who are like, "I don't see why I have to vote for the lesser of two evils"-- can they see the answer now, that if you don't you get the GREATER of two evils, AND THAT'S REALLY FUCKING EVIL?

I would say, don't be surprised if Trump voters double down on thinking all this is just ducky. But embrace people who didn't realize before the election that they needed to vote, and embrace anti-Trump Republicans.

Important points:

1) Abandon the circular firing squad. I am seeing anti-Trump activists attacking our wonderfully liberal and outspoken Senators for compromising on some Cabinet appointments. Really? Attacking Warren for not being all no all the time? I am terrified of a world in which we don't have Elizabeth Warren in the Senate. Curt Schilling would be thrilled to replace her, and he would totally be Trump's lap dog.

2) There are Republicans in the Senate who are against corruption and foreign interference. If they keep up their opposition to corruption and foreign interference, they are our allies in the fight to get rid of Trump, who is insane.

3) Keep the spotlight on corruption, kleptocracy, and the influence of Russia.

4) "Regardless of party, support any member of Congress — and anyone else — who stands up to Trump in defending the two central pillars of democracy that he’s attacking."
chhotii: (Default)
A fellow anti-Trump activist (someone I like and respect very much) e-mails me the occasional on-line activist thing. Today he sends this, which has me scratching my head:

Everyone, write a letter to the president of Mexico, encouraging him to cancel his meeting with Trump! It's a simple thing to do.

Go to: http://en.presidencia.gob.mx/contacto/. When selecting country, we're Estades Unidos, or something like that. And pass this email on to everyone you know!


OK, first off, why would the president of Mexico care what a bunch of Americans have to say? We are not his constituents.

Secondly, whatever considerations are driving the president of Mexico to meet with Trump, they are much much bigger than what a bunch of non-constituents think of the move. Trump has said that he will "make the Mexicans pay for [the Wall]" and so far he has been surprisingly tenacious about sticking to his campaign promises. What does making Mexico pay for anything mean other than a ground war on North America, I don't know. This may be low probability but has got to be Mexico's top concern. Secondarily, I'm guessing Trump wants to shred NAFTA ASAP, and how this plays out economically for Mexico...

Even if we could make the president of Mexico cancel the meeting, why?

Beyond trying to be the new party of "nope". There is the argument that we should stand in Trump's way in whatever he is trying to do, regardless of practical importance or actual consequences, to make things just generally as frustrating as possible. If Trump wants to appoint Ben Carson HUD Secretary, we should knee-jerk try to thwart him. If Trump wants to have a good bowel movement in the morning, we should knee-jerk try to thwart him. I question whether this "party of 'nope'" strategy would work out well for the Democrats. It plays well to the left-wing base, but the moderates and the indifferent are left with the impression that all politically passionate people suck on both sides of the aisle.

Of course there's the knee-jerk "if Trump wants a thing, it must be bad." If Trump wants a meeting with the president of Mexico, a meeting between the two of them is a bad thing. Sure, that everything Trump wants is evil is true to a first-order approximation. But if we are going to win hearts and minds (and votes) in 2018 we have to be able to articulate specifically why specific things suck. The argument "Trump is just generally full of suck, period" did not win enough votes in 2016.

If one of Trump's desires is to avoid war with Mexico, do we thwart that desire too?

But if anyone has an argument for why a meeting between Trump and the president of Mexico needs to be stopped, I am all ears! And if someone could take a short spiel on this framed in terms of Mexico's interests and translate it into Spanish, that would be helpful. Probably posting the appeal in Spanish would be más efectivo. Not that the President of Mexico doesn't have staff who understand English-- I'm sure he does-- but it seems terribly arrogant to assume that.

plumbing

Jan. 25th, 2017 06:25 pm
chhotii: (Default)
Hank English the Plumber was highly recommended by friends so I called him when the hot water heater in the house needed to be replaced.

I think Hank thinks I am a sucker. An ignorant female who will pay twice as much as needed because I don't know better.

He did say, after installing the hot water heater, that I probably needed a water pressure regulator. I'm like, huh? We haven't had damage to fixtures or appliances, or toilets acting weird, or anything like that, to date. So I blew off his proposal to come back and test the pressure and install the regulator.

Now the hot water heater has an intermittent problem. I don't understand why the problem would relate to the water pressure. The tenant was able to observe the flame go out. It seems to me that there would be two different systems within the hot water heater: Water moves through; and gas is burned. I don't comprehend how anything about the water pressure would impact the gas burning.

But, OK, let's grant that the house needs a new water pressure regulator. We come to the issue of how much this would cost. Hank quoted an outrageous-sounding $850. A water pressure regulator, if I'm looking at the right thing online, is a $70 item. OK, so then there is labor. According to this DIY page, material costs are less than $100 and time required is one to two hours. Let's say the materials are $100 and Hank and his son work for 2 hours and are each paid $100 per hour. That's on the high side. That comes to $500. I don't see how he even begins to approach $850 in his quote.

And then there's the issue, if this doesn't fix the problem with the hot water heater flame, as I suspect... wtf brand new hot water heater?

If you're local to the house I own (and you know who you are) can you recommend a plumber who can give a second opinion?

lobbying

Jan. 25th, 2017 03:03 pm
chhotii: (Default)
Today I went to the State House, along with a large group of other people, and met my State Senator and State Representative.

In Massachusetts the State Senate wants Massachusetts to take the lead on improving energy policy to address climate disruption. But all such legislation dies in the House of Representative. The Rep was supportive of his constituents' concerns, but utterly dismissive of the chance of getting any legislation passed. "If it costs the utility companies money, it's not happening." I get the feeling that he introduces, co-sponsors, and votes for pro-climate legislation to humor the people who vote for him, but regard the effort as otherwise futile.

Apparently this is because leaders in the House listen to the utility companies more than they listen to the people of Massachusetts. There is one Rep in particular, from Winthrop. The utility companies have him totally by the ear. He puts progressive energy legislation to death for them.

Have you been to Winthrop? It's right on the beach. The ironic thing is that global warming is going to destroy Winthrop. People who own property in Winthrop should be freaking out about climate change, and asking "is there anything we can do?" But the people of Winthrop do not know, or do not care.

DreamWidth

Jan. 23rd, 2017 02:50 pm
chhotii: (apple)
Hey, I'm on DreamWidth. Same user name. Is this where all the cool kids are?
chhotii: (caffeine)
things were going well enough )

then 10 minutes of terror )

tedium trapped on top of the tractor )

our slow escape )

As someone at the rally said: "Today we march; tomorrow, we organize." All of you who did not march today: no regrets that you did not march. Enough other people marched for you. Had you come it would have just sucked. You can join the "tomorrow, we organize", 'k?
chhotii: (caffeine)
- Could not get to sleep last night, despairing about Trump
- Very sleepy and crunchy morning
- Saw e-mail first thing in the morning about some gas pipeline going live today in Boston in spite of 350.org's attempta to stop it...
+/- ...and, in the e-mail, a request that people come protest at the site
- (eeks, another thing to do today)
+ (but, always glad to have a way to help)
- Pipeline protest starting at 8:00 am
- Very little time to make a sign before the pipeline protest
- Could not find big red or black Sharpie
- Blue Sharpie running dry
- Sophia would not get out of bed due to feeling very sad
+ Eventually got Sophia out of bed by enlisting her help finding Sharpies
+ She found the black Sharpie!
- which was also running dry
+ Finally got Sophia to school!
+ Managed to get to pipeline protest
- ...45 minutes late
- ...and it was very very very cold
+ Good turnout in spite of the cold
+ Glad I wasn't there the full time because of the cold
+ Then hot chocolate
- Trump's cabinet appointments are all assholes
+ There was a rally today at noon in Boston to protest the assholes
- ...but to attend that I had to blow off a friend in need
- ...and also blow off attending a work-related research-interest-related talk
+ Used same sign for both demonstrations today
+ Met someone else going to the demonstration on the T, had a good time talking to her
- Still very cold
+ Good turnout at demonstration in spite of the cold
+ Demonstration was brief, probably because of the cold
+ Met someone else interesting to talk to on the way back from the demonstration on the T
+ Then made soup, very very yummy soup
+ Sophia is cheered up; the very yummy soup helped
- Utterly exhausted and still chilled to the bone.
chhotii: (apple)
You wonder why I tend to be "meh" about super-hero comic-book genre movies.

Someone in the comments thread here hit the nail on the head:

'It is generally a good rule of thumb, in any circumstances, that when the answer to “Would Batman do this?” is “Yes!” then you need to BACK AWAY FROM THE BATMAN. A man who could end poverty in his city single-handedly and instead thinks that the best way he could fight crime is to dress up like a bat is not a sane role model for ANYONE.'
chhotii: (caffeine)
We are not doing an all-out "party". But Sophia would like to have a cake serving at Arisia. Probably Saturday or Sunday. (On Friday, things are too chaotic, with registration hell etc., and people might be delayed getting into the hotel; and on Monday people are going home.) I cannot bake at Arisia, so this means buying a cake.

In the spirit of sci-fi con and all that, I explored the idea of getting a cake made to look like the TARDIS. However, since this wouldn't be round, it's considered a "sculpted" cake by Oakleaf Cakes and the price for having this made would be just shocking. (Danish Pastry House is too busy next weekend to take an order of this complexity.) I talked to Sophia, and she agrees that this is not the thing to be extravagant about. We are amused by the thought of a TARDIS cake, but... Not enough, when we have to buy it.

What Sophia would like is a chocolate cake with a layer of raspberry jam in the middle, with purple frosting and stars. Now, off to figure out where to source this...
chhotii: (potato)
Now is the time of year when planning for Arisia might start to influence one's grocery list. Reminder: a suitcase full of crackers is false economy. Read last year's post for more discussion of this point, and food-strategizing.
chhotii: (caffeine)
Back in the 1960's it was considered fashionable to have an FBI file (i.e., the FBI is keeping a file on you). So fashionable, in fact, that my mother deliberately caused the FBI to start a file on herself. How does one trigger this?... Well, in the 1960's, one could call the FBI on the telephone, ask whether they had a file on you, and if they didn't, they would start one.

My mother has probably forgotten that the FBI has a file on her. AFAIK it has had no impact on our lives.

However, you may want to consider whether you want to go there. Especially with an administration coming in that has a rather more authoritarian tone than anything that we've seen before. Given that, this post from 12 years ago is interesting and worthwhile reading. Note, this is something that moving to DreamWidth is not going to fix, not a bit, not at all.

LJ comments

Jan. 1st, 2017 03:56 pm
chhotii: (caffeine)
LJ has been unreliable of late about e-mailing notifications of comments. It's an intermittent problem-- the hardest to debug. This has been happening since the recent scheduled downtime. Check your journals to see if you're aware of all the comments, y'all!

I gather that really I should be experimenting with DreamWidth, and preparing to jump ship, anyway. Ugh, hassle.
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