/hattip to Owen Stephens

Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.
 
2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee’s salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.
 
3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.
 
4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.
 
5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.
 
6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.
 
7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.
 
8. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department–for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don’t like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it.
nytimes.com|By Julie Hirschfeld Davis
 

What a tough year for the world.

I could write a maudlin post about the end of America as we know it or about the many deaths of celebrities we used as role models. It would be easy, and I suspect many better writers than I are doing so even now.

I choose to instead share my plans for the coming year. Particularly how I will be dealing with what I expect will be an overwhelming flood of *NEED* from so many causes and places I believe strongly in: ending racism, women’s equality, gay rights, protecting animals, caring for children, and supporting our civil liberties.  Not to mention the periodic outbreaks of violence and natural disasters that will claim my time, energy, and money.

In the end, it’s all about managing resources.

In 2017, I will be making children my other priority. Whether in Aleppo or Detroit, Somalia or Paris, if a child is in need I will be looking for smart, efficient, ways to assist them.

That doesn’t mean I will ignore all of the other issues. I am human and I have empathy. I will continue to care about how racist our country is and proudly announce that Black Lives Matter. I will continue to care that this country treats half of its citizens as if they are brainless, weak, and amoral, and fund Planned Parenthood so they can keep providing the necessary services that all women need. I will continue to care that there are a group of people who are so frightened of those who love others of the same sex that they will do anything to take away their rights as citizens, and will fund the ACLU so their rights are protected. I will continue to care about protecting my rights as a digital citizen in an era of increasing surveillance and data mining, and therefore the EFF will receive my donations. Moreover, I’ve chosen to be a patron to two artists, to help fulfill my need for beauty.

I already set my goals for this year, but here is my resolution:

I resolve that children are to be protected from adults who would make war on them, bully them, prey upon them, or in any way hurt them. I resolve that I will be one person who will help protect them from others, no matter what form that might take. I will speak up when they cannot, offer money to take care of their needs, and protest those who would do anything — active or passive — who would hurt them.

In doing so, I will remain civil yet firm and rely on facts, not opinions. I grew up in a household that often quoted the 60’s slogan: “If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” and now I’m continuing my work on solving problems, not just narrating them.

Here are some resources for all of the ills I consider important:

  • 5 Ways to Disrupt Racism (a 2+ minute video). It’s from the UK, but is useful for any place you witness racism.
  • The ‘hate map’ from the Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/
  • If you’d like to protest with your wallet, you might find this (oft-updated) spreadsheet of companies that promote or carry Trump merchandise: https://grabyourwallet.org/
  • Wear a safety pin when you are out in public.
  • Find, and support, news sources that report the news, not opinions. You can get started at this article from the Enoch Pratt free library (one of the oldest public libraries in the U.S.). I’ve started following Dan Rather on Facebook, and he thinks highly of the reporting coming out of the Washington Post; Reuters also seems to be pretty accurate, as is BBC.com for world events. I personally like to review the articles at FactCheck.Org on a weekly basis. And, for balance, here is a list of HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE ‘news’ sources.
  • Finally, I offer you Indivisible: A Practical Guide to Resisting the Trump Agenda. I’ll quote from them directly:

We believe that the next four years depend on citizens across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda. We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize our fellow citizens. We hope that this guide will provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen.

May 2017 bring about the change we most need to see.

 

Bound copies of this project are being given to a few people (*cough* parents *cough*) in 2017 . . . but for our friends, enjoy. :-)

Two files:

Wedding Album pt 1

Wedding Album pt 2

each file is 16+Mb

 
20 years ago I moved from the temporary haven I was staying in Brooklyn, NY to Kent, WA. (Pause for another one of many heartfelt “thank you”s to Ethan and Leigh for taking me in when my life was in turmoil.) Just me, my cats, and two suitcases of clothes made the journey cross country, shedding an old, horrible life for one of absolute uncertainty. (A truck of books and a little furniture came a few weeks later. Yes, of course I had books, it’s me after all.)
 
It was the best choice I’d ever made.
 
I left pain behind and spent a glorious summer by the pool, basking in the sun and slowly putting my head back together. I had no job, but because of a friend, I also had no rent (another heartfelt thank you to MIKE for this). My savings were sufficient for groceries and the odd movie. all I had to do was decide what I wanted to do with my life.