setting the bar really low

Monday, 24 July 2017 06:14 pm
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[personal profile] lannamichaels

Today has been the worst anxiety/ocd-behaviors day I have had in fuck knows how long, it's been a while, it's really bad today, I am massively not okay, and this after yesterday of also not being okay. But! I made it to work. I didn't get much done at work, but I made it to work and sometimes that's all the triumph you can get out of a day. (plus friday's unexpectedly-all-day-meeting was enough of a nightmare that it totally counts for extra points)

I really kinda need this country to stop being in a constitutional crisis, it's not helping my brainproblems.

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Posted by Fred Clark

One way to understand such boundaries of identity is to look at who gets kicked out, and why. Trying to figure out who is -- or who still is -- an "evangelical" is notoriously slippery and difficult. But it's far easier to determine who is no longer accepted within the group, and why.

For the Record

Monday, 24 July 2017 04:30 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

This is a tactic that is really beginning to wear on my last good nerve. Every time someone tries to center facts of what happened during the election into the conversation, especially facts around who supported Hillary Clinton and why, we are accused of "relitigating the election."

That is not relitigation. That is part of a Sisyphean effort to stop privileged people yet again rewriting history in such a way that writes women and marginalized men out of history altogether, for the express purpose of centering white men.

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave

Monday, 24 July 2017 09:37 pm
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[personal profile] naye
A couple of weeks ago we went to the British Museum to have a look at their amazing Hokusai exhibition, and watch the movie "Miss Hokusai":

It was an experience that involved FAR larger crowds than anticipated (thanks to new security measures getting in on weekends now involve a lot of waiting), quite a bit of running, and getting out of the movie with less than an hour to spare before closing. As we've invested in a British Museum membership each, we didn't have to pay for the exhibition, and decided to go in, have a relatively quick look around, and then return early in the morning at some point. (In the meantime we bought the exhibit DVD and watched it in preparation, learning an incredible amount of new things about Hokusai in particular and the ukiyo-e artworld in general.)

We made it back this Saturday, when we had registered for a lecture on woodblock printing in the 21st century at 1.30pm, leaving us plenty of time to enjoy the exhibition and the rest of the museum. We woke up before 7am to make sure we'd make it down to London shortly after the museum opened, and when we got there it was gloriously free of crowds. We made a beeline for the exhibition which had pre-opened for members only, and spent a good two hours just... taking it all in.

It's a fantastic exhibition. The British Museum made this little video introduction, which I quite like:

And there was so much to see! I'll divide it into two parts: Hokusai prints (courtesy of the British Museum), and my photos from the trip.

Hokusai's art )

And from the sublime to just my Galaxy 7S snapshots...

London trip )

icons: Galavant

Monday, 24 July 2017 04:17 pm
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[personal profile] meganbmoore
139 x Galavant

here )
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

You don't hear this from the Democrats; they like to tell you just the opposite, and they didn't even know the bill. They run out; they say, "Death, death, death." Well, Obamacare is death! That's the one that's death. And besides that, it's failing — so you won't have it, anyway.
I don't even know what to say anymore. There are people who get really annoyed with me when I call the Republican Party a white supremacist death cult, but tell me where the fuck I'm wrong. (Actually, don't even try. Because I'm not.)

Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet

Monday, 24 July 2017 08:00 pm
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Posted by Dana Bolger

“In another community, your kid’s found outside looking for you because you’re in the bathtub, it’s ‘Oh, my God.’ In a poor community, it’s called endangering the welfare of your child.'” The New York Times on how CPS is using foster care to punish low-income women of color.

Black girls are getting suspended under racist, sexist dress code policies.

If boys will be boys, then girls must be grown-ups, whose job it is to protect men from their worst impulses.”

Trump cut $200 million from teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Feministing friend, Marybeth Seitz-Brown, on why austerity policy is neither necessary nor inevitable.

In Vox, our own Mahroh on why Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s meeting with men’s rights groups is so scary.

In case you’ve been living in a cave or reading Laura Kipnis: Faculty harassment of female graduate students is real – and bad.

PS: We talk a lot on the site about how to “know your Title IX.” Now learn how to “save your Title VI.”

Header image via CNN.

Daily Dose of Cute

Monday, 24 July 2017 02:30 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat making a squinchy face as she scratches her ear with her back foot
Perfectly captured backfoot-scratching squinchy cat expression.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

Britannia ad modum tubae

Monday, 24 July 2017 03:49 pm
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[personal profile] nineweaving

With thanks to the falcon-eyed Catherine Rockwood, who spotted this glorious map by Sasha Trubetskoy.


nineweaving: (Default)
[personal profile] nineweaving
(Wooden) O thank heavens.

I can go back to the Globe!  They've announced Michelle Terry (a brilliant Shakespearean actor) as the new artistic director of the Globe.  It's back in the hands of the players, where it began, where it belongs.

I trust her taste.  I've seen her (only on DVD, alas), as Rosalind, Beatrice, Titania/Hippolyta, Rosaline, and the Princess of France.  All terrific.  I wish I'd seen her as Henry V.  What I remember most vividly is a moment from the Dream.  The play had begun with masked figures of Titania and Oberon, seducing and inspiriting Hippolyta and Theseus; then a battle of Athenians and Amazons, bow-women all, with sigils on their brows.  After Hermia's stormy declaration of love and the pronouncement of her patriarchal doom, the silent queen came up to her, looked long, and traced a sigil on her brow.  Perhaps she meant, There are other sisterhoods.

Before it was invaded by meaningless noise, the old Globe did Shakespeare very well indeed, thank you.


We Resist: Day 186

Monday, 24 July 2017 01:15 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Jared Kushner Is Not a Crook!


Paul Krugman at the New York Times: Health Care Is Still in Danger. "[N]either Mitch McConnell nor the White House have given up on their efforts to deprive millions of health care. In fact, on Saturday the tweeter-in-chief, once again breaking long-established rules of decorum, called on the audience at a military ceremony, the commissioning of a new aircraft carrier, to pressure the Senate to pass that bill. This has many people I know worried that we may see a repeat of what happened in the spring: with the media spotlight shining elsewhere, the usual suspects may ram a horrible bill through. And the House would quickly pass whatever the Senate comes up with. So this is actually a moment of great risk."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] David Durenberger at USA Today: Former GOP Senator: Resist the Bullying — Don't Vote for a Mystery Health Care Bill. "What do you do when you are a U.S. senator and the president wants you to vote for a health care bill that could radically change health care? You ask questions. You hold hearings. You understand what it would mean to your constituents. You listen to those who know the system. And when it doesn't add up, you vote against it."

If only they cared. But they definitely don't!

Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump Tells AP Reporter Asking About Obamacare Repeal Effort: 'Quiet'. "According to a pool report, reporters were 'unexpectedly summoned' into the East Room of the White House [on Monday morning] to observe a photo-op with Trump and White House interns. A reporter, who Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein identified as the Associated Press' Catherine Lucey, asked Trump if he thought Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign. Trump didn't answer, but video of the exchange shows him rolling his eyes, to laughter from the interns. Lucey then asked Trump if he had anything to say about Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal effort. 'Quiet,' he said, to more laughter from the interns."

[CN: Misogyny; violent rhetoric] Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: GOP Congressman Blames Health Care Struggles on 'Repugnant' Republican 'Female Senators'. "Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) is livid at the inability of the Senate to repeal Obamacare, and he knows exactly who to blame: the Republican women of the Senate. During a radio interview on a Corpus Christi station last Friday, Farenthold said he finds it 'absolutely repugnant' that 'the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do.' Farenthold singled out female senators for opposing the repeal of Obamacare, before suggesting that if they were men, he'd ask them to settle things with a gunfight. 'Some of the people that are opposed to this [i.e., repealing Obamacare] — there are some female senators from the northeast,' Farenthold said. 'If it was a guy from south Texas I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.'"

* * *

Wendy Dent, Ed Pilkington, and Shaun Walker at the Guardian: Jared Kushner Sealed Real Estate Deal with Oligarch's Firm Cited in Money-Laundering Case.
Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump, who acts as his senior White House adviser, secured a multimillion-dollar Manhattan real estate deal with a Soviet-born oligarch whose company was cited in a major New York money laundering case now being probed by members of Congress.

A Guardian investigation has established a series of overlapping ties and relationships involving alleged Russian money laundering, New York real estate deals and members of Trump’s inner circle. They include a 2015 sale of part of the old New York Times building in Manhattan involving Kushner and a billionaire real estate tycoon and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.

...Leviev, a global tycoon known as the "king of diamonds," was a business partner of the Russian-owned company Prevezon Holdings that was at the center of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit launched in New York. Under the leadership of US attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump in March, prosecutors pursued Prevezon for allegedly attempting to use Manhattan real estate deals to launder money stolen from the Russian treasury.

The scam had been uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, an accountant who died in 2009 in a Moscow jail in suspicious circumstances. US sanctions against Russia imposed after Magnitsky's death were a central topic of conversation at the notorious Trump Tower meeting last June between Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin.
There is much more at the link. Lots of threads pulled together well here.

Robin Eberhardt at the Hill: Putin Told Trump That Russian Hackers Were Too Good to Get Caught. "Russian President Vladimir Putin told [Donald] Trump that Russian hackers wouldn't have gotten caught if they did hack Democratic groups because they're too skilled at spying, The New York Times reported Monday. Trump has since repeated the claim, according to White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci told CNN's 'State of the Union' on Sunday that someone told him that if Moscow hacked the Democratic National Committee, 'you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they're super-confident in their deception skills and hacking.' Pressed by host Jake Tapper on who told him that, Scaramucci said it was Trump himself."

Mike Allen at Axios: Trump Ponders Rudy Giuliani for Attorney General. "Trump is so unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he has raised the possibility of bringing back Rudolph Giuliani to head the Justice Department, according to West Wing confidants. ...Trump often muses about possible personnel moves that he never makes, sometimes just to gauge the listener's reaction. So the Giuliani balloon may go nowhere." Or, you know, it will end up with the waking nightmare of Rudy Giuliani leading the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, in other White House staffing news... Jonathan Swan at Axios: Trump Wishes Reince Would Take the Hint. "A much-discussed question at the top of the White House: Just what magnitude of indignity would it take for Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to resign? [Donald] Trump knew that appointing Anthony Scaramucci as communications director would humiliate Reince, who fought hard against it. ...Reince has redefined what it means to be the White House Chief of Staff — and not in a good way. It's unclear at this point how he survives much longer, and the breeziness with which [Trump] humiliates him has even his enemies wincing in sympathy." Good lord.

And in new White House staffing news... [CN: Misogyny] Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Anthony Scaramucci Advises Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Her Hair and Makeup. "Newly installed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci commented on Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' appearance during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's 'State of the Union.' ...After his noting [that Sanders 'does a great job' and is 'incredibly authentic' but could] be 'incrementally better,' Scaramucci focused on Sanders' appearance. 'The only thing I ask Sarah — Sarah if you're watching — I love the hair and makeup person that we had on Friday, so I'd like to continue to use the hair and makeup person,' he added." Cool guy.

* * *

[CN: Islamophobia; hate crimes] Khizr Khan at the Washington Post: Attacks on American Muslims Are un-American: Under Trump, They're on the Rise. "Has our president paused to wonder why his campaign and election have coincided with such attacks? ...ACT for America's founder, Brigitte Gabriel, had said that a practicing Muslim who believes the words of the Koran 'cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States.' Lest you think this view is relegated to the political extremes, virtually identical language — 'devout Muslims cannot truthfully swear the oath to become citizens of the United States of America' — has been used by the American Center for Law and Justice, whose founder, Jay Sekulow, is part of Trump's personal legal team. As a Muslim, a patriotic American and a Gold Star father, these false assertions offend me deeply."

[CN: Nativism; abuse] Jonathan Blitzer at the New Yorker: A Veteran ICE Agent, Disillusioned with the Trump Era, Speaks Out.
The agent's decision to allow me to write about our conversations came after learning that ice was making a push, beginning this week, to arrest young undocumented immigrants who were part of a large wave of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border in recent years and who, until now, had been allowed to live in the U.S. Rather than detaining these young people, the government had placed them in the care of families around the country. Most of them are trying to lead new lives as American transplants, going to school and working.

ICE now plans to pursue those who have turned eighteen since crossing the border, and who, as a result, qualify for detention as legal adults. "I don't see the point in it," the agent said. "The plan is to take them back into custody, and then figure it out. I don't understand it. We're doing it because we can, and it bothers the hell out of me."

The agent went on, "The whole idea is targeting kids. I know that technically they meet the legal definition of being adults. Fine. But if they were my kids travelling in a foreign country, I wouldn't be O.K. with this. We're not doing what we tell people we do. If you look next month, or at the end of this month, at the people in custody, it's people who've been here for years. They're supposed to be in high school."
Goddammit. This fucking administration.

Samantha Page at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration Officially Files to Make It Easier to Frack Public Lands. "The Department of the Interior intends to repeal an Obama-era rule designed to prevent fracking companies operating on public lands from polluting water supplies. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday submitted a proposed revocation to the Federal Register to wipe from the books a rule that required fracking operators on public lands to disclose chemicals used in fracking and to ensure certain precautions are taken around clean water sources." Seethe.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

a little red flag

Monday, 24 July 2017 02:08 pm
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[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

I know a lot of writers. Really a lot. Really really. And we all have different process, and that’s great, that’s wonderful. In person I have been known to chirp “we are all a beautiful rainbow,” but it’s really hard to get my total lack of sarcasm on that point through on the internet. (We are, though! We are all a beautiful rainbow! Yay!) In this case, I have spotted what looks like a consistent red flag for burnout, and I’m having a hard time phrasing it so that it’s clear that I don’t mean to exclude some kinds of inspiration.

Here’s the red flag. Writers with a few novels or a ton of short stories under their belt who get into a place where they only want to talk about being sick of tropes and wanting to deconstruct them. I know that deconstruction is a major creative inspiration in some writers’ processes (all a beautiful rainbow!). But the larger percentage of conversation about other people’s work gets to be about deconstruction and frustration, the more I watch for other signs of burnout.

Because–squee is not just good publicity. Squee is important for your own work. If you’re not honestly feeling like squeeing about other work you’re encountering, that’s a bad sign. And it’s probably not a bad sign about what’s out there in the world, because there is a lot of stuff out there in the world. If none of it is pressing your buttons, really none? that’s a bad sign about your buttons and where you are in terms of energy levels, taking criticism, getting enough recharge, all those things.

This is not a red flag of you being (or a friend being!) a bad person, or a worthless artist, or someone who will never recover, or anything like that. I’ve seen many people come out of this kind of burnout. But just as it’s easier to talk about how to begin a story than how to deal with the middle and ending that grow out of it, it’s a lot easier to talk about early-career things than all the paths that can grow out of them. And yet it feels to me like there are a lot of mid-career/developing writer paths and pitfalls that it would be really useful to talk about more, so…I’m going to try to do some of that, and I appreciate the other people who are doing that too.

(One of my favorite roads out of this is to cast my net very, very wide and look at things that are way outside my usual so that badly handled tropes and obvious choices are less grating. But other solutions for jolting out of this kind of deconstruction/negativity trap welcome.)

Presenting: "The Left"

Monday, 24 July 2017 12:15 pm
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Rape culture; harassment.]

So, here's the basic gist: During the campaign last year, I tweeted something about being a rape survivor in response to some of Donald Trump's fuckery. A bunch of conservatives, as well as a bunch of "progressive" dudes, had a great time mocking it.

One of the leftist dudes who publicly mocked me is Felix Biederman, one of the co-hosts of the Chapo Trap House podcast. If you don't know anything about CTH, here's one recent example of their particular brand of leftist politics (in which people like me are branded neoliberal shills, when they're being polite):

[If you can't view the screencap embedded in the tweet, it is a passage from an article reading: "They're tired of sitting, slouched and bored, elbows on the table, at the kids' table. And unlike the purely anarchic alt-righters doing it 'for the lulz,' the alt-left offers a coherent, practical, progressive political agenda. As Chapo co-founder Will Menaker put it on a recent episode of the show, addressing an imagined audience pragmatist liberals and centrists: 'Yes, let's come together. But get this through your f–king head: you must bend the knee to us. Not the other way around. You have been proven as failures, and your entire worldview has been discredited.'"]

So, Biederman was repeatedly asked about having publicly mocked me for being a rape survivor. And then someone posted about it on Reddit. And then Biederman replied by "apologizing" (to his fans) and then lying about why he hadn't personally apologized to me, claiming I had him blocked on Twitter.

I do not have, nor have I ever had, him blocked. It's just a straight-up fucking lie.

Anyway. I have been tweeting about all of this horseshit this morning, and here are those tweets compiled in a Twitter moment, for anyone who would like to see and/or share them: Here's Something You Might Want to Know About Chapo Trap House.

* * *

On another note: These fuckers make $72,706 a month for their podcast. A MONTH. That is significantly more than I make in an entire year.

And I haven't had a raise in a very, very long time — despite the fact that this community has continued to grow, here and on Twitter.

Please, if you can afford to become a subscriber to Shakesville, or even make a one-time donation, I would deeply appreciate it.
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Posted by Sejal Singh

The Texas legislature just came back into session — and immediately started targeting transgender students.

On Friday, a key Senate committee voted 8-1 for S.B. 3, a bill that would bar transgender people from using single-sex facilities that match their gender identity in government buildings, including schools. The bathroom ban is championed by well-known zealot Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who previously suggested that the Pulse massacre was a divine judgement upon us ungodly queers.

Not unlike Patrick, the bathroom ban is cruel and discriminatory. It is also almost definitely illegal, would cost Texas’ economy big time (due to boycotts, the state would lose an estimated 60,0000 jobs in the tourism industry alone), and serves no purpose except to humiliate transgender students who simply want to go to class and learn like everyone else. Trans students already face staggering rates of harassment: 77% of people who were openly trans as K-12 students report being harassed or discriminated against in school, and 24% report being physically attacked.

Texas politicians could be spending their time making sure that trans kids aren’t bullied out of school. Instead, they’re doing the bullying themselves.

Trans Texans and their families are fighting back. Rachel Gonzalez and her seven year-old trans daughter, Libby, waited in line for hours to testify about how dangerous it would be to force Libby to use the boys bathroom. They’re not alone: according to the Texas Observer, more than 250 people showed up to testify on Friday — the “overwhelming majority” of whom spoke out against the bathroom ban.

The voices of trans young people are moving the needle. Surprising many, Republican House Speaker Joe Straus came out strongly against the bathroom ban, saying “I’m disgusted by all this… I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.” Anti-trans bills are moving quickly through the Senate, but Straus’ opposition means there’s a chance to stop them in the House — but only if we dial up the pressure.

Here’s how you can help:

  • If you’re a person of faith who supports trans justice, join the Texas Believes coalition.

Photo credit: Equality Texas.

Please explain

Monday, 24 July 2017 12:39 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.

So, anyway, excursion to Darmstadt

Monday, 24 July 2017 05:04 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

This involved a certain amount of faff and hassle about making sure we were buying the right kind of ticket for the train which would also give us free rides on public transport, ascertaining which platform the train in the right direction left from, etc etc. And then when we arrived a) finding the right stop for the tram b) missing the stop we wanted and being carried on to a point we didn't want.

Except it turned out to be right around the corner from Hundertwasser's Waldspirale apartment block, which was on the list of things to see.

After which we wandered down in the direction of the Schloss (which can only be seen by way of guided tours, we passed) and had what was a rather more leisurely lunch than we had intended at the Altes Rathaus before going to the Hessische Landesmuseum, based on the collections of the Grand Dukes, which has some nice stuff.

We then went out to Mathildenhöhe, which was where the artists of the Jugendstil Art Nouveau movement hung out. This includes a Russian Orthodox Church (not particularly Art Nouveau) and the Hochzeitsturm, Marriage Tower, which looks as if it might be the HQ of one of those somewhat spooky early C20th New Agey cults that crop up in mysteries of the period, and a rather small museum (but I think part of it was closed) of furniture and objects created by the artists of the colony.

And then back to Frankfurt, whence we flew home today.


And in other news, spotted this in today's Guardian: the strange world of book thefts:

“We caught a gent last Christmas with £400-worth of stolen books in his trousers and elsewhere.... As we showed him the door he told us: ‘I hope you’ll consider this in the Žižekian spirit, as a radical reappropriation of knowledge.’”
As an anarchist friend of a friend remarked when his car was nicked, 'Property is theft: but so is theft theft'.

Film Corner: Dunkirk

Monday, 24 July 2017 11:00 am
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

promotional image for the film Dunkirk, featuring the movie title over a photo of a young white male solidier in the sand, with other soliders in the background, as they keep low to the ground during air bombing

I saw Christopher Nolan's new film Dunkirk this weekend. I am a huge Nolan fan, and love most of his films (sorry, Insomnia, but you're garbage!), and Dunkirk is among my very favorites.

It isn't often that I would strongly recommend a war movie, no less a war movie about such a particular time and place that leaves virtually no speaking roles for women and none for people of color. But Dunkirk is a World War II story worth telling, at this moment.

Many reviewers have, quite rightly, noted that the story of the Dunkirk evacuation is one not well-known to most Americans. It is a story we should know, however: Dunkirk was a pivotal point in World War II. Had the British troops been forced to surrender, as was a real possibility, the trajectory of the war would have been very different indeed.

It is a story about the decisions we make, a story about survival during the onslaught of fascism, and a story about how the fate of nations can turn on the commitment of average people to being extraordinary when freedom demands it.

Anyway. Go see it.

Now, of course, I have to talk about Tom Hardy for a moment.

image of Tom Hardy as a spitfire pilot wearing an oxygen mask that covers most of his face in Dunkirk

[Content Note: Video autoplays at link] If you'd like to see a neat interview with Tom Hardy, talking about working in the spitfire, the acting of his Dunkirk role, and working with Chris Nolan, here you go.
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Posted by Barbara Sostaita

Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHCI) that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program may be at risk. Since his announcement, there’s been a flood of calls to #DefendDACA, as well as confusion over what this would mean for young people in this program. Here’s a primer on the four things you need to know about DACA and its possible rescission.

What is DACA? After years of immigrant youth-led organizing and campaigning, President Obama signed an executive order in 2012 providing temporary deportation relief to eligible undocumented youth who migrated as children. DACA – not to be confused with the DREAM Act – is not a piece of legislation and does not provide recipients with a pathway to citizenship or permanent protections. However, it does grant them work authorization and, in most states, a driver’s license. Applicants must meet a long list of requirements and renew their DACA every two years. The program has allowed nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” to attend college, legally work in the U.S., and pursue their dreams without fear. But, since it is an executive order, it could disappear at any time.

Why is it at risk? Although Trump campaigned on the promise that he would rescind “unconstitutional” Obama-era executive actions (DACA included), he has yet to do so. In light of Trump’s indecision, Vox reports that in June, a group of Republican state officials called for an end to DACA and threatened to sue the Administration if Trump fails to act by September 5. John Kelly told CHCI members that it is highly unlikely DACA would survive a court challenge—and that it’s ultimately up to anti-immigrant Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make the final call if the program is challenged in court. Trump fired back, saying that he—and not his subordinates—would make the final decision on DACA, adding that it’s a decision that’s “very, very hard to make.” (Is it, though? Ending DACA would cost states billions of dollars and even seventy five percent of Trump voters want legal status for Dreamers. Seems like a no brainer).

What happens now? Last week, Senators Durbin and Graham introduced a bi-partisan bill to provide Dreamers with a path to citizenship. Although the bill has broad support among members of both parties, The Hill reports that the Administration is “unlikely to support the new bill.” If DACA is taken away, hundreds of thousands of youth will lose their licenses and potentially their jobs, private scholarships, and educational opportunities. They will also be at a (higher) risk for detention and deportation. Dreamers should be prepared: Brush up on Know Your Rights materials, make sure you have an ITIN via the IRS so you can work at least as a consultant/contractor, and prepare a Third Privacy Waiver Form (this form allows a third party of your choice to request any information about your immigration or deportation case).

How can allies help? Right now, Dreamers need your emotional and financial support. Here are four ways you can help: 1) Reach out to your undocumented friends offering your support; 2) write an op-ed or letter in your local newspaper in support of DACA (building public support matters!); 3) sign these two petitions to members of Congress and governors; 4) donate to United We Dream and help fund scholarships for Dreamers. A more permanent solution will require comprehensive immigration reform. As we move forward, we not only need to #DefendDACA but also fight to ensure a path to citizenship for all migrants living in the shadows.

Header image via PBS

Jared Kushner Is Not a Crook!

Monday, 24 July 2017 09:45 am
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Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Jared Kushner's face photoshopped over Richard Nixon's in his iconic 'I am not a crook' moment; the presidential seal on the podium has also been replaced with a MAGA sticker
"I am not a colluder!"

Here's an interesting juxtaposition of news articles today:

Rebecca Ballhaus at the Wall Street Journal: Jared Kushner Releases Details on Previously Undisclosed Contact with Russian Ambassador. "Jared Kushner, [Donald] Trump's son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, on Monday released details of his contacts with Russian officials and businesspeople in the two years since Mr. Trump launched his presidential campaign, including a previously undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. in April 2016." Oh.

Jeff Mason at Reuters: Kushner, in Statement, Says 'I Did Not Collude' with Foreign Government. "Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said in a statement to congressional committees on Monday that he 'did not collude' with Russia or seek back channels with Moscow last year. ...Kushner said he had 'perhaps four contacts with Russian representatives' during the 2016 campaign and presidential transition period after Trump's victory." Oh.

Well, that clears everything up.

Obviously, Kushner was just having normal, non-colluding meetings with Russians, like everyone does. Geez.
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