Feb. 11th, 2017

via http://ift.tt/2kvHMp3:bachfan replied to your post “I’m starting to make Red State care packages for friends. I was…”

I love this idea! Can I donate something to you to support this project?

Aw, that’s a sweet notion! So far I’m just printing on postcards from a pack I bought years ago, and so far not many people have taken me up on my offer (I don’t want to send them unsolicited, you know?) but if I make it a bigger thing maybe I’ll organize and get help! I’ll keep you in mind. :) 
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For my own personal tally, it took Stars & Stripes 24 hours to put up a story about the Flynn/Russia scandal in its current incarnation. In between, they did a puff piece on what Bannon had learned about leadership during his military service. 
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I’d been sleeping mostly through the night lately but the ICE raids thing had me fretting at 5am today so I guess we’re back to that!

I did find a website that comprehensively lists local immigrant-related organizations that will naturally be hubs of resistance and assistance, so if writing postcards isn’t enough anymore, at least I have contact info for orgs I could try to help.

Who has citizenship papers on them at all times??!! (under the cut: Me. I do. Why?)

Well, as it happens, I do; my last passport renewal, I paid the extra forty bucks to get the little card that fits in your wallet that’s good for US/Mexico. I did this because while my passport was expired I missed a good friend’s wedding in Canada, I missed several other social functions in Canada, and there were a bunch of awkward “let’s go to Can– oh, B can’t” moments, and I got really sad and fed up. This is solely because I live less than five miles from the border. So I do, in fact, have proof of my citizenship in my wallet.

And now I’m sort of skeeved-out by that, to be honest. Because there were clearly so many policies that went into that, and now they can point to me, and the people like me (half my acquaintances have the card, at least; it comes up occasionally in conversation) and say “Look, see, good citizens have proof on them!” No, I have proof on me because I’m really bad at keeping track of my possessions and so I viewed having a passport I could keep on me all the time as a relief. Also this does not make me a better citizen, it just makes me absent-minded, and also someone who had an extra $40 on top of the $125 or whatever it takes to renew an expired passport. 

How many policies went into shaping that eventuality, that so many people would just casually have their papers on them– for one, the totally unnecessary militarizing of our borders with our NAFTA partners, needing passports instead of just any identification (used to be you could use a birth certificate or driver’s license)– but for how long have we been actively building toward this state of just expecting to be routinely stopped for our papers?? How long has this agenda been being shaped? Ugh!

(But nobody’s ever going to ask me, because I’m blonde and don’t have an accent. They can just point to me, statistically.) 

I don’t want this. I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want my friends to live like this. I don’t want anyone to live like this. The terror not directly affecting me in any particular way does not make it less terrifying. 

 I cried at my desk yesterday over the goddamn Gettysburg address, of all things. (I guess my Instagram posts don’t come over anymore, I posted about it yesterday.)
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( https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/824729667756322818 )

Square Foot Gardens book: http://ift.tt/2lBFbLn (they have two copies you can borrow to read in your web browser, and links to buy (BetterWorldBooks has used copies for ~$4))

(Also, if you want to be patriotic while surviving to take back your country, you could frame it as a [link:Victory Garden])
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On a more “life goes on” kind of note, since my Instagram posts aren’t coming over then the news that we got a new car didn’t come over. Dude had one of those Volkswagen TDIs with the totally falsified and illegal exhaust systems, and so when VW did the buyback thing he signed up. It took from October until yesterday for them to get the paperwork all done and cut him the check, but it was quite a generous settlement in the end– the car’s value before the revelation that it was all a lie, plus a couple of thousand dollars in restitution, so, it was nothing to really complain about.

We got a Mazda 3 hatchback, but he could only get it in blue. My car is a blue Subaru Crosstrek, so now we have two blue cars in the driveway. I haven’t looked in daylight yet to see if they clash. 

Anyway. Here’s today’s trivia: the radios in mazdas don’t turn off. Seriously, google it. They don’t. You can only put them on mute. what the fuck mazda.

We want to go joyriding today but my imagination is coming up short on where we should drive to. The idea is that we need to drive somewhere in daylight so we can find all the damn buttons on the car.

For the record, I know since he followed me home from the dealership in it: it has LED headlights. We got separated at one point on the drive, and he came a different way, and fell in behind me again, and I instantly knew it was him not because he was making the same turns, but because in the five previous minutes he’d been behind me I’d already noticed the goddamn LED headlights.
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Dude just said, “While you’re writing postcards you can write to the EPA and thank them for my car!”

Me: “There isn’t any more EPA.”

Dude: “… oh yeah.”
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Following up on that post from my queue about food scarcity–

An enormous proportion of the food grown in the United States, excluding of course the corn/soy monstrosity that is most of our agriculture, is done so using immigrant labor, legal or illegal. The current climate of extreme government hostility toward immigrants of basically all stripes is absolutely going to cause some kind of crisis in the agricultural system of the United States. Will it mean high prices and food shortages? Maybe, maybe not. Should we all be planting Victory Gardens? Maybe, or maybe we don’t all have yards and green thumbs.

(A smaller version of this crisis in Georgia in 2011 was slated to be solved by conscripting prison labor, so if you find the idea of eating food harvested by literal actual slaves unappetizing, you should know that’s not an unfounded fear. I can’t find a source for whether they really did or not, but it was suggested, along with other improbable ideas.) (Interesting article about agricultural labor, related to the crisis.)

There’s plenty more to research and discuss about that issue, and I encourage anyone interested to do so. But my point is, one thing you as a consumer can do to try to take back some kind of control over where your food comes from is to seek out and join a CSA. (What’s a CSA? The acronym stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and I’ll link to more resources in a minute, but the basic premise is that you pay a flat fee to subscribe to a farm, and then get a box every week or so with whatever they’ve grown. There’s more to it, and that won’t work for everyone and I’ll discuss that at the end, but that’s the basic idea to start with.)

They are more common than you’d think, and in many more areas than you’d think, and now is the time to sign up for them, while they’re still buying their seeds and making their plans in most of the US growing zones.

(What if the CSA relies on migrant labor? Well, you can ask them. Some CSAs have community labor pools, where you can get a reduced price on your share if you come help, or some other consideration; clearly, that kind of joint is going to be pretty open with you about where their labor comes from. Also, if their usual migrant guy got his visa denied, you’ll know what their plan is to deal with it.)

So. Localharvest.org is a good starting place. They have a solid overview of just what it’s all about, and a comprehensive index you can search.

USDA.gov has a page on CSAs that includes a search function, and also has more comprehensive information about sustainable agriculture.

This page, which I just randomly found by Googling, has a great overview of what a CSA is and the risks, benefits, and drawbacks, as well as advice on how to find one.

As that last link points out, if you are not in the habit of cooking and don’t really love vegetables, a CSA may not be for you. In that case, what should you do about your food?

Buying local is a good start. Some of the CSAs you’ll find may also have farmstands or other retail outlets associated with them. If there is a local farmer’s market, they’re also a good starting point. I’m not saying you should do all of your shopping at a farmer’s market which may not be close to you, at a convenient time, or actually all that picky about who sells what there– some are producer-only markets, but others will just let wholesalers sell imported stuff right alongside local farmers with no real differentiation.

The point is: first figuring out where your food comes from gives you a lot of power in deciding what to buy and from whom.

I would advise, honestly, even if you don’t want to join a CSA, find a local one and talk to the person that runs it. Ask them what the local farming scene is really like. You might be surprised what you learn.

In general, there are so many resources available online now because of the local food movement– look up locavores, and teach yourself about food miles– that there’s a wealth of information to be found. This post is just meant as gentle encouragement to look into it. Nobody has the energy to think about these things all the time, but if you look at your local food scene you might be surprised what you can find. And this is an area where a little bit of well-directed interest has the potential to make a huge difference. You can really make great connections with local people this way. It’s not a new movement, but it’s still a fresh one, and there’s so much to do.

Our food system is broken, but we can fix it. In so doing, I hope, we can protect our immigrant brothers and sisters, whose place in this broken system is so precarious. The labels in the grocery store are misleading and confusing and not nearly as regulated as you’d think; buying organic is nice but it may or may not make a difference, especially as this administration guts consumer protection agencies. Reaching out to your local food community may be a better start at making a difference, and you can enrich more than your diet.
via http://ift.tt/2kgJzxw:unicornduke replied to your post “On a more “life goes on” kind of note, since my Instagram posts aren’t…”

that’s awesome! Congrats on the new car! My work truck is a GMC and its’ the same thing with the radio, mute only. It’s really weird.

Yeah weird. 

OK here’s the thing though. CLEARLY, the radio off button in the VW we just got rid of, and in the Subaru, isn’t really an “off” button either. When you start the car, it takes a moment for the radio to boot up. If you’ve been in the car with it in for a while, and turn on the radio, it comes up instantly. I cast via Bluetooth from my phone all the time, and even if the radio’s off in the Subaru, the music app on my phone comes up, brings up the song, and then pauses itself: it has been connected to, clearly, by the car’s sound system, and therefore, the car’s sound system is on. It’s just not doing anything.

So Mazda and apparently GMC have just decided that they want this to be obvious. The sound system is active when the car is on.

Clearly, in both the VW (it was a 2011 model year) and the Subaru (a 2014), the same thing is true, but they labeled the button “power” and set it to black the screen. Mazda and GMC have made a software choice to make it more obvious that’s what’s going on.

I don’t need them to show me, though. I know my car’s sound system isn’t really off! I don’t really need it to stay lit up with a MUTE symbol on it; when I press the power button, I’m dismissing the function because I’m driving a car and don’t want to be distracted. 

why do you insist on distracting me mazda

what is your nefarious plan
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Am on wee local road trip to test new car. Disappointed to report that Grand Island has not updated any signage. Should say, “Welcome to Grand Island, Home of the President of Somalia”. Have some hometown pride you guys.
via http://ift.tt/2kfduuO:Advanced Black Lung Cases Surge In Appalachia:


Branham has “never been scared of death,” he says, as he chokes back tears. “It don’t bother me a bit. It’s just not seeing my kids grow up. But if I had it to do over I would do it again, if that’s what it took to provide for my family as long as I have.”
via http://ift.tt/2lBjw4W:Berlin: Oscar Isaac to Star in WWII Thriller 'The Garbo Network':



William Wheeler wrote the script, which is based on the true story of Juan Pujol Garcia, an eccentric double-agent who with no military or covert training, somehow persuaded both the Germans and the British to hire him as a spy. As it turned out, his real allegiance was to England, and working closely with MI5, he created a fictional network of 27 spies said to be spread out over England, Scotland, and Ireland, supplying him with critical information about British troop movements and military planning. He actually made the whole thing up, but it was a turning point in the war, enabling the English to deceive the Germans about the invasion of Normandy.

Storyscape Entertainment’s Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein, Chuck Weinstock, Jason Spire and Isaac are producing.

“This is a tricky part. There are very few actors who can do both pathos and comic grandiosity,” said Weinstock. “Oscar is one of them, and we feel very lucky to have him.”

@bomberqueen17 sorry if you already know about this but this sounds delightful

I had seen the post but have been getting excited every time I see it, and as I was scrolling just now I was like, damn, I am so excited about this. I really am.
I have, like. A Special Interest in WWII and the Resistance and also Oscar Isaac so it’s like someone rummaged through my id to come up with this. God damn, I don’t know what to do with myself.



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