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Sunday, June 11th, 2017 02:41 pm
We have entered yellow squash season. We appear to have enough for dinner every night -- which isn't going to happen. I suppose i finally have an excuse to take veggies to neighbors! Also, apparently baked squash chips are a thing.

--== ∞ ==--

I didn't post that on Wednesday, but we did take potatoes and squash to the friendly couple who greeted us when we moved in. They in turn shared their bounty of green beans. I'm dubious i'm going to have any beans due to deer, so that was a delight.

I was sucked into the Senate testimony Thursday. This composite of the written statement from McSweeneys is delightful, but when i sit back and think about what i've learned i feel a pit of disgust.

First is the visceral understanding of how hierarchical bureaucratic, law enforcement, and military cultures are -- and how harmful cultural ignorance is at the top of that culture. I sense some of the Senators don't necessarily get the cultural challenge, probably from moving around in more of the wheeling-dealing world. But the senators who have been prosecutors seemed to get it. I don't think i could function well in a hierarchical culture: i am far too used to a much more academia informed culture of all folks being heard. I can recognize what complete dedication there is to such a culture too. The pointed questions of why didn't he quit
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Monday, January 16th, 2017 07:17 am
Saturday was all about the DAWG. Carrie is her name now, with a nod to the fact that her rescuer's last name is Fisher. She's a hound, somewhere with English or American foxhound in her history. Wouldn't be surprised if someone told be she was a Treeing Walker Coonhound. She's tricolor, with mostly black cap and mantle.

I think she's still recovering: she spent some time isolated while undergoing worming treatments, and then joined a household with three boisterous dogs. She seems weak and tired to me, struggling to get her back legs up on the couch. I'm choosing not to take her currently sedate nature as her native nature. But, oh, sedate right now means the cats are getting used to her.

Yesterday i read John Lewis' March, a graphic novel trilogy depicting Lewis' history with the SNCC. My sister had given it to us for Christmas, and given the weekend and the president-elect's ignorance, it seemed a good day to address my own.

One: reading about and seeing images of all the violence of those years in one sitting was a bit overwhelming. I was aware of the pieces: putting the pieces together was... stunning. I've thought of nonviolent resistance as a type of "soldiering" before, recognizing the parallels between armed, violent combatants and nonviolent resistance. Reading of the training and the strategy, i am certain nonviolent resistance is just as if not more demanding of any characteristics you might glorify in a "good soldier."

I am left with the spectacle of comparison of an intelligent, compassionate, principled, educated, disciplined, courageous man who has given thought to issues from the global scale down to the family scale with the president-elect. And nausea.

Representative John Lewis' example is just stunning. May his story stir my mind and heart into action.
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Monday, December 12th, 2016 09:40 am
Yesterday, an invited speaker gave a message at meeting that moved me deeply. It was very steeped in biblical tradition and the prophets, and with much reference to the political times.

I found myself thinking of the Flyting of Loki. In years past when i read the poem, i chose to believe that Loki was telling the dark truths of all the other assembled Æsir. My suspicion about recorded Norse myths is that there is an overlay of interpretation and framing that is alien to the original stories, and thus disentangling the two sources and the wisdom of the original is a challenge. This morning, i've been reading a little (here, mostly) about Loki: one thought, unbidden and not particularly wanted comes. Can i understand the desires of those who supported Trump as desires for a trickster to take on Washington, a hope that out of disorder and chaos something better will come? That the absence of the trickster -- am i right to not see tricksters in American dominant culture**? -- has made it harder to interpret Trump? Instead, media thought of him as a jester or fool, and thus were stuck in the amusement frame? And because we lack a shared cultural frame of the trickster, this lack, this gap, leaves us so disorientated?


** Not that there aren't amusements that include tricksters, eg Bugs Bunny, but it seems that the fool/jester functionality is more what is brought forward in current culture, not the sharp edge of the trickster that Loki brings forward.
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Monday, December 5th, 2016 07:30 pm
I made a horrible mistake and read the twitter feed of the president elect. There's something about the rhetorical style, exclamations of "Sad!" "Special!" "No more!", which ... are the verbal equivalents of emoticons, now that i think about it. And now i feel uncomfortable, but i suppose "more articulate than smiley faces" is yet a low bar. I suspect i've been exposed to emoticons for so long that i am inured to the shorthand.

--== ∞ ==--

Friday i had a bit of a migraine. "Bit of" in that i was not laid completely out, but "migraine" as it was preceded by a scintillating scotoma. I was restless and raked leaves and unloaded all the unboxed books into the bookshelves: they fit! We had plumbers fix a leaky faucet, and it is truly fixed. I suspect it was about two quarts a day. Every little bit conserved helps, right?

Saturday was planned to be a bit busy. I started with burning a pile of brush, and pulled a great deal of honeysuckle and grapevine out of the near by bit of woods. I went into Raleigh to meet up with my sister. Instead of our plan to meet at the Unity rally, we met up at the art museum where i collected my niece E. We spent a while together enjoying both the modern collection and the antiquities, and then we met up with my mother at a Scandinavian Yule Fair. E had $13 burning a hole in her pocket and we went to every booth multiple times as she looked at little trolls and small figures.

Sunday, Christine and i went to the Mark Hewitt pottery and bought a 2 gallon jar as an anniversary celebration. Come the winter solstice, we will have been married 25 years. The jar was in my arms as the potter came in and we had a lovely chat with him, and he asked questions of us -- it turns out he knows our neighbors and, well, it is a small town.

Today we thought we might go see the swearing in of our new county commissioners, but instead stayed home and discussed dental insurance. We are so very very delighted that the governor's race is finally over and the progressive candidate won. Huzzah.

We saw a doe behind the house in the morning, looking delicate and magical. At lunch i found all my pansies had been munched along with the collards. Harumph.
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Thursday, November 24th, 2016 07:36 am
A weapon against gerrymandering has been found! Courts may use the 'efficiency gap" to measure just how biased a redistricting plan is. Hallelujah!

The very problematic Duke Power is actually experimenting with some solar energy solutions,
demonstrating both environmental sensitivity and cost effectiveness can work together.

And, from Harvard Divinity School, Casting out fear.

Finally, i pulled out the instruction manual for the oven, learned that the oven can actually be divided in two, and realized the divider had been incorrectly placed in the warming drawer (making the warming drawer far too shallow to be useful). (So glad i found the divider, because i suspect a replacement part would have been a bit pricy.) I pried the divider out successfully: now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL stove! And a warming drawer! No figuring out how to juggle broiling tomatoes AND cooking the casserole!
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Thursday, November 10th, 2016 08:03 am
My distant Swedish cousin wrote a few days before the election, sharing photos of her son and noting the All Soul's Day observation. I replied this morning

Thank you! [your son] has grown, and what a beautiful blue sky in the background. Is your weather behaving oddly? We have had an uncommon stretch of mild weather, and no rain since the hurricane hit. When it hit - oh my, there was much rain and the nearby creek was flooding the bridge to our neighbors' homes. We live on a gentle slope and a sheet of water was draining from the woods around our house across the entire yard.

We are still unpacking. Sometime this winter i will take the time to pull together the before and after photos of a great deal of our outside work. We have been clearing an area that had become very overgrown with non native plants, vines that warped trees. We started by having goats visit and eat much of the underbrush. We've since been clearing -- pulling up vines and cutting down trees.

I've planted onions that grow over the winter, and i am planning my garden for next year.

Our family here in the states spans the political spectrum. I'm not really sure how [the Florida family] voted. I know [my aunt's] husband often expresses right wing views to my father.

My immediate family-- Christine, my parents, my siblings and their spouses -- all voted for the Democratic Party candidate Clinton. My parents are concerned about the environment and climate change, concerned about justice for their Muslim grandchildren and for LGBTQ rights for myself and Christine. Yesterday I called my brother, my parents and reached out to my sister: we are all dismayed and grieving at the turn of events. [My brother] reported having to calm his sons who were very worried they could never come back to the US. My spouse, who is transgendered, is worried that she and I may need to escape the US if the radical right wing gets their way. One of my African American colleagues has shared that she and her family are all getting passports. There's a great deal of fear due to the extreme rhetoric of the past months.

I am leaning on my faith, consoled that we are close to our family and we can be together if the extremes of history repeat. I hope we have learned from history, and believe that more people are awake to justice for all.

I hope our country's chaos doesn't cause distressing ripple effects for you all. Do i recall correctly that you work for Ikea? I imagine seeing such a large market vote in protectionist government causes practical concerns.

May Love triumph, and with love to you and the extended family in Sweden,

[me]


I'm not quite sure how to articulate i really mean by leaning on my faith. It's a more existential faith i'm leaning on -- not a faith that somehow i will be protected. No, i am very aware of my privilege. Because i'm white, able bodied, educated, cisgendered, and don't present in a way that shouts Queer i have some insulation: it's hard for me to know if i am having faith in my privilege as protection.

Tonight Christine's sister's film has a short that is being screened at a festival event in Wilmington -- her sister received a grant from the festival last year. Color correction and audio balancing takes time. The film's depiction of coming together despite difference seems all the more meaningful today.
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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 07:01 am
For my friends in the US --

* As i told my Muslim sister in law, i will continue to support religious liberties, looking for where i can be effective in education and advocacy. (If you are in the San Fran Bay area, supporting the building of the Islamic Center in San Martin against the NIMBY crowd is a concrete action.)

* I will continue to mind my carbon footprint and encourage others to mind theirs. I will work to educate on the realities of global warming.

* I will work to ensure EVERYONE is included in our society. I'm not sure how to do that but listen. Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. How can i help people understand that raising up people doesn't mean pushing down others?

* I will listen to the people who supported Trump and try to learn. Where are the bridges?

After the cut are my thoughts this morning for my record.

Read more... )
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Friday, October 21st, 2016 06:35 am
I found myself very distracted by the election yesterday. Christine has convinced me to watch the Newshour for a couple nights in a row: i think i need to stop that. There's some difference between video and reading that isn't just content that makes the impact a bit more distressing than it needs to be.

There was a report on rural mountain North Carolina poverty and the distrust voters have towards both parties making anything better. The interviewees were wonderfully articulate (even though i wanted to shake them at times). The stark contrast between their command of the English language and Donald Trump's statements is just one of the many depressing notes from my distraction. Another was listening to Hillary Clinton's response to a law-and-order question: i felt in my bones the lost moment for her to speak of a just society as she listed (quite reasonable) programs. If i can sense a rhetorically missed moment, it must have been a big miss. Of course, this is the distraction to which i refer -- i accept that rhetoric is more than soundbites and it does have meaning. It does set tone.

The place i need to be digging is my county politics and trying to discern whether i will vote for the Democrats or for the "nice young man" running as an independent. Our county seems as split as the country, with the western part rural and the eastern part getting developed.
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 06:58 am
A friend at the Meeting in California hosts a mailing list. He writes out to some list of BCC and you have no idea who else is on that list. He occasionally replies to someone, bringing their response forward to all. It's different, but it is the culture of his list. The power dynamic is so different, but i think it's wise. He is a rare black attender in the mostly white California meeting, and he's willing to prick the white conscience with regard to racial privilege.

I struggled a bit with the power structure of his list last night, as i replied to a reply someone else had made to the host's use of the word whiteness. In an amazing act of white privilege, this person had complained that the use of the word made him feel something was wrong with his skin. My response was a bit more developed response of "Sit with the discomfort and think about it." I eventually simply replied to the host and the other correspondent, not BCC'ing or CC'ing anyone. I thanked the host for providing the discussion space.

This morning i am more able to see what is going on: we must trust the host to curate ... fairly? justly? It is not transparent, a word that comes to mind as echoing the Charlotte Mayor as she tries to negotiate between the police and the people. My discomfort with this list is it isn't transparent, and i need to trust the host. The people of Charlotte ... they have a situation with trust and transparency, too. I've no idea how many responses the host receives, how often his BCC list is "all" or "some", how wide or diverse the community of discourse is. I think it's wise though, because it is a way the black voice will be heard in the white space. Our host's moderation reminds me of the moderation of nuclear reactions in a power plant: the clamor or white voices as we, in our many different places of facing our privilege, feedback upon each other and melt down. Our host absorbs and paces the discussion, keeping it from being overwhelming, keeping the silence between messages that is hard to do in an asynchronous medium.

I knew last night i recognized something "Quakerly" about the space our host had made. This morning i see the pacing he creates, keeping the space between the responses, choosing whom to recognize as clerking the discussion. And just as one holds the clerk in the Light, recognizing the difficulties they face in the challenge of moderating, i hold our host in the Light too.

--== ∞ ==--

In other news, i have avoided the debate and much (i suspect) of the rehashing of the debate. Each morning i read the analysis at http://www.electoral-vote.com/ trying to skim past most of the eye rolling at The Donald, but occasionally following the links to news articles, such as the one about the Trump campaign trying to find a mosque The Donald could publicly visit. I admired the responses i read about: no we will not create a photo op, but yes we will sit down and talk with you. The local Meeting's women's group is gathering tonight and the invitation includes "bring your favorite quotes from the debate." I will not go. I wasn't feeling inspired, as yesterday i was dragging with a cold (it's too soon to see today how that will go). But until debates are about policy and not performance, i'm opting out.

I spent the weekend lopping and have indeed created a huge pile of brush to eventually send through a chipper as well as tangles of grape and honeysuckle vines to be burned. I haven't quite figured out my metric for "worth the time to send through a chipper" vs "burn" but i have one, some instinct about the balance of effort and reward with a bias to chip. I got quite worn out on Saturday, working in the sun. Sunday i reserved energy and spent some time just appreciating the cleared space and the trees of the understory. I selected spindly oaks to keep and hope will grow up above the dogwood and redbud, lopped out sweetgum, found what might be spicebush -- a native plant that fills the same niche as the autumn olive and is host to spicebush swallowtail butterfly larvae -- along with ferns and pipsissewa. (I'll note i was taught to call Chimaphila maculata pipsissewa, not, as Wikipedia redirects, Chimaphila umbellata.)

Monday and yesterday i corresponded - and also had an insight: i can start drafting digital Yuletide greetings NOW. I was considering what to write to someone back in California and was feeling like i had no place to connect a conversation. I'd sent the person my month one and two missives, so i knew they had a picture of where we were, but no real response. So i've drafted a note to send come Thanksgiving or Yuletide with a how are [things] going. Actually, as i write today, i'm not sure why i feel the need to delay sending that.)
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Monday, May 9th, 2016 08:41 am

Republicans also complained that Ms. Gupta and other federal officials had set an unreasonable deadline — the close of business on Monday — for a response from Mr. McCrory and the University of North Carolina, which received a similar letter.

“The legislative process doesn’t work where a response can be given by just a few days, so we’re going to move at the speed that we’re going to move at to look at what our options are at this point,” Mr. Moore said last week outside his office in Raleigh, the state capital, where he told reporters that Monday’s deadline would “come and go” without action by the General Assembly.

-- http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/us/north-carolina-governor-sues-justice-department-over-bias-law.html


Remind me again how quickly this bill went from proposal to passing?

Special Session?
Filed that day?
Passed both houses and signed in same day?

Hmmm.

http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2015E2&BillID=H2
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Thursday, May 5th, 2016 06:05 am
Sassafras, my new computer: I was finally able to transfer my personal data over the wifi Monday night, so i am tippity-tapping on the new machine right now. (And tippity tapping is right: the keyboard action is quite different.) I have the ethernet adapter to sort out, but it's great to have a personal machine back.

I think i have been a little more focussed this week. A architectural decision was made on Tuesday that takes some work of my team's plate. I'm disappointed but it also removes the stress of how i would specify the details in time for me to be on the road for a week. Christine's to-do list also had a particularly emotionally challenging item removed yesterday.

I don't often post about politics, particularly politicians. The issues i care about -- developing a sustainable way for all of us to share the planet with respect for all living things -- i feel i can best share by writing about my passions, and not dwelling on individuals.

But the Republican party horrifies me right now. I'm not sure how integrity has slipped so far out of favor: this, because of interviews with Trump supporters who "know Trump is just saying outrageous things" and doesn't mean them. Dr Ben Carson's lack of a grasp on the physical reality is perhaps not uncommon, but it seems a certain pointer to a disqualifying flaw. And Trump wants him to help pick a VP? (Christine is looking at the wikipedia article on the four horsemen of the apocalypse to figure out which one will be picked: she alleges Trump is Conquest.)

I did read a very helpful article that i'm sure one of you pointed out to me: http://religiondispatches.org/sympathy-for-the-devils-i-was-a-pastor-to-trump-supporters/ This has helped me understand how despair and anger can create a receptivity to the apparent message of Trump.
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Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 06:34 am
Reading Bernie Sander's interview http://www.cnbc.com/id/102694365 after watching three episodes of The Century of the Self is a dose of sunshine after Houston-like deluges flooding my hope for democracy.
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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 06:30 am
Ok, part of my question yesterday has been answered in that the women i know (and apparently everyone else) are watching Nate Silver instead of electoral-vote.com's votemaster.

Poor votemaster! Last night:

8:18 PM EST The servers are totally overloaded. This may not work. I'm trying but not hopeful.

9:15 P.M. EST CNN projects Republicans to keep the House.

9:20 P.M. EST Servers are hopeless.

00:00 A.M. EST Now that everyone is in bed, the servers are back up. At this moment, Colorado, Virgina, and Florida are still undecided, but Obama is leading in all of them. If he wins them all, then the electoral map is the same as 2008 except with Indiana and North Carolina. I'll start looking at the Senate next.


I find myself mostly pensive about party politics. Of course, from where i stand the Democratic party looks like a bunch of moderates that are kinda willing to consider progressive movement if it won't piss off their corporate overlords. In general, i think the corporate overlords "get" "inclusion," and because they are multinational, they can't afford a certain sort of jingoism. (Other military actions don't hurt the bottom line so, you know, go nuts and try our new remote blaster 5000 while you are at it.)

Anyhow.

I made the mistake of looking at my county's returns on ballot initiatives and had this brief blush of belief that, wow, the ballot initiatives might go the way i want them to! Then i looked at the state's returns and, meh, not so much. I'm happy to see the governor's budget initiative, line 30, did turn form no to yes overnight! I went to bed with the belief that both budget initiatives were going to be turned down: can i tell you how stupid it is to have voters making budget decisions directly?

Hi Death Penalty, i guess you'll be hanging around then. I heard someone discuss how the financial argument to end the death penalty wasn't appealing because the death penalty is a moral issue -- unlike the three strikes law -- and some people just deserve to die. The voice used in saying this was calm, rational, not particularly full of anger or revenge. A calm abstraction: some people deserve to die. I hadn't realized how much i didn't believe that until i heard it stated -- and my whole self has been cringing ever since.

Well, maybe California can execute a corporation.

--==∞==--

I get to work from home today, a reprieve that makes clear to me just how much of my depression is due to tipping point exhaustion. Up until midday yesterday, i thought the first day i could work from home was Friday the 16th, and by the way, New Director is coming out the three days before the Thanksgiving holiday and i need to be in the office then.

I think back to the trip he made during the winter holidays and how i got to see him for a couple hours out fo the several days he was in town. There's a chance he'll get here and say that, "Oh, don't bother coming in on Wednesday, i'm going to be doing blah-di-blah from my hotel room," but i can't count on that. My brother has opined it sure sounds like New Director is getting California trips paid for by the company. I can't quite believe New Director is that deceitful: i still stick with flaky.

I'm also feeling physically exhausted: coughing spell last night.

--==∞==--

The more i think about it, the more i think what i need is also a career coach cognitive therapist. So much of my depression is triggered by poorly framed beliefs.

I have things i know: my health-needs and my values point towards a company that is not expecting everyone to put in 50 or 60 hours a week, and my workstyle is better suited for a smaller company that needs a generalist who can do the breadth of work i can do.

I believe there are no companies of under a couple hundred folks in the bay area that both would be interested in hiring me with my current skill set AND are not pressure cooker start ups. In stating that poorly framed belief, i am immediately trapped.

Hopefully, i can find the right therapist for this suite of needs. I have been so fortunate in my last two therapists: one EAP therapist acted as a great-for-my-values management coach while coding my meetings with her as major depression, and my somatic experiencing therapist has helped me transition my reactive patterns so i can be more aware physically, more compassionate to my own needs. I feel so much more healed.

So i'll hope that i can find the right person to help me navigate the maze of imaginary and real barriers in my mind.
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Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 08:02 pm
Oh for crying out loud.

I just switched to the NPR election coverage page just as the polls closed in California and saw the popup announcement that they were calling the state for Obama and then saw the animation of the 55 electoral vites fall down tetris like in Obama's column.

C'mon, give the state a moment to be happy with the polling proces.

--==∞==--

Rick Hasen, a law professor at UC Irvine who follows election law closely, posted on his blog Monday: "Even though Ohio is giving it a run for its money, Florida is doing whatever it can to be the next Florida."

--==∞==--

Hrm, i don't know if i'm able to rest easy with a call on the state of Ohio.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2012 07:30 am
Up at the crack of dawn -- 3:43 -- this morning due to install issues. It is 6:32, and i think we have sorted out the second issue, now testing. And done, three hours later.

Oh bah.

While we were waiting -- so much waiting in the debugging process for other folks to do things like bounce services.... -- i read some things. This opinion about the current US federal process, while disheartening, seems realistic.
Read more... )
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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 06:50 am
Yesterday was a longish day as we planned in the morning and then wrestled with issues in the afternoon. detail )

I felt i had more respect from my lead engineer. I guess he does believe i know some things.

We also took a lunch break to whack balls at the driving range up the street from the office. This seems like real team building: i'm delighted at the interest almost everyone has in learning and playing. So far it's all gentle encouragement and no competition, so huzzah.

I was home lateish, and just plopped down and watched a series: "Once (Upon A Time)." I have mixed feelings about the show. On one hand there's a quality that reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where how one can cope with the issues of life are high-lit by the fantastic, plus there's a strong story arc. On the other hand is my repugnance of watching Disney/ABC continue to stake out a claim on the fairy tale space. So far the princesses haven't been too repugnant: Snow White has a tough character as a back story. I suppose we'll find out how Prince Charming and the brittle princess split up in future episodes.

So, no "conditions of enoughness" met in my afterwork goals: didn't crochet while watching things, didn't watch the online classes for which i've signed up, didn't do the minor bit of housekeeping on my list, didn't even feed the cats on time. And exercise? Ha!

I think i need to have a sliding scale of "enoughness" that slides with my available spoons. Feeding the cats and picking up the crochet hook really were possible last night.

Last night a pollster called about California politics: i found i have no opinion about the governor and the legislature. (This pissed off the pollster who hung up on me, thinking i was just not sharing.) I know our budget situation is dreadful, but i also know the absurd way the ballot measures over time have hamstrung our legislature from responding appropriately. If the pollster had asked about my opinion of the state constitution i would have given him an earful. It did stir up a little fear that i had electoral choices of which i was unaware, but no, it's not time for me to decide if i want a new governor.

I'm all about developing just in time opinions.

Speaking about just in time opinions, Californians may want to start perusing ballot guides for the eleven propositions. I have a pdf copy of the ballot guide from a Humbolt County progressive organization that consolidates a broad range of endorsements into a nice table that i can send to you. Previous versions are at http://hopecoalition.org/archives . Compared to http://californiachoices.org/ballot-measures-2012-6/endorsements this has more organizations but not the newspapers. It's still a little early, but depending on how deeply you want to dig in sorting out your opinion on the ballot measures, it may be time to begin!
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Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 07:15 pm
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june12/sopa_01-17.html

Who did the PBS News hour get on Tuesday night?

Ben Huh is the CEO of Cheezburger, a network of 50 websites. It plans to go dark tomorrow. And Rick Cotton is an executive president at NBC Universal, which favors the legislation. He's also the chair of the Chamber of Commerce Coalition Against Piracy.


Yup, take *THAT* NBC Universal. You're being put up against Mr. "I can haz cheesburger?"

Meanwhile, Dear Legislators: Domain Names are the wifty-est bit of anything to nail a law on. Try the address of the owner of the domain name, to start.