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Remembering Molly Ivins

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I will not support Hillary Clinton for president
January 20, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas — I’d like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It’s about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, “Look, the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.” Bobby Kennedy — rough, tough Bobby Kennedy — didn’t do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy’s sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush’s tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do “whatever it takes” to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Go read the whole thing here. Tributes abound ’round the internets; try here, and here, and here.

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

2014 Real Book Challenge: August Roundup

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

All nine of my reads this month were “real” books; this puts me at 44 for the year, which means I surpassed my original goal of 39 books. Yay me! Since I already bumped up my total goal to 101, I decided to increase my Real Books goal to an even 50. Still ahead of the game, yo!

 

  • The Fever: A Novel by Megan Abbott (2014); reviewed here
  • The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne (2014); reviewed here
  • Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (2014); reviewed here
  • The Wraith (Welcome to Christmasland #1-6) by Joe Hill and Charles Paul Wilson III (2014); reviewed here
  • Fault Line by Christa Desir (2013); reviewed here
  • The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and Caanan White (2014); reviewed here
  • The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno (2014); review coming soon
  • The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi (2014); review coming soon
  • The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander (2014); review coming soon

     

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    Saturday, August 30th, 2014

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    Friday, August 22nd, 2014

    2nd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon: August 11th – September 1st

    Friday, July 25th, 2014

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    Phantasmic Reads and Novel Heartbeat are hosting the 2nd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon from August 11th through September 1st. Basically the idea is to hang out in an air conditioned building – or maybe the beach, if it isn’t too toasty – and read your little heart out. Who cares about the reading on the thermostat when there’s a girl on fire demanding your attention!?!

    You can set the goal – for me, that’s six books – and there will be some min-challenges, too. You have until August 25th to sign up (here!).

    Once 8/11 arrives, you can track my progress on this post. Six books doesn’t sound terribly impressive, but at two a week (and not counting kid’s books or short stories!), I think it’s enough to keep things interesting. At least on my end anyway. (Hey, I’ve already exceeded my goal for the Summer Reading Program, so you never know!)

    Let’s do this thing!

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    Update, 8/31/14: I beat my goal by one book! Yay me!

    2014 Book Blogger Summer Reading Program!

    Sunday, May 4th, 2014

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    When I was a kid, I used to live at the library during the summer months. (Air conditioning and books, what more could a girl want?) One of my favorite childhood memories is participating in the summer book challenges; I’m pretty sure I still have some of the craft projects we made for our assignments. (Book worms, anyone?)

    So I was pretty psyched to see the 2014 Book Blogger Summer Reading Program at Katie’s Book Blog. I don’t know if I officially rank as a “book blogger,” though books are one of the few things I blog about now (also: food and dogs. Again I ask: what more could a girl want?) Either way, I’d like to play along, even if I don’t qualify for the grand prize or anything. Reading is its own reward, yo!

    My goal for the summer – defined here as the beginning of May to the end of August – is 20 books: one per week plus three extras to make things interesting. Since I’m pulling titles randomly from my book jar, I won’t name anything specific; I don’t think this is a requirement anyhow. I’ll keep track of my progress on this page, as well as on Goodreads.

    Four days in, and I’ve already got one book under my belt!

    (More below the fold…)

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    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

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    Friday, January 31st, 2014

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    Thursday, December 26th, 2013

    Book Review: Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride & Joy, Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphona (2009)

    Monday, November 18th, 2013

    The Kids Are Alright

    five out of five stars

    What would you do if you found out that your parents were evil? Not, like, run of the mill, parents gotta parent evil – putting the entire family on a diet because your younger brother has to make weight for football, for example, or siding with your klepto sister when she steals your favorite pair of shoes and then proceeds to cut you with one of them (both of which happened to yours truly and still burns some twenty years later) – but real life supervillains bent on world domination evil?

    When Alex, Nico, Chase, Gert, Karolina, and Molly witness their parents murder a young woman during their annual get-together, they decide on the most reasonable option: report their “psycho ‘rents” to the police. Only problem is, the LAPD is in The Pride’s pocket – along with the rest of the city. As the sextet sets out to procure concrete evidence of their parents’ wrongdoing, they also embark on an unexpected journey of self-discovery: among their group hide unwitting aliens, mutants, prodigies, and even a prospective time-traveler with her very own pet velociraptor!

    I scooped up the first volume of Runaways for a mere buck at a library book sale; ten pages in, and I was hooked. (Hey, you had me at vegan tempeh fajitas!) Fifteen pages, and I’d already ordered the next nine volumes in the set on eBay. (They can’t get here fast enough!) The characters are both believable and relatively diverse; four of the six protagonists are young women, and two are people of color. A little “chubby,” Gert is a welcome deviation from conventional beauty standards, and Molly’s age (at just eleven years old, she’s several years younger than her teenage cohorts) introduces a whole new set of coming of age issues to explore. (Indeed, one plot point hinges upon the confusion caused by Molly’s changing body, assumed to be the result of her first period.)

    If this first volume is any indication, it also looks as though Runaways will explore such weighty issues as domestic (child) abuse, and the more general problem of reconciling a parent’s evil deeds with their outwardly “good” personae.

    While the general consensus seems to be that the series takes a nosedive somewhere around Volume 9 (bummer!), I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the runaways.

    (This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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    Sunday, October 20th, 2013

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    Saturday, December 8th, 2012

    Tell them stories! Also: vegan experts needed, VegListings, and shopping vegan on etsy.

    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

    Emma loves her Papa

    Emma loves her papa!
    CC image via flickr user Vegan Flower (Molly!).
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    Hey there lovely people! I have a homework assignment for the dog people in the audience. Don’t worry, it’s short and kind of sweet and won’t distract from your holiday festivities. Dr. Frank McMillan at Best Friends Animal Society is studying human-nonhuman bonding and, as part of his background research, is soliciting stories of love and devotion from those who share their lives with dogs. How do you know that your dog friend loves you? The answer can be short or long-form, simple or multifaceted. Just TELL HIM STORIES! (Always quote His Dark Materials. ALWAYS!)

    Here’s the call for submissions, which appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Best Friends magazine:

    BEST FRIENDS NEEDS YOUR HELP

    If you have a dog who expresses love toward you, we would like to hear your story.

    In a very special new study, we are looking in-depth at the emotions of bonding and affection – love – shown by dogs toward their human companions. For background research, we would like to collect stories of dogs’ expressions of love. The story could be about a single incident of your dog’s show of love and devotion, or the ways your dog demonstrates love within your overall relationship. It could simply be an answer to the question: How do you know your dog loves you? If you would like to share your story, please email it to Dr. Frank McMillan at dr.frank@bestfriends.org.

    You may recall that I’ve written about Dr. McMillan’s research previously in this here space; see, e.g. Scientists, Poets, Changemakers and Heroes (Volunteer Opportunities & Action Alerts). (Wow, has it been two years already?) Participating in vegan-friendly research projects such as this is an awesome and fun way to contribute to science. And easy, too!

    Dr. McMillan posts notices of current research opportunities in Best Friends magazine, which comes “free” with a $25 donation to Best Friends. (We made a donation in Ozzy’s name for their annual Blessing of the Animals ceremony.) In the future, I’ll try to relay new notices as quickly as possible, for those who don’t get the magazine. Forgetting is easy, since a) I tend to let my subscription lapse and b) the notices are somewhat inconspicuous and easy to miss! But I’ll do better, I promise. This stuff is important, yo!

    While we’re doing the bulletin board thing, joyful vegan goddess Colleen Patrick-Goudreau recently posted this notice on her FB page:

    Call for vegan experts: I’m building a directory of everything from vegan wellness practitioners (chiropractors, acupuncturists, dietitians, naturopaths, nutritionists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, massage therapists, veterinarians) to vegan cooking class instructor and chefs. Wherever you are, if you are vegan and fall into any of the first categories, please email lisa@compassionatecooks.com so we can include you. If you teach cooking classes or have a catering company or are a personal chef, please email colleendavis@compassionatecooks.com. We need the city and state your in, your name, and your website! PLEASE PASS IT ON!

    Also, VegListings is a newish directory for vegetarian and vegan businesses; it might come in handy for shoppers as well as business owners, especially with the holidays fast approaching! In the past I’ve put together social justice-themed buying guides; this year, I briefly considered compiling a list of vegan shops on etsy (love me some etsy!) – and then I stumbled upon the Vegan Etsy Team page, making my idea seem redundant.

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    …and I hope you will too!

    So go, browse, buy (if you can). If not, maybe you’ll be inspired to give gifts crafted by your own two hands this holiday season. It’s fun!

    (Image via Herbivore, by way of Vegan Etsy.)

    Update, 4/9/12: Due to a recent negative experience on the site, I’m afraid that I can no longer recommend etsy to my friends, family, and readers (and ESPECIALLY not for expensive and/or custom orders!). While the majority of transactions do go smoothly, don’t expect any help from etsy’s customer service on those rare occasions when you have a problem with a seller. Seriously, they were a nightmare to work with – worse even than the seller who never delivered on my custom order, even after six months of haggling.

    That said, I still love and support the many vegan storefronts on etsy, and will continue patronizing those that have a presence elsewhere on the web.

    Apple Cinnamon Muffins for the Birthday Boy

    Monday, October 10th, 2011

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    Ralphie! Everyone’s favorite one-eyed wiener dog turns fourteen years old today! FOURTEEN! He’s not old, he’s distinguished. Doubly so with all these surgical scars and skin tags and patches of missing fur. His motto? “Bitches dig scars.”

    Hey, Rennie can’t get enough.

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    (Note peeping Peedee off in the background. Pervert! Nevermind that I’m photographing their intimate moment.)

    Rolling with the weather, we celebrated his birthday a wee bit early this year. On Friday, I baked him a batch of Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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    and made him dress up in a silly hat -

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    but not before he got the first taste of his pre-birthday treat.

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    (The other six canines were pitching a fit, locked in the house away from mom and her nomz. I think Ralphie enjoyed that as well – almost as much as the muffins!)

    (More below the fold…)