serene: mailbox (Default)
2017-01-01 04:48 pm

2016 in review

Back in 2011/12, [personal profile] firecat combined a couple of different end-of-the-year survey thingies so lots of the numbers are repeated, and I think that's kind of fun, so I did it then, and I'm doing it now, with the years changed. I intend for this to become a daily journal again in 2017, so this is where I'm starting.

1. Was 2016 a good year for you?
Some things were good, but in general, no. Not very.

There's a TON more behind the cut )
serene: mailbox (Default)
2016-08-13 08:47 am
Entry tags:

Election 2016 (US)

When it was important to me that there be a Green Party in California, I worked for it. Collected signatures, got the party on the ballot, attended platform conventions in Santa Cruz, marched, made posters, talked people's ears off about proportional representation, etc.

When it was important to me that Obama win the presidency, and that diverse voices be heard in the election, I got out the vote -- registered ex-felons and others, went on neighborhood canvas runs with like-minded folks, talked people's ears off about his platform and record.

It's important to me that a billionaire fascist with no sense of honesty and decency, who is completely unsuited to rule a company, much less a nation state, not win against arguably the most qualified candidate who's ever run for the office. I don't always agree with Secretary Clinton's decisions around foreign policy, and I think she has moments of tone-deafness that make me cringe (on Twitter, you can see me cringe), but she's qualified to do the job. She's a stateswoman. She's presidential. And she isn't a nazi, misogynist, jingoistic, foul sack of shit.

I'm in California, so I'm trying to figure out how to help make sure she wins -- and then after she wins, that Trump and his rabid minions don't foment unrest in the country.

Some ideas I've had so far. Thoughts welcome.

* donate to her campaign and/or DNC and/or MoveOn and/or...?
* go to battleground states and help get out the vote (not sure I have the wherewithal to do this, but I'm considering it)
* phone bank in said states (again, not sure I have it in me, but it's an option)
* Your Idea Here

I can't just sit and watch this happen. I have to do what I can do. Not sure what that is yet. But I have to do it.
serene: mailbox (Default)
2010-07-06 06:06 pm

Advice to those of you who will be protesting this week

From the ACLU (received in email):

In anticipation of the Mehserle verdict...

Here's what ACLU-NC Associate Director Kelli Evans has to say about community relations, free speech and interacting with police:

The shooting of Oscar Grant by BART police officers in January 2009 remains a tragic reminder of the need for serious efforts to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities of color. No matter the verdict in the Mehserle trial, the need to rebuild community trust in law enforcement will remain. In too many American cities, racial tensions between the community and law enforcement run deep. Police oversight remains a critical issue in truly ensuring both public safety and public trust.

No doubt, Oakland residents and other people following the trial will have a wide range of emotions. Following the verdict, community members need to be able to peaceably exercise their First Amendment rights to demonstrate and to express their opinions about the ruling.

Any police response to demonstrations must respect the rights of the people to peacefully exercise their freedom of speech, no matter who they are or the reason for their protesting. It's important to be mindful that violence is never protected speech, but it is also important to remember that neither the mere possibility of violence, nor the bad acts of a few, can justify the blanket suppression of peaceful demonstrations and protests.

Check out the ACLU’s online guide to your rights when demonstrating or print out the one-page reference sheet. Have questions about your rights with the police? The ACLU also has some some practical tips for interacting with the police.
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
2009-06-04 08:11 pm

Credit where it's due

From my workplace's ltgb listserv:

Hey there -

A member of our organization, Marriage Equality USA, has heard that Justice
Moreno, the sole California Supreme Court Justice who stood with us in
support of repealing Proposition 8 and wrote an eloquent dissent to the
majority opinion, is getting a lot of hate mail for his strong stand for

Can you please write and thank him for his courage and powerful dissent in
defense of our and others' civil rights? Please ask your friends to do so

Justice Carlos Moreno
350 McAllister St
San Francisco, CA 94102
serene: mailbox (Default)
2009-06-03 03:21 pm
Entry tags:
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
2009-05-27 07:09 pm

Things that do not mean "You're an asshole"

Before I get to the list, I'll tell you why I'm posting it. I'm posting it because my friends are not assholes. [personal profile] klwalton is not an asshole for wanting to call Tim her husband. She's not even an asshole for being pissed at me if I refuse to do so. ([personal profile] klwalton, I'm using you as an example because I'm entirely certain that you already know that I don't think you're an asshole, and you care about this stuff as much as I do.) My partner's partner isn't an asshole for thinking that my belief that it's unfair that she can call our lover "husband" legally when I couldn't call either of my two female life partners "wife" legally means I think she's the enemy, even if I don't.

But I was talking to [personal profile] someotherguy, and I said something like this, and I hope I say it as clearly as it felt to me at the time: "I'm not sure it's possible to say to someone 'It's not fair that you get this privilege and that other person doesn't' and not have it heard, at least some of the time, as 'You're an asshole.' I'm not sure you can say, for example, 'You're soaking in white privilege' and not be heard a good deal of the time as saying 'You're a racist'."

In fact, I'm not sure there's a way to talk, even within one's own group, about stuff that one thinks is stemming from another's act of taking their privilege for granted, and not have at least some of those people hear "You are an asshole."

Well, my friends aren't assholes. Most of them, anyway. No, wait. I cut loose the assholes. My original statement stands.

A non-exhaustive list, in no particular order:

"It's not about you" ≠ "You are an asshole"

"It's not about you" ≠ "You are a self-involved asshole who should shut the fuck up and keep your opinion to yourself."

"You are soaking in white privilege" ≠ "You're a racist asshole"

"There's no reason you should be allowed to marry when other people can't" ≠ "You're a heterosexist asshole."

"If people don't have to treat my relationships as real, I don't have to treat theirs as real, even if they're on my side (unless I'm an officer of the government)" ≠ "You are an asshole"

"I refuse to be married until everyone can marry anyone they want to*" ≠ "You are an asshole if you're married"

If I think that you're an asshole, I'll say so -- ask anyone. If what I think is that your privilege is not as important to me as a message that needs sending, then that's what I'll say. Love or no love, and I do love all my friends, to one degree or other. And it's really, truly, genuinely, honest-to-atheism okay with me if they disagree with me, but I'd like to find ways to discuss this that don't come off as me saying people are assholes, because I don't hang out with assholes.

Some of the threads I've seen so far on this topic have helped me to start formulating ways to do this, and for this I am ever-so-grateful to my circle of online friends and acquaintances and benevolent strangers. Thank you. (Admittedly, some other threads have just made me want to say over and over "It's. NOT. ABOUT. YOU, GODDAMMIT!!!")

(*Over the years, I have amended that statement. If it meant a benefit for my partner that was otherwise out of reach (say, if I needed to get medical coverage for a partner who was no longer able to work or something), I would consider it. I will not do so for my own benefit, and have said so since August 4th, 1990.)
serene: mailbox (Default)
2009-05-22 09:27 am

Schroedinger's wife

[ profile] someotherguy points out that Schroedinger was openly polyamorous in the 1930s.

[ profile] wordweaverlynn blogs a bunch of great links about Harvey Milk and asks what we're going to do to celebrate.

Here's what I'm going to do. I don't think I've talked much on this (Dreamwidth) journal about my sexual/relationship orientations and politics, and I'm not planning to import my journal from LJ, as I'm fond of fresh starts, so here is my celebration of Harvey Milk. It's me, as a professional woman, coming out, in response to his words:

"I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they'll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects ... I hope that every professional gay will say 'enough', come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help." Harvey Milk, 1978

I am queer. I am bisexual. I am polyamorous. I love two men with all my heart, and I have loved women, too.

I am also a lot of other things that get up people's noses: I'm a liberal. I'm a Green Party member who voted for Nader (once, anyway). I'm an atheist. I'm an unschooler. I'm in favor of the decriminilization of drugs, even though I've never done an illegal drug in my life. I'm unapologetically fat, and I genuinely love my fat body and the fat bodies of my lovers. (I love the thin bodies of the people I've loved, as well. Fatness is a beauty to me, not a fetish.) I am a white woman trying to fight her own racism and sexism, and not always succeeding.

But in Harvey's honor, I just want to end with this. I want to raise my own personal freak flag. I am queer. I am not going anywhere. And I work a respectable job, raise a family, pay my taxes, and am a contributing member of my local and national society. Sometimes I wear a sign (well, t-shirts, anyway), but it's impossible to know me for very long and not know I'm queer and poly.

Letting people know these things about me has not made the world come crashing down. It's a small thing in the grand scheme, but enough small things put together change the world. So I encourage you, if there's anyone you're not out to, to take that plunge and make the world a little bit better.
serene: mailbox (Default)
2009-05-20 07:57 pm

More on the Whisky Tango Foxtrot

[ profile] someotherguy pointed me to a slideshow of the Intelligence briefing covers. He and I both assumed there were little Bible quotes off to the very bottom somewhere or something, but no, they're the star of the show. Check it out:
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
2009-05-20 09:38 am
Entry tags:

US Detainees

This is not a good week for my love of the new regime in the US:


Judge Rules U.S. Can Hold Detainees Indefinitely

A federal judge has ruled that the United States can continue to hold some prisoners in military detention indefinitely without any charges.

More at
serene: mailbox (mailbox)
2009-05-19 11:52 am
Entry tags:

Aid to Pakistan

Secretary Clinton: Text Your Disaster Relief Donation for Pakistan
Using your cell phones, Americans can text the word "swat" -- to the number 20222 and make a $5 contribution that will help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees provide tents, clothing, food, and medicine to hundreds of thousands of affected people.
serene: mailbox (Default)
2009-05-19 09:35 am
Entry tags:

I could vomit


Senate Dems Pull Funds For Guantanamo Closing

A senior Senate Democratic leadership aide has confirmed to NPR that funding for closing down the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility is being removed from the 2009 supplemental appropriations bill. Obama is now faced with three choices: veto the bill, use funds from other sources or reverse his decision to close the facility.

More at
serene: mailbox (Default)
2005-08-15 11:35 am

Food Not Bombs

[Edit: Thanks to [ profile] glitterophelia for pointing me to [ profile] fnb]

Been thinking a lot about Food Not Bombs lately -- I have known about them
for years, but [ profile] dryadgrl and my Berkeley neighbors have kept it
in the forefront of my mind lately. Then I read their "What is Food Not Bombs?" page and
decided they are definitely doing something I want to get behind (I think
I already knew that, but the page was a really good reflection of how I
feel about the politics of food distribution).

So tomorrow I plan to go help out
with a meal
. Any locals wanna come along?

Oh, and because I know it amuses some of you, I thought I'd let you know
that I woke up vegan today. This has happened several times in the last
two years and has usually lasted a few days at most. We'll see. (If
you're not aware of my history with vegetarianism, I don't do dieting or
rules about what I eat, so I resist calling myself a vegetarian, and I
sometimes call myself The
Reluctant Vegan
. I just decide from day to day how I feel about food,
and I go with it. For eighteen years, I woke up vegetarian nearly every
day. For the following two years, it was veganism a day at a time. Then
the last two years, I haven't really known from day to day what I would
eat, but most days I've eaten some amount of meat/dairy/eggs. Anyway,
we'll see. :-) I'm having chips and black beans for lunch.)
serene: mailbox (Default)
2005-08-10 09:38 am

working for a better world

Recently, I heard someone at work express the opinion that people who
don't do what zie does -- actively work for social justice with
progressive organizations -- shouldn't complain about the country,
shouldn't be taken seriously, and aren't making the world a better place.

I say bullshit.

You make the world better when you work for social justice in organized
venues, true. But you also make the world better when you:


treat people with respect.

get to know your neighbors.

write to your congresscritters.

transgress wrongheaded laws and traditions.

blog about peace and social justice.

Read more... )

Now, I'm NOT saying you're a bad person if there's stuff on this list that
you don't do. And I'm NOT saying that you don't make the world better in
a thousand other ways. Just saying that people don't have to make the
world better in the way you do to count.

Do you have other things to add to the list? I'd love to hear your ideas
of ways that you and others make the world better.