“The Weight | Featuring Robbie Robertson | Playing For Change

2020 Ticket

Time to consider the best 2020 Democratic ticket. Disclaimer: Just my opinion:


We cannot win with a ticket that is two white men.

We need a woman on the ticket, and we also need a non-white person on the ticket. Yes, I realize that if Stacy Abrams or Kamala Harris is on the ticket, that takes care of both.

We need a presidential candidate that Cousin Louise would vote for. (Louise, my second cousin, is an educated, suburban Republican who is dismayed by Trump. My own one-person demographic!).

Candidates being ruled out. This exercise does not consider candidates who appear to have no chance of winning, although WHO KNOWS, I certainly ruled out Voldemort in 2016. Management is ruling out the following:

Yang – one trick pony with low poll numbers.

Williamson – she actually has some good ideas, but oh well.

All those white guys on the sides of the stage in the first 2 debates.

Possible tickets.

1. Biden and someone. I’m not enthused. He’s too old, too old fashioned, too dull, too more of the same. But he is the front runner for now anyway, so okay. Let’s give him a good running mate, either Kamala Harris or Stacy Abrams. That would boost turnout, Louise would vote for him, and I think he’d win. Not enthused though.

2. Bernie and someone? No. I just won’t. He is passionate about his ideas, his ideas are good ones, but my instinct is no. He seems more interested in shouting than in the nitty gritty of governing, and Louise would balk at voting for him. If he is the nominee, who would run with him? Klobuchar to add a woman and a moderate? Stacy or Kamala?

3. Elizabeth Warren! She has plans! If she tweaks her positions just a little (that’s a separate post), Louise would vote for her. She comes across as peppy and practical. Let’s pair her with Cory Booker, and we’ve ticked the racial and gender boxes with 2 nice people. I like Buttigieg better than Booker, but racial diversity is necessary to drive turnout. Best ticket so far.

4. Kamala Harris and somebody? Buttigieg and somebody? Would the two of them be a good ticket? Putting this match aside for now.

5. Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Castro. Sorry guys, but I don’t see a place for you. I don’t trust Amy, and both Beto and Julian have shown lapses in judgment, and I don’t want to vote for any of them.

“Turn of the Key”

Listening to Ruth Ware’s Turn of the Key while knitting, and the (?)heroine is driving me nuts. I want to slap her. Since that’s not possible, I’ll opt for a running commentary. Spoilers abound.

10 September. Knitting. Lovely green shawl for a friend (Hi Laura!) who is expecting twins.

Not A Spoiler. The book opens with the protagonist, Rowan, writing to an attorney from a Scottish prison where she is awaiting trial on charges of killing a child in her care. She insists on her innocence and asks the lawyer to read “the whole story” of what led up to the child’s death.

9 September. Knitting: an appallingly hideous scarf knit from some frightful hairy novelty yarn. Someone hired a friend (hi Merike!) to knit two of them, and I offered to do one.

Story so far: Rowan takes a position as a nanny for a rich family with 3 small girls and a teenager, who live on an isolated estate in remote Scotland. Every room of the old home place has been outfitted with cutting edge computer activated smart house features, including surveillance capability. Normal, right? She accepts the job without nailing down important details about her duties, the girls, or the smart house stuff. Mom seems to be a nervous wreck and dad is a sexist pig. She also ignores the flashing red light that 2 or 3 hundred nannies quit during the previous year, ostensibly because the place is “haunted.”

As soon as she arrives, both parents leave for a few weeks (also very normal, right?) and then ~~☆*creepy spooky*☆~~ stuff starts to happen. Mysterious creaky footsteps, disappearing keys, lights going on in the night, strange noises in the dark? Is it a ghost? (spoiler: I doubt it.) More to follow!


category: brief rant.

Eleven Democratic candidates for President have qualified for the next debate. Each one could plausibly complain about something – the way they are covered by the media, the schedule of primary elections, campaign finance regulations, misleading statements by their opponents, even their assigned positions on stage during the debates.

For example, one can easily imagine supporters of Biden griping that the media focuses too much on supposed gaffes, or Kamala Harris boosters complaining about slanted coverage of her record as a prosecutor. Warren is probably just as sick of Pocahontas stories as Buttigieg is of seeing “openly” next to the word “gay.” Can anyone doubt that Beto’s backers fume at the stories about his failure to rise in the polls, that Castro and Klobuchar think they deserve more media attention, or that Yang and Williamson don’t think their campaigns are given serious consideration?

None of the candidates are campaigning in 100% perfect circumstances. In particular, the media tends to run articles portraying each of them with one or another simplistic label or tag line. And, to increase attention, articles posit unlikely conflicts or pointless straw men. “How long can Warren and Sanders remain friends?” “Is Buttigieg the new Beto”? “Can a woman win this time?”

BUT. A carefully conducted and statistically reliable survey (of my friends and relations) establishes two important points. First, with one exception, no matter which candidate people prefer at this stage of the game, they plan to vote for whoever ultimately wins the Democratic nomination. Secondly, with one exception, they understand that anyone running for any office is likely to face annoying party rules, misleading media coverage, silly debate moderators, and false statements by reporters and politicians. Right? So, okay, Big Shrug, and whatcha gonna do, thems the breaks.

EXCEPT, gosh darn it, for the Bernie Brigade. Don’t get me wrong, Bernie is a good guy with some good ideas. But his supporters are the only ones who insist that if he doesn’t win it’s because of an evil conspiracy, and the only ones who declare that they won’t vote for anyone if Bernie doesn’t win.

Not only is this annoying as hell, it’s also scary because it increases the chances of Voldemort’s re-election.

Furthermore, the “Bernie or no one” position is the exact opposite of the values behind Sanders campaign. Democratic socialism is based on the principle that we should, within reason, enact policies that benefit society as a whole, even at the expense of certain individual privileges. The idea is that people may pay higher taxes and businesses may have more regulations, but free public transportation will be available and pollution will decrease. It ultimately requires some sacrifice by the individual for the good of all. However, a Bernie Brat who is willing to see Trump re-elected if Sanders is “cheated” out of the nomination is essentially declaring that they will sacrifice what is manifestly best for the common good rather than endure the personal discomfort of voting for a party or candidate they are not thrilled with.

To the Bernie or Bust cohort, I say (1) grow up, and (2) what would Bernie do?

Bright Side

I won this yarn in a charity auction that raised over $14,000 for the Coalition to Stop Violence against Native Women. The pattern is called Bright Side, by Makenzie Alvarez, and the yarn was dyed by Knitted Wit.

Bubble gum!! Summer sherbet!! My Little Ponies!! I’m proud to have supported this cause. Depending on the final result, I may give the shawl to a child.

Time to Break Up?

This is a map of the United States. I’m no longer sure whether we should remain United.

Polls indicate that some 40% percent of Americans plan to vote for Trump. This leaves a person (note: by “a person” I mean me 😁) spluttering in frustration. “But how can you?! Why?! Don’t you see that he is” – are there any adjectives that haven’t been used? Ignorant, lying, narcissistic, incompetent, insecure, greedy, self-centered, stupid, shallow, lying, lying, lying. Oh who are we kidding, they know all that.

So, Why? Some are so virulently determined that every girl or woman who becomes pregnant be forced to deliver a baby that nothing else matters. Apparently polls indicate that 20% of all Americans favor outlawing abortion in every case, and another 30% think strict limits are in order.

Another big group of Trump supporters are people who love guns more than they love human beings. So, the ostensible devotion to unborn embryos doesn’t translate into any concern for living children. Nope, these folks are willing to risk their own tender children being slaughtered by a random madman as long as they can keep their military rapid assault I-dont-care-what-the-tecnical-term-is weapons.

I despair of people who are so anti-intellectual that, rather than aspiring to read, learn, master a new skill, or grow, they use the word “elite” as a sneering curse. update – a poll reports thst 33% of Republicans think colleges are bad for the country. What the actual hell?

How can one get through to someone who actually believes what they hear from Trump, Fox Spews, or online conspiracy nuts? (by “one” I also mean me of course 😀).

Trump voters are all either stone cold racists or so het up about some issue like immigration or guns that they will overlook his constant, blatant, incessant racism.

But, really, a lot of it really, is racism. Trump voters are folks who are so convinced that their taxes mostly provide assistance to nonwhite transgender immigrants that they are willing to die – literally die from lack of medical care – rather than expand Medicaid.

Or they have been tricked into believing that “government regulation” is the source of all evil. Trump voters are prepared to breathe poisoned air and drink polluted water if it means thwarting the wishes of the “coastal elites.” What is WRONG with them? Stupidity? Bitterness? So, okay, I admit “a person” can get kind of foaming at the mouth about all this.

The point is this: apparently a sizeable percentage of our population would prefer a country that (1) is a fundamentalist Christian theocracy, in which religious beliefs are a legal excuse to discriminate and public meetings are opened with explicitly Christian prayer, (2) spending on education, parks, libraries, public health, and other services is reduced or eliminated lest these benefits be used by “those others” (3) regulation of industry, employment, and the environment is reduced or eliminated because guvmint regulation, and (4) anyone can walk around anywhere with a military assault rifle.

So, let them have that country, I want no part of it.

The question, nonexistent readers, is how to divide up the country? Should we use state lines? Should we split into two, or maybe more? Look at the map up top and try to figure it out. When one (me again) starts fiddling with the map, several problems are apparent.

First, places that seem to belong together are not all next to each other. The coastal elites are on different coasts, so do we connect them with a band across the top? Secondly, a lot of people might end up in the wrong country – looking at you, Austin, New Orleans, Chapel Hill, Athens Ohio, Athens Georgia, etc. Finally, it’s kind of sad, as break ups are. Kentucky and West Virginia can’t really survive without the taxes collected in New York and Massachusetts. A person could miss Miami and Charleston.

If anyone has thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them.

Nautical Knitting

A few photos from the knitting cruise: