Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper 1936-2010

I mean, what are they gonna say, man, when he's gone, huh? When he dies, when IT dies, man; cause when IT dies, HE dies. What are they gonna say about him? What, are they gonna say, he was a kind man? He was a wise man? He had plans? He had wisdom? Bullshit, man!

Am I gonna be the one to set them straight? Look at me: wrong!!!


--From Apocalypse Now, script credited to John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Herr, based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness... but if you know anything about the making of the movie (which was a whole movie unto itself!), you know that (unsurprisingly) Dennis made up lots of what he said, since he had trouble sticking to the script (so he didn't).

I don't know if he was a kind man, or a wise man. I know that he did have wisdom and he did have plans.

~*~



In this informative segment, Dennis explains why you can't go out into space with fractions:



Goodbye dearest Dennis.

I felt like I knew you... and so many others just like you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tart Lemon Tartlets

My new favorite thing!

These scrumptious vegan treats travel well, and can last for up to a week. Thanks to Hannah Kaminsky and VegNews for the recipe! (Lemon image at left is from Jingle.)

~*~

Ingredients

For crusts:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup unsweetened soy yogurt

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp sugar

1-2 tbsp water


For filling:

3 medium lemons

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease 8 3-inch tartlet tins (can use cupcake tins, in a pinch). Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together soy yogurt, oil, sugar and water.

2) Pour wet mixture into the dry, and use spatula to mix until mostly combined. You may want to switch to mixing with your hands, because it's a very stiff dough, much like bread dough. Knead lightly, until well-mixed and slightly springy. (NOTE: I only use my hands, and have never required a spatula.)

3) Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and place each one into a prepared tin. Poke dough with fork, then place tins onto baking sheet (not necessary if using cupcake tins) and bake until lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes (less time if using cupcake tins; depending on thickness of tin. Keep your eye on them!)

4) While crusts are baking, prepare filling. Slice lemons into wedges and remove seeds. In a blender, combine wedges--skin and all--with sugar and thoroughly puree on high for 5 to 8 minutes, until completely smooth. Add in arrowroot, vanilla, and salt; blend briefly to incorporate.

5) Pour the filling into your baked tartlet shells and return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes, until center is slightly wet-looking but doesn't wobble when jiggled. Let serve completely and serve either warm or chilled.

Makes 8. YUM!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Odds and Sods - St Rita's edition

A rather long time since I did an Odds and Sods post, so here we are.

I've dipped my toe back into the waters of Blogdonia with great trepidation, keeping my head down, minding my manners and decidedly not frightening the horses. See? Despite what you may have heard, I CAN behave myself when I want!

~*~

Today is the Feast of St Rita of Cascia, subject of many fevered novenas from Daisy in years past. Since she is also the saint in charge of the bees, I decided I'd include some links on what the experts have named colony collapse disorder. Believe it or not, as one connected to herbs in a personal way, I have stayed awake at night worrying over the fate of the bees. The poor bees could be signaling The End of The World As We Know It.

And now, a big hole in the ocean and an oil leak the size of Madagascar, drilled by evil greedheads. No, I guess THIS will be our undoing, the meteor-to-the-dinosaurs. I am sick over this, and it has superseded my worrying over bees.

Too much to worry about.

Um, just a question, but what is Obama doing? Does he have his thumb up his ass or what? Is he actually WAITING for BP to fix their multi-billion dollar, environmental disaster? And why should he wait for them? It's not THEIR coastline!

I've heard this called "Obama's Katrina"--and that isn't precisely accurate (or fair), since this isn't a natural disaster, it's a thoroughly unnatural one. Nonetheless, it has the ring of truth.

Get off your ass, Mr President, and stop attending state dinners for five seconds. The future of the ocean and the coastline (not to mention people's livelihoods) is at stake and it doesn't look good when you are doing little more than photo-ops.

~*~

At left: The WWII aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, which we toured back in (I think) 1993. It's permanently parked down at Patriot's Point in Charleston Harbor.

Edit: My original photo was of a cruiser named the Yorktown, which was not the aircraft carrier Yorktown. Many thanks to the Eagle Eye of Ted Christian (who should have been in congress), a rocket scientist with attendant amazing and arcane areas of knowledge.




Mr Daisy has been reading about WWII and depressing me with talk of battleships blowing up and whatnot. As children, I remember that we all wondered when "World War III" would come, and none of us ever doubted it that it would. We asked our mothers when it would be, and few seemed to find the question bizarre or alarming... after all, they had lived through a World War, and it seemed reasonable to assume more were on the way.

Magic Lantern Show gives us beautiful photos of a French WWI memorial near Verdun, as Owen describes touring such a place:

[How] many people know that the largest American cemetery in Europe is in Romagne sous Montfaucon, or that it is from World War I and holds the graves of 14246 Americans, as well as the names of another 954 men whose bodies were never found?

I spent a few days this past fall wandering the area near Verdun looking for traces of World War I. One afternoon I stumbled on the American Cemetery near Romagne sous Montfaucon, and spent a couple of hours exploring the vast park that it is. Why had I never heard of this place? Why weren't we taught about it in high school? Walking the seemingly endless rows of white marble crosses I was short of breath, nearly gasping at the enormity of it, the tragedy of lives cut short in firestorms of flying steel and lead. The names of the dead cried out from each cross in silent pain, a name, a state, a military unit, a date of death. Who were these men who died between September 26th and November 11th, 1918, as they drove the Germans back northwards along a line to the west of Verdun? What actually happened there? What did the letters they wrote home say? What did their families and the women they loved experience in those terrible years?
We are approaching the 10th year of the war in Afghanistan, and we would do well to remember that war is hell.

Bring them home now, yesterday, last month, last year... wait, where's my new bumper sticker: I'm already against the next war.

~*~

Disturbing reading at this Feministe thread: On Hating Kids.

As of this writing, there are 632 (!) comments, and yes, I briefly commented, but (as stated previously) I minded my manners.

But truthfully?

Whenever I hear "I hate ___(fill in the blank)____" from anyone, I wince and my opinion of them goes down a notch or two, or 85. How can anyone say, I hate ____, when you simply haven't met them all?: I hate the Muslims, I hate the vegetarians, I hate gays, I hate kids. All sounds the same to me. Apparently, hating kids is regarded as different (oh, isn't it always?) since "we've all been children". Well, we will all be old someday too, but I see clearly how old people are despised in our modern culture. That may in fact be the crux of it; a hatred for the overwhelming lability of the human condition, a hatred of our own biological vulnerability. And even more than most people (a fact mentioned in the thread several times), Americans are instilled with bullshit notions of "independence" and agency. (All that pioneer/cowboy spirit, one assumes.) In the thread, it was notable how many (childless, child-free, whatever term we are supposed to be using now) people openly brag about how raising children necessarily means you simply can't do the "fun" SINGLE things anymore, so stop taking your kids to pricey restaurants (nobody cares if you take them to a poor place like McDonalds) and movies and having them kick up a noisy fuss. (Some Feministe commenters seem barely able to contain themselves: TAKE THOSE BRATS HOME, you breeder bitches!)

Hey, I totally relate to all that. I once turned around and cussed some parents out for bringing their ill-behaved tyke to an adult movie... and will be happy to do so in the future, if necessary. I can dig it, as we used to say. But proudly announcing you HATE an entire group of people is bigoted and wrong. Period. No exceptions. And I will henceforth regard you as an acknowledged hater and bigot.

As is true of all bigots, I doubt the hate stops there.

Renee has considerably more to say on the subject.

~*~

And Glenn Greenwald writes more about that wonderful Change We Can Believe In:
Few issues highlight Barack Obama's extreme hypocrisy the way that Bagram does. As everyone knows, one of George Bush’s most extreme policies was abducting people from all over the world -- far away from any battlefield -- and then detaining them at Guantanamo with no legal rights of any kind, not even the most minimal right to a habeas review in a federal court. Back in the day, this was called "Bush's legal black hole."
...
Amazingly, the Bush DOJ -- in a lawsuit brought by Bagram detainees seeking habeas review of their detention -- contended that if they abduct someone and ship them to Guantanamo, then that person [under Boumediene v. Bush] has the right to a habeas hearing, but if they instead ship them to Bagram, then the detainee has no rights of any kind. In other words, the detainee's Constitutional rights depends on where the Government decides to drop them off to be encaged. One of the first acts undertaken by the Obama DOJ that actually shocked civil libertarians was when, last February, as The New York Times put it, Obama lawyers "told a federal judge that military detainees in Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their imprisonment there, embracing a key argument of former President Bush’s legal team."
...
So congratulations to the United States and Barack Obama for winning the power to abduct people anywhere in the world and then imprison them for as long as they want with no judicial review of any kind.
If I may quote the very wise John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) at the infamous last performance of the Sex Pistols: Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? You should ask that question with a cockney sneer and punctuate it with spitting (or whatever bodily function you choose).

Yep. I sure do.

Barack Obama has brought the Rotten out of me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fanaticon!

On Saturday, Me and Mr Daisy escaped our neighborhood's yearly colonization by the PGA tour, by going to FANATICON in Asheville, where these photos are from.

A splendid time was had by all.



~*~

Below:

1) I do not know which Star Wars this costume is from, and nothing is more uncool at a Con than asking a clueless question like that. So, I didn't ask, but if you know, speak up! Loved the child's shirt, which was perfect.

2) Supergirl and Wonder Woman. I always feel so much safer when they're around!

3) Dr Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts.

4) Little girl meets Dr Strange. Too adorable!

5) Falcon Lords (band) played in the courtyard. I loved the outfits.

6) Folks listening to the Falcon Lords.

7) One of the vendors, possibly an artist. I didn't get his name, but if you recognize him, please let DEAD AIR know!

8) Really, they need NO introduction. :)

My Flickr page.

~*~


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Heap big woman you made a bad boy out of me

Just when I thought it was safe to come back to the blog, another nasty comment this morning. Honestly, loyal troll-readers, I have absolutely no interest in what you have to say, and I now enjoy consigning your comments to the abyss. No more First Amendment Guilt for Daisy! Yes, I once tossed and turned at night, torturing myself over whether I was unfairly denying people their right to insult me, but no longer. Once again, be advised.

Perhaps it is just impossible to have a public blog without assholes invading. I mean, that happens everyplace else, doesn't it? As my late mentor, Steve Conliff, used to say (he was specifically talking about the Yippies, but it's a great adage to keep in mind): If you let anybody in, then anybody will come in. I've noticed, over the years, that this is a rock-solid truth.

The troll was pissed off about my "lack of awareness" about fat; the continuing drama and foofaraw around this post. Never mind that I have probably been much fatter than the troll, for much longer. Trolls know everything, including what you should be blogging about.

I have NOT turned this blog into a "diet blog"--nor will I. But it's quite amazing to me that it is now apparently considered EVIL to try to heal oneself of something one considers limiting and debilitating. (?) Some of the "big" feminist and progressive bloggers constantly reference working out and doing yoga. Why are they allowed to do this without being censured, but I'm not? Amanda Marcotte looks like she weighs maybe 95 lbs soaking wet; you gonna climb her ass over her little wispy frame? Why doesn't she gain weight in solidarity with fat women? (Is that the next demand? Kit Reed's very witty short story titled "The Food Farm", comes to mind.) I can find twenty million lefty blogs in which the author talks about getting in shape for grueling triathlons, weight-training, marathons, 5K runs, afternoon yoga sessions, tennis, hiking, you name it. Speaking of class, God forbid some old working class redneck thinks any of this might be for her, too: You just stay fat, retail-worker grandma, and stay OUT of our 5K marathons! You just don't understand fat awareness, barked the rail-thin marathon-runner as they whizzed by. Um, okay.

The person who left the nasty comment this morning self-righteously announced that my awareness of "fat and class" was lacking, but until I get a good answer for why I am singled out as a baaaad, baaaaad girl for trying to salvage my overworked, overstressed knees and feet ... while none of these other (middle-class, college educated) people are called on the carpet for looking like skinny movie stars... well, I politely invite all people who think I lack "fat awareness" to go fuck themselves.

And the direct question I posed in the comments of the aforementioned post, still stands: Do you have a 400+ lbs best friend you lost before their time? (Well, I guess if you did, you'd shut the hell up and understand where I'm coming from, now wouldn't you?)

Meanwhile, lovely Thene showed me this wonderful set of posts about fat from Greta Christina's very readable and fascinating blog. (Aside: At some point, I'd like to argue atheism/religion with this person, since she seems basically respectful, not like some nasty atheists I won't name, who call me vicious names as a confirmed sky-fairy [1] believer and refuse to dialogue in a polite fashion.) Greta Christina has already grappled with some of the "fat awareness" issues I find most confusing, and has (rationally!) deconstructed some of the arguments from the fat-positive movement that I find most disturbing and contradictory. I have quoted some excerpts I especially relate to.

From The Fat-Positive Skeptic (Part 2 of 2):

I completely agree that the fat-positive movement does often trivialize the very serious, extensively documented, no-joke health risks of being fat. I think they focus on their political ideology about bodies and feminism, at the expense of the actual scientific facts on the ground. I think they're often guilty of wishful thinking: of acting as if the mere act of saying "Fat is as healthy as not-fat" over and over again will somehow make it true, regardless of the medical evidence. And I think they dismiss the fact that, while it's fairly easy to be a healthy, active fat person in your youth, it gets increasingly harder as you get older.
Ohhhhhh goodness mercy yes. This is the crux of it, for me. I found it pertinent that the people who became so angry with me for daring to diet are all significantly younger than I am, and do not work on their feet all day. It does make a difference.

And in the post I linked above, I was trying to talk about the American Problem with Fat, which got me roasted alive. But Greta Christina gets it, and goes further in her analysis than I did:
It's helped for me to think of this as a political issue. It helps to remember that the multinational food corporations have spent decades carefully studying the abovementioned evolutionary food triggers, so they can manipulate me into buying and eating way more food than is good for me. It helps to think of weight loss, not as giving in to the mainstream cultural standards of female beauty, but as sending a big "Fuck You" to the purveyors of quadruple-patty hamburgers and Chocolate Chip Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick.
...
There's a weird circularity to the arguments as well. "Weight loss never works... but when it does work, it's harmful... but even if it would be beneficial, it doesn't matter, because it never works." And the arguments are rife with logical absurdities. If set points can get re-set upwards with crash diets or poor eating and exercise habits, then why can't they be re-set downwards? If it's okay to accidentally lose weight as a side effect of a "health at every size" food and exercise plan, then why is it so unhealthy to consciously lose weight... even if the "conscious weight loss" plan is identical to the "health at every size" plan? If weight is genetically determined and diet and exercise have nothing to do with it, then why have Americans become so much heavier in the last 50 and indeed 20 years... and why do other cultures who start eating an American diet almost immediately start putting on weight?
This IS what I was trying to say, and thanks to Thene for referring me to someone who has already said it far better than I could.

In her "Open Letter to the Fat Positive Movement", Great Christina writes:
In addition, an unsettling tendency has apparently developed in the fat-positive movement: a tendency to take the most extreme positions -- no matter how logically absurd or morally repugnant -- simply to avoid having to concede any points whatsoever. Many fat-positive advocates insist that weight loss never, ever, ever works. Others insist that there are no health problems caused by any degree of fatness. Still others insist that even if some health problems are caused or exacerbated by fatness, weight loss is never, ever, ever the more healthy choice for anyone to make. Ever. Even if you weigh 400 pounds and have had three heart attacks… you still shouldn't try to lose weight. And if you're me, if you weigh 200 pounds and are having serious mobility impairment due to knee problems and have exhausted all other treatment options for it... forget about it. It's better to have a fourth heart attack, it's better to gradually lose mobility over the years to the point where you can no longer climb stairs or walk more than a block, than it is to try to demonstrate that any belief of the fat-positive movement might be mistaken.

I was frankly shocked at how callous most of the fat-positive advocates were about my bad knee. I was shocked at how quick they were to ignore or dismiss it. They were passionately concerned about the quality of life I might lose if I counted calories or stopped eating chocolate bars every day. But when it came to the quality of life I might lose if I could no longer dance, climb hills, climb stairs, take long walks, walk at all? Eh. Whatever. I should try exercise or physical therapy or something. Oh, I'd tried those things already? Well, whatever.
This is alarmingly similar to what happened to me... all my whiny blogging about my painful knees and feet (the conditions that finally brought me to the conclusion that weight loss was worth pursuing) was patently ignored. Instead I got (more or less, distilled to its essence): "Fuck your knees and feet! Fat rules!" (This is actually a type of ideological fundamentalism, which is why an atheist blogger like Greta Christina can spot this line of defense in a line-up.)
It is not up to you to decide for me that the costs of losing weight are greater than the costs of losing my knee. It is not up to you to decide for me that the long odds against successful long-term weight loss (roughly 10 to 1) mean that my attempt to treat my bad knee by losing weight isn't worth it. My body. My right to decide.

Let me ask you this. If you read a post from a blogger saying that they were a heavy drinker, but it was adversely affecting their health and they'd decided to quit... would you send them comments and emails saying, "Don't bother, it's a waste of time and energy, the overwhelming majority of problem drinkers who try to quit eventually fail, and the ones who succeed get obsessed with it and have to go to all these meetings for the rest of their lives and aren't any fun to be around any more, and anyway the connection between heavy drinking and poor health has been totally made up by our anti- drinking society, so instead you should just focus on being the most healthy drinker you can be"?

If not -- then why would you say it to someone who's losing weight?
Actually, I did hear that from a few people back in the day, now that I think of it.[2]

And they were wrong. I stopped. And after an admittedly-long while, I stopped the meetings too; I learned what I needed to learn and moved on to another aspect of my life. I simply cannot imagine 1) taking a drink after 28 years and 2) going to an AA meeting after so many years of not going; those people are all strangers to me now. But according to the myth, once you get sober through AA, you are a lifelong 12-step slave. Not true. (This is why I call myself "12-step fugitive" in my bio.)

And I wholeheartedly agree with this:
[If] the fat-positive movement wants to be a serious voice of opposition to the current scientific consensus, it needs to stop denying reality. It needs to stop with the circular reasoning, the cherry-picking of data, the "all or nothing" thinking, the taking of good ideas to ridiculous and repugnant extremes, the logical absurdities, the elaborate rationalizations, the insularity, the flat denial of simple facts that are staring them in the face. It needs to be willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads... even if where it leads is unpleasant or upsetting. It needs to stop with the true believerism. It needs to treat the principles of fat positivity as hypotheses that can be debated -- not as articles of faith.

And I heartily wish it would do that.

Because we really, really need a sane, evidence- based, reality-based fat-positive movement.
AMEN, AMEN! Preach it, preach it! (jokey jokey with the atheists!) Seriously, she is just so right.
I really, really want to be part of a sane, evidence- based, reality- based fat-positive movement. But it looks like I may have to find a way to do that on my own.
Well, I had to learn to forge a new kind of sobriety on my own, one that didn't classify mostly-harmless reefer with cocaine; one that didn't interrogate every single antihistamine with "Am I high? OMG, did it make me high?" I'm sure the atheist will laugh when I say that I felt I needed to CONFESS to AA every time I took an antihistamine, rather like that other type of confession. (the more things change, the more they stay the same) [3]

My thanks to Greta Christina for her incisive take on fat. This is why we need the atheists, for this kind of cut-to-the-quick stuff. I just wish they'd admit they need us too, to keep things endlessly wacky and interesting! ;)

~*~



[1] I see nothing wrong with believing in sky-fairies. When the atheists call me a deluded sky-fairy believer, my reply is always the same: What's wrong with fairies? I like fairies. I do NOT want to live in a world without fairies, magic, and similarly delightful irrationality, which is my whole point. When we can get to THIS stage of the discussion, then we'll be getting somewhere. Why is human "rationality" (as historically defined by white, male, educated, bourgeois, heterosexual men, of course) any more real or ethical than supposed "irrationality"--since the most "rational" people in history have often turned into mass-murderers and had all kinds of logical, rational, pragmatic reasons for it (yes, I'm looking at you, Josef Mengele... a very rational man, by all accounts).

Rationality is an illusion, and this means the atheists believe in a sky-fairy called rationality--and that is no different than my belief in sky-fairies, saints and tarot cards. Really, it isn't. If you can convince me otherwise, I will take on all comers. Beware, been reading some heavy Buddhist texts, which I can add to the Cistercians, the Desert Fathers, Wittgenstein (I blame Philip K Dick for ever attempting to read Wittgenstein) and all that kinda intense philosophical gymnastics, so I'm ready, willing and able to defend my sky-fairies. BRING EM ON, as a major-movie character once said; I'd prefer a fair fight to all this sneaking around.

[2] Another criticism of AA, concerns the specific wording of the First Step: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable. For some inexplicable reason, the word powerless sends certain people into a frenzy.

If you are powerless over something, then you are, whether you choose to admit it or not. NOT admitting it, does not make it LESS true. The focus is on the ADMISSION. If it's not true, then it isn't... why should the word bother you? If it is, then admit it. NOT ADMITTING IT, DOES NOT MAGICALLY MAKE IT NOT SO.

The same is true for any other substance, of course... and I speak as one who quit multiple substances AT ONCE. I also speak as one who easily falls into the pattern of abusing substances, unless I am ultra-careful (they call this an "addictive personality"--ya think?). THIS INCLUDES FOOD, A SUBSTANCE. It is interesting that I never crave celery, but I do crave macaroni and cheese. I would venture to say that not all substances are created equal... a lesson I had to learn on my own, not from AA. But learn it I did.

[3] In Catholicism, this is known as having scruples. Apparently, as an Augustinian monk (before he permanently defected), Martin Luther used to spend hours and hours in the confessional, carefully going over every wayward thought. Finally (in disgust, no doubt) he decided to jettison the whole Sacrament of Confession: the hell with it! I guess he saw no other way out.

We are supposed to call it The Sacrament of Reconciliation now, but I don't know anyone who does.

[4] And of course you know that today's blog post title comes from the redoubtable QUEEN. (We miss you, Freddie!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Daisy repeats herself

I started to blog about this weekend's Artisphere, and then realized I already blogged about that here. Next weekend, going to St George's Greek Festival, which I already blogged about here.

Also, next weekend is my neighborhood's annual invasion by the PGA-tour, which I have blogged about here and here.

Good Lord, am I boring or what? I keep doing the same things over and over again.

One fun thing I did was see Iron Man 2, under duress from Mr Daisy. (I blogged about the first one here.) Little-known indie-actor SAM ROCKWELL steals the movie from the other big-shot Oscar nominees! He's really fantastic as industrialist Justin Hammer; I especially loved it when he dances out onto the stage to introduce his new Iron Man drone-prototypes. Give that man an award!

If you have never seen Rockwell's uncanny portrayal of real-life game-show host Chuck Barris (yes, that Chuck Barris) in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), I highly recommend it. Very entertaining. (No, I am not saying I believe Barris' tall tales, but they sure are fun.) Also recommended is Rockwell's characterization of astronaut Sam Bell in Moon (2009), a film made by Duncan Jones (whom some of us recall used to be named Zowie Bowie). I won't ruin the story for you, but if anyone ever asks you to manage a space station on the far side of the moon, tell them you have other plans.

And as always, I got earworms!

Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show



Hope your weekend is good!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

South Carolina Green Party Convention

At left: Dr. Morgan Bruce Reeves, South Carolina Green Party candidate for Governor! GO DOCTOR GO!


The South Carolina Green Party Convention was Saturday, May 1, at the Happy China restaurant in West Columbia. Yes, we all fit in one restaurant, with room to spare. (Hey, this is a certifiably RED STATE, so even that much is doing pretty good!) This was my first Green Party convention, and I was excited! I had a terrific time, but have been working at near-breakneck pace since, so I apologize for my obvious delay in coverage.

Indeed, it is something to consider: two of our candidates were working and could not be at the convention, and I ask you, when is the last time that happened at one of the MAJOR party conventions? (ha) We are a party of folks who work for a living, and I submit to you, it would be a far better government if politicians were genuine working people.

~*~

In a decidedly conservative state like this one, it was wonderful to meet so many progressives, working hard in their local areas and sharing their wisdom and experience. There was a lot of discussion about the oil spill off the Gulf, which is so upsetting to me that I can barely talk about it. Much discussion also, about the Green Party platform. (Not every candidate is in full agreement with the platform, which is also true for the major parties.)

In addition, I was thrilled to learn that South Carolina has TWO Green Party folks currently holding office: Eugene Platt (at left, holding sign) of the James Island Public Service Commission, currently running for SC District 115, and Lee Jane Kaufman of Columbia's Tree and Beautification Commission. I find it fascinating that Green Party candidates are routinely trusted (all over the USA) in these kinds of "small" political offices, reflecting the fact that local people really do care about conserving their local green spaces and protecting the environment they actually live in every day.

If this oil spill was in everyone's backyard? The Green Party would be running the joint.

Fact is, it IS in our backyard, but for some reason, the majority of people don't seem to view it that way. It is our task to make them see it the way we do.

As for me, I need to study some more, and have decided not to run for office myself until I am far more versed in the issues. (But yes, at some later date, this will happen.)

And I now present our other candidates:

Nammu Muhammad (who I could listen to all day) is running for US House District 6, in Columbia, where he already ran for mayor. Muhammad has been instrumental in saving the beleaguered Waverly neighborhood in Columbia, where the money-men and other evil gentrifiers have recently come calling.

And his son, Christopher Jones, a student at Midlands Tech, is running for SC District 74. Yes, Green Party political dynasties! If the Kennedys can do it, we can too.

Attorney General: Leslie Minerd, lifelong political activist and Columbia businesswoman... I have been to her store, Hip Wa Zee, and didn't even know it was hers.

Superintendent of Education: Doretha Bull

US Senate: Tom Clements, who will never get elected unless he gets over his hostility to FACEBOOK! :P

US House District 1: Robert Dobbs

US House District 24: D. C. Swinton

At left: fabulous Faye accepts her party's nomination.



Last, but certainly not least, fabulous Faye Walters, running against Bob Inglis for the District 4 congressional seat, where I live. FAYE FAYE ALL THE WAY!!!! FAYE FAYE ALL THE WAY!!!!

I can't remember how many times Faye has run for congress, but it's a bunch. (She is my role-model regarding how I should behave when I finally muster up the nerve to put my name on a ballot!) Faye has that enviable Southern-Lady-ability to get all indignant and angry and yet remain gracious and polite; she never cusses! I must study her closely.

~*~

Also speaking at the convention was Elke Kennedy, whom I have written about here at DEAD AIR. I have also written several times about her son, Sean Kennedy, the victim of local gay-bashers. His murderer, Stephen Moller, served a grand total of 359 days. This is because we have no second-degree murder charge in SC, as well as no hate-crimes law. Stephen Moller was therefore charged with manslaughter. Moller left an incriminating, nasty, bragging phone call on Elke's answering machine (right before the hospital contacted her, telling her that her son was in critical condition), which was inexplicably ruled inadmissible in court. The blood just boils.

A woman of quiet dignity and overflowing with genuine affection, Elke was simply a joy to meet, at long last. She has made the fight for a hate-crimes law in South Carolina, her own personal crusade. (Please visit Sean's Last Wish for information on what you can do!) She speaks of how she has met warm, caring, sympathetic folks from all over the USA, who have reached out to her. I was so honored to be one of them!

~*~

Don't forget: VOTE GREEN!!!! And if you are in SC, vote for our DOCTOR, who will HEAL OUR STATE! (Okay, you knew that was coming...)

All photos by me, from my Flickr page (yes...legally, I have to say that now)... And BTW, any Greens who didn't attend the convention are welcome to friend me on Facebook!