Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Sanders’

Friends and family were positively giddy on Inauguration Day. Happy tears were shed over our new VP Kamala Harris in her sorority pearls, and a most graceful young Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. We were transfixed throughout the day as Tom Hanks displayed our Hollywood talent to the world. Why go back to a bunch of Washington mega-donor inaugural balls?

This celebration, those fireworks, were for The People!

Then Twitter exploded with, of all things, Bernie Sanders. I guess he came to the Capitol Mall on his own; I’d heard that legislators could only invite one guest to the swearing in ceremony. Many didn’t want to bring a spouse because they had small children; imagine that kind of fear, in our country. So there he sat, Wednesday with Bernie, sitting all alone on a bleacher, legs crossed trying to stay warm and awake, like any other grandfather. Except that he is the Independent senator from Vermont, and he was wearing hand knit mittens!

Turns out, one of his constituents gave him those mittens five years ago. Her name is Jen Ellis and she used to sell her wares at arts and craft shows, but today she’s a teacher with a small child and she doesn’t have time to knit. Little did she know her mittens would become a meme sensation

“Ellis, who has sold her mittens — which she calls “swittens,” a portmanteau of sweater and mittens — online and at craft fairs. “I’m flattered that they want them, but there are lots of people on Etsy who sell them and hopefully people will get some business from them,” she said. “But I’m not going to quit my day job. I am a second grade teacher, and I’m a mom, and all that keeps me really busy.”

“There’s no possible way I could make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, another several hundred people have emailed me,” Ellis added. “I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they’re one-of-a-kind and they’re unique and sometimes in this world, you just can’t get everything you want.”


She sounds just like any other New England mom, you can’t always get what you want! And every mom knows that mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves, it’s a fact. My Berkshire roots are showing because I love, love, love the casual predictability of Bernie along with the pragmatism of his independent followers. One of my favorite tee shirts from our Pittsfield, MA era had a picture of American Gothic on its front emblazoned with, “Welcome to Dalton, now go home!”

On Wednesday there was no cow jumping over the moon, or three little bears sitting on chairs. But Bernie was there in all his everyman glory, with a manila envelope containing the inaugural tickets and a very unique pair of mittens. I’m not sure what all the fuss was about, but it was fun for the younger generation to blow off four years of pain and suffering under a demagogue by flooding social media with Bernie memes.

And we are all glad they did! Here are just a few.

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The feminist movement gave a distinct wink and a nod to fashion back in my day. We burned our bras and dispensed with girdles entirely. We stopped “sleeping” in hair rollers, and insisted on letting our locks flow, being au naturel. Some of us tye-dyed our clothes, some washed and bleached our jeans, unraveling the hem, before setting foot into a new pair. In that old age of feminism, when we were told we HAD to wear a skirt on the streets of Boston, and be married in order to get an Rx from a male doctor for “the Pill,” our fury knew no bounds!

We wanted to be free of the constraints our parents and society had imposed on us, and mostly we just wanted to be free, like the boys!

Which is why I cringed, but also understand Gloria Steinhem’s remarks to Bill Maher about the overwhelming percentage (86%) of young women who are supporting Bernie Sanders. Ms Steinhem is not just a feminist icon, she is that antidote to tired, anti-lesbian/feminist jargon that would insist all feminists are simply angry man-haters. Steinhem flaunts her heterosexuality like a badge of honor. And in an unguarded moment, she made an off-hand, ironic remark that everybody in the Twittersphere could use against her; “When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie.” 

Here is her long, Twitter explanation for being misunderstood in her rush to support Hillary at Bernie’s expense:

In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics. What I had just said on the same show was the opposite: young women are active, mad as hell about what’s happening to them, graduating in debt, but averaging a million dollars less over their lifetimes to pay it back. Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.

Well alrighty then…that should do it. Wrong. Instead Madeline Albright started talking about a “special place in hell” for all those girls not supporting Ms Clinton, and she seems to have gotten a pass. Oh come on now, shall we use shame… and eternal damnation… to nullify a young woman’s political ideology. It’s that age-old walk of shame ladies, only it’s not stodgy old, white guys calling the shots. It’s my generation, grandmothers who are using it against Bernie supporters. Well I’m afraid that all this misspeaking is about to backfire. It’s time to kick the morality police to the curb!

Because I raised two feminists who know how to see through all the BS in a campaign. Because Bernie Sanders’ feminism has been bonafide for years and years, and I quote: “When you tell a woman that she cannot control her own body, that’s extremism. Let’s say it loud and clear: women control their bodies, not the government.” His campaign website even pledges to increase funding for Planned Parenthood and Title X family planning program if he’s elected.   http://www.bustle.com/articles/126200-6-things-every-feminist-should-know-about-bernie-sanders-campaign

Today we are free, just like the boys – free to vote for whomever and play politics with the big dogs. Our young women may have to register for the draft soon enough – http://bigstory.ap.org/a3a36a7b1fa74379910088d9220994b8 and not just because that’s where the boys are…

Which is why I ordered a pirate dress for the Love Bug. http://princess-awesome.com If you happen to be raising a young feminist, you may want to check out this children’s fashion line as an antidote to princess dresses and the Disneyfying of America.  Because this next generation of feminists will want to look good while commanding our troops! All hail the Pirate Queen Gráinne Mhaol aka Grace O’Malley!


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What to do, what to do. It’s almost Shakespearian what’s happening in politics today. In order to differentiate herself from Bernie Sanders, Hillary is not content with listing their voting record on gun legislation; no, she is crying “sexist” in her tea.

“You know,” she began—clearing her throat to signal the sound bite ahead—“I’ve been told to stop, and I quote, ‘shouting’ about gun violence. Well, first of all, I’m not shouting. It’s just [that] when women talk, some people think we’re shouting.” The audience hooted, screamed, and cheered. Clinton grinned. “I will not be silenced, because we will not be silenced,” she declared.       http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/10/hillary_clinton_is_smearing_bernie_sanders_as_a_sexist_it_s_an_insult_to.html

I’m guilty of picking up on it. Oh yes, Katy Perry was all dressed up like Super Girl Hillary and I double liked their Instagram message about how people think women are shouting, when in fact, we are simply talking. After all, any woman over 50 has had to face down sexism. The job interview that becomes a typing test, along with the lingering leg look (or boob look if you’re built that way). The calm training to be more “assertive” and less “aggressive.” The inability to receive credit in our own name! So I “liked” her message without realizing she was attacking Bernie – when in fact this is what he said in the Democratic debate:

“All the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence.”

Now I’m pretty sure Bernie didn’t mean all of the women shouting in the world. In fact his voting record on women’s rights is exemplary, and always has been. He not only cherishes women, he wants us to be equal partners in the world. And Hillary shook his hand when he defended her “honor” about the emails! So this ploy, in my opinion, seems entirely disingenuous.

Particularly when Ben Carson is equating abortion with slavery. Yessiree folks, that’s what he said, what if abolitionists didn’t agree with slavery but just said you could go ahead and do whatever you want? This soft-spoken former surgeon is living in a fundamental, Christian world of his own, with 1.1M Seventh Day Adventists in the US waiting for their savior to return to earth. “The church’s traditional, global focus is now bearing fruit in new ways. Newly arrived immigrants in the United States often come from parts of Latin America or Africa where Seventh-day Adventism has long-established churches, schools and hospitals.” http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-03-18-Adventists_17_ST_N.htm

The GOP and Carson’s kind of thinking, his religious fervor, have nothing to do with the way our country operates. Nothing! It’s enough to make this old feminist’s blood boil over. And Dems, don’t bring out the sex card unless you really mean it. Let’s stop dressing up like super heroes ladies, let’s act like one.

It’s time to screw our courage to the ballot box once again.

Bob's processed meat breakfast sandwich - the epitome of courage

Bob’s processed meat breakfast sandwich – the epitome of courage

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Here we are again, on the road to Nashville. Trucks pulling into the left lane just as I approach another hill, Dollywood in the rearview mirror. And I know y’all are wondering what in God’s name is she listening to now, in that wilderness between Cville and Nville, what’s the latest podcast all the young’uns are tuning into?

While loading up the car this morning, the Bride called me to say I just HAD to download Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. She said that time would just fly by, and I had to listen to his interview with Terri Gross. Maron is a comedian, granted one I’d never heard of, but I love Terri Gross. Her voice could put me into a catatonic state, and I mean that in a good way. She is arguably one of the best interviewers on the planet; little did I know her life story would mimic mine in so many ways.

Terri is a bit younger. Hailing from Brooklyn, I had no idea she was Jewish. She graduated high school just two years after me, in 1968. But she dropped out for awhile to hitchhike across the country! Now I used to hitchhike up at Camp St Joseph in the Catskills, but to San Francisco for the summer of love? She talked about being on the forefront of the feminist movement; her first radio job was on a feminist radio station. She had a starter marriage too. She even tried teaching – check, check, check!

I found it interesting that she chose not to have children, because she felt she couldn’t accomplish her career goals. I vaguely remember those days; young feminists thought you couldn’t have it all, the fantastic career and a family. It was either one or the other. We thought children were our responsibility alone, that marriage was a construct with little chance of success. If we wanted the whole package, it was best to give up our dreams for awhile and work at supporting our spouse, Stay barefoot and pregnant, baking cookies. For alot of women, the dream deferred ended in divorce.

Remember that crack about cookies from Hillary? Not every woman had a Harvard law degree and nonstop childcare.

Listening to Terri talk, it took me back. My brother, sister and I were just on a conference call last Sunday talking about what our lives might have been like if our Father didn’t die in 1949, and our Mother wasn’t hit by a drunk driver later that summer. Would we all still be living in PA? Would Kay have been an early airline stewardess/lipstick feminist? Would Jim have become a psychologist? Would I have chosen to stay at home with my children, and write for a local newspaper? Would I have raised a daughter who thinks she CAN have it all? Or a son who wants nothing more than to make music?

Ms Cait and the Rocker sent me an interesting test to gauge my political persona and help me decide who I should vote for next year. I thought for sure I’d be a staunch Hillary supporter, but surprisingly my political leanings are toward Bernie! Now  Bernie Sanders is not even on my radar since he continues to sound like an NRA lobbyist; and even more than feminist issues, gun control in 2016 will be my litmus test. Still, if you have the time the test is fun – http://www.isidewith.com

And to find out more about Bernie’s life in the Green Mountains of Vermont – http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/07/bernie-sanders-vermont-119927.html#.VaGtoYuCaFI

Bob in the Blue Mountains

Bob in the Blue Mountains

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