10.31.2011

Just outrageous, creating a hierarchy of U.S. citizens. Students Born To Illegal Immigrants Sue Over Tuition: "A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Miami by Florida residents being charged out-of-state tuition rates to attend state colleges and universities. The students are American citizens — children who were born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants — and they say Florida's regulations violate their constitutional rights."

I saw Ides of March last night, and was more depressed by it than I expected. I mean, it's a good movie - solid acting, a wonderful cast, a well-paced plot, decent script etc. And it's not like I'm particularly naive about politics. But, man, I just walked out of the movie even more hopeless about politics and our country and the human race than when I went in. Whew.


"The editorial boards of The New York Times and The Washington Post urge Congress to pass the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, a Brennan-Center supported bill to study the nation’s broken criminal justice system." via The Brennan Center.

Wow. NOLA Activist Forgives the Men Who Nearly Took His Life: "Last month, a random act of violence nearly took Rafael Delgadillo's life. The 29-year old was at a stop sign in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans when two young men approached his vehicle in an attempted carjacking. As he drove off, they opened fire, shooting him in the head. Miraculously, he survived, although the bullet lodged in his brain still threatened to leave him without his eyesight."

10.28.2011

‎"It's not a miscommunication - it's communication." Postage paid, yo! Keep Wall Street Occupied: "An easy, free, and non-violent way to drive the big banks out of their greedy little minds is sitting in your mailbox right now. You just don't know it yet."

Inspector Lewis!

Image: source.

Would love to be part of an immigration law clinic at a law school (preferably my alma mater, NUSL) someday.

Teaching Feminism in High School: Moving from Theory to Action

Listen to: Little Black Dress – Don’t Worry Baby (The Beach Boys cover)

From NPR's Latino USA: Nicaragua: Women, Violence and Elections

My love affair with BSG continues, full-steam ahead! But I will admit to finding it overwhlemingly heterosexist, and, yes, complicated in its psuedo-feminist rhetoric: from Slate, Chauvinist Pigs in Space: Why Battlestar Galactica is not so frakking feminist after all. (Warning: spoilers. I was cruising around today, looking for articles on BSG and religion, as well as BSG and feminism, and definitely had to avert my eyes from some important plot developments....didn't finish the Slate article, for instance)
In Search of ‘Reproductive Justice’: Outraged and energized by aggressive anti-abortion legislation in 2011, feminist activists look to re-frame the debate.

Image: source.

Fall = Ryan Adams breaking my heart. Ryan Adams - Dirty Rain (In Studio Acoustic Version). Ryan Adams "La Cienega Just Smiled" Live Acoustic Echo Version. And, you know, Elton John & Ryan Adams- Rocket Man.

One single lesbian's quest for motherhood.

More on the drug cartel violence in Mexico: Drug Violence Swamps A Once Peaceful Mexican City: "The drug violence in Mexico has claimed another victim, the port city of Veracruz. The recent bloodshed is crippling tourism and sowing fear in what, until last year, had been a relatively peaceful part of Mexico. But in a twist, a group calling itself the Zeta Killers is vowing to fight the drug cartel."

ACLU: Battling Prison Rape: Immigration Detainees Deserve Protection, Too

10.27.2011

Looks like an interesting series on PBS: Women, War, & Peace.

From NPR: Native Survivors Of Foster Care Return Home. Lots of powerful questions about identity, child development, and government involvement.

Image: "The Mexican city of Juarez as seen through a bullet-pocked protective barrier from the American side of the international border. Ciudad Juarez has been plagued by drug-related violence and thousands of murders over the past several years. In the past four years, more than 3,000 policemen and soldiers have been killed by the cartels." source. (Cuidad Juarez is where you must go if you are processing to become a Resident of the US and live in Mexico, or entered the U.S. without documentation. Many of my clients are very scared to go even for a week or two, let alone to send family members there to process.)

From WNYC's Radio Rookies, an 8 min story about one teen - full of surprises and honesty.

Religious and queer? Yep, it happens! 15 Inspiring LGBT Religious Leaders. (I was lucky enough to see the Rev. Elder Jim Mitulski preach a few weeks ago at New Spirit, when my girlfriend and I were visiting the Pacific School of Religion (where she hopes to attend seminary beginning next year!))

What Do 396,906 Deportations Mean? 654,895 Children Lose A Parent.

Working with so many clients from Mexico, I'm shocked by the scope of the violence. I guess I always just stayed in my ignorant bubble and turned a blind eye, or assumed it was just as unsafe as any other part of Central America I was unfamiliar with. But it is outrageous, and the torture and killing of journalists and bloggers who dare to report the extent of the violence is shocking. One report, from NPR: Reporting On The Front Lines Of Mexico's Drug War: "Since 2006, 40,000 people have been murdered in Mexico as drug cartels battle each other and the Mexican military. Journalist Ioan Grillo traces how Mexico came to control drug trafficking in El Narco."

Annie Dillard, "Living Like Weasels" (thanks NK!)

10.25.2011

Another Kickstarter doc that looks worth supporting: The Undocumented by Marco Williams

A good reminder: Kidding Ourselves About Our Financial Reality

Image: source.

Rachel Maddow explains a few things to Mitt Romney.

From the NY Review of Books: Our ‘Broken System’ of Criminal Justice by John Paul Stevens

Study Finds Young Women Lack Female Mentors: "A survey of 1,000 professional women found that one in five women has never had a professional mentor, and more than half have never had a female mentor. The survey, by networking site LinkedIn, found that while having a mentor is nearly universally beneficial to professional women, women who have not ever had one say they don't because they've never found anyone suitable."

10.24.2011

I had the pleasure of seeing this film and hearing the filmmaker talk briefly at the Ashland Independent Film Festival last spring. He was kind enough to send me a copy, and I was excited to show Sin Pais last night to a crowd of a dozen or so, followed by a good conversation about immigration issues.

A serious problem: Fake Lawyers and Notaries Prey on Immigrants

Image: source.

This film about Alice Walker looks awesome, please support if you are able.

A reminder of the effects of the flooding in El Salvador, and the lack of coverage in US media.

10.21.2011

RaceWire: What I Learned from Anita Hill at 20

Nothing says fall fashion like elbow patches.

Image: source.

Beloved and bad ass NUSL Professor Karl Klare has an op-ed in the NYTimes this week, "Labor Rights, Under Republican Attack"

Robyn, you weirdo, I love you.

I know I'm about a decade late to the game, but my girlfriend and I started watching Battlestar Galactica last night and it's so good! One episode in (albeit a 90 minute episode) and I'm already hooked. I love getting into a series that (a) has already ended [I hate shows that drag on and on. Somewhat controversially, I'm even ok with the fact that Arrested Development ended. I'd rather have 3 solid seasons than lots of irregular, middling ones. Besides, Charlize Theron was terrible.], (b) is available on Netflix streaming, and (c) you've already heard is great. So much to look forward to!

10.18.2011

Listen to an interview with the wonderful Maggie VV on BBCs "Up All Night" about the impacts of the Tropical Storm 12E in El Salvador, (minute 25)....also, an article: Central America storm: The poorest are hit the hardest

A powerful, heartbreaking but beautiful article by the mother of a young child with a fatal disease. About love, and life, and what parents hope for their children: Notes From a Dragon Mom

Image: source.

Definitely recording this tonight (because at 10pm, it's, sadly, past my bedtime): Frontline: Lost In Detention.

Just finished reading: Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (Quick review: drew me in right away, and a much better "former bad boy goes straight - or does he?" book than the somewhat similar An Ordinary Decent Criminal. However, the last 1/4 of the book is quite gory (let's just say, the way he improvises a shiv in a time of need really....is hard to get out of my head), so be warned. All in all, however, an engrossing, fast-paced read.) and Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth (Quick review: (I did a combination of reading and listening to it on tape.) Look, its definitely a little woo-woo and getting used to hearing the authors voice on tape was initially difficult, but as someone who has been struggling with food and body issues for over 20 years, I had some powerful realizations and "oh...yep" moments with this book that I haven't had elsewhere. Recommended to anyone who longs to find some peace with dieting, compulsive eating etc. My two cents would be to just accept that some the book may not sit perfectly with you, and hang in there for the moments of real compassion and wisdom.)

10.17.2011

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN MUCH OF CENTRAL AMERICA DUE TO FLOODING: Vulnerability originates in inequalities: Tropical Storm 12E wreaks havoc across Central America (via the amazing MVV), and from the NYTimes: Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc Through Central America

Yes, it’s October, and Everything is Pink

Image: source.

A very hard to read letter written by the father of a queer youth who recently took his life. Thank you to all of you who work hard every day to make this world safer for and more supportive of all the beautiful young people you there.

The MLK they don't quote at memorial unveilings.

10.15.2011

"More than a Symbolic Gesture: Occupy Wall Street and the Rise of the American Autumn" by the wonderful Matt Dineen

Islam Through a Young Muslim's Lens

Image: source.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers: When I Needed Help, I Got Propaganda

Queer, Undocumented and Unafraid.

Check out 52x52: "We’re not a charity, we’re a group of people committed to helping others. Every week, 52x52.org will help promote a cause by calling on you, those willing and happy to help others. We’re a messenger, not a middle-man, asking you to donate $52 directly to the featured charity. If $52 is too much, donate $25. If $25 is too much, donate $10. Give whatever you can, each and every week for one year, and together we will make a giant difference."

Other than loving his work on "Damages," I never really gave Ted Danson another thought - but I enjoyed this interview with him on NPR.

10.14.2011

Listening to: Foster The People "Houdini" (Live) , Damien Jurado "Ohio," Gillian Welch and David Rawlings "Miss Ohio," and Karen O "Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” (cover)

Image: source (the ever-awesome Mel Stringer)

"Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa sat down with Presente.org to preview her upcoming PBS documentary Lost in Detention which highlights the broken immigration system under the Obama administration."

For Teen Offenders, Hope in a Jury of Their Peers: "Youth courts help keep minor offenders out of the juvenile justice system and offer more chances for a better future."

2011 National Book Award Finalists Announced

"Congratulations, Television! You Are Even Worse At Masculinity Than Femininity" by the awesome Linda Holmes.

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.” - Arundhati Roy


Oh man, still SO GOOD.

10.13.2011

Do ittttt: A Field Guide to Closing Your Bank Account: "The description and goal of Bank Transfer Day is straightforward: If you currently have checking and savings accounts (deposit accounts) with a big bank, the organizers encourage you to remove all of your funds, close your accounts, and place your money in a new deposit account with a not-for-profit credit union. The organizers ask that you do this by November 5."

Image: source.

NYTimes: A Judge’s Education, a Sentence at a Time

Women urge others to go public about abortions: "Harriett Hills Stinson, 85, a prominent member of the wealthy San Francisco family that founded Hills Bros. Coffee, says it took a push by GOP conservatives to cut funding for family planning and abortion services to move her to reveal a long-held personal secret: She once had an illegal abortion."

Currently reading: Orient Express by Graham Greene and Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell - both excellent so far.

Interview: For Salvadoran activist, it is necessary to change the development paradigm (translated by one of my beloved friends, Maggie Von Vogt)
Very cool! "The USDA People's Garden Initiative brings you this series of training sessions on a wide variety of horticultural and garden related topics. There is no charge for registration and all sessions are open to the public."

Um, feeling a little star struck - somehow the awesome comic artists I mentioned yesterday saw my shout out - and, as if that wasn't enough, they also suggested some other ladies to check out! Very cool suggestions included Sara Drake, Leslie Perrine, Lane Nelson, Olivia Horvath, and Cathy Johnson. Thanks for the tips, y'all

Incredible. Pitch perfect: Ira Glass Sex Tape: "To conjure the supporting characters, Joslin trolled NPR footage, splicing Gross from nine 'Fresh Air' episodes including interviews with Jay-Z, Gene Simmons, Woody Allen, a dominatrix of unknown provenance and Keith Richards. And Glass is the only invented character, voiced by Joslin in a dead-on impersonation that's a sure sign of a "This American Life" fanboy. So here it is. The only sex tape that might actually shock the nation, because it's fancy enough to have 'two acts.'"

Image: source.

Some more canning love, as the season draws to a close. (This week I'm eating some of the last of my gardens fresh bounty. I threw together a makeshift casserole - one layer polenta, one layer shredded yam, and then a mix of black beans, lots of poblanos from the garden mixed with more garden-fresh sweet bell peppers and a few spicy habaneros. And topped with pepper jack, of course. It turned out pretty well!)

LGBT Couples Facing Increased Immigration Tensions

10.12.2011

Really loving all the amazing women comic artists on the interwebs that I'm slowly discovering, including Ramsey at Everyday Pants, Kim Gee, Liz Prince, and, most recently, Emilja Frances. Despite their stylistic and content differences, their work is all so real, so relatable, and so beautiful.

Image: source.

I'm trying to get back into running, slowly but surely. What has helped me (even though the reality that I was a marathoner a mere 5 months ago and now feel totally out of shape is daunting), is (a) remembering how great it is to run in fall weather and (b) remembering that this time last year I ran my first 10K (6mi) - EVER. And a within 6 months, I ran my first marathon. So it's possible. It's possible to become a runner, it's possible to get fit during the winter, it's possible to train your body to be healthier and happier. As part of my self-encouragement, I signed up for three races, since races always seemed to help motivate and challenge me in the past. Specifically, the Monster Dash 10K later this month, and the Pioneer Road Run 9mi and Turkey Trot 8mi in November.

Very hard to read. From Kristof in the NYTimes: In This Rape Center, the Patient Was 3: "Sexual violence is a public health crisis in much of the world, and women and girls ages 15 to 44 are more likely to be maimed or killed by men than by malaria, cancer, war or traffic accidents combined, according to a 2005 study."

Honduras, The Deadliest Place In The World For A Journalist: "Mini-documentary on the Honduran journalists that have watched 15 colleagues assassinated in 19 months under the Lobo regime, a government Barack Obama praises for its 'strong commitment to democracy'" s

10.11.2011

Feminist Ryan Gosling (thanks MDR!)

The price of oppressing your women: "A recent Newsweek article listed the best and worst places to be a woman, and explained the disadvantages of oppression."

Image: source.

Camila Vallejo, Latin America's 23-year-old new revolutionary folk hero: "Chile has been engulfed by student protests – and their young leader has huge public support in her fight against the elite."

Check out the Move Your Money Project. I admit to being someone who has an account with a national bank (B of A, I curse your endless fees!), simply out of convenience. I've had it through moves to 4 different states, and multiple jobs. The convenience of having ATMs in various places, and the fact that my accounts are already linked to monthly bills/payments has made me hesitant to change to a local credit union...but this laziness is seeming like a pretty weak excuse, and I think it's time to explore other options.

Q&A: Jim Lommasson: The Portland photographer tells the story of Oregon’s Iraqi refugees.

“In this world of ours, a world of powerful centers and subjugated outposts, there is no wealth that must not be held in some suspicion.” - Eduardo Hughes Galeano

10.05.2011

Utopia lies at the horizon.
When I draw nearer by two steps,
it retreats two steps.
If I proceed ten steps forward, it
swiftly slips ten steps ahead.
No matter how far I go, I can never reach it.
What, then, is the purpose of utopia?
It is to cause us to advance.

- Eduardo Hughes Galeano










image: source.

10.04.2011

To be honest, I was having a hard time getting a handle on the Occupy Wall Street protests. I wasn't clear of the purpose - was it an action against capitalism? Against wealth and income disparity? What did the protestors want to see happen? I reached out to a few friends who have taken part and they all seemed to say that the purpose wasn't a clear platform of legislative change, but rather an act of public anger and suffering and defiance, a demand to be heard. I also found this article (Occupy Wallstreet: Generate Power) helpful and this website powerful (We Are The 99%).

Image: source.

Mmmm hmmm:The Bold Single Bride Who Married Herself: "Perhaps finding ways to strengthen our sense of self, before, during and after a romantic relationship, is the best path to true contentment, and doesn’t put the pressure of “making” us happy on a romantic partner."

Nicaragua: Surviving the Legacy of U.S. Policy Project: "In the 1980s, popular movements in Central America attempted to democratize their societies and to direct a larger portion of each country's resources, in the form of food, housing, health care, and education, toward the well-being of the poor majority; at the same time the U.S. government, under the banner of peace, freedom, and democracy, sponsored wars that blocked local efforts for change. Two decades later, the poor of Central America continue to experience the effects of these wars and to struggle for basic subsistence with little hope that their children will have schools, health care, or even adequate nutrition. Many U.S. citizens still do not recognize the role the U.S. government played in stopping these movements towards democracy. From early 1985 through mid 1990, Paul Dix used his camera to document the effects of the U.S.-funded Contra War on the poor of Nicaragua. In 2002, from the thousands he had photographed, Paul selected approximately 100 Nicaraguans for follow-up."

‎"we know that the way we behave toward one another & toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe." source.

10.03.2011

Great: a video from USAID's Feed the Future initiative and Matt Damon: The Important Role of Women in Feeding the World: "If we invest in tools, training, and tech for women farmers, we could see as much as a 30% increase in global food production. This means 150 million more people could have enough to eat each year."

Listening to: Florence + The Machine, Shake It Out, and Bon Iver, "With God on Our Side (Bob Dylan cover)"

Image: "“Freedom of Expression”. Lithograph, Adolfo Mexiac, done in 1968 for the Olympics held in Mexico City. Ten days prior to the festivities, over 300 student protestors were killed under the government of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, known as the Tlatelolco Massacre." source.

Love NUSL: Northeastern program will aid entrepreneurs on legal issues: "With a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce she is setting up a program at the Northeastern University School of Law that will provide free legal advice to small businesses while giving law students hands-on experience. The focus is on low-income and other underserved entrepreneurs, such immigrants who are in the startup phase or early years of their business." I know this has been a long time in the works, and I'm so excited for NUSL students and the clients they will be working with.

NYTimes: Crossing Over, and Over: "Migrant shelters along the Mexican border are filled with seasoned crossers: older men and women, often deportees, braving ever-greater risks to get back to their families in the United States — the country they consider home."