Monday at the Movies

Give us bread, but give us roses.

Happy Labor Day. Brought to you by the labor movement, which didn’t always play nice, but which brought you the 40-hour week, labor unions, weekends, sick pay, pensions, Social Security, and OSHA. For a start.

It’s Time

So, it’s getting to be crunch time, mes aims. Those of us who went to bed in tears on that dark night in 2016 and woke up the next morning swearing to fight back — well, we’ve either been doing the work or we haven’t. So many of us have. But it’s not too late! You can throw your shoulder to the wheel now — now when it matters so much

So many people I know (mostly women) who never thought they’d be doing “this,” are now running for office, hexing politicians, raising money for campaigns, sprinkling their menstrual blood in the back halls power, writing postcards to voters, calling their representatives every morning, protesting every night, writing sigils in oil on polling places, running campaigns, writing voting guides, learning ancient spells for phylactery, volunteering to be poll workers, feeding the birds outside Trump’s hotels with charged birdseed . . . .

What will you commit to doing between now and November 3rd? Don’t wait too long to decide! Voting starts in under two weeks in many states. And don’t forget the “down ballot” races. As Run for Something ( https://runforsomething.net ) always reminds us, the way to win national elections is to win local elections.

On the physical plane, please make sure you have: filled out the census (online or on paper), registered to vote, made a plan to vote, donated to a candidate if you can, put signs in your window/yard, put a bumper sticker on your car, made some phone bank calls, written some postcards to voters, and talked to your friends and family about voting safely.

Magically, please check out the Magical Battle of America posts that Dio has catalogued for us. ( https://www.uraniaswell.com/magical-battle/ ) Pick an American egregore — the Salmon, Lady Liberty, Walden Pond, the Underground Railway, and/or the Cowboy and fashion a magical working to protect the US Mail, your local polling place, the drop box outside your registrar’s office, whichever spot the Powers, and Spirits, and Beings of your place tell you needs the most work.

Picture found here: https://www.wdl.org/en/item/4557/

Witches at Work

 

WitchesAtWork

This weekend, a group of witches will be gathering virtually (we were supposed to be gathering in person, but, well, you know) to work magic to protect the election.

I can’t say much about the specifics of what we’ll be up to because that’s part of the deal.

But what I can say is this: please join us, if you’re able.

Focus on protecting the integrity of the election, and our democratic institutions, and on protecting yourself magically (now might be a good time to strengthen your wards, for instance) for the work we’ll all be doing in ALL the realms in the next 60 days.

As Hecate would say: “I shan’t be gone long; you come, too.”

Image found here (and you can buy it as a poster!)

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

 

I’ll Tell You This For Free

What’s this pandemic been like for you? I think all of us are having our own, private pandemics.

Some of us are health workers who’ve been on the front lines, all day, every day, for months. When we leave work after our 12-hour shifts, and stop at the grocery store on the way home, assholes without masks see our uniforms and yell at us.

Some of us are parents, trying to work from home, to manage distance/home-school learning, and to bring in groceries, while figuring out how to balance our child’s need for social interaction with our need to keep that child safe from a scary virus that can leave even young people with heart problems, respiratory issues, and other problems — assuming it doesn’t kill them. We try to organize “pods” that will allow us to stay safe and still have human contact. Maybe they work. Maybe they don’t. Welcome to the pandemic.

I’m a retired woman with some co-morbidities who’s been staying home, alone, for six months now. INTJ that I am, this is getting increasingly painful. I go for a daily walk and stop, way more than six feet away and wearing a mask, to exchange a few words with my neighbors. And once every ten days or so, I go for a short drive in the lovely Shenandoah Valley countryside, just to remind myself that there’s a world out there. I Zoom with other local activists, and I text with my G/Son, and now I’ve learned to do magic with other Pagans via Zoom. I’m luckier than many, and I’m still hurting.

Mrs.Whatsit works from home and spars outside, wearing masks, in the DC heat and humidity, with her boxing coach. Women are fierce.

One of my friends up here is organizing her father’s funeral, leaning on a political leader to show up for a fundraiser, and watching her daughter go for a biopsy. Because breast fucking cancer never gives anyone a break. And because women are fierce.

Another friend is about to start a very rigorous self-quarantine so that she can be there when her daughter-in-law gives birth. I’m knitting a pink cap for her. Because women do what we’ve always done — we show up for each other.

I want “this” to end as much as I’ve ever wanted anything. I have fantasy conversations in my head. “OK, hair appointment first, then see family, no see family, hair be damned, and then go out to eat. No, OK, first hair cut, then mani/pedi, then oysters and an ice-cold martini at the club with Greenman, then . . . . No, OK, first family, then DC Witches, then someplace that makes almost brittle thin-crust pizza and serves good red wine, then . . . . OK, first I talk Greenman into a long ride through the misty Autumn leaves and dinner at a roadside place in the mountains, and then a hair cut, and then a trip to several art galleries, and then a drive through Georgetown at night, and then . . . .” What’s on your list?

A vaccine that would let me back out into the world would make me so happy I could hardly stand it.

But I’ll tell you this for free. I won’t be having any untested Trump-announced vaccine just before the election.

Photo of Autumn blooms in Appalachia by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

Words for Wednesday

A Prayer for Rain

~ Lisel Mueller

Let it come down: these thicknesses of air
have long enough walled love away from love;
stillness has hardened until words despair
of their high leaps and kisses shut themselves
back into wishing. Crippled lovers lie
against a weather which holds out on them,
waiting, awaiting some shrill sign, some cry,
some screaming cat that smells a sacrifice
and spells them thunder. Start the mumbling lips,
syllable by monotonous syllable,
that wash away the sullen griefs of love
and drown out knowledge of an ancient war—
o, ill-willed dark, give with the sound of rain,
let love be brought to ignorance again.

Photo by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

Time Flies

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I had a post planned concerning the difference in the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia four years ago and Donald Trump’s obvious health issues.

But then I got on the phone with my G/Son, who starts high school tomorrow. Young men his age have been heading off to be educated for centuries and centuries.  See, e.g., Oxford.  But for his generation, it will be unlike any prior generation.  I’m sure remote learning will be a “thing” for generations to come, but his is the first to really embark on it as a group.

Spare a good thought, a candle, a stick of incense for this “generational cohort.”  COVID is changing their experience of growing up in ways that I can’t even imagine.

 

Monday at the Movies

Well, actually, Tuesday.  This drops tomorrow and it’s must-see.

Journal Prompt

RHS-Photographer-of-the-Year-Matin-d-hiver-embrume-au-Parc-Botanique-de-Haute-Bretagne-by-Alain-JounoI forget where on the web I found this picture, but I love it.

Can you write the story?  Is it early morning or sunset?

Which island is the magical one?

But Her Fucking Emails

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Unless you’ve worked for the federal government, you may not have heard of the Hatch Act.  Actually known as “The Hatch Act of 1939, An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities,” this law was adopted by Republicans and conservative Democrats who opposed FDR’s Works Projects Administration and the possible use of WPA employees and funds to help elect FDR-friendly Democrats.  Wikipedia tells us that the law:

forbids the intimidation or bribery of voters and restricts political campaign activities by federal employees. It prohibits using any public funds designated for relief or public works for electoral purposes. It forbids officials paid with federal funds from using promises of jobs, promotion, financial assistance, contracts, or any other benefit to coerce campaign contributions or political support. It provides that persons below the policy-making level in the executive branch of the federal government must not only refrain from political practices that would be illegal for any citizen, but must abstain from “any active part” in political campaigns . . . .

In general, the law has come to stand for the principle that federal property and resources shouldn’t be used by any party for political purposes.  Otherwise, your tax dollars could be used by the party you oppose.  Political parties should, instead, raise their own money for their political activities and the party in power shouldn’t be able to take advantage of the fact that they are in power to, for example, use our iconic federal properties for their own ends.  Having worked for years across the court aisle from federal employees, I can tell you that they take this VERY seriously.

This past week’s RNC Convention, held at the White House, has been largely  decried as a violation  of the Hatch Act.  (In fact, the Trump administration has gone out of its way to violate the Hatch Act. “In contrast, this White House has scoffed at the law, with Kellyanne Conway laughing off a memo finding that she’d violated the law multiple times, saying ‘Blah, blah, blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.'”  More here.)  Although the RNC tried to blame the COVID crisis for its use of the White House, that’s bogus.  Trump regularly travels (on the taxpayer’s dime) to his own properties such as Mar a Largo or Bedminster, NJ and he, his family, and his cronies could have given their speeches from there.  Somehow, the Democrats managed to put on a convention without using federal property.  Kamala Harris didn’t blame COVID and then use her Senate office for her speech.

But what I want to discuss is how coverage of this obvious and blatant violation of the law contrasts with Hillary Clinton’s emails.

As you may remember (Goddess knows, I will, until the day I die), our media spent months and months focused on whether or not Hillary’s use, while Secretary of State, of a private server for her emails somehow violated the law.  (In fact, Hillary never violated the law.  Her emails, unlike those on the State Department’s server, were never hacked.  She consulted with Colin Powell and others to determine how they had handled their emails.  She followed the law.)  Lengthy investigations by America’s law enforcement agencies found that she had not broken any law.  Yet, Hillary’s emails dominated coverage of the 2016 election and left many, many people with the notion that, somehow, she must have done SOMETHING wrong because, otherwise, why would the media always be talking about her emails?  Just before the election, FBI Director James Comey, who kept quiet about the fact that the Trump campaign was working with Russia, announced that the FBI had found some emails from Hillary Clinton on her aide’s computer.  (Wow.  Imagine that.  I can tell you right now that not only are there a lot of emails from me on my paralegal’s computer, there are probably hundreds of emails from my boss to me on my computer.  I bet if you look at your computer . . . .)  That last-minute revelation likely threw the election to Donald Trump.  “Oh my god, not again!  Her emails must be ‘crooked.’  We can’t elect a person whose emails are always surfacing as a problem!”  By the time, a few days later, that Comey announced (to much less fanfare) that there was no there, there, it was too late.  In fact, “But her emails” has become an iconic statement, reminding everyone that, however bad things are right now, at least we don’t have a president who sent some innocent emails.

Let’s contrast the media coverage of what were, obviously, from the beginning, Hillary’s innocent emails with the Trump administration’s and RNC’s clear and obvious violations of federal law — in this case, the Hatch Act.  In contrast to Hillary’s emails, the mainstream media has hardly covered Trump’s actual violations of the law.  When they have covered it, it’s been more in the vein of “horserace coverage,”  — aren’t the Republicans clever to have triggered those snowflake Dems by violating the Hatch Act?  Republicans have shrugged off the crime, insisting that no one outside of DC cares about the Hatch Act (because the party of law and order doesn’t care about breaking laws), as if those same people outside DC somehow woke up every morning deeply concerned about the intricacies of State Department confidentiality provisions.

In What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know,   Joan C. Williams  discusses scientific studies that demonstrate how unconscious sexism works to disadvantage women.

Let’s be clear about what unconscious sexism is.  It’s not the blatant sexism of a man who says, “Women are inferior to men and I’d never hire a woman for this job.”  No, unconscious sexism is something that all of us raised in a sexist society — women, men, feminists, etc. — have built into our subconscious.  We don’t say, “Hmm, here’s a woman accused of being dishonest and sloppy with her communications.  I’m going to judge her more harshly than I’d judge a man in the same situation.”  No.  Unconscious sexism is when we look at a woman accused of somehow violating some law and at a man who admits he’s violating it and we judge them — or cover them in the media — differently, but aren’t aware of the role that sexism plays in our judgements.  The fact that it’s unconscious — that we’re unaware that we’re applying different standards to men and women — is what makes this especially pernicious.

In her book, Williams presents research that shows that women are judged more harshly for mistakes than are men and that women are judged on past behavior while men are judged on their potential.  So it’s no surprise that Hillary’s email “mistakes” were judged harshly and covered ad infinitum while Trump’s actual crimes are glossed over.

That’s how we treat women and men in this society.

And we need to being calling it out and acknowledging it.  So that we can stop it.

Picture found here.

But On the Up Side…

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Bad news for those of you who’ve come to enjoy my Friday takeovers of Hecate’s blog in the past few years: I’ll probably be writing a little less frequently over the next two months because, as of Monday, I am the campaign manager for one of our local city council candidates. (His previous campaign manager landed his dream job with the condition that he had to start immediately.)

He’s more of a Biden Dem, so he’s somewhat more moderate than I’d prefer, but it’s a great opportunity to learn more about a potential career change that’s been on my mind for a while – working on campaigns, potentially running myself, or looking at other options that are directly in politics, as opposed to just being a highly informed aficionado.

Yes, I might be sacrificing my amateur status in politics. But you know, with the Olympics postponed…

Anyway, it’s been an extremely hectic week – hey, let’s bring on a new campaign manager who wasn’t even actively involved with our campaign and, while she has MANY transferable skills, has never actually done this before 70 days before the election! – but, on the up side I was too busy to pay attention to the RNC shit show, so there’s that.

Anyway, I’ll pop in and post when I can, but wish me luck y’all! At a minimum, I’m sure this is going to be a wild ride, and who knows? It may be the start of a major career change.

In the meantime, pick a campaign (Swing Left, Emerge America, and EMILY’s List are great places to start), and volunteer, donate, and, most of all, MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.