Thursday, December 1, 2016

I am a Democrat in rural, red-state America. My party abandoned us

You can't win elections if you don't run candidates. You alienate voters by describing them as inhabitants of fly-over country.

When people hear themselves described that way they get the feeling you don't give a shit about their hardships and vote for the party that actually bothered to put up a candidate.

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/15/rural-america-working-class-voters-democrats-donald-trump

Donald Trump came and said he cared. It’s not rocket science: that’s why he won

Tuesday 15 November 2016

I come from rural Texas. I am one of the handful of people here who votes blue – and I put up with all kinds of ridicule and rejection because of that. Many of the people who voted for Trump are my friends and family. Yes, some of them are racist but not all of them are. The reason they support Trump is simple: their needs have been thrown aside for years.

Donald Trump is a horrible person. I am glad people are protesting him. But many people here do not see an alternative. The Democratic party does not care about our issues, our culture or our people. 
There are hundreds of towns in this country just like ours. Well, Donald Trump came and said he cared. That’s why he won: it is not rocket science. We need to look at the truth so we can bring about change.

People here are losing everything that generations of families have worked to build. They depend on their churches for help. They believe people should work hard. Most of us work six to seven days a week, every week. It is no good to judge us instead of understanding us.

We have two private prisons in this town that sustain us in this crunch. Do I agree with private prisons? No. At the same time, if our prisons close it will wipe us out. Not one blue politician has offered a plan to deal with what happens to us then.

It’s the same with climate change. My hometown flourished for years because of oil. Now that the price of oil is down, this town lives on one-third of the budget they had. Nobody in Washington DC cares about that either. No wonder so many people in coal country voted for Trump: they were worried about their jobs and income, and they felt that he was the only one listening.

The people who are writing us all off as racists and deplorables have not seen the community and kindness that exists here. When our elementary school burned down the year before last the whole community everyone dug deep to find the money to buy and build a new school.

In my community, I see a mother whose kid has been in the hospital for a month come home and start her coat drive the next day. I see another mother who spends the month of October collecting junk and selling it for money to send care packages to the military overseas.

I see another woman build one of the state’s best animal rescue centers. She makes sure that everyone can afford to get their pet neutered. I see her spend every Saturday driving 40 miles for dogs to find a home. I see the local community board provide me with space to make a community garden that is free so everyone in town will have access to organic food.

Rural culture is as important as any other culture and is often thought of as backwards, dumb and redneck. At university, people assumed I was stupid because of my accent. A colleague said right in front of me that my southern accent and enthusiasm should be overlooked because, actually, I was smart. Now that Trump has won, I see countless people say that my community – and communities like mine – voted him because we are ignorant and bad-hearted. How is that going to help things?

I completely understand why people voted for Trump. I do not agree with it but I understand it. If people want things to change they need to understand us too: we are hurting. We need help to turn our communities around – otherwise, people like Trump will continue to get votes here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Alice's Restaurant


As my friends and I grow older, we’re setting our sights on communal living

Things I liked and thought about when I was a hippie back in the 1960s look better and better now that I am old.

Most of the ways of living peddled to us by the establishment as a way of exploiting us and taking what little we have seem far worse by comparison.


From The Globe and Mail:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/as-my-friends-and-i-grow-older-were-setting-our-sights-on-communal-living/article32240746/

Douglas Tindal
Special to The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, Oct. 04, 2016


A few years ago, four friends began a conversation: Here we are in our 50s and 60s, still active and (relatively) youthful, but all moving toward the day when we can no longer cling to our cherished independence. Retirement homes seem unappealing, nursing homes a last resort. Why not live together and support each other?

It was casual at first, a bit of a joke. But we kept coming back to it. Finally, a few months ago, we went off for a weekend together to come up with a plan.

We began with our reasons for wanting to consider this seemingly offbeat idea. What attracts us to living together?

First, community. AndrĂ© Picard, among others, has written about the extensive research showing that community is vital to health. Being connected – to family, friends, neighbours, a community group, a running club, a mosque – can add years to your life, studies have found.

Second, a smaller carbon footprint. A smaller home envelope to heat and cool and a shared kitchen with fewer appliances than separate houses mean fewer greenhouse gases.

While affordability is not the key driver of our plan, we do expect living together to be more economical than our current, independent living arrangements.

Gradually, a rough plan came into focus. The house should have a front porch, one of us said (zeroing in on essentials!). It has to be downtown, we all agreed – downtown, walkable and close to transit.
Over the course of our weekend retreat, the conversation took some radical turns. Initially, we had imagined a series of neighbouring condos or other self-contained units, but as we talked further, we found ourselves more drawn to a truly shared space.

We realized, for example, that we want to eat dinner together more often than not. Most of us like to cook, and we all love to eat. So a big common kitchen is essential. We like to discuss stuff – just about any stuff – so we need places for conversation.

We have children and grandchildren, and love to entertain, so a guest suite is an obvious need. A media room. A wine cellar! As the common areas became more central to our discussion, the private areas became smaller. We now imagine each unit (person or couple) having private space of about 600 square feet, designed to suit individual preferences. Naturally, everything will be designed to accommodate “aging in place.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/as-my-friends-and-i-grow-older-were-setting-our-sights-on-communal-living/article32240746/

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The End of Identity Liberalism

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-identity-liberalism.html
 
It is a truism that America has become a more diverse country. It is also a beautiful thing to watch. Visitors from other countries, particularly those having trouble incorporating different ethnic groups and faiths, are amazed that we manage to pull it off. Not perfectly, of course, but certainly better than any European or Asian nation today. It’s an extraordinary success story.

But how should this diversity shape our politics? The standard liberal answer for nearly a generation now has been that we should become aware of and “celebrate” our differences. Which is a splendid principle of moral pedagogy — but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age. In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.

One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions. Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.

The moral energy surrounding identity has, of course, had many good effects. Affirmative action has reshaped and improved corporate life. Black Lives Matter has delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. Hollywood’s efforts to normalize homosexuality in our popular culture helped to normalize it in American families and public life.

But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-identity-liberalism.html

Thursday, November 17, 2016

More older adults learn it’s never too late to pick up a musical instrument

A couple of years ago when we were in the process of losing our home and starting a small business I sold off my guitars to help us get through our tough patch.

Lately I've found myself really missing having an instrument and started shopping and saving to get another one.


I was checking out a Yamaha FG830 and one of the Martin DXs at a local Guitar Center.  My finger tips are soft and my hands feel clumsy, Yet from the few things I picked the guy showing me the instruments said, "you used to play.  It will come back and there are ways to play around the stiff fingers of old hands.

I was a hippie in the 1960s came out in the 1970s as a dyke.  Now I'm an old hippie dyke and have have embraced doing certain creative things simply for the pleasure of doing them.

From The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/more-older-adults-learn-its-never-too-late-to-pick-up-a-musical-instrument/2016/11/10/628857ec-a570-11e6-8fc0-7be8f848c492_story.html
 

November 10, 2016

 
When Margo Thorning was a high school student in the late 1950s, she liked to play bongo drums while listening to jazz records, but it never occurred to her to take a drum lesson. She attended college, raised two sons, and worked as a senior economic policy adviser for a Washington think tank. All the while, the urge to beat out a rhythm persisted. So three years ago, at age 70, she started taking lessons.

“I’m pretty athletic, and I felt like I had a chance to be competent,” said Thorning, a Falls Church resident who plays tennis and rides horses. But drums were a challenge, physically and mentally. “Each hand and each foot is doing something, with a different hand and a different foot at one time.”
Mastering a new musical instrument has a reputation as a young person’s game. Like learning a foreign language, it is commonly seen as something that must be embedded during the formative years, otherwise the learner will be hopelessly behind, if not simply hopeless.

But increasingly, adults are embracing musicianship late in life. Some finally have time after their wage-earning and child-raising years have ended. Some are spurred on by studies showing the health benefits of playing music. Many describe it as scratching an itch they’ve had all their lives. And while some are happy to get to the point of playing “Happy Birthday” for their grandchildren, others achieve a level of competence that allows them to join ensembles and even earn money playing.

“It’s a growing trend,” said Alicia Andrews, assistant director and adult division manager at the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Music Center in New York City. “In the last few years, more adults are really making music and arts a priority in their lives. ‘Bucket list’ is such a trendy term, but that’s what they say — ‘Playing an instrument has been on my bucket list.’ ”

Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology and neural science at New York University who wrote a book about learning guitar at age 40, said the idea that older people can’t learn new instruments is false. “There are very few really firm critical periods,” he said. “In general, most things adults can learn, but it takes more time, and they have to do it more incrementally. Maybe they won’t play like Jimi Hendrix, but they will be able to play well enough to satisfy themselves.”

Research shows that music stimulates the brain and enhances memory in older people. In one study, adults aged 60 to 85 without previous musical experience showed improved verbal fluency and processing speed after a few months of weekly piano lessons.

Continue reading at:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/more-older-adults-learn-its-never-too-late-to-pick-up-a-musical-instrument/2016/11/10/628857ec-a570-11e6-8fc0-7be8f848c492_story.html

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

From The LA Times:  http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-cannabis-twins-20161020-snap-story.html
 
Robin Abcarian October 19, 2016

You don’t end up in Round Valley, one of Mendocino County’s finest cannabis-growing micro climates, by accident. It is well northeast of Highway 101, along a winding mountain road that follows the curves of Outlet Creek and the Middle Fork of the Eel River.

After 45 minutes, the valley comes into view. From a lookout called Inspiration Point, even in a light drizzle, Round Valley is a picture of bucolic grace, with wheat-colored fields, black cows and green orchards spreading out below.

Many of those groves conceal marijuana plants — or trees as they call them around here — which flourish in the rich alluvial soil of the valley’s fertile bottomland.  

The highway through the valley is dead straight, punctuated by one town, Covelo, population about 1,200. Just past town, I pulled onto a farm owned by Robert and John Cunnan, identical 76-year-old twins who were born in Glendale and left Southern California more than 40 years ago seeking a better life.

“We came here with the back-to-the-land movement,” Robert told me as we stood in front of a shed where dozens of fragrant cannabis stalks were hanging to dry.  

For $6,500, the brothers bought 10 acres with a creek down the middle. They built craftsman-style homes for themselves and raised families on food they grew in their gardens and money earned as cabinet makers for what they call “mom-and-pop” businesses — restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. They got by, but barely.

“A friend of mine came up here in 1985, grew marijuana and sold it for $2,000 a pound,” Robert said. “And that’s when I thought, ‘You know, you might be able to make a little money doing this.’ ”

This, pretty much, is the very thought that has crossed the minds of untold thousands of Mendocino County residents, beleaguered by the crashing logging and fishing industries, and willing to flout the law to support their families.

“At one time, I sold stuff for $5,000 a pound,” Robert said. “It was worth more than gold. Now, it’s down to $1,200 to $1,500. But cannabis allowed me to finish my house and get comfortable.” (Yields vary wildly, but in these parts, each tree can produce two to four pounds or more.)

“I consider myself a teacher and a woodworker,” said John, who commutes to Ukiah once a week to teach woodworking in two schools. “The cannabis is just to fill in where the teaching and woodworking don’t pay the bills.”

I assumed the Cunnans would be strong proponents of legalizing cannabis for recreational use. As it turns out, they oppose Proposition 64, which would regulate and tax cannabis for the adult market.
And they are not alone.

Many small marijuana farmers, as it happens, see Proposition 64 as a threat to their way of life.
They believe that a legal, regulated cannabis market could open the floodgates to corporatization of the industry, pushing taxes up and prices down, perhaps forcing them out of business altogether.
“The thing you need to realize is that this is a movement that is becoming an industry,” Robert said. “The movement was organic gardening, the back-to-the-land, alternative lifestyle. We were the original generation that came out here and set up our pot gardens.”

Like mom-and-pop businesses squeezed out by big-box retailers, he said, so are pot farmers in danger of being squeezed out of business once big corporations get a toehold in the cannabis business.

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-cannabis-twins-20161020-snap-story.html

Thursday, November 10, 2016

REI Is Once Again Closing On Black Friday

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rei-black-friday_us_580e3581e4b000d0b157b3ff

The outdoor gear store wants its employees and customers to go outside

Alexander C. Kaufman10/24/2016
 
For the second year in a row, REI is telling its customers to take a hike.

The sporting goods retailer said Monday it plans to close all 149 stores on Black Friday, the annual shopping bonanza that has in recent years sprawled over into Thanksgiving itself. The company’s website won’t process any sales on Black Friday, and all 12,287 employees will be paid to take the day off.

Instead, REI ― whose name stands for Recreational Equipment, Inc. ― is once again urging would-be shoppers to spend the holiday outside.

“Consumerism has had a push for a long period of time,” Jerry Stritzke, REI’s chief executive, told The Huffington Post on Monday. “The response we saw last year to our announcement is really a backlash to the consumerism invading our key holidays.”

A growing number of retail workers can no longer count on being able to take Thanksgiving off. This year, 49 percent of retailers plan to stay open on the holiday, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers ― up 1 percent from the year before.

The Seattle-based REI is bucking that trend, enlisting nearly 275 organizations ― including the National Park Service and a handful of nonprofits that take kids from poor, inner-city homes out into nature ― to host events supporting its marketing campaign, known as #OptOutside.

Last year, REI saw a 100 percent increase in job applications in the 30 days after stores closed on Black Friday, Stritzke said.

“That’s a pretty tangible way of telling us that the idea was very well received,” he said.
REI plans to become more politically active, making conservation and environmental advocacy a bigger part of its ethos, Stritzke said. Beyond climate change, he’d like to see more discussion of the value of exposing children to the outdoors and “the power of nature to heal.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rei-black-friday_us_580e3581e4b000d0b157b3ff

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Misogyny Was Enough To Tarnish Donald Trump — but Neo-Nazism Wasn’t?

From The Forward:  http://forward.com/opinion/353570/misogyny-was-enough-to-tarnish-donald-trump-but-neo-nazism-wasnt/
 


On November 9, 1938, the Nazi paramilitary force known as the SA led a pogrom against German Jews that is now known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass. They torched synagogues, smashed Jewish businesses and ransacked Jewish homes, sending an estimated 30,000 of their occupants to concentration camps. The two-day orgy of anti-Semitic violence was a decisive turning point in the Nazi war against the Jews, which morphed into genocide.

This year, one night before we commemorate that event, millions of Americans will cast their ballot for Donald Trump, whose candidacy for President of the United States is supported by neo-Nazis. There is a cynical aphorism about history — that its most consistent lesson teaches that humans consistently fail to learn from history. Seven decades after thousands of American soldiers died fighting Hitler’s army in Europe, the current election campaign illustrates this frightening truth.

For Jews in America, this election has revealed an additional truth that has not really been sufficiently acknowledged — perhaps because it is too sickening and frightening to think about. And that is that for the American media, which caters to the American people, it was the “Access Hollywood” video showcasing Trump’s misogyny that caused the biggest wave of outrage — and not his flirtations with fascism. Americans’ reaction to the video proved that they find insults to beautiful white women unforgivable; neo-Nazi affiliations are, on the other hand, discomfiting, but ultimately tolerable.

And yet, just as a minority of Italian Jews once joined Mussolini’s fascist party, there are Trump-supporting Jews who choose to overlook, minimize or dismiss the GOP candidate’s neo-Nazi affiliations. Jewish voters are overwhelmingly aligned with the Democratic Party, but about 19% of them support Trump — including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has given millions to the Trump campaign.

For months, Trump played a delicate game of downplaying his neo-Nazi support by burnishing his Jew-loving credentials. He spoke at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference to a standing ovation. On other occasions he promised Jewish audiences he’d be the greatest supporter of Israel we’d ever seen. His daughter Ivanka, a convert to Judaism, has become the elegant face of her father’s campaign; and her husband Jared Kushner, a powerful New York businessman from an Orthodox family, is a senior adviser to his father-in-law’s campaign. Trump often trots out his Jewish daughter as evidence that he could not possibly be an anti-Semite; and while one Orthodox Jewish blogger slays that argument rather succinctly, so far the GOP candidate has managed to convince even many of his opponents that, while he is not a sympathetic figure, he is no Jew hater.
Despite the mountain of evidence that he is a real, old-fashioned, strutting and sieg-heiling type of Jew hater, Trump has for the most part managed to avoid being labeled an anti-Semite.

Even the Anti-Defamation League, which just issued a report documenting a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish journalists during the presidential campaign, has pulled its punches. 
Responding to Trump’s last campaign ad, which mainstream American media labeled an overt rip-off of classic anti-Semitic tropes, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, said, “Whether intentional or not, the images and rhetoric in this ad touch on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages.”

It takes a special type of denial, swallowed with a heavy dose of Kool-Aid, to convince an intelligent person that Trump’s embrace of language and images overtly taken from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” white supremacist sites, the Ku Klux Klan, the “alt-right” and European neo-Nazi parties could possibly be unintentional. Especially given that the “alt-right” regards Trump as a near-messianic voice.
 
Continue reading at:  http://forward.com/opinion/353570/misogyny-was-enough-to-tarnish-donald-trump-but-neo-nazism-wasnt/

End this misogynistic horror show. Put Hillary Clinton in the White House

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/06/hillary-clinton-white-house-donald-trump-bullying-barbara-kingsolver

While Clinton holds her head high, why are we not exploding with anger at Donald Trump’s bullying?

Sunday 6 November 2016

When I was a girl of 11 I had an argument with my father that left my psyche maimed. It was about whether a woman could be the president of the US.

How did it even start? I was no feminist prodigy, just a shy kid who preferred reading to talking; politics weren’t my destiny. Probably, I was trying to work out what was possible for my category of person – legally, logistically – as one might ask which kinds of terrain are navigable for a newly purchased bicycle. Up until then, gender hadn’t darkened my mental doorway as I followed my older brother into our daily adventures wearing hand-me-down jeans.

But in adolescence it dawned on me I’d be spending my future as a woman, and when I looked around, alarm bells rang. My mother was a capable, intelligent, deeply unhappy woman who aspired to fulfilment as a housewife but clearly disliked the job. I saw most of my friends’ mothers packed into that same dreary boat. My father was a country physician, admired and rewarded for work he loved. In my primordial search for a life coach, he was the natural choice.

I probably started by asking him if girls could go to college, have jobs, be doctors, tentatively working my way up the ladder. His answers grew more equivocal until finally we faced off, Dad saying, “No” and me saying, “But why not?” A female president would be dangerous. His reasons vaguely referenced menstruation and emotional instability, innate female attraction to maternity and aversion to power, and a general implied ickyness that was beneath polite conversation.

I ended that evening curled in bed with my fingernails digging into my palms and a silent howl tearing through me that lasted hours and left me numb. The next day I saw life at a remove, as if my skull had been jarred. What changed for me was not a dashing of specific hopes, but an understanding of what my father – the person whose respect I craved – really saw when he looked at me. I was tainted. I would grow up to be a lesser person, confined to an obliquely shameful life.

But I didn’t stop asking what a woman gets to do, and so began a lifelong confrontation with that internal howl. The slap-downs were often unexpected. Play drums in the band? No. Sign up for the science team? Go camping with the guys? Go jogging in shorts and a tank top without fear of being assaulted? Experiment boldly, have a career, command a moral authority of my own? Walk home safely after dark? No, no, no.

Eventually, I wrestled my way to yes on most of these things, except of course the last one. And the same dread that stalks me in dark parking lots – the helpless fury of knowing I don’t get to be just a person here, going about my business – has haunted all the other pursuits, from science team to career. It’s a matter of getting up each day and pushing myself again into a place some people think I have no right to occupy.

My father is very old now. Lately, I brought up our ancient argument about who may occupy the White House, but he didn’t remember it. The world has changed and so has he, urged forward by working daughters and granddaughters. He’s ready and eager to vote for a woman president. But it’s knocked the breath out of me to learn that most of his peers are not.

Hillary Clinton has honoured the rules of civic duty and met the prerequisites for a candidate, bringing a lifetime of pertinent experience, an inquiring mind, a record of compassionate service and a sound grasp of our nation’s every challenge, from international relations to climate change; her stated desire is to work hard for our country and its future.

Complete article at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/06/hillary-clinton-white-house-donald-trump-bullying-barbara-kingsolver

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

People are buying fewer clothes, for very good reasons

From Tree Hugger:  http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/people-are-buying-fewer-clothes-very-good-reasons.html
 
Katherine Martinko
October 7, 2016 


There is a growing trend toward 'New Consumerism', which means that people are buying more conscientiously than ever before. 

Skinny jeans became popular ten years ago. I’ll never forget the horror I felt, arriving back in Canada after a year in Brazil, to find people walking the streets of Toronto in pants that looked like something my (seriously untrendy) mother would wear. I told a friend, “You’ll never catch me dead in those.” A decade later, she still teases me about that comment, as skinny jeans have obviously become a wardrobe staple.

Since then, nothing terribly big or exciting has happened in the fashion world, according to retailer Urban Outfitters:
“Real changes in fashion which spur the public into spending money on a whole new look are few and far between. In mainstream terms, the last really big trend was skinny jeans… And we’re still wearing them” (The Independent).
It appears that people are less interested in buying clothes than they once were. While they’re spending more money than ever, those dollars are being directed elsewhere, typically more toward food and away from fashion, where retailers are reporting decreases in profit. Seasonal trends are increasingly removed from reality, as people don’t want to spend their money on updates that appear insignificant. The Independent reports:
“There is a world of difference between the ‘seasons’ that fashion editors talk about, with different styles offered up to four times a year, and the real world, where people put on layers and just don’t see the need for a new coat every October.”
Today’s consumers are reassessing their priorities and questioning what they really value. This fits into the growing trend of ‘New Consumerism,’ a term coined by research firm Euromonitor International to describe a widespread movement that prioritizes conscientious shopping over conspicuous consumerism. There are eight key trends that comprise New Consumerism:

1) The circular economy (where everything is use and nothing is wasted)
2) Frugal innovation (eliminating costly, unnecessary features from inventions)
3) Trading up and trading down (willingness to compromise in some areas to be able to splurge in others)
4) The sharing economy (connecting supply and demand, disrupting the traditional way of conducting business)
5) Experiential purchases over material ones
6) Buying time for oneself (an increase in outsourced tasks)
7) Reassessing one’s use of space (i.e. Do I really need to live in a large home?)
8) The ‘gig’ economy (characterized by short-term work contracts and freelancing, as well as the ability to move around)


In the fashion world, writes Business of Fashion, New Consumerism has translated into demand for increased transparency, authentic brand values, sustainable production processes, an embrace of the sharing economy, and unique retail experiences, among other things.

Continue reading at:  http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/people-are-buying-fewer-clothes-very-good-reasons.html

Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism’

From The New York Times Live:  http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/10/18/zineb-el-rhazoui-charlie-hebdo-survivor-discusses-why-the-world-needs-to-destroy-islamic-fascism/

Undeterred by fatwas and death threats, the author has released an incendiary and thoughtful new book, bound to provoke debate

Emma-Kate Symons
10.18.16

She leads a clandestine existence, on the move and under 24-hour guard as France’s most protected woman. Yet Zineb El Rhazoui, the Charlie Hebdo journalist who happened to be in Casablanca on January 7 last year, the day terrorists “avenging the Prophet” massacred nine people at the satirical magazine in Paris, believes she has a duty to defy Islamists desperate to silence her.

Shaken but undeterred by the fatwas and relentless, precise death threats issued via social media to “kill the bitch” since she helped produce the publication’s first survivors’ issue following the attack — and spoke about it in Arabic for the Arab press — the Moroccan-French writer refuses to assume an anonymous identity. Fleeing Paris or abandoning her human rights activism, and her unforgiving critiques of the religion she grew up with, are also out of the question.

“I don’t have the right to renounce my struggle, or to give up my freedom,” says the reporter and sociologist of religion in an interview with Women in the World, during a recent trip to New York, as part of French president Francois Hollande’s delegation when he received the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s World Statesman Award for 2016. “If the French state protects me it is not little individual me: What is being protected is my freedom to be irreverent, and freedom of expression, so I should exercise this even more because I enjoy this protection.”

“It’s totally crazy. I have done nothing against the law and have nothing to hide, yet I live with security while those who threaten us are free,” El Rhazoui declares with an air of shock and anger that underscores the arbitrariness and brutality visited on a 34-year-old woman condemned to living on the run and mostly in the shadows. “And if you call them by their names you are Islamophobic and racist. I am racist? I can teach them a few things about Arab culture. I can show them how to discover its richness and the diversity of their culture. I believe this culture deserves universality because you can be Arab, Muslim and a free thinker.”

Resisting terror

Sweeping in to the offices of Women in the World in Manhattan, accompanied by bodyguards, the world-renowned journalist is living proof of her pledge to keep “living her life beyond its limits” as a key way of resisting terror. Elegant and beautiful, with her long, wavy hair flowing freely and in an impeccably tailored black dress, El Rhazoui is reminiscent of 1940s cinema’s cerebral heroines — her eloquence and composure only occasionally betraying the trauma of the past 20 months. Each time we speak about the aftermath of the massacre at her magazine and how she is coping personally her voice quavers, but when the subject comes back to her fight for reform in Islamic civilization she is fearless.

Continue reading at:  http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/10/18/zineb-el-rhazoui-charlie-hebdo-survivor-discusses-why-the-world-needs-to-destroy-islamic-fascism/

Patagonia Is Completely Shutting Down For Election Day

In a world filled with corporations that don't give a shit about anything but making money there are some that are exceptions.   They treat their employees like family and are responsible citizens.  Patagonia is one of those companies.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patagonia-election-day_us_5813af65e4b0390e69d04160

The outdoor apparel maker is pushing its customers to vote with environmental issues in mind.

Alexander C. Kaufman 10/28/2016
Patagonia said Friday it plans to shut down most of its operations on Nov. 8 in hopes of spurring its customers and employees to vote.

The upscale outdoor gear giant, famous for its environmental activism, said it feared that voters turned off by this election’s vicious mudslinging would neglect to cast their ballots during a pivotal year in the battle against climate change. As such, the retailer plans to close all 29 stores across the country, as well as its headquarters, distribution and customer service centers. 

“During a time of catastrophic environmental crisis, when America needs strong leadership to confront the fundamental threat of climate change, voter turnout threatens to reach historic lows as people are turned off by the ugliness of politics,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement. “As a business, we have a unique ability to take a stand and choose to prioritize the health of the planet over profit, and I think it’s important we take that opportunity when it truly matters.”

The move expands on a marketing campaign, launched last month, called Vote The Planet. As part of the campaign, the company held voter registration rallies at its stores, where it began distributing voter guides detailing where local and national candidates stand on environmental issues. 

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patagonia-election-day_us_5813af65e4b0390e69d04160

'Nasty woman' is an insult we know all too well

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/20/nasty-woman-insult-hillary-clinton

Clinton can take pride in being Nasty-Woman-in-chief of the United States. There are few of us who haven’t been called the same at some point in our lives

Thursday 20 October 2016

Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice but sometimes they grow up and life corrupts them. They metamorphosize from being sweet little girls into Nasty Women.

The most extreme case in point, as Donald Trump helpfully pointed out during yesterday’s debate, is Hillary Clinton. Not only did she get in her pretty little head that she wanted to run for president. She decided to carry on with the charade and answer real questions about policy during the debate. Worse still, she only let Trump interrupt her every few minutes – and I mean, everyone knows how much he respects women, he was just trying to help her out.

So while Clinton was explaining her views on funding social security, Trump decided to go ahead and say what everyone was thinking: Hillary Clinton is “such a nasty woman”.

While Clinton may be the chief Nasty Woman of the United States, we’ve all been there at some point. There are few women out there who haven’t been informed at some point by a man they are, in fact, a Nasty Woman.

It often happens at the bar. A guy comes over to you and pays you a compliment. It’s a real honor; he’s taken time out from socializing with his friends to talk to you! Instead of understanding how much of an honor it is, however, you tell him that you’re not really interested. He informs you that you’re ugly anyway! He informs you, in so many words, that you’re a Nasty Woman.

Maybe you do go home with that guy, though. Maybe you just feel like having sex. Some women occasionally do, I’ve heard. That also makes you a Nasty Woman. You didn’t wait long enough, you see. You’re a slut. A whore. He’s a stud, a player. It’s not double standards. It’s just the way of the world. Deal with it.

Nasty Women aren’t just wandering our bars. They’re everywhere. Walking down the street, for example. A guy catcalls you, yells a comment. You ignore him. He yells after you, a profanity followed by an uncomplimentary descriptor. Why didn’t you just stop and listen to his compliments? Are you really that rude? Why do you have to be such a Nasty Woman?

They’re at work too. Nasty Women speak up too much. They’re too ambitious. Too aggressive. 
They’re not team players. Let’s be honest, they’re real bitches. They may get to the top, they may climb that greasy ladder, but at what cost? Nobody likes them. They probably never have sex. Their children probably hate them. They probably have no idea how to bake. They’re Nasty Women.

Complete article at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/20/nasty-woman-insult-hillary-clinton

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Enough is enough: we've reached a tipping point on sexual assault

From The Guardian UK:   

In the words of Elizabeth Warren, “women have had it” with guys like Trump, and the others who grab, insult and harass us. There’s a new defiance in the air

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Most times, it’s easier to say nothing.

When a man gropes you on a subway. If a stranger tells you to smile as you walk down the street. When someone calls you a bitch because you turned them down at a bar. The decision of whether to speak up or push back is made in a split second, and for a lot of women, it’s just not worth it.
The person that just harassed you might get even more aggressive if confronted. Besides, what difference will it make, you think. Why spend energy on a person like this?

As the election looms closer and women continue to come forward to accuse Donald Trump of assault, I’ve noticed a shift in the way women are talking about dealing with these all-too-common indignities. They’re not just fed up with the harassment itself, but with the resigned feeling that this is just the way things are.

More and more, women are sharing stories of speaking up in those moments – and crediting Trump’s misogyny with what they did. Carolina Siede, writing at Quartz, described being leered at by a man one evening and changing her usual tactic of not “rocking the boat”.
As we sat in uncomfortable silence, I began to think again about Donald Trump. I thought about the women he’d groped. I thought about the men who, through their ignorance or denial, enable this behavior to happen. I thought about Michelle Obama telling women and girls that they deserve dignity and respect too. And I decided enough was enough.
Writer Rebecca Solnit shared a similar story on Facebook from a woman who was called a “cunt” by a stranger and decided to confront him. “Are you going to tell me it was just locker room talk?,” she asked.
There’s more talk, too, of the less obvious kinds of harassment and assault. A woman on Twitter this week described a man caressing her calf as she walked by him on an airplane, for example. When we think of groping what comes to mind is someone grabbing “private” areas. But if it’s another person’s body – it is private.

Trump’s remarks about women – his bragging about assaulting women without consequence and his continued insistence that every accuser is lying – have brought us to a sort of national tipping point. As Elizabeth Warren said about Trump to tremendous applause this week, “Women have had it with guys like you”.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/25/sexual-assault-tipping-point-elizabeth-warren-trump

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In the Nixon-Humphrey election, I refused to vote for the ‘lesser of two evils.’ That was a mistake

If you don't vote for Hillary Clinton you are voting for racism, misogyny, anti-LGBT bigotry and the destruction of the United States.
From The LA Times:  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-weinstein-humphrey-nixon-election-20161021-snap-story.html

Those of us who helped Nixon win by failing to support the better candidate acted as if voting in a presidential election was a simple matter of morality.

By Henry Weinstein
October 21, 2016

 
When I stepped into the polling booth on Nov. 5, 1968, to cast my first vote for president, I was an angry Berkeley law student active in a variety of causes, including the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement and endeavors to enable California farmworkers to unionize.

I did not like either of the major candidates. Richard Nixon and his running mate, Spiro Agnew, promised to bring an unholy version of “law and order” to our country, just as Republican candidate Donald Trump is hawking now.

I also had no enthusiasm for Democratic candidate Hubert H. Humphrey. Until he became vice president under Lyndon Johnson, I admired Humphrey, the Minnesota senator who had championed civil rights. But Triple H morphed into Johnson's surrogate, supporting an unwise, immoral war in Vietnam.

A devastating Bill Mauldin cartoon crystallized my feelings about Humphrey’s noxious role. It depicted Humphrey speaking to a Vietnamese woman seeking shelter from American bombs in foxhole. The caption: “Ma'am, I represent The Great Society.”

My hostility to Humphrey intensified during the Democratic convention when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's gendarmes beat demonstrators with truncheons on city streets, prompting Connecticut Sen. Abe Ribicoff to blast the police's “Gestapo” tactics in a speech from the convention podium. In response, Daley, a Humphrey backer, brandished his middle finger.

So, what to do on Nov. 5? Be practical, settle for half a loaf with Humphrey? Or “take a stand on principle,” not succumb to voting for “the lesser of two evils” and declare, in effect, “it really doesn't make a difference?”

My emotions prevailed. I wrote in Dick Gregory, an African American comedian who championed civil rights and opposed the war. Some friends voted for Black Panther Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate. We walked out of our polling places feeling righteous.

In California, the smattering of votes garnered by Cleaver (27,707) and Gregory (3,230) had no impact on the outcome. Nixon defeated Humphrey by 223,000 votes. But there were people like us across the country who did not take the long view and consequently failed to do what Humphrey needed to win — register voters, talk to neighbors, canvas to increase election-day turnout. Nationally, Nixon prevailed — 31.7 million votes to 31.2 million votes.

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-weinstein-humphrey-nixon-election-20161021-snap-story.html