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Hekate

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Gender: Female
Hometown: California Coast
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,646

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Good points, all. But about aging Japan-- one of their big problems is their immigration policies...

There’s Japan and Japanese, and then there’s the rest of the world. They are highly restrictive about who gets to come and work and who gets to be a citizen. (They aren’t the only ones who do this — I saw a list of 17 nations, and Japan was only #10 )

So who takes care of the old folks when all the youngsters have gone away to the big city? Conundrum. Who comes up with all the new ideas and energy when the “youngsters” are 50 years old and settled in their routines?

Then there’s America, which still ranks as a younger-population country, with the dynamism that brings. Immigrants help to make us so. Whatever one can say about the sheer stupidity and downright cruelty of our immigration policies and procedures (and I have said plenty) we are still a magnet for immigrants. A lot of them become citizens, and their children are born US citizens. They keep us collectively younger than we would be if the white nationalists got their way.

In their lame-brained way, the white nationalists have hit on something that is true: their (white) demographic dominance is slipping into history and women in the white demographic have found other things to do besides have lots of babies.

Which is a long digression, but you can probably see my point. DU is a microcosm. We are aging — but the microcosm of which we are a part is America. We can rejuvenate.


On DU's population aging, and change to DU...

Rumination inspired by Atticus’ thread https://www.democraticunderground.com/100217582951
There’s something in the air. It wasn’t the first time I saw mention of how DU’s population is “older” and that is what Atticus was reacting to — I certainly have also seen a few posts over the past year or two that “boomers” somehow abetted the rise of the oligarchs, voted for Trump, and shit like that. It’s a good long thread he started.

Someone made the point about the age group when DU started as “skewing younger,” and I agree. Hello? That was us! I think of us then as people in “robust middle age” — a rather elastic term, as I was already 50.

When I got here in 2002 I found a cohort of people who were already activists from their youth. Most of us had a lot of experience already, when it came to resistance and working for real change. We were outraged by BushCheney and were only too glad to share with others (ie younger posters) how to create a movement for change. We’d already participated in all the major change movements of the second half of the 20th century

I also found people who could write intelligibly, and carry a thought from beginning to end. I found people who insisted on reliable sources. I found people whose opinions I could respect because those opinions were well grounded, and people I could do battle with, too. I found a community that insisted there be no bigotry — including no misogyny, which is a toxic element in too much of the web.

“Robust middle age.” I miss it. Of course DU skewed younger 22 years ago. We were those people.

And we do need to attract a younger cohort as we go along — for who are we without metaphorical descendants, and for whom else have we done this lifetime of work? But we need to hold fast to the principles on which DU was founded (the TOS as set down by the three founders —our Constitution, if you will — and the way they/we have evolved the TOS for the betterment of the community — a living Constitution, if you will).

I don’t know exactly how that is to be done, just that it does.

Thank you all.




***


Race is so very much a cultural construct, fascinating, sometimes devastating, as US history shows

My family moved to the Territory of Hawai’i in 1957, thanks to my dad’s job with Lockheed Aircraft. Outsiders often described it as a racial paradise, and since that was a kind of flattery, locals went with that. It always was more complicated than that, and has grown more so, but that’s a story for another day.

Just as children on the Mainland at that time could recount an abbreviated genealogy based on Western Europe, my classmates could tell the tale of Asia and Polynesia and Europe all within their own family tree. I grew up not being aware that I actually had an ethnic group myself — sure I looked like my immediate family, but doesn’t everybody? I was in my mid-30s back living in SoCal, when I visited Boston and saw “family members” on every street corner. Who knew “Irish” was ethnic and not generic?

I grew up knowing that “race” is fluid, though in the context of the turbulent era on the Mainland, it was all framed in Black and White outside the Islands. It took me many years to sort it out more expansively, based on my own lived experience of observing social fluidity — “one drop” of Hawai’ian ancestry as a positive claim and sign of belonging, are you “local,” can you speak “da kine,” and so much else. Do you belong.

I will never forget how Barack Obama’s first run for President was received here at DU. Our old archives tell the tale of confusion — and anger. He couldn’t be easily slotted into a known category. Was he too black? Was he black enough? Did his mother raise him to be white? What about those grandparents?

But once I read “Dreams from My Father,” I knew the racial and social fluidity of his upbringing. I knew how his birth in Hawai’i had shaped him, and how easily he could have decided to remain, marry there; his children and grandchildren would be “local kids.” It was his White mother who encouraged him to see farther beginning in their years in Indonesia, including playing him recordings of African American music and MLK’s speeches.

When he left Hawai’i for college as a young man, it was a journey of self-discovery as an African American, and he married Michelle — and we kind of know the rest. But I think his lived experiences of race as social construct and how fluid it could be meant he could not be easily slotted into categories Americans are used to — he didn’t even have to say it, though as a politician he ultimately told a story in terms of a kind of American mythology (Kansas/Kenya). Michelle gets it though.





One of our DUers wrote a book about a community with tri-racial heritage, "Pell-Mellers"....

I added it to my Amazon cart all those years ago intending to buy it one day, and in time all copies were sold out (congrats to the author) and I missed my chance. I keep it in the cart as a reminder, just in case it should show up again. Here’s the info.


Pell Mellers: Race and Memory in a Carolina Pocosin Paperback – April 10, 2013
by K. Paul Johnson (Author)

A Genealogical Quest in the Triracial South
What began as genealogical research into the author's ancestry soon grew into a fascinating tale with lessons for us all. Among his ancestors, Johnson uncovered: unpunished murderers, infidelities that produced stronger families than formal marriages, entire units of North Carolinians who fought and died to preserve the Union in the Civil War. The tale holds enough plot twists for a half-dozen novels. But most of all, it reveals in a personal way what molecular anthropologists have been trying to explain all along. The fact is that we are all of multiple ancestries. Inhabitants of the New World are a genetic mix of three great populations, Native Americans, European colonists, and African slaves. Nowhere is this more vivid than in Pell Mellers, the story of one man's search for his tangled roots. "Johnson's quest to understand his father becomes a discerning and sensitive historical inquiry that roots the near-present organically in the remote past. Johnson's deeply personal search for his own roots illuminates surprising, forgotten ways of life in a fascinating part of the South." -- Melvin Patrick Ely, author of Israel on the Appomattox "This fascinating memoir about the Pell Meller community of northeastern North Carolina reads like a murder mystery. What has been murdered is the truth about their ancestry, and Paul Johnson sets out bravely to discover the corpse, the murderer, and the motives. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the many isolated southeastern groups with odd names, like the Redbones and the Melungeons, who descend from our nation's earliest settlers, in all their ethnic diversity." -- Lisa Alther, author of Kinfolks: Falling Off the Family Tree "In Paul Johnson's engaging journey into his roots in Bertie County, North Carolina, he discovers an intriguing family of pocosin dwellers who personify the South's multiracial heritage and its political minorities, including Unionists and the original Buffalo Soldiers. Pell Mellers is a solid contribution to the history of the "other South" that complements the well-traveled mainstream, illustrating our rich and textured past." -- Lindley S. Butler, author of Pirates, Privateers, and Rebel Raiders of the Carolina Coast This is the second edition of K. Paul Johnson'sgroundbreaking work.


https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0939479427/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_1?smid=&psc=1


https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41pA7YsefmL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Well, since terror is the point, that hardly matters. As someone who has followed the issue...

…for 5 decades, people who are anti-choice originally said it was all about “babies” and precious life — and they bombed clinics, burned down clinics, murdered doctors, maimed and blinded a clinic worker who opened a nail bomb, and not to be satisfied that, doxxed doctors and workers and volunteers and stalked their children to and from school.

There’s more. I always supported Planned Parenthood wholeheartedly on the basis that they educate people, dispense contraceptives, do cancer and STD screenings, and in general prevent abortions. Abortion is something like 3% - 5% of what they do.

Moving along. Over 10 years ago I noticed a shift in the propaganda of the groups that oppose abortions: there was a push to redefine the most reliable contraceptives as abortifacients. I am a mother, grandmother, well into my 70s, and about 20 years past menopause. Understand that when I was in high school the social punishment for sex was ferocious: you got pregnant, they took your baby away — and it was illegal to prescribe the Pill for girls under 21. But in my adult fertile years I conscientiously used the best contraceptives available, and had my 2 kids and quit. I cheered (though had no need of) innovations in reproductive technology like Plan B.

Imagine my horror when I read how the fanatics were telling women that the IUD causes abortions, and other shit like that. That told me there was no lie too vile for them. They don’t want to prevent abortion by preventing pregnancy — they want women to get pregnant and be forced to give birth.

They shut down women’s clinics wherever they could, in the guise of “saving babies.” Instead, women died. Texas, with only one women’s clinic left in its vast territory, ended up with a maternal mortality rate equal to that of a 3rd World nation.

All this was before Dobbs, before the overturning of Roe v Wade. Now comes the real terrorism: passing laws that criminalize any interference with a woman’s womb by medical doctors. Doctors are threatened with prison and loss of their medical licenses. Hospitals, presented with women bleeding freely from miscarriages pause to call the lawyer and are advised that if there is a “heartbeat” they must wait until the woman is actually dying. Women who have already started to go septic and are running a fever are told they must wait. Women are sent home — to live or die. This, my fellow DUer, is terrorism.

I finally went from only reluctantly discussing abortion to declaring: You bet I am pro-abortion, because it is part of the continuum of women’s necessary health care.

It is personal for me, because my mother was pregnant 7 times in 9 years. I am the oldest and I remember. I remember the hospitalizations, tho didn’t find out till I was much older that she almost bled out on the operating table, and had an out of body experience where she had to decide to breathe in again. There was no “baby”— there was a gawdawful mess. That was one. Another time she simply kept a slow continuous flow for months until she got real anemic, and our family doc ordered her in for a D&C, which everybody with any brains knew was not an “abortion” but the rational treatment for a miscarriage that did not resolve in its own. Another was a full-term stillborn boy, which broke her heart. Poverty, the lack of medical care, the lack of self-care… my 3 siblings and I could have been orphans.

I want you to understand that the ignorant fanatics who are writing these new laws are defining the lifesaving treatments my mother got in the early 1950s as “abortions.” They are criminalizing them. They don’t give a damn if living breathing women live or die. They don’t know or care just how risky pregnancy can be.

So about those abortion pills. Here’s the precedent: They already think Plan B causes an abortion (it does not) and thanks to Dubya and his “conscience clause” no hospital, doctor, nurse, or pharmacist who objects to Plan B is required to stock them or dispense them. Better not get taken to a Catholic hospital if you get raped. Better not have a little honeymoon weekend with your spouse and forget to pack your diaphragm or whatnot — because you might find yourself calling every pharmacy for miles around on Monday morning.

Abortion pills that you can get in your own would seem to be ideal. The rest of the civilized world seems to think so. But not Taliban America.

Proof? Pfah. The grocery store and drugstore know when you purchase a home pregnancy test, and start sending ads for baby supplies. Millions of young women use apps as period-trackers (time to toss some tampons in your purse) and ovulation-trackers (time to either get it on in hopes of getting pregnant, or avoid sex to achieve the opposite). The developers of those apps sell your information to any and all. Your info is a commodity. You signed away your privacy by installing and using the apps. Anyone who manages to find a dispensary for abortion pills will find their purchase just as easily tracked.

Scared yet?










I was braced for violence because of reporting here over weeks, & Trump finally Tweeting...

“Be here. Will be wild.”

I’m a night owl, and I live in California. I got up about 9 or 10 am I think, and immediately turned on the tv to MSNBC. My gut reaction was the same as what Katy Tur expressed today: absolute shock, and I ended up standing in the living room screaming at the tv, “Where is the National Guard? Where are the reinforcements?”

Just utter disbelief that violence like that in our nation’s Capitol could go unanswered by the National Guard, that the police could be so badly betrayed — undermanned, unarmed, maimed, beaten to death.

I got on DU immediately, but the visuals in real time were absolutely engrossing — and surreal — and I felt entirely alone except for DU.





The online group Sedition Hunters has sent all the info they can gather (which is tons) to the FBI

They are still working.

Look here
https://seditionhunters.org/

And here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition_Hunters

And just today
&si=EnSIkaIECMiOmarE


Well, you do that. Just do a little research into European history & see why America's founders...

… were so keen on keeping “a wall of separation between Church and State.” They were well-educated men, and the history they studied in college was far more recent to their age than to ours.

Let me give you the short version: for century after century after century the soil of Europe had been soaked with the blood of people who’d been deemed “heretics.” The Church spoke with the voice of God and Kings ruled by the grace of God, and different opinions were not tolerated. The sword, the gibbet, the pyre, and very inventive means of torture were all ways of ferreting out heresy, forcing confessions of heresy, and punishing heresy,

When European settlers landed in the New World, they had many motives, but a key one in early days was to be left alone regarding how they saw God, who was a real entity to them. They were not necessarily tolerant of other beliefs themselves, but America afforded them something Europe and the British Isles had not: the ability to leave the vicinity and start their own church. Sometimes they didn’t have to go far; the people who disagreed could just build another church on the other side of town.

America has been good to those kind of rebels and others. America also has been great for people who, based on the fact that they can read the Bible, believe they don’t have to go to a theological seminary and test their ideas against old tradition or even rational thought. They talk straight to God — or Gawd.

Look: go back to first principles as written by Franklin, Jefferson, and the rest and keep government out of religion and religion out of government. Beyond that, ensure that people living in accordance to some religious belief are free to do so as long as they follow the secular laws of the USA that apply to us all equally.

You go mucking about trying to define heresy in regard someone’s religious beliefs, you best do it from inside that religion. You leave the rest of us out of it. There is no “we” in that enterprise. I will stay far, far away — first, because I believe it’s a fool’s errand, and second because I am way outside the majority as regards religion in the US, and it is the First Amendment that protects me.



Yes. They thought we women would forget & that our men would not care about our lady-parts &

… that we’d all go back 50 years and be ashamed that we bleed and can die of being pregnant. They thought we’d — what’s the word? — Go Quietly.

They really thought that, the far-right SCOTUS and their Handmaid.

Well, it turns out they were wrong.
We are outraged and we’re not getting over it.
Our men suddenly realized that the women they loved were one untreated medical emergency away from actual death.
And we gray haired old feminists birthed two generations of women who are not ashamed of their bodies and their blood.

I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit.

By The Goddess.



Vertigo. I'm getting vertigo & my feet are cramping. I need to breathe into a paper bag or something

Oh my god.

You know what I want to live in? A single story hobbit-home with all woodwork panels and beams. I was taken aback when my teenage grandson told me how much he loves my place because it was hobbit-like — not round, of course, but with the wood. And I looked around and realized that the kid was right, and that was definitely why I fell in love with it at first sight too. Lucky us.

But the “world’s tallest building” is not for me. You couldn’t pay me enough to even visit the damn thing.



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