Sunday, February 19, 2017

Never Again

Today marks 75 years since the Executive Order that caused the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.  Never again, people.  We cannot let it happen again.  No matter who the president is and no matter what kind of executive orders he wants to sign, America cannot be locking people up because of their religion or ethnicity or nationality.

Speak out.  Stand up.


In the car today, my little one and I were cracking up about what Americans would think if people in other countries made up random massacres about us the way 45's administration makes them up about other countries:

We in Belgium grieve for your children.  That is why the chupacabra attacks in Arizona must be stopped...

Brazil is deeply saddened by news of Yetis terrorizing the streets of New York yesterday...

#Nevertheless She Persisted

Just like Senator Warren, we have been warned and it has been explained to us.  And we will doubtless face punishment for using our voices.

We have to persist, though.  The U.S. Senate thinks they can shut up the women who manage to break into their club, the Texas Lege goes all domestic violence breaking tables trying to shut women up...we just can't stand for this.  We can't be silenced anymore.  We must persist.

Get ready to make tomorrow's calls, Mamas.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ICE Raids

Be careful out there.  You have a right to legal representation.

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Sex Education Valentines

In honor of Valentine's Day, this installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club will be the annual Valentine's Week Installment on Sex Education.  

The rates of sexually transmitted infections among young adults make it abundantly clear that American parents are seriously falling down on the job when it comes to sex education.  Also, we live in Texas, where schools are required to teach the highly ineffective "abstinence-based" version of sex education, so there is no one to take up the slack when parents flake out on this.  

My kid's middle school fed the girls a horrifically shame-y curriculum called Heritage Keepers this year which taught them absolutely nothing about contraception and disease prevention except, you know, no. 

Not good enough.

Knowledge is power, Mamas.  Don't leave your kids with helplessness instead.  

Useful, basic classics:

  • It’s So Amazing:  A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families by Robie H. Harris
  • It’s Perfectly Normal:  Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris
  • The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask  (But Need to Know) by Karen Gravelle
  • What’s Going On Down There? Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask  by Karen Gravelle
  • The Care And Keeping of You:  The Body Book for Girls by Valorie Schaefer.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I married my husband twenty-two years ago today right next to (it was locked and we could not get inside) the underground part of the Student Union Building that had formerly been called the Rock Bottom Lounge -  where we first met at the University of North Texas in Denton. We had met there during college when I was making the rounds to talk to student organizations about the dangers of bigotry towards Muslims, and on making sure we did not end up with Muslim internment camps, during the first Gulf War (the more things change and all).  He was the head of a student organization that did literature in performance that let me come speak and he adjusted the microphone for me (I'm really short) and then teased me for the rest of my life for not remembering him very well from that first meeting.  Though I still have the clothes I wore at it crumpled up in the back of my closet even though they have not fit me for decades.

We are not a perfect match.  We are not either of us easy-going or mild mannered.  We are complicated.  We push each other in ways good and bad. We love each other but are not all that talented at either romance or contentment.  

We are partners, though. Usually we are partners in the struggle - trying to make the world a better place and to help the vulnerable - though he will sulk for a season when things get bad after an election the way they are now before picking up the struggle again. We are partners in coping with the hardships life has thrown at our family.  Partners in raising two daughters who are so amazing that our partnership must be considered one of the most successful of all time - I mean, have you met them?

What we have is family - the love of it, the work of it.  I am happy to give all of my decades to that endeavor.  I am glad he is in it with me.

Happy Anniversary, Lone Star Pa.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine Aunt

I mailed valentine books out to my nieces and nephews today.  One great aunt failing I have realized too late is that I have not kept a record of which books I have sent to which sobrino/a.  So now I always worry that I am sending something I may have already sent.  It is kind of too late to fix, though.

Vengeful ICE?

There were multiple reports of very targeted ICE raids in the Austin area this week.  It is hard not to wonder if they were payback for the Travis County Sheriff standing up for immigrants.  It is frightening to think what will happen next - it is already so bad for so many people.


Cornyn has also been complaining about how much his constituents have been calling him.  He thinks it is an Establishment Plot.  Henry, at his San Antonio office, says there have been Robo Calls...he thinks...he thinks they sort of sounded like that.  At any rate they got so gosh darn many calls asking him not to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary that no one could get through to tell him what a splendid guy he is.  

But it is us, the mothers of Texas, who were calling him.

And he confirmed her anyway.

And he does not want to hear from us.

So we are going to have to fire him.

Thursday, February 09, 2017


Cornyn's San Antonio staffer has gone from monosyllabic I-am-barely-listening-to your-concerns communication to long-winded mansplaining of Cornyn's positions.  That is probably a good thing.  Keep calling, Mamas.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Cutting All The Women Open Is Not A Good Thing

And as for our other disgraceful Senator, a high c-section rate is not a sign of a superior health care system, Ted.  C-sections are for terrible emergencies and you should not have a lot of those during natural processes.


Not in a long, long time, Senator Cornyn and likely never again.  You, Sir, should be chastened and you should watch your disrespectful mouth.

Don't. Mess.With. Texas. Women. We will un-elect you fast and no one will make you tacos ever again.  You will find yourself so unloved that you will have to move to places where Snow Falls From The Sky.  And people eat "Cheese Dip" with no chiles in it.

And, yes, we are granting Senator Warren honorary Texas Woman status because we would much rather have her for our Senator than you.  She can have tacos.  Queso.  But none for you, Senator Cornyn.  None for you.

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Black History Month 2017

In honor of Black History Month, this installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club features books about important events and people in African-American history.  Some are non-fiction and some are historical fiction about true historical events and movements, but not necessarily real characters.  Enjoy.

Primary and Lower Elementary
  • If A Bus Could Talk:  The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold
  • Ruby Bridges Goes To School:  My True Story by Ruby Bridges
  • Sugar Hill:  Harlem's Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • The Case For Loving by Selina Alko
  • Sit-In:  How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson  
 Upper Elementary
  • The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine 
  • Moses:  When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Fires of Jubilee by Alison Hart 
  • Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester 
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • My Mother The Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow
  • Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals.

The President of the United States Threatened My State Senator

South Texas is just not having that.