Friday, February 24, 2017

Corpus Christi's Little Tea Party

Corpus Christi City Manager Margie Rose was at the local Tea Party meeting last night where Blake Farenthold mocked all of his non-Tea Party constituents and explained his plans to destroy our health insurance.  Why would she legitimize a group like that with her presence?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Farenthold Thinks Tea-Partiers Are His Only Constituents

Farenthold has been in town some this week, but not available to meet with his constituents in his Congressional Office.  Local faith leaders tried to organize a visit to speak to him about immigration policies.  They called his office almost every weekday for two months to try to set up a meeting, at any time that he could meet during the recess at all. They were finally told that he would not have time to meet with them and they would have to speak to his District Director, which they did, on Monday.

Guess what he did have time for, though?  Tonight he stopped by the local Tea Party meeting to tell his precious little deplorables that all of the constituents who have been trying so hard to reach him about immigration issues and their need to maintain health insurance are just a small vocal minority who he does not have to listen to because they don't matter.

He spent a great deal of time at the meeting discussing his plans to destroy the ACA, especially the parts for the poorest Americans.

He straight up mocked his constituents who have been calling him saying that their daughters (I sort of feel like he was talking about me because I have been calling about this, but I know that terrified mothers like myself are legion) will be dying on the street without the ACA.  

He wanted to know where these dying people were eight years ago.  

What a fortunate fellow to have not known sick people who died for lack of healthcare.  

Of course, they did.  We all know people who did.  The Nueces County Medical Society has some numbers if he wants them, but he knows that.  

He just thinks the danger our children are in is some kind of joke.

Happy World Thinking Day!

Today we, of the Girl Scout movement, spend time remembering that we are sisters with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world.  We are all in this together, sisters hand in hand.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: #BlackLivesMatter

Today's focus in the Subversive Children's Book Club is #BlackLivesMatter - wherein we feature children's literature full of  strong African American characters, who are far too often under-represented in children's literature. I like these books:  

For Young Readers/Listeners:

  • Sister Anne’s Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • More More More, Said The Baby by Vera Williams
  • Just Us Women by Jeannette Cains

For Middle Grade Readers: 

  • Junebug by Alice Mead  
  • One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia
  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
  • Double Dutch by Sharon Draper 
  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

For More Mature Teen Readers:

  • Al la Carte  by Tanita Davis
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  •  Like Sisters on The Homefront by Rita Williams Garcia
  • This Side of Home by Renee Watson
  • After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Hoopster, Hip Hop High School and Homeboyz (a series) by  Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • Fast Talk On A Slow Track by Rita Williams Garcia.

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.