Friday, December 30, 2016

Action Alert: Tell The Governor To Protect Corpus Water

Today we message the Governor, Mamas.  Please go the contact page on his website. Click the button that says you need assistance to encourage them to give you a response.  Fill out the form and let the Governor know what happened to us here in Corpus.  Let him know about the lines and the people who could not get to water distribution sites. Let him know Stripes was able to jack up the prices of water because he did not declare a State of Emergency.  Let him know we have had four water crises, including the recent disaster, in the past 18 months.  Ask him what he is going to do to protect us from unsafe water in Corpus Christi.

Please message him today, Mamas!  Thank you!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Action Alert: Water Disaster Letters to The Editor

Yesterday, you emailed your Council Members, Mamas, but people's memories can be short and it is important to keep the pressure on until we know that this cannot endanger our children again.  A steady stream of Letters to The Editor printed in the local paper keeps people from forgetting the need to hold our public officials accountable.   An added benefit, is that a Letter to the Editor that contains a public official's name is certain to be read by that public official's office.

Please write Letters to The Editor of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times about the need for further investigation into the causes of the disaster, preventative measures that need to be taken, and the need for a study of the city's response.  Keep your letters very short and write one letter for each topic. Get your friends to write as well. They will not generally print more than one letter by a person in a month, so keep trying and keep recruiting more concerned citizens to write.

We are not going to let this disaster be forgotten until it can never happen again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Winter Holidays

In honor of Hanukah, Christmas and other winter festivities, this edition of Wednesdays with the Subversive Children's Book Club features books with  Winter Holiday themes.  Happy Holidays!

  • Three Wise Women by Mary Hoffman
  • Lone Star by Barbara Barrie 

  • A Dozen Silk Diapers by Melissa Kajpust

  • Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

  • The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson

  • A Full House by Madeleine L’Engle

  • The Gifts of Kwanzaa by Synthia St. James

  • What Child Is This? by Caroline B. Cooney

  • The Winter Gift by Deborah Turney Zagwyn

  • Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L’Engle

Action Alert: Email Your Council Member, The Mayor and The At-Large Council Members About The Water Disaster

This is a week (plus; a week, plus) of Action Alerts about the Corpus Christi water disaster, Mamas.  For today, what we need is for Corpus Mamas to email their Council Members.  We need to email them about investigating the causes of the disaster, about preventative measures and about the City's response to the disaster.  Please email your own district's Council Member, as well as the Mayor and the three At-Large Council Members.  Email addresses are:

Mayor Dan McQueen:
Paulette Guajardo, At-Large:
Michael Hunter, At-Large:
Joe McComb, At-Large:
Carolyn Vaughn, District 1:
Ben Molina, District 2:
Lucy Rubio, District 3:
Greg Smith, District 4:
Rudy Garza, Jr., District 5:

Please email today, Mamas! Get your Mom Squad to email as well! We cannot let this go until we know it cannot happen again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Action Alert: Ask Valero if They Are Going To Keep Renting to Ergon

At this point, it is hard to say how much responsibility Valero has in the recent water disaster that contaminated the Corpus Christi water supply in December.  What we do know is that chemicals being used by their lessee, Ergon, contaminated our water supply, so we can be relatively certain that Ergon was, as the City calls such things, a "bad actor".

Why are they still in the industrial zone?

I called Valero today and spoke to their public affairs person and asked her if they were planning to continue renting to Ergon after what Ergon did to us.  She said she did not know until after the investigation.  

I say we know enough on this particular point.  

Please call Valero at 361-289-6000, ask for public affairs and then ask if they are going to keep renting to Ergon after what Ergon did to us.  If enough mamas call, maybe they will get the picture.  And if they don't get rid of the bad actor because we asked, there is always the power of the boycott.

Please call today!

Mama Reminder: Email The Chemical Safety Board

Hello, Mamas!  Have you sent your email to the Chemical Safety Board at, asking them to investigate the Corpus water disaster yet?  Here is the one I sent:

Dear Chemical Safety Board-

I live in Corpus Christi. Texas and on the night of December 14th, we were informed (sort of) in our City that there was an unknown contaminant in our water and it should not be used for anything, even if boiled, not even bathing. As time went on, we were told the chemical came from an asphalt company, Ergon, that was operating as a lessee of Valero Refining. The chemical seemed to be Indulin AA-86, along with some hydrochloric acid.

We did not have water for four days and there was a lot of talk about proprietary ingredients and non-disclosure agreements.  The City says the water is now safe and that they and the AG's office are investigating the disaster.  I am not entirely sure they are qualified to do that alone.

Please open an investigation into the causes and effects of the water disaster we experienced.  We need to be sure that our children are safe.

Thank you.


Mariah Boone

Monday, December 26, 2016

The New King

So are all of you so-called Christians who are supporting the President-Elect-who-has-already-slammed-all-of-what-Jesus-said-in-the-Sermon-on-The-Mount really okay with the Republican Party comparing him to Jesus on Christmas and hailing him as our new king?


Me, I'm going to stick with the Beatitudes.  You guys can define Christianity in what ever delusional way you choose, I guess.

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day!

I have decided that the Christmastide is properly a three-day holiday. In addition to the joy and wonder and holiness of the days, Christmas Eve involves so much preparation and Christmas Day the cooking and hosting, that they, while wonderful, can be a little exhausting, too.

Boxing Day is the recovery day.  A day with no expectations.  Eat fancy cheese and leftovers and watch Netflix. Chill amidst the mess.  It is a good holiday.

Happy Boxing Day!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

"and in true love and brotherhood each other now embrace....this holy tide of Christmas, of beauty and of grace, oh tidings of comfort and joy...."

Friday, December 23, 2016

Action Alert: Email The Chemical Safety Board

Neither the Attorney General's Office nor the City are qualified to be the only entities investigating the recent water disaster in Corpus Christi and we all know how easy it is for industry to get the TCEQ Commissioners to over-rule their staff.

One thing we need quickly is an investigation by the Chemical Safety Board, the independent federal agency charged with investigating the causes of accidents due to hazardous materials in industry - and, you know, we need it done while they still exist.  Please email them tonight, Texas Mamas, and let them know that Corpus Christi needs them to investigate our water disaster, apparently caused by Ergon's chemicals, on Valero's watch, and we need it done quickly. 

Please email them at and ask them to open an investigation into the water disaster in Corpus Christi.

Please hurry.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Ravages of Repeated Water Crises

Counting the recent water ban, Corpus Christi has had four water crises in the last 18 months.  There were more in the years leading up to this period as well.

Far too often, our public officials have pish-poshed the boil water alerts, publicly saying that they have continued drinking the water.  Even during this most recent, most serious ban, Representative Hunter, in his television briefing, seemed to imply that perhaps the way these bans were required should be changed.

My neighborhood has a Face Book page on which neighbors communicate and many of them admitted on it to continuing to use the water, even though we are straight up Zone Three.

This is unacceptable.  

People need to understand that water contamination is serious.  People need to understand that they must follow water bans to be safe

We cannot afford to have people decide that the answer is not calling bans as precautionary matters but waiting until people are irreparably sick and then calling them.  We have infants and elderly and people who are immunocompromised who would not survive that, even in the short term.

We do not need less regulation. We need more regulation.

We need safer water.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Solstice!

Congratulations, Everyone!  Half way through the Dark!

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Clean Water

I live in Corpus Christi, y'all.  This edition of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club is about clean water:

  • Clean Water for Elirose by Ariah Fine
  • The Water Princess by Susan Verde, Georgie Badiel, Peter H. Reynolds
  • A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley 
  • One Well:  The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss

Dispatch From The City of Poor Oversight And Communication And of Profit Over People

So we got the all clear to use the water, even in Zone Three where low class folks like myself live, on Sunday.  We flushed the lines, re-washed the dishes and clothes we had washed on Wednesday a bunch of times, pledged to drink bottled water at home for all the good it will do, packed up a closet with supplies for the next apocalypse and tried to move on.

 The City has a lot of work to do and we are going to have to make sure they do it.  

All of the places where industry can touch the City's water supply need to have back flow preventers and the City has got to inspect the ones that connect to the refineries and other toxic industries much more regularly.  If this sort of regulation means there needs to be a change in our relationship to the industrial zone, then make the change.  Annex them and regulate them and tax them.  They cannot be allowed to keep getting tax incentives while endangering the tax payers.

The City needs to know all of the chemicals being used in the toxic industries, needs to know what is in them and what they do and needs to know how to test for them.

The City needs to stop protecting the "bad actors".  Only Council Member Carolyn Vaughn, who has usually been an awful Teabagger, had the ovaries to call them out.  Many of us are shocked to find ourselves grateful to her, but we are - we are grateful.  Name them, go after them, stop them.

Ergon must pay.

Valero must pay.

Boycott Stripes for their immoral prices during our crisis.

If Valero's timeline is to be believed at all (big If believing Valero on anything), the City made numerous dirty water checks before issuing the ban but saw nothing particularly amiss.  That sort of treatment of industrial dirty water checks will no longer fly.  If the City gets a dirty water call from the toxic industries, even if it looks like it is okay, the City Manager and Council all need to be notified and extra caution should be taken to make sure it is okay.

In emergencies, the City needs alert the public immediately through both Reverse Alert and the 911 system and through sending out emergency vehicles to neighborhoods with bull horns spreading the word.....not just through the media and not hours later.

The City needs to publicize in all the above ways the ways that people who cannot get out to free water distribution sites can call and get water delivered to them. The Red Cross and others were mobilized to provide this service but communication of that was so poor that most people were relying on friends and neighbors and grassroots volunteers like members of The Greater Good and The South Texas Colonias Initiative to find out about them by word of mouth and deliver water.  There should be 911 calls with the contact information and bull horns in the neighborhoods.

Kudos to the Caller Times for coverage (could have done a better job with headlines but great information).  Kudos to The Greater Good and The South Texas Colonias Initiative for distributing water to those the City was not reaching.  Kudos to HEB for keeping the shipments of water and hand sanitizer coming in continuously.  Kudos to all of those in other communities - too many to name - who sent us water - thank you so much for having our backs. 

 We all deserve to have holidays and a decent life and all the things we want to have when we are not in the midst of an apocalyptic crisis, but we can't forget.  We can't let up the pressure on the City to make the changes needed to be sure this never happens again.

Remember also that Hillcrest and Washington-Coles and Dona Park have been living with all of this dangerous pollution for decades and they deserve to be safe too.  Remember that the colonias do not have clean water and they deserve to be safe.  

Do not stop fighting.  Every day, do something.  Don't forget.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

CCISD Exposes Our Kids And Leaves For Winter Break

So... at 2:44pm, Action 10 KZTV News posted a story about how an employee's use of an insecure website to transfer files made over 400 former students and a current student's social security numbers and other sensitive data available by public internet search.  Mostly students who took AP exams between 2008 and 2012, which one of my kids did.  I called the district before 4pm to ask about this but they had already shut down for the winter holidays.

Um...Roland Hernandez?  Mr. Superintendent?  Please go back to work and let us know if our kids' data is still publicly searchable and who exactly was exposed and what can be done, please.  You can't leave our kids hanging for two weeks after doing that to them.

Dispatch from Third World Corpus

Well, the water is supposedly safe to drink in Zone 1, where the white folk moved to avoid desegregation in Corpus.  Folks in Zone 2, where the nouveau riche and the upwardly mobile live,  can now supposedly take showers and wash their clothes, although, with all the warnings about how, I would be a might concerned about that still.  Here in Zone 3, the Corpus-that-was, we still are not to use the City's water for anything but flushing.

I am grateful for the flushing.

We still don't know a whole heck of a lot about exactly what happened or what the plan is for fixing it.  Our brand new Mayor has basically said to sit tight and we will get more information when it is useful to us.  I really am not enjoying that gate-keeping tone, I am afraid.  I am not one to make snap judgements about people, and he just got sworn in this week so our catastrophe is in no way on him, but how people handle catastrophes tells one a lot and I am not being told anything that I find encouraging, as someone who expects to get to decide for myself what I worry my pretty head about.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What The Hell, Corpus?!

Corpus Christi is back to Third World status.  We cannot drink the water or use it at all.  They are not telling us what we may have already been exposed to. Help.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

St. Nicholas Night

St. Nicholas of Myra (AKA Black Santa for the racists who don't even know that they guy who inspired Santa was not a white guy - oh, wait - he might have looked more like a Middle Eastern guy!  I'm worried that the bigots are going to register and intern Santa, y'all) came and left small gifts in my daughters' shoes.

He is so nice.

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Peace on Earth

The Winter Holidays always make me think of that Wild Star's promise of Peace, and Heaven knows we need to work for peace more than ever now during this dark night for our country and its peoples. Here, then, is another edition of the Subversive Children's Book Club with themes of Peace.  Peace on Earth, Mamas. Please pray for it and work for it each day.  

For the Primary and Lower Elementary Set:

  • Our Peaceful Classroom by Aline D. Wolf
  • Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter by Diane Stanley
  • Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: an adaptation for children 
           by Ruth Rocha & Otavio Roth
  • Cain and Abel:  Finding The Fruits of Peace by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
  • The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter 

For the Upper Elementary and Teen Set (several of these are pretty heavily Quaker-influenced):
  •  Crash by Jerry Spinelli
  •  The Arrow Over The Door by Joseph Bruchac
  • Summer’s End by Audrey Couloumbis
  • Quaking by Kathryn Erskine
  • The Eye of The Heron by Ursula K. LeGuin.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Paul Ryan: Let Them Eat Cake

So Paul Ryan gave a speech to a bunch of conservatives in which he told an anecdote about how subsidized school lunches gave children full bellies but empty souls.  Yep.  Because getting to eat healthy food when you are a child is so bad for your moral development.  Someone needs to brush the Speaker up on his Maslow.  Also, he might want to visit the public schools he likes to bash because he does not know them like that.  His touching tale about brown bags equaling parental love is a wee bit outdated.  Few kids bring lunches from home.  Brown bags probably mean food allergies.  Get with it, Speaker.

I think Paul Ryan has done an excellent job of convincing people that the Trump-The-Evil-Clown stuff is what we need to be worried about.  But, really, it is him.  He is the one who will take away the children's food and healthcare. He is the one who will take Medicare and Medicaid away from the aged and disabled. He is the one we need to watch, because his gentle courtesy is all an act.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Action Alert: No Babies In Detention!

On Friday a judge in Austin blocked Texas' attempts to license the family detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City as "childcare facilities" (except, you know, childcare facilities that do not have to follow the rules of childcare facilities but get to follow the rules of prisons, instead, except it is hard to conceptualize how prison rules really work with babies and toddlers). 

The federal government released approximately 460 women and children over the weekend.  This is only a quarter of the refugee families being imprisoned and ICE has been releasing statements that the releases were not due to the results of the court hearing.


The shelters in San Antonio need help, Mamas.  If you are in the area and are able, please call RAICES and see what you can drop by.  If you are not in the San Antonio area, you can donate on Amazon:

Please help the babies and mamas if you can. They have been through so much.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

International Day of Persons With Disabilities

December 3rd is the United Nations' International Day of Persons With Disabilities.  This year is also the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With DisabilitiesRead the Convention here and commit to its principles. Remember - people with disabilities need health care.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Love & Kindness

We are still in starting-from-scratch mode in terms of building an America that can be a true beacon of equality and justice - the election showed us just how big our ugly underbelly is and how much work we have to do.  So we start with loving the babies and teaching them well, as we keep emailing and calling our representatives, standing up for what is right and spreading awareness and working for better results.  In that spirit, this edition of the Subversive Children's Book Club features books that exemplify love and kindness and the courage that compassion so often requires of us.

 Primary and Lower Elementary:
  •  Faith The Cow by Susan Bame Hoover
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  • Uncle Willie and The Soup Kitchen by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan
  • Sister Anne’s Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki
  • Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier
  • The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter 
 Upper Elementary and Teens:
  • Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn 
  • Monkey Island by Paula Fox 
  • Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff   
  • Crash by Jerry Spinelli 
  • Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Action Alert: Texas Medicaid Cuts to Services for Disabled Babies and Toddlers Set to Go Into Effect In Two Weeks

The long threatened cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates for therapy to disabled babies and toddlers in Texas are set to go into effect on December 15th.  These therapies help children with disabilities learn to walk and speak and care for themselves so they can be ready for school. Parents and therapists tried to stop the cuts in court but the Texas Supreme Court did not care about the 60,000 babies who will probably lose services.  Please call Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick and ask them to halt these cuts.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Thanksgiving was kind of rough. So much worry. So much hurt that ones so loved could make choices that could hurt us so seriously, choices that can ruin the futures we so carefully tended for our precious children. So much heartbreak in the wondering if that breach of trust can ever be repaired for them, even as I just want to to huddle close to both the hurt and the hurters.

I won a book in a contest - Catastrophic Happiness by Catherine Newman - and finished reading it this weekend. It is just the sort of sweet momoir I have always loved but it felt pretty precious in light of the dumpster fire that has been 2016. I know it was a mere two years plus ago when I was filled with such pedantic worries as my eldest going off to college and being ...lonely? Was that it? This holiday and those sweet stories make me wonder what is, I guess, an age-old worry when things get really rough - why was I not more grateful then? What horrors await me if I do not squeeze every single drop of gratitude out of today?

So squeeze I do, trying hard to snuggle close both to the girl who sometimes lashes out from pain and exhaustion and the girl who lashes out from being twelve. I am so grateful that we are here together, every fractious minute, so grateful for all that we still have and every minute that what we have is each other.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Action Alert: Take The Speaker's Survey And Support The ACA

Speaker Paul Ryan is conducting a phone poll on the Affordable Care Act, doubtless hoping to get lots of opposition to cite in support of his efforts to destroy it.

Of course, many people's very lives depend upon the provisions of the ACA that prohibit health insurance policies from having lifetime limits on coverage or banning coverage due to pre-existing conditions.  Many people with disabilities and chronic illnesses have the hope of survival, education, and a productive life of meaningful work, all because the ACA protects their ability to maintain health insurance.

Please call the Speaker today and take the survey and express your support for the ACA.

Please call (202) 225-3031.

Press 2 to weigh in on the issue.

You'll hear an amazingly biased, anti-ACA recording about HR-3762, Paul Ryan's erstwhile proposal to destroy the ACA, and the fact that President Obama vetoed it.

You will be asked to indicate your opinion.

When I took the survey, the directions were to press 1 if you support Obamacare, and 2 if you oppose it, but please listen carefully in case the choices have changed.

Please let the Speaker know that we, the mothers of America, support the ACA and want our children to be able to continue to survive and blossom under its protections. 

Please call today and spread the word to others who will call.

Thank you, Mamas.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Crayon Ban at Karnes

According to RAICES, ICE has informed the Karnes Pro Bono Project that children in the visitation area at the Karnes Family Detention Center are no longer allowed to have crayons.  Apparently, the kids were getting crayon marks on things and that "destruction" of "contractor property" could not be allowed to continue.  It is pretty hard for attorneys and imprisoned toddlers to have meaningful conversations about legal status as it is, being as how toddlers do not have a nuanced understanding of asylum issues beyond the whole abject terror thing, so asking them not to use crayons, in addition to being cruel and developmentally damaging, is quite damaging to their ability to express their case to their attorneys.

Please tell ICE to give the kids back their colors, Mamas.  Or better yet, to let them go stay with their American family members instead of being imprisoned.

Watch Those Bills, Texas

Even though we seem to have all the terror we can handle with the results of the recent presidential and Senate elections, it is important to remember that the 85th Texas Legislature also convenes in January with a whole new host of horrors possible.  Many scary things were filed on Monday, and our Lt. Governor said scary things about his agenda.  It seems he is especially interested in suppressing voting rights, persecuting transgender people who need to pee, undermining our public schools and persecuting refugees from what I got from his legislative priorities.

Texas Democrats are prioritizing child welfare, affordable college, access to health care and increasing voter registration and participation in their filings.

Let's keep an eye on these bills, Mamas.

Action Alert: Do Not Allow Bans on Pre-Existing Conditions

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans also tended to deny people health coverage due to pre-existing conditions.  HIPPA significantly helped to limit this, but it was still a problem.  Risk pools, the answer that many Republicans offer for this problem, never really worked very well because it is easy to see how putting all the people who are really ill in one group will make that group too expensive to manage. Risk pools end up with lower lifetime limits than most other plans as well as often unaffordable premiums, for this reason.  The ACA sought to fix this.

Are you writing your letters, Mamas?

Today's letters could be to your Congressional Representative and your Senators and Speaker Ryan and the President-Elect, please, and you can ask them not to repeal the provision of the ACA that prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to people based upon pre-existing conditions.

Please, Mamas.  It is people's lives. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Action Alert: No Lifetime Limits

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans tended to have lifetime limits which meant that they stopped covering a person after that person became "too expensive".  This is how many people with disabilities and chronic illnesses lost their health insurance.  

Let's write letters every day, Mamas.

Today's letters could be to your Congressional Representative and your Senators and Speaker Ryan and the President-Elect (I actually can't get my computer to connect with his website today but I will find one that will; also my letter is too long for the space Senator Cruz' contact form allows so I am calling tomorrow to ask for an actual email address or something), please, and you can ask them not to repeal the provision of the ACA that prohibits insurance companies from having lifetime limits.

Please, Mamas.  It is people's lives.  People like my daughter.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Starting From Scratch

Hello, Mamas.

I'm making myself drink some water before going to bed in hopes that it will help with the sick feeling.  

Obviously, we have a long way to go in getting America to a place where all children can be safe, healthy and free.  We have some serious work to do on the front lines of love and kindness.  In keeping with that work, this installment of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club goes back to that sweet board book for babies by Innosanto Nagara: Counting on Community 

Because we are going to need to do just that.

This book is a counting book that invites children to count people in their community ("urban farmers") and things they all share (bicycle helmets, chickens).  We all need people we can count on.  More than ever now. And we need to see them.

Keep loving.  Raise babies who love. Know that you are loved.

Lone Star Ma

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

It's Election Day: Vote! To The Polls!

If you have not voted yet, Mamas, vote today! Don't let anything stop you!  Not the lines, not the weather...this is for our children! 

To the polls!   


Monday, November 07, 2016

Election Day Is Tomorrow: Do You Have A Plan To Vote?

Hello, Mamas!

Election Day, as you may have noticed, is tomorrow. It is totally crucial that we protect our children as much as is possible at this point by turning out to vote and electing Hillary Clinton, who has always fought hard for children and families.

Have you voted yet during early voting?  If not, you need to make a plan to vote on Election Day.  There will probably be lines but this is important.  Do what you have to do to get it done.

Do you have a plan?  Do you know where your polling place is and what its hours are and what sort of ID you need?  Vote411, a project of the League of Women Voters, can help you with all of that information.

The nation is counting on you, Mamas.  We all are.


Sunday, November 06, 2016

We Must Defeat Trump To Protect Democracy

Hillary Clinton is an excellent candidate for President who has done many progressive things (disability rights, school desegregation, the children's health insurance program, to name a few) and has tons of experience which should be reason enough to vote for her.

That said, electing her is also the only way to defeat Trump on Tuesday and we must defeat Donald Trump.

There are lots of racist, sexist, bigoted and scary things that I don't like about Trump and I have been sharing them but there are two that I think deserve a lot more attention than they are getting because they threaten the very fabric of our shining democracy:

Donald Trump has stated that he may not accept the outcome of the election if he does not win, essentially threatening a possible coup.

 Donald Trump talks a lot about suppressing the free and independent press and frequently threatens to do so. 

 There is no place for that kind of totalitarian talk in these United States.


Several More Reasons To Vote for Clinton So We Don't Get Trump

  • He jokes about sexual assaults that he may or may not have committed and makes light of it
  • He mocks people who are disabled
  • He called a breastfeeding mother disgusting when she needed a pumping break
  •  His supporters have been telling lies that the Pope said it was a mortal sin to vote for Clinton, which the Pope did not say - they are lying about the Pope

Don't Vote for Homophobia

Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, when running for Congress, advocated for public funding to be used for "conversion therapy", although every legitimate mental health association in America has denounced the practice, which does a great deal of harm.

Don't Vote for Racism

The KKK and various other white supremacist organizations enthusiastically support Trump; the KKK newspaper gave him their official endorsement.  He has hired that alt-right racist from Breitbart for his campaign so he seems to welcome their support.

He has said numerous racist things on the campaign trail about people of color and people of faith.

What does that say about him as a candidate?

Please vote for Hillary on Tuesday.

Call Swing States!

There is a campaign tool on Hillary's election website that allows you to phone bank from home, calling swing states in crucial areas.  You could probably call 100 swing state voters in about an hour and a half and do your part to help save our nation!  I am phone banking in swing states and passing out information in my neighborhood today.

Remember to vote on Tuesday, Mamas!

The Dangers of Climate Change: An Important Reason to Vote for Clinton

Mr. Trump has vowed to end all federal spending on renewable energy and to abolish the EPA.  There is no future for our children if we do not start addressing climate change so we cannot afford a candidate like this.

Not to mention that with more and more cases of contaminated water showing up around the nation, we cannot be getting rid of the EPA, the one agency that makes an effort to enforce safe standards for our air and water.

I should point out that the Libertarian Party also supports getting rid of the environmental regulations that help protect our air and our water supply.

Please vote for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Mamas.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Importance of The Affordable Care Act: A Good Reason to Vote for Clinton

People complain a great deal about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, particularly in states like Texas which have not chosen to expand Medicaid as the Act was designed to do.  States who have chosen not to expand Medicaid really have put the working poor and the working class in a bind, but that has to do with the decisions made by those states, not the Act.  Also, insurance companies, in their ever-growing greed for more profit, continue to raise premiums but that also is not about the Act, it is about the insurance companies and the fact that Republicans would not allow the Act to include a public option (just like they would not allow the single-payer healthcare plan that Hillary Clinton fought for during Bill Clinton's presidency pass) and would not allow it the teeth to really prevent insurance companies from exercising that greed.  As for the middle class and wealthy families who complain, health insurance was always expensive and its cost always raised in a terrifying way every year - some people are just young and new to having to pay so they blame the Affordable Care Act for what is really our long national nightmare of a for-profit healthcare system.

So, there are problems with the Affordable Care Act - it was not allowed by a Republican Congress or by many Republican-controlled states to go nearly as far as it needed to in making healthcare affordable for Americans.  The President wants to expand it.  Hillary Clinton wants to expand it.  Bernie Sanders wants to expand it.  Basically, the Democrats want healthcare to be accessible and affordable for all Americans and the Democrats are working on getting it there as fast as the need to compromise with Republicans will allow.

Still - over 20 million people who were uninsured in the United States have been able to get health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.  That's a lot of people.  It's progress.

And here's the thing:  I want to tell you about my own fears.

I have a daughter.  She is in college.  She is brilliant and kind.  She worked hard in school and earned enough in scholarships to cover her college education.  She wants to be a doctor and she studies and works really hard.  She is a junior in college and she just turned 21.

She's sick.  

She has a chronic, progressive disease that requires serious medication to control, medication that can have serious side affects over time. She may eventually need surgeries.  A wheelchair.  Other assistive devices.  We hope not, but maybe.  Almost certainly without the medicines, which are very expensive. 

Because of the Affordable Care Act, her pre-exisiting condition does not prevent her from having health insurance and getting life-saving medication.  

Because of the Affordable Care Act, she can be on our health insurance and go to college and keep working hard.  

Because of the Affordable Care Act, her health insurance cannot say that she has reached her "lifetime limit" and that they are not going to cover her medicine anymore.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, she can keep working hard to get her education and then get a career and be a productive, independent member of society.  She is on track to be someone whose name you are going to know if you do not already.  

You are all going to know her name.

But that is what Donald Trump and the Republicans want to kill: my hardworking, kind and brilliant daughter.  They want to repeal the Act so that health insurance companies can deny her coverage and cut off her coverage and let her die.

You may see third party voting as some sort of "it has to get worse before it gets better thing" but having Trump in the presidency with a Republican Congress could repeal what many Americans like my daughter have to have in order to keep surviving.    

That's what the Affordable Care Act is really about:  survival.  And that's why I voted for Hillary Clinton.  That's why I am asking you to vote for Hillary Clinton and for Democrats in Congress.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Swing State Texas!

Remember, folks - Texas is actually a swing state in this election.  It is terribly important, both for the presidential race and all the down ballot races, to get out there and vote for the Democrats.  Whether you love the Democrats or not, they are worlds better than the Republicans who have a platform full of such bigotry, sexism and classism that it is truly a horror to believe that people willingly associate themselves with such a document.  Their hold over Texas needs to be broken once and for all.  Only then do we have a hope of moving Texas toward more progressive policies.

Vote blue in Texas!

Tomorrow Is The Last Day of Early Voting in Texas!

Have you voted yet, Mamas?  Get out there and vote today if you haven't yet!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Suffrage

In honor of Election Day on Tuesday, this edition of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club features books about the American suffrage movement that won the right to vote for U.S. women in 1920.  On Tuesday we may well get to see the fruition of these, our sisters', struggles as we elect our first woman president.  

Go and vote, Mamas, and make it so!

  • Ida B. Wells:  Let The Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Meyers
  • Elizabeth Started All The Trouble by Doreen Rappaport
  • You Want Women To Vote, Lizzie Stanton? by Jean Fritz
  • Elizabeth Leads The Way by Tanya Lee Stone & Rebecca Gibbon
  • You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! by Shana Corey
  • The Ballot Box Battle By Emily Arnold McCully

Three More Days of Early Voting, Mamas!

Good Morning, Mamas!

There are only three days of early voting left in Texas, and that includes today!  Friday is the last day of early voting!

It is wise to vote early to avoid long lines on Election Day!  This election has drawn so many voters that there are even some lines for early voting, so you definitely do not want to wait!

Vote this week!

You can find information about polling places and what is on your ballot from your county or from the good folks at the League of Women Voters with their Vote411 project.

Vote, Mamas - our children's lives could depend on it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

All Saints

For saints you could look almost anywhere in the tangle
It's hard to get to the fruit beneath the scaly peel, to pry off the darkness in shreds
The food and the garbage are both there for the taking, no matter what you see

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Thin Veil

Gather in the creatures, the cows, the children, whatever you need
Gather in for winter coming, count and store your roots and seeds
Curl around the burnished colors, pulling close in warm and humid, turning cool at
Edges blurred and gone
Walk into the dark with courage of (jeweled cans in cellars) cuddled rooms thick and close with smells

Happy Birthday, Goblin Princess!

Our Lone Star Girl is 21, today.  She is making history (Herstory!) all the time and Lone Star Pa and I could not be any prouder of this amazing young woman.  Happy Birthday, Goblin Princess!  We love you!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Early Voting Starts Today!

Early voting starts today in Texas, Mamas!

Do you have a plan for getting out to vote?

Remember that there are lots and lots of important races and propositions on the ballot - not just the presidential race.  Be sure to get a sample ballot for your precinct (I got mine from my county's website - you can find your precinct number on your voter registration card) so you can see what is on it and research all the candidates and propositions before you cast your vote. These smaller races and propositions shape our communities and our schools and should not be ignored.

My plan is to do a little more research, including picking up a League of Women Voters guide,  and vote on Thursday when I will have time to take a "lunch" break in the town where I live between meetings for work and vote instead of lunching.  I have a really busy week, but I know this is important so I will fit it in.

I will be remembering the suffragettes who suffered abuse and beatings ad imprisonment so I would have the right to vote.  I will not waste the opportunity they gave me.

What is your plan?  What day will you be voting? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesdays With The Subversive Children's Book Club: Vaccines!

Flu season is coming on fast but there is still time to protect your family and others by getting flu vaccines for your family.  This installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club features children's biographies of Jonas Salk, American Hero.  Do not get pulled in by the dangerous pseudoscience, mamas - vaccinate your children!  Enjoy!

  • Splendid Solution:  Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio by Jeffrey Kluger
  • Jonas Salk:  Conquering Polio by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
  • Jonas Salk and The Polio Vaccine by John Bankston
  • Jonas Salk:  Creator of the Polio Vaccine by Salvatore Tocci
  • Jonas Salk and The Polio Vaccine by Katherine Krohn

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Action Alert: Give Congressman Farenthold A Call

Oh, Blake.

So tonight I watched my Congressman defend Donald Trump in a television interview.  He minimized the importance of Trump saying he could grab women's genitals and reiterated Trump's sick assertion that such is just "locker room banter".  When pressed as to whether Trump would lose Farenthold's support if he said he liked rape, Farenthold again said it would depend and it was just talk.

(Congressman, that sort of acceptance and defense of rape culture does not represent the women in your district at all well, as you are going to notice.)

Give Blake a call this week, Mamas, and send him an email, too - let him know what you think of his defense of Trump's rape-y talk.  The phone number for his Corpus Christi Office is (361) 884-2222 and his DC Office is (202) 225-7742.  You have to go through the form on his website to email him.

International Day of The Girl

Today, October 11th, is the International Day of the Girl!  Girls are our future - support and respect them.

The theme for this year is Girls' Progress =Goals' Progress:  What Counts For Girls, in recognition that the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals cannot be met without real progress for girls, which is hampered by gaps in data and poor data analysis and application.

What are you doing to support the girls in your family?  In your community?  In your world?  Post some great ideas in the comments section, please!

Last Day To Register To Vote!

Today is the very last day to register to vote and be eligible to vote in the November elections.  If you are not registered yet and wish to do so, you must register today!  You must turn in your completed voter registration card to your respective county by close of business or, if it is a mail-in card, get it postmarked today.

Be a patriot and register to vote!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Less Than Two Days Left To Register To Vote!!!

Tomorrow is the deadline by which voter registrations must be turned in to county offices or postmarked if you are going to vote in the November election, and it is not like those offices or the post office are open at night (or at all today) , so you have less than two days to register!!!

Not sure if you are registered?  Here is a link where you can check and get more information about registration.

Here is a link with information about getting registered in Texas.


Genocide Day

So my kid is off from school for Genocide Day - it is really disturbing that school districts still do this in light of what we know about the deplorable Mr. Columbus and his reign of terror.

Second Debate

The videos that came out last week showing Trump's deplorable 2005 behavior strongly contributed to the tension on display at the second debate last night.  Predictably, Trump proved that his half apology was no apology at all by trying to compare his disgusting tale of bragging about sexual assault to any number of things that he claims that Clinton has done, even though she has been continually cleared of any wrongdoing in all of the instances he brought up, plus attacking her on policy issues with complete lies about his own positions and the actual policies at hand.

Oh, and he called himself a gentleman.

We cannot allow this misogynist disaster of a man to play any role in the governing of our nation.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

VEEP Debates

Kaine's interruptions and manner were annoying and Pence was actually quite eloquent, but Kaine had good policy positions to share and Pence had only lies, so....

Wednesdays with the Subversive Children's Book Club: Last Stop On Market Street

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

This edition of the Subversive Children's Book Club highlights a lovely picture book for young children, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena.

In this sweet book, CJ and his Nana take the bus after church.  CJ is feeling a little dissatisfied with his simple life, without a lot of privileges, while his Nana points out the beauty of the community around him.  Their destination eventually highlights all that his Nana is giving him and teaching him.

Monday, October 03, 2016

More Friendship State Behavior

Oh, yeah, and Texas is moving forward with cutting about $350 million from the Medicaid program that provides therapy (like the physical and occupational therapy some people need to be able to handle the tasks of independent living when they are older)  to children with disabilities.  That does not sound like something that is going to really work out well for the future of Texas.

Please remember when you vote in November that these are the sorts of pro-life,  family values espoused by Republicans and Liberatarians and these are the sorts of things they do when they have power.  If we care about families and children, we have to get the Republicans in office out.  We have to keep the Republicans and Libertarians seeking office out.

The Friendship State

On Friday, the Governor's Office announced that Texas, a mainstay and expert state in refugee resettlement,  has officially withdrawn from the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program.  And Jesus wept.

SDG Mondays: Conserve The Oceans!

Today's installment of SDG Mondays focuses on the 14th of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

This goal has nine associated targets: 

 What do you think of this goal and its targets?  What will you do to try to meet the targets?


Sunday, October 02, 2016

Texas Influenza Awareness Day

Yesterday, October 1st, was Texas Influenza Awareness Day.  Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

Many people do not think it is important to get the flu shot because they have weathered the flu without too much trouble, but not everyone can.  Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those who have chronic health conditions like asthma face serious threats from the flu and often catch it from people who think they do not need to worry because they are not in those groups.  More than 200,000 people are hospitalized due to the flu in the U.S. each year and the number of hospitalizations is growing.  When you fail to get the flu shot, you not only increase your own health risk, but you seriously increase the health risks for every child, elderly person, pregnant person and person with a chronic condition with whom you come into contact.

Research has shown that the nasal mist flu vaccine has not proven effective with the strains of flu that are now most common, so be sure to get the shot instead (it is also less safe for people with chronic conditions like asthma or who are otherwise immunosuppressed and so was never recommended for them) .  

There is still time to get the flu shot and have it take effect before flu season takes hold in Texas this year!  It is important so please hurry!

Get yours this week and keep Texas safe from influenza!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


It is really true, at least for me, that one's perception of time speeds up the older one gets.  In many ways, this is still true for me.  The months and years speed by, ever faster, slipping through my fingers.  This was true of my past year, also, as much as any other recent year, even a little more so as it seems more so each year. other ways, this year has been time out of time.  I feel like I have been 44 forever, for my whole life, always.  Like 44 is all there ever really was and the rest is a dream.  So it is strange to be turning 45 today.  I wonder if I will always feel 44.

Some parts of life are just not linear.

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Autumn

In honor of the recent Autumn Equinox, the balancing point of night and day before the darkness creeps in, and all things pumpkin, this edition of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club features children's books with fall themes.  Enjoy!

  • Child of Faerie, Child of Earth by Jane Yolen 
  • Alice and Greta by Steven J. Simmons
  • The Autumn Equinox: Celebrating The Harvest by Ellen Jackson
  • Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit
  • The Pumpkin Blanket by Deborah Turney Zagwyn
  • Pumpkin Fiesta by Caryn Slawson Yacowitz
  • Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson 
  • The Apple Pip Princess by Jane Ray.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

National Voter Registration Day!

Today is National Voter Registration Day!  

Are you registered to vote? If not, you must hurry! The deadline to register and still be able to vote in the Presidential election is October 11th!

 Go to for more information.

The future of America depends on you!  Register to vote today!

Debate Night 2016

It was completely evident last night that Hillary Clinton is prepared to be President and the Donald is prepared to be a disaster who must be kept far away from our nuclear codes.  

He continued to insult people of color and faith.

He was sued by the Justice Department for not renting to African Americans and he settled.

He bragged about being endorsed by ICE, the folks who are illegally imprisoning refugee infants.

He showed, for the nth time, that he is a rude hothead, by constantly interrupting and talking over Hillary and the moderator.

Meanwhile, Madame President handled it all with grace and substance.  She's #PreparedToBePresident.

Monday, September 26, 2016

SDG Mondays: Combat Climate Change

Today's installment of SDG Mondays will focus on the 13th of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) :  Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

This goal has five associated targets:

What do you think of this goal and its targets?  What can you to to help meet the targets?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gulf Coast Grocery Musings/Corpus Christi Water Worries

H-E-B was so crowded today that I found myself checking people's carts for unusual amounts of water bottles to make sure I had not missed a boil water alert or a hurricane warning.  Just normal amounts of water, though; I guess it was just a busy Sunday.

Speaking of water, I am a little freaked by the recent news reports that there are such high levels of chromium-6 in the water supply.  I don't know what to do about that - everyone says the bottled water (which I am pretty sure I will go to hell for anyways) just comes from the tap anyways and those reverse-osmosis systems are way expensive and we have been saving to try to re-do our one bathroom which is about to fall through the floor, plus medical bills.

I really wish we could stop electing real estate types who are more concerned about the ever-Southward growth of the City than about things like safe drinking water.


Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week, usually the last week of September, is from September 25th - October 1st this year.

Celebrate and defend your freedom to read!

The theme of this year's Banned Books Week is Celebrate Diversity. 

Far too often, we define what is "classic" or worthy of being deemed "literature" by what is old and what we have always thought of in those categories, but America's history has been largely written by white males who have chosen to suppress the voices of women, people of color, people of non Judeo-Christian faiths and people who are LGBTQ.  

Young people, and older people, too,  need to see themselves in literature.  An old canon is not good literature if it does not represent us all. 

Find and support new voices!  Read about the beautiful diversity that is all around you!  This Banned Books Week and always, let us fight for everyone's voice to be heard through the literature that touches and teaches us.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


The tragedies just keep happening and some people keep closing their eyes to them.  It's real.  It has to stop.

Here's the reading list again if you still don't understand:

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  •  This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, by
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, by Monique W. Morris
  • For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education, by Christopher Emdin


More Bluebell Listeria

I don't know about y'all but Bluebell just doesn't seem like a safe bet to me anymore.

Happy Autumn!

It is still more like summer in these parts but the day/night ratio says autumn, so perhaps it is approaching!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Honoring Hispanic Heritage

To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, this edition of the Subversive Children's Book Club features books about people and events in Latino history and culture.  Enjoy!

  • Harvest of Hope:  The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull
  • Dolores Huerta:  A Hero To Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren
  • Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez by Monica Brown
  • Si, Se Puede!/Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. by Diana Cohn 
  • Separate is Never Equal:  Sylvia Mendez and her family's fight for desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Tomas and The Library Lady by Pat Mora
  • Frida by Jonah Winter
  • Diego by Jonah Winter
  • Sonia Sotomayor:  A Judge Grows in The Bronx by Jonah Winter.

Monday, September 19, 2016

SDG Mondays: Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

Happy Monday!  Today we are focusing on the twelfth of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

This goal has eleven targets:

What do you think of this goal and its targets?  

What can you do to help reach those targets?