Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

It’s the second night in a row, in which protests in Berkeley have gone awry with business windows being shattered and graffiti scrawled all over the place. A lot of it has happened in our neighborhood, including our local Walgreens right around the corner from the Daily Kos office — I am terribly disappointed.

Two things I need to get off my chest: the vast majority of the protesters were peaceful. A minority from the anarchist movement starting wreaking havoc. Second thing I wish were made more apparent by the media as “looting” and “rioting” are such racially charged terms: the masked men who were arrested yesterday for breaking store windows were…WHITE.

I’ll update some more in the morning, but I’ve been up from the noise of the helicopters and police. Thought I’d share.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Weekend Open Thread

A few days ago, we asked the kids if they would like to buy some toys to donate to other kids this Christmas. We explained that other children might not receive many presents, and it would be nice to know we helped make Christmas morning special for a child or two.

DH was especially worried about how they would react. He vividly remembers his own father insisting that he and his brothers donate some of their own toys to less fortunate kids, and feeling resentful at having to give up his stuff.

I worried that DS4 wouldn’t get it. I could see him happily picking out the toys, then being crestfallen when he realized they weren’t for him to play with.

I’m happy to report the kids exceeded all expectations. They shopped with as much enthusiasm as if they were shopping for themselves. They put thought into which toys would make them happy, and figured they would make other kids happy, as well.

We dropped the toys off at a nearby fire station, and the kids got an up close look at a shiny new rig. It was a small gesture, but it made us all feel good. We decided this is something we would like to do as a family each year.

IMG_9405Do you have any similar traditions? How do you go about fostering a sense of generosity in your kids? And what else is on your mind as we approach the holidays? Chat away!

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Thursday Open Thread

So here’s something that baffles me: people who will defend cops no matter what.

I just don’t get the whole, “Do what the cops say, and they won’t hurt/maim/kill you!” argument. Then there’s the “I got pulled over once, so there’s no racial profiling” point of view.

I actually saw a Facebook comment that said, “Bottom line, if you fight with a cop, you deserve to get shot.” Where does this mindset come from?

Eric Garner is the latest outrage. Unarmed, put in a banned chokehold, ON VIDEO, and still the cops get impunity. I can’t make any sense of anything any more.

What say you, ladies? Will things continue this way, or are we reaching some sort of a tipping point here? Will public outrage ever spur some meaningful change? Anyone in New York have any insight as to the mood and reaction there?

What else is on your mind today?

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Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

ICYMI, the Daily Kos ran a heart-warming story about a former NFL player who left at the peak of his career to open a farm and give away food. I was disappointed at the commenters who suggested he should have continued to play to give away money instead. For me, they are missing the big picture here. Not only are the food donations generous, but I am proud of Jason Brown for the larger example he is setting: that there is a such thing as having enough money to live. Also, considering how many communities in the country lack fresh produce and don’t know how to eat healthy, he is setting an incredible example.

Please come to my event! Are any of you on Google Hangout? I will be on with MoveOn’s Joan Blades, the founder of the Log Cabin Republicans and other interesting folks for a trans-partisan discussion on “healing the heart of our democracy” tomorrow 2pmET. You can view the live chat here.

Pregnancy Discrimination Breakthrough?: I’ve got my eyes glued to the news today as the U.S. Supreme Court listens to a historic case regarding pregnancy discrimination. My MomsRising colleagues and our members are among those lending their support outside the courthouse. This makes me feel hopeful that one day none of our daughters will be forced to choose between their jobs and their pregnancies. Progress!

And, yes, we have various virtual initiatives going on as well. Among them is a #WellnessWed twitter chat devoted to pregnancy discrimination and the case itself at 1pmET TODAY. I’ll be tweeting in Spanish, while our “Rolling” will be doing so in English. Please join us!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I am bone weary tired. Last week, DH and I took off from work to purge our house of years’ worth of junk and prepare for the holidays. We got through the kitchen, our bedroom, the master bathroom, and living room. We cleared out ten heavy-duty construction bags of junk — which we have to take to the transfer station — and six regular trash bags of clothes that went to Good Will. By the time we got to the “fun” part of buying the tree and decorating the inside and outside of the house, I thought to myself, “Why are we doing this? We don’t need any more stuff!” lol.

I meant to take pictures to show off our progress, but I just can’t muster the strength.

How are you this morning?

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Weekend Open Thread

We just got back last night from a wonderful Thanksgiving trip. We flew out Monday and headed back Friday, and the airport crowds were light. We met up with two of DH’s brothers and their families and had a truly lovely time. And because we flew back on Friday, we have the weekend to relax and recover. WIN.

What are your plans this weekend? Chat away!

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Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Quick update on the cleaning: Damn, we have a lot of junk. On Day 1 (Monday), DH and I worked for about three hours, scrubbing and purging to finish…a corner of our kitchen. We could not believe how dirty it was and how much stuff — three hefty bags full of crap — was stashed away in drawers and cupboards.

We’ve been purging one room at a time and have finished the kitchen and are halfway through our bedroom. I purged a box of books and at least three trash bags of clothes. DH another two bags. We are never shopping again. lol!

Up next? Finish the bedroom and start the master bathroom. We are going to have the kids clean their rooms this weekend. DH and I agreed that the rest of the house is going to have to wait until Christmas break. We just have way too much stuff. Ugh.

In the meantime, I’ve taken breaks to read news and email. I was intrigued by this Huffington Post slide show presentation on school lunch foods around the world.

Also, I was saddened by the grand jury decision in Ferguson. A teenager is shot six times and killed by the very person in charge of protecting him. When did the police become judge, jury and executioner in this country? Shudder….

I did take a moment to sign this MomsRising petition to the Department of Justice. As we go into Thanksgiving tomorrow, I can stop thinking of the empty seat at Mike Brown’s family’s dinner table. Terrible.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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