It Has A Good Beat and It’s Easy to Dance To (Open Thread)

I would love to hear what you all think of this that JPL linked to in the previous thread.

(replaced the first link with this better one, still the same song)

I liked it, but I’m not sure what they are supposed to stock up on. ??

I LOVE THIS, THOUGH.

It Has A Good Beat and It's Easy to Dance To (Open Thread)

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Voting Access for All Coalition – Our First Balloon Juice Angel Is Up at Bat

Voting Access for All Coalition - Ask Them Anything!
Voting Access for All

Michigan citizens with a criminal record have a right to vote!  VAAC is dedicated to ensuring that all Michiganders understand their rights – even with a felony record, on probation, parole or tether, or awaiting arraignment or trial, even while in Jail – you have the power to vote.  Your past doesn’t prevent you from impacting our future.

Your donations help us to:

educate people who have been misinformed about their right to vote

motivate those who do not believe their vote matters

– help people overcome the barriers that may prevent them from voting

They have an external match for us (up to $20k and they are working on more) and we have a BJ Angel who offered a $1,000 match!   So any donation up to $50 can be multiplied by 4 to see the actual impact of your donation.

Watch this video with real VAAC volunteers describing their mission.

Take a look at their Q & A from last night.  They are inspirational!

As many as 300,000 Michiganders who have a criminal record are eligible to vote, but far too many of them believe they’ve lost the right to vote. VACC is working to empower this woefully disenfranchised community, and their goal for registration and voting in November is a whopping 100,000.

Think for a second about what the margin of victory was in Michigan in 2020.

Totally open thread.

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On The Road – Steve from Mendocino – Brittany, France

Steve from Mendocino

My ex-wife, Anne-Marie, had family in Paris, the Basque country, and a bit in southern Beaujolais so our travel was mostly in those areas. The welcome was warm and the food and lodging free and delightful. Brittany, though, has a great deal to offer both in its historical and cultural uniqueness as well as its culinary offerings. The photos below are from the few pictures I took during my first visit to Brittany some 50 years ago.

My only specific memory of that trip was a meal of oysters and Muscadet while sitting at the window of an inexpensive restaurant in Cancale as we looked over the oyster beds just below. Muscadet is cheap and famously good pairing with oysters. Of my two subsequent trips in the area, my most notable memory was when I went under an underpass on the autoroute and noticed a little car hugged up and parked by the bridge. I was speeding, and I said to my partner “I just got a ticket.” I continued for several more miles up to the toll booth, and a French highway patrolman sauntered up in his nearly knee high leather boots and motioned me over.

I thought it would be clever to pretend I spoke no French, and have my partner, who had been taking lessons, do all the talking and pretend to translate for me. It turns out that the highway patrol have a book with topics they need to say to people like me. They point to the sentence in French and the offender gets to read the translation in their own language. Thus it took extra time and I had to show no reaction to snide observations they made about us.

As a bonus, they did not accept credit cards, and I was faced with having to hitchhike back and forth to Rennes on a Saturday to somehow secure cash in Renne and then hitchhike back to ransom my car. Fortunately, I was able to talk the toll booth operator into cashing some traveler’s checks. We drove off and treated ourselves to a very nice meal of seafood and Champagne in a quaint coastal restaurant to ease the pain.

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Voting Access for All Coalition – Ask Them Anything!

Let’s give a warm welcome to the folks from VAAC – Voting Access for All!

Voting Access for All Coalition - Ask Them Anything!
A short introduction from their Act Blue page:

Michigan citizens with a criminal record have a right to vote!  VAAC is dedicated to ensuring that all Michiganders understand their rights – even with a felony record, on probation, parole or tether, or awaiting arraignment or trial, even while in Jail – you have the power to vote.  Your past doesn’t prevent you from impacting our future.

Your donations help us to:

educate people who have been misinformed about their right to vote

motivate those who do not believe their vote matters

– help people overcome the barriers that may prevent them from voting

Watch this video with real VAAC volunteers describing their mission.

As many as 300,000 Michiganders who have a criminal record are eligible to vote, but far too many of them believe they’ve lost the right to vote. VACC is working to empower this woefully disenfranchised community, and their goal for registration and voting in November is a whopping 100,000.

Think for a second about what the margin of victory was in Michigan in 2020.

VAAC is sending formerly incarcerated individuals back into their communities to clarify the law, and they are sending representatives to several urban County jails to register eligible voters who are awaiting arraignment or trial.

They are sending volunteers to “expungement fairs,” where volunteer lawyers help citizens who have fulfilled their obligation to society get their records cleaned up.

Not just that – VAAC volunteers and employees with a criminal record are building their resumes through their efforts, and finding purpose and inspiration.

Consistent with our goal of strategic funding, we are looking to fund “boots-on-the ground” positions.   Once we know exactly what the external match amount will be, we will share more details about exactly which positions we will fund.

The enthusiasm of the founders and the volunteers is infectious.  Don’t miss the Zoom call next Wednesday, 5/18 at 7:30 pm, where some of the coalition leaders and members (even a couple of the volunteers featured in the video) will join us.

Thanks to the execrable War on Drugs and a criminal justice system with a racist history, the community targeted for outreach is large and persuadable.

With the sheer number of new voters VAAC aims to bring into the system, with the voter protection amendment promoted by Promote the Vote 2022, and with our funding of Four Directions in Michigan, we believe it’s possible to put the Michigan brick firmly back in the Blue Wall.

Enough from us!  Ask them anything, watch the video, and check out their website.

Oh, and come meet them in person at the zoom next Wednesday, May 18 at 7:30!

Voting Access for All Coalition

 

 

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Call To Action: One Tiny Thing You Can Do To Help Today (Open Thread)

Hey BJ Peeps,

You guys keep coming through, so let’s see if some of you can help out today.

Call To Action: One Tiny Thing You Can Do To Help Today

Republicans are attacking democracy on every front,
so we have to fight back with every tool we have.

Here’s the TINY ASK for today.  Make a list every high school senior you know.

– Ask them to register to vote.  Offer to help them get registered.

– Make a list of every educator, administrator, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle and coach you know, and talk to them, let them know about this campaign.

– Read about the new campaign: Class of 2022 Ready to Vote Challenge.  They will even send you 10 free stickers.

3 million high school seniors become eligible to vote every year, but less than 20% – just over half a million – register to vote.

If we double that this year, that’s 500,000 more young people who could vote.

I’m sure all the Young Republicans are already registered; can we  do our part to help balance that out?

🐇

Oh, and big thanks to everyone who followed us @Actual_Citizens on twitter!

Our twitter name is @Actual_Citizens (note the “s”)

If you tweet or retweet or quote tweet related related to our efforts, it’s super helpful if you use this hashtag in every tweet:

#ActualCitizensUnited

And if you’re willing, please jump onto the “If Republicans…” twitter effort.

I started it off with:  If Republicans cared so much about freedom, they wouldn’t try so hard to restrict it.

One of the great replies was: If republicans really cared about freedom of speech, they wouldn’t call the cops on sidewalk chalk.

I loved that one!

Just please remember 2 things:

1) use the #IfRepublicans hashtag along with #ActualCitizensUnited

2) please don’t reference Brandon or pedophiles are anything else that is part of Republican propaganda, that just pushes those things higher on the twitter algorithm and ensures that their lies get promoted.

If you have any questions about our social media initiative, just ask!

Otherwise, totally open thread.

 

 

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Bring It, Hakeem!

Dems fighting back!  I am seeing this more and more.

Hakeem Jeffries on a rant is a balm for the soul.

Open thread.

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On The Road – 🐾BillinGlendaleCA – Two Valleys

BillinGlendaleCA

This week’s nocturnal excursions takes us to two valleys, one close to home and very familiar(I grew up there) and the other further away with some really dark skies that I visit when I can. Closer to home is the Conejo Valley whose western end is about 7 miles from the coast. It features Boney Mountain and Sandstone Peak, which we’ve seen closeup previously in these pages, as a nice foreground. But could you see and photograph the Milky Way from there? I don’t remember seeing the Milky Way while I was growing up in the area even with LA area being smaller in size and light pollution. So I ventured out after I finished work at 12am one Monday morning. To the naked eye, the Milky Way galactic core is barely visible amid the light pollution, but can be made out if you know what to look for. I took two set of photos in the Conejo Valley, one with my NX1 and one with my cellphone(S22 Ultra). The results were somewhat surprising.

My next chance to shoot came when I had two consecutive days off from my duties at the Home of the Orange Apron, with a new moon and clear skies, I headed off to the Owens Valley. I had identified two locations near the town of Keeler on what was once the eastern shore of Owens Lake. I visited the cemetery there in the daytime and could see the ruins of the old smelter during a trip up there about 2 years ago. These were my two sites to shoot this trip with using a light panel a co-worker gave me to light up the foreground. I headed to the Alabama Hills at the foot of Mt. Whitney for a bonus shot at a location that was the foreground for some of my Orion shots during the winter. As the night turned to dawn Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn rose to the east over the Inyo Mountains. I stayed around for the sunrise before driving back to Glendale.

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Call To Action: One Tiny Thing You Can Do To Help Today (Open Thread)

Hey BJ Peeps,

You guys totally came through the last three times, so let’s see if some of you can help out today.

I assume that most of you have seen or heard talk of the Join the Fight! project some of us are working on, or at least have heard about one part of the project – our Social Media Initiative.  If not, please click the link above.

Call To Action: One Tiny Thing You Can Do To Help Today

Big thanks to everyone who followed us @Actual_Citizens on twitter!  Extra thanks to anyone who not only followed us, but also liked us, retweeted one of our tweets, or quote tweeted us.  And a big thanks to everyone wrote a 35-second elevator pitch yesterday.

Here’s the TINY ASK for today.  Use this tweet from Nancy Pelosi, and come up with your own:

If Republicans were “good on X”, then …  

or

If Republicans “cared about X” then…

We want something short and sweet, just like the tweet from Nancy SMASH. 

Please let us know what you would put in a tweet modeled after the one above.

On whatever issues are most important to you.  You can, of course, submit more than one!

I would like to turn these into a bunch of tweets that we can post with our hashtag #ActualCitizensUnited and the hashtag #IfRepublicans

This really is a totally Open thread.

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