HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » BlueMTexpat » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 14,870

Journal Archives

Just watched the outstanding Netflix movie "Mudbound."

It is excellent and well worth a watch.

Here is one review: http://time.com/5030321/mudbound-movie-review/

Mudbound works as a thumbnail picture of midcentury American racism and injustice, and as a reminder of how slowly things really change in this country, as much as we like to think of ourselves as progressive thinkers and lovers of freedom. But you can’t just write ideas on the screen: Your performers have to embody them, and there’s not a minute in Mudbound that doesn’t feel deeply felt and believable. Rees, who previously wrote and directed the 2011 coming-of-age drama Pariah, has shaped the material beautifully: This is just a good story, period, and Rees never loses sight of that. It’s told from the shifting points of view of each of its major characters, but it never feels cluttered or confusing. And the movie’s sense of history is woven tightly into its landscape. At one point Mulligan’s Laura reflects, in voice-over, on the muddy bleakness of her surroundings (“I dreamed in brown”), and Rachel Morrison’s cinematography provides the visual evidence. Morrison makes this world look both enduring and unsettling, the kind of place whose spirit creeps into your bones. Although Mudbound is being released in select theaters, it’s also available on Netflix, and its complex visual beauty works even on the small screen.

Sadly, we seem to have learned too little over the years.

Liberian refugee elected mayor of Helena


Along with all the other good news from yesterday's elections, this one is a real gem ... and a major victory.


HELENA, Mont. - Voters in Montana's capital city have elected a Liberian refugee as their next mayor.

Wilmot Collins ousted four-term Helena Mayor Jim Smith 51 percent to 48 percent Tuesday in the mail-in election for the non-partisan post.

Collins campaigned for more affordable housing, addressing homelessness among military veterans and teens and for increasing staffing for the police and fire departments.

Collins is a state child protection specialist and an adjunct instructor at Helena College - University of Montana. He is also a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves. He fled the civil war in Liberia in the early 1990s.

Congratulations, Mayor Collins!

Hillary Clinton to visit Swansea for university honour

A good friend who is Welsh and who is excited about this visit just called to tell me this news after hearing Hillary interviewed, so I looked it up for myself. As it happens, in my own American "mutt" heritage, one of my earliest New World ancestors was also Welsh.


The former US secretary of state and 2016 American presidential candidate will be presented with the award during a ceremony at Swansea University's Bay Campus.

It recognises her commitment to promoting the rights of families and children around the world.

Mrs Clinton's great grandparents were from south Wales.

Vice chancellor Prof Richard Davies said the university was honoured to present the award to the former first lady, the wife of former US president Bill Clinton.

More at the link.

The world STILL appreciates this great woman.

Roger Federer survives first round scare against 70th-ranked Frances Tiafoe


As a fan of watching tennis (I am no player myself, but my husband is and he has educated me on the finer points) and a fan of the great Roger Federer (as a resident of Switzerland, it's almost an obligation to be, LOL), I watched last evening's thrilling first round US Open tennis match and was very impressed with the playing and general demeanor of Frances Tiafoe. While Roger literally hung on by a thread to win, Tiafoe looks to be one of the most impressive American men's tennis players right now and should have a brilliant career ahead of him if he keeps on the way he has begun.

I am posting this CNN article because it is one with more details about the young man himself. IMO, they make him even more impressive.

Reportedly a quiet, thoughtful teen, Tiafoe credits much of his development to his father, Constant Tiafoe, an immigrant from Sierra Leone.
The elder Tiafoe helped build, and later became the custodian of, the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland, where Frances has trained since he was a child.
While working around the clock, his father was forced to move into a vacant storage room at the tennis center, where his two boys would stay with him, sleeping on a massage table, while their mother worked night shifts as a nurse.
At just 15 years old, Tiafoe won the prestigious Orange Bowl, becoming the youngest boys' singles champion in the tournament's history -- a remarkable feat considering the list of previous champions, which includes Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
While many junior prodigies have come and gone, Tiafoe's unique background and work ethic set him apart from the rest. He said of his parents, "with them trying so hard, I felt like I didn't want to let them down. I felt like I didn't want to let the opportunities go for granted."

He's someone I'll be paying attention to from now on and I wish him ALL success!

Some recent articles on the French Presidential elections today..

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/23/france-presidential-election-voting-begins-eu-le-pen

France’s interior ministry said turnout at midday was 28.54%, a slight increase on the previous poll in 2012 and well up on the record low 21.4% in 2002, when Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie advanced to the runoff in a major upset. Analysts have said the abstention level could play a big part in this year’s vote.

Topless demonstrators from the Femen activist group briefly caused a commotion as they staged a protest against Le Pen outside a polling station in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont where she was heading to vote.

More recent reports indicate that since noon, the turnout has been slightly less than in 2002.

The Telegraph (UK) is really playing up Marine Le Pen, but other sources say that Macron is slightly ahead of her. I believe that The Telegraph is considered RW or right-leaning. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/23/french-election-live-results-exit-polls/

There is no real breaking news as the candidate spread is still tight according to the latest polls and some believe that any of the top four (Macron, Le Pen, Fillon, or Melenchon) could still be chosen for the top two slots for the run-off. The general consensus, however, is that there the run-off will be between Macron and Le Pen and Macron appears to be leading as of the latest reports.

One site in French (actually it's in French-speaking Belgium) that seems to be updated the most regularly is RTBF: https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_presidentielle-francaise-la-participation-a-midi-direct?id=9587638#

Le Monde reports that there is a LONG line of French expats waiting to vote in Montreal: http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/video/2017/04/23/election-presidentielle-2017-a-montreal-des-centaines-de-metres-de-file-d-attente-pour-voter_5115864_4854003.html

This link at Le Monde is also being regularly updated: http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/live/2017/04/23/election-presidentielle-suivez-la-journee-du-premier-tour-en-direct_5115735_4854003.html

The polls in France will close in a little more than an hour from now.

I had actually liked Manuel Valls best (he was Prime Minister until December 2016; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Valls), but the Socialist Party did not choose him as its candidate. The Socialists have not been able to rally around the candidate that they did choose. Valls has also thrown his support to Macron, infuriating some Socialists. http://en.rfi.fr/france/20170330-french-socialists-turmoil-over-vallss-macron-support

Unless Fillon is able to pull off a minor miracle, it looks very much as though neither of France's traditional parties will have a candidate in the run-off election.

As a globalist myself, I very much prefer Macron to ALL other candidates currently in the race. But should the race be between Le Pen and Fillon, I'd back Fillon in a second over the female version of DJT, although I must admit that Le Pen is MUCH more intelligent than Man-Toddler. At least, Fillon is also a globalist.

Black and Brown Girls Matter

From my email inbox this morning: https://www.womensmarch.com/missing-girls/

In March, a social media meme went viral stating that 14 Black and Latina girls went missing from the DC area within a 24-hour span. While the statistic was incorrect, it sparked a much-needed conversation about missing girls of color in America, and the overall lack of attention from the media and white communities. This was glaringly obvious at a recent town hall meeting in DC on the missing girls, which was attended almost exclusively by Black folks, and left many women of color wondering where the white women they marched with in January were. For many white women, it may be painful to hear that they have not shown up for their sisters of color; it is also painful for women of color to be ignored by their white sisters when children of color are missing.

While all missing youth face obstacles and are at risk of some kind of violence, girls of color, particularly Black and Indigenous girls, face intersecting threats of gendered violence, racial violence, and mistreatment and violence within systems and institutions that are supposed to serve them. Trans, queer, and gender nonconforming young people, as well as disabled youth, also face intersecting violence and represent a disproportionate share of homeless youth.

The response to #MissingGirlsDC has shown just how pervasive this violence is - and how invisible it is to those who are not directly impacted by it. It is not invisible. We all know it is happening. And we all must act.

Today, Women’s March is launching an awareness campaign to connect people, huddles, and communities, to resources around the issue of the missing Black, Latinx, and Indigenous girls. We are committed to supporting, advocating for, and uplifting the work of local organizations that have long been dedicated to finding and caring for these girls, and for all missing youth - including trans and gender nonconforming youth. Below, we’ve included some organizations based around the country for you to consider supporting - whether by attending meetings and events, volunteering, spreading the word on social media, or through financial support.

I am a white woman who currently lives abroad. I support ALL my sisters - EVERY SINGLE ONE!

American Democrats Abroad are

not letting the November 2016 debacle get us down.

Please see this Xpost in the General Discussion Forum: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028866336

American Democrats Abroad are

more active than ever. Last Saturday (25 March), I attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of American Democrats Abroad - Swtizerland (ADACH) in Basel.

Here is a summary of the meeting which included elections for ADACH's Executive Committee.

... the new ExCom is equally representative of all the regions of Switzerland. This exciting new composition shows how truly energized this membership has become since November! It has been 41 years since DA Switzerland was created (1976) and run primarily from Geneva. Now, the new Chair, Kate Edson, will be running the organization from Basel with members of her committee based in 5 other cities! This means that it will be easier than ever for more members to participate.

This new leadership also brings enormous talent and energy to DA Switzerland at a time when it is most needed, to support political action by our members, and get out the vote for special elections this year and the Senate/House races in 2018.

Thank you to Maya Samara and Peter Butterfield on the nominations committee for all the hard work that went into making this meeting and election such a success. Thank you to the Basel team: Kelli Brouillet, Rosie Pontarelli, Mariah Silkey, Lyndsay Obbarius, Kristen Jafflin, Vivian Beetle, Sara Stewart, Liz Voss and Julie Charubusapayon for finding such wonderful venues for the lunch and meeting, and for the many kind hands that helped with the many thankless tasks that go into such an endeavor.

Thank you to the more than 60 members who took the time to attend (coming from Winterthur, Zurich, Zug, Lucerne, Bern, Lugano, Geneva, and points in between) and the 20 who voted by proxy. Most importantly, thank you to the sixteen candidates for their willingness to run for office.

I am also thrilled to announce the creation of two new chapters: Basel and Geneva. That makes a total of three chapters, along with Zurich (2009). This is wonderful news because while the new Executive Committee is getting cranked up, three additional committees will also soon be elected to join them (Look out for the call for candidates going out very soon!)

Member meetings around Switzerland have helped galvanize members into forming active groups elsewhere too! Thank you to Robin Bognuda and Meghan Jones for taking the lead in Ticino, Margo O'Brien and Pamela Penman in Zug, and Jack Pogany for hosting enthusiastic members in Lausanne. More will follow soon in other venues, so please let the ExCom know if you are interested in hosting or participating in a location near you.

It has been a privilege and an honor to Chair DACH for the last four years, together with such talented and dedicated ExCom team members. My heartfelt thanks go to them all. Special thanks are due to Maya Samara, former Chair, for her wisdom, insight and experience that she generously offered at every critical moment. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to Peter Butterfield as Vice-Chair, for his steadfast, kind and reliable contributions. My heartfelt thanks and admiration also go to Terri O’Brien and Eileen Weinberg for the many wonderful contributions they made, far beyond their mandates. Further to her role, Emily Benson singlehandedly ran the registration for the Election Night in Geneva, a superhuman task! Christian Jordan (Treasurer) encouraged and supported the team in any way he could. Thank you to Karen Monroe for filling a key role as legal Counsel. I am extremely grateful to Kate Edson for reactivating the Basel team which has become a formidable force under her leadership. Thank you Renee Rousseau for your personable and talented promotion of DACH as Zurich Chair. And not least of all, thank you to the many many volunteers who answered the call to help register voters at the primaries, and all year round countrywide last year.


We might have lost the Electoral College, but we won the popular vote. The movement that was started in November to counter the current government has already shown promising results and I am sure that with your active participation, here and at home, and with the leadership of this new Executive Committee, American voters in Switzerland will continue to build support and overcome the hurdles to form a Democratic Senate in 2018.

If you are a US expat, please check here to find out which DA Country organization you can join. http://www.democratsabroad.org/countries Even though we live abroad, we can also help to influence events at home to assist those of our fellow citizens who are suffering under the draconian antics of a madman and his all-too-willing GOPer toadies.

Please keep this Special Election information in mind.

Please also do everything you can to ensure that the Dem candidates win.


Xavier Becerra's seat (CA-34) is open because Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to be the CA AG. http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-gov-brown-taps-california-s-rep-1480609606-htmlstory.html

Every other seat is currently an R-held seat. With some hard work, dedication and $$$, Dems could conceivably win SIX seats (five in the House and one in the Senate), for a net gain of FIVE. What a message THAT would send ... and some GOPers might actually "get" it even though Trump NEVER will.

This is NOT the time for negative thinking. Now more than even is the time for action.

Sen. Booker headlines Montana Democrats' annual dinner​


I'm very glad to see that some national Dems are taking Montana's special election seriously. Thank you, Senator Booker!

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Democrats brought in one of their national party's rising stars to headline their annual dinner, but the hundreds who gathered Saturday wanted to hear more from one of their own: musician Rob Quist, who must convince fellow Democrats that he can win back the state's only congressional seat and help national Democrats push back against the Republican tide.

He will have to prevail in the May 25 special election against Republican Greg Gianforte, a Bozeman entrepreneur and former gubernatorial candidate with deep pockets and a determination to win public office.

Quist has been traveling the state as he did while on tour with his musical group to win support from voters. He will also have to convince donors to invest in his campaign.

"This House seat should not be his consolation prize," Quist said of his Republican opponent, in a speech meant to energize the 1,200 Democrats from across the expansive state meeting for the Mansfield Metcalf Celebration at the Lewis and Clark County fairgrounds.

The GF Tribune used to be a decent paper, but has become much more conservative than it was in my youth.
Go to Page: 1 2 Next »