Reasons why I support Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton may be one of the most vetted presidential candidates we’ve every–EVER–seen.  Ever.  Nothing in her life has gone unscrutinized, hashed and rehashed, by people who are fundamentally antagonistic toward her. I’m more than okay with her candidacy, especially since Bernie has imploded.

She has been at the forefront of the major issues of our time, especially the rights of women and children and the under-served and universal health care.  In the 1970s, some conservative jurists dismissed her work in critical legal studies as diminishing the traditional authority and power of the parent. Historian Garry Wills, whose books on the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address I’ve always admired, called her work some of the most important of the time and other legal scholars pointed out that her scholarship on children and women in the law helped to impose some order on a chaotic and confusing body of law.  This was, after all, the role of critical legal studies:  movement in legal theory and a network of leftist legal scholars to shape society based on a vision of human personality devoid of the hidden interests of gender and class domination.

If we think about it, these early years predicated subsequent actions: there is nothing contradictory about her movement from legal scholar to activist to politician to stateswoman.  Her work in those days, exemplified in her efforts to help found the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, recognized that the law tended to serve the interests of the wealthy and the powerful by protecting them against the demands of the poor, women, children, ethnic minorities, traditionally disenfranchised, etc. Then there’s Office on Violence Against Women  (developed with Janet Reno); Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997) and the list goes on.  As First Lady, she rivaled Pat Nixon in official visits; as activist, she rivaled Eleanor Roosevelt.  Because of Hillary Clinton, “it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights,”   part of her speech at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.  As Secretary of State, she found a terrific balance in the use of “smart power” (as opposed to “hard power” (weapons) and “soft power” (economic pressure), as Secretary of State.

I’m amazed at her endurance.  I’m several years younger, and would pale at the pace she sets herself.  The travel, the speeches, and the constant on-switch she demonstrates is incredible.  Is she polarizing?  I suspect it’s partisan polarization.   How tough is it to be a woman in politics?  To be caught in that bind of gendered expectation?







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Ueberlingen’s Promenade

HarborIn the summer, this is one of my favorite places to sit.  I can stay here for hours, with my feet in the water, reading.  In the summer of course!  In the winter, not so nice.  This is the harbor on the east side of the city, so we’re facing Austria (which you cannot see) at the other end of the lake.  Imagine, though, just beyond that stream of light a shoreline, with high mountains (that would be by Bregenz and Feldkirch).  That’s Austria.  This particular harbor can take some sizeable boats—several of them are tour boats, and have a deep enough draft to keep the tourists from getting sick.  Several very nice yachts dock there, usually all year because the lake rarely freezes.  During the storm last week, they were rocking and their rigging jingled; it sounded like the chapel bells ringing madly.

Boats in HarborYou can see the size of the boats in there—all of them sizeable, especially this one in front, which is a regular transport boat.  Behind it is another, and to watch the two of them work they way into this harbor is a joy.  They really know what they are doing.  The one behind this one, which you can’t see, makes a regular trip across the lake to Waldhausen, several times in the morning and the evening.  I’ve seen the children waiting to take it home from school.  It also goes once a day (in the winter, several times in the summer) to the village at the top of the lake, Bodman.  I missed the last one back to Ueberlingen once in the summer, and had a LONG walk to Ludwigshafen, to catch the train home.    Fastest way across the lake is, of course, across it, not around it.  So normally, from about May through mid-October, there are boats everywhere, and commercial ones to take people to all the cities on the lake, plus several of the villages.  Regular trips to Mainau too, which is an island across this part of the lake, about half way between here and Constance.  The car ferry between Meersburg and Constance runs all year long, too.  But in the winter, it’s a cold proposition!
Zwergtauber?I’m curious: can anyone identify the little beastie in the center?  He’s not an ordinary mallard:  he’s got that rust-colored head.  He was quite content to take charge of these two others, though, and chased away anyone else who got too close.  I think it’s some kind of Grebe.  Very common here, but I don’t recall seeing them in the states.  Just after I took this picture, a Cormorant swam up to the group and started a big fight.

In the summer, the entire waterfront is lined with outdoor tables, umbrellas, and people eating ice cream or eis coffee (coffee with ice cream, something like a root beer float, only with expresso and vanilla ice cream).  Most of these shops are run by Italian immigrant families, and the ice cream is usually gelato.  So it’s a haven for calories, but very tasty.  Germans can make a meal of ice cream: it even looks like spaghetti with meatballs, or a hamburger, or something, because of the way they form the ice cream, the kinds they use, and how they display it on the plate.  It’s all very clever.   So it’s possible here to make a meal on ice cream and convince yourself it’s spaghetti.  See the item in the middle on the left:  Spaghetti Eis (Eis=ice cream).

Spaghetti Eis

Spaghetti Eis

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February 13, 2013 · 1:02 pm

Sights (no sounds) of Uberlingen




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Old Dirty Books


Copy of Text 8 August 1796: Actum in Senate.

If you’re wondering how I spend my days in the archive, see the picture I’ve posted here.  This is an example of the text, from this Dirty old books (old dirty books? In this particular one, the Magistrates of Ueberlingen are trying to get enough troops to send to the Swabian Circle’s (Circle is a District in the Holy Roman Empire) militia contingent. Normally they had to send 10-13 men, but at this time, the Emperor wanted 88 men, which Ueberlingen would not be able to send.  Regardless, the men they did send ended up guarding a bridge at the city of Kehl, on the Rhine bordering France.  Later in the spring, while fighting was going strong in Italy (that would be Bonaparte v Wurmser), 24000 French troops crossed the river in a day.  This is not our Rhine of today, either:  it had dozens upon dozens of channels, marshlands, islands, and a morass of swamps.  They crossed at the end of June, when the water would have been at its highest, so were able to use flat boats and such, but still! it was amazing how fast they moved.  The Swabians, including those 15 or so men from Ueberlingen, didn’t have a chance.  Eventually the French over-ran the entire district, including Ueberlingen.  One of the diarists here wrote that the countryside was swimming with Frenchmen.

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The Santis chain, from Ueberlingen shore

The Santis chain, from Ueberlingen shore

The mountains appear to be much closer than they actually are, and the photo doesn’t lie to me, like my eyes do. They actually are snow covered, though, and yesterday there were skiers on the trains heading toward them, and the mountains in the vicinity of Zurich.

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February 9, 2013 · 10:01 am

Confused by Word Press

Not them, it’s me.  I thought I posted something a day or two ago and it isn’t showing up.  Any of my friends familiar with this program and wish to offer advice?  (Jessie?  Larry?)


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Getting Organized day….

Today was the day to get myself organized, buy my groceries to hold me for a couple of days (coffee, milk, sugar and some grapes), and sundry other stuff.  While wandering around Überlingen, though, I’ve noticed many changes.  Two of the bookstores have moved to new quarters, bigger and brighter and better organized.  And there is a fourth bookstore that opened across the street from one of the well-established ones.  Bookstores are good.  Unfortunately, one of them has opened in a remodeled building that used to house, among other things, a very nice shop for children’s toys that specialized in carved wooden trains and cars.  I was hoping to find something there for my great-nephew!  Many other buildings have had a sprucing up:  paint, new plaster, new windows and roofs, etc.  Clearly people are putting money into things here.  It’s not like Zürich, which I think can now be called the nesting ground of the 40 foot crane, but still, there’s been plenty of renovation and in a city like this, renovation is seriously needed.   The tattoo shop down the street from the Archive has a new name:  Fuck the Pain.  Isn’t that nice?  It looks like it is doing a thriving business as well, and has expanded from its former hole in the wall to include the shop next door.  It looks now like a place where one might actually feel safe getting a piercing or a tattoo—at least, without picking up a variety of infectious diseases.

Most astonishing, though, is the pervasiveness of solar power.  Between Schaffhausen and Überlingen there were fields of collectors, surrounded by a few fallow potato and rape (the seeds that produce canola oil) fields and something that will probably turn into winter wheat.  Even this hotel has a set of panels where there used to be a rooftop garden!


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