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Reposted from Trisha Tahmasbi by remembrance Editor's Note: Please welcome new diarist, Trisha. We met her when we volunteered for the Mike Honda campaign. Force of nature. -- remembrance

I've been active in politics for over 10 years, most recently as a Chief of Staff to a progressive State Legislator in Silicon Valley, California. But before that, I served as an public official myself. I've run for office, I've successfully helped high profile leaders in their campaigns for higher office, and I've organized student groups and women's rights groups around issues of social justice. I've dedicated more than 10 years to public service, because I believe it's there that I can be a most effective agent of change.  

As women in a man's profession, there's one thing that we almost all fear -- smear campaigns. Because a smear campaign -- particularly one with great force and violence -- can tear down your entire career and reputation within a matter of days (or less). Smear campaigns often have no basis in fact or reality. And if it is perpetrated on you by someone in a position of power -- you may never have a fair chance to respond or prevail.

Women in male dominated industries often find themselves tip-toeing around their work environment. You have to play a million roles, unlike your male counterparts:  

* Tough BUT NOT unpleasant.  
* Outspoken BUT NOT a loud mouth bitch.
* Candid BUT NOT a nagger.  
* Humorous BUT NOT ditzy.  
* Social BUT NOT a floozy.  
* Smart BUT NOT a know-it-all.  
* Hard working BUT NOT a show-off.  
* Formidable BUT NOT overshadowing.  
* Productive BUT NOT demanding.
* Strong BUT NOT forceful.
* Assertive BUT NOT bossy.
* Confident BUT NOT overly ambitious.

Once you cross any of these lines, you may find yourself the victim of a full fledged smear campaign. If you've attempted to speak truth to power, to stand up for tough decisions, or even if you've reported work-place intimidation...you will most likely end up with a target on your back. Smear campaigns are often a cowardly tactic utilized to victimize women, with the ultimate goal of forcing them out of their positions -- or into silence.

The thing about smear campaigns is they require involvement from two players:  the ruthless perpetrator who leads the campaign...and the gang of "useful idiots" he or she enlists to help carry out this assault.  And that is the definition of a "smear campaign" - it is an assault: on your character, on your reputation, on your career, on your well-being.

The term "useful idiot" is not a phrase I use out of frustration.  It is an official term used to describe people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

Smear campaigns would actually die dead in their tracks, if not for the useful idiots that have been manipulated into carrying forward the brutalizing assault. Some do it out of loyalty to the perpetrator, some do it out of fear that they'll become the next victim, and some do it as a way to snag attention in a confrontation. Most do not realize the irreparable harm they are causing. But some of them do.

As women face more brutally charged situations in their workplaces, I write to ask that you take pause in your day-to-day interactions within your organization. Question the gossip you've been asked to pass forward. Express concern if you've witnessed violence, assault, abuse, or intimidation. Otherwise you may become a manipulated pawn in a ruthless perpetrator's attempt to intimidate or smear a colleague, a coworker, or even a stranger.  

Bystanders now possess the ultimate responsibility in standing up for our collective fight against injustice, bullying, violence, and intimidation.  "IT'S ON US"...is a new campaign spreading, to suggest that bystanders should no longer look the other way. And to reiterate that proverb that we all know to be so true, "Silence is never neutral. You must always pick a side". In this case, we hope you will choose #courage over #fear.  

Please think long and hard before you agree to look the other way when someone is victimized by violence or abuse. And instead of passing around gossip like it's candy on Halloween -- consider the source and the motive -- and choose to rise above it. Consider the role you would be playing in perpetuating a character damaging smear campaign. And realize that smear campaigns are most often the handy work of cowardly and insecure personalities. Otherwise, open dialogue and healthy confrontation, in the light of day, would replace these dark, brutal tactics.

In the end, we all have a choice. #Courage...or #Fear.  Please choose #courage.  

Discuss

Fri Nov 14, 2014 at 03:25 PM PST

My First DailyKos Diary

by TrishCausey

Reposted from TrishCausey by nomandates

Hello, my name is Trish Causey, and I have finally signed up to write posts here in my own little corner of DailyKos. I am an ArtistActivist -- that means for me, my work as a creative artist is indistinguishable from my work as a human rights activist and feminist. My writing, music, and art go hand-in-hand with my outspoken activism. My activist blog is ArousedWomanBlog.com.

Earlier this year, I ran for Congress in Mississippi, and I learned more about what's wrong with American politics in that 6 months than I have in my entire life. As a lifelong ArtistActivist, I wanted to be a voice for change in Mississippi, and I'm glad to say there are many others like me in the "Hospitality State". However, the powers-that-continue-to-be in charge of governing Mississippi are hellbent on suppressing our basic rights.

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Tue Oct 28, 2014 at 05:46 PM PDT

The Two Men I Love

by rollycal

Reposted from rollycal by 2thanks Editor's Note: A first diary. -- 2thanks

Is it their smile, their voice, their touch? They both give me so very much. I cannot imagine my life without either one. I am most definitely in love with two men and I'll openly admit it. Daily they both tug on my heart. They are so very much alike. They are men of few words, unless they are sharing about interests and passions. Surprisingly, they both have birthdays in the same month; September, the sapphire month, the Forget-Me-Not month. Each is considered handsome and similar looking, highly intelligent, with a sense of humor and the ability to take me into their world, submerging me in the details of who they are and what they're all about.

Our time together is all too limited and painfully so. Yet that precious time is prized as the most important part of my day or even week when I see and/or speak with them. Often I wonder, where would I be without them? But even more so, who would I be without them? They are the men I love, now and forever. Read on as I'm sure you too will come to love the two men I love.

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Reposted from d3clark by JaxDem Editor's Note: An excellent first time diary from a new user -- joined April 2013. -- JaxDem

We've heard about a lack of medical infrastructure in the African nations having the Ebola outbreak now.  That the accompanying poverty and lack of technology adds to the problem.  How they, among other things, complicate getting the disease in check.  But in the first case of Ebola in the U.S., we've also had some problems with diagnosis and possibly, with adequate containment.  Problems that we really shouldn't have had.  

Follow me below the orange Ebola shepherd's crook virus for some thoughts on what might have contributed to this.

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Reposted from XanderMcDonald by nomandates Editor's Note: This is a fine example of a relatively new diarist posting a diary about an important issue that hadn't yet been covered at this site. -- nomandates

Disclaimer:  I'm not a good writer.  I became disabled due to a stroke-like event 12 years ago.  Despite my best efforts and use of spell-checkers, I skip words, mess up verb tenses and sometimes combine words in weird ways.  

Don't call me "special" or "courageous" or any other BS.  What I am is qualified to talk about is the social injustices that disabled people face.   I am disabled, plus I am a parent to a disabled daughter who is now 22.  I have a younger brother with severe cognitive challenges.   I want to talk about some recent news stories involving disabled girls and women that are truly, truly horrible.  Judging from the lack of diaries I've seen in this subject area, I don't think anyone else is going to write about this.  These women's stories deserve some attention, so I'm going to post the links to their stories  and then I'm going to share a little personal history about why those stories resonate so deeply with me.

The first story is the rape of a 14 year old special needs student at Sparkman Middle School in Huntsville, Alabama where she was coerced into being used as rapebait by school officials.  

The next story is about an 8 year old girl who was tazed by 4 police officers while holding a paring knife.

Another story is about a 18 year old young woman who was gunned down by police while holding a butter knife.  

The final story is about a woman shot and killed by police while holding a hammer.  

Poll

Do you think there should be more diaries on KOS about disabled people's struggle for civil rights?

84%219 votes
12%31 votes
2%6 votes
0%0 votes
0%2 votes

| 258 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from EarthquakeWeather by nomandates Editor's Note: First diary. -- nomandates

In this case, new research indicates, no matter what elite universities say - or what any college or university says - the answer is no (or at the very least, it depends). And there's a study out today that shows an elite university does not even boost one's earnings, versus an ordinary state U. More after the orange thing.

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Reposted from weezilgirl by 2thanks Editor's Note: First diary. -- 2thanks

Yesterday morning my daughter was taking my granddaughter to school. She  stopped at the school and her daughter couldn't get her seatbelt unbuckled. My daughter helped her.  As she leaned over, she heard a siren and saw lights behind her.

A young cop walked up to the car and accused her of allowing her daughter to ride without a seat belt. She replied that her daughter's seat belt had been fastened and explained what she was doing when she leaned over. She is so adamant that all seat belts be fastened, we tease her about the time she tried to fasten one in a theater.

The cop continued to accuse her  of fastening the seat belt because she saw him behind her and she protested that it wasn't the case at all. He then gave her "permission" to allow my granddaughter to "exit" the car and go into the school building. She is 10 and  was very frightened that he was going to arrest her mother.

Please follow along below the orange jiggy thingy.
 

Poll

Do you believe race made a difference?

74%861 votes
13%155 votes
12%147 votes

| 1163 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Sep 04, 2014 at 01:30 PM PDT

American Zaibatsu

by GenerationExtant

Reposted from GenerationExtant by JaxDem Editor's Note: First Diary -- JaxDem

I am not an economist.

However, I'm hearing a lot of talk about stagnancy or a lack of decent growth in America's economy (and as an oft-frustrated job seeker, I can attest to that) and I notice that many people say similar things about the economy of Japan in the 1980s. It seems that Japan had a bubble burst a generation ago and, ever since, it's had tepid growth and trouble really getting its economy up and humming again.  There's even a term for it when talking about Japan: people will often refer to the Lost Decade, referring to much of the 1990s.

Is this what the future holds for America? Head below to find out.

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:51 PM PDT

"Hands up!" (my 1st diary)

by 350Energy

Reposted from 350Energy by nomandates

We said it together. A community, sort of.

I recognized a few faces gathered in front of the Peace Center. Many I had seen last summer, as we mourned another black boy, shocked that society placed so little value on his life that his killer was set free.

Two of my kids were with me, hands in the air and tears on their cheeks. I had struggled with the choice to bring them; at 11 & 13 there was so much they didn't know about the world (at least 1st-hand). In the end, that's the very reason I brought them.

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Reposted from elziax by 2thanks Editor's Note: A first diary. -- 2thanks

(Long-time lurker and first-time diarist from Holland here, so please be gentle, but I found this too delicious not to share here...)

So, it seems that there's even another ingenious possible usage of hemp-fibers: you can power your e-car with it. Yes, possible even better than with the latest, top-of-the-notch graphene - supercapacitors and at a fraction of the costs!

The American Chemical Society reports:

As hemp makes a comeback in the U.S. after a decades-long ban on its cultivation, scientists are reporting that fibers from the plant can pack as much energy and power as graphene, long-touted as the model material for supercapacitors.
Follow me over the orange smokey thingy for more...
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Reposted from KingofSmoke by nomandates

Hi,

This is my first diary, so I thought I'd share my adventures and how I became an accidental Precinct Committeeperson. I was listening to one my favorite lefty podcasts, the host was telling his frustration with his state party. So curiosity got the best of me, and I found my local county party. While I was on vacation I found out they were having a meeting and attended.

     I sit down in one of the chairs off to the side, trying to take everything in. See what this will be about. I came in with no expectations. I really wanted to find out what the county party did. An older gentleman sat next to me. He asked what precinct I was in. I told him. He said there was no one from that precinct and he would talk to me about running for committee person. I had no intention of doing that but after the meeting concluded. He told me what he thought I would need to do. At this point my head is spinning with the rules, never seen Robert Rules before. I had discarded the notion until I talked to one of my buddies, soon after he convinced me to at least write in myself it would at least be a good story. So election day came and I wrote myself in. Tried to get my Mom to write me in but she said she couldn't find the right place. So with only one vote and not exactly sure I wanted to win. Especially considering I wasn't even sure what Precinct Committeman did. So a couple of weeks later I looked on the elections site, and there were two write in votes.

    So at that point I figured it went to somebody else. Then a week or so later, I got a large envelope in mail. I got a certificate and it told me how I could accept my position. I've learned a few things at that point. Although I'm not sure exactly what is expected of me. I figured I would be better then no one doing the job no matter how bad I'm at it. Just thought I'd share a story on how I became an accidental committeeman. Thanks for letting me lurk around this wonderful community.

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Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:44 AM PDT

Difference you can taste.

by markemarkfw

Reposted from markemarkfw by markemarkfw

Ever have someone tell you they don't vote because "what's the difference?"  In Texas, the level of apathy is shocking.  We rank 51st in the nation for voter participation.  An impressive statistic, in my opinion.  Well, this is an observation where a difference in leadership would make my life better.

I'm a fairly active person.  I run, bike, or swim almost daily.  Not an athlete, but a damn good excerciser.  Our air in North Texas is some of the worst in the country.  I recently received warnings for seven consecutive days that the air was not good for me to breath.  I feel and taste, literally, the pollutants entering my body as I breath heavily during a workout.  It makes me feel "off" the rest of the day.  I have two little girls.  Some of my favorite time I spend with them is in my back yard.  I now have to go through a cost-benefit analysis of whether the fun outweighs the damage to their bodies.

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