Clinton: “So you’ve got to ask yourself: why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is; second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be; third, we don’t know ALL of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about 650 million dollars to Wall Street and foreign banks; or maybe he doesn’t want the American people – all of you watching tonight – to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes. Because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax. So—”

Trump: “That makes me smart.”

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are cut from the same stained, torn, moldy, rancid cloth.

They are both authoritarians who will do nothing but pander to their constituents in hopes of eventually stabbing all of them in the back and doing whatever it takes to ensure their own power while shrinking the rights of the American people. The “choice” here is something of an illusion. You want more laws, more taxes, and more political strong-arming? Well I can guarantee you’ll get it this November with either of these embarrassments we call candidates. I have never had such a bleak outlook on a presidential election.

“Dans Lettera amorosa, René Char utilise un lieu commun de la poésie lyrique: les éléments naturels et les paysages constituent à la fois le lieu où les amants évoluent et un miroir qui reflète les promesses de leur union: plantes, eau, terre, feu du soleil s'accordent et embellissent l'être aimé.

"La flèche du soleil traversera ses lèvres,
Le trèfle nu sur sa chair bouclera,” écrit le poète : les éléments naturels se confondent peu à peu avec l'image de la femme, procédé déjà utilisé par Virgile dans Les Géorgiques ou par Hugo dans les premiers poèmes du recueil Les Contemplations. Mais l'expression poétique de René Char va plus loin: il crée une véritable cosmogonie de l'amour, où les amants se perdent ensemble, se réinventent, se contemplent et s'aiment :
“Parfois j'imagine qu'il serait bon de se noyer à la surface d'un étang où nulle barque ne s'aventurerait. Ensuite, ressuciter dans le courant d'un vrai torrent où tes couleurs bouillonneraient.”
Dans le creux de sa passion, le couple se suffit à lui-même : il peut créer sa propre approche de la réalité, foncièrement différente du regard traditionnel.“

Par Antoine Oury (avril 2011)


Idris Elba on the cover of Interview Magazine - August 2016 (X)

“Whatever its constituent parts-talent, sure; charisma, definitely—the combined quality Hollywood moguls and gossip columnists used to refer to as “it”-ness (as in, “So-and-so has it”) remains ineffable, mysterious, almost occult in its indescribableness. Whatever “it” is, Idris Elba has it in droves. Enough to fill a room, a movie, a long-running series, a planet probably.”

Clifford the Big, Red Sentence

Originally posted by yippywhippy

We can combine individual speech sounds (phonemes) to form meaningful units (morphemes).

We can combine those meaningful units (morphemes) to form words.

But what do we get when we combine words together? Well, eventually, we get sentences. But before we’ve created the whole conglomerate of structures that make up a sentence, we can build up smaller chunks. These smaller chunks are called constituents.

A string of words is any group of words in a sentence that are next to each other, with no breaks or intervening words. A constituent is a string of words that function together as a unit. So what does it mean to function together as a unit? These words (this constituent) can stick together through movements and changes in the rest of the sentence structure, but also it tells us about how the words are related in their deeper structure (syntax). Before we get to talking about that sophisticated sentence structure analysis, though, we need to figure out what the constituents of a sentence are.

To do this, we check different strings throughout the sentence and put them through some diagnostic tests. The tests aren’t perfect though, so we need to use at least two tests to make sure a string is a constituent. When we apply a test, we need to do so strictly and thoughtfully, and the test can’t change the meaning of the sentence. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of tests:

The Proform Test:

A proform is a word like a pronoun (she, her, he, him, they, them, it, etc.) or other single word unit like there, then, one (the generic type). If you can replace a string of words with a proform, it might be a constituent.

  • The bright red dog plays fetch in the park.
  • The bright red dog plays fetch in there.

“The park” can be replaced with “there”, so it might be a constituent.

  • The bright red dog plays fetch in the park.
  • The bright red dog plays fetch there.

“In the park” can be replaced with “there”, so it might be a constituent.

  • The bright red dog plays fetch in the park.
  • He plays fetch in the park.

“The bright red dog” can be replaced with “he”, so it might be a constituent.


  • The bright red dog plays fetch in the park.
  • * The bright red dog plays it.
  • * The bright red dog plays there.

“Fetch in the park” cannot be replaced with “it” or “there” or any other proform. Therefore “fetch in the park” probably isn’t a constituent.

  • The bright red dog plays fetch in the park.
  • * The bright one plays fetch in the park.
  • * The one plays fetch in the park.

“Red dog” and “bright red dog” can’t be replaced with a proform without changing the meaning of the sentence, so they probably aren’t constituents.

The Question & Answer test:

If you can answer a question about the original sentence with the target string, it might be a constituent.

  • The bright red dog plays fetch in the park.
  • Who plays fetch in the park? The bright red dog.
  • What does the bright red dog do? Play fetch in the park.
  • What kind of dog plays fetch in the park? Bright red.
  • Where does the bright red dog play fetch? The park.


  • What does the bright red dog play? * Fetch in the park.
    (“Fetch in the park” is not answering “what”, it’s answering “what AND where”. Just “fetch” would be fine, but that’s not the string we’re testing.)

The Do-So Test:

Not everyone can use this test because the construction it uses is a little strange sometimes, but it’s a very powerful test for identifying constituents that the Proform Test can’t. If you can replace a string with “do so, too” (or “does so” or “did so” or “will do so”), it might be a constituent. Same goes for “so”.

  • The bright red dog plays fetch in the park… and
  • The bright red dog does so, too.

Okay, so this is weird. Let’s add some more context to make it sound better.

  • Emily plays fetch in the park and the bright red dog plays fetch in the park, too.
  • Emily plays fetch in the park and the bright red dog does so, too.

  • Emily is fond of playing fetch in the park and the bright red dog is fond of playing fetch in the park, too.
  • Emily is fond of playing fetch in the park and the bright red dog is so, too.


  • Emily plays fetch in the park and the bright red dog plays fetch in the park, too.
  • * Emily plays fetch in the park and the bright red dog does so in the park, too.
  • * Emily plays fetch in the park and the bright red dog does so fetch in the park, too.

So “plays fetch in the park” could be a constituent, but “fetch in the park” and “plays fetch” aren’t.

Let’s take stock of what we’ve found:

  1. bright red
  2. the bright red dog
  3. the park
  4. in the park
  5. plays fetch in the park

These are our constituents!


Margaery is the only daughter of Lord Mace Tyrell the Lord Paramount of the Reach, and Lady Alerie hightower. The reach is one of the constituent regions of the seven kingdoms and house tyrell is one of the great house of the realm. Margaery was raised in privilege in the family seat and regional capital of Highgarden. She is close to her brother, ser Loras Tyrell.                                                                                                                                                                                                      She is said to be as beautiful as she is clever.  

The Murphy Bill

The House of Representatives passed the Murphy Bill in the first week of July.

PLEASE help stop this bill from passing the Senate.

This is a well-intentioned but terribly designed bill which would strip civil liberties from the mentally ill, especially those already marginalized because of their race, class, and/or gender identity, and especially, especially the homeless. And frankly, it’s not great for otherwise-privileged mentally ill people, either, though with money you can find ways to get around it.

If you feel able, write or call your US Senator (contact information here) and tell them you want mental health reform, but you REALLY don’t want it like this. And if you feel strongly, please share this post.

Below is the letter I sent to Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein today. Feel free to use any parts that apply if you are able to contact an elected official.

Note that I’m a very privileged person and my diagnoses are not as serious as many other people’s. I use the words “like me” in this letter mostly for rhetorical effect, not because I think I’ve suffered anything the way a schizophrenic person with no home has. If you feel you can speak more personally about this problem, if you have had interactions with this terrible system, if you can talk about your experiences with a condition like psychosis or autism that others vilify and belittle, it would be great for those narratives to reach the ears and eyes of our officials. If you can’t talk about it, know that people are still fighting for you and you’re worth the fight.

    As a young constituent who plans to vote, all the time, I am writing today to ask you to oppose the Murphy mental health bill, which just passed the House as H.R. 2646, and which the Senate will vote on soon.

    Please, please oppose this bill when the Senate votes on it.

    I recently graduated with two degrees from [school] despite incapacitating anxiety, depression, and intrusive disturbing thoughts. My situation is overwhelmingly privileged. Most of my equals in mental health do not have the resources to seek appropriate treatment for their conditions, and when in emergency situations they end up in the mental health care system, they are treated with appalling disrespect and violence.

    This bill severely limits critical legal advocacy on behalf of people like me with psychiatric diagnoses and increases the likelihood of violence being used against us even in hospitals.

    It reduces privacy protections for people like me with psychiatric diagnoses.

    It redirects federal money from innovative programs, particularly substance abuse programs, to involuntary outpatient commitment, which is expensive and ineffective. It centralizes mental health care when such care should be more specialized.

    And, most importantly, it increases needless institutionalization, which causes many low-income people with mental illnesses to lose their jobs and be unable to find new ones. This further reduces their access to long-term, effective treatment.

    Our mental health care system is in desperate need of reform, but the Murphy mental health bill is a step backwards. It’s a cruel one at that. Please, please help protect us, the mentally ill. Among us are some of the most marginalized people in the country: people of color with mental illness, trans folks with other diagnoses, the chronically underemployed, and the homeless.

Please help us stay safe. Please oppose this bill.


Full Murphy Bill:


US Senators:

The thing is that Canada still has a whole bunch of really fucked up oppressive things going on just below the surface of what the rest of the world sees. Our entire country is literally built upon the (ongoing) colonial exploitation of millions of first nations, our society and the organs of our state are just as rife with the raw ingredients of fascism as every other country in the world, but right now, at this precise moment, we find ourselves less immediately fucked-up than most of the rest of the western world, so everyone is giving us a free pass and it’s going to our heads. I literally just saw a pundit on the CBC talk earnestly about Canada being unique in the western world because we have “no constituency for xenophobia. ” has this person not read comments threads on literally any article on immigration? Does this person not remember Harper building his reelection campaign on denouncing immigrants as “barbarians?” Are we really that blinkered?
If it can happen in the USA, Britain and France, then it can damnwell happen here.

Washingtonians Hound Superdelegate Who Supports Clinton After Constituents Favored Sanders

Bernie Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in Washington’s caucuses Saturday, yet state Rep. Rick Larsen, a superdelegate, is ready to vote for her anyway. Sanders backers flooded Larsen’s Facebook account, demanding that he honor the will of his constituents.

Washington voters overwhelmingly favored Sanders over Clinton, 72 percent to 27 percent, in Saturday’s Democratic caucus. The Vermont senator carried every county in the state—and voters in Whatcom County, where Larsen keeps an office, chose Sanders by 81 percent.

Roughly one day after the results came in, the following graphic appeared on the Facebook walls of social media users across the state:

Sanders’ supporters answered the call in droves. Beneath Larsen’s posts wishing constituents Happy Easter and congratulating the University of Washington’s Huskies basketball team on making it into the Final Four, comments like these appeared by the thousands:

Some commenters struck a strident tone, threatening to vote Larsen out of office if he refuses to switch his vote.

One user started a Facebook group—Rick Larsen- Represent Those you Represent—aimed at organizing voters to place sustained pressure on Larsen.

A petition urging other Washington state Democratic superdelegates to support the candidate chosen by the electorate garnered 25,800 signatures by mid-Monday. Those officials, all of whom publicly backed Hillary Clinton, include Gov. Jay Inslee, U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and U.S. Reps. Jim McDermott, Suzan DelBene,  Adam Smith, Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer.

Washington Democratic Party Chairman Jaxon Ravens and other officials said they’d remain neutral until after the caucuses.

Will Larsen and his cohort listen? Elected officials fear disgruntled voters. If Sanders’ supporters get Larsen to change his vote, it will stand as another in a long line of this election cycle’s repudiations of the common view that people power is a dead force in American politics. And voters elsewhere may be emboldened to take similar action.


I appreciate such activism! This is what democracy is about. I hope these people will succeed. We need more superdelegates to realize that Bernie is the only candidate who can change things for better.

Please don’t forget to sign up the PETITION! People rule!

Medicinal Herbs & Uses: Dandelion


Taraxacum officinale

Other Names Common Dandelion, Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine’s Snout, Dent de Lion Dandelion

External Uses

The fresh juice of Dandelion is applied externally to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, pneumococci, meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, proteus. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns and warts.

Internal Uses

Dandelion is also used for the treatment of the gall bladder, kidney and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, dyspepsia with constipation, edema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and skin complaints, gout, eczema and acne. As a tonic, Dandelion strengthens the kidneys. An infusion of the root encourages the steady elimination of toxins from the body. Dandelion is a powerful diuretic but does not deplete the body of potassium.

Research is revealing that the many constituents of Dandelion including Taraxacin, Taraxacoside, Inulin, Phenolic acids, Sesquiterpene lactones, Triterpenes, Coumarins, Catortenoids and Minerals, mainly Potassium and calcium, are very valuable in curing a number of disorders and illnesses. Dandelion is traditionally used as a tonic and blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema and liver dysfunction, including liver conditions such as hepatitis and jaundice.

Other Uses

When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves of Dandelion release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly. A liquid plant food is made from the root and leaves. A dark red dye is obtained from Dandelion root. A cosmetic skin lotion made from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades distilled in water, is used to clear the skin and is effective in fading freckles.


Dandelion Sap for
Rough skin

Dandelion salad for
Sluggish liver
Urinary problems
Fluid retention

Dandelion tincture for
Skin problems
Sluggish liver
Urinary problems
Fluid retention
Chronic illness

Dandelion flower infused oil for
Muscle tension
Muscle aches
Stiff necks

Magickal Uses

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Air
Deity: Hecate
Power: Divination, wishes, calling spirits

Drink dandelion tea or coffee to promote psychic powers. Leave a cup of this hot infusion by the bed to call spirits.

Dandelion Coffee:

Dig up the roots, trim off the leaves and stems and any small rootlets. Wash off the earth and scrub the roots well, leave them in a warm place to drain and dry. Cut any larger roots in half and into short lengths, spread the pieces on a shallow roasting tin and bake in a hot oven (400F, 200C, Gas 6) for 30 minutes until the roots are brown and dry all through. Allow to cool then grind. Spread the grounds on the roasting tin and roast them for 7 minutes in a moderate oven (350F, 180C, Gas 4). Put 5-6 tablespoons grounds in a warm jub, pour on 500ml/2 cups/1 pint boiling water, stir and stand for 30 minutes. Strain into a pan and re-heat.

Dandelion Fizz

Gather the dandelion flowers in the sun, when they are fully open. The drink is very mildly alcoholic, sweet and quenching.

1 litre/5 cups prepared dandelion flowers
1 ½ litres/4 ½ US quarts water
1 kilo/4 cups sugar
2 lemons

Trim the stalks from the flowers, but leave the green sepals on and discard any overblown flowers or unopened buds. The prepared dandelions should fill a 1 litre/5 cups measure when gently pressed down.

Wash the flowers in a colander and tip them into an earthenware, enamel or plastic container preferably with a well fitting lid. Pour the boiling water on to the dandelions, cover the vessel with a lid, board or weighted plate and leave to stand for 12 hours.

Strain the liquid through a double thickness of muslin into a large saucepan. Add the sugar and the pared rind and juice of the lemons. Heat gently and stir until the sugar has dissolved, but do not allow to boil. Strain the liquid into jugs and leave to cool. Pour into clean, dry bottles with strong screw caps. Store in a cool, dark place. The brew is ready to rink in three or four weeks.

Brexit is official: some updates for my international friends on what this means

Q) why did this happen? Wasn’t remain in the lead?

A) yes it was, the result was a shock for everyone - the margin of votes was tiny, less than two percent. The result has been blamed on poor turnout from pro-remain constituencies, who wished to remain but didn’t vote (???why???), and the overwhelming ‘grey vote’, ie. votes from people who will be dead before we see any of the proposed law changes that come of leaving the eu.

Q) what will happen now?

A) it is assumed that the most immediate effect of the result will the resignation of the pro-remain prime minister David Cameron (update: he has resigned), and although most liberals would normally be glad to see the back of pig boy, there’s a worrying chance that he could be replaced by Boris Johnson, the Trump of UK politics, best known as the guy who got stuck on a zip wire while waving union jacks - the uk may not get the chance to vote on this as the Conservative party have a right to choose their own replacement leader. The value of the pound has already dropped to a low we haven’t seen since 1985 (update, it’s now down by over 8%, which is about eight times worse than the average currency crash) and is likely to drop further. It is likely that we will have a major economic dip because we will lose our free trade rights with Europe.

Q) what’s the next step for the uk?

A) now the uk will begin negotiating with the EU to create a deal that will cause us as little economic and political upheaval as we can, but given that we just told them to go fuck themselves they’re not likely to be in a helpful mood.

Q) what does this mean for immigration?

A) as soon as the uk leaves the EU, the open borders policy will presumably be revoked - EU citizens cannot come to Britain without submitting to whatever travel or migration policies the uk decide upon, ie. as strict as we can reasonably be bc we’re all xenophobic af. UK citizens will also have altered conditions for travel in Europe. The effect on students and travellers will likely be felt pretty hard, not to mention the massive emmigrant British population of retired pensioners in places like Spain and France.

Q) how longs will Brexit take? 

A) it’s a long complicated process that could take up to two years to complete

Q) what does this mean for the uk’s relations with non-European countries?

A) we’ll be begging them to trade with our puny little country and in the most part they’ll be ignoring us because we’re a third of the size of Texas and our biggest export is our increasingly expensive Ivy League education. Hopefully we will be able to secure more deals with non-EU countries but personally I think we might overestimate our appeal.

Q) what are your feelings about Brexit?


Updates added as I hear more news