Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Puerto Rico - A Quick Port

Old San Juan

This was the ship's first port in our Eastern Caribbean tour.  We arrived late on day three counting day one as the day we departed. Having already done the downtown forts, I wanted to see the Old City of San Juan. 

I know that the Puerto Ricans people are a proud people that have rich history, culture, and exceptional food.  They live on a beautiful island that is still recovering from Hurricane Maria that hit in September 2017.  My first cruise was in the late spring after that storm and much damage was still visible in the city of San Juan. This visit, most of the downtown cleanup had been accomplished. However, from what I read there still is much to be done in-land, especially with their electric grid.   

Thunderstorms occurring just as we were coming in, helping to make for a somewhat cooler afternoon walk. I loved seeing the old building with the rows of different / tropical color paint on the outside. There were open air restaurants, and office building many of which share a wall with the fort.  Almost every corner was a park with a fountains and statues of Puerto Rican heroes.  A stop in a restaurant provided tasty authentic food.     

Walking around Old San Juan you become very much aware that is a walled city.

According to the US Nation Park Service

"Masonry walls fully encircled the city of San Juan by 1783, now Old San Juan, as part of a major system of fortifications that once defended the whole islet. It was considered one of the best fortified cities in the Caribbean.  

The walls served San Juan well, thwarting pirates and foreign invaders for hundreds of years. That includes the English, the Dutch and the Americans.

These walls range from 20 to 100 feet tall and some are between 50 feet wide at the base to 24 feet at the top. The San Juan Gate was restored with special attention to the historical significance of the fortified walls and today, skilled masonry workers preserve the remaining walls using almost the same techniques and materials as the Spanish did centuries ago."

A fun quick afternoon and early evening walk / excursion. 

The view from the ship, entering The San Juan Cruise Port Terminal

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

My Girlfriends Meetup Group - Dinner & Dueling Pianos

Girlfriends Dinner at 121 Tapas on the Water
What a fun night. Dinner at "121 Tapas on the Water" in Fort Pierce. After dinner a walk over to Sailfish Brewing Company for the musical talent from Premier Dueling Pianos, Central Florida’s leading dueling piano entertainment duo. 

First, about 12 of us "girlfriends" had an amazing 2-hour dinner with a variety of different Spanish Tapas items. We actually tried the whole menu with various dishes delivered to the table and passed throughout the whole evening. To make the restaurant evening even better, there was live violin music being played both in door and out. What an incredible eating experience.  

The dueling pianos completed the evening in an open entertainment, rowdy bar setting.

These are all friends I have met through this Meetup group and have attended about 6 of their organized "Meetups".  A fun group. Meetup events are a fun way to meet new people and "Escape.  

Monday, August 29, 2022

I Love A Success Story - Ivory Aquino

Ivory Aquino is a Filipina-American actress. She is known for portraying transgender activist Cecilia Chung in the 2017 miniseries When We Rise.

Ivory Aquino

Latest info on Batgirl: Warner Bros. Is Holding Secret 'Batgirl' Screenings In Wake Of Controversial Shelvingt  And this:  Batgirl Star Ivory Aquino Posts Open Letter Pleading for the Film’s Release

Aquino was born in the Philippines. She knew from a very young age that she was transgender, stating in a 2017 interview, "As soon as I was born, I was always a girl; I was just assigned differently at birth."[1] In her mid-teens, she started hormone therapy. She was often bullied at school, but her parents were supportive of her transition.

As a teenager, Aquino moved to the United States to study at the Berklee College of Music, which she graduated from summa cum laude. She enrolled to study singing, thinking that there would be no acting roles for a transgender Filipina. But after having gender reassignment surgery, Aquino decided to pursue her childhood dream of being an actor. (Wikipedia)

Ivory Aquino first rose to fame when she played transgender activist Cecilia Chung on the ABC miniseries "When We Rise" (ABC, 2017), but broke even further ground when she publicly came out as transgender herself leading up to the show's premiere. Aquino got her start on stage, where she quickly became an in-demand Shakespearian actress, appearing in New York City productions of the Bard's works. In 2007, she appeared in the short film "Virtue: The Way of the Modern Samurai" (2007), and went on to appear in the shorts "Alien Uprising" (2008), "Konstruksiyon" (2008), "Couch" (2010) and "The Fever and the Fret" (2016).

 Aquino's big break came when she landed the role of transgender activist Cecilia Chung on the ABC miniseries "When We Rise" (ABC, 2017), written and directed by the Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, based on the memoirs of gay rights activist Cleve Jones. In January of 2017, Aquino made headlines when she came out as transgender during an interview with People magazine. The news was mostly met with encouragement and praise, with Aquino now being lauded for her bravery as well as her acting skills. (Rotten Tomatoes

See: ‘Batgirl’ Film’s Cancellation Is a Loss for On-Screen Trans Representation

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Friday, August 26, 2022

Exploring the Vibrant ST. Thomas Islands

St Thomas (USVI) was another day port on my cruise.

The white sand beaches
of St George Island USVI

There were not any definite excursion plan for the day so saw just exploring as my best option. The visitor's booth suggested the island of St John. Just outside the port exit there were many open air buses available to the island's west end, Red Hook.  About 20 minutes later we were delivered to a modern passenger ferry terminal for the ride to St. Johns Island. What was most interesting and terrifying about the rides was that the cars/trucks were driving on the opposite side. I guess I was not in Kansas any longer. 

The High Tide Seafood Grill 

St johns, Cruz Bay is beautiful. Just as you exit the ferry, Cruz Bay offered white sand / aqua water beaches, quaint shops and open air tropical restaurants. 

Everything you would expect to see on a tropical island escape. I was told later that I should have take a short taxi ride to Trunk Bay Beach, but I was completely taken by the beauty of Cruz Bay's and its island attractions. 

An amazing lunch was had at The High Tide Seafood Grill overlooking the ferry port and beach.    


About St. Thomas:

St Thomas (USVI) - My ship on the right.
St. Thomas, one of the three United States Virign Islands, along with St. Croix and St. John, St. Thomas is one of the most beautiful island destinations in the world, dressed with powdery beaches and sun-drenched weather. St. Thomas is located in the Lesser Antilles, 1,600 miles south, south east of New York City; 1,100 east, southeast of Miami; 70 miles of San Juan. St. Thomas and its nearby neighbor St. John, lay between the Atlantic and the Caribbean


Exploring St. Thomas


Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Place Where Woke Goes To Die

Florida - A place where woke goes to die.
ABC-WEAR TV - NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (TND) — During a Tuesday press conference discussing teacher recruiting efforts, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said his state is the place where "woke goes to die."

DeSantis spoke on several topics during the press conference in Pasco County, including education in his state, COVID-19 mandates, political ideologies, gender reassignment surgeries, and "woke" institutions.

Here is the complete quote:

What I’ve said is the state of Florida is the place where woke goes to die. We are not going to let this state descend into some type of woke dumpster fire. We’re going to be following common sense, we’re going to be following [my] facts."


My comment:  I will be honest, and up until now, I have not known what "woke" entails.  I had just assumed it to be some dog-whistle chant for the MAGA cult.  Wanting to fine the correct right-wing definition, I looked to FOX news. 

What does "WOKE" mean?

Aside from being the past participle of wake, for decades, it meant conscious and aware – but the slang word has come to represent an embrace of progressive activism, as well.

Merriam-Webster added the word to its dictionary in 2017, defining it as, "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)." The Oxford dictionary adopted it the same year, defining it as "originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice."

A lot of thing come to Florida, my home state, to die. In fact the whole west coast of Florida is referred to as "god's waiting room" at times. Common sense is also on life-support here in Florida as proven by the fact that so many  wacky news stories begin with, "A Florida Man";  e.g. A Florida Man Threatens to Kill Man With 'Kindness,' Uses Machete Named 'Kindness'

In all seriousness, I am going to let this FOX defination sink in... And ask, why, "Woke" is something bad? 

Come back tomorrow for more cruise highlights.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

British Virgin Islands - Tortola


In Road Town,Tortola, BVI - My ship in the background.

On my morning on the island of Tortola, town of "Road Town", I walked to Joseph Reynolds O'Neal Botanical Gardens National Park.  

Note: Road Town, chief town and port of Tortola Island is the tourist centre for the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

There was not a lot of time for an extensive excursions, so a walk through the Road Town business district and the trek up a hill to the Gardens was a relaxing off-the-ship morning. It was about a 30 minute walk from the cruise port (photo above). The Gardens have scenic vistas and cool shade which was much appreciated after the walk.   

in September 2017, Hurricane Irma struck the islands, causing extensive damage, especially on Tortola. That damage is still very prominent at the gardens. They lost the top part of a building and many of their beautiful Royal Palm Trees. You can see that recovery has been show, but still a beautiful tropic garden is there.   



The British Virgin Islands (BVI), officially the Virgin Islands, are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and north-west of Anguilla. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles and part of the West Indies.

The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with more than 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 16 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island, which is about 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands had a population of 28,054 at the 2010 Census, of whom 23,491 lived on Tortola;[1] current estimates put the population at 35,802 (July 2018).

British Virgin Islanders are British Overseas Territories citizens and since 2002, are also British citizens.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

"Topper" - Celebrity Equinox Show


My Photos from the Celebrity Equinox Show, "Topper"

Enter the interesting world of Sir Stuart Peabody, his giant hat, and his collection of eccentric friends. The award-winning show brings you into their world of quirky adventures.  

This Evening Outfit

This was a Broadway caliber show provided on my cruise.  It's overall theme was to let the characters inside Sir Stuart Peabody "hat" / head live; be seen and display their amazing talents.  

Incredible music, dancing costumes and ever aerial acrobatics. I believe, although not sure, that the chorus and dance ensemble had transgender characters.  

Celebrity  Cruises are gay / transgender friendly and at no time was I in any way uncomfortable.  

At the end Sir Stuart Peabody Key had unlocked to the world an array of  characters to live; be visible.  A Beautiful "ESCAPE" where the world is a better place and diversity rules. (My take on the theme.)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Back From Vacation...

I arrived back in the Port of Fort Lauderdale this morning (Sunday).  I am still coming down from the incredible high that an eight day Ocean Cruise providers. This is an experience I highly recommend for a fun, immersive (Escape) and every day adventure. I will write more this week and hope to detail my Ports/Islands. Also tell you about the fun people I met.

I am sorting out all the photos this afternoon. Working backward I am sharing my last evening's photo. This was taken after dinner heading to an on-board show.  Stay tuned... 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Cruise Wear '22

I am on vacation August 13 through 21; eight days. Yes on a cruise again!  This time a little smaller ship and to ports in the Eastern Caribbean; Puerto  Rico, ST. Maarten, Tortola and the near home destination Bahamas. Post next week may be a little spotty and I am sure you can use a break from my politics. 

Below are two fashion layouts that I have the actual outfits to wear. Photos will be posted in coming weeks - Stay tuned.  I may have gone a little overboard (pun intended) on Lilly, but, if not now, when will I wear it?

.   .  

Boston Proper - Love the Retro Look. 


Celebrity Equinox

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Maybe Chicken Little Was Right


The Most Dangerous Man In America

I will not stop beating the drum for an impending American dumpster fire.  Donald Trump was an anomaly.  I get it on why many voted for him over a less than desirable political opponent. Several friends and even a family member stated it was to "shake up the system"; that it did. 

What is happening now, within my home state, is preventable on a national scale. I do believe that there is enough intelligence from a majority, to see the impending danger of a DeSantis administration. His near total control of Florida's government is revealing. When given control over a US Senate, House and Supreme Court he will dismantle the Republic as we know it. 

Maybe Chicken Little was tight!  

Below is a short excerpt from the article "Ron DeSantis, unconstrained by constitutional checks, is flexing his power in Florida ahead of 2024 decision". Read the whole article and be shocked by DeSantis brazen disregard for the will of the voters and abuse of power. Let us do all that we can to stop this autocrat's obsession with power.       

The ruthless display of raw political power in removing Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren, however brazen and unprecedented, was merely the latest example of a new reality in Florida: DeSantis is governing unconstrained by the traditional checks on executive authority. In the last eight months, DeSantis orchestrated a new law to exact revenge on Disney amid a political feud with the entertainment giant, bulldozed an aggressively partisan redrawing of congressional boundaries through the state legislature and pushed nearly every facet of state government to the front lines of the culture wars. And he has done it all with limited dissent from the Republicans who control the other branches of government in Florida.

As he seeks a second term in November, and weighs a potential bid for president in 2024, the full weight of this amassed power is also beginning to crystalize. If reelected -- and with a nine-figure fundraising advantage, the odds are heavily in his favor -- there appears to be little to stop him from pushing through an agenda that would further transform Florida for an audience of future GOP primary voters.

 See "Florida bans Medicaid from covering gender-affirming treatments" (8/11/2022) 

Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-Pa) Gay Son's Wedding

 GOP lawmaker attended gay son's wedding 3 days after voting against same-sex marriage

The gay son of Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., got married on Friday. A few days earlier, his father voted against the Respect for Marriage Act.

BY: Zachary Schermele

Rep. Glenn Thompson is "thrilled"
to have a new son-in-law
 but voted against LGBTQ rights.

A Republican lawmaker attended his gay son’s wedding just three days after joining the majority of his GOP colleagues in voting against a House bill that would codify federal protections for same-sex marriage.

The gay son of Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., confirmed to NBC News on Monday that he “married the love of [his] life” on Friday and that his “father was there.” NBC News is not publishing the names of the grooms, neither of whom is a public figure. 

Thompson’s press secretary, Maddison Stone, also confirmed the congressman was in attendance. 

“Congressman and Mrs. Thompson were thrilled to attend and celebrate their son’s marriage on Friday night as he began this new chapter in his life,” Stone said in an email, adding that the Thompsons are “very happy” to welcome their new son-in-law “into their family.”

Gawker was the first to report on the nuptials in an article published Thursday, the day before the ceremony, though it was not reported whether the lawmaker would attend.

In an email last week to the local newspaper Centre Daily, Stone called the Respect for Marriage Act “nothing more than an election-year messaging stunt for Democrats in Congress who have failed to address historic inflation and out of control prices at gas pumps and grocery stores.” 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

I Love A Success Story - Angelica Ross

She Will  Be First Transgender Star Of Broadway's 'Chicago' This Fall

The "Pose" star is set to take over the lead role of merry murderess Roxie Hart in the smash musical in September. 

Angelica Ross

By Curtis M. Wong Aug 5, 2022

Angelica Ross is officially Broadway-bound.

The “Pose” star will join the cast of the smash musical “Chicago” in the lead role of Roxie Hart, the show’s producers confirmed Thursday. She’ll become the show’s first transgender leading lady.

Ross, whose acting credits also include “American Horror Story,” will begin performances on Sept. 12. Her eight-week run is set to conclude on Nov. 6.

Her casting drew an enthusiastic response from fans and fellow celebrities online.

“The name on everybody’s lips is gonna be… Angelica Ross!” actor Wilson Cruz tweeted, referencing one of the songs from the show. “Congratulations, love!”

Added “MacGyver” star Alexandra Grey: “The girls are on Broadway! Put us everywhere!! We are HERE! Congrats, sis.”


Angelica Ross (born November 28, 1980) is an American actress, businesswoman, and transgender rights advocate. A self-taught computer programmer, she went on to become founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, a firm that helps employ transgender people in the tech industry.
Ross began her acting career in the web series Her Story (2016), after which she received further recognition and critical acclaim for her starring roles in the drama series Pose (2018–2021) and the anthology horror series American Horror Story (2019–present), both from FX.


In its 25th year on the Great White Way, Chicago regularly switches out the actors playing America's sweetheart-turned-murderess Roxie, and often enlists TV and film stars to breathe new life into the classic musical.

Ross will appear from September 12 to November 6.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Is Facing A New Lawsuit

This Florida Student is Taking Queer Education Into Their Own Hands

By James Factora - 7/27/2022

After their teacher said he didn't know what Stonewall is, Will Larkins decided to teach his U.S. history class himself.

Will Larkin

Will Larkins, a rising senior and president and co-founder of his school’s Queer Student Union, expressed similar concerns about the bill’s impact on his life as a plaintiff of the suit. Larkins, who is nonbinary and uses they and he pronouns, went viral in April for a video of a Google Slides presentation about Stonewall that they presented to their history class. The complaint details that after the clip gained national attention, Larkins’ history teacher complained to administrators and placed him under “investigation” for his presentation. He was moved to a new history class, and his friend was also disciplined for filming his presentation.


Several queer families have filed a lawsuit this week against Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which effectively censors any mention of LGBTQ+ people in the classroom.

The plaintiffs — a group of parents, students, and members of Centerlink, a coalition of LGBTQ+ community centers across the country — filed the 53-page complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Monday. They allege that HB 1557, which is known colloquially as “Don’t Say Gay,” violates the First Amendment through overbreadth, effectively depriving people of freedom of speech and expression. They also allege that the law’s vagueness violates the Fourteenth Amendment, depriving plaintiffs of due process and equal protection before the law.

The document provides extensive examples of how HB 1557 has already harmed the plaintiffs, and will continue to do so if it is not enjoined. Jen and Matt Cousins and David Dinan and Vikranth Reddy, members of families who are plaintiffs in the case, described similar implications of the law. The Cousins’ 12-year-old child, named as S.C. in the suit, came out as nonbinary last year, and is an active member of a gay-straight alliance at their school, which the complaint describes as a “lifeline” that provides “provides a sense of belonging, community, and acceptance for S.C. and other LGBTQ+ students.”

The complaint states that HB 1557 attacks not just S.C. but the entire Cousins family, with S.C.’s younger siblings, who are in first and third grade, expressing fears that they will get in trouble for speaking about their sibling’s identity in class.

“All members of the family are proud of S.C. and wish to be able to speak openly and with love for S.C. in school, including by explaining S.C.’s non-binary identity to friends, classmates, teachers, and others,” the complaint reads. “The law paints their family as abnormal. The law shames, chills, and silences such communications; and it portrays S.C., a kind and thoughtful child, as someone who should be feared or ostracized.”

Dinan and Reddy, a married couple with two adopted children, also described fears of openly speaking about their partnership while being actively involved in their parent-teacher association. “From their experience at school board meetings, David and Vik know that some parents interpret discussions of ‘sexual orientation’ to include neutral acknowledgements of any person that is not heterosexual,” the complaint says, adding that mere mention of Reddy could cause his child or their teacher to be penalized.

According to the complaint, guidance issued by Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) has mandated that K-3 students are not allowed to browse or check out books that contain any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the complaint. Additionally, trainings for OCPS staff have recommended the removal of “safe space” stickers from K-3 classrooms “so that classroom instruction did not inadvertently occur on the prohibited content of sexual orientation or gender identity.” Teachers with same-sex partners have also reportedly been advised to remove photos of their partners or refrain from wearing clothing with affirming messages.

Read More

Monday, August 8, 2022

I Gave Up On Pants...

But Femininity Is Just As Binding

I stopped wearing pants in the name of physical comfort, with the emotionally uncomfortable result that I now present as a woman who wears dresses all the time.

By: Jess Zimmerman June 6, 2022

My Note: This is a female's perspective on how she present herself. Have you ever felt uncomfortable, as a male, wearing the male uniform?  Interesting how our appearance / clothes can make such a difference.  


This is I Give Up, a new series from Catapult magazine on the things—habits, expectations, jobs, ambitions, futures, and more—that people have let go of in the past few years.

Brad Pitt's Skirt  - July 2022
Attended the Berlin premiere of Bullet Train

I am not built right for pants. 

It’s something about fat, but also fat distribution: not just how much of it I have, but where it is and in what proportions. Jeans that most people would consider mid-rise or high-rise hit me right in the middle of a bulge, which is both uncomfortable and unworkable. They pinch, they roll down, they won’t sit right. Low-rise jeans don’t bind as badly, but they slide down all day; in my jeans-wearing days I would frequently wear out the belt loops solely from yanking on them to get my pants back up over my hips.

Up until middle school, I didn’t even own a pair of jeans. I wore leggings, which I could get away with, because it was the 1980s. But eventually preteen image consciousness caught up with me, not to the point of caring about cuts or brands—as a fat kid I had to wear what fit me, anyway—but enough to realize that wearing jeans was acceptably cool and not wearing them was not. So I entered the fray: the struggle of self-presentation, and the attendant struggle of managing the conflicts between my physical body and available clothes. I had several pants companions during this thirty-year battle: straight-leg jeans, boot-cut jeans I was always stepping on the bottoms of, men’s wide-wale corduroys, skinny jeans, black fatigues tucked into combat boots. But I had no pants allies.

And so, eventually, I simply gave up. I stopped wearing pants altogether, even the outrageously stretchy basically-leggings jeans I’d most recently been living in. I adopted an outfit formula: print skater dress, leggings, black cardigan, motorcycle boots. It looked pulled-together and a little tough and felt like pajamas, the ideal late-thirties uniform. I experimented with various brands of leggings to find ones that didn’t roll down, with medium success, but at least the ones that didn’t work weren’t as uncomfortable as jeans. 

But this left me with only dresses, which presented its own set of problems.

Read more on her problem with dresses...

This set the narrative for my life, at least as far as clothing went: I tried, with varying levels of enthusiasm and success, to present myself within a feminine idiom in a way that also felt authentic, and I also returned to boots and pants and industrial-music T-shirts as a baseline. These were my emotional comfort clothes; anytime I felt unsafe or overwhelmed, I would give up the effort of girly clothes for days or weeks and break out that Thrill Kill Kult shirt (yes, I still have it; no, Scott can’t have it back), or something similar, and whatever fatigues or jeans or jeggings I was tolerating at the time. Neither of these modes was exactly unwelcome or explored under duress, you understand. But one was more natural.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Treat Yourself...

          To A Special Day!

Friday, August 5, 2022

The Hungarian Model

Ron DeSantis is following a trail blazed by a Hungarian authoritarian

By Zack Beauchamp April 28, 2022

The Florida governor isn’t doing “competent Trumpism.” He’s inventing American Orbánism.

Tucker Carlson, the most influential media figure in today’s GOP, is at the forefront of this effort. In January, Carlson released a “documentary” on Orbán’s government lionizing his regime and encouraging Republicans to emulate it. That same month, Donald Trump endorsed Orbán for reelection, calling him a “strong leader” who has “done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary.”

In June of last year, Hungary’s far-right government passed a law cracking down on LGBTQ rights, including a provision prohibiting instruction on LGBTQ topics in sex education classes.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
arrives to speak at CPAC '22
About nine months later, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill banning “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” up through third grade. According to some knowledgeable observers on the right, these two bills were closely connected.

“About the Don’t Say Gay law, it was in fact modeled in part on what Hungary did last summer,” Rod Dreher, a senior editor at the American Conservative magazine, said during a panel interview in Budapest. “I was told this by a conservative reporter who ... said he talked to the press secretary of Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and she said, ‘Oh yeah, we were watching the Hungarians, so yay Hungary.’”

(When I asked DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw about a possible connection, she initially denied knowing of Hungarian inspiration for Florida’s law. After I showed her the quote from Dreher, she did not respond further. Dreher did not reply to two requests for comment.)

It’s easy to see the connections between the bills — in both provisions and justifications. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described his country’s anti-LGBTQ law as an effort to prevent gay people from preying on children; Pushaw described Florida’s law as an “anti-grooming bill” on Twitter, adding that “if you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer” — meaning a person preparing children to become targets of sexual abuse, a slur targeting LGBTQ people and their supporters that’s becoming increasingly common on the right.

This is not a one-off example. DeSantis, who has built a profile as a pugilistic culture warrior with eyes on the presidency, has steadily put together a policy agenda with strong echoes of Orbán’s governing ethos — one in which an allegedly existential cultural threat from the left justifies aggressive uses of state power against the right’s enemies.

Most recently, there was DeSantis’s crackdown on Disney’s special tax exemption; using regulatory powers to punish opposing political speech is one of Orbán’s signature moves. On issues ranging from higher education to social media to gerrymandering, DeSantis has followed a trail blazed by Orbán, turning policy into a tool for targeting outgroups while entrenching his party’s hold on power.

Higher education is another area where DeSantis, like Orban, has taken special aim. On April 22, DeSantis signed the “Stop WOKE Act”, a bill that, among other things, expressly regulates what professors are allowed to teach about race and gender in college courses. In a letter to Florida State University, the free speech advocacy group FIRE argued that the bill (also known as HB 7) was so obviously an unconstitutional abridgment of speech that administrators might simply “refuse to enforce” the bill.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Orbán has recently emerged as an aspirational model for many on the Trump-friendly right. During his presidency, many observers on both sides of the aisle compared Trump to the Hungarian autocrat — and not without some justification. But after a 2018 visit to Hungary, I concluded that Trump was not competent or disciplined enough to implement Orbán-style authoritarianism in America on his own. The real worry, I argued, was a GOP that took on features of Orbán’s Fidesz party.

In this political context, any diffusion of Hungarian-style culture-war authoritarianism to the state governments is extremely disturbing — potentially accelerating a decade-plus process of democratic decline in Republican-governed states. If DeSantis is in fact creating a blueprint for American Orbánism that Republicans across the country choose to follow, the implications for American democracy could well be disastrous. [Gov. Ron DeSantis is potentially running for president.]

Thursday, August 4, 2022

How to Wear Sneakers with Skinny Jeans

Democracy is a jeans company that has a wide variety of "girlfriends" jeans.  Below is an interesting blog post on their site that talks about a combination that was popular when I was in high school and has stayed around.  There was a teen girl in my neighborhood, kind of a tomboy, that wore the combination of jeans and sneaker and I though, how cute, even back then. So any combination that has been around this long and has a distinct feminine differential is a keeper in my book.  Enjoy the good fashion advice.


Look and listen, skinny jeans and sneakers will always be a dynamic duo. That’s right, it’s 2022 and we are very much in love with skinny jeans and the sneakers that they pair with. Be sure to check out our article on the best shoes for skinny jeans to see the entire list.

Most sneakers look great with skinny jeans, but we want to give you some additional tips and tricks on which sneakers to choose from and how to style them in 2022. Regardless of your shoe style, this guide will help you find the perfect sneaker to elevate your skinny jean game.

 Breaking Down the Different Types of Sneakers:

  • Canvas sneakers typically a low rise shoe made from canvas material. These are going to be your Keds or Rothy’s -esque canvas shoes

  • Campus sneakers a retro lower profile sneaker usually repping a louder logo. Many big brands like Reebok, Adidas, and Nike have started to bring these court shoes back

  • Chunky sneakers big in the 2000’s and have made a comeback in 2022, they have an oversized appearance and are most commonly purchased in white. Fila is a good example of a popular chunky sneaker brand

  • Plimsoll sneakers a timeless shoe and the most popular of all sneakers, plimsolls are typically made from canvas or a faux leather material and have a thick sole. The epitome of plimsoll shoes is the Authentic Vans Shoe

  • Slip on sneakers people instantly think of Vans or skater shoes when they think of slip on sneakers. It’s important to keep in mind that slip on shoes (including white Vans) have become increasingly popular and are not only a ‘skater’ shoe, but a highly trendy sneaker

  • Leather sneakers leather sneakers add a chic urban look to any outfit. Plimsoll sneakers and slip on sneakers can be leather as well

  • Color block sneakers really referring to the pattern on the shoe, color block sneakers are very trendy right now. They can come in a variety of colors on plimsoll or court sneakers

How to Wear Sneakers With Jeans

Both Sneakers and jeans are staples to every closet regardless of your individual style or latest fashion trends. That being said, some sneakers look better when paired with certain types of jeans. While skinny jeans look great with a chunky sneaker, flare jeans and chunky sneakers are a trendy combo right now. Also, converse sneakers tend to look clownish when paired with skinny jeans. For the most part, you can’t go wrong with jean and sneaker combinations.

Classic canvas plimsoll sneakers - they are the go-to choice for a sneaker and blue skinny jeans outfit. They make your feet look petite and keep your overall look casual. Plus, depending on your canvas fabric, you can add a little flair to your outfit

White slip on sneakers - these are a must-have in your closet when wearing skinny jeans or not. They match well with any type of skinny jean or outfit in general. Plus there is just something so clean about the look of white kicks.

Leather slip on sneakers - these not only match well with every pair of skinny jeans, but they add a touch of sophistication to your outfit. A leather sneaker can really level up your closet and add an edge to your skinny jean game. Pair these fashion sneakers with white jeans for a chic look and a dramatic contrast.

Sometimes people are scared to wear a sneaker with skinny jeans for fear of their feet looking large. If you have larger feet, know that you can absolutely wear sneakers with skinny jeans. There are certain sneakers that will look more or less flattering. As mentioned earlier in the article, low profile laced sneakers like Keds are going to be your go-to. The low lace placement gives the illusion of a smaller foot, making your feet look tiny regardless of your shoe size. 

One style tip, try to stay away from wearing a high top sneaker like converse. These sneakers can draw attention to the length of the foot and make your feet look bigger than they actually are.

 Wearing Your Skinny Jeans with Your Favorite Sneakers

There you have it – you’re basically a sneaker-head now. This style guide should be your handy dandy manual for all of your skinny jean and sneaker outfit plans. The most important thing to know is that skinny jeans pair well with practically every sneaker. Also, you’ll never have to sacrifice comfort for style and vice versa. Live out your denim dreams in your favorite pair of sneakers – you do you!