Our Fellow American (Open Thread)

Beloved commenter RueMara is exactly the kind of voter America needs: knowledgeable, passionate and empathetic. She’s a potential voter whose perspective and life experience are desperately needed in an electorate where mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging shit-stains are coddled by the Beltway press, over-represented in Congress and the sole focus of the petulant orange demagogue who is currently embarrassing America abroad. She even owns a pair of floofy kitties:

But RueMara can’t help us dissipate the noxious orange fart cloud in the most direct way — by fanning it away with a ballot — until she gets her citizenship application completed. As I know from relatives who are attempting to do the same, it’s an expensive and onerous process. RueMara has a GoFundMe page up right now to raise money for the filing and legal costs. Here’s her message for the jackal community:

Evening and morning to all the Balloon-Juice, since I don’t know when this will go up.

I guess you could say I snuck my funding link into the threads, because I didn’t want to make a fuss or have anyone feel obligated plus me asking for help takes the same effort as cleaning the Augean Stables. Huge and it requires removing a lot of shit. So, I dropped it at the tail end of a thread and let it be just in case it was A Very Silly Thing To Do.

Seems that it wasn’t. I’m ridiculously blown away by everyone’s wonderful generosity. If I even get halfway to goal, it at least pays for the paperwork & for enough of the tax debt that I should look much less of a scalawag on paper. Juicers have always been a bright spot for me, because how could anyone not love a most excellent blog that’s full of wonks who love food and pets? And I’ve always loved how we pull together as a community to help so many different people. Odd as it may seem, I suppose I’ve never quite considered myself “people”, so it didn’t occur to me to ask. So thank Mnem for prodding me.

I’m still quite flabbergasted. It gives me a level of peace to know that at least I can pay for this myself, thanks to you lot. I’m both happy and anxious since I can’t exactly do anything in return for everyone but I’m touched by your collective kindness. Pardon the length and I will at the very least try to be amusing and post cat pictures while this fundraiser is up so you get something out of it.

Let’s not chat any more about it, my culture was conquered by the British, not the French. Very happy to take this first step towards complete rabble-rousing & resisting.

From the bottom of heart, thank you.


In the years I’ve been commenting and posting here, RueMara has always impressed me with her wit, courage, honesty and kindness. This would be a better country with RueMara counted among our voting citizens. Let’s make this happen, jackals. Here’s a link to RueMara’s GoFundMe page. Give what you can. And then feast your eyes on this lovely cake RueMara made:

Open thread!

80 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:


  2. 2
    Roger Moore says:

    Already donated.

  3. 3
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    Glad to be able to do something to help out!

  4. 4
    BlueGirlFromWyo says:

    Cheers to all of this! Donated.

  5. 5
    Teddys Person says:

    since I can’t exactly do anything in return for everyone

    What you’ve done for me in return for the little bit I threw in yesterday is remind me that there is still enough (potential) promise in my country that good people want to join us.

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Teddys Person: Well said!

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    She even owns a pair of floofy kitties

    I don’t know her or the kitties, but having had about a half-dozen cats at various times in our household, I think this is more correctly phrased as “she feeds a pair of floofy kitties.”

  8. 8
    lollipopguild says:

    Kitties and CAKE!

  9. 9
    Yutsano says:

    Rue is a lovely lady that I am glad to know and I am SO SORRY I couldn’t do the Seattle meet-up with her! Keep this link handy I’m a bit strapped in the funds department right now but come Monday I can kick in.

  10. 10
    Ruckus says:

    I will donate to this most worthy of causes when I return home next week.
    For those who haven’t had the pleasure, she is even better in person.

  11. 11
    piratedan says:

    ping, not much but it all helps….

  12. 12
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    Need the recipe for that cake pls.

  13. 13
    dexwood says:

    I’m in. Happily. Now, how does one get a slice of that cake?

  14. 14
    zhena gogolia says:

    I’ll be in when I get back inside where my stuff is. Ruemara is a most worthy jackal!

  15. 15
    eric says:


    I donated and, in case you dont get the email, i offered legal help as needed. good luck.


  16. 16
    dexwood says:

    So very cool. Thank you.

  17. 17
    R-Jud says:

    Yay! Will chip in when I’m off this bloody train.

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    Still underemployed, but as soon as my check clears (next day or two!) I am planning to contribute. I consider it an investment in building a better democracy (as well, of course, as an investment in a friend). : )

  19. 19
    Miss Bianca says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter: Completely o/t, hedgie, but are you still up in Buena Vista?

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    Sure. And thanks for posting it, BC. I love when Betty Cracker is all brisk and efficient :)

  21. 21
    Ruviana says:

    @Gin & Tonic: She is even staff to two floofy kittehs!

  22. 22
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @Miss Bianca: No, we were there last week–and I did not text you! Bad hedgie :( I’ll be up again in late September.
    Bunch of us went to Cottonwood Hot Springs and soaked. Delicious…

  23. 23
    Miss Bianca says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter: S’all good. Saw some photos this week in The Mountain Mail and thought you all were up there this week, not last!

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    Done, and wish it could have been more. Welcome aboard!

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    Done! I’m anxious for updates, and understand it’s a long slog so hang in there.

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    I’ll chip in to help rue -definitely the jackal we need in this fight.

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    The visit to the Queen just popped on my FB page. Typical dickwad is a half-step ahead of the Queen as they inspected the Guard of Honour.

  28. 28

    Short on cash at the moment, but will definitely kick in next payday. A worthy investment.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for posting this, BC.

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    He came late to meet Betty Windsor.
    He is complete and utter trash.😠

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: Tell me something I don’t know.

    Betty, Please put the page up in a couple of days for those who don’t see it today, but with a caveat the cake recipe must be include.

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    OT Did everyone see this

    NEWS: As Rosenstein announces indictments, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows is filing a motion to impeach him for DOJ noncompliance, source tells me

  33. 33
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Threw in a little change for future voter, Ruemara. I became a citizen in 2006 and have voted every chance I’ve gotten since then. Hope she gets this behind her soon and joins the rest of us in electing Democrats.

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:


    NEWS: As Rosenstein announces indictments, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows is filing a motion to impeach him for DOJ noncompliance, source tells me

    I would be more surprised at their willingness to do pointless shit like this if I hadn’t seen them vote 60+ times to repeal Obamacare.

  35. 35
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Yay ruemara! [waves little US flag in advance welcome] We are so fortunate to have the likes of you and schrodinger’s cat as citizens.

  36. 36
    sgrAstar says:

    Hey Rue, I’m so glad I could pitch in. We need you and people like you, in orderto reverse the noxious stench of trumpism. Honored that you want to join us. 🇺🇸

  37. 37

    Can’t imagine a better addition to our slightly bruised country.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: “When America sends its people, they’re not sending their best…”

  39. 39
    debbie says:


    I didn’t know that. His assholism just grows and grows, like that blimp did.

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    Gave. She’s also got floofy DEPENDENTS.

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    No one prepped him? Christalmighty.

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:


    Typical dickwad is a half-step ahead of the Queen as they inspected the Guard of Honour.

    And late, made her wait.
    ‘Fie wuz her majesty, i might have had one of those fancy pants guards trip him.
    Accidentally, of course.

  43. 43
    Scuffletuffle says:

    Next payday, for sure. Welcome to the funhouse, Ruemara!

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:


    No one prepped him?

    As if he’d listen and/or remember.

  45. 45
    debbie says:


    I love the moment in Betty’s video @#38 where she’s pointing and telling him where to stand, like he was just another disobedient Corgi.

  46. 46
    efgoldman says:


    telling him where to stand, like he was just another disobedient Corgi.

    Corgis know how to sit, stay, and heel

  47. 47
    Another lurker says:

    Mazeltov! The more folks like Rumara, the better!

  48. 48
    debbie says:

    Pardon me, Corgis of the World. I did not mean to insult.

  49. 49
    laura says:

    On a bad day, after a bad, awful, no-good week, pitching in for a jackal I admire heaps is good for my shop worn heart.
    On Sunday, spouse and i, and Chet the weinie dog are getting two baby kittens. Tiny, furry grief counsellors, sorely needed.

  50. 50
    tobie says:

    @JPL: I’m assuming impeachment of Rosenstein would have to be voted on by both the House and Senate. Does anyone know that for a fact? Man, the Repugnants in Congress are getting frightened.

  51. 51
    Betty Cracker says:

    Man, the official statements from TrumpLand just reek of panic.

  52. 52
    Miss Bianca says:

    Done! It’s not much, Rue, but it’s something!

  53. 53
    Ninedragonspot says:

    I’m in. I hope Ruemara will post a picture from the citizenship ceremony, whenever that is. I love those.

  54. 54
    Fair Economist says:

    An amusing bit from a paper on the likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence. By way of background, the Drake equation for the number of intelligent species, using the (extremely rough) estimates we have, predicts lots of civilizations. The fact that we don’t see any could indicate that the chance of us surviving long is pretty low (in other words, we don’t see anybody else because they have all asphyxiated themselves, blown themselves up, or whatever, and thus we almost certainly will too.) The paper concludes that if we update our estimates based on the fact that we don’t see anybody, it’s the terms like the chance of life evolving and the chance of intelligence developing that change the most, because they are the most uncertain, and therefore our chance of extended survival and success is decent.

    The amusing bit is their response to the fact that there’s no data in this, and they are just using fairly arcane aspects of Bayesian math and some questionable estimates of uncertainty:

    Isn’t this armchair astrobiology?

    Yes. We are after all from the philosophy department.

    They are, at least, honest.

  55. 55
    BeautifulPlumage says:

    Yes, glad to pitch in for RueMara! So great meeting in Seattle at the Pike Pub gathering. We need you here!

  56. 56
    stinger says:

    Can’t think of a better cause! Thanks for having faith in this country, RueMara — after all, “we’re far superior to anything that’s happened before” (per the orange floating gasbag).

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @laura: Tiny, furry grief counsellors, sorely needed.

    My condolences. May they help.

  58. 58

    Open Thread, eh? I went on another Milky Way outing last night, drove up past Santa Barbara(almost to Gaviota). It a vista point next to an old highway bridge(I think Mnemo had a pic of the bridge from one of her train trips up north). The skies are quite clear up there with very little light pollution except for some offshorre oil platforms. Here’s a Milky Way panorama(vertical).

  59. 59
    laura says:

    @WereBear: yes, your kindness does indeed help.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    Rue also makes delicious cookies — maybe we should request a PDF of some of her recipes when she gets to her goal. 🤔

  61. 61
    debbie says:


    This sounds like the real witch hunt.

  62. 62
    middlelee says:

    Done. ;-)

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Whoa — that’s gorgeous!

  64. 64
    MoxieM says:

    Did my best for the excellent RueMara.

    Too bad Betty didn’t have a choke collar on him (altho they are bad–so is he.) Or none of her Corgis is still with us to bite at his heels, since that’s what they are bred to do with large gas-producing bovines. They might recognize an opportunity for ancestral work.

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:

    So glad to see the rapid progress of Ruemara’s quest. I encouraged her to do a gofundme when she talked about having trouble putting the finances together, and my fellow Jackals have come through for her.

    I kicked in last night, and was happy to help get things started for her.

    Best of luck, ma’am!!

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    Hey rue, let me know if you don’t see a contribution from me? I am away from home on a slow connection, and it looked like it wasn’t working, then it looked like maybe it did. But I never did see anything that resembled “your conations went through”.


  67. 67
    Zippity says:

    Added a little-we need as many informed voters as possible!

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:


    You should get at least one email from GoFundMe to let you know it went through.

  69. 69
    eclare says:

    Welcome! It’s all hands on deck time, glad you’re officially joining us!

  70. 70
    Another Scott says:

    Donated, also too.


  71. 71
    Wapiti says:

    :grumble: Couldn’t figure out how to donate under this bogus name, so used my real one.

  72. 72
    Amir Khalid says:

    Dick’s idea of a power display: “I’m too big for protocol.”

  73. 73
    Alain the site fixer says:

    We did it! Nice job, everyone!

  74. 74
    feebog says:

    Done. Can’t wait for the day you take the oath Rue. Lots of pics, k?

  75. 75
    dexwood says:

    Fuckin’ A! That’s how you do it. No better place than Balloon Juice. Give us enough time to make ceremony travel arrangements, Ruemara.

  76. 76
    raven says:


  77. 77
    Mary G says:

    This makes me happy. You Juicers are good eggs.

  78. 78
    Currants says:

    Good luck and … wow, RueMara…that takes courage, signing on for this place at our current point in history. Welcome!

    Now, about that cake. Recipe? It looks wonderful! (Blueberry? Raspberry? BlackBerry?)

  79. 79
    Mel says:

    Yeah!! Happy, happy, happy! What could be better than kicking in a bit for such a good person (and those lovely kitties!)?

  80. 80
    something fabulous says:

    Late as always, but still threw in a bit! This is such a great thing; so glad you decided to go for it, stiff upper lip and all!

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