Unless there's a coup...
I fantasize T being dragged from the White House by Secret Service agents like an unruly, drunk airline passenger "escorted" off a plane.
She's quoted in an article written by Hugh Delehany in AARP Bulletin:
What gives you hope now?
"I'm hopeful about young people because they're taking an interest in the future of the planet. And I'm also hopeful about America, at a time when some Americans are not, because I don't think it's over for America yet. I think America is an ornery and diverse enough place that it would be very hard to get everybody to line up and do some kind or weird salute, even though the country has had a fascist undercurrent since the 1930s or so. I'm counting on Americans' crankiness and orneriness to keep things from going too far in either extreme."
I like that; crankiness and orneriness. We certainly are that.
Welcome back to the 50s. Let's insult both women and the academic community. The WSJ editorial could be taken for an article from The Onion. Why would they waste ink on such a non-issue?
This website states it better than I could:
|Use of Academic Title in Introductions|
I'm on my third week of trying to sort out my computers after sort of being hacked (no one succeeded in getting through.) The more I try to fix things, the more messed up it becomes. I had hoped that my computer geek nephew could rescue me, but the app we use to enable him to take over my computer won't run on my current OS system. When I tried to upgrade the system, my laptop doesn't have enough memory, and my desktop is too old to upgrade.
I also keep loosing my Blogger (Google) editing access to this blog. I've somehow reconnected three times now, and I hope it sticks. As not-so-great as I have been at maintaining this blog, the thought of recreating it is too much. (POST SCRIPT: I finally realized that I have access to two Google accounts, and our blog is under the SPARTA google account run by Jack. My apologies to Jack if this caused him any problems.)
It looks like my best way out of this is to get over to Best Buy and get a new MacBook Pro WITH LOTS OF MEMORY. You'll never regret paying more for more memory. I'll see if I can get anything for my 2013 iMac Pro desktop, my mom's 2011 iMac desktop, and my 2015 MacBook Pro.
Years ago, I realized that I had given more than I had planned to several of the charities I support. Many of these NFPs (Not-For-Profits) send out multiple mailings, some even monthly. I wasn't keeping track.
Now I save all the renewal letters, sit down in January, and write checks (or go online) to most of the organizations I donate to. I have a spread sheet that lists all the organizations. The list includes the donations I've made in the past, this year's donation, the check number, and the date. There's a section for monetary donations to NFPs and a section for in-kind donations (food donations, Goodwill, mileage for volunteer work, school supplies).
There's a third section for non-tax deductible donations. This would include organizations that work for political causes: Greenpeace, political parties, ACLU, WREA, SPARTA.
The rules for getting credit on your taxes have changed, but that's only one reason to keep track of your giving. The bigger one for me is that I give what I budgeted. That doesn't preclude me from giving extra as the year progresses, but just helps me keep track of what I've given so far.
This list is updated as the year moves forward. Some people prefer to do this at year's end, when many organizations are trying to balance their budgets. They can also count the donations on the current year's taxes.
It's a good idea to run the charities you support through Charity Navigator
Charity Navigator does an excellent job of reporting which organizations are utilizing your money most effectively. For example, Doctors Without Borders has earned 4 stars, and has a 93.5 out of 100 score for financial and accountability/transparency. Charity Navigator offers a great deal of data on each organization it rates.
|And I'm One|
Santha suggested that I do a weekly article on financial tips. Well, I can think of two; after that I'll have to steal from some other blog.
My first tip is to update and change all your passwords on a regular basis. I was hacked on six accounts last week: Amazon, Spectrum, ebay, Walmart, Google, and PayPal. I contacted all my money accounts (and my mom's) and made sure that they were secure. I didn't loose any money.
The nightmare began.
I've now changed my password on Amazon over ten times since Monday. I would change it once, and then it wouldn't accept the new password. Or the new one would work on my desktop but not on my phone. Then my amazon prime video kicked me off my phone, then one TV, then another.
Another problem was that my original passwords had been reasonably easy to understand and remember, as in "Oscarevil14". As they suggest, I used more "secure" passwords like "CghJ87^fboi))8jwh902i". Now this may be secure, but two problems exist. The first is that it's impossible to remember, so if you loose your list of passwords, too bad. The other problem is that I could rarely type the mess of letters and numbers in correctly.
Needless to say, all this activity caught the eye of the computerized security eye of Amazon. I was shut out several times.
And this was just one account. I went over my list of passwords and accounts, changed what I could, actually contacted companies to cancel accounts, and deleted, deleted, deleted.
I've discovered nooks and crannies on my computer and phone with lists of websites and passwords that go on forever. I have yet to tackle all the different passwords for my desktop, laptop, phone, Apple ID. iTunes, iCloud, system preferences: users and groups, key-chain, computer account-printer, Airport, network code, Microsoft account, and on and on. One problem is that I don't really know what most of these are so I hesitate to touch them.
Oh, and I lost the SPARTA blog a few times. It still existed, but I couldn't access it to edit. My editor's version was blank. But, abracadabra, it has reappeared. For now.
So I can attest that all those anti-scam warnings you receive and know you should be following through on are nothing compared to the headache you'll have to go through if you wait for trouble to happen. I was lucky and didn't loose any money. But the time and vexation could have been avoided if I had followed the suggestions given by law enforcement, senior organizations, and the government.
In the end, I'm going to take my desktop, laptop, and phone into the experts and have them sanitize all devices.
Here's some links with excellent guidelines:
By Faith Karimi, CNN
Updated 8:21 AM ET, Sat December 1, 2018
When Bill Clinton entered the White House, he found a letter from the man he beat: George H.W. Bush. Notes from outgoing presidents to incoming ones are a tradition, but Bush's letter on January 20, 1993, is a lesson on grace in defeat.
"He made us feel at home, as much as he could. Total class," Clinton said of the letter.
When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.
I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.
There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I'm not a very good one to give advice; but just don't let the critics discourage you or push you off course.
You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.
Your success now is our country's success. I am rooting hard for you.
Once political rivals, Presidents Bush and Clinton ended up forming an unlikely friendship.
"Just because you run against someone does not mean you have to be enemies," Bush once said. "Politics does not have to be mean and ugly."
Bush lived by that quote, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told CNN.
"I wish we could get some of that back in our system now," said Powell.
In his statement after Bush's death, Clinton recounted the friendship between the two.
"I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed," Clinton wrote. "From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood."
To give you something else to be outraged about, click on this link to an article updating the fiasco that the FoxConn deal devolved into:
Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, on Sunday faced backlash after suggesting that "82% of Americans" make more than $400,000 per year.
In a tweet on Sunday, McDaniel pointed to a video clip from a conservative media group, which asserted that "middle income earners" will see a tax increase under a Joe Biden presidency. However, Biden has said that he will not raise taxes on individuals making less than $400,0000 per year.
"Joe Biden would raise taxes on 82% of Americans, and we cannot afford it!" McDaniel wrote.
Reality check: 2% of Americans make over $400,000 a year.
Favorite T-shirt/bumper sticker sightings:
Science flies you to the moon;
Religion flies you into buildings.
Don’t piss off old people;
The older we get,
the less “life in prison”
Is a deterrent.
I am the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST
Trump warned you about
The glue holding this 2020 s***show together.
That will be fun.
Scroll down to the last paragraph. When I read that a functioning dictatorship requires 33% of the population if they have the guns, I popped The Handmaid's Tale into the DVD player again. Too scary. Try watching The West Wing instead.
Margaret Atwood is smiling, waving a green copy of her book The Testaments at me, while I wave a black one back at her. High-cheekboned, pale-skinned, her curly grey hair like a corona, she’s wearing a jewel-green blouse that makes her eyes glitter. Behind her stretches her large, comfy, slightly darkened sitting room in Toronto, with books and wall hangings and a whirring fan. Atwood gleams out of my screen, bright in all senses.
She is talking about being a grouch. She tells me she turns down a lot of interview requests, “and then I get a reputation as being very grumpy and hard to deal with. But who cares?” Grumpy seems wrong to me. I had been warned that Atwood was scary – super-sharp and impatient – but she’s not like that either. She is unsentimental, clear, sure of her facts and opinions, but she also has a light, mischievous quality. She says my name as though constantly on the verge of teasing me.
And she’s not grand, though she has every right to be, as one of the most successful writers in the world. Now 80, she has written 17 novels, 17 books of poetry, 10 books of non-fiction, eight collections of short stories, eight children’s books and three graphic novels. Her green copy of The Testaments is the paperback version of her slightly more cheerful sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale: the black hardback sold more than 250,000 copies in its first month in the UK alone. Atwood could be forgiven for resting on her laurels – or resting, full stop – but she likes to be hands on: she runs her own Twitter and Instagram accounts, where she posts books she likes, links to campaigns and festivals, sometimes funny little clips (there is a great short film of her riding an electric scooter in New Zealand in February). She writes articles, and puts her name to open letters for causes she supports: Greta Thunberg’s environmentalism, free speech, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, birdwatching. She has a lot going on.
At the moment, like many of us, she is concerned about the US election, even if she has no vote. “Canadians are all pressed up against the plate glass window like this,” she says, making a splurgy face. While she considers Joe Biden electable (“He does appear to be a human being, he doesn’t appear to be a sociopath or a narcissist, so this is all to the good”), whether he will make it to the White House is another thing.
“It depends to what extent He Who Shall Not Be Named manages to destroy the postal services,” Atwood says. (Donald Trump comes up a few times in our conversation, though she refuses to actually name him.) “That’s not going to be a tippity-top popular move because people’s pension cheques, their medications, come in the postal service. If you don’t get your pension cheque, you’re going to hate the government. But then, if you can’t vote, it doesn’t matter if you hate them or not.”
At least it’s not your country, I say; maybe it shouldn’t matter to Canadians?
“Oh yes, it should,” she says. “That’s our border, the longest undefended border in the world.”
This border features in The Testaments – one of the heroines is smuggled over it, to and from the patriarchal totalitarian state of Gilead – and Atwood talks to me about its history through slavery and prohibition. Now, she says, Americans are sneaking into Canada to escape their own country’s hopeless approach to Covid-19. “They walk through the woods,” she says. “And I noticed, last time I was in Saskatchewan, which is out west, we were right near the border and there were drones patrolling it.” In another echo of her books, the woods are being watched for escapees.
The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments came out of Atwood
imagining what form a dictatorship would take in the US: does she
consider Trump to be a manifestation of this? She doesn’t say yes, but
tells me there is a “recipe” for putting in a dictator, which is:
destroy or take over independent media; do the same with independent
judiciary; kill artists or make them really compliant. “And once you
start shooting protesters in the streets, that’s a really big signal
that this is going to be a dictator.”
Writing The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, she had it in her mind that a US dictatorship could never be a socialist one. “You would not be able to get the 33% necessary to support you. That’s the amount you need for a functioning dictatorship, as long as they’ve got guns.” Instead it would be a God-based affair. “It would fly under some weird, ‘Let’s stand in front of a church, holding a Bible upside down’ message,” she says. “Play God.” It’s clear who Atwood is referring to: a sort of dictator, who plays the God card and exploits the internet.
Clara Jeffrey of Mother Jones tweeted:
COVID now 4th largest mass casualty event in US history. Topped only by the Civil War, WWII, 1918 flu pandemic.
Civil War: 618,222
1918 pandemic: 675,000
And he’s saying “it affects virtually nobody.”
As you may have heard, Mary Ann Krems has passed away. She was our President from 2012-2015 and a force in the community. We'll forward information as we receive it.
From WREA, a directive that local meetings are suspended until further notice. We'll hope that we can meet in November. Our October book sale is canceled, and there will be no book take-ins until further notice.
The Executive Committee accepted a temporary budget for 2020-2021 until the membership can meet and vote. The budget assumes no book sales in October and April, and we will be holding off on grants for now. Like everything, there's a "one day at a time" outlook.
There is a great concern that membership will drop at the local and state level. Just a reminder, that WREA is THE watchdog for our pension fund. They were experiencing a dramatic drop in membership last year, so that trend is likely to continue. If there's ever a time to advocate for public schools, teachers, and the ETF, it's now. Let's not let this break our organization.
With that said, dues can be sent in for 2020-2021. You can download the application from the sidebar and send it with a $12 check to: Jan Langton, 2010 Aspen Lane, Plover, WI 54467.
These people are paid:
Paid through 2021
Betty E. 2022
O Phillip I.
On May 1, Trump praised a group of protesters in Michigan who were armed with assault rifles and carrying signs with violent and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” Trump tweeted of the protesters, who were demanding a reopening of the state economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”
The rhetoric from those protesters was so violent that Facebook removed a group organizing a similar protest, as they were calling for violence against Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, including calls to “hang, behead, shoot, and beat” her, according to the MetroTimes, a Detroit news outlet.
In fact, Trump has egged on similar protests calling on governors to reopen the government in the wake of the coronavirus, even though those protests have gotten increasingly violent and ugly.
At a protest on Long Island on May 14, protesters held a sign that read, “Hang Fauci. Hang Gates. Open all our states.“
Trump also seemed to condone a protester who got in the face of a journalist who was simply reporting on the protest, retweeting a video of the incident with the comment, “people can’t get enough of this. Great people!”
Trump also infamously praised the white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, who were protesting the removal of Confederate monuments.
He said there were “very fine people” among the crowd of white supremacists, who chanted “blood and soil” and “you will not replace us” — which are white supremacist and anti-Semitic statements.
“If you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly,” Trump said in April 2019 of his “very fine people” comment. “And I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general.”