Monday, September 25, 2017

Whom Shall We Fear Today

My parents lived through the Great Depression and learned to fear the Nazis, who they thought might finish taking over Europe and head for the U.S.

I was a child toward the end of the duck-and-cover years, when we were taught to fear nuclear war, specifically war with the Soviet Union.

Today we are taught (although not in school) to fear climate change, with its accompanying floods, droughts, crop loss, famine, and potential civil unrest.

I just never thought I'd had to fear both climate change and nuclear holocaust at once, or that the Soviets would come roaring back, or that Nazis would again find a place in German politics. Can't we just fear one thing at a time, please?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Who Is a Son of a Bitch

Apparently, in Trump Nation, it's football players who kneel when the National Anthem plays, not white supremacists who kill in the name of racism.

I hope Steph Curry and the Warriors take over the freakin' Mall.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Bizarre Logic of Anti-Con-Con

We are all used to fake news by now, and we are all used to propaganda. But I have rarely been subjected to the barrage of bizarre logic that typifies the anti-Constitutional Convention folks, some of them rather sensible in person, who inhabit the internet.

1)
THEM: Failing to vote "No" on the Con-Con ballot is an automatic "Yes" vote.
ME: Our ballots are read by optical scanners. How would that work?
THEM: ....

2)
THEM: No one but elected officials will run as a delegate to the Con-Con.
ME: (1) All the elected officials I've heard from are against the Con-Con. (2) My husband and I are battling it out over which of us will quit our jobs and run as a delegate. He has the list of expensive stupidities in the existing Constitution; I have the political will.
THEM: ....

3)
THEM: Billionaires like the Mercers are sponsoring the Con-Con.
ME: Why is every sign and ad I see opposed to the Convention? How much are the public unions spending?
THEM: ....

4)
THEM: We can get what we want changed via legislation.
ME: How's that working so far? (1) Ballot resolutions in NYS must be put forth by legislators, not by a petition of the general public, another thing we could change, if we wished, via a Con-Con. The last time anyone tried to get that changed legislatively was in 2013, and it died in committee. Which legislators do you imagine will put forth resolutions involving redistricting or ethics reform or campaign finance reform or even fair education funding? (2) Why do you trust legislators to do your work for you legislatively when in #2 above, you don't trust them as delegates? (3) The last time any resolutions made it out of committee and onto the ballot was in 2014. We voted to approve all three. Of those, proposal 2 is working pretty well. The success of proposal 1 remains to be seen, and the notion of an "independent" redistricting commission was knocked off by a judge. Proposal 3 is pretty much a failure.
THEM: ....

More to come. It's exhausting.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tracing School Failure Back to Reconstruction

Well, this looks like a book I need to read.

As HRC tours with her own book (as Carrie says, "She needed the money?"), I read more and more posts about how it wasn't Russia, it wasn't racism, it was sad white working folks with legitimate grievances. And that's fine, but it does nothing to answer the question "Why Trump?" The answer to "Why Trump?" is his answer to the legitimate grievances: "If we get rid of all these brown people who are taking your jobs and those Asian people who are screwing us, you can go back to mining coal or building Buicks."

So, racism. Sorry, but that was the bottom line in 2016. Our schools are more segregated than they were 50 years ago, and that's still not good enough for some people, who are now seceding from their own school districts in order to maintain a white majority.

Here's a thought: If you keep the races apart as children, do you imagine they will magically grow together as adults? How'd that work out in South Africa?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dear Ethicist

Dear Ethicist:

Lately I have noticed a number of online friends gravitating toward the candidacy of one particular person running for Congress in our district. Because I have done my due diligence, I have determined that this candidate, although quite reasonable on most issues, leans anti-choice. The candidate believes that abortion should be legal but is not an "enthusiast" about the right to abortion. This makes me incredibly nervous, given the perilous balance on our current Supreme Court.

I have never been a one-issue voter, but... My daughter recently tweeted:  I would rather my money go to fund Republican candidates who support our ideals than Democrats who do not.  I buy that argument.

My question is: Do I "out" this candidate? The candidate's views are there on the internet for all to see, but what if people don't bother looking? So far, I've only mentioned it to a couple of people who have asked my opinion directly. I would certainly ask the candidate about this if we were in a situation where questions were possible.

I would not be so conflicted if the other candidates were better than they are. Please advise.

Sincerely,

Conflicted

Monday, September 11, 2017

Before I Forget

I am wildly uninterested in reviewing/reliving 2016, but Ta-Nehisi Coates's piece in the Atlantic is an absolute must-read. I posted it everywhere, but the length (daunting) seems to have kept people from reading it.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Welcome Back Speech

So I tried not to give a political speech at BOCES this morning to welcome back staff and faculty, but this came out.