Connect the Dots

December 4, 2016

Climate change is hard to think about not only because it’s complex and politically contentious, not only because it’s cognitively almost impossible to keep in mind the intricate relationships that tie together an oil well in Venezuela, Siberian permafrost, Saudi F-15s bombing a Yemeni wedding, subsidence along the Jersey Shore, albedo effect near Kangerlussuaq, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the polar vortex, shampoo, California cattle, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, leukemia, plastic, paper, the Sixth Extinction, Zika, and the basic decisions we make every day, are forced to make every day, in a world we didn’t choose but were thrown into. No, it’s not just because it’s mind-bendingly difficult to connect the dots. Climate change is hard to think about because it’s depressing and scary.1

This is from (of course) the New York Times, a month and a half ago.  It took me a while to find the 15 connections.  I had never heard of the Sixth Extinction, so I read Elizabeth Kolbert’s book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.  Had to research the albedo effect near Kangerlussuaq, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the polar vortex, shampoo.  So a challenge to you too.

You might also like to read the entire article, entitled When the Next Hurricane Hits Texas.  Great photo from the hurricane in 2008.

hurricane

The Worst Word in the English Language

…the website of Oxford Dictionaries called off its search for the worst word in the English language before I got a chance to have my say. When the survey was halted — the Oxford folks said that too many people were sending in offensive or insulting words — the word “moist” was in the lead…

I no longer think that the word I most dread in the English language is “maintenance.” That realization came to me not long ago, when I was in my car, by myself, at a red light. Ordinarily, I would have been thinking about the points and plugs of my car…

And here we come to the word in the English language that I now most dread: “Upgrade…”

Here’s how I imagine an upgrade to a computer operating system comes about. In the offices of a tech company in some West Coast loft building, Jason and Justin, two impossibly young-looking techies, are having a desultory conversation after finishing their 10th Ping-Pong game of the day. They’re killing time until the weekly foosball tournament starts.

“You know,” Jason says, “I think most of them are getting so they can find their calendars and their contacts pretty easily.” (“Them” is Jason’s word for grown-ups.)

“Remember how much fun it was to complicate the way to get to contacts on that smartphone we worked on?” Justin asks.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Jason replies. An expression of intense anticipation comes over their faces. They resemble the fraternity boys in “Animal House” just before someone yells “Food fight!” Suddenly, Jason and Justin shout in unison, “Upgrade!”2

I have to agree with Calvin Trillin.  (He’s an American journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoirist and novelist.  One of his most famous quotes is, The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.)  Read the entire article – it’s quite humorous.  And see my blog on that subject, when I upgraded.3

Cuba

I have no comment on Castro’s death.  But I do recommend that you read Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana, by Isadora Tattlin.  One of our art group recommended it, and I read it before we went to Cuba in 2012.  You can read my blogs, starting with this one: https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/cuba-day-1/

Work

Shall get a pile of essays on Wednesday. (That supplements my weight training.)  My last day of school is December 16th.  Have gotten to like most of these students.  Shall I miss teaching?  Yes and no.

1http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/09/opinion/sunday/when-the-hurricane-hits-texas.html?_r=0
2
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/books/review/calvin-trillin-on-the-scariest-word.html?_r=0
3https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/computers/

Yes!

December 1, 2016

Charlie Rangel was being interviewed on NPR two weeks ago, but here is the web version from CBS:

Rangel, Boxer Propose Constitutional Amendment Abolishing Electoral College

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSNewYork) — Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has introduced a bill proposing a constitutional amendment that would abolish the Electoral College.

The move would allow future presidential elections to be decided by the popular vote.

“It is time that we do away the antiquated and obsolete Electoral College system. True democracy should guarantee one person, one vote,” Rangel said.

Rangel’s bill is a House companion to S.J.Res.41 — a bill that was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) earlier this week.1

Animals Run Amok

Runner gets hit by deer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGwwxD_vD_8

queens-coyoteCoyote, that denizen of the desert, hangs out in Queens, NY.

Squirrel attacks bicyclist.

Bicycle-Riding Chicago Alderman Injured In Squirrel Attack. Howard Brookins had raised the alarm about “aggressive squirrels” wreaking damage on trash cans in his community. The Chicago Tribune reports that two weeks later he was jumped by a kamikaze squirrel.2

finn-recital-2Family

Went to grandson’s piano recital.

 

 

 

rusalkaTook granddaughter to the Arizona Opera to see Rusalka, a very dark version of The Little Mermaid.  Definitely not Disney.

 

 

 

dr-strangeThen took grandson to see the recent movie Doctor Strange, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, a Marvel Comics superhero, and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One.  I like superheroes.  But Marvel got ‘whitewashing’ criticisms over Tilda Swinton’s casting.  The mystical character is of Tibetan descent in its original Marvel Comics depiction, so Marvel’s casting of Swinton, a white Scottish woman, for the role has generated controversy.3

park2
My daughter had a combined birthday party for all three kids at the park down the street from her house, complete with a jumping castle, a cotton candy machine, and piñatas.  That was Sunday, when the clouds blew over from California, and it grew “cold” (which in Tucson is 57°) and windy, so that all of the candles on the cakes could not be lit at once.  Luckily it did not rain until nighttime.  I will add that it got down to freezing the past two nights.

me-lyn-price2Thanksgiving

As I usually do, spent Thanksgiving and the next couple of days with friends in San Diego.  (Photo of the three of us at my birthday party.)  Great dinner for ten.

 

 

Next me-butterfield-horseday went to Balboa park to see the museums.  First to the San Diego Museum of Art, which was showing Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture.  Then my friend got a photo of me with a Deborah Butterfield horse which was different than her others (dead). My hand is above it as we can’t touch the art. (I have mentioned her horses in many blogs.3)

Aftererik-gronborg3 a lovely lunch at The Prado we were on to the Mingei International Museum.  Here a photo of Erik Gronborg’s living room in Solana Beach, complete with wooden crows.  The exhibition covers…

…Danish-born American artist’s creative life over fifty-five years… this project brings together examples of Gronborg’s sculpture in cast bronze, carved wood, and other media, as well as studio furniture and a comprehensive survey of his ceramics.

Another exhibition we enjoyed was: Layers of Brilliance: The Journey of Japanese Lacquer Tools.

Thatwhite-xmas evening we went to the Spreckles Theatre to see a stage adaptation of the classic film, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.  The plot was from 1954, but the dancing was fantastic!  I would love to be able to kick straight up!

1http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/11/17/rangel-electoral-college/
2http://www.npr.org/2016/11/23/503108904/bicycle-riding-chicago-alderman-injured-in-squirrel-attack
3http://variety.com/2016/film/news/doctor-strange-whitewashing-tilda-swinton-marvel-1201762267/
4https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/denver/
https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/palm-springs/
https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/taking-flight-again
https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/quirky-art/

My life…and the politics continue

November 19, 2016

owlPhotography

My old neighbor and friend, who passed away last December, who used to give me lots of advice on woodworking and lend me his tools, was a serious photographer in retirement.  His goal was to take a photo of every bird in North America.  His widow emailed me to go to Paul Bannick’s talk at Pima College on Saturday.  Paul had been a friend of my neighbor.  So I did.  Now I have to go out and buy $2000 worth of camera equipment (or at least read the manual for my old Canon point-and-shoot).

Marvelous two-hour talk about photographing birds.  I am an inveterate note-taker, so I have two pages of notes.  First find the birds: study their life history, where they are, why they are there, what are they eating, and so on.  Preset your shutter speed depending on their behavior.  Use aperture priority to isolate subject.  Good art – remove everything except what is essential.  Focus on the bird’s eye.  Which is the best lens for the money?  (300mm f/4 telephoto fixed lens for Canon SLR cameras) See dpreview.com  and compare lenses, not cameras.  Shoot raw.  (I know that my brother does.  When shooting in a format like JPEG image information is compressed and lost. Because no information is compressed with RAW you’re able to produce higher quality images, as well as correct problem images that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPEG format.1)  Shoot in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light.  Then he got into histograms and lost me.

It was sponsored by the Tucson Audubon Society.  About sixty people attended.  I have to add that I had been in the Audubon Society in elementary school, until I found out that John James Audubon killed the birds before he painted them.  I quit and have not joined since.

Audubon, who was born April 26, 1785, first rose to fame through the 435 magnificent paintings he created for his landmark work, “Birds of America,” which detailed more than 700 bird species and was first published as a series on a subscription basis between 1827 and 1838…

He shot and killed every bird he painted. Audubon was a noted hunter and taxidermist, and much of the money he made during his lifetime was from selling animal skins, a practice that in part helped to fund the printing of “Birds of America.” But don’t assume that he took pleasure from killing the birds he painted: “The moment a bird was dead,” he said, “no matter how beautiful it had been in life, the pleasure of possession became blunted for me…”2

Birthday Smiles

My cousin posted photos he and his wife had taken during my birthday week.  This one of my brother, my cousin, me, and my son.me-dick-aaron-and-hal

I just reread all of my birthday cards and noted that four of the fourteen mentioned some aspect of aging:

  • Is this the birthday when you start asking yourself life’s big questions?  Like, “Why did I come into this room?  I knew a minute ago…”  
  • Woo-Hoo!  I remembered my password!
  • A woman opening a box with “My keys!!! My glasses!  How did you know?!” Hope you get everything you’ve been looking for and more! 
  • OMG I thought I was having a hot flash.  Thank God it was only your candles.

 

trump2No smiles here

Trump University agrees to settle lawsuit for $25 million, NY AG announces

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has agreed to settle lawsuits relating to his Trump University series of real estate seminars for $25 million, the New York Attorney General’s office said on Friday.

The suits alleged that the seminars failed to deliver the education it promised. The deal settles two class-action lawsuits in California and a civil suit filed by Schneiderman.

“Today’s $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws…”

— The Associated Press, NBC News and Reuters contributed to this report.3

Hamilton

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (L) and actor, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (R) perform on stage during "Hamilton" GRAMMY performance for The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Richard Rodgers Theater on February 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Many of you will know of the rap musical,  Hamilton: An American Musical… a musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show, inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow, achieved both critical acclaim [winning the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album] and box office success.4  I will note that it is the most expensive Broadway show ever, with the average ticket now going for $1200, and has been sold out for months, through January 2017.  Well, Mike Pence went to the show and the actor who plays Burr (and who is black and gay, in fact, all of the characters are historical figures who were all known to have been white, but they are played by actors of many races and ethnicities, notably black, Latino and Asian5) had a closing plea for him.  This is from the New York Times and contains a video.

“Hamilton,” the hit Broadway musical about colonial rebels shaping the future of an unformed country, took an even more political turn at the end of its performance on Friday night.
With Vice President-elect Mike Pence attending the show, the cast used the opportunity to make a statement emphasizing the need for the new administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, a Republican, to work on behalf of all Americans…
As the play ended, the actor who played Vice President Aaron Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon, acknowledged that Mr. Pence was in the audience, thanked him for attending and added, “We hope you will hear us out.” “We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” he said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”6

michellePhotoshopped but funny

1http://photographyconcentrate.com/10-reasons-why-you-should-be-shooting-raw/
2http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-john-james-audubon
3http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/18/president-elect-donald-trump-nearing-settlement-in-trump-university-case-source.html
4https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton_(musical)
5http://www.hesherman.com/2015/12/03/what-does-hamilton-tell-us-about-race-in-casting/
6http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/us/mike-pence-hamilton.html?_r=0

Gotta love this country

November 17, 2016

20,000 People Have Donated to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s ‘Honor’…  Pence, Indiana’s governor and a former congressman, has been criticized by some for restrictions on abortion, Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, said Tuesday.1

trump‘Knife fight’ as Trump builds an unconventional national security Cabinet2  (Ran out of time in my writing class yesterday or I would have pointed out that’s a metaphor and a hyperbole.)  A friend in Denver cleverly commented, I saw where Trump is already treating his cabinet like the game show and firing people.

She also mentioned, last Wednesday, the day after the election, Tonight I meet with Drinking Liberally- then on Thursday, meet with Denver Pantsuit Nation. I hope that we are moved to action!  So of course, I had to look up those organizations.  There is a Drinking Liberally chapter in Tucson.

What is Drinking Liberally?

An informal, inclusive progressive social group. Raise your spirits
while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher.
Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place
to talk politics. You don’t need to be a policy expert and this isn’t a
book club – just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent
frustration and hang out in an environment where it’s not taboo to talk
politics.

Bars are democratic spaces – you talk to strangers, you share booths,
you feel the bond of common ground. Bring democratic discourse to your
local democratic space – build democracy one drink at a time…

Drinking Liberally is a project of Living Liberally, an organization which builds progressive communities through social networks and events. Living Liberally also runs Laughing Liberally, the political comedy project; Screening Liberally, a series of socially-conscious films; Eating Liberally, events with good gab and great grub; and Reading Liberally, book tours for progressive authors. Living Liberally is a New York-based LLC, led by a team in NYC and fueled by the energy of hundreds of volunteers and partners around the country.

Drinking Liberally was founded in New York City in May, 2003 by Justin Krebs and Matthew O’Neill. With the help of David Alpert, DL went national in the summer of 2004; and with the work of Katrina Baker, that network expanded to 100 chapters by September, 2005. It is still growing today.3

hillaryAlso, had not known that Libby Chamberlain created Pantsuit Nation to support Hillary  less than three weeks ago, according to the New York Times on November 8.

Pantsuit Nation, a ‘Secret’ Facebook Hub, Celebrates Clinton

Some pantsuits were white, in tribute to the dresses of the suffragists. Others were mismatched or borrowed. Many were fished out of the back of a closet, along with a memory of a long-lost job or a somber occasion.

These suits were redeployed by thousands of American women on Election Day, when taking a photo of yourself in a pantsuit and posting it to the “secret” Facebook group Pantsuit Nation became the digital equivalent of slapping an “I Voted” sticker on a lapel.

“They’re coming in at about 1,000 every few minutes,” Libby Chamberlain, the founder of the group, said of the social media posts. “We have over 20,000 posts that are waiting to be approved. We have dozens of moderators and they can’t keep up.”4

celineThis ad was in the New York Times Magazine.  Would anyone actually wear that diaphanous dress (or am I just showing my age?)

punctuation-saves-lives

My daughter sent me that.

ART

Sunday afternoon the TMA CAS (Contemporary Art Society) group went to the renovated Axel building5.  One of our members is a photographer, and she, Cita Scott, has a gallery space there6.  Love these flowers (and carrots!).  She arranges them, then photographs them.

citacrane-day

This is Crane Day, the weaver.  His Ultimate Cocktail Ponchos are fabulous.7

Nicola Marshall was out of town, but I like her paintings8.

img_6571

1http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/20-000-people-have-donated-planned-parenthood-mike-pence-s-n685076
2http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/politics/trump-shortlist-national-security-worldview/
3http://livingliberally.org/drinking/about
4http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/09/us/politics/facebook-pantsuit-nation-clinton.html?_r=0
5http://www.centralbarrio.com/new-gallery-2/
6http://citascott.com/
7http://www.craneday.com/index.html
8https://www.facebook.com/nicolamarshallart/

Everybody knows the good guys lost

November 15, 2016

Leonard Cohen died last week.  Nothing to watch on this, just listen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEQldSi-heE
A friend said that, after he heard of Cohen’s death, he played Hallelujah
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttEMYvpoR-k) the entire day at his office at full volume.  (He and his partner are in a separate building from their receptionist, secretaries, and paralegals, so he only drove his partner crazy.)  These recordings are with Cohen’s younger voice.

Aging

Within the last month my toaster oven broke (which may have belonged to my mother, who died in 2005), my small espresso machine broke (which used to reside at our cabin on Mt. Lemmon when the kids were little, about 25+ years ago), and the frame on my glasses broke (this is the third prescription put in them).  Well, I hope I last longer than my possessions.  Seems ominous.

I also just turned 70.  Had friends and relatives (son! brother! cousins!) visiting for half a week from San Diego, Vancouver, Sonoma, and Denver.  We partied for days and they helped me put on a celebration dinner for 30.  After they returned home, I noticed that my kitchen no longer automatically gets cleaned.  I wake up in the morning and have to face dirty dinner dishes.  Well, that bit of spoiling didn’t last long.

Social Venture Partners – Fast Pitch Tucson 2016

svpWent to a fundraiser last week.

SVP does more than give away money. We amplify the impact of those out to do good in three distinct ways:

  • Connect and engage individuals, helping them make the greatest impact with their philanthropic giving.
  • Fund and strengthen nonprofits, helping them take their vital work for communities to the next level.
  • Invest in collaborative solutions, so those with a common cause can align their efforts and go farther, together.1

astronautFirst, the keynote speaker, Ron Garan, decorated astronaut and social entrepreneur, gave us a great talk, showing us the world through his Orbital Perspective.

Then seven finalists (Fast Pitch Tucson gives free two-month communication skills training … for nonprofits) made three‐minute pitches to a panel of judges and an audience of hundreds of philanthropic, business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, competing to win cash awards.  They started with heart-rending stories.  Two hankies worth.

Awards
$5,000 Tucson Federal Credit Union Tucson Matters Award
$5,000 TEP Power to the People Award + featured in Biz Tucson
$7,500 Cox Charities Award
$7,500 Judges Award
$10,000 SVP Tucson Award

The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona (not just cookies – leadership development is the core focus of Girl Scouting, offering diverse programs on Science and Technology, Self-Esteem, Career Exploration, Financial Literacy, Environmental Awareness and more) won big, with three prizes. Helping Hands for Single Moms Tucson (a community-based nonprofit that assists impoverished single mom families while the moms are pursuing a college education and financial independence) won one.  Children’s Clinics (a non-profit organization, dedicated to delivering family centered, coordinated medical and health services to children and families with complex medical conditions) won the other.

As they won lots of $, I spread my largess elsewhere.  I signed up to volunteer for ICS (Interfaith Community Services) Care Partners.  (Volunteers in the Care Partner Program work together as a team to assist newly discharged patients from health care facilities to assist them with transportation to follow-up appointments, pharmacy, grocery store, etc. )  And I gave a fistful of money to Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona (a non-profit agency dedicated to assisting low income homeowners in Tucson and Pima County) that friend R recommended.

img_6557Desert Museum

Last Friday was Veterans’ Day, a day off from school, so after visiting my father’s grave, my daughter and I took the kids to the Desert Museum.  The Raptor Free Flight is always my favorite.  This is my favorite shot, but my grandsons and I took a few more, sharing my camera and my phone.

 

 

img_6540img_6558

 

Here’s Why We Grieve Today

A friend emailed me this.  I put it last ’cause it’s too depressing.  But read it anyway!

November 9, 2016/ John Pavlovitz

I don’t think you understand us right now. I think you think this is about politics. I think you believe this is all just sour grapes; the crocodile tears of the losing locker room with the scoreboard going against us at the buzzer. I can only tell you that you’re wrong. This is not about losing an election. This isn’t about not winning a contest. This is about two very different ways of seeing the world.

Hillary supporters believe in a diverse America; one where religion or skin color or sexual orientation or place of birth aren’t liabilities or deficiencies or moral defects. Her campaign was one of inclusion and connection and interdependency. It was about building bridges and breaking ceilings. It was about going high.

Trump supporters believe in a very selective America; one that is largely white and straight and Christian, and the voting verified this. Donald Trump has never made any assertions otherwise. He ran a campaign of fear and exclusion and isolation—and that’s the vision of the world those who voted for him have endorsed.

They have aligned with the wall-builder and the professed p*ssy-grabber, and they have co-signed his body of work, regardless of the reasons they give for their vote: Every horrible thing Donald Trump ever said about women or Muslims or people of color has now been validated. Every profanity-laced press conference and every call to bully protestors and every ignorant diatribe has been endorsed. Every piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation Mike Pence has championed has been signed-off on. Half of our country has declared these things acceptable, noble, American.  This is the disconnect and the source of our grief today. It isn’t a political defeat that we’re lamenting, it’s a defeat for Humanity.

We’re not angry that our candidate lost. We’re angry because our candidate’s losing means this country will be less safe, less kind, and less available to a huge segment of its population, and that’s just the truth. Those who have always felt vulnerable are now left more so. Those whose voices have been silenced will be further quieted. Those who always felt marginalized will be pushed further to the periphery. Those who feared they were seen as inferior now have confirmation in actual percentages. Those things have essentially been campaign promises of Donald Trump, and so many of our fellow citizens have said this is what they want too.

This has never been about politics.

This is not about one candidate over the other.

It’s not about one’s ideas over another’s.

It is not blue vs. red.

It’s not her emails vs. his bad language.

It’s about overt racism and hostility toward minorities.

It’s about religion being weaponized.

It’s about crassness and vulgarity and disregard for women.

It’s about a barricaded, militarized, bully nation.

It’s about an unapologetic, open-faced ugliness.

And it is not only that these things have been ratified by our nation that grieve us; all this hatred, fear, racism, bigotry, and intolerance—it’s knowing that these things have been amen-ed by our neighbors, our families, our friends, those we work with and worship alongside. That is the most horrific thing of all. We now know how close this is. It feels like living in enemy territory being here now, and there’s no way around that.

We wake up today in a home we no longer recognize. We are grieving the loss of a place we used to love but no longer do.

This may be America today but it is not the America we believe in or recognize or want.

This is not about a difference of political opinion, as that’s far too small to mourn over. It’s about a fundamental difference in how we view the worth of all people—not just those who look or talk or think or vote the way we do.

Grief always laments what might have been, the future we were robbed of, the tomorrow that we won’t get to see, and that is what we walk through today. As a nation we had an opportunity to affirm the beauty of our diversity this day, to choose ideas over sound bytes, to let everyone know they had a place at the table, to be the beacon of goodness and decency we imagine that we are—and we said no.

The Scriptures say that weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. We can’t see that dawn coming any time soon.

And this is why we grieve.

1http://www.socialventurepartners.org/tucson/

Election Results

November 11, 2016

Okay, I have to talk about the results.  A friend emailed:

I hope that you are doing well and have good friends to encircle you.  I am Sick, Angry and Hurt.  I have NEVER been so disappointed in my fellow countrymen.  I cannot support that Lunatic to be the head of my country!
We marched in Denver last night.  Maybe a couple of thousand showed.  I only found out about it at the last minute, so the low turnout could have been because of the light publicity.
The Huffington post has an interesting article about the Electoral College: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/douglas-anthony-cooper/the-electoral-college-was_b_12897066.html?ncid=engmodushpmg00000006
I hope that you have found solace in the positive posts on Pantsuit Nation.

She was in one of many protests across the United States.  These are just a few of the hundreds of photos on the internet:

protest4  protest3

protest2protests-californiaSo I replied:

The class I’m taking at the U (for us ol’ folks) is about Latin American history since the conquistadors, Imagining Latin America: Myths and Realities in Modern Latin America.  A third of the class was missing Wednesday morning; I wore all black. One of the women said that her parents had survived the holocaust and she was crying (serious tears) about our new prez being a fascist. It is a liberal group.  My Writing Fundamentals students in the afternoon at the college were oblivious. Think most of them didn’t bother to vote.  And so went the nation.

Tried watching some satirical television, to see how they handled the results.  Maybe cheer me up?  No way.

No SNL Weekend Update yet.

I googled can trump be worse than george w? and all I got were YES’s.  (Try it yourself.)  I wish we had gotten rid of the Electoral College years ago.  It’s not working as conceived.  See my friend’s Huffington Post reference.  (Also, I had to look it up to find out how we even designate number of electors.  This from Wikipedia:

A state’s number of electors equals the number of representatives and senators the state has in the United States Congress. In the case of representatives, this is based on the respective populations. Each state’s number of representatives is determined every 10 years by the United States Census.)

Gore won the popular vote. Without the Electoral College we would not have had the fictitious Weapons of Mass Destruction, or the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Hillary won the popular vote. Without the Electoral College we would not have Donald Trump for our next president. And the first First Lady whose nude photos you can find on the internet (from the British GQ magazine). http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/donald-trump-melania-trump-knauss-first-lady-erections  Ivanka (his daughter) Trump’s nude shots are also on the Net.  Taken this year.  What a family.

And Exit polls show white evangelical voters voted in high numbers for Donald Trump, 81 percent.  That from the Washington Post.  In addition, 53 percent of the white female voters in this country voted for Donald Trump.  That from the New York Times.  Yup, just the way you’d want your daughters to grow up.  (Sorry guys – I’m not going to post any photos here.)

I was going to continue this blog with other subjects, but they all seem lame by comparison. Sigh.  Tomorrow is another day.  But frankly, my dear, I do give a damn.

 

STEM

November 1, 2016

Science Technology Engineering Mathematics

On Friday, October 28th, [the Pima College Northwest Campus] hosted the second AZ STEM Adventure.  We had over 1100 high energy 4th-8th graders on our campus.  The students participated in a wide variety of STEM related activities including dissections, making silly putty and liquid nitrogen ice cream, taking rides on a “hovercraft”, building rockets, and much more!

catapultI spent 4 1/2 hours with a group of 4th-8th graders from the Islamic Al Huda school1, which I hadn’t even been aware of until I was assigned to escort 22 of the kids (along with three parents and two Pima students).  Not as bad as herding cats, but almost.  Kids liked the talk on liquid nitrogen the most, no doubt because they all got a dixie cup of ice cream made (as we watched) with liquid nitrogen.  Second favorite was attempting to make catapults to shoot candy corn at a target.  (I’ve blurred out the kids’ faces.)  Had to eat lunch outside on the grass, and it was 93°!  Girls sweltering in their abayas and hijabs.

image3Halloween

On Sunday carved pumpkins with the grandkids.  (My granddaughter is ten, but as tall as I am.  She likes to borrow my shoes.)  Had no trick-or-treaters Monday night.  Not many kids in the neighborhood and I’m at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Are We Sick of the Election Yet?

Someone on NPR noted that he thought that Trump’s campaign has been a long infomercial.  He’s been showing his hotels off to the news media.  All that free publicity!

Then FBI Director James B. Comey has to bring up Clinton’s emails again, eleven days from the election.  And it’s not political?

1http://www.alhudaaz.com/about-us.html

Emails

October 26, 2016

george-wPeople are up in arms about Hillary’s emails.  But who knows about George W losing 22 million emails?

In court in May 2008, administration lawyers contended that the White House had lost three months’ worth of email backups from the initial days of the Iraq War. Bush aides thus evaded a court-ordered deadline to describe the contents of digital backup believed to contain emails deleted in 2003 between March—when the U.S. invaded Iraq—and September. They also refused to give the NSA nonprofit any emails relating to the Iraq War, despite the PRA, blaming a system upgrade that had deleted up to 5 million emails. The plaintiffs eventually contended that the Bush administration knew about the problem in 2005 but did nothing to fix it.

Eventually, the Bush White House admitted it had lost 22 million emails, not 5 million. Then, in December 2009—well into Barack Obama’s administration—the White House said it found 22 million emails, dated between 2003 and 2005, that it claimed had been mislabeled. That cache was given to the National Archives, and it and other plaintiffs agreed, on December 14, 2009, to settle their lawsuit. But the emails have not yet been made available to the public.

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/george-w-bush-white-house-lost-22-million-emails-497373.html

According to Newsweek, there have been 560,397 articles mentioning Clinton’s emails.  Wikipedia lists 29 references for the Bush story.  A bit of a double standard?

Rigged Election

Michelle has something to say: http://www.reuters.com/video/2016/10/20/michelle-obama-rigged-accusations-aimed?videoId=370217331

Humor

SNL of course, with Tom Hanks: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/10/24/forget-trump-and-clinton-black-jeopardy-is-snls-best-political-sketch-this-year/

Meltdown

October 24, 2016

Had to wait until after I had seen SNL’s take on the third debate

ht_snl_dc_161023_12x5_1600

http://www.popsugar.com/news/SNL-Video-Making-Fun-Trump-Third-Presidential-Debate-42603295
and, of course, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wMAuk5D6h1w, to post.  The debate itself made me sick to my stomach.

Pick a decade and see what each of the candidates was up to.

Closer to Home

I started reading over all of my voting mailings and was aghast by Oro Valley’s Proposition 439.  The Future General Plan asks for high-quality parks, the best streets in the region, and good schools.  Just good.  Not high-quality, not the best in the region. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the previous General Plan said – mediocre schools? What a great place to live.

Vote Early, and Vote Often

Not really – that’s the tongue-in-cheek political motto of Chicago.  But let’s get a big turnout.  Don’t let happen what occurred in Colombia:

Voters in Colombia have rejected a landmark peace deal with Farc rebels… The deal was signed last week by President Juan Manuel Santos and Farc leader Timoleon Jimenez after nearly four years of negotiations [after a 52-year-old war]… But in a surprise result, 50.2% of voters rejected the agreement compared with 49.8% who voted for it… Turnout was low with fewer than 38% of voters casting their votes.  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37537252

The Shark

October 17, 2016

debate2_snlMy cousin emailed me after Debate Two:

I am so depressed after the debate tonight.  I can hope SNL will lighten it up!

So here’s SNL mocking The ‘Second And Worst Ever’ Presidential Debate: http://www.thewrap.com/snl-mocks-the-second-and-worst-ever-presidential-debate/

So much for levity.  Have to share Nicholas Kristof’s column from yesterday’s New York Times:

If Hillary Clinton Groped Men

  OCT. 15, 2016

Is there a double standard for women in politics?

Imagine if it were Hillary Clinton who had had five children by three husbands, who had said it was fine to refer to her daughter as a “piece of ass,” who participated in a radio conversation about oral sex in a hot tub, who rated men based on their body parts, who showed up in Playboy soft porn videos.

Imagine if 15 men had accused Clinton of assaulting or violating them, with more stepping forward each day.

Imagine if Clinton had held a Mr. Teen USA pageant and then marched unannounced into the changing area to ogle the young bodies as some were naked and, after doing the same thing at a Mr. USA pageant, marveled on a radio show at what she was allowed to get away with.

Imagine if in a primary election debate Clinton had boasted that there’s “no problem” with the size of her vagina.

Imagine if Clinton had less experience in government or the military than any person who has ever become president?

Imagine if she had said about a man running against her in the primaries, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”

Imagine if it were Clinton who had boasted, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Imagine if it were Clinton who had been caught on a hot mike referring in a degrading way to men’s genitals and boasting that her prominence gave her license to grab men’s crotches.

Imagine if she had bragged about her attempts to commit adultery — and later reportedly sought to have fired from his job the married man who resisted her seduction efforts.

Imagine that it were Hillary Clinton who had been accused of assault by her first spouse (later recanted) and later of assault in a lawsuit by a business partner.

Imagine if Clinton had defended herself from an accusation of molesting a young man by explaining, “He would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.”

Imagine if Clinton had body shamed Donald Trump, saying that she had observed his rear end and concluded, “I’m not impressed, believe me.”

Imagine if Hillary Clinton had first drawn national attention not with an idealistic speech at the Wellesley commencement, but by being sued for racial discrimination by President Richard Nixon’s administration.

Imagine if she had later been quoted by a member of her staff as saying “laziness is a trait in blacks” and had retweeted white supremacists, including one honoring the American Nazi Party.

Imagine if it were Clinton who had gone through six bankruptcies and compiled a long record of stiffing contractors, from plumbers to painters to lawyers.

Imagine if it were Clinton who had ordered $100,000 worth of pianos from a small music store in Freehold, N.J., and then announced months after taking delivery that she would pay only $70,000. And if the owner recalled: “Because of Clinton, my store stagnated for a couple of years. It made me feel really bad, like I’d been taken advantage of. I was embarrassed.”

Imagine if it were Hillary Clinton who had denounced international trade while manufacturing shirts in Bangladesh, neck ties in China, suits in Mexico and stemware in Slovenia.

Imagine that the Clintons had given an interview to People magazine and, while Bill stepped away to change clothes, Hillary told the male interviewer that she had a room to show him — and then stuck her tongue down his throat.

Imagine if Clinton had boasted on Howard Stern’s radio show that “in the history of the world, nobody has got more hot men than I have” — and referred to those men she had seduced as her “victims.” What if she were called a sex predator on the show, and she nodded proudly?

Imagine if PolitiFact had judged 71 percent of Clinton’s statements that it checked “mostly false” or worse.

Imagine that, instead of releasing 39 years of tax returns, showing most recently that she had paid 31 percent of her income in federal income taxes, she had refused to release any returns — and leaked pages from 1995 returns indicated that she had paid no federal income taxes at all for years.

Imagine if Clinton had rampaged for a week against a former beauty queen, and even tweeted encouragement to “check out sex tape” of the woman — even though such a video did not exist.

Imagine if Clinton had said, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”

Imagine if Clinton had been so lecherous that her daughter, at age 17, made her promise not to date any boy younger than 17. And if Clinton then joked publicly that as a result “the field is getting very limited.”

Imagine if Clinton had seemed completely ignorant of nuclear strategy and NATO yet said she knew “more about ISIS than the generals.”

Imagine if the Clinton Foundation had failed to register properly, had made an illegal campaign donation and had expended resources not on saving lives from AIDS but (possibly illegally) on two giant portraits of Hillary Clinton herself.

So is there a double standard in American politics, indeed in American society, subjecting women to greater scrutiny? You decide.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/opinion/sunday/if-hillary-clinton-groped-men.html