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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 41,856

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I wish to testify:

Our father wanted a dog. Our mother didn't. Dad wanted an Alaskan Malamute. Mom didn't.

Dad bought a Malamute puppy. And he wouldn't train her, period. How to eat, how to be housebroken. Mom refused to let the dog live in our house.

So Dad had an enclosure built outside. It had a cement floor, a dog house, wooden stakes with wire across, and a door for access.

Why am I telling you this? Because though I was eight, I recognized animal abuse and was helpless to do anything. The dog was fed dog food from a can, more or less thrown into the cage. The dog lived outside despite low, low temperatures, snow, rain, heat. Never brushed or groomed. Not even walked. Like a zoo animal.

Mom was fine with it; the dog wasn't living indoors with her or us. Dad had the satisfaction of owning a (neglected) dog.

The dog would occasionally howl, an unearthly howl. I knew she was miserable.

My siblings and I couldn't play with her as she instinctively turned wild under confinement. She could be vicious.

Fortunately, about four years later, either someone made Dad an offer to sell the dog or he was convinced to find another home. In either case, I quietly celebrated that the dog would no longer be living in misery during the winter. (Dad never believed she was in misery. After all, she was an Alaskan Malamute and bred to live outdoors during extreme winter weather.)

The video in the OP brought back a lot of sad memories. That dog suffered. Not that Dad was abusive as much as he was extremely negligent, perhaps reckless -- and he never should have been allowed to have a dog -- EVER.

Newt is watching it all fall apart.

1995 when Newt took over as Speaker of the House. Contract for America (more like Contract on America). He thought he was more powerful than Bill Clinton in the WH.

Newt's MO: Remake the Republican Party. Only hyperpartisan Republicans. Moderates and Liberals would be primaried out, to be replaced with younger Conservatives. And this new block of Republicans would follow Newt off the proverbial cliff. And that was the House. Newt's program would extend to the Senate, where every single Republican would vote as their Leader commanded, no matter what their constituency wanted or public opinion. (The House and the Senate would become indistinguishable.) Lemmings. They would repeat their talking points, even knowing they were wrong. Even admonishments to Republicans to stop socially associating with their democratic brethren. No lunches. No drinks. No dinner parties. And above all, no bipartisan compromising. Republicans would legislate without a single democratic vote indefinitely.

And here we are: Republicans denying their leadership and running away from Trump like the plague. Publicly denouncing him, not asking for Trump's endorsement. Openly stating they will vote for Joe Biden, a Democrat. Heresy.

Newt is watching his dream of permanent partisanship fall apart. From the Vatican, no less.

If/When Joe Biden is elected, there will be no definable role or space for Newt. He will be in the same place as Trump. A footnote.

Is it proper and appropriate to compare Trump to Hitler NOW?

During 2016, during his rallies, Trump had the trappings of Hitler with his exaggerations, his lies, his appeal to the masses. And we were told, no, Hitler is sui generis. Nobody is like Hitler. When Trump starts shoving bodies into ovens, THEN he's Hitler.

Well, here we are. Trump has concentration camps for refugees searching refuge from the horrors of their countries. He has removed children, some who were breastfeeding, from their parents and "lost" them, never to be returned. He had women in these "detention centers" undergo hysterectomies without their informed consent, leaving them sterile -- and by a man without a medical license and training. Trump has corrupted a political party which has endorsed and enabled him. Trump has taken over the federal courts. Trump has targeted and urged his followers to persecute African-Americans, immigrants in this country, anyone who isn't a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, anyone without money. Trump has urged his followers to arm themselves for a coming civil war that he created. Trump has allowed 200,000 people to die of a deadly virus that he initially called a "democratic hoax."

If Trump wasn't Hitler four years ago, he certainly appears to be Hitler now.

A flicker of hope

I have my cadre of Facebook friends. But one stands out for me.

A woman in her 80s. I've known her for 40+ years. My mother's age. She was a secretary in my high school. And a loyal Republican.

She "friended" me after losing touch with her for decades, and I accepted.

She's gone 180 degrees. Not just a Democrat, but an activist. No matter how inflammatory my posts are (usually sharing articles), she endorses them. She "saw the Light," so to speak.

I reluctantly declined a teaching job today.

I'm a substitute teacher and have been employed until Covid for all five days of the week.

One of the schools that I really like called me today and asked if I could work as a temporary substitute starting next week until November. I don't know what subject or grade level. It pays $100 (maybe more) a day. And at the same school with the same class. Plans would be done for me and all I'd have to do is execute the plans, practice modest discipline, and protect the kids during Covid.

I've already had Covid. I work as a cashier in a supermarket and found out I have antibodies when I donated blood in July. I don't know when I had it as I had absolutely no symptoms. Could have been in June, or even in January. We can't tell.

There's always the risk of catching it again. But that's not too much of a concern as I'm staying at my job as a cashier and it's likely a Petri Dish of Covid there despite our masks and gloves.

I declined the job as my chances are doubled between the school and the supermarket. And while I don't grandstand, and I'm not a member of the state's teachers' union, I support the teachers. I feel that taking the school job would be like crossing a picket line and working as a scab. And I also don't believe the schools should be in session with in-person/classroom education while there's a pandemic going on.

Trust me, this was putting my ethics on the line. If I had the two jobs, I'd be working 10+ hours a day (been there/done that) and making an extra $50 with the cashiers job. I'm working part time as a cashier right now and money would be welcome.

I feel I made the right decision for me. I won't judge someone else making another decision.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Tue Sep 1, 2020, 05:39 PM (0 replies)

Lynchburg without the stranglehold of the Falwells

Maybe one good thing about the scandals reigned upon Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife, Becki, is that Lynchburg may be free of the Falwells as unelected local government.

I went to school at Sweet Briar College, graduating in 1979. I've watched as for 40+ years, the City has been in the grips of Jerry Falwell and then his son via their college/university and to a lesser degree, their church, the Thomas Road Baptist Church.* The school has been incrementally buying up land and taking it off tax rolls, thereby raising the municipal taxes borne by local residents. Jerry Falwell had so much influence that when he died in May, 2007, the public schools made an announcement over the public address system. (My goddaughter leapt up and yelled, "Yay!" ) I went out for take-out that week-end in Lynchburg and the local Pizza Hut had a Jerry Falwell and black crepe on the computer screen-saver when I went to pay.

As it is, Liberty University is the biggest employer in the City, if not the region, and calls a lot of shots as far as ordinances and zoning, again, without the precondition of elections.

I don't know in which direction Liberty University will take, but at least it won't be for the financial benefit with power that has been given to the Falwells. For all I know, it might become a true Christian college. (Naaaaaaaaaaaaah!)

* Lynchburg has about 100 Baptist churches. Thomas Road is the largest and wealthiest.

The "Liberal Arts"

I graduated from Sweet Briar College in 1979. I majored in Music and Fine Arts. I studied three modern languages. I studied music history, art history, and theater history. I took two semesters of European Civilization. I composed rondos and song cycles and analyzed music scores of symphonies. I found overlap of other courses in the ones I was currently taking. I learned Greek philosophy, history, and cultural references.

On final examinations, my professors didn't want a regurgitation of my notes. They wanted me to demonstrate that I UNDERSTOOD the nuances, the connections, the relevancy, and the application for new situations. Even the foreign languages.

While I had my own individual program of education, my friends shared many of the courses I took. Some specialized in English Literature, Modern Dance, History, Economics, Biology, et al. We could discuss any pedestrian subject at a meal and pull out a cultural reference that the others understood.

I thought I was learning everything that ALL educated people should know. Now I know better.

I am more than educated. I am cultured.

While I don't present myself as Elite, unfortunately by default, that's what I am. I know more than many other college graduates. I know how to employ critical thinking and how to defend my theses. Without a second thought, I'll let slip a "common" French phrase that is incomprehensible. Even using certain English vocabulary turns into an exercise of using a foreign language among certain people.

While I value the advantages that Liberal Arts have given me, I also feel humbled because I also believe that this kind of education is for a privileged few. And there were plenty of students at Sweet Briar who took the courses and didn't seem to be transformed by this Knowledge.

I'm not saying that I know "too much." I have a feeling of democracy where on one hand, I wish it were more widely available; and on the other hand, it would be deferred or refused as it would be irrelevant to the needs of others who depend upon raw survival, not a heightened awareness of society, the world, and culture.

Epilogue: In light of its survival, Sweet Briar College is a now a low-impact liberal arts college. In order to attract more students, it has altered its curriculum to CORE where courses are directed towards the goals of leadership and immediate applicability. Many of the language courses are gone. Music is no longer music history in eras or music theory. While there is performance, there is no theater history. What I was fortunate enough to have is no longer offered. I understand why. The college would have disappeared from the face of the earth without sufficient enrollment and would have had the same result of no liberal arts.

All I can do as a teacher in elementary schools is to try to introduce the principles I garnered from my four years. And hope for the future.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes to House floor and slams Ted Yoho's misogyny and false apology

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not mince her words as she completely annihilated Congressman Ted Yoho.


A personal corollary

In 1984, I was 26 and working in a NYC daycare center. I was the kindergarten teacher. I watched as, one-by-one, students contracted chicken pox. I didn't remember getting CP as a child but guessed I was immune. Not so.

One morning in the middle of July, like today, I woke up with a single small vesicle on my tummy. I knew what it was right away. I called my father, a doctor, that I believed I had chicken pox. He dismissed me out-of-hand, claiming I already had it. I was demeaned for being an amateur pediatrician. He didn't even say, "Let me see later when I return." More vesicles appeared, red and itchy and resembling small blisters. By the time Dad showed up that evening, I was covered head-to-toe. He had to concede to my "diagnosis". In the meantime, I had gone shopping for Aveeno Oatmeal Bath, Benadryl cream, had shortened my fingernails, and found winter mittens to wear to bed.

My point: Not that anything could have been done to stop the inevitable "progress" of chicken pox once it started, but my father, a doctor, refused to consider that CP at my age could have consequences after the condition had abated. He didn't even know whether I had had them and we lived together for more than two decades. I had to handle my situation alone and without internet to find useful information.

I ended up going to a dermatologist instead of a pediatrician as I figured scarring was going to be an issue.

Gotta admire his "positive attitude".

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