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SharonClark's Journal
SharonClark's Journal
August 13, 2021

Field of Dreams game was more than unbelievable. It was perfect.

It was a great night for baseball.

DYERSVILLE, Ia. — Let’s get this out of the way right now.

Thursday night’s Field of Dreams game was a showcase, an extravaganza, a happening. You can't even dream this stuff up, how magical this night was. The center of the sports universe, at least for one day, was smack dab in the middle of an Iowa cornfield way up here in northeast Iowa.

Put plainly, baseball's grand showing at the "Field of Dreams" movie site was our state’s greatest sports event ever.

Yes, I said it.

. . .

more at: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/baseball/2021/08/13/field-of-dreams-new-york-yankees-chicago-white-sox-perfection-kevin-costner-mlb-dyersville-iowa/5565683001/
August 4, 2021

Trump appointee at DOJ eyed scandalous Georgia election scheme

It's just one outrageous action after the other by the corrupt trump administration. I cannot imagine how bad things would be if Biden hadn't won.

In the wake of Donald Trump's defeat last fall, the then-president created a political crisis at the Justice Department, as the White House explored ways to use federal law enforcement to reward Trump with power he hadn't earned. The details of the crisis are still coming into focus.

ABC News ran this striking report yesterday, which is an amazing piece of a larger puzzle.

Top members of the Department of Justice last year rebuffed another DOJ official who asked them to urge officials in Georgia to investigate and perhaps overturn President Joe Biden's victory in the state -- long a bitter point of contention for former President Donald Trump and his team -- before the results were certified by Congress, emails reviewed by ABC News show.

According to the materials, which have not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, Jeffrey Clark -- at the time, the acting head of the Justice Department's civil division -- wrote emails that would urge Georgia Republicans to take the Big Lie seriously.

. . .

more at [link:https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-appointee-doj-eyed-scandalous-georgia-election-scheme-n1275944?cid=eml_mra_20210804&user_email=c5f9b0df177e6400ae9b464339eb89199d634c7b7fa3541aaa108b0ef11699c2|
July 31, 2021

J.D. Vance goes crazier

J.D. Vance Tells Tucker Carlson The Quiet Part Out Loud: He Wants A ‘Healthy Ruling Class’

Controversial right-wing Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance bashed Democrats as miserable “childless cat ladies” who don’t serve a “healthy ruling class,” he told Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

The Republican candidate — a venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy” — attacked Democrats who don’t have children because, he claimed, “they don’t have a stake” in the system, he explained to Carlson on Thursday night. Vance, 36, who has been married seven years, has two children.

“If we want a healthy ruling class in this country, we should invest more, we should vote more, we should support more people who actually have kids,” Vance told Carlson.

He singled out Vice President Kamala Harris (who has two stepchildren), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Both Ocasio-Cortez, 31, and Buttigieg, 39, rather famously have dogs, not cats, and Buttigieg isn’t a lady. Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg, on Monday slammed Vance’s earlier comments attacking the “childless left” for being heartless and pointed out that the men are currently seeking to adopt a child.
. . .

source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jd-vance-ocasio-cortez-pete-buttigieg-childless-left-demoracts-tucker-carlson-fox_n_61047084e4b0048f361d5fff
July 31, 2021

Republican star Lauren Boebert spins fables about her childhood -- but the real story is better

This is a fascinating story...

The strange saga of the gun-toting GOP congresswoman, her single mom, the pro wrestler and the corrupt phlebotomist

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a right-wing Republican and prominent member of the "Sedition Caucus," frequently speaks about her upbringing in a family struggling with poverty, describing herself as a "welfare child." Boebert has even blamed the liberal ideals held by her mother as the reason why her family was poor and required government assistance during her childhood.

But both in Washington circles and in speaking to voters in her Colorado district, Boebert has not discussed in detail exactly what circumstances landed the future right-wing firebrand and her mother in this disadvantaged situation. An investigation by Salon suggests that it had less to do with liberal ideology and more to do with her mother's failure to obtain the child support payments to which she was rightfully entitled.

Boebert's mother, Shawn Roberts Bentz, tried valiantly for years to receive child support. — and it appears likely that she and her daughter fell victim to a corrupt phlebotomist, a professional wrestler turned deadbeat dad and a negligent North Carolina child support system that allowed Bentz's case to slide through the cracks.

Boebert has occasionally been asked what role her biological father played in her family's struggles, and has repeatedly declined to answer. Exactly who her father was, in fact, remains officially uncertain: No father's name was listed on her 1986 Florida birth certificate, nor in the local newspaper's birth announcement.
. . .

The rest of the story: https://www.salon.com/2021/07/31/republican-star-lauren-boebert-spins-fables-about-her-childhood--but-the-real-story-is-better/
July 30, 2021

Covid is more mysterious than we often admit.

Interesting article that may change some of our notions about COVID. From The Morning by David Leonhardt, published July 30, 2021.
This article can be found by searching for "The Morning" on the NYTimes website.

Not in control

Consider these Covid-19 mysteries:
• In India — where the Delta variant was first identified and caused a huge outbreak — cases have plunged over the past two months. A similar drop may now be underway in Britain. There is no clear explanation for these declines.
• In the U.S., cases started falling rapidly in early January. The decline began before vaccination was widespread and did not follow any evident changes in Americans’ Covid attitudes.
• In March and April, the Alpha variant helped cause a sharp rise in cases in the upper Midwest and Canada. That outbreak seemed poised to spread to the rest of North America — but did not.
• This spring, caseloads were not consistently higher in parts of the U.S. that had relaxed masking and social distancing measures (like Florida and Texas) than in regions that remained vigilant.
• Large parts of Africa and Asia still have not experienced outbreaks as big as those in Europe, North America and South America.

How do we solve these mysteries? Michael Osterholm, who runs an infectious disease research center at the University of Minnesota, suggests that people keep in mind one overriding idea: humility.

“We’ve ascribed far too much human authority over the virus,” he told me.

‘Much, much milder’
Over the course of this pandemic, I have found one of my early assumptions especially hard to shake. It’s one that many other people seem to share — namely, that a virus always keeps spreading, eventually infecting almost the entire population, unless human beings take actions to stop it. And this idea does have crucial aspects of truth. Social distancing and especially vaccination can save lives.

But much of the ebb and flow of a pandemic cannot be explained by changes in human behavior. That was true with influenza a century ago, and it is true with Covid now. An outbreak often fizzles mysteriously, like a forest fire that fails to jump from one patch of trees to another.
. . .
July 16, 2021

This is what happens when states cut public funding of family planning

Iowa abortions climbed 14% in 2020, after jumping 25% the previous year, new state data show
Tony Leys, Des Moines Register

The number of abortions performed in Iowa climbed nearly 14% in 2020, after jumping 25% the previous year, new state data show.

Iowa had seen years of steady declines in abortions before 2019. But that trendline has changed.

The state saw 4,058 abortions performed in 2020, up from 3,566 in 2019 and 2,849 in 2018, the new numbers show.

The new data were shared with legislative staff Thursday by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The turnaround in abortion numbers came in the wake of Iowa’s 2017 decision to withdraw from a federally funded family planning program, which helped thousands of Iowans gain birth control supplies and information on how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The program was replaced with a state-run version, which barred Planned Parenthood's participation and has served fewer Iowans.

It also comes amid a series of laws the Legislature and governor approved that attempt to limit abortion in Iowa.

Advocates differ sharply on reasons for the trend

State Sen. Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, said in an interview that she wasn't surprised to see the abortion rate rise for a second year.

"I once again think that when they take family planning services away from Iowans and expect abortion numbers to drop, they're just kidding themselves," said Petersen, who forwarded the information to the Des Moines Register. The information was included in an email from an Iowa Department of Health legislative liaison, titled "Induced Termination Raw Data."

Petersen is a supporter of abortion rights, and an opponent of state policies that she contends restrict birth control options.

. . .
rest of the article: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2021/07/15/iowa-abortion-increase-2020-rising-2019-state-data-show/7982870002/
July 2, 2021

Stuck at Prom: Duck Tape Masterpieces

I was never this creative as a teen. I wish they could all win the main prize. See all the finalists at https://www.duckbrand.com/stuck-at-prom

15 rolls of tape and 80 hours of work: Iowa teen makes duct tape tuxedo

A senior at Jesup High School made an Iowa-themed tuxedo entirely out of duct tape — and has the chance to win a $10,000 scholarship for the work.

Casey Alferink, 18, had a lot of free time during study halls as a spring semester senior, he said, and was looking for scholarships to apply to when he stumbled across the duct tape "Stuck at Prom" competition.

"I love art and creating things — especially 3-D things," Alferink said. "I was super excited to learn about this scholarship because I got to use my more creative side and show off my creativity — something different than an essay."

Casey Alferink, a senior at Jesup High School, created a tuxedo entirely out of duct tape as a part of the "Stuck at Prom" scholarship competition.

Each year, Duck Brand hosts the competition and asks graduating seniors to submit their homemade tuxedos and dresses, all made entirely out of the tape. The winners in the dress and tux categories each get a $10,000 scholarship; runners-up win a $500 cash scholarship and a Duck Brand Prize Pack worth $100. . .

source: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/life/2021/07/01/jesup-high-school-senior-makes-iowa-themed-tuxedo-out-duct-tape-duck-brand-stuck-at-prom/7829056002/
June 25, 2021

Gov Reynolds approves sending Iowa State Patrol troopers to US-Mexico border

Gov. Kim Reynolds has approved sending Iowa State Patrol troopers to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to a request for assistance from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Reynolds, a Republican, made the announcement Thursday. She said Iowa law enforcement agencies have encountered drugs and weapons that were smuggled across the border by cartels.
. . .
Sgt. Alex Dinkla, a public information officer for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, said the state expects to send 25 to 30 sworn officers to Texas. The troopers are expected to be deployed for about two weeks, he said in a statement.
. . .
Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans, sent a letter to all U.S. governors on June 10 requesting assistance. In the letter, they invoked an Emergency Management Assistance Compact that allows states to assist each other in times of disaster or emergency. Both governors have declared emergencies and deployed the National Guard to the border. Abbott has also asked to reallocate $250 million to build a border wall.
. . .
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Idaho Gov. Brad Little, all Republicans, have said they plan to send law enforcement to the border to provide assistance.
. . .
source: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/06/24/kim-reynolds-send-iowa-state-patrol-troopers-us-mexico-southern-border-crisis-biden-immigration/7777946002/

Gov Reynolds refused to accept immigrant children last month because "it isn't Iowa's problem, it's Biden's problem".
June 25, 2021

An Iowa County Chooses to Be Named for a Black Professor, Not a Slaveowner

Johnson County selected Lulu Merle Johnson, a Black educator and historian, as its official eponym, replacing Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth U.S. vice president.

A county in Iowa cut ties on Thursday with a slave-owning U.S. vice president for which it had been named, choosing instead to be named for a professor who was the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in the state.

They shared a surname: Johnson.

Johnson County chose Lulu Merle Johnson, who taught history at several historically Black colleges and universities, as its official eponym after a unanimous vote by the county’s Board of Supervisors. The county, a Democratic bastion, is home to Iowa City and the University of Iowa.

It had been named after Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth vice president and a Kentuckian who had no known connections to Iowa. He served with President Martin Van Buren, a fellow Democrat, from 1837 to 1841.
. . .
In 1941, she received a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Iowa, becoming the first African American woman in the state to earn a doctorate, according to her biography. She was one of the first Black women in the United States to earn a doctorate in history, said a post on the website of the university, which named a fellowship after her that helps underrepresented minority graduate students.
. . .
source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/us/iowa-lulu-merle-johnson-county.html

The entire article is well worth reading. Lulu Merle Johnson was a remarkable woman who overcame racism and sexism to become a pioneer. Richard Mentor Johnson was, as professor Ronald K. McMullen said, a “despicable person” during the board’s meeting.
June 24, 2021

Iowa AG's report reviews dozens of 'overwhelming' sex-abuse complaints against Catholic priests

In Iowa as in the rest of the country, the incidence and duration of sexual abuse by clergy “were overwhelming” and the cover-up “extensive” in earlier decades, a report by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office that was released Wednesday concludes.

A yearslong investigation by the office reviewed nearly 50 complaints of sexual abuse against current and former Catholic priests and other officials, including 17 allegations that had never before been reported.
. . .
All of the allegations against Catholic priests fall outside the state's statute of limitations for criminal prosecution. Some, but not all, of those accused are named in lists each diocese maintains of credibly accused priests. Several were already known to be the subject of dozens of accusations.

Three of the clergy named in complaints remain active as priests. The Rev. John Stack, a priest in Clinton, was suspended in 2013 over allegations of abuse in the 1980s, but was reinstated by the Diocese of Davenport in 2016 after a church trial found the charges not proven. Another, Hicks said, is in the Diocese of Sioux City, although it is not clear from the report who that is.
. . .

Complete story here:https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2021/06/23/iowa-attorney-general-report-details-sex-abuse-complaints-against-catholic-priests-cover-up/5326077001/

BTW - AG Miller is a pro-choice Catholic.

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