Sunday, April 23, 2017

How About a Day of Rest?


29 comments:

  1. Everyone who did something for Science yesterday is FIRST today!!

    I couldn't march because it was rainy here and I am still trying to get over this mean ol' bug...feels like I could lose my voice again if I'm not careful. But we made donations to Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and Blue Ocean Society.

    Manomet: http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/the-establishments-uncurious-continuing-stuboorn-refusal-to-grasp-bernie-sanders/

    Blue Ocean: http://www.blueoceansociety.org

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  2. I thought I was going to be able to post on Saturday's thread, but I got sucked in to reading the article about DT setting himself on fire (oh, I had such hope), and then it was already 1:04am here. LOL!

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    1. It's been my observation that people aren't at all strict about the time cut-off. If I'm heading for bed at, say, 1 a.m. CDT, I routinely check for lass-minute posts.

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  3. I thought I was going to be able to post on Saturday's thread, but I got sucked in to reading the article about DT setting himself on fire (oh, I had such hope), and then it was already 1:04am here. LOL!

    Everyone who did something for Science yesterday is FIRST today!!

    I couldn't march because it was rainy here and I am still trying to get over this mean ol' bug...feels like I could lose my voice again if I'm not careful. But we made donations to Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and Blue Ocean Society.

    Manomet: https://www.manomet.org

    Blue Ocean: http://www.blueoceansociety.org

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    1. Yes. The way I see it is that there has already been a big social and economic change, and the people who are part and parcel of the old system can't see the change and have little obvious ability to adapt to the new circumstances. Think how long the idea that those who were descendants of the principal followers of William the Conqueror at Hastings were constitutionally not merely most fit to govern, but indeed had a duty to do so. That attitude only really began to weaken a century ago. What we are seeing/living through is potentially as momentous as the change from feudalism to mercantilism and industrial capitalism. The people entrenched in the upper levels of obsolete systems typically have had difficulty seeing the changes that will displace them.

      Hillbillies who code: the former miners out to put Kentucky on the tech map[Click]

      French polls show populist fever is here to stay as globalisation makes voters pick new sides[Click]

      —Alan

      P.S.: I hew to the proposition that true globalization commenced when Legazpi founded Manila in 1571.[Click]

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    2. "Think how long the idea PERSISTED that those who were descendants of the principal followers of William the Conqueror at Hastings were constitutionally not merely most fit to govern, but indeed had a duty to do so."

      Alan

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    3. The Guardian article is very hopeful. This is exactly the sort of change that needs to happen. The world changes and, difficult though it is, folks have to adapt or die.

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    4. Thanks for the link, Listener. Excellent article.

      This is exactly why I'm so torn. Should I stick with the Dem Party, hoping eventually it will see the light, or make a clean break and go...where?

      November 9, 2016 handed them overwhelming evidence that their modus operandi does not work. What further wake up call could they possibly need? And yet they continue to blame everyone except HRC and themselves.

      It's like an abusive husband who is disbelieving when his wife finally leaves him. "But I gave her everything she wanted, did everything for her. Sure, I hit her once in a while, and bullied her, and demeaned and humiliated her but, hey, she didn't mind. How could she betray me like this?"

      The quandary is, though, where to go. As I said the other day, there is an ever expanding proliferation of Lefty, Progressive groups, none of which is a political party as such, many of which appeal to me. And do I really want to take the drastic step of unregistering as a Democrat? Would have done so last summer when they crowned Herself, only I ran into logistical snags. Now though that the white heat of anger has cooled a degree or two, the old doubt assails me once more. What should I do? Whom should I follow? What tiny splinter group should I give my allegiance to?

      On a practical level, the first thing is to clear away the logistical roadblock. Though I have a valid military dependent's ID, my state ID lapsed years ago. Never saw the need to renew it...till I needed it to change party registration online. Since I don't have a drivers license, it would probably be wise in the current climate to have as many forms of ID as possible. The problem with that is, the state ID is so far out of date, it can't be renewed online. Need to go down to the DMV, which requires asking Dad to take me, and sit there waiting for ages. They are not open on Saturdays, I checked, which means I can't ask Patty to take me. I'm reluctant to put Dad to such trouble. So, there I am, stuck...I could ask Jean, our cleaning lady. She drove Dad to his colonoscopy and waited with Sis. She is always saying we can ask her to do such things... That's an idea.

      The larger problem remains though. What's next? What are we gonna do? What am I gonna do?

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    5. I feel the same quandary, Cat. I'm a little impatient with Bernie trying to rehabilitate the Democratic Party. They're NOT INTERESTED, and they've shown it in many ways. The group I belong to here is all "oh, let's join the party and change it from the inside." And my feeling is like that is akin to saying, "Let's join the KKK and change it from the inside." Just not going to happen.

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    6. After Bernie was done in politically, and Treebeard chose John Edwards for his running mate, I found myself in the same space. After months of agonizing, I decided to change my registration from Democratic to Green (on St. Patrick's Day, natch). On paper they sound a lot like what I favor, but actually they seem to be insignificant except in certain cities or counties. And since then the D's and R's in California have made it almost impossible for third party candidates to appear in general elections--except for President. I guess they figure some people denied the opportunity to cast a protest vote will vote for the D or R candidate rather than silently withhold their votes. Well, I am not going to play along. Theoretically I could have voted in the Democratic primary without being a member, but the logistics of absentee voting made that difficult. So I temporarilyre-registered as a Democrat to vote for Bernie and am now back to Green. I don't rule out voting for a Democrat, but no longer is it a given. I see at the official list of Massachusetts Political Parties and Designations[Click] that the only three "parties" recognized are Dems, GOP & Libertarians. I don't suppose being unable to vote in any of their primaries would be a big loss, although the symbolism of the thing is not something to be denigrated. Our political system seemed to imply from the beginning a two-party system, and the duopoly has strengthened that--so taking over a major political party from within seems more practical than the third-party route in our country. But that's awful hard. Still, spontaneous movements such as Howard and Bernie, and in France Macron and Melenchon, are escaping from the duopoly's hold and creating alternate power centers. So Dem? Or "decline to state?" or some "political designation" such as Rainbow-Green or Pirate Party? Not the choice I should prefer, but one can choose to choose. No matter the choice, one can be active in, for instance, Brand New Congress, the ACLU, or the Sierra Club. (I gather that the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" project has done a lot more to close down coal-fired power plants than anything the Obama administration did--largely under the political radar.) It seems more and more likely to me that the GOP is disintegrating, and should it do so there will be effects on the Democratic Party; maybe we will live to see a Democratic or Democratic-derived political party we can once more be proud to join. My crystal ball is all fogged up. In the meantime, we are left to puzzle over what to do and can only do what seems best at the time--like anything else in life.

      Alan

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    7. My attitude is quite different, and not primarily because I don't have to think about party registration -- no such thing exists in Illinois. But it is my firm opinion that we, the ordinary Democratic voters, are the Democratic party. The people in Washington, if not exactly figureheads, can't ultimately overrule the people who go to the polls. And the people who march and the people who go out and knock on doors. It's not the people in Washington we have to convince, but ordinary Democratic voters. And then people who thought they were Republicans until Trump and Ryan proved them wrong. Which is exactly what many of the groups Cat is talking about, including, locally, West Cook DFA, are setting out to do.

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    8. Ah, I see--in The Land of Lincoln one can choose any party's primary ballot; that changes the dynamic significantly. It sounds like you have a far more active political culture there than I am accustomed to. The state and national Democratic organizations have completely ignored their party members around here at least as long as I have lived here; the state Dems gerrymandered us into a district where Republican candidates don't even have to campaign. Thanks to Gov. Schwartzenegger it isn't quite as bad as it once was, but it is still bad enough. Small wonder turnout is low. Since they have engineered sure-fire Republican victories around here, the Dems see no reason to support anyone who wins the local Democratic primary. There are plenty of Democratic votes to be won here (McGovern carried the city of Fresno), but the weight of experience indicates that the Democratic Party apparatchiks don't give a hoot about them. They have California in the bag, so it doesn't count. And I am tired, which tends to make me rather morose.

      Alan

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    9. But we -- and the Washington apparatchiks -- are seeing that even supposedly safe Republican districts aren't so safe any more. Indeed, there are a lot of districts (including IL-6 just wet of me) that have been considered safely Republican solely because Democrats haven't bothered to contest them.

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  5. On the way home from work right around sundown the other evening I saw a
    sun pillar.[Click] It was still white when I saw it; I don’t recall seeing one before—it was spectacular.

    And on another note, when I asked for a bit of acupressure massage on my legs about a week ago, Miyoko discovered tremendously tight muscles; upon careful consideration I honestly believe they began with an athletic injury I had about 1974. I never realized what the problem was, it just slowly became worse, and I forgot what normal felt like. Now I am experiencing something much closer to normal, and it's great! Progressing day by day... So easy to walk now!

    —Alan

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    1. Alan, so glad you're finally feeling better! It's amazing how accustomed one becomes to low grade pain, stiffness, difficulty walking, etc. And it's amazing what a tremendous difference a relatively simple thing like massage and allied disciplines can make.

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    2. Thanks, Cat. I didn't seek medical help forty-odd years ago because I felt I couldn't afford it and would just have to live with it (or have a couple of scary operations I clearly couldn't afford and live with the results of that). So no operations, and no "muscle relaxant" drugs or opioids--nothing more than acetaminophen once in a while, so no irreparable damage done either. What moved me to ask my good wife for help was that I was lately having considerable difficulty standing up when I got out of bed. That now seems to be a thing of the past.

      --Alan

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  6. The voting places opened in France proper twenty minutes ago...

    Alan

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    1. French election 2017: voters go to the polls in wide-open contest[Click] “French media reported that voters queued for up to three hours in Montreal in a queue that stretched for over 2km, suggesting an exceptionally high turnout after arguably the most remarkable election campaign in memory.”

      --Alan

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    2. France doesn't have exit polls, but a highly developed government estimating system based on sampling of early voting, said to typically be within one percent of the actual results. So far Macron seems to be in the lead with about 23.5%, LePen two percent behind that, Fillon and Melenchon tied at 19.5%, and the Socialist candidate at less than 7%. (Below 5% and the government doesn't help with any of their campaign expenses. A disaster for the Socialist Party, which has torn itself to pieces....here's hoping the GOP emulates it.) In ways, Melenchon's campaign was like Bernie's, and indeed purposely so--and he came within an ace of making it into the second round--indeed, there is still a slight chance he might. Coming out of almost nowhere to tie the Republicain candidate without support of a conventional party apparatus is a huge accomplishment.

      --Alan

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  7. A peaceful and blessed Divine Mercy Sunday to all.

    Yesterday, at long last, I came to grips with the reality that I must cancel my Chase credit card. They are involved in too many things that go against my beliefs. Should have done it years ago. *sigh* Haven't actually canceled it yet - need to pay it down before making a balance transfer to the credit union. But I've removed it from Act Blue, Amazon and PayPal and taken it out of my wallet, so as to avoid being tempted to use it. Canceled my Bank Americard a couple months ago. It's not much, but one does what one can.

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    1. I got a Charles Schwab cash card several years back because it was said to be the best by far for use in foreign countries and at ATM's in general in the US--no foreign transaction fees and fees for use on most other ATM systems all refunded. Worked great in Canada, but I haven't used it since. I think it could be set up to work as a VISA credit card, but I haven't done that. I use a Capital One card for my consulting practice (and a few personal transactions), which also does not charge a foreign transactions fee (a rare thing these days). Costco changed from AmEx to Citi VISA lately, and Citi I don't like; but Costco is known for treating both their workers and their customers well; they also seek out local producers when available. We also have another card we keep alive with a small recurring purchase just in case of emergency.
      A credit union card sounds like a good idea, but we don't belong to one.

      --Alan

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    2. It surprised me that the article on banking I linked to yesterday didn't mention federal credit unions. The one I know is Navy Federal, which in the past few years has been reorganized to serve the other branches as well. I don't know if there are other federal credit unions. There must be state ones though.

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    3. Usually credit unions require their members to have some sort of general membership in a group (e.g. workers in a school system or county employees)--but that standard has been relaxed significantly in recent years. Most of them are federally chartered--that means the deposits are federally insured--but they may limit their geographic area of service to a much smaller area than a state. Generally they offer lower loan rates and higher deposit interest than banks. Their ATM networks are generally smaller, but as I understand, they have a joint ATM system, so they are effectively nationwide.

      --Alan

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  8. In this summary of the French election results[Click], scroll down a bit to the map of Le Pen support by department. It looks to me like her support is strongest along the Mediterranean (where I suppose the refugee crisis would have particular force) and in the north, near Belgium, which I suppose was the industrial heartland of France in the latter 19th and 20th Centuries—and thus the French “rust belt” now. Le Pen borrowed the political speech of the old Socialists, which made her attractive to many people who got the short end of the free-trade stick.

    Alan

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    1. The Socialist Party of France seems to have torn itself to pieces, just like the Labour Party in Japan and the Socialist Party of Japan. I don't think the US Democratic Party is in comparably bad shape--perhaps exactly because third parties are of little significance here. So that offers some hope of renaissance.

      --Alan

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    2. Make that the Labour Party in the UK.

      Alan

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