Lockdown day 19: silver lining edition
Friday April 03rd 2020, 10:23 pm
Filed under: History,Life,Politics

(My Page orange tree.)

I’ve heard others marveling over the same thing I’d noticed: the sudden, stunning absence of spammers that had been calling relentlessly all day long for years.

Their greed apparently finally veered too close to political wounds. Their latest scam had been trying to monetize the coronavirus: the new pitches were for fake testing, fake cures, fake insurance, anything people would be desperate to have in the pandemic that they could make a quick buck over and run.

Which could make the administration look bad, and we can’t have that, so the FCC–you know, the same FCC that under Trump thought that it was peachy fine to let companies both sell and throttle our data, that killed net neutrality–told those guys’ providers that if all overseas robocalls weren’t stopped within two days those American companies that were enabling them would lose all access to American telecom systems. Period.

And in our social distancing isolation, when the phone rings now, it’s actually a call you want to take, and you answer.

It had been that easy all along; the FCC just had had to want to do it.

May we never go back.



Joe ByeDon
Thursday March 12th 2020, 9:45 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

He laid out in detail what should be being done, what will be done under him, and invited Trump to follow up on his suggestions–he didn’t care nor need the credit for it, he just wanted the right thing done.

C-Span link: I’d almost forgotten what it looks like to see someone Presidenting.



Oh right. Oops.
Wednesday March 11th 2020, 9:23 pm
Filed under: History,Life,Politics

“Well, that’s risky,” opined my fellow quarantinee.

And yet, any gangway off the cruise ship, right?

Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to save the lives of those critically ill with it–that’s what China’s trying right now, with some success.

But first you have to have tested the earlier patients and documented they have it.



The primary reason
Wednesday February 19th 2020, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Family,Politics

Well, that was a spirited debate. Wow!

So I’m just going to change the subject here and say, it’s all about the world we’re creating for our children and what we want them to live with.

Vote well.

 



Beyond slogans
Friday February 07th 2020, 11:21 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Watching the debate helped get another 150g cone of merino done towards that afghan.

One moment particularly stood out for me: when Buttiegieg stood up for Joe Biden and spoke of how Trump had for political gain tried hard to turn a son against his father, and a father against his son. Unfathomable.

Biden, taken by surprise, was both grateful and a bit misty for a moment.

When a few minutes later the moderator challenged Sanders with Hilary Clinton’s words about her formal rival, saying that in the Senate, he had no friends, nobody liked him, nobody worked with him, Biden caught the pain in Sanders’ eyes and with his let him know he was okay–and suddenly Biden was reaching towards his old friend and their arms were around each other. Klobuchar joined in the goodwill by talking about bills she and Sanders had worked on together for the good of America and proclaiming him her friend, too.

Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders, Klobuchar: all of them in those moments showed America the graciousness and kindness that we have so missed these last three years.

When they say they want to bring us together–they showed they meant it. They started with each other.



American Lie, not entirely by Don McLean
Saturday February 01st 2020, 6:16 pm
Filed under: Politics

I searched but wasn’t able to find a source for this. It’s from a comment in the Washington Post. (Original version uploaded by Don McLean here.) 

 

American Lie (The Day Democracy Died)
Source (Another Blogger)

A long, long time ago
I can still remember How democracy used to make me smile
And I knew if we had a choice
Then we could make our nation rejoice
And, maybe, we’d be happy for a while

But January made me shiver
With every vote that Mitch delivered
Bad news from the trial
I couldn’t take one more liar
I can’t remember if I cried
When I heard about T??mp ’s endless bribes
But something touched me deep inside
The day our democracy died

[Chorus] So bye-bye, you American Lie
Took an Uber to the Starbucks,
but the Starbucks was dry
And them Senate boys were talking BS ‘n lies
Singing ..,This’ll be the day democracy dies
This’ll be the day democracy dies

Did you tweet another meme
And did you have faith in the rule of men
If the Constitution told you so
Do you believe in fair elections
Can due process save our mortal soul
And will the march to fascism begin to slow
Well, I know that T??mp ’s in love with power
Cause I watched him tweeting every hour
T??mp ‘s Nazis kicking who they choose
Man they dig those black and blues

I was an idealistic progressive man
With a Drump T??mp Hat and a minivan
But I knew I was out of luck
The day our democracy died

I started singing [Chorus]
Bye-bye, you American Lie … This’ll be the day democracy dies

Now for three years, we’ve been on our own
After hacked emails flowed forth from Roger Stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the news told truth to you and me
Like they did in Nineteen Seventy-Three
With a voice that came from all networks you see

Oh, and while Pelosi was showing a serious frown
The [P] grabber dressed with a MAGA crown
The Senate was adjourned
An acquittal was returned
And while Bolton published a book on T??mp
The Senate put it in the dump
And we smoked “roofers” in the dark
The day our democracy died
We were singing … Bye-bye, you American Lie … This’ll be the day democracy dies, This’ll be the day democracy dies



When you really need a warm comforting blanket
Friday January 31st 2020, 9:57 pm
Filed under: History,Knit,Politics

To quote Dana Millbank, who was in the press galley. This was just before the Republicans in the Senate voted to hear no witnesses and see no documents:

‘“Please don’t give up,” manager Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) urged. “This is too important.”

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) stuck a finger in his left nostril.’

—-

I’m never going to be able to think of this as anything but the impeachment blanket. It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it, but at least I got nearly all of this out of all of that.

Remember 1/31 on 11/3.

(Oh and just for fun, today, with appointments on the calendar for next week, we found out we have our first coronavirus case here. Treated at our medical clinic–just like during SARS, when it was California’s epicenter. Don’t touch the elevator buttons with your fingers, yay for tips of canes, and SARS got them to install hand purifiers at every landing.)



Questions and answers part of the impeachment hearing
Wednesday January 29th 2020, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Food,History,Politics

Hours and hours of afghan rows as I watched.

Alan Dershowitz does the finger jabbing and the emphatic hands splayed, arms wide circular motions that darn if it didn’t make him look like a Bernie Sanders body double.

What came out of his mouth was utter nonsense. The President can do nothing wrong if he’s running for reelection because he thinks it’s for the good of the country and l’etat c’est moi and all that. (Yeah, that worked out so well for Napoleon and Nixon.) Truly: the President’s lawyers all argued that because he was the President he could do no wrong nor could he be held accountable in any way, including impeachment, ever. They waved away that whole pesky Constitution thing.

Adam Schiff was professional, smart as a whip, knew his stuff, and calmly went straight to the point, again and again. The others on his team were good but man he really nailed it each time. I fully expect him to be President someday, and we will be much better off for it when that happens.

And this was yesterday, but Mitt Romney broke the rules in the most rebellious-teenage-Mormon way possible: by both tradition and current decree, only water or milk in glasses may be drunk on the Senate floor during the proceedings.

He got an order flown in in dry ice from BYU Creamery and got caught drinking chocolate milk. From their bottle. (Product placement for his alma mater and all that for the old businessman.) Not exactly the letter of the law but with that triumphant grin that mothers of high schoolers everywhere know well.

So busted.



Trial by foyer
Friday January 24th 2020, 11:53 pm
Filed under: History,Knit,Politics

All those Senators risking, as is stated at the beginning of each session, imprisonment for leaving the chambers during the proceedings–it’s been reported that quite a few of the Republican ones have been wandering out to the cloakroom. They say it’s hard to sit still. They say the chairs aren’t ergonomic.

Well, okay, so the proceedings do go on and on, sure.

But didn’t you guys bring your knitting? I mean, look at this–I had all of half a diamond done on this when the trial started. My grandmother-in-law knit a wool herringbone jacket during long Congressional hearings where her husband was being grilled years ago. (He was head of a government agency, it came with the job.)

You can’t make anything with fidget spinners, guys!



Next year every day in the White House won’t be worse
Thursday January 16th 2020, 12:14 am
Filed under: History,Politics

Parnas, with notes, singing to the prosecutor about a Republican congressional candidate’s offer to him to do what sounds very much a literal hit job on Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch for her determination to do her job right–the guy was stalking her physically and electronically and knew when her phone was off so she wouldn’t be able to call for help. Swearing that Trump knew every detail of all that he was saying. It gives fresh malevolence to Trump’s warning, “Maybe something bad’s going to happen to her” if she didn’t flee Ukraine immediately. Which she did.

The trial. Only the CNN camera will be allowed (because McConnell can’t get away with ditching that one.) Most reporters’ seats are being taken away and given to Senate family members. The lights are to be kept low as one approaches and no cameras or phones allowed near the chambers, much less in. Secrecy and darkness.

So very McConnellized.

But in the end he cannot gerrymander his fellow Senators.

I still hold out some hope that enough of them still have a conscience somewhere within them. History will hold them accountable, and you better believe, so will we.

When the country erupts in celebration at the conviction, all those Senators now hiding their views will be sure to point out that they’re the ones who get the credit.



Over in the guest room
Saturday January 11th 2020, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Politics

After the scouring to get the mill oils out. I get to tell the new parents that it’s already been washed in water too hot to touch.

The answer to the lace pattern pulling the edge pieces upwards after the cast-on: run in the ends only through there, and then again from the other direction. Weigh them down, add the bulk, it’ll straighten them out and make them stay straight–and they did.

And while I was doing that I worked on the back of the join areas to tug down anything sticking out and it worked. Nice and straight now all around.

I didn’t get a good picture of any of that but I did manage to capture the damp afghan in direct afternoon sunlight.

On a political note, should you be interested, my cousin Jim, formerly a Republican and definitely far to the right of me, had a few things to say. 

 



Mend and replace
Thursday January 02nd 2020, 10:59 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life,Politics

I was sitting in the little waiting room at the garage while they tested my tire–yup, a second leak close to the whitewall, too close, can’t mend it this time, they’re ordering me a new one but at least it’s partly covered by the warranty.

So.

There was a man studying what I took to be a textbook at the other end of that long table. (It was.)

I had my needles in hand–Mecha yarn for a hat that was six rows in when I arrived–and was quietly knitting away for that classic little old lady look.

About forty minutes in, he gave it a break for a moment to strike up a conversation with me. I had to make him wait till the air compressor on the other side of the wall stopped so I could hear him.

He wanted to ask my take on the election goings-on.

Which led to my asking if he had a favored candidate, (since he was pushing for me to tell him mine and I wasn’t doing so) and he got a grin on his face and pulled the sides of his button-down open Superman style to show the Superman-styled t-shirt underneath in dark blue.

I recognized that logo and grinned right back. Good for him! We need more involvement!

Turns out that he’d been volunteering as a fundraiser for Yang’s campaign.

We talked about some of Yang’s ideas that we both really like. He didn’t like it quite so much when I said that even if Yang were to lose, so often the best of a candidate’s ideas win out even when the candidate him/herself doesn’t and they do us all good by putting them out there.

I didn’t fully believe in his man, his face said. He was disappointed.

I said I hope the best candidate wins whoever it may be and I don’t even know yet for sure who that might be but I do know that every single one of them is better than…

We moved on from that and it was clear he totally loved being able to talk politics to someone who loved to talk politics, too. And from DC!

Every candidate he admired was a Democrat. And yet it just killed him that, he said, You can’t be a conservative on campus. If you say anything and people find out you’re a conservative they just totally go after you.

I agreed that we all have to be respectful of each other. Absolutely. My grandfather and uncle were Republican Senators, I said, and I quoted what Uncle Bob once told me about how the Republicans believe you should work hard, you should take care of your own, and the Democrats believe the government should help you do so. And they’re both right. The work of Congress is to come together and hammer out the differences between.

I had to add, But I cannot be respectful of some of what’s been done in conservatism’s name: separating children from their parents, caging them for seeking asylum–one of my friends got her law degree at Stanford and now works as an immigration lawyer at the border, trying to get the Feds to honor Federal law re asylum statutes. And they won’t. They don’t. She sees the effects day in day out and it’s very hard.

He agreed with me that none of that should be happening and that we need to do something.

His candidate had ideas and indeed, plans to DO things. To look at the problems and come up with solutions.

The mechanic came over to say the guy’s car was done, and the young man got up, more than a little reluctant to leave. But I knew he had a lot of other things on his mind, too.

He is defending his thesis tomorrow at Stanford.

“What’s your area?”

“Math,” he answered. I was proud of him. He’d worked his tail off to get to this point.

I sent that tall child of Asian immigrants off with, “Good luck on your thesis! I’m rooting for you!”

And that clearly made his day most of all.



Batting average
Wednesday December 18th 2019, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Politics

The older grandsons were doing batting practice on an otherwise quiet day at that facility. Note the baseball that is a blur to my camera in the moment of being hit.

The 14-month-old wanted to be a Big Boy just like them and Grampa decided he needed attention and distracting. As they paced and chatted in a cage no one else was using I went to go snap their picture.

We were at a facility near the border.

I suddenly realized this image was going to stick with me for a long time. At least Spencer had his Grampa to hold and comfort him.

 



Rose
Tuesday November 19th 2019, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Life,Politics

Thank you, everybody, for all the notes. So appreciated.

Rose came out of the vertebrae reconstruction surgery talking nonstop. She’s drinking clear liquids and the Rybka Twins (I had to look them up) whose booksigning the injured had been on their way to stopped by her hospital room wearing cheerful neon pink and big smiles.

Which meant her parents posted a photo of Rose with them with a great big grin of her own, holding up her newly signed copy in front of her face.

I think everything’s going to be okay. Time and patience and a lot of medical skill to come (there will be more surgery) and physical therapy and she’ll get there. Maybe even pick up an Australian accent just for fun before she comes home–she’s a singer, she’s got a great musical ear for it.

Today was such a relief.

That, and, I spent ten hours watching the impeachment hearings and at the end of it went, wait–I just need two more days like this and this afghan is actually somehow finally going to be done!

 



History happened today
Friday November 15th 2019, 11:10 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Did anybody else watch the Yovanovitch hearing? I was riveted.

I grew up around diplomats’ kids and watching her I felt a sense of recognition: that unflappable calm, that ignoring demands that she answer in a way that might be construed as political and thus at fault, that power in simply laying out the truth. Under fire, as the President interrupted the proceedings with tweeted derision.

I found myself remembering my then-nine-year-old neighbor Sandy next door talking about the time, while they were living overseas on a State Department assignment, that armed rebels had come to their door and her mother had told them to go away from her home and her kids and that she expected them to leave–and they did!

We need her mom to go talk to this administration.