tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:/posts TQ White II 2021-04-01T13:26:39Z TQ White II tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1673164 2021-04-01T13:26:39Z 2021-04-01T13:26:39Z I feel like I want to cry
Browsing twitter today, I ran into this thread. I ended up spending most of an hour aghast. The insane amount of stories of girls being hassled, groped, embarrassed, betrayed, made fearful, is awful.

The harassment of women is universal and endless. If you think American society is way better than, say, Saudi Arabia, think again.

I feel like the testimonials here are a resource that should not be lost. I know harassment is a problem. I even know it is common. Reading this changed me. It is way worse than I knew. Without this, I would have never understood as I feel do now.

Something has to change. #metoo

I feel like I should also say, Trigger Warning. Whether you are a man or a women, this will make you feel bad.

https://twitter.com/rebeccalehmann/status/1377217644563210243

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1664820 2021-03-12T16:39:35Z 2021-03-12T16:39:35Z It is Important to Brush Your Dog's Teeth
I have had dogs all my life. They all had breath with a stench that was disgusting as they got older. The stench is an indication of decay and huge amounts of bacterial activity. Young dogs haven’t accumulated enough plaque yet to seem unhealthy. Without teeth cleaning, they will eventually have problems.

Oral hygiene problems are a huge health issue for dogs. Not only do most dogs lose teeth and often have abscesses and other direct oral health problems but bad teeth can cause heart and other problems. Also pain.

Teeth cleaning is good for the dog. It is also good for your wallet. Once your dog gets enough rotten teeth to be in obvious pain, it costs four or five hundred dollars to accomplish the oral surgery to remove them. It is also a fairly serious surgery. Their roots are very deep and require digging into their skull for removal.

My wife brushes our dog Dexter’s teeth every day. It is an excellent bonding moment that they both love. Dexter considers it a highlight and is very insistent if she gets distracted and needs reminding. Even better, his breath is fresh and nice. When he breathes on me, there is no unpleasant odor. If he licks, I never have the sense of repulsion I had with my other dogs thinking about the layer of bacteria being spread on my skin.

We made this video to teach you how to brush your dog's teeth:

http://justkidding.com/dextersTeeth.html

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1654766 2021-02-16T15:11:37Z 2021-02-16T15:11:38Z People who don't have important economic skills are worthless and deserve shitty food and bad lives

The notion that higher minimum wage discourages hiring is entirely unproven. In plenty of places, employment is up in the years after an increase. In general, a few years later, you cannot see any difference.

This notion is a conservative canard without merit. There are two huge flaws in addition to the superficial inaccuracy. First is the notion that employment at the current minimum wage is something that should be encouraged. Spending forty, fifty or sixty hours a week at an activity that does not provide enough money to support even one person, let alone a family, is a bad thing for everyone except the employer, both society and the worker are worse off.

The worker is deprived of almost everything that people claim to believe makes us human. Time with family, opportunity to learn, fun, self-improvement, child and elder care, exercise, you name it never happens. Add food insecurity, no preventative health care and it is slavery.

Society still has to cover much of the cost of support for that person and his or her family. Minimum wage workers require subsidized health care, subsidized food and subsidized rent. People at that wage level are often forced to engage in criminal activities to supplement their income so that children can eat so society is also required to spend more on policing and social services. And, where there is crime there are gangs and that adds to the social burden, too.

But, corporations win so we stick with the canard. Somehow we are convinced that there are tons of unskilled workers being employed to do things that the business can live without. The theory is that a business will spend large amounts of capital money to automate jobs rather than give more money to poor people. It is a ridiculous idea. Most low wage jobs are not really subject to automation (have you ever seen a robot janitor?) and, of course, the research does not support this idea anyway.

It is another conservative effort to make sure that workers are poor and afraid. Paying them a decent wage will only make them prosperous and unafraid. Better conditions, better benefits, better hours, better lives. The horror!

Paying unskilled labor a decent wage would demonstrate that people have value beyond the value of their work. Americans don't want that. Americans hate poor people.

So don't clothe your moral distaste for those less fortunate in economic theory. Stick with the real reason: People who don't have important economic skills are worthless and deserve shitty food and bad lives.


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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1653879 2021-02-14T14:18:51Z 2021-02-14T17:21:05Z One Minute's Delay. How We Almost Lost Our Democracy.
One of the very few criticisms I would make about the conduct of Trump’s impeachment trial is that they did not explore the consequences if he had succeeded. Many assert that he wanted to be a dictator but I suspect that most think it hyperbole, much as few realized the level of danger during the insurrection itself.

Until the impeachment trial, I knew it was bad but thought it was knuckleheads and idiots rampaging. Bad stuff might have, I thought, happened but it would have been a riot that got inside a building. Beatings, damage, shouting, ineffectual destruction and inchoate violence.

We now know that there was an intent to murder. “Where are you Nancy” and “Hang Pence” weren’t slogans, they were the intentions of weird psychopaths and trained militia people with a plan.

(Remember video of soldiers moving through the crowd outside the capitol, in a chain, a hand on the tactical vest of the soldier ahead, moving through the crowd with purpose and efficiency.)

Had the reinforced windows of the capitol failed a few seconds earlier, Pelosi and Pence would have been caught and murdered. Doubtless others would have been caught up in a melee. More people would have died.

What was the goal? The first people into the building shouted, “Where are they counting the votes?” They were there to “stop the steal”.

As Donald Trump well knew, there was no way to change the vote of the electoral college. The only way to change the outcome was to decapitate the government apparatus that would bring about the transfer of power. Hence, the death sentence for Pelosi and Pence.

But it would have been even worse. Just killing them would not insure Trump’s success. Unless the Senate was destroyed, it could reconstitute and certify a new president. Enough violence had to be done to prevent them from doing that. Killing, maiming, threatening the rest was also necessary.

According to the security cameras, this result was missed by less than a minute. They barely got the Senators out by the time the Senate chamber was captured by the insurrectionists. If Goodman hadn’t distracted them. If the windows had failed a minute more quickly. If someone had stumbled and slowed the evacuation. It would all be different.

And now, suppose… Pence, Pelosi and, say, ten senators are dead. Trump sends in the troops. The capitol is under military occupation with blood and death everywhere.

The country is enraged and terrified. Hundreds of thousands are on the streets everywhere. Opponents of Trump are outraged and rioting. Proponents are out with their AR-15s ‘fighting antifa’. Violence is universal.

More troops. Nobody disagrees that something has to be done to quell the violence. The Senate cannot certify the election because many are dead and wounded. The rest are shocked and dazed. All are under the control of a military controlled by Donald Trump. For their ‘safety’ they are sequestered.

January 6 comes and goes. So does the next week and no new president is certified. On the run up to the date of inauguration, there is no certified successor.

Biden’s partisans go to court but, our Supreme Court is conservative. Many are inclined to Trump’s authoritarianism. The majority like a very, very literal view of the constitution. It says the Senate must certify and it has not. They make clear that without certification, there can be no new president.

They regret the clear language of the constitution and encourage the Senate to act.

One imagines that the killing focused on those who were responsible for ‘the steal’. Those remaining are both terrified (nothing focuses the mind like watching a bunch of people slaughtered) and self-serving.

Maybe Josh Hawley is the new majority leader, they get back into session. This time the objections to the electors’ decisions in those six states are taken very seriously.

They brave the outrage of the liberals, after all, there are now huge amounts of soldiers under Trump’s command in every large city in the country, and only certify ‘legitimate’ electoral votes, ie, those that support Trump.

This scenario came within a minute of being reality. To say we dodged a bullet is understatement.

After putting Trump into office this way, the left would have taken to arms. We would have had a civil war but the big guns are controlled by an unhinged tyrant and would-be dictator who has already shown his thirst for power has no limits. There is no doubt who would have prevailed.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1638608 2021-01-11T13:42:39Z 2021-01-11T15:54:26Z I hereby renounce my complaints about homophobic bakers
So, a small analogy.

For years, when I had to show my ID to buy pseudoephedrine to the pharmacist, I was pissed. I made a point of always explaining that I thought having to identify myself because of someone else's criminality was bullshit.

One day, I was talking about gun registration and had an epiphany. I realized that this was exactly analogous to registering to buy pseudoephedrine. Guns are dangerous and we need to know who buys them. There is no way to know who is innocent so we register everyone... in both cases.

I stopped complaining.

I think today has to be another of those moments. We are happy enough to let the tech companies say, "You are doing something that we consider powerfully against the common good and we will not help you do it."

That is exactly what homophobic bakers say.
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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1638601 2021-01-11T13:35:44Z 2021-01-11T13:35:44Z On Making it Impossible for Parler to Exist
I want these people expunged, too. However, there is huge danger in establishing more buttons and switches that authorities can press to 'make us safer'. The people who passed the USA PATRIOT act created a bunch of them. One led directly, specifically to children in cages and the horror of the treatment of immigrants in this country.

I don't yet have an opinion about the specifics but I worry very, very much that instrumenting the US government with the ability to control the domain name system a terrible thing to do. It's great when Biden stops parler.com. A lot less great when President Josh Hawley does it for plannedParenthood.com. Perhaps horrific when the domains that Apple uses for iMessages are shut off. Or the ones used for signaling by ATT and Verizon.

When people complained to me about Apple refusing to hack iPhones for the police, I have always said that the police managed to investigate crimes without that throughout history. They can still do it. Same with these anarchist groups.

I am fine with the actions being taken right now to deplatform violent speech. Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and the rest are not required to do business with vile people. I am very, very reluctant to have the government control it.

Also, I do not actually think it is wise.

The reason we can shut Parler off and remove command and control (Trump's Twitter) is because they did not feel threatened and did their nasty work with obvious tools. If we make it too difficult for them to exist, they will adapt. Denying them access to tools does not cause them to cease to exist. I will cause them to get smarter and harder to detect and manage.

The fundamental mechanism of evolution is existential threat. If we provide that, they will evolve. I think it's a mistake to imagine that silencing them will work in our interest.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1630309 2020-12-21T15:07:20Z 2020-12-21T15:51:02Z Christmas is a Fake Religion

I been seeing this bit of Christmas revisionism around a lot lately. While I am happy enough for anyone to make up whatever fantasies they need to support their self-image and happiness, my self-image and happiness requires that I take note of the fact that these ideas have no historical merit. They are modern creations.

Christmas trees came to us as first from Yule celebrations as 'yew branches' in the 1700's which then graduated to entire trees, often pine. Though common in England, the fad for trees came to America when magazines started existing and loved to have articles about the spruce trees Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert brought from Northern Europe where Yule celebrations were common. Applying a symbolic death and resurrection to the trees is a completely modern innovation.

Candy canes are shaped that way because the ropes of candy are hung over rods like pasta and harden into a U shape. They are broken into two pieces. One has a bend at top. The other is straight. There might have been some candy company that was thinking religious blood thoughts when they made the red stripes but the white color is the color of the cooked sugar mixed with air. 

Yule, like the Saturnalia was celebrated at the solstice and both were big parties with. Saturnalia was Roman so it didn't have pine trees but they did have wreaths which were probably there because they wanted greenery in the winter season, and like Yule, they also had gifts.

Around the fourth century, the western (Roman) Christian churches moved Jesus' birth myth from the spring (the time of year when the sheep and shepherds mentioned in the story would have been around) to coincide with Saturnalia, probably to coopt it into Christianity.

Interestingly, Christmas was not considered a big deal of a holiday until the 1800's. In fact, it was outlawed as an immoral and dangerous party by British Puritans in the 1600's. It came into it's own, I have read, when the industrial revolution encouraged three innovations.

The first was the magazines mentioned above. Articles about the royal court were very popular among the reading classes in America. So was British royalty. By around 1804, Christmas was fashionable again because Queen Victoria liked it.

The next was that childhood became a thing. Before factories, children were worked in the family business/farm like everyone else. With the industrial era, work required expertise. It also created some prosperity. Children were neither able nor expected to work when little (among the elites, blah blah blah). Consequently, they became entertainment for parents and the notion of 'our precious child' came into fashion.

The last was the production of consumer goods. It was around that time that factories started producing meaningful amounts of stuff that were not tools but could provide amusement around the house. This included toys and other things for children.

These three, the fascination over Queen Victoria's tree centered Christmas celebration, the solstice gifting that accompanied Yule and Saturnalia (even though they had no Magi), and the desire to make children happy combined to produce a uniquely American celebration, ie, a capitalist orgy of buying, giving and consuming. The religious significance was always a distant consideration, if not a mere marketing excuse.
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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1628534 2020-12-16T16:40:56Z 2020-12-16T17:50:12Z RE: 14th Amendment and Not Seating Texas Litigation Supporters
I believe that there is a case to be made for not seating the bastards. Hell, I believe there is a case to be made for killing them. For me the question isn’t what we can do but what can we do to do some good.

My analysis of the current situation includes the idea that Trump has gotten us all hysterical. The constant antagonism and affront have put both sides, his supporters and us, in a fight or flight mode that is making everyone crazy. There are a lot of people, mostly on his side, that are otherwise reasonable humans who are doing shit that they would never consider at any other time in their lives.

I think that Joe Biden is right. The most important thing right now is to lower the temperature. Sure, we have the right to keep going in the bar fight and we are winning but, if nobody stops throwing punches, it can never stop. I think that it is best right now for our side to take the peaceful option whenever it is possible.

I am under no illusion that this solves anything in a long term way. The haters are still going to hate and those who will be subversive in pursuit of their own power will continue to do be evil. The problems will continue and will have bad consequences. However, we are in a moment when nobody can think anymore and those who are not fully bad people are still in the bar, swinging their fists because they are being told that we are swinging at them.

I do not thing we should, now that we have won the election, start actually swinging. I think that an effort to try to deny representation to people in those districts, even if justifiable, would represent actual swinging. It would encourage continued hysteria on both sides. This is the reason that I also hope Biden’s justice department decides to leave Trump alone. (States are different actors prosecuting for actual crimes that he mostly did outside of being president. I support their continuing efforts.)

I do support denying the people who supported the Texas litigation seats on committees. I believe that is a proportional consequence. It does not deny the people who voted for them representation in Congress.

None of the problems are going away because of this but it does allow a moment of relative quiet during which those who are not as evil can recover their senses. It also allows our side to pause and focus.
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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1625544 2020-12-07T22:08:50Z 2020-12-07T22:08:51Z It is Right to Close Restaurants and Open Malls There are three main reasons for the different treatment of malls and restaurants, the physical nature of the spaces, the behavior of the people and the activities engaged.

Malls are huge. They have a lot of air and big, active ventilation systems. Virus particles are diluted by all the air in the space and do not accumulate because the ventilation is so good. Because malls are always large corporations, they have better maintenance and equipment.

Restaurants are not huge. They often have lame ventilation systems and, because many of them are tiny corporations, they are often not well maintained. Particles have been well proven to accumulate.

People visit malls for relatively short periods of time and they are moving the whole time. This means that, even if there are a lot of particles in some spot, the fact that you are only there for a minute means you don't have time to breath in very many.

People sit in restaurants for hours, in one spot. If there are any particles nearby, you are there long enough to make sure to breath them all.

People barely talk in malls and, in decent places, they are masked when they do. Talking (singing, shouting, and otherwise using your breath) significantly increases the amount of particles emitted.

The only thing to do in a restaurant is talk except when eating. The fact that you have to take off your mask to eat makes the fact that you are doing a maximum particle activity even worse.

Which is to say, it *does* make sense to close restaurants and open malls.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1624281 2020-12-04T13:37:33Z 2020-12-04T13:39:08Z Three Faces of Don
Donald Trump is mentally ill. Like, Three Faces of Eve mentally ill. Instead of being forced to kiss his aunt's corpse, he had the brutal insanity of Fred Trump running a house where no kindness was allowed, no kindness ever shown, no one cared about the children at all except to encourage personality destruction at any sign of weakness.

Donald Trump is really living in an alternate reality, like one of Eve's alternate personalities. He not only cannot but does not believe that losing exists for him. Just as Eve's personalities were able to refer to each other as if they were real, for Trump, reality does not include him losing.

To have that as part of his world is to court the end of his ego, not in the grandiose sense, in the sense of his ability to see or know himself. His underlying psychological state is that he would cease to exist as a person if he ever lost. He exists, therefore he wins.

It is sick but it is more tragic than anything else.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1622517 2020-11-29T14:32:00Z 2020-11-29T14:32:00Z The Religious Freedom Death Wish Society

ARTICLE HERE

The term essential involves a calculation of risk and benefit. Campgrounds are housing for some category of people, their owners will go broke without customers and as outdoor facilities, the are very, very low risk.

Risk in this case derives from some combination of proximity, time and expected behavior.

People pass through liquor stores and banks for minutes at a time. Same with most businesses characterized as non-essential. That lowers the risk a great deal. From that perspective, you cannot distinguish them from grocery stores.

While I think it's ridiculous, my insurance company considers acupuncture a sufficiently important health service that they pay for it. That puts them on the positive side for benefits. Though the experience takes time, as a medical business, mask compliance is expected to be high. Lower risk.

Churches are like bars. People go there, stay a long time and engage in risky behaviors. Any mask that is not professionally fitted is going to allow plenty of virus laden particles out of each person when they are speaking in tongues, singing or whatever other stuff they do.

Close proximity means that someone else can readily (again, unless the mask is professionally fitted it's a risk reduction) not elimination) that someone stands a decent chance of inhaling it.

Further, liquor cannot be made at home. Nor can food or bicycle parts. God, otoh, can be worshipped anywhere. Your imam can council you with zoom. The calculation of essential includes, or should include, whether or not the good or service can be made available otherwise.

Also, the economic harm to the proprietor. Synogogues might have a claim of harm over high holiday ticket sales (an appalling practice) but I've not heard of many others selling tickets for services.

I think that Sunstein is right. This is not an important advance of conservatism. It is much less awful than decisions for Hobby Lobby, Little Sisters of Intolerance, etc.

However, it does signal two awful things. First, it shows zero deference to local authorities in dealing with a life threatening pandemic. (If this was in the future and the test positivity rate was not skyrocketing around the country, a different balance would occur even to me.)

It was implemented as a preliminary injunction exempting religious types from public safety rules. This is usually done based on some idea of irreversible harm. They have just said, "Sure you say you're so-called scientists say this is important to avoid death but death is only bad if you can't go to church." Fuck off, atheists, live in their pandemic.

Second, the establishment clause has become like the second amendment, a death wish for democracy. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has to be repealed for democracy to function. Gun control has to be possible. We have to find ways to stop these lunatic interpretations of the constitution.

None of this will happen because the Supreme Court, while not signaling a new conservative extremism today, has signaled that human lives do not matter compared to observing the faith. They have made clear that practicality plays no role in their justice. It's easy to imagine that the machine gun prohibition that was perfectly legal in the nineties will be overruled if it happens today. I have no doubt that it is now legal to shout Fire! in a theater.

They have signaled that they think it just and fair that all of us die for principle, even insane ones, as long as you can tie it back to something they love. Freedom of religion never seems to include my freedom to worships zero-religion unimpaired.

i'll add finally that they also chose to prohibit this as a preliminary injunction done without a fact record. Had they asked, Cuomo's experts could doubtless have explained real facts instead of my ignorant and imaginary rationales. The emergency isn't dying sick people. The emergency is that people can't go sing religious songs at each other. It ridiculous.

The real emergency is right-wing religious nuts taking over our country.




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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1616951 2020-11-15T13:41:36Z 2020-11-15T13:41:36Z False Equivalence


Donald Trump made clear for every moment of his campaign that he hates Democrats. That he has no political philosophy beyond domination. His campaign rhetoric was vicious in a way not heard in our lives.

Donald Trump made clear, well before he took office, that he had no thought of being a 'president for all Americans'. He disparaged liberals, made fun of us and openly embraced the 'snowflake' and 'liberal tears' memes. He promised to jail our candidate.
And, he lost the popular vote.

The "he's not my president" meme of that era was well deserved and completely, extremely, diametrically different from the views of the Trumpsters.

Then, we were reacting to abuse, actual and predicted. To cheating in the campaign that was obvious to most of us and proven later to be correct. Trump made clear his intent to never allow a single compromise that would benefit my side.

Joe's rhetoric was, by historical standards before Trump, anodyne and respectful. He rejected the very idea of cheating. He has been clear every single moment of this campaign that he hopes to find a way to work with those who oppose him.

And he won the election, both popular and electoral college, decisively and fairly.

The disprespect and skepticism shown to Joe Biden and his election victory are based on pure fabrication, undeserved without an ounce of truth. It is a cynical invention to inspire hatred about a person who has been clear that he has benign intentions toward the opposition.

Comparing it to the chagrin we expressed about Trump's viciousness, the dishonesty of his campaign and his attitude about us liberals, is, well, it is truly awful.

The people who are 'rejecting' the legitimacy of Joe Biden's election, who are taking a 'not my president' attitude about him, are un-American. It is a vile, anti-democratic viewpoint.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1613857 2020-11-08T15:06:34Z 2020-11-08T20:47:53Z It's different when *they* say "Not my president"
The righties are trying to compare our rejection of Donald Trump with their intention to reject Joe Biden. As with most things, the comparison they make ignore reality.

Donald Trump made clear from his inauguration speech that his vision of America is one where his supporters get their way and everyone that disagrees deserves nothing other than contempt. He never allowed a provision in a bill that favored by the opposition. He laughed at the idea of compromise or collaboration. He encouraged shitheads like you to treat those who disagree with contempt.

Joe Biden has made clear that he is very concerned about the interests of those who disagree with him. He has spoken to their fears and invited them to the table. We will see how that plays out.

From the first, Trump made clear that he was going to do nothing to make me like him. He loved the "liberal tears" meme. From the first, Joe has eschewed the idea that political opponents are enemies.

Joe intends to be their president, too. He wants to try to do things that make it possible for opponents to feel welcomed and to satisfy their needs where he can find a way to do so in compromise.

Me? I think that's naive, I think Trumpsters mostly *are* enemies who will eventually try to kill us. Still, it is the diametric opposite of Trump's attitude toward me.

When I said Trump is not my president, I wasn't only expressing my view, I was observing his.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1613849 2020-11-08T14:41:49Z 2020-11-08T14:41:50Z There is No Comparison Between Trump and Biden, Literally
In just a few days, the right is coalescing on the idea embodied by repeating our assertion that Trump was "not my president". Commentators on the right compare our outrage at Trump's ascension to theirs about Joe as justification for their upcoming disparagement.

It is not right. There are facts. Calling mexicans rapists, ridiculing handicapped people, disrespecting war heroes, etc, are not in the same category of disagreement as "I don't like socialism."

They try to pose it as us being unable to accept disagreement. It is not. It is not disagreement to fight a person who is raping a woman on the street. Attacking that person to stop the rape is not an endorsement of violence. It is a necessity under extremis.

I can disagree with a right winger who thinks that women should have fewer rights and accommodations. I am not 'disagreeing' when I see a man raping a woman on the street and try to stop it.

Comparing their disagreement with Joe's liberalism with Donald Trump's lies, racist acts, calls for violence and sending troops into American cities or putting children in cages, is simply silly.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1613842 2020-11-08T14:20:27Z 2020-11-08T14:20:27Z RE: Friendship with Trumpsters I had to be on the active end of a friendship that died on the alter of Trump. It was very sad. It was hard for her to believe that I could not continue friendly association with a person who supported those values.

There are two parts for me. Anger and respect. At first, my difficulty was trying to sit at a table of friends and not have her be the focus of my rage over Trump's ascension. It was hard to be polite (that last refuge) knowing that she had chosen, despite my explanation of the meaning, to bring this horror into my life.

It was also hard to respect her and, for me, friendship, the real kind, hinges on respect. When I spoke to her, I thought, you stupid idiot. I thought, you really don't have the ability to care about mexicans or others in need. I thought, you're incapable of understanding the consequences to the environment. I thought, you are so self-involved that you would make this choice.

Other mutual friends (though they eventually have followed suit, albeit less decisively) were present at the final conversation and were shocked at my assertion that realizing that this woman had supported Trump was on a moral plane with finding out that a male friend had raped someone.

I explained, after she left the table, that finding out that a person had done such a would change the way I saw him forever, irrevocably. Knowing that under his (presumably pleasant) appearance was a person who could disregard the hurt and damage, who could disrespect decency, who had the ability to do such a thing, would make it so that I could never talk to the person without an internal dialog of rage.

And so it is with Trumpsters. I will, of course, be polite to her when others are around. I have seen this woman several times. I ask after her children and say 'glad to hear it' when she says her life is ok.

But here's there real reason I cannot be friends with Trumpsters.: I am not glad to hear they are ok. They have done terrible damage, with malice aforethought to our country and to the people in it, to the children who were ripped from their parents arms and put in concentration camps, to the environment, to the very fabric of society. I want them to suffer for

I am not glad to hear they are ok, I want them to suffer, and the fact that she, that Trumpsters, put me in a position to say and feel that, to be a person who says and feels that, is unforgivable.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1606607 2020-10-21T04:25:28Z 2020-10-21T04:25:28Z Long Term Debilitation from Covid19
Dear Everyone,

If you are suffering covid fatigue, feeling like, "Hell, I haven't gotten it so far. I'm youngish. Lots of people have minor experiences. I'm youngish and would likely survive. I think I'll go to a nice, distanced restaurant because I have to get out of my fucking house."

DON'T DO IT!!!

Turns out that a significant percent (like ten or fifteen) of people are still messed up months later. Pulmonary embolism. Glaucoma. Diabetes. And lots of other stuff.

But the most common is that "their most debilitating persistent symptom as impaired memory and concentration, often with extreme fatigue". Fatigue in this case includes sleeping twenty hours a day. Also inability to work.

I note that it is not unusual for virus infection to have long term implications. Herpes, for example, is very often a lifelong disease. Starting out as a few blisters, reappearing as a stress illness (including foggy cognition) and even as shingles in old age.

The analogous life consequences for covid19 is not known but this article suggests an alarming possibility.

My wife and I are covid isolation absolutists. Even so, as winter approaches, I have thought that maybe a couple of my main friends could come into the house. You are probably thinking such things, too. Don't do it.

This is nowhere near over.

More details here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2771111




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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1604874 2020-10-16T03:20:30Z 2020-10-16T03:20:31Z Donald Trump's Townhall Was a Dumpster Fire
10/15/20

Savana Guthrie was also on fire. She took absolutely no crap from Donald Trump. Unlike the other moderators, she was definitely fact checking the conversation. Further, she was not tolerating dissembling or changing the subject. In every case, she came back at him sharply, factually and with a fabulous willingness to keep Trump on the subject of the question.

As good as she was, Trump was terrible. He said a ton of dishonest, stupid stuff (85% of mask wearers get covid19?!!!). He managed to squeeze in most of his usual idiocy, complaints about Obama, etc.

He was self-aggrieved, angry, defensive, dumb. His idea of a plan is, "it's going to be beautiful, much better". The guy is a full blown dope.

A highlight is that, asked if condemned aAnon's assertion that the Democratic party is a pedophile sex cult, he wouldn't. He said he doesn't know about aAnon - an incredible idea for the leader of the free world but that they are 'very much against pedophilia and so am I'.

So, given the chance to condemn the Proud Boys, he basically encourages them. Give a chance to condemn one of the most bizarre and awful conspiracy groups, he found something to like.

Asked about Dreamers, he completely ignored the gigantic human tragedy and went on a dishonest rant about how bad immigrants are, how until Savior Don got here we had "no borders". The fence, all the crap. It was breathtaking.

As decent and human as Joe Biden seemed in his town hall event, Trump was smirking, sweaty and glib. Where Joe was respectful and responsive, Trump treated the questioners as peops. Joe was smart, detailed and knowledgable. Trump was emotional, manipulative and dumb.

The contrast could not be greater.




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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1604870 2020-10-16T03:01:32Z 2020-10-16T03:50:47Z Joe Biden's Townhall Was Wonderful
10/15/20

What a night!!!

Joe Biden was on fire. He was smart, thorough, patient, human. He revealed intelligence and command of facts that rivals my dear Liz Warrent. He was simply superb.

The event tonight was a polite conversation. Joe was able to speak at his own pace and complete his sentences. Watching him, I was able to see his adaptation to his stutter. It seems clear to me that his (previously annoying) habit of numbering his statements is a way of dealing with his stutter. You could see him almost mechanically pausing to reassert control over his speech when he got excited or ahead of himself.

I think that a reason that I previously considered him to be second rate is that the conventional political debate is completely inappropriate for a person with a stutter. That he was willing to participate in such a thing is evidence of intense courage and determination. Fortunately, the ability to engage a heated argument is not a skill that is useful for a president.

He was remarkably responsive to the questions. Mostly eschewing the usual practice of treating the question (and questioner) as, at best, mere inspiration for another explosion of boilerplate platitudes, he answered each inquiry with superb detail, organized and with an amazing ability to include specifics relevant to the person.

I cannot tell you how strongly I feel a turnaround in my regard for Joe Biden. His clear headed decency was marvelous. His command of the facts and of his plans was, considering what I've thought of him before, astonishing.

But mostly, I liked him so much. He was kind to the questioners. Responsive to the issues. Decent in his characterization of those who don't like him.

I will also note was reluctant to disparage Trump. There were a couple of occasions where he talked about things that were bad about his administration but he was completely free of negativity.

This guy is the essence of 'presidential'.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1604356 2020-10-14T12:58:32Z 2020-10-14T12:58:32Z For Feminists, It's 'Wimp' All the Way
So, I said something like, "Don't be such a bunch of pussies" in response to concerns about working extra hard for some project. Though I never really thought of it as a a reference to other uses of the word pussy, it didn't sit well with me.
I wondered on Facebook to some friends who care about words if 'pussy' was a gendered disparagement. DId it refer at its root to women or felines? I inquired for alternatives.

I learned things. tl;dr: From now on, I will say, "Don't be such a bunch of wimps!" I will not be using pussy or sissy ever again. Nor will I be using the suggested poltroon or pusillanimous or caitiff.

Pussy was first found in print in 1583 referring a sweet and amiable woman. It was, in fact, a compliment. They think that it referred to supposed virtues of a kitten. It took over a hundred years to be used as a reference to genitals _or_ cats (in fact it referred to rabbits long before it was used for cats).

Sissy was a later usage (mid 1700's) that derived from sister and, in the late 1800s was used as disparagement for effeminate men. That is the very essence of a gendered slur.

Both sissy and pussy were references to homosexuality very shortly after they first appeared and long before, in the case of 'pussy' the word referred to genitals (without negative connotation). Also, in the case of pussy, it was used to compliment the gentleness of a gay person.

Bottom line, sissy is the worst offender since it went directly from referring to a sister to being used to say a man was bad because he resembled a woman.

Pussy is more complicated. It did not get used as a disparagement until the middle of the 1900's, ie, a very recent usage for this very old word. Still, those years have definitely turned it into a gendered slur.

One of my friends suggested 'caitiff'. Turns out it's a very old word dating to the early 1300's. It originally meant prisoner or captive but very quickly came to be disapproval with a strong implication of immorality and wickedness. I'm guessing it was a reference to the criminal nature of people who were prisoners. The latest reference in 1870.

Wussy dates back to 1977; it's root, wuss, to '76. The OED speculates that it was a casual portmanteau of wimp and pussy.

Wimp dates to the early 1920's. It appeared almost simultaneously as a disparagement meaning weak, feeble or "wet" (?!) and, apparently separately, meaning "woman or girl". The latter without negative connotation.

Another suggestion that I love is 'pusillanimous' but whenever I have used it the laughing pretty much killed the impact. Still, a great word.

Poltroon? Pretty much the same. Interestingly, both of these are quite old (1400-1500's) and both mainly meant cowardly but a poltroon is worse, adding wickedness. Non-gendered but laughably archaic.

For now I'm going to say that pussy is definitely gendered as is wussy and it's worse cousin, sissy. Wimp arguably not but it's not perfectly clean either. Probably it's the closest to a winner so far.

I suppose "Don't be such a pussy!" and "Don't be such a wimp!" are pretty much equivalent both in meaning and impact but the latter says it without a strong sexist reference. I guess it works.

It is really weird that every contemporary disparagement I can think of is based on using women as the epitome of weakness. I really hate that.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1593379 2020-09-12T12:38:30Z 2020-09-20T12:38:54Z No one knows yet the long-term health effects of COVID19

An essay written by some anonymous Smarty Pants:

Chickenpox is a virus. Lots of people have had it, and probably don't think about it much once the initial illness has passed. But it stays in your body and lives there forever, and maybe when you're older, you have debilitatingly painful outbreaks of shingles. You don't just get over this virus in a few weeks, never to have another health effect. We know this because it's been around for years, and has been studied medically for years.

Herpes is also a virus. And once someone has it, it stays in your body and lives there forever, and anytime they get a little run down or stressed-out they're going to have an outbreak. Maybe every time you have a big event coming up (school pictures, job interview, big date) you're going to get a cold sore. For the rest of your life. You don't just get over it in a few weeks. We know this because it's been around for years, and been studied medically for years.

HIV is a virus. It attacks the immune system and makes the carrier far more vulnerable to other illnesses. It has a list of symptoms and negative health impacts that goes on and on. It was decades before viable treatments were developed that allowed people to live with a reasonable quality of life. Once you have it, it lives in your body forever and there is no cure. Over time, that takes a toll on the body, putting people living with HIV at greater risk for health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, bone disease, liver disease, cognitive disorders, and some types of cancer. We know this because it has been around for years, and had been studied medically for years.

Now with COVID-19, we have a novel virus that spreads rapidly and easily. The full spectrum of symptoms and health effects is only just beginning to be cataloged, much less understood.

So far the symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Pneumonia
  • Chills/Trembling
  • Acute respiratory distress
  • Lung damage (potentially permanent)
  • Loss of taste (a neurological symptom)
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mental confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Strokes have also been reported in some people who have COVID-19 (even in the relatively young)
  • Swollen eyes
  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Rash
  • COVID toes (weird, right?)

People testing positive for COVID-19 have been documented to be sick even after 60 days. Many people are sick for weeks, get better, and then experience a rapid and sudden flare up and get sick all over again. A man in Seattle was hospitalized for 62 days, and while well enough to be released, still has a long road of recovery ahead of him. Not to mention a $1.1 million medical bill.

Then there is MIS-C. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. While rare, it has caused deaths.

This disease has not been around for years. It has basically been 6 months. No one knows yet the long-term health effects, or how it may present itself years down the road for people who have been exposed. We literally *do not know* what we do not know.

For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want to ask, without hyperbole and in all sincerity:

How dare you?

How dare you risk the lives of others so cavalierly. How dare you decide for others that they should welcome exposure as "getting it over with", when literally no one knows who will be the lucky "mild symptoms" case, and who may fall ill and die. Because while we know that some people are more susceptible to suffering a more serious case, we also know that 20 and 30-year-olds have died, marathon runners and fitness nuts have died, children and infants have died.

How dare you behave as though you know more than medical experts, when those same experts acknowledge that there is so much we don't yet know, but with what we DO know, are smart enough to be scared of how easily this is spread, and recommend baseline precautions such as:

  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Physical distancing
  • Reduced social/public contact or interaction
  • Mask wearing
  • Covering your cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces

The more things we can all do to mitigate our risk of exposure, the better off we all are, in my opinion. Not only does it flatten the curve and allow health care providers to maintain levels of service that aren't immediately and catastrophically overwhelmed; it also reduces unnecessary suffering and deaths, and buys time for the scientific community to study the virus in order to come to a more full understanding of the breadth of its impacts in both the short and long term.

I reject the notion that it's "just a virus" and we'll all get it eventually. What a careless, lazy, heartless stance.

A POSTSCRIPT:

This essay is floating around the web along with the assertion that it is written by Anthony Fauci. That is not true.

When I first saw it, I wanted to examine the original because "how dare you" did not sound like Fauci. I could not find the original anywhere. I did find an article that compared the it things Fauci has actually said. The language and style do not match.

I encourage everyone to spread this far and wide. It is really important for people to understand that we simply do not know what this virus does to people.

But don't attribute it to Fauci. It's not and saying so just diminishes this important message.


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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1593146 2020-09-11T12:37:01Z 2020-09-11T12:55:21Z Bob Woodward Did Nothing Wrong By Conserving His Revelations Until the Election Season
Lots of people are criticizing Bob Woodward, often in really awful ways, for not revealing the information from his new book earlier. Asserting that he had a responsibility to tell us about Trump and that he is somehow guilty for not doing so. I disagree.

To figure this out, I have been trying to imagine the benefit if Woodward had told us this earlier and cannot see any. Everyone with a brain knew that Trump was lying to us. We already knew that he was dishonestly pretending that covid19 was not really a problem. We knew that he was intentionally injuring blue states. The only material thing we didn't know is that it turns out he actually *is* smart enough to understand the situation at some level.

If Woodward had released these tapes when they were happening, Kaylie MacaNinny would have lied more. Trump would have had to make up his "I wanted calm and they wanted me to jump up and down" line earlier. Sane people would have screamed. Press would have asked hostile questions.

I don't see what difference it would have made. I do not see what material, actionable information Woodward withheld. I do not see how we could have used this knowledge to coerce better behavior in Trump or change our behavior to induce a better outcome.

I do think that it would have diminished the impact on the election. I do think that this is very important information for voters. I do not see how knowing this stuff would have saved one life or altered the course of the disease at all.

The only differences I can see redound to the benefit of Trump himself. As soon as Woodward told us these things, Trump would have stopped the interviews. Of eighteen interviews, seventeen of them would never exist and Donny would have been spared the consequences of his own egotistical motor-mouth.

But even if he had continue the interviews, the facts would then have dribbled out. Trump would be able to deflect them one-by-one. The sheer quantity of awfulness and dishonesty would have been lost as details arrived mixed with all the other horrible details each day.

The significance would have been diluted to death. And it would not have a significant effect (one hopes) on his election chances because of that.

I am in complete disagreement with any assertions that Bob Woodward did anything wrong by waiting to publish his book.



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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1588901 2020-08-31T04:27:32Z 2020-08-31T04:27:32Z In Defense of Intolerance Toward Intolerance
Unlimited tolerance inevitably and necessarily leads tto general intolerance, authoritarianism, dictatorship.

I think of it a little like multiplication with negative numbers. There is no number big enough that, when you multiply it by negative one, it remains positive.

I am a firm believer in the notion that the remedy for a bad idea is a good idea. Intolerance, however, is not amenable to a good idea. The whole point is a prejudiced judgment that some ideas can never be good.

I read an article today about a mathematician and philosopher named Ramsey, John or something. He noted that the fallibility of people isn't an error or something that can be overlooked in the pursuit of an ideal. It is intrinsic to all problem solving and all solutions.

In an ideal world, you would be able to explain to intolerant people that they were, in fact, making the exchange of ideas impossible and thereby making things worse. They would, understanding this, choose the path that would make the world better. But, some people are badly motivated, emotionally immature or selfish and are not able to respond to such understanding.

Like negative one, their participation in the culture will always multiply out to a negative result.

As a consequence, I do not lament the fact that relationships are sundered by political differences. I have no trumpster friends. There were a couple in the aftermath of his election but, I made a decision and shunned them. In at least one case, I am still sad about it but, every time I looked at her, I thought about the monstrous thing she had done. Her presence harmed me.

What I do lament is the rise of intolerance and that is what the right-wing has been about, well, arguably forever, but in my archeology of hate, since Reagan was supercharged by Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan. It is a tragedy.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1586485 2020-08-24T14:52:49Z 2020-08-24T14:53:49Z American Right-Wing Battle Flag
I wrote this today in reply to a "Put a flag in your front yard" post. My sweet, wise daughter said I was being too aggressive in a direct reply to an actual human being who would probably take it personally. Still, it's something I feel a need to say:

I hung flags for July 4 even during the reprehensible Reagan administration because I considered him to be an aberration that did not reflect the basic character of this country.

But since then, almost fifty percent of the people voted for a guy who "grabbed them by the pussy" and said that people from Mexico were "rapists and murderers". He ridiculed and mocked a reporter with a handicap.

Reagan was not an aberration. He was the beginning of a hideous corruption of America. From him to Newt Gingrich to George W. and now to Trump, the American people, the real America I used to revere has become substantially evil.

Our parents went to war to protect our country from being conquered by people like them, Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo. They did not do it for the flag. They did it *under* it and *for* a decent country.

The flag is a piece of cloth that represents a political theory. A symbol that has been hijacked by racists, xenophobes and people who call the free press an enemy of the people. By people who criticize me because I won't join those who wave the flag in support of vile ideology.

When all that stops I will reconsider but I am pretty sure almost fifty percent will vote in November for the guy who put children in cages, sent troops against people in American cities and teargassed a crowd so he could wave a bible in front of church.
Flag of the United States of America, bah. If we are talking about the country that just blew off treaties, abandoned the Kurds and built a wall, no way I want anything to do with it. It is a symbol of evil.

I hope that our forbears would look at the current commander in chief and say, No way I will take orders from that scumbag. I'm not pointing a gun at someone to defend putting children in cages.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1575208 2020-07-19T14:24:27Z 2020-07-19T14:45:16Z Infection Rates in Red States are Out Of Control – PlagueData.com
So, the fine people at http://PlagueData.com have made controls that let you filter the states in myriad ways. For awhile you've been able to identify the states trending bad or good. Now you can select states based on their politics.
This image shows graphs from states that voted for Trump, have a Republican governor and Republican or Democratic majorities in both houses of their legislature. There are 21 of red. It also has a graph with the 16 Democratic states.

As you can see looking at the data (this one is *not* trend; it is the current actual positive test percent), the red states are screwed. Not only is their trend across the graph *not* in the right direction, a whole bunch of them are over 10% infected. For the blue states, *none* of them are currently over 10%.

While the testing certainly oversamples sick people, it is a very strong indication of what to expect, ie, Red states are screwed.

The good news? A strong die-off in those states will reduce their influence in the future. The bad news? The virus doesn't respect borders so it means decent people will die, too.








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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1574047 2020-07-16T13:59:03Z 2020-07-16T13:59:03Z Peter Navarro Demonstrates that Anthony Fauci is Actually Awesome

There is an aphorism, the exception that proves the rule. As I first read this truly silly essay, I thought, "Really? Over a forty some year career, this is all you can come up with? You have just made clear that the guy is a fucking saint."

Then I clicked through to the 'evidence' in his links. One was when, in February before we had any cases her, he said the risk of catching it "now"was low. Another, posed as Fauci saying that lower death rates do not matter was actually him saying that saying that the lower morality rate was "false comfort" considering its infectiousness and other such badness.

The rest are equally dishonest. This Peter Navarro guy clearly belongs in the Trump administration.

And this essay is 1) proof that even mortal enemies couldn't find evidence that Fauci is anything short of awesome and 2) the Trump administration and its blatant dishonesty represent a clear and present danger to our country and to our individual lives.

Article HERE.

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1572608 2020-07-13T11:55:39Z 2020-07-13T11:55:40Z Thoughts on Opening Schools in a Covid19 World

Schools. Tough problem. I agree that kids are harmed by this isolation. I know that the economy is going to be ruined by the lack of child care. That makes getting kids into school a very high priority.

The big challenge is that sending them to school amounts to each household sending one or more representatives to a virus communication center each day.

However, children *appear* to have less ability to host the virus. It appears that this characteristic is inverse with age. That is, small children are pretty safe, both for them and the parents that receive them at the end of the day. Seniors in high school are nearly adults and not very safe at all.

Unfortunately, the practicalities of school are the opposite of what would be needed to accommodate this change in risk. The people who are kept with a single, unchanging group that would prevent cross contamination are the small children with less risk. Older kids change classroom groups several times a day in a pattern that insures that any infected kid can contamination as many people as possible.

I keep trying to imagine what could be done to make this work. There problems are intractable.

The ability to make children wear masks decreases with age. Teenagers simply will not do it effectively.

That means that social distancing is required. Schools are not constructed to support that and students will not cooperate.

Schools need to reorganize so that kids are taught in class groups that never change. For older kids, that means that teachers need to travel from room to room. Teachers, of course, will have wear good, medical masks so that they are neither exposed nor transmitting.

When in classrooms, mask wearing has to be enforced rigorously. A student who won't wear a mask has to be expelled. No mercy.

Since students would not be changing classrooms, behavior in hallways is less of a problem and the fact that students will not wear masks when not under strict control is reduced. Students should not be allowed to linger around the school when not in class.

Extracurricular activities can only occur within class groups. Anything that requires students to mix between groups has to go.

Every classroom should have a no contact thermometer and a raised temperature means class is off. Everyone goes home until 1) that kid is tested negative for covid19 or, 2) two weeks. At the end of that period, only students with normal temperatures would be allowed in. Anyone with a fever stays home unless they are tested negative for covid19.

Whereever possible, ventilation systems should be improved to maximize air exchange in classrooms. Obviously, cleaning should be maximized.

Rooms should be reconfigured to distance children as much as practical.

Rich districts should build teacher isolation mechanisms, clear glass booths or something, to isolate teachers from students both to protect the teachers and to prevent them from carrying virus from class to class.




Here is a list of questions I read somewhere about school openings that motivated my thinking...

• If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid?

• If that teacher has 5 classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to then stay home and quarantine for 14 days?

• Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests? Are they happening at school? How are the parents being notified? Does everyone in each of those kids' families need to get tested? Who pays for that?

• What if a teacher who lives in the same house as as someone who tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid?

• Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay?

• Substitutes teach in multiple schools. What if they are diagnosed with COVID-19? Do all the kids in each school now have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that?

• What if a student in your kid's class tests positive? What if your kid tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Do we all get notified who is infected and when?
Or because of HIPAA regulations are parents and teachers just going to get mysterious “may have been in contact” emails all year long?

• What is this stress going to do to our teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they are able to provide? What is it going to do to our kids? What are the long-term effects of consistently being stressed out?

30% of the teachers in the US are over 50. About 16% of the total deaths in the US are people between the ages of 45-65.
We are choosing to put our teachers in danger.





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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1571633 2020-07-10T15:17:03Z 2020-07-10T15:26:18Z Another Annoying Study Telling Us Not To Drink
So the statistics people come back with another stab at telling us not to drink alcohol. What a fucking bore. I wish they would just keep their moralizing bullshit to themselves.

It's always been obvious to me that alcohol is a poison (eg, I use it to kill covid19 virus all the time) that makes you sick (eg, 'hangover' is a euphemism for 'poisoned but will recover'). It's equally obvious that overdosing will kill you in myriad ways ranging from alcoholism to liver disease to various kinds of cancer.

By the way, pretty much everything else is poisonous on some level, too. Food is killing most (yeh, most) Americans more certainly and with greater life consequences than alcohol. At this moment obesity makes any consequence of alcohol you can name look like a good day.

There are two reasons I want them to shut the hell up. First is, Everyone already knows that drinking too much is bad for you, Captain Obvious. We know already. Stop harping. Not a single person on earth did or did not drink more or less because ten years ago they nuanced that X ounces a day is good/bad for you. No matter what they say, it doesn't kill you very fast and that's what matters.

Second, Drinking doesn't have anything to do with health because people do not care about health. They care about happiness. And these studies never give any credence to the fact that people hate being sober all the time.

Hate hate hate hate hate being sober all the time. Hate hate hate.

As well they should. Sobriety is a horrible state of being when done too often. You can tell me about that person you know who is cheerful and fulfilled without a drop or a toke. I will tell you that, when I met that person last time, I thought, Gad, what a drag. Seemed a bit dry and joyless.

Sure, people exist whose lives are awesome when sober all the time but they are a minuscule fraction, the order of magnitude of the population of monks and nuns, or world class chess players or other groups with esoteric characteristics.

Animals seek to avoid sobriety by eating fermented fruit and they don't even have to go to work or talk to their stupid boss or listen to Donald Trump (or Joe Biden for that matter). With actual intelligence comes a thousand additional reasons to set rationality and inhibition aside for a few hours.

I would love to see the study on the nasty effects of sobriety. Of the joyless engagement in a world of parties without drink. Of lives lived without the fumbling relaxation where the cares and interests of the day seem remote. Where you can't sit back and listen to your incredibly annoying relative or friend, sip on your drink and allow your disinhibited mind to fantasize about murder or abandonment or to feel, I just don't care very much because I love this gin.

And don't even get me started on the idea of all sexual encounters being sober. I shudder to imagine how much less sex people would have and how dry and awful it would be, and thereby how the actual enjoyment of the human condition would be nearly entirely eliminated.

I will reaffirm, as those who know me have heard many times before, humans naturally want to stop being sober. It is as natural and essential as sex, a good bowel movement or loving your grandchildren. I love to drink (and smoke and, if only I could access some, perhaps a little sneef now and again) and will do it on my deathbed, even if it reduces my time there.

Drinking is good and essential to the joy of life.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/well/eat/should-we-be-drinking-less.html

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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1571631 2020-07-10T15:15:37Z 2020-07-10T15:15:37Z The Jefferson Memorial, Racism and Application of Today's Understanding to the Past
I am pretty radical in my antagonism toward racists and our racist past. I share some of Frederick Douglass's famous sadness over the Fourth of July holiday. I consider it legitimate to consider America to be the tragic consequence of brutality and genocide. America is a country based on the arrogant, imperial view of the British who never found a native society they didn't want to destroy. I am in favor of reparations, not a symbolic gesture but real, race aware changes in policy that attempt redress.

I am not in favor of tearing down the Jefferson Memorial. I agree that his participation in slavery is shameful. I also know that he is one of the people that created some of the most beautiful parts of America.

At some point we anti-racists need to figure out how to balance between our desire to honor the repudiation of racism against the fact that everything in the past is tainted with it.

For me that balance begins with evaluating the intent of the person being honored. Jefferson Davis was a warrior fighting to save slavery. Thomas Jefferson was a slave holder who invented much of the modern idea of freedom.

The Jefferson Memorial doesn't seem to me to glorify slavery. I'm not sure it really is about Jefferson. It has always seemed to me to treat him as the symbol of enlightened political ideals of freedom and equality.

More importantly though is that the balancing needs to account for, at the end of the day, pride on the achievements of civilization, too. I would be surprised if you could find a single white person of any accomplishment before 1800 who did not hold opinions about women and 'other' people that were reprehensible by modern standards. Who weren't perfectly fine with penal systems that were often worse than concentration camps.

So, Isaac Newton was one of the greatest minds in history. He was also an investor in the slave trade. Do we ban regard for his immense contributions to science and culture because of that? If so, how do we frame our history?

To whom to we attribute the basic realizations about gravity if he is no longer to be admired. Are we really going to insist that, as some have said about the Jefferson Memorial, that we say, "Newton, a man who bought shares in a morally repugnant slaving enterprise, saw an apple fall from a tree and..."?

We are all flawed. It's my view that people's flaws should be overlooked when reasonable. Nothing I know about Thomas Jefferson's life suggests that he committed slavery crimes outside the boundaries of his time nor that any of his main life motivation was to promote enslavement.

As I understand him, he was determined to create a society where people could be free. If his understanding of the word 'people' was different than now, at least his ideas supported changing that definition over time. Without him, the New World would not be as decent a place as it is. Even if it might have been better if he had been better, too.

I say judge memorials an the destruction by the intent of the memorial. I do not believe there is anything about the Jefferson Memorial that glorifies racism. I believe it intends to glorify freedom and equality. If Jefferson himself provides an object lesson in how much farther we have to go, so be it.

[This was discussed at length on my public facebook page HERE. The original article which this responds to is HERE.]



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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1520009 2020-03-15T04:16:50Z 2020-03-15T04:25:20Z Urgent! Today! Do 'Social Distancing' Save Lives! Save our Culture.

Right now the only thing we know about the people who can spread the virus that causes COVID19 is that there are lots of them and that they are not showing symptoms. We do not and can not know who we can interact with without risk of becoming infected. While the disease may or may not be bad, the really, really bad thing is that you will not know you are sick for ten or twelve days. During that time, you will be infecting the people with whom you interact and they will infect others.

The only way to avoid infection is to avoid associating with others who are infected.

‘Social distancing’ is the practice of absolutely minimizing your interaction with everyone and doing highly disciplined things to avoid interacting with infected people. Presently that means everyone because there is no way to tell who is will not infect you. and, importantly, you don’t have any idea if are infecting your friends and family. You definitely might be sick but not showing symptoms.

How can you tell when you will not infect others? Do ‘social distancing’ for two weeks. If you haven’t shown symptoms by then, you are not sick. That is, you know if you haven’t gotten infected during those two weeks. But, if you practice careful social distancing, you will not have been in a position to become infected and then you can be confident that you did not get infected during that two weeks and are not infected at the moment.

If you have a friend who has been doing the same thing, ie, not going to bars or crowded places, keeping a six foot permitter at the grocery store and work, washing hands like it’s a job, and otherwise doing everything they can to avoid exposure, then at the end of two weeks, you will also know that they are not infected. That’s good news because it means that they can become part of your ‘social distance’ club and you can hang with them.

What ‘social distancing’ does is provide a signal, a way to know who is safe and who is sick. If you have a couple of friends that you trust to me smart enough and reliable enough to execute ‘social distancing’, then you can socialize more normally. That means you can live life more normally while still keeping some discipline to avoid getting sick. 

It also means that we are starting to organize the spread of the disease. If we don't do it now, we may not be able to do it ever without draconian policies that require real sacrifice (and for Americans, that means never). In a couple of weeks of not doing 'social distancing', infected people will be everywhere. 

To avoid them will require literally staying in your house like they had to do in China. That wasn't some totalitarian ploy. It took the new cases rate from 4000 a day to essential zero. That would be horrilbe but we might not need to if we start doing 'social distancing' today, this minute.

Equally importantly, you will not have added to the overall societal burden of sick people. That means you will have helped ‘flatten the curve’, that curve of doom where we have a huge spike of sickness that overwhelms hospitals and medical personnel and, as a consequence, will vastly increase the number of people who die. It also means that your grandmother or father or some other at-risk person is less likely to run into someone who is infected.

Below is a link that explains how to accomplish ‘social distancing’. It basically comes down to, for the next couple of weeks, STAY HOME, DON’T INVITE FRIENDS OVER, KEEP A SIX FOOT PERIMETER WHEN YOU GO OUT AND ONLY GO TO THE STORE WHEN YOU MUST. WASH YOUR HANDS, EVEN AT HOME. 

For the next two weeks:






But read the whole article. It's good. It is your duty to your family, friends and our entire society. This could turn into an actual dystopia event. Be responsible. Distance yourself and your family. Save lives.



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TQ White II
tag:blog.genericwhite.com,2013:Post/1516119 2020-03-03T19:06:17Z 2020-03-03T19:06:17Z Worried About Emotions in the White House: Vote for a Woman and Be Safe

So, I was starting a wisecrack about how it is I can't possibly vote to put a man in the White House because he hasn't had a lifetime of controlling his emotions for a few days each month to make him be better able to behave correctly when he is in a bad mood.

It was intended to be a glib reversal of the usual jibe against a woman controlling the nuclear button during her menses.

As I said it though, I thought, Holy Crap!! That's actually a legitimate point.

My female friends often talk about the discipline it takes to manage the heightened emotions sometimes felt during that time of the month. Being in well practiced in the art of recognizing one's emotional state and insuring that its contributions to your life performance are positive is actually a huge virtue.

And it's a good thing that many men lack and it shows in many of the things that men are criticized for.

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TQ White II