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All posts for the month March, 2020

Re-blog Needs Re-Reading

Published March 27, 2020 by Nan Mykel
Woe the poor high school senior living in the U.S. who, looking forward to graduation in May or June, already accepted to the college of her choice, is now told that the schools are closed for the rest of the year and her plans will have to be scrapped.  She will likely have to repeat her entire senior year next year, or perhaps even the year after, since the U.S. seems intent on scrapping life in general for the rest of this calendar year.
First, let me assure you that I’m not necessarily arguing against the closing of the schools.  We must protect our young people as best we can.  What I’m arguing is that there appears to be absolutely zero amount of planning for the education of our youth … it seems that nobody is considering alternate means for these young people to complete the school year that they have already spent 6 months of their lives on.  Where is the common sense???  Must we keep throwing out the baby with the bathwater?  Does nobody in our government think any more?  Just because we have a fool in the White House shouldn’t preclude other elected officials from using their brains for something other than holding their skulls in place.
Once again, state governors have shown their immense capacity for willful ignorance by closing schools through the end of the school year, despite the fact that it is only March, and with callous disregard for both students and parents.
“The governor told California parents the SAT and other standardized testing would be canceled and the state would help with supplies to homeschool.”
Say WHAT???  The entire SAT is cancelled?  Whose brilliant idea was that?  So, even students who technically completed their course work at mid-term will not be able to take the SAT in order to enter college in the fall?  What would you do if you were a student in that situation?  I think many will say, “Screw this, I’ll just go work for the sanitation department,” else “I’ll just kill myself now.” I don’t suppose it occurred to the dolts in the Department of Education that the SAT could, with appropriate safeguards, be administered online???
And “the state would help with supplies to homeschool”?  So what?  Most parents whose children are beyond about 5th or 6th grade are not going to be able to homeschool their children in many subjects.  Only those with advanced degrees plus the time and patience will be able to do so … likely about 10% of the population.
Common sense is seriously lacking in the United States today.  Now, if the states thought shuttering the schools for the next 6 months was such a brilliant move, then they could have had teachers teach their classes online, from the comfort of their own homes, in their jammies if they wished.  Students without access to a computer, modem or WiFi, could have been provided one at no cost by the Department of Education.  Without the distractions, perhaps they would have learned even better, but noooooo … it would have required thought processes that no government official today seems capable of.
The quality of education in the United States had hit an all-time low, even before this.  We no longer teach young people that wonderful art of thinking, but rather teach them technical skills.  We teach little about history, literature, and how governments function, but rather how to program in C++, or how to build furniture.  And now … we teach … nothing.  For at least the foreseeable future, we teach nothing.  Way. To. Go.
To reiterate, just so nobody misunderstands my point as happened in a post last week:  I am not arguing against the schools being closed if that is what the medical community believe is the best way to save lives.  The medical community, not public officials who are sans common sense in the midst of this pandemic.  My point, however, is you don’t just shutter the schools for the next six months without a backup plan to ensure these young people are able to complete this school year.  I, who am not even an educator, can think of a number of ways this could be done, but nobody … not a single person … in our federal or state governments has even bothered to try.  I want our Department of Education employees to get off their arses and earn the money We the People are paying them!  Yo … Betsy DeVos … are you listening?  It’s your turn to earn your keep!

RESPONSE:

Don’t apologize for not being an educator, Jill.  Our head “educator” isn’t even an educator. Otherwise–can’t you imagine the daily education briefing and schedule for at-home instruction of lessons at grade level?  For some reason lines from the old proverb “For want of a nail the shoe was lost” comes to mind.

From Friend via Facebook

Published March 24, 2020 by Nan Mykel

From FB friend Brent Peeples. So incredibly well-stated. Thank you, Brent.

“Has Trump uttered a single word about those who have died or are sick from the virus? Has he mentioned Americans stranded in other countries?

No, he hasn’t. His singular focus is the economy. Why? Because his electoral fortunes are tied to the economy. As are those of his businesses. And Trumpflakes see nothing wrong with it.

When this nightmare mercifully ends, I never want to hear how we need a businessman to run the show ever again. Even if it’s a successful businessman, unlike this con man.

You’re going to see the country become even more divided over the next few weeks. The change is already apparent on Fox News and Trump’s twitter feed.

Money over people. Social distancing will soon be looked at as a partisan affair to destroy Trump. As the virus spreads, he’ll blame governors and mayors and the media and Democrats.

It’s what he does. It’s all he knows. Tell people whatever he thinks will sell the moment.

The thing I’ve come to realize is that the Republican Party no longer has an identity without Trump. They’ll follow him right off a cliff. The GOP has been subsumed into the Trump Organization.

Last night, the Lt. Gov. of Texas went on Fox News and said that grandparents would rather die of the virus than keep the economy shutdown for much longer. Yes, he really said that. Something something about grandkids and freedom. He said his “heart was lifted after hearing the president speak” [about the cure being worse than the disease].

The World Health Organization just warned that the United States could become next epicenter of global coronavirus crisis, citing ‘very large acceleration’ in U.S. infections. Wonderful. There is a direct correlation between the Trump administration calling COVID-19 a “hoax” and “the flu” and all kinds of other bullshit to the skyrocketing infection numbers.

We’re so far past the point of agreeing to disagree with these lunatics. It’s not just “politics.” It’s life and death. One party wants to err on the side of caution. It wants to do everything possible to prevent human suffering. It listens to experts and uses a scientificaly-based approach to flattening the coronavirus curve.

The other side is filled with ignoramuses who think it’s a fair tradeoff to lose 1-3% of the population in order to push the stock market numbers up.

Ironically, the former is a group that was falsely accused of setting up “death panels” when it helped millions of Americans receive access to healthcare.

The latter calls itself the “pro-life” party but it’s nothing more than a death cult. Choose your fighters wisely. And don’t expect me to agree to disagree when you’re okay with millions of people dying.”

(Thanks, family, for sharing this.)

P.S. Gallia County, where my daughter lives at GDC, just had its first death from novel-C today.

My Memory Is Me

Published March 24, 2020 by Nan Mykel

I’m not what you see at 83.

I’m so much more, almost

filled to the top–

with a little room to grow.

The touch of velvet is still

alive in me; the fig tree

and the good hard red clay.

Grandmother’s good soft lap and

the fragrance of the land

after the rainfall. And oh my,

the comfortable settling of

coal in the grate in the dark.

Childhood fills one big toe. Yet

as you see, I could go on and

on ’til one of us fell asleep.

 

Nan  10/19/15

(I must have said 83 to make it rhyme–5 years later I’m now 84

 

 

New Thoughts from Friend John

Published March 5, 2020 by Nan Mykel

It is a critical time with regard to democracy in this country. I have waffled between supporting Sanders and Warren. It is time to vote for the changes democracy needs and for someone  who can possibly win. That is Sanders.

Many voters probably chose Biden over Sanders because they feel Biden has a better chance of winning the general election. Maybe that is true; maybe it isn’t. We thought Hillary was a shoe-in over Trump, but the electorate, through our distorted electoral college system, made an anti-establishment choice. Biden is the establishment candidate for the Democrats this time. To some people he feels safe. He won’t rock the boat. He won’t change things.

But people know that change is what we need. Biden may reverse some of the worst things Trump has done, but things will go as they have in the past over decades – continued environmental degradation, corporate control of government, a healthcare system that fails millions of Americans, continued concentration of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands, worsening financial and food insecurity, and outright poverty.

People are afraid of change, but change happens. Without major changes in policy, the changes we will see are continued degradation of society and the environment. That is where unchecked greed, concern only for the present, and only for ourselves, will take us.

I know some people find Sanders scary. It is too bad that people, especially older people, are scared of the label, “socialist.” Would they like to get rid of the socialist things we already have in place, such as Social Security and Medicare? And what about the socialist protection that Wall Street banks have against failure? Perhaps it can be said that capitalism survives because socialism is there to bail it out.

People are understandably afraid that change might mean they lose what little they have. Might “Medicare for All” mean higher taxes? Will it mean I’ll lose my present insurance? These questions linger despite the fact that “Medicare for All” will provide health insurance for all and better healthcare at lower overall costs. Other countries find ways to pay for it; we can too.

When we are determined to do something, we can find ways to pay. No one objects to the development of a new weapon system for military use because it will increase their taxes. There is no reason to hesitate about doing what needs to be done now.

Economic and monetary systems should facilitate what we as a people want to do. Physical and social resources impose real limits, but money, which is created everyday by keystrokes on computers, should not be limiting.

A changed money system, in which government creates money instead of private banks, would open up possibilities. Where new money is spent increasing goods and services, through improvement of infrastructure, healthcare and education, there is little inflationary pressure. Inflation comes from increased costs, not from government spending.

Our current socialist system benefits the wealthy and the old folks who hold the wealth. What is needed now is some socialist policies to benefit the young and those who haven’t inherited wealth. It is time for us to seize the opportunity in this election and get Bernie nominated so the voters are offered a real choice. Unfortunately, at this point support for Warren amounts to supporting Biden.

As Supreme Court Justice said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Do You Remember?

Published March 4, 2020 by Nan Mykel

I’m trying to re-connect with a book on dealing with grief over the loss of a spouse.  It was upbeat in that it suggests the spouse does not have to say goodbye, but can carry the loving memories with them.  If anyone can remember even the existence of this  book it would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry I’ve been away so long–had a date with pneumonia for 5 days in the hospital.

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