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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 69,981

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Of course. Begad, I was channelling Sen. Foghorn Leghorn just this morning...

Someone said something about Lamar Alexander believing in the Constitution but believing in Mitch McConnell more, and suddenly in my mind's eye I saw the old rooster strutting and snapping his braces and expostulating, "Ah say, Ah say, this fine gentleman is known as a strict constitutionalist! He is as conservative as the day is long, but believe me, you can trust that he is a Strict Constitutionalist!"

And I recalled how many others have come into the Trump orbit trailing that honorable appellation, and knew it for the lie that it is.

My generation was well-represented against Bush the Lesser, & I even made it to several marches....

...at the beginning of Trump.

But there comes a time, young people, when you have to stop waiting for grandma and grandpa to do the heavy lifting (or, in this case, the heavy marching). Because we are all your grandma and grandpa now, and for most of us our joints are giving out.

You're all grown up now, and snarking "Okay, Boomer" at us is not going to save the country or the planet. We tried, and past a certain point it wasn't ever generational warfare, it was always class warfare, which you are experiencing in the here and now.

All the best,


When TSA was first set up I predicted a bad outcome for both public and workers...

Perhaps someone has much more up-to-date info, but back at the beginning several things were seared into my consciousness: the system was farmed out to private firms, workers were excluded from government civil service classifications, and workers were forbidden to form unions. Oh, and salaries were low and training was minimal.

That told me that from the very beginning workers were going to be treated as disposable units with a badge and a uniform, NOT as individuals with important and respected functions requiring training and deserving worker protections.

The most obvious example is the X-ray machines. Those are our fellow Americans standing all day next to that equipment. If I as a passenger object not just to the intrusion but to the exposure, what about them? Safe, the government and their employers say? Sez who? Who checks? The union they are forbidden to form? The Civil Service they are not a part of?

Shoddy beginning -- shoddy results.

Back when Trump was campaigning for president & Manafort popped up to manage it "for free"...

... RachelMaddow (again, yes, her) did some in depth research and reporting on who the hell this Manafort guy was. Here are key things I remember (and I'm sure you can look up details)

* Ukraine: Manafort worked there cleaning up the reputations of criminal oligarchs and criminal politicians
* Corruption
* Overthrow of Ukranian government
* Some bigwig's dacha (can't recall who) was raided, sacked, and pillaged and all kinds of paperwork destroyed by being thrown in the ornamental pond
* Someone salvaged a lot of that wet paper, including a large black ledger, which I think was handwritten, and went back years and years
* Manafort's name appeared many times, in connection with the transfer of fabulous sums of money. Money flowed through his hands and into his pockets -- he lived high -- but somehow he ended up owing $20 million to (Putin? Or just a close associate of Putin's)
* He was persuaded to to manage the Trump presidential campaign, and in an email we have seen promised to "make it whole," that is pay back his lender
* He engineered Trump's choice of Pence
* During the Republican Convention, he waltzed in and rewrote the platform policy on.... Ukraine

This was just some project that Rachel got to working on, a mystery without a resolution at that time. And now, here we are.

Whole categories of young black and brown men get stopped by cops for behavior that no white...

...would ever be found liable for. Like driving. Walking around the suburbs. Walking in the city. Driving a "good" car. Hanging out in a public park. Having a birthday party or bbq in a public park. Hanging out in front of your own house.

You know the drill by now if you are a DUer. It is really easy to get a record started -- if you are black or brown.

As for schools: we've known for generations in this country that schools in poor neighborhoods are notoriously wretched, with a high dropout rate. Many kids are hungry -- they now call it "food insecurity," Jesus what a euphemism. Many kids are holding down a job to help out their families with rent and groceries. Homelessness among families is rising.

It is easy to miss classes when your family is that poor.

Being in good physical condition depends on good nutrition and the opportunity to exercise -- see above.

Sure, the Army wants better cannon-fodder. But as this country slides backward, it might be instructive to look at what the Draft had to deal with at the end of the Great Depression and before there was a middle class after WWII.

Health: so many young men were given a 4-F for nutritional diseases (ricketts, blindness, rotten teeth, heart disease) alone that the free school lunch program got its start. (This continued in my generation (in my home state, I don't know about elsewhere) in a modified form: our school lunches cost 25 cents, and were 1/3 of a growing kid's daily needs. Even my penny pinching mother could not brown-bag a lunch cheaper than that, altho I still knew kids who went without.) Think about that: school nutrition programs for healthy future soldiers, whatever you may think of that motive.

Literacy/education: during WWII the Army had education programs for recruits that got down to the absolute basics of personal hygiene and I don't know what-all. I'm sure the old training manuals are online for your edification; everything else is.

What I'm saying is, the Army and other military branches may have been relying on a robust miiddle class and the spillover of that into the rest of society to produce the kind of recruits they wanted -- and thanks to GOP policies for the last 2 generations, that no longer exists. If I am right, they are going to have to return to an earlier model for recruitment and training.

Speaking as a Californian: arsonists really exist, and they love watching their work

Fire investigators want to know the actual causes of fires, as it is a serious matter with lives at stake. They can pinpoint causes, and they can track the work of an arsonist across a region even if they can't always catch them. Fires that spot all along a highway route are a major clue of an arsonist's work and they all have their "signatures."

California and Australia both have large swathes of area known for their drought ecology. They call theirs the bush and the outback, and we call ours chaparral. Eucalyptus trees, which were transplanted to California from Australia, are born to burn, but so are many other native plants there and here.

During a prolonged drought, it all becomes a tinderbox. There are some cases of spontaneous combustion, dry branches rubbing together in dry heat. Hot dry winds accelerating downhill, gathering ever more heat -- in California we call them Santa Ana winds, and they magnify the danger a fire will start, then magnify its spread. Lightning strikes are a real danger.

The human/environment interface is very important. Our electrical grid gets blown by high wind, power lines rubbing and sparking. Gas and electric appliances can malfunction. Trucks dragging chains that spark along the road. Equipment, whether power tools that generate their own heat and sparks, or even hand-held shovels that can spark when they strike rocks -- all have been known to cause wildfires.

Nearly everyone in California knows better than to start a campfire or bonfire in a restricted area, or in the wind. Yet some college students did just that on their private college campus a number of years ago, setting off a major regional fire that killed a couple of people. They were either idiots or non-Californians, probably the latter. I'm sure they were very sorry.

Anyway, arsonists do it on purpose. Perhaps some arson inside cities is targeted, for murder or revenge or insurance, but otherwise what you have is sick minds who love the sheer power and destruction. They must feel like gods. Like the very gods themselves.

What you have presented is, I am sorry to say, a combination of nutball conspiracy theory and disinformation. It serves no one to propagate it.

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