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Member since: Sun Jan 22, 2017, 08:04 PM
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A moment of silence for Ruthann Gharib

From the obituaries in today's Cedar Rapids Gazette:

Ruthann Gharib, 63, of Cedar Rapids, passed away suddenly on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.


Ruthann Earlene Gharib was born Dec. 31, 1956, the daughter of Charlotte and Earl Hawkins. Ruthann was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, where she attended Mt. Mercy and Kirkwood Community College. She received her degree in nursing, and after working 20 years at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids. She spent the rest of her life working at nursing homes, most notably for 14 years at West Ridge Care Center, where she made many friends who became more like family. Ruthann dedicated her life to helping others. At her job, she always went the extra mile for her patients, and they all loved her dearly. At home, Ruthann was the center of her family’s universe. She loved growing her tomato plants, listening to what she called her “books on tape” on her phone, and displaying her passionate abhorrence of Donald Trump. She cherished her grandchildren. They were her greatest joy in this world, and her memory will live on in their hearts forever.

Online condolences may be left at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.
Posted by jayschool2013 | Thu Oct 29, 2020, 08:21 AM (0 replies)

NYT podcast: "Why Suburban Women Changed Their Minds"

Good listen if you have 38 minutes.

I know that my suburban Iowa City neighborhood should be a hellscape, according to Caligula II. After all, we have two houses across the street set aside for low-income families, AND we have three group homes on our street.

Suburban women know the real story — Twitler is a racist, and he's speaking only to the gun-toting paranoiacs he featured at the GOP Convention, otherwise known as the Two Minutes Hate, the extended version.
Posted by jayschool2013 | Mon Oct 26, 2020, 11:50 AM (1 replies)

The Media Today: Yes, we're doing it all over again

From the Columbia Journalism Review

Since Donald Trump became president, there has been a never-ending series of articles about what the media did to enable his victory. Near the top of that list is the air time and free advertising ($2 billion worth, according to one estimate) given to him by TV networks like CNN, because they knew he would attract a crowd, in much the same way a car accident does. Also near the top of the list is credulous reporting of stories about Hillary Clinton that were fed by hacked and leaked emails, creating the erroneous impression that both sides were equally guilty of political transgressions. Given the sheer volume of these “lessons learned” pieces, you might think it unlikely that something similar would happen this time around. You would be wrong. A blizzard of news on Wednesday showed that some are not only failing to heed those warnings but failing hard.

Take NBC. In the wake of Trump’s refusal to attend a virtual presidential debate, the network offered the president his own town hall event and scheduled it at the same time as Biden’s previously announced town hall (at Trump’s behest). In other words, the network is treating a debate between candidates for president as though it were the finale of a celebrity cooking show. More than one observer was reminded of what former CBS chief executive Les Moonves said about Trump’s presidency in 2016: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” New Yorker writer Sue Halpern called the NBC decision “stunning and shameful”, and Yashar Ali of HuffPost said more than a dozen NBC sources expressed “frustration and anger toward their employer.” As Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan said: “the defining media story of this era is mainstream journalism’s refusal to deny Trump a giant megaphone.”

Meanwhile, in a flashback to the Hillary Clinton email story, the New York Post published a thinly sourced and highly questionable piece alleging that Joe Biden’s son Hunter introduced his father to a Ukrainian executive whose company was later investigated for fraud. The alleged evidence for this story– by a reporter who has spent almost her entire career as a producer at Fox News—includes emails taken from a laptop that a computer repair shop owner said may have belonged to Hunter Biden (the owner later gave a rambling and disjointed interview in which he contradicted himself repeatedly). And it appears that all the paper has are screenshots of the emails it says it has based the story on. Despite this, the story was breathlessly promoted by the usual suspects, including Rudy Giuliani and Breitbart News, and was even picked up by other outlets, including Bloomberg. The Biden campaign released a statement saying there was no truth to the report, and that the candidate’s calendar shows he was busy when the alleged meeting occurred.

Both Twitter and Facebook to tried to limit the amplification of the Post story, which quickly became a big part of the conversation. A Facebook spokesman said the social network had already started reducing the distribution of the report while it was being fact-checked. This is a reversal of the usual procedure, which typically involves reducing the algorithmic promotion of a story only after it has found to be false. But Facebook’s head of security noted that he had recently warned of the potential for foreign interference, including “hack and leak” operations aimed at destabilizing the election. Twitter took the extra step of preventing users from sharing the link, a decision that triggered immediate cries of censorship and which some said could backfire. Senator Josh Hawley wrote the Federal Election Commission arguing that the blocking amounts to a donation to the Biden campaign and is therefore a rules violation.

Posted by jayschool2013 | Thu Oct 15, 2020, 08:19 AM (7 replies)

Census Count Can Be Cut Short, Supreme Court Rules

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Trump administration to shut down the census count ahead of schedule, a move that could allow the Census Bureau to submit tabulations excluding unauthorized immigrants by the end of the year.

The court’s brief, unsigned order gave no reasons, which is typical when the court acts on emergency applications. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying that “the harms associated with an inaccurate census are avoidable and intolerable.”

The administration has proposed various deadlines for completing field work and submitting the results. In April, after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the Census Bureau’s work, it said it would finish counting on Oct. 31 and submit the results in April 2021, after the statutory deadline of Dec. 31.

The administration changed course in August, ordering the field work wrapped up by Sept. 30, and delivery of totals by Dec. 31. The move came not long after the announcement in July that the administration would seek to exclude undocumented immigrants from the population totals it will send to Congress for reapportioning seats in the House.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/us/supreme-court-census.html

Posted by jayschool2013 | Tue Oct 13, 2020, 04:27 PM (16 replies)

University of Iowa pauses diversity training after Trump executive order

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa is pausing for two weeks all of its diversity and inclusion training and programming to evaluate whether any of it violates a new executive order from President Donald Trump barring what he called race or sex “stereotyping” or “scapegoating” training for federal workers, contractors or grant recipients.

In a message disseminated over the weekend to the UI president’s cabinet and council of deans, Liz Tovar — interim associate vice president for UI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — said the temporary stoppage doesn’t alter the campus’ commitment to diversity.

“However, after consulting with multiple entities, and given the seriousness of the penalties for non-compliance with the order, which include the loss of federal funding, we are recommending that all units temporarily pause for a two-week period to evaluate any trainings, workshops, or programs that may include language or materials that could be deemed in violation of the executive order,” Tovar wrote.

The order, which Trump signed Sept. 22, aims to upend “destructive ideology” it argues is “grounded in misrepresentations of our country’s history and its role in the world. This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans,” the order states.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/education/university-of-iowa-pausing-diversity-training-after-white-house-executive-order-20201005

Oy. The University of Michigan has condemned the order and is flouting it, continuing with its diversity and equity training.
Posted by jayschool2013 | Tue Oct 6, 2020, 08:34 AM (16 replies)
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