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SharonClark's Journal
SharonClark's Journal
November 13, 2023

How to stop displaying Milestones on Latest Discussions?

The advice from October doesn;t seem to work.

December 22, 2021

Decoding Joe Manchin

from the NYT The Morning by David Leonhardt

Good morning. Joe Manchin’s history suggested he could vote for Build Back Better. Why didn’t he?

Five reasons

Until this week, Joe Manchin tended to side with his fellow Democrats on major questions of economic policy.
During the Trump administration, Manchin voted against both the attempts to repeal Obamacare and a tax cut skewed toward the rich. Earlier this year, he insisted on changes to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion virus rescue bill, but still provided a deciding vote for it.

Manchin’s breaches with his party have tended to come on issues other than economic legislation, like abortion, voting rights and Supreme Court confirmations. This pattern makes sense, too: Manchin’s West Virginia constituents, like most Americans, largely agree with the Democratic Party on economic policy, while being to the right of the party on many social issues.

Biden’s Build Back Better program looked like the kind of bill that Manchin would support. Its provisions are generally popular, polls show, and Manchin has said that he wants Biden to be a successful president. Manchin could have shored up his image as a moderate by demanding a few high-profile changes to the bill — and then voting for it.

Instead, he went on Fox News this past weekend and announced his opposition. The announcement led to a public spat between Manchin and the White House and has left many Democrats feeling despondent about Biden’s agenda.
What happened? There is no simple answer, but I’ll walk through five main possibilities in today’s newsletter. As is often the case, the full answer probably involves more than one explanation.

1. Face Value. . .
2. Class consciousness. . .
3. Climate and coal. . .
4. Democratic disarray . . .
5. Performative politics

Each of the five includes "reasons for doubt" of each explanation. I wish I could post the entire article. You can sign up to receive the newsletter in your email inbox at https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/morning-briefing?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20211222&instance_id=48424&nl=the-morning®i_id=66602566&segment_id=77626&te=1&user_id=e807f22faace3e1eaaed35ce67f15ca1
December 22, 2021

The Ricardos on Prime

Is it just my teevee or was it filmed in sepia? It’s so dull looking and dark, there is hardly any color except for Lucy’s soft red hair.

October 1, 2021

91% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated against COVID two months after mandate announcement

This is good news for the hard-working employees of this mega-business. It's a win for the employees, the union, and the company..

About 50,000 more Tyson Foods employees have received at least one shot of coronavirus vaccine since the company announced an inoculation mandate two months ago, bringing the company's total vaccination rate to 91%, a Tyson spokesperson says.

Derek Burleson said in an email to the Des Moines Register on Thursday that the company's vaccination rate is up from less than 50% when Tyson announced the mandate. Union officials told the Register that the vaccination rate at Iowa plants they represent is in line with the company's national rate.

With 120,000 U.S. employees, including 11,000 in Iowa, Tyson was the first national company to require its blue-collar workforce to receive the shots, announcing the mandate Aug. 3. The company's office employees must be fully vaccinated by Friday, while the deadline for production workers is Nov. 1.

Mark Lauritsen, vice president of the United Food & Commercial Workers International, which represents workers at Tyson's Perry and Waterloo pork plants, said he was pleasantly surprised by how few members threatened to quit over the requirement.
. . .
Lauritsen said benefits the union negotiated with Tyson in connection with the mandate helped persuade workers to get vaccinated. The company offers $200 bonuses to vaccinated employees, and on Sept. 3 executives announced that employees will receive two weeks of paid time off if they contract the virus despite receiving the shots. The company also gives workers four hours of paid time off to get the vaccine.
. . .

September 23, 2021

Mike Pence's 6-point plan to steal the election: Republicans leave roadmap for future authoritarians

Excellent and brief article from Digby...

One of the most important lessons of the 2020 election is just how easy it would be for someone with a little bit more savvy to upend the constitution and prevent the peaceful transfer of power in the future. Democracies don't always crumble as a result of violent revolution. It's often done by manipulating the law and using intimidation to ensure compliance.
. . .
First: The Vice President begins the counting with the state of Alabama as usual.

Second: When Pence gets to Arizona, he sets the electoral votes aside under the premise that there was an alternate set of electors that had been submitted. Likewise, he also sets aside the votes of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico under the false assertion that they too had sent alternate Trump electors. (They had not.)

Third: Pence then declares that the alternate states will not be included and since Trump then "won" the remaining votes, he has been reelected.
. . .
Trump's greatest legacy may end being the fellow who showed Republicans just how dependent our democracy is on the goodwill and decency of the people who run it. He and his legal flunkies just left a roadmap for other unscrupulous authoritarians to follow.

September 19, 2021

Nicole Hannah-Jones wins 2021 Iowa Authors Award

Hannah-Jones led the New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project that made right-wingers heads explode.

. . .
Now a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and professor, Hannah-Jones went back to that chest — digging through for those magazines, feeling that label addressed directly to her — when she heard the Des Moines Public Library Foundation selected her as the 2021 Iowa Author Award recipient. She wanted to hold those issues, she said, as a sort of tangible way “to reflect on how blessed I have been and how far I have come.”

She can’t call the moment “full-circle” because, honestly, joining the ranks of previous winners like John Irving, Bill Bryson and Jane Smiley wasn’t a reality she envisioned a year ago — let alone as a child.

“I never imagined that I would be on that list,” she said. “It’s completely shocking, and I am honored to be in company with all of those amazing people and writers and to represent my home state.”

“You know,” she added, “I’m just a girl from Waterloo.”
. . .
Her book, “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story,” an expansion of the series published in the New York Times Magazine in 2019, and its children’s book companion, “The 1619 Project: Born on the Water,” will be released less than a week before her appearance in Iowa.
. . .
In the runup to the 400th anniversary of the first known arrival of slaves on American shores, Hannah-Jones conceived of and led the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, a collection of more than 30 works, including essays, podcasts, photos and poems, that examine how the institution of slavery shaped, and continues to shape, our nation.
. . .

source: [link:https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/columnists/courtney-crowder/2021/09/19/nikole-hannah-jones-waterloo-native-2021-iowa-authors-award-des-moines-public-library-foundation/8358330002/|
September 7, 2021

Trump at Iowa State Fairgrounds, right in the middle of the Planned Parenthood Booksale

The volunteer-run Planned Parenthood of North Central States Booksale is the largest and oldest booksale in the country. It funds PP education. After being canceled in 2020, it's scheduled for October 7-11, 2021.

Now, that fucker Trump has scheduled a rally at the fairgrounds on October 9.

This is a disaster that the Fair Board should have seen coming - belligerent Trumpers/gun nuts/fascists and Planned Parenthood supporters/progressives/book lovers all within a couple of blocks of each other and sharing parking lots.

I hope PP is on this.

September 1, 2021

Pulitzer-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones opening after-school program,'1619 Freedom School,'

in Waterloo, Iowa. This is such important news, it would be great if every school district in states where the GQP legislature banned critical race theory had a Freedom School of their own. Please donate if you can at https://www.1619freedomschool.org.

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and Iowa native Nikole Hannah-Jones is launching a free, community-based after-school literacy program for students in the Waterloo Community School District.

The 1619 Freedom School will help students improve literacy skills and develop a passion for reading through "liberating instruction centered on Black American history."

Hannah-Jones, a graduate of Waterloo West High School, told the Des Moines Register she had not only been wanting to start a literacy program, but was also looking for a way to give back to her hometown, among other reasons.
. . .
Although the emphasis will be on in-person literary support and instruction for Waterloo district students, the curriculum will be available online as an open-source curriculum that anyone will be able to access.

August 25, 2021

Des Moines' sewage is carrying twice as much coronavirus as it did two weeks ago

Interesting article. Is your local paper reporting this information?

The amount of coronavirus floating in Des Moines area sewage has more than doubled in two weeks, a new report shows.

The Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Authority has been sending in samples of sewage for coronavirus testing since July. Such screening offers a rough measure of how prevalent a virus is in a community. The answer in central Iowa: Very prevalent.

Des Moines' latest sample, taken on Aug. 18, had a higher concentration of coronavirus than found in 85% of samples sent in by other U.S. cities, the new report says. The concentration also was more than twice what was found in Des Moines' Aug. 4 sample, and more than seven times as much as was found in the area's July 19 sample.

The rising coronavirus levels in sewage come as the state faces surging infections and hospitalizations, fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.
. . .

More at: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2021/08/24/des-moines-sewage-carrying-double-coronavirus-as-two-weeks-ago/5578235001/
August 21, 2021

Staunch atheists show higher morals than the proudly pious, from the pandemic to climate change

I like this article....

Two recent events have shed an illuminating light on who is and who isn't moral in today's world.

First, Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leader in the U.S. Catholic Church and a staunch anti-masker/vaxxer, was put on a ventilator as a result of his suffering from COVID-19. Second, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations released its latest data-rich report, warning that "unless there are rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius will be beyond reach."

The global pandemic and the rapidly warming of our planet — these dire phenomena are, above all, deeply moral matters in that they both entail care for the well-being of others and a desire to alleviate misery and suffering.

Now, while most people assume that such a morality is grounded in religious faith, and while it is certainly true that all religions contain plenty of moral ideals, in our nation today, it is actually the most secular among us who are exhibiting a greater moral orientation — in the face of deadly threats — than the most devout among us, who are exhibiting the least.
. . .
However, despite such complexities, the overall pattern remains clear: When it comes to the most pressing moral issues of the day, hard-core secularists exhibit much more empathy, compassion, and care for the well-being of others than the most ardently God-worshipping. Such a reality is necessary to expose, not simply in order to debunk the long-standing canard that religion is necessary for ethical living, but because such exposure renders all the more pressing the need for a more consciously secular citizenry, one that lives in reality, embraces science and empiricism, and supports sound policies — not prayer — as a way to make life better, safer and more humane.

whole article: https://www.salon.com/2021/08/21/staunch-atheists-show-higher-morals-than-the-proudly-pious-from-the-pandemic-to-climate-change/

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