Sorry I missed you all last week but I was down for about 10 days with some sort of (non-COVID) bug. Let me tell you guys, keep washing your hands and wearing your masks because you DO NOT want to get this, and apparently it’s going around.
1. This Oatmeal Cartoon – I don’t actually “love” this but it’s an excellent cartoon.
The Oatmeal explains in their usual indubitable way, why religious extremists SUCK…
2. This Target Commercial – Yay for body positivity! If only the body positivity movement had started 50 years ago.
3. This Podcast – Only the first episode is about the current residents of Windsor Palace (Prince Andrew and his shady association with Jeffrey Epstein), the other episodes are about Elizabeth I, “Mad” King George III, and Victoria (who was not the prim and proper monarch we thought she was…)
4. This Recycling Idea – My biggest gripe about weddings is the cost. My second biggest gripe is the waste. This young bride found a solution that addresses both issues.
Gwendolyn Stulgis found her dream wedding gown but it cost waaaay more than she had budgeted. She decided to buy it and then after her wedding give it to another bride who couldn’t afford a wedding gown.
She set up a contest on Facebook asking brides to submit their requests. She also laid out the following requirements:
The recipient of the dress should have a wedding date within a few months of the post, and after it is worn, the bride must dry-clean it and pass it on to another bride, creating an ongoing chain.
She found a very grateful woman who was overjoyed to win the dress and the contest went on to inspire other brides to do the same thing.
Now Stulgis has started a Facebook group called “Shared Dream Dresses” where women can share their wedding gowns and bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
7. This New Marvel Series – Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim, Southeast Asian, female superhero and she ROCKS! I also love that they have brought some real history into the storyline, pulling in the India-Pakistan partition as part of the plot. I highly recommend you check this out on Disney+.
1. This Little Known Fact about Bea Arthur – or maybe it isn’t a little known fact and I simply never knew about it (or more likely, I just forgot.)
So, did any of you know that the woman who brought us Maude Findlay and Dorothy Zbornak was in the U.S. Marines at the tender age of 21?
Honestly, I didn’t even know the Marines let in women during WWII. Apparently it was the last service branch to do so. This was due to reservations held by Corps Commandant General Thomas Holcomb.
The primary reason for allowing women into the armed services was to free up men from non-combative positions. so they could be sent to the front. Holcomb eventually conceded and allowed women to join in 1943.
Women had already joined the army, navy, and airforce a year earlier. Each branch had come up with a name for the female sector of their branch. The army called theirs the Women’s Auxillary Army Corps (WAAC), the navy had the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the airborn division had the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS). Once the Marines opened up to women the suggestions came in, including Glamarines and Femarines. Fortunately, Holcomb felt that Marines were Marines and he nixed the use of a separate group name.
2. This County Clare (Ireland) Artist’s Work – sigh.
Here is his website (though it’s extremely slow but definitely worth the visit,)
3. This Speech by Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow – Democrats/liberals/progressives need to start pushing back in this culture war.
4. This 3-D Virtual Tour of the Crystal Palace in London – created during the pandemic, the 3-D virtual tour of the Crystal Palace (which you can access here) is super cool though I’ll admit I had difficulty navigating at first, which is why you may want to check out the video below (or this shorter video) before trying it out.
5. This Recycling Symbol That Doesn’t Require a Magnifying Glass To Read – This is from a giant container of CostCo blueberries (about two very generous pints in one container.) I’m telling you the size to give a better idea of how large the symbol (actually called Resin Identification Code or RIC) really is. No squinting required.
I don’t understand why companies make the recycling symbols so damned small on the bottom of packages.
Does it take away from the package aesthetics? No, it’s the bottom of the GD package.
Is there not enough room? No, 99% of the time there is tons of space around a teeny-tiny little recycling symbol.
Does it cost more to make the symbol bigger? I honestly don’t know. But I can’t imagine it does. I suppose the extra amount of plastic multiplied by the thousands of packages a company produced could result in a minimal cost but Jeez Louise, is it really that much of a savings?
More companies need to follow FamilyTree Farms’ example.
6. This Toast Art – The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of my all-time favorite paintings. Toast is on of my all-time favorite foods. Need I say more…
[Found on Facebook]
7. This Biker Jacket – There may be cooler biker jackets but none that warm my heart nearly as much.
1. This “Personal Library” – housed in his home, WOW! I wonder what his house looks (looked) like. Right after college I landed a job at a wonderful bookshop called Webster’s. It was originally like something out of a movie. (I say originally because it kept expanding and became less and less charming.)
Anyway, one of our regular customers was a professor. And he so looked the part – bearded and tweedy, patches on the elbows of his suit coats. He came in pretty much every week for most of the time I was there. I heard a story that because he had so many books he had to have the floors reinforced in his house to support his the weight of them all. When I saw this photo I immediately thought of him. I imagine his library could have looked like this.
2. This Bible, Known as ‘The Wicked Bible’ – In 1631 the English printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas printed 1000 copies of a bible with two errors. Unfortunately a word was omitted in Exodus 20:14 and instead of it saying “Thou shalt not commit adultery” it read “Thou shalt commit adultery.”
There was also a second error in Deuteronomy 5. In a sentence that should have read ‘Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness’ the word ‘greatness’ had been replaced with ‘great-asse.’ Of course implying that the Lord God has a great arse did not go over well with the King, nor the promotion of adultery.
Charles I fined the printers £300, which is equivalent to over $50,000 today. He ordered all copies be burned and he also took away their printing license. At the time they were the only printers licensed to print bibles, which was, of course, a lucrative business. Somehow 11 copies managed to survive and they have gone to auction and sold for hundred of thousands of dollars.
A theory has bounced around that possibly a competitor to Barker & Lucas set them up and had those errors inserted as sabotage so that they would lose their printing license. Course we’ll never know if that is true but the second mistake ‘great-asse’ seems a bit more than something that could have been accidental.
3. This Article by Writer and Therapist-in-Training Shrestha Singh – this essay resonated with me for a variety of reasons – the Wisconsin connection, the India connection (that’s a long story,) but mostly it was the part about having family members (and/or friends) who were supporting people who were bigoted.
For Ms. Singh it was having in-laws who were huge Trump supporters despite the fact that he’s overtly racist, especially when she is East Indian. It’s mind boggling to me how anyone who has family members who are (or worse who IS) Mexican, East Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian (especially Chinese) or basically anyone from any foreign country or any person of color can still be a Trump supporter based on what he has said and done regarding immigrants. But there are plenty.
I have a family member who is a staunch Trump supporter who has grandchildren who are half-Chinese and whom he adores. Despite the fact that there is a clear correlation been a surge in anti-asian hate-crimes across the country and Trump’s use of discriminatory language like the term “China Virus,” his support has not waned.
The most frustrating thing about Trump supporters and their racism problem is that when you point it out to them, when you call them out on it, they will deny it is racism.
4. This Website that Lets You Draw Your Own Iceberg – A friend of mine sent this to me (thanks KK!) Megan Thompson-Munson is a Glaciologist and climate scientist and a PhD student. She has been bothered of late by the portrayal of icebergs, especially in stock photography. As pointed out in her tweets, the way they are pictured is impossible according to physics. So she created this fun site called Iceberger where you can draw whatever shaped iceberg you want to see how it would float in the ocean.
Here was my first attempt and I thought, hey, I got it to stand up – it looks like it does in the stock photos! BUT it turns out that some of the icebergs need a bit of time to turn on their side.
So I tried again and let it sit for a while and sure enough….
I tried over and over and over again and had the same thing happen, no matter what I did it ended up on its side. It’s a really cool site!
5. This Family in Kent Who Do Pandemic Version of Songs – The Marsh Family went viral about nine months ago with their version of “One Day More” from Les Miserable. They are REALLY talented!
A few other parodies I loved: Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart‘:
6. These Photographs that Norman Rockwell Used as Inspiration for His Paintings – I’m sure all of you have at least seen a Norman Rockwell painting, even if you didn’t know who the artist was. Rockwell is most known for his Saturday Evening Post covers. His career with the Post spanned for decades, from 1916 to 1963 and when he retired he had drawn a total of 321 cover paintings. (Click on the photo/painting below to see more original photos and their companion Rockwell paintings.)
The paintings ended up appearing in the Saturday Evening Post and each one was accompanied by an essay. I have linked each title above to the original essay. You will absolutely want to read the Freedom of Speech essay, trust me!
(Sorry guys, had to go over seven things this week. There were just too many things to include. Pour yourself a cup of tea, this is a long one!)
1. Supermajority – “A community for women who want to work together to build economic and political power, organize for gender equity, and transform this country.”
I signed up for Supermajority a while ago and it’s fabulous – provides a lot of interesting and useful information. But as the election draws nearer they are kicking it into high gear. Last week a friend of mine (who is also a member) posted on Facebook that she had signed up as Supermajority Supermajor, a leadership program to help get out the vote. I immediately signed up too. This upcoming election is the most important election of my lifetime, and as you all know, I’m not being melodramatic.
I’m scheduled for a few online training sessions this coming week and after that I’ll be texting, calling, writing letters, and helping to recruit poll workers. All things I can safely do from my home!
There are a lot of organizations helping to get out the vote but I like this one because of its focus is on women, particularly women of color. If you aren’t already signed up for something consider joining right now!
Also, the leadership at Supermajority is a wonderfully diverse group of women (and two men) that includes one of my heroes, Cecile Richards.
2. Protect the Results – they are “building a coalition of voters ready to mobilize if Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
I don’t know if my fear of things going badly after the election is an irrational fear being promoted by the “liberal media” but based on everything I have been reading and seeing, I don’t think….
Oh hell, it’s primarily due to this: when Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary (who clearly has had a few too many cult initiation sessions for the Church of Trump) was asked, “Is the president saying if he doesn’t win this election, that he will not accept the results unless he wins?” She responded, “The president has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath. It’s the same thing he said last November.”
W……T……F. That’s not the way you answer that question.
By the way, this was preceded by:
“The president said this week the only way we lose this election is if the election is rigged,” a reporter asked McEnany at a briefing Wednesday. “It begs the question: Does the president believe there’s any circumstance under which he can lose the election fairly?”
“The president believes he’s done a great job for the American people, and he believes that will show in November,” McEnany responded. “He believes that voter fraud is real, in line with what we see all across the country, particularly with mail-in ballots which are prone to fraud.”
McEnany: Trump will ‘see what happens’ before accepting the results of the election: Washington Post, August 19, 2020 https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/08/19/mcenany-trump-will-see-what-happens-before-accepting-results-election/
Bernie Sanders is the latest in a string of respected and long-standing government officials, both former and current, who have voiced concerns about Trump possibly not conceding if he loses the election.
Last week on the Samantha Bee’s show they had a segment on this exact topic. The video clip is below and it’s where I heard about Protect the Results. I suggest you watch this, it includes discussions with a few experts including Rosa Brooks who led the ‘Transition Integrity Project,’ a group of current and former senior government and campaign leaders, academics, journalists, polling experts and former federal and state government officials formed out of concern about potential disruptions to 2020 United States presidential election and transition by the RNC. They ran multiple war-game scenarios to see what would happen depending on various outcomes of the election and, well, it wasn’t pretty.
3. The Cast of the Princess Bride (and Patton Oswald) – the cast and director of one of the most beloved films ever made – Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, and Rob Reiner – are going to have a reunion where they will do a table reading of the script of ‘The Princess Bride’ and answer questions sent in by attendees, moderated by the wonderful Patton Oswald. This is being done to raise money for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which we all know is one of the major battleground states for the upcoming election. Kudos to them for using their fame for good! I’ve made my donation, registered and even sent in a question. You can go to this link to make a donation. You;ll receive an email acknowledging your donation (you can donate any amount!) and it will include a link that says “Get access to the event URL here.” Click on that to actually register for the event itself and you’ll get the URL so you can watch everything on Sunday, September 13th at 6 pm. SO EXCITED!!!
4. Penzeys Spices – If you are a Penzeys’ fan you are already aware of the advocacy that they have been doing over the past three and half-plus years. They decided to take a stand fairly early on and have not been shy at all about declaring their opposition to the person occupying the White House.
Just one example of the sort of thing they’ve been doing – recently they offered “Get Out the Vote” supply kits – totally awesome.
Another cool thing though unrelated to voting, Penzeys has a store in Kenosha but it is some distance from where the protesting and turmoil is/was going on. Bill Penzey, not at all unexpected, wrote to his customers in support of the BLM protesters. As usual received a flood of kudos mixed with a little bit of criticism from a few of his customers. (If you look at their Facebook page, especially at the posts from 2017, you’ll see hundreds of supportive comments on every one of his posts interspersed with a negative comment here and there such as “I will never shop at Penzeys again.” He clearly is having no problems business-wise with his decision to oppose the “president.”)
Penzey said that someone wrote to him “that you would be singing a different tune if it was your store being looted.” In order to show that he wouldn’t be “singing a different tune” (and to put his money where his mouth is) he decided to loot his own store! He took a photo of the inventory that day and then gave away that exact amount of inventory to community organizations that could benefit from the donation. He asked people to make recommendations to community groups/organizations that could benefit from the donation and in just a few days had received over 5,000 messages! Be sure to support Penzey’s! Not only is it a local business but they are clearly socially aware and awesome!
5. The Milwaukee Bucks (and the sports teams which followed suit, not just in the NBA but in other leagues as well) – the Bucks was the first team to take a stand and protest the Jacob Black shooting by sitting out for a playoffs game. This led to other teams joining them, not only other NBA teams but teams in the WNBA, the MLS, NFL, MLB, NHL, and CFB. Ultimately the Bucks actions led to a negotiation between the NBA and the players union on several things including using the arenas for polling places for the November 3rd election. Bravo Milwaukee Bucks!
6. The Lincoln Project – is a political action committee (PAC) that was formed in late 2019 but several current and former Republicans, one of the most well-known being George Conway, Kellyanne Conway’s husband. Recently both George & Kellyanne quit their positions to focus on their family after their daughter, Claudia, made a very public announcement that she was seeking emancipation. This family has the most complicated home life – you have the (now) former senior counselor to the “president” married to one of the leading “Never-Trumpers” and their kid appears to be as far left as one can be. And yet, although she says that her mother’s job has ruined her life and while criticizing her father (though I would have thought she’d be happy he’s against Trump) she still says, “They are the most generous, most well-educated people I have ever met. I look up to them and want nothing but success and good fortune for them. They are my parents and that trumps all — no pun intended.” C-O-M-P-L-I-C-A-T-E-D.
Here’s an example of the kind of work that the Lincoln Project is doing. They are prolific, sometimes having more than one video released in a day. And the quality is exceptional. I think they may have some Hollywood people helping them out.
And this one, which just brings tears to my eyes. Compare this man to the person currently occupying the White House. If we don’t have Joe Biden as president, well, I don’t know what I will do.
7. Old Navy – Old Navy is paying its employees to staff polling places on election day. As I’m sure you’re aware, there has been a massive shortage of poll workers due to the pandemic. Most poll workers are retirees and therefore are at-risk from COVID-19 so the people that normally work the polls are bowing out leaving municipalities across the country short-handed.
To give you an idea of what kind of problems this could cause, the State of Wisconsin chose to hold its in-person primary elections IN APRIL (right in the middle of when most states had issued shelter-in-place orders) and the republican controlled legislature refused to allow them to be postponed. The municipality that was most greatly affected was Milwaukee. Normally Milwaukee would have had 180 polling sites but they ended up with only FIVE. That led to very long waits and long lines and increased the risk of people who went to the polls. Here’s an article that explains why Milwaukee ended up with so many fewer polling sites than Madison.
Maybe other companies will follow Old Navy’s lead and do the same thing. Having employees go work the polls and/or giving them the day off to go vote would be an incredibly good thing to do for the nation and it wouldn’t be bad for their public image either (aka free marketing.)
8. Mrs. Fred Rogers– Joanne Rogers doesn’t mince words when talking about the “leader of our country.” She is most definitely not a fan, mostly because of his lying and his character. I think that this is something that I find most astonishing, how so many people who claim to be Christians can support him. Talk about selling your soul to the devil.
9. Fact Checking – if I hadn’t been a librarian this would have been my other dream job.
FactCheck.org – this site is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center which is a center of study for public policy at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. It describes itself as a “consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics”. It is primarily funded by the Annenberg Foundation, which is a family foundation that funds non-profits in the US and around the world. Their primary focus is in educational television on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as well as programs in science and the arts.
Snopes – one of the “oldest fact checking sites,” Snopes was originally called “Urban Legends Reference Page” and was founded in 1994 by David & Barbara Mikkelson. The amazing thing is that because it’s been around so long and because so many people reference it as the to go place to check whether something is legitimate AND most likely because it is a couple at the helm, there are all sorts of conspiracy theories flying around about the Mikkelsons themselves. It’s gotten so bad that even other fact checking sites had to fact check them.
Ad Fontes Interactive Media Bias Chart – the Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart has a rather complicated methodology for how it ranks the various media outlets. If you want to see how it is done you can read about it here. I have used this one for years because one of my family members constantly sends me things from sources I’ve never heard of. I am able to send him back information saying this is where this media outlet is located on the Media Bias Chart. At one point I told him I would only believe things from the Associated Press and Reuters which were the two news sources most highly rated as being least biased/most accurate. That worked for a bit but eventually even those because “too left-leaning” and “fake news” for him. Right out of the fascist handbook.
Media Bias/Fact Check – I’ve been using this site a bit more because, well frankly, the Media Bias Chart started to charge money to download the static chart and the interactive chart of it isn’t as easy to use. This site is funded mostly through ads and memberships and donations. It was founded by Dave Van Zandt, an academic administrator and law professor. Plus it gives a bit more detail than the Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart.
10. Republican Voters Against Trump – While waiting for the next Chef Kobe video, I spend a lot of time on this YouTube channel. It helps me know that the entire country hasn’t gone insane. It’s one video after another like this….
They also had these two very important videos…
11. Walter Shaub – the former Director of United States of Government Ethics resigned fairly early after Trump’s regime, I mean term began, in July of 2017. His resignation was primarily due to Trump’s refusal to divest his businesses and the administration’s delaying in disclosing ethics waivers for appointees. That seems so long ago and so mild compared to what he does now. Walter’s personal Twitter account has been a sanctuary for those of us who felt that our country was going mad. I know for myself, it was always assuring to see someone I know to be of such high moral standards freaking out over the same things I was.
12. Voter Accessories – Getout the Vote bling!
This VOTE ID Bracelet – from Kris Nations, this beautiful bracelet is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment which guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote. And 50% of the purchase price goes to When We All Vote, a non-profit “working to ensure that every single eligible voter is registered and ready to vote in the 2020 elections.” (I am totally ordering one for myself. I will wear it all year round because we should already be reminded of the importance of voting and celebrate the accomplishments of the Suffragettes. Course if things don’t go well in November I may feel differently.) $48 for the sterling silver (the 18K gold vermeil are sold out.)
This Vote Rhinestone Bobby Pin – I LOVE this! According to MyDomaine, “This sparkly rhinestone hair clip represents an important partnership between stylist Justine Marjan, the brand Kitsch, and the When We All Vote organization, which encourages people who haven’t yet registered to get out and vote. For just $29, this sparkly statement accessory can be yours. Wear it proudly between now and election day, and feel good about the cause you’re supporting along the way.”—Melanie Berliet, General Manager
This V-O-T-E Necklace from ByChari – I’m sure you all heard Michelle Obama give her inspiring speech at the Democratic National Convention. Well, if you are like me, in between listening to everyone, you can’t help but notice all the wonderful details like this necklace Michelle was wearing (or that the letters on the shelves behind Elizabeth Warren spelled out B L M.) Well, not surprisingly this is from a black-owned business called ByChari and you can get it in gold, silver or rose gold. If you really want to make an investment, you can even have the letters be in diamonds! I would LOVE one of these. $295-$1260
This Vote Tote from ClareV – Again, via MyDomaine, “This blue cotton tote by Clare V. reads ‘I Vote, You Vote, She Votes, We Vote, They Vote’ in a lovely French script. While it’s an easy way to advocate for voter participation, part of the bag’s proceeds are also donated to When We All Vote—a nonprofit organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Janelle Monae, among others—so you can feel good about the fact that your money is being funneled into worthy grassroots campaigns around the U.S.”—Chelsea Stuart, Senior Lifestyle Editor $25
This VOTE Mask – Via MyDomaine, “I’m a big believer in the power of positive peer pressure when it comes to voting, and I can’t think of a better way to remind everyone of their civic duty than by wearing this mask when I leave the house. It’s from a collaboration between Resistance By Design and Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight Organization, and a portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to the Southern Center for Human Rights.”—Karli Bendlin, Email Editor
I think we all need to do whatever we can to make sure that everyone we know gets out and votes in this election. Make sure your friends and family members have requested their ballots. And besides voting for Joe Biden, we need to also be voting for Democrats across the board, not just in the presidential election. Because change isn’t going to happen if we still have a republican controlled Senate or republican controlled legislatures across the country.
We’ve have six years of republican control – in our Senate and ten years in our State Legislatures and Governorships and look where we are. And if you’re argument is, well it’s because of the pandemic and it isn’t fair to judge, the fact is, we should have been much better prepared and we would have been, if the current president hadn’t reversed a lot of things that had been put in place to deal with emergencies because he didn’t think they were necessary and he was looking for things to pay for his tax cuts.
(Side rant – And were those tax cuts so important? We can look at it now and now that they weren’t, especially when we see who benefitted the most:
IRS data on the 2018 tax season released in May 2019 shows that savings for taxpayers were uneven. For example, the average refund was $90 higher, nationally, in 2018 than 2017. But the taxpayers who saw the largest refund increases had an adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least $200,000. Tax returns showing an AGI of less than $100,000 paid less income tax overall, but returns with an AGI just above $100,000 (many middle-class families) owed more tax, on average. Note that this AGI is per tax return, not per taxpayer: A married couple where each spouse has a salary of $65,000 could very well have an AGI of just above $100,000 if they file jointly.
We also know that businesses didn’t actually use the tax cuts they way they were intended, to invest in employees and the business. Instead they used it for buybacks, which helps shareholders and the company.)
Oh, I’m adding this John Oliver at the end, because he’s awesome and this is a great episode and you need to watch this if you haven’t seen it yet.
I have been ranting a LOT about masks lately. I live in Wisconsin and on August 1st our Governor finally issued a mask mandate. When I read the headline in the newspaper it brought me so much joy I can’t even tell you. His action will be life-changing for me.
You see, I’m a at-risk person. I actually have multiple health issues that put me at-risk so I’d even say I’m a super-duper at-risk person. I’ve been isolating at home since March 11th and unlike most people who have been able to venture out a bit since around the end of May, I am still essentially sheltering at home. Other than weekly trips to pick up groceries, a few doctor appointments, and about the half dozen times I’ve gotten curbside pickup from restaurants instead of delivery, I haven’t been anywhere. According to my report from my insurance company (I have one of those little devices in my car) I am averaging less than 5 miles a week.
I did start having visitors in June, once the weather got nice enough to sit outside, but I can count the number of visits on one hand. I had one group of friends over that I hadn’t seen in over six months and between not seeing them for that long and just not seeing people in general I almost started to cry at one point.
Anyhoo, I realize it will take a little time for the effects of the mask mandate to settle in. The numbers won’t go down immediately and people obviously won’t all wear them willingly right away, but in time, hopefully in a month or two, I may actually be able to go into a store myself to shop or get my haircut or go over to friends’ homes, or have people come to my house, and not worry (as much) that it’s putting my life in jeopardy.
You see, it isn’t that I don’t trust my salon or my friends, I do. I know that they are doing everything they can to be safe, but they may unknowingly have interaction with someone who is not taking any precautions and that is what scares me. And really, even people who are completely careful have been known to catch the virus. The problem is, if I catch it, it’s pretty much a death sentence.
Sadly, the Wisconsin GOP, who control the legislature, decided they don’t like that the Governor has used the powers that he is authorized to use by law. The truth is, they don’t like that the Governor has any power at all and have done everything they can to take away any power and authority he has (even though he was elected Governor by a majority of the voters of this state, but I digress.) And now they want to repeal the mask mandate.
Trusting though that democracy is important and that I should make my opinion known and that if enough people did this that the WI GOP would actually listen, I wrote to my representative, Alberta Darling. I told her how extremely important it was that the mask mandate not be repealed. I told her what I said above, that the mask mandate will be life-changing for me, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Here is the reply I received from one of her aides…
Dear Ms. Stoltz,
Thank you for reaching out to Senator Darling’s office regarding the Governor’s recent statewide mask mandate. I will pass along your thoughts to Senator Darling.
First and foremost, Senator Darling believes that people in Wisconsin should continue to make smart decisions to protect themselves and those around them. She believes that everyone should practice social distancing guidelines and wear a mask when appropriate, and encourages businesses to follow WEDC guidelines to protect customers. Senator Darling supports the decisions of many local municipalities, restaurants, doctor’s offices, bars, gyms, and other businesses that already require individuals to wear masks and keep their distance while inside, as these decisions are best made at the local level instead of through a one-size-fits-all statewide mandate.
With that being said, Senator Darling takes issue with the process through which the mask mandate was implemented. She worries that a fresh emergency declaration is the beginning of an effort to keep students out of in-person classes this fall, which she has publicly expressed deep concerns with on many levels. As you are likely aware, many school districts in the area have been planning to begin session in-person this fall in conjunction with the recommendations of many scientists, experts and pediatricians.
Thank you again for reaching out. If you have any questions or further comments for me to pass along, please feel free to do so again.
I want you to notice that Senator Darling doesn’t have an issue with masks and that she is still encouraging people to wear them. But she (and her colleagues) are prepared to strike down the mask mandate because they fear it will lead to the Governor eventually adding a virtual school mandate, which he has publicly stated he will not.
(Side note, the Senator Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald has criticized the governor on changing his mind on issuing a stay-at-home order. This is one of the most asinine things I have ever heard. The fact that a political leader might need to change his mind on a health decision during a global pandemic and then get criticized for it is outrageous. Even more outrageous: that anything related to the pandemic is being made political in the first place.)
Of course the logical thing to do would be to wait to see if he actually does try to do a school mandate and then strike that down but no, they are going to let people suffer and die over their ideological zealotry and thirst for power. It terrible what people on a sinking ship that are desperately clawing at whatever they can are willing to do to try to survive. Sadly a lot of people will get hurt or die in their attempt to save themselves.
So, getting back to the original point of this blog – what is the missed opportunity. Well, for all these anti-mask people, who most likely were also anti-lockdown people and may very well have been carrying signs at those protests, well, you are giving up prime real estate for posting messages. I mean seriously, check out some of these masks.
Missed opportunity for getting ONE’S MESSAGE ACROSS. Here’s a few for the anti-maskers…
Or for those in support of masks and/or who want the world to be sane again there are masks like this:
For myself though, I see masks as an opportunity to ACCESSORIZE!!! There are some gorgeous masks out there…
OR, for those who have disposable income, why not buy the world’s most expensive mask that costs a mere $1.5 million…
And there is also the missed opportunity to show one’s INDIVIDUALITY…
By the way, since I’ve gone on so long about this topic (and because I am librarian after all) I might as well go all the way and provide some factual information.
Apparently some anti-mask geniuses have been making claims that they are exempt from wearing masks for health reasons. Sadly, people are even using fake “exemption” cards like the one below, which has been making its way ’round the internet. It cites the ADA and says they aren’t required to disclose their condition. How very convenient. But it is also complete crap.
FACT – more and more doctors have been getting the word out via various news outlets that there really are very few health concerns which prevent a person from wearing a mask. For most people it is simply a matter that it is uncomfortable or takes some getting used to.
They say if you find it difficult to breath in a mask, the solution may be to try a different style mask. Some suggest you practice wearing a mask for a little bit at a time at home, where you are comfortable and relaxed, and build up to where you can wear it for longer periods of time.
Here’s something from the Asthma.org.uk website that is excellent –
Do I have to wear a face covering if I have asthma?
Most people with asthma, even if it’s severe, can manage to wear a face mask for a short period of time, and shouldn’t worry if they need to wear one. Wearing a mask does not reduce a person’s oxygen supply or cause a build-up of carbon dioxide. You may have read stories that say that it can, but this isn’t true.
Some people with asthma tell us that face coverings can make breathing feel more difficult, which might be uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to try wearing a face covering at home, or on a short walk around the block first. It might not feel comfortable straight away, so give it a chance.
You can also experiment with different types of mask – some are easier to wear than others. Sometimes the feeling of wearing a face mask might take a bit of getting used to, but trying different types and starting with short periods of time can help you feel more comfortable.
There isn’t a blanket rule about face covering exemptions for everyone with asthma. But if you find it impossible to wear a face covering for health reasons, you don’t have to wear one. An example of this might be if a mask makes you too breathless.
I realize that this is specific to asthma, but it really could apply to anyone who finds it difficult to breath in a mask. Of all at-risk individuals, those with asthma would probably be the ones who have the most obvious breathing issues, so if they are being advised to wear masks, I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume most everyone should be wearing masks.
FACT– masks ARE effective, despite the politicians who keep to say they aren’t.
I had been thinking about how I hadn’t heard much about the reversal of the mask mandate for some time. It took me a while to write this blog post (I usually work on multiple things at the same time and also, it takes time to gather the info) so I started it about a week ago when the the WI GOP came out saying they were going to reverse the mandate come hell or high water. I thought that was curious.
It occurred to me it may be because they are waiting for today’s primary election to be over. You see the Governor had to call up over 900 National Guard to work as poll workers because that is how many the clerks across the state were short. There was some question about whether or not he would be able to do that if the WI GOP reversed the mask mandate because you see, the mandate wasn’t just a mask mandate, I believe it was also a Public Health Emergency which gave him the authority to do things like call up the National Guard for duties such as this. I wondered if they were simply waiting until the election was over to reverse the mask mandate and if that were the case that would be appalling. But it turns out, they appear not to have the votes to reverse it. OMG!
I thought I’d end with a few PSAs…
Here’s one by the State of Oregon. It was for the Fourth of July weekend but it’s relevant anytime.
Here’s a great campaign – Mask Up Milwaukee. Who do YOU MaskUp for?
Wearing a mask can be scary, not wearing one can be deadly.
This PSA from California – if this doesn’t make you want to wear a mask, you have a serious problem.
And the most powerful video of all of them I think, this PSA from the Czech Republic, a country with a population of over 10 million people but with less than 20,000 total cases and under 400 total deaths.
*Of course when listing a group of people, you can never say ALL scientists or ALL doctors or ALL business owners, but a good number of these groups support the mandate.
For the past few months I’ve only had the psychological capacity to write my “Five Things I Love” posts. Many of those posts didn’t contain much text, they were, let’s face it, simple listicles.
It’s the stress that has been doing me in. Just like most everyone, I’m mentally exhausted. It’s been nearly a decade of getting up each morning to find out something bad has happened (I live in Wisconsin so we basically were the testing ground for a lot of what has been going on for the past 3-1/2 years nationally.)
And then 2020 rolls along. I had actually been looking forward to this year, had TWO trips planned. The first to India, which as you know, I managed to get in. The second was for May. I was supposed to travel for three weeks through Scotland, Ireland, and Wales with a couple friends and end in London where I could reunite with a new friend I had met in India. Obviously that trip didn’t happen.
Nick Seluk, the most beloved creator of The Awkward Yeti* recently posted this cartoon. It perfectly illustrates how I, and I’m sure every other person on the planet, feels right. I know I am counting the days until next year (or at least until November 3rd.)
A few weeks ago something bad happened, I can’t remember specifically what it was, and a friend of mine said it wasn’t on their 2020 Apocalypse Bingo Card. They were joking but I thought, hey, I should actually make one of those. So I did….
The problem was, I ran out of squares. The online bingo card generator I used only allowed for 25 squares. I’m guessing any more than that and the writing wouldn’t be legible. As I began to post my new bingo creation here and there people would say – oh, “you forgot this” or “you forgot that.” Daily, things would happen and I’d find myself saying, ARGH, I have no more squares!
Here are a few things that should be on the 2020 Apocalypse Bingo Card:
Wildfires in California
Harvey Weinstein sentenced to prison (which of course is a good thing but he should never have gotten away with his atrocities for so long. Also, just this week, a judge quashed the class action suit the victims had made against Weinstein and his production company basically leaving them in limbo on whether they will ever get any restitution. As a friend said to me earlier today, THIS is why we cannot have all white men on the bench anymore. )
Ghislaine Maxwell (Jeffrey Epstein redux)
US withdraws from the World Health Organization
Tornadoes in the southern United States
(Continued) Declining Freedom of the Press
Mask “protesters” (THIS is insane)
Roger Stone pardon (can’t believe he really did this)
Kanye West drops out of the Presidential Race after less than two weeks
Ivanka Trump poses with a can of GOYA beans on her twitter (can you say ethics violation?)
Elon Musk (pretty much anything that comes out of his mouth anymore)
Twitter Bitcoin hack
Kanye West actually is running for president (it seems, will be on a few state’s ballots after all)
CIA conducted secret cyber attacks against Iran (but the bigger concern is that the CIA has been given authority to choose targets without White House approval and that a new secret order issued by Donald Trump gave the agency broad power, undoing many restrictions that had been put in place by previous administrations)
Smear campaign of Dr. Anthony Fauci – also insane and DANGEROUS
So that’s 20 more squares that would be needed. That would be one huge mother of a bingo card. And I bet you can come up with even more. This year can just BITE ME.
Still, even though not much has changed from a month ago or two months ago and there still is a shitstorm going on in the world, I’ve decided that I think I’m ready to wade back in. Note the wade part. My biggest concern has been a fear of criticism. I’m feeling nervous about whether I want to or can endure trolls at the moment. Which is why I have been avoiding, for the most part, anything controversial. But honestly, I am just too damned opinionated and passionate about things to not use an available platform and I need to start using my voice again. So, here goes…