If the President Can Do It, So Can I Right?

To every hacker in the world,

Will someone please do us all a favor and hack Mitch F**king McConnell? Seriously. Dude has to be the most corrupt person in Washington. Please, for the sake of everyone, just hack his corrupt, racist ass and dump that shit on a public server.

Sincerely,

A grateful citizen

P.s. I apologize for the profanity.

 

Let’s Lay out Some Facts

I don’t know about you, but I am facebook friends with lots of classmates from high school.  Recently someone I graduated with, posted something that struck me as something that could be taken as racist.  It seemed like the comments to her post were going in that direction.  This prompted me to eventually respond.  I wasn’t suggesting she was being racist, but rather her post could be taken that way.  Of course this devolved and one of her friends piled on. Both she and I tried to turn things around, add levity, and then things went off the rails, and we wound up turning to discussing Trump.  After I saw the last response from my classmate, I just felt I needed more space than a facebook comment. I needed to lay out facts with sources, so we can be clear about what is an impression someone has of someone, an unfounded conspiracy theory, vs publicly available evidence and facts.

I grabbed screenshots of the post and responses, redacting all names and profile pics, to preserve anonymity. S1 is my classmate, and the original poster.  S2 is me. S3 is a facebook friend of my classmate, and someone I have never met.  Click an image to go to a larger view and read them.

I fully acknowledge that I did not always get the best form of the argument, and I always wish I could respond to this stuff better. Nevertheless, I have to try, because silence just is not good enough.  Regardless, I need to respond to the last comment, as I haven’t yet. That’s because I cannot just ignore the willingness of people, including my fellow classmate, to dismiss all that is publicly known about Trump. It’s beyond absurd to me that people excuse everything horrible about him, when they would never give 1/10th of the same pass to Schumer, Pelosi, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or anyone with a D next to their name.

I know there are lots of people out there, who could respond to this better than I can, but I will do my best. The first point we should lay out the facts on, are business execs in NYC think Trump is a bad businessman.  This isn’t just “people talk”. This is a common consensus, that he is really bad at business. His base will say, “then why is he so successful?”  My question back is, how do you know he is? He has towers and businesses, but he refuses to disclose his tax returns to this day, and without those, you have no idea how much money, or rather how much debt he has.  Most legitimate economic experts agree that he is likely up to his eyeballs in debt. Either way, without them, you can’t arguably say he is a good businessman, because you don’t have the proof.  This is a good primer, of his business history, and it was printed in 2016. Why Donald Trump isn’t the successful businessman he claims to be

To my classmate, and I hope friend, you are right. Actions do speak louder than words.  These are Trump’s business actions:

I could give more examples, but we only have so much time. I will say, that the idea that there is no teamwork in government is absolutely false. If you are so sure of that, I would challenge you to prove it.  In the last 20 years, Congress has become increasingly partisan and gridlocked, but there can be bipartisanship and things can get done. This is also true at the state and local level.  It’s an excuse to just write off all government as bad.  If we aren’t voting and paying attention, the ones there don’t have much incentive to make sure it works. That being said, I’ve worked at the county level of government, and people who work in military service, civil service, public service, or any type of government service, absolutely participate in team work. If they didn’t, nothing at all would get done.  People take for granted all that our government does just “keeping the lights on”.

Moving on to the next points of that last comment, I have no idea why Bloomberg is being brought up.  I am a life-long Democrat and I can’t stand him. I was never more happy, than when Senator Warren tore him to shreds.  He’s not a real Democrat. He has spent a long time attacking Democrats.  He registered as one, so he could try to buy the nomination. That wasn’t my idea, and I’m not responsible for his actions.  I don’t know why we are bringing him into this though, other than he’s another example of a greedy businessman, who thinks he can run for President to get some good press for his legacy. He has no bearing on this, as he’s not someone I’ve ever supported or ever would.

I also find it ridiculous that Biden was brought up, but no elaboration. A topic for another time? Nah, let’s discuss it now.  He was not my first, second, or third choice for the Democratic nominee, and he’s still 1,000 times better than Trump. He was instrumental in passing the Violence Against Women Act. (The Violence Against Women Act Was Signed 25 Years Ago. Here’s How the Law Changed American Culture) Since that article mentions marital rape, it’s significant to note that Ivana Trump said in sworn deposition, that Trump raped her.  There are many allegations against him, and they have a pattern that indicates these are not false allegations. (When Has Trump Been Accused of Rape or Attempted Rape? Allegations Include a Child, His Wife and a Business Associate)

Biden has worked hard in the Senate, and as VP, raising awareness on campus sexual assault.  He understands and respects the constitution. I guarantee you Trump doesn’t even know the articles, let alone the amendments. They are not on the same level. Trump is wholly uneducated on running a government and has been trying to flout laws and regulations, since becoming President.  He doesn’t respect our democratic institutions.  Putting Trump on the same level as Biden, is the same as putting him on the same level as Hillary Clinton.  Before I’m willing to go into depth on Secretary Clinton, I’ll need you to accept a challenge. Watch the four-part “Hillary” documentary on Hulu.  Really watch it, and see if you knew everything that is in it. Consider how much you’ve been told about her and how much it doesn’t actually match up with reality. Spoiler: She’s not the evil mastermind you think she is.  She is a life-long activist, and a brilliant legal and political mind. Is she perfect? Of course not. But there is not any human being who is perfect. It’s just that it seems people on the right are never willing to acknowledge criticism of their own candidates and reps. They also refuse to see anything good in anyone who is a Democrat.

Nancy Pelosi is not washed up and it’s pretty crappy to suggest someone has dementia, as a way to lob an insult.  She was the first female member of any party to lead a chamber of Congress. For more of her accomplishment, you can peruse this: Nancy Pelosi’s List Of Accomplishments As Speaker Proves She’s The Champion We Still Need.

Please don’t get me started on stocks. Pelosi’s husband exercised an option he had on stocks that were set to expire the next day. (Nancy Pelosi discloses her husband spent $5.52 million on Amazon, Facebook stock) Considering the stock dumping done by the GOP, and the fact that Trump won’t release his tax returns at all, and Jared and Ivanka have repeatedly had to amend their financial disclosures, I don’t think you really want to go down this rabbit hole. (Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made up to $135 million while working for free)

All eyes remain on Trump, because he chose to run for President. No one forced him to do this. It is the highest position, not just of leadership but of public service, that a person can run for.  Public service is something people aspire to. It is a public trust, and that trust is made by public servants being transparent and accountable to the people. Those are two things Trump has never been. If you want to talk about people trying to profit off the pandemic, you can’t dismiss Trump. (Germany confirms that Trump tried to buy firm working on coronavirus vaccine)

I don’t know why it’s seen as a positive, the idea that he “kisses no ass” and “he tells it like it is”. I’m sure you’d like it to be that way, but that’s not the reality. The reality is that he is rude, and has no respect for other world leaders or public servants. He denigrates other elected officials and lacks all dignity in the way he speaks. He belittles the office of the Presidency.

He doesn’t tell it like it is, either. He lies constantly, and it is well documented.  These are just his lies during the pandemic: All the President’s Lies About the Coronavirus. You are welcome to google the rest. Many have laid out thousands of lies he has told. It is unprecedented, compared to other Presidents, Democratic or Republican. The way that he talks and behaves legitimately fits into the markers for narcissistic personality disorder: Narcissistic personality disorder (Mayo Clinic.

My bottom line is this. Trump is not a good guy. He’s not being attacked for nonsense. He’s being criticized for being unfit to do the job he chose to run for. He doesn’t understand or respect our democracy. He’s actively tearing it down and echoes the calls of tyrants and dictators.  If you can honestly read every article I linked to, challenge yourself to watch the Hillary documentary, and say that Trump is still a good guy, well I guess I did my best to challenge your beliefs.  I simply ask that you look at what you are using to base your beliefs on.  Are you going based on proven facts, from reputable sources, or are you listening to Fox News propaganda?

I didn’t get a chance to comment on all of the responses in that thread, but mimicking a Chinese or AAPI accent is racist. Suggesting that you like salons, sushi, and sake, but you don’t like materialism, is racist.  Chinese people, and all AAPI people, are more than just the jobs that some AAPI have, or the food and drink some of their cultures make and sell.

I got into this, because I didn’t want to let even casual racism go unchallenged.  Somehow that turned into a conversation on Trump.  While we work to correct assumptions and ensure we are agreeing on what is fact and what is not founded, let’s please consider that an entire race or culture cannot be stereotyped into a few random traits from the handful of AAPI people you have ever met.

As a Jewish person, I sat next to you in social studies in high school. I don’t know if you were aware or remember the swastikas that would be drawn on my desk and locker. I don’t know if you remember people raising their arms in a heil Hitler salute, saying “The occult’s coming out tonight, boys.” I don’t know if you recall Miss P. responding to my asking if she was going to do anything with “What do you expect me to do?”.  I don’t know if you were aware that I would get crank calls at night, from classmates telling me they were going to come kill me.

Talking about cultures and races and religions, like they are all the same people is dangerous and it is racist. We are almost 8 billion people in this world. Our materialism, our morality, and our lives are varied. They transcend our races, cultures, and religions.  I am taking this time to write this out, because I do care about you and I don’t want to just ignore what you are saying.  I know you can be better, and reject these inclinations to back a bombastic unqualified person who has never done anything but enrich himself. The movement on the right is extremely prejudice.  To support any candidate who is openly racist, is to condone and be complicit in their racism.

As I said in one of my comments, it is not enough to just not be racist. We must be actively anti-racist, which means calling it out even when it seems “casual”.  Not all white people believe one thing or act one way. The same is true for every other race on earth.  Please take some time to learn about racism more.  I recommend the documentary “I am Not Your Negro”. It appears to be on Amazon Prime, and if you have a library card, you can get it on Hoopla.

I also recommend “13th”, on Netflix, and the Netflix mini-series “When They See Us”.  Racism is a much bigger issue, than white people want to believe it is.  That is because they don’t experience it constantly.  Speaking in racist tones may not seem like it should matter, but it absolutely does. It normalizes racism and leads to violence.  This is not something I say lightly, or without proof that it is happening. (New Site Collects Reports Of Racism Against Asian Americans Amid Coronavirus Pandemic) I know that there are way better journalists and scholars who can recommend better sources to learn about this.  Maybe if any of them read this, they’ll be kind enough to add those in the comments.

I know that this was much more than a simple facebook comment, but I didn’t want to just throw back a flippant response. I wanted to respect my former classmate and friend enough to give a full response.  I know that I jumped around a bit, but I tried to hit on some points that I thought were important.  Thank you for your time, and to my former classmate and friend I wish you the best. Just as you said to me and your friend, we need people like you in the world.  We just also need to get racism out of our world too.

Tips for Preventing and Fighting COVID19

I have seen and shared various tips on social media, about ways to minimize your risk of getting COVID19, when it comes to groceries and ordering take out or products online.

It is important to understand how long it lives on surfaces.  This chart helps with that:

How Long Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces
Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-lifespan-on-surfaces-graphic-2020-3

I recommend following the videos by Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen on YouTube.  He has a channel you can subscribe to: Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, MD COVID-19 Public Tips Videos

Particularly this video:

If you do have COVID-19, I hope you get better soon.  The following are tips I’ve seen, that I want to get to as many people as possible. My mom is a nurse and a lot of these types of methods of attacking the mucous are really the best way to help push back against the virus.  Breaking up the mucous helps increase your body’s oxygenation level, and that is a huge factor in beating this.

This video by 2 amazing nurses, shows an effective method for breaking up the mucous in a patient’s lungs. This can be done at home, but does require a 2nd person to do the work. That video is in this public post: https://www.facebook.com/1416014940/posts/10222848125497784

If you do not have a person with you, there is also this infographic with methods for getting the mucous out of your lungs:

Tips for Draining Mucous
Source: https://www.facebook.com/610880459/posts/10157951932725460

The reason I hold stock in these methods, is that my mom used techniques like these, when I got sick as a kid. I have found that techniques like these help where medicine sometimes can’t.

I hope these help some people, and if you are looking for help, I hope they can help you.  If you have more tips, let me know and I will add them to this post and update it.

If you don’t have to go out, please don’t. We cannot flatten the curve unless everyone does their part. We need doctors and scientists to be able to get their hands around this and develop effective treatments and a vaccine.  Testing takes time, and not doing that testing will only risk more lives.

Thank you.

To my Representatives in Congress

According to CNN, FEMA and HHS have been found to not be coordinating the delivery of available equipment and supplies from the Pentagon to medical facilities and places that need them. (https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/31/politics/pentagon-ventilators/index.html )

Trump is concerned more about being number 1 on Facebook, than managing this rampant global pandemic that is killing mass amounts of people a day. (https://youtu.be/oMm9cjF1o0Q ) These are not the words of someone who is grasping the gravity of this global health crisis. This is not someone who is even demonstrating a full awareness of what is happening.

According to the CNN article above, the coronavirus task force in the White House is an absolute and complete sham. That is already something that was public knowledge the minute it was announced. Pence is on the record as not believing in science.

We simply cannot afford to allow the people managing this crisis, being people who have no knowledge or experience in science, medicine, or caring for the health of other people.

I ask that you urge your fellow Congressional representatives to immediately determine a way to hold remote hearings and votes, using widely available video technology, and ensuring it can be aired on C-SPAN so that the voters can be witness to their representatives working for them, and so the record can be preserved. We must have a Congressional COVID19 commission now, to ensue the administration doesn’t endanger the lives of Americans, through corruption, negligence, and incompetence.

We must have all the information about what the administration is doing, where the coordination is, where urgently needed supplies are, where the tests are, how effective they are, tracing, and all of it.

We must have transparency and accountability from our government or we will lose countless lives. Please get this done. This is why you are our representatives. We need hearings, documents, testimony, and results. We need our government to be for all of the people.

Thank you,

Courtney Fay

Virtual Spring Digital Cleaning (not really a) Ted Talk

A lot of people are quarantined or at least home a lot more, as many things have been cancelled.  This is a great time to go through your digital life and clean things up.  This post is to help people who may know they should clean up their facebook, but don’t know how or where to start.

I will go through some basic clean up steps here, to help those who don’t know where to look. This involves who can see your posts and activity, but also what companies you are giving access to your information and your friends list. To do this work, I highly recommend you do this on a computer (PC or Mac). I will be going through these steps, and including pics, based on doing this from an HP laptop, with Windows 10, and a Firefox browser.

One obvious step is going through your friends list. Personally, I keep my facebook to only people I know in real life (IRL). This is something I imposed on myself years ago. I post pictures of my family and friends’ kids, and I don’t want strangers having access to those pics.

I also figure that people I don’t know IRL can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, if they like. I consider those platforms as intentionally public ones, while facebook is set up in a way that allows us to connect with friends and family in group settings, which can be exclusively controlled by you.

Review your Friends

To check your friends list, do the following steps. On your facebook home page (your feed), click your name on the top, to the right of the search bar.

On your profile page, scroll down and on the left side under the Photos section, you will see a Friends section. Click on the Friends title/link.

You will see a series of your friends, in 2 columns.  Scroll through and review how they are set. There are a few options. Hover over the box on the right side, of any friend, for whom you want to adjust their connection with you.

  1. The default will look like a ✓, and this indicates they are a friend.  This is the mid-range connection to have with someone.
  2. A contact card means they are set as an “acquaintance”. This would be the lowest level of connection.
  3. A star means they are “close” friends. This is the highest level of connection.
  4. You can also create lists and add people to those. This allows you to share posts with just a list of people, instead of all of facebook. This is the equivalent of the permissions on your posts, where you set the post as visible to friends or public. You can create a work list, or others that are target a specific group of people.
  5. Finally, this is where you can unfriend someone.

Hover down to the choice you want, and single-click that option.  Here is more info on those different friends categories and how they can be useful in keeping your digital landscape tidy. https://www.facebook.com/help/200538509990389

My recommendation is, do a first sweep and any you are not really in contact with, who do not bring joy to your life, or you don’t know, maybe clean those up first.  Others you are not sure about, jot their names down in a note (on on your computer or on paper). Think about those, check their feed over later, and take some time to consider if you want to unfriend, or just unfollow.  If you cannot unfriend someone, you might just unfollow them, so that you don’t see their posts, but also don’t hurt any feelings, by unfriending them.

To un-follow, just click their name or search to find them and on their profile page, just click the drop down to un-follow them.  You can do this on your phone too, so no picture.  Comment below if you need more assistance with this.

Now comes the main attraction in this clean up.  Settings.  On the top of the facebook page, on the right side of the navigation bar, is an upside down triangle. Single-click this, and you will see a drop down menu.  Hover down to Settings, and single-click that option.

I am not going to go through every section here, but it is a good idea to go through this a couple of times a year, or on a schedule that is appropriate for how much you use this platform.

Settings – Privacy

 

You can allow people to find you by your email here, or not allow that. Same with your phone number. By limiting it to your friends, it means only they can see this information tied to your account.

The next section includes something a lot of people care about, which is what people see on your timeline and who can see posts or items you are tagged on, including photos.

Timeline and Tagging

Edit any you wish you adjust, by single-clicking the Edit on the right. Click View As to view your profile as the public sees your information. When you click Vew As you will be taken to a new page, that will look like your profile, but have a message for you to see first.

When you are done looking around, single-click on the back arrow in your internet browser to get back to the Settings – Privacy – Timeline and Tagging page. I will say, I am disappointed that they don’t have a drop down where the Public marker is, on the View As page. You should be able to see what close friends see, acquaintances, and each list. What if you posted something to the wrong list, but didn’t really notice, because that setting marker is small on the post, and we don’t think about it? Why not show the differences here?  Just a thought.

Now I want to jump down to one that I think many people will find is a mess with devious stuff. This is what I want people to really check out. It’s like cleaning up junk mail, but do it now, and be more careful going forward.

Apps and Websites

Every time you take a quiz, or play a game, or sign into an account using your facebook account,  you are giving a company access to your information. It varies what they have access to, and whether or not they can check for any changes/updates you have made to your info.

These apps and websites are listed in 3 categories of having authorization by you, to access your information. These are active, expired, and removed.  Active are apps or websites that have an active connection to your information. They can store it, and they can check facebook for any updates you make to the information you are allowing them to access.  This can be name, email, friends list, birthday or other info.

Expired means if they had rights previously, but now they cannot check for updates. If your recently changed your info, they may not have that change.  They are allowed to store your information still.  Removed means they must destroy your digital information, or any replication (likeness) of it.

See how many you have. Clean up ones who no longer need access to your friends lists.  You’re doing your friends a favor too.  This is how tech targets us.

On Twitter and IG, I simply suggest going through the list of people and accounts you follow. Are you following a lot of accounts that aren’t really active? Do any of the accounts not interest you any more? These accounts dictate what you see in your feed, so periodically clearing them out will clean up your feed.  If you like these tips and want more, let me know in the comments and I will work on others.

Thank you for coming to my Virtual Spring Digital Cleaning (not really a) Ted Talk.

Where to go When the Bar is So Low

Anyone who is undecided in the Democratic primary, you are not alone.  I am struggling to see either choice as one I can enthusiastically support. Both Biden and Sanders puff their chests, exaggerate their effectiveness and record, and even tend to lie.  Biden is wildy known for taking credit for things he didn’t do, or saying he supported or opposed something he didn’t. They both do that.

Remember Sanders abjectly saying he didn’t say a quote a debate moderator read to him? Biden saying he voted for the Iraq war, for one reason when he voted, but for the opposite reason now. Both of their campaigns love to shove the virtue of their candidate down our throats. Their candidate is more experienced and will build a stronger coalition, while they insult voters and tell them to vote for someone else. Their candidate will advance progressive policies, even though they have yet to do so.

We lost our shot for a someone who can truly unify us, lift up every voice, and someone will real plans, who doesn’t exaggerate their record, but stands firmly ready to fight for real change. The problem now is that if either side doesn’t get their nominee, we stand to have that faction stomp their feet and not support the nominee.

Trump is a white supremacist, who places being fawned over by the media as more important than being a responsible leader. With Trump, comes and compromised GOP, who knows they are losing the space they have been man-spreading in for so many years. That’s why they want to purge voter rolls, gerrymander duck districts, and disenfranchise voters.  Their best scenario is that the moderates and progressives of the Democratic party split up and a 3rd party candidate fractures the vote, or people just stay home and don’t vote blue.

That is what we need to stop, but we need everyone on board to do it. We must flip the Senate, and we won’t do that unless we have a coalition, not just of voters, but of volunteers. Volunteers to canvass, swing left, phone bank, text, register voters, talk to friends and family, and get out that vote. We must have a candidate, and a ticket, that we can all get behind.

I’m so sick of being an undecided voter and it’s only be about a week.  Even still, I’m glad I don’t vote until the end of April.  I have a feeling there will be a few October surprises between now and then.  I would love for them to name their VP picks.  Both of their teams are going after their declining health. Again the bar is pretty low, when the current occupant of the White House lives on fast food and has to be tricked into eating vegetables. That aside, it is a legitimate concern for either of them, that the voters really should get to know who their VP pick will be, before the nomination.  Yes, that will be dragged as showing they see the concern, but it would also show they take the concerns of voters seriously.

Either choice, Bernie or Biden, will give us someone who will talk up their own accomplishments and exaggerate what they have done and will do for people.  It’s incredibly unhelpful.  They are also both failing to show any legitimate humility.  If they really meant to be a unifying candidate, they would be seriously reaching out to the opposite flank on our side of the aisle.  Will Biden really listen to progressives and embrace what so many Americans want, or will he just shut out progressive voices?  Will Sanders work with moderates and Dem “establishment” or will he just shout and yell and say my way or the highway, never getting one inch of traction on anything he shouts about?

To suggest that either of them will be more or less flexible than the other seems questionable. I’m not convinced either of them will be truly inclusive, as they and their campaigns are actively attacking each other, instead of sticking to policy and saving the attacks for the real problem, Trump and the compromised GOP in Congress.  I don’t know about the rest of the undecideds. I obviously speak for myself only.

I could do with less attacks aimed at me for potentially supporting either candidate. Me supporting either candidate does not mean I want people to die, I want to screw over poor people, I’m not a true progressive, or I’m putting my ideological preferences over beating Trump. Supporting a candidate can mean many things, and that is something each person defines for themselves. I am really done with the in the weed debates that end up with the attack that if I don’t pick their candidate, they have the right to stay home and let Trump win.

We’ll see if either candidate and their campaign can tighten up the ship and effectively prove a unifying strategy and message. We’ll see if they can reach out to the other end of this big tent that is the Democratic party and the coalitions that are moderate AND progressive. We need both.  I’m a gen xer and I have both in my heart.  I was raised by boomers, but I want to make a better world for millennials. I want a leader who will listen to both, and work with both. I want a leader who is more concerned with what everyone else brings to the table, than bragging about what they bring to the table.

I don’t want them to just be better than Trump. When the bar is that low, we have to still aim higher.  I know these men are capable of it, but I am still waiting for one of them to really convince me they are listening.