Saturday, March 24, 2018

"Call Me By Your Name" and the phony MeToo movement

I guess with boys it’s OK?  This movie normalizes having sex with kids.

Matt Kessler, guest blogger,  writes”

I saw this Oscar-nominated movie and I can't live with myself if I don't warn you all about it.

I was aware that it dealt with a gay relationship, but not that it glamorizes pederasty: A 17-year-old boy has sex with a man about twice his age.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 95% (critics) and 86% (audience), but I don't believe that. In fact I don't believe *anyone* could like this movie. Milo Yiannopolous would find it offensive. Kevin Spacey would walk out.

It literally normalizes sex between a man and a boy. It's set in Italy; was it easier to shoot it in a country where that's legal, than to change one digit in the dialogue to make the boy 18?

The setting and atmosphere are the only good things about the movie. Oh and there's a pretty waterfall in one scene.

The dialogue is tedious, and the pacing would bore a sloth.

In one scene near the end, the boy's father takes five minutes to say "I know and it's OK." He's the worst imaginable parent, and sitting through that speech was the longest five minutes of my life (and I've had root canal).

The best character in the movie was a photograph of Mussolini.

If the two main characters in "Call Me By Your Name" were edited out, leaving only pretty shots of the Italian countryside, the movie would be just a few minutes long and much better.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Today’s new robber barons

"The robber barons of the nineteenth century are disparaged today for their greed and power. But Amazon, Facebook and Google operate virtual monopolies, the influence of which exceeds the oil, rail, steel, and banking trusts of the Gilded Age. The chief difference is that companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, or Apple are worth more in inflation-adjusted dollars than were Standard Oil or U.S. Steel, and their global reach now affects 6 billion people, not a continent of 60 million." Victor Davis Hanson

I can do This!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Prime age men not in the labor force

“ . . . the nonparticipation rate for prime-age men with only a high-school degree rose from 8.8 percent in 1996 to 14.9 percent in 2016 (a 70.3 percent increase), while the nonparticipation rate for prime-age men with some college or an associate’s degree rose from 6.8 percent in 1996 to 11.0 percent in 2016 (a 61.7 percent increase). The nonparticipation rate for prime-age men in the highest education group, who had a bachelor’s degree or higher, increased more modestly, from 4.1 percent in 1996 to 6.0 percent in 2016 (a 45.9 percent increase). Similarly, the nonparticipation rate for those in the lowest education group, who had less than a high school degree, rose only slightly, from 18.3 percent in 1996 to 20.3 percent in 2016 (only a 10.6 percent increase). “

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Shipping books

Don't look under the bed; it's expensive. I found a few children's books that belonged to my uncle Leslie who died in 1999. I think I inherited them from my mother, some years before, and they had been in the family home.  Since I'm trying to clean out items, I decided to mail them to his daughter, Sharon, my cousin, who lives in Canada. Do you know how much it costs to send a package at "international" rate? It cost me over $37!!!  If I’d put them in the book sale at the library, she would have never known.  Freckles and Return of Tarzan plus a book of Bible stories and a cut out from a magazine.



Monday, March 19, 2018

What would “basic income” look like?

basic income

The usual "welfare" consists of 6 or 7 programs, although there are actually about 120 transfer programs--TANF, Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, housing, Utilities, CSFP (packaged commodities for low income), School breakfast, lunch and snacks. That doesn't count all the non-profits and church programs. There are 8 states where this amounts to earning more than $25/hour, and no taxes. In most states it's worth more than a $15 minimum wage since it's tax free. It's a high of about $49,000 in Hawaii and low of $17,000 in Mississippi. Poor people aren't dumb--they'll probably object to their Democratic congressman if he tries to fool them with that.

TANF provides financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical.

Medicaid coverage provides all-inclusive care for eligible children younger than the age of 19, with particular emphasis on primary and preventive care in keeping with its Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) methodology.

Other types of Medicaid insurance, such as the Healthy Start/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide enrollees access to equivalent Medicaid coverage. CHIP is a bridge program that extends Medicaid enrollment to low-income or at-risk children and pregnant women who would not otherwise meet the eligibility requirements. CHIP covers nearly all costs associated with pregnancy, prenatal care and birth for income-qualified pregnant women of any age.

SNAP means supplemental nutrition, but you can eat quite well with it. You’d need a PhD in government speak to figure out the rules. are the SNAP income limits?

WIC is Women Infants and Children as supplement for mothers with young children.

There are numerous housing programs.

Utilities is to help with costs of heating.

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or  free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Don’t underestimate yourself or your audience

Wikipedia: "Saint-SaĆ«ns was adamant that the work, (Carnival of Animals which he wrote for fun in 1886)  would not be published in his lifetime, seeing it as detracting from his "serious" composer image. He relented only for the famous cello solo The Swan, which forms the penultimate movement of the work, and which was published in 1887 in an arrangement by the composer for cello and solo piano (the original uses two pianos)." He died in 1921, it was published in 1922, now one of his most popular.

I no longer have a piano, so I enjoyed reading along with this.

World War I, an American soldier’s diary

At the end of this Library of Congress blog  is a link to the amazing performance by Douglas Taurel based on the diary of a WWI soldier, Irving Greenwald.  It’s very moving and quite vivid.  You almost feel like you’re on the battle field with him.  We’re in the midst of remembering the centennial of WWI—and this is a worthy project.  At Lakeside last summer we had a week devoted to WWI.

This website explains how the author/actor Taurel prepared his script from the diary, which he says was extremely well-written.

“Reading a soldier’s diary requires a tremendous amount of patience. For the soldiers of the First World War, the actual fighting took up a very small amount of their time. In reality, the life of a soldier in war is filled with a tremendous amount of minutia.  Reading a soldier’s diary requires time to digest all of that soldier’s life while in service, from his day-to-day life in training, through what it means to endure life in the trenches, to mustering heroic courage in combat.

For the Library of Congress’s commemoration of the centennial of the First World War, I was invited to write a new play based on the life of Irving Greenwald, a soldier from WWI. Greenwald was part of the Lost Battalion, and his diary is preserved by the Library’s Veterans History Project. I will perform a one-man play on Veteran’s Day.

Irving Greenwald left 465 days of his diary’s entries, and I set out in May to read all of them, with a goal to read ten days’ worth of his diary entries each day. I aimed to complete the entire diary in a little over a month. Some days I read more, and some days I read less. “

Because of my age, I did know veterans of WWI, although my earliest memories are of WWII. When I came across this blog, I thought about some of them that I knew, then pulled “War Record of Mount Morris” (1947) from my shelf, and although it covers about 500 soldiers that had a WWII connection to Mt. Morris, it includes a list from WWI, The Civil War, and Spanish American War.  Frank Aufderbeck lived next door to us on Hitt St. Don Clark was the grandfather of my nieces and nephews. Harold Knodle was the husband of one of my teachers. Many names on the list are familiar, although I didn’t know them personally.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Coffee and donuts helped us along

"Many hands make light work" has so many people credited with the saying, I don't know who originated it. But it's true. This morning I was part of a well organized Conestoga membership to hand address envelopes which were then inserted with invitations and information about our annual fund raiser for the Ohio History Connection added by others, then stamped by yet others, then boxed and taken to the post office. We were finished in two hours. Big job,and I have writer's cramp. Don't do much with penmanship anymore. A happy group.