Blog and Personal Update

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I wanted to update my readers on what’s been happening since my last post.

We’ve been taking this pandemic seriously for some time in our house. I had been forcing my family to wash their hands when they returned from school or shopping or outside of our home for a number of weeks. Our church had eliminated handshaking for the sign of peace, and receiving communion from the chalice. I told my daughter that she couldn’t go to her friend’s birthday party, which I truly hated doing. (The mom ended up postponing.)

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Coronavirus Resources Update

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Talking Point Memo’s Josh Marshall has compiled a list of Twitter accounts giving real time updates and accurate information. If you’re on Twitter, check the tweet here, or go directly to the Epidemic Science & Health link, and follow these folks.

There is also a Coronavirus Live Update Website from Worldometer (h/t to actor Jim Beaver for the link) with statistics and numbers. However, please be aware that the number of cases is based only on those tested. Here in the United States, we are well behind the testing, so our numbers may be higher than reported. This also doesn’t include people who are carrying the virus but are asymptomatic.

I received an email from my health insurance company with their current policy on coronavirus testing. Check with your own health insurance provider to find out when and if you should get tested and how that procedure would work for your specific situation.

I will add this to my original post (link is at the top of my home page) which will continue to receive updated information as I discover it.

Election Connection: 41 Weeks: Be Informed

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Being informed is not simply about the 2020 election although it is important to keep up to date on news. In order to do that, it is especially imperative to only glean your news from reliable news sources. This graphic should help you with that. Note the key on the right side of the graphic.

MediaBiasChart.com (c)2019-2020

In addition to using this graphic as a tool, Google is your friend. I can’t tell you how many times I correct a cousin or an uncle because what they’ve posted on Facebook is untruthful when the truth is only a Google search away. (It’s practically a full-time job.)

As you know from previous posts, I listen to several podcasts that relate to the news, politics, and current events including the impeachment and the upcoming election (which will have separate posts as needed). It is possible that you have noticed that I am a big fan of the Crooked Media group. I listen to almost all of their podcasts and follow most of the major players on Twitter even when I don’t listen to their particular podcast regularly. Joking aside, they really should put me on their payroll!

Their new one, What A Day is something that I can’t remember how I managed without it. It is about fifteen minutes each weekday morning with what’s going on in our world and some headlines with a really needed dose of humor. I do not start my day without it and highly recommend giving them a try. There is also a read-only update that you can receive nightly by email subscription.

What a Day from Crooked Media. (c)2020

While What a Day is my favorite, two others out there with a similar idea of getting you the news on a daily basis are:

Today, Explained from Vox

What Next from Slate

This is Not Normal

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​Everytime I sit down and try to write about the ongoing crisis in this country, I choke up. I get sad. I get furious, and I can’t write or even think about it. I try to avoid the pundits, but this week, everyone sounds like a pundit.

My aim with this post has been to provide places to find out information apart from Fox News and dog whistle sites that stoke the fires of fury and hatred.

Everyday, a friend on my Facebook shares lies and misinformation, not because he wants to create dissention, but because he truly believes the nonsense. This isn’t just one person’s opinion. We all have opinions, but as the saying goes, you’re not entitled to your own facts.

I will not abide the both sides argument. 

Fox News and the right wing media are so far gone it’s moved beyond false equivalency. Whenever the left is told to meet in the middle and compromise, the right forgets that we’ve moved so far right to get along, to meet in the “middle”, to compromise that center is right, and it’s still not good enough for the right wing.

In 2009, during the health care reform debate, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan said, no compromise. Now, with a Republican President, they’re all about compromise.. They don’t care how hypocritical they are or how their ignoring more than half the country feels. And to be honest, they don’t care. They want what they want, like a child having a tantrum, and they don’t care who they have to bulldoze to get it.

Democrats are inclusive. We don’t always agree on everything because we are so diverse. We want to, and always try to include conservative priorities, but it’s hard when the GOP continually changes it’s mind and the goal posts. President Obama’s health care reform was originally a Republican idea that was admired by the most conservative of Republicans until Obama adopted it.

They, Mitch McConnell, and his complicit Congress, refused to seat President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, refused to even vote on him, but now, with a President, who just two days ago, on international television put, not only a foreign government, but a hostile foreign government who attacked our country over our country, they’re moving ahead with the least popular Supreme Court nominee ever. The President defended the Russian election interference, and disparaged our intelligence agencies. I would have never thought I’d see the day that the Republicans would side with Russia over the United States of America. And after seeing his lukewarm “clarification” a day later, it only confirms many of our worse fears.

We are the majority in this country; why are we the one who are always expected to compromise? The right should move left to meet where the country actually is.

The rest of this post is a list of recommended readings and Twitter/social media followings that you should try to check out. It is important to each one of us to gather the information from reliable sources, and extrapolate our own opinions.

Later in the week, I will share the recommendation portion of this post for anyone who wants to share it without my above opinions. After all, I can tell you what I think, and where I got my information from; I can debunk and correct, but I can’t make you think. I can’t force the truth upon you. That is up to you to accept, but I also don’t have to listen to the lies and I won’t accept half-truths as truth.

The first section are political books that I’ve read this year and last that I would recommend. Some are very current as to the Trump Administration, what’s going on right now, and since the 2016 Election, and where we go from here. 

After that, I’ve included the sources I read, primarily on Twitter, including some pundits from both sides of the aisle to check out to get the full story of what’s going on in our country right now. I think it’s telling that most of the news shows I watched today included significant video of Fox News sounding remarkably like MSNBC.

If you look at a resource on this list, and think they are too liberal or too conservative, take a look anyway. Give them a few days to get a feel for how they address issues, and what they say, and then decide who you want to follow to get your information.

For a daily wrap-up, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams does a nice roundup of the day’s news so you can catch up and hit Google after or in the morning for more in-depth information.

Lastly, I would highly suggest that you read, or re-read George Orwell’s 1984. I re-read it at the end of 2016, and I had forgotten most of the story. It was eye-opening, and chilling.

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House – Part 2 of ?: The Inspection

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A quick note: I’m going to label these posts in numbered order, but that is not necessarily a chronological order or how they will remain when they’re edited into a final form. This way as you’re reading along you can keep track of the ones you’ve read if you’re interested in that.

 

When the inspection is held depends on when your contract is signed. Our inspection was in late May. Remember in my landscaping piece (link), the outside looked fantastic. This was the naïve day when we still believed that the inspection meant something.

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Traveling, Friending, Writing

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After seven hours on the train and a five hour layover in Penn Station, I got home just in time for the phone conference with my middle son’s teacher and my oldest son’s prom and I’m still not quite recovered from three and a half days away. I really do believe that for any vacation taken, you should be given an equal amount of time afterwards to recover from your vacation.

It’s going to take me the better part of next week to catch up on my sleep and unpack; I never unpack in a timely manner. I have to figure out how much money is left in the bank since I went away alone and at home, my husband continued to use our checking account, so I don’t know how that’s going to reconcile but must before I can pay the bills.

I went to visit my best friend, attend a fandom party for the Supernatural finale, met some Tumblr friends and got to wander around a recreated historical town as well as play around in the kitchen, meet the parents, see the gardens and taste things.

Because of such variety, hopefully I will have one or more postings to share with you. This kind of trip was really nice, especially for a writer. It’s as though I was on four or five separate trips and therefore it’s given me many prompts and inspirations as story starters:

1. Visiting friend

2. Fandom Finale Party

3. Touristy things

4. Traveling alone

5. Train travel

6. Food tastings

I’m not sure how many of them will see the light of day, but consider this my little brainstorm.

It was a very nice visit with normal stresses like getting ready for the party and making sure that I was entertained while he was at work, but it was truly a nice and special time for me and I think for him too.

I also managed to get the family a couple of souvenirs that were inexpensive as well as obligatory like pencils and candy for the kids and a shot glass for my husband. I collect pins so I made sure to add to my collection and was even able to replace my Welsh flag pin that broke a couple of years ago.

I think I forgot to mention that I have three pieces I need to write for workshop homework this week. There are two workshops, but three essays due, and as always I will try to post them here as well depending on how far they go into the personal realm. Without promising, I would also like to post daily since I do have so many ideas I’d like to write about from the trip and I’ve continued to collect prompts that I will use all through the summer until the next workshop starts up in the fall.

Tomorrow after Mass, reading the mail, making a school related phone call and two personal related phone calls, I will post something even if it’s a short something.

I’m looking forward to seeing you then.

Kb