Under Construction

I frequently send what I call informational emails to a few close friends. I thought some of them may be worth sharing.

Subject: Don't put Q-Tips in your ear
Advice: You probably already knew this and most of you have reminded me to RTFMS (Read the Fucking Manual Stupid), who would have known there were instructions on the back of the Q-tip box which said not to stick them in your ear. :)

The rest of the story:
My running partner noticed that I didn't hear cars on our training runs on the street and said I should get my hearing checked.
I went to get a hearing test at Costco (It's better than the simple one I got at my annual physical). They said they couldn't do the test until I got the wax out of my left ear and that alone might solve the problem.

I took them over 30 minutes at the Doctors office to get it out. Simple irrigating didn't work. I asked the nurse if she could use alcohol, hotter water, acetone, ... She tried hotter water and that didn't help. I asked her if they didn't have something like a roto-rooter for the ear. She asked the Doc and got some kind of tool which eventually got 3 good size chunks out.
I think I can hear better but will get another test anyway.

One of the causes may have been the in-ear headphones I use for noise isolation when flying . They look like the earplugs I use when operating noisy power tools.

I got good Bose noise canceling over-ear headphones for my birthday so that should solve that problem. see donsnotes.com/products/headphones.html#nc

Maybe I should use the Boses when I'm operating the circular saw instead of my old in-ear plugs.

Subject: Republicans are the real cause of the deficit
A USA Today article yesterday "Trump's turn? Republican presidents rule recessions", prompted me to update my Federal budget page.

My tea party friends are always knocking the Democrats for their spending and running up the deficit. In fact it's the Republicans who are running up the deficit. Maybe they don't spend more on entitlements but when they cut taxes it reduces revenues. Defect is "spending - revenues", so it has the same effect.

I haven't studied Reagan's "supply side economics" theories, but I don't think there is a lot of evidence that trickle-down economics (give the rich a tax break and they will spend money which will result in jobs for the poor) works.

John Kenneth Galbraith, one of my favorite people. One of the top economists of the 60's and 70's) quoted, David Stockman, who has said,
"Supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows." :)

I always use the following argument with the conservatives. Sure Obamacare is going to cost $1 Trillion over 10 years, but it will save hundreds of thousands of lives by providing preventive treatments to people who couldn't otherwise afford it. Unfortunately doctors like my cousin, Bill Davis, who provide these services get caught in the crunch. The caring MD's suffer while big insurances companies still keep increasing rates.

Bush and Chaney's Iraq war cost $1 Trillion over 5 years and COST hundreds of thousands of lives, but they are mostly Arabs so what do we care :(
And the evangelical Christians buy this. What Bible are they reading?

The Iraq war was a brilliant plan by Bush and Chaney. Pumping all that money into the war effort delayed the recession until just before Obama took office. The media forgot about investigating Chaney for letting Enron write our energy policy and all the other screw ups of GW's administration.

Deficit, what deficit, we had to save the world from Saddam Hussein.

See donsnotes.com/politics/us-budget.html

Subject: Your Mother's attempts to include minority women and the election
I never thought about it much but your Mother was a pioneer in uniting women of all races.

A Quartz article "WHAT SISTERHOOD? White women voted for Trump in 2016 because they still believe white men are their saviors" talks about why 53% of white women voted for Trump and abandoned their black (4% voted for Trump), hispanic and asian (both had 29% voting for Trump) sisters. http://qz.com/835567/election-2016-white-women-voted-for-donald-trump-in-2016-because-they-still-believe-white-men-are-their-saviors/

[Quartz (qz.com) is a digitally native news outlet for business people in the new global economy. We publish bracingly creative and intelligent journalism with a broad worldview.]

Quartz says,
"suffragists Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton adopted blatantly racist rhetoric. Frustrated with the stonewalling of women’s suffrage, they actively courted and collaborated with white supremacists in exchange for financial assistance to advance their cause."
During the next wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, a similar strategy played out, this time on a structural level. The organizations fighting for women’s rights deliberately excluded their black and brown sisters so as to appear more acceptable to the white male legislators who held the power.

In the 70's Bell Laboratories had a women's rights organization which lobbied for equality for women in a technical organization dominated by men. The group was lily white run by WASPs and Jewish women with advanced degrees. You Mother joined and took an active roll recruiting black and Asian women. Including lab assistants, secretaries and other women without advanced degrees.

Around the same time she joined up with Sue Pai Yang in the "Coalition for Inclusion", a group to get minorities involved in the Republican party. We campaigned for Christie Whitman who was elected governor of NJ.

The rest of this article is about the time when there were "good" republicans, to defend myself and your Mother.
Just for background. You can skip it.

As I have mentioned in the past, republicans in NJ tended to be moderate with good records on the environment and social issues.
e.g. Millicent Fenwick, Tom Kean.
Our congressman, a republican who the Sierra Club endorsed as a state senator, got turned to the dark side a year after he got to Washington.

Whitman was George W's EPA chairwoman. She resigned after Bush and Chaney edited out warnings on NYC air quality in an EPA report after 911. She later wrote a book.
"It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America "
complaining about the right wing takeover of the Republican Party.

I stayed a Republican because I had hoped the good Republicans, Colin Powell, Whitman, Michael Bloomberg, Olympia Snowe (Main Senator) ... would start a movement to take it back over. Sad, it never happened. Can't fight the big money I guess.

I have no doubt your Mother would have supported Clinton.


Miscellaneous Comments:

Tough talking leaders are popular at first but fade. E.g. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, George W. Bush's Axis of Evil (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) and Shock and Awe campaign against Iraq resonated with a large group of people.