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Joe Nation

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Member since: Mon May 27, 2013, 01:46 PM
Number of posts: 834

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How Conservatism dies or how it lowered itself into the pit of Trump

Republicans weren't always the cult of morons and miscreants we see them as today. They used to be principled adherents of fiscal responsibility and traditional values even if their motivations were simply a matter of self-preservation. At least they stood for something even if it wasn't exactly what they professed it to be.

Over the last few decades and longer, the GOP, beginning with the Southern Strategy, started a slow march down a dubious path that had neither principles nor traditional values as grounding forces to moor their descent. And descend they did.

I would argue that Trump didn't drag the GOP down to the bowls of the pit we see them in today. I would say that the GOP in the course of its long descent met Trump when they reached the bottom. Trump is no different today than he has ever been. He is the same repugnant amoral bastard that he was known to be his entire life. He has arguably not changed one iota.

It is the GOP, or the base that the GOP cultivated, nurtured, groomed, and unleashed on the rest of us that has finally lowered itself to Trump's level and as an unintended consequence, the base has also turned on the former GOP leaders. Why is this an important distinction? Because to defeat the army of an enemy across the chess board, you don't simply focus on the king, you have to decimate to foot-soldiers before you can capture the king.

Trump losing in November will leave his army intact, weakened but intact. They will still be able to sway local and state elections. What we need to do is halt their influence and not by placating to their demands but by demonstrating that their ideology is corrupt and unworthy of the higher ideals this country represents. We need to show them exactly what is wrong with the path they tried to take this country down. Only then will we finally be free of this nightmare we have been subjected to over the last few decades that culminated in 4 years of hell and division that nearly destroyed our country. On the other hand, if Trump manages to win in November, we will become a failed state.

Comets have historically been considered omens and we laugh at the thought

Though frequently beautiful, comets traditionally have stricken terror as often as they have generated wonder as they arc across the sky during their passages around the Sun. Astrologers interpreted the sudden appearances of the glowing visitors as ill omens presaging famine, flood or the death of kings. Even as recently as the 1910 appearance of Halley's Comet, entrepreneurs did a brisk business selling gas masks to people who feared Earth's passage through the comet's tail.
In the 4th century B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle concluded that comets were some kind of emission from Earth that rose into the sky. The heavens, he maintained, were perfect and orderly; a phenomenon as unexpected and erratic as a comet surely could not be part of the celestial vault. In 1577, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe carefully examined the positions of a comet and the Moon against the star background Using observations of the comet made at the same time from two different locations, Tycho noted that both observers saw the comet nearly in the same location with respect to the background stars. If the comet was closer than the moon, this would not have been the case. This so-called parallax effect can be demonstrated if you hold up a finger and look at it while closing one eye and then the other. Tycho concluded that the comet was at least six times farther away than the moon.

A hundred years later, the English physicist Isaac Newton established that a comet appearing in 1680 followed a nearly parabolic orbit. The English astronomer Edmond Halley used Newton's method to study the orbits of two dozen documented cometary visits. The orbits of three comets seen in 1531, 1607 and 1682 were so similar that he concluded they in fact were appearances of a single comet wheeling around the Sun in a closed ellipse every 75 years or so. He successfully predicted the next visit in 1758-9, and the comet thereafter bore his name.

Ancient people believed that a comet foretold something bad for the most part and we know that the appearance of a comet is merely a celestial object circling our own sun with no relationship to anything going on here on Earth. It would just be superstition to believe that a comet could impact political fortunes or failed crops or any other aspect of our lives other than giving us a nice show every so often. So then how come we have this out of control pandemic with the worst possible leader in the history of this country and suddenly this comet shows up? This kind of stuff only lends credence to the superstitious among us. And I find myself avoiding these superstitious people because it is hard to imagine a worse situation in the country, and, a comet showing up just to creep us out.

What did those ancient people know anyway.

This pandemic is an opportunity to do an education makeover.

The United States has an outdated, agrarian inspired educational system. In 1900, just under 40 percent of the total US population lived on farms, and 60 percent lived in rural areas. Today, the respective figures are only about 1 percent and 20 percent. So why do schools have 9 months of classes and 3 months of summer vacation? Because the summer months used to be set aside for farm kids to work the family farm and then return to the classroom in the winter months. It made sense for the population over a century ago but does it really make any sense today?

Right now, we have a rare opportunity change education for the next century and beyond. I suggest that we change the learning experience to more suit the needs of our society while we find ourselves being force to adapt to the new reality of COVID-19. But what would that change look like?

If it were mine to change, I would have school year-round in 8 week units. The first six weeks of each 8 week period would be devoted mainly to one area of education such as math, science, or history allowing more in depth exploration of the subjects. The last 2 week would be school breaks that would give the children time to process and unpack the knowledge that they have accumulated during the first 6 weeks and move onto the next unit. Each child would have to pass all 6 units to advance to the next "grade" or more accurately, the next level. No more holding back the eager learners just because some kids needed extra time to learn the subject matter. Nobody falls behind a full year for not passing a single unit nor do they advance just because they put the time in. The traditional cohort of 4th graders for example, would evolve into a classroom of students that would be together for the 6 weeks and then a new group would be assembled for the next unit in the learning series with a random or structured group.

The childcare consideration is the thought that most people latch onto right away. We would certainly have to alter the way we work and utilize childcare but that is hardily insurmountable and could easily be structured more appropriately to the type of society we live in today than the one we lived in over 100 years ago.

You could still have two weeks off for various holidays and summer activities. Family vacations would still happen. More eLearning would be an integral part of the learning process as we see happening today already. This is my opinion of what we need to do to change the educational experience and right now is the window we have to do it.

What are your ideas?

Voting in Illinois is a State Holiday this year and vote-by-mail is extended

Pritzker signs vote-by-mail expansion, declares Election Day a state holiday

By Jerry Nowicki
Capitol News Illinois
Updated 6/16/2020 8:23 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Anyone who cast a ballot in the last three years or who registered to vote or changed addresses after the March primary will be sent an application to vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill expanding the program Tuesday. In a news release, Pritzker's office said the program is aimed at ensuring "safe and active participation in the 2020 general election during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."

The measure also expands early voting hours at permanent polling places and makes Election Day a state holiday.

Local election authorities must mail or email the applications to voters who cast a ballot in the 2018 general election, the 2019 consolidated election or the 2020 general primary election, as well as to voters who registered or changed addresses after the March primary. Any eligible voter who submits an application by Oct. 1 will receive their ballot by Oct 6.

"Sending vote-by-mail applications to residents who have participated in recent elections will allow more people to exercise that right from the safety of their own homes and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," Pritzker said in the release.

Making Election Day a state holiday affects government offices, except election authorities; K-12 schools; and postsecondary institutions governed by the State Universities Civil Service Act. The state had already established Election Day as a holiday for state employees.

The changes were backed by the House Democratic Women's Caucus and sponsored by Rep. Kelly Burke, an Evergreen Park Democrat and Sen. Julie Morrison, a Lake Forest Democrat.

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