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AvatarComments by Kazzy in reply to Swami*

On “Cornonavirus Outbreak Causes MLB to Suspend Games

There was undoubtedly real problems that emerged due to all the politicization. But at the end of the day, we revealed ourselves to be a pretty self-centered society. Everyone wanted to know when THEY would get back to normal instead of thinking about how WE could get back to normal. It was "me over we" and we continue to see that. It's sad. And children are among those who will suffer the most.

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Well then, we have two options:
1. Close schools forever
2. Buckle down on adults -- who can avoid doing all those things -- incredibly hard and tight for a few weeks/months to get this thing under control so we can open schools and other things.

We seem to have chosen 1. Because god forbid the adults act like adults.

Johnny can't goto school but Johnny's dad can go play golf with friends and then have beers and steak afterward with them. Seems reasonable.

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We could have closed grocery stores and mailed everyone a box with rice, beans, and apples every month. We didn't do that. People would have revolted.

Instead, we'll give kids the rice/beans/apples box equivalent of an education for the next year. And if we revolt about this, we're told we want kids and teachers to die.

Me... I've been told I must want kids and teachers to die. That sure sounds like me.

On “From ABC News: Judge Esther Salas’ son shot and killed, husband injured in attack at their NJ home

"Moreover, he killed a dude, which in his mind means he killed a human being and not a “femoid.”"

I couldn't help but note the irony of the MRA guy going after a female judge killing/hurting two men.

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My sister worked with the judge back when she was a federal public defender. Called her a rockstar.

On “Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Distant Sounds of Inevitability Edition

I’m not quite sure I follow. My argument is that whomever is making the decision should not be factoring in the blowback they may suffer. This is too big a decision.

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As someone who owns a Shane Falco jersey, I agree wholeheartedly.

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“ And by least risky, we don’t mean the virus; we mean to the politicians and leaders who are deathly afraid of the blow back from making the wrong decisions.”

This infuriates me. Blowback comes with the territory. Asking others to bear costs so you don’t have to is a complete abdication of leadership.

Whatever the calculus is for the re-opening of schools, it’s a shame that “How will this go FOR ME?” is any part of the formula for elected officials.

You don’t get to lead only in good times. Do what is right for the people who elected you to serve, not for yourself.

On “I Miss Prayer

I don't know the ins and outs of other countries so I can't speak to what has been done there.

I'm not even necessarily criticizing what has been done. But, at the end of the day, we've got bars and hair salons open but not schools. Now, part of that is undoubtedly because schools are harder to open. But part of that is because we simply didn't care enough. Many schools have looked at the guidelines and said, "We can probably do this but we need more money." I don't know of any that got the money.

My question is... do you think we're in the best possible position we could be with regard to school re-opening?
If your answer is no, why do you think that is?

On “Neurodiversity and the Dignity of Work

Well, I would consider that among the "skills and talents". Different jobs have different requirements with regards to "culture." But "Do they fit in?" is often used as a way to exclude folks for reasons entirely unrelated to the job, both hard and soft skills.

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I've sometimes seen the obstacles face by individuals with special needs* go even farther, wherein they demonstrate they have the skills and talents and experience necessary to do the job and are essentially met with a "Yea, but still..." There often seems to be an underlying assumption that there are more needs and challenges associated with them as employees or just people. It's really, really gross.

One time, we were evaluating an applicant for school. She was a lovely child with so much to offer. She also had physical disabilities due to birth defects that limited her mobility. She required the use of a wheel chair and braces for move throughout the school. Our building was equipped to meet these needs and she met all of our expectations for a student. In discussing her application, an administrator said (paraphrase... it's been about 10 years), "I know she passed the assessments and her reports all check out. But I can't help but think about the mind-body connection and how her physical needs may lead to learning needs down the line." And this was from an EDUCATOR whose background was in SCIENCE... BIOLOGY no less! Holy crap, man. I was floored.

So while I agree with everything you offer here, having been on the other side of hiring/decision making, I also see that it can be far worse.

* Apologies if this language does not feel applicable or appropriate; this is the terminology we use in schools and I believe it remains an appropriate general term as well.

On “I Miss Prayer

I don't have an answer. But I wish we had done some of the following:
1.) Really researched which methods of infection prevention/mitigation were the most effective for young children, both in terms of minimizing the spread and the ability to actually execute them. Maybe masks alone would be sufficient and I think you could get pretty good adherence to that. If 6-feet is the answer, we could have gone into hyper-drive on retrofitting classrooms.
2.) If we needed to go with all the guidelines on distancing, we could have put on a full-court press to retrofit every available space as a learning environment. Turn every government owned building in the damn town into a classroom.
3.) Take any money that went to opening other places and put it towards schools. How many inspectors went out in my town to evaluate whether all the outdoor dining protocols were proper?

We could have found a way to get our best and brightest minds on this and probably been in a better place than we are now. We didn't do that. We chose not to do that. Which tells us something about our priorities.

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I was reflecting today on where we ("we" as a society) have told people, "You need to accept a substitute and, really, it isn't that much different anyway," and where we have told people, "Anything less than the real thing is a crime."

I'm a teacher and a parent of young children. Naturally, my mind turns to schools. Many are saying, "Remote learning can be close enough to in-person school that whatever minor loss is a sacrifice we must make to combat the virus."
Then I look at people eating steak in the outdoor pavilions we created for the restaurants. Hell, I look at people (myself included!) buying rainbow Goldfish crackers and popsicles and other yummy groceries.

Why didn't we shut down all grocery stores, restaurants, and the like? Why didn't we tell folks, "We'll mail you a box with rice, beans, beef jerky, and canned veggies. I mean, it's food. What's the difference?" and focus energy on schools? Why are barbershops open but not churches?

None of this was by accident. Nor was any of it by design, because no single master planner was executing all this. But, ultimately, here we are: you can get a good steak cooked for you, you can get a good beer poured for you, you can get a good hairdo styled for you. You can't get a good story read to you in person by your teacher. And you can't get a good group prayer in.

Why?

Maybe none of that is wrong. But it isn't meaningless.

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It’s almost like killing grandma to get a haircut and killing grandma to save innocent lives are exactly the same.

On “Ordinary World: Torpedo the Thermal Exhaust Port Edition

Yea, so I doubt terms like “institutional racism” are going to sound new or moving to you.

A major problem I have with books like this is when reading (or simply buying) the book becomes the action step itself. “I own WF! I did my part to combat racism.” No. No.

Some books unfairly end up as such virtue tokens. Others seem to intentionally seek out this niche. I haven’t read or watched anything from the author so I can’t speak to that for them. Though Phillip’s criticism makes me worry it may be the latter.

I think about the feeling of guilt alot. I’m not a psychologist by any means, but I tend to see two reactions to folks feeling guilty:
1. Those who are so troubled with the emotion that they are motivated to act in ways to avoid feeling such again. E.g., I felt really guilty when I spilled my coffee, didn’t wipe it up, and someone slipped and got hurt. Going forward, I’ll always wipe up my spills.
2. Those who think the mere act of feeling — or even wallowing — in guilt is itself the corrective act. E.g., I felt really guilty when I spilled my coffee, didn’t wipe it up, and someone slipped and got hurt. Welp, I did my part!

I don’t think #2 is how it’s supposed to work. Taking pride in the fact that you felt guilty and thus accomplished something seems... wrong.

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I met someone who raved about WF. Hearing her summarize it, it all sounded very familiar and similar to diversity work I did 15 years ago. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong. But does mean it won’t gain much traction with folks who’ve been doing this work for decades and if it is introducing new ideas to you... where have you been?

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

“...promoting...”
“...acknowledging...”
“...believe...”

Here we go again with some interesting — and what I suspect is intentional — word choice.

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Just curious... would you say the business world has been “infiltrated” by folks with a profits-over-people ideology?

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Ooo... “invaded”’ too.

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“Infiltrated” is an interesting word.

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It’s a quarter-baked though, at best. But I’m always a fan of nuance. Plus, I think if we’re going to (hope to) change minds, we need to create space for dialogue.

I work with young kids. Kids often say things that are or can be offensive. When we respond smartly, we do NOT shame them. We WANT them to tell us what ideas are percolating in their brains so we can engage and challenge and hopefully help them develop ones aligned with our values.

That won’t be true or possible for all adults. The guy whose Twitter pic is Adolph Hitler is probably unreachable and probably isn’t gonna find many job opportunities, and probably rightfully so.

There are folks who should be actively resisted. There are folks we may want to avoid. There are folks we should try to nudge. There are folks we should shake our head at. There are folks we want blasted.

On “Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Miseducation Edition

Well... There is some evidence the risk of spread from kids is much much lower.

So it’s not “Fuck parents.” It’s “How do we balance risk and reward?”

The alternative is “Fuck kids.” Sadly, that increasingly looks like the route we’re going.

On “Thursday Throughput: Missing COVID Deaths Edition

I read someone who said it could be as low as 17%. And then pointed to many areas where things improved after they hit 17%. He had a lot more than that but it went over my head.

I’m not saying he’s right. Or that anyone here is wrong. The one thing I’m certain of is how uncertain all this is... which is why I push back whenever someone starts a sentence with “We know...”

We’re learning. We may learn that every area will have to suffer through some peak but only one. We may learn high peaks can be avoided. Or multiple peaks will ravage an area any time it gets lax or lazy or dumb. I dunno.

My area got destroyed, recovered, and seems to be holding strong. I hope to god that continues. And I hope no where else has to go through what we did.

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I've read some analyses that say we may achieve herd immunity at a much lower threshold than was previously though, so most areas are unlikely to go through multiple hellish peaks. Time will tell.

One of the challenges of all this is that borders don't really matter. We have NY numbers. We have NJ numbers. We have CT numbers. NY as a state is more-or-less holding steady. But that is a bit of a balance of declining/steady numbers in NYC -- which got HAMMERED -- and very slight increases in some upstate areas, some of which are hundreds of miles away. If those areas start to go upwards, it may drive NY's overall numbers up but that doesn't necessarily mean a second peak is happening. It could just be a first peak upstate that followed an earlier peak in the metro area. How will we classify that?

There is still so much to see. But NY and NJ have both entered mid-phases of reopening (I think NY is on Phase 2 and NJ is on like 2.5... we've done some of Phase 3 but paused some) with very little corresponding rise in cases. Which may... MAY... MAY!!!... mean we won't see a second peak because we did achieve sufficient herd immunity.

I dunno... I read the analyses and they make sense but I'm a layman. What you say here also makes sense. Time will tell.

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

You clearly didn't watch the video.

In the post accompanying the video, he said the following:

“ME: Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.

“HER: What’s that?

“ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!

“HER: He won’t come to you.

Things just went from bad to worse for Central Park 'Karen'
“ME: We’ll see about that…” before adding, “I pull out the dog treats I carry for just for such intransigence. I didn’t even get a chance to toss any treats to the pooch before Karen scrambled to grab the dog."

He later added:
"Christian later explained that he pulls the dog-treat ploy on owner scofflaws hoping they’ll leash their pooches to restrain them from taking the goodies, thus getting them to comply with the rule."

Amy Cooper later said her reaction was based in part on her fear of the treats.

So, yea, if you want to call that "threatening the dog" go for it. It's a silly semantic argument. But his actions don't make him an "ass". She was in violation of both the law and common courtesy, allowing a long to run unleashed in an area where it was prohibited and in proximity to other people. Dog owners who do that are asses. Many people have allergies and/or fear of dogs. They should be able to walk through park areas where unleashed dogs are prohibited without having to worry. Christian Cooper has obviously encountered this before and developed a response that encourages others to not be asses. He tried to do so directly and she refused.

He's not the ass. She is. Period. Trying to make this about both of them is just wrong. Stop it.

I'm not comfortable around dogs. One of my sons likes dogs but is very skittish around them. We've been scared by unleashed dogs running at us. Whatever we do in response to that isn't on us; it's on the person who decided to break the law AND ignore basic common courtesy.

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