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Tom Friedman Ponders The New World And Dancing In A Hurricane

November 25, 2016

The following was the type of discussion our nation required this past year.  Tom Friedman remains one of the great thinkers of our time.   I so respect and admire this man.  I wish there was a way to provide the video directly to this post, but that seems not to be possible.  Therefore this link provides the full interview from the Charlie Rose show.

So if you look down from 30,000 feet you see that technology, globalization and, I would add, Mother Nature (in particular, climate change, biodiversity loss and the impact of population growth) are all accelerating at the same time, and feeding off one another: More Moore’s Law drives more globalization and more globalization drives more climate change. And together, climate change and digital connectivity drive more human migration.

I recently met with economic and climate refugees in West Africa who made it clear to me they didn’t want aid from a rock concert in Europe. They want to come to the Europe they see on their cellphones — and they are using WhatsApp to organize vast illicit migration networks to get there.

No wonder many in the West feel unmoored. The two things that anchored them in the world — their community and their job — are feeling destabilized.

They go to the grocery store and someone there speaks to them in a different language or is wearing a head covering. They go into the men’s room and there is someone next to them who looks to be of a different gender. They go to work and there’s now a robot sitting next to them who seems to be studying their job. I celebrate this diversity of people and ideas — but for many, diversity has too fast for them to adapt.

That’s why my favorite song these days is Brandi Carlile’s wonderful ballad called “The Eye,” the main verse of which is: “I wrapped your love around me like a chain/ But I never was afraid that it would die/ You can dance in a hurricane/ But only if you’re standing in the eye.”

These accelerations in technology, globalization and Mother Nature are like a hurricane in which we’re all being asked to dance. Mr. Trump and the Brexiters sensed the anxiety of millions and promised to build a wall against the howling winds of change. I disagree with them. I think the challenge is to find the eye.

President Obama’s Last White House Thanksgiving Menu, And Ours In Madison

November 24, 2016

On his last Thanksgiving in office, President Obama and the first family enjoyed a three-course Thanksgiving dinner.  The menu is as follows:

Hors d’oeuvres included mini BLT’s, chicken satay with peanut chili dip, mini crab cakes, pizza bites, fresh veggies and hummus and pigs in the blanket.

The dinner buffet included thyme-roasted turkey with garlic jus and cranberry-orange relish, a honey-baked ham with apricot-mustard glaze, prime rib and creamed horseradish with shallot marmalade, and fried chicken wings.

Side dishes included classics like cornbread stuffing with a twist of chorizo and roasted peppers, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and bread rolls. Other sides of oyster stuffing, braised winter greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato gratin, and fresh greens and kale caesar salad are also on the menu.

Finally, dessert consisted of six pies: banana cream, coconut cream, pumpkin, apple, pecan and cherry.

Meanwhile in Madison where James makes our house a home the menu consisted of turkey, ham, candied yams, spelt with wild mushrooms, sage dressing, green peas, potatoes and gravy, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, jello salad, dinner rolls followed by pumpkin pie and berry pie with vanilla cream.

Today’s Thanksgiving dinner table–so nicely prepared by James–includes the wedding china from Mom and Dad who were married in 1947. Two of mom’s sisters and their husbands were here and this is the first time these dishes will be used in our home. I wanted today to be special. I was so happy to be able to bring the china from the family home years ago. Our china hutch stores the dishes.  It was a really nice day.  I always want these days to last longer.


AP Reports From Corinth, Maine

November 23, 2016

Though this is a bit late I wanted to add this item to my blog as it comes from James’ hometown, Corinth, Maine.

Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press , WCSH 10:01 PM. EST November 12, 2016

CORINTH, Maine (The Associated Press/Marina Villeneuve) — Minutes before setting off on a deer-hunting trip in East Corinth, Maison Goodrich said it was pretty funny that the mainstream media describe Donald Trump’s election as an “upset.”

Goodrich sat at a local coffee shop, laughing with a group of men decked in blaze orange shirts about elite media’s failure to see Trump’s widespread support in communities roiled by the loss of manufacturing jobs. Trump’s victory made history in Maine, the nation’s whitest state, where the more rural 2nd Congressional District sent one electoral vote to Trump.

“It was not an upset,” Goodrich said. “When the media says the election was an upset, it’s a ploy because the polls are so incorrect.”

In New England’s sprawling northernmost state, there’s long been the idea of two Maines: the hearty, northern “real Maine” that’s protective of traditions like hunting, and the urban, coastal region that Republican Gov. Paul LePage refers to as Northern Massachusetts.

But no election, and no Republican before the anti-establishment Trump, has so captured Maine’s 2nd Congressional district, the vast district encompassing land north of Augusta and Portland. Trump won by 11 percentage points in the district – a shift from 2012, when Obama won by 15 percentage points statewide.

Clinton found support in southern, coastal Maine and picked up a smattering of inland towns in the 2nd Congressional District, which has embraced the Republican Party in recent years by electing two businessmen-turned-politicians: LePage in 2010 and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in 2014 and this year.

Rural voters also sent a resounding “No!” to a failed ballot measure that would have required background checks for private firearm sales and also transfers. Towns in the 2nd Congressional District voted an average 70 percent against the referendum, with critics decrying it as overreach symbolic of an out-of-touch, liberal government.

Inland communities were less likely to support successful ballot questions increasing the minimum wage and having voters rank candidates.

Trump saw some of his biggest Northeast support from Maine communities like Corinth, a town outside of Bangor with a population of 2,800. The town, which has 369 Democrats, 827 Republicans and 671 unenrolled voters, gave him 71 percent of its vote.

That’s compared with 19 percent in Portland, and 31 percent in Brunswick.

“I think things are bad enough that people wanted a change,” said Maison’s brother, Richard Goodrich, who lives in Holden. He cited a “movement” of rural, working class voters upset by the loss over the years of textile, shoe and paper manufacturing jobs.

It’s an economic reality not as keenly felt in Maine’s urban south, where a service-based economy has grown in a post-industrial era. Some northern communities have seen unemployment as high as 20 percent in recent years – even as the state’s unemployment rate dropped.

“In some ways, the Trump campaign reflected those two Maines. He was appealing to the people who felt that they were ignored,” said Sandy Maisel, professor of government at Colby College.

In general, political candidates who’ve managed to appeal to both Maines were centrists, like Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and former Sen. Olympia Snowe.

As retired financial adviser and Clinton supporter Larry Towle poured detergent at a laundromat in Corinth, he mused that rural Maine saw in LePage an “intemperate nature that spoke to them.”

“He says what he thinks!” interjected Trump supporter Brian Thompson, as he repaired a laundry machine.

LePage, who frequently likens himself to Trump, has harped on Washington, D.C. and “coastal” elites whom he says harms northern Maine’s economy by lobbying for regulations and a national park. And as the state slowly grows more diverse, LePage has blamed the opioid crisis on minority traffickers and says drug dealers are impregnating white women.

One 2nd Congressional District resident said foreigners shouldn’t get jobs over “Americans,” and another said he didn’t vote for Clinton because she’s a woman.

But it’s creating jobs and cutting welfare – trumpeted by both LePage and Trump – that’s attracted voters like Corinth resident Nancy Harper. She voted for Obama in 2008 but feeling disappointed, voted Republican in 2012.

She said she worries about Trump’s stance on women’s rights and his demeanor, but Clinton seemed too corrupt: “That whole Clinton Foundation thing.”

Richard Goodrich said if Trump fulfills promises like rebooting the military and helping veterans, his supporters will be happy.

“If not, he’ll be a four-year president,” Goodrich said.


Unique Gift For Music Lover On Christmas List

November 23, 2016
I was wrapping some gifts this week and placed in the DVD player “The Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show” (1969-71). This is a new addition to our home music library.
It is so much more than country music and so well worth a look if at all there is someone on your list that likes music and/or something rather unique.  This two DVD set has everything from Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Carl Perkins along with the heart of country music such Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, and Loretta Lynn.  All the music is sung from the Ryman Auditorium from the original Cash shows.
Four hours of perfect imagery and 66 performances.  I was most taken with it and thought perhaps others might enjoy it too—or know someone who might.  I will admit to getting less done with wrapping due to the watching…but I have time.

Why Do Americans Distrust Scientists?

November 23, 2016

James graduated from Middlebury College and so several times a year the college magazine arrives in our mail.  The fall edition is especially interesting with a cover story on how it is that an increasingly large segment of the nation distrusts scientists.  It is a fascinating read.

Like most U.S. adults, I believe that genetically modified foods are unsafe to eat; scientists believe otherwise. In a 2015 study conducted by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), just 37 percent of the general public said that it is safe to eat genetically modified foods. By contrast, 88 percent of AAAS scientists say that such foods are safe. And that 51-point gap? It’s the largest opinion difference between the public and scientists on any issue surveyed. It’s larger than the differences in opinions on whether humans have evolved over time (98–65 percent); whether childhood vaccines should be required (86–68 percent); whether climate change is mostly due to human activity (87–50 percent). (In all of these cases, scientists represent the higher numbers.)

So, you tell me: Should I have led with an anecdote about genetically modified food, since on no issue are scientists and the public further apart?

I guess that’s to be debated.

What really isn’t up for debate is the main takeaway from the Pew report, which is that “citizens and scientists often see science-related issues through different sets of eyes.”

I wanted to know why, so I turned to a psychologist, a philosopher, a political scientist, and a physicist to shed light on this issue.


We touch on the subject of trust, and Dickinson said that when we view our governing institutions as out of touch with our concerns, as a significant portion of the electorate does, “we increasingly are willing to discount what they tell us is the truth. And if you don’t trust the government, why should you trust the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health?” The populist movement that has aligned itself with Donald Trump on the right and with Bernie Sanders on the left has further exacerbated these inclinations, Dickinson said. “One of the hallmarks of populism is a distrust of elites, and that seems particularly pronounced in this election cycle. And science can be a part of that.”

Just Think, Next Year It Will Be Scott Baio!

November 23, 2016

What a truly tasteful and exciting event yesterday at the White House as Medals of Freedom were presented by President Obama.


Hillary Clinton Up By Over 2 Million Votes

November 23, 2016

David Wasserman shows that Hillary Clinton’s current lead over Donald Trump in the national popular vote is now over 2 million.


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