The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded Thursday that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016, an effort more far-reaching than previously acknowledged and one largely undetected by the states and federal officials at the time.
― "Russia Combed Voting Systems In All 50 States," New York Times, Friday, 7/26/2019
They're doing it as we sit here.
― Former United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller on active Russian interference in American 2020 elections.
Russia interfered with our 2016 presidential election and has already launched an attack on our 2020 elections. According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a vast network of Russian agents is working to undermine future American elections.
And what are we doing about it?
The report by the United States Senate Intelligence Committee entitled "Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure" and released this past Thursday states that in 2016 Russia combed voting systems in every state in our country and carried out "an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure." According to the report, in several states, among them Illinois and Arizona, "Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data."
And what are we doing about it?
Our country is under attack. Our vote is in danger of being stolen from us.
And what are we doing about it?
Last Thursday, the day after Robert Mueller's testimony before Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill calling for immediate action on national security measures to protect our elections from foreign interference, such as ensuring that voter registration data cannot be tampered with and replacing aging voting machines with more secure machines with voter-verified paper trails.
So that's what we're doing about the Russian attack on our elections. Nothing. Because our country is now being led by men who are personally benefiting from Russians tampering with or our vote.
During the 2016 Presidential election there were over 200 contacts made between the members of the Trump campaign and Russia.
And though it is Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and those in their circle of influence who have benefited - or believe they have benefited - from Russian interference in our elections, the true and ultimate beneficiary has been and will continue to be Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Putin is the puppet master and those who were voted by trusting Americans into the positions of power and leadership in our country are willing to let him pull the strings.
And what are we going to do about it?
Last Saturday, July 13, the second Saturday of the month, I was once again in downtown Gahanna, Ohio, hawking my photographs,
...at the Gahanna Area Arts Council's Second Saturdays Arts in the Alley monthly summer art fair.
Though at previous Arts in the Alleys I've always snagged my own spot from which to sell my books,
...this time I invited a friend and fellow creative to share my tent, a seamstress who makes the most beautiful and finely-detailed clothes for 18" American Girl-style dolls.
Thanks to the enthusiastic young organizers of the Gahanna Area Arts Council,
...our town's monthly summer Arts in the Alleys - formerly First Fridays, now Second Saturdays - always include a special feature of artistic whimsy, such as this giant rubber duck that was conceived by a Danish artist and floated across the rivers of Europe to emphasize that we are all connected,
...or a parade of fanciful soft sculptures made by young art students,
...or performing trapeze artists.
This time the arty surprise was a delightful invasion of balloon creatures.
Manned - and womaned - by the intrepid young Gahanna Area Arts Council volunteers, a unicorn, giraffe, and three flamingos rambled among the booths and people,
...to the delight of everyone.
It was definitely art for the young at heart.
The above are Twitter postings of Donald Trump, the putative President of the United States. His remarks target four American Congresswomen, three born in the United States, the other a naturalized citizen who came to this country as a refugee at age twelve.
Despite the fact that all four of these members of Congress are women of color, and despite Trump's use of a bombastic variation of a particularly nasty classic racist dog whistle - Why don’t they go back (to) the...places from which they came - it's probably futile to call him a racist.
He's been called that too many times. And he doesn't care.
As he himself said yesterday regarding the public outrage over his tweets, “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me. A lot of people love it, by the way.”
This is true.
As he himself said yesterday regarding the public outrage over his tweets, “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me. A lot of people love it, by the way.”lin,
...Trump supporter and founder of the highly-trafficked neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer,
"Man, President Trump's Twitter account has been pure fire lately. This might be the funniest thing he's ever tweeted. This is the kind of WHITE NATIONALISM we elected him for. And we're obviously seeing it only because there's another election coming up. But I'll tell you, even knowing that, it still feels so good."
And while Donald Trump says out of one side of his mouth that he doesn't care if he's a racist because a lot of people love it, out of the other side of his mouth he denies being one. "I don't have a racist bone in my body," he tweeted this morning.
Trump's supporters - except for his legion of Neo-Nazi fans - likewise deny that he's a racist. And though there's been some condemnation of Trump's tweet among the Congressional Republican rank-and-file, The Republican leadership denies that their leader is a racist.
Senate leader Mitch McConnell not only publicly proclaimed that Trump is not a racist, but he added that "Everyone outta calm down their rhetoric."
(We must assume he meant everyone except Donald Trump).
Even members of the news media have been debating whether Trump and/or his tweets are racist per the definition:
...or whether Trump and/or his tweets are actually something else.
And so I say that if it can't be agreed upon whether Trump is a de facto racist, let's agree on something nobody can deny: that his remarks in that tweet the other day were ugly. They were ugly and they were factually wrong, whether from inexcusable ignorance or inexcusable lying. They are, in fact, far and away the ugliest remarks made by any American President in history not counting Donald Trump himself, who has disgorged from his mouth such a vast and putrid gusher of ugliness over the past three years that one can barely imagine how deep must be the cesspool of his soul.
And if you would defend Donald Trump by the purported booming economy and the record wealth being reaped on Wall Street by the super-rich under his presidency, remember that the economy of the pre-Civil War American South built on the backs of black slaves likewise generated great economic wealth and prosperity.
For a while.
And under Adolph Hitler, while Jews and other racially or otherwise undesirable populations within German society were being exterminated, the country prospered economically.
For a while.
So, my fellow Americans, call Donald Trump whatever you will, but just remember:
Okay, how much do you love Megan Rapinoe?
Me, I’m a Megan Rapinoe superfan.
I love, love, love the video clip of her poo-pooing a prospective invitation to the White house. And it’s not the fact of her saying that she won’t visit the White House that I love, but how she says it; or rather, how the clip opens with Megan looking doe-eyed, delicate and sylph-like,
...until she opens her mouth and grunts, “I'm not going to the f**kin’ White House.”
The video clip is only a few seconds long and I’ve watched it a dozen times, but it still cracks me up every time.
If you haven’t yet seen the clip, you must. Here’s the link:
I also love Megan's twitter quip about gays and science:
I'm hoping she'll show up as a host on Saturday Night Live.
But more than her scintillating wit and gift for comic timing, I'm inspired by Megan Rapinoe's social activism and her fearlessness in speaking truth to power. During an interview with on CNN with Anderson Cooper she had this eloquent message for Donald Trump:
"Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me, you're excluding people that look like me, you're excluding people of color, you're excluding Americans that maybe support you...you're harking back to an era that was not great for everyone -- it might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it's not great for enough Americans in this world."
And there was the powerful speech she gave during yesterday's ticker tape parade in New York City during which she declared:
"This is my charge to everyone. We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We’ve got to listen more and talk less. We’ve got to know that this is everybody’s responsibility, every single person here, every single person who is not here, every single person who doesn’t want to be here, every single person who agrees and doesn’t agree, it’s our responsibility to make this world a better place."
...can play some soccer, too?
Along with other cities, towns, communities and neighborhoods large and small across the U.S.A., we here in Gahanna, Ohio celebrated the birthday of our country with our Fourth of July parade.
The gathering point was on the commercial center parking lot at the corner of Granville Street and Hamilton Road,
...where we the marchers,
...riders on floats we made and decorated ourselves,
...and riders in a variety of other vehicles decked out in patriotism and whimsy,
...represented groups, organizations, and individuals that are among the many and varied strands that weave together to shape and define us and our community.
We marched through downtown Gahanna alongside our home-made floats,
...tossing candy and balloons to the children.
And as we passed by the crowds of spectators lining the street,
...I thought to myself, This is what a Fourth of July parade is supposed to be,
...and not this.
Happy Fourth of July weekend, everyone!
...Continued from yesterday:
By the time my mother's first birthday party of Dunkin' Donuts and cake in the church hall was over (See yesterday's post) it was nearly lunch time. As soon as we arrived back home my mom, who is known far and wide for her prodigious sweet tooth, declared, probably for the first time in her 99 years, "Now I need something that isn't sweet."
I - who also share my mother's voracious love of sweets - seconded the motion, as did Tom. So I suggested we order a pizza from Pizza King, my mom's go-to spot for breakfast, and which appears to be renowned for just about every dish other than pizza.
However a couple of nights previous when we went out to P.K.'s - as the place is locally known - for dinner, I tried ordering a small cheese pizza.
I swear, if it wasn't the best pizza I've ever had, it was tied for first place.
Thus I suggested we order a take-out P.K.'s cheese pizza for lunch.
Was it every bit as good as the pizza I'd had the other night? Oh yeah!
When the time rolled around for my mom' second party of the day - a family dinner at the Stargate Diner - my mom was ready to go,
...as were the rest of us.
When we arrived at the Stargate most of our attendant family members, who'd traveled from near and far, and a few friends were already there and catching up,
My brothers and me,
...and our spouses,
My sister Romaine couldn't make it for the party as she had made plans months ago to fly out from Oregon to visit my mother a little later over the summer.
And though my mother's 99th birthday celebration was conceived without much advance notice (see yesterday's post), still as many of my mother's five children, nineteen grandchildren (one of my brothers and his wife hold first place with their ten children), and twelve (I think) great-grandchildren came as were able.
Before dinner my brother gave a funny but affectionate testimonial to our mother,
...who followed with an emotional testimonial to the rest of us.
After dinner we had a yummy carrot cake provided by the restaurant,
...and a beautiful buttercream cake that one of my sisters-in-law brought,
...a fitting end to a day celebrating a beautiful life.
During my recent trip to Seaford, Delaware over Memorial Day weekend to visit my mother (see post from 6/11/2019, "Portraits Of My Mother And Other Subjects) I heard not a word of any parties being thrown in honor of her approaching 99th birthday on June 24.
Nor was I expecting to. After all, it had been nine years since my mother's last birthday party, when she invited 200 of her closest friends - I'm serious - to a big bash we threw for her in the Seaford fire station hall.
But now she was nine years older and, really, how many people would want or could even handle a big party for their 99th birthday?
As it turned out, at least one.
I knew my brother and sister-in-law had been planning to take my mom and two of her friends out to dinner at a nice restaurant for her birthday.
I'm not sure how my sister-in-law, devoted daughter-in-law that she is, managed - after scrapping the nice birthday dinner idea - to whisk together the planning and details, but one week before her birthday I learned from my mother that there was to be not one, but two parties in honor of her 99th birthday: One for her friends to be held in Our Lady of Lourdes church hall on the morning of her birthday after mass, which my mother attends daily;
"I sure wish you could be here for my birthday," said my mother after telling me the news about her parties that would take place the following week.
Tom and I had just made the 10-hour drive from Columbus to Seaford three weeks earlier.
But how do you deny your 99-year-old mother when she asks you to come for her birthday?
So on Friday, June 21, Tom and I were on the road again to Seaford, Delaware.
When we arrived my mother was, as always, so glad to see us and, as always, she looked wonderful,
...and her cats looked as chill as ever.
...and the neighbor's cat, who just likes to hang out with the other cats.
We spent an enjoyable weekend sampling the cuisine of the Seaford diner scene,
On a few occasions while we were out and about we ran into folks that my mother knew and she shared that Tom and I were in town for her 100th birthday.
At one point I reminded her that it was her 99th birthday.
"Oh, well," she replied, "I figure this one will be as close to 100 as I'll get, so I'm calling it my 100th."
Fair enough, thought I.
On the morning of June 24th, my mother's 99th - or 100th - birthday, some of my mom's church friends, my sister-in-law Theresa, and myself set up the church hall while my mother attended 9:00 am mass in the church.
The refreshments were simple - and sweet: Dunkin' Donuts,
...and birthday cake.
Around 10:00 am the guests began arriving,
...and soon thereafter the birthday girl arrived.
...and the party was in full swing.
After my mom blew out her candles and, I presume, made a wish,
...she gave a little speech, thanking everyone for coming.
She received many good wishes,
...and lots of love,
...which, at 99 years old, is surely all you need.
To be continued...
by Patti Liszkay
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by Patti Liszkay
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"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
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of German Village,
Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library
I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.