Tuesday Reads: Another Sad Day in Trump’s America

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Good Morning!!

Everyone talks about how great California is, but US News found that Massachusetts is the best state in the country for a number of reasons.

Bay State’s Public Schools, Health Care, Economy Stand Out.

A sunset cruise along Boston’s Charles River unravels the story and strengths of this state which opened the first public park, the first colonial college and the first American subway. The spire of Harvard Memorial Church rises majestically near the columns of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the Cambridge side of the river. On the other side, Boston’s skyline encompasses the old and the new, the state Capitol’s golden dome and the high-rise Prudential and John Hancock towers. The cruise runs past some of the world’s best universities – the first, founded as New College and later Harvard in 1636 — some of the nation’s best hospitals, a museum of science, innovation district and world-class research facilities.

Its vibrant academic environment, innovative and supportive health care policies and modernizing economy, measure for measure, make this small New England powerhouse with a population of 6.8 million the strongest state of all.

“Our economy is among the strongest in the nation,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at his second State of the Commonwealth address in January. “Over the past two years we’ve added 120,000 jobs. Today more people are working than at any time in the past 20 years. And our welfare caseload has dropped 25 percent. The companies of the future are moving to Massachusetts, bringing millions in private investment. While new companies are born here every day.”

These business births, low unemployment, several measures of educational achievement and successful health care have combined to drive the Bay State to the overall No. 1 place in U.S. News and World Report’s Best States rankings.

Several other listings have pushed Massachusetts to the top of livability lists, its unpredictable New England weather never really a deterrent. Many surveys have shown it as the best state for education, best for health care, and best in socio-economic living conditions. But this is a unique, comprehensive accolade.

There’s much more detail at the link if you’re interested.

Help!!!

Help!!!

I guess that should give me hope, because I’m having a terrible problem at the moment. My new living situation is becoming a nightmare.

There is a man down the hall from me who smokes constantly and the smoke fills my apartment all day long until late at night. My lungs are on fire, my eyes are bright red, and my chest is tight. I didn’t notice it at first–I don’t know if he was away for awhile or what. But lately it has become unbearable.

I’ve been complaining since last week with little success. This morning I learned that I’m not the only one complaining. The man has even received a warning letter. But he still smokes constantly and won’t go outside. This is a non-smoking building–I actually  had to sign a long detailed addendum to the lease explaining why no one is allowed to smoke in the building or even on the sidewalk outside. The woman who is in charge of these housing issues told me this morning that “There’s nothing to get so upset about,” and “it is a process.” She said he will probably have to be evicted, but who knows how long that could take?

If anyone has any suggestions about how I can protect myself from the smoke, I’d greatly appreciate it. I have ordered a face mask that is supposed to come today, and I’ve been looking into air purifiers. Obviously, I can’t afford anything very expensive. To let you know how bad it is, I’m sitting in front of an open doorway to the outside with a fan blowing out. All of my windows are open. Yet I can still feel the smoke in my throat and lungs and taste it in my mouth. And I’m freezing cold.

Now some news.

As we discussed yesterday, tRump is going to give a speech to Congress tonight at 9PM Eastern. The speech will be all over TV. MSNBC is going to have a special report about it at midnight–I’ll be you can hardly wait. I will probably watch, because I just can’t stop myself, but I’ll keep checking in here in case people post something to cheer us all up. I’ll try to do that too.

Here’s some background on how other presidents handled their first addresses to Congress, from Susan Page at USA Today:

In their first speech to a joint session of Congress, newly elected presidents traditionally identify their legislative priorities and outline policy details beyond the soaring rhetoric of their inaugural address delivered a few weeks earlier.

So that’s already a big difference from tRump, since his inaugural speech was definitely not “soaring rhetoric.” Page lists each of the last five presidents and how they handled the speech.

President Barack Obama addresses joint session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009.

President Barack Obama addresses joint session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009.

Here’s Obama:

Context: The United States was in the midst of a financial meltdown.

Message to Congress: “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before. The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation.”

Domestic policy: Stimulus bill had just been enacted. Proposed rescue plans for big banks and the auto industry, and tax hikes for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. “Health care reform cannot wait; it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.”

Foreign policy: “In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of engagement has begun. For we know that America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, but the world cannot meet them without America.”

Read Obama’s full speech

Read the other four summaries at the link.

The attacks on Jewish facilities has reached shocking levels since tRump became president. Yesterday there were bomb threats in 11 states. NPR:

Bomb threats forced evacuations at Jewish schools and community centers in 11 states Monday, with the Jewish Community Center Association confirming threats in states ranging from Florida to Michigan. In Ann Arbor, Mich., police gave the all-clear after a Hebrew day school was threatened, forcing students to leave.

“Today, bomb threats were called into schools and/or JCCs in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia,” the JCC Association of North America says. “Many affected institutions have already been declared clear and have returned to regular operations. All previous bomb threats to JCCs this year were determined to be hoaxes.”

In Ann Arbor, police are working with the FBI after receiving an “unusually specific” threat about a bomb in a backpack, Michigan Radio’s Kate Wells reports. After detection dogs were brought in, police allowed students to return to school — but Wells calls the scene “surreal,” with news crews and police still hovering around the school.

More at the link.

Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island, WA

Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island, WA

Here’s a specific report from KOMO News in Washington state: Mercer Island Jewish community center evacuated due to bomb threat.

The Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island was evacuated after a bomb threat was called in Monday evening, according to Mercer Island Police.

Police were called to the community center around 4:45 p.m. after a staff member received the threat over the phone.

“I just came to pick up my daughter and it was very scary, and this is uncalled for,” said Cecilia Yeung, who still appeared shaken as she walked her child to their car.

Staff members immediately began evacuating the building. Officers said about 250 people were inside at the time, many of them children.

“We were just told, hey, it’s time to evacuate, we got to get all the kids out,” said Kristin Mannari, a teacher at the community center.

Of course, tRump has had nothing to say about these threats or the vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. He doesn’t seem to care about the attacks on muslims and on immigrants generally either. In Kansas, people are beginning to ask questions about this creepy attitude.

The Kansas City Star editorializes: Trump’s silence on deadly Olathe shooting is disquieting.

At some point, embarrassingly late begins to verge on something more disquieting.

President Donald Trump has silently planted himself in that space.

Nearly a week has passed since two India-born engineers were singled out and shot at an Olathe bar, presumably because they were immigrants, darker in skin tone and possibly viewed by the shooter as unwanted foreigners….

Trump has offered no words of condolence for the grieving widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died from his gunshot wounds.

The president has expressed no sympathy for Kuchibhotla’s best friend, Alok Madasani, who continues to recover from bullet wounds and the trauma.

Trump usually loves to celebrate all-American heroes. But he’s passed on commending Ian Grillot, a bystander who leapt to take the gunman down before anyone else was harmed. Grillot was shot, too.

Surely the White House team could have cobbled together a statement of some sort, a response to at least address growing fears that the U.S. is unwelcoming of immigrants, or worse, that the foreign-born need to fear for their lives here. The deadly incident in Olathe has resonated across the country and even around the globe.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla with wife Sunayana Dumala. Source: Sunayana Dumala/Facebook

Srinivas Kuchibhotla with wife Sunayana Dumala. Source: Sunayana Dumala/Facebook

The widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla wants answers (also from The Kansas City Star):

Two days after her husband was shot to death in an Olathe bar, the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla on Friday publicly sought answers to what she perceived was a spread in American hate crimes.

“I have a question in my mind: Do we belong?” said Sunayana Dumala, who like her husband traveled from India to attend a U.S. college.

“We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening,” she said at a news conference at the headquarters of Garmin, where Kuchibhotla worked as an aviation systems engineer. “And we always wondered, how safe?”

Of the two of them, she said, she was most concerned, asking her reassuring husband: “Are we doing the right thing of staying in the United States of America?”

Dumala is returning to India for Kuchibhotla’s funeral. She said she wanted to come back to their home in south Olathe, fulfilling her husband’s wishes for an American life and “me being successful in any field I choose.

But before making that decision, “I need an answer,” she said. “I need an answer from the government. …What are they going to do to stop this hate crime?”

Sadly, she’s not likely to get any answers from tRump. He is incapable of such empathy.

And of course many other immigrants are living in fear now. Here’s an article at The Washington Post about the family of the woman who was deported from Arizona after she showed up for a routine immigration meeting. Her husband is also undocumented and fears being deported too.

Her kids returned to their Phoenix home, but it suddenly felt different, empty. People like their mother apparently weren’t welcome here. As a country reevaluated its position on undocumented immigrants, they would have to reevaluate a life without the one who mattered most to them.

Their father — who allowed himself to be photographed but asked not to be identified by name because he, too, fears being deported — looked to his right at the dinner table, where his wife, “Lupita,” would usually sit, sharing a glass of Coca-Cola with him.

Her lunchbox sat on the kitchen counter where she left it after returning from her custodial job two days before she was detained. The Christmas tree stood in the corner, adorned with a snowflake ornament Angel made in the second grade, “Mom” scribbled on one side. Hanging next to it was a three-foot painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

It’s heartbreaking, but please read the story anyway.

Take care of yourselves today, Sky Dancers!


77 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Another Sad Day in Trump’s America”

  1. joanelle says:

    Hmmm, there are some places, like, NJC and places here in NJ that don’t allow smoking in apt or office buildings – perhaps you have an ordinance that can help you?

    Jo-Ann C. Dixon

    Face to face discussion is the spark for creativity

    201-247-4416

    • bostonboomer says:

      The building doesn’t allow smoking. You have to sign a long document that informs you you can’t smoke and you have to agree to not smoke or your lease can be broken. This guy will have to stop smoking or get evicted.

  2. dakinikat says:

    BB: Did you look at insulation for doors? You can tape up the cracks in the doors. 3m has a lot of products for that.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m looking into it, but I’d rather just let them evict the guy, frankly. Why should I have o spend all this money to protect myself from someone doing something that’s forbidden? Someone seems to have done something, because it’s better right now.

      • Fannie says:

        Hope this neighbor goes somewhere else. It’s your apartment to, and you are following the rules.

  3. NW Luna says:

    BB, so sorry to hear about the awful situation in your apartment building. Clearly the smoker is in flagrant violation of his agreement to live there. Clearly the apartment management is not taking this seriously. It IS something to get upset about — it’s your health, and that of everyone else exposed. 2nd-hand smoke is almost as bad as smoking oneself, per the last 10-15 years of research findings. Is there an Ombudsman or equivalent official who oversees senior housing? Or someplace at the Mayor’s office where they can find the appropriate person to advocate for you? Consider getting a letter from your healthcare provider that respiratory health is a serious issue. The apt manager sounds obtuse or at least non-caring. Perhaps remind them you might have to call 911 for respiratory distress. Does your doctor’s office have a social worker? Or is there a city or county senior services org with social workers/advocates? or perhaps the health department? Or even the fire department, since the building is clearly a non-smoking building?

    I don’t know enough about filters to be able to offer any evidence-based advice there. I really hope there’s a solution soon, and the apt management does the right thing and stops that neighbor from smoking or evicts him. Everyone else’s health shouldn’t be put at risk for him.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I have a call into my doctor to get her to write a letter. I don’t think this woman is not taking it seriously. She just started the job last week and she’s overwhelmed. Since they already sent the guy a warning letter, the next step seems to be eviction. I will keep checking in with her. If I get desperate, I may contact the board of directors, but I want to see if they act first.

      We don’t have a mayor, just a town manager and town meeting. I’m not ready to give up on the local people yet though. It helps to know that lots of people have complained. I think I may just have been the most vociferous.

  4. NW Luna says:

    Great post, especially considering the conditions!

  5. roofingbird says:

    After Hubbies recovery, he did have reduced lung capacity and we had to contend with lots of forest fire smoke. So we did get floor filters. Currently we have a smaller Honeywell model for each room, so we can adjust the filtering better. They work pretty well. The caveat is that the companies replace the models often, and then you can’t get replacement filters easily, or at all. So if you decide to get one, try and purchase as many extra filters as possible, especially the HEPA parts

    • bostonboomer says:

      Do you know which Honeywell one it is?

      • roofingbird says:

        HPA 100. I don’t know what the sq footage is on your place. This one worked very well for his bedroom of about 10′ x 12′. We got three for the main rooms he uses so he could turn them on and off, they all had the same size filter, and in the long run, I think more economical than one larger one. Check out the price of the replacement filters, too, when you do this. If they don’t have in stock, this could an indicator that they are about to change the models.

  6. janicen says:

    What a horrible situation for you, bb. You are absolutely right to be upset. I would be hysterical. Second hand smoke is a health hazard, full stop. This man should be charged with endangering others. After my daughter suffered from blood clots and it was determined that she had a genetic blood clotting factor, the hematologist told her not only to never smoke, but also to never be around second hand smoke because it is just as bad. I would be on the phone to every single agency I could think of. Years ago we were having a dispute with a landlord and we discovered that Virginia’s office of consumer affairs was able to intervene and help us, I wonder if there is something similar in MA? There is nothing that I know of that you can do to block it. I’ve been in non-smoking rooms in hotels where I could still smell smoke from the smoking rooms (back in the days when that was allowed) and I’ve been in supposedly separate non-smoking rooms in restaurants that wreaked of smoke from the smoking area. I am shocked and disgusted by that woman’s attitude about your concerns. She should not be in her job. I’m am so sorry. This really makes me angry.

  7. roofingbird says:

    I wonder if a lawyer could tell you… if you have to purchase safety equipment to protect yourself because management isn’t following through and telling you it’s no big deal, why you can’t send the bill to management? Can you get a doctor to go along?

  8. roofingbird says:

    Lol, here I thought you were going to be the belle of the ball because you are driving with a car. I imagined all those group shopping events you would be organizing in exchange for extra gas money. Now I find out you are just a “complainer”.

  9. Mary Luke says:

    BB so sorry you are having problems. You have hit the root failure of the article : MA is a great place to live if you are making a lot of money, if you are young, and well enough to work 60 to 70 hours a week to pay our extremely high housing costs. For anyone not in the upper income brackets living here can be a real struggle.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Right. I’m just fortunate that I’m so poor I can get subsidies for everything–which is another thing many states don’t have.

  10. roofingbird says:

    Does your apt have an air gap at the bottom of the front door to allow conditioned air to and from the hallways? First fix would be an air baffle at the bottom of the door.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I have towels there now and I’m going to buy some weather-stripping or something similar as soon as I can.

  11. quixote says:

    BB, how horrible. One of my neighbors across a back fence used to burn yard waste / construction waste / god-knows-what-all constantly. Of course, my whole house fills up with smoke. And this is California. That is 100% illegal. I tried to report the pollution, but, like you, met with zero interest.

    I never did find a solution. All I’ve got is I know what you’re going through!. Nothing useful. 😦

  12. ANonOMouse says:

    BB…..I took care of my Mom & dad for about a decade. I built an apartment on my home for them. The agreement was that they could smoke, but they had to smoke on the screened porch off their bedroom. That lasted about 20 seconds. I ended up buying an air purifier with a carbon filter. I think it was a Hamilton Beach. I kept it in the kitchen right next to the door to their apartment. It worked for me. I think I spent less than $50 on it. I bought it at Walmart or Target or some place like that. I’m sure you could find something similar on Amazon.

  13. Fannie says:

    Here I am sitting here listening to Trump repeal the EPA clean water act. He says that hundreds of thousands of people have become unemployed because of it. Here he is putting families, children, unborn babies at risk because of his policy to allow poison in our water ways.

    Next thing he’ll bring back big tobacco.

  14. Fannie says:

    Here he is on Black History, like he knows, and compares them to how important churches are in this country. OMG…………Here he goes 150 years……………The lying sack of shit.

  15. Fannie says:

    Maxine Waters says this is the first time she has ever heard about his executive and what that means. She doesn’t know what it means. She didn’t hear who was over seeing it, and she didn’t hear about the details, funding etc. You would think the President would have consulted with those HISTORIC figures serving in congress.

  16. bostonboomer says:

    Trump claims that anti-Semitic threats are a “false flag operation.”

    http://shareblue.com/trump-pushes-conspiracy-anti-semitic-threats-are-false-flag-operation/

  17. janicen says:

    Suffragist white for the joint session…

  18. Minkoff Minx says:

    BB so sorry you are having issues with the smoking man, I can’t believe that the person in charge of such matters is so nonchalant about someone breaking a code like that. If someone else is complaining maybe you can find others who can band together to force the woman to actually do something about the asshole.

    As for tonight’s fuck show, I can’t watch it. I don’t even think I can bring myself to read about it. There is so much going on right now, just to see that dickheads face will put me over the top.

    My mom is in a lot of pain. The oncologist doctor gave her a patch that she has to change everything 3 days, but her go thinks she may have to change it every other day. The break through pain hits here hard and she waits too long to take her pain pills. It is very difficult to see her go through this.

    My daughter goes tomorrow to MEPS. She has to take her “confirmation” asvab…she took the pre one and scored pretty good.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, JJ. I can’t believe it, but the guy hasn’t smoked all day since this morning. For the first time in days I’m breathing fresh air. They must have really put the fear of god in him–for today anyway.

      It must be so hard for your mom and for you taking care of her. She needs to take the pain meds on schedule so it doesn’t build up too much in between. I learned that when I broke my elbow. Good luck to Bebe. She must be so excited! I hope they will pay for her to go to college.

  19. Minkoff Minx says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      He’s such an asshole. I’m watching it with the sound off, reading the closed captions.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I can’t even look at the man. My mom is crying in agony in the background, her pain is that bad. Yet it is surreal with the tRump shithead on the tv, talking away. (Also on mute, my dad is watching him)

        • Fannie says:

          Wow, JJ, I hope she gets some sleep.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Can’t she get more pain meds? It’s not like she has to worry about addiction at this point.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          JJ…..I’ve been through this pain med BS with my parents. If she’s on a Fentanyl patch, she likely needs a higher dose patch. Just call the oncologist and TELL them you need something stronger, stat, or need to be able to change it more often. Don’t let them shit around with you.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      • bostonboomer says:

        I didn’t hear anything new in the speech, but the media is gushing over it. This is the truth:

        //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Thank goodness Chief Owen’ father is refusing to be played or to fall in line. He’s mad as a hornet and I don’t expect him to rest until he gets answers. YemenGhazi.

        • palhart says:

          It’s a shame his widow allowed herself to be played like this. trump sent her husband on an unnecessary mission to his death. “We will never forget him” is pathetic solace for taking a life.

          We have listened to the darkness and carnage (convention and inaugural) speeches to last night’s address of lightness and a future of winning wars, of all Americans’ dreams realized, of corporations unregulated, and of divisions magically dissolving. All bullshit!

  20. Minkoff Minx says:

  21. purplefinn says:

    He’s a very stupid clever man.

  22. bostonboomer says:

    Pence and Ryan have identical smirks on their faces. I don’t know what that means.

    • purplefinn says:

      They also blink and nod at the same time.

    • Fannie says:

      Did you see Steve Scalise from Louisiana………he had the biggest hard on for Trump, good god almighty.

      It was chock full of white men, and even though he had weeks of preparations for the speech, he still LIED. Nothing was about the people, it was all about HIIM.

      I wish he would shut down Obamacare tomorrow, and get up in the morning with his Trump don’t care health program.

  23. bostonboomer says:

    Mitch McConnell’s face is expressionless. I think he’s underwhelmed.

  24. purplefinn says:

    BB keep us posted on your progress eliminating the smoke problem. Smoke is insidious.

  25. purplefinn says:

    I followed your mute suggestion. Watching tRump is nearly as unpleasant as listening to him.

    • bostonboomer says:

      He is ugly inside and out.

      • Fannie says:

        Exactly what I kept saying. My husband, really wanted me to listen, but all I saw was the nastiest snake ever. I kept saying he is so ugly, his face, that look, I can’t stand him.

        He didn’t get the history right about Eisenhower…………..

  26. jane says:

    I understand about your cigarette smoke situation. I had problems that that and I can smell a smoker a mile off. Things are better after years of staying away from the stuff. I also used an Ionic Breeze air cleaner. Like a filter but better, you just have to wash the insides every once in a while. I still get a little smoke from down the chimney from nearby neighbors who smoke outside. I’d be pounding on the walls if I were there. Hang in there.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thank you Jane. I lived with a smoker for 20 years, and it took me a good 5 years to get the poison out of my body. I’m incredibly sensitive to smoke now. I’m ordering an air purifier today.

  27. NW Luna says:

  28. NW Luna says: