Gray Panthers revisited

Susan J. Douglas, writing in The New York Times, reminds us of the Gray Panthers of the 1970s. The leader was Maggie Kuhn.

Infuriated by being forced out of her job at 65 (and even more irked that her parting gift was a sewing machine), and outraged by what gerontologists in the 1970s championed as “disengagement theory” — the notion that it was normal and natural for older people to simply withdraw from society — she took on what was then, and still is, one of the most socially acceptable biases in our country: ageism.

The idea that seniors should disengage from politics after retiring seems totally wrong to me. Working people might well avoid social media and political conflict. There is less reason for seniors to do so.


Posted in Seniors, Social Security | Leave a comment

Tom Reed’s local fundraising

One can search FEC data for political contributions from cities. Here is what I found for the current election cycle as of Sept. 11, 2020.

Branchport   $5,600 One person
Dunkirk   0  
Geneva   $10,100 $4,080 from Hudson Data, LLC
Jamestown   $5,500 Most from Jamestown Business College
Naples   $1,000 One person
Owego   0  
Penn Yan   $1,250 Three persons
Silver Creek   0  
Waterloo   0  
FEC Data

For comparison, Corning Inc. contributed about $20,000.

Hudson Data, LLC advises on outsourcing and seeks to hire foreign workers. No wonder they favor Tom Reed.

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


This was an interesting study. Here are some conclusions:

  • To better understand how these unwanted callers operate, we monitored every phone call received to over 66,000 phone lines in our telephone security lab, the Robocall Observatory at North Carolina State University. We received 1.48 million unsolicited phone calls over the course of the study. Some of these calls we answered, while others we let ring. Contrary to popular wisdom, we found that answering calls makes no difference in the number of robocalls received by a phone number.
  • Using these techniques, we learned that more than 80% of calls from an average robocalling campaign use fake or short-lived phone numbers to place their unwanted calls. Using these phone numbers, perpetrators deceive their victims and make it much more difficult to identify and prosecute unlawful robocallers.
  • No one knows how robocallers interact with their victims and how often they change their strategies. For example, a rising number of robocalls and scammers are now using COVID-19 as a premise to defraud people.

Posted in Constituents, Education | Tagged | 1 Comment

Held in Contempt

A list of those held in contempt:

  • Main Street Media
  • Reporters
  • Soldiers
  • Military Brass
  • Barak Obama
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Minorities
  • Immigrants
  • Women
  • Christians
  • Lying Ted, little Marco, etc.
  • Democrats, even though he registered as a Democrat most of his life.
  • Fox News on occasion when crossed.
  • Officials he appointed often enough.

Given the number of other categories, we might even add the enthusiastic supporters at his rallies to the list.

Posted in 2020, Trump | 1 Comment


Citing specific examples from Playboy, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan magazines, Professor Key explains the ways in which the media uses sex and violence to manipulate human action. — Google Books

Given his obvious incompetence, why do so many of us approve of President Trump? Misogyny, racism, xenophobia seem insufficient explanations. Ignorance alone can’t be enough. Could we be brainwashed?

In “Subliminal Seduction,” author Wilson Bryan Key explains how advertisers use fleeting images to influence opinion. Key claims that advertising images aren’t accidental — clouds, liquids, reflections include subtle images designed to influence the audience.

Political advertising frequently uses images, sometimes what appear to be photographs, altered to frighten or sow distrust. While doubtless effective, ordinary advertising can’t be expected to excuse or hide corruption and incompetence. Perhaps we had better take a more careful look at political advertising to discern how our opinions are manipulated.

Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Constituents, Trump | 9 Comments

The final straw?

ask notPresident Trump has said and done dozens of things that might have fatally damaged his administration, but seemingly emerged unscathed. Here are some:

  • Attacking FBI and CIA.
  • Denial of intelligence reports.
  • Attacking NATO.
  • Secret meeting with Putin.
  • Repurposing appropriated funds.
  • Withholding aid to Ukraine.
  • Withholding information from Congress.
  • Hiding his tax returns.
  • Praise for white suprematists.
  • Conflicts with military.
  • Lack of response to threat of pandemic.
  • Disregard of medical expertise.
  • Making personal loyalty to him a sine qua non.
  • Praise of Kim Jong Un.
  • Attacks on the Postal Service.
  • Thousands of lies.

Will reports that Trump regards killed and wounded soldiers as losers be fatal? Experience to date suggests it won’t.


Posted in Trump | 4 Comments

Two interesting interviews

She Calls Her Opponent a ‘Racist,’ He Calls Her a ‘Radical’: Catching Up With Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95

She Calls Her Opponent a ‘Racist,’ He Calls Her a ‘Radical’: Catching Up With Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95


The Pandemic Pushes Rep. Tom Reed’s Caucus to the Forefront — and the Campaign to the Background

The Pandemic Pushes Rep. Tom Reed’s Caucus to the Forefront — and the Campaign to the Background

Posted in 2020, Campaign Finances, Campaigning, Congress, Constituents, Education, Environmental, gay rights, Gun Violence, Health Care, Political, Racism | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

My country, right or wrong …

punditOur Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country! — Stephen Decatur

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. — Mark Twain

Children must be taught that America is “an exceptional, free and just nation, worth defending, preserving and protecting. — DJT

Stephen Decatur’s sentiment makes me uneasy; I prefer Mark Twain’s.

Teaching children what to believe about America; is wrong. That is indoctrination, not education.

Posted in Education | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Facebook’s CrowdTangle


Is facebook the real silent majority as Kevin Rouse suggests? Does the number of hits on an on-line advertisement signal the direction the November election might go?

Is it that facebook traffic molds political opinions, that it reflects already hardened opinions, or both?

Thanks to Arthur Ahrens for recommending the New York Times article.

Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Trump | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tom Reed’s local fundraising

From FEC data TOM REED FOR CONGRESS (C00464032)

City Individual Contributions (excluding duplicates)
Corning 20 (several from Tom’s associates)
Dunkirk None
Elmira 7 (four from one family, many from Tom’s sister Mary)
Ithaca 7
Jamestown 5 (three from one family)
Waterloo None

Tom raises so much money from other states, it is little surprise that local people prefer to save their money.

Posted in 2020, Campaign Finances | Tagged | Leave a comment