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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 34,334

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Not to take away from the compelling saga of Patty Hearst,

but I find the story of one of her kidnappers, Angela Atwood, to be just as interesting, if not more.

Angela DeAngelis (yes, that was her maiden name), grew up in the town next to where I live, North Haledon, NJ. I've taught in the school she attended. In High School, she was Honor Roll, head cheerleader, Queen of the Prom, star of the school musicals. Most Likely To, etc.

She graduated and enrolled in Indiana University and knew Jane Pauley. Continued to study theater. Married Gary Atwood. They left Indiana with Bill and Emily Harris, to live in California. Angela separated and divorced Gary because he wasn't radical enough for her anymore.

She was teaching literacy in prisons when she became involved with a guy who was eventually arrested and jailed. And he was her entree into the Symbionese Liberation Army.

You likely know the rest of the story, esp. how she died in the shoot-out and fire in Los Angeles. She's buried in a Catholic cemetery in Paterson, the same one as Fr. Mychal Judge (Saint of 9/11). Buried with her family with just the name "Angel", her nickname.

I can understand how Patty Hearst suffered from the shock of the kidnapping and being held a hostage and being raped. I can also appreciate Stockholm Syndrome.

But to me, I just can't understand how Angela DeAngelis Atwood voluntarily and willingly went from Prom Queen to terrorist. To me, THAT'S the story not being told.

When I was a kid (decades ago), I loved comic books.

Superman, Superboy, Dennis the Menace, Archie/Veronica/Betty, Leave It to Binky

I had about maybe 20 that I would read over and over and over.

When I was 12, my father was agitated about my comic book habit. (It wasn't like I was buying 25 new ones a week. I just liked what I had.) He made me throw them out. As you may imagine, I felt that to be a violation on several levels.

It was August, 1969. In the dead of night, I stole outside and took them back. (I was lucky: they were on top of the garbage and not ruined.) I hid them from him for about six months before I became afraid of the consequences if he discovered that I was secreting them. So, again in the middle of the night, (albeit, now 10 degrees with snow outside), I sneaked out of the house and put my beloved comic books on top of the garbage and said a reluctant goodbye.

I don't know why my father was so angry. Maybe he believed that crap in Readers Digest about comic books leading to juvenile delinquency. Maybe he wanted me to read "Little Women" and other "classic literature". He's gone and so are the comics.

It's nearly 50 years ago. I still wish I had those comics. I just do.

Chuck Schumer offered to (partially) fund "The Wall" on Friday.

He didn't do it because he wanted the Wall.

He did it like a bluff in Poker.

He suspected that Trump was going to continue his line of "No Deal" no matter what the Democrats offered at that point. And he was right and Trump fell into the trap.

Schumer destroyed Trump's accusation that the Democrats truly wanted a government shut-down and were not negotiating in good faith and Trump would use that position to resurrect the 2018 Midterms across the nation.

Trump's MO: Make a promise, rescind that promise, deny he made that promise. Now the Dreamers are "illegal aliens" after HE gave them that status by rescinding Obama's EO.

My Point: Even when Schumer offered what Trump said he wanted to make a deal, in the end, Trump didn't want a deal.

P.S. Do any one of you not think that Trump could and would have extracted incredible concessions FROM the Democrats to avoid the Shutdown? Like a 20-week abortion ban AND "The Wall"? Or something similar?

My opinion of why Trump supporters are unnaturally loyal to him.

There's been a symbiotic relationship established. They more than identify with Trump. They are him. He literally speaks for them.

When Trump is criticized, insulted, not appreciated for all the hard work he's done for everybody (in their minds, not mine), etc., they absorb the criticism as though it was originally directed at them. When Trump is called stupid, a dullard, crazy, insane, a racist, it's the same as if the critics were calling them dirt-eating white trash who count for nothing. And perhaps more importantly, this criticism challenges, if not destroys, their republican delusions that they too can become impossibly rich like Trump with the right economy in place.

And that's why they'll never leave his side.

You could have video of him, caught in flagrante delicto, in bed with half a dozen hookers peeing on him and it won't push an inch between them and him. They blindly follow him like their minister (more or less the same thing in their eyes) because they've given up hope with everyone and everything else.

I had an interesting day while teaching.

I substituted as a class aide and was assigned at the end of the day to the preschool class for special needs children. I've been with them about 10 times in the last six weeks. I know the staff and the kids.

A boy was put in our class one minute after his third birthday. He is autistic and can't use words to communicate. He uses a variety of screams and shrieks. I've come to recognize a pattern or two, and realized he was trying to communicate the only way he knows how.

When I first met him, he was anti-social insofar as he was suspicious of people he didn't know. He was frightened and made for the door any time the thought occurred to him. While he didn't bite or was violent, he made it clear he didn't want to be in the class and school. He was also noticeably intelligent and seemed to love the I-Pad.

Fast forward to this afternoon. The kid was acting up a little and needed focus. The head teacher put him in a make-shift cubicle with games and activities, not very large. I was asked to sit on a chair near him to observe him (and to block the only exit of escape he would likely try). He played and seemed intent on what he was doing. Then -- without warning -- he approached me, climbed onto my lap and hugged me. He did this three times. This came as a surprise to me as we didn't exactly have a rapport established. I haven't seen him do with other teachers, although it's possible he has as I haven't been with this class for about a week.

BTW, this school has a very advanced program for special needs children from preschool to second grade.

When my father was barely "there" mentally and physically during his last years,

he enlisted a witless neighbor to enable him in the charade that everything was okay.

Repeatedly the neighbor would tell me, with admiration no less, that my father "really knows what he's doing".

In the meantime, just the opposite was going on. My father let his dog piss and shit all over the house as well as let the dog tear up the cushions on a sofa. When I tried to clean up the aforesaid, my father would get hysterically angry at me. My father also broke a front upper tooth and refused to get it addressed, repaired, etc. for more than a year. He would joke that he looked like Alfred E. Newman. (My father was a retired physician. He knew better and he had the money for a dentist/dental surgeon.) He didn't pay his bills for 6+ months and refused to allow me or my sister to get them ready for payment. He got into numerous fender-benders because he lacked the concentration and reflexes to drive safely. He had gouty knees and refused my offer to take him to the ER but preferred to call the EMS to take him there via ambulance. (He refused treatment once he arrived at the hospital. He then accepted my offer to drive him home, BUT he wanted me to stop at a take-out for some food AND wanted to get out of the car to walk the aisles. At that point, I had it with him; I told him if he did that, I'd drive away and leave him there.)

I respected my father's wish to remain in his home and not to move to an adult facility. But yet, he couldn't handle living alone and he just didn't "know what he was doing".

Trump brings back a lot of bad memories for me.
Posted by no_hypocrisy | Sat Jan 6, 2018, 08:31 AM (0 replies)

Al Franken has been a target of conservatives, republicans, and RW for more than 3 decades.

It started with his attack on their icon in the media, Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations".

Franken wrote a couple more books, taking aim at failed political philosophy, attacking patron saint, Ronald Reagan, and other republican officerholders in the House and Senate.

Franken then had a successful national radio program, three hours a day (against the timeslot for Limbaugh) five days a week for three years. He became bolder and bolder in his criticisms and attacks.

Finally, he not only ran for Senate in his native Minnesota, but attempted to continue the legacy of Paul Wellstone. In the Senate, Franken was almost restrained (for Franken) but continued to attack where necessary. Up until last month, he was vociferously attacking the end of Net Neutrality and "tax reform".

That voice has been neutralized -- unless Franken decides to stay in the Senate and doubles down.

We will see.

Anyway, Franken had to have been aware that he had a bull's eye on his back since Day One and I find it hard to believe he would be as reckless as it's been claimed.

I welcome a FAIR Ethics Committee hearing.

I am not usually prone to get choked up but yesterday

I was teaching a bunch of third graders. After The Pledge, they were singing along to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA".

Now first, I'm not a kneejerk patriot and I'm an atheist. This song rubs me the wrong way on a lot of levels.

But I was scanning them singing along and I considered their innocence. And I thought of all the canvassing I've done for local and state candidates in order to flip our districts to democrat and for Phil Murphy (governor) in order to change the course of this country for their benefit. It's for them as much as it's for me that I resist and I campaign.

They may not be my children, but they are our children. They are our future.

My district is multicultural: white, African-American, Latino/Latina, documented, undocumented. I work hard to keep them up to speed on whatever they should be learning. To give them opportunity in the future.

Let them sing and be unaware of what's going on in the adult world to some extent. I hope the lyrics have a different resonance of hope instead of blind allegiance to an illusory democracy when it's their turn.

Fired today as a substitute teacher -- for doing my job correctly

Today, like a 12 year old, I was directed to the Vice Principal's office at the high school where I have primarily sub-taught.

He was nice enough. He expressed regret for having to do his job. But at the end of the day, I was fired.

What happened: I had a social studies class with 26 kids. And I did the near-impossible: they were ALL working on their classwork, independently, without talking.

I usually call out 30 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. to help them pace themselves. I looked up and saw that a previously occupied desk was empty and the backpack gone. He was there no more than two minutes before I saw he was gone. (There was 10-15 minutes left in the class.)

Protocol requires that I call the Main Office who will then call Security to find the AWOL student. Made sure I identified the right kid. I even wrote up an Incident Report.

I did everything correctly.

But I was let go because for two minutes (120 seconds), I didn't know he was gone. The schools are petrified by the prospect of liability and lawsuits. Makes no difference that the kid was not hurt, some other kid wasn't hurt when he left the classroom, or that he didn't leave the building. Two minutes. No second chance for me. It's not a transgression or violation. It's grounds for dismissal. The Vice Principal conceded that I did everything else correctly. (Ironically, if I had not reported the missing kid, I'd still be working tomorrow.)

With all the classes I've taught in the high school from Special Education to ESL to Math to Science, all at next to minimum wage, without incident and with gratitude from the regular teachers, all this work means nothing. Doesn't count.

Nobody aspires to be a substitute teacher. We are victims of circumstance. We don't pay tuition, study hard, get on the Dean's List, etc. to be substitute teachers. My compatriots were mostly retired teachers, looking for something to do and extra income.

I'm in transition right now and the money was welcome. I miss both the income lost and the recognition I garnered until today.

Wishing a good day to survivors of bad fathers

My father made a lot of mistakes with me and kept on going. When he died, he continued what he started by leaving me with a pile of debts and disinheriting me while leaving his neighbor $35,000.

My sister and brother received a variation of the same fatherly love, so we can't say there was favoritism.

Dad showed more affection for his dog than for us and taunted us with it.

He died two years ago because he was in a car accident that he caused and refused medical attention and hid the incident from me and my siblings. As a consequence he suffered a fatal heart attack a week later.

I don't miss him. I didn't cry when he died and I still don't feel like crying. I don't hate him but I don't miss him either.

And I don't feel like Fathers Day is something I could celebrate even posthumously.

To this day I don't understand why a father would want to hurt his child(ren) in any way (physically, emotionally, psychologically). My father only spanked me once when I was 2-1/2 and that was enough for me. I was never close to him after that. We merely lived together.

BTW, I returned to take care of him after Mom died, about a month before he died. He was desperately trying to push me out of the house while leaning on the ($35,000) neighbor for help. I don't know why.

I kind of hope this is a solitary writing and nobody has been through my experience. But in case you have, I offer you my solidarity.
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