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No one cares about the lunch lady.

What’s going to be the mortality rate for cafeteria workers when schools reopen? 

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There are a couple of viral tweets going around painting Betsy DeVos as a callous monster for wanting to re-open the schools.

As far as I’ve been able to find, a doctor made that prediction, not Betsy, and I’m not even sure how he came to those numbers because the death rate for children under 18 is actually lower than 0.02%. Still, let’s be very clear. Betsy DeVos is definitely a monster, but she should be going viral because of the full scope of the picture, not one dubious figure.

The economy can’t reopen because there’s nowhere for children to go. Parents can’t leave their kids at home alone while they go back to work, so until they’re back in school, the country won’t start running again. That is the main concern for this administration.

The people who have the means to keep their children home away from public school are mostly white and mostly middle class. This is also great for DeVos because she doesn’t want those kids in school with poor and/or brown kids anyway.

A lot of teachers would rather retire or quit than go back to school next month, and that’s also great for DeVos because if public schools perform poorly, she can more righteously throw her weight behind the charter system she loves so much.

But Betsy DeVos and the whole lot of them are ignoring the lunch ladies.

I grew up in a very rural school district where my graduating class would have been around 80 people (I didn’t graduate with them though because I left for boarding school). I don’t remember the names of any of the janitors in any of the schools I went to growing up. The ones I can clearly build an image of in my mind were 40-year-old Black men, but they were in the background of my upbringing, neither praised nor maligned.

I don’t remember my first bus driver but she was a white woman with a long ponytail and a son named Brian who bullied me on the way home from school every day until I fought back. She kicked me off the bus and my mom had to pick me up for the rest of the year. My second bus driver a few years later was a cheerful Black woman. I remember a lot about her because she was also the computer teacher — that’s what happens in rural school districts, a lot of double duty. They were both in their 40s, but there were a few older bus drivers as well. My mom drove a school bus in her 60s just for something extra to do because she was tired of doing so much hair (she owned a salon). I don’t think anybody hated the bus drivers — except James Harris. I definitely hated James Harris because he was an asshole and I don’t care if anybody from my childhood is reading this. James Harris was an asshole.

One of the 3rd grade teachers went to high school with my mom and she was in her 40s when I came through. My 3rd grade teacher was almost 60 though. My 6th grade science teacher and 7th grade math teacher were both about 60 as well. The rest seemed old at the time, but they were generally under 40. Most of my teachers were nice women and I have pretty fond memories of them growing up.

I don’t have any fond memories of any of the cafeteria workers. They were mean old ladies who gave me nasty food. The square pizza would be burnt. The chicken rings would be rubbery.  I’ve never had chocolate milk that tastes like that outside of a school cafeteria. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich should actually have some jelly in it. And did I mention they were mean? Because they definitely were. When one of the Poor Kids didn’t have the quarter to pay for reduced breakfast, they didn’t get any food, and I felt like it was the mean old ladies’ fault. Lunch was a break from the day, but they would yell at us for just being kids. Why do we have to be so quiet?!

It’s not just me. The lunch lady is the most maligned adult from our childhoods. It’s hard to find nice cartoons about the lunch lady, but these are endless.

lunchladies1

lunchladies3

 

lunchladies4

lunchladies2

As an adult, it’s easier to look back at the cafeteria workers and stand in solidarity with what they go through. Most of those women have cooked for their families for decades. They know their way around the kitchen as much as any other 60-year-old Southern woman, but they were forced to feed us what was stipulated by the guidelines and the budget. They couldn’t give free food to the unfortunate and they didn’t make enough money to feed them out of their own pocket. They sometimes didn’t make enough money to feed themselves, and they’d be punished if they took leftovers (which are supposed to be thrown away per school district regulations, not taken home to feed your family). And if they were a little grumpy from time to time, they had the right to be. It’s a thankless job serving terrible food to children who disrespect you. Also, put yourself in this common scenario: You’re an older woman whose husband has been laid off or passed away, and you have to find a job with no work history. You can either greet at Wal-Mart or serve cold corn at the elementary school.

When schools open, kids will be spreading the coronavirus around like Skittles. As a general rule, children are disgusting germ factories. They’re always leaking and touching things and they’re mysteriously sticky at all times. And they cough like this:

cough

I don’t understand what a school day is supposed to look like. Disney went through all this work to make their park Social Distance Friendly and they’re requiring people to wear masks and the system is already breaking down, but how do you do that in a school? The desks are right next to each other and there’s no way to spread them out. How do you make a class of 25 wear a mask all day long when it takes ten minutes just to get them in a straight line to go to recess?

When the kids start to get sick, some of your children will die. The ones who don’t die will hop on a packed school bus and kill some of the bus drivers. They’ll walk by the janitor who cleans when the halls are mostly empty. They will sit in class all day with a teacher trying to hide behind a shield, but some of them will die too.

Then their midday reprieve from learning and breathing in a mask will be in the school cafeteria where they’re yelling at each other and spraying germs on the grumpy old lady serving the food nobody likes. She’s wearing a mask, but they aren’t. She’s wearing gloves, but they haven’t washed their hands well. She’s keeping her distance, but she’s stuck in that cavern of corona with recycled air for the 3 or 4 hours it takes for all the classes to have lunch.

What’s going to be the mortality rate for the lunch ladies?

 

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Politics

Trump sues the Internet, because he needs money.

He’s filing a suit he can’t win so his cult will give him more cash.

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Donald Trump sued Twitter, Facebook, and Google yesterday because he misses being able to shit in America’s face whenever the mood strikes, and because he needs money.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he will lead a lawsuit over alleged censorship against Twitter, Facebook and Google – three tech companies that removed him from their platforms after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters.

The lawsuit will be a class-action, with Trump as the lead plaintiff, claiming that he’s been censored by the companies. He spoke about the legal action from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important… development for our freedom and freedom of speech,” Trump said. “In conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing, as the lead class-action representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs.”

(cont. Fox News)

Fox News is reporting this story to its viewers and readers the way it reports everything else: with half of the truth and a Conservative tilt that builds a false reality in the minds of its consumers. Trump is indeed filing suit and he does indeed feel that his First Amendment rights have been infringed upon, but if Fox News would just say plainly that these suits have zero chance of success, people would be less likely to send Trump money, which is all that orange bastard wants in the first place.

Donald Trump’s entire fundraising strategy is to present himself as a champion of white Conservatives who feel they’ve been silenced. They feel like he’s the only one who’s fighting for them, so they send him — a supposed billionaire in their eyes — money to fight liberals, to fight Democrats, to fight the legal establishment, to fight media elites. Fine, if you want to throw away your money so your champion has enough cash to fight the good fight, that’s your right.

Where’s the good fight though? These are lawsuits for show. They won’t be pursued because they have no chance of winning and Trump hates to lose. From a legal precedent, we just had a ruling on this exact same situation less than two weeks ago, and it was in Florida where Trump filed his lawsuit.

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for blocking a politician’s posts, a blow to conservatives’ efforts to respond to Facebook and other websites’ suspension of former president Donald Trump. The law was due to go into effect Thursday, but in issuing a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida suggested that the law would be found unconstitutional.

(cont. WaPo)

Speaking of Florida, you can’t sue Facebook or Twitter from Florida. You have to sue them in California. I’m not a legal scholar and I don’t know why that is. I would suspect that a company would choose to set up shop in a state whose legal system was more likely to side with the company should an issue arise. If I’m a gun manufacturer, I’d rather be sued in Texas than in New York because my Texas judges will probably see it my way. Whatever the reasons, we all agree to file suit against Facebook and Twitter in California. When you sign up to use the platform, it says in the Terms of Service that any dispute you have must be filed in California.

It’s a done deal. Case closed, before it’s even open. Courts almost always uphold Terms of Service agreements unless there’s something egregiously illegal or unconstitutional in them, and specifying a jurisdiction in which to file a lawsuit is so commonplace, there’s no court that would even look twice at this filing from Florida. The Terms of Service agreement isn’t suddenly rendered invalid because you don’t like what you agreed to or you didn’t read it. It’s a legally binding contract that you agreed to, and if Trump wanted us to believe even for a second that he would pursue this lawsuit seriously, he would’ve at least bothered to file it in California. It’s so clearly Trump’s latest grift to wring money out of his cult, a way to keep his name trending, and another virtue-signaling tactic to his brainwashed followers that says, “hey…I’m still fighting for you guys.”

But he’s just fighting for his bank account.

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Dr. Jill Biden for Vogue

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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden covers Vogue this month and the accompanying write up is great.

I don’t feel like I know as much about her as I did about Michelle Obama, because the press were breathlessly reporting on every little Obama Tidbit, but Dr. Jill has firmly had me in her camp since I noticed how often she perfectly matches her gloves to her outfit.

This passage about the Navajo nation made me give her two snaps:

Dr. Biden’s trip to the Navajo Nation was, in fact, her third official visit to the tribal land—a fact that was lost on no one. (Business leader and Navajo advocate Clara Pratte says, “As someone who has worked in this field for a long time, I can tell you: This is not the norm. But it should be the norm.”) Dr. Biden’s last trip was two years ago, when she came to open “the very first cancer-treatment center on any American Indian reservation,” as the Navajo Nation’s first lady, Phefelia Nez, pointed out. Her husband, President Jonathan Nez, added that it was the Navajo Nation that helped put Biden over the top in Arizona, with “60, 70, even 80 percent turnout in some places.” There is a Navajo word, jooba’ii, that sounds like “Joe Biden” and means compassion, he said. “That’s how a lot of our elders remembered it at the polls.”

(cont.)

How about that. She’s the real deal.

Also: I love that this photo of Dr. Jill and her grandchildren from a couple of years ago pops up again. Annie Liebovitz did some good work here.

 

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WaPo: 21 House Republicans vote against awarding Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded on Jan. 6

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Twenty-one House Republicans on Tuesday voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 violent attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

The measure passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support from 406 lawmakers. But the 21 Republicans who voted “no” drew immediate condemnation from some of their colleagues, and the vote underscored the lingering tensions in Congress amid efforts by some GOP lawmakers to whitewash the events of that day.

(cont.)

Imagine facing down an angry mob and putting your life on the line for a group of people who largely look past you day to day, and then having those people say “oh it wasn’t that bad” and refuse to give you recognition.

The way I would CUSS them out to their FACE. The GOP has no floor. Their party is in hell.

 

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