Saturday, October 27, 2018

Last Call For Screen Passes In Silly Valley

The people who gave us the ubiquitous tech of smartphones, tablets, and screens everywhere with the internet on them are now mortally afraid that data will be the drug of choice for Generation Z, and they're banning their own creations at dinner tables, schools, and living rooms to the point where an army of nannies are now employed to give these kids a 100% no-tech childhood.

Silicon Valley parents are increasingly obsessed with keeping their children away from screens. Even a little screen time can be so deeply addictive, some parents believe, that it’s best if a child neither touches nor sees any of these glittering rectangles. These particular parents, after all, deeply understand their allure.

But it’s very hard for a working adult in the 21st century to live at home without looking at a phone. And so, as with many aspirations and ideals, it’s easier to hire someone to do this.

Enter the Silicon Valley nanny, who each day returns to the time before screens.

“Usually a day consists of me being allowed to take them to the park, introduce them to card games,” said Jordin Altmann, 24, a nanny in San Jose, of her charges. “Board games are huge.”

“Almost every parent I work for is very strong about the child not having any technical experience at all,” Ms. Altmann said. “In the last two years, it’s become a very big deal.”

From Cupertino to San Francisco, a growing consensus has emerged that screen time is bad for kids. It follows that these parents are now asking nannies to keep phones, tablets, computers and TVs off and hidden at all times. Some are even producing no-phone contracts, which guarantee zero unauthorized screen exposure, for their nannies to sign.

The fear of screens has reached the level of panic in Silicon Valley. Vigilantes now post photos to parenting message boards of possible nannies using cellphones near children. Which is to say, the very people building these glowing hyper-stimulating portals have become increasingly terrified of them. And it has put their nannies in a strange position.

“In the last year everything has changed,” said Shannon Zimmerman, a nanny in San Jose who works for families that ban screen time. “Parents are now much more aware of the tech they’re giving their kids. Now it’s like, ‘Oh no, reel it back, reel it back.’ Now the parents will say ‘No screen time at all.’”

Ms. Zimmerman likes these new rules, which she said harken back to a time when kids behaved better and knew how to play outside.

Parents, though, find the rules harder to follow themselves, Ms. Zimmerman said.

Most parents come home, and they’re still glued to their phones, and they’re not listening to a word these kids are saying,” Ms. Zimmerman said. “Now I’m the nanny ripping out the cords from the PlayStations.”

I actually understand.  Tech has made the parents miserable, the 24-hour, 7-day leash from work is something I've been though and I wouldn't wish that level of anxiety on a kid, well, ever.  But the problem is these are the people that create the tech and get paid to make it as ubiquitous and widely available as possible.

They're telling their kids that no, you can't use this.  It'll ruin your life.  We're actually hiring somebody to enforce this rule.

What does that say about the rest of us?

Trump Cards, Con't

Donald Trump remains the most cancerous symptom of the diseased Republican party, because the problem is the party refuses to rein him in and say "no more".  The Never Trump cowards denounce Trump and some have even left the party, but refuse to take any responsibility for his rise or for the fact that 98% of his policies they still agree with and that they're fine with the direction of the remaining GOP. This means of course that nobody bothers to stop Trump when he decides to make an already volatile situation exponentially worse, as he headed to my old neck of the woods in Charlotte to scream at the enemies of the state that Cesar Sayoc tried to assassinate this week.

For two days, the president toyed with a bipartisan message and watched as the news cycle focused not on him, and not on the midterm elections, but on at least 14 explosive devices delivered to prominent Democratic figures.

By Friday, he had had enough.

As he left Washington for his latest campaign rally here, President Trump made it clear that he was no longer going to sit through another news cycle without President Trump at the center.

“The Republicans had tremendous momentum, and then, of course, this happened, where all that you people talked about was that,” Mr. Trump said to reporters about the bomb scares. “But now we have to start the momentum again.”

His supporters in North Carolina appeared to agree. When Mr. Trump took the stage at the Bojangles’ Coliseum, hours after Cesar Sayoc Jr., a Florida man with a lengthy criminal record, was arrested in connection to sending the devices, chants of “Build the wall” and “CNN sucks” had already rung out repeatedly.

“The suspect has been captured — great job — and is now in federal custody,” Mr. Trump said. “These terrorist actions must be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.”

The president, who made a show on Wednesday of being “nice” as bomb scares were affecting several of his political enemies, resurrected some of his favorite political insults two days later. Taunts including “Crooked Hillary” and “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” were brought out once again in a pull-out-all-the-stops partisan effort 11 days before the midterms.

While Mr. Trump did spend a few minutes railing against the Democrats and their immigration policies — “A vote for Democrats is a vote for open borders,” he once again falsely claimed — he reserved special ire for the news media.

Touching on a “broader conversation about the tone and civility” of political discourse, the president said that “everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction.”

He added, “The media has a major role to play whether they want to or not.”

He did not address the political leanings of Mr. Sayoc, 56, who was active in several pro-Trump Facebook groups and had attended at least one Trump rally, waving a “CNN Sucks” sign and wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. Mr. Sayoc’s van was covered in pro-Trump stickers. He turned up in Washington, again with the red hat, for Mr. Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.

But on Friday, Republicans, from Mr. Trump on down, made it clear that Mr. Sayoc was not one of them. In fact, the president said that the coverage of Mr. Sayoc’s political leanings was a result of the news media trying to pin the attempted bombings on his politics.

We have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me and the Republican Party,” Mr. Trump said. “The media has tried to attack the incredible Americans who support our movement to give power back to the people.”

Once again, Trump telling his screaming hordes that the Democrats are your enemy and that you will have to do something about them.  Once again, Trump telling his screaming hordes that the media is your enemy and that you will have to do something about them.  Once again, Trump telling his screaming hordes that those people are your enemy and that you will have to do something about them.

And so far in the last 72 hours, they did.

Just like Trump told them to do.

Our Little Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Another act of domestic terrorism in America, another white male suspect taken alive, and eight people dead in a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue this morning.

Eight people have been killed and a number of others injured after a shooting situation at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill on Saturday.

KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reports that a suspect, a white male, has surrendered. The SWAT team had been talking with the suspect, and he was crawling and injured.

Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews Must die.” Sheehan confirmed that eight people were confirmed dead. Others had been shot but the extent of their injuries in unknown at this time.

Police have requested that residents stay inside their home as they exchanged gun fire with a suspected gunman.

President Donald Trump Tweeted his thoughts to the Pittsburgh area amid the tragedy.

When officers arrived, the gunman reportedly shot at them, forcing officers to use their vehicles as a shield. Three police officers were reportedly shot.

The shooting happened during weekly Shabbat services at the conservative Jewish Synagogue, the building was full was reportedly full of people for a Saturday service and police say they’ve received several calls from people barricaded inside the Synagogue.

This looks very much like as awful a hate crime as the shooting in Charleston three years ago where Dylann Roof killed nine black worshipers at an AME church, and just another reminder that in addition to the racial component of Trump's white nationalism, there's the religious component as well, where non-Christians, especially Muslims and Jews, are targets.

I mean, guys, I don't know how much more obvious Nazi comparisons have to appear past the point of shooting up a temple during service and yelling "All Jews must die" before we do something about getting America off this track, but in about 10 days if we don't get this done right, America's not coming back anytime soon.

It'll happen again and again and again.

The Face-Eating Leopard Party Ate Her Face, Guys

In probably the best example of "Literally anyone on Earth could have told you that your opinion was 100% wrong", Caitlyn Jenner admits that since Donald Trump wants to redefine her and every other trans person in America (and possibly the Earth) out of existence that she may have been wrong about supporting him in 2016.

These past two years under President Trump have given me the opportunity to reflect on a lot of topics that have come up in the LGBTQ community and in our nation. Some of these are thorny issues still worth discussing; many should have been settled long ago. As I’ve watched and pondered, my outlook has changed significantly from what it was during my highly publicized and glamorized early Caitlyn days, when my life as an out trans woman was just beginning.

Since then, I have learned and continue to learn about the obstacles our community faces, the politics that surround us and the places my voice can help. I have reflected on what my unique position of privilege means and how I can best use it to make a positive difference.

Following Trump’s election as president, I saw fertile ground for change within the Republican Party on LGBTQ issues. Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to claim to support this valuable, vulnerable community, and I was encouraged by the applause he received when he said at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 that he would stand up for the LGBTQ community. Poll after poll showed that Americans’ views on LGBTQ issues were changing for the better — and that this groundswell extended even to the voter base of the Republican Party. I was optimistic that this was how I could leverage my privilege for change.

I believed I could work within the party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who most needed shifting. I made many trips to Washington to lobby and educate members of Congress, other Washington policymakers and powerful influencers. These meetings were generally positive and almost always led to encouraging conversations. Despite the criticism I received from segments of the LGBTQ community for engaging with this administration, I remained hopeful for positive change.

Sadly, I was wrong. The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president. The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity. He has made trans people into political pawns as he whips up animus against us in an attempt to energize the most right-wing segment of his party, claiming his anti-transgender policies are meant to “protect the country.” This is politics at its worst. It is unacceptable, it is upsetting, and it has deeply, personally hurt me.

No matter how you feel about Caitlyn's gullibility, denial, self-hatred, whatever you want to call it, that last paragraph is absolutely correct.  She goes on to say that she no longer supports Trump (which, I mean, yeah) and that she does need to listen to others in the LGBTQ community (also, gigantic duh because they were screaming at her that she was wrong).

What I don't see in the opinion piece is the most important part: Jenner apologizing to the LGBTQ community for enabling Trump in hurting them.  The opportunity for a truly heartfelt apology and to beg for forgiveness was completely missed here.  Maybe that part comes later, and I'm not qualified to judge if she should be forgiven or not.

But I do know that most apologies contain an admission of responsibility as well as the willingness to take action to make the situation better, and while Jenner does show the latter, the lack of the former makes the whole thing ring hollow.

Bigger problem is this though, just just makes Jenner another Never Trump Republican who's still a Republican, which would also have rendered that apology completely useless, so a reminder to the newest member of the Never Trump brigade: if you think that a Mike Pence wouldn't continue this exact same policy, and that Republicans in Congress wouldn't support this atrocity, you're not just enabling the anti-trans bigotry, you are the anti-trans bigotry.

Have a nice day.
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