Articles and Essays, Happs!, Words & Works of Others

Open Letter to University of Iowa and the Iowa Board of Regents: Call to Action

The University of Iowa as an institution and the Iowa Board of Regents are not being responsible citizens–the campus and U community overlap with the community as a whole; the: City bus interchange is right next to a main center of campus! You endanger all, against our freedom, by not requiring masks indoors, as the CDC recommends, and vaccination just, like you require the flu and other vaccination.

I am a former student and employee; my family lives there in Iowa City, Iowa, including loved ones who have who have medical conditions, but who work or have business or medical appointments near or on campus, and/or must commute on public transit through the interchange that shares air with campus. The Cambus, University’s bus system, is open to the community. Even if these transit systems were not so distinctly campus and community integrated, University students and community come into contact with the entire community, via interacting with people and via location. Lack of any of these blatantly encourages disease spread, entirely unnecessarily–the only Big 10(14) school displaying such a dangerous lack of critical thinking and applications, in a global pandemic, to boot.

Regents and University leadership, you must mandate masks, require vaccination as people are able, and allow remote course instruction and work, as staff and faculty, who are put at most risk, require for health and safety, of themselves, their children and loved ones, and the entire community. Additionally, those paid the least, adjuncts and graduate student employees, face the most exposure–so you need to listen to them and heed their assessments and those of the researchers at the Iowa College of Public Health. Students, too, cannot do their best work nor bring achievement, prestige, glory, and ever-lauded money to the university when they have to navigate such huge pointless risk to health and impediment to balance of functional or family life and contact. The same goes for even athletes…and fans. No one can drink to the Hawkeyes or buy game tickets if they are grieving for their grandparents; season ticket holders can’t buy next season passes for their kids and grandkids when they are hospitalized or dead.

PLEASE SIGN. Thank you.

image from Concerned parents, students, educators, and staff Iowa’s petition on

Works in Progress

Ride or Die: Females drive and ride at greater risk

I can’t sit in a car with that slant, anything toward “bucket seat,” for long. A half an hour puts me in pain for about the whole day. Sometimes I start to feel bad ache after 10 minutes.

Manufacturers don’t make adjustable the part that affects the problems more females get, with hip joints. The back will move and the whole thing will move closer or farther from the dashboard, but not the seat.

I believe the unergonomic seats constitute part of the physical experience of driving or riding, along with the motion and G-forces effects, that relate to the vehicular safety sex difference:
Females (and afabs?) are 47 times more likely to get injured or die in a car accident then males, the Guardian reported in 2019.

That year, Consumer Reports publicly addressed the discrepancy, too. However, any optimism the 17% more likely females who are wearing their seat belts are to get killed in a car crash could muster is over balanced by the 73% more likely females are to be injured in a similar type and severity of crash as males.

Hopefully female/afab bodies are actually being included in design and safety moreso now? …Hard to tell– such drastic improvements happening so quickly can be due to an industry’s recalculating the numbers or changing the metrics & lowering standards. A classic example is the nuclear and oil industries changing government requirements of how low radiation had to be for the surrounding area to get deemed safe.

More research gives insight into other factors than physiology contributing to causing greater danger to women and probably afabs, but the crash test dummy’s “masculinity” still leaves females twice as likely to be injured, Consumer Reports updates us this year.

“[F]urther research is necessary to determine how to prevent the specific injuries that women are more susceptible to, and…more work is needed to improve the crashworthiness of smaller vehicles. A woman in a car with a Good crash test rating might be safer than a woman in a car with a Marginal or Poor rating—but depending on injury type, vehicle type, and crash type, she still may not be as safe as a man in a car with a Good rating.”

Works in Progress

Iowa Governor Branstad knows gay

Former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey is a gay man. The new conservative Supreme Court of the state just overturned the nondiscrimination win he jury awarded him. In the court case, as the AP reports, he “argued that his sexual orientation was a motivating factor for his harsh treatment by Branstad, who ran for office alongside a 2010 Iowa GOP platform that opposed equal rights for gays and lesbians. He said the adverse treatment and exclusion continued for years, including budget cuts Branstad targeted at his office.

“Branstad testified that he wanted Godfrey out because powerful business interests had complained about some of his rulings awarding benefits to injured workers. He said the salary cut was within his discretion as governor and that he didn’t learn Godfrey was gay until later.”

Earlier this article notes, “Although Godfrey’s status as one of Iowa’s first openly gay public officials was widely known, it’s ‘pure speculation’ that Branstad had ever been aware of that, Justice Christopher McDonald wrote. The evidence does not support a conclusion that Branstad was ‘anti-gay’ because he had employed other gay men, he added.”

How could widely known public knowledge not be applied to the awareness of governor himself? Especially as the supervising, hiring governor? It is illogical to claim his ignorance and pure speculation alongside a claim of no bias via the logic that he had hired and employed other gay men, because this assumes they at least continued employment under him with his knowing of their sexual orientations Therefore, he not only could but would indeed know an appointee was gay if the person was out and publicly noted for their being one of the first few gay state administration employees.

Unless there were very specific other circumstances for Brandstad’s awareness of these other employees/appointees’ being gay, he would be aware along with the public of the out State Commissioner’s sexual orientation. Even with particular reasons for Branstad’s awareness of others’ gayness, something that was public knowledge and celebrated or noted in media should not be speculated to not have been known by the governor. That is to claim an utter lack of awareness and basic competency on his part.

Either way, Brandstad is a pretty evil ruler, punishing all of Iowa’s injured workers by slashing Godfrey’s Workers’ Compensation Office budget due to compensations to injured workers, its very purpose. That squeeze on Godfrey hurt vulnerable residents of the state already dealing with an injury and insurance claim over it, often not working as much as needed or at all because of and during this pain and difficulty for weeks or months, or the foreseeable future.

Works in Progress

Pronouning since before it was trandy!


Can we have a singular gender neutral that’s not just anonymizing?

“The [cashier/bank teller/bus driver] told me what I need to do, but they said I’d have to wait till tomorrow when the office opens.” (Ex. 1)

Ex. 2.
Person A – “What did that person want, who stopped you in the doorway?” [sic] (This is how people talk.)
Person B – “Oh, nothing, they just thought my shirt was cool.”

Note Ex. 1 is different from, “The bank said my deposit went through. But they said I can’t withdraw till Monday.”
And Ex. 2 can sometimes even be:
Person A – “What did that guy in the lobby want?”
Person B – “Oh, they just complimented my shirt.”

Even when people know the person’s gender by presumption, people use “they,” singular but anonymizing. They for a company/entity is technically singular (“the bank”; “my university”), but can be used because it is known to be a collective noun, referring to the institution, and at least functionally, to all the personnel.

They gets used when the gender of the individual does not matter, but it does not matter because the individual is not as relevant in the context as is their representation of an institution or their role or their actions. Or–the individual and the situation are hypothetical, general, or generic, in the subjunctive.

Articles and Essays, Works in Progress

UPDATE: Neck Gaiters Found Effective in Latest Study; Jury Still Out Overall

Fortunately, in this more recent study, neck gaiters provide protection like masks against coronavirus droplets and aerosols.

The University of Georgia study offered similar data as a Virginia Tech study conducted shortly prior, and therefore reached similar conclusion.

However, please keep in mind that SARS-CoV2 is still very new and changing, meaning we still have little data overall about efficacy of different types of masks in stopping coronavirus. As always, the data gathered must be widespread and the tests repeatedly showing similar results to make any accurate assessment of performance in general. And when it comes to corona, I for one am not okay with “two out of three ain’t bad” instead of the best protection I can get myself and people I care about–and that I hope everyone is using, for the sake of us all.

Police Wear Neck Gaiters in Philly

Police wear neck gaiters when these have been shown to spread corona worse, more and faster.

This photo by Victor J. Blue for the New York Times Live U.S. 2020 Election Updates, captioned, “

Supporters of President Donald Trump protested the ongoing ballot counting in Philadelphia, amidst rhetoric from the president questioning the legitimacy of the election.

Works in Progress


Secret Federal Police doing physical warfare on and capturing people via war-like/terrorist kidnapping tactic…while there is a Pandemic? Well, those people shouldn’t be out in the streets*! They’re criminals!
–said XXno one everXX *any dictator trying to kill a portion of the population in order to make it easier to take over and control the rest, make examples of the former for the latter, and horde the resources for their own ruling family and associates, and genocide the poor/those they’ve rendered poor/those of a different religion &/or race &/or ethnic group than them.
*fighting for their rights
Works in Progress

In America, there’s a pandemic, the police beat you.

In America, when there’s a pandemic and people are sick and dying, and because of it, you don’t know if you’ll get to keep your job or pay your rent, and for some, are not getting to see family, or if you’re on the frontlines of health work, maybe are living in your car if you have one in order to not get your family sick,
if you speak out about police murdering a man again, a Black man,
or do your job reporting on it,
or bring water to the people are speaking out,
the police beat you.
They beat you with a super dense metal rod. They beat women. They beat the journalists.

And they gas you with chemical warfare weapons.
Even the little children.
They shoot you in the face, so that your face bones break, and your face might be deformed for life.

They shoot you in the eye, and blind you for life.

They surround you and take you prisoner for your beliefs and speech, and do not give you water or food or bathroom for 8-10 hours.
They hide where you’re going, where they’re keeping you, and don’t tell anyone why. Sometimes they don’t decide why they kidnapped you until a long time after, and no one knows what you’re charged with until they find a way to make something up and write it down.

Then, you have to pay them a large codified bribe, but it’s just the first part of how they demand money from you.
If you can’t pay it, they keep you in a jail cell. And sometimes they don’t even let you pay to get out to work on your case. You hardly ever get representation, except for a few minutes beforehand.
And they charge you for keeping you in the jail cell.
#Abolish or #Reform?
Works in Progress

Bloomberg commits blooper: the real prison labor ethics complexity, notes for inquiry

Michael Bloomberg has been using prison labor for people to make his campaign calls.

Is it good that he’s helping to employ prisoners, to provide more opportunity for employment for incarcerated persons, since there isn’t so much? Is it easier/more interesting work than some other prison work, like the firefighters in CA, so therefore more humane? Or, was he just exploiting cheap prison labor? Are there laws stopping paying minimum wage to people who are incarcerated? Stay tuned, or let me know if you know.
And was he exploiting the fact that there’s no way for workers to stand up to bosses when response quotas–standard in push-poll calling–are improbably high and not meeting them send you home for the day or fires you?

I think I got one of these calls. I said I’m not interested because he’s too wealthy & not for the people. answered the candidate of choice question, Bernie Sanders; 2nd, Elizabeth Warren. I’m really glad I thanked the person for doing this work.

I’d also heard, however, that Bloomberg paid very well. So I told the campaign caller that I understood why people would work for Bloomberg, that I’m glad he pays campaign staff well.

If the folks incarcerated could choose a candidate they support–and vote for that person–maybe the ethics of forced proselytizing and the forced support inherent to that could be cleared up.

Are the prisoner-employees glad to get to participate in politics in ways they otherwise cannot, especially in a party primary?

Would volunteers have otherwise done the phone banking, of free will? Could Bloomberg and his campaign not find (enough) supporters to recruit as volunteers?

Works in Progress

Green Roof, Glass Ceiling

Millennials buy houseplants instead of saving for houses, according to Money.

Can conservative Boomers math any longer?  A down payment of $10,000 in a poorer state/neighborhood up to $50,000-$100,000 in LA, plus thousands in fees to a realtor, then and only then the mortgage, albeit probably less than rent, and property taxes yearly, and paying for all your own fix-up, large repairs, and small repairs and maintenance…and only if you managed to have good enough credit by the time you have saved up this hefty down payment, otherwise your homeownership is probably a no-go and at best facing even more in fixer-upper move-in costs, MUCH higher mortgage loan interest percentage, and maybe a really long commute from wherever this house you could manage to get is…
= a lot more than a few thousand dollars.


Both example plant lovers in the article have dream jobs in fashion. Money magazine couldn’t find any bartenders or dog-walker/home health aides or tutor/data entry specialists who buy plants to report on how much they spend on green? Even if other anecdotal hopeful Leafbenders just didn’t make the word count cut, the two featured above the figurative fold should work occupations that differ more.


Also the Earth’s plant cycle and entire ecosystems are getting destroyed, in significant part by us hoomans cementing over it to build housing…? Millennials might even be aware that cultivating plants will skyrocket in value as a skill as the climate crisis grows.