Oh, HAIL, yes. “Your silence is deafening”

targetAn open letter to Target boycotters, from Gretchen Kelly.

It’s long and it’s so very worth the time.

A quarter of American voters won’t vote if it’s Clinton v. Trump?

pouting-child-girlA Rasmussen Reports survey from last week said that 24 percent of American voters will sit out the next election if it’s Clinton/Trump.

The survey also found that:

Trump is more toxic within his own party than Clinton is in hers. If Trump is the Republican nominee, 16 percent of GOP voters say they would choose a third-party candidate, while five percent (5 percent) would stay home. Sixty-six percent (66 percent) would vote for Trump, but 10% would vote for Clinton instead.

I understand feeling disenfranchised, but not voting? Jaysus.

ICYMI: Helping Justin Sweetwater

justinsweetwaterJustin is trying to get his medication, but he can’t do that without a proper ID (as I wrote for Mother Courant on Sunday). After a stint in jail, Justin came out with a name change he didn’t ask for, and now he’s having all kinds of trouble. Frankly, I’ve been scratching my head over this, but Sunday, Lisa Perrone, from Congressman John Larson‘s office, contacted me, and said she and Rep. Larson feel “very confident” they can help.

I’ll update youwith any news. This? Would be a wonderful thing to get Justin on the road to health.

Thank you, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women

imagesWhile the Connecticut legislators hurl their way toward Wednesday, the end of this legislative session, can we take a quick moment to thank the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, a 43-year old powerhouse of an organization that works tirelessly for the women of Connecticut. By Connecticut General Assembly mandate, the commission

monitors, critiques and recommends changes to legislation to inform public policy, and assesses programs and practices in State agencies for their effect on the state’s women. The PCSW serves as a liaison between government and its diverse constituents, and convenes stakeholders, including the business, non-profit and educational communities, local governments, and the media, in order to promote awareness of women’s issues.

The work of the commission this legislative session leaves Connecticut women a little safer, and a lot more hopeful. Just last week, four significant bills — legislation that would not have existed without the commission — passed the state House of Representatives. Let’s hope the bills reach the governor’s desk, and he signs them.

Yet the Democratic majority (you read that right) has called for consolidation with other commissions that do similarly important, but very different, work.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve written about the threatened demise or consolidation of PCSW, I’d be a rich woman. So here we go again:

Are you happy that women on college campuses are safer because of the Affirmative Consent bill that was overwhelmingly passed by the House last week? Relieved that people who abuse other people can no longer keep guns in the house when there is a temporary restraining order during the most critical and vulnerable time for a family? Stunned that until last Wednesday night, rapists had parental rights over a child born of rape? Do you believe  human trafficking of children and women is a terrible crime?

If your answer is yes to any of these, say a big thank-you to PCSW.

Each of those bills was built on years of PCSW’s research, advocacy and collaboration with lawmakers.

If PCSW’s work is diluted and their autonomy stripped, who is going to do this work?  If you are a women living in Connecticut, or a man who cares about women, let your legislator know: Hands off the PCSW.

UPDATE: The Connecticut Senate has approved the domestic violence bill. It now moves to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s desk. He is expected to sign it.

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t grading something

download (1)I am three days from being done with the school year — if you don’t count finals which I don’t because then I’d be looking at a last day of May 11, when I am assigned to give a final at the last possible hour the school gives finals.

Grades are then due…I don’t even know when, but graduation is May 15 so I’m assuming before that. Don’t laugh. This is how I’ve operated since I got shot out of a cannon into this job last August. I’m sure if I scroll back through my thousands of emails, the answer’s in there somewhere. The answer is in there somewhere for just about everything, but who has time to read all those emails?

About two weeks ago, I realized that this school year has been a kind of boot camp. I’ve been in academic boot camp, with all the strange stimuli and weird eating habits and lack of sleep, because reveille comes at 5, and you don’t think about it too much. Because I think every class a student takes should make that student a better writing, I have assigned quite a lot of writing in each class — which means quite a lot of grading. I’m committed to grading things quickly so that students don’t have to wait for feedback, and if I’ve been light on actual feedback, at least I’ve been quick.

All told, I’ve shepherded roughly 90 students through each semester, and it’s been awesome. But if someone had told me back in July when I got this job what it would entail, I would have thought they were trying to scare me. Lunches have been salads shoved into my face while I create another lecture. Breakfasts are often at my desk, too, because I kept thinking if I got to work early enough, I could get a jump on things.

That did not prove to be the case. And I have made it home for dinner, most nights.

But I’m closing in on the end of the school year and may I just take a moment to say to teachers, everywhere, throughout all time: I bow in your general direction. I apologize for the ignorant questions I used to ask in class (mostly around the theme, “Is this going to be on the test?”). I apologize for wasting your time and mine by not showing up to class. If I had it to do over again, I would have thanked you, however much heart you brought to the classroom.

Bless these 41,000 doctors

Hands pulling at both ends of a rope to secure a half-hitch knot (Dorling Kindersley photo)

Leftover sends this: California’s largest medical association is joining a lawsuit against Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital system, for denial of service. The California Medical Association is joining the ACLU in the suit.

Dignity Health, according to the suit, is

using religious directives to deny patients basic reproductive health care.

You can read more here.

In which being a turd makes you famous

Mashable…but only for a minute. I’m back on early now.