Wisdom of MY Words

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25 July

White House Couture

Everyone seems to cut a wide berth between Jackie Onassis and Michelle Obama regarding the fashion of the White House. No one discusses the fashion choices of the women between the two Os. There is little talk in the American press of Melanie Trump and her fashion choices. The Trump’s have money, so her expensive fashion shouldn’t be a source for ranker, since he’s not raking up the federal deficit buying D&G. Fashion designers came out against this svelte waif who would knock the socks off a whole hella fashion, but there is a list of designers who won’t dress the First Lady. The “not in my clothes, she won’t” group includes  Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Christian Siriano and Sophie Theallet.

The view of Trump from here is a scary gelatinous mass of blonde hair in a cyclone formation atop an angry reddened skull with a widespread system of solar lentigines across the dome. Think for yourself, they say, don’t listen to Democrats or Republicans. A democracy takes work. But when you’re just looking at Trump, in the vacuum of his presidency, it looks like there is an awful lot of cash opening doors, paving paths and the like. Since no media has had the cajones to get Trump to release this taxes we have no idea of his fiscal astuteness. Melanie Trump’s wardrobe in all it’s ridiculous cost, is reminiscent of another Republican First Lady, Nancy Reagan. Everyone’s realm of knowledge seems to stop at their curb. In the two+ years we’ve been avidly watching Trump, as entertainment not as a President, I’ve seen nothing that establishes Trump as an Anglo-Saxon bred for higher office. Juan Carlo, the Aryan-looking Swede, grew up poor in St. Paul and he has better manners than Trump. If we can’t expect greatness from our elected leaders, especially ones running a global power like America, we can’t expect the woman in Big Sur to not be a racist, Asian-hating bitch. An Airbnb Hostess thought it was fine to agree to an Asian woman, her fiancé and another couple, to rent her Big Sur home. When the Asian was within miles of the house, the Californian wrote that she wasn’t renting her property to any Asian. The President of the free world, as Shonda Rhimes labels the American president, (although since she’s black, she’ll probably say Trump isn’t her president), calls the POTUS the leader of the free world in her show Scandal. Rhimes’ president is no doubt Obama. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were the classiest of people in the White House. Michelle Obama immediately gained the fashion community’s approval for her all-American style. At 5’11” she is tall and elegant, with the posture of a dancer. She could look regal in a sack, but she chooses her outfits with care. She made it clear that she was to be seen as  more than a well-dressed, beautiful  woman though.

Much fuss is made about Melania Trump’s wardrobe. One can see by her svelte frame ensconced in her $7500 Dolce & Gabbana dress with embellished red roses distended like an ill kept garden, that she starves herself. But Melania was a model. Now she’s a kept woman. Unlike Michelle she intrinsically understands  her value to be in her looks. Contrasting Michelle and Melania is easy because the similarities are numerous. But when you go back farther are we marginalizing an entire group of First Ladies because of their fashion choices? Not since Jackie Kennedy have we had a woman with grace, poise, and thoughtfulness in the White House. While I really don’t want the conversation to focus on Hillary’s fashion choices we have to, nonetheless, interpret them and what her style meant in terms of economics. Since I self-define as part of Generation X, because I’m not putting myself in my mother’s generation, I don’t have the same sympathies as Baby Boomers have towards American Greatness, or fear of Russia. My mother was born in 1945, and is a post-war, Cold War narcissist just like Trump.

I’m a Kennedy baby. Of course, if you consider the assassination I was really born on Johnson’s watch. But we were a Kennedy house. Nana Davis had taken care of Rose for a year or two. Rose Kennedy dominated the conversation and a discussion of her mother’s horrors. “The Kennedys,” she’d say, “They’ve been through a lot. This country hates Catholics. They don’t even think we’re Christians because we have the market on spirituality. Having to hold that baby in and it getting sick because the stupid, untrained nurse couldn’t do her job”.   While the sun rose and set with my Nana, I of course didn’t understand anything. Then at 29 my nurse told me to not push and wait for the doctor when I was delivering my daughter. I ignored the no pushing edicts because I remembered Rose. Poor poor Rose.

I grew up thinking Jimmy Carter and Mister Rogers were the same person. I was only allowed to watch PBS, the news at 5 and 11, and Johnny Carson. The reason I thought they were the same person? The cardigan.

Carter showed up on our black and white box sitting languidly. All he needed was a pipe. For posterity sake I will give him one now. His first Fireside Chat had him looking like the father of the country. His cardigan seemed to convey a sense of security. He was the paternalistic president that would tree-hug up the White House with his energy conservation. Unlike today’s era of uber-stylized image consultancy, and Hollywood Presidents, in which fashion is a cudgel of class, Carter, ever the pragmatist, wore for the taping what he had worn to dinner. The story goes that he asked his television adviser what he thought, and they told him to look like himself. He was comfortable with himself and his fashion choices. “He was folks, and folks is in,” a Republican insider told TIME. “I hate to say it, but from a purely analytical point of view, I loved it.”

Rosalynn Carter also tried to hide behind boring colors and unflattering cuts of polyester, wearing skirts defined as Gypsy.

At the time she seemed ancient. My pretty mother in 1977 was only was only 42 and she looked young, vibrant, and pretty, except when she went through her curly perm phase. That phase doesn’t work on any women. She was frumpy. Rosalynn’s wardrobe wouldn’t offend anyone, but you’d not offer a compliment either. Her clothes looked homemade. Rosalynn Carter was clearly raised poor. Her clothes were farmer’s Sunday best. They were functional, clean, comfortable, boring, and very conservative. The only redeeming quality of FLOTUS Carter’s wardrobe was that it was American made. She’d never tell anyone but I’m positive poverty affected her in a way that has lasted her entire life. You know Jackie went to a dancing school like I did. Two years of Mayhew’s and manners. High tail it over to Wikipedia and Roslynn was 13 when her father died and her seamstress mother enlisted her eldest daughter’s help with the business. A little larger Google search coughs up this information, from a Washington Post article published 30 January 1977. “There is little doubt, though, that President and Mrs. Carter will save their jean-wearing for Camp David and Plains, just as Kennedy had his Hyannisport attire and the Johnsons had theirs for the Pedernales.”

“Mrs. Carter’s reluctance to spend a lot of money on clothes does not mean that she doesn’t like to look right. In fact, she often comments on the attractive appearance of those around her, according to one of her aides. But Mrs. Carter comes from a poor family, has worked most of her life, and finds it difficult to part with, say, $170 for a dress when there are equally respectable dresses at $70.” Carter was a fluke presidency just like Trump. However, the Carter’s fiscally minded austerity as leaders of America during an overarching energy crisis needs to be commended. The fact that Carter installed solar panels before they were popular speaks volumes. It was unfortunate that Reagan threw out our tax payer money with the removal of the panels mere years later, not nearly the amount of time needed to recoup the costs in energy savings.

All I hear from the older people is how great Reagan was, but I don’t see anything great, and I didn’t experience anything great as a Young Republican in the 1980s. Nancy and Ron came into office with their strange spirituality. Nancy was an attention starved woman who liked to be center stage with her flashy gowns. She’d been an actress to match Ronnie’s success, and she, like the First Ladies before her was thin. Nancy wanted to bring back the Kennedy’s elegance to the White House, after she felt there were years of laxity. Nancy was the opposite of Roslynn. She was born in a Mother’s Home, eventually adopted by a wealthy neurosurgeon stepfather. Nancy dressed like she’d been poor, had achieved success, and was NEVER going back to wearing charity clothes. Her interest in high-end fashion garnered much attention as well as criticism. She championed recreational drug prevention causes by founding the Just Say No drug awareness campaign.

Betty Ford on the other hand, could have been a swinger with her hip and fashionable bell bottoms, her avid use of polyester, and the Aqua Net wings of her hair, a helmet reminiscent of the habit wings worn by The Flying Nun. The country was reeling after Nixon left office is a swirl of a scandal that most Americans couldn’t even puzzle through. Why would you tape yourself, the adults around me where asking. In the heartland we puzzled over taping yourself talking to another person. It just didn’t make sense. Wasn’t that kind of thing for blackmailers? In Nixon’s Checker’s Speech he mentioned his wife and her lack of the finer things in life, saying, “I should say this, that Pat doesn’t have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat, and I always tell her she would look good in anything.” Now the fashion media are comparing Melania to Jackie O. “Not since Jacqueline Kennedy has there been a first lady who needs less help,” Richard Johnson says on <B>Page Six</B>. He continues with, “She doesn’t need couture. She can buy off the rack, and it looks beautiful,” Bloch said. “She knows her size, and she knows what works on her. She luxuriates in minimal.” And that’s great, but some women actually want to see this information in the mainstream press.

Tricky Dick wasn’t in


Back in the 80s

21 July

Dystopian World Post Trump

It started in Minneapolis and since our state is different than others, with a Muslim population that keeps to themselves, we weren’t sure ion it hit other parts of the country as well. They’re part of our social fabric, they are in our jails, and running for political office. Keith Ellison has proudly stayed by his faith so much so that back in the early part of the century, Mehrunisa Qayyum ran for office in suburban Chicago. Sure, not near north, not the Jewish parts of town, but still, after the election of Trump back those 30 years, Obama told people to run for local office. He told people to bed part off there change they wanted to see. And like Jews 150-200 years ago the Muslims embraced political agendas both vast and small. Sharia law wasn’t discussed, but crimes of disrespect were discussed.

At the end of the day the laws of our great Christian nation were not usurped by the followers of Mohammad. But they slowly taught their neighbors in this great societal experiment that Islam is a religion of peace. In the early years off the Trump administration we didn’t think there was much we could do, and wearing or, quelle dommage, knitting a pussy hat was what the women from church decided to do. They partnered with a Lutheran-based church and together they made over 250 pussy hats. It took all my acting powers to plaster a semi-smile that didn’t say “You women aren’t respected, and pussy hats is not the way top gain respect.” But they insisted. They said this is what we can do. You need two join us, we will teach you to knit.

But I’m a wordsmith not a yarnsmith. I believe words will change the world. As I was writing about technology and science the world changed around me. I put my head down and worked like a dog for someone else, playing the game I was supposed to play, and the world around me grew into an angry place where I watched my blonde Scando husband, whom, in the days of the Nazi’s would have been revered for his small nose but not his pot bellied physique, was beaten and hospitalized over his Sanders vote in 2020. Trump won again, of course, because the poor in the southern states and in the Bible Belt were no match for Trump’s old money connections. Yet in books and magazines during the 90s, Trump’s playboy days, talk about the millionaire WASP was as if he was never a presidential threat. But 8 years that ushered in the worst economic crash since the 1930s left the entire United States open to corruption from the Muslim travel banned countries.

Around 2025 our political environment shifted because record heat waves dried out much of the south, making the land worthless from heat, un able to run water as Floridians moved away from all the coastal towns, darker skinned people that were more comfortable with the sun beating down over 18 hours a day with no rain, or other inclement weather to distract the pounding heat from the what man’s skin. Skin cancers were at all time high in the USA during the 2020s, but no southern subsistence farmers could afford the treatments. Even after an entire decade of federal government petitioning cannabis was still a Schedule I drug well past the 100 year lifespan of the war on marihuana.  Almost 150 years to the day the Supreme Court took off all restrictions on the plant and all throughout the midwestern states and New England you could smell cannabis. It was taken out of our environment for four generations and we should have realized that it was called a weed for a reason.

Denver had legalized recreational cannabis 15 years after California implemented their Prop 25 for marijuana. During our colonization America produced hemp, encouraged by our government in the 17th century in order to make rope, sails, and clothing. The leftovers of the plants, the trim as it were, the shredded leaves of bud, were smoked. The smoked portion was called marihuana. As early back as 1619, Virginians required every farmer to grow hemp. Interestingly enough, at that time hemp was so precious you could bArter with it. Hemp was considered legal tender in 3 states; Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. We grew our hemp happily until the 1880s when imported materials and other domestic ones replaced hemp. Americans enjoyed plenty of choice when it came to cannabis-based drugs to eradicate headaches, or anxiety.

The in 1909 Pure Food and Drug Act was introduced, and required labeling of any medication that included cannabis.

1900 – 20s

Mexican immigrants introduce recreational use of marijuana leaf

After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Mexican immigrants flooded into the U.S., introducing to American culture the recreational use of marijuana. The drug became associated with the immigrants, and the fear and prejudice about the Spanish-speaking newcomers became associated with marijuana. Anti-drug campaigners warned against the encroaching “Marijuana Menace,” and terrible crimes were attributed to marijuana and the Mexicans who used it.


Fear of marijuana

During the Great Depression, massive unemployment increased public resentment and fear of Mexican immigrants, escalating public and governmental concern about the problem of marijuana. This instigated a flurry of research which linked the use of marijuana with violence, crime and other socially deviant behaviors, primarily committed by “racially inferior” or underclass communities. By 1931, 29 states had outlawed marijuana.


Creation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN)

Harry J. Anslinger was the first Commissioner of the FBN and remained in that post until 1962.


Uniform State Narcotic Act

Concern about the rising use of marijuana and research linking its use with crime and other social problems created pressure on the federal government to take action. Rather than promoting federal legislation, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics strongly encouraged state governments to accept responsibility for control of the problem by adopting the Uniform State Narcotic Act.


“Reefer Madness”

Propaganda film “Reefer Madness” was produced by the French director, Louis Gasnier.

The Motion Pictures Association of America, composed of the major Hollywood studios, banned the showing of any narcotics in films.


Marijuana Tax Act

After a lurid national propaganda campaign against the “evil weed,” Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. The statute effectively criminalized marijuana, restricting possession of the drug to individuals who paid an excise tax for certain authorized medical and industrial uses.


La Guardia Report finds marijuana less dangerous

New York Academy of Medicine issued an extensively researched report declaring that, contrary to earlier research and popular belief, use of marijuana did not induce violence, insanity or sex crimes, or lead to addiction or other drug use.


“Hemp for Victory”

During World War II, imports of hemp and other materials crucial for producing marine cordage, parachutes, and other military necessities became scarce. In response the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its “Hemp for Victory” program, encouraging farmers to plant hemp by giving out seeds and granting draft deferments to those who would stay home and grow hemp. By 1943 American farmers registered in the program harvested 375,000 acres of hemp.


Stricter Sentencing Laws

Enactment of federal laws (Boggs Act, 1952; Narcotics Control Act, 1956) which set mandatory sentences for drug-related offenses, including marijuana.

A first-offense marijuana possession carried a minimum sentence of 2-10 years with a fine of up to $20,000.


Marijuana use popular in counterculture

A changing political and cultural climate was reflected in more lenient attitudes towards marijuana. Use of the drug became widespread in the white upper middle class. Reports commissioned by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson found that marijuana use did not induce violence nor lead to use of heavier drugs. Policy towards marijuana began to involve considerations of treatment as well as criminal penalties.


Creation of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

This was a merger of FBN and the Bureau of Dangerous Drugs of the Food and Drug Administration.


Repeal of most mandatory minimum sentences

Congress repealed most of the mandatory penalties for drug-related offenses. It was widely acknowledged that the mandatory minimum sentences of the 1950s had done nothing to eliminate the drug culture that embraced marijuana use throughout the 60s, and that the minimum sentences imposed were often unduly harsh.

Marijuana differentiated from other drugs

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act categorized marijuana separately from other narcotics and eliminated mandatory federal sentences for possession of small amounts.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) founded


Shafer Commission

The bipartisan Shafer Commission, appointed by President Nixon at the direction of Congress, considered laws regarding marijuana and determined that personal use of marijuana should be decriminalized. Nixon rejected the recommendation, but over the course of the 1970s, eleven states decriminalized marijuana and most others reduced their penalties.


Creation of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Merger of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNND) and the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE).


High Times founded


Beginning of parents’ movement against marijuana

A nationwide movement emerged of conservative parents’ groups lobbying for stricter regulation of marijuana and the prevention of drug use by teenagers. Some of these groups became quite powerful and, with the support of the DEA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), were instrumental in affecting public attitudes which led to the 1980s War on Drugs.


Anti-Drug Abuse Act – Mandatory Sentences

President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, instituting mandatory sentences for drug-related crimes. In conjunction with the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the new law raised federal penalties for marijuana possession and dealing, basing the penalties on the amount of the drug involved. Possession of 100 marijuana plants received the same penalty as possession of 100 grams of heroin. A later amendment to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act established a “three strikes and you’re out” policy, requiring life sentences for repeat drug offenders, and providing for the death penalty for “drug kingpins.”


Bush’s War on Drugs

President George Bush declares a new War on Drugs in a nationally televised speech.

People in the warmer climes of the US were dying just as the Romans had, with information locked in their heads about farming, and maintaining a civilization. The Dark Ages were called thus because humans didn’t have access to knowledge, wisdom and learning were in the dark. The Crusades were a time of Church rule where individual intelligence was killed off through pogroms, burning women of intelligence through accusations of witchery, it was a dark time, our Trump years. As the Old South eroded and the New South was a vast network of dark skinned peoples; Mexicans and Middle Easterners alike.

18 July

The 612

Against the SE wall was a particleboard table facing a wall. It was two seats wide and counter depth. Two women sat at the table in front of a pile of papers with a red marker.

03 August 1983 I saw Prince at First Avenue and decided this is where I wanted to attend college.

17 July

No god but God by Reza Aslan

Chapter 4

Fight in the Way of God

Page 79

Islam, it must be remembered, was born in an era of grand empires and global conquests, a time in which the Byzantines and Sasanians—both theocratic kingdoms—were locked in a permanent state religious war for territorial expansion. Despite the common misconception in the West, the Muslim conquerers did not force conversion upon the conquered peoples; indeed they did not even encourage it. With the exception of of a few remarkable men and women, no Jew, Christian, Zooroastrian, or Muslim of this time would have considered his or her religion to be rooted in the personal confessional experiences of individuals. Quite the contrary, your religion was your ethnicity, your culture, and your social identity; it defined your politics, your economics, and your ethics. More than anything else your religion was your citizenship. In fact the term ‘holy war’ comes not from Islam but from the Christian Crusaders, who first used it to give theological legitimacy to what was, in reality a battle for land and trade routes. Holy War was not a term used by Muslim conquerers, and is in no way a proper definition of the word jihad.

Pg 81

The word jihad literally means:

  • a struggle
  • a striving
  • a great effort

The lesser jihad is actually about military conflict and the greater jihad implies the internal struggle of man too come to terms with the law of god (who was really a group of men.)

Pg 85

Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) influence in shaping Muslim ideology is matchups he’d only by St Augustine’s influence in shaping Christianity. The Quran commands believers to say to those that do not believe: To you your religion, to me mine.” (109:6)

Jews lived side-by-side with Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula after Mohammad’s death.

Page 95

Jews were disinclined to discuss their faith in public or to proselytize. Even during their most oppressive rule Muhammad considered his message to be a continuation of of the Judeo-Christian prophetic tradition. To facilitate the acceptance from the Jews of Medina Muhammad had connected his community to theirs and felt that his message was a continuation of theirs by adopting Jewish rituals and practices. The Jews rejected him, to his surprise, but also strenuously argued against the authenticity of the Quran as divine revelation. Worried that the rejection of the Jews would somehow discredit his prophetic claims, Muhammad had no choice but to turn violently against them, separate his community from theirs, and refashion Islam as an alternative to Judaism.




21 January

Mischling by Affinity Konar

Mischling by Affinity Konar is about Josef Mengele. Pg 106: Night—it had forgotten that it shouldn’t be this beautiful in Auschwitz. There was no stopping it’s velvet sway at the messenger’s back.
27 October 1944
By day my pain worsened. Some mornings I woke to find it fevering in my toes, and on others, it was sulking about in my guts. Every day a new location a heightened pitch. I tried not to wonder after the identity of my sickness,—what could it matter?—but my mind wanted a name for it. Eventually I settled calling my sickness my weakness, with the idea that labeling it as such might motivate me to become stronger.
Pg 125: That I would have understood suicide long ago, that I would have known its color, its cry, its scent. And it’s true that I’d been born with thoughts of it within me.
Pg 142: I could have added that there was nothing strong enough to cleanse me of certain filths had been imposed on me during the experiments, but I didn’t.
Pg 145: When I read this I had big wet sobs. It is difficult to realize that part of you might travel for a lifetime with someone you hate, entirely against your own will.
Pg 164: But the doctor’s footprints were more reticent than your average footprint.
Pg 174: A box he apparently loved above all others, because while those receptacles were marked with the usual inscription of War Materials, Urgent, this one was deemed good enough to bear his name. Dr Josef Mengele it declared in script so fine and practiced that I could imagine him rehearsing the curve of every letter. He clung to this box like a child with a teddy bear, a boy with a kite, and when he lifted the lid, it was with careful affection, as if he didn’t trust even himself with the marvels contained within. All of this here he said, genetic material. You can’t begin to imagine what we might achieve with these tiny samples. A different kind of human. A perfect person. The slides clinked musically together in the box. I ran my finger over their edges. A perfect person I repeated, like Pearl. He grabbed the box away from me, closed the lid on all the little lives before I had a chance to memorize them. He took me by my neck, gripped it with his fingers, tilted my head back, and then with a movement so deft that it seemed like a magic trick pulled on a stage, he drew a dropper from his pocket and squeezed a little liquid into my left eye. Oh, how it blinded and stung. That little bead of liquid—it embellished my tears. What is this for? I gasped, and my hand shot to cover my pained eye as if to protect it from further shock. “It is to remember me by, he said.” Ouch. This was the best scene ever, and of the only time in the book adequately shows you in a few sentences what a monster he is, no different than Jeffrey Dahlmer.
Pg 185: The soldiers entertained themselves (on the walk from Auschwitz to who knows where) with a trick of shooting one body so that it fell into another body, and that body toppled another in turn, and so and so painfully on, bone-crack, hiss-of-bullet, snap, on snap—our people fell and the SS strode upon them shooting whoever dared to stir.
Pg 195: I asked them how I was supposed to treat survival like a game if the game would not have me, but their voices are gone. They’d witnessed the fall, and then they performed their own fall back into nothingness, into what I hoped might be peace. This was how I knew that I was still alive, because I was not at peace at all. But I continued with the game, long after the voices were no more. Play a mouse, I told myself. Play a fox.
Pg 201: You don’t have to be a Nazi to enjoy capturing a Jew.
Pg 205: Because I found a different avenue of memory to traverse. Or my pain found it for me. Because when I became aware that both of my feet were clubbed and swollen, that the bones had snapped at the ankle and my feet at the end of my legs like a pair of too-large lavender boots, I had a thought that he would fix everything: he would come and heal me if only I called. Papa, I remember, was a doctor. I remember that. There were words that were close to the first language I heard in my head, but they were not my words. My words were Polish. These words were neighbors in sound and meaning—They are speaking Russian, I thought.
Pg 222: I would wander into my body and try to know it, to stake my claim within it. It was wear, this body; I was ashamed of it. It had none of the strengths I imagined it might have while still in the tomb of my box.
Pg 247: Put yourself in a cage, Miri tried to whisper, but I heard it all. And then put the cage in a dark room. Once in a while have a hand come through the top of the cage. Sometimes the hand will give you food. Mere crumbs. Other times the hand might shine a light or ring a bell or douse you with water—” Peter asked what the purpose of such an experiment might be. Miri gave one explanation: Dr Mengele wanted to know what might happen when identical twins, the ones bonded to one another, experienced separation. It was true in it’s simplicity. But I could’ve given Peter another explanation: I was put in that cage because I loved too much.

I started to read this article, and decided to share it because it is very good. Recently I was reading about the film DENIAL and the Holocaust denier, David Irving. Her daughter explains that for the first few years Holocaust survivors, even in Israel, remained silent. Nobody wanted to talk about it, she says, to burden people, to upset people. It’s only really in the last two decades or so that survivors have started opening up.

The rest of my post is not a review, so until I can get the review up, here is my post about Holocaust Denial.

21 January

Trump Inauguration +1

I believe in order to understand your enemy, you should get to know them. In that vein, I think people need to read up on the post-war period as it dramatically influenced Trump’s life, as well as all Baby Boomers. This article covers the Cold War and the rise of the white middle classe. https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/fifties/essays/fifties

In order to understand Trump you need to read up on the Cold War, affluence, community, and unity in the 1950s suburban dream, as well as feminism and the making of an affluent society. As the above article states, “The Red Scare was visible in almost every area of American life. But it was primarily a phenomenon of government and politics. It was produced and largely sustained by government, even if it ultimately spread beyond government. Anti-communism became official government policy not just in Washington, but at every level of government. Forty-four out of the forty-eight state governments in the United States passed laws between 1949 and 1955 designed to root out subversives and suppress communist activities. State and local courts engaged in remarkable excesses in pursuing and punishing communists. Even city and county governments became energetic in rooting out people they believed to be subversives. But it was in the federal government that the Red Scare developed most rapidly and decisively.”

If you think about the post-war white picket fence suburban that grew from pre-war city living at the turn of the century.

Or this article about how the fads and entertainment helped take people’s minds off the Cold War: “Many Americans remember the 1950s as the fad years. A fad is something that is extremely popular for a very short time one fad from the 1950s was the Hula Hoop. The Hula Hoop was a colorful plastic tube joined to form a big circle. To play with it, you moved your hips in a circular motion. This kept it spinning around your body. The motion was like one used by Polynesian people in their native dance, the hula.

Other fads in the 1950s involved clothes or hair. Some women, for example, cut and fixed their hair to look like the fur of a poodle dog. Actress Mary Martin made the poodle cut famous when she appeared in the Broadway play, “South Pacific.”


12 December
22 November

PHP/MySQL Chapter Two

Developing Locally
Developing your construct on your local computer is the recommended way to learn since you can interact with all of the components on your own machine and not risk causing problems on a production server. That way, if there are problems in the local environment you can fix the snafu’s immediately without having them exposed to your site’s visitors. Advantages to working with your files locally means that you don’t have to FTP them to a server, you don’t have to be connected to the Internet, and you know exactly what’s installed since you did it yourself.

There are three components of installation:

The bullets indicate the order in which you will install the programs. All our examples will be from a PC install perspective with liner notes on Macintosh installation.

Installing Apache
First Apache needs to be installed and operational before PHP and MySQL can be installed or else they won’t work correctly. Plus, there wouldn’t be any use for the coding application ad database without the Apache web server. A web server delivers web pages, has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter http://www.oreilly.com/ in your browser, this sends a request to the server whose domain name is oreilly.com. The server fetches the page named index.html and sends it to your browser.

Any computer can be turned into a Web server by installing server software and connecting the machine to the Internet, which is why we need to install Apache. All our installation examples are done on a Windows-based PC.
1. Download the Apache 2.0.5 Win32 Binary. The file is downloadable from http://httpd.apache.or/download.cgi and the file that you save to your desktop is apache2_0.55-win32-x86-no_ssl.msi.
If you are on Mac OS X, you already have Apache installed. Open up System Preferences, select the Sharing panel and click to activate Personal Web Sharing (which is actually Apache). Mac OS X 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4 all come with different versions of Apache, but each works perfectly fine.

Figure 2-1. The Installation Wizard prompts you for basic configuration
2. Install Apache using the Installation Wizard. Double click the MSI installer file on your desktop.
The Installation Wizard walks you through the installation process.

Figure 2-2. Apache License Terms and Conditions for Use
3. Accept the License Terms by clicking the radio button. Click Next>.

Figure 2-3. Apache HTTP Server information
4. Click Next >. Additionally, this window offers a number of excellent resources related to the web server.

Figure 2-4. Black Server Information dialog box
5. In the blank dialog box enter all pertinent network information, a sample is provided below. Then click Next >.

Figure 2-5. Sample Server Information
Port 80 is the default HTTP port. In other words, when you request http://www.oreilly.com, you’re implicitly requesting port 80. By accepting this port, your web requests can be made without specifying a non-default port.

Figure 2-6. Selecting a Setup Type
6. Select the Setup Type. Click Next >. The typical install will work for our purposes.

Figure 2-7. Destination Folder dialog box for the Apache installation files
7. Accept the default installation directory. Click Next >.
The default installation directory, C:\Program Files\Apache Group\, is both standard and easy to find especially when you need to make changes to your configuration.

Figure 2-8. Ready to Install dialog box
8. Click Install. The installer installs a variety of modules, you will see some DOS windows appear and disappear. Click Finish when the installer is done.
9. Test your installation by entering http://localhost/ in your browser’s location field. The local host is IP address

Figure 2-9. Apache’s default index page after installation
10. After entering the URL in your browser, the default Apache page displays, which is similar to Figure 2-9. Notice the circled part of the window where it indicates that the installation was successful.
Now that you can serve up web pages, you’re ready to add PHP.

Installing PHP
Go to http://www.php.net/downloads.php to download the latest version of PHP, both binaries and source code can be found on this website. You need to download the zip file versus the Windows installer because the Windows installer only configures the IIS web server.
Create a directory for PHP on your desktop. You don’t need all the files provided in the archive, so unzip the PHP archive into another temporary location.

A temporary location could be on your desktop, which will be easier to find when you go looking for the files.
1. Copy the following files into C:\php: php.exe, php4ts.dll and php2apache2.dll. The php2apache2.dll file is located in the sapi directory.
Use php2apache.dll instead of php2apache2.dll if you are using Apache 1.3.x.
2. Load PHP extensions. If you plan to load PHP extensions, you will need to copy the files in the extensions directory, or the ext directory for PHP 5.x, to C:\php. Or a sub-folder in C:\php, any subfolder as long as the PHP.ini file is updated to reflect the appropriate directory.
MySQL support is now integrated into PHP and doesn’t need an extension dll. However, PHP 5 supports MySQL as a separate module for download. Follow the instructions below to make sure that your installation of PHP works before you start experimenting with installing extensions.
3. Configuring PHP
Copy php.ini-dist from the extracted files into your Windows directory, typically C:\winnt or C:\Windows and rename it to be php.ini.
4. Setup PHP to load Apache as a module. To configure Apache to load PHP as a module to parse your PHP scripts, use a text editor to open the Apache configuration file, httpd.conf, typically found in C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2\conf\.

Figure 2-10. Viewing httpd.conf in Notepad
5. Loading PHP as an Apache module. Open the httpd.conf file in Notepad or another text editor and search for the section that has a series of commented out LoadModule statements. You can find this around line 134. In Notepad >Edit > Go To…> 134.
Statements prefixed by the hash “#” sign in HTML and PHP are considered commented out and can only be seen by you, never your end user in their browser window.

Figure 2-11. Notepad httpd.conf file with the LoadModule section highlighted
6. Restart the Apache server by selecting Start Menu | Apache HTTP Server 2.0.x | Control Apache Server | Restart, so that it can read the new configuration directives you placed into httpd.conf. Alternatively, in the system tray, double click on the Apache icon and click the Restart button.

Figure 2-12. Notepad httpd.conf file with the AddType section highlighted
7. Search for AddType in the file, around line 754, and add the following line after the last AddType statement: AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
Testing Your PHP Installation
1. Create a PHP file, in any text editor, with the following line:
2. Save the file as phpinfo.php and save it under the Apache htdocs directory, usually C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2\htdocs.
3. Open your browser of choice.
Access the file you just created by typing localhost/phpinfo.php into your browser’s location bar. You should see a page of information about your PHP setup like Figure 2-13.

Figure 2-13. PHP Introduction screen
If for some reason it doesn’t work, check to see whether your PHP or Apache setup is causing the problem by the command line prompt: C:\php, then type in php “C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2\htdocs\phpinfo.php”, since the file isn’t in the c:\php directory.
If invoking PHP from the command line causes a large HTML file with all the PHP configuration information displayed, then your PHP set up is fine. The problem is probably your Apache configuration, go ahead and re-read the procedure on how to install and configure Apache.

Enabling PHP on Mac OS X
If you are on Mac OS X you have PHP pre-installed on your computer. You need to edit the Apache configuration file to enable PHP in much the same way you edited the PC text file.

Installing MySQL 4.1
Rounding out the last component that allows you to develop and test pages on your local computer is MySQL. Now download the MySQL Installer.
1. Download the MySQL binaries.
Both the binaries and the source code can be found at http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/. The link takes you to a page where you can enter personal info, or just click No Thanks to download the file. A number of download locations (or mirrors) are available, select one. Download the recommended version for the Windows Essentials (x86) MySQL 4.1 installer. Save the installer file to your desktop.
2. Installing MySQL using the Installation Wizard

Figure 2-14. The Installation Wizard prompts you for configuration settings
Double click the MSI installer file on your desktop. A setup wizard walks you through the installation process. If, perchance you’re installing MySQL 5.0 the install process is the same as it is for MySQL 4.1.
3. The Installation Wizard displays. Click Next >.

Figure 2-15. Select a setup type
4. Select Typical Installation by clicking the Typical radio button, then click Next >.

Figure 2-16. Confirm Installation Folder
5. Click Install on the Ready to Install the Program dialog box.

Figure 2-17. The MySQL.com account provides newsletters and bug reporting resources
6. Select Skip Sign-Up and click Next >. You can optionally sign up for an account, it provides access to a monthly newsletter as well as the ability to post bugs and comments on the online forums.

Figure 2-18. Configure the MySQL server
7. Select the Configure the MySQL Server now check box, then click Finish >.

Figure 2-19. The Configuration Wizard customizes the database settings
8. On the MySQL Server Instance Configuration Wizard click Click Next >.

Figure 2-20. Chose the level of detail dialog box
9. Select the Standard Configuration radio button from Figure 2-20. Click Next >.

Figure 2-21. How to Launch MySQL window
10. Check both Install As Window Service and Launch the MySQL Server automatically check boxes selected. Click Next >.

Figure 2-22. Security settings for the database window
11. Enter a password for the root user in the password and confirm fields. Click Next >. You do not need the Anonymous Account since you can do everything with named accounts

Figure 2-23. Commit the configuration settings window
12. Click Execute as shown in Figure 2-23.

Figure 2-24. Figure Caption Text Goes Here
13. Click Finish so that MySQL is now configured and running on your computer.
All critical components: Apache, PHP 5.0 and MySQL 4.1 are installed. The wizard will inform you of basic problem during installation like running out of free disk space or not having proper permissions on your system to install MySQL.
Working Remotely
Although we recommend you start out working locally you can use an ISP account as long as it supports PHP and MySQL.
You’ll need login information to the remote server and you may need to use your ISP’s web-based tool to create your database.
In order to transfer your files and directories you’ll need to activate a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) account at your ISP, usually through your account control panel. Once you have an FTP login you upload your HTML and PHP files using a FTP client.
While your computer likely has the command line version of the FTP client available from the command prompt it can be cryptic to use. Graphical FTP clients make using FTP much easier. FTP Voyager, available from http://sourceforge.net/projects/filezilla/ is one FTP client you can use to upload files to your ISP. Your initial login screen will look similar to Figure 2-25. Fetch is a good FTP program for the Macintosh.

Figure 2-25. FTP Voyager initial screen
After connecting you’ll see a dialog similar to Figure 2-26, but you will not see the identical screen as this FTP Voyager screen. You can drag and drop the .php file you created. Remember, in order for your PHP file to run you need to save it with an extension of .php instead of .html, otherwise it won’t run, because the web server needs to know it’s a PHP file in order to run the PHP interpreter.

Figure 2-26. FTP Voyager directory listing
PHP files must be accessed through a web server since your web browser doesn’t have the ability to interpret the PHP code. A PHP interpreter is used to process the PHP files.
You’re ready to rock and roll and start learning all about basic facts, integration and how to get your dynamic web page up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible. In the next chapter we’ll give you basic information about PHP and simple coding principles that apply to using PHP.

21 November

PHP/MySQL Preface

Learning PHP & mySQL
By Michele E Davis and Jon A Phillips

For many users they become comfortable with creating their own static web sites either coding the HTML directly or using a web development tool such as Dreamweaver. The next step is usually making your pages come alive by customizing their appearance per visitor and remember visitor details.

The combination of PHP, Apache, and MySQL pose many advantages to users that are new to building dynamic pages. They are all free open source products. Additionally, there’s an enormous amount of code freely available on the Internet already for PHP and MySQL. If you can think it up there’s a good chance someone has already done it and you can leverage their knowledge. Nobody likes reinventing the wheel.

Our goal is to help you learn the ins and outs of PHP and MySQL and save you some of the “Why doesn’t that work?” moments that we’ve already been through. PHP and MySQL both continue to evolve based on feedback from the community. Most of the time this involves adding new features but sometimes it also means reacting to common pitfalls from real words feedback. For example, the usage of global variables has been restricted to reduce common security lapses. While this eliminates a common security hole it also broke a substantial amount of code available on the web. We’ll show you what to look for and how to fix this problem without pulling out your hair.
Who should read this book

This book is for graphic designers, English and History college majors who find themselves in an IT firm creating static web sites and need to move forward with coding and database drive web sites. Or people involved in a small startup who easily know flash development and HTML markup but need to expand their repertoire of skills to database and open source coding dynamic coding environments.

Who should not read this book
If you’re not interested in using a database with your dynamic web sites than this book isn’t the best choice for you. If you already now how to create pages using MySQL and PHP than you’d also be better of with a book that is more a reference than a learning book such as the nutshell series. If you’re not familiar with HTML markup you should learn that first since you’re using PHP to generate HTML output.

Organization of this book
This book starts out with an overview of how all of the pieces we’ll be working with fit together. Because there are multiple languages and technologies that interact to form the dynamic web pages it’s best to start with a solid foundation of how the pieces work together. The PHP that you’ll learn works as a sort of glue or duct-tape to hold all the pieces together.

Next we’ll walk through installing the core software packages on your local computer. These include the Apache web server. The PHP interpreter works with the web server when processing dynamic content. Finally, we’ll install the MySQL database. Installation is covered on the PC, Mac, and Linux systems. You can also use a hosted ISP account to develop your pages if you don’t want to install everything locally.
Since PHP plays an important role in pulling everything together we take the time to explain the basics of working with the PHP language. This includes language essentials such as data types, program flow logic, and variables. Functions, arrays, and forms each get their own chapter to fully explore them.
Since you may be new to database in general we ease into MySQL by first explaining concepts that apply to designing and using any relation database. Then we give specific examples of using MySQL to interact with your data. Once you can get data in and out of the database you’ll need to work with PHP to integrate that data into your dynamic content.

Security and access control to your web pages each get their own chapter. While security may sounds like a dull subject it is still a huge issue if you store any information that’s private on your web page. There are several common security pitfalls that we’ll guide you around.
Finally, we close with sample applications that demonstrate how the technologies work together to rapidly build workable, fast, web sites. You’ll also learn where to look for additional information on the topics covered in the book.

Supporting Books
Even if you feel you are ready for this book, you may want to explore some of the XML technologies in greater depth than is possible here. The following lists offer some good places to start.
Tony Steidler-Dennison, Run Your Own Web Server Using Linux & Apache (SitePoint, 2005.)
Paul Hudson, PHP in a Nutshell, First Edition. (O’Reilly & Associates, 2005.)
Russell Dyer, MySQL in a Nutshell, First Edition. (O’Reilly & Associates, 2005.)
CSS Cookbook, Christopher Schmitt, First Edition. (O’Reilly & Associates, 2004.)
There are also several good resources for dynamic web development including onlamp.com, part of the O’Reilly Network. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP. LAMP is the defacto standard for serving dynamic web pages.

Conventions Used in this Book
The following font conventions are used in this book:
Italic is used for:
• Pathnames, filenames, and program names
• Internet addresses, such as domain names and URLs
• New items where they are defined
Constant Width is used for:
• Command lines and options that should be typed verbatim
• Names and keywords in programs, including method names, variable names, and class names
• XML element tags
Constant-Width Bold is used for emphasis in program code lines.
Constant-Width Italic is used to indicate replaceable arguments within program code.

How to Contact Us
We have tested and verified the information in this book to the best of our ability, but you may find that features have changed (or even that we have made a few mistakes!) Please let us know about any errors you find, as well as your suggestions for future editions, by writing to:
O’Reilly & Associates, Inc.
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For more information abut this book and others, see the O’Reilly web site:
First we’d like to thank our wonderful agent, Matt Wagner of Fresh Books for bringing such a fabulous opportunity to the table for us. The opportunity to write for O’Reilly & Associates was a great honor, as technologists, our bookcase was already well populated with a lot of animals from the Nutshell series.
Thanks to our O’Reilly developmental editors, Brett McLaughlin and Simon St. Laurent. This book wouldn’t be what it is without both of their help working with us. Secondly, profuse thanks to our technical editors; especially Jereme Allen and Christopher Finke who we met through our local Minneapolis/St. Paul PHP community: http://www.tcphp.org. Technical edit thanks also go to our last technical editor, Patrick Krekelberg.

09 May

Muslim Girl By Umm Zakiyyah

I’ve read several of Umm Zakiyyah’s novels, and I respect her writing. I’ve written reviews for each of her books, that were on pay sites. She dumbs down her subject matter for a young audience. That’s an amazing capability to have, and a good one to wield as a young adult novelist. Yet I have to be honest and say that every time I read a book of hers I feel like there’s, HONEST TO G-D, subliminal messaging, like that old SNL skit. I read Umm Zakiyyah’s books and I feel filthy. Just dirty. Islam and the patriarchal system that runs it makes me ill. MuslimGirlBook

As a woman not raised in Islam, I can no longer read Zakiyyah’s books because the control over women by men oozes off the pages. This says a lot about the author. If she can make my skin crawl because I see the level of control men have over women, and women over girls, in Islam, she not only describes Inaya’s conservative Islam in her attitude, and behaviour, but she demonstrates the fury that exists between men and women in Islam.

But moving from Saudi Arabia to America with an uninterested stepfather, Inaya experiences bigotry in a DC tri-state area school. A school administrator assumed that because Inaya is religious she must be Christian. That hatred is the same hatred that pits Muslim against Jew. It’s the kind of hatred that is supposed to be eradicated in public schools.

It’s a good book, and Zakiyyah is a good writer. I can only hope that at some point she notices how patriarchal her religion is and can foment social change because her writing could reach millions, and before more of her sisters die from FGM, which is endorsed by the Qu’ran.