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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Harassment reality on Capitol Hill

    The sexual assault and harassment scandals are now reaching into Capitol Hill.   It was only a matter of time after the scandals in Hollywood began to show the pattern of powerful men using their position so inappropriately.   It also brought back to my memory the mindset of 1970's on Capitol Hill.  I was a college intern in Senator Goodell and Senator Muskie's offices in 1971 and 1972.   The job differed from the younger interns and pages in that we got to do constituent work.  Much of the work involved calling Social Security and the Veterans Affairs offices trying to resolve constituent issues with those programs.  Developing good contacts within those departments was the key to successfully resolving issues. 
    Back to sexual harassment.  A truth in most organizations is that the more power you have the more opportunities you have to misuse that power.  It was no different on Capitol Hill.  You shouldn't be surprised that the greatest abuse came from the top of the office.   I should say that I never saw anything inappropriate from either Senator I interned with but that isn't to say that there were many others that fell into this behavior.  I heard many times it said that the 1950's novel Peyton Place could have taken place on Capitol Hill.  For younger readers here is the description of the novel.  One experience that I do remember is one that involved Sen. Strom Thurmond.   I was asked to take a document that needed his signature to his office and wait until he signed it.   Nothing unusual about that until I was told that only male staff and interns were used after a female staff person came back with a story about how the Senator gave her "a too friendly" greeting.  This response was typical of the 1970's approach to sexual harassment as one of protecting your own staff or family from an abuser but doing nothing to stop it or confronting the abuser.  The stories in the news today show that not much has changed in the past 40 plus years.   I don't want to be a pessimist but the reality is that these stories will continue with us into the future.  Abusers may become more discreet but it will continue.  The only solution seems to be more females in power to set a different tone in the workplace.

     Interesting story about Strom Thurmond came out after his death.  Here is the info from Wikepedia:

     "Six months after Thurmond died at the age of 100 in 2003, his mixed-race, then 78-year-old daughter Essie Mae Washington-Williams (1925–2013) revealed he was her father. Her mother Carrie Butler (1909–1948) had been 16 years old and working as his family's maid when Thurmond initiated a sexual relationship with her. He was 22. Butler died in 1948 when Washington-Williams would turn 23. Although Thurmond never publicly acknowledged Essie Mae Washington, he paid for her education at a historically black college and passed other money to her for some time. She said she kept silent out of respect for her father[9] and denied the two had agreed she would not reveal her connection to Thurmond.[10] His children by his marriage eventually acknowledged her.[9] Her name has since been added as one of his children to his memorial at the state capitol."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Amazing photos of Jupiter

       From Sci-Tech Universe magazine:

       "Traveling above Jupiter at more than 130,000 miles per hour, NASA's $1 billion Juno probe took its ninth set of stunning flyby images on October 24. 
        The spacecraft then swept within a few thousand miles of the gas giant, capturing stunning high-resolution views of its cloud tops."
Others dazzle with their detail of the planet's thick cloud bands and powerful storms.

"Then Juno flew back out into deep space, passing over Jupiter's south pole on its exit. Churning storms at the poles constantly change their appearance."

The planet's atmosphere is a turbulent mess of hydrogen and helium gases.

"Many cloud bands have features called chevrons. These atmospheric disturbances blow at several hundreds of miles per hour and sometimes zig-zag through a band, or punch through into others."

Many cloud bands have features called chevrons. These atmospheric disturbances blow at several hundreds of miles per hour and sometimes zig-zag through a band, or punch through into others.

"Many snapshots of Jupiter take on an artistic quality"

In this older view of Jupiter, from Juno's eighth perijove, two cloud bands battle for dominance — one of which contains a swirling storm many times larger than a hurricane on Earth.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Don't laugh but Energy Secretary Perry has discovered the secret to preventing sexual assaults

    Image result for rick perry

   We are all used to the craziness from our pretending president and his clown show of appointed representatives but the new craziness has recently been revealed in the bending logic to a real problem.  Recently Energy Secretary Rick "let me see how I can encourage pollution" Perry has talked about how the use of coal can decrease sexual assaults.  Even wearing glasses doesn't seem to have made him any smarter.  Here is the link to the story.

        Maybe we should all ship little bags coal to Perry's boss to see if it helps.