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Posted by on Mar 15, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 0 comments

If You Can’t Do a Lot, Then Let’s All Try to Do A Little

 

nolan dalla charity

 

Every little bit helps.

We don’t need superheroes. What we need are more people to do small things. Ordinary people like you and me.

Even a seemingly small act of kindness can make a difference. Just ask the beneficiary of anyone on the receiving end of a generous act.

No one can lift a ton. But many people in an organized effort can not only lift a ton, but move mountains. It’s the basis of my fundamental belief in cooperation instead of competition.

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from a grocery store that will remain anonymous because what they are doing isn’t allowed by the company. For about three years, Marieta (she deserves the credit) took “old” produce that was going to be discarded and shared it with some charitable organizations working with the needy. We made more than 100 deliveries, usually 5-10 boxes at a time, about once a week. Unfortunately, the produce manager left that store and we were not able to do anything after September of last year.

Sure enough, yesterday this person called and is now working at another location. In light of the current crisis, he asked if we wanted several boxes of fruits and vegetables. Of course, we jumped at the chance to get back involved. We gave this shipment to a local church group that is doing good work. Just to be clear, I don’t do nearly enough good deeds.  Marieta is more involved in charity work and motivates me to get off the sofa and so something.

I have spoken with many people about what’s going on and how it’s going to impact our lives. Not all of us have money, food, transportation, and the means to get to food and things we need. I strongly suggest you find just ONE PERSON, maybe a neighbor or a senior or someone you normally would not reach out to and make the effort to see if they need anything. Just knock on a door and introduce yourself and ask if you can help.

And, if you don’t find a person to help, then — I beg of you — by all means, help an animal. Many animals are desperately in need when there is a crisis. I’ve seen this firsthand at The Animal Foundation, which has way too many cats and dogs that we have homes for. If you hear a dog barking at unusual times and something doesn’t seem right, then please go and check it out. We might be okay. But not all people and animals are able to get what they need in times of shortages. Help those people. And help the animals.

One good deed might even save a life.

Please, do what you can.

No act is too small.

__________

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Posted by on Mar 14, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 0 comments

Don’t Politicize This?

 

Trump coronavirus

 

Don’t politicize this?

Really?

Yeah, nothing says “let’s don’t politicize this” like wearing a USA TRUMP 45 campaign hat during an official White House press conference on the coronavirus while threatening to fire the Federal Reserve chairman.

20 minutes of nauseating self-congratulation.

We’re willing to be rational about this. Note that no one goes after Anthony Fauci and others, because they stay on message and provide (as best they can) accurate information to the American people.

Even though they’re appointed by President Biohazard, we understand the need for bipartisanship. But man, that’s really tough to do when every single mic appearance by Trump is laced with campaign-style narcissism.

Oh, and in the presser that’s continuing as I type this, Ben Carson, who doesn’t believe in evolution, is now talking about how “we’ve gotten away from God,” and praising Trump’s “National Day of Prayer.”

Now, ladies and gentlemen, any more questions about WHO are the instigators of politicizing this crisis?

__________

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Posted by on Mar 11, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 0 comments

Pandemic and Crying Wolf

1918 spanish flu

 

Fueled by toxic right-wing media, complacency, and in some cases, plain old dirt-dumb willful ignorance — many otherwise intelligent people are succumbing to a dangerous mindset that the COVID-19 pandemic is:

Fill in the blank……

— an exaggeration
— a media-driven panic
— just another type of flu
— a hoax
— a plot to hurt Trump

Virtually all these “opinions” are expressed by people with absolutely no background in science. Certainly, none of the people posting idiotic memes and spewing senseless perspectives on social media tainted by warped political and selfish economic interests have any academic or practical experience in viruses and pandemics whatsoever. Let me put it another way: They don’t know shit.

I have little knowledge or understanding of science and even less ability in viruses. It’s true. I don’t know shit, either. Hence, I chose to rely on the good people who do know this stuff, who are virtually unanimous in their warnings and recommendations that this threat is very, very serious. What knowledge and understanding I do have is in politics and history, and to get a broad picture of what things could be like, all we must do is look at what happened a hundred years ago.

Neither of the possible outcomes is comforting. Either the virus does terrible damage over some unknown period — not just medically, but economically and socially, as well. Or, the alternative is a false confirmation of anti-intellectual bias, a wedge between ignorance from sanity.

There does exist the very real possibility that experts will deliver us from this peril, that the virus will be contained, and the outbreak will not be as bad as it might have been. In this far more palatable scenario, it will inevitably follow that critics and cynics will insist the virus was never a big deal at all, that COVID 19 was — an exaggeration, a media-driven panic, just another type of flu, a hoax, and a plot to hurt Trump.

Science will have won the medical battle but then lost the war of truth. In essence, even if the pandemic gradually subsides thanks to scientists and public health officials, some/many will point to the dissipating storm that inexplicably took a detour and missed destroying the village, and then mock those who warned us.

A crisis brings out the very best in people, and the very worst in people. We may be damned if the virus spreads, but just as damned if it doesn’t.

__________

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Posted by on Mar 8, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 33 comments

Here’s Why I’m Donating to the Trump Campaign (and You Should, Too)

 

 

I urge readers to follow my lead and gum up the Trump campaign machine with a real contribution that will help make America great again.

 

Today, I’m writing a check to the Trump re-election campaign.

I’m making this check out to “Donald J. Trump for President” and signing my real name.

Then, I’ll stick an envelope in the mail and send it to Trump’s re-election headquarters in New York.

No, I haven’t lost my mind.

No, I haven’t flipped over to the dark side.

No, I’m not supporting Trump.

But I do want to make a contribution, in my own way.  I intend to make sure the Trump campaign and countless affiliated Republican political organizations will latch on to my “generosity,” waste vast sums of money mailing me free stuff, sending me bogus political questionnaires, and sapping up their reserves to beg me to donate more.

You see, I’m sending the 2020 Trump re-election campaign a check in the amount of “$.01.”  That’s right.  One cent.

 

Let’s Do the Math

 

This an act of cold calculation, my friends. It’s dubiously designed to invest a tiny amount of money in order to make the evil beast bleed far more in funds.

My investment in this project amounts to 55 cents — the cost of one USPS stamp — plus 1 cent for the donation.  Then, there’s the expense of a personal check and a simple envelope.

What do I expect for my 56 cents and an envelope?  I know exactly what to expect because — believe it or not — I once worked in Republican Party fundraising, years ago.  I know how their game is played.  I know the score.

 

The Name of the Game is “Caging”

 

It’s called “caging.”  What an appropriate term applied to the Trump Administration.

What happens is this — my envelope gets opened by a third-party processor which collects checks and then enters the names of all campaign donors into a computer database.  What — you think there are paid staffers on the 15th Floor at Trump Tower doing data entry?  Think again.  Bulk mail gets trucked someplace much cheaper and then processed.  That’s the way it works with large political operations.  The checks and information are caged.

So, my name eventually gets recorded, which is required by federal law.  Someone working for close to minimum wager for the contractor spends no more than a few seconds adding me to the vast Trump army of deplorables.  Then, another office flunky down the assembly line will process my check.  Oh, my check will get cashed — for sure.

Bingo!  Success.  Mission accomplished.

Now, I’m on the inside.  I’m officially a Trump donor!

 

So, What Happens Next?

 

Sometime later, my name ends up on every Republican hit list.  Elections come with postal bombardment.  When Trump gets the party nomination — I’ll get mail.  During the campaign — I’ll get more mail.  Later, every Republican candidate who buys the “Trump donor list” will blow even more money trying to squeeze blood out of this Socialist turnip.  They’ll be hounding me for more money until the end of democracy.

This is certain.  I know, because I already get bombarded with Trump trash.  Why not make them spend even more.

Doing the math, what this means is that in the coming years, Trump and the Republican Party will likely invest 100-times more money than I initially donated to their evil cause.  My modest investment-donation will cost them far more than they will ever receive.  It’s a simple, but effective means of protest.

It’s death by a thousand paper cuts.  It’s playing dirty but legal.  It’s how big corporations kill lawsuits by smaller businesses — paperwork them to death.  Exhaust their resources.  It’s not a pretty way to win, but it’s still a win.  And you might not win, but you cause enough damage to the evil system (h/T Patrick Day).

 

Gumming Up the Trump Works

 

Now, imagine thousands of good Americans doing the same thing.  Sending tiny donations of just a cent or two.  Call it “gumming up the works.”

I urge all anti-Trumpers to do exactly the same.  Donate a small amount and mail them a check.  Even if 1,000 good citizens do this, that means Trump raises perhaps $10.  After all, 1,000 pennies is just ten bucks.  But the Trump campaign and subsequent Republican candidates who buy the sucker list will blow tens of thousands of dollars on wasted solicitations that will get tossed straight into the wastebasket.  There’s another bonus:  I find Republican campaign literature to be the perfect cat box liner.

I know, this isn’t the most environmentally-friendly means of protest.  It’s wasteful.  But the time for scorched-earth activism has arrived.  Protest.  Resist.  By any means necessary.  Do something.

 

Make Your Contribution, Now!

 

I urge readers to follow my lead and gum up the Trump campaign machine with a real contribution to making America great again.  Make them blow both time and money.  Sure, they’ve already raised millions in donations.  A few dollars might not seem like much.  But every single small act leads to an avalanche.  Great causes are victorious not by giant events, but by one small act at a time.

For those rightly concerned, note that making a tiny donation will NOT be reported to federal authorities (reporting requirements apply only to donations over $200).  However, all the names of those who donate are indeed recorded.  Republicans consider these lists worth their weight in gold.  Trump and the party will certainly comingle all donors and blow campaign funds on future solicitations.  And the best way to fight them is by throwing their garbage away, or better yet, sending a blank donation envelope back in their return postage-paid envelopes (which are often supplied).  That really stings.  Making them pay — double, triple, and quadruple!

If you’d like to read more about what happens when you make a political donation to a national campaign, here’s a guide.

Make your donation to the Trump campaign now!  And write CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION on the outside of the envelope.  That way it gets to the right place.

Here’s the mailing address:

Donald J. Trump for President

Trump Tower

725 Fifth Avenue

15th Floor

New York, NY 10022-2519

 

Note that the online option at the OFFICIAL WEBSITE has a minimum contribution of $25.  Why do you think they don’t want to bother with donations less than $25?  Answer:  Because it ends up costing them money!  So, contribute the old fashioned way by check, instead.

__________

 

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Posted by on Mar 6, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 1 comment

Thirty Years Ago Tonight

 

Nolan Dalla and Marieta Dalla 1990 Bucharest Romania

 

Today marks an anniversary, of sorts.

Thirty years ago tonight, March 6, 1990, I went on my very first date with Marieta.

I went on a blind date with a Romanian girl named Marieta Petre. She lived across the street from the national soccer stadium in central Bucharest. I picked her up at 6.

The instant I laid eyes on her, I thought I stood no chance. There was no way this was happening. She was too beautiful. I suppose it was that sense of having nothing to lose that made me relax and somehow carry on a dinner conversation that was good enough to keep her interested, leading to a second date.

Our first date was at Pescarus (which is still in business). But, thinking my chances of developing a serious relationship were at best a longshot, our second date wasn’t until after Easter, in late April.

The most interesting thing about our unusual courtship was that it all took place just as Eastern Europe’s Iron curtain was falling and the future was uncertain. Bucharest was in chaos for six months after the revolution, with marches, protests, and sporadic outbreaks of violence.

We “dated” almost every day. I got off work at the Embassy around 5. Marieta, who worked for the nearby office at Manufacturers Hanover, got off about the same time. We met up at the daily protests at University Square, which were filled with 5,000-10,000 people every single day.

One afternoon, the provisional government which was fragile and struggling to hold power, tried to break up the protests and sent in the Army. Thousands of troops tried to clear the streets. That caused the crowd to riot, torching vehicles and breaking lots of windows.

Someone took this photo of us during one of the riots. It’s our first photo together.

After the riots, that just made the protests grow larger. Crowds were so large that it was often difficult to find Marieta. So, we made a pact that we’d meet at the burned-out Army truck each day at 5;30. I think this burned Army truck sat in the streets for three months.

I have lots more fun stories to share and the old photos are fun to go back and look at — and remember. I’ll share a few more over the next few months.

Thirty years ago tonight — our first date.

__________

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