From the Editor

“Embarrassed and Ashamed”

 

~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton ~

“Embarrassed and ashamed” apparently, the new catch phrase for public figures and perhaps a few private ones as well. Is anyone else wondering why none of these men were not embarrassed and ashamed when they were busy behaving so appallingly?

I have been thinking a lot about what might have been for so many, including for me and those I know. Have you wondered how many talented women were denied a promotion or even a chance to try, because they were unwilling to sexually favor their boss?

We often talk about the causalities of war, referring to the young men killed on the battle field, who were not able to cure cancer, or write the great American novel, or lead their nation into peace and prosperity; well what about the women who are casualties of a sexist society that does not respect them because of their biology?

It seems that 2017 will go down in the annals of history as the “watershed moment” when sexual harassment, especially in the work place, finally leaped from the closet, to the boardroom, to the front page of the newspaper and the lead on the evening news – even when it was their colleagues who were the headline.

Honestly, when I saw the latest news about Charlie Rose, it broke my heart and brought me to tears. Why in the world would a man like that, with so much going for him, have to resort to such filth?

It is no secret to those who know me, and those who read these pages that I had long been an admirer of his work. As I have previously stated, when I lived in Los Angeles, through many sleepless nights, I would turn on his show, guaranteed to learn something and be entertained.  Thankfully, I knew very little about his personal life.

Initially, when I heard the accusations against him, I had trouble wrapping my head around the words that were being used to describe what had transpired. The idea of this southern man who loves and lives in New York City, who is both well-educated and well-traveled, successful and engaged on a very wide and varied stage, doing something as uncouth and vulgar as walking out of the shower, into a his room, disrobed, was unfathomable.

It was not until a couple of days ago, that I remembered that I too had experienced what was now unfathomable. What is odd is how the horrible memory came back to me, of this man who had no reason in the world to leave the bathroom disrobed and how embarrassed I still felt.  It was not until this morning that I shared the story with Kate; I was still feeling ashamed.  I quickly pointed out to her that I did not look at him, below the waist; wondering why I felt the need to add this detail.  I then told her, but it was not in a work environment that the incident occurred, as if that somehow lessoned the trauma.  It took me about five minutes, after telling her the story, to come back and tell her but I did work with him and report to him; why had I not seen that before?

Unfortunately, as I have already shared with my readers, I am part of the 1 in 6 women who has been raped, but being a survivor does color my feelings on sexual harassment, which I have also experienced both first and second hand. While sexual assault and harassment often, sadly, go hand in hand, sexual harassment, especially in the work place, is an evil that stands alone; and yes, I too have been one of the countless women who have been harassed in the work place, including at such levels that it became intolerable and I quit my job.  It is not right.

Recently, we have had some relief, in our home, from a sexually inappropriate and harassing situation related to work; but only some, as today the evil in our life has struck again.

Without a doubt, the man who has tormented us this year, has been responsible for an enormous amount of stress, countless wasted hours devoted to documenting his atrocities, as opposed to doing something productive, more than a few moments terrified for our physical wellbeing, time spent justifying, pondering, explaining, fighting, addressing, his vile lies about quality of work – all because, as he put it, screaming at the top of his lungs: “I cannot feel you, you need to make me feel you, I am your boss and you will do whatever I say, I am not feeling you, so even though I could have paid you a lot more, I did not because I do not feel you . . .”

When this insanity began, my initial response, like so many other women who have been conditioned by abuse, was it will pass, just wait it out. Do you know what I mean?  Whether the blows are physical, sexual, or mental, we are trained to tolerate it, and learn to hold our breath, praying for strength enough to endure.  The taunting and degrading comments, in this case, did not lesson, rather by not fighting back, this perpetrator was only more infuriated and stepped up his assault.  He attacked financially, and then he attacked work ethics and ability, when none of that was enough for him, he turned to stalking and retaliatory actions that among others things forced us to think about our physical and financial future with serious concern.

Now, before we are accused of doing or saying nothing, be assured that we did act. Foolishly, we started with Human Resources, a complete waste of time, we then took this matter to his boss, and her boss, and his boss . . . all the way to the Chief Executive Officer.

The harassing boss’ retaliatory action was rescinded, because of course it had no merit, and we were told to pretend it did not happen, that we should go back to the way it was, before the vile boss perpetrated an act that in my opinion was only designed to create a groveling begging response that he did not get.

We were willing to go forward, but wanted a written apology, an acknowledgment of what had happened; can you imagine all we were asking for was an apology? Of course there was no apology from any of them, including the Chief Executive Officer.  The message was very clear, you just need to take it and make him happy so there are no problems in the future.

For months nothing changed, until one day, at our wits end, we called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I have to say, the call felt a lot like it did when I called the Rape Crisis Hotline, in Long Beach; I started that conversation by apologizing for bothering them and telling them that I do not know if this is a real issue, because I had known my attacker.  Thankfully, the conversation with the EEOC also ended a lot like the one with the Rape Crisis Hotline – we are here to help you.  Of course, once the process of putting pen to paper began, the document that developed was a lot like me remembering the coworker who had stripped, while in the bathroom, it was not just one incident or one manager or one injustice; there was a pattern of discrimination and harassment that cried out to be answered.

As that process has progressed, which includes the employer being notified of the complaint, there have been many anxious moments wondering what will come next. The harassing boss, however, never let up his behavior, in no small part, in my opinion, because none of his superiors or any of the HR partners found his behavior wrong.  I am sure they knew that if they agreed that his behavior was inappropriate and illegal, they would then be faced with having to address this behavior, and apparently corporate America has not caught up to the business of television, entertainment, and hopefully politics, where sexual harassment and assault are no longer going to be tolerated, dare we hope.

This story is not finished, neither for our country, nor in our home; and as we daily learn of more public figures who have abused their power and raped, molested, assaulted, attacked, harassed, and penalized women I continue to be in a state of shock, with a slight undertone of hope.

It took a letter to the whole chain of command, asking why the harassing boss’s behavior would continue when this matter was already at the EEOC, for him to be removed from our life. It seems the right hand may not have told the left what was going on; suddenly there was a fresh breeze blowing through our home.

What the EEOC will do is yet to be seen, and it is our understanding that it will be months not weeks until we know their findings. However, having that case number is surprisingly empowering.

As for our nation, may I recommend we choose to stand with the women, who are also being empowered by a number; can you imagine how difficult it is to stand alone against anyone of the sexual predators that have been exposed this year? May they all continue to gain strength from one another, how else could they bare this process; and may we vow to no longer tolerate or perpetuate this spirit of disrespect for women that has permeated our culture for far too long.

We need to stop objectifying women, laughing and going along with “entertainment” that degrades women, and teach all of our children to respect women as people. That is all for now

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

Post card is from Syracuse Cultural Workers

Food

Kate’s Pizzelles

 

Kate makes pizzelles every year, at Christmas, and they are always a hit. They are a very thin and almost understated cookie; I assure you they are highly addictive!

Our first Christmas in Maine, after everyone had moved out, from California, Kate spent the 24th making dozens and dozens of pizzelles, in anticipation of our Christmas Eve dinner, later that night.

She had laid them out, all over the kitchen, which was huge! The counters were covered, as was the table, with cooling pizzelles.

We went to church, and came home to put the finishing touches on the meal. It took us several minutes, standing in the kitchen, nodding our heads, to figure out what was wrong – the counters and table were completely empty, every pizzelle was gone, and Callaghan, our incredibly large and smart dog, was stretched out, on the kitchen rug, with what can only be called a Christmas smile! He had eaten every last one – or at least he had facilitated the feast he, and our other two dogs, Merry and Charlie, enjoyed.

This recipe requires the use of a pizzelle iron, which is available in cookware stores and Italian specialty shops. Buy one with a non-stick surface for easy cleaning.

Ingredients:

6 large Eggs at room temperature

2 cups of Sugar

1 cup of melted Butter

4 tsp. Anise extract

7 cups all purpose Flour

4 T. Baking Powder

Oil for griddle

 

Directions:
In bowl of mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes

Add cooled butter and anise. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Beat the batter until well combined and a dough-like consistency.

Heat the pizzelle baker, lightly oil surface. Scoop out about an 1” of dough onto each side of the pizzelle baker, close lid and bake for 35-45 seconds, just until very light brown and crisp. Remove from baker, form into desired shape or leave as is. Continue with remaining dough, placing the cookies on wax paper to cool. This recipe will make about 75 cookies.

 

Words Worth Thinking About

“The essay differs from the article in at least one important point: it is the work of an individual, a man, a person, while the article may be the product of any man, or combination of men, or even a whole editorial staff. The author of an essay is significant in his own right, and his views carry weight for this reason.  The writer of an article is depersonalized; his material is the essential point of interest, not his own concepts of the material. The essay, as the work of a person can be and often is a work of art, but the article rarely rises above the level of a craft.  These distinctions could give rise to endless bickering between critics who fail to agree on some basic terms and principles, but they must be made.  In an age when human values have been minimized for the glorification of the machine and the committee, when demand for efficiency has obscured the more vital need for the preservation of the dignity of the individual, it is most important to preserve awareness of the validity of the arts.  In the arts, more than in any other products of human endeavor, the aspirations of individual men, the bright visions of the best of mankind reach their fullest expression.  The essay is one form of art which available to everyone who will take time to read and has the capacity for reflection.”

~ Homer C. Combs ~

Connected

Writing Women in to History

 

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I remember my 10th grade history teacher saying to all of us, go make herstory.  I have often thought about this comment throughout my life.

I went to an all-girl, Catholic high school.  I think some people, in today’s politically charged environment, would think of herstory as a liberal concept.  But the teacher was not liberal and her point, about men writing history, and leaving women out of the story, is not unjustified.

For example, I have read many articles and books about cryptography, and in all of my readings, I never came across a female cryptanalyst named Agnes Meyer Driscoll, until I was in Westerville, Ohio, and I happened upon Agnes’s house, which was marked by a plaque.  I was truly surprised that she is known to be one of the top cryptanalyst.

So who is this remarkable woman, which actually helped the United States during World War I and World War II?

Agnes was born in Geneseo, Illinois, July 1889.  Agnes’s father moved to Westerville, Ohio, for a teaching job, in the music department, at Otterbein University, in 1895.  Agnes was 16 years old, at the time; she would complete her high school education in Westerville.  After graduation, she attended a business school in Amarillo, Texas, and then went to Otterbein University, from 1907 to 1909.  She went on to The Ohio State University in 1910, graduating in 1911 with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and physics.  She also studied foreign languages; mastering French, German, Latin and Japanese.  Agnes also studied music and statistics.

After graduation from The Ohio State University, Agnes would teach music at Lowrey-Phillips Military School in Amarillo from 1912 to 1915.  In 1915, she would accept a job to chair the mathematics department at a high school in Amarillo, where she would stay until 1918.

In 1918, America had just started to allow women to enlist in the armed services, thus she would join the United States Naval Reserve as a Yeoman 1st class.  She reported to active duty at the Naval Yard in Washington D.C.; within three months, Agnes would be assigned to the Office of the Chief Cable Censor, were she did basic filing of telegrams.  While assigned to the Office of Chief Cable Censor, she was promoted to Chief Yeoman.  Agnes would be transferred to the Naval Communications were she solved all machine ciphers that were submitted to the Navy, to be used for communications.  It is not surprising that none of the ciphers submitted for consideration would be used, since Agnes had found the weaknesses, in them all.

At the end of the war, she would be released from active duty but remained as a civilian at her post.  Agnes became involved in more than breaking the ciphers; she actually ended up making a cipher machine.  In the early 1920’s, there is a Naval record that states that Agnes would co-develop a cipher machine and the standard device used for enciphering for the Navy.

Agnes left the Navy for two years, after being offered a position, as a result of having solved a puzzle advertised as impossible. The private firm hired Agnes as a technical adviser for a cypher typewriter.  The company would eventually fail, but the concept of rotor technology would impact future designs of cryptographic machines.

Agnes returned to the Navy in the spring of 1924 and would marry a Washington D.C. lawyer named Michael Driscoll.

In 1926, Agnes along with another colleague would break the Japanese Naval manual codes and would continue to break Japanese code each time the Japanese would release a new manual.  She would have another unexpected break from the Navy, after she was in a severe automobile accident in which she broke both her jaw and leg.  The car accident was in October of 1937 and she would not return to work until September of 1938.  Her leg would never heal properly, and at 48 years of age, she would use a cane for the rest of her life.  When she returned to work, she continued to work with the Japanese Naval code, but would be pulled off that project to work on the Enigma, and we all know how that turned out – but did you know of Agnes Meyer Driscoll’s input?

Sadly, Agnes was not inducted into the National Security Agency Hall of Fame until the year 2000.  Like so many other woman in history, her story has barely been told.  It must be our job, as enlightened men and women, to make sure that when future generations are learning about all of the remarkable men who have made a contribution to keeping us Connected, that we also tell them about the many women who with pencil in tow, stood shoulder to shoulder with their male colleagues, conquering the challenges placed in front of them in making herstory. Let us all stay Connected.

 

 

The Historical Marker

 

 

Her Home

 

https://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic-heritage/historical-figures-publications/publications/assets/files/the-neglected-giant/the_neglected_giant_agnes_meyer_driscoll.pdf

Film’s Recommended by Marcial

 
 
This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.
 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Israel, 2003, 94 minutes, Comedy

Ladies in Lavender, UK, 2004, 103 minutes, Drama

Paper Moon, US, 1973, 102 minutes, Classic

Outsourced, US, 2006, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

Run Lola Run, Germany, 1998, 80 minutes, Thriller

Frida, US, 2002, 122 minutes, Drama

The Hours, US, 2002, 114 minutes, Drama

Garden State, US, 2004, 103 minutes, Comedy

American Beauty, US, 1999, 122 minutes, Drama

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, US, 2004, 108 minutes, Comedy

The Green Mile, US, 1999, 189 minutes, Drama

Rain Man, US, 1988, 103 minutes, Drama

Chicago, US, 2002, 113 minutes, Musical

The Upside of Anger, US, 2005, 118 minutes, Comedy

Scarface, US, 1983, 170 minutes, Thriller

The Notebook, US, 2004, 123 minutes, Drama

Million Dollar Baby, US, 2004, 133 minutes, Sports drama

Good Bye, Lenin!, Germany, 2003, 121 minutes, Comedy

Finding Neverland, UK, 2004, 101 minutes, Drama

Spanglish, US, 2004, 131 minutes, Comedy

The Aviator, US, 2004, 170 minutes, Drama

The Bridge on the River Kwai, US, 1957, 167 minutes, Action

Pulp Fiction, US, 1994, 154 minutes, Thriller

The Magnificent Seven, US, 1960, 128 minutes, Western

Zorba the Greek, Greek, 1964, 142 minutes, Classic

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, US, 2000, 106 minutes, Comedy

La Strada, Italy, 1954, 108, Drama

In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

Awakenings, US, 1990, 120 minutes, Drama

Patch Adams, US, 1998, 116 minutes, Comedy

Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Under the Tuscan Sun, US, 2003, 113 minutes, Comedy

Les Comperes, France, 1983, 88 minutes, Comedy

Midnight in Paris, US, 2011, 94 minutes, Comedy

Moscow, Belgium, 2008, 102 minutes, Romantic Drama

Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy

The Help, US, 2011, 146 minutes, Drama

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Mrs. Henderson Presents, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy/Drama

Memoirs of a Geisha, Japan, 2005, 145 minutes, Drama

Vitus, Switzerland, 2007, 123 minutes, Drama

Children of Heaven, Iran, 1997, 89 minutes, Drama

Volver, Spain, 2006, 121 minutes, Comedy

Rashomon, Japan, 1950, 88 minutes, Drama

Guantanamera, Cuba, 1994, 104 minutes, Comedy

Little Miss Sunshine, US, 2006, 101 minutes, Comedy

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Russia, 1980, 150 minutes, Romantic Comedy.

The Pursuit of Happyness, US, 2006, 117 minutes, Drama

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, France, 2007, 112 minutes, Drama

Thank You for Smoking, US, 2005, 91 minutes, Comedy

Big Fish, US, 2003, 125 minutes, Drama

No Country for Old Men, US, 2007, 122 minutes, Thriller

Dirty Pretty Things, UK, 202, 92 minutes, Drama

The Edge of Heaven, Germany, 2007, 122 minutes, Drama

There Will Be Blood, US, 2007, 158 minutes, Drama

The Wrestler, US, 2008, 105 minutes, Drama

Bottle Shock, US, 2008, 110 minutes, Drama

The Truman Show, US, 1998, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, US, 2008, 166 minutes, Drama


Public Square

Public Square

Follow Fort Pitt Museum at Point State Park     “Courage on Trail” Nat H. Youngblood   “The Fort Pitt Museum, located in historic Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh, is a two-floor, 12,000-square-foot museum that presents the story of Western Pennsylvania’s essential role during the French & Indian War, the...

In Nature

In Nature

Follow You’ve Got Mail The 91st Street Garden     At...

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

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