Hi There!

(For my Dutch-English translating and proofreading business, please go to my D-E Translating WordPress site. Thank you.)

Welcome to my blog.

I’m a 57-year-old Dutch immigrant. I didn’t come to America for a better life. My life was just peachy in the Netherlands. I came here for love — no other reason. I met my American husband while on vacation in Scotland. He tried to get a job in the private sector in Holland, but since he could only speak two languages — neither of them was Dutch and English really didn’t count, because everyone in the Netherlands can speak English –that wasn’t going well. So I moved to America. To the Rio Grande Valley first, and after twelve looooong, hot years we moved to Austin, where we’ve now lived for almost twelve years as well.

I love living in Austin but I’m chock-full of criticism of America in general. The Rockies bring me to tears, but so does the health care system. I’ve adopted Thanksgiving, but not the Pledge of Allegiance. If I seem elated and unbearably grouchy in sometimes dizzyingly quick succession, this is why.

I love the usual: my husband, my children, my friends and our pets. I hate heat, willful ignorance, bone spurs, spiders, and walking or cycling in place.

I collect raft books and I’ve developed a weird obsession with the bottoms of bridges.

When I lived in the Netherlands, twenty-three years ago, I loved hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end, and I walked and cycled everywhere. Now that I live in a pretty darn hot part of the U.S., with kids who have to be driven everywhere by car, I love reminiscing about hot tea, wild camping in Great Britain, gardening, reading for days on end and walking and cycling everywhere…

My blog is a crazy—some might say completely unhinged–collection of posts about any of the above-mentioned issues and then some. Nothing is sacred. I blatantly ignore all American no-nos. Which means I talk politics, religion, I don’t idolize  teachers and I swear (though not that much — well, maybe a bit more than usual since November 2016).

As you read my posts you might laugh, seethe, weep or shrug your shoulders. If you like a post, great. Let me know. If you hate a post, great, let me know. I like to think I’m always right, but don’t let that stop you from telling me if you disagree. We Dutch love a good debate.

If you want to know more about how I got here and an overview of how that’s been, visit my About page.

Otherwise, have at it!

(In my posts, I refer to my husband as T, my 21-year-old son as B, and my 18-year-old daughter as R.)

My New and Improved Blogs: Yes, Plural!

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>

The Big No-No, fascism, fascism in America, American fascism, authoritarianism, WordPress, WordPress business plan, fascism in American society, authoritarianism in American society

Image: mine

I’ve created a separate blog about fascism in America titled The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism. It comes with a Facebook page. For now, titles of the emigrated posts will stay here, with links to their new homes.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>I keep coming back to authoritarianism in American society and it was crowding this blog, which should focus on immigration and related issues.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>Setting up the new blog took a long time and blood, sweat and tears – don’t ask – and now it’s up. It’s on the WordPress business plan, which means, among other things, that I get SEO (Search Engine Optimization) support. This is great – I learned a lot, like that I’ve been doing everything wrong! No wonder I only have about six regular readers on Resident Alien. So, from now on I’ll be SEOing my tail off, and sometimes that will hurt my language a little. That took me a long time to accept, but ultimately the goal is to get my point out there.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>So yes, I know, that subtitle needs a verb, but the perfect title for SEO is fifty to sixty characters; therefore The Big No-No: An Outsider Addressing American Fascism didn’t work. Let alone … Fascism in America.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>I’ve always liked to come up with creative, intriguing titles for my posts, but I now know that for search engines they might as well not exist. From now on my titles will have as many of the important keywords in them as I can cram in, as well as a headline. Both on The Big No-No and on Resident Alien. I might retroactively change the titles of my Resident Alien posts, too.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>I’ll bold keywords throughout the text, as well. If you see bolded keywords that should be hyphenated but aren’t, and I do have the same keyword hyphenated somewhere else, that’s because some people will look for the term unhyphenated, not because I’m not sure how to deal with hyphens.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>Well, about 75 posts have emigrated to The Big No-No and anything else I write about Trump and the dangers of fascism and authoritarianism and police violence, etc. I will publish there. Having two separate platforms will allow me to write more on Resident Alien as well. For instance, I really wanted to write about the undocumented immigrants and the child separation at the border, but I was in the middle of a series about black and white social and wealth disparity and I didn’t want to break the order of the posts. Now I can. (And on the business plan I can add a series plugin to posts in a series, so even if I don’t write them all one after the other, they’ll still show up as a series.)

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>I emigrated posts with comments and all, because in some cases there is more in the comments than in the actual posts. They definitely add value that I didn’t want to lose. If you have commented on any of the posts and for some reason you don’t want your comments to show up on my awesome new blog, let me know and I’ll delete them.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>The Big No-No has a plugin that provides more privacy for blog comments. According to the creator “it hides the input fields for e-mail and URL in new blog comments and omits storing the IP addresses of commenter in the WordPress database. It also disables the notice that e-mail addresses are not being made public. This helps to reduce the data collected from users.”

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>Another nifty plugin allows you to edit your comments for a brief period after publishing them.

<

p style=”text-align:justify;”>If you followed Resident Alien primarily because you are interested in my posts about American politics and fascism and authoritarianism and such in American society, I invite you to move to The Big No-No. If you were getting annoyed with all my posts that really didn’t have anything to do with the original intent of Resident Alien, I apologize that it took me this long to think about simply creating a second blog, and you’re welcome. If you’re interested in both, great! Hop on over, follow me, share me, follow and like the Facebook page (there’s a link to it on the blog, too) and share the heck out of that as well.

I hope to see you here and there!

Barbara

But That Was Then, This Is Now: Part 4: The Racial Wealth Gap

dsc_0024.jpgOkay, so African Americans were segregated at almost every level until the Civil Rights Movement. But since then they have no excuse for being less well off, and white people haven’t done anything to hold them back since then, have they? And what about white people? Aren’t they just as badly off as poor blacks?

Well, it just so happens that several studies were recently done on the subject, on which I will heavily rely for this post. But first a few things that made getting ahead harder for blacks before the Civil Rights Movement. Continue reading

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 3 A Little Property History

This post doesn’t live here anymore. It has emigrated to my other blog:

The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism, where it resides under the title:

“Black Slavery: The Source of White Real Estate and Power”.

 

 

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 2 Housing Inequality

This post doesn’t live here anymore. It has emigrated to my other blog:

The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism, where it resides under the title:

“Racial Discrimination in Housing”.

 

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 1 Introduction

This post doesn’t live here anymore. It has emigrated to my other blog:

The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism, where it resides under the title:

“Racial disparity in America: How Whites Hold Blacks Back”.

 

Trump’s Telephone Tangle, Untied

Fox and Friends interview Trump 4-26-2018

Image: mediamatters.org

In an interview, the interviewers generally ask questions and the interviewee answers as best he can. Here’s an analysis of Trump’s interview with Fox and friends this morning.

I listened to it, and then I listened to it again, writing down the questions and only anything, any combinations of words, that formed direct answers. I did need to paraphrase here and there. Then I timed my reading the questions and the actual answers: just a little over two minutes. The interview lasted thirty minutes, so obviously he said a whole lot more, but the rest of it was  just a lot of static and deflection and stream-of-consciousness filler. Continue reading

From Facebook to Flipboard: How I Avoid the Information Bubble

This post doesn’t live here anymore. It has emigrated to my other blog:

The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism, where it resides under the title:

“Fake News, Real News and Custom News”.