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Thread: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    The most galling this about this ^ is the fact it was obvious from the start what course had to be followed, and it wasn't. When I aborted my ride across the country in March and drove home, it was the prospect of a tsunami of cases that loomed over the moment, exactly as described in the article.

    I took the first two FEMA courses last winter as I applied to work with an aid organization: https://training.fema.gov/is/courseo...?code=IS-101.c

    This roadmap should have been used, or at least attempted.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    The most galling this about this ^ is the fact it was obvious from the start what course had to be followed, and it wasn't. When I aborted my ride across the country in March and drove home, it was the prospect of a tsunami of cases that loomed over the moment, exactly as described in the article.

    I took the first two FEMA courses last winter as I applied to work with an aid organization: https://training.fema.gov/is/courseo...?code=IS-101.c

    This roadmap should have been used, or at least attempted.
    Wisdom has a liberal bias.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    Quote Originally Posted by guido View Post
    Wisdom has a liberal bias.
    Adam Savage'Gravity. It's not just a good idea; it's the law!'

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    Stray kitten turns solo bike trip into an adventure for two | Washington Post

    "When Dean Nicholson set off to bike from his home in Scotland to Thailand, he packed a tent, sleeping bag, stove, hammock and sound system for his music. A few months into his adventure, he had to make room for additional supplies, such as toys, a harness and a doll-size umbrella. But the new items weren’t for him. They were for his riding partner, a kitten he had rescued on his journey.

    While cycling through Bosnia in southeastern Europe, he noticed a tiny gray-and-white kitten running after him, meowing for him to stop. He hopped off his bike and fed her red pesto sauce from his food stash. He decided to take her to a vet in the nearest town to see if anyone had lost their pet. No one had, so he placed her in the basket attached to the front of his bike and pedaled toward the border of Montenegro. The kitten tried to escape, but not to run away: She just wanted a better seat."
    Last edited by guido; 11-29-2020 at 04:00 PM.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    The Energy 202: After pardoning turkey, Trump moves ahead with lifting bird protections | Washington Post

    "A few days after pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving, President Trump is moving forward with giving a reprieve to oil producers, electric utilities and other companies that accidentally kill birds.

    Trump officials took another step toward easing fines for “incidental” death or harm to birds under regulations set by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

    While few were paying attention the Friday after Thanksgiving, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published an analysis saying the change “would not cause unacceptable environmental harm,” my colleagues Juliet Eilperin and Sarah Kaplan report.

    Trimming the wings of the 102-year-old law is just one of several regulatory actions the administration is aiming to accomplish before its exit. The Trump administration is expected to finalize easing fines before Jan. 20.
    Companies that electrocute, poison and otherwise harm birds stand to benefit from the revision.

    Past administrations have used the law to financially penalize companies whose activities harm gulls, waterfowl and other migratory birds that plunge to their deaths in oil skim pits mistaken for ponds or find themselves dirtied by oil when pipelines break.

    Perhaps most notably, BP pleaded guilty to breaking the law after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon spill killed an estimated 102,000 birds across 93 species.

    The change means future spills would not be prosecuted under the law. In its environmental review, the Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledged that companies would be less likely to take costly steps to prevent harm to birds if they face no legal liability — leading to more bird deaths.

    Amy Emmert at the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas lobbying group, said the change “reinforces the original intent of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.” The Fish and Wildlife Service itself says it is promulgating the rule to "provide legal certainty for the public."

    Environmental groups, meanwhile, criticized the Trump administration for what it calls a legally flawed analysis that will lead to unnecessary bird deaths.

    “At a time when North America has already lost 3 billion birds, the rule will further undercut our nation’s ability to conserve birds so many people care about deeply,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, the head of the Defenders of Wildlife.

    Earlier this year, a federal judge struck down the administration's first effort to ease restriction on bird killings, which was opposed by 17 former Interior Department officials from both Democratic and Republican presidents."
    Last edited by guido; 12-01-2020 at 08:16 AM.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    It’s Not Just Trump’s War on Democracy Anymore | Washington Post

    "The streets are still quiet in Washington, nine months into a pandemic that is reaching yet another deadly peak. Most of the offices remain closed, and even outdoor sports have been cancelled by the mayor once again. The dog-walkers and joggers passing by our house wear masks, though there is rarely another person anywhere near them. A couple of miles away, at the White House, First Lady Melania Trump announced this week the official unveiling of a new tennis pavilion, completed by “talented craftsmen” during the pandemic, and there have been packed holiday events every night. A Hanukkah gathering on Wednesday—the worst day yet of this unparalleled public-health crisis—featured hundreds of attendees, many unmasked, jammed together, according to a grainy leaked video. The crowd chanted “Four more years!” as President Donald Trump said, “We’re gonna win this election in a landslide,” more than a month after losing the election. In a sign of the mordant times, Thursday night’s Congressional Ball, also hosted at the White House, was dubbed the “COVID Ball,” and hundreds more revellers were expected to attend. Even before all this entertaining, more than fifty people in Trump’s orbit have come down with the coronavirus—including, this week, the lawyers who have been flying around the country challenging the election on his behalf, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. Welcome to late-stage Trumpism: defiant decadence with a potentially deadly edge.

    After four years of the unthinkable becoming reality under Trump, I thought I was prepared for the various unprecedented scenarios that might unfold in this post-election, pre-Inauguration period. We knew, because Trump told us, that he would not accept a loss to Joe Biden, no matter what. We knew, because Trump told us, that he would not suddenly get serious about the pandemic after hundreds of thousands of Americans died from it. We knew, in other words, that the country had to brace for an alarming confluence of virus denialism and election denialism between November 3rd and January 20th. As devastating as it is for American democracy, it is no longer news that the President insists, as he did in a tweet the other day, that he is the victim of the “greatest Election Fraud in the history of the United States.”

    In the days immediately following the election, Trump said that his goal was to “STOP THE COUNT.” Then it was to “stop the steal,” or to demand recounts, or to discover evidence of fraud. During this period, one senior Republican official said there was no real harm in letting Trump have his temper tantrum; it would not affect the outcome anyway. “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change,” the Republican told the Washington Post. “He went golfing this weekend. It’s not like he’s plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on January 20. He’s tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he’ll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he’ll leave.”

    But, rather than merely taking a few days to come to terms with his loss, and then sulk off to Florida once the courts threw out his lawsuits, Trump has escalated and escalated, culminating on Wednesday with a single-word tweet announcing his new goal: not to win the election but to “#OVERTURN” the results. Even more strikingly, while his allies have lost fifty-plus cases since the election, Trump has convinced millions of Americans to believe that the election was rigged against him—seventy-seven per cent of Republicans now say massive fraud occurred, according to a new Quinnipiac poll out Thursday—and enlisted virtually the entire national leadership of the Republican Party in his concerted attack on the legitimacy of the results."
    Last edited by guido; 12-10-2020 at 10:44 PM.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    Another good read on the Virus by Ed Wong in the Atlantic Magazine.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...ar-two/617528/

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism


  9. #1369
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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    Josh Hawley reminds us that the GOP is the sedition party | Washington Post

    "The Republican Party yet again provides us with reason for its own demise. The Post reports: “Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced Wednesday that he would object next week when Congress convenes to certify the electoral college vote, a move that will force a contentious floor debate that top Senate Republicans had hoped to avoid before President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is cemented.” There is no irregularity or evidence of fraud that justifies this move. It is pandering to a party’s base which has lost touch with reality and fidelity to our Constitution.

    Like the 126 Republican House members who signed on to a lawsuit to throw out votes of states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden, Hawley has joined the authoritarian right-wingers who openly seek to overthrow the results of an election he does not like. He is a reminder to voters in Georgia of why allowing Hawley’s party to retain its Senate majority puts our democracy (not to mention our financial security and health) at risk.

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro called the lawsuit “seditious abuse.” That’s an apt description for Hawley’s latest move. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) accurately explained that Hawley is “engaged in the attempted overthrow of democracy.” Whatever you call it — sedition, a coup, an anti-democratic putsch — Hawley’s move violates his oath of office. Not that it will do much good, but he should face an ethics charge and a demand for expulsion (which would require a two-thirds vote, pursuant to the Constitution).

    It is fitting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the rest of the Republican enablers should be humiliated by this display of disloyalty and compelled to vote any objection down. At any point over the last four years — during President Trump’s impeachment trial, for example — Republicans could have stood up to a lawless president. There has been ample evidence of Trump’s unconstitutional conduct and mental unfitness to serve. Even if they vote down Hawley’s objection, they are responsible for turning their party into an authoritarian movement and making America look like a banana republic in the eyes of the world.

    What is particularly reprehensible about Hawley’s move is that, unlike some of the deluded House members who signed onto the lawsuit, he knows his complaint is groundless. He is a graduate of Yale Law School, the former attorney general of Missouri and a law professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. He clerked for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and subsequently wrote Supreme Court briefs. He knows that what he is doing is antithetical to the Constitution, his oath of office and his obligations as a lawyer. Yale should ask for its diploma back; the Missouri bar should move to take away his license. Georgia voters should send Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate to deprive Hawley of the gavel on any committee and his party of the majority."
    Last edited by guido; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:32 PM.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    The Roots of Josh Hawley’s Rage | New York Times

    "In today’s Republican Party, the path to power is to build up a lie in order to overturn democracy. At least that is what Senator Josh Hawley was telling us when he offered a clenched-fist salute to the pro-Trump mob before it ransacked the Capitol, and it is the same message he delivered on the floor of the Senate in the aftermath of the attack, when he doubled down on the lies about electoral fraud that incited the insurrection in the first place. How did we get to the point where one of the bright young stars of the Republican Party appears to be at war with both truth and democracy?

    Mr. Hawley himself, as it happens, has been making the answer plain for some time. It’s just a matter of listening to what he has been saying.

    In multiple speeches, an interview and a widely shared article for Christianity Today, Mr. Hawley has explained that the blame for society’s ills traces all the way back to Pelagius — a British-born monk who lived 17 centuries ago. In a 2019 commencement address at The King’s College, a small conservative Christian college devoted to “a biblical worldview,” Mr. Hawley denounced Pelagius for teaching that human beings have the freedom to choose how they live their lives and that grace comes to those who do good things, as opposed to those who believe the right doctrines.

    The most eloquent summary of the Pelagian vision, Mr. Hawley went on to say, can be found in the Supreme Court’s 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Mr. Hawley specifically cited Justice Anthony Kennedy’s words reprovingly: “At the heart of liberty,” Kennedy wrote, “is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” The fifth century church fathers were right to condemn this terrifying variety of heresy, Mr. Hawley argued: “Replacing it and repairing the harm it has caused is one of the challenges of our day.”

    In other words, Mr. Hawley’s idea of freedom is the freedom to conform to what he and his preferred religious authorities know to be right. Mr. Hawley is not shy about making the point explicit. In a 2017 speech to the American Renewal Project, he declared — paraphrasing the Dutch Reformed theologian and onetime prime minister Abraham Kuyper — “There is not one square inch of all creation over which Jesus Christ is not Lord.” Mr. Kuyper is perhaps best known for his claim that Christianity has sole legitimate authority over all aspects of human life.

    “We are called to take that message into every sphere of life that we touch, including the political realm,” Mr. Hawley said. “That is our charge. To take the Lordship of Christ, that message, into the public realm, and to seek the obedience of the nations. Of our nation!”

    Mr. Hawley has built his political career among people who believe that Shariah is just around the corner even as they attempt to secure privileges for their preferred religious groups to discriminate against those of whom they disapprove. Before he won election as a senator, he worked for Becket, a legal advocacy group that often coordinates with the right-wing legal juggernaut the Alliance Defending Freedom. He is a familiar presence on the Christian right media circuit.

    The American Renewal Project, which hosted the event where Mr. Hawley delivered the speech I mentioned earlier, was founded by David Lane, a political organizer who has long worked behind the scenes to connect conservative pastors and Christian nationalist figures with politicians. The choice America faces, according to Mr. Lane, is “to be faithful to Jesus or to pagan secularism.”

    The line of thought here is starkly binary and nihilistic. It says that human existence in an inevitably pluralistic, modern society committed to equality is inherently worthless. It comes with the idea that a right-minded elite of religiously pure individuals should aim to capture the levers of government, then use that power to rescue society from eternal darkness and reshape it in accord with a divinely-approved view of righteousness.
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    At the heart of Mr. Hawley’s condemnation of our terrifyingly Pelagian world lies a dark conclusion about the achievements of modern, liberal, pluralistic societies. When he was still attorney general, William Barr articulated this conclusion in a speech at the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he blamed “the growing ascendancy of secularism” for amplifying “virtually every measure of social pathology,” and maintained that “free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people.”

    Christian nationalists’ acceptance of President Trump’s spectacular turpitude these past four years was a good measure of just how dire they think our situation is. Even a corrupt sociopath was better, in their eyes, than the horrifying freedom that religious moderates and liberals, along with the many Americans who don’t happen to be religious, offer the world."
    Last edited by guido; 1 Week Ago at 08:28 AM.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    I listened to FDR's Four Freedoms speech the other day on my way to ride in the woods, and thought after that freedom of worship, or freedom of religion, is also freedom from worship, freedom from religion.

    I am reading my great-great grandfather's copy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and came across this: "The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful."

    QED
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    This Putsch Was Decades in the Making | New York Times

    "One striking aspect of the Capitol Hill putsch was that none of the rioters’ grievances had any basis in reality.

    No, the election wasn’t stolen — there is no evidence of significant electoral fraud. No, Democrats aren’t part of a satanic pedophile conspiracy. No, they aren’t radical Marxists — even the party’s progressive wing would be considered only moderately left of center in any other Western democracy.

    So all the rage is based on lies. But what’s almost as striking as the fantasies of the rioters is how few leading Republicans have been willing, despite the violence and desecration, to tell the MAGA mob that their conspiracy theories are false.

    Bear in mind that Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, and two-thirds of his colleagues voted against accepting the Electoral College results even after the riot. (McCarthy then shamelessly decried “division,” saying that “we must call on our better angels.”)

    Or consider the behavior of leading Republicans who aren’t usually considered extremists. On Sunday Senator Rob Portman declared that we need to “restore confidence in the integrity of our electoral system.” Portman isn’t stupid; he has to know that the only reason so many people doubt the election results is that members of his party deliberately fomented that doubt. But he’s still keeping up the pretense.

    And the cynicism and cowardice of leading Republicans is, I would argue, the most important cause of the nightmare now enveloping our nation.

    Of course we need to understand the motives of our homegrown enemies of democracy. In general, political scientists find — not surprisingly, given America’s history — that racial antagonism is the best predictor of willingness to countenance political violence. Anecdotally, personal frustrations — often involving social interactions, not “economic anxiety” — also seem to drive many extremists.

    But neither racism nor widespread attraction to conspiracy theories is new in our political life. The worldview described in Richard Hofstadter’s classic 1964 essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” is barely distinguishable from QAnon beliefs today.
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    So there’s only so much to be gained from interviewing red-hatted guys in diners; there have always been people like that. If there are or seem to be more such people than in the past, it probably has less to do with intensified grievances than with outside encouragement.

    For the big thing that has changed since Hofstadter wrote is that one of our major political parties has become willing to tolerate and, indeed, feed right-wing political paranoia.

    This coddling of the crazies was, at first, almost entirely cynical. When the G.O.P. began moving right in the 1970s its true agenda was mainly economic — what its leaders wanted, above all, were business deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. But the party needed more than plutocracy to win elections, so it began courting working-class whites with what amounted to thinly disguised racist appeals.

    Not incidentally, white supremacy has always been sustained in large part through voter suppression. So it shouldn’t be surprising to see right-wingers howling about a rigged election — after all, rigging elections is what their side is accustomed to doing. And it’s not clear to what extent they actually believe that this election was rigged, as opposed to being enraged that this time the usual vote-rigging didn’t work.

    But it’s not just about race. Since Ronald Reagan, the G.O.P. has been closely tied to the hard-line Christian right. Anyone shocked by the prevalence of insane conspiracy theories in 2020 should look back to “The New World Order,” published by Reagan ally Pat Robertson in 1991, which saw America menaced by an international cabal of Jewish bankers, Freemasons and occultists. Or they should check out a 1994 video promoted by Jerry Falwell Sr. called “The Clinton Chronicles,” which portrayed Bill Clinton as a drug smuggler and serial killer.

    So what has changed since then? For a long time Republican elites imagined that they could exploit racism and conspiracy theorizing while remaining focused on a plutocratic agenda. But with the rise first of the Tea Party, then of Donald Trump, the cynics found that the crazies were actually in control, and that they wanted to destroy democracy, not cut tax rates on capital gains.

    And Republican elites have, with few exceptions, accepted their new subservient status.

    You might have hoped that a significant number of sane Republican politicians would finally say that enough is enough, and break with their extremist allies. But Trump’s party didn’t balk at his corruption and abuse of power; it stood by him when he refused to accept electoral defeat; and some of its members are responding to a violent attack on Congress by complaining about their loss of Twitter followers."
    Last edited by guido; 1 Week Ago at 07:44 AM.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

  13. #1373
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    Default Re: Read me >>> sharing illuminating journalism

    Not to read, but to watch. This is well-researched and well-reported. It's also enraging and horrifying. Take 15 minutes and absorb this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/inves...capitol-siege/
    GO!

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