Monday Reads: Change is Imperative

Good Day Sky Dancers!

There are so many things right now that you think we should’ve figured out by now that seem to be worsening because there is no leadership in Washington.  We’ve known about global climate change making weather patterns worse for decades now.  We’ve known at least that long about the insidious institutional racism and misogyny that makes it nearly impossible for large swarths of our country to live up to their potential and be protected under the law. We have a global pandemic that is mostly out of control in places like Brazil and then the United States because we simply do not have the people in office willing to make tough decisions based on evidence to do what’s best for the country. They are either overlords of chaos and greed themselves or serving said said overlords as underlords.  Also, lessons of history should have warned us that another Nixon would try to grab power and yet, so many have ignored what’s going on and actively thwarted oversight designed in our U.S Constitution.

We should know better and the rest of the world watches us struggle with disbelief and horror as we repeat all our mistakes of history and science over and over.

This important segment on Climate Change on the 15th anniversary of Katrina is worth watching.  Our government did not learn anything from our experience from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and another set of people are reliving much of the same  horror.

Young Woman with a Red Fan (1910) By Max Pechstein.

Folks in the know continue to warn us about the impact of Global Climate Change. This is from US News and World Report: “Climate Change Bigger Economic Risk Than Pandemic, ECB’s Schnabel Says.”  How can an institution like the European Central Bank help prioritize a risk that obviously will cost lives and fortunes?

The coronavirus pandemic demonstrates in the clearest terms why central banks must take a bigger role in fighting climate change even if the issue at first appears unrelated to monetary policy, European Central Bank board member Isabel Schnabel said.

Initially just a health crisis, the pandemic has set off economic shockwaves around the globe, affecting every nation and forcing central banks to provide unprecedented support to underpin economic activity.

With climate change posing an even bigger risk, the ECB must keep this issue high on its agenda as it reviews its policy framework, Schnabel told Reuters in an interview.

“Climate change is probably the biggest challenge we are facing, much bigger than the pandemic,” Schnabel said.

“Even though this health shock was entirely unrelated to monetary policy, it nevertheless has huge implications for monetary policy,” she said. “The same is true for climate change and this is why central banks cannot ignore it.”

Through its supervisory arm the ECB could require banks to provide a climate risk assessment, which could then affect their access to central bank funding if this assessment has a direct implication on collateral valuations, Schnabel said.

The central bank should also push the European Union to add a green element to its long-delayed project to set up a capital markets union as a focus on green finance could give the bloc a competitive advantage, she argued.

Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket
Max Beckmann
Date: 1950

This new poll from STAT shows how politicized basic non-partisan policies should be in this country.  “Poll: Most Americans believe the Covid-19 vaccine approval process is driven by politics, not science.”

Seventy-eight percent of Americans worry the Covid-19 vaccine approval process is being driven more by politics than science, according to a new survey from STAT and the Harris Poll, a reflection of concern that the Trump administration may give the green light to a vaccine prematurely.

The response was largely bipartisan, with 72% of Republicans and 82% of Democrats expressing such worries, according to the poll, which was conducted last week and surveyed 2,067 American adults.

The sentiment underscores rising speculation that President Trump may pressure the Food and Drug Administration to approve or authorize emergency use of at least one Covid-19 vaccine prior to the Nov. 3 election, but before testing has been fully completed.

How have we come to this place where the most important decisions in policy are being driven by the most base aspects of governance?  Why is everything a culture issue now?  Why is everything played like some team that you root for even though what they is completely wrong?

Why are so many invested in a White Nationalist Christianist future where truly there is no hope for the planet or democracy for that matter?  Did we not settle this last century?

“Oddy-Knocky” by Alessio Radice
 2013

This is a story from Minnesota that should be told around the world.

Since last fall, Minnesota State Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, has taken a keen interest in a book called Bronze Age Mindset. The self-published tome has captivated many on the American right while trafficking in neo-fascism, racism and misogyny. The writer is an anonymous internet figure who goes by the pen name “Bronze Age Pervert” and has 45,000 Twitter followers.

The book argues that equality and human rights are unnatural; that most people form a vast, inferior class who will only find “solace and meaning” through “submission” — and that the proper rulers of the world are white men.

A passage claims, “Life appears at its peak not in the grass hut village ruled by nutso mammies” — using a racial slur to refer to Black women — “but in the military state.”

Chamberlain, the influential chairman of the upper chamber’s Taxes Committee, tweeted at the author, Bronze Age Pervert, on April 30, thanking him for an introduction to Bach’s “Fugue in G-minor;” likely a reference to Pervert’s podcast, which uses classical compositions as bumper music. (The podcast is even more overtly white supremacist.)

“The most obvious form of hatred in this book is misogyny,” said Curtis Dozier, a Vassar College professor of classics who documents appropriations of Greco-Roman antiquity by hate groups. “His ideal of masculinity is racialized.”

Dozier has analyzed the book’s appropriations — and misappropriations — of ancient literature.

Dozier said the title’s “Bronze Age” refers to an imagined era when a glorious warrior culture overthrew female tribal rulers and spread the Indo-European language — and male domination — from Iceland to southern India. Pervert identifies these conquerors as the Aryans, borrowing the ideas of Nazis, eugenicists and contemporary white supremacists, Dozier said.

Unlike most peddlers of hate online, however, Pervert does not disavow violence to soften the historic image of white supremacism and fascism — he glorifies it.

Gerti by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (Photo by Barney Burstein/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

But, it’s not only Minnesota. Try Kansas City on for size. 

It started as soon as her family, along with all of their belongings and their dog Kingston, arrived in Kansas City from Southern California not quite two months ago, Maureen Roland says: The smiles that froze and then disappeared when her new Northland neighbors, near Parkville, caught a glimpse of her Black husband and biracial children. The woman down the street who put her hand up and said, “No, thank you,” when Maureen introduced herself. The slurs shouted from across the way, the pointing, the pretending to retch.

“Kansas City nice” is real, but so is Kansas City not-so-nice. There are people in our town who yell, “You’re disgusting!” at the Rolands’ house as they walk by, and who have gotten out of line at the Best Buy to avoid them.

The Rolands have lived all over the world, so it’s not a revelation that there’s racism in it. But “I have not experienced it to this degree,” she says. “I have not experienced it this much. I have not experienced it this vocally.”

Or, try Lafayette Louisiana …

“Self Portrait with Hat” by expressionist painter Karl Schmidt Rottluff in 1919

We have welcomed thousands of evacuees here in New Orleans to hotels and the Mayor of Lafayette says no to any shelters at all. His reason is something that should warn us all that Republicans are emboldened to be openly and nakedly racist. Black Lives Matters is not a terrorist operation.  Any local “militia” group is definitely on the FBI watch list for domestic terrorism.

Officials with the Josh Guillory administration have asked local churches to stop trying to set up shelters for evacuees from Laura because of the “serious threat” of recent protests

I wanted to advise you that I have officially asked local churches to take a pause on any action to establish a shelter at this time. As you probably know, we have had some serious, concerning activities pop up today with armed protestors in the streets. Many from out of town.

This is a serious threat and we must handle this issue before we can care for our neighbors. It goes against what we believe and how we usually respond after a disaster but it would be irresponsible to potentially put others in harms way.

We are not in a position to safeguard people displaced by Laura with this serious, local security threat. We know that bad actors will take our hospitality and use it against us.

H. Craig Hanna (b. 1967), Paris

And, that really is disgusting.

Here’s the latest on how the national campaign is turning us against one another via Politico. “Biden forced to play on Trump’s turf as campaign turns to racial strife.  The Democratic nominee wanted to talk about Trump’s performance on the coronavirus. Instead, he’s having to straddle a line on civic unrest. ”  Of course, they don’t want to talk about the policies we need to actually do something for the big issues. Let’s focus on pitting the first and second amendments against each other in strictly racist terms.  After Trump’s horrid visit to Louisiana and Texas, he wants to head to Kenosha today.

The chaotic scenes in Kenosha, Wis. and Portland, Ore., are redefining the contours of the presidential race — shifting the immediate debate over how to quell the clashes, who should own the unrest and which candidate is better suited to lead the nation through strife.

Donald Trump, who’s planning to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, is claiming the mantle of law and order even as he stokes conflict between protesters and his supporters. Trump is trying to take credit for restoring order by loudly calling for an influx of National Guard troops and painting Democrats as too fearful of alienating their base to denounce violence.

Joe Biden last week called for a halt to the violence, though it took him longer than many Democrats wanted. The Democratic nominee decided over the weekend that he would not travel to the pivotal battleground state on Monday ahead of Trump’s visit. Instead, the Biden campaign plans to ramp up messaging that Trump’s rhetoric has only inflamed hostilities on the streets, beginning with a speech in Pennsylvania Monday.

It’s a very difficult argument to make when he is president of the United States that the unrest and chaos that’s happening on the ground is somehow not his responsibility,” Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield told POLITICO. “He owns it. He’s the president of the United States and he owns it. People are seeing a president who is failing to lead and that will be a big focus for us as we move forward.”

“We will continue to put this at his feet and hold him accountable for it because it’s hard to make a law and order argument when you’re an incumbent.”

The balancing act over the riots and police misconduct marks a new, intensifying phase of the election. Both campaigns are preparing for a burst of activity: Biden plans to break his month slong hold on travel to swing states in the coming weeks, with stops expected initially in Wisconsin and Michigan in addition to Pennsylvania. He’s also looking to appear in Minnesota and Arizona soon.

And the on going battle should really be against the Rule of Law as seen within the Justice Department.  Here’s some headlines to read on that.

So, this all should keep you busy today. I’m sorry it’s all so alarming but seriously, thing’s have to change.  We owe it to all of us that have lived and will live in this country.  These policy challenges should be faced head on with regard to our laws, science, and getting the best results we can from the political process. We cannot take an administration whose goal is to tear us all apart, tear our country down, and ruin the gifts of nature around us.

What’s on your blogging and reading list today?


23 Comments on “Monday Reads: Change is Imperative”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a good week! Be Kind to yourselves! Check in with ust!! We care!

    • NW Luna says:

      This is good news. Hope it turns Florida to giving our future Prez Harris a victory for her VP role this Nov.

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. jslat says:

    Just here to say, “Hi! ” Stay safe all.

  4. Enheduanna says:

    I did not click the links for the Bronze Age group – but gather from the description they think that was a cool era. Guess they missed the fact the Bronze Age COLLAPSED in rather spectacular fashion. Historians not sure exactly why (Sea People? Climate change?) but it met a disastrous end.

    Hope everyone has a good week and the news improves…

    • quixote says:

      There are actual anthropologists and prehistory historians who study those societies. Conclusions? By and large, hunter-gatherers have fairly egalitarian lives, and work on the order of 25-30 hours per week (hard measurement to define since the distinction between work and not-work isn’t that clear at that stage). No they weren’t some kind of female-goddess-mother archetype. Neither were they Me-Tarzan-You-Jane bullshit.

      Once farming started (which there’s every indication was pretty much developed by women), and there were all those excess resources to grab, men with their natural talent for grabbing started to go for it and we evolved toward the system we have now. The whole warrior-kings BS is pretty much taken whole cloth from what’s in the basic textbooks about Assyrians and a) most of it is so one-sided as to be wrong, and b) Assyrians were just one society, and c) it was the kings who had the tablets made that survived and their opinion of themselves was obviously just as high and boastful as any guy’s who doesn’t get enough pushback.

      And the Assyrians were far from nordic white Caucasians. So they’re hardly good evidence of how wonderful everything is when white guys are on top.

      And during the Bronze Age, the nordic white caucasians were still tempering their picket fence points in the camp fire, so they weren’t even in the Bronze Age.

      Christ in a pancake hat. What idiots.

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. bostonboomer says:

    I just want to say, “Fuck Politico and their both-sides coverage.” Sorry, I guess I’m in a bad mood, but I’m sick of it.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Only 65 days!

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. Beata says:

    Checking in to say hello! I am alive. Hope you are too.

    I should receive my absentee ballot soon. My darling SO is then taking me to drop off the ballot at our election board office.

    Have a plan to vote as safely and securely as possible,Sky Dancers! Love to you all.