Monday Reads: Another Day, Another Couple of Hurricanes

Green Madonna, Olaf Hajek,2020

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I really am trying to adult today but at some point yesterday I reached peak hurricane exhaustion and brain.  I just want to zone out.  Anyway, I’ve just been glancing at Nicholas and what he’ll do to swipe at us. If you are looking for places to donate items or funds for hurricane Ida relief please consider the indigenous peoples in SE Louisiana. The Choctaw and smaller coastal tribes need lots of help as they are located in some of the worst-hit areas

This little headline from NBC News really frosted my cupcakes today: “Supreme Court Justice Barrett expresses concerns that the public may increasingly see the court as a partisan institution.”  Surely, she jests. Clarence “Uncle” Thomas’s wife’s behavior and the nature of hers and the other Trump appointments hasn’t given her the idea that their merry rampage through court precedent is something other than judicial largess?   However, “Judges must be “hyper vigilant” to keep personal biases out of their decisions, said Barrett, who would not comment on the court’s vote not to block Texas’ abortion ban.” is the quote/lie of the day as she works to inflict her Christoban views on the rest of us totally ignoring US history and law.

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett expressed concerns Sunday that the public may increasingly see the court as a partisan institution.

Justices must be “hyper vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions, since judges are people, too,” Barrett said at a lecture hosted by the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center.

Introduced by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who founded the center and played a key role in pushing through her confirmation in the last days of the Trump administration, Barrett spoke at length about her desire for others to see the Supreme Court as nonpartisan.

Barrett said the media’s reporting of opinions doesn’t capture the deliberative process in reaching those decisions. And she insisted that “judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties.”

“To say the court’s reasoning is flawed is different from saying the court is acting in a partisan manner,” said Barrett, whose confirmation to the seat left open by the death of the liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cemented conservative control of the court. “I think we need to evaluate what the court is doing on its own terms.”

Barrett’s comments followed a high-profile decision earlier this month in which the court by 5-4 vote declined to step in to stop a Texas law banning most abortions from going into effect, prompting outrage from abortion rights groups and President Joe Biden.

Barrett was asked about that decision by students who submitted questions in advance and also asked about another recent decision by the court in which it refused to block a lower court ruling ordering the Biden administration to reinstate a Trump-era program informally known as the Remain in Mexico policy. Barrett said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on specific cases.

Several supporters of abortion rights demonstrated outside the Seelbach Hotel, where the private event was held.

Madonna, Edvard Munch,, circa 1892

Right-Wing Watch reports that; “Lauren Boebert Says Government Should Be Run by ‘Righteous Men and Women of God’.”  Again, we have the Christoban off on the same nightmare operating in Afghanistan now. Whose GAWD Laruen?  Allah?  Jehovah?  Could it be Satan?  Frankly, I say it should be the Greek Gods with their hubris and humorous treatment of humans.

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado spoke Saturday at a conference held by the Truth & Liberty Coalition, a religious-right political organization founded by right-wing pastor Andrew Wommack.

Addressing a crowd of conservative Christian activists gathered in the auditorium at Wommack’s Charis Bible College, Boebert called on the audience to put faith into action by calling on God to remove ungodly leaders in Washington, D.C., and replace them with “righteous men and women of God” who realize that the government should be taking orders from the church.

“When we see Biden address the nation and the world and show more contempt and aggravation and aggression towards unvaccinated Americans than he does terrorists, we have a problem,” Boebert said. “And that’s why I have articles of impeachment to impeach Joe Biden, Kamala Harris.”

“We cannot take another 18 months, we cannot take another three years of this poor, failed leadership,” she continued. “We are sons and daughters of revolutionaries. They went to battle for a lot less. They took a stand for a lot less. And it’s time we get involved. I need you involved in every local level. I need you speaking up. I need the world to hear your voice. You know the word of God, and you know that there is power in your words, that the world was framed by words. You have the Lord God Almighty on your side. I need you to use your voice and speak.”

“What if Jesus showed up today and said, ‘From this point forward, everything you say you will have it’?” Boebert asked rhetorically. “He said it! That’s exactly what he said to us. So, what are we saying? Are we going to sit and agree with the enemy? Are we going to agree with what the enemy is doing? Are we going to sit back and complain and murmur? Or are we going to speak life into this nation? Are we going to speak victory? Are we going to declare that God removes these unrighteous politicians, these corrupt, crooked politician, and installs righteous men and women of God?”

“You have the God kind of faith, and that faith speaks,” she added. “That faith speaks to mountains, those impossible, immovable situations, and I think there’s some mountains they need to hear your voice. … It’s time the church speaks up. The church has relinquished too much authority to government. We should not be taking orders from the government; the government needs to be looking at the church and saying, ‘How do we do this effectively?’”

Chris Ofili, “The Holy Virgin Mary,” 1996

From which rock do these women hatch? And why do they hate themselves so much?  All they are is partisan shill for toxic patriarchy.

Jelani Cobb writes in The New Yorker today about “The Man Behind Critical Race Theory. As an attorney, Derrick Bell worked on many civil-rights cases, but his doubts about their impact launched a groundbreaking school of thought.”

For the past several months, however, conservatives have been waging war on a wide-ranging set of claims that they wrongly ascribe to critical race theory, while barely mentioning the body of scholarship behind it or even Bell’s name. As Christopher F. Rufo, an activist who launched the recent crusade, said on Twitter, the goal from the start was to distort the idea into an absurdist touchstone. “We have successfully frozen their brand—‘critical race theory’—into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category,” he wrote. Accordingly, C.R.T. has been defined as Black-supremacist racism, false history, and the terrible apotheosis of wokeness. Patricia Williams, one of the key scholars of the C.R.T. canon, refers to the ongoing mischaracterization as “definitional theft.

Vinay Harpalani, a law professor at the University of New Mexico, who took a constitutional-law class that Bell taught at New York University in 2008, remembers his creating a climate of intellectual tolerance. “There were conservative white male students who got along very well with Professor Bell, because he respected their opinion,” Harpalani told me. “The irony of the conservative attack is that he was more respectful of conservative students and giving conservatives a voice than anyone.” Sarah Lustbader, a public defender based in New York City who was a teaching assistant for Bell’s constitutional-law class in 2010, has a similar recollection. “When people fear critical race theory, it stems from this idea that their children will be indoctrinated somehow. But Bell’s class was the least indoctrinated class I took in law school,” she said. “We got the most freedom in that class to reach our own conclusions without judgment, as long as they were good-faith arguments and well argued and reasonable.”

Republican lawmakers, however, have been swift to take advantage of the controversy. In June, Governor Greg Abbott, of Texas, signed a bill that restricts teaching about race in the state’s public schools. Oklahoma, Tennessee, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Arizona have introduced similar legislation. But in all the outrage and reaction is an unwitting validation of the very arguments that Bell made. Last year, after the murder of George Floyd, Americans started confronting the genealogy of racism in this country in such large numbers that the moment was referred to as a reckoning. Bell, who died in 2011, at the age of eighty, would have been less focussed on the fact that white politicians responded to that reckoning by curtailing discussions of race in public schools than that they did so in conjunction with a larger effort to shore up the political structures that disadvantage African Americans. Another irony is that C.R.T. has become a fixation of conservatives despite the fact that some of its sharpest critiques were directed at the ultimate failings of liberalism, beginning with Bell’s own early involvement with one of its most heralded achievements.

And just like that, another anti-vaxxer dies and takes up valuable ICU space in a hospital.

Caritas (Madonna with Child) by Stanisław Wyspiański, 1904, pastel, photo: National Museum in Warsaw

This headline puts a face to the number of people dying because there are no hospitals available. “Alabama man dies after 43 hospitals with full ICUs turned him away; family urges COVID-19 vaccines.”  This is reported out of a local TV station.

The family of an Alabama man who died of heart issues more than 200 miles from his home is asking people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus after more than 40 hospitals across three states were unable to accept him due to full cardiac ICUs.

Ray Martin DeMonia died Sept. 1; three days before his 74th birthday, his family said.

DeMonia suffered a heart attack and was transferred to the nearest available bed, which was more than 200 miles away at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi.

In his obituary, his family urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Economist warns us In America, even full local hospitals do not dent vaccine scepticism. Full hospital wards have little effect on vaccine take-up. 

Some optimists had hoped that the spread of the Delta variant, though regrettable, might eventually persuade the naysayers to get vaccinated. Local news sites and stations have profiled people who had been sceptical and have now had their jabs. The Douglases in South Central Pennsylvania were vaccine-hesitant until “the Delta variant changed that”. The Columbus Dispatch wrote about a supervisor at a local plant who said: “The Delta variant was what really got me out.” In Oklahoma, Grace Zeiba, an emergency-room nurse, told her local station that because of Delta she decided “it’s time to be vaccinated”. But these anecdotes are not representative of the overall picture.

One way of measuring whether people are more likely to get vaccinated when their neighbours are very ill with covid-19, is to compare county-level icu capacities (which tell you whether a hospital is full of covid-19 patients) with the change in vaccination rates in the ensuing weeks. The Economist did this while controlling for potentially confounding variables, like state-level vaccination rates.

Our calculations show that full hospitals lead to only a slight increase in the number of people getting vaccinated. For every 10% decrease in available icu beds, there were roughly 14 additional first doses administered per 100,000 people in a county the next week. For a median-sized American county with a population of 26,000, that translates to 3.5 additional first doses, or just half a dose per day.

Counties with icus that were 80% full or more saw only an additional 104 first doses administered per 100,000 people the next week, compared with counties where icus were 20% full or less. That is consistent with what happened this summer, when areas hit by the Delta variant saw only slight upticks in vaccination rates compared with other counties.

Polls paint the same picture. As many Americans have scrambled for futile cures like ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, interest in the most effective solution—the vaccine—is stuck. Polling from Morning Consult shows that the share of individuals who say they are unwilling to get the vaccine, or are uncertain if they will, has fallen only slightly—from 31% at the end of May (the month the World Health Organisation declared Delta to be a variant of concern) to 28% on August 30th. By contrast, the average share saying the same across the other 14 countries Morning Consult has surveyed fell from 25% to 14% (see chart).

The remaining Americans who have not had their jabs are not just hesitant but rather hardened—committed to shunning the vaccine despite its availability, safety and efficacy.

And, back to other Trumpist conspiracy theories that just won’t die, file these two.

I just cannot get used to the absolute fantasyland these folks evoke for partisan political reasons.  This includes the Christoban goons that sit on the supreme court to include Amy the Insane.  There are more sources than Fox News and some grifter’s concept of the New Testament.  Really!  Death,  Wars, massive debt to subsidize rich people, and fairy tales are all the Republicans offer.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today! 

16 Comments on “Monday Reads: Another Day, Another Couple of Hurricanes”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a good week! I Gotta get back to paperwork and cleaning!

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. dakinikat says:

    Ground zero of landfall for Hurricane Ida. It looks mostly gone. This is what 150 mph winds can do … Look at the entire thread of photos.

    • dakinikat says:

      Coastal Tribes in Louisiana Are in Desperate Need After Ida Wallops Their Communities
      Tribes face devastating circumstances and little government assistance more than a week after the Category 4 hurricane pummeled their homes.

  4. quixote says:

    The critical race theory stuff? What it *means* to white supremacists who call themselves Repubs is simply “anti-white.” Which, in English, means “punctures white supremacy.”

    Is there a point to talking about what CRT really is when that’s no part of their agenda?

    It reminds me of the good old days when the Repubs pretended they were “pro-life.” We’ve spent 40 years pointing out how they’re not, while they used the time to destroy women’s rights. Now a lot of people are finally waking up to the fact that it was about controlling women the whole time.

    It’s pretty much the same here. While we try to point out how what they’re up to has nothing to do with CRT, they use it as cover for pushing white supremacy.

    Doesn’t it make more sense to point out how their actions are all about white male supremacy, and the words — any words — if CRT is exposed as nothing but a red flag they’ll move on to another term — are just cover?

    • NW Luna says:

      They’ll always find something to get outraged about. While I disagree with some precepts of CRT — namely, that whites can never be non-racist — it’s used by ultra-conservatives to trigger their followers.

      • quixote says:

        What I’m trying to say is that It Is Not About CRT.

        I think it’s rather important to ignore the words they use and talk about the meaning of their actions.

        • NW Luna says:

          Agree; which is why I wrote that they’ll always find something to use for their ends, no matter if it makes sense or not.

    • dakinikat says:

      I remember constantly wondering why we bother with Roman History because most of their ‘good’ stuff was stolen from the Greeks, the Egyptians, and other civilizations. Then, after they invented the “roman” religion they just made everybody’s life miserable if they didn’t just outright kill them. But, white guys, think that that’s some kind of gift to us from them. Black people were better off as slaves. Women should be happy barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen because of daily bread. It’s just part of this centuries-long oppression but they see it as the most wonderful gift possible.

      • quixote says:

        Yes. Because they think it puts them on top.

        They’re so focused on that they can’t even imagine life away from the top of the hill of stinking offal.

      • NW Luna says:

        I think it’s good to be informed on history regardless of which culture/era it’s about. Romans were pretty tolerant of other culture’s deities (unlike monotheistic cultures). They also brought some good aspects of civilization — plumbing, bridge-building — to the areas they conquered. Yes, they were imperialistic colonialists, but so were all the other invaders down through the millennia. They had some decent poets and philosophers. Persons from the conquered areas could often rise high in Rome’s administration or military regardless of their birthplace or skin color. Yes, they were patriarchal, as were the Egyptians, Greeks, Sumerians, and all the civilizations after the Stone Age.

        The above is rather separate from the Republican problem.

  5. djmm says:

    Beautiful artwork!

    TS Nicholas is likely headed for Louisiana after Texas — I hope it is not too bad!

    • dakinikat says:

      I haven’t heard any strength predictions. I’m still without TV. I think it’s a rain event so flooding may be the concern here.

      • quixote says:

        Most of the predicted tracks I’ve seen show landfall at the middle of the TX Gulf coast and head NNE from there. Even the feeder bands barely reach the Louisiana border. Which is all fine except, of course, they have to stick in a low probability track that meanders along the coast and tries to visit New Orleans. Keeping fingers crossed for Not!