Category Archives: democracy

July 4 and July 5 records

You know it’s bad when the hottest day in the history of tracking temperatures was beaten the very next day.

July 4. Then July 5.

This collage used photos from NYTimes Sunday piece wondering if California dams will hold. Below is a flagrant copyright violation. Does it matter if I do so intentionally and with attribution?

Four of the scariest words in the English language these days: faster than previously thought.

In a conversation today: recycling is promoted as a distraction from the fossil fuel industry.

Somewhere I read that becoming a vegetarian is more consequential than even switching to an electric vehicle.

We don’t invest in fossils fuel companies. A small step, one made without personal sacrifice, but one hopefully making a difference.

In the Northeast we are not under the heat dome that is causing so much suffering in the southern part of the country. But it has been too hot to walk Finn a couple days recently. Better to lay low.

Meanwhile, we have to fight.

How are you staying cool (if it’s hot)? How are you managing the deluge of bad climate news? What, if anything, do you do to minimize your contribution to global warming?

P S on another melancholy note, Lawrence O’Donnell gave a moving and elegiac speech mourning the Supreme Court recently. It’s very much worth a listen (google his name and SCOTUS and it comes right up).

Smoke and grief

That sky is not filled with clouds. It’s filled with smoke. K and I managed a walk around the lake without feeling any harm, but I talked to one friend who has to stay indoors because her chest hurts trying to breathe this air.

We’ve been hard at gardening for the last hour and I think I’m done. It’s hot. It’s muggy. Gardening is satisfying and worthy of reporting but that’s not why I’m here today.

I’m here to say how much grief I feel about the Supreme Court going rogue.

Should I drape the house in black cloth? Wear my clothes inside out? I want to tap “SOS” in Morse code to the heavens.

When we lose a loved one, we cover mirrors, wear black armbands, attend a service, and pray (and by “we” I mean other people). There are many reasons why, but two good ones are to share the burden of it and to signal our loss to complete strangers.

What can we do now?

(What a day for Elmo Musk to institute bizarre viewing limits. Twitter might finally be broken. His timing feels intentional. Sharing outrage with like-minded people online is not nothing.)

There have been conservative courts before. There have been really bad decisions. Really bad. But the level of disregard for law and fact and basic procedure has reached epic proportions. Worse, this flagrant disregard is being wielded in service of Christian Oligarchic Nationalism.

I want to drape my house in black. Wear my clothes inside out. Tap SOS to any angels in the area.

If I were an influencer I’d start the hashtag: SCROTUS.

As Joyce Vance says at the end of her Substack entries: We’re in this together.

Start the day

Usually, I lie in bed and light up my phone. I flex my spine some and read first, Heather Cox Richardson* and then scroll around twitter for forty minutes or so (saving wordle and Spelling Bee for later).

But now that the House is governed by corrupt cretins who call themselves republicans but are really anti-government Christo-fascists or straight-up nihilists, I’m gonna have to set limits.

There will be a lot of gaslighting. Pissing in the wind. Obstruction. Projection. Faux outrage. Performative legislation — and by that I mean the passing of bills that will die in the Senate and that they KNoW will die in the Senate (well except Boebert who may not understand how a bill becomes a law).

Great use of our tax dollars.

Remember how they passed a bill to dismantle the ACA — what was it? Seventy times? Even seven times would have been disgraceful. And THAT, my friends was a version of the GOP that today would be considered “reasonable.”

Let the jerks huff and puff and mischaracterize everything they do. One hopeful friend believes their bogus Ben Ghazi-style investigations will backfire big time, screwing them in 2024.

Is “bogus Ben Ghazi style” redundant? Of course it is.**

I’m mostly worried about the debt ceiling. If it isn’t raised, the U.S. will default on its loans. Established in 1917, the debt ceiling has been raised nearly 100 times and almost always without a fuss. However, the extremist-GOP reps plan to use the vote to extort concessions such as cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

I haven’t delved into what exactly those repercussions would be both because I kinda don’t want to know and because my brain shuts off when I hear words like “currency” and “interest rates.” But it’s pretty clear that defaulting would be catastrophic.

Once upon a time, we could assume that such a maneuver was a bluff. No more. This right-wing extremist party is prepared to burn it all down.

Time to learn about yet another arcane government procedure: the discharge petition.

Anyway, all of this is by way of saying, right now (and maybe for the next two years), I cannot listen to as much news.

Jim Jordan — a walking jabberwocky of bile. MTG — puffed up with her newly exalted status and perhaps benefiting from a consult with a stylist — but still a dumb Nazi. McCarthy! Trump ass-licking shameless SINO (Speaker In Name Only) empowered (briefly?) to do shit that will hurt us all. There are too many more sickening folks to name. I don’t want to hear from any of them.

So today, I left my phone off initially. I tossed treats around the backyard for Finn to find. We do this “nose work” most mornings but unlike most mornings, I joined him outside. Drank coffee under an umbrella. It was almost 60 degrees.

Phone went on later and it was to listen to a talk by a Buddhist nun.

I will leave you with a minor but pleasing piece of synchronicity. A couple of days ago, I discovered the account RacialEquityInsights on Instagram. Took a screen shot to remind myself to go back later and take a listen. A few hours later, in an email listing out the “homework” for my call-group’s next anti-racism conversation, there were a handful of videos listed from this very site. Ta-dah!

Now you can check them out too.

* Heather Cox Richardson’s daily letters to an American, if you don’t already know, are excellent summations of the day’s news. She’s a historian too, so whenever something relates to events before, during, or after the Civil War, for example, she makes concise and informative comparisons. If you were to listen ONLY to HRC, you’d stay informed. I have a couple of friends who safeguard their mental health by doing exactly this. You can pay for her Substack publication but I get a daily email that I don’t have to pay for. It is more than sufficient.

** The GOP’s plans to investigate anything and everything Biden is why, by the way, I am celebrating Garland’s appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate the documents that recently surfaced in Biden’s former office and his Wilmington home. The House will NOT have access to info regarding an ongoing investigation (no matter what they say).

Grief sculpture, Nazis, and Vote

I’m sharing pictures Maggie sent of the sculpture she mentioned in recent comments. It’s 12 inches long. The artist: Beverly Thomas. Apparently Thomas doesn’t have a website but her gallery info is listed further down. Below is what Maggie, a sculptor in her own right by the way, had to say about the piece.

In other news. I looked out the window at 6:02 and couldn’t see the moon. A total eclipse of the Blood Moon seems portentous on Election Day, wouldn’t you say?

K has gone to the office, so Finn and I will make our loop alone. We did yesterday too because of a business call which gave me the opportunity to listen to the sixth episode of Rachel Maddow’s newest podcast, Ultra. Holy shit. Did you know that in the 40’s there was a Nazi plot to overthrow our government? Not just Nazi sympathizers, including in Congress (which would be shocking enough), but a Nazi spy here on our soil and actual Nazi propaganda from Hitler’s government being distributed through congressional offices to constituents.

My Tuesday morning Indivisible call is cancelled today. I call us The Seven Sisters now by the way. Two of us are out at the polls helping with ballot correction or oversight — one in Georgia and another in New Hampshire. A third has been working the phones for North Carolina. The rest of us have been writing Postcardstovoters. Whatever else happens today, I am proud of these women and honored to call them friends.

78 degrees when I snapped this
Texting with Deb when I shot this. It was warmer HERE than in Georgia!
It just keeps getting more interesting!

Keep the faith! I’d say See you on the other side but results will be a while in coming (she said with a veneer of calm). I remain optimistic.

Marti’s ritual candle. Shared with permission.