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In war "collateral damage" and "friendly fire" are two regrettable but often unavoidable things that happen. Innocent people die but it's war. If there is any doubt that the GOP's war on democracy has resulted death tolls that rival and surpass actual wars against foreign enemies? Donald Trump loves to ask, "Who killed Ashli Babbit?" The answer is he did. He brought her to Washington and inspired her to participate in the assault on the capitol. A woman died but she's become a good line to use at rallies. The vaccine debate might be expected at the Flat Earth Society but not in the halls of Congress. The former president and his party have no "policy" except to yell "socialist" and "freedom". It's as if saying those two words loudly actually explain anything about why they're willing to let people die. The Constitution they swore to support is the very one they're trying to destroy. Will future history books be praising the great leader Donald Trump or telling the truth about him? At least Benedict Arnold fought and bled for this country before he betrayed it. Trump never did the former and it's been a good deal for him to do the latter.

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I agree with everything you have written but one point.

trump did not kill Ashli Babbit. He absolutely did foment violence against our government in general and quite specifically against all those verifying his election loss. He did stir up and incite his cult to commit violence (and he should have already been arrested for doing so) so he does bear responsibility but she made the very clear choice to commit crimes for the trump cult she willingly joined. And, as a veteran, she knew what the consequences could be - either while in action of her crimes or later, if held legally responsible. Her death was not collateral damage or friendly fire. Her death was directly related to her own choices and actions. She chose to join the trump cult. She chose to attack our Capital. She chose to climb through a broken window that she and the mob she was part of had just broken in order to reach members of Congress to enact their dear leader's called for violence. Ashli Babbit made her choices and her death was the result of those choices.

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Well stated! Though I can also understand Lawrence's sentiment.

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An assumption is made here that an individual is a "free agent" capable of making rational choices. Consider blackmail, based on a kidnapped child: go shoot someone and I'll give your child back. People do not have just one "rational objective," all perfectly prioitized, they can have bad intel, and they can be lied to. In such cases, the onus falls upon the one manipulating them.

With the exception of a few planners in the group, the entire batch of Jan 6 seditionists were profoundly brainwashed by anti-american resentments, "second-amendment" rhetoric, deep ignorance of history, and -- of course -- the then-president of the United States, waving the flag for personal gain and calling it "patriotism."

It doesn't absolve the individuals of responsibility, but demagogues don't get off the hook for manipulating other people to do their dirty work.

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Ah, I see.

Well, Ashli Babbit was not blackmailed nor was a child or loved one of hers kidnapped and she then forced to attack the Capital. She made her views known prior to her willing involvement in the insurrection. Were those views and beliefs rational? No. But she was an adult and she chose to embrace those beliefs. Allowing herself to be deeply and wrongly influenced by our then President and by equally noxious media still does not absolve her of her actions. We are each responsible for the information and knowledge, even false knowledge, lies and batshit crazy conspiracy theories, that we take in and what we do with it all.

I don't believe any demagogue should "get off the hook for manipulating other people to do their dirty work". They do but they should not. With regard to trump I believe he should have been arrested for fomenting violence against our government the same day he did so and if not then, then the day after President Biden's inauguration. Allowing him to escape legal responsibility for whatever reason (presidents can't be arrested, it'll look bad, whatever) is wrong.

Once adults, we are each fully responsible for our actions.

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100 times, Kasumii.

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Well said, Kasumii. Following demagogues is dangerous business. People are responsible for actions. The rule of law is now asserting itself, even if the current Republicans (aka white supremacists from the 19th century on down...) continue to spread the Big Lie, etc.

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I'm increasingly coming to see that last statement as either an aspiration or a dogma, depending on the day and my depth of cynicism.

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Ah. Well, in my case it's not dogma but an aspiration, a code to live my life by.

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While I admit that they were brainwashed, I can see no justification for this mob or the fact that they obviously love Trump and his message. Anyone who voted for him the first time has a skewed moral compass, and, assuming that these people voted for him in 2020, makes them not fit to breathe our polluted air. There was never any question that he's deplorable (nod to Hillary), and he has only gone on to prove himself and his minions worse than that.

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High Five, Kasumii.

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I’ll add 5 so that’s a high ten, Kasumii.

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Thanks Christine! Sending one back to you and Lynell.

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Thanks Lynell!

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I can't say that I agree that trump "did not foment violence against our government in general and quite specifically against all those verifying his election loss."

Trump riled his supporters on January 6, stating: "'You don't concede when there's theft involved. Our country has had enough and we will not take it any more,' he declared. 'And we fight. We fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.'"

Then, as stated by Business Insider: "The president then sat by, watching cable news as those supporters broke into the Capitol, blocking lawmakers from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory." https://www.businessinsider.com/how-trump-in-final-weeks-incited-his-followers-to-storm-the-capitol-2021-1

trump explicitly told his supporters to "fight like hell." He said, "Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” iDJiT's cult then proceeded to yell, "Hang Mike Pence." A gallows was set up, presumably PRIOR to iDJiT cult's storming of the capitol. In response, Mike Pence was removed from the Senate chambers to a safe location.

Knowingly using falsehoods, he encouraged and incited the acts of violence. Ashley Babbitt died as a result. Police officers died as a result. Numerous people were injured. The capitol was vandalized . . . as he watched from the security of the oval office. He incited the violence. He is responsible for the deaths and injuries of ALL who were at the Capitol on that day.

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I agree with you Diana, and I also agree that Ashi Babbit made the decision to participate in an unlawful act. She bears responsibility for that. She made the decision to risk her wellbeing and paid the consequences.

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Agree.

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Hi Diana. If you could look at my post again you'll see that I did not use the word 'not' in the sentence you quoted. I do believe trump fomented violence - against our government and against those verifying the election results.

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Hi Kasumii,

Sorry! I read too quickly. Please accept my apologies!

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No apology needed Diana. I do that myself - get all caught up in what I'm reading and skip a word or two and react to what I thought I read. So, no worries.

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The given metaphorical and literal perspectives on this matter, differ without either being inaccurate. From my point of view, Lawrence's metaphor is to true to Trump's effects on American society.

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Literally, Babbit was a civilian, not an active duty soldier so both perspectives cannot be accurate at the same time.

Lawrence is correct. Trump did instigate and even foment the violence his cult committed after his speech. But, again, none of that absolves Babbit from her choices to act as she did.

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I think both are correct. Two thoughts can be correct at the same time. Either/or-One Best Option is a meme that leads constantly to trouble. Multivariate analysis is the answer.

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'The given metaphorical and literal perspectives on this matter, differ without either being inaccurate.'

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I am no longer sure what you are referring to so will end my part of this conversation with "I agree to disagree on what I think you are saying". I wish you well & hope it is a good day.

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If I may interrupt here? I think Fern is saying that neither perspective is wrong in Kasumii's and Lawrence's posts, that it is a 'both/and' rather than an 'either/or' situation.

As Kasumii is a veteran, that is an important part of their (not sure which pronoun to use so I'll use the ambiguous they/them/their) perspective on the actions of Babbit.

Lawrence's perspective is to look at external influences that may have influenced Babbit's choices.

From my perspective, all participants need to be held accountable. Should there happen to have been some among the mob who were indeed incapable of making life decisions away from the guidance of caregivers, there should probably be some lenience. For the rest, instigators and performers of physical action, accountability is the only solution.

One problem with letting anyone capable of adult decisions off the hook because of 'brainwashing', 'blackmail', or any other form of mental/emotional coercion is that TFG could also use that argument, just by citing his niece's documentation of his childhood trauma at the hands of neglectful and abusive parents.

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Yes, but...she was someone whose military background demanded her to follow her leader or authority, which certainly DJT, as her president, represented. I certainly agree that the insurrectionists were impulsive, destructive, and deranged. They also lacked common sense, but their defense lawyers are going to posit the argument that they were following orders.

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I seem to recall the old "following orders" phrase didnt work out so well for the Nazies at Nuremburg, right? That might be a point for the prosecution to use.

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The defense lawyers at Nuremburg used that argument too; wasn't all that effective.

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Whoops - didnt see your comment till after I posted mine! Great minds, huh?

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Exactly! Thank you for bringing that up Dave.

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The insurrectionists defense lawyers can certainly try to use the argument that trump is to blame for their client's actions but that should not hold up in civilian court. (His involvement should have been legally addressed already and is a different matter.)

Babbit was a veteran, not a soldier on active duty. Therefore, trump was nothing more than a deranged dictator wannabe riling up his cult to commit seditious acts. He would have only been her Commander in Chief if she was on active duty. (And the act of any active duty soldier committing insurrection on the clear orders of a Commander in Chief takes us into an entirely different scenario.) As a civilian she bears full responsibility for choosing to join a cult and then choosing to do what the cult's leader told her to do.

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I am glad that Vindman used his critical thinking skills when he witnessed corrupt discussions that the occupier of our Oval office committed. He was an active person in the military and he did the right thing to question a traitor to our country.

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He is a honorable man and soldier. His stolen promotion (by trump) should be awarded to him with back pay.

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With honors! And I am so glad to see that he is speaking and writing and I believe will have a much larger impact on our world with his voice. He is one of the heroes in this homegrown terrorist infiltration by the republicans and hostile foreign entities.

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The capital police were armed and had ammunition. Why didn't they plug up the breached windows and doors with bodies of the attackers? Can anyone explain that to me?

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Well said.

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You've written another fine essay, Heather. I would only add from here in northern California that the largest fire in California so far is twice the size of the Dixie Fire, at more than one million acres. The difference is that the Dixie fire is the largest single fire, while the largest combined one, the August Complex fire, was a blaze started by multiple lightning strikes in different places that merged into one. The Dixie Fire's single source was a tree that fell across PG & E power lines. The third largest single fire -- The Camp Fire -- that wiped out the town of Paradise, killed more than 80 people and sent PG & E into bankruptcy, also started from a PG & E power line failure. The location was about ten miles away from where the Camp fire started.

And here's a tip from my wife Mary Lou that's worth looking into. She and I both remember that about ten years ago, a bunch of Texas investors bought a controlling interest in PG & E. We all know that statewide, the Texas electrical system is substandard after that big ice storm and deep freeze killed scores of people last year. The question here as anger mounts against PG & E is whether the Texas brand of incompetence is now what is on display here in California. The headline in today's San Francisco Chronicle says "Dixie Fire rekindles mistrust of PG & E." The subhead reads "Critic says, 'They just don't learn from their mistakes.'"

PG & E came out a week or so ago with a plan to bury 10,000 miles of power lines, but that will take a lot of time to do and time is what we don't have anymore. There is quite a strong push here to cut to the chase and let the State of California mount a takeover and turn PG & E into a publicly owned utility.

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Time for the investors in PG&E to lose their investments. PG&E should have been a public utility a long time ago.

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And bury all those power lines underground. Without needing to make money to pay private share holders. Our power grid is a public good, an essential part of our infrastructure. Private utility companies are obsolete in terms of what is needed in our new social/climate reality. And 10,000 miles of power lines is a drop in the bucket.

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I am so very ready for PG&E to become a non-entity in CA. The corporation has literally murdered people over the course of many years. Erin Brockavich is still fighting against them.

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Let me see if I get this straight. People in California have lost their lives and homes because PG&E was negligent. People in Texas lost their lives and homes because the power grid failed after Texas neglected it. People all over the country, especially in Florida and Texas have lost their lives due to COVID. People everywhere are on the verge of gaining healthcare, infrastructure and child care but things are stalled in the Senate. Voting rights are being suppressed in too many states to mention. What is the common denominator here? This damage is largely the result of Republicans. So tell me again why anyone would vote for a Republican ever again????

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Freedom from the burden of government and taxes, duh.

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The Bootleg Fire is horrible. Southern Oregon is operating under another Heat Advisory this coming week, Weds.-Friday. So is the Willamette Valley.

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I was not aware of the Texas investment in PG&E. I have friends in Santa Rosa who were spared their house (their street was between several that were completely burned up) in the fire a few years ago; that was the first fire I recall PG&E being responsible for.

I have read recently that the two big fires in our neck of the woods from last summer (the Holiday Farm Fire and Beachie Creek fires) were sparked by numerous downed powerlines from a "500 year wind event".

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OK Democrats -- don't blow it now!

Pass the infrastructure bills -- then turn to voting rights in order to protect future elections.

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Yes! My constant thought has been, get these infrastructure bills passed and then ALL IN on voting rights starting in September!!!

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Exactly!

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Given the politics around the filibuster (insert rant here), I'd like to see election infrastructure included in the omnibus bill. This is what I wrote to my Congress people via resistbot:

Include as much voter protection as possible in the omnibus reconciliation bill, because if Manchin and Sinema won't vote to bypass the filibuster for voting rights that is the only way to interfere with voter suppression. Require all sorts of protections - paper ballot trails, minimum early voting days and hours, the right of localities to expand early voting and mail voting, whatever - and provide money to help pay the cost. The money is needed anyway and will justify inclusion in reconciliation. Block state legislatures from interfering with results unless they have extensive evidence of significant fraud.

https://resist.bot/petitions/PJJFDQ

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Brilliant. Can it be done? If not why not?

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well, there is this thing in the senate where omnibus bills must be able to pass the spending criteria

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But aren’t they “budgeting” other things into existence that weren’t there before? Why not “budget” voter protection into existence without referencing suppression? If you can justify paying for all kinds of socially beneficial programs as a way of creating those programs, isn’t voter protection similar?

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It could be done, if there's enough public push for it. If you like the idea, promote it, "give it oxygen." You could also go to my link, and use it to send the same message to your congress critters.

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My thoughts exactly.

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Let’s go let’s go let’s go!

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I want to take a break from returning to wildfires and draughts; children in the hospitals... and more that circulate in my mind. The vicious snarls of DeSantis and Abbott appear even when I walk in the park, clutching at trees with my eyes and smiling at young families. My bundle is seething. There is sadness and contemplation in it too. The earth is deeply wounded by the havoc of disregard, eruptions of gross ambitions with too little caring and scant regard for social accord.

'Governments prioritize their own energy and food needs, invest more in national security than in global development, and undercut international efforts to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases. In this future, carbon emissions will roughly double by the end of the century, hastening along with them the drastic array of catastrophic environmental effects linked to global warming, from the melting of the Arctic to heat waves that make whole regions uninhabitable to an intensification of the extreme droughts, wildfires and floods that have already blighted parts of the world this summer.'

'When some climate scientists speak casually, they categorize this imagined future as “Trump world,” a reference to former president Donald Trump’s rejection of climate science in favor of an aggressive nationalism that championed short-term economic growth over the looming calamities posed by a warming climate. But things don’t have to go that way.' (Todays World View, The Washington Post)

“Volusia County and Advent Health Orlando are finalizing the purchase of fleets of refrigerated mobile morgues amid Florida's COVID surge.” In Texas, Abbott today called on Texas hospitals to postpone elective procedures in order to clear more beds for Covid patients. The state’s health department is trying to find more health care workers to come to the state to help out. (Letter)

Malevolence, malevolence -- we are so sick of you.

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Kogui message to the world via BBC in 1990:

“... the world does not have to end, but it could continue, but unless they cease to violate earth and nature, cease to exhaust the energy of the Great Mother, her organs, her vitality, unless the People stop working against the Great Mother, the world will not last.”

Indigenous wisdom from 30 years ago. Mother Earth is beginning to react.

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Agree Yodad.

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And homo saps (see TCinLA Substack) continue to violate the sacred.

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Now, Fern. This video should be just the thing for what ails you. Its title? "This Bullsh*t Might Save The World." It was published back in 2014 by a guy from Switzerland. There are several other later videos from other parts of the world who are latching on to this idea, too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeL72c6scAs

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Lynell, This day on the forum is as no other for me. The Letters have been intellectually binding; subscribers today have been beyond bolstering, informative and caring. Thank goodness, Lynell, and thank you. I will watch your link this evening.

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Just FYI: Only 17+ teeny, tiny minutes long.

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Lynell, Thank you. The lecture was fascinating and the farmer/researcher an excellent presenter. The subject of methane was not addressed. He did bring up his belief that much CO2 could be eliminating by the dung conversion, which he is a part of. I don't expect to be a cow dung or belching source but have provided some links on the subject and do not know how fully each addressed the subject or how up to date they may be:

https://letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/stem-in-context/cows-methane-and-climate-change

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/methane

https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/33/which-is-a-bigger-methane-source-cow-belching-or-cow-flatulence/

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Morning, Fern. I found all three of these links very informative. Thanks for sharing. I trust there remain great minds who can help to navigate us through this climate debacle.

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Morning, Lynell, Those minds have been with us for a long time, and earth would have been much less damaged if governments, Big Money and many more people had been listening. USA moved out of denial - but the negative forces haven't gone away.

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Thank you, Fern. I will wait until my best time - early tomorrow morning - to dive into your links.

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Sounds good to me - do have a question as to where the "wood chips" etc are going to be found. And doesnt mention methane at all. But it sure is a good beginning - and innovative.

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I was curious about that, too. Especially why they house their cows inside during the winter.

Here are similar videos regarding cows and farming. One guy, Joel Salatin, has a farm in Virginia. I think he probably leaves his cows outside...and doesn't use woodchips. He rotates his cows daily. The other guy, Bobby Gill, is from somewhere in the States. Each video is only 17 minutes long. TEDx Talks is the name of the website that has several of Joel's videos about what he does. The idea, Judith, is to get livestock off of feedlots and in a more natural setting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z75A_JMBx4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKXgVK0TQ1A

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Watched Salatin's talk - and that type of farming works great in the East or would work BETTER in the East. The second video is the Savory method - which was attempted years ago in, I believe, Africa & wasnt all that successful - they now call it regeneration, so maybe its been improved upon. Right now in the arid drought-filled West? The insistence of the livestock lobby of turning out cattle & sheep in areas that no longer can accommodate them - killing off the natural predators that exist in nature for a reason. The Western states only produce 3% of the beef consumed here. Three percent - but to hear the livestock lobby - you would assume that to stop using our public lands & forests AND National Parks AND Wildlife Refuges for grazing livestock - it would just be the ruination of millions! Not so.

OK, Lynell - done "ranting"!!

I do think the more people, the more research, the more experimenting as to what works? This is a good thing.

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Forgot something! I hope there is interest here & elsewhere in the Point Reyes National Seashore issue. Another example of putting livestock operator's interests above native wildlife at a National Seashore!

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Thanks, Maggie, for your expertise. I'm still hopeful that things can be changed for the better in regards to our food supply!

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I found myself envisioning those massive mounds of cow manure in feed lots such as those in the Imperial Valley CA. Wood chips are also an issue given that they once were trees. Can enough chipped wood as byproduct of other uses of wood be sufficient for the described process? Would byproduct be more than sawdust, perhaps too fine for the mix described. I get that this is an ongoing research process, though, and perhaps there will be additional discoveries which would reduce or eliminate a wood product.

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Fern, you touch my heart where I live. When it all seems too horrible to endure, I go to this site. I hope it helps you.

https://www.dailyclimate.org/good-news/

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Thank you, Cheryl. There are some people out there who have been listening!

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It does and you do. "Good News", you hit the spot. Thank you, Cheryl.

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One of the articles mentions a relatively easy step some of us can take to help turn the tide.

"JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, Scotiabank and others have made $3.8 trillion in investments and loans to fossil fuel companies since the Paris Agreement. When you pull out a credit card from one of these banks, you are pulling out a card that is destroying our future."

Change banks, change cards, or get the word out.

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I switched to local credit unions years ago and have not seen the inside of a 'bank' in over a decade. Never going back.

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Yep!!! Agree, sister!

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After the Wells Fargo scandal years ago, I am amazed that they have clients at all. We're with credit unions as well.

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Another way to use your money to fight climate change: Disinvest your retirement funds from all stocks or mutual funds in Big Coal And Oil and all related industries. Move them to ESG investments (Environmental and Social Governance) instead. I did it several years ago and my portfolio is doing just as well as my husband's, who hasn't moved his out of "traditional" investments yet. I saw an apt cartoon recently on this. A person is standing next to several fat money bags in a blasted and dead landscape, saying to someone outside the frame: "But look at all the money we saved for you!"

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Fern, don't forget when our now Senator Rick Scott was governor, he wouldn't even allow the words "climate change" to be uttered by anyone in his administration. Florida has a long history of governors acting stupidly and jeopardizing the citizens of the state. And, don't forget, the dumba$$es in Florida elected that idiot to the senate when he was done doing damage as governor.

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Did not know who you were referring to at first, my FL friend, Annette. Senator Scott? Then I realized you were talking about Gov Voldemort!

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Now he’s Senator Sauron.

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edit: droughts (not draughts), please.

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Correction: 'Ms. Hobbes tweeted (much later) that the county and the hospitals confirmed that they were doing previously scheduled renovations at a number of hospitals and had booked the trailers as temporary morgues while the renos are underway.( Thanks to subscriber, STUART SCADRON-WATTLES)

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Oh Fern, my heart!

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I feel Schumer is finally making headway. I have always wanted him to talk louder, get angry, you know…do the things that the Repubs are so good at. Instead, his soft demeanor seems to be coming in handy while negotiating with Repubs. Kinda shocking, really. We need every bit of the plans set forth to save our nation from hunger, disease, tyranny, homelessness, security, etc. I am trying not to get too optimistic because I am waiting for the wrench from Mitch to be thrown.

Something not mentioned is that a third Republican has joined the Select Committee. His name is Denver Riggleman, a former Congressman from Virginia. He is forthright about what happened on 1/6 and has always been a straight shooter. So rare for Repubs these days. He will be an adviser to the bipartisan panel.

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Morning, Marlene! Thanks for highlighting Denver Riggleman's joining the Select Committee. I read something about this the other day but then got distracted by other news.

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Not a member of the Select Committee but hired as an advisor. "Denver Riggleman, a former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has joined the staff of the bipartisan select committee established to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol." Quote: "We can’t worry about the color of the jerseys anymore and whether we have an R or a D next to our name,” Mr. Riggleman said in the video. “It’s time for us to look in a fact-based way at what happened on January 6th, but to see if we can prevent this from ever happening again in the future.” https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/aug/7/denver-riggleman-former-house-republican-joins-sen/

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Thanks, Judith. I looked him up after posting to Marlene, only to discover as you point out, he is not on the committee but will be an advisor. Still, it seems he's a good pick.

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Lynell, do you know anything about him since he’s from your state?

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I didn’t always agree with his positions and he wasn’t my Rep. but to be kicked out for officiating a same sex marriage was ludicrous. His replacement, Good, is in the MTG Gaetz category. https://roanoke.com/news/local/leaving-congress-rep-riggleman-says-there-is-no-home-for-me-in-the-republican-party/article_76dbd4bc-43d2-11eb-b8ea-871ba17c3c2b.html

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Hey, Marcy. No, I don't know much. I had read sometime ago that he was pretty popular when he was Congressman in the 5th District, even among Democrats. He actually was going to run for Governor of VA this year but as an Independent because he believes the Republican party is broken.

Here's more from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denver_Riggleman

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Not caring about the unnecessary illness and hospitalization of children in pursuit of one’s ideology is a record low.

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If people don't care about children being shot to death in school, why would they care about children dying of disease?

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Excellent comment! I wish I'd thought of that!

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They’ve not, to my knowledge, once said a word about children. But remember, children can’t vote, so why would they care about them?

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Population control.

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Yes but now the new right wing rhetoric is that if you don’t have children you shouldn’t be allowed to vote. That somehow children are needed for you to have a say. It’s insane to read this garbage. It’s their way of preventing LGBTQ+ from participating in society. One of my goals this week is to figure out how to get on the school board and city council. The other is to work on stopping the California Governor recall. Republicans want to put a giy in just like DeSantis and Abbott.

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Just get Cali Dems off their butts to vote “No”. Dems have had such a huge majority, they think they don’t have to do anything. Tell them to watch out. The Repubs there smell an opening.

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In the capitol town (Olympia is not a city) of my reliably blue state, Democrats can't get more than about 16% of eligible voters to participate in our easy-peasy vote-by-mail local primaries in order to get the progressives the party endorses on the ticket for the general! A friend and I were writing postcards to pat GA voters on the back for voting in 2020, and she commented that we needed to start sending postcards to our local progressive voters to get them to do something to oust the Business Democrats who run our town and make sure their development cronies get all the goodies the town has to give away. (We hear a lot from HCR about the Business Republicans, but not much about their Democratic counterparts.)

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Doesn't address your concern directly but readers may enjoy Doug Porter's always excellent commentary plus his brief descriptions of the 46 candidates for governor if the recall is successful. Good for a chuckle. https://wordsanddeedsblog.com/vote-no-on-question-1-skip-question-2-dont-overthink-this-stoptherepublicanrecall/

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More power to you, Sharon! Keep us posted!

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I'm trying to imagine what's coming next.

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In my darkest moments I figure that due to the Republican politicians and anti-vaxxers screaming about their freedoms we'll end up with a variant that will have sorted out how to sidestep our vaccines which will then decimate humans to the point of near extinction.

I try not to go there often but must face the fact that this kind of outcome is not an impossibility given how certain people are acting.

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Please Kasumii, bring your energy and imagination to our purpose and our embrace. Yes there is darkness, I, too, addressed it on the forum this morning. Hearing from subscribers and with the light of day I am invigorated.

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Hi Fern. I do work as best I can, within the parameters of my disabilities and income, to work against our country's slide into authoritarianism, the injustices of our society and for our planet - from local to global. I also face the what if's with hard-edged and hard-earned realism. I know that hope is not a plan and the only way out of the myriad messes we are now embroiled in is with the reality of our problems & catastrophes spread far and wide, extensive citizen engagement, voting out all the deniers, naysayers and rich who don't give a whit about the rest of us and so on. (As I type this my neighbor is once again having his entire yard saturated in chemicals so that manicured, tortured lawn will show that he's the boss of his domain, dammit!. Take that butterflies, chipmunks & fireflies! Be gone from my sight as I poison not only my yard but those around me! Feel my manly might nature!)

Coming here definitely helps me as well. But, we must also take action in our lives, from out individual personal actions to engaging all our rights to make the changes we need societally and globally. We can't just preach to the choir.

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"...my neighbor is once again having his entire yard saturated in chemicals...."

You certainly have my sympathies, and I can "co-anger" with you on this. I am grateful that neither I nor my neighbors on all sides are using chemicals on the lawn. Some chem-lawn operations put flags out after spraying--those read "Do not let children or pets on this grass..." (for a certain amount of time). Still, I'm concerned about the use of those toxins on any lawn. Wind drift can bring them to surrounding properties; saturation of toxins into ground will kill all beneficial microbes and deeper down they will be absorbed into the water table. We are all affected by that. Round-up, Agent Orange, and all their variants are produced and sold by Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, et al, making those corporations extremely wealthy and destructive of human health.

When I started gardening 30 years ago, it was organic gardening. I went to the hardware store/plant nursery nearby to buy organic fertilizers but found that there were only 3 or 4 organic products while there was shelf after shelf of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, et al. Speaking with the clerk, I told him of my preference for organic growing. He replied, "I'm with you, but the money is in chemicals." And that's the way it is: people choosing chemical blasts instead of healthily nourishing soil, plants, and humans. As the old saying goes, "Follow the money."

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You are lucky that your neighbors don't use chemicals. I'm happy for you. The ones on both sides of me do and the damage to my yard, where I decidedly don't use chemicals of any kind and grow indigenous plants for the insects and wildlife, saddens and angers me. Yet where I live the attitude of "control it, destroy it or hit it til it gives in" prevails. I do what I can for my yard but every year brings more negative change and in no small part due to all the chemicals flying back and forth from my neighbor's poor poisoned yards.

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If you haven't already, check out permaculture and bioneers.

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Hello Kasumii, Knowing what we face is crucial as is being realistic. I was trying to suggest that dwelling in nightmare scenarios, while sometimes unavoidable, are very lonely and dark spaces. They cannot satisfy our goals of positive engagement and problem solving. Your are so vivid in writing and passionate, that I wished to join you with companionship.

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Kasumii, your thoughts are exactly where my mindset is today. I chose not to address Heather's letter today . What you are saying is clearly not out of the realm.

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It really isn't. Sadly. For all the destruction they cause viruses are basically simple - they infect a host and replicate. If they are thwarted in that replication they mutate to try again. They will continue to infect hosts until they are stopped by either running out of hosts or from human created medicines designed to stop them - or at least slow them down so they can be survived with other medical interventions.

As long as there are hosts (our fellow humans) available to infect there will more variations of the virus to start the cycle over. It's how they act. They don't have beliefs or intent. Viruses just act.

Wishing you well Linda.

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Kasumi, you are spot on.

The replication for a virus to mutate from person to person is simply opportunity.

Be safe, my friend.

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Well, the Mother Earth may well decimate voters on all continents to near extinction. An evolutionary IQ test.

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Much darkness, understandable fear, the edges on a number of fronts are near.

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Charlie, so am I. The probabilities are devastating.

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And the ideology sounds mostly like "Me Me Me!"

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As a grandmother of a four year old who lives in TX, it scares me that so many little kids are getting sick.

I'm wondering if parents can sue the governor for depraved indifference if their kids get sick?

Again, it astonishes me that so many people just don't seem to understand that getting the vaccine is not only protecting yours and others, but you are showing your kids how to be responsible adults.

Too many selfish people.

Sad, truly sad.

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My mother grew up in the depression. There were 3 girls in our family and we were spoiled even though she was a meat wrapper and my dad often worked 3 jobs. We had better clothes than most of the other girls. She said she just wanted us to have the things she didn’t have. 2 of us went to college, I have 2 degrees as does my sister. I did well with my degrees and think I took the same attitude with my daughter. I wanted her to have things better. I sacrificed for her to advance. But she learned the value of hard work and money. I think this is how we’ve gotten to selfishness in many adults now. Parents left out teaching the value of money and just spoiled their kids. When they fail at something they’re taught to blame others instead of making themselves better. So few people are willing to accept responsibility for their own actions.

Republicans lost because of their actions. They have done everything they can to cheat the system. And all we’ve heard is that Democrats stole the election. Al Gore won in 2000 but Democrats didn’t fight back. Now we have all these shadow candidates coming out from Florida which is another way to cheat. There needs to be clear consequences. They’re taking over our education system, our healthcare system and our election systems with no purpose but to destroy our country. What will they do when there are no educated Americans to run the computer companies and we are reliant on China and Japan? The money these wealthy Americans covet will disappear.

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Surrounding all the children and grandchildren in a protective forcefield of light. May it be so.

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I surround them all every night with white light during my healing meditation. So important. We can protect them all when some are putting them in danger.

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Thank you Beth.

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Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! This quote caught my eye: "Nonetheless, DeSantis and Abbott refuse to modify their ban on mask mandates, clearly seeing a strong stand on this issue as a political statement that they believe will win them Republican voters. But as infections and deaths, especially among children, rise, the wisdom of this move is not clear. " You would think these folks would be all in to protect their constituency from dying so they can vote for them when 2022 (and 2024) rolls around. But oh, wait. They're rigging the system with their voter suppression laws and jerrymandering, so no need to have majority numbers. Bless their hearts.

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It's my delete below, because I can't figure out how to edit or correct my post. What I said was:

I love Dr. Richardson's phrase "the wisdom of this move is not clear". Such a dry, witty, under-the-radar comment! I intend to use it (giving her credit, of course) as soon as possible.

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I agree, Anna. I’m using it at next school board mtg where the fight continues about no mask mandates from leaders not interested in health and safety of children.

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"Give me liberty or give me death!" You could possibly add how in awe you are of these "brave soldiers" who are willing to sacrifice their constituency in the quest for liberty.

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Patrick Henry is spinning in his grave.

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So true about her comment, Anna! If I were in a live audience while she said that, my lips would be stifling a knowing smile.

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On August 6, I emailed my Representative in Congress, fortunately a Democrat, urging her to introduce legislation providing for the Federal government to replace any funding, including salaries, withheld by State governments as penalties for school districts which choose to ignore a State's ban on masking mandates. I suggested that such Federal funds be deducted from whatever the Federal government gives to the State for educational purposes.

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Cannot comment on Abbott but here in FL it is glaringly clear that DeSantis has started his political campaign for President on the small backs of our children. He is shameless and getting increasingly desperate to control the Superintendents of Ed who are focused on the protection of the children and teachers. Cavalho in Miami-Dade said it all....his salary is a small price to pay to keep kids alive. The Republicans are looking for a " Trump-lite" and DeSantis is in the running. I maintain that Trump ought to be charged with Crimes Against Humanity through neglect; DeSantis has entered that territory. The Cruise Lines took him on and also the ADA. Hopefully the resistance to him in Florida will grow!

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There is one governor in this country who deserves to be thrown out of office immediately and it isn't Andrew Cuomo (although his time will probably come.)

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Just saw on DW News that Cuomo has submitted his resignation, effective in 2 weeks.

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We have got to vote him out. I had wondered if we could recall him but Florida recall law does not pertain to elected state officials, such as the governor, nor elected federal officials, such as the state's congressional delegates.

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Who's going to defeat him? Nikki or Charlie? C'mon.

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I say combine on one ticket and there might be a chance. More of my efforts are being directed at Val Demings soundly whooping Rubio’s sorry ass. Another Dem Senator in Congress.

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Either of them could, actually. Right now Crist seems to have the advantage, but many people are in Nikki's corner.

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Even though the world has been put on "code red" status by the U.N., Republicans will fight tooth-and-nail to preserve and expand the fossil fuel industry and further worsen Earth's plight. It saddens me beyond belief that there are millions and millions of people around the world who believe that sound science is nothing more than quackery. God help Joe Biden and the Democrats who believe in a better future through change. It is past the time to understand what we are facing.

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Hi everyone. This isn’t related to Heather’s post today (directly), but I just finished reading Caste: Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson, and I want to encourage this bright and caring group to read it. It made a deep impression on me; my mind and heart are full of the stories, concepts, and history I read. Has anyone else read it, and what did you think…? Thanks 😊

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I am about 2/3 of the way through. I had already read her book "The Warmth of Other Suns" which was a great eye opener for me. I lived through the last half of the great migration, knew people who were part of that social shift, supported CORE and lots of other stuff yet was blind to the larger picture. Shall I say that I now hear the song "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" with expanded understanding.

As for "Caste", it is helping me to understand how effectively embedded social structures have separated the life experiences of Black people, other citizens of color and White people from our many, varied life experiences so that even when we are working and living together, so much is invisible, especially to the privileged. It is rather like being in an aquarium. If I press myself against the glass I can pretend to see and understand what it is like to live on the other side of the glass, and really believe I've seen all there is to see and know. I am grateful for the many Black and Brown writers who are able, like Ms. Wilkerson, to share their truths.

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Thank you for sharing! I’m eager to read Warmth of Other Suns. I found Caste by chance at the library and feel both liberated and saddened by what I’ve learned.

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I read Warmth of Other Suns about a month ago. Wilkerson made the Great Migration come alive by focusing on the personal stories of 3 individuals who migrated North at the beginning, in the middle and near the end of the Great Migration.

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I read Caste in 2020 and have bought copies and shared it with many people. It has been mentioned and discussed by a few in this forum. It has influenced my views and actions and beliefs about racism in a radical way. There were a few times that I simply had to stop reading the book and try to process and assimilate the information…much like I do with HCR’s letters when I encounter her tellings of history that I am not familiar with. Early in the book, on pages 52-53, there is a story she relates about a conversation she has with a Nigerian-born playwright after a talk she gave in London. That, and her story about her encounter with the plumber that happened in December 2016, one month after the election are two literary moments that remain very emotional for me. I can think of Caste in no other way.

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I had a similar experience reading Caste. I had to put it down so I could process what I was reading. I thought of myself as well educated and compassionate, but this book opened my eyes to what had been invisible to me.

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A book I am currently reading that is also incredibly stark, but also very funny is Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism. Rather than looking at the historical origins of the US racist legal system, Amber (very well known comedy writer) and her sister Lacey describe Lacey's daily experiences of racism in Omaha, Nebraska. Amber lives in NYC now; Lacey still lives--like much of their family--in their hometown of Omaha. If you want to read about systemic racism on the hoof, as it were, read this. It will absolutely upend your view of even well-meaning white people: we are all utterly ignorant of the realities Black people live all the time. And one of the things I think we should all do is speak up and step up: when you see racism happening, say something. Also when you see sexism, ableism, etc. etc.

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Just finished it yesterday. It was eye-opening. I have much soul-searching to do now. So much of the caste-based privilege I have had gone unrecognized until Ms. Wilkerson pointed it out to me. It was also so very upsetting to learn how Nazi Germany patterned so many of its laws against non-Aryans after America’s Jim Crow laws. A very disturbing book that we all should read and take to heart.

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Isabel Wilkerson is an amazing writer. Both books take important topics and bring them to life. I also recommend The Sum of Us, by Heather McGhee, which demonstrates how racists policies hurt the whole of society.

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I agree. I've read all three. Very important books, and Isabel Wilkerson is an amazing writer. Hope she has another book in the works.

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I read it and found it heartrending, and at times very difficult because of it's unveiling to me of the systemic racism that pervades our country. I highly recommend it.

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I read it last week. I’d like to read a more in depth version as I felt I was reading Cliff’s Notes. Definitely nutshells the topic.

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It could only be like that, right? She covered 400 yrs of caste’s existence in this country.

But the point of the book is a bulls eye.

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With each dart she outlined, I kept shaking my head like I had water in both ears from swimming in the pool.

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I’ve downloaded the book. Time to read it!

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I hope you get as much out of it as me, Jean!

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I’m certain I will!

It’s interesting how so many here in the USA bristle at the idea of a caste system - irrespective that it’s been the norm long before tour Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written.

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Monet, thank you for mentioning Caste. As others have said, it's been discussed here before but I needed your reminder to get back to it. I've had it sitting on my headboard for a year. I read several chapters, having to pause at the end of nearly each one to digest and process what I'd just read, and at a certain point, I just never got back to it. I find I really struggle with reading or hearing about horrible things humans do to each other. I never read mysteries or suspense novels that are also gorey, or books about kidnappings, or where sexual assaults or abuse is detailed. My imagination is just too active and I can't detach myself enough from these stories, fiction or fact. But I will persevere with Caste, thank you again for the prod.

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Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts, Beth. And thank you to ALL of you for the same. I truly appreciate the “community” and the insights. This is a pretty special group!

Beth,I encourage you to persevere with Caste. Every chapter offers learning you’ll be glad you have, I think, plus the very end of the book offers hope for how we might move forward.

To everyone, I’ll share the hope expressed by a Black consultant working with my organization’s team on equity, echoed by my Black team members: our children, teens and young adults. They are not (at least in my community of Tacoma WA) buying into indoctrination via mis-taught history or other societal messaging. This reminder from those who live discrimination and historical trauma every day gives me hope for our future, although we have rough times ahead to get there.

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"Nevertheless, she persisted!" I will, I will, I promise.

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One of the most important books I've read in recent past. Have her The warmth of other sun's on your to-read pile. Affected me like reading James Baldwin in the 60s did. Wish the two could have written or lectured together. I had the same kind of reactions you talked about. Comparisons of democracies reached somewhat I thought at times, but caste is a perfect concept to explain so much.

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Loved/grieved that book. Passing it on to a whole list of folks...

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Implicit in Heathers’ LfaA today is the political and cultural dichotomy of our times. It is exemplified in the willingness of the Republicans to increase the debt limit to accommodate their running “…up the debt during Trump’s term, adding $7 trillion to the debt while they slashed corporate taxes.” The benefit of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was supposed to trickle down to middle and lower classes, but instead they trickled up. Trump reportedly went around his guests at Mar-a-Lago bragging that it had made them very rich.

But when the Democrats want to raise the debt limit to accommodate their combined 4.5 trillion dollar infrastructure bills that would clearly benefit every American in multiple ways and our future survival, McConnell and his caucus are obstinate: NO.

“Damn the (filibuster and the debt limit); full speed ahead!”

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Torpedo the filibuster into the oblivion to which it belongs.

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you GO!

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Republicans screaming 'tax and spend' at Dems, meanwhile spending massively themselves, is old hat. Even the liberal consensus R's did that. What chnaged, is the unwillingness to take turns governing, and to work together with the Dems no matter which group has the majority at the moment.

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The Code RED from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change coupled with watching the people fleeing from devastating fires in Turkey, Greece and California giving credence to the Code RED is heart rendering. Between the pandemic, climate change, the rise of autocracy and the narcissism and greed of much of the human race it feels like we're not just seeing the death of democracy but the extinction of humans. Nature does not reward the stupid and right now it is saying that the survival of the fitness does not include humanity.

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Hopefully we won't have killed every other species beforehand!

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Morning, Stuart!! Read TCinLA's latest for in-depth coverage of how the other species will fare: https://tcinla757.substack.com/p/code-red-for-homo-sap/comments

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Morning, Lynell. Thanks. I read it earlier this morning. I like the style he uses as much as i like the content. Human stupidity passing for cupidity has never been a "rare earth" but just as deadly in its collateral eco-dammage.

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Was just going to mention this Lynell. Started reading it but only way I could finish it was to put my head under the covers and use a book light. It’s very intense.

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That's me under the covers next to you, Christine. Intense, indeed.

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I'm sitting under the parasole in the garden after a good breakfast. Beautiful today and no wind.

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Great commentary - I'm sending it to others as well. Thanks for that.

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Yep, TC rocks!!

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Thank you. Wonderfully written. just subscribed.

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Cathy, you may be familiar with an old saying I learned in my Texas boyhood: "Nature bats last."

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In the city of Pittsburgh, US Steel was dead in the water during the depression. When World War Two broke out, the US Government funded the update and improvements to the mills to get the war production effort going. It created 100's of jobs and after the war the government sold the improvements back to US Steel for one dollar.

The mills provided jobs up through the 70's. By the early 80's the dumping by Japan and other steel producers put the mills out of business.

After US Steel closed all the mills in Pittsburgh the machinery was sold (for one dollar) and the machinery was updated by a private firm and sold to India, Korea, Brazil and other emerging manufacturing countries.

I am so tired of Republicans complaining about the government helping it's citizens when it has been subsidizing industry for decades.

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Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we put all the effort of dismantling and destroying to creating and caring for? How many jobs could be created and maintained to protect instead of solely for profit?

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In the early part of the pandemic, some Fox News or other republican toady was advocating letting some old people die so people could go back to work. Now deSantis and Abbott seem to prefer allowing the sickening and death of children for their own political advancement. It’s hard not to be cynical about any republican motive.

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It was the Lieutenant Governor of Texas. Who is still the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

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Ironic that they'd recommend such a thing, especially since the Repugnants claimed that Obama's ACA included "death panels" for the elderly.

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Yeah. They don’t do irony.

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At least not intentionally.

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Could it be that they are gambling that more democrats will die than republicans? I’d like to see a demographic breakdown of just who is catching Covid. Still, I’ll bet a lot of folks are willing to die for the lost causes, the one that goes back to 1865 and the new one, that trump won the election in 2020. They imagine being noble in death as Robert e lee was noble in defeat. If they are changing their minds, they don’t dare say so. What do you think is more important to them, the lost causes, or their grandchildren? “Gee, that’s a tough one.“

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"We will have peace when [they] love their children more than they hate us" - Golda Meir

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Work, and profits. The Supreme Good Things in America.

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My House Rep was one of those - Hollingsworth made comments along those lines about how society running normally was worth the deaths. I believe one of Indiana's senators recently circled back to that idea.

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The current R party is a death cult.

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gawd.

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Yeah, all 3 of them (both Senators & my specific House Rep) are trump lapdogs. All 3 are millionaires+ who represent a population that is decidedly middle-class to poverty level and all three's attitudes clearly show what they care about most. Not Hoosiers or the planet we live on.

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I'll never forget that

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I cannot fathom the rationale of what the Republiqan governors are doing. It just does not make sense in any way, shape, or form. That party needs to die a quick and painful death so that we can, just maybe, survive this Code Red that we've created.

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It's like they (R's) wake up every morning and think, "what can I do today to hurt someone"?

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Sometimes I feel that the Republican Party, recognizing that it never can legitimately get a majority of Americans to support it, knows that it is dying, and has decided to take the rest of the country down with it, rather than change. (Their hidden leadership, so well documented by Jane Mayer, envisions an authoritatian takeover of the nation's remnants at that point.)

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Schadenfreude. “Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.” A word, new to me this year, that describes those R’s……

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But when a person derives pleasure from actively causing pain to someone else, it’s called sadism.

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But if you didn't bring about the person's pain, its schadenfreude.

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I'm not arguing the definition of schadenfreude. I'm arguing that the conduct of Republican governors is more than schadenfreude--it's sadistic. But there's a lot more involved in quest for money and power than an emotional state.

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It's all very simple. Those who possess a disproportionate share of the nation's wealth are interested in keeping it, or at least keeping it in their families, and oppose tax reform legistlation which would change that along with the economic structure which enabled them to amass that wealth. It has always been that way. They are willing to generously support candidates who will take their side and not that of the majority who would support tax policies leading to a redistribution of wealth in the country. They don't give a damn about the ethics or morality of those who support them, just so long as they support them, and that includes the support of sadists, to whom they would gladly donate, along with bigots, nazis and downright crooks.

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If you smile internally, with just a touch of guilt, when you read the news such as that found at

https://www.wfla.com/community/health/coronavirus/anti-vaccine-radio-host-in-florida-dies-of-covid-19-complications/

that's schadenfreude.

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