Saturday Night Owls: A few words from a Texan ‘tired of living through extraordinary times’


Boyd started his tirade with, “Let me hurt some feelings while I have a minute!!” It’s a succinct enough expression of the modern Texas Republican Party’s beliefs as any I’ve seen. They see policies as a way of exacting pain on people they despise. When their cruelty is spelled out plainly, you’re the one who is too sensitive. They could never be the ones in the wrong. The ability to stand by that position is Trumpian, but predated Trump: Never apologize and never retreat.

The reality of a changing climate is that we will only become more reliant on each other, and we must decide what kind of world we’d like to live in as it burns—or freezes. In an interview with Texas Monthly, energy consultant and UT Austin research assistant in smart grid and bulk electricity systems Joshua Rhodes said while it’s theoretically possible that we might have avoided this week’s energy crisis, there’s also tangible reason why it happened: powerful people made choices. […]

People across my state are dead. They deserve the truth to be told about their deaths. Their government did not adequately prepare them for a climate-change disaster. Their government did not adequately prepare itself for this climate-change disaster. And there will be more storms. […]

THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING

Foundations for a Just and Inclusive Recovery, by Maya Pinto, Rakeen Mabud, Amity Paye, and Sanjay Pinto. 

A Quite Possibly Wonderful Summer Families will gather, by James Hamblin. Restaurants will reopen. People will travel. The pandemic may feel like it’s behind us—even if it’s not.

The Everyday Resistance of Enslaved Women, by Stella Dadzie. Studying history is like detective work—especially when the rebellion of Black women has been left out of the story.

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QUOTATION

“It takes the average American four years of doctors’ visits to spend as much time with their physician as they spend with their phone in a single day.”
          ~~Emmanuel Fombu, The Future of Healthcare: Humans an Machines Partnering for Better Outcomes (2018)

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2008—Past Time to End Embargo on Cuba:

A year and a half ago, the announcement that most observers expected to hear any day from Cuba was that Fidel Castro, the island’s long-ruling communist caudillo, was dead from the gastro-intestinal problems that had transformed him from an elderly but vigorous leader into a wraith and forced him to temporarily transfer authority to his brother. Instead, he has done what some said he would never willingly do: resigned. The exact parameters of his health status remain unknown, as does knowledge regarding how much of an éminence grise he may remain in his dotage. One thing for certain, his impact, for good and ill, will not be soon forgotten.

With Castro officially out of the picture for the first time in 49 years, what next is on many minds, in Cuba, in southern Florida where the extensive Cuban exile community has transformed that part of the state nearly as much as Castro transformed the island, and elsewhere, including Washington, where those exiles have had an unbalanced influence on U.S. policy toward Cuba for decades?

What better time for the United States to have a positive impact on the sclerotic regime that runs Cuba by revamping its own sclerotic policies? This it could start by phasing out the 46-year-old embargo that has hurt average Cubans and given Castro a rhetorical cudgel and a mask, one to pummel U.S. policy, the other to conceal the regime’s failures and justify its excesses. No chance of that, it seems. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Tuesday that he couldn’t “imagine” an end to the U.S. embargo “happening any time soon.”





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