Daily Archives: September 15, 2020

How U.S. government action has fueled the West Coast climate fires

Democracy Now!

Published on Sep 14, 2020

As unprecedented wildfires rage in California, Oregon and Washington, President Trump has mainly blamed forest management for west coast fires, downplaying the climate crisis. “These are climate fires,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, wildland fire ecologist and former wildland firefighter. “The important point for people to understand is it’s not the inaction of the federal government that is part of the climate crisis — it’s their deliberate actions, pushing more fossil fuel extraction and burning, promoting the alteration of the planet’s atmosphere and oceans.” In 2015, Ingalsbee’s daughter, Kelsey Juliana, was the lead plaintiff in a landmark youth climate lawsuit against the U.S. government. “The government is causing my daughter’s generation, future generations — all species, for that matter — significant harm,” he says

Pandemic Profiteering: Amazon Caught Price Gouging as Jeff Bezos’s Wealth Soared to $200 Billion

Democracy Now!

Published on Sep 15, 2020

The online giant Amazon has made an extraordinary amount of money during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many people shelter at home and shop online. A new Public Citizen report documents how Amazon set prices for essential products during the crisis at levels that would violate price gouging laws in many states, and marked up some products by as much as 1,000%. “This is an ongoing thing. They are doing this currently. They’ve been doing it throughout the pandemic,” says Alex Harman, competition policy advocate for Public Citizen and author of the report. “They are looking to maximize profit during a pandemic.”

Colonization Made CA a Tinderbox: Why Indigenous Land Stewardship Would Help Combat Climate Fires

Democracy Now!

Published on Sep 15, 2020

We examine California’s history of forest management and how a century of fire suppression has made the current climate fires even more destructive. For thousands of years, Native American tribes in California would regularly burn the landscape to steward the land, but colonization led to the suppression of these tactics and decades of misguided policy. A return to these Indigenous practices could help better steward the land and foster greater climate resiliency, says Don Hankins, a pyrogeographer and Plains Miwok fire expert who teaches geography and planning at California State University, Chico. “If we all work together and we use the same mindset in terms of process, being able to use fire within the landscape, we can start to put fire back in at the scale that it needs to be for the right ecological and cultural purposes,” Hankins says.

“Mass Voter Disenfranchisement”: GOP Ramps Up Assault on Voting Rights Across U.S. Ahead of Election

Democracy Now!

Published on Sep 15, 2020

With just seven weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election, the battle for the White House is increasingly being fought in courts across the country. From Wisconsin to Florida, Pennsylvania to Colorado, judges are making major rulings deciding who gets on the ballot, how a record number of mail-in ballots are handled and distributed, and who ultimately gets to vote on November 3. Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones and author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America,” says Republicans are carrying out a nationwide attack on voting rights aimed at keeping a shrinking white minority in power. “This is the Republican Party’s game: Don’t do anything for the American people, make it as hard as you can to vote, and then put in place judges who will then uphold those new voter suppression laws.”

Top U.S. & World Headlines — September 15, 2020

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Published on Sep 15, 2020

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In Pursuit of History; Edited by H. Richard Dietrich III and Deborah M. Rebuck

Yale Press

Nov 5, 2019

In Pursuit of History: A Lifetime Collecting Colonial American Art and Artifacts Edited by H. Richard Dietrich III and Deborah M. Rebuck; With contributions by David L. Barquist, Edward S. Cooke Jr., Michael P. Dyer, Kathleen A. Foster, Morrison H. Heckscher, Philip C. Mead, Lisa Minardi, Deborah M. Rebuck, and William S. Reese Distributed for the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Dietrich American Foundation

Hurricane Sally could unleash torrential rain and significant storm surge on Mobile

PBS NewsHour

Sep 15, 2020

Hurricane Sally is slowly making its way to the Gulf Coast Tuesday evening, with Alabama squarely in its path. The city of Mobile is on high alert for the possibility of torrential rainfall and a storm surge that is seven feet above normal. The city’s mayor, Sandy Stimpson, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss why he’s confident that local authorities are adequately prepared for the impending storm.

Survival of the Friendliest with Dr. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods

Museum of Science, Boston

Join us for a virtual celebration of the new book Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity by Dr. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods. In this new study, from the trailblazing scientists and bestselling authors behind The Genius of Dogs, a powerful new theory about the secret to our success as a species is introduced and explored: self-domestication.

For over a century in popular culture, “survival of the fittest” has been interpreted to mean that some human lives are more valuable than others. This misunderstanding of the central pillar of biology has been used to justify eugenics and colonialism, and today continues to shape authoritarian agendas, anti-immigration sentiment, and the slow response to COVID-19. In their revolutionary new book, Dr. Hare and Woods bring forth the theory of “survival of the friendliest” at a time the world needs it most, providing actionable solutions based on the knowledge that to survive and flourish, we must expand our definition of who belongs.

Don’t miss this special live digital conversation between Dr. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, only with the Museum of Science!

After the conversation, stick around for a virtual book signing with the authors! If you would like an autographed copy of Survival of the Friendliest, you can purchase one directly at vanessawoods.net or brianhare.net in advance. During the online ordering process, you can submit any autograph requests (such as the name the inscription should be made out to) and let them know if you would like to see your book signed LIVE during the event.

“How can a top predator like the wolf have evolved to become ‘man’s best friend’? Finally a book that explains in the clearest of terms how friendliness and cooperation shaped dogs and humans. This book left me with a happy and optimistic view of nature.”—Isabella Rossellini, actress and activist

This virtual offering will stream live from the Museum of Science for registrants to enjoy at home. Registrants will receive links to view this program via email within 24 hours of the event start time.

This program is free, thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.

Ford Evening Book Talk

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Richard Dietrich and Dr. Susan P. Schoelwer will discuss the Dietrich American Foundation’s new book, In Pursuit of History: A Lifetime Collecting Colonial American Art and Artifacts during this digital Ford Evening Book Talk.

Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy: Michael J. Sandel

The defect, Sandel maintains, lies in the impoverished vision of citizenship and community shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. American politics has lost its civic voice, leaving both liberals and conservatives unable to inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that self-government requires.

In search of a public philosophy adequate to our time, Sandel ranges across the American political experience, recalling the arguments of Jefferson and Hamilton, Lincoln and Douglas, Holmes and Brandeis, FDR and Reagan. He relates epic debates over slavery and industrial capitalism to contemporary controversies over the welfare state, religion, abortion, gay rights, and hate speech. Democracy’s Discontent provides a new interpretation of the American political and constitutional tradition that offers hope of rejuvenating our civic life.