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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 10,893

Journal Archives

Rep. Jamie Raskin on losing his son and saving democracy - Unthinkable - VTDigger

Great interview with David Goodman (brother of Amy).

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin was expecting trouble after the November 2020 presidential election. Raskin and his Democratic colleagues in Congress anticipated that former President Donald Trump would try to subvert the results and try to derail Congress’s normally pro-forma certification of President Joe Biden’s election.

But Raskin was blindsided. On December 31, 2020, Raskin’s only son, Tommy, a promising young student at Harvard Law School, took his own life after a long struggle with depression.
Don't miss an episode.

Seven days later — and just a day after burying his son — Raskin returned to Congress to cast his vote to certify Biden’s election. That’s when Trump supporters mounted a violent insurrection in the U.S. Capitol, egged on by the defeated president. Speaker Nancy Pelosi then tapped the grieving Raskin to be lead manager in Trump’s second impeachment trial. Since the summer, Raskin has been a member of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the Capitol.

Raskin tells his intensely personal and political story in his new book, “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.”

David Goodman

I want to finish where we began. It's been almost a year and a half since Tommy's passing. How is he with you now? How is the mission that you have in Congress and in life connected to the terrible experience you've been through?

Jamie Raskin

Tommy was someone who had great dreams for democracy. He wanted a lot more from democracy, not a lot less from it. I feel very driven by the things that he saw and the things that he believed in. And I feel the same way, that we need to be asking a lot more of ourselves, not a lot less from ourselves. I feel very connected to his generation of Americans because they've had a hell of a time. There's a huge emotional mental health crisis among young people now. People used to talk about mental health stigma. They don't really talk about it anymore because when you've got problems like depression and anxiety that are afflicting a majority of an age cohort in the country, it's hard to stigmatize it. And the surgeon general has declared there to be a national emergency in mental and emotional health among the young, all the way down through middle school and elementary school. So everybody is on an individual odyssey with respect to their psychological and emotional health, but it does exist in a social context. Covid-19 was a brutal and isolating time for people and a really demoralizing time for the young. I know it was in Tommy's case, and I know what the other young people in our family have gone through. I feel we owe it to them to fight for them — and also to get them to see that politics — although it's never going to be a complete answer for anybody, is a large part of the answer that people need to make a connection with others in their generation and with people who have fought for freedom and democracy before them. That's going to be part of the solution for us reestablishing a sense of well-being and security in a really dangerous moment for democracy. I feel connected to Tommy's generation, and I know how many young people loved him and miss him. I am a poor substitute for my son, but I'm going to do everything I can to fight for that generation.

David Goodman is an award-winning journalist and the author of a dozen books, including four New York Times bestsellers that he co-authored with his sister, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. His work has appeared in Mother Jones, New York Times, Outside, Boston Globe and other publications. He is the host of The Vermont Conversation, a VTDigger podcast featuring in-depth interviews about local and national topics. The Vermont Conversation is also an hour-long weekly radio program that can be heard on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on WDEV/Radio Vermont.

The origin of Mothers' Day - Heather Cox Richardson


If you google the history of Mother’s Day, the internet will tell you that Mother’s Day began in 1908 when Anna Jarvis decided to honor her mother. But “Mothers’ Day”—with the apostrophe not in the singular spot, but in the plural—actually started in the 1870s, when the sheer enormity of the death caused by the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War convinced American women that women must take control of politics from the men who had permitted such carnage. Mothers’ Day was not designed to encourage people to be nice to their mothers. It was part of women’s effort to gain power to change modern society.

The Civil War years taught naïve Americans what mass death meant in the modern era. Soldiers who had marched off to war with fantasies of heroism discovered that long-range weapons turned death into tortured anonymity. Men were trampled into blood-soaked mud, piled like cordwood in ditches, or transformed into emaciated corpses after dysentery drained their lives away.

The women who had watched their men march off to war were haunted by its results. They lost fathers, husbands, sons. The men who did come home were scarred in body and mind.

Modern war, it seemed, was not a game.

From her home in Boston, Julia Ward Howe was a key figure in the American Woman Suffrage Association. She was an enormously talented writer, who had penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic in the early years of the Civil War, a hymn whose lyrics made it a point to note that Christ was “born of woman.”

Howe was drawn to women’s rights because the laws of her time meant that her children belonged to her abusive husband. If she broke free of him, she would lose any right to see her children, a fact he threw at her whenever she threatened to leave him. She was not at first a radical in the mold of reformer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, believing that women had a human right to equality with men. Rather, she believed strongly that women, as mothers, had a special role to perform in the world.

For Howe, the Civil War had been traumatic, but that it led to emancipation might justify its terrible bloodshed. The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 was another story. She remembered:

"I was visited by a sudden feeling of the cruel and unnecessary character of the contest. It seemed to me a return to barbarism, the issue having been one which might easily have been settled without bloodshed. The question forced itself upon me, “Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters, to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone know and bear the cost?”

Howe had a new vision, she said, of “the august dignity of motherhood and its terrible responsibilities.” She sat down immediately and wrote an “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World.” Men always had and always would decide questions by resorting to “mutual murder.” But women did not have to accept this state of affairs, she wrote. Mothers could command their sons to stop the madness.

Howe organized international peace conferences, and American states developed their own Mothers’ Day festivals. But Howe quickly gave up on her project. She realized that there was much to be done before women could come together on such a momentous scale. She turned her attention to women’s clubs “to constitute a working and united womanhood.”

As she worked to unite women, she threw herself into the struggle for women’s suffrage, understanding that in order to create a more just and peaceful society, women must take up their rightful place as equal participants in American politics.

Perhaps Anna Jarvis remembered seeing her mother participate in an original American Mothers’ Day when she decided to honor her own mother in the early twentieth century. And while we celebrate modern Mother’s Day, in this momentous year of 2022 it’s worth remembering the original Mothers’ Day and Julia Ward Howe’s conviction that women must make their voices heard.

trumpfile.org - interesting site.


I can't vouch for its content or accuracy. But it does seem to cover a lot of that poor-excuse-of-a-human's life and crimes.

TrumpFile.org is a free resource tracking long-term immorality, lawbreaking, and corruption by Donald Trump and his friends throughout the years. Our objective is to create a timeline of events so thorough that corruption and mafia influence cannot be denied.

The transnational crime syndicate operating within the United States did not begin with Donald Trump and won’t end with him, either. Be informed now before it’s too late.

The Ecological Destruction from the Border Wall, in "American Scar" (New Yorker)

Very good documentary.


Trump’s wall hasn’t stopped people from crossing into the U.S. from Mexico, but it has wreaked havoc on the wildlife populations and natural systems of the borderlands.

Film by Daniel Lombroso

Text by Murat Oztaskin
April 30, 2022

In a remote and rugged expanse of southern Arizona, between the vast stretches of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, a straight line runs. It cuts through mountaintops, across the foothills and valleys. At one time, the line was conceptual: the border between one country and another, a geopolitical abstraction real mainly to those who ached to cross it and to others who wished to prevent that. Now, in the past few years, much of it has been made physical, filled in across the desert in steel. The documentary short “American Scar,” by the New Yorker filmmaker Daniel Lombroso, explores some of the border wall’s unintended consequences.

In 2016, Donald Trump energized his Presidential campaign with three words: “Build the wall.” On the campaign trail, Trump insisted that Mexico would pay for the project, but once in office he looked to a more likely source of funding, Congress, which for two years declined to offer the money—a battle which eventually sparked the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Then, in early 2019, the President found a different way: he declared a national emergency at the southern border, a move that allowed him to reallocate funds for the wall’s construction from the Department of Defense. All told, the Trump Administration built more than four hundred and fifty miles of the barrier, about a quarter of the length of the U.S.’s border with Mexico. Construction continued until the moment of Joe Biden’s Inauguration.

Construction projects of this size typically have enormous environmental impacts. But funding the project from the D.O.D.’s budget and classifying it as a matter of national security offered the Trump Administration a way around protections: it made the wall’s construction exempt from the stipulations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and more than eighty other laws and statutes. “There’s a certain kind of lawlessness that applies to the southern border that does not apply anywhere else,” Stephania Taladrid, a New Yorker writer who’s covered the effects of the border wall, and who reported and produced “American Scar,” told me. “In the aftermath of the 2020 election, and the Inauguration in particular, people were thinking that, with Trump gone, we could afford to just forget about the wall. And, in reality, there were just a series of questions that were left unanswered.” Among them are the impacts on the seventy-plus animal and plant species that the new sections of wall now endanger, including the jaguar, the ocelot, the desert bighorn sheep, and the Mexican gray wolf.

Couple stays in Ukraine to take in all the pets left behind


Couple stays in Ukraine to take in all the pets left behind (wait til the beautiful message at the end ❤?

A bit of musical and scientific "enjoyment". Dedicated to Judi Lynn and elleng


The singing saw video may (or may not) be your cup of tea. I'm very impressed!

TooLoose LeTruck: Too good to not read


But please read the whole thread. There are some brilliant (and some not) posters there.

TooLoose LeTruck says:
April 21, 2022 at 8:38 pm

In honor of dead Russian generals…

He Was the Very Model of A Russian Major-General*

He was the very model of a Russian Major-General,
With knowledge biological, nuclear, and chemical,
He knew the czars of Russia, great battles territorial
Kulikovo to Stalingrad, so famous in memorial;

A highly educated man, proud son of Mother Russia,
Keen to take the fight abroad, if needed into Prussia,
He’d studied all the theories and memorized the tactics,
The ideal one to send to fight the Nazi drug fanatics;

The battle started well that day until the Javelin struck,
Blowing up the general’s tank and the general’s luck,
And now he’s headed home in a mood quite funereal,
He was the very model of a Russian Major-General.

*with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan

I am horrified and furious at what the Ukrainians are suffering thru…

I can even muster some sympathy for Russian conscripts who don’t want to be there…

I feel ZERO pity for dead Russian generals.

Sometimes when I see a video of a Russian helicopter being shot down, or a tank erupting in flames, I find myself cheering… and then I realize I just watched several human beings die a horrible, ugly death, too… and I feel sick to my stomach…

But when a Russian general bites it? I’m fine w/ that…

If we go to war with russia, can we arrest Fucker Karlson, all of fux news and their funders?

Just asking the question...

Seems that most of the RW/libertarian news media and money-bags are in traitorous territory - aiding and abetting the enemy.

Why Brexit Britain is turning purple with shame - The Guardian, Stewart Lee


And some purple prose...
Like a bald man masturbating alone into an open pedal bin, Boris Johnson’s Brexit Britain disgusts itself. And yet, despite being observed on the gents’ toilet’s security camera that is the modern world stage, it continues its abasement unabashed. After the second world war, the German volk were described as experiencing kollektivschuld, a national shame. But the capacity for shame has been surgically removed from our leaders. And it pulses only weakly, like some underactive perineal muscle, in the electorate that endorses them. Could it be possible instead for the physical mass of a nation, rather than the citizens it comprises, to display the attributes of shame?

But consider Boris in-All-Frankness Pays-Fixed-Penalty Unreserved-Apology Anger-and-Frustration Birthday-Exemption Poledancing-Cyberlover Wallpaper-Freeloader Lebedev’s-Party Watermelon-Picaninny Tank-Topped-Bum-Boys Deprogramme-a-Transperson Fifty-Pound-Offender Dead-in-the-Water Vaccine-Rollout All-Purpose-Get-Out Johnson. Having bent human language to associate Kier Starmer with Jimmy Savile, it appears an actual living child molester, in the shape of the Brexiter Imran Ahmad Khan MP, was still a member of his own party. Meanwhile, Johnson has been belatedly fined for the first of the lockdown breaches he lied to parliament and the British public about. He should, of course, resign, but clings on, like a sheet of shatted toilet roll stuck to the sole of the national shoe.

Gary Kasparov: Stand with Ukraine in the fight against evil - TED.com

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