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Timeflyer

Timeflyer's Journal
Timeflyer's Journal
February 19, 2024

"American Cassandra: the life of Dorothy Thompson," by Peter Kurth, 1990.

Dorothy Thompson biography, American Cassandra: the life of Dorothy Thompson, by Peter Kurth, 1990.

A worthwhile rabbit hole--a Smithsonian magazine article about the Depression era WPA relief program, the Federal Theatre Project, which produced a play based on the Sinclair Lewis novel, It Can’t Happen Here, 1935, about a fascist takeover of the United States, prompted me to read that book. Then I needed to find out about an amazing American woman, journalist and radio broadcaster, Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961). She was married to Lewis when he wrote his novel, and there’s no doubt his book reflects information about the situation in Germany that she provided from her on-the-ground reporting.
In Germany she personally interviewed Hitler early in 1932. Her depiction of him as a “little man” --”I bet he crooks his little finger when he drinks his tea,” and her exposure and criticism of Nazi anti-Semitic policies enraged Der Further. In 1934 the Gestapo officially expelled her from Germany. She framed the expulsion letter and hung it in her office.
She was brilliant, complicated, and fearless. Contemporaries often compared her to a force of nature— “a blue-eyed tornado,”-- whose long career spanned the 1920s to the ‘50s. To find out more about this fascinating American woman who was hugely influential in her time, read about her, or dive deep and read American Cassandra: the life of Dorothy Thompson.

February 19, 2024

"American Cassandra: the life of Dorothy Thompson," book by Peter Kurth

Dorothy Thompson biography, American Cassandra: the life of Dorothy Thompson, by Peter Kurth, 1990.

A worthwhile rabbit hole--a Smithsonian magazine article about the Depression era WPA relief program, the Federal Theatre Project, which produced a play based on the Sinclair Lewis novel, It Can’t Happen Here, 1935, about a fascist takeover of the United States, prompted me to read that book. Then I needed to find out about an amazing American woman, journalist and radio broadcaster, Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961). She was married to Lewis when he wrote his novel, and there’s no doubt his book reflects information about the situation in Germany that she provided from her on-the-ground reporting.
In Germany she personally interviewed Hitler early in 1932. Her depiction of him as a “little man” --”I bet he crooks his little finger when he drinks his tea,” and her exposure and criticism of Nazi anti-Semitic policies enraged Der Further. In 1934 the Gestapo officially expelled her from Germany. She framed the expulsion letter and hung it in her office.
She was brilliant, complicated, and fearless. Contemporaries often compared her to a force of nature— “a blue-eyed tornado,”-- whose long career spanned the 1920s to the ‘50s. To find out more about this fascinating American woman who was hugely influential in her time, read about her, or dive deep and read American Cassandra: the life of Dorothy Thompson.

February 2, 2024

Florida abortion rights amendment has enough signers to be Amendment #4 on Nov. ballot.

But the FL supreme court will hear arguments Feb. 7 re: language. The following article from Florida Phoenix explains.

"Organizers of the petition drive to enact a state constitutional right to abortion through a citizens’ initiative have collected enough petition signatures to merit a place on the November ballot, a state elections agency announced Friday.

But one major hurdle remains: the Florida Supreme Court still must approve the description of the measure that would greet voters. And the anti-abortion Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed five of the seven sitting judges, and Attorney General Ashley Moody — a Republican, like DeSantis — has asked the court to reject that language.

The court has scheduled oral arguments for Feb. 7 following requests to that end by Floridians Protecting Freedom, the initiative sponsor, plus Moody and anti-abortion groups. The justices are not supposed to consider the merits of any proposed amendments — only that the ballot language accurately describes the initiative and won’t confuse voters.

But for now, Maria Matthews, director of the Florida Division of Elections, acknowledged in a letter to Floridians Protecting Freedom that the Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion would appear on the ballot as Amendment 4.

“Today, our campaign to limit government interference with abortion reached a historic milestone with the assignment of an official ballot number,” campaign director Lauren Brenzel said in a written statement.

“This November, Floridians should have the chance to vote for Amendment 4 to return control of our bodies and futures back to us, where these personal decisions belong,” she said.

The abortion initiative needed 891,523 petition signatures to qualify. According to the division’s website, as of Friday 993,387 had been collected. The sponsors announced on Jan. 5 that they’d met the threshold, but now the state has confirmed it.

Court challenge
That summary reads: “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider. This amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.”

In arguments filed with the Supreme Court, Moody and the anti-abortion organizations have argued the summary’s use of the word “viability” is ambiguous. However, since Roe v. Wade in 1973 the word has been widely accepted as meaning the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb, between 23 and 24 weeks’ gestational age.

One Moody brief suggested the amendment would give health care providers the power to decide both what constitutes “viability” of a pregnancy and whether the “health” of the pregnant person justified a late term abortion without disclosing that to voters. “In essence,” providers would be “serving as their own regulators,” the brief asserts.

Moody also has argued that the ballot language fails to disclose that federal law could intrude on abortion rights, including through the 2003 federal ban on “partial birth abortions” (first filed in 1995 by Charles Canady, then a Florida congressman, now a justice of the Florida Supreme Court).

The sponsors replied that state law and Florida Supreme Court precedent reject such an expansive view of the court’s obligations when reviewing ballot language.

“In fact, the court has made clear, repeatedly, that the chief-purpose requirement does not require ‘an exhaustive explanation of the interpretation and future possible effects of the amendment,’” a sponsor’s brief says.

As for the alleged ambiguous language, “The question is not whether the proposed constitutional language itself is free of any ambiguity, but whether the ballot title and summary affirmatively mislead voters as to the new constitutional language voters are asked to adopt,” the sponsor’s brief argues.

Floridians Protecting Freedom expressed optimism about the outcome. “Once the Florida Supreme Court confirms what we know already, that our ballot title and summary meet the requirements to go to voters, we will have crossed the final hurdle,” the group said in a written statement.

“We look forward to the court’s favorable ruling, and then we’ll make sure every Floridian knows they will have the chance in November to vote to restore their freedom to once again control their own bodies, their own health care and their own futures,” the group said.

The fate of Florida’s 15-week abortion ban is also before the court — and if the state high court overrules its own 1989 ruling protecting abortion access under the Florida Constitution, a six-week ban passed in 2023 would take effect 30 days later.

The Florida court heard oral arguments in that case on Sept. 8, 2023, in a challenge by Planned Parenthood affiliates and other providers but has yet to issue its ruling."

January 21, 2024

The truth behind organized religious opposition to Roe and abortion

From book The Power Worshippers, by Katherine Stewart, 2019, chapter 3, “Inventing Abortion.”
“As the historian and author Randal Balmer writes, ‘It wasn’t until 1979---a full six years after Roe---that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools.’
“More than a decade later, Weyrich recalled the moment well. At a conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by a religious right organization called the Ethics and Public Policy Center (to which Balmer had been invited), Weyrich reminded his fellow culture warriors of the facts: ‘Let us remember, he said animatedly, that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision. No, Weyrich insisted, what got us going was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies.”
(Author Randal Balmer wrote of this in his book Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America.)

December 30, 2023

Klan War: Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction, by F. Bordewich

The South never fully surrendered, just turned to guerilla warfare with the brutal terror tactics of Ku Klux Klan. The terrible luck of having VP Andrew Johnson take over as President after Lincoln was assassinated allowed an infection of white grievance and victimhood to gain a foothold and flourish in the South. Freed blacks and their white allies were threatened, driven to flee, tortured, killed with impunity by powerful, armed southern enemies of Reconstruction.
President Grant was a decent, humane man who worked to suppress and destroy the Ku Klux Klan, but ultimately he lost the political backing needed to finish the job. "Had Grant's campaign been properly financed, sustained over time, and supported by consistent punishment by the courts it could have not only destroyed the Klan but ensured the survival of a two-party system and civil rights in the South. In the end, lasting change required more than white America was prepared to give.
Personally, it was hard finish reading this--kept thinking about quiet, pretty little Southern towns I've visited or driven through--where hideous torture, mutilations and murders went unpunished, and freed people and white allies were subjected to grinding years of intimidation and terror. The damage of the failure of Reconstruction continues. Teaching false mythology about US history must not continue.

November 17, 2023

Moms for Lib strike again, because Florida public libraries might be dangerous to community.


The newest target of faux-grassroots extremist group Sarasota, FL Moms for Liberty and for their fellow authoritarian extremists are public libraries. The Maga Moms enjoyed attacking school libraries so much that they found a way to make public libraries suffer their wrath. They targeted the Sarasota County Public Library System's membership in the American Library Association, the profession organization of United States libraries and librarians. And the county commissioners voted 4 to 1 to terminate the county libraries ALA membership.
Yes, that Sarasota, Florida--the Belly of the Beast, where traitor Flynn, Bridget Ziegler, founding mom4, and their magaty kind roam freely, and the Boys are Proud. The excuse for going after ALA membership by the County libraries--"Marxist infiltration," and possible "queering" of the libraries (the filthy way the Magats contort language for their purposes is grist for another discussion).
The real reason is almost certainly the way the ALA keeps track of "banned books," or any library materials that have been challenged by groups or individuals. For decades the ALA has compiled yearly lists of banned books. ALA makes it easy to keep track of the alarming increase in book banning in recent years, and the Moms aren't having that. They will not tolerate such rude, godless interference with their efforts to take control uber alles.


https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/news/local/sarasota/2023/11/14/sarasota-commissioners-urged-to-keep-ties-with-library-association/71565104007/
November 16, 2023

Moms for Lib strike again, because Florida public libraries might be dangerous to community.

The newest target of faux-grassroots extremist group Sarasota, FL Moms for Liberty and for their fellow authoritarian extremists are public libraries. The Maga Moms enjoyed attacking school libraries so much that they found a way to make public libraries suffer their wrath. They targeted the Sarasota County Public Library System's membership in the American Library Association, the profession organization of United States libraries and librarians. And the county commissioners voted 4 to 1 to terminate the county libraries ALA membership.
Yes, that Sarasota, Florida--the Belly of the Beast, where traitor Flynn, Bridget Ziegler, founding mom4, and their magaty kind roam freely, and the Boys are Proud. The excuse for going after ALA membership by the County libraries--"Marxist infiltration," and possible "queering" of the libraries (the filthy way the Magats contort language for their purposes is grist for another discussion).
The real reason is almost certainly the way the ALA keeps track of "banned books," or any library materials that have been challenged by groups or individuals. For decades the ALA has compiled yearly lists of banned books. ALA makes it easy to keep track of the alarming increase in book banning in recent years, and the Moms aren't having that. They will not tolerate such rude, godless interference with their efforts to take control uber alles.


https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/news/local/sarasota/2023/11/14/sarasota-commissioners-urged-to-keep-ties-with-library-association/71565104007/

August 27, 2023

tRump's greatest service to humanity was lying about his weight

so the world could see more pictures of Chris Hemsworth.

August 16, 2023

Planned Parenthood patients need volunteer escorts to protect them from protestors.

It's a very rough job, but the forced-birthers are upping their cruelty and bullying at clinics. Please volunteer if you can.

August 16, 2023

Planned Parenthood patients need volunteer escorts to protect them from protestors.

It's a very rough job, but the forced-birthers are upping their cruelty and bullying at clinics. Please volunteer if you can.

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