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Timeflyer

Timeflyer's Journal
Timeflyer's Journal
May 7, 2024

The Praying Lady is preaching to the Sarasota School Bd.--look out, you heathens and/or LGBTQ folks!

The Praying Lady who shows up to get the public schools right with god is spreading her hateful, divisive biblical spew right now at the Sarasota FL School Board meeting during public comments. She's a Moms for Bigotry, Proud Boys loving piece of work. Her topic--Genesis ch. 2, verse 18 for those who want to follow along and hear why god created Eve from Adam's rib and the country is going to hell because 1% of the population is something she hates who are LGBTQ and not ashamed. Or something.

Someone suggested attending the meeting with a whoopie cushion under a loose shirt, to accompany her preachifying. She does this at every damn meeting! For those who can stand it, I'll try to link to the meeting at some point (technologically impaired though I am).

May 7, 2024

The Praying Lady is preaching to the Sarasota School Board, again--look out, you heathens and/or LBGTQ folks!

The Praying Lady who shows up to get the public schools right with god is spreading her hateful, divisive biblical spew right now at the Sarasota FL School Board meeting during public comments. She's a Moms for Bigotry, Proud Boys loving piece of work. Her topic--Genesis ch. 2, verse 18 for those who want to follow along and hear why god created Eve from Adam's rib and the country is going to hell because 1% of the population is something she hates who are LGBTQ and not ashamed. Or something.

Somebody suggested attending the meeting with a whoopie cushion under a loose shirt, to accompany her preachifying. She does this at every damn meeting! For those who can stand it, I'll try to link to the meeting at some point (technologically impaired though I am).

April 28, 2024

"Suffrage: women's long battle for the vote," by Ellen Carol Dubois, 2020.

Subtitle could have been "women's long, long, very long--way too long--battle for the vote", finally won over a century after the founding of America. Hey--suggestion: any laws relating to women that were made before 1920 should be automatically invalidated because the governed citizens weren't represented.

Good, informative, if infuriating because of the entrenched resistance to women's rights. Sound familiar?

March 14, 2024

"The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American evangelicals in an age of extremism", by Tim Alberta.

Exposes the corruption inside the Evangelical Industrial Complex. Alberta is eloquent, sincere, and an awesome reporter.

From the Washington Post review, Becca Rothfeld.

In “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism,” Alberta argues that the “blood-and-soil” nationalism that has gripped many of the country’s Christians is the latest in a long line of unprecedented disasters. The church that has emerged in the wake of Trump’s election is not the quietly principled institution Alberta was raised to revere as the son of a pastor in a Detroit suburb in the 1980s and ’90s. Now, his fellow evangelicals are bellicose and bawdy. According to one Pew study, 77 percent of White evangelicals voted for Trump, a proud philanderer, in 2016 (that number increased to 84 percent in 2020), and Alberta wonders why so many fervent Christians have abandoned their customary “moral litmus test on public officials.” Why has their patriotism taken on such alarmingly violent undertones? Why has their mood grown so paranoid, defensive and apocalyptic? As he puts it, what explains the “crack-up” of the American evangelical church?

(Harper )
Alberta retains deep ties to the conservative community where he grew up and seems ideally situated to answer these questions with empathy and insight. Contemporary evangelicalism repulses him — not because he has betrayed his faith but because he believes so many of his fellow Christians have.

In this book, which is rooted in dozens of interviews conducted over four years, he investigates an increasingly craven religion whose disciples are willing to make excuses for their most corrupt allies, even as they go to great lengths to silence well-meaning dissenters. “We can serve and worship God or we can serve and worship the gods of this world,” Alberta solemnly writes. “Too many American evangelicals have tried to do both.” The result, he says, is that they all too often find themselves kneeling at the altar of Donald Trump.

February 23, 2024

Ranting time question--Are most American women already living in a Christian theocracy?

Not straight men, not wealthy women, but average women and LGBTQ+ folks. Please feel free to vent here, or disagree, or whatever--your voice, your choice. The Alabama decision is the latest evidence.

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.

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