HomeUncategorized7/5 News Roundup -Rhode Island Dems Back Trump Supporter Over Progressive Woman, Statue of Liberty Protesters Declare: “Abolish ICE” & More

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Don midwest
Don midwest

Bruno Latour thinks Gaia discovery is as important as Galileo

An easy to read article about Bruno’s visit to the 98 year old father of Gaia hypothesis followed up by later meetings that day.

I had never imagined I would meet the father of Gaia. I had read all his books, but I was not all that keen on his recent statements in the press, his somewhat bizarre political ideas, and his inflated enthusiasm for the nuclear industry. Nor was I one for visiting the places where my favorite authors wrote their books. But Harding, his friend and disciple, had assured me that Lovelock wanted to meet me. He was wondering why a French philosopher was interested enough in the Gaia theory to devote a whole book to it [Bruno Latour’s Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime, was published by Polity in 2017]. And since I hold the view that Lovelock’s theory holds equal place in the history of human knowledge to that of Galileo, he was apparently tickled to learn that I could go so far as to compare him to the famous astronomer and controversial inventor who had figured out that the Earth went around the sun.

Now, the scientific hypothesis developed by Lovelock in the 1960s, and then a few years later in collaboration with another equally controversial researcher, Lynn Margulis (1938–2011), has, in my opinion, nothing to do with any natural “balance” or “harmony.” “Gaia” — since this is the name he gave to this hypothesis — is neither a big thermostat nor a superorganism, a sort of successor to the Mother Earth (or the stepmother) who features in so many mythologies. Facing up to her, as I say in Facing Gaia, means accepting another way of defining living things in their relations to the Earth, which is quite foreign to the way a superior and predetermined natural order is invoked.

At first glance there is nothing simpler than the Gaia hypothesis: living things do not reside in an environment, they fashion it. What we call the environment is the result of living things’ extensions; their successful inventions and apprenticeships. This is not proof that the Earth is “living,” but rather that everything we experience on Earth is the unforeseen, secondary, and involuntary effect of the action of living organisms. This goes for the atmosphere, the soils, and the chemical composition of the oceans. We see it in termite mounds and beaver dams, which are not living in themselves, but without living organisms there would be no mounds or dams. So, the Gaia idea does not involve adding a soul to the terrestrial globe, or intentionality to living things, but it does recognize the prodigious ingenuity in the way living things fashion their own worlds.

Bruno Latour Tracks Down Gaia

I am a broken record here about Bruno. This easy to read article is a kind of an adventure story.

His work involves getting over The Enlightenment which was used by Europeans to shape the world and over run the “others” with their primitive ways of life. It is amazing how deficient our modern world view actually is.

A couple of years ago he spoke in Canada and was awarded a “talking stick” by indigenous tribes.

In the information on Bruno’s book, Facing Gaia, found on amazom.com , the final paragraph says

In this series of lectures on ‘natural religion,’ Bruno Latour argues that the complex and ambiguous figure of Gaia offers, on the contrary, an ideal way to disentangle the ethical, political, theological, and scientific aspects of the now obsolete notion of nature. He lays the groundwork for a future collaboration among scientists, theologians, activists, and artists as they, and we, begin to adjust to the new climatic regime.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Dems support the establishment

57 Unpatriotic Ways the Corp/Dems Have Enthroned Trumputin

Author lived in Columbus OH for decades and wrote 6 books on election integrity with Bob Fitrakis. In the years since I understood how bad it was and how the dems did not focus on the issue, I tried to raise the issue on DK/TOP. It didn’t work. Both Harvey and Bob were permanently banned by Kos himself. Harvey is now in LA and has a radio show on an NPR station there.

The inability of the dems to focus on election integrity shows the rot of the party. It was one of the many ways that the dems could have acted on principles and taken a foundation issue and showed how republicans were attacking our government. But now clear, that everyone wanted corrupt elections because the purpose of elections was to make politicians legitimate, not to deal with important issues.

I didn’t have the stomach to post this on DK/TOP. It would only freak them out.


Poor asshole freedom caucus guy is being bullied


Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan denied allegations he knew of sexual abuse while he was an assistant wrestling coach and said the volume of email he’s getting from one accuser amounts to bullying.

Speaking at a tea party rally in Fremont, Ohio, on Wednesday Jordan said allegations made first by former wrestler Mike DiSabato to NBC News were false.

“In light of what was said yesterday, it’s just not accurate,” he said, according to USA Today. “Never heard of abuse, and if we had, we’d have reported it. The things he said about me were just flat out not true.”

DiSabato and other Ohio State University wrestlers have said that Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach there from 1986 to 1994, knew about sexual abuse by now-deceased team physician Dr. Richard Strauss.

DiSabato, whose allegations began the investigation into Strauss’ conduct, pushed back against Jordan saying he was being bullied.

“Jim Jordan is a world-caliber athlete who is very aggressive in his actions … he’s a bulldog, let’s be honest,” he said. “So for him to say he was being bullied by Mike DiSabato is somewhat laughable.”



In the NBC report, three former wrestlers who trained under Jordan — including two who were named in the story — accused Jordan of ignoring sexual abuse. They argued that it was common knowledge that the college physician, Richard Strauss, would regularly shower with the students and touch them inappropriately during examinations.

One former wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, said he personally told Jordan about an instance in which the doctor pulled his pants down. He said Jordan responded by saying he’d “kill him“ if Strauss “tried anything with him.”

According to the story, the former head coach of the wrestling team, Russ Hellickson, said on a video recorded by one of the wrestlers that he told university administrators about Strauss’ inappropriate behavior and warned the doctor to stay away from his wrestlers.

But Jordan, who was Hellickson’s No. 2, said that was not his experience.



On July 3, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DOJ was “rescinding 24 guidance documents that were unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.”

Curiously enough, each point of guidance, document or tool rescinded by Sessions — in line with recommendations from Regulatory Reform Task Forces established by President Donald Trump — was initially drafted to offer basic legal and political understanding to various and distinct minority groups, broadly defined, throughout the United States.

Most of the rescissions involve so-called “guidance” documents which merely make the law accessible. Cutting up the guidance documents below does not — for now — repeal the underlying law. However, without these plain-English guidance documents and interpretations, it’ll make it harder for non-lawyers to understand what the law says (or how it protects them). These rescissions could result in less protection for minority groups. Some of the rescissions involve documents which have since been replaced by newer versions, e.g., for a new grant year.


Billionaire’s money and the initiative process being put to good use.


Arizona’s largest utility is fiercely opposing a push to mandate increased use of renewable energy in the sun-drenched state, setting up a political fight over a measure funded by a California billionaire.

Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona aims to ask voters whether they want the state Constitution to require half of Arizona’s electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030. The group plans to file more than 225,000 signatures Thursday get the question on the November ballot.

Billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer is financing the initiative through his NextGen Climate Action group, which supported similar efforts in Nevada and Michigan. But only the Arizona measure spawned a political battle, with the Republican-controlled Legislature passing a rule to help insulate utilities and the parent company of the state’s largest electricity provider bankrolling opposition messaging.

Steyer, known for climate advocacy as well as his push to impeach President Trump, says he’s backing the proposal because of the benefits it will bring to Arizona. California is already operating under such a 2030 mandate.

“It actually will lead to lower costs and save a lot of money for consumers,” Steyer said. “It leads to clean air and a lot better health outcomes for Arizonans, and it should create literally tens of thousands of jobs in the state of Arizona. So it’s hard to understand why these people are fighting it.”



A giant blimp depicting Donald Trump as a baby will fly over London during the US president’s visit next week after mayor Sadiq Khan approved the request, protesters behind the stunt said Thursday.

The 6-metre (19-foot) orange balloon, which shows the president wearing a nappy, will fly near parliament at a height of 30 metres between 9.30am and 11.30am local tim

Huge protests are expected when Trump visits Britain next week, where he will meet Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II.



The world’s largest economies have grown at a steady pace and unemployment has consistently fallen in the years following the greed-driven global financial crisis of 2008, but income gains during the so-called recovery have been enjoyed almost exclusively by the top one percent while most workers experience “unprecedented wage stagnation.”

That’s according to the OECD’s 2018 Employment Outlook (pdf) published Wednesday, which examines recent economic trends and finds that wage growth for most citizens in the 35 industrialized nations studied is “missing in action” due to a number of factors, including the the rapid rise of temporary low-wage jobs and the relentless corporate assault on unions.

The decline of union bargaining power has been particularly striking in the United States, where just “12 percent of U.S. workers were covered by collective bargaining in 2016—among all the nations the OECD tracks, only Turkey, Lithuania and South Korea have been lower at any point this millennium,” notes the Washington Post’s Andrew Van Dam. “Workers’ share of national income [in the U.S.] dropped about eight percentage points between 1995 and 2013, faster than anywhere but Poland and South Korea over that time.”



On June 20, the Partnership for Working Families, a national network of advocacy organizations, announced the launch of a brand new campaign dubbed “We Make This City.” It consists of 10 cities—Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Jose and Seattle—fighting for access to and a say over public infrastructure, from transit to housing to schools to water.

“It is a reaction to … the erosion of the public sector, the erosion of public goods and the erosion of regular people having a direct say in shaping the futures of the areas in which they live,” Partnership for Working Families deputy director Lauren Jacobs told In These Times. It’s also in opposition to “the rise in corporations having an outsized role in shaping the direction and future of cities,” she said.

There’s increased urgency as technology behemoths hold sway over cities, from Amazon’s beauty pageant for its second headquarters to its defeat of a new tax in Seattle. “Companies like Amazon or Google come in and want to try to drive decisions around the makeup and nature of the city,” Jacobs said. “We don’t show up to somebody’s house and say, ‘Well unless you remodel the bedroom or put in the finest linens and have breakfast for me I’m going to wreck your front yard.’”


this is definitely a theme.

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