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President Donald Trump’s plans to kick off Independence Day with a showy display at Mount Rushmore have angered Native Americans, who view the monument as a desecration of land violently stolen from them and used to pay homage to leaders hostile to Indigenous people.

Several groups led by Native American activists are planning protests for Trump’s July 3 visit, part of Trump’s “comeback” campaign for a nation reeling from sickness, unemployment and, recently, social unrest. The event is slated to include fighter jets thundering over the 79-year-old stone monument in South Dakota’s Black Hills and the first fireworks display at the site since 2009.

But it comes amid a national reckoning over racism and a reconsideration of the symbolism of monuments around the globe. Many Native American activists say the Rushmore memorial is as reprehensible as the many Confederate monuments being toppled around the nation.

“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today,” said Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and the president of a local activist organization called NDN Collective. “It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide.”

While some activists, like Tilsen, want to see the monument removed and the Black Hills returned to the Lakota, others have called for a share in the economic benefits from the region.

Trump has long shown a fascination with Mount Rushmore. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said in 2018 that he once told her straight-faced that it was his dream to have his face carved into the monument. He later joked at a campaign rally about getting enshrined alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. And while it was Noem, a Republican, who pushed for a return of fireworks on the eve of Independence Day, Trump committed to visiting South Dakota for the celebration.

Some wildfire experts have raised concerns the pyrotechnics could spark fires, especially because the region has seen dry weather this year. Firefighters called in crews from two other states to help Thursday as a blaze consumed approximately 150 acres (61 hectares) about 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of the monument.


Orange maggot pulling another piece of stupid PR out of his azz. Leave it alone. No one is interested in more ecological damage being done to the site by carving in tRump’s ugly mug .🤮 Trying to carve off the images already there is not worth the damage that would cause.

Don midwest
Don midwest

interesting article on transmission of virus

there are many out there, or as Bruno Latour would say, in here, among us, another non human that is a being in Life

I am going to go down a strange path once again

Bruno Latour’s early work in Science Studies utilized Actor Network Theory

Virus spread is a network issue like spread of a rumor or a cell phone

Bruno’s book “The Pasteurization of France” has a subtitle in the French version of something like Pasteur’s war with the microbes

and the hero of the story are the microbes who chose to cooperate in the lab so they could be understood and fought against

all Life on earth is in The Critical Zone. The onion skin a couple of KM down and up around earth. We have always been in the critical zone. The dichotomies of nature vs culture, subject vs object, etc., have hidden the entanglement of humans and non humans in the critical zone. All life emerged from bacteria who early on shared genetic material between different groups. We have 10x the number of microbes in our bodies than cells. Without them we would perish.

I began with an article about virus studies of transmission. Here is that article.

A Virus Study You’ve Never Heard of Helped Us Understand COVID-19
What Columbia University researchers learned when they tried to get a complete picture of how respiratory viruses spread across Manhattan

I may have already gone too far, but I can’t stop. Here is the first installment of the Terrestrial University, with Bruno and KZM museum in Germany. They just made up this term to continue discussions. The current exhibit at KZM is The Critical Zone which is the first major effort to make the critical zone visible. The catalog will be out next month and I will put in notes off and on.

Thu, 25.06.2020, 7 pm

»Each of us thus faces the following question: Do we continue to nourish dreams of escaping, or do we start seeking a territory that we and our children can inhabit? Either we deny the existence of the problem, or else we look for a place to land.« – Bruno Latour, »Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime«.

Together with Bruno Latour, we set out to explore the »Critical Zone« – the thin layer of the Earth, in which all living beings and processes of life are inextricably entangled with each other. This weeks »Terrestrial University« deals with the shifts in thinking required to maintain the fragile balance of the »Critical Zone«.

In his book »Down to Earth«, Bruno Latour argues that the modern concept of ‘nature’ can no longer be sustained – and cannot be politicised. His suggestion: we must become “terrestrial”! Latour will further discuss this concept: as a consciousness for the fragile and restricted conditions of the habitability of the Earth.

you have to wait a few minutes until it starts, and it has a generic link which might not be up very long until it is transferred to a more permanent link.

Terrestrial University with Bruno Latour


A majority of American voters support the demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice that have roiled the country over the past month, embracing ideas about bias within the criminal justice system and the persistence of systemic racism that are central tenets of the Black Lives Matter movement, according to a new national poll of registered voters by The New York Times and Siena College.

Fifty-nine percent of voters, including 52 percent of white voters, believe the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis was “part of a broader pattern of excessive police violence toward African Americans,” the poll found. The Black Lives Matter movement and the police had similar favorability ratings, with 44 percent of registered voters viewing the movement as “very favorable,” almost identical to the 43 percent rating for the police.

The numbers add to the mounting evidence that recent protests have significantly shifted public opinion on race, creating potential political allies for a movement that was, within the past decade, dismissed as fringe and divisive. It also highlights how President Trump is increasingly out of touch with a country he is seeking to lead for a second term: While he has shown little sympathy for the protesters and their fight for racial justice, and has continued to use racist language that many have denounced, voters feel favorably toward the protests and their cause.

A survey of battleground states critical to November’s election largely mirrored the national results. Fifty-four percent of voters in those states said the way the criminal justice system treats black Americans was a bigger problem than the incidents of rioting seen during some demonstrations. Just 37 percent said rioting was a bigger problem, though Mr. Trump and his allies have tried to discredit the protests by focusing on some isolated incidents of violence.

It has not worked.


It would be so great if another committee chairman is ousted. MA-1 (western MA) is much more liberal than their representative.



Don midwest
Don midwest

One blog sums up what is going on. Here are the headlines of the new articles which are listed on the sidebar.

In short, very trying circumstances and unclear how things will work out.

Below are the titles of the articles
Trump’s poll numbers are in free fall because his base no longer sees him as competent: CNN contributor

What happens when Trump stops believing he can win reelection?

Expert warns U.S. cities could face ‘apocalyptic’ future as country sets record for new COVID-19 cases

Netanyahu wants to annex the West Bank. Will Joe Biden stop him?

Trump’s presidency is a symbol of the last gasp of white supremacy

A terrifying heat wave is transforming the Arctic — and scientists are saying ‘we told you so’

And the link I followed to AlterNet

The pandemic shows why we need funding for early childcare and education infrastructure