Happy to see my boss (and one of our former leads of the WRI Climate program) getting lots of excellent press from COP28 this morning; our media and comms teams are firing on all cylinders. I’m also happy to see they’re holding this year’s COP President to account for trying to use the conference to secure new oil and gas deals.
The Washington Post ran a story about gun violence in the US, using photos and video that mostly haven’t been published before.
The impact is often shielded by laws and court rulings that keep crime scene photos and records secret. Journalists do not typically have access to the sites of shootings to document them. Even when photographs are available, news organizations generally do not publish them, out of concern about potentially dehumanizing victims or retraumatizing their families.
More of this please. Stop trying to be nice or “fair” or whatever and just publish the fucking pictures so we can outlaw assault rifles and adopt some logical, reasonable, actionable gun control laws.
Here’s an interesting thought exercise. 1,600 banned books were analyzed for similarities to see what they all have in common, by author and genre. The results aren’t all that shocking (unfortunately their presentation here is garbage, but this second link has a more direct analysis) but I was surprised to see that Pennsylvania is right behind Texas in the amount of books that have been banned. This data is now 3 months old, so I wonder where we stand now and how much things have changed gotten worse since then.
The WaPo did a very interesting article on the Christian homeschool movement and some of the underlying ideology behind it. I was surprised to learn how integral they were to the adoption of homeschooling as an alternative to public education but not shocked to hear how xenophobic and isolationist their doctrine is.
Over decades, they have eroded state regulations, ensuring that parents who home-school face little oversight in much of the country. More recently, they have inflamed the nation’s culture wars, fueling attacks on public-school lessons about race and gender with the politically potent language of “parental rights.”
The article follows a family who began to question their fundamentalist beliefs and sent their daughter to public school, only to find it wasn’t full of satanic child molesters, as they’d been told.
From the Guardian, a clear and simple guide (anti-paywall link) to what all the protests are about in Israel. Adding to the list of democracies leaning far to the right, their proposal includes:
Full annexation of the occupied West Bank, a rollback of pro-LGBTQ+ legislation, axing laws protecting women’s rights and minority rights, and a loosening of the rules of engagement for Israeli police and soldiers, are all on the coalition’s agenda.
Here’s how art is supposed to work: Someone writes a book. They write it with passion, with abandon, with honesty and lyricism and even a bit of recklessness. It is of their time, using the words of their time.
Readers respond to this recklessness, this abandon, this rawness, this timeliness. The only books that ever mattered to anyone are raw, are unbridled, are risky, and timely. Then, if a parent or teacher reads the book to a kid, and there’s a part that’s risky or controversial, discussions can be had. If the book is old, then the words and sentiments of that time can be taken into account.
Great! Catonsville is in the news for excellent reasons; apparently some dumb-ass white supremacist here was talking to Florida Man about blowing up power substations in Baltimore, and somehow that would equal freedom, or something?
We walked across the street to the elementary school and cast our votes yesterday with Finn. This has been a family tradition since she was born (we brought her over in a carrier when she was only several weeks old) and she stood with Jen as she filled out her ballot. This morning we have a new Democratic Governor and Attorney General, and it’ll be legal to smoke (and grow!) weed in Maryland by June 2023. Let’s hope the rest of the country brings good news too.