Editors’ Choice

Posts selected by Moose editors

Fighting Back: “Democrats won’t stand by and let shortsighted Republican policies destroy our planet and our future.”

 
 

Yesterday, in the Fridumpiest of Friday news dumps, the government released the FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT a document required by law to be prepared by agencies of the federal government. For Democrats, it is a call to arms: we must stand up to shortsighted Republican policies that threaten to destroy our planet and our future.

The news for humans was not good. The first four bullet points in the Summary Findings highlight that:

1. Communities

Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.

2. Economy

Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.

3. Interconnected Impacts

Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.

4. Actions to Reduce Risks

Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.

That bears repeating: “The [current mitigation and adaptation efforts] do not approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”

#WeMustDoMore

Report downloads, saved in Moose archives:
– Summary Findings: PDF
– Report in Brief: PDF

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: William Howard Russell On the Civil War (2nd of 3) 11/20/18

William Howard Russell, “Bull Run Russell”, London Times between 1860 and 1865. First he was feted; then he was shunned.

I’m continuing with William Howard Russell’s dispatches to the London Times, written as he visited the United States at the beginning of the Civil War. Before I return to his reports, I want to share Russell’s philosophy about how his reports were written:

Russell viewed his job as listening to stories and retelling what he heard and saw, as making “bare statements” of fact. Privately, Russell admitted, “I would rather the North shd. be the victor than the South,” but publicly he tried to report what he observed without taking sides. (The Special Correspondent)

Today, we deride this form of journalism as mere stenography, but during the 1860s, the practice of maintaining “journalistic anonymity” and sharing the stories as they were heard was a relatively new practice. Of course, after his acclaimed reports on the Crimean War, Russell had no anonymity, and both North and South were eager to court his attention. Eventually, however, he angered both sides, who viewed him as a supporter of their opponent. The nickname, “Bull Run Russell” was a sarcastic and angry jibe by northerners at his brutal reporting on the Northern retreat after Bull Run. It would not take long for Southerners to join the North in its dismissive and often abusive attitude towards William Howard Russell.

Fighting Back: “Democrats ran on delivering a Congress that works For The People. And we won.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman Gerry Connolly from Virginia, a member of the House Oversight Committee. Rep. Connolly: “the new House majority was elected to get things done for all of us and provide a constitutional check on the Trump administration.”

(Congressman Connolly celebrated the diversity of House Democrats who will serve in the 116th Congress and reaffirmed Democrats’ promise to work For The People.)

“I am thrilled by [the diversity of the incoming freshman class]. Women and people of color who make up a majority of new Democratic Members, who include the first Muslim and Native American women ever to serve in Congress.

“I am encouraged by the wealth of experience these new Congressmen and women will bring. They are veterans, teachers, business owners and community activists who represent the fabric of America.

“And I am also humbled by their desire to serve their constituents and their country. […]

“Last week, Americans made clear they want a constitutional check on the rampant abuses of the Trump administration. The scandals, lack of transparency, and self-dealing must stop. Congress is a co-equal branch of government and we have a constitutional duty to provide that oversight.

“The new Democratic majority will carry out judicious, methodical, and fact-based oversight. Our investigations will go wherever the facts lead us, and we will act decisively when we find violations of public trust.

“It’s time for a Congress that works for all of the people, instead of a rubber stamp for special interests and President Trump.

“These are the promises we Democrats made to the American people, and these are the promises we will redeem.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: William Howard Russell On the Civil War 11/13/18

William Howard Russell during the Crimean War, 1855

I had never heard of William Howard Russell before reading Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey (h/t basket and janesaunt for the book recommendation). Russell is NOT the secret agent of the book title; he was a foreign correspondent for The Times of London, who first gained fame as a Crimean War correspondent. His blunt and realistic portrayals of the cost of war were shocking and mobilizing for the British public, and Florence Nightingale is alleged to have been motivated to get involved with and change battlefield treatment practices in part because of Russell’s dispatches. In 1861, he travelled to the United States and the Confederate States, and his observations were published in the Confederacy-supporting Times. What follows are excerpts from his dispatches; the collection from which I am drawing is available here: The Civil War in America.

Fighting Back: “Tuesday was a great day for the American people.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut. He spoke of the victories that will allow Democrats to be in a better position to stand up for all Americans.

(Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT))

“Thanks to victories across the country, Democrats in Congress will be in a better position to stand up for your kids, your parents, your neighbors, your friends. Congressional Republicans have a choice to make: continue down their path of sabotage or work with us to lower health care costs and expand access to quality care.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Year At a Glance: 1927, Sears Edition 11/6/18

Lindbergh’s famous flight (20-21 May, 1927) commemorated by the U.S. Post Office

I figure we’re all going to have the attention span of a fruit fly today (What Animal Has the Shortest Attention Span? ), so I decided to do a light, but [hopefully] fun revisit of an old Sears catalogue. This time the year is 1927: the year of Lindbergh’s flight; the silent film, It, is released, making Clara Bow the first “It” girl; The Jazz Singer, the first film with “synchronized dialogue” (and the unfortunate use of blackface) is also released; the year production of the Model T ended and the Model A started; when the radio network CBS Is created; Stalin takes control in Russia, and Calvin Coolidge is president with the average net income for Americans being $5496.73 ($79,746.50 today). (Statistics of Income for 1927, p. 3). The Roaring Twenties were…

…a decade in which many of the defining characteristics of late twentieth century life were determined, particularly with regard to mass movements of society. Mass production, mass distribution, mass marketing, and mass consumption held sway, and the rise of a mass service industry followed, due in part to so-called “technological unemployment,” the forced movement of workers out of blue-collar jobs as a result of the increased efficiency of new machinery and processes. (Laboring to Prosper)

Sears was ready to meet the demand, with a catalogue featuring a cover with a Norman Rockwell drawing, showing a woman, a man, and the family dog poring over the pages of the Big Book.

Fighting Back: “We need to reduce the gun violence that’s ripping our country apart.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and addressed the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the need for Congressional action to stop gun violence and hate crimes.

(Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) of Pennsylvania, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Congressman Doyle addressed the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the need for Congressional action to stop gun violence and hate crimes.)

We need a stronger public response to the hate speech on social media that demonizes others, reinforces prejudice, and very likely incites some individuals to violence. We all have a responsibility to speak up and condemn hate speech when we see it. […]

Also, we need to come together to reduce the gun violence that’s ripping our country apart. You would think that after all of the tragedies in Connecticut, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and now here in Pittsburgh, that Congress would finally come together to pass common-sense gun safety legislation.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Voting Rights Potpourri 10/30/18

Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Anyone who has the time and inclination to identify those pictured wins my undying gratitude.)

I was going to do this post next week, but since so many people have already voted, I decided not to wait. Consider this your motivation for the day, with a few persuasion points, as you talk to neighbors, friends, and even strangers, and encourage them to vote.

Fighting Back: “Democrats will stand up for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). She reminds us that Democrats “will stand up for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, pre-existing condition protections, and the peace of mind America’s seniors and hardworking families deserve.”

(Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) delivers the Weekly Democratic Address)

“This week, citizens around the country are getting ready to cast their ballots in the midterm elections. And they are looking for candidates that deliver on their promises. For many families the most important promise a candidate can make is the promise to support programs that keep families healthy and protect their financial security.”

“Let’s stand up for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, pre-existing condition protections, and the peace of mind America’s seniors and hardworking families deserve.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Year at a Glance: 1908, Sears Version 10/23/18

Sears Roebuck and Company Mail Order Plant, Bounded by Lexington and Grenshaw Streets, Kedzie Avenue and Independence Boulevard, Chicago, Cook County, IL; 1908.

I am a firm believer that too many history textbooks focus on dates and Big Events like wars, while giving scant coverage to the daily lives of the people who are living in and through those times. I was reminded of this while I was on my recent vacation; I picked up a reproduction of the 1908 Sears, Roebuck catalogue and have since spent more time than I care to admit reading the listings. I bought it as a resource for theatre costuming and props, but today I’m using it as a resource for connecting dates and big and small events with the people who lived in 1908.