Friday Homestead Dispatch

Strategic Gleaming Biblioklept

1.
Best quote seen this past week: “From now on, all anti-CRT arguments will be referred to as ‘klansplaining.’ I don't make the rules, folks.”

Second best quote: “Living in Missouri is like being trapped with Branch Davidians and Jim Jones followers on a cruise ship being helmed by a people who flunked out of college.”

2.
Ezra Klein, a journalist, political analyst, and a NY Times columnist, also hosts his own podcast, The Ezra Klein Show. To get a sense of his politics, he recently tweeted, “In California, vaccinations are going well (10th in the nation!), COVID cases are down, there’s a $76b surplus, the economy is booming. So what’s dominating our politics? A recall election most Californians oppose to oust a governor we mostly like.”

But, for his podcast published a few weeks ago, he interviewed Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy with this noteworthy title: Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy Wants You to Be Bad at Something. It’s for Your Own Good –– A musician’s guide to building a stress-free, nourishing creative practice.

The interview centers around Tweedy’s book titled, “How to Write One Song.” Klein states that “Tweedy’s just simple joy in the creative process is infectious. He’s got this insistence that it can and should just be part of a balanced life, just part of a balance day. And he’s specific on what that means. For him, it really is a process, a set of practices, a way you can spend your time with no expectation of judgment or riches that will just be nice, just nicer than other ways you could spend your time.”

Here’s one excerpt I pulled from the podcast.

Ezra Klein
You have very little patience in the book for the idea that it’s through suffering that great art is created. Could you talk a bit about that?

Jeff Tweedy
Yeah. I think it’s a horrible copout. And it’s a pervasive myth. And I understand how it gets proliferated. And I think that there is some therapeutic effect from writing, and creating, and art that makes sense to me that someone suffering would turn to it. And it’s kind of like along with what I describe is disappearing. It’s really helpful to disappear when you’re suffering.

And so it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of art gets made by people that are experiencing profound discomfort in their own skin. But if that was all it took, there’d be so much more great art. There’d be so much more of it. And also, it just belittles, to me, the idea that everyone struggles. It’s part of the condition of life. And most people’s lives are touched by some type of suffering or some type of struggle.

It’s almost impossible to live a full life without having that experience. But I do think that there are people that think, well, I could write. But I’d have to be messed up like that guy. Or I could do — I think there’s a little simplicity to that idea. But I do think it’s true to some degree that people like that myth for the built-in excuse it provides to not challenge themselves to dig deeper into their own thoughts and who they are.

3.
As COVID-19 numbers go up here in Pima County, we were just starting to get used to being a bit more lax with the masking. Per capita, it may not be that bad yet (cases in the low triple digits with a million population). But it would be much better if more folks would jump aboard the vaccination train. We currently have about a 47% full vaccination rate here which is just under the national average.

And it’s no coincidence that the ‘Red’ states are the lowest in percentages. You have Representatives with giant pieholes such as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) tweeting such horseshit like “The easiest way to make the Delta variant go away is to turn off CNN. And vote Republican.”

And Heather Cox Richardson reported on Wednesday night that “Under pressure from Republican leaders, Republican-dominated Tennessee will no longer conduct vaccine outreach for minors. Only 38% of people in Tennessee are vaccinated, and yet the state Department of Health will no longer reach out to urge minors to get vaccinated.“ She goes on to say that “Candidates who have thrown their hat into the ring for the 2022 midterm elections are trying to get attention by being more and more extreme. They vow to take on the establishment, support Trump and God, and strike terror into the ‘Liberals’ who are bringing socialism to America. Forty QAnon supporters are running for Congress, 38 as Republicans, 2 as Independents.”

My long-time friend in Rhode Island, the loquacious and well-spoken-and-should-have-her-own-blog Robin Ashook, wrote on Facebook this week, “The resistance is being hardened more and more. Now it's about screwing Biden. Fox, News Max, QAnon and countless right wing hate radio jockeys are messaging over and over again that it's dangerous, people are being harmed, and tying that to crowing about Biden falling short of his goal. All tied together. Twofer. The insanity around all of this is staggering. Tennessee fired the doctor who was director of the immunization part of the state health department because, in answer to questions from front line shot givers who wanted clarification about consent for older teens, she passed along the law, quoted directly from the state legal office, that teens 16 and older can provide their own consent without a parent. The backlash got her fired - for truthfully answering question key to her job!. Additionally, they have now eliminated any state provided access and information about ANY vaccines. It is insane. Pitchforks, torches, and casting bones for signs territory. Dark ages. I guess 100+ years of NOT losing 25% of children to disease, of living free from fatal and crippling disease, breeds idiots who have no understanding of cause and effect. We're doing great, who needs unnatural, dangerous vaccines? It's a really sorry and dismaying time to live through. It's amazing to me how much one man's insanity and evil could infect so much of a society so quickly. It was like dry tinder all throughout that was just waiting to be ignited. Such eagerly embraced, hateful stupidity immune to reason or reality.”

4.
Poor Roy Moore. Here’s a guy with all the advantages of privilege, an American lawyer and politician who served as the 27th and 31st chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama from 2001 to 2003 and again from 2013 to 2017. But each time he served, he was removed from office for judicial misconduct by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

You see, this scoundrel likes to prey on women and little girls.

Sacha Baron Cohen, known for duping people like Roy in revealing their true nature, posed as a fictional anti-terrorism expert named “Erran Morad” and while acting as the made-up character in the satirical series “Who Is America?”, Cohen brought out a wandlike prop that he claimed could detect “sex offenders and particularly pedophiles.” When the actor waved the wand over Moore, it began beeping. Pretty good stuff, right?

So Roy brought about a $95 million defamation claim because his ‘good’ name was being tarnished. But this last Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan dismissed Moore’s suit, saying Cohen’s claims were “clearly a joke and no reasonable viewer would have seen it otherwise.”

5.
Have you heard of an “extended producer responsibility” program, also known as EPR? Maine’s Governor Janet Mills (D) signed a bill Tuesday that will charge large packaging producers for collecting and recycling cardboard boxes, plastic containers and other packaging materials, as well as for disposing of nonrecyclable packaging.

The Washington Post reported that “Across the country, 10 states including New York and California have considered similar legislation this year. In Oregon, a bill establishing EPR for packaging awaits the signature of Democratic governor Kate Brown.” They went on to say that “The law includes exemptions for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.”

And in that same vein on a national level, The New York Times reported that “Democrats have agreed to include a tax on imports from nations that lack aggressive climate change policies as part of a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget plan stocked with other provisions aimed at ratcheting down fossil fuel pollution in the United States.”

And, of course, Senator Mitch McConnell called the $3.5 trillion package “wildly out of proportion to what the country needs now.” In one way he’s right. We needed this fifty years ago.

These are just a few small steps where much more action is needed. As young Greta Thunberg testified to Congress in 2019, "You must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option."

6.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) was among nine protesters arrested yesterday afternoon who were calling on the Senate to pass voting rights legislation. “Today, I stood in solidarity with Black women across the country in defense of our constitutional right to vote,” Beatty said in a statement later Thursday, “We have come too far and fought too hard to see everything systematically dismantled and restricted by those who wish to silence our voice.”

The Capitol Police said the group was arrested for violating a D.C. law that prohibits "crowding, obstructing, or incommoding."

Uhhhhh, did you see any arrests of white folks on January 6 who actually beat up police officers? May I get you a cookie and some milk?

7.
Speaking of those who never give up, behold Russell Brand elaborating on “Why The MAINSTREAM MEDIA Is Banging The Drum For The BILLIONAIRE SPACE CLUB!!“ The main gist of his gushing repartee is to REMOVE lobbying and the AVOIDANCE of taxes from the wealthiest elite. Level the playing field. And humor, of course.

And now…