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History / Historical Roots of Polarization: Democracy or Oligarchy?
« on: April 17, 2021, 05:03:24 AM »
In her 2020 book, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America, Heather Cox Richardson provides a history of the two opposing ideas that are rooted in US history and may be the source of the political polarization seen today. She notes, “From its founding, American has stood at the nexus of democracy and oligarchy” (p. 22). The Civil War and the many legislative battles, increasing or decreasing oppression of minorities, in states and at the federal levels, were fueled by these competing ideologies.

From the 1930s to the 1980s, a vastly popular “liberal consensus” developed that focused on “creating economic security and equality of opportunity” through the protection of the vulnerable and regulation of the economy to avert vast inequality” (p. xiv). Although the federal government still favored white people in many of its policies, opportunities for increased well-being and wealth generation were opened to minorities. Even Superman, when he first appeared in 1938 admonished schoolchildren that if they heard anyone talk against another because of their race, religion, or national origin, “don’t wait” to “tell him that kind of talk is un-American” (p. xxv).

But another root of US culture is white elite male supremacy. The "founding fathers" were landed slave-holding gentry. “Without irony, Virginian James Madison crafted the Constitution to guarantee that wealthy slaveholders would control the new government” (p. 21). The Founders did not include the non-wealthy, non-male in their view that "all men are created equal."

In the Founders' worldview, women, African slaves, Native peoples, and the poor were all inferior and could not handle the power of participating in societal decision making. All those others were not capable or worthy enough for self-determination like the white wealthy male. And the wealthy males relied on the labor of their wives, slaves, and others to make and keep their wealth. “In the Founders’ minds, then, the principle of equality depended on inequality” (p. xv).

Nevertheless, over the course of history, US policies grew to enable poor white men to advance and be treated almost equally with elite white males. “While Europe was mired in oligarchy, Americans had faith that God had made them capable of managing their own affairs” (p. 25). The 20th century saw advances for minorities and women.

However, the countermovement to these progressive trends, Movement Conservatism, initiated in the 1950s, took up the alternative root of US culture: that the elite should have wealth trickle up to them from the non-elites, along with the power to make decisions "for the good of all."

“Like elite slaveholders before the Civil War, they believed in a world defined by hierarchies, where most people—dull, uneducated, black, female, weak, or poor—needed the guidance of their betters” (p. xiv). Their work at menial tasks would be accumulated in the hands of their betters, who knew how to use it to create progress.

Richardson documents how Movement Conservatives started in the 20th century to lay out the same arguments that the elite slave owners in the 19th century had. Both groups believed they alone knew how to run the country and so the non-loyal had to be prevented from accessing the tools of government. Both groups “suppressed voting, rigged the mechanics of government, silenced the opposition press, and dehumanized their opponents” and felt themselves above the law (p. xvii).

Because facts and reason don’t work to argue for inequality, people in both groups reject expertise and invent stories to support their view of the world—for example, that Southern white men were incapable of selfishness and servility, that those who are not loyal followers are lazy, non-Christian, or enemies. Both groups blame “East coast liberals” for the nation’s problems. Both groups have faith that “if the government simply turned rich men loose to work their magic, they would create ever-expanding prosperity and everyone would get richer” (p.180).

In his book, Evil Geniuses, Kurt Anderson describes in detail a shift in the US away from the liberal consensus of fairness for all with the superrich’s manipulation of laws and politics to tilt the playing field towards themselves, with the effect of hollowing out the middle class. Inequality has never been greater, burgeoning since the 1980s with what economists call the “Great Divergence” in wealth. The wealthy have more power than ever. In this way, the tendency toward oligarchy may have “won” over democracy—for now.

Geopolitics / Is NOW the time for a third party?
« on: April 16, 2021, 06:23:30 AM »
I have joined the People's Party and will sign the petition in Missouri to get the Party active in elections. It is aimed at grass roots individuals not corporations and big business. I will be joining a regional Zoom meeting on Sunday afternoon to develop strategies to expand the Partie's recognition and platform.

"The People’s Platform emerged from Bernie Sanders’ first presidential campaign platform. It was developed, voted on and adopted by our members in March of 2018. The final People’s Party platform will be developed and passed by members at the founding convention in 2021."

I was going to vote for Howard Dean and Bernie but the Democratic establishment knocked them both out of the running. I just read that AOC has basically denounced her Democratic Socialist agenda and has firmly embraced Biden's plans to "heal" America's multiple humongous inequalities. I don't understand how she could make such a ideological change all of a sudden. It basically leaves just a handful of real Democratic Socialist leaders in the Federal Government, and they will be powerless now to adopt the sweeping change from big money politics to a humane based politics.

Chris Hedges thinks that forming a grass roots party is needed RIGHT NOW if we are to have a chance to survive the collapse of our world. The Democratic Establishment is stuck in BAU, and will not change enough to tackle the inequities.

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Biden is already making massive compromises that are not what he promised in his campaign.

"Joe Biden has now been president for a full month. Recently, he held a town hall at CNN where he, as Joe Biden is wont to do, stuck his foot in his mouth several times. Two instances stand out immediately: Joe Biden’s claim that the nation “didn’t have” the coronavirus vaccine when he came into office and his claim that people in the Black and Hispanic communities don’t know how to use the internet to find out where to get vaccinated.

Not only are both of these claims extraordinarily false, but they are equally laughable. Biden not only received his vaccine a month before taking office, but it was covered on national news. His statement regarding Black and Hispanic Americans is not only extraordinarily patronizing, suggesting we need an education campaign because these communities can’t use the internet, but it’s also extraordinarily racist.
This is symptomatic of a larger problem with the first month of Joe Biden’s presidency. Biden is lying and misrepresenting his agenda as president."

What do you think about the timing of going all in to form a People's Party? Is it a pipe dream? Will it be a spoiler for the Democratic party if it emerges?

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Come on fellas, Lets have some predictions to break the boredom:

1. When will markets crash and by how much?
2. When will property bubble in Oz burst?
3. What is the world going to look like in 5 and 10 years time?

Winner gets a sheep station. There are a few cheap ones out West.


My short answers.
1. In the next 3 months.
2. 2022
3, Watch Mad Max. (The original 1979 film) .
My long answers are a few pages back from memory..

Alan Watts is an arrogant, pompous, phony...he is the Wests super star of all eastern philosophy. Take him with a grain of salt. The point in posting that video was it is just speculation predicting the unknowable future. But I am addicted to seeing the future in visions. Sometimes I get close, other times not so much. So many things can effect the prediction along the way, but who cares.

1. I don't think the markets will crash any time soon. The billionaires are stuffing their coffers and are making more money everyday with their super algorithms to glean .5 cents on thousands of investments.  International trade is still very important. When there is still buying and selling at such a high volume the market will thrive...the rest of us will be deprived.

2. I don't have the experience to predict the housing bubble there, but this guy thinks the housing market is in deep trouble, NOW.

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3. This is a tough one. The way things are going here in the FSOA, none of us will be alive to have a future if the mass shootings keep happening EVERYDAY. :) I think there is going to be a fourth wave of the pandemic from the variants, and the vaccines will be ineffective to STOP it from continuing. Which means continued social, economic, psychological, etc. disruptions. 2021 will be a cluster fuck that is going to make 2020 look like a cake walk. Climate crisis will worsen as well which will complicate everything even more than it would be anyway. The political climate here and world wide will become even more continuous, fighting for the last morsels of resources. I plan on divesting everything possible to become as self-reliant as possible. The church owns our land, Misa and I are both retired, so we will spend as little as possible, and purchase as skillfully as possible.
  I also think the third world countries are doomed...which creates millions of migrants. Jesus! What are we going to do with all the displaced people?
  So to sum up. It is going to get worse exponentially over the next 10 years and as RE has reminded us many times " I SEE DEAD PEOPLE!".

Knarfs Knewz / Re: Tragedy and opportunity in everyday America
« on: April 14, 2021, 07:24:38 AM »

I'll just point out that access to guns also makes a suicide attempt into a certainty. Countless people, especially the young and impulsive take a jar of whatever pills they can find and recover. Even jumping, hanging or gassing requires planning and organization to prepare and carry out, not a sudden impulse and many attempts are not success or they are found in time. Its not my place to say Americans should lose their rights, but definitely a lot more lives are needlessly lost to suicide.

Great point Phil. I can attest to this truth because I have been experiencing some terrible symptoms of IBS, especially sleeplessness, and feeling very nauseous and unsettled. Last night I was contemplating ending it with a 22 rifle through the mouth, and was afraid I would botch it. Then I considered buying a .45 and doing it for sure. Hanging on during times of great suffering is a real conundrum. Even though I am pretty good at stilling my thoughts and emotions, this illness is overpowering at times. If there was assisted suicide here, I would go into counseling to see if it was the right time to say good bye to this world. I know that my suffering is a drop in the bucket compared to thousands who suffer worse than I, but that is little consolation when the quality of life wains and becomes negative.

You should talk about that with your fellow monks and family. Chronic pain is a different situation that sometimes can be justified, but not without thorough investigation first. Constipation and other complications from a spastic twisted colon was the main reason Elvis Presley went and obtained extra pills (above what his personal doctor already was giving him) from a dentist the night before he overdosed. In the bathroom at graceland, reading about Jesus.

About 4 months ago I thought I might have a blocked colon, and went to Urgent Care. They x-rayed it and said there was no blockage, just a a lot of shit in there. ( pun intended ). They recommended I double the dose of Mira-Lax until I became regular again. It took about 4 days and I finally pooped. I have been tweaking my Doctors instructions, 3 tsps of MetaMusil a day, and 1 dose of Mira-Lax. I have a very irregular appetite so I eat all kinds of easy to digest foods. Almost everyday I do OK in the morning but start fading about noon. I then am basically bedridden with the varying symptoms of IBS, sometimes sleeping 14 hours a day, the rest of the time I try to "endure the suffering patiently". Sometimes I loose patience. I have talked with all my friends about it, and none of them can think of anything else to do for it...but tell me they care...which means a lot.

Knarfs Knewz / I am quitting the Knewz bizness today
« on: April 13, 2021, 07:48:45 AM »
Ever since RE has been seriously ill he has contributed much less on the Dinner...and his cooking plus podcasts. He is the founder and "God" of the Dinner. :) Agelbert is with us no more, as many others have faded away...Surly, Golden Oxen, lucid dreams, azozeo, and many others who stayed awhile, and left. With a handful of active posters, I have tried to to keep visitors interested in coming to the Dinner through posting "Knewz", and it has attracted many visitors, but they will not comment and will not contribute to the Dinner to keep it going. It seems time to stop that process now. ( If the Dinner dies now we have a new site to talk about collapse that RE just set up ) Times change and it seems time for me to stop baiting the visitors because the are useless to functioning of the Dinner. I am done with the Knewz bizness.

Knarfs Knewz / Re: Tragedy and opportunity in everyday America
« on: April 13, 2021, 05:02:37 AM »

I'll just point out that access to guns also makes a suicide attempt into a certainty. Countless people, especially the young and impulsive take a jar of whatever pills they can find and recover. Even jumping, hanging or gassing requires planning and organization to prepare and carry out, not a sudden impulse and many attempts are not success or they are found in time. Its not my place to say Americans should lose their rights, but definitely a lot more lives are needlessly lost to suicide.

Great point Phil. I can attest to this truth because I have been experiencing some terrible symptoms of IBS, especially sleeplessness, and feeling very nauseous and unsettled. Last night I was contemplating ending it with a 22 rifle through the mouth, and was afraid I would botch it. Then I considered buying a .45 and doing it for sure. Hanging on during times of great suffering is a real conundrum. Even though I am pretty good at stilling my thoughts and emotions, this illness is overpowering at times. If there was assisted suicide here, I would go into counseling to see if it was the right time to say good bye to this world. I know that my suffering is a drop in the bucket compared to thousands who suffer worse than I, but that is little consolation when the quality of life wains and becomes negative.

Enjoy!  :icon_sunny:

Beautiful spring! Look at all that water.

I imagined that you and I took that morning stroll together. It was really fulfilling finally meeting you and being in your presence. I felt such a close kinship with you in a personal and idealistic way. Though we may never meet, at least I have this vision of our walk in a rewilding forest together!!


Prototype of painting of the facsimile of the Chauvet cave, which contains some of the earliest known cave paintings Arc, in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc.

Prehistoric cave dwellers living in Europe purposefully starved themselves of oxygen to hallucinate while creating their decorative wall paintings, a groundbreaking new study has found.

Researchers have been questioning for years why so many of the world's oldest paintings were located in often pitch-black tunnel systems, far away from cave entrances.

But a recent study by Tel Aviv University now reveals that the location was deliberate because it induced oxygen deprivation and caused cavemen to experience a state called hypoxia.

Hypoxia can bring about symptoms including shortness of breath, headaches, confusion, and rapid heartbeat, which can lead to feelings of euphoria, near-death experiences, and out-of-body sensations. The team of researchers believes it would have been "very similar to when you are taking drugs", the Times reported.

"It appears that Upper Paleolithic people barely used the interior of deep caves for daily, domestic activities. Such activities were mostly performed at open-air sites, rock shelters, or cave entrances," the study says, according to CNN.

"While depictions were not created solely in the deep and dark parts of the caves, images at such locations are a very impressive aspect of cave depictions and are thus the focus of this study," it adds.

According to Ran Barkai, the co-author of the study, the cavemen used fire to light up the caves, which would simultaneously also reduce oxygen levels. Painting in these conditions was done deliberately and as a means of connecting to the cosmos, the researcher says.

"It was used to get connected with things," Barkai told CNN, adding that cave painters often thought of the rock face as a portal connecting their world with the underworld, which was associated with prosperity and growth. The researcher also suggested that cave paintings could have been used as part of a kind of initiation rite.

The fascinating cave paintings, which date from around 40,000 to 14,000 years ago, depict animals such as mammoths, bison, and ibex.

"It was not the decoration that rendered the caves significant but the opposite: The significance of the chosen caves was the reason for their decoration," the study reads, according to CNN.

The study focused on decorated caves in Europe, mostly in Spain and France. It was published last week in the scientific journal "Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture."


One single person arrived at Trump Tower for a “White Lives Matter” march and rally on April 11, 2021 in New York City. The march was organized on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram over the last month with a call for nationwide action.

In semi-private, encrypted chats, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists planned rallies in dozens of cities Sunday to promote their racist movements and spread their ideologies to larger audiences.

Hyped by organizers as events that would make “the whole world tremble,” the rallies ran into a major problem: Hardly anyone showed up.

The “White Lives Matter” rallies, the first major real-world organizing efforts by white supremacists since 2018, were planned on the encrypted app Telegram after many aligned groups were alleged to have taken part in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S Capitol.

The poor showing underscores how the country’s unpopular and disorganized extremist movements have been driven underground by increased scrutiny from the media, law enforcement agencies and far-left activists who infiltrate their private online spaces and disrupt their attempts to communicate and organize.

Few “White Lives Matter” marchers showed up Sunday, but anti-racist and anti-fascist groups gathered just the same.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, a small crowd of antifa and anti-racist protesters gathered at the park where the “White Lives Matter” march was planned. They marched around downtown behind a large white sign that read, “WE ACCEPT YOUR SURRENDER.”

The lackluster events were documented by livestreams and photos posted to Twitter.

In Philadelphia, activists tweeted photos of a counterprotest picnic with pizza and Tastykake snacks. In New York City, over a dozen counterprotesters stood seemingly unopposed across the street from Trump Tower, where a “White Lives Matter” rally was expected.

Police in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, formed a circle around a lone protester to separate him from a large crowd of counterprotesters. Three protesters assembled around a “White Lives Matter” banner outside City Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, where a police line separated them from a couple of dozen counterprotesters.

Hundreds of counterprotesters, bystanders and media members gathered at a counterprotest at the scheduled start time of a “White Lives Matter” march at Huntington Beach Pier southeast of Los Angeles.

Throughout the afternoon, counterprotesters could be seen on several livestreams chanting “Unity and community” and “Black lives matter.” A few single protesters, one of whom wore a full hood and a T-shirt with a white supremacist slogan, were run off by the crowd, who yelled “Go home, Nazis!”

According to fliers for the event — which recycled images from old propaganda from the disbanded neo-Nazi organization Vanguard America — the marches were meant to “take a stand” against the media, government and educational institutions that are “anti-white.” The slogan “White Lives Matter” has been promoted on fliers and banners by white supremacist groups, including neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan groups, since 2015 as “a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.

In 2016, “White Lives Matter” was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Several “White Lives Matter” rallies were held that year: Confederate flag-waving protesters gathered outside NAACP headquarters in Houston, and arrests were made in Austin, Texas, when a group of “White Lives Matter” protesters clashed with counterdemonstrators.

Sunday’s round of racist rallies seemed destined for failure, said Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University in North Carolina who tracks online extremism.

The online organizers of the North Carolina rally were uninformed about state law governing protests, including laws that disallowed firearms, Squire said. The organizers were also generally inept at using Telegram, where the event was announced, and unable to identify “obvious trolls in their midst.”

The efforts behind Sunday’s rallies were “haphazard and ill-informed,” Squire said. “They’re not sending their best.”

The “White Lives Matter” rallies were disrupted in several cities after activists infiltrated their online groups and leaked internal chats to journalists. Those chats were reported to have indicated that the events were being planned by the extremist group the Proud Boys and by self-described fascists and Nazis who framed the rallies as peaceful events unaffiliated with known hate groups to recruit more mainstream members.

Organizers in several cities canceled events because of sabotage by antifa activists. Raleigh’s organizer called off a rally Friday, telling subscribers, “It turns out that the 11th is a disaster.”

Two of the largest Telegram channels dedicated to events in Philadelphia and New York City were shown to be traps created by anti-fascist activists. Another local activist tweeted screenshots of the plan's reveal with a warning Saturday to would-be rallygoers: “Given how riddled these chats are with antifascists ... it might be time to rethink whether you really want to trust a bunch of anonymous internet weirdos to show up with you in your city."

The ineptitude of organizers notwithstanding, experts say that the U.S. extremist movement is at an inflection point and that would-be participants are discouraged by the increased negative attention and the prosecutions of members in such movements after the Capitol attack.

The white supremacist movement faced a similar reckoning in 2017 after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Instead of unifying distinct brands of white supremacist groups, the murder of counterprotester Heather Heyer and the full-throated hate on display from tiki-torch-wielding neo-Nazis invited national condemnation, legal troubles and in-group squabbling that fractured individual organizations and the hate movement overall.

After Charlottesville, there were “weak attempts to revisit former glory,” Squire said, recalling rallies where a handful of white supremacists who had led the alt-right movement were outnumbered by anti-racist counterprotesters. “The wind was knocked out of their sails, and the legal cases brought that fall certainly didn’t help.”

Hate hasn’t disappeared, but membership in formal extremist groups may have been disincentivized. So far, 369 federal cases have been brought against people accused of involvement in the Capitol siege, according to a database maintained by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

About three dozen of those charged are members and associates of the Proud Boys, the pro-Trump street fighting gang, and the Oath Keepers militia group. Both are accused of coordinating between far-right groups, and they face the most serious federal charges related to Jan. 6, including conspiracy to breach the Capitol.

Beyond legal consequences, self-described antifa activists have made it costly to be associated with far-right and racist groups, many of them using online sleuthing to match participants at extremist rallies to their real-life identities and employers.

Mainstream online platforms where extremists were once welcomed have also tightened their policies about violent extremist content and groups.

“Not only have organized larger groups splintered, but so, too, did their social media footprint,” said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. “Some extremists continued a whack-a-mole migration underground to encrypted, affinity-based platforms, while others exited these movements altogether.”

The realignment and the lack of cohesive leadership don’t lessen the threat from extremist groups, however.

The risk now, Levin says, can be found in “loners and cells, who act on their own combination of hatreds and idiosyncrasies often cobbled together from a constant all-you-can-eat buffet of stereotyping and conspiracies that still populate online discourse.”


Religious leaders pray alongside President Trump during an "Evangelicals for Trump" event in Miami.

A pro-Trump prophet from Tennessee went on a wild rant during a sermon this weekend, describing modern Christian leaders - particularly those who refuse to tote guns - as "neutered" and "almost homosexual."

Jeff Jansen, co-founder of the Global Fire Ministries International in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and self-proclaimed "prophet," disparaged pastors for being "effeminate."
"The church, the Ecclesia, the government of God, has been so neutered and so turned effeminate, almost homosexual, I'm just telling you straight up. Straight up. It's ridiculous," said Jansen, speaking at a church service in Oregon.
"Where are the men? Where are the men, where's the maleness? Where is the, you know, 'I will defend the children, I will protect the family?'" he asked.

Jansen then said that Jesus "was a real man," claiming in the same breath that all the staff at his church carried firearms and were instructed to open fire on "threats" during church service.
"The ushers at my church, they all pack," Jansen said. "If you come to my place and you think about starting something? You're dead. They'll kill you. They'll shoot you because they're going to protect everybody else."

He boasted as well that he had given his armed ushers a license to kill.
"Just make sure you get them, just kill them, just shoot them dead," he said of the guidelines he gave the ushers.The Global Fire Ministries website lists Jansen as a "best-selling author" and "prophetic guidepost," claiming that he is renowned for his "miracle/healing anointing and prophetic ministry." In 2020, Jansen published a book titled "Trump: The Destiny of God's America". He sells it on the church's website for $16.99.

According to a Newsweek report, Jansen doubled down last month on his prophecy that the Trump presidency would be re-instated in April, calling the January inauguration a "fake inauguration" for "optics and for posture."

"It's a tale of two presidents right now in America - because President Trump has never conceded, he never agreed to anything, never stepped away, never conceded," Jansen said in March, adding that Trump would re-emerge and restore "civil power" in the US.
This followed comments that Jansen made in February, where he said Biden was a fake president, and that there had been a "Red Sea moment... a red tidal wave."

A religious ideology that actively works against political change to maintain white power can’t stomach Black theology, let alone a Black reverend in the U.S. Senate.

It would be charitable to call the white religious right’s continuous attacks on Rev. Raphael Warnock, beginning from the moment he launched his successful bid to become the first Black U.S. senator from Georgia, merely un-Christian.

Most recently, Georgia Baptist minister and Donald Trump loyalist Doug Collins, who once claimed Warnock’s stance as a “pro-choice pastor” is an oxymoronic “lie from the bed of hell,” blamed the senator’s condemnation of Georgia’s new voting restrictions—but not the racist law itself—for MLB’s decision to relocate its All-Star Game from the state, crying that “woke” Warnock “spread lies” about the legislation. Just a week ago, a now-deleted tweet from Warnock’s account—which stated that the “meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves”—so enraged very-online white evangelicals that they spent the holiest day in the Christian calendar casting judgment, labeling Warnock a “heretic,” a “narcissistic heretic,” and an “actual heretic.” Leading the charge was Jenna Ellis, an attorney for Trump’s failed coup d’état and proponent of the racist Kamala Harris birther lie. Beyond branding Warnock a “heretic,” Ellis voiced the real ideological truth underlying the attacks on the Georgia senator.

“He should delete Reverend in front of his name,” Ellis tweeted about Warnock, a doctoral graduate of Columbia University’s theological seminary. “People who don’t know Jesus pretend he was a soft-spoken philanthropist… If Warnock’s church were truly biblical and Christian, he would not be a pastor. His theology and practice is inconsistent with the Bible.” She was backed up by gun enthusiast and Christian podcaster Allie Beth Stuckey, who compared the senator’s faith to a kind of “social justice moralism” in which “Jesus is not a savior but a ‘liberator’—and not from sin, but from ‘systems’... Jesus/Christianity is a means to their political and social activist ends, which they like to categorize as ‘helping others’ (what they typically mean is government programs).”

Warnock’s church, which Ellis dismisses as insufficiently godly, is Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist, one of the oldest Black churches in the country and the former pulpit of Martin Luther King Jr. It is perhaps too on-the-nose that white Republican evangelicals who publicly assert that delegitimizing Black votes is doing God’s work and believe “All Lives Matter” is a Christly rebuff against assertions of Black humanity—and who, of course, selectively cite the de-radicalized MLK of white comfort and apathy—attack not only MLK’s pastoral heir, but the Black church writ large and the theology that springs from it.

Those attacks are at their core about the fundamental conflict between white evangelical Christianity in America, which is both steeped in and deeply protective of the white supremacist capitalist status quo, and the traditional Black Christian church, a site of transformative racial justice.

In his book White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, Robert P. Jones traces the development of white American Christianity, demonstrating the foundational centrality of white supremacy to the early white Christian church. He highlights the split between both Northern and Southern Methodists and Baptists in 1845 over the issue of Black enslavement, the Catholic Church’s tradition of brutal global colonialism “justified by the conviction that white Christians were God’s chosen means of “civilizing” the world,” and the Native genocide of this country’s white settler colonizers. Across denominations, those churches in America—including those that argued against slavery—espoused a gospel of white supremacy and Black subordination.

"As the dominant cultural power in America,” Jones writes, the white Christian church has “been responsible for constructing and sustaining a project to protect White supremacy and resist Black equality. This project has framed the entire American story. American Christianity’s theological core has been thoroughly structured by an interest in protecting white supremacy… not only among Evangelicals in the South but also along mainline Protestants in the Midwest and Catholics in the Northeast.”

“White evangelicals are the political quasi-religious heirs of the antebellum church,” I was told by Joseph Darby, senior pastor of Nichols Chapel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and president of the city’s NAACP chapter. “The antebellum Southern church said that slavery was moral because they were teaching Black people about Jesus and giving them an industrious life. You had people who called themselves Christian who owned human beings. How do you justify that? Well, you justify it by saying, "They're not really people like us. They are a different kind of people, and you need to be careful with them because they can be a dangerous kind of people." So there's been a cultivated racism that still drives white evangelical Christianity in large measure.”
The black church was born fighting for freedom, and freedom is indeed its only reason for being.

White enslavers not only imposed Christianity on those they held in bondage, but held up the Bible as documentary evidence that Black enslavement was divinely ordained. The counter to this white Christian theology of Black debasement was the Black church, which arose to become what Henry Louis Gates describes as a “redemptive force to shine a line on the hypocrisy at the heart of their bondage.”

Enslaved Black folks, both surreptitiously and by remodeling the warped gospel they had been given, forged a Christianity that offered “human dignity, earthly and heavenly freedom, and sisterly and brotherly love (as) the Black Church and the religion practiced within its embrace acted as the engine driving social transformation in America, from the antebellum abolitionist movement through the various phases of the fight against Jim Crow, and now, in our current century, to Black Lives Matter,” as Gates writes.

And as Warnock writes in his book The Divided Mind of the Black Church, “The black church was born fighting for freedom, and freedom is indeed its only reason for being.”

“The whole ethos of the Black church is different. Most Black churches came into being as a way for there to be Black excellence, Black identity, a place for Black folks to worship freely, to work freely and to build on the way that some plantation preachers preached,” Rev. Darby told me. “Even though folks wanted them to preach that they’d be blessed in “the great by and by,” they went to Exodus, and the story of Moses, and that laid the basis of what James Cone called “Liberation Theology”—that God stands most closely with the oppressed, and that God actively works to free the oppressed. If we love God, then we have to do the same thing. So that's woven into the Black church. There's a rejection of rugged individualism, and a sense that we have to make sure that everybody's OK. And if that means fighting for justice and fairness and equity, you have to do that. It ain't about ‘the sweet by and by,’ it's about what you're going to do while you're here.”

Warnock was a mentee of Cone’s, and he has described Black theology as “a new and self-conscious form of God-talk, a sophisticated apologia for a faith formed in slavery and in defense of a Black liberationist trajectory that continues to bear witness against the sins of a nation that is at once putatively Christian and profoundly racist.”

Indeed, white Christianity retains the attitudes of its founders. A 2018 study by the Public Religion Research Institute found most white Christians across the board—53 percent of white evangelicals, 52 percent of white Catholics and 51 percent of white mainline Protestants—believe “socioeconomic disparities between black and white Americans are due to lack of effort by black Americans.” Those groups were also most likely to support Muslim travel bans and to believe that “recent killings of black men are isolated incidents.” White evangelical Protestants were the only group that said the U.S. “becoming a majority-nonwhite nation in the future will be mostly negative.”

This is the core of the difference between Warnock’s faith and that of the white evangelicals who criticize and question the religious validity of the Black theology he espouses. They embrace a religious ideology that is fundamentally selfish, one which actively works against political change to ensure the maintenance of white power even as it pretends to be apolitical. It casts a Christianity that demands economic, racial and social equality as religiously un-American, perhaps not consciously recognizing that they are confirming the continuing anti-Black and capitalist devices that motivate their own faith.

When they attempt to malign the Jesus of the Black church as “a soft-spoken philanthropist” and a “liberator,” they prove Jones’ thesis that “for nearly all of American history the Jesus conjured up by most white congregations was not merely indifferent to the status quo racial inequality; he demanded its defense and preservation as part of the natural, divinely ordained order of things.”
It's a kind of self-centered religion that's wrapped up in politics, that God and guns thing.

As the MLK they refuse to cite wrote in his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities” while they inflict harm on the most vulnerable and promote a version of Christianity that not only abides, but justifies that harm.

“One of my seminary professors said something way back that made perfect sense,” Darby told me. “He said the church fathers who shaped our concept of sin tend to put more emphasis on sins of the flesh than sins of the spirit because they were all old men who could no longer partake in sins of the flesh. So those became the worst sins, but they were less invested in the morality of how we treat other people.”

“That's how you can get caught up in opposing abortion, fighting against transgender restrooms or transgender sports teams, because there's this warped morality,” Darby added. “How about that part about loving your neighbor as yourself? Where can I find the part that says, ‘Thou shalt own an AR-15 so that thou can smite, if need be’? It’s a kind of self-centered religion that’s wrapped up in politics, that God and guns thing. That they have to be the ones who are politically right, and they’re the arbiters of who is right politically. That’s how you can have questions about Barack Obama's faith but you can make Donald Trump almost your Messiah. That's evangelical Christianity.”

No one yet knows which country will extract the last barrel of oil equivalent, gas therm, or coal seam. But the turmoil has begun. There is reason to believe that every country has the “right” to continue mining fossil fuels, and others need to deal with the climate crisis.

In the Middle East, oil producers can argue that mining costs are low. In Canada, they market human rights records. Norwegians trumpet the low carbon intensity of their activity. And in the United States under Donald Trump, they promote the virtues of “free gas” and “export liquefied natural gas.”Molecule of freedom“.

The government dilemma is that if one country stops producing fossil fuels domestically, another will intervene to gain market share. Therefore, the obligation to contain emissions set forth in the Paris Agreement is at risk of being compromised by special appeal.

In the UK, anger is New coal mine plan In Cambria, the year in which countries host the United Nations Climate Summit shows that many countries are in opposition. We are facing one direction in which the government says it is working on climate change. But looking at the other, we agree not only to continue the extraction, but also to support and subsidize the expansion of production.

Climate capital

Where climate change meets business, markets and politics. Check FT coverage here

Countries need to reduce oil, gas and coal production to maintain warming below the Paris Agreement limit of 1.5 ° C 6 percent a year Next 10 years. Worryingly, they are instead planning a 2 percent increase each year, the United Nations says. By 2030, this course will be overproduced and will not be able to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 ° C. Climate calculation doesn’t work.

One of the problems in trying to track fossil fuel production is the lack of transparency in both governments and businesses as to how much CO2 is embedded in the reserves that may be developed. That is. This is the last “in the world”Carbon balanceBefore exceeding a temperature threshold such as 1.5C.

Governments need tools to establish the extent to which a normal business exceeds the “capacity” of carbon. Renewable energy costs are competitive and risky, so corrective action is needed. Leftover energy assets, Not stopping the government Large subsidy for fossil fuels.. During the pandemic Stimulation dollar Dumped in the fossil fuel sector, regardless of the fossil fuel sector Steady fiscal decline, A staggering pile of debt and a declining number of jobs.

That’s why my initiative and the non-profit Global Energy Monitor are developing a global registry of fossil fuels. This is a public database of all reserves on the ground and in production. This allows civil society organizations, including governments, investors, researchers, and the general public, to assess the amount of CO2 embedded in coal, oil, and gas projects around the world. This is a standalone tool that can provide a model for potential UN host registries.


With it, the country of origin cannot hide anywhere.It helps counter the lack of mechanics United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change To curb the spread of nationwide deprivation of fossil fuel production.

Countries, communities and businesses cannot do it alone. But the government can draw from the lessons of nuclear non-proliferation. First, they have to stop adding to the problem. Exploration and expansion into new reserves must be completed. This must be accompanied by “global disarmament” — running out of stockpiles and shutting down production.Finally, access to renewable energy and low carbon solutions is comprehensive and Fair transition plans.

The choice is to phase out fossil fuels and quickly track low-carbon solutions or contain economic, health and climate catastrophes. Fossil fuel registration helps governments and international organizations plan for the future low-carbon world.

Energy is an indispensable business in the world, and the source of energy is its newsletter. Every Tuesday and Thursday, directly in your inbox, Energy Source provides important news, advanced analytics, and insider intelligence. Sign up here..

A carbon registry leaves polluters with nowhere left to hide Source link A carbon registry leaves polluters with nowhere left to hide.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — A desert city built on a reputation for excess and indulgence wants to become a model for restraint and conservation with a first-in-the-nation policy banning grass that nobody walks on.

Las Vegas-area water officials have spent two decades trying to get people to replace thirsty greenery with desert plants, and now they’re asking the Nevada Legislature to outlaw roughly 40% of the turf that’s left.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority estimates there are almost 8 square miles (21 square kilometers) of “nonfunctional turf” in the metro area — grass that no one ever walks on or otherwise uses in street medians, housing developments and office parks.

They say this ornamental grass requires four times as much water as drought-tolerant landscaping like cactus and other succulents. By ripping it out, they estimate the region can reduce annual water consumption by roughly 15% and save about 14 gallons (53 liters) per person per day.

Las Vegas might be known for splashy displays like the Bellagio fountains on the neon-lit Strip, but officials say residents of bedroom communities and sprawling suburbs embrace conservation measures, including aggressive monitoring of sprinklers and leaky irrigation systems.

“The public perception outside of Las Vegas is certainly much different — and has been for a long time — than the water conservation ethic within the community,” said Colby Pellegrino, Southern Nevada Water Authority water resources director.

California imposed a temporary ban on watering ornamental grass during last decade’s drought, but no state or major city has tried to phase out certain categories of grass permanently.

“The scale of this is pretty unprecedented in terms of a full ban on this nonfunctional turf,” said John Berggren, a water policy analyst at Western Resource Advocates.

The proposal is part of a turf war waged since at least 2003, when the water authority banned developers from planting green front yards in new subdivisions. It also offers owners of older properties the region’s most generous rebate policies to tear out sod — up to $3 per square foot.

Those efforts are slowing. The agency says the number of acres converted under its rebate program fell last year to six times less than what it was in 2008. Meanwhile, water consumption in southern Nevada has increased 9% since 2019.

Last year was among the driest in the region’s history, when Las Vegas went a record 240 days without measurable rainfall. And the future flow of the Colorado River, which accounts for 90% of southern Nevada’s water, is in question.

The waterway supplies Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming and Mexico. As drought and climate change decrease what the river provides, the amount allocated to Arizona, California and Nevada is projected to be cut further.

Justin Jones, a Clark County commissioner who serves on the water authority’s board, doesn’t think ripping out ornamental turf will upend people’s lives.

“To be clear, we are not coming after your average homeowner’s backyard,” he said. But grass in the middle of a parkway, where no one walks: “That’s dumb.”

“The only people that ever set foot on grass that’s in the middle of a roadway system are people cutting the grass,” Jones said.

The agency has different regulations for yards and public parks. Based on satellite imaging, it believes banning ornamental grass will primarily affect common areas maintained by homeowner associations and commercial property owners.

Jones said the proposal has drawn resistance in some master-planned communities, but water officials say years of drought-awareness campaigns and policies like the rebates have cultivated a cultural change.

Southern Nevada Homebuilders’ Association lobbyist Matt Walker said consumer preferences have reached the point that potential homebuyers from wetter regions aren’t turned off from neighborhoods that have parks but no ornamental grass.

Conservation frees water, reduces per capita consumption and strengthens builders’ arguments that the desert can accommodate more growth, Walker said. “And the benefits are the ability to keep doing what we do, which is building homes.”

“We’ve really gotten a comfort level that buyers are very much willing to go along with responsible development practices when it comes to water use,” he added.

Other desert cities aren’t so sure. Salt Lake City has an ordinance that requires a certain amount of yard and median greenery. Phoenix, where some neighborhoods remain lush from flood irrigation, has never offered grass removal rebates.

Water officials elsewhere are loath to compare their policies to southern Nevada. Particularly in cities where water consumption per person is high, they say there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for a drier future.

Las Vegas, for example, mostly ignores toilets, showers and dishwashers because the water authority is able to treat and recycle indoor wastewater and let it flow through a natural wash into Lake Mead — the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam. It is filtered again for reuse.

A draconian anti-grass policy might not work in downtown Phoenix, said Cynthia Campbell, water resources adviser for the nation’s fifth-largest city. Trees and grass blunt public health dangers of “ urban heat islands ” — areas lacking green landscaping to offset heat through evaporative cooling.

Regional water officials understand future consumption will have to be reduced but fear the preparation and perception could backfire if the community doesn’t buy in.

“There comes a point when people’s demands start to harden,” Campbell said. “They’ll say, ‘This is the point of no return for me.’ For some people, it’s a pool. For some people, it’s grass.”

The Southern Nevada Water Authority isn’t sure the idea of banning grass will spread to other cities. But Pellegrino, the water resources chief, said other places will have to make changes.

“Particularly every community that relies on Colorado River water.”

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