Canaries in the Coal Mine of our Democracy

Yule and the Moon of  the New Year

Where’s the Webb? 95% of the way to L2. 847000 miles from home. Only 52000 miles to go. Mission day 25. According to the graphic all mirror segments are now deployed.

Wednesday gratefuls: Shirley Waste. Bowe. The grout and the backsplash. The farm sink. Inching closer. Closer. CORE. Generator. Kohler. Solar panels. Juice in the house. Computers. Induction Stove. Lights. Televisions. Mini-splits. Baseboard heat. Fans. Treadmill. Rigel’s stiff leg.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Electricity (lol)

Tarot: Queen of vessels, Salmon

 

The hostage taking in Colleyville, Texas. Congregation Beth-Israel. A Britisher who believed Jews controlled the media, the banks, the government. Old tropes from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Yes. Propaganda has affect. Even after all its creators are long dead. Want to understand some of the white supremacists? Read The Turner Diaries. Words have power. Ideas have power. And, conspiracy ideas can kill.

My shoulder next to Alan’s. Next to Marilyn’s. Next to Jamie’s. Next to Luke’s. Next to Ellen’s. Together. Solidarity challenges hate. Love challenges hate. Compassion challenges hate. As Beth Israel congregant Jeffery Cohen, one of the hostages, said:

“(He) said he didn’t regret the generosity the congregants had initially shown the stranger who showed up at their synagogue.

“I don’t like what happened. I wish it hadn’t. I wish this guy hadn’t been that way,” he said. “But where would we be in a world if we didn’t welcome the stranger? That would not be a world that I want to be in.”” Washington Post, 1/18/22 

Not a world I’d want to live in either.

If you’re not Jewish, or closely aligned, you may not be ticking up the number of assaults on Jews and synagogues. If you are, though, each incident seems like one more finger pulled out of the dike behind which lies a lake of venom. I think Jeffery Cohen had Never Again on his mind; he refused to kneel when the hostage taker demanded it. As the anti-semites become more emboldened, as white supremacists increase their attacks on Americans of color, the fabric of our Republic has begun to tear. Sometimes I wonder, Jose? Is that flag still there?

Max Beckmann

I find myself thinking about the Weimar Republic. Of the world after the Spanish Flu. About the flourishing world of the Incas and the Aztecs just before the conquistadors arrived. About the Moors in immediately pre-inquisition Spain. About those doomed civilizations. Those who loved and laughed and danced among them. How shocking the rise of the Nazis. How shocking the world’s morality weakened in the aftermath of a long plague. How entrancing the pleasures of Germany after WWI. How vibrant and colorful the indigenous empires before the plumed helmets and arquebuses.

It is vanity of the most naive and dangerous kind to think all these were abberations. That Rome falling has nothing to do with 2022 America. That Kublai Khan’s vanquishing of the Song Dynasty does not have lessons for us. The Song dynasty was a high-point in ceramics, painting, of literature and song. The Yuan dynasty which followed it in 1271 had a steppe Mongol as its emperor.

I hope, without much conviction, that the Trump era brought in the clowns and we voters packed up their tents and hurried them off to the long time home of American circuses, Florida. Yet as the anti-semites pull themselves out of their darkened rooms, as the Klan and the Proud Boys and the 3%’rs and their enablers in the GOP take politics into a muddy, mucky, bloody brawl, as climate change bears down on us, I wonder how many it will take to pack up the tents and the menageries and the sideshows this next time?

I don’t want to live through the demise of American democracy. I’m guessing you don’t want to either. What’s the priority right now? I guess I’d fall back on this old chestnut: the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good folk do nothing. Spoken by noted British conservative, Edmund Burke.

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