Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III introduces, Beto O’Rourke delivers.
You should listen.
Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III introduces, Beto O’Rourke delivers.
You should listen.
Why is the Environmental Protection Agency and its powers to order and end to and cleanup of pollution important to America?
Consider America before EPA.
Twitterer Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) took some EPA file photos to show what things used to look like, before EPA really got going. This is a small sample of the good work EPA has done, and does.
“SCOTUS just limited the authority of the EPA. Here’s a brief thread that gives everyone an idea of what America looked like before pollution was regulated.”
That building looks familiar? It should. It’s the Watergate, luxury hotel and condominiums. Just yards away from the sewage outflow.
If you visit those sites in 2022, you will not be met by the awful smell of sewage or industrial waste. You will not need to wear a mask to protect your lungs from the air pollution including carcinogens that give you equivalent to a pack of cigarettes smoked in a day.
The cleanups may not be perfect, but they make America great.
Cleaning up carbon pollution from our air is necessary to keep America great, and to save the planet — again.
Please ask your Congressional representatives to strengthen the law so EPA can get on with its work.
Tip of the old scrub brush to 50 Shades of Whey (@davenewworld) on Twitter.
July 4. Surely everyone knows to fly the flag on Independence Day, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.*
In the month of the grand patriotic celebration, what other dates do we fly the U.S. flag? July 4 is the only date designated in the Flag Code for all Americans to fly the flag. Three states joined the union in July, days on which citizens of those states should show the colors, New York, Idaho and Wyoming.
Plus, there is one date many veterans think we should still fly the flag, Korean War Veterans Armistice Day on July 27. Oddly, the law designating that date urges flying the flag only until 2003, the 50th anniversary of the still-standing truce in that war. But the law still exists. What’s a patriot to do?
Patriots may watch to see whether the president issues a proclamation for the date.
Generally we don’t note state holidays or state-designated flag-flying events, such as Utah’s Pioneer Day, July 24, which marks the day in 1847 that the Mormon pioneers in the party of Brigham Young exited what is now Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley. But it’s a big day in Utah, where I spent a number of years and still have family. And I still have memories, not all pleasant, of that five-mile march for the Days of ’47 Parade, in that wool, long-sleeved uniform and hat, carrying the Sousaphone. Pardon my partisan exception. Utahns will fly their flags on July 24.
July’s flag flying dates, chronologically:
* July 4? But didn’t John Adams say it should be July 2? And, yes, the staff at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub sadly noted that, at most July 4 parades, it appears no one salutes the U.S. flag as it passes, as the Flag Code recommends — though there were several people properly saluting the leading flags at the Duncanville Independence Day parade in 2021. MFB’s been fighting flag etiquette ignorance since 2006. It’s taking much, much longer than we wished.
“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
— John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776
Surely John Adams knew that July 4 would be Independence Day, didn’t he?
In writing to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, John Adams committed one of those grand errors even he would laugh at afterward. We’ll forgive him when the fireworks start firing.
1776 filled the calendar with dates deserving of remembrance and even celebration. John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts to the Second Continental Congress, wrote home to his wife Abigail that future generations would celebrate July 2, the date the Congress voted to approve Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring independence from Britain for 13 of the British colonies in America.
Two days later, that same Congress approved the wording of the document Thomas Jefferson had drafted to announce Lee’s resolution to the world.
Today, we celebrate the date of the document Jefferson wrote, and Richard Henry Lee is often a reduced to a footnote, if not erased from history altogether.
Who can predict the future?
(You know, of course, that Adams and Jefferson both died 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826. In the 50 intervening years, Adams and Jefferson were comrades in arms and diplomacy in Europe, officers of the new government in America, opposing candidates for the presidency, President and Vice President, ex-President and President, bitter enemies, then long-distance friends writing almost daily about how to make a great new nation. Read David McCullough‘s version of the story, if you can find it.)
(Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Another history issue that arose in conversations today — I thought everyone knew this.)
More, and Related articles:
June holds only two days designated for flying the U.S. flag out of the specific days mentioned in the U.S. Flag Code, and six statehood days, when residents of those states should fly their flags. Plus, there is National Flag Week. And now there is Juneteenth.
Two Flag Code-designated days:
Several states celebrate statehood. New Hampshire, Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia celebrate statehood; Kentucky and Tennessee share the same date.
Additionally, Congress passed a resolution designating the week in which June 14th falls as National Flag Week, and urging that citizens fly the flag each day of that week. In 2022 that would be the week of June 12, which falls on Sunday, through June 18.
The resolution naming Juneteenth National Independence Day a holiday was signed into law last year by President Joe Biden. Juneteenth is June 19 — same as Fathers Day in 2022.
Flag-flying days for June, listed chronologically:
As you know, any resident may fly the flag any day of the year, under the etiquette provided in the Flag Code.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Mike’s Blog Rounds at Crooks and Liars — thanks for the plug!
Santayana was right.
The pedant force pushes me to note Santayana’s quote is a little different (see the upper right hand corner of this blog):
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
(The Life of Reason, vol. 1: Reason in Common Sense)
The thought is not lost. Zyglis is right.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Editorial and Political Cartoons on Twitter, @EandPCartoons.
In 2022, we may need this post more, to put up with anti-science backlash to the urgency of global heating, the threat of COVID-19, and still, to the defeat of Donald Trump.
You could write it off to pareidolia, once.
Like faces in clouds, some people claimed to see a link. The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, coincided with Lenin’s birthday. There was no link — Earth Day was scheduled for a spring Wednesday, when the greatest number of college students would be on campus.
Now, years later, with almost-annual repeats of the claim from the braying right wing, it’s just a cruel hoax. It’s as much a hoax on the ill-informed of the right, as anyone else. Many of them believe it.
One surefire way to tell an Earth Day post is done by an Earth Day denialist: They’ll note that the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was an anniversary of the birth of Lenin.
Coincidentally, yes, Lenin was born on April 22, on the new style calendar; it was April 10 on the calendar when he was born — one might accurately note that Lenin’s mother always said he was born on April 10.
It’s a hoax. There is no meaning to the first Earth Day’s falling on Lenin’s birthday — Lenin was not prescient enough to plan his birthday to fall in the middle of Earth Week, a hundred years before Earth Week was even planned.
Does Earth Day Promote Communism?
Earth Day 1970 was initially conceived as a teach-in, modeled on the teach-ins used successfully by Vietnam War protesters to spread their message and generate support on U.S. college campuses. It is generally believed that April 22 was chosen for Earth Day because it was a Wednesday that fell between spring break and final exams—a day when a majority of college students would be able to participate.
U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the guy who dreamed up the nationwide teach-in that became Earth Day, once tried to put the whole “Earth Day as communist plot” idea into perspective.
“On any given day, a lot of both good and bad people were born,” Nelson said. “A person many consider the world’s first environmentalist, Saint Francis of Assisi, was born on April 22. So was Queen Isabella. More importantly, so was my Aunt Tillie.”
April 22 is also the birthday of J. Sterling Morton, the Nebraska newspaper editor who founded Arbor Day (a national holiday devoted to planting trees) on April 22, 1872, when Lenin was still in diapers. Maybe April 22 was chosen to honor Morton and nobody knew. Maybe environmentalists were trying to send a subliminal message to the national subconscious that would transform people into tree-planting zombies. One birthday “plot” seems just about as likely as the other. What’s the chance that one person in a thousand could tell you when either of these guys were born.
My guess is that only a few really wacko conservatives know that April 22 is Lenin’s birthday (was it ever celebrated in the Soviet Union?). No one else bothers to think about it, or say anything about it, nor especially, to celebrate it.
Certainly, the Soviet Union never celebrated Earth Day. Nor was Lenin any great friend of the environment. He stood instead with the oil-drillers-without-clean-up, with the strip-miners-without-reclamation, with the dirty-smokestack guys. You’d think someone with a bit of logic and a rudimentary knowledge of history could put that together.
The REAL founder of Earth Day, Wisconsin’s U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, usually recognized as the founder and father of Earth Day, told how and why the organizers came to pick April 22:
Senator Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an “environmental teach-in.” He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet; it did not fall during exams or spring breaks, did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22.
In his own words, Nelson spoke of what he was trying to do:
After President Kennedy’s [conservation] tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called “teach-ins,” had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me – why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?
I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.
At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air – and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.
Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:
“Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation’s campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam…a national day of observance of environmental problems…is being planned for next spring…when a nationwide environmental ‘teach-in’…coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned….”
Nelson, a veteran of the U.S. armed services (Okinawa campaign), flag-waving ex-governor of Wisconsin (Sen. Joe McCarthy’s home state, but also the home of Aldo Leopold and birthplace of John Muir), was working to raise America’s consciousness and conscience about environmental issues.
Lenin on the environment? Think of the Aral Sea disaster, the horrible pollution from Soviet mines and mills, and the dreadful record of the Soviet Union on protecting any resource. Lenin believed in exploiting resources and leaving the spoils to rot in the sun, not conservation; in practice there was no environmental protection, but instead a war on nature, in the Soviet Union.
So, why are all these conservative denialists claiming, against history and politics, that Lenin’s birthday has anything to do with Earth Day?
Can you say “propaganda?” Can you say “political smear?”
2017 Resources and Good News:
2015 Resources and Good News:
2014 Resources and Good News:
2013 Resources and Good News:
Good information for 2012:
Good information from 2011:
Good information from 2010:
2014’s Wall of Shame:
2013 Wall of Shame:
Wall of Lenin’s Birthday Propaganda Shame from 2012:
Wall of Lenin’s Birthday Propaganda Shame from 2011:
Wall of Lenin’s Birthday Propaganda Shame from 2010:
Spread the word. Have you found someone spreading the hoax, claiming Earth Day honors Lenin instead? Give us the link in comments.
It’s cruel to people who want to fly U.S. flags often, but only on designated flag-flying dates. (April is also National Poetry Month, so it’s a good time to look up poetry references we should have committed to heart).
For 2022, these are the three dates for flying the U.S. flag; Easter is a national date, the other two are dates suggested for residents of the states involved.
One date, nationally, to fly the flag. That beats March, which has none (in a year with Easter in April and not March). But March has five statehood days, to April’s two.
Take heart! You may fly your U.S. flag any day you choose, or everyday as many people do in Texas (though, too many do not retire their flags every evening . . .).
Three dates to fly Old Glory in April, by the Flag Code and other laws on memorials and commemorations.
A museum display DFW school kids should get out to see, “The Green Book,” at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
Press release from Texas Christian University tells the story well.
TCU professor is curator of The Green Book, an exhibit launching this month at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
One of the ultimate freedoms is that of the open road – the simple act of driving a car when or wherever you want to go. But in Jim Crow America, a road trip for Black travelers was far from liberating. In fact, a drive outside of the neighborhood was dangerous, especially in the South.
“Imagine that it’s the 1950s. You are Black and your children are in the back seat of your car and you’re going on a trip,” said Frederick Gooding Jr., Dr. Ronald E. Moore Honors Professor of Humanities. “Think how much of a threat it was to find a safe place to eat and sleep in terms of avoiding humiliation or violence. Even a gas station could be a risky proposition. You needed a resource for your family’s safety and protection because the stakes were so high.”
That resource was the Negro Motorist Green Book, published from the 1930s until 1966, a mere two years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act financially penalized racial segregation for the first time. The handbook provided a state-by-state list of hotels, service stations, restaurants and other establishments considered safe for Black travelers.
The associate professor of African-American studies and chair of TCU’s Race & Reconciliation Initiative, Gooding is now helping to share the story about the book and its originator, Victor Hugo Green. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History approached Gooding to be chief curator of its new exhibition, “Fort Worth and the Green Book: Black Travelers Navigating Racism in Mid-Century Texas,” opening Feb. 11.
While the 2018 Academy Award-winning movie Green Book may have introduced the same title to many Americans, Gooding notes that the exhibit certainly takes a different path.
“Whether you’re 6 or 60, this exhibit will help set the tone for how bizarre and befuddling it was for African Americans to have to navigate a Jim Crow society and to heighten awareness of our relative progress,” Gooding said. “It’s been a treat to be part of the creation process as well as provide an opportunity for exposure.”
Morgan Rehnberg, the museum’s project leader, said it was clear that Gooding would be an ideal partner.
“His scholarship on race and culture, as well as his leadership at TCU in addressing the university’s history with race, has given him a unique perspective on Fort Worth,” Rehnberg said. “It’s been tremendously fun to see his enthusiasm shine into every aspect of the exhibition.”
After receiving a grant, the museum acquired the materials for the exhibit. As a historian, Gooding looked for ways to make it accessible.
“We started from scratch in creating a balanced exhibit that has many layers. That helps to bring The Green Book to life, and there’s something for everyone,” he said “It’s been an interesting ride looking to reconcile introducing people to a topic while providing them with enough tools to discover the truth for themselves.”
The exhibit is expected to be seen by close to 300,000, including many school groups, before it’s taken down in August. In conjunction with the exhibit, Gooding will present as part of the museum’s lecture series Feb. 21. His “Navigating the Road to Reconciliation” talk will explore how to leverage a multiplicity of voices and support the principles of reconciliation. For visitor information, visit Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
Tip of the old scrub brush to TCU’s Twitter feed.
Neil R. Kaye toils in the Met Office, the weather service for Great Britain. He tracks global heating as a vocation, and does very good explanations.
Recently he posted on Twitter, with a great little movie:
Lesson is, we need to act now. The faster and harder we can act to block global heating, the greater chance we have of saving a place for humans on this planet without massive loss.
Check out his thread on Twitter.
See this chart by a frequent quality poster @TheDisproof, a static graph of heating since 1880.
Found this on Twitter from Jason Looney (@jlooney2). He responded to a post by Republican National Chairman Ronna McDaniel.
We’ve never seen anything like this, its the most jobs in any calendar year by any president in history.
Record GDP growth.
How? The American Rescue Plan and 200 million vax’d.
I have no great idea who Mr. Looney is. But he should look for a spot on a campaign communications team.
I wish that message were more widely known.
Beinecke Library at Yale is a repository for Rachel Carson’s papers, and much more.
Including this beguiling photo of Rachel Carson’s cat investigating the typewriter on which she wrote Silent Spring.
Researchers into Rachel Carson should check the on-line holdings of the Beinecke Library.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Yale’s Beinecke Library on Twitter.
Thomas Nast may have done as much as Abraham Lincoln to invent the Republican Party.
Nast’s illustration for Harper’s Weekly for the issue of December 31, 1864, expressed his great desire for an end to the Civil War, and offered a vision of what could happen when arms were put down.
An explanation of the illustration comes from The New York Times Learning page (for teachers — you’re invited):
As the Union military advanced across the South in December 1864, making Confederate defeat seem to be only a matter of time, artist Thomas Nast drew a holiday illustration betokening mercy for the vanquished and sectional reconciliation for the nation. Under the Christmas proclamation of “Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men,” President Abraham Lincoln is the gracious host who generously welcomes the Confederates—President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and state governors—in from the cold, and gestures for them to return to their rightful seats at the sumptuous feast of the states. Seated at the table are the governors of the Union states, and on the wall behind them appear portraits of leading Union generals.
Framing the main banquet scene are four circular insets that convey the message that if the Confederacy will lay down its arms, surrender unconditionally, and be contrite, then the Union will be merciful and joyously welcome them back into the fold. Viewing them clockwise from the upper-left, the symbolic figure of Victory, backed by the American Eagle, offers the olive branch of peace to a submissive Confederate soldier; the forgiving father from the biblical parable embraces his wayward son, whose sorrow for his past rebellion prompts the father to honor his son with a celebratory dinner; under the tattered American flag, the ordinary soldiers of the Union and Confederacy reunite happily as friends and brothers after the Confederate arms and battle standards have been laid on the ground; and, General Robert E. Lee, the Confederate commander, bows respectfully and offers his sword in unconditional surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant, the commander of the Union troops. In the lower-center is a scene from a holiday table at which a Northern family drinks a toast to the Union servicemen.
While Nast could be partisan, as in his portrayal of Democrats as mules kicking down a barn, or Republicans as noble elephants, and Nast could be subject to bigotry, as in his frequent jabs at Catholics and his portrayal of Irish immigrants as near-gorillas, much of his work in illustration for Harper’s and other publications offered a vision of a much better America which welcomed everyone — as his later portrayal of “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving” in 1869 demonstrated.
We could use more Republicans, and newspapermen, like the hopeful Nast, today (leave the bigotry behind).
November offers several flag flying days, especially in years when there is an election.
But December may be the month with the most flag-flying dates, when we include statehood days.
December 7 is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It’s not in the Flag Code, but public law (P.L. 103-308) urges that the president should issue a proclamation asking Americans to fly flags.
December 25 is Christmas Day, a federal holiday, and one of the score of dates designated in the Flag Code. If you watch your neighborhood closely, you’ll note even some of the most ardent flag wavers miss posting the colors on this day, as they do on Thanksgiving and New Years and Easter.
Nine states attained statehood in December! People in those states should fly their flags (and you may join them). Included in this group is Delaware, traditionally the “First State,” called that because it was the first former England colony to ratify the U.S. Constitution:
December 15 is Bill of Rights Day, marking the day in 1791 when the Bill of Rights was declared ratified; but though this event generally gets a presidential proclamation, there is no law or executive action that requires flags to fly on that date, for that occasion.
Eleven flag-flying dates in December. Does any other month have as many flag flying opportunities?
Have I missed any December flag-flying dates? 11 events on 10 days (Delaware’s statehood falls on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack).
Here’s a list of the 10 days to fly the flag in December 2021, under national law, in chronological order:
Fly your flag with respect, for the flag, for the republic it represents, and for all those who sacrificed that it may wave on your residence.
Our traditional Thanksgiving post wishing for peace:
November 1869, in the first year of the Grant administration — and Nast put aside his own prejudices enough to invite the Irish guy to dinner, along with many others. (Nast tended not to like Catholics, and especially Irish Catholics.)
In a nation whose emotions are still raw from a divisive election, a year of protest for the right to live, a year of too-long-continued deadly plague, unwarranted, horrifying assaults on police officers, not to mention daily horrors reported from Venezuela, Central America, East Timor and Indonesian New Guinea, Syria, Belarus, Asia and the Middle East, could there be a better or more timely reminder of what we’re supposed to be doing?
A Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub tradition: Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving. History teachers should use the image — and if you’re teaching history at home to students working hard to avoid getting ill, you should use it, too. If you’re teaching in Texas . . . well, there’s something here to make everyone angry, but anger is allowed under the new history censorship rules, right?
(Click for a larger image — it’s well worth it.)
“Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner” marks the highpoint of Nast’s Reconstruction-era idealism. By November 1869 the Fourteenth Amendment, which secures equal rights and citizenship to all Americans, was ratified. Congress had sent the Fifteenth Amendment, which forbade racial discrimination in voting rights, to the states and its ratification appeared certain. Although the Republican Party had absorbed a strong nativist element in the 1850s, its commitment to equality seemed to overshadow lingering nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of indigenous residents against immigrants. Two national symbols, Uncle Sam and Columbia, host all the peoples of the world who have been attracted to the United States by its promise of self-government and democracy. Germans, African Americans, Chinese, Native Americans, Germans, French, Spaniards: “Come one, come all,” Nast cheers at the lower left corner.
One of my Chinese students identified the Oriental woman as Japanese, saying it was “obvious.” Other friends say both are Chinese. Regional differences. The figure at the farthest right is a slightly cleaned-up version of the near-ape portrayal Nast typically gave Irishmen.
If Nast could put aside his biases to celebrate the potential of unbiased immigration to the U.S. and the society that emerges, maybe we can, too.
Hope your Thanksgiving week is good; hope you have good company and good cheer, turkey or not, traveling or not, company or not. Stay safe. Happy Thanksgiving 2021. And of course, remember to fly your flag, to show you agree with Nast’s inclusive Thanksgiving.
More: Earlier posts from Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub
And in 2013: