Welcome 😄 to the Roundup of Good News!

Actual lemmings have been maligned. If you ever saw a movie of them jumping off of cliffs — White Wilderness, which ought to be stripped of its Academy Award — you should know that movie’s lemmings only killed themselves because of the directors.

The metaphor, however, remains with us, and belongs more and more to the Republican lemmings who are running to cliffs. I admit I have been mesmerized by the stories at Daily Kos, and at the HermanCainAward reddit, and at Sorryantivaxxer.com, about how these people go from crazy memes about Fauci and praising tfg and hating on liberals — to catching covid pneumonia, to ICU to death and their relatives begging for money. Some of them claim they would rather die than admit Ds were correct. Or, at least they think they would rather die until they actually find themselves coughing and gasping and intubated. Some of them, at that point, see the light.

But again, this interpretation, although true, is not everything. These poor lemmings have also been manipulated into this position, by leaders who truly do not care if they die.

We are not lemmings. We will not jump over cliffs, and we will do our best to save those who can be saved.

Come in, dear gnusies, and see what the we’re-not-lemmings are doing to save our country and our planet.


 Regular Scheduled Programming

No one here is naïve; we are aware of the many who are fighting to destroy our country. Some of us expected it: the cheating, the lying, the chaos, and yes, even the attempts to cling to power despite the clear will of the people. But we are here to read the efforts and the positive results of those (including us and our fellow gnus) who are working so hard to save our country from those very bad people.  We are furious with them for what they are doing and we are letting them know.  Remember:

💚  There are more of us than there are of them.

💛 They are terrified when we organize.  THERE IS LOTS OF EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE TERRIFIED!

💔 They want us to be demoralized. The best way to keep up your spirits is to fight. So, take the time to recharge your batteries, but find ways to contribute to the well-being of our country and our world.

🗽 Biden as President!🗽

Biden, Harris and their administration have been hard at work. Here are the last week’s posts at the White House briefing room.

👎 Out with the Bad, In with the Good 👍

Bringing Bureau of Land Management back home Chris D’Angelo Mother Jones

The Biden administration will relocate the headquarters of the federal Bureau of Land Management back to Washington, DC, as part of a broader effort to “rebuild and strengthen” the agency after years of “upheaval” under President Donald Trump, the Interior Department announced Friday.

The Trump administration made a big to-do of moving BLM’s headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, in 2019, arguing that the agency in charge of overseeing vast swaths of public lands should be based out west, where the majority of those federal acres are located. The move, which resulted in nearly 300 employees resigning or taking early retirement, was part of what many saw as an effort to force out federal workers.

In fact, Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as much as admitted it. Relocations are “a wonderful way to sort of streamline government,” Mulvaney said at a 2019 Republican gala in South Carolina, referring to the decision to uproot D.C.-based Agriculture Department employees and move them to the Kansas City area. “It’s really, really hard to drain the swamp, but we’re working at it.”

⚡️ Biden administration plan to reduce climate killing HFCs Hunter Daily Kos ⚡️

💣 Republicans in Disarray 💣

What you will see in this sample — and it is a mere sample — is how much the Rs are fighting with each other.

Resignation of R after secret recording Jonathan J. CooperYahoo News

PHOENIX (AP) — A Republican official in Arizona resigned Tuesday from the board overseeing Maricopa County after a recording emerged of him criticizing his GOP colleagues for opposing a review of the 2020 election.

During the meeting recorded surreptitiously last March, Supervisor Steve Chucri suggested two fellow Republican county supervisors opposed the review by Senate Republicans because they nearly lost their own 2020 races.

Chucri apologized in a statement announcing his resignation and said he shouldn’t have made the comments, adding “the political landscape has changed for the worst this year.”

McConnell and tfg not getting along Nicole LaFond Talking Points Memo

We covered a report over the weekend about ex-President Trump’s ambition to boot longtime Republican leader Mitch McConnell out of office. McConnell has refused to comment on the news, a stance first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, and he shrugged again today.

According to CNN’s Manu Raju:

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McConnell is not up for reelection until 2026. But the silence is notable, especially ahead of a midterms election cycle where both men are gearing up to throw their weight behind Republican candidates in various races across the country.

Problems with R motivation — Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

Then came Saturday’s pathetic protest at the Capitol. The Post reported, “The most anticipated visit by right-wing activists to the nation’s capital since a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 ended with a whimper Saturday, as demonstrators supporting the rioters found themselves far outnumbered by police, journalists and counterprotesters.” It was not just the D.C. rally that was a bust:

Simultaneous demonstrations elsewhere in the country were also sparsely attended. In Seattle, a group of about 15 stood in the rain, chanting “USA.” Some 20 people gathered across the street from the federal courthouse in Charlotte, where they were observed by joggers and heckled by a man who shouted out the window of his car as he drove by: “They’re all insurrectionists! Get over it! They deserve to be in jail!”

None of this means that the Trumpist threat is gone or that the majority of Republicans have emerged from the alternative universe constructed by right-wing media. We surely have not defused Republican efforts to suppress voting and install mechanisms to overturn unfavorable results. House members still wink and nod at, if not embrace, violence. However, when a movement depends on the triumphant victory and constant “winning” to feed toxic masculinity, losses — embarrassing losses — can be especially debilitating. Fizzled rallies deplete the MAGA crowd’s excitement and allure.

A fizzled rally — a rally to support those in jail for January 6th — ought to give some of the insurrectionists an idea of how little their leaders care about them.

and tfg is upset with some of his fellow party members Bob Brigham, Raw Story

“The Democrats are vicious and fight like hell, and the Republicans do nothing about it. RINOs fight harder against Republicans than they do against Democrats. They want to be so politically correct, even if that means losing our Country, which is happening now,” Trump claimed.

Hey, we’re vicious and fight like hell! Who knew?

💙 Democrats Being Cool 💙

🌵 Joe Biden won Arizona … AGAIN! (thanks, Edward Song, for bringing this up)

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President Biden is one cool cat.

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I want to see more of this. The Rs need to be exposed for the traitors that they are. One reason we’re having trouble getting deals done is because Biden’s numbers have slipped, so Rs are emboldened and Ds are nervous.

However, show the Rs as the traitors they are, and things might look different. They might lose some of their cachet.

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Additional remarks: The DOW Jones went up more than 500 points on Thursday, the last day available before this GNR goes live. If the markets truly believed the Rs would default, it would not do this. If the markets truly believed one or both infrastructure bills were going to fail, that would not have happened.

Of course, markets can be wrong. But the rich still prefer returns on their investments, and many of them fund the Rs in the Senate. So I am hoping we get through this.

💜 Unity? 💜

People, except for R governors, want the pandemic to be over.

Royal Carribean doesn’t want to be a covid cruise

For cruises departing from any U.S. port, Royal Caribbean requires all guests 12 years of age and older to be fully vaccinated. Younger travelers not yet eligible for the vaccine (2-11 years old) will be able to sail with a negative test result at boarding and must follow certain health and safety protocols.

But it’s banks as well as cruise ships:

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We’re helping out the world

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Biden cultivates alliances Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

The only thing worse than having balky, stiff-necked friends is having no friends. That is true of both personal relations and national alliances.

In a “friendly” conversation, according to the White House press secretary, President Biden spent a half-hour on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron in which he defused, at least for now, France’s explosive reaction to the announcement of a historic submarine agreement between Australia, Britain and the United States that displaced a high-profile deal in which France supplied Australia with the vessels. Instead of telling Macron to “get a grip” (English translation), as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson humorously put it, Biden soothed France’s bruised ego.

In a readout of the call, the administration explained, “The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners. President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.” ✂️
In short, despite glitches, this president does care about alliances. He does not take as a point of pride, as his predecessor did, his ability to rupture alliances and publicly denigrate allies’ assistance (e.g., by allowing the United States to establish military bases in their countries). He does not snub international institutions. This president’s approach to foreign policy bears no resemblance to “America First.” The challenge is to make certain Biden’s team seamlessly executes his vision.

🌵 Broad support in Arizona for pathway to citizenship Laura Gómez Arizona Mirror

The survey of 323 Arizona voters between Sept. 10 and 18 found broad support, even among Trump voters, for “earned citizenship” for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children (often called dreamers), farmworkers, essential workers and those with Temporary Protected Status. Earned citizenship is a term that broadly means naturalization that is granted after immigrants pay a fine, pass language tests or other meet requirements to comply with eligibility.

It comes as Democrats in Congress struggle to pass a pathway for citizenship for millions, but not all, undocumented immigrants through the budget reconciliation process.

The poll was commissioned by the American Business Immigration Coalition and FWD.us, an immigration and criminal justice reform advocacy group, and released during a press call. The survey was conducted by Democratic polling firm BSP Research and Republican firm Shaw & Company Research. Arizona was one of 11 battleground states polled.

📥 Actions You Can Take 📤

Voting rights. This may be the biggest issue threatening our democracy right now. Besides contacting your representatives at the state and federal level to do the right thing (depending on who they are), you can support and contact these organizations:

ACLU — American Civil Liberties Union

Democracy Docket — founded by Marc Elias, so important in fighting the challenges after the last election.

Fair Fight — founded by Stacey Abrams

🌱Grass roots. Biden and Harris can do the top-down stuff, but we have to support from the bottom. I don’t know how to deprogram 75 million people, but some things have been written about, such as deep canvassing, and lots of people are talking about this. If you know someone (who did not storm the Capitol), then see if you can be pleasant. Instead of trying to reason with them (logic is obviously not their strong point) distract them with something else. We need to remove the sources of lies and to take down the temperature. If we get more of the Rs to wear masks and to get vaccinated and to vote for Ds, the country will be a better place. We need to coax some of them out of the rabbit holes and diffuse the anger and the crazy.

🏃 Run for something. If you want to run for something, but have no idea what to do, these people will help you. They also like money and volunteers to help those people who are running, so even if you’re not in a position to stand for office, you can help. Note: they are especially planning to target the 57 Rs in local governments who participated in the insurrection.

👎 Defund the seditionists. This is a list with companies that sometimes have donated to the seditionists, and their current approach to supporting or not supporting the seditionists. The list is long. You will recognize many of the corporations, and you probably have a relationship with some — either you are a customer, a shareholder, or maybe even an employee. Contact them and compliment or complain, but let them know you are watching. Forward it to others.

🐍 Schadenfreude 😈

Evidence in basement Jose Pagliari Daily Beast

Prosecutors have discovered a tranche of evidence in the basement of a co-conspirator in the Trump Organization tax fraud case, a defense lawyer for indicted chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg revealed in court on Monday, with the attorney also signaling that more shoes are yet to drop in New York’s ongoing investigation.

“We have strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming,” Weisselberg’s lawyer, Bryan C. Skarlatos, said in Manhattan criminal court on Monday.

Gun couple might lose law license Nicole Lafond Talking Points Memo

Their gun-waving earned them a coveted speaking gig at the Republican National Convention last year, victimhood status in Trumpworld and the inflated confidence needed to run for Senate in Missouri.

But the St. Louis gun couple might soon lose their law licenses over the incident — you know, the time when they chose to dramatically fling around guns in their front yard, aiming them at majority-Black protesters who were marching to demonstrate in front of a former St. Louis mayor’s home. It happened during national protests in the summer of 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd. The couple was, of course, charged with misdemeanors for harassment and assault.

Seems like a LOT of lawyers should be losing their licenses.

Leader of anti vax has change of heart after covid Marianne Guenot Yahoo News

The cofounder of a Hawaiian group protesting vaccine mandates and COVID-19 rules is now calling people to end the cause after being hospitalized with the disease himself.

Chris Wikoff, 66, said he no longer wanted to participate in the group and asked for his name to be removed from the members’ list, Hawaii News Now reported Monday.

“I want to mind my own business and isolate,” he told Hawaii News Now.

📣 Let’s Honor Truth ☀️

S️ome anonymous hackers. You have probably heard this story, but here’s the recap: some anonymous hackers are exposing the Proud Boys and some other far-right websites. Drew Harwell, Craig Timberg, Hannah Allam Washington Post

Epik long has been the favorite Internet company of the far-right, providing domain services to QAnon theorists, Proud Boys and other instigators of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — allowing them to broadcast hateful messages from behind a veil of anonymity.

But that veil abruptly vanished last week when a huge breach by the hacker group Anonymous dumped into public view more than 150 gigabytes of previously private data — including user names, passwords and other identifying information of Epik’s customers.

Extremism researchers and political opponents have treated the leak as a Rosetta Stone to the far-right, helping them to decode who has been doing what with whom over several years. Initial revelations have spilled out steadily across Twitter since news of the hack broke last week, often under the hashtag #epikfail, but those studying the material say they will need months and perhaps years to dig through all of it.

Here are a few exposĂŠs

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And there’s this guy called Connor:

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Let us hope!

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🌹 Let’s Celebrate Love ❤️ ️

Baby girls mixed up in hospital leads to family connection Judy Cole Good News Network

From the truth is stranger than fiction files comes this story of two babies swapped at birth due to a hospital error. The mixup was discovered when the toddlers were 3, and then, the biological parents were faced with the agonizing prospect of taking the little girls away from the only families they’d ever known.

As gut-wrenching as the scenario sounds, this one has a plot twist that’s anything but a tearjerker. Rather than rip the families apart, the collective parents found a way to raise their daughters together—under one roof. ✂️

But rather than simply make the swap back, the families decided it would be best to let everyone acclimate to the new situation slowly. Both girls and both sets of parents began spending time together in one house. The arrangement worked out so well that, when the two families separated on the advice of experts for a six-month trial, the plan was quickly scuttled. ✂️

Mauro Caporiccio, author of the book Sisters Forever, also recently released as a film by RAI TV told the Times, “The girls effectively grew up with four parents and eight grandparents, and the experiment worked… Today they are more like twins than sisters and there is a kind of love which binds the two families.”

📎Odds & Ends 📎

Magnetic device shrinks brain tumor Physics World. (But they’re not using the vaccines to make people magnetic… and alas, this is too late for John McCain)

Red-and-metal horse-shoe magnet with north and south poles labelled and iron filings sticking to the poles. --  Image use permitted with attribution  under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A team of US-based researchers has used an innovative head-mounted device to shrink a brain tumour – potentially paving the way for a powerful new non-invasive therapy for glioblastoma.

In recent studies, the team – which includes researchers based at the Peak Center for Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment and Research at Houston Methodist Neurological Institute – found that the oscillating magnetic field-generating device, dubbed an “oncomagnetic device”, was able to rapidly kill glioblastoma cells in culture and shrink human glioblastoma tumours implanted in mice, prolonging their survival. The device was also used to shrink an end-stage recurrent glioblastoma in a patient without access to any other approved treatment option. The researchers describe the results of this case study in Frontiers in Oncology.

As co-author Santosh Helekar from Houston Methodist Research Institute explains, the portable, wearable device consists of “strong permanent magnets rapidly spun by high-speed electric motors, whose rotation and timing are controlled by a programmable microcontroller operated by a rechargeable battery”.  The magnet and motor assemblies are housed in vibration-, sound- and heat-insulated enclosures mounted on a helmet worn by the patient. A treatment-specific pattern of rotation frequencies and timings is then used to stimulate the brain to treat glioblastoma.

💰 Bezos donating 1 billion more to save the planet Andy Corbley Good News Network

Jeff Bezos has placed an additional $1 billion into the Bezos Earth Fund to be spent on creating, expanding, managing, and monitoring protected and conserved areas of wilderness.

The money will take the form of grants to organizations working to preserve lands and secure Indigenous people’s rights in the Congo, tropical Andes Mountains, and across Oceania.

The latest pledge is on top of the ten-thousand millions he’s already devoted towards combating climate change more directly, with nearly one-thousand of those millions having already been distributed as grants.

He may be trying to keep up with his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott, who has already given away $35 billion.

Reflective paint cools urban areas Michaela Haas Reasons to Be Cheerful

When the scientists aboard the International Space Station direct their thermal camera at Los Angeles, standing out from the sweltering red and orange blob is a crescent of cool, blueish white deep in the San Fernando Valley.

santoriniweddingsgreece.png
from Santorini

Greg Spotts, Chief Sustainability Officer of the City’s Bureau of Street Services (Streets LA), is proud of these wintry-looking pixels — not many people can say their work is visible from space. In this area, the center of the Valley’s Winnetka neighborhood, the pavement has been painted with a special reflective coating. “The locations near the cool pavement were, on average, two degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the surrounding area,” Spotts says.

“Previously, our measurements were focused on measuring the surface temperature of the roadway itself, which showed a difference of 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit on hot days,” he adds. The satellite thermal camera is significant, however, because it shows that the special cooling pavement not only lowers the temperature on the road, but “produces a cooler neighborhood” in general. ✂️

The Greek islanders of Santorini, with their whitewashed earthen buildings, were on to something: white surfaces can keep a densely populated area cooler. To this end, New York City has added white, reflective coatings to more than 10 million square feet of rooftop over the last decade. And Los Angeles has installed more than 30 million square feet of cool roofs as part of its new building code. These days, when you visit certain parts of L.A., such as Winnetka or Echo Park, you’ll notice the black asphalt changing to a light grayish-white on more than 50 city blocks.

Now, what I think would be best would be roofs that change color. On cold days, they should be dark to absorb more heat; on hot days, they should be light in order to reflect the heat.

🐦 I do a lot of other writing. A recent offering: Hunters of the Feather, a story about a thinker-linker crow who wants to save birdkind from extinction, and the sequel, Scavengers of Mind. (They’re really good! They’re really cheap! Buy and review or rate positively! And Hunters is also available on Audible!) Other stories, based on Jane Austen novels — including a new one for lovers of Pride & Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet’s Advice to Young Ladies — and others on Greek mythology, can be found here.

💙 What You Can Do to Rescue Democracy 💙

It turns out that participation in democracy is not just an every-four-years event but requires active participation, like, whenever you can find time.

Current projects:

Look in the comments for Progressive Muse’s report on Postcards to Voters

And some other ideas:

You can relax and recharge.

You can join protests and freeway blog.

You can help register new voters.

You can smile.

You can get out the vote for special elections.

You can reach out to upset Republicans.  We need to win some back.

You can share your ideas below.

🌻

💙 “Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.” 💙

President Joseph R. Biden

🌹 🌹 🌹

TRUTH MATTERS. LOVE MATTERS.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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