Replacing an Outdated Device? Repurpose the Oldie
Rich bought a new laptop this week (fanfare please!) and is happily getting to know his sleek new device, which came in a fetching blush gold color. His 2013 MacBook Air is now our official streaming device, permanently hooked up to our TV. Usually our devices are turned in to Apple for a rebate, and I thought this was common practice until I learned nearly 54 million metric tons of electronic devices were tossed away in 2019 — an increase of 21% in just five years.
Wired offers a host of clever suggestions in How to Repurpose Your Old Gadgets. Why not set up an old computer or phone as a security camera? With an app such as those from Manything or Alfred, you can access the 24/7 video feed from anywhere in the world via your smartphone. Got an old tablet? Turn it into an e-reader, using apps such as Kindle (Android, iOS) or Kobo (Android, iOS). And don’t forget you can download thousands of free books from your public library!
Pro-Publica/The Guardian: Mail-in ballot tracker
This interactive breaks down the data on absentee balloting in nine swing states, by percentage of registered voters requesting mail-in ballots, how many ballots have been submitted, and how many have been rejected.
The Atlantic: A Campaign of Voter Subtraction by Ibram X. Kendi
Trump’s Republican Party must kill votes in order to survive.
CBS: Republican and Democrat running against each other for Utah governor unite for joint ad by Sophie Lewis
"We can debate issues without degrading each other's character.” See the ad.
Just for fun: A Horse in the Hospital
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Donald G. Reid presented "Social Policy and Planning Implications of the Green New Deal" at our GND Roundtable, March 21, 2019. A long-time member of American Resistance Sevilla, he's University Professor Emeritus in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph in Canada.
We are facing a crisis in the social and ecological environment that is engendering catastrophic challenges to the planet. The global warming crisis cannot be solved from an isolated policy focus but demands an integrated systems approach to change. There are many social issues connected to global warming, and if they are not resolved concurrently, global warming will only worsen.
Inequality, poverty, migration, new digital technologies including artificial intelligence, and economic globalization are integral to the eventual resolution of global warming or its continuance. Global warming is part of an integrated world-system not a separate environmental issue to be addressed independently and in isolation to the other issues mentioned above.
The problems mentioned here are a result of the predatory corporate capitalist system that has evolved over time and taken us to where we are today. Think of the current world-system as your computer operating system. It dictates what you can or cannot do on your personal device. We need a new world operating system.
The Green New Deal is one model that addresses climate change from a systems perspective and could provide some direction to the creation of a new world-system. There may be others. In my new book, A New World-System: From Chaos to Sustainability published by Routledge, I provide a cautionary interpretation of the present and vision for the future.
—Donald G. Reid
Everybody's Coming to My House—An anthem for our jumpy times, from "David Byne's American Utopia". (Photo: David Lee/HBO)
Wag the Dogma
Is voter intimidation against the law? Can a president pardon himself? Is it wrong to separate children from their parents in order to deter immigration? Is climate change real?
Is a person who can’t answer these questions qualified to serve on the Supreme Court?
(By the way, I really wish I had come up with that title, but I stole it from this great discussion of the Barrett nomination hearings on Trumpcast this week.)
Getting Their Money’s Worth:
Mother Jones: Watch Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse School Amy Coney Barrett on Dark Money by Stephanie Mencimer
Instead of questioning the nominee, Sen. Whitehouse took his 30 minutes to explain the forces at work behind Barrett’s nomination. “A Republican president will appoint judges … who will reverse the long line of activist decisions—including Roe, Obergefell, & the Obamacare cases,” Whitehouse said. “That is their stated objective and plan. Why not take them at their word?”
The Atlantic: Earth’s New Gilded Era by Vann R. Newkirk II
Poor people are more likely to live in hot places and work in hot jobs. And the people who generated most of the emissions making those places and jobs hotter are likely to be wealthier, living with the AC on.
Put on your Big Suit:
HBO Culture Closeup: Spike Lee and David Byrne on “American Utopia”
(Video, 5 min)
A conversation about the sociopolitical climate in the US, and how David Byrne's Broadway show became a Spike Lee Joint. (See the trailer HERE.)
The Seattle Storm won their 4th WNBA Championship this week against the Las Vegas Aces, for a strong finish to the league's social justice season. (Photo WNBA)
Let's Talk About Something Else
Most of us have voted already. What's left to do?
• Track your ballot. Contact your local election officials and make sure your vote is being counted.
• Make a last-push campaign contribution to support a candidate who's important to you.
• Contact friends and family in the US and encourage them to mail in their vote or go to the polls. (Let me be clear, Bro—to cast your ballot, not to patrol.)
Now, let's talk about something else.
A Good Sport:
CNN: Forget the NFL ... women's basketball players take powerful stand on social justice by Motez Bishara
“…You can’t talk about the WNBA without talking about their social justice season, dedicated to Brianna Taylor. They had ahead of every single game thirty-six seconds of remembrance for a different black or brown woman who was killed by state violence. They took shot clock violations to inform their fans about the US Census. They’ve directed their followers and their fans and their viewers to vote.” —Chantel Jennings on Hang Up and Listen (at 47:00 mark)
Winner Take All:
Bloomberg: The 50 Richest Americans Are Worth as Much as the Poorest 165 Million by Ben Steverman and Alexandre Tanzi
Covid-19 has exacerbated inequality in the U.S., with job losses falling heavily on low-wage service workers, while many upper-middle class professionals are working from home, watching their retirement accounts rise in value after the U.S. Treasury and Fed pumped stimulus into the economy.
Condsider This/NPR: Pandemic 'Profiteers': Why Billionaires Are Getting Richer During An Economic Crisis (Podcast, 13 min)
U.S. billionaires have bounced back quickly from this year’s covid-related economic collapse.
Just for Fun: Checking our inventory.
A group of protesters from the 1970s serves as a reminder of how long we’ve known about the severity of air pollution — and how little we’ve done about it.
Bad Air Days and What to Do About Them
I woke up this morning to discover that here in northern California the air — delightfully fresh for a few days — has once again been declared unfit for humans due to wildfire smoke. But bad air isn’t confined to fire zones; worldwide it is responsible for 4.2 million deaths a year and countless illnesses. Cars, power plants, factories, and food production are the biggest culprits, according to the World Health Organization; residential cooking, heating, and lighting are contributors. Which means we can do plenty to help clear the air.
• If you have a car, maintain it. Get regular tune-ups, keep tires fully inflated; you’ll improve gas mileage and reduce emissions.
• Waste less electricity. Switch off unnecessary lights, buy compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, use fans instead of air conditioners whenever possible. Install surge protectors and switch off groups of appliances, eliminating the constant energy trickle of standby mode.
• Avoid paper and plastic shopping bags. Producing paper bags generates more air pollution than making plastic bags. And plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Carry washable cloth bags.
• Do laundry in cold water. Yes, even your COVID masks; experts say cold water is fine unless you’ve been heavily exposed (say, caring for someone with the virus) in which case you’ll want to use hot water to be extra safe.
The High Road
I think most of us have run through the same range of Trump-related reactions over the last week… the tax I-told-you-so, the debate outrage, the covid schadenfreude. As Frank Bruni said in the New York Times: “I couldn’t help thinking, too, about karma, and I immediately felt petty for that.”
Joe Biden has taken the opportunity to model our best responses to the news of the president’s illness: “This is not a matter of politics...It’s a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously. It’s not going away automatically. We have to do our part to be responsible.”
After All These Years...
GiveGreen: Performance and Conversation with Paul Simon
I wrote Paul Simon a fan letter in 1983. Today, over 37 years later, Paul finally wrote me back—to invite me to a League of Conservation Voters fundraiser in support of pro-environment senate candidates. You can check it out too. I’m sure Paul wouldn’t mind; after all, he and I go way back. —K.S.
Don’t Drink the Water
The Atlantic: Erin Brockovich Wants to Know What You’re Drinking by Amanda Fortini
“Let me be the first to tell you that life takes an interesting turn when your name becomes a verb.”
Making the Cut:
The Hill: Trump administration finalizes plan to open up protected areas of Tongass National Forest to logging by Rachel Frazin
The plan would endanger 168,000 acres of old-growth forest.
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American Resistance Sevilla is a non-partisan community mobilizing Americans living abroad to take peaceful action defending our lawful rights and freedoms. Learn more