Night Owls is a themed open thread appearing at Daily Kos seven days a week.
Caitlin Cruz at The New Republic writes—I’m Tired of Living Through Extraordinary Times in Texas. As a devastating storm hit my home state, we relied on mutual aid as our elected officials showed their true face:
The state turned away from us; we turned toward each other. Mutual aid funds populated every major metro area in Texas, giving away money for hotel rooms, food, gas, and the massive energy bills that will follow the disaster—no questions asked. Volunteers with donated water and all-wheel drive helped our elderly, unhoused, and disabled neighbors move to safer places. These groups—Houston’s alone has distributed more than $22,000 to date—became a lifeline.
It’s a beautiful thing born of an ugly thing. We shouldn’t have to donate money to keep us alive because the government is incapable of or indifferent to helping us. But every once in a while, you can see the indifference reveal a deeper contempt. Then-Colorado City Mayor Tim Boyd, in a perfect marriage of content and medium, wrote on Facebook that, “No one owes you are [sic] your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! … The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!.”
Boyd started his tirade with, “Let me hurt some feelings while I have a minute!!” It’s a succinct enough expression of the modern Texas Republican Party’s beliefs as any I’ve seen. They see policies as a way of exacting pain on people they despise. When their cruelty is spelled out plainly, you’re the one who is too sensitive. They could never be the ones in the wrong. The ability to stand by that position is Trumpian, but predated Trump: Never apologize and never retreat.
The reality of a changing climate is that we will only become more reliant on each other, and we must decide what kind of world we’d like to live in as it burns—or freezes. In an interview with Texas Monthly, energy consultant and UT Austin research assistant in smart grid and bulk electricity systems Joshua Rhodes said while it’s theoretically possible that we might have avoided this week’s energy crisis, there’s also tangible reason why it happened: powerful people made choices. […]
People across my state are dead. They deserve the truth to be told about their deaths. Their government did not adequately prepare them for a climate-change disaster. Their government did not adequately prepare itself for this climate-change disaster. And there will be more storms. […]
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
Foundations for a Just and Inclusive Recovery, by Maya Pinto, Rakeen Mabud, Amity Paye, and Sanjay Pinto.
A Quite Possibly Wonderful Summer Families will gather, by James Hamblin. Restaurants will reopen. People will travel. The pandemic may feel like it’s behind us—even if it’s not.
The Everyday Resistance of Enslaved Women, by Stella Dadzie. Studying history is like detective work—especially when the rebellion of Black women has been left out of the story.
TOP COMMENTS • RESCUED DIARIES
“It takes the average American four years of doctors’ visits to spend as much time with their physician as they spend with their phone in a single day.”
~~Emmanuel Fombu, The Future of Healthcare: Humans an Machines Partnering for Better Outcomes (2018)
On this date at Daily Kos in 2008—Past Time to End Embargo on Cuba:
A year and a half ago, the announcement that most observers expected to hear any day from Cuba was that Fidel Castro, the island’s long-ruling communist caudillo, was dead from the gastro-intestinal problems that had transformed him from an elderly but vigorous leader into a wraith and forced him to temporarily transfer authority to his brother. Instead, he has done what some said he would never willingly do: resigned. The exact parameters of his health status remain unknown, as does knowledge regarding how much of an éminence grise he may remain in his dotage. One thing for certain, his impact, for good and ill, will not be soon forgotten.
With Castro officially out of the picture for the first time in 49 years, what next is on many minds, in Cuba, in southern Florida where the extensive Cuban exile community has transformed that part of the state nearly as much as Castro transformed the island, and elsewhere, including Washington, where those exiles have had an unbalanced influence on U.S. policy toward Cuba for decades?
What better time for the United States to have a positive impact on the sclerotic regime that runs Cuba by revamping its own sclerotic policies? This it could start by phasing out the 46-year-old embargo that has hurt average Cubans and given Castro a rhetorical cudgel and a mask, one to pummel U.S. policy, the other to conceal the regime’s failures and justify its excesses. No chance of that, it seems. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Tuesday that he couldn’t “imagine” an end to the U.S. embargo “happening any time soon.”
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