To anyone wondering about where this blog is headed…I haven’t the faintest idea.

But, I want to set down a few notes, feelings rumbling around inside my head, recently.

  1. I’m tired of the formalism of this commitment. That’s both ideological and chronological. My feelings about science and society, collective endeavor at all sorts of levels of size and intent…haven’t changed. Aren’t likely to change after all the years I’ve been part of any corner of this social animal called “the movement”.
  2. Cripes, I can hardly sort out when this started in my own life – much less the broader effort that flowed from participation with other folks. Think it was 1963 there could/would be any record of something collective, social, public and society-oriented that I helped kick off. And even that wasn’t solo [as intended] – because the specific civil rights organization I chose to work for…had also been chosen by another small group of friends and activists for the same reasons, to similar ends.
  3. Folks at “headquarters” of the Congress Of Racial Equality down in NYC had heard from each group over time as we each moved towards foundation and put us together to try to work it out. I think that was 1963.
  4. Little stuff before that doesn’t count – for me.
  5. So, a strong-hearted shop floor Black activist name of Frank Welcome and I [self-taught radical intellectual] White – but, rooted in a couple of predominantly Black communities from early days of music, poetry and jazz, just plain rejection of the racist ethos of White America…became the founding co-chairfolks of the Bridgeport Chapter Congress Of Racial Equality.
  6. This is the first effort that involved our young organization: August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Putin Accuses West of ‘Satanism’

Russian TV screen grab

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the Kremlin today where he announced the annexation of portions of Ukraine in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. In his speech he accused the West of being satanists and said that Russia wants to lead an anti-colonial movement to smash the West. He then formally announced the annexation of territory that Russia invaded and took by force…

Putin’s speech and the annexation of these territories is the culmination of a war that began in 2014 when Kremlin-backed forces seized Crimea and pieces of eastern Ukraine.

“I want the Kyiv authorities and their real masters in the West to hear me, so that they remember this. People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens. Forever,” Putin said in his speech, according to a translation from Reuters. “We call on the Kyiv regime to immediately end hostilities, end the war that they unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this … But we will not discuss the choice of the people in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. That has been made. Russia will not betray them.”

The article goes on and on from there. I don’t care if he believes his bullshit or not. It doesn’t matter much to the occasion. He’s speaking to his followers, fellows-in-arms, True Believers and opportunists alike.

Americans and Brits and NATO parrots will chide his language and choice of rationales for the military acquisition of land and people. The only difference from the same actions by folks who do the same – only under different flags in the West is language and syntax. Imperialism has never been owned exclusively by one nation.

Human Composting to be Legal in California

The only way I’d choose to come back from death

In a few years, people in California will have a new choice for what to do with their loved ones’ bodies after death: put them in their garden.

…Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that makes human composting legal in the state beginning in 2027. The bill, AB-351, makes California the fifth state to allow human composting since it was first legalized in Washington in 2019 (Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont are the other places where you can make yourself into mulch).

“AB 351 will provide an additional option for California residents that is more environmentally-friendly and gives them another choice for burial,” Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, who sponsored the bill, said in a release. “With climate change and sea-level rise as very real threats to our environment, this is an alternative method of final disposition that won’t contribute emissions into our atmosphere.”

Human beings cause more than enough trouble while we’re alive, but the practices we’ve developed to handle our bodies after death are also pretty bad for the environment. Burying a dead body takes about three gallons of embalming liquid per corpse—stuff like formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—and about 5.3 million gallons total gets buried with bodies each year. Meanwhile, cremation creates more than 500 pounds (227 kilograms) of carbon dioxide from the burning process of just one body, and the burning itself uses up the energy equivalent of two tanks of gasoline. In the U.S., cremation creates roughly 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

C’mon, folks. Get onboard with a future appropriate to common sense disposition of what remains after you shuffle off this mortal coil. If you’ve dedicated a chunk of your life to doing good…consider keeping it up after you’re dead and gone.

Our morning rocket fuel

We’ve switched away from the couple of brands of coffee that have served as structural support for the first half of our family’s day for decades. Not that we’re saving chunks of change. It’s just been a spell since we looked around and tried new brands, new blends of coffee. We made a Happy Find. That is, Happy Belly. We get it from Amazon.

About the silliest name for a food product someone came up with; but, it’s great coffee as far as our palates, our central nervous system, are concerned. We buy their medium roast – most satisfying negotiated settlement within the Lot 4 crew. Already ground for our array of percolators.

Full-bodied. Satisfying depth of flavor – that survives a dollop of half-and-half for some. Straight-up black for the rest of the household. None of us uses sugar especially for anything. I’ve been known to add a touch of Truvia [a stevia product] to cup #4 in the morning.

Just a note: Ours isn’t half-caff. We’re enjoying some of the latest studies that say an added touch of caffeine in your diet is probably good for you.

Teacher in India allegedly kills Dalit student over spelling mistake

Police in India are searching for a teacher accused of beating a Dalit student to death over a spelling mistake, officers said amid violent protests triggered by the incident.

Nikhil Dohre was struck with a rod and kicked until he fell unconscious by his high school teacher earlier this month after misspelling the word “social” in an exam, according to a police complaint by his father…

The Dalit community – formerly known as the “untouchables” – sits at the lowest rung of India’s caste system and has been subject to prejudice and discrimination for centuries…

“The family says the boy was beaten by his teacher a few weeks ago for making a spelling error. Now the family has called this a caste-based hate crime,” Al Jazeera’s Pavni Mittal said.

No matter how strong you believe you live in modern times in a modern nation, you usually can find someone ready and willing to prove you wrong. Yes, that includes murder at least as often as personal violence, bigotry as often as ignorance.