2017 August 29

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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Hurricane Harvey: Houston’s flooding made worse by unchecked urban development and wetland destruction — Quartz

"In recent days, the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey has raised water levels in some parts of the watershed high enough to completely cover a Cadillac. The vanished wetlands wouldn’t have prevented flooding, but they would have made it less painful, experts say."

"The Harvey-wrought devastation is just the latest example of the consequences of Houston’s gung-ho approach to development. The city, the largest in the US with no zoning laws, is a case study in limiting government regulations and favoring growth—often at the expense of the environment. As water swamps many of its neighborhoods, it’s now also a cautionary tale of sidelining science and plain common sense. Given the Trump administration’s assault on environmental protections, it’s one that Americans elsewhere should pay attention to."

Map: Putnam Pond Campground

Map: Putnam Pond Campground

The Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, an Adirondack Park unit of New York's Forest Preserve, straddles the Essex County-Warren County line in the towns of Ticonderoga, Hague, Horicon and Schroon. The county road along the east shore of Schroon Lake forms the western boundary; to the north, private land and NY 74 form the boundary. The state land boundary forms most of the remaining perimeter except for a stretch of NY 8 on the south.

The area contains 39 bodies of water covering 1,100 acres (4.4 km2), 62.8 miles (101 km) of foot trails, and 14 lean-tos.

People Who Follow Low-Fat Diets Have Higher Mortality Rates, Study Says — NOVA Next

"Current health guidelines suggest that too much saturated fat raises cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease. Yet those who follow these guidelines tend to eat more carbs like bread, pasta, and rice. PURE scientists found that high intake levels of carbs had an unfavorable impact on cardiovascular health and higher mortality rates."

"But carbs aren’t just starchy foods. Fruits and vegetables are, too, and when it came to those, more was always considered better. Yet the study found that eating three to four servings per day—as opposed to the daily recommended five servings—had the greatest health benefits."

Black-clad anarchists swarm anti-hate rally in California

"Thousands gathered Sunday in response to a planned anti-Marxism protest that was canceled amid concerns demonstrators might be attacked. The counter-demonstration was largely peaceful for several hours until the antifa, or anti-fascists, overran police barricades around the protest area. The violence was swift but brief, and among those targeted was Joey Gibson, leader of the right-wing organization Patriot Prayer that had called off a demonstration a day earlier in San Francisco."

"Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood said officers were told not to actively confront the anarchists. He applauded officers’ restraint, saying it forestalled greater violence. Six people suffered injuries, including two who were hospitalized, and one officer was injured while making an arrest and several others were hit with paint."

"There were 13 arrests on various charges including, assault with a deadly weapon."

“The potential use of force became very problematic” given the thousands of peaceful protesters in the park, Greenwood said. Once anarchists arrived, it was clear there would not be dueling protests between left and right so he ordered his officers out of the park and allowed the anarchists to march in."

How (Not) to Challenge Racist Violence

"Over the years I have come to see more and more of what Adolph Reed calls “posing as politics.” Rather than organizing for change, individuals seek to enact a statement about their own righteousness. They may boycott certain products, refuse to eat certain foods, or they may show up to marches or rallies whose only purpose is to demonstrate the moral superiority of the participants. White people may loudly claim that they recognize their privilege or declare themselves allies of people of color or other marginalized groups. People may declare their communities “no place for hate.” Or they may show up at counter-marches to “stand up” to white nationalists or neo-Nazis. All of these types of “activism” emphasize self-improvement or self-expression rather than seeking concrete change in society or policy. They are deeply, and deliberately, apolitical in the sense that they do not seek to address issues of power, resources, decisionmaking, or how to bring about change."

"Rather than organizing for change, individuals seek to enact a statement about their own righteousness."
Oddly, these activists who have claimed the mantle of racial justice seem committed to an individualized, apolitical view of race. The diversity industry has become big business, sought out by universities and companies seeking the cachet of inclusivity. Campus diversity offices channel student protest into alliance with the administration and encourage students to think small. While adept in the terminology of power, diversity, inclusion, marginalization, injustice, and equity, they studiously avoid topics like colonialism, capitalism, exploitation, liberation, revolution, invasion, or other actual analyses of domestic or global affairs. Lumping race together in an ever-growing list of marginalized identities allows the history and realities of race to be absorbed into a billiard ball theory of diversity, in which different dehistoricized identities roll around a flat surface, occasionally colliding."

"Let us be very clear. The white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, hate-filled and repugnant as their goals may be, are not the ones responsible for the U.S. wars on Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. They are not responsible for turning our public school system over to private corporations. They are not responsible for our separate and unequal health care system that consigns people of color to ill health and early death. They are not the ones foreclosing and evicting people of color from their homes. They are not the authors of neoliberal capitalism with its devastating effects on the poor around the planet. They are not the ones militarizing the borders to enforce global apartheid. They are not behind the extraction and burning of fossil fuels that is destroying the planet, with the poor and people of color the first to lose their homes and livelihoods. If we truly want to challenge racism, oppression, and inequality, we should turn our attention away from the few hundred marchers in Charlottesville and towards the real sources and enforcers of our unjust global order. They are not hard to find."