January 2024

Atlantic Rainforest #SOS

South America’s other species-rich tropical assemblage, the Atlantic Rainforest, is in dire shape.

This priceless hotbed of life has mostly been razed, four out of every five trees are gone.

Five hundred years ago, this coastal and inland masterpiece was almost two times the area of New South Wales. The brunt of this remaining biome exists in Brazil (92%) with two slivers shared by Paraguay (6%) and Argentina (2%).

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The Failed Promise of Independent Election Mapmaking

by Marilyn W. Thompson, with research contributions from Ryann Grochowski Jones.
ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom.

In Washington and other states, independent redistricting commissions have fallen prey to partisanship, just like the legislative bodies they were meant to replace.

Washington state’s mapmakers had been working for almost a year to draw the lines that would shape the state’s elections for the next decade. Now they had five hours until the midnight deadline and they’d made little progress.

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Academic Assertions & Authenticity

Many of the “Progressives” in the U.S. were the protestors of the 1960s. The Baby Boomers, numbering 76 million, as identified in demographics from 1946 to 1964, were quite vocal and resistant to the American values in which they were raised. To be fair, they had never seen the economic hardships of the 1920s and 1930s; they were raised in a consumer economy, a materialistic culture that was an economic gift to their parents and a curse to them. One of, if not the biggest influence was a college education, which, according to Inside Higher Ed, the “undergraduate enrollments increased 45 percent between 1945 and 1960, then doubled again by 1970.”

Certainly the U.S. was not a perfect society where the Boomers grew up, but when compared to other nations, the Boomers in the U.S. grew up with a prosperity that their parents could only imagine. That freedom and prosperity was threatened by the Vietnam War, where fifty-five thousand American young men perished for reasons that, in an historical perspective, seem pointless.

Somewhere the radicals realized that it wasn’t hip to resist authority; it was better to be authority.

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