Saturday, January 17, 2015

A gloomy pre-MLK Day Winter status report

We're in the midst of a January thaw, for which I'm grateful. We're also in the midst of cloudy skies that blot out the sun, for which I'm not grateful.

cloudy, overcast, gloomy sun
cloudy, overcast, gloomy sun
Photo by J. Harrington

We've made it past the Ides of January and have almost 30 minutes more daylight each day than we did at Winter Solstice.

We have slightly more than two months until Spring Equinox, which is a month before income taxes are due.

We celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday. [He was murdered (assassinated) on April 4, 1968, just two months (June 6, 1968) before Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated (murdered) and five years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated (November 22, 1963). The '60s were not all a decade of peace and love.]

We now have a United States Senate in which two of the Senate's most outspoken foes of science and climate change responses are now in charge of the committees that oversee NASA (Sen. Cruz) and the Environment (Sen. Inhofe).

Native American Art Gallery, Minneapolis
Native American Art Gallery, Minneapolis
Photo by J. Harrington

The Star Tribune has been publishing a four-part series on our exceptional neglect of Native American schools. As the series notes, those schools are both separate and unequal. That situation sets a frightening precedent for how we, as a country, as a people, are likely to respond to the fact that now almost 50% of the students in our public schools are low income. Even in Minnesota, where all of our students (and our scholastic racial disparities) are above average, more than a third of our students are low income. If we keep it up, our public schools can offer the same quality education we're providing to Native Americans. Businesses can claim they can't find qualified employees so they have to move even more jobs overseas and we may save a dollar three twenty nine in taxes. How farsighted of us. MLK, RFK and JFK would be so proud.

The Way In

By Linda Hogan 
Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
and beauty.
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.

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