Daily Bread for 9.19.21: Another War to End | FREE WHITEWATER
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Daily Bread for 9.19.21: Another War to End

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 89.  Sunrise is 6:40 AM and sunset 6:56 PM for 12h 16m 00s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 97.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1982, Scott Fahlman posts the first documented emoticons 🙂 and 🙁 on the Carnegie Mellon University bulletin board system:

Fahlman was not the first to suggest the concept of the emoticon – a similar concept for a marker appeared in an article of Reader’s Digest in May 1967, although that idea was never put into practice.

In an interview printed in The New York Times in 1969, Vladimir Nabokov noted:

“I often think there should exist a special typographical sign for a smile – some sort of concave mark, a supine round bracket.”

Fahlman is credited with originating the first smiley emoticon, which he thought would help people on a message board at Carnegie Mellon to distinguish serious posts from jokes. He proposed the use of :-) and :-( for this purpose, and the symbols caught on. The original message from which these symbols originated was posted on 19 September 1982. The message was recovered by Jeff Baird on 10 September 2002 and read:

19-Sep-82 11:44    Scott E  Fahlman             :-)
From: Scott E  Fahlman <Fahlman at Cmu-20c>

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:

:-)

Read it sideways.  Actually, it is probably more economical to mark
things that are NOT jokes, given current trends.  For this, use

:-(

Elliot Williams writes With America Out of a Major Foreign War, Time to End One at Home:

Many of the tragedies and sins associated with failure in the war in Afghanistan could equally apply if the words “in Afghanistan” were swapped out with “on drugs”: that it raged for decades; was immeasurably bloody; was carried out with no clear exit strategy; had the support of an American public that was blinded by politically charged debates and that scarcely appreciated its costs; and is managed by political leaders who overwhelmingly want it to end, but do not want to own the responsibility for doing so.

While President Richard Nixon first laid a marker on drugs by calling for major narcotics legislation in 1969, the rhetoric of the modern drug war as we know it began with a speech he gave in 1971. There, he declared that the federal government would treat addiction as “public enemy No. 1,” and that “in order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new all-out offensive.”

….

Moreover, nothing today screams about the racial underpinnings of the country’s approach to drugs more than the fact that today’s opioid crisis (one that has victimized Whites), is thought of as exactly that — a crisis. Today’s White users are vulnerable victims to be nurtured; Black users often remain enemy combatants to be dispatched.

….

In addition, baked at least partly into the American psyche is the notion that police are not guardians of the communities they serve, but rather warriors engaged in ongoing combat (think about it: police often are called “troops” or “forces” and trained at military-style boot camps, and military veterans represent about 20 percent of police forces despite making up just 6 percent of the general population). Humans most often go to war with people they view as unlike themselves; likewise, police officers may see themselves as guardians of people like themselves. For generations, America’s entire notion of what policing is has largely overvalued police officers’ roles as warriors and undervalued their role as protectors. That must evolve. While defunding police may not make communities safer, shifting the very paradigm that police only exist as extensions of the country’s military apparatus will.

The rise of conservative populism makes an end to the drug war unlikely in places where populists hold political sway.  Populists see those beyond their movement as ‘illegitimate,’ and so will hungrily support a conflict like this against others.

Rural counties like Walworth County, Wisconsin will fight the drug war, and waste money year after year, even if most of America moves on.

Leaving Afghanistan will prove easier than ending the drug war.


 Why beavers were parachuted into the Idaho wilderness 73 years ago:

Today, black rhinos are anesthetized and hung from helicopters by their feet, skimming the savanna as they’re flown to new locations to help repopulate the species. Mountain goats are blindfolded and secured in dangling slings, choppered to new ranges to prevent destruction of fragile alpine environments from overgrazing. Fish are routinely dropped from fixed-wing aircraft to restock lakes. Still, in 1948, and even now, the idea of translocating beavers by dropping boxes of them out of a plane with parachutes was unusual.

But Idaho’s wildlife managers at the time were at a loss. People were migrating from the state’s cities to rural areas in the southwest part of the state in search of fresh air and nature. Many of those regions were already populated, however—by beavers. Soon, the new residents were complaining about the old ones, whose habit of felling trees and building dams sometimes flooded yards and damaged sprinkler systems, orchards, and culverts.

The Fish and Game Department recognized the animals’ value as important ecosystem engineers. Beavers establish and maintain wetlands, improve water quality, reduce erosion, and create habitat for game, fish, waterfowl, and plants. They also help stabilize the water supply for humans. Rather than exterminate them, the department decided to move them—all 76 of them.

[Idaho Fish and Game employee Elmo] Heter set to work, focusing on how he could safely, quickly, and affordably transport beavers from the McCall and Payette Lake region of southwestern Idaho to the Chamberlain Basin, in central Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountain Range, now called the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area.

Eventually, he hit upon a singular idea: tying boxes of beavers to parachutes left over from World War II, then tossing them out of a small plane.

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