All posts by charlescearl

FoodGender EqualityGeorgia

Liberté for Georgia

Buy a French dessert by Friday, post a comment here, and I will donate up to €37.00 to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood to protect women’s rights in Georgia.

I saw amazing desserts in Paris, but I cannot possibly eat that many calories! Help me out while preserving Liberté for women in the United States.

Delacroix’s Liberté guidant le peuple is the post inspiration

If you purchase a traditional French dessert between now and Friday and comment on it here, I will donate a dollar to the ACLU to preserve a woman’s right to safe abortion. Up to a total of €37.

Here are some inspiring desserts to inspire

These are too amazing for me! Eat one yourself and I’ll donate to ACLU!

HistoryPoliticsTravel

Austria as harbinger of change

Last night the, right-wing Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned. He was allegedly videotaped asking a Russian citizen for donations in exchange for government contracts. It is a trope all too common in the democracy of my citizenship, tragically banal as mass shootings.

The impact in Austria was the apparent collapse of the current governing coalition of centrist+right parties. There were protests in Vienna, and the president has called for September elections. The people might need them sooner.

I hope that the elections bring about a political change that invokes the kind of open and forward thinking Austria, the kind of Europe even, that the world is desperately in need of.

Austria has no dearth of vision. The cover photo is of Ute Bock — a Vienna educator who worked on behalf of asylum seekers, especially with respect to educational opportunities, access to housing, and fairness in policing.

Bock’s legacy lives. When I arrived in Vienna, I encountered a poster featuring Katerina Anastasiou, top candidate of a coalition of the Green, Communist, and other leftist parties called KPÖ PLUS.

The agenda described on their website, emphasizes equal housing, job opportunities, and the dismantling of fascism. I’m too far removed for a subtle understanding of Austrian politics — I don’t even pretend to speak German — but the basic outline seems more in the line of public service than fascist money for favors.

To quote from one of Anastasiou’s recent speeches:

The Europe we want does not exist yet, but it lives in us!

So reminiscent of the last lines of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address

that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth

That the left is sounding a call for support of immigrants and access to housing is not surprising, I learned that they’ve been effective at it in Austria — Vienna at least since the early 20th century.

These are photos I took outside of the Karl Marx-Hof public housing complex, erected in the late 1920’s. To equate it with the oppressive housing complexes of the US is a sacrilege.

The day I visited, the grounds were vibrant. 20-somethings debated in the courtyard. In the steps leading to the entrance, the diversity of Vienna was on display, as Somalian, Bangladeshi, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Eastern- and Austrian-Europeans went about their way basking in the sun. Kebab vendors sold savories and outlined the veggie prospects to me.

As I entered the courtyard I encountered the following plaque

A testament to the 60 families, residents of the Marx-Hof, that had been executed by the Nazis in 1938 and 1939.

Austria’s gift to humanity is its ability to build from the memory of unspeakable horror. To help bring about that vision of the world to which we all aspire. I am with them as the continue the long march forward.

HistoryTravel

Stalinists in Georgia (the state)

We dined at the restaurant Lingenhel Käserei in Vienna on Wednesday night. It had an installation by the Georgian (as in Tbilisi) Helmut Spudich.

The title of the installation was “Georgia on my mind”!

This Op Ed by Stacey Abrams makes clear the case that the current government of the US State Georgia has been spinning into a one party, patriarchal, oppressive, racialist, and anti-democracy state for some time.

It is time to remove the would be Stalinists.

Data ScienceHistorySocial Justice

Remembering Bill Jenkins

As Chelsea Manning is again sent to jail for refusing to abandon basic press freedoms, I am reminded of Bill Jenkins.

Mr Jenkins passed away recently. He was an epidemiologist (and Morehouse graduate ) who bravely exposed the horrific Tuskegee experiments, as Ms Manning exposed egregious human rights violations that occurred during US military operations.

If you are not aware of the Tuskegee experiment, the US Health Service allowed Black men to be untreated for sexually transmitted diseases for three decades. It was a controlled experiment to determine the effects of untreated syphilis. The participants were all poor Black sharecroppers — men recruited through Tuskegee University, believing that they were getting free healthcare in exchange for helping to develop a drug to fight “bad blood”. None of those who had syphilis were given access to penicillin, even after the study supposedly ended. Many perished or suffered irreversible harm.

One outcome was the establishment of informed consent, and other ethical practices we take for granted when we walk into a doctor’s office, or signup for a clinical trial. Jenkins learned of the study, and started asking questions, despite being told to ignore it, or just “look the other way”. In the current climate, Mr Jenkins might have well faced prison. Some principles are worth suffering for, some causes are just that important.

Thank you Bill Jenkins, thank you Chelsea, and thank you to the others doing the right thing.

HistorySocial Justice

Let her lead!

The movement to criminalize women’s control of their bodies is front and center in Alabama and Georgia.

Notre Dame’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw recently took a stand for women’s equality in sports, and was man-splained for her candor and bravery.

The cover photo was taken in Sheroes cafe in Agra, India a place dedicated to supporting survivors of gender violence, providing a space “to come and discuss feminism and equal right“. It is indeed time for the she-roes to step up. There is a multitude.

True leadership is evidenced by the security of letting new spirits and flowers flourish.

Could all the male presidential candidates of all US political parties take a knee for the next four years? Really, is there any perspective or point that is not better articulated by one of the women running?

Since that seems the case, what if we all just agreed not to vote for a male candidate for a year or two or three? A “boycott”.

Alyssa Milano after all, has called for a sex strike.

Surely we would not lose too much after 250 years of male presidents?