All posts by Rondi Adamson

Bird Cams

Currently hooked on Hummingbird Nest live feed – that nest is a work of art. Also hooked on Big Bear Bald Eagle nest live feed, but given the cruelty of Mother Nature, it has been a bit depressing. Ravens scavenged the first clutch (undeveloped eggs) – which made me weep – but we are now on a watch for the second clutch. Magnificent birds, all. And so, so courageous. I wrote about our own bird experiences here and here.

Uplift and its Opposite

Is the opposite of uplift “downlift”? Not sure, so I won’t use that word. Here is a touching story – a clip of a pup being rescued from the earthquake in Turkey. I love how gently and carefully they dig the little fella out, and his expression of trust. Utterly unfazed. (Could not embed, for some reason, so click on link above – it is really worth it.) And an extraordinary feature about migrant children in the United States and the work many of them are doing to survive. The reaction of the Biden administration is that they are going to “crack down” on this problem – good, because it is a situation created by said administration’s policies and all of the ginned up hysteria about immigration during Trump’s time in office. This is a fiendishly complicated, sad situation. I like what Abe Greenwald has written about it here. (Don’t let the headline put you off – that is not what Greenwald is saying.)

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Whatever your preferred organizations to help might be, please do give to them. There are horrors on this planet each day, of course, but the sheer numbers here and the painful images are quite something altogether. I do have a personal connection to Turkey, however small, and I will always feel a pang when things like this happen in a place I called home. A couple of my students from those days have been in touch with me – a reminder that when we teach kids, we make connections that last and (for better or for worse) we leave a bit of us with them. I am lucky, because my students seem to remember me fondly. (Not sure I deserve that!) It means so much to me, though.

Related: the Cat Man of Aleppo and, a piece I wrote about Turkey.

Further to my Previous

A good piece here about Ken Burns’ series on the Holocaust. It’s an engrossing, compelling and thorough (and thoroughly depressing, given the subject matter) series in many ways, and of a high quality that we expect from Burns. But it is oh, so, political. Which trivializes its topic, in a very real and unnecessary manner:

Just as important, The U.S. and the Holocaust concludes by noting the passage of more liberal immigration laws in the 1960s and then showing a montage, including protests about the collapse of security at America’s southern border; former President Donald Trump’s demand that a border wall be built; the 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia; the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting; and finally, the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. We hear warnings from talking heads that America’s thin veneer of civilization could, like Germany’s, collapse more quickly than we think—a not-so-subtle nod in the direction of the contemporary Democratic Party’s pose as the defenders of democracy against their Republican opponents.

So ham-handed. I have no objection on pointing out how few Jews the United States allowed in – Canada was even worse. We should all know this and be ashamed. It’s the partisanship and the attempt to link what happened then with current headlines that bothers me. Bari Weiss very firmly – and diplomatically – challenges Burns at her podcast/interview here. I like the way she is making him uncomfortable about his misuse of history. But she is too gentle when he insists he is not being political in his selected montage of American bigotry and antisemitism (all Republicans). What she could have asked was, “Ok, if that is the case, then why not include, in your montage, one of Ilhan Omar’s many antisemitic comments?” Regardless, her interview with him is excellent and not only for the moments in which she lets him know she is not impressed.