Morning Reads for Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17)

Good morning, and happy Random Acts of Kindness Day! This day was first designated Random Acts of Kindness Day in 2004 by Josh de Jong of New Zealand, but it’s now celebrated around the world. There’s even a website that includes K-12 lesson plans. They have lots of other suggestions, too, for those of us who are already beyond secondary school, as you might expect! So, y’all be nice out there today, okay?

It’s also Ash Wednesday, and if you’re not Catholic or one of the mainline Christian denominations that celebrates, that’s why some of your friends and colleagues are going to have ashes on their foreheads today.

Finally, it’s National Champion Crab Racing Day, and I really want to know more about this. Why? There was an association? What happened to it? Where does one go to crab race, aside from the generic answer of “the beach?” I need details! If y’all know, please tell me.

Anyway, let’s get to the news.

Pat Conroy

Alice Walker

  • More than four million Americans are still without power today — and three million of those are Texas residents.
  • Senator Lisa Murkowski is the latest senator censured by their state GOP for their vote on former President Donald Trump’s conviction.
  • In Tuesday night’s CNN Presidential Town Hall, President Joe Biden said that COVID vaccines should be available to the general public by the end of July.
  • The president also said that teachers should move up on the priority lists for vaccinations.
  • Economists are warning that a focus on retraining is needed to help those whose jobs likely aren’t coming back after the pandemic is over. (Alternate link.)
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general has found that the agency is responsible for the lead poisoning of children in East Chicago, Indiana. (Alternate link.)
  • Florida lawmakers are trying to rein in Governor Ron DeSantis’ wide-ranging emergency powers enacted at the beginning of the COVID crisis.
  • The USS Russell has “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Spratly Islands, consistent with international law,” meaning the Biden Administration is challenging China’s claim to the islands.
  • In Myanmar, the potential for violence is increasing after the recent coup.
  • Canada has backed away from a national handgun ban, but will allow communities to make local decisions.
  • The anti-radicalization bill making its way through the French parliament worries some Muslims. The bill, which has passed the National Assembly house, now goes to the senate.
  • A Dubai princess has released messages claiming that she has been a virtual prisoner since her forced return to the country in 2018. (Alternate link.)
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is now worried that foreign powers (read: the United States) will meddle in the country’s upcoming election.

Flannery O’Connor

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