Weather: Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of showers in the morning, then showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs around 90. West winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent. Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms in the evening, then a chance of showers with a slight chance of thunderstorms after midnight. Lows in the lower 70s. Southeast winds around 5 mph in the evening, becoming light and variable. Chance of rain 60 percent. Tropical storm watch: No significant activity.
Today at the Editor’s Glance:
In Court: It’s pre-trial day, all day, before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins, including a pre-trial for Kwentel Moultrie, recently convicted of rape, now appearing regarding his second degree murder and armed burglary charges.
The Community Traffic Safety Team led by Flagler County Commissioner Andy Dance meets at 9 a.m. in the first-floor conference room at the Government Services Building, 1769 East Moody Boulevard, Bunnell. You may also join by zoom. Meeting ID: 823 5444 1058, Passcode: 565882
The Palm Coast City Council meets in workshop at 9 a.m. at City Hall. The council will discuss its legislative priorities, and discuss changing the date, to a later week, when new office holders are sworn in to the City Council. The full agenda is available here.
The Census Bureau releases the 2021 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance statistics from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement at 10 a.m.
The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board holds its regular monthly meeting at its Palatka headquarters at 3 p.m.. The public is invited to attend and to offer in-person comment on Board agenda items. A livestream will also be available for members of the public to observe the meeting online. Governing Board Room, 4049 Reid St., Palatka. Click this link to access the streaming broadcast. The live video feed begins approximately five minutes before the scheduled meeting time. Meeting agendas are available online here.
The Flagler County Planning Board meets at 5:30 p.m. at the Government Services Building, 1769 East Moody Boulevard, Bunnell. See board documents, including agendas and background materials, here. Watch the meeting or past meetings here.
Notebook: Xenophobia has yet to meet its Xanax. Monday morning I came across a Gibbon description of Rome in the 5th century that made me think of that Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, back in the late 1990s, who made headlines after he told Sports Illustrated: “Imagine having to take the 7 train to the ballpark,” a reference to the New York City subway line that goes from Flushing, Queens, to Times Square in Manhattan, “looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right, next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing.” I recall writing a column for The Ledger about how I’d grown up in two places: In Beirut, and on the 7 line, which to this day is the featured image on my Facebook page (the 7 train). I wrote that column–a love letter to the 7 line, itself a lovely symbol of New York—on a trip to New York, while riding that line. The Rocker quote sounded awfully like something I later came across in Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise: “When Armory went to Washington the next week-end, he caught some of the spirit of crisis which changed to repulsion in the Pullman car coming back, for the berths across from him were occupied by stinking aliens-Greeks, he guessed, or Russians. He thought how much easier patriotism had been to a homogenized race, how much easier it would have been to fight as the colonies fought, or as the Confederacy fought. And he did no sleeping that night, but listened to the aliens guffaw and snore while they filled the car with the heavy scent of latest America.” Those poor Greeks seem to get the brunt of everyone’s Xenophobia, but not just the Greeks. Juvenal in his Satires shreds them all:
My friends, I can’t stand
A Rome full of Greeks, yet few of the dregs are Greek!
For the Syrian Orontes has long since polluted the Tiber,
Bringing its language and customs, pipes and harp-strings,
And even their native timbrels are dragged along too,
And the girls forced to offer themselves in the Circus.
But I’d started with the Gibbon trigger. Here he is, on Rome’s #7 train back in the fifth century: “As early as the time of Hadrian it was the just complaint of the ingenuous natives that the capital had attracted the vices of the universe and the manners of the most opposite nations. The intemperance of the Gauls, the cunning and levity of the Greeks, the savage obstinacy of the Egyptians and Jews, the servile temper of the Asiatics, and the dissolute, effeminate prostitution of the Syrians, were mingled in the various multitude, which, under the proud and false denomination of Romans, presumed to despise their fellow-subjects, and even their sovereigns, who dwelt beyond the precincts of the ETERNAL CITY.” One word bothers me more than all the others in that paragraph, since it’s Gibbon’s, from whom one expects less unenlightened bile: the word just. Cesar of ironists that he is, I can’t see the irony here, leaving me to thing it’s rank racism. He’s not foreign to it, especially when it comes to those hordes from the east. Didn’t he refer to “the effeminate luxury of Oriental despotism” (don’t say gay, Gibbon) or worse. He refers to “an Arab by birth, and consequently, in the earlier part of his life, a robber by profession.” Not to leave Blacks un-insulted, he also refers to “the inaction of the negroes [which] does not seem to be the effect either of their virtue or of their pusillanimity.” Gibbon could cause the occasional doubletake, but he remains a pure joy and wonder to read, no matter what page you open. He writes English like Mozart wrote music. You can never tire of either. Even when either fell prone to the prejudices of their age.
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