We all have to work through our own mental crap, the stuff we inherited from parents and society and friends. That's our job. That's each individual person's job -- to figure out for 'self what is true and right and honest and compassionate.
But that doesn't mean we are obliged to take on what those symbols represent. We are not obliged to be on the side that believes that hatred, racism, and genocide will make a better world.
We know that's not true.
In the meantime, we do not have to do the Nazis' work by spreading their images, by giving them our minds. We don't owe them that. We don't owe them anything, not one thing.
In Second Life terms, they're griefers. They get their rocks off by causing trouble, by hurting people, by causing damage. Unfortunately, in real life, I cannot press two buttons and ban them from the US. I don't have that power here. Neither do you.
So we need to keep them out of our heads. And not allow them to add to the pile of stuff we're already dealing with.
It's important to know who your enemies are. It's also important to know when they are trying mind games and to not let them win.
(Apologies if this is not as thoughtful as usual. I have a hell of a headache.)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-05-10:
"One of the great challenges of our age, in which the tools of our productivity are also the tools of our leisure, is to figure out how to make more useful those moments of procrastination when we're idling in front of our computer screens. What if instead of tabbing over to the web browser in search of some nugget of gossip or news, or opening up a mindless game such as Angry Birds, we could instead scratch the itch by engaging in a meaningful activity, such as learning a foreign language?
"If five million people can be convinced to log into Zynga's Facebook game Farmville each day to water a virtual garden and literally watch the grass grow on their computer screens, surely, Ed [Cooke] believes, there must be a way to co-opt those same neural circuits that reward mindless gaming to make learning more addictive and enjoyable. That's the great ambition of Memrise, and it points towards a future where we're constantly learning in tiny chunks of our downtime."
-- Joshua Foer, on British memory champion Ed Cooke's online learning company, Memrise.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
It's this: the symbolism of them carrying torches. Something about that apparently goes back to a primordial bit of the brain that keeps the fear going. Maybe it's the shared ancestral memory of towns and cities burning centuries ago -- every one of us has, somewhere in our history, some ancient family member who was burned out of a home in some war or other. (I can tell you that my own ancestral fear of being burned out goes back two generations, to when my grandfather's blacksmith's shop went up in flames in midwinter, and it was a hard fight by the local fire brigade to keep the house nearby from going up as well. If both hadn't been next to the river, the family would have been homeless.) But the point is that something nearly primordial in us sees campfires as friendly (we cook over them) and torches as hostile, unfriendly and dangerous. And when it's a mob with torches? Especially dangerous and frightening.
And those of us who post and repost news items are spreading images of torches. We're doing the frightening for them and keeping it going. Think about what happened when we kept seeing the Twin Towers collapsing in the weeks after 9/11, when the horror and the fear just did not go away because those images kept feeding it.
So this is what I am asking you to do:
1. If, anywhere on any social media, you have posted a picture from Charlottesville with torches in it, please delete it. Or edit it so it's a bunch of ugly white men without torches. We already know what happened there -- everyone knows. We don't have to see that picture any more. We don't have to spread their message of hate for them. That's not our job.
2. Take extra care to keep your own mind free from that image, and from the fear that it and other images of the Charlottesville riot can foster. Make sure to spend time with loving pets, or out in nature, or with people you love or doing things you care about. Make sure to put joy in your life on purpose, not by accident, in whatever way pleases you. Take time to appreciate good things around you. Joy and appreciation are powerful weapons against fear; they set the ground for generosity, caring and peace.
Petra: when I was there, St. Bonaventure University was 1800 people in all, plus 200 or so grad students, so fairly small. Not without its bad behavior by some and a number of outright scoundrels, but I don't recall Paladino being one of them.
From Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler, 2017-05-03:
|Petey:||Galactic civilizations didn't all end the same way, but the endings all seem to start with people like you having meetings like this.|
|Admiral Chu:||At least now I have a scientific reason to hate meetings.|
|Captain Kaff Tagon:||[...] Two wrongs don't make a right, but two unluckies do make a lucky.|
|Ennesby:||You meat-sophonts rarely notice, but words actually feel pain when they're abused.|
|Captain Kaff Tagon:||Cool. Long meetings just got way more fun for me.|
Since the police refused to protect the Charlottesville synagogue, the synagogue has hired armed security guards.
You'll never be as radical as this 18th Century Quaker dwarf. So you know: Quakers did not wear military uniforms or take up arms. This is relevant.
White pride is not a culture. And Southern pride in a time of terror, which talks about real Southern culture.
A social justice syllabus.
The entire US military has broken away from Trump and openly denounced racism.
The ACLU will no longer defend hate groups protesting while carrying firearms. This is a first.
A 21-year-old Nazi sympathizer who marched in Charlottesville is now whining that his life is over because he was identified as marching with Nazis and KKK. I don't have a violin small enough.
The real horror of Trump's response to Charlottesville.
A Charlottesville ER nurse talks, after a day of decompression.
Retracing Willa Cather's steps in the south of France.
Are we different writers when we move from longhand to a screen? I can say that I write poetry differently with a pen in hand, and essays differently, and I don't write nonfiction there at all.
The landscape of Civil War commemoration. 13,000 monuments, and descriptions.
Churches Uniting in Christ statement on white nationalism and white supremacism. The member churches of CUIC include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church, the International Council of Community Churches, the Moravian Church (Northern Province), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.
The president's Arts and Humanities Council, founded by Obama, has resigned over Trump's Charlottesville response.
Bannon's out of the White House; Trumpists are more afraid of him now.
3 major charities canceled Mar-a-Lago galas.
Charlottesville forces media and tech companies to draw a line on what they will allow.
In Oregon, rural Muslims fight for safety and inclusion.
In Iran, cracking down on journalists.
Ranking countries by their blasphemy laws.
New Dallas police officers face questions on how an ethical officer would act.
It's hard to find an impartial jury for pharmaceuticals scammer Martin Shkreli's
1a. If there are fewer demonstrators than your available police and with less-able weapons, send the police to keep order. Or even if there are a few more but they are not heavily armed.
2. If there are more demonstrators than you have police, or they are better armed (though with all the gifts of military weaponry to local police groups this seems unlikely), get on the phone to call your State Police, local station or substation, and inform them of the situation and ask them for help. State police are well armed, generally extremely well trained, and just the people who should be there making sure things stay calm and the different groups of demonstrators stay clear of one another.
3. If for some reason (I cannot think of one but perhaps one exists in some alternate universe) you cannot call the State Police for help (or, in Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Police), get on the phone to the governor and ask for the local branch of the National Guard to be mobilized to protect the people of your constituency.
Dear mayor/supervisor/top elected official, it is your job to make sure that peaceful protesters are not beaten down either by police or by armed insurgents who consider themselves protesters although by being armed and hostile they do not come under the coverage of the First Amendment. It is your job to keep people safe. If you don't call out adequate police/state cops/Guardsmen, you are failing your job and your people, and you do not deserve to be in office.
Is that clear???
I have tried to contact support, but it logs me out as I write the ticket, and then does the same thing when I write it again. And then tells me the entry is invalid and needs to be done over. For this reason I haven't been able to contact Support.
If anyone from Support is reading this, would you please do what you can to stop this frustrating situation?
"There seems to be a perception from people outside of Charlottesville that what is going on here is two opposing groups coming to town and fighting some ideological battle that has gotten messy. That is not what is happening here. What is happening here is that several hate groups from the extreme right have come together under the "unite the right" banner here in our town and basically started acting as terrorists. This may seem like an exaggeration but it's not...."
And whose heritage do public symbols of confederacy belong to, anyway?
Florida has more racist hate groups than any other state; I wonder how old the members are.
Texas A&M cancels a rally by white supremacists, because of the possibility of violence against students.
Congressman Will Hurd and others say Trump should apologize for his remarks about Charlottesville.
Not only did Trump's business leaders walk away from him, they're not quiet about why. Here's another statement of why, including the following: "To be clear, the council never lived up to its potential for delivering policies that lift up working families. In fact, we were never called to a single official meeting, even though it comprised some of the world’s top business and labor leaders. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. joined to bring the voices of working people to the table and advocate the manufacturing initiatives our country desperately needs. But the only thing the council ever manufactured was letterhead. In the end, it was just another broken promise."
It took quite a bit of behind the scenes discussion, apparently.
And a look into the past history of American racism in the other inconvenient truth. Note the role Nixon had in creating hatred and persecution that continues to this day.
The racist who organized the Charlottesville white separtists ran away from his own press conference. Another white separatist was stuck having a press conference in his own office after two hotels turned him down.
I am not sure I agree with this idea of how to handle Trump, by making him say only what is written down. Why? I'm not sure he's literate enough to deal with the concepts. Even when he writes things down, they're offensive, ignorant, ahistorical and just plain wrong. And he's as much of a racist in private as in public. It's not just for show. He's bad enough at being president that the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is saying, publicly, Trump lacks the stability and competence to do the job. Is he about to go down in flames? The big question: What do you do when the President is unAmerican?
At this point, domestic terrorism is not a federal crime; that may change soon. Or we may have to consider if we are heading for another civil war.
Bannon doesn't understand about interviews. He should. He was a founder of Breitbart, and fell down their hole long ago.
And Silicon Valley is having an anti-Nazi purge. Twitter is shutting down white supremacist accounts. Can they shut down Trump now? Maybe the damaging myth of the longer genius nerd is involved.
The NYTimes has thoughts on how to roll back fanaticism.
Is there a better way to protest?
Malala is going to Oxford.
New Jersey introduces a fund to support local journalism.
A new poem by Sherman Alexie.
Trump's anti-abortion policies could keep girls around the world out of school.
Top journalists talk about the best job advice they were ever given. And 7 quick tips for conducting tough interviews.
When someone is hit by a train in the NY Subway, where do they put the body? In the MTA lunchrooms!
Some thoughts on signaling behavior and decisionmaking in government.
Buddhist wisdom: Everything we do matters, but two things are critical.
You don't know about Vernice Warfield, but you should.
Meg Wollitzer on feeling strong without a security blanket.
Talking with Lili Taylor and Janeane Garofalo.
In Durham, NC, the night after Charlottesville, citizens tore down a Confederate statue. Police are investigating. Three of the crowd are turning themselves in. And, in a genuine I-Am-Spartacus! move, others are joining them.
Why quiet liberal Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, became ground zero.
A positive and creative reaction to Nazis marching through your town -- don't just donate to anti-Nazi groups, but get out there and cheer them on as helping anti-Nazi groups. Confuses the hell out of them.
Why Robert Mueller is looking at Trump SoHo. Not about Confederates, but about working to throw a fascist out of the White House. And another piece of the Trump/Russia puzzle. Yes, it's probably slashy but I'm not interested to know the details.
And because of Charlottesville, Trump's two business councils dissolved themselves -- walked away. He, of course, took credit for disbanding them, but it was another lie.
Meanwhile, House Democrats are moving to formally censure Trump over his response to Charlottesville that indicated he was on the side of the Nazis and white supremacists.
In China, Facebook tests a stealth app. And how stealthy will it be if the NY Times is writing about it? Do they think they have no readers in China?
TED: How your brain decides what is beautiful. And let's end ageism. And the fascinating reason children write letters backward.
"Virtue signaling" isn't the problem. Not believing each other is. I'd add, not trusting each other.
Why some famous singers are ruining their voices. And yes, there are people whose voices I hear and it makes my own throat hurt.
Libraries are the real punk rock.
100 law professors have written to Trump to tell him there is no question that the Dream Act is Constitutional.
ETA: They changed the date.
Second, a Quaker response to Charlottesville from Baltimore Yearly Meeting Quoting: ( behind cut for length )
Third, the experience of Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville. ( Behind cut for length, but please, please read it. )
Fourth, a philosophical principle coined in 1945 could be a key US defense against white supremacists. It's the Paradox of Tolerance:
1. A tolerant society should be tolerant by default,
2. With one exception: it should not tolerate intolerance itself.
Quick, quick, quick, 'cause I'm so far behind on commitments that it's really unfunny.
I brought along a virtual stack of stuff (mostly in my Kindle) on our vacation last week. I didn't get to a lot of it, but:
The Harbors of the Sun is the conclusion to Martha Wells' Books of the Raksura, and I'm really sad to leave her dragon/bee shapeshifters behind. I have to agree with muccamukk that the Pearl-Malachite show alone was worth the price of admission, and that "Everyone got something to do [and] we met all kinds of old friends again." I'm not sure that I believed in the Evil McGuffin, and I'll need to re-read the story to truly understand what happened to it, but I appreciated the effect that the incident had on Jade and therefore on Moon. And Wells didn't kill off Stone, which is something that I had somehow convinced myself would happen. *sighs with relief*
Monstress vol. 2 (Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda) continues the story of Maika Halfwolf, a very Liu antiheroine (I first encountered Liu through her Hunter Kiss series). A lot of the action takes place aboard a ship, and I enjoyed that a lot. The captain is a total badass. My heart is constantly in my throat with regard to Maika's Morality Pet, the adorable little foxgirl Kippa, but Liu does sometimes let the innocent survive her harrowing tales, so maybe Kippa is *not* marked for a dire end. I'm not sure what I think of the Power Maika is hosting, though.
I'm now reading Yoon Ha Lee's Raven Strategem. I'm enjoying the new characters and Lee's sly humor, but I miss Cheris right now.
I'm not going to repeat all the links in the superb posts I'm seeing. Instead, I'm asking you to go read this one by rydra_wong and this one by kore because they're brilliant. And they have good historical info on the way the Klan has moved through the last century of US history, what knocked them down and what's different now. For instance, I don't recall any other time when KKK/white supremacist members rallied without their robes, with their faces uncovered and in bright torchlight so they're identifiable in the camera photos that are posted online -- and then must account to the others in their lives (bosses, families, universities) for their actions.
And yes, Trump did not slip when he said the alt-left in Charlottesville was attacking "us". He did mean that he identifies with the white supremacists/Nazis/KKK. It wasn't a slip-up, no matter what you hear from "unnamed White House sources". Watch the Rachel Maddow videos in kore's post; she puts it together well. Ignore the toadies from the staff. But do take note of them as untrustworthy; they have already sold themselves to Trump.
ETA: rachelmanija is planning to be part of a counterprotest, to oppose Nazis at a rally in Los Angeles this Saturday, and invites those of you who wish to join her to let her know. Be safe, please, and counterprotest while keeping a good distance from people with clubs and other weapons, okay?
In the middle of this hatefulness, I implore you to find something that feeds your spirit, your soul, whatever you want to call the deepest inmost part of yourself, that makes you happy, that gives you joy, and keep doing it. The only way to do this kind of work, opposing hate, and get through it sanely is to fill yourself first with joy and love and peace to give you strength. Whatever it is, let it be your refuge. We will not see the last of this for a long time; best to start now to create your own inner sanctuary that nobody can mess with. For me it is meditation, prayer, shamanic practice, and tai chi. Handwork also helps-- knitting, spinning, weaving. Walking on the woods trails, when my foot is up to it again. Music, always. You can't give to others from your own lack; fill yourself first.
My image of the late unpleasantness at Charlottesville is the swastika next to the Confederate battle flag. They always belonged together: symbols of nations that were brutal to a subset of their own population, fought against America because of it, and lost. These people have pledged their allegiance to the Nazi flag, and I hope that enough of our fellow citizens still have enough justified loathing for that particular symbol to judge them by it. Which reminds me…
There is of course no alt-left, no group on the other side anywhere near as hydrophobically hate-ridden as the rabble at Charlottesville. But even if there were, remember: The last time we fought Nazis, we teamed up with the Communists.
"As I hear all the tawdry details of Jenner's story, I am also re-reading 'How Sex Changed' by Joanne Meyerowitz. [...] In it, Meyerowitz discusses the reactions to Christine Jorgensen's coming out in the 1950s, and how both her tale and many others who came out shortly thereafter, were steeped in the same sort of salaciousness as the promotions for Jenner's autobiography.
"Upon reflection, I realize, too, that every transgender person - and not just the Jorgensens and Jenners - face this same sort of thing. When you are trans, the standards of privacy are thrown out the window. We are expected to share our most intimate details to anyone we come across.
"Without exception, any time I was interviewed in any depth, I found myself asked about my name prior to my transition, or for photos of myself from my youth, or for details of any surgeries I may have undertaken. It really didn't matter if any of that would be relevant to the story: my disclosure was simply expected.
"The same standard is not expected of non-transgender people. Maiden names and other such things are considered private enough to be used as security features with banks and other institutions. Non-transgender strangers don't expect details of another's hysterectomies or vasectomies unless they happen to be medical professionals. So many things are naturally considered one's own private business.
"The minute one divulges one is transgender, however, all bets are off. What's more, to make an issue about such questions is to risk being panned as deceptive."
-- Gwendolyn Ann Smith, 2017-04-27
Zagat suggests 10 restaurants to try during the solar eclipse.
Julian Assange, man without a country. Hmm. If he has no country, can any country's laws be considered strong enough to hold him?
Photos of roadside America of the past.
Dahlia Lithwick: they will not replace us.
Paul Krugman: When the president is unAmerican.
As the climate heats up, construction workers fight for breaks.
Can this summer be compared to the summer of 1939?
She's 98, he's 94. They met at the gym. And now they're married.
Amanda Knox on life after wrongful conviction.
The aftermath in Charlottesville.
An eyewitness account.
Jeff Sessions called the car driving into the crowd an evil act of domestic terrorism. And a civil rights investigation is being opened about the attack.
In Baltimore, City Councilman Brandon Scott wants all four Confederate monuments torn down.
A diagram of overt and covert white supremacy. And this is a discussion of how supremacists can go undercover, hide in plain sight, and do damage to everyone's rights and lives.
Four things journalists need to know and remember when covering the opioid use epidemic.
A law professor explains why, for your own good, you should never say anything to police.
And remember, racism isn't just against people who are black.
The David Rumsey Map Collection.
From Weimar to Appalachia, a syllabus for our brush with fascism.
What does it mean when you call a key a slave? Or a master?
A new type of library in a once-abandoned ranch.
How to write this year's definitive novel.
A very short story about pirate librarians.
Suns whose gestures stir the life of seeds.
To be here, now, requires our hearts to listen,
Watch, and know that Light fulfills our needs.
When gripped by stagnant vines of fear, relief
Springs from the pulsing centers of our chests.
False boundaries dissolve in prayer; peace weaves
The seeming chaos into something blessed.
Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.
Guidance from great Mother Oak whose limbs will
Move ours to join in sacred dance, singing
Aloud that work is love made visible.
Roused by poetic muse of rainbow voice,
What stirs us also presses us against
The tide of thick embranglement of choice
In which our spirits rise and fall, unfenced.
One truth: that drawn by gravity and awe,
The world is in relationship with all.
This poem accompanied a five-panel watercolor painting about 30 feet long in all, which was displayed at Pendle Hill, the Quaker 'experiment in living', in 2011.
I am not ignoring the warmongers -- they are out there. You see them screaming in many places. I do not want to endorse their screams. I am not silent and consenting to anything; I am trying to offer alternatives.
One alternative that I endorse is the Alternatives to Violence Project, which teaches ways to resolve differences without violence, manipulation or deception but honestly, thoughtfully and with consideration.
You will still see news items here about them, but probably not the ones that are everywhere else. You can get those everywhere else.
We are already in a war of the mind and the heart, holding fast to peace and courage against hatred and ignorance. I want to feed your heads (thank you, Grace Slick!) and hearts with words that nourish and inform and enjoy and celebrate life; that is what you need to stand up and stay standing.
Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.
(and when I find the rest of that poem I will put it here.)
ETA: In Second Life, the equivalent is griefers -- people who come into SL only to create trouble for others. They can't actually destroy anyone else or anyone else's things, but they come in to disrupt events, to cause problems for entire regions by filling them with trash, animations, particle storms (think fiery clouds) so that all the extra space is used up and the region crashes. Some of them are overt Nazis or white supremacists; they are banned from Oxbridge, the newcomer education region where I volunteer, as soon as they are seen. The standard policy, though, is not to give space to them -- not to talk about griefers in public chat rooms or at events -- because they monitor these areas and want to know if what they did affected anyone. We wish to rob them of that satisfaction.
I realize SL is not RL, real life. If you have an organization to promote that confronts and fights White Supremacy in any fashion and you want to spread the word, I will be glad to include it here.
Since this was right in front of Kaiser, within 10 seconds (while I was still getting used to being horizontal not vertical and ow) three people asked how I was, one told me not to get up because they'd called a nurse, another offered to help me up. A nurse came with a wheelchair. After they'd determined that no, I hadn't fainted and no, I wasn't having a heart attack or stroke, they asked for my doctor's name and wheeled me up to one of the examining rooms near her office.
My doctor: "What happened?"
Me, for the 10th+ time: "I tripped."
While I was getting patched up, she told me a funny story from my doctor (pulled in to patch me between scheduled visits) on how she once whacked her head and cut her scalp and was too embarrassed to get it fixed so just drove away, blood dripping, to do it herself.
Total damage: scraped and bruised chin (but not a broken nose or broken teeth), scraped and bruised foot, broken toenail and cut on the front of the toe. Could've been a lot worse.
Still, gonna work on the tai chi more. That was not at all my most graceful moment.