Truth is always worth writing about. Journalism is supposed to be history written on the run. This is history, and it's running fast right now, from the past into the future. Where is the journalism? In the bits and pieces that are forwarded on FB, the accounts from the ground up as people are beaten and arrested for praying on their own land. Journalists are supposed to be witnesses to events, standing in for those who cannot be there. Now the people themselves are the witnesses, standing in for the journalists, except for the brave few who risk prison -- and the violation of their First Amendment rights -- to spread word of the injustices occurring now.
What I am doing on FB is not reporting but relaying -- in the old days it would have been comparable to serving as 'rewrite', the person in the newspaper office (often an assistant, not a reporter) who would pick up the phone and type up the story that a reporter was phoning in from where it was happening, such as at a trial at the county courthouse. Blogging is a return to old-fashioned broadsheet journalism, the kind where you bought the one page from a kid on the street for a penny, and it said whatever you printed, without regard to journalistic ethics, legal restrictions, and in many cases editorial style, spelling and grammar. It's unedited. It's not reviewed by anyone before it hits print. It is good when it conveys the truth about what is happening in such a way that it holds up under scrutiny -- but it needs more to be true journalism. It's trying, though, and in Standing Rock it's bleeding as it tries. However, it does not have the legal protections that journalists have -- laws concerning blogging have not reached that point. Reporters have shield laws, protecting sources. Bloggers have none. And everything posted on FB is read by innumerable law enforcement agencies up to and including the NSA, CIA and FBI. So, subversively, what is posted about Standing Rock there is also speaking truth to powers that do not acknowledge their presence or readership.
This whole situation reminds me of two historical events. The first is the peaceful protest march led by Mahatma Gandhi in which hundreds and thousands of Indian people lined up to be beaten by police until the police themselves stopped in horror and disgust at what their orders were making them do. It is not enough to hear about this -- rent or view the movie Gandhi and watch i for yourself. The other is the case of John Peter Zenger, who printed the truth about corrupt colonial government and was jailed, but the press never stopped because his wife kept it running, friends came in with news items and the news kept going. He was exonerated -- establishing that truth is a defense against libel, including libel of a public official -- and they kept going.
Information is power. Truth is strength. Freedom of information and freedom of the press are Constitutional civil rights, as is freedom of speech and freedom to assemble peaceably to seek redress for wrongs done. Government behavior at Standing Rock violates all of these.
"Here's what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you'd expect he would be. He wouldn't come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are practicing before the set in the evening. He didn't want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn't show up to that. He came in and played "The Times They Are A-Changin'." A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff that he can just come up with some new arrangement, and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the song, steps off the stage â I'm sitting right in the front row â comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin, and then leaves. And that was it â then he left. That was our only interaction with him. And I thought: That's how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don't want him to be all cheesin' and grinnin' with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise. So that was a real treat." -- President Barack Obama, 2010-09-17 (interview published 2010-10-14)
[Happy birthday to fidhle, and also to my brother John! And a joyous Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah to my friends who just finished celebrating Sukkot!]
In the first half of the program, Shahid Buttar discusses the chapter he wrote for Censored 2017, “Ike’s Distopian Dream,” where he examines the many ways that President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex has proven correct.For the second half of the program, Mickey and Peter survey some of the other chapters of Censored 2017, particularly […]
The post Shahid Buttar and Selling Empire, War and Capitalism with Peter and Mickey appeared first on Project Censored.
The one thing my mind keeps turning over is an essay on ethnicity and racism, which I am pretty sure may spark at least one unintended firestorm, so I am still working on it.
I had seen her the day before. She'd finally gone home from the nursing home/rehab center, and then fell again and was rehospitalized a week later. This time a cracked vertebrae, though it might not have been the result of the fall. I left work early on Wednesday to be with her in the emergency room, but I had to fly out to Denver the next morning for a conference I was presenting at. I got back late on Sunday, taught Monday morning, and then headed back to the hospital. They released her that night, and she went home with her primary aide.
Wednesday morning I got a call from her aide that the agency hadn't sent someone else yet. (Lorna was private, not from the agency.) She'd been there for 48 hours and was tired and stressed. So I told my staff I wasn't coming in and cancelled my appointments (I lied and called in sick, because I had been taking off so much time due to my aunt -- luckily, as long as I don't miss classes, I've got some flexibility . . . but people have been out and we've had a problematic grad student client and there are things that need to be done). I took a taxi uptown, got Lorna some food, and spent the morning and halfway through the afternoon with my aunt, who had yet another nurse coming for assessment. I also fielded quite a few phone calls from the agencies about people coming for various appointments.
Lorna needed a few days off after her 48 hour shift, so the agency booked some other people, though I'm happy that on Thursday we had Lakeisha, who was new since she'd been home and who we really liked. Someone else was with Aunt Isabel when she died. But I'm glad I saw her on Wednesday and I'm glad Lakeisha was there for most of the day Thursday.
Friday was meant to be a grading papers day, but it became a fielding phone calls and running Isabel-related errands day.
If we're friends on FB, you've seen my two posts:
#1. The two things Isabel valued most in the world were her independence and her intellect. Her physical disabilities had taken away the former -- she was going to need 24/7 attendance (luckily she had saved & invested very well and had the money for it, at least for the near future) and as Parkinsonian dementia got worse, she was losing the latter. She was tired and it was ready for her to go.
#2. The police sealed the apartment. So my mom, who's the executor, is coming down and can't get into the apartment. She's meeting with the funeral director on Monday, and we are meeting together with the lawyer before I go to campus Tuesday morning. And we can't get in and the police were rude and dismissive and basically treated me like a crazy person because I raised my voice. If someone told me at 5am, when I'd just lost a family member, that I could come by and pick up the keys, and then when I was there (in a rainstorm so intense I was soaked despite umbrella and raincoat) they tell me a different story, and *actually think I should have had the presence of mind to get the name of the person I spoke to at 5am when my relative just died* then they are neither kind nor logical. *Everyone* else I have been dealing with, from the agencies and lawyer and building and etc. has been super kind and helpful. But not the cops.
I went to the building anyway and expressed my concerns to the super (who had assumed she was just rehospitalized) and a coop board member who fortuitiously was taking her dog for a walk just while I was there. They reassured me and put me in touch with the managing agency, and everyone (except the police, apparently) is on my side.
But mom will have to sleep here, even though the apartment is empty, because if we break the seal, we're subject to arrest. (She's obsessive/phobic about cleaning, and you may guess my apartment has fallen into disarray. But as I've said to M, I'll vacuum and change the cat boxes, and I want her to see what all this has done to my ability to cope -- I'm grading papers this morning, not scrubbing floors.) And there are a lot of records we don't have access to. This is ironic because I have been handling Aunt Isabel's affairs since early July and everything was IN MY APARTMENT until Isabel went home a few weeks ago, when I moved her documents back to her place. Hell, I had her *wallet* in my possession for almost 3 months, and returned it when she went home.
Our lawyer is going to help us get back in. He says it's good that the original will is in the apartment (I know just where, because I found it, photocopied and scanned it, and then returned it) because we need it and the surrogates' court will have to let us in.
But *swearwords* my 82 year old mother is taking an 8 hour train ride from Buffalo and she can only stay in NYC for a few days because she is sole caregiver for my 85 year old father, who's had several strokes and walks with walker very hesitantly and sometimes falls. (Wonderful family friend Chrissy is staying with him for a few days.) And we can't even get into the apartment to get the bloody documents we need for her to start doing her work as executor. (Aunt Isabel intended to add me as co-executor but never got around to it and sometimes was convinced that it had already been done, but it hadn't. So yeah, I'll be doing all the work, but mom will be the executor.)
Also, stupid stuff. Lorna left some of her belongings in the apartment and I can't return them to her until we can get in. I spent all summer keeping Aunt Isabel's plants alive for her because she cares about them. I spent most of the summer clearing out the apartment to de-hoard it and get it made safe for her to come home to. In fact, since early July, I HAVE SPENT MORE TIME IN THE APARTMENT THAN ISABEL HAS!!! There is fresh food in the fridge (which I bought for her) which is *going to go bad*. And although her mail was forwarded to my address some time ago, a lot of it was still going there and her mailbox will explode, and her mailbox key? In the apartment.
SO BLOODY RIDICULOUS! Apparently they seal the apartment so that no one who is not next of kin can go in and take things. Except next of kin/the executor is my mother and neither she nor my cousins (who live in Ohio and near DC; I am the only local one) have any objection to my taking *anything* I want considering how much time and energy I gave to Aunt Isabel over the past four months. They've said so. But honestly, I need to get in there to get bills and financial records so we can start cancelling things (everything except the power) and save the plants and clean out the fridge and etc.
Beyond exhausted. And did not get the grading done that I thought would happen this Friday/weekend when I left the office Thursday evening.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-09-14:
"A sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth pervades my memory. That robust reality makes a ghost of the present. The mirror brims with brightness; a bumblebee has entered the room and bumps against the ceiling. Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die." -- Vladimir Nabokov, in Speak, Memory: A Memoir.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"For most of its being, mankind did not know what things are made of, but could only guess. With the growth of worldken, we began to learn, and today we have a beholding of stuff and work that watching bears out, both in the workstead and in daily life.
"At first it was thought that the uncleft was a hard thing that could be split no further; hence the name. Now we know it is made up of lesser motes. There is a heavy kernel with a forward bernstonish lading, and around it one or more light motes with backward ladings. The least uncleft is that of ordinary waterstuff. Its kernel is a lone forwardladen mote called a firstbit. Outside it is a backwardladen mote called a bernstonebit. The firstbit has a heaviness about 1840-fold that of the bernstonebit. Early worldken folk thought bernstonebits swing around the kernel like the earth around the sun, but now we understand they are more like waves or clouds."
[Thinking about butterfluff today, who introduced me to this essay.]
1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? Peacock
3. Your dad? Florida
4. Your other half? Medievalist
5. Your favourite food? Pastry
6. Your dream last night? Weird
7. Your favourite drink? Tea
8. Your dream/goal? Passion
9. What room you are in? Office
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Dementia
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Bellingham
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren't? Straight
15. Muffins? YUM
16. Wish list item? Health
17. Where you grew up? Idaho
18. Last thing you did? Reply
19. What are you wearing now? Shorts
20. Your TV? Old
21. Your pets? Adored
22. Friends? Loved
23. Your life? Lucky
25. Missing someone? Yes
26. Car? 2014
27. Something you're not wearing? Sweaters
28. Your favourite store? amazon
29. Your favourite color? Purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
32. Who will redo this? Unsure
33. One place that you go to over and over? Online
34. One person who emails me regularly? Administrators
35. My favourite place to eat? Home
Thanx to Charles P. Pierce.
* New gigantic Star Trek Encyclopedia. nellorat and I copy-edited an earlier version, so I like to think this one still has our cooties on it.
* Nifty infographic tallies every spell used in the Harry Potter series
Thanx to Tor.com.
Chase Strangio explains what we mean when we say we have little patience for those who would deny or 'debate' the fact of our existence, our right to exist, our right to participate freely in society...
"As writer Imogen Binnie explained on Twitter, when reading pieces like Shulevitz's, one must ask 'what does this article propose trans people should do'
"'[I]f the answer is something like 'not be trans,' please consider that most trans people have tried that and it didn't work,' Binnie tweeted.
"And that really is the crux of it. After reading Shulevitz's piece, what is the answer for trans people other than to simply not be trans if it is our trans-ness itself that infringes the rights of others and creates this so-called clash of values? As Binnie so poignantly offered, most of us have tried thatâ--âwe have spent years in dark places wrestling with our truth, feeling ashamed and plagued with self-loathing. And when we manage to come through that and survive, and thrive and even love ourselves, we are confronted with this kind of insidious insistence that we should have just not existed after all.
"Too many of us die because that belief takes hold of us or of others. With attempted suicide rates in the community close to 50% and murders of transwomen and femmes of color reaching epidemic proportions, these questions truly are life or death. It is about existence even if you frame it as a clash of values."
-- Chase Strangio, "When Your Existence Is Up For Debate", 2016-10-18 (this is the closing of an essay in which he picks apart dangerous flaws in the latest mainstream-press article about trans issues from someone who appears not to have spoken to any trans people or anyone who respects trans people)
The rest of that FB post I quoted from on Thursday:
"[...] In my 20's, though, I was working in places here and there where verbal sexual abuse wasn't an uncommon thing. I inadvertently hit on a sentence, almost an incantation, that sharply reduced the number of such conversations I was exposed to. And if more men used it, it might reduce the number of such conversations in the absolute.
"'That's fucking creepy and I don't want to hear it.'
"There were a few times I had to say it three or four times in 45 seconds.
"I haven't had to say it in a long time.
"It's all about perceived support. The creeps read silence as agreement. As long as we say nothing, they continue. It's our obligation as men to deprive them of that perceived support. To show them that all men don't have these conversations. [...]"-- Chris Clarke, 2016-10-08
She was the last of the original 13 (we were involved in a local animal group for a few years). I found her on campus in 2004, and took her home. She had a pretty good run of things, and was in fairly good shape until just near the end: in fact, the vet said he was surprised at how good a shape she was in, and how responsive, and that she'd lived a year beyond what he sort of expected.
But it was hard.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-01-27:
"It turns out that although there is a lot of hype from companies that sell open office furniture and related goods about how fantastic open offices are, and all that, research published in peer review journals clashes with the hype. In every study that I can find that has survived the peer review process, people in open settings are found to be less satisfied, less productive, and experience more stress than people who work in closed offices. And when people move from closed to open offices, they like them less, report being less productive, and report more stress. So long as people are doing work that is largely "individual" and that requires thinking and intense individual concentration, these findings make a lot of sense to me.
"Yet, as Lovaglia's Law predicts, many administrators and building designers seem to be have a hard time "hearing" such evidence and keep pushing for open office designs - they prefer to talk about selected anecdotes instead. Indeed, there are popular articles on how management can overcome such 'irrational' resistance to change. But those articles don't seem to mention that, at least for people who don't do highly interdependent team based work such as is done in engineering and scientific labs, open offices don't appear to work very well, so such resistance to open offices might, in fact, be rational."
-- Robert Sutton, workplace researcher.
(submitted to the mailing list by erry Labach)
[Chag Sameach to all my friends who'll be eating in a sukkah this week! Have a good Sukkot and may the weather be favurable!]
I checked Abebooks and Alibris -- Vol. 2 was not available in the same printing, and was four times as costly. I checked Amazon and found Vol. 2, inexpensive including shipping. And then during checkout I noticed that I had more than enough points from the charge card I have on the account -- and I'm getting it for free.
Why this edition? The Pocket Books editions were designed for soldiers to haul around with them in duffel bags and uniform pockets and read in all sorts of places. They are printed in an extremely legible typeface, and leaded so that they are nearly double-spaced. I can read them without my glasses and not get a headache -- and yes, I've been doing that since I was 12.
I love the Internet.
(Of course, you realize that by the time it arrives the old copies of the source material will have emerged from wherever the House Being has hidden them... but I won't mind having two copies.)
Question for [dD]eaf folk reading (forwarding is encouraged):
I’m working on a proposal to add the standard deaf/HoH symbol to Unicode. I’m looking particularly for examples of its use in running text as a character, as in this mocked-up text:
Can you help me find any? (All contributions used will be acknowledged in the submitted change request, of course.)
I've been looking a little at Amazon Prime, for shows and shipping costs, but I don't know anything about what shows they have. Can anyone tell me more? I didn't find much at the site.
My favorite Horrible Example, unsurprisingly, deals with latent homosexuality, a buggerboo that was actually taken seriously in those primitive times. Goldwater was one because he said he wanted to be able to lob a missile into the men’s room at the Kremlin. That’s it. Really. His equally heterosexual opponent’s remark that “I never trust a man unless I have his pecker in my pocket” was not taken seriously, as of course it should not have been.
If I were running the Secret Shrink Establishment, I would not let my minions do that sort of thing because it gives the game away, like dueling Experts arguing over whether their science says that defendant is Bad or Sick. Now we have another election with a candidate who presents temptations for diagnosis. I suggest heeding the wise words of Dr. Eliot Gelwan:
As a psychiatrist, I’m finding it really difficult to bite my tongue and avoid doing pronouncements about Trump’s evident (and considerable) psychopathology. But there is an ethical mandate in my profession to avoid armchair diagnosis when one has no treatment relationship with someone and has not examined them face-to-face. So I think I’ll just continue to call him names instead.
"If we would mend the World,
we should mend Ourselves;
and teach our Children to be,
not what we are,
but what they should be."
-- attributed to William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), [I have not managed to track down which book / letter / sermon this is from, but everyone seems pretty sure it's his]
I assume that Pete believed there’s a better life after this one. I don’t know if he was right (and you don’t either), but I am, like Raymond Smullyan, a sperotheist (one who hopes there is a God), and I hope Pete is enjoying the bliss he deserves.