"I'm all for free trade. The problem with free trade is you need smart people making deals -- we don't have good deals -- and free trade is killing us. [...] I want great deals. I don't care if they're free, I don't care if they're fair, I don't care if they're good, I don't care if they're horrendous -- I just want great deals. I'll do it all different ways, I'll do it all different ways!" -- Donald Trump, 2016-06-29 in Bangor, Maine [elision reflects cut in the video I transcribed this from; emphasis follows his inflection]
(If his definition of "great" encompasses unfair and "horrendous", what does "make America great again" mean?)
"The refinery has its own machine shop to make replacement parts for equipment that is long out of production. Melding these geriatric machines with their newer technology into a cohesive production unit is no easy feat.
"'Making sugar--it seems like it's not rocket science,' said Ann-Margaret Deavers an environmental engineer at the Domino plant, 'but actually it is.'"
[According to the article, some of the original machinery there from 90+ years ago is still in use alongside modern equipment. And yes, the 70'x120' neon Domino Sugar sign is one of the "you can tell you're in Baltimore" features visible from my house, though in the last few years a a tree a few blocks away has gotten tall enough to hide a lot of it when leaning out my bedroom window to look. I can see the some letters peeking between branches; it's more recognizeable in winter when those branches are bare. It used to be completely unobtructed.]
"Abortion, for example, is never mentioned in the Bible. When the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Roe v. Wade, in 1973, the Baptist Press praised it for 'advancing the cause of religious liberty, human equality, and justice.' Jerry Falwell did not preach his first anti-abortion sermon until 1978-when the nascent Religious Right was casting about for ways to attack Democrats as moral relativists stuck in the 'Bad Sixties.' The Southern Baptist Convention did not oppose abortion until 1980." -- Stephen Prothero, 2016-03-13
"This isn't just about bathrooms. This is about the human condition. Our son is a boy. He was born that way, even though his body doesn't have boy parts. This happens sometimes in nature. It's not any different than a child being born with a physical limitation. Or with autism. Or with Down Syndrome. Or with extraordinary musical talent. Or with the ability to inspire a nation in the name of justice and equality. It just happens sometimes. It's life. It just is." -- Peter Tchoryk, 2016-06-15
(after giving a powerful example of how what-one-can-say-without-consequences has changed -- ) "[...] So from my perspective, it's not that suddenly it's not OK to say certain stuff. It's ALWAYS not been OK to say certain stuff.
"It's a question of which stuff, and who has to worry about it."
[Do go and read the example. It is very short and supports the conclusion very clearly.]
"Gee, looks like NOBODY killed Freddie Gray. Guess he just died of being black. Funny how that happens in this country." -- Stephen King (@StephenKing), 2016-06-23
"Watching the brexit vote gives me some small idea of the powerless horror the rest of the world must feel every time the US votes for prez." -- @jlfeder, 2016-06-23
"I don't want a future in which politics is primarily a battle between cosmopolitan finance capitalism and ethno-nationalist backlash." -- Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes), 2016-06-23
"We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done." -- Alan Turing (b. 1912-06-23, d. 1954-06-07)
"I don't even know how to communicate this clearly. I feel like I get reminded of the inconvenience and visibility of my gender pretty much all day. Pronouns, terms of address, bathrooms, shopping, interacting, corresponding â these are the tiny little things that make up day to day life, and they're all super gendered. I don't think that's as apparent if you're in a normative gender space, but when you're navigating a transition, or hold a non binary/gender queer identity, they all become little decisions and catches. How do I represent myself authentically here? Where do I fit? How can I be visible? Is this safe?
"Honestly, I'm often tired of thinking about gender. I would love to not think about it. I wish that existing in social spaces didn't make me have to think about it all the time. I really, really do have other things to think about. Oh, but here's an email for a survey for a service I use and enjoy. The second field? 'Sex: m/f'. Great."
-- Robot Hugs, 2016-05-25 (artist's note below comic)
"No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself." -- attributed to William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), but none of the citations I've found identify the work or letter it's from and it's not on his Wikiquote page. Using it here anyhow on account of Trump.
"I want my country back from nationalists who say their nationalism isn't like all those other nasty nationalisms. I want my country back from cynics who say that all politicians are crooks and liars. I want my country back from weasels who say that only the politicians with whom they agree may be exempted from this judgment.
"I want my country back from those who think protesting against a free press is joyous.
"I want my country back from politicians who ignore real problems in favour of re-fighting constitutional battles already lost.
"I want my country back from those who want us to return to the days when it was okay to joke about 'darkies' and 'poofs'. I want my country back from those who conceal their hatred beneath a cloak cut from 'legitimate concerns'.
"I want my country back from anyone who feeds hatred."
-- Euan McColm, 2016-06-18
[Our sun, as viewed from Earth, halts its seasonal crawl northward and begins iinching south again at 18:34 this evening. Happy Summer Solstice, all!]
"Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories." -- John Wilmot
Gregorian: 2016 July 19 (Father's Day and Juneteenth)
Julian: 2016 June 06
Hebrew: 5776 Sivan 13
Islamic: 1437 Ramadan 13
Persian: 1395 Khordad 30
Mayan: 0.0.0.13.0.3.9.16 (about 2700 more years until the universe is detroyed and re-made, or about 63 billion years until the calendar runs out and rolls over to all zeroes)
Indian: 1938 Jyaistha 29
and tomorrow is the summer solstice (18:34 EDT).
"I use 'status unknown, assume dead' often. It really makes my life a lot easier.
"If I get a rude customer at work, or an inconsiderate driver takes a parking space, or some egg hassles me on Twitter, I simply remind myself that there are billions of people on the planet, all milling about at random. The odds of my running into that person again are vanishingly small (and, even if I do, I likely won't remember or recognize them), so there's no reason not to assume that, as soon as they left my field of view, they immediately collapsed of an instant and painless heart attack and were absorbed silently into the earth, never to be seen again.
"It's a very freeing mindset - zen, you might say - and I recommend it for anyone with stress or anger issues."
-- Tailsteak, 2016-06-10 (author's note under that day's Leftover Soup strip)
A comment deleted by a friend who bemoaned (among a list of other things) LGTBQ people calling out groups that have amplified homophobic currents in US culture ... tl;dr version: (a) saying "can't we just all get along?" while ignoring how one group has been and still is harming the group complaining about it, is not "peace", it's saying it's more comfortable to excuse the behaviour than to do the work to fix it; (b) saying "please stop hitting us" is not an "attack"; (c) denying GBLTQ members full participation in their religious communities will still be part of the problem, but if It's strictly an inside-the-church issue, that church doesn't get specifically named as an exceptional example at times like this. Anyhow, here's what was apparently too much (which I suppose illustrates an important distinction between "friend" and ally):
You missed an important thing about the Evangelicals: the rhetoric there that I've seen hasn't been "blame it all on them", it's been, "you don't have to make this all about Islam to explain the actions of one not-very-religious American, when our whole culture is steeped in homophobia," and persistent attacks on LTGBQ people by Evangelicals are a particularly visible example. Not just Evangelicals, but right-wing politicians trying to cater to them OR using rhetoric of hating and fearing the Other to draw in not-particularly-religious social conservatives. And every [expletive]ing script writer who makes gay or trans people a punch line. And every jerk who unthinkingly misgenders Caitlyn Jenner, Chelsea Manning, or even Ann Coulter (who isn't trans, but that's supposed to be the "joke", accusing her of being trans to put her down -- the only lasting effect of which is to throw actual trans people into the "use as punch lines" category). And everybody who either uses casual homophobia as humour or as an in-group shibboleth. Everyone who uses "gay" either as an indistinct signifier of "bad in some way" or as the most hateful thing they can think of to call somebody. Everyone who tries to dictate when trans people should "disclose" and to whom, and whether violence upon finding out someone attractive is trans is a "natural" (i.e. excusable) reaction. And TERFs who make enemies out of the very people who could be their biggest allies in "deconstructing gender" because they'd rather try to get other people to hurt us and talk about wishing for us to die, And every church of any denomination -- or synagogue or mosque -- that excludes LGTBQ people from leadership, from full inclusion as participants in their religious community, who "debates" the significance of our very existence. Or that says, "oh, we fully accept and love our GTLBQ members, but please don't talk about it too much or bring in too many more like you because we're afraid that'll turn us into "a gay church". Have you not noticed that people are saying we can't let any of that go, can't excuse any of it when examining why an American would shoot up a gay bar? Or did you only notice that Evangelicals got name-checked in the middle of that and decide to make it all about them?
And blame lies at the feet of everyone making Latinx people punch lines or bogeymen -- making them the only visible face of illegal immigration, handwaving the existence of ones who are here legally to make every reference to Latinx people about borders, stereotyping them the same way we used to stereotype African Americans which is the same way Europe used to stereotype Jews and now stereotypes the Rom, talking about Latinx Americans as if they weren't "really American" but forever alien no matter how many generations their families have been Americans. Everyone sharing and spreading those memes is culpable too, in making it easier for someone to go and shoot up a gay bar on Latinx Night. Last I checked, that wasn't an Evangelical issue (but it is a frequent right-wing thing).
But we can't name the problems and the participants without people who would be more comfortable upholding the status quo complaining that our pointing out the riptide of hate underneath the surf of American culture is "being divisive" and "making the problem worse". (How do we start fixing this if we don't talk about it and call out those who promote it (maliciously or unthinkingly)?)
But oh, we're "zealots" for naming names. Screw you. This wasn't some abstract "attack on the idea of America" -- the choice of targets made it political while the bodies were still falling, not just after we heard the news and started talking about it.
But as long as we've mentioned Evangelicals, let's examine why they're named above. For the last 35+ years, the loudest, most hateful voices speaking out against TGBLQ people have identified themselves as Evangelicals, been backed by Evangelical organizations, and have claimed that their doing so is rooted in their faith. Not the ones making jokes about gay and trans people or casually saying "no homo"; the ones telling people to be afraid of us, calling us pedophiles, telling people first to be scared of the thought of gays and lesbians in bathrooms, and then to be scared of trans women in bathrooms (as they erase trans men). The people trying to pass laws against us have overwhelmingly not only identified themselves as Evangelical, they have insisted that these are religious positions -- Evangelical positions, and they try and try to make people think that therefore they're default Christian positions -- even as other Christians have disagreed and even some individual Evangelicals have said, "uh, can we maybe turn this ship around? I don't think we're helping..." Again: Evangelical churches have gotten behind this, so it's not just a few loudmouths trying to drag their names into it.
And when called out on bigotry, they again cast it as a religious matter and frame equality as an "attack" on their faith. We all can see how the so-called "religious freedom" bills are not about being allowed to practice one's faith, only about getting away with harming those they demonize. So when critiquing their actions over the past few decades to poison the public discourse gets framed as an "attack" on Evangelicals? Yeah, screw you, we see it for what it is: just wanting to deny responsibility for their own part in this whole mess.
Evangelicals are the reason disagreements get framed as being "between LTBGQ people and religion," erasing not only the large number of LGBTQ Christians, but also erasing all the denominations and congregations saying, "we don't have a problem with queerfolk," or, "that's an inside-our-church issue, not a public moral crusade". Evangelicals picked this fight. You don't get to complain when we say, "Hey, they've been hitting me." At least, don't expect to be taken seriously when you do.
"We know people are using the deaths of queer folk, many of whom were latinx/POC, to further an agenda of islamophobia and racism. This must not be permitted - our bodies must not used as bricks to build their hateful walls." -- Robot Hugs, 2016-06-14 [emphasis added]
"Don't let straight people use our deaths to justify their ugliness and hate. Anyone who uses tragedy to codify hate is not an ally; they'll be looking for their next target soon enough." -- ibid. (artist's commentary below comic)
"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been." -- Madeleine L'Engle
"Did we believe a final Reckoning and Judgment; or did we think enough of what we do believe, we would allow more Love in Religion than we do; since Religion it self is nothing else but Love to God and Man. [...] Love is indeed Heaven upon Earth; since Heaven above would not be Heaven without it: For where there is not Love; there is Fear: But perfect Love casts out Fear." -- William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), Some Fruits of Solitude in Reflections and Maxims, 1682
"Say, here's an item: A group of right-wing journalists famed for their impartiality has set themselves up as the Patriotism Police. No less distinguished a crowd than Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, The New York Post editorial page and the Fox News Channel -- quite a bunch of Pulitzer winners there -- are now passing judgment on whether media outlets that do actual reporting are sufficiently one-sided for their taste." -- Molly Ivins (via Jone Johnson Lewis' collection of quotations on about.com)
[And now we have Trump picking and choosing newspapers too honest to be allowed to cover him...]
"Understand that I approach the topic of thoughts and prayers as High Priest and Witch. It's not a platitude, and when I (frequently) tell someone that they are in my thoughts and prayers, I am making a statement of Will. Which is to say I am doing Magick.
"But thoughts and prayers on the lips of those who actively cause and perpetuate the world in which these events lead us to need thoughts and prayers, that is the rankest of hypocrisy, and merits our bitterest scorn. It is the homophobes, the racists, the folk who will hear of no regulation on gun ownership no matter how reasonable that draw such righteous wrath from us when they offer us thoughts and prayers on the day that their deliberate actions have lead to their predictable consequences."
-- Daniel B. Holzman-Tweed, 2016-06-12
"What the Israelites heard at Sinai has become known as the 'Ten Commandments.' But this description raises obvious problems. First, neither the Torah nor Jewish tradition calls them the Ten Commandments. The Torah calls them aseret hadevarim (Ex. 34:28), and tradition terms them aseret hadibrot, meaning 'the ten utterances.' Second, there was much debate, especially between Maimonides and Nahmanides, as to whether the first verse, 'I am the Lord your God ...,' is a command or a preface to the commands. Third, there are not ten commandments in Judaism but 613. Why, then, these but not those?
"Light has been shed on all these issues by the discovery, already mentioned, of ancient Near Eastern suzerainty treaties, most of which share certain features and forms. They begin with a preamble stating who is initiating the covenant. That is why the revelation opened with the words, 'I am the Lord your God.' Then comes a historical review stating the background and context of the covenant, in this case, 'who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the slave-house.'
"Next come the stipulations, first in general outline, then in specific detail. That is precisely the relationship between the 'ten utterances' and the detailed commands set out in later chapters and books of the Torah. The former are the general outline, the latter, the details. So the 'ten utterances' are not commandments as such but an articulation of basic principles. What makes them special is that they are simple and easy to memorise. That is because in Judaism, law is not intended for judges alone. The covenant at Sinai was made by God with an entire people. Hence the need for a brief statement of basic principles that everyone could remember and recite."
-- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, "The Ten Utterances (extract from the Koren-Sacks Shavuot machzor)"
[To my friends celebrating Shavuot, Chag Sameach!]
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