"At some point, when people see everything and refuse to pick a side, they have picked a side." -- Chip Daniels, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
"We don't have the space to outline President Trump's transgressions, but it is important to understand that his rise is an inevitable result of the hostility to women within the Republican culture. Women's reproductive freedom has shifted with the wind: Remember that Ronald Reagan once supported abortion rights, as did George H. W. Bush, Mitt Romney and Mr. Trump himself." -- Susan Bevan (national co-chairwoman of Republican Majority for Choice) and Susan Cullman (co-chairwoman emeritus of Republican Majority for Choice), "Why We Are Leaving the G.O.P.", 2018-06-24 [thanks to twistedchick for linking to this]
"Any opinion piece that begins with 'this thing I have never liked will cost Dems the election in Nov' can be safely ignored." -- Harold Feld (@haroldfeld), 2018-07-11
"All those 'powerful' men are finding out they have no real power at all. It is something I have seen before, my darling, both in and out of the army. Men with power either trumpet to everyone just how powerful they are, or they use that power effectively by keeping quiet about it, and going about their duties. I regret he is the former. This state will not benefit from imaginary bravado. It has never worked. Not anywhere." -- Gen. Hardee, in The Fateful Lightning by Jeff Shaara [thanks to fidhle for sending me this quote]
"Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday's code." -- Christopher Thompson
"[...] Their third great insight was the primacy of ethics over politics. The prophets have surprisingly little to say about politics. Yes, Samuel was wary of monarchy but we find almost nothing in Isaiah or Jeremiah about the way Israel/Judah should be governed. Instead we hear a constant insistence that the strength of the nation is not military or demographic but moral and spiritual. If the people keep faith with God and one another, no force on earth can defeat them. If they do not, no force can save them." -- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, 2018-07-21
[To my friends observing Tisha b'Av, I wish you an easy fast, and a spiritually meaningful one.]>
"The least of us is improved by the things done by the best of us, because if we are not able to land at least we are able to follow." -- Walter Cronkite, 1969-07-20, covering the moon landing
"They say the definition of insanity is making the same mistake over and over again and expecting a different result. If that's true, then the definition of being an insensitive ass is doing the same offensive thing over and over again and expecting the offended party to finally be OK with it." -- Amanda Kerri, "Scarlett Johansson Is Mad We're Mad About Her Trans Face", 2018-07-06
[In between when I collected this quote and now, Scarlett Johanson has withdrawn from the role that drew the latest criticism. I hope the movie gets made with a trans man cast for that part ... and that the movie is written in a way that respects trans experiences, not Hollywood chliches about trans people.]
"Watching Republican leaders put out statements admonishing Trump but not really do anything is like watching Republicans tweet out 'thoughts and prayers' after a shooting but not really do anyth--OH. #Treason" -- Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer), 2018-07-16
"Republicans in Congress must do more than issue statements. If they truly believe Trump has betrayed the interests of United States, they must take action to rein him in: issue a censure, hold up his nominees, etc. They have a duty to protect our democracy." -- Robert Reich (@RBReich), 2018-07-16
|Paul:||Look, it's a school of whales.|
|Ringo:||They look a little bit old for school.|
|Ringo:||University of "Wales".|
|John:||They look like drop outs to me.|
-- from Yellow Submarine (released 1968-07-17 in the UK (November of that year in the US))
"The Republican Party has a platform that can't prevail in democratic competition. [...] When highly committed parties strongly believe [in] things that they cannot achieve democratically, they don't give up on their beliefs -- they give up on democracy.
"As the outlook for conservatives and Republicans becomes more bleak, they're going to face a choice: Either they accommodate some of the changes that are happening to American society, like universal heath coverage, or else they're going to have to face up to the fact that what they believe can't be achieved if everybody votes."
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-03-09:
"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else." -- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1858-1919)
(submitted to the mailing list by Patsy Wang-Iverson)
"The time to worry about the erosion of Democratic norms was about 15 years ago. the time to worry about 'civility' was in the 90s. As Kosh says: 'The avalanche has started, it is too late 4 the pebbles to vote.'" -- Harold Feld (@haroldfeld), 2018-06-25
Excerpted from a Twitter-essay by R. Lemberg, immigrant (@RoseLemberg), 2018-06-26:
The concept of social face, coined by Goffman, is important here. Face is the positive social value a person claims when interacting with other people. Face is related to respectability, pride, and sense of self-worth.
Face is related to social status and to identity. What kind of face we can claim directly relates to who we are and what kind of social power we hold. People surrounding you are CRUCIAL to maintaining or not maintaining the kind of power we want/expect to project.
Social status is maintained in a community. It can also be disrupted by a community. If a queen finds herself in a situation where nobody bows, nobody addresses her as "your majesty," and nobody shows any deference, it would not be easy to feel very royal. People - groups - societies - must maintain existing social norms and power relations. People must play along, or the relations of power are disrupted.
Again, it is very important to understand that OTHER PEOPLE maintain or threaten one's social face, and therefore one's social standing, one's power.
You already saw how this plays out in our MD example: the MD wants to be approved of by others (respect from nurses, patients), the MD wants to be unimpeded (e.g. to have orders carried out without disruption). People must play along for this to work.
More on positive face wants: people want to be accepted and approved by their family, social circle. More on negative face wants: people don't want to be told not to do the things they want to do. The more power one holds, the more one expects to have these face wants maintained. Maintaining face wants preserves the existing power relations. You have to be polite to people with more power, you do not have to be as polite to people with less power.
What is, then, politeness? Politeness is playing along with what is expected in terms of power. Politeness is maintaining the social power of people who already have social power (e.g. showing deference to doctors, politicians, etc) - this is positive politeness; and politeness is also not impeding the actions of other people, e.g. not resisting or questioning orders from power-holders - this is negative politeness.
Can you see how politeness is all about maintaining the existing social power in discourse?
What are the current lamentations about "lack of civility" about, then? This is about the disruption of power relations. It's lamenting the lack of desire of people with lesser power to maintain the face of people with more power -- *because of their immoral actions*. "Return to civility" is a request to play along with power which demands 1) universal admiration (positive politeness) even as the power harms you, 2) not to impede the power's actions (negative impoliteness), even when it's snatching babies from parents.
[Bold emphasis added. Also, I've collected the thread onto a single page to make it easier for me to cut and paste from, and it occurs to me that some folks might find it easier to read that way too.]
[Thinking about calls for 'civility', and how that is and isn't a form of tone-policing, and why "just object more politely" does not work. And then this example of a call for civility crossed my screen: The New York Times, 1934-06-15. ( text and page image | image at NYT, for subscribers)]
Wernersville, PA., June 14 -- Good will, not hate or reprisals, will end, or offset, the evils of the Hitler government's persecution of Jews, Professor Henry J. Cadbury, Professor of Biblical Literature at Bryn Mawr College, told the Central Conference of American Rabbis as it opened its convention here today.
"By hating Hitler and trying to fight back, Jews are only increasing the severity of his policies against them."
"If Jews throughout the world try to instill into the minds of Hitler and his supporters recognition of the ideals for which the race stands, and if Jews appeal to the German sense of Justice and German national conscience, I am sure the problem will be solved more effectively and earlier than otherwise."
The boycott against German, he asserted, is not an effective means of meeting the evil.
""Boycotts are simply war without bloodshed," he said, "and war in any form is not they way to right the wrongs being inflicted on the Jewish people."
I don't think those who set themselves against you have to Be Hitler for the lesson here to apply. Yes, there are times to make one's case politely and entirely with reason, but there are also times when that is futile and the crisis too urgent.
BTW, there's also a followup article in the same paper, 1934-06-16, with the headline, "GOOD-WILL BARRED TO NAZIS BY RABBIS; Wise Leads Wave of Objection to Advice by Cadbury, of Society of Friends." I can't see the article because I'm not a subscriber, but the summary that is visible reads, "WERINERSVILLE, Pa., June 15. -- Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of New York today led a wave of objection to the advice of Professor Henry J. Cadbury of Bryn Mawr College to the convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis."
[Continuing to quote from the same thread as yesterday...]
"Maybe we made a mistake in calling things 'rights.' That word makes it seem like it's natural--something you can just assume is yours even though people can and will take it. Something you don't have to protect because it's supposedly self-evident.
"I talked to a lot of people while canvassing who thought we'd settled civil 'rights' and women's 'rights' and that was the end of that. 'They're 'rights' now, so why should we concern ourselves with those things? I'm going to vote my conscience!' Those 'rights' are tenuous, as any non-white person or any woman of any race who's ever gone to a Planned Parenthood for a pap smear can tell you. Your 'rights' have no meaning to angry evangelical white people.
"And those same angry evangelical white people now have control of all three branches of government.
"And because you slept on it, you will not have those 'rights' unless you are prepared to rip them from the cold, putrified fists of those white evangelicals. Stop telling me and everyone else that it'll all be OK -- that it'll just work itself out in the end. It won't. [...]"
"I've noticed a disturbing trend. People keep telling me that everything will be alright and that everything will work itself out, as if personal freedom and democracy are the default of human nature.
"They are not. If they were, then the American experiment, with all its many flaws, wouldn't have been exceptional. But it was exceptional. Even with the subjugation of a good percentage of its population, it was still exceptional. The fact that even some percentage -- not even a majority -- of the population had a voice was exceptional. Even when people still had slaves. Even when women couldn't vote. Just the fact that some people had a say in how their government was run was an exception, not a rule.
"Everyone had to fight for that. White American men got it after the American Revolution. Women didn't get it until 1920. Black people supposedly got it but are still fighting for it to this day.
"Democracy is not a default. It's something people had to bleed for. It's something women got raped for. It's something @repjohnlewis got his head smashed in for. Things aren't going to self-correct. [...]"
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2018-05-05:
"The bourgeoisie has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous 'cash payment'. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation." -- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, perhaps predicting Facebook.
Marx was born 200 years ago, on May 5, 1818.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
Navigate: (Previous 20 Entries | Next 20 Entries)