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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Bruce Gerencser – cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser Another day and yet another reminder of Evangelicals and their fear of female mammary glands. Today’s story comes from cool, hip, loaded-with-cash Steven Furtick and his monument to Evangelical excess, Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Last Sunday, a woman who […]
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 07:33 pm
I was looking at a catalog today and found the most frightening t-shirt I've seen in a while.

The design was meant to be patriotic and comforting -- a kitten looking out from under a draped American flag. I can't fault the idea, though it's not to my taste.

However-- on a shirt? The kitten is all head and it's huge -- the size of a small leopard. And with the shading, it appears to be emerging from the wearer's chest, confidently searching for more food...

Facebook Kittens/Alien.

Not for the win. ewwww.
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 10:35 am
Some Confederate statues are being removed, some covered, some may be moved, and some won't go anywhere.

I have no problem with the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. They mark the locations where people stood or died when stuff happened; they are largely markers saying this unit was here, sometimes with names, sometimes not. They assist with understanding what happened in the battle. I don't recall offhand that there was anything glorifying the South there, in the way that there is elsewhere; but it's been a few years since I walked the entire battlefield, tracking troop movements.
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 10:08 am
I'm rereading Georgette Heyer's 'These Old Shades' and I just came to the place where it mentions, in a phrase in one sentence, Justin Alastair's secret efforts to put Charles Edward Stuart on the throne instead of George I. And that made me imagine a fanfic crossover that I have brain enough to write, though I'd love to read it. The other source would be Outlander, specifically the second volume where Jamie and Claire are in France attempting, subtly, to stop the Stuart uprising because Claire knows its outcome and wants to save the lives that would have been lost at Culloden, not to mention the destruction of the Highlands. The main problem in writing it would be viewpoint and style -- These Old Shades is written in a very mannered style, and the Outlanders, which are mostly from Claire's viewpoint, are a modern view of a past era. If it were from Justin's viewpoint -- he would not be quite the cynical onlooker that he is in 'Shades', at 45. He'd be a bit more like young Rupert, and I'm not sure how to do that. If it were from Claire's viewpoint, he might come out looking like a younger version of St. Germaine, which would not do. But what I would love to see is Justin's reaction to one of Claire's famous set-downs, whether aimed at him or at someone else. I suspect they would end up good friends, though I have no idea what Jamie would think of that.

Unfortunately, Leonie would not be able to be there in 1745 -- and her next appearance is in 'Devil's Cub', which I think dates to something like 1775 or 1780. By that time Jamie and Claire are in the Colonies, and I don't think they visit Paris together again for a while, though Jamie is there before that with his print shop. So the dates don't line up for a confrontation between Dominic, Leonie and Justin's son, and Bree, Claire and Jamie's tall, outspoken, red-haired daughter who wears breeches (Leonie would like that, though.)
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies – The Call For Endurance Editor’s note: Fear mongering on a grand scale and orders you to involve your children in your own super-amped fears. Have you read the book of Revelation recently? If I need to be inspired in the fear of God, I read Revelation again. It […]
Monday, August 21st, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Mel – cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide I found this gem on Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Kris is homeschooling her two kids.  Her daughter told her that she wanted to go back to public school a few weeks into the first year of homeschooling: “My oldest went to public school […]
Monday, August 21st, 2017 03:58 pm
We had an 85% eclipse, which means it got a little darker and the birds weren't singing though the insects were -- nothing shuts up a cricket. I have some phone photos of the light coming through the leaves in crescents on the sidewalks. And then it poured rain for ... 10 minutes? And the sun came out again, starting to strengthen. So, not the biggest deal -- but we were out on the front steps with our homemade cereal box viewers and so on, and the neighbors on either side came over and hung out and watched it with us, which was very cool.
Monday, August 21st, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Jim Bakker from his radio show as quoted by The Business Standard News – Bakker: Eclipse is God’s Punishment for Obama Years. Editor’s note: Did Jim Bakker sustain severe head injuries from an unreported beating during his jail time years ago? It’s the only thing I can believe might have happened to make him […]
Monday, August 21st, 2017 05:22 am
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Sarah is raising funds to help save her family's house, where they are facing eviction. They are dealing with her mother's illness and recent unemployment, and they are trying to raise $100K to cover hospital bills and mortgage payments. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for the legal fees for protestors in Durham, who pulled down the Confederate statue. You can read more and support their legal defense here.

[personal profile] spasticat has been unemployed since October of last year, and while she's been actively looking for work, her benefits and savings have run out; she's raising funds for utilities, medication, and rent. At the end of September she is also moving back home, and needs funds to cover the move. You can read more and support her YouCaring here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

Housing:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is looking for a new housemate in London, in Fulham SW6, bordering Hammersmith. Two professional females, at least one fandom friendly. You can read more and get in touch here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

A father wonders what went wrong in his relationship with his teenage son who is champing at the bit of control exerted by the parents. Guess what Michael Pearl blames this mess on? For well over a year we’ve been running a second Answering ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’ on Sundays, filled with questions […]
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 02:05 pm
When I ask you not to show images of that torch march, or of the Swastika, it's not because I think sweeping them under the digital rug will Solve All Our Problems about race in America.

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.)
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Debi Pearl from No Greater Joy magazine – Now Debi Has Something in Common With a Common Egg Editor’s note: No theology here, no toxic ideas. Sharing because it’s pretty funny. I hope Debi got all the chicken poop scrubbed out of her hair. Betting Michael teased her endlessly about this. Makes me wonder […]
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 11:10 pm
Here's the thing. The point of the white supremacists' march in Charlottesville was to make us feel afraid and helpless. You know this and I know this. But there's a psychological bit in there that a friend on Facebook pointed out that I had missed.

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.

Thank you.
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Suzanne Titkemeyer To everyone sharing that Confederate flag while claiming religious symbolism needs to know you are sharing fake news. The designer of the emblem himself, William Porcher Miles, stated several times that the diagonal “cross” and other elements of the flag were careful not to represent any official religion because there were Jews […]
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 11:00 am
Dreamwidth will not allow me to respond to replies to comments in other people's journals now. It simply will not allow me onto the page.

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.
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Lori Alexander from her blog The Transformed Wife and the posts Jinger Duggar is Now Freed From Wearing Dresses, Feminists Have Done Violence to Mothering, and finally Hardness of Heart is at the Root of All Failed Marriages Editor’s note: Rather than drag this out over days I’m just posting a long list of […]
Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:44 pm
It should be pretentious and snobbish to say: “Sure I eat hot dogs, I have homemade mustard and homemade lingonberry ketchup on it”. Then to take the DIY philosophy serious you have to make the hot dog yourself.

Context sounds delicious!
Friday, August 18th, 2017 08:19 pm
"Things won't change if the Grand Wizard remains in office." And he's running out of Republicans to alienate. Mitt Romney called on him to back away from his response to Charlottesville.

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
trial.
Friday, August 18th, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Tim Bayly from Out of Our Minds – Cake-baking and Homosexual Marriage Editor’s note: There are some things you can always count on when reading Bayly. A swipe at anyone not fitting his tightly wound tiny ideas of masculinity. Trying to link ideas with other ideas that have no connection, like a toxic word […]
Friday, August 18th, 2017 02:47 pm
1. Look out the window and see how many demonstrators there are and how well armed they are. If you can't see them from there, go where you can. Take a picture with your phone - if you don't have a cell phone, get your aide to do it. Estimate the number of people in the group, their general ages and level of organization, and the visible armaments present. Is it signs on wood, not cardboard, posts? Is it flags on wooden flagpoles? Clubs? Swords? Is it pistols? Shotguns? Semi-automatic weapons? You should be able to tell from the photo. Are there insignia or symbols present? What groups do they represent? What is the goal of those groups?

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???
Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:41 am
I am having an extreme amount of trouble logging in and staying logged in. Dreamwidth is requiring me to log in every time I go to a different page for the last two days. I had to log in to go from my reading page to here. It doesn't recognize my login sometimes and asks if I want to start an account -- when I have been here since the beginning. It is ignoring me when I check 'remember me' at login.

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?
Friday, August 18th, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Liza Proch of Lies Young Women Believe – Better Than Be-YOU-tiful Editor’s note: This just about makes me cry. I witnessed the fruit of this idea that self-acceptance and loving ones self in my old church. Every time we went to a womens conference there would be ladies falling out crying because they said […]
Friday, August 18th, 2017 12:01 am
From a Charlottesville resident:

"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...."
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 08:03 pm
Confederate-honoring statues are going down. In Hollywood Forever Cemetery, LA. And Lexington, KY. And quite a few other places. And Nancy Pelosi wants them out of the Capitol. Here's a list across the country.

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.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

This same commenter of Nancy Campbell’s is now trying to equate dressing like your husband likes is IMPORTANT!! If Queen Esther had been schlepping around in sweats the Jews would have died according to her. This is a series looking at the marriage advice given in Nancy Campbell’s book ‘How to Encourage Your Husband’. While […]
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 11:34 am
In Baltimore, four Confederate statues were taken down at night and without prior notice, by order of the mayor. The City Council had called for their removal, also.

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.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 10:45 am
First -- you need to know that the March for Racial Justice has been scheduled for Yom Kippur, excluding anyone Jewish who might want to participate, and the organizers refuse to reschedule: behind cut for length )

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.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Nancy Campbell from Above Rubies – Better Than Drugs Editor’s note: Nancy Campbell finds a new way to blame women for their ill health. She’s putting a lot of importance on every word you utter. But only women’s tongues. That title is making me laugh! With one little member of your body you can […]
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 07:00 pm
oh and a warm apple. like, a really warm apple. warmer than my teeth when i bit into it. no offense but. why. did they microwave this apple? did they store it in a dragon's mouth before allowing me to purchase it? did this apple recently return from a trip to the surface of the sun?

Context is the slings and arrows of working in the food service industry.

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

Young lady has a sexual relationship in the past and is now wondering how to not be considered a pre-licked candy bar (Michael Pearl’s words) in the eyes of God. Another installment of giving better answers to the questions asked at Debi Pearl’s site message board for the book ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’. […]
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 11:18 am
On taking action against white supremacists as metaphorical rock-paper-scissors.

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 [personal profile] rydra_wong and this one by [personal profile] 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 [personal profile] 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: [personal profile] 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.
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Doug Wilson from Blog and Mablog – The Jesus Fruit and the Jesus Tree Editor’s note: I’ve been watching the blogs of the usual gang of idiots/hate pastors waiting for the first one to say something hateful. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. But this ‘winner’ is taking a very different tact that […]
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Lori Alexander from The Transformed Wife – Teaching Others Without Time-Tested Experience and Wisdom Editor’s note: I know I usually share the latest chapter of Mel’s review of ‘Before You Meet Prince Charming’, but after stumbling over the utter hypocrisy of Lori Alexander yet again I had to bump it for this. Is Lori […]
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 02:15 pm
Does anyone know when the Shakespeare fiction exchanges assignments are to come out? I can't find it in my calendar, and I'd like to know so I can set the time aside for it.
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 01:03 pm
An arc of arms are reaching out from distant
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.
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 11:45 am
I'm really excited about this. I stepped outside my comfort zone and volunteered to write a monthly Column about Marvel comics over at Women Write About Comics.

My first post went up today and you can read it here.

This is my first time in a long time writing for an audience that isn't people I already know and I'm both nervous and excited about it. Mostly excited, I think. Ask me again when I have to put together my August post.
Tags:
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 11:35 am
When I do not go on and on about them here, it isn't because I want to ignore them. It's because I don't want to give them my space here. I want to keep this space for things that we need to know -- yes -- but in particular for stories and issues and art and music and anything else that is about life, culture, love, joy and peace.

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.
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 09:00 am

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Jen McBride from Old Paths – Deuteronomy 6, Schole, and Homeschooling Through Affliction Editor’s note: This lady is affiliated with Ladies Against Feminism and used to have a couple of different blogs, one that promoted and sold Plexus supplements. She has some sort of chronic health condition that is severe enough to impact her […]
Monday, August 14th, 2017 09:00 pm

Posted by Suzanne Calulu

by Mel cross posted from her blog – When Cows and Kids Collide I don’t want to write this post.  At all.  Not now, not ever.  But I think I need to. Charlie Gard’s story has ripped my heart into tiny bits. Charlie and my son are medically mirror opposites.  My son Jack was born […]
Monday, August 14th, 2017 02:42 pm
I went with the SU to pick up his new glasses this morning. When I got out of the car, not in the usual place, I tripped and face-planted on the sidewalk. Or, to be more precise, chin-planted.

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.