Ammas & Abbas

“There was always just enough virtue in this republic to save it; sometimes none to spare, but still enough to meet the emergency.”

—Sec. of State William Seward during the Civil War

Fr Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation:

The desert ascetics’  [ammas and abbas] relationships were nonpossessive: They cared for others while leaving them free. Concern for reputation was discarded. Feelings were acknowledged and listened to for their wisdom but were subjected to the discipline of the heart’s goal to seek God. The desert ascetics sought to mortify disordered passions that distracted them from their deepening relationship with God..Gaia…the Universe.

Thomas Merton:

These were people who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster. -The Wisdom of the Desert

Seth Godin:

Professional wrestling.

Professional wrestling isn’t about wrestling, of course. It’s about who’s up and who’s down. The stated rules are there to be broken by some of the participants, and it’s not professional in any useful sense related to the sport of wrestling.

And the metaphor is powerful in many areas of life.

But we can’t understand the metaphor without understanding the forms of status that are on offer.

There is the status of affiliation. This is about belonging, about knowing and living with the rules. It’s about weaving together the culture and this affiliation leads to a form of popularity.

And then there is the status of dominance. This is about winning at any cost, cheating and subjugating. It’s about unraveling the culture in service of just one aim–victory over the others.

Professional wrestling creates tension between the two forms of status. We know that we all benefit from affiliation, but often are swayed by the avenging dominator if we see ourselves in them.

The theater of status happens in our daily lives. It’s who sits where at the meeting, or who gets to announce that the Zoom session is over. It’s the insurgent and that the status quo.

It’s the dramatic back and forth between someone who seeks power and someone who is tired of being told what to do.

The successful affiliator doesn’t seek to out-dominate the dominator. Instead, affiliators weave together enough persistent community pressure to get things back on track.

And sooner or later, people realize that the triumph of the dominator, while it can be painful, is short-lived.

 

Story from Our Community:
Nearly every day since we started quarantine, I sit outside for my morning prayer time. As part of this, following reading the daily meditation, I play the “Prayer for Our Community” at the conclusion where Fr. Rohr reads the prayer. When he pauses after the words, “Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world,” I quietly bring those to the energy of the space: my parents, my students, those suffering with Covid, our country’s reckoning with its systemic racism, our climate emergency.

—Tess F.

George knew. Now we do, too.

George Washington in his farewell address, Saturday, September 17, 1796:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” 

~

I’ve wanted to see this documentary since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, winning the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary. I’m grateful that I was finally able to stream it this evening, at the end of a week shrouded in deep despair after Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s untimely passing and a nomination to the Supreme Court that will mostly likely undue 50 years of RBG’s tireless human rights and gender rights pursuits. Boys State has given me a glimmer, a moment, of hope, showing a microcosm of our general great political process, and those young voices and minds who are poised, and want, to lead this country.

I don’t believe the United States is truly a democracy…not any more. Maybe what we’re trying to steer, and salvage, at this point is a fractured political process, once guided by a constitution that, although not guaranteeing protection, has given us a frame to serve the people…we the people…with accepted norms, practices, and behaviors of those we elected into office. Now, it’s seemingly only about power, and greed, and ‘winning’, at all costs.

Boys State is a documentary about a high-school civics conference where every year, more than 1,000 young men, age 16 or 17, meet at the Texas State Capitol to participate in a mock government. They section off into the Federalist and Nationalist parties to elect various political positions and vie for the highest position—governor.

Hope is not a word that comes easily to me now, yet this film shares, while holding a mirror to our divided country, a glimpse of hope, possibility, and passion for what America could once again aspire to be.  

I suggest coupling the film with a podcast that gives explanation and history to where we’ve landed, detailing the risks…the perfect storm…we are facing in this national election.

-dayle

From host Ezra Klein at VOX:

‘The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, just weeks before a presidential election, leaves us in dangerous waters. It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which the election outcome is contested by one side and is ultimately determined by a Supreme Court with the deciding vote cast by Trump’s recent appointee. Indeed, both Sen. Ted Cruz and President Donald Trump have named this scenario as driving their urgency to replace Ginsburg. At that point, a legitimacy crisis looms.

Suzanne Mettler is the John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions at Cornell University. Her work has focused on trust between citizens and their governments, but recently, she’s co-written, with Robert Lieberman, a book that is tailor-made for this moment:

Its thesis is a dark one: America’s most dangerous political crises have been driven by four kinds of threat:

  1. political polarization
  2. democratic exclusion
  3. economic inequality
  4. executive power.

But this is the first time all four threats are present simultaneously.

“It may be tempting to think that we have weathered severe threats before and that the Constitution protected us,” they write. “But that would be a misreading of history, which instead reveals that democracy is indeed fragile, and that surviving threats to it is by no means guaranteed.” 

We discuss where Ginsburg’s passing leaves us, what 2020 election scenarios we should be most worried about, what the tumultuous election of 1800 can teach us about today, how this moment could foster exactly the democratic reckoning this country needs, whether court packing and filibuster elimination will save American democracy or destroy it, when people know they’re benefiting from government programs and when they don’t, and more.’

[To listen, follow the link.]

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vdGhlZXpyYWtsZWluc2hvdw/episode/NDIzNDlmY2MtMTU0OS0xMWVhLTk0MmYtY2IxMDM2YmFiMjA0?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwj2zv2GqojsAhVbU80KHRetCwcQieUEegQIDRAF&ep=6


 

One week ago today.

‘We each can honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg by asking ourselves,

“What would Ruth do?”

Using this as a guide in our own lives will keep her with us. We can also honor what she said so recently: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

The more we learn about her words and deeds, the more she will remain a force in our lives and the world around us. She left us a clear and precious legacy. It’s up to us to keep her spirit alive.’

-Gloria Steinem, author and feminine activist

👑

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer. She was an icon. And to me, she was a role model and a friend. May her memory be a blessing.”

-Senator Elizabeth Warren

 

Vote early and in person.

As DT visited the Supreme Court, crowds waiting to pay their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg booed him, chanting “vote him out” and “honor her wish.” [NPR]

We will, Ruth. We will.

Ava DuVernay:

“Trump on trial.

With Justice Ginsburg presiding.”


 

Follow the link to learn how to vote in your state.

https://www.betterknowaballot.com

~~~

Healthy Voting helps you find healthy, secure, and safe ways to cast your ballot this year. Healthy voting practices protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community from the spread of COVID-19.

Your voting options depend on your state as well as deadlines for mail voting, early voting, and voting in-person on Election Day.

This site’s guidance is based on advice from leading public health experts as well as the latest updates to state election law. Healthy Voting focuses on statewide primary and general elections. [You can track your ballot online, too.]

https://www.healthyvoting.org

~~~

Online Voting Wasn’t Ready for 2020. Don’t Count on It Anytime Soon.

By Jack Cable, Sydney Frankenberg, Pierce Lowary, Chase Small, Michael A. Specter, Adriana Stephan, Alex Zaheer
  • Rather than immediately trying to confront the difficult problem of end-to-end verifiability of online voting, the industry and researchers may instead focus on first developing and deploying end-to-end verifiable in-person and mail-in voting systems. Microsoft’s ElectionGuard is one such readily available open-source resource for end-to-end verifiable in-person elections. Working to deploy such software, and fielding similar solutions for mail-in ballots, offers a tangible path to improving election security.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/online-voting-wasnt-ready-2020-dont-count-it-anytime-soon

We can be one.

“What I try to tell young people is that if you come together with a mission, and it’s grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible possible.” Congressman & Civil Rights Leader – Rep. John Lewis

‘We need to stand together so we can be one.’

V

O

T

E

Tell them Ruth and Rep. Lewis sent you.

 

Ruth’s Laws

“We are at last beginning to relegate to the history books the idea of the token woman,” Ruth Ginsburg said.

“Feminism [is the] notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents and not be held back by man made barriers,” Ginsburg said in her 2016 book “My Own Words.”

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

1. Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on gender or reproductive choices.

ACLU Women’s Rights Project attorney Susan Deller Ross and Ginsburg pushed to have pregnancy discrimination recognized as a form of sex discrimination, according to the ACLU. The pair is credited for helping pass the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII in 1978 which acknowledges pregnancy discrimination as unlawful. Women are now more protected against getting fired, or not considered for a job because they are pregnant or have plans to get pregnant.

2. State-funded schools must admit women.

In 1996, Ginsburg led the ruling decision in the United States v. Virginia case. Until then, women had been prohibited from attending the Virginia Military Institute. Ginsburg argued that rather than create a separate women’s program, they should be allowed to join the same program as men.

3. Women have the right to financial independence and equal benefits.

Ginsburg’s work paved the way for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which passed in1974 and allowed women to apply for bank accounts, credit cards, and mortgages without a male co-signer. She also helped ensure that women could receive the same military housing allowances as men, and women are no longer required to pay more for pension plans than men to receive the same benefits, according to the ACLU.

4. Men are entitled to the same caregiving and Social Security rights as women.

Throughout her career, Ginsburg stressed how gender equality benefits both men and women.

In 1968, Ginsburg represented Charles Moritz, a man who had never been married and claimed a tax deduction for caring for his mother, according to Smithsonian Magazine. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) denied his deduction because he was a man and unmarried. The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the IRS had violated the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution and in 1971 Section 214 of the IRS Code was amended to allow individuals to claim caregiving deductions, regardless of sex.

5. Juries must include women.

Up until 1979, jury duty was considered optional for women in the US. Several states argued that women should be exempt from participating due to family and household obligations. Ginsburg fought to require women to serve on juries on the basis that their civic duty should be valued the same as men’s.

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made,” Ginsburg told USA Today in 2009. “It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/gender-equality-laws-quotes-ruth-bader-ginsburg/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=US_Sep_23_2020_content_digest


“I think part of what I find most inspiring about RBJ’s approach to social change was that it was so action-oriented even on a heady bench, it was exacting and unromantic. She wasn’t flying. She was plodding. She wasn’t grandiose. She was granular. I know we need all kinds of leadership to make this country different, but right now, in this moment of such urgency, I find her style–or lack thereof, really–refreshing. Her legacy is speaking to me like this: Keep your feet on the ground. Keep walking very deliberately and strategically, but for God’s sake, don’t fly to nowhere. Don’t fall in love with your own notions. Do the work. Do the hard things. Do them til you die.”

-Activist and author Courtney Martin


9.23.20

Chief Justice John Roberts on Ginsburg:

“Ruth used to ask: What is the difference between a bookkeeper in Brooklyn and a Supreme Court justice?”

“Her answer: one generation.”

 

#NationalVoterRegistrationDay

Roe v. Wade.

Health care.

Climate change.

Dreamers.

Voting.

The right to join a union.

 

#RBG

“I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”

Thank you, Radio Lab, for re-posting your RBG episode. I missed it when it first aired. It’s tenderly perfect after a couple of difficult days. Wonderfully written, produced, and reported; deeply and quietly layered with Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s brilliance, resilience, and goodness. I’ll remember this for a long time. She changed our world.

https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/more-perfect-sex-appeal

‘We lost a legend. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18th, 2020. She was 87. In honor of her passing we are re-airing the More Perfect episode dedicated to one of her cases, because it offers a unique portrait of how one person can make change in the world.
This is the story of how Ginsburg, as a young lawyer at the ACLU, convinced an all-male Supreme Court to take discrimination against women seriously – using a case on discrimination against men.

This episode was reported by Julia Longoria.

Special thanks to Stephen Wiesenfeld, Alison Keith, and Bob Darcy.’

[with Jad Abumrad]

 

    12.21.19
    ‘The event gets underway at 5 p.m. at Ketchum Town Square with music by Tylor and the Train Robbers. Their music will be followed by a showing of Teton Gravity’s Research’s 25-minute film “Fire on the Mountain” showcasing music by the Grateful Dead.’

    [Eye On Sun Valley]

    Clean Web Design