-John Locke, 1689
“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.
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
One of the greatest needs of humanity today is to transcend the cultural limitations of the great religions and to find a wisdom, a philosophy, which can reconcile their differences and reveal the unity which underlies all their diversities.
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.
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.
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:
- political polarization
- democratic exclusion
- economic inequality
- 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.]
‘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
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.
“Trump on trial.
With Justice Ginsburg presiding.”
Follow the link to learn how to vote in your state.
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.]
Online Voting Wasn’t Ready for 2020. Don’t Count on It Anytime Soon.
- 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.
“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.’
Tell them Ruth and Rep. Lewis sent you.
“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.”
“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
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.”
Roe v. Wade.
The right to join a union.
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.
‘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]
Words from Justice Antonin Scalia, shared by his son, Christopher, on social media about his dad’s colleague and dear friend, Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
This is a story that Judge Jeffrey Sutton shares about an encounter late in my dad’s life, when he bought his friend Ruth two dozen roses for her birthday. “Some things in life are more important than votes.”
Somethings are indeed more important than votes, and words, and those things often emerge from places of deep compassion, passion, empathy, and goodness. This void of words, and votes, was the platform that formed RBG’s life of service and tireless fight for equality.
A Jewish teaching says those who die just before the Jewish new year are the ones God has held back until the last moment because they were needed most and were the most righteous. And so it was that Ruth died as the sun was setting last night marking the beginning of Rosh Hashanah.
-Nina Totenberg, friend and NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told her granddaughter in the days before her death.
In the end, still fighting for her country.
- September 18: National Black Voter Day
- September 22: National Voter Registration Day
- September 29: First Presidential Debate
- October 5: Voter Education Week
- October 7: Vice Presidential Debate
- October 15: Second Presidential Debate
- October 22: Third Presidential Debate
- October 24: Vote Early Day
- November 3: Election Day
The primaries are over. Conventions went virtual. Ballots are being printed as we speak. Election season is in full swing. This election will be the most consequential of our time, so below you’ll find 10 simple steps and resources to make sure you’re ready to flex your constitutional muscle. And if you can vote early, please do.
National Association of Secretaries of State
When We All Vote
The Washington Post
Power The Polls
We The Action
Time to Vote
‘Imagine if five months ago, Americans not only got a signal from their government that they should wear masks, but even had them handed to them. Incalculable loss — human and economic — could have been avoided.’
Design by Scott Naismith
I am learning to see something new. In addition to sky and land, a third thing has equal significance: the air.
Things usually appear to me as finite and limited in comparison with the great body of Earth. But here there are many things that seem like islands…alone, brightly caressed on all sides by ever-moving air that makes their forms stand out so clearly.
-Rilke, Early Journals
Leave the cruelty to kings.
Without that angel barring the way to love
there would be no bridge for me into time.
-Rilke, From the book of Hours I, 53
These are extraordinarily difficult days. Together, let’s be careful what we amplify, not only with our thoughts, but our words and messaging. -dayle
[Image: Indivisible Team]
Follow the link to find out how to vote in your state. Easy to use and understand.
Ketchum, Idaho on Tuesday evening, September 15th. Smoke from the wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington has settled in Idaho.
The Department of Environmental Quality iAir quality is currently ‘unhealthy’ for sensitive groups.
When air quality is unhealthy, persons may experience health effects and should limit prolonged or heavy exertion and limit time spent outdoors. The general public is unlikely to be affected.
Voluntary burn ban for residential wood burning activities is in place.
The New Moon in Virgo is Thursday, September 17 at 5:00AM Mountain Daylight Time
This New Moon in Virgo challenges us to get organized with our thoughts and intentions.
It challenges us to focus on clear practical communication and to take responsibility for the details of our lives.
It is time to get ready for the slow but steady crawling out from under intense change and to use the energy for solid transformation as the momentum builds.
It is important to keep your eye on the lofty goals for the future but not to get lost in the illusion or fantasy of what is true right at the moment. Keep your tasks practical and grounded, and keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what.
This is an important equinox as we ask ourselves, “what’s the plan?”. Instead of waiting for more clarity, work with what you have and set some practical intentions (always subject to change) for yourself. The most important lessons during this time are the ones that show you clearly what you do not want to dream up or manifest for yourself.
Take an inventory of what has not worked for you in the past, what you are complete with in your life, and give it all over to the West with great gratitude for being part of your container up until now.
You may not have the whole picture of where you are headed however you can begin to organize your energy by focusing on what brings you joy right now in these times and go from there. Beware of the mental quagmire of thoughts, anxieties and worries that have you spinning in circles. You cannot manifest a good future from the place of “too many thinking”.
The best way to use the Equinox is to practice gratitude, to focus on love and do something higher centered that gives you joy, preferably in nature.
[And wear your mask.]
The Equinox is Tuesday, September 22 at 7:31AM Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).
The wound, which causes us to suffer now, will be revealed to us later as the place where God intimated new creation.
—Henri J. M. Nouwen
Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian. His interests were rooted primarily in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community.
Mask usage in the U.S. has landed at 45%.
A screaming, spreading wake-up call
All the biggest threats to America — most of them predicted, if not known, well in advance — are unfolding before our eyes, in real-time, in unmistakable ways, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei writes.
Why it matters: It’s as if God or the galaxy, or whatever you believe in, are screaming for politicians and the public to pop our bubbles and pay attention — and believe our eyes.
Misinformation: Every day brings new stories of other nations manipulating social media — and Americans refusing to believe scientists or experts about factual news, coronavirus prevention, global warming, vaccines and established truth.
Think about the number of educated people in your own life who share fake stories or believe B.S.
Racial reckoning: Protests in America are the biggest since 1968, after literally decades of warnings about needed policing and economic reforms.
Social media has illuminated the injustices, and exacerbated the anger.
Global warming: It’s nearly impossible to find a scientist who doesn’t agree that a warming planet has contributed to the wildfires destroying big slices of California, Oregon and Washington.
“Combined, the states have seen nearly five million acres consumed by fire — a land mass approaching the size of New Jersey,” the N.Y. Times reports.
The record-setting blazes have been “made worse, scientists say, by the climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. Such disasters will only become worse as the planet continues to warm.”
Let this sink in: 18 of the warmest 19 years have occurred since 2001, according to NASA. We just experienced the warmest decade ever. And six of the biggest 20 fires in California historyare burning now.
A fast-rising China: Every year, China grows bigger and more powerful, most recently seizing control of Hong Kong and trying to buy allies at U.S. expense.
Xi Jinping said this week that China’s progress in fighting the virus, including reopening schools, has “fully demonstrated the clear superiority of Communist Party leadership and our socialist system.” (N.Y. Times) This is the message Beijing is spreading to other world leaders and their own people, as China seeks to displace America as the great global power.
The pandemic: Our response, infection rate and death count show in irrefutable terms that America, despite the best universities and innovators, is far from the top in controlling the coronavirus.
What’s next: The good news is that America still produces and attracts many of the world’s brightest minds.
Somehow, these minds need to reclaim a shared definition of truth, and help adapt our biggest institutions to combat fast-growing collisions of politics + technology/science + misinformation.
In Oregon, dozens are reported missing; officials prepare for ‘mass fatality incident’
Dr. Anthony Fauci/CNN & MSNBC:
Dr. Anthony Fauci said it could be the end of 2021 before life gets back to how it was before Covid-19.
“If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it’s going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021,” Fauci said Friday.
A vaccine will help, but there are caveats, Fauci said in a series of interviews Friday.
A coronavirus vaccine by Election Day? Probably not. Here’s why
Fauci has said repeatedly that it’s possible at least one of the vaccines being tested could get emergency authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration by the end of this year or early next year. But it won’t be available to everyone immediately.
“By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority, or more, of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen to the mid or end of 2021,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
One stumbling block — keeping the vaccines cold. Most of the experimental coronavirus vaccines must be kept frozen. Speaking during a Friends of the Global Fight webinar earlier on Friday, Fauci said, “One of the things that’s always an issue is the cold storage issue, and the ‘cold chain’ that is so often required.”
Plus, people are not always doing what they should do to control the spread of the virus, even now, Fauci said.
“When you’re dealing with a situation that requires behavioral change, we in the United States have a significant issue that I’m very disappointed in,” Fauci said during the webinar.
“It was stunning to me … that in some states and cities and counties, you would see television clips of people crowded indoors at bars, which is a superspreading event if you ever saw it.”
Young people may think they are not going to get dangerously ill, and get careless, Fauci said.
“But what they forget is their societal responsibility to not propagate the outbreak because if they get infected, they’re likely going to infect someone else who then might infect someone who really is vulnerable and will have a serious severe consequence.”
After record low flu season in Australia, US hopes for the same
And people are spreading misinformation, making the virus even harder to fight.
Fauci also cautioned that just because coronaviruses are in the spotlight, people should not forget the flu.
“The one thing I’ve learned throughout the years is don’t put anything past the flu — don’t take anything for granted.”
Flu Vaccine Finder