Cafe News

Traditional, Inclusive & Creating with Integrity

April 17, 2018

…a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical,
Christo-centric, social justice-oriented, queer-inclusive,
incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient / future
church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination.

“And it started with eight people in my living room (seven) years ago.

And it’s such a freak show. OK, the thing is, is literally you walk in now and you will see a convicted felon serving communion to a statewide elected official next to a teenager with pink hair holding the baby of a soccer mom from the suburbs. And I thought the weirdness of my congregation was going to be diluted, right? It is only weirder now. You walk in, you go, “I am unclear what all these people have in common.”

‘But you were born for such a day as this.’ […] And my parents embraced me and they gave me a blessing and they prayed over me. And like it’s very scriptural that you need a blessing to go and do what you’re going to do and to be who God’s called you to be. And the fact that my blessing got to come from my Church of Christ parents is one of the most profound gifts in my lifetime.

And so if people feel that God has called them to something and you have trepidation, you need to get a blessing from someone. And if it can’t be your parents, find somebody else, because I cannot tell you how that released me and freed me to go and do the work I did. And I feel like it’s this thing in the Bible that we’ve forgotten about. And for me, it ended up being really critical and profound to go with a blessing.”

-Luther Pastor Nadia Bolz-Webber, House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver

houseforall.org

[On giving the sermon at the funeral of a teenage boy who had committed suicide

When I heard about this kid, and I heard about all of these wonderful things about him, and how queer he was, and how he played piano, all this stuff about him — he struggled with just a tiny bit of heroin and mental health problems. When I heard about him, I thought, “That is exactly the kind of guy Jesus would hang out with.” We see the cast of characters Jesus surrounded himself with, people for whom life was hard, and who had some colorful things going on, and rank fishermen, and prostitutes, and tax collectors, and these are the kind of people Jesus chose to surround himself with, and I think that’s important. I have no idea how Christianity went from that to what it is now.]

__________

‘For most of human history, the rules of power were clear: power was something to be seized and then jealously guarded. This “old power” was out of reach for the vast majority of people. But our ubiquitous connectivity makes possible a different kind of power. “New power” is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It works like a current, not a currency–and it is most forceful when it surges. The battle between old and new power is determining who governs us, how we work, and even how we think and feel.’

[goodreads.com]

Just ‘playing through’ the apocalypse.

April 14, 2018

The Decemberists’ Shiny, Happy Protest Album
“There’s something therapeutic in looking at the apocalypse and laughing,” Colin Meloy says of the band’s I’ll Be Your Girl.

Spencer Kornhaber

[Excerpt from interview with The Decembrists’ Colin Meloy in The Atlantic]

Kornhaber: I saw you called the album an “apocalyptic dance party,” which feels like a term that could describe a lot of albums lately.

Meloy: We’re having a very shared experience. It’s almost galvanizing, people coming out of the woodwork and saying, “Shit is fucked up.” There’s something therapeutic in looking at the apocalypse and laughing.

I was hearing a story about that incident in Hawaii when a false missile alert came down. There were a couple guys on a golf course whose phones went off at the same time, and they went through how much time they had, where they could go, what they could actually accomplish. And they came to the conclusion that the best thing they could do is continue playing golf. There was nothing else they could do. That, in some ways, is a shared experience in this country right now.

Kornhaber: That story sounds like a future Decemberists song topic. But there’s a capitulation in it, right?

Meloy: Obviously the golfers in Hawaii is not analogous to our current predicament. It is a thought experiment: The apocalypse is 10 minutes away; what really can you do? If you want to talk literally, I don’t think we are in that dire circumstances. Responding to that intuition to shout out that things are broken is some way forward. We’re not leading the charge, but it feels good to lend our voices to that ever-growing chorus of people who are saying, This is not right.

Kornhaber: How much do you want this read as a Trump album?

Meloy: I don’t think I set out to make an overtly topical or political record. The songs just came from where we were and where my head was at in the last year and a half. I didn’t want to go too over-the-top. For one thing, I don’t know that I feel like the white straight-male voice is really the voice that needs to be amplified right now, or necessarily be the one singing protest music. There is powerful and topical music to be made by those communities who are oppressed. I don’t think it’s necessarily my place. That said, you can’t help but have some of that stuff just come through the cracks as you’re working.

Full article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/03/the-decemberists-shiny-happy-protest-album/555533/

 

Restructuring the narrative.

5 Indigenous Women Asserting the Modern Matriarchy
They’re reclaiming the tradition of female leadership and turning the old, white, male-dominated perspective of history on its head.

It is precisely because this historical narrative is biased that righting this wrong isn’t as simple as cherry-picking the names of notable Native women and inserting them into textbooks or other media. In order to truly improve public understanding of important indigenous women in history, the entire narrative has to be restructured. And who better to do that than Native women themselves?

Today, contemporary indigenous women are taking the matter into their own hands and showing the public how to rethink, reframe, and relearn a new American-Canadian story that seamlessly incorporates the voices of indigenous women. These women are living in the tradition of their ancestors, whose societies and nations were often matriarchal. They are reclaiming the tradition of female leadership and turning the old, white, male-dominated perspective of history on its head.

The following are five Native American and First Nations women who are using their platforms in such profound ways that they are also, in a sense, making history.

Follow link:

http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/5-indigenous-women-asserting-the-modern-matriarchy-20180330

_______

Mountain West News Bureau

Nate Hegyi

“The data breach prompted a “Delete Facebook” movement that hasn’t really gained any traction.

That’s especially true in the Native American community, where Facebook is much more than sharing cat videos or keeping in touch with friends and family.

Social media is vital in Indian Country. It helps connect communities and reservations that are scattered across North America. Many are in rural, isolated places that don’t get a lot of attention from national media outlets.

Places like Pablo, a small, one-highway town in northwest Montana where Patrick Yawakie goes to college. He was an organizer for Native Lives Matter a couple years ago.

And in Indian Country that message can also be about mundane things — from community classes to bike donations and fundraisers. And then there are public service announcements that can actually save lives.

When a bad blizzard caused a state of emergency on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, people used Facebook to warn which roads were closed and to get food to needy families.

But as much as she loves Facebook, Lamb said indigenous communities would find other ways to get in touch and organize if it disappeared. She pointed to the founding of the American Indian Movement in the late 1960s.

“They didn’t have Facebook and I think they got a lot of things done,” she said. “So they would obviously adapt and change to the world and find a way. There’s always a way.”

Full article:

http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/native-lives-matter-standing-rock-facebook-crucial-tool-indian-country#stream/0

______

NPR

“A true account of the early 20th-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.”

“In his new book, Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann describes how white people in the area conspired to kill Osage members in order steal their oil wealth, which could only be passed on through inheritance. “This was a culture of complicity,” he says, “and it was allowed to go on for so long because so many people were part of the plot. You had lawmen, you had prosecutors, you had the reporters who wouldn’t cover it. You had oilmen who wouldn’t speak out. You had morticians who would cover up the murders when they buried the body. You had doctors who helped give poison to people.”

Steve Inskeep and author David Gann:

https://www.npr.org/books/titles/523348082/killers-of-the-flower-moon-the-osage-murders-and-the-birth-of-the-fbi

The core of journalism: betrayal.

April 9, 2018

BuzzFeed

Ben Smith, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief

“This Is What It Was Like Learning To Report Before Fake News Was The Biggest Problem In The World
As a young reporter in Eastern Europe in 2001, I expected to witness the “end of history” and the flowering of democracy. That was just one of the mistakes I made.

I recognized myself in Suzy Hansen’s recent book on the delusions of our generation of Americans abroad, Notes on a Foreign Country.

“I would never have admitted it, or thought to say it, but looking back, I know that deep in my consciousness I thought that America was at the end of some evolutionary spectrum of civilization, and everyone else was trying to catch up,” she wrote.

[…]

There’s an axiom in reporting — crystallized by Janet Malcolm in The Journalist and the Murderer — that at the core of journalism is betrayal. I thought that’s what I’d done to Shydlovski. And I’ve thought a lot about the balance of responsibility to your sources and to your readers.

I had left Belarus on an overnight train the day after the election, and crossed the Ukrainian border on the morning of Sept. 11, as clear a day in that region as it was in New York. That afternoon, I sat in a Kiev newsroom watching my past assumptions about American power crumble, and walked outside to watch Ukrainians lining up at exchange bureaus to turn in their dollars. The story moved on.

[…]

Kozak, though, stuck around; he’s still working on the Lukashenko project from his desk in Foggy Bottom. And his own experience, he said, had taught him not to trust confident judgments about the future of an authoritarian.

“You get that blithe assumption that the status quo will always remain — or that this guy is so bad he’s got to go,” he said. “Neither are necessarily true, nor necessarily false.”

And Kozak is right: The main lesson I should have learned was about making predictions, about trusting the confidence of my American culture and of official sources on both sides, of imagining I knew more than I did. Even in the era of Steven Spielberg’s The Post and of a kind of glorification of the work of journalists, good reporting doesn’t offer easy lessons. It’s an uncertain business, and a necessarily anarchic one. Now I’m glad I wrote Shydlovski’s story, not despite the fact that I didn’t know where it would lead, but because of it.”

[full article]

https://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/ben-smith-the-mistakes-i-made-as-a-young-reporter?utm_term=.pe1OQewaeO#.cvJaol8Nla

 

A call for action.

The photo illustration shows the toll that layoffs and constant turnover have taken on the staff in the five years since. […] At least two dozen more journalists will be leaving The Post because of layoffs.

“…raise(s) the question: Does this cut, which follows so many in recent years that our ranks have shriveled from more than 250 to fewer than 100 today, represent the beginning of the end for the Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire?

The cuts, backed by our owner, the New York City hedge fund Alden Global Capital, also are a mystery, if you look at them from the point of view of those of us intent on running a serious news operation befitting the city that bears our name. Media experts locally and nationally question why our future looks so bleak, as many newspapers still enjoy double-digit profits and our management reported solid profits as recently as last year.

We call for action. Consider this editorial and this Sunday’s Perspective offerings a plea to Alden — owner of Digital First Media, one of the largest newspaper chains in the country — to rethink its business strategy across all its newspaper holdings.Consider this also a signal to our community and civic leaders that they ought to demand better. Denver deserves a newspaper owner who supports its newsroom. If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell The Post to owners who will.

[full article]

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/09/600831352/denver-post-calls-out-its-vulture-hedge-fund-owners-in-searing-editorials?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Is it too late?

April 6, 2018

”Fascism poses a more serious threat now than any time since the end of WWII.”

NYTimes/Opinion

4.6.18

Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State from 1997-2001

“What is to be done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: “There’s nothing to be done.”

[…]

To me, greatness goes a little deeper than how much marble we put in our hotel lobbies and whether we have a Soviet-style military parade. America at its best is a place where people from a multitude of backgrounds work together to safeguard the rights and enrich the lives of all. That’s the example we have always aspired to set and the model people around the world hunger to see. And no politician, not even one in the Oval Office, should be allowed to tarnish that dream.”

_____________________________________

[full article]

“On April 28, 1945 — 73 years ago — Italians hung the corpse of their former dictator Benito Mussolini upside down next to a gas station in Milan. Two days later, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker beneath the streets of war-ravaged Berlin. Fascism, it appeared, was dead.

To guard against a recurrence, the survivors of war and the Holocaust joined forces to create the United Nations, forge global financial institutions and — through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — strengthen the rule of law. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and the honor roll of elected governments swelled not only in Central Europe, but also Latin America, Africa and Asia. Almost everywhere, it seemed, dictators were out and democrats were in. Freedom was ascendant.

Today, we are in a new era, testing whether the democratic banner can remain aloft amid terrorism, sectarian conflicts, vulnerable borders, rogue social media and the cynical schemes of ambitious men. The answer is not self-evident. We may be encouraged that most people in most countries still want to live freely and in peace, but there is no ignoring the storm clouds that have gathered. In fact, fascism — and the tendencies that lead toward fascism — pose a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II.

Warning signs include the relentless grab for more authority by governing parties in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey — all United States allies. The raw anger that feeds fascism is evident across the Atlantic in the growth of nativist movements opposed to the idea of a united Europe, including in Germany, where the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland has emerged as the principal opposition party. The danger of despotism is on display in the Russia of Vladimir Putin — invader of Ukraine, meddler in foreign democracies, accused political assassin, brazen liar and proud son of the K.G.B. Putin has just been re-elected to a new six-year term, while in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, a ruthless ideologue, is poised to triumph in sham balloting next month. In China, Xi Jinping has persuaded a docile National People’s Congress to lift the constitutional limit on his tenure in power.

Around the Mediterranean, the once bright promise of the Arab Spring has been betrayed by autocratic leaders, such as Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt (also just re-elected), who use security to justify the jailing of reporters and political opponents. Thanks to allies in Moscow and Tehran, the tyrant Bashar al-Assad retains his stranglehold over much of Syria. In Africa, the presidents who serve longest are often the most corrupt, multiplying the harm they inflict with each passing year. Meanwhile, the possibility that fascism will be accorded a fresh chance to strut around the world stage is enhanced by the volatile presidency of Donald Trump.

If freedom is to prevail over the many challenges to it, American leadership is urgently required. This was among the indelible lessons of the 20th century. But by what he has said, done and failed to do, Mr. Trump has steadily diminished America’s positive clout in global councils.

Instead of mobilizing international coalitions to take on world problems, he touts the doctrine of “every nation for itself” and has led America into isolated positions on trade, climate change and Middle East peace. Instead of engaging in creative diplomacy, he has insulted United States neighbors and allies, walked away from key international agreements, mocked multilateral organizations and stripped the State Department of its resources and role. Instead of standing up for the values of a free society, Mr. Trump, with his oft-vented scorn for democracy’s building blocks, has strengthened the hands of dictators. No longer need they fear United States criticism regarding human rights or civil liberties. On the contrary, they can and do point to Mr. Trump’s own words to justify their repressive actions.

At one time or another, Mr. Trump has attacked the judiciary, ridiculed the media, defended torture, condoned police brutality, urged supporters to rough up hecklers and — jokingly or not — equated mere policy disagreements with treason. He tried to undermine faith in America’s electoral process through a bogus advisory commission on voter integrity. He routinely vilifies federal law enforcement institutions. He libels immigrants and the countries from which they come. His words are so often at odds with the truth that they can appear ignorant, yet are in fact calculated to exacerbate religious, social and racial divisions. Overseas, rather than stand up to bullies, Mr. Trump appears to like bullies, and they are delighted to have him represent the American brand. If one were to draft a script chronicling fascism’s resurrection, the abdication of America’s moral leadership would make a credible first scene.

Equally alarming is the chance that Mr. Trump will set in motion events that neither he nor anyone else can control. His policy toward North Korea changes by the day and might quickly return to saber-rattling should Pyongyang prove stubborn before or during talks. His threat to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement could unravel a pact that has made the world safer and could undermine America’s reputation for trustworthiness at a critical moment. His support of protectionist tariffs invites retaliation from major trading partners — creating unnecessary conflicts and putting at risk millions of export-dependent jobs. The recent purge of his national security team raises new questions about the quality of advice he will receive. John Bolton starts work in the White House on Monday.

What is to be done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: “There’s nothing to be done.”

I’m 80 years old, but I can still be inspired when I see young people coming together to demand the right to study without having to wear a flak jacket.

We should also reflect on the definition of greatness. Can a nation merit that label by aligning itself with dictators and autocrats, ignoring human rights, declaring open season on the environment, and disdaining the use of diplomacy at a time when virtually every serious problem requires international cooperation?

To me, greatness goes a little deeper than how much marble we put in our hotel lobbies and whether we have a Soviet-style military parade. America at its best is a place where people from a multitude of backgrounds work together to safeguard the rights and enrich the lives of all. That’s the example we have always aspired to set and the model people around the world hunger to see. And no politician, not even one in the Oval Office, should be allowed to tarnish that dream.”

 

Sanctuary.

April 3, 2018

In the 1939 film, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, we are reminded of the power and tenderness behind the word ‘sanctuary’, how with compassion and care the dismissed hunchback and bell ringer Quasimodo saves a young gypsy girl named Esmeralda from public execution, whisking her away to the safety of his own personal santurary.

Late night television hosts continue their socially conscious roles as comedian journalists, particularly “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver who recently shared the horror of immigration courts in the U.S. Although overwhelming and sad, Oliver reported on this desperate situation teaching with intelligence and humor.

Some immigration attorneys respond:

“…a big thank you to you John Oliver for shedding a meaningful light in this system that AG Sessions wants to singlehandedly destroy. 

“Thanks for this brilliant piece! The horror stories are neverending: from my 10, 12 & 20 year long cases, to the govt violating their own policies, to the Judge & government attorney conducting an entire hearing with the wrong 11 yr old girl. I could go on…”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! As an immigration attorney, I had a little extra bounce in my step walking into court today knowing that millions of people learned of this daily struggle thanks to this segment!”

Adding to the desperate situation from the current U.S. administration and justice department, are newly announced immigration quotas.

From NPR:

“The Department of Justice is setting quotas for immigration judges — part of a broader effort to speed up deportations and reduce a massive backlog of immigration cases.

The new quotas are laid out in a memo that was sent to immigration judges across the country on Friday (March 30th). To get a “satisfactory” rating on their performance evaluations, judges will be required to clear at least 700 cases a year and to have fewer than 15 percent of their decisions overturned on appeal.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other immigration hard-liners say that backlog allows people who should be deported quickly to stay in the United States for years while they wait for a court date.

Immigration courts handle the civil cases of undocumented immigrants who are seeking to stay in the U.S. The courts are part of the Justice Department, and Sessions has the power to set rules and change precedent. He wants to clear a backlog that is approaching 700,000 cases.

Immigration lawyers are also critical of the plan. ‘Decisions in immigration court have life-or-death consequences and cannot be managed like an assembly line,’ said Jeremy McKinney, secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.“

https://www.npr.org/2018/04/03/599240676/justice-department-will-require-judges-to-make-quota-for-immigration-cases

Solutions are complex. How to help? Not clear. Perhaps, locally, community by community, individually, we cry ‘santuary’ and provide the compassion and care for those who are tired and poor, ‘yearning to breathe free.’

A list of immigration judges across the country, posted by state.

https://www.justice.gov/eoir/eoir-immigration-court-listing

Better Democracy Promotion Through Immigration

By Margaret E. Peters, Michael K. Miller Sunday

[Lawfare]

We find that when greater numbers of citizens from an autocratic home country migrate to democracies, the likelihood that the home country will democratize within the next five years goes up sevenfold. In contrast, when migrants only have the opportunity to move to other autocracies, emigration stabilizes authoritarian regimes.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/contributors/mpetersguest

‘Civic Participation & Democracy are Synonymous’

March 27, 2018

Civic Participation Begins in Schools

Stanford Social Innovation Review

Fostering a robust democracy in America requires that we create a truly democratic school culture.

‘Generations of young people growing up in the United States have witnessed a sustained institutional disregard for equal rights, freedom of speech, voting rights, and access to decent housing. Young people in this era are particularly disillusioned about a democracy in which Twitter wars at the federal level become an acceptable substitute for dialogue and debate about substantive matters.

Many schools have failed to prepare our youngest citizens to become stewards of democracy, possessing the knowledge and skills required for active and engaged citizenship. Statistics demonstrating this failure are plentiful: Only one-third of Americans can name all branches of government, and one-third cannot name any at all. 37 percent of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed in the first amendment. And perhaps the most worrisome statistic: Only 33 percent of Americans born after 1980 consider democracy essential, while 24 percent of young people consider democracy a bad way to govern a country.

Today’s nationwide toxic environment provides an impetus for articulating a more inspiring and citizen-centric vision for our public schools. This new vision includes re-imagining schools as laboratories of democracy, enlisting young people as co-collaborators with educators and local community members as partners in constructing the democracy our country both needs and deserves. Rather than exhorting young people to understand a staid conceptualization of democracy that reduces their own agency in the ever-changing American narrative, there is an opportunity for schools to engage our youth as legitimate political actors who can help us re-envision the very practice and values associated with democracy.

We can transform schools into beacons of democracy by ensuring that schools focus on centering education in the communities in which they are located, by constructing classes that are relevant to students’ lives, and by creating a democratic culture within school walls.

The process begins with a greater respect for the community in which school are situated. Students need to understand that the community is a place where citizens make their wants and needs known, and work together to solve communal challenges. Community members need to see the success of young people as relevant to the success of the community. Elected officials can learn to recognize students as purveyors of important local civic knowledge, capable of informing the most complex policy debates. Young people have a place in the community’s discourse and action, and it is important for them to experience the messiness and the satisfaction alike of the democratic process.

Our democracy may indeed be at risk, but an appreciation for our unprecedented times opens up unprecedented possibilities. A foundational reorientation of the purpose of public education can enable our youngest generation to not only understand democracy but also participate in creating a better version of it. We may have not yet created a democracy stable enough for future generations. But young people can help to create a better one.‘

[full article: https://ssir.org/articles/entry/civic_participation_begins_in_schools]

Sylvia Rousseau & Scott Warren

 

R.E.V.

March 26, 2018

’And a little child shall lead them.’

Isaiah 11:6

https://mobile.twitter.com/AMarch4OurLives/status/978256128873086977/video/1

R  E  G  I  S  T  E  R     E  D  U  C  A  T  E     V  O  T  E

(This makes me so happy.)

March 21, 2018

The Rise of ‘Fake News’ is Producing a Record Number of Journalism Majors

Applications have jumped at journalism schools across the country. After five years of “consistent” application numbers, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism saw a 10% increase for the 2017-2018 school year, a spokeswoman said.

News organizations including The New York Times and The Washington Post have said they’ve seen spikes in subscriptions since President Donald Trump’s election.

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by MarketWatch’s parent company News Corp. NWSA+0.92% has also added subscribers, now totaling more than 2.2 million, including print editions. The Journal added 118,000 digital subscribers between December 2016 and March 2017.

Full article: https://www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/44CA6978-2951-11E8-B849-1F206CEB17F4?__twitter_impression=true

“The Power of Citizenship”

March 19, 2018

ASPEN INSTITUTE

“What do you think Americans should know to be civically and culturally literate?”

Lesson’s from the Women’s Suffrage Movement

No matter what one’s political leanings, everyone can learn from the history of the women’s suffrage movement.

Although (Alice) Paul may not be as well-known as Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt or Martin Luther King, Jr., all owe her a debt as her tactics of civil disobedience would become the tools of the push for Civil Rights and other movements. Her championing of equal rights would help shape the United Nations Charter, alongside the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt. And Paul’s leadership also helped establish the permanent UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Alice Paul had cut her teeth in England, learning from activists how to get people’s attention for women’s rights by staging parades, street meetings, and protests, which led to her arrest and imprisonment. She put these lessons to work in the US, too. President Woodrow Wilson was appalled by Paul and her “unladylike” tactics, which she used in her public protests for women’s voting rights outside the White House and elsewhere in Washington.

In the same year, Paul spent seven months in prison for her civil disobedience, but she was not alone. Of her fellow demonstrators, about 500 were arrested, and 168 served prison sentences for their participation. While in jail, Paul led a hunger strike and was force-fed along with other women of the NWP, who demanded to be considered political prisoners rather than criminals.

Although they had sometimes been beaten by bystanders outside the White House, and called unpatriotic and worse during World War I, the NWP still fueled general outrage in the press and public. Under pressure from growing public support for women’s suffrage, Wilson finally relented in his opposition and offered his backing for an amendment. The Senate subsequently passed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment for equal suffrage on June 4, 1919.

The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified by the required three-fourths of the states and became law just before the 1920 election.

[full article: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/lessons-womens-suffrage-movement/]

Meanwhile, in Idaho…

March 18, 2018

Michelle Stennett
Idaho State Senate Minority Leader
Legislative News

‘Tracking Women’
Michelle writes, “After nearly three hours of debate, the Senate voted in favor of a measure that creates reporting requirements for complications that may have resulted from a pregnancy termination. The measure includes making linkages between terminations and 40 other medical conditions that may be experienced by a woman over the course of her life. The listed conditions include health complications that are seen in both men and women including comas, heart attacks, and strokes. Additionally, physicians who fail to comply with these reporting requirements face stiff fines and potential loss of license. Those who debated against the measure see it as a tremendous act of government overreach, <especially considering that no other surgical procedure in the state has similar reporting requirements.> These include a woman’s race, age, number of children she’s birthed that have lived, and number who have died. The bill would create an incredible expense for the Department of Health and Welfare, and ultimately taxpayers, to implement. I signed onto a bipartisan letter asking Governor Otter to veto the measure.”

#

“We’ve been out-organized.”

February 27, 2018

How our current tax laws prohibit the nation’s best leaders from fully confronting mass incarceration

[And other social/political issues.]

by, Shaun King

MEDIUM

“But let me make it even more personal for the world I operate in. At last count, we have over 70,000 black churches in America. It is the most consistent and influential institution in black communities from coast to coast, but the leaders of those churches, because of various tax laws, are not allowed to use their buildings or pulpits for explicit political endorsements. They can’t email it to you either. They can’t do it anywhere on church property or with church equipment. Even though those churches and those communities are ravaged by mass incarceration, they aren’t allowed to really get into the fight to inform people of what to do and who to vote for that will change the system. So, what we end up having are 2,400 District Attorneys in power, often fighting against the health and well-being of black communities, with 70,000+ pastors who cannot freely campaign for alternatives. I’m not even saying we should remove this prohibition — I just need you to know it’s there — and for black communities — this is problem is heightened — because the primary leaders in the community can’t get very specific about criminal justice reform.

It goes much deeper than that.

Because of tax laws governing charities, including almost every single civil rights organization you’ve ever heard of, including the NAACP, the Urban League, the ACLU, and others, those organizations are not allowed to endorse political candidates or use their resources in political campaigns of any kind. They can skirt around the issue. They can host forums with every candidate. And that stuff helps, but not enough. They can’t tell you which sheriff and jailer and DA is corrupt or violent or horrible. They can’t tell you who needs to be replaced and who you should replace them with.

The same is true for most fraternities and sororities — who have deep influence around the country. It even includes hardcore justice organizations that do amazing work — organizations that I love and respect — but would lose their non-profit status if they actually endorsed a political candidate.

So guess what they say when it comes time to vote?

“Go vote.”

That’s about it. If they say much more than that, it could truly jam them up legally. So all they can tell people, is “go vote.” That’s it.

Can I be frank?

“Go vote” is not enough. And the proof is the very system itself.

If “go vote” was enough, our 2,400 prosecutors would look and feel and act very differently.

If “go vote” was enough, Republicans would not control the House, Senate, Presidency, Supreme Court, and the majority of governorships and state legislatures right now.

“Go vote” is a not a political strategy. It’s hardly a slogan. Hell, it’s not even a good tweet. It lacks the specificity and nuance that people to know who to vote for and against. It lacks the detail needed to actually change the system.

So what happens is people go vote, normally down a single party line, often voting for complete strangers, often choosing random names from among Democrats, hoping they are great. Often, they aren’t. Some of the worst DA’s and judges in America are Democrats. Good people run against them, but the leaders people know and trust can’t tell you that. I can tell you 20 cities off the top of my head where this is the case right now.

What I am about to say pains me. I am not pointing at you. I am owning it.

We got where we are right now because we’ve been out-organized.

People who mean us great harm are in power right now because they have out-organized us.

Yes, they’ve often gerrymandered their way into success, but even that was them out-organizing us.”

Full article:

https://medium.com/@ShaunKing/how-our-current-tax-laws-prohibit-the-nations-best-leaders-from-fully-confronting-mass-d658b75d96e4

“…we need to get our of their way.”

February 24, 2018

“I wanted to make sure that even if our souls were left behind on that classroom floor, our voices would echo on to the halls of Congress.”

-Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg

What History Says About the Parkland Moment

How high school students hope their activism will change gun legislature. History shows how that could – and couldn’t – happen.

by Karen Yuan

The teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting have become nationally prominent activists for gun control almost overnight. But while they’ve drawn attention to their positions, these students will face an uphill journey: Yesterday, the Florida House voted down a motion to consider banning assault weapons—as Stoneman Douglas students watched from the gallery.

After mass shootings, discussions around gun violence—especially gun control legislation—often flare up and then die down, without new legislation, as the news cycle moves on. With help from our archives editor, Annika Neklason, I dug into the Atlantic archives, looking for insights into what might come out of this moment—and what might not.

THE PARKLAND MOMENT: AN ATLANTIC HISTORY

  • The weapon used by the Parkland shooter, the AR-15, has a storied history. The weapon at the center of today’s debate took an unusual path to prominence. James Fallows explored in 1981 how the AR-15 was developed, advocated for, and modified in the military. In the 1960s, after a series of evaluations, the Defense Department had recommended its lightness, reliability, and “lethality.” The weapon was soon deployed in Vietnam. But without a few more bureaucratic interventions, it might never have become notable.

  • A proto-school shooting in 1988 looks eerily similar to those of today. That year, in Virginia Beach, a student used a semi-automatic weapon he’d bought from a federally licensed dealer without facing checks to shoot teachers and classmates. In 1993, Erik Larsen said that gun manufacturers, dealers, and regulators “virtually assure [the] eventual use [of guns] in … school yards of America.” That was five years before Columbine.

  • The Clinton-era assault weapons ban passed in Congress by only one vote. In 1994, Bill Clinton signed a law that restricted the number of military features a gun could have and banned large capacity magazines for consumer use. But in Congress, many opposed it, wrote Patrick Griffin, Clinton’s chief congressional affairs lobbyist. And by strong-arming the passage of the law, Clinton helped to create the intense partisanship that now defines Congress—which his party lost to the Republicans that year. His victory “stands as an enduring cautionary tale.” The law expired in 2004.

  • The Parkland students may already understand that change won’t come easy. What sets Parkland apart, wrote Robinson Meyer last week, is how its teenagers are familiar with the reality of “a school for children [becoming] a charnel house.” They’ve grown up observing a lack of change. They were born after Columbine shocked their parents’ generation. “So when that hideous transformation struck their school,” wrote Meyer, “they already knew what they wanted to do.” And their perspective is recasting an “otherwise clichéd national debate.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/membership/archive/2018/02/what-history-says-about-the-parkland-moment/553877/

NPR

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks to Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan during the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, about offering support to parents who lost a child in last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla. She went to Florida to help parents there, and went with them to the White House.

“…and I just said to them, you know, if you keep fighting all the time, it’s draining, it’s negative and it can destroy you. But if you stay focused on the win and on something constructive and what you’re – you know, focus on the end game, what you’re trying to achieve, that’s going to keep you motivated and keep you going because they’ve got a lot of momentum now.

And they’re building up to, you know, the March 24 March For Our Lives. And they have a lot of momentum in the country behind them. And I was saying, you know, you need to also focus on March 25 and beyond because eventually the media will turn away. The spotlight will go away. And it’s how you use your voices in that silence because that’s when the long-term battle really starts.”

[…]

“…it was like Sandy Hook all over again. And everywhere I went – the school, the hospital, the disaster center – I was just triggered on every single level to the point that I actually got incredibly physically sick on the weekend because I think my body just crashed. But it’s – and even seeing the media now, the clips of the kids leaving the school and the crying, it’s Sandy Hook all over again five years later. And it kills me that we’re still allowing our kids to die and not taking enough actions to protect them. That’s just – as a person, as a mother, that’s just heartbreaking.”

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/22/588069864/parent-of-child-killed-in-sandy-hook-shooting-aims-to-help-parents-in-parkland-f

CNN

More than 800,000 students live in school districts where shootings have happened. That’s 2% of the US population.

Entire communities are damaged, from students who escaped to those attending schools in the area, to parents, friends, neighbors, clergy. As one Parkland, Florida, rabbi put it after the attack there a week ago, a shooting reverberates throughout the population — no one is truly untouched by such a tragedy.
“The entire community is torn and broken. Every child that was killed has five or 10 best friends that watched it happen and that dodged a bullet,” Rabbi Shuey Biston told NPR on Friday. “And we’re grieving together. We’re mourning together.”

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/politics/school-districts-that-have-seen-shootings/index.html

The Eagle Eye is a student newspaper written and published by the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. They continue to report post the massacre and community tragedy.

Violent shooting occurs at MSD, killing 17 and wounding 15

MSD mourns the loss of students and teachers at candlelight vigil

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. To find out more about Connie Schultz (con.schultz@yahoo.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

“We need to get out of their way.”

And the Children Shall Lead Us

by Connie Schultz

“There’s always been a certain percentage of Americans who don’t age well. Their regrets for their own wasted youth or their misspent lives harden them and make them all-too-eager to see the next generation fail. The only thing that’s changed for people like that is the forum for their rage.

 Students in Parkland and around the country are now demanding gun legislation reform, publicly and with an emerging eloquence that renders many of us tearful witnesses. They are planning the “March for Our Lives” on March 24 in Washington, and the national momentum for this is reportedly growing. Students across the country are planning their own walkouts to protest this shameful inaction of America’s adults to protect our children.
Yes, many of us do think they can succeed where we have failed, but it doesn’t matter what we think. The impatience we may have with these young people is no match for their impatience with us. They are sick of our hypocrisy. Our lethargy. Our unwillingness to hold NRA-funded elected officials accountable for failing to protect our children.

If you are even tempted to think they’ll run out of steam, I suggest you get off your couch and out of those chatrooms and go meet some of the young people of this country.

Rush to do this. It’s only a matter of time before they leave you behind.”

https://www.creators.com/read/connie-schultz/02/18/and-the-children-shall-lead-us

In Parkland, journalism students take on role of reporter and survivor

The day after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Melissa Falkowski texted her students. As the school’s newspaper adviser, the teacher knew she and her students had a responsibility. “[I told them] nobody could tell this story the way that we could tell it,” she says. “The kids really embraced that.”

On that fateful Wednesday afternoon, their community lost 17 of its own—a soccer player, football coach, geography teacher, and member of the marching band among them—after a gunman opened fire at the school. Already, members of the school newspaper, The Eagle Eye, along with its broadcast journalism program, WMSD-TV, are sharing their experiences in their own outlets and in the national spotlight, treading the increasingly murky line between journalism and activism.

Senior David Hogg, who is WMSD’s news director, interviewed his fellow classmates during the massacre and has also become one of the most visible faces in its aftermath. The thoughtful, media-savvy student journalist has been vocal on cable news, passionately proclaiming on places like CNN: “We’re children. You guys are the adults….Work together, come over your politics and get something done.” Delaney Tarr, a senior and another of Garner’s students, delivered a rousing speech at a rally on Saturday, calling for swift and immediate change: “Because of these gun laws, people that I know, people that I love, have died, and I will never be able to see them again.” A total of 43 students belong to school’s print/online journalism program; another 200 are in the broadcast program.

Columbia Journalism Review

by Alexandria Neason & Meg Dalton

https://www.cjr.org/analysis/parkland-school-shooting.php

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Hate Groups, US Citizenship & Risch

February 22, 2018

I am waiting for my case to come up 
and I am waiting 
for a rebirth of wonder 
and I am waiting for someone 
to really discover America 
and wail.

—Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 

“Our yearly report on the state of extremism in America has found that the number of hate groups grew for a third straight year in 2017 — a year that saw white supremacists energized by the Trump presidency and black nationalist groups rising in response.

We’ve identified 954 hate groups — a 4 percent increase.

Find out where these hate groups are on our Hate Map.

The radical right started 2017 on a roll, with allies in the White House. But then came Charlottesville, and white supremacists faced a backlash. Still, Trump’s rhetoric and the country’s changing demographics continue to energize them.

Here are the highlights:

  • For the first time since 2009, hate groups were found in all 50 states.
  • Neo-Nazi groups were up 22 percent, from 99 to 121.
  • Anti-Muslim groups rose for a third straight year. After tripling in 2016, they added 13 more chapters last year and now have 114.
  • Black nationalist groups expanded from 193 to 233 chapters in reaction to Trump and the rising white supremacist movement.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read the full report.

Now, more than ever, your part in this fight against extremism is critical.”


The Intercept

US Citizenship and Immigration Services Will Remove “Nation of Immigrants” from Mission Statement

Ryan Devereaux

THE LEAD U.S. AGENCY tasked with granting citizenship to would-be Americans is making a major change to its mission statement, removing a passage that describes the United States as a nation of immigrants. In an email sent to staff members Thursday and shared with The Intercept, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna announced the agency’s new mission statement.

It reads:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.

USCIS’s previous mission statement, still available on the agency’s website Thursday, read:

USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.

In a written statement sent to The Intercept after this story was published, Jonathan Withington, USCIS Chief of Media Relations, said the new mission statement is “effective immediately.” Asked if USCIS had changed its view on whether the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, Withington wrote, “The statement speaks for itself and clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s lawful immigration system and commitment we have to the American people.”

An academic, friend who lives in Canada, just emailed and wrote that the new language, ‘sounds like Hitler’s manifesto.’

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/22/u-s-citizenship-and-immigration-services-will-remove-nation-of-immigrants-from-mission-statement/


Also from The Intercept:

IT DIDN’T GET much notice, but Sen. Jim Risch made extremely alarming remarks on Sunday at the Munich Security Conference, in which he said President Donald Trump is prepared to start a “very, very brief” war with North Korea that would be “one of the worst catastrophic events in the history of our civilization.” Trump would go to these extraordinary lengths, the Idaho Republican said, in order to prevent the government of Kim Jong-un from developing the capacity to deliver a nuclear warhead to the U.S. via an intercontinental ballistic missile.

[…]

Risch will likely become chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, if the GOP maintains control of the Senate and the current chair, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., retires. Risch said he and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. — who was sitting next to him on stage at the conference in Germany — had “drilled down with the administration” on its North Korea policy. Risch emphasized that the Trump administration was not bluffing.
As DT’s mouthpiece, and his loyalty, Sen. Risch is being gifted a seat with Ivanka’s delegation heading to South Korea for the Olympic’s closing ceremony:
Joining Trump in the US delegation are White House press secretary Sarah Sanders; Idaho’s GOP Sen. James Risch, the chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism; Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea; Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy Seoul Mark Knapper; and Sgt. Shauna Rohbock, a former Winter Olympian, current Team USA coach for the bobsled team and a member of the US National Guard.
-CNN
Full article:
https://theintercept.com/2018/02/21/gop-senator-says-trump-is-ready-to-start-war-with-north-korea-that-would-be-one-of-the-worst-catastrophic-events-in-history/

Sen. Risch has proven less than a reasoned intellect since his tenure in Idaho. He is loyal to party only, repeatedly putting party over country. He has served in Idaho politics since 1974. He is a poster boy for term limits.

 

Democracy, Media Literacy, Civic Engagement

February 17, 2018

“The Americans are very impressionable people; they see what they want to see. I have a lot of respect for them. I am not upset at all that I ended up on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him.”

Russian Oligarch Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, one of 13 Russians indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday, February 16th, 2018, for interfering in the American election.

Full Indictment:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/16/us/politics/document-The-Special-Counsel-s-Indictment-of-the-Internet.html

“Facebook, Twitter and Google have all identified the Internet Research Agency as a prime source of provocative posts on divisive American issues, including race, religion, gun laws and gay rights, particularly during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook found, for example, that the agency had posted 80,000 pieces of content that reached more than 126 million Americans.” [NYTimes]

Tedx Wandsworth/2.8.18

Imagine a world where democracy lives up to its lofty promise… where problems are solved by debate and compromise rather than vitriol and internet trolls. A nice thought isn’t it?” asks Brian Klaas. As a scholar of democracy and authoritarianism, he’s seen fear-and-division politics rising across the world, but says we’re more powerful than we think in reversing this trend. Beyond the uncomfortable stats of our civic shortcomings; he shares moments with those he’s met risking their freedom and their lives for a democratic choice; and offers five concrete ways we can start changing what we don’t like.

Thoughts from Brian Klaas:

Democracies around the world are dying. Remember: Being a citizen is a full time job.

V

O

T

E

#2018

People who say, “my vote doesn’t matter”? Wrong.

Politicians pander to those who vote. (Who votes in majority? Older white males.)

Democracies are dying. One man in Russia who was being followed by the secret police told Klaas, “You don’t know how lucky you are.”

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

-David Foster Wallace

We need to remember how powerful we are.

Of the people.

By the people.

For the people.

Ongoing paradox: People are unhappy with the system, but not many do much to understand it…or do anything.

In the midterm election in 2014, 36% of registered voters voted. 64/100 didn’t bother.

In the 2016 presidential election? 60% voted. And the current president was voted in by 30% of the US population. Apathy voted a candidate into the Oval Office.

80,000 people tipped the election…enough to fit into a football stadium.

We get the candidates we deserve.

P  A  R  T  I  C  I  P  A  T  I  O  N

Our collective power to save democracy:

  1. Vote in every election…local and national, because the local candidates become national candidates.

  2. Before the election talk to 10 people before voting.

  3. Be the boss to your politicians; they work for us. Whether they agree with you or not, tell them how you feel.

  4. Reach out to someone who believes completely differently from what you believe. And listen.

  5. Run for office or organize a new political group.

Actions become ripples and those ripples become tsunamis.

Think about it. If women waited for an invitation, we still wouldn’t have the right to vote.

2018 is ours. And the youth? They are activating.

︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶

Go see it. It will give you hope. (Stay until the very final credit rolls.) ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

A valentine to Elizabeth and Susan.

February 14, 2018

Remembering their earlier struggles, Anthony closed her letter: “And we, dear old friend, shall move on the next sphere of existence—higher and larger, we cannot fail to believe, and one where women will not be placed in an inferior position, but will be welcomed on a plane of perfect intellectual and spiritual equality.” The sentiment was timelier than anyone expected. Stanton, who had been homebound and in ill health but still publishing commentaries, died before the letter was published on October 26, 1902, two-and-a-half weeks before her birthday.

In her letter, Anthony sounds optimistic, despite her lament that only in death will they experience equality. She seems confident in the suffrage movement’s new leaders. There is a sense that things can only move forward for women.

-Humanities Magazine, by Katy June-Friesen, Volume 35, Number 4

https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2014/julyaugust/feature/old-friends-elizabeth-cady-stanton-and-susan-b-anthony-made-histo

“…surely not alarmed enough.”

February 11, 2018

“Complacency is much more dangerous than fatalism.’

New York Magazine:

There’s a lot of scientific debate about the future of climate change. But have you ever considered the worst case scenario? David Wallace-Wells gives us one terrifying glimpse into the future after consulting experts from various fields.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

But no matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough. Over the past decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of displaced climate anxiety, and yet when it comes to contemplating real-world warming dangers, we suffer from an incredible failure of imagination. The reasons for that are many: the timid language of scientific probabilities, which the climatologist James Hansen once called “scientific reticence” in a paper chastising scientists for editing their own observations so conscientiously that they failed to communicate how dire the threat really was; the fact that the country is dominated by a group of technocrats who believe any problem can be solved and an opposing culture that doesn’t even see warming as a problem worth addressing; the way that climate denialism has made scientists even more cautious in offering speculative warnings; the simple speed of change and, also, its slowness, such that we are only seeing effects now of warming from decades past; our uncertainty about uncertainty, which the climate writer Naomi Oreskes in particular has suggested stops us from preparing as though anything worse than a median outcome were even possible; the way we assume climate change will hit hardest elsewhere, not everywhere; the smallness (two degrees) and largeness (1.8 trillion tons) and abstractness (400 parts per million) of the numbers; the discomfort of considering a problem that is very difficult, if not impossible, to solve; the altogether incomprehensible scale of that problem, which amounts to the prospect of our own annihilation; simple fear. But aversion arising from fear is a form of denial, too.


To The Best of Our Knowledge:

There’s a lot of scientific debate about the future of climate change. But have you ever considered the worst case scenario? David Wallace-Wells gives us one terrifying glimpse into the future after consulting experts from various fields.

https://www.ttbook.org/interview/how-bad-can-climate-change-really-get


The Call of the Earth
by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
‘The search for meaning.’

And while many people are working to try to counter this imbalance, most are approaching it with the very same mind-set that has created this predicament. Before we can begin to redeem this crisis, we need to go to the root of our present paradigm—our sense of separation from our environment, the lack of awareness that we are all a part of one interdependent living organism that is our planet. This can be traced to the birth of the scientific era in the Age of Enlightenment and the emergence of Newtonian physics, in which humans were seen as separate from the physical world, which in turn was considered as unfeeling matter, a clockwork mechanism whose workings it was our right and duty to understand and control.

While this attitude has given us the developments of science and technology, it has severed us from any relationship to the environment as a living whole of whose cycles we are a part. We have lost and entirely forgotten any spiritual relationship to life and the planet, a central reality to other cultures for millennia.1 Where for indigenous peoples the world was a sacred, interconnected living whole that cares for us and for which we in turn need to care—our Mother the Earth—for our Western culture it became something to exploit.

But there is an even deeper, and somewhat darker, side to our forgetfulness of the sacred within creation. When our monotheistic religions placed God in heaven they banished the many gods and goddesses of the Earth, of its rivers and mountains. We forgot the ancient wisdom contained in our understanding of the sacred in creation—its rhythms, its meaningful magic. For example, when early Christianity banished paganism and cut down its sacred groves, they forgot about nature devas, the powerful spirits and entities within nature, who understand the deeper patterns and properties of the natural world. Now how can we even begin the work of healing the natural world, of clearing out its toxins and pollutants, of bringing it back into balance, if we do not consciously work with these forces within nature?

Nature is not unfeeling matter; it is full of invisible forces with their own intelligence and deep knowing. We need to reacknowledge the existence of the spiritual world within creation if we are even to begin the real work of bringing the world back into balance. Only then can we regain the wisdom of the shamans who understood how to communicate and work together with the spirit world.2

While there may be a growing awareness that the world forms a single living being—what has been called the Gaia principle—we don’t really understand that this being is also nourished by its soul, the anima mundi—or that we are a part of it, part of a much larger living, sacred being. Sadly, we remain cut off, isolated from this spiritual dimension of life itself. We have forgotten how to nourish or be nourished by the soul of the world….3

We cannot return to the simplicity of an indigenous lifestyle, but we can become aware that what we do and how we are at an individual level affects the global environment, both outer and inner. We can learn how to live in a more sustainable way, not to be drawn into unnecessary materialism.

We can also work to heal the spiritual imbalance in the world. Our individual conscious awareness of the sacred within creation reconnects the split between spirit and matter within our own soul and also within the soul of the world: we are part of the spiritual body of the Earth more than we know.

The crisis we face now is dire, but it is also an opportunity for humanity to reclaim its role as guardian of the planet, to take responsibility for the wonder and mystery of this living, sacred world.

 

Full article:

https://parabola.org/2018/01/10/the-call-of-the-earth-by-llewellyn-vaughan-lee/

THE WIRED GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

How this Global Climate Shift Got Started

“If we want to go all the way back to the beginning, we could take you to the Industrial Revolution—the point after which climate scientists start to see a global shift in temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. In the late 1700s, as coal-fired factories started churning out steel and textiles, the United States and other developed nations began pumping out its byproducts. Coal is a carbon-rich fuel, so when it combusts with oxygen, it produces heat along with another byproduct: carbon dioxide. Other carbon-based fuels, like natural gas, do the same in different proportions.

When those emissions entered the atmosphere, they acted like an insulating blanket, preventing the sun’s heat from escaping into space. Over the course of history, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have varied—a lot.”

https://www.wired.com/story/guide-climate-change/

‘…let the words be yours, I’m done with mine.’

February 10, 2018

John Perry Barlow, “visionary” internet pioneer, press freedom advocate and Grateful Dead lyricist, has died aged 70. (He died in his sleep.)

‘In addition to his work with the EFF, Barlow co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2012, which works to support public interest journalism. He sat on the board of directors, along with whistleblower Edward Snowden and investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald.’ [The Guardian]

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/07/john-perry-barlow-death-internet-pioneer-grateful-dead?CMP=twt_gu

Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir: “This life is fleeting, as we all know – the Muse we serve is not. John had a way of taking life’s most difficult things and framing them as challenges, therefore adventures. He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote.”

Among the most well-known of his works was the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, published in 1996.

https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence

“In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.”

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Davos, Switzerland
February 8, 1996

A list of 25 Principles of Adult Behavior by John Perry Barlow

posted by Jason Kottke, 2.8.18

‘When he was 30, Barlow drew up a list of what he called Principles of Adult Behavior. They are:’

1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4. Expand your sense of the possible.
5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
7. Tolerate ambiguity.
8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
11. Give up blood sports.
12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
19. Become less suspicious of joy.
20. Understand humility.
21. Remember that love forgives everything.
22. Foster dignity.
23. Live memorably.
24. Love yourself.
25. Endure.

Here’s what these principles meant to Barlow:

I don’t expect the perfect attainment of these principles. However, I post them as a standard for my conduct as an adult. Should any of my friends or colleagues catch me violating one of them, bust me.

‘Barlow understood that “new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good” and he made a conscious decision to focus on the latter.’

“Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, I’m done with mine.”

All in with Paulette.

February 7, 2018

My name is Paulette Jordan and I am running to be the next governor of Idaho. 

I was born and raised in the countryside of northern Idaho, where I developed a strong connection to our state’s land and the people who share it. I am a proud member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe. My family, descendants of formidable Head Chiefs of the Great Northwest and Palouse region, taught me the importance of fighting for all people and protecting our natural resources. I have since served in the Idaho House of Representatives and I am a mother to two wonderful sons.
I am running for governor because the future for the next generation of Idahoans is at stake. Too many of our families and neighbors have been left behind.
ogether, we have the power to build a future where all Idahoans receive a high quality public school education. No matter who you are, you should have access to affordable healthcare and the opportunity to earn livable wages without the constant stress of how to make ends meet. I want to revitalize Idaho’s main streets and fix our government to make it more fair, more efficient, and more effective for all Idahoans.
I know what it takes to win tough races and I know a little bit about being an underdog. I was the only Democrat elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in all of Northern Idaho. If we win this race, I’ll be the first Native American governor in the country and the first female governor in Idaho’s history. But this race for governor is bigger than me, and it’s bigger than party politics. It is about the very heart and soul of Idaho: our people, our land, and our future.
I am profoundly honored and grateful for the grassroots support and momentum around my campaign so far and I would love for you to join my team today.
Together, we will restore our state to its original promise: an Idaho by the people and for the people.
Let’s get to work.
Sincerely,
Paulette Jordan
To donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/pgannouncement 
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