dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 07:20am on 2015-04-18

"If I played practical jokes, every politician's father would be named Geppetto." -- powerful succubus Drusilla, in Pibgorn by Brooke McEldowney, 2004-02-18

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:17am on 2015-04-17

"But for most Americans, the police -- and the criminal-justice system -- are figures of authority. The badge does not merely represent rule via lethal force, but rule through consent and legitimacy rooted in nobility. This is why whenever a liberal politician offers even the mildest criticism of the police, they must add that "the majority of officers are good, noble people." Taken at face value this is not much of a defense -- like a restaurant claiming that on most nights, there really are no rats in the dining room. But interpreted less literally the line is not meant to defend police officers, but to communicate the message that the speaker is not questioning police authority, which is to say the authority of our justice system, which is to say -- in a democracy -- the authority of the people themselves." -- Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2015-04-15

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:24am on 2015-04-16

"The genocide of European Jewry succeeded not only because of the state-sanctioned culture of hate and industry of death, but because of crimes of indifference, because of conspiracies of silence.

"We have already witnessed an appalling indifference and inaction in our own day which took us down the road to the unspeakable -- the genocide in Rwanda -- unspeakable because this genocide was preventable. No one can say that we did not know. We knew, but we did not act, just as we knew and did not act to stop the genocide by attrition in Darfur.

"Indifference and inaction always mean coming down on the side of the victimizer, never on the side of the victim. Indifference in the face of evil is acquiescence with evil itself."

-- Irwin Cotler, "7 Lessons from the Holocaust", 2011-01-30 (emphasis added)

[Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 04:04am on 2015-04-15

"A harp can be a dangerous as a sword, in the right hands." -- George R.R. Martin

[Happy birthday to Ellen Zweifel James!]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:29am on 2015-04-14

"To suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none. " -- Francis Bacon [thanks to [info] blueeowyn]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 04:34am on 2015-04-13

"Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war." -- Thomas Jefferson (b. 1743-04-13, d. 1826-07-04, US President 1801-1809), 1781

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:04am on 2015-04-12

"The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God's presence. Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." -- Clarence W. Hall

[To my Orthodox family and friends: Happy Easter! Χριστος Ανεστη! Christ is risen!]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 04:33am on 2015-04-11

"If a guy ever spreads a rumor that he slept with you, don't deny it. One, because there will always be people who think it's true, and two, because that dumbass boy just handed you the power to say anything you want about what he's like in bed, and people will believe it. Say he bleats like a sheep when he orgasms. Say he couldn't get it up until he watched an old Billy Mays infomercial. The power is yours." -- tumblr user moriartystayingalive, 2015-03-10 [thanks to [info] realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]

(I don't see what the big deal should be about the earrings, but the Billy Mays thing ought to raise eyebrows.)

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:23am on 2015-04-10

"Further, the Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.... Pharaoh enslaved a whole race, and was chastised for his crime by the Divine Hand. But in thus intervening between the slave and his oppressor the Almighty fixed His canon against slavery for all time. He thereby declared that every human being has the right to the freedom which will enable him to develop to the utmost all the powers of body, of mind, of soul, with which God has endowed him; and that slavery, therefore, with its debasing effects upon the intellect and the character, is a sin against the laws of God himself." -- Morris Joseph, "Passover," Judaism as Creed and Life

[To my Orthodox Christian kin and friends, a blessed Good Friday. And to my Jewish friends, enjoy the last night of Pesach (if I'm reading the calendar right?).]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:24am on 2015-04-09

"If you go back in history to find and then analyze cases where leaks caused true danger to our national security, rather than merely embarrassment or political squirming for those in power, it is hard to find many . . . the frenzied efforts to prevent leaks has been far, far more damaging to the country than the leaks themselves." -- Congressional testimony of Walter Isaacson, author and president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, May 26, 2006 ( where I found it)

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 03:57am on 2015-04-08

[Responding to another commenter, who "gets the stink eye at the check out" ....]

"I'm so sorry that you using the system exactly how it is intended to work is somehow seen as 'cheating' the system by other people.

"You met certain income requirements. You needed money for food. The state gave you money for food because collectively (for now) we have decided that there is no social benefit in having people starve to death. You used it to buy food. What food/how much food is pretty much your business. Shame and hunger make a pretty poor meal. Pretty much the whole 'science' of 'economics' is based on the idea that individuals will make whatever choices 'maximize utility.' Maximize away."

-- Captain Awkward, 2011-09-01 [ thanks to [info] - personal firecat for linking to the original essay this was a comment under]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 07:37am on 2015-04-07

"Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:21am on 2015-04-06

"Up to a certain point it is good for us to know that there are people in the world who will give us love and unquestioned loyalty to the limit of their ability. I doubt, however, if it is good for us to feel assured of this without the accompanying obligation of having to justify this devotion by our behavior." -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07), This Is My Story (1937)

[Rereading this quotation, the first example that came to mind was conversations with other Christians, who see the threat of hell as a crucial element of moral behaviour and a functioning society. I usually wind up pointing out that my own behaviour is not constrained by fear of Divine punishment. I was taught, and believe, that once the gift of Salvation is accepted, God doesn't yank it back later -- I am promised a place in heaven -- so I have no fear of hell[1]. I can't have any fear of hell if I truly believe in a "born again" model of Salvation. So I have no fear of eternal punishment. What I do have is an internal obligation, a sense of duty and gratitude within me, that motivates me to (try to) be worthy of God's unconditional love. (Also, beyond fear-of-God and love-of-God, I can come up with probably a half dozen ways of arriving at what I would recognize as moral behaviour without invoking God at all, starting with what I saw someone point out recently, which boiled down to, "I don't want to steal or murder; if that makes me a good person, how convenient!" and proceeding to a classic existentialist argument that if one imagines the kind of world one would like to live in, one is obligated to act the way everyone would have to act for the world to be like that (I'm skipping some steps; it's been a while), so the "without belief in God people can't be moral" argument is at least trebly bogus. But I digress ... the point I mwant to make was that my own sense of duty-to-God seems connected to the quotation.)]

[1] At the risk of digressing even farther[2] ... Rob Bell makes an argument that I find compelling, that a God who wants everybody to be Saved, and is all-powerful, will get Her way in the end, and we'll all be saved -- just probably not in the same ways / by the same methods. Which in turn meshes with another aspect of my belief: that Christianity is the only religion it is correct for me to believe in, but for somebody else a different faith / different path may be just as valid and just as "only" as Christianity is for me.]

[2] Sorry, Easter gets me thinking about Salvation, y'know.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 02:21am on 2015-04-05

"What is the aim of the incarnate dispensation of God's Word, preached in all the Holy Scriptures but which we, who read them, do not know? The only aim is that, having entered into what is our own, we should participate in what is His. The Son of God has become Son of Man in order to make us, men, sons of God, raising our race by grace to what He is Himself by nature, granting us birth from above through the grace of the Holy Spirit and leading us straightway to the kingdom of heaven, or rather, granting us this kingdom of heaven within us (Luke 17:21), in order that we should not merely be fed by the hope of entering it, but entering into full possession thereof should cry: our 'life is hid with Christ in God' (Col. 3:3)." -- St. Simeon the New Theologian, Practical and Theological Precepts

To all my non-Orthodox Christian friends and relatives, a Joyous Easter! Χριστος Ανεστη! He is risen!

[Having both Orthodox and protestant roots, I celebrate Easter twice in years where the two traditions' observances of Easter don't fall on the same date. TBH, I haven't quite figured out yet which feels like "the real Easter" to me -- I guess I'm more excited that it happened than concerned with when we celebrate it (even though disagreements over that have been significant in the history of my religion), or that I pick one specific weekend to do so. Though I can certainly see the merit of picking one day to focus on the observance and really get into it, feeling all the intensity concentrated in one spot in the calendar, or even the particular moment when the church is darkened and then one candle's flame is passed throughout the congregation to hundreds of candles, as a special moment of concentratraded shared joy, at least for now I am comfortable splitting that intensity between two groups -- Orthodox and Western -- that I want to share it with. Anyhow, this year the two Easters are a week apart, so today is Orthodox Palm Sunday.]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 07:00am on 2015-04-04

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2015-02-24:

"Blues is not music that is supposed to bum you out. It is therapy for hard times, not the cause of hard times." -- Steve Earle[1]

(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)

[1] Probably this Steve Earl (b. 1955-01-17)]

"I wanted to definitely be a musician or a good preacher or a heck of a baseball player. I couldn't play ball too good - I hurt my finger, and I stopped that. I couldn't preach, and well, all I had left was getting into the music thing." -- Muddy Waters (b. 1913-04-04, 1914-04-04, or 1915-04-04 depending on which sources you're looking at; d. 1983-04-30)

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 04:58am on 2015-04-03

"Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark." -- Rabindranath Tagore [thanks to Rev.Lyn Cox for quoting this earlier after picking it up from practicinglent]

To those of my faith who celebrate Easter on the Western church calendar, a blessed Good Friday to you! To my Jewish friends starting Pesach tonight, Chag Sameach! To everyone who is or knows a techie, happy Cheese Weasel Day!

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 09:00am on 2015-04-02

"Debugging without a debugger or a way to send data to an output stream is like Programming in Plato's Cave and trying to figure out what the code is doing by waving one's arms and looking at the shadows." -- Louise Rogow Howard, 2015-03-25

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:16am on 2015-04-01

"Don't let the conversation die, because if we do that, our silence will be a shield for this law. And if anyone points out that we are being loud and awkward and making the whole situation so very, very uncomfortable, we can point out that being discriminated against is deeply awkward.

"Now, I want to be clear, I am not calling on vulnerable folks targeted by this legislation to put their safety at risk -- I am calling on folks like me, who are not (yet) the target of this legislation. We need to take care of our community and right now that means making a big, ugly scene. Throw a fit over this."

-- Amelia Aldred, 2015-03-28 [emphasis in original]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:24am on 2015-03-31

"Typographers could actually make good use of all those people who still insist on double-spacing. They could use a find-and-replace to turn those double spaces into custom spaces that provide a nice respite after ends of sentences. Whether it's actually double or 1.5 times or whatever would be a matter of taste, considered with the typeface, leading, etc. But one could argue that it looks better. Most people think it does. Regardless of what they don't notice about standard text, they obviously like how their typing comes out. Typographers could exploit this syntactical information to their advantage.

"Instead, they have created an elaborate myth about how people came to think wider spaces were appropriate (evil typewriters!), and they are the bearers of the one, true method of spacing -- which just happens to be the laziest method of spacing and the one that reduces publication costs the most."

-- heraclitus, "Why two spaces after a period isn't wrong (or, the lies typographers tell about history)", 2011-11-01

[I am sorry that I had to undo the author's careful Unicode spacing and revert to HTML's default behaviour regarding whitespace in quoting this (as well as replacing the fancy apostrophes ad proper em-dash) to make sure my posting script wouldn't choke on it. Usually I don't consider such adjustments significant, but considering the topic and the author's educational examination of typographical history (and their own stated preference), it would've been nice to retain the author's formatting.]

[Note that the author's main point (long read but worth it if you have any opinion at all about the matter) is that neither convention is wrong even if one is ahistorical. And this is someone who looked at the history instead of swallong just-so stories.]

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:40am on 2015-03-30

From"Ball State professor: Religious freedom bill violates biblicalprinciples", WNDU, 2015-03-26, quoting religious studies professor Joseph Marchal:

"In both the Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible, protection of, solidarity with and hospitality for the stranger, the foreigner and the one with whom you disagree are stressed," he says. "Think here, for Christians, of the lessons of Jesus sharing meals with social outcasts. Consider also, for both Jews and Christians, the lesson of the story of Sodom -- which was not considered a story about same-sex eroticism -- that the people of Sodom are punished for violating the code of hospitality. Throughout the rest of the Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible, the lessons of this story are the importance of hospitality to strangers — those who are different — and the problem with ignoring the poor, the vulnerable and the needy."

Marchal believes those who advocate for this bill and a "right to refuse" hospitality to those they believe to be different are engaging in what the biblical texts define as the sin of Sodom.

[Shifting the focus slightly, here's a related comic by Jessica U. on another aspect of what's happening -- what draws mainstream outrage and what doesn't -- (along with a big thank you to my friends who are already making noise about this part as well).]

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