"Pointing out privilege is not oppression. It's making oppression visible so that it can be dismantled." -- @charolem, 2014-03-04
"Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin' in the street
Oh, oh, there's a solution
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future"
-- Steve Miller and Steve McCarty, "Fly Like an Eagle", 1976 (from the album Fly Like an Eagle, The Steve Miller Band)
[Folks in places that start Daylight Spending Time terribly early, such as most of the US: I hope y'all remembered to adjust your clocks this morning.]
 Well, in what way is time "saved"? And some of the arguments in favour of using it deal with merchants' hopes consumers will take more time to shop, so ...
 As I've stated before, I'm in the "I don't care how many hours away from Universal Time we are, but pick one offset and stick with it year-round" camp. So starting early is just one more detail piled on top.
"Contraception is the terrain our enemies fight on because it symbolizes an entire world of beliefs and policies surrounding women and children and life and work. They are fighting us on abortion and contraception because these are the tip of the iceberg for all kinds of rights to full membership in civil society. They are also fighting us on child abuse (conservatives oppose all forms of rights for children for fear that these would be used to break up the power of the patriarchal/christian family), on public school funding, on gay marriage, on adoption, on foster care, on taxes for social welfare etc... because all of these permit women, children, and men to fully participate in civil society as educated, healthy, empowered human beings." -- aimai, commenting at Balloon Juice, 2014-02-11 [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier.]
"I usually pick one small topic like this to give a lecture on. Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars -- mere gobs of gas atoms. Nothing is 'mere.' I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination -- stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern -- of which I am a part -- perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one is belching there. Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together. What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?" -- Richard Feynman (b. 1918-05-11, d. 1988-02-15), footnote in "The relation of physics to other sciences", published 1964 in The Feynman Lectures on Physics
"When I was growing up, I didn't know that transgender was a thing. I remember in fourth or fifth grade, somewhere around then, just laying in bed at night--and this was when I was religious at that point in my life, in the sense I went to church--but I remember just praying. 'OK, God, let's make a deal here. Whatever you want, I'll do it, just make me a girl when I wake up in the morning. Thanks, buddy!' (Laughs.)
"And then I'd wake up, and be like, 'dammit. God! You didn't hear me. Let's work on this.' (Laughs.) And it kind of kept going on being like that."
-- Parker Marie Molloy, interviewed by Chicagoist, 2014-03-01
[For me, that was sometime around 7th/8th/9th grade, but other than that detail, this was me. Every night. Every morning.]
"[Penance] does not mean sacrifice and self denial in the first place, but a 'change of heart,' a victory over sin and a triving for holiness. The sacrifices of fasting and self-denial are only means and signs of this spiritual penance. If people understand this well, they will not put the main effort in Lent on technical feats of abstaining from pleasures (which sometimes make them proud or vain), but in sincere contrition, prayer and humble fight against their faults." -- Fr. Francis X. Weiser S.J.
Gregorian: 2014 March 05 (Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in Western Christianity)
Julian: 2014 February 20 (third day of Great Lent in Orthodox Christianity)
Hebrew: 5774 Veadar 03 (or 5774 Adar II 03)
Islamic: 1435 Jumada I-Ula 03
Persian: 1392 Esfand 14
Indian: 1935 Phalguna 14
(Western Easter and Orthodox Easter fall on the same day this year -- 2014-04-20 in the Gregorian calendar)
From "A nun's secret ministry brings hope to the transgender community" by Nathan Schneider, 2014-03-02, Al Jazeera America:
Hints and echoes of what we now speak of as gender transition lie scattered throughout Christian tradition. An Ethiopian eunuch is the first person baptized in the Book of Acts, and the third-century theologian Origen castrated himself after reading Jesus' remark about those "who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." Stories of ancient ascetics recall women "surpassing" their gender through spiritual advancement, or by simply disguising themselves as men. In the Middle Ages, St. Joan of Arc was executed for refusing to stop cross-dressing; legends circulated of a female pope, also named Joan, who was also killed for gender-bending. Medieval mystics sometimes referred to Jesus as a mother and saw visions of milk dripping from his breast. The Catholic Church as a whole, led by a hierarchy of costumed men, is traditionally referred to as She and as the Bride of Christ.
The resonance goes beyond appearances. "Catholic tradition is all about the dignity of the human person," says Edward Poliandro, an advocate for LGBT Catholics and their families in New York City. "Transgender people have a particular prophetic mission just to live and to challenge society simply by saying, 'I'm a person.'"
Though I'm not a Catholic, I got a lot out of this article. I encourage y'all to read it. A little under six thousand words (5737 words according to the Unix 'wc' utility, five chapters, 20 pages with all the big chapter-break photos), and well told.
[To my friends who celebrate Shrove Tuesday with flapjacks, enjoy your pancakes!]
[For my fellow Americans (and America's fans): today in 1789 the Constitution of the United States went into effect with the first meeting of Congress under it.]
"This is evidence of how conservatives have not only changed American politics, but also change American sensibilities. We used to look at our neighbor with the union job, high wages, and guaranteed pension and say, 'Gee, why can't I have that?' And then work to attain those.
"Now, we look at that same neighbor and say, 'Goddamnit! I don't have those things, and neither should he!' And how we work to impoverish everyone."
"Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It's more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack." -- Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, b. 1904-03-02, d. 1991-09-24)
"Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon." -- Winston Churchill
Today is National Update Your Damn Profile Day. How long has it been since you last edited your profile on various services you log into?
"Bias against transgender people takes an enormous toll on their health through direct harm, lack of appropriate care and a hostile environment, and through transgender people's avoidance of the medical system as a result of discrimination and lack of respect. The medical establishment has a duty, and an ability, to protect transgender patients from such harms." -- Daphna Stroumsa, M.D., MPH, writing for the American Journal of Public Health, quoted at medicalxpress.com 2014-02-18
"Unfortunately, a lot of people, including many stupid and ignorant and ill-intentioned people, think that 'free speech' means that once they say something, they are entitled to nothing but adulation, and when someone calls them on the ignorant and hurtful nature of what they said, they feel that their rights have been trampled on." -- executrix, 2008-05-29
"How is it that some celebrities, whom the average person would believe to have all the popularity a human being could want, still admit to feeling lonely? It is quite naive to assume that popularity is the remedy for loneliness. Loneliness does not necessarily equal physical solitude, it is the inability to be oneself and rightfully represented as oneself." -- Criss Jami
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-15:
"If reading books was money
If spinning records was investing
If drinking was consulting
Baby, we'd be rich"
-- Old Man Luedecke, from his song Baby, We'd Be Rich.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
The Homespun Ceilidh Band will be performing at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA, the evening of St. Patrick's Day: 2014-03-17 starting at 19:30 (7:30 PM). Admission is $10 in advance or $13 at the door ($15 for VIP seating). Come on out, get some dinner (or just drinks), and see us play!
I enjoyed playing there last year and am looking forward to being at Jammin' Java again on the 17th. Especially looking forward to seeing Virginia friends and fans (and maybe a cousin or two?).( If you want to help us spread the word, here are some links )
(Our third CD, of American Civil War music, and the rerelease of our first CD, should be coming Real Soon Now. When I know when, I'll post that info. It's been Real Soon Now for a while.)