"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." -- Mark Twain
"One should always sleep in all of one's guest beds, to make sure that they are comfortable." -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07), My Day (newspaper column) 1941-09-11
[To my friends observing Tzom Tammuz today, may you have an easy fast.]
"As we think today about what divides Americans, I think it boils down to the fact that some Americans no longer want to experiment. They want to close the lab down. We've gone far enough into the unknown, making it known, they say; now let's stop--let's even go backward. We were wrong to conduct some of our experiments in liberty, and that's the source of all our problems. Gay people shouldn't be treated equally. Black people shouldn't run the country. Women shouldn't hold high office. Muslims shouldn't be granted habeas corpus.
"Whenever one of those Americans talks about the problem with our country today, they talk about how we should be like we once were, back when white people who defined marriage as one man-one woman and were Protestant veterans built this nation. They feel they are losing their birthright, their legacy.
"But those Americans are wrong. What their ancestors really were was scientists. Experimenters. Radicals who always considered the impossible possible. To define those ancestral Americans as merely white or straight or Christian strips them of their most stunning feature, their near-supernatural qualities of optimism and defiance and willingness to go into the unknown and make it their home, to make the amazing the norm. They defied the status quo. That's how they built America."
-- R. Sós, 2008-11-16
[To Lynn and Pauline, happy birthday, and to all my countrymen (whether you agree with today's quotation or not), a happy and glorious Independence Day!]
"We lack the "holy scripture" sense about a lot of things. Our constitution is a constitution, not T*H*E* C*O*N*S*T*I*T*U*T*I*O*N. The Prime Minister's a guy we've temporarily hired to run the operation for us, not some semi-Imperial potentate who can't go anywhere without 400 Secret Service bodyguards and a motorcade a mile long. Parliament is a building, not some Roman Revival Temple of Democracy. I could go on..." -- Mark Shainblum, on Canadian politics [ also quoted earlier by realinterrobang]
"[...] as an Orthodox rabbi who does not officiate at same-sex marriages [...] My 'side' did not lose, because my side is never defined by any one position on a matter of ritual or liturgy, no matter how important that matter may be. My side, I hope, is God's side, and the God in whom I believe is infinite -- bigger and more complex than can be reduced to any single decision, or even any single tradition, for that matter." -- Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, "I am an orthodox rabbi who doesnât perform gay marriages, but I celebrate today's Supreme Court decision", 2015-06-26
"In a nation where fewer and fewer people are choosing to marry, and choosing to marry much later when they make the choice at all, today's decision defends traditional marriage, at least as much as it redefines it." -- ibid.
"I would like to not get raped. As such, I am a radical.
"I say radical in the sense of requiring the restructuring or demolishment of social norms and institutions in order for something to be comprehensively addressed. For example, this year we were reminded that a radical statement for Black North Americans is: I would like to not be murdered by my government.
"That is a reasonable thing to ask. It is also a radical statement. These are not mutually exclusive categories."
-- Robot Hugs, 2015-02-15
(Please read the whole thing. Long for a webcomic / short for an essay. They expand on, and support, the bit I quoted.)
"It's really interesting -- they do studies where they give people a hepatitis-A vaccination, and then sleep-deprive them for one night, and then three weeks later when the antibody production has peaked, those people only have half as much antibody to the hepatitis as the controls. They take college students, and they reduce their sleep to four hours a night for five days and then give them a glucose tolerance test, and they look diabetic. It's an incredibly important part of our lives. So what do we have? We've got memory, we've got immune function, we've got endocrine function: if you don't get enough sleep, you're going to end up fat, sick, and stupid!" -- Dr. Robert Stickgold, head of Harvard's Center for Sleep and Cognition, on the NPR program You're The Expert (WBUR, Boston), 2015-01-08 (emphasis in text reflects what I hear in= the audio)
"When safe and wanted touch feels so affirming, why has it become confined to only romantic encounters? How can sustained physical communication be reintroduced into the lexicon of relating to others so that it can be an available and integrated form of communication across the lifespan?
"While working at the senior facility and thinking about touch and physical acknowledgement, I met a friend who invited me to go contra dancing with her. [...]
"Although I knew that contra involved partnered dancing, the amount of physical interaction in the dance was initially jarring for me, especially since there is such an absence of touch in my life. [...]
"[...] Through our visual gaze and tactile interaction of our hands guiding our steps and body positioning, I felt more alive and awake than I had ever experienced before. My dancing partner affirmed my presence and importance in the room. My eye contact mattered, but so did the actual matter of my being; my physical presence. I felt a sense of wholeness, validation, excitement and pleasure in being seen by my partner and seeing how much I mattered through his gaze. Though I was firmly rooted to the ground, the happy feeling elicited in me made me feel like I was flying. As the dance progressed, and I continued to make eye contact with my partner and with my neighbor, who kept changing throughout the dance, I felt that same amazing feeling with each person I danced with. This person sees me and feels the weight of my body! This person sees me too! I couldn't wipe the smile off my face."
-- Sarah Rubin, 2014-11-18
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2015-05-22:
"There comes a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. That time is now, and I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged." -- Rand Paul, Kentucky senator, in a marathon speech protesting the U.S. Patriot Act on May 20, 2015.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
[I am not a fan of Mr. Paul, but he does have his stopped-clock moments.]
From The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman (via Goodreads):
"What are you doing?"
"I'm darning a sock," he said, holding it up to show me.
"What's that lump inside?"
"A sock egg."
"A sock egg? I didn't know socks hatched from eggs."
"Only the best ones do. I can't wear the cheap kind, the ones that grow on trees. They give me blisters."
"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." -- Abraham Lincoln (b. 1809-02-12, d. 1865-04-15)
[I had scheduled this quotation in advance for
Juneteenth. In light of recent
evil fuckheadedness in South Carolina, this
quotation seem inadequate, but at the time I am editing
this note, there's not enough time to find one that addresses
the ongoing poison of racism in our culture that needs
to be rooted out.]