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17/12/2014

“A majority of nearly every group — non-whites, women, young adults, the elderly, Midwesterners, suburbanites, Catholics, moderates, the wealthy — said that torture of suspected terrorists can be often or sometimes justified.

“A majority of only one other group beyond liberals and Democrats disagreed: people with no religion.” — Emily Badger, Washington Post article “From moderate Democrats to white Evangelicals, nearly every demographic group believes torture can be justified”

Christian Please Jesus-Facepalm

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Thinkage

12/12/2014

“Friends, I want to submit that our society suffers from a collective Borderline Personality Disorder writ large on a massive, macro, scale. We’re overly-rigid, hyper-vigilant, unduly wary, and reticent to see and embrace the messy merits of others. We all too readily dehumanize vast groups of people and consider them dogs or monsters. Arguing this case doesn’t involve a PhD thesis. One need only to watch the news – and look in a mirror.

Until we can see God in everyone, until we can see the face of God in “the other,” until we can flip the script and see God in those who we tend to write-off and not expect to see Godliness in — we have work to do.” — Rev. Roger Wolsey, The Holy Kiss

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Governor: “Slain Black Male ‘A Common Thug’”

9/12/2014

Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts has described the black man killed Monday by soldiers in Boston as “a common thug” and “a fugitive from the law” who brought about his death by attacking lawful authorities, refusing to disperse, and resisting arrest.

Attorney John Adams, representing the soldiers and officers who have been accused of manslaughter, said the slain man had precipitated the conflict by his “mad behavior” at the head of a crowd of “motley rabble.”

William O’Reilly, a well known town crier, observed that the soldiers were assaulted by “saucy boys, negros and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tarrs” and thus forced to defend themselves.

Sean Hannity, another well known town crier who works the same side of the street as Mr. O’Reilly but at a different hour, claimed the dead man had “undertaken to be the hero of the night” and had paid the price for his arrogance while Ann Coulter, a notorious scold, said the soldiers were the true victims in this case as they were accosted in performance of their legal duties.  Spinster Coulter also noted that the man was a fugitive with a price on his head having fled his lawful owner.

(William Cosby, the noted educator, was also scheduled to speak at the press conference on the matter of how the victim’s fashion choices had led to the behavior that resulted in his death, but the appearance of a large crowd of angry women carrying pruning shears prompted Mr. Cosby to hastily leave the stage.)

Governor Hutchinson promised Bostonian citizens that the government and military would maintain order in the face of such lawlessness as exhibited Monday, and prevent any further rioting or looting.  He also decried members of the so-called “patriot” movement for attempting to capitalize on Crispus Attucks’ death, saying by definition anyone who refuses to pay his royal taxes unless he is allowed representation in Parliament is no patriot but merely a rebel.

crispus attucks lawt_what_ill_tell_my_kids_about_america_on_independence_day_580x290

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Thinkage

8/12/2014

“[Adolf] Eichmann and his friends firmly believed that, suitably cleansed of its tainted leaders (Himmler in particular was singled out as being beyond redemption), Nazism could be revitalized as a political force. ‘You can lose the world war, but you can be a winner if you are able to write books,’ said [Bettina] Stangneth. ‘And this was the plan. To make the propaganda for the next hundred years.’” — Saul Austerlitz, “No Banality in This Evil”

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Thinkage

1/12/2014

“When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense.  There are no race relations.  White people were crazy.  Now they’re not as crazy.  To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before…So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president.  That’s not black progress.  That’s white progress.  There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years.  If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved?  Some people would.  But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.”  It’s not up to her.  Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner.  Nothing.  It just doesn’t.  The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children.  There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years.  The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced.  Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.” — Chris Rock (interviewed by Frank Rich for Vulture)

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Thinkage

14/11/2014

“The white people in Gone with the Wind aren’t necessarily good people, but their badness as it is understood in the film has nothing to do with the lives of black people. Their dramas float over the suffering of the slaves and then over the suffering of the free black people indifferently.

“This is the underlying reality of the racism in Gone with the Wind: its abstractness. The War is an external force outside of the personal dramas of the players. Slavery, hatred, prejudice — all may well exist but not in any personal way. The crimes of Gone with the Wind all spring from that original sin: the failure to recognize that there’s a problem at all.” — Stephen Marche, The Racism Of Gone With The Wind Is Still With Us

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The Pope’s 10 Tips For A Happier Life

5/11/2014

pope francis caricature

cartoon by Paul Combs

1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.

4. A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said “consumerism has brought us anxiety”, and told parents to set aside time to play with their children and turn of the TV when they sit down to eat.

5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.

6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people.  “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.

7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’”

8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”

9. Don’t proselytise; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising,” the Pope said.

10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.

– via Catholic News Service

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Ray Sez Go Nutz

4/11/2014

Ray Bradbury on insanity

“Insanity is relative. It depends on who has
who locked in what cage.” Ray Bradbury

found via Michael Dobson

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Thinkage

2/11/2014

“Have you ever noticed that when your friends tell you about conflict with co-workers or lovers, you almost always feel like they were wronged?  What are the odds, really?  Seeing ourselves and our tribe as innocent victims draws sympathy and support and protects self- esteem…when we cultivate the sense that we have been wronged, we can’t see the wrong that we ourselves are doing.  We also give up our power to make things better.  If people keep being mean to us through no fault of our own, we’re helpless as well as victims, at least in our own minds.  You can’t fix what you can’t see.

“In the case of Christianity, the theology of persecution serves to give the faithful hope…But it has also blinded generations of believers to the possibility that sometimes the hardships they face are due not to their faith or outsiders hating Jesus, but to the fact that they hit first.” — Valerie Tarico, Why Right-Wing Christians Think They’re America’s Most Persecuted

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Thinkage

22/10/2014

“If slavery was outside of US history, for instance—if indeed it was a drag and not a rocket booster to American economic growth—then slavery was not implicated in US growth, success, power, and wealth.  Therefore none of the massive quantities of wealth and treasure piled by that economic growth is owed to African Americans.  Ideas about slavery’s history determine the ways in which Americans hope to resolve the long contradiction between the claims of the United States to be a nation of freedom and opportunity, on the one hand, and, on the other, the unfreedom, the unequal treatment, and the opportunity denied that for most of American history have been the reality faced by people of African descent.  Surely, if the worst thing about slavery was that it denied African Americans the liberal rights of the citizen, one must merely offer them the title of citizen—even elect one of them president—to make amends.  Then the issue will be put to rest forever…the other half is the story of how slavery changed and moved and grew over time…From 1783 at the end of the American Revolution to 1861, the number of slaves in the United States increased five times over, and all this expansion produced a powerful nation.  For white enslavers were able to force enslaved African-American migrants to pick cotton faster and more efficiently than free people…The returns from cotton monopoly powered the modernization of the rest of the American economy, and by the time of the Civil War, the United States had become the second nation to undergo large-scale industrialization.  In fact, slavery’s expansion shaped every crucial aspect of the economy and politics of the new nation—not only increasing its power and size, but also, eventually, dividing US politics, differentiating regional identities and interests, and helping to make civil war possible.

“The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear.  Yet it is the truth.” — Edward E. Baptist, We still lie about slavery

 

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