Posted 1 year ago
Fear that it’s somehow your fault for not being strong enough is, of course, what allows abusers to continue to abuse. I believe the time for silence is over. If we want to build a truly fair and vibrant community of political debate and social exchange, online and offline, it’s not enough to ignore harassment of women, LGBT people or people of colour who dare to have opinions. Free speech means being free to use technology and participate in public life without fear of abuse – and if the only people who can do so are white, straight men, the internet is not as free as we’d like to believe.
Posted 1 year ago
Posted 1 year ago


How Many Gigatons of Carbon Dioxide…?

via libawr

Posted 2 years ago
A true-cost economy would align our economic system with nature’s life support systems. Biologists teach us that each living system has feedback loops that allow it to adjust and operate within carrying capacity limits. The human economy is no exception, but we’ve short-circuited an important feedback loop by letting companies externalize the costs of their pollution. The time has come to adopt systematic rules that add pollution costs to the prices of goods and services. Such rules would provide critical information that is necessary to keep the scale of the economy within the planet’s carrying capacity. A true-cost system would solve real problems, but how can we put such a system in place?
Posted 2 years ago

The PPACA is important. It’s vital. When a bug can bring down your family, when there are people who are willing to take away the shield that could prevent that, when we as a country have become so small and stingy and mean that we cheer the idea of ripping medical care away from fellow citizens, offering nothing in its place but sanctimony and self-righteousness… What are we? We’re not a country. We’re not a community. Oh, no.

We’re a zero-sum game. We’re the state of nature. We’re animals, gobbling down as much as we can, as fast as we can, swatting away the weak.

“I got mine” are just about the ugliest words in the English language. They’re also, increasingly, a mantra for the same people who shout “We, the people” out of the other side of their mouths.

I love this country, more than I can properly express in words. It’s my home. It’s my future. Its history and achievements are awe-inspiring. Its idea, its founding purpose, is the most important the world has ever known. We are bound together by the notion that we are all created equal, committed to one another as a single body politic, held by the strength of our lives and our fortunes and our sacred honor. We put a man on the moon and an SUV on Mars and we made sure that tens of millions of our fellow citizens can know that a goddamned insect — or an accident or a disease or any of a billion other random, faultless happenstances — isn’t going to send them to the poor house.

(Assuming social services still supports poor houses. Substitute “the streets” as appropriate, assuming infrastructure funding hasn’t gone to corporate tax breaks.)

We can make this work. We have to make this work. A bug bite cannot be the thing that draws the line between a middle-class life and poverty, between opportunity and the stagnant dead-end of could-have-been. Our friends, our neighbors, our children, the future of this country as a cohesive society — as an endeavor where we see each other as more than opponents, as more than competitors — depends on it.

This is an extract, you can read the entire article (and hear the story of the bug bite) here: An Entirely Other Day: Bugged
Posted 2 years ago

Wallace is right in noting there is illness in my community, but it has little to do with how you poke your bits in other people. Suicide is a burden GLBTI youth carry heavier than most, and beyond the media baiting, there’s a danger that comments from the ACL act as a trigger for young people taking their own lives.

Political intentions aside, the undertone that homosexuality is unhealthy or that acting on mutual love will lead you to an early grave is not something that sits easily on the restless mind of a teenager.

Young people who do not identify as heterosexual are four times more likely to take their lives than their heterosexual classmates, and beyond anti-bullying campaigns or promises that “it gets better”, for the most part we have stopped asking why.

Posted 2 years ago
Please. When you listen, listen with your whole body. Use your ears, of course, but also use your eye and your heart. Listen for the facts, of course, but also listen for the underlying emotions and values of the other person. Only when you listen that carefully and deeply can you begin to understand and then communicate with another person. I don’t know if the Chinese character for listening really does include the characters for the ear, the eye, and the heart, but I do know that listening needs to include all those things. Let’s start listening better to one another and maybe — just maybe — we can save this magical planet and the precious, irreplaceable people on it.
Posted 2 years ago

Within an hour, a national movement was born, spearheaded by social commentator Jane Caro. It’s called Destroy the Joint.

And it’s very funny. There were thousands of tweets and Facebook posts as women detailed the many ways they were derailing the Australian success story. They were picking their kids up from soccer; making Father’s Day lunches; operating on broken hands; delivering babies; working on legislation for improved school funding. Or to legalise same-sex adoption, same-sex marriage. All the while, destroying the joint. Caro says humour works. She also says that the left continues to lose the battle because it imagines that arguments can be won on the basis of social justice, good evidence and common sense.

”Humour takes the power away from the powerful,” she says.

Power is hard to give up - and even harder to share. You can see that from what happens in our own Federal parliament as our politicians struggle to make the compromises to make a minority government work. As Caro puts it, it’s a game of thrones and someone will always be trying to knock you off (Go Team Stark).

In this case, it’s women just wanting to share some of the power in a society which is still deeply embedded in old ways. Men in charge, women in waiting.

Some of us thought this was over. Jane Gilmore, one of my favourite opinionators, declared at the weekend that while she wrote a column in 2008 saying that feminism had done what it had set out to do, she now knew she was wrong. ”In my world at the time, that was true … that was all I saw in my professional world and my personal world … so I am taking up the angry feminist mantle and I’m proud to do so.”

And here’s what Caro says. She says that social media has given us the opportunity to band together in a way we’ve never had before. The collective expression is stronger than the individual complaint and it’s all out there.

This is an extract, you can read the full article on the background to the “Destroy the Joint” tweets here:

Destroying the joint on the way to the post-patriarchy

Posted 2 years ago

Brilliant! How to deal with a shock jock, thank you Mr President of Ireland

(via A Tea Partier Decided To Pick A Fight With A Foreign President. It Didn’t Go So Well.)

Posted 2 years ago
Critical thinking is a skill that develops over time. Independent thinking does not occur overnight. Critical thinkers are open to having their cherished beliefs challenged, and must learn how to “defend” their views based on evidence or logic, rather than simply “pounding their chest” and merely proclaiming that their views are “valid.” One characteristic of the critical, independent thinker is being able to recognize fantasy versus reality; to recognize the difference between personal beliefs which are nothing more than personal beliefs, versus views that are grounded in evidence, or which have no evidence.

This is an excerpt, which is so utterly worth reading. Full letter from a professor to his students here:

Charles Negy, Professor, Says Students Showed ‘Religious Arrogance And Bigotry’ In A Letter Later Posted On Reddit