Dear Miller Medical...

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:36 am
thnidu: What, me worry? MAD Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman (idiots)
[personal profile] thnidu
(which is the name my address book has for this number), or Montgomery Medical Equipment (which is what your voice menu thanks me for calling), or whoever you are:

I missed a call from you at 10:21 this morning. I have been trying to call back for the last 10 minutes, but your voice menu always assumes that I know what your call was about, and hangs up when I press zero for operator. CALL ME BACK, and if I am unable to answer please LEAVE A VOICE MESSAGE.

Seeking a book for someone.

Aug. 21st, 2017 02:07 am
thnidu: Gay-friendly poly-friendly pagan-friendly monogamous straight Jew (friendly)
[personal profile] thnidu
I just saw a request on a community called findthatbook, which I am pasting below. I don't remember if nonmembers can read posts, but they can't post. Since I know that a number of LGBTQ people read my blog, rather than link to there I told the OP I would ask here and pass the information on to them.




gay novel from the early 80s?

I recently remembered a book I last read in the early 80s, but can't recall the exact title (or author) - I *think* it was called something like The Stairs on Avenue C but googling that and some keywords like 'book' 'novel' or 'gay' got me nowhere. it was a paperback about a gay guy in New York City (who lived on Avenue C?); and I vaguely remember the cover illustration was a doubling-back staircase - I think the cover was greenish. It was definitely no masterpiece and I think relatively negatively slanted; I can't remember if the protagonist turned out to be a serial killer or died, but that's the sort of impression I have. it was early in my discovery of gay lit, and I was gulping down anything I could lay my hands upon. and now I'm vaguely curious about it but unable to gratify that curiosity.


anyone have any pointers for where I might look?

Boston counterprotest

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:51 pm
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
I went to the Boston counterprotest against the so-called 'free speech' (actually Confederates and neo-Nazis) rally on Saturday for a couple of hours. The energy was good, and there were a lot of people-- the radio said maybe fifty thousand counterprotestors and fifty or so Nazis, so we may literally have outnumbered them one thousand to one. The common was about as full as it was during the Womens' March, because people weren't as spread out marching; there were areas that were elbow-to-elbow and then areas where nothing much was going on and you could walk around.

There were of course many, many signs. I took one Ruth made with a graphic we got off Twitter, one of those red barred circles that mean NO over a glyph that combines a swastika and the number 45 so you can read it both ways. The person next to me on the T on the way over was also carrying a sign, so we started talking, and it turned out, completely coincidentally, that she is presently enrolled at the small liberal arts college my wife and I both went to, which is several states away. She had come up for the occasion. It was nice to have somebody there to have my back, since none of my family could make it.

We had been worried on the train about how things would go, but there were thorough barricades and we basically couldn't even see the actual Nazi types, let alone physically interact with them. Every so often one of them would break out a Confederate flag or something like that, at which point the police would immediately confiscate it. One of them got perp-walked away while I was there, but I didn't see what for. The police presence was huge and, while I was there, generally polite to us counterprotestors, although I understand they got more annoyed later. I have to say, the sirens that bike cops use are among the silliest things I have heard in quite a while, like putting a real police siren through a filter marked 'Yakkity Sax'.

There was one dude wandering around shouting about how he wanted to [insert violence and sexual profanity] Trump and Trump's children, but everybody he came near was shouting back at him to just shut up and go home. I couldn't tell his ethnicity beyond 'not white', but he was also wearing a hat with the Washington Racists' logo-- I mean their real logo-- and the crowd was not having with that either. So it was uncomfortable when he wandered by, but the crowd very clearly was not on his side and was not going to let him harass any individual people.

The most intense things got is that somebody set fire to a swastika flag, I believe with a blowtorch. It burned very hot and fast, to intense cheers, and produced a lot of smoke, but I think it had gone out entirely by the time the cops arrived-- it had clearly been timed for when the bike patrol was circling around the other end of the Common. At any rate, I don't believe anyone was arrested in connection with that.

I am proud of my city about this one. A lot of people in the crowd were worried about violence, I was worried about violence, my train-met friend was worried, and that worry was explicitly why we had to be there. Because no. We refuse to give up when things get scary.

It was a good counterprotest.
thnidu: outline of Texas, colored like the state flag (Texas)
[personal profile] thnidu
The Best Trick U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Ever Pulled on a Criminal
A particularly glorious example of “fake it ‘til you make it.”

facial portrait

by Eric Grundhauser
August 08, 2017



The American Old West was a fertile cauldron for myth and legend, producing such fantastical figures as Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. But while many folk heroes of the era may have been embellished-unto-fable, or completely dreamt up, the legendary Wild West figure Bass Reeves was absolutely real, even if his exploits sound like tall tales.

Reeves was one of the most remarkable figures of the Old West, serving as a deputy U.S. Marshal from 1875 to 1907, mostly in and around the regrettable Indian Territory, which once made up much of what is now Oklahoma.

(Click title for article)

COMM FAULT

Aug. 18th, 2017 02:05 pm
thnidu: road sign: diamond-shaped black on yellow. Animated silhouette of user banging head on keyboard over & over (headbang)
[personal profile] thnidu
My cellphone apparently has decided to charge only very slowly, and I can't count on receiving calls or text messages on it. I will pay more attention to my landline phone and use my laptop to check my email.

If this doesn't resolve itself by the end of the weekend (crap, BOTH my electronic gizmos will be sick!) I'll have to take them to Verizon and the Apple Store respectively.

Classic scam

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:52 am
thnidu: road sign: diamond-shaped black on yellow. Animated silhouette of user banging head on keyboard over & over (headbang)
[personal profile] thnidu
One of many, many frauds reported to AARP:

reported 2016-06-13 11:29:00
Email from First National Bank: Dear Beneficiary, After our meeting of today with the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Federal Executive councils, It was Resolved and Agreed upon that your Inheritance/Contract Funds of $10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). Would be released to you on a special method of payment which the tag Name Reads "SWIFT PAYMENT" Such as KTT, Bank to Bank Wire Transfer or ATM. You are advised to send to us YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, OCCUPATION, AGE, and NEXT OF KIN. PHONE AND FAX NUMBERS TO CLAIM YOUR FUND I wait to hear from you along with the above mentioned information. Best Regards, Mr.Frank Antony Banking & Chief Cashier F.N.B. Corporation First National Bank +234 8134862758 f.n.b.chiefcashier@gmail.com

The saddest part of these is when people have fallen for them.

O lousy day

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:24 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
Any day that features two teeth extracted is not going to be an enjoyable one.

Nine hours later and gums still bleeding.

Lost track of my medications schedule , especially since the dentist prescribed me a new antibiotic in place of the old one, so I have dosed myself much too close together.

Have not been able to think very straight for a number of hours.

Go kommer highbury hjem og som du og kommer strækninger man altid gæster karlekammer vores unikke kæmpe bølge

Housefilk Coming Sept 3!!

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:06 pm
sdelmonte: (2014)
[personal profile] sdelmonte
Hear ye, hear ye!
 
There will be a housefilk on Sunday, September 3 (the Sunday of Labor Day weekend) in Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, New York, at the home of [personal profile] sdelmonte and [personal profile] batyatoon. The festivities will run from 1 pm to approximately 5 pm. The address is 144-32 71st Road, accessible from the LIE and GCP, and by subway and bus.
 
Interested? Reply to this post and let us know. And spread the word!
 
Need directions? E-mail me at simondelmonte @ gmail.com.
thnidu: colorful Hebrew calligraphy: JUSTICE, JUSTICE SHALL YOU PURSUE (Deut. 16:20). © Michael Noyes tinyurl.com/8nxrcwf (justice)
[personal profile] thnidu

Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville - Find an Event *

This weekend, hate groups and domestic terrorists of all stripes went to Charlottesville, VA to push their hateful message of white supremacy, fascism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry.

When they got there they waged violence on unarmed anti-racists, killing one and injuring many others. We mourn for the life that was lost, and we will honor all those under attack by congregating against hate in our own communities.

Tonight and tomorrow, Indivisible groups, along with our friends at Women’s March, Democracy for America, Working Families Party, 58 more groups listed behind cut )

 and others will come together in solidarity with our brave friends in Charlottesville who put themselves at risk to fight against white supremacy.

 

 Attend an event in your community to show that you’re standing with CharlottesvilleLogos of partnering groups )


* At the bottom of the page is a field to enter city or ZIP Code to find an event near you.


thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
[personal profile] thnidu
From Jewniverse:

Curious George and the Nazis

When the Nazi party was gaining popularity in Germany, Hans Augusto Rey, a Jewish salesman, knew it was a good time to get out. He moved to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. There, he met and married an old flame, Margret, who’d also come to escape the Nazis. Together, the couple moved to Paris in 1935.

When World War II broke out, the Reys realized they needed to make other plans. They left Paris a few hours before the Nazis invaded, riding a pair of bikes that Hans had made himself. To their backs they strapped some food, some of their possessions, and the manuscript of a children’s book the couple had been working on–a book about a mischievous monkey named George.

The rest is history: The Reys made it across the Swiss border and eventually to New York, where they published Curious George, and would eventually enjoyed worldwide success. The Reys’ story is told more fully in the nonfiction book The Journey that Saved Curious George. Meanwhile, the George book itself, and its sequels, have been translated into dozens of languages–including the Reys’ native Yiddish, where the monkey’s affectionately known as “George der Naygeriker.”

And...


From The Forward:

How Curious George Fought the Nazis

It’s hard to imagine a cartoon monkey saving the day anywhere other than in storybooks. But Curious George, the signature monkey of author and artist duo H. A. and Margret Rey, did just that, according to “Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey,” an exhibit of 80 original drawings and letters by the creators of the animated character. The exhibit opens on March 14 at the Jewish Museum in New York and runs through August 1.

The Jewish husband-and-wife team first created Curious George (then known as Fifi) while living in Paris in the late 1930s. The mischievous monkey often barely escaped trouble, frequently with the help of his friend and captor, The Man in the Yellow Hat.

It was George, however, who quite literally saved H. A. and Margret Rey — twice — during the couple’s escape from the Nazis. In 1939, authorities suspected their studio of being a makeshift bomb factory. But when they raided the grounds, they found drawings of Curious George instead of bomb parts, and didn’t arrest the Reys. A year later, the couple fled France by bicycle, taking with them sketches of the monkey. They used the salvaged images to prove their occupations when applying for American visas in New York, where they ultimately settled.

Click title for full story

Naming the problem

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:22 pm
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
[personal profile] tim
This is a follow-up to my article "Refusing to Empathize with Elliot Rodger: Taking Male Entitlement Seriously".

As I mentioned initially, Lundy Bancroft lists a number of tactics abusive men use in conversations. In Why Does He Do That?, he notes that when one of the abusers he works with attempts to use one of these tactics on him or another group participant, and Bancroft calmly names which tactic it is instead of reacting, the abuser usually gets even angrier. So in that spirit, I thought I would compile a list of responses to my article and classify them according to the abuse tactics they use.

Here is a subset of Bancroft's list of conversational abuse tactics in p. 145-146 (n.b. all page-number references are to Why Does He Do That?)

  1. Sarcasm
  2. Ridicule
  3. Distorting what you say (this was one of the most common responses I saw, in which the interlocutor would make up a caricature of what I wrote and then attack that, instead of engaging with the actual ideas).
  4. Accusing you of doing what he does, or thinking the way he thinks (AKA projection, as discussed on p. 142)
  5. Using a tone of absolute certainty and final authority -- "defining reality":
    When Mr. Right decides to take control of a conversation, he switches into his Voice of Truth, giving the definitive pronouncement on what is the correct answer or the proper outlook. Abuse counselors call this tactic defining reality. Over time, his tone of authority can cause his partner to doubt her own judgment and come to see herself as not very bright. (p. 82)
  6. Not listening, refusing to respond -- I've rephrased this as "dismissal", since the original list was concerned with in-person conversations where one person can literally ignore the other. Online, the equivalent of this is not ignoring, but replying in a way that doesn't at all engage with the content, rather labeling it in ways that create negative sentiment without actually trying to refute ideas. Dismissal is not ignoring (it's great when people ignore things they don't like or don't care about!) -- the effort that the abuser puts in to communicate "I didn't read this, I didn't think it was worth reading, but I'm still going to attack it" shows that it is important to them that the person being abused not be heard. (Compare Kathy Sierra's "Trouble at the Kool-Aid Point" and my own previous discussion of false dismissal.)
  7. Changing the subject to his grievances
  8. Provoking guilt
  9. Playing the victim
  10. Name-calling, insults, put-downs. I'm calling out "insulting intelligence" as its own subcategory:
    The abuser tends to see his partner as less intelligent, less competent, less logical, and even less sensitive than he is.... He often has difficulty conceiving of her as a human being. (p. 63)
    One of the primary rhetorical weapons used against underrepresented people in tech is that we're not intelligent, and indeed, that was a large part of what made the original manifesto abusive.
  11. Threatening to harm you
There are others, but I listed the ones that are most relevant to online conversations. And I would add two more:
  • Demanding explanation, where the interlocutor asks for more justification either in ways that make it clear they didn't read the entire piece, or didn't read it carefully, or don't actually want to debate and are just asking in order to steal attention. Sort of like a human denial-of-service attack. The person demanding explanation is like the type of abuser Bancroft describes as "Mr. Right":
    "Mr. Right tries to sanitize his bullying by telling me, 'I have strong opinions' or 'I like debating ideas.' This is like a bank robber saying, 'I'm interested in financial issues.' Mr. Right isn't interested in debating ideas; he wants to impose his own." (p. 83)
    "It is frustrating, and ultimately pointless, to argue with someone who is certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that his perspective is accurate and complete and that yours is wrong and stupid. Where can the conversation possibly go?" (p. 144)
    Demanding explanation is abusive because it's deceptive: the abuser who demands an explanation holds out the promise that he is reasonable, he can be persuaded, and the conversation can go somewhere positive if you just explain more. In reality, he is not open to being changed by what he hears, and is just trying to waste your time and/or entrap you for more abuse. Demanding a 1-on-1 conversation also reflects entitlement to the time and attention of the writer, who has already provided plenty of explanation. It is pretty obvious to me when someone is asking questions out of genuine openness to change, and when they're doing it in a rude and entitled way.
  • Gaslighting; Bancroft discusses discrediting extensively (p. 125, p. 146) but doesn't call it out in the above list. "You're too sensitive", "You're overreacting", and -- when not justified, other than by the purported oversensitivity of the writer -- "You can't make that comparison, it's ridiculous" are all forms of gaslighting. They attempt to make the listener doubt their own perceptions and judgment. I included gaslighting comments under "ridicule", but it's worth pointing out that this is a common and insidious form of ridicule, since it seems superficially reasonable (of course we all think that nobody should be too sensitive, or react too much, though the boundary for how sensitive it's acceptable to be is rarely discussed).

The analysis

I read:
  • All of my mentions that were replies to tweets (from me or other people) linking to "Refusing to Empathize with Elliot Rodger, or that linked to the essay without replying to me.
  • Two comments on my Dreamwidth post that were screened and that I deleted.
(I excluded a lot of mentions that could also have gone on this list, but were replies to tweets unrelated to the essay. My favorite one of those, though, was a response to a picture I posted of a display of boxes of LaCroix sparkling water, which said something like "looking for something to drink so you can get fatter?")

The following table lists all but one of the responses, along with the abusive tactics each one employs.

There was one response that didn't use any of the abusive tactics above. It was illogical (blaming Marc Lépine's actions on Islam because Lépine's father was Algerian), but may have been written in good faith, even if it was ignorant.

So in short:

  • 27 critical/negative replies
  • 26 out of 27 use at least one abuse tactic identified by Bancroft; most several
  • The remaining one is illogical / primarily based on religious stereotyping.
  • No substantive criticisms. At all.
I am often wrong, and many times, people have had critical things to say about my writing. Sometimes they were right. Often, they were non-abusive. But something about this essay drew out many abusive responses, while no one had a genuine intellectual criticism. When you call out and name abuse, a way that you can tell that you were right is that the abusers get more abusive. I'm sure there are places where this essay falls short, logically, or could be better expressed. But no one has pointed them out.

CW: verbally abusive comments; slurs )

Conclusion

The dominance of abuse in the negative responses to my piece doesn't prove I'm right, of course. It doesn't prove there's no good argument against my core theses, and it doesn't prove I didn't make any mistakes. But given that a lot of people were so eager to debunk my article, if there was a good argument, don't you think one of them might have found one?

I think giving names to abusive conversational patterns is extremely powerful and I think it's important to distinguish between criticism and abuse, and notice when the only thing people can seem to muster up in response to anti-abuse discourse is more abuse.

thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
From the website of AnneeLondon, an interesting new bicycle helmet company in Philadelphia. Their pitch is "Be safe without being unfashionable", and their helmets are — get this — collapsible, so you can carry them easily.

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE NAME?



Well, we are really glad you asked. Annie Londonderry Cohen was the first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle. She did this in 1894 when women were at home and out of the way.  She was bet $10,000 that she could not do it. But Annie was a tough, determined woman and entrepreneur. Despite being a novice cyclist, she began the trip on a hot summer day in Boston as she boarded a ship to Europe.
 
She completed her trip in 15 months and came back as an expert cyclist! She used the prize money to start her own company. Her story inspired us so much in the beginning days of AnneeLondon. To us, Annie is a courageous, bold friend who encourages us to keep going when things seem hopeless. She ignores all of the haters and makes things happen. She is the friend that inspires us to pursue our goals and dreams.
 

about my congregation

Aug. 10th, 2017 11:28 am
thnidu: Seven-branched Temple menorah, symbolic of all Judaism, not the 9-branched Chanukah menorah. bethelcongregation.org (menorah)
[personal profile] thnidu
While cleaning out my email folders I found this paragraph. It suggests a few things about my synagogue, Kol Tzedek of West Philadelphia.

Come celebrate _____'s conversion, Shabbat and Ramadan! Thank you to everyone who has organized tonight and facilitated connection with our growing Calvary Muslim community.
 
See, we meet in Calvary United Methodist Church,  as do a number of other congregations and other kinds of organizations as partners in Calvary Center for Culture and Community. Besides the Methodist congregation, there's a Mennonite congregation, a masjid (mosque), Alcoholics Anonymous, a theatre company, a world music concert program, a low-power FM community radio station, and many more. Talk about community! Talk about fun!



The Last Mischief

Aug. 10th, 2017 02:38 am
thnidu: "ND" disarmament symbol, and "Fiat Pax" (let there be peace) (peace)
[personal profile] thnidu
From Leo Marks (1998), Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War 1941-1945, p. 597. (My post about this book.)
Chapter 81 (final chapter), “The Last Mischief”.
(The poem has no title in the book.)


We listen round the clock
 For a code called peacetime
 But will it ever come
 And shall we know it when it does
 And break it once it's here
 This code called peacetime.

 Or is its message such
 That it cannot be absorbed
 Unless its text is daubed
 In letters made of lives
 From an alphabet of death
 Each consonant a breath
 Expired before its time.

 Signalmaster, Signalmaster
 Whose Commandments were in clear
 Must you speak to us in code
 Once peacetime is here?



Foot stomping (boost)

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:24 am
thnidu: logo of Agent Orange font (Agent Orange)
[personal profile] thnidu
[personal profile] kk1raven has made a post, Foot stomping,* that begins

President Toddler is having a tantrum, stomping his feet and threatening to use his nuclear toys.

(Shudder)

* ETA: Sorry, it's a locked post; I should have spotted that.
Save
thnidu: "ND" disarmament symbol, and "Fiat Pax" (let there be peace) (peace)
[personal profile] thnidu
The second use of nuclear weaponry in war — so far, the last, and may it remain so forever — destroyed Nagasaki.

Although the bomb was more powerful than the one used on Hiroshima, the effect was confined by hillsides to the narrow Urakami Valley. ... Casualty estimates for immediate deaths vary widely, ranging from 22,000 to 75,000. At least 35,000–40,000 people were killed and 60,000 others injured. In the days and months following the explosion, more people died from bomb effects. Because of the presence of undocumented foreign workers, and a number of military personnel in transit, there are great discrepancies in the estimates of total deaths by the end of 1945; a range of 39,000 to 80,000 can be found in various studies. (Wikipedia)

TALKING ATOMIC BLUES
(Vern Partlow, as sung by Pete Seeger)

I'm gonna preach you all a sermon 'bout Old Man Atom,
And I don't mean the Adam in the Bible datum.
I don't mean the Adam Mother Eve mated,
I mean the thing that science liberated.
You know Einstein said he was scared,
And if he's scared, brother, I'm scared.

Yes, life used to be such a simple joy.
The cyclotron was a super toy,
Folks got born, they'd work and marry,
And "atom" was a word in the dictionary;
And then it happened. . . .

These science guys, from every clime
They all pitched in with overtime.
Before you knew it, the job was done;
They'd hitched up the power of the doggone Sun,
Splitting atoms, right and left,
While the diplomats . . .
Were splitting hairs . . .

Then the cartel crowd up and put on a show,
They're gonna turn back the clock on the UNO.
Grab a corner on atoms and maybe extinguish
Every damn atom that can't speak English.
Down with foreign-born atoms!
America for American atoms!
Step right up, folks, and let's atomize world peace. . .

Ah, but the atom's international, in spite of hysteria,
Flourishes in Utah, also in Siberia.
He don't care about politics
Or who got what into whichever fix.
All he wants to do is sit around . . .
And have his nucleus bombarded by neutrons.

Yes, it's up to the people; the atom don't care.
You can't fence him in; he's just like air.
And whether you're white, black, red or brown,
The question is this, when you boil it down,
To be or not to be!
That is the question. . .

And the answer to it all ain't military datum,
Like "Who gets there fustest with the mostest atoms,"
But the people of the world must decide their fate,
We got to stick together or disintegrate.
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
All men
Could be cremated equal.