Category Archives: News & Politics

Our Lady of the Bees

Our Lady of the Bees
Our Lady of the Bees

I’m not usually one for digital collage. I like paper. But current events have me disgusted and horrified, and this is what happened as a result.

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Chain Migration

Chain Migration
from the introduction to Covered Wagon Women, volume 5

If you think chain migration is a new thing, or that it’s a bad thing, you’re mistaken. It’s how people have moved the world over, forever and ever.

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Tiny Teefs

Tiny teefs. Tiny underbite. #dogs #boxerdogs #teefs

Tiny teefs and tiny underbite. He’s so stinking cute I can hardly stand it sometimes.

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It began with words

The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words. The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.

Source: Museum Condemns White Nationalist Conference Rhetoric — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A few months ago, I shared an article asking the (then just hopefully rhetorical) question, “Would you hide a Jew from the Nazis?” I don’t think it’s rhetorical any longer. We are about to allow actual neo-nazis to take control of our country. They are dangerous, and we have to stand up to them. It’s no longer a question of “Could it happen here?” but a matter of “It is happening here.”


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Love Trumps Hate

Love Trumps Hate #graffiti #sidewalk #sidewalkchalk #iu #iubloomington #indianauniversity #lovetrumpshate #thankyou

I went back to work Thursday, after being off sick with the death plague. As I walked through campus at dark o’clock, I saw this on the sidewalk and thought, “The kids are alright.”

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Me and my deathflu voted, and now Thomas and I are watching the news. #dogs #boxerdog #ivoted #election2016

I took my sick ass to the polls at 6:00 this morning, and then I came home and coughed up both lungs. Now Thomas and I are watching election coverage on the news.

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Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis?

“We must think of Sousa Mendes’s heroism in today’s context,” Jorge Helft, a Holocaust survivor who as a French boy received one of Sousa Mendes’s visas, told me. “I have dinners in Paris where people start saying we have to kick all these people out, there are dangerous people among them.” He paused and added, “I remember being on a ship to New York and hearing that some Americans didn’t want to let us in because there were Nazi spies among us.

“Yes, there might have been Nazi spies, but a tiny minority,” he said, just as there might be spies among Syrian refugees today, but again a tiny minority. “Ninety-five percent or more of these people are decent, and they are fleeing from death. So let’s not forget them.”

Source: Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis? – The New York Times

It’s easy to say you would. Of course you would! You aren’t a monster. But would you really? And what are you willing to risk to help refugees now? I think this is something we need to consider carefully, and we need to think about it in light of the similarities between what is going on in the US today to what happened in Germany as the Nazis were rising to power. It’s easy to think you’d stand up for others, and it’s easy to think that would never happen here, but I fear that when you are in the thick of it, without the benefit of perfect hindsight, you might not recognize just how bad and how dangerous things are until it’s too late.

And as a side note, did you know that Anne Frank was also a refugee? Her father, Otto Frank, tried to obtain US visas for his family. His requests were denied–despite having powerful people working to help him from within the US–largely because Americans feared that Jewish refugees were actually Nazi spies.

Refugees are fleeing terrible circumstances. They don’t just decide on a whim to pull up stakes and disrupt their entire lives so they can start over again, with nothing, at the other end of the world. It’s a long, complicated, and I can only assume exhausting process. Refugees are well vetted. They are not spies, except in some people’s fever dreams. They deserve our aid and compassion, period.


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Happy 19th Amendment Day!

On this day in 1920 the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

Penn[sylvania] on the picket line-- 1917
Penn[sylvania] on the picket line– 1917
Source: Harris & Ewing, Washington, D.C. [Pennsylvania on the Picket Line– 1917]. 1917. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed August 18, 2016.)

Summary: Photograph of fourteen suffragists in overcoats on picket line, holding suffrage banners in front of the White House. One banner reads: “Mr. President How Long Must Women Wait For Liberty”. White House visible in background.

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Everything’s a conspiracy and reality’s turned upside down

Conspiracy nuts despise official knowledge. What they relish is their own knowingness. Just when you think you’ve refuted their canards, they dance away. One mark of this sort of conspiracy theory is that it never says die. Blocked at the end of one cul-de-sac, it reverses field and rushes off to find another one.

Source: In Trump’s world, everything’s a conspiracy and reality’s turned upside down

This is not a post about Donald Trump or even politics, really. It’s just that something struck me while reading this article. Conspiracy theorists puzzle me, whether it’s a fixation on vaccines causing disease, or our president not being a “real American,” or Monsanto creating the Zika virus. It’s easy to dismiss these believers as ignorant fools, but I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. I wonder if they seek out and cling to conspiracy theories because, despite being intelligent, they don’t have confidence in their intelligence. If you aren’t confident that you’re smart, you might defensively hit out at anything and everything that makes you question your smartness. You might feel compelled to go the extra mile to assert your own personal knowledge over that of others, including (or especially?) folks the rest of us concede are far more knowledgeable than we are in their given fields of expertise.

(As for Mr. Trump, I don’t think he’s particularly intelligent.  Someone has to fill out the fat part of the bell curve, yes?  But I also am not convinced that he believes half the dog whistles that emit from his angry little pie hole.  I was born cynical, and I am convinced Trump is playing a role.)


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What Would Jesus Do?

“I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out,” Jimenez said during his Sunday sermon, which Verity Baptist posted on its website under the title “the Christian response to the Orlando murders.”

Source: Pastor refuses to mourn Orlando victims: ‘The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die’ – The Washington Post

Remember that part in the New Testament where Jesus preached about murdering people by firing squad? Funny, neither do I. Granted, it’s been a long time since 8th grade religion class with Sister Helen, but I remember him preaching that we should love everyone like a bunch of damn hippies and we should treat everyone with the same respect we’d give the big dude himself.

I don’t care where you fall on the political spectrum (totally a lie, I do care), but if you find yourself calling for the murder of people who have never, ever, not even once in their lives, hurt you, you should take a time out to think about where you went off the rails. That is a spectacular level of ugliness being disseminated in the name of God.

Which brings me to another point. We don’t know (yet) why Omar Mateen committed mass murder. Possibly it was for a whole bunch of reasons all inextricably woven together.  I can’t believe it’s an accident that he chose a gay club as his killing ground, though. And isn’t it a little ironic that we have a presidential candidate calling for a wholesale ban against Muslims entering the US, because of a few extremists who appear to harbor strikingly similar beliefs to certain Christian extremists?  The problem isn’t Muslims or Christians, but hate and ignorance and the intolerance and fear they breed.

ETA: This? I believe this is what Jesus would do.

This is how a kind, thoughtful, caring person responds when others are hurt. It’s quite lovely. You should watch it. It might restore some of your faith in humanity. (Via Wonkette, where there is a transcript if you’d rather read it.)


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