Tag: imported from tumblr
My favorite place in the entire world
Is in the boughs of this tree
Scene from Missouri.
Right-Wing Human-Rights group in Israel
Right-Wing Human-Rights group in Israel
They consider themselves liberal and zionist but not leftist. They monitor human rights abuses against Palestinians like lefties do, but then plan on working with the IDF to address them.
If this is the true face of the right wing in Israel the world would be such a wonderful place.
By our powers combined
In January, our intrepid hero went on a quest to find wisdom. He travelled to NYC, DC, and back. In his travels, he was aided by many strong women and men, each a hero in their own right.
- Yale Spector, the air mage, floated down from the glittering crystalline heights of the towers of code he was constructing to offer counsel about big plans.
- Earth witch Kanglei Wang gave him a locket of the key to happiness:staying rooted and aware of the now and the new.
- Ned Resnikoff, the wizard of water and lore, offered him hearth and home and revealed the truth: some of that (belief) which was solid, was slowly reverting back to the mists.
- The fiery Mikey Franklin engulfed our hero in the passion of true friendship and true hospitality. Our hero Ash Ketchum was filled with renewed vigor: it was time to be a Pokemon Master re-engaged in the grand struggle to better people’s lives.
Yet, these powerful sorcerers could only help our hero cut and refine the gems of wisdom he found in DC, the heart of empire. Only one person could properly prepare our hero for that challenge: Elly Kalfus, wielder of the power of Heart.
The wisdom he found in DC, inside the very heart of the empire, is a story for another day.
Local man relocates to new locales
Springfield, MO — Sahar Massachi is undergoing a change of identity and home base. Having left the startup he co-founded, he moved to Rochester, NY to figure out his next steps. That process led to him joining the Wikimedia foundation and moving temporarily to Springfield, MO. The effect these changes have had on his psyche are yet undetermined and still ongoing.
Springfield residents are mostly as-of-yet unconcerned and befuddled by this newcomer to their midst. “Sahara? Zoharee?” a bemused, bespectacled, bearded man was overheard muttering in a local cafe, only to have Massachi patiently repeat his refrain: “It’s like Sarah, except you switch the ‘R’ and the ‘H'”. So far he’s been seen huddled with Christian pastors, entrepreneurs, and indigenous hipsters. We’ve even spotted him with that rare species: “Missouri Jew“. What is he planning? No one seems to know.
Massachi is here, so he says, to learn and work with area enigma Zack Exley. When we asked him what that work entailed, we were treated to some undecipherable verbiage about “graphs” and “big data” and “millions of dollars”. Further enquiries resulted in the stubborn refrain of “more soon. Gotta figure out this Dutch problem first”. Clearly, he’s up to something.
Pressed about his feelings about the town that is his new temporary home, Massachi said the following:
Well, I’ve been here a bit more than two weeks. So I don’t know. People here say that Springfield is like a small town that happens to have a lot of people in it. Which I sort of see. And that’s really cool! I miss living on a campus and downtown is sort of that feeling. Except so far I don’t know most people I pass on the sidewalk. Maybe soon, though.
The people here are really interesting. I’ve met Christian Anarchists, Evangelicals, and just plain people who loooove Jesus. Trying to get to know them and see what their life is like. I’ve also met a bunch of people who don’t identify as Christian, but have had to live in this bible-belty culture. And their reaction to it is interesting too. I’m trying this new thing where I just ask everyone I meet questions. It’s cool. And random people I meet end up knowing each other, which could be cool or scary. I’m not sure yet. And I really enjoy the fact that there’s a place in town where you can play 80’s arcade games all night for a flat $5. Not because I go there often – I’m just glad something that quirky can exist. Oh man, I’m rambling, aren’t I?
This is all off the record, right?
In fact, it wasn’t.
More on this story as it develops.
The curious consensus of Jews on Abortion
The curious consensus of Jews on Abortion
The article goes into pretty great detail on theological (and historical-theological) views on abortion within Judaism, and concludes that it can’t account for this overwhelming support.
My suspicion is that this is all driven by an out-group mentality. The face of anti-abortion is the enraged Christian Right. The same sort of people who want to put nativity displays in town halls and hyperventilate about the supposed “War On Christmas”.
And really, I think the consensus of American Jewry is that these sorts of positions, while not perhaps anti-jewish in intent (because who can see into the heart of hearts of Bill O-Reilly), are pretty anti-jewish in effect. Because their vision for America doesn’t have any place for us in it.
Is it any wonder that we don’t want to associate with these people?
That different Jews have disparate views is not news. What is news is when most Jews agree on a particular idea or approach. And so it is with the curious consensus of Jews on abortion.
In mid-2012, the Public Religion Research Institute (“PRRI”) published its findings from a 2012 survey of Jewish values (the “Jewish Values Survey”). The survey sought to measure the opinions of American Jews on a wide variety of political and economic issues, as well as with respect to certain religious beliefs and practices.
While Jews varied considerably in their views of a wide range of topics, on one – abortion – they were not only reasonably cohesive in their attitude, but strikingly different from other groups.
Essentially regardless of denominational affiliation or demographics, American Jews think abortion should be legal in all (49%) or almost all (44%) cases. That is, fully 93% of all American Jews support legalized abortion in some fashion
The Aaron I knew
I’ve known about Aaron for a long time. How could I not? I was there when he rewrote Reddit, over six years ago. I was a fan of Lawrence Lessig – Lessig was a fan (and mentor) of Aaron.
We first actually met through the PCCC – a new grassroots organizing outfit he co-founded with two others. I heard about the PCCC through my blogging life, but I decided I wanted to join up because Aaron was a co-founder. I was on the team when there were just 5 of us. I finally met Aaron at a retreat the PCCC held at the end of May. He didn’t say much at first (the night before when we were just hanging out). I mostly talked to his friend, Quinn Norton. She was full of interesting tales (the history of coffee! Breaking into buildings in San Francisco!) and just a really cool gal.
But I think I knew Aaron best through his writing. It’s how so many of us can feel a close connection to him. His blogging wasn’t self-indulgent and vain. It was red-hot but cooly-considered thought. It was brilliant tempered with empathy and wisdom.
I bet I’ll refer to his writing for years to come.
Aaron was pretty much who I aspired to be. Tech-savvy but not bound by that culture. Progressive but not captured by the professional left. A fellow-traveler to many. A generous spirit. Always trying to figure out exactly how the world worked, then sharing what he found.
I’ll miss him so much.
Aaron Swartz is dead but the world continues in its banality. Instagram photos on my feed. People pimping their articles. Don’t they know that Aaron is dead?
What the hell.
Aaron and I (and others) once hung out at Brandeis. We were watching the news reports of a petition delivery he did in Boston in support of something to do with appointing a Senator after Ted Kennedy died. Four or five of us, in a cramped dorm room at the Brandeis castle.
Aaron was also one of my bosses at the PCCC, though I only got to see him a few times in that capacity. He was obviously, well, everyone uses the world brilliant because it’s true. We’d have a discussion that was going in all different directions, and time and time again Aaron would ask a simple, insightful question that got right to the heart of the matter. It was a joy to work with him.
Aaron had reason to visit Brandeis – his brother Ben studied there as well. I’ll never forget that he was at my commencement for my MA (he was at commencement for Ben’s Bachelors’). About ten people ahead of me alphabetically didn’t up for their degrees, so I ended up hamming to the crowd and making several false starts on stage, etc. He sent me a tweet: “Very colorful. Congratulations.”
The rest I know about Aaron, I know from his public life. His wonderful blog posts. His instapaper shares. The projects he was working on. All that gave you a wonderful, oddly intimate look at the “public” Aaron. The Aaron I briefly met in person – he lived up to his legend. So sad he’s gone.
(Most of) Tech Start!
These are all the folks I did startup stuff with these last 12 weeks. Wonderful people. Not a bad egg in the bunch.
A weird thing about my life
Is that I’m currently in training on how to do a startup. Yes, me of all people.
Who would’ve figured that of all my friends I’d be the one pursuing the capitalist dream?
- Mentors frequently mention stuff like “you could make a nice little business here, and that’s okay.” if you don’t want to ask for venture capital. Their version of a nice little business – millions of dollars of profits a year.
- A culture of scalability means a culture of cutting labor costs (hiring as few people) as much as possible.
- As far as I can tell, many mentors, though old white rich men, are also Democrats. Some even contribute/fundraise for campaigns. Strange but cool!
Declaration of Independence
Remember the joy of being young, the joy of discovery?
Remember rushing outside and finding everything so utterly fascinating?
The pleasure of moving your body. The smell of the outdoors. Each conversation an adventure.
I’m beginning to forget.
I’ve been spending so much time with computers lately. First for class, now for work. I keep in touch with my scattered friends through the computer. I read news through the computer. My most important organs are now my brain for thinking and my hands for typing.
Our bodies deserve to be more than just vehicles to transport our brains from meeting to meeting.
I declare independence from:
- Being so social-movement focused.
- Obsessing over news.
- Viewing the internet as a consumer rather than producer.
- Google Reader
- Smartphone notifications
- Digitally-mediated interaction
Sure, I’ll still be online. But no longer will I spend a bulk of my time on google reader and facebook. No longer will I consume much more than I create.
That means more blogging. More writing. More going outside and walking. Less reading facebook (only check it once a day!), less reading Google Reader (I’m on a week-long hiatus!), less politics. The left is interesting and all, but my dreams should be full of other topics as well. I have other interests! It’s time to activate them.
Time for each day to be an adventure again.
Copied from a mail I sent a friend.
I’m most excited about Elizabeth Warren. She’s one of that special breed of person who rarely get elected to anything, much less Senator.
1. She’s one of the smartest minds thinking about banking and finance policy. And now she’s a senator. This isn’t someone who can be bamboozled by lobbyists or think tanks.
2. Since she’s the expert on finance and banking, other senators will follow her lead and aks her advice.
3. The banks fear her.
4. She wants to cut all subsidies to fossil fuels. Is a strong voice for our clean energy future.
5. As an academic, she wrote this article: http://www.democracyjournal.org/5/6528.php?page=all . It was so spot on that it caused a federal agency to be born. Elizabeth Warren knows how to wield non-electoral, non-governmental power. That’s huge.
She’s the Louis Brandeis of our time and I’m so excited!
Other cool things:
* Every Marriage Equality ballot measure was a win for our team.
* Drug war might start winding down soon
* Obamacare will happen
* The Democrats in the Senate just got markedly more liberal.
* In Jan 2013, taxes go up by a lot, especially on the rich. Great leverage for team blue.
* Tammy Baldwin!
* Dems pick up many state legislatures.
* We won senate North Dakota! And Montana!
* Alan Grayson crushed and will rejoin the House
Sad that we lost close senate races in Arizona and Nevada.
The View From Saturday
I just picked up a copy of E.L. Konigburg’s the View From Saturday. I haven’t read it in years. After the first chapter, I just have to put it down in amazement and say, “wow. She can write”.
The View From Saturday was one of my favorite books at a particular stage of my life (sharing that title with The Westing Game). I found both books so compelling because they hinted at an “adult” world outside my comprehension. For example, the repeated references to the “decline of Western Civilization” from the adults in Saturday. It was just fascinating.
Young Adult books have had a huge effect on my life. From Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books to the View from Saturday, from the Pushcart War to the Lost Years of Merlin, I learned about standing up for dignity, I learned about what true goodness means. I saw great examples of how to live, and I hope my imagination was broadened by the contact I had with the amazing imagination of others.
Hats off to you, the literature of my childhood. I have never read anything a wonderful since. I miss you so much.