Feb. 10th, 2017

rakasha: (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2kOSjg3:A Yale history professor’s powerful, 20-point guide to defending democracy under a Trump presidency:

sandalwoodandsunlight:

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today:

1. Do not obey in advance.

Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution.

Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics.

When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words.

Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.

When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6. Be kind to our language.

Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps The Power of the Powerless by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7. Stand out.

Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8. Believe in truth.

To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9. Investigate.

Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10. Practice corporeal politics.

Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11. Make eye contact and small talk.

This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12. Take responsibility for the face of the world.

Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13. Hinder the one-party state.

The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can.

Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15. Establish a private life.

Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16. Learn from others in other countries.

Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17. Watch out for the paramilitaries.

When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18. Be reflective if you must be armed.

If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19. Be as courageous as you can.

If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20. Be a patriot.

The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.
rakasha: (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2luW2i9:
roachpatrol:

jumpingjacktrash:

dearthoughthenightisgone:

petralemaitre:

somethingninga:

aethersea:

sepulchritude:

on the topic of humans being the intergalactic “hold my beer” species: imagine an alien stepping onto a human starship and seeing a space roomba™ with a knife duct taped onto it, just wandering around the ship

it doesn’t have any special intelligence. it’s just a normal space roomba. there are other space roombas on the ship and they don’t have knives. it’s just this one. knife space roomba has full clearance to every room in the ship. occasionally crew members will be talking and then suddenly swear and clutch their ankle. knife space roomba putters off, leaving them to their mild stab wounds.

“what is the point?” asks the alien as another crew member casually steps over the knife-wielding robot. “is it to test your speed and agility?”

“no it doesn’t really go that fast,” replies the captain.

“does it teach you to stay ever-vigilant?”

“I mean I guess so but that’s more of a side effect.”

“does it weed out the weak? does it protect you from invaders? do repeated stabbings let your species heal more quickly in the future?”

“it doesn’t stab very hard, it gets us more than it gets our enemies, and no, but that sounds cool — someone write that down.”

“but then what is its purpose?”

“I don’t know,” the captain says, leaning down to give the space roomba an affectionate pat. “it just seemed cool”

this is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard but I thought about it for five seconds and realized that if I were, say, a random communications officer onboard this ship and someone taped a knife to a roomba it would take maybe three weeks before even I was inordinately fond of Stabby. I would be proud of Stabby when I met up with my other spacefleet friends for space coffee, I would tell them about the time Stabby got the second mate in the ankle five seconds before the fleet admiral beamed on board and she swore in seven different languages in front of high command. 

also by the fourth day Stabby would be in the ship’s log, he’d have little painted-on insignia, people would salute him as he went by, and someone would hook up a twitter account to tweet maniacal laughter and/or a truly terrible knock-knock joke every time he managed to nick someone.

Omg so the ting I typed up might actually happen this is gold

I am suddenly astonished that Stabby isn’t Farscape canon. 1812 was weird enough.

Stabby’s little charging dock would start accruing cuddly toys and commemorative holo-vids of Stabby’s greatest stabs. Its insignia would start off at a fairly low rank, but soon, without anyone every discussing it, everyone would know that Stabby got to take the rank of the highest ranking crew member it stabbed. The ceremony for Flag Admiral Stabby was beautiful. The captain gave a speech. 

why am i proud of stabby this is irrational

like if you’re proud of stabby

reblog to tape another knife on him
rakasha: (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2luO7kL:
punsbulletsandpointythings:

starkchao:

What do you mean I’m “OBSESSED” with owls?

@poplitealqueen

@aethelar

Hope this helps.
rakasha: (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2lxIzXw:
ahiddenkitty:

evilelitest2:

Some places are voting early, and if you are pissed off at Trump’s….everything here is where you hit him back, voting in these elections.  If you know anybody from these states, let them know, this is is how the Tea Party fought back in 2009, now it is our turn.  

First off Delaware’s 10th State Senate District

Democrats will lose control of the State Senate if they lose one more seat to Republicans, making the 10th district crucial. The district is very close, won by an incumbent Democrat in 2014 by only 267 votes.

The election will be held on February 25th, with Democrat Stephanie Hansen facing off against Republican John Marino and Libertarian Joseph Lanzendorfer.“

To donate to Stephanie Hansen follow this link: http://ift.tt/2kfzBxh

Secondly we have Georgia’s 6th U.S. Congressional District

The 6th District leans Republican, but a strong Democratic primary is mobilizing the community early. The presence of well-resourced campaigns and the variability of special elections make this district flippable.

Election date is pending Tom Price’s appointment to Trump’s cabinet. Let’s elect a Democrat to replace him.”

If you know of any Democrats in the area, please pass along the message.

Finally, Michigan’s 31st State Senate District
Michigan will be a key state in the 2020 presidential elections. By flipping Michigan’s state legislature—beginning with this seat—we can significantly improve our chances in 2020. The chance for upsets in well-resourced special elections makes this a target race.

Election date is pending Mike Green’s appointment to Trump’s cabinet.“

Three elections in the next 100 days, all of which can serve as the first step to taking our country back from absolute madness.  

Pass this around seriously anybody from those districts know what difference they can make 

7th February 2017
rakasha: (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2kXoexC:
bartkartoffeln:

shsl-crazy-cat-lady:

Please signal boost!

Signal boost!

Profile

rakasha: (Default)
rakasha

September 2017

S M T W T F S
      1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20212223
24252627282930

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 11:12 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios