george savile first marquis of halifax wrote these words in the character of a trimmer

just prior to 1700 ce

he was a byword for ease of address, wit, charm and political astuteness; he’s all over William and Mary like a dirty shirt. Enought background

 

IT must be more than an ordinary provocation that can tempt a Man to Write in an Age over-run with Scriblers, as Egypt was with Flyes and Locusts: That worst Vermin of swall Authours hath given the World such a Surfeit, that instead of desiring to Write, a Man would be more inclin’d to wish, for his own ease, that he could not Read; but there are some things which do so raise our Pas∣sions, that our Reason can make no Resistance; and when Madmen, in the two Extreams, shall agree to make common sense Treason, and joyn to fix an ill Character upon the only Men in the Nation who deserve a good one; I am no longer Master of my better Resolution to let the World alone, and must break loose from my more reasonalble Thoughts, to expose these false Coyners, who would make their Copper Wares pass upon us for good Payment.

Amongst all the Engines of Dissention, there hath been none more pow∣erful in all Times, than the fixing Names upon one another of Contu∣mely and Reproach, and the reason is plain, in respect of the People, who are generally uncapable of making a Syllogism or forming an Argu∣ment, yet they can pronounce a word; and that serves their turn to throw it with their due malice at the head of those they do not like; such things ever begin in just, and end in Blood, and the same word that maketh the Company merry, grows in time to a Military Signal to cut one anothers Throats.

These Mistakes are to be lamented, tho’ not easily cured, being sui∣table enough to the corrupted Nature of Mankind; but ’tis hard that Men will not only invent ill Names, but they will wrest and misinterpret good ones, so afraid some are even of a reconciling sound, that they raise another noise to keep it from being heard, lest it should set up and encourage a dangerous sorts of Men, who prefer Peace and Agreement, before Violence and Confusion.

Were it not for this, why, after we have play’d the Fool with throw∣ing Whig and Tory at one another, as Boys do Snow Balls, do we grow angry at a new Name, which by its true signification might do as much to put us into our Wits, as the other hath done to put us out of them?

Giri Haji is not a show about Japanese gagsters

I am liking this show SO MUCH AND WE ONLY HAVE ONE EP LEFT wail

Did you know coyotes and badgers have been known to hunt together? There’s video on the internet that looks like the first shot of a movie. Further pics.

Storage Jar (1858), David Drake.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Stoneware vessel (1858), David Drake At the Stony Bluff Manufactory in Old Edgefield, South Carolina, the enslaved potter David Drake made stoneware vessels of extraordinary workmanship, often inscribed with short poems describing their owner and function. ‘When you fill this Jar with pork or beef / Scot will be there; to get a peace’ is carved into one side of the vessel, among other lines. This is of 40 known surviving ‘poem vessels’ by Drake, and the first to enter the Met’s collection.

 

 

Brynn Tannehill on the road to genocide

From twitter this am. She studies genocide. She’s moving to Canada from the US in 2021… she hopes.

What is interesting to me is watching for the warning signs:

* Rising infant mortality
* Demonizing government propaganda
* Us v. Them narrative
* Mythological past free of a minority
* Populist government
* Breakdown of democratic norms
* Politicized court beholden to party 
* Removing minority from federal service
* Legally establishing that minority doesn’t have same rights as everyone else
* Encouraging stochastic violence
* Preventing access to health care system
* Preventing access to education
* Mandatory segregation from general population under penalty of law
* Requiring something that outs people as the minority (ID, worn item, name, etc) * Random arrests
* Indefinite “black hole” detentions
* Testing to see if foreign governments will move to stop abuses
*Minority groups fleeing the country
she says the last two are signs it’s too late

I just watched the spire of Notre Dame fall on twitter

 

I’m crying. Why wouldn’t I be.

This is a fucking tragedy, and it was all triggered by workmen. I’ll bet anything there were safety shortcuts forced onto them by the construction management company.

 

later…. 52 acres of primeval oak forest was taken down for the pillars

 

jesus

Land acknowledgement

The world is now awash in land acknowledgments. The Aussie one at the end of many TV productions sounds like it went through a glass-cutter:

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

See, in my conception of the local Indigenous practices, they don’t own land. They’re in a permanent (in planetary existence timescales) and precious relationship with their land and their language and their people, and to call the land part of the relationship ownership is everything that’s wrong with colonialism in a single sentence.

I see that acknowledgment as shown above and I feel a gaping lack.

(However I urge you to look up how the word ‘country’ is used in English by many Indigenous people living in Australia, because it’s beautiful and resonant.)

As of 2019, this is my land acknowledgement:

I acknowledge that nothing short of complete restitution of Indigenous lands across this Earth will do.

I acknowledge that reparations for the land, war crimes, genocide, language extinction; theft, despoliation and destruction of great works of art and cultural centred-ness; as well as yet unknown-to-science damages to Indigenous people caused by sequelae from these events, are due in full measure, and I hate that capitalism is going to make that reparation virtually impossible even if it completely fails, as I hope it does.

I will hold up Indigenous rights and ask Indigenous persons no rude questions, tell no rude lies about them, and may study but co-opt none of their spiritual or artistic practices for praise or pay.

I will pay Indigenous editors to read my fiction, some of which is already published, but which needs to be vetted by someone without my biases, so that it may be changed, and changed again if need be; the future comes on fast.

This land, the land I live on, belongs in the human care of Coast Salish people, nations among whom made their own agreements, under their own systems of justice and negotiation. I hope to keep living here, after it’s been released from colonial bondage and theirs in the sense that they may be in their traditional relationship with this land, without colonial interference. I hope to live here when the sign at the city limits comes down and there are no longer any artificial colonial barriers between any of the lands here.

I’m a settler here. My descendants will most likely be settlers. I will never go through the farce of ‘owning’ land under the stamp of the Province of British Columbia again or indeed anywhere in what is now called Canada, and I encourage my children to do likewise. I am unemployed and cannot pay the rent I owe to any local nation, but I acknowledge that I owe it and may be called upon to pay it some other way.

sideways thought

I’m a left-loonie, so-far-away, no brain, no balance sheet, no COMPETITIVE VIGOUR kind of person, except for my fondness for guns.

How on earth can I justify such a thing?

Well, I had never tried to, and then an Organizing Principle appeared from the writhing and fuscous depths of my sensorium: why not make a list of who else carries guns in Canada and, you know, compare and contrast?

I’m not really that much of a left-loonie I guess, since I have these libertarian and anarchist stripes, which I need to bury under a more ancient way of knowing.  No anarchist or libertarian ever fucking learned to live inside an ecosystem without destroying it, and the ancestors of the current First Nations actually had that well in hand, from the Haudenosaunee to the Gwich’in and all the peoples many days’ journey around and between.

Note that the slave based culture of MesoAmerica did not prosper.  They fucked up their water table and had armies of drones to support one big hereditary family of fucking parasites (who made nice art possible, sure, that’s the Eurocentric response and it was but an armature for later development like the Enlightenment and Oh Look there are still Royal houses in Europe bla bla bla.) Yeah, they put too many people on too little land and last few generations of the lower classes were in such rough shape that it’s amazing they gave as good an account of themselves as they did when the Spanish arrived.

The people who figured out the buffalo, and the salmon, and the caribou, and the three sisters, now THOSE are people we should respect.  We don’t even know how many of them lived here before white people came, but it was a fuckton, and if they didn’t leave much behind maybe it’s because they didn’t ruin everything.

 

So, about the couple ‘living Victorian’.  Three comments.

As you may know, my mOm is transcribing our ancestor’s diary. He was a lower middle class Victorian Englishman with pretensions, since he was an antiquarian and took tea with Carlyle (more than once, I’ll have you know.) He spends an inordinate amount of time diarizing about the weather, and how they had to break the ice on the wash basin in the morning, when they had infant children in the house. Damn right skippy, it freezes hard in jolly old England. Comfort was hard to come by and made much of when it occurred.

When people want to live their cosplay, I have no objections and am in fact quite envious. When I find out about their lack of technology in an article she wrote for the internet, I laugh quite heartily and my envy melts away, unless I missed something and she’s powering her server with a steam-engine. Then I’m envious again, although not of her neighbours.

Victorian birth control. Until you’ve done nappies the Victorian way (ancestors did vaccinate their kids, for what it’s worth) you have a contortionate and dreamily inaccurate view of a Victorian married woman’s life.

Truth and reconciliation

A few recommendations of my own:

 

Read the 94 recommendations.

Which of these recommendations can you action in your own life?

In your church?

At your workplace?

At home?

In your buying habits?

Do you know where the nearest Friendship Centre is?  Locate it.

Do you know what languages the First Nations in your area speak?

If you have internet access, research and follow a First Nations activist on social media.

Visit your local library and borrow and read books by First Nations authors which can be fiction, poetry, memoir, non-fiction, academic.

Donate money to a First Nations cause.

Read the Indian Act.

If you have access, watch a youtube video google “youtube testimony residential schools”.

Go to a powwow.  Dance your ass off.

Purchase and display art by aboriginal artists.

Examine your speech for racist terms and expunge them.

Listen to First Nations music.

Learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in a local First Nations language.

Support First Nations people by attending peaceful protests.

Learn the traditional territorial boundaries of First Nations people.

Read about the laws, traditions and spiritual beliefs of First Nations people in your area.

If you have school aged children, ensure that they learn age appropriate materials about the residential schools.

Victims of Violence Symposium, notes and comments

I took extensive notes.

Christine Lowe opened things up by saying that in healthy communities we acknowledge the harm that comes to victims of violence, and that victimes need to be helped with their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. Strong relationships make social justice possible.

She made a joke about the podium.  When they were finalizing planning they realized they had no podium, and they had no money to buy or rent one.  So they called the police.  The Victoria PD supplied the podium.

This donation by the police meant that we were looking at their logo the entire time, but it also meant that it was a place where cops and SJWs could work together, and that made me happy.

There was a territorial acknowledgement, and Elder May made a blessing that set the tone for the day.  A little rambling, heart-piercingly beautiful, compassionate.  When she sang I started weeping.  The contrast of her speaking voice and her singing voice was so acute it made me sit up. Her song was wordless and filled with yearning for justice and peace.

Then the Deputy Minister for Justiceland Wanamaker got up and gave a canned f*cking empty speech with about as much inflection and heart as one gets from a Grade 7 kid giving her first address.  As a libertarian-inflected feminist, I was enraged to the point I nearly booed when she tried to make political hay out of taking 5 million dollars from civil forfeiture – forgot we had that in Canada, right? right? and earmarking it for prevention of violence against women.  Really don’t like that.  I could go on at great length about why I was pissed, but instead I stink eyed her until she left.  She may be a king hell accomplished career bureaucrat, and we should be thankful that somebody of her dignity spoke to us, but I came away wanting to coach her on public speaking and liberty both.  Please don’t think that the 8 Domestic Violence Units which have been set up across BC with the money are bad things. I don’t.  One thing I will credit her with is saying ‘all genders’; this is phrasing I wish more politicians would adopt, since it doesn’t other trans* and intersex people, or people who are distinctly possessing identifiable bits but are not gender normative, and it includes two-spirited.

Frank Elsner. Chief of Police in Victoria since January 2014.  Man, I wish, you have NO IDEA HOW I WISH, that brO could have been in the auditorium when he spoke.  He worked the room, greeting and speaking with many, many people. Fine, a cop can have good social skills, in fact let’s hope she does. As he was introduced, it was obvious that he is highly intelligent and has multiple degrees from real universities.  He’s been chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which means he’s been exposed to best (and worst) practices across the planet, and let’s face it the last decade has seen some impressive advances in community policing.

He said, “Why talk about community health in terms of policing?” Essentially good policing is part of what makes a healthy community.  As a cop he was appalled to arrest three generations of criminals.  The boys weren’t born bad; intervention and options are required to turn lives around.

He mandated a different approach to street prostitution.  Instead of throwing them in the jug, a group of women were streamed toward social workers.  Picture their astonishment when the first problem most of them had was that they had no picture ID. Childcare, job training and housing were also issues.  Address them, and women can get off the street.  He made it sound simple, but the key is collaboration among a large group of people across half a dozen Ministries and social agencies.  When you get seven women out of the life, you are reducing human suffering in them, their children and their grandchildren, is the point.

Then he said the thing that would have made brO happiest.  He said the police must be accountable to the people they serve for everything they do, even when it hurts the police institutionally and personally.  The reactive model of policing is no longer tenable; police have to earn and show respect in the community they serve.

He also mentioned that cops need to be better educated and trained (yay, maybe that one dingus will finally learn how to give evidence in traffic court) and that their own mental health MUST be factored into the equation; police need like all people to be treated with respect for the sad duties they take on, on behalf of all of us, and that if we just keep expecting cops to suck it up they will snap.  So he wants to look after the well being of the people in his department and not just expect them to stand tall and be stoic.

My applause at the end of his talk was very genuinely enthusiastic, as was Paul’s.

Then Dr. Martin Broken Leg got up.

1. Dude’s funny.

2. Dude’s a survivor.

3. Dude’s hella smart.

With effortless humour, fluency, clarity and logic, he walked us through what it’s like to live in Aboriginal culture, both sides of the border (he is Lakota, adopted into the Raven clan on Haida Gwaii and man you shoulda seen his button decorated black vest with the most beeeyootiful appliquéd silver raven on the back, I admired it in person.)

One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids went to residential schools until 94 when the last one closed.  Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids have gone into care since the mid fifties.

Christ wept.

The ACE studies (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can provide some light.

If a child is exposed to addictions, abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and neglect, you will get social impairment, health risks, disease, disability and early death.

There are other sources of trauma to FN kids. Federal laws, provincial policies, residential schools, the institutions of the churches, poverty, sub standard housing, poor nutrition and lack of healthy practices, lower opportunities for education and employment.

Oppression comes in many forms.  Social microaggressions, the way people look at you and talk to you and make assumptions about you. Systems don’t make place for you and your cultural folkways. The professional people who are supposed to help you don’t necessarily respect you and don’t expect you to improve; and then of course there’s internalized racism and the numbness that comes when you realize that you’re worthless; you don’t need to see 1200 missing women on tv to realize that there’s not a lot of respect for FN women, let alone men.

He recommended Rupert Ross’s Criminal Conduct and Colonialization and Dr. Paulette Regan’s Unsettling the Settler Within.

Traumatized people show it.  They show it by abusing their children, committing suicide, legal trouble and incarceration, early death, violence and addictions.

If you’re working with traumatized people the question to ask is not What’s Wrong with You!? it’s What Happened to You?

In 2012 the Gladue decision brought into sentencing the ability of the judge to inquire as to childhood trauma before jail time.

Subsequently a 19 year old aboriginal man was arrested for assaulting (I remember this story) a Coast Mountain bus driver. At sentencing it was learned that he had been in 28 foster homes between 4 and 18. He didn’t get jail time, he got counselling, and the howls from white people who said BUT HE ISN’T BEING PUNISHED were very loud. And pointless.  Jail wouldn’t help.

 

FN people need to:

See your own and your inherited pain (he called it the dark shadow that lies across every aspect of aboriginal life.)

Know and express your own suffering.

Self-critique and move toward self-improvement (away from victimhood toward self-actualization)

Reclaim aboriginal spirtuality, community and culture ESPECIALLY LANGUAGE (my comment because it is a road map back to the way the land spoke to your ancestors.)

Non-aboriginal people need to work on:

Self-reflection, to lose their white innocence (I had no idea FN children were experimented on, I had no idea that three percent of the residential school kids never came home, I had no idea that the Indian Act didn’t let FN women vote until the 1960s.)

Accept the historical violence, from the Beothuk to Akwesasne.

Admit the full equality of Aboriginal people and ways.  That’s the tough one.  We’ve been acculturated to believe that European ways are superior, and it ain’t necessarily so.

Remember that the 1948 UN definition of genocide COVERS THE SITUATION OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.

Broken Leg then talked about the four stages of forgiveness, as outlined in Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving, which he wrote with his daughter Mpho.

  1. Let us tell the truth. Speak the truth, unvarnished, the facts.  Tell trusted people, accepting that the past will not be changed.
  2. Name the hurt.  Accept all feelings as valid and connect those feelings to the facts.  Use Kubler-Ross’s grief work. Be vulnerable and be willing to be hurt, because you will be.
  3. Grant forgiveness by choosing to forgive.  Grow by forgiveness.  Move to the place of being a survivor hero, not a victim.
  4. Change your story.  Tell a new story to heal.  Renew or release the relationship that has marked you. Ask for what you need.  Look at your role, not to blame yourself, but with calmness.

Reconciliation continues.

 

Young people, to be resilient, must be valued enough by their culture to be taught 

Belonging

Mastery

Independence

Generosity

See also.

______

Then I went to a breakout session on suicide prevention in young people “This do in memory of me” for Kaitlin Schmidt, whose plaque we put up in the Gazebo of Remembrance on Thursday night.

Almost 4000 people kill themselves in Canada every year. A lot of them are young people. Accidents involving brain injury, suicide and cancer are one two three for cause of death in folks under 25.

It’s okay to ask somebody if they are thinking of harming themselves or killing themselves, but there is a big but.

You have to say that you have seen a change in behaviour first.  This marks you as somebody observant and caring.  If they are suicidal but deny it you have marked yourself as a safe person to talk to later. (I find it unlikely that I will ever be that blue again but I know EXACTLY who among my friends I can go to, and that in itself is wonderful.) If they aren’t suicidal they can explain why they’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants for two weeks and are giving away all their stuff.

Since kids have smart phones, there’s been a lot of work on apps that help kids manage their moods.  Links below.

I found it very interesting that the presenter, Renata Hindle, said that in two hundred 80 minute presentations in BC to Grade 8 and Grade 10 kids, precisely one class wouldn’t go with the guided meditation, and that dozens of kids have told her they wished they knew about it earlier.  Funnily enough, we teach meditation at a number of points in the UU religious education curriculum.  Cause we be all about raising resilient kids yo.

Booster Buddy

Kelty

____________

Then there was a very challenging talk on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Men process sexual trauma differently than women.

Gender role conditioning to not seek help, to suck it up, to be tough and stoic, mean that help is not sought and the trauma plays out in all aspects of the survivor’s life.

They don’t have the social permission of women to ask for help, to admit to needing it.

When they do seek help, there is a deluge of stuffed-down emotions which occurs at the commencement of the counselling.

Societal and internalized homophobia (offenders normally being men) can cloud the survivor’s ability to see their own victimization.  Womanizing is often a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.

Often, they can fear that they will prey on children (this was brilliantly depicted, as an aside, as part of Bunchy’s story in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.)

Something that never occurred to me was that as boys arrive at puberty, they have the ability to be physically aroused by damned near anything.  This is used by perps to show to the boy that he ‘must have enjoyed it.’ ew ew ew.

5 – 6% of boys who’ve been molested go on to offend.

BUT 95% of offenders were abused.

Those are horrible statistics. And we’re doing a shitty job as a culture of helping men who’ve been sexually abused as children. I am going to investigate the group helping men here in town.

As an aside, she said that male survivors are very likely to espouse conspiracy theories, because their essential feeling of safety has been destroyed.  They have seen the shadowy forces of evil and want everybody to be as frightened as they once were.

This made me realize that someone close to me is probably a survivor.  I have had to come to a personal adjustment of my thinking patterns.

Sobriety is virtually impossible for survivors who haven’t had counselling for the trauma.

Survivors get in fights, they are medicated heavily, many have difficulty keeping sober and binge or drink steadily, they dress in a fashion that tells people ‘KEEP THE **** AWAY FROM ME”, they don’t come to family events and cause scenes or sit in the corner and drink, and they are job avoidant or can’t keep a job due to ongoing issues with disrespect and authority.

THEN.

I didn’t take notes.

Reena Virk’s parents made a presentation about what it was like, and how the reconciliation with one of their daughter’s killers went.

I cried a lot.

Then they started talking about the Bible, which was less moving, and Paul and I anthem sprinted to the ferry, where we made the 5 o’clock.  There was a circular rainbow in Active Pass, and I saw a fur seal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weigh in

I hadn’t weighed myself in a while, but my clothes were getting tighter, so I was delighted to see from the scale this morning that the weight I lost after I broke my shoulder has stayed off.  Now I’m getting ridiculous amounts of exercise, since I have to walk a minimum of 2 kilometres a day through terrain plus two sets of transit stairs just to get to work, so I expect the weight will stay off.  My hips and back are better; my knees and feet are shouting things ungodly at me.  I’m sleeping better and staying up later.

Jeff has commented that he’s getting interesting pings from various muscle groups now that he’s back exercising regularly with his new rowing machine.  One of these days I’ll check it out but I’m never wearing shoes when I’m downstairs…

Many hugs to Jeff for letting me borrow the car yesterday after my phone freaked out and I ended up being late getting out the door in consequence … I brought home some treats.

The family that ________s together…. 

In one of those bizarre coincidences, I mentioned the cave of Chauvet in my last homily, and until she broke her ankle, our speaker this Sunday was to be a woman taking as her text Werner Herzog’s unbelievably amazing Cave of Forgotten Dreams.  Since she can’t do it, we’re subbing in three church members talking about their creative paths, and I helped one of them since he was being put to it on short notice and he said he was feeling apprehensive and I gave him some advice.  He appeared happy to get it (my enthusiasm is a substitute for skill sometimes) and I await with pleasure how he will deal with the creative challenge of a minihom. So I would have enjoyed the booked homily and will definitely enjoy the substitute homily, and that’s pretty much how she goes at church.  Which reminds me, I should scare up a ride.

Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking on Hamlet in 2015, live somewhere in England.  Sigh.

Currently watching: Archer Vice (interesting, but no longer quite as funny), Rick and Morty (most recent show? the last two minutes took me to an unanticipated height of awesome), Justified (Boyd Crowder, how you do blow things up!), Downton Abbey, NCIS, NCIS Body Count, CSI, Person of Interest, Castle, plus the occasional Frontline and 60 Minutes.  I’ve pretty much given up on White Collar, mostly because those whackdoodles at Netflix don’t appear to want to stream it to my profile, and Jeff’s burned out on Burn Notice (ha!) although I still want to finish the show.  Person of Interest continues to be the show that Jeff and I are most likely to halt on the PVR so we can talk about the issues they are raising.  It’s a show that demands close attention and thought, and Root walked the dog Bear last episode.

Jeff is trying to get caught up on March Madness, otherwise known as the Squeaky Squeaky show from the sound of all those basketball shoes squeaking on those nice wood floors.

I wonder if two zone bus passes are available yet?  I’ll need one of those.  I do think longingly of getting a car, but I’ll be better off in at at least three ways without one.

Happy Friday to you all!  The port strike is over, although the drivers are still plenty choked.

 

Explain to me why….

Keystone XL needs to run a pipeline through my city when we’ll be able to make fuel from algae?

This is funny even though the circumstances are not?  (Kingston fire picture).

Sabotaging birth control isn’t already a crime in the US?  It’s certainly a whopping great tort, even if there’s no criminal law on the books….

Anybody is surprised fewer kids are driving?  Between making a conscious decision not to contribute to pollution and the crappy economy, it all makes sense to me.  Both of my kids were well into their 20’s before they even started learning how, whereas I was 17 and wild to have my license.

Anybody wants to argue about what colour Santa is (when he’s an imaginary figure largely promoted by the Coca-Cola company) Link goes to retro Afro American Christmas cards, some of which are the ‘essence’ of charming.

When I no longer have a car, I can finally get a decal which adequately represents my tribble of a cat?

Science news keeps saying that a new species has been ‘discovered’ when the indigenous population knew they were there the whole time?  This is really annoying; saying it’s received a Latin name is different than “New Discovery.”

I didn’t know that Diana Cooper once referred to Winston Churchill as looking like the good little pig who built his house of bricks?

This is even a thing?  (Fundraiser to make a headset that reads dog thoughts which sounds like BS as yet).

Losing three traffic wardens causes chaos in Aberystwyth? It reads like an Onion article.

More judges don’t use their hearts as well as their brains in sentencing?

I didn’t start watching Call the Midwife until yesterday?