We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been – a place, half-remembered, and half-envisioned, we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” – Starhawk, Dreaming the Dark
I just wanted to issue a quick apology. I haven’t been very good about responding to comments lately. That’s because our server is a bit, um, confused. I won’t go into details. Suffice to say that at the moment comments are not being delivered to me via Email as they should be. While I could come up with a workaround, I prefer to just wait until our server move is complete, after which things should return to normal. I’ve seen all the comments that have been posted; I just don’t always see them promptly enough to respond quickly. Alas.
Until now, I haven’t said a word about Trent Lott in this space. When I first heard about the story, I thought that it deserved to be reported. Ultimately, though, I think the spin machine got a bit out of control. As JSR pointed out, the first amendment protects your right to say unbelievably stupid things, and doesn’t require that you resign after you say them.
More interesting to me, though, is what the whole fiasco says about the Republican party on many, many levels. Most Republicans are not racist. I don’t even think that Trent Lott is necessarily a racist. Yet the Republicans have spent many, many years pandering to those who would revoke the civil rights movement. That, dear friends, is the main reason the “party of Lincoln” attracts so few black voters. Finally, today in the New York Times the former Republican governer of Virginia, Linwood Holton, explains how the Republicans have come to find themselves in this mess.
Perhaps Mr. Holton gives himself a bit too much credit, but I still think it’s just about the smartest thing that’s been written about the whole Lott ordeal. It answers questions that I’ve had for many, many years. I won’t even try to do it justice with pull quotes. Go, read.
The Economist is my favorite news magazine. It covers the world in a depth that puts America’s major news weeklies to shame. Reading it makes me feel like a world citizen. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive. Hopefully we’ll be able to afford it next year, when I have a real job, but for now I am only an occasional reader; I often buy a copy at the newsstand when I travel.
I do, however, have the Economist’s weekly news summaries Emailed to me (for free!) each week. They give me at least a feel for what’s going on in the rest of the world, with a sentence or two about stories that would never make the cut at CNN or in Time. Usually, though, the summaries are very dry, which is what made this one so memorable. [link]
Six people were trampled to death by elephants that got drunk on rice beer when they broke into a granary in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.
Just think about this sequence of events. The elephants (1) broke into a granary, (2) got drunk on rice beer, and then (3) trampled six people to death. If the perpetrators were people instead of elephants, then there would already be a country song about them.
DT has pointed out via Email that electronic piracy isn’t really stealing because copying bits from the internet doesn’t keep anyone else from using them. I think he’s right about that. He goes farther to say that he’s not sure if piracy is a moral issue so much as a legal one. I disagree with that, but I need some more time to think about a number of other points that he raises before I comment further. It’s clear that he’s spent a lot more time thinking about this than I have… Maybe after he registers his domain, he can tell you more about it himself.