delphipsmith: (all shall be well)
The French election has made me feel rather better about things. Toutes nos félicitations et tout mon amour, all of y'all :)
delphipsmith: (live live live)
These women. Fabulous.

delphipsmith: (all shall be well)
The Jewish population of Bahrain -- a majority-Muslim country -- is very tiny, and yet in 2015, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa invited European Jewish leaders to conduct a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony in the capital city of Manama. It was the first time such a ritual had been performed in Bahrain since 1948. The King's official sanction of the Jewish ceremony continued this year, and is a vivid demonstration that it is possible for people of all faiths to respect one another and take joy in one another's celebrations. You can read more here.

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delphipsmith: (Hepburn)
A group of technical folk from Silicon Valley have initiated a pledge called 'Never again', by which they state their refusal to create or contribute to databases that would be used to oppress and exclude.

This makes me happy.

The full text is posted online, but here is an excerpt:

We, the undersigned, are employees of tech organizations and companies based in the United States. We are engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people. We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies. We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable...
delphipsmith: (Solo odds)
Following up on yesterday's post:

delphipsmith: (Solo odds)
"The Star Wars universe is going on 40-years-old these days, but apparently the alt-right just now got the memo that the franchise’s universe is multi-cultural..."

Yup. The poor wittle Trumpflakes are apparently all miffed about Rogue One because it's, er, "anti-white" or something.

So they've invented a #DumpStarWars hashtag -- which was promptly, and humorously, co-opted by Star Wars fans and people with, y'know, an actual sense of proportion, with tweets like these:

Seriously, what is wrong with these people??
delphipsmith: (weeping angel)
Thank you, Jon.

delphipsmith: (much rejoicing)
No, this isn't photoshopped. It's real. And I could not be happier for the many people for whom today's Supreme Court decision means so much :)

(Click for story)

And there's even a live feed, with the fountain playing and flag waving above. Yay!!
delphipsmith: (Hepburn)
Apparently the 60th anniversary edition of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which I don't own but clearly need to possess, includes a new coda by the author. It is a masterpiece of literate laceration, in which he excoriates the obsession with political correctness which, taken to its extreme, leads to everything sounding just like everything else.

For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conservationist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights end and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mormons like not my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture. If the Chicano intellectuals wish to re-cut my "Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" so it shapes "Zoot," may the belt unravel and the pants fall...

Read the full text here, and tell me what you think.
delphipsmith: (queenie)
because real life has taken over for the moment, but I had to recommend this article which rebuts accusations that the new Cinderella movie (which is AWESOME, how could it not be because KENNETH BRANAGH) is anti-feminist:

...What absolute rubbish. Once again, the idea of “feminist media” has been twisted around, so that anything short of sassy female characters dishing out one-liners and kicking butt is seen as “weak” and “anti-feminist.”...Cinderella’s great strength is not just that she stands up to her stepmother in the end. It’s also that she retains her own kindness, remains true to her personality — she doesn’t have to become someone she’s not to escape...

Read the rest ==>
delphipsmith: (George scream)
Yesterday I posted a very funny Olympics ad from the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion which pokes fun at Russia's atrocious attitude towards the LGBT community.

Well, today [ profile] lady_of_clunn posted a link to another, even funnier, Olympics ad from the U.K.'s Channel 4 which I just had to repost and share. I dare you to watch this without laughing until you cry -- the best part is the dj who looks just like Putin XD

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delphipsmith: (live live live)
Oh how much do I love thee, Canada, let me count the ways. Not only do you have a brilliant ice skating team, you do things like this:

"...The hilariously controversial LGBT public service announcement responds to the Russian government's anti-gay policies and was released Thursday by the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, an equal rights organization..." Rest of article here

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delphipsmith: (McBadass)
It started with Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. And now, my friends, we have this absolutely fabulous internet ad. (Where was this when I was thirteen??? But hey, at least it's here now!) I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at an ad while at the same time being so utterly and completely delighted. (Here is the associated article from CNN.)

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delphipsmith: (snoopydance)
I thought today I'd share two news stories that made me really happy in the past couple of weeks.

First, an eleven-year-old Masai boy from Kenya named Richard Turere. He's invented a cheap low-tech lion repellent -- a way to keep lions from chowing down on his family's herd of cattle. Lion predation on livestock is the number one reason locals kill them (Kenya's lion population has dropped from 15,000 ten years ago to about 2,000 today), so anything that keep them away is good for the cattle, good for the humans, and really good for the lions, though they may not know it. He wired up a bunch of LEDs to an old car battery powered by a solar panel, and the moving lights make it look like somebody is out roaming around and the lions stay away. Is that brilliant or what?? Many other villages are now installing these things, and it's working like gangbusters. He's now 13, and the Kenya Land Conservation Trust has gotten him a scholarship to go to school and study engineering. Yay!!

Second, the men of Phi Alpha Tau at Emerson College in Boston. They fund-raised on IndieGogo to help one of their brothers pay for his gender change from female to male, when his insurance company declined to cover the surgery. A fraternity, can you believe it?? They raised $16K; the extra is being donated to the Jim Collins Foundation, which helps fund sex change surgery (they call it "gender-confirming surgery" -- new phrase? never heard it before) for those who can't afford it. You guys rock, man. Best fraternity ever.

It's things like this that give me hope :)
delphipsmith: (much rejoicing)
...and having a quiet squee over Obama's speech. Clinton's last night was also brilliant (just a country boy from Arkansas, my happy a**).
delphipsmith: (thinker)
The town of Corigliano d'Otranto has gone all brainy. They've put up ceramic plaques around town with quotes from the likes of Augustine, hand out conversation-starter postcards with questions like "Why were you born?" and even hired a Municipal Philosopher.

Does this not astonish you, in this age of tweets and sound bites, knee-jerk ideologues and their blind followers? It does me..

Graziella Lupo, the first person to hold the position, actually trained as a philosophical consultant at the Ca' Foscari University in Venice. I didn't even know such a degree existed!! Had I known, I might have made different choices as an undergrad ;)

So, the Philosopher is available for consultation on Friday afternoons to help you clarify your thoughts and puzzle over Deep Junk. Is this not a wonderful creative fascinating thing? Are not amazed at the intellectual fire of this tiny (pop. 5900) town?? Of course it is and you are! (I wish MY town had a Municipal Philosopher.)

But guess who thinks it isn't? The local branch of the psychologists' professional organization. They say that the use of a consulting philosopher is "not only misleading and confusing, but utterly perilous" and state that they will take "all the most appropriate actions to combat any offence that may be identified".

Well, thinking has always been a little perilous (all those highly volatile IDEAS, you know?). But somebody whose job is helping people's minds work better objects to...somebody whose job is helping people's minds work better? (This bit of course is not surprising at all. Rather depressing, but not surprising.) It's almost enough to make you question their dedication.

Perhaps I shall institute the habit of starting each day with a little Marcus Aurelius or Socrates :)
delphipsmith: (IDIC)
I love LZ Granderson :)

"I'm sure you've heard a lot about the gay agenda, but may not know what's in it. Here's what you do: Download a copy of the United States Constitution, read it. Everything the LGBT community wants is in there. Sounds like an oversimplification? It's not..."

Read the rest of the article here.
delphipsmith: (much rejoicing)
Am enormously pleased that Doonesbury is tackling Virginia's ultrasound law. As usual, some papers have gotten queasy and are shifting it to the editorial page or even not running it at all (COWARDS!!). If your paper's running it, you can thank them here; if not, you can shame them here. And of course you can read the strips here.

More good news: the New York Times reports (surprise, surprise) that centrist women are fleeing the GOP. Full article is here but in short:

In Iowa, one of the crucial battlegrounds in the coming presidential election, and in other states, dozens of interviews in recent weeks have found that moderate Republican and independent women — one of the most important electoral swing groups — are disenchanted by the Republican focus on social issues like contraception and abortion in an election that, until recently, had been mostly dominated by the economy.

And in what appears to be an abrupt shift, some Republican-leaning women...said they might switch sides and vote for Mr. Obama — if they turn out to vote at all.

Music to my ears :)
delphipsmith: (Hepburn)
So unless you've been a hermit on a Montana mountaintop, you've probably heard all about Rush Limbaugh's latest horrorshow. This response to it is fabulous, and I'm very pleased to post it here tonight. This woman's voice is like fireworks, and the signs are BRILLIANT :D

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