The World of Hands and of Heft

by way of intro – I’ve been so cut off my writing for so long, as the sparsity of posts here shows. Trying to find my way back, and the first story my brain needed to tell is this, an essay about a man and his 5 gallon bucket of assorted nails and screws and bolts and nuts, about the Midwest and what I miss most about it.

Still, after all these years? Always.

The World of Hands and of Heft

During this long-awful isolation event contained within the acronym COVID I’ve met on Saturday nights at 7 pm with a group of friends from college.

“Group of friends” being a loose term for people I shared 2-4 years of my life with in the early 80s. One of them I’ve stayed close to nearly all the years in between, the others I’ve not talked with since those all-night gaming/drinking/talking sessions in the basement of Bushnell in Beloit, Wisconsin.

My life has taken the largest veer from who we all were back when, and many nights I’ve felt only odd outsider – I came out as lesbian right after leaving college, shifted my whole life to feminist activism, then moved to the east coast, converted to Judaism, and built my life for nearly 30 years around a religious culture that barely existed on that campus (oh, how I’ve learned since that being a Jew at my beloved little college meant living a balance between stranger and target).

Yet and yet and yet again the sinew strung through every pivot is how I remain profoundly Midwestern, a set of values and seeing-ways that make me only-outsider out East but so so at home in grandma’s kitchen/dad’s garage with these old friends. We’d bonded in college not because we were all in the sci-fi club, which we were, or the same majors, which many of us were, but because we were the small-town Midwestern kids, working class, mainly first generation college students, which made us kin even on a Midwestern college campus, a campus where we all first met people from other parts of the U.S., people from families with money and access and passports and all the accoutrements we’d only read about or seen on TV.

Life-kin and heart-kin are for so many of us so often not the same kin, not for those of us who world-hop boundary-break continually-try-on-other lives. My life-kin now are feminist, progressive Jews, and that’s my reference world, my calendar world, my ground from which conversations spring world. But my heart-kin – well, that’s several motley tribes, spread across decades of moving in and out of apartments and jobs and lives. I can fall from the sky into any conversation among ex-lesbian separatists and be laughing honest and rich within minutes, for when one doesn’t have to list the million awful realities to prove the war against women is real, there opens the capacity for joy in the face of what we know, with the extra spice of laughing at our own political excesses and criticizing the excesses of the current young versions of who we were. The far-too-few times I and another Peace Camp Dyke meet eyes a time-bubble opens and we dive in, dwelling there again together – fire pit, barn, shitters, carpet squares, bolt cutters, and the songs, oh the songs and also still the stabbing loss of it all.

My Saturday night Midwestern heart-kin, though. Let me tell you a story, for we are a story-telling clan. I signed in last weekend as Chaz was telling the store of the 5 gallon bucket of loose nails and screws he’d just moved from his old house into his new garage workspace. He’s now taking on the task of sorting through it a bit at a time, which is proving useful, he said, because hardware stores are not getting shipments of 8 penny nails right now. They are so rare that when a shipment is coming contractors line up outside early in the morning, and each is allowed to buy only 5 pounds. If there are any left after everyone has a chance, then each person can buy a few more. “So good luck,” Hardware Guy told him. But going through his big bucket, he’s been able to pull out all he needs, at least for now. I started laughing and said, “This is the most Midwestern Man conversation I’ve walked in on in many years” and then we all laughed because it so was.

Do you see why? If you’re a Midwesterner, you do.

To understand Chaz’s story you need to understand that me and my heart-kin come from the world of the Made, the world of Makers. And not “my ancestors were cobblers in Europe” Makers, but immediate, all-around, EveryoneMakers. Our parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins were Makers. They built our houses, built or repaired our cars and trucks, sewed our clothes, quilted our blankets, grew and canned our food, made or re-made or reupholstered our furniture, made the art in our homes, wove the rag rugs, sewed the curtains, crocheted the mysterious and ever-present doilies, saved scrap leather to repair harnesses, built the sheds in which to store materials to build more sheds.

Chaz, child of Makers, had slowly accumulated that 5 gallon bucket from years of taking things apart to fix them, or just taking broken things apart to save the resources to use for something new or renewed. Every Midwestern garage has such a bucket, but such a bucket is only usable if you actually know what each kind of screw and nail IS, and what it is used for, and what size it is, and what’s it made from  – nail buckets only matter if you have an encyclopedic knowledge of fasteners. And the bucket and the encyclopedic only matter if you actually find it pleasurable to just sit for a couple hours and sort through what you have – best done if you also have a wall of cubbies or little drawers in which to store your sorted treasures.

See how big the physical world of that bucket suddenly is? But that garage bench with work lights and drawers and a wall of hand tools and the motor-lubricant smell of the power tools only matter in a much larger moral world, and it is that moral world I miss so much. My life-kin, as much as I love them, are mainly consumers. They buy and they talk about what they buy and many also recycle of course, often with a very self-satisfied arrogance about the quality of their recycling habits, and they are proud of bargains they find and most are also proud of donating to thrift shops but of course they are not the people who shop at Thrift Shops except for some intentionally-fun social outings. To them, my life-habit of getting most of what I need through Craigslist is just a quirky fact about me, or something they know I do because I sell books for a living and that doesn’t pay enough to engage in their levels of buying. Which is to say they utterly mis-understand my entire moral universe. Repairing and re-using furniture and clothes and appliances and cars is thrifty, yes, and that’s one Midwestern value.

But the economics of “thrift” is a far distant second place to the inherent respect for the World of the Made – the world of hands and of heft.

The World of the Made is a world of religious awe – when we bought used furniture, or stopped the truck to pull an old stove out of a ditch, or rescued some sentimental needlework from the last-chance-bargain table at a garage sale, we weren’t doing this because we were thrifty, or because we were cash-poor, even those both of those were mostly true. We hauled home Made objects because we are Makers, the children and grandchildren and great-grands of Makers, and the World of the Made is precious to us precisely because someone made each object.

The World of the Made is nearly the polar opposite of the World of the Bought.

The World of the Made is the opposite of the World of the Bought, even though someone somewhere did manufacture everything Buyers buy. But manufacturing objects for endless assembly line hours is not the same as Making. Stamping out millions of clones of one tiny part that is shipped across the globe to join a thousand other one-of-clones parts is not the same as Making. A made object is only part of the World of the Made if the maker wanted to make it, if person using it cares about how it was made and who made it and if that caring becomes respect for the Made object not for its economic value but its moral value.

I have this clock on my wall, electric with a plug whose cord is faded a permanently dirty off—white. Its motor makes a faint constant buzz you can hear when the house is quiet. I got it at a garage sale, somewhere and sometime, and it is so clearly a wife-husband project. It’s in a wooden box, reused wood, stained dark brown, with a hinged glass door and tiny little jewelry-box latch. The clock face is fabric, crewel embroidery in a floral pattern and color scheme that just screams I AM FROM THE EARLY 70s AND A NOT-HIP PLACE. Central to that screaming is the clock’s hanging hardware, which is an old-style steel beer tab. While I once planned to pull out the fabric and put in something I would make, I fell in love with the object as it was made. Some woman found the pattern in a magazine and stitched it, and ordered the little clock motor and hands through the mail, and then gave her husband the task of building a case for it, and he did, from clearly reclaimed lumber and perfectly fitted glass. The final thing it needed – something to attach it to the hook on a wall – he just pulled from his beer (or maybe from a 5 gallon bucket of leftover hardware – I’m equally happy to believe either scenario). This clock is from the World of the Made, and while I could buy any other clock, one that would run silently with batteries rather than extension cord, that bought object would have neither the hand nor the heft nor the echo of lives lived that my Made clock has.

And lest I sell my Life-Kin short, I do say this – I could go to a craft market and buy a clock that is a Made object, and talk to the person who made it, and bring it home with a story attached to it and that clock would have, also, moral value. My Life-Kin often do this – the homes I visit have beautifully Made objects, objects that are valued not for their cost but for their Made-ness. That process of buying does honor the World of the Made, but as tourist trade, a vacation to the World of the Made, a treasure found and brought back home. Different from the honest gut of the World of the Made, which is not coming back home but home-body, the Makers part of the family or kin or kith, or the objects pulled from a dump or old barn and lovingly cleaned and enlivened by kin or by kith.

To be Midwestern is never one only one thing, cutting across huge swaths of land and coming from waves of colonizers and immigrants, but also it is one process – Making. Everyone Makes, from the beautiful to the practical to the nearly too proud of itself to even be Midwestern decorative. Those who Make well – those who Make best – are known and valued, not for the price tag on their objects but because everyone knows the skill and experience and time and attention and love imbued into the object by the Making.

My Life-kin consider the homeland of my heart-kin to be only “flyover states” full of reactionary, conservative white people, but the Midwest I know, and yearn for, the Midwest that lives in me, the Midwest that formed me incapable of sitting to watch TV unless my hands have a project, is a realm of wizards, a land of alchemists, transmogrifying scraps and supplies into the useful, creating the Made, declaring it good, and turning back to create more.


2019 November 2/30

Words that do not mean what you think they mean

cut grass but not your cut grass
cut grass and creosote rising from deep
within fence post after fence post after
acre after country mile after fence post
after rain

moonlight after snow

how come or when or why not
existing for two days only after each
calendar date circled red


neighbor with his gun
his gun without neighbor

squirrel dove rabbit snapper
dirt gravel oiled blacktop
single double over & under

trucks as horses trucks as cars trucks
as wagons trucks as livelihood trucks
as projects trucks as legend trucks as
myth trucks never missing from
any picture

that scene with the hat on the antennae


2019 November 1/30

the mind a galaxy the life a cell

I am not equal to my longing what I feel
in spite of my life slapped down silenced strangled
by my life how to reach

inside a silo a yaw a root from earth to
something tall for which the prairie had
no name a hungering for

an eating

a swallowing I knew I could do
like swords or flames but

for what my throat yearned my mouth
knew no taste, my nose no smell, my skin
no possible my heart

my heart had no limits but my life
had no language beyond
the every day the every night the don’t you dare the little
ladies don’t do that the  just who do you think you are the
thousand pound chairs of don’t ever tell you’d better not ever
what kind of world creates a child on fire
then beats her for burning

this hugeness that I wanted I learned better than
to want I learned better than to want
to want

and yet


Danish divers find missing body parts of Swedish journalist

Danish divers find missing body parts of Swedish journalist
2 Min Read

found the head
and the legs in circumstances
disappeared he denies
headless torso washed ashore
headless torso washed ashore
headless, cause of death not determined
head hit by heavy hatch he said hit
by heavy hatch hit by heavy hit by heavy

no fractures to Wall’s skull

body parts, knife and clothes in bag
weighted, weighted down
in bags with bits of metal in Koge Bay

Images of women strangled and decapitated
found images
on computer
in laboratory
he ran
he said not his
not his he said
not his

found poem from Teis Jensen,

Some Rules for Stopping FKnews AND Supporting Communal Trust

Updated/more succinct “50-something White Jewish Feminist Dyke Peace Camp Activist Who’s Done Both Purity and Paranoia Politics and Just Wants Some Clarity and Accountability Now Rules for Stopping FKnews* AND Supporting Communal Trust”

watchThe Vetting Time Measure: otherwise known
The 5 Second Rule

If you can’t spend at least 5 seconds verifying the source, don’t share the post/article/hysterical cry of “the end of days is nigh”.

Field note – the amount of posts I’ve now stopped myself from reflex-sharing while trying to follow my own rule is both astounding AND embarrassing. I’m a thoughtful, well-read, experienced activist. Just how much useless and/or dangerous debris have I been tossing into the stream?

expiredThe Best If Used By Measure

A call to action that is several months old is probably no longer useful in this dumpster fire admin. Dating posts will help a lot.

expiredThe Owl Test

If you can’t answer WHO? then don’t. Seriously. “A group of women/Black people/poor people/activists” without that group being named and trackable is NOT an answer to WHO? And, as we now well know, those untrackable groups can be activists or hackers paid to disrupt our lives

card-symbolsThe Cards on the Table Rule

If a post says “I” or “a person I know” and you are forwarding it, disclose whether you personally know these people. If the post is from someone you know and trust, say so. If you have NO CLUE where this came from, say so. Or consider not posting it.

Field note – This one is a struggle, since my community IS wide-ranging and “friend of a friend” can be a perfectly legit measure. A “friend of my friend” could well be head of a union or a senator’s staff or a senator or a famous writer/musician/activist (and don’t get me started on the rabbis).  Still working out how to distinguish between actual networks and forwards with a name attached none of us actually know.

u-circleThe Let’s Be Honest Rule

If you’re passing along an article as “really important” or “a must read,” please be willing to certify that you’ve actually read. All of it. If not, say so.

Field note – I created this rule mainly for myself cause I am likely to violate it. I’m trying.

gigoThe GIGO Opinion Measure

as in Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Have you ACTUALLY put work and thought into some opinion you are posting? If not, just don’t. We’re all drowning in knee-jerk half ass opinions.

road-to-hellThe Road To Hell Measure

Snide, Ironic, Mocking, and Disruptive intentions paved the road to this hell. If you aren’t trying to educate, inspire, or comfort, just fucking don’t.

Field note – This measure was also created mainly as a guideline for my own posting practices. I find it so easy to mock, and rather comforting. But with only x amount of brain-able-to-pay-attention time each day, filling that time with snide or parody feels like a privilege shit-storm right now. Laughing at the white supremacists running our federal apparatus can be a pleasant relief from time to time, but HELLO WE HAVE ACTUAL WORK TO DO.

construction-worker-3The If You Can’t Bless It, Pick Up a Hammer**

Do-This-Whenever-You-Can Suggestion

If you are posting an article about somethinggodawfulTHEYaredoing, be sure to include as least one direct coherent action we can take. “Sign a Petition” or “Buy a Product” or “Stew in Bitter Regret” are NOT direct and coherent actions.

Field Notes – Ok, so women I admire and trust gave immediate and strong feedback to this when it was posted as a rule. They argued quite convincingly that sometimes we just need to scream and posting about something god awful you just discovered is a way of screaming. And sometimes we have NO FUCKING CLUE what to do and post or share hoping someone else will have some suggestions.  So this idea is officially a suggestion. I am trying to make it a regular practice for my own posts, no matter what. I think it would be one good communication goal for all of us, but only if we don’t judge ourselves or each other when what is most needed is straightforward screaming.

*FKnews – as explained in my original much longer version of this idea, containing both Feminist linguistical theory and political explanations, FKnews is a working abbreviation for Fake News, or maybe Fake-Knew for people who are lying intentionally, or maybe Fucked-News, for how it effects justice and reality.

**from Marge Piercy’s poem “The Art of Blessing the Day”with just a smidgen of “if I had a hammer” thrown in:

What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool.  Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue.  If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.

On Láadan and Replacing Viral FKnews with Sourced and Valued News

On Láadan and Replacing Viral FKnews with Sourced and Valued News

Elliott F. batTzedek


Background: Native Tongues, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

Láadan is an explicitly feminist constructed language created by linguist Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982. She was exploring the ways that English and other heteropatriarchal languages suppressed women’s abilities to speak our reality. She was testing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which suggests that the natural language we speak strongly influences, or even determines, what thoughts we are able to think and then speak. She was not creating a language based on women as biologically-determined females, but women as an oppressed class, and the language was intended for everyone, not just women, to speak. In that way Láadan was not a “women’s language” but a language designed to encode world views of an oppressed class.

She explored both her theories and Láadan itself in the science fiction series Native Tongue. Láadan has both vocabulary AND syntactical structures that address how women’s realities are excluded from English. Vital among these is a system of particles that are necessary to a grammatical sentence and convey cultural values within the grammar:

  • The speech-act particle – this occurs at the beginning of the sentence and marks it as either a statement, question, command, request, promise, or warning
  • The grammatical tense particle – this occurs second in the sentence and marks it as either present, past, future, or hypothetical
  • The evidence particle – this occurs at the end of statements and indicates the trustworthiness of the statement.

Since this final particle is the one I feel the need for every time I read news, email, or Facebook posts, I want to lay out the particles Elgin created:

wa  – Information known to speaker because it was directly perceived by speaker, externally or internally
wi  – Information known to speaker it is because self-evident
we  – Information perceived by speaker in a dream
wáa  – Information that is assumed true by speaker because speaker trusts the source
waá  – Information assumed false by speaker because speaker distrusts source; if evil intent by the source is also assumed, the form is “waálh”
wo – Information imagined or invented by speaker, connected to the hypothetical-tense particle
wóo  –  Used to indicate that the speaker states a total lack of knowledge as to the validity of the matter

In Láadan, one of these particles must be attached to every assertion of information. Every time – the weather, the time of day, a report about how a friend feels, sharing news or information or opinion.

Every. Single. Time.

Considering the Depth of This Fetid Mess

I’ve been thinking about these particles every time I try to wade my way through the “news” right now, because, like all of us, I’m finding it very hard to know what to trust, and at what level to trust it.

There is of course the FKnews (Fake News, or maybe Fake-Knew for people who are lying intentionally, or maybe Fucked-News, for how it effects justice and reality. Haven’t decided yet exactly what to call this phenomenon nor how to linguistically mark it). I am getting better at recognizing FKNews, in part through taking even a couple seconds to check the website name at the bottom of stories, and through the hard work of others to identify and rank news sources. (I particularly find this useful: Although, to be fair, this link barely passes the Vetting Time Measure outlined below)

Where I struggle is in the rush of posts from my friends. These posts are, I trust, well- intentioned. People want to spread valuable information and opinions. People want to spur thought and action. People (my people, anyway) want to participate in a meaningful world where science and data and trust are actual things that matter.

And yet we are all struggling so hard right now. Posts appear and go viral in seconds with no actual information about the source or the goal. Information asserts authenticity (members of Senator Warren’s staff say we should) and so none of us ever check either the authenticity nor the date, so advice about phone calls to make that had validity in late November keep getting shared as if they are current. Information that asserts authority-based-on-relationship, such as “a minister I know and have worked with” gets shared widely without being changed, so it appears that each person posting the information knows the minister.

And then there is the inherent bias of political views and goals. I’ve operated in enough left/far-left/Radial/Separatist communities over the decades to have seen an astounding range of distortion, ranging from bias to delusion and paranoia. I’ve fallen for all of these, usually when I’m only surrounded by members of one small group. Within that group, crazy shit can feel real. One step outside, and you suddenly can’t make sense of what you believed with such fervor. These moments of borderline-paranoia remain easy for me to bump up against, though, because I know a lot about the world, and I don’t trust the government or business to not be developing horrible weapons or toxic crap while claiming they aren’t, and I do know that the level of surveillance we all live within is night-mare inducing, and I do believe that whatever amount of shit we see, there is vastly more and worse that we don’t yet see. Knowing how to both be willing to work for radical change with people we don’t know AND knowing the history of, say, COINTELPRO means a fine balancing act between naiveté and paranoia – a subject, I think, for another essay on another day.

Lack of taking any time to edit or source, combined with ourinherent communal biases, explain much of the well-intentioned distortion. There are also the dreadful “spoof” sites that spread stories just connected enough to reality to get passed from person to person like dreadful cold germs. There are sites and trolls who plant false information from false sources in order to provoke, betray, or lead astray. And there are marketers that spread FKnews in order to spread news about their product or service. All of these have motive and money behind them, and we are all in such a rush all the time, overwhelmed by information, that we have never built resistance to their methods.

In my own small ways, I’ve been working on building exactly that resistance. I’ve been building a practice of dating posts that call for some kind of action to be taken, and encouraging others to do the same, so we can easily weed out those posts that keep washing ashore like medical waste on north Jersey beaches. I’ve been trying to pause and check the listed source of news or opinion pieces before I post them myself. I’ve been doing a lot of SNOPES checking, and sharing those results with friends who post information. And yet I go on being guilty of sharing information that is out of date, sometime by years, and poorly-sourced, or utterly un-sourced.

Each of those mistakes, though small, radiate out at light-speed. Even if I go back and delete a post a few minutes after it goes up, it has already been forwarded and shared. And I know I share opinion pieces ALL THE TIME that say “such and such says we should all now do this” or “this one Muslim/Lesbian/Trans/Black/Immigrant/ person says this thing we’ve all been doing is actually hateful.” Except for a few names that are people I know, or know of and have a history I trust, I’ve never checked who these people are before I post. And even if I know the person, lies about what people say get spread all the time.

Such chaos, distortion, mistrust ARE the weapon of mass destruction we face right now. If our ability to know what we know, and to trust each other, keeps getting attacked and weakened, we will, none of us, be able to form communities of resistance, and without communities individual resistance may be heroic but will not be able to save us.

Against this new weapon, we need new tools. Below is my first attempt to shape one of these tools, a way to convey to each other how much we know about the information we are passing along. I’m utterly inventing both the categories and the names and measures of them, and I know this work can’t be done by only person. Please ponder on these issues yourself, post your ideas. If you want to try these out, report back on how they work. Make up your own and put them in a comment and I’ll include them in a rewrite.

Because in a world where information moves so quickly, and is so easy to distort, we have to find ways to share not only the information but our intentions, our understanding, our trust, our knowledge. Knowing these, and conveying them, are just as important in this world as the information itself.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
William E. Stafford, “A Ritual to Read to Each Other”

Just Another Middle-Aged White Feminist Jewish Peace Camp Dyke’s Rules of Engagement for Building Trust in What We Know

The 5 Second Guideline – Spend at least 5 seconds evaluating any piece of information before you pass it along. Check the name on the bottom. See if a date is posted. See who else has posted it. You don’t have to do massive research. Just take 5 seconds. If a piece isn’t worth spending 5 seconds to evaluate, it isn’t good enough to share with your Beloved Community.

The Vetting Time Measure, of which the 5 Second Rule is a timeline – a quick number to acknowledge how much you spent researching the source of the article before sharing it: 60, 30, 10, 5, 0. As in 60 seconds, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, 5 seconds, didn’t do any research at all.

The Cards on the Table Rule – When you post information, be willing to identify how close you are to the information. Doing this, I think, creates more opportunity for honesty and more opportunities for readers to be able to evaluate what comes before them. I’m thinking of this as four categories: I (as in I myself wrote this, or I myself took this picture, or I myself was at this demo, or I myself heard a senator say this, or this is a field in which I myself have training and expertise); We (as in this is from a member of my community whom I know and trust, this is from someone whom I know to have training and expertise, this is from my self-defined “we”); They (as in, this is from a wider world in which I generally have trust, such as the New York Times or a radio host whose opinions I have found to be trustworthy or a blogging community in which I interact and have found to be reliable); and No Idea (as in, when I use the 5 second rule to consider this I realize I have no reliable context for this whatsoever). For this final category, spend another 5 seconds deciding whether or not to pass it along.

The Let’s Be Honest Rule – when you pass along an article, news piece, or opinion piece, include a statement about how much of it you yourself have actually read. Categories for this could include: Pondered, (as in I read this and spent time thinking about it and I think it is important and useful); Skimmed (as in I read parts of this and it seemed pretty cool so I’m passing it along); Kiss-and-Ride (as in I looked at the first paragraph and a couple of sentences and it seemed pretty nifty gotta go); Brown-nose (as in, This was posted by people I admire and I’m sharing it without looking at it first cause I want to be one of the cool radical kids).

The GIGO Opinion Measure – as in “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” This measures how much work you’ve put into an opinion you’re posting. A few suggested measures include: PhD (as in you’ve spent YEARS of your life reading and writing to get to this point); Consensus (as in you’ve worked with a whole group of people to come to this understanding after god knows how many hours of debating); Pro (as in training and some credentialed work here); Am (as in training and hard work without credentials or degrees); Freshman Comp (as in a kernel of some truth buried in a lot of blither); Limbaugh (as in you’re taking one little piece of information, which may also be false, and using it to blow opioid smoke out your ass)

The Road To Hell Measure – a measure of intentionality. Categories could include Persuade, Be Helpful, Amplify, Be Snide, Insult, Demean, Encourage, Show Off, Show Up, Connect, Distance, Affirm, Jump on the Bandwagon.

Reporting Back

Using a few of my own recent Facebook posts as a sample, I’m trying these out.

First this, a link I just posted to an article, with a bunch of friends tagged to get them to read it too.

5 Second Rule – I created the newsletter in which it appeared, so know where it came from.
The Vetting Time Measure – 60+. I looked up who the author was, and what else she’s written.
The Cards on the Table Rule – This is a “they” post. It came from Literary Hub, a website I use all the time, and one where I’ve had direct individual interaction with at least one staff person.
The Let’s Be Honest Rule – I read this piece several times and judged it important enough to share through all the clutter
GIGO Measure – ProAm
Road to Hell Measure – Amplify, Encourage, Affirm

And then there’s this. Sigh.

5 Second Rule – I did not spend more than 5 seconds researching what the heck was going on with Uber. Just saw all over friends’ timelines that the head of Uber was working with the Wuggly Ump. FAILED
Vetting Time Measure – 0. FAILED
Cards on the Table Rule – No Clue Category. FAILED
Let’s Be Honest Rule – Honestly, kind of brown-nosing. FAILED
GIGO Measure – Limbaugh. FAILED
Road to Hell Measure – Bandwagon Jumper. FAILED

Ready to Go?

I’d really love it if y’all tried these out and reported back on what you find. Are these considerations useful to you? Can you use them? How does using the effect you?

One more Black man shot down – found poem 07/06/2016

It should be noted that Louisiana is an open carry state, just like Ohio where Rice and Crawford were killed. Possession of a firearm without a permit is permissible under state law, by anyone who is at least 17 years of age legally able to possess a firearm under state and federal law.

It should be noted that noted that noted that

It should be noted that
                                          that unless you are less
                                          than white
Louisiana is an open
                                          that is, unless, unless
                                          you are less, Tamir, and you, John
Louisiana is an open state
permission permissible
by anyone
                                          that is unless, unless
                                          you are less
                                          than white
Louisiana, just like Ohio,
like Ohio, just
                                          unless you are less, unless
                                          you are Black
Louisiana, just like Ohio,
you are legally able
                                          that is unless you are less
to possess
                                          you are Black
                                          it should be noted

Women in Translation Stats – it ain’t pretty

Over at Biblibio: Life in Letters, Meytal Radzinski has been analyzing the (dismal) stats of the percentage of translated works by women writers published each year in the U.S.

I knew the odds weren’t good, but didn’t know they were THIS bad. Two publishers, Pushkin Press and Archipelago, managed ZERO books by women last year. Yale, Knopf, Penguin – they all came in at about 10%.

One of her graphs is below – follow the link to read the whole story.


1st draft – Psalm 135 for hallel for hanukkah

They have a mouth to speak words of healing
but they insist on speaking hate

They have eyes to look with love
but they narrow them to glare, to judge, to instill shame

They have ears to seek the sorrows of the world
but they listen only to their greed

They have a nose to smell every beloved plant that blooms
but they choose to poison all they touch

They have hands that could build bounty and beauty
but they keep their fists grasped tight

They have feet to define the paths of righteousness
but they choose to stay shackled in fear

They have breath to sing praises to the soul of the world
but they take and they take and all they take they keep
inside until they rot from the force of their taking