The Rally

Jun. 7th, 2017 08:38 pm
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So, I went to this last Sunday.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1927691894133941/

Short version first: It was an amazing experience. I saw Andy there, and finally got to meet Athena and Leo and a number of other local people that I'd only interacted with online. Marco and Harim came up from Cali and I got my picture taken with Harim. A street preacher talked about sin and forgiveness, and a trans activist stomped on a communist flag. This big, friendly Polynesian guy named Tiny started the whole thing off with a warrior dance.

The folks on the other side tried to make trouble for us, but they didn't even make a dent. The Portland police did a good job of keeping order. I had been a bit apprehensive about the event, and didn't decide until the last minute that I was going to go at all. But it was incredible, energizing, and a great chance to build bonds with people I hadn't met before but needed to.

I've already posted (without much context) a few pictures from the event. I'll have more to say soon, both about the rally itself and events leading up to it. But I've had a super busy day and I need to be turning in soon.
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Weather looks to be decent again today. Clear and mild, but not too hot. My window looks out to the west and I can see the pink-orange light of dawn on the tall building of the new Civic Apartments on the next block. (The new Civic bears no resemblance to its old namesake, a cavernous concrete eyesore that was torn down a few years after I first moved here.)

I got up at 4 because I like to allow myself a good two hours of me time in the morning before I leave for work.

I'm still working at the call center but I've got a phone interview at lunch today and a video interview tomorrow after work. (Need to remember to set up Google Hangouts.)

Plans for tonight include making more headway in Toni Morrison's 'Jazz' (her sixth novel). It's a story of jealousy and obsession sett in 1920s Harlem. The story, according to TM's foreword, was inspired by James Van Der Zee's photograph of a deceased young woman at a funeral, and by TM's youthful encounter with a trunk filled with her mother's memorabilia from her own youth. (I immediately thought of Samuel R. Delany's 'Atlantis', in which SRD imagines his father's world in the same place and time.) I'm hoping to finish it by this weekend and do a write-up for Amazon.
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http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/horrific_scene_unfolds_on_max.html#incart_river_index#incart_big-photo

'Police say Jeremy Christian, 35, cut all three men in the neck, leaving two dead and another injured from knife wounds. The rampage, unlike anything the city has seen, stunned city leaders and left friends and strangers mourning the loss of two lives, applauding the selfless acts of heroes and condemning the racist vitriol that preceded the violence.

Rick John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, of Southeast Portland, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, of Southeast Portland, intervened Friday when Christian, a man known to police and others for his hate speech and extremist views, launched a slur-filled diatribe at the girl wearing a hijab and her friend after he boarded the MAX Green Line at Lloyd Center, police and witnesses said.'

The Oregonian also has an 18-second video showing the suspect at last month's conservative-oriented 82nd Avenue rally and claims he was "pushed out for antagonizing counter protesters with racial slurs". What the O doesn't tell you is that he was shouted down (and ridiculed as a druggie) by the conservative protestors. Here's video from my friend Leo Stratton:




Milo Yiannopoulos has more:

https://milo.yiannopoulos.net/2017/05/jeremy-christian-bernie/

'So who did Mr. Christian support?

Wait for it – Bernie. ...'

Go to the link for the rest, including screenshots from Christian's deranged Facebook postings.
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I'm interested in teaching English to non-native speakers, but I don't know where to start. Are there opportunities that don't require a degree? Is there some kind of professional certification that you need?
asher553: (Default)
 ... threatened software for underwater naval vessels.  Although to be honest, I'd have been leery of a product called "Windows for Submarines" in any case.
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"Mind if I grab your mouse?" is the kind of phrase that will haunt you if you ever go into politics.
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http://allafrica.com/stories/201705070001.html

'Nigerian authorities have said 82 Chibok schoolgirls have been released into military custody in the north of the country.

The girls have received medical attention and are to be flown to Abuja to meet the president.'

The girls, formerly held by Boko Haram, were released in a prisoner swap. "A handful of other girls have either escaped or been rescued, but 113 still remained unaccounted for following Saturday's release."
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https://jonathanspyer.com/2017/05/09/assads-hollow-crown/

'The old city was tense, behind a veneer of strained normality. There were checkpoints every hundred meters or so. These were maintained not by the army, but by the National Defense Force (NDF), an Iranian-sponsored paramilitary force created to fill the gap presented by the Assad regime’s lack of loyal manpower. Young men mostly, with a sprinkling of older types and a very few girls. Supervised by Mukhabarat officers with pistols in their belts. They were suspicious of foreigners. There had already been a number of suicide attacks by members of the jihadi organizations in regime-controlled areas.

For the most part, though, the atmosphere of strained normality held. Undoubtedly, fear of the regime played its part in the exaggerated professions of loyalty and love for Bashar that one would hear. But there was also justified fear of the Islamist rebels, and what their advance would mean. And, of course, there was mainly fatigue, and the desire of people to live in their own private circle, and willingness to cope with any governing authority which appeared able to provide for that. The Syrian pound had plummeted in value since the start of the war – from 48 pounds to the US dollar in March 2011 to 625 to the dollar now. There were long queues each morning to buy subsidized bread at the state bakeries. The traffic was on the roads, the shops were open, pictures of the dictator and his family were everywhere. But all was far flimsier and more brittle than it initially appeared.

I should explain first of all how I came to be in Damascus. I have been writing about Syria now for over a decade. I have visited the country numerous times since the outbreak of its civil war in mid-2011. My visits, though, were always to the areas controlled by the Sunni Arab rebels or the Kurdish separatist forces. This was a notable gap in my coverage. I wanted to remedy it. ...'

Read the rest at the link.
asher553: (Default)
Sometimes I've had it an inch long, and sometimes I've had it 2 or 3 inches long.

Jews.

May. 7th, 2017 05:19 pm
asher553: (Default)
Wearing the beanie before it was cool.
asher553: (Default)
I've taken to putting a message on my dating profile: "If you have the personality of an Ashley Madison chatbot, I will probably assume you are a fake profile."  

It's generally pretty easy to spot the fake profiles:  they almost always start with "I'm just a simple girl ..." and continue on with a lot of vague, generic verbiage.  The text is often weirdly formatted, as if it's been copy-pasted from a template (and will usually show up on a google search if you search on a portion of it).  And the profile pictures are supermodels or stock photos.

My objective is to get a date with a real live human being (although I might possibly make an exception for Number Six), so the first few lines of messaging are generally my final pass-fail test to make sure I'm communicating with a real live person instead of an algorithm.

Joys of 21st century dating.
asher553: (Default)
I didn't plan it for Cinco de Mayo, but I did officially make the decision today to get serious about bringing my Spanish proficiency up to a respectable level. There's a Berlitz language school almost directly across the street from me that's been there forever, and I want to sign up for some lessons there if I can afford it. Regardless, though, I'm committing to studying with audio and practicing speaking and listening daily, and I'll try to practice with native speakers whenever I get the chance.

Also I'm dusting off my C++ lessons and going to work on that until I build some decent skills. I can remember the bare bones of for-loops and ternary operators but I want to be able to start producing stuff.

And now: the weekend! Shabbat shalom.
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'This is where Jewish students in particular are being intimidated by threatening pro-Palestinian demonstrators. I was originally asked to speak at Berkeley Hillel, the Jewish student centre here. But remarkably, even that was considered too dangerous for me.

So I spoke instead to Jewish students at another, more discreet centre. These students had to be personally coaxed to attend my meeting – because Jewish students at Berkeley are now too frightened for their own safety to attend pro-Israel presentations. That is the truly shocking state of affairs in this prestigious seat of learning today. ...'

http://melaniephillips.com/melanie-at-berkeley/

asher553: (Default)
The job is getting easier and I'm getting to where I don't hate it the way I used to. I can hang in there for a while longer at least, gain some experience, until I get a clearer picture of where I can go from here.

I'm keeping up with learning html but at the end of the day web design doesn't really interest me. What does interest me is mathematics and science, and I'm eager to get started again with C/C++ and Matlab. I want to learn more about what career paths are out there, too.

We finally got a break in the weather here in Portland and it hit 80F yesterday. Forecast calls for rain Friday but otherwise sunny for the foreseeable future. Yay.
asher553: (Default)
Video feature (about 1 hr) on the Abayudaya, including interviews with Rabbi Gershom Sizomu and with the sons of Semei Kakungulu.

Observation

May. 1st, 2017 07:44 pm
asher553: (Default)
"Sea salt" and "evaporated cane juice" are the health food industry's version of Don Draper's "toasted".

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