Today I’m joining an interfaith fast against violence and in support of peace in Israel & Gaza. It happens to be a traditional fast day for both the Jewish and Muslim faiths - part of the holy month of Ramadan for the latter and a somewhat obscure fast commemorating the destruction of the 2nd Temple for the former - and, honestly, I feel so powerless and confused in the face of the spiraling conflict that this act of kinesthetic empathy and spiritual support seems like the most productive way I can engage.
It does not restrict the freedom of any American, so long as he respects the rights of others.
It does not give special treatment to any citizen.
It does say the only limit to a man’s hope for happiness, and for the future of his children, shall be his own ability.
It does say that there are those who are equal before God shall now also be equal in the polling booths, in the classrooms, in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and other places that provide service to the public.
”—from LBJ’s remarks upon signing the Civil Rights Act, 50 years ago today. (Reading “the law” as “The Law” and not ”this specific law” is particularly interesting in the context of many rights-related issues we’re still grappling with today….)
And because: ”The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”
"It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage."
"Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision."
"Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."
“One began this way: “I’m currently worth more dead (with my life insurance policy) than alive (with my student loan debt).” Another writer said she became disabled during her college years, and went on SSDI. Her loan, worth $57,000, is now in default, and she is curious whether her disability payments will be cut as a result. One said simply, “Why do I have to make a life-changing decision of what job I’ll have for the rest of my life when only a week prior I had to ask to use the bathroom?””—The Exciting-but-Depressing Obama-Tumblr Student-Loan Summit - The Daily Beast, a great piece by adulting, one of the amazing bloggers who helped select questions for #ObamaIRL this week
“And tomorrow, I’m going to do a student loan Q&A with Tumblr to help spread the word — you’re laughing because you think, what does he know about Tumblr? (Laughter.) But you will recall that I have two teenage daughters so that I am hip to all these things. (Laughter.) Plus I have all these twenty-somethings who are working for me all the time. (Laughter.)”—POTUS had some laughs at our expense during his big education announcement today. Excited to see how much he really knows about Tumblr - and to watch our Founder/CEO deliver questions from the community about the value/affordability of and access to higher education - at 4pm ET tomorrow. BE THERE.
“Everyone knows that if it’s a great party you’re gonna break a glass or two.”—My Micah, playing Rabbi for a day, with the best explanation yet for the Jewish tradition of stomping on a glass to end a wedding ceremony.
“…We will make changes as any fam’ly will,
But we will always be called,
“The folks who live on the hill”.
Our veranda will command-a view of meadows green,
The sort of view that seems to want to be seen.
And when the kids grow up and leave us,
We’ll sit and look at the same old view,
Just we two….”—OK, gabrielkahane, I may have failed your friendship test but now I will never forget this song.
“[Robert Frost] described life after graduating as pieces to go on with. What he meant is that life is always unfinished business. Like the bits of knitting women used to carry around with them to be picked up at different intervals. And for those of you who have never knit, think of it as akin to your Tumblr, something you can pick up from time to time and change … So today, you gorgeous brilliant people, get on with your knitting.”—
Jill Abramson wants you to pick your Tumblr back up
FWIW, in our high school full of overachievers, Matt was indeed a nerd among nerds - but he was also a thoughtful, conscientious leader. And clearly he still is, even if we all continue to have some “growing the fuck up” to do.
To me, the phenomenon Matt describes dovetails with other themes that I’m slightly obsessed with these days: 1) a general societal/systemic obliviousness cultivated within the tech-utopian bubble, and 2) the unfortunate side-effect of American meritocracy by which successful people are allowed to feel entitled to/self-righteous about their success, enabling them to perpetuate elitism and inequality.