As discussed previously, on Fridays, I present my weekly social media roundups. Note that toots of articles generally include header images from the articles, which I don’t include here unless their creators happen to have released them for use under a free license, and I notice. Most have not, or I don’t notice. But I now add my commentary here, where I don’t feel restricted by message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

Also, I don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

10:30 – Sat 01 April 2023 🔗

Posted on Mastodon

Oh, good. Brands have decided that their April Fools jokes (unilaterally “we have a product that you won’t want”) now need to be sent to my inbox.

I was going to say that “I feel like there’s a better way of doing this,” but the better way is probably just “don’t”…

For anybody who wants the details, a company tried to get me to click on an e-mail for a hybrid almond-walnut, and another tried the same for compost-scented soap. And while, sure, I’ll tolerate their “pranks” on their own websites, I don’t need it delivered to me.

9:02 – Mon 03 April 2023 🔗

Image Not Shown: Amitai Gross reads from the Haggadah while preparing to dip parsley into salt water as part of the Passover meal, called the Seder

Why is Passover different from all other nights? 3 essential reads on the Jewish holiday from The Conversation

Maxwell House’s Haggadah has become a classic, with even the White House using it. But it’s also changed with the times: nixing words like “thee” and “thine,” for example.

Hashtags: #Passover

In order to retain the spirit, but not butcher anybody’s language or privilege one language over another, I’ll wish a rather literalist sweet Passover to all celebrating it, this week. Although, should we start calling it Pesach, like normal adults who acknowledge non-European cultures…?

12:07 – Mon 03 April 2023 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

Let us disperse from our aloofness and serve the weak who made us strong, and cleanse the country in which we live.

Kahlil Gibran

Hashtags: #Quotes #ArabAmericanHeritage

9:04 – Tue 04 April 2023 🔗

Content Warning: US Politics, Anti-Democratic Laws

Image Not Shown: Abortion rights protesters in Cincinnati, Ohio

The GOP war on direct democracy has spread to at least 10 states from Daily Kos

In a healthy democracy, a party that sees its opponents pass a string of popular measures despite lockstep opposition would reconsider its priorities. Yet Republican lawmakers in nearly every red and purple state that allows initiatives have tried to make the process far more restrictive.

Hashtags: #USPol #Democracy

It goes to show how weak even they see themselves, doesn’t it? After spending untold sums of money to capture the Supreme Court to protect dark money, over twenty years revitalizing moves to suppress voting, a bit more than a decade to capture state legislatures, and more. But even with all those advantages—effectively cheating, in any other context—they still can’t win, and now want to give themselves the right to overrule what their constituents vote on.

Don’t get me wrong. I still consider them dangerous. But I consider them dangerous in the same way that I consider a wounded animal dangerous, lashing out in hopes of doing enough damage to escape, rather than because it has the superior position.

12:02 – Tue 04 April 2023 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

In our movement work…you almost want to clear the glass so that people understand it’s the same people trying to oppress me as trying to oppress you.

Rashida Tlaib

Hashtags: #Quotes #ArabAmericanHeritage

9:07 – Wed 05 April 2023 🔗

Image Not Shown: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018, in Washington, DC. Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland.

Why people feel ‘himpathy’ for sexual harassers from Futurity

Women who make sexual misconduct complaints often experience organizational and third-party retaliation for reporting misconduct, which can take a severe toll on their well-being. In contrast, men accused of engaging in sexual misconduct rarely experience transfers or terminations and are less likely to be terminated or resign than their victims.

Hashtags: #Gender #Misconduct

When I used to regularly write on Quora, I often repeated the idea—I forget where I picked it up—that we treat men like protagonists, women like members of the supporting cast or, worse, props. Therefore, while I find studies like this important, I also disagree with the interpretation of their findings, to a significant extent, or at least their interpretation.

Specifically, I see no problem with extending sympathy to someone accused of hurting someone, because humans empathize and need empathy. I see the problem in the lack of sympathy extended to more vulnerable people in general, particularly their accusers. We need to treat everybody like a protagonist, because we don’t live in a world with a supporting cast.

12:04 – Wed 05 April 2023 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

[Air combat] is just business. It’s what we’re trained for—just like you might be trained for any business.

James Jabara

Hashtags: #Quotes #ArabAmericanHeritage

9:01 – Thu 06 April 2023 🔗

Content Warning: Transphobic Laws

Image Not Shown: Drag queen Cali Je plays a ukulele and sings to a group of children at a reading event on 18 March 2023 in Pocatello, Idaho

The US’s anti-drag movement is state-sponsored LGBTIQ persecution from openDemocracy

…the vagueness of the law’s wording is probably the point — it leaves much open to the interpretation of the enforcer.

Hashtags: #Transphobia #USPol

As a confession, I hate that bigots have put me in a position of defending drag. My admittedly limited experience with drag acts has suggested that they fall less into “fun camp” and more into “repulsive misogyny played off as ironic,” so I’d just as soon ignore it. Yet even I can see—and could, before people started writing about it—that they wrote this to send cops out to harass anybody who doesn’t appear to strictly conform to an imagined gender binary.

12:03 – Thu 06 April 2023 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

You cannot study the life of a people successfully from the outside.

Abraham Mitrie Rihbany

Hashtags: #Quotes #ArabAmericanHeritage

9:03 – Fri 07 April 2023 🔗

Image Not Shown: A sequence of trees, each of whose leaves form a circular link in different orientations, the links forming a chain, with the middle of five burning away

Could Britain finally be ready to seriously discuss reparative justice with the Caribbean? from Global Voices

In August 2019, history was made when a reparations agreement was signed between The University of the West Indies and the University of Glasgow, the first such contract since people enslaved by the British were fully emancipated in 1838.

Hashtags: #Reparations #UK

I wonder how far this path former colonizers will go. The world needs it, so that we can move on, but you know that once one country bends, people will force the rest of the world to follow. As a result, you know that leaders fill international meetings with pressure to hold off on doing anything useful…

12:06 – Fri 07 April 2023 🔗

Quoted on Mastodon

Desperation, as any other human feeling, is diverse and vast in different people.

Ameen Rihani

Hashtags: #Quotes #ArabAmericanHeritage

Bonus 🔗

Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, I drop any additional articles that didn’t fit into the one-article-per-day week, but too weird or important to not mention, here.

A frequency distribution graph of (presumably) a sound, with different amplitudes in a rotating color palette
A frequency distribution graph of (presumably) a sound, with different amplitudes in a rotating color palette
Image credit: licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Have you heard? Wikimedia has a Sound Logo from Wikimedia Diff

From the Board’s perspective, it is essential that listeners on audio devices have an opportunity to learn about the trusted source of their information, especially when it comes from our movement and is contributed by thousands of volunteers.

I don’t use voice assistants, so I’ll probably never hear the sound logo again, but I do like it. And it raises interesting questions as to what kinds of organizations will probably need such logos in the future. Many traditional media outlets have something similar, which plays over their logo, often a mini-jingle with only a couple of notes, but this seems like new ground, in some ways.

Image Not Shown: A person wearing a cloth mask, shopping for apples while looking into the camera

Extra food assistance cushioned the early pandemic’s blow on kids’ mental health from The Conversation

…children in families getting SNAP benefits in 2020 did not generally experience any change in their mental or emotional health compared to prior years, despite the heavy stress of the pandemic.

Once again, it turns out that, when we give families money, the children in those families have fewer problems. An outside observer might almost conclude that a lack of money causes deep and lasting problems in a capitalist economy, and that we should probably fix that.

Image Not Shown: Colorized photograph of American general Ulysses S Grant at Cold Harbor, with hand on hip, 1864

Donald Trump isn’t even the best president to be arrested from Daily Kos

Civil War veteran and policeman William H. West, a Black man, was sent to investigate reports of speeding carriages.

Corporate media keeps telling us how “unprecedented” they find charging a former President of the United States with crimes, showing that they either didn’t bother to do the most central research to that assertion or oppose prosecuting people who they find more important than the rest of us. I’ll let you decide for yourself which side they land on.

Unrelated: Now that I weigh embedding article images in these posts, I increasingly hate how many of these outlets—even media outlets that broadly commit to Free Culture content, such as Kos’s public domain default license—pay Getty for images. It leads to inane situations like this, where I can’t include a photograph from 1864, which should have fallen into the public domain a long time ago, because someone poorly colorized it, and Getty claims a false copyright on everything that it touches.

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Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.