Dance on the Circle.

Oooh. Pretty.

Via The San Francisco Globe:

Mikhail Sadovnikov is a Russian artist who works with clay. In this video, he is working with a thin layer of wet clay on a rotating pottery wheel. He uses different sponges and turns the table at different speeds to create different designs. As he works, a camera records him from above to show his dramatic and beautiful transformations…The results are mesmerizing. 

[h/t Sunshine]

Recent reading.

library4

Device found on White House grounds identified as drone; no threat posed. Leonnig, C.D. et al., The Washington Post (Jan. 2015). [I trust the irony of drones plaguing the White House will not be lost on Loyal Readers™… -Ed.]

Catholic nun complaining of ‘stomach cramps’ gives birth. Perez. C., The New York Post (Jan. 2015). [It’s a miracle! -Ed.]

Florida police use images of black men for target practice. theGrio (Jan. 2015). [TRIGGER WARNING: extremely disturbing violently racist images.] [These cops all need to be fired right fucking now. -Ed.]

America’s new golden age of black ops: Inside our secret global war abroad
The U.S. has already launched missions in 105 countries in 2015 — approximately 80 percent of 2014’s total. Turse, N., Salon via TomDispatch (Jan. 2015).

Holly Fisher, “pro-family” darling, exposed as an adulterer. Eberhard, J.T., patheos (Jan. 2015). [I AM SO SHOCKED. -Ed.]

Barrett Brown Sentenced to Five Years, Vows to Keep Investigating Government Wrongdoing. Garcia, M., The Intercept (Jan. 2015).

Bottomless Mimosas and Calling Out Bigots: How Brunch Just Got Real in NYC. Dwyer, L., takepart (Jan. 2015). [#crashmybrunchplz -Ed.]

Kid Author Of ‘The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven’ Says He Made It Up. Tracy Walsh, T., Talking Points Memo (Jan. 2015). [Noooo! That cannot be! -Ed.]

American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke blames paedophile priests on ‘radical feminists’. Eleftheriou-Smith, L.-A., The Independent (Jan. 2015). [HAHAHA! -Ed.]

Leatherman Tread Wearable Multi-Tool. uncrate.com (Jan. 2015).

leatherman-tread[WANT. -Ed.]

Why we need to address population growth’s effects on global warming. The Times Editorial Board, The Los Angeles TImes (Jan. 2015).

Science Says Teams Work Better When They’re Mostly Women. Van Winkle, D., (Jan. 2015).

When public schools get more money, students do better. Ehrenfreund, M., The Washington Post (Jan. 2015). [WHAT?! Next thing you’ll be telling me people who get more healthcare access are healthier. -Ed.]

‘I Just Had an Abortion': A Black woman on making the best choice for herself, despite the stigmas and shaming attempts. Fierce, T., Ebony (Jan. 2015). (“On the one hand, a Black woman who goes through with an unwanted pregnancy and ends up having to use social services is shamed for being irresponsible and “leeching” off the system. On the other, a Black woman who makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy when they know having a child isn’t the best idea can be shamed for endangering the future of her race….my abortion ended up being one more reminder that Black women are so often damned if we do, damned if we don’t.”) [Well worth a read for the condemnation of Obamacare alone. -Ed.]

No, Mr. Bond: I Expect You to Frack! Watson, R., Skepchick (Jan. 2015). (“oil companies have graduated from being immoral agents of environmental disasters and global warming to being actual Bond villains.”) [Hahaha. -Ed.]

In Just the Last Four Years, States Have Enacted 231 Abortion Restrictions. Guttmacher Institute (Jan. 2015).

No Pardon – Young Woman To Serve 30 Years For Miscarriage. Salzillo, L., Daily Kos (Jan. 2015). [This is your world on conservatives. -Ed.]

100 serial rapists identified after rape kits from Detroit Crime Lab are finally processed. Craig, K., WZYZ.com (Jan. 2015). (“thousands of rape kits in Detroit and across the country that have been left sitting in storage without being processed, allowing rapists to remain free to attack again. And they often do.”) [#priorities. -Ed.]

One Tweet Shows the Hypocrisy of America’s Reaction to White People Rioting at Ohio State. Cheney-Rice, Z., Mic.com (Jan. 2015).

Record 346 inmates die, dozens of guards fired in Florida prisons. King, S., Daily Kos (Jan. 2015).

The plight of the bitter nerd: Why so many awkward, shy guys end up hating feminism. Chu, A., Salon.com (Jan. 2015).

Many more people are dying from gun suicides than gun-related homicides. Millman, J., The Washington Post (Jan. 2015).

Manly Christian Bros ‘Apologize’ for Letting Their Women Get Abortions. Merlan. A., Jezebel (Jan. 2015). [LOL 4EVAH. See also this awesome reply from Funny or Die. -Ed.]

Republicans Are Killing Women: US Maternal Death Rate Climbs; Female Deaths Rise In GOP Counties. Morris, R., Addicting Info (Jan. 2015). [Congratulations, conservatives! You’re totally winning your war on women! -Ed.]

21 struggles faced by a dad raising a daughter in a sexist world. Tapley, N., Us vs. Th3m (Jan. 2015). [LOL. We should all be so lucky to have this d00d as our dad. -Ed.]

Crude oil spills in Yellowstone River after pipeline leak. Reuters via Raw Story (Jan. 2015).

The right’s grossest race lie: Delusional conservatives and the truth about MLK Post-Ferguson and Staten Island, the right’s again claiming MLK would be on their side. Let’s put the lie to rest. Rosenberg, P., Salon.com (Dec. 2014).

Can We Have A Smarter Conversation About Free Speech? ohtarzie (Nov. 2014). [Yes plz. -Ed.]

Vaccine deniers stick together. And now they’re ruining things for everyone. Millman, J., The Washington Post (Jan. 2015). (“No one has put it more succinctly than James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, who told the New York Times, ‘There are some pretty dumb people out there.'”) [FYI they’re liberals. -Ed.]

__________

Quotes:

It is not my intent here to make a pitch for hate crimes laws. I don’t like laws generally and I’m very much all over the map myself where free speech is concerned. What I want more than anything is a smarter conversation about it, where the participants actually seem to know things, like that historically hate speech has occupied a privileged place relative to radical speech. Like that free speech absolutism is working out particularly well for corporations. Like that many states have had hate crimes statutes since the 1980s and the sky hasn’t fallen. -ohtarzie

Mass gun killings, which capture widespread media attention for a few days, account for just a small portion of gun-related deaths. The four worst events in the past 15 years resulted in a combined 84 homicides, according to the report —about the same number of people who have been killed by guns in the United States every day between 2003 and 2012. -Jason Millman

PSA for Christian d00ds: DO NOT MARRY US. PLEASE.

abuseredflag[TRIGGER WARNING: domestic violence and abuse.]

Some doucheweasel of the pastor species who dwells in New York City of all places—as if we don’t have enough problems here already with the entitled banksters, murderous cops, Rupert Murdoch’s legions and other assorted pimples on the ass of humanity—has helpfully assembled a list for his fellow brothers-in-Christ entitled 10 WOMEN CHRISTIAN MEN SHOULD NOT MARRY. One might imagine such a list would look something like this:

  1. Rebecca Watson.
  2. Sikivu Hutchison.
  3. Malala Yousafzai.
  4. Annie Laurie Gaylor.
  5. Susan Jacoby.
  6. Lindsay Lohan.
  7. …etc.

Okay, maybe Ms. Lohan is Christian wife material—I have no idea. But this kind of practical, specific advice is NOT, in fact, what is on offer from pastor Stephen Kim of Mustard Seed Church in New York City. No. Instead, we get ten characteristics that, should a Christian man detect in his potential mate, ought to send him running for the hills screaming “I WILL NEVER, EVER MARRY YOU!”

Loyal Readers™ will be unsurprised to learn that yours truly pegs at least nine out of ten of these features—and, depending on the age of my would-be Christian suitor, all ten. But frankly I am worried sick about ladies who might not be as fortunate as I am, and could find themselves accidentally married to a Christian d00d. Because let me tell you, at least according to the pastor, Christian men are terrible: judgmental, controlling, immature, closed-minded, comically insecure—and, less amusingly, display more than a few of the classic red flags of abusers. So I sincerely commend pastor Kim for providing this valuable public service in highlighting ten qualities women urgently need to cultivate in themselves, in order to guard against the dismal fate that is Christian wifehood.

1. The Unbeliever.

The pastor is clear that a Christian d00d marrying a non-Christian woman is strictly forbidden. The key concern here is ostensibly “idolatry,” i.e. the couple and their children turning away from the Christian god to worship other, presumably more fun and interesting gods. But if idolatry were really the concern, atheist women should still be marriageable: as a rule, we do not worship any gods. (Well, except for Lord Shiva, of course. I thought that went without saying.) The fact is, we are never going to skip off into the woods with our little Gaia and Thor in tow for a Wiccan mass and drunken orgy, unless of course the wine being served is a particularly good vintage of Provence rosé. So idolatry cannot be the real reason to warn Christian men away from unbelievers. No, it’s because these d00ds are so painfully insecure that they cower in abject terror at the very thought of an honest conversation about their beliefs. Because of their extreme emotional fragility, they strive to remain at all times inside a tight, self-referential echo chamber: unchallenged, willfully ignorant, incurious and intellectually bankrupt. You know: like a Fox News viewer.

Ladies, just get thyself some pentagram jewelry, and be troubled no more.

pentagrampendantAmulet pendant, $7.50

abuseredflagPathological narcissism: “A narcissist cannot tolerate criticism. This does not just mean that a narcissist will reject or dislike criticism, but that he will escalate and lash out in the face of it.”

__________

2. The Divorcee.

titaniumringsAccording to pastor Kim, a second marriage is “invalid and adulterous. A divorced woman, therefore, is off limits for a Christian man–unrepentant adultery being a sin that prevents one from obtaining eternal life (1 Cor 6:9).”

Whew! Good thing I am an unrepentant adulterer! But for you unfortunate ladies who are not unrepentant adulterers, fret not. There is a fix: marry a kind, hot foreign d00d who needs a US work visa. (Preferably a wealthy one: apparently these sham marriages can be quite lucrative!) When he gets his green card you divorce him and voilà: you are officially off limits to Christian d00ds.

But really, this objection rings hollow. It sounds an awful lot like the toxic purity culture right wing Christians want to enforce on all of us.

Also: “eternal life?” Why would anyone want that? And even if you did want that, wouldn’t you much rather be a vampire? I know I sure would. Vampires are hot.

skarsgardAlex Skarsgard, people. Alex Skarsgard.

abuseredflagJealousy: “Jealous behavior is one of the surest signs that abuse is down the road.”

__________

3. The Older Woman.

Whether you can claim this exemption or not depends on the relative age of the Christian d00d in question. At first I didn’t get what could possibly be the problem here, but then the pastor helpfully ‘splained:

I want to remind you that God intentionally (with good reason!) created Adam before Eve in the First Marriage. Scripture informs us that God created man first chronologically for the sake of authority! Listen:  “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13).

Sure, that sounds totally legit.

abuseredflagAttracted to vulnerability: “abusive men are attracted to women much younger and/or at different developmental and maturity levels than them…He is attracted to the power imbalance in this type of relationship.”

__________

4. The Feminist.

Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Are you instead committed to the political, economic, and social inequality of the sexes? Then ask your doctor whether Christian Marriage® is right for you!

The pastor has some, um, interesting things to say about feminism:

Any woman who tries to usurp her husband’s authority or even claims to be a co-leader with her man is gravely dishonoring the God who created her to be subject and obedient to her husband (Eph 5:22, Col 3:18, 1 Pet 3:1).

leathermanIt seems to me if this god designed men (though not women) so inadequately that they each require a permanent personal slave, then he should be the one providing those services for the helpless creatures himself. There’s a fantastic shop on Christopher Street that sells the perfect outfits and accoutrements for that sort of thing, FYI.

abuseredflagSexist attitude: “Abusers tend to enforce rigid gender roles or believe in the traditional male ‘head of the household’ role.” Also: “gender inequalities increase the risk of violence by men against women and inhibit the ability of those affected to seek protection.” Plus: “Does your partner have strong ideas about the place and position of women vs. men?” Because RUN.

__________

5. The Sexy-Dresser.

louboutinsWhy yes, thank you, I will indeed show some leg and/or cleavage when I feel like it. Probably not at the grocery store or a funeral, but if it makes me feel happy and confident to wear Those Shoes or That Lipstick I’ma do it. For me. Sadly, our pastor friend does not approve:

The way that a woman is willing to expose herself says much about her heart: “And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart” (Proverbs 7:10).  The text in Proverbs explains that a woman will dress in a certain way to catch a certain type of man.  Don’t be that man. 

What type of man pray tell is our harlot attempting to “catch”? The “type” who finds her devastatingly attractive and would dearly love to fuck her? Because clearly these are NOT qualities any woman would want in a long term partner, amirite? (!!!)

Note also the Evil Temptress vs. poor unwitting prey framing. Seems pastor Kim believes men are constitutionally incapable of finding someone sexually attractive and not acting on it. Yet in my experience, men are indeed capable of behaving better than feral dogs. Christian men? I guess not so much. So sex it up, ladies! Wear whatever makes you feel happy and confident! Just be extra careful not to unwittingly snare yourself a Christian d00d—apparently they are THE WORST.

abuseredflagJealous accusations: “Has your partner jokingly or seriously complained that you were trying to attract other men/women by the way you walk, dress, or behave?” If so, STFU & Go Away® might be right for him!

__________

6. The Loud-Mouth.

HAHAHAHA! When someone spews harmful bullshit, I speak up (if it’s safe to do so). I consider it the moral duty of a decent human being. As a woman of course, I have been cut off, interrupted, ignored and spoken over by d00ds, in professional and personal contexts, more times than I could even begin to count. Men do these things to establish status and dominance, presumably among other males, since most women think these moves are sure signs of insecure and disrespectful blowhards. Tellingly, even when women are purposefully allotted equal time to speak, the perception is that they’re actually getting far more time than an equal share. Dale Spender, Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill explain this phenomenon:

The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.

In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts.

Men like…pastor Kim, whom you may recall favorably citing 1 Timothy 2 above: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” Let me put it this way: the more people like pastor Kim keep talking, the louder I will get. Who knew it was so easy to repel Christian men just by speaking up? Get yourself a bullhorn, ladies, and don’t be afraid to use it.

__________

7. The Child-Hater.

Do not marry a woman who is not willing to have children of her own.  In the Christian worldview, there is absolutely no room for two married, biologically capable, human beings to remain intentionally child-less.

You know, occasionally a friend will remark on my apparent dislike for children. This observation is not accurate: I dislike assholes, and I do not discriminate based on age. If there happens to be a lot of overlap between the two—and in my neighborhood there definitely is—that is not my problem to solve. I am intentionally childless for many reasons I won’t go into here, except to say that as an unrepentant adulterer, I am absolutely overjoyed every single fucking day that I never did spawn with my abusive ex. But the pastor, he no likee:

If you are adverse towards having children, then there’s a simple remedy for that: single-hood.

By which he means celibacy, of course. Hahaha nope. He may not be aware of this, but there’s actually another simple remedy for that: it’s called birth control. So if you suspect your fianmay be a Christian d00d, tell him you hate kids and are having your tubes tied. That should get rid of your problem.

abuseredflagReproductive coercion: “coercion by male partners to become pregnant and to control the outcome of a pregnancy — has been associated with a history of both intimate partner physical and sexual violence.”

__________

8. The Wander-Luster. 

There is something very wrong with a girl who regularly needs to be “out of the home.”

Well, yes. A girl needs a safe and supportive home environment—what with being a minor and all.

The constant desire for new experiences, new places, new faces, and new forms of entertainment only serves to clearly manifest the fact that the woman has not found her rest in God. Believe it or not, Scripture speaks repeatedly about such women:  “She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home” (Proverbs 7:11).

Translation: a woman’s entire world should be narrowed to her home. Otherwise, Jeezus haz a sad.

Just remember ladies: LOUD & WAYWARD FTW.

niagrasign

abuseredflagIsolation: “An abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by severing the victim’s ties to outside support and resources. The batterer will accuse the victim’s friends and family of being ‘trouble makers.'”

__________

9. The Career Woman.

Modern American society might hate to hear this, but God made men to be the providers and women to be the nurturers of the home (in most instances). It’s okay for a woman to be a doctor, attorney, or any other professional. However, if her career is coming at the expense of her home, then something is wrong.

Ugh, here we go again with the home. The home! The home! I get it: meaningful and fulfilling work is not what a Christian d00d wants for his partner, nor does he want to be a nurturing partner at home. Ew.

The woman ought to be willing (and even desirous–to some extent) to give up her job for the sake of raising her kids in the Lord.  “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander” (1 Tim 5:14).

There’s your solution right there: just don’t give a flying fuck what your enemies—for example, Southern Baptists—say about you.

abuseredflagEconomic abuse: “a form of abuse when one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, which diminishes the victim’s capacity to support him/herself and forces him/her to depend on the perpetrator financially… Economic abuse in a domestic situation may involve: preventing a spouse from resource acquisition, such as restricting their ability to find employment, maintain or advance their careers, and acquire assets…and when victims are asked why they stay in abusive relationships, ‘lack of income’ is a common response.”

10. The Devotion-less Woman.

Is the woman having a regular, daily devotional time with her God? If she doesn’t love the Lord now, chances are, she won’t love the Lord after marriage.

OMG I loooove Lord Shiva! And I worship him with all my…er, heart! Heart.

You want to marry a girl who has an intimate relationship with Jesus.

Wait, with who now? No, I definitely don’t see myself in a compatible relationship—intimate or otherwise—with a d00d who is a petty little shit to his mom and brothers, and also to fig trees, and who calls a desperate woman and her sick child “dogs”. I mean, I FUCKING LOVE FIGS.

Jesus (not you) has to be the first man in her life.

Okay, that is not going to work out with one of these narcissists for a partner. Trust me on this.

_________

So what have we learned? Christian men are to be studiously avoided, and there are plenty of easy and inexpensive ways to repel them. Also: apparently I am at least ten women in one.

Finally, remember kids: it’s feminists who have little regard for men.

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NEED HELP IMMEDIATELY?

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer or phone.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES:

US:  National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)/TTY 1−800−787−3224
UK: Women’s Aid: 0808 2000 247.
Australia: 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies, a global list of helplines and crisis centers.

FOR MALE VICTIMS OF ABUSE:
U.S. & Canada: The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women
UK: ManKind InitiativeAustralia: One in Three Campaign

RAPE & SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCES:

U.S: National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE); National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.
International: See here.

RESOURCES FOR MALE VICTIMS OF RAPE & SEXUAL ASSAULT:

MaleSurvivor. (“provides critical resources to male survivors of sexual trauma and all their partners in recovery by building communities of Hope, Healing, & Support.”)
One in 6. (“Our mission is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.”)

RESOURCES FOR TRANS* VICTIMS (staffed exclusively by trans volunteers):
Trans Lifeline
US: (877) 565-8860
Canada: (877) 330-6366
http://www.translifeline.org/
See also LGBT: stop-homophobia.com

Ask Iris: Are you watching the State of the Union tonight?

Q. Are you watching the State of the Union tonight?

A. Of course not. HELLO?!

Loyal Readers™ will be well aware of my admonitions to parse with extreme skepticism any words emanating from the mouth of a politician, and to instead form your judgements based solely on their actions. (Actually this is really good advice for dealing with anyone and everyone; it will spare you many, many headaches and heartaches.) This is particularly important to note when someone’s words and actions are in conflict: their actions speak the truth about their values and priorities. If by now you do not know by his actions that Barack Obama is a True Believer in conservative economics, a Wall Street-serving corporatist, a radical and lawless executive, and an unrepentant, murderous warmonger very much like his predecessor, then you simply have not been paying attention.

Relatedly, there has recently been some media hubbub about our president “rediscovering a progressive agenda” (after six years in office, during which Democrats held one or both houses of congress). Why, gosh darnit, it’s about time we tax those billionaires! As I told a correspondent, this week I’ve witnessed people I thought were at least minimally politically astute sincerely wondering why the administration is suddenly proposing a bunch of lefty policies only after there is zero chance of passing any of them. The question contains its answer in itself.

So turn off the TV and have a nice evening. Lard knows I certainly will.

red&whitewinecheersCheers!

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

It has become a Palace tradition on this day of remembrance to post the speech delivered by Dr. King on April 4, 1967 at Manhattan’s Riverside Church. We do this not because we are supremely lazy—although we are most certainly that—but because it is truly excellent, yet tends to be given short shrift relative to other works of the slain civil rights leader.

King’s “I Have A Dream” speech is of course his most well-known and celebrated. He gave it from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, at the closing of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and major television networks broadcast it live. The text is short (by King’s standards) and is notable for, among other things, painting a vivid picture of what racial justice looks like.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is also frequently cited. He wrote it in response to an April 12, 1963 open letter by eight white Alabama clergymen, who took issue with King and his tactics. In Why We Can’t Wait, King said of his response:

“Begun on the margins of the newspaper in which the statement appeared while I was in jail, the letter was continued on scraps of writing paper supplied by a friendly black trusty, and concluded on a pad my attorneys were eventually permitted to leave me.”

Its central focus is a beautiful, powerful defense of non-violent activism. But what always strikes me most about it is King’s crushing disappointment upon learning that the greatest enemies to social progress are not, in fact, those who are openly and hatefully opposed to it, but those “allies” who rend their garments and advocate moderation, patience and gradualism in the face of immediate, deadly and enduring injustice. King held up a mirror, and in doing so, he showed us what ally-ship looks like.

Five years later, he spoke the words of Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Here, he showed us exactly how inextricably linked are the battles against discrimination, oppression, poverty, injustice, and many other social ills to the evils of war. This is a broader, much more sweeping vision; in our opinion, these are his finest words.

As King said in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

PEACE.

__________

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.
By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

In the light of such tragic misunderstandings, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church — the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate — leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.

I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia.

Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they can play in a successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reason to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.

Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents.

The Importance of Vietnam

Since I am a preacher by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor — both black and white — through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

For those who ask the question, “Aren’t you a civil rights leader?” and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: “To save the soul of America.” We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself unless the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission — a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for “the brotherhood of man.” This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men — for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the “Vietcong” or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

Finally, as I try to delineate for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

Strange Liberators

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond to compassion my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them too because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation, and before the Communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony.

Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not “ready” for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination, and a government that had been established not by China (for whom the Vietnamese have no great love) but by clearly indigenous forces that included some Communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam.

Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of the reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

After the French were defeated it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva agreements. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators — our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly routed out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords and refused even to discuss reunification with the north. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by U.S. influence and then by increasing numbers of U.S. troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem’s methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictatorships seemed to offer no real change — especially in terms of their need for land and peace.

The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace and democracy — and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us — not their fellow Vietnamese –the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go — primarily women and children and the aged.

They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals, with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one “Vietcong”-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them — mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children, degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?

We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation’s only non-Communist revolutionary political force — the unified Buddhist church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. What liberators?

Now there is little left to build on — save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call fortified hamlets. The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these? Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These too are our brothers.

Perhaps the more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front — that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of “aggression from the north” as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent Communist and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will have no part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them — the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again and then shore it up with the power of new violence?

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

So, too, with Hanoi. In the north, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which would have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again.

When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. Also it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva agreements concerning foreign troops, and they remind us that they did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.

Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard of the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the north. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor weak nation more than eight thousand miles away from its shores.

At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless on Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called enemy, I am as deeply concerned about our troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

This Madness Must Cease

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:

“Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.”

If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horribly clumsy and deadly game we have decided to play.

The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways.

In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:

End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.

Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.

Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.

Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and in any future Vietnam government.

Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva agreement.

Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We most provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country if necessary.

Protesting The War

Meanwhile we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible.

As we counsel young men concerning military service we must clarify for them our nation’s role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is the path now being chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.

There is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter the struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality we will find ourselves organizing clergy- and laymen-concerned committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. Such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.

In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military “advisors” in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counter-revolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken — the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and through their misguided passions urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not call everyone a Communist or an appeaser who advocates the seating of Red China in the United Nations and who recognizes that hate and hysteria are not the final answers to the problem of these turbulent days. We must not engage in a negative anti-communism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity and injustice which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

The People Are Important

These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” We in the West must support these revolutions. It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has the revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgement against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores and thereby speed the day when “every valley shall be exalted, and every moutain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain.”

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept — so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force — has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:

Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : “Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word.”

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The “tide in the affairs of men” does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out deperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on…” We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.

We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world — a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter — but beautiful — struggle for a new world. This is the callling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:

Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
Off’ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
Twixt that darkness and that light.
Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ’tis truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong:
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above his own.

PEACE.

__________

Reads.

library4People Who Become Cops Tend to Have Authoritarian Personality Characteristics: Research shows a correlation between police behavior and authoritarianism. DeVega, C., AlterNet (Jan. 2015). [h/t SJ] [GTFO. -Ed.]

A Tale of Two Snipers: Killing in war through different moral lenses. Driscoll, C., The Greanville Post (Jan. 2015). [Or, “Why I Won’t Be Seeing the New Bradley Cooper/Clint Eastwood War Propaganda Extravaganza.” -Ed.]

BDSM Versus the DSM: A history of the fight that got kink de-classified as mental illness. Gerson, M.N., The Atlantic (Jan. 2015). [Just FYI: We freaks are all right. -Ed.]

Islamic extremist attack in Nigeria named the ‘deadliest massacre’ in history. News.com.au (Jan. 2015). [Not to minimize the recent horrors in Paris—white d00d lives matter!—but yet again we see that the victims of Islamist terrorism are, overwhelmingly, other Muslims, and in this case, mostly women, children and the elderly. And yet again, there is little media coverage. And yet again, I will point this out:

blacklivesmatterBLACK LIVES MATTER.

Get your fucking shit together, “journalists.” -Ed.]

The Ethyl-Poisoned Earth. Bellows, A., Damn Interesting (Dec. 2007). [Nothing condemns capitalism as brutally as…capitalism. -Ed.]

First International Hypocrite Convention Passes Without Incident. Waterford Whispers News (Jan. 2015). [LOL. -Ed.]

__________

PLZ NOTE: Acquisition of links and/or bon mots for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual.

Recent reads.

library4
NYC Cops Prove They Aren’t Really Needed. Lindorff, D., The Greanville Post (Jan. 2015). (“If this job action keeps up, and the city doesn’t descend into a spasm of crime and mayhem, maybe Mayor deBlasio should live up to his early billing as a former radical activist and start sacking the protesting cops.”) [Good luck with that. -Ed.]

46 examples of Muslim outrage about Paris shooting that Fox News can’t seem to find. Halper, K., Raw Story (Jan. 2015).

Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter. Editors, The Frederick News-Post (background: Delauter to The News-Post: Don’t use my name without permission. Jones, P.) (Jan. 2014). [h/t Kel] [OMFG LOL. -Ed.]

FBI says target in Colorado Springs bombing unclear. Loveless, C., KRDO.com (Jan. 2015).

Linda Tirado: ‘It was insane. I got 20,000 emails in a week': The author of Hand to Mouth on the shock of going viral online, being vilified by critics, and now being able to afford to have her teeth fixed. Cooke, R., The Guardian (Jan. 2014).

Study: White people see “black” Americans as less competent than “African Americans”. Lopez, G., Vox (Jan. 2015). [Behold the power of words. -Ed.]

Charlie Hebdo, Bill Donohue, and the freedom of thought. Seidel, A.L., Freedom From Religion Foundation (Jan. 2015).

-and-

Coward Donohue doesn’t understand liberty. Seidel, A.L., Freedom From Religion Foundation (Jan. 2015).

[IRIS FFRF’s ANDREW SEIDEL. -Ed.]

As #LeelahAlcorn’s mom talks to CNN, Leelah’s Reddit posts come back to haunt her. Williams, C., Transadvocate (Jan. 2015). (“there is an effort to swamp trans-specific helpline call centers [STRONG TW] with bogus calls on the off-chance it will prevent a trans person from accessing help and result in their suicide”) [TRIGGER WARNING: death threats, dehumanization, epic assholery, abuse—especially at the embedded link.]

Anti-vaccination update: How the measles crisis struck Disneyland. Hiltzik, M., The Los Angeles Times (Jan. 2015). (“Disney isn’t at fault in this outbreak–heedless parents leaving their children unvaccinated are.”)

palacefuckyou[Fuck you, anti-vaxxers. -Ed.]

Guys Need Pap Tests, Too: A Trans Man’s Guide to Visiting the Gyno. Kellaway, M., Everyday Feminism (Jan. 2015).

A Drone Flew Over A Pig Farm To Discover It’s Not Really A Farm. It’s Something Much More Disturbing. Berman, R., Upworthy (Dec. 2014) (with VIDEO: “Spy Drones Expose Smithfield Foods Factory Farms” by Mark Devries.). [h/t Don Ardell]

I’ll Bet You’ve Put Yourself In A Really Bad Position Without Even Knowing It At Least Once. Willard, L., Upworthy (Oct. 2014). (with VIDEO: “Lost in the Fine Print,” narrated by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, created by Alliance for Justice.) [h/t SJ]

The U.S. has more jails than colleges. Here’s a map of where those prisoners live. Ingraham, C., The Washington Post (Jan. 2015). [#priorities -Ed.]

The community of the potentially mockable. Salty Current, Butterflies & Wheels / Freethought Blogs (Jan. 2015).

In the Wake of Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech Does Not Mean Freedom From Criticism. Canfield, J., The Hooded Utilitarian (Jan. 2015).

What Stalled the Gender Revolution? Child Care That Costs More Than College Tuition. Straus, T., California Magazine (Winter 2014).

Sheets: Christians Must Take Back Government In 2015 Because ‘We Are God’s Governing Force On The Earth’. Mantyla, K., Right Wing Watch (Jan. 2015). [If this is the kind of ape it wants in charge, wow this god is a huuuuuge asshole. -Ed.]

The right-wing domestic terror plot you didn’t hear about this week. Jilani, Z., Raw Story via AlterNet (Jan. 2015).

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Quotes:

I find that the biggest fans of imperialism are the folks who thought of it first.
-Kent F. Hell-Dweller

Ugh “what if you aborted the person who’d have cured cancer?”
“No, what if you made her raise a baby at 15 instead of going to med school?”
-Beatrice (@MissObdurate) via Sally Strange

I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.
-Janelle Monáe

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PLZ NOTE: Acquisition of links and/or bon mots for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual. See, e.g., the linked pieces by J. Canfield and Salty Current regarding Charlie Hebdo: both are thoughtful, provocative and persuasive—and utterly irreconcilable.

Not Afraid.

notafraidFor those inclined toward clicktivism, here is a petition (via Avaaz) you can e-sign that reads:

We stand united in support of the march for Fraternity, Equality and Liberty. We are not afraid, and we will not be divided.

As of this post there are 626,469 signers. They’re aiming for a million.