public dissent

A bit of traditional witchcraft wisdom:

You are responsible for what you write, what information you put out there, what audience you give it to and to a limited extent what people do with it. If you put yourself out there as a witchcraft blog author, you are saying you are a leader with the capacity to teach and your lessons are something you are responsible for.

Unpopular opinion, but if you give out dangerous potion recipes or characterize witches as committing grave crimes, yes you are responsible for that image and the moral backlash that comes with it. There are common morals and common sense. And we are under the judgment of public opinion. Why are you responsible? Because people hold you responsible, spirits hold you responsible, even gods might hold you responsible. Whining about not wanting to be responsible won’t change that people will hold you responsible.

Sure cursing can be the resort of the hurt and abused and a form of rightful defense, but for goodness sakes you are not immune from public dissent when you are cursing people for petty reasons left and right because you are jerk and like bragging about it. Especially if your readers believe in magic then they believe you are actually harming people day and night for fun. That is yucky. And yes you do make the rest of us look bad and yes you are responsible for that. And yes there are real world consequences for an image of malefic people with a lack of wisdom and a drive to destroy.

A witch is actually responsible for their words and actions that is how society works. Freedom of speech gives you the right to speak, it does not free you from responsibility for your speech.

Enough out there wonder why they get attacked for saying awful things. You shouldn’t wonder.

The cure for this is simply wisdom, the providence of the witch or at least it should be in my unpopular opinion.

The Snowball part 17

Had a few comments about the story Rhys told Feyre in the previous update, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, it’s a real story! I tweaked a few things to make it shorter. Sarah J Maas has said that ACOTAR is based on not just Beauty and the Beast, but also a story called Tam-Lin and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which is why the storyline was so familiar.

Link to previous chapters X 

Feyre woke warm, and rested the most well rested she had been in weeks. She stretched her legs out lazily like a cat until she realised the warmth next to her was a body. Rhys’s body.

He still had one arm curled protectively around her. With his free hand he stroked her arm idly.

“Is it morning already?” Feyre asked, yawning.

Rhys laughed softly. “More like afternoon.”

“What?” Feyre bolted upright.

Rhys laughed again. “It’s okay Feyre, you needed the sleep and I couldn’t bring myself to wake you.”

“What about the others?”

“They arrived late last night and settled in.”

Feyre moved to get up but Rhys made a sound of protest and tried to hold on to her for a few moments longer.

Feyre laughed. “Rhys we have to get up. The others are probably wondering where I am.”

“Oh I’m sure Mor told them.” Rhys said with a grin.

Feyre looked at him sharply. “What?”

“Mor looked for you as soon as she got here and when she couldn’t find you in your room she came in here. You were snoring softly I think, so she left.”

Feyre pouted. “I do not snore.”

“Just a little.” Rhys insisted, flicking her on the nose.

“What does Mor think happened last night?” Feyre asked quietly.

Rhys’s grin disappeared as he looked at Feyre seriously. “I told her I had too much pain medication and you were worried about leaving me alone so you stayed in here. That’s all.”

Feyre sighed.

“I’d never say anything happened between us if it didn’t Feyre.” Rhys said.

“I know. I didn’t mean it like that, I just hoped you explained that to Mor so she didn’t get the wrong idea.”

“Don’t want her to think you’re not as innocent as you look, you mean?” Rhys said with a wink.

Feyre threw a pillow at Rhys so quickly, he didn’t have time to stop it before it hit him in the face. “Prick”.

Rhys only laughed and pulled Feyre to her feet so they could go downstairs.

“Ah there they are.” Cassian said with a smirk.

“Don’t even think about it Cassian.” Feyre warned him quickly before Rhys got the chance.

“I wasn’t saying anything. We were all just wondering what time you’d emerge today, if you emerged at all.” He said suggestively.

“Cass.” Rhys growled.

Cassian only looked delighted by the response he was getting from Rhys and Feyre as he smiled into his coffee.

Mor changed the topic, “Feeling any better Rhys?”

“I feel fine now. We should keep working on how to stop Hybern.”

“No time to waste.” Azriel agreed.

“Are we just going to ignore the fact that every time we turn on the tv there’s a video of Rhys getting the crap kicked out of him by Tamlin?” Amren drawled.

“He caught me by surprise.” Rhys mumbled.

“Can we use the fight against Tamlin somehow?” Feyre asked.

Mor shook her head. “Already talked to the police, told them we’d drop charges if he broke off his business deal with Hybern but Tamlin didn’t take my offer. He’ll probably get some fines but nothing too much for him to worry about.”

“That’s all? He nearly kidnapped Feyre.” Rhys said darkly.

“The police said there wasn’t enough evidence.” Mor replied.

“Bullshit.” Azriel growled.

“He’s got the police force under his thumb.” Amren added.

Feyre got her phone out and did a quick search for some of the articles while the others fought more about how much control Tamlin really had over the city.

Eventually Rhys sauntered over to read over Feyre’s shoulder.

“Enjoying your spotlight?” He asked with a wry smile.

Feyre shook her head. “No but look at this.” She held out the phone for Rhys to read the comments under a few of the articles. “People seem to be on our side, they don’t trust Tamlin’s story.”

Rhys looked at her blankly, a question in his eyes.

“So, what if we use this to expose Tamlin’s deal with Hybern? Show the city that he doesn’t have their best interest’s at heart.” Feyre continued.

Understanding lit Rhys’s eyes. “We essentially ruin all of his credibility.”

“His business partners would abandon him.” Cassian added, coming over to join Feyre and Rhys.

“This could work.” Rhys nodded.

“But how do we encourage public dissent?” Azriel asked.

“We do interviews, call some reporters.” Mor said.

Rhys had gone quiet. When he felt Feyre’s eyes on him he met her stare with a sad smile.

“We could ruin him even further.” Rhys said slowly.

“How?” Chorused the others.

Rhys only looked to Feyre before saying, “If, and only if, Feyre agrees, she could come out about the abuse.”

“Rhys-” Mor began before being cut off by Rhys.

“I know it’s a terrible thing to throw out to the media, but it would destroy Tamlin. He would never be able to recover from something like that. People would support us, listen to us.”

Feyre felt all eyes go to her as they let her think about what Rhys was saying. It was a big decision. One she wasn’t sure she wanted to go through with. But when Feyre thought about all that she had put Rhys and his family through, what they had done for her, she realised there really was no choice. For them she would do anything.

She nodded her head. “I’ll do it.”

The others sighed in relief, and Mor reached out a hand to grip her own.

“I’ll start contacting people.” Amren said before leaving to go upstairs.

“I’ll do the same.” Azriel said before also disappearing.

“I’ll make you some breakfast, why don’t you go sit down and just relax for a bit Feyre?” Cassian offered.

Feyre nodded her head and made her way to the living room with Mor and Rhys.

“He doesn’t always use his words to show feelings, but making food for people is as close as Cassian gets to saying ‘thank you’, or 'I love you’.” Mor laughed.

“I’ll tell him he’s getting too soft on me later.” Feyre laughed.

“Do that, and you’ll pay for it the next time you spar with him.” Rhys said grinning.

“We really can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing Feyre. It means a lot to us.” Mor said sincerely.

Feyre looked at Mor, knowing about her family life now, Feyre knew Mor really did understand her hesitation to go public and it made her love her friends more for not pushing her to do it if she didn’t want to.

Feyre hugged Mor, and a stunned Mor hesitated before she hugged her back warmly. When they pulled apart, Mor murmured something about things she had to take care of and quickly left the room.

Feyre looked to Rhys confused.

“I think being near you sometimes reminds Mor of her past too much. She’ll be fine.” Rhys promised, before reaching for her and also pulling her into a hug.

Feyre gripped the back of Rhys’s shirt hard as she realised the enormity of what she would do to Tamlin. She pressed her face into Rhys’s chest trying to hide her eyes beginning to tear up.

Rhys held her tighter and stroked her hair soothingly.

“I know. I know.” He whispered to her over and over.

After the panic had subsided, Feyre pulled back enough to look Rhys in the face.

“Do you think it’s wrong of me to use him like this?” She asked.

“Not at all. From your suffering, you’ll be able to help people Feyre. You could also help other people who feel trapped in a bad relationship.”

Feyre nodded. But the sick feeling in her gut refused to go away.

“I just wanted this to be over.” She said sadly.

Rhys gently brushed away the tears on her face with his thumbs before replying, “I know. We all did. But he’s not going to stop until we properly end this Feyre.”

Feyre closed her eyes, leaning her face into Rhys’s hands more and moving her body closer to his. She heard Rhys’s sharp intake of breath as she slid one hand to cup the side of his face and the other slid up his neck.

Rhys’s hands stilled on her face and Feyre opened her eyes to see Rhys’s face barely inches from her own. His eyes looked unfocused on her as their breath intermingled.

Feyre desperately wanted him to move again, yearned for his hands moving soothingly against her skin. As if seeing it in her eyes, Rhys brushed his thumb once more across her cheekbone before tilting his head to the side and brushing his lips softly against her own.

When Feyre tilted her head further back, allowing Rhys better access to her lips his hands moved to her waist to pull her flush against him. But to Feyre’s disappointment, his mouth remained soft and gentle on hers. So Feyre instead reached behind the back of Rhys’s neck to pull her down to him.

Rhys growled softly as his lips became more insistent, and Feyre encouraged him by gently tugging on his lower lip with her teeth.

A deep, guttural noise came from the back of Rhys’s throat as his hands began exploring Feyre’s lower back, dipping dangerously downwards. Feyre arched her back in pleasure, but Rhys’s hands moved quickly so they were skimming her thighs now, instead of where Feyre had been trying to navigate them towards.

“Not yet.” He whispered against her lips.

Rhys’s hands traced lightly across her thighs making Feyre lift her head as his light touches tickled her. Her throat was exposed as Rhys broke off their kiss. Feyre made to try and reclaim it when Rhys’s mouth moved to her neck instead.

 Feyre had to close her eyes as he lightly kissed up the column of her throat and moved towards the tender skin underneath her ear.

Rhys had subtly begun moving them both towards the couch when the loud sound of the doorbell ringing had them drawing reluctantly apart.

Rhys looked down at Feyre smiling idiotically while she blushed and tried to smooth down her hair from where Rhys had messed it up.

They were still standing side by side, the backs of their hands lightly touching, when they heard Cassian speaking loudly with the person at the door.

From the way he was talking, it sounded like he was joking but things had quickly turned heated and Rhys glanced worriedly at Feyre before making his way to the hallway.

Feyre followed, dread pooling in her stomach, thinking that maybe Tamlin had come again for her.

When she looked past Rhys, she saw Cassian standing by the open door with an arm across it, barring the person from entering. His shoulders were bunched in anger but his face looked calm, if not a little bit smug as he argued with whoever had rung the doorbell.

Feyre looked at the girl, red faced with anger, as she shouted something at Cassian, before she turned her attention to Feyre.

Feyre gasped as she recognised her.


Thoughts on Ep 2

That Dany and Varys scene was great. I really enjoyed Dany respecting Varys for standing up for himself and not being some simpering advisor.

And Dany is concerned about how the people will rule under her, and doesn’t want to fail them. So much for the haters saying that all she cares about is ruling and that she is becoming a villain.

Originally posted by justalittletumblweed

Also Dany is looking AMAZING in this episode

Originally posted by sogui

‘The prince or princess that was promised’ or both as the case my be.

‘He sounds like quite a man’, Holy shit, Dany’s talking about Jon with Tyrion.

Originally posted by astross-aqcualigus

While I think that Randyll Tarly is a dick for joining with Cersei, I did like his conversation with Jaime where he called out all the shit the Lannisters have done.

Balerion the Dread’s skull…

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

When Cersei fires at the skull…

Originally posted by justalittletumblweed

I liked the Tyrion and Ellaria scene, with Dany putting her in her place.

God I hate the Sand Snakes in the show.

I did find it funny that through the Grey Worm/ Missandei scene (which I thought was a very nice scene) I’m pretty sure that they left the door wide open, so any fucker walking past could see them.

“You’re not going to die today, Ser Jorah.” Fuck yes Sam.

So as soon as Arya found out about Jon being KitN, she gave up on her plan to kill Cersei and went home. So much for haters saying that she is a heartless killer. 

Jon saying that he doesn’t want to be King and that he never asked for it. Doesn’t sound ike someone who would claim the Iron Throne if he found out his parentage does it? 

This episode is just shutting the haters down one at a time and I love it

Sansa is still REALLY annoying me with this constant questioning of Jon in public and stirring dissent.

‘Last best hope against the coming storm’, I never thought Lf would be saying to Jon. Sneaky little shit, trying to manipulate Jon.

Jon choking out Lf was everything that I wanted it to be, with the slight problem that his words will give the Jonsa crowd some fuel for their fire.

But who cares. Jon and Dany said each other’s names finally and will meet next episode. 

Jonerys is in full swing guys and I cannot wait.

Originally posted by vaticofficial

I’m not gonna lie, the Arya scene with Nymeria gave me chills, as it was so similar to the one that I had written… until Nymeria walked away. That was pretty sad.

That sea battle was incredible! I loved the shot of Euron’s ship coming out of the blackness, as it really made you feel like Theon and Yara were fucked. 

Holy shit Euron is intimidating. Two Sand Snakes down and that laugh when Theon jumped overboard.

That was a great episode but I cannot wait until next week. Jon and Dany meeting FINALLY!
Supreme Court rejects 2nd Amendment challenge to California limits on carrying guns in public
Supreme Court acts on 2nd Amendment challenge to California's strict rules for carrying firearms
By David G. Savage

The justices turned away an appeal from gun rights advocates who contended most law-abiding gun owners in San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area are being wrongly denied permits to carry a weapon when they leave home.

The justices let stand a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which held last year that the “2nd Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”

In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court’s action “reflects a distressing trend” in the treatment of the 2nd Amendment as a disfavored right. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch joined his dissent.

Quidditch World Cup Excerpt

I just looked this up:

“The Potter family – minus Mother, Ginny Potter, who of course is here in the journalists’ enclosure with me – have been given prime places in the front row. All are wearing the red of Bulgaria except middle child Albus, who is sporting Brazilian green. This will undoubtedly send the gossips into overdrive – what message is young Albus sending us all by choosing to support a team other than his father’s? A team, lest we forget, that is competing against his father’s ex-rival, now friend, Viktor Krum. Are we witnessing a very public, very ugly display of father-son rivalry? My colleague, Ginny Potter, who is sitting close enough to read everything my Quick-Quotes Quill is scribbling, informs me that Albus is a great fan of Brazilian Chaser Gonçalo Flores. That, of course, would be one possible explanation for this oddly public parade of familial dissent.“

JKR always intended for Albus to be a Slytherin, I’m convinced of it. :D

Complete story here. 


In Venezuela, Protest Ranks Grow Broader

By WILLIAM NEUMANFEB. Feb. 24, 2014 (The New York Times)

Photos by Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

SAN CRISTÓBAL, Venezuela — As dawn broke, the residents of a quiet neighborhood here readied for battle. Some piled rocks to be used as projectiles. Others built barricades. A pair of teenagers made firebombs as the adults looked on.

These were not your ordinary urban guerrillas. They included a manicurist, a medical supplies saleswoman, a schoolteacher, a businessman and a hardware store worker.

As the National Guard roared around the corner on motorcycles and in an armored riot vehicle, the people in this tightly knit middle-class neighborhood, who on any other Monday morning would have been heading to work or taking their children to school, rushed into the street, hurling rocks and shouting obscenities. The guardsmen responded with tear gas and shotgun fire, leaving a man bleeding in a doorway.

“We’re normal people, but we’re all affected by what’s happening,” said Carlos Alviarez, 39, who seemed vaguely bewildered to find himself in the middle of the street where the whiff of tear gas lingered. “Look. I’ve got a rock in my hand and I’m the distributor for Adidas eyewear in Venezuela.”

The biggest protests since the death of the longtime leader Hugo Chávez nearly a year ago are sweeping Venezuela, rapidly expanding from the student protests that began this month on a campus in this western city into a much broader array of people across the country. On Monday, residents in Caracas, the capital, and other Venezuelan cities piled furniture, tree limbs, chain-link fence, sewer grates and washing machines to block roads in a coordinated action against the government.

Behind the outpouring is more than the litany of problems that have long bedeviled Venezuela, a country with the world’s largest oil reserves but also one of the highest inflation rates. Adding to the perennial frustrations over violent crime and chronic shortages of basic goods like milk and toilet paper, the outrage is being fueled by President Nicolás Maduro’s aggressive response to public dissent, including deploying hundreds of soldiers here and sending fighter jets to make low, threatening passes over the city.

On Monday, the state governor, who belongs to Mr. Maduro’s party, broke ranks and challenged the president’s tactics, defending the right of students to protest and criticizing the flyovers, a rare dissent from within the government.

Polarization is a touchstone of Venezuelan politics, which was bitterly divided during the 14-year presidency of Mr. Chávez, Mr. Maduro’s mentor. But while Mr. Chávez would excoriate and punish opponents, he had keen political instincts and often seemed to know when to back off just enough to keep things from boiling over.

Now Mr. Maduro, his chosen successor, who is less charismatic and is struggling to contend with a deeply troubled economy, has taken a hard line on expressions of discontent, squeezing the news media, arresting a prominent opposition politician and sending the National Guard into residential areas to quash the protests.

Two people were killed on Monday, including a man here in San Cristóbal who, according to his family, fell from a roof after guardsmen shot tear gas at him. There is disagreement on whether all the deaths nationwide cited by the government are directly associated with the protests, but the death toll is probably at least a dozen.

In the neighborhood of Barrio Sucre, residents said they were outraged last week when a guardsman fired a shotgun at a woman and her adult son, sending both to the hospital with serious wounds. In response, the residents built barricades to keep the guardsmen out. On Monday, after guardsmen made an early sortie into the neighborhood, firing tear gas and buckshot at people’s homes, the inflamed and sometimes terrified residents prepared to drive them back.

Across town, Isbeth Zambrano, 39, a mother of two, still fumed about the time two days earlier when the National Guard drove onto the street, where children were playing, and fired tear gas at residents. Now she sat in front of her apartment building, casually guarding a beer crate full of firebombs.

“We want this government to go away,” she said. “We want freedom, no more crime, we want medicine.” Around her neck, like a scarf, she wore a diaper printed with small teddy bears. It was soaked in vinegar, to ward off the effects of tear gas, in case of another attack.

Unlike the protests in neighboring Brazil last year, when the government tried to defuse anger by promising to fix ailing services and make changes to the political system, Mr. Maduro says the protesters are fascists conducting a coup against his government. He has largely refused to acknowledge their complaints, focusing instead on violence linked to the unrest. Here in Táchira State, he says the protests are infiltrated by right-wing Colombian paramilitary groups, and he has threatened to arrest the mayor of San Cristóbal.

Mr. Maduro’s stance is mirrored by the intensity among the protesters. While he has called for a national conference on Wednesday and some opposition politicians have urged dialogue, a majority of protesters here, most of them longtime government opponents, rejected that option.

“They’ve been mocking us for 15 years, sacking the country,” said Ramón Arellano, 54, a government worker, while a burning refrigerator in the street behind him blotted out the sky with a cone of black smoke. “A dialogue from one side while the other turns a deaf ear, that’s not fair.”

Like most of the protesters here, Mr. Arellano said he wanted a change of government. Protesters say that could be achieved by having Mr. Maduro resign, or be removed through a recall election or changes to the Constitution.

Mr. Maduro says he will not leave office, and he continues to have wide support among those loyal to Mr. Chávez’s legacy.

Táchira State, and especially San Cristóbal, the state capital, are longtime opposition strongholds. The opposition presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, received 73 percent of the vote in San Cristóbal when he ran against Mr. Maduro last April.

A city of 260,000, San Cristóbal was almost completely shut down on Monday. Residents had set up dozens of barricades all around town. In many areas, residents set out nails or drove pieces of rebar into the pavement, leaving them partly exposed, to puncture tires.

In Barrio Sucre, Escarlet Pedraza, 19, showed two motorcycles that she said had been crushed by National Guard troops, who drove armored vehicles over them. She recorded the event on her cellphone camera.

Later, residents burned tires and threw rocks at guardsmen, who advanced and entered a side street, firing tear gas and shotguns directly at the houses.

The guardsmen broke open a garage door in one house and smashed the windshield of a car inside. The house next door filled with tear gas and the family inside, including two young children, choked in the fumes. “I’m indignant,” said Victoria Pérez, the mother, weeping. “This is getting out of hand. It’s arrogance, it’s a desire for power.”

A student, his face covered with a cloth, kicked angrily at a house where a pro-government family lives, shouting at them to join the protest. Other residents rushed in to stop him.

Nearby, a neighbor, Teresa Contreras, 53, flipped through the channels on her television, showing that there was no coverage of the violence, a sign, she said, of the government control over the news media.

Earlier, Andrea Altuve, 38, a teacher, watched the preparations for the coming battle, with people adding to barricades and children pouring gasoline into beer bottles for makeshift bombs.

“It looks like a civil war,” she said. “They are sending the National Guard into the neighborhoods out of fear.”

A version of this article appears in print on February 25, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: In Venezuela, Protest Ranks Grow Broader.

© 2014 The New York Times Company

anonymous asked:

What do you think about the fact that Al and Scor are slytherins? I mean, do they actually have slytherin's traits?


While I do think it’s too-little-too-late to use this play as a Slytherin redemption device, and that it’s massively disappointing that the wizarding world hasn’t gotten over it’s anti-Slytherin bias and that Albus’ and Scorpius’ sorting is framed as a lazy us-against-the-rest-of-the-world isolation both in the context of their house as well as the general Hogwarts population, yes, I do think both of them exhibit significant Slytherin characteristics.

Albus! Albus’ Slytherin traits set the whole story in motion: he is so desperate to prove himself that when he sees an opportunity he pretty much falls to the first trap Delphi sets for him. As far as we know, Albus’ desire to show that he is his own person and his unwillingness to live in his father’s shadow started long before the events of TCC - remember the “oddly public parade of familial dissent” at QWC'14? (as a sidenote, this is when the entire family was wearing Bulgaria red except Albus who was in Brazilian green, supposedly to support the Brazilian Chaser Gonçalo Flores)

When asking the big question from Harry at 9 ¾, I think at some level Albus already knew he'd belong in Slytherin, and perhaps a small part of him actually wanted to get sorted there. While it’s obvious that he did have a choice (as in the AU he was able to choose Gryffindor just to spite Panju - this seems like a very Slytherin thing to do tbh), I think that like Harry, Albus didn’t truly make the choice during the sorting but at Hogwarts Express when he chose to stay with Scorpius.

The whole Cedric shenanigan seems to emphasise Albus’ Slythern traits: he’s not really saving Cedric only because it’s the right thing to do - given their willingness to use a Time-Turner, they could have worked out plan to save a greater number of people. Albus ends up screwing up everything because the story Delphi tailored to him resonated with Albus and provided an opportunity for him to prove himself, to accomplish something on his own terms.

Scorpius? Well, every Black kid, apart from Sirius (and supposedly Teddy Lupin) has been a Slytherin, and I don’t see why Scorpius wouldn’t. Scorpius is loyal. Not Hufflepuff loyal to those who need it, but the possessive kind of unconditionally loyal that will do anything for those who are his. He remains loyal when there’s very little to gain from his loyalty. He is probably the most risk-averse character of the entire play, and he’s instantly willing to confront Snape and mess with time for a chance to, well, give up his kingdom for Albus. This is probably the only time we see Scorpius show zero regard whatsoever for any long term consequences of his actions, just to get the world with Albus back.

Both of them prove to be cunning, adaptable, resourceful, comfortable with lying, sure. Both of them exhibit characteristics of other houses, too: thrist for knowledge for the sake of knowledge, recklessness, disregard for rules when it’s convenient (though I’d argue that this, too, is a Slytherin trait). Both of them seem to value academic recognition: Albus finds his shortcomings disappointing, and AU!Scorpius had been striving to be a Head Boy. Both of them seem to think they’re failing to live up to their personal or their own family’s expectations.

What makes them Slytherins, in my books, is their ambition.

In terms of ambition, well, the dissonance in being self-proclaimed losers in a house that represents cutthroat striving for greatness is certainly interesting, but I wouldn’t say these two aren’t ambitious. To quote Scorpius: “My point is - there’s a reason - we’re friends, Albus - a reason we found each other, you know?”, well, this is it. While these boys might not want power over others, both of them crave power over their own lives: isn’t the reason these two found each other, the two kids who entered the Hogwarts Express craving for a chance to find their own form of agency and control over their own lives, not as a son of Voldemort or the Boy Who Lived, but as themselves? Both of them were deprived of power over their own lives by prejudices attached to their respective family names, and in each other they found the one person willing to look past all that and see the real person underneath.

Also I keep seeing the people dismissing the Hamilton thing calling it a feel-good story, which like–yeah okay it’s heartening to see that kind of courage! I am glad to know we have such artists!  But I don’t feel good about this! The President Elect is demanding silence and complacency from very high-profile artists! That’s not irrelevant, and it’s not “feel good”, it’s important and it’s dangerous! Other important things are happening too, but silencing dissent is kind of a big deal–every other form of peaceful resistance depends on being able to communicate public dissent. 

Yeah, a lot is going that matters. It can matter and this can matter too, they are not mutually exclusive.  

Glass Castles

Between the Dagor Aglareb and the Dagor Bragollach, Fingolfin attempted to organize another assault on Angband. His plans failed, due in large part to the reluctance of the sons of Fëanor.

Curufin carefully locks the door to his chambers, sets his forehead against the wall, and breathes. The outer walls of Himring were built to contain a small town, the fortress can, at need, house an even larger army. Of the immediate family, only five are present. Maglor had refused Maedhros’s summons in an elegant letter pleading the importance of his post, recent troubles with orcs, the necessity of his continued presence. Celegorm couldn’t be bothered to feign respect. “It’s not as though you’d listen to me if I went,” he’d said, Huan lolling at his side. Then he’d paused, scratched the dog’s head, and continued. “I’m useless at that sort of politics, Curvo. Leave me be.” The keep is honeycombed with empty rooms. 

It should be easier, then, to avoid Golfin’s messengers.

Keep reading

The problem isn’t “governments,” at least in the West. They are not much involved in doctrinal management (though there are exceptions, like Woodrow Wilson and the Reaganites, both of whom ran huge state propaganda systems - illegal in the latter case; there were no relevant laws in the Wilson era). Doctrinal management is overwhelmingly the task of corporate propaganda, which is extraordinary in scale and very significant in impact; and [it is also] the task of the general intellectual community, including the acceptable dissidents who perform a very important service by setting the bounds of discussion and thus entrenching the unspoken presuppositions of the doctrinal system. Governments are marginal, outside of totalitarian states, though attention is always focused on them, to direct it away from what matters.
—  Noam Chomsky

Politico ranks Minnesota tied for best state

In the midst of a Minnesota winter, it’s nice to know you’re number one.

The national political publication Politico ranked Minnesota the best state of the union to live in Tuesday. Well, actually, they ranked two states at #1: The Gopher State and the Granite State, New Hampshire.

Last year, Politico ranked Minnesota the second-best state, behind New Hampshire. Minnesota edged upward this year based on improvements in employment, infant mortality and the obesity rate this year, the publication stated. Mississippi ranked last for the second year in a row (a slot which had previously earned the publication a letter of dissent from Mississippi’s governor).

The rankings are based on 14 separate criteria (note: weather isn’t one of them), including:

— per capita income (Minnesota is 7th, at $30,913)

— lowest unemployment (8th, at 3.7 percent)

— percent above poverty level (9th, at 89.5 percent)

— home ownership (2nd, at 72.5 percent)

— percent of high school graduates (2nd, at 92.1 percent)

— life expectancy (2nd, at 81.1)

— (fewest) infant deaths per 1000 births (5th, at 4.49)

— percent of obese residents (5th, at 22 percent)

— average 8th grade math score (4th, at 295)

— average 8th grade reading score (10th, at 271)

— GINI index (income inequality) (11th, at .45)

— lowest violent crime rate per 100,000 (9th, at 223.2)

— percent employed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs (13th, at 6.1 percent)

— “wellbeing” score: 4th, at 69.7

anonymous asked:

Would you consider air signs normally narcissistic?

I would say that they do have that tendency. Mostly because all three are ruled by their notions and not by their empathy. They get enraptured with ideas - the idea of innovation, or creativity or beauty or world peace or a fight - so much so that they lose grasp of what another might feel about that idea or what that idea might do to others. That disconnect, ironically, can make them effective leaders because they are not swayed by public sentiment or dissent. But the narcissism can lead to awkward, head scratching moments that can isolate air signs and make you wonder what the fuck they are on about. Kanye, for example, has had too many of these moments to count.

New York City agrees to pay $18 million settlement to protesters of the RNC
January 16, 2014

The city of New York has agreed to pay $18m to settle a civil rights claim from hundreds of protesters who were rounded up and detained in overcrowded and dirty conditions after they rallied outside the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The settlement, between city hall and almost 500 individuals, brings to an end a long-running sore between the overwhelmingly peaceful protesters and the New York police department (NYPD) that had been pursuing aggressive surveillance and detention tactics in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. More than 1,800 people, including teenagers and many uninvolved bystanders, were caught up in the massive police sweep outside the convention that was held to mark the nomination of George W Bush for a second presidential term.

The deal, announced by the law department of the city of New York on Wednesday, does not come down on either side of the argument. It admits no liability on the part of the NYPD, noting that for nine years City Hall and the police department “had vigorously defended all these lawsuits, maintaining that the conduct of the police had at all times been constitutional”.

It nevertheless involves a payment of $10.4m to individual plaintiffs and to 1,200 members of a class action that alleged violation of their rights, and a further $7.6m in attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.

The settlement offers a note of agreement between the parties, saying that “both the plaintiffs and defendants recognize the difficulties in policing an event of this magnitude, especially in New York City.” But it adds that the circumstances of the arrests at the RNC had been “heavily disputed” and in the end “the parties and the court believed it was in the best interests of all involved to settle the outstanding claims at this time.”

The events of 30 August to 2 September 2004 in New York were among the most dramatic of any political convention in US presidential history. Tensions were running high over the invasion of Iraq the previous year and hundreds of thousands marched against Bush and the war in one of the largest expressions of public dissent against a president.

Wednesday’s settlement notes that the demonstrators “on the whole, protested lawfully and peacefully”. But a total of 1,806 were arrested, most on charges of parading without a permit or disorderly conduct.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the protesters renamed Pier 57, then a disused former bus depot in Manhattan where those arrested were taken, Guantánamo on the Hudson. “All that was missing were the orange jumpsuits. Under the guise of terrorism and the fear of terrorism, we are all losing our rights,” Jonathan Moore, the lawyer who filed the original lawsuit a few months after the convention, said at the time .

Pier 57 was not properly adapted for use as a detention center. In it, detained individuals were herded 30 or 40 at a time into 10ft by 20ft pens.

Some were held for more than two days without being brought before a judge, a violation of New York’s legal limit of 24 hours between arrest and arraignment. They were only released when a New York supreme court judge ruled the breach of the deadline a contempt of court.

Some released detainees were taken straight to hospital for treatment of rashes and asthma caused by oil-soaked floors and chemical fumes. Most had the charges against them were dropped immediately or within six months of the arrests, and some police claims of resisting arrest were later shown to be spurious through video evidence gathered by defence lawyers.

The announcement of the final settlement only two weeks into the term of New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, may not be entirely coincidental. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his police chief Ray Kelly, had consistently defended the conduct of the NYPD in the week of the RNC convention, 30 August to 2 September 2004, saying it had been justified by intelligence of possible violent threats that had been uncovered. But the documentary evidence to support that claim has never been released.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks three years previously, Bloomberg and Kelly had expanded the activities of the NYPD dramatically to include surveillance and infiltration of political and protest groups. A year before the convention they received court approval to expand NYPD investigations into the work of political and social organisations, which Kelly said was necessary as “we live in a more dangerous, constantly changing world”.

When the convention came along, with its venue in the overwhelmingly liberal city of New York, tensions were running high particularly over the invasion of Iraq that occurred the previous year. Hundreds of thousands marched against Bush and the war in one of the largest expressions of public dissent against a president.

Before Wednesday’s settlement, the fact of which was first disclosed by the New York Times, the city had already spent more than $18m fighting legal battles in the aftermath of the convention: $2.1m to resolve 112 of the total of 600 individual claims, and a further $16m in legal fees. The final settlement brings the total cost of the police over-reach to $34m.