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Naomi Parkhurst
Lived in North Carolina
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Naomi Parkhurst

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Yes, Virginia, people can realize they made a mistake. Even when they may have a great deal of emotional energy invested in that mistake.

Being rational isn't rocket science; it just requires a certain amount of effort and discipline -- starting with the willingness to change your position when the evidence shows that what you used to believe no longer makes sense.

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Nancy Gertner, who left the bench after 17 years, compares the damage caused by drug prohibition to the destruction of cities in World War II.
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Naomi Parkhurst

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I wish Judge Posner were on the Supreme Court.
 
Judge Posner: ❝ gratuitous interference in other people’s lives is bigotry. The fact that it is often religiously motivated does not make it less so. The United States is not a theocracy, and religious disapproval of harmless practices is not a proper basis for prohibiting such practices, especially if the practices are highly valued by their practitioners. Gay couples and the children (mostly straight) that they adopt (or that one of them may have given birth to and the other adopts) derive substantial benefits, both economic and psychological, from marriage. Efforts to deny them those benefits by forbidding same-sex marriage confer no offsetting social benefits—in fact no offsetting benefits at all beyond gratifying feelings of hostility toward gays and lesbians, feelings that feed such assertions as that heterosexual marriage is “degraded” by allowing same-sex couples to “annex” the word marriage to their cohabitation. ❞
It was no surprise that the Supreme Court held Friday that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. It is very difficult to distinguish the case from Loving v. Virginia, which in 1967 invalidated state laws forbidding miscegenation. There was, as an economist would say, a “demand” (though rather...
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While the country was busy celebrating the Supreme Court's long-awaited marriage equality ruling, the justices issued another ruling in the Johnson v. United States case that dealt a crucial blow to the prison industrial complex. The SCOTUS ruled that a...
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Agreed!
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Naomi Parkhurst

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The marriage of inlay and k1long

Sometimes I discover that my brain has been thinking up things while I wasn’t looking, as it were. I love the way it does that. (Except when I’m overwhelmed by ideas.) This time, the back of my brain  decided to combine a technique I’ve been playing with…
Sometimes I discover that my brain has been thinking up things while I wasn't looking, as it were. I love the way it does that. (Except when I'm overwhelmed by ideas.) This time, the back of my bra...
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(But there wasn't actually any way for you to know that I knew about Roosimine; I don't think I'd actually linked it all together in one place. Thanks for making sure!)
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Naomi Parkhurst

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Here’s the collection of geeky holidays I have so far (thanks in large part to my friends on Google+), starting with the one that’s next to arrive: Jun 28: Tau Day (math, based on US date notation) July 10: Nikola Tesla‘s birthday July 22: Pi…
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it goes either largest unit to smallest or vice versa in other parts of the world, right? We're the only place that pulls the month out of the middle. That's all I meant.
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Well now. it's not every day that Neil Gaiman is the cover model for Knitty.
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Their brand new servers with a new sysadmin they stress-tested recently?

Yeah, I think this might make a good extra stress test.
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Naomi Parkhurst

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On learning, and fear of failure

I wasn’t going to post today, since I made the Tau Day post yesterday. But I’ve been thinking about writing a post encouraging people to embrace mistakes and go ahead and try things they want to do even if they think they can’t do them. And I just read a…
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Yes, indeed - it's been confirmed by much research.
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Just for the fun of it, I’m going to post occasional stitch patterns in honor of geeky days on the calendar. So what is Tau Day? Tau is a constant twice as big as pi, and it is apparently more useful than the number pi. Here is the Tau Manifesto for your…
Just for the fun of it, I'm going to post occasional stitch patterns in honor of geeky days on the calendar. So what is Tau Day? Tau is a constant twice as big as pi, and it is apparently more usef...
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So much Joy today!
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Yes. A thousand times this.
 
The perpetrator of yesterday's terrorist strike was captured a few hours ago, and the bodies of the dead have not yet been buried, and already I'm seeing a refrain pop up in news coverage and in people's comments: How do we understand this killer? What made him turn out this way? Was he mentally ill, was he on drugs, was he abused, was he influenced by someone in his life? Were his motivations about politics, religion, personal relationships, psychological? We can't form opinions about why he did this yet; we shouldn't assume that, just because [insert thing here], it was about race.

You might mistake this, at first, for a genuine interest in understanding the motivations that would turn a young man into a terrorist and a mass murderer. But when other kinds of terrorists -- say, Muslims from Afghanistan -- commit atrocities, the very same people who are asking these questions are asking completely different ones: Why are Muslims so violent? What is it in Islam that makes them so prone to hating America, hating Christianity, hating Freedom?

I think that there are two, very important, things going on here. The more basic one is that, when terrorists are from a group you've never met, it's far easier to ascribe their behavior to the whole group; if it's from a group you know, and you know that the average member of that group isn't malicious or bloodthirsty, then people start asking individual questions. 

But the more important one is that the group that this terrorist belonged to was not merely familiar: it's the same group to which most of the people asking the questions belong. Not merely the same broad group -- "Muslims" and "Christians" are groups of over a billion people each, groups far too broad to have any deep commonalities -- but a far narrower group, a group with a common culture. And there's a reason that people don't want to ask "What is it about this group that caused it:" because in this case, there's a real answer.

The picture you see below is of the Confederate flag which the state of South Carolina flies on the grounds of its state house, and has ever since 1962. (That's 1962, not 1862: it was put there in response to the Civil Rights movement, not to the Civil War) Today, all of the state flags in that state are at half mast; only the Confederate flag is flying at full mast.

The state government itself is making explicit its opinion on the matter: while there may be formal mourning for the dead, this is a day when the flag of white supremacy can fly high. When even the government, in its formal and official behavior, condones this, can we really be surprised that terrorists are encouraged? (Terrorists, plural, as this is far from an isolated incident; even setting aside the official and quasi-official acts of governments, the history of terror attacks and even pogroms in this country is utterly terrifying)

Chauncey DeVega asked some excellent questions in his article at Salon (http://goo.gl/3AZWy7); among them,

1. What is radicalizing white men to commit such acts of domestic terrorism and mass shootings? Are Fox News and the right-wing media encouraging violence?

6. When will white leadership step up and stop white right-wing domestic terrorism?

7. Is White American culture pathological? Why is White America so violent?

8. Are there appropriate role models for white men and boys? Could better role models and mentoring help to prevent white men and boys from committing mass shootings and being seduced by right-wing domestic terrorism?

The callout of Fox News in particular is not accidental: they host more hate-filled preachers and advocates of violence, both circuitous and explicit, than Al Jazeera. 

There is a culture which has advocated, permitted, protected, and enshrined terrorists in this country since its founding. Its members and advocates are not apologetic in their actions; they only complain that they might be "called racist," when clearly they aren't, calling someone racist is just a way to shut down their perfectly reasonable conversation and insult them, don't you know?

No: This is bullshit, plain and simple. It is a culture which believes that black and white Americans are not part of the same polity, that they must be kept apart, and that the blacks must be and remain subservient. That robbing or murdering them is permissible, that quiet manipulations of the law to make sure that "the wrong people" don't show up in "our neighborhoods," or take "our money," or otherwise overstep their bounds, are not merely permissible, but the things that we do in order to keep society going. That black faces and bodies are inherently threatening, and so both police and private citizens have good reason to be scared when they see them, so that killing them -- whether they're young men who weren't docile enough at a traffic stop or young children playing in the park -- is at most a tragic, but understandable, mistake.

I have seen this kind of politics before. I watch a terrorist attack on a black church in Charleston, and it gives me the same fear that I get when I see a terrorist attack against a synagogue: the people who come after one group will come after you next.

This rift -- this seeing our country as being built of two distinct polities, with the success of one having nothing to do with the success of the other or of the whole -- is the poison which has been eating at the core of American society for centuries. It is the origin of our most bizarre laws, from weapons laws to drug policies to housing policy, and to all of the things which upon rational examination appear simply perverse. How many of the laws which seem to make no sense make perfect sense if you look at them on the assumption that their real purpose is to enforce racial boundaries? I do not believe that people are stupid: I do not believe that lawmakers pass laws that go against their stated purpose because they can't figure that out. I believe that they pass laws, and that people encourage and demand laws, because consciously or subconsciously, they know what kind of world they will create.

We tend to reserve the word "white supremacy" for only the most extreme organizations, the ones who are far enough out there that even the fiercest "mainstream" advocates of racism can claim no ties to them. But that, ultimately, is bullshit as well. This is what it is, this is the culture which creates, and encourages, and coddles terrorists. And until we have excised this from our country, it will poison us every day.

First and foremost, what we need to do is discuss it. If there's one thing I've seen, it's that discussing race in my posts is the most inflammatory thing I could possibly do: people become upset when I mention it, say I'm "making things about race" or trying to falsely imply that they're racists or something like that. 

When there's something you're afraid to discuss, when there's something that upsets you when it merely comes onto the table: That's the thing you need to talk about. That's the thing that has to come out there, in the open.

We've entered a weird phase in American history where overt statements of racism are forbidden, so instead people go to Byzantine lengths to pretend that that isn't what it is. But that just lets the worm gnaw deeper. Sunshine is what lets us move forward.

And the flag below? So long as people can claim with a straight face that this is "just about heritage," that it isn't somehow a blatant symbol of racism, we know that there is bullshit afloat in our midst.

The flag itself needs to come down; not with ceremony, it simply needs to be taken down, burned, and consigned to the garbage bin.
"The stars and bars promised lynching, police violence against protestors and others. And violence against churches."
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Naomi Parkhurst

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You think? (I agree with the judge, to nobody's surprise.)
The ride-hailing company has long positioned itself as a “logistics company” and said its drivers are contractors, not employees.
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This happened to Microsoft in Washington quite a while back. If we aren't protecting and regulating transportation systems, we are making it more dangerous for everyone.
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And hey, my friend Nim has an awesome cowl pattern in Knitty, too.
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Me too. Nim's friend made a great dragony model.
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librarian, knitting & crochet designer
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Fiber arts lover and peripatetic reference librarian. Information dilettante.
Introduction
I don't necessarily add people back automatically; I'm more likely to add you if I know you from elsewhere. 

To new folks finding me: I don't just post about handcrafts, but also link to news and political posts I find interesting as well as sciencey stuff and things that amuse me. I am a progressive, liberal Democrat and post accordingly. Nor do I segregate my politics by only posting it for a single circle. (What I do limit tends to be more personal events or private thinking.) 

(Not listing my current town on my profile.)
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Previously
North Carolina - Swarthmore, Pa - Urbana, IL - Bloomington, IN - Melbourne, Australia - Madison, WI
Naomi Parkhurst's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
A Woolly Discipline: Go Ask Alice
awoollydiscipline.blogspot.com

Since I had that knitting epiphany I was talking about last week, I've started choosing my projects differently (which only follows after al

Think Progress
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Hard-hitting political news and analysis.

Simon's Cat
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Simon's Cat on Google+

ProPublica
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Journalism in the public interest.

Plu.sr - Unofficial Google Plus Mobile Page
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Want to create a mobile page for your Google+ Profile? Just enter your profile number after http://plu.sr/ and link it on any website.

Triple Town
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Triple Town, by Spry Fox, is an original puzzle game in which you try to create a great city!

On the road to Weehawken | slacktivist
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Or consider the role and duty of a ferry boat captain. Her job is to pilot a ferry boat from Point A to Point B and back again according to

Harena's Handmade Soap (And other things too!)
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I make soap, and lipbalms, and things from yarn!

Stop Censorship — Take Action Before Senate Vote
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Click here to stand with the handful of senators who are going to the wall to block the Internet censorship bill: Ask them to read your name

What does it mean to be 'privileged'?
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Adapted from a few tweets I sent last night. Earlier this week, I sold my old TV to a friend. But late last night was the only time I had to

Conservatives will rue the decision | NC Policy Watch
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Why yesterday's vote is more likely to hasten marriage equality in North Carolina than delay it. Assume that a couple of years back you

cocoaeyesthestitcher: Un petit lapin for Katherine
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Katherine is an animal lover and actually has a pet rabbit that she rescued from a random parking lot. (What a white, pink-eyed bunny was do

cocoaeyesthestitcher: Big Yes! Chaos Theory Scarf by Lesley Starke
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“I'm using a code that has 8 keys to it-- each produces a single answer: black or white, to create a random/chaotic image of black and w

Handmade
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Previous experience not required.

Senator Bernie Sanders
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Senator Bernie Sanders is the longest serving independent in congressional history.

About Action NC
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Action NC is a grassroots community organization that empowers low to moderate-income communities to take action and win victories on issues

OneAngryQueer: DOMA Is Still Alive, Folks
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DOMA Is Still Alive, Folks. If you have any doubt that there needs to be a lot more work regarding the benefits of marriage for LGBT America

My name is Brother Karekin, BSG | My Name Is Me
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My name is Brother Karekin, BSG. Brother Karekin. My name is BROTHER Karekin, BSG. Brother is not what I do. It is who I am. It is the way i

Sexual Harassment at Technical Conferences: A Big No-No - O'Reilly Radar
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We've been contacted recently about issues of sexual harassment at technical conferences, including at Oscon, which starts tomorrow in Portl