World of Values

Musings of Harry Underwood

President Obama still has yet to visit a top number of sub-Saharan African countries as President. With his stop in Ethiopia in the next few days (the first-ever U.S. presidential visit to Ethiopia), he will have visited 6 countries as the U.S. president (Ethiopia 2015, Kenya 2015, Senegal 2013, Tanzania 2013, Ghana 2009).

By comparison, George W. Bush visited 10 countries (Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Liberia all in 2008; Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Nigeria in 2003), and Bill Clinton visited 8 countries (Nigeria and Tanzania in 2000; Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal in 1998).

The first to have visited an independent African country was Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1943 trip to Liberia, followed by Jimmy Carter’s visits to Liberia and Nigeria in 1978, and George H.W. Bush’s visit to Somalia in 1992-93.

On “Identity Politics” at #NN15, and Intersectional Security

Of course #tcot folks are erupting in glee at the visible, audible split which happened between these two camps – the economically-oriented social democrats like Sanders and O’Malley and the socially-oriented “social justicists” like the #BlackLivesMatter and DREAMers movements, the latter of whom were disappointed by the social democrats’ economic answers to the concerns of racial, LGBT and immigrant justice. What was one going to expect from those who use the word “nut-roots” as a catch-all disparagement?

But I wonder about this split, not because of “disunity” among the attendees supposedly equaling “disunity” among progressive, liberal and social-democrat voters for the Dems in 2016. I wonder about this split because it portends of a disenchantment among those who ally with the left and center-left of American politics for the barest weathering of top-down material disruption – the ravages of the free market, the decline of PoC-dominated inner-city neighborhoods, the lack of grassroots control over the distribution of resources, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, etc. They’re disenchanted because those ravages have happened under both Democratic-endorsed mayors and Republican-endorsed governors and presidents alike, and the socio-economic conditions which MLK Jr. had decried in the last years of his life remain with us.

When liberals point to the likes of “Fightin’ Bob”, FDR, and other folks who set the tone for the socio-economic populism of today’s Democratic Party, or point to the New Deal in the 1930s, the power of labor unions in the 1950s, and the social safety net of the North and West of the earlier 20th century, they are pointing to a time in our history in which African-Americans and Mexican-Americans were scared for their very lives, LGBT people were prosecuted into prisons and sanitariums, and women were finding out how little power they had across the board over their daily lives.

So if the point of reference is all sorts of irrelevant to the growing body of non-European-descended, non-male, non-cisgender, non-heterosexual – OK, we’ll just call us the “non-traditional American voters” – then what would be the best point of reference? For progressives? For liberals? For social-democrats and democratic-socialists?

Maybe this is what separates the current wave – those who are both disenchanted with the purely-economic reforms + the silence on intersectionality of the 2016 Democratic candidates and angrily disgusted with Republican activists’ antagonism + over appeal to traditional privilege.

Intersectional Security

The Non-Traditional American voters want something that cannot be given by the current American political frame: security (in most senses) against all ravages, some foreign and most domestic, which beset the Non-Traditional American and their communities at home and their related peoples abroad.

Without this security, on all fronts and in all respects, these varying sectors of American society are disengaged from the political process and are won over to other countries’ (and entities’) interests. They were excluded for so long from this process, their need for security only being recognized within the last 150 years of our country’s history (in delayed increments).

Liberalism serves the purpose of liberalizing the status quo to allow for more sectors of people to enter politically, progressivism democratizes the political structure, and social democracy democratizes the economy. But none of those solutions, as much good as they have done, address the personal and communal security and justice of the sectors. Neither liberalism, progressivism nor democratic socialism address past wounds which persist among the previously-oppressed diversity of sectors, nor do they seek for their full communal security.

This is where terms like “#intersectionality” come into play. This is where “don’t pull up the ladder” comes into play. This is where #BlackLivesMatter comes into play. It goes to the heart of just how well these “non-traditional” sectors of society fit into an equitable society. Their security – of mind, of body, of resource, of community – is a great concern. And only a few of those securities are explicitly protected in our laws and institutions.

And so many of us are feeling less than secure right now. African-Americans, Meso-American immigrants, Women, LGBT+ people, disabled people, and so on. College students, service workers, cannabis users, ex-cons denied reintegration, sufferers of pedestrian gun violence and tyrannical police are feeling insecure, as well, but so are those who are dealing with historical and present wounds which have impacted their communities and cultures in adverse ways. How will we address the injustices which face us when we don’t have a proper frame of reference for what our security should look like?

Security comes before Justice, so even “Social Justice” doesn’t cut it. We need an Intersectional Security, and we need it in our lives, our homes, our community, our country and the Free World. This is the security which needs to be addressed by all candidates for political office, not mere “identity politics” or “class politics”.

Sanders, O’Malley, Clinton, or whoever should recognize the need for Intersectional Security at all levels and facets of government. The “Founding Fathers” never envisioned the need for such security, and our government is ill-fitted to accomplish the job. And when our structure of government or society can’t do it, we need leaders who will replace and/or repair that structure.

This Intersectional Security is about our structure. Let’s make it happen, and prepare ourselves.

Open thread: the demise of religiosity in society

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

By Grania

I apologize for two open threads in two days, Jerry’s back on the road and I had Stuff & Things to do today.

Here’s another question that Jerry posed for us to discuss.

If you could change one thing in your society that would lessen religiosity or cause it to gradually disappear*, what would it be?

Again, this very much depends on the country or state in which you live, given the wide variety of laws and the state of individual liberty there.

Here in Ireland, I think the thing that most needs to be changed to undermine an already rapidly dwindling interest in religion is the separation of Church and State in schools across the country.

Teach don’t Preach, Atheist Ireland’s education advocacy campaign notes:

The vast majority of the primary schools in the Republic of Ireland (approximately 3,300) are church controlled, over 90% by the Catholic…

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SDCC 2015: First Vixen Trailer

Standing Out In Denmark: Discovering the Jante Law

Harry Underwood:

#LawOfJante #Denmark

Originally posted on Our House in Aarhus:

One of the biggest differences between Denmark and the US is also the most subtle. You won’t notice it right away, but it will start to sneak up on you as you begin your job, talk to your new Danish friends and coworkers, or send your child to daycare or school. This difference has a name: janteloven, the Law of Jante (or, more succinctly, the Jante Law).

Janteloven was created by Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose in 1933 in his novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor). {{Side note: I find it so incredibly fascinating that something with this much cultural influence came from a novel. Ah, the power of literature.}} The novel is about a small Danish town called Jante which abides by these 10 – rather harsh – laws:

  1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
  2. You’re not to think 

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Had lunch at Chili Thai uptown with UUFC media folks (thank you Bill), then had a friendly debate on history with the curator at Columbus Black History Museum.

Good Friday.

Group calls for massacre against LGBTIs in Turkey

Harry Underwood:

#turkey #lgbt

Originally posted on LGBTI NEWS TURKEY:

The discourse of hatred directed at LGBT individuals is echoing on the street. A group, which calls itself the “Young Islamic Defense,” has put up posters in Ankara, calling for a massacre against LGBTIs.

Source: Kaos GL, “AKP’nin nefret siyaseti katliam çağrısına dönüştü” (“Turkey ruling party AKP’s politics of hatred has finally turned into a massacre call”), 7 July 2015,

gencislamimudafaa “If you see someone engaged in the dirty business of the tribe of Lot, kill the doer and the done both.”

The discourse of hatred against LGBTI deployed by President Tayyip Erdogan, the AKP government and the conservative media echoing on the street.

Participants of 13th LGBTI Pride Parade were attacked by the police. After, the AKP government declared Pride participants as “immoral” even though they proudly exhibited Pride in their election posters [as an example of freedom in Turkey]. “Conservative media” followed suit and fueled hatred.

The group…

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The all-format options of several WordPress themes are interesting. However, I think that an optional interface for the “status” format would be nice.

New Themes: Baskerville and Edda

Harry Underwood:

Just switched to Baskerville for the options. The typography is something I’d like to change, however.

Originally posted on News:

Happy Theme Thursday! Today I’m excitedto introduce two newfree themes to our collection.



Baskerville was designed byAnders Norén, and it displayswriting, photos, and videosina dynamic, grid-based layout. It features unique layouts for different post formats, to make different kinds of content pop. Baskerville’s design adapts to any screen size, big or small, so your posts always look their best.


Get to know Baskervilleon the Theme Showcase, or give it a spin by activating it from Appearance → Themes.


Edda WordPress theme

Edda, designed by Mel Choyce, is flexible enough to be used as a photoblog, personal journal, or tumblelog. The theme’s sepia-toned images and stylish color give your content an elegant,vintage look and feel.


Check out Edda on the Theme Showcase, or try it out on your blogby activating it from Appearance → Themes.

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I’ve lived here in GA since 1992, the last 23 years out of my 28-year life. For some reason, I can’t get angry about GA or South-bashing.

Blog at | The Baskerville Theme.

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