Oct 24, 2011 erika commented on Slog Bible Study: Matthew 22:21.
My secular translation would be: "One has a duty to uphold the social contract that one benefits from by cooperating with its (just) laws, and also a duty withdraw one's cooperation and defy the law when it come's in conflict with the higher law of conscience."
Nov 8, 2010 erika commented on In Bookstores Tomorrow: George W. Bush's Book, a Protest Against George W. Bush's Book.
Whatever you think of the action, Paul, I want to point out that Waging Nonviolence is a *really* good blog. The editors are serious journalists that cover an analyze nonviolent actions—not a 'protest blog,' as Galleycat has it—and they're consistently brutal in calling out the sort of ineffectual activities that one might classify as "annoying pseudo-political 'protest' bullshit." They're mission is raising the bar on discussing what does constitute effective nonviolent action, and this is actually the first time I have ever seen one of their contributors organizing or calling for an action themselves (and they've been up and running a few years.)

So your criticism of this action—that it is useless and only hurts and alienates bookstore employees—this is exactly the kind of discussion Waging Nonviolence is trying to encourage.
Feb 22, 2010 erika commented on The Bloom Box.
Colin Powell looks like a capybara.
Nov 18, 2009 erika commented on "Let his days be few... Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.".
Years ago a kid at my former high school posted a dumb joke on the internet about killing the president, and the secret service showed up in no time and and took the kid away for questioning. The contrast is striking.

I'm considering a nerve-wracking possibility, though: if the secret service enforced the law against any of these haters, the irrational right would be howling from the treetops about how this proves everything that they have been saying, that Obama is worse than Hitler, that now his secret police are starting to drag people away for exercising their "free speech" or saying anything against him. It'd only escalate the rhetoric among the crazies, which could also then lead to real violence breaking out (and that might actually be the plan here), so I think it is possible that the Obama's administration has made a decision to ignore what could be a deliberate ploy to bait them into doing something which could then be used to further mobilize the frenzied haters against the "repressive" government.
Jun 19, 2009 erika commented on Civil Disobedience: A Proposal.
Following up on my #177, I want to support those here who have suggested that Obama himself might not be the best person to do an action towards right now, and also that given how much strategy it takes to mount and escalate an effective CD campaign, it might be a good idea to first get in touch with Soulforce and Nonviolence4Equality and get on the same page with them, even if you plan on doing your own thing (or maybe you have already). In any case, it sounds like 2009 is going down in history!
Jun 19, 2009 erika commented on Civil Disobedience: A Proposal.
How about if each couple (all legally married at the state level) refuses to leave until Obama meets with them and either 1) repudiates the statements made by DOMA and the briefing, which means he could no longer let them stand politically, or 2) tells them that their marriage is not valid (and that it is comparable to incest, etc) in person, while looking them in the eye, and in front that couple's children and other family members who they will have brought with them to bear witness.

If he won't come say these things to the family, they insist and refuse to leave until arrested. If he agrees to see them but tries to smooth things over or dodge the question, they also refuse to leave until he speaks those statements personally. If he (and I don't think he would) does affirm that gay marriage is invalid and equal to incest and child rape, they would thank him for being honest about his beliefs and politely leave. Then another couple comes the next day and starts the process over again; it is likely that if he did manage to say those things to one family, he would not be able to say them to a second one.
May 18, 2009 erika commented on "Common Ground".
"We don't sit down and dialogue with gay-bashers racists or any other kind of bigot."

We don't, but we could:
May 10, 2009 erika commented on Slash Back.
@86- Rain Monkey and I were not promoting violence or spleen-venting in any way, quite the opposite. What we are saying is that when a person is experiencing a negative emotion like extreme anger or fear, it is possible to do something empowering with that adrenaline rush rather than venting it as anger. Spleen-venting is both futile and self-defeating, as many above have already pointed out. Personally, I probably would've approached the guy, looked him right in the eye, said "well, I know *you're* a human being", handed him a kleenex if I had one, and then turned and walked away without another word.
May 10, 2009 erika commented on Slash Back.
I want to second what Rain Monkey said about conversion of anger and fear into fuel for constructive action. This moment is the pivotal point of the whole story: "Sometimes you ride the wave of adrenaline and fight; sometimes you repress and let the tsunami wreak havoc within". There is a third option between exploding in violence and bottling up that rage (and therefore inflicting violence on oneself). Imagine a locomotive, with all the force of the steam built up inside. You could shovel on more coal until it finally explodes, or you could open the valves and scald everyone on the platform, but it makes more sense to use that power to drive the train. All that power, that adrenaline, that a person experiences due to anger and/or fear is fuel. It can be used constructively, and it is very powerful when it is. Nonviolence is not the absence of violence, it is the opposite of violence. This is how real change happens, look at history: the fall of colonialism, the Civil Rights movement, any significant advancement accomplished by any modern social movement. How much forward motion can you attribute to acts of dehumanization and retribution?
May 9, 2009 erika commented on Slash Back.
"Sometimes you ride the wave of adrenaline and fight; sometimes you repress and let the tsunami wreak havoc within."

Are those really the only two options?