Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Remove? Person 1

It would be enough for today to work at RantWoman's current meditations about really what a BIZARRE sequence of events are tied up in the Christ story.

It would be enough for RantWoman to meditate about expectations in the realm of the God as Personal Butler model of Divine Presence or even the what is one reasonably to expect of an elder, at least in title?

The tree before the lights go on

It would be enough for RantWoman to meditate upon the phrase "Walk gently upon the earth answering that of God in Everyone." This week, at least around RantWoman, a more realistic model of Divine presence might be the lost cellphone  in a crowded space problem. Signals are coming in. There is clear evidence that the phone is somewhere, but danged if one can actually locate the phone. Consider the following moments

From RantWoman's inbox this morning:

"Please remove my name from this discussion."

WTF Friend?????

RantWoman included you in this discussion with appreciation because you WROTE the draft minutes under discussion. But RantWoman ALSO includes you because of your role on Care and Counsel. RantWoman somehow has the peculiar, peculiar but apparently not necessarily realistic  expectation that care of a whole community sometimes involves interacting with email, prayerful participation not only in Meeting for Worship but also in the life of the rest of the Meeting.

RantWoman THANKED you for some serious "show your work" minutes, expressed appreciation for the thought of someone not at Meeting for Worship for Business being able to figure out from the minutes what happened, and asked Friends to reflect on thoughts from RantWoman's many different experiences with the Quaker practice of hours and hours devoted to something called minutes.

RantWoman further made the same request she frequently makes these days: read as you are able and hold in the Light. Plus, RantWoman knows the Delete key exists and thinks people absolutely have the option of using it and not advertising the fact to RantWoman.

So WTF, Friend????

(And please excuse RantWoman if this morning's email also makes it hard to take another related effort seriously.)

Holding you in the Light and not necessarily promising to edit recipient lists.

In Light and Faithfulness


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Friends Journal Interview with Prof. Sa'ed Atshan

RantWoman REALLY needed this interview in with Swarthmore Peace Studies professor Sa'ed Atshan:

Sa’ed Atshan is a graduate of Ramallah Friends School in Palestine and a professor of peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore College. In October 2015, we published “Realizing Wholeness: Reflections from a Gay Palestinian Quaker,” and saw it become one of our most widely read articles of the year. Since then he’s headlined a plenary at the Friends General Conference Gathering and written for publications such as American Friends Service Committee’s Acting in Faith blog.
In person, Atshan is soft-spoken and gentle; he chooses his words with care and precision. He is generous in giving thoughtful compliments in conversations, and he seems able to find that of God in even the most obstinate political conflicts. It thus came as a surprise when he became the center of a controversy played out in the pages of Philadelphia newspapers this February. We talked to him to find out how a peace and conflict studies professor deals with controversy and to understand the discernment of a public Friend in the era of social media and instant outrage.
Read the interview here

Christmas Cactus 12 11
RantWoman needed this article far more than one about "Why do we Tie up the Cat?" which also comes highly recommended.
Look world. RantWoman is busy. RantWoman is also a lazy slug. RantWoman is more likely to read the tying up the cat article if someone sends her a direct link so she does not have to poke her screen reader among search bar and search results.

However, RantWoman invites her public, adoring and otherwise to sit with the point that RantWoman may have gotten as much as she needs just from mention of the Typing up thecat article.

Equally important, RantWoman resides in the dominion of the Queen of Spades. The Queen of Spades may get scratchy and  extremely censorious about anything to do with typing up cats, even when asking about ceasing to tie up cats.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Minutes: Staff

RantWoman is reviewing draft minutes. This item is from only one section.

2017-11-4: Facilities Manager
-- Friends Center is more than light lunch. What is needed to support its work? To help answer, "who are we in this new community?" To serve not only ourselves as Quakers, but also the wider community

(RantWoman believes this item is intended to summarize RantWoman’s comments. RantWoman made reference to many changes happening around our Meeting, to need to pay attention to these changes, to discern how we might participate in public processes accompanying these changes, to look for opportunities, to consider how our Meeting might be a community resource. In other words, RantWoman spoke specifically in reference to matters that in RantWoman’s mind should absolutely be part of the property discernment process. RantWoman also referenced another Friend’s suggestion to restructure other positions and suggested some activities related to her comments above that might quite appropriately go into someone’s job description, maybe not right away but on the horizon. RantWoman is not sure which points made it out of her mouth last month and recognizes that minutes should reflect what was said. RantWoman is clear that this draft can be improved. Hopefully light about HOW to improve it will emerge in Business Meeting.)

-- There is a problem with our organizational culture: we put hard issues last on our agenda, discouraging discussion or questions. Friends may hold contradictory opinions regarding the spiritual importance of buildings, per se. When we are worried, we don't want to let new ideas surface. As this last message continued, various Friends began to stand to hold silence, and eventually the Clerk called for meeting-wide silence.

(HOLY SHHHH…! RantWoman missed the Friends rising. Rantwoman could not think of a better way to illustrate this speaker’s point than people rising to hold silence. RantWoman deeply appreciates the point that she is not the only Friend evoking the stand up so people will shut up response.

See  Not for this month’s minutes: RantWoman in July was speaking of an accessibility issue for a new tenant’s services. The topic has received much attention in email, partly BECAUSE so many people told RantWoman that her perspective was irrelevant, unnecessary, beside the point.  RantWoman should probably post excerpts from the email discussion.  RantWoman is also receiving feedback that she should not try to communicate by email, but the topical email exchange surfaced important information that RantWoman would not easily have found out trying to meander through committee channels. HOLY Shhhhh…!)

Not screaming. Pomegranates

Kid appreciation #1

RantWoman was at the most wonderful holiday party. There were many small kids there. A few of them were doing some kind of well-contained bouncy thing on a couch. All of them were cheerful. None of them were screaming. It was BEAUTIFUL, and Rantwoman was delighted to realize she has already met some of the parents.

RantWoman was offered a ride home before the kids started getting tired.

(insert big smilie emojis)

Kid appreciation #2: Pomegranates

Irrepressible Nephew turned 17 this week.

Auntie RantWoman supplied the customary pomegranate for the occasion.

Long ago when Irrepressible Nephew was considerably smaller than his gurren 6'4" Auntie RantWoman rebelled against the mountains of plastic toys piling up at Little Sister's house after gift-giving occasions. RantWoman wanted to supply experience. RantWoman chose...peeling a pomegranate.

Irrepressible Nephew thought this was great fun. So did Auntie RantWoman. Bad Auntie! Think pomegranate juice drips. Think carpet in rental apartment. Little Sister did not think this was fun.


Came round another gift-giving occasion. RantWoman bought another pomegranate. Little sister raced for some newspaper to catch the pomegranate drips. The household lived in that apartment long enough that the pomegranate drips fell under "normal wear and tear."

This year, family gathered at Little Sister's. Little Sister was out procuring food when RantWoman arrived. RantMom did not understand the point of giving the gift early for "appetizer."  Irrepressible Nephew received his gift with great gratitude, peeled it over the sink and shared with RantWoman! Yeah Kid.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sorry News Sorry happening

Sorry is all over the news these days. Close to the RantWoman message manglement service:

1. I'm sorry (but I cannot apologize for things I cannot help like bieing blind or being sensitized to ...) / I am sorry that is happening  > has happened to you. RantWoman is hearing the latter with appreciation, but that alone is insufficient. Please hold problem in the Light for now.

2. RantWoman read something in email very sloppily and misstated an issue. RantWoman found it very easy to apologize partly because she had the offending email right in front of her without having to dig it out of email archives with screen reader. RantWoman supposes here it would also be topical to go off at great lenghth about all the ocular and software / computer interface issues that impede reading comprehension.  RantWoman is meditating about that point, some need to meet in person issues, and RantWoman being true to her Light when the problem is not ONLY sloppy reading. Hold that point in the Light.

3. I'm sorry and excuse me. The equivalents in Russian are confusing because the concepts slice and add up differently. Example from RantWoman's experience decades ago: the street currency exchange, cough, entrepreneurs who would approach foreigners with "I'm sorry. Do you want to shange dollars into rubbles?" (Thought bubbles: as soon as I stop laughing we can talk; RANTWOMAN save the #trumpRussia #followthemoney meditations for another thread PLEASE...)

Louis the BlindChristmas Elf

RantWoman is mixing various holiday moments into her usual rambles about transit, endless usability testing...

Christmas Cactus 12 4

A sweet item about Louis the Blind Christmas Elf

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Faith Responses to Homelessness, Via Faith Action Netowrk and events TOMORROW

Faith Responses to Homelessness

We are deeply troubled by the news last week that the City of Seattle budget will result in the loss of 300 shelter beds, transitional housing, and support services, even as we enter year two of the declared homeless state of emergency—see news articles from Crosscut and KUOW for some of the story. We honor faith communities who for decades have opened their doors, their parking lots and their hearts to provide survival services for those impacted by homelessness, often in conjunction with SHARE/WHEEL, Catholic Community Services, Compass Housing, and other community partners. We want to make sure your voices are included in response to this crisis.

The Church Council of Greater Seattle, in coordination with social services agencies across Seattle, is organizing a meeting on Wednesday, December 6 at 10 AM at Plymouth United Church of Christ, 1217 6th Avenue. This meeting will be an opportunity for faith communities, impacted folks, and service providers to come together and strategically coordinate a united response. While FAN staff will be at the Budget and Policy Center conference that morning, FAN Governing Board chair Rabbi Aaron Meyer of Temple de Hirsch Sinai, which has hosted a shelter for decades, will join the meeting. Please email Erica West at with any questions about the meeting. Budgets at the local, state and federal levels all have moral implications.

After the meeting, attendees are encouraged to join the Women in Black vigil at 12 noon at the Seattle Justice Center (5th & Cherry). Women in Black (men are welcome) will stand silent vigil for the nine outdoor/violent homeless deaths in our community in November alone. With these deaths, the 2017 outdoor/violent death count—at 87—far outstrips the number of deaths during any other calendar year. We encourage you to reach out to the mayor and your city council members in support of shelter.

Stand Together against Muslim Ban

Also this Wednesday, Dec 6, we encourage you to join a rally outside the U.S. Courthouse (1010 5th Ave, Seattle) beginning at 1 PM, as the Muslim Ban continues to work its way through our court system. The State of Hawaii filed for another temporary restraining order against the third version of The Muslim Ban, and the case will be heard on Wednesday at 2:00 PM at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, William K. Nakamura Courthouse. This is particularly important given yesterday's news of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to lift the injunctions and let the travel ban take effect (see NY Times article).

Please join us to hear testimonials of those impacted by the ban. Faith leaders are especially welcome to wear their clerical garb and stand in unity and support. A group reading of portions of the constitution is also planned. Show your support for the Muslim community and a vibrant, diverse America where all are welcome!

Protect Hotel Workers from Harassment

With our friends at Unite Here Local 8:
As the current moment sheds light on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault throughout countless professions, we join together in solidarity and with shared experience to support the women of Seattle’s hospitality industry.

Hotel housekeepers are predominantly immigrant women and women of color who work for low wages at great risk: in Seattle, 53 percent have reported experiencing sexual harassment or assault on the job. Through their leadership, voters passed an initiative in November 2016 to combat through law exactly the types of behavior now garnering national attention and outcry. The Seattle Hotel Employees Health and Safety Ordinance shows that it is possible to craft public policies that support women, embrace our values, and offer workers genuine recourse to respond to harassment and assault.

Unfortunately, these policies are disputed, and employers have attacked Seattle’s law. The Seattle hotel industry has publicly taken the side of those accused of harassment, arguing on their behalf in court and asserting that the stakes for the accused are greater and more important than those of victims. It has been a year since Seattle made history with the passage of Initiative 124. We cannot go backwards.

Please take action and sign Unite Here Local 8's petition: #MeToo: I Stand with Hotel Housekeepers.

Support I-940 to De-Escalate Washington!

FAN has supported I-940 from the beginning, and we want to help De-Escalate Washington to reach the finish line! Contact and we’ll send you petitions to collect signatures at your holiday events and in your faith communities. Here are a few updates from the campaign:
  • The I-940 Campaign has now collected over 261,000 signatures, surpassing the amount needed to submit to the Secretary of State. In order to assure qualification, we need about 89,000 more—now under 21,000 signatures needed from volunteers. Keep up the good work! Make sure all your friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers have signed it, and return your filled petition as soon as you can.
  • Initiative 940 is very much needed in our state. The total amount of Washingtonians killed by law enforcement this year is 36 — Washington now rates the 6th highest in the country of loved-ones killed by police in 2017. By comparison, Massachusetts—the state closest to ours in population—has had five deaths this year through violent interactions with police.
  • U.S. Senator Patty Murray recently endorsed I-940! She also sent an email to her supporters requesting I-940 assistance—the first time this has been done for an initiative campaign! Leaders throughout our state have endorsed De-Escalate Washington's common-sense policy change.
Financial donations are also needed to reach the finish line. You can support De-Escalate Washington with a contribution here.  

You are appreciated! Together, we will change the law to make everyone safer in Washington.

FAN is honored to be listed by Seattle Met Magazine as one of 20 Great Nonprofits to Give to in 2017 and BeyondHelp FAN the Flames for justice year-round; support FAN with a donation: