Fathers' Day

A black-and-white photo depicting
This photo was taken in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 and included in the report on the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising that Jürgen Stroop, a German SS commander, prepared for Heinrich Himmler. Unidentified photographer. Public domain.
Retouched photo from Wikimedia Commons.

What if someone had made a recording of the Jewish children of Warsaw as they were rounded up by the Nazis and their enablers to be sent to their doom? And what if a copy of that recording had been distributed to a majority of German homes and heard by a majority of German adult citizens? Would history have turned out differently? Would their cries have been heard?

We are experiencing the first part of that scenario right now in the United States. Will the living room experience of state-sanctioned child abuse and hostage-taking, in flagrant violation of U.S. and international law, finally galvanize effective resistance to this fascist administration?

Only time will tell. But I am not going to keep my head down and look the other way. At the moment, that's pretty easy. I pray to God that raising my voice now, doing something easy now, will matter in the long run.

So, for fact-checking pro-regime propaganda on social media, I've recently been attacked and ridiculed by friends of my own extended family. I'm being called a "snowflake" and a "libtard" because I refuse to listen passively to a small child moaning "Papa ... Papa ..." over and over for minutes on end like it's a magic spell that will somehow stop the horror while some ate-up border guard makes jokes about the "orchestra" of cries he's hearing.

I will not blame this monstrosity, manufactured by the U.S. government for effect, on the children's parents. It's diabolically ingenious, isn't it? "We'll bully them or trick them or frame them for commission of a crime, then lock them up for the crime and take away their children." Cue the ditto-head chorus in their glory suits for whom this show has been staged: "if they weren't breaking the law, this wouldn't be happening to them."

I am not going to stay silent while the regime plans a massive review of the completed naturalization documents that underpin the citizenship of decades of legal immigrants. The regime's justification is, of course, the same one they are using to justify child abuse: we have to identify potentially dangerous supposed criminals who might have falsified their immigration papers. I got lectured by a self-important white dude and by a recent legal immigrant on Facebook last night about how my immigrant friends "have nothing to worry about if they're legal." Right. I'm sure your loyal collaboration with the regime in early phases will save you during the final solution too.

Meanwhile, I'm being pleasantly told on the phone by young, articulate, white-sounding Congressional staffers that "my concerns" will be conveyed to my representatives. One of them is, somewhat tardily, co-sponsoring legislation aimed at stopping a narrow aspect of the administration's savage policy. But another has been on record for years, parroting lies about immigration statistics and saying he "doesn't represent the foreign-born." And the third has just made a big announcement: "We are on the same page as President Trump. Our highest priority is securing the U.S. border."

I am getting ready for the just-announced Day of Action to Keep Families Together on June 30, 2018.

What will you do, while the supporters and enablers of this regime torture children and gloat over their terror? What will you do while they twist the law and the Bible and anything else they can get their hands on to justify their atrocities?

What will you do, standing here before the gates of Hell?

Zotero-Nikola Harmony (One Simple Trick)

TL;DR: Modify the post-related templates in your active theme to add the following to the <head> element in each post:

<meta property="zotero:itemType" content="blogPost">

Also, make sure to define the zotero namespace prefix for this property in the prefix attribute on the <html> element. The proper value is http://www.zotero.org/namespaces/export#.

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A Roman Tombstone from Heidelberg

Last month I spent some time in Heidelberg, Germany. While there, I participated in a meeting organized by the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, which was focused on an initiative dubbed "epigraphy.info." I also got the chance to visit the Kurpfälzisches Museum, which has a collection of Roman artifacts excavated from the area of Heidelberg. I hope to write one or more extended blog posts about the meeting, the museum, and epigraphy.info (perhaps for Current Epigraphy), but in the meantime I thought I'd share one of the inscriptions in the museum collection.

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Blogs that work with Zotero

I noticed that posts on my blog don't capture smoothly into Zotero (i.e., I have to edit the records in Zotero after I capture them). So, I want to fix my theme so this is no longer a problem and then contribute that modified theme back to the Nikola community.

Step one (this post): look at some blogs and figure out which ones work well with Zotero and figure out why.

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The thing about heterarchy is: more heterarchy

So over the weekend I published a post intended to introduce the notion of the "fediverse" to friends and colleagues who are interested in exploring options other than the big, commercial, centralized social media outfits. The W3C spec for ActivityPub took a starring role in my presentation, because it's fundamental to the operation of Mastodon, the social communication server software on which I focused. But this morning (thanks to a Mastodon post from @Wu-Lee, a fellow social.coop user) I learned that not everyone is so boosterish about the protocol.

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Heterarchy: Decentralization and Federation in Social Networking

Despite its hifalutin title, this is not a theoretical or (primarily) political essay. It's rather meant as an idiosyncratic primer on the "fediverse" for friends and colleagues (particularly in academia) who have heard about or are looking for "something different/better than Twitter/Facebook/etc." Caveat: IANAE, but after a few weeks dipping my toes into the fediverse I find that I can answer some basic questions at least provisionally. Everything I offer here was gleaned from web searches (I use DuckDuckGo, at present), from trying things out, from watching other people do things, from talking to friends, and from reading especially these posts:

You may find reading them first to be more rewarding that continuing below the fold here immediately.

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