#0006 RRS Newsletter for June 5, 2007

hellfiend666's picture

I'm keeping this post simple. Just two things from the RRS main HQ, (or bunker, for those that get that joke).

I'll be back tomorrow with a slew of new info to share, I'm sure.

So, keep it rational, all, and may the LSD bus get lost on the way to your house.
(Sorry, another inside joke...)
and the RRS MI team

The Rational Response Squad has officially started its leap into a new frontier: The Rational Response Squad Academy.

A project the RRS heads have been working on for a long time, the idea is to have free classes given by experts in all sorts of fields. From physics, biology and chemistry, to history and bible courses, even psychology and logic classes. These courses are designed to be on college level. For the time being all of these courses will be free of charge, and open to everyone. We are able to spend this time giving back as a result of your financial assistance. If you are able to subscribe, please do so. If we get overcrowded classes, we may need to limit it to only subscribers. Classes will be held in a video room.

There will be two options available for anybody who is interested. The first is enrollment, much like you would enroll in a college class. It depends on the instructor, but sometimes you’ll be graded, have quizzes, even homework. (Nothing that is too overwhelming)

The second option is to simply show up at the times the courses are taking place. No enrollment necessary, you just show up. You can stay, even do the work too if you so desire. There will be no restrictions what so ever.

However, enrolling brings added benefits. When you enroll you get the opportunity to take the proficiency exam at the end of class, and if you pass the course, you get an honorary badge above your name on the message boards, and access to a private forum. It’s a little esoteric, but at the squad we reward seekers of knowledge, and this is simply one of the ways we seek to help everyone. The bonus to merit is the level at which you apply yourself to education, which at the squad we really respect.

At this point, the first course of study is Introduction to Classical and Modern History taught by the RRS’s own Rook Hawkins. If you have any interest in this course, please read the Course Description and the Enrollment Thread.

Here is a brief description of the course: This course will use modern historical methodologies to explore both classical and modern historians, ancient historical methods, the genre of history and how to apply modern methodologies to a variety of ancient texts and classical historians. We will also look at a general history of the world from the Hellenistic Age to the rise of Christianity.

Enroll in our first course with Rook Hawkins.

Description of the first course. 8 weeks, 2 lessons per week! Each lesson will be given 2 times, once in the afternoon and once in the evening for your convenience.

In Rationality,

Rook, Kelly, and Sapient

P.S. This Friday we'll air a hilarious show we recorded this weekend with CARM.org founder, Matt Slick a Christian apologist.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Date: Jun 5, 2007 1:31 AM

(please, because of the overwhelming amount of myspace mail we get, please post any comments on our message board where we have posted the same piece. Comments about this piece will be deleted from our myspace account instantly, as we cant handle all the mail.)

This Is Not A Story About Cindy Sheehan by Sunsara Taylor This is not a story about a woman who raised four children, sent one off to war, and collapsed one day in a fit of screaming at the news that he was dead. This is not a piece to describe how that woman tried to stay awake for the next three days so as not to have to scream like that again after waking and then remembering that news. There will be no attempt in this piece to comprehend the maddening indecency of the overgrown frat-boy president who sent her son to kill and die for lies and still had the gall to call her “Mom” and sits day after day-- to this day --as the self-appointed, unrestrained king of the world. This is not a piece about a woman who exposed her grief and her rawest nerves, who sacrificed a twenty-nine year marriage and time with her remaining children, to a country calloused to the daily loss of life and succeeded in stirring many to their feet, into the streets, and to the tops of their lungs. This is not a piece about how this woman parked herself in the dusty heat of a ditch in Texas and said yes to enough speaking engagements and phone calls from soldiers and late nights with grieving parents to send her own life teetering near its edge because she couldn’t live with herself if she didn’t give everything she could to prevent another mother from having to experience the loss that she knew. This piece is not even about how her loss and her grief were not confined to her son, but extended each day further, to include the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, and further yet, to those cast in the impoverished margins of our planet--including the thousands of children dying each day from starvation--as the U.S. obscenely spends hundreds of billions on constructing and deploying the machinery of mass death. Nor is this about the millions who learned this woman’s name, whose hearts broke with hers, but whose spirits were lifted and consciences were challenged by the way she seized the moral high ground and much of the spotlight from the world’s biggest liars and most pitiless killers because she was right and she was fearless--to hell with the odds. This piece isn’t even simply about a culture that demonizes and attacks such a person, that makes their every word or slightest gesture grist for the dishonest mill of the small-minded bloggers, the jones for cruelty of the war-planners, and fascist propagandizing of the major media mouthpieces. Nor is this about a society that props up mothers as “keepers of the flame,” a counter-balance meant to excuse the war-makers, only to turn on them and call them “whores,” should they dare to do more than weep silently. This is not merely about this woman’s refusal to be corralled into “realistic” and empire-bound strategies like timetables or phased-redeployment, about her righteous refusal to excuse the funding of the war, about her simple and righteous insistence that the slaughter and torture of human beings stop right now. And, no, this is not mainly about the many questions that she herself ran up against and has put straight up in front of the movement and that all too many don’t want to speak to. Like why the Democrats won’t bend to the will of the people, or what kind of system only allows for two sides of the pro-war position, or what to do about an American people who are well on their way to becoming Good Germans. Those questions are crucial and agonizing and there are answers to them that can be found or forged. And there is a need for a movement that encourages the debate to rage around these questions and insists on honestly and unsparingly confronting reality. A movement that insists on getting to, and telling the people, the truth. No, throwing up your hands is never the right response. But to be perfectly honest, this piece is not about what Cindy Sheehan should be doing. Not when really there are 300 million other people in this country who each morning wake up with profound choices to make--and who make them every day, whether they know it or not. So, no, this article is not about Cindy Sheehan. This article is about you. Reading on your computer screen. Smudging black ink off the newsprint in your hands. Breathing in and out, your chest rising even as the chests of other human beings who happen to have been born atop huge reservoirs of oil fall still, as their breath is stolen, as their land is ravaged, as their girls learn to fear their budding breasts and widening hips under the leer of the occupier’s eye, as their fathers lose their minds trying to comprehend the life-danger they’ve become to their own children for being of a different religion than their mother, as the psyche and politics and view of what kind of world is possible, as a whole country and region is forever marked by the apparent indifference of way too many Americans to their sustained destruction… as millions who are also heart-sick flirt with the devastating and impermissible comfort of throwing up their own hands and looking away from the war zone… This article is about you--because frankly, there is not enough space and not enough time and not enough ink and not enough trees to make enough paper to hold all the ways that the roadblocks hit by a woman like Cindy are a sign of failure. Not of the failure of the possibility for change, nor the failure of those who put everything on the line to make all this stop, but the failure of a society that does not cherish and have room for a woman like her. And the failure of continuing on a course that does not fundamentally challenge the killing confines of the choices this system puts before us. So, again, this is about you--whether you will hide behind and resign yourself because of the faltering of another or whether you will step into the breech. This article is about what you think about and do when you wake up each morning. About whose lives you value and prioritize. About whether it is sufficient to register disapproval or whether you are responsible for stretching your limits, risking friendships and family if you must, confronting discomforting truths about this political system, and whether you will dare to inspire and challenge and set an example of living for and impacting something bigger than yourself. This is about whether you know enough and have seen enough of other people’s sons and daughters dying in the service of empire to say without equivocation that all this must halt. This is about whether you will plunge into and confront the dead-ends that have led so many to disorientation--whether you will look deeper, consider radical solutions, even ones you might once have dismissed. And, yes, it can seem at times like we are hurling our soft bodies and our embattled dreams up against cold rock, and like the forces aligned against us are made of impenetrable marble. But marble has fissures and faultlines and cracks deep beneath the surface and these can be located and the marble itself can be pried apart by the determined action of millions who dare. So I am struck again with the truth and the enormity of our choices captured in the final words of the World Can’t Wait Call: “History is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined. The future is unwritten. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US.” The war is still wrong. What are you going to do?

Sunsara Taylor writes for Revolution Newspaper, sits on the Advisory Board of The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime, has appeared on The Rational Response Squad, and is a friend of the show.