Thursday, August 27, 2009
He's tired from all the laughing.
"I wish you wouldn't tickle me
"It's not rape if you're laughing,"
replies the voice from above.
I wrote this last night, since I could not sleep and sadly, it has to do with an experience that happened during my very first week at college. My date and I were riding back to the dorm in the back of the car together, when the bastard tickled me, causing me to fall down on my back in surprise, and he "fell" too. It was one of the scariest moments of my life-I was laughing, but the situation was anything but funny. "Get off, get off!" I protested and finally, after letting me panic for a minute, he got up like he had not just demonstrated his true wishes for a nightly game of control and punishment. Thankfully, I was able to convince him not to take me to his dorm, but to drop me off at mine. He was very reluctant and I still do not know what it was that made him decide to let me have my way, for he certainly did not do that with any of the other young freshmen that he "dated" that year. When the rumours were flying about a campus rapist targeting freshwomyn later that year, I knew without any doubt that he was the one.
Even if the violated person is laughing, it is still sexual assault or rape-the only time it is not is when that person emphatically says yes! Yes means yes-anything less than clear consent is rape.
Does not solve any
But neither does
that would be
Mary Jo Kopechne died gasping for air
Her bubbled pool of pleas
Reaching only the
Meanwhile, a man merely sobered himself up
and then prepared himself to be the greatest lion
there ever was -
It was all only because he was too much of a coward
to admit his one
Rest in peace, Mary Jo Kopechne, for you are not forgotten.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
C / ° U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
We, members of national parliament, elected representatives of the people of South Kivu, welcome your visit to our country and request that you convey our best wishes for success to the current tenant of the White House on the occasion of his election as the head of the USA.
We take the opportunity given to us by your presence on the land of our forefathers, to bring to your attention that the DR Congo that you visit so far is not only affected by the result of wars of aggression unjustly imposed on our people for almost 15 years, but is also a country where the democratic process led by the United Nations is bogged down, thus bringing into question the credibility of the United Nations in a country that throughout its history, hasn’t ceased to be subjected to this huge organization, in both World Wars I & II and the Cold War.
That is why, at first, we urge the Obama Administration to consider the following two points:
1) On behalf of thousands of women raped, buried alive, men emasculated, and all those killed in eastern DR Congo in general, in South Kivu in particular, we urge you to join our voices to demand an end to impunity. First, by the immediate arrest of all those responsible for this tragedy including Laurent Nkundabatware, Bosco Ntaganda, and other accomplices at the heart of this Congolese tragedy.
In so doing, in the eyes of the world community, the USA will have contributed to bringing an end to this unjust and biased policy that ensures the longevity and support of regimes whose leaders have been accused of abusing power and lacking democracy characterized by extreme favoritism concentrated in a handful of people at the expense of the majority of the inhabitants of Central Africa.
Also, today we can confirm to you that the eastern DR Congo has become an oasis for the extermination of innocent people who are defenseless and without any assistance, in the presence of an army that consists of selectively picked executioners which includes former FDLR members repatriated to Rwanda, but recycled and then returned within the CNDP for their incorporation into the FARDC.
In short, a war of attrition is managed wisely and thoroughly fed through the plundering of our resources, the depopulation of areas affected by this war, and very soon their balkanization.
2) This policy has led to the strengthening of mono-ethnic powers in Rwanda and Uganda, where more or less 10% of the population maintains dominance over 90% of the population. It is important to point out that with the support of the USA and the UK primarily, Rwanda released its tribal hatred on the DR Congo where its support and participation alongside pseudo-insurgent movements are undeniable.
Indeed, the involvement of multinational corporations in the delivery of arms and plundering the wealth of the DR Congo in the interest of great powers on one side and on the other, the cases of Mutebusi, Nkundabatware, Bosco Ntaganda, and the flagrant presence of many Rwandan soldiers in the integrated CNDP troops in support of Rwanda confirms our assertion.
Madam Secretary of State,
Your trip to Africa in the early months following the ascension to power by His Excellency Barack Hussein Obama is followed with great interest and has generated a lot of hope among the Congolese people who have been overlooked by previous US administrations; it has not been since the 1990s that a personality of the American administration of your rank has set foot on Congolese soil.
That is why, in addition to the major concerns outlined above, we share with you a copy of a memo that we gave to members of the delegation of the Security Council of the United Nations who visited the DR Congo on May 19, 2009 - a memo which tells the tragedy suffered by the Congolese people. This memo can be summarized as follows:
"Since 1994, the superbly armed Hutu, fleeing the advance of the Rwandan Patriotic Army crossed the Congolese border with support of UN operations called 'turquoise', headed by France. These Hutus settled in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu in flagrant violation of all international standards governing the right of asylum or refuge.
Known as the "Interahamwe" or FDLR, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, and so on, these Hutu particularly stand out in DR Congo by practicing acts of looting, rape, massacre and so on. And since they became a pretext for the authorities in Kigali to justify the presence in DR Congo of their regular army, the results are the current massacres and atrocities suffered by our people at Makobola, Kasika Katogota, Lemera, Nindja, Kaniola , Kalambi, Bunyakiri, Kaziba, Luhwindja, Kalonge, Bukavu, Uvira, Kiliba, Katumba Kalehe, Bwegera, Kamituga, Mwenga, Shabunda, Lugushwa, Ngando, Ndola, Kigulube, Bijombo, Masango Tubimbi, Kakungwe, Mushago, Kitutu, Lubuga , Mutambala, Fizi, Minembwe, Bibokoboko, Baraka, Kagabwe, to name a few, as regards the South-Kivu.
Moreover, Rwanda's history is punctuated by cyclical and fratricidal wars driven by a spirit of intolerance and retaliation between Hutus and Tutsis. Hence, when it is the Rwandan Tutsi ethnic group that is in power, their countrymen who are in the majority, the Hutus, are in exile: and vice versa. DR Congo has become each time, the country of pilgrimage for them.
Therefore, we members of the national parliament representing South Kivu not only condemn the guilty silence of the international community, particularly the USA, nation par excellence that praises democracy and peace, but we also deplore the role of international organizations specialized in defense of human rights that are not quite vocal as elsewhere regarding this tragedy of a smoldering Congolese genocide.
Solutions for the return and the restoration of peace have been explored by the Congolese government, but unfortunately, they came up against the bad faith of external forces pulling the strings of this war in cahoots with some insiders.
These include, by way of illustration:
The meeting in Sun City in South Africa called the inter-Congolese dialogue which led to the transition 1+4 [post conflict reconciliation formula that integrated former rebels into the Congolese government from 2003 – 2006, which included one president and four vice presidents], the Conference of Goma in January 2008, and most recently the joint operations of DR Congo / Rwanda for the tracking of FDLR. The joint operations are replete with collateral damage in North Kivu and South Kivu, where we deplore all loss of life coupled with other incalculable consequences: large-scale movements of populations, famine, disease, evil destruction of property and infrastructure, looting of natural resources, rape, theft, and other degrading treatment.
Rather, the Congolese people, your brother, friend and ally, do not deserve such inhumane treatment. They have done everything to restore peace in the Great Lakes Region. They have nothing left to give to satisfy the warmongering and gluttonous appetites of its neighbors. The Congolese people had vainly obeyed and accepted fallacious schemes and pretexts that served as the basis for the imposition of unjust wars: the case of nationality, access and sharing of political and military power, establishment of a genuine multiparty democracy, mixage, integration for some, brassage for others [mixage and brassage are French security sector jargon that speaks to the integration and reintegration of rebel groups into the Congolese army], repatriation of Rwandan refugees, tracking of FDLR elements, etc.
Faced with this grim picture, We, national MPs from the Province of South Kivu, on the strength of our experience and our solidarity with people who elected us, believe that peace won at the end of the barrel is always ephemeral.
Therefore, for a secure and lasting peace for all parties concerned in the sub-region of the Great Lakes, we offer among others the following proposals:
1. That the international community require of President Paul Kagame, the organization of an inter-Rwandan dialogue that would bring together around one table all the components of the Rwandan tribes, both those inside and outside of the country to find solutions to internal problems between them.
2. The involvement of the United States of America for the establishment in Rwanda of a democracy balanced, thoughtful and non-discriminatory like the position (which we positively welcome) of your current government response to conflicts between Israel and Palestine. This is for the restoration of a lasting peace, on the one hand among Rwandans themselves on their soil and between the State of Rwanda and the DR Congo on the other hand.
3. The contribution of the USA in the strict regulation of the sale, delivery and purchase of arms and munitions to leaders implicated in the conflict in the Great Lakes sub-region, essentially Rwanda and Uganda.
4. Placing under embargo all American and Western firms trafficking in mineral resources known as "blood" (coltan, diamonds, gold, cassiterite, etc.).
5. The establishment of international justice (ICC) that punishes all political leaders and economic players in the sub-region or elsewhere involved in the war.
6. The establishment of a development plan, like the Marshall plan, with pragmatic integration projects in the sub-region of the Great Lakes in general and in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular.
7. The involvement of MONUC in first, sorting out the Rwandan elements integrated within the CNDP so that they can return to their country, Rwanda, and second in assisting with removing military officers of all stripes involved in the armed conflict outside the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu.
8. The redefinition of the mission and role of MONUC in order to avoid the atrocities and abuses deplored above.
9. In the end, we members of National members of Parliament representing South-Kivu, hope that your stay in our country, unlike the bitter and sad experiences (political, diplomatic, economic, commercial, social, cultural, humanitarian ...) we have experienced and according to some analysts well versed in the history of the DR Congo, say now is the time to lay the foundations for sincere bilateral cooperation that will be beneficial for both the American and Congolese people.
Thus, in the framework of this cooperation that we hope will be reciprocal and harmonious, and taking into account the geostrategic position of the DR Congo, we recommend that the Obama administration deal directly with Congolese institutions legally established in place of intermediaries or subcontractors.
Kinshasa on 05 August 2009
National Members of Parliament of South Kivu presented in Kinshasa
1. Hon KANYEGERE LWABOSHI Samuel, (243) 990903345
2. Hon Birindwa CHANIKIRE Solide, (243) 990903329
3.Hon Masumbuko BASHOMBA Christophe, (243) 990903364
4.Hon BASHOMBERWA Martha, (243) 990903115
5. KIKA zamud Hon Marie-Jeanne, (243) 90903625
6. Hon Bapolisi Bahuga Paulin, (243) 990903113
7. Hon BITAKWIRA Hayi BIHONA-Justin, (243) 990903330
8. Hon MPANANO NTAMWENGE Roger, (243) 990902475
9. Hon BUHERWA LUPINI Désiré,
Note: Translation by Friends of Congo
"Letting Go of Anger"
In recovery, we often discuss anger objectively. Yes, we reason, it's an emotion we're all prone to experience. Yes, the goal in recovery is to be free of resentment and anger. Yes, it's okay to feel angry, we agree. Well, maybe. . . .
Anger is a powerful and sometimes frightening emotion. It's also a beneficial one if it's not allowed to harden into resentment or used as a battering ram to punish or abuse people.
Anger is a warning signal. It points to problems. Sometimes, it signals problems we need to solve. Sometimes, it points to boundaries we need to set. Sometimes, it's the final burst of energy before letting go, or acceptance, settles in.
And, sometimes, anger just is. It doesn't have to be justified. It usually can't be confined to a tidy package. And it need not cause us to stifle our energy or ourselves.
We don't have to feel guilty whenever we experience anger.
We don't have to feel guilty.
Breathe deeply. We can shamelessly feel all our feelings, including anger, and still take responsibility for our behaviors.
I will feel and release any angry feelings I have today. I can do that appropriately and safely.
Why the Fat Acceptance Movement Benefits Non-Fat Persons
I am a huge fan of the FA blog site, Shapely Prose, so when blog creator, Kate Harding co-authored a book with fellow FA blogger, Marianne Kirby of The Rotund, I had to buy it! Tomorrow I will be volunteering at Charis Books & More getting the place ready for Kirby's book signing and discussion at 7:30p. Needless to say, I am ecstatic!
The book as it appears in Charis!
Harding and Kirby are both proud of their bodies and of themselves as people, promote the fact that dieting does not work, and work hard to get their message across that "fatties" are people too. Fat people deserve just as much respect and autonomy as the thinnest supermodel, because they are all human beings! Which really should not be such a hard concept and yet we all know it is...
The back blurb:
The bad news: There probably isn't a thin person inside you waiting to get out. But there just might be a happy,confident, awesome fat person in there-and this book will help you find her.
Bloggers Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby have lost count of how many diets they've been on. Between them, they've lost enough weight to make up a whole other person-a whole other fat person. But like almost all dieters, they always gained it back-so they finally decided it was time to activate Plan B. In Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere, they share how they came to quit starving themselves and began liking their fat bodies the way they are.
Marianne and Kate know that "fat" doesn't equal disgusting. Or lazy. Or undisciplined. Or stupid. Instead, it's just the single most efficient description of bodies that aren't, you know, thin. So it's time to reclaim both the word and the reality. In Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere, you'll discover how to live your life with joy,pride, brio, and plenty of healthy self-respect, no matter what size dress you wear.
When I first got this book, I carried it around with me everywhere I went and finished it in no more than three days. My little, happy bubble was momentarily burst only on day two, though, when a co-worker laughingly remarked, "Lessons from the fat-o-sphere?! Why? You're not fat!!!" I pointed to the words below, Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body and skulked off, totally not laughing.
But she is right-I am not fat. I hesitate to say my body size is average, because I am shorter than most womyn-in fact, at 4'9.5," I am on the cusp of being a little person-half of my shoes are a child's size four-but I do not feel that I am "thin." Of course, I'll admit my perception of my body is majorly fucked up, as I have been hospitalized twice for an eating disorder and when I say I am not thin, it is because I am comparing myself to the bone-thin, anorexic womyn at my treatment center. (I am merely afflicted with the diagnosis ED-NOS or eating disorder not otherwise specified, which as another friend who works in a mental hospital said, "Anything with the label, not otherwise specified, is as about as a bad a label as a person can possibly get." To that I say, "Amen!")
I also think of Dr. Co, a psychiatrist at RiverEdge, a non-profit mental health center in Milledgeville, GA, who told me I was "overweight" and did not have an eating disorder at all, even though I had only been out of the hospital for a few months. For many other things he said to me that day, I reported his behavior and I sincerely hope he does not work there anymore, although I suspect he does.
This book, and the whole fat acceptance movement, are so enormously important to me, because as far as long-term recovery goes, they are the things that truly help me keep the goal of recovery firmly in my mind. Like most womyn, I have dieted for most of my life-to the point that it was all I did or cared about. For a good majorly of my life, I would rather have been dead than to be fat, because fatness to me meant failure.
But recovery, for a person with an eating disorder, often means that the person is going to get fatter and in fact, that fattening up process is intensely encouraged! So while I am not fat, per se, I am definitely fatter than I used to be and that can be terrifying. Fatness used to symbolize being out of control and ultimately, being a failure. But through the fat acceptance movement, I am learning that fatness is just a
size-that's all. My becoming larger in size has nothing to do with how much in control of my life I am or with my success. It really does not. My body shape does not tell the world whether I am a good or bad person-just that I am a person, who as a person, does take up a certain amount of space, but that is all. And it is such a relief to know that the state of my well-being does not have to depend on an arbitrary number on a scale or a pair of jeans. I am still in the process of learning how to live in this mindset, but as Marianne Kirby wrote in her blog post, The Limbo: A State of Being, Not a Party Game,Put aside the question of whether or not you feel like you are worthy of self-love. Stop thinking about it as much as possible. You don’t have to have come to any conclusions, you just have to table the matter. And then treat yourself the way you would if you already loved yourself. Treat yourself well. And kindly. And treat other people the same way. And it will sink in.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Okay, okay, so the last three are actually from PostSecret,
Sunday, August 23, 2009
You are a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or neo-hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.
our upcoming season of Graduate School Fairs, and a big project we are
doing with the Mozilla Foundation (the Firefox people) to connect
nonprofits with techie volunteers around the world.
Let's start with the Grad-School Fairs. If you, or anyone you know,
are thinking of going to grad-school next year for a degree with
social impact, join us at one of the 17 fairs we'll be hosting in
North America this fall (registration is free).
At each fair you can meet representatives from 50-200 graduate
programs in fields such as Nonprofit Management, Education, Social
Work, Global Health, International Affairs, Law, Public Policy, Urban
Planning, and many more.
Here is the schedule for this fall (in parentheses you can see how
many schools have already signed up for each fair):
Sep 10 - New York, NY (200)
Sep 14 - Providence, RI (75)
Sep 15 - Boston, MA (175)
Sep 17 - Toronto, ON (50)
Sep 21 - Washington, DC (150)
Sep 23 - Pittsburgh, PA (50)
Oct 5 - Denver, CO (60)
Oct 7 - Minneapolis, MN (50)
Oct 12 - Chicago, IL (110)
Oct 13 - Phoenix, AZ (50)
Oct 15 - San Francisco, CA (120)
Oct 19 - Los Angeles, CA (120)
Oct 20 - Seattle, WA (90)
Oct 22 - Portland, OR (65)
Oct 29 - New Orleans, LA (60)
Oct 30 - Atlanta, GA (90)
Nov 3 - Virginia Beach, VA (30)
For more information, to register (it's free but they need to know how
many people will be there), and to see which schools will be at each
fair, please go to:
* * * * * * *
Mozilla Service Week
Idealist is partnering with Mozilla (the organization behind the
Firefox browser) on their first annual Mozilla Service Week which will
match thousands of "techie" volunteers around the world with
nonprofits in need of help with IT, web design, programming, blogging,
Mozilla Service Week will take place September 14-21, 2009, and
organizations are so eager for volunteers that a couple of thousand of
them have already posted their opportunities.
If you are comfortable with technology and would like to help out, or
if your organization could use some help, please go to:
And to help spread the word to nonprofits and techies around the
world, please go to:
Graduate Education Communications Coordinator
Join us also at http://www.twitter.com/idealist and
I am going to peruse the idealist.org site again soon and the Mozilla Service Week. Hopefully I'll get a job or at least some direction from it. If you are looking for the same, I would suggest you go there too!
I value my own specialness and I dare to reveal it. Since the universe expresses itself through the differences in all of creation, I choose to acknowledge my own uniqueness. My inner self speaks through the nonconformity that I am. Today I applaud nonconformity and the differences within my life.
I am free of the need to please others or to conform to what they are. When I am true to myself, I easily and lovingly express my own opinions and beliefs without fear of rejection. My self-worth is not on the line when I recognize the uniqueness in myself and others. I do not have to agree with everyone, and everyone does not have to agree with me. Belief in my differentness allows me to understand those who do not understand me.
I praise my uniqueness and wear it proudly.
- From “Daily Affirmations for Adult Children of Alcoholics” by Rokelle Lerner
Friday, August 21, 2009
& help a good cause at the same time!
This Saturday, August 22nd @ 3pm
Inman Park Field
Corner of Hurt St. NE and Euclid Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
$10 Donation Requested
All are welcome to come out and cheer us on or come to the at the After Party!
Afterparty at Urban Pie in Kirkwood Village at 5:30pm
2012a Hosea L Williams Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30317 (404) 373-2778
Ironically, I can't stand kickball-too many memories of me running off the field crying in elementary school! But I suspect that people like me are few and far between, so go, have a great time, and support a great cause! (Besides, you can always chat and cheer on the sideslines if that's more your cup of tea...)
Please RSVP to Allison@Alw62000@gmail.com so that we can be sure to have enough beverages at the afterparty. (All proceeds go to Charis Circle)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Who says feminists don't have a sense of humor?! This one does! Today when looking at teh lolz catz, I thought to myself, "This photo seems like a good representation of the patriarchy, doesn't it?" and "I want some ice cream!" Discuss! Laugh! Go eat ice cream! (I know I will...)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Turn Off the TV, IPhone, Computer, Playstation, Fax Machine, Personal Robot... and Tune Into Reality!!!
Marshall McLuhan warned that this age of electronic marvels could turn out to be less than marvelous for human development. He predicted that one effect would be the spawning of vast numbers of voyeurs - people who would rather watch than participate, seek vicarious rather than real experiences, and seemingly not know the difference.
We all know (or may be) people who would rather watch television than participate in the living drama of today´s world. Being a spectator is safe. The second-hand defeats and triumphs, the loves and losses that flicker across the screen don´t require that we take a stand or make an effort. As long as we don´t participate, we don´t have to make decisions or take risks.
But real life is lived in the trenches, and real action is never second-hand. As the years go by and we look back on our lives, will we want to remember that we played the game or that we played it safe?
"Today I pray for the courage to get involved in my own drama."
- From "Days of Healing, Days of Joy: Daily Meditations for Adult Children" By Earnie Larsen & Carol Larsen Hegarty
Monday, August 3, 2009
*I saw this announcement from the blog, Act of Faith in Love and Life and felt obliged to share it:
15 year-old Elizabeth Monika Hunter
has been staying with relatives in Capitol Heights, MD and is now missing as of midnight August 3rd. Her sister Renee Jennings sent a private email that’s been forwarded requesting help. Hopefully we can get this cross-posted at several blogs and across social media to send the word out.
Due to her age and their categorizing her as a runaway, the police said they cannot issue an Amber Alert and will only take information for a Missing Person’s report which takes 48-hours to kick in. Monika’s sister lives in NYC and isn’t able to monitor the situation locally and has asked for help from the blogosphere.
Prince George Country police department, Palmer Park Precinct will be handling this case. It’s been assigned to Det. Vessels 301-772-4492. Case#09-215-0405. The main number at the precinct is 301-772-4901. Let’s encourage the police to make haste with looking for Monika as the area is apparently unsafe and she is new to the area, has limited to no funds and no cell phone.
Reach Renee at: email@example.com.
This could be your neighbor, sister, schoolmate whomever. Since only high-profile cases get immediate attention, let's make this one!
Date: Saturday, August 8, 2009
Time: 10:30am - 5:00pm
Location: New Valencia Hall
Street: 625 Larkin St, Suite 202
City/Town: San Francisco, CA
Come and hone your political skills and instincts, while benefiting the National Radical Women Fund Drive! Join a group of feisty rebels for a day of learning through presentations and hands-on activities on the following topics:
Morning sessions, beginning at 10:30am :
* How to Fight Fascism
* Understanding Gender
Afternoon sessions, beginning at 2:00pm :
* Writing to Make a Political Point
* Creating Art to Create Revolution
The workshops will take place at New Valencia Hall, 625 Larkin Street #202 , in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART, and on/near Muni lines #19, 31, 38, 47 & 49). All day registration is $20; single session only $12. Lunch will be available for a $5 donation. All proceeds go towards the National Radical Women Fund Drive.
To register, or for more information, please call 415-864-1278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radical Women is a socialist feminist, grassroots activist organization that provides a radical voice within the feminist movement, a feminist voice within the Left, and trains women to be leaders in the movements for social and economic justice. It has branches in numerous United States cities; and Melbourne, Australia.
Sadly, I must admit that when I first saw this event on facebook, I was a little skeptical, because unfortunately, I have learned that the term "radical feminist" sometimes means that the feminist does not support trans rights, which in my opinion, really disqualifies the person from being a true feminist, as feminism should value the worth of all equally. So, I checked their website and I am proud to say that they seem to be very supportive, with an article entitled, "Stonewall was a Riot-Now We Need a Revolution," which I read and fully support. My only quibble is that they have a seminar called, "Understanding Gender," when I don't think anyone can truly understand gender, but I do tend to sometimes get hung up up semantics. So, if you are in the area, go! I wish I could, but I suspect I'll be stuck selling appliances as usual...
And in case y'all are too lazy to peruse their homepage, here is their mission statement:
A trailblazing socialist feminist organization, Radical Women is the revolutionary wing of the women's movement and a strong feminist voice within the Left. Immersed in the daily fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, and labor exploitation, Radical Women views women's leadership as decisive to world revolution and trains women to take their place in the forefront of the struggle. RW is an autonomous, all-women's group, affiliated with the Freedom Socialist Party on the basis of mutual respect, solidarity, and shared socialist feminist ideals.
Get involved if you want to change the world and collaborate with a feisty bunch of rebel grrlz of all colors, sexualities and ages. Everyone has something to learn, teach and contribute!