Wednesday, October 7, 2020

A parable for 2020 Zeitgeist

 President Donald J Trump reactivated the New Jersey and it's battle group to show the amazing strength of the U.S. 

While out on the shakedown cruise with Admiral Crown a sudden storm arose, knocking out radios and hampering visibility. Suddenly the bridge crew spotted a light ahead not moving toward either side of the massive battleship - indicating a collision was imminent. 

BB-62(using light signals): Approaching ship, suggest you turn N or S to avoid collision

 Unknown ship: Suggest you turn

BB-62: This is the New Jersey, not some commercial vessel. Suggest you change course.

US: Respectfully, I suggest you change course.

BB-62: (The President has noticed the situation and decided to intervene) This is Donald J Trump, President of the United States and Command-in-Chief of the armed forces, you will turn or this beautiful amazing battleship will crush you like a bug!

US: This is a lighthouse.

DJT: Admiral Crown, full speed ahead, you'll fly right over him!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

A long time coming...

During this time of national home-dwelling, people have paid attention to George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor. It is long past time we had a reckoning of the police violence, and by extension white violence against black people. We are not the nation we say we are and that internal struggle will rend individuals apart much as it seems to be rending nation apart. We can no longer live in a nation where black people make up 13% of the general population but compose 67%+ of the prison population; no longer live in a world where your ZIP code, especially if you're black determines will almost unerring precision your destiny in economics and incarceration.

There must be a larger movement in communities large and small to reign in the occupying police forces and replace them with partnering order-keepers. The heartbreak of seeing my city under curfew was somewhat alleviated by seeing a few police departments march with protesters. Let's have all of our municipal constabularies do such work. An officer who can say 'we agree with you, and we will be accountable to our public' will have much more moral authority than a force that dresses up in combat gear and initiates confrontation with the public they've sworn to serve.

If our police forces continue to show and initiate violence towards the people they're sworn to protect, I suggest that anyone organizing the protest find out what their second amendment rights are and open-carry whenever possible. At this point, there is no need for violence, nor to make the first move, but we've all seen how beholden the white supremacist state is to angry people with guns. Be polite, be professional, but don't let anyone push you around - I'm paraphrasing the Mattis quote.

The other thing that we must do is stop making viral images of black people dying. There are a couple of good articles by better writers than I that make this point, read them. While we're on the point of reading, make sure to read _White Fragility_. This will help even though it's hard.

I wish I was sad about the looting and burning, but I'm not. I'm not sure I can blame anyone that understands/has lived with 400+ years of black labor exploitation for the looting that occurred. At this point, it's barely a drop in terms of recompense of what has been stolen from black people.

Ways to support black people:

  1. Buy from black-owned businesses. Here's a link to an LA version of that directory. A simple web search should find something similar where you live.
  2. Donate at least to the following three places:
  3. Before you call the cops on anyone, watch this
  4. Be a better human, and don't let this initial burst of energy wane. Keep going, this is a marathon.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Now would be a good time for remote work

During this time of social distancing and remote work, it would be a great time to send all the Congresscritters home to their own states and districts. This is the best time to send the elected officials home to distantly meet their constituents and then keep them home except for ceremonial occasions. This is all in the name of containment of the virus after all.

Want to go to D.C.? Justify the expense to your district and keep records of your expenses for reimbursement. Everything that's done in D.C. can be done remotely - shared documents, committee meetings, bloviating to empty chamber can all done far more cheaply in your home district.

This will have the odd side-effect of breaking the monopoly on lobbying that D.C. holds. It would be a shame to dilute all of that lobbyist money out to Enid OK, Mesa AZ, or Hanover NH. Yeah it would be a shame that the corporate to be diluted.

It will also put the representatives in closer contact to their voters. That would be terrible for them, they'd have to live under the laws they passed and live with the people affected. Indeed, it could be traumatizing for those poor people.

Just a thought