[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2017-08-17

The Confederacy is not the South

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 11:37

The Confederacy is not the South. The Confederacy was a six-year tragedy in a history that stretches back over 400 years. There were other tragedies along the way, obviously — the genocide of native Americans and the chattel slavery of Africans being the two biggest ones, but as these were American atrocities rather than strictly Southern ones, I won’t be addressing them here. This isn’t about the crimes of the United States: this is about the southern USA (or just “the South”, as it’s affectionately known), which had its first permanent European settlement in St. Augustine, Florida in 1465, by the Spanish. The South existed for hundreds of years before the stain of the Confederacy, and the South is still here long after the blight of the Confederacy is gone (and good riddance!).

Even some Confederate generals, such as James Longstreet and William Mahone, recognized the value and importance of a United States with racial equality, and worked to make it happen. Sadly, they have been largely forgotten — or demonized — by Americans on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

A Southerner who glorifies the Confederacy and treats it like something to memorialize is like a 50 year old man who met a girl in a bar when he was 18, took her home, and woke up with a dead dog, a stolen truck, an empty bank account, and a case of herpes — but who insists on keeping her photo on the mantle because it’s his “heritage”. He shouldn’t be blaming himself for that mistake after all these years, but he damned sure shouldn’t be reminiscing about it, either.

Thursday, 2017-06-22

A comparison of criminal backgrounds, Democrats vs. Republicans

Filed under: History,Politics — bblackmoor @ 13:57

This is a comparison of criminal indictments and convictions of Democrats and Republicans over the past 53 years. It was compiled by William Adkins (whom I do not know personally).

When comparing criminal indictments of those serving in the executive branch of presidential administrations it’s so lopsided as to be ridiculous. Yet all I ever hear is how corrupt the Democrats are. So why don’t we break it down by president and the numbers?

Obama – 8 years in office. zero criminal indictments, zero convictions and zero prison sentences. So the next time somebody describes the Obama administration as ‘scandal free’ they aren’t speaking wishfully, they’re simply telling the truth.

Bush, George W. – 8 years in office. 16 criminal indictments. 16 convictions. 9 prison sentences.

Clinton – 8 years in office. 2 criminal indictments. One conviction. One prison sentence. That’s right, nearly 8 years of investigations, tens of millions spent and 30 years of claiming them ‘the most corrupt ever’ and there was exactly one person convicted of a crime.

Bush, George H. W. – 4 years in office. One indictment. One conviction. One prison sentence.

Reagan – 8 years in office. 26 criminal indictments. 16 convictions. 8 prison sentences.

Carter – 4 years in office. One indictment. Zero convictions and zero prison sentences.

Ford – 4 years in office. One indictment and one conviction. One prison sentence.

Nixon – 6 years in office. 76 criminal indictments. 55 convictions. 15 prison sentences.

Johnson – 5 years in office. Zero indictments. Zero convictions. Zero prison sentences.

So, let’s see where that leaves us. in the last 53 years Democrats have been in office for 25 of those years while Republicans held it for 28. in their 25 years in office Democrats had a total of three Executive Branch officials indicted with one conviction and one prison sentence. That’s one whole executive branch official convicted of a crime in two and a half decades of Democrat leadership.

In the 28 years that Republicans have held office over the last 53 years they have had a total of (a drum roll would be more than appropriate) 120 criminal indictments of Executive Branch officials. 89 criminal convictions and 34 prison sentences handed down.

That’s more prison sentences than years in office since 1968 for Republicans.

If you want to count articles of impeachment as indictments (they aren’t really but we can count them as an action), both sides get one more. However, Clinton wasn’t found guilty while Nixon resigned and was pardoned by Ford, so those only serve to make Republicans look even worse.

With everything going on with Trump and his people right now, it’s a safe bet Republicans are gonna be padding their numbers a bit real soon. So let’s just go over the numbers one more time, shall we? 120 indictments for Republicans. 89 convictions and 34 prison sentences. Those aren’t ‘feelings’ or ‘alternate facts,’ those are simply the stats by the numbers. Republicans are, and have been for my entire lifetime, the most criminally corrupt party to hold the office of the presidency.

Tuesday, 2017-05-16

The return of Republican Hitler

Filed under: History,Humour,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:41

It appears that Hillary Clinton has replaced Barack Obama as the bogeyman responsible for all of the evil things in the world that the Republicans are so bravely fighting against. So I updated my #republicanhitler meme. I guess when given a clear choice, Republicans really do hate women more than they hate black people. I am mildly surprised.

Tuesday, 2016-09-13

The enmity of previous generations

Filed under: History,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 15:27

There nothing as destructive to humanity as the preservation of the enmity of previous generations, long since dead.

(This might not be literally true. There may be more destructive things. But this one really irks me.)

fossil_skull

Monday, 2016-02-01

We will not be missed

Filed under: History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 16:42

Two centuries from now, humans will still be able to read The Iliad and The Declaration Of Independence, but there will be a huge gap where the late-20th and early-21st centuries were.

Atoms survive. Bits do not.

Tuesday, 2015-12-08

Republican Hitler

Filed under: History,Humour,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 09:14

Republican Hitler

Replace the word “Muslims” with “Jews” and then ask yourself “Do I sound like a fucking Nazi?”

Here’s a hint: if you have to make excuses for it (“I’m not racist! Islam is not a race!”), then the answer is yes, you do sound like a fucking Nazi. So either change what you are saying, or be prepared for all of your descendants to be embarrassed to be related to you because you were an ignorant bigot.

Friday, 2015-10-30

Does the USPS “lose billions”?

Filed under: History,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:52

super mailman

Fun fact! The US Post Office is one of the very, very few parts of our federal government that is authorized by our Constitution:

“The Congress shall have Power […] To establish Post Offices and post Roads;”
— US Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 7

(That same clause authorizes what we today call the US Interstate Highway System.)

As for the USPS losing money, it does and it doesn’t. It routinely makes more than it spends on actual operating costs. The “losing billions” that people sometimes refer to pertains to payments made into a fund for employees’ future retirement for the next 75 years. These payments are the result of a 2006 law passed by Congress, and it’s a requirement that is imposed on no other public or private institution.

But when you see people talk about the Post Office “losing billions”, that’s what they are talking about: failure to pay into a fund for the future health and retirement benefits for people who are not yet born.

If I were conspiratorially minded, I would think that this unique requirement was imposed on the USPS specifically to drive it out of business, by the same people who today call for its privatization because it “loses billions”. But that’s just crazy, right?

Wednesday, 2013-04-17

“Things have changed forever.”

Filed under: History,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:33
1919 Wall Street bombing

“Things have changed forever.”

We heard this after the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed. We heard it after the Virginia Tech massacre. We heard it after the Cinemark massacre. On Monday there was a bombing in Boston, and we are hearing it again.

It isn’t true. We have had bombings and tragedies before, and we will have them again. We pick up the pieces, comfort the survivors, and we move on. Nothing has changed. None of this is new. Some of the worse bombings in US history were in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The worst school massacre in US history was almost 100 years ago, using a bomb. “Things have changed forever” is nonsense. It’s delusional, in fact. Yes, bad things happen, but there is nothing anyone can do to prevent them. Fortunately, bad things of this particular nature are extremely rare. So why do we pay disproportionate attention to them?

A few people die in an explosion, and that’s major national news, but around 100 people die in car crashes the same day, and that’s barely mentioned in local news, if it’s mentioned at all. And 100 more die the next day. And the next. One-fifth of those 100 daily dead are children. No press conference are held where a sad but resolute politician vows to find those responsible. No “town halls” are gathered where politicians with private chauffeurs insist that we must place “reasonable restrictions” on car ownership.

We ignore a pile of bodies that accumulates like clockwork every single day, but we wail and gnash our teeth at rare and impossible-to-prevent tragedies and vow to implement “solutions” which have absolutely no chance of doing anything to prevent the next rare and isolated tragedy. Our reaction to these things is exactly backward.

More importantly, it isn’t true because the people who commit these crimes are not the norm. We are — the normal, peaceful people who want to live our lives in peace without being robbed, murdered, blown up, violated, spied on, or detained indefinitely. As Patton Oswalt said recently, “So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’ “

Friday, 2013-02-15

FEMA camps and the threat of tyranny

Filed under: History,Politics — bblackmoor @ 15:00

First, let me be clear: there are no secret (or not so secret) FEMA prison camps, and if there were secret prison camps, they would be operated by the military, not by FEMA. So let’s just move that conspiracy theory off to the side, because the whole “FEMA prison camp” thing is at least two different flavors of nonsense.

However, the suggestion that such a thing could never happen here ignores a very important fact: it has already happened here.

There are people alive today who remember when FDR issued an executive order to arrest and imprison tens of thousands of US citizens (and nearly as many legal immigrants) without trial or due process of any kind — and in 1944 the US Supreme Court declared this a valid exercise of Executive power under the authority granted him by the US Constitution. That didn’t happen in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany — that happened here (the USA).

So while stories about FEMA internment camps is a bunch of crackpot nonsense, I think it takes a special sort of hubris to think something like that could never happen here again.

Monday, 2012-11-05

Musings on “race”, culture, and the President

Filed under: Civil Rights,History,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 18:41

I am, by ancestry, as white as white can be. However, I grew up in a black neighborhood — I was the white boy on the school bus. My family was on food stamps from time to time, and I was on the hot lunch program at school. So it’s always struck me a little surreal when people brag or bitch about our “first Black President” when he had one white American parent and one foreign parent (not an “African-American”, but a plain old African — a senior governmental economist from Kenya), he was raised by his white mother and grandparents, and he lived a life of privilege that I never saw anywhere but on television. In every way that matters, I think Barack Obama (who was called “Barry” most of his life) is just an ordinary, affluent, career politician. I don’t think he has anything in common with any of the people I grew up with.

I am not supposed to say any of this, because, as I mentioned, I am as white as a slice of Wonder Bread. But on the eve of his re-election (he’ll get approximately 64% of the popular vote) (* see below), I was just thinking about all of the important things that I wish people were taking into consideration when they vote (like the erosion of our civil rights, the lack of accountability of corporations, the insane expansion of our military, the fact that we incarcerate more of our population than China does, and so on), and all of the trivial nonsense that they talk about instead. Like who the candidates’ ancestors are.

What is the controversy? It’s not his culture and upbringing. Is it because, like a great many completely ordinary Americans, Obama’s ancestors are from multiple continents? Is it literally the color of his skin that makes a difference? Is the big deal not that he’s our “first black President”, but that he’s our first President who isn’t as light-skinned as I am?

Apparently I am the only one who finds this obsession with Obama’s pedigree peculiar.

I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson, because I think he would do a decent job. I know that he won’t win. I am not betting on who will win: I am voting for who I want to win. But even though I’m not voting for President Obama, I do wish him good luck on his next four years. Who knows? Maybe he will end the expensive and bloody Drug Prohibition, attempt to scale back our military expansion, reduce the amount of spying his administration does on American citizens, and support fair and open trials for everyone detained under the color of law.

Or maybe he won’t. We’ll see.

One thing I don’t expect from President Obama’s second term is a miraculous resurgence of our economy. The President is not the Wizard Of Oz. Despite the sound bites from both Romney and Obama, we have neither recovered from the depression, nor are we still at the bottom of it. Actual unemployment is around 14%-16%, but it’s getting better. The housing market still sucks, but it’s getting better. The price of gasoline is still over $3.00 a gallon, and it’s not going down by much, if at all, ever again. None of this is Obama’s fault. He didn’t break the engine of our economy, and he can’t fix it. He might deserve a little credit if he doesn’t do anything to disrupt the current recovery process. We’ll see.

* 2012-11-07: I was way wrong on the popular vote. I said Obama would get almost 2/3 of the popular vote, and he barely got 50%.

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