[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2018-03-21

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Promised A Criminal Justice Revolution

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 09:15

I have always been interested in criminology and criminal justice. I actually minored in Criminology when I got my degree (I’ve considered going back to get a B.S. in Criminology, but I’ll never work in that field, so it would just be an expensive piece of paper).

For many years, it has been a source of great distress to me that our criminal “justice” system is staffed by prosecutors who care only about convictions (guilt or innocence is irrelevant), police who are unabashedly and overtly corrupt, and politicians whose only concerns are being “tough on crime” and friendly to private-prison lobbyists. Our society is paying the price for this systemic corruption of what ought to be a bulwark to protect us.

I’d never heard of Larry Krasner before today, but the facts that he exists, and that the people of Philadelphia elected him, gives me some hope that our future may not be as dark as it currently seems.

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Promised a Criminal Justice Revolution. He’s Exceeding Expectations.

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner’s Revolutionary Memo5 pages

Friday, 2018-03-16

So about those first and second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution…

Filed under: Civil Rights,Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:21

At the risk of pouring gasoline on a bonfire, I think we have erred by making the Constitution part of our national religion. People shout out the numbers of Amendments like they are magic spells to ward off evil.

The Constitution is not holy text carved into tablets by a god. The rules our government operates under were written by people who thought they were a good idea at the time, just like all of our other laws. And just like all of our other laws, what people actually intended is subject to debate, how they will be implemented is subject to the discretion of later generations, and they can and should be changed when later generations decide that’s a good idea at the time.

It wasn’t that long ago that oral sex was illegal in Virginia. Just because someone wrote it down and people voted on it, doesn’t necessarily make it wise or right or even reasonable.

They’re just rules. Rules can be changed.

Wednesday, 2018-02-28

Dragons can be killed

Filed under: Art,Books,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:20

I ran across this quote today (not for the first time). It occurs to me that our fairy tales might have changed, but the lesson is still the same.

“Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.”
— G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909), XVII: “The Red Angel”

Sweet Halloween Dreams (begemott)

P.S. This is often mis-quoted as something like, “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.” It’s succinct, and it’s true, but that’s not the quotation. I care about things like that. You might not.

Tuesday, 2018-02-27

The 21st century Republican party platform: lies, hatred, and death

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 13:00

This has been bouncing around in my head for days, and I wanted to get it out. So here you go.

Sunday, 2018-01-28

Identify this device

Filed under: Society,Technology — bblackmoor @ 15:18

From time to time, there is a meme about “name something today’s generation would not recognize”, or something to that effect. How about this? This is what I used to carry in my laptop bag circa 1990 to get on the Internet when I traveled. This was before the World Wide Web was invented (although AOL, Compuserve, and Genie existed — I had accounts on all three). You had to connect to a phone line and make a telephone call to an Internet provider. This was called “dial-up”.

Fun fact! Millions of Americans are still limited to dial-up Internet, because in the USA, Internet access is not legally treated as the essential utility that it is.

telephone cable with alligator clips

Wednesday, 2018-01-17

Illegal immigration: an observation

Filed under: Civil Rights,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:03

Observation: the core disagreement that people have over “illegal immigration” is based on whether they think people should serve the law, or the law should serve people.

Saturday, 2018-01-13

We have gotten the whole “shithole countries” thing wrong

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:12

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

— President Donald Trump, 2018-01-11

A lot of people have become irate at the phrase “shithole countries”, and responded, in effect, that it’s racist because there are no “shithole countries”.

I think they are wrong, or at least half wrong. Put down the pitchfork, give me a moment, and allow me to explain.

There are places in the world where the ground is so hard and dry, where life is so difficult, where the rule of law is so fragile that hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of people flee those places and try to find somewhere else, anywhere else, to live. I myself have used the phrase “third world hellhole” to describe such places. It’s not a condemnation of the people who flee — it’s an acknowledgement of the horrors they are fleeing from.

Some of the people who flee those places seek to come to the United States (rather than any of the kinder, saner countries). They walk, ride, or float on rafts for days or weeks or even months to escape the horrors behind them and seek a place to live where they can find food, shelter, and peace. A rather famous poem by Emma Lazarus calls such people “wretched refuse”.

So here’s the thing. Read the quote from President Trump again. What part of that makes you angry? If it’s the phrase “shithole countries”, I think you are missing the point of what makes that comment so horrifying, so inhumane, and so fundamentally anti-American.

“No, no, that’s part of it!” I can almost hear you say. Yeah. Sure it is. Which is why the phrase “shithole countries” is all anyone is talking about, rather than the Republicans’ racist quest for “immigration reform”. We’ve become a society that cares more about vocabulary than intent or outcome.

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Sunday, 2018-01-07

The ideology of evil

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 12:49

If you’re like me (and I know I am), you focus a large percentage of your politically-based irritation at people who vote consistently for politicians who will do them the most harm. I am, of course, referring to Republicans.

However, we should also realize that the political machine behind the American Far Right (and again, I am referring to Republicans) does have an ideological basis, and that ideology is a clear and direct threat to what America can and should be.

“I think actually what’s going on is that these people are extremely shrewd and calculating, and they understand that African Americans, because of their historical experience and their political savvy, understand politics and government better, in a lot of ways, than a lot of white Americans. And they are a threat to this project because they will not vote for it. So they want to keep them from the polls.

“Similarly, young people are leaning left now, and they don’t accept a lot of these core ideas that come from this project, so this project has been very determined to keep young people from the polls. Frankly, if they could keep women away, they would, too. Because they understand that women suffrage opened the way to greater government involvement in the economy, and greater social provision and regulation.

“We make a mistake when we think these are just reactionary prejudices, and we need to see them as shrewd calculations to keep people who would oppose this vision away from the polls.”

(from Slate, “What Is the Far Right’s Endgame? A Society That Suppresses the Majority.”)

Tuesday, 2017-12-26

Humans live too long

Filed under: History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 13:48

I think a large part of what’s wrong with the world is that humans live too long. In 14th century England, most people were married by 16, dead by 50, and every so often you’d have a plague that killed a huge chunk of the population. Yet even then, they’d already hunted boars and wolves to extinction by the mid-1300s.

Monday, 2017-12-04

But her emails!

Filed under: Humour,Politics — bblackmoor @ 17:03

« Previous PageNext Page »