[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2018-04-04

Two different perspectives on what “progress” means

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:14

Psychologist Valerie Tarico has written a very interesting article, “Political Narrative II: Why Some Progressives Are Tearing Each Other Apart“. I have said, many times (and sadly, I think I will have many opportunities to say it again), clinging to past grievances — no matter how valid they are — is not the way to make a better future. At some point, you must put the past behind you, if you want to move beyond it. We need to focus on making tomorrow better than today. Not perfect: perfection is not an option, and we will never make any progress if we insist on that. Just make tomorrow better than today.

As an aside, this also provides me with an insight into some of my more conservative friends. I see them making comments (often defensive comments, as though they’ve been attacked) about “liberals”, but those comments seem to come out of nowhere. It’s because those defensive comments aren’t aimed at me, or people like me — they are aimed at what this article calls the Structural Oppression group.

I look forward to the day when one’s skin colour, facial features, and sex are as easily changed as hair length and hair colour are now — and are finally treated as the superficial traits they are.

Thursday, 2018-03-22

You are what you do

Filed under: Firearms,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:32

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

For example, if you are vocal in your defense of the Second Amendment as a bulwark against tyranny, but you also voted for, and continue to support, a vulgar habitual liar who has expressed nothing but contempt for the US Constitution and the limits of his legitimate authority, it is clear what you do when confronted with tyranny, and you did it without using a firearm: you support it. You even buy the hat.

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.

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, 2018-01-07

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.”)

Monday, 2017-12-04

But her emails!

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

Monday, 2017-11-06

Vote

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 11:20

This is what happens when decent people do not vote.

This is what happens when decent people do not vote. Vote.

Tuesday, 2017-09-12

The problem with ‘privilege’

Filed under: Civil Rights,Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 14:39

You're not being oppressed when another group gains rights that you've always had.

White privilege“.

Male privilege“.

Straight privilege“.

It bugs me so much that the word “privilege” is used in this context. “Privilege” is something that not everyone has, and that not everyone should have. But everyone should be able to travel without fear of being stopped for no reason. Everyone should be able to live day to day without fearing for their lives if a police officer notices them. Everyone should have their accomplishments respected and accepted without questioning if they had actually earned them. Everyone should be able to go through their lives without experiencing a constant barrage of insults or “jokes” aimed at their ancestry, or gender, or sexual proclivities, or skin color.

Using “privilege” to describe these benefits says that they should be taken away, which is the exact opposite of what ought to happen. These are not privileges — they are what everyone ought to have.

The argument for this terminology is that it points out that a person belonging to group X (males, straight people, “white” people, whatever) has some benefit that those in other groups do not have, a fact of which some (perhaps most) in group X are unaware. (Although how any straight, white, American male could possibly be oblivious to their status relative to other groups is a mystery to me.)

But given the standard response when the phrase “_____ privilege” is used, this terminology fails to convey that. The response is typically, “I am ____ , and I don’t have any special privilege!” And that response is correct — they don’t have any special privileges. What they do have is the ordinary way life should be for everyone, but isn’t.

So what would be better? “Respect”? “Dignity”? “Liberty”?

Personally, I think discourse on this topic would be improved if the focus were less on what group X has, and more on the gap between what group X has and what other groups have. There is a phrase already in common parlance: “income inequality”. I think we need a focus on “dignity inequality”, or “liberty inequality” — the emphasis being not to take it away from people who have it, but to make sure that everyone has it.

To be clear (because someone will read this far and yet still somehow fail to understand this), I am not saying that the disparity does not exist. I think you’d have to be willfully ignorant or just plain despicable to claim that (and many ignorant and/or despicable people do — Google “myth of white privilege” if you want your love of humanity severely tested). I am saying that if we, people of good will, are to come together and eliminate that disparity in treatment, describing it as a “privilege” makes that work more difficult.

Wednesday, 2017-07-19

Trying to find an “up” side

Filed under: Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 17:42

I have been making a sincere effort, for the past few months, to focus on the positive. To “promote what I love instead of bashing what I hate“. To find joy in my gardens and the view from my living room windows, rather than focusing on… well let’s just leave it at that.

sigh

To not fantasize daily about moving to a more pleasant land, and instead gaze upon the grace and beauty and (increasingly) the potential of my birthplace.

Instead, day after day, I am exposed to evil, and evil, and evil, and evil

Not merely a difference of opinion, but genuine evil: the desire to harm others, and the power to do that harm. That is what we-the-people of the United States have put into power, and what we seem intent on keeping there.

Venal. Ignorant. Malicious. This is the United States of America in the 21st century.

Thursday, 2017-07-13

President Trump as a syphilitic rash

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 11:09

We the people elected an overtly corrupt, vulgar narcissist and habitual liar to the highest office of the land. This was not an isolated incident: we have been filling the upper levels of government with people like this for decades. Trump is not the disease: he is just the most visible symptom — the ugly rash that we complain about while our brain and internal organs are being eaten away by syphilis. A large portion of the United States has exactly the government they want.

Trump may stay or go: it truly doesn’t matter. The real problem is the people who elected him, and who will continue to vote for Republicans after he is gone (and that we even need to quibble over whether they are the technical majority is a sign of just how serious this problem is).

I do not have a solution, other than fleeing. But my wife won’t leave as long as our parents are alive.

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