[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2020-06-16

DISARM THE POLICE

Filed under: Firearms,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:28

FUN FACT! In 2019 in the USA, 89 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents (48 officers as a result of felonious acts; 41 in accidents). In 2019 in the USA, police officers killed 1,099 civilians.

While we discuss the practicality of “defund the police”, can we go ahead and start with “disarm the police”? Police do not need to be armed. Their job is less dangerous than that of high voltage electricians, roofers, truck drivers, and construction workers, among others.

You don’t need a gun or chemical weapons for a traffic stop.
You don’t need a gun or chemical weapons to collect statements from witnesses.
You don’t need a gun or chemical weapons to respond to a noise complaint.
You don’t need a gun or chemical weapons to respond to a shoplifting complaint.

DISARM THE POLICE.

Monday, 2020-06-15

GitHub to replace “master” with alternative term

Filed under: Programming,Society,Technology — bblackmoor @ 10:37

Interesting. I am curious what people who primarily speak other langues use in the place of “master/slave”, “blacklist/whitelist”.

GitHub is working on replacing the term “master” on its service with a neutral term like “main” to avoid any unnecessary references to slavery, its CEO said on Friday.

The code-hosting portal is just the latest in a long line of tech companies and open source projects that have expressed support for removing terms that may be offensive to developers in the black community.

This includes dropping terms like “master” and “slave” for alternatives like “main/default/primary” and “secondary;” but also terms like “blacklist” and “whitelist” for “allow list” and “deny/exclude list.”

GitHub to replace ‘master’ with alternative term to avoid slavery references“, ZDNet

Antifa 1978: Blues Brothers

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:07

I am thinking about making a series of these.

Saturday, 2020-06-13

Dukes Of Hazzard

Filed under: Society,Television — bblackmoor @ 12:41

Amazon may remove “The Dukes Of Hazzard” from its streaming service, due to the Confederate imagery on the roof of the “General Lee”, the Dukes’ gravity-defying orange Dodge Charger.

That makes me a little bit sad. They really were just good old boys, never meaning no harm. I don’t think they (or the people who designed the car) had any racist intent. I normally say “intent matters”. Because it normally does. But I am conflicted about this.

“The Dukes Of Hazzard” was my first exposure to decent people fighting against corrupt police. I was not aware of the history of bootleggers tricking out cars to outrace cops (which eventually led to NASCAR).

I have to think, that if the Dukes were ever told that the rebel flag was a symbol of racism and hatred, that they’d be horrified, and they’d waste no time in finding something better to paint on the roof of their car. Because they were decent, honorable fictional characters, and they would never cause pain to innocent people if they could help it.

Tuesday, 2020-06-09

On defunding the police

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 12:45

Fun story! When I was 18 or 19, the father of a friend of mine was a union organizer. That was a his job: to travel the country and help people who wanted to form unions to do that. He said that one of the questions he got most often from business owners was, “What can I do to keep my employees from forming a union?” His answer was, “Treat your employees fairly, and pay them fairly, and they’ll never want to.”

I know a few people who think calls to defund the police (which really means to demilitarize them, and spend that money to actually help people, instead) or even disband the police (such as in Minneapolis, where the police are a criminal gang in black uniforms) are bizarre. Madness. An invitation to chaos.

Want to know how you keep people from de-funding or disbanding your police department? You treat them with respect. You de-escalate rather than escalate. You don’t assault and murder them. You make their lives BETTER rather than WORSE. And then it won’t even occur to them to reduce your funding.

Any police department being threatened with being “defunded” or dissolved has ASKED for that to happen, a thousand times over. It’s just taken this long for people to be so damned fed up that they are finally, just maybe, doing it.

Friday, 2020-06-05

MyMedia under screen

Filed under: Linux,Movies,Software — bblackmoor @ 11:47

I use a Python application called MyMedia to stream videos from my Ubuntu media server to my Roku boxes.

I installed Ubuntu 20 yesterday. The painfully slow navigation problem (caused by the slow but inevitable deprecation of python 2) re-appeared, and I tried to re-create the fix. Initially, I just succeeded in preventing MyMedia from running at all.

Here is what actually worked.

  1. First, I copied all of my backed up MyMedia files to /usr/local/bin/mymedia
  2. Then I installed python 2.7…
  3. sudo apt-get install python2
  4. Then I installed pip, but first I had to install curl…
  5. sudo apt-get install curl
  6. curl "https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py" -o "get-pip.py"
  7. sudo python2 get-pip.py
  8. Then I installed Pillow
  9. sudo python2 -m pip install --upgrade Pillow
  10. It might not have been necessary, but I installed several image libraries…
  11. sudo apt-get install libjpeg-dev
  12. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libjpeg.so /usr/lib
  13. sudo apt-get install zlib1g-de
  14. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libz.so /usr/lib
  15. In common.py, I made sure that this…
  16. import Image
  17. … had been replaced with this…
  18. #import Image
    from PIL import Image

Huge success!

Note that during this process, I got several warnings about Python 2.7 being deprecated, like this one:

DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 reached the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Please upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 is no longer maintained. pip 21.0 will drop support for Python 2.7 in January 2021. More details about Python 2 support in pip, can be found at https://pip.pypa.io/en/latest/development/release-process/#python-2-support

It’s only a matter of time before MyMedia becomes unusable. I would love to get access to the git repository and try to update it for Python 3, if that’s possible. I’ve asked, but the original developer is no longer associated with the project. It may be that I’ll have to find a new solution to this problem in a year or so.

Also, I have updated my init script (/etc/init.d/memedia), which runs mymedia in a screen

#!/bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: minidlna
# Required-Start: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Required-Stop: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: mymedia server
# Description: mymedia media server.
### END INIT INFO

# Do NOT "set -e"

# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the mountnfs.sh script
DESC="MyMedia media server"
MEDIAPATH=/var/media
DAEMONPATH=/usr/local/bin/mymedia/server
DAEMON=$DAEMONPATH/mymedia.py
SCRIPTNAME=/etc/init.d/mymedia
SCREENNAME=mymedia
USER=bblackmoor
GROUP=media
EXECUSER=root
EXECGROUP=media

case "$1" in
start)
chown -R $EXECUSER:$EXECGROUP $DAEMONPATH
chown -R $USER:$GROUP $MEDIAPATH
su - $USER -c "cd $DAEMONPATH; screen -dm -S $SCREENNAME python2 $DAEMON"
;;
stop)
su - $USER -c "screen -S $SCREENNAME -X quit"
su - $USER -c "screen -wipe"
;;
status)
su - $USER -c "screen -list | grep $SCREENNAME"
;;
*)
echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|status}" >&2
exit 3
;;
esac
:

Saturday, 2020-05-30

Dominoes

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 11:49

This is 18 minutes or so, but it’s worth listening to. I particularly like his comment about dominoes. Because it is completely obvious that the protests and the riots are just the last in a long line of dominoes.

I’ve bitten my tongue a few times recently, when people I know have made disparaging comments about protesters, or rioters, or looters. Because I think most of them see quite clearly what has led to this. How could they not? So the fact that they continue criticizing protesters demonstrates to me that we have a fundamental difference of opinion on what kind of society we each want to live in.

People making snide comments about protesters want to live in a society where white women can make a phone call to the police and have a black man murdered, where a cop with a history of using excessive force can calmly murder a black man and get clean away with it if no one filmed it, and where black people don’t so much as silently take a knee in protest.

I’d prefer to live in a society where black people don’t have a reason to protest.

Thursday, 2020-05-28

David Brent, vampire

Filed under: Entertainment,Humour,Television — bblackmoor @ 17:40

Okay, so, we watched part of “Get Him To The Greek” (2010) last night. And we both noticed that Russell Brand is using the same accent as Ricky Gervais used for “the Office”. And I got to wondering if that was a deliberate choice? Like, does that accent belong to a particular region of the UK, yeah? Maybe it represents a certain socio-political group, or a stereotyped mindset? Maybe a bit stupid? Maybe a bit arrogant, even?

And then, for some reason, I thought of “What We Do In The Shadows”, which is a TV show (based on the eponymous film) about vampires in Staten Island, NY. And I got to wondering what it would be like if one of them had this accent.

“So I was at this bar, right? And this young thing, this lady, not that I mind a young bloke, I’m not sexist. Blood is blood, innit? Right? If you want a bloke, good for you. I support that. But in this case, a young lady, right? She’s all forward, which frankly I’m not fond of. Leave a bit for the chase, please. It’s a little word in relationships I like to call mystery. Leave a bit of it, right? Don’t just put everything on the table at once. Let us have a bit of fun. A bit of foreplay, right?

“But she’s persistent, and it’s getting late, and if I must admit, I was a bit peckish. I do get peckish sometimes. Not that I’m always on the hunt. Just because I’m a vampire, that doesn’t mean I’m just about that. I’m my own boss. Sometimes I’ll wake up in me coffin, and I’m like, ‘David, are you hungry?’ And I’m like, ‘No thank you. Think I’ll compose a sonnet. Think I’ll be a poet today, yeah? Can I just stay in my coffin and compose a sonnet?’ ‘Ooh, don’t know, better ask the boss.’ ‘David can I stay in my coffin all day?’ ‘Yes, you can David.’ Both me, that’s not me in my coffin with another bloke called David.

“But in this case, yeah, I drank her blood and left her body in the alley. Think she was alive. Might not have been. Didn’t check. Might be breathing. Probably not. Don’t care. That’s how I roll. I’m a free spirit.

“No, but… yeah, she was breathing. Again guilty, unorthodox, sue me.”

P.S. No one else thinks this is as funny as I do.

Ricky Gervais vampire

Thursday, 2020-05-21

“Day Of The Triffids” (2009)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 14:24

Letting the 2009 BBC adaptation of “Day Of The Triffids” play while I work. This has a remarkable cast: Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Eddie Izzard, Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave, and Brian Cox. Eddie Izzard steals this. It helps that he’s playing the perfect Eddie Izzard character: charming, clever, subtle, and much more dangerous than you think.

This is the last of the three extant “Day Of The Triffids” film adaptations. I have been letting them all play, over the past week. They’re depressing as hell. There is no happy ending. Ever. And although the triffids are undoubtedly dangerous, people are the real monsters. Not most people. Most people are decent, and have empathy. Most people want to work together so that everyone can survive. Most people realize that we are all in this together.

But just a few are malicious. Just a few are sociopaths, sadists, and liars. Selfish. Cruel. And if people allow the worst among them to seize power, that’s really all that it takes for everything to go to hell.

Thursday, 2020-05-07

Dentist appointment

Filed under: Health,Poetry — bblackmoor @ 09:09

I had a dentist appointment this morning. I had planned to pick up some milk from the store afterward. Unfortunately, my car’s battery was dead. After some protests, Susan consented to allow me to drive her car.

When I arrived at the dentist’s office, I realized that I didn’t have a face mask: it was in my car. So no shopping afterward.

I called the dentist office to let them know I was outside, so they could bring out the pandemic-release forms and take my temperature. My temperature was 96.3 F, and they left the forms with me.

The first page described all of the reasons that I could catch COVID-19 at the dentist’s office despite their precautions, and ended with a statement I was supposed to sign confirming that my visit met the requirements of urgency and medical necessity described above.

I apologized and returned the form to the next nurse who came outside, and said it wasn’t urgent: just a checkup.

“Oh, it’s okay. We are seeing patients for checkups now.”

I apologized again, and fled, my stomach in knots.

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