Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don't Make This Great

So, I was pretty terse regarding the news in my last post, because I didn't even have words. (An earlier post in the way-past my bedtime zone was deleted as I mistakenly thought the BLM protest that was shot up was one of the many memorializing the death of Tamir Rice. I deleted it. The error is embarrassing and I'm totally admitting it.) The shocking thing is that the shooting of five demonstrators regarding another police shooting, of Jamar Clark, occurred on the eve of the charging of a police officer with the first degree murder of Laquan McDonald.

It took over four hundred days to charge an officer with the slaying of a 17-year old kid who had a three-inch knife who showed up and in 30 seconds put 16 bullets in a human being, and who was only stopped when he paused to reload, when that boy was as dead as dead can be.

This is not the America I cherish. This is something I am watching wondering how many terrible and shocking things occurred before we were even paying proper attention.

So when I see the kind of news that makes protesters in Irving, TX pace around armed outside a mosque, because of something that was in the news, or some damn idiot leaves a fake bomb outside a mosque in VA--I understand that words mean things, and there are stupidly ambitious people out there using words (and fake statistics)  in stupidly dangerous ways. Racism is our original sin, and xenophobia and religious bigotry are not terribly more creative.

This isn't "greatness". And this country can't be made great through these kinds of thuggish actions. And people who spread the kind of manure that let these violence-flowers blossom? Are just shit.

I am saying some of the 2016 GOP contenders are just shit. If you can't care about how divisive you are, if you don't care who gets hurt--you are simply shit. And not any other quality you may have saves you. You are simply shit. If you use the widows and orphans of 9/11 to calumny against the widows and orphans of Syria--you are just shit.  If you want to call all immigrants potential rapists, thieves and terrorists--you are simply shit.  If you wanted to possibly shut down the government over Planned Parenthood, but now think refugees, even though they are so seriously vetted it's like, two years before anyone makes the application process which you are too dumb and lazy to look up, is so much better fodder to shut down the government over--you are the kind of shit that takes several flushes but eventually will go down because no one wants to look at you.

And maybe I'm mad enough that I'm vulgar and nasty--but if you think what I'm saying is vulgar and nasty, and then look at the fallen bodies of real people who did not need to die and forgive all that? I can't even respect your opinion. Sometimes vulgar and nasty is the way to respond to racist and fascist. It's what I've got.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

They shot Peaceful Protesters

That is all.

Monday, November 23, 2015

There's Something About the Trump Campaign

I found this item at Salon to be quite interesting:

Robert Kiger, the head of the Donald Trump-supporting SuperPAC Citizens for Restoring USA, told CNN’s Carol Costello on Monday that members of the #BlackLivesMatter movement “don’t really” have a right to protest at Donald Trump rallies for the same reason that “I wouldn’t go into a black church and start screaming “white lives matter!'”
The pair were speaking about the unfortunate incident at a Trump rally in Birmingham, Alabama over the weekend in which a #BlackLivesMatter protester was set upon by attendees. The logic behind Kiger’s remark is as telling as it is repulsive — namely, that just as Donald Trump rallies are for white people and the #BlackLivesMatter movement isn’t welcome, black churches are for black people and those who would scream “white lives matter!” aren’t welcome.
Just a quick handful of thoughts:

If Trump rallies are only for white people, he's pretty much only expecting to get white voters. This is demographically not perhaps a great electoral strategy in this country.

Why in the hell would anyone feel the need to shout "White lives matter!" in a black church? I'm not sure that this point was ever in dispute.

Dylann Roof was not turned away from the church where he murdered several people; he actually thought they were so nice he almost didn't do it.

Weird how everybody made the same Indiana Jones reference on seeing this dude's face, right?

Is there someone sitting on a powderkeg of Trump oppo getting ready to uncork it? (I'm not counting Liz Mair, but I'm also not discounting her efforts). Because while "giving a jerk enough rope" is well and good, I sort of want to see it decisively deployed sooner rather than later, because Trump basically is inciting violence. And his ego will not let him stop.

Ben Carson is Against Anti-American Stuff

For people who are pretty much just soaking in how much of Donald Trump's appeal is outright fascism, I don't want you to miss how his number two in the polls, Ben Carson, is dead-set against, um, anti-American stuff.

Carson said Saturday that he would support monitoring "a mosque or any church or any organization or any school or any press corps where there was a lot radicalization and things that were anti-American."

Asked Sunday if people might take his use of "anti-American" to mean he supported restricting liberties, Carson said, "I think anybody with normal intellect knows exactly what I'm saying."

Carson has also faced criticism for suggesting that the U.S. should refuse to admit Syrian refugees, to ensure that no Islamic extremists who would do harm slip into the country.

Last week, Carson likened blocking potential terrorists posing as Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. to handling a "rabid dog."
Funny old thing, the public record, he's also said he would use the Department of Education to make sure that professors wouldn't radicalize anybody by using some kind of anti-American stuff. (Because learning American history could make you join ISIS.) This would reinforce a code of speech Carson approves of, which is not either the same thing as "political correctness", which, he would have you know, is how Nazi Germany got started. And if you think, for example, that waterboarding is torture and just should not be done, why, that's more of that "politically correct" foolishness. Take your "normal intellect" and make of that what you will.

So, for the record, "politically correct" is that evil thing that happens when you do not agree with the worldview of Ben Carson. You should probably be monitored for that, and if you keep it the hell up, maybe there's a place for waterboarding in your future. Which isn't a bit like Nazi Germany, at all, at all.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Climate Sunday: The Death of Coal?

I remember in 2012 seeing a handful of signs like the one depicted above saying "Stop the War on Coal, Fire Obama". They might have made a little more sense posted in Western PA than in Philadelphia.  For that matter, I know a house in Mt. Airy that proudly boasts a "No Fracking" sign. President Obama's "All of the Above" strategy has never outright been antithetical to coal, except in tightening emissions. It's really the market that is making coal a bad deal economically as the natural gas boom has just left coal in the, well, dust.

So it doesn't come as that much of a surprise that one thing countries are planning to do to lower CO2 emissions is phasing out coal plants. (They were probably likely to do that anyway.) The UK is planning to switch over to gas-fired plants altogether, although they maddeningly seem to be turning their backs on renewables.  This would be a real missed opportunity, as wind power looks like it has a great future there.

All is not over for coal, just yet, anyway, for those of you who have romantic feelings about black lung: China is, absurdly, still developing coal plants. (China really needs to do a bit better. The link makes China look like if Volkswagen was a whole country. ) As carbon dioxide has come to be 400 ppm or above on a steady basis, this is a damn shame, because the planet might just be more susceptible to CO2 than previously thought.

We need to stop dithering, and switch to clean renewables. Everything is in the balance.

Update: Hollah, Alberta!

Free Speech Update: Jason Rezaian Sentenced In Iran

Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran, Jason Rezaian, has been sentenced for an unspecified amount of time for unspecified charges.

The word "unspecified" is appallingly nebulous and ominous at once, isn't it?

Read this.

John Cleese Discusses Christianity. An interesting Interview

I enjoyed this conversation, having come across it on YouTube. The idea that humor should approach religious and philosophical figures alike, and that religion and race alike shouldn't be a bar to conversation, are fascinatingly explored. It's an engaging topic, engagingly engaged in.

(Note--I know this is old, I just enjoyed it.)