Language Liberalism Freethought Birds
Verbing Weirds Language only if you're expecting it to work in a simple way. This is a special case of the more general truth that Language Weirds.
Only when a republic's life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is in the wrong. There is no other time.
The church says Earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence in a shadow than the church.
If we can't find Heaven, there are always bluejays.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
A great argument presented at Formerly Fundie:
So no– don’t try to give me your liberal nonsense that it’s possible to be a banker and a Christian at the same time. It’s not. If you think that, it’s only because you reject scripture and therefore reject God.Read it all - it's short and to the point.
And no, don’t try to tell me that this passage might have a specific historical context instead of being a blanket prohibition for all times, all places, and all situations. We all know that there’s no reason to study the historical context any deeper than the surface of the English text.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Video Killed Our Trust
More pictures tomorrow. Right now, this, from The Atlantic via AZSpot:
But trusting that minority groups aren't fabricating police misconduct isn't even as necessary as it was for, say, the white suburbanite of 1985, limited by what he'd seen with his eyes, read in the local paper, or watched on CBS. Any doubt that excessive force by law enforcement is a widespread problem can now be laid to rest in a single hour with nothing more than access to YouTube.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
The Week in Entertainment
Since I'm on vacation, no video and not much reading!
Read: The Magicians and The Magician's Land, both very very good (Quentin grows on you and the rest of the characters are endearing or interesting or both) Land was a lot funnier - not the story, which was serious, but filled with very funny lines. Reading The Magician King now and I'm utterly involved; can't wait to see what happens to Quentin and Plum, and am worried about Eliot! And Fillory, of course.
The Endgame for American Civic Responsibility
A remarkably lucid argument against keeping police officers' names secret when they've shot someone. The Endgame for American Civic Responsibility by David Simon:
And beyond the democratic imperative, one other practical cost to Ferguson of your professional failure has yet to be tallied, but is certain and fixed: Your department, in order to solve crimes and maintain order, is dependent on the cooperation of witnesses — fellow citizens willing to trust in the process of arrest and prosecution, and in their own personal safety should they properly contribute to that process. Yet by offering up the dishonorable claim that your department, and all the authority of the supporting law enforcement and judicial communities of Missouri, cannot protect a single officer from a series of unsubstantiated threats, or that the officer might be more vulnerable to public ridicule than, say, Mr. Brown was vulnerable to actual police gunfire, you have made this question entirely relevant:And a comment from part 1:
If Ferguson police can’t protect one of their own — a fellow officer who is armed, who is allied with an entire department of armed comrades, who are themselves buttressed by their jurisdiction’s prosecutorial arm, who have the full weight of the law at hand in support of that officer — then how in hell are they going to protect me when I go down to the courthouse and testify? How can they ask me, an ordinary citizen with no armament, alliance or authority, to stand up in open court and be identified?
I’ve been in law enforcement in a major urban city for 15 years now. I cannot fathom why this department thinks its a good idea to keep that information held in secret. First, it looks like they are hiding, because they are. If it was a righteous shooting then prove it, and do it in the sunlight for all to see. We’ve had plenty in my city that looked bad, and were protested, but after a thorough investigation were proven to be justified. They key is to make that investigation transparent. If you don’t, and it is a clean shooting, no one will believe you.
When a police shooting occurs and law enforcement circles the wagons it just creates an “us”and “them” reality that does no one any good. It makes it more dangerous for officers on the street and it makes it even more difficult for prosecutors to sustain convictions. All of that just equates to a community that is less safe and hates its cops. When we give good people reasons to distrust us, we are in trouble. I feel for the folks in Ferguson. The ones with badges, and the ones without.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
More of Cape Flattery
Friday, August 15, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
What was different
White men can wander around in Targets and Chipotles and Starbucks with actual rifles and, as far as I can tell, nobody calls the police about them.
John Crawford, on the other hand, picks up an unloaded BB gun off a shelf in a Walmart - in, by the way, an Open Carry state - and customers call the cops who shoot him dead. Which was "proper procedure".
So what was different that time? Simple, predictable, and tragic.
John Crawford was a black man.
I'm sad about Lauren Bacall. She was beautiful, and talented, and I saw many of her films, but she lived a long time and went peacefully.
I'm gutted about Robin Williams. He was funny and talented, and I saw so many of his films, but he was also tormented, and he died that way. Because his film career came along with my life (he was only 2.5 years older than me), I felt like I knew him (I didn't, of course, but that's one thing movies do to/for you), and I'm not surprised that so many people, especially those who did actually know him, are moved to talk about him. His death hurts, because he hurt.
I'm enraged about Michael Brown. (And the rest, and that there is a "rest".) I never heard of him before. But his death is an outrage that should not stand. And yet probably will. Although I hope not. I hope this time will be the one that fires national outrage... So there won't be any more.
Sadness. Wrenching sadness. Outrage.
Some of those are easier to talk about than others. (But they're all real.)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Between Sekiu (Seek you) and Neah Bay (Neee-uh), the Washington coast: