Saturday, October 28, 2017

Some campuses see color blindness itself as oppressive

A college campus, the University of Southern Indiana, has explicitly told its students to notice people of color and not to remain color blind, as explained in this article by William Nardi at University of Massachusetts.

The “5 tips” article  talks about becoming an “ally” of a particular community (this time, women of color).

Personally, that’s not how I work, although that’s a topic for a Wordpress essay in the future. 

Here's something else quite disturbing:

I also wanted to share this article about Neo-Nazi recruiting on some southern campuses, by Eleanor Barder on Truthout (which is pushy on the donations).  Note that she links to an altright article that already has been deleted and has to be found on the Internet Archive (Wayback machine).  We seem to have deteriorated into a debate on who gets to have an identity group-based mass movement and who does not.  That article uses the word "proles", the name of my 1969 unpublished novel!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Conspiracy theories about Paddock's rampage start to make sense

Here is a theory in the Daily Wire, article by Tyler Dankhe, about Paddock’s possible motive, a kind of righteous idealism about gun control.  The theory had first appeared on a site by Mark Steyn.
So, the idea was to force America to face gun control?

I wonder if the shooter simply thought that the world is doomed, maybe over North Korea and nukes and the EMP threat, and wanted to go out making that kind of a statement, a certain contempt for mankind.

It seems that the gun collecting started about the time of Trump’s election win.  By comparison, James Holmes in Colorado had been accumulating weapons for about four months before his rampage.  Likewise, Holmes seemed contemptuous, and “the message is that there is no message”.

There are stories about a prediction made on 4chan on Sept. 11 (and some debunking of this as “fake news”). . 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Trump's order today could gut Obamacare indeed

Pundits are saying that Trump’s XO today partially gutting Obamacare is an exercise of letting the strong get out of taking care of the weak (outside of their own extended families, that is).
Benju Sarlin of ABCNews analyses the order, which would be implemented gradually, here

The bike shop example is a good one.  Bike shops (maybe with shaved legs prominent) would be able to form groups across state lines, and it’s pretty clear that, whatever the visuals, most of their employees were healthier than average.  Taking one for the team is indeed an irony.

People could buy temporary limited coverage, gutting Obamacare concepts of mandatory coverages. 
A later news release Thursday indicated that Trump had decided to end the month-by-month cost sharing subsidies that help some people buy health insurance, CNN link.   The president says that a federal court had ruled that these payments are illegal (Aug. 2 Washington Post opinion by Ilya Somin;  Atlantic article ;  Wikipedia:  House of Representatives v. Burwell or Price).  Insurance companies still have a legal responsibility to honor the subsidies but could drop out. 

LGBT groups have decried the order, mentioning marginalized groups (people of color), but PrEP coverage could be a big issue for some men.  
The president had to be reminded by Pence to sign the order, an event that had also happened in March. 

Update: Oct 13

I'm already seeing people (who voted for Trump) saying on Facebook that their own subsidies, which they need for lifesaving medications. will be cut.  What's next, personal gofundme's?  Are social media friends supposed to become personal safety nets? 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

White supremacists attack black man in Charlottesville, have him arrested for fighting back; litigation over "militia"

I had not even heard yet of a second W.S. march in Charlottesville, but apparently it led to a nasty incident in a garage (maybe were I parked when I went to gay pride there Sept 16). The Washington Post account is here

Apparently some supremacists attacked a black man in the garage and when he fought back they filed a complaint with police, framing the black man.  Criminal procedure required a lockup at first, until the Commonwealth Attorney can look at it.

Actually Virginia’s criminal procedure is probably safer for potential defendants than many other states (like North Carolina, that had to endure the lacrosse scandal). 

Update:  Oct. 12

The Post reports arrests of some of the men involved in starting the incident. 

The City of Charlottesville and several local businesses have sued to prevent "militia" from holding rallies in the city, as a violation of Virginia law, as explained on "The Hill". 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trump continues to deny climate change needs attention, even as hurricanes and wildfires mount in unprecedented fashion

Trump’s minions still race to play to Trump’s base of relative deprivation, as the EPA announces it will repeal some of Obama’s clean power regs, Fox story here

The government says it is getting away from picking winners and losers. The effects seem to be more on loosening up underground mining than mountaintop removal.

But Trump is taking this action in an autumn which seems like the worst ever in terms of disasters. Three major hurricanes, each unprecedented in some way; and unprecedented wildfire catastrophe in the Santa Rosa CA area (near the Russian River, which I visited in 1995), with possibly unprecedented loss of homes.

Wikipedia attribution link for p.d. picture of Zaca fire in 2007 

Monday, October 02, 2017

Las Vegas shooter challenges previous notions on domestic terrorism; left-wing beliefs?

It may sound almost trite at this point, to ponder the consequences of the horrific domestic terror even in Las Vegas late Sunday night, now the largest fatality count in US history, already exceeding Pulse.

The most obvious question is why the man was accumulating a cache of military assault weapons.
Also troubling is the idea that he was a senior citizen himself, not a young man entering the age of possible schizophrenia.

It does appear that Stephen Paddock has accumulated his cache for some time, and that this attack was thoroughly pre-meditated, very much like James Holmes’s attack in Colorado, much more so that Eliot Roger’s in California, and probably more so than even Pulse in Orlando.

And this seems to be apolitical, to prove that an attack could be mounted for no motive at all, right out of Hitchcock.
Ian Miltimore of Intellectual Takeout has a perspective on what feeds mass shootings today.  It pooh-poohs the idea of imprinting by violent media, but suggests that political violence is an instrument to redress feelings of powerlessness.
There are a couple of oddities that might connect to me.  One is that Paddock was a “professional” gambler who might not have counted cards but who used gambling sites, whose legality has been dubious. After I gave up my “” domain in 2005 and moved everything to “”, “” became a gambling site for a while.
Curiously, Saturday night, I had posted on this blog a post about a proposed bill to address the possible EMP threat, and used a picture of Las Vegas at night that I had taken on a Sunday night in May 2012, not far from the site of the massacre.  I had stayed in the Luxor, across the street from the concert site, for a few nights in December 1997.

There are already some theories attaching Paddock to the far Left, contradicting his persona of having become rich (like Trump) from real estate and casinos.

Update: Oct. 6

The Washington Post writes in an editorial today that banning bump stocks is not enough.