Category Archives: Society

This Entire Fucking Country is Mentally Ill

school shooting Florida 2-2018

Image: usatoday.com

So there was yet another school shooting. The eighteenth this year, I believe, and the year is only 45 days old.

Again we hear the nightmare stories of children hearing and watching and feeling their friends get murdered in the next classroom, in front of them, on top of them…

Again we see the distraught parents of murdered children and wounded children and again we watch them crying, begging, screaming for change.

Again we hear the news anchors go over all the recent school shootings. Again we hear the statistics, the insane number of American mass shootings compared to the practically non-existent  mass shootings — and shootings in general — in other industrialized countries. Again the pundits ask what it’s going to take for politicians to do something.

Again all we we hear Republicans say is “…this tragic event blah blah blah … our hearts and minds are with blah blah blah…thoughts and prayers blah blah blah!

Again we hear them say that now’s not the time to talk about gun control, that talking about gun control is a knee-jerk reaction, that we don’t want to infringe on citizens’ second-amendment rights. Blah blah fucking blah!

And Trump, who was in such a hurry to undo everything Obama accomplished, including measures to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns, signed his executive order to that effect a year ago and then held it up for the world to see: Look Mommy, I signed my name! We now hear Trump say that the young man who murdered these kids was mentally ill, and that we need to do something about the mentally ill. And in that deranged dreamy voice he uses when he thinks he’s reading something real deep off the teleprompter, Trump, of all people, says that we must answer hate with love and that we must answer cruelty with kindness. Blah blah fucking, FUCKING blah!

We hear the family who hosted the shooter in the months before the massacre say that he was a polite young man, perfectly normal. But he had an AR 15! There was nothing to indicate that he would do such a thing. BUT HE HAD A FUCKING AR 15! No mentally stable civilian needs an AR 15! What the fuck is wrong with people?!?

Again, in the coming days we’ll hear gun nuts on social media say that AR 15s don’t kill people, people kill people. Blah blah blah! Anyone with a pulse will again point out that murdering a lot of children within minutes is a whole lot easier and a whole lot harder for someone else to stop if you have an AR 15 than if you have, say, a paring knife.

As the saying goes: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If you continue to let the NRA dictate policy (literally) on Capitol Hill, every politician who accepts NRA campaign contributions will continue to claim that now is not the time to talk about gun control. If you continue to allow the sale of semi-automatic weapons, people will continue to carry out mass murder with semi-automatic weapons. If you continue to do nothing but have thoughts and prayers, nothing is going to change, because there is no bearded wizard in the sky who will fix this with a magic wand! The guns are real, the children murdered are real, the teachers murdered are real, the grieving families are real, and the country needs real solutions, real votes for politicians who support real gun control, not more of the same fucking prayers!

 

Covert Centralization?

iCE arrest

Image: motherjones.com

Today’s writing prompt: Suspicious.

I recently finished reading Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Whitman. The Germans, being the methodical bureaucrats they’ve always been, had transcripts of several of the most important meetings where the tools for the Nazi state were forged, where the Nazi ideology was translated into jurisprudence.  Continue reading

Loophole

13th amendment

Image: loc.gov

Slavery was abolished in America at the end of the Civil War, with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The amendment passed Congress in January of 1865 and after much debate it finally passed the Senate in December of that year. As has been pointed out by many, it has a loophole: slavery as a punishment for crime. Continue reading

American Eugenics and the Holocaust

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Image: labdish.cshl.edu

I came across an article yesterday on Timeline.com: “The Nazi Breeding and Infanticide Program You Probably Never Knew About”. The article describes the Nazi breeding program that involved encouraging and forcing “pure Aryan” women to get pregnant from “pure Aryan” men and taking the babies to be educated by the SS, as well as the active euthanasia of “impure” babies.

There is a reason you may never have known about this. Continue reading

Finally Going to the Aldi!

20171216_224158The Aldi store has come to Austin, Texas! Or rather, to Pflugerville, but that’s close enough. When I read that it was coming I was thrilled, because on the Dutch International Cookbook/Kookboek Facebook page I regularly see posts by folks elsewhere in America and Canada showing photos of their Dutch and German finds in Aldis. Now it’s here, so today I decided to include a trip to Pflugerville in my list of errands. Continue reading

Zwarte Piet : Putting Him Into Perspective, Again!

zwarte piet again

Image: cnn.com

So let me get this straight:

Sinterklaas can still be Sinterklaas.
He and his Pieten can still arrive in Amsterdam on the steamboat.
They can still have all the processions through cities and towns.
People can still come out to welcome them.
Kids can still wave at Sinterklaas and give the Pieten their drawings.
The Pieten can still wear the same costumes.
They can still hand out candy.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and taai-taai,
and marzipan,
and kruidnoten,
and suikerbeesten,
and amandelstaven,
and chocolate letters,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you Piet (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (also relatively new).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
Kids and adults can even place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (again, new).
People can still exchange gifts.
Children can still make surprises.
A good time can still be had by all.

The only thing that would change is the color of Piet’s face and hair.
And this is how you react?

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(Welcome in the Netherlands, where all cultures are permitted except our own.)

Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?

My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.

When I was a Kid : Showing my Age

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When I was a kid my mother was against school uniforms.

When I was a kid we emigrated to Australia in a BOAC plane that had to stop three times to refuel.

When I was a kid my parents rented a television for one night. They watched a movie that had something to do with a leaking submarine. Continue reading