February, 2020 archive
At the Hartford Courant, sociology professor Johnny E. Williams reminds us that “race” is a
social construct fiction created to legitimize white dominance. Specifically, it was formed in the English colonies in the colonial period so as to justify chattel slavery and theft of labor.
Here’s a bit from his article:
Race is often thought of as the idea that humans are naturally divided into biologically distinct groups. That’s not correct. Race consists of shared patterns of seeing, thinking and acting that validate and legitimize an existence of white identity and a white worldview.
But there is no “white race.”
Whiteness is a shared conglomeration of fabricated meanings and ideas about biologically insignificant human differences. Whiteness only exists in relation or opposition to blackness and other fictitious racial categories created by whiteness adherents for the purpose of cementing a higher status and material advantage over other people that are excluded from being white.
David’s caller suggests that we are living in a simulation worthy of Nyarlothotep. Like David, I don’t buy the simulation idea, but the creeping crawling chaos notion seems spot on.
I’ve been an H. P. Lovecraft fan for decades (that’s the primary reason I linked to this). I will grant that Lovecraft’s plots can be repetitious, but I’ve read no other author as adept at creating atmosphere as he. The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath is my favorite Lovecraft tale, followed by At the Mountains of Madness.
The Cats of Ulthar is just a bit too realistic for my taste.
The writer of a letter to the editor of The Tampa Bay Times asks a good question regarding Donald Trump’s latest attempt to restrict the American dream to persons whose looks he likes (follow the link for the complete letter):
I would like a legal definition of “public charge.” Does that mean that anyone who places a burden on American taxpayers can be considered a “public charge”? Does that mean the farmers, who have been given billions of taxpayer dollars by President Donald Trump to compensate them for the damages they suffered because of his tariff wars with China? Should they be deported, too? How about the huge tax breaks Trump has given the super wealthy in this country?
Be polite to the national symbol.
The dead eagle was found on County Road 220, north of Cherry Valley (Arkansas–ed.). The eagle was initially examined by veterinary staff at Cross County Veterinary Clinic in Wynne, where the preliminary cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound. The eagle will be transferred to a wildlife forensics laboratory for additional testing.
Nancy LeTorneau reports on the years of efforts to pass a federal anti-lynching law that preceded the recent successful passage of such legislation (which, as of this writing, has not yet been signed).
Thom and his caller discuss the Trump Adminstration’s cuts to government’s ability to respond to public health crises. The relevant portion of the clip starts at about the one minute mark.
And, for more Trumpling of scientists. . . .
It’s the best catch there is:
Starting this past Monday, his administration has started implementing its “public charge rule,” which denies immigrant visas and adjustment of status — including green cards, which confer lawful permanent residency — to immigrants the government thinks are likely to depend on public benefits.
And in a neat little catch-22 worthy of The Bad Place itself, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s rewrote its rules for implementation to say that applying for a green card makes immigrants more likely to depend on public benefits and should officially count against them. Thus, applying for a green card now makes you less eligible for a green card.
Catch up with the rest of the story at the link.
Selfie politeness is the politest kind.
A 10-year-old boy is in serious condition at a Texas hospital after he was accidentally shot by a babysitter who was taking selfies while holding a gun, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday.
The report goes on to say that she thought the gun was unloaded. It leaves out the part about her being too stupid to make sure.
Guns and stupid, guns and stupid.
They go together like love and Cupid.
Let me tell you brother,
You can’t have one without the other.