It Isn’t About You – Do The Right Thing

Every angry response I’ve seen about Spike Lee, responds to this analogy.

It’s like, yelling at the ref for pointing out that the football pile up is crushing people at the bottom, while the people jumping on top of the pile are whining that it isn’t their fault and they hurt too.

Spike Lee’s wealth or actions are utterly irrelevant. White people being “forced” to move into these neighborhoods, is a broader issue of increasing housing costs, but that doesn’t erase the more important and dire problems effecting the African American community.

I get it, white guilt makes people defensive. I lived in Bedstuy 2005-2009, I even walked by gentrification protests in the neighborhood. I worked part time and it’s not like I had any other options. I could get defensive about the issue. I could take it personally. But I don’t.

Instead, I understand that the people in those neighborhoods have gone through more hardships and have bigger problems than I have had and they were there first. Those things are just true. The issues Spike Lee talked about are not about him, are not about me, are not about you, it’s about African American communities and neighborhoods.

Racial Gap in Men’s Sentencing

Racial Gap in Men’s Sentencing

“Prison sentences of black men were nearly 20% longer than those of white men for similar crimes in recent years, an analysis by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found.”

See! People just need to stop talking about race. So when that judge decides how to sentence someone, he’ll have no idea that the person he’s sentencing is black or white because no one told him. If we don’t talk about subconscious, systematic racism, laws and behaviors…things will just fix themselves.

(How did such a stupid idea get traction?)

Native Americans & Guns Were Not Friends

As I’ve said before, the Pettifog was created to focus my energies of rage and annoyance, from places like Facebook, into a blog. Then, those posts, I would hope would encourage others to discuss them. Partially to avoid being defriended by more people. The latest thing to enrage me, was this photo

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Let’s just think about, for one second, about the general history of Native Americans’ interaction with these new settlers and governments. Europeans came over to North America with guns. These guns allowed them to easily slaughter the unarmed Native American population and helped drive them from the area. Those Native Americans who eventually got a hold of weapons, eventually attacked settlements and forts, resulting in casualties all around. In no way, was the gun ever a force for safety or peace for the Native Americans or settlers at this time. Giving Native Americans more arms, would have lengthened the fight between Native Americans and settlers, causing a drawn out civil war. Once again illustrating that more guns, equals more death.

This history specifically represents the tyranny of those with guns, and the unnecessary mayhem they cause.

To try to pick one incident, claim that if they had guns things would have gone better for the already ravaged Native American populace…seems reductive and absurd.

How We Pay for Spending Cuts

The one thing that is the most annoying about the sequestration, is how it hurts us. As citizens and voters.

When you think of it, the deficit works in our favor. The government is providing services, subsidies that lower prices for us, keeps things running smoothly….and we aren’t taxed at a level to cover those expenses.

Essentially, that’s the debt. It’s us getting more than we pay for.

I have been references the “Dairy Cliff” as an example. Due to forced cuts, the price of milk was going to go up 400% to around $8. So because it was cut at the government level, I would be spending $6 more every paycheck.

The sequestration is the same thing, but many times worse. Higher prices for everything. Less services provided.

Spending cuts won’t “cost” the government anything, but they ultimately will come out of our pockets and our backs.

Mental Illness + Guns

“He had never been legally adjudicated as mentally ill, and, even if he had, Arizona at the time had over 121,000 records of disqualifying mental illness it had not submitted to the background check system.”

Mark Kelly, on wife, Gabby Gifford’s shooter.  (6 Things We Learned at the Senate’s Big Guns Hearing | Mother Jones)

Let’s stop pretending that people who want guns,  have been  psychologically evaluated prior to owning a gun. They haven’t. My family member with a gun, in my opinion, has big anger and paranoia issues, but I doubt he’s ever been in front of a psychologist in his life. This is true of most gun owners. They’ve never been adequately screened like most people who are trained and hired to have guns (security firms, military, police, etc).

Even if there are incidents on record, a lot of the time warning signs are not automatically included in background checks or are they are not considered disqualifying factors.

So, making sure those things happen are essential.

“Are the presid…

“Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”

The text of the new NRA ad that’s making the rounds.

First, the idea of TSA-ing our schools is one of the biggest nightmares I can think of, but I agree with the NRA in one sense. That if there are armed people out “protecting” citizens, that said gun owners should be put to the same standards as those armed security guards protecting Obama’s children.

I think every armed person, should go through the same in-depth background checks, psychiatry evaluations, training, and reviews that a security firm of this level would implement.

Progressives for Les Mis!

I hate to be “that guy” that sees everything through the political lens, but watching Les Mis really made me think about the importance and longevity of liberal and progressive causes. And about how in so many areas we’ve started going backwards.

Valjean & The Law:

  • Imprisoning people for non violent offenses.
  • Harsher punishment than the crime would logically dictate.
  • Putting convicts to hard labor like indentured servants.
  • Criminal record preventing new employment.
  • No preparation for prisoners to be reintegrated into society,

Fantine:

  • Employer using an employee’s personal information, outside of said job, and deciding it’s immoral, with negative repercussions (Hello Hobby Lobby!).
  • Sexual harassment
  • Access to health care for tuberculous.
  • Not to mention general difficulty with poverty, and supporting a child without assistance when you lose your job.

Cosette:

  • No one cares about her and she’s irrelevant to anything.