Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How refreshing

I never thought that I would agree with them.  I have long disagreed with many of the racially based protest groups/organizations.  I have not normally had issue with the basis for their message, but usually with how they go about pushing that message.  Usually we get caricatures of the issues in the form of either front men like Al Sharpton or criminals like Wesley Cook (murderer of Daniel Faulkner) who actually committed the crime and were justly convicted.  There are many cases of unjust prosecution and oppression that have actual innocent people involved, like George Allen Jr.  However, we tend to see the fiasco version, like the Michael Brown case (committed strong-arm robbery, assaulted the officer and attempted to get his gun, forensically proven to be the aggressor and not to be raising his hands to surrender).  

Then we have Chicago.  Historically known for corrupt politicians, corrupt police and corrupt judicial officials.  Enough books, documentaries, movies, television and radio shows (it goes back quite a while) have been produced to fill a library on the subject.  Thus I can't say I was surprised to see the list of failures in the State's Attorney office by Anita Alvarez.  The list of failures and (really) offenses is long and would make a great HBO series.  This woman makes the characters on Sons of Anarchy look fairly pedestrian by comparison.  But the fact that she made so many bad moves, so often and usually in spite of evidence at hand is simply amazing.  It was as if she was channeling William Hale Thompson.

So it is interesting to see that the Black Lives Matter group managed to get her voted out of office not by allying or even supporting her opponent, but simply by asking people to not vote for Alvarez.  No promises that her successor would make things all better, no plans to right wrongs.  Just a plan to get a corrupt official out of office.  Likely, this will be their game plan for further elections, possibly even the upcoming presidential election.  It will be interesting to see if they do, because they will have a choice between the giant clown and the dishonest former co-worker of the corrupt Chicago mayor.

Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sometimes it just doesn't pay...

To chew through the leather straps...

JK Rowling has published several new entries on the Pottermore website expanding the Harry Potter universe.  For those of you who don't know, this is a series of books (and movies, and theme parks, etc...) about a fictional world where magic is real and a great many groups of people are represented in the magical world differently than they would be in a true life story.  Because its a work of fiction.  This is important to remember, because some people seem to fail to grasp these small details.

It seems that a number of Native American writers have gotten their shorts in a bind because JKR dared to write them as other than they exist in real life.  In work of fiction.  She failed to research every last detail of the history of the Native Americans and present them in a historically accurate (and apparently properly sensitive) way in her works of fiction about a world where magic is real.  Did I mention that this is a work of fiction?

Now, I will happily be the first to say that the Native American people got screwed the moment the Europeans set foot in North America.  They lost everything.  I will not deny that they had it rough, and allowing them to open casinos on their land is just a drop in the bucket towards making reparations.

That being said, please give me a break.  I am quite sure that you have bigger things to deal with, for example, disproportionately high rates of poverty, infant mortality, unemployment, and low high school completion rates.  If this is your idea of striking out for your people against those that would oppress them, then I am not surprised that the above mentioned problems continue to linger.  You see, those problems exist, as opposed to the alternate representation of your people in a work of fiction about a world where magic exists.  

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dear Republican Party

Its bad enough that your nomination election process has been turned into a clown show of epic proportions.  You have a fairly sound system for the process, as opposed to the Democrats "Super Delegate" method of gaming their own system. Please do not start working on ways to tell your own party members that their votes don't count.  Yes, you have the biggest clown show in election history taking the party by storm.  How about figuring out why people are voting for him as opposed to trying to rig the convention to block him?  Maybe try showing some leadership as opposed to his showmanship?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Oh, the Oscars were on?

I was asked by a friend today what I thought of the Oscar awards.  They were surprised when I replied that I thought the Sharks played well and stuck to their game to get the win.  Apparently I have committed a social faux pas.

You see, I watched the awards shows when I was much younger and had the illusion that they meant something.  Later I realized that they are really a way for the industry to pat themselves on the back.  It also allowed an insulated group to profess their often vapid political statements on camera.  I also realized long ago that basing your political beliefs based on your favorite actor's statements is like using a match to check for the location of a gas leak.

So, watching these people parade around in six figure outfits so that they can receive six figure gift bags and possibly a statue for the mantle is not really interesting to me.  And add in the ridiculous whinging over the nominees was just a joke.  I did the same thing this year that I have done for the last several decades, which was something else.