juldea: (brights)
I've been seeing a lot of good articles on the UK riots fly by on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc, due to my friends in the UK (yay internet) and the general high-political-intelligence of the people I associate with. This link came up today, and I liked it very much. It contained a lot of things I was going to say in a post on the topic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/11/london-riots-davidcameron

However "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable" it might be, it has happened so we better accept it and, whilst we can't justify it, we should kick around a few neurons and work out why so many people feel utterly disconnected from the cities they live in.

It's not enough to condemn the rioters for their criminal actions or even to incarcerate them and walk away. This is criminality on a mass scale, and as the article above says, unless there's "a freaky "criminal creating" chemical leak," it doesn't make sense to avoid investigating what would make hundreds (or thousands?) of people behave like this.

After all, every rioter is a human being, just like you or me. I think that's the frightening thing about inspecting root causes of violence such as this. It's comforting to "other" the rioters: "They're not like me," "I'd never do that," "I can't comprehend living in a situation that would cause that kind of reaction." Deep down, however, these people aren't Others. They're human beings like us. They're parents, children, siblings, cousins, grandchildren, significant others. They have pets and watch TV and look for (or have) jobs and fall in love and have pet peeves. They are like me and you, which makes the next statement so scary: we might, indeed, act the same if we were surrounded by the same environment as these rioters.

That's what makes it so important to investigate the next statement and try to comprehend living in a situation that would cause this kind of reaction. What kind of environment would make me or you decide to loot a business and burn a car? What change must have been made to our mindset, to our thoughts about our place in society, to our hopes and dreams for our future? Most importantly, since those changes are happening to other people, what can we do to reverse that change so that more people--more human beings like us--can have living conditions that don't produce the mindset that makes looting reasonable?

I really think that making the connection of "the rioters are people just like me, who have been subjected to conditions that cause them to find these criminal actions acceptable, and if I were subjected to those conditions I would think so, too" is absolutely necessary for going forward to a society that has fewer riots.

I mean seriously, this line of reasoning and empathizing applies to so many of the social problems plaguing Western culture. It's well known that a lot of -isms would have a hard time surviving if Group A would recognize the person-hood of everyone in Group B and do a bit of empathizing. Why is marriage equality worth fighting for? Well, let's see. "All of those people out there who can't marry who they love are people just like me, and how would I feel if I couldn't marry who I love? Ohshi--." Indeed.
juldea: (brights)
I've been seeing a lot of good articles on the UK riots fly by on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc, due to my friends in the UK (yay internet) and the general high-political-intelligence of the people I associate with. This link came up today, and I liked it very much. It contained a lot of things I was going to say in a post on the topic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/11/london-riots-davidcameron

However "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable" it might be, it has happened so we better accept it and, whilst we can't justify it, we should kick around a few neurons and work out why so many people feel utterly disconnected from the cities they live in.

It's not enough to condemn the rioters for their criminal actions or even to incarcerate them and walk away. This is criminality on a mass scale, and as the article above says, unless there's "a freaky "criminal creating" chemical leak," it doesn't make sense to avoid investigating what would make hundreds (or thousands?) of people behave like this.

After all, every rioter is a human being, just like you or me. I think that's the frightening thing about inspecting root causes of violence such as this. It's comforting to "other" the rioters: "They're not like me," "I'd never do that," "I can't comprehend living in a situation that would cause that kind of reaction." Deep down, however, these people aren't Others. They're human beings like us. They're parents, children, siblings, cousins, grandchildren, significant others. They have pets and watch TV and look for (or have) jobs and fall in love and have pet peeves. They are like me and you, which makes the next statement so scary: we might, indeed, act the same if we were surrounded by the same environment as these rioters.

That's what makes it so important to investigate the next statement and try to comprehend living in a situation that would cause this kind of reaction. What kind of environment would make me or you decide to loot a business and burn a car? What change must have been made to our mindset, to our thoughts about our place in society, to our hopes and dreams for our future? Most importantly, since those changes are happening to other people, what can we do to reverse that change so that more people--more human beings like us--can have living conditions that don't produce the mindset that makes looting reasonable?

I really think that making the connection of "the rioters are people just like me, who have been subjected to conditions that cause them to find these criminal actions acceptable, and if I were subjected to those conditions I would think so, too" is absolutely necessary for going forward to a society that has fewer riots.

I mean seriously, this line of reasoning and empathizing applies to so many of the social problems plaguing Western culture. It's well known that a lot of -isms would have a hard time surviving if Group A would recognize the person-hood of everyone in Group B and do a bit of empathizing. Why is marriage equality worth fighting for? Well, let's see. "All of those people out there who can't marry who they love are people just like me, and how would I feel if I couldn't marry who I love? Ohshi--." Indeed.
juldea: (brights)
For those who aren't aware, there's a pro-life license plate available in Massachusetts now. It's been the talk of a lot of debate, and I just looked up the laws surrounding special license plate requests, and wanted to make sure the information was spread.

The law is here: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section2F -- I shall summarize:

(a) If you can gather $100,000 and 1,500 people to both sign (with full name, address, and phone number) and to pay $40 each to pre-order a special license plate, you can get a special plate made in Massachusetts. You submit a design to the registrar, and they have 90 days to approve it and make you a design. There is no option written in the law for the registrar to refuse any submission; the wording is, "The registrar shall approve..." (emphasis mine.)

(b) 3,000 plates will be made in the first two years. If you manage to get 3,000 people to buy the plates, you get your $100,000 back. If not, it will be used to pay for the plates already ordered.

(c) There's a bunch of charities the government likes for these plates. (Honestly, I can't figure out what this section is for. Maybe one of you lawyer-y types can clarify.)

(d) I'll reprint this one in total, adding emphasis: "(d) The registrar shall design, produce, issue and regulate the use of distinctive registration plates proposed by any agency, charity or nonprofit organization that has satisfactorily complied with the conditions and requirements set forth in subsection (a)." If you do the things in step a, you get a plate. End of discussion. No matter the subject.

So. Yeah. There are plates out there now that express an idea that misquemes me. That sucks. But this law also means that 1,499 friends and I can get together money and order a plate that says something I like but someone else dislikes, maybe even something someone else finds offensive. I like keeping that option available. That's what living in a free society is all about.

What REALLY sucks is that this law isn't obvious, and there will be people who think the RMV and therefore the state government itself is promoting the Pro-Life movement. I don't know what to do about that part.

Apologies if I've made any really glaring errors here. It's 2am, and I should really be going to bed.
juldea: (brights)
For those who aren't aware, there's a pro-life license plate available in Massachusetts now. It's been the talk of a lot of debate, and I just looked up the laws surrounding special license plate requests, and wanted to make sure the information was spread.

The law is here: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section2F -- I shall summarize:

(a) If you can gather $100,000 and 1,500 people to both sign (with full name, address, and phone number) and to pay $40 each to pre-order a special license plate, you can get a special plate made in Massachusetts. You submit a design to the registrar, and they have 90 days to approve it and make you a design. There is no option written in the law for the registrar to refuse any submission; the wording is, "The registrar shall approve..." (emphasis mine.)

(b) 3,000 plates will be made in the first two years. If you manage to get 3,000 people to buy the plates, you get your $100,000 back. If not, it will be used to pay for the plates already ordered.

(c) There's a bunch of charities the government likes for these plates. (Honestly, I can't figure out what this section is for. Maybe one of you lawyer-y types can clarify.)

(d) I'll reprint this one in total, adding emphasis: "(d) The registrar shall design, produce, issue and regulate the use of distinctive registration plates proposed by any agency, charity or nonprofit organization that has satisfactorily complied with the conditions and requirements set forth in subsection (a)." If you do the things in step a, you get a plate. End of discussion. No matter the subject.

So. Yeah. There are plates out there now that express an idea that misquemes me. That sucks. But this law also means that 1,499 friends and I can get together money and order a plate that says something I like but someone else dislikes, maybe even something someone else finds offensive. I like keeping that option available. That's what living in a free society is all about.

What REALLY sucks is that this law isn't obvious, and there will be people who think the RMV and therefore the state government itself is promoting the Pro-Life movement. I don't know what to do about that part.

Apologies if I've made any really glaring errors here. It's 2am, and I should really be going to bed.
juldea: (lemur)
I am a flirt. Most of you know this. What can I say; I enjoy attention. This sometimes leads to people trying to gauge the possibility of actually becoming involved with me in whatever way (romantic, physical, etc.), and in many of these cases, leads to a comment structured as so: "Well, I could [say more|be more forward|make a move|prove it], but your boyfriend might object."

This is wrong, and you should never do it.

I am in control of my body. Not anyone I am dating or otherwise involved with. Whether or not you and I flirt, kiss, make out, fuck, whatever, is my decision to make, and the only person you need to worry about approving or disapproving is me.

I am also in control of my relationships. If you want to be involved with me, you don't sit down and work out the arrangements with my SO. You work it out with me. If my SO objects to anything I discuss, commit to, or do with another person, that is my problem to deal with, not yours.

My body and heart are not anyone's property but my own, and no one but me can make decisions about it. So quit passive-aggressively hinting that you have intentions towards me that my SO might object to, and instead perhaps ask me what I think? I mean, I know that by flirting I am inviting people to think about being involved with me, and when that happens I do want to know if someone is interested (for the ego boost if nothing else!) But there are ways to communicate interest and query for response, and I find the above to be a bad way to do it.

Edit: This rant is specifically directed at the situation wherein the person saying the above is not anyone who has a relationship of their own with my SO that they might worry about. Also, I want to point out that so far, most of the comments from men I've received have been related to this lack of clarification, and most of the comments from women I've received have been YES YES YES THIS. Heh.

Edit 2: I am editing this post continuously in response to feedback I'm receiving about how I'm communicating. Just be aware.
juldea: (lemur)
I am a flirt. Most of you know this. What can I say; I enjoy attention. This sometimes leads to people trying to gauge the possibility of actually becoming involved with me in whatever way (romantic, physical, etc.), and in many of these cases, leads to a comment structured as so: "Well, I could [say more|be more forward|make a move|prove it], but your boyfriend might object."

This is wrong, and you should never do it.

I am in control of my body. Not anyone I am dating or otherwise involved with. Whether or not you and I flirt, kiss, make out, fuck, whatever, is my decision to make, and the only person you need to worry about approving or disapproving is me.

I am also in control of my relationships. If you want to be involved with me, you don't sit down and work out the arrangements with my SO. You work it out with me. If my SO objects to anything I discuss, commit to, or do with another person, that is my problem to deal with, not yours.

My body and heart are not anyone's property but my own, and no one but me can make decisions about it. So quit passive-aggressively hinting that you have intentions towards me that my SO might object to, and instead perhaps ask me what I think? I mean, I know that by flirting I am inviting people to think about being involved with me, and when that happens I do want to know if someone is interested (for the ego boost if nothing else!) But there are ways to communicate interest and query for response, and I find the above to be a bad way to do it.

Edit: This rant is specifically directed at the situation wherein the person saying the above is not anyone who has a relationship of their own with my SO that they might worry about. Also, I want to point out that so far, most of the comments from men I've received have been related to this lack of clarification, and most of the comments from women I've received have been YES YES YES THIS. Heh.

Edit 2: I am editing this post continuously in response to feedback I'm receiving about how I'm communicating. Just be aware.

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