June 9, 2020

Humbled Females: new forum reply to In Light Of Recent Times

New reply from teejayel

<p>Speaking as an outsider (and carefully) I would say that the US has a couple of problems that it should seek to resolve. Ren and VirtuousD4rk seem to be saying sensible things.</p>
<p>If you go back 200 years in British history, you have the "Peterloo Massacre" where boozed up militia killed 15 and injured 600 out of 60,000 (unequivocally) peaceful protesters who wished to reform parliament. The militia, summoned by magistrates, thought they were suppressing revolutionary scum in the context of the fear blood-lust and horror of the recent French revolution, which not only had an ISIS style decapitation of the odd 40,000 of its own, but caused a million deaths through Europe in the subsequent wars. But the use of the militia hit a brick wall, it was disbanded and a proper police force emerged. 191 years ago. Abuse by the forces of law and order does not mean the end of law and order, but making them fit for purpose. </p>
<p>The US use of the National Guard and the astonishing tooling up of the police with heavy duty military weapons speaks much of a fear of a "rising tide of revolution". Most revolution comes when society allows itself excessive division and fails to seek to improve itself. Defunding organizations that abuse their power will lead to those that don't. The Northern  Ireland Royal Irish Constabulary was reformed and renamed. It was fighting the IRA and felt it should match (just some of) their vile methods. It should not. The moral highground is sacrosanct (and where somebody wishing to represent <em>me</em> does something I find reprehensible I will <em>always</em> be harder on them). There is no excuse for violence or destruction of property. You avoid it by behaving in a civilized fashion and bringing the tension down such that the original offence does not exist. America needs a certain amount of reform, certainly aiming to raise the income and living standards of its <em>entire</em> population. Arguably, it should become more of a republic and stop electing kings with excess personal power who, except in the most egregious of cases, are above criticism as "Mr President". Divorcing the national (figurehead) of state from executive power exercised by the head of a political party and, perhaps, changing the merry go round of the replacement, each election, of much of a politicized civil service, might de-mystify and allow more measured political debate and effectiveness. A democracy has no business preserving itself in aspic. It must evolve and improve.</p>
<p>An Iranian friend recently told me that Britain is nowadays the best country in the world in which to live if you are black or brown (ignoring the semantic fatuity of what is the latest fashion to call people). I disagreed. "It's <em>not</em> the best, but it might be the least worst." Afro-Caribbean folk in Britain are deemed likely to be the first such population to be completely absorbed into the earlier inhabitants by virtue of intermarriage. A lot of tension still finds its way across the Atlantic from some of your unresolved issues and divisions. I've always wondered if the hotter climate make folk more volatile, but allowing poverty and division is bound to make things worse. It is most specifically not what the "land of the free" is supposed to be about. The need for curfews and the routine use of heavily armed police in crowd control mode (tear gas to provide a photo opportunity? seriously?) is not how you should wish to live; neither is it inevitable. </p>
<p>How ridiculous that at the centre of this is a man called Chauvin. It's as if you couldn't be bothered to find another -ism.</p>
<p>What I found difficult to discover was the reason for the arrest. As I now understand it, the gentleman concerned passed what appeared to be a fake $20 to buy some cigarettes. It seems he might have had a drink. He was unwilling to return the packet of cigarettes. It is unknown how he came into possession of the note or whether he was aware of its quality. He was a big man, but how that translates to what happened next is unclear to me. </p>
<p>I'll give you a different story. I was in Nigeria. I had just had a meal with wine in my small inexpensive hotel. As I was laving the dining room, two police arrived. "You have paid with fake money! You must come with us!". "Can I see it?" I was shown the offending note. Small denomination. No idea where it came from. It didn't look very good quality, but I'd obviously missed it. I laughed, apologized, and said "can you check these to make sure that they are okay and then I can pay?" They checked. I paid. I still have the counterfeit note as a souvenir. (They were persuaded that I was honest, found the whole thing ridiculous and, with slight misgivings, let me keep the note). Nigeria does <em>not</em> have a good reputation for probity, yet how would my story have played out if I was in a US hotel with a fake $20? If you have doubts about that, then reform is due. </p>


Original Post by Lord Ren

In Light Of Recent Times

<p>I'm sure all of us know about the peaceful protests all over the US and that are spreading across the world. I'm sure we've all seen what has happened last Monday in Washington D.C. and the resulting outrage. I'm not going to talk about that specifically: I'm going to talk about what that means for the future.</p>
<p>History has shown time and time again that situations like what we've seen in the US recently tend to lead to the death of a nation. It is unfortunate, yet is is true. What we are witnessing and participating in is a crossroads: will the US go down the path towards a civil war or towards making peace? There are a lot of pitfalls along the way, a lot of traps that could escalate the situation into a civil war. There's the pandemic to think about too and how that will take many lives.</p>
<p>I am making this thread because I'm quite sure that we may see something even more horrific in the next few months than we have in the past week. I sincerely hope that is not the case but I still think it's a very real possibility. I hope everyone stays safe and I hope the world finally realizes that there is no difference between people: we're all bastard mutts that came from the same place, we all have the same common ancestors. Being disrespectful, violent, or not liking someone because of how they look is not only irresponsible, it is detrimental to society as a whole. So be safe, treat the people you come into contact with with kindness and generosity, and do your best to be a good person.</p>

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