Where We All Belong

I got out of playing in a rock n roll band back in the late eighties, early nineties. In no small part, because I couldn’t relate to some of the people showing up to hear us play. Skinheads. I never sat down and listened to what they had to say. From my perspective, they were people from somewhere else, showing up in my old neighbourhood, they were the outsiders. They didn’t belong. They were not representative of the people who lived in the neighbourhood surrounding that shitty little club. They were the anti-thesis of that community, and I knew it. I was *born* there, even if we had to leave.

So, I played in a Southern Rock band for a couple years before moving away. Always felt a connection with hard rocking music from down home folk. It fit me.

Somewhere along the line, I developed an affinity for the rebel flag; to me, representing values I could understand: “where we all belong.”

So it distresses me, to stumble across some Fucking english cunt singing neo-nazi songs using the rebel flag as a backdrop. I’m a yankee, as far as anyone from The South is concerned, but I’ll be dammed if what I like about the rebel flag has a goddam thing to do with that bullshit.

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On Charter Schools

I realise New Orleans hasn’t faced a disaster on the scope the one Detroit faces, (sarcasm, sorta), why are charter schools working there, but some in Detroit seem skeptical?

http://www.freep.com/article/20110320/NEWS01/103200495/DPS-plan-convert-41-schools-charters-bold-will-work-?odyssey=obinsite

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0829/After-Katrina-how-charter-schools-helped-recast-New-Orleans-education

What Does It Mean To Be An American Citizen?

I wonder, what does it mean to be an American citizen? I’m aware that many immigrants are decent people trying to make a decent living. But what would amnesty for the illegales among us mean, exactly? If anyone can be an American citizen, what does it mean to be a citizen?

This is something I wonder, in terms of American sovereignty, among other contexts. Does America belong to anyone who can get away with breaking our laws? What’s the point of having laws? Is there a flaw in our immigration policy, or is it a flaw in the enforcement of that policy?

Our current administration seems intent on joining in a world governing body that rules on carbon dioxide emissions. This will weaken our sovereignty, subjecting The United States to a world governing body that gives an equal say to dictators alongside of democratically elected leaders. In essence, it gives countries that hate the United States a say in how we govern ourselves.

I’m not against being responsible to the world, and treating immigrants fairly. But I’m not exactly in favour of devaluing the status of American citizenship to the point that it is for all practical purposes, only meaningful in the duty to pay taxes that the rest of the world determines how are spent.

Hate Crime Thought Experiment

Let’s suppose an assailant called his victim the N-word before violently attacking him.

Arrange the following in order of severity of the crime:

A) assailant is white, victim is black
B) assailant is black, victim is black
C) assailant is black, victim is white
D) assailant is white, victim is white

Under hate crime laws, wouldn’t these likely be treated as four distinctly different crimes? What makes the difference? Name calling.

I’m not in the mood to look up rap videos using the N-word as artistic expression. I’m personally offended by the word. I’ve been called it, more in the sense of affectionate greeting of a brother than a derogatory or racist term, but I protested, and my coworker stopped. I’ve sat through long traffic lights next to cars blasting the word repeatedly. It’s a word that has made its way into popular culture. But. It’s a word. I don’t think anyone should use it, but as long as someone does, then everyone should be able to. Equally.

And that’s one problem I see with making additional* laws based on someone’s mental state to enhance a penalty. The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, is supposed to guarantee us, well, equal due process. You can’t claim that you’re a victim of social injustice, and ask for special privileges at the same time. You’re either in or out with this equality thing.

*Mens rea already addresses mental state in both criminal and tort law. What does hate crime legislation add to the concept?