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Re: “Many Sides: The Mantra of Evil

My mother had the misfortune of being born in Poland in 1938. Hidden by Ukranian nuns as a favor to her father, she survived the Holocaust by changing her name and pretending to be Catholic. Miraculously, her mother and her uncle survived as well. She has never met, never seen, the father who arranged to have her saved. He and everyone else were wiped out. To this day, my mother cannot look at any symbols of naziism. As the child of a Holocaust survivor, I am the reverse; I cannot look away. I confront it at every turn. I have lost people who I thought were friends because of anti-Semitism. Professionally, I joined a line of work that allows me to confront racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, and all the products of fear and hate on a regular basis, in ways that occur both subtle and blatant. I have tried very hard to live by the words "never again."

I have tried never to give in to violence. I am ashamed that, in my youth, I briefly flirted with the Jewish Defense League, a group back then that was only too willing to engage in offense against those they believed were a threat, like the Skinhead. I learned firsthand about the costs of violence. I buried that down, and hoped - believed - that the need for literally combating hate on the streets instead of in our workplaces and courtrooms (where it should be) would never come again to my doorstep, advocated by public institutions or officials bestowed with the public trust. I convinced myself that, no matter our political persuasions, hate and fear-mongering would remain on the shadowy fringes of society.

But I, and all of us, are going to be tested as this resurgence of old fears and hates - packaged anew - continues to grow. Like you, I will not be silent, and I will not stand aside. Like you, I too live on a street with neighbors I care about that could be in any town, anywhere in the US. And, if the time does come, like you, I too own a tire iron.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich on 08/17/2017 at 11:49 AM

Re: “Is Meddlesome's 201 Hoplar in Bad Taste?

Wow. Yet another too-hoppy IPA that hopes to market itself by creating local controversy. Yawn.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Rich on 06/15/2017 at 10:51 AM

Re: “Best Bets: Brisket

Danzo, I can personally vouch for the brisket at Elwood's Shack...especially the brisket breakfast burrito. I've eaten like five times in the last 30 days. My treadmill hates me.

Also had it at Stanley's, and they know what they're doing too, as the article describes. Plus, it's a little personal for Dad was named Stanley too and also died at a similar time of year... Dec. 19. And he loved brisket (and didn't touch pork)!

Posted by Rich on 06/09/2017 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Supreme Court: Servers Can't Sue Employers for Skimming Tips

Tipping generally is an archaic form of compensation for servers, and this specific case only reinforces just some of the problems with compensation for labor done "at the whim" of both the public and employers.

Tipping as part of a larger accepted method of compensation should be abolished.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich on 03/14/2017 at 3:06 PM

Re: “Following Warning From State, County Approves Funding For Planned Parenthood

GroveReb84 wrote in part: "It would be great if you could legislate morality. You can't. That's up to the individual and the individual's families. Government can't hand that down."

I call bullsh*t. OF COURSE you can legislate morality. That is precisely the purpose of law: to codify the folkways and morays of society. When we pass laws prohibiting murder, that is legislating morality. The concept goes back to the idea of "malum in se," things that are wrong because of the inherent nature of the act. When we prohibit these by law, we ARE legislating morality.

The objection you really have is that some things that you consider immoral or objectionable (also abhorrent, disgusting, bankrupt, vile, heinous, and a thousand other growingly apoplectic adjectives that both the right and the left just love to use to whip up their base), others consider tolerable, acceptable, welcome, or even necessary to vindicate other moral positions that they might take.

And don't get me started on those laws founded in the idea of "malum prohibitum" instead. Nah, that would just be crazy! :)

Isn't civil society wonderful? Much better than the state of nature don't you think?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich on 02/08/2017 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Cohen Warns of 'Violence' from Trump Controversy; Local GOP Figures Point Fingers at Democrats

I agree Trump is neither a Nazi specifically nor more generally a fascist. If he's "anything," he's an opportunistic isolationist and populist. And definitely not a progressive.

My most immediate concern, and at the risk of looking like I'm echoing Cohen, isn't how to "type" him. Actually, it's no longer even him; he's going to get no more than 43% of the vote, and lose in a landslide.

No my concern is what I'm guessing is about the .001% of his followers who are multiple-assault-rifle (and worse) -owning, paranoid with violent tendencies, and who actually intend to show up at polling places or other locations to engage in intimidation efforts...or worse. My guess is we're talking about a max of approximately 70,000 people nationwide.

More than enough to light the match. History shows us that, when tensions are already bad, it really doesn't take that many people to alter the course of history in really drastic ways.

And the idiot(s) in North Carolina who burned the local GOP office just convinced at least one of these wingnuts to decide to load his rifle and begin looking for an opportunity...

Jeez I sound alarmist and paranoid myself. I am so freaked out this election...

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Rich on 10/17/2016 at 4:32 PM

Re: “Asking For Change

Hmmm...I wonder...if it is true that it is unlawful to "loiter" at a place of business that sells alcohol, whether that also applies to the now-expanded right of sale for wine that applies to grocery stores? Or does it make any difference, since they could sell beer prior to the change, but still cannot sell spirits?

In other words, what does "sell alcohol" really mean?

Regarding panhandling at intersections and from traffic islands, allowing this continue is literally killing our homeless population. This has been studied in multiple jurisdictions and by the CDC. In some locations, the homeless suffer injury and death as pedestrians at a rate 23 times higher than the rest of the population. By no means do I think we should be "NIMBYs" about this problem, and I agree we shouldn't generally stop people from asking for money (and I agree it's a personal decision whether to give...I admit that I often do even if my radar says they're just going to continue a pattern of self-abuse...I'm especially prone to giving if the person has a child with them). But NOT in traffic. The homeless don't deserve to be forced to risk death to survive.

What we should be doing as a community is reinvesting in more rescue shelters, food banks and - most importantly - mental health facilities that genuinely and compassionately treat the illness and not act as prisons by another name. But that is a much bigger problem that most people just aren't willing to pay for...or even discuss.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich on 09/12/2016 at 10:08 AM

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