My Blog Week: April 21 to April 27
A Word on the Week
This one began and ended with news of terrorist attacks on places of worship.
The bombings in Sri Lanka are attributed to a nationalist splinter group (National Thowheed Jamath). The California synagogue shooting is attributed to a “gunman”* acting alone, and is being called a hate crime. The Sri Lanka government believes that if the NTJ obtained the materials and were taught the organization to carry out their attack, they must have had international help. The California attacker had recently set fire to a mosque, another crime he called, in his online manifesto, a tribute to the New Zealand and Pittsburgh attackers. What is it that Islamic extremists are able to do with social media, that’s so different from what white nationalists do, that one group are terrorists, and the others—no matter how they learn about, teach about, and reference each other’s acts—are always individuals, “lone wolves”?
(*It says something that we haven’t made this term gender neutral. Gunpersons are not cited committing slaughters.)
Next topic: The debate among Democrats running for president, on allowing prisoners to vote. Consider, that the Innocence Project has freed 365 people to date. Our rule of law is predicated on the presumption of innocence. If our justice system were less flawed, then other “ifs”—if the crime was a felony; if the convicted person could be said to have chosen, in choosing to commit a crime, to have surrendered his rights—would be anchored in a reliable truth. But how reliable? Some prisoners have been framed up, some forced into a devil’s bargain confession, some are serving excessively punitive sentences, and some (marijuana possession) should not be in prison at all. Taking away the right to vote, when doubt of guilt looms so large, amounts to an unreasonable presumption of guilt.
Third: Somehow…I leave it to the Freudians to account for this…the loins of white nationalist types are stirred by the thought of killing cats. The nation of Australia has begun distributing poison sausage, wishing to destroy its feral cat population, and some of the comments on social media, and some of the imagery posted, suggest some other impetus than heartbreak over endangered species. One problem: Those sausages won’t sit long until they swarm with insects, and insects are the food of rodents, birds, and reptiles. Another problem: Feral cats also prey on mice and rats, as well as nuisance birds. More plagues, more poison?
On Monday, another poem in the Jumping Off series, “For the Gullible”. Tuesday, the weekly episode from Sequence of Events, with Rob Healy very modestly chastened to find himself targeted by a killer. Wednesday, more of Celebrated, Petra still Tom’s vacation companion, still without explanation.
Thursday, Catastrophe, and Hess interviewing a controversial admiral. Friday, a reprisal of the short story “Tourmaline”, first in the realtopian series of the same name (a realtopia taking place in the nearest thing to our actual future). And on Saturday, “Sinister”, more of the Pale Knight arc of The Folly.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: April 21 to April 27