October 18th, 2011

green leaves

"There is no honor in hurting unarmed civilians"

A Marine tells off some New York police.

At about 4:00 someone asks him what he'd seen that had bothered him. "I was here Oct. 5. I saw them beating people, un- ... people that had nothing to do with anything, just grabbed them out the crowd, there's no honor in that. My mom, my father, everybody has served in Iraq, Afghanistan. Well, I did 14 months in Afg-... um, Iraq, my father was in Afghanistan, my mother did a year in Iraq. We fought for this country. I don't come home... I'm in New York City, I'm from New York City, and these cops are hurting people that, that I've, I fought to protect. There's no reason for this. There's no rea-... no honor in hurting unarmed civilians, and I won't let it happen. Have a good night.")

Link by way of osewalrus, thnidu, and tigerbright. thnidu supplied the transcript.

I've been reading The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen. I'll write more when I've finished reading the book, but the argument seems to be that people can know the practical and moral arguments against bad behavior for centuries, and nothing changes. What moves them is the idea that it would be beneath us-- and embarrassing-- to behave badly.

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green leaves

On fogheadedness

[personal profile] twistedchick points out that there's a connection between policies that drive away undocumented people and shortages of produce.

Article about how pervasive the situation is.

Anyway, [personal profile] groovesinorbit asked "What exactly did these idiots passing these laws think was going to happen?".

It's easy to snark, but I have some experience of being a fool that might be worth sharing.

Part of it is that it took me years, maybe even a small number of decades, to understand what "politics is the art of the possible" might mean. Before that, I thought the idea was just to get things right.

Also, there's a bit in Idris Shah about needing time, place, and people to get an idea across. That made me jump in a useful way because it broke the belief that just being right is enough.

So, what did they think would happen? I'm guessing that they thought their principles were so good that they didn't need to think about consequences very carefully. They probably believed that Americans would take those jobs, not realizing either how awful the working conditions are or that it's skilled work which requires physical conditioning.

"We have to control our borders" and "they broke our laws" seem to have a powerful hypnotic effect. There may also be an underlying belief that one's gut reactions (especially about defending territory) are good enough.

I don't know what, if anything, tends to get people out of the "my generalizations feel right so they must be right, and paying attention to the details is too much work" trance.

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green leaves

Indistinguishable from magic

A fast googling turns up people with science blogs saying they can't explain it. I'm hoping an explanation comprehensible to the lay reader will turn up. It's got to be simpler than the proof of Fermat's last theorem, right?

My first incoherent thought was that this phenomenon might be Offensive to Relativity, but I guess it's no weirder in that sense than matter being more or less rigid, or is it?

Link thanks to [personal profile] andrewducker.

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