The Big Think

December 9, 2014

Worse than racism

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 10:55 pm

Worse than racism:

“The truly terrifying thing about Eric Garner’s death is that I don’t think the cops in that video hated anybody. They were just doing their job. And their job included strangling a man to death for having sold ‘loosies’ – untaxed cigarettes. Something he wasn’t doing when he was killed [!!]; he had just broken up a fight that the police came to investigate.

Garner had just broken up a fight. The police hassled him, based on his record as a (gasp!) vendor of untaxed cigarettes, and when he protested the force of law came down on him and snuffed him.

In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville wrote a book called Democracy In America that has been justly celebrated for its perception about the young American republic ever since. In it, he warned of the dangers of what he called ‘soft despotism’ – that ‘covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules’, all justified in soothing ways to achieve worthy objectives. Such as discouraging people from smoking by heavily taxing cigarettes.

Eric Garner died in a New York minute because ‘soft despotism’ turned hard enough to kill him in cold blood. There was no anger there, no hate; the police simply failed to grasp the moral disproportion between the ‘crimes’ he wasn’t even committing at the time and their use of force. And an investigating grand jury did no better.

Violent racists, as evil as they are, generally understand on some level that they’re doing wrong. That understanding is written all over the excuses they make. These cops didn’t need an excuse. They were doing their job. They were enforcing the law. The casual, dispassionate, machinelike brutality with which Garner was strangled reveals a moral vacuum more frightening than mere racism could ever be.”


Filed under: The R2 Project — jasony @ 6:24 pm

aluminum – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“Aluminum is a chemical element in the boron group with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery white, soft, ductile metal. aluminum is the third most abundant element (after oxygen and silicon), and the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. It makes up about 8% by weight of the Earth’s solid surface. aluminum metal is so chemically reactive that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.[5] The chief ore of aluminum is bauxite.
aluminum is remarkable for the metal’s low density and for its ability to resist corrosion due to the phenomenon of passivation. Structural components made from aluminum and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and are important in other areas of transportation and structural materials. The most useful compounds of aluminum, at least on a weight basis, are the oxides and sulfates.”

It is also the structural material in R2’s frame. I’m getting to know this metal very well. Currently I’m researching the different kinds of milling tools, bits, taps, and fly cutters to make R2’s frame pieces. There’s so much to know! I’ve got an 800 page SparkTech catalog that’s getting pretty dog-eared. It’s full of all kinds of arcana on tools, mills, bits, etc. Ninety percent of the catalog is stuff that I don’t even recognize and can barely pronounce. As Yoda might say, the learning curve is strong with this one.

Fortunately I don’t have to mill all that many parts, so I can get away with buying a cheap disposable cutter that’ll go dull after 50 parts. Since I’m only doing the milling from scratch on about 10 parts (the rest are waterjet and then touched up on the mills/lathes) I can get off with the cheap stuff.

Machining/milling/lathing is really cool, but it’s incredibly intimidating.


Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 5:51 pm

Ten Stories NBC Nightly News Aired Instead of Covering Gruber Scandal:

“Below are ten stories that, unlike the Gruber videos, were deemed worthy of coverage by NBC Nightly News during the past month. With Gruber himself set to answer questions at a congressional hearing later today, NBC has a fresh opportunity tonight to fix the glaring omission of the past 30 days — the question is, will they once again pretend the Gruber story doesn’t exist?”

Don’t hold your breath. We have a very close family member who considers (him/her)self up-to-date because they “watch the news”. This individual had no idea who Jonathan Gruber was.

Fix the media and you fix the country.

I’m with Stupid

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 9:47 am

Hilarious, pointed, and on-target.

Jonathan Gruber to face hostile House panel, tea party ‘I’m with Stupid’ T-shirts – Washington Times:

“A tea party group said its members will greet Jonathan Gruber, the man at the center of Obamacare’s troubled public image, with T-shirts reading ‘I’m with Stupid’ when he shows up to defend himself Tuesday before what’s likely to be a hostile congressional panel…

The T-shirts, which were produced by Tea Party Patriots, are another symbol of how controversial Mr. Gruber has become as he prepares to face the House oversight committee.

‘With all that’s going on in the Capitol, we didn’t want Mr. Gruber’s curtain call to go unnoticed,’ said Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Patriots co-founder. ‘We commemorated his appearance, and in the spirit of the Season, we’d like to offer the Obamacare architect a dozen. He can use them as stocking stuffers for the economically unsophisticated.’”

Too bad we won’t see pics in the media.

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