All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

10/17/2014

Qualified Immunity

Aiyana Stanley-Jones would have turned eleven years old this year.  Would have.  The Detroit police department shot her in the head during an illegal no-knock raid of her home.  I'm filled with rage, indignation, and sorrow over what happened.  It's not hard to see why blacks don't like white cops.  A couple of facts I'd like to highlight about the situation.
  • The police only obtained a warrant for Aiyana's home after they shot her in the head.
  • The police were serving a warrant on a duplex.
  • The police had a warrant for the unit next door.
  • The police brought along a camera crew who were shooting footage for a reality TV show.
  • The police officer who shot Aiyana had been involved in previous problematic excessive force situations prior to this one.
I suspect that the above facts were part of why Joseph Weekley was stripped of his qualified immunity and required to stand trial on charges related to his killing of a 7 year old girl. 

This is how it should have been.  I agree that Weekley should have to face a jury.  Which he has done, twice.  Each of the juries ended up deadlocked over his guilt.  As the case progressed through the system the more serious charges were either dropped or dismissed until this last time all he was facing was a charge of "careless or reckless firing of a weapon causing death".  He wasn't facing a murder or even a involuntary manslaughter charge.  The jury still couldn't agree that he had done that.

Everything Weekley has said about the situation has proven to be a lie.  Grandma didn't grab his gun.  The forensic tests prove her finger prints weren't on the weapon and the gunpowder residue tests show that her arm wasn't near the barrel.  The only person whose finger was on the trigger was Weekley.  The only person who shot the gun that killed a little girl as she was sleeping was, Weekley.

To some extent the system worked.  It's too bad that system didn't protect Aiyana.  I think all good people grieve over that.  The fact is that Weekley got caught.  Weekely was charged with crimes and tried twice.  Two times the jury deadlocked.  The second time all they had to decide on was two facts:
  1. did someone die
  2. did Weekley pull the trigger
They couldn't figure it out.  How stupid is the Wayne county jury pool?

The people on that jury were the arbitrators of justice. Their job was to either acquit Weekley out right or condemn him for his crime.  Either way justice would be granted either in the form of vindication or vengeance. The jury failed to do its duty.

10/15/2014

Rocinante Bites the Dust

Another one of the Vox Popoli originals bites the dust... Again.

I say again because this is the second time he has had to take down his blog due to the possibility of his brain droppings harming his career.

This angers me.  Roci never posted anything, illegal, inflammatory or even in bad taste.  Sometimes he was critical of his government.  So what.  As bad as our government is, all patriotic Americans should be able to point out at least a half dozen issues they are critical of.  He had the audacity to post thoughts, his own thoughts.  His thoughts weren't bad or harmful but they might have offended someone.

Might have offended.  Not actually offended.  Not actual harmed someone.  He didn't even say something mean.  Offending or maybe offending someone is the now the moral equivalent of  hitting someone over the head with a lead pipe.  Only really bad people would do something that might maybe OFFEND somebody. 

Offending some dimwit can lead to losing ones lively hood.  I understand.  Real knights don't tilt at windmills.  Real knights don't fight the court jester.  Unfortunately the jester is running the kingdom.

I have thought about making this offer before.  Maybe now is a good time to do it.  It's possible for a blogger to offer access to co-writers on his blog.  You would have your own sign in account and personal handle.  You would be able to post what you like as often as you like.  Since the blog is loosely based on All in the Family, I'm suggesting that anyone interested in co-writing pick a character from the show and blog as that "person".  I would be the only person who would know your "identity".

This offer is available to any regulars who might be interested; especially the blogger formerly known as Roci.  Drop me an email.

Punny

The one who invented the door knocker got a No-bell prize.

No one knew she had a dental implant until it came out in a conversation.

I wrote a novel about a fellow who had a small garden. It didn't have much of a plot.

The patron saint of poverty is St. Nickeless.

What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)

Why did the capacitor kiss the diode? He just couldn't resistor.

The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

Yesterday I accidentally swallowed food coloring. The doctor says I'm OK, but I feel like I've dyed a little inside.

I thought she had PMS, but she was just ovary acting.

I used to be addicted to soap, but I'm clean now.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Sleeping comes so naturally to me, I could do it with my eyes closed.

What did the grape say when it got stepped on? Nothing - but it let out a little whine.

Need an ark to save two of every animal? I noah guy.

I was going to buy a book on phobias, but I was afraid it wouldn't help me.

10/14/2014

Reflection

Its been over a year now that I've been studying some of the tenets of Judaism.  My study has been largely self directed so it may not be as scholarly or theologically sound compared to a formal study.  I've learned some things that have caused me to grow in ways that I hadn't expected.

  • Jews tend to view the Torah (first five books OT) as literally the word of God.  They view these writings as if God himself drew the very letters on the page.  They study everything about these passages.  They count letters, words, and search for meaning on more levels than a western mind would even conceive of.  They even believe that there is meaning to be discovered within the spaces of the letters themselves.
    • This has caused me to reexamine a basic tenet of Christian thought processes.  I was taught to view and discern scripture as: literal, or figurative, or historical or spiritual in meaning.  You could properly understand a text only by putting it in its proper context.  A text may have limited personal application, but it definitely had a specific universal purpose.  I now reject that methodology.  I haven't figured out how to quantify and express the position I'm now favoring but its much more literal and I hold a deeper reverence for scripture.
  • The Jews have a collection of commentary, debates, points of view, and clarification of scripture that goes back 4,000 years.  This is sometimes referred to as the Oral Law, Talmud, Mishnah.  The modern Christian community is largely ignorant of the contents of this material. (I am too, but I'm working towards correcting that deficiency) The role and acceptance of the Oral Teachings plays a tremendous role in Judeo/Christian thinking even if gentile Christians are unfamiliar with it.
    • The Pharisees of Jesus day were believers in the oral traditions.
    • The Sadducees rejected the oral teachings. 
    • Jesus sided with the Pharisees against the Sadducees.
    • Jesus affirmed/confirmed the oral law.
    • The teachings of Jesus in the Gospels are in similar to the teachings of the Pharisees, however Jesus teachings were more stringent than His contemporaries.
    • There are several passages in the Gospels that are best understood within the frame work of interpretation of Oral Law, among them:
      • Baptism
      • Sexuality
      • Divorce
      • The Sermon on the mount
      • Cleansing the temple
      • Judgment
    • The Sadducees were a minority party during the first century and they were not as well respected as the Pharisees.
    • The Sadducees were what we'd call more secular in their thinking.
    • Surprisingly many priests were Sadducees.
    • Jesus taught against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, interestingly that was one of the topics the Pharisees were also teaching against.
    • Jesus was not put to death by the full Sanhedrin, rather it was an illegal gathering of priests most of whom belonged to the sect of the Sadducees.
    • Had the full Sanhedrin met to hear Jesus's case, it is unlikely that the Pharisees would have been as politically motivated to execute or even punish Him. 
      • In the book of Acts, several years latter, Saul/Paul would be acquitted by the full Sanhedrin due in large part to the Pharisees.
    •  Many Pharisees accepted Jesus as Messiah.
    • The Pharisees who rejected Jesus became the fore runners of the modern Rabbis.
    • They were happy to "borrow" Jesus's teachings and add them to their own understanding of the law.
The main thing is that has been changing is my fundamental understanding of the thought process behind Scripture.  As I change my thinking on the TANAK it is forcing me to change or challenge my thinking on the New Testament. This process is also causing me to consider a different hermeneutic for harmonizing the two bodies of writing.

I have also been rethinking eschatology.  I haven't been able to sort Jewish belief on this topic, but I have looked at some tenets of Islam.  I'm interested to learn more about the Jewish perspective on this largely because the Islamic one is very interesting academically.  It seems the Islamic POV is a near match for what some Christians accept in terms of prophetic imagery, time tables and events.  The main difference is that the Islamic perspective is like looking at a photographic negative to one of the major Christian POVs.

10/13/2014

Just Watch It

Unfit Mother

The office next to mine hired a 19 year-old kid back in August.  It's a strictly part time job that maybe involves working up to 24 hours a week.  Most of that time is done when I'm not around. So I almost never see this kid.

I hear about the kid.  The company next door is almost exclusively women and has been since I've been working for my employer.  Which means most days I get to hear about everything.  The way I was first told about this kid the term used was "he/she".

To be fair this person does remind me a bit of Pat the sexually ambiguous character from SNL's skits. The kid has some things stacked against him.  He is over weight.  He dresses in baggy cloths.  He is a late bloomer, and his voice hasn't deepened as much as most guys.  He even wears a black "I (heart) Haters" ball cap.  The worst thing is that he has an unusual name.  It's a girls name.

Apparently his mother saw a TV show that had a male character on it with this female name, a very female name.  Think "A Boy Named Sue" without the masculine toughness.  She decided that her baby just HAAAD to have this name, it didn't matter that he was a boy.

Sure his mom didn't know he would have a heart problem that would result in a pacemaker and several hospital stays be fore he turned 16.  She didn't know that this would result in his having a hard time with his weight and getting a slow start maturing.  She knew she was giving a boy a girl's name.  Even in the best of circumstances she was making his life harder than it needed to be.  As it turns out mom's special method of picking a name has turned the boy's life into a living hell.