Monthly Archives: December 2014

DRAFT Racism, Cops, Privilege

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Privilege – White Privilege – Its a “Thing”

This is a complex subject to tackle. This article works hard to do so at risk of great controversy, and risk of turning off my readers on the other side of this complex issue to ever reading anything I write. Of course the death of so many young black Americans at hand of citizens (Zimmerman) without prosecution,  and at the hands of so many cops who also evade prosecution (Garner “I can’t breathe” in New York) has put this all in mind first and foremost.

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Did you or kids or Grand kids ever break the law?

If you are a human with compassion think about the white kids that shoplift, are drunken disorderly occasionally and even do drugs. You may have, your kids or grand kids may have. But it did not result in death at the hands of the cops, and hand wringing that “they were criminals and deserved it”. These are the same cops that apprehended, not killed more dangerous people.

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If you think you are safe because your kids or you follow the law the scary site
http://www.copblock.org/
will open your eyes those same cops escape prosecution when they shoot sleeping children (not kidding here), the elderly, mentally challenged people, and raid the wrong house and kill or maim non criminals in raids to the wrong address. Cop privilege (the ability to kill and maim without prosecution by incompetent cops who did not assess risk and f’ed up) is REAL and we should not be silent about it.

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My conclusions after much research

When I was in my teens and 20’s I believed:

  • Reverse racism existed is what I believed in my teens and 20s. I now recant my opinion on that. Reverse racism is the belief that any minority that is given an opportunity takes it away from a white person who deserved it instead.

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  • White privilege was not a thing  is what I believed in my teens and 20s. I now have seen it all first hand and I was wrong to believe that.

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  • The effects of slavery and oppression was in the past and cannot affect the present is what I believed in my teens and 20s. The fact is as white people our relatives had advantages that ripple down into present is what I learned.
  • The effects of prejudice do not ripple into nor affect the present is what I believed in my teens and 20s. I have seen and read enough by experts to know better now. Do you think the fact that we gave away land to all White male settlers and no women or blacks or freed slaves did not start a pattern of wealth distribution and inheritance that affected their ancestors?

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Now I believe all the evidence I have read leads me to this conclusion

  • White privilege exists.
    • Cop privilege is even scarier than that. It thrives in people not believing how bad it is if it did not happen to them or someone they know, and in believing a cops job is so dangerous they are allowed to make mistakes and kill. If a cop makes the kind of mistakes that kill innocent Americans or Americans committing minor crimes because they do not know how to use a taser, call for backup, etc. police work is not for them.
    • White male privilege is powerful as well.  (If you are white and male and think it does not read http://occupywallstreet.net/story/explaining-white-privilege-broke-white-person with an open mind).
    • Rich <any non-white> privilege is next in the power hierarchy.
    • Rich white male privilege trumps all. Think Dick Cheney, Donald Trump, etc.
  • The media portrays black people, poor people, rape victims differently than more privileged people.
  • Slavery, Prejudice and oppression was recent that some people still practice it without realizing it.
  • Slavery, Prejudice and oppression was not experienced by many white people’s ancestors who got one time bonuses that were never then available to minority’s ancestors.

I f you want to know why I changed my opinion, keep reading. If your mind is closed, do not bother.

A basic primer by Illustration

Here are some cartoons I gathered that cover this topic quickly.

First of all the media uses different language to describe black and white people. It is quite upsetting.

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If you are white your relatives benefited greatly from things that helped your family get way ahead:

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People get very worked up by images that may not reflect reality:

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Reverse racism is often a scapegoat but the facts do not support it:

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A misguided belief that a few victories means all Racism is over.

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The reality is that ignorant people still use racist terms to demean a black president and his wife. People who showed no such major disrespect to white presidents they disliked.

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Poor black people are still treated very badly in a way that middle class, upper middle class and white people cannot imagine by cops and courts/judges.

Racism-Stole-Jacket   fa16b4ad22707b2fcd8f53de679c0d17

The bogus idea that white people are so law abiding that is why they never get stopped, frisked, shot, choked, jailed, etc.

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“Race cards” people play that are nonsense.

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I hope this artwork gets your brain in the right mindset to process some new viewpoints.

Code Words and Bogus Arguments that sneak in

Since we cannot say certain words we invent words that change the tenor of the discussion and bias it.

  • We call black people “thugs”, “criminals”, “felons”, “drug addicts”, “alcoholics” when white people (even serial killers and richer white people) get characterized as “had minor brushes with the law”, “problems with the police”, “convicted of ___ crime” and had “substance abuse problems” and “drinking issues”.
  • We use those code words with poor people, female rape victims and it helps establish the idea that whomever was on the other side of the dispute is the better more just person. “Gold digger”, “Fame Seeker”,
  • Bogus arguments like “black on black crime” is the real problem. It is as bogus as “Indian nations were always warring with each other”.  The British Empire was not dispensing hugs and chocolates to conquer most of the world. Genghis Khan was hardly a benevolent kind leader.

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  • Black people that riot are ALL looters and criminals. This despite the fact that there have been absolutely silly riots that degenerated to some theft and property damage with no provocative deaths or escapes from justice.

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More Reading Online

I recommend the following articles that changed my mind once I opened my mind to them.

My First Hand Experiences with Racism

I am 50 and reached my conclusions based on my life experience, and also read quite a bit. 28 book shelves of books (although now I read all new books on a Kindle Paper White). In the neighborhoods I grew up (middle class suburbs in Maryland) they were mostly white, with a very few black families in the county, most middle class or upper middle class. People in the surrounding area receiving government assistance are all white – a lot of them could work but do not.

 

  • I saw racism in how my late GF’s (she died at 35 in her sleep) Jamaican family was treated. My GF’s father was a upper middle class accountant in his early 50’s whose wife also worked 12+ hour days and pursued advanced degrees that were living in an upper middle class neighborhood. He was a super nice Jehovah’s witness who immigrated here legally and they worked very hard to put his children into best schools. When his car broke down a few miles from his home in the nice neighborhood he lived and he and his young daughter (this happened when my GF was in her teens, I knew her in early 30s) knocked on a white neighbor’s door for help in his suit and tie. He was greeted with a shotgun when the door opened. His daughter never forgot that. A white guy in shirt and tie with teenage daughter would not be greeted like that.
  • I have seen racism first hand in North Carolina (a place where I visit my relatives several times a year). No black families live in the small town in NC I visited because this century. Those that moved in briefly had crosses burned on their lawns. I heard those stories being told with pride at the local filling station 🙁
  • We have a lot of racists in my neighborhood who say some really horrible things about the black kids that walk to school through our neighborhood. Older white people many on disability for over a decade or 2 yet have very active hobbies like 12 hour days Deer Hunting yet can’t work, and even younger white people are on welfare.The older white people who can work do so “off the books” to continue collecting entitlements.
  • I hire people off Craigslist to help me with a project clearing the woods on the lot next to my house and cleaning out an old basement. Only twice was I stolen from – both were white guys one stole $1,500+ of my tools. The White guys who came to work for me tended to arrive late, leave early and interrupt work to talk on their cell phone and had ‘entitled’ attitudes so were hard to supervise. The black guys I hired showed up on time and early, worked harder, required less supervision, and worked longer hours and were more reliable. When I changed my subsequent ads to say “because a person I hired stole from me everyone who works for me on Craigslist must show ID first – Drivers License and SSN before starting work” I got an email from a Craigslist user saying “That is why I shouldn’t hire niggers”. 

These are a small sampling from my life. I will add more.

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Please Comment

Please leave any comments about these topics that will help improve this article and answer your questions on this complex topic.

LMT: Collective Hysterics

Collective Hysterics or folie à deux

Collective Hysterics or folie à deux is a term for many things.

At its heart is the idea that people that act uncharacteristically, regressive, crazier about or around a character a person/place/thing. Its a form of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as well.

For example

  • a person i.e. “My Dad drives me crazy”, “Whenever I talk to my ex I just get mad and want to yell at them”, “whenever I see that ex-friend the hurt and betrayal is all I feel and I freak out”
  • a place i.e. “whenever I go to the school where that person molested me I get chills down my spine”
  • a thing i.e. “whenever I see that shirt I get flooded with unpleasant memories and freak out”

Usually closure and/or time will reduce that effect.

More Examples

Here are some examples

  • People going home for family visits or on holidays
  • People who just broke up and have not fully processed the pain or gotten closure.
  • People dealing or discussing someone who is a crazy maker for them
  • Toxic couples i.e. people who are more or less normal separately but when together become very
  • People who date rape or molest or rape because their sex drive overcomes their sanity

Other great articles on this…

What usually accompanies it?

Collective Hysterics usually never travels alone.

  • mild but temporarily strong Alexithymia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexithymia) the inability to recognize ones own emotions or emotional state. This is very time limited not a high value or chronic version (link to be added here). Since this creates cognitive dissonance and shame the person will be very uncomfortable accordingly.
  • mild but temporarily strong Anosognosia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anosognosia) the inability to recognize a physological condition one has.
  • Confabulation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confabulation sometimes encouraged by friends who disliked/misunderstood/felt disrespected by that person.
  • So much shame that narcissistic amnesia even among people who are not narcissists kicks in. In order to not process shame narcissistic behavior includes completely minimizing, forgetting or denying shameful acts someone does. One narcissistic behavior in a crisis does not make one a narcissist but briefly they are quacking like a duck and might as well be  duck if only for a few seconds/minutes.

Hope this helps you understand why it can be so difficult as these conditions gang up.

What to do to avoid it?

This is a bitter pill to swallow

 

What not to do?

There are some really bad things you can do:

  • Shaming yourself.
  • Shaming them.
  • Shaming any past mutual activities. You are a pervert because you like ___. You made ___ mistakes which proves you are a bad person.
  • Mind Reading intent with certainty. I know you “meant”  this by this action.
  • Confabulating past incidents with certainty.
  • Collapsing several issues.

Stay away from this. Easier said than done.

How it makes everyone feel

Many people caught up in Collective Hysterics will use the defense of “I Do Not do that except with that [Person|Location|Situation]” rather than recognize they are doing it. This is textbook denial and comes from the cognitive dissonance of temporarily crazy statements and actions a normally sane person is making.

They do this as an ego defense because they have not fully understood a “Good Person can do bad things” so denial is necessary to not seem to be a bad person or sink into depression.

Streaming TV Comparison: Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku

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Reviewing TV Streaming Devices

I should preface this by saying I own all 4 and use them for a variety of tasks so I think my experience is pretty complete. I love my streaming TV solutions to watch NetFlix, HBO-To-Go, Amazon Prime Movies and TV, listen to Pandora and Internet Radio (listen to NPR and Music Radio Stations on my TV is nice).

Questions?

If you have questions, https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TVStreamingAppleTVRokuEtc/info is the place to ask them.

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Roku HD

Here is what distinguishes Roku from the others:

  • The best remote (at least the HD version). Best feel. Includes headset support.
  • Excellent Remote apps for Android and iDevices.
  • More apps (which they call Channels) and better apps than all others.
  • Better on screen keyboard for password entry (although app can be used too)
  • Worse sound quality than Apple TV, close to same picture quality.
  • Best search in terms of being able to search for contents across multiple apps.
  • Amazon Prime app (the main thing Apple is missing among others)
  • Dedicated Ethernet port (can reduce traffic on your WiFi to use it, plus unless you have gigabit Wifi, out performs WiFi)

If one can only buy one, Roku is a GREAT choice. Many more Apps/Channels than anyone else has. Dedicated Ted Talks, College Classes, CrunchyRoll, Silent Movies, Crackle, etc. You name a content item and Roku has a channel for it. It even has private channels see http://www.dailydot.com/entertainment/best-of-roku-private-channels-guide/.

 

Apple TV

Here is what makes Apple stand out:

  • Best sound quality
  • Decent remote. The lack of key labels and back button makes it a bit clumsy if you are spoiled by Roku remote.
  • Less Apps than Roku most importantly missing Amazon Prime*
  • Purchase support via iTunes is multi-device and Apple’s cloud more likely to be here in a decade or 2 compared to Roku cloud apps.
  • Airplay (playing screen from Mac, iPad, Phone) and playing screen from Windows or Android is most mature here. It has to be with the shortage of apps.

Fire TV

Fire TV is about same price as Roku and Apple TV. the stick version is way cheaper but also crippled so I feel not worth it.

  • Remote is better than Apple (more and better buttons, right “feel”) and worse than Roku.
  • Have not tried the remote apps no opinion yet.
  • The UI is a bit clunky and treats content and apps as equal which is a blessing or curse. In other words if you play 3 albums and 6 movies and access 5 apps you will have 14 choices on screen as if the content is an app. Neither Roku or Apple TV does that.
  • Less Apps than Roku, less apps than Apple TV. The Amazon Cloud player is much much much better than the Roku one. The Amazon Prime player has a clunkier UI and information overload compared to the Roku app/channel.
  • Better on screen keyboard for password entry than Apple (although app can be used too)
  • Picture and sound quality are very good.
  • Voice search rocks! Needs to be copied by Roku and Apple.
  • Dedicated Ethernet port (can reduce traffic on your WiFi to use it, plus unless you have gigabit Wifi, out performs WiFi)

Chromecast by Google – a dissapointment by comparison

  • No Remote 🙁
  • Ties up your Android device or PC when playing content (Roku and Apple TV do not)
  • Disconnects a lot.
  • Way less Apps than Roku, less apps than Apple TV. The Amazon Cloud player is much much much better than the Roku one.
  • Only works with Chrome browser extensions. NO Airplay (playing screen from Mac, iPad, Phone) and playing screen from Windows, unless its a Chrome browser tab. Android airplay yes.
  • Picture and sound quality are decent, not as good as Apple TV.
  • No content search!
  • No dedicated Ethernet port (can reduce traffic on your WiFi to use it, plus unless you have gigabit Wifi, out performs WiFi)

Stick TVs in General

Crippled version of above but cheaper. Not recommended unless you are really broke and cant afford Roku HD or Apple TV. The stick Roku and Fire are still both better than Chromecast.

Conclusions

Roku TV is the winner. Apple TV and Fire TV are very good. Chromecast is far from it’s potential and the wrong kind of device – remotes DO matter.

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What Do Other Reviewers say:

They come to similar conclusions and offer some more depth if you need even more data:

Buiid your own Streaming Box

There are a few mays for the patient, frugal, super skilled types:

Hopefully you have all the data you need to make an informed decision.

Help-Wiley-Coyote

Need any Questions answered or help using the device?

If you have questions,
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TVStreamingAppleTVRokuEtc/info
is the place to ask them.

DRAFT – Bootstrap: CSS, Open Source, Developers should use it!

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What the heck is Bootstrap & why should I use it?

A way to create a site with a set of CSS styles, selectors that are well designed and well documented. Building a website becomes about learning how to use very high quality professional styles, selectors and icons instead of creating your own, and then having to maintain and document them. Too lazy to even customize Bootstrap? Templates FREE and cheap everywhere are built in Bootstrap. Build a site with Bootstrap and your site has a great foundation that is documented by 100s of sites, and tutorials abound.

I consider Bootstrap usage one of the fundamental Litmus tests for a good Web developer.

Bootstrap helps

  • Make a site usable on all device sizes (Phone, Phablet, Tablet, Retina Displays, et al)
  • Make a site accessible easier
  • It gets maintained and improved several times a year based on how websites use it worldwide? Do your home brewed CSS get improved that frequently?

Bootstrap has a lot to offer the Developer with an open mind who wants his/her work to be maintainable by many on the team or succesors.

 

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Bootstrap Tutorials Online

These sites are the “cream of the crop” for using Bootstrap:

Be sure and share your favorite tutorial sites in the comments.

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Books to learn Bootstrap

You can learn via book as well my favorite way of learning.

Be sure and share your favorite tutorial sites in the comments.

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Videos to learn Bootstrap

For those who prefer to learn visually:

Be sure and share your favorite Video tutorial sites in the comments.

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Why Not Bootstrap?

I am not going to sugar coat it, I find most of the arguments against Bootstrap disingenuous.

  • You hate open source. Good luck on that. Even the biggest most stubborn commercial companies embrace it (Microsoft with great fanfare, Apple with less fanfare, IBM, etc.).
  • You hate using other people’s libraries and frameworks unless made by XYZ company (Microsoft, Apple, Sun, etc.). You may not have a valid reason there, just Fanboy syndrome.
  • Because you want to use a competing CSS style sheet collection

But if you have an edge case where Bootstrap provides no value, and use it in most of your projects you probably made the choice thoughtfully. If, however, you are just making excuses not to use bootstrap on all your projects, maybe Web Development is not the career for you.

Where to get Bootstrap Questions answered?

Here are some of my favorite places:

Be sure and leave your favorite Bootstrap Q&A sites in comments so we can update the blog with them.

Bootstrap your site starting TODAY – Chaz

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