Jan 18

Of Course Lobsters Feel Pain

I mean, if you don’t like lobsters you don’t really need any excuse, more for me. If you must there’s always Leviticus (better not see you wearing wool and cotton at the same time) or an allergy (my allergy to Bell Peppers is very real, I also don’t like them).

To pretend that shooting cows in the head with a bolt gun (see, we can’t even waste a bullet, it’s uneconomic) is somehow more humane is sheer hypocrisy. You eat meat or you don’t. As we learn more about plants we find their behavior is not much different from animals though they are less mobile and take longer to react. Feel better about yourself now?

Not that I’m particularly tortured by vegans or vegetarians unless they go out of their way. Eat what you enjoy. I’m more offended by people like Trump who will take a perfectly good piece of beef, incinerate it into shoe leather, and wash it down with ketchup.

I’m sorry sir, you’re welcome to anything else on the menu with the house’s compliments but my Chef refuses to cook it that way and I pay him a great deal more than your tab.

No, my restaurant is not for sale. To you.

So it turns out even Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (Ds Virginia) are definitively against the Continuing Resolution as it stands including just SCHIP (because nobody wants kids to die except Republicans who at least have the decency to desire it secretly) no DACA at all (which only kills Black and Brown kids because however upstanding they may be as individuals they’re not White like Norwegians, so much for content of character) and the reason it’s noteworthy is Virginia’s lousy with Government employees who are going to lose their paychecks in a Shutdown.

Trump, McConnell, Ryan, and the Republicans have already lost Mike Rounds (R SD), and Lindsey Graham (R SC) and it requires a 60 vote majority that leaves them 13 Democrats short in the Senate at least. Think they’re going to pick it up with John Tester (D MT)? Politico says not so.

Not that this is some kind of grand Leftist triumph or at least Centerist capitulation as MSNBC would have you believe.

Who is going to get the blame? Well, it’s as much institutional as it is circumstantial. Republicans are hanging their hats on the fact they’re a bunch of racist xenophobes and that their hate of Black and Brown people at least ingratiates them with their base of Klanners and Neo-Nazis despite the large majorities of U.S. voters who are not as prejudiced.

Democrats benefit from the perception they’re pro Big Government (not so much really) and defending the weak and helpless but there’s no denying that they are the opposition who are going to make it difficult to continue “business as usual”.

Oh well, what did Martin Luther King have to say about this? I’m sure I read it just the other day.

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.

I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

We shall see if Institutional Democrats are suited for the task before them.