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Bakari
biodieselhau...
Male
Oakland, CA



 
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You are currently viewing archive for July 2009
Posted By Bakari

[Original 1st paragraph cut from due to space limitations. Entire entry via link at bottom]

I have a few (white) friends who have complained to me on different occasions about how unfair it is that ...insert some random instance of perceived "reverse" racism here...
I am, perhaps, the friend that people can point to and say "I am not racist, some of my best friends are black", and being that friend apparently my word carries extra weight if I support them in their argument that 'such and such' is unfair.
(Never mind for now what it implies about me that such a disproportionate number of my friends are white...)

Well, first of all, you are racist. You, reading this right now. Just admit it. I'm not saying you don a white hood on the weekends, but in the very first fraction of a moment you see someone new, you make some assumptions about them based on what they look like, and skin color plays a factor in that. You may not ever act on it in any way. You might be totally willing to look past that initial assumption and give each person a fair chance to show who they really are. But it is part of how the human mind works to seek patterns, and living in our society it is impossible to not be at all racist. I know I am.
Some researchers at Harvard built a test to try to get at subconscious initial reactions, and put it online where you can try it.
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/
If you are one of the exceptions, and score neutral, it really doesn't change anything overall. The issue is bigger than you; and the fact is that the majority of people make the same assumptions we expect. And so long as its true in society as a whole, every white individual in the country directly benefits from it.

A most simple example of what some could see as unfair is Affirmative Action.
When I was younger I saw it as just that. If we want to get past racism, we shouldn't be using race as a criteria, for anyone.
Thing is, pretending that there is equality doesn't make it true.
To call affirmative action (or whatever else) reverse racism is to ignore both history and the reality of today. Being color blind does not, can not, will never, solve existing problems, because we aren't starting from neutral.

First of all (and I wrote about this years ago, but before I had any significant readership...) reparations were never paid. This country has virtually unrestricted inheritance.
(I thought about trying to summarize, but I actually wrote pretty much exactly what I wanted to say here back then. So take a moment to read that one)
http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=97022263&blogID=155790185&Mytoken=C60E0EDC-69F4-4713-B590C570555060FA65212392

Prejudice against blacks by whites has affected a dozen generations of people, and continues to have an enormous effect on millions of people right now, today. If we start from right now, and eliminate all racism, it would STILL have an enormous effect on us, because the effects are inherited.

(Just for Gregg, this entry is continued on my new, non-myspace, blog server: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/race-whites-are-still-winning.html)


 
Posted By Bakari

Its been just about 2 months since I planted my rain water fed home-made scrap-wood self-watering planter-box garden
(http://apps.biodieselhauling.org/Blog/?e=28851&d=05/12/2009&s=The%20Garden)



The neighborhood cats think the garden is an excellent toilet, but by a fortunate coincidence I happened to get a motion activated sprinkler head in one of my hauling jobs recently, and that has completely solved that problem.

The first thing I planted was a potato. It was originally meant for eating, but it went bad, so I threw it in the compost. Later I noticed stems pushing their way around the plastic cover, and lo and behold the 'bad' potato was sprouting. So maybe now I will get a good potato out of it.
My neighbor who gardens had told me even before I built the planter that she had a tomato plant for me. She also gave me a tomato stake; which, incidentally, I had given her about a year ago, having gotten it in a dump run and having no use for it at the time. Apparently she took a couple more than she really needed back then.
She also shared some lettuce seeds and a bean plant.

Later I discovered something else sprouting in my compost pile. I have no idea what it is, but I figure if it was there it was probably something I was eating, so I planted it. Up until this point I had spent nothing on my garden (except for the materials for the rain collection), but it was getting late in the season and I finally purchased a few plants from the farmer's market (I got a discount because I work at the market myself).
I got strawberries, and an onion. I also planted a few tiny carrots a neighbor gave me. She intended them to be eaten, but they still had the tops on, so I wanted to know if they might get any bigger. After a few days the tops had wilted and I forgot about them under the mulch. A couple weeks after that they had popped back up bigger than ever!
Most recently I planted the seeds of some grapes I bought at the market, but have yet to see if they will sprout.

The lettuce is growing in faster than I can harvest it;
the beans are ready to be picked;
and the strawberry (the most recent thing I planted) is already blossoming.
The tomato plant is gigantic, and I found the first 3 little green tomatoes.


Everything is growing much faster than expected, but they all seem to be sharing the space with each other very politely.



Yesterday I did some harvesting and actually cooked a meal with food I grew myself.
Of course this is a normal part of life for a lot of people, but for someone who has lived in big cities his whole life, it feels pretty amazing.



Around the same time I began the garden I was also working on increasing the efficiency of my truck, and my friend and fellow bikestation mechanic convinced me to enter my truck mods into instructable.com's efficiency contest.
I ended up winning runner-up in that contest.

The same website now has a garden contest!  So of course I entered it as well with my  planter (which cost me a total of zero dollars, being built entirely of random materials I kept from hauling/dump runs) and my rain-water-collection system.

Voting begins Today.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Large-Self-Watering-Planter-made-from-recycled-mat/


 
Posted By Bakari

Its been a long time.
There was winter.
Then training for the Bay to Breakers.
There is Farmer's Markets, my truck and garden projects, and Downieville.
But, to be honest, it has been mainly laziness.

This time, for the first time ever, I am combining my two favorite sports, Full Contact Spoons and Amtgard.
http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Full-Contact-Spoons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amtgard#Ruleset
(No, not at the same time. We will not be using weapons during the actual spoons game.  No, its not actually a good idea.  It would be terrible.  Don't suggest it.)

At the same Bat time, same Bat channel:
Sunday, July 12th, 2:30-4:30pm
Ohlone Park in Berkeley, (across the street from N. Berkeley BART)

Please note:
Spoons is not a spectator sport!!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone in attendance will be expected to play.  Don't wear anything which would be tragic to have grass stained.

I now have two shields to add to my amtgard arsenal.  If you happen to have any foam swords, bring them.

If you are seeing this message for the first time, and are interested in playing, be sure to email me so I put you on the Spoons list for future games.


 
Posted By Bakari

I posted my essay equating the free market with anarchy on a discussion board for anarchists.  The following is the comments it generated.


(I am David Craig Hiser.  All the other comments are various random anarchists.  Many comments were off topic, and are not shown here.
All of the comments, as well as my original essay, are here: http://www.anarchistnews.org/?q=node/7038
)

----------------------------------------------

Submitted by Ofelas on Thu, 2009-04-02 01:18.

Is this fellow trying to say that capitalism (with leaders and all) and anarchy/anarchism are all one and the same? Cuckoo Cuckoo.

-----------------------------------------------

Submitted by DavidCraigHiser on Fri, 2009-04-03 22:52. [I am David Craig Hiser]

More or less, yes.
Capitalism has no leaders.
Capitalism has only the market.
Democracy (or rather, what we call democracy, actually a republic) has leaders.
Our political system is the only thing which stands between our (the US) system and true capitalism / free markets.
Each move toward deregulation is a move toward economic anarchy.

------------------------------------------------------------

 

Capitalism is brutally authoritarian. It depends on police and armies to keep the masses of workers from being able to take the products of their labour from those who are robbing them (their owners, the bosses).

Capitalism is the antithesis of anarchism. It is the single most hated ideology amongst every authentic anarchist. I understand you want to call yourself an anarchist because its a cooler label than being a capitalist, but sorry, you may not use it. Actually, I'm not sorry. Anyone who supports all the evils of capitalism must be a douche, and I don't apologize to douches.
Go read the Infoshop FAQ and learn what anarchism is. Read the section on 'so-called anarcho-capitalists'. Go post on an Ayn Rand messageboard.

------------------------------------------

Submitted by David Craig Hiser on Mon, 2009-04-06 11:04.

You have greatly misunderstood my own position.
I am in no way advocating capitalism.
I am totally opposed to capitalism.
The reason I am opposed to anarchy is that I believe capitalism can (and likely will in the modern world) arise from it. That was the point I was trying to get across.

I am not forgetting bosses. Being employed by someone is a voluntary relationship. An employee can quit, and even open a competing business. The occasional "American dream" story not-withstanding, people generally can not choose to join the upper class.

I am claiming you can not have a classless society without a mechanism to enforce equality. You must somehow prevent individuals from accumulating wealth.
If individuals have complete freedom, sooner or later someone will accumulate wealth, and then they will be able to take advantage of that accumulation, which is capitalism.
If society prevents that from happening, then individuals are not free to do as they like, even if their actions do not directly hurt anyone else, and this entails some form of authority...

[there is a character limit, but just for Gregg, I have the rest on a non-myspace location: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/last-one-anarchists-this-time.html]