LostYonder

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LostYonder wrote

I've always wondered why anti-semitism is constructed as an exceptional form of racism. While the Holocaust looms large in western guilt, slavery, Congo genocide, genocide and oppression of the Americas, Islamobophia and the destruction of Muslim country after country, and on and on the list goes of white liberal racism, all seem to be of less significance. Why do we put anti-semitism on a silver platter? Why can't we just say that white liberal enlightened west is inherently racist?

The degree to which critiques of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, etc. are couched in extremely racist, Islamophobic, Orientalist discourses is also extensively present - why are we not concerned with those discourses and only focus on Israel and the specter of anti-semitism? Should we also stop critiquing these other countries because of the racist nature of the discourse about them?

Further, isn't there an inherent contradiction here - racism is the building block, the foundation, of every nation-state. To pussy-foot around critiquing a particular nation-state for fear of being seen as racist is idiotic. It is the nation, and our nationalist mind-sets that are racist. Of course Israel doesn't have the right to exist! Neither does the US, France, China, or Burkina Faso - fuck them all...

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LostYonder wrote

I participate in another forum, more lifestyle oriented, but there I find it much more dialogical as the posts that pop up on top are based on the time of the last comment, not the time of the original posting. Thus, if something has a lot of comments, it keeps popping up on top, while something that is less comment worthy slips away.

Not all comments are going to be made in the first day of a posting, but there are so many postings that those that deserve greater attention get buried along with everything else. It also allows for people to engage more thoroughly those that are worth of discussion - which is based on actual comments and not just up or down votes...

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LostYonder wrote (edited )

There is no sufficient case against you unless there is actual video of you concealing something you are unaware of. You have the right to review all evidence against you.

First, get a lawyer and insist they obtain all the evidence to review. If the incriminating evidence are the jeans over your shoulder, then have your lawyer request video from the same camera for the next few days to see if someone found the jeans and returned them to their spot. They probably do not have the video and thus nothing to counter your assertion of just putting the jeans on a shelf rather than returning them to their proper place - something people do everyday.

The principle evidence against you is your record, which will bias a judge so you need to construct a strong, evidence-based, argument on the lack of proof.

Second, you will need to develop an explanation of why you ran. In the court's eyes, innocent people don't run. Fear, knowing your record, being on probation, etc., certainly are grounds for fleeing in that moment of confusion.

Third, the battery charge is what they are going to ultimately get you for, or try to get you for. It is a ramped up charge to force you to plea so it won't go to trial. Look at the video of the confrontation and see if in any way you hit her or did anything in making your escape. Your lawyer will have to proceed best on that.

Finally, in your posting here you confessed to committing a crime - if any legal entities follow this thread and figure out where your case is being tried, this can be used against you. Chances of that actually happening are slim - but you should rewrite or delete the whole damn thing and post again without details of an actual crime being committed in seeking the advice of people on here.

Ultimately, it is a very weak case against you, but not having proper representation and your record can potentially make a mess of it...

Let me add that I am not a lawyer, so this is all just my opinion.

Good luck!

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LostYonder wrote

Yes, on the superficial opinion-making level, that is the fall back response, we can't be too critical of China. But the same thing is happening to the Rohingya in Myanmar and no one is doing anything, except turning away the refugees fleeing the genocidal violence and Myanmar is not a nuclear and economic powerhouse.

The one thing the Uighur and the Rohingya have in common - they are Muslim minority populations. Yemen? who gives a shit? Syria? nobody really cares anymore. Afghanistan? What's that? Iraq? they are evil. Palestine? they are terrorists. and on and on...

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LostYonder wrote

It was pretty feudalistic actually, then morphed into a blending of state capitalism and party feudalism under Mao, then into capitalist. Even then, the state capitalist system under Mao and friends was not nearly as developed as in the USSR; calling it capitalist is a stretch, though it certainly wasn't communist. Today much of the population remain poor peasants and even industrial laboring practices are closer to feudalism than capitalism, though the over-arching system is corporatized capitalistic, profit driven...

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LostYonder wrote

I am no expert in any of this, but if they actually had pictures of your car plates I would think they would be knocking at your door and not posting some message online... They probably have some vague, unfocused footage of you, maybe even of your car, but nothing clear enough to identify you. At least until you went to their facebook page!

Lay low, don't go back to that store for a long time!

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LostYonder wrote

To equate creativity with financial gain is ludicrous. Throughout history people created art, wrote, pushed the boundaries of knowledge without reducing it to a capitalist commodity. Indeed, as Ziq points out, the need to profit off of "creativity" stifles creativity by creating dependency. Worse, it transforms that which is created into a commodity - it is no longer an act of creativity, but rather production...

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LostYonder wrote

Speech is power! How can speech that oppresses others be classified as "free"? If you want to express an opinion, it's all yours. But it is not the same thing as articulating facts.

Opinions that are oppressive need to be addressed, confronted, and transformed and not just given a "free" platform to be expressed and circulated, given them a semblance of being fact.

The issue is not whether people have the right, freedom to express their oppressive opinions, but how does one challenge them so that they can be transformed in a creative manner? Our current response seems to be shaped by the idea of free speech. We punch them in the face, yell the truth in their face, try to reason with them - all of which will not transform anything (though the punching certainly is the most powerful!). That is we employ our free speech right to counter their hate filled free speech...

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LostYonder wrote

"Tolerance" is a socially constructed concept used as a mode of power to define the limits of what is acceptable, how pliable normative ideas and values are, or aren't. Wendy Brown has a significant critique of the concept - "Regulating Aversion".

"Free speech" is similarly a power ploy that assumes opinion and knowledge are interchangeable, and that socially constructed bigotry is the same thing as critiques of structural inequalities (e.g., that racist or anti-Semitic sentiments can be shared equally with critiques of white privilege)...

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LostYonder wrote

Ocasio-Cortez says she is open to supporting Pelosi if there is not an opponent who is left of her. According to her, right now the only opponents are right of Pelosi - I actually watched her instagram live for a bit the other evening and listened to her saying that...

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LostYonder wrote

As one who participates in the academic economy, admittedly, I'm on the fence with this.

First, it is not undermining the education system - in fact, just the opposite. If you go online you will discover that such services are a huge industry around the world! It reproduces structures of privilege, the reformation of the university as a site of neoliberalism, and undermines any vestiges of the university as a place of learning and sharing (which admittedly is quite limited to begin with, but there are some aspects of it that in fact hold much potential).

Second, it fosters entitlement and naturalizes cheating as a culturally acceptable practice. It allows students to learn how to take the easy way out of a situation rather than engage an issue.

Finally, it undermines the idea that learning is actually a social value. Yes, the university is not necessarily a site for true education, it is a hierarchical institution that serves special interests after all. But, there remain many possibilities for students to in fact experience and learn that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to. There remain many opportunities for not being part of the neoliberal institution and to connect with like-minded others (students and faculty) to advance true social engagement and learning.

All that being said, I think what is "ethical" is not based on some universal code, but rather on intentions and contexts. Given your situation, you have discovered a creative outlet that fulfills your needs. Through it, undoubtedly you may learn a lot by doing the assignments as well as provide a solid and stable income for yourself - and that shouldn't be minimized. Just don't do it with the assumption that you are undermining the university...

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LostYonder wrote

Taxes

Insurance

Stock market/get rich quickly schemes

Lottery

"Liberal feel good" donations to organizations and gofundme causes

The latest fashion, accessory, brand

For-profit universities (hell, probably all universities), online "education"

Gourmet food stores

"Organic" products

Religion/religious institutions

Pet food

Most pharmaceuticals

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LostYonder wrote

There are so much generalizing and essentializing about religion, so much conflating cultural practices as religious values, and cherry-picking critiques of religion that sometimes focus on theological ideas, sometimes on religious practices, and sometimes just on what a self-professed believer does whether it is religious or not. In short, the critiques that are circulated are conveniently produced to advance a particular agenda rather than deep engagements with the religious or any particular religious tradition.

First, ALL religions are deeply patriarchal and hierarchical, it is nothing unique to the Abrahamic faiths. Second, all religions have institutionalized practices of violence and disdain towards people of other faiths. Though, they also all have theological values of acceptance and inclusion. That is, they are all inherently contradictory in their theological messages. There are a number of significant Buddhist texts that call for war and destruction of non-Buddhists and others who do not support the sangha (the monastic order). Look at Tibet, Sri Lanka, Burma, they are all extremely intolerant societies.

As for the Abrahamic faiths, in fact Judaism and Islam are the most closely related both in their institutional structures, their theologies, and their orientations towards religious praxis. Historically speaking, Christianity has the most bloody record when it comes to violent intolerance towards people of other faiths. This lack of tolerance is reborn in the modern period in liberal philosophy and practiced through slavery, colonialism, and genocide.

The Abrahamic faiths offer a range of possibilities for being religious. Some of them are highly orthodoxic, exclusionary, with very rigid notions. Some of them are deeply humanistic, inclusionary, and accepting of multiplicities.

The Greek author Nikos Kazanztakis wrote a fictional biography of St. Francis of Assissi. In it, he has St. Francis at one point, as he is wandering through the woods with a group of his followers enjoying the fauna and flora, wonder out loud "Perhaps God doesn't exist, perhaps God is merely the search for God."

The British public intellectual Ziauddin Sardar has a similar argument in his Desperately Seeking Paradise (a wonderful read and critique of the diverse Islamic social and religious movements of the contemporary period) - wondering how it is that as soon as we latch onto a path to paradise, we lose our way, becoming more obsessed with maintaining the path and policing who is on it or not, rather than actually following it.

Wonder if something similar can be said about anarchy - perhaps anarchy doesn't exist, perhaps anarchy is merely the search for anarchy...

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LostYonder wrote

liberal -- leftist/Maoist -- progressive -- unidentified radical -- anarchist

Always had a difficult time placing my politics in relation to others. the labels reflect general orientations, until my very recent "discovery" of my anarchist tendencies. Still remain mostly an "armchair"/academic anarchist (perhaps the worst kind) but slowly growing into the realm of possibilities of breaking my umbilical chord tie to my laptop and getting out and discovering life on the streets as actually lived rather than as hypothesized in my mind.

While it was reading that shaped my thoughts and orientations (including an early high school/college flirtation with Maoism) it was ultimately the Arab Spring that drew me into realizing the true possibilities of anarchism...

Reply to comment by /u/kore in What is "humane"? by /u/LostYonder

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LostYonder wrote

no, certainly not, particularly as it is an expression of the Christian idea that man is created from the earth/clay/dust... But that's just the roots of an idea that ultimately goes beyond that original meaning. Thus the appeal of your more humane reading of the humane :)

Reply to comment by /u/ziq in What is "humane"? by /u/LostYonder

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LostYonder wrote

so, on one level it is just a construct to employ to justify all kinds of actions, some of which are in fact quite inhumane. On another level, it is a normative code devised by an authority to define certain behaviors as acceptable and others as not - is that a correct reading of your points?