Slavery today

Slavery in Africa- the Tuareg have been practicing hereditary slavery for generations, and freed slaves are trapped in their caste system only one rung above slaves.  More here, along with ways you can help.

Africa is the epi-center of modern day slavery and it’s heartbreaking.

America has problems and we can definitely do better.  You will not convince me racism does not exist here because I have seen it. But we can work on our issues withoutfalling prey to the ignorant belief that slavery is uniquely an issue with American history only.

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Some recent Asian Dramas

I watched the Chinese drama The Ancient Detective. I really liked it. It was a lot of fun.  Very corny, cheesy, twisty turnl y (I guessed the ending, tho, gotta brag). If you don’t like martial arts movies where people fly through the air and freeze people’s blood with the right hand blow and use umbrellas as lethal weapons, well, you should pass on this.  I thxink this would be a fun one to watch with boys- it’s pretty chaste, with the possible exception of one scene toward the end where a couple do some very pretty spinning around in slow motion (gorgeous historical costumes full of drapes and layers and swirls) and fall into bed and then you cut to the next scene.  A couple chaste kisses. A very effeminate man (who is offended by people thinking that).

I watched and thoroughly loved Lee Min Ho’s The King, Eternal Monarch.  If you have heard this show is a waste of time so you haven’t tried it, please reconsider.  I thought it was gorgeous, wonderfully done for the most part, extremely well acted by everybody involved, and a terrific plot that kept me guessing.  The ending was a little weak and sort of petered out a bit and left an important question unanswered, but that happens a lot with my favourite K-dramas, and it wasn’t a total thud, just a bit of a squib, fizzle, pop instead of a terrific bang.   There were too many product placements, but I got a kick out of them.

There are a lot of people who write professional reviews, or at least, highly paid popular blogs, who did not understand this at all and so they hated it and thought it was the writing, and that it was ful of plotholes.  While there are always problems in time travel and parallel universe stories that cannot be resolved if you think very hard about them at all, that doesn’t seem to be the issue with the people hating on this show. I’m going to be snotty and say that the plotholes are in their childhood reading and understanding of faith and fairy tales. They probably didn’t like Iris or Ahlhambra, either, both shows that had distinctly Christian imagery and themes running through.  I also remember one of them hating and being absolutely baffled by the notion that the bad guy could not enter the wormhole in Faith (‘the wormhole has moral agency? What on earth?!) because she didn’t understand that it wasn’t the wormhole with moral agency, it was the deity that controlled it and the rest of the universe- hello? The title of the show is FAITH.  But anyway.  The King wasn’t so obviously connected wtih Christian imagery as the others, but there was some. More distinctly, it is plainly a fairy tale with elements we’ve also seen in The Magician’s Nephew- like  a literal Wood Between the Worlds, and other fairy tale imagery, like a magic flute.   These elements exist in other classic fantasy/fairy tales both east and west, but some reviewers obviously haven’t read those books. They are not quite Eustace Scrubbs, but it is a danger I see in their futures.

I’ve only seen two episodes of It’s Okay Not To Be Okay and I am utterly, completely, totally hooked and I don’t want to be saved.  Reel me in, baby, reel me in.   It’s creepy and beautiful and breath-taking, and goosebumpy. Luscious costumes, an adorable big brother with (probably) autism, and I just need this not to go south.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hospital Playlist.

I got bored with I’ll Find You On a Beautiful Day and quit fairly early. I liked Find Me In Your Memory, but I am a huge fine of Kim Seul Gi and she was as adorable as ever here.  The rest of the story got a bit draggy for me.

I’m enjoying Team Bulldog- a weird mix of serial killers and zany comedy and sweet friendships.

I watched all of Good Casting, but cannot say it was great, or even that good.

Tell Me What You Saw was an really interesting part for Jang Hyuk and I watched it for him, and he was good.  But it was also dark, scary, creepy, and the female cops choices made absolutely no sense whatsoever to me.

I’m ten episodes in with Dinner Mate, and so far it’s pretty cute, although the television production stuff is boring to me and there are too many long silences.

Two legit streaming sites you may not have heard of: and OndemandKorea

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Real conservatism via Sonnie Johnson

There are no podcasts I listen to on a regular basis.  There a couple I listen to once in a while.  One of them is Sonnie’s Corner.  I know that to some peopled. I don’t see loud, I see strength and passion, and sometimes legitimate frustration.  You may not have heard her before, but she has been trying to be heard by the Republican Party for some time.  There’s some language.

This one starts about 50 seconds in:

“It is incumbent on us to be what we say we are.”

“What is your why?”

“When they call for revolution, will you be able to offer a renaissance?”

“Push out the stupid talking points, out of the spectrum, and bring in real conservatism, equally applied.”

the Gop ‘says they believe in border security, but any time you try to enforce it, where are they?’

You really want to listen to what she has to say about how a republic works, and the problems that begin at the local level- school boards, local schools, local justice departments- our prosecutors, D.A.s, and mayors.

Many of y’all are reaching out to hear black voices, some always have tried to do that, some are just now realizing there was this gap in your library of things to read and listen to.
I’m going to make a couple general suggestions-
* listen carefully, and if the voices you’ve chosen do not regularly have positive things to say about the black community, widen your options.
* If, in your collection of black voices offering commentary, news, history, nobody ever says anything that irks you, makes you flinch, makes you disagree strongly, what you have is an echo chamber. There is *nothing* wrong with listening to people who say what you already think. They may say it better than you,they may say it in ways that help you in many ways, but keep listening to a few people that say things you *don’t* already think, that maybe step on your toes, or are even sometimes just plain wrong about some stuff (in your opinion).
A lot of my white friends and some black friends really like Candace Owens. I enjoy her to a certain degree as well. But one of the black commentators I follow on twitter recently asked his readers to listen to her and some of their other favored conservative black voices and see if they could find five positive things Owens said about the black community in any six month period. That seems fair to me. You wouldn’t want to be represented to others by somebody who never had anything nice to say about your community, your ethnic group, people who look lke you.
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Reading Lately

I am on a Marti McAlister kick. The author is Eleanor Taylor Bland,  Marti is a black city cop. She worked in Chicago for a long time. Her husband, also a cop, dies before the first book in the series begins, and she moves to a smaller town on the outskirts of Chicago with her two kids (grade school and teenager).  She’s dropped into a partnership with an older cop (this otherwise excellent website says he’s young, but his kids are adults, and hers aren’t), and she combines solving crimes with worrying about her kids and how to be a busy single parent with a job that is anything but 9 to 5, and trying to do her job and get along with her partner and other cops who are not always up to date in their social views. Vic, her partner, is old school Polish Catholic and he thinks policing is men’s work. Two young vice cops who share her office think policing is mostly fun and games and off colour jokes.

The stories are good stories.  There’s some Chicago area history and geography- this is territory the author is deeply familiar with, and I’ve been to a couple of the areas she mentions, so that’s fun.  There is some social/political stuff, but it’s deftly woven in. It’s not heavy handed and doesn’t seem like there’s an ax to grind- at least, not at the expense of the story and characters.

There are times when it runs a little slow- these are not fast, cotton candy for the mind reads. They have a steady pace with details of family life, Black culture, Polish culture, Chicago culture, woven in gently and realistically. Some of the details are a bit saltier than I prefer, but what I do appreciate is that any of the unpleasant I wish I wasn’t reading this sexual stuff is not gratuitous or graphic, and I don’t feel like a peeping tom into Marti’s personal life. So far, of the three books I’ve read (well, 2.5, I stopped reading one to leave this review), that stuff is connected to the crimes.  And, again, it’s not gratuitous.  I still wouldn’t hand these to young teens, and probably only to older teens (seniors in High school) who have some worldliness about them- I dont mean that in a sinful way, just, some of our more sheltered youngsters in the homeschooling world that mainly makes up my readers wanting book recommends, won’t appreciate reading about an underwear sniffing creep, and others will find it acceptably realistic without being overly grotesque and wallowing in the reality presented.

The first book in the series is a collectable- the cheapest paperback is 20 dollars.  So I haven’t read it yet, since none of the libraries available to me have it, either.

The others are less expensive, and I’ve added four to my library, and passed one on to me eldest who texted me late in the night to tell me how much she is enjoying it.

The author is Eleanor Taylor Bland, and if you like a good police procedural with warm, relatable characters,  just a bit of grit, some good family life, I think you’ll enjoy these.  If you have any kind of connection to Chicago, you’ll love them.  If you are looking for a black mystery writer and black characters, I assume you must have already heard of Eleanor Taylor Bland, and if not, somebody has let you down.  Amend this immediately.

This is an author that when I looked her up and found out she died a few years ago, I felt real sorrow and regret that I could never write her a fan letter.

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Officers body slam and cuff the wrong man, breaking his wrist

The shootings are more dramatic, so they get a lot more attention, and that’s understandable. But there are a lot more incidents like this one that just don’t get caught on camera, or the victim doesn’t want to make an enemy of the local police, or is too traumatized to follow through.

Police officers assaulted this man, body slammed him, broke his wrist, because they had a warrent for a *different guy.* That guy? He was already arrested and in custody. They talked to the arresting officer *BEFORE* they mistreated this innocent man, but because they misunderstood what she told them, this poor guy was in fear for his life and suffered physical and emotional harm.

THEY HAD HIS I.D. All they had to do was compare it to the warrent BEFORE stalking up behind him and slamming him to the ground.  Article and video here.  Note that indeed the stalker cop already has the guy in a bear hug from behind, pinning his arms back *before* he tells him to put his hands behind him.
This is hard to watch – they broke this man’s wrist when they body slammed to the ground and cuffed him, and the pain and terror in his voice is palpable. I got knots in my stomach- and I don’t know this guy, I’m remived by thousands of miles, a couple of months, and I’m seeing/hearing it through social media. This was his life. IMagine how friendless, alone, and totally at risk he felt at the time. Imagine if he was your cousin, your brother?

And then think about why we have to imagine that, when he is a fellow member of the human race, a fellow citizen of this republic who should not have been subject to this treatment by civil servants whose job is to protect and serve. Something has to be done, something related to how we screen officers, and how we train them, so that they have more basic respect for other humans, for their rights, and a lot more comon sense than to ambush, assault, and cuff and body slam a man before they have even compared his I.D. (which he gave to the officer quickly as soon as he was asked).
For all intents and purposes, these men assaulted him without compunction. I don’t hear the kinds of apologies and contrition one ought to be hearing. The total lack of self-awareness is absolutely astounding.  They seem surprised that he’s suing when they offered to call hiim an ambulance and asked if he was okay.  Would you hang around with your rapist if he was so kind as to call an amublance for you afterward?    Of course he didn’t want anything from them but distance- as much distance as he could put between himself and his abusers.  They hurt him, bullied him, assaulted him, traumatized him, and they did it without any sign of contrition, and no valid reason in the first place.  He cannot trust them. He has no way of knowing what they will take in their heads to do to him next, since there was no logic or reason to what they already did. They don’t seem to get this at all.

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