Stray Links

Things I didn’t have time to read this week:

1. On Ferguson: In defense of the Ferguson riots

Smith identifies what so many self-styled anti-racists and leftists fail to understand — that racism is not an issue of moral character. He recognizes that the broader economic order facilitates and benefits from racial subjugation, and so he’s looking for ways to intervene and disrupt that process. Not only is this a more substantive analysis than what is often offered on the Left, but acting on this analysis is the only way to eradicate entrenched racial hierarchy.

Hopefully the critique continues to widen, and the police are put under further scrutiny. I write “hopefully” because the opposite is bound to happen first. People generally just want friendlier police officers; they don’t want to take steps that would fundamentally limit the power of law enforcement agencies, such as de-privatizing prisons or ending the drug war. While the Bastille was an obvious target, both logistically and ideologically, for the start of the French Revolution, one of the main grievances against the Ancien Régime wasn’t that it policed too much, but rather that it didn’t police enough.

2. On Mason jars: Authenticity repurposed

Mr. Scherzinger also says the idea of publishing your own content online has parallels to the canning of food products. “It’s a natural extension of the idea of participation and creation,” he says. “I can’t create my own iPhone, but I can certainly create my own food.”

This piece is a little fluffy, but it’s just good to see the Mason jar making a comeback. A jar will probably save your life some day.

3. On gun rights jumping the shark: Open Carry in the Fifth Ward

“We’re trying to touch as many people as possible with our message that an armed society is a polite society,” said Grisham.

Apparently Open Carry Texas, a 2nd-Amendment advocacy group that employs the strategy of walking through neighborhoods brandishing assault rifles, was warned (by the Black Panthers, no less—who called members of Open Carry “insurgents”) not to be so brazen as to attempt such antics in a majority-black neighborhood in Houston. Although the above quote is clearly code, I’ll respond to the ostensible meaning of the statement and declare that I will not—and can not—support any movement whose end goal is politeness.

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