Bag of Randomness for Friday, June 12, 2020

I may take a few days off from blogging next week. I’ve scheduled some vacation days as I have an overabundance, and kinda want to make it feel like I’m really taking time off. But who knows, I may just end up blogging anyways because changing up my routine makes my day feel incomplete. Maybe I’ll “empty the bag” and do a link dump of items I’ve thought about posting about but never got around to for one reason or another.

The kids couldn’t remember watching Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, so we fired it up and watched it last night. Orson Welles sure had a great voice.

My place of employment recently had a volunteer meeting about the current events affecting our nation. I was somewhat surprised to hear my CEO mention that she’s a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House. She never mentioned the president by name, but she did state how much it broke her heart to see her home church’s become desecrated. She also spoke about how she made arrangements for her 89-year-old father to return to Miami so she and her husband could attend marches, that she was willing to expose herself to COVID-19 but didn’t want to do anything to harm her father. Since I’ve never marched, it was interesting to hear what to expect when you attend one of these things. All you need to do is bring yourself and wear good walking shoes, there’s no need to worry about water, food, or any materials to make posters. There are organizations that provide all those things.

G.O.P. Platform, Rolled Over From 2016, Condemns the ‘Current President’After the Republican National Committee kept outdated language from four years ago, when Barack Obama was still president, the party’s platform includes more than three dozen unflattering references to those in power at the White House.

The warning about speech online is one of more than three dozen unflattering references to either the “current president,” “current chief executive,” “current administration,” people “currently in control” of policy, or the “current occupant” of the White House that appear in the Republican platform. Adopted at the party’s 2016 convention, it has been carried over through 2024 after the executive committee of the Republican National Committee on Wednesday chose not to adopt a new platform for 2020.

There’s a simple trick to watch YouTube videos without any adsAn extra period can get around YouTube’s advertising machine… for now

Over on Reddit (and as highlighted by Android Police and 9to5Google), someone has posted a simple way of watching YouTube videos in a web browser without any ads. In the URL for whatever video you want to view, you just need to add an extra period after the dot com in the YouTube link.

This works as described for me when pasting a video URL into an incognito browser window with the added period. In addition to removing pre-roll ads, it also eliminates mid-roll interruptions for videos as well. By the time you’ve copied, pasted, and altered the video URL, I’m not sure how much time you’re really saving over just waiting for the “skip ad” button to appear — but it does indeed work.

You can skip to the 4:38 mark to see what it looks like driving down a road at night time.

Someone left the following comment this week, I didn’t want it to go unnoticed.

It’s only been in recent years that I learned about the very real and true events that make up our nation’s complex history from books and movies. Whether semi- fictionalized (like Hidden Figures or the Tulsa events in Watchmen) or documentary style (like 15th) or books like “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”, I continue to be flabbergasted at what was considered ‘normal’ behavior by our forefathers. We have been indoctrinated into a veneration of men who arguably did great things. What was never acknowledged or answered was “at what expense?”. What that has changed in me is my desire to reflexively try to defend the “honor” of these men, or excuse or explain away these events. I understand now that I reflexively do this because I was raised/taught to do it. I HAD THE LUXURY OF NOT HAVING TO THINK ABOUT IT, OR BE REMINDED OF THE COSTS.

So I would invite those who give a damn about taking down Confederate monuments or renaming things named after Confederate generals to get educated about how and why they got those names in the first place. Then do some soul searching as to why any of this matters so deeply to you. So maybe you don’t mind the CFA statue by the courthouse, but know that it troubles people of color because it was put up to remind them of their place in this world and THAT’S why they want it moved or the name changed.

I see the argument about “this is history and if we remove it we are doomed to repeat it” a lot as well. This argument supposes that “we’ve fixed racism… we’re in post-racist times…etc”. Recent events show this isn’t the case. Leaving stuff up that was supposed to remind people of a bad time for 100 years now hasn’t “fixed” anything. Arguably it’s making things worse.

I don’t think I am suffering from “white liberal guilt”, I just think being exposed to different opinions/experiences has shown up in my natural empathy as a desire to do better. If you know your fellow man is hurting, why continue to hurt them for something so stupid as a chiseled rock or a name of a building. It seems deliberate and cruel.

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