Posts Tagged ‘society’

In the beginning, humanity hunted, humanity gathered, and they did so in family groups.  These groups were the earliest and most basic human social structure.

As time advanced, these groups grew larger through natural processes at work even today.  This natural increase was furthered and quickened by humanity’s growing knowledge and technology which allowed them to die less often and live longer.  And to support more people.

lepenskivirart2Larger groups had several advantages. With more people, some could be spared to become craftsmen or tradesmen – pottery, weaving, knapping, trade, etc.  This benefited the now enlarged family group.  Another important benefit is that having more people meant that it was harder for other, often competing, family groups to force you to move from favorable locations.  Or take away your resources and access to needed and important minerals and water.  Or, to just wipe you out.

And, being bigger meant that if felt it necessary, you could do that to them!

However, as primarily a hunting and gathering society, there were limits to how large your group could grow.  But, then along came agriculture.  Suddenly, those limits were gone.

But, as with most advances, there were problems too. Now a society could grow larger, but family groups could only grow so far and so fast. However, several family groups working together could grow quite quickly and with fewer limits.

But, you knew there was going to be another but, there was another problem.  How to hold these different family groups together when one family group became upset and mad at another. After all, their primary loyalty had been and was to their family.  Family feuds back then were often deadly.

The answer – Religion.  Well, really, the answer was to create a new identity that E0702 KLENZE 9463transcended  family loyalties so  that even when family groups got pissed at each other the society stayed whole and the conflict was largely worked out within the new, larger society instead of tearing it apart.  But, an essential part of that identity was religion.

This was a religion grown from the beliefs of these family groups but organized and made bigger.  And then used to create a new identity and to not only resolve potentially societal suicidal disputes, but to provide a means and motive to redistribute resources (even though abused, a necessity too – for example, irrigation).

For the most part I do not think this was consciously done, although at times I am sure that aspects of it were. But, rather, this was a natural growth.  Also, I would imagine that the attempt to create this new unity with religion failed often and the nascent society fell apart. But, some succeeded and when they did, well they were bigger with all the benefits mentioned above.  Further, they were more organized and able to have people do things not related to just providing food – arts, trades, trading, soldiers, etc

Religion was a success.  And nothing else worked as well.   It is why you never find an early civilization in which religion was not an essential part of its structure.  It had to be for such structures to exist.

Nothing human is static.  We change and grow and react in response to the non-static world around us. This holds true for religion too.  Religion started to move beyond largely societal commands and strictures and assume a more and more moral aspect to it. Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad and others are aspects of this changing nature.

One other aspect of this use of religion as national identity: those who were not of the same religion were then not a part of us, and thus dangerous and suspicious.  Reading the history of England as it switched from Church of England to Catholic and back again is an interesting read and an illustration of this truth.  It is why I say it is not so much religion that is the cause of so much violence, but its wedding to the state.

Which brings us to the gradual divorce of that married couple, once joined as one.  As Religious-Affiliationhumanity was more able to easily travel to other countries with other beliefs, and as humanity became better able to communicate about those other peoples – the printing press being the biggest boost to that – people within countries started to question their beliefs.  Which was a threat to the state – as mentioned earlier.

This warfare and violence though was abhorred by many good men, including some very religious believers.  And the idea started and grew and was developed that religion and state should be divorced, and then kept separated in order to control and lessen the violence and hatred.  Interestingly enough, the earliest proponent of a complete separation of religion and state was a Puritan theologian and founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams (he also founded the state of Rhode Island with that principle in mind).

A couple of hundred of years later a country was born in which the state and church were explicitly separate and forbidden to join together.   Note, by state I mean government.  And that is not the same as a society and culture.

Now, this was such a good idea that over the next two hundred years (a bit over actually) this idea spread and became the norm, or at least given lip service.  Secular non-religious institutions also grew that provided the same functions that only religion used to provide – education, healthcare, providing for the poor, etc. Abulcasis-blistering

However, a bit over two hundred years is a very short period of time. I imagine the transition from family groups to cities with religions took considerably longer.  Which is why we still see the remnants of the older attitude of identifying the state with a specific religion rise up.  It is why Buddhists in Myanmar are persecuting and committing genocide upon Muslims there.   Or why Muslims in many Islamic countries do not allow conversions.  Or why religious people in communist and officially atheistic countries were persecuted (what is the issue here is the identification of one religious view with the state, no matter what that view might be).

And why we still see it rear its head here in the United States.

Immediately after 9/11, the city of Fort Worth decided to hold a grand meeting of city employees to allow a sense of grief to be shared and supported by our shared unity. However, this meeting or ceremony was decidedly Christian, complete with the police Chaplain giving a prayer in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

My wife, who is an atheist, and a Buddhist friend of hers  were left with a sense of betrayal, of being left out. Were they not Americans too?  Did they not feel shock and grieve?   Instead of unifying all Americans, it divided.

It was just after this that God Bless America became a traditional 7th inning stretch song at baseball games.   A way to provide unity and show you were a true blue American. My wife and I, as atheist, refused to sing it, and even refused to stand for it because it came to symbolize the United States as a Christian nation.

Last Thursday was the National Day of Prayer, itself a relic of the old religion as national identity. Many presidents in the past have worked to offset that by trying to include other faiths in these prayers.  But, it still is a relic of the old identifying of the state with one religious view. 170x170bb

More recently our government has been more and more influenced and pandering to one specific religious group. Towards that end, they are working to make it easier to use religion as a justification for discrimination and injustice

I mentioned culture and society earlier and how they are different than governments.  But, while they are different, they do influence it.  This is especially true in a democracy and cannot be any other way.  It creates a bit of tension at times a lot of tensions at others, and it provides a challenge in regards to politicians and government workers at times.  For the most part though, the government has managed to stay secular and maintain that wall of separation. However, I believe that we are now undergoing one of those times when that wall will be attacked, and will be cracked.  Not destroyed, but cracked.

What this shows though is that the replacement of religion as a glue holding people together, as a way of providing a national identity and unity still exists and is still a powerful force.  However the difference between today and the past is that the population is diverse whereas in the past is was largely homogeneous.  That means instead providing a national identity and unifying us, it provides an identity for some and serves to divide us.

I do not think that religion will ever disappear (after all, the family has not disappeared, that primal beginning of all human societies) – nor should that be our goal (very far from it). But, I do think that our secular government with its secular institutions needs to be protected.  It is a necessity for the continued growth of a more peaceful and just world.


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I am an atheist. There are some atheists who get upset when someone says they will pray for them. Many others who would denounce prayers, and sometimes thoughts, as being worthless and empty nothings. Especially during times such as now.  I am an atheist who lives in Beaumont, which is about 90 miles east of Houston.

What that means is that, although we did not get whacked nearly as badly as Houston, we did experience severe flooding (still on-going in some areas as I write this), power outages, loss of water, and loss of lives. As I write this, there are no open roads leading out of the area I live in.

It is times such as these that you see many people calling for prayers for those of us in danger. Or passing on that we are in their thoughts. Or that they wish and hope for the best for us.


Many atheists, and even some non-atheists sneer at such things as nothing.  Me, I don’t.

When something bad happens to me, my wife my will say she is sorry that it happened, and give me a hug. Those are not nothings, they are expressions of emotional support. They also build up and support the bonds of our family. The same happens when you expand this to friends.  Much of what we do and say to family and friends is nothing more, and nothing less, than expressions of emotional support meant to provide comfort.  These words ware not meant to solve the problem. Instead, they are meant to let you know that you are not alone.

Humans cannot live by bread and water alone, especially during times of trouble. We are a social species. In fact, a highly social species. Emotions are an important part of who and what we are.  To ignore that is to ignore a large part of what it means to be human. Relationships and society are an important part of what we are.

To me, when I see these expressions of support – our thoughts, our prayers are with you – I understand them as being these sorts of statements. If I gratefully accept it from friends and family, and find it comforting, then why not from the society I live within and am a part of? These sorts of words are part of our social fabric and part of the ties that bind us together.

Now, if there are actions that can be taken but these words are taking their place, then there is a problem. I have blogged about that before. But, that is not true for the vast majority of these.  Many of these people have offered us a place to stay if we need it. Others have contributed money or food to relief efforts. And others have actively participated in such relief efforts. For others, prayers and thoughts are the most that they can give.


Finally, why should I take offense or get mad or make light of someone else wishing me well. To me, our society could stand to use more, not less of this.

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Many conservatives, especially the more conservative and extremists among conservatives, like to think of themselves as lone wolves.  They decry the “nanny state” and proudly state that they can stand on their own feet.  Often they claim that they do not need government or society or civilization since they know how to survive on their own.

So, I thought it might be enlightening to find out about lone wolves in real life, and then see if that sheds light on the more extreme claims of these conservatives.

A lone wolf in the American mythos is a noble beast, strong and capable of forging without others. However, the reality of the lone wolf is substantially different than the myth – just as is these conservatives’ claims.

Wolves are pack animals, social animals. It is part of how they survive. A lone wolf is typically one that is pushed out by the dominant wolves of the pack. Usually they are young, just reaching sexual maturity between 1 and 2 years of age. Often they are the runts, the sick ones.  Sometimes they are older wolves who can no longer fend with the pack and keep up with it.

Either way, this is not usually some noble decision on the part of the individual wolf, but a role forced upon it.  Not quite the image these conservatives have in mind.


Further, these lone wolves usually have a hard time surviving without the help and protection of the pack. They typically forage for hundreds of miles trying to avoid the other wolf packs’ territory, or try to haunt the edges of those boundaries. They limit their howling so as not to attract the attention of the wolf packs.

Again, not quite the image these conservatives have in mind.

Lone wolves have more difficulties in finding and getting food, especially the larger game that the pack usually attacks together, a pack that is no longer his or hers. They have to move carefully for fear of attack. And, they have a harder time finding a mate. And, even when they do, isolated from the pack as they are, their lives are usually shorter and harder.

Which is why, sometimes, these lone wolves manage to find themselves a new pack to become a part of.

I find this difference between the myth and the reality of the lone wolf of interest because it so closely parallels the failure in thinking of these conservatives who espouse this ideal.  This idea that they can do it alone and stand tall and brave, and do not need government nor society nor civilization.

Of course, doing so involves driving off in a vehicle whose reliability and safety has been created by government and built by a factory, which involves a civilization.  That’s not even considering the gasoline used to fuel the vehicle, made by companies subsidized by government and whose interests are protected by government.  And the business that creates this gas does so through technology, much of which was created by government funded science, and all of it dependent up on civilization.

So, no driving off in the sunset then for these people if they truly wish to stand on their own.

And no walking on the roads or sidewalks since they too are the work of governments both large and small.

No groceries either, no food whose safety is protected by government agencies, and who had a role in the farmers growing of the food and the safe transport of their efforts to grocery stores across the US.  Hunt and fish and grow your own lone wolf.  Even in the depths of winter.

Oh, the gun that you are using – give it up. It was produced by factories, as was the gunpowder used in the bullets, and the bullets themselves.  Factories are civilization.  The ability of factories to safely produce this product is the courtesy of government. As is the safe transportation of all goods across state lines and from overseas to here.  Take up knapping if you really want to stand on your own without the help of society or civilization.

Oh again,, and speaking of safety, give up thinking you are a fierce lone wolf who can take on all people with the thirty or forty guns strapped to your waist and back and the dozen of knives strapped to your legs. Since you are now a lone wolf society no longer protects you and your family. Neither law enforcement nor the judicial system.

Yes, you may well be able take out a few. But consider this, once the word goes out that even if the police were standing next to you, they would do nothing to stop them from attacking, from raping, from robbing you and yours. No court will find them guilty, no jail time short or long for them.  Anyone can do anything to you and your family with no consequences to them from society and government, cause, you are, after all, the Lone Wolf.

And we haven’t even discussed medicine, and doctors.

Now this lovely myth no longer sounds so lovely.

The reality is that our species survived due to two things – our high intelligence, and our high socialization. Without either our species fails. We can argue about the best way to create a society, but to think that we can survive and thrive on our own without society is ignorant at best. And when used to promote policies, it a dangerous ignorance impacting all of society and our survival.

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In regards to School Resource Officer Fields and his throwing a 16 year old female student out of her chair, I have seen several responses defending Officer Field and saying that those that condemn his actions are promoting the dissolution of our society. Their basic reasoning is that by allowing this teenage girl to get away with disobeying authority figures we are promoting disrespect.

If you are applauding the termination of Officer Fields and defending that brat, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. It’s this mindset that’s breeding disrespectful punks and causing them to get shot. Stop making kids think they are above the law and authority. You’re not doing them or society any favors.

But my question to them would be how is respect best earned? Is it through violence and brute strength? That seems to be the message from those defending the officer. Somehow I doubt that most of the students in that class respect that officer or the authorities due to this. Instead, they learned fear and caution. And possibly anger towards police and authority.

I note that in the CNN link I provided above several of the students refer to Officer Fields as Officer Slam. And that they had their cellphones out because they knew when he came in that it was going to go bad. From the above linked CNN article:

Kenny said she and other classmates had their cell phones recording because of the officer’s reputation.
“When he came in the classroom, I immediately told my classmates, ‘Get your phones out, get your phones out. I think this is going to go downhill.’ And it did.”
Her attorney, Simone Martin, said she’s been told “by a number of the students that he is referred to as Officer Slam as opposed to Officer Fields.

This does not sound like respect. The unnecessary use of force does not generate respect. It generates the opposite, disrespect. It generates rebellion. It generates fear. Officer’s Field’s actions as well as that of the teacher and principle are the actions which are generating the disrespect for authority and distrust of it.

Or perhaps we should say instead, more accurately,  that there are variants of respect.

There is a type of respect generated by brute force and power. This has a legitimate place in any and all societies. However, its use in a democracy, especially one recognizing individual rights, should be limited. This is particularly true since such a basis for respect generates its own counter-forces. Power plays generate resentment and fear. That in turn tends to generate behaviors counter to it; rebellion. To me this is a negative way to generate respect, and one thing my experience as well as my education teaches me is that negative ways of generating anything tend to be less effective and have more unwanted side effects than more positive ways.

Which brings up to other ways to generate respect. Things such as showing good judgement, listening, showing compassion. This way of generating respect, this type of respect, is usually more effective, longer lasting, and has less unwanted side effects than that of the brute force variety.

As I said earlier there are times for the use of force to generate respect. But this classroom and this student was not one of those. Keep in mind here that this is a classroom, these are teenagers and not drug lords, not convicted hardened criminals.

What would have generated a great deal more respect was if the teacher had not called the officer at all. Instead, she should have taken the rest of the class elsewhere and had the principle talk with the girl.  Possibly a counselor too since this girl’s mother had very recently died and she was now living in foster care. This would have put the onus on the girl and how her actions affected the rest of the class, ie they had to move. It would have put the focus on providing help for the girl. It would have generated respect for resolving the issue without resort to brute force and violence. It would have shown concern for both the class as a whole and for the individual student.  It would display of showing the good judgment of knowing when to confront and push and when not to.

“Sounds nice” I hear the brute force approach people say, but it will not work. However, it does. My wife during the years when she was teaching was a master at doing this and was recognized by both the school, her students, and their parents as being an outstanding teacher. The action I outlined above, removing the class and dealing with the individual student by herself, was something I heard first from her. Then I noted that Officer Field’s boss said essentially he same thing.

For an excellent example of a police officer commanding respect not through brute force but by finding ways to deescalate the situation and providing a positive example. Here is an example of how officers should handle issues like this that do deserve and get respect.

The situation, police had been called in to break up two groups of teens who were fighting. When told to leave one of the teens instead went up to the officer and started playing Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) on her phone.

Faced with an unruly and defiant teen this officer decided that instead of direct confrontation a la Officer Fields something else was called for. She understood she was dealing with a teenager.

“The police officer, rather than taking her down like a drug kingpin caught in a sting, laughed at Aaliyah’s challenge to her authority, warned her that she had better moves and started dancing, clunky cop shoes, turtle-shell body armor and all.”

The reaction? According to the hard ass crowd, nothing good could result in such molly coddling tactics. After all, this officer had allowed this teen to flout authority and ignore her orders. Good gads, that teen must have lost all respect for officers and authority then. However, the reality is far different.

““I never expected cops to be that cool,” Aaliyah said. “There are some good cops.””
This represents a change from her views of cops before this, a view that cops were cruel. A view that is only reinforced by the actions of such officers as Officer Field, who is definitely of the hard ass brute force approach.

Had the teacher realized this and handled the situation on her own or with the principle instead of escalating it by calling in the officer respect could have been earned. Had Officer Fields realized this when he first came in and instead of escalating worked to de-escalate the situation he too would have earned respect. Instead, he earned his termination of employment.

I just saw the news that 100 students of Spring Valley High School staged a walk out in support of Officer Fields. To those who would bring this up as evidence against my thoughts here let me just say – that’s nice.

First off, I would point out that Spring Valley High School is a large school. There are 479 students in the 2015 graduating class alone. Its total student population is well over 1,000 students.

I would further point out that some students engage in protests just because they think it cool or a way to get out of school for a while; not because they actually agree.

Finally, opinions and ideas are not universally shared. Never have been and never will be. The fact that you can point to some students supporting Fields only proves this truism, nothing more.

What would impress me would be a scientific poll of the students and teachers on their reaction to this incident. Further, I would love to see something that provided a third choice between doing nothing and Officer Field’s actions. An option such as I outlined above. I have no doubt that when presented with that real and viable option, the great majority of people would have more respect for those who took that option – an option that respected both the other students in the class and the individual needs of a student.

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In this blog I will focus on what should be done to strengthen the bonds between our law enforcement agencies and the community, especially the black community.

First – All Lives Matter is not helpful.

Too many people take offense at the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. They view it as saying that only black lives matter, but that is not the truth. Instead, it is saying that black lives matter TOO.


Blacks are very well aware that they are jailed more often than whites, that their sentences for the same exact offense is longer than a whites, that a black person who kills a white person is much more likely to get the death penalty than is a white person who kills a black. In short, they are aware of the inequities of the system. Black Lives Matter is a cry for equal treatment. Their lives matter too.

Which makes the All Lives Matter meme nothing more than a way to ignore the fact that blacks are not treated equally. By trying to treat Black Lives Matter as a cry for blacks wanting special treatment instead of being the cry for equal treatment that it is, people can ignore the racism and bias that contributes to the problems within the black community, and to the injustices still being perpetuated on so many blacks. This link provides further explanation of this.

Bottom line, the first step is to recognize how our society with its institutionalized and unconscious biases has helped to create this mistrust and problem. Without that, nothing changes.

Another part of the solution is the black community working to improve their own culture and community. What gets ignored though by most whites, especially those who are conservative, is that blacks already are working on this. My blog “On the Irritating Wrongness of the Black on Black Violence Counter-argument” goes over some of this.

Along with this is the white community, especially conservatives, recognizing their efforts instead of ignoring them and saying that the blacks should be working to improve their community. Not recognizing this and pretending or being ignorant of it is an insult to those blacks who are improving their culture.

A bigger problem than mobilizing blacks to improve their own community (since that is already happening) is the white conservatives’ almost purposeful lack of awareness of the role that institutional racism and unconscious bias plays in these problems. Without that sort of awareness, the mistrust that exists will not disappear and the inequalities and injustices committed by our justice system will continue.

The Police and Justice system overall needs to become more aware of their institutional racism and work on ways to change their organization, procedures, and policies in order to overcome them. Body cameras for police are a good start. However, it is not enough. Communicating quickly, openly, and honestly with the community when bad things happen is essential. Creating an outside panel to review shootings, especially of unarmed civilians would be a good move. Creating, reviewing and improving upon policies on when to use deadly force and on how to best to de-escalate tense situations.

Also, allowing the black community and others to drive with and spend time with on duty police so that they can better understand the pressures and challenges faced by police.

Finally, becoming aware and working to overcome the unconscious biases that still plague our society – from jobs to education to our judicial system. There are several ideas for how to accomplish this that are possible, some of which have been shown to be effective. For example, within our judicial system it has been shown that bringing up and going over how unconscious biases work and can influence decisions with jurors helps to offset such biases’ effects.

Building trust between a community and the police is a necessity for a safe and peaceful society. I believe we had one large movement in the 1950s and 60s, the civil rights movement, which overcame the more obvious forms of racism such as Jim Crow laws. It was a time of great unrest, as most such large advances are. It is now time to take on the less obvious but still destructive forms of institutional and unconscious racism and bias. I hope that the unrest that we are experiencing now is the sign that we are finally doing so.

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Now, although the number of law enforcement officers killed has not increased, the tensions between the police and the public in general and the black community in particular has increased. The public is very aware of when police kill unarmed citizens, and most especially aware of it when that unarmed citizen is black. In general, I think this is good because it provides an impetus for some needed change. And change is an uncomfortable process. And a chancy one too.

Many conservative groups try to blame this all on the black community – they do not work at educating themselves, their family groups are a shambles, etc. That is part of the problem, but only part, something that becomes apparent when you ask why so many black communities are experiencing these problems. Is it because they are black and so are not able to form communities that function as well as whites do? Cannot persevere in their education, cannot form good and loving families, and cannot make good economic decisions as whites can?

Unless you want to say yes to those questions, and I really, really hope you do not, then there must be a cause for the current state of many black communities. And without knowing that cause, the efforts of blacks to correct and improve their community will be limited at best.

This is something I have already dealt with somewhat in a previous blog, “Of Ferguson and Charleston, Of Confederate Flags and N—–…and Conservatives. Or Kum Ba Yah Bullshit”.

There are two related causes of the current state of many black communities. The first is historical. Black culture today is not the result of a virgin birth or something that appeared fully formed from the foam but instead had many different influences and forces shaping it.

Its base was formed from the brutality that was slavery and then modified by the chains of Jim Crow laws, laws which lasted well into the 1960s (and well within the memory of many still living today). It was shaped by the actions of groups such as the KKK, which at the turn of the 20th century numbered in the millions and had a strong political presence. It was formed in reaction to the numerous lynchings that occurred instead of justice, and to the riots against blacks that at times even destroyed whole black communities.

Black communities were formed and shaped in reaction to the racist policies and programs of the government. Practices such as redlining which from 1934 – 1962 kept blacks from getting any of the 120 billion dollars handed out by the government for home loans. This in turn forced segregation by forcing blacks to live in ghettos, unable to afford the better housing and land. This then rippled through time and affects today’s black communities since blacks, unlike the whites who could and did receive these loans, did not have the property that they could pass on to their children and use as a basis for creating wealth for themselves and their family.

One of the ripples of this policy was education. Schools are funded by property taxes. Since the majority of blacks could not afford to live in good homes and could not get the loans to attain good homes, they did not have the tax base to create good schools. Combine this with the effects of segregation and you have the basis for the educational disparities we see today. Which then, in turn, lead to fewer opportunities for better jobs. A fine example of the effects of institutional racism.

Or consider the way blacks are portrayed in the media – TV, radio, newspapers, magazines. White skin and standards are held up as beautiful, blacks are not. Blacks are shown as criminals much more often than they are in reality, while whites are shown as criminals much less than they are in real life. While this has improved over time, it is still present even today.

Today, while we have gotten rid of most of the more overt signs and accruements of racism, there are the unconscious biases and prejudices, ones people do not even realize they are acting on. These unconscious biases and prejudices are the reasons why a resume with a white sounding name on it is more likely to get an interview than the same resume is with a black person’s name on it. Or why whites will complain more readily about the noise a black group is making than they will of a white group. Or why whites are more threatened by a black person than a white, which has interesting effects in the courtroom when white jurors are deciding on how threatened a police officer or civilian should have felt. And the list goes on.

To tie this in more directly to the current tensions between police and black communities, blacks know that they have been the victim of more stops and harassment from police than whites have. Driving while black has a great deal of truth to it. In fact, take a look at the Department of Justice’s report on Ferguson’s Police Department practices for an example of this.

Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs. This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community. Further, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes. Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans. The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these disparities. Over time, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices have sown deep mistrust between parts of the community and the police department, undermining law enforcement legitimacy among African Americans in particular.

A consequence of these practices is that blacks, who are usually poor, cannot afford the fines and fees and so served jail time instead. A domino effect of that jail time is that getting a good job after having been jailed is much more difficult. This then contributes to unemployment, underemployment, and continued black poverty.

Let me be clear here. Most police departments are not as bad as Ferguson. Too many are though. And some are worse. And even in the better ones there is the unconscious bias effecting decisions and actions that lead to the appearance and the reality that blacks are not treated equally under our legal system.

With this sort of mistrust how else should the black community respond to reports of unarmed blacks being killed by white police officers?
Adding to this is the fact that for many years police were able to get away with very questionable actions in regards to the use of violence to subdue subjects. Today, with the ubiquitous camera phones, some of those practices are seeing the light of day, and are creating their own effects and waves. All of this has created a climate of distrust between much of the public, especially the blacks, and the police.

So what should be done to correct this, to create and strengthen the trust between law enforcement and community that is such a necessary part of any functional society? That is what I will be discussing in my next blog on this subject.

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Due to a recent Supreme Court Decision (not upheld by God though), in order to allow full religious liberty for all, we have had to revise our requirements and procedures for the obtainment of marriage licenses. Please read these instructions carefully and follow them fully.

In addition to the previous requirements of a valid photo ID and, if a previous marriage has been dissolved, proof of that dissolvement, the following information must also be provided (please be aware that a divorce could affect your ability to obtain a marriage license from this office)(please also be aware that providing false information on any of the information required is cause to reject your application and could also result in a fine of not less than $100).

  1. Form 434463-8BBB must be filled out fully.
    1. Include all employers, no matter how briefly the employment may have been.
    2. Include all past addresses, no matter how briefly you may have resided there.
    3. Be aware that to verify your checking and savings account a voided check will be necessary for the checking account and a blank deposit slip for the savings account.
    4. Your e mail address and passcodes for access to your e mail account are required.
    5. Your Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and other social media accounts are required.
    6. All information requested is needed for a thorough background check and is required. All lines and questions need to be fully filled out.  Should the information requested not apply to you do NOT leave the line blank.  Instead, put NA down.
    7. Be aware that leaving out requested information or providing false information are causes for rejection of your application and could also  result in a fine of not less than $150.
  2. Please answer fully form 2424998-CBU-21-X about your hobbies, interests, proclivities, and other activities.
    1. Provide a complete listing of all interests, hobbies, and other activities whether it is chess club, shooting range, flying, political party, etc.
    2. Be sure to include whether or not you drink alcoholic beverages and consume pork.
    3. Include both you and your potential partner’s religion and racial status.
    4. Be aware that leaving out requested information or providing false information are causes for  rejection of your application and could also result in a fine of not less than $200.
  3. Please answer fully form EZ956-29XZ-86680 about sexual preferences, past sexual history, and current sexual activity.
    1. This includes not only heterosexual or homosexual activities but also all instances of adultery (provided you have previously been married) pre-marital sex, mastubational activities, sexual acts with those related to you (provide degree of relationship), sexual acts with more than one partner, and sexual acts with organism or objects other than human.
    2. Be aware that leaving out requested information or providing false information are causes for rejection of your application and could also result in a fine of not less than $350.
  1. Once all forms and information have been provided please allow four weeks to process.  This is in order to ensure that we have a county clerk who, due to their firmly held religious belief, is not offended by one or more of your activities, associations, past history, decisions, employment, religion, racial status, sexual orientation, and sexual activities and thus not able to issue you a marriage certificate.
  2. Should this office have no one available whom you have not offended the firmly held religious sensibilities of, we will forward your paperwork to the next nearest county clerk office to see if they have a clerk whose firmly held religious beliefs will allow them to process this for you.
    1. Should all clerks there find that processing your application for a marriage certificate violates one or more of their firmly held religious beliefs then there will be a nominal charge of $25 to forward the application to the next county office.

Provided you can obtain a marriage license from one of our clerks, we wish you a very happy marriage.

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