Friday, March 29, 2024

Jesus's Kidney by K. Robbins

Jesus has been back for a while already and I guess everyone already knows what’s up, but most people aren’t going to know about my kidney until he signs off on the Third Testament.   Jesus didn’t do so well with our modern foods and drinks, what with everything being so sweet and so salty and so packed with chemicals and new world ingredients and all.  He blew his kidneys right out. So they had to find a donor and, it turns out, I was a match.

It was pretty late in the evening when I got a call from the Kidney Institute or some such formal sounding place telling me that Jesus needed my kidney. Honestly, that was the first I had heard that Jesus had returned and that he had been overindulging a little, having developed among other things an appreciation for fortified wines while ministering to the homeless.

Of course I was incredulous, being Jewish and all, but I guess if Jesus comes asking you for a favor, you don’t say no. His is a family that it makes sense to have a good relationship with. I did ask why he couldn’t just miracle himself a new kidney and they told me that he could no more miracle himself a new kidney than he could miracle himself off the cross. There are rules, they said. No knows all of them, but Jesus can’t just miracle anything he wants. That’s why some children have to suffer too.

So I agreed and they scheduled the surgery right away and that’s why Jesus has my kidney. After that he went his way and I went mine and he’s been doing Jesus things and I’ve been doing Kate things. Very low key though. Just wandering around here and there and telling stories and performing miracles from time to time. You’ll be able to read all about his adventures when the book comes out. In the meantime though, whenever I hear that he’s been in this place or that I wonder if it will be written as, “Jesus and Kate’s kidney raised so and so from the dead,” or ”Jesus and Kate’s kidney walked on water.”

Anyway, I hope he’s taking better care of my kidney than he did of his own kidneys since I can’t give him the other one.

(c) 2024, Kate Robbins

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Rioting and Looting ARE Effective Tools to Affect Change

    I have heard, too many times, in response to the current riots and looting that arose from protests related to the murder of George Floyd, that "they are accomplishing nothing," or "they are only hurting themselves."

    This, of course, is wrong. They are accomplishing everything.

    The strategy of rioting and looting is to make doing nothing about a problem more expensive than doing something about a problem. 

    The problem now (among others, and certainly oversimplified) is institutionalized racism. As manifested on a local level, the police have too often been "given a pass" when they kill black people. The problem can be solved, but it hasn't been solved. Certainly the current administration in Washington, DC has no intention of solving it and has, in fact, encouraged it. (Contrast the current response from Washington to that which existed when the Rodney King officers were acquitted in Simi Valley: The federal government stepped and initiated a federal case against those officers. After the Rampart scandal, the federal government stepped in and subjected the LAPD to the consent decree.)

    Considering the current administration in Washington, it is probable that the ONLY way to get action is to make complacency MORE EXPENSIVE than solving the problem. That is exactly what the rioters and looters are doing and they are doing it effectively.

    The rioters and looters are not the problem. The encouragement and protection of institutionalized racism coming from Washington is the problem. The rioting and looting are logical responses to that.

    Peaceful protests following past manifestations of this institutionalized racism didn't do much for George Floyd. It is possible that the economics of civil unrest will save lives to come.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Blame the people or the government?

The context I present below owes to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, in Hitler's Willing Executioners which compellingly makes the case that the German citizenry of the early 20th century was responsible for the holocaust and that the blame cannot be laid at the feet of a single man or political party.

I think its premise is interesting when applied to current events in the United States. In each branch and in every agency of the U.S. Government there are legions of citizens carrying out genuinely evil agendas set by the current administration. One need only scan recent headlines to find examples:
  • family separation / children in cages;
  • increased detention;
  • MPP;
  • removing cost protections for healthcare and medicine;
  • censorship of social media by removing liability protections;
  • withdrawing from multi-lateral arms agreements;
  • encouragement of police brutality; open support of Nazism;
  • creation of unpayable national debt for the benefit of billionaires;
  • targeting of political enemies for prosecution and the dismissal of legitimate charges against political allies for political gain/positioning.
So, to all of those who do not feel personally responsible for the resulting harm from the policies they implement, enforce, or lend administrative or physical support to, ask yourselves the following questions:
  1. Are you compelled to do the vile task or do you have a choice?
  2. Have you justified your personal acts by elevating obedience to the rules above obedience to a personal moral code?
  3. Do you feel that your own moral guidance must be somehow wrong because people you respect don't find doing these same acts repugnant?
  4. Is there some benefit to you personally for overlooking you own moral code?
  5. Have you thought of your acts as being insignificant in the greater scheme of the evil being perpetrated such that if you didn't do the job someone else would anyway?
If this administration finds itself out-of-power after the next election, or the one after that, and its leaders and functionaries are held to account for the destruction they have caused, you will have to answer these questions under oath. And when you make your final accounting, remember...the universe already knows the answers.