jakimfett's lab

bits of code and other random musings

When Law Enforcement Isn’t 2: Electric Boogaloo (aka Derrick Ramseyer’s Brutality) —

Summary

On the morning of June 4th, 2018, Derrick Ramseyer, law enforcement officer, (recovering?) adrenaline junkie, graduate of class BC 08-231crash test dummy, and totes a trained conflict negotiator, concluded his multi-day harassment-and-assult of a disabled volunteer with an arrest on made-up charges, and then allowed and encouraged his team to use excessive force against an unresisting individual (myself, jakimfett, aka Tessa L. H. Lovelace, fka Kevin Straw).

Protip:
I only survived the encounter because despite my mixed genetic heritage (Kiowa, German, Inuit, etc, I’m totes a mutt) and nonbinary identity, I’m a white-passing-male-passing individual, so a news crew paid attention when the conflict was started by these “law enforcement” jerks.

Yeah, Ramseyer. I called you a jerk.
What’re you gonna do, arrest me and beat me up?

 

…oh wait…

 

How does this sort of horrible thing happen in the Good Ole US of A?
Isn’t freedom, equality, and justice available for everyone?

 

I’m so very glad you asked.
Here’s some of the details, history, and context of the incident.

It’s long.
Read the whole thing anyway, dammit.

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When law enforcement is —

Yesterday, I wrote an anger-filled tirade directed at a member of law enforcement who used physical violence against a child, and directed at the officers who observed what happened and did nothing to correct it, either in the immediate sense (getting their commander to calm down) or later (reporting what happened and taking administrative action).

I’d like to make it crystal clear…I’m not anti-law-enforcement. I’m anti-lack-of-self-control and anti-bullies-in-positions-of-power.

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America Was Never Great —

a guest post by Nightingale

It started with a meme on social media:

Maybe instead of teaching our kids to respect flags and anthems,
we should teach them to respect justice and humanity
.”

~ D. Gray Man (@ervin_point), 2016, Twitter

A relative’s comment, and subsequent discussion, prompted this post.


I read your comments about truth, justice, and The American Way™.

I hear your offended outrage that any American would disrespect the flag, the anthem, the pledge, symbols of this Great Nation.

I see you consider this meme to be a false dichotomy, but it is coming from the perspective of recognizing patriotism and national pride as a very harmful set of rose-colored glasses.


Have you ever watched Avatar the Last Airbender?

There is a scene in season three, where Aang (the Avatar) and his group are hiding out in the Fire Nation, the authoritarian empire that has wiped out the Air Nomads and is attempting to conquer the Earth Kingdom and subdue the Water Tribe settlements at the poles.

To blend in with the Fire Nation children, Aang goes to school.

The teacher is telling the students what a glorious country the Fire Nation is, that they are a benevolent, advanced civilization whose intention is to spread their enlightened way of life to all the other nations and help them out of their darkness.

This lecture could have been plucked word for word from my US history class, growing up.




We are taught so young that this country stands for liberty and justice, freedom and democracy, equality and opportunity, and that our interference in world affairs is benevolent, that we are bringing other countries a better way of life.

I cannot emphasize enough how utterly false this image is.

The USA is built on colonialism, imperialism, and oppression.


We tore this land from her indigenous inhabitants through the “Indian Wars,” Manifest Destiny, and the Trail of Tears, and we continue to commit ongoing genocide against First Nations peoples.

We enslaved an entire race of people, committed and allowed countless atrocities to happen to them, and fought a horrifically bloody civil war over the right to continue doing so.

We rounded up thousands of our own citizens and put them in concentration camps during World War II because they looked like our Japanese enemies. (Sound familiar?)

We also set off the atomic bomb that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

We violently colonized Hawaii

…occupied Haiti

violently annexed the Philippines

…controlled Cuba

invaded, conquered, and began the ongoing colonization of Puerto Rico…

…occupied the Dominican Republic

…and colonized still more countries, territories, and cultures.

We politically and economically destabilized, for our own profit, countries such as Yemen

Syria

…Iran / Afghanistan / Iraq (2) and other Middle Eastern countries

…the Caribbean

Venezuela (2)…

El Salvador

…other Latin American countries…

Libya

Ghana

…the Congo

…other African countries

…and many more.

The list goes on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on

…and on…!


This is why I find patriotism so toxic. The combination of blind loyalty, social propaganda, and nationalism is what has allowed all these atrocities to happen and continue happening. Many people are more offended by criticism of this country’s sins than they are by the horrors that we have committed.

I am unlike those people.
I research.
I educate myself.

I am by no means perfect!
This will be a lifelong endeavor,
one that I am committed to.

I am taking daily action to systematically confront my biases,
untangle my programming,
and see this nation for what it is,
no matter how uncomfortable that truth makes me.


Because only then can I do something about it.


We are the Fire Nation, and we always have been.


Motivation —

It’s 11:24pm on the west coast, and I’m trying to find the motivation to do something.

Anything. Any project. Any small measure of positive movement that says “I am alive and I continue to defy entropy”.

Today, I have done many things. I’ve made food. I got dressed, went outside, and walked several kilometers. I bought toilet paper for a friend who couldn’t manage the trip to the store. I took all my meds, ate mostly healthily, and still I’m struggling tonight.

Earlier today I had a bout with self deprecation that I mentioned on Twitter. I want to code things. I want to create stuff, anything really.

I just don’t have the motivation today. There’s a black hole where my motivation should be.

Today, I wasn’t healthy. I’m going to try again tomorrow though. Giving up isn’t an option.


Mental Health —

Your mental health is important.

This is a companion to my post about ending my involvement in Minecraft modding, and explains a bit more about what happened with my mental health in the past year or so.

In 2014, my grandpa Marvin died. That event was the impetus that pushed me into a downward spiral. About a year later, I was seriously contemplating taking my own life.

I am here today, writing this, because of a few close friends who refused to let me retreat completely inside my own head. They talked with me. They encouraged me. The helped me get help.

 

If you are struggling, please tell someone.

and

If someone tells you they are struggling, make sure they get help.

 

I cannot emphasize these two points enough. Talking to other people, opening up and being vulnerable about the whirlwind of thoughts scouring your mind, it is not comfortable. It doesn’t feel safe. Please, please do it anyway.

 

It took me almost half a year to get help.

Initially, despite a very obvious indication that something was very, very wrong with my mental health, I did not want to seek help. I went from my house, to my job, to my other job, back home, and went to bed to repeat the process the next day. I didn’t make time for it, and it took me several months to be ready to seek help.

When I say “took me several months to be ready to seek help”, what I mean is that it took me several weeks to overcome my fear of telling someone about my mental health struggles. When I finally did talk to a medical professional, the doctor I spoke to said that all my problems were caused by lack of exercise and sunlight. The doctor sent me to a behaviorist. The behaviourist tried to push me to accept depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts as the new normal for me.

I stopped going to therapy sessions with the behaviorist after a month. I was coming out of each session worse than when I went in. I had started calling in sick to work because I couldn’t handle going out of the house and dealing with people. It took me several months of effort to finally seek help again, and only then because I’d had another brush with death.

With help from several friends, I sought help the second time, with a different doctor. Within a half hour discussion, the doctor identified what was going on, and was helping me make a plan that involved therapy, exercise, medication, and several vitamin supplements. A month later, they doubled my medication dosage, and my path back towards mental health really got started.

 

That was about two months ago.

Now I’m talking about it. I want other people to know that a mental health problem is just as much of an injury as a broken leg or a lacerated arm. I’m healing.

I’m alive. I’m healing. It’s a slow process. But it does get better.

 


Hiatus Update #2 —

Surprise! I’m still on hiatus. :-/

Since I last posted one of these, I’ve had several doctor’s appointments (the latest one just yesterday), none of which have been conclusive. They’re doing blood tests, and discussing doing various other fluid/tissue/etc testing.

I’m on a couple of meds that help with the pain and nausea. One of the side effects is difficulty concentrating and a general loss of equilibrium.


Realistic Gun Control —

I’m an advocate of sane gun control laws. I’m also an advocate of gun ownership.

I grew up in the countryside. The nearest small town was miles away, and the nearest city was almost an hour away. I grew up handling firearms, because it was necessary. Guns were used to protect our livestock from predators, our crops from scavengers, and to obtain food for the winter. A firearm was a tool, a dangerous but absolutely necessary one, for life on the farm.

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Hiatus Update —

Brief Update on the Hiatus

On Monday (May 23rd 2016) I have an all-day medical proceedure. After the recovery period, I’ll know a bit more about when I will have time and energy to work on modding again.

When I’m no longer on hiatus, my priority is to update JakimBox and Werkbench first, then AlchemyPlusPlus, then start poking Minechem again.

Previous hiatus update.


Project Triage —

When is a project worth saving?

My thoughts on rewriting, expending time and energy building or rebuilding a project.

rosebud

I struggle with this question a lot.

I chronically take on more projects than I can handle, and then a few (or a lot) of them drop off my radar and get abandoned.

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What’s up with the Hiatus? —

no-crisis-hiatus-imageSo, about that hiatus…

Since August of 2015, I’ve been hiatus while dealing with some medical issues and an increased job workload. My ability to contribute to Open Source and do Minecraft modding has been minimal.

I don’t know exactly when I’ll be able to actively work on modding again. The constant grind of needing to update for the latest Minecraft version that breaks a bunch of stuff is exhausting. Because of the level of drama in the modding community, I’ve almost completely withdrawn from…well…everything.

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A love letter to Spiderweb Software —

adventureLet’s just get this out of the way. I like roguelikes. Specifically, I like top down, dungeon crawling roguelikes that gives you a sandbox with some guidelines, and says “go have fun”.

Well, once upon a time, back before Facebook, the iPhone, broadband internet, Valve, Google, and wifi were a thing, I had never played computer games. The internet was just barely a thing, and unlike today, you couldn’t just download the games from Steam.

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Nevermore —

Iron cold eyes of azure hue
thoughtful eyes of misty blue
wild soul and sharp bright mind
weighing the fate of all your kind
hands with hidden talent bend
to worlds far off and close as skin
eyes bright and dark as the trackless sea
blue and grey and full of mysteries
flickering of crow’s wing black
here and there but never look back

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Refactoring Patreon —

patreon_name

I’ve been mulling over ways to revamp my Patreon presence.

First and foremost, I want to make sure that I’m continuing to provide my current Patreon supporters with thanks and benefits that encourage them to continue supporting me. Part of the problem with this is that I don’t actually know why people support me. Is it because I’m doing work they want to see continue? Is it because they like the perks I (try to) provide?

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