Archive for March, 2014
Last week I theorized that political correctness may simply be a social phenomenon of the powerless trying to feel empowered (but you didn’t see it because my post scheduler decided to forget to post it and I missed it because I don’t check my post queue as religiously as I should). In summary, for those not interested in reading my previous post, whiny bitches are whiny because it gives them the ability to lord a very measly amount of power over another human being.
Minnesota has to be the capital of butthurt social justice warriors. Our army of whiny bitches are ready to move at any sign of potential political correctness. Whenever a man says something the social justice warriors are there to point out his misogyny. Middle class individuals need not fear of being unopposed in everything they say because the social justice warriors will let everybody know that any wealth is a privilege (from their iPhones and MacBook Pros no less). If a white person say something never fear because Minnesota’s social justice warriors are here to point out that individual’s inherit subconscious racism. In fact our social justice warriors are so effective that they have even found that the name of Asian carp is really thinly veiled racism:
Jean Lee, who testified for the Senate bill Thursday, said she became upset by the term as it was used during a round-table meeting she attended with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials.
“They were referring to the Asian people in terms of being invasive species. This was offensive,” said Lee, executive director of the Children’s Hope International Minnesota chapter. That St. Louis-based nonprofit organization facilitates international adoptions from countries including China and Vietnam.
Sia Her, executive director of the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, a state agency, also testified in support of calling the fish “invasive carp.” The negative response to the fish “will reflect negatively on our community,” she said.
I highly doubt that the officials in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were referring to Asian people during the meeting about Asian carp. But nonetheless Jean Lee seems to believe that the best way to fight bigotry is with more bigotry. She proposed that Asian carp be changed to invasive carp.
Invasive carp? Really? These poor fish were kidnapped from their native waters, hauled over to America in suboptimal conditions, and forced into labor for the commercial fisheries! They are no more invasive than African Americas. In fact I’m betting that Mrs. Lee’s entire crusade against these underprivileged fish is due to her inherit speciesism. Mrs. Less probably thinks that just because she’s human that she’s a member of the master species and sees other forms of life on this planet as inferior. I’ve got news for Mrs. Lee, these fish didn’t ask to come here, they were kidnapped. We’re not talking about an invasive species, we’re talking about victims of the fish slave trade! Mrs. Lee should be ashamed of herself for publicly displaying her blatant speciesism.
Sabaton is working on releasing another album to the joy of power metal fans everywhere. The title is going to be Heroes and it appears to be another war themed album (which is Sabaton’s mainstay). To Hell and Back is one of the songs off of Heroes and I must say that I quite enjoy it:
As a side note the artwork for this album is fucking bad ass.
The amount of stupidity that occurred in Mark Witaschek’s trial is hard to describe. For those who don’t know Mr. Witaschek was facing charges for illegally possessing ammunition in Washington DC. He was found guilty but when you look at the details you will notice how desperate the prosecution was to nail this man to the wall:
Until the final hours of the trial, both the defense and government focused the case on whether the single 12 gauge shotgun shell that was found in Mr. Witaschek’s D.C. home was operable. The judge, however, never ruled on it.
In the afternoon on Wednesday, Judge Morin shook the plastic shell and tried to listen to something inside. He said he could not hear any gunpowder. He then asked the lawyers to open the shell to see if there was powder inside.
(This seemed like a bizarre request since the lack of primer — not gunpowder — would be relevant to the interoperability of the misfired shell.)
Assistant Attorney General Peter Saba said that the government wanted to open the shell but that, “It is dangerous to do outside a lab.”
The prosecutors and police officers left the courtroom to try to find a lab that was open in the afternoon to bring the judge to cut the plastic off the section that holds the pellets. When that proved not possible in the same day, the judge decided to just rule on the bullets.
Opening a 12 gauge shell is not dangerous to do outside of a lab, unless my reloading room qualifies as a lab. Uncrimp the top, down the shot out, wiggle the wad out, and dump the powder. Since the prosecution was looking to see if power was inside of the shell the method I just described would have sufficed. But since the shell couldn’t be dissected the day of the trial the prosecution moved to its backup plan:
The 25 conical-shaped, .45 caliber bullets, made by Knight out of lead and copper, sat on the judge’s desk. They do not have primer or gunpowder so cannot be propelled. The matching .50 caliber plastic sabots were also in the box.
Mr. Witaschek was found guilty because he was in possession of lead that happened to be shaped in a conical form. It appears that the simple possession of lead is now an offense in Washington DC.
This trial was purely vindictive. The prosecution wanted to send a message to the people of Washington DC and that message is “Shut the fuck up slaves. We are your masters.” It’s no secret that the overlords of Washington DC don’t want their serfs possessing firearms. When one dares to do so the police are sent out, with guns of course, to kidnap the unruly serf so he or she can be put in front of a judge. Since it’s rare for the police to actually find somebody illegally possessing a firearm (because those people are generally smart enough to hide their firearms) the overlords have to take what they get. If that means prosecuting somebody for possessing a shotgun shell and some pieces of lead so be it.
It’s tax season. With the circle of friends I have that means it’s the season to bitch about the government taking a huge chunk of our personal wealth. I’m assuming that most of my readers at least lean towards libertarianism so there is probably a strong sentiment that taxes should at least be greatly reduced if not entirely eliminated. That means I’m also assuming that you’ve heard a variation of this debate before.
A libertarian comments about taxes being too damn high. In response a government advocate claims that we need taxes because taxes enable civilization. What that individual means is that he or she believes that infrastructure, welfare, and other pet government programs are only made possible through taxes. Putting aside the fact that anything made possible through taxes can be, and has been, made possible through voluntary methods we still have the fact that such an attitude ignores a lot of terrible things made possible by taxes. Taxes, like anything else humanity conceives, has the nice cheery side that makes people feel good and the dark depressing side that most people tend to ignore.
Let me take a moment to talk about the dark side of taxes. A small percentage of taxes are used to build roads, schools, and civic centers. But a large percentage of taxes are used to directly hurt of kill people. For example, taxes allow the United States government to bomb wedding parties in the Middle East, allowed the Soviet Union to build gulags that were used to murder millions, and enable police forces throughout the world to imprison people for nonviolent crimes.
Here in the United States we get to see the dark side of taxes more obviously than most other parts of the world. We have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. Most of the kidnapped souls inside of the government’s great cages harmed nobody. They were victims of the war on unpatentable drugs. Their only crime was smoking, snorting, or injecting something that the government said they couldn’t. To fuel this war a great deal of tax money is sent to law enforcement agencies so they can put together Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, buy armored personnel carriers, and fight court cases when their victims decided to sue.
Speaking of war, taxes also enable the numerous illegal wars that the United States is embroiled in. Drones and Hellfire missiles don’t build themselves. In order to butcher Middle Eastern children the United States government needs to collect taxes to pay for its military. Aircraft carriers, fighter jets, bombers, tanks, and nuclear bombs cost a lot of money. Since I brought up nuclear weapons I will point out that taxes it possible for the United States to drop nuclear weapons on two major Japaneses cities (after making it possible for it to firebomb Japan’s most densely populated city). Going back in time a bit further we can see another thing taxes made possible: the genocide of this continent’s indigenous populations.
Taxes may have been used to build the roads you drive on and the schools you send your children to but they were also used to destroy the roads and schools people in other countries depend on. The next time you hear somebody talk about all the great things that taxes make possible be sure to remind them about all of the horrible things that are also made possible.
California state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) — one of the state’s strongest advocates for gun control — was arrested Wednesday on charges that include scheming to defraud citizens of honest services and conspiracy to illegally traffic firearms.
Yee was reportedly at least $70,000 in debt following his defeat in the mayor’s race, and needed to settle his accounts to run for California secretary of state in 2014. To do so, Yee agreed to perform “certain official acts” for an undercover FBI agent in exchange for donations, according to the affidavit.
During one exchange, Jackson and Yee arranged a meeting between the FBI agent and an illegal arms dealer to organize the sale of a large number of weapons to be imported through the Port of Newark in New Jersey, the affidavit said. Yee discussed details about the weapons during the meeting, according to the document.
I believe Mr. Yee’s mistake in this matter was attempting to enter the arms black market. We know that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is the game in town for illegal arms trafficking. It wouldn’t surprise me if Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was simply doing a favor for the FBI by going after Yee.
This story is reminiscent of those stories of neoconservatives men who fought tooth and nail against legalized same-sex marriages getting caught having sex with another man. Based on his voting record it appears that Yee thinks nongovernmental individuals are incapable of owning firearms so he decided to traffic arms to, what he believed to be, nongovernmental individuals.
As Yee is a member of the oligarchy I doubt much will happen to him. He’ll probably avoid cage time and may even be able to run for office again. But this case will still be fun to watch for the irony aspect alone.
Something I have been thinking about lately is the political correctness movement. By that I mean the movement that seems to seek out things to be offended by. Everything seems to be offensive to somebody today. I’m not referring to things like racism, sexism, or other forms of bigotry. Simply using select words or having conversations on certain topics will cause somebody to claim that they are offended.
Calling something retarded will often put you at the receiving end of a fiery diatribe. Using gendered terms (which are hard to avoid when you’re using the English language) can summon the wrath of the soldiers fighting in the great Gender Wars. Many people become offended by merely hearing topics be brought up. Want to discuss the potential of cannabis as a weapon against cancer? You will almost certainly be accused of spreading harmful rumors that will kill people. Bringing up the detrimental characteristics of centralized education will lead to you being accused of hating children. I could go on but I think you get the point.
The more I think about this the more I wonder if this upsurge in political correctness is, at least in part, due to an increased sensation of powerlessness and an attempt to reassert a feeling of empowerment. Part of what got me thinking along these lines is the psychological phenomenon known as reactance:
Psychological reactance occurs in response to threats to perceived behavioral freedoms. An example of such behavior can be observed when an individual engages in a prohibited activity in order to deliberately taunt the authority who prohibits it, regardless of the utility or disutility that the activity confers.
I believe there is an overall increasing feeling of powerlessness in our society. Part of this is due to the government command more and more of our daily lives, part of it is due to the faltering economy that has left many unemployed for extended lengths of time, part of it is due to the realization that we the people have no effective voice in regards to government, etc. In the grand scheme of things we don’t seem to have much power. How best could one restore a feeling of empowerment? By wielding power over another.
When you say something politically incorrect is will often result in one or two people trying to shout you down. Shortly after those first people begin they will often be joined by more and more people. I’m wondering if those instances go something like this:
Jane: “Blah blah blah something potentially offensive blah blah blah.”
Bob: “I can’t believe you said that! You’re a racist sexist bigot bad person!”
Adam: “Shut the fuck up, Bob! You can’t go around spewing that offensive hate mongering here!”
At this point Bob and Adam are beginning to feel a little power. The two of them are succeeding in shutting Jane up.
Jenny: “What did Jane say? What a fucking bitch! I want to kicker her ass!”
Now Jenny is feeling a little power while Bob and Adam are beginning to feel even more power. Not only did they manage to shut Jane up but other people are following them. They’re becoming leaders!
As more people join in shouting Jane down the feeling of empowerment (for everybody except Jane) increases. Through this act of taking offense people have been able to gain a feeling that they do have power over their world. Since political correctness is, by definition, politically acceptable there is no real chance that authorities will step in to stop those people from silencing Jane.
I claim to have no scientific basis for this thought. It’s merely an idea that I have developed to explain observations. But it is an interesting thought exercise nonetheless. Could political correctness be an attempt by the powerless to feel empowered? Could this explain how political correctness has become more prevalent as the general feeling of empowerment has diminished?
Germany is well known for being an efficient country populated by efficient people. This is evident in many things the country does including policing:
German police officers fired a total of 85 bullets in 2011, 49 of which were warning shots, the German publication Der Spiegel reported. Officers fired 36 times at people, killing six and injuring 15. This is a slight decline from 2010, when seven people were killed and 17 injured. Ninety-six shots were fired in 2010.
Meanwhile, in the United States, The Atlantic reported that in April, 84 shots were fired at one murder suspect in Harlem, and another 90 at an unarmed man in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles police department alone requires as many rounds of ammunition to take down one suspect as the entire country of Germany requires for all of its police in an entire year. Talk about German efficiency (or American inefficiency).
But there’s more to this story than mere numbers. Those numbers indicate a potential cultural difference between German policing and American policing. German police appear to turn to the gun more as a last resort whereas American police turn to the gun whenever the magical phrase “officer safety” can be applied to a situation. One of my issues with modern policing in the United States is how quickly it usually turns to deadly force, armed no-knock raids, and general thuggery. The days when a couple of police officers would knock on your door, present a warrant, and arrest you are rapidly disappearing entirely. Instead those days are being replaced with an armed Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team kicking in your door at two in the morning, shooting whatever pets they see, and busting you up or shooting you before handcuffs are even brought out.
Other developed countries manage a less militant take on policing and haven’t fallen into chaos. Perhaps this is due to those countries still treating the police as a civilian peacekeeping force and not paramilitary forces. Either way our police could learn a thing or two from Germany’s police.
Brace yourselves because the sky is about to fall. A group of students at the University of Minnesota are urging the administration to allow students and faculty to carry firearms on campus:
A string of robberies on the U of M campus late last year escalated on Nov. 11, when the campus went into lockdown because of an attempted robbery at gunpoint, and the suspect got away. A month later, in December 2013, there was another armed robbery on campus.
U of M freshman William Preachuk believes things could have ended differently if he’d been able to pack heat. “I would believe that I have the right to defend myself; I have the right to protect others as well as myself only if the situation allows it,” William Preachuk said.
Preachuk signed a petition Monday that will be sent to the Board of Regents asking to be allowed to conceal and carry on campus.
Susan Eckstine with College Republicans is a permit holder and trained in using a gun. “If I was able to carry a firearm here on campus I’d feel a lot safer to protect myself from a life-threatening situation,” Eckstine said.
As usual advocates of gun control are playing Chicken Little. The most common argument against allowing students and faculty to carry firearms on college campuses is that those areas are high stress environments where emotions run high. This is an interesting argument because I don’t understand where its basis lies. While college campuses are indeed high stress environments and emotions often run high the rate of actual violence is relatively low. Fist fights, stabbings, beatings, and other forms of violence remain low enough on college campuses that when they do occur they are major news items. The linked article mentions that there have been a few robberies near the University of Minnesota campus. Those robberies were big news here in the Twin Cities precisely because such violence is rare. So I’m at a loss as to how allowing students and faculty, who are a pretty peaceful bunch judging by the current lack of regular violence on college campuses, to carry firearms will turns campuses from peaceful spots to veritable war zones.
If the high stress environment of college campuses inherently bred violence then we would already be seeing a great deal of violence. It’s an absurd variation of the “blood in the streets” argument made by gun control advocates whenever a state was planning to pass or further liberalize carry laws. The sky will not fall if college students and faculty are allowed to carry firearms because, as it turns out, college students and faculty members are rational human beings. That means a vast majority of them understand concepts like violence and recognize when it should be used and how much should be used. They’re not likely to pull a gun on a drunken student who is getting overly aggressive but have the option of meeting deadly force with deadly force in a life threatening encounter.
A particularly disturbed anti-gun individual on Facebook made an absurd claim that I want to bring up just because it made me laugh. The individual, who we will refer to as Steve (because that’s his actual first name), said “This will cause a trickle effect and allow weapons of mass destruction into other areas where they shouldn’t be.” Wow. According to his logic allowing students and faculty to carry discriminatory weapons will somehow cause a trickle effect that will result in allowing them to carry nondiscriminatory nuclear and biological weapons. That’s a long leap of logic that is so absurd that it’s barely worth addressing (as I said, I merely brought it up for entertainment value). But it is interesting to see how far advocate of gun control will stretch things in an attempt to argue their case.
It’s a sad day for metalheads. Oderus Urungus, the front thing for GWAR, has been reported as dead:
The founder and lead vocalist for the heavy metal band GWAR was found dead in his Virginia home on Sunday, police said.
The body of Dave Brockie, 50 — who performed under the name of “Oderus Urungus” for the absurdly grotesque hardcore band — was found inside his Richmond home shortly before 7 p.m., a police spokeswoman told the Daily News.
Investigators did not immediately suspect foul play, but an autopsy was scheduled to determine a cause of death.
I think most of us are aware that Oderus isn’t dead. He has likely tired of the putrid scum of this planet and left to find something better. Wherever he ends up will be made a better place by the metal he will introduce.
Whatever you opinion of Keith Ellison is (mine is extremely low but that’s my standard view of politicians) you have to give him some credit for at least being honest:
According to Maher, who – of course – is an admitted gun owner, America is a country ruled by crazed gang of radical gun nuts. He’s terribly upset that the Constitution is standing in the way of putting an end to this, so he wants it altered. To that end, he asked Ellison why the Democrat party doesn’t just ‘come out’ of the anti-gun closet and wage open warfare against the 2nd Amendment.
Then why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s the problem.” Maher asked.
“I sure wish they would,” replied Ellison. “I sure wish they would.”
When Maher pointed out, correctly, that Democrats try to have it both ways where the 2nd Amendment is concerned;
Ellison said “You have got to check out the progressive caucus. We have come out very strong for common-sense gun safety rules.”
“Common-sense gun safety is bullshit,” Maher said.
I’ll save you the author’s commentary about all of the Democrats hating gun rights (because there are Democrats who support gun rights). The point of this post is to applaud Ellison for being honest on live television. If you’re in office and you don’t like the fact that the serfs can own firearms just say it. I get tired of all these politicians claiming they support the privilege (because if you need government permission it’s a privilege) of serfs owning firearms while doing everything they can to prevent serfs from owning firearms. Own your beliefs.
It may also surprise you (it sure surprised me) that I actually agree with Bill Maher on something. “Common-sense gun safety” (a euphemism for gun control) is bullshit. But I probably disagree with Maher on why it’s bullshit.