Archive for August, 2014
Last year John McCain sneaked across the Syrian border to hold a meeting with some of the country’s rebels. As it turns out some of those rebels ended up in ISIS. While we didn’t know what he discussed with the rebels at the time we now know:
At least four hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including an American journalist who was recently executed by the group, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, according to people familiar with the treatment of the kidnapped Westerners.
If anybody knows how to waterboard people it’s John McCain!
We’ve all heard the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s a pledge written by a socialist (which should make it poison to neocons) many of us were required to recite in school before we had the ability to understand what it meant. In it the reciter promises to lay down his life for a piece of colored cloth that represents his or her rulers. Neocons, being an incredibly patriotic bunch, often jerk themselves off to the Pledge of Allegiance. But neocons also hate all things Middle East. So it’s no surprise that they’re flipping their shit over a school that allowed children recite the Pledge in Arabic:
A Colorado high school principal is defending his decision to allow students from a cultural club to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic — and denied that it was attempt to push an Islamic agenda.
Tom Lopez, the principal at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, told Fox News he has received a number of telephone calls and emails from outraged parents – but he stands by his decision.
“These students love this country,” he said. “They were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in English.”
The school recites the Pledge of Allegiance once a week and on Monday a member of the Cultural Arms Club led the student body in the Arabic version of the pledge.
What really gets me about this is that the United States doesn’t have an official language. Neocons love to say “If you can’t speak English then get the fuck out!” but they have no legal grounds, thankfully, for expelling people who can’t speak English. In fact neocons should be overjoyed that somebody has translated this oath of mindless obedience into other languages so children of foreign lands can pledge to die for this forsaken government.
Now let’s discuss the real problem here: children being told to recite a oath of undying loyalty by school officials. Having the pledge in school, in my opinion, is an attempt to get them while they’re young. Tell them that America is the freest country on Earth enough times that they begin to believe and also get them to mindlessly recite a pledge to fall over dead for some suit-clad assholes in a far away marble building enough times that they may actually do it. If there’s anything to be angry about it’s this attempted brainwashing of America’s children.
There has been a small trend of instances where detainees have been cuffed, placed into the back of cop cars, and ended up shooting themselves. We can now add another occurrence of this strange phenomenon to the list but this time more than just speculation stands against the cop’s story:
A coroner’s report obtained exclusively by NBC News directly contradicts the police version of how a 22-year-old black man died in the back seat of a Louisiana police cruiser earlier this year — but still says the man, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, shot himself.
In a press release issued March 3, the day he died, the Louisiana State Police said Victor White III apparently shot himself in an Iberia Parish police car. According to the police statement, White had his hands cuffed behind his back when he shot himself in the back.
But according to the full final report of the Iberia Parish coroner, which was released nearly six months later and obtained exclusively by NBC News, White was shot in the front, not the back. The bullet entered his right chest and exited under his left armpit. White was left-handed, according to family members. According to the report, the forensic pathologist found gunshot residue in the wound, but not the sort of stippling that a close-range shot can sometimes produce. He also found abrasions on White’s face.
I’m shocked that the officer’s version of the story didn’t hold up. After all it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that a person was handcuffed, almost certainly searched, and placed into a cop car only to have smuggled in a firearm in his ass so he could pull it out if captured and execute himself. What part of that story isn’t completely plausible?
Now we wait to see what comes of this information. My guess is jack shit. The officers that arrested the man and potentially shot him will probably remain on duty and the media will fail to report further on this fiasco. Then if riots erupt in the area the cops will claim they have no idea why it did and call in the storm troopers to violently suppress the rioters.
There’s no doubt that the Internet has been one of the greatest tools for information sharing every invented. Instead of having to go to the library, request a book, wait two weeks for that book to arrive, and squeeze every bit of knowledge you need out of that book in one or two weeks we not open a browser and type a search into Google. But it’s not limited solely to books. The state, failing to comprehend a future where the plebs could access and read its documents, put a bunch of stuff online for us to access. This saves a lot of people a lot of headaches having to go to a court to obtain a physical copy of records related to cases. Slowly the state is realizing its mistake and disappearing things down the memory hold:
The Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) has removed access to nearly a decade’s worth of electronic documents from four US appeals courts and one bankruptcy court.
The removal is part of an upgrade to a new computer system for the database known as Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER.
Court dockets and documents at the US Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th, 11th, and Federal Circuits, as well as the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, were maintained with “locally developed legacy case management systems,” said AO spokesperson Karen Redmond in an e-mailed statement. Those five courts aren’t compatible with the new PACER system.
If your tax funded upgrade of a public system removes public records then the upgrade was not done correctly. As somebody who relies on being able to download the state’s dirty laundry and court records (but I repeat myself) to entertain my readers this kind of shit pisses me off. And I’m probably going to be pissed off more and more because I guarantee the state is going to “upgrade” more of its systems and toss a ton of online records down the memory hole. It’s a classic maneuver, if you can’t get away with destroying public records then you just make them very difficult to access.
If you regularly read any gun-related news source you’re already aware of the 9 year-old kid in Arizona who accidentally killed a firearm instructor with an Uzi:
A nine year-old girl in the US has killed her shooting instructor by accident while being shown how to use a high-powered submachine gun.
The instructor was giving the girl a lesson at a shooting range in Arizona when the recoil from the automatic fire caused her to lose control of the Uzi.
Charles Vacca, 39, was shot in the head and died after being airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas.
I feel bad for the kid. She will probably suffer a lifetime of guilt for what happened. But none of this was her fault. Ultimately the fault lies with the instructor. A firearm instructor is supposed to have a deep understanding of the weapons platforms he’s giving instructions on. That implies knowing that giving a small child a difficult to control weapon is a bad idea. For somebody my size and with my training an Uzi isn’t terribly difficult to control. It does want to continuously raise its point of aim but that can be controlled. If you know what you’re doing. Most 9 year-old kids are unlikely to know what they’re doing with a fully automatic firearm.
Some people want to put some blame on the parents. I’m not familiar with how much firearm knowledge the parents had. When you have little or no knowledge about something it’s difficult to make informed decisions, which is why you usually seek instruction from a professional. From what I’ve read, and details are pretty scarce, the parents did the right thing by taking their child to a supposed instructor (while he may not have been certified by any well-known organization an individual with little knowledge on the subject is unlikely to know how to verify subject specific credentials). So I can’t see any grounds for blaming the parents.
In the end this was a tragic situation and will likely result in a girl scarred for life.
Statists, in general, are slightly confusing to me. The more statist one is the more confusing I find them to be. As you can imagine neoconservatives and neoliberals really throw me for a loop. Their philosophy appears to be nothing more than a thinly veiled desire to ruthlessly rule over others. Consider the wish made by a host of Fox News:
Responding to co-host Greg Gutfeld’s commentary on how President Barack Obama is dealing with ISIS, Guilfoyle said:
“Can I just make a special request in the magic lamp? Can we get like Netanyahu, or like Putin in for 48 hours, you know, head of the United States?”
I’m no fan of Obama but I fail to see how replacing him with another tyrant; and make no mistakes, both Netanyahu and Putin are tyrants of the highest form; is going to make anything better. Especially when Guilfoyle is living in the United States and therefore would have to live under the reign of Netanyahu or Putin even though she faces also zero threat from ISIS (I’m sorry but all the fear mongering about ISIS coming here to get you is bullshit just as all the fear mongering about al-Qaeda coming back to kill us was bullshit). I’m left to believe that Guilfoyle is a masochist and is upset that the current tyrant heading this country isn’t inflicting enough pain so we need to replace him with an even more vicious tyrant. If pain is what she wants there are numerous clubs that can provide it in an entirely voluntary way.
If you’ve been involved in libertarian circles for a while you’ve probably heard the name Stefan Molyneux. He is a self-proclaimed philosopher who considers himself an anarcho-capitalist. In addition to that he’s also a narcissistic ass who mirrors a cult leader more than an individual who supposedly opposed rulers. As with most narcissists Molyneux doesn’t handle criticism well. Any form of criticism, in his opinion, must be ruthlessly crushed even if it requires him to be a hypocrite to do it. A group calling themselves Tru Shibes have been putting together videos on YouTube that point out instances where Molyneux has been inconsistent. Since Molyneux does hour and a half monologues Tru Shibes have had a lot of material to work with. But Molyneux decided he had to prove that his inconsistencies know no bounds. The man claims that he opposes intellectual property but decided to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to silence Tru Shibes:
Either way, Molyneux, who writes and speaks frequently about being against “state” violence and has spoken out about how he doesn’t support intellectual property law, apparently chose to make use of the DMCA to take down a bunch of videos from “TruShibes” an account that apparently has mocked Molyneux and apparently hypocritical actions/statements he’s made.
I think Tru Shibes should consider this their single greatest victory. This story also brings up a point that I feel needs emphasizing from time to time. Us anarchists subscribe to a philosophy that opposes the state. For me that means avoiding interaction with the state as much as possible. I don’t want to use the state to solve my problems, which means I have little interest in calling the cops on somebody, taking somebody to court, or filing a DMCA take down notice to silence my critics (don’t worry, all of my shit is public domain so I don’t even have claimed copyrights I could use for a DMCA take down). But from time to time I see self-proclaimed anarchists use the state they supposedly oppose to silence their critics either by filing a lawsuit or utilizing some stupid law like the DMCA.
If anarchism is to thrive it must be able to provide alternatives to the state. One of the state’s longest claimed monopolies is dispute resolution. When two individuals have a disagreement they take it to the state’s courts. Dispute resolution is one of the markets where anarchists could provide some truly creative alternatives. It’s also a market that acts as a litmus test for statists. As far as they’re concerned the only way to resolve disputes is to have a third party with a lot of guns command people who disagree to behave. If anarchists can come up with a functional alternative for dispute resolution it would do a lot to demonstrate its effectiveness.
So if you consider yourself an anarchist take Molyneux’s recent act of cowering behind the state and its DMCA as an example of what not to do. Instead when you find yourself involved in a disagreement work to find a solution that doesn’t involve the state and its coercive violence.
Just because Bill Gates is really good at making money he believes that he knows how to run your life better than you do. Recently his charitable foundation made a $1 million donation to a campaign in Washington state trying to prohibit private sales of firearms:
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have donated $1 million to a Washington state campaign seeking to expand background checks on gun sales, bringing the total amount the campaign has brought in up to nearly $6 million.
The donation to the Initiative 594 campaign was given Friday, but it was not made public until Monday, when it posted on the state’s Public Disclosure Commission website.
I-594 would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers in Washington state, including at gun shows and for private sales. Under the measure, exemptions would exist, including gifts within a family and antiques.
Gun control advocates try to criticize anybody who opposes mandatory background checks with variations of “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.” They imply anybody who opposes background checks has a criminal history. But they are also dishonest about what they want. While they claim that they want to prevent criminals from purchasing firearms what they really want is to prohibit you from selling your property without government permission. I cannot read minds but I will go so far as to imply most gun control advocates want this prohibition in place because it makes the burden of gun ownership higher and therefore would further discourage it. Additionally mandatory background checks would allow the state to more easily restrict firearm ownership by creating more criteria for what defines a prohibited person and having those additional criteria enforced by federally licensed dealers.
In the end laws restricting individuals are always about trying to control the lives of others. Those who advocate them, such as Bill Gates, are control freaks and deserve to be ignored by the rest of us.
If I had an ounce of silver for every time some statist told me “If you don’t like it, you can leave!” I’d be a very wealthy anarchist. It’s the go-to response for any statist that can’t justify their position but don’t want to admit it. But even when you follow their advice and attempt to leave their jimmies get rustled:
NEW YORK (CBS Cleveland/AP) — Burger King says it struck a deal to buy Tim Hortons Inc. for about $11 billion, a move that creates the world’s third-largest fast-food company and could accelerate the international expansion of the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is calling for a boycott of Burger King.
“Burger King’s decision to abandon the United States means consumers should turn to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers or White Castle sliders. Burger King has always said ‘Have it Your Way’; well my way is to support two Ohio companies that haven’t abandoned their country or customers,” Brown said in a statement. “To help business grow in America, taxpayers have funded public infrastructure, workforce training, and incentives to encourage R&D and capital investment. Runaway corporations benefited from those policies but want U.S. companies to pay their share of the tab.”
Burger King didn’t like the taxes here so it’s follow every statist’s advice and leaving. In response some statist jackass from Ohio who spends most of his time sitting in a marble building is demanding people boycott the franchise. Shouldn’t the senator be cheering Burger King’s decision? After all it’s doing exactly what the statists keep telling everybody who criticizes any aspect of the United States. Hell, this guy should be visiting Burger King’s drive thru three times a day reward the franchise for doing exactly what it was told to do.
The last company to follow the statist’s advice, Medtronic, received an equally chill response. Some statists proposed a law, that would have been retroactive to before Metronic’s planned merger, that would prohibit companies from shifting their headquarters to anywhere outside of the United States.
Considering the response received by individuals and organizations that choose to leave when they dislike the conditions here I never want to hear “If you don’t like it, you can leave!” from any statists ever again. They obvious don’t honestly mean that. What they really mean is “If you don’t like, you can shut the fuck up! If you try to leave we’ll stop you!”
It’s obvious to anybody who pays attention that modern policing has a big problem with force. Namely modern police officers are too quick to resort to force, especially deadly force. When I point this out police apologists always respond with some variation on “So? What’s the solution? You never give a solution! You just insult our heroes in blue who you rely on to save your life and keep you safe!” While the last part of that statement is false (I have never been in a position where I received protection from the police) the question itself is valid. So I present my modest proposal for helping reduce the amount of violence inflicted on the populace by police officers.
When an officer starts at a new department they should be on a probation period. During this probation period they should be prohibited from carrying any form of weaponry while on duty. Additionally they should be paired with another officer who has demonstrated effectiveness at resolving situations with the minimum amount of force necessary. The experienced officer would be armed as he has demonstrated an ability to be responsible with armaments.
As the new officer proves he can resolve situations with the minimum amount of necessary force and a general aversion to violence he can begin carrying less-likely-to-be-lethal armaments (pepper spray and a Taser). If the officer then demonstrates he is capable of responsibly using less-likely-to-be-lethal armaments he can begin carrying a baton. After he proves his ability to use a baton responsibly he can finally begin carrying a gun.
If our society is dead set on giving a monopoly on law enforcement to unaccountable individuals then they should at least be required to demonstrate an ability to act in a responsible manner.