Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

Journal: VDH is an academic, so I guess that makes him an 'expert', or something 7

Journal by smitty_one_each

America is suddenly angry at the laxity, incompetence, and polarizing politics of the Obama administration, the bad optics of the president putting about in his bright golf clothes while the world burns. Certainly, no recent president has failed on so many fronts â" honesty, transparency, truthfulness, the economy, foreign policy, the duties of the commander-in-chief, executive responsibilities, and spiritual leadership.

It's a great article, but, if it doesn't translate into candidates offering real reform if elected, then it's just so much whinging about.
Furthermore, Obama is a symptom, not the disease. Had his golfing fixation crippled him in 2008 the way it does now, the NTRCU (No-Talent Rodeo Clown Union) would have provided a similar piece of work.

User Journal

Journal: "What's even more interesting is how you can distinguish Obama from [Reagan]" 6

Journal by smitty_one_each

Let's see. . .
For a random example, Reagan's leadership directly led to the fall of the Berlin wall, indirectly to the fall of the Soviet Union.
Obama's has led to. . .a golf course.
Your juxtaposition of the two is so farcical as to rate a JE, so more people can laugh at it.

User Journal

Journal: Aiming, Trigger Control, and Ferguson 4

Journal by RailGunner
When you're at the range, and you line up your shot to center mass, and you pull the trigger, where you miss is indicative of what you're doing wrong -- if it's consistent. (Some short barrel concealed carry guns are not accurate at longer ranges; they aren't intended to be, either. However, the average full size hand gun is intended to be pretty accurate.)

Here's a link to a helpful free (PDF) target that may make you a better shot.

If I miss at the range -- which is rare -- I usually miss down and to the left of the bullseye (but not by much) because I'm pulling my index finger a little too hard -- I'm tightening my fingers.

If I was in a high stress situation -- say one where a yelling, large, aggressive nearly 300 pound man is charging me, I'd probably tighten up even more and miss to the left, say, hitting the assailant in the right arm. As I continued to pull the trigger, I would likely start missing up from the recoil of the gun -- more likely if I've firing a .40 cal, which has a sharper, more upward recoil than a .45 ACP or a 9mm does. (I've shot a few .40 cals before -- I've not shot a .40 cal Sig Sauer, but I have shot a couple of Berettas and I wasn't a fan. Besides -- .45 ACP is better than .40 anyways :) )

In this regard, the autopsy result of Michael Brown tends to support the officer's account of what happened. Brown was charging him, and under stress he over tightened, and missed to his left from center mass which would be the assailant's right arm / shoulder as he likely did not take a lot, if any, time to re-sight as he was in the line of a charging bull.

The other piece of evidence is going to be the brass. If it's all in a localized area, the officer was standing still. If it's scattered, then he was running toward the assailant.

The other question, which leads into another somewhat related point: How many rounds did Officer Darren Wilson fire? His gun had a 12 round magazine (+1 in the pipe) so it's possible that he missed a few times - which wouldn't surprise me, as here's a dirty little secret:

The police do not train with their firearms enough, or even as much as the average CHL holder.

A couple of my closest friends are police officers, and I can out shoot them any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Despite their "training" I have a much tighter grouping and many, many more bulls-eyes with the same weapon than they do.

The reality is, this trend tends to hold across the general population. You are far more likely to get shot by a cop -- whether intentional or not -- than you are a legal concealed carry licensee.

Consider that little fact the next time you want to think that "only the police should have guns".

And if you are a concealed license holder -- when was the last time you practiced? Find a range and keep those skills sharp.
The Matrix

Journal: Foley is a Fake 15

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

Kidnapped in Libya, got away. Kidnapped in Syria, "beheaded".

Orange jump suit? Not even b-movie material. Edited from hours of footage, Photoshopped and Premiered to forensic nonsense - and hey! Look, they cut a different place than the "severed head" was separated.

He is probably dead. That's what happens to CIA screws.

You remember, don't you? Like Nick Berg...

It's all fake, turtles. All the way down.

User Journal

Journal: Perhaps they thought Foley some kind of double agent

Journal by smitty_one_each

Foley came to Syria to support the Sunni Islamist rebels against the Syrian government. He was a vehement advocate and while he didnâ(TM)t necessarily side with any single group, he echoed the one sided narrative rather than telling the truth about the Islamists. His Twitter feed was full of urgings to arm the Jihadists.
Meanwhile he sneered at Americaâ(TM)s War on Terror.

I would that he could have learned this lesson at a price less than the ultimate one: barbarians gonna barber.

User Journal

Journal: H2G2: The saga?

Journal by Timex

I was talking to someone at work about how some of the best political wisdom I've heard came from a Douglas Adams book, specifically the bit about how the ones who aspire to positions of authority are those least qualified to have said positions. The conversation then devolved into how the Beeb had created a site to act as a real-life Guide.

Out of curiosity, I set out to see if I could find my posts, and I did. The problem is that I hadn't posted there since April or so of 2000. I had no idea what my login was, no clue on the email address associated with it, and certainly not my password. I went back and forth with their "Gurus", explaining all this and how I would gladly answer any question they had in an effort to identify myself. I gave email addresses I used at the time, too. Next thing I know, they're sending me my login and my password via email, in cleartext.

Wow.

Needless to say, I changed the password right quick.

User Journal

Journal: I don't usually respond to A/C, but this is worth exploring 6

Journal by smitty_one_each

When you follow the Judo [gi, that's funny] Christian God (and it isn't the only God that exhibits this), you are for collective punishment. One of the first stories in the Bible was about how God collectively punished all humanity of all time because of the sins of Adam and Eve, and each individual has to find their way back to good standing with Big Father (who's always watching you!) is to follow His teachings, which for most people means, ironically, retarding their individual growth and maturity, believing in voodoo instead of science, believing in fairy tales instead of facts, forming collectives and Inner Parties (churches) and believing in whatever the well dressed figurehead at the alter says.

You can't really play the Romans 5 card, emphasis mine:

12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

. . .without noticing the symmetry of having one man finalize that group punishment for all mankind, before or since. Furthermore, one chapter over:

Everyone's flesh gets paid the same wage: a final heartbeat. But for the punishment to achieve true universality, we'd all have to die at once. But this punishment is not universally administered; we each get our reward as individuals. Those who've internalized what life really means (i.e., Jesus Christ) needn't fret that final heartbeat. Or the fables of the secular priesthood, like anthropogenic global warming (or whatever the current focus-group/choir-approved term for the lie is), life beginning at some arbitrary, lawyer-defined moment, or whatever tale the dirt-diggers (I mean 'experts') are spinning this week about when/where/why early humans were tooling around. God bless them all. I wish that there was some other course one could steer in life and reach joy. I grasp that mine is insufficient for you, and hope you find mercy, in the final analysis.
(a) I haven't really 'won' anything, in a secular sense: there is no competition.
(b) While I flatter myself an eternal winner, in a non-secular sense, there is scant value in winning ugly.
(c) Peace.

United States

Journal: Why Ferguson Is Just the Beginning of Future America 12

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius
by Malooga
lifted from a comment

@154 luca kasks: "Why don't you people wait for all the facts to come in?"

Facts are not like beloved relatives coming in to visit on cherished holidays; facts are like murdered ex-collaborators, to be secretly disappeared and buried deep in some dank forgotten hole in the ground.

Facts, for the ruling class, are dangerous beasts. Myths and stories are far safer fare.

Facts may escape unexpectedly at the very beginning of an event, before proper control systems are in place, after that all one is likely to get is the official story, or if that fails, the official fall-back position.

How could one get what is going on geopolitically by following this blog, and not get that the same conditions and principles of domination, control and brutalization operate similarly on a local scale?

Perhaps it might be helpful to detail those conditions and principles in order to remind ourselves what the theater in which these events take place is truly like, both for the residents of places like Ferguson, and for the police who manage those residents.

The war on drugs was not a war against drugs. It was a war for the ultra-rich rulers to control and profit from the cash streams of illegal drug profits, to finance un-sellable illegal wars, a method of destabilizing other countries through drug addiction, and a method of criminalizing the intentional poverty and hopelessness of the bottom 30%, or more, of the domestic population. (See: US protection of heroin in southeast Asia and Afghanistan, CIA crack distribution in US cities, Gary Webb, etc.)

The "War on Terror" is virtually the same thing: An outright war on the poor, and a destabilization of territories the empire does not control outright. Additionally, like drugs, the "war" is largely synthetic, that is to say, fake and victimless, where the perpetrators have to be secretly sponsored to create an artificial enemy, with what Rowan Berkeley accurately termed "pseudo-gangs."

These wars are not real, in the sense that the problems as described are not real; and, such problems as may exist, are intentionally handled so as to exacerbate them, and reinforce the problem-reaction-solution dynamic.

Drugs are not a problem to be eradicated, rather, they are a medium to be employed, a means to an end. Terror, as we know, is not even a thing, it is just a tactic. You can't criminalize a tactic, but you can employ it as a means to an end.

I don't need to remind you that the US, the "land of the free," has the largest -- in absolute and relative terms -- prison population on the planet. And the vast, vast, vast majority of those who are imprisoned are there for victimless crimes.

But that's not all. Because if you grow up in the projects, and you raise your kid right, and miraculously manage to keep him away from guns and gangs, you still face two more daunting hurdles: poverty and police violence.

Let's start with poverty. Official unemployment rates are lied over, real rates can be many times higher, and many in the projects can find no work at all, or only part-time work, without benefits, in a fast food joint. Lack of work equals lack of money, which equals lack of education, which equals lack of opportunity and work, and so on, in an endless vicious cycle.

Domestically, a new war is underway: an outright war on the poor, where those who can't -- because of unemployment or other reasons -- keep up with their financial obligations are threatened with imprisonment for non-payment of bills, taxes, child support, court fees, parking tickets, etc. Indeed, we as a society have regressed to the days of Oliver Twist and workhouses. Prisoners must work for their keep these days as low cost producers for corporations, and quaint notions like labor laws or minimum wages do not apply to them.

Prisons have been privatized, and prisoners are just another commodity to be profited from in the capitalist system, like pork bellies, or wheat futures. Judges, like police, have been proved to have quotas: they are expected to meet a production goal where, like a factory worker, a certain number of people must be imprisoned each month or year. After all, the owners of these prisons are top campaign contributors, and they provide "jobs" to the local economy, so they must be kept happy. Cops, like judges, are under pressure to do their part in maintaining prison occupancy rates.

Any fool can see that this is not a description of a society, as anthropologists might have studied 100 years ago, but of a catabolic process, whereby a sick or diseased body (politic) greedily consumes itself on the way to the grave. And, as they quietly lament around my way, "it is what it is."

And yet, it is worse: for those that escape these first three evils -- drugs, the "war on terror" and poverty -- which I have briefly detailed, there is a fourth evil to be circumvented: what the sociologists call "structural violence." And this takes two forms. The first comes in the form of what psychiatrists term "frustration aggression." Watch industrially raised chickens, confined to 2/3 of a square foot of cage space, artificial lighting, and a diet of drugs and GMO feedstock engage in vicious acts of cannibalism, and you will get a sense of what that is. The ghetto is a similarly sociologically confined space, and frustration and the inability to cope or escape can lead to misplaced violence or acting out against others.

The second type of violence is institutionalized violence, where, in an intentional process of social engineering, one group or class of people is taught to hate and fear another group or class. This is the process that I, employing Gregory Bateson's insights, term schismogenesis. It is divide and rule at its most base level: Civil wars, genocide, pogroms, mob violence, etc.

And yes, the police are deeply inculcated in perpetuating institutional violence. They are trained to both hate and fear the public they lord over. And the system is not accidental, by any means. The police on the beat, the SWAT teams, the civic snipers, etc. -- these are people of rather limited intellectual abilities in understanding how the entire geopolitical system works. They are, by nature, not curious in that way -- rather, they are ordinary people who value fitting in, convention, tradition, and law and order in society. In other words, they buy into the myths of our society, its "freedom," and "liberty," and "goodness of purpose," and "rightness of heart," and "exceptionalism," lock, stock, and barrel. And they expect others to buy in as well in order to be "good" patriotic Americans. After all, "if you are not with us, you are against us," as George Bush Jr. explained in one of his few elegantly articulate formulations. Therefore, the police are vulnerable to being easily propagandized.

They are then compartmentalized in knowledge, grouped into subgroups, and endlessly trained and drilled in hate and fear of the official "enemy" of the day, and then trained in techniques of the highest level of violence in thwarting the alleged goals of these enemies. Police no longer make use of bobby clubs, they are now given the elite weapons of war that our soldiers use in combat. They watch movies to see how these weapons are employed. And to seal the deal, they are given special classes, trainings and drills from the same "specialists" on "terror" that train our military because the American way of subversion always includes making people feel special. Now, they are not dumb cops anymore, they are well trained, and they are told that they are our elite guard protecting the "homeland" from those who hate our ways of freedom.

They are also economically privileged compared to the people of places like Ferguson. Police have unions, and theirs are probably the only labor unions in America today not under constant attack from the ruling class. So they get generous overtime, benefits, can buy houses and raise kids in safety outside of the leviathan that I am describing. They also, to a certain extent, benefit from the inequalities of society. So they look down on those they are policing and look up to their betters: The wealthy and those who are experts in the "threats facing society today." Go to a real wealthy neighborhood, and the cops don't have that same smug attitude. They address you as "Sir" or Ma'am." If they have to pull you over for having a headlight out, they can be downright apologetic -- after all, you may be a judge or a city councilman. They know who their betters are, and now they act like public servants, albeit a little falsely servile. This is obviously not the case in Ferguson, where the number of police stops annually is greater than the population of the town, and arrests are similarly elevated.

Finally, police on the force for any length of time must face the complete corruption of our society: They know that justice is a farce. They know who the drug dealers are, the money runners, the pimps, the bought politicians, and judges -- the whole nine yards. And they know that there is no will to change any of this. Moreover, they have no power over any of this: They can either choose to be complicit in the corrupt system, or keep to themselves and hope for the best not to be set up one day as a patsy.

Thus, police in our society live in a state of total cognitive dissonance, what one might call an ethical double-bind. They are forced to see that on one hand, we are supposedly the greatest society ever; on the other hand, life is hopelessly brutal and corrupt. They must believe in, or at least publicly pay lip service, to the myths they are sworn to uphold: the wars on drugs and terror; the promise of progress and a quasi-religious kind of civic and moral redemption -- that if you just keep your nose clean and work hard, you can escape the poverty of the ghetto they police; and that we live in a just society in which they are the protectors of that justice. Meanwhile, they like everyone else in America, watches as the whole system is rapidly breaking down. They know that there are no real jobs for the people of Ferguson, and that, like in the movie, "TheTruman Show," the residents cannot escape the set.

This double bind is of course unresolvable. So police themselves, under tremendous internal strain, resort to the same frustration-aggression, and unexpected violent lashing out, in order to cope.

Under these conditions, the only power police have is over the people in the community they are supposed to serve. And the only way they can demonstrate that power is by acting out brutally and violently.

Sociologists and criminologists know that the methods police are taught and trained in don't work, just as economists know that "trickle down" really means "flow up." Gentler methods involving community involvement, restorative justice, etc. have all been worked out and proved to work. But the new methods actually do work, only for different purposes and to different ends: they frighten and cower populations, they allow one group to dominate another, they isolate people and pit them against each other in fruitless zero-sum games, and they destroy human lives, values, and charitableness. In sum, they control people, and allow them to be selectively harvested for profit, like a slowly maturing cash crop in the sweltering St. Louis summer heat.

And, community policing, bad as it is these days, does not even compare to the violence perpetrated by the new elite SWAT teams. These groups are as brutal as the teams used to clear houses in Iraq -- and no surprise there, for they are taught the same methods: If it moves, take it out.

And that brings us back to the police. Under the conditions I have just detailed, under the impossible constraints they forced to endure, how can they not be violent, at least some of the time. And how can they, as an organized force, not be violent in a systematic manner. Perhaps not all the time, but more often than not the social forces which police work under these days force violence to be propagated down in a systematic and totalizing manner.

And it is the awareness of all that I have described that causes many commenters here to reflexively assume police lies and violence to be ubiquitous. I hope that this is more understandable now. It is not a judgment of an individual's (the cop who shot Michael Brown) -- who one obviously doesn't know well -- moral value, rather it is an holistic appraisal of the social and material conditions of our society today, in which the American underclass, and their handlers, seek to operate.

Therefore, as for the police themselves, yes, perhaps out of the many hundreds of cases a year like this of police murder, corruption, assault, brutality, cover-up, bribery, theft, etc., there are possibly a few that were accidental, unintentional, or even false charges. If that were to be the case -- which appears practically impossible -- the facts would get out -- unless the cop were being intentionally set up. But, to focus on this petty detail, and insist upon its importance to the bigger picture, is to miss that bigger picture altogether. I hope we can all see this.

Posted by b on August 20, 2014 at 06:49 AM Permalink

United States

Journal: Funny? Racist, dishonest hypocrisy. 10

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

How the pro-Reagan "Get Government off Our BACKS" crowd is really bending over, to excuse and endorse the SWATting of Ferguson.

Racist, dishonest hypocrisy.

If it was a white rancher that set off the same events, they'd be going all "Obama dictatorship" and FEMA death-camp.

You see, they are trained to hate and fear COLOUR - not power, which they adore.

User Journal

Journal: Terminal Ballistics and Ferguson 10

Journal by RailGunner
One argument made on television last night by a Ferguson City Councilwoman was that the Officer used "excessive force" by shooting a 6'4", 240 pound man 6 times.

6 times! She said.

...... the ignorance is breathtaking.

Here's the reality: Remember this story of a woman hiding in her attic with her children? She shot the assailant 6 times. He survived his injuries. Link to Local News Story

I bring this up as an example to my larger point: Compared to long guns (rifles, shotguns) ALL HAND GUNS SUCK.

The woman in the story was using a .38 special, I do not know what caliber the Officer in Ferguson was carrying. I will wager an educated guess and say that most likely the officer was carrying a 9mm, as it's arguably the most popular police issue handgun. A size comparison between the .38 and the 9mm reveals that they are very, very close in size. The 9mm is faster, as the cartridge contains more powder.

Hollywood has lied to you.

When people are shot, even with the mighty .45 ACP (well, mighty for a hand gun, that is), most people do the following: They psychologically react, think, "OH MY GOD I'VE BEEN SHOT" and lay down, where they are either captured, taken to the hospital, and recover or pass out due to loss of blood pressure and bleed out. They do not fly through the air emitting a Wilhelm Scream only to be stone dead when they hit the ground.

The only way to *stop* an assailant with a hand gun, barring the psychological effects, is to hit someone in the following areas on the body: The pelvic girdle, shattering the hip bone making walking difficult if not impossible, severing the spinal cord, or a hit to the brain. Even a direct shot to the heart is not enough to stop immediately, as a person with a destroyed heart could still have anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds of combat ability before they pass out due to loss of blood pressure.

Here's what we know: According to the officer and eye witness testimony, Michael Brown was rushing the police officer, who fired. The first few shots hit the assailant's arm, and did not stop him. Finally, a shot that hit just above his eye (autopsy report) ended his life.

Far from being a cherub faced child, Michael Brown was a 6'4", 240 pound giant who had just committed a strongarm robbery of a bunch of Swisher Sweet cigars, popular for hollowing out for use with marijuana (which was found in the toxicology report).

Why are losers like Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, and other race baiting idiots involved? We have now seen two incidents where an "unarmed" black male was assaulting a police officer in one case -- breaking his orbital socket bone -- and in the other case breaking the nose of a neighborhood watch volunteer. Both were committing a felony assault when shot, and both died from their wounds. Both are now Liberal Saints, Trayvon Martin -- aka Saint Skittles, and now Michael Brown, now Saint Swisher Sweets -- who despite committing felony assaults at the time of their deaths -- and quite frankly, already received their "justice" -- were "good boys who didn't do nuffin".

Both also led to outcry and criminal trials. Much like George Zimmerman, I would normally expect Officer Wilson to be acquitted -- but with the current mob mentality, and the desire for their pound of flesh, there's no way to predict the outcome of what is now a politically charged event.

... while nary a word is said about the epidemic of black on black violence that is occurring in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, and Washington DC -- where in many of those cases the victims, unlike Brown and Martin, were innocent.

My, how this country has fallen so far in just 6 years.
User Journal

Journal: I must credit the president for being consistent 50

Journal by smitty_one_each
Crime

Journal: What they want you to think 6

Journal by squiggleslash

So... Brown was going to college in a few days, but he decided to rob a store beforehand because that's what undergrads do or something. But they found dope in his system, which also proves that in addition to being a violent "thug" (though not one armed with the prerequesite cola and skittles) he was also a drugged out maniac. And the store refused to call 911 because, uh, not sure, but there's probably a bad reason for it. So later when a cop happened to find him jaywalking it was probably OK to ki... no, that's too strong a word, put him to sleep, because thug.

So here's white currently suburban (and British urban anyway, so that doesn't count) me thinking none of this makes sense even if you're trying to tug at any prejudices of mine.

One problem is that Brown being on dope explains the robbery and why the store didn't feel any strong inclination to call 911. Kinda. Well, based on an experience of mine anyway. Thing is, about 25 years ago I'm buying a cheese and onion sandwich from a newsagent in Oxford. In walks a (white, FWIW) man who is obviously stoned. Student probably. Tries to find something to eat, and then has an argument with the store owner who (1) wants him to wait until he's finished serving me and (2) wants him to pay. "Dope fiend" (heh) then loses his temper, swears, makes a lot of comments that sound like a Slashdotter moaning about having to buy music (except about groceries not music), upends a small rack of merchandise near the door, and leaves the store.

Store owner is pissed, but sees no need to call 999. This guy isn't a real threat to anyone. The damage is slight. The situation may resolve itself once the would-be customer sobers up anyway.

Of course, follow this line of reasoning and Brown isn't a thug (I keep emphasizing that word, you know why...) but someone with temporarily poor judgement who was, by default, in a more mellow frame of mind despite appearances at the store.

Which, while I wasn't there, is certainly consistent not with Brown somehow being threatening to the officer that killed him, but initially (while there was no threat) likely to mouth of, and then when the situation turned threatening, more than a little paranoid and likely compliant with the (justifiably, as it turned out) scary cop: that is to say, I think despite the Ferguson police trying to smear Brown as a doped up thug, everything is consistent with the eyewitness accounts that say otherwise.

A few days before going to college Brown, apparently, smoked dope, leading to a series of events where a cop thought he could get away with executing him. Even replacing the more mellow attitude of British police with their authoritarian and mildly corrupt American counterparts, I don't think my white fellow shopper 20 years ago would ever have been shot if caught jaywalking afterwards. Given not merely the attempt to smear Brown, but the type of smear used, which seems to be used all too often, I think he was shot because certain elements in the US, and apparently many are in law enforcement, believe blacks belong to a less human class than the rest of us.

User Journal

Journal: A statement to ponder 56

Journal by smitty_one_each

Emphasis mine:

A hundred years ago, the first group of progressives concluded that this country needed to change in a big way. They argued explicitly for a refounding of the United States on the grounds that the only absolute in political life is that absolutes are material and economic rather than moral in nature.

That's one of those statements that leaves one rubbing the chin. It seems plausible on the face of matters. However, having taken one's eyes off the Almighty, much is possible. As someone wicked once said:

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.

Working...