sights & sounds

May 18, 2010

“incorruptible politicians”

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Much like ‘government organization’ or ‘unbiased opinion’, the very idea is (oxy)moronic and worthy of nothing more than ridicule2. An ‘honest politician’ is as much a mythical beast as the elusive jackalope; but somehow, I think I have a far greater chance of stumbling upon an antlered bunny in the woods than finding an honest man in Washington. (more…)

May 15, 2010

“heroism”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 2:34 am
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From Butler Shaffer on LewRockwell; Emphases mine.:

The U.S. military is considering the creation of a new medal to be awarded soldiers who resist the temptation to kill civilians in foreign wars.  To be known as a medal for “courageous restraint,” troops may soon be rewarded for not “using lethal force” where injury to non-combatants might occur.  It was doubtless coincidental that news of this proposed medal was made sometime after Seymour Hersh’s reporting on the widespread use of ”battlefield executions” of prisoners by American soldiers in Afghanistan.

War is an insane enough activity without it being used as a parody of itself.  Perhaps the idea for such a medal arose from the history of so many Nobel Peace Prize recipients, who were honored after they had ceased engaging in statist butchery: Woodrow Wilson, George C. Marshall, and Henry Kissinger being among the more prominent awardees.  Even Barack Obama won the award, not long after assuming the presidency and as he was intensifying the war in Afghanistan. When Tom Lehrer declared that he stopped engaging in satire after Kissinger won this prize, one gets a sense of the absurdity of the war system parading as its opposite.  The derangement implicit in the Strategic Air Command’s motto “peace is our profession” is recalled. (more…)

May 7, 2010

‘child endangerment’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:40 pm
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From Columbia Tribune; emphases mine:

A man arrested on suspicion of drug charges and child endangerment said he is concerned with the actions of police who shot two dogs they described as “aggressive” while serving a drug-related search warrant at his home earlier this month in southwest Columbia.

Police arrested Jonathan E. Whitworth, 25, of 1501 Kinloch Court on Feb. 11 on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and second-degree child endangerment.

A police SWAT team entered Whitworth’s residence around 8:30 p.m. suspecting a large amount of marijuana at the location, police spokeswoman Officer Jessie Haden said. SWAT members encountered a pit bull upon entry, held back and then fatally shot the dog, which officers said was acting in an uncontrollably aggressive manner.

Whitworth was arrested, and his wife and 7-year-old son were present during the SWAT raid, Haden said. A second dog, which Whitworth’s attorney Jeff Hilbrenner described as a corgi, also was shot but was not killed.

“The family is concerned with what happened,” Hilbrenner said. “We don’t feel like what happened in the home was appropriate. The priority right now for us is the misdemeanor charges.”

(some upsetting video footage of the incident below the cut)
(more…)

May 6, 2010

A Story in Crayons.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 3:38 pm
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From BuzzFeed:

May 5, 2010

“We do know who you are.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:38 pm
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At first, I thought this was a parody, but apparently not.

May 3, 2010

“Get the fuck out of here! I’ll fucking kill you all!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 10:40 pm
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A gaggle of black bloc anarchists recently set their sights on an American Apparel store, startling the hipster shoppers into action – windows were smashed, cops were summoned1, and much silliness ensued. Footage of some of the incident below the cut: (more…)

April 30, 2010

Arizona boycott?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 2:49 am
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From the NY Times:

A spreading call for an economic boycott of Arizona after its adoption of a tough immigration law that opponents consider racially discriminatory worried business leaders on Monday and angered the governor.

Several immigrant advocates and civil rights groups, joined by members of the San Francisco government, said the state should pay economic consequences for the new law, which gives the police broad power to detain people they reasonably suspect are illegal immigrants and arrest them on state charges if they do not have legal status.

La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper, urged a boycott in an editorial Monday, as did the Rev. Al Sharpton, and calls for such action spread to social media sites. The San Francisco city attorney and members of the Board of Supervisors said they would propose that the city not do business with the state.

This state boycott would be pretty misdirected1, in my opinion; and I’m deeply skeptical of just how effective it would be, anyway.

1. Boycotting an entire region (including the Hispanic population that the boycotters are concerned for) for the actions of a few higher-ups makes little sense.

on conservative groupthink

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 12:14 am
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From the NY Times:

It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as “epistemic closure” could get anyone excited, but the term has sparked a heated argument among conservatives in recent weeks about their movement’s intellectual health.

First used in this context by Julian Sanchez of the libertarian Cato Institute, the phrase “epistemic closure” has been ricocheting among conservative publications and blogs as a high-toned abbreviation for ideological intolerance and misinformation.

Conservative media, Mr. Sanchez wrote…have “become worryingly untethered from reality as the impetus to satisfy the demand for red meat overtakes any motivation to report accurately.”

As a result, he complained, many conservatives have developed a distorted sense of priorities and a tendency to engage in fantasy, like the belief that President Obama was not born in the United States or that the health care bill proposed establishing “death panels.” (more…)

April 29, 2010

education and pro-choice views

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 7:49 pm
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From a Gallup poll:

Educational achievement is much more important than gender in determining support for broadly legal abortion, with college-educated adults — and especially college-educated women — the most supportive. This has been the case since the 1970s.

Gallup’s abortion polling since the mid-1970s finds few remarkable distinctions between men’s and women’s views on the legality of abortion.

Overall, women are a bit more likely than men to hold one of the more absolute views on abortion: that it should be either legal under any circumstances or illegal in all circumstances. However, majorities of both genders take the middle “legal only under certain circumstances” position.

Within various age and partisan categories, men and women are mostly similar in their views. Only with respect to education, specifically those with a college education, is there a sizable gender gap. College-educated women are significantly more likely than college-educated men to believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances.

April 25, 2010

what is this I don’t even

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 8:16 pm
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From the looks of it, Chomsky experiences the same frustration talking linguistics with Ali G as economically-literate people do when talking politics with Chomsky:

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