Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Right To Know

I'm sure most of you have heard about the high school social studies teacher facing disciplinary action for informing his students about their constitutional rights.

For those of you who don't: The teacher in question, John Dryden, was responsible for having his class fill out a school survey. One of the questions inquired about illegal drug or alcohol use. He told his students that, according to the Fifth Amendment, they were not required to answer the question. This landed him in trouble with the school board, which is currently seeking disciplinary action against him. In all likelihood, he very well may be terminated.

Not only does this incident show the malevolent ineptitude of our public school system, but also the malignment of our civil liberties, to the point where informing others of them has now been considered radical.

I could rant and rave over this, but The Amazing Atheist does a poignant job of expressing my sentiments for me:

This school is basically saying tacitly that they do not want their students to know about the Constitution. They don't want students to be aware of the rights that they have. And why wouldn't they want the students to be aware? There's only one reason: because people who are aware of their rights are a lot harder to f***ing control.

The powerful people in this country, the people who really control everything, of course they have a vested interest of keeping people ignorant of their rights. If you grow the population large enough of people who just don't understand their rights, don't understand what their rights are, or why they are in place, or what the history of them is, or what situations they are meant to imply in, if people are walking around with total ignorance of that sort of thing, then the powers that be can pretty much do whatever they want. Because if people aren't aware of their rights, then their rights really don't exist.
Amen! (Ironic, considering this guy is an atheist.)

I've said it many times before: our public education system is not designed for education, but rather indoctrination. It does not seek to cultivate independent, critical thinkers. It only seeks to transform children into mindless, obedient servants of the corporate state.

And TJ is spot on about how schools are keeping students ignorant about their individual rights. Right now, in public schools across the country, children are reading textbooks that tell them "the threat of terrorism can be eliminated, the Patriot Act was not controversial and Iraq had weapons of mass destruction." This is being taught to the next generation!

Whereas students were once taught, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, that those who trade liberty for security deserve neither, they are now being programmed with the complete inverse: that they must surrender their liberty to the corporate state in order to receive its security.

Knowing all of this, if you seriously consider sending your children or future children to public school, you don't deserve to have them.

Chicago Closes Schools, Funds Sports Arena

Sen. Bernie Sanders recently published a HuffPost op-ed lauding Denmark's higher-quality government services that are funded through higher taxes; and like every other Europe-worshiping socialist, he wonders why we "regressive" Americans have to be so "backwards" in opposing such higher taxes and "good government."

Now I don't know much about Denmark, other than its population is roughly that of Manhattan, but if I had to wager, I would guess the country's economy is not in the toilet, its unemployment rate is not record high, and its workers are not grossly underpaid. So assuming all of that is true, it's no surprise that this small, wealthy nation can afford to pay higher taxes.

But let's assume that our social, political, and economic climate was exactly identical to Denmark's: why can't we anti-tax, anti-government Americans have the same quality government services funded through higher taxes?

We need only look at Chicago for the answer.

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel had to make some tough decisions in order to balance his city's budget, deciding which areas to cut and increase spending.

Now during such harsh economic times, a rational public official would not snatch a dime from vital public services that his constituents depend on, and would instead cut spending to wasteful pork-barrel projects.

But sadly, we do not have rational public officials. We have crooked public officials like Emmanuel who care more about their special interest donors than their own constituents.

So what does the mayor do? He decides to shut down 50 public schools, which he claims are necessary "to close budget gaps", while spending $100 million on a basketball arena he claims will create jobs and revenue for his city.

Now I'm no fan of the public school system, nor do I believe the delusion that it can be fixed by "throwing more money at it." Empirical evidence prevents me from believing such.

But if I were the mayor of a cash-strapped city, the public schools would be the very last thing I would cut, and wasteful pork barrel spending would be the main targets of my cuts.

And this is why I do not support higher taxes: our government officials are too incompetent to spend them properly.

Let's assume that we did pay higher taxes. In fact, let's assume that all of our money went directly to the government. Would the result be better government services that benefit us?

We need only look at our current federal budget for the answer. Where does our taxpayer money mostly go to? Healthcare? Education? Infrastructure? No. It goes to the military-industrial complex and corporate welfare--none of which benefits us directly. And yet these are the areas that would be mostly funded if we did have higher taxes.

Government apologists like Bernie Sanders can preach about how taxes are the "fees" for living in "civilized society" and how they fund "roads, bridges, and schools," but the stark reality is that this is not how taxes work in this country. They do not go to things we need. They do not go to things that benefit us. The only line the pockets of defense contractors and corporate whores.

So in short, we do not have a tax problem in this country, we have a spending problem. And I don't just mean that we spend too much, but that we spend too much on the wrong things. If we were to end the wars, cut military spending, reform entitlement programs, and eliminate corporate welfare, and then relocate the revenue that would have funded those areas elsewhere, we would not have to raise a single dime in taxes.

But sadly, doing so would require rational politicians. And sadly, we don't have rational politicians. We have crooked politicians. But then again, when in political history has that never been the case?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vox Day Makes Me Shudder

I've talked about Vox Day before. The blogger pretends to be a libertarian, but in reality, he is racist, sexist, homophobic, and nationalistic. In other words, he is a collectivist, which is the exact opposite of an individualist, or libertarian.

His previous posts have merely made me facepalm. But this recent tangent of his makes my spine tingle. For once, the guy is giving me the creeps.

Following on the heels of the recent Islamic terrorist attack in Britain, Vox is joining in the ultra-nationalist mindset of blaming it on "multiculturalism" and proposing the "solution" of "kick out all the brown people."

In his recent post, he mentions how Kenya is deporting people without charge for being suspected militants. "If people are too uncivilized to live in a third world country," he asks, "what are the odds they can successfully live in a first world one?" Because clearly we in the West need to look to third world countries for domestic policy, right?

But that's not the creepy part. This is:
Toleration isn't progress.  Diversity isn't a sign of societal health.  As anyone familiar with the history of past civilizations knows, they are symptoms of enervation integral to the decline and fall of nations.  UKIP, Movimento 5 Stelle, Golden Dawn, the Schweizerisch Volkspartei, AfD, Sweden Democrats, True Finns, and Jobbik are rising, and the ruling multiculti parties will have to either surrender or cast aside their democratic pretensions and attempt to rule by naked force.
You heard right: Vox Day is advocating for a far-right nationalist uprising!

Hey, remember the last time a far-right nationalist group took over Europe?

And remember the outcome of that?

Yeah. Why should we be cheering for this?

Daily Pony: Their Little Dance

Their Little Dance by *Gray--Day on deviantART

Con los terroristas!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

33 Reasons NOT to be a Feminist!

Amazing Atheist refutes a feminist blog post and its 33 "reasons" to be a feminist.

TJ does an excellent job tearing that list a new one, but allow me to offer my two cents:

1) Half of those reasons concern problems in other countries, most notably third world countries (Reasons 10, 14, 18, 22, 23, 24, 31, 33). Contrast that with the other half that concern our own country. The worst form of "sexism" women face here are sexy magazine covers. The worst form that women suffer in other countries is being relegated as second-class citizens. Sexist jokes and media may not be pleasant, but they're far preferable to being killed for having been sexually-assaulted. It's like what Morikau said: where feminism is needed most, it does not exist.

2) Reason #2 asserts that women should have the right to their own bodies (which translates to the right to kill their unborn children); yet Reason #31 implies that aborting female fetuses is wrong. So which one is it? Do women have the right to terminate their pregnancies, regardless of the reason, or is it wrong to abort a female fetus? Do women have a "right" over their own bodies, or does that right end if the fetus is female? Are fetuses only useless clumps of cells, or are they granted human rights if they have the potential to become girls? It's either one or the other. It cannot be both. Believing otherwise is cognitive dissonance.

Stupid Meme Is Stupid!

This failworthy meme currently has the highest upvotes on r/politicalhumor. (And if you think that's bad, check out its equally failworthy top comment!)

I would personally debunk this meme, but since I'm feeling lazy today, I'm merely going to repost a comment thoroughly refuting it:
We pay teachers like doctors
False. Teachers in Finland make about half what physicians make.

There's no mandatory testing
False. Here's a website all about the National Matriculation Exam at the end of Finnish high school.

We decriminalized all drugs
False. Possessing more than a ten days' supply of any of the many drugs that are still illegal in Portugal is a crime.

[We] treat addiction as a public health issue instead of a crime
False. Mandatory public service is a judicial punishment for addiction in Portugal - not for possession, addiction.

[Iceland] bailed out the people... the opposite of what America and the rest of Europe did.
False. Virtually the entire American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was spent directly on the American people. That is why, unlike the largely-overhyped Icelandic "recovery," the United States has recovered significantly faster than Europe and Japan.

Is this in r/politicalhumor because its author is a joke..?

Why Do Jobs Move Overseas?

Shane Killian explains why big greedy corporations move jobs overseas to exploit workers in the third world and laugh while unemployment rises in this country. (Spoiler Alert: That's not really what happens!)

Friday, May 24, 2013

ACLU Calls BS On Obama's Anti-War Speech

During his speech on Thursday, President Barack Obama--the same president who has launched more drone strikes than the previous president, and whose drone strikes have killed four American citizens--declared he wanted to put an end to perpetual warfare, claiming, according to the NYT, that "the state of perpetual warfare that began nearly 12 years ago is unsustainable for a democracy and must come to an end in the not-too-distant future."

I'll wait until you've stopped laughing.

Finished? Okay. Now pick yourself back up into the chair you fell from and I'll continue.

Needless to say, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony D. Romero, wasn't exactly impressed with the president's promises and called them out for the empty promises that they were:
To the extent the speech signals an end to signature strikes, recognizes the need for congressional oversight, and restricts the use of drones to threats against the American people, the developments on targeted killings are promising. Yet the president still claims broad authority to carry out targeted killings far from any battlefield, and there is still insufficient transparency. We continue to disagree fundamentally with the idea that due process requirements can be satisfied without any form of judicial oversight by regular federal courts.
Really? It's hard to trust a guy who has unlimited authority to carry out drone strikes not to carry out drone strikes? Huh. Next you'll be telling me you can't trust an alcoholic to be in charge of a liquor store.

Daily Pony: Dash's Big Day

Dash's Big Day by ~FacelessJr on deviantART

Even the most boyish of tomboys have their feminine side, and what better day to be feminine than on their wedding day?

You have to wonder who the lucky stallion is. Soarin, perhaps?

How Police Get Away With Rape

Normally, I roll my eyes when I hear feminists decry America as a "rape culture." Considering how rape is considered a heinous crime in this country, and how sexual assault rates have declined over the decades, our country hardly constitutes a rape culture--as opposed to third world countries like the Congo, where rape is so prevalent it's considered part of their culture.

However, there are places in our country where rape culture exists. For one, there's our prison system, where male prisoners are raped so often, that when prison rapes are figured into rape statistics, men, on average, are raped more often than women. And then there's our military, where women soldiers are frequently raped, with their rapes often going unpunished and unreported.

But perhaps the most egregious example of rape culture occurs within our own justice system. Police officers, who are supposed to serve and protect the public, have not only sexually-assaulted women, but have gotten away with it. Such is the case with this one example:
When 20-year-old Sarah Smith got into an accident with a motorcyclist in 2008, it was nothing but bad news—she was driving with a suspended license. It got worse. When police showed up, officer Adam Skweres took Smith aside and implied that he could either make it look like the accident was her fault or give the other party a ticket. It depended on whether she’d agree to perform unspecified sexual favors. Skweres also threatened that if she told anyone, he’d “make sure you never walk, talk, or speak again,” and looked at his gun. That scared her enough that she immediately reported what he’d done to the police,  according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Another four years passed before the department arrested Skweres and suspended him without pay, and then only because he tried to rape a woman while on duty. By that time, Smith had moved out of the city for fear of running into him again. Three other women told stories similar to Smith’s, and on March 11 Skewers pleaded guilty to bribery, indecent assault, and other charges.
As with most cases of police abuse and brutality, this is hardly an isolated incident. Reports of police officers sexually harassing and assaulting women, often taken under their custody, occur frequently, almost on a weekly basis.

But more often than not, these incidents go unreported, with the officers in question going unpunished, facing no consequences for their crime, and if they do suffer consequences, it's often a slap on the wrist like being placed on administrative leave.

Because these rapes often go unreported, they are hard to track, but rough estimates can be made by tracking news articles. And even then, the numbers are staggering:
As part of a 2008 study, former police officer Tim Maher, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, asked 20 police chiefs whether police sexual misconduct was a problem; 18 responded in the affirmative. The 13 chiefs willing to offer estimates thought an average of 19 percent of cops were involved—if correct, that translates to more than 150,000 police officers nationwide. An informal effort by the Cato Institute in 2010 to track the number of police sexual-misconduct cases just in news stories counted 618 complaints nationwide that year, 354 of which involved forcible nonconsensual sexual activity like sexual assault or sexual battery.
Now I ask you: should we be the least bit surprised by all of this? Appalled? Yes. But shocked? As with other accounts of police abuse and brutality, hardly!

Like other members of the state, the police are bestowed with the sole privilege of using force and coercion in society, and more often than not, they use that privilege to their own advantage, sometimes to the detriment of others, as with these rapes.

This, of course, is not to say that all police officers are "pigs" or "brutes." Some perform their jobs with integrity, honoring their duty to protect and serve. But anyone paying attention to the abuses in our justice system have to attest that, while not all officers are brutes, most brutes are officers. When you have a job that permits one the power to use force and coercion, don't be surprised when most of the people applying for it are psychopaths wishing to abuse that power.

Revelations like this make me somewhat sympathize with the Occupy movement. Sure, they're unwashed hippies and college dropouts, but they have a point when they claim that one percent of the population exploits the remaining 99 percent. However, I see this dichotomy, not as one of economics, but as one of power; not as divide between rich and poor, but as a divide between the powerful and the powerless. One percent holds power that the 99 percent do not have, and because of this, they are held to completely different standards than the rest of us. When they commit a crime, they receive a slap on the wrist; but when we commit the same crime, we are punished to the full extent of the law. Again, I ask, why even bother calling this a "justice" system? It's more of a "just us" system.

But as much as I consider the current system evil, like Thomas Paine, I consider it a necessary evil. If we insist on a state that wields the power to use force and coercion, that power should be limited to preventing force and coercion among the citizenry. But what happens when that power becomes systematically abused? At that point, we are left with two options: either impose regulations to curtail this abuse of power, or scrap the entire system completely.

Right now, many civil liberty and feminist groups are fighting to place such limits on police abuse, forcing police departments to adopt standards and guidelines on how to deal with such sexual abuse. This I consider to be noble, but as with other attempts to regulate the state, inevitably futile. And if that be the result, what then?

Code Pink Heckles Obama

Give Code Pink credit: they may be hysterical far-left feminazis, but they're damn consistent hysterical far-left feminazis. At least they're willing to protest America's blowback-inducing foreign policy regardless of the person in the White House.

Question is: where is the rest of the anti-war left? Why are they not protesting Obama and his administration, especially with their recent revelation of having killed four American citizens through drone strikes? Why is the anti-war left silent over this? I guess perpetual war is okay as long as the president waging it has a 'D' next to his name.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Special Needs Teen Arrested In Drug Bust

How far will the pigs go to enforce the drug war? Apparently far enough to bust a special needs high-school student!
Californians Doug and Catherine Snodgrass are suing their son’s high school for allowing undercover police officers to set up the 17-year-old special-needs student for a drug arrest.

In a video segment on ABC News, they say they were "thrilled" when their son -- who has Asperger's and other disabilities and struggled to make friends -- appeared to have instantly made a friend named Daniel.

“He suddenly had this friend who was texting him around the clock,” Doug Snodgrass told ABC News. His son had just recently enrolled at Chaparral High School.

"Daniel," however, was an undercover cop with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department who " hounded" the teenager to sell him his prescription medication. When he refused, the undercover cop gave him $20 to buy him weed, and he complied -- not realizing the guy he wanted to befriend wanted him behind bars.

In December, the unnamed senior was arrested along with 21 other students from three schools, all charged with crimes related to the two officers' undercover drug operation at two public schools in Temecula, California (Chaparral and Temecula Valley High School).
Going after regular teenagers is one thing. But going after one with multiple disabilities, someone who probably doesn't know what he's getting into? That's just another level of depravity. How sick are these pigs that they're more than willing to ruin the life of a special-needs student over a victimless crime?

These "drug busts" are ridiculous to begin with. They only end up arresting people for crimes they otherwise wouldn't have committed had they not been prompted to commit them. This is like handing a person a brick and telling them to hurl it through a store window, and when they do it, arresting them for vandalism. It makes no sense in that context, and it makes no sense in the context of drugs.

It's time we stop pretending that drug prohibition is about protecting the public's health. It's time to see it for what it really is: a money-making racket meant to generate revenue for the state. The more the state arrests people for smoking green, the more "green" the state receives. That's all it really is, and that's all it's ever has been. The drug war and the madness it spawns needs to end!

Students Arrested For Throwing Water Balloons

I've blogged about zero tolerance policies so much that it's not even funny. So I'm not the least bit shocked that high school students were arrested for--of all things--throwing water balloons.
Seven teenage students in North Carolina were arrested on Thursday and charged with a misdemeanor for throwing water balloons during a school prank. A parent was also arrested during the incident.

The seven boys, all between the ages of 16 and 17, threw balloons filled with tap water as an end-of-year prank at Enloe High School in Raleigh. The balloons were rumored to be filled with “other substances,” but Wake County Public School System spokeswoman Renee McCoy said “all indications” were that only water was used.

Six of the teens were charged with disorderly conduct. The seventh was charged with assault and battery for hitting a school security officer with a balloon.
So throwing a water balloon constitutes "assault and battery"? You know what? Like I said: I'm not the least bit surprised by this. If a student can be suspended for forming a Pop Tart in the shape of a gun, and another student can be arrested for performing science experiments, then of course these students are going to be charged with "battery and assault" for throwing water balloons.

What's next? Are elementary school students going to be arrested for playing cops and robbers? I can see it now: half of them will be charged for conspiring to commit a crime, and the other half will be charged with impersonating an officer. Ten bucks says that's the next headline!

But you know what I do find surprising? That one of the parents in this incident was arrested. And why? Because he tried to be reasonable.
The parent who was arrested, Kevin Hines, told WBT News 13 he saw officers acting aggressively as he drove up to the school. Hines said he tried to enter the school to talk to the principle about the situation occurring outside, but police stopped him and threatened him with a stun gun. He was charged with second-degree trespassing.
Trespassing? He's at a public school! And he's the parent of one of the students! How does this call for a tazing?

And just when you thought it couldn't get worse, guess what? It totally does! What police story would be complete without unnecessary use of brute force?
The parent of another student has filed a complaint with the Raleigh Police Department. The student, who was not arrested, was allegedly slammed into a concrete sidewalk by the officers.
"That kid has a water balloon? Slam his skull into the pavement! We've got ourselves a badass over here!"

With stories like this, is it any wonder that more and more people are distrusting the public education system. If we can't trust them to competently handle a  minor situation like a water balloon fight, how the freak can we trust them to educate our children? Anyone who wonders why more parents are homeschooling their kids is not paying attention!

That's Not News!

There's so much crap going on in the world right now that people are having a hard time discerning what is news and what isn't news. So allow me to provide a public service by clarifying what isn't news:

Alex Jones calling the Oklahoma tornadoes a "government conspiracy" is not news. That is Alex Jones being Alex Jones. With him, the question should never be "what does he consider to be an inside job?", it should be "what doesn't he consider to be an inside job?" And the answer to that question is "very little." I'm sure if the man had an irregular bowel movement, he would blame it on the government. "My stool is black? Curse you, NWO!"

Westboro Baptist Church calling the tornadoes "God's punishment" is not news. That is just Westboro Baptist being Westboro Baptist. Anyone who is the least bit shocked by this has not been paying attention to the hate cult. They believe God hates everything. I wouldn't even be surprised if the church decided to wave around posters proclaiming "God Hates God!" That's how backwards and demented these bigoted fundies are.

So new rule: no more "news stories" about Alex Jones or Westboro Baptist. These people do not deserve our scorn or ridicule even our attention. They deserve to be ignored!

Radio Host Wants To Shoot Clinton In Vagina

Never heard of radio host Pete Santilli? Don't worry. Neither have I. He's an internet radio host who's more obscure and bat-guano insane than Alex Jones. And apparently, he's not too happy with Hilary Clinton and her handling of Benghazi, so much so that he wants to shoot here "right in the vagina."
I want to shoot [Clinton] right in the vagina and I don't want her to die right away; I want her to feel the pain and I want to look her in the eyes and I want to say 'on behalf of all Americans that you've killed, on behalf of the Navy SEALS,' ... the families of Navy SEAL Team Six who were involved in the fake hunt down of this Obama bin Laden thing, that whole fake scenario - because these Navy SEALS know the truth, they killed them all - on behalf of all of those people, I'm supporting our troops by saying we need to try, convict, and shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.
Now I'm no fan of Clinton, but I don't want her shot in the vagina--mainly because that would detonate the suitcase nuke crammed up in there!

But in all seriousness, we don't need to resort to violent rhetoric, even if the people it's directed at are responsible for needless violence. We're more civilized than that!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Obama Admin Admits To Killing American Citizens

Eric Holder admits to Congress what most sensible people have already known for quite some time: that the Obama administration has killed American citizens through drone strikes.
In conducting U.S. counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida and its associated forces, the government has targeted and killed one American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, and is aware of the killing by U.S. drones of three others, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy.

Al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric, was killed in a drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen. Holder said three other Americans were killed by drones in counterterrorism operations since 2009 but were not targeted. The three are Samir Khan, who was killed in the same drone strike as al-Awlaki; al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a native of Denver, who also was killed in Yemen two weeks later; and Jude Kenan Mohammed, who was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.
Quickly following this confession, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, and the rest of the administration responsible for coordinating these strikes were detained and shipped to Guantanamo Bay where they await trial by military tribunal for their war crimes, the ultimate penalty being capital punishment.

Oh wait. I'm sorry. That last part is what would happen in a just and humane world. But we don't live in that world. We live in a freaked-up world where war criminals are not punished, but rather are rewarded with libraries dedicated to them!

If Clinton couldn't be impeached for being blown by an intern, neither Bush nor Obama will be indicted for their war crimes. As I said many times before: those with power get slapped on the wrist; those without it get the book thrown at them! Again, why do we call it the "justice" system?

Bill To Require Warrant For Phone Record Seizures

Here's some good news, especially in light of the AP phone record scandal: a bill has been introduced that would require federal agents to obtain a court order before seizing phone records:
Currently, the Telephone Records Act allows the feds to demand phone records from service providers by using only an administrative subpoena to obtain basic subscriber information. Basic subscriber information can include a customer’s name, address, credit card number, and phone records.

The Telephone Records Protection Act consists of just one sentence amending that law (.pdf) and would force federal agencies to seek judicial review to obtain records in order to avoid a situation like the one that recently happened with the Associated Press.

The bill would protect the phone records of all Americans, not just journalists, and would require federal agencies to state “specific and articulable facts” to prove to a court that the records and information being sought is “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation."
Now I hate to be a Debbie-Downer, but let's be honest: as good as this bill sounds, does it actually stand a chance of being passed?

In the words of Big Macintosh, "Nope!"

It should surprise no one if this bill doesn't pass, which it probably won't. The state only exists to retain and expand its power. It would be against its own interest to limit it, which is why any attempt to do so will be futile.

The state wields the sole privilege in society of using force and coercion. It holds the monopoly on power, and as such, exists only to serve the powerful over the powerless.

I know that's not exactly an optimistic view, but considering history, both past and recent, it's sadly the most realistic one.

Democracy In A Nutshell

Yup! That sums it up fairly well.

Cops Beat Man Nearly Dead Over Ticket

Remember my post yesterday about the woman who died from an asthma attack in court because the sheriff's deputies assumed she was faking and they refused to give her her medicine? You want to know what's worse than that?

Well, not this story. The man in this story is still alive--but barely!

A California truck driver was beaten half to death by cops two years ago. Why? Because he asked them to read his ticket!
On September 2nd, 2011, Russian immigrant Olegs Kozacenko was driving his truck when he was pulled over by Officer Andrew P. Murrill of the California Highway Police. Murrill attempted to ticket him for driving too many hours in the truck. Kozacenko refused to sign the ticket before reading it.

At this point, NBC Bay Area reporters learned, Murrill decided he needed to make a “forcible arrest.” He and his partner, Officer Jim Sherman, claim that Kozacenko was “actively resisting” and “exhibiting extraordinary strength” in doing so. The consequences were “life-threatening injuries including a crushed left orbital eye socket, multiple facial fractures, a broken left arm, a concussion, unconsciousness and possible neurological damage.”

Kozacenko nearly died, as the nearest hospital did not have an emergency room advanced enough to treat his injuries.
So asking to read your traffic ticket before you sign it is grounds for “forcible arrest”? Good grief! What excuse won't the pigs give to use lethal force on unarmed citizens?

And you know what's worse? The man wasn't even guilty of the offense he was being ticketed for. So this whole ordeal was pointless to begin with.

Oh wait! Scratch that. That wasn't the worst part. The worst part is that the cops claim there is no video or audio footage of the incident. They claim that "all associated radio logs have been deleted by system malfunctioning for this time period.”

Well, isn't that convenient! Funny how the pigs are always watching and taping you until they start brutalizing you. Isn't that an odd co-inky-dink?

And the police wonder why there's a huge demand for people to legally videotape them while on duty?

In a just, humane world, these cops would be fired and arrested for aggravated assault. But we don't live in a just, humane world. We live in a freaked up world. And if anything, these pigs were probably given administrative leave.

That's our "justice" system for you: if you have power and authority and you do something wrong, you get a slap on the wrist; but if you have no power or authority, you have the book thrown at you. Makes you wonder why we even bother calling it "justice." It's more like "just us!"

Daily Pony: Ron and Rand Paul

Ron and Rand Paul by ~GennadyKalugina on deviantART

The two greatest American politicians in pony form? It's like combining peanut butter and chocolate! :D

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Democrats: Party of Censorship

If you thought the Department of Justice seizing Associated Press phone records was an egregious violation of press freedom, you haven't heard the worst of it!

The Obama-led DOJ was revealed to not only have obtained the phone records of a journalist who received leaked information about North Korea in 2009, but also pried into his personal life, tracking his every movement, his private phone conversations and e-mails, and accused him of committing crimes in order to do so--even though what he did was perfectly legal!

And spare me, Obama apologists, with your counter-argument of "But Bush did this, too!" No, he didn't! As bad as Bush was, he never went this far, as Glenn Greenwald explains:
It is virtually impossible at this point to overstate the threat posed by the Obama DOJ to press freedoms. Back in 2006, Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales triggered a major controversy when he said that the New York Times could be prosecuted for having revealed the Top Secret information that the NSA was eavesdropping on the communications of Americans without warrants. That was at the same time that right-wing demagogues such Bill Bennett were calling for the prosecution of the NYT reporters who reported on the NSA program, as well as the Washington Post's Dana Priest for having exposed the CIA black site network.

But despite those public threats, the Bush DOJ never went so far as to formally accuse journalists in court filings of committing crimes for reporting on classified information. Now the Obama DOJ has.
Whenever you hear about government censorship, chances are the politician behind it has a 'D' next to his name. The Democrats have cemented themselves as the party of censorship, whether it be self-censorship (political correctness) or media censorship.

This fact has been verified through the Obama administration's actions, ranging from this recent revelation of the DOJ prosecuting journalists and seizing phone records, to the administration prosecuting whistleblowers (more so than any previous administration combined) and attacking dissenting news outlets.

But it's not just Obama who's at fault. Recently, his vice president, Joe Biden, suggested taxing violent video games. This shouldn't be the least bit surprising, as Democrats like Hilary Clinton and Joe Lieberman have been leading the charge against video games.

And which party has been pushing for internet censorship? SOPA? PIPA? CISPA? All heavily-supported by Democrats, who, to no one's surprise, receive political donations from Big Media. (And do I even need to mention the liberal media?)

And this is hardly a recent development with the Democrats. For decades, their party has been pushing censorship, from Tipper Gore crusading against violent rap lyrics in the 1980s, all the way back to the turn of the century with president Woodrow Wilson imprisoning thousands of war protesters and dissidents.

So why are Democrats so adamantly pro-censorship, despite being "liberals"? Simple. Contrary to popular misconception, the Democrats are not liberal. They no longer support (or rather, never have supported) liberalism--or at least what the philosophy used to be.

Whereas free speech was the crux of "classic" liberalism, it has proven to be the anathema of "modern" liberalism, or progressivism. Progressive ideology cannot survive within the marketplace of ideas. It cannot stand against the scrutiny allowed through free expression. Therefore, progressive Democrats must preserve their ideology by curtailing criticism and scrutiny against it.

Thus it is with all die-hard ideologues, from the Catholic Church to feminists. They know their dogma has no bearing in observable reality, so they must bend reality into their favor, and if it means silencing, even "eliminating", dissenters, so be it!

But as with all enemies of free speech, the progressive Democrats stand on the wrong side of history. Time has shown that those who advocate censorship always lose to those who advocate free speech and expression. The question remains, will the Democrats realize their folly and come to the winning side, or fade away into obscurity on the losing side? If history is any indicator, the latter answer will be true.

Daily Pony: Naked Lunch

naked lunch by *CSImadmax on deviantART

Curse you, cupcakes and gelatin! Why must you shelter Twilight in all her glory?!?!

Dafuq Is Wrong With Humanity?

Just when you thought your faith in humanity couldn't plummet any lower, a news story comes along proving you wrong. This article is one such story:
A woman died on a courthouse floor because Alabama sheriff's deputies refused to give her her medicine - after arresting her for an old traffic ticket, the woman's daughter claims in court.

Ayunna Johnae London sued St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles, jail administrators Austin Nash and Terry Marcrum, Southern Healthcare Partners, and its employee Jennifer Eisel, in Federal Court.

London claims her mother, Dwana Voncia London-Richardson, died gasping for breath in court after callous and unconstitutional treatment from the defendants.

Richardson suffered from asthma and other serious health problems, but the defendants refused to give her her medication, accused her of faking, and let her die in the courtroom, her daughter claims.

Southern Healthcare Partners, which provided medical care to inmates at the St. Clair County Jail, failed to treat her mother properly, London says.

Her 45-year-old mother died in May 2011 at the St. Clair County Courthouse while in the sheriff's custody.
Words fail me at this point.

How do you explain everything wrong with this story? A woman died from an asthma attack because the pigs running the courthouse thought she was faking and refused to give her her medicine. Anyone with basic human freaking decency can discern why that is immoral.

But I guess those in authority of our broken justice system can't discern that, which makes you wonder why we even bother calling it a "justice" system. In a just, humane world, these deputies would have been charged with manslaughter. But we don't live in a just, humane world. We lived in a freaked-up world. If anything, these pigs will be given a slap on the wrist and placed on administrative leave.

This story pisses me off so badly that I want to unleash a string of curses, but I feel that run-of-the-mill curse words cannot convey the righteous indignation I feel over this gross act of injustice. So I'm forced to use the Elder Swear.

Sorry, Dumbledore, but these pigs forced me to use it.

Here it goes.


YOUR MOTHER IS A********************* LOREM IPSEM**************** ADMINTUM VENIUM** *********** TRAGULA **********HIPPOPOTAMUS********** REPUBLICAN *****************DANIEL RADCLIFFE*******************WITH A BUCKET OF **************IN A CASTLE FAR AWAY WHERE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU********************SOUP**************************WITH A BUCKET OF********MICKEY MOUSE********A STICK OF DYNAMITE**************** MAGICAL******************ALAKAZAM!

Monday, May 20, 2013

L.A. Investigates Las Vegas "Patient-Dumping" Hospital

I want you to take a good look at this photograph. The street is Skid Row in Los Angeles. Doesn't seem like a safe place to visit, does it? I'm guessing most of you wouldn't want to visit this ghetto in good health, let alone in bad health.

And yet over 150 patients have been bused to this location by Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada's primary mental health facility.

For over five years, the Las Vegas facility has been accused of "systematically dumping patients across state lines." Over 1,500 psychiatric patients were bused to cities nationwide, with a third being sent to California, a newspaper investigation into the hospital revealed.

Most patients were sent to communities with awaiting family and friends or to hospitals for further medical treatment; but in other cases, they were sent to cities they never even visited. Often these patients would be placed on buses alone, without a chaperone or even plans or provisions for their safe arrival, being sent with little more than a bag of medication and a bottle of dietary supplement.

One of its most infamous cases in 2007 involved a homeless, parapalegic man "still dressed in his hospital gown and connected to a catheter bag" who was discovered "dragging himself along a gutter" on Skid Row, where many patients have been reportedly dumped.

It was cases like this that motivated the city to adopt one of the strictest "patient-dumping" laws in the country, and to launch a criminal investigation against the hospital, which could lead to it losing federal funding.

And this, my comrades, is why we need socialized medicine in this country! Do you think it's acceptable for hospitals to bus their patients to the middle of nowhere like this? Clearly the profit-motive is at fault here. If these hospitals were not motivated by greed, they would care more about patient safety and none of this would happen.

Seriously, do you think this crap happens in "more civilized" countries with socialized medicine like Great Britain? Do you think the British NHS would  allow one million patients to be victims of neglect in its hospitals across the county? Do you think patients are far more likely to go hungry than prisoners? Do you think the standards of care in its wards “would shame a third world country”? Do you think its hospitals would prompt elderly people to die in order to free up beds?

Wait. What's that? Crap like that does happen under socialized medicine? Oh. Well. Never mind, then.

Daily Pony: Flutterwonder

I'm not normally into 3D pony videos, especially when it involves Team Fortress. The main reason is that these videos tend to be extremely choppy. But after seeing this video in The Top Ten Pony Videos of April 2013 complication, I decided to check it out:

Beautiful. Simply outstanding. Makes you forget that Fluttershy is singing gibberish (albeit lively and catchy gibberish). The animation here is very smooth. It almost makes Pixar want to make a run for its money (especially considering how the company has been going down the drain lately).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Military: Coming Soon To Your Hometown

Remember when Obama told college graduates during his commencement address that they should "reject the voices" that "warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner"?

The U.S. military recently granted itself the authority to deploy troops in American cities without presidential or local approval.
In a move that makes clear the direction that our country is increasingly heading towards, the Department of Defense has published an update to a US code that outlines military power during civil unrest.

The code, ““Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies,” was slightly altered during a May 13th update which now allows the military to unilaterally declare martial law without presidential approval.

Multiple sections of the code outline plans and policies for a martial law scenario and should be considered a must read for any American worried about their freedoms in what has become a hostile American police state.

The rule seems to actually contradict itself, in one part claiming that the military can only be used during extreme circumstances with Presidential approval and then, in an updated part of the code, declaring that the military can put troops on the streets without approval from the president or local law enforcement.
At this point, tyranny isn't lurking around the corner: it's skullfreaking you in the face!

Tyranny? What tyranny?!?!

Daily Pony: Princess Zecora

Forgive me, Twilight, but I must confess
That Zecora is best princess!

Princess Zecora by *johnjoseco on deviantART

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rethinking Equestria Girls

As anyone who follows my blog knows, I'm not too keen about the upcoming Equestria Girls movie, and yesterday, I surely vented my frustration over it. Well, some of you informed me I was overreaching in my criticism, and now that I think about it, perhaps I have been overreacting.

And it doesn't seem like I'm the only one.

Apparently, there's been such a strong backlash over this that many of the DHX Studio staff have considered quitting. Yes, some of the creators behind MLP:FiM are seriously considering quitting their jobs because of the brony backlash against them. Damn, that's harsh!

This lead me to wonder if some of us are being too premature in our judgment. After all, the movie has yet to come out, so we can't honestly judge it. Perhaps we should wait until we see it until we start lobbing harsh criticism.

Yes, I know having our favorite ponies as human high school teenyboppers seems really unsettling, but think about it this way: most of us are bronies because we took a chance to watch something we otherwise would not be interested in, which is a little girl's cartoon about multi-colored cartoon ponies. All I'm saying is that if we took a risk in watching this show in the first place, perhaps we should take another chance at watching this movie. After all, it IS made by the same people, so obviously, it should have the same quality, right?

Let's not judge a book by its cover. We didn't do it with MLP:FiM, so why do it with this? Let's wait until it actually comes out, watch it, and then give our opinion.

And as for DHX studios, currently, there's an effort on Twitter to show fan support for the creators, to show them that we still care. I want these people to continue making MLP, so I'm showing my support, and if you love MLP, you should too.

Keep Your Gov't Hands Off My Halo 4!

Oh no! What d'ya know? There goes Joe, who can show he can really blow!

During a White House meeting, the vice president suggested placing higher taxes on violent media such a video games, and claimed that the was "no legal reason" why the federal government couldn't impose them.

I could rant and rave and rage over this, but since I'm weighed down with work, I'll instead share this video by MrRepzion, who sums up all my frustrations for me:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Equestria Girls Trailer

Most of you are probably wondering what I think of the new Equestria Girls trailer. I haven't been able to write my reaction to it, mostly because I can't go halfway through the video without wanting to gouge my eyes out with razor blades. I swear I haven't suffered through anything like this since the 4Kids National Anthem. (If you don't know what that is, thank the Lord God Almighty your sanity has been spared!)

In all seriousness, though, the real reason I haven't been able to write a reaction is because of work. Right now, I have three assignments I have to work on over the weekend. All work and no play makes me unable to express the sheer outrage I feel over this abomination of an otherwise tolerable franchise. So a real reaction is going to have to wait.

Until then, here's the trailer for those who haven't watched it yet. If you do watch it, make sure there are no sharp objects in your vicinity. You have been warned!

Also, here's a hilarious comic strip I found concerning the human male side character and his possible relationship with Twilight. (Urge to kill--rising!):

Meet the Sparkles by *PluckyNinja on deviantART

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Who Has Faith In Big Brother?

Well, this has been a most eventful week to say the least. Not only was it revealed that the IRS targeted conservative groups and that the Justice Department seized AP phone records, but also that the Obama administration has backed an FBI plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws, which, if anything, will make incidents like the former two more frequent.

And you know what's the scariest part? It's not that scandals like this occur. Far from it. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have made the surveillance state so commonplace that they might as well plaster posters on every street corner telling us how "Big Brother is watching!"

No, the scariest part is that, despite these two incidents, despite Obama demanding more surveillance, and despite countless previous examples of government malfeasance from both administrations, there will still be naive fools out there who will still insist that "government is good" and "the government is us."

Even Jon Stewart, who admitted last night that these events confirmed the right-wing conspiracies of the "tinfoil behatted," insisted that the government was still a force for good.

How many more scandals like this need to arise before those who worship at the altar of the state renounce their faith? Perhaps never. After all, faith is defined as believing in something without, or in spite of, evidence; and anyone who believes that "Government is Good" has to rely on faith, because there is no evidence to support their belief.

The surmounting evidence is against them: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Patriot Act, Gitmo, waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques," the bank and auto bailouts, the secret bailouts, full-body scanners, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, ACTA, TPP, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, indefinite detention, kill lists, targeted assassinations, increased drone strikes, and now, these two incidents, the IRS political targeting and AP phone records seizures.

At this point, the only way to continue believing in government benevolence is to ignore empirical evidence--and the saddest part is that these people allow their faith to dictate their votes, voting for the snake-oil salesmen promising the most good with the most government, the most security for the least liberty. Such madness continues to make old cartoons like this relevant even to this day:

These delusional fools cannot be reasoned with. If they could be reasoned with, they would not exist, and neither would government. And yet they persist because what they cannot be reasoned into they cannot be reasoned out of.

So what's the solution, then? Ridicule. We need to ridicule, mock, and scorn those who believe that government is good the same way we ridicule those who believe the earth is flat and the center of the universe. We need to make it as shameful to believe in benevolent government as it is shameful to believe in flat-earth egocentrism and every other antiquated notion. Human progress demands it!

The Boston Bomber Has Fangirls?!?!

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston bombing suspect responsible for maiming and murdering innocent civilians, has fangirls. I think I may weep if I have to explain why that's wrong on so many levels.

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but, ladies, if you want to obsess over a teenage heartthrob, then swoon over Justin Beiber. Swoon over Robert Pattinson. Swoon over one of the members of One Direction or the Jonas Brothers. Are the Jonas Brothers still relevant? I don't know. I don't follow pop culture trends. But I do know that they make for better idols than the Boston Freaking Bomber. They may be talentless hacks, but at least they didn't rob innocent civilians of their limbs or lives.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to destroy my keyboard for having used it to type something favorably about Justin Beiber, Twilight, and boy bands. And I may have to take a shower too. In bleach! I just don't feel clean about this. Any of this. All of it. Ugh!

Feminism In A Nutshell

Morrakiu's recent video sums up feminism in a nutshell:

Basically everything you do is rape, everything you say is oppressive, and you have invisible privileges that automatically invalidate any objections you might have to the first two.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Official Patronising of Women Day!

I hope you all have been enjoying this special day with your mother. I know I have. But if there's one group of people I'd suspect aren't happy about today, it would be the feminists.

For laughs and giggles, I decided to perform a Internet search on "Mother's Day" and "patriarchy." Wouldn't you know it? The very first thing I came across was this feminist screed published today on the Huffington Post. The title pretty much says it all: "It's the Official Patronising of Women Day: The Capitalist-Patriarchal Conspiracy of Mother's Day."

And here's just a sample of the bat-guano insanity:
I have never celebrated Mother's Day, regardless of what country I'm living in. I've always thought it was patronising twaddle invented solely to placate women and pretend that people actually value the work they do....It's patriarchal-capitalist appeasement with very little intrinsic value. It isn't a recognition of the work women do, both waged and unwaged; nor is it a recognition of the [frequent] serious consequences to childbirth.

Mother's Day, in its present form, is merely a another capitalist-patriarchal tool to beat women over the head with. It remains nothing more than a depressing attempt at brain-washing women into believing that 'their' work is valued. Women's work has never been valued.
Sheesh! You'd think feminists of all people would appreciate a holiday which celebrates women, especially the women who gave others life. But apparently, this holiday is yet another ploy by the patriarchy to keep the wymnz down!

But that only raises the question: what about Father's Day? I'm guessing feminists assume that holiday supports the patriarchy by venerating men over women. But why would Father's Day venerate men while Mother's Day denigrates women? That doesn't make sense. But then again, I'm not an insane feminist.

The rest of the screed is the same regurgitated feminist talking points about how society should look after the real "needs" of women, the least of which is banning porn and prostitution--because women would benefit greatly by having both of those activities pushed into the black market rather than legalized, regulated, and taxed like other professions, right?

And the best part about this article? The comments are disabled! A feminist censoring comments? Inconceivable!

Friday, May 10, 2013

US Homicide Rate 1885-2012

Yet another graph showing how gun violence is a non-issue:


Who Is Your State’s Highest Paid Public Employee?

It's bad enough that, during an economic recession, obscene amounts of taxpayer money go towards public employees. What's worse is that most of the highest paid public employees are freaking athletic coaches!


I'm sorry, but why the fruit do we need to pay people so much money in order to instruct a legion of Neanderthals to kick a ball around? It's madness! And unfortunately, it's not March Madness.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mark Sanford and "High Infidelity"

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you're probably well aware that former (and disgraced) S.C. governor Mark Sanford won the seat in his state's first congressional district in a special election against Elizabeth Colbert Bush, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.

Since I'm taking a break from politics, I'm merely going to share this video by Jack Hunter (a.k.a.: the Southern Avenger). It may be over four years old, but it's still relevant about Sanford's affair in relation to his political career:

Don't get me wrong: Sanford is a sleazy, lying adulterer who took a trip on the taxpayer dime in order to pork his mistress, and as such, he has not right to preach about "family values" or "fiscal responsibility." But to be fair, what politician in American history (or history in general) hasn't had a mistress? And considering he's the most fiscally-conservative politician in Congress, he's better than most of the other politicians in Washington.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gun Deaths Down 49% Since 1993

Here's another statistic for your anti-gun control arsenal: gun deaths are 49 percent lower than they were 20 years ago.
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.

Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.
These statistics should surprise no one. Violent crime in America has been on the decline for decades, to the point where crime rates are the lowest they've ever been. Even European countries like Great Britain have worse crime rates than we have, and those countries have stricter gun laws to boot. (Odd how that is!)

And yet, even with these statistics, most Americans still think violent crime is a problem in this country:
Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.
Again, this disparity between public perception and reality should surprise no one. To see why there's such a stark difference between the two, just turn on the news. Chances are the first news report you'll see is a crime story. Since our news media is saturated with crime-related stories, this gives viewers the impression that crime is higher than it really is.

So why is our news media so obsessed with crime when it's at an all-time low? One word: ratings. Crime involves conflict, and conflict increases ratings; and as long as the news media places ratings over journalistic integrity, they're going to seek and report news stories that will boost their ratings, even if it means stoking unnecessary fear by hyper-inflating menial crime stories.

And of course, there's always the political aspect. It's no secret that our news media, rather than being watchdogs for the people, are lapdogs for the politicians. So of course the news media is going to report on stories that benefit their political benefactors. And there's one thing that benefits both the media and the politicians: fear. By reporting on stories that instill fear, the media ensures they have viewers, and the politicians ensure they have constituents willing to comply with their poltical agenda, whether it be stricter anti-terror measures or stricter anti-gun laws.

Don't let the media get to you. We are living in the safest time in history. Anyone who tells you otherwise simply wants to exploit your fear for their own agenda, whether it be ratings or political support. Don't let them exploit your fear. Do not be afraid. As FDR once said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!"

Nostalgia Critic - Is Parody Dead?

Nostalgia Critic analyzes the history and devolution of parody movies, and asks the pertinent question "is parody dead?"

I'm surprised he didn't mention Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged or Dragonball Abridged as examples of good modern day parodies, which is especially curious of him since he know both Little Kuriboh and Team Four Star personally. Perhaps he didn't want to plug people who are already on his site?

Between the Lines - Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Is the sideshow a past relic? According to Oancitizen in his recent review, it's still alive in reality shows like Honey Boo Boo.

And this is why I don't care for Honey Boo Boo. It's not so much that it's another cheesy reality show, but that it's a show designed to denigrate and dehumanize a young girl and her family for the sake of a few cheap laughs.

At least when comedians like Jeff Foxworthy make fun of the redneck stereotype, it's through self-deprecating humor. It's funny because they're making fun of themselves. This is just making fun of people for existing. That's just mean.

Seriously? Is this what entertainment has come to: belittling people who are less fortunate than us?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Daily Pony: Pretty Pretty Princess Twilight

Johnjoseco recently added Twilight Sparkle to his Pretty Pretty Princess series.

Pretty Pretty Princess Twilight by *johnjoseco on deviantART

The portrait. It's so...HNNNNNNNNNG!

Twilight Sparkle is prettiest princess!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

School Dumps Security Guards For Art Teachers

My opinion of the public "education" system is not exactly the highest, but when a public school does something right, I feel it should be applauded.

Such is the case with Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury, Mass., which experienced incredible academic results after dumping its security guards for art teachers:
The school was plagued by violence and disorder from the start, and by 2010 it was rank in the bottom five of all public schools in the state of Massachusetts.

That was when Andrew Bott — the sixth principal in seven years — showed up, and everything started to change.

“We got rid of the security guards,” said Bott, who reinvested all the money used for security infrastructure into the arts.

In a school notorious for its lack of discipline, where backpacks were prohibited for fear the students would use them to carry weapons, Bott’s bold decision to replace the security guards with art teachers was met with skepticism by those who also questioned why he would choose to lead the troubled school. 

“A lot of my colleagues really questioned the decision,” he said.  “A lot of people actually would say to me, ‘You realize that Orchard Gardens is a career killer? You know, you don't want to go to Orchard Gardens.’”

But now, three years later, the school is almost unrecognizable. Brightly colored paintings, essays of achievement, and motivational posters line the halls. The dance studio has been resurrected, along with the band room, and an artists’ studio.

The end result? Orchard Gardens has one of the fastest student improvement rates statewide. And the students — once described as loud and unruly, have found their focus.

“We have our occasional, typical adolescent ... problems,” Bott said.  “But nothing that is out of the normal for any school.”

The school is far from perfect. Test scores are better, but still below average in many areas. Bott says they’re “far from done, but definitely on the right path.”
So let me get this straight: if you treat children like criminals, they will act like criminals; but if you allow them to express themselves through art, they will flourish as artists? Wow. What a novel concept!

Art is an important aspect of any education. It inspires curiosity and creativity. Our public schools, on the other hand, promote the exact opposite: indoctrination and conformity. So it's no surprise that the political class running our "education" system opposes funding for art programs. After all, what use do the lowly serfs have for art when they're being trained to be obedient workers?

Now more than ever, our children need art programs. Does this mean we should spend more on education in order to fund them? No. The fact still stands that we already spend more per student per captia than any other country save Switzerland. The problem is not how much we spend on education, but rather what we spend on education.

We need to follow this school's example and shift our education funding from security towards art. In this post-Columbine world, it has been far too common for schools to invest in metal detectors and drug sniffing dogs in order to prevent something as rare as a school shooting, and following Sandy Hook, it's becoming an increasing temptation to do so, especially with the NRA pushing for armed guards.

No. Our schools do not need armed guards. They need art teachers. They need music directors. They need drama teachers. They need to allow students to express themselves through art and music and theater and literature. They do not need to train them to fear and submit to authority by forcing them to learn in an already authoritarian environment.

And we don't even need the federal government for this. After all, this school was transformed, not by the Department of Education, but by one principal. That's all we need: one person in one school in one district making one decision to make a difference. As Gandhi once said: "Be the change you wish to see."

So do your part and help bring art to our schools. If your school doesn't have an art program, then demand one. Write your superintendent. Speak out at a PTA meeting. If your school does have an art program, then see what you can do to contribute. Volunteer as an art instructor. If it's underfunded, see what you can do to raise money for it. Donate money. Organize a fundraiser. Do whatever you can to ensure students have access to art. Art helps them learn to think outside of the box; and with our "education" system designed to train them to do the exact opposite, we desperately need it.

Friday, May 3, 2013

WTF Fridays: Attack of the Giant Vulture/Dexter's Rude Removal

Good news, everyone: "WTF Fridays" is back! Since I'm taking a break from politics and talking about other stuff, I decided to bring back this weekly segment where I talk about things that make you shout "What The Freak?!"

This week, I'm sharing this review by Morgan Leger and South Jersey Sam of two lost gems. The first is "Attack of the Giant Vulture", a student-made short about a creepy giant vulture puppet. The second is "Dexter's Rude Removal",  a never-before seen Dexter's Laboratory short where everyone's favorite boy genius and his annoying sister create foul-mouthed clones of themselves.

So which of the two shorts did you find more disturbing? The Big Bird reject? Or Dexter and Dee-Dee cursing like drunken sailors? Let me know in the comments below.

Personally, I remember seeing the vulture short as a kid, and it used to give me the creeps, especially the opening sequence. Ugh! A giant creepy vulture puppet tearing through the title screen should not be the opening to any kid's show! That's pure nightmare fuel!

They ARE Coming For Our Guns!

Sigh. Wouldn't you know it? One day after I said I was taking a break from politics, and I come across, not one, but two articles that piss me off so much that I have no choice but to rant about them.

You know how anti-gun Democrats claim that stricter gun laws will not lead to gun confiscation? Well California is living proof that they're full of themselves.

The state has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and recently, it's governor signed legislation that will allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from over 20,000 citizens who had bought them legally.

Yes, you read that correctly: California is going to be confiscating legally-owned guns!
California plans to confiscate guns from 20,000 people who bought them legally but have since been disqualified because of criminal or psychiatric problems, boosting the state's relatively tough approach to gun control.

Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation on Wednesday allocating $24m – generated by fees taken from gun buyers at the time of purchase – to the crackdown, the first in a series of gun control bills following the Sandy Hook massacre.

"This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer by giving law enforcement the resources they need to get guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals," said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.

California's Bureau of Firearms has identified about 20,000 people who illegally possess about 40,000 handguns and assault weapons, a list which grows by 15 to 20 daily.

The bill, known as SB140, directs $24m from the Dealers' Record of Sale fund, a fee on gun purchases, to the state's Department of Justice.

The money will pay for an extra 36 agents to help clear a backlog using a a database that cross-references a list of gun owners with those disqualified later from owning guns. Budget cuts had slowed the effort.
Of course the government isn't trying to take away our guns--except, of course, THEY TOTALLY FREAKING ARE!

Okay. Sure. This legislation is aimed at criminals and psychiatric nutcases who probably shouldn't be owning guns in the first place--just like the PATRIOT ACT is only aimed at terrorists who pose a threat to national security! But it doesn't take much imagination to consider how this can easily be used to confiscate weapons from law-abiding citizens.

And before you get your hopes up that the NRA will rush to our rescue, you may want to sit down for what I'm about to tell you next.

The NRA recently elected a new president, Jim Porter, who claims Obama is a "fake president" and calls the Civil War "the War of Northern Aggression."

So not only does this organization think the best way to prevent school shootings is to transform our schools into maximum security prisons and to ban violent video games, but their new president is a neo-Confederate birther.

Sometimes I wonder if the NRA is really a Democratic front in order to make gun owners look batsheet insane! No other organization does a better job of discrediting responsible gun ownership.

Gun-taking fascists to the left. Gun-toting racists to the right. If this is what the country has come to, we are royally-boned!

And with that, I am officially stepping away from politics for a good month. If I have to be exposed to anymore batsheet insanity like this, I'm going to die from an aneurysm from sheer stupidity.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taking A Break From Politics

Yeah. Yeah. You know the drill. I say I'm going on hiatus, then two days later, I'm posting another journal entry or another political art piece.

But this time, I hope I can follow through with what I say. I've just been feeling extremely depressed lately. I'm not sure if it's current events or my work schedule or the weather or all three. All I know is that focusing on the news is not helping, especially with last month, which was not only the worst month, but also had the worst week: the Boston bombing, Texas plant explosion, Ricin letters, MIT police officer shooting, 4/20 protest shootings, and now CISPA is back! Sheesh! It's enough to make one suicidal. Or Homicidal. Or both.

So I decided for the rest of the month to quit politics and news cold turkey. Besides, there are other projects I wish to focus on.

For one thing, I've yet to get started on my favorite MLP:FiM Season 3 episode list. How long has it been since Season Three ended? Two months? Well darn, it will probably be the fourth season by the time I have my list finished. But I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, and plan on posting it sometime later this month.

I also want to get my deviantART group started. I've been procrastinating on that for too long. Hopefully, I'd like to get it started within the next week or so, though I can't make any promises.

And finally, as you know, I'm nearing 200 watchers on deviantART. And I have something big planned for the occasion. What is it exactly? You'll have to wait to find out. I'll make the announcement once I achieve 200.

Anyway, here's hoping I can keep my mind off of politics. Lord knows it's pushing me to the breaking point. Only four more years of this crap, right?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Real Problem With Feminists

Recently, noted anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly said the following:
The problem with feminism, I think the principal problem, is the cultivation of an attitude of victimization. Feminism tries to make women believe they are victims of an oppressive, male-dominated, patriarchal society. They wake up in the morning with a chip on their shoulder.
To which, noted Queen of Feminism PZ Myers replied thusly:
Oh, right. I’ve heard it a thousand times from all the critics of Freethoughtblogs…a thousand Phyllis Schlafly clones. Every MRA. Every man and woman who thinks women have a place — on a pedestal, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, where ever — and they ought to stay there, where they belong.
And this, I believe, is the real problem with feminism: not that feminists consider themselves the perpetual victims of imaginary oppressive "patriarchy", but that they consider anyone who does not subscribe to their puerile narrow-minded worldview as one of the oppressive patriarchs whose sole desire is to see them chained to an oven barefoot and pregnant making them a sandwich.

How can you tell you're dealing with an extremist? They deal in extremes. They cannot comprehend nuance or gray matter, only black and white. You are either with them or against them. You are either with them or with the enemy, the oppressors, the patriarchy! They only know how to deal with absolutes. (And only a Sith deals with absolutes!)

Listen, feminists, allow me to let you in on a little secret: I don't want to chain you in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant making me a sandwich. I don't think a woman's place is in the home. I do not believe women are the property of men. I do not want to tell them what to do with their bodies (provided they are not using their bodies to harm the bodies of others).

You know what I do want women to do? Whatever they feel like! Women should have the freedom to do what they want provided they harm no one. And seeing as how women already have that freedom along with men, then it's safe to say they are not being oppressed.

You are not second-class citizens. You are not victims of patriarchy. There is no such thing as patriarchy, just as there is no such thing as the Illuminati or NWO or Zionist-Occupied Government. Stop blaming others for your problems, start taking personal responsibility for your own shortcomings, and start living your own lives. I don't care how you live your lives, just so long as you are living them. Grow up!
That is all, thank you!

Foamy The Squirrel: Fat Global Warming

I'm not sure whether it's cool or sad that a cartoon squirrel makes more political sense than most politicians or media pundits.

Seriously? Fat people cause global warming? At this point, what isn't a cause or an effect of global warming?

NC's Top 11 South Park Episodes

After what seemed like forever, the Nostalgia Critic has released a Top 11 list, and it's on the best episodes from the best cartoon series: South Park.

I especially loved his tirade against the faux-journalism show TMZ:
If you're actually dumb enough to watch past the first two seconds without realizing it's sucking whatever intelligence you had, then you deserve your purgatory of rubbing tabloids on your genitalia thinking you're getting laid and claiming to others you know how the world works when really you're crying your virgin ass to sleep every night while eating your Dorito and Cap'n Crunch sandwiches. No, seriously, you stab God every time you see this show. You rape a kitten every time you don't turn the channel.
Amen! If given the choice between working for a celebrity gossip zine like this or starving to death, I would rather die with dignity while preserving my journalistic intergrity.