Wednesday, May 12, 2010


In response to an article at View From The Porch in which Tam made an offhand comparison between Neal Boortz and Rush Limbaugh, with which I generally agree, I noted some of Boortz's moral failings:

"I thought Boortz was a libertarian-leaning conservative.

That was before I heard Boortz advise a caller how to snitch to the IRS. Also, recently he expressed glee that the idiot cop used a taser on a non-violent streaker at a ball game.
[Boortz's approval was done on-air but not mentioned in the preceding linked article.] The more I listen to Boortz, the more examples of anti-freedom ideas leak out from his microphone.

His "libertarian" principles run very shallow. Sure, he might be better than Rush in many ways, but I think it's worse to have someone who purportedly represents the libertarian position who undermines real application of the principles of freedom."

In a followup comment, "Divemedic" dissented:

"To Elliot: I don't have a problem with tasing the ball game streaker, even from a libertarian standpoint. Not only was he resisting arrest AND violating the property rights of the stadium owner and ball club, but he was violating the rights of the thousands of fans who paid to watch a ball game, not an idiot streaker.

IMO, this is no different than the "Don't tase me, bro" guy- why should one person who is disrupting the event and refusing to leave when instructed be given greater weight than the thousands of others there? The easy way to not get tased is to 1) not trespass, 2) leave when instructed, 3) not resist when being arrested for failing at #1 and #2."

To which I replied:

"Divemedic, when the taser was introduced to law enforcement, authorities claimed that it was to be used as a "non-lethal" alternative to using a gun or other more lethal force.

By that reasoning, the idiot cop could have been justified in shooting the streaker with a gun.

Please note that the taser is not actually non-lethal. In rare cases, people do die. If LEOs honestly only used tasers in cases where guns would be justified, one could argue that even a small risk of death is preferable to being shot.

But the reality is that LEOs routinely use tasers in an inappropriate fashion, even on old people, disabled people, and children. In many situations, they aren't reasonably justified in doing this.
[Added: Nikoley gives an example of a video showing a cop's obviously sadistic pleasure in using a taser. His mom is right.] LEOs are supposed to be able to handle people in a professional manner, including using reason and, if necessary, physically restraining a smaller, weaker person without resorting to sadistic methods. And, if they're afraid for their safety, they shouldn't have become a cop in the first place. Fire the cowards who can't handle such situations.

The problem is that LEOs have become unaccountable, paramilitary automatons. They know that people like you will defend their inappropriate use of force ("don't tase me bro") and that they can do what they want.

I'm disgusted that you, or anyone else, could look at either situation and decide that "law and order" must be maintained, that not disrupting other people's "enjoyment" is of such a paramount importance that thuggish violence ought to be used to expedite the resolution.

This is the mindset that has led to SWAT teams swarming into the homes of non-violent suspects, risking the lives of innocent bystanders (like children), murdering family pets, and generally escalating a non-violent situation into a very violent one. Despite what apologists might argue, this happens hundreds of times a day.

Police are supposed to be professional and display exemplary behavior. They are supposed to be brave and strong, not cowards. They are supposed to use reason and restraint to resolve problems and defuse situations before they get violent, not inject unnecessary violence into them. And, most of all, they ought to be held to a higher standard than the rest of us, not given a free pass to do things that would put us in prison for years."

Tam reminded me that my rant (which she incorrectly called "copypasta"—I didn't cut-and-paste, but rather included hyperlinks in my original commentary) was inappropriate in the comment section for that article she wrote. That's her place, so she gets to make the rules. However, if anyone would like to discuss this further, feel free to use the comment section in this article.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

and a high chair for my wife

Chris Muir's Day by Day Cartoon

Chris Muir sets the bar high for entries in the first annual Everybody Draw Mohammad Day. This follows on the heels of the 2005 Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten publication (and 2008 reprinting) of various cartoonists' renderings, which triggered riots by savages in which more than 100 people were killed.

I still think Giovani di Modena's 1415 depiction of Mohammad burning in hell, as part of a fresco about Dante's Inferno takes the cake:

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Dog Murders on Film

WARNING: The following video involves a police raid in which one, or possibly two, family pets are murdered by cops. The murders occur off camera and the dogs are never visually shown, but the sounds are very disturbing to hear. (via Balko)

This is just plain evil. There is absolutely no justification for this. If you approve of laws which make drugs illegal, please explain to me how shooting pets in a house with children just to keep some people from smoking a plant makes any sense. How is pot more dangerous than a violent, paramilitary raid with guns blazing?

Mailmen, meter readers, cable/phone technicians all have to deal with dogs. I've never heard of any of them needing to kill a dog. [Update: I forgot to mention what cowardly pussies all these cops who murder dogs are. It happens all over the country, all the time. (Search for "puppycide".)]

I don't need to watch any fictional movies about a futuristic dystopia. We are there now.

P.S.: "The entire philosophy behind SWAT-style drug raids is that the death of a mother, a child, or the family pet is an acceptable risk to prevent flushing."Commenter "Dr Mabuse" in a forum.

Big Brother Tax Threat Commercial in PA

Balko, FNC. They are actually proud of their work.

American Idol

I didn't bother to blog last week's Shania Twain show. I was busy, but I also wasn't enthusiastic about the show, anyway. Shania Twain is a beautiful woman and seems to be a nice person, but I just can't stand her songs. They are trite and the worst combination of pop and country. My interest in country music ended in the 70s: Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Glen Campbell, Mac Davis, the Oakridge Boys, Loretta Lynn, Lynn Anderson. After that, I quit paying attention. Except a few Randy Travis albums I own and a couple songs here or there, I just don't find any country music in the past few decades to be enjoyable, particularly the pop-ish women. That night, I picked Siobhan Magnus as the best performance of the night, with the caveat that all of the songs that night were annoying and stupid. To me, her song was just the least awful to hear. I don't think any singer could have made those tunes enjoyable for me. I don't know if Shania Twain fans could have enjoyed the American Idol versions. All the thematic choices of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Elvis, Shania, and Sinatra this season have pushed contestants into an awkward corner. I don't imagine any of them will ever cut an album with those types of songs, so what is the point? For whatever reason, people called in more votes for what I believe are clearly inferior singers, particularly Aaron and Casey. Perhaps they thought she was safe. Perhaps they thought she was too weird. Perhaps her poor song choices from previous weeks had caught up to her. Whatever the case, I was disappointed that her elimination left Crystal Bowersox being the only remaining singer whose performances have interested me. Sure, Lee and Michael have done decent jobs here and there, but I just can't get enthusiastic about them as artists. Unless one of the men does something fantastic, I can't imagine any excitment in the final showdown this season. It's Crystal's to lose. If she does lose, it will just make this season even more uninteresting.