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Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,025

Journal Archives

Every once in a while, I feel like I need to post this:

I've brought this up before on my journal, but right now, I feel like it bears repeating. The word "Orwellian" gets tossed around a lot, usually in the context of a surveillance state, or in terms of the thought police. I always feel like that's a simplistic reading of 1984, and that the true core of that novel is O'Brien's speech near the end of the book when Winston is in his office.

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

We can point to the NSA wiretaps, CoIntelPro, gov't shutdowns, changing the meanings of words, etc... and say that they are Orwellian, but what I fear most is the attempt at ideological purity, mostly seen on the right and far right. The main purpose is to impose that will on the people. Another quotation from 1984:

The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy — everything.

All you need to do is point yourself towards Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck in order to see all of these things. The general attention span of the TV public makes it hard to have a more nuanced discussion, so all they can jam into that time are the simple jingoistic buzzwords of fear, hatred, rage, and triumph.

The emperor hasn't had clothes for a long time now. Things are changing. Unrest is bubbling up from beneath the surface and showing up here and there. Occupy Wall Street. The riots in Greece. The riots in Brazil. The G20 protests. The Arab Spring. But things are going to get worse before they get better. We need to keep the conversation open and make sure that people are informed. Remember that reality has a well-established left-wing bias!

The far right Tea Partiers really are only in the game to win it. Their ideology isn't to win to help people, it's only to win because they have to win. The greatest thing about progressives is that we all tend to be progressive in our own ways. There are so many different ways to go forwards. The opposite is not true, the far right can all be regressive in the same way, and that is why it's easier for them to frame the us vs. them. We need new strategies to educate and inform. It's like the episode from The Newsroom where Will and Mac tried so hard to get the new debate format. Of course it was doomed, because they couldn't use their talking points. We all need to beg for that level of discourse, and people who are willing to hold people to a real answer.

More random ramblings that I just need to get off my chest.

Please stop telling me that corporations can always do it better than government

Here's something I ranted on Twitter about last night (imagine this divided across 10 separate tweets):

Please stop telling me that "private enterprise will do it better than government." How often do you complain about companies Companies with monopolies like Rogers and Bell, or Comcast and Verizon in the US. The tired old argument that the invisible hand will lift companies with better service and better products is baloney. The "invisible hand" lifts companies that have no ethics and are willing to predatorily drop prices to corner a market. Then you vote with your feet because you're saving a few cents, and ignore that the service isn't so good. Guess what? Stuff costs money. So, the company willing to take a short term loss and cut service will eventually BUY the company that isn't, because people will take the service cut to save pennies. I've seen it personally in travel booking. I had someone literally take a flight with two 4-hour stops instead of 1 2-hour stop to save $.24. Yes, twenty-four cents. And now we elect governments the same way? Who's going to save me $.10 at the pump? Who's going to save me 1% in taxes? Hell, we might as well just vote the Koch brothers in directly if that's going to be the case. If you figure they're going to screw you anyway, wouldn't you like the option to possibly vote them out every half-decade or so?

Just something that was weighing on my mind, I suppose. It's the attitude that brought folks like Rob Ford to be the mayor of Toronto, and the same attitude that constantly causes Toronto's transit plans to fall through, because we forget that things cost money. I realize people vote with their feet because every penny counts to far too many people. That's a systemic problem that is only being made worse by corporations holding increasingly huge segments of the market in a dwindling number of hands.

Just my $.02

Police officer shoots man climbing out of wrecked car. No charge.

CAUTION!!! The video attached to this article is extremely graphic:

From the article:

The Paradise police officer who investigators say accidentally shot a suspected DUI driver in the neck last month will not face criminal charges, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced Thursday.

Paradise Police Officer Patrick Feaster, a five year veteran of the department, was parked on the Skyway around midnight Thanksgiving morning, when he saw a Toyota Four-Runner speeding out of the Canteena Bar parking lot without headlights on.

Feaster followed in his patrol car, as the Toyota ran a red light and turned onto Pearson Road where the driver, 26-year-old Andrew Thomas struck the median and flipped, ejecting his 23-year-old wife Darien Ehorn from the vehicle. Ehorn was killed in the crash.

Ramsey said Feaster drew his gun when Thomas “popped” out of the car, believing he would flee. As Officer Feaster moved towards Thomas, the gun discharged and struck Thomas in the neck. The shot hit Thomas in the C7 and T1 vertebrae and could lead to him being paralyzed for life.

According to Ramsey, several factors led investigators to believe the shooting was accidental. “The dash cam video shows Officer Feaster was not prepared for and was surprised by the guns firing. The pistol discharges in mid-stride and the officer both flinches his head to the right and does a stutter step indicative of an officer not prepared for nor intentionally firing his pistol. Additionally, officers normally train to fire a minimum of two shots. There was no second shot and the officer immediately holstered his weapon after the discharge.”

I'm no expert, but it looks like two shots to me. Regardless, the justification for the shooting is spurious in the extreme.

Erick Erickson disliked NYT cover story on guns so much, he shot the paper

Right wing columnist, radio, and TV commentator Erick Erickson (RedState, CNN, Fox News) shot his copy of the NYT and encouraged others to.

From his own Twitter account:


I shot holes in the NY Times editorial - This is what I think of the New York Times edito... http://eepurl.com/bIJb3f

And from the linked blog:

This is what I think of the New York Times editorial today. The United States suffered its worst terrorist attacks since September 11 and the New York Times' response is that all law-abiding citizens need their guns taken away. Screw them. The New York Times wants you to be sitting ducks for a bunch of arms jihadists who the New York Times thinks no doubt got that way because of the United States.

I hope everyone will join me in posting pictures of bulletholes in the New York Times editorial. Send them your response. Put them on Instagram and use the hashtag for my radio show and I may give you a shoutout. #EERS

Doesn't that just sum up the right's reaction to this sort of thing in general? I don't have the wherewithal to actually debate you on this point, so *bangbangbang*

Nothing says "responsible gun owner" like someone who gets SO ANGRY at a newspaper column that he SHOOTS the newspaper!
(edit, to give credit as Tom Tomorrow used the same line: https://twitter.com/tomtomorrow/status/673261376140419073)
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