The Strangest BrewA mix of politics, economics, libertarian ideals, general automotive info, entertainment of all sorts rounded out with some humor. Anything and everything can be a topic. The Strangest Brew, indeed…
Apparently the younger of the two Chechen Boston Marathon Bombers wrote a note inside of the boat he was hiding in prior to being shot and captured. It explains their motives for perpetrating this attack.
I’ll give you a hint of what it said: It wasn’t because the US is free.
One person’s “collatoral damage” is another person’s wife, daughter, son or father. Those who support the idea of imperialism as a valid foreign policy should learn this (but I won’t hold my breath).
Boston bombing suspect wrote message in boat: CBS News report
Reuters – 41 mins ago
View PhotoReuters/Reuters – A photograph of Djohar Tsarnaev, who is believed to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, is seen on his page of Russian social networking site Vkontakte (VK), as …more pictured on a monitor and a mobile phone in St. Petersburg April 19, 2013. Tsarnaev posted links to Islamic websites and others calling for Chechen independence on what appears to be his page on the site. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk less
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found hiding in a boat days after the blasts, left a handwritten message describing the attack as retribution for U.S. wars in Muslim countries, CBS News reported on Thursday.
The CBS News report, citing anonymous sources, said that Tsarnaev used a pen to write the message on an interior wall of the boat, where police found him bleeding from gunshot wounds four days after the April 15 bombing.
The note summed up with the idea that “when you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” CBS News reported.
CBS News did not make clear how its sources knew the information and Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the report.
A spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston, Katherine Gulotta, declined to confirm or deny the report.
The CBS News report said Tsarnaev, 19, described his older brother and fellow suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died in a gunbattle with police, as “a martyr.”
“Basically, the note says … the bombings were retribution for the U.S. crimes against Muslims in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and that the victims of the Boston bombing were ‘collateral damage,’ the same way innocent victims have been collateral damage in U.S. wars around the world,” said CBS News reporter John Miller, who is a former spokesman for the FBI.
The bombings at the finish line of the world-famous marathon killed three people and injured 264 others. The FBI identified the ethnic Chechen brothers as suspects from video and pictures at the scene.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested in Watertown, Massachusetts, on April 19 after a daylong manhunt and lockdown of much of the Boston area. He is being held in a prison hospital west of Boston and faces charges that could carry the death penalty if he is convicted.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been on a U.S. government database of potential terrorism suspects and the United States had twice been warned by Russia that he might be an Islamic militant, according to U.S. security officials.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Additional reporting by Richard Valdmanis in Boston; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)
And if only one life is saved, then blah, blah, blah…
The current allowable BAC level is 0.08 but through the genius of government statistics they determined that a person with 0.05 is less impaired than if they had a BAC of 0.08. What a mind-blowing revelation.
The question no one asks is whether Person A while being highly impaired is actually a better and safer driver than Person B with not an ounce in their system. Not everyone is at the same starting point before “impairment.” But that is the type of question that makes collectivists heads hurt.
Unsurprisingly, the lives that could be saved is the focus put forth but it is a front. If it is further lowered it will not be for “safety”, it will be so the thugocracy can pull over more people, collect more fines, more court fees and infringe on our rights more freely and completely. And if the issue is met with any resistance from liberty-minded people they will be labeled as pro-drunk driving and pro-death for being against this this valiant collectivist effort (sarcasm end).
This is in our future, make sure you have your “papers” handy.
NTSB recommends lowering blood alcohol level that constitutes drunk driving
John Giles/PA wire file
The National Transportation Safety Bureau recommended Tuesday to lower the legal blood-alcohol content level to .05 from .08.
By Tom Costello, Correspondent, NBC News
WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend to states that they lower the blood-alcohol content that constitutes drunk driving.
Currently, all 50 states have set a BAC level of .08, reflecting the percentage of alcohol, by volume, in the blood. If a driver is found to have a BAC level of .08 or above, he or she is subject to arrest and prosecution.
The NTSB recommends dropping that to a BAC level of .05.
Each year, nearly 10,000 people die in alcohol-related traffic accidents and 170,000 are injured, according to the NTSB. While that’s a big improvement from the 20,000 who died in alcohol-related accidents 30 years ago, it remains a consistent threat to public safety.
Karolyn Nunnallee, a mother who lost her daughter Patty in the deadliest drunk-driving accident in in 1988 and served as a president of MADD, speaks ahead of the 25 anniversary of the Carrollton, Ky., bus collision.
Studies show that each year, roughly 4 million people admit to driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The recommendation prompted immediate criticism from restaurant trade groups.
“This recommendation is ludicrous,” said Sarah Longwell, managing director of American Beverage Institute. “Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior.
“Further restricting the moderate consumption of alcohol by responsible adults prior to driving does nothing to stop hardcore drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.”
The United States, Canada and Iraq are among a small handful of countries that have set the BAC level at .08. Most countries in Europe, including Russia, most of South America and Australia, have set BAC levels at .05 to constitute drunken driving.
When Australia dropped its BAC level from .08 to .05, provinces reported a 5-18 percent drop in traffic fatalities.
The NTSB reports that at .05 BAC, some drivers begin having difficulties with depth perception and other visual functions. At .07, cognitive abilities become impaired.
At .05 BAC, the risk of having an accident increases by 39 percent. At .08 BAC, the risk of having an accident increases by more than 100 percent.
The NTSB believes that if all 50 states changed their standard to .05, nearly 1,000 lives could be saved each year. It is also considering other steps to help bring down the death rates on America’s roads.
The NTSB is an investigative agency that advocates on behalf of safety issues. It has no legal authority to order any change to state or federal law. It would be up to individual states whether to accept the NTSB’s recommendation, and up to the Department of Transportation whether to endorse the recommendations.
The last move from .10 to .08 BAC levels took 21 years for each state to implement.
Here is an article attempting to point out why the education system is so “Obama-y” (another word for shitty). The article takes the typical path of saying bad grades are due to poverty instead of being a responsible person or having responsible parents that value learning and education.
Eliminating the “grading system” would do nothing in a practical sense. Evaluations are necessary and are occurring all the time whether you realize it or not. Life is a test, and there are winners and losers. Shouldn’t people know what they are good at? A grading system can be part of the path to self-discovery. If they don’t know then they will falsely believe they are good at everything. This isn’t just stupid, it is dangerous.
The article isn’t a complete pile of “Obama”, the author does stress that the goal of learning needs to be the act of “learning” and not the goal of “good grades”. They are not necessarily one in the same. The path of standardized tests and perpetual formal evaluation is destructive but this is not because applying “grades” is bad or destructive, it’s because the goal of these tests being performed today is not to determine knowledge, understanding or comprehension but to gain funding. Typically for the benefit of unionized goons and politicians.
The ultimate solution is to end compulsory schooling, period.
Growing up, my friends and I had a term for genuinely stupid people, we referred to them as:
The Case Against Grades
They lower self-esteem, discourage creativity, and reinforce the class divide.
There is always something or someone to blame in our struggle for education reform. Sometimes it’s the “bad teachers” who get the blame. Other times it’s standardized testing, insufficient funding, or slow-moving bureaucracy. I blame grades.
Grading students, from A to F, has become synonymous with education itself. Report-card day is an American rite of passage. Yet, there’s reason to believe the structure of grading students is the biggest culprit in America’s long, steady decline in education—SAT reading scores are at a 40-year low, and one recent study ranked the U.S. 17th in education, worse than Poland, Canada, Ireland, South Korea, and Denmark. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the rigid and judgmental foundation of modern education is the origin point for many of our worst qualities, making it harder for many to learn because of its negative reinforcement, encouraging those who do well to gradually favor the reward of an A over the discovery of new ways of thinking, and reinforcing harsh class divides that are only getting worse as the economy idles.
In its earliest forms, education was a Socratic practice of self-knowledge; an isolated act of enshrining religious traditions; or, most commonly, an informal transfer of skill on the homestead, with parents teaching children how to plant, harvest, raise livestock, or practice some craft passed through generations. That all began to change in 1792 when William Farish, a tutor and soon-to-be chemistry professor at Cambridge, became an early advocate of evaluating student performance through quantifying test results. A century later, the logic transformed into a letter-based scale first seen at Mount Holyoke College in 1897. By the 1930s, the ABC approach had been adopted by a wide group of schools and universities around the country and, not coincidentally, would be reabsorbed by a number of industrial interests, including dairy, beef, poultry, and plywood. (That’s some A+ plywood!)
These changes coincided with the rapid expansion of compulsory education in America, a legal standard that had been adopted by all 50 states by 1917. Grades were the foundation of this expansion, providing data points for a system in which one person would get a corner office and another would be lost to a life flipping burgers or changing motor oil. If you want to succeed in life, stay in school, get good grades.
The catch is that fear of negative outcomes has been repeatedly shown to be a major impediment to learning. A survey of students at the University of Cape Town found that stress and fear of failing tests led to “classic symptoms of procrastination and avoidance,” confusion and low self-esteem. “ … [I]t’s one of those things where if I have to fail a test, I’m Like, ‘Oh my goodness, I can’t fail a test.’ It’s like a really serious strain,” one subject reported. Another showed the classic habit of grade-weighted failure leading to disengagement: “But I just didn’t like the fact that I had failed, so I just moved on to something else.” These responses are echoed by a number of studies that show students’ willingness to take on challenging tasks diminishes when grades are involved, but without grades, students left on their own tend to seek out more challenging problems.
John Taylor Gatto, a one-time New York State Teacher of the Year turned fierce education critic, proposed an education system built around “independent study, community service, adventures in experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, [and] a thousand different apprenticeships.” Schools built on these values have flourished in the margins of state-funded, graded education throughout the 20th century. The most famous example is the Montessori schools, noted for their lack of grades, multiage classes, and extended periods where students can chose their own projects from a selected range of materials. The schools have educated many of today’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, including Google’s Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales, business management legend Peter Drucker, and video game icon Will Wright.
A 2006 comparison in Milwaukee found that Montessori students performed better than grade-based students at reading and math; they also “wrote more creative essays with more complex sentence structures, selected more positive responses to social dilemmas, and reported feeling more of a sense of community at their school.” Some contend that Montessori schools attract more affluent and successful parents, who give their children an inherent advantage, but the Milwaukee study was built around a random lottery for Montessori enrollment. All the children in the study came from families with similar economic backgrounds, with average incomes ranging between $20,000 and $50,000.
Free schools have taken the gradeless structure even further, treating the school as an open space where students are not only allowed to self-direct but are given equal responsibility in the organization and rule-making of the school itself. The Summerhill School in England is one of the most recognizable and longest-running, founded in 1921 by A.S. Neill. Summerhill is built around the idea of creating stable, happy, and compassionate humans capable of filling any role in society—a janitor being no less a success than a doctor. In place of dedicated courses, students are free to follow their own interests while teachers observe and nudge them toward new ways of thinking about what they’re drawn to. Students with an interest in cooking, for instance, might learn the basics of chemistry by way of thickening a sauce. Those drawn to playing soccer might learn to improve their game with some fundamental principles of Newtonian physics.
Schools inspired by the Summerhill model have flourished in recent years, with free schools operating around the country from Portland, Ore., to Sudbury, Mass. The Brooklyn Free School has earned attention for its open structure and regular democratic meetings, where students debate how to handle problems like boredom and whether playing video games on the school computers should be considered a learning activity. The higher tuition costs do tend to attract wealthier families with well-supported children, but many go out of their way to provide assistance to low-income families, favoring diversity over bill-paying. The Manhattan Free School in Harlem makes do on an annual budget of $100,000 and collects full tuition from only 20 percent of its students. The Brooklyn Free School operates on a sliding scale of tuition, collecting full payment from only half of its students, with some paying as little as $20 every few weeks.
It’s a common misnomer to assume no student evaluation happens in environments like these, but in most cases free-school environments require more teacher attention than traditional classrooms. Instead of testing for comprehension of a select group of facts or ideas, teachers constantly monitor a child’s behavior, support an array of student experimentation, and subtly encourage efforts that best match the student’s abilities. In free schools failure is not a punishment for bad study habits but the sign of students testing their knowledge to see if it holds true in practice. In our soccer analogy, success wouldn’t be evaluated by students scoring goals but in gradually learning how and why the ball curves in some cases and goes straight in others, a process that would surely produce many more misses than scores.
Abandoning grades would be a massive shock, but holding onto them has not forestalled decay, from waves of school closures for poor standardized test results to the trillion-dollar debt guillotine awaiting college students who’ll struggle to win unpaid internships for all their hard work. Eliminating grades would not singlehandedly bring salvation. There is a whole new world of challenges and complications in a classroom without pedagogy and rank. But it would be an ideal place to start anew, to stop motivating students, teachers, and underperformers with the fear of being flunked, fired, or shut down. Without that dysfunctional ranking we could instead form a child’s education around his or her eagerness to discover, contribute, and share. An A-to-F grade scale is only a distraction from that process and in many cases an outright deterrent. It’s time to admit that system has no place in our future.
I don’t think the cop was screwing with the driver. I understand the driver was probably only driving the speed limit because the cop was there but that still doesn’t excuse him from putt-putting in the left lane. IMHO, this driver is an asshole for driving slowly in the most left lane on a FOUR-lane highway. I was taught German driving manners and road habits (and practice them) so I have no sympathy for this type of person.
I don’t agree with the cop tail-gating the Civic but I don’t see a problem with the cop “herding” this asshole over to where he belongs, the right lane. He gave him a chance to move over before turning his lights on. I have been behind many people like that and the only way to get around them without a state issued badge authorizing coercion is to then pass on the right which can be unsafe and often leads to this type of driver accelerating to match your speed.
Drivers like the person in the Civic are the flakes/clovers that think they are being safe for following the rules but in fact are gumming up highways, slowing the movement of traffic, creating rage in other motorists and generally contributing to making the highways a less safe way to travel.
I will do something I don’t often do on this site, I will commend a cop for doing something useful. Well done pig, well done.
I read this story posted by Yojimbo on The Burning Platform and even I couldn’t believe it. I have spent the last 45 minutes trying to find proof that this is a hoax story in the hopes that it isn’t true; it simply can’t be true.
I have read multiple sources even including Coachella’s own website for the festival stating and describing that the police checkpoints will be 1/4 to 1 mile away from the concert entrance.
I have failed to debunk the story, I have found these articles (the last one is the festival official site):
RFID bracelets are being required for entrance into the concert. This I have no problem with, it is a private event. But for this event the checkpoints are as far as 1 mile around the entrance. The result of this is that people who aren’t attending the event who live less than a mile away are required to have RFID tags to enter their own homes and private property.
Read and think about that statement again, I’ll repeat it because it bears repeating:
The result of this is that people who aren’t attending the event who live less than a mile away are required to have RFID tags to enter their own homes and private property.
I consider this a new low for a society and nation which has already fallen so far away from liberty.
Walter Williams with a concise and scaithing piece, it is best summed up with this excerpt:
Today 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. Being born and finding out that your mother is 17 years old, that your grandmother is 35 and that you don’t know who or where your father is is not a good start on life.
Honest Examination of Race
by Walter E. Williams
One definition given for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; it might also be a definition of stupidity. Let’s look at some cities where large percentages of black Americans live under poor conditions.
Experiencing a violent crime rate of 2,137 per 100,000 of the population, Detroit is the nation’s most dangerous city. Rounding out Forbes magazine’s 2012 list of the 10 most dangerous cities are St Louis; Oakland, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Stockton, Calif.; Cleveland; and Buffalo, N.Y. The most common characteristic of these predominantly black cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some cities – such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia – haven’t elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. What’s more is that in most of these cities, blacks have been mayors, chiefs of police, school superintendents and principals and have dominated city councils.
You might ask, “What’s the point, Williams?” Let’s be clear about it. I’m not stating that there’s a causal relationship between crime, poverty and squalor on the one hand and, on the other, Democratic and black political control over a city. Nor am I saying that blacks ought to vote Republican. What I am saying is that if one is strategizing on how to improve the lives of the poorest black people, he wants to leave off his to-do list election of Democrats and black politicians. Also to be left off the to-do list is a civil rights agenda. Racial discrimination has little to do with major problems confronting black people.
Today 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. Being born and finding out that your mother is 17 years old, that your grandmother is 35 and that you don’t know who or where your father is is not a good start on life. In fact, it’s a near guarantee for school dropout, poverty and crime, but such a start in life has nothing to do with racial discrimination.
Law-abiding poor black people suffer the nation’s highest rates of criminal victimization from assaults and homicide. More than 50 percent of homicide victims are black. Would anyone claim that this victimization is caused by racist groups preying on the black community? In addition to victimization, the level of lawlessness in many black communities has the full effect of a law banning economic growth. That’s because the thugs are equal-opportunity thugs who will rip off a black-owned business just as they’d rip off a white-owned business.
Black education is a disaster, but who runs the violent, disruptive big-city schools, where education is all but impossible? For the most part, it’s not white people. Go to a city such as Detroit and you’ll find that blacks have been superintendents, principals and most of the teachers for years. Most black high-school students, in Detroit and other cities, can’t read, write and compute as well as sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade white students, but is it because of racism? What the elite teach is not only futile but counterproductive. For example, speaking standard English in an English-speaking country is critical for self-improvement. But that’s not the lesson from the nation’s multiculturalists, who call for the celebration of native languages and dialects. Sloppy-minded academics and assorted hustlers have taught that poor English, gangsta rap, men wearing pigtails and thug behavior should not be criticized but become a part of the celebration of diversity.
Black people could benefit from an honest examination of the bill of goods they’ve been sold. Such an examination would not come from black politicians, civil rights leaders or the black and white liberal elite. Those people have benefited politically and financially from keeping black Americans in a constant state of grievance based on alleged racial discrimination. The long-term solution for the problems that many black Americans face begins with an absolute rejection of the self-serving agenda of hustlers and poverty pimps.
Eric Peters with a great article that shows what our owners have in store for us by further destroying our right to unobstructed travel. One of the most famous previous examples is the “claymore in your steering wheel” (great term by Eric) they call an airbag.
Now they bascially want to mandate we use our cell phones as a secondary key to start and operate our cars? Where is the limit?
So there is the potential that every car has one of these installed; well that only works under the assumption that every person has a cell phone, which not all people who drive have. I assume there will be a beauracratic process of getting a form approved by some ass-clown to get an exemption.
And what if you simply don’t want to bring your cellphone with you? In theory this will force you to bring your cell phone/GPS tracking device with you whenever you drive. Your owners need to know where you are going and what you are doing at all times.
What if you are out and lose the phone. Not only do you not have your phone but now you can’t drive your car. Absolutely idiotic.
Even with this system, what will stop someone like me who has an old iPhone that no longer has a cell-phone package but still works as an iPod from being plugged in and negating the entire system? There could be a small industry created that would build fake cell phones that look real but whose only function is to bypass this POS technological infringement of freedom.
Now, to be clear; I hate it when I see people are talking on their phone or texting while driving. But if they do this and cause no harm I don’t see why it is a problem. This is just another example of how TPTB think they can manage everyone’s life by destroying freedom to achieve safety.
The irony of all this is that the government will mandate a $400 device/cost onto the people whether they want it or not and more than likely a $5-10 piece of electronics will negate it anyway.
The only thing missing (so far) from our lil’ hitlers in charge, is a mention of how this will “protect the children.”
I probably won’t be able to write new car reviews come next year – or the year after. Because I probably won’t be able to drive the damn things anymore. Maybe you won’t be able to, either.
The jihad against sail fawn gabbling – and worst of all, texting – is about to bear fruit in the form of the ORIGOSafe (see here). It is a dock – an interlock – built into your car (perhaps your next new car) that will prevent the engine from being started unless you first insert your sail fawn into said dock.
For safety’s sake, of course.
“April is Distracted Driving Month,” lectures ORIGOSafe Founder Clay Skelton. “No matter how much people talk about the dangers of hand-held texting, especially among teens, driving isn’t getting any safer… .” He drones on for awhile more along the same lines before coming to the denouement: His device – installed in every new car. You can almost see the double dollar signs in his pupils.
Now, he doesn’t actually say the word. You know the word. Mandate. But where else is this headed? The concept is far too profitable to be lefty to the vagaries of the (semi) free market, to (what’s left of) consumer choice. Because – no doubt – very few consumers would freely choose to have their cars mauled with ORIGOSafe.
After all, would you?
“For only (italics added) $279″ – plus another $125 to install the filthy bugger – “you can have peace of mind knowing your driver is focused on the road, with the phone safely docked in the ORIGO,” trumpets the company web site.
Yep, “only” another $400 or so out the window – on top of the air bags ($1,500 per car according to most estimates) the back-up cameras ($200 per car) the tire pressure monitors (another hundred, maybe) all the rest of it.
But, you’ll be safer!
That’s the magic word. The word that justifies anything – cost no object. And which renders individual choice irrelevant. No, anathema.
If it’s “safe” then it’s a must do. Just what the doctor ordered.
And that’s what worries me most – the ordered part. My Spider Sense is tingling. I just know – with depressing certitude – that ORIGOSafe will tread the same path already well-worn by other safety items, once optional (failed) now “successful” (because mandatory).
Air bags, for instance. These claymores in the steering wheel would not be in every new car absent the order they be installed.
Same goes for the back-up cameras recently mandated.
Most people, left to their own devices, would elect not to purchase this gear. Not an opinion – a fact. Seat belts were available as optional equipment before they became mandatory equipment. Most people – when they still could – skipped them. Same with air bags when they first appeared in the early ’70s. Same with back-up cameras – which have been around for more than ten years but which many people didn’t buy because they couldn’t justify the additional cost and didn’t feel the need.
Unsafe! Intolerable! It cannot be permitted!
Mandates, for all!
Did you know that several automakers already have in-car Breathalyzers in the works? Yes, indeed. The same interlocks currently fitted to cars owned by convicted “drunk” drivers are almost certainly going to be incorporated into the cars of non-convicts (that’s us) in order to . . . keep us safe. After all, it’s unendurable to imagine that anyone might drive drunk. Therefore, everyone must submit to being handled as presumptively drunk until proved not-drunk.
That premise has already been accepted by the courts – and much more unfortunately, by many people too. So, there will be little objection to mandatory in-car Breathalyzers, when those get rolled out. After all, if it’s okay to stop people at random and compel them to prove they aren’t drunk – well, why not insist they have Breathalyzers installed in their cars? You don’t support drunk driving . . . do you?
These same people will not only embrace – no, demand – that sail fawn interlocks be installed in all new cars. Just as they have insisted that all new cars be fitted with air bags, back-up cameras and tire pressure monitors. Because other people (not them, of course) cannot be trusted to act responsibly and competently. They need – in the insufferably oleaginous phraseology of one of their leaders – to be “nudged” in the right direction.
Well, among other things, I don’t even own a sail fawn – and hope to god I never will. What happens when they drop off a brand-new 2016 car for me to test drive . . . and I can’t even get the damned thing to start because I don’t have a sail fawn to insert into the ORIGOSafe?
I guess it’ll be my cue to exit, stage left. They’ve already sucked most of the joy out of driving anyhow – by taking the driver out of the equation. The latest new cars pre-empt the driver in a multitude of ways – transforming him, with each new model year, into a passenger. If one squints a little and looks hard into the distance, one can see the driverless car coming. Just another couple of years now, at most.
Meanwhile, we’ll all be so much safer (albeit $400 poorer) with our sail fawns securely docked into our ORIGOS.
Next up: Hannibal Lecter-style mouth guards to keep us from talking while driving.