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…
My first word was car and much of my spare money growing up went into my MR2 to make it look nicer and go faster. I was never much of a fan of ‘Murkan cars. I was too young to have experienced the muscle cars of the 60′s and 70′s, I remember the K-Car and the Minivan. There are really only 2 that I truly admire and would feel fortunate to own one day, 1-the Buick Grand National and 2-the Dodge Viper.
The Viper first appeared as a concept at the very end of the 80′s and went on sale in the early 90′s when I was 10 years old and it looked amazing, It was stylized but a brute at the same time; like a mullet, it business up front, party in the back (lol).
One time I got the opportunity to ride in one of the earlier models (red with yellow wheels) and it stood out to me similar to the times I got to ride in a Lotus Esprit V8 and an Acura NSX, it was breathtaking. My personal favorite is when they slightly redesigned the original model but offered it in hardtop version; the 1996 GTS (blue with white stripes). If I had a stack of bills equal to what someone was asking for one right now, I would be hard-pressed to pass it up.
I hate lawyers (like most every respectable person) but their reign of terror has gone too far today. 93 Vipers are going to be crushed because of them (see story below). Chrysler donated 93 to tech schools but 2 of them had students take the cars out for joyrides.
Shame on the school for not properly keeping the cars secure and shame on the 2 sets of kids ruining this for the other 91, but a pox on the lawyers of this country that have created a lawsuit happy environment where Chrysler makes a financial decision to mandate the cars be destroyed because they fear (rightly so) they will be held liable for damages the joyriders might cause.
To cut down on the “lawyer problem” I propose policies/laws similar to this JLA clip to be instituted.
Chrysler orders 93 rare early Vipers to the crusher
The original Dodge Viper revealed in 1992 was a beast of a machine — an attempt by then-Chrysler exec Bob Lutz to revive the spirit of the Shelby Cobra and give Chrysler a world-class sports car. Powered by a massive V-10 with 400 hp, the early Viper’s brute force overwhelmed many drivers.
Today, the power that made the Viper a legend appears to be at the heart of an order from Chrysler to dozens of trade schools, demanding the immediate destruction of some 93 early Vipers, including a preproduction model that could likely fetch a couple hundred thousand dollars at auction.
According to The Olympian, the staff of South Puget Sound Community College was told by a Chrysler official that their Viper had to be crushed within two weeks. It’s common for automakers to donate cars to automotive shop classes, and in many cases the vehicles in such donations aren’t saleable — meaning the company technically still owns the cars. School officials say Chrysler told them two of the 93 early Vipers given to schools had been involved in accidents by joyriding students, creating a major liability for Chrysler.
Of those 93, the Viper at SPSCC stands out. It was the fourth Viper ever built, with a prototype hard top years before Dodge offered a production version. With no emissions controls, and no speed limiter, the V-10 can make 600 hp, and school instructors say it could be worth $250,000 to a museum or private Viper fan.
“It’s like the day Kennedy was shot,” Norm Chapman, automotive technology professor at SPSCC, told The Olympian. “No one will forget where they were when they heard the news.”
There’s several precedents for Chrysler’s order, the most memorable being General Motors’ decision to destroy all of its original EV1 electric vehicles after a safety recall it decied not to repair; the few that remain in universities and museums have been permanently disabled. The Vipers at SPSCC and other schools were useful more for promotion than education, but trashing a piece of automotive history seems like a differnent kind of educational tool: Punishing everyone for the mistakes of a few.
Pretty simply, right…?
Here are a few more examples:
I only have a degree in Mechanical Engineering so please explain to me; what the fuck is a Subtraction Sentence????
This is exactly the type of higher level math that prepares one for college and a good career (sigh….). This is what happens when the same douchenozzles that brought us Obama-Care get more involved in the public/government school system.
I haven’t done an O’Really post in a while so I figured I would check in. I found this recent clip where he rants about how horrible Putin is, how he violated international law and how economic sanctions from the US and Western Europe could crush the Russian currency (because according to Ole Bill it is “on the ropes now“). Result: Yep, O’Reilly is a stupid fucking Neo-Con douchenozzle.
Invading a country on false pretext would definitely be bad. In unrelated news Secretary Kerry is on his way to Kiev, hopefully TSA allows him to pass through the security checkpoint with his foot permanently inserted in his mouth. Let’s just hope the dipshit doesn’t start WW3.
Poor John Kerry. He is prone to foot-in-mouth syndrome, but clearly the stress is getting to him. It’s understandable. The Secretary of State and his minions went and provoked a regime change in Ukraine to which they sang the chorus “democracy” and “people power” only to discover that: 1) the new leadership has a bad case of Basil Fawlty syndrome, stiff-arming at every opportunity; and 2) a good chunk of the country (as the rest of us could tell looking at voting maps) had no intention of going along with the US-engineered regime change in Kiev.
First Crimea, with a majority Russian and Russian-speaking population, rejected the self-proclaimed government in Kiev, then one by one eastern Ukrainians began mass demonstrations where the Russian flag was hoisted on public buildings.
In Kiev, the demonstrations are “people power.” In Donetsk and Sebastopol it is “armed gunmen.” That is the view of western governments and their media class. But the authorities in the autonomous province of Crimea — backed by tens of thousands in the streets — did the unthinkable: they asked the Russians to protect them against the new Kiev regime which was en route to crush dissent.
Interventionism is a dirty game and there is considerable danger in believing too closely in one’s own self-deceptions and on closed-loop analysis.
But what Kerry and his boss called a “invasion” looked a lot more like the neocon fantasy of how US troops would be greeted in Baghdad. In other words, for an invading force, the Russians seemed to be welcomed by the local population.
The stress was clearly too much. Today on Face the Nation Kerry delivered the kind of hilarious groaner that undermines the entire US manufactured outrage at Russia’s action next door in Ukraine. Said Kerry on camera:
It is really a stunning, willful choice by President Putin to invade another country…You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.
One risks ruining the punchline by mentioning such words as Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Yugoslavia, and so on…
Be grateful she wasn’t rapedby my officers he says; and with that we get a glimpse at the true nature of the copfuk. There is no accountability, they are nothing more than the blunt instrument of our owners, other than the few remaining peace officers they not only do not deserve respect or praise, they should be publicly humiliated, ostracized and accurately labeled as thugs and gangsters.
The Art Acevedo Defense: At Least My Minions Didn’t Rape Her
by: Will Grigg
Chief Art Acedevo of the Austin Police Department is like a figure from Roman history – in one of the worst ways imaginable. To be specific, his view of the privileges of the coercive elite, and the deferential gratitude they’re supposedly owed by the plebian class, summon memories of Cicero’s description of the aspiring ruler Marcus Antonius. In fact, Acevedo’s dismissive comments about the unjustified arrest and abuse of a female jogger displayed a tyrannical insouciance that Antonius might have considered a bit excessive.
After Cicero delivered the first of fourteen philippicsagainst Antonius in the Senate, the general invited public applause for the forbearance he displayed by allowing the orator to live. Cicero devoted a lengthy section of his second philippic to demolishing the would-be dictator’s pretense of magnanimity:
“That, senators, is what a favor from gangsters amounts to – they refrain from murdering someone, and then they boast of their kindness…. What sort of kindness is it, to have abstained from committing a horrible evil? To me, it doesn’t appear so much a favor as a burden, to know that it was within your power to do such a thing with impunity. But I grant that it was a favor, such no greater kindness can be expected from a robber.”
Like every other notable municipal police chief, Acevedo presides over a department that is notorious for committing acts of capricious violence against innocent people –and almost without exception he defends such crimes as suitable exercises of discretion by the punitive caste.
Women tend to be preferred targets in the ongoing APD crime wave. One suitable example was the case of Vanessa Price, who was unlawfully “detained” outside her home by Officer Jermaine Hopkins, and then brutally assaulted by him after she used her cell phone to call her husband for help. Hopkins then charged the victim – who had been observing a police encounter with an unruly house guest from a distance of roughly thirty feet — with “interference” and “resisting arrest.” The charges were dropped, and Hopkins – rather than being prosecuted for aggravated armed assault – was given a trivial suspension. Mrs. Price had to endure two months of expensive physical therapy to recover from the unprovoked attack.
Insisting that his conduct was exemplary, Hopkins appealed his suspension. He had the support of the local police union, the Austin Police Association. Sgt. Wayne Vincent, the APA’s spokesliar, insisted that Mrs. Price’s refusal to put down the phone constituted an impermissible threat to the “safety of the officer,” before which all considerations must yield.
Viewed in the context of the Austin PD’s established standards, the actions of the officers who assaulted and abducted jogger Amanda Jo Stephen as summary punishment for “contempt of cop” were comparatively mild. This is an indictment of the state-licensed gang over which Acedevo presides, not an endorsement of the behavior of this specific group of costumed kidnappers.
When one of the officers laid hands on Stephen, the young woman — not knowing that corpulent stranger was a cop — jerked her arm away. After Stephen, who wasn’t operating a motor vehicle and wasn’t under arrest, refused to give her name, her captors illegally arrested her for the supposed offense of “failure to identify.” She was then shackled and hauled off screaming by a phalanx of well-nourished tax-feeders.
The public reaction to this crime was sufficiently vehement to provoke an effort at damage control by Acevedo, who used that opportunity to put on a display of contemptuous hostility toward the offended public. Indulging in the kind of stilted sarcasm we would expect from a spoiled adolescent, Acevedo suggested that Stephen should be abjectly grateful that she was spared being raped or killed by her uniformed betters:
“Thank you, Lord, that it’s a controversy in Austin Texas that we had the audacity to touch somebody by the arm and tell them, `Oh, my goodness, Austin Police – we’re trying to get your attention.’ In other cities, cops are actually committing sexual assaults on duty.”
Of course, if a Mundane “had the audacity to touch” a cop on the arm, this act of desecration would be described as “aggravated assault on an officer,” and the offender would most likely be tasered and beaten bloody. In this case, from Acedevo’s perspective, the female Mundane committed a crime when she shrugged off a physical advance from a member of the exalted brotherhood of official coercion: “Quite frankly, she wasn’t charged with resisting and she’s lucky I wasn’t the arresting officer because I wouldn’t have been as generous.”
A very similar view was expressed by Officer Adam Skweres of the Pittsburgh Police Department, a serial predator who was arrested and prosecuted for sexually assaulting a woman in her home. Skweres, who had attempted to violate at least three other victims, told one of them that if she put up a struggle, he could arrest her for “resisting.” That point of view isn’t limited to obvious sociopaths like Skweres. During oral arguments before the Michigan supreme court in October 2011, Gregory J. Babbitt, an assistant DA for Michigan’s Ottawa County, acknowledged that a woman who fought off a sexual assault committed by a state-privileged attacker could be prosecuted under the state’s “resisting and obstructing” statute.
Magdalena Mol, a young wife and mother, was detained without cause in the incongruously named village of Justice, Illinois on the night of May 5, 2012 by Officer Carmen Scardine.
At the time, Mol was waiting for a taxi to take her home after visiting a friend.
Scardine invited her into his car and demanded identification. When the cab arrived, the officer ordered the driver to leave. Scardine then drove Mol to a secluded spot and raped her. The assailant didn’t charge Mol with an offense – a gesture Chief Acevedo would probably treat as an act of regal generosity.
Acevedo was eventually compelled to issue an apology for his remarks, which he described as a “poor analogy.” In fact, Acevedo committed a “gaffe,” as that term was defined by Michael Kinsley – that is, the unwitting disclosure of an uncomfortable truth by a public official. Acevedo’s apology most likely reflected his regret for offending his comrades, rather than any remorse for mocking Amanda Jo Stephen and the outraged public.
Writing of the era in which Rome succumbed to undisguised tyranny, historian Edward Gibbon observed: “A nation of slaves is always prepared to applaud the clemency of their master who, in the abuse of absolute power, does not proceed to the last extremes of injustice and oppression.”
Strangely enough, that was the same message Chief Acevedo sent, even if it wasn’t the one he had intended. If it were received and properly understood, Acevedo not only would lose his job, he would be run out of town – unless the population he addressed is worthy of the contempt he expressed.
In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.
That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).
It is hard to overplay the results: The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What’s more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.
In the study, trolls were identified in a variety of ways. One was by simply asking survey participants what they “enjoyed doing most” when on online comment sites, offering five options: “debating issues that are important to you,” “chatting with others,” “making new friends,” “trolling others,” and “other.” Here’s how different responses about these Internet commenting preferences matched up with responses to questions designed to identify Dark Tetrad traits:
To be sure, only 5.6 percent of survey respondents actually specified that they enjoyed “trolling.” By contrast, 41.3 percent of Internet users were “non-commenters,” meaning they didn’t like engaging online at all. So trolls are, as has often been suspected, a minority of online commenters, and an even smaller minority of overall Internet users.
The US(S)A is becoming more and more a fascist/socialist totalitarian police state each day. There are many who are more responsible than others. There are also those who proclaim it isn’t their fault because they work hard at their job (check), act kindly to their fellow human (check), provide for their families (check) and pay their taxes (WTF!?!?!?!?!).
Firstly, very few people pay taxes; the vast majority have them taken. And how in god’s name is paying taxes a good thing or part of being a good American?
If you are an US citizen your taxes are used to:
Attack and occupations of foreign nations that have not attacked the US
Conduct drone strikes on foreign soil killing women and children and even at times targetting and murdering US citizens living abroad:
Pay for the salaries and pensions of those that are tasked to “serve and protect” the public but fail miserably:
“Provide” for the FSA via SNAP/EBT cards used at Walmart:
And Obamacare for people like this:
Taxes are used for bailouts for guys like this:
And go to perpetually fund alphabet agencies that make sure people are assaulted and prosecuted for smoking a plant and being arrested/assaulted and prosecuted because they are under the misconception that they own their own bodies:
While this muthafucka walks around free as a bird:
So that DHS can buy billions of rounds of hollow points to either be used against us or to make less available for us with higher prices:
So that Dear Leader can do this:
So the NSA can spy on everything we do without probable cause and then try and hunt down people who bring these developments to the public stage:
To fund our great (sic) public (government) schools (indoctrination centers):
And gold-plated benefit and retirement packages for government workers (drones):
If taxes feeds the beast/leviathon, does having them taken make someone a good person or a good American? Don’t construe it to think people that have their taxes stolen from from them are bad Americans (not just because I definitely fall into that category). This situation is more akin to being mugged on the street and then seeing in the news that the same mugger bought a gun that he used to kill innocent people. Each person is an individual that makes their own decisions but I would be lying if I would feel zero guilt for not having fought back to avoid the future outcome.
But in the spirit of the Founding Fathers, I’d argue that thinking it is good for a person to pay taxes (so-called fair share or otherwise) feeds the beast and validates the actions they commit with those funds and in turn does make that person a bad American.
I make no bones about it, I can’t stand copfuks/pigfuks as well as their apologists, copsuckers. It wasn’t always that way but once I became a young adult I saw the majority of them for what they are, power hungry sociopaths. But I don’t want to not respect them, I don’t want to not respect anybody. But the power they yield, their reprehensible actions, their demand for a double standard and their paramilitary behavior require me to do so; in good moral conscience I cannot respect violent authoritarian gang members, which is what copfuks are.
If things changed as Eric Peters described below I will gladly revisit my stance on them, but I don’t plan on holding my breath.
I grew up in an America with cops in the background. Most people – being not criminals – had almost no interaction with them and when they did it was generally civil and far more important, almost always on equal terms – with the cop respectful of the citizen.
It goes without saying that’s all gone now. Cops are a menacing omnipresence – and when they deal with us, it is usually order barking Command Voice style. You do not discuss, much less dispute. You Submit and Obey. Or else.The least recalcitrance – merely to question anything – is often sufficient to bring down a Fallujah-style escalation. People are routinely dragged out of their cars, roughly thrown to the ground, pummeled, kicked – and much worse than that. Often, over trivial things. Police even in small towns have become indistinguishable from soldiers.
It is out of hand – obviously so – and if left unchecked will grow much worse, much sooner as the vortex picks up speed. What was inconceivable 20 years ago is routine today. What will be routine 20 years from today?
We face a choice: Either we accept being treated as “indigs” by an army of occupation that accepts no limits to its authority and which regards us as disposable as themselves as untouchable. Or we step back from the abyss before it’s too late. We recover our senses. We no longer accept the unacceptable.
Here’s how, in a few simple steps:
* Cops must be bound by the law -
As citizens, we are told that ignorance of the law is no excuse. That it is our obligation to know the law. Surely, the same ought to apply to those charged with enforcing it. Yet cops routinely ignore the law, even when it is pointed out to them in literal black and white. Many states, for example, have open carry laws. It is legal to wear a gun in plain view in public. Yet cops will often waylay at gunpoint, detain, disarm and question individuals who have done nothing in violation of any law – who are merely open carrying in full compliance with the letter of the law. They will justify this illegal assault by referencing “concerns” – either their own or those expressed by some unnamed person who “called in.”
Similarly, cops now routinely abuse people for lawfully taking video/audio in public. They will back each other up, too.
A cop must be as willing to defend legal action as he is prepared to defend against illegal action. This includes intervening against fellow officers when he knows they’ve committed a crime or are acting in a way that does not comport with the law. If it is intolerable for a citizen to break the law, it is doubly so when a cop does – because he may do so with relative impunity.
Until the doctrine is established and respected that the law applies equally to everyone, including cops, there will be increasingly less and less respect for cops – who increasingly hold themselves above the law.
And us in contempt.
* The Right to Resist -
Self-defense is perhaps the most basic human right, without which other rights are largely meaningless. One of the worst abuses of our era is the denial of this elemental right when a physical assault is perpetrated by a person acting under color of law. If a cop does not have the legal right to lay hands on a citizen, to violate his personal space (including his personal property) then the citizen has every ethical right to resist. To walk away – and to defend himself against aggression if he is aggressed against.
His legal right to resist must be acknowledged in law.
That means if a SWAT team got the wrong house number and executes a no-knock raid in the middle of the night, the sleeping (and innocent) citizen should be considered within his rights to defend his home and himself, even if it results in the unfortunate death of a cop.
The burden is on the cops who got it wrong – not the citizen who acted out of justifiable fear for his life.
If a cop attempts to seize your person or things without legal cause, you ought to be able – legally – to defend yourself to the extent necessary. If citizens witness out-of-control cops administering a beat-down, they have the same right to intervene that would obtain if they witnessed a gang of thugs beating on an innocent.
Special costumes and badges should not render the wearer a member of a privileged caste whose person may not be touched even when they have crossed the line and committed an act that if committed by any other person would be defined as criminal.
This business of demanding supine submission to every barked order is unworthy of a free society. It is in fact a mortal threat to a free society.
Cops must be reminded they’re not special. That our “safety” is just as valuable to us as their “safety” is to them. And that if they go after someone physically, they’d better have good – defensible – cause. And if they do not, that their victim has every legal right to defend himself – and will not be punished for having done so.
This doctrine, once established, would re-establish a balance that has been lost – and which must be recovered.
* Personal Liability -
Ordinary citizens are vulnerable to civil suits when their reckless or criminal actions result in harm/damage to others or their property. They are personally liable. This acts as a strong incentive to be prudent, to act responsibly. The same incentives are vitally necessary to assure police restraint, curb the worst abuses – and effectively deal with those who do abuse their authority.
As things stand, the reverse is true.
Cops have every incentive to not behave prudently, to act recklessly – since they know that any consequences will probably not be born by them directly. They will not lose their house, have their wages garnished for the next 20 years. If there is a lawsuit, the county – the taxpayers – will pay. The cop may not even lose his job. And if he does, there will be probably be a new job in another county, another state.
This cannot continue.
All police must be held personally liable for gross misconduct. Knowing that violating someone’s rights could lead to the loss of everything is just what’s needed to keep cops from violating people’s rights. Anything that insulates police from being held personally accountable is an open invitation to ever-greater escapades of abuse. We expect much more in terms of personal accountability from airline pilots – whose careers can be ended at a stroke if the faintest whiff of alcohol is detected on their breath.Doctors have to self-insure against malpractice – and may be sued into ruin if they botch an operation. Surely, those entrusted with lethal weapons and legal power to use them ought to be held to a comparable level of personal accountability.
Most of us manage to behave ourselves – and never find ourselves on the wrong end of a civil suit. Surely, it is not asking too much to ask cops to behave with similar restraint – and to be held personally accountable when they do not.
As cops so often advise us: If they haven’t done anything wrong, then they’ve got nothing to worry about.
* Higher standard for use of deadly force -
It is an awesome responsibility to carry a gun. To threaten its use even more so – and to actually use it, an irrevocable act that is acceptable only in the most extreme circumstances and which ought to be subject to rigorous scrutiny afterward.This is the standard applied to civilians.
Why should it not apply to police?
Cops ought to be held to a standard at least as high as that expected of ordinary citizens – and arguably, to a much higher standard. This in fact used to be the case. Unholstering a gun was regarded as a major escalation requiring objective justification – as in, an imminent lethal threat. Cops today have become all too trigger-happy (as evidenced by the recent case of cops blasting away at a van full of kids because the mother/driver fled a traffic stop).
“Officer Safety” cannot be a license to kill. Cops must relearn restraint. And when they cannot restrain themselves, the law must restrain them as fully, as completely as any mere citizen.