May 232016
 

Get ready for some exciting times in Baltimore:

Freddie Gray verdict: Officer Edward Nero not guilty

Nero was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly touching Gray during an arrest that prosecutors said was illegal. He also faced two counts of misconduct, as well as reckless endangerment for not putting a seat belt on Gray when he put the prisoner in a police van.

So, yeah. He touched Gray during the arrest. Kinda hard to see a real issue there. He failed to buckle Gray in, which is more problematic. There seems to be some debate about who is actually responsible for belting in passengers in the van; you’d think that ultimate responsibility would be with the driver.

 Posted by at 9:32 am
May 222016
 

Fun times must be brewin’ over at the Clinton Election Politburo…

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton

 

Trump is up by 0.2%.

polls

Trump got real close to Clinton twice before, but only for very brief moments. Should be interesting to see if this lasts. If it lasts and is meaningful…

huhcat

In related news…

Gary Johnson sees huge jump in new poll

… former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is polling at 10 percent.

Run, Bernie! Run!

Could be real interesting this go-round.

 Posted by at 8:18 pm
May 222016
 

As much as I despise the very idea of “hate crime laws” since they set some people up as being more important than other (just about the most un-American thing I can think of, next to anti-blasphemy laws and soccer), I can’t help but get a chuckle out of this:

Louisiana could be the first state where targeting police is a hate crime

Targeting cops was *already* the sort of thing that got you extra time in the pokey, but now there’ll be even more plus extra fines.

 Posted by at 2:59 pm
May 212016
 

California’s last resort: Drink the Pacific

The article mentions that a desalination plant near Santa Barbara can be brought online with the expenditure of buckets of cash… and that the plant has been sitting there, idle, for 25 years.

Apparently, it was built during a drought, and about the moment it came online the drought ended, so they stopped running the plant. But the thing that gets me: during all the time that California supposedly hasn’t needed the water, California has been draining the Colorado river dry. Which leads to *this* news story:

Lake Mead declines to lowest level in history

Yeah, desalination is expensive. But then again, so are social programs and prisons and sanctuary cities. So I have no sympathy for a state that is rich as hell, blows it’s money on silly nonsense and ignores the things it needs to do. If California would build a hundred desal plants along the cast, each with its own nuclear powerplant, much of Californias water problem could be dealt with during droughts. And when the droughts end, the nuclear powerplants would power the state.

Something California doesn’t seem to understand is that there are *other* states that rely on the Colorado River… states that, unlike California, don’t have a vast ocean coastline to fall back on. I wonder about the possibility of states like Nevada and Arizona suing the bejeezus out of California, suing them for, say, a trillion dollars. *That* might inspire the California state government to finally shake off the scourge of Greenpeace and the like and doing what needs to be done to actually protect the environment.

 Posted by at 8:42 pm
May 202016
 

What happens when you institute socialism on a national basis? Stuff like this:

Mob burns Venezuelan man alive over $US5

“Life here has become a misery. You walk around always stressed, always scared, and lynching offers a collective catharsis,” Violence Observatory director Roberto Briceno-Leon said. “You can’t do anything about the lines or inflation, but for one moment, at least, the mob feels like it’s making a difference.”

Feel the Bern!

 Posted by at 2:28 pm
May 192016
 

This is unlikely to occur, but you never know. This go-round has been the “you never know” election cycle.

Get Ready for a Third Party Run from Bernie Sanders

If Bernie runs third party against Hillary, it’ll open the door for a conservative/libertarian third party candidate to take on Trump. If that happens… yeesh, get ready for some post-election squabbling on par with the 2000 election, just with more street battles and riots.

 Posted by at 8:39 pm
May 192016
 

Not using transgender pronouns could get you fined

Employers and landlords who don’t use pronouns such as “ze/hir” to refer to transgender workers and tenants who request them may be subject to fines as high as $250,000.

The Commission on Human Rights’ legal guidelines mandate that anyone who provides jobs or housing must use individuals’ preferred gender pronouns.

Nope.

New York City: not even once.

Is it rude to not use someone’s preferred personal pronoun? I suppose, maybe. Is it the governments job to use force and violence to force people to speak in certain ways? F&*k no. Any government functionary attempting to enforce this guideline should be fired, sued into permanent poverty on 1st Amendment grounds, never be allowed to be employed by any branch of government ever and be put on the same sort of “don’t let this person anywhere near your children” list as rapists and murderers. Any attempted enforcer of this rule needs to be doxxed and shamed online and in real life to a degree that even Trigglypuff might express some sympathy.

And anyone so self-centered and needy for attention that they would actually whine to the government that someone isn’t calling it “xe” needs to be publicly mocked and publicized to the point that random people passing it/him/her/xe on the sidewalk recognizes it/him/her/xe, and promptly calls out, “hey, it’s that asshole.”

 Posted by at 1:25 pm
May 182016
 

We’ve been hearing for some years now that the police have been unfairly targeting and killing black men. Hence the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Well, numbers, data, the facts, are the important thing in *any* discussion. Not feelings, not anecdotes, not beliefs. Not what you want to be true, but what is true. So, the Washington Post has been collecting data on police shootings and has released their 2015 findings. So, what we got?

990 people were shot dead by the police in 2015.

494 of them were white (49.9%)

258 of them were black (26%)

172 were Hispanic (17.4%)

66 were other&unknown (6.7%)

OK, so, blacks, who comprise 13% of the population, where shot dead by the police at twice the rate you’d expect based purely on population. Racism, right? Slam dunk?

But then there’s the FBI, with *their* database, “Crime in the USA, 2014.” Specifically Table 43A, Arrests by Race. Here we find that blacks make up 51.3% of those arrested for murder and non-negligent homicide; 55.9% for Robbery; 33.1% for Aggravated Assault; 30.2% for Burglary; 30.7% for Motor Vehicle Theft; 40.7% for Weapons. These all seem to be the sort of crimes that would put the criminal in the crosshairs of the cops, and properly so. This says nothing about *why* these people are committing these crimes… whether it’s due to social ills, poverty, lack of playgrounds, crappy edumacational systems, bad parenting, lead in the water, lead in the air, rap music, drug abuse, listening to the likes of Al Sharpton, or whatever, the simple fact certainly seems to be that black men seem to commit violent crimes at an elevated rate. And the interesting thing here is that they’re getting shot dead by the cops at a rate *below* what you’d expect given the crime rate.

An interesting writup on this, focusing on the category of “unarmed black men shot by cops,” is available here.

 Posted by at 4:46 pm