I am writing this letter in protest of the perverse travesty I have suffered at the hands of Mr. Bradley in the form of the horribly unjust “F” grade he has given me for last semester in his complete fraud of a class, World History 101. It calls into question the academic standards of this institution!
100 B.C. The Roman Empire: The opening track “The Ides Of March” from the album Killers takes its name from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in which the Roman Emperor is betrayed and murdered by Brutus after being warned to “beware the Ides Of March,” which is March 15th. This song immediately reminded me of the time that asshole senior Zack threatened he’s kick my ass if I didn’t return his copy of Slayer’s Reign In Blood before Christmas break, and my so-called “friend” Marty totally sold me out and told him that it was in my locker the whole time. This betrayal led to my tragic, Caesar-esque fall from grace. More specifically, this involved Zack wailing on me and duct-taping my buttcheeks together in the locker room after gym class. Et tu, Marte?
The recent spate of police brutality is no accident. It’s not a freak coincidence, it’s the way it’s always been. Would I sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist if I said that the increasing militarization of the police is a carefully shepherded phenomena designed to slowly ensnare us in a web of oppression and fear? Well, I don’t care, because them’s the facts, man!
This kid’s annoying dorkiness doesn’t absolve the police/security folks of responsibility. The fact that they tasered a guy who was subdued and on the ground is reprehensible. If you have six cops surrounding a suspect (who should’ve been escourted out, not arrested) there is absolutely no need to taser him.
Officers said they arrived to find Delafield in a wheelchair, armed with two knives and a hammer. Police said the woman was swinging the weapons at family members and police.
Within an hour of her call to 911, Delafield, a wheelchair-bound woman documented to have mental illness, was dead.
Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case. “One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.
According to a police report, one of the officers used her Taser gun nine times for a total of 160 seconds and the other officer discharged his Taser gun once for a total of no more than five seconds.
Now, I’m sure that was a difficult situation, but I fail to see why it was necessary to taser an old woman in a wheelchair. Surely a person who can’t walk can be restrained fairly easily. In fact, we know she was not a threat because the lady cop managed to shock her for a total of 160 seconds — almost 3 minutes. And now she’s dead.
A Fluke Spurt of Stupidity?
So where did I find all of these stories? Did I go to a site dedicated to monitoring police brutality like CopWatch?
No. I found them all on Digg. All on the same page!
Now, this is no doubt more than normal, but it points to a larger problem in our society: The police are out of control.
And that’s exactly the way certain people want it.
The Real Role of Cops
You see, there’s a common misconception about police. Some people (mostly white, middle class folks) think that the police are here to “protect and serve” everybody. But notice that their motto doesn’t say anything about protecting everybody, or even treating everybody equally. It’s conspicuous by its absence, in fact.
The truth is that the police are paid to protect and serve the ruling class and the ruling class mostly needs protection from the underclass.
America is a classist society, just like the U.K. or India. The rich and poor divide is sometimes as stark as the difference between slums and condos. Poor people naturally get angry and even violent when they realize that their situation is completely hopeless. No amount of hard work will get you rich when your only job skills are burger-flipping and bathroom-scrubbing. So sometimes the poor take matters into their own hands and try to steal something from the rich. That’s where the police come in. If you rob a house or steal a car you will be arrested; simple as that.
But what happens when the rich steal from the poor?
For the most part: Nothing. The elite can literally write our laws with a few well-placed campaign contributions. They can make their left illegal while they continually try to box the underclass in with obscene violations of the first amendment like free speech zones. The elite ghettoize our inner cities, offshore our jobs, make helpful drugs illegal, send our children to die in pointless wars, kill all those who stand in their way and terrorize the rest of us with servile propaganda and there’s not a goddamn thing anyone of us can do about it.
Asside from high-profile cases like Enron, the elite are completely free to run wild and reshape society to their liking. And the way they seem to like it is: The rich can do whatever they want, the poor and middle class must be monitored constantly and arrested instantly if they step out line.
The police subconsciously know this. They know that becoming a cop grants them power over others, but they seem to know not to abuse this power when it comes to rich people.
You don’t see a bunch of people in Lexuses getting pulled over on Cops. That’s not because they’re not speeding and not doing anything illegal. I bet there’s a lot of cocaine in a lot of glove compartments in a lot of Lexuses (would that be “Lexi”?). But the cops know better than to fuck with the rich. The rich have lawyers, they have friends in the force, they have resources and most important, they know politicians who can put the squeeze on the captain and get you reassigned to guarding the Taco Bell.
Poor people have none of these connections or resources.
It’s fine with the rich if you want to oppress poor folk; in fact it’s pretty much encouraged. The rich know that by giving the cops special privileges they can secure the fealty of the police. So the police are permitted to act like they own the place as long as they don’t step on the toes of the elite — the only people who outrank the cops in our society.
So the real role of cops in society is to protect the elite from the underclass, which includes the middle class, but the middle class is mostly pacified by TV, material goods and beer. The police are free to get their jollies off by knocking a few heads together as long as they don’t beat up the son of somebody powerful. The elite like how the cops are hated and feared by the poor and respected and feared by the middle class. This gives the elite free reign since the cops fear and respect the upper class, the only group of people more powerful that themselves.
The Militarization of the Police
Gang members know the police as just another gang; a more powerful one, but a gang nonetheless. But the people who control the police (the elite, if you haven’t been paying attention) are increasingly arming the police as if they were a standing army. The militarization of the police has occurred mostly over the last 50 years and is spurred by two bullshit ideological wars: The War on Drugs and the War on Terror.
The police in most major now have enough armament to invade and occupy a small country. Hell, we could’ve sent our cops to Iraq and they probably would have done a better job at containing the populace since they’re more thoroughly trained for that sort of thing than the army. That’s no accident. The cops are an army; an army of the elite. Their enemy, let there be no doubt, is you.
The plan is to make America into a fascist state: Amerika. They started slowly and carefully, and as they’ve gained strength the police have gradually been let off their leash, but the end result is inevitable: a police state.
It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. In the late 1800s and early 1900s this country was consumed by labor strife. The Socialist Party was founded to look after worker’s right and communism was gaining strength because the Robber Barons’ form of capitalism was so completely corrupt that there was no difference between the Government and Big Business (sound familiar?).
Hand of the Oligarchy The Rockefellers basically controlled this country like it was theirs. When they had labor troubles they simply called in the police. The police busted heads and smashed the ranks of the striking workers and forced them to return to work for pitiful wages. The idea that the police can act as an arm of the Oligarchy is unfortunately not a new one. Things got better for awhile, but now we seem to headed right back to where we were a hundred years ago.
If anything the propaganda is a hundred times better now; many people think the police are there to protect everyone, but that simply isn’t the case. In many poor neighborhoods, if you call the cops they might show up four hours later. The nicer your neighborhood, the quicker the response. Many poor folks don’t even bother calling the cops. This, again, is not a new phenomenon: in fact, that’s how the Mafia got its start. The Italian and Irish Mobs began because a person of Italian or Irish descent could not expect to be treated fairly under the law. They knew that they had to take care of each other or nobody would; certainly the cops were more likely to beat you over the head with a baton than listen to your tale of woe. Like our current gang troubles the Irish Mafia was made possible by Prohibition. When a popular product is made illegal it can be extremely lucrative for those on the wrong side of the law; so much so that they can buy influence on the other side of the law and corrupt the entire system in the process.
Now the blacks are the new Irish and they have no pull with the cops, even though many black people are on the force (just like with the Irish). The difference is that the cops look after each other first, regardless of ethnicity. Once you are a cop you belong to a special club which is virtually above the law. As long as you don’t violate the Blue Code of Silence you can expect to reap the rewards of being superior to the underclass.
Tale of the Tasers The weapons a cop receives are a totem to his power over others. Normal people are not allowed to openly carry dangerous weapons around, especially as the second amendment has been eroded. An officer’s gun identifies him as a member of a powerful group and symbolizes his social superiority and separateness from the masses.
Tasers are the new nightsticks. Cops will use a taser at the drop of a hat because it makes compliance push-button easy. It should be noted that taser are not nonlethal; they are “less lethal” which is how I would describe a knife versus a gun. In no way are tasers harmless; they’ve been responsible for hundreds of deaths in the last few years.
Between tasers, pepper spray, nightsticks and ray guns the police have all sorts of “less lethal” devices to ensure submission. Add in handguns, shotguns and the heavy artillery used by SWAT teams and you have enough firepower to conquer a major rebellion… which seems to be the plan.
The Oligarchy seems to be expecting trouble from us, the unruly populace. I can only wonder why, but perhaps they know how foul and oppressive their policies are. If so, they can’t plead ignorance to our plight; they are in fact responsible for it. The Oligarchy has no love for democracy; they clearly prefer fascism; it’s so much more convenient. Sadly, many Americans agree.
But you know, “oligarchy”, “fascism”, “democracy” and “freedom” are just big, abstract concepts. At the end of the day it all comes down to what we experience in the world. This video is but a small example of the arrogance and violent entitlement that many cops feel:
Cops see their badge as a license to take the law into their own hands. Don’t like the customer service you’ve received? Pepper-spray’em and arrest’em. If any of us did the same thing we would be in jail for a long time, but this cop got off scot free. There’s justice for you; Amerikan-style.
This blog is your leading pants-related resource. Okay, so this is the first time I’ve blogged about pants, but dammit, with a name like Electric Monkey Pants I better have some pants turf staked out, ya heard?
Okay, so some uptight folks are trying to introduce stringent pants regulations when we don’t even have decent electronic voting regulations. I guess it’s easier to legislate against somebody who can’t fight back. Pretty much everybody who wears saggy pants is not in a position to pass laws, which is probably part of why they’re wearing the damn saggy-ass pants in the first place.
Proposals to ban saggy pants are starting to ride up in several places. At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 fine. A crackdown also is being pushed in Atlanta. And in Trenton, getting caught with your pants down may soon result in not only a fine, but a city worker assessing where your life is headed.
“Are they employed? Do they have a high school diploma? It’s a wonderful way to redirect at that point,” said Trenton Councilwoman Annette Lartigue, who is drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. “The message is clear: We don’t want to see your backside.”
The bare-your-britches fashion is believed to have started in prisons, where inmates aren’t given belts with their baggy uniform pants to prevent hangings and beatings. By the late ’80s, the trend had made it to gangster rap videos, then went on to skateboarders in the suburbs and high school hallways.
I didn’t know that shit started in prison, but it makes sense: That’s where our (mostly minority) youth are spending a lot of time these days because of insane, pointless drug laws and a prison-state mentality, with GW as the crooked warden.
It’s worth noting that black people face harsher, less forgiving punishments from our draconian drug laws even though the percentage of white & black teens using pot is almost the same.
“Are they going to go after construction workers and plumbers, because their pants sag, too?” Murray asked. “They’re stereotyping us.”
The American Civil Liberties Union agrees.
“In Atlanta, we see this as racial profiling,” said Benetta Standly, statewide organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. “It’s going to target African-American male youths. There’s a fear with people associating the way you dress with crimes being committed.”
A Few Questions
There are some questions that popped into my head after reading this story. Let me try to answer them as they come:
Are these laws targeted at blacks? Almost certainly.
Are saggy pants a real problem? Fuck no, it’s mostly a fear-based response by legislators who are terrified of their own kids.
Will there be more laws like this? Of course. Like I said, those wearing saggy pants are generally not in a position to legislate back.
Are these laws going after a deeper problem? Yes, but they’re attacking the symptoms rather than the core issues. The real problem is that our society requires an underclass to clean our toilets, mow our enormous lawns and serve us our drinks.
The Racial Divide
If you’re a rich, white person who has his or her Harvard graduation date marked on the calendar from the day you’re born, you probably have no idea why someone would hang around in the ‘hood all day selling drugs, listening to that “crunk” and sagging your damn pants.
Well guess what, elitists?! They don’t fucking want to live in the ‘hood and sell drugs to get by, but what other options do they have? Are you gonna hire’em? They’re not like you, are they? They speak differently and they have weird customs like the way they sag their pants. (OMG!)
Sagging pants are a way of fighting back against the uptight culture that demands conformity even as it espouses the (vague, far-off) concept of “freedom”. They look ridiculous precisely because that’s the goal. If it pisses off whitebread America, it’s cool. As a way of fighting against the system it’s pretty feeble, but that proves my larger point that the underclass has no other options available to them.
For my part, I would encourage people not to sag too low simply because it becomes hard to run from the cops when you’re sagging down to your ankles. Am I gonna create a law to fight this scourge? Fuck no; I would repeal laws, starting with our drug laws, which seem designed to permanently disenfranchise our poverty-stricken youth. The upper class can buy their kids out of jailtime, but if you’re living in the ‘hood you probably can’t afford Johnnie Cochran.
Black people are especially fucked these days since the elite is coming down on them harder than ever while the Mexicans are coming across the border anxious to take their jobs, eager to be the new underclass. Shit, due to this competition among the disadvantaged, rich people now get to watch labor costs drop even more than they dared dream; meaning they can get their landscaping done cheaply than before (“yay, Capitalism!”). Of course, that cheap landscaping doesn’t pay enough to enable the workers to buy a house and become citizens. Nope; gonna send that money back home (where things are just as stratified by race and class).
The Class Divide
Ah, race and class. Two things Americans hate to talk about, yet the problem stares us in the face every day. Who’s washing those dishes in the restaurant after dinner? Who’s cleaning those toilets? Instead of paying a living wage and giving the underclass a hand up so that they can join the middle class we seem to be focused on keeping them down.
Then we blame them for their position, as if it was all their fault.
The truth is that America wants an underclass. We need it. We need somebody to do the crappy jobs that nobody wants because we’re unwilling to pay a fair wage to the people who break their bodies doing hard physical labor. In many ways slavery, or at least some of the ideas that fed it, carries on today in that the rich like to set up pyramids with themselves at the top. If you’re gonna be on top of a pyramid, that means many, many more people have to be on the bottom, and (most important) you have to prevent them from getting up to the top.
The pyramid theory of society has been tried many times and it always fails. Weren’t we trying something new in America? Weren’t we trying to level the playing field and give everybody a shot? Somehow that got lost as the rich set up their system of control so that a free people became bonded by economic manipulation far beyond their control.
Political freedom means nothing if you have to work all the time just to keep food in your belly. What the underclass wants is economic freedom. It may be too late since the rich already control everything of value. What’s left but revolution?
We Know Best
If sagging pants are our biggest problem we should consider ourselves lucky. Surely there’s more important things to consider, but these laws against clothing point to some deeper issues. So, should we ban those baggy pants?
I’ll tell you what: We can ban saggy-ass pants if those who like their pants baggy also get to pass a few rules and regulations of their own. I foresee an ordinance that requires people wearing suits to loosen those ties. After all, if you wear your tie too tight you risk cutting off the circulation to your brain, leading to an increase of shitty laws like this one.
I know gas prices are high, but this is just ridiculous.
Lemme break it down for you, in the hope that I will understand it myself. Here’s what happened: I filled up my car’s tank on Thursday. Like always, I tripped the mileage counter so it was back to zero. I like to keep track of my miles per gallon just to see if the car’s doing okay and all that.
So skip forward to Saturday. I drive to the disc golf course to hook up with some friends and throw 18 holes. Afterwards we drive to the bar and run into some friends. After drinking and playing some pool we move decide to play another 18 holes. At this point I look at my gas gauge. It reads 1/4 full.
I assumed that something was wrong with the gauge. It’s electronic and only reads accurately when you turn the key. So I figure maybe there was a glitch and it will read correctly when I turn it off and turn it back on again. So we throw a round and I check the gas level again. It still reads a quarter tank.
Now I know I didn’t drive that far. I check the trip mileage and it reads less than a hundred miles (normally I can expect well over 300 miles per tank). I forget about it for awhile, thinking that maybe the gauge is stuck for some reason and I’ll be able to drive on it for 300 miles. I checked for a pool of gas on my driveway that might indicate a leaky gas tank and found nothing.
But on the way home from work yesterday the gas light came on, signalling the tank was almost empty. Not wanting to risk it I swing back into a gas station and put the pump in. The gallons start adding up. 2…. 3….. 4…. WTF?!
I fully expected it to stop before 3 gallons. My tank was empty. The mileage counter read almost exactly 100 miles since my last fill up.
The thought hit me like a flung portion of pudding — Somebody stole my gas!!
I can’t think of any other explanation. I checked this morning and the gas is still there. My tank is not leaking. I know I hit the mileage counter at the last fillup; I remember doing it and it was only a few days ago.
There’s only one possibility: Somebody siphoned my gas out of the tank while I was playing disc golf! Now, I’ve heard of some fucked up shit in my time, but who the hell goes around siphoning gas out of peoples’ tanks? I don’t want to unfairly smear the good names of my fellow disc golfers, but I don’t think there was time at the bar. And it was very busy around there.
I know there were a lot of kids hanging around the disc golf course. I don’t know why anyone would decide to fill up their tank at the expense of mine, but selfishness is certainly not unheard of on this planet. Still, it’s disappointing from a group that’s usually above such pettiness. I thought the only people who stole gas were in the Bush Administration!
Has this happened to anyone else? I know gas prices are getting out of hand, but I hadn’t foreseen this. Bastards got me for like 25 bucks worth of gas!
No, not cheapskates; they’re quite profligate with our money. I meant that as far as buying a politician’s support goes, they are well worth the money. I’m not just being my usual cynical self by saying that; studies back me up.
Companies that give money to political campaigns have better-performing stocks, according to a new study, than companies that don’t contribute. It’s no small gap, either. Corporations that give the most have beaten the market by 2.5 percentage points a year over the past 25 years.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Charles Gabriel, a longtime political analyst with Prudential Equity Group, a division of Prudential Financial. “Unfortunately, an investment in Washington pays off.”
What is surprising is how much companies get for so little money. The public companies that do give money, on average, fork out just $1,700 to $2,000 per campaign and support an average of 56 federal candidates in each two-year cycle.
For the low, low, low price of just $1999.99 you can walk away with a brand new Washington politician!!! Act now, before the good ones are taken! Don’t walk away from this deal, folks! Having a Congressperson in your pocket is always a safe investment! For less than 2 thousand dollars you can get a politician to write and vote for legislation that will bring your company millions of dollars of tax breaks and more! Act now! Supplies are limited!! [/infomercial pitchman]
Campaign contributions are just a form of legalized bribery. Anybody who tells you different is either a fool or complicit.
Porn-star Ron Jeremy has confessed to masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001 along with his long-lost brother Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. “We did it,” Ron Jeremy wrote in his confession, calling the mysterious collapse of the towers “the money shot.” Read more…
A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
How does an organization like the Air Force manage to “mistakenly” get ahold of nukes and fly them around the country? Somehow I think the only accident was letting the public find out about it.
The military has extremely stringent rules regarding the handling of nuclear weapons and you can’t just send a junior officer over to the weapons depot and have him sign for a nuke. This goes up the chain a long way, and now it’s being spun as a mistake. Bullshit.
Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.
Is the Bush Regime moving the nukes into place for a strike on Iran? That certainly seems to be a possibility. It would be totally fucking insane, but that’s not outside the MO of this regime. Keep your eyes peeled, kids. Uncle Cheney is gonna have a surprise in store for you.
You see, I work in a fairly ritzy office building, but sometimes I start to hallucinate and think that I work at a hockey rink. Despite the fact that it is about 90 degrees outside at this very moment I am shivering cold. I have goosebumps and I’m rubbing myself for warmth. Hang on, before my fingers freeze off, let me put on a fleece pullover I keep in my office for this very reason.
Okay, that’s a bit better. But I’m still pissed off that I have wear winter clothing inside during the summer. Can somebody tell me who decided office buildings should be kept at refrigerator temperatures in summer? I would like to shove that person into a walk-in freezer and lock the door.
Confession time: I am a skinny person. I have a runner’s build (I had it before I started running) and I generally loathe the cold and winter. I’m shivering and uncomfortable all the time during the winter, and if I thought it would be reasonable, I’d crank the heat at my place to 80 degrees in January. However, the point is that I don’t! I put on extra layers of clothing and work out or play drums to keep warm and get the blood flowing. I understand some people hate the heat and think 82 degrees is unbearably warm, but at this point I don’t fucking care. I suffer all winter, why should I have to freeze all summer, too?! It doesn’t make any sense!
From a global warming perspective, the people who set the temp at 70 or 71 degrees in the summer are basically lighting our atmosphere on fire. Long-term, this obsession with air conditioning is totally counterproductive. You like it cool? Then don’t turn the damn AC on, because every time you do you burn more coal and spew more CO2 into the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide causes the planet’s temperature to rise.
Personally, I can go outside on a 90 degree day like today and feel totally comfortable as long as the humidity is not too high. The body naturally acclimates itself to the seasons, so my suggestion to set the thermostat at 80 or 82 degrees in the summer is not that crazy. If your body is sweating profusely at 80 degrees, the sad truth is that you’re probably too fat.
This is a touchy subject, so I’ll try to be kind, but I am getting fed up. It’s one thing to be fat on your own time, but when it starts affecting me that’s where I draw the line. If you are sweating like a pig while sitting in the office and using a mouse, it’s probably time to lose some weight.
Clearly, it doesn’t help matters that I sit all day and stare at a computer screen. I’m sure if I were doing hard physical labor the 72 degree air would be bliss. But if construction workers can construct buildings in this heat why can’t you sit on your ass, in the shade and deal with a temp of 80 degrees? I don’t think I’m being unreasonable, fellow office drones, but please let me know if I am.
Making matters worse, I swear the building temp is dropped a few degrees from 12 to 2 pm. Why? I think it’s to counteract the after-lunch sleepiness that afflicts many workers (but which is actually a sign of sleep deprivation — hell even the unemployed are sleep deprived in 2007). Gotta squeeze every last bit of productivity out of those serfs, right? Even if it’s at the expense of the environment and their health.
Humans are so fucking stupid it blows my mind. Our planet is going down like the Titanic and we’re not even re-arranging the deck chairs. In fact, we’re not doing anything. We’re sitting on our fat asses trying to figure out a way to get even more comfortable when it should be clear that we have only moments to live.
At this point, our dwindling time left on Earth is my only consolation.