REFRESHER COURSE

Posted in Rants on July 21st, 2015 by Ed

So the Sandra Bland dashcam video can be filed directly under "Exactly What I Expected." Take a look here if you haven't seen it yet. Shockingly, the narrative the police pushed bears no relation to what's on the video. There's a half-decent chance this cop will end up fired, but that doesn't really help the person who's dead now.

There are two things every law enforcement officer in this country needs to have explained to them before they work another minute. First, we are not obligated to kiss your asses or be nice to you. There is a good chance that if we're dealing with you, our day has been or is about to be ruined. Assuming we didn't decide to murder someone or rob a liquor store that day, it's likely that you're about to hassle us over some minor infraction – 7 mph over the limit…my god, I'm history's greatest monster! – and hand us a ticket we can't afford now that local governments have decided in the face of declining budgets that law enforcement is an alternate form of tax collection. We understand that there's nothing to be gained by being rude, which is why most of use are curt but not aggressive when dealing with whatever crap you are about to subject us to. We are legally obligated to do very little – to provide identification, not to be violent, to comply with the handful of things you're allowed to ask us to do when we interact. That's it. Nobody cares if your feelings are hurt or if your ego reacts poorly to being treated with an attitude other than meek deference.

Second, we don't have to do things just because you tell us to do them. Whether we smoke a cigarette while sitting in our own car is not under your purview. We don't have to get out of the car when you repeatedly refuse to tell us why we've been detained. There is no law that states that we have to stop doing anything that you might be irritated by or that somehow displeases you. This includes smoking, talking on a cell phone while not driving, and being a black person who doesn't act like a 1930s Hollywood Step-n-Fechit toward anyone with a badge.

Oh, and if we refuse to do something that the law does obligate us to do, that doesn't mean you get to shoot us. That's what the law says. In practice, though, "All that matters is the cop had his feelings hurt and Sandra Bland is dead because she wasn’t nice enough to him." Pretty much sums it up, and unfortunately it happens so regularly now that people are getting numb to it.

WOW MUCH BRAVE

Posted in Rants on July 21st, 2015 by Ed

Have you ever noticed that when someone is described as "saying what everyone's thinking" or "telling it like it is" what follows is inevitably racist and "everyone" in this case means white men in their 60s or older? In 36 years I can't think of one occasion on which someone said What Everyone is Thinking that reflected what I was actually thinking. Perhaps I am just an outlier. Or maybe I'm not ideologically compatible with people who like to use phrases like that to appeal to large groups of dipshits.

This rant has been circulating online under the title "News Anchor Gets Fed Up With Obama, Says What Everyone’s Thinking In EPIC Rant." If that does not portend a string of words on the level of a local newspaper comment section, nothing does. If you choose to click this link you will see two minutes of stupidity dribbling out of the mouth of the 22 year old UNLV sorority girl who gave an impressive enough cue card reading to get a "job" with something called "One America News Network." I accept no responsibility for your choices.

There's no reason to watch, though, because you've heard this all before. What follows is standard, predictable Pamela Gellar / Donald Trump style anti-Muslim boilerplate. Blah blah appeasement, blah blah get tough, blah blah round them all up and deport them even if they're citizens, blah blah. Nothing about this is new. Nothing about this is interesting. There is a population out there, apparently, that just wants to hear it at regular intervals and preferably from a Maxim-looking white girl in her 20s.

The part that kills me is the way people pass this stuff around the internet and applaud her "bravery." So bold! So fearless! Willing to speak the truth! Listen. Going on a rant against a small minority group, no matter who it is, is never brave. Next to getting admitted to Arizona State it's probably the easiest thing to do in the United States. It involves no risk aside from the risk of being admitted to the elite circle getting fat off the Fox News Guest gravy train and the D-list conservative pundit circuit. Yes, the First Amendment protects the right to say things like this. No, re-hashing nativist, anti-immigrant, anti-everyone not like Us rhetoric does not qualify as edgy, brave, or refreshing. They're just taking turns saying the same thing to the same receptive audience of slack-jawed yokels and fearful, narcissistic suburbanites.