Thursday, May 12, 2016

One of the Ways America Went Wrong

I'm sure there are many factors you could point to that put our nation on the wrong path, but today I'd like to focus specifically on the judicial system. 

Policing for profit is probably the biggest issue I have with law enforcement.  This practice comes from a ridiculous law called civil asset forfeiture.  This unconstitutional law allows police to seize assets without any due process, all they need to do is claim they feel the assets are being used for illegal activity.  Your property can be indefinitely seized for nothing more than vague suspicions.  Even worse, the department that seizes the assets keeps them for itself, providing even more motivation to seize people's property without cause. 

Now, departments depend on this shady practice to fund their departments.  Some counties in Texas have 40% of their law enforcement funding coming from asset forfeiture.  This makes this bogus law hard to repeal, as many municipalities have become dependent on this ill gotten booty.

Asset forfeiture isn't the only way cops police for profit, although it's the most blatant.  They also serve citations for victimless crimes:

  • Prostitution
  • Drug use
  • Traffic citations
  • Public drunkenness
  • Gambling

  • These are just some examples.  The cities and municipalities that rely on cops to generate revenue are the real problem.  Sure, a cop may be a complacent participant in this scheme, but our own elected officials allowed this to happen in the first place.  I'd rather our communities would employ peace officers instead of revenue rangers.  A cop with a radar gun on the side of the road might generate revenue, but he's not helping anyone with a real emergency.  We've basically turned LEOs into an extortion arm of whatever city or municipality employs them, and it's a damn shame.

    Let's not forget the other extortion racket we call courts.  There are usually no constitutional judges presiding over these courts, but rather executive administrators, which can't possibly give you a fair trial, because guess where their money comes from.  How can we have an honest and fair court when the "judge" and prosecutor (and even your public defender) all eat their slop from the same trough?

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    EU Requirements

    "European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent."

    Fuck the EU, they aren't in charge of the internet outside of their shitty union.  What are they gonna do if I don't comply?  Not a damn thing because I'm not one of their subjects, and never will be. 

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Desecration of Old Glory is Ironic

    I've found myself at odds with friends over this issue.  I see many memes and other declarations on Facebook claiming that, "If you disrespect the flag in front of me, you'll get your ass beat."  That is what prompted this long overdue post.

    So, in the United States, you have the 1st Amendment protected right to freedom of speech.  This speech includes desecration and burning of the American Flag.  For many, the flag is a representation of the ideals our nation was founded on.  The Bill of Rights is sort of this country's sacred 10 commandments.  That being said, the top of the list is freedom of speech. 

    So, it appears exercising your freedom of speech to desecrate the symbol of that freedom is self-defeating.  The problem is, symbols are interpreted differently by different people.  The Stars & Stripes are a symbol of imperialism and oppression to foreigners around the world.  It's the symbol of corporate greed, and American hypocrisy of bombing foreign countries into democracy.  It's even a symbol of the Great Satan to certain religious zealots.  Perhaps this is the reason the Supreme Court decided that desecrating the flag should be considered free speech.

    No matter the reasoning behind the SCOTUS ruling, they've held (quite consistently) that the offensive act of desecration of the flag is a protected right.  Yet, there are many "patriots" who suspend logic and succumb to the emotional response of someone destroying "their" symbol.  Silly slogans spill from their mouths, such as, "You don't like USA, get out!" 

    The truth is, flag burners, and the people that threaten violence to stop them are both misguided.  They've both put this symbol above logic and reason.  Flag burners are desecrating a symbol of the freedom that allows them to burn the flag, while "patriots" attempt to oppress the flag-burners' freedom of speech, because it offends them.

    This obviously hypocritical action by "patriots" is also self-defeating.  How can you defend freedom when you attack anyone exercising it?  This emotional reaction is most likely a symptom of nationalism. 

    Nationalism is a horrible way of thinking.  To paraphrase Doug Stanhope, it causes you to hate people you've never met (foreigners), and to take credit for accomplishments you had nothing to do with (we saved the French's ass in WWII).

    The 1st Amendment is there to protect offensive speech, because un-offensive speech doesn't need protecting.  Being able to hear offensive and new ideas will do nothing to hold a society back.  Conversely, if we squelch new and scary ideas, and imprison people for thinking, we will have a very hard time advancing as a society/species. 

    We've made mistakes in history that reflect this.  The most famous is the imprisonment of Galileo Galilei for his now proven theory of heliocentrism.  The man had a new idea about the universe that the political and scientific establishment disagreed with, and was locked away for it.  The 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution is a safeguard against such injustices, but as long as there are "patriots" out there willing to threaten violence against people they disagree with, we still have work to do as a society.