Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘sick society’ Category

And this time, he accidentally caught himself on his own bodycam planting the drugs. It turns out that the bodycams are *always* recording. They just don’t keep the recordings longer than 30 minutes or so unless you press the “record” button — at which point it keeps the recording, *plus* thirty seconds prior. Thirty seconds during which he was planting the drugs.

Oops!

Baltimore Police Officer Richard Pinheiro apparently is still an active officer with the Baltimore Police Department. Apparently the only way the Baltimore PD will take you off the street is if you’re caught on camera murdering someone or raping someone. And probably not even then.

And people wonder why Officer Friendly has a bad rep today?!

– Badtux the “Police state, y’all” Penguin

Read Full Post »

Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.

— — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at the Dartmouth College Commencement Exercises, Hanover, New Hampshire. June 14, 1953

That was back when Republicans (at least some of them) were defenders of liberty. Today, the most fervent defenders of the Republican administration are also today’s most fervent book-burners.

Today’s book burners don’t use matches. They use false reports of “violations of community standards” to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. Whether it is Jim Wright that the book burners are going after on Facebook, or haters maliciously flagging entire Youtube channels that have content that offends their political sensibilities or simply mention them in the context of false flagging, book burners today are more active than they ever were in the supposed bad old days of Joe McCarthy’s America, the days in which President Eisenhower was speaking above to college students.

What’s different today is that book burners can bring together entire electronic lynch mobs via platforms like 4chan or Reddit or the Daily Mail to burn people’s electronic books. And unlike in the past, where stalwart librarians were fierce in defense of the authors of the books in their libraries, Google (or Facebook) doesn’t care, because they don’t have to. It would cost money to defend content creators, so they won’t.

And that, my friends, is the problem with the fact that we’ve privatized our “libraries”. When book burners show up, what do Google or Facebook do? They just let the book burners burn books. Because there’s no profit in stopping them by putting a human in the way of letting the book burners burn books, indeed, it costs money. They have no stern librarians with horn-rimmed glasses saying “you will burn books in my library over my dead body.” They just shrug and say “the machine did it, not me.” And don’t lift a finger.

And what kind of society we will have, when we can have any book burned at the whim of practically any special interest book?

Not much of one. As we’re seeing now, I suspect…

– Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin

Read Full Post »

Paul Krugmen explains:

Back in the 60s and 70s — which I, sad to say, actually remember — there was much talk about the disintegration of the black family and of African-American values more generally, and how that was the root cause of America’s poverty problem. And the social dysfunction was clearly real. But was it cause or effect? William Julius Wilson, in When Work Disappears, famously argued that it was a symptom: good jobs in inner cities, where African-American men could take them, went away, and the cultural changes followed.

So, how could you test that hypothesis? Well, here’s an experiment: change the structure of the economy in such a way that a large class of white men — say, white men without a college degree — similarly lose access to good jobs. If Wilson was right, we’d expect to see a sharp decline in stable marriages, a rise in unwed births, growing drug use, and other forms of social disruption.

Which, uhm, is what we’re seeing amongst poor whites today.

Seems like all the bigots who said poor blacks’ values were the cause of their social dysfunction were just that — bigots. Otherwise they’d be talking about how poor whites’ values are the cause of their social dysfunctions today — the decline in stable marriage amongst poor whites, the rise in unwed births, growing drug use, etc.

Reality: It’s tough being poor. It grinds people down. Communities made up primarily of poor people become dysfunctional in many, many ways. Claiming it’s their values making them poor was a cheap shot then, and it’s a cheap shot now, though it’s a cheap shot that I occasionally make because the parents of these same poor whites whose society is disintegrating were the same bigots who claimed that it was black cultural values that were the cause of social dysfunction in the black community.

But our lizard overlords are great at making us fight each other rather than unite to fight our lizard overlords, so I guess guillotine time is going to be a while. If ever.

– Badtux the Poverty Penguin

Read Full Post »

I mean, who wants to live on this sucky world anyhow when we can have JEEEEEzus take us home, glory hallelujah, AMEN!

At least, that’s what this Fox news bimbo appears to be saying. We’re all going to die someday, dying sooner just gets us to Jesus faster, hallelujah!

And allows tax breaks for the rich.

Anywho, the CBO, as I mentioned before, says 22 million Americans will become uninsured if the Senate bill were passed as-is. So the question is, how many people would end up dying because of that?

We actually have numbers about the death rates of insured versus uninsured people. So: they estimate that in 2005 Census, 44,789 deaths occurred due to lack of health insurance. That was when there was a population of 46.6 million Americans uninsured. Thus that’s 995 additional deaths per million uninsured.

Thus the Senate bill kills 21,890 people by depriving them of healthcare.

But hey, tax cuts for the rich are more important than human lives, right?

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

Read Full Post »

“He (the paramedic) was used to O.D. calls by now, except for the ones in which kids were around. He once arrived at a home to find a seven-year-old and a five-year-old following the instructions of a 911 operator and performing C.P.R. on their parents.”

This is the saddest article I’ve read all week. What kind of life are those kids going to have?

A shortage of drug intervention services is one of the biggest problems they have with getting people off of opioids. The supply of addicts who want to “dry out” is far greater than the number of beds. Yet these people (the non-addicts in these communities) almost uniformly vote for the people who promise to screw them (i.e. Republicans), and against the people who promise to do better for them (i.e. Democrats). What. The. Literal. Fuck?

– Badtux the Baffled Penguin

Read Full Post »

Roger Waters, “Is This The Life We Really Want?”, off his brand new album by that name. There are flashbacks to 1977’s Pink Floyd album “Animals”, which he plays alongside the songs on this album live in concert, because both came out of the same place: A supreme disgust with the complacency and indifference of the average human being.

So, every time the curtain falls
Every time the curtain falls on some forgotten life
It is because we all stood by, silent and indifferent

His implied answer is “Yes.”

– Badtux the Music Penguin

Read Full Post »

This is a rather frightening article about kids who are psychopaths.

Yet I wonder… is it perhaps too quick to label all kids with this specific set of behaviors as psychopaths?

I’m thinking of two kids that I dealt with at the behavior center where I taught. One of them definitely was a psychopath. He didn’t even feel pain the same way that other kids did. The orderlies would jack him up and he’d be both screaming and laughing, and basically they couldn’t do anything with him until the screaming tired him out enough that he was no longer able to fight them. Then they’d take him to the isolation room and let him loose, and he’d happily bounce around in there until he was let out again, at which point maybe he’d participate in class, maybe he wouldn’t. We used positive reinforcement to encourage participation, of course. But sometimes he just snapped and tried to hurt people even with that, and then the cycle started all over again.

It was pretty clear to those of us in the program that this was a kid who was going to be the next Charles Manson. He had no empathy, his view of the world was very monochromic, he hurt based on whim with no conscience, he was, basically, evil.

Then there’s another kid. He was a mini gang banger. As in, doing drive-by shootings on his bicycle, throwing cinder blocks off of Interstate pedestrian walkways and laughing as they smashed through car windshields and killed people, etc. Yet… we threw a birthday party for him. His little 5 year old sister came with his mother to his birthday party. It was quite clear that he loved his little sister dearly. If you said anything that could even conceivably be thought of as critical about his little sister, he would get all upset. And he loved his momma too. This was a kid who wasn’t a psychopath. He’d simply been raised wrong, to view people outside his immediate circle of family and friends as “other”. And he was definitely capable of empathy… as this next story shows:

There were two Hispanic kids in the group that I taught. One was a chubby bespectacled baby-ish kid who was there primarily because the self-control centers of his brain had been burnt out by crack while he was still in his momma’s tummy. He didn’t *want* to do wrong, but sometimes he just did things without thinking. So we were trying to teach him some cognitive workarounds to that impulsiveness that used parts of his brain that weren’t burnt out.

The other was the mini gang banger. They despised each other, these two. Never a good word for each other, and always making trouble for each other. Now, we had a celebration at the end of every week for those kids who’d managed to work their points and get enough points to join the celebration. Nothing fancy, just a little party with some games cupcakes and little gifts from the dollar store or from the district media center at the end of the day when no learning would have been happening anyhow because everybody was happy to go home for the weekend (this being a day program). So anyhow, the chubby kid had gone through some trouble that week, I don’t recall what exactly had happened, and hadn’t made his points. So he got to sit in the front of the classroom in the chairs while we all had fun back in the carpeted nook.

So he’s sitting there looking forlorn, and the mini gang banger says, “C’mon, let Freddie join us.” (Not his name). And I’m, like, “no, he didn’t make his points, that wouldn’t be fair to the kids who did the work to make their points.” So the mini gang banger, let’s call him “Mikey” as in “Mikey hates everything”, keeps begging with those puppy dog eyes to let Freddie join the party. Finally I say, “Why are you asking me to do this for Freddie anyhow? You don’t even like him!”

And he says to me softly, looking down at the table, “I know how he feels.”

Yeah, if you just knew his record, you might think this kid was a psychopath. But he wasn’t. He could feel empathy for others, if he hadn’t been taught to consider that other to be a non-person, or if he interacted with that person every day so he could learn that this person was a fellow human being and not an “other”. That makes all the difference, in the end, and probably is why he’s not on death row for murder right now (though he’s currently midway through his second stint as a guest of the Texas Department of Corrections for drug dealing –quelle surprise!).

But for the real life psychopaths out there… if they aren’t in prison, it’s because they haven’t been caught yet. Either because they’re too smart, or they got a job on Wall Street. Either way, they view human beings as prey, not as fellow travellers in the human race. And they are in charge.

They are in charge.

If that doesn’t fucking terrify you, you’re dumber than a box of rocks. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Psychopath-observin’ Penguin

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »