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This story is disgusting. In Oklahoma City, police officers approached a house where a deaf developmentally disabled man was on the front porch. The man got up, grabbed a steel pipe that he used as a walking stick, and walked out to meet the cops. The cops yelled at him “Drop the steel pipe! Drop the steel pipe!” while people around were yelling at the cops, “He’s deaf, he can’t hear you, he’s deaf, he can’t hear you!” and then the cops, with hands shaking in terror no doubt, shot and killed the man.

What a bunch of cowardly cops. The big Irish bruisers of my youth, seeing a dude come at them with a steel pipe, would have pulled out their billy clubs and grinned and said “You want some of this, I see.” And then beat the crap out of the guy, deaf or not. But he would have lived, because they knew what they were doing when it came to meting out violence. They were bruisers and brawlers and knew how to handle themselves in a fight. Today’s whiny pussy cops… not so much. You sneeze in their direction, they shoot you and whine “I was scaaaaaaared!” So scared, apparently, that they forgot to turn on their body cams. How convenient…

Well, if they’re that scared, maybe they need to choose a new profession? I suggest preschool teacher. Although now that I think about it, maybe not. Those toddlers can be tiny terrors, after all. They’d probably have nervous breakdowns after finding out that they weren’t being issued a service weapon to use to shoot an evil 3 year old who’s terrorizing them….

— Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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Libertarians who say we don’t need government police, intelligence agencies, etc. because private enterprise can do all of that forget that their proposal was the norm for the United States until after WW2. The reason why we quit doing that is that we learned that the private police and intelligence agencies were corrupt and selling their services on behalf of the highest bidder even if the highest bidder was asking them to violate the law, and in the process were harming innocents with no recourse.

Equifax is a perfect example of that. Equifax started out as sort of a private Stasi intelligence agency, gathering files of dubious integrity on people via various means both legal and illegal and selling them to the highest bidder with no regard for privacy or accuracy. If you wanted to make sure you weren’t about to rent an apartment to a gay or an atheist or a Communist, you paid Equifax to find out whether the renter was one of those things, and Equifax in turn paid your neighbors to inform on you, just like the Stasi did. And if a neighbor you had a feud with decided to tell them you were a Communist even if you weren’t, well, you had no way of knowing that this was why you couldn’t get anybody to rent to you, and no right to see what information they had on file on you and correct it.

It wasn’t Utopia, regardless of what the libertarians whine about, and that’s why the credit reporting agencies are regulated now and only allowed to collect financial information, not information about your politics or sexuality or religion or whatever, and why they’re required to give you access to your file and required to correct information if it’s incorrect (though you may have to sue them in some cases). Libertopia just *doesn’t work*. Invariably it ends up with corruption, thuggery, and fraud. The fact that corruption, thuggery, and fraud might work better than the former government of Somalia is not a rousing statement. Giardia is preferable to cholera too. But you don’t see me running out to contract giardia…

— Badtux the Non-libertarian Penguin

Dear Comcast: You Suck.


Composting with Comcast

But this time, it’s not their fault — the gardener managed to cut my Internet cable while cutting vines off my front fence. Apparently he can’t tell the difference between vines and an (admittedly painted) Internet cable…

Comcast is coming out tomorrow morning to fix the damage… so it’ll be tomorrow evening at the earliest before I get back on a regular update schedule. Updating via a cell phone is misery…

– Badtux the Internetless Penguin

Canada’s CBC News warns Canadians not to carry much money south of the border because the police will steal it.

Used to be, only corrupt 3rd world nations had police that would just blatantly steal your money. Guess that means we’re one of those, now. The problem is, corruption on that scale is bad for business. Tourists decide to take their money elsewhere, somewhere where it won’t get stolen. Businessmen whose businesses churn a lot of cash decide to invest their money elsewhere, not in the United States. And so forth.

The modest reforms that Congress is proposing will not end the corruption, but will at least reduce some of the incentives behind it. In the end, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to rule that the 4th Amendment is, in fact, the 4th Amendment, and prohibits seizing things without a warrant and probable cause. Until then, police departments will continue to steal more money than thieves.

Yeah, well, I’m not holding my breath on that one, not with this Supreme Court…

– Badtux the 3rd World Penguin

Amazon depends upon a nomadic retiree army to meet customer demand during the holiday season. Most of these retirees are in their late 60’s or 70’s, but some are even in their 80’s. Amazon prefers them to hiring young people because retirees grew up in an era where people were honest and worked hard and didn’t slack off all the time and didn’t steal their employer blind, and while the retirees are slower than young people, they’re steady — they don’t ditch work on a whim, they don’t quit in the middle of the season, they are, indeed, perfect serfs.

Now, if these retirees were doing this just for some additional spending money, that’d be one thing. But most of them are homeless nomads living on a pittance, who travel around the country working odd jobs like the Amazon warehouse in order to make ends meet. Most had their retirement funds stole from them by Wall Street and are reliant upon Social Security checks that are woefully inadequate. Many use the funds they get from their nomadic odd jobs to save up for repairs to their RV, or towards a newer RV. In many cases, travel to a job may cost almost as much money as they get from the job, but they either travel to the job or they don’t get the job, so…

This is what retirement is going to be like for most of my generation, the generation after the Baby Boomers. The leading edge of the Boomers got there first… but clearly retirement for the rest of us is going to be nothing like what retirement was for our parents. We’re going to be serfs working on Massa’s farm until the day we die. Serfin’ USA, y’all!

– Badtux the Serfin’ Penguin

At least, for the purposes of voting. Apparently the U.S. Supreme Court is going back to the future again, voting for state-mandated racial segregation (at least for the purposes of voting), 61 years after it overturned that decision. Except without even the fig leaf of “separate but equal” to cover for their blatantly racist decision.

For those of you who voted for Jill Stein, thus putting the Orange Racist Pussy Grabber into office… are you satisfied?

Oh wait, you’re all lily white anyhow, so why would you care about minority rights, hmm?

– Badtux the Law Penguin