Heard on the radio this morning during my drive to the incall:

SAN ANTONIO — A call for a wrong-way driver turned into a high speed chase early Wednesday morning, San Antonio police say.

Dispatchers received a 911 call just before 2 a.m. for a wrong-way driver at Loop 1604 and Green Mountain Road, on the city’s northeast side.Police said a witness, who spotted the driver, followed her all the way to Randolph Boulevard.When officers caught up to her, she stopped, turned around and went the correct way on Loop 1604 past Universal City, Live Oak, police said.

Officers clocked her at 85 miles per hour, then said she slowed down to 16 miles per hour and then sped up again.Police said officers finally caught her at Loop 1604 and Lockhill-Selma Road.Police said the woman will be charged with evading arrest and she was intoxicated.

The talking heads mentioned that five police have been injured and two killed in San Antonio by drunk drivers, and of course seven people out of 2.14 million is OMG HUGE PROBLEM.

Naturally, the answer is always a new law.

AUSTIN, Texas — San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus and the Bexar County Assistant District Attorney headed to Austin this week to talk about two bills dealing with drinking and driving.

… House Bill 439 would allow for sobriety checkpoints.

Those against the proposals say they’re too far-reaching. Those in support say something has got to give.

I’m waiting for the day when the ‘something’ that gives is people’s patience with this shit.  Look, this is not difficult.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Let’s be blunt here.  Checkpoints have nothing to do with the public welfare.  This is a revenue grab.  Public coffers are running empty, so they’re asking that the King’s tax collectors herd everyone into handy lines where they can fish around for any possible excuse to levy fines.

Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 10:40 am  Comments (1)  

The state of the union, pt2

And after a mere month, I finally get time to finish the rest of this.  Ahahaha.

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” ~ Voltaire

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ~ George Orwell

Arguably the best invention to grease the wheels of liberty since the gun, is the video phone.  No longer must we be subjected to a policeman’s testimony being a freshly scrubbed-and-shaved-and-pressed man with his shiny, shiny badge and nifty uniform, saying in his very bestest Andy Griffith impersonation what he wishes had really happened (“You see, Your Honor, I was just coming from teaching a bible study group when the Chief asked me to respond to a call of a woman in a hotel room.  I, of course, did not get naked nor did I demand or receive sexual services, because that would be wrong and against all my mother taught me.  When the suspect attempted to forcibly remove my clothing while loudly insisting she would perform a “blow job” if I gave her $20, I noted that her speech was erratic and used my 14 years of exemplary service on the force to deduce that she was doing illegal drugs…”)

Now we get treated to regular episodes of  Caught On Tape.

The police report, David Cari, one of two arresting officers, states that he didn’t know what the New Haven priest was holding. He wrote that he saw an “unknown shiny silver object” that Manship had “cupped” in his hands, and was afraid for his safety.

The footage clearly shows that the arresting officers knew that Manship was holding a camera, not an “unknown shiny silver object.”

In the video, the Officer Cari twice refers to the object as a camera.

“Sir what are you doing? Is there a reason that you have a camera on me?” says Cari, in the video.

It seems some people think truth is a controlled substance, however.  Coincidentally, they are often the same people who think You’re Making Me Look Bad is an arrestable offense. Thus do we find that a public servant on a public sidewalk or thoroughfare, speaking in a normally audible voice and (best part) videotaping the encounter himself via his dashcam, is afforded an extraordinary degree of “privacy”. Not too surprisingly, it isn’t illegal to videotape an officer kissing babies or walking a little old lady across the street. No, you’re only illegally violating their privacy when you catch them shooting people, beating up kids, harassing the public and other examples of crass thuggery.

It should be noted that the courts have already ruled the right to privacy is very thin indeed. You have no right to privacy in your vehicle, a locked dressing room, and teenaged girls in skirts down past their knees have no right to privacy against perverted twats wearing up-skirt cameras on their shoes.

It’s quite possible that TPTB consider us truly so dumb as to not realise this has sweet fuck-all to do with privacy, and everything to do with the desire of people who commit criminal acts – or just behave very badly – to not get caught, with a healthy smidgeon of what naughty fun it is to wield power granted by a gun rather than the law.

It’s also quite possible that we really are that dumb.  Oh, maybe not you specifically, but certainly we in the national sense.  We have power afforded to damned few citizens either globally or historically; namely, the power to change that which affects us adversely.  Since we are not exercising that power, I must conclude we are just dumb.  We are sure that this is different.  This will only affect those other people.  It isn’t important enough yet to turn off the TV and get off the couch, but one day, when it is, whooo, boy howdy!  Watch out then!  And we paper tigers imagine people fear our claws.

Central to the issue of pursuing truth and liberty is knowing what the truth is.  This is where we hit some snags.  Most
Americans are fed their ‘truth’ through mainstream news, and the fact that what they say is often not true at all goes unremarked – we either don’t have the critical thinking skills needed to realize we’re being fed a line of crap, or we know and just don’t care.

Read carefully.  There will be a test.

Think back to the last book you read which caused you to feel a specific emotion, such as fear, anger, or grief.  In each case, you were manipulated.  There was nothing going on in your surroundings which should make you afraid, but you felt terror anyways in reaction to a picture painted with nothing more than the written word.  You had lost nothing you held dear, yet you grieved anyway.  Evoking emotion via written word is difficult, if writers can do that then a little thing like getting you to accept an opinion from a trusted god-like voice is easy-peasy.

Every piece of writing has an authorial voice, which is loosely defined as an author’s writing style.  The definition leaves a lot to be desired, as it does nothing to convey exactly how much power authorial voice wields on the reader.  Every writer functions as a god in the little world they create.  Readers take this as a given.  Therefore, it is not only possible but quite easy to lead readers around by the nose; telling them which decisions they should make, which thoughts are correct and which are not, even define what morals the reader should hold as proper.  A writer can express opinion as fact – not only fact, but such an obvious and widely accepted fact that only the truly backward could entertain any other notion.

This is handy when one is writing fiction.  It’s a form of brainwashing when you find it in the news media.

Anyone who has followed my blog for more than five minutes knows my disdain for the mainstream media.  I can’t read the news without getting pissed off, usually not about what they’re reporting as news but HOW they are reporting it.  It’s a direct result of the news no longer being in the business of reporting the news.  It’s entertainment, it’s hype, it’s opinions being presented as news.  I know the techniques, I use them myself in fiction. But then, most people are not professional writers.  They haven’t learned to identify when an authorial voice is manipulating them.

Exhibit A:

Washington –  You should eat less salt, the govenment says.  A lot less.

It’s won’t be easy.  Consumers will need help from food companies if they are going to meet the government’s ambitious new goals…

Exhibit B I’ll paraphrase, as it was a talkie news segment about four weeks ago.  A young couple were murdered in their basement, after a phone call to the police summoned a squad car which reported nothing amiss.   The reporter then felt moved to assure us that the police had not confirmed drugs were involved in the murder of this exceedingly clean-cut, middle class young couple, even though a search of the home revealed kitchen scales and ziploc bags.

Exhibit C I couldn’t possibly cite in its entirety, lest we be here all day.  The short version is “unexpectedly”.  Since last summer it’s been astonishing how much economic news was unexpected.  Job stats came in unexpectedly worse than projected for, if I recall correctly, seventeen weeks in a row.  Drops in consumer confidence was a completely unexpected shock.  Losses in housing were… wait for it… totally unexpected.  Manufacturing slowdowns were an unexpected surprise.  Price inflation was unexpected.  Retail sales unexpectedly miss forecasts.

Here comes that test I was referring to.  Figure out what the truth is.  Then we come to the issue of is and isn’t.  The problem isn’t deducing the truth for yourself but to act on the truth you have found.  The problem also is, see, that Emily won’t be the one grading this test.

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm  Comments (2)