Sunday, April 19, 2015

FC top 10

1.  Barcelona
2. Bayern Munich
3. Juventus
4. Real Madrid
5. Paris St. Germain
6. Chelsea
7. Porto
8. Cruziero
9. Atletico Madrid
10. Arsenal. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

FC top 10

1. Bayern Munich
2. Barcelona
3. Juventus
4. Paris St. Germain
5. Real Madrid
6. Cruziero
7. Atletico Madrid
8. Lyon
9. Arsenal
10. Porto

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

For Da Police

On Tuesday the unicameral was near-unanimous in support of a symbolic resolution giving police a pat on the back.        That was sweet of them, to be sure; and of course the resolution was drawn up in reaction to the latest controversy involving Senator Chambers.       Ernie's statement, for the record was an intentionally provocative statement in response to the sort of culture war tree pissing bill that has actually been historically rare in Nebraska, conservative as it indeed is.  A senator from the Sarpy County suburbs introduced a bill that would legalize concealed guns in bars & liquor serving restaurants, invoking ISIS & the 'radicalized world situation' as rationale.  It was precisely the sort of absurd, asinine, Merica Fuck Yeah statement (which again is comparatively rare in Nebraska government) that Ernie Chambers has always loved to pounce on with pungent reminders of real problems faced by real people, and he did indeed do his thing here. Bringing up tensions between the black community and police may seem irrelevant in this case but then what is 'relevant'  in the face of absurdity anyhow.  The truth is that there is indeed social privilege involved in an environment that not only encourages white male 'heads of household' to LARP as petty Lancelots but passes laws to support this childish fiction; and Chambers statement was again a deliberately brutal reminder that the government of a free people has real duties in the real world.

At any rate there is of course no actual contest between people who support the police and people who oppose them.  If those who theatrically support the police take pleasure in being more righteous than Others that deep down even they know aren't there than I suppose there's no stopping them. But of course only a tiny handful of dogmatic anarchists reject the utilitarian need for law enforcement; and of course it goes without saying, ( I know I say nothing radical here but only what people already know) that acknowledging the practical need for police does not in any way require a presumption that police are exceptionally virtuous.  Police work is not exceptionally dangerous  ( Thus not exceptionally heroic if one buys into that perverse reasoning) and there are few outside the jobs themselves who would suggest that plumbers electricians or dentists are entitled to admiration even though society does indeed require such skills.  People rob houses and people made of the same mischievous human stuff have to go catch them. There's an obvious 'Watching the Watchman' problem at work here.  And though democracy is theoretically designed to balance the practical need for authority with the dangers of authority it's quite clear that the balance is not yet ideal.  It simply does no good to wish police to be noble through force of will; and it is downright perverse to get a vicarious sense of power through identifying with someone else's civil authority and calling this duty.
I would like to close here by saying that even if one does think that the police are overwhelmingly good guys and that claims of institutional racism are overblown, even dangerous; well, I am not one to make a god of populist intuition.  To endow 'common sense' with infallible powers of determining truth is itself a defiance of common sense.  Inherent reasoning skills can and must be polished through education.  Even so I would go so far to say that our baseline powers of human reasoning are hardly weak, and that the reason that different communities perceive police as a positive or negative force it because of perfectly accurate perceptions of whether the police have been a positive or negative force upon their communities.  To put it more simply,  police are despised in places where it is not 'believed'; but factually known, that they have caused more harm than good.  One may say that you need only do nothing illegal and thus have no reason to fear the police.  Very well, yet in communities where the police are generally reviled; well, of course there's no such thing as criminality being general to any community.  Since society is nowhere near as racist as us liberals carry on and since you of course or no racist I'm sure you'd agree that in not even the most notorious urban neighborhood will one find vast rings of hoodlums eternally stealing the same wallet from each other like a line of cartoon food chain fish.

There is indeed a close relation between pharisaic shows of being pro-police and fantasies of shooting down terrorists in the Applebee's parking lot.  Both delusions are based on the presumption that people outside one's own social group are far more brutal and feral than any creature recognizable as human has ever been.  It is based on the presumption of being exclusively righteous and pure in a world full of devils; a world where only the brave violence of long, strong, big tall manly men (like oneself, naturally) can protect the small flames of decency from the savage human default.  If such a worldview is not based on racism per se; then it is a close enough sibling of racism to be the same moral poison.

Monday, March 16, 2015

FC top 10

1. Bayern Munich
2. Barcelona
3. Juventus
4. Real Madrid
5. Cruzeiro
6. Paris St. Germain
7. Chelsea
8. Atletico Madrid
9. Porto
10. Boca Juniors.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

There is No Foreign Policy Expertise Except Conservatism!

    In regards to Iran we should let yesterday's stunt by GOP Senators serve as a reminder that conservative foreign policy is premised upon being tougher braver and manlier than the hippies and that there is simply no greater logic end or rationale beyond that.
 
 I recall reading about a plan in the aftermath of 9/11 for placing suspected terrorists in domestic prison from within the Bush administration. Or in other words a plan to treat them as if they were just another class of criminals from within the Bush administration, that supposedly shockingly weak option which only the most flaming liberals would consider sufficient for the most Evil Beasts to ever live.
  
The reasons for why this plan was scrapped in favor of Guantanamo and all the now familiar atrocities are in fact somewhat arbitrary. This conservative administration could have chosen to deal with terrorists through our civil law if different moods led to taking different advise or a butterfly flapped its wings. And if this had been the course that a Republican White House happened to choose we can be rest assured that conservatives would have considered it to be the self-evident, common sense default way that Strong Leaders deal with such evil, just as they consider the path of torture and secret confinement that 'their' administration did choose to be such a default in the path that our history happened to take. We should understand that these people are in no way hardened "realists". They are not rationally assessing the risk/reward values of different tactics and have no interest in trying to. Rather there is an emotional need to presume their own superior hardness that precedes whatever someone in their tribe might choose to do.
The second Iraq war was an obviously just act of self defense because conservative white men said so in a stern voice and because those damned alien hippies said that it wasn't. Benghazi is a 'scandal' because of the circular assumption that Democratic administrations are weak and that therefore anything that goes wrong in foreign affairs is proof of Democratic weakness. Negotiating with Iran is weak because a Democratic president is doing so, and never mind that negotiating with enemies has been utterly normal since the days when god-kings were building piles of severed heads.

    Just as there are people who are able to feel moral only in contrast to imaginary godless decadents or able to feel civilized only in contrast to ethnic Others foreign and domestic so there are those who are able to feel brave and strong only in contrast to cartoon straw hippies. There are such people in every society and it is only the happenstance of our military being uniquely powerful which makes our jingoists uniquely dangerous when they gain control of it. Meanwhile it is futile for Democrats to try to match a conservative measure of courage that it wholly fungible self serving and dare I say 'relativist'; as Kerry and Hillary Clinton famously did in voting for the Iraq War. You had might as well be the total peacenik that they shall will themselves into seeing you as no matter what you do.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

FC top 10

1. Bayern Munich
2. Chelsea
3. Barcelona
4. Juventus
5. Real Madrid
6. Cruziero
7.Paris St. Germain
8. Atletico Madrid
9. Manchester City
10. Porto

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Eflections

When I was in jail for my DUI I was locked up with a rapist, among others, one who did in fact give a near stereotypically perfect 'creeper' affect. I remember how he would bird over my shoulder giving me solitaire pointers.  He had the cigarette butt blond Eminem dye job that was popular at the turn of the century and DMX lyrics tattooed on his neck. "Get at me Dog."

His m.o. then again was very much that of the stereotypical stranger in the dark.  He would knock on the doors of elderly women at 4 AM and then set upon them when they answered.  This was of course a horrifying spree for a small community or any community, and I would guess that the Rapist and I (Chris O. or was it Luke R?) still live in the same town to this day with him down at 10th & Van Dorn.  Raping white upper middle class grandmothers will get you sent away for a long time and in itself rightfully so.

I know of course that while stereotypes are occasionally fulfilled, the problem of sexual violence is baked much deeper into the mainstream than anyone wants to accept.  Around this same age I would play Madden and drink with a man who beat his girlfriend.  Deborah and I had a fling behind his back but I did nothing at all to actually help her.  Am I a better person who would do something today?  Well I've not faced the situation directly since then to my knowledge so yes of course I would.  Theoretically that is; same as everyone same as always.  I think Deborah's son would be about twelve now.