Sunday, August 02, 2015

Manufacturing a Magical Reality

Magic is the art of deception. The phrase "watch the hands!" comes immediately to mind whenever I see a magic show. No. Chris Angel is not floating in the air. No the person was not cut in half. No, no and no. When we see these tricks what we are seeing is manufactured reality. We have deception, distraction and optical illusion used to create a reality that the viewer has "witnessed" and cannot be told didn't happen.

The current Black Lives Matter movement is much like a magic trick. It's entire purpose is to get the viewer to believe the manufactured reality that they are presenting in order to push an agenda that does not square with the facts. The Black Lives Matter movement is a lie of the worst kind in that it uses a kernel of truth, that there are police that abuse their power and sometimes kill black persons, and gets the people watching to believe that if somehow the police were "brought under control" that black folks as a whole would somehow be better off. Left leaning publications keen to show that they are not "racist" fail to question and critique this movement but allow their publications to be used as a means of manufacturing this reality. Here is the latest example. Over the past 3 days I have received e-mails from the Guardian in regard to what they felt was important US news

So from Friday until today the top stories as it relates to the Black Lives Matter movement were "Campus Police...", "July is Deadliest Month of 2015 for Police-related killings", "Philadelphia Police-related Deaths Plunge, But Is Reform Enough?"

Lets focus on the second title. July the deadliest month of 2015 for police related killings. Well OK. What ELSE has happened in July 2015?

Worst in 43 years?

Hey Guardian did anyone over there think ANY of that is relevant to the "July the deadliest month of 2015?" No one at the Guardian thought that was an important "US News" report? I mean if you want to discuss police killings and police are usually where the crime is happening; why not report on that too?

With their deaths, this year's homicides reached 189, far outpacing the 119 killings by July's end in 2014. Nonfatal shootings have soared to 366, compared to 200 by the same date last year. July's total was the worst since the city recorded 45 killings in August 1972, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Perched on a friend's stoop, Sherry Moore, 55, said she knew "mostly all" of the young men killed recently in West Baltimore, including an 18-year-old fatally shot a half-block away. Moore said many more pills are on the street since the riot, making people wilder than usual.

"The ones doing the violence, the shootings, they're eating Percocet like candy and they're not thinking about consequences. They have no discipline, they have no respect — they think this is a game. How many can I put down on the East side? How many can I put down on the West side?"

So it's not police doing the shooting. Probably explains the lack of "Black Lives Matter" protests. And this is why I call this the manufactured magical reality. No sane person who really thinks black lives matter would be spending this amount of time on the police. Sane people know who kills the vast majority of black people. They know that it is those killings that bring police attention to the various places where black people meet their maker at the hands of the police. If you solve the first problem you simultaneously solve the second. But you CANNOT solve the latter before and without solving the former. It's like putting an empty cake pan in an oven having not made the batter. Don't care how long that oven is going, you get no cake.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Many Issues With The Dubose Shooting

So having finally watched the entire interaction between Dubose and Tensing. There are a lot of issues here BEFORE the shooting even occurred. Let me say this first. For 20 years I have driven my car with a custom front plate in a state that requires 2 identical license plates on a personal vehicle. I have done so with the full knowledge that at any time I may be stopped by the police for having such a setup or come back to my vehicle to find a ticket for not having the plate. I repeat: I FULLY understand that my actions will bring the attention of the police. And I have had the attention of the police. I don't act a fool when this happens. I take my warning or ticket, pay it, and move along. If I don't want the attention of the police I put the proper plate on. This is my choice.

This leads us to Dubose. In the video he claims that it was legal to have only one plate on his car when in fact it was not. I have lived in states that only require one plate and you know what? They ONLY give you one plate. States that give you TWO plates do so because it is what the law requires. So either Dubose was a total idiot OR he knew full well he was lying to try to get out of a ticket. Why not simply admit you took it off? Instead Dubose lied about having the plate in his glove box. So having established himself as a liar on top of not having the required plate, Officer Tensing probably thought he had a possible car thief. Had the Dubose produced the plate, the interaction would have probably ended there (as mine have) but his lack of product lead to more interaction.

Next thing Dubose does is hand the police office a closed bottle of liquor from the driver side floor. Now I don't know the specific laws in Ohio, but I think if you hand a police officer a bottle of gin off the driver side floor of your car, a police officer will think that you were about to do the drinking and driving thing. That's a felony. Now possessing alcohol in your car is not illegal. But I'm going to ask why this bottle was on the driver's side floor.

Now Dubose knew full well that he didn't have his license and registration with him yet he lied and said he had it in the glove box. He was asked multiple times to produce his license by Tensing who actually had a right to ask him to produce that. So lets add the suspicious moments up:

1) Driving with a missing front plate.
2) Having a bottle of Gin on the driver's side floor.
3) Failure to produce a current driver's license.

At that point Tensing asks for Dubose to step out of his vehicle. This was a lawful order unlike the situation with Sandra Bland. Sandra bland produced the papers asked for and had complied with all orders up to that point. There was no probable cause to remove Bland from her vehicle. Dubose on the other hand, had no front plate as required by law and was driving without a license. If you're stopped and cannot produce your license expect to be asked to step out of the vehicle especially if there are issues with the vehicle like a missing plate. If you hand the officer a bottle of Gin too, well yeah, expect to be asked to exit the vehicle.

And this is where Dubose really messed up. When he refused to exit the vehicle, even though he KNEW he had no license on him, HE escalated the situation by pulling back on his door. This is one of the things that bothered my about the commentary I read. Someone said that being stopped for not having a front plate "inflames African-Americans." Lets address this bullshit right now. As I said earlier, I have a custom front plate. I cannot be "inflamed" because a police officer decides to enforce the motor vehicles law that I knowingly violated and decide I'm not going to cooperate. Also the statement implies that there are laws that African-Americans don't have to obey simply because they don't like them. That is a very very dangerous concept for any so called leader to advance. African-Americans have to obey the same laws every body else does, whether they like them or not. If they don't like them, they are free to vote in representatives to change those laws.

It is entirely reasonable to say that Tensing thought that perhaps Dubose was more than just a guy missing a front plate once Dubose refused to exit the car and doubled down by pulling closed his door. However, after that Tensing is completely in the wrong. I don't know if he forgot that he had a body cam on him, but his lying about what happened after that was totally unnecessary. Watching the video, he could easily have said that Dubose refused to exit the vehicle after a lawful stop and not having a license and became combative when he was being removed from the vehicle resulting in a shot. It was Tensing's lie that changed the situation. He was not being dragged. he fell as the car took off.

I don't think Tensing will be found guilty of murder. The video from the body cam does not prove malice or forethought. Tensing is definitely guilty of fraud for the statement he made in regards to being dragged. He might even be guilty of criminally negligent homicide because one could argue that pulling his gun and firing was reckless in that situation. However, the fact that we know that Dubose had no license and no front plate and had resisted lawful orders made after those discoveries (because they establish probable cause) will almost certainly lead to an acquittal if this goes to trial.

Friday, July 24, 2015

They Know Who The Bigger Problem Is

While situations such as Sandra Bland and Eric Garner get the attention, those of us who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear understand what the number one killer of black people are. And the ones who are doing the killing know it too:
Mark Jones, a former special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and an expert on illegal firearms at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, says interviewees consistently tell him, "We are not afraid of the police. We're afraid of other people in the neighborhood who might try to kill us." [my underlines]

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Arrested For Being An "Uppity Negro"

Sandra Bland was wrongfully arrested for being an Uppity Negro(tm). The dash cam video proves this beyond any doubt whatsoever:

[This link is broken]

You need to watch the video from the beginning because it is instructive on what was going on in the mind of the officer. The footage starts with him giving a "friendly" warning to a driver he had pulled over. Apparently that person did not have their insurance on them. He's friendly to the driver. It is apparent, later that he EXPECTS that people he pulls over should all be happy about being pulled over.

After giving the warning to the driver he pulls a U-turn and heads up the road. He runs up on Sandra's car, which is in the left lane. Sandra seeing the police car running up behind her quickly pulls into the right lane to let the officer pass. She does so without using her signal. A reasonable officer (or any other person for that matter) would have seen the courtesy given to them and moved to pass the slower moving vehicle. This cop uses that courtesy as a pretext to stop Sandra on a technicality. Let me be clear here, under law the officer has a right to pull Sandra over for non indicating a lane change. However, they have discretion as to the enforcement of such an infraction. I would suggest that because Bland had out of state plates, the officer decided to use his "discretion" to "investigate" an out of stater. It happens in parts of Texas often.

I will also point out that Bland pulled over immediately which indicates that she was cooperative. Cooperative does not mean "happy to be in the situation".

The officer approaches the passenger side of the vehicle (standard procedure) asks for Sandra's documents and asks her if she's OK. Now personally I think the officer was being an ass for asking the person he just inconvenienced whether they are OK. BUt maybe in that part of Texas he expects people to be OK with that. She doesn't say much. He returns to his vehicle to run the plates and whatever else police do in such situations. When he returns to Sandra's vehicle, this time at the driver's side, he asks again if she's OK. She says she isn't and he asks why and she tells him that she didn't appreciate being pulled over after moving over to let him pass. That is reasonable. At that point the entire attitude of the police officer changes and he steps outside the law. It is not resisting an officer to tell him why you're bothered by a stop, particularly after that officer just asked for that information. The old rule applies: don't ask questions you don't want the answers to.

Then the officer goes further into abuse of power by telling Sandra to put out her cigarette. Why? What did her smoking have to do with being given a ticket for changing lanes? Sandra was absolutely right to question him on that. When he then takes her refusal to comply with what is CLEARLY an UNLAWFUL order, he orders her out of the vehicle. Although an officer can order a person out of a vehicle, it must be under probable cause. He has none. You cannot give a lawful order to enforce a previous UNLAWFUL order.

The officer tries to tell Bland that he was going to do her a favor by giving her a warning. This goes back to the stop at the top of the video. He expects everyone to smile and be thankful that he's only wasted his time demonstrating his authority. This is why I say that it is clear that Bland was arrested for being an "Uppity Negro". Once Bland answered his question as to why she was upset he should have given her the ticket and gone about his business and he knows this. Everything that happened after that was because he was personally offended. This was not law enforcement this was ego enforcement.

At this point I cannot say beyond reasonable doubt whether Bland was murdered in the jail cell, but I can say for certain that had the officer at the initial point of contact acted in a professional manner that Bland would be alive today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Your Reputation PRECEDES You

The next time you hear about a cop shooting a black minor who he thought had a gun. Where on earth would that cop get that idea from?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tomorrow's Tech Stars Sound Off On Why Silicon Valley Should Embrace Diversity

First watch the video:

Now read carefully on what the kids said in reference to Facebook and Google:

"Companies like Google and Facebook, they're very powerful," says one of the teens, Isaiah. "And they're also very progressive and liberal companies. But according to demographics, there's only like 2 percent of African-Americans at Google and Facebook."
"I wouldn't be able to get into Facebook, have a programming job or anything if they don't change their percentages in minorities," says another teen, named George.
Really? Why? Does this kid think that Facebook has some 2% Negro quota?

Ahh the "soft racism of low expectations". Who told George that he couldn't get a job at Facebook assuming he is even QUALIFIED to do so unless for some reason Facebook upped it's numbers? And on what basis did whoever told George this "fact" do they make such an assertion? Did anyone inform George the percentages of African-Americans that have advanced computer science degrees?

One of these students said that Google and Facebook NEEDS to increase their diversity if they want to take the next step of being progressive. What kind of bullshit is that? Someone told this kid that Facebook and Google exist to be "progressive". This fellow is in for a rude awakening when he finds out that "progressive" does not pay for electricity or salaries for top flight engineering talent.

What is also quite disturbing about this clip is that in the demands for "representation" not a one of these so called up and coming programmers (Lets see them say 8 years from now) had anything to say as to what they offered Facebook or Google that their current staff does not (and please please please do not talk about the "gorilla" incident. That wasn't racism, that was an honest mistake on the part of a computer).

Only one kid said anything about working for himself (Bravo!). That should have been the attitude of most of these folks. But the real deal kicker? No one mentioned that Jay Z's music streaming venture Tidal is the creation and is maintained by a company with ZERO black folks. It's kinda sad when the African-American front person of an internet based company cannot even build a company (or find one to use) that has at least the number of black folks as "not diverse enough" Facebook.

But we don't wanna have that conversation.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Prison As A LifeStyle Upgrade

There's a lot I can say about this piece on women convicted of tax fraud but this recurring theme stood out to me:
Prison itself isn't bad, said Frazier, the mother of four. Outside, she depended on a $625 a month disability check and food stamps. Here she gets three meals a day, a shower, a roof over her head.

She just misses the kids. It's an extra penalty paid by parents.

"Now that I sit in prison, I say it's not worth it," she said.

I'f I'm reading this right, the part that is NOT worth it is the missing the kids, not the loss of freedom.

It appears that it costs $21k/year/prisoner for federal lockup. Honest question: which way would money be a better return on investment? $7500 or $21K? Of course since not all people on disability or food stamps are committing these frauds so it's not a one to one investment so that would have to be considered. The second thing is even if the "pay outs" were increased, how many of these individuals would have committed the crime anyway?