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Monday, August 25, 2014

Hey Ferguson Rioters, Got Some Uncomfortable Facts For Ya

From TAKI:
But in South Salt Lake, UT on August 11—a mere two days after Brown was shot to death—a police officer described as “not white” shot and killed 20-year-old Dillon Taylor, whose pictures (Edit, removed links, see original story) reveal him to be at least predominantly Caucasian, if perchance not a purebred Nordic snow bunny. Taylor appears to be mostly white phenotypically (if not stylistically) and is far whiter-looking than George Zimmerman, whom the liberal press initially described as “white” for reasons that appear to have suited an agenda. And unlike the Brown shooting, there is currently video evidence of the Taylor killing available for public consumption, which should inflame white passions to the point where they’d riot—that is, if modern American whites were like blacks in the sense that they were prone to torching cities when one of their own gets killed.

Then again, it’s hard to get upset when you’re not even aware that something upsetting has happened. As I type this, a Google News search for the phrase “Michael Brown” alongside “Ferguson” yields a fulsome 13,700,000 results, whereas “Dillon Taylor” and “Salt Lake” only coughs up a puny 4,250 hits.
Of course not, because the first media lie is that blacks are incapable of racism. Therefore it was justified. But the other way around there will be hubbub, Bub. But wait! There's more:
It can’t be because police kill more blacks in America than whites, because that’s not true. Politifact claims that CDC stats from 1999-2011 show that “2,151 whites died by being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks.” 
Were you aware of that statistic? I wasn't until I went searching for it.
I was not Taki. Tell me more.
You've likely heard of the 1998 truck-dragging death of a black man named James Byrd, Jr. by three white men in Texas. But you've probably never heard of the 2000 death of a six-year-old white boy named Jake Robel, who died after being dragged for four miles by a black carjacker. Google searches for the victims’ names reveal results as absurdly lopsided as the disparity between Michael Brown and Dillon Taylor’s relative media attention: James Byrd, Jr. yields 108,000 hits, while Jake Robel gets a mere 4,910.
 I've recently begun watching House of Cards on Netflix. A fascinating, deliciously awful show, in all the best ways. Kevin Spacey is in full on Swimming with Shark's mode. But the show though has a particularly disquieting quality to it that gets under my skin.

To explain the premise, Kevin Spacey and his wife are a particularly ruthless power couple in Washington. He is the majority whip in congress. He has set in place a series of events to get him to rise to power. I'm up to the end of season 1 and he's been given the vice-presidency. I'm assuming he won't stop there.

While the logistics and mechanics of Washington operations are interesting (I actually enjoy watching the sausage get made) what bothers me is how little the actual issues are given any thought. Francis (Spacey) is working through an education bill. We get to see how ruthlessly he gets this done but we are never privy to the why. Does he even believe in the reforms that are being pushed through? For that matter, the press, other congressman, lobbyists, hell, everyone seems to be in it to win power. When you see regular people in this show, they are background music. A mass of puppets waving signs, dutifully answering polls, and voting whichever way gets these guys more power. Actually accomplishing things to make things better is immaterial. The results matter only insofar as did the game players win or lose, not the consequences of victory or defeat. Simply time to move on to the next battle.

I dislike the idea that we are all just dancing to the puppet masters commands. The idea that even those of us who are engaged aren't really engaged. We don't really see behind the curtain. I found it telling that all the main players in the show are democrats but even so, within this show, everyone getting directly affected by the game player's decisions have very little influence beyond a mass of polling. Public relations is everything and we dutifully lap up whatever our side gives us. The message is manipulated unrelentingly.

My goal isn't better government programs, my goal is the dismantling of their power. I know House of Cards is only a show and that there are good people in Washington but apparatus swallows everyone at this point. Even the so-called "good" people on this show are shown to be dishonest opportunists when necessary. It's a little sickening.

So given the state of stories Taki listed above, is House of Cards really so far off? Maybe. Maybe not. The only way to fix this is to severely shrink it. Let's make all politics local again.

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