Tamir Rice vs The Bundys

Because you’re not supposed to waste a good crisis, a large share of the leftwing population (including Bernie Sanders) has chosen to eat a bunch of paste and try to make a racial issue out of the lunatic takeover of a wildlife refuge by a bunch of crazies in the ass-end of nowhere.

Comparing the two situations requires some impressive mental gymnastics because they have nothing in common. Tamir Rice was a victim of a trigger-happy police force, a corrupt prosecutor, and a flawed justice system. Possible solutions to the Tamir Rice injustice include better police training, the creation of an independent rather than incestuous prosecutor’s office, and possibly reform of the grand jury process.

The Bundy crew, meanwhile, are militia, terrorist group, and organized criminals – at the same time. Apparently, the far left thinks that the government should be charging in guns blazing like a Russian counter-terror op in Dagestan because that’s what happened with Tamir Rice, nevermind that the response to one kid versus the response to an armed band of criminals will always be different (exhibit A: how police respond to armed bank robberies). The solution here is to make the bastards surrender and throw them in jail for as long as possible.

Further, in the Rice case, agents of the government broke the law. In Oregon, the lawbreakers are private citizens.

Yes, you could make a reasonable argument that if Tamir Rice was a white kid named Tyler Rice, he’d still be alive. However, you can’t make an argument saying that if the Bundys were black/arab/whatever, that the government would handle it any differently beyond rhetoric. The FBI has pretty specific procedures for this sort of thing. As for what happens when the government goes in guns blazing, here’s some footage from a little incident that happened back 1993 in Waco, Texas:

But hey, why let facts get in the way of the narrative.

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Cell Phone Addiction Blues

“Has it really come to this? I can’t even take a leak without looking at my phone?” I asked myself earlier. I didn’t like the answer – “evidently so.”

I don’t know why this epiphany about my smartphone addiction (I’m a “refresher” – GIVE ME MORE FRESH INTERNET! MORE!) in this particular way on this particular day. I’ll blame the nearly full moon the day after New Year’s. But that’s how it happened. And turns out, with each pointless refresh, a tiny part of me dies inside. Because it’s never actually that interesting. In fact, odds are pretty good it’s some kind of marketing materials. Drowning in marketing for professional reasons, now that’s dedication.

I know I’m not alone. I know people that practically sleep with their phones as if they’re comfort teddy bears. In fact, there is no cell phone etiquette for the most part because everyone’s an addict. Everyone “gets it.” As a result, society collectively doesn’t even try (for the most part – sweeping generalizations for dramatic effect are just that). #firstworldproblems and all that, right? Well, it is still a problem. People driving like they’re drunk because they’re texting or watching lolcats, people walking into practically everything, etc, etc. And I’m not pointing this out from a position of superiority – I’m just as guilty, just as much a part of the problem rather part of the solution.

The only solution I can think of is an unlock counter. I figure at some point I’d reach a number that made me go “Seriously? What the hell, man?” I like to think it would be well under 100. But don’t expect the cell phone makers to start putting those into the OS. An addicted customer base is a loyal customer base, after all, and the best way to keep them loyal is to keep them addicted. If we weren’t all hopelessly strung out on bytes, we’d be less likely to stand in line for the new iPhone or give AT&T an extra $100 to get the next Galaxy 6 months early (note: I don’t know of this actually happening with a Samsung – I think the madness is confined to the House That Jobs Built).

We’d probably also all be just a little bit more productive if we conquered this ADD, but I have no idea how. Maybe there’s an app for that. Let me go check my phone…

A Rant About the Orange Crush

Google Map view of the Orange Crush InterchangeI traded traffic on the 405 for traffic on the 22. I don’t know if that was such an upgrade because traffic on the 22 sucks worse, and there’s less of an excuse for it. Whereas the 405 gets backed up because of volume and bad driving (why can’t freeway drivers handle curves? It is a mystery!), the 22 gets backed up because somewhere during the Measure M funded constriction process, some asshole decided to add too many ramps, creating complete clusterfucks of merging vehicles.

Take the Bristol Eastbound on-ramp. That ramp feeds not into the main freeway, but the two lanes that feed onto the 5 south and 57 north. These are separated from the rest of the freeway by a wall, presumably to reduce “slamming,” but this creates its own problems. For example, people entering from Bristol that don’t want to get on the 5 south get less than 500 feet to merge.
To make things more fun, the 57 south and 22 east feed onto the 5 south at about the same place. And the 5 south carpool slash HOV is always backed up because the 57 south feeds into it, and then two lanes merge into one. The HOV lanes are also separated from the main freeway by a wall.

The 5 north to 22 west connector sucks too, again because someone wanted to put in an extra on-ramp. Instead of being 2 lanes that merge into one near the end, this connect has one lane that goes onto the 22 west and one that exits towards The Outlet Mall Formerly Known as the Block at Orange. This causes a crushing amount of slamming, of which I am admittedly guilty off because I’ll be damned if I lose another 10 minutes of my life because some politician really wanted an exit. I have no respect for this design. Sorry folks, blame the government and make them close that off-ramp.

Oh, then the 57 south feeds into it a couple hundred feet later, just as you think the interchange-caused jam is going to clear up. Instead, it goes on basically until harbor. Hell to the yeah. Screw you Orange Crush. Good thing you have the East LA Interchange to make you look good.

SoCal’s traffic is legendary. We waste a horrific amount of man-hours every year sitting in this nonsense because nobody can afford housing in the core and there aren’t any jobs in the Outer Rim, err, Inland Empire. Regional transit options are woefully inadequate, there’s no more room to build more freeways. All we can hope for is the self-driving cars. Maybe, just maybe, through the magic of computers, we’ll solve this problem. If not, we’re all going to REALLY lose our collective shit one day. But in the meantime, we could at least not stuff our overloaded interchanges with poor designs. The bad traffic they cause radiates for miles in all directions.

On a related note, I wonder how things will look at the 22/40 connection when they’re done with that construction. So far, I think it just might help.

The Doge Meme: We Need to Stop Celebrating Illiteracy

doge-meme

Wow. Such Rant. Very Opinionated.

For approximately 35 seconds, the Doge meme – I pronounce it the same way I pronounce the title of medieval and Renaissance-era Venetian leaders – was fairly amusing. Look, this cute dog has these simple thoughts! That’s hilarious!

Unforunately, unlike other flash-in-the-pan memes like those six-panel “what people think I do” contraptions for everyone’s profession, Bitstrips, or Draw Something, Doge pulled a herpes and decided to stay to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see some company use it in a Superbowl ad (MetroPCS, I’m looking in your direction.

We’re already collectively dumber thanks to the leaking of AOL IM shorthand into the mainstream thanks to text messaging (that it hasn’t stopped despite everyone and their mother – except mine – having a smartphone is sad), but we don’t need to compound the inability to finish words with the inability to form grammatically-correct sentences. It’s not even first-grade level, it’s…Ralph Wiggum.

ralph-wiggum-me-fail-english-thats-unpossible

I’d make a crack about someone using it as a pickup line or opening message on OkCupid, but that bar is so low, not even James Cameron can raise it. At least the people that make doge memes spell out the words; the same cannot be said of internet pickup artists.

I hereby put forward a motion that we stop celebrating illiteracy and put doge into the dustbin of Internet where it belongs, or at least bury it deep in some NSA server alongside everyone’s porn history. Who’s with me?