The most relevant bullshit
I fear the implications of what went down today in England

The real issue I have with what went down in England today lies not in the fact that any government has little interest in extremely sensitive data being “out in the wild”. It also has little to do with the fact the Great Empire pretty much was reduced to an American enforcement unit. Like it or not, these are pretty much mandatory when it comes to that system of politics, and do not contradict with democratic values any more than the mere existence of intelligence agencies per se does.

It’s not in the “what”, it’s in the “how”.

Just raiding the place - and we are not talking about a shady organization but the Guardian - in such a fashion reminds of a mixture between a bad carricarture of communistic military police, V for Vendetta and the X-Files. There is no single trace of pretending going on here - judge, jury and executioner were bundled in one hand, and that hand struck. This is either incredibly, as dangerously naive, on a political level, or an attempt to set and example and have the state appear as a mob-like organization that does not tolerate such behavior. Either one holds a lithany of treats, both to its citizens and its political stability.

The fact that no other newspaper had this incident on page 1 either tells me that if it is not the latter, at least the awareness for the implications of such things has dropped to terrible lows. Lows which in fact undermine the understanding of the separation of powers, of authority’s limits and of the role of the state.

They do not need to pretend to give a fair trial (or any, for that matter), and that shows one horribly distorted self-image of what a state is comprised of, and who the souvereign is: Its people.

Living in a complicated world filled with tons of greys, this is one of the most blatant examples of “okay, this one’s black and white”. I am tempted to divide this matter in these two parts, “bad guy” and “good guy”, and that concerns me deeply. For one, such conclusions usually miss the spot. However, I find little argument for a divided “evilness”, i.e. the good intentions of the raid or the misdoings of the Guardian. Again, it is about the way of doing it, not the thing and goal itself. Protecting the people of “the western world” (mostly America in this case) respectively one’s allies (again) is one thing; sacrificing definite freedom and public awareness (and the potential for it, which is vital for any democratic system) for potential conflicts (which were brought upon one’s self and at the very least partly without legal basis) is another one altogether. And although I still do not see the “evil” party acting all ultra-nemesis like, going “let’s do some very bad things today!”, this at least implies a fatally flawed idea of how democracy (and the element of public deliberation) work(s), and if not, the willingness to dilute it to homeopathic levels.

As it is, England has set the stage for a rule of fear for many years: First by sowing a general fear of terrorism as means to reap more surveillance, then by a paranoia of being monitored (by both those weilding structural as well as physical violence), and now by this factual and direct action. Whether this has produced a general climate as that people simply do not care anymore or just fear being targeted themselves - at least as of now, apathy seems to be the reaction. The former scenario presents an infertile ground for democratic sensibility, the latter a highly authoritarian state intimidating its citizens. This could result in impotent rage or actual attempts to bring upon an overthrow of the current system (or at least state of affairs).

The thing is, the 1980s-Hollywood-flick-like choleric patriarch is not a failed state, or a member of the axis of evil (or whatever these are called these days). It’s England. As such, it is a state that I thought deserved its moniker - that was not a failed one, but one with a “proper” political system. Either this one is misguided big time, or the true colours of even such a state can drop from “once the most modern in the world” to the deepest blacks on a slippery slope. Without a major overthrow or revolution. The ice is getting thinner as the Leviathan degenerates.

PS: I am well aware that this may imply a laughable level of hubris (as I am not nearly important enough), but the very fact that I caught myself thinking “hmmm, could posting this in public potentially spell trouble for me?” shows the way such events cripple democratic discourse.

quentinandrew:





malditafeminista:





THIS is why it’s neccessary to out these sons of bitches…because even when we do what the law suggests they still make out scratch free and leave us in shambles…
YOU SEE THOSE TWO SMALL BLACK DOTS..THOSE ARE THE FALSELY ACCUSED IN COMPARISON TO THE GUILTY SONS OF BASTARDS [NOT BITCHES] WHO WALK FREE.
So you rape apologists can miss me with this “what about the men who might be falsely named” b.s because out of all of those submissions I bet thus far NONE have been false… per the graphic that’s about 2 out of  1000.

TWO OUT OF ONE THOUSAND ARE FALSE.

Go fuck yourselves apologists. 





This really puts things in perspective





Alright, I’m gonna be the asshole here: Strictly methodically speaking, there are several things wrong with this pic. This is probably not the point here - but still, it seems it has been commented as such. Hence…
1. The “unreported” figure is a guestimate at best. As such, it should NOT be taken at face value, and is likely to enhance the dramatic effect. Otherwise, what is the source for this figure? The source linked talks about a variety of assumptions, ranging from 5% to 50% of all cases being reported, saying that they assumed 10% “which is dramatic, but possible”. This is not a fixed number. Don’t take it as such.
2. Those “reported”, who “faced trials”, but did NOT end up jailed, and as such were most likely ruled to be innocent in a court, are not the same thing as “falsely accused”. This presents an interesting interpretation of law: Not the decision in the court room is correct, but… well, what? The statement of one involved party? The statement of the possible victim? Arguable, but this is the opposite of “innocent until proven guilty”. (The source has no further information here; the information is gathered from the data on reported and persecuted rape accusations)
3. And consequently, everybody is labelled “rapists” (see top left)
4. However, then what rules somebody “falsely accused”? A decision by the judge?
5. Don’t you dare label me somebody defending rapists. But don’t take a chart which uses guestimates and is only intended to illustrate something as a source for fixed numbers. “TWO OUT OF THOUSAND ARE FALSE” is exactly the sort of sophistry that might even end up tarnishing the credibility of the campaign (or whatever you want to call that graph). IF YOU ARE GONNA USE NUMBERS AND METHODLOGY, YOU BETTER KNOW YOUR SHIT OR SOMEONE’S GONNA CALL YOU OUT. This approach is no more critical or questioning than just assuming that “the girls had it coming” by default. Do you really want to be what you fight against, only with a different aim?
Seriously. “even when we do what the law suggests they still make out scratch free” is a fucking pitchfork away from some vigilante bullshit, and THIS sort of self-righteous, sheepish behavior is EVERYTHING a movement concerned with the empowerement of women, who for centuries were at the other side of the issue, should avoid to be. You should know better than to resort to such barbaric means of “truth finding”. Who knew Charles Bronson was the role model for the modern liberal feminist?
Unless this is really just about drawing lines in the sand and rushing ahead - and not a social movement rooted in a fundamental belief in rational argument striving for a justified / fair social order. And if that is indeed (not) the case - THEN, by all means, go ahead and make a fucking joke out of yourself.
Here’s hoping I’m wrong.
PS: I know this is an emotionally charged issue. But I won’t pretend to know what the issue feels like for a woman or even a victim of such crimes. I can only approach the matter in a factual manner, which I hope won’t come across as “cold” - plus I personally believe that emotional arguments tend to be problematic anyway, as they in one way or another forbid criticism of them.

quentinandrew:

malditafeminista:

THIS is why it’s neccessary to out these sons of bitches…because even when we do what the law suggests they still make out scratch free and leave us in shambles…

YOU SEE THOSE TWO SMALL BLACK DOTS..THOSE ARE THE FALSELY ACCUSED IN COMPARISON TO THE GUILTY SONS OF BASTARDS [NOT BITCHES] WHO WALK FREE.

So you rape apologists can miss me with this “what about the men who might be falsely named” b.s because out of all of those submissions I bet thus far NONE have been false… per the graphic that’s about 2 out of  1000.


TWO OUT OF ONE THOUSAND ARE FALSE.


Go fuck yourselves apologists. 

This really puts things in perspective

Alright, I’m gonna be the asshole here: Strictly methodically speaking, there are several things wrong with this pic. This is probably not the point here - but still, it seems it has been commented as such. Hence…

1. The “unreported” figure is a guestimate at best. As such, it should NOT be taken at face value, and is likely to enhance the dramatic effect. Otherwise, what is the source for this figure? The source linked talks about a variety of assumptions, ranging from 5% to 50% of all cases being reported, saying that they assumed 10% “which is dramatic, but possible”. This is not a fixed number. Don’t take it as such.

2. Those “reported”, who “faced trials”, but did NOT end up jailed, and as such were most likely ruled to be innocent in a court, are not the same thing as “falsely accused”. This presents an interesting interpretation of law: Not the decision in the court room is correct, but… well, what? The statement of one involved party? The statement of the possible victim? Arguable, but this is the opposite of “innocent until proven guilty”. (The source has no further information here; the information is gathered from the data on reported and persecuted rape accusations)

3. And consequently, everybody is labelled “rapists” (see top left)

4. However, then what rules somebody “falsely accused”? A decision by the judge?

5. Don’t you dare label me somebody defending rapists. But don’t take a chart which uses guestimates and is only intended to illustrate something as a source for fixed numbers. “TWO OUT OF THOUSAND ARE FALSE” is exactly the sort of sophistry that might even end up tarnishing the credibility of the campaign (or whatever you want to call that graph). IF YOU ARE GONNA USE NUMBERS AND METHODLOGY, YOU BETTER KNOW YOUR SHIT OR SOMEONE’S GONNA CALL YOU OUT. This approach is no more critical or questioning than just assuming that “the girls had it coming” by default. Do you really want to be what you fight against, only with a different aim?

Seriously. “even when we do what the law suggests they still make out scratch free” is a fucking pitchfork away from some vigilante bullshit, and THIS sort of self-righteous, sheepish behavior is EVERYTHING a movement concerned with the empowerement of women, who for centuries were at the other side of the issue, should avoid to be. You should know better than to resort to such barbaric means of “truth finding”. Who knew Charles Bronson was the role model for the modern liberal feminist?

Unless this is really just about drawing lines in the sand and rushing ahead - and not a social movement rooted in a fundamental belief in rational argument striving for a justified / fair social order. And if that is indeed (not) the case - THEN, by all means, go ahead and make a fucking joke out of yourself.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

PS: I know this is an emotionally charged issue. But I won’t pretend to know what the issue feels like for a woman or even a victim of such crimes. I can only approach the matter in a factual manner, which I hope won’t come across as “cold” - plus I personally believe that emotional arguments tend to be problematic anyway, as they in one way or another forbid criticism of them.

Warning: Personal shit ahead.

A couple of weeks before Bad Religion’s The Dissent Of Man album was released, the tracklisting was put online. The title “Only Rain” stood out to me, because I thought it was a great song title. Yeah, sometime’s I’m that easy to get excited. I was staying at my then-girlfriend’s house when I read the news, and using her old beat up acoustic guitar, the excitement of it all got me coming up with a 4 bar chorus using the dummy lyrics “only the rain, it’s only the rain coming down on us”. Needless to say, I had a pretty clear vision how I expected a song with that title to sound - how it HAD to sound.

When the album was released, I was pretty dissappointed. I still don’t like it that much, but I’ve grown to love Only Rain, it is now probably my favorite song on the album. Of course, when it had just come out and sounded not quite like I expected it to it was a major bummer. It’s hard to appreciate things for what they are if you have a clear idea what they should be. Around that same time period, I remember me and the girl being in the car, and it was pouring rain. Back then that made me think of the song; now it’s kind of the other way around. We fought a lot on that day. And it didn’t get much better afterwards. The “only the rain”-song fragment never made it much further. I couldn’t quite get it right - listening back to it, the initial idea was pretty good, but further attempts to expand upon it only complicated the arrangement and hurt the flow of the piece. The relationship also didn’t fare much better afterwards; it came to a painful halt the next year.

It’s hard to appreciate things for what they are if you have a clear idea what they should be. It wasn’t the only problem with all these things, but it’s the one thing I’ve personally learned ever since. The hard way. But I guess it was the only problem with Only Rain, which is a kickass song in its own right, and which is the song that reminded me of all of this.


Bad Religion - Only Rain

Hey, scientist please save us from our rainy days
Because your counterpart in the magic art is manufacturing judgment day
There’s a fell wind blowing out of the east
Bringing famine drought and plague
Well now at least that’s what they say

Rain fell like judgment
Across my windowpane
Said it fell like judgment
But it was only rain

Well I know what’s wrong and I know what’s right
And I know that evil exists sure as the day turns into night
When a man gets down on his knees to pray you know he’ll find what he is able
But chances are he’ll find it either way

Rain fell like judgment
Across my windowpane
Said it fell like judgment
But it was only rain

Rain fell like judgment
Across my windowpane
Said it fell like judgment
But it was only rain

Oh lord, have mercy on a humble man
Lost in the wilderness without a guiding hand

Rain fell like judgment
Across my windowpane
Said it fell like judgment
But it was only rain

It fell like judgment
Across my windowpane
Said it fell like judgment
But it was only rain.

Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhqNNt7JYAQI can still remember having finally beaten that hardass final boss and how watching the epic ending with its awesome soundtrack felt SO FUCKING GOOD.Hell, I even remember asking my mother to translate me what the characters were saying in the final cutscene (English is not my native language). Ah, memories.

Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhqNNt7JYAQ

I can still remember having finally beaten that hardass final boss and how watching the epic ending with its awesome soundtrack felt SO FUCKING GOOD.

Hell, I even remember asking my mother to translate me what the characters were saying in the final cutscene (English is not my native language). Ah, memories.

Cain and Perry, but no Schon

Warning: Rant touching politically charged subjects ahead.

So the European press - Germany’s SPIEGEL for one, which is pretty much the biggest mag in its sector - are laughing at the new course of America’s Republican party on how to deal with foreign affairs,or rather, at the fact that the blatant ignorance actually appeals to the American voters. And while it’s true that it is rather comical that people aiming to become the world’s most powerful man (or woman, in Bachmann’s case) are not only throwing out what appears to be a cross between a pledge to, and evidence of, limited knowledge, but are doing so to such great success, this is a) not new (anybody remember Palin and her “one of the people” appeal?), and b) no different from how the very same press and target audience that is now reading such articles and laughing handles foreign manners themselves.

The whole rhetoric of “why send money overseas, we’ve got enough more urgent problems ourselves” is actually very similiar to the often touted lines on how to deal with Greece’s money problems: “I don’t know much about it, and neither do I care, but fuck ‘em anyway, this is our money.” This is of course a perfectly valid opinion - it stands to reason if it is a politically wise course to take, but as a sheer opinion, the “let’s take care of our own business first”-approach is understandable (if somewhat naïve in an intertwined world). Opinions don’t neccesarily have to be well-formed, because although in the aftermath of the French revolution it was argued that the very principle of democracy depends on informed opinions, not mere affectual ones, as of now, the good ole opinion-card’s “that’s my opinion, who are you to argue?” has long substituted such idealistic plans. And this is why the rags are full of abridged takes on the whole subject matter, to the point where it is closer to an amputation, and is effectively an abomination - nonetheless very much influencing the stance of “the common man” and building the basis - however small - on which their opinion stands.

Either way, the point is - if you look at the whole matter on a more abstract level, then the very same people who are bitching about America’s blatant ignorance concerning foreign problems, no matter how much they might affect oneself, have no problem taking the solitary position themselves. The real distinction is who “the rest of the world is”: If it includes one’s own country, it is unacceptable, if it is some foreign country, it’s a totally valid path to tread. And that is still an opinion, but the inner logic is faulty, and one that can only be called hypocritical. Because the official criteria and reasons cited are not the same as the critical one. And that’s what really bothers me - this is not about whether it’s right to be for the interventions in Greece or not, this is about that you can’t have it both ways without talking out of your ass.

PS: The title is a Journey - the band - reference in case anybody is really wondering.

I actually ordered a custom-made cup with this pic on it just yesterday, but getting it in a decent resolution was quite a hassle. Since the original picture is spread over two pages and thus impossible for me to scan properly, I had to resort to Amazon.com’s “Look Inside” feature and puzzle together screengrabs instead - thanks to Mystery, the man with a high enough resolution to pull this off. If you look really closely, you still can see a part in the middle where the two pages didn’t match up perfectly, but what the hell.
Because in the end, I really like this pic. So here it is, in all its reassembled glory.

I actually ordered a custom-made cup with this pic on it just yesterday, but getting it in a decent resolution was quite a hassle. Since the original picture is spread over two pages and thus impossible for me to scan properly, I had to resort to Amazon.com’s “Look Inside” feature and puzzle together screengrabs instead - thanks to Mystery, the man with a high enough resolution to pull this off. If you look really closely, you still can see a part in the middle where the two pages didn’t match up perfectly, but what the hell.

Because in the end, I really like this pic. So here it is, in all its reassembled glory.