Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Say no to two-tier justice!

Cheney shot a man while hunting. Now, it seems, that the man suffered a heart attack.

The government prosecutor should sic the extremely harsh laws on Cheney and stick him in jail for the mandatory minimum sentence.

Why don't they?

Well for one, the laws are stupid. Clearly harsh punishments don't work at preventing criminal behaviour or rehabilitating offenders; they merely seek vengeance to satisfy our sadistic society.

So why should he be jailed anyway?

Because stupid as they are, they laws are still there! And they're still used, but they're used to oppress those who threaten the ruling class, not society's upper-crust!

It's precisely like when that Canadian diplomat's car in Baghdad was shot at recently: fine when it happens to locals or unimportant people, but all hell breaks loose if we try to apply the same standards to the social elite.

The media keep us blind by not reminding us that the rhetoric used to justify laws is that they are supposed to be applied equally. Because if the media did force the government to apply the law equally, it would mean Cheney going to jail for many years because of a hunting "accident".

That would lead to people realizing that the entire justice system is fucked up and doesn't work. Ninety-five percent of people are in jail for drug offenses. In Canada, only 2% of prisoners are classified as "dangerous". The other 98% are in jail because the media has made crime all fun and glitzy to report, thereby spreading fear, and pandering to poiticians who say they'll be tough on crime. Being tough is all fine and dandy if that's what you want to vote for, but it doesn't actually prevent crime, it just wastes our tax dollars and strips people of their rights!

Incarceration rates in the US are highest in the Western world. They're five times higher than Canada and Mexico, and higher than Russia (though just by a bit). And they're going up FAST.

Media should treat Cheney's shooting as an opportunity to show the way that lower-class people are marginalized by the system, while upper-class people get off scott-free for the exact same things, and while running on "tough on crime" platforms that increase the penalties for the very things they do, because they know that they'll never get charged!

- RG>

Monday, February 06, 2006

Bad ideas made worse

I was at a grocery store (a bigger one than I usually go to), when I saw the most terrible thing being offered in those stupid toy-dispensers....

The two in the middle there are little rubber bracelets, like the ones originally put out by Lance Armstrong. But these are much much worse.

First, let me explain why the bracelet idea was a terrible one to begin with (The Asylum Street Spankers have a very good song and dance on a similar topic: "Support our Troops" car magnets):

  • They serve no function; and are therefore a waste of resources (I suspect they're also not recyclable);
  • They come individually wrapped in plastic packaging, and these are further packaged in packs of ten;
  • They represent that you bought them for $1, ONE FREAKIN' DOLLAR, the proceeds of which will go to (in Armstrong's case) the (US?) Cancer Society. The amount you spent on shipping went to USPS and, if you live outside the US, your local government customs bureau.
  • They are used as a status icon. People even collect these bracelets to get the different colours! It doesn't even matter that some measly part of the money you spent on them actually went to a good cause!

These piles of plastic paraphernalia being pushed in the supermarket also serve no function, and are also individually wrapped. However, they come further packaged in hard plastic bubbles (which, whether or not they are recyclable, you know the kid's just going to toss it in the trash).

They also cost a dollar, only the proceeds of this go to the company that you bought it from. Not that it will stop others who see your status icon from thinking that the money went to charity.

They are a complete bastardization of this concept. It's exactly like Christmas. Christmas was originally (never mind the pagan/Christian roots) supposed to be a way of celebrating charity and humanity (giving money to charity, in this case). Then, this charity took the form of giving gifts--material objects that represnt charity (the original wristbands). Now, the entire Christmas industrial engine is about getting, and about having, and the ties to humanity are lost (the grocery store wristbands).

If you look closer, you'll see the one on the left actually is a children's bracelet. Exactly like Christmas I say! Hook 'em in as consumers as early as you can!

I'll be writing a letter to the manager.... [Edit: I didn't.]

- RG>

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Money for fooooood...

Ten billion bucks for machines that kill people in faraway lands, eh?

How about sparing a couple of dimes for something constructive?

Sorry, but we don't have any money left to buy condoms for Africans.

Fucking military.

- RG>