I am not usually one for conspiracy theories. I do believe that we landed on the moon, that dinosaurs no longer walk the earth, and that it was a single crazed gunman who murdered John F. Kennedy. Feel free to disagree with me on any point. However, the main conspiracy theory that I do put validity in is that cars are part of the root of modern day evil. I understand that this is not a commonly held belief, and my disclaimer on these posts is that it is MY belief, and I am not asking anyone to share it, simply to consider it as another point of view.
There will be more evidence to back me up later, but for now let me present point in case number one, straight from Boing Boing, namely that cities make red-light cameras more profitable by making them less safe.
Red light cameras cause more accidents, and not just because drivers slam their brakes to avoid getting a robo-ticket — also because the optimal money-making strategy for red-light cams is to make them less safe.
If city planners want to reduce traffic accidents at intersections, the best practice is to make the yellow last longer and insert a pause between the red signal on one side and the green on the other. However, if the objective is to make as much money as possible from red-light cameras, the best thing to do is shorten the yellow signal, eliminate the pause, and enrich the city coffers (even as you kill its citizens).
Leftlane reports that six cities have been caught turning down the yellows to make more money.
originally Via /.
Everything about cars, from the manufacturing to the safety measures to why we even need them, was guaranteed made for maximum profit and NEVER for maximum safety. I am not saying that cars are made specifically to be UNsafe, per say, but it is certainly never the first consideration. It is always about money. Human life is assigned a certain amount of cash value, and if the car companies will lose more than that total cash value amounts to by implementing certain expensive safety measures then they will not do it, and a preset percentage of people will die. And they know this beforehand, and it doesn’t matter, because their life is worth less than the amount of money it would have taken to build better set-belts, or a stronger car frame. And the above link supports evidence that even a cities’ government would rather increase the risk of automobile death or injury in order to be able to fine unsafe drivers rather than using sane, rational methods to cut down on dangerous driving entirely.
This lovely rant will probably be continued.
First off, for information about the struggle of the Tibetan people and the worldwide effort against the Chinese occupation and of Tibet in exile, check out Students for a Free Tibet, an international, widespread organization started by students in 1994 and dedicated to the cause of the Tibetan people ever since.
For more on China’s response and the riots in general, check out coverage from Aljazeera.
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I’m not making direct comments here because it’s imperative that someone on the left defeat the monsters on the right; I don’t want to bash my allies. Mother of god, whoever the fuck made that shit could have the decency to do the same.
This stuff makes me so mad. I know it’s not his fault — I try hard not to blame him for it. But I am extremely fucking suspicious of his more zealous supporters, given that his policies are barely a hair more progressive than hers, if that.
Do we need to add a “liberals, the truth about many of them” category? Shape the fuck up or go back to the side of hate, regression, and misogyny.
It has actually happened. Lawmakers have proposed legislation that forbids restaurants and food establishments from serving food to anyone who is obese (as defined by the State). Under this bill, food establishments are to be monitored for compliance under the State Department of Health and violators will have their business permits revoked.
Should this pass, scales will appear at the door of restaurants, people with BMIs of 30 or higher won’t be allowed to be served. And to comply with government regulations, restaurants will have to keep records of patrons’ BMIs.
Sounds like a cruel playground joke, but these sinister intentions are truth.
Let’s be clear about one thing: this bill provides no means for improving anyone’s health, nor does it contribute to the good of any community. Thinness is not a synonym for health; state-defined obesity is not a disease which can or must be cured by food deprivation. This bill is but an inane, attempted violation of civil liberties and is unacceptable. It’s high time that all anti-fat discrimination is recognized as such, and that blatant bigotry is no longer written or proposed into law.
The fat are not guilty. As humans, they don’t owe anything of their bodies to anyone else. They don’t deserve punishment or ill-treatment only for being.
“But, but… I’ve never had to work or struggle at all to get exactly what I want! Waah! Forget anything resembling reality, this must mean I’m an oppressed minority!”
For the love of all that’s good, dude.
Anyone who so severely lacks even a basic understanding of history, the past and present development of social relations, the nature of institutionalized hierarchical order, or comprises the will to exploit that ignorance in others, is not fit to hold presidential office.
Via The Curvature.
All of which somehow continue to validate and exceed my deepest acknowledgements of disgust. So far, I think this is the most ridiculously puke-worthy thing I’ve heard from him (video at ThinkProgress):
I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.
Ack, I’ve got to sleep off the headache Huckabee’s political existence has given me today; wake me when the serious candidacy of this man is only conceivable as a laughably deranged figment of distant memory.
Video via Bloggernista.
Via both Melissa at Shakesville and Cara at the Curvature, I’ve unwittingly been prompted to confront (not really for the first time, but officially) the existence of a disgusting group of men whose intentions lie at the intersection of the men’s rights (so long as they’re posited and pursued as being oppositional to women’s) movement and the anti-choice crowd, and proclaim themselves victims of their sex partners’ decisions not to carry unplanned pregnancies to term. Lovely.
Now, I don’t deny that a partner’s abortion may have severe emotional implications for some men. And that those feelings should be assessed and dealt with. But…duh?…restricting women’s access to the health care they need, in this case abortion services, is not an acceptable method for moving past any possible grievance. Therapy, maybe? Some attempted compassion for the woman and the situation she found herself in, at least?
No, I don’t mean the kind of therapy or “compassion” offered by so-called Christian counselor Mark B. Morrow mentioned in the above-linked LA Times article, who claims that “We had abortions,” or, “I had abortions.” If, in this case, I’m not making a mistake by consciously assuming that this guy does not personally harbor his own female reproductive system, then this is an offensive and impossible over-reach of egocentricity. There is a distinct difference between being emotionally involved in another’s abortion and actually having one. And, you know, it’s that bit right there that makes all the difference and really matters when addressing that other person’s right to healthcare and physical independence, for pete’s sake!
And let me spoil the end of that wonderful piece of journalism for you with one of the last quotes from one of the men profiled, who had just been chronicled as re-imagining what his life might have been like (not for his present wife or children, but only for himself, of course) if his previous girlfriends had endured their unwanted pregnancies (emphasis mine):
In the end, Aubert says his moral objection to abortion always wins. If he could go back in time, he would try to save the babies.
But would his long-ago girlfriends agree? Or might they also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?
Aubert looks startled. “I never really thought about it for the woman,” he says slowly.
Clearly. Because the importance of his retrospective feelings about their potential life-altering choices and actions eclipse the actual human experience of the women who found themselves face-to-face with whatever options they had to choose from to better their own living situation.
Just got back from the desert (we had a wonderful time); I’ve jumped into my feed aggregator head first. And what should find me first but this post at Pharyngula. The post is about this incident, in which a kid in a high school English class decided to incorporate tearing pages out of a Bible into his class presentation, causing great distress for at least one religious student. He prefaced his shenanigan with the statement, “I’m going to do this because I can. I’m going to do something that your stupid, little minds aren’t going to be able to comprehend.”
Pharyngula blogger PZ Myers’ reaction:
Ripping up a copy of your own book is perfectly legal. Freaking out because somebody tore pages out of a book is silly — while I can’t approve of destroying any books on general principles, the kids at that school learned a valuable lesson: nothing is sacred.
Which is a fair enough, I suppose, but, I think, pretty inadequate.
Sure, it’s legal to ruin any inanimate object that one owns. As it should be. But the destruction of books, while not criminal, isn’t analogous to smashing a dinner plate.
Books are boxes of information. They are cultural currency. They are time-capsules. All books, even false or stupid or bigoted books, are worthy of preservation. They are, in a word, sacred.
Fascists and and religious zealots destroy books. It is part of the quest to destroy freedom, to destroy intellectualism, to destroy history. And it’s fundamentally wrong. Anybody who values knowledge, science, progress — ahem, atheists and secular people — should be opposed to destroying books.
And students shouldn’t destroy books — any books — in school. That’s just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Destroying a book is so obviously antithetical to learning that there is no reason it should ever be permitted in a classroom. Under any circumstances.
Now add to that the fact that this kid was being a bit of an asshole and clearly pulling a melodramatic stunt for attention, and this is a pretty condemnable action. Indignation is not silly, it’s necessary. Destroying a copy of a work of literature of immeasurable historic significance is ignorant, unnecessary, and unhelpful.
So, the New Orleans City Council decided to go along with the planned demolitions of 4,500 public housing units which were home to many poor residents who will not be able to afford the more expensive housing built up by opportunistic real estate developers in their place. But the decision was not made without the violent suppression of dissent.
Police used chemical spray and stun guns Thursday as dozens of protesters seeking to halt the demolition of 4,500 public housing units tried to force their way through an iron gate at City Hall.
One woman was sprayed with chemicals and dragged from the gates. She was taken away on a stretcher by emergency officials. Before that, the woman was seen pouring water from a bottle into her eyes and weeping.
Another woman said she was stunned by officers, and still had what appeared to be a Taser wire hanging from her shirt.
All that I have to say is that these acts of subjugation speak to the very real threat posed by the voiced righteousness of the protesters.
More here, and a ton of links at the bottom of that post.
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