From the state that brought you the hanging chad

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Believe it or not, I do understand the necessity of using modern tools to deal with modern problems – the use of new technologies to battle technological crimes.  I understand that criminals are getting more technologically sophisticated and globalized, and I do understand the need to employ contemporary technologies to battle the new threats. What I don’t understand is the need to control every idiot on every medium as a precautionary measure.

Elvis Rodriguez, 30, flashed Latin Kings hand signals on his
MySpace.com page and called himself “King Kamel,” according to his
arrest report.

Richard Figueroa-Santiago, 22, used his MySpace page to post
pictures of friends making “Eastside” hand gestures, detectives said.

Now, in the first cases of their kind in Florida and in the nation,
both Lee County men face five years in state prison for the
gang-related content of their Web pages.

Their prosecutions are the first under a state law passed last year
that criminalizes the use of electronic media to “promote” gangs.

Yes, the state that brought you the hanging chad and the voter who didn’t know the difference in casting a ballot for Pat Buchanan and Al Gore, now brings you jail for people who harm no one and who do nothing wrong other than being stupid on the Internet. You don’t have to be a member of a gang. You don’t have to have killed anyone, raped, sold drugs or done any other thing that gangs do. Just flash a gang sign on MySpace, and you get a stint in the state pen.

What’s next? You wear a red shirt in a photo on Facebook, and you’re arrested for wearing gang colors?

“Gangs are evolving, they’re changing… would challenge
that once someone said spraying walls was freedom of expression.”

That from the tyrannical assbag who sponsored the bill.  Difference is, assbag, that MySpace is one’s own page – not the defacement of others’ property via graffiti. It’s one’s own site – their own expression – and it’s up to the owners of MySpace to ban said communication, since it’s their site – NOT yours.

Yes, gangs are evolving and changing, but criminalizing expression on one’s personal page is not a proportional response to the progressive nature of gang activity. It’s prior restraint on someone whose actions have been criminalized in the name of “security” even though the actions themselves are not criminal in nature.  It’s simply a tyrannical measure that will put people who have not harmed anyone in prison, use up taxpayer resources to prosecute non-crimes and destroy any semblance of free expression left.

Sometimes my boyfriend is an asshole

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You know… he’s a great guy.  Really.  We get along well.  We have healthy debates, and we don’t agree on everything.  That would be boring. He likes to play practical jokes, and he’s very inventive with them.  That’s probably because he’s one of the brightest people I know.  Just to illustrate that point, when I was stressing over my comp exam, he looked at me and said, “If I can take two bar exams, you can do this.”  He knows how to put things in perspective. But the man definitely likes his little jokes.  He likes to needle me -
mostly because I really think he enjoys the new obscenities I invent
when I’m angry. I think I’m a source of entertainment when I get
frustrated and begin to invent invective that would make convicts in
most federal penitentiaries blush. He’s got a great sense of humor.

But sometimes, he’s really an asshole.

Now with the spider gone, I go back in the house, still holding the
box. Nicki is vacuuming my library, and she’s not too happy to see me
come back in with the box, which I’m now holding with the lid closed,
as if the spider is still inside. I tell her that I changed my mind
again and want to put it out in the back yard. I agagin ask her if she
wants to see it, and she says “Fuck no! Get that thing out of here!”

“OK,”
I tell her, as I walk to the back door. But then I “trip” over
something and drop the box. It lands right up against the back of her
legs and pops open.

Before we go any farther, let me tell you
that I would never have believed that Nicki could ever jump that high
or scream so loud.And I confess that when I saw her start to shake and
hyperventilate, I actually felt bad for a few seconds.

But then
she began hitting me and cursing me and told me that I suck in about
five different languages, and it was just funny again.

I have no idea where my fear of spiders comes from.  Anything that has that many legs and is big and hairy and bites shouldn’t be anywhere near me. It’s creepy, disgusting and somewhat disturbing to be sharing space with something that large and gross. Additionally, anything crawly gives me the heebie jeebies – likely because as a kid, when we first moved to the U.S. from the U.S.S.R., we lived in an apartment that was so roach infested, you’d walk into a room, and there would be roaches having a dance party with strobe lights and a DJ.  I’d go to sleep and they would crawl all over me. I’d walk into the bathroom in the middle of the night, and there would be a blanket of these foul insects covering the sink.  No amount of fumigation would get rid of them. The apartment was theirs.  They laid claim to it. They took over. And they certainly weren’t afraid of a little kid like me.

So maybe it’s the memories of the foul roaches that make me hate anything vaguely insect-like.  And yes, I know spiders are arachnids, so get off my ass. The damn things upset me. I actually cry if I see one that big, and I have this urge to empty my Glock into them.

So yes, I did hit him. A lot.

To his credit, when he saw how pissed off I was, he did apologize and tried to make me feel better.

But still… Sometimes he sucks.

Headline of the day!

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I had to take a screen shot of it, because someone at that newspaper will wake up and realize what they had just written.

Thanks, DeKalb News!  You’ve made my day!

Uh-oh! I’m in trouble

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Driving while texting is apparently a dangerous thing!  There goes my Facebooking while driving habit too!

Dialing and sending text messages on cell phones while driving greatly increases the risk of crashing because these activities take drivers’ eyes off the road, according to a study released Tuesday by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.


The study tracked the eye glances of drivers and labeled as most
dangerous those tasks that drew drivers’ eyes away from the road the
longest.

By that measure, sending text messages while
driving was the most dangerous of all the tasks. It increased the risk
of a crash over 23 times for truck drivers and is equivalent to
“traveling the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at
the roadway,” the study said.

It’s OK, mom and dad! I’m limiting it to texting while at red lights!  Promise!

Skippy is an ass

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I thought long and hard about what to say about the whole Gates / Crowley controversy. I have a visceral reaction to racism. Having been a Jew in the former USSR, I’m keenly aware how hurtful and disgusting it is.  So when I say I can empathize with those who have experienced racism and overcome it, I’m speaking literally, not figuratively.

Having said that, Henry Louis Gates is a jackass.  A first-class, knee-jerking, ignorant, cretinous jackass.

The police officer, James Crowley was responding to a call – a simple call made to 9-1-1 by a woman who saw two men shouldering their way into a home. She had no way of knowing they lived there. She had no way of knowing that a resident merely forgot a key. She saw what looked like a break-in, and she was trying to be a good neighbor and make sure that the home wasn’t being burglarized. It didn’t matter whether the men were black or white. She saw them forcing a door open!

The police in Cambridge, Massachusetts released the recording of the
woman who dialed 911 warning of the incident — in which prominent
professor Henry Louis Gates broke into his own home with his driver
July 16 upon returning from a trip because he misplaced his keys — and
the police reaction during the call.

Gates, an internationally
known and respected African-American studies expert at Harvard, was
arrested for disorderly conduct after presenting proof to police that
he lived at the house, and has protested that he was the victim of
racism.

“I don’t know what’s happening,” the woman told police in the 911 call.

“I
don’t know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their
key, but I did notice they had to use a shoulder to try to barge in,
and they got in,” she said, adding that she saw the men had two
suitcases.

And of course the police had to ask about the men’s race!  They needed to find out what the suspects looked like, ferpetessake!!!

And of course, Crowley had to go investigate!  It wasn’t because Gates was black.  It was because it’s CROWLEY’S JOB!!!

But no – like many self-anointed victims, Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, immediately decided to play the race card. Gosh!  A cop was on his porch investigating a break-in!  Of COURSE it’s because he was black!  Not because someone might have seen him force a door of a home open!  And of course, since the cop was “racist,” so therefore any semblance of decency had to go out the window.

Crowley was doing his job – investigating a possible break-in. Gates was being a jerk, because he took Crowley’s effort to do his investigative duties as racist.  As if the attitude would have been any different had a suspect been white!

People like Gates set race relations back decades! They achieve a lot in their lives, and for that they should be respected, but their arrogance is staggering, and their penchant for immediately screaming “RACISM!” at the smallest perceived slight shows their emotional immaturity and their puerile desire to cover up their shortcomings by drawing attention to everyone else’s supposed prejudices.

I would have thought that any rational human being would calmly tell the officer that this was his home, that he had misplaced his key, given him a driver’s license to prove it, and thanked the officer for working to ensure that the home wasn’t being burglarized.  But no… Instead, Skippy got rude, belligerent and assholish toward Crowley, because he perceived the officer’s actions as racist.

Now let me ask you this:

One man receives a report of a break-in, does his job and investigates the incident. He asks the male present in the house where the possible burglary was reported politely if he would step outside and speak with him.  He informs the man that he is investigating a report of a break-in.

The other man refuses to step outside and immediately calls the first man a “racist police officer.” He immediately claims the officer is investigating because he’s a “black man in America.”

Which one is the racist?  Who brought up race?

Skippy is a racist.  Plain and simple. The police officer was white, and that immediately caused him to knee jerk into the “racist cop” routine. He’s using “racism” as an excuse for his rude, arrogant behavior.

I would have expected more from a supposedly respected scholar.

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