Archive for March, 2011

Police Accountability Report – Episode 23

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Below are links to the stories in episode 22 of the Police Accountability Report:

If you would like to submit a story or record a segment for the Police Accountability Report (on lack of accountability for police in your area) please email podcast[at]copblock[dot]org. We also welcome feedback.

You can also hear the podcast and other great liberty minded programs on LRN.FM.

Police Accountability Report – Episode 23 is a post from Cop Block - "Something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun"

Police Accountability Report – Episode 23

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Below are links to the stories in episode 22 of the Police Accountability Report:

If you would like to submit a story or record a segment for the Police Accountability Report (on lack of accountability for police in your area) please email podcast[at]copblock[dot]org. We also welcome feedback.

You can also hear the podcast and other great liberty minded programs on LRN.FM.

Police Accountability Report – Episode 23 is a post from Cop Block - "Something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun"

Afternoon Waiting-to-Fly-Back-to-Nashville Links

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Toronto activists take back the slut

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

SlutWalkers say it loud and proud on April 3

Canadian blamers have just hipped me to SlutWalk. Thanks, Canadian blamers!  On April 3rd, Toronto anti-rape activists will be protesting the reification by law enforcement of the bogus cultural construct “slut.” The protest march was ignited by this remark, recently uttered by Toronto cop Michael Sanguinetti as he addressed a class of law school students:

“Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

Michael Sanguinetti has apparently been reading those helpful rape-avoidance email forwards that counsel weak, defenseless women on how not to convey the message that we want men to rape us. He knows that men’s behavior is totally our responsibility! In a twisted dude-centric culture that sees nothing amiss in defining women as the receptacles for dudely incontinence, it is unsurprising that the Michael Sanguinettis of the world should also conclude that when men behave accordingly, it is women’s fault.

In addition to calling bullshit on the Toronto police for perpetuating a misogynist myth — they’re literally marching to the police headquarters’ front door — SlutWalk is going to try to do that thing that many an activist group has tried — and failed — to do for a while now, which is to reclaim a debasing epithet.

Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.

They’re not joking around, either. They’ve got SLUT buttons for the SlutWalkers to wear. This is what a slut looks like, etc.

I couldn’t call myself a spinster aunt if I didn’t offer a critical analysis of the SlutWalk concept, so here goes.

The spinster aunt must question, as an objective for any kind of walk, slut- or otherwise, the necessity of “re-appropriating” a sexist slur. My concerns are several, but time is short, so here is a quick summary:

Does changing the context of the word change the word? It might, but only so long as that context persists. Context is how Dave Chapelle could nigger it up on his TV show for laughs, but in the mainstream ‘nigger’ is bleeped out or re-issued as “the N-word,” confirming its status as one of the most offensive words in the English language.

In an attempt to disenvenom the word ’slut’, SlutWalkers can slut it up for their SlutWalk, wearing, as Toronto Sun columnist Heather Mallick says, “whatever it is that people wear as they go about their lives not asking to be raped,” but once the march is over, ‘Hey, I’m a slut!’ is unlikely to have the desired consciousness-raising effect. The sex class will still exist.

This notion of re-appropriating ’slut’ suggests that women, possibly in some happier time, had previously a-ppropriated it for our own benefit. But in no wise was there ever a culture in which women’s solidarity compelled us to define ourselves by the number of men we’ve pronged and how closely we conformed to pornographic dress codes when we did it. When you’re standing up against your own oppression as a member of the sex class, it is problematic and of questionable revolutionary efficacy to stamp yourself and your comrades-in-arms with the mark of the oppressor.

In other words, calling yourself a slut, in the middle of a flippin’ patriarchy, can only have the effect, as Germaine Greer noted, of reinforcing men’s sense of their own superiority.* If you’ll permit a personal anecdote:

I confirmed this firsthand when, at the apex of the Riot Grrl “movement,” I, too scrawled ’slut’ on an undershirt and wore it at gigs with my all-girl punk band. Was our audience a bunch of feminists shouting “you go, girl!”? Ha! If only. Even now the memory burns. Our audience was, in fact, a bunch of straight dudes. Leering, drunk straight dudes who saw a woman on stage with the word ’slut’ smeared across her chest and did not say to themselves, “Wow, I should really re-think the meaning of the word ’slut’ and reflect on my male privilege.” What they said to themselves (and, come to think of it, to me) was, “Slut, eh? Shit, I’d hit that.”

It turns out that ’slut’ isn’t just an adjective. It’s a character. A fictional character, beloved of patriarchal culture, who encrapulates eons of virgin/whore-fueled misogyny, and was invented to absolve violent dudes of rape behavior. Sluts are women deemed by the angry dude-mob to have so ineptly handled the duties of femininity that they must be shamed, mocked, and of course, fucked in perpetuity.

By which I mean, you may say “patayto” and I, “patahto,” but in the end it might be more advantageous to dismantle the slut rather than claim it. “Everyone’s a slut” just doesn’t have the same oomph as “nobody’s a slut.”

None of which is to say that Savage Death Island doesn’t wish SlutWalk the greatest possible success. Here’s hoping the Toronto police department responds with something more potent than the usual lip-service about “sensitivity training.” Nothing would tickle the spinster boob scars more than if The Slut were to disappear altogether from the cultural narrative.

By the way — speaking of rape-prevention email forwards — I can’t resist reprinting this satirical re-gendered version, originally sent in by a blamer in 2009 and gently adapted for Savage Death Island by me.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.

2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.

3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to rape her.

4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.

5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not rape her.

6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or rape her.

7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.

8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when lurking in shadows.

9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.

10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.

11. Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be raping her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.

In other words, the best way to prevent rape is to not rape anybody.

_________________
* Greer, Germaine. The Whole Woman (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1999) 198.

Related posts:

  1. Citizens of the Poconos, unite against slutty teen rape victims!
  2. I got yer rape prevention email forward right here
  3. MRAs on parade: chumpass motherfucker declares ownership of girlfriend’s uterus

The Horrific Life of the Police Officer

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

The following was posted on Lew Rockwell on March 24, 2011

The Horrific Life of the Police Officer

by Mark R. Crovelli

Few people in the world seem to appreciate just how awful it is to be a government police officer. It

The Horrific Life of the Police Officer is a post from Cop Block - "Something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun"

The Horrific Life of the Police Officer

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

The following was posted on Lew Rockwell on March 24, 2011

The Horrific Life of the Police Officer

by Mark R. Crovelli

Few people in the world seem to appreciate just how awful it is to be a government police officer. It’s not that the job involves particularly physically demanding work, or that the job is particularly dangerous. In fact, the work is not nearly physically demanding enough (as the cop fatness problem demonstrates), and neither is it particularly dangerous (being a cop doesn’t even make the top ten most dangerous jobs). Nor is the job terrible because of the unstated obligation to wear a tawdry mustache in public. Instead, what makes the job so horrific is the fact that it requires living a completely contradictory moral life.

Unlike normal human beings, whose jobs require adherence to the same moral standards that apply in their private lives, police officers are required to act in ways they would never even consider in their private lives. For forty hours a week (or more, if they are trying to milk their departments’ overtime rackets), police officers are required to forget the moral standards that govern their private interactions with their own friends, families and neighbors and adopt the moral outlook of the sociopath and the gangster.

Specifically, the job of the police officer involves giving orders to strangers and locking them up in cages if they choose not to obey. Unless the police officer is a complete sociopath, he would never consider acting in such a way in his private life. With his blue polyester in the closet, for example, the off-duty police officer would never consider putting his grandpa in a cage if he refuses to obey orders. He would never consider electrocuting his children or his grandmother for refusing to do what he tells them. He would never consider beating up his neighbor if she refused to stop her car and show a picture of herself embossed on government plastic. But he is expected to do precisely these types of things to people he doesn’t even know in his “professional” life if they refuse to do what he and his bosses tell them.

The fact that many, many police officers are indeed complete psychopaths should thus not come as a particular surprise. Indeed, the job is tailor made for the psychopath and the sociopath who is comfortable with feelings of cognitive dissonance. People with normally calibrated moral compasses would shudder to think that they would be required to lock people up in cages, electrocute them, or beat them with clubs for not doing as they are told. It would confuse and trouble the normal person to think that by putting on a blue polyester suit, mustache, and riding boots it was suddenly morally acceptable to order people around at the point of a gun (not to mention the icy shudder they would feel at the thought of wearing the ridiculous kit itself). It would horrify the normal person to think that part of his job involved smashing down strange people’s doors, taking their children, shackling them, locking them in cages, stealing their drugs and guns, and shooting them if they happen to resist.

The man with a normally calibrated moral compass is equally disturbed to contemplate that the purported justification for acting in these barbaric ways was that politicians, of all people, told them to. It is not as though God Himself or the Pope gives the police officer sanction to lock people in cages and to order them about. Quite the reverse, the sanction comes from people of such sterling moral character as the coke-snorting drunk driver, Bush II, and the drug-cartel-connected perjurer, Clinton I. The sociopath and the psychopath are not troubled by the fact that their only justification for ordering strange people around is that a pack of corrupt millionaires in Washington or Denver told them to, which is what makes such people sociopaths and psychopaths in the first place. The normal person, in contrast, is not willing to do things to other people that they clearly resent or despise, or to order them to do things they oppose, just because a politician says so.

The person with a normally calibrated moral compass would begin to wonder why the moral standards that govern his private life with friends and family, and which produce relative peace and harmony in that sphere of his life, do not apply to all situations. Why, the normal person will inevitably wonder, is there any peace in his family, when no one wears a special blue suit or has the right to order everyone around and shackle resisters? How is it possible that he can get along with his friends at the bowling alley, when none of them is assigned to break into cars to search for substances the politicians dislike, and none of them has a right to steal anyone else’s children? In short, the normal person will begin to wonder why the people who claim to “protect us” are not held to the same moral standards as everyone else.

The answer to these questions is simple, even if the person with a normally calibrated moral compass often cannot see it through the clouds of propaganda that have been spewed over police officers and politicians. The answer is, quite simply, that the defense of people’s lives and property is a job just like any other, and it ought to be provided on the free market just like every other good and service by people who are held to exactly the same moral standards as the rest of the civilized world. The uneasiness that the normal person feels when confronted with the existence of a group of fat blue-polyester-clad thugs who are not bound by normal moral standards is completely understandable and justified. There is no need for these thugs at all, and there is definitely no justification for exempting them from the moral standards we hold every other person to.

mark The Horrific Life of the Police OfficerThe provision of bread and chairs and computers does not require exempting anyone from moral standards, or empowering them to beat people up and order them around. All that is required is to open the door to competition, and people fall over backwards trying to please customers in their quest to make money. The same is just as true of defense services, which can and ought to be opened to competition between private providers so that consumers of these services can choose what kinds of defense services they want to purchase. In that case, the providers of the services can be held to exactly the same moral standards as everyone else. Their sole purpose would be to protect their customers’ lives and property – not to enforce arbitrary and unjust rules written by rich politicians on unwilling strangers.

The key to liberating the police officer from the contradictory and perverted moral life he currently leads is simply to privatize the provision of defense services. Freed from the need to push arbitrary and unjust rules written by rich politicians on strange people, the police officer would then be a moral equal to everyone else in the world who was striving to make money by serving consumers. He would also, one hopes, be liberated from the requirement to wear the most ridiculous bureaucratic costume ever devised by man.

The Horrific Life of the Police Officer is a post from Cop Block - "Something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun"

Presenting the Mini Book Review Series: Mistakes Were Made, But Not by Me

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Who has time to write actual book reviews?  Not me, apparently.  But this jumped out at me from Carol Tavris’s and Elliot Aronson’s Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), on the tendency of prosecutors to “miraculously come up with other theories” justifying the convictions of innocents, even in the face of DNA testing that exonerates them:

Self-justifications like these create a double tragedy:  They keep innocent people in prison and allow the guilty to remain free.  The same DNA that exonerates an innocent person can be used to identify the guilty one, but this rarely happens.  Of all the convictions the Innocence Project has succeeded in overturning so far, there is not a single instance in which the police later tried to find the actual perpetrator of the crime.  The police and prosecutors just close the books on the case completely, as if to obliterate its silent accusation of the mistake they made.  (p. 151-152)

Let’s see:  the guilty remain free, possibly to commit other crimes; the innocent lose years of their lives and their good name; if the victims were lucky enough to feel a sense of closure, it is a false one.

And from earlier in the book:

After a comprehensive study of criminal cases in which the convicted person was indisputably exonerated, law professor Samuel R. Gross and his associates concluded that “if we reviewed prison sentences with the same level of care that we devote to death sentences, there would have been over 28,500 non-death-row exonerations in the past 15 years rather than the 255 that have in fact occurred.”  (p. 130)

Those are a lot of crimes to commit in the name of furthering justice.


Filed under: Books, Law, Lost Causes

Richmond Activist Nate Cox Cop Blocks Police Checkpoint

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Guest post below by a great activist and good friend, Nate Cox. Check out his blog for his other writings:

March 17th, 2011 I had witnessed my second “sobriety check-point” within in matter of 6 days in my town, of Mechanicsville (within Hanover County). The first checkpoint I witnessed, I was leaving work at around 10:30pm on March 11th.. I noticed the checkpoint at the intersection just adjacent to the shopping center where my work is. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the first check point I had seen since living in the county for 17 years. I didn’t get caught in it, because it was in the opposite side of the road. So I ended up making a quick right and parked in the shopping center to capture some video and commentary of the scene, you can watch that here (includes encounter with police).

However this blog is not about that police check point.. it’s about the check point I witnessed just 6 days after the one mentioned above. I was coming home from a movie in Richmond. It was early only around 8:30pm (St. Patrick’s Day evening). As I was about 2 miles from my County line, on Mechanicsville Turnpike, I was nearing the county line which first requires me to go up a steep hill.. then down the same hill before a long straight-away over a swamp lands. As SOON as I hit the crest of the hill and started down ward.. I noticed something going on. Traffic was backed up 1/4 of a mile at least.. I didn’t see ANY blue lights.. but I could see tons of cop cars and VDOT equipment, cordoning off the lanes down to one lane. I quickly realized it was a massive check point.. I couldn’t believe it. As I was approaching the sign that said “Sobriety Roadcheck ahead: Prepare to stop” Henrico Police I noticed a cop car in the median, facing the direction I was going with no lights on – my assumption was he was regulating �squirters�. I took a picture of the traffic jam, and the check point sign, and then as I passed the sign I maneuvered my car though the traffic cones that had been placed and made a u-turn. I was shocked to see I did not get pulled over by the cops, for which later, after talking with Henrico Police Internal Affairs is supposedly �illegal� to do.

So I went home and made it home successfully but not before immediately facebooking about the checkpoint. I was furious and sick to my stomach � two things that fire me up quick 1) Illegal Wars 2) The Police State. I was determined to do some Cop Block�ing! I was home for a matter of minutes before I ran down do CVS to pick up some sign making materials. I made a sign with glitter paint that said �Police Ahead� and another one that said, �Do Not Consent�. I grabbed cameras, flashlights, my glock 26 and my signs and headed back to the check point. I parked my car and proceeded to start signwaving at around 10pm. I was standing in the road, in the direction that people would get caught up in the check point, about 1/8th � 1/4th of a mile from the top of the hill where you at that point would see the check point. There IS, one last chance to make a U-Turn at the very top of that hill.

 Richmond Activist Nate Cox Cop Blocks Police Checkpoint

So I sign-waved, about 30-45 minutes into it, a cop flashing his blue lights came up from the opposite direction and made a u-turn where I was posted up and sorta blocked off the road while he questioned me from his car. I got about half of that encounter on video About 20-30 minutes after that encounter, with the cop who never ID�ed himself.. another cop (quite possibly the same one) came and parked his car in the parking lot I was standing in front of by the road. He immediately got out of his car and whipped out his cell-phone and began what appeared to be shooting video. As you�ll see in the video, he never ID�ed himself either.

Thirty minutes after that encounter with the cop, a buddy of mine finally met up with me to help me sign wave and shoot video. We walked over to the top of the hill where we could seee the checkpoint at around 12:20am. We shot some video recapping the situation and noticed after we shot the video they were taking down the roadblock. I�m not sure if we had anything to do with it or not. But I DO know we had a dozen or two cars honk (in support), wave, thumbs up, and even turn around before they made it to the checkpoint and even some thank you�s.

I�m disgusted at the police state we live in. I did what I did to raise awareness and to educate people of their rights. The Police have no authority over me. I own & govern myself and take responsibility for my actions. Just because they have swore an oath to do X,Y,Z.. doesn�t mean they have additional rights as I do, or are immune to the law. We�ve got to not only educate ordinary citizens of their rights when encountered by cops, but we need to try, and educated cops of what their job is supposed to be! USE DISCERNMENT in what laws you enforce! Do NOT enforce �crimes� in which there is NO victim, �No Victim, No Crime.�

Large of amount of credit for knowing my rights when encountered by cops go to websites Cop Block and Flex Your Rights.

 

Richmond Activist Nate Cox Cop Blocks Police Checkpoint is a post from Cop Block - "Something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun"

Richmond Activist Nate Cox Cop Blocks Police Checkpoint

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Guest post below by a great activist and good friend, Nate Cox. Check out his blog for his other writings:

March 17th, 2011 I had witnessed my second “sobriety check-point” within in matter of 6 days in my town, of Mechanicsville (within Hanover County). The first checkpoint I witnessed, I was leaving work at around 10:30pm on March 11th.. I noticed the checkpoint at the intersection just adjacent to the shopping center where my work is. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the first check point I had seen since living in the county for 17 years. I didn’t get caught in it, because it was in the opposite side of the road. So I ended up making a quick right and parked in the shopping center to capture some video and commentary of the scene, you can watch that here (includes encounter with police).

However this blog is not about that police check point.. it’s about the check point I witnessed just 6 days after the one mentioned above. I was coming home from a movie in Richmond. It was early only around 8:30pm (St. Patrick’s Day evening). As I was about 2 miles from my County line, on Mechanicsville Turnpike, I was nearing the county line which first requires me to go up a steep hill.. then down the same hill before a long straight-away over a swamp lands. As SOON as I hit the crest of the hill and started down ward.. I noticed something going on. Traffic was backed up 1/4 of a mile at least.. I didn’t see ANY blue lights.. but I could see tons of cop cars and VDOT equipment, cordoning off the lanes down to one lane. I quickly realized it was a massive check point.. I couldn’t believe it… As I was approaching the sign that said “Sobriety Roadcheck ahead: Prepare to stop Henrico Police I noticed a cop car in the median, facing the direction I was going with no lights on – my assumption was he was regulating “squirters”. I took a picture of the traffic jam, and the check point sign, and then as I passed the sign I maneuvered my car though the traffic cones that had been placed and made a u-turn. I was shocked to see I did not get pulled over by the cops, for which later, after talking with Henrico Police Internal Affairs is supposedly “illegal” to do.

So I went home and made it home successfully but not before immediately facebooking about the checkpoint. I was furious and sick to my stomach – two things that fire me up quick 1) Illegal Wars 2) The Police State. I was determined to do some Cop Block‘ing! I was home for a matter of minutes before I ran down do CVS to pick up some sign making materials. I made a sign with glitter paint that said “Police Ahead” and another one that said, “Do Not Consent”. I grabbed cameras, flashlights, my glock 26 and my signs and headed back to the check point. I parked my car and proceeded to start signwaving at around 10pm. I was standing in the road, in the direction that people would get caught up in the check point, about 1/8th – 1/4th of a mile from the top of the hill where you at that point would see the check point. There IS, one last chance to make a U-Turn at the very top of that hill.

 Richmond Activist Nate Cox Cop Blocks Police Checkpoint

So I sign-waved, about 30-45 minutes into it, a cop flashing his blue lights came up from the opposite direction and made a u-turn where I was posted up and sorta blocked off the road while he questioned me from his car. I got about half of that encounter on video About 20-30 minutes after that encounter, with the cop who never ID’ed himself.. another cop (quite possibly the same one) came and parked his car in the parking lot I was standing in front of by the road. He immediately got out of his car and whipped out his cell-phone and began what appeared to be shooting video. As you’ll see in the video, he never ID’ed himself either.

Thirty minutes after that encounter with the cop, a buddy of mine finally met up with me to help me sign wave and shoot video. We walked over to the top of the hill where we could seee the checkpoint at around 12:20am. We shot some video recapping the situation and noticed after we shot the video they were taking down the roadblock. I’m not sure if we had anything to do with it or not. But I DO know we had a dozen or two cars honk (in support), wave, thumbs up, and even turn around before they made it to the checkpoint and even some thank you’s.

I’m disgusted at the police state we live in. I did what I did to raise awareness and to educate people of their rights. The Police have no authority over me. I own & govern myself and take responsibility for my actions. Just because they have swore an oath to do X,Y,Z.. doesn’t mean they have additional rights as I do, or are immune to the law. We’ve got to not only educate ordinary citizens of their rights when encountered by cops, but we need to try, and educated cops of what their job is supposed to be! USE DISCERNMENT in what laws you enforce! Do NOT enforce “crimes” in which there is NO victim, “No Victim, No Crime.”

Large of amount of credit for knowing my rights when encountered by cops go to websites Cop Block and Flex Your Rights.

 

Richmond Activist Nate Cox Cop Blocks Police Checkpoint is a post from Cop Block - "Something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun"

Lunch Links

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
  • Headline of the day.
  • “Guatemala is a good place to commit a murder, because you will almost certainly get away with it.”
  • City of Dover digs up, hauls off basketball hoops on private property that were in violation of a new “clear zone” ordinance.
  • USA Today report suggests D.C. school officials cheated on standardized tests.
  • Disturbing how common these sorts of images have become. Remember, these are domestic law enforcement agents you’re seeing, not military.
  • The Tennessee legislature is again considering a bill that would allow grocery stores to sell wine. (Note to local media: Make sure your headline puns are properly aligned with the beverage being regulated. “Wine legislation on tap” = No! “Legislature serves up wine bills” = better.) Rather hilariously, Tennessee’s liquor stores, which have a monopoly on wine retailing, are again warning that this could unleash a wave of binge drinking and DWI carnage on the roadways.
  • So I guess atheists and Muslims are the reason Newt Gingrich cheated on his wives.
  • Disturbing list of writers and intellectuals who have recently gone missing in China.