Sunday, July 18, 2010

Perps And Consequences

The war on drugs has to be one of the single stupidest policies ever devised.

The War on Drugs
Via: Medical Coding Certification

Even if every single thing D.A.R.E. and the various "drug warriors" said about slippery slopes and inappropriateness for medical use were factual (a matter of some considerable dispute between those who care more than I, one way or the other), the unregulated consequences predicted by the pearl-clutching nannies would still be less severe than the current state of affairs.

This is leaving aside the entire question as to whether people should be "permitted" to use drugs - since it's clearly failed to change drug usage in any detectable way, it's my presumption that the war is exactly what it seems to be - an ongoing war against people, and that the violence and repression is not a means to an end, it is the entire point. 

I refer to it as the "Bigger Hammer" theory of governance. If things don't go as you desire, if people don't behave as you think they should, pull out your biggest hammer and hit them as hard as you can. I'm quite certain I've referred to it as the Gallagher School of Public Policy. I had no actual idea at the time that it is also Gallagher's idea of Public Policy. Go figure. 

So like I said above, the whole point is to smash shit. That's the whole act. Smash shit, say something viciously stupid, and the audience laughs nervously. Confuse that with approval, and carry on.

Speaking of assholes who smash people when they don't behave as he thinks they should; Mel Gibson is selling his property and returning to Australia. It seems hardly worth commenting about - but that certainly didn't stop people. Eww. I do so enjoy seeing all the upstanding people crawl out from under their rocks to assure us all that it's all the victim's fault for making the perp angry enough to beat her up.

If I need to explain why this is so very wrong to you - well, I doubt I can. But you should probably seek help.
This cycle has both personal and political relevance - and I wryly observe that my advice to Democrats would be to take out a restraining order against the radical right, rather than to attempt to reason with their perps; advice that is even more relevant to the serial abuse victims of the Moderate Right.

Without in any way trying to discount the personal impact on people who are victimized personally by real abuse and sexual violence, it's worth observing that it is not a separate thing; moreover, it's most likely a public expression of much worse private behaviours. 

Not that it will stop the shouting of abusive, hateful perps that I'm an evil abusive perp. Here's the tactics directed at the NAACP with professional and amateur variations.

Um. There IS a racist element. I wouldn't say it's the only questionable thread, it's one of many sorts of grouchy, mean spirited, simple-minded and ugly messages to be found.

They should be condemned, if for no other reason than to keep the Tea Party on point. When you accuse critics of being racists for having noticed not even subtle racism, it makes people watching wonder if your stated politics is just another Jim Crow Shuck and Jive.

Rebuttal to Bill O'Reilly's Opposing Gay Marriage by Ishtarmuz shows the technique of fisking to good advantage. But to be quite fair, it was aiming plunging fire a great big fat soft target. 

Shame, blame and patronizing dismissals of the validity of the person and their plaints are, of course the very first response to anyone who dares to "whine" about ill treatment within such a dynamic, at least, before the tapes are released to the press.

For the coverage of this particular weeks events - hell, these cartoons tell you all you need to know. The difference between an ethicist, a comedian and a clown? Comedians are funny.  

That's because they tell the truth, regardless of consequences. Clowns, on the other hand... clowns exist to enforce social norms and, just for extra fun, scare the crap out of children. This usually happens because children have a far better grasp of the difference between "normal and to be expected" and "justice." 

There are lessons from history to be studied, lest we all find ourselves living in times even more interesting than our current state of disarray. This history of the troubles supported and encouraged in Argentina by Authoritarian Catholic Fanatics who failed to pacify Algeria and failed to assassinate France's Charles De Gaulle. More than 30,000 "disappeared". In the end, such a revulsion was bred toward the Catholic Church that one of their worst nightmares came true, aside from the consequential fact that barely a quarter of the population are practicing Catholic. It does not seem from this remove that the proponents are a much better class of leader - it was that such self-inflicted karmic wounds tend to attract predators. The issue of same-sex marriage was an opportunity to split an opposition coalition - and it seems to have worked quite well.

Examples of the obliviousness to the consequences of the authoritarian mindset abound. The ACLU, in speaking of Yet Another Ham-Fisted Backdoor Ban on Abortion, quotes the legal decision, and of course mentions the impact upon persons such a law would have.
The idea of providing patients with thousands of scientific studies dating back as much as 100 years would be laughable if it wasn't so dangerous. A woman's health and well-being are best supported when she can trust that her doctor will provide medical information that is accurate and unbiased. Rather than ensuring that a woman's choice to end her pregnancy is meaningful and informed, this law forces her doctor to provide her false and misleading information, undermining the trust between a woman and her doctor.
Fortunately, Judge Laurie Smith Camp found that compliance with the law "would be impossible or nearly impossible," and would likely deter physicians from providing abortion care in the first place. Additionally, Judge Camp determined that "no such legislative concern for the health of women, or of men, has given rise to any remotely similar informed-consent statutes applicable to other medical procedure."
Both the court and the ACLU seem to have missed the larger point, save in the title itself. "Respecting Women's Decisions." 

Those who demand respect for their authority without respecting those they are given authority over deserve neither respect, nor deference, nor obedience, particularly when they abuse the law and society and the intelligence of critics and courts in so doing.

This is something that is intuitively understood by the least and youngest among us. Bullies may steal your lunch money but it's no great achievement; they deserve no respect, no allegiance, nothing but contempt.

When those in power conspire to use the law against the helpless, seemingly just because they can, and when the authoritarian fringes cry out in protest against entirely basic human rights being asserted in court, it's clearly time to sharply curb the presumptuous bumpkins and abusive toads who seem to think that power only exists to be flaunted and abused. A general disrepect for the values and visions of the Authoritarian of the Moment emerges. Resistance and evasion emerges quickly, more and sharper oppressions follow, derision and disrespect ensues, until you find yourself in something that might be called a "Cold Civil War."

Well, it's really no wonder there's such fear and loathing and suspicion of authorities, government, media and law enforcement. For, all too often, it's seen as a means to an end, which is quite at odds with any piously stated ideals. 

The way we avoid that is that we adhere to the ethical prime directive, which is to live your life while avoiding harm to others; a concept that scales perfectly well to churches, governments and corporations. Why? Well, because! 

Because when you don't - this is your legacy.

The Man

the aftermath of gallagher

The Mess

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