What Are You So Mad About?

I haven’t posted a blog entry since all of the chaos started in the country. I didn’t (and honestly still don’t) have the words to truly express all of the things that it has made me feel. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter though, basically in astonishment at how many people are willfully ignorant, blatantly lying, or a combination of both… and from all sides of the issue. Emotions and tensions are higher than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, so I understand that people will initially be speaking mostly with their anger. But anger can’t be an indefinite excuse for spreading false information, false narratives, and generally trying to make things worse rather than better.

My frustration comes from most people digging their feet in when it comes to their own personal take, and they won’t even listen to anything that doesn’t fit their narrative, let alone acknowledge and learn from any of it. It would be one thing if it was just random Twitter assholes, but I’m also talking about politicians and people in power who are acting the same way. Tom Cotton says “The riots have nothing to do with the death of George Floyd.” It doesn’t seem like the best idea to dismiss the pain and rage of those rioters who have obviously gone too far, but who are still upset with police abuse.

It’s amazing to see how many people who don’t want to be generalized or lumped together into one group, how they feel totally justified in doing that to people who aren’t on their side. “All cops are corrupt, murderous assholes!” “All protesters are violent, thieving arsonists!” Many people can’t or won’t admit that there are differences between peaceful protesters, the rowdy-but-non-criminal activists, the looters, the vandals, the people causing physical harm. It’s just easier for people to label them all as rioters so they can dismiss them as not worthy of being heard.

And then of course there’s a huge amount of people on the opposite side who can’t or won’t acknowledge that there are many different types of cops within law enforcement, including naive / optimistic officers seeking change, cops that just see it as a 9 to 5 job, officers who are on a power trip, ones who absolutely abuse their power, and then ones that can calmly kill detained suspects. And I’d think the one thing that both “sides” could agree on, is that we’re seeing far too many examples of the worst at both ends of the spectrum – and all it does is damage the message that they want to be heard. Yeah, everyone is mad, but if you take it too far then people are just gonna roll their eyes.

The second most widely spread bullshit take when it comes to this stuff, is that “If you aren’t breaking the law then you don’t have anything to worry about.” First of all, this is demonstrably untrue… and even if someone is breaking a law, are we as a society ready for law enforcement to commit physical violence in realtime for those offenses? What would those people think is a “fair punishment” for crimes such as stepping off of a sidewalk, being out 15 minutes past curfew, walking near people who are causing a disturbance, flipping off or cussing out a cop? Do we really want law enforcement to be able to kick, punch, drag, or choke people for those things? How about tear gas, rubber bullets, flash bang grenades, pepper spray projectiles? All of that is fine? If you’re only gonna watch one video on this page, make it this one – and put yourself or one of your children in the place of any of the folks who are taking the abuse…

And on Twitter, some chuckle fuck would immediately reply with “Well it wouldn’t be me or my kids in their shoes because we wouldn’t be participating in that!” And to that, I say… participating in what? Exercising your first amendment rights because you’re angry that police keep killing people without consequence? How about the people that are simply walking near someone who’s causing trouble? You could never be one of those people either? Those folks need to spare us all from their bullshit “it could never be me” crap.

One of the worst things that I’ve seen was in Austin TX. A college kid was shot in the back of the head with a “non lethal” projectile while cracked his skull and caused brain damage. The cops wouldn’t help him “in the street” and told people to take him to the police station. And when those people carried that critically injured man to the police department, they were immediately shot multiple times with pepper spray balls. And yeah, I’m being more hard on the police in this blog entry… because we should be able to expect more from the police. The people who vandalize, loot, start fires, etc… of course they should be arrested, charged, and prosecuted. But when cops act like criminals, that’s when “all” starts to get lost.

President Obama gave a wonderful speech yesterday, and among the things he said – he sent out a message to the mayors of every city across our nation, challenging them to review their “use of force” policies when it comes to the police departments and other law enforcement that they’re in control of. But then Donald Trump almost immediately issued a statement on Twitter, distancing himself from the idea of law enforcement reform – and instead saying the only thing he has in common with Obama is that they both fired the same army general. (Because Trump was being salty about being called out by that general, and that’s more important than the safety of every citizen in the country.)

At least national sentiment does seem to be finally turning against Donald Trump. He has never acknowledged the reason that people are protesting, and instead keeps doubling down with increased law enforcement presence, calling in military troops and vehicles, and threatening to send them to every state in order to “dominate” with force. Talk about lack of self-awareness. Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting against abusive law enforcement, and Trump’s response is essentially… “You wanna see abusive law enforcement?” I mean, his troops were using violence and pepper spray to clear the streets of humans as Donald Trump was giving a speech just yards away, claiming to be this amazing ally to peaceful protesters.

He knows that everyone knows he’s full of shit. He also knows that while plenty of people will call him out and be rightfully upset by his actions, he knows that there’s a massive number of people who simply won’t care that he’s a violent, self-serving liar, threatening the country with his military dominance. (I’d swear that a lot of people want to be him in that instance.) The same vibe that the abusive cops give… DO AS I SAY OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES, NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE ACTUALLY DONE OR NOT DONE IN REGARDS TO THE LAW.

Okay, I better start wrapping it up, because I could obviously go on and on and on about it. But my take on this doesn’t feel like it should be controversial or objectionable, but boy is it to a lot of folks. George Floyd was murdered by those cops, and they should be charged and prosecuted accordingly. I absolutely support the protests. Everyone should be outraged, not just POC or people who are more likely to experience police brutality. I’m not even upset when those protesters break curfew, block roads, or protest in “scary voices” right in the face of law enforcement. If cops react to those actions with violence instead of simply arresting folks, then it just makes it that much easier to see which ones are the bad ones, and which ones will stand by and do nothing as the bad ones inflict pain and suffering on US citizens.

Yeah, I’m fucking heated about this stuff… and for the same reason as a million other people. The folks in power know what the protests are about, but they’d rather dismiss everyone as vandals, trouble makers, criminals – so that way they don’t have to acknowledge the problem of law enforcement abusing their power. The way the cops seem to be increasing their abuse, it appears that they’re scared of losing that power. Same thing with the political leaders. If law enforcement no longer has its knee on the neck of society, that makes the sketchy people in power really fucking nervous.

Politicians, police unions, etc have been praising many police departments for the way they’ve “shown amazing restraint” during all of this. And yeah, in a lot of instances that’s probably true. Shooting people “only” with rubber bullets, knee knockers, pepper balls, tear gas canisters… instead of live ammunition. But I hope the people offering that praise to the cops… I hope they realize that the people on the other side have been showing remarkable restraint as well. How many days in a row will our society watch innocent people getting the shit kicked out of them by out of control law enforcement officers? How long will they be okay with Donald Trump unilaterally deploying the United States fucking military into the streets to control us all? Yeah, there’s a lot of restraint all around, but I wouldn’t count on that lasting a whole lot longer…

Too Lengthy For People To Care

This is the post I made to Facebook yesterday. I guess it’s worth sharing here…


  • I dare you to read all of this 😏

  • Most of us were raised to not be assholes. To not be racists, not be sexist, conduct ourselves in the way that we’d like to be treated, etc. And for a good long time that worked, and people in general conducted themselves in a pretty respectable way.

  • But I don’t think people acted like that because they *wanted* to, or because that’s how they were programmed… I think a lot of folks acted that way because they assumed there would be a down side or backlash if they acted like selfish buttholes.

  • And that’s why we now have a *whole* lot more crappy people than we did even a decade ago, because the more that people have seen high profile people acting like nutsacks and not paying any price whatsoever – a lot of folks decided that “decent, kind human being” wasn’t for them.

  • It just fed on itself at that point… because the more you see shitty people getting away with shitty things, the more that other people will decide to follow that shitty path – since it’s working so well for the others. More shitty people breeds more shitty people, sometimes literally heh

  • It just seems that more and more, people are going to do what benefits them, with less consideration of others. If someone doesn’t agree with you, don’t bother discussing it with them… just put them down, make fun of them, get your friends in on it too.

  • Have you always wished that fewer darkies would move into the neighborhood? Go ahead and let your other racist friends know too, because there’s strength in numbers, right? Get enough people that agree with you and you won’t even need to hide it anymore.

  • Getting tired of your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend? Good news… you don’t actually have to split up with them. Keep them around for the few good things they can do for you, and just get yourself someone on the side for all the other stuff. Chances are, even if your significant other finds out, they’ll stay with you anyway. So why deprive yourself of other strange?

  • Oh, and if something doesn’t go your way, make sure you absolve yourself of any responsibility … because playing the victim is how we do things now. Nothing is actually your fault, and fuck anyone who even suggests it. This includes babies. Did your girl go and get herself pregnant? Well that shit sure wasn’t *your* idea, so why should *you* be expected to do anything to help out?

  • Another thing… if you ever actually *are* wrong about something, for God’s sake NEVER admit it! Admitting you’re wrong or have made a mistake… WEAKNESS. You don’t want to be a pussy, do you? And of course if you never admit you’re wrong about anything, ever, then you’ll never need to apologize for anything. Apologize to someone and they’ll have that to hold over your head forever.

  • Someone wants to merge in front of you on the highway? Fuck that guy. He should have planned ahead better. Someone taking too long with their order at McDonalds? Roll your eyes, bitch about it under your breath, and by all means make sure you take it out on the cashier once you finally get to order. And if you use the restroom first and accidentally piss on the seat… just leave it – someone “lesser than you” gets paid to clean up shit like that anyway.

  • At school or work, especially if you’re insecure about yourself, make sure you team up with as many other insecure people as you can – because then you can be an entire *gang* of insecure assholes who can lash out at anyone even weaker than you. Nothing makes a person feel *better* than making another person feel *worse*. And yes, I know you were probably raised to not do any of these things … but trust me, nobody cares anymore, so why waste your time trying to be “good?”

  • Agree? No?

You’re Not Supposed To Do That

I needed something like this to occupy my brain, to get my mind off of many of the things that have been weighing heavy on me lately – where I could just let my nerd flag fly and dig in to this project to see what I could figure out. 🤓 It all started when I was preparing to update the OS in my car, which got me to thinking…

I moved the entire contents of my car’s “brain” over to my laptop, originally because I just wanted to locate any default images or videos that the system uses – in case I ever decide that I want to replace those images or videos with ones of my own. But as I went through the various directories I began to see that many of the files were saved in ASCII format, no encryption, no hex code… and easily viewable with Notepad. 😧

I found things regarding navigation, flash files that make up components of the UI, buttloads of icons for the nav system (which my car doesn’t even have (yet?)), a library of text-to-speech phrases… I mean, you can see in the screenshots above. All sorts of files like that, and in multiple languages as well.

But not only does changing the default images and videos interest me, but now that I’ve found the default phrases that the system uses for various things… it’s got me wondering if it’s as simple as changing those phrases in the text file to get her to say whatever I want. 😄 Of course I haven’t changed any of it yet, and honestly I’m not likely to… not unless I talk to someone who’s discovered the same things as me, and has done it successfully.

There are a few really short animations that are displayed when opening the doors, starting the ignition, and then turning the car off. They’re just regular logo videos with a little bit of movement, but I’ve already started mucking around with ideas for replacement videos that I could use to create new, brief personalized animations for me. 😀 I used some free service, so I’d have to crop out their watermark, but the resolution on the car’s videos are so low that it shouldn’t be a problem to crop yet retain enough detail in the video. So… still debating what to do next… 😏

In His Own Words

  • “Why do you think CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?”
  • CEOs are not taking their job seriously, they have a lot of their product made outside of the country, we want products made in the country, they’re leaving out of embarrassment, I’ve been lecturing them that they have to bring it back to this country.

The CEOs are taking their jobs seriously, as production outside of the US is often more cost effective. Also, most of Trump’s products that he sells are not made in the USA, and ZERO of Ivanka Trump’s fashion line is made in the USA. So if he’s been lecturing anyone, it’s as a hypocrite, and the CEOs likely tired of it. They didn’t join a council to be ordered around, and they certainly didn’t leave from embarrassment… other than embarrassment of being associated with this clown of a president.

  • “Why did you wait so long to (condemn the racist groups by name)?”
  • I didn’t wait long. (Narrator’s Voice: He did.) You don’t make statements unless you know the fact. (sic) It takes a while to get the facts, you still don’t know the facts. When I make a statement I like to be correct. A lot of the event didn’t even happen yet. Making the statement when I made it was excellent.

What?? You want people to believe that you didn’t know that the assembly had members of white nationalist, KKK, and Nazi supporters? What?? Also, when he makes a statement he likes to be correct. Heh… okay. And folks were literally waiting, and waiting, and waiting for his first statement. Enough had happened that he could and should have commented. Very few people thought it was “excellent.”

  • “Did you miss a critical moment where you could have brought the country together?”
  • I’ve created a million jobs, the economy is booming, the stock market is setting records, we have the highest employment numbers we’ve ever had, etc, etc… so the head of Walmart was making a political statement.

*long sigh*  …  also, WHAT?? It’s like he has no human concept of “bringing together” that doesn’t involve money or tangible things.

  • (he continues) … Everyone said my statement was beautiful. Frankly, people still don’t know all of the facts. The second statement was made with knowledge.

What other facts do you need to know before you can condemn racial hate groups by name?

  • You can call it terrorism, you can call it murder, I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict.

*blank stare*  …  more word salad

  • “Senator McCain linked the alt-right to the perpetrators at Charlottesville”
  • (After bashing McCain for a bit) … What about the alt-left that came charging at them? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Do they have any problem? I think they do. I watched it much more closely than you people watched it. I’m not finished, Fake News… they came charging in, without a permit, and they were very, very violent.

Immediately attacking the side that is widely supported by the general public = not the best idea. Also, if you were watching it more closely than anyone else, how did you miss the “fact” of who it was that was hosting the rally?

Ugh… I can’t even watch any more of this spectacle in order to do the play-by-play like this. In terms of PR this was a complete shit show, a dumpster fire… whatever horrible metaphor you want to use. Now he’s talking about millions of jobs helping race relations. This makes my head hurt, seriously. He’s spending on inner cities, far more than anyone before him, blah blah blah… okay, I’m done here.

Heh… d00d just bluntly said “What makes you think you’ll get an infrastructure bill when you couldn’t get a healthcare bill?” Good on the press, for not letting him walk all over them anymore. To their credit, they didn’t let up on him.

Like I Was Saying

Donald Trump went off-script today, and in a way he said many of the things that I had mentioned in the post below. However there’s a big difference between a shmuck like me pointing things out and the President of the United States doing it. It’s a difficult enough thing for people to consider as it is, and now was certainly not the right time to do it – nor was seeming so argumentative the way to do it.

It proves my point though, as the media and intarwebs are currently totally losing their shit over it. One of the terms that I see getting tossed around a lot is “moral equivalency.” So many people are saying that because Donald Trump pointed out that there was violence on both sides, that he was therefore saying that there was a moral equivalency between Nazis, white nationalists, the KKK, and the people that were protesting on the other side.

For the post below, what I did was push my emotions and beliefs aside to point out things from a strictly observational view. But Trump… I’m not sure he has the emotions or empathy or whatever you might call it – so he wasn’t even aware that what he was saying might end up pissing off the majority of the country. I wouldn’t suggest that there’s a moral equivalency, and I’m not sure that’s what he’s suggesting either… but the cat is out of the bag.

He just seems to have the same frustration as me, where the coverage is absolutely one-sided about everything that happened due to the very controversial nature of the rally and the people that attended… when you can clearly see in video after video, plenty of protesters being just as punch-happy as the racist white guys. It’s hard for me to watch anyone get a free pass for such behavior, and I’m guessing it’s the same way for him. But you’re the President, man… you can’t get up there and just say that.

Because We Have To

I like to think of myself as a thoughtful, logical, reasonable person. And because of that, all of the noise surrounding the events in Charlottesville over the past several days really has my brain spinning. So many people are saying “what they’re supposed to say” or what they believe that others think they should say. And hardly anyone allows themselves to see the hypocrisy that’s permeating the news coverage and social media.

We all start out on the same page. The first amendment. The right to assemble. The right to free speech. And when that idea suits someone’s agenda, they’re certainly all for it. But the gathering of white nationalists and other racist white groups in Emancipation Park… because it’s widely accepted (and in my opinion, correct) that being white and racist against African Americans and jews is a very bad thing, that group that wanted to exercise their right to speech and assembly didn’t stand a chance.

They knew that their gathering would be triggering to many people, and perhaps they even wanted to disrupt the calm on purpose… and they came in helmets, carrying sticks, shields, pepper spray, etc. And as you would expect, there was a large group of protesters of the event on the other side, and many of them even came with things that could be used as weapons. It was a powder keg, and things played out in the way that you’d expect such a passionate gathering of opposing forces would do.

What’s bothering me is that nearly all the news outlets, as well as the views on social media, seem to be relieving the protesters of the event of any responsibility or blame for the way things went down. That’s difficult for me because we’ve all seen the videos… people from the white nationalist group attacking protesters, protesters attacking the white nationalists. This was something that most definitely went both ways, despite news personalities like Joy Reid saying “there certainly was not” violence coming from the protesters.

Because their views are understandably unpopular, the people who organized and attended the event are the ones that are getting all the blame. Photos and videos of them getting attacked are celebrated. People are doing everything they can to identify them, post their personal information online, and even get them fired from their jobs or expelled from their schools. Statues of Confederate “heroes” are being torn down, spit on, kicked, etc… and again, all of it to the cheers of the humans.

If you are a guest on a news program, even if you lead with condemning the racist views and actions, if you dare to point out that protesters also participated in the violence as well you will be shamed or shouted down. If you assert anyone’s right to assemble and speak, you’re going to be labeled a Nazi sympathizer or worse. If people really looked at this, it should scare them… mob mentality, justifying violence if someone’s views are different than yours, cheering vandalism, turning a blind eye to illegal actions if they are done by someone who is confronting a politically incorrect symbol, idea, or view.

I have friends who also share this view. The white nationalists, just like anyone, had a right to assemble and assert their right to free speech. They should have known that it had the potential of blowing up, which it did, but that shouldn’t preclude them from doing it. For those that went there and got into fights, on either side, it’s obviously wrong. You don’t have to like what someone is saying, but that shouldn’t give you permission to physically attack them (again, on either side) and it certainly shouldn’t result in the cheers and praise of the mob.

Nobody seems to be doing the “if the shoe was on the other foot” thing. If an extremist black group were to gather and speak, would the media be as quick to essentially praise anyone that attacked them, simply because such incendiary speech “shouldn’t be tolerated” or whatever? Would that group be treated with the “they should have known better” mindset like the people who gathered in VA? And would people (in general) tolerate taking photos of all of the black people, blasting their information all over social media, and doing everything that can be done to destroy their lives? I really don’t think so.

I’ll be honest… of those that gathered, I don’t have any idea what they were speaking about. I’m pretty sure it was awful, difficult to listen to, and probably meant to get people fired up like it did – and yeah, everything that happened because of the event is horrible – so I don’t know what can be done to prevent such things from happening. The idea of “hate speech” vs “free speech” is obviously a tricky one… but if you take away the political correctness, if you take away the passionate views, it comes down to one group interacting with another group, with each side having a portion of violent actors within it, and anyone that participated in physical violence is just as bad as the next one, regardless of their reason for doing it.