Thursday, July 30, 2015


It's strange how much of my life has been spent online.  Throughout my entire adulthood, almost all of my social interaction has been online.  I've all but given up even trying to interact with people any other way.

I take the regular stabs at partaking in family social gatherings, we converse of course, but I don't branch out any more than that.  I've made attempts over the years, but it never works out.  In a sense, I feel as though I only really exist online.  That is where I express who I am.  When people say it doesn't count, it feels an awful lot like being told that who I am doesn't count.

Some of us have nothing to give, but our voices.

It would be nice if I could figure out some way to make a living this way, but even my voice doesn't seem to be worth that much.  I can get lots of thumbs up from a Facebook post, but am I coherent enough to write entire articles?  Stories?  Anything serious like that, that people might want to pay for?  Not really, not as far as I can tell.

A lot of my effort has been channelled into saying as much as possible, as briefly as possible.  I know that the more verbose I am, the more I'm going to lose to people.  The greatest impact coming not from novellas or even an exhaustive article, but from a line or two, that really drives a point home.  That makes the point in a new or innovative way.  A question that gets people to think.  This isn't really marketable, though.

They say that if you want to be a writer, write.  So that's what I do.. but year after year, this is all that comes of it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

cognitive dissonance

The way I play music feels significant.
How disorganized it is.  How I just play whatever comes into my head. I attempt to write bits and pieces of a song, but never tie it together.  I jump from one thing to another, with complete disregard for continuity.   I get better and better, but turning that into anything cohesive always feels just out of reach.

I make up all different parts, on any given day.  Tying it together should be the easy part.  Remembering it.  Being able to play the exact same thing a second time.  What kind of craziness would that be?
It seems trivial, compared to the creativity of it, and yet, it's not trivial at all.  It seems to be really important.. but for whatever reason, I can't get my head around it.  I just play.  No matter how good I get, I'm afraid it's still just a lot of random noise.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

see: voluntaryism

In the comments section of a Rolling Stone article, I got into a debate about police brutality and the idea that it's inherent to what government is.  Absolute compliance, or risk of death.  That is, the police need to be obeyed, absolutely.

If I understood correctly, the concern seems to be that unrestricted force for noncompliance is necessary to mitigate escalation into anarchy.  People will otherwise keep pushing limits until the whole system falls apart.

i.e. Government itself is the problem.

I used to be an anarchist. One thing that changed my mind was the realization that there are no people anywhere in the world, without government. There aren't even any Libertarian governments, let alone Voluntaryist or Anarchist.

The problem is that government is also an organizational tool which is extremely effective. It makes us capable of so much more than we are without it - which includes having the power to dominate anyone within its sphere of influence. A sphere of influence which grows until stopped by another's, leaving nowhere ungoverned.

Our only real defense against government is better government.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

systemic hopelessness

I woke up this morning, thinking about Sandra Bland, and the growing evidence that it really was a suicide.  Evidence gathered by the very people who may have killed her.. but still, enough of it to look like they might be telling the truth.

..this time.

It seems almost worse, in a way. I realized that it's even more depressing, the more I started thinking about it.

She was supposed to be starting a new job.  She'd moved across the country for it, and they took that from her, as soon as she got there.  Her dreams kicked to pieces by a racist pig, trampling the rule of law he was supposed to be upholding, for the ego trip of dominating a defenseless black woman.

We hear of this happening all the time.  People thrown in jail over minor infractions, and broken window policy.  Perpetuating a cycle of poverty, where even if they have a job, they end up losing it, for trivialities that other people only get a warning for.  If they're even stopped at all.  We hear of people committing suicide in jails and prisons, all the time.  We know that the abuse and mistreatment of incarceration can be psychologically destructive, but all the more so, when it's so oppressive and unjust.

When this is levelled at someone who hadn't even commit a crime worthy of a fine, sitting in jail indefinitely, treated like garbage, like her life didn't matter.  Alone in her cell, still suffering her untreated wounds, inflicted when she was dragged from her car and beaten at the side of the road.  Someone who may have been vulnerable to begin with, but was trying to get her life together.

I think we underestimate just how traumatizing it must be, to be dragged out of your car, assaulted at the side of the road, hauled off to jail, enduring more abuse while there, and for what? Because some psycho cop saw a black woman with Illinois plates and decided to go fishing.

We're not just talking a bad day, here. That's gotta be fucking soul crushing.

I don't know if she killed herself, but even if she did, the people who did all that to her are absolutely still responsible. At the very least, the guards who failed to protect her charged with criminal negligence, the cop who arrested her, fired and charged with assault, elevated to a hate crime.

Friday, July 24, 2015

facebook law

  • Jeff Reznik If a law enforcement officer issues a lawful order (e.g., "get out of the car") and you refuse, the officer is entitled to use whatever legal means are at his or her disposal to get the person to comply. Unfortunately or not, we don't live in a society where the person gets to decide whether s/he is under arrest.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 23 mins · Edited
    • Joshua Abell What the hell are you talking about? Not in America he isn't. We have laws dictating when they can use force, and how much. Where does this idea come from that the police can compel people to do whatever they want, by any means necessary? 
      Like · 19 · 26 mins
    • Cassandra Grindall He said he would taze her because she asked why she had to put out a cigarette? It is her legal right to smoke in her own car. It was an UNLAWFUL order. He had no legal basis to ask her to put out her cigarette. PERIOD.
      Like · 14 · 26 mins
    • Melissa Rogers Absolutely without cause.
      Like · 6 · 25 mins
    • Jeff Reznik You should watch the video and get your facts straight. He didn't threaten to tase her for not putting out her cigarette. He threatened to tase her for resisting and for refusing his lawful order to get out of the car. He has the right to force her to comply.
      Like · 1 · 24 mins · Edited
    • Joshua Abell Ordering her out of the car was not lawful. He had no good reason for it.
      Like · 12 · 22 mins
    • Cameron Treece She was smoking to cover up the marijuana smell and any cop knows that.
    • Jeff Reznik You have no idea whether he did or not. He was well within his rights to order her out of her car, especially after the belligerent and combative way she was behaving. He might have suspected she was drunk or on drugs. It's not for you decide what his...See More
      Like · 19 mins · Edited
    • Steve Lewis what made 'get out of the car' a lawful order in this case? she didnt use her turn signal THAT is not probabl;e cause for a search or anything else - bill of rights trumps your cop sucking
      Like · 8 · 19 mins
    • GerneyLee Carter It is not unlawful to stand up for yourself even to a cop. Petty crap.
      Like · 4 · 19 mins
    • GerneyLee Carter Jeff are you a cop?
    • Jeff Reznik Rule of law trumps your emotionalism. Facts are facts, and the fact is he has the right. If you don't agree, that's for a judge to decide later. You're obligated to comply, period.
    • Fran Diamondstein Schuler You're missing the point. He pulled her for a bs reason in the first place. Once he had issued the ticket his work was done. Why did he continue to harass her? From start to finish HE was looking for a fight.
      Like · 7 · 18 mins
    • Tom Perry this is a textbook example how police can lose the respect and support of the communities they are sworn to serve
      Like · 9 · 17 mins
    • Jeff Reznik It absolutely is illegal to disobey the lawful order of a law enforcement officer. It's bizarre to suggest anything else.
    • Jeff Reznik We live in a country of laws. You can't just do whatever you want, whether you're black, white, or any other race. If you're rich, you might be able to. But most of us are required to follow the law.
    • Joe Moag Are you a lawyer, Jeff? Well, here's two lawyers discussing what people's rights are when they are pulled over. Funny, these two lawyers - one of whom practices traffic law - states that one does NOT need to get out of one's car.

      Find out what rights you retain on a routine...
      Unlike · 6 · 15 mins
    • Joshua Abell Any such suspicions need to be found reasonable, in a court of law. We can clearly discern from the video that they would be unreasonable, and he never even claimed to have such suspicions, anyhow. He refused to even state his reasons, when she asked repeatedly. So yeah, that order itself was unlawful.
      Like · 4 · 15 mins
    • Jeff Reznik No, Fran, he was giving her a ticket for breaking a traffic law. Then she became hostile and belligerent and escalated the situation. Her fault, almost totally.
    • Mike McKinnon Thing is, it wasn't a lawful order. According to several analyses I've read it was a direct violation of her 4th Amendment rights. One example...

      Here's what we know so far about the camera...
      Unlike · 5 · 13 mins
    • Jeff Reznik The officer's order to get out of the car is lawful under the Fourth Amendment, sorry.
    • M Aaron Thomasson "Rodriguez v. United States held that police could not extend the length of a routine traffic stop, even for just a few minutes, absent a safety related concern or reasonable suspicion [per Terry v. Ohio] to believe that the driver may have committed a...See More

      After watching the video, Texas state Sen....
      Like · 3 · 12 mins
    • Jeff Reznik Sorry, Joe, you're wrong. 

      "It’s clear that the officer’s order was lawful under the Fourth Amendment. In Pennsylvania v. Mimms, the Supreme Court held that officers can always order a driver out of a car during a traffic stop. “[O]nce a motor vehicle
      ...See More

      Did Sandra Bland have to put out her cigarette...
    • Jeff Reznik You people need to get your facts straight. Most of you are very confused.
    • Laura Duran Jeff your support of a police state does not make it legal or right. Even his bosses have said he did not follow proper procedure or protocol. So you know better than they do?
      Like · 5 · 11 mins
    • GerneyLee Carter Jeff is wrong. Simple. 
      However, when I have been treated as she was by a cop I become Extremely submissive and apologetic for whatever BS they have accused me of. I am terrified of cops. They can legally stop you and falsely accuse you and Do anything they want to you - and then deny it.
      Like · 1 · 8 mins · Edited
    • M Aaron Thomasson Sorry, Jeff. PA v. Mimms would not apply in this case. Absent reasonable suspicion, the officer had no right to detain her.
      Like · 2 · 9 mins · Edited
    • Jeff Reznik You need to get your facts straight. And I don't support a police state, I support the Constitution and the rule of law.
      Like · 9 mins
    • Joshua Abell Did you even read the court case you're citing?

      "The State's proffered justification for such order -- the officer's safety -- is both legitimate and weighty, and the intrusion into respondent's personal liberty occasioned by the order, being, at most, a mere inconvenience, cannot prevail when balanced against legitimate concerns for the officer's safety."

      After police officers had stopped respondent's...
      Like · Remove Preview · 2 · 6 mins · Edited
    • Jeff Reznik You can argue all you want, it doesn't change the verdict of Pennsylvania v. Mimms.
      Like · 8 mins
    • M Aaron Thomasson BTW, Rodgriguez v. U.S. is more recent and sets an entirely new precedent.
      Like · 7 mins
    • M Aaron Thomasson But the purview of that ruling would hardly extend to Bland's case, if it were to go to court.
      Like · 1 · 6 mins · Edited
    • Jeff Reznik Joshua, you seem to have trouble comprehending English. The paragraph you cited clearly says that the mere inconvenience of having to get out of your car CANNOT PREVAIL when balanced against concern for the officer's safety. Try a reading 101 course at community college.
      Like · 6 mins
    • GerneyLee Carter She should have complied in her own best interest but not because it was the law.
      Cops just like to lord it over you when they stop you. I just let 'em do it.
      Like · 5 mins · Edited
    • Tom Perry ask black people if these "intrusions" are " most, a mere inconvenience". you might get a very different and sorry answer to that
      Like · 1 · 6 mins
    • Joshua Abell Only after the court found his justification to be both legitimate and weighty. Try reading the entire paragraph, instead of cherry-picking one line.
      Like · 2 · 5 mins · Edited
    • Jeff Reznik I'm out, as there is far too much ignorance being propagated here. People don't even understand what they're posting, lol.
      Unlike · 1 · 5 mins
  • Yeah, I'll say...