"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, April 06, 2012

Linkfest - Illusion of Safety

Supreme Court OKs Strip Searches for Any Reason
In yet another example that the definition of Conservative "small government", the Supreme Court ruled that strip searches are ok for any reason. When it comes to making people think that Conservatives are keeping them safe, it seems government can't get big enough or stomp on enough rights. In the latest ruling, the five Conservative judges once again voted as a block ruling that police can perform strip searches for any reason, including minor traffic offenses. In short, if the police are willing to arrest you and haul you into a jail cell, they can do whatever they want. This doesn't mean you are guilty or they even have evidence. They can simply arrest you, strip search you, decide it was a mistake and release you. Your dignity may not remain intact but hey at least your will feel "safe" from whatever new thing they want you to fear. The justification for the decision was based on Tim McVey (Oklahoma City bombing) being arrested for a minor traffic offense and not getting stripped search. Without explaining how, the Conservative ruling failed to explain how a strip search would have led to the discovering of his car bomb. I guess they figured he kept the car jammed up his rear? This is ironic considering the Five will overturn the Health Care act in June on claims it stomps rights to purchase what you want (never mind states requiring car insurance, home insurance, etc.). To sum it up, to the Conservative Court your body has no rights but you do have the right to not buy stuff you don't want but need. Once again Conservative hypocrisy in action.

Wiretapping for Profit
While they claim to the contrary, the telecoms probably make a pretty decent profit listening in on our calls at the government's request. T-Mobile charges law enforcement (aka tax papers) $500 per month per target. Sprint charges $400 per "market area" and "technology" with a $10 per day fee. No idea what those "per" mean. For AT&T its $325 activation fee, $5 per day for data and $10 for audio. Verizon charges $50 fee and $700 per month per target. The fees pile on after that depending on what others things law enforcement want for targets of wiretaps. Listening in is good for business.

More on Bush Admin Torture
New documents have come been released that show the Bush administration knew it was breaking the law in regards to torture and did it anyway. They attempted to destroy all copies of these documents but apparently that failed. As Rachel Maddow explains, likely nothing will come of it. Personally I just find it disturbing how Americans have come to accept any behavior from anyone as long as it is phrased in terms of maintaining their illusion of safety.

Mass Effect 3 Endings
I don't play Mass Effect but if pay any attention to gaming news then you have probably heard about the controversy surrounding the ending of the game. Most fans found it completely unsatisfying with one article describing it as "imagine that The Lord of the Rings takes a hundred hours to watch, and that The Return of the King ended with that shot of Frodo and Sam lying on the side of Mount Doom after the ring had been destroyed." Hit the link above or start watching below to watch the various endings of the game so at least get an idea of what people are talking about. All seem to have essentially the same for three minutes and half minutes except the color of the energy being released. After that the differences are which characters survive the crash landing. Based on this I guess main problem is essentially everyone dies and the adventure starts over on some parrell universe or the prehistoric past so its like the previous three games story didn't matter. Your best bet is probably to just watch ending 16 and ending 18 if playlist becomes too tedious.

Rear Window Time Lapse Panorama
Below is a fascinating video that combines all the scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window into a single point of view time lapse. The effort to put it together must have been huge.

The Simpsons - Itchy and Scratchy
If you can stand the violence overload, below is 49 minutes of all the Itchy & Scratchy appearances in the 20+ seasons of The Simpsons.

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