Rand Paul, Eric Garner - Bad Laws or Racist Cops?

Rand Paul recently made some very important comments about the Eric Garner murder and how the tax laws in NY shared responsibility in the death of Eric Garner.  He's absolutely right, but the comments were heavily mocked since it doesn't fit with the racism narrative being perpetuated by the media.

A Facebook friend of mine posted a comment on one of those mocking posts from someone I've never met.  I felt the need to respond since he seemed like an otherwise reasonable fellow.  The following discussion ensued.

(Note: reposted with permission, word for word with the exception of a few non-related pleasantries removed).

Jason Southwell http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-12-04/law-puts-us-all-in-same-danger-as-eric-garner

Malcolm Bevel Jason+ thank you for this link. It's definitely a good read & it makes a lot of sense.

Malcolm Bevel I won't criticize the article as I will more so expand upon it. 1) once again+ the cigarette law isn't what killed Garner+ the cop's ILLEGAL CHOKEHOLD (that's against the law in NY) killed Garner. One broken law by a citizen doesn't afford the police to break another. 2) true that a lot of laws can make us ALL potentially criminals+ therefore making police ready to follow up on these laws & they may KILL if the law is broken. Here's the underlying issue though: if that's the case+ then why do we still have the disparity of black deaths at the hands of cops compared to other "racial groups?" IF it's held true that we all could potentially "be criminal?" ||I'm just tired of it all...including the disparities is all. But nevertheless a good read.

Jason Southwell It isn't a black/white issue. Whites are dying at the hands of cops daily. It's a problem of bad cops being "held accountable" by the same people with an interest in proving they aren't bad in the first place. Combine unaccountable power with unnecessary law and you have fascist Armageddon. Black or white.

Malcolm Bevel However the inherent difference is that those whites who are dying at the hands of cops TYPICALLY get justice. Therefore+ there is a racial element to it. Sorry but coupled with statistics+ that's just the facts sir.

Jason Southwell Not at all.

Malcolm Bevel But you're right+ it will and can affect us ALL. Which is why we ALL should speak out against it.

Jason Southwell There is rarely justice when someone dies at the hands of cops.

Jason Southwell Black or white.

Malcolm Bevel I respectfully disagree. I can reference links to show how many indictments occur when victims are not POC.

Malcolm Bevel I would rather have you look for yourself though.

Malcolm Bevel I'm not saying police brutality is exclusive to a color. I'll never say that.

Jason Southwell I can site numerous examples of white deaths at the hands of cops who faced only paid vacations as justice.

Malcolm Bevel But the disparities are there. I work in public health. I work with disparities & stats & all of that. I don't speak unless I know what I'm referring to sir.

Malcolm Bevel We agree to disagree.

Jason Southwell It isn't a black vs white problem. It's a problem of a government police state.

Malcolm Bevel Agreed. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the disparity.

Malcolm Bevel Which is what you seem to be implying. I refuse to do such. I call it all out.

Jason Southwell I'm not implying equality of numbers. Any more than zero is a problem+ regardless the race.

Malcolm Bevel True!! So why the disparity??

Jason Southwell But it isn't a race problem and the focus on race does nothing but misdirect from the real issue.

Malcolm Bevel If it's not a racial element then why the disparity??

Malcolm Bevel http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men

Jason Southwell There are many factors why blacks are incarcerated or killed at the hands of cops more than whites. Racism is one component. So is income demographic. A lot of it comes down to bad drug laws.

Malcolm Bevel We don't want more senseless white deaths at the hands of cops. We just want the deaths overall to stop+ including senseless deaths of blacks.

Malcolm Bevel Agreed!!

Jason Southwell To lump it all into race does nothing to address the real problem. We have a police state with unlimited ability to find anyone a criminal due to overreaching  laws and unnecessary legislation.

Jason Southwell And the result is dead humans with no justice

Malcolm Bevel Agreed. But to ignore a racial element to it+ given the facts we have+ also hurts in addressing the real problem as well.

Malcolm Bevel I know it's not a white/black thing. I said that in a podcast last Thursday!! It's us vs the system. But not everybody knows that sir.

Jason Southwell Look at the news. If a cop murder doesn't fit the racial narrative it doesn't get reported. Racism only goes to misdirect the public. It's the best thing for these cops for everyone to think it's about race.

Jason Southwell Their power continues unchecked.

Malcolm Bevel It doesn't get reported for that reason+ yes. It also doesn't get reported nationally if the cop is fired and/or charged with a crime.

Malcolm Bevel I.e. justice

Malcolm Bevel Institutionalized racism is the reason why people THINK it's a black/white thing lol

Jason Southwell That happens so rarely.

Malcolm Bevel Ok

Jason Southwell Fired rarely. Charged+ almost never.

Malcolm Bevel Ok

Jason Southwell Generally paid vacation.

Malcolm Bevel True. Which I completely disagree with.

Jason Southwell So you agree with Rand now? :)

Malcolm Bevel No I don't lol because once again...the cigarette law that was supposedly broken isn't what killed this unarmed man. The chokehold that was against the law killed him.

Malcolm Bevel 2 wrongs don't make a right.

Jason Southwell That's not at all what he said

Malcolm Bevel I know. But my point is why bring up the cigarette tax+ when that's not what killed Garner :-)?

Jason Southwell The culture of unnecessary laws is the fuel of a police state. Without a stupid law making sale of individual cigarettes illegal+ the confrontation would never have happened.

Jason Southwell The law didn't murder the guy. But without it he would be alive.

Malcolm Bevel Do we know this for FACT?? How do we know he wouldn't of been harassed for some other crime they could've "enforced?" How do we know they wouldn't of just harassed just because??

Malcolm Bevel As a public health major that would be ignorant of me to make that correlation. Once again+ the ACTIONS of the cop implementing the chokehold is the direct reason why Garner is dead. Sure the law they tried to implement on him was the "reason" why they confronted him...but did they HAVE to use the chokehold? NO! Therefore regardless of the law+ the death was unwarranted & per the NY law on chokeholds+ A CRIME!

Jason Southwell I have no idea what else he was into+ so of course he could have been killed by a cop for another terrible reason+ but he would not have been killed in this instance. That is a fact.

Jason Southwell As I said+ the law didn't murder him. But he would be alive without it.  Until of course he was killed later by another bad cop for using another bad law as justification.

Malcolm Bevel Yes...had the cop not executed the chokehold.

Jason Southwell The cop should be held accountable. He won't be because he's an agent of the state and we depend on the state to try those who have committed crimes. The best we can do is try to remove all justification

Malcolm Bevel But you're talking about the wrong law. You're trying to make a direct correlation between exposure (chokehold)+ & outcome (death) with cigarette tax in the middle lol that literally makes no sense in the world of epidemiology & in the world in general.

Jason Southwell No. I'm making direct correlation between the law and the culture of a police state. A police state cannot exist in absence of law.

Jason Southwell There are two issues here.  One is bad cops that aren't being held responsible for their crimes and bad laws that give cops opportunity to be bad cops.

Jason Southwell Deal with both problems.  Absolutely+ but there is no arguing the relationship in this case.

Jason Southwell The problem with the former is that the government has no interest in finding their own guilty of anything. To do so is an admission of a problem and elected officials can't afford problems.

Jason Southwell Until we start citizen Tribunals to try government officials and employees+ we will not get justice on a grand scale.

Jason Southwell We are much more likely to reduce opportunity by fixing and repealing law.

Henry Blodget's Bitcoin Blunder

Henry Blodget and crew have taken a couple of swings at Bitcoin this week in the Business Insider.

In these articles, Blodget and Weisenthal make a series of inexplicable leaps with significant logical flaws which I'd like to address. Don't get me wrong, these common mistakes are often made by people who spend their life in banking, Wall Street and otherwise come from the world of the criminal elite.

Let's get started with this statement:

Dish Anywhere doesn't work with Chrome (workaround)


My folks recently upgraded to the Hopper from Dish Network.  Among its great features is the integration with their "newly" acquired Slingbox technology in a service they call Dish Anywhere.  When it works, Dish Anywhere is a terrific way to watch live TV and your recorded shows online.  And you can watch them from anywhere that you have an fast enough internet connection.

To use Dish Anywhere you must first install a browser extension that enables the sling player.  Normally after this minor annoyance, you are up and watching tv almost immediately. Unfortunately however, Google recently pushed an update to Chrome that blocks the installation of the Dish Anywhere extension.  No error message is raised and the user is left to assume that installation was fine, but instead you are again asked to install the extension when you return to Dish Anywhere. Further inspection in the Extensions screen shows no sign of the plugin anywhere.

Bitcoin Exchange Price Rollercoaster

 I don't know about you but I love amusement parks.  Rollercoasters are my favorite.  I can't get over the thrill of being tugged up a monstrous hill by a rusty chain only to be dropped mercilessly hundreds of feet toward the encroaching earth.

If you look at the historical chart of Bitcoin prices, you'd be excused if you mistook it as the plans for some new rollercoaster at Six Flags. Those of us who have been following Bitcoin for some time have grown very accustomed to the fast and vast swings in price.  In any normal day, it's common to see the price move 10% to 20% and when it swings big, it swings big.

So why do we endure these large swings and put our financial faith in something so blatantly inconsistent?

Because no matter the swings, when you look at the fundamentals, Bitcoin is woefully undervalued.

FIX: New Tab page in Chrome Broken After Update

Apparently the rest of the world hates the new New Tab page in Chrome as much as I do.  I've been complaining about the changes in the beta and dev versions for months, but Google just hasn't shown an ounce of concern for it.  Yesterday they rolled it out to the rest of the world with even more unbelievably bad changes.  

Sprung Cleaning

I'm finally getting around to cleaning out my office since arriving back from my summer trip back to the States.  I've come across some items I no longer need and would like to sell if anyone is interested.  You would need to pick it up or be in range of a Tropic Air cargo office for pickup. Everything is functioning to the best of my knowledge unless otherwise stated. 

  1. 2GB DDR3 Memory Sticks (Qty 3, triple channel).  240Pin DIMM Crucial CT25664BA1067.M16SFD
  2. 1GB DDR3 Memory Sticks (Qty 3, triple channel).  240Pin DIMM Samsung M378B2873DZ1-CF8
  3. PCAsus Graphics Card (NVIDIA GT620). DVI, HDMI and VGA out. 2GB Memory PCIe x16
  4. Book: Hello, Android - Learn programming for Android
  5. Book:: ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook - Learn programming for Adobe Flash/Flex platform
  6. Book: Professional Android Application Development - More detailed book on developing for Android
  7. Barebones Core i7 Desktop - Needs Memory, graphics card and hard drive to be usable.  Also, a heat sink on the motherboard is failing causing the system to overheat and shut down. The desktop was originally the Gateway FX6800-01e but has been stripped down over the years.

Make me an offer.


Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President.

The United States is not the parent of the world. We do not get to punish other countries when we think they are behaving badly. If anything we are the drunken uncle who gets mean and instinctively lashes out, smacking kids and kicking grandma, who after sobering up can't understand why everyone hates him.

It's time for an intervention.




Happy Dependence Day

This day is intended to be a celebration of our independence from the tyranny of Britain. Instead we are confronted with the tyranny of our own elected government and reminded of just how far we've fallen. When will we awaken? When will the spark of revolution reignite in the American people? Or is it just too late for our enslaved nation all too eager to regurgitate the corporate puppets on TV "news" instead of actually having a coherent thought of their own. We have taken a stand against tyranny before, do we have what it takes to do it again?

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

- Preamble of the Declaration of Independence 

Nostalgia for Binions circa 2003

I highly recommend this blog series on the 2003 World Series of Poker. I was in my first year playing poker and I won my first tournament (sts) at the 2003 WSOP. The third place finisher in my win was the Angel character he's talking about in Part 4. He is described perfectly in the article, but honestly, I thought he was great. Not great like I want to be his buddy or anything. But great in an iconic, old-school Vegas degen stereotype that made me love the city so much in those days.

I felt very nostalgic reading this. It reminded me of some great times with my first true love (poker that is). The stories filled in a lot of info that I was missing being so new to the game and seeing odd events through naive eyes. Binions is still one of my favorite places in Vegas for historical reasons alone. I do miss that place.

You should start reading from the beginning at Part 1, War of the Binions.