Why I think the law is completely arbitrary. [Long Read]

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In spite of my last post cheering the sound decision made by Judge William McClain, I find the law (at least as it pertains to the United States, because I don’t know about other countries) to be a meaningless joke.

They are meaningless, and valueless.

“But J, without laws, we’d have no order… There’d be chaos in the streets”.

To a degree, yes, but let me explain myself a bit more.

I think some of the laws serve to keep us safe. For example, if there were no laws about murder, it wouldn’t be too great.

Other laws, exist to protect businesses and corporations.

Most importantly, laws are there to generate revenue for the state.  In a county close to me, DWI rates plummeted because of the inception of apps like Uber and Lyft. This did not make the town happy, they simply began enforcing another silly law (that escapes me now) to make up for the loss in revenue.

See? It was never about safety to begin with.

In any case, this is only a part of why I find the law to be a joke.

Now, let me disclaim this by saying I am not saying to disobey the law.  You do not want to find yourself in trouble with it. As foolish as it can be sometimes, the law is the law and you do not want to wind up in a cell, so please follow it.

That said, I was watching “The People v. OJ Simpson” on Netflix, which was a good series btw… In the show, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who is black, appeals to a white southern Judge to get evidence for the case.  The judge harshly rejects Cochran, with the episode implying racial disdain.  Cochran’s partner, lawyer F. Lee Bailey, suggests Cochran let him do the talking since he is in the South and Bailey is a white man.

Okay.  It is clearly evident that courts have always had prejudice, bias, and all other factors affecting their decisions. However, as I watched this scene I thought, “why should it matter who asks the judge if their job is to uphold the law?” So a judge would potentially jeopardize a case ruling based on who asks him for the evidence?

Again, this is nothing new, and this is not something people are not already aware of, but it just goes to show how arbitrary it all is.  If the law is truly just, it shouldn’t matter if you went into the court room in a thousand dollar suit or in a cheap, ill-fitting, Wal-Mart suit.  Of course image matters, but the fact that your attire has an impact on how many years you will potentially serve (or not serve) is alarming.

Let’s give another example. While there are most definitely disparities in health care, if someone comes into the doctor’s office complaining about coughing or other flu-like symptoms, the doctor will prescribe them medicine, and the dosage will be dependent on their age, weight, and possibly gender (affordability aside).  Now, the fact that you walk into a courtroom and the judge and jury are evaluating your gender, your looks, your attire, your race, the “degree of your race” (darker blacks get harsher sentences than lighter ones), and various other things is ridiculous.

What if a judge sees a defendant that looks like his/her ex-spouse? This judge may possibly give a harsher sentence due to a factor that the defendant cannot control.

In 1991, Soon Ja Du murdered 15 year old African American Latasha Harlins in a similar fashion of many unarmed black shootings.  Due to such a nasty crime, the jury recommended the maximum of 16 years in prison.

Judge Joyce Karlin ignored the jury’s decision, took matters into her own hands, and gave Du a “slap on the wrist:… no prison time.

Was there a point of having a jury? Did the dishonorable Karlin already have her mind made the entire time?

Let’s go back to talking about my last post:

The fact that people were celebratory about the verdict, and in a lot of cases surprised, was due to that sentence not being the norm.  People being surprised that criminals were rightfully punished in an unfair society speaks volumes about the law.

We can go on and talk about injustices and double standards in the law all day long, I am just saying that I think it’s pointless and verdicts may often be on a whim.

I do not believe in “the law”.  I do my best to avoid serving anytime I receive a jury summons.  I am not saying I have all of the answers or know what the solution is, (perhaps have robots serving as judges) but the way it is running now… a bias, partial court system, defeats the entire purpose of “law”.

The law has a lot of objectives (generating money, feeding the prison industrial complex, population control), but “protecting citizens” I think is a small fraction of it.

-J

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Judge sentences 2 people convicted in confederate flag confrontation

S DOUGLAS CONFEDERATE FLAG FOLO 12P_00.00.46.08_1488216131388_2821109_ver1.0_640_360.png

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/238410026-story

Just wanted to share this story and say that I am ecstatic!!!  I say with as coldness and callousness as humanly possible, that I am glad their lives are ruined and I hope they suffer every single one of their days in prison.

And I must add that their crocodile tears only add insult to injury. They are sad that they did something stupid, got caught, and will suffer the consequences, yet they pretend that their sadness is for what they did to the kids.  As if they just happened to grow a conscious out of the blue.

In any case, I am surprised to see such a fair ruling in the United States of Amerikkka. Every once in a while, privilege fails and justice is served. If rulings like this were the norm, it would cut back on a lot of nonsense that occurs within the U.S.

Human being still behave with a reward-punishment mindset.  In many cases, if one CAN get away with something they WILL do it!

These moronic individuals probably thought that they would get away with their crime (or perhaps a slap on the wrist), however, it seems as if this judge chose to make an example out of them.  If they got away with it, it would encourage fellow racists to commit those actions.  However, now that they were severely punished, fellow racist onlookers will refrain from doing such things.  Perhaps one day rulings like this will be more common and crimes like this will (naturally) reduce.

-J

The greatest feat!

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You get harshly thrusted into a cold, rough, loveless planet.

With no control of what environment you’re born into…

With no control of what family you are born into…

With no control of what socio-economic class you are born into…

With no control of what genetic traits you possess…

There is no guide for you to read; you are metaphorically thrown into the water and forced to learn how to swim…

And after all this…

You Survive Anyway.

To me this is the greatest accomplishment.

-J

Mismatched exhibition fights.

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Now you know what I find odd? (I won’t say what “grinds my gears” because I do not have any emotional reaction to it one way or another).

I find it odd how much value people put on a small or average-sized martial artist beating up an untrained hulking behemoth.

I practice various martial arts, so perhaps I have a different perspective on this.  But I must ask why is anyone amazed that a martial artist beats up an untrained person, even a large one?

Okay, maybe there is something fascinating about the sight of a small person beating a huge person that would otherwise pulverize the martial artist were the smaller person not trained… Perhaps this fascination is the same reason we love underdog stories like “David and Goliath“; they are visually appealing.

However, I understand that size, while important when skills are matched, means little when the strong person does not have skill and the small person is highly trained.

To give a great analogy (if I could say so myself), being amazed by a martial artist beating up an untrained body builder is the equivalent of being amazed by a high school varsity long distance runner beating an Olympic sprinter in a 2-mile race.  Yes, it is impressive to see a teenager beat an adult, an Olympic athlete at that, in a race but once you realize that the high school student is built for distance and the Olympic sprinter is built for short bursts, it becomes less impressive.  If you turned the tables and had them both do a 100 meter sprint, the Olympian would demolish the high school long-distance runner.  Similarly, a weight-lifter would whoop a scrawny Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner in a weight lifting competition.

To be honest, it would actually be more spectacular if an untrained strongman beats an expert grappler or BJJ artist in a match.

So that’s something to think about the next time you see a YouTube video titled “Female BJJ black belt beats man in grappling match” or “120 pound submission expert beats bodybuilder”.

-J

I like nice people!

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Perhaps I am wrong and this is just my perception, but I feel like an anomaly in that I value Nice people.

Of course you’re thinking “I like nice people too! Everyone likes nice people.”

Yes, everyone prefers people being nice to them, but I actually like nice people.

I feel like most people, when looking for friendships, look for things like social status, or they prefer aligning themselves with someone popular or good looking, placing less value on how “nice” someone is, but to me, it is the opposite. While I value other things like commonalities and a good sense of humor in friends, I like people who are kind and polite.

Like I said, maybe this is just my perception, but I don’t see too many people valuing “niceness” nowadays. It is like nice people get used and pushed to the side.

So I am saying this… Nice people, I see you, and I value you! More than the rich kids or those that are considered “cool.”

About this blog…

So far I’ve made only a handful of posts… I’ve gained a handful of likes and a handful of followers.

I look forward to hearing feedback from readers and engaging in conversation with users from all over cyberspace.

So about this blog…

This blog will continue to contain random, unassorted thoughts that I feel compelled to talk about.  I state in the small blurb that these will be discussions of science, race, and society.  This is true, I may speak most about these themes because these are my interests, but in reality I will talk about anything I want to.  I may want to talk about Disney’s The Lion King one day, I may want to talk about rum raisin ice cream, who knows?

I would usually post all of my thoughts on Facebook, but I decided to move away from that and I want to make longer, blog-like, quality posts.

Of course, since this blog isn’t themed I do not expect to gain too large of a following, but I prefer quality over quantity.  No one will agree on any one thing, since this blog is so diverse, if you follow, there are some things you will agree with and some things you will not agree with and that is okay.

Feel free to share your thoughts!

-J

Good year, Bad year

I won’t be terribly long-winded today, just a strange observation I wanted to make.

Isn’t it strange how entire years could be deemed “good”, while other years are considered “bad”?

I think of some years and cringe, thinking… “Dear God, I’m so glad that year is over!”  Some years bad thing after bad thing occurred.

The reason this captures my attention is because years (like all measurements of time) are man-made concepts.  There should be no reason a year should be good or bad, but some years have a certain “energy” to them.

Think about it… Perhaps it was a year you lost a loved one, lost a job, got evicted from your house, got dumped, etc. the year will be marred by a bad enough event. If you’re like me, these events will happen in large bundles.

On the contrary, a good year may be a series of good events… a new job, a promotion, a good relationship, a fun vacation, etc. Or (if you’re like me) you may consider a year “good” by its lack of tragedies!

I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this… No matter how odd you think you are, there is always someone who does the same thing or thinks the same way about a particular thing.

-J

Cash me ousside howbow dah?

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Now normally I’d HATE to give this more attention than it is already receiving, but this is something I feel compelled to talk about.

[If you aren’t already familiar with 13 year old Danielle Bregoli, perform a quick search of her on YouTube by putting in the phrase “cash me ousside”… Yup, spelled like that!]

In any case, when I first saw her video, like anyone else I laughed. I laughed at her cringe-worthy, over-the-top attempt to imitate African American vernacular, I laughed at her mother “translating” her words for Dr. Phil and the audience, I laughed at Dr. Phil and the audience’s reaction, and I laughed at the young girl’s “angry chihuahua complex”.

To me, this was just another one of those “bad teens” trying to look cool, I watched them all through the 90’s on talk shows, and watched as motivational speakers (like D. West) and drill Sergeants successfully and unsuccessfully tried to get them to turn their lives around.  While this was humorous, I would always hope for the best for these children and hope that these episodes were simply phases that they’d outgrow and not the result of a deeper psychological issue or a form of coping from some sort of childhood trauma.

Now to the point…

I began to realize how much more harmful it is to be an unruly child like Danielle, now than it was 20 or so years ago.  The “Cash me ousside” girl has gained notoriety… She is now an internet sensation, she is the subject of countless memes, she was in a rapper’s music video, SHE’S A STAR!!!  And all of this for being a hooligan, attempting to fight her mom, stealing cars, etc.

I will ignore (but mention) the “privilege” she has that makes her endearing rather than scorned and seen as a hoodlum.  We (and by we, I mean society) are actually REWARDING her for this behavior; we are encouraging deviance.

Before you mock me for being a boring “square”, think about it…  She has no incentive to change now. If she winds up on a reality show, it will be because she was a trouble-maker, not because she was an “A” student.  What message does this put out to kids?

Her deviance and disrespectful behavior is now her “claim to fame”, it is a character she has to keep up if she wants to build off of that.  And we know the entertainment industry works on imitation; that is, once others say something is successful, they will attempt to imitate it to ride the wave of popularity.  Wanna know an example? Google the meme of Sweet Brown (“Ain’t nobody got time for dat” lady) and then Google her less popular, less funny, imitator (“Not today!” Lady).  Some kids will see this girl, and they will be encouraged to be disrespectful brats… This is ESPECIALLY true for children, who are vulnerable to peer pressure, and want to do “cool” things they see other kids do in popular media.

It’s a new world we live in, if this same Danielle Bregoli girl occurred in the 90’s, we’d all be watching her on t.v., while we adjusted our wire hanger antennas.  Then, we’d forget about it… there’d be no popular memes, she wouldn’t be on any music videos, no t.v. shows, nothing.  She’d probably become a nostalgic meme decades later, but hopefully by then she’d have outgrown her “gangsta” phase.  In any case, we’ll see what happens with this one.

Cash y’all lata!

-J

The Book of Life

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All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts,” – William Shakespeare

We come into this world, clawing at the air, crying desperately for food… for milk… for affection.  We grow, we play in the sandbox, we graduate, we get jobs, we marry, we continue our legacies, we die.  During which time we laugh, we cry, we smile, we love, we hate, it happens to just about every human that has ever walked God’s green Earth.

We have cycles of joy, where life is fruitful, where life is happy… then other periods where we wonder if there is some divine curse placed on us, where the Universe and everything in it conspires to ruin us.

We all find different ways to cope… some through substances, some through activity, some through sex, some through human interaction or any outlet of their choosing.  As for myself, I choose to look at life as a storybook, which in some ways it is.

In some regards, life is a long story.  With many excerpts that would make for exciting chapters, divided by long stretches of mediocrity.

Whether good things are happening to me, or completely terrible things happen, I think of it as a novel.  And what is a novel without some conflict or drama every now and then.  The best stories in history were filled with pain and sorrow, which were inevitably met with some form of victory that is now celebrated.

Just about every story that has ever taken place has taken place on Earth. There are infinite numbers of stories that have taken place, some that were told, some that were untold that will forever lie in the unopened pages of history.

At the end, if you see your life – the good and bad – as a story, as a character’s journey in a novel, you can look back at both pleasantries and unpleasantries as stories.

I like to imagine that some day in the future, technology will exist that will allow people to view the past and watch our stories.  Whenever I am going through a difficult situation, I like to think that a descendant far into the future is watching my struggle similar to a movie, experiencing a plethora of emotions, likely rooting for me to succeed.  Most importantly, I have the pen, and I intend to write one hell of a novel!

-J