That’s more research than I did before I came here, worked pretty well for me…
Anyway, I’ve only been here for a little over a year, so I’m in no shape or form an expert, but feel free to ask anything.
And I work for a tech company.
That’s more research than I did before I came here, worked pretty well for me…
It doesn’t rain too often in the summer in Beijing, but you can get short, unexpected monson like spells every now and then.
Me and my friend got caught in one last night, so we huddled under the parasols and awning of a small street BBQ place, drinking and eating until the downpour subside.
At some point, one shirtless dude (which as far as I can tell is not affiliated with the place) had enough I guess, so he disconnected a parasol from a table and just walked away with it into the night.
There are not a lot of fucks given in China in general, but that’s some next level shit, he like gave negative amount of fucks.
God I love this place.
Watching Sportscenter in a bar in Beijing, isn’t technology great?
Oh, and fuck Miami, the Spurs beat them so hard they literally broke them.
Worst fanbase in the league, how does it feel to walk out of the last meaningful playoff home game?
Another day, another shit decision by the Roberts court, in the US’s us v. them political system, cries about activists judges tend to alternate depending on the leaning of the court (and the idea that activist court is a liberal position is mostly due to the influential Warren court of the 50s and 60s) so you now hear anti SCOTUS cries from the left, and while there’s certainly much to dislike about Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (or the criminally neglected Harris v. Quinn), I’d rather focus on why I think the very concept of judicial review is flawed.
First of all a bit of a history, judicial review, the concept that the courts enforce the constitutionality of laws is not actually in the constitution. The constitution, that perfect document written with eagle tears mixed with the blood of Jesus forgot to stipulate its own enforcement mechanism, the supreme court pretty much decided to talk that power in 1803 and everybody was like, yeah, whatever, we’ll play along (yeah, yeah, I know it is mentioned Federalist 78, but the federalist papers are not law, thanks god for that, we wouldn’t have a bill of rights if they were).
And since the constitution was mum about who shall interpret it, it obviously doesn’t say anything about how it should be interpreted. Once again, Supreme Court justices nominated themselves for the task, because fuck you, I’m appointed for life, whatchagonnadoaboutit?
There are many approaches to this problem, but they’re generally broken into two main schools of thoughts, originalism and living constitution.
I’m not going to talk about pros and cons of each approach too much (though I’ll be shocked if I can keep myself from making jabs at idiots like Clarence Thomas) but more point out why I think the legal framework is bad under each one of these approaches. Also, I’m not arguing for parliamentary supremacy here (the idea that the legislative body is supreme to all other branches of government), whether or not you even need a constitution is a discussion I don’t want to get into, I’m arguing that if we want to have a constitution and if you want your laws to be subjected to it, we’re going around it the wrong way. In short, my problem with judicial review is with the judicial part, not so much the review.
But first, let’s discuss those two approaches a bit.
Originalism preach adhering closely to the original text, in its most pure and radical form it requires only drawing conclusions from what is explicitly in the text, this form is known as strict constructionism and is so fucking out there, that even people like Scalia say “wooha there boy, let’s not get carried away here”. It’s also worth mentioning that since judicial review isn’t in the constitution, a real strict constructionism means the discipline itself can’t exists.
But enough of this stupidity.
Most originalist judges take a more pragmatic approach, trying to infer the intent of either the text or its writers when making decisions. Originalists like to pretend that they’re just objective readers of text, but realistically, it’s a bit hard to read the mind of dead 18th century people, and once you make judgments about the modern world with its modern problems, your guesses go from wild to out of your ass. I mean you show a founding father a computer and he would most likely say “that magic box got naked hussies in it? Quick! Fetch me a bucket of lard and tell Sally Hemings she can take the night off”. But while I couldn’t stop myself from making a bit of fun of originalism, that’s not the point I really want to make.
If you want to take that approach to reading a constitution, you want your language to be as clear and unambiguous as possible, and as you can easily see from all those 5-4 decision, the legal framework is just shit at this.
And mind you, this is not an impossible problem, the fields of computer science and linguistics can achieve that quite easily – linguists create unambiguous languages out of boredom and pretty much every computer language qualify as such (outside HTML, fuck you Tim Berners-Lee).
Which leave us with the other (and often more liberal) approach – the living constitution.
This approach suggests that the constitution just provide the broad framework and it’s the job of the Supreme Court to adapt it to modern living and modern society.
Being the pinko commie that I am I think this is all well and good, but do we really want fucking lawyers to make that call?
We had countless of books, movies and tv series trying to portray them as heroes (mostly written by people with a law degree) and yet we trust car mechanics and bankers more than lawyers, why do we let them be the final arbitrators of our laws?
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all lawyers are bad or that there weren’t any great Supreme Court decisions, that is obviously silly, but it was good people making good decisions, it wasn’t the legal framework that did it -
It’s a framework that decided that corporations are people and black people aren’t.
It’s a framework that by its own admission got shitload of stuff wrong, and still put precedence above almost everything else.
Shit, if we’re going to have unelected and appointed for life people work within a shit framework and make decisions based on their political bias and public opinions, can we maybe get a profession that isn’t google complete to ‘jokes’ and ‘sleazy’?
You know what’s else isn’t in the constitution?
That Supreme Court justices have to be lawyers.
Every single one of them was, but there is no reason why we can’t have someone who didn’t went to law school.
Fuck it, I say we put a philosopher, a historian, a couple of scientists (one political and one real) and a doctor there.
Get some English majors too, if nothing else, they would make reading the decisions less of a chore.
Short answer, by roasting animals.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
One of the best things about the world cup is watching England lose. Yeah, there was once a dark time in human history when England didn’t lose in the world cup, thankfully, much like visigoth attacks or the spanish inquisition, this is no longer a concern and it hasn’t been in my lifetime.
Now obviously, we’re still in the group phase, so a loss here will not be as joyful as their eventual elimination, ideally by Germany in penalty kicks, but there’s something special about seeing the POMs fucking it up on their opening match.English fans are just so self assured of themselves, every cup they believe it’s their time to “bring the trophy home”, so it’s a great joy to see their cocky delusional confidence crash on the rocks of reality.
With that in mind and with their game against Italy coming up at 6am on a Sunday, we must ask ourselves - what’s the best to enjoy it?
You would probably say, 6am, that’s easy, go to sleep at a reasonable hour, set the alarm to 5:30 and watch the game.
Yeah, that sound like something you would say, that’s why everyone laughing at you behind yous back.
No, an England loss needs to be properly celebrated.
First, pick a place, ideally a dive bar/music joint located in an old abandoned drive in complex. Arrive there early, like, 13 hours before the match, so you can not only enjoy live music, drinks and food in sun, not to mention basking and marinating in the Englishmen overconfidence.
Get drunk, ideally on Mongolian vodka, which is crazy underrated by the way.
Start cooking some lambs.
Keep at it until night falls and it achieves a meat porn state.
After you and everyone else had their fill -
Head to the indoor music area and mosh around to some awesome local punk band.
At midnight, after you worked out some of your pent up aggression, head out to the lawn to watch a surprisingly entertaining Colombia Greece game.
Don’t forget to make bets with the POMs, their overconfidence is your income tonight.
After the game, around 1:45, go take a nap on one of the sofas. Wake up, be surprised that no one drew a penis on your forehead and head out to watch a surprisingly entertaining Uruguay Costa Rica game.
Wonder why the fuck you put money on Uruguay.
Take a moment to reflect on the fact that you have now outlasted your cell phone battery.
Keep looking for English people who want to lose their money.
After the game, around 4:45, go take a nap on one of the sofas, Wake up, be surprised that no one drew a penis on your forehead and head out to finally watch the game here to watch.
See POMs gets their hopes high, see them getting crushed, and enjoy really really good game in the process.
And that’s how you do it, pro style, isn’t it better than this whole “get a good night sleep” crap?
Just don’t forget to collect your money.
Their chants might be super lame and their supporters back home are fucking annoying, but the Dutch can sure throw a viewing party.
And man, after watching Spain tiki-taka balls back to the goalie for the better part of a decade, that 2nd van Persie goal was the most justifiably hilarious thing in the world cup.
As far as I’m concerned, we’re cool about Anne Frank.
I don’t regret going China, quite the opposite actually, it’s shaping out to be one of the best decisions in my life, but damn, the world cup would’ve been so much easier in the states…
And no, I can’t stay up for that, not when there’s an NBA finals game I got to watch at 9 in the morning, and I’m not trying that shit again.
It’s going to be a rough, sloppy and glorious month.
On the plus side, I set the alarm to 3:45 and I’ll be sitting at a bar before the 4am kickoff.
Another day, another shooting, this time Seattle, which strikes close to (the now proverbial) home. I feel a certain sense of resignation in the air, I get it, the US had proved rather gruesomely that no amount of mowed down middle schoolers is going to get it to change its ways.
Sadly, I don’t believe appeals to reason or compassions is going to work, The Brady Campaign and countless “Moms against…” organizations tried that approach, but do I think an appeal to fear would. White fear to be specific.
You get a few people who look like this to start going to suburban shopping malls, playgrounds or Chipotle restaurants with a bunch of AKs and Uzis, and 2nd amendment or no 2nd amendment, America will find a way to put a stop to that.
Don’t believe me? you think I’m race baiting?
Let’s take a look at history.
In 1966 the Black Panthers Party started armed patrols in Oakland, CA (they had slightly better reasons than those idiots who carry an AR-15 to a Starbucks), it took less than 6 months for the government of California to pass the Mulford Act, prohibiting open carry of guns.
Named after Don Mulford, a Republican assemblyman.
Passed by the Republican legislature.
Signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan.
Supported by the NBA.
Yeah, never underestimate the Fear of a Black Planet and the power it has over white America, even the NRA. I mean shit, I still remember when years later the US lost its collective shit over plastic Uzis.
Now obviously, it’s easy for me to sit here and say that, in a world where open carrying a bag of skittles can get a black kid shot, marching around a TGI Friday’s with an assault rifle can end in a bigger tragedy than eating at TGI Friday’s. So I’m not really advocating anything, I’m just saying, you know?
And of course, this will pretty much equally apply to Mexicans and Arab looking people, fuck, it would most likely apply to Sikhs, but focusing on those groups will give me an even flimsier excuse to post this Angela Davis photo -
And I think everyone can get behind that.