“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, June 24, 2011

James Whitey Bolger

GUEST POST "Mike360 on HubPages
I write all kinds of crap and don't care if any of you like it or not."

Why do we glorify thugs and killers?

Time and time again I see shows on television that show violent criminals in a positive light. Most recently I have seen documentaries depicting gang violence as exciting and admirable on the History Channel, (though I quite often see comparable material on several other cable stations as well).

As I'm watching these documentaries, I notice that the camera angles and lighting during the interviews are made to make the interviewee seem powerful and intimidating. The narrator's tone and and language further present the perpetrator as someone who should inspire awe. The narrator's gravely intonations describe how johnny the gangster is "hard core and knows how to outwit local law enforcement. He is among the most dangerous and respected of his organization and he has the scars to prove it."

This kind of shit is part of the problem! Now obviously you and I would not be inspired to become gangsters or drug dealers or serial killers by watching cable tv, but remember this: half of young kids have a below average IQ and/or are highly impressionable especially when it comes to televised images of power. These kids are apt to see this and honestly think, "Wow. Now that guy gets taken seriously. I want to be respected and feared like that and get interviewed on tv while some guy with a raspy voice tells everyone I'm a badass."

I know for a fact that many kids think this way because I have worked in a juvenile detention center and have worked with kids on probation for gang violence. There are tons of kids whose parents are way fucked up and never teach them the most basic things in life. Therefore, they learn everything from there peers, television, and now, the Internet. Glorification of violence and crime in mass media and our society has got to stop.

Take for instance the phrase, "Sexual Predator." How is the word Predator usually used? What sorts of images does it conjure up in people's minds when they hear just the word Predator? It sounds like something badass like a lion or tiger or eagle or shark. There's no way in hell that rapists and pedophiles should be lumped in with respectable animals that we see on National Geographic. They should be called "Sexual Scavengers" or "Sexual Bottom Feeders" or "Sexual Cockroaches." Even those words are too good for them, much less "Predator."

Then there's serial killers and mass murders described as "cold-blooded killers." Well, yes, they probably are cold blooded in a sense, but the way that the phrase is voiced by the narrator implies that this is a good trait to have if you're going to be doing some killing. Just listen to how they say it next time. It sounds like they're trying to sell us insecticide. "Use Raid Wasp Remover! It's a COLD-BLOODED KILLER!"

Glorification of violence and crime is detrimental to our communities and neighborhoods. Criminals do not deserve one ounce of admiration for their depraved and heinous acts. At best, they should be mocked and ridiculed for being a cancer to society.

Our kids need to be shown that respect is given to those who earn it rightfully, not those who snatch it illegitimately and shamefully. Hollywood style glorification should be saved for people who deserve it like those who promote peace, compassion, and wisdom.

We are all part of society, and we are responsible for it's condition.



  1. Hollywood has always "glorified" violence.

    All the way back to Birth of a Nation", the largest grossing film of the "Silent Era" that glorified violence and
    highly controversial due to its portrayal of African American men (played by white actors in blackface) as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women, and the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan (whose original founding is dramatized) as a heroic force.

    Hollywood is, now, what Hollywood has always been.

  2. LONDON (Reuters) - Oil infrastructure in rebel-held in east Libya has not been badly damaged, and exports could start within three to four weeks of Muammar Gaddafi's fall, a senior British official said on Friday.

    Thirty days, rufus.

  3. No smoking gun, just another "coincidence".

    A leading U.S. newspaper reports a cell phone found during the raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan contained contacts to a militant group that has "strong ties" to Pakistan's intelligence agency.

    Citing unnamed U.S. officials, The New York Times said the discovery of the phone indicated that the group, Haradat-ul-Mujahideen, was part of bin Laden's support network within Pakistan.

    The report said the cell phone belonged to bin Laden's "trusted courier" who was killed along with the al-Qaida leader in the May 2 raid by Navy Seals on bin Laden's compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad.

    According to the Times, U.S. analysts have determined that Harakat commanders had called Pakistani intelligence officials, but there was no "smoking gun" proving Pakistan's spy agency had a role in protecting bin Laden.

  4. Whitey. It's Whitey's fault.

  5. wikipedia.....

    amazing it that's what some posters use a their treasure trove for knowledge...

    really says it all...

    cut and paste...

    say nothing...

    know nothing...

    actually see?



    hollywood gave us Sgt Schultz....

  6. If there is no truth to the post, mention that.

    But when the post represents the truth, little matter the source.

  7. The Ku Klux Klan is/was a gang of domestic terrorists.

    It was glorified, by Hollywood.

    Back in the glory days there of.

  8. I'm a bit skeptical, Rat, but . . . . if that's what the experts say . . .

  9. I know one thing; that myth of Saudi Arabia's 5 million barrel "spare capacity" is shot all to hell.

  10. A non-Wiki snippet, about the power of Hollywood, to influence society.

    Its release set up a major censorship battle over its vicious, extremist depiction of African Americans, although Griffith naively claimed that he wasn't racist at the time. Unbelievably, the film is still used today as a recruitment piece for Klan membership - and in fact, the organization experienced a revival and membership peak in the decade immediately following its initial release.

  11. The "Birth of a Nation" was released in 1915, little has changed, in Hollywood.

    They glorified violence, then, they do so still, today.

    There has been no degradation of morality, there, since 1915.

    Hollywood's "First" blockbuster.
    A reflection upon Hollywood and the audience, too.

    Only the names have changed.

  12. Yes, they were. So was(are):

    Bonnie and Clyde
    Malvo and Muhammad
    McVeigh and Nichols
    Black Panthers
    Internet Hackers
    Community Organizers
    Jerry and Joe Kane
    Lying Politicians

  13. The gangster films of the 1930's, like "Little Caesar", maintain the trend line.

    Edward G. Robinson would have had no career, if not for the glorification of gangsters, in Hollywood.

  14. All the way to 1994 and "Pulp Fiction", directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, this is another example of Hollywood glorifying violent and illegal behaviors.

    It is what Hollywood does, always has been.

    There is one hundred years of their work product to exemplify that.

  15. And their success at it shows what people want to see.

    Hollywood's motto:

    Give the people what they want.

    Currently there seems to be a huge facination with zombies and vampires.

    Should zombies and vampires call foul?

  16. Pulp of my all time favorites. Watched part of it again the other night.

  17. The "Great" Rulers in all of your high school and college texts were the Conquerors. They wrote books, and composed paeons to the Caessars that "Conquered," but not to the ones that ruled during "times of peace."

    We are a violent species.

  18. The Gangland series, which is what Mike360 is, I think, referring to.

    It is in its 7th season.

    Lots of different biker gangs, Aryan Brotherhood, MS-13, Crips and Bloods make it to the screen on the History Channel and Spike TV.

  19. I know one thing; that myth of Saudi Arabia's 5 million barrel "spare capacity" is shot all to hell.

    I'm not going to get into it further this morning Rufus, but you know this better than anyone here.

    I have no knowledge of how much spare capacity SA has if any but Libyan crude is sweet and light. The Saudi oil is not. When the Sauds created a special blend trying to duplicate the Libyan oil it didn't go over and there were no takers. So they pulled it.

    Say what you like about the Sauds and their reasons for doing it but they have been the doves of OPEC with regard to oil. They have produced more than their OPEC target and have been the ones pushing for more production to bring down prices.

    Again, you can speculate on their reasons.


  20. Believe it or not, Q; that particular comment was not aimed at you (although, admittedly, most similar comments are.) :)

    It was just frustrating, when gasoline was $3.95 gallon to have to listen to some tool come on my idiot box, and coo, reassuringly, that "there is 5 million bpd Spare Capacity in Saudi Arabia."

  21. It was episode 2, in season 5 that Gangland focused upon the "Imperial Klans of America, Ku Klux Klan".

    Though episode "0" of season 1 focused upon the Aryan Brotherhood.

    Glorifying the Klan and racism?
    Or educating the public?

    They report, you decide.

  22. It's just that I've thought for quite some time that we have a big problem building, and that both sides of the aisle have their heads up their ass.

  23. They may be on different sides of the aisle, rufus, but they are all in the same box.

    The answer is outside of that box.

    As long as US politics is seen by the electorate as a binary choice, those that own the box, they'll continue to win.

  24. The elites don't like Bubba. They like to ignore that Bubba even exists.

    But, the fact is, this economy has always done well when Bubba was doing well; and this economy has sucked when Bubba was having trouble.

    And, Bubba's got Serious troubles.

  25. Look, the IMF is getting ready to give another few hundred billion (or, whatever the number is) to Greece.

    25% or so of that money is Our Money. Bubba's in big trouble, and we're blowing another couple hundred billion on Greece. Of course, we're really spending it to prop up Citibank, and Goldman - the banks that aren't about to lend a penny to Bubba, and his clan.

  26. Armies have found out, all through history, that Bubba ain't a good one to back into a corner.

  27. This is California's Renewable Energy Output, Yesterday.

    This bodes well for our future. Despite the silliness put forward by the Republicans, and Wall Streeters, Coal, and Nat Gas Won't last forever.

    But, the Dems, on the other hand, seem to think that we can run our cars on it, Tomorrow. And, that is as silly, and destructive, as the Pubs 'bottomless milkshake' theory.

  28. Armed very well, Gag. And, trained-up to a Tee.

    He won't look like a bunch of Greeks out throwing rocks, and running up and down the street.

  29. Will you fire upon the National Guard, gag?

    The State police?

    The FBI?

    If you won't why would the other Bubbas?

    These fellas would

    I'm pretty sure that Bubba does not stand with them.

  30. There is a Constitutional remedy, if Bubba would use it.

    But it's doubtful he will.

  31. Bubba has been taught, and thoroughly believes, that he is limited to the binary choices the status que avails him.

  32. Whitey Bolger was armed up.

    Lots of guns, over thirty I think I heard. He went down without firing a shot.

  33. Bubba IS the national guard, Rat.

  34. Bolger was just a cheap, chickenshit thug.

    Bubba is a law-abiding man. Thing is, he figures all politicians are crooks, and he doesn't have a good record of getting to the polling place.

  35. And the National Guard WILL fire upon unarmed US civilians.

    The National Guard HAS done so.
    There is ample historic precedence to exemplify that fact.

  36. The uniform elevates Bubba to the next level, rufus.

  37. While Whitey Bolger was beating up his girls, and sneaking behind, and shooting people in the back Bubba was lugging 80 lbs of gear in 110 degree heat, and fighting a nasty, and well-armed enemy. Day in, and Day out. 2, 3, 4 deployments.

    Bolger was a punk. Bubba ain't no punk.

  38. Rat

    I ain't Bubba, and I don't really care what he does.

    I am a L.A.C. I live in the heartland, obey the laws of the land, and pay my taxes.

    No need for me to fire on anyone of authority. Its those not in authority that should fear me.

    Romans 13 1-2.

  39. No, Rat, Bubba won't stage a "National Insurrection." He won't go shooting at the National Guard (unless they shoot at him.)

    But, if things get tough enough, and if he thinks they've become "unfair" enough, he might "unplug." Think: Whiskey Rebellion.

  40. Anyways, Bubba has troubles; and the economy has never done well when Bubba wasn't doing well. He's just too important to the overall scheme of things.

  41. Exactly, Bubba obeys the Law.

    It is illegal to shoot at the National Guard. It is illegal to stage a revolt.

    The answer is Constitutional.
    It is also outside the binary box.

    Have all the guns you want, it is not a political thing.

    Not unless the gun owners go really far, outside the box. No one in the US that failed to get to the ballot box will use their weapons for organized political purposes.

    Without an organized political purpose, the gun user is just a thug, a criminal, a terrorist.
    Not a political dissenter.

  42. It does not take weapons, to "unplug", rufus.

    I know John Galt.
    John is a friend of mine.

    “"Turn on, Tune in, Drop out."”

    Timothy Leary, maybe he's not dead, yet.

  43. Having Guns is Always a "plus," Rat. :)

  44. Somebody's got to shoot out the tires of that Bud Light delivery truck. :)

  45. Cain't have a Revolution w/o Bud Light. :)

  46. Mine are in the closet.

    They stay there most of the time.

    Excepting when I'm traveling where civilization is a tad thin.

    Where there is little chance of representatives of the State being able to respond in a timely manner, if they could even be called.

    Guns, I have mine for practical, not political purposes.

  47. If only the Soviets knew, back when it mattered ...

    Nato lacks firepower to ensure collapse of Gaddafi regime, experts claim

    Nato lacks the firepower to ensure the collapse of Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime, defence experts warned on Friday after the Libyan army inflicted a sustained rocket attacks on the western city of Misurata.

  48. That's all of us, Rat.

    But, just the fact that they're there, in the closet, is to some extent "politically important."

  49. Not nearly as important as actually participating in the elections.

  50. .

    Bubba's in big trouble, and we're blowing another couple hundred billion on Greece. Of course, we're really spending it to prop up Citibank, and Goldman - the banks that aren't about to lend a penny to Bubba, and his clan.

    The FED's and the Banks once again stick it to the States and to Bubba.

    Are Fannie and Freddie government entities or private firms. The answer will probably decide the issue on property taxes.

    Counties sue Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac over taxes

    Oakland, Ingham say U.S.-backed mortgage lenders owe millions

    Pontiac —Government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the targets of lawsuits from two county governments claiming they owe millions of dollars in taxes.

    Oakland and Ingham counties have filed suit seeking to recoup taxes the lenders allegedly failed to pay on property taxes. Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner claimed the companies played a key role in the foreclosure crisis and are skirting taxes that could go to public schools...

    The mortgage companies have claimed they are exempt as government entities, but their officials have not responded to the suits and have declined comment. The lawsuits reject the tax-exempt claims...

    And this is a game the Banks love to and are allowed to play.

    In a more extensive article on the same subject it was pointed out that many banks sold properties to Fannie and Freddie right before the property taxes came due.

    The combination of the Federl government, Fannie and Freddie, and the Banks created the problems we have. The government then used our money to bail out the banks and the two mortgage holders. None of these entities has done a damn thing for the states or Bubba and they continue to try to stick it to us.

    Is it Corruption and Collusion or Just Memorex?


  51. Depends on "the times," maybe. Different horses for different courses, and all that.

  52. That the Federals control over 60% of the West, and pay no local property taxes, part of the reason why those vast tracts of land should be privatized.

  53. Now the Federal proxies are claiming exemptions on city properties, too.


  54. Fannie and Freddy, saving America's heritage.

  55. Fannie and Freddie have a good gig.
    Lose money? Get more from Uncle Sam. Make money? Keep it.

    My 12 year old Nephew could make that work.

  56. .

    The following article does a good job in spelling out the massive obligations we have that are 'not' included in most discussions of the national debt.

    However, the solutions he offers are painfully vague.

    The solution lies first in restoring a boom in economic growth, which requires returning to the principles of Reaganomics. Then we must modernize all of our nation’s entitlement programs to rely on modern capital, labor and insurance markets, with transformed incentives that would further contribute to economic growth.

    With such reforms, we can achieve all of the social goals of those programs far more effectively, better serving seniors and the poor, at just a fraction of the costs of our current tax and redistribution programs. Further liberating, pro-growth reforms are necessary at the state and local levels as well.

    It appears he is promoting the same things Ryan did. But who is to know.

    The Magnitude of America's Bankruptcy Bomb


  57. .

    Regarding the Fannie/Freddie story above, riddle me this.

    If, in fact, both are government agencies and thus protected from paying taxes doesn't that also mean that their CEOs should be paid the going federal standard for agency heads?

    I would imagine that range is between $150k and $250k, no stock options, no golden parachutes, etc.


  58. Yes, and ... No.

    There is a different rule book for the Boners, don't you know?

    Obviously not.

    Unlike like Mr Bernanke, $191,300.

    Sep 9, 2008 6:00pm EDT

    (Reuters) - U.S. Democrats on Tuesday criticized the multimillion-dollar pay packages awarded to the former chief executives of Fannie Mae FNM.N and Freddie Mac FRE.N at a time when taxpayers could foot a massive bill for the companies' bailout.

    In a joint letter to Fannie and Freddie's regulator, Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Jack Reed of Rhode Island said the combined pay and bonus packages of about $24 million should be revised.

    "We find it way out of line," they said in the letter, saying the severance pay for former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd and former Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron should be questioned especially if any financial losses could have been caused by errors in management.

    The U.S. Treasury Department over the weekend seized control of the two government-sponsored entities, which together back about half the country's $12 trillion in home mortgages.

    So, after the seizure did Fannie and Freddie become "more" Federal than they were, previously?

  59. Freddie and Fannie, both private enterprises, before they were seized by the Federals.

    Now that they have been seized, they are really Federal entities, now.

    Those homes, they are part of the Federal real estate portfolio, now.

    Part of our Heritage.

  60. .

    So, after the seizure did Fannie and Freddie become "more" Federal than they were, previously?

    Merely my opinion, but I would have to say yes.

    After the seizure, the US took on an 'actual' responsibility for the operation and responbilities of Fannie and Freddie, this as opposed to the non-legally binding 'implied' responsibility that existed prior.

    Kind of like the infamous Pottery Barn Rule. Once you buy it you own it.


  61. If I remember correctly, the Feds actually lost money operating a bordello.

    I think the only thing they ever showed a profit on was the Bicycle Club in Los Angeles.

  62. It seems to me like it would be pretty hard (okay, damned near impossible) to lose money on a cat-house.

  63. If the Federals own those houses, well, the locals are shit out of luck.

  64. .

    The abuses at Fannie and Freddie have been spelled out here numerous times.

    The US government owes the current management nothing. In fact, the current management still complains about how they were unjustly screwed. They still try to pursue the same type of practices that got them into trouble to begin with up to the limits set by the government.

    Screw them. The argument that they have to be paid exhorbitant sums based on track record and performance in a competitive market is laughable on its face. If they were actually paid for performance, they would be paying us back billions.

    Find some qualified business major and pay him $250k to run the companies and we would be much further ahead. And don't say you couldn't find a qualified person for $250k in todays market.


  65. .

    If the Federals own those houses, well, the locals are shit out of luck.

    I can buy that. However, if that applies then my other comment regarding CEO pay should also apply.

    The fact the two companies haven't formally responded to the suit makes me think they are considering the implications.


  66. If I remember correctly, the Feds actually lost money operating a bordello.

    Obviously because of poor management.

    They were eating up all the profits.


  67. What happened was, there was this wild and crazy guy owned a cat-house a few miles out from Reno. He was a trip. Would come into Reno every night with four, or five of the ladies on his arm (he had some good lookers, btw,) and just burn up the money.

    Anyways, it seems he was better at operating a whorehouse than he was at paying his taxes, and the Feds ended up with his joint. I "think" it was the Mustang Ranch, but I might have that confused.

    But, as I was sayin', the Feds took over his operation, and the last I heard they'd managed to lose a quarter million or so running what had arguably been the most successful whorehouse in the country.

    As Doug would say, let's give'em Healthcare; what could go wrong?

  68. AW shucks,

    Contrary to a popular urban legend circulated by email, the Mustang Ranch was never operated by the US government.[9][10]

    From Wiki:

    Well, it made a good story, anyway. Joe Conforte was the guy's name.

  69. It’s Time To End The Lavish Executive Salaries Of Bailed Out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    A report released on Thursday by the Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) found that the six top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were paid a $35.4 million since the taxpayer bailout.

  70. .

    The Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee will mark up Chairman Bachus’s proposal, H.R. 1221, on Tuesday, April 5 at 10 a.m. in room 2128 Rayburn.

    I can't find a record that Bauchus' proposal to control executive salary at Fannie and Freddie ever made it out of committee.

    Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

    It's the way of the world. (In D.C. at least.)