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FeatherFall

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FeatherFall last won the day on December 10 2014

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About FeatherFall

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  • Birthday 12/25/83

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    Jacob Zeise
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    Obviously, I am interested in Objectivism. I also enjoy board games such as "Axis and Allies", I like watching football and playing volleyball. I've studied Karate and Lima Lama in the past, but am not currently practicing. I'm a full time house papa/student, and I work part time.
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    I've read most of Rand's fiction and nonfiction and have paid attention to the Objectivist Web community for several years.
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  1. I think this issue bears focusing with greater resolution. There was a system of race-based oppression and, yeah, there are multi-generational effects. But who really benefited from the past oppression? The labor market of poor white people was negatively effected by black slave labor. This primarily benefited those whites who were *slave owners* not all whites. Sure, poor whites were far better off than black slaves (and afterward "free" blacks in the Jim Crow era). But how many people actually reaped the rewards of these atrocities? This website says that the highest rates of slave ownership in 1860 were in Georgia at 49%. That's shockingly high. But it also mean most families didn't own slaves.
  2. What is the Objectivist Answer to Police Brutality?

    I want to thank the OP and everyone else. This discussion has lead me to be more interested in the history of policing. This article is written with some heavy bias, but it nevertheless makes some good points. Among other things, it traces modern police forces back to a convergence between occupied Northern Ireland and southern US slave patrols. People interested in researching occurrences of police misconduct more thoroughly may want to start with the Cato Institute's police misconduct website.
  3. What is the Objectivist Answer to Police Brutality?

    Nicky, you've had a lot of questions directed toward you. I understand the difficulty in responding fully to everyone. I'm sorry I couldn't be more brief with my own response. I'm sorry, I misstated my point. Police have access to the evidence against them prior to providing a statement. I don't know what the objectivity of juries has to do with this issue. If you'd like to explain further, please do. Perhaps pointing us toward the studies in question will help to illuminate your thoughts on the matter. Based on what you've said (and omitted) about the system, it appears you believe that the system begins and ends with a trial. I don't have a comprehensive list of alternative methods for distributing justice, but I do have some suggestions for where we can direct our attention. States' attorneys routinely overcharge suspects in the hopes that they plead to lesser charges; I'm inclined to regard this as extortion. It seems to me that this method is not used with the same frequency on police officers. In so far as this method is at play against the six officers entrusted with Freddie Gray's safety, it is also wrong. We have technology now that allows us to record all aspects of custody. I think that is a meager investment considering how much easier it would be to determine justice and how it would alter immoral police behavior. Please also consider that a prosecutor needs police cooperation in convicting a subject; that means police hold power over prosecutors, which ensures a level of cooperation other people simply won't get. I don't know how to begin to address that problem. I don't even know if addressing it is possible, but it nevertheless remains a serious problem. There also seems to be a revolving door between the law firms that argue in front of a court and the judicial appointments on the court. Again, I don't know how to address this issue, but it bears some measure of attention. Please take a moment to remember that my contention was about a culture that exists among law enforcement and prosecutors. My above suggestions were merely procedural. But I'm a little jealous of Don Athos for thinking of a good point at the end of his last post. Police are pressured into immoral behavior on a daily basis. I don't know how strong the influence is between such behavior and the different category of immoral behavior that includes brutality and evidence manipulation. But I suspect there is an important link. This particular influence exists for prosecutors as well. It also is the easiest problem to find a solution for; just change the laws so they are moral. Of course, a solution easily found is not necessarily a solution easily implemented. I don't know that it "proves" anything. "Evidences" may be a better word. If the term is as old as you say, it seems to me that it evidences the historical context of current police culture. It helps us figure out how we got to where we are today. It shows us that this culture isn't new. But it has become easier to see with modern recording equipment and social media. Credible allegations. These aren't criminals resisting handcuffs while screaming "you're hurting me." These are multiple lawyers alleging routine and extremely serious criminal misconduct on the behalf of a large number of police. Denying access to a lawyer while erasing the custody record strikes at the very heart of the "system" you hold so much faith in.
  4. What is the Objectivist Answer to Police Brutality?

    Edit: Actually, from what I can tell this is not being dealt with. It's just on our radar. :Edit http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site
  5. What is the Objectivist Answer to Police Brutality?

    I think that most people who commit moral wrongs tend to think of themselves as good people and rationalize their actions. So there is certainly a continuum of cooperation. Evil "Collusion" would be on one end, like the Wisconsin John Doe investigations. On the other end you'd have prosecutors giving cops the benefit of the doubt, refusing to investigate beyond a cursory glance (like what I suspect would have happened with Walter Scott were there no video). Now, keep in mind that last parenthesized bit is on the extreme end of the spectrum. A cursory investigation may be forgivable if a prosecutor doesn't have video of the cop (presumably) moving the tazer, didn't have non-autopsy evidence of rear-entry bullet wounds, etc. In the middle you have borderline cases that we'd argue about here, like the Eric Garner case. But yes, I think collusion happens often enough that it's a widespread problem. By the way, have you heard about the secret detention centers in Chicago? That police brutality was so widespread that it required infrastructure. Of course, it was discovered and is being dealt with on some level. But in order for things like that to happen you need a police/civic culture that accepts things like that as normal. Edit: There are other indications that "culture" is at play. It is widely speculated that Freddie Gray was the victim of a "rough ride." I'm told that in Philadelphia they call it a "Nickle Ride." Whether or not that happened matters in the Freddie Gray investigation. But put that aside for a moment. What sort of police culture do we have when there are slang terms for handcuffing someone and having the driver of a van slam them around in the back?
  6. What is the Objectivist Answer to Police Brutality?

    I assume Nicky was responding to me, in part. If not, I'll at least own up to making the claim. I'm actually extremely surprised that anyone would balk at the notion of prosecutor/judicial/LEO collusion. I suppose that's why we have these discussions. Nicky, we've heard Don Athos's alternate interpretation of the stats you mentioned. Ultimately I couldn't say for sure, but I have a third interpretation. I'll start by conceding a lower conviction rate could indicate overzealous prosecutors who target police. But only in some jurisdictions. So that in and of itself does not dispel "Blue Culture," because it's likely that different jurisdictions have different relationships with their prosecutors. Please also consider that police almost always have access to view the evidence against them prior to trial - in many cases they have access to handle that evidence. Also consider that their training and career require regular trips to the witness stand, which leads to skilled testimony that is far more helpful to them than your average defendant's. Edit: I meant that police have access to the evidence against them before providing a statement.
  7. What is the Objectivist Answer to Police Brutality?

    I haven't seen evidence that police are targeting people by race. There is evidence that they are targeting poor people in black communities, but race doesn't appear to me to be a primary factor. I think the real issue is what I'll call, "Blue Culture." It involves an incestuous relationship between prosecutors, judges and police departments. It encourages police to get involved where they don't belong, in many cases simply to generate revenue, and to protect their own at the cost of public safety and the rule of law. Here are some examples of "Blue Culture" causing the death of white people: Kelly Thomas Samantha Ramsey David Hooks May 5th Edit: Cameron Redus
  8. While the moral premise of private charity can come from the same premise that justifies socialism, the crucial element of force is still important enough to draw a meaningful distinction. Not to mention the fact that private charity can come from a different premise. You can see that premise at play when some charities vet their beneficiaries. Systematic benevolence actually sounds pretty great when we keep in mind the idea that duty-based "benevolence" is really not benevolence at all.
  9. Crow, I don't know what you're referring to when you wrote "evasion" in your last post. You're going to need to spend a little bit more effort explaining your position if you want me to understand. Are you saying that benevolence can't be combined with the non-initiation of force? That believing as much is an evasion?
  10. Police Militarization / Use of Force

    Yes, I disagree in part. For one, I'm not immediately sure where to being parsing out the morality of the horseplay example. The other examples conflate a legal and possibly ethical use of force with a use of force that is neither legal nor remotely ethical. Remember that an apples-to-apples comparison to the Garner case involves a situation where your average Joe is legally justified in using force. There is also some relevant context dropped from your example, such as the lack of an attempt to choke the victim to unconsciousness, unforeseen health concerns, etc. We've gone over that stuff to exhaustion, so I understand not wanting or needing to rehash it again. But considering how fraught with confusion this topic is I feel the need to point that out. Are you disappointed because I think headlocks aren't as big a deal as you do, or that I said you're trying to hang a man who committed no crime? If it's the latter, remember that I'm speaking of legal crimes. It's probably a good time to share that one of my first reactions to this situation was that any kind of conviction would be right, even if we had to get creative with the law. So I'd find the position understandable, even if it's not right.
  11. Police Militarization / Use of Force

    I still don't know how you'd square this with the notion that, as it seems to me, your average Joe can use a temporary chokehold without it being considered deadly force. It seems to me that you're trying to find a loophole to hang this cop for something that isn't a crime. Ex post facto, indeed. Cops may be held to different standards than your average person. But I submit there are more just punishments for failing those standards to which other people are not held; jettisoning them from the police force, or docking pay, or demotion. I object to double standards for police, but let's not react by imposing an inverse standard. Let's just hold everyone to the same standard.
  12. As long as we're having them to commit to something that won't happen, why don't we have them get rid of the false alternative entirely and combine benevolence with the non-initiation of force?
  13. To which article do you refer? It seems to me that shelters, socialized or not, will bar their doors to the homeless when at capacity. The poor guy had alcohol issues and apparently lost access to housing after someone secured it for him. This isn't a free-market/socialized care issue, this is a personal health/growth issue. Some people aren't going to make it in any system. Whether this particular guy's problem was due to early childhood experience, a genetic predisposition, or something else I don't know. But sooner or later the doors to any shelter will close, even when they aren't being shut down "due to ordinance and code violations." It's a resource problem that socialism is just as susceptible to, if not more so.
  14. Police Militarization / Use of Force

    Prohibition by law is different from prohibition by policy. The choke hold appears to be prohibited by policy but not by law. This implies that any citizen may legally use such a choke hold under certain circumstances. Earlier I wrote, "appears," because it isn't clear if the duration is a factor, if this officer will face departmental repercussions or if he is protected by the kind of undue veneration you mentioned. I have some more thoughts, but it's getting very late.
  15. Police Militarization / Use of Force

    The medical examiner seemed to lay blame in equal parts to the choke hold and to the act of pinning Garner to the ground. Presumably you don't think the second act should be prohibited. Until I see evidence that the medical examiner drew further distinction between those two actions, I can only conclude that they are of similar severity; that is, reasonable arrest measures that unpredictably triggered a prior health condition. I am not aware of any further info on the matter, which is regrettable. But it is my understanding based on available information that Garner, while handcuffed, was still breathing and that an ambulance was called for him. Without combing through the details I don't have access to, that seems like a reasonable response to his pleas. So much for the second context. Regarding the total context, you're right; this isn't justice. Aside from being incredibly stupid, I haven't judged Garner's resistance negatively. He didn't take any violent actions and just wanted to be left alone. In cases where officers enforce immoral laws, there can be no justice within the legal system. The only thing the legal system allows us to address is the proper action within the second context. Any justice you want to effect will have to come from outside of the legal system. What do you propose?
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