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Everything posted by FeatherFall

  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
  2. 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. 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 y
  4. 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. 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 prosec
  6. 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 Cultur
  7. 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:
  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. 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
  11. 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 rea
  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
  14. 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. 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 stil
  16. It appears to me as if a grand Jury had something to say about what was necessary in the Garner case. If not what was necessary, at least what was permissible.
  17. This topic is frustrating because it requires us to employ more than one context as we evaluate different aspects of the encounter. Let's leave aside the question of moral versus civil law for a moment and assume, for the rest of this paragraph, that the legal is the moral. A citizen's responsibility when confronted with a legal arrest is to submit to detention. A reflex is an involuntary response of the nervous system; Garner's response was clearly not reflexive. The man was actively resisting. An officer's job requires non-lethal force when resistance is offered. I don't know what "over the
  18. I thought you said that you hadn't read it, but you must have referred to the other two works. I was surprised to read that you weren't interested in them. I think these would be the first place to start when studying Rand's rhetoric. She isn't known primarily for her public speaking but rather her fiction and nonfiction. The strength of your thesis may benefit from quoting what Rand had to say about rhetoric then quoting examples of her doing it. The Art of Nonfiction focuses much on the process of writing, which is probably irrelevant to your purpose. But chapter 8 is about style and may be
  19. Ilya Startsev, I'm curious to know if you ever got around to reading The Art of Fiction, The Art of Nonfiction or Atlas Shrugged.
  20. Black markets are cracks in civilization that propagate barbarism and violent aggression. Legitimize the markets and bleed out the barbarism. In the mean time, I like your suggestion. But this seems too easy; I don't think it was a satisfactory example of my idea, but maybe the examples don't need to be hard. After thinking on it a bit, I've come to the conclusion that we're all morally justified in ignoring immoral laws, and there should be an explicitly recognized plea of innocent because the law is immoral. Cops should have a similar defense when and if they decide to defy orders. Taking
  21. I alluded to the following in another thread. I think police should ignore immoral laws. But it gets difficult when we want laws enforced that aren't on the books - like racketeering charges and applying the felony murder rule to the cops in the Eric Garner case. Or to take a less controversial issue, the theft of drugs from a drug user. Do you prosecute a guy for stealing something nobody had a *legal* right to, and then ignore the laws prohibiting possession? It seems less justifiable to me.
  22. I hope I didn't give you the impression that I wanted new people to execute the same strategy. A new strategy is implied by different goals. You can try to achieve the same goals with different strategies, but you can't use the same strategy to achieve different goals.
  23. I don't think we can draw that conclusion from the Iraq war. That war strategy was botched because of a failure to properly identify an enemy and victory conditions. Bad philosophy. It is great evidence that we can't trust Republicans to wage wars (which isn't to say we can trust Democrats). For now I'm willing to wait for someone more capable. It will probably be a while.
  24. DonAthos, I don't think the force is defensive when police are arresting someone. I'd call it retaliatory force. And there certainly should be restrictions on what police can do. Such restrictions will impose a greater risk of a suspect escaping, but that's not a big deal if people retain the means to defend themselves. And of course we will hold people accountable for breaches of policy, on a case by case basis. Most people are at least partly responsible for how they interact with police. A little girl is not. But we're getting ever farther from the previous issue and I'm having a harder and
  25. Eiuol, he sure looks obese to me. Perhaps a google image search of Gilbert Brown will change your mind? Edit 1: I don't know why you think it matters if he is resisting violently. Perhaps you think what the police did to Garner would have been ok if he was violently resisting rather than merely dodging their handcuffs? I'm not familiar with the police progression of force, but it's my understanding that the police are allowed to get aggressive when people show resistance like that. I can't say for certain whether it's right or wrong, but apparently you think its wrong. Why? Edit 2: Look,
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