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Everything posted by EKUzombiE

  1. Based on the results of a recent polling, nearly 100% of participants disliked being hit with a pole.
  2. If there is a "Revolution", per se, I don't think it is going to start as a producers' strike a la Atlas Shrugged. Instead, I believe it will start with the more common conservative; the base silent majority, including the religious right, and even the not-so-religious right. I don't know where many of the members of this forum live, but those of you who live in and around the Ohio Valley/Appalachian Area...Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Etc...know of our unique breed of "redneck." I would call them "rednecks," because any urbanite, northerner or west-coaster would probably call them such at first glance. Business executives, business owners, doctors, pharmacists, scientists, engineers can all be seen driving big Ford turbo-diesel trucks with "NOBAMA" and "Where's MY bailout?" stickers on the back. Many might own or live on farms, board horses or graze cattle. Our culture is very rural. Most of the more successful who work in big cities like Louisville commute from either suburbs, or more rural towns that can be less than 20 miles away from downtown big-city. My barber is one of those. He owns a successful barber shop in the south-central part of Louisville. His barber shop is atypical, compared to most of the stylists and salons you'll find in the city. His shop is decorated classically; spinning barber pole on the outside, mounted heads of the spoils of his many hunting trips on the inside. He teaches a CCDW class about once a month in the shop, the class one is required to complete before obtaining a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon in the state of Kentucky. At the beginning of the class I took, he first mentioned how frustrated he is with the idea that private citizens are required to obtain a license from the government to carry a deadly weapon. The slogan of his barber shop is, "The safest barber shop in town!" It can be found on the front of camouflage baseball caps for sale, underneath the name of the shop, and the silhouette of a pistol. Signs are posted on the front window with the text, "NOTICE: EMPLOYEES AND PATRONS MAY BE ARMED." The signs don't lie. He owns a small arsenal. Like many here, when Obama was elected, he stocked up. I personally witnessed how the shelves of local gun-stores were emptied of first assault rifles, then hunting rifles, and finally pistols and ammunition within the first month after the election. Six AK-47 variants (Yugoslavian, Czech, some Russian) comprised his most recent purchase, as well as several thousand rounds of ammunition. When I asked him why he felt it necessary to have such a large arsenal, (I already knew the answer) he noted that the constitution, the bill of rights, and especially the second amendment, were designed to protect private citizens from an out-of-control government. Our style of government was formed so brilliantly, with checks and balances on government power extending to the people. If the bicameral form of legislature is designed to create checks and balances within Congress, the private citizens' "checks and balances" on both rest in our constitutional rights, including our right to keep and bear arms. "The ultimate power is the power to kill; it is the simplest and most efficient way to win any argument. Should this power, at some point, rest only in the hands of Government...we will truly be f*cked." The news was on during our conversation, news about the bailouts, mention of socialism, etc. We were both tsk tsking and shaking our heads. As began to leave, I sighed and said, "What can ya do?" With as serious as a demeanor as I've ever seen, he said, "I'll tell ya 'what can ya do.' It's high time for a good ol' fashioned revolution. I'm sick and tired of all this bullshit and I know I'm not the only one." Now this isn't some whiskey-drunk hillbilly sitting on a rusty oil-barrel in his backyard. This is a successful small-business owner. There are many like him here. LOTS. Doctors, engineers, lawyers, business execs, farmers...even police officers and members of the military. You might not know it, or believe it, because they keep to themselves. They work, they go home, spend time with their families, sleep, work. They don't have time to walk in the streets, beating drums and holding hastily-made signs. So there's lots of them, and they're fed up. I think they'll be the first one's to stage any kind of revolt, or revolution, as it were; the level of organization of which is debatable. One good thing about living in the rural sprawl is that there's a lot of space for you to do whatever you want and go unnoticed. For all I know, there could be a large militia training not more than two miles from my home in the deep woods. For that reason, I think it would be hard for anyone to really know if all this is just flighty theory until it really happens. One thing I do know is that, if all this were truly the case, they wouldn't fire the proverbial "first shot." They would wait for the first shot, then return fire with a level of "shock and awe" that would make the invasion of Iraq look like a bunch of kids playing with fifty-cent fireworks.
  3. I have an intriguing and sometimes fairly heated discussion with my boss at work about once a week. My boss is a Christian (Baptist,) actually studying in seminary to become a preacher...pastor or whatever. I am an Objectivist, and an Atheist. Reliably every time, the discussion whittles down to the basis for morals and ethics. He states that, as I do not believe in a god or holy scripture or holy word, there is no basis for my morals or ethics (his basis being the word of his god.) I explain to him that the basis for my morals, values and ethics rests in my ability to reason...my understanding of the world and people around me, and my recognition of the correct values and morals which allow me to best serve my own well being. He then claims that my own reason or intelligence is not a valid basis for morals, ethics or values, as my knowledge is not nearly extensive enough to determine the difference between right and wrong. He claims that only god and jesus christ can truly make this distinction, and for that reason we should follow his word. I usually then repeat to him a quote I heard...from someone. Not Rand...peikoff, paul, anyone like that, not a name. I think it was from an obscure book. "It is foolish to claim that because I know something, I know everything. It is far more foolish to claim that because I do not know everything, I know nothing."
  4. I'd almost say its 50/50 per department. I've only worked as an officer for one police department throughout my career, but I've worked with many others, and done research on twice as many. Some agencies prefer officers to stay "at the ready," simply patrolling their assigned beats or zones waiting to respond to a call. That's reactive. Others prefer more proactive strategies, such as community oriented policing; whereas, for example, officers would be placed on foot in certain areas and tasked with developing and strengthening relationships with citizens on an individual level. Proactive agencies, of course, also have an emphasis on preventative patrol, both mobile and on foot. But I've seen other agencies go so far as to get involved with cleaning up communities, and even doing landscaping - which is almost directly in line with Wilson & Kelling's "Broken Windows" theory of crime prevention. This is true, but the difficulty comes when you have been using such strategies to great success for some time. As those persons who are in the position to pass judgment on your work performance move on, others might replace them, and wonder...ignorant to the strategies and nature of the job...why they're not seeing any apprehensions, arrests, drug busts, etc. My thought is that, properly, the citizens of this country are in that position...passing judgment on the performance of our government. Some more ignorant to the proper function of government might wonder why they're not seeing congressmen or legislators or other government officials "doing" anything...that is, fixing any "problems" or finding solutions. If it was all done properly in the first place, and kept that way, ideally there would be no solutions to find or problems to fix, save for common crime or aggression from another nation. So, in a fresh politicians mind...if there is no need for solutions, what need is there for me?
  5. I've been thinking about this for some time, and I wanted to hear some thoughts. During college, I focused most of my studies on the subject of crime theory, leading to my degree in Criminal Justice. In crime theory, there is a pervasive issue known as the Dark Figure. The dark figure represents all the crime that occurs, but is not reported, due to, for example, failure of victims to report, inefficient research procedures, etc. There is another dark figure, even more impossible to quantify than the first; crime that does not occur. Expanding criminal justice to include all protective disciplines, for example: loss prevention, security, asset protection, executive protection, etc. - we can include more illustrative examples. Proactive policies more often result in the presence of the darker figure. For example, an asset protection coordinator who employs generally proactive policies - such as highly visible security measures, preventative measures, etc. - will generally have greater success in protecting assets. However, if that person were to employ more reactive procedures, focusing more on apprehending thieves, or taking reports on loss or shrink that has already occurred, he would have much more to report to those who hold his employ. So, although proactive strategies are generally much more successful in the protective arena - preventing crimes before they happen, preventing loss before it happens, actively protecting assets - these strategies leave the persons employing them with nothing to report...nothing to quantify, nothing to put in charts or graphs, nothing to show that they are doing their job. As a person who works in a related field, it can be frustrating. You find yourself having to find ways to justify your existence to superiors who, in many cases, do not understand the strategies you employ. How can you report to them the thefts that did not occur this quarter? Or the loss that was prevented? I think we can consider the government...federal and otherwise, as a larger protective entity. That's the way it was designed, anyway, to protect your rights...to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And thinking of it that way, I wonder if people in the political arena, specifically active government officials, don't suffer from this same symptom. I wonder if they don't feel a need to justify their existence with quantity....figures, charts, graphs, etc...to show they they are doing something and that there is a need for their existence. Some time ago, "people," (not sure what people) were saying that we had a "do nothing," congress. To me, this was a good sign. A proper government would not be proactive. The founding fathers already took the proactive steps, to lay the foundation for a governing body that could act to REACT to threats to its citizens' rights, lives, well being, etc. So, if our congress was doing "nothing," they were properly doing their job; waiting and staying vigilant for threats. I think, at least in part, that this gross misunderstanding of the role of government is what lead to our near-trillion dollar bailout fiasco. If there are no threats to the rights of citizens (or more accurately, if the government is the source of said threats) how is a government official to show his constituency that there is a bonafide need for his position? How else, but by creating a problem, and solving it? Not unlike how a loss prevention agent, concerned about his job, might ask a friend to steal and hide some product so that he can "recover" it. Or a concerned police officer might call in a bomb threat, just to give him and his co workers a chance to show the mayor that they're good for something. I think what we have here is a case of firefighters starting fires. And we're all getting hosed. Comments?
  6. The qualifications for becoming a police officer, be it municipal, county or state, vary state by state. In Kentucky, you have to have either an associates degree from an accredited university, or four years of honorable military experience. You must also be able to pass a fairly strenuous physical fitness test, polygraph test, extensive background check, as well as a battery of oral interviews and written test. This is just the statewide standards for peace officer certification. Honestly, in order to get hired, you should at least have a Bachelors degree, or military experience as an Officer. Along with this, every agency has it's own unique testing battery added on to the aforementioned. Once you pass all this, you're faced with the competition...and there's plenty of that. I once applied for an agency I had worked for previously in a non-sworn capacity...thought I knew everyone well enough to stand a pretty good chance, plus my qualifications and experience were excellent...I found out in order to even qualify for an interview I would have had to have been better than 65 other applicants. So it's tough to get into the field...but that does not necessarily mean that the testing batteries are looking for the right qualities in a potential employee. There's a lot of, "I'm kin to ___," that happens in the field during the hiring process. For example, the husband of the niece of the Assistant Chief of the police department gets hired on, despite the fact that the job opening was listed publicly, and most of those that applied for the open position had more impressive qualifications than he. The fact that he might lack the level of professionalism necessary for the job; the professionalism that comes from education, and more importantly from previously working in a professional environment...will be obvious. He'll be the first one to use extreme force in a situation that doesn't call for it, or the one to mess-up and pull a pistol instead of a taser, as the adrenaline and pseudo-panic of the moment has taken hold of his mind.
  7. There is a positive correlation between aspects of law enforcement, and aspects of the Law itself. As the laws change, those who enforce the laws change as well. Not so much on a personal level; i.e., an individual officer restructures his beliefs and values system in order to justify his actions to himself.....instead it happens on a larger scale. For example, if I believed that persons should be able to freely use, buy or sell heroin...I would not work as a law enforcer in a jurisdiction where such acts are prohibited. For some, it is easier to make small compromises, and micro-justifications. For most, it is not. A great deal of this has to do with individual personality and values. It would be difficult to draw up an accurate percentage, but I would estimate that 70 percent of law enforcement officers currently employed chose the career because of the nature of the job, and how it lines up with their own values; protecting citizens' individual freedoms, public safety, etc. The other 30 percent could be composed of an aggregate, the majority of which possibly being those either in it for the money, or the power. Police pay scales usually place officers at the lower-middle class level...so the pursuit of monetary wealth is not a common motivation. The motivation of power could take the form of political power (intent to move up to chief, then become mayor...sheriff etc.) or just the carnal need to be in control of other persons. As the laws change on a drastic level, and police are charged with enforcing those laws, the ethics of the laws will often come into conflict with the values of the individual police officer. So, if privately owned firearms are arbitrarily declared as subjects of interstate trade (Hello H.R. 45), and therefore subject to the whim of congress, and further declared illegal, those officers whose values come into conflict with this - those who believe that it is fundamentally necessary for private citizens to be allowed to own firearms - will not enforce this law, and therefore will voluntarily leave or be forced to leave their respective agencies. So while 7 will leave, 3 will stay...not because they agree with the ethics of the new law, but because they are apathetic to it. So, summarily, the laws that make their way to the books, in a roundabout way, determine the aspects those who comprise the law enforcement community. As the laws change, the cops change. Again, not on an individual level...but different cops.
  8. Traffic direction, in most cases, is provided as a courtesy to the public. I used to direct traffic every morning at a busy intersection, as parents were taking their children to the nearby school at the same time that students were arriving for classes at the college. This intersection was without a stoplight...as it simply wasn't needed at any time other than the start and end of the school hours. I directed traffic there to limit congestion, and facilitate the smooth flow of traffic; so that everyone could get in and out quickly, people could cross the street safely, etc. Only a couple of times did I have to dive out of the way of some idiot who wasn't paying attention...probably texting or something, as I'm a big dude and hard to miss in the middle of the road. But what is a stoplight if not an automated traffic direction device? It's still telling you when to stop and when to go, isn't it? I've seen rare instances where, at a very large 4 way intersection, with at least 3 lanes on each side, with the traffic light disabled due to a storm, everyone followed the proper patterns and took proper turns. I think I saw that only once or twice, in Frankfort. The simple fact of the matter is, on public roads, traffic lights facilitate the smooth flow of traffic, and account for the relative driving skill and awareness (or, more importantly, lack thereof) of most drivers. Traffic direction at the scene of accidents or incidents is another case entirely. A traffic accident on a three-lane interstate may result in several vehicles, disabled, sitting in one lane with injured persons inside. While you're driving 70 or so on the interstate, talking on your phone or playing with your GPS or whatever, you stand a good risk of coming upon that accident scene without enough time to stop, and causing further injury or death. For this reason police set themselves up several hundred yards from the accident to smoothly divert traffic away from the scene, so that paramedics etc. can clear it up. Sometimes they'll yell at you when you slow down to take a look, or a picture, or whatever. This is not because they've had a bad day, their wife wouldn't sleep with them, etc. This is because most secondary and tertiary accidents occur as a result of "rubbernecking," where an accident scene, traffic stop, etc. on the side of the road provides a distraction, drivers pay more attention to it than what's in front of them....and whammo. So yes, Virginia, there is an argument that cops should be directing traffic. It's all a part of the honorable task of protecting your personal liberties. I think this is where the debate is right now. Persons with malicious intent and motive aren't the only threats to your natural born right to your own life. Protecting you from those who are simply wreckless or wanton...drunk drivers, wreckless drivers, inattentive drivers....even off the road; someone who walks along the street firing bullets into random houses (though he may not have malicious intent, he is still endangering the lives of persons...there for it becomes Wanton Endangerment. It would be Wreckless Endangerment if he had every reason to believe the houses were unoccupied, in KY anyway.) It's simply a more pro-active way of protecting your individual rights, more specifically your right to your life and well-being.
  9. As someone who has studied criminal justice, and worked in law enforcement for most of my professional career, I feel I can offer some insight into this subject from another angle. The police, peace officers, constables, whatever you might call them, are one of the proper functions of a government that might be based on Objectivist principles. The police, properly, would act as Stewards of the Rule of Law. As the law is the main governing force behind the state (in our case, the constitution) it is the police officers duty to uphold that law, and enforce it without regard to any one persons social status, rank, position, etcetera. So...even if the President was seen stealing a candy bar from a grocery store, a police officer should still be able to arrest him. (Unfortunately, I'm sure this would not be the case.) The police act to bring perpetrators to the court system, where all evidence can be presented in their defense and their prosecution, they can be tried by a jury of their peers, and summarily convicted or exonerated. The police also act to protect the natural rights of citizens. This may be hard to grasp, as the image of a police officer arresting a man seems to conflict with the idea of preserving personal freedoms; but an oppressive government regime is not the only threat to your personal freedoms. The thief that steals from your business, the burglar who breaks into your home, the wreckless driver who forces your vehicle off the highway causing you injury or death...these are all people who threaten your personal liberty or your way of life. The police should act to prevent this....not only through arresting such persons and bringing them to the courts, but through proactive measures. Such measures as preventative patrol (marked vehicles patrolling trouble areas,) community oriented policing programs (neighborhood watch, etc.) improvement of public area lighting and other general crime deterrents, and even so far as landscaping to make areas appear more "inhabited," (See George L. Kelling's broken windows theory.) Such proactive strategies create an unfriendly environment for a potential offender. Now, when it comes to the relationship between municipal/county/state law enforcement and federal government....this is where it gets interesting. Here's a scenario: If the federal government were to, for example, blatantly overstep the bounds of the rule of law (as if this hasn't happened already,) and arbitrarily declare that all privately-owned firearms must be turned in to local authorities under penalty of law, they might issue a directive to local law enforcement to supervise the collection, and to raid the houses of those who do not comply to confiscate whatever firearms they might have. Now, in all my years of working in this field, I have met many fine and not-so-fine LEO's. I have not met one officer who would not, facing such a directive, throw his badge on the steps of the capitol building before following such an order. My point is this: Your local, county, state etc. police officers are all people. They have likes, dislikes, beliefs, scepticism, fears, values, convictions, just like anyone else. These men don't get into this career field for the money, or the power, because they know they will find neither. They get into it because they value good people over bad people, and they get some kind of satisfaction out of protecting good people from theft, fraud, injury, etc....the same kind of satisfaction that an industrialist feels when his continued effort results in the growth of his business. It's all about values. $35k a year is generally not enough for one to commit treason to onesself. An officer who realizes that he has become the same thief he was once protecting citizens from will throw down his badge and return to civilian life...or possibly continue to do his job without the sanction or pay of the government. Those that remain, and continue to follow whatever directives issued, regardless of their nature, are no better than the thugs they put behind bars. Unfortunately, this is an essential function of law enforcement. When you have seen a 4 year old girl spread across 20 feet of pavement on an interstate, you realize that wreckless and irresponsible drivers claim not only themselves as victims. Speed limits are an important tool for preventing this. If the speed limit on your local interstate is 70, and everyone is going 80 during rush hour...the police will most likely not pull over everyone (very difficult to implement on a 4-lane interstate.) The police will pull over those who drive wrecklessly, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding unreasonably, presenting themselves as a danger or threat to the welfare of others on the road. The speed limit is there so that the police officer does not have to charge the individual with the statute, "Probably driving too fast and stuff, in my opinion...in the 2nd degree." This is just another way of protecting your personal liberties; your right to your life and well being...protecting you from those who, through their wanton or reckless driving habits, present a threat to your life or well being. Unfortunately, some agencies use this as a revenue generator...in order to buy another cruiser or some other equipment, they write enough speeding tickets to fund it, or make a drug bust, etc. In the same way that I wonder why there are still commercials when I'm paying for cable, I wonder why I'm still paying high taxes while revenue for these agencies is being generated in other ways. The solution is simply more transparency...to see where my money's going. And if you see the enforcement of speed limits as an improper way to protect persons from wreckless drivers...this is why we have people like Dr. Robert Agnew, George Kelling, Merton, Cohen, Cloward, Ohlin, Cesare Beccaria, Cesare Lombroso, Shaw & McKay, etcetera. Criminologists, educators, sociologists, researchers, constantly trying to figure out why certain people commit certain crimes and how best to prevent this. The techniques used twenty or thirty years ago are not in place today...and twenty or thirty years down the road, the techniques used today will seem barbaric in comparison. If you think something is wrong with the way laws are enforced...study it, research it, write...publish, etcetera. Find something out and make your findings known. That's how progress happens in this field.
  10. True, but I think the TV Miniseries is going to have a great deal of influence on how the books continue to pan out. Personally, I'm afraid it's going to be a huge disaster (even with the theatrical prowess of Sam Raimi at the helm.) The fact that it will only be broadcast on WGN is a death sentence in and of itself. But, we'll see. To Tenure, the Sword of Truth series is most certainly adult fantasy. One might assume that this means muscular shaved-chest long-haired fabio-esque men embracing tender delicate women on the cover....but SoT deals with some serious adult philosophical issues, unlike Tolkien, Brooks or for that matter Salvatore. Also, Terry, like Rand, has a talent for visualization and description. I've never been bored...not once...while reading SoT; that's rare for me in literature. Even some parts of Atlas bore me a bit Anyway, as far as philosophical literature is concerned....I would consider Goodkind Rand's understudy. If you liked Atlas...Anthem etc. you'll LOVE Sword of Truth, even if you're not regularly a fan of fantasy.
  11. Hah, I just read through some of the below threads and realized that I'm most certainly not the only Goodkind fan here. Looks like I'm preaching to the choir.
  12. I thought I'd make a recommendation as my first post...instead of the obligatory introduction. I've been reading the works of Terry Goodkind since...probably 8 years ago (long time for a youngin' like me.) His only real work is in the Sword of Truth series; the first book of which being Wizard's First Rule (soon to be made into a syndicated television series.) I would describe the Genre as fantasy...but not necessarily in the same league as Tolkien (definitely not Harry Potter either.) This is gritty, realistic, and well articulated fantasy. Goodkind is an excellent writer...a bit more simple than Rand, and just a bit less descriptive (not a master of metaphors and similes like Rand.) Terry Goodkind is also a self proclaimed Objectivist...has often quoted Rand...and bases the themes of his writings on many of the same themes as Rand deals with. The Sword of Truth series is the tale of the epic and righteous struggle of Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell, as well as a cast of other memorable characters, against a horde of evil who preach that mankind is born into depravity and should aspire to nothing greater than the lowest-common-man. Honestly, these books have brought me....6'2" 260lbs...former Law Enforcement Officer...to tears, at some points. After the final book in the series, I was inspired to pick up Atlas Shrugged...and realized that all my life I have been an Objectivist....only I had no word with which to name it. I highly...HIGHLY recommend....especially if you're a fan of the fantasy genre....even if you're not (Wizards First Rule has been called the 'common man's fantasy novel'), pick up Wizards First Rule, and try to finish it before the TV series starts this fall. I guarantee you'll fall in love with it.
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