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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   4801. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4422242)
You can drop the smiley. Your smug self-righteousness is all too readily apparent.


I put it there for a reason. The fact that you disagree does not mean you get to dictate what I write.

I am not sure smug or self-righteous is really correct. I do feel very morally superior on this subject, and right, which I admit freely. It is a good thing you have been so non-smug and non-self-righteous that you are both willing and able to throw stones on this issue. :)

And yes I put the smily face there in open defiance to your prohibition. Ha!
   4802. dlf Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4422246)
Amazing. An entire laundry list which never mentions that the decision whether to put someone to death rests with the jury.



I have never canvassed all other states, but each of the ones in which I am admitted have the jury make a recommendation in capital cases with the judge empowered to accept or reject that recommendation in impossing the sentence.
   4803. Howling John Shade Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4422249)

"We" weren't. Other people were playing that silly game.

I just wanted an excuse to make my semantic point. That said, I think the idea that a jury is not part of government is pretty fundamental to our judicial system. Though that idea is not at all incompatible with a death penalty prosecution being a fairly massive exercise of government power.
   4804. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4422250)
Jurors, like policemen and teachers, are paid by the government. People who are paid by the government for government service are generally considered part of the government, even if it's not their primary profession. It's telling that you'd like to ignore this.


More silliness. Jurors are not "paid by the government"; they are paid by their employers, and when that doesn't happen they are minimally compensated by the government for their time. (Actually, they are compensated by taxpayers, but that distinction is not relevant here.)

"Juror" is not an occupation. Hope that helps.
   4805. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4422252)
I have never canvassed all other states, but each of the ones in which I am admitted have the jury make a recommendation in capital cases with the judge empowered to accept or reject that recommendation in impossing the sentence.


In that case, let me amend #4788:

Juries, once empowered by the government to do so, are sometimes the sole decision maker as to whether someone will undergo a process which may eventually lead to his execution by the state, unless some other government entity intervenes. That is a long, long, long way from:

Juries put people to death, not "government.
   4806. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4422259)
So I went to a variety of places for a definition of government. Below is a fairly representative one. I think point 4 is where the Jury falls into being part of the government. I would be interested if Ray accepts the definition below and how that fits into his thought that they are not part of the government.

gov·ern·ment (gvrn-mnt)
n.
1. The act or process of governing, especially the control and administration of public policy in a political unit.
2. The office, function, or authority of a governing individual or body.
3. Exercise of authority in a political unit; rule.
4. The agency or apparatus through which a governing individual or body functions and exercises authority.
5. A governing body or organization, as:
a. The ruling political party or coalition of political parties in a parliamentary system.
b. The cabinet in a parliamentary system.
c. The persons who make up a governing body.
6. A system or policy by which a political unit is governed.
7. Administration or management of an organization, business, or institution.
8. Political science.
9. Grammar The influence of a word over the morphological inflection of another word in a phrase or sentence.
   4807. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4422260)
More silliness. Jurors are not "paid by the government"; they are paid by their employers, and when that doesn't happen they are compensated by the government for their time. (Actually, they are compensated by taxpayers, but that distinction is not relevant here.)


Ray, you're approaching a position where the 'government' is anything you don't like while any state-functioning process or entity that you do like is not. You're smart enough to know this is bullshit.
   4808. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4422262)
I think it's kind of twisted that the same people who generally believe the government is corrupt/bloated/incompetent/etc. and fails at just about everything it gets its hands on is perfectly willing to invest life and death decisions in those very same hands.


No, we invest it in 12 ordinary, honest citizens who were not clever enough to evade jury duty.
   4809. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4422263)
Most people believe that when you are on a jury you are part of the government, part of the justice system, not some wholly removed actor.


Somebody's never heard of jury nullification.
   4810. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4422264)
That said, I think the idea that a jury is not part of government is pretty fundamental to our judicial system.


I agree the fact that a Jury is suppossed to be independant and thus potentially render a more fair and unbiased judgement. However I am not sure that means they are not part of the government. Are public defenders part of the government? Is the janitor who sweeps out the courtrooms every night?
   4811. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4422272)
The jury is *part of the government.*


The traditional phrase is "a jury of one's peers." The jury can't be part of the government, unless the defendant is, as well.
   4812. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4422273)
Somebody's never heard of jury nullification.


Well IANAL, but Ihave heard of it and I just read about it on wikipedia, so I am almost an expert. So what does it have to do with whether or not Juries are part of government or not?
   4813. Howling John Shade Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4422274)
I agree the fact that a Jury is suppossed to be independant and thus potentially render a more fair and unbiased judgement. However I am not sure that means they are not part of the government. Are public defenders part of the government? Is the janitor who sweeps out the courtrooms every night?

But the whole point of a jury is that they are more or less randomly selected out of the general population. The janitor/pd spend their days working with other government employees, their future income will come from the government, etc. As soon as the jurors are done with the trial, their association with government is over.
   4814. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4422275)
One that is perhaps in bad taste and often carried too far, but still not actual threats.



While he bleeds for poor little Dzhokar, who killed three people, maimed others, and then went to the gym and a party.

Besides, how do you know? We could have a serial killer in our electronic midst.
   4815. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4422277)

Somebody's never heard of jury nullification.


and so the thread comes full circle, having begun as a question of rebranding the party of legislative nullification.
   4816. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4422278)
The traditional phrase is "a jury of one's peers." The jury can't be part of the government, unless the defendant is, as well.


According to meriam webster:
one that is of equal standing with another : equal; especially : one belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status


Which has to do with being in the government how? And yes I am being pedantic, but I trust I will not get the death penalty for it.
   4817. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4422280)
I am not sure smug or self-righteous is really correct. I do feel very morally superior on this subject, and right, which I admit freely.


Too bad you can't add self-aware to that list.
   4818. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4422281)
As soon as the jurors are done with the trial, their association with government is over.


Point of order: a citizens association with the government is never over.
   4819. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4422282)
When the "Gotcha!"...

I think it's kind of twisted that the same people who generally believe the government is corrupt/bloated/incompetent/etc. and fails at just about everything it gets its hands on is perfectly willing to invest life and death decisions in those very same hands.


...is silly, the defenses of it are silly. That's what we've seen here.
   4820. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4422283)
So what does it have to do with whether or not Juries are part of government or not?


Government passes and enforces laws.

Juries can turn around and say, no, not today, not here.

Juries are a bulwark against the power of the government. Somebody needs to recall their Magna Carta.
   4821. Manny Coon Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4422285)
One thing I don't want to happen with Tsarnaev is for him to be treated like he's somehow a bigger deal and more important than guys like Rudolph, McVeigh, Nichols or Kaczynski, treat him like a standard piece of crap US citizen, domestic mass murder, but not more. If there are reasons to spare him like Nichols or Rudolph, then send him to hang out at ADX Florence with them and if he's more like McVeigh, then give him the death penalty, but I think making a bigger example out of him because his links to terrorists groups will just empower those groups to feel like they are doing something special and more real than common mass murder, because why would the USA react stronger if they weren't?
   4822. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4422286)
Too bad you can't add self-aware to that list.


The delicious taste of irony, yum.
   4823. Ron J2 Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4422289)
Inquiry into corruption in Montreal (specifically about the awarding of municipal construction contracts). Quoting now from the Gazette's story:

Frank Zampino admits he received all manner of gifts from construction bosses and frequently lunched with some of them – one on one, and at their expense – during his time as president of the executive committee of the city of Montreal and borough mayor of St. Léonard.

But he wasn’t influenced by them, he insists – it was just a question of them developing their business, and him listening to those who contribute to the city’s wealth, he explained, in his third day of testimony before the Charbonneau commission.



   4824. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4422290)
While he bleeds for poor little Dzhokar, who killed three people, maimed others, and then went to the gym and a party.


You boys seem to have the blind, irrational blood-lust angle covered on this one, so I figure I'll let you run with that this time. I mean, after all, an argument so sound and fool proof as "he needs killing" is certainly hard to top.
   4825. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4422292)
Juries can turn around and say, no, not today, not here.


As can judges and executives (like the Gov or President with their pardon power). Because they can say no to a specific enforcement of the law they are also not part of the government? Pull your nose out of the Magna Carta and into a logic text book.

The fact that they can de facto nullify a law they are unwilling to allow to go forward suggests they are very much part of "The agency or apparatus through which a governing individual or body functions and exercises authority" and not separate from it.
   4826. Mefisto Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4422293)
The phrase "jury of your peers" may be common, but the Constitution doesn't say that. It just says "jury".
   4827. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4422295)
So we should limit all actions to only what is absolutely necessary in every situation.
When it comes to violence, yes.

In any event, he needs killing.
But not because he's a danger to anyone now, but because you want to kill him.
   4828. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4422296)
First, I have no opinion on whether juries are part of the government or not, but I find it rich that Ray, who defends to the death the idea that anyone whom the police question is a suspect, now equally vehemently denies that juries, acting in a government process, in a government building, subject to government rules and regulations, and paid by the government for their work, are not part of the government. If the dictionary definition of suspect is the last word, why is it different for "government"?
   4829. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4422298)
If the dictionary definition of suspect is the last word, why is it different for "government"?


Jury = good. Government = bad. Five = high.
   4830. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4422299)
First, I have no opinion on whether juries are part of the government or not, but I find it rich that Ray, who defends to the death the idea that anyone whom the police question is a suspect, now equally vehemently denies that juries, acting in a government process, in a government building, subject to government rules and regulations, and paid by the government for their work, are not part of the government. If the dictionary definition of suspect is the last word, why is it different for "government"?


Because unicorn poop, apparently.
   4831. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4422300)
I can buy the argument that a jury isn't actually part of the government in a technical sense, but the claim that the death penalty therefore isn't imposed by the government is just a little too cute. The government investigates the crime, arrests the defendant, charges him with the crime and seeks a specific penalty, prosecutes the case, oversees the trial, and, if he's convicted, puts the defendant to death. The jury is an important check on the government's power, but it's hardly an independent actor on equal footing with the government. Jury nullification is extremely rare.
   4832. Dale Sams Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4422301)
I'm going to assume that everyone and their dog involved with questioning the live brother knows that anything he says after being brought out of SEDATION, cannot be used against him. At least I would hope a competent defense attorney could bring that up. He's been drugged. He may not even have the ability to use his right of silence, nevertheless remember it.

I am right about this, aren't I?

This brings up something else, would 'fruit of poisoned tree' apply to this? If a third person were implicated, could he not claim that the other guys rights were violated to catch the third guy?
   4833. Howling John Shade Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4422302)
The phrase "jury of your peers" may be common, but the Constitution doesn't say that. It just says "jury".

As Srul pointed out, the peers part comes from the Magna Carta. I think it was just part of the meaning of jury by the time of the U.S. Constitution.
   4834. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4422303)
One thing I don't want to happen with Tsarnaev is for him to be treated like he's somehow a bigger deal and more important than guys like Rudolph, McVeigh, Nichols or Kaczynski, treat him like a standard piece of crap US citizen, domestic mass murder, but not more. If there are reasons to spare him like Nichols or Rudolph, then send him to hang out at ADX Florence with them and if he's more like McVeigh, then give him the death penalty, but I think making a bigger example out of him because his links to terrorists groups will just empower those groups to feel like they are doing something special and more real than common mass murder, because why would the USA react stronger if they weren't?

Horse already done galloped through the barn door -- remember the lockdown of Boston?
   4835. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4422306)
If a third person were implicated, could he not claim that the other guys rights were violated to catch the third guy?


I don't think so. The third guys rights were not violated.
   4836. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4422312)
You boys seem to have the blind, irrational blood-lust angle covered on this one, so I figure I'll let you run with that this time. I mean, after all, an argument so sound and fool proof as "he needs killing" is certainly hard to top.


People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.
   4837. Dale Sams Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4422313)
And it is important to remember that since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists


Is that true? Hundreds?
   4838. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4422315)
At least I would hope a competent defense attorney could bring that up. He's been drugged. He may not even have the ability to use his right of silence, nevertheless remember it.


Reports are that he shot himself in the throat and can't communicate outside of writing.
   4839. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4422317)
Because unicorn poop, apparently.


No because the GOVERNMENT is a big bad thing

people are good
corporations are people
therefore corporations are good

Juries are people
therefore juries are good

but since GOVERNMENT is bad, a jury cannot be part of government

you seem to have forgotten your libertarian logic.

   4840. Dale Sams Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4422320)
Dave Hennebury, whose 22ft Seahawk cruiser was shot-up, has been sent money from across the globe to help buy a new £30,000 vessel.



If he holds onto it awhile, he can sell it for a lot more than that, I would think. Also property insurance? Also, responsibility of the city? Also...rich?

Regardless, It took some big stones to look in the boat so more power to him.
   4841. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4422321)
Reports are that he shot himself in the throat and can't communicate outside of writing.

I haven't been able to catch up on the news the past couple of days. Did he try to take his own life prior to being apprehended?
   4842. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4422324)
People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.

Killing the kid will undo that?
   4843. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4422327)
People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.


Boston bombing or West Texas explosion?
   4844. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4422328)
Corporations are people, people with money
When corporations were little, they used to be individuals
Like some of you, but then they grew
   4845. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4422329)
People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.


I hadn't noticed, Ray.
   4846. Pingu Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4422331)
Reports are that he shot himself in the throat and can't communicate outside of writing.

I haven't been able to catch up on the news the past couple of days. Did he try to take his own life prior to being apprehended?


Police chief was non-committal this morning. He has 2 gunshot wounds, 1 of which was to the throat and prevents him from speaking. Its unclear when he sustained that injury, during the initial fire fight on Dexter St, the 2nd fire fight from the boat, or did he try to take his own life when inevitability finally sunk into his pea sized brain. If the last is true, its a fitting last act to cap off this MANS (not boy) time of freedom.
   4847. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4422332)
People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.
Killling him won't change that.

As an aside, it does seem that his last act as a free man may have been to try and kill himself. If one is looking to punish a man who wanted to die, giving him what he so desperately wanted seems like a strange form of retribution.
   4848. The Good Face Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4422335)
People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.


You've got it all backwards Ray.

Impassioned appeals to emotion are only permissible when they further leftist attempts to take away constitutional rights from people they don't like.

??? ????? Who is doing what to whom? The most important thing to ask when evaluating any political policy or agenda.
   4849. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4422337)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Anyone who is pro-death penalty really needs to read John Grisham's The Innocent Man. A chilling account of how the government can and has railroaded those least able to defend themselves onto death row. If not for the tireless actions of the heroes at the Innocence Project, hundreds of innocent people, like the subject of the book (a one time MLB prospect BTW), would be languishing in prison or dead.
   4850. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4422338)
People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.

I hadn't noticed, Ray.


I know; that's why I was pointing it out to you.
   4851. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4422340)
Killing the kid will undo that?


Who cares?

---

Killling him won't change that.


Um, neither will imprisoning him. So that can't be the standard.

As an aside, it does seem that his last act as a free man may have been to try and kill himself. If one is looking to punish a man who wanted to die, giving him what he so desperately wanted seems like a strange form of retribution.


I'd be happy to oblige him. We can throw in a little torture, if you're concerned that merely killing him will give him what he wants.
   4852. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4422341)
I hadn't noticed


One of the great lines in the Frank Miller DareDevil run was Captain America asking DareDevil about the "villain" he had fought earlier. When Cap said something to the effect that he was interested because the guy had a flag tatooed on his face, DD replied that he had not noticed. Obviously it was because, well DD is blind, but the impact that statement had on Cap was cool.

Just a brilliant comic book run and some of my favorite Cap bits of all time.

Off topic? Yes, want some pancakes?
   4853. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4422345)
People lost limbs, Sam. People are dead. Families have been destroyed forever.

Boston bombing or West Texas explosion?


Is this another failed Gotcha! attempt? I'd support criminal prosecutions of gross negligence in the latter case, if the facts show that. If the facts show intent to cause the explosion, I'd obviously support death for the perpetrators there as well.
   4854. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4422346)
That's one of my all-time favorite comic book series. I love the combo of Miller and Mazzuchelli. Too bad Miller turned into a nut.
   4855. BDC Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4422347)
the peers part comes from the Magna Carta. I think it was just part of the meaning of jury by the time of the U.S. Constitution

Till not that long ago, a British peer could insist on being tried by a jury made up of other members of the House of Lords. As you note, if a country defines all men as equals, there's no separate peer group to draw from; everybody's a commoner. Race and sex restrictions on juries did probably extend the concept of "peers" further in the US, though the right was not transitive: a white man wouldn't have to be tried by women or blacks, but good luck if you were black or female and wanted to insist on a "jury of your peers." The phrase was used with sharp irony by Susan Glaspell in her famous short story and play about the ways in which only women might fully understand women's motives.
   4856. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4422350)
Killling him won't change that.

Um, neither will imprisoning him.
True, but imprisoning is both justifiable in this case, and far less violent than killing him.
   4857. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4422353)
That's one of my all-time favorite comic book series. I love the combo of Miller and Mazzuchelli. Too bad Miller turned into a nut.
Miller's run on DD was one of the great runs any writer ever had on any comic... but Miller was always a nut.
   4858. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4422357)
Is this another failed Gotcha! attempt?


Nope, just a general comment. Not even aimed particularly at you (though I did quote you, so I can see where the confusion comes from).


Miller's run on DD was one of the great runs any writer ever had on any comic... but Miller was always a nut.


Yup. Awesome. "With the voice that could command a god - and does"
   4859. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4422358)
One thing Miller does really well in Daredevil and The Dark Knight Returns is the contrast between the "normal" heroes like Batman and Daredevil and the powerful ones like Thor, Iron Man, and Superman. The latter characters are literal and figurative gods, so how do you create enough conflict to make them interesting, especially for someone like Superman, who's essentially omnipotent? For that reason, while I've never had that much interest in superman as a general matter, the really good superman stories are among my favorites. e.g., Alan Moore's stuff.
   4860. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4422359)
And we haven't really heard from right-wing terrorists in a couple of decades. Unlike the 14 Islamist terror plots against NY that the NYPD has thwarted since 2011.

The NYPD's win list includes, off the top of my head, the attempted Times Square car bombing which was "thwarted" when the car failed to blow up. Angelina Jolie, Don Shula and Honey Boo Boo deserve just as much credit for thwarting that attack. And then there was the insidious plot to blow up JFK Airport by setting fire to an outer fuel line, thus magically turning it into a giant fuse that would travel to and fro in the manner of a Yosemite Sam cartoon and systematically trigger explosions throughout the rest of the airport. The reality: the NYPD could operate a shuttle bus to deliver terrorists to the touch-off spot and hand them complimentary blowtorches; it wouldn't work. The JFK plot was exposed about the same time as the terrifying plan in New Jersey when six guys were going to storm and take down Fort Dix.

Obviously ineptitude is not an alibi or excuse for criminal behavior, but neither is it a mighty opponent. Let's apply a little perspective before citing self-congratulatory figures like "14 Islamist terror plots." We owe that much to the memory of The #2 Man in Al Qaeda.
   4861. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4422364)
WARNING: LINK IS TO A PDF.

Interesting

FINANCIAL FACTS ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY

A new study in California revealed that the cost of the death penalty in the state has been over $4 billion since 1978.
Study considered pre-trial and trial costs, costs of automatic appeals and state habeas corpus petitions, costs of federal
habeas corpus appeals, and costs of incarceration on death row. (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2011).

In Maryland, an average death penalty case resulting in a death sentence costs approximately $3 million. The eventual
costs to Maryland taxpayers for cases pursued 1978-1999 will be $186 million. Five executions have resulted. (Urban
Institute, 2008).

In Kansas, the costs of capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-capital cases, including the costs of
incarceration. (Kansas Performance Audit Report, December 2003).

Enforcing the death penalty costs Florida $51 million a year above what it would cost to punish all first-degree murderers
with life in prison without parole. Based on the 44 executions Florida had carried out since 1976, that amounts to a cost
of $24 million for each execution. (Palm Beach Post, January 4, 2000).

The most comprehensive study in the country found that the death penalty costs North Carolina $2.16 million per
execution over the costs of sentencing murderers to life imprisonment. The majority of those costs occur at the trial
level. (Duke University, May 1993).

In Texas, a death penalty case costs an average of $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a
single cell at the highest security level for 40 years. (Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1992).
   4862. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4422372)
True, but imprisoning is both justifiable in this case, and far less violent than killing him.


"Justifiable" is a subjective term in this context, and with scum like this "suspect" (Are we still calling him that? Really?), I don't particularly care how "violent" we are towards him.

---

I love how the dead older brother is still being referred to by the media as an "alleged bombing suspect." Still worried about defamation, I guess, even though it's now impossible for him to sue.
   4863. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4422376)
Anyone see this?

Former associates of slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamarlan Tsarnaev now believe he may have been involved in a 2011 triple murder that claimed the life of his closest American friend, Brendan Mess.

"At the time none of would have thought it was Tam. It was just so emotional, and we thought we had someone else who had done it. Tam's name wasn't coming up at all," said one of their mutual friends, who asked to be identified by his first name, Ray.

... The owner of the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts in Allston, John Allan, told reporters that Tsarnaev described Mess to him as his "best friend."

So the Cambridge crew were surprised in the fall of 2011 that Tsarnaev didn't show up at his best friend's funeral. Now they see it as a clue.

"Tam wasn't there at the memorial service, he wasn't at the funeral, he wasn't around at all," Ray said. "And he was really close with Brendan. That's why it's so weird when he said, 'I don't have any American friends.'"

"He was somebody who was in contact with Brendan on a daily basis. Anybody like that you would think they would have been around," Ray said.

... But contact stopped after the horrific triple murder.

"Those three guys all had their throats cut, and they had marijuana dumped all over their bodies," Ray said. "It's really gruesome how they were killed. It's not something typical you'd see in Waltham. Not some home invasion gone wrong or something."

Police indicated the three men had "sharp force injuries of the neck" and $5,000 was left at the scene, and they believe the murders were "targeted and not a random act of violence."

Police believe there were two other men in the apartment sometime before the murder, but those two men have never been identified. Ray said following the murder, he was questioned by detectives who told him Tsarnaev may have been with Mess either the day of or the night before, although the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office said they could not confirm any relationship between Mess and Tsarnaev. The Waltham police department declined to comment on the murder or on the alleged relationship between Tsarnaev and Mess.


More than a little bit creepy. There might be all sorts of weird stuff yet to come out. (Which makes sense, I guess: anybody who would do something like what these brothers did has got to be beyond-the-pale sociopathic.)
   4864. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4422378)
I don't particularly care how "violent" we are towards him.
You most certainly do. You want to kill him, and anything less won't satisfy you.
   4865. Dale Sams Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4422383)
while I've never had that much interest in superman as a general matter, the really good superman stories are among my favorites. e.g., Alan Moore's stuff.


The issue where Swamp Thing goes after Lex Luthor (written by Rick Veitch) is very good.
   4866. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4422385)
You most certainly do. You want to kill him, and anything less won't satisfy you.


Not true at all. I'd be satisfied with life in prison. It's just that I simply wouldn't care if he were put to death, as I'd have far more important things to worry about, such as whether I will have pizza or a turkey sandwich for lunch.
   4867. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4422387)
I love how the dead older brother is still being referred to by the media as an "alleged bombing suspect." Still worried about defamation, I guess, even though it's now impossible for him to sue.

New York Daily News, today:
"...had a child with the marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev."

Wall Street Journal, today:
"Soon, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 years old and a prime suspect in the bloody marathon bombings, was dead."

New York Post, today:
"The FBI is probing whether suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow knew about his deadly marathon plot"

L.A. Times, yesterday:
" Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings..."

Boston Globe, yesterday:
"Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was alive and struggling with Watertown police early Friday morning..."

Etc. And of course, specificity and accuracy are all about preserving an outlet's reputation as a credible news source-- in other words, the product they sell to readers and advertisers alike. It has much less to do with limiting exposure to a single potential lawsuit. But on this thread, that backyard ship has sailed.
   4868. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4422388)
More than a little bit creepy. There might be all sorts of weird stuff yet to come out. (Which makes sense, I guess: anybody who would do something like what these brothers did has got to be beyond-the-pale sociopathic.)


And the more that comes out, the worse it looks that nobody saw fit to deport him.
   4869. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4422389)
Not true at all. I'd be satisfied with life in prison.
Well, I don't believe /that/. On the other hand, you do seem to spend a lot of time arguing about issues you claim not to care anything at all about.
   4870. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4422391)
Finally, a voice of sanity.
   4871. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4422392)
Well, I don't believe /that/.


Yeah, because if there's one thing I'm known for here, it's hiding my views in order to be careful not to say anything too controversial. That's why everyone loves me.
   4872. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4422394)
Heh. I just don't think anyone who didn't care about the guy and the death sentence would write 4836.
   4873. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4422395)
That's a lot of using the word "voodoo" for no apparent reason.
   4874. Dale Sams Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4422397)
So is Ted writing from jail or the great beyond?
   4875. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4422402)
WARNING: LINK IS TO A PDF.

Interesting

FINANCIAL FACTS ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY

The numbers in this study are laughable. Florida could have 50 government attorneys working full-time on death penalty cases and making $200,000 per year, and they'd still be $14,000,000 short of the alleged $24 million price tag.
   4876. Greg K Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4422406)
Till not that long ago, a British peer could insist on being tried by a jury made up of other members of the House of Lords. As you note, if a country defines all men as equals, there's no separate peer group to draw from; everybody's a commoner.

Ha! Little did you suspect I've been lurking around here waiting for someone to draw even the weakest of links to my current area of research, and you've fallen right into my trap.

The execution of the Earl of Strafford is a fairly interesting example of how the death penalty is applied. As a perceived enemy to the future involvement of parliament in running the country, the House of Commons tried to have Strafford removed from his position as the King's principal advisor. To do this they brought charges of treason against him and initiated an attempt at impeachment, which took the form of a trial with a committee from the House of Commons acting as prosecution, Strafford acting in his own defence (on matters of fact, he was allowed to have a lawyer present to advise him on matters of law), and (as BDC notes) the House of Lords acting as jury.

Strafford technically hadn't done anything that violated the several statutes which defined what treason constituted, so the Commons went with what they called "constructive" treason - 26 or so charges that taken individually were not treasonous, but lumped together demonstrated a pattern of behaviour which proved he had the intention of overthrowing the laws of England. There's still some historical debate over whether this legal strategy was convincing at all, but in the end, the facts behind the case were pretty weak and it was unlikely the Lords were going to find him guilty.

So instead the Commons switched gears and passed a Bill of Attainder, essentially declaring Strafford guilty of treason via legislation. Of course, this also had to pass the House of Lords. But riots outside parliament intimidated the Lords into passing the bill, and the King kind of screwed the pooch by giving out that he would never confirm the bill, thus getting some of the moderate Lords to vote for the bill and appeasing the crowds on the assumption that it would never be carried out. In the end the King caved and they cut off his head.

I'm not entirely sure where the relevance is, though it's probably a good example of how legislature is just as viable a tool of imposing upon citizens as the courts.
   4877. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4422411)
In Texas, a death penalty case costs an average of $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a
single cell at the highest security level for 40 years. (Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1992).


Well, what would you have us spend it on instead? Safety inspections? Education? Some other thing that brings no satisfaction to the mouth-breathing masses?
   4878. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4422413)
If anyone wants to swot up on the subject of trial by peers in the British House of Lords, and at the same time be entertained in by a prime example of the high classical detection genre, I highly recommend Dorothy Sayers's Clouds of Witness. Lord Peter Wimsey's brother (a Duke, I think) is put on trial for murder.
   4879. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4422415)
Well, what would you have us spend it on instead? Safety inspections?


Surely there is no need of that in Texas. All the defective plants have already blown up. (I am agreeing with you, not making fun or anything).

The numbers in this study are laughable.


Well I think they are skewed. Common sense is always the best guide of these things, why listen to people who have studied the issue. Stupid pointy headed losers. They are never right on anything, just ask president Romney.
   4880. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4422416)
FINANCIAL FACTS ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY

The numbers in this study are laughable.


Those six statistics are taken from six different studies (law review, think tank, state government, newspaper, college, newspaper) in six different states. Whatever their demerits, you'll need at least four extra hands to blithely wave them away.

You seem a bit pissed off for someone who finds so many things "laughable."
   4881. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4422419)
Morty, I guess I understand what you are saying, but you and I differ on what is divine imposition versus democratic imposition, which is not a surprse given your stated dislike of the SC and what it has become.

Understanding is the most I can expect. I don’t expect agreement. Surely, the consistency of the law among all a nation’s citizenry is not an idea or principle that is incomprehensible. It is this idea of dual or divided sovereignty that confuses the American mind.
   4882. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4422421)
The numbers in this study are laughable. Florida could have 50 government attorneys working full-time on death penalty cases and making $200,000 per year, and they'd still be $14,000,000 short of the alleged $24 million price tag.


Well, your original quote said 5,000 and I was about to call you on that. You have revised it to 50, and that seems a damned sight low for a state with around 500 active capital cases, don't you think? I mean, Florida has 67 counties. 50 lawyers is fewer than 1 per county. Counting the prosecutors, public (or court assigned) defenders and judges, the number of man-years has to exceed a couple of hundred. And that doesn't count other non law-talking workers (like clerks, para legals, investigators, expert witnesses) and other resources involved in the cases.
   4883. Dale Sams Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4422427)
Greg your post reminded me of reading Mutiny on the Bounty and when I watched "Kind Hearts and Coronets". And how innocent until proven guilty didn't even remotely exist for Byam in Mutiny...there were several witnesses of repute who confirmed Byam's story, yet he was convicted on Bligh's hearing a snippet of a conversation. As for "Kind Hearts and Coronets", there's no evidence at all linking Louis Mazzini to the crime except a spurned lovers theory...and he's convicted!

Tough to get a break in 19th century England.
   4884. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4422433)
Gonfalon, you know what the real rebuttal to your stats are, I'm sure. It's that the cost is due to those cases being ridiculously over-litigated. Even without considering the rich, insurance at that level of coverage costs big-time. And just think what it would cost if the ACLU and others could get the wherewithal it seeks so it could force the same sort of representation for all capital defendants that only the rich (and those lucky enough to catch the ACLU's fancy) get.
   4885. BDC Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4422434)
I've been lurking around here waiting for someone to draw even the weakest of links to my current area of research

Meanwhile my plot to derail one of these threads into a discussion of the literary translations of Georges Magnane keeps getting frustrated …
   4886. Morty Causa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4422435)
I just don't believe in government sanctioned revenge.

Maybe we should, though, for as Steven Pinker and Jared Diamond, to name just two prominent thinkers, have noted, because the state has a monopoly on this sort of violence in the name of justice there is a lot less violence in general. It displaces especially the tribal/ethnic/familyfeud sort. Do you believe in that sort of revenge?
   4887. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4422436)
Maybe we should, though, for as Steven Pinker and Jared Diamond, to name just two prominent thinkers, have noted, because the state has a monopoly on this sort of violence in the name of justice there is a lot less violence in general. It displaces especially the tribal/ethnic/familyfeud sort. Do you believe in that sort of revenge?


The rebuttal to that of course is that Canada, UK, Japan, Scandanavia, just to name a few, are both less violent than most of the world, and death penalty free. Meanwhile, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, among others, freely apply the death penalty.
   4888. Greg K Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4422442)
And how innocent until proven guilty didn't even remotely exist for Byam in Mutiny...

Yeah being accused of treason puts you in a bit of a tight spot in Early Modern England. Strafford wasn't allowed to bring in witnesses from Ireland (the setting for most of the charges against him), and had to do with whoever happened to be in London at the time of his arrest. His closest friends and advisors, who could have been relied upon to be friendly witnesses were also accused of treason (pretty much exclusively because that barred them from testifying at Strafford's trial).
   4889. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4422447)
Gonfalon, you know what the real rebuttal to your stats are, I'm sure. It's that the cost is due to those cases being ridiculously over-litigated. Even without considering the rich, insurance at that level of coverage costs big-time. And just think what it would cost if the ACLU and others could get the wherewithal it seeks so it could force the same sort of representation for all capital defendants that only the rich (and those lucky enough to catch the ACLU's fancy) get.

It's true that it's the lawyers and the appeals that jack up the cost in capital cases, but....what's the alternative, assuming you're wanting to make sure that you're not frying the wrong person? I'm not sure that there's any "rebuttal" to those stats that doesn't ignore this question. And I say that as someone who'd not opposed in principle (or in many specific cases like Tsarnaev's) to the idea of jury-sanctioned execution.
   4890. Ron J2 Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4422448)
I've always wondered why death penalty cases were so expensive. The Maryland study mentioned is quite detailed. It's well worth the read to anybody curious about this. (The study authors seem properly cautious in their claims. If they think something "should" cost money but can't actually document it, they make a note to the effect but do not include it in their cost estimates)

Roughly 70% of the increased costs comes in the initial trial phase. That surprises me. I'd have assumed the costs came primarily in the appeals phase (since in a death penalty case the attorneys will try any line of appeal no matter how improbable)

Factors mentioned:
1. a longer pre-trial phase
2. longer and more intensive voire dire process
3. more time by more attorneys preparing the case (as the study notes, American Bar Association guidelines require the use of greater resources in several ways. For example, two lawyers for indigent defendants rather than one in non-death penalty cases)
4. penalty phase trial that does not occur at all in non-death penalty cases

They also note that even if there was no death sentence, cases where it was sought are more likely to incur costs in the appellate phase.
   4891. Greg K Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4422449)
The rebuttal to that of course is that Canada, UK, Japan, Scandanavia, just to name a few, are both less violent than most of the world, and death penalty free

Yeah, but that's because we have NHL fights.
   4892. Monty Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4422453)
You seem a bit pissed off for someone who finds so many things "laughable."


I've always felt that the words "laughable" and "amusing" were overused in this thread. You can't find everything amusing just because someone disagrees with you!
   4893. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4422454)
The rebuttal to that of course is that Canada, UK, Japan, Scandanavia, just to name a few, are both less violent than most of the world, and death penalty free.

And the rebuttal to that is they are death penalty free because they have less violence, not vice versa.

Edit: I also dispute that Japan is less violent. They more than make up for the lower homicide rate (0.4/100K vs. 4.8/100K in the US) with a much higher suicide rate (21.7/100K vs. 12/100K in the US).
   4894. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4422457)
I think it's kind of twisted that the same people who generally believe the government is corrupt/bloated/incompetent/etc. and fails at just about everything it gets its hands on is perfectly willing to invest life and death decisions in those very same hands. Meanwhile, people who generally believe that government is more often than a force for good (or at least has the ability to be) have a great deal of pause when it comes to handing it this amount of authority.


Hmm. Shredder, why is the latter twisted? It sounds a little too much like a caricature. I for one don't believe the government is any kind of force for good. Certainly not an inherent force for good. Instead, in this imperfect world, it's the best vehicle for accomplishing certain things (social insurance programs, cleaner water, for example). I don't see how publishing and issuing food stamps qualifies an association of people to mete out final justice.

Did Ray actually get people suckered into a 'discussion' of whether juries are part of government?

Ray, you're approaching a position where the 'government' is anything you don't like while any state-functioning process or entity that you do like is not. You're smart enough to know this is ########.


Except, he's really, really not.
   4895. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4422458)
The rebuttal to that of course is that Canada, UK, Japan, Scandinavia, just to name a few, are both less violent than most of the world, and death penalty free.


And the rebuttal to that is they are death penalty free because they have less violence, not vice versa.

And of course that in turn has NOTHING to do with our level of gun ownership! NOTHING! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!
   4896. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4422459)
You seem a bit pissed off for someone who finds so many things "laughable."

As with your embarrassing misunderstanding of the word "suspect" last week, you don't seem to understand the way "laughable" is being used.

Also, I'm not "pissed off" at all. To me, these political threads are like the cafeteria back in high school: A place for irreverent, bare-knuckles discussions that have no effect on anything, and are mostly forgotten when the bell rings.

***
Well, your original quote said 5,000 and I was about to call you on that.

Congratulations on spotting a typo that I corrected about 5 seconds after posting.

You have revised it to 50, and that seems a damned sight low for a state with around 500 active capital cases, don't you think? I mean, Florida has 67 counties. 50 lawyers is fewer than 1 per county. Counting the prosecutors, public (or court assigned) defenders and judges, the number of man-years has to exceed a couple of hundred. And that doesn't count other non law-talking workers (like clerks, para legals, investigators, expert witnesses) and other resources involved in the cases.

Capital appeals drag on for years if not decades, even in Florida, where capital cases supposedly move along relatively quickly. It's borderline absurd that Florida would need a caseload of less than 10 per full-time attorney.

Regardless, the claim is that the death penalty costs Florida $24 million per capital case. If the average appeal process takes 8 years, that comes out to $3 million per year. There's no way some extra legal briefs are costing that much.
   4897. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4422462)
And of course that in turn has NOTHING to do with our level of gun ownership! NOTHING! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!

We, as a nation, own guns (both legal and illegal) because we are a violent society.

We also prefer freedom to promises of greater safety.
   4898. GregD Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4422463)
no ricin found in Mississippi suspect's house, his lawyer calls it a setup by someone the suspect was feuding with, a martial arts instructor who was recently arrested for child molestation. link
   4899. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4422472)
no ricin found in Mississippi suspect's house,


Just like Bush and WMD.
   4900. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4422479)
Regardless, the claim is that the death penalty costs Florida $24 million per capital case.


No. The claim, had you bothered to read more carefully, is that it has cost Florida $24 million per execution. Since the goal of seeking the death penalty is to, you know, execute the guy, it's fair to cite the cost of a successful attempt.
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