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Monday, May 05, 2014

From No. 1 draft pick to prison inmate: The Matt Bush story

I interviewed Bush at Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper, Florida, close to the Georgia line. He has been incarcerated since the spring of 2012 and our crew represented his first visitors.

Bush was tired and moving slowly when he showed up in the room selected for our chat. We conversed intimately in an old, exceptionally hot, minimally ventilated, out-of-service infirmary. The prison staff had neglected to alert Bush of our impending arrival, he said.

An interesting jailhouse interview with Matt Bush. Kapler has been doing some really good work lately.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 11:54 AM | 108 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: crime, general, san diego padres, tampa bay rays

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   1. Bug Selig Posted: May 05, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4700405)
I RTFA and was struck that, even in Bush's own words, he comes off as a less-than-sympathetic character. Particularly that, in the immediate aftermath, he realized that his life was over. His. Not the life of the guy whose head he had just run over - his. One reasonable takeaway of his story is that alcoholism is his boogey-man, but something tells me he was a selfish dick before ever touching a beer.

   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 05, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4700409)
He has been incarcerated since the spring of 2012 and our crew represented his first visitors.


That's really sad. I don't know if his parents are still alive or what family he might have but it's sad that there is no one out there, family, friend, whatever, that would come visit him.

The article is indeed very good. Kapler is a fascinating guy to me. When he played he was always this big muscle bound guy and I always saw him as kind of a lunkhead. Obviously I made a bad judgment on that front.
   3. Publius Publicola Posted: May 05, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4700425)
One reasonable takeaway of his story is that alcoholism is his boogey-man, but something tells me he was a selfish dick before ever touching a beer.


There's always an element of selfishness at the base of every addiction.
   4. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: May 05, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4700441)
Good piece
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4700456)
One thing I don't understand about TFA is the constant references to his "undeniably raw talent" etc etc. Bush was ATROCIOUS at all levels in the minors. (219/294/276 in over 800 PAs). He's not out of baseball solely because he's a drunk--he also isn't very good.
   6. DCA Posted: May 05, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4700462)
Yeah, he couldn't hit, but converted to a pitcher (then had TJ) and seemed to be on his way to the bigs in that role. 77 K in 50 IP in AA in his first full season of pitching, and the kind of fastball you'd expect with those numbers. Looked like a potential late-inning bullpen arm.
   7. Publius Publicola Posted: May 05, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4700465)
One thing I don't understand about TFA is the constant references to his "undeniably raw talent" etc etc. Bush was ATROCIOUS at all levels in the minors. (219/294/276 in over 800 PAs).


Yeah, he should have said "really, really, really raw talent".
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 05, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4700469)
Interesting read, though I found this kind of funny:

His most recent arrest came eight years and three teams later, after he allegedly hit and ran over a Florida man, Tony Tufano, while driving drunk in March 2012.


Bush is almost through his prison sentence for a crime he pleaded guilty to, an accident he described to Kapler in vivid detail - Gabe can probably forgo the allegedly at that point.

   9. Moeball Posted: May 05, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4700473)
There have already been articles about how the Chargers selecting Ryan Leaf probably turned out as the worst and most expensive waste of a draft pick in NFL history.

How does Matt Bush being selected by the Padres rank in MLB draft fiascos - and does San Diego reign as king of worst drafting cities across multiple sports? Wouldn't it take a historic level of front office incompetence or bad luck (or both?) to run away with that crown?

At least we don't have to take credit for Donald Sterling...do we?
   10. Randy Jones Posted: May 05, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4700484)
There have already been articles about how the Chargers selecting Ryan Leaf probably turned out as the worst and most expensive waste of a draft pick in NFL history.

Since Leaf, the Chargers have probably one of the better draft records in the NFL. I don't think any team can compare with the Jets for incompetent drafting.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4700493)
"I want people to know that I'm very sorry for what had occurred," he said. "I really wish things had been a lot different. I would've made a lot better choices."


Seriously, people. How hard is it to say "I'm sorry for what I DID?" Not for what passively "had occurred" or could have "been a lot different." And no, not even for the "choice you made." For what you did itself. And the thing is, I don't even think Bush is necessarily insincere - it's more that we, as a culture, have gotten so used to (often lawyered-up) non-apologies that we largely don't even know how to do it right anymore.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4700495)
If he doesn't flee the scene, he gets what, six months probation? That was dumb.
   13. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4700497)
And the thing is, I don't even think Bush is necessarily insincere - it's more that we, as a culture, have gotten so used to (often lawyered-up) non-apologies that we largely don't even know how to do it right anymore.

Addicts/drunks are by-and-large selfish, as noted above, and accompanying that, very much full of self-pity. So the use of the passive voice is not at all surprising to me. It's part of the underlying problem.
   14. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4700501)
One thing I don't understand about TFA is the constant references to his "undeniably raw talent" etc etc. Bush was ATROCIOUS at all levels in the minors.


He couldn't hit he could never hit, but even if #1 overall was a reach he was considered a first rounder because at 18 he was considered an MLB caliber defensive SS already, plus he only got in 72 innings as a pitcher, but put up a 113/29 K/bb ratio in that span, before he got hurt he was seen as having #1 starter potential
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4700502)
Seriously, people. How hard is it to say "I'm sorry for what I DID?" Not for what passively "had occurred" or could have "been a lot different." And no, not even for the "choice you made." For what you did itself.


That's what he does say. It's only people looking to criticize him no matter what that read his statement any other way. (But at least you acknowledged his statement, unlike post 1 above.)

And the thing is, I don't even think Bush is necessarily insincere -


Then there's no reason to parse his apology in such a hyper-technical way as to read it unfavorably to him.

it's more that we, as a culture, have gotten so used to


...complaining and attacking apologies by people we don't like by classifying them as "non-apologies" while thinking we're clever for doing so.
   16. dlf Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4700503)
How does Matt Bush being selected by the Padres rank in MLB draft fiascos


I always liked Steve Chilcott, who never made the Show, taken #1 with Reggie Jackson taken #2 in '66. Counting Chilcott, the Mets have had the #1 overall pick six times and have picked five duds Paul Wilson ('94 2.2 WAR), Shaun Abner ('84, -1.4), Tim Foli ('68, 5.5) then got a nice return with Daryl Strawberry ('80 42.0).
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4700507)
..complaining and attacking apologies by people we don't like by classifying them as "non-apologies" while thinking we're clever for doing so.


So you're saying it means the same thing, and there are no nuanced differences, to say "I'm sorry that I did ____" or to say "I'm sorry that ____ had happened?" I disagree. I think the English language disagrees as well. Where are you at on "mistakes were made?"

It's only people looking to criticize him no matter what that read his statement any other way.


Well, if you actually read what I wrote, I wasn't criticizing Bush. I even specifically didn't criticize him as insincere. I was criticizing the cultural norm that has made it routine to phrase even potentially sincere apologies in terms that, on their face, hedge on accountability.
   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4700509)
As far as Bushes go, Matt may be the most admirable of the lot.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4700510)
So you're saying it means the same thing, and there are no nuanced differences, to say "I'm sorry that I did ____" or to say "I'm sorry that ____ had happened?"


Yes, I am. It means exactly the same thing, and there are no nuanced differences.

I disagree. I think the English language disagrees as well.


Well, there's your problem. This isn't an "English language" issue but a "Can you read in context?" issue.

This kind of nonsense is bad enough when it's a written apology. But here, Bush was speaking off the top of his head to Kapler, without notes. Hell, we aren't even sure that Kapler quoted his exact words, although I presume Kapler taped the conversation.

Either way, this is just non-seriousness from non-serious people who go around demanding apologies and then attacking the apology given. It's an old game, and a losing one for people like Bush who end up having to play it.
   20. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4700511)
The Padres have had the #1 overall 5 times, and they've all been pretty bad except for one
Bush(0 WAR)
Bill Almon (4.8)
Mike Ivie (7.2)
Dave Roberts (0.4)
Andy Benes (31.7)

I think it's safe to say that the Mariners have gotten the most WAR from #1 overalls (although not all of it went to Seattle):
ARod (116)
KG Jr (83.6)
Mike Moore (28.5)
:
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4700512)
How does Matt Bush being selected by the Padres rank in MLB draft fiascos


I always liked Steve Chilcott, who never made the Show, taken #1 with Reggie Jackson taken #2 in '66.


Other candidates:

Houston takes Phil Nevin over Derek Jeter in '92

Tigers take Matt Anderson over JD Drew and Troy Glaus in '97

Pirates take Bryan Bullington over BJ Upton in '02

   22. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4700519)

Yes, I am. It means exactly the same thing, and there are no nuanced differences.


"I'm sorry I ran you over" is a confession. "I'm sorry you got run over" is not.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4700521)
"I'm sorry I ran you over" is a confession. "I'm sorry you got run over" is not.


I blame John Cusack in Better Off Dead for sending us down this road. "Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky."
   24. zenbitz Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4700526)
I blame John Cusack in Better Off Dead for sending us down this road. "Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky."


Or in the case of Matt Bush. "It sure is a shame when people throw away a perfectly good white boy like that." (or in this case, threw himself away)
   25. flournoy Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4700531)
I'd trade B.J. Upton for Bryan Bullington.
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4700542)
As far as Bushes go, Matt may be the most admirable of the lot.


Nah. Both Homer and Dave posted positive WAR in their careers.

Edit: And then of course there's GW, whose 8-year career resulted in 2 WAR. (ducks tomatoes)
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4700545)

Nah. Both Homer and Dave posted positive WAR in their careers.


But both either played for the Yankees or perpetrated a war on false pretenses.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4700549)
But both either played for the Yankees or perpetrated a war on false pretenses.


Huh? Did Dave Bush invade Djibouti looking for nucular-enriched sand and mud or something? I never heard about that. Damn liberal media.
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4700551)
And then of course there's GW, whose 8-year career resulted in 2 WAR


If you laugh at this joke, the terrorists win.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4700554)
If you laugh at this joke, the terrorists win.


I laughed at this one, though, because freedom.
   31. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4700557)
Yes, I am. It means exactly the same thing, and there are no nuanced differences.


This is an example of why people call you a robot.
   32. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4700558)
As far as Bushes go, Matt may be the most admirable of the lot.


Kate, by a landslide.
   33. deputydrew Posted: May 05, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4700581)
I just listened to the latest Freakonomics podcast which is all about hit-and-runs. (or should that be "hits-and-run" or maybe "hits-and-runs"?) It's worth a listen, as are most of their episodes, and claims that many drivers who kill pedestrians are not punished, partially because the other best witness to the event is unable to testify.
   34. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 05, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4700585)
As far as Bushes go, Matt may be the most admirable of the lot.

Reggie Bush was good in the beginning but then he went to far.
   35. deputydrew Posted: May 05, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4700586)
Double post. Sorry.
   36. Randy Jones Posted: May 05, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4700587)
Reggie Bush was good in the beginning but then he went to far.

Actually, Reggie Bush's problem was generally not going far enough when he was carrying the ball.
   37. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4700598)
This is an example of why people call you a robot.


I'm not the one whose software is programmed to parse apologies into non-apologies.

If you have a complete list of the apologies Matt Bush has issued over the years, including when striking his plea bargain, please post them so that we can closely examine them and see whether they're up to the standards of unreasonable people. Otherwise, pretending that the last apology he issued was his only one is obscenely ludicrous. To say nothing of the fact that he was speaking contemporaneously in an interview and may not have stopped for the futile effort of choosing words that would be accepted by people who would not accept them.
   38. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 05, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4700606)
If you have a complete list of the apologies Matt Bush has issued over the years


I don't, I was commenting on your assertion that there is no "nuanced difference" between

"I'm sorry that I did ____"

and

"I'm sorry that ____ had happened?"

and that they mean the "exact same thing"
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4700615)
After I submitted TFA, I noticed that Kapler also wrote a piece about Tony Tufano, the guy Bush ran over.

Tufano seems like a really, really good guy, and he's pretty much forgiven Bush for what happened.
   40. bunyon Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4700627)
I'm going to regret weighing in, but I think Ray is right in this particular case. If you read the whole thing Bush is clearly sorry and not trying to deny or imply anything. I think, as was originally stated, this is just how apologies are done now. I think that is largely because so many people HAVE used the wording to equivocate. If all you say is, "I'm sorry that ___ happened" then, no, that isn't the same as admitting guilt or being sorry. But if a guy says "I'm sorry that ___ happened" and then spends half an hour talking about how bad he feels and how much regret he has and gives details of the event that aren't flattering to himself, then you can take it as an apology.

I am basically with the crowd that would simply like people to say "I'm sorry". It's succinct, to the point and doesn't try to equivocate in any way. But I don't think reading the text that you can read it as Bush being anything other than very, very sorry.
   41. Joe Kehoskie Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4700631)
I am basically with the crowd that would simply like people to say "I'm sorry". It's succinct, to the point and doesn't try to equivocate in any way. But I don't think reading the text that you can read it as Bush being anything other than very, very sorry.

Apologies like that were easier in the days before $5 million lawsuits were commonplace, like the one Tufano filed against Bush and Brandon Guyer (which, now settled, isn't mentioned in Kapler's piece).
   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4700633)
I'm going to regret weighing in,


If you don't want your life to immediately change for agreeing with me, you still have 8 minutes to delete your comment...
   43. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4700635)
Heed Ray's warning, bunyon -- I agreed with him several times during the Paterno/Posnanski unpleasantness, & my life has been a living hell ever since.

Even more than it was before, I mean.
   44. bunyon Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4700637)
I've agreed with Ray before. That isn't why I'd regret it. It's just that it's the type of really tedious, academic, meaningless debate that one can become embroiled in all too easily. I really don't care that much about the issue or whether Ray or anyone else shares or opposes my view. But, when I read the inevitable response, from someone, that argues with my point, I'll get irritated and provoked to respond. Next thing I know, it's next week.
   45. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4700639)
I just listened to the latest Freakonomics podcast which is all about hit-and-runs. (or should that be "hits-and-run" or maybe "hits-and-runs"?)

I'm going to regret weighing in, but I think "hit-and-runs" is right.

And yet, "Halls of Fame"?
   46. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4700642)
Next thing I know, it's next week.


Authorities believe alcohol was involved.
   47. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4700644)

I'm going to regret weighing in, but I think "hit-and-runs" is right.

And yet, "Halls of Fame"?


It's the hyphens.
   48. Moeball Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4700648)
Houston takes Phil Nevin over Derek Jeter in '92


And in a bizarre twist, the Padres actually wound up getting the most usefulness out of Nevin's career, getting him (and his 13 WAR and 8 WAA from 1999-2001) from the Angels for...Gus Kennedy and Andy Sheets?
   49. dlf Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4700649)
Bush's wording in the article linked in #39 does not equivocate:

"I would just apologize to him (if I could see him again)," Bush told me when I visited him in prison. "I would let him know how sorry I am, and that, in the future, I would do everything in my power to never have to put another human being in that situation, where I might be out there, putting someone (in) harm's way. And I'd really just let him know how much it really hurt me to realize that I came close to killing him, and it's very, very difficult to deal with."
   50. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4700650)
"Do everything in my power"? Don't ####### drink and drive again.

I can see both sides here--it comes off as a sincere apology, but language like "I would do everything in my power to never..." instead of "I'll never..." would piss me off if it was me or someone I loved that he ran over.
   51. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4700658)
I can see both sides here--it comes off as a sincere apology, but language like "I would do everything in my power to never..." instead of "I'll never..." would piss me off if it was me or someone I loved that he ran over.


So the standard now being expressed is "lie to me and tell me you can predict the future."
   52. Moeball Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4700659)
I'm going to regret weighing in


I'm going to really regret doing this, but:

Ain't no sunshine when you're on
Argue Black is white or grey
Ain't no sunshine when you're on
Still we missed you while you were gone
Which is why we call you Ray

I am sorry that Bill Withers was ripped off here.
I am very sorry that Primates were subjected to something almost as bad as Vogon poetry.

I do not accept any responsibility for what has happened here. It was the twinkies' fault.


   53. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4700661)
Anytime you even come close to a Grunthos the Flatulent reference is a good day.
   54. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4700673)
I'm always in favor of people talking about Bill Withers.
   55. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4700674)
So the standard now being expressed is "lie to me and tell me you can predict the future."


The standard is "don't pretend that your decision to drink and drive is in anybody's power but your own." If it's your philosophy that no one should ever promise anything because you can't know it will (or won't) come to pass... it seems somewhere between useless and dangerous as far as philosophies go, but you're entitled to it.
   56. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4700676)
The standard is "don't pretend that your decision to drink and drive is in anybody's power but your own."


But of course, he didn't do that.

If we want to hyper-parse "I would do everything in my power to never --" it's not a statement that someone else has power; it's a statement that he may not be capable of it.

Which I imagine someone sitting in jail after X incidents, near misses, and, finally, a crash where someone was hurt and almost killed might be self-aware enough to realize.

Why am I, the robot, so much better at evaluating human emotion and reflection than the rest of you?
   57. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4700686)
Why am I, the robot, so much better at evaluating human emotion and reflection than the rest of you?


objectivity, you are unhindered by emotional responses

   58. zenbitz Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4700688)
I just listened to the latest Freakonomics podcast which is all about hit-and-runs. (or should that be "hits-and-run" or maybe "hits-and-runs"?) It's worth a listen, as are most of their episodes, and claims that many drivers who kill pedestrians are not punished, partially because the other best witness to the event is unable to testify.


I dunno about that but in San Francisco (I hear tell) you can basically murder a bicyclist with out any fear of punishment. It's assumed (probably correctly) that someone on a bike is breaking a traffic law.
   59. frannyzoo Posted: May 05, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4700710)
My interpretation of this thread...blah, blah, blah, blah, Bill Withers, blah, blah, blah.

Moeball: Not Vogon lack of quality, but you are competing against Bill Withers. It's tough.
   60. Lassus Posted: May 05, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4700726)
Why am I, the robot, so much better at evaluating human emotion and reflection than the rest of you?

It's more than as a robot you don't have advanced enough programming to grasp that you aren't.
   61. Zach Posted: May 05, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4700737)
Bush's wording in the article linked in #39 does not equivocate:

"I would just apologize to him (if I could see him again)," Bush told me when I visited him in prison. "I would let him know how sorry I am, and that, in the future, I would do everything in my power to never have to put another human being in that situation, where I might be out there, putting someone (in) harm's way. And I'd really just let him know how much it really hurt me to realize that I came close to killing him, and it's very, very difficult to deal with."


Although in general the non-apology apology grates on me as well, I think it's clear that the underlying meaning here is sincere in both cases.

Some people use cliches as cynical ways to avoid saying what they really ought to. Other people use cliches because they're the first things that spring to mind.
   62. Publius Publicola Posted: May 05, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4700741)
"I would do everything in my power to never..." instead of "I'll never..." would piss me off if it was me or someone I loved that he ran over.


Isn't that kind of AA-speak though? You know, once an addict, always one. They don't want you to be in denial.
   63. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4700772)
I don't know, but I thought they were big on making promises and keeping them. The "everything in my power" language seems designed to avoid promising anything.

You could be right, though; I'm not familiar with AA except by cultural osmosis.
   64. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4700812)

Apologies like that were easier in the days before $5 million lawsuits were commonplace, like the one Tufano filed against Bush and Brandon Guyer (which, now settled, isn't mentioned in Kapler's piece).

I don't think fear of a lawsuit is keeping Matt Bush from a more sincere-sounding apology, since he's already been convicted of the crime. I was surprised when I read about the lawsuit against Guyer, not that I can fault a guy for the impulse to sue anyone and everyone after you get run over with a truck.
   65. Joe Kehoskie Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4700847)
I don't think fear of a lawsuit is keeping Matt Bush from a more sincere-sounding apology, since he's already been convicted of the crime. I was surprised when I read about the lawsuit against Guyer, not that I can fault a guy for the impulse to sue anyone and everyone after you get run over with a truck.

Right; I was speaking generally.
   66. Bhaakon Posted: May 06, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4700934)
I dunno about that but in San Francisco (I hear tell) you can basically murder a bicyclist with out any fear of punishment. It's assumed (probably correctly) that someone on a bike is breaking a traffic law.


To be fair, driving in San Francisco is a lot like being on the set of Premium Rush.

Which is probably why I was rooting for the human traffickers in that film.
   67. Sunday silence Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:11 AM (#4700941)

I don't think fear of a lawsuit is keeping Matt Bush from a more sincere-sounding apology, since he's already been convicted of the crime.


Who knows? I realize the standard for a civil suit is less but perhaps it is not open and shut case. Maybe more evidence will be discovered; maybe it can be proved the plaintiff was somewhat at fault. In legal cases, its probably always a good idea to not say very much so long as litigation is still possible.

I think it's very difficult to assess someone's sincerity by just one conversation; let alone something in print rather than audio. You'd have to really know what his baseline personality is like. And I realize the original poster did not do that, but was merely echoing how a lot of us cringe when we here these sort of passive voiced apologies.

I know people who I thought were sincere and still apologize in that passive way. It does grate, but maybe that's the best they can do, maybe that's just the way they speak, maybe it means some underlying issue. People are very complex.
   68. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4700943)
I think it's very difficult to assess someone's sincerity by just one conversation; let alone something in print rather than audio. You'd have to really know what his baseline personality is like. And I realize the original poster did not do that, but was merely echoing how a lot of us cringe when we here these sort of passive voiced apologies.

I know people who I thought were sincere and still apologize in that passive way. It does grate, but maybe that's the best they can do, maybe that's just the way they speak, maybe it means some underlying issue. People are very complex.


It could be simply cultural. I was born and raised in England, and I've been told that I often speak in the passive voice, although I usually don't even realize it. I also find it virtually impossible to give a direct answer to a question, or give a "yes or no" answer. It's just the way my mind operates.
   69. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4700962)
Isn't that kind of AA-speak though? You know, once an addict, always one. They don't want you to be in denial.

I don't know, but I thought they were big on making promises and keeping them. The "everything in my power" language seems designed to avoid promising anything.

You could be right, though; I'm not familiar with AA except by cultural osmosis.


I believe some AA chapters are heavy into promoting a 'higher power'. Bush could be saying he promises, but God may have other things in mind. Again, it's something that you'd really need to have further discussions with Bush to figure out what he really means.
   70. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4700976)
and I've been told that I often speak in the passive voice


Heh.
   71. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 06, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4701063)
I've been told that I often speak in the passive voice, although I usually don't even realize it.


Me too. The reason why is not understood by me, though.
   72. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4701078)
Who knows? I realize the standard for a civil suit is less but perhaps it is not open and shut case


no it's as open and shut a case as they come, he'd lose on a motion for summary judgment (on liability) based upon his conviction before there was any discovery- the "issue" would be how much damages not whether he was liable for damages at all.
   73. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4701117)
I believe some AA chapters are heavy into promoting a 'higher power'. Bush could be saying he promises, but God may have other things in mind. Again, it's something that you'd really need to have further discussions with Bush to figure out what he really means.

A higher power is fundamental to AA. Exactly what that higher power (or Higher Power, if you prefer) is is left up to the alcoholic seeking help. It's something that exists outside of the alcoholic, in any event.

   74. smileyy Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4701143)
There's always an element of selfishness at the base of every addiction.


I find "self-seeking" a better way to think about the spiritual sickness at the root of addictive behavior, but "selfishness" at its fundamental definition is the same thing.

Living in your addiction amplifies that selfishness.
   75. Sunday silence Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4701168)

no it's as open and shut a case as they come, he'd lose on a motion for summary judgment (on liability) based upon his conviction before there was any discovery-


what if new evidence is discovered? that happens to be people who were previously convicted and they have been released. Why would it not be applicable to a civil trial? Also there are often mitigating circumstances that could effect damages.
   76. Sunday silence Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4701169)
EDIT double post, stupid interfaith.
   77. base ball chick Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4701174)
you guys don't have real too much experience with alcoholics/recovering alcoholics, do you?

part of recovery is admitting that you ARE/WERE powerless - him saying that he would have done everything in my power IS most positively accepting responsibility for what he did and saying that he had no control over his drinking

if he had said - i would not have drunk and drove would have been an outright lie. because he is accepting who he is/was.

the alcoholic says - oh my god, i killed someone while drunk. oh god, i need a drink. and says/thinks/feels - what am i gonna do if there is no alcohol? how can i even live? because alcohol is used to self medicate life's problems and/or mental illnesses.

there is no helping someone who says - i'd rather be dead than sober. i know this from unspeakably painful experience.
a person who says - but how can i live without alcohol? has a chance, ESPECIALLY if he/she says "i am powerless against it"
   78. Gaelan Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4701202)
The passive voice conceals agency. That's what it does. Regardless of your intentions, it is impossible to accept responsibility though the use of the passive voice. Impossible. The form excludes the content.

This is one of the many reasons it is important to teach people facility with language. Those without them are inherently worse people because they lack the language structure necessary to understand themselves as free and morally responsible citizens.

And yes I am saying that, all other things being equal, an illiterate person becomes a better person through the process of literacy. Each time you learn a new word the world opens up a little, likewise, speaking and writing in a literate fashion allows you to develop and form thoughts that would otherwise be unthinkable, which in turn enhances your capacity for moral reasoning and self-understanding.

And before you overreact to something I haven't said, literacy is not a sufficient cause here. It depends upon a prior education in habits, mores, and general decency.
   79. Randy Jones Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4701208)
you guys don't have real too much experience with alcoholics/recovering alcoholics, do you?

part of recovery is admitting that you ARE/WERE powerless - him saying that he would have done everything in my power IS most positively accepting responsibility for what he did and saying that he had no control over his drinking

if he had said - i would not have drunk and drove would have been an outright lie. because he is accepting who he is/was.

the alcoholic says - oh my god, i killed someone while drunk. oh god, i need a drink. and says/thinks/feels - what am i gonna do if there is no alcohol? how can i even live? because alcohol is used to self medicate life's problems and/or mental illnesses.

there is no helping someone who says - i'd rather be dead than sober. i know this from unspeakably painful experience.
a person who says - but how can i live without alcohol? has a chance, ESPECIALLY if he/she says "i am powerless against it"

All of this is only true if you buy into the 12-step programs. There is basically no evidence they are any better than other addiction recovery programs and some that they are actually worse.
   80. flournoy Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4701213)
Measures will be taken to help one learn to speak without the passive voice. Full responsibility for any offense will be accepted by the appropriate parties. Questions and concerns should be directed to the PR department, where they will be handled in due course.
   81. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4701218)
To say outright what I may have merely alluded to in previous posts, I am personally skeptical of any addiction-recovery program that doesn't start with "take absolute responsibility for your own decisions. Your problems aren't your neglectful mother's fault or your abusive father's fault or your mean fourth-grade teacher's fault. They're YOUR fault."

"I'm an addict, I'm powerless against my addiction" strikes me as the opposite of that.

However--and this is a very big HOWEVER--I have personally never been addicted to anything, and so I don't actually know the tiniest damn thing about it. It's possible I'm 100% wrong, and it seems wise to acknowledge that people who have spent their lives helping addicts almost certainly know what works and what doesn't better than I do. And what works for me, with the personal ethos my own genetics and life experience have assembled, doesn't necessarily or even likely work for most other people.

To further clarify: I have zero sympathy for people who ruin their own lives through bad decisions (this is one reason why I never get invited to family reunions) and aggressive hatred for people who ruin (or end) other people's lives through their own bad decisions (drunk drivers being a prominent example). But people chemically addicted to a harmful substance need help--though no help can come before they seek and accept it--and I am very much in favor of helping them however we can.
   82. base ball chick Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4701291)
randy

12 step program or no 12 step program
the fact is that the alcoholic/drug addict used in the first place for some reason, curiousity, rebellion, peer pressure - whatevs

but the effect of using - whatever it was - had a different effect on the person who is the addict than it does on a person who uses and is not an addict. sometimes it is self medicating for an untreated mental problem. sometimes it seems like a solution to problems that nothing else can do. it seems like a GOOD choice, not a poor choice at the time. especially because there doesn't appear to be any OTHER choice.

fact is that if you take away the substance that seems to fix/help whatever problem there is, then you have got to find some way of figuring out what it is that the addict wants from the substance because just taking the substance away does not cure the problem there as in the first place.

what the "powerless" thing means is that the person doesn't know how else to deal with whatever caused them to think that the chemical was what fixed whatever was wrong in the first place. because there is no other obvious solution. and this is why the ruin. like layne stayley said - there is no sick like drug sick. i wished i'd never touched it in the first place. and by then, he knew that as sick as it made him, not using it was even worse and he knew it was gonna kill him and soon.

and this is why staying sober is so difficult.

and why if you are from a family full of addicts and alcoholics, you can avoid it by never touching a substance in the first place. but people always think it won't happen to them. i'm different, i guess, because i can't think why it WOULDN'T happen to me
   83. base ball chick Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4701294)
randy

AA/NA DOES start with the addict having to take responsibility for his/her actions.
   84. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4701298)
bbc (82): Thanks for that post. You clearly have more insight on the matter than anyone would like to.

I come from a long and broad family tree of alcoholics (on both sides), and the next one of them to admit they're an alcoholic will be the first. Thankfully my parents are very nearly the only exceptions to that rule. Unfortunately my siblings were not. I probably hit the genetic lottery insomuch as I both (a) strongly dislike the taste of alcohol and (b) reacted from my earliest exposure to drunk people and hungover people with "this is stupid, I never want anything to do with this." It's not really any great success of mine that I dodged the alcoholism bullet. Just got lucky with how I'm wired.
   85. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4701326)
I also find it virtually impossible to give a direct answer to a question, or give a "yes or no" answer. It's just the way my mind operates.


So why aren't you in politics?
   86. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4701334)
and why if you are from a family full of addicts and alcoholics


My degenerate neighbours serve their 3-year old twins juice in shot glasses. Those kids don't stand a chance.
   87. Randy Jones Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4701337)
AA/NA DOES start with the addict having to take responsibility for his/her actions.

Except for being an addict in the first place. That's the "powerless" part. AA/NA and other 12 step programs have basically no science to back them up. They are just religion(and really Christianity) cloaked as a treatment program.
   88. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4701343)
Zeth, the fact that you admittedly don't know the tiniest damn thing about the topic might be a reason to say nothing, you know?

Randy Jones, I don't think that assertion's accurate for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that studying the effectiveness of recovery programs is fraught with methodological difficulties. I think it's safe to say that there's been no conclusive study one way or another about what works. The fact is that addiction is a #####. The majority of time, or even the vast majority of time, it kills people. The vast majority of addicted people don't recover, or have short-lived recoveries. Or bounce back and forth between periods of sobriety and periods of active addiction. Hell, exactly what constitutes addiction is still subject to debate. It's a beast that the medical/psychological community still hasn't fully figured out. What it is, what works to combat it, and what constitutes recovery are all very ill-defined. No one talks of a cure, because it doesn't seem to exist.

All that said, I can speak from my own personal experience and say that 12 step programs work. I can tell you that I've heard hundreds, if not thousands, of people say the same thing. I can tell you that some of these people have used a 12 step program to recover, stopped following it, relapsed, and then used the 12 steps to get their sobriety back. Sometimes they've done this multiple times. All of these people have tried lots and lots of different things to get sober, and found that none of them work except for the 12 steps.

I don't know a single person who wants to be a 12 stepper. I don't know anyone who made that a life goal. The only reason to do it is because it works. It doesn't work for everyone, obviously. But it's a lot better than the alternative.

   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4701348)
My degenerate neighbours serve their 3-year old twins juice in shot glasses. Those kids don't stand a chance.

My grandfather used to split a beer with me when I was ~3. My parents let me get drunk on Champagne on New Year's Eve when I was ~5. None of them were alcoholics (though there were some serious drinkers in my family) and I haven't turned into one.

I think these issues are more complicated than we know.
   90. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4701349)
Except for being an addict in the first place. That's the "powerless" part. AA/NA and other 12 step programs have basically no science to back them up. They are just religion(and really Christianity) cloaked as a treatment program.

I think you fundamentally misunderstand what powerlessness means in this context. I think your other statements suggest that you're less interested in understanding than in polemics, so I'll now shut up.
   91. base ball chick Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4701353)
randy

you are wrong about what "powerless" means. you think that people choose to be an addict and they don't. what they want is for some kind of problem to go away and they can't deal with that problem any other way. once you start using a substance, it affects the brain and the more you use, the more the brain is affected - and remember that almost all addicts start using before age 30 when the brain is fully developed.

stopping using is like learning to talk again after a stroke. it can be done but it is a long and difficult process and is seldom successful

you picture alcohol/drug use like it's buying a cheaper pair of shoes instead of jimmy choo.

the "higher power" is the indomitible human spirit - or so some of the atheists i know who have been successful with the 12 step program have told me. it's religion if you insist in defining anything not quantifiable as religion
   92. base ball chick Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4701357)
snapper

you didn't turn into an alcoholic because you are not one. it's that simple. many people have had alcohol now and then since a very young age and they are not alcoholics. but when both your parents are, you got a bad DNA thing goin on and your only hope is to never ever ever touch the stuff
   93. Randy Jones Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4701359)
The majority of time, or even the vast majority of time, it kills people. The vast majority of addicted people don't recover, or have short-lived recoveries.

Unless you are using a very, very limited(to the point of being useless) definition of addiction, these statements are absolutely false.

All that said, I can speak from my own personal experience and say that 12 step programs work.

Do we really have to state on this site that personal anecdotes aren't any sort of statistical evidence? Lots of addicts of various substances kick their addictions without any formal treatment program. Many others go through various non-12 step treatment programs to break their addictions. The few studies that have been done show 12 step programs to be about as effective as no formal treatment. Many of the non-12 step programs do no better, but a few seem to.

you are wrong about what "powerless" means. you think that people choose to be an addict and they don't. what they want is for some kind of problem to go away and they can't deal with that problem any other way. once you start using a substance, it affects the brain and the more you use, the more the brain is affected - and remember that almost all addicts start using before age 30 when the brain is fully developed.

stopping using is like learning to talk again after a stroke. it can be done but it is a long and difficult process and is seldom successful

you picture alcohol/drug use like it's buying a cheaper pair of shoes instead of jimmy choo.

Don't try to read minds, because you are flat out wrong here. I know a number of addicts. I have studied addiction and addiction treatment. I understand that no one chooses to be an addict and it can seem impossible to break the addiction. I still see 12 step programs as just a back door to religious indoctrination.
   94. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4701365)
Zeth, the fact that you admittedly don't know the tiniest damn thing about the topic might be a reason to say nothing, you know?


I find saying something, with a proper dose of open-mindedness, to start a discussion or to keep one going can be very beneficial.

My grandfather used to split a beer with me when I was ~3. My parents let me get drunk on Champagne on New Year's Eve when I was ~5. None of them were alcoholics (though there were some serious drinkers in my family) and I haven't turned into one.


My parents gave me beer when I was about six or seven. I hated the stuff, couldn't fathom why anyone would voluntarily drink it, and my opinion on it hasn't moved an inch since. I've lost count of how many times friends have said "That's only because that was Budweiser crap, you need to drink REAL beer!" and proffered whatever in their opinion was real beer. Still tastes like I'd imagine well aged horse piss would.

I do enjoy sipping at a half-glass of wine after dinner, but it has to be very sweet wine. I can't stand dry wines. My more cognoscenti friends laugh and (probably correctly) ask me if I'm enjoying my grape juice.
   95. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4701371)
Randy, did you miss the point that there really is no good statistical evidence that any program works? That methodologically, there are huge problems with determining treatment efficacy? So much so that no one can really state conclusively what works better?

So that leaves you with your statements of faith, and me with mine. I can live with that.
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4701387)
snapper

you didn't turn into an alcoholic because you are not one. it's that simple. many people have had alcohol now and then since a very young age and they are not alcoholics. but when both your parents are, you got a bad DNA thing goin on and your only hope is to never ever ever touch the stuff


Oh, I totally agree with you.

I was just saying exposing kids to drinking at a young age is not some definitive sentence to alcoholism. It only is if you are among those with the very strong genetic predisposition to alcoholism.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4701389)
I still see 12 step programs as just a back door to religious indoctrination.

Religion helps an awful lot of people. Even if you don't believe, you should be able to see there are a lot of positive "side effects". For some people that's helping the poor, for some it's fighting addiction.
   98. Sunday silence Posted: May 07, 2014 at 04:43 AM (#4701839)
a lot of AA meetings end with the serenty prayer attributed to Marcus Aurelius;

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

If you read it carefully you see that it makes no final statement on exactly what is in a person's control and what is not in his control. I guess it is up to the individual to figure that part out. In general, AA speaks about a higher power which some consider god and others like me just think of it that there are powers greater than oneself. Gravity for instance, it is not hard to think of things that are more powerful than yourself without buying into a religious sort of god.

So, "no" the first step is not really accepting responsibility. That comes many steps later. The first step is "we are powerless over alcohol (and drugs by implication)"

It's a step program, so I guess it goes in little bitty steps.

Lots of ignorant opinions being tossed around here.
   99. Sunday silence Posted: May 07, 2014 at 04:45 AM (#4701840)
The passive voice conceals agency. That's what it does. Regardless of your intentions, it is impossible to accept responsibility though the use of the passive voice. Impossible.


this is a very odd statement to me. Are you saying that you can read into a person's mind/intentions/beliefs, etc. merely based upon the words he chooses?
   100. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 07, 2014 at 07:48 AM (#4701854)

Religion helps an awful lot of people. Even if you don't believe, you should be able to see there are a lot of positive "side effects". For some people that's helping the poor, for some it's fighting addiction.


I agree with this.
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