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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   5701. Jay Z Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:40 AM (#4335089)
What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.


Most revolutions today are like most wars. A lot of people die, and they usually don't accomplish much.

Also, anyone who waxes on about the glory of death can feel free to be first in line. It's a whole lot easier to be killed in a war or political action today than it was in the late 1700s.
   5702. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:42 AM (#4335091)
There was nothing wrong or conspiratorial when conservatives pointed out that polls that showed a D+7 or higher sample were probably incorrect, and that was proven true when the 2012 electorate was less Dem than the 2008 electorate. But it's wildly inaccurate to try to claim that huge numbers of people on the right were convinced the polls were off by 5 points, as Chambers was claiming. I can't recall a single conservative commentator or analyst who remotely backed that claim (or otherwise trumpeted Chambers' site). This was just another example of lefties going off in the weeds, finding something ridiculous, and then pretending it was the mainstream position of the right.
You're right. Silver was wrong, the polls were wrong, everyone on the left was wrong about everything, and you were right about everything. You're always right, all the way up to where you nailed the election.
   5703. The District Attorney Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:46 AM (#4335095)
What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?
Are you expecting one in the next two years? I'm guessing he's gonna be proven wrong on that.

(I'm talking the US there, of course. I'm guessing that someone who actually knows world history can confirm that this is a comically incorrect statement in general.)
   5704. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4335108)
You're right. Silver was wrong, the polls were wrong, everyone on the left was wrong about everything, and you were right about everything. You're always right, all the way up to where you nailed the election.

Nice piece of foot-stomping, but otherwise non-responsive.
   5705. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:39 AM (#4335118)
...and this one is not fake either:

What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.


Which demonstrates only that Jefferson was not a top-notch prognosticator.

This thread (and some reading I've done) has convinced me that while guns do indeed have some deterrent effect on government overreach, the people in the US who accumulate guns because of their suspicions regarding said government overreach are also by far the most ignorant of what constitutes liberty, and are the most likely group to abet the rise of a repressive, fascist government by serving as its paramilitary arm. Think something on the order of the KKK's role in severely limiting the rights of black Americans in the southern states following the Civil War and how it acted well into the last century by taking a lead role in threatening and committing what was nothing less state-sanctioned violence.

The idea that the armed, militant right in this country is somehow going to be the force that resists leftist government/corporate tyranny aimed at, say, suspending elections, grossly limiting private property rights, substantively expanding corporate rights, and invading privacy to the point of rendering private life essentially transparent strikes me as beyond utterly preposterous.

Tyranny in the United States, if it comes, is certain to come from the right.

With the exception of the right to keep and bear arms, which has been misunderstood to be entirely divorced from membership in a militia, and therefore divorced from any sense of duty to ones fellows and ones country, I cannot think of a single, broad right that government is infringing upon that is currently meeting resistance primarily from the right.
   5706. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 31, 2012 at 04:11 AM (#4335123)
Man, not that I'm in the habit of defending Joe's statements (which are too often shaded so that he can blatantly imply things while maintaining the ability to say "I never said that" later) but on this thing about the polls and the Unskewed idiot I'd say that Joe's defense is much closer to the truth than the accusations being hurled against him. Joe misjudged the electorate, and I think he deserves criticism for some of the assumptions he made (I believe his hyper-partisanship blinded him somewhat), but he was nowhere close to the lunacy of people like Chambers who were declaring that the polls were massively biased and Romney was going to win huge. I also don't think he ever cited Chambers or said that his "unskewing" was giving correct results.
   5707. rr Posted: December 31, 2012 at 04:20 AM (#4335128)
(I believe his hyper-partisanship blinded him somewhat), but he was nowhere close to the lunacy of people like Chambers who were declaring that the polls were massively biased and Romney was going to win huge.


IIRC, Kehoskie said that Romney would get 315 EC votes. It was either 315 or 303. I don't recall that he predicted a percentage of the PV. As to the rest, Hombre already summarized it pretty well, and you said something similar in the parentheses in the first sentence up above. Whether it is worth talking about at this point is another question, but as I said the last time one segment of the thread made Kehoskie a topic: for the most part, you get what you give at BTF, and Kehoskie is no exception.
   5708. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 31, 2012 at 04:31 AM (#4335132)
Nice piece of foot-stomping, but otherwise non-responsive.
What else is there to talk about? You've knocked down the pin you set up for yourself, and you've firmly established that you believe you were completely right on everything. Way to go. You win.

But it's wildly inaccurate to try to claim that huge numbers of people on the right were convinced the polls were off by 5 points, as Chambers was claiming.
Let's all just remember, I didn't claim it, I've never claimed it, and I didn't claim that anyone else did, either. I realize you're not here to respond to what I said, but to what you want me to have said... so you win there, too. High five! I can't wait to hear President Romney's inaugural speech.

IIRC, Kehoskie said that Romney would get 315 EC votes. It was either 315 or 303.
What's important isn't that he was wrong, but that he was wrong for all the right reasons.
   5709. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 31, 2012 at 05:14 AM (#4335138)
IIRC, Kehoskie said that Romney would get 315 EC votes. It was either 315 or 303. I don't recall that he predicted a percentage of the PV.

That was a day or two before the election, and as I said on the last page, it's possible there was some bravado involved. The accusation, however, was that I "spent page after page parroting that 'unskewed poll' wingnut," whom I actually mentioned zero times. (A lot of the lefties here delighted in discussing that site; it appears Andy confused me with someone else.)

As to the rest, Hombre already summarized it pretty well, and you said something similar in the parentheses in the first sentence up above.

You think I was implying that I believed Romney was winning by 5 points as of early September, but maintained plausible deniability by never mentioning the Unskewed site by name? If so, that's both funny and wrong.

As for the complaint you referenced in #5706 — a comment I otherwise appreciated — about my statements "too often" being "shaded so that I can blatantly imply things while maintaining the ability to say 'I never said that,'" I recall seeing this complaint a while back but not any examples. In my experience, my refusal to backtrack from positions I've staked out is what seems to cause controversy, not a habit of repeatedly doing so.

Whether it is worth talking about at this point is another question, but as I said the last time one segment of the thread made Kehoskie a topic: for the most part, you get what you give at BTF, and Kehoskie is no exception.

This is a point you seem to enjoy making, but I'm not sure of the relevance here. I don't recall spending days insisting that Andy or Hombre or anyone else said or did things they didn't say or do, so the "get what you give" thing seems inapt.

In any event, these politics threads, on their worst day, are mostly child's play. I can't believe people take them so seriously, to the point of grudges forming and whatnot. I come here because I enjoy bare-knuckles political debate; otherwise, if I wanted an echo chamber, I'd go to Red State. (I'm not sure the same is true of all of my liberal amigos here, some of whom probably would be happier at Daily Kos or a similar site.)
   5710. rr Posted: December 31, 2012 at 05:53 AM (#4335146)
You think I was implying that I believed Romney was winning by 5 points as of early September


No. Like I said, in a part you quoted above, you never predicted a percentage. But given Romney's huge pluralities in some red states, if he had pulled 315 EC votes he probably would have had some pretty solid PV numbers.


This is a point you seem to enjoy making, but I'm not sure of the relevance here. I don't recall spending days insisting that Andy or Hombre or anyone else said or did things they didn't say or do, so the "get what you give" thing seems inapt.


Not at all. You seem to think that the crap you get here is entirely based on the inability of BTF liberals to deal with, as you once put it, a "dissenting view", and you implied as much again with your red State/Daily Kos line above, but actually, a lot of the crap you get here is because of crap you give out.
   5711. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 06:04 AM (#4335148)
Some autonomy is lost, yes; but something much greater is gained—something we would not have without it. This is all too often ignored, doesn’t even come to mind, or is waved away as if a mere gnat. There’s a certain type of mentality that apparently can’t see the advantage we get from this arrangement because it has a view that wants to view it as just duality—almost in a religious pre-fall and post-fall way.

Is there an anarchist in the thread that you're responding to? This is painfully obvious to me and not at all incompatible with my position. Of course we trade some autonomy for the benefit of a social order.

The operative word being "some," and not "most," and certainly not "all." Considering the government to be off the hook for practically any use of force in "the service of a proper warrant" is miles away from "some." Even if Koresh were vivisecting infants, the government is not morally absolved from an operation of systematic incompetence that resulted in 70-plus deaths.

The government doesn't need to be perfect or nearly perfect. It needs to be competent, especially so when using deadly force, and it needs to clean house properly when that basic standard of competence is violated. It needs to be accountable to its citizens for its actions and their consequences.

And having as your bottom line value that the enforcement apparatus of that institutional structure must always concede to the individual is the Maginot Line of that mentality.

This is not, and has not ever been my position. The bottom line value, as you put it, is that there is a high burden to pass before it should be permissible for the enforcement apparatus (from crafting of law, to enforcement, to punishment) to supersede the individual rights of the citizens. Not an impossibly high burden, but one that isn't easily met.

The police are justified in using extreme deadly force to stop a crazy gunman from killing innocents. They are not justified in using any deadly force to prevent jaywalking. Clearly, there is some proper amount of force (within a certain range) appropriate for a given situation. When there is a bloodbath on the order of the Waco Siege, it demands an outrageously high level of provocation and imminence of danger in order to be justified. When considering merely the amount of force authorized, even without looking at the terrible results, that itself demands such justification.

So, you seem to be an anarchist, yes. But, me, a fascist?

I'm not an anarchist. I'm not even close to an anarchist; I freely admit that there is good, desirable, even necessary aspects of government. You do, however, seem very much like a fascist when you say something like this:

I am the only person here on these threads that I know of that has consistently time after time gone on record as agreeing to abide by process, regardless of outcome.


This is exactly the sort of mentality that DOES send people to death camps. I will abide by process for so long as it's good for me (with short-term and long-term perspectives). If it's not, the process isn't worthy of my respect or obedience. Good government is worth my loyalty, poor government is not.

When process leads to a particularly awful place, it is your moral responsibility as an individual and also as member of the society to reject, resist, and rebel against process. And since the next nation to develop any system of government where process never leads to particularly awful place will be the first one, even the best of systems will have justified resistances.

You see this as a prime character trait of fascists or totalitarians?

Certainly a significant one. The heart of your ideology is, to me, authoritarianism. That the authority is the majority rule rather than a dictator or political party is an insignificant distinction. Gilded chains are still chains.

And I don’t think that a government is automatically discredited if it does what I don’t like. That does seem to be your position.

Not what I do not like. I recognize that I'm one person in a society and sometimes, the price of living in a society is not always getting what you like. I'm talking about what I can tolerate before I attempt to skirt the system, what I can tolerate before I attempt to cheat the system, and what I can tolerate before I attempt to overthrow the government. The government should always be afraid that a reasonably large group of dissenters represent a credible threat, and work to ensure that the laws or the enforcement of law does not generate a high enough level of public dissatisfaction to inspire such resistance.

Not mine, however. I rest mine on fairness and balancing interests, both within the psyche of the individual and between people.

So does pretty much everyone else. It's all about how you balance the various competing interests and what you consider to be fair.
   5712. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2012 at 06:51 AM (#4335152)
With the exception of the right to keep and bear arms, which has been misunderstood to be entirely divorced from membership in a militia, and therefore divorced from any sense of duty to ones fellows and ones country, I cannot think of a single, broad right that government is infringing upon that is currently meeting resistance primarily from the right.
Economic liberty. Religious liberty.
   5713. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2012 at 07:34 AM (#4335161)
Morty has a very good point. You can't respond to a service of warrant by starting a shootout that kills four federal agents and then complain that the federal apparatus didn't let you off with a pouty face emoticon.

I do find it odd that this little precursor to the whole affair is basically brushed aside by GF and CB.
Well, there's the fact that it isn't true. We don't know who "started the shootout" in the sense of firing first, but we do know who started the armed aggression. We do know that it was a raid, not a "service of warrant." Here's how you serve a warrant: "Knock, knock. It's the police. We have a warrant to search your property." Here's how you start a shootout: get a bunch of heavily-armed soldier-wanna-bes to surround a property and charge in to kick down the door. Of course, cops are used to doing that with the element of surprise, kicking in doors at night, throwing in flash grenades, and storming apartments to find small quantities of marijuana possessed by sleeping families, and then acting all shocked that the homeowner didn't realize that the home invaders were police. Here, they ran into people who were prepared. Whoops!
   5714. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 31, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4335164)
religious liberty

Oh PLEASE. Don't tell me you really buy this. Which party took the lead in protesting construction of a ####### Mosque? Which party's state legislatures are busily passing anti-Sharia laws?

Meanwhile, Dems want insurance to cover birth control...which party is worse on religious liberty, Dave? Or does that liberty only apply to religions you like.
   5715. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4335169)
David - Having re-read the tale in the interim, it was indeed nothing close to a knock-knock warrant.
   5716. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 31, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4335176)
David - Having re-read the tale in the interim, it was indeed nothing close to a knock-knock warrant.


Can anyone without a dog in this fight link to a balanced account of the events at Waco? I have only a vague recollection of specifics, on the order of the feds screwed it up, but that Koresh contributed mightily to an incredibly tense conflict during which there were legitimate reasons to fear for the safety of the children and some of the adults in the BD compound.

   5717. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 31, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4335177)
With the exception of the right to keep and bear arms, which has been misunderstood to be entirely divorced from membership in a militia, and therefore divorced from any sense of duty to ones fellows and ones country, I cannot think of a single, broad right that government is infringing upon that is currently meeting resistance primarily from the right.

Economic liberty. Religious liberty.


You omitted the sarcasm tag.

It's sufficient to note the GOP is interested in only a very, very narrow range of economic liberty; essentially only that of maximizing profit regardless of how many other rights must be suppressed during its accomplishment. The party certainly isn't interested in doing other than suppressing the ability to maximize wages.

Nor is it interested in economic liberty when it comes to ensuring a minimum wage for millions, let alone a living wage for millions. It isn't interested in the economic liberty involved in the right of millions to unionize. It isn't interested in the economic liberty involved in allowing towns and cities to keep large chains from locating within their boundaries. And so on, almost ad infinitum.

You have to have completely drowned yourself in the kool-aid in order to believe that billionaires and the working poor are in fact working out the powerful economic liberty of 'free contracts freely arrived at', and to convince yourself that systemic unemployment, which serves only the interests of business, is not the systematized destruction of economic liberty for millions.

You have to sustain the childish fiction of free markets and free contracts in order to pretend the GOP has any interest in economic liberty (which is not, of course, divorceable from economic justice) for more than a small fraction of our citizenry.

Since you seem at sea on this issue, let me commend you to FDR's Economic Bill of Rights; a useful starting point. It's a view of economic rights (also inseparable from the economic justice I noted, above) more complete than what I gather you are used to considering. The idea seems straightforward enough, that free markets and free contracts are only possible when the parties involved are not coerced through fear or want.

re 5714, as WJ implies, the right tends to conflate it's very narrow view of freedom, for itself, with freedom in its broadest meaning and applications. It's a neat political trick when you can get people to buy it, but a smart fellow like you shouldn't be falling for political philosophy's version of "I Can't Believe It's Butter is Best!!"


.
   5718. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4335183)
Citing FDR to a libertarian? Well-played.
   5719. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 31, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4335190)
summary courtesy of wsj:

With just Monday remaining before the year-end deadline, the two sides appeared to be approaching a middle ground on the central question of individual income-tax rates. President Barack Obama has called for raising taxes on family income above $250,000. In the latest round of Senate talks, Republicans proposed a $550,000 threshold, which Democrats moved to $450,000, according to Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.).

But tensions ran high over differences on other issues. Talks almost foundered when Republicans tried to resurrect a proposal to cut spending by slowing the growth of Social Security's yearly cost-of-living adjustments, an idea opposed by many Democrats. The GOP later withdrew the idea. Also at issue is the 2013 level of the estate tax, which is a levy on larger inheritances. And Republicans are complaining that the Democratic proposals do nothing to address the deficit and may in fact add to it.

While the parties jousted over particular elements of the deal, the disputes pointed to a more fundamental disagreement between the parties: Republicans wanted any tax increase, which they only reluctantly accepted, to go toward reducing the deficit. Democrats wanted any increased tax revenue to offset spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in as part of the fiscal cliff, and to pay for extending unemployment benefits.

In the absence of a bipartisan deal, Mr. Reid is preparing for a Monday vote on a bill to carry out Mr. Obama's backup proposal, which tackles only a few items on the legislative agenda, including extending current tax rates for income up to $250,000 for couples filing jointly. Democrats are confident they could pass the bill through the Senate. A key question is whether the House, which returned Sunday evening, would approve it if it doesn't enjoy broad bipartisan support in the Senate.

   5720. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4335229)
Which party's state legislatures are busily passing anti-Sharia laws?

Wait, now the liberals are against separation of church and state? I'm so confused.

Oh PLEASE. Don't tell me you really buy this. Which party took the lead in protesting construction of a ####### Mosque?

Which was ###########, but didn't really affect the overall right to worship on a national level. Though seeing progressives finally see a property right worth defending did bring a tear to my eye. I was going to buy some eyedrops, but I assumed (correctly) that it was an outlier and I wouldn't need to make future arrangements for my optical health.

But it's all pretty irrelevant. Libertarians know Republicans suck, so it's not exactly a biting rejoinder. I really really hate the Republican party, but I really really really hate the Democratic party.

Anyway, the equivalent would be if the Democrats passed laws stating that mosques that provide suhoor meals for their congregations must not only provide it to anybody who happens to enter the mosque and wishes to have it, but also to provide those people with free pork products and free alcohol.
   5721. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4335232)
The part that gets me about the Waco discussion is who cares?*

Not that the whole event wasn't a screw up (clearly it was), not that it wasn't a tragedy and horrible that people died (again, clearly it was terrible), but why is that one event someone emblematic of the totality of the US government? Why is how that one event was handled the entire relationship between government and civilian?

I am on record as being against the militarization of the police. I hate most of the various intrusions (Patriot Aact and so on) that have happened. I think the government often overreaches and people need to strongly advocate loudly for more freedom from the government. But the minutia of the Waco disaster and details around how the warrent was served and the degree to which the BD were breaking laws is silly, unless we want to discuss the right way to deal with nutjobs like the BD who live in armed compunds.

* Yes people can care, I am exaggerating for effect because people are getting way too carried away (again, still) regarding the whole thing.
   5722. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4335233)
Is there an anarchist in the thread


When it suits me.

that you're responding to?


No.

Economic liberty. Religious liberty.


Oh, Davey. You're the gift that keeps on giving.
   5723. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4335234)
Wait, now the liberals are against separation of church and state? I'm so confused.


Wow, now Dan is going with the so confused bit. You are better than that Dan.

Anyway, the equivalent would be if the Democrats passed laws stating that mosques that provide suhoor meals for their congregations must not only provide it to anybody who happens to enter the mosque and wishes to have it, but also to provide those people with free pork products and free alcohol.


This is a terrible analogy. A better analogy would be if you are going to provide free meals to folks you have to follow health code regulations, even if you feel some of those health codes impinge on your religion beliefs.
   5724. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4335235)
Wait, now the liberals are against separation of church and state?


Wait, now it's the libertarians who are for pointless laws that address paranoid delusions of a wacko minority?

I'm so confused


Oftentimes, yes, and oftentimes quite deeply. But we press on in the faith that our children are learning.
   5725. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4335245)
Not that [Waco] wasn't a screw up (clearly it was), not that it wasn't a tragedy and horrible that people died (again, clearly it was terrible), but why is that one event someone emblematic of the totality of the US government? Why is how that one event was handled the entire relationship between government and civilian?

Because hammers on autopilot need nails.
   5726. Mefisto Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4335259)
Also at issue is the 2013 level of the estate tax, which is a levy on larger inheritances. And Republicans are complaining that the Democratic proposals do nothing to address the deficit and may in fact add to it.


The irony of these two sentences was apparently lost on both the WSJ and the Republicans in Congress.
   5727. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4335263)


This is not, and has not ever been my position. The bottom line value, as you put it, is that there is a high burden to pass before it should be permissible for the enforcement apparatus (from crafting of law, to enforcement, to punishment) to supersede the individual rights of the citizens. Not an impossibly high burden, but one that isn't easily met.


With Waco in mind, what rights are you talking about and at what point were they superseded? There is not a high burden to be passed when it comes to merely administering a warrant. The person to be served has his remedy in law. Why did the Wacoites not availed themselves of it and the entire legal process? At no point did Koresh and BD's act reasonably in accordance with. If they were somehow extra-legally justified, where and when did that arise?
   5728. tshipman Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4335265)
The irony of these two sentences was apparently lost on both the WSJ and the Republicans in Congress.


Well, as Jon Bernstein learned me, when Republicans talk about the budget, they actually mean exclusively spending. They don't really believe in budgets as an item of math, but rather of theology. So, that explains a lot of the disconnect.

***

Welcome back, David! I, for one, would appreciate a higher quality of argument being expressed.

***

Side note: when did this Waco tangent start? It's spectacularly uninteresting.
   5729. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4335268)
Moreover, service in a knock knock manner is not something you do when you anticipate that the place you will serve pursuant to the search warrant has an armed hostile army. You don't have to bend over in the communal shower just because someone asked you to. Was the government justified in taking precautions? In assuming that BD's might be violent?

Defenders of Koresh say he was approachable outside of the compound during the day. Well, he knew of the warrant. Why didn't he just accept the warrant voluntarily, carrying a phalanx reporters along with him for protection if he felt threatened, and then object to the warrant in a court proceeding? This idea that Koresh and the BD's were these poor, helpless victims without any resources doesn't begin to pass the giggle test. Koresh didn’t do any of this because he wanted a confrontation, and everything followed from that recusancy, and everything that followed supports such assumptions and conclusions. Koresh was not ever going to accept service peaceably and it would not have been smart to pretend beforehand that he would.
   5730. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4335270)
The police are justified in using extreme deadly force to stop a crazy gunman from killing innocents. They are not justified in using any deadly force to prevent jaywalking.


It’s ridiculous and insulting to compare Koresh and the BD’s to jaywalkers.

When there is a bloodbath on the order of the Waco Siege, it demands an outrageously high level of provocation and imminence of danger in order to be justified. When considering merely the amount of force authorized, even without looking at the terrible results, that itself demands such justification.


Actually, if you’re going to indulge in promiscuous second-guessing, more force from the outset should have been used.

The government pleaded, coaxed, cajoled, wheedle—for 50 days. They wanted Koresh to at lease release the women and children. Once it was clear beyond all doubt that Koresh & Co. were never going to submit, or accede in any way, the government had two choices: walk away or attempt to breach the defenses.

Why didn’t Koresh simply go down and accept service?

Or: when the agents showed up, why didn’t Koresh at that time accept service?

And then, in either instance, simply take it from there asserting there?

What’s the alternative?
   5731. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4335272)
This is exactly the sort of mentality that DOES send people to death camps. I will abide by process for so long as it's good for me (with short-term and long-term perspectives). If it's not, the process isn't worthy of my respect or obedience. Good government is worth my loyalty, poor government is not.


At some point you revolt or be content to be a slave. Then we are beyond the rule of law, and political argument becomes irrelevant. The question is at what point? And until that point, you play by the rules (always remembering that you can try to change those rules). Waco was not Dachau. And the government did not act like Nazis--Nazis don't negotiate respectfully with yhou for 50 days. It’s absurd to think otherwise.

But if you think that things have reached the pass where the covenant between governed and government has been violated beyond repair, yeah, rebel. But don’t then expect your adversary in war to play according to your rules.
   5732. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4335273)
Wait, now it's the libertarians who are for pointless laws that address paranoid delusions of a wacko minority?

Didn't say I was for it.

A better analogy would be if you are going to provide free meals to folks you have to follow health code regulations, even if you feel some of those health codes impinge on your religion beliefs.


Nonsense. There's no danger to unsuspecting parties here as you can argue when concerning much of the health code. Someone has a reasonable expectation to not expect rat feces in their soup. Nobody has a reasonable expectation to expect birth control to be offered in a proposed health insurance policy that explicitly declines to provide that particular service option. If I want to eat fries with Cajun seasoning, I either have to go to Five Guys, which offers that specific service option, or get other fries and provide my own Cajun seasoning.
   5733. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4335274)
The government doesn't need to be perfect or nearly perfect. It needs to be competent, especially so when using deadly force, and it needs to clean house properly when that basic standard of competence is violated. It needs to be accountable to its citizens for its actions and their consequences.


Why was the government incompetent?

In deciding that, do you consider the subsequent legal proceedings?

So does pretty much everyone else. It's all about how you balance the various competing interests and what you consider to be fair.


Good. I agree with that. In fact, I’ve said that many times.

So, how do you balance the interests wrt Waco. What were the responsibilities and duties incumbent upon the parties? Did the Wacoites have any—either to do or not to do?
   5734. Ron J2 Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4335277)
Sorry, the government did behave responsibly.


Except (as noted by others) in the initial decision to serve the warrant at the compound.

Has there ever been a satisfactory explanation of this decision? It truly baffles me.
   5735. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4335279)
Where were they supposed to serve it? It was a search warrant. They would have to go to the compound. what makes you think serving it somewhere else would have made everything hunky-dory when they arrived to search after service?
   5736. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4335281)
Nobody has a reasonable expectation to expect birth control to be offered in a proposed health insurance policy


"Nobody has a reasonable expectation of preventative health care to be offered in a proposed health insurance policy?"
   5737. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4335282)
   5738. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4335285)
Side note: when did this Waco tangent start? It's spectacularly uninteresting.


Yeah, it's so much more interesting to continue the interminable baiting of the mentally afflicted month after month like y'all have been doing.
   5739. The Good Face Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4335287)
Some observations on the Waco massacre...

1. As DN said in 5713, the ATF did not "serve a warrant". They launched a raid; that was their very first direct contact with the Davidians. There was no knocking, no verbal or written requests for compliance. The ATF STARTED the entire mess with kicked down doors and gunshots.

2. Shortly after the Feds first approached local law enforcement about the Davidians, the local cops informed Koresh, who then offered to let the Feds come and inspect his premises. The feds weren't interested. The local cops pleaded with the feds to try talking to Koresh rather than going in guns blazing; they weren't interested in that either. Reading the accounts now, it's pretty clear that some elements in the ATF viewed the Davidians as an opportunity to "make a name" for themselves with a daring and splashy bust. Oops.

3. It's somewhat surprising to see Morty not doing everything in his power to justify and defend child rape. I suppose it's because Koresh was most likely not technically a rapist; hardly worth fantasizing about one assumes.

   5740. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4335291)
What did the court proceedings say about that?
   5741. Ron J2 Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4335308)
Jefferson is the most overrated of the Founders and could be the most overrated American in history.


Disagree. I think his decision not to take revenge on the Adams administration is among the most under-appreciated set of actions in American history. Made it "safe" to lose.

Much of what you say is true. And explains why Hamilton supported him for president. Hamilton saw him as a hypocrite -- a rich man who claimed to be a man of the people -- but one he could work with because he was willing to compromise.
   5742. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4335312)
Jefferson was a good politician as well as a great renaissance man. That means he had to be adept at the art of the possible. Too, Jefferson never viewed the Constitution as holy text. He probably didn't view the Declaration as sacred pronouncement either.
   5743. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4335318)
2. Shortly after the Feds first approached local law enforcement about the Davidians, the local cops informed Koresh, who then offered to let the Feds come and inspect his premises. The feds weren't interested. The local cops pleaded with the feds to try talking to Koresh rather than going in guns blazing; they weren't interested in that either. Reading the accounts now, it's pretty clear that some elements in the ATF viewed the Davidians as an opportunity to "make a name" for themselves with a daring and splashy bust. Oops.


And it was pretty clear that the Koreshians* wanted to die for god and martydom, and take their kids with them. Everyone in this affair is covered in #### and the blood of children. That doesn't mean the Koreshians had the right to declare when they would allow the ATF in to search the compound. "Give us a week to hide the really big guns first" is a tactic right out of Saddam Hussein vs the UN weapons inspectors (in the 90s, not in the 2000s.)

3. It's somewhat surprising to see Morty not doing everything in his power to justify and defend child rape.


This is just completely out of left field. I assume there's some history between you and Morty on this. I assume it is sordid and probably fundamentally stupid at the nut of it all.

EDIT: *The followers of Koresh, in Waco, requested to be called "Koreshians" rather than Branch Davidians. Likewise, more moderate sects of the Branch Davidians requested that they not be lumped into the bucket with the cult at Koresh's compound outside of Waco. So I think "Koreshians" is the more precise term in this discussion.
   5744. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4335319)
Hamilton saw him as a hypocrite -- a rich man who claimed to be a man of the people -- but one he could work with because he was willing to compromise.


Thomas Jefferson was Warren Buffet!
   5745. Ron J2 Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4335329)
A better analogy would be if you are going to provide free meals to folks you have to follow health code regulations, even if you feel some of those health codes impinge on your religion beliefs.


And I can tell you that the local Hare Krishnas are continually being fined for not following the health code. It's not precisely a free meal, but it is dirt cheap.

   5746. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4335333)
Nonsense. There's no danger to unsuspecting parties here as you can argue when concerning much of the health code. Someone has a reasonable expectation to not expect rat feces in their soup. Nobody has a reasonable expectation to expect birth control to be offered in a proposed health insurance policy that explicitly declines to provide that particular service option.


Who said anything about rat feces? I said follow the health code. When you do something you have to follow the law regarding doing that thing. The law of the land. Which has been deemed constitutional. A law which was not passed against any religion, does not limit any religion, and has built in protections for religions and their beliefs.

So when you build a house you have to follow building codes. When you provide meals you have to follow health codes. When you provide insurance you have to follow those codes. No one is making them violate their code of ethics, don't build the damn house if the laws around building houses offend you, but if you engage in an activity you have to obey the rules.
   5747. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4335337)
So when you build a house you have to follow building codes. When you provide meals you have to follow health codes. When you provide insurance you have to follow those codes. No one is making them violate their code of ethics, don't build the damn house if the laws around building houses offend you, but if you engage in an activity you have to obey the rules.


The general mantra of the libertarian chorus - specifically Crosby in regards to the Waco sub-thread and Dan in this little tangent - is that the rule of law is only applicable for laws they think are really useful.
   5748. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4335348)
Not that the whole event wasn't a screw up (clearly it was), not that it wasn't a tragedy and horrible that people died (again, clearly it was terrible), but why is that one event someone emblematic of the totality of the US government? Why is how that one event was handled the entire relationship between government and civilian?

It's not one event, but merely the most extreme of a series of abusive raids on the part of government in the service of "enforcement." Besides the less bloody but still tragic and completely avoidable Ruby Ridge, there are a number of no-knock raids conducted by heavily-armed police that end in the death or injury of an innocent civilian, or a beloved pet.

That people don't acknowledge the colossal screwup that led to Waco, or that the courts let off the gross incompetence and people consider that absolution, or than some even defend the government's excessive use of force is to me a much, much larger problem. If there were any reason for me to want to buy a gun, it would be the shocking complacency of folks like Morty. Especially smart folks like Morty; I expect stupid people to believe that there was no reasonable use of force one bit less than is used, like the enforcement arm of the government has the tiniest bit of respect for dissent or individual autonomy.
   5749. The Good Face Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4335353)
That doesn't mean the Koreshians had the right to declare when they would allow the ATF in to search the compound. "Give us a week to hide the really big guns first" is a tactic right out of Saddam Hussein vs the UN weapons inspectors (in the 90s, not in the 2000s.)


Except the Davidians didn't do that. They heard through back channels that the feds were showing an interest in their compound over potential weapons violations and their response was, "Sure, we're OK with them coming and checking things out." When this was passed back to the feds, they inexplicably showed no interest. There was never a peaceful attempt by the ATF to do anything in this case. Not one. They went from zero to "kicking down doors and shooting people".
   5750. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4335354)
No one is making them violate their code of ethics, don't build the damn house if the laws around building houses offend you, but if you engage in an activity you have to obey the rules.

Of course they're being made to violate their code of ethics. They're forced to offer a service that they did not previously offer, because progressives are simply bible-beaters with a different spice blend, and don't care about the private decisions between mutually consenting parties. It's no different than passing a law forcing Jewish restaurants to serve bacon. You can say "well, if you want to have a restaurant, you have to obey the rules!" but don't say that you're not forcing a party to violate their code of ethics by forcing your ideology/ethical code/religion/creed/worldview upon others.





   5751. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4335356)
The general mantra of the libertarian chorus - specifically Crosby in regards to the Waco sub-thread and Dan in this little tangent - is that the rule of law is only applicable for laws they think are really useful.

I have no issue with you and Rick Santorum having a little fascist paradise all of your own together.
   5752. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4335358)
I have no issue with you and Rick Santorum having a little fascist paradise all of your own together.


Can we use that Coolio song as our anthem?
   5753. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4335360)
Except the Davidians didn't do that. They heard through back channels that the feds were showing an interest in their compound over potential weapons violations and their response was, "Sure, we're OK with them coming and checking things out." When this was passed back to the feds, they inexplicably showed no interest. There was never a peaceful attempt by the ATF to do anything in this case. Not one. They went from zero to "kicking down doors and shooting people".


Source?
   5754. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4335361)
Dan, do you, or do you not believe in the rule of law?
   5755. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4335363)
Can we use that Coolio song as our anthem?

Hasn't that been done a little too often?

Besides, Samtorum is a power couple deserving of its own timeless anthem.
   5756. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4335368)
It's not one event, but merely the most extreme of a series of abusive raids on the part of government in the service of "enforcement." Besides the less bloody but still tragic and completely avoidable Ruby Ridge, there are a number of no-knock raids conducted by heavily-armed police that end in the death or injury of an innocent civilian, or a beloved pet.


Most of which raids were part of the war [on some classes of people who use] drugs...
but of course the War on Drugs actually seems popular with many of the same people who got up in arms about Ruby Ridge and Waco...

There are some people who get upset whenever the Government behaves like this
and then there are others who only get upset if the Gov. behaves that way towards them or those they sympathize with- otherwise they're fine with the Government raiding other people

edit- for instance- McVeigh was deeply moved/angered by Waco, but he probably cheered the police on when they bombed the MOVE house in Philly
   5757. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4335369)
Dan, do you, or do you not believe in the rule of law?

As a practical matter, yes. I follow laws that I think are unjust because I do not have the strength of character to defy them. I have a comfortable life, I'm paid well and get a modicum of fame in return for stuff I really like to do, and on a fundamental level, I'd take that over being a better person. Great people are the ones that defy injustice at personal cost and inspire others to create a more just society. I am not one of them.
   5758. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4335370)
With Waco in mind, what rights are you talking about and at what point were they superseded? There is not a high burden to be passed when it comes to merely administering a warrant.

This was not "merely" anything. We're not talking about a situation where the police knocked and the Branch Davidians opened fire. They were refusing access but not endangering anyone (outside of the danger of tangling with a government that was willing to act without proper restraint).

The right I am talking about is that of all citizens, even the most evil criminals, to face no more force than is warranted by their actions. The minute heavy weapons and large force assault enters into "service of a warrant in the face of non-violent resistance," the government is already far over the line. This is not something I am willing to give up in the social contract voluntarily, but I'm not picking an unwinnable fight that the majority of the people in this country won't even recognize the value of for a problem that me or my loved ones are very unlikely to experience in our lifetimes. I hope that I would not exercise such restraint in the face of an institution like slavery, or Jim Crow, or internment.
   5759. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4335373)
As a practical matter, yes. I follow laws that I think are unjust because I do not have the strength of character to defy them.


Okay then. Then you agree that the Koreshians should have followed the law? Or that people who want to work in the insurance policy business should follow the law? Even if you think the laws are "unjust?"
   5760. The Good Face Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4335376)
That people don't acknowledge the colossal screwup that led to Waco, or that the courts let off the gross incompetence and people consider that absolution, or than some even defend the government's excessive use of force is to me a much, much larger problem. If there were any reason for me to want to buy a gun, it would be the shocking complacency of folks like Morty. Especially smart folks like Morty; I expect stupid people to believe that there was no reasonable use of force one bit less than is used, like the enforcement arm of the government has the tiniest bit of respect for dissent or individual autonomy.


The people here are largely SWPL liberals; they won't acknowledge what you're talking about because historically it hasn't happened to them or people like them. The victims in Ruby Ridge and Waco were generally losers and white trash. Jesus freaks who joined a cult, racist militia crackers, poor, uneducated losers; nobody gives a #### about people like that. And the victims in no-knock raids are usually poor people living in bad neighborhoods. They may get a token nod of sympathy, but that's about it.

Educated folks living in the 'burbs or gentrifying urban neighborhoods don't personally have much to fear from government misuse of force. When and if that changes, they'll change their tune.
   5761. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4335377)
Then you agree that the Koreshians should have followed the law?

It would have been more practical for them to do so.

How did I get into the Waco argument anyway? That was Crosby.
   5762. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4335378)
It’s ridiculous and insulting to compare Koresh and the BD’s to jaywalkers.

Congratulations, you win the discussion by default. This was, without exaggeration, the most egregious distortion of any position I have ever taken on anything in my history of internet use. Seeing as you are clearly intelligent enough to know better, I can only conclude that you would have to be an incredible ####### to deliberately snip-quote the point I was making to distort my position in such a manner, and I'm not going to engage you on this any more.
   5763. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4335380)
Educated folks living in the 'burbs or gentrifying urban neighborhoods don't personally have much to fear from government misuse of force. When and if that changes, they'll change their tune.

This is one reason I like Retardo being around in these civil liberty discussions. I don't like him at all personally, but say whatever you will about him, he doesn't have the same inherent authoritarian tendencies that many of the leftists here share with rightists. He would probably not be welcome in the Republic of Samtorum. I was very disappointed he didn't pop in when a number of the liberals here (though a minority) were bending over backwards to defend Obama's drone policy.
   5764. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4335384)
How did I get into the Waco argument anyway? That was Crosby.


I've simply expanded the conversation to the over-arching concept - the rule of law. Morty's argument with Crosby is over the rule of law and appropriate enforcement of law in the case of fringe elements of the society. Your argument with birth control seems to be over the rule of law and appropriate regulations of the health insurance industry.
   5765. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4335386)

It should surprise no one that the NRA has recently thrown its weight behind an industry campaign to deregulate and promote the use of silencers. Under the trade banner of the American Silencer Association, manufacturers have come together with the support of the NRA to rebrand the silencer as a safety device belonging in every all-American gun closet. To nurture this potentially large and untapped market, the ASA last April sponsored the first annual all-silencer gun shoot and trade show in Dallas. America’s silencer makers are each doing their part. SWR Suppressors is asking survivalists to send a picture of their “bugout bag” for a chance to win an assault rifle silencer. The firm Silencero — “We Dig Suppressors and What They Do” — has put together a helpful “Silencers Are Legal” website and produced a series of would-be viral videos featuring this #######.

This Silencer Awareness Campaign is today’s gun lobby in a bottle. The coordinated effort brings together the whole family: manufacturers, dealers, the gun press, rightwing lawmakers at every level of government, and the NRA. Each are doing their part to chip away at federal gun regulation in the name of profits and ideology. Together, they plan to strip the longstanding regulatory regime around silencers, and reintroduce them to the gun-buying public as wholesome, children-friendly accessories, as harmless as car mufflers.

In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, the gun lobby’s grand strategy rests grotesquely on fake concern for child hearing health. Among the opening shots in the campaign was a feature in the February 2011 issue of Gun World, “Silence is Golden,” penned by the veteran gun writer Jim Dickson. “One only has to look at children in the rest of the world learning to shoot with silencers, protecting their tender young ears, to see what an innocent safety device we are talking about here,” writes Dickson. “To use an overworked propaganda phrase, legalize silencers ‘for the sake of the children.’”


Link

American Silencer Association
   5766. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4335387)
Your argument with birth control seems to be over the rule of law and appropriate regulations of the health insurance industry.

I think it would be practical for private parties to offer the birth control and not risk the fines. That doesn't make it just. Nor does it not make it *not* forcing people to violate their ethical code. You want to make businesses provide birth control? Fine. But tell the truth - Catholics clearly *are* being told to violate their ethical code and whether or not you think that it's appropriate to do so, don't deny the fact that you are doing so.
   5767. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4335391)
This is one reason I like Retardo being around in these civil liberty discussions. I don't like him at all personally, but say whatever you will about him, he doesn't have the same inherent authoritarian tendencies that many of the leftists here share with rightists. He would probably not be welcome in the Republic of Samtorum.


That's no egg white froth on your Old Fashioned!

Retardo is a welcome addition to these conversations, as his positions are very rarely brought up otherwise. I respect yours and Crosby's positions as well, assuming you're not off on a bender. And of course, I'm not an authoritarian in the manner you describe. You simply don't like the fact that I repeatedly point out that your position often boils down to "I support the rule of law, but only the laws that are just, and I get to decide what is or is not just and tell anyone who disagrees with me how terrible of a person they are."

You know as well as I do that I'm the closest thing this little community has to a real anarchist in the midsts. What I am not is a naive anarchist, such that I don't pretend that power is not the driving impetus of both politics and the world, and that power is fundamentally about suppression, oppression and repression, always and forever, and forever and ever, amen.

You often confuse my statement of what is with statements of what ought be.
   5768. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4335396)
As a practical matter, yes. I follow laws that I think are unjust because I do not have the strength of character to defy them. I have a comfortable life, I'm paid well and get a modicum of fame in return for stuff I really like to do, and on a fundamental level, I'd take that over being a better person. Great people are the ones that defy injustice at personal cost and inspire others to create a more just society. I am not one of them.

This is exactly my position. To my shame, since I am not a great person, it would take a fairly egregious violation that affected people in my life directly before I would engage in any significant resistance (as opposed to complaining on the internet). That doesn't mean that the injustice doesn't exist.

In a moral and emotional sense, I accept the "rule of just and reasonable law" but not simply the "rule of law." It's not about laws that I don't find useful or desirable, but laws that I find repugnant as a matter of excess or a matter of injustice. I'm not saying that the folks in Waco should have been allowed to simply disregard the rules of their government, but it was not necessary or appropriate to take things as far as the government did for the purpose of addressing this particular issue.

Also, OF COURSE the Koreshians should have followed the law. They were a bunch of crazy religious nuts and they were stockpiling weapons according to a ridiculous belief of a non-existent danger. They shouldn't have come into conflict with the law in the first place. That is entirely independent from whether the government response was reasonable, rational, or competent. I do not think it an unreasonable standard to expect more from my government than Waco.
   5769. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4335397)
I think it would be practical for private parties to offer the birth control and not risk the fines. That doesn't make it just.


Nor does it make it unjust.

Nor does it not make it *not* forcing people to violate their ethical code.


Not really. There are plenty of occupations available outside of providing health insurance policies.

You want to make businesses provide birth control? Fine. But tell the truth - Catholics clearly *are* being told to violate their ethical code and whether or not you think that it's appropriate to do so, don't deny the fact that you are doing so.


This is wrong on a couple of levels. First, no one at the Catholic churches are being required to do anything outside of their ethical code. The Catholic based businesses - mostly universities and hospitals - are being required to provide their employees, many of whom are not Catholic, with full preventative health care options, including preventative family planning via birth control. They are not being required to provide birth control or provide services, merely offer standard health care policy options to their general employee pools.

Second, it's not problematic, via strict Catholic moral teaching, to do so. I'll have to dig up the link, but the gist of standard Catholic doctrine is that an individual is morally culpable for their own actions, not that a secondary actor is morally culpable for their actions. The moral decision of the policy holder - say the protestant janitor from St. Mary's Outpatient Center - is responsible for her use of birth control. The policy provider (the hospital) is not. I'll see if I can find that link.
   5770. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4335399)
But tell the truth - Catholics clearly *are* being told to violate their ethical code and whether or not you think that it's appropriate to do so, don't deny the fact that you are doing so.


I can see your POV, but as a Catholic I more see this as the Catholic Clergy having a hissy fit about being denied the ability to enforce their morality on others- they really are not interested in religious freedom any more than the Puritans were- they want to enforce their morality on others and only cry "religious freedom" when they don't have the upper hand.

Using the Catholic Hierarchy's hissy fit over contraceptive insurance to argue for religious freedom is a bit like using the South's hissy fit over allowing blacks to eat at restaurants to argue for freedom of association - in legal terms you are picking a really unsympathetic plaintiff, you need to find a more sympathetic one.
   5771. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4335401)
I do not think it an unreasonable standard to expect more from my government than Waco.


Always expecting less from your government is the way to go. It's liberals who have the silly fetish for government.
   5772. jdunster55 Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4335402)
The people here are largely SWPL liberals; they won't acknowledge what you're talking about because historically it hasn't happened to them or people like them. The victims in Ruby Ridge and Waco were generally losers and white trash.


Empathy is something one has to work at. Most right-wingers suck at it. Most left-wingers do too, but they are even less aware of how much they suck at it.
   5773. The Good Face Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4335403)
Regarding 5765, you'd think gun control advocates would be happy to support that development, but then, you'd have to assume they're not shockingly ignorant about how guns and suppressors work.

1. Suppressors (often called silencers by people who only know them from movies) make firearms much harder to conceal by increasing their length and weight.

2. Suppressors often reduce muzzle velocity, making any firearm fitted with one slightly less dangerous.

3. Suppressors affect the weight and balance of a firearm, making it harder to shoot accurately without a lot of practice.

4. Suppressors do not actually make a firearm shoot "silently". They can eliminate muzzle flash and reduce the sound of a firearm discharging, but cannot actually make one operate silently. There is no little "thipp" noise like you hear in the Bond movies. It just reduces the report from "deafening" to "very loud".

5. Reducing the noise is a health issue, preventing deafness and related problems, thus saving us all money. For the children.
   5774. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4335409)
There are some people who get upset whenever the Government behaves like this
and then there are others who only get upset if the Gov. behaves that way towards them or those they sympathize with- otherwise they're fine with the Government raiding other people


The no-knock raids, stop-and-frisk in NYC, and incidents like Waco and Ruby Ridge pretty much exclusively affect people that I do not have any connection to at all. There is, practically speaking, a near-zero risk that I will be engaged in any sort of conflict with any officer of the law and an unholstered or unsecured weapon.

You simply don't like the fact that I repeatedly point out that your position often boils down to "I support the rule of law, but only the laws that are just, and I get to decide what is or is not just and tell anyone who disagrees with me how terrible of a person they are."

I wouldn't say that I don't like that at all. I embrace that characterization of my position except perhaps the last little bit. (I prefer one or more of "misguided, "stupid," or "complacent" rather than "terrible" most of the time.)

You will not see me call very many of the laws I dislike or disagree with unjust or unreasonable. I have a serious problem with our government's criminalization of victimless acts, and enforcement's lax attitude regarding use of force and individual privacy/autonomy. I respect the rule of law in the sense that either I'll wear my seatbelt or pay the ticket if I get caught without wearing one.
   5775. jdunster55 Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4335410)
Always expecting less from your government is the way to go. It's liberals who have the silly fetish for government.


I like infrastructure. I dislike the way that most things in this country that rich people do not customarily use are so lousy compared to the way they are in Canada and Western Europe (to the extent I have much experience w/ Europe.)
   5776. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4335413)
One Democratic offer on the negotiating table would extend current tax rates on income up to $450,000—a retreat from Obama’s original proposal to raise taxes on income over $250,000. Democrats also were moving to compromise on the president’s proposal to increase estate taxes.

courtesy of wsj about ten minutes ago
   5777. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4335414)
The people here are largely SWPL liberals; they won't acknowledge what you're talking about because historically it hasn't happened to them or people like them. The victims in Ruby Ridge and Waco were generally losers and white trash. Jesus freaks who joined a cult, racist militia crackers, poor, uneducated losers; nobody gives a #### about people like that.

So how would you describe the adults** living in that compound? Mere religious dissenters?

And the victims in no-knock raids are usually poor people living in bad neighborhoods. They may get a token nod of sympathy, but that's about it.

Sounds like the sort of sympathetic nod that we see from conservatives when anyone complains about the overuse of stop-and-frisk laws.

**The children and whatever other true captives there were in there are another story. Those are the ones who bring whatever point there may be to the moral case against the government's actions. OTOH a similar messianic religious cult down in Jonestown (supported largely by San Francisco liberals, I might add) managed to kill a hell of a lot of their own children without the benefit of any government raid.
   5778. Tripon Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4335417)

Wait, now the liberals are against separation of church and state? I'm so confused.


Wow, now Dan is going with the so confused bit. You are better than that Dan.


I'm surprised that the reason why some states are proposing to ban Sharia law is because they believe the U.S. is fundamentally grounded in Christian law. Its not a separation of church and state to them, its protecting one religion over another. From wikipedia:

In November 2010, voters in Oklahoma considered a ballot measure to amend the state constitution to ban sharia from state courts.[1] The measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters,[2] then updated to include all foreign or religious laws.[3] The ban was blocked in November 2010 by a federal judge who ruled the law to be unconstitutional and blocked the state from putting it into effect.[4][not in citation given][5] That ruling and injunction were upheld by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on January 10, 2012.[6]
More than two dozen U.S. states have considered measures intended to restrict judges from consulting sharia law. According to David Yerushalmi, one of the leading advocates of such legislation in the U.S., the purpose of the anti-sharia movement is not the legislation which bans consideration of sharia law in the courts, but to attract the attention to sharia in general.[7]
Some Republican members of the United States Congress endorsed a new memorandum, based on a Center for Security Policy (CSP) report, Shariah: The Threat to America, at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol.[8]
During the lead-up to Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign 2012, he described sharia law as a "mortal threat" and called for its ban throughout America.[9]
A court order in January 2012 ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban sharia law, after a CAIR official challenged it.[10]


If you think about it, what exactly are you banning. Sharia is a code of ethics and laws that a Muslim person should follow. It'll be like banning the 10 commandments or Kosher guidelines.
   5779. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4335421)
Using the Catholic Hierarchy's hissy fit over contraceptive insurance to argue for religious freedom is a bit like using the South's hissy fit over allowing blacks to eat at restaurants to argue for freedom of association - in legal terms you are picking a really unsympathetic plaintiff, you need to find a more sympathetic one.

The battle for fundamental rights is not one that you fight on the easy cases, but the really tough ones. You defend the right of the KKK to march in Skokie, you defend the morally repugnant criminal Miranda's right to a proper interrogation, you defend the Westboro Baptist Church's right to engage in outrageously offensive speech.

I consider the Catholic position on contraception to be both impractical and immoral, but I think they're right on this particular issue. It is a particularly serious violation of their ethics to effectively facilitate contraception and abortion. They are acting reasonably in their peaceful protest of this forced ethical violation; it's not like they're stockpiling weapons.

Unlike many libertarians, I favor universal health care, so I'm not using this as an excuse to undermine progress. I like the principles behind Obamacare (everyone gets healthcare, society picks up the slack for those that cannot or will not pay the price for that care) but not the implementation (we should be single-payer for necessary and adequate care with the wealthy purchasing private supplemental insurance for greater convenience if they so desire).
   5780. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4335423)
I think it would be practical for private parties to offer the birth control and not risk the fines. That doesn't make it just. Nor does it not make it *not* forcing people to violate their ethical code. You want to make businesses provide birth control? Fine. But tell the truth - Catholics clearly *are* being told to violate their ethical code and whether or not you think that it's appropriate to do so, don't deny the fact that you are doing so.


This has already been talked about (I was at lunch), but explain to me what part of "follow the law when you have employees" violates their moral code? Are Catholics being forced to use contraception? Where in the moral code of Catholics does it say don't allow your employees access to health care? And even if it is that terrible then stop engaging in the activity that is forcing you to break your moral code. If the codes for building a house are unacceptible and doing that break your moral code, then stop building houses.

There are hundreds (more really) of religions and thousands of intrepretations on those. Pretty much any law will violate someone's feelings regarding some religion. Even so you have to follow the law, or ...

Really you can follow the law, get the law changed, or engage in civil disobedience (or various subcombinations).
   5781. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4335424)
I like infrastructure. I dislike the way that most things in this country that rich people do not customarily use are so lousy compared to the way they are in Canada and Western Europe (to the extent I have much experience w/ Europe.)


I agree, but I think in the US this comes and goes in [long] cycles

or as one US History prof once told me:
Americans hate taxes, so no roads get built
but Americans really wanted roads, so Government gave "concessions" to private companies to build turnpikes (toll roads)...
and Americans hated toll roads even more than no roads- they'd use them, they'd sabotage the equipment, evade the tolls...
the turnpikes companies sold their roads to government/went broke
the Government said ok ok, took over responsibility for the roads, raised taxes, built more roads, we had freeways... eventually toll roads began making come backs...

Right now in the tri-state area their are a couple of toll crossing where the tolls are pretty clearly excessive (ie., being used to subsidize other things, and/or used to actively discourage use- or both) there has been a slow build up of anger that ratchets up with every increase- there's not yet a critical mass- but I'm guessing another 2 or 3 cycles and there will be real pressure not just to hold the line but actually rollback/reduce tolls (which will eventually succeed- some tolls will in fact come down- of course the Gov will make up the lost revenue somehow- but road/bridge toll are not impermeable facts of life like death and taxes in general- road tolls come and go...)
   5782. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4335426)
he doesn't have the same inherent authoritarian tendencies that many of the leftists here share with rightists. He would probably not be welcome in the Republic of Samtorum. I was very disappointed he didn't pop in when a number of the liberals here (though a minority) were bending over backwards to defend Obama's drone policy.


I am pretty sure I don't have authoritarian tendencies and have written over and over again against said drone policies.
   5783. The Good Face Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4335428)
So how would you describe the adults** living in that compound? Mere religious dissenters?


I did describe them. But that doesn't mean they didn't have rights.

And the victims in no-knock raids are usually poor people living in bad neighborhoods. They may get a token nod of sympathy, but that's about it.

Sounds like the sort of sympathetic nod that we see from conservatives when anyone complains about the overuse of stop-and-frisk laws.


I personally am not crazy about stop-and-frisk, but it differs from no-knock raids in one critical way; it's actually effective. No-knock raids serve only two purposes; justifying bigger budgets for police departments and giving officers something fun to do. Nice attempt at a tu quoque there though; are you even capable of making an argument that's not a logical fallacy Andy?

OTOH a similar messianic religious cult down in Jonestown (supported largely by San Francisco liberals, I might add) managed to kill a hell of a lot of their own children without the benefit of any government raid.


And notice they managed to kill everybody cheaply and more efficiently than the feds. The lesson will doubtless be lost on you as usual though.
   5784. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4335429)
5. Reducing the noise is a health issue, preventing deafness and related problems, thus saving us all money. For the children.


Problem solved ... and for less than a buck per!
   5785. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4335432)
The battle for fundamental rights is not one that you fight on the easy cases, but the really tough ones. You defend the right of the KKK to march in Skokie, you defend the morally repugnant criminal Miranda's right to a proper interrogation, you defend the Westboro Baptist Church's right to engage in outrageously offensive speech.


And the Catholic Church gets to whine all they want. But just like the KKK has to follow the appriopriate laws, and Westboro has to follow the laws of the land, so too does the Catholic Church and the law of the land is they need to provide the health care to their employees or get out of the business which is causing them moral distress.

But they can campaign all they want, should have the right to assemble and speak freely, no argument here.

I consider the Catholic position on contraception to be both impractical and immoral, but I think they're right on this particular issue. It is a particularly serious violation of their ethics to effectively facilitate contraception and abortion. They are acting reasonably in their peaceful protest of this forced ethical violation; it's not like they're stockpiling weapons.


The words "effectively facilitate" are doing some lifting here. It isn't costing them more money to do it. They want to deny other's access to something. I don't think not being allowed to deny access to something (in this case full healthcare that is available to everyone else in similiar positions - insured) is being forced to "effectively facilitate".
   5786. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4335433)
You know as well as I do that I'm the closest thing this little community has to a real anarchist in the midsts.

A very, very special snowflake.
   5787. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4335434)
Yeah, the Wacoites were really a crypto-Amish stealth sect.

Again, if, IF, Koresh and Co. were so okay with being served and allowing the search, then they could have let the authorities that count know. Koresh could have gotten word to them:

Hey, bro, I hear you got a warrant on me. I’ll come down to accept service forthwith. [This is done all the time.]

OR said: I’m in touch with my lawyer, we’re objecting to the warrant. We’ll ask for a hearing right away. Can you postpone it? No? Okay, we'll avail ourselves of our rights subsequent. Just know this is done under protest, and we waive no rights.

However, even if he had trucked on down and accepted service, or been served on the street (yeah, a gun battle in the street involving innocent would have been much better than what happened at the compound—this is the misery loves company corollary to the libertarian view of law, but of course no one should consider that possibility), there is still the matter of the search.

Well, Koresh, when apprised of that, could have magnanimously replied: No problem, bro. I’ll go down, accept that warrant, and escort you to the compound, just to make sure nothing happens, and I'll have a few of our friends in the media accompany us--how's that?--just to make sure nothing untoward happens—just remember, though, we are objecting to that warrant.

And then they just mosey on down the yellow brick road.

Why didn’t that happen?

I mean, the BD’s were innocent, they had to nothing to hide, they had magically become vegetarians who had no need for guns to kill game anymore.

But, still, even given that a “raid” was necessary, at the compound, a “raid” everyone knew about, at what point should Koresh and Co. have submitted? That’s never answered by those who go to any lengths to excuse them and vilify authority. At the time of the “raid” when the media was there, on day one, day two, day three....day 50? When? Should they have seriously considered, as they were beseeched to do, releasing the women and children?

Are they responsible at all--when, and how much? Or does all this phantasmagoria of responsibility heaped on the authorities render all that beside the point. I submit that it would take a pretty mean mentality to hold that.

Finally, it wouldn't resolved the underlying thing that had to be done:

The government should have just turned around and walked away? Forever? Done another time? Would anything have been different? Why do you think so? This is just victim mentality searching for a tree to hang their blame hat on.
   5788. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4335444)

The people here are largely SWPL liberals


What does SWPL stand for? I tried to look it up but found a variety of possibilities non of which seemed to fit the context, especially as assigned to liberals. The most common definition I found was "stuff white people like" which makes zero sense - as we saw in the most recent election white people like the GOP and are not liberal (where the median attitude is considered).
   5789. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4335445)
No-knock raids serve only two purposes; justifying bigger budgets for police departments and giving officers something fun to do. Nice attempt at a tu quoque there though; are you even capable of making an argument that's not a logical fallacy Andy?

Banging logical fallacy is one thing. Spouting off a one-sentence subjective editorial on no-knock raids as objective fact is another.
   5790. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4335446)
No-knock raids serve only two purposes


Oddly enough in Law School when the discussion got around to knock versus no-knock, an ex-cop said he preferred knock first search warrant execution-
in real life (as opposed to TV/Movies) those were A LOT safer than no-knock raids-
what you risked with the knock first raids was the destruction of evidence - what you risked with the no-knock raids was someone getting shot-
he said he'd never even heard of a cop getting shot at after knocking- [almost] no one* deliberately wants to get into a shoot out with the police- but breakdown someone's door with no warning?

The thing was, before the ex-cop spoke, most of the 20 somethings thought that requiring the police to knock before executing a search warrant was crazy-

*His specific example was a biker gang- a bunch of cops go to the Biker gang boss's house and knock on the door- the dude will be pissed, he'll stall, but then he'll open the door- and hold both hands open and to the sides while smiling- OTOH same dude, break into his house at 2am and bullets will damn sure be flying in all diections
   5791. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4335447)
A very, very special snowflake.


I may want to destroy something beautiful one day, so you're probably safe.
   5792. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4335449)
I may want to destroy something beautiful one day, so you're probably safe.

That guy's emo beard in that NJ band better look out, though, amirite?
   5793. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4335453)
That guy's emo beard in that NJ band better look out, though, amirite?


His name is Robert Paulson.
   5794. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4335455)
The people here are largely SWPL liberals; they won't acknowledge what you're talking about because historically it hasn't happened to them or people like them. The victims in Ruby Ridge and Waco were generally losers and white trash. Jesus freaks who joined a cult, racist militia crackers, poor, uneducated losers; nobody gives a #### about people like that. And the victims in no-knock raids are usually poor people living in bad neighborhoods. They may get a token nod of sympathy, but that's about it.

Educated folks living in the 'burbs or gentrifying urban neighborhoods don't personally have much to fear from government misuse of force. When and if that changes, they'll change their tune.


I think the liberals were just being told (in the Screaming Savage thread) that they're not even allowed to be offended on behalf of other people!
   5795. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4335457)
The people here are largely SWPL liberals; they won't acknowledge what you're talking about because historically it hasn't happened to them or people like them. The victims in Ruby Ridge and Waco were generally losers and white trash. Jesus freaks who joined a cult, racist militia crackers, poor, uneducated losers; nobody gives a #### about people like that.

So how would you describe the adults** living in that compound? Mere religious dissenters?

I did describe them.


Pardon my misunderstanding, but it sure seemed that "description" was being rather sarcastically attributed to liberals, rather than yourself.

And the victims in no-knock raids are usually poor people living in bad neighborhoods. They may get a token nod of sympathy, but that's about it.

Sounds like the sort of sympathetic nod that we see from conservatives when anyone complains about the overuse of stop-and-frisk laws.

I personally am not crazy about stop-and-frisk, but it differs from no-knock raids in one critical way;


You must mean that they're usually conducted against blacks and Latinos, because that's certainly one big difference between stop-and-frisk and AFT raids.

OTOH a similar messianic religious cult down in Jonestown (supported largely by San Francisco liberals, I might add) managed to kill a hell of a lot of their own children without the benefit of any government raid.

And notice they managed to kill everybody cheaply and more efficiently than the feds.


Thereby saving you from any extra taxation. It's the best of all possible worlds----you wouldn't even have to wait for them to drop dead on the street and cause you to have to step over them.
   5796. The Good Face Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4335458)
No-knock raids serve only two purposes; justifying bigger budgets for police departments and giving officers something fun to do. Nice attempt at a tu quoque there though; are you even capable of making an argument that's not a logical fallacy Andy?

Banging logical fallacy is one thing. Spouting off a one-sentence subjective editorial on no-knock raids as objective fact is another.


Honestly now, I don't always chase you around witlessly bickering on matters glee club related, do I? Kindly justify no-knock raids on other grounds, or shoo fly.
   5797. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4335461)
As a practical matter, yes. I follow laws that I think are unjust because I do not have the strength of character to defy them.


No one does. That’s the purpose for having greater organization. We benefit to the point where we’re not all at loggerhead always over every little thing we think has to be "because, egad, it is simply the right thing." The point of society and it’s public institutions isn’t about perfect justice; it’s about getting along to a sufficient degree that we prosper and, when we must, prevail. You can’t see that because you can’t break out of that Platonic, religious (which can apply even to people who renounce belief in God and his people) mindset that creates ideals and models in the brain ideal situation--that aren’t ideal for everyone, anyway, and that are also anyway unattainable.
   5798. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4335464)
This was not "merely" anything. We're not talking about a situation where the police knocked and the Branch Davidians opened fire. They were refusing access but not endangering anyone (outside of the danger of tangling with a government that was willing to act without proper restraint).


They had their recourse, short of the ultimate.

The right I am talking about is that of all citizens, even the most evil criminals, to face no more force than is warranted by their actions. The minute heavy weapons and large force assault enters into "service of a warrant in the face of non-violent resistance," the government is already far over the line. This is not something I am willing to give up in the social contract voluntarily, but I'm not picking an unwinnable fight that the majority of the people in this country won't even recognize the value of for a problem that me or my loved ones are very unlikely to experience in our lifetimes. I hope that I would not exercise such restraint in the face of an institution like slavery, or Jim Crow, or internment.


I can provisionally agree with this in theory—but it don’t apply to what happened at Waco.
   5799. Morty Causa Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4335466)
Always expecting less from your government is the way to go. It's liberals who have the silly fetish for government.


It’s that government, that State, that keeps people like you (and I) from being eaten or, oxen-yoked, driven by the lash across the fields.


There are situations where an agent of the state would be crazy to knock. The law recognizes in those instances he doesn’t have to.

Still, all these objections were taken up in legal proceedings—none flew. But, I guess that just makes the conspiracy larger and more encompassing, doesn’t it?
   5800. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 31, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4335468)
I personally am not crazy about stop-and-frisk, but it differs from no-knock raids in one critical way; it's actually effective. No-knock raids serve only two purposes;


Terry stops a/k/a stop and frisk= good thing,
Richards entries a/k/a No-Knock entries:= constitutional, and useful at times but as noted by Johnny, not the favorite thing to do for most cops.
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