Police misbehavior thread

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ivnja » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:01 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:In the US policeman, sheriffs, FBI agents, firefighters et cetra are civilians (non-military) and are not under a legal obligation to do their jobs; at any time they may say "I quit" and walk away. If they suddenly decide not to do important parts of their duty, the worst that can happen is them being fired "with cause". What this means is they will lose their job, be unable to get unemployment insurance, and be potentially be unable to get their pension.

Civil service jobs tend to come with some extra protections, and so hearings may be involved, but any proceedings will not be in an actual criminal court.


To revisit this quote from a few pages back...retreating to a "position of increased personal safety" outside the school you are guarding and remaining there for more than 45 minutes while you know kids are being murdered inside is apparently the threshold to get dereliction of duty into criminal court.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby solune » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:43 pm UTC

ABC news wrote:He faces seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury


Child neglect is an interestic way of considering the issue. That's another domain where civilians can be compelled to act.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:00 pm UTC

I'm skeptical of legally compelling people to run toward gunfire. It's not that I don't agree with the parent's sentiment that he should rot in hell, it's just that I question the efficacy.

A person hears gunfire and panics. Does the threat of a few years in prison for negligence affect their decision making process?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby solune » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:13 pm UTC

In my mind the punishment is not for panicking, but for accepting a responsibility that you couldn't deliver on. If the cop had said beforehand that he wouldn't run toward a gunfire, the police department might have put someone else in his stead.

But if your argument is that he didn't know he was a coward until he was one, then I agree with you.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:53 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I'm skeptical of legally compelling people to run toward gunfire. It's not that I don't agree with the parent's sentiment that he should rot in hell, it's just that I question the efficacy.

A person hears gunfire and panics. Does the threat of a few years in prison for negligence affect their decision making process?

Honestly, I have to agree.

While I maintain my view that deliberately letting an incapacitated person drown is downright evil, I think that freezing in the face of an active shooter is actually quite understandable, even for a police officer.

The former is malicious, the latter is merely cowardice - but cowardice of a form that most of us would probably suffer.

While I get the parents' sentiment, their ire should be directed towards the police department and their recruitment and training.

Security theatre is reassuring, but it's still theatre, and it's weird that more people don't get this.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:10 pm UTC

elasto wrote:While I get the parents' sentiment, their ire should be directed towards the police department and their recruitment and training.
While I'm generally a big fan of training police more, active shooter situations are probably something cops are over-trained for generally.

Maybe training that exact scenario (school resource officer, school shooter) may have helped. But also think that increased training in scenarios where the correct answer is to shoot someone necessitate more scenarios where the answer isn't shooting someone.
Security theatre is reassuring, but it's still theatre, and it's weird that more people don't get this.
It's reassuring because (on some level at least) people don't get that it's just theater.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby KittenKaboodle » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:38 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I'm skeptical of legally compelling people to run toward gunfire. It's not that I don't agree with the parent's sentiment that he should rot in hell, it's just that I question the efficacy.

A person hears gunfire and panics. Does the threat of a few years in prison for negligence affect their decision making process?


Posted one day after the 75th anniversary of D-Day. :roll:

My guess is that is was really the perjury change that got him arrested, if he had respected the authority of the people investigating (I'm assuming other "cops") I wouldn't have been surprised if they found a way to sweep it under the carpet.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:32 pm UTC

But it’s their acceptance of risk that underlies the whole “I shot because I was afraid for my life!” defense. To say that you are so afraid of people walking around while black that you must shoot them on sight, but you are also so afraid of an actual bad guy being bad that you have to run away only highlights the idiocy.
There is no constitutional duty to protect on the part of the police. (Why this keeps being brought as a constitutional issue I just don’t understand...) in fact, the rights we use to uphold roe v wade would argue against such a duty. Still, if the law enforcement community wants to maintain their credibility, they might have to actually risk themselves in the protection of others.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:03 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:But it’s their acceptance of risk that underlies the whole “I shot because I was afraid for my life!” defense. To say that you are so afraid of people walking around while black that you must shoot them on sight, but you are also so afraid of an actual bad guy being bad that you have to run away only highlights the idiocy.

It's the refusal to accept any risk that explains the entirety of police behaviour in the US...

"When the guy I shot fell face down immobilised in the water I didn't lift him out because to do so would have been slightly risky to me"
"I shot the black guy because not to do so would have been slightly risky to me, because, you know, black guys are scary"
"I didn't confront the active shooter because to do so would have been (admittedly very) risky to me" <--- hence why I have more sympathy for this guy

Contrast with the bravery and sense of duty of police forces in some other countries - willing to risk their lives not just to help out the public but to aid the very criminals they confront.

Quizatzhaderac wrote:It's reassuring because (on some level at least) people don't get that it's just theater.

Yeah, I get why some people fall for it. I don't get why so many apparently do though.

It should be plain that there's no end of soft targets to be chosen; Spend millions/billions hardening one category and anyone who cares to do so can just move to another...

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gd1 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:37 pm UTC

I suppose that if there's a high enough demand for police that some unfit ones may get through. Though I wonder if that's a problem or not.

Also, I posted that so I could post this:
https://youtu.be/QKEdKdgi2hg
[Adam Ruins Everything - TSA]
3 minutes and 15 seconds, security theater
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:27 pm UTC

I read an article about airport security written by a guy that used to run security for Jerusalem's airport.

He said that you basically can't let long lines or dense crowds form(as around baggage claim) , as they're just as good targets as the planes themselves. He said something approximately like "It's as if Americans think terrorists are angry at planes, not people."

The funny thing is, the strawman is close to being right. I can't think of a single terrorist incident in the US where the terrorist would deign to kill at an airport, but not actually on planes yet.

Looking at the list of all US terrorist attacks a lot of them seem to be very big on the symbolism of where and when they're killing people.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:23 pm UTC

ah-um...(raises hand)
The terrorist attacks in the U.S. during the last year or so have all been White Men and done in Churches, Schools and other Public Spaces.
Not Planes; It's been years sense we had a terrorist attack on a Plane. It has been weeks sense we had U.S. Citizens die in a terrorist attacks.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Sableagle » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:11 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:He said that you basically can't let long lines or dense crowds form(as around baggage claim) , as they're just as good targets as the plains themselves. He said something approximately like "It's as if Americans think terrorists are angry at plains, not people."
Planes. Plains are those wide, open spaces where horses and bison run around and eat grass. Also, this guy's giving advice I gave back in 2001, after I went to Heathrow Airport to fly out and saw the densely-packed mass of people, ten wide and maybe fifty deep, waiting to check in for flights to the USA.

Waiting with their luggage.

Waiting, with their luggage, in a space accessible to the general public.

Waiting, with potentially two large suitcases per person, in a place where anyone could have passed by, noticed them and seen that they were waiting there, with potentially two large suitcases per person.

Waiting, for that matter, in a place where six people could show up in two groups of three, each person carrying at least one large suitcase, and then two of each group could have left the other to move three-to-five suitcases forwards while they "went to the toilet" and scarpered. Timed properly, this would have caused utter carnage, chaos, some property damage, a whole lot of panicking, a bit of trampling and some extremely expensive delays.

The reason those people were stacked up at the airport entrance like that, creating such a tempting target? "Enhanced security measures" on all flights to the USA, of course!
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:06 pm UTC

addams wrote:ah-um...(raises hand)
The terrorist attacks in the U.S. during the last year or so have all been White Men and done in Churches, Schools and other Public Spaces.
Not Planes; It's been years sense we had a terrorist attack on a Plane. It has been weeks sense we had U.S. Citizens die in a terrorist attacks.
I said: at an airport, but not on a plane.

Yes, most terrorists don't go to the airport at all, but when they do, they're clearly want to be terrorist on planes, not merely at airports.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ijuin » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:12 am UTC

Terrorists prefer to attack passengers on an aircraft over passengers at an airport because on an aircraft there is almost no chance of any of the victims escaping and usually only the air martials will be armed as opposed to the area outside of the security gates where there is a greater chance of armed civilians.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:01 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I can't think of a single terrorist incident in the US where the terrorist would deign to kill at an airport, but not actually on planes yet.


I guess it depends on how you define "terrorist" for some of these, but...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Los_ ... t_shooting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Los_ ... t_shooting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Laud ... t_shooting

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:54 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:Terrorists prefer to attack passengers on an aircraft over passengers at an airport because on an aircraft there is almost no chance of any of the victims escaping and usually only the air martials will be armed as opposed to the area outside of the security gates where there is a greater chance of armed civilians.

The Air Marshals are incidental. They are there to keep people out of the cockpit. There have been plenty of airport bombings in Europe. If you think that any of the random armed morons wandering around US airports would be of any use at stopping a guy in a bomb vest you haven’t seen them shoot.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:05 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:I guess it depends on how you define "terrorist" for some of these, but...
The firs one is unequivocally a terrorist attacking at the airport, so you provided a solid counter-example there.

The second and third seem more like spree killers. Of course, stopping spree killers is just as valuable stopping terrorists, but means of preventing them are different (one guy was after TSA themselves, so arguably, eliminating all security might have prevented that incident, or more likely caused the target to be something completely different).
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:15 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:I guess it depends on how you define "terrorist" for some of these, but...
The firs one is unequivocally a terrorist attacking at the airport, so you provided a solid counter-example there.

The second and third seem more like spree killers. Of course, stopping spree killers is just as valuable stopping terrorists, but means of preventing them are different (one guy was after TSA themselves, so arguably, eliminating all security might have prevented that incident, or more likely caused the target to be something completely different).

I disagree, because terrorism gets framed as some existential crisis, where as killing sprees are a fact of life that sheeple accept. At least it's easier to stomach then"terrorism". If you Rename terrorism as mental illness, then all the fear drains away.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:34 pm UTC

By "I disagree" are you saying terrorism is actually worse, or that terrorism is merely regarded as worse?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:25 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:I guess it depends on how you define "terrorist" for some of these, but...
The firs one is unequivocally a terrorist attacking at the airport, so you provided a solid counter-example there.

The second and third seem more like spree killers. Of course, stopping spree killers is just as valuable stopping terrorists, but means of preventing them are different (one guy was after TSA themselves, so arguably, eliminating all security might have prevented that incident, or more likely caused the target to be something completely different).

I disagree, because terrorism gets framed as some existential crisis, where as killing sprees are a fact of life that sheeple accept. At least it's easier to stomach then"terrorism". If you Rename terrorism as mental illness, then all the fear drains away.
Okay! Done!
There was a long and continuous discussion on a different Thread about destructive beliefs either Are or Are Not Mental Illness.

I worked for a woman that firmly believed one human killing another human was by definition 'Nuts'.
Therefore capital punishment was a non-starter for her. She was a Military Officer, so it came up for her.

The Point?
Terrorism is 'Nuts', just like mowing down co-workers and school children.
(sigh...) Even if it is done by Rich and Powerful Men using powerless men.

eeek...I may be very sorry I stuck my nose in this one.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:13 pm UTC

If you think (as I do) that morality, ethics, and practical matters of how to behave generally are things that can be reasoned about, then it follows that all bad actions done on purpose are done out of some kind of irrationality (with the rest done on accident out of ignorance). If mental illness is then characterized as thought patterns that are contrary to reason (maybe only those that are in context sufficiently contrary to the ordinary expectations of reasonability), then all bad actions done on purpose are a consequence of mental illness (or maybe just something trending in the direction of it but not meeting that threshold yet).
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ucim » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:16 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:If you think (as I do) that morality, ethics, and practical matters of how to behave generally are things that can be reasoned about, then it follows...
That's not a sufficient condition. One can reasonably disagree on morality, and one can reasonably end up on the short end of the stick, where one must fight for what another is taking away. (Trivial case: scarce resources where only one can survive.) In a significant number of cases, terrorism can be reasonably viewed as an act of desperation by a people who feel oppressed, and for which this manner of changing their political position is their only strong option. That would make it "not nuts", even if the victim very much doesn't like it.

Yes, mental illness does exist. But it's also a temptingly simple out for those who do not think themselves deficient.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:26 pm UTC

ucim wrote:One can reasonably disagree on morality

Sure, but if you can reason about it, then there is such a thing as being right or wrong about it, and if one or both people disagreeing about what is moral are wrong, then either it's because they just don't have the information available to reason to a correct conclusion from (which is the case of accidentally doing wrong), or if they did have sufficient information, they did not draw the correct conclusion about how to act from that information (which is irrationality).

one can reasonably end up on the short end of the stick, where one must fight for what another is taking away. (Trivial case: scarce resources where only one can survive.)

Sure, but if that is reasonable justification for certain behavior, then that behavior is justified, and not wrong. If the behavior is wrong, then there is not such a justification for it. Case in point...

In a significant number of cases, terrorism can be reasonably viewed as an act of desperation by a people who feel oppressed, and for which this manner of changing their political position is their only strong option.

If their oppression and desperation reasonably justifies their terrorist actions, then those terrorist actions are not wrong. If they are wrong, then their desperation and oppression, while in themselves wrongs that need addressing, do not reasonably justify those actions.

ETA: It's important to distinguish between "understandable" and "reasonable". There are a lot of unreasonable thoughts and actions that one can nevertheless sympathetically understand being driven toward. For example, lately I've been suffering a lot of existential anxiety and it's brought into sharp focus how that kind of thing can drive people to adopt irrational beliefs just because those beliefs would be comforting. I find myself tempted to believe irrational things because it would be comforting if they were true, but at the same time I know that those beliefs are irrational and I hope that I am not driven into them. Likewise, I can understand why people in hard situations would be driven to do things that are not reasonably justified, but that's different from saying those things are reasonably justified and consequently okay and not wrong to do. The people driven to such things are understandably "nuts" (your words not mine), but that's different from "reasonable".
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ucim » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:58 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Sure, but if you can reason about it, then there is such a thing as being right or wrong about it
No, the ability to reason about something does not imply that there is an objective truth there. Opinions (this song sucks!) can also be reasoned about, but that doesn't make the suckiness of the song an objective truth.

There's also the question of nonbinarity and precision. Things (to wit: actions) aren't "good" or "bad" - they are good or bad by degree. And they are better or worse than the alternatives also by degree. And the degree to which any alternative is good or bad is imprecise, in the same way that a song's beauty is imprecise. This isn't a failure of reason, it's a fundamental property of goodness, beauty, mental health, and many other things.

And yes, "understandable" and "reasonable" are different. But this is a difference that doesn't enter into what I'm saying. I'm not saying "I understand why they are acting unreasonably". Rather, I'm saying "In some cases they are reasoning that this (highly adverse) action is the best way to advance their agenda." And while we may not like or agree with their agenda, that fact doesn't make them wrong.

We can reason about these things, but in the end, they desperately want something and we want them not to have it.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:07 pm UTC

See??!
This leads no where good!

It can go on for a L-O-N-G time.
Its still not going anywhere Good.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:50 am UTC

ucim wrote:No, the ability to reason about something does not imply that there is an objective truth there. Opinions (this song sucks!) can also be reasoned about, but that doesn't make the suckiness of the song an objective truth.

Well I don't really know where to go from here other than to say I disagree entirely and can't comprehend how you could think this unless you mean entirely different things by the words we're both using. To my ear, to reason about something is to give... well, reasons... that that something is the right or wrong thing to think. There can be uncertainty, ambiguity, it can be really hard to tell or to figure out whether something is right or wrong, it can be better sometimes to agree to disagree and not continue arguing about it, but if you're trying to reason about something, you're trying to figure out whether it's right or wrong. And those words right and wrong are inherently about "objective" right and wrong, because something being "subjectively right" to some party is just being agreed upon by that party; non-objective "right and wrong" robs those words of all of the meaning they have beyond mere opinion. You can say that you dislike a song for the reason that exhibits some feature you generally dislike, but in that case you're not expressing an opinion about whether the song really sucks, you're just saying it's not your thing, but if other people have different tastes you're not saying their tastes are wrong, just that they aren't yours.

which brings us to...

Rather, I'm saying "In some cases they are reasoning that this (highly adverse) action is the best way to advance their agenda." And while we may not like or agree with their agenda, that fact doesn't make them wrong.

Someone can reason that an action will be effective in achieving some purpose, and people can argue about the facts of whether it really will be effective at that, and even you will probably agree that there is some objective answer to be had in that kind of argument: either it really will be effective or it won't.

But then people can disagree about the purposes they're trying to achieve, and that's the kind of thing I was talking about reasoning about. You will probably say that that's not the kind of thing that people can reason about, or else you'll say that they can "reason" about it using some bizarre sense of the word "reason" that is alien to me. But there's plenty of people (I among them) who think that you can reason about that kind of thing, about whether or not some purpose is the right one to aim for, independent of any argument about what actions will be effective at achieving it. I'm sure you just flat out disagree with that, but that was what I was stating as an antecedent back when I wrote:

Pfhorrest wrote:If you think (as I do) that morality, ethics, and practical matters of how to behave generally are things that can be reasoned about, then...


If you don't think that, whatever, the consequent doesn't apply to you I guess. But you're claiming to agree with that antecedent and then saying things completely contrary to it.
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:12 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:10 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:By "I disagree" are you saying terrorism is actually worse, or that terrorism is merely regarded as worse?

Terrorism is regarded as worse, so then the people/government make our lives actually worse by reacting poorly. The actual terrorists just stir the pot a little. We hurt ourselves the most. See various terrorism based scandals and controversies.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:20 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:By "I disagree" are you saying terrorism is actually worse, or that terrorism is merely regarded as worse?

Terrorism is regarded as worse, so then the people/government make our lives actually worse by reacting poorly. The actual terrorists just stir the pot a little. We hurt ourselves the most. See various terrorism based scandals and controversies.


A two-and-a-half-minute story by Molly Ivins is relevant on this point. (It even mentions law enforcement.)

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:36 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:A two-and-a-half-minute story by Molly Ivins is relevant on this point. (It even mentions law enforcement.)
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:25 pm UTC

Transcript please? Google showed no relevant results. Not everyone watched YouTube.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:42 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Transcript please? Google showed no relevant results. Not everyone watched YouTube.
It was a delightful story told by Molly Ivans.
Oh what a delight she was at every turn.

Molly Ivans:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Ivins
You can find loads of her talks online.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Sableagle » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:53 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Transcript please? Google showed no relevant results. Not everyone watched YouTube.


John Henry was one of the heroes of Bayou Tahm in this country, the McCarthy era, and that's when he took up freedom fighting as a serious thing. Not many people know this but before he went into being a First Amendment defender, Johnnie was in law enforcement. In fact, he was in the Texas Rangers, Captain. He was six at the time. His friend Boots Cooper, who was seven, was the Sheriff. They used to do a lot of serious law enforcement out behind the Fawke family place. One day Johnnie's momma, having two such fine lawmen right there on the property said to them: "Boys, I want y'all to go down the henhouse, get that chicken-snake outta the hen-house." Johnnie and Boots were all excited about this big assignment and they galloped down there on their brooms. They tethered their brooms, went in the hen-house, went through all the nests on the bottom shelf. No snake. They were of an age and of a size where to see up on the upper shelf they had to stand up on tiptoes, see if there was a snake there, and there was. No I have never myself been nose-to-nose with a chicken-snake, but I always took Johnnie's word for it that it would just scare the livin' shit out of you, an' it scared Johnnie and Boots so bad they both tried to get out of the henhouse at the same time, doing considerable damage to themselves and the hen-house door in the process. Well, they came treadin' back up the porch all shame-faced and Mrs Fawke looked at him and said: "Boys, boys, what is wrong with you? You know perfectly well that a chicken-snake will not hurt you," and that's when Boots Cooper said this semi-immortal thing.
He said: "Yes, Ma'am, but some things'll scare you so bad you'll hurt yourself."
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:59 pm UTC

aww...Sableagle;
That is so nice of you.
*bows* to your Googlefoo.

Still; It is much funnier when Molly tells it in her own voice.
The Great Molly Ivans; What a Girl.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:06 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Terrorism is regarded as worse, so then the people/government make our lives actually worse by reacting poorly. The actual terrorists just stir the pot a little. We hurt ourselves the most. See various terrorism based scandals and controversies.
I agree completely.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ucim » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:53 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:...but if you're trying to reason about something, you're trying to figure out whether it's right or wrong.
First, reasoning depends on premesis and antecedents. It's IF this THEN that (and its variants), and some of these antecedents are just not stated; they are assumed. In science, we can test the antecedents with experiments to decide whether or not to give them credence. In philosophy there is no such thing. (Even in math there's no such thing - proofs in math depend on the axioms of the system.)

You can attempt to reason about those antecedents, but that requires its own antecedents, and it's turtles all the way down.

Second, reasoning about something doesn't necessarily mean trying to figure out whether it's (morally) right or wrong. It could be trying to figure out whether it's effective or ineffective, nice or nasty, has or doesn't have side effects... there are lots of things that reasoning can do. And you can also try to figure out whether something is right or wrong without reasoning about it. You can have a gut feeling. You can do the easiest thing. You can do the most powerful-looking thing. You can just do what you've always done. These are all (unfortunately) common ways of saying what's right and wrong. "Reasoning" and "figuring morals out" are orthogonal (although I would say reasoning is a good tool to use, if not overstated).

Pfhorrest wrote:And those words right and wrong are inherently about "objective" right and wrong, because something being "subjectively right" to some party is just being agreed upon by that party; non-objective "right and wrong" robs those words of all of the meaning they have beyond mere opinion.
"Robbing those words" does not mean those words must have been objectively correct. Values and morals are opinions; granted opinions that are generally shared (which is what makes them useful) but shared specifically among a certain in-group. We're learning to expand that in-group, but it's not without issues. Should {fill-in} be treated as nicely as we treat ourselves? The answer depends on what fill-in is... whether it's an answering machine, Alexa, a foreigner, an old rich white male, a dog, an eco-terrorist, slave, a lake, a woman, a Supreme Leader... and we can reason all we want about this, but in the end, "reasoning" often works to disguise giving gravitas to our own pre-existing desires.

Pfhorrest wrote:You can say that you dislike a song for the reason that
...but I can also say "this song sucks. Objectively. Because {reasons}. And people who like the song are objectively wrong. I claim that doing that would be an error - the same error that one makes in assuming objective morality. To wit, the imagining of objectivity where none exists.

I'll leave you the last word because we're getting off the topic (police misbehavior), but the idea of Objective Good is a very harmful idea that can easily lead to police (and other) brutality, including jihad and nuclear war.

Jose
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:56 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Transcript please? Google showed no relevant results. Not everyone watched YouTube.


(Spoilered for having been ninja'ed by Sableeagle above--well, not really ninja'ed, I just wan't paying attention)

Spoiler:
Molly Ivins published her chicken snake story here in 1993, but I think it improved in the telling and re-telling over the years. And her dry delivery on the video adds a lot to the humor. But here's a paraphrase (not a transcript) of that section of her 2004 speech at UC Berkeley:

In addition to being alarmed by such political bullying, Ivins is also disturbed by her fellow Americans’ willingness to abdicate their civil liberties.

She recounted a story about her late friend, the celebrated Texas civil libertarian John Henry Falk [sic--should be Faulk], who, as a boy of six, went with his seven-year-old friend, Boots Cooper, to rid the family henhouse of a harmless chicken snake. From its high perch, the snake frightened the two boys, who fought each other in their hurry to exit the henhouse. When Falk’s mother reminded the boys that chicken snakes are not dangerous, Boots Cooper responded, “Yes, ma’am, but some things will scare you so bad, you’ll hurt yourself.”

(Source)


My spoilered source reports what Ivins said after Boots's punchline, though:

“Don’t you know, that’s what we do again and again in this country,” said Ivins, pointing out that Americans willingly surrender civil liberties in an effort to quell their fears of such menaces as communism, crime, drugs, illegal aliens, and terrorists. “We think we can make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free. I’ll tell you something: When you make yourselves less free, all that happens afterwards is that you’re less free. You are not safer.”

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ijuin » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:57 pm UTC

Indeed. Giving up liberty for supposed security inevitably raises the question of “Waaaaaaaaaah”—who shall police the police? Enforcers who are not subject to meaningful oversight will, except for the rare truly selfless ones, generally gravitate toward enforcing their own will rather than the actual laws.

Edit: for some reason my quote was replaced by “waaaah”. What I had intended to quote was the famous Latin saying for “who guards the Guards?”

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:03 pm UTC

Jose, I'll just repeat the very last thing I said on this topic: I'm sure you just flat out disagree (about the objectivity of morality), but my comment that started this subthread started with "if you think [...] then...", and you're claiming that thinking that antecedent doesn't entail that consequent, but then supporting that claim by arguing against the antecedent. If you don't think that antecedent is true (which you obviously don't), whatever, the consequent doesn't apply to you I guess, but that's different from claiming the antecedent doesn't entail the consequent.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Sableagle » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:22 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:Edit: for some reason my quote was replaced by “waaaah”. What I had intended to quote was the famous Latin saying for “who guards the Guards?”
Image
That one?
Spoiler:
You may also find it difficult to discuss these people:
Image

... or this book:
Image
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.


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