continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:22 pm

You can argue that some law enforcement agencies in the United States are ineffectual, but that is very different from them not existing, which seemed to be what recent posts in this thread were implying.

And like David pointed out and I repeated, rural areas often have much different local law enforcement systems than cities or suburbs, which is what the bulk of my post was discussing. I don't know if there's any parallel in the UK for how large and isolated some parts of the U.S. are.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:26 pm

Well the Highlands of Scotland is nowhere near the scale of anything in the US but it is spasely populated and pretty inaccessable most of the year.
But I have seen the argument come up on various US news sites when discussing gun gontrol- that people in rural areas do not feel that the police offer them enough protection, or can get to them in sufficient time to be of any use.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:29 pm

I would say that a lot of those arguments are misguided. I don't know which ones specifically you are referring to but a recurrent theme seems to be "if the police can't be there immediately [which obviously they can't] then they're useless and you need a gun if you want to survive". I don't think that's true in most cases (though there are sadly exceptions). These arguments are not exclusively about rural areas, either.

In any event, there are a shitload of law enforcement agencies in the United States. I'll admit to being a little baffled that anyone thought the U.S. didn't have enough taxpayer-funded police forces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_and_local_law_enforcement_agencies
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by David H on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:34 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Good thing all 50 states already have this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_police_(United_States)


To quote from the wiki article:
n the United States, state police are a police body unique to each U.S. state, having statewide authority to conduct law enforcement activities and criminal investigations. In general, they perform functions outside the jurisdiction of the county sheriff (Vermont being a notable exception), such as enforcing traffic laws on state highways and interstate expressways, overseeing the security of the state capitol complex, protecting the governor, training new officers for local police forces too small to operate an academy, providing technological and scientific support services,

In practice the only time we see the Washington State Patrol is when they send traffic patrols out on the State Routes or when they set up surprise inspections for trucking. I haven't personally seen a State Patrolman on our highway for two or three years. Last year I saw a drunken tourist driving crazily and going to get somebody killed, so I pulled him over with my old farm pickup and explained responsible driving to him. We have to do that here.

The tyranny of democracy is that taxes for the general good are distributed broadly among as many people as possible, but the resources are allocated disproportionately to the largest voting blocks where they can do "the most good for the most people". This means that if you don't live a major urban area you often have to take care of yourself. I'm not complaining. It's just how it is.



Last edited by David H on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:36 pm

Maybe you've got too many Eldo! Maybe there are too many competing bodies- for funding ect in one area and you need to simplify and steamline.

I have seen the argument used (particualry it has to be said by right wing news outlets, but not exclusively) that rural areas are poorly covered by police and guns for self protection are therefore more necessary than in urban areas.

How do you see the lack of police presence in your area Dave affecting the gun argument? Or does it at all?

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by David H on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:49 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
How do you see the lack of police presence in your area Dave affecting the gun argument? Or does it at all?

Of course there are a lot of points of view, but many people I know are happy with the idea of better background checks, limits on clip size, types of ammunition, socalled "assault weapons" etc. for the same reasons that law enforcement tends to favor these. We don't want to be out-gunned!

When the extremes on either side of the debate start talking about either total bans or total free access, these are things that could potentially affect our ability to take care of our selves.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:52 pm

I don't think there are many Americans in favor of a total ban on all firearms, though obviously there are vocal minorities at both extremes. Many people seem to acknowledge that different areas have different needs and that a single national law wouldn't be able to meet those needs.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:02 pm

I'd actually be suprised if any national laws suit all of America, its so big.
I know from the Uk experience that even tryng to create laws just to cover 3 small countries and one small pricipality doesnt usually work very well.
We have the bedroom tax being rolled out nationwide for example to solve a problem that originates solely in the housing markets of the south of england.
I am very much in favour of devolving power down to local level wherever possible.
But the flip side of that coin is it is only effective if you can get a large enough percent of the local electorate to engage with the system.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Orwell on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:57 pm

More guns or more police or more sensible laws? In America, if I'm not mistaken, and to draw an analogy of sorts, it seems the first two are like Tory and Labour, and the third the Greens - except sometimes even Greens get it right, though you'd never vote for them on principle. Shrugging

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:25 pm

You hear about gun shows in the gun control debate from time to time. There are some requirements for sales at gun shows, but CNN did a hidden camera investigation to see if they could get around those rules, and well...

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/10/buying-guns-no-questions-asked/?hpt=ac_mid
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Norc on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:37 pm

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:40 pm

Laughing

Fortunately that's a satire site. Smile
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by CC12 35 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:51 pm

but remember

Spoiler:
drinks, drinks can be fixed

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:01 pm

Spoiler:
I'm with you CC- its about time someone fixed me a drink and fixed the price of drink- a lot lower! Twisted Evil

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Orwell on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:37 pm

Sarah did make a lot of sense - except about asking the Queen of Britain to help; surely Sarah knows Lizzie has been wishy-washy for yonks... Mad

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by chris63 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:29 am


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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Tue May 14, 2013 2:55 pm

Chalk one up for New York's Bravest. Very Happy

FDNY rescues both cat and NYPD cop stuck in tree - New York Post
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Amarië on Tue May 14, 2013 3:16 pm

Awww... bless!

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by David H on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Nobody said democracy was pretty (especially in TEXAS ! Rolling Eyes )

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Despite barely beating a midnight deadline, hundreds of jeering protesters helped stop Texas lawmakers from passing one of the toughest abortion measures in the country.

As the protesters raised the noise to deafening levels in the Texas Senate chamber late Tuesday, Republicans scrambled to gather their colleagues at the podium for a stroke-of-midnight vote.

"Get them out!" Sen. Donna Campbell shouted to a security guard, pointing to the thundering crowd in the gallery overhead that had already been screaming for more than 10 minutes.

"Time is running out," Campbell pleaded. "I want them out of here!"

It didn't work. The noise never stopped and despite barely beating the midnight end-of-session deadline with a vote to pass the bill, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said the chaos in the chamber prevented him from formally signing it before the deadline passed, effectively killing it.

Dewhurst denounced the protesters as an "unruly mob." Democrats who urged them on called the outburst democracy in action.

In either point of view, a raucous crowd of chanting, singing, shouting demonstrators effectively took over the Texas Capitol and blocked a bill that abortion rights groups warned would close most abortion clinics in the state.

"They were asking for their voices to be heard," said Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who spent nearly 11 hours trying to filibuster the bill before the outburst. "The results speak for themselves."

The final outcome took several hours to sort out.

Initially, Republicans insisted the vote started before the midnight deadline and passed the bill that Democrats spent the day trying to kill. But after official computer records and printouts of the voting record showed the vote took place Wednesday, and then were changed to read Tuesday, senators retreated into a private meeting to reach a conclusion.

At 3 a.m., Dewhurst emerged from the meeting still insisting the 19-10 vote was in time, but said, "with all the ruckus and noise going on, I couldn't sign the bill" and declared it dead.

He denounced the more than 400 protesters who staged what they called "a people's filibuster" from 11:45 p.m. to well past midnight. He denied mishandling the debate.

"I didn't lose control (of the chamber). We had an unruly mob," Dewhurst said. He even hinted that Gov. Rick Perry may immediately call another 30-day special session, adding: "It's over. It's been fun. But see you soon."

Davis' mission was cut short but her effort ultimately helped Democrats earn a rare victory in a Legislature dominated by Republicans for more than a decade.

The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Also, doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles — a tall order in rural communities.

If signed into law, the measures would have closed almost every abortion clinic in Texas, a state 773 miles wide and 790 miles long with 26 million people. A woman living along the Mexico border or in West Texas would have to drive hundreds of miles to obtain an abortion if the law passed. The law's provision that abortions be performed at surgical centers means only five of Texas' 42 abortion clinics are currently designated to remain in operation.

Republicans and anti-abortion groups insisted their goal was to improve women's health care, but also acknowledged wanting clinics to close.

The showdown came after Davis had slogged her way through about 11 hours of speaking while Senate Republicans — and several House members — watched and listened for any slipup that would allow them to end the filibuster and call a vote.

Rules stipulated she remain standing, not lean on her desk or take any breaks — even for meals or to use the bathroom. But she also was required to stay on topic, and Republicans pointed out a mistake and later protested again when another lawmaker helped her with a back brace.

Lawmakers can vote to end a filibuster after three sustained points of order. As tension mounted over Davis' speech and the dwindling clock, Campbell, a first-term lawmaker from New Braunfels, made the call on the third violation, sparking nearly two hours of debate on how to handle it.

After much back and forth and senators shouting over each other, the Republican majority forced a vote to end the filibuster minutes before midnight, sparking the raucous response from protesters.

Senate security and several Department of Public Safety state troopers tried to quiet the crowd but were simply outnumbered and had no hope of stopping the outburst.

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, blamed the confusion surrounding the final vote on the demonstrators and Democratic senators who urged them on.

Standing next to him was Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, a Democrat.

"This is democracy," Hinojosa said. "They have a right to speak."
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:05 pm

anything that prevents barbaric back street abortions is good no matter how its achieved.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by David H on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:33 pm

That was a heroic effort by Davis (and I try not to use the hero word lightly.) Just think about talking for 11 hours without a break, not even leaning on anything, and having to stay on topic the whole time. WOW! I'm so glad the people in the galleries were able to keep her effort from going for nothing.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Amarië on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:17 pm

Mrs Figg wrote: anything that prevents barbaric back street abortions is good no matter how its achieved.

Amen!

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:44 am

I tried reading some responses to the George Zimmerman (guy who shot Trayvon Martin) verdict on a couple other websites but I think I need to stop.  It's making my head hurt.

1. Zimmerman being a racist asshole has nothing to do with whether or not a court can find him guilty, nor should it.

2. There wasn't enough evidence to convict him under Florida law.  Direct your anger at idiotic "stand your ground" laws, not the jury.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by David H on Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:00 am

I'm not reading anything about it for 24 hours. I know it's going to bring out the crazies on both sides, and the media will milk it for all it's worth, which is frankly disgusting.

I don't agree that there wasn't enough evidence to convict Zimmerman under Florida state law though. The prosecutors clearly thought there was, and they should know. They've convicted others on less evidence, though admittedly not under this bright a spotlight.

So what are your thoughts on the effects of live televised coverage in these high profile cases? I know personally I'd chew off my leg before I'd sit on such a jury!pale 
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [2]

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:10 am

I don't think the justice system is built to function under this much pressure from a media circus.  I think that pressure is part of the reason why the prosecutors went for murder 2, which they should have known they couldn't get a conviction for.  The manslaughter charge I can at least understand why they thought they'd have a chance with, but the jury didn't think there was enough evidence and I'm not sure I can blame them.  Florida's stand-your-ground law is very broad. This has no bearing on the morality of Zimmerman's actions, I'd like to note.

I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be on that jury either, though!
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