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Friday, November 22, 2013

"When the punishment is the crime"

For once, the ACLU is right.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much the lifetime jailing of all these nonviolents costs the American taxpayer? The country is heavily in debt, so cutting the amount of nonviolent people sentenced to rot in prison might be a start in cutting public expenses. We'd never get anything like this in Europe and yet the continent is, on the whole, a less violent place to be than the US. The American "zero tolerance" policies on crime do nothing to help. In my opinion, "zero tolerance" = zero common sense.

Another similar story you might be interested in: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/21/3769823/in-miami-gardens-store-video-catches.html

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
They cost a lot, I'm sure. The fact that America is a much more violent place than Europe is mostly a function of our different demographics, and most cops end up, naturally enough, seeing young black men as the enemy after a while. Still, there's absolutely no excuse for the cops to be needlessly hassling poor black people like this; the cops mentioned in that Miami Herald article you linked should definitely be prosecuted.

I've always been under the impression that while the vast majority of cops are good guys, there's a definite subset who just want a badge so they can kick ass legally. And while the proportion of sociopaths in the overall population is roughly 3-4%, I think that the proportion in police work is higher than that, maybe as high as 8 or 9%.

Anonymous said...

"There's a definite subset who just want a badge so they can kick ass legally"

Oh, definitely. One of the videos in the link I posted proves it. The black guy outside the shop was, as far as I could see, entirely peaceful, yet the cop decided to grab him and throw him on the ground nevertheless. That was totally unnecessary, yet he gets away with such brutality because he's a cop.

John Craig said...

Gethin --
You're absolutely right, and it is a shame.

(I'm turning into a liberal!)

Judging from his recent behavior (his recent arrests) it's quite possible that George Zimmerman is a sociopath. I was on his side during his trial, but his recent actions do make one think twice.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing to re-think about Zimmerman vs Martin. He fired one shot while pinned by his attacker, getting beaten in the face and his head smashed into the concrete. If he went through all that, even if only to "legitimately" shoot a black thug (I don't think he was that clever a hunter), then by God he earned it.
I'll give him the benefit of doubt against the word of two women, who probably know the domestic violence game and what codewords to tell the cops, in order to "teach him a lesson." But if he turns out to be a sociopath unable to have a stable relationship with women, I won't be surprised either. Nor will I care; these types of men and women always gravitate to each other.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I thought he was in the right during the trial for the exact same reason: it seemed to be self-defense. But when two different women say the same thing about him, it throws his credibility into doubt. I understand that there are a lot of women out there who would take advantage of a situation like his, but still, I have more doubts about him -- and his original testimony -- than I did a few weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how his domestic problems have anything to do with an encounter with a street thug. (In addition to his recent ex-wife and girlfriend, he had that incident several years back with another woman, that produced the infamous orange-jumpsuit mugshots that were juxtaposed in every newspaper next to Little Skittles' choirboy pic). The latest girlfriend has a daughter by some other man, which casts doubt on her own problems with men. She also lied about being 6 weeks pregnant by Zimmerman. These women may have mistaken this for a Manson-type situation, as he is temporarily a prisoner of circumstance, and can't lead a normal life; and when he reacts or walks away from their bullshit, they are caught off-guard.
There were possible small holes in his Travyon story, but it was the same tired crap that cops always say ("I feared for my life... he reached for my gun..."), so it's 100% fair game to use those in your defense. I was amused that the police detective told the FBI he thought Zimmerman had rehearsed that line; though he surely yells AMEN anythime any cop in the world uses it.
The big "question" was always whether he racially profiled (which isn't even a crime). The guy publicly rallied in support of a homeless black man who was beaten by a cop's son (i think, or maybe it was a cop), and he was an Obama-voting democrat. I'd wager very little, that he was a n-word-hating bigot, who just wanted to kill one.

John Craig said...

Anon --
It's not that his domestic incidents have any direct bearing on the Trayvon killing, it's that two different women have portrayed him now as a gun-happy tinderbox, which means that the possibility of sociopathy -- or some other issue -- arises. And if he is a sociopath, then his credibility -- at any time -- is suspect.

I sided with him completely at the time of the trial, and still do; but the recent developments raise some doubt.

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with the ACLU? Why are they rarely correct?

John Craig said...

Anon --
Up through the 1960's the ACLU pursued noble causes such as civil rights (back before "civil rights" became more about special privileges), and rights for Indians. In the 1970's and 80's they pursued equal rights for gays (and currently support gay marriage), all of which I'd consider to be on the side of right. They also supported the Japanese-Americans who were put in internment camps n WWII.

But more recently, what they get the most publicity about is doing things like shutting down Christmas displays in town squares, which is basically making a nuisance of themselves. They're also still involved in fighting "discrimination" against women and minorities, which these days means disparate impact-type "discrimination," which I don't consider to be true discrimination.

Their most central cause has always been free speech, which I certainly support. But while they have the occasional right wing clients like those Nazis who wanted to march in Skokie, and more recently Rush Limbaugh (and his right to privacy in his Oxycontin case), it's my impression that they have a decidedly left wing tilt. Also, they have a tendency to pick some pretty nutty people to defend, most notably the Westboro Baptist Church. I know, if you believe in free speech you have to believe in it all the way, and I do, but for them to donate their time to such a despicable group of people seems like bad judgment to me. Simply refraining from donating your services to them is not the same as opposing their right to free speech.

bluffcreek1967 said...

If anyone's interested, there's a good book I read on the ACLU a few years back entitled, 'The ACLU VS America,' authored by Alan Sears and Craig Osten.

It will open a lot of eyes about the true Leftist nature of this organization. John is right that while the ACLU has defended some conservatives now and then (in order to give the impression that they're 'neutral' and 'fair'), they mostly support liberal issues and liberal legal cases.

John Craig said...

Thanks Ambrose.