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Comment: Time for indictments (Score 4, Insightful) 86

"Law-enforcement officials also don't want to reveal information that would give new ammunition to defense lawyers in prosecutions where warrants weren't used, according to officials involved in the discussions."

Find those officials and indict them. Get them to roll on others involved, get them to roll, so on and so forth until you have everyone from prosecutors to judges to field agents to police officers to administrators to politicians; indict the lot of them for a criminal conspiracy to violate the civil rights of thousands - if not millions - of Americans. Indict the manufacturer too and open all of them to civil suits by everyone involved. In fact, just launch one on behalf of everyone affected.

Put a few thousand people in prison, bankrupt manufacturers, towns, cities, police departments, and individuals, and watch this kind of shit stop real quick. Such action would force everyone else to very careful examine how they treat the civil rights of both suspects and regular people who might get caught up in the dragnet. It would demonstrate real and lasting consequences for knowingly violating the legal rights of the people. It would bring us closer to a more just and perfect union.

Or we could just quietly sweep it under the rug and unwind the most untenable abuses while making some fairly innocuous details available to the public in the name of transparency. I'm sure that'll also work.

Comment: Re:Don't mess with Texas (Score 4, Informative) 851

by Loki_1929 (#49610489) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Why do people always look to "gun-related" murder stats as though being murdered by a gun is somehow worse than being murdered by other means. The intentional homicide rate in the Netherlands in 2012 (latest easy to find stats) was 0.9. In Vermont, it was 1.3. Higher, yes, but since the numbers we're playing with are single-digits (8 in Vermont in 2012), that's rather skewed. Looking back at recent history, there were years where it was as high at 16 and as low as 6. If you go back into the 1960s, it was as low as 1 or 2, and now we're getting into Iceland territory.

The Netherlands is certainly its own country, but the better comparison to the United States is Europe as a whole. Europe comes in at 3.0 and the US comes in at 4.7. Again, looking at all intentional homicides; not just gun-related (because being murdered by a kitchen knife leaves you just as dead as being murdered by a .22). Higher, yes, but when you look at regions with analogous geographic sizes, populations, and cultural variations, the numbers don't express any ludicrously high differences.

Comment: Re:Oblig. answer (Score 5, Interesting) 851

by Loki_1929 (#49610423) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Your equivocation is showing.

Nobody shows up to just start opening fire on everyone involved when some art exhibit depicting Jesus in some terrible way is shown (though they may show up to damage the artwork). Piss Christ is just one example. The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals is another. South Park has done plenty of cartoons depicting Jesus in a less than respectful manner as has Family Guy, yet no murders. Leon Ferrari lived to a ripe old age despite his many works of blasphemy that even drew the ire of Pope Francis (Mary in a blender comes to mind). Yet again, some of the artwork was vandalized, but the man himself was never harmed. In fact, the threats he received were for his earlier political work (which drove him to exile). Ants of a Crucifix, Phallus-faced Jesus, Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary"; the list just goes on and on. Protests, lawsuits, condemnations, funding being pulled; these are the reactions from Christians.

But draw cartoons of Mohammed? Guys with guns show up to murder people.

There's a fucking difference.

Comment: Re:misrepresentation of Islam (Score 2) 851

by Loki_1929 (#49610345) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

It may or may not be a sign of "grave disrespect", but so what? Having your beliefs disrespected is part of life, whether you're a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist.

No it isn't; not if you're one of these fanatical Muslims. If you're one of these fanatical Muslims, then having your beliefs disrespected means you're required by your god to bring divine vengeance down upon all involved. As others have said, this is what makes such persons incompatible with western civilization. Quite frankly, if you want to have any chance at a relatively peaceful western civilization, all those fitting into that group must be exterminated.

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 3, Insightful) 851

by Loki_1929 (#49610329) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

I think they're all childish idiots. The people attending that meeting, with their provoking "who can draw the best Mohammed cartoon." Come on, your days at high school are a very long time away and you should behave like an adult now.

Regardless of their motives, I'm glad they held this event. Two people who were ready, willing, and able to murder over cartoons being drawn were lured into a death trap. Good. Let them burn in Hell (if such a place/state exists).

The events may be childish, but when it brings out murderous fanatics and gets those fanatics killed before they can kill innocent people, then by all means hold them every day of the week and twice on Sunday. My good friend Darwin has informed me that eventually, we'll run out of murderous fanatics.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 591

Sure, why not? There comes a point where an individual is so dangerous and destructive that a society cannot contain the violence they unleash at every opportunity. Life in prison merely changes the population exposed to that individual. Prison guards, staff, and other prisoners deserve protection from such uncontrollably violent people just as much as anyone else. Capital punishment reduces recidivism rates to zero. No one who has been executed has ever been found to continue committing crimes.

Comment: Re:An alternative to the death penalty (Score 4, Interesting) 591

It's only cheaper because our capital punishment process is so badly broken. It should not take decades to complete the process; that's just dumb. On the other hand, there are flaw in how it's applied currently (moving to the second part of your issue with it), so those also need to be fixed. I support the death penalty, but with some pretty major reforms. And as a strong advocate of it, I would be open to suspending it until said reform has changed the process to one which is much faster, cheaper, more humane, more fair, more evidence-based, and more regulated. For starters, take all the stuff the Innocence Project is doing and integrate it directly into the process and provide wide open access to all information going into the process to any third-party groups wishing to provide sunshine/oversight.

Some individuals are so dangerous and destructive that all members of society (including prison guards, staff, and other prisoners) deserve permanent protection from them. I have no issue with extinguishing the existence of those who are so fundamentally broken that we can't contain their violence. However, we need to bend over backwards to ensure the process to do that is applied fairly, reasonably, and is designed to make it as close to impossible to execute an innocent person as we can reasonably make it.

Comment: Re: just hang them (Score 1) 591

Capital punishment certainly can be "revenge killing", but it is not necessarily so. Personally, I think that if it's fairly applied and handled reasonably, it can be as simple as a society determining that an individual is simply too dangerous and destructive to be allowed to continue existing. I have no problem with that. Prison guards, staff, and indeed other prisoners are people too and they have a right to be protected from particularly destructive and dangerous individuals. At some point, it's fair to admit that you cannot adequately control the violence unleashed at every opportunity by someone who is fundamentally broken in a way we cannot fix.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 0) 591

The US Constitution doesn't give a damn about the rest of the world. Frankly, the rest of the world has such a sordid history (and present) that we should be thankful for that.

Capital punishment is long-established in the US. Taking the "cruel and unusual" approach won't get anywhere. Now if someone comes up with a particular method that's different enough (e.g. giant catapult, throwing people out of an airplane, letting alligators eat them, etc), you can attack the methods.

Comment: Re: Stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 591

Oh please; they just realized how the drugs were being used? Decades of repeated, public use and some executive finally picked up a newspaper? Give me a break. What actually happened is that they periodically reevaluated the amount of money they made off sales versus the PR hit they took for making those sales and eventually the numbers tipped in a new direction.

Comment: Re: Idiotic (Score 0) 591

Murder is against the law; killing absent unlawful motive or negligence is not. Hence, the state can lawfully kill someone once their guilt is determined, their due process rights respected, and the penalty determined to be reasonable given the crimes committed. An individual whose life is at risk by the actions of another individual can also kill, legally. Justifiable homicides happen all the time. If I break into your home to try and murder you, you can kill me and the state has no interest in prosecuting your causing my death.

Capital punishment doesn't bring anyone back to life and if we're honest with ourselves, it likely has little deterrence effect on other criminals. However, the benefit is that it stops an individual who is so dangerous and destructive that society cannot afford to risk their continued existence. Locking them in prison subjects other prisoners, guards, staff, and even other members of society to varying levels of risk from that individual. When an individual is found to exhibit a certain level of danger and destructiveness, society's best option may just be to end that individual's existence in a fair and lawful process.

Comment: No need to be a genius (Score 1) 385

by Loki_1929 (#49500303) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Even being above average means you're surrounded by (relative) idiots. Hell, just stay informed about world events, history, literature, and then stand there in disgust as all people can talk about is the latest episode of "Naked and Afraid". This is by no means a recent thing either; every generation throughout history has repeated the same sorry story.

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