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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 06:03 PM
Number of posts: 3,183

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Policophobia: A Fear of Police

Case in point: myself. I know I must break about 20 laws a day. Not sure what they are, but I am sure that if a police officer wanted to stop me in my car, they could find something wrong. In today’s society of 1,000,000 + laws, we all must be breaking a law someway, somehow. But the point here is that I am afraid of police officers. Not to the extent that it is a phobia, but it may well be damn near close. But truth be told, I am afraid of police officers. They can be minding their business in their car behind me, bopping their heads to Stevie Wonder, Sting, or Lady Antebellum, it doesn’t matter, I fear them. They could be at the Donut Shop hanging out, not even eating a donut, to their credit.

*Policophobia, a fear of police officers is something that police officers have a knowledge of. So, wouldn’t it be helpful if police officers and citizens could have a way of identifying the traits that indicate if an average citizen may be afraid of the police? Shouldn’t there be a sign between citizens and officers, that protects the police officer and the citizen, so that, in the (un)likely event an officer observes a citizen acting out in their presence, it has less to do with a criminal act, or resisting arrest, but out of a fear of the presence of the Police Officer? Shouldn’t an officer, with all of their training, be able to recognize signs other than the possibility that someone is going for a weapon, but instead maybe going for their heart, or experiencing anxiety, that absence the presence of the officer, they would probably still be alive?


Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat Aug 15, 2015, 09:27 AM (4 replies)

How U.S. laws foster police brutality

A Dallas County grand jury in April declined to indict two Dallas police officers in the June 2014 fatal shooting of Jason Harrison, a mentally ill Red Bird man who was holding a screwdriver. Geoff Henley, an attorney who represented Harrison’s family, says laws make it too difficult to show excessive use of force by police.

Pervasive police brutality will persist far longer than the public suspects. Why? The answer is simple: the law allows it.

Under Graham v. Connor, the Supreme Court requires that Fourth Amendment excessive force claims be analyzed from the officer’s perspective during the incident. Judges are not to play Monday morning quarterback from the safety of their chambers. That’s a jagged pill to swallow for the mother of a dead teenager when it’s later shown that the deceased was unarmed.

Courts thus further require proof that the force was not just unreasonable, but “clearly” so. Though redundant, the standard requires proof that the force was so excessive that the officer would or should have known he was violating a person’s rights. If the law is not clear or settled, there is immunity. There is no jury trial; the case gets dismissed.

More troublesome are deadly force cases. In our Fifth Circuit, the court will exclude an officer’s escalation of an incident that might cause, for example, a mentally disturbed individual to subsequently react. The reaction might justify the officer’s deadly force.

An officer such as the one in Arlington who marched into the car dealership and killed an unarmed football player could still be immune — even if his reckless acts precipitated the victim to threaten deadly force. In sum, bad cops can bootstrap justifications for deadly force.

Smartphones and camera footage have shown myriad failings in our nation’s police departments. Technological advances, though, are meaningless, if the law does not likewise improve. Departments and police unions have resisted change. Changes within the law have been nonexistent, or glacially slow. It is past time to melt the ice."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Aug 14, 2015, 07:21 PM (4 replies)

Kids Being Interviewed About the Holocaust

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Aug 13, 2015, 02:18 PM (30 replies)

Donald Trump Is Never Going To Be President

Trump’s antics in the race for the Republican presidential nomination may make for great entertainment, but he still is never going to be president.

Here’s a question that seems to be rolling around in the back of the heads of pundits and political observers: could Donald Trump be the next Republican nominee for the White House? He is after all leading the polls right now and clearly has enough money to self-finance a White House run.

To be sure there is nothing in the laws of physics that prevents the possibility of a president Trump. But everything we know about the nominations process tells us that he simply isn’t going to win. Simply put his “strengths” don’t really mean much at all.

Look: we’re in the silly season right now. It’s August. Congress is about to go into recess. We still have six months before anyone actually votes. Nobody’s paying much attention to the Republican race except political junkies. News is in short supply. And whatever else you can say about him, Donald Trump makes good copy. For now, everyone’s got the popcorn out and they’re enjoying the show, right along with Ant-Man and Mission Impossible."

Having said that though we probably shouldn’t ignore Trump entirely, after all it is pretty interesting that one of America’s two great political parties can have it’s internal debate take over for a few months by a loud mouth bellowing blatantly racist things. But he’ll be off the national stage soon enough."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Aug 12, 2015, 08:20 PM (7 replies)

Damon Wayans Jr. Won’t Star In ‘Let’s Be Cops 2’ Until Something Is Done About Police Brutality

If you stand for nothing, you fall for anything, and Damon Wayans, Jr. doesn’t believe the hype. He starred in the 2014 film Let’s Be Cops, and that proved to be a little ill-timed, as it was released around the same time Michael Brown was shot by office Darren Wilson. Despite that, the movie grossed over $80 million at the box office. The sequel may be in talks, but Wayans won’t be a part of it until something is done about police brutality in America.

In an interview with Sway in the Morning, Wayans said that he wouldn’t want to betray the black community by starring in a comedy about zany police antics.

I don’t think we’re going to make another one until they stop smoking black dudes. You know with all the police brutality. I personally don’t want to make one because I feel like I would be betraying my people."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Aug 11, 2015, 10:03 PM (4 replies)

Meet the (Potential) Democratic Candidate Who Thinks Bernie Sanders Isn't Liberal Enough

An outspoken Cantabrigian is launching an exploratory committee for president on a platform of breaking a "rigged system" that's fueling runaway inequality. Unfortunately for progressive activists, it's Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, not Elizabeth Warren.

Lessig, who says he'll jump into the race if he can raise $1 million by Labor Day, has spent much of the last four years fighting what he considers the pernicious influence of money in politics ushered in by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case. The two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, have both promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who oppose Citizens United. But Lessig thinks Sanders et al. aren't going far enough. His platform consists of one item—the "Citizens Equality Act of 2017," which is sort of an omnibus bill of progressive wish-list items.


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Aug 11, 2015, 02:04 PM (8 replies)

Conservatives Go Mad Because Netflix Announces A Year’s Unlimited Paid Maternity Leave

If one listens to Republicans, and their Chamber of Commerce directors, the reason there is not full employment and why every working American is not a millionaire is because the poor beleaguered business community is too burdened with an outlandishly high minimum wage and profit-crushing employee benefits. Interestingly, most developed nations pay higher wages than American companies and provide employee benefits that most Americans can only dream about receiving in a nation that “family values” Republicans continue claiming is exceedingly exceptional.

Early last week, one American company announced that it would increase its employees’ benefits to keep pace with the rest of the developed industrialized world. In announcing that, as a company, Netflix would join all but 3 countries on Earth in demonstrating what a nation’s true support for family values looks like

After an initial, and very, very brief, bit of praise for Netflix and its devotion to its valued employees and family values, it took less than a day for the praise to turn to criticism and typical conservative fear-mongering. A few of the headlines condemning a for-profit company’s dedication to its valued employees and families were: “Why Netflix’s unlimited parental leave is a bad idea for your company;” “Why Netflix’s ‘unlimited’ maternity leave policy won’t work;” and “Netflix’s New Parental Leave Policy Could Make Things Worse for Women.” The last title was featured in Time no less, and argued that giving women paid ‘family leave time” was not only bad for the mother, the father, and the whole family, it was dangerously harmful to the baby. The conservative attacks on Netflix appear to be a typical Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, and Americans for Prosperity effort to maintain the status quo and keep America’s labor force lagging the rest of the world in every category except productivity."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Aug 10, 2015, 09:17 PM (15 replies)

Police killings since Ferguson, in one map

Samuel DuBose, Freddie Gray, and Jessica Hernandez are just three of at least 1,091 people killed by police since August 9, 2014, the day of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Fatal Encounters, a nonprofit, has tracked these killings by collecting reports from the media, public, and law enforcement and verifying them through news reports. Some of the data is incomplete, with details about a victim’s race, age, and other factors sometimes missing. It also includes killings that were potentially legally justified, and is likely missing some killings entirely.

Vox’s Soo Oh created an interactive map with data from Fatal Encounters. It shows some of the killings by law enforcement since the Brown shooting:

A huge majority of the 1,091 deaths on the map are from gunshots, which is hardly surprising given that guns are so deadly compared with other tools used by police. There are also a lot of noticeable fatalities from vehicle crashes, stun guns, and asphyxiations. In some cases, people died from stab wounds, medical emergencies, and what’s called “suicide by cop,” when people kill themselves by baiting a police officer into using deadly force.

The FBI already collects some of this data from local and state agencies, but as Vox’s Dara Lind explained, that data is very limited. Reporting homicides for participating agencies is mandatory, but reporting the circumstances of homicides is not. So we might know that thousands of people die in a certain state, but we won’t always know why those homicides happened and whether they involved police. Participation in the FBI reporting programs is also voluntary, making the number of reported homicides in the federal data at best a minimum of what’s going on across the country."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Aug 10, 2015, 05:33 PM (11 replies)

Here’s Why Republicans Are Dooming Themselves With Millennial Voters

Millennials understand that the economy is not meant to work for us. We see a system that exclusively serves a tiny number of individuals at the top. These lucky few amass extraordinary amounts of wealth while a vast majority of us struggle to get by, as median wages have barely risen and almost all of the post-recovery gains have gone to the 1 percent. As Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren likes to say, the game is rigged, and it’s time to fix it.

*There is absolutely no recognition – not even a hint! – of the role that uninhibited markets and the super rich have played in creating and perpetuating this current crisis, nor any willingness to take actions that compromise the power of the wealthiest individuals. To me, this is perhaps the most disappointing, and frankly terrifying, aspect of contemporary conservative ideology, and something that I doubt my generation will tolerate for much longer.

We understand that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage, and that left to their own devices, private corporations would pay their workers even less in their never-ending quest for greater profits. Meanwhile, Republicans lament that American businesses are not “more competitive” globally, opposing any efforts to lend American workers a hand.

*Those of us who have come of age in the past 15 years have seen the consequences of a capitalist society run amok. We understand that the problem is not the government giving too much aid to the poor or spending too much on education, but being too acquiescent to the interests of the rich and big business. They can hide their true intentions behind vague policy proposals and dishonest rhetoric, but my generation won’t buy the nonsense narrative Republicans are selling. "

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Aug 10, 2015, 12:45 PM (0 replies)

The Film Donald Trump Does Not Want You to See

Nobody took Donald Trump’s run seriously until they started seeing the poll numbers. Despite gaffe after gaffe after gaffe and zero political experience, he has surged ahead in the polls with support from 24 percent of Republican primary voters.

The next most popular Republican candidate is Jeb Bush with 13 percent. With the first GOP primary debate having taken place this week, filmmaker Anthony Baxter has a movie he thinks everyone should see about the real estate tycoon who is running for president. For a limited time leading up to the debate, you can watch the film for free on Hulu.

How big is this movie? So big that Trump threatened to sue the BBC when it announced it was showing the film on television. The BBC aired it anyway, and after the screening, Trump’s popularity in the United Kingdom plummeted and the film was briefly the highest-rated British film of all time on IMDb.

Michael Moore said this about Baxter’s film, “It blew me away.” The New York Times called it “a riveting exposé.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer said, “This indispensable portrait of greed gone wild will make you so angry, you’ll want to picket Trump Tower.” Donald Trump, who claims not to have seen the movie, called it “a failure.” Baxter has also made a follow up to the film, A Dangerous Game, which shows how communities are fighting Trump and other developers all over the world who are willing to risk our fragile natural world for a game of golf."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 11:14 PM (2 replies)
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