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Everything posted by tvashtarkatena

  1. Right wing lunacy

    I'm not fixated on guns. I don't work on the issue at all, in fact (other than voting). I grew up with them. I'm actually a good shot. But both gun violence and gun ownership are fantastically high in the US - both are outliers among civilized nations. This leads me to conclude that we can improve on gun violence by reducing gun ownership. Background checks are a start. I'm hesitant to fully support another widespread prohibition on anything after 42 years of failed and damaging Drug War, but I also believe that we need to vigorously act to reduce gun violence in the US. Sound public policy is one tool that should be used to do this. Ending the Drug War would do much to reduce gun fetishism, IMO. In the end, the new generation - not as enamored with guns as those it will replace, may solve the problem of extreme gun fetishism in the US. Who knows?
  2. Right wing lunacy

    It's true that Americans practice unspeakable cruelty. Guantanamo torture camp, keeping a man alone in a tiny cell for 40 years for 23 hours a day, the warehousing of the mentally ill in prisons, our first place incarceration rate - the list is long. We've done arguably worse in the past - slavery, the ethnic cleansing of native Americans, the Civil War, strategic bombing, Hiroshima - so apparently we can and are learning to be better human beings. We can certainly do a lot better than we are now. Extreme wealth concentration, science denial (at our extreme peril with regards to the climate), repression of women's rights, voter suppression, glorification of warfare, solid support for the proliferation of guns in America, denigration of the environment, anti-gay bigotry. These are all examples of American dysfunction we can improve upon. Still, if history is any guide, war begets more war, and America does love war, apparently, considering how often this country not only engages in them but starts them. Still, there is the pesky little problem of what to do when groups like the Third Reich, Taliban, or the IS begins a campaign of egregious human rights abuses. If actual precision killing of their top leadership without civilian casualties were possible, would that be the most moral course of action? Stepping back a bit from the hypothetical to the actual, if drone strikes produce the least number of civilian casualties of the tactics available for killing said leadership, is that the best moral option to take? Both of these questions assume perfect intelligence with regards to the targets in question, and that is far from what reality at this point. Or is what happens in places like Afghanistan just not an American problem? I'm just asking questions here.
  3. Right wing lunacy

    I agree on torture - but it's a separate issue. You can't simply state there is no moral justification with drone attacks without answering questions like mine above, however. because a new harm to civilians comes to the fore when they are not used. Allowing the Taliban et al to operate unchecked also has moral implications, does it not? The groups being targeted by drones continue to attack civilians in large numbers (far exceeding drone strike casualties) today. That they kill a lot of civilians is not in doubt. That presents a moral conundrum - the opportunity cost (in innocent human lives) of doing nothing. Wouldn't you agree? If not, why not?
  4. Right wing lunacy

    Regarding drones - their use in combat is being rapidly expanded. Reapers can carry air to ground Hellfire missiles, 500 lb laser guided bombs, and JDAMs - with air to air Stinger missiles soon to be added. They have been fantastically effective at killing the leadership of Al Qaeda and other groups on the terrorist watch list. They've also killed a lot of civilians, as well as some Americans. Is their effectiveness worth the price of civilian casualties (both in terms of loss of innocent life and the damage that does to US - in country relations)? If not, by what other means should the US kill leaders of terrorist organizations, or should the US kill such individuals at all? While drone strikes may produce fewer civilians casualties than other forms of attack - (invasion and other forms of air strike come to mind) - these questions remain. Then there is the question of how far to automate drones - or killbots in general. Currently, drones are piloted remotely - but more and more of their functions are being automated. At some point, we may have the capability of fully automated drones - capable of tracking and killing a target without human intervention. If, hypothetically speaking - such automation could reduce civilian casualties, should the US take that step? When discussing drone strikes, one must address the whole issue - and that includes the potential human and political cost of using alternative means of warfare, or simply not using drone strikes at all. It should be apparent to most folks by now that there is also a human cost to allowing groups like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and IS to operate unchecked - and drones - whether you like them or not - have been extremely effective in doing just that. Just raising some questions to more comprehensively address the issue of drones beyond the overly simplistic Obama Uses Em More So He's A Bad Guy argument. American hawks want terrorist leaders killed - that much is very clear - but unless they've got an alternative to drones that is more humane - they can't have it both ways. Not honestly, anyway. So, what's the alternative to drones (and no, I don't heart drones - but these questions remain)? Or should they simply not be used in warfare at all? Go...
  5. Right wing lunacy

  6. Right wing lunacy

    Speaking of torture.... "our boys" "Men on the ground" That is soooo, like, 1968, myan. And here I thought the Whitey Tighties were into the whole chicks with guns thing. Oh wait, am I being mean to the pro-torture guy? My bad.
  7. Low priority project, but I have a pair of mini skis (90cm x 110mm snow blades) with some Stubai universal (any boot) strap on free heel approach bindings. I want to swap out the Stubai bindings for Dynafits. I have two Dynafit functional heel pieces thanks to two plastic housing failures - looking for two toe pieces to complete the set. I've got stuff to trade to bring the cost down if that's a possibility - the Stubais, a pair of microspikes, lots of wired nuts, biners, and pitons, my bronzed baby shoes.
  8. Looking for: orphaned Dynafit toe pieces

    Thanks. Will do.
  9. Ferguson in Context

    FYI - Tomorrow (thur) at 9pm, KUOW is airing on Speakers Forum a presentation given by Jeff Robinson (the civil rights attorney I mentioned in an earlier post) with state Supreme Court Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud at the UW on use of force and policing in communities of color. Should be very enlightening.
  10. [TR] I Have Fallen: A Near Death Climbing Accident

    Wow. Good to have you still here on planet earth, Josh.
  11. Ferguson in Context

    landmark cases are often anomalies by definition. this is how jurisprudence and civil rights often move forward. comparing different cases is always apples to oranges - the previous circuit cases briefly noted above did not include the compelling evidence of the two studies referenced earlier. even so, individual judges often disagree in their opinions - as they did in Far. v Greg. SCOTUS cases commonly flip flop as they wind their way through the appeals process. nothing unusual here. the takeawy is that Far. v Greg. ruling was so compelling that the state didnt appeal - a testament to the credibility and weight of the evidence presented. this makes the case a particularly powerful precedent. that its so difficult to prove a section 2 violation makes it even more so. .
  12. Ferguson in Context

    gun ownership neither justifies nor explains the outlier number of police shootings in the US as compared to other civilized countries.
  13. Ferguson in Context

    it might be if we get a request for that topic. all presentations are by invitation.
  14. Ferguson in Context

    "In a departure from this majority view, two members of the three judge panel in Farrakhan v. Gregoire held that the discriminatory impact of Washington state’s disenfranchisement law stems from racial discrimination in the state’s criminal justice system; the resulting denial of the vote is, therefore, a violation of section 2. At the trial court level, the plaintiffs, minority citizens of Washington who lost their right to vote under the state felon disenfranchisement statute, presented reports of expert witnesses on racial disparities in all levels of Washington’s criminal justice system. The reports highlighted studies showing that these disparities could not be explained by legitimate factors such as minorities’ higher levels of criminal activity. Notably, one study found that “substantially more than one half of Washington State’s racial disproportionality cannot be explained by higher levels of criminal involvement” (Farrakhan, 2010, n. 5)." The state of WA did not appeal the case. Well, there's a few data points for you from some professionals in the biz with lots at stake. Real live lawyers and judges and stuff. Assess credibility as required.
  15. Ferguson in Context

    You mean why do the conductors on Seattle's light rail look like a SWAT team and travel in pairs? That kind of thing? So somebody doesn't pay their $2.50... "GET ON THE FLOOR! SPREAD YOUR ARMS! DOWN ON THE FUCKING FLOOR!"
  16. Ferguson in Context

    I took the time I would have spent circle jerking with a guy I neither know nor care about who's too lazy to do his own analysis of the link I posted and crafted a talk on drone technology, surveillance, and regulation, which I then presented to six high school classes. Then I went for a hike. Sorry if that doesn't agree with your approved time management philosophy. My bad.
  17. uva rape culture

    It is true. I've known 5 victims of rape (not just attempted) personally - not one reported it. All were assaulted before their teens were over - when they were most vulnerable and least inclined to come forward. A common response to that kind of violence is to distance oneself psychologically from the incident - to bury it, hide it, etc. All kinds of deep emotions are involved, not the least of which is shame. Victims also report fearing further violence from the rapist. Over 80,000 American women report being raped to police every year, but studies indicate this is under reported by as anywhere from 75 to 95%. That translates to more than a million rapes - every year. Attempted rapes? Who knows? It's a huge problem in the US. Part of the solution is to expose and prosecute would be and actual rapists alike, to make examples of them (being a felony sex offender is no picnic) and help ensure they're not free to do it again, but that's easier said than done due to the natural human response to this particular crime.
  18. Ferguson in Context

    You go, girl.
  19. Ferguson in Context

    says the guy who's fucking around at work on CC. Same same, no? Data driven. I don't know what can't be known. I think a dead, unarmed kid who stole some Cigarillos is an outcome that can probably be improved upon. That's my assessment of the Brown incident. Not the fashion these days, perhaps. I know, I know - my shit makes zero sense.
  20. Ferguson in Context

    You're haven't shown to be very data driven as compared to the other scientists I know, Jim, but my data is limited to this idiot box. Perhaps you apply more rigor to your profession. And FW - continue to enjoy your stalking! It's good to have a muse, and everybody needs a hobby. Embrace confusion. It's your constant companion.
  21. Ferguson in Context

    On the radio, anyway. It's interesting to hear a so-called scientist proclaim with absolute certainty the hypothetical outcome of an experiment that will never be done, then accuse a person who has claimed nothing more than "that result can never be known" of playing armchair lawyer. I can safely say that every trial lawyer in this country will agree as to the uncertain outcome of any jury trial. Or any court case, for that matter. But hey, who's going to pass up the opportunity to star in one's own cartoon? Innernutz!
  22. Ferguson in Context

    Or there's working for real justice, as an increasing number are doing today - galvanized by the events of Ferguson and elsewhere. No emoticons or passive aggression required.
  23. Ferguson in Context

    It's like Obama cynically fixing the economy to spite conservatives and keep the democrats in power, probably. The nerve! What is the 'Brown Case', exactly? Is it on some court's docket? Link? Cuz, last I heard, the kid was dead. Habeas Corpus and all that rot. I do know citizens and organizations are banding together to reduce excessive use of force and discrimination in the criminal justice system, etc, but that would require discussing specifics, wouldn't it?
  24. Ferguson in Context

    You don't and can't know how Wilson would have fared in a normal jury trial. No one does - it never happened. It's a pointless line of argument on its face.
  25. Ferguson in Context

    Zero Tolerance - a train wreck of a policy philosophy popularized during the Reagan Era (when the War on Drugs really took flight - thanks, Gipper!) needs to finally die and be replaced by harm mitigation. What's the best outcome for all stakeholders, given the real (not mythical) nature of the human animal? How can we customize policy application to the granularity of the individual rather than blunt force it with an destructive, one size fits all mega policy? Why have we demonized some drugs while we tolerate and even encourage the use of other's that are orders of magnitude more destructive (Superbowl beer ad, anyone?). Now, I'm all for Superbowl beer ads - just not for criminalizing sooper bowls in the process.