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Comment Re:Gee, I wonder... (Score 1) 734

I made no mention of Iraq. You brought up that strawman all on your own...but since you did, yes, I'll lay that big meaty chud onto the US Intelligence community's pile of "high confidence" assessments, too.

And Wikileaks is now a cult? Because you say so? Because they've exposed the ugly truth about your preferred political snakepit? I know cognitive dissonance can be painful, but do try to manage some self-respect.

Comment Gee, I wonder... (Score 5, Insightful) 734

Let's compare/contrast the historical veracity of information released by Assange/WikiLeaks with that of any US intelligence service, shall we?

One has an impeccable record of authenticity, while the other is run by documented liars. In fact, both Brennan and Clapper sat before Congress and bald-faced LIED when asked about the existence and activities of the NSA's domestic spying apparatus.

The better question would be: Why would anyone in their right mind not believe Assange over the Liar McPantsonFires in Washington DC?

Comment Re:Flawed Assumption (Score 1) 332

I think it's a reasonable guess that the majority of serious abuse is a small number of repeat offenders simply because that's how it is everywhere else. Most criminal activity is the same way. It's not like every person steals one car or commits a burglary in his lifetime. It's a small percentage of people who do it over and over again who run up the stats.

Yes and no. Yes, it's likely a minority of the population who account for a large percentage of "actual crime," and I quote that to discount the nonsensical crimes of possession upon which our political heroes have spent decades wasting incalculable resources. No, in that the inferred parallel of cops to the general population isn't a valid one. A much more apt comparison would be to liken police to an organized crime outfit or terrorist operation, as the very institutions themselves are engaged in criminal pursuits of varying degrees of severity. Within that paradigm, most or all of the involved individuals are guilty of crimes, unlike within the general citizenry.

The problem that seems to be more universal is the willingness of all of the other police to cover for the worst offenders. A cop who probably wouldn't unnecessarily beat a suspect still seems very likely to lie to protect a fellow officer who would.

The Mafia use the term omerta within their ranks to describe this code of silence, reinforcing again the parallel between police and organized crime syndicates.

Weirdly, police spokesmen like to use the phrase, "A few bad apples..." to describe the problem. They don't seem to know what the rest of that saying is or how well it applies to them.

Largely because the audience to whom they're speaking are either ignorant or uncaring of the rest of the axiom. Believe you me, the bunch has been spoiled for a very long time.

Comment Flawed Assumption (Score 1) 332

Your implied assertion ("A") that it's a small group of inherently bad cops is both flawed and wholly unsubstantiated.

The fact that there are *daily* reports from all over the country of cops abusing their authority in various ways and being caught engaging in criminal acts themselves debunks your assumption.

Policing problems in the USA are institutional. The personnel issues are symptoms of the larger sickness. Body camera deployments here bear out my contention: how many incidents of violent police behaviors have we seen recently where the cop "forgot" to turn on his recorder? How many incidents where recordings were captured, but the police refuse to release the raw footage to the public?

Anyone actually interested in providing police accountability through these would have mandated that individual officers have no control over the recorder's operation, and stipulated that failure to wear the device properly would have resulted in suspension or termination depending on what was "missed." They also would have demanded that raw footage be held securely in escrow by a non-LE third-party. That neither of these very basic parameters were even discussed, much less required, should tell you all you need to know about what a charade this truly is.

Comment Exactly. (Score 1) 338

I was laid off. Twice, in fact. Both times, I was unemployed for ~6 months. My wife and I had two small children (under 4) at the time, a mortgage, blah, blah.

Our choices enabled us to weather the bad times without them being catastrophic. We didn't buy the biggest house we could possibly afford, despite pressure from our lender and realtor to upsize. And this was in 2003, in the heyday long before the housing bubble exploded. We didn't buy new cars every year or two. We made most meals at home. We did travel the world a bit, but we prioritized savings, of both the long-term retirement and rainy-day varieties.

So when life threw its inevitable curveballs our way, we endured...and despite the snarky presumptions of some asshats here, we didn't run to our parents for shelter.

As I said, we *created* our circumstances, just as everyone does...either through preparation or lack thereof. That doesn't mean I'm without empathy, though. I'm about as tree-hugging crunchy leftist hippie as they come where social/humanitarian issues are concerned. But I have no patience with bullshit puling about victimhood and powerlessness in these types of employment scenarios. If you're a slave to debt or salary, it's because you put the yoke on your own shoulders.

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That does not compute.