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Because this thread is a central OTC hub for lots of information and news, it is not likely to be locked.

However, for the same reason, the amount of panicking and fearmongering has more potential impact here.

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Edited by SeptimusHeap on Feb 6th 2020 at 4:18:00 PM

Feb 14th 2020 at 6:29:25 AM

To be somewhat fair, I think Charles didn’t have any context and just assumed Klobuchar had a reputation as a “mean” boss, which, yeah, women do get held to double standards in the work place. But given actual context that’s absolutely not the situation here.

[up] Drunk driving is very bad, but locking people in cages doesn’t actually fix the problem. Rehab and other interventions can help, but just flinging people in jail to rot solves nothing. We have breathalyzers you can connect to car ignitions if the goal is to keep them off the road.

Edited by wisewillow on Feb 14th 2020 at 6:34:02 AM

Feb 14th 2020 at 6:31:14 AM

I agree that Klobuchar should have been kicked out long ago. I'm glad Harris was kicked out early, though.

Zero tolerance means zero intelligence.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Feb 14th 2020 at 6:34:06 AM

Honestly, if you go by social costs, drunk driving is one of the worst non-white-collar crimes out there, and should be prosecuted incredibly harshly. I would be concerned if there were racial or gender bias to who gets punished for it, obviously, but the recidivism rate is absolutely horrendous. Treat 'em, strap 'em to a train track, whatever it takes to keep 'em off the road that is consistent with our principles of law. The highest priority should be stopping them from doing it again.

Abuse of subordinates goes to character, and that is definitely an important consideration in a candidate, but it must be weighed against their other attributes. Certainly nobody gave a fig about Trump's character, but that's on the other side. As Democrats, we have this way of tearing each other down for the slightest perceived flaws, in an apparent quest for the Perfect Candidate. If Klobuchar can fix what Trump broke, and enough people agree that she should be the nominee, I will vote for her. Same with Biden, Sanders, or Buttigieg.

Obviously, I would prefer someone else (*cough* Warren), and Klobuchar's behavior is only one of the reasons why, but the auto-cannibalism of the left has proven to be a worse opponent than any Republican.

Edited by Fighteer on Feb 14th 2020 at 9:50:09 AM

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Feb 14th 2020 at 6:39:51 AM

A year ago, I would have agreed with you about drunk drivers. But in the last year I’ve learned a lot about prison abolition.

It’s difficult to fully capture the negative repercussions of keeping millions of people—overwhelmingly black, brown, or poor—in jail, prison, or under some form of “correctional supervision.” How do you calculate, for example, the impact on families and communities across our country when almost half of all black adult women in America have a family member locked up? Or that at least 80,000 people are, at any given time, resigned to some form of solitary confinement? Or that the aggregate cost of total incarceration in the United States (including costs borne by the families of those incarcerated, lost wages, and health impacts) is, by some estimates, about $1 trillion a year? A trillion dollars, the break-up of families, the destruction of lives, and little to show in the way of rehabilitative effects—and yet this system is just a part of life?

...

For a hundred years, at least since Emma Goldman quoted Dostoyevsky to call prison hell on earth, a variety of community groups and prisoner activists have been working not only to reform the prison-industrial complex, but to dismantle it entirely. Now, as critiques of the inherent racism and classism—and transcendent harm—of our criminal-justice system have gained attention, a growing collection of activists and writers have not only been working to humanize the cages, and not only to tear down the cages, but to build a more equitable society in which we don’t need to rely on cages at all. This is the prison-abolition movement.

WHO ARE THE PRISON ABOLITIONISTS?

The prison-abolition movement is a loose collection of people and groups who, in many different ways, are calling for deep, structural reforms to how we handle and even think about crime in our country. There are de facto figureheads (such as Angela Davis and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, the most famous contemporary abolitionists) and organizations (such as Critical Resistance, INCITE!, the Movement for Black Lives, the National Lawyers Guild, and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee—all of which, if not explicitly abolitionist, at least engage in abolitionist ethics), and there are converging or at least overlapping political ideologies (anarchist, socialist, libertarian), but there is no structured organizing group or coalition. Masai Ehehosi, a co-founder of Critical Resistance and longtime member of the New Afrikan Independence Movement, pointed me to the overlap between organizations promoting civil rights and abolitionists: “We want freedom” can just as easily be applied to ending Jim Crow or the New Jim Crow, to unlocking iron shackles or swinging open prison doors.

...

Abolitionists believe that incarceration, in any form, harms society more than it helps. As Angela Davis argues, prisons are an obsolete institution because they exacerbate societal harms instead of fixing them. “Are we willing to relegate ever larger numbers of people from racially oppressed communities to an isolated existence marked by authoritarian regimes, violence, disease, and technologies of seclusion that produce severe mental instability?” Davis has written. Even if we were to greatly diminish the current prison population, even if we were to cut it in half but keep the prison complex intact, we would still be consigning millions of people to isolation and violence—and that’s a form of inhumanity that abolitionists can’t abide. Moreover, Davis contends, mass imprisonment “reproduce[s] the very conditions that lead people to prison.”

Abolitionists don’t stop at the prison walls, however: They aim to reshape our society as a whole. We are not doing nearly enough to address the root causes of poverty, addiction, homelessness, and mental-health crises, abolitionists contend, and criminalizing poverty through harsh fines and debt regulation; criminalizing addiction through drug laws; criminalizing homelessness by conducting sweeps of people sleeping in parks; and criminalizing mental illness by turning prisons into de facto psychiatric hospitals is all treating the symptom instead of the disease. This is one of the key differences between reform and abolitionism: The former deals with pain management and the latter with the actual source of the pain.

There’s a lot more at the link, it’s a long article, but it’s really made me rethink how we approach justice.

Edited by wisewillow on Feb 14th 2020 at 6:44:28 AM

Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Feb 14th 2020 at 6:43:17 AM

Again, I'm not contesting your core point. Our prison system is clearly horribly broken for a variety of reasons, and I want our criminal justice system to serve both the victims of crime and the rights of the accused. We need to adopt a scientific approach and determine through rigorous analysis what works and what doesn't. That means not torturing people or throwing them in oubliettes for no good reason, but it also means not letting people off the hook for genuinely reckless, dangerous acts.

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Feb 14th 2020 at 6:51:57 AM

I’m not saying we should let people off the hook. Check out the article.

[down] It’s a really long article, I’d rather not quote the whole thing. Check it out smile That said, the joke about executing people wasn’t funny.

Edited by wisewillow on Feb 14th 2020 at 6:58:18 AM

Protagonist506 from 'MURICA Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Feb 14th 2020 at 6:52:31 AM

What's it suggesting we replace prisons with? We need some way to make sure crooks are contained or otherwise don't keep committing crimes.

I mean, there's the old guillotine-which has remarkably low recidivism and cannot easily be exploited for prison labor...but I suspect that's not what it's suggesting.

"Any campaign world where an orc samurai can leap off a landcruiser to fight a herd of Bulbasaurs will always have my vote of confidence"
Feb 14th 2020 at 6:54:12 AM

Bernie Sanders is now in the lead of Texas' Democratic Primary, and he's within striking range to beat Donald Trump (47-45).

If Sanders can somehow get the Latinos and Youth of Texas to turn out in Droves, we might just barely be able to pull an upset, gaining the 2nd Largest State in the Country. That would be a massive surprise to me, I had written Texas, Georgia and Florida off for Sanders.

Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:03:34 AM

The reason I fear Sanders as a candidate is not his policies per se, nor even his character. I am worried that his followers are trying to make the Democratic Party into a mirror of the Republican Party with their "with us or against us" mentality, attacking and excommunicating anyone who doesn't exactly agree with them on every single point. Tweeting death threats at people you don't like is supposed to be what the other side does, not our side.

If you want to destroy American democracy, you can do little better than having two hardline parties with absolutist ideology and no middle ground.

Edited by Fighteer on Feb 14th 2020 at 10:05:47 AM

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CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:07:53 AM

[up]

I think the Republicans have done that, Fighteer. The Republicans have systematically made any and all attempts to work with the Democrats impossible and adopted the most extreme anti-coopperative measures possible. If someone is attacking you, you're already at war.

I'd argue the failure to realize this happened in Clinton's adminstration cost this country dearly.

In retrospect, Bill Clinton and Al Gore were subject to a criminal conspiracy and America paid the price.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Fourthspartan56 from Georgia, US Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:10:29 AM

[up][awesome][awesome]

"Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies." -Robert Kennedy
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:10:33 AM

@Protagonist The guillotine was a step up form the various forms of execution by torture that were in use previously (so that every person condemned to death would face the same quick, efficient and relatively painless way to die - executions were still public during the French Revolution). That doesn't mean executing criminals is a good way to deal with them.

Edited by Khudzlin on Feb 14th 2020 at 4:10:57 PM

Zero tolerance means zero intelligence.
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:15:52 AM

Indeed, one of the things that scared me was when Trump was elected (not the scary part surprisingly enough) and there was a TIME magazine article about all the volunteer applications and money pouring into the Democrats offices. People were horrified, scared, and angry that a monster had been elected and wanted to help the Democrats go to war over it.

What scared me was the response from the Democrats, "Haha, this is so funny. They're all so fired up about Trump being a danger."

They did not take him seriously at all.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
NativeJovian from Orlando, FL
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:15:55 AM

There's a huge gap between "the Republicans serve only themselves, not the country, and the Democrats should never count on their support or even good faith on anything at this point" and "the Democrats should adopt Republican-style tactics of lying shamelessly and constantly and siccing rabid attack dogs on anyone who steps an iota out of line".

The Democrats need to adapt to the reality of the current Republican party. That doesn't mean they need to adopt the tactics of the current Republican party.

Vos iustus a diversis genus delirus.
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:16:57 AM

[up][awesome]

Zero tolerance means zero intelligence.
Iaculus Pronounced YAK-you-luss from England
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:20:36 AM

On our recurring populism debate, I should note that Cas Mudde, the guy who reintroduced populism into the modern political lexicon, doesn't think it's accurate or useful to call Trump populist when 'nativist' is right there as a much better label.

What's precedent ever done for us?
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:21:25 AM

[up] I think the term "Know-Nothing" works even better when talking about Trump; especially because he knows nothing about being President (other then abusing it).

Iaculus Pronounced YAK-you-luss from England
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:26:13 AM

I mean, Trump is a very rich narcissist who ran on the idea that what America really needed was more predatory Eighties capitalism. Describing his politics as being mainly a campaign against 'elites' was always going to be a rocky road.

What's precedent ever done for us?
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:26:36 AM

[up][up]Part of the issue is that populist is misused. Populism is a critique that the candidates are appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator with lies, anti-intellectualism, scapegoating, and being more about personal charisma as opposed to actually being about the issues. Strom Thurman famously having won his earliest elections by playing a fiddle at his rallies after planting someone in the crowd to ask him to do a tune plus being a KKK member.

However, I feel it's also got an ugly side among the critiques as there's a not insignificant number of Left leaning voters who seem suspicious of the public at large. The idea that the majority of the public doesn't understand the issues, doesn't know how to vote their own interests, and their poor voting choices are what's responsible for the sorry state of America. These people make me sick and are enemies of democracy.

The Public is where Democracy Lives.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Feb 14th 2020 at 7:27:24 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Ultimatum ◕ ◡ ◕ Disasturbator from England Relationship Status: Holding out for a hero
◕ ◡ ◕ Disasturbator
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:27:24 AM

The thing is,I bet even less people know what a 'nativist' is and I imagine if you called him a Knowing Nothing they'd look at you blankly having never heard of the Know Nothing Party

Populist is a term most people are familiar with and I'm not saying we should continue to use the term even it's wrong though

no dont click | I already told you once not to click !
Protagonist506 from 'MURICA Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:28:36 AM

@wisewillow I did read more of the article. Basically, it suggest making the offender (a term it wants to avoid using) sit down with the victim and talk things out...which is more or less letting them off the hook.

"Any campaign world where an orc samurai can leap off a landcruiser to fight a herd of Bulbasaurs will always have my vote of confidence"
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:29:14 AM

That’s a gross oversimplification.

Iaculus Pronounced YAK-you-luss from England
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:34:24 AM

@Charles: You might want to read the article, because Mudde specifically calls that definition out.

And yes, populism is a more commonly-used term, but only because Mudde's fairly recent definition got hijacked as an excuse for racism and elitist sneering. As the article suggests, he's quite annoyed about that.

What's precedent ever done for us?
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Feb 14th 2020 at 7:34:32 AM

The criminal justice system serves four main purposes:

  1. Determine the facts when a crime has been committed.
  2. Prevent the offender from committing a crime in the future.
  3. Rehabilitate the offender, if possible, so that they may become a productive member of society.
  4. Preserve the rights of both victims and accused.

Jails and prisons serve a purpose - the second, to be precise. Ideally they would also serve the third, but often don't. If you want to propose abolishing them, you need to come up with something to handle that part.

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