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NY Couple On "Wanted" Poster For Filming Police 541

Posted by timothy
from the don't-watch-us-we'll-watch-you dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Ben Fractenberg and Jeff Mays write that the NYPD has created a 'wanted' poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them 'professional agitators' who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address. The flyer featuring side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye and Christina Gonzalez and the couple's home address was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house and warns officers to be on guard against them. The couple has filmed officers stopping and frisking and arresting young people of color in Harlem and around New York City, which they post on Gonzalez's YouTube account. They said their actions are legal. 'There have been times when it's gotten combative. There have been times when they [police officers] have videoed Christina,' says Swaye. 'But if we were breaking the law they would have arrested us.' Swaye was part of a group of advocates including Cornel West who were detained at the 28th Precinct in Harlem in October for protesting the stop-and-frisk policy which Mayor Bloomberg strongly defends. "
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NY Couple On "Wanted" Poster For Filming Police

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  • Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:55PM (#40583489) Journal

    It's amazing what we let what amounts to State employees get away with.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:03PM (#40583549)

    we don't. democracy in the US is a failure. the feedback loop between government action and election of representatives is so tenuous as to not be perceptible.

    during an election a candidate gnashes his teeth about some hot-button issue, which, if elected, he will completely ignore.
    education and immigration are classics.

    the government just continues to do things, a mindless bacterial colony

    i don't see how you can ascribe any intent or meaning to any of it except the reflexive actions of a colony of self-perpetuating organisms

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:06PM (#40583565)
    Well obviously the Harlem residents must be guilty of something, otherwise the police won't stop and frisk them...
  • by strikethree (811449) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:07PM (#40583579) Journal

    Seriously, why would the police care if the police are doing nothing wrong? Are the videos revealing operational secrets that will make these "stop and frisk" actions less useful? Whatever their reason is, I would like to use that reason against them when they are requiring the same of me.

    Which brings me to a question: How is "stop and frisk" not a violation of rights? It seems to be CLEARLY a violation of the 4th and perhaps even the 5th.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:07PM (#40583585)

    Listen, public embarrassment and notice is a two way street. If you want to publicly post the actions of the police, I don't see why you should feel others couldn't do the same to you.

    Maybe because police are public servants and private citizens are not.
    IMHO public servants should be publically scrutinized.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:08PM (#40583593)

    If they want to record the cops doing what they believe is wrong, I honestly don't see why the police cannot publicly post a warning to other officers

    Unfortunately, for your simplistic, naive 'fair and balanced' BS, the relationship between police and non-police isn't symmetrical - the police have governmental backed power and effectively unlimited financial resources (taxpayer dollars).

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:08PM (#40583595)

    The way I look at it, the police have video cameras in cars and you routinely see traffic stop and arrest footage from these cameras on tv shows such as Cops. Turnabout is fair play.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:10PM (#40583605)

    As a state employee (I'm not a cop) its amazing what we let corporate employees get away with too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:11PM (#40583609)

    WTF, no! It is not a "two way street". Police officers are equipped with privileges that allow them to use force and detain people. That's why public scrutiny of their actions is not just acceptable but necessary. This does not apply to other people, who do not have these privileges. Putting them on a "wanted poster" implies wrongdoing, so this is particularly unacceptable.

  • by tmosley (996283) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:18PM (#40583657)
    Are you seriously arguing that posting a wanted poster that includes the home address of two dissidents is funny?
  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:27PM (#40583723) Journal
    If the representatives get away with something, it's because people don't care.

    Now, go find a random person and talk to him about the importance of copyright limitations, and see how long it takes before his eyes glaze over in boredom.

    Then take a topic people actually do care somewhat about, like collusion between banks and regulators, and they'll agree with you, saying, "Yeah, someone should do something about that, it's horrible!" This is a medium level of caring. They care, but not enough to stop watching American Idol or stop playing video games or whatever.

    Finally take a topic people actually care enough about to vote on. If a politician raises taxes, there's a good chance he'll be voted out next election. Take money from my wallet, I'm really going to be upset! As a result, taxes have gone consistently lower, in every administration, in a bipartisan manner. Not even Obama dares to raise taxes on everybody.

    Politicians respond when people actually care. When people don't pay attention, they do whatever they want.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:30PM (#40583753) Journal

    In other words, it's the kind of joke a sociopath might enjoy. And why is it that any jurisdiction would want such individuals in their police force, or even being allowed to carry a gun?

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:32PM (#40583773)

    If the representatives get away with something, it's because people don't care.

    Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

    Finally take a topic people actually care enough about to vote on. If a politician raises taxes, there's a good chance he'll be voted out next election.

    And replaced by a clone who keeps taxes just as high as they were, because even if he does cut the specific tax that resulted in his election, he sneaks in other stealth tax increases to compensate.

  • by deanklear (2529024) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:35PM (#40583789)

    The police care because recording them violates their deeply held opinion that they have the right to do whatever they want without any threat of punishment. That attitude permeates government from the top all the way down, and unfortunately has the predictable effect of corrupting nearly every person who gets the slightest bit of state-backed power.

    Now that budgets are being slashed, the fascist tendency towards punishment and extortion through fines for small offenses has only become more engrained in our culture. How are they going to pay for their tanks and UAVs without making every deviation from total conformity illegal and expensive?

  • by khipu (2511498) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:38PM (#40583807)

    Listen, public embarrassment and notice is a two way street. If you want to publicly post the actions of the police, I don't see why you should feel others couldn't do the same to you.

    There's a big difference between what people do in their capacity as private citizens and as government employees. Police are acting as government employees; that gives them both specific powers, and it imposes additional responsibilities on them.

    For example, I have a constitutional right to discriminate against you based on your race or religion in my private life; police violate the law if they do the same in their work.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DinDaddy (1168147) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:38PM (#40583813)

    So I can choose not to provide any funds to the state if I don't like their actions like I can with a corporation?

    Corporate employees can wreak havoc with my life like the police can?

    While your statement is true, it does not reach the level of equivalency.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:42PM (#40583845)

    The cops who posted this need to be identified and fired, IMMEDIATELY.

    And if there are any of you in the US who still think the majority of the cops are on the side of the good guys, you should think again. If this doesn't clearly show who's side they are on (their own and their political owners), then nothing does.

  • by Xtifr (1323) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:42PM (#40583855) Homepage

    Pics are on thing, home addresses are another, and you are at least bordering on asshole territory by implying that the two can be treated as equivalent. But maybe you're merely confused about the situtation or haven't thought it through properly, so I'll hold off on assigning you any motives. :)

    Posting pics is perfectly reasonable for both sides, as long as they're taken in public, and aren't being exploited commercially. A little more reasonable for the couple, since the cops are public servants, but no big deal on either side, really.

    Posting home addresses by either side is way beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Even in retaliation for a similar offense, it would have been morally questionable. As a retaliation for the perfectly reasonable behavior of posting pics? Utterly contemptible! The cops were way out of line here!

  • by sociocapitalist (2471722) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:43PM (#40583861)

    Well obviously the Harlem residents must be guilty of something, otherwise the police won't stop and frisk them...

    Yes they're guilty of being Harlem residents.

  • by strikethree (811449) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:44PM (#40583869) Journal

    As my reply to an Anonymous Coward points out: They are breeding terrorists with these actions. I do not live in NYC and *I* feel violated. I can only imagine how the people being subjected to this shit feel.

    Violating a person's "right" to not be molested for no reason by "authorities" WILL create a violent response. I guess random bombings and murders are better than random thefts and murders. One is terrorism, the other is crime. Not much of a difference from my point of view except that one has at least some sort of justification. :(

  • What's the saying? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:57PM (#40583989)

    Isn't the saying that law enforcement likes to use, when spying on citizens... something like "If you've got nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about?"

    Looks like the police are hiding something to me. Perhaps the police should start leading by example instead of being corrupt fuckers?

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:57PM (#40583999)

    democracy in the US is a failure. the feedback loop between government action and election of representatives is so tenuous as to not be perceptible.

    You seem to be implying that a majority of the voters object to stop-and-frisk. Do you have any evidence to back that up? Personally, I find the practice to be appalling, and I am surprised that the courts consider it to be constitutional. But in casual conversations with my fellow citizens, my perception is that a clear majority support it, or at least tolerate it. So I don't see how this is a "failure of democracy".

  • More proof.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:57PM (#40584001) Homepage

    That police are simply thugs. If they are doing no wrong, then they should welcome public oversight like this.

    Any cop that is against being recorded is a dirty cop that needs to be removed and put in jail.

  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:59PM (#40584011)

    Actually, each party is happy to raise taxes on the other party, they just don't call it raising taxes.

    Democrats are happy to raise taxes on rich people who are unlikely to vote democrat. The individual mandate is an example, as well as the fight over raising taxes during the budget struggles last year.

    Republicans are happy to raise taxes on poor people. This is what ending welfare and reducing EITC do. They call it ending subsidies or socialism or welfare instead of raising taxes, but they're happy to do it.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:59PM (#40584013)

    If it were up to me, police would *always* be recorded while on-duty. Cameras, or at least microphones, in the car and on the person, both recording to a tamper-resistant medium and broadcasting online (with a time delay).

    Why? Because the police are supposed to work for the government, and the government is supposed to work for the people. The people have a *right* to know what they are doing, to ensure that they are actually working properly.

    And if the police are doing their jobs properly, it will actually help them. They'll have video evidence of any crime they witness. That would be more than a little helpful.

    Of course, if it were up to me, we'd have nuked North Korea flat decades ago, so maybe it's good that I'm not actually running the country. But I still think my "record the police" idea is a good one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:59PM (#40584017)

    Easy. Just try to do a "stop and frisk" on another private citizen and see how well the police respond to that. Oh or try to issue traffic tickets. Or pull people over and perform searches of their body or their car. Or go into people's houses searching and seizing their property. I could go on with the powers and privileges afforded to police officers by their position that an ordinary private citizen doesn't have. One can only hope you're retarded and not actually that dumb by choice.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:01PM (#40584027) Homepage Journal

    Pics are on thing, home addresses are another, and you are at least bordering on asshole territory by implying that the two can be treated as equivalent.

    Nobody implied that they were equivalent, you inferred that all on your own. The statement as it is written is a bit vague, though; it would better say "or". The statement as written is completely true, and further, it's what the cops have done; post pics and home address, which amounts to where to go and who to harass. Further, the flyer implies that they are criminals and makes unsupported statements about them and thus definitely amounts to deliberate libel, not that this is surprising.

  • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:02PM (#40584035)
    with a functioning memory

    A blow on the head from a night-stick will soon fix that!

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:06PM (#40584077) Homepage Journal

    The cynic in me wonders if this couple is just trolling for an arrest for a big payout in a civil rights lawsuit.

    As long as that is a valid tactic, that's a valid action. If you are so likely to get arrested for doing something that is not illegal that you stand a good chance of being able to do it, and it is so illegal that you stand a good chance of getting paid, then actually doing it is an act highly useful to society.

  • by OldSport (2677879) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:11PM (#40584115)
    ...is good for the gander. Law enforcement is always telling the citizenry that they have nothing to fear if they have nothing to hide.
  • Re:Amazing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:12PM (#40584123)

    Taxes high?

    You are one fucking ignorant Liberatard.

    Federal Taxes are the lowest they have been in the past 60 years.

    .

    Also The Starve the Beast theory is a failure, even the Libertarian Cato Institute's own research shows that, not just once, but twice.

    You want lower taxes, or more actual money, my guess is you actually want more money, and they only way to do that is to add more taxes on the 1%, .1% and .01%; you know the fuckers who are making 100-800 times what you're making.

    But no, my guess is you're going to continue to vote for the birthday cake party instead.

  • by trout007 (975317) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:15PM (#40584159)

    I don't see why the police should have any additional rights above that of a citizen. They should be subject to the same laws. They should be allowed to detain someone but in order to search need a warrant. The person being detained should be allowed to sue for kidnapping if the officer can't prove there was a reason for the stop in front of a jury.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:19PM (#40584185)

    The problem with that is that the police have access to private areas of people's lives. Someone slips in the shower, bashes their head or breaks a bone, yet still manages to call 911. If the police use always on video recording, there will be a naked video of the person online after the time delay. The video would be easy to use to harass the person.

    If you allow police to filter out such videos, then it would be just as easy to filter out police corruption and the whole recording system becomes useless.

    It's a nice idea, but the world isn't so simple.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:19PM (#40584193) Journal

    For that to work we would need to have actual CHOICE when it comes to candidates and we don't. The amount of corruption and greed has gotten so thick that for all intents and purposes they are the same party. Sure the dems kiss big media booty a little more and the reps kiss big business booty a little more but in the end they are BOTH for more power, they are BOTH for more money to their "friends" they are BOTH for bringing home the bacon, they are BOTH for less rights for you.

    People don't vote because they don't care, they don't vote because they see the current system is pointless and a waste of time. Tell me how did we get anything different by changing the POTUS? Or the switches back and forth with congress? Occupy do anything? Nope because in the end when a 1%er walks in and writes a big fat check that is the ONLY vote that counts and since you can't write that check you don't have a vote, simple as that. think they give a crap if you kick them out? They'll just get a high paid lobbying job while enjoying their benefits, hell they won't even leave town, just move to an office down the street. Boy now THAT is a hardship!

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:28PM (#40584321) Journal

    >> If the representatives get away with something, it's because people don't care.

    > Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

    Well, that would be caring.

  • by downhole (831621) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:30PM (#40584339) Homepage Journal

    They already do have cameras and microphones that record all the time in many police cars, and many are reportedly tamper-resistant, at least to the officer using it. Yet the videos still seem to suffer from "technical difficulties" anytime they would show police doing something wrong.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:48PM (#40584513)

    Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

    That's very optimistic. So few of them vote in the primaries. More than two people to look into and form opinions about? That's more effort than most people are willing to do. If they were just fed up about having poor candidates, you'd think they would actually support reasonable people running for office rather than waiting for big campaign contributors to decide for them.

    And replaced by a clone who keeps taxes just as high as they were, because even if he does cut the specific tax that resulted in his election, he sneaks in other stealth tax increases to compensate.

    Well yeah, because while we hate taxes, we also hate reducing entitlement programs, defense spending, or government benefits. And the third option of "Do both and run up the debt" is becoming an exhausted option.

    That leaves 1. Doing some of both, making a reasoned, rational case for this approach to the voters, and getting thrown out of office by an angry mob, or 2. Doing either and pretending you're not.

    The problems with politics in this country are mainly due to the voters themselves. It'd be really nice if there were just a small group of politicians and shadowy figures messing things up, we could pretty easily revolt and lock them up. But that's not the case, it's much worse, it's most voters that are the problem, and educating them is far harder a revolution.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:49PM (#40584531) Journal

    Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

    Uh, yes. You may feel like your voice personally is not being heard, because it's not. You are one of millions. You are an insignificant, meaningless nit. And your friends around you, who all agree, are a small, insignificant segment as well. Government does not represent you personally, but when the general electorate strongly wants something, it will respond. Problem is the general electorate doesn't care about the things you care about.

  • by manaway (53637) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:49PM (#40584539)

    In the US, there is a separate division of the police department called "Internal Affairs," whose job is to monitor police actions. The IA is small, subject to bias, and monitors few events. The public is large, independent (subject to innumerable biases), and monitors many events. Police are already recording events and making selected recordings available. How those recordings are selected is an issue with substantial insider bias. Unless the right is taken away by law, the public already has a legal and even moral right to record those same events.

    Nobody wants to be watched, the chilling effect is well known. When the police make the recordings, their superior or IA is in charge of releasing the video. When the public is making the recording, the availability is more independent. Usually, the "nothing to hide" privacy argument falls apart easily; when monitoring police action, as demonstrated in the Stanford Prison Experiment, independently watching the watchers is a necessary hardship. Thus citizen review boards and citizen videos. There are, of course, endless special cases; so like most everything in society, laws and policies can at best be general guidelines requiring community oversight.

    With cheap recorders comes the ability to watch the watchers with fewer "he said, she said" problems. Fewer but not none, as with the selective editing of the Rodney King video. The above applies to police actions, not to the general public going about their daily activities (the recording of which is a different topic).

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:06PM (#40584715)

    Agreed.

    You can not have authority without accountability.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:13PM (#40584771)

    I live in Chicago and recently we surpassed 250 murders; an increase of 38% from last year. In fact, there are more murders in Chicago then LA and NY. There needs to be armed troops patrolling the streets in S. Chicago to ensure the safety of the AVERAGE American of any ethnicity.

    No, the Fascists in Chicago should allow citizens to legally own and carry a firearm for self-defense as is their Constitutional right. Obviously, by the very stats you cite, the only people that anti-gun laws are preventing from carrying a gun in Chicago are the law abiding citizens that are currently forced by the government to be defenseless sheep for the slaughter for any armed Chicago thug.

    Strat

  • by AdmiralWeirdbeard (832807) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:20PM (#40584835)
    The problem with your friend's analysis of the cost of healthcare is that while he may be able to absorb the true cost of *any* health problem his family might encounter (I'm assuming based on what little info you have and what little of that you've stated, that he could, for example cover an extended cancer treatment or a series of major operations as the result of an auto accident or something) many people who vote republican and consider themselves in the same boat simply aren't. I wouldn't consider myself rich, but neither do i depend on my health coverage to be the difference between receiving routine care and not. I certainly did, a year ago, when i had emergency surgery that ended up running in the $100k range. Now, it sounds like your friend would have been able to absorb that type of cost without disrupting his finances. I couldnt have, and i highly doubt that the majority of people complaining about the individual mandate could either. the individual mandate is about preventing situations where people are unable to pay for emergency care. or unable to pay for it without defaulting on other debts or obligations. And to the person who can absorb such costs without problems, why is the penalty for not having coverage an issue? pragmatically speaking, i understand that 'being penalized for managing my own business properly' must be a terrible scourge. I just think that it is kindof silly when people who would cry communism at the idea of socialized medicine *also* cry communism at a very straight-forward market-incentive social policy.
  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrismcb (983081) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:58PM (#40585155) Homepage
    I never understood this sentiment. Its like you are living in a dirty house, so you turn to your housemates and say "Man this place is dirty, lets spend an afternoon and clean it up." And your housemate says "Great. Now dude, fucking leave if you don't like it here!"
  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:05PM (#40585201)
    That's one of the problems with being an "ethnic minority". A lot of times, people don't care what's happening to you because it doesn't happen to them. Their biggest problem is you won't shut up about it. So they consider you to be the bad guy instead of the people giving you a hard time.
  • by Xuranova (160813) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:25PM (#40585359)

    I stand corrected

    Wait, no call for putting the cops in jail for posting this couple's home address? No complaints about the harassment they could get or potential innocent family members that might reside there? Just a "I stand corrected"?

    Are you a retired/active LEO?

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:26PM (#40585363) Journal

    The failure here is humanity's, not the system. Elections are actually a pretty good way to keep things from getting bloody every generation or two.

    Exactly. This point needs to be emphasized over and over. Democracy doesn't guarantee you a good government, it gives you the government you deserve. Not you personally, but the collective you, with the people around you.

    And when the time comes that the majority decides they want a better government, they can do it without a bloody revolution. Need it be said that voting is much more convenient than killing?

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:30PM (#40585401)
    Uhh, if the system can't deal with humanity, then the system IS a failure.

    Read about the Stanford Prison Experiment. The take away lesson should NOT be that the people chosen to participate were morally inferior (an aspersion you seem willing to cast at all humanity), but that poorly designed systems will turn good people into evil people based on the role they are assigned.
  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hot soldering iron (800102) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:53PM (#40585587)

    A friend of mine told me years ago, that when he was living in Florida when the concealed carry law went into affect, there was a sudden decrease in the quantity of violent crime incidents. He then noted that tourists started getting mugged and killed fairly regularly after that. Now, rental car companies don't put their stickers on the bumpers anymore, and I've heard of people getting sideswiped off the roads by gang bangers before they're even off the airport property.
    Why? Tourists can't carry guns on planes, and ground travel with a loaded gun gets dicey pretty quickly. Cops don't like people to be able to defend themselves. They start to wonder why they need cops then.
    There were quite a few reports of official seizure of personal firearms after hurricane Katrina, leaving many people without means of protecting themselves or their property. I know that got a couple people killed or robbed.

    A person can only count on their own ability to provide themselves any safety or security. Having other people work towards that goal also is helpful, but relying on others for basic security needs is just making you their bitch. Your choices are to basically stand on your own feet, or get down on your knees. These are lessons every biker, outlaw, and combat soldier know. Police know it too. The "nice" people are usually kept in ignorance by whomever their guard dogs are, so that they willingly give it up when its time to be sheared.

    I relinquish the floor to the trolls.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king neckbeard (1801738) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:36PM (#40585893)

    If they were just fed up about having poor candidates, you'd think they would actually support reasonable people running for office rather than waiting for big campaign contributors to decide for them.

    The problem is that they won't vote for the reasonable person because they know their vote won't count, so they vote for what they see as the lesser of two evils Basically everybody hates republicans and democrats and would rather see a literal pile of manure take their place, but they vote for one to keep out the other, and this mass of people voting against the two parties is why the two parties are the only game in town.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:18PM (#40586211) Homepage Journal

    You're missing two important factors here: fear and anger.

    Fear is a favorite tool of politicians, because once it's ignited it makes people irrational. Emotions are "refractory" (they resist going away), and fear is the most refractory of all emotions. Once somebody is afraid, you can't talk them down with reason. The other favorite tool is anger, which works very nicely with fear. Once somebody is afraid of someone, it's easy to turn the object of that fear into a hated scapegoat.

    This is why people vote in politicians who do nothing for them, or worse, work against their interests. People who let themselves be scared and riled up with hatred are brain-dead in the voting booth.

  • by Chewbacon (797801) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:29PM (#40586305)
    It's not if they give consent, which is often the case. It's a police tactic. Cop says: "I need you to put your hands on the wall so I can search you," and someone does as it sounds like they don't have a choice. If the cop said, "Would you put your hands on the wall so I can search you? You can tell me no, but by doing that you imply your consent to be search," then it wouldn't be as effective. My dad was a cop, did a lot of cyber crime investigation, and he would often ask a suspect he was simply interviewing to turn over potential evidence, say a computer, and they'd gladly give it to him. They could've easily said no. So it's not really a violation of rights, but ignorance of rights.
  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:57PM (#40586513)
    It would seem pretty stupid to get insurance if you were rich. Insurance companies make money, but they don't actually provide medical service, so they are just additional overhead. The utility of that overhead to ordinary people is that it softens the blows on the off chance of having high medical bills they can't pay (basically like winning a lottery, except in reverse). However, if you are rich, that is not a real possibility for you, and you could do it directly.
  • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:35PM (#40586801)

    I'm going to ignore your 1% rhetoric as it is meaningless dribble in comparison to reality.

    Meaningless in the sense that closing tax loopholes and expiring some of the Bush tax cuts just for that 1% would have equal or greater impact on revenue collected than raising the effective income tax rate of the bottom 49% to 100% of their income.

  • by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @09:46PM (#40587255) Journal

    A lot of the problem stems from the 'good majority' silently abetting the bad few. If police were more willing to, dare I say, police their own, rather than holding the thin blue line, I think a lot of the animosity would go away.

    Also, there's a fair amount of basic human psychology at play. 'Us and Them' always becomes 'Us Versus Them.' See the Stanford Prision Experiment. Abu Girab for a more recent example.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:04PM (#40587699) Journal

    Actually it completely depends on what you mean by "Taxes are Lowest". Try this on. Taxes for the richest tax bracket are lower now than any time since 1932 save the period from 1988 - 1991 due to Ronald Reagan's parting gift to and George H.W. Bush's continuing gift to the wealthy. Clinton jacked the highest brackets tax rate up by 25%, without raising taxes for the lower brackets and in the process, fixed the economic disaster that Reagan and the first Bush had created, generated a booming economy with a resultant trillion dollar surplus, and prevented us from going to war. Upon leaving, the Clinton folk warned the Bush Administration to keep a close eye on Bin Ladin, he's planning something. The rest as they say, is history.

    If you want to go look for yourself here [wikipedia.org], you'll see that the highest tax rate ever involved folks making over 2.4 million adjusted dollars, and occurred in 1944, that tax rate was 94%. If you recall, that was also during the biggest boom in the American economy in its history. During Reagan's last year it dropped to 28%, and rose over Daddy Bush's term to 31%. The rate jumped to 39.6% during the Clinton administration, and has been sitting at 35% since the Bush II debacle (though since there are now only 6 brackets, and the top bracket begins at just over $300,000 its impossible to show the the MASSIVE tax cuts to the wealthy institute by George W. Bush impacting primarily people making over $1,000,000 per year.)

    So let's recap. Taxes are at a historical all time low with one exception due to Alzheimer's, The Cato Institute really has acknowledged that the "Starve the Beast" strategy has been "Problematic", at least twice. And, with the top 400 people in the nation possessing the same wealth as the bottom 155,000,000, I dunno, I'd say the tax system is broken beyond all means to accurately describe it. High taxes never hurt the country. That's a lie, a myth, its a pretense foisted on us by greedy people designed to trick us into giving them all our money. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Please people, bother to check the numbers, stop listening to talking heads spout crap. Don't even listen to me... go see for yourself. Its a pile of crap, and we've been sorely misinformed by a media owned by the very people who benefit from the lies. Wake up

  • Re:Amazing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:16PM (#40587783) Journal

    No, the problem is the Supreme Court ruled that Monsanto is a person, and therefore the billion and one Monsanto minions wandering the halls of congress each get a minute of the representatives time, and you get your minute too... who wins, I dunno, could it be the guys waving $100 bills??? We need to separate state and commerce, or the republic is doomed.

  • by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:19PM (#40587801) Journal

    The difference is when I raise the taxes on the wealthy, they can't afford their twelfth McMansion. When I cut subsidies to the poor, babies die and children go to bed hungry at night. I don't know, I say let those pay who can by all means best afford it. To tax the impoverished is ghoulish.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ffflala (793437) on Monday July 09, 2012 @01:12AM (#40588517)
    I'm familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment. If you read it as a lesson about a system rather than a lesson about humans, you're coming to a useless conclusion. Your position is that, if only there were some perfectly designed system, humans would behave in a manner beneficial to all, without cruelty and oppression.

    That is not what the Stanford Prison Experiment taught us. It is not what history has taught us either, because so far humans have managed to take every iteration of every single system designed by other humans however well-intended, and turn it into something that fosters corruption, abuse, injustice, violence, self-interest, and brutality.

    Every. God. Damn. Time. We're humans, this is part of who we are. Think it through: if most anyone can turn into a brutal prison guard in under 24 hours if you just tell them a certain story, that would indicate a problem in most anyone, not in said certain story. How can you conclude otherwise?

    I'm asking you sincerely: if you can describe a better system --one that will actually work better-- please, please do share. This one is far from perfect, and yes it's responsible for a whole lot of death and destruction, but at this point in out limited evolution this system seems like the best option. Compared to past ones, it remains the best one so far. Honestly, if you have a better solution please do tell me. I have no drive to stick to a system for its own sake or because I am comfortably familiar with it and frightened to change: I've looked around, and every other one I've seen has considerably worse failures --measured in blood and bodies-- than this one.
  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ExploHD (888637) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:24AM (#40588763)
    The 1% make most of their money through capital gains. Since capital gains are taxed at a different rate than ordinary income, it makes a huge difference when tax season comes around. In the mean time, more and more middle income families are getting caught in the a Alternative Minimum Tax [wikipedia.org], which the republicans in Congress have had the better part of a decade to fix, but their focus has been on making sure tax rates on the highest end of the pay scale fall faster than those on the lower end of the pay scale.
  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Monday July 09, 2012 @03:20AM (#40588973) Journal

    First of all, don't call me an idiot, all I did was refer to simple tax information available right there on Wikipedia. I said at the very start that I was only speaking about a specific representation of information... it turns out the one I could most easily find. There are a million ways to turn this and anybody can cherry pick facts to justify anything including the sky is falling. I think there is wisdom in all the political positions, The key is looking for what is applicable in today's reality, and keep checking because the world is dynamic and the answers change frequently. As a politician, Clinton was sharp, that doesn't mean I'm a Democratic knee-jerk, I'm not the least bit happy with our current president, and if the Republicans could proffer a candidate that was neither retarded nor deranged I'd honestly consider him (I actually gave Newt a look... warts and all.)

    You can't have it both ways, either Clinton cut taxes or his magical surplus was the result of raising taxes... which is it? In fact it was none of the above. The surplus was the result of enhanced revenue from the single largest economic boon in American History [wikipedia.org]... not my words, read for yourself.

    Perhaps you don't remember, but I do very well, the moment George took office, he systematically undid everything that Clinton had built and began switching the nations economy over to promote those that put him in office, you do recall George arriving in cities across American on an Enron jet don't you? In fact, in California, we had to endure 6 months of rolling black outs ( artificially caused by the collusion of a Texas energy provider who used the opportunity to rob California of $15,000,000,000, and then received protection from an Attorney General appointed by, you guessed it, W) ultimately jump starting the Dot Com crash. The surplus vanished because George succeeded in crashing the economy in the first 6 months of his Presidency. He punctuated crashing the economy by spending nearly 2 months that summer clearing brush on his home ranch, the longest Presidential vacation in history. George and friends completely ignored the warning from the Clinton staff regarding Bin Laden as Dick Cheney instead looked for a way to revive a 1980s satellite missile defense project so he could pump money into his company Halliburton. So for an encore after ignoring Bin Laden completely for 9 months, we arrive at 9/11... Boom! Do you recall what happened to the stock market immediately after? The surplus was very real and all it took was an imbecile to put a trillion dollar crater in the country and the economy in 2001.

    Look friend, we probably agree on a lot more than might think. I just personally believe that you should look for facts, then look for frameworks that fit the facts. Not the other way around. Even at that, I'm completely open to changing my mind if a consistent body of information arises that stands on its own, whether it fits my picture or not, that's the definition of intellectual integrity. I never claimed omniscience, but I do bother to make certain that there is ample information to back my position... debate training still kicks in even all these years later. Here's another piece if interesting information. The gross receipt of taxes have changed dramatically over the last 60 years. In 1950 tax from corporation represented 30% of the total taxes that were collected in the United States. Today taxes from corporation represent less than 5% of the total taxes collected. To take their place, Payroll Tax has gone from 10% in 1950 to over 40% of the total taxes collected today. So when corporations complain about the ridiculous tax burden they suffer today, you now have a bit of useful information to refute that [wikipedia.org]. You still haven't refuted the comment that the strongest periods of American economic development coincided with periods of highest taxation.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:02AM (#40589753)

    A small minority want to vote for the reasonable person. The rest are sheep who believe the tripe being shoved out by pundits and honestly believe that it's simply wasteful spending, overpaid government workers, and grants to organizations like NPR that are the cause of all of our debt.
     
    a smart politican doesn't want an educated populace. These politicians are just where they want to be.

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