U.S. Politics

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Nov 8, 2012
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Oh my.

International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths.1 Unfortunately, such discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative. It may be useful to begin with a few examples. There is a com‐ pound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.
A generally unstated issue in this notoriously emotional debate was the effect of the Warren Court and later restrictions on police powers on American gun policy. Critics of these decisions pointed to soaring American crime rates and argued simplistically that such decisions caused, or at least hampered, police in suppressing crime. But to some supporters of these judicial decisions, the example of England argued that the solution to crime was to restrict guns, not civil liberties. To gun control advocates, England, the cradle of our liberties, was a nation made so peaceful by strict gun control that its police did not even need to carry guns. The United States, it was argued, could attain such a desirable situation by radically reducing gun ownership, preferably by banning and confiscating handguns.
The results discussed earlier contradict those expectations. On the one hand, despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic re‐ ductions in criminal violence in the 1990s. On the other hand, the same time period in the United Kingdom saw a constant and dramatic increase in violent crime to which England’s response was ever‐more drastic gun control including, eventually, banning and confiscating all handguns and many types of long guns.22 Nevertheless, criminal violence rampantly increased so that by 2000 England surpassed the United States to become one of the developed world’s most violence‐ridden nations.
To determine whether this expansion of gun availability caused reductions in violent crime requires taking account of various other factors that might also have contributed to the decline. For instance, two of Lottʹs major critics, Donohue and Levitt, attribute much of the drop in violent crime that started in 1990s to the legalization of abortion in the 1970s, which they argue resulted in the non‐birth of vast numbers of children who would have been disproportionately involved in violent crime had they existed in the 1990s.31
The Lott‐Mustard studies did not address the Donohue‐ Levitt thesis. Lott and Mustard did account, however, for two peculiarly American phenomena which many people believed may have been responsible for the 1990s crime reduction: the dramatic increase of the United States prison population and the number of executions. The prison population in the United States tripled during this time period, jumping from approxi‐ mately 100 prisoners per 100,000 in the late 1970s to more than 300 per 100,000 people in the general population in the early 1990s.32 In addition, executions in the United States soared from approximately 5 per year in the early 1980s to more than 27 per year in the early 1990s.33 Neither of these trends is re‐ flected in Commonwealth countries.
Although the reason is thus obscured, the undeniable result is that violent crime, and homicide in particular, has plum‐ meted in the United States over the past 15 years.34 The fall in the American crime rate is even more impressive when com‐ pared with the rest of the world. In 18 of the 25 countries sur‐ veyed by the British Home Office, violent crime increased during the 1990s.35 This contrast should induce thoughtful people to wonder what happened in those nations, and to question policies based on the notion that introducing increas‐ ingly more restrictive firearm ownership laws reduces violent crime. Perhaps the United States is doing something right in promoting firearms for law‐abiding responsible adults. Or per‐ haps the United States’ success in lowering its violent crime rate relates to increasing its prison population or its death sen‐ tences.36 Further research is required to identify more precisely which elements of the United States’ approach are the most important, or whether all three elements acting in concert were necessary to reduce violent crimes.
Read on....

Oh and Velo, you'll love the conclusion.


http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf
 
RetroActive said:
I really don't know what the solution is? We've lost the wonder for the miracle that life itself is, now we only know exploitation really well.
We are about 5 billion too many. The plannet can't sustain us much longer. So it will either be by natural or human means that the population will be shed, though even that probably won't save us if Einstein's prediction is accurate.
 
aphronesis said:
We're talking at cross purposes--this happened with you and rhubroma as well. I'm not talking about resources in terms of food alone nor in terms of oil extraction but in terms of overall human techne: how the material of the world can be manipulated to new ends. Of course few of those advances go to unambiguously positive development.

And you could also eat less fish. So could many.


Question for you? How big do crops have to be? How big should they be? How's that unemployment working out? Maybe reapportion some land and get a few of those precarious part-time UPS workers who are shipping playstations, clothing and knick-knacks to work community farms. Few hours a month would probably do it. Everyone on here wastes that posting on this site--but of course public contributions would be a coercive imposition I know.

That would be a bit different from your peasant example. More humane for everyone in the long run. So petroleum is needed for pesticide and fertilizer? Or is that simply the most convenient...
All of this falls into the realm of what I call "happy downsizing." Yet humans will not consume less, but more, if the present model of consumer civilization is any indication. The only way to get the consumption down, therefore, is for there to be less humans.

PS: Mine isn’t a call for mass killing, just a reasoned conclusion based on all the evidence.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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blutto said:
....ok you don't like that source....well I went off and found this wee thang and gosh I really hope it doesn't upset your delicate sensibilities....nice source, very good breeding, makes many good western noises ( not like that Arab stuff that reeks of conspiracy and stuff....though the author of this article looks...errr...non-western... )...

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But the US, Israel and other external powers are hardly honest brokers. Behind the facade of humanitarian concern, familiar interests are at stake. Three months ago, Iraq gave the greenlight for the signing of a framework agreement for construction of pipelines to transport natural gas from Iran's South Pars field - which it shares with Qatar - across Iraq, to Syria.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the pipelines was signed in July last year - just as Syria's civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - but the negotiations go back further to 2010. The pipeline, which could be extended to Lebanon and Europe, would potentially solidify Iran's position as a formidable global player.

The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan is a "direct slap in the face" to Qatar's plans for a countervailing pipeline running from Qatar's North field, contiguous with Iran's South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, also with a view to supply European markets.

The difference is that the pipeline would bypass Russia.

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...from... http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/may/13/1

....and while not spelled out in the article, it was my understanding that Russia was going to build the pipeline and eventually tie into gas fields in former USSR countries ( the other option for that gas was thru Afghanistan but that is very much in limbo so whoever gets a pipeline to that gas first wins...which will really **** off the US which has wasted massive resources trying to secure that country to put in a pipeline ) ....and hence have a major say in how the project would eventually run...which would be competition with proposed Western backed pipelines...and note that the proposed Qatar line would run thru Turkey ( and last I checked those two don't have any common border ) but controlling Syria would definitely help make the connection....and allow Qatar to suck dry the gas field it shares with Iran....

....its madness all of it....and yes thank gawd the sanity of the Vuelta is here to save us...

Cheers

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Do you still believe this "civil war" is in Qatar?

And do you believe that the Syrian civil war is really all about pipelines?

I don't quite get what your argument is?

As for Russia, they have more than enough pipelines. They might be annoyed that pipelines not under their control are competing with their pipelines, but thats life.

The most annoying pipeline for the Russians is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan_pipeline and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Caucasus_Pipeline, because it means that Azerbadjan doesn't have to rely on the Russian system to export their gas.

As for this Iran-Syria pipeline. They might have signed a deal, but I really don't understand what the big deal about it is?
 
May 27, 2012
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rhubroma said:
All of this falls into the realm of what I call "happy downsizing." Yet humans will not consume less, but more, if the present model of consumer civilization is any indication. The only way to get the consumption down, therefore, is for there to be less humans.

PS: Mine isn’t a call for mass killing, just a reasoned conclusion based on all the evidence.
Living organisms will evolve and adapt and eventually shed parasites. The earth itself is a living organism.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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....isn't America the land of democracy and stuff...chapter 7603....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Idiot Conservative admits the goal is punishing NC voters for voting early for President Obama

. . . Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly, a prominent leader of the religious right movement for decades, has a new defense. In a WorldNetDaily column, the right-wing activist offered an unexpected explanation of why some of North Carolina's new restrictions are worthwhile.


The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama's ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama's national field director admitted, shortly before last year's election, that "early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election."

The Obama technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote. It may take several days to accomplish this, so early voting is an essential component of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote campaign.

~snip~

And then there's Phyllis Schlafly, writing a piece for publication effectively saying Democrats are entirely right -- North Carolina had to dramatically cut early voting because it's not good for Republicans.

Remember, Schlafly's piece wasn't intended as criticism; this is her defense of voter suppression in North Carolina. Proponents of voting rights are arguing, "This is a blatantly partisan scheme intended to rig elections," to which Schlafly is effectively responding, "I know, isn't it great?"

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Cheers
 
Jul 4, 2009
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ToreBear said:
Do you still believe this "civil war" is in Qatar?

And do you believe that the Syrian civil war is really all about pipelines?
....do I believe that the Shia minority in Qatar is being repressed, and often violently....yes...

...do I believe that the Syrian conflict is about pipelines....yes....because as much as anything all of the players on the various teams in this bloody game are major players in the latest pipeline developments....but that is not what it is "all" about....it also has an element of Shia-Sunni conflict ....it also has an element of Israel-Iran conflict ....it also has an element of Hezbollah-Israel conflict ( which is also tied to attempts by Israel to control more water )...and it has an element of US hegemony over the world against any and all opposition, in this case Iran, element to it...

....and btw the timeline of this conflict neatly mirrors the timeline of the pipeline story....and do remember that Syria has not only been much more repressive in the past but during that period was an ally of the West in the "War on Terra"....so what changed?...why the present push to "save" Syria..

....and why on earth is the "West" backing a bunch of imported lung eating, bishop killing, religiously fanatic, potentially genocidal jihadist stooges who have on several occasions already been tied to poison gas?....

....and why exactly?.... because these folks will somehow magically become agents of democratic change?...they have proved to be homicidal mercenary maniacs who care not a whit about the people of Syria....

....and do I "believe" in conspiracies?....I'm was a historian by trade and history is littered with conspiracies, which when the facts end up being found, are more often than not, have been found to be the truth beyond the official stories....in fact, the most important thing in doing good history is defining what is often called the contrast state, which is the information that doesn't fit the official story( so by necessity you become an expert in finding and assessing the validity of what are often called conspiracies )....so do you believe the Iraqi WMD fable?....the official story of the rise if the Shah of Iran?....the sudden need to get rid of Gadhafi?...the sudden need to get rid of the Taliban?( which is in part another pipeline based saga...and btw many Cdn troops who have served in Afghanistan have a charming nickname for it...they refer to it as Pipelanistan.....)...

....but if your world demands adherence to the official story as expounded by the official organs of power...well...good luck with that....because you are in for a very rocky ride thru life because history has shown that very often that is the path most ridden with the reefs built on outright lies and misrepresentations....

Cheers
 
Jan 27, 2013
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rhubroma said:
We are about 5 billion too many. The plannet can't sustain us much longer. So it will either be by natural or human means that the population will be shed, though even that probably won't save us if Einstein's prediction is accurate.
I agree with that, though in theory the earth may be able to sustain our current numbers if people voluntarily restricted themselves - dream on. Population growth being exponential and all, just imagine 10 billion.:eek: Elysium

Einstein's prediction about bees? Pesticides and GMO are working to that end.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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ChewbaccaD said:
Living organisms will evolve and adapt and eventually shed parasites. The earth itself is a living organism.
It's all rather like bread dough, if allowed too, the yeast will turn their enviroment toxic and die then atmospheric yeast take over and you have sourdough starter. I like sourdough.
 
RetroActive said:
I agree with that, though in theory the earth may be able to sustain our current numbers if people voluntarily restricted themselves - dream on. Population growth being exponential and all, just imagine 10 billion.:eek: Elysium

Einstein's prediction about bees? Pesticides and GMO are working to that end.
No, it's about not knowing with which weapons WWIII will be faught, but that the fourth will certainly be faught with sticks and stones. ;)
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
What we have here, Scott, is essentially a problem of comprehension. I can't speak for Velo, but in my view, the flaw is this -

Stricter gun controls, or a reduction in the number of guns held by the public, has everywhere resulted in a substantial reduction in GUN-RELATED deaths! I am not aware of anyone claiming that sensible gun controls would automatically reduce all "violent" crime. Sensible gun controls can, and do, vastly reduce unnecessary, gun-related, injuries and deaths.

No one (to my knowledge) has claimed that reducing the number of guns will stop or eliminate 'violent' crimes. You don't need a gun to perpetrate violence.

As for countries like Britain, I am aware of the violent crime stats there. You should be aware that Britain's crime rate, and the kinds of violent crimes that have been on the increase there, have absolutely zip to do with reducing the guns readily available to the population, and everything to do with all sorts of historic, demographic factors. Britain's crime problems are unique in Europe, and they are specific to Britain. Other countries with gun laws equally as strict do not suffer from UK crime levels. Equally, there are plenty of factors that contribute to explaining the recent drop in certain violent crimes in the US, apart from the fact that more wingnuts are buying more guns and stockpiling ammo, etc.

Honestly, no one except an American would ever attempt to argue that more guns = more safety. Gun crime is violent by definition, but not all violent crime is gun crime.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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rhubroma said:
No, it's about not knowing with which weapons WWIII will be faught, but that the fourth will certainly be faught with sticks and stones. ;)
oh yeah, that one. Will the people in Lesotho even notice?
 
Amsterhammer said:
What we have here, Scott, is essentially a problem of comprehension. I can't speak for Velo, but in my view, the flaw is this -

Stricter gun controls, or a reduction in the number of guns held by the public, has everywhere resulted in a substantial reduction in GUN-RELATED deaths! I am not aware of anyone claiming that sensible gun controls would automatically reduce all "violent" crime. Sensible gun controls can, and do, vastly reduce unnecessary, gun-related, injuries and deaths.

No one (to my knowledge) has claimed that reducing the number of guns will stop or eliminate 'violent' crimes. You don't need a gun to perpetrate violence.

As for countries like Britain, I am aware of the violent crime stats there. You should be aware that Britain's crime rate, and the kinds of violent crimes that have been on the increase there, have absolutely zip to do with reducing the guns readily available to the population, and everything to do with all sorts of historic, demographic factors. Britain's crime problems are unique in Europe, and they are specific to Britain. Other countries with gun laws equally as strict do not suffer from UK crime levels. Equally, there are plenty of factors that contribute to explaining the recent drop in certain violent crimes in the US, apart from the fact that more wingnuts are buying more guns and stockpiling ammo, etc.

Honestly, no one except an American would ever attempt to argue that more guns = more safety. Gun crime is violent by definition, but not all violent crime is gun crime.
As usual a sensible analysis. What Scott doesn't realize of course is that he is living in another world, for which all the logical conclusions around here are merely effeminate attempts to obscure his vapid ideology.

Just don’t tell him that, for he’s convinced the other world thinks and acts as his and that everywhere is the same. The usual American misconception.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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VeloCity said:
Right, we've definitely found the solution. No other country compares.
So you didn't read a word of the study posted. Oddly, these smart guys foot-noted the **** out of their study. But since its at cross-purposes to what you think you know, you can't be bothered.

Makes me wonder what other data you ignore.

* Don B. Kates (LL.B., Yale, 1966) is an American criminologist and constitutional lawyer associated with the Pacific Research Institute, San Francisco. He may be con‐ tacted at dbkates@earthlink.net; 360‐666‐2688; 22608 N.E. 269th Ave., Battle Ground, WA 98604. ** Gary Mauser (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1970) is a Canadian crimi‐ nologist and university professor at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC Canada. He may be contacted at http://www.garymauser.net, mauser@sfu.ca, and 604‐291‐3652. We gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of Professor Thomas B. Cole (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Social Medicine and Epidemiology); Chief Superintendent Colin Greenwood (West Yorkshire Constabulary, ret.); C.B. Kates; Abigail Kohn (University of Sydney, Law); David B. Kopel (Independence Institute); Professor Timothy D. Lytton (Albany Law School); Professor William Alex Pridemore (University of Oklahoma, Sociology); Professor Randolph Roth (Ohio State University, History); Professor Thomas Velk (McGill University, Eco‐ nomics and Chairman of the North American Studies Program); Professor Robert Weisberg (Stanford Law School); and John Whitley (University of Adelaide, Eco‐ nomics). Any merits of this paper reflect their advice and contributions; errors are entirely ours.

Bunch of dolts on that list. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy? Pfffft.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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rhubroma said:
As usual a sensible analysis. What Scott doesn't realize of course is that he is living in another world, for which all the logical conclusions around here are merely effeminate attempts to obscure his vapid ideology.

Just don’t tell him that, for he’s convinced the other world thinks and acts as his and that everywhere is the same. The usual American misconception.
So you didn't read the study either. What a shocker.
 
May 27, 2012
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RetroActive said:
It's all rather like bread dough, if allowed too, the yeast will turn their enviroment toxic and die then atmospheric yeast take over and you have sourdough starter. I like sourdough.
Thus far, we have tomato and sourdough references, all we need is mayo and some salt and pepper, and a very thin slice of onion, and I am going to need lunch.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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ChewbaccaD said:
Thus far, we have tomato and sourdough references, all we need is mayo and some salt and pepper, and a very thin slice of onion, and I am going to need lunch.
Indeed, I think we can about wrap it all up. The tomato contains seeds, the potential for new life. I'm sure we could work phi into the pattern of the slice somehow. CO2 emulsified in the H2O, while adding a little acidity for mayo. Republicans and democrats for the salt and pepper, a little hot and tangy. The onion slice could represent the rings of Saturn, Chronos, father time, the grim reaper, the lord of the rings. All between two previously digested, slighty sour, baked, slices of matter. Delicious, enjoy your lunch.
 
Scott SoCal said:
So you didn't read the study either. What a shocker.
Of course I read the article! What it doesn't address, however, is the particular culture that gun ownership in the US has for street and domestic violence.

In no other state besides the US is there a right to bear arms embedded within the constitutional framework, for which American society has been weaned on the perception that owning a gun empowers, protects and disuades. Naturally all the evidence denies such conviction, but have it your way if you please.

It's the difference between a society that's led by the huntsmen instead of the gardeners. Every so often we hear that a huntsman has been shot, but never do we hear that it has happened to a gardener.
 
Scott SoCal said:
So you didn't read a word of the study posted. Oddly, these smart guys foot-noted the **** out of their study. But since its at cross-purposes to what you think you know, you can't be bothered.

Makes me wonder what other data you ignore.




Bunch of dolts on that list. Harvard*Journal*of*Law*&*Public*Policy? Pfffft.
I read it and the citations and institutions don't mean squat as the metrics of analysis and conclusion are about as bone simple as you can get.

If there are so many "smart people" running around why does the world seem in such p!ss poor shape.

As to Harvard: I've known some smart people to come out of there; I know scholars who've gone there to coast after years in the trenches; I know politically savvy people to come out there and I know lots of connected legacies who know how to network but couldn't think--with the presentation of an original and unconventional argument--their way out of the proverbial paper bag.

Schools, like everything else, are now obliged to produce product and graduates: the Ivies are full of people who know how to go through the methodological motions without saying anything sophisticated--let alone producing such analyses.

There's an old axiom when doing statistical--rather than qualitative--work: correlation does not imply causation. I'm sure you've heard that somewhere. Of course again, people in the business of maintaining their business are happy to ignore or exploit coincidence if it serves their own ends.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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ChewbaccaD said:
Thus far, we have tomato and sourdough references, all we need is mayo and some salt and pepper, and a very thin slice of onion, and I am going to need lunch.
Don't forget the pork products. Gotta have a little bacon on there.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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aphronesis said:
I read it and the citations and institutions don't mean squat as the metrics of analysis and conclusion are about as bone simple as you can get.

If there are so many "smart people" running around why does the world seem in such p!ss poor shape.

As to Harvard: I've known some smart people to come out of there; I know scholars who've gone there to coast after years in the trenches; I know politically savvy people to come out there and I know lots of connected legacies who know how to network but couldn't think--with the presentation of an original and unconventional argument--their way out of the proverbial paper bag.

Schools, like everything else, are now obliged to produce product and graduates: the Ivies are full of people who know how to go through the methodological motions without saying anything sophisticated--let alone producing such analyses.

There's an old bone simple axiom when doing statistical--rather than qualitative--work: correlation does not imply causation. I'm sure you've heard that somewhere. Of course again, people in the business of maintaining their business are happy to ignore or exploit coincidence if it serves their own ends.
If there are so many "smart people" running around why does the world seem in such p!ss poor shape.
Yep. Ask myself this all the time.

There's an old bone simple axiom when doing statistical--rather than qualitative--work: correlation does not imply causation. I'm sure you've heard that somewhere. Of course again, people in the business of maintaining their business are happy to ignore or exploit coincidence if it serves their own ends
Cool. I can't wait to see how you refute their work.

Anytime you are ready.
 
Scott SoCal said:
Yep. Ask myself this all the time.



Cool. I can't wait to see how you refute their work.

Anytime you are ready.
I'm a little busy right now, but if insomnia holds much later tonight I'll be happy to oblige you. Velo and Amster already did though in terms of the conclusion--something you choose to ignore.

I find it telling that when the climate argument started tilting too far in a particular direction you opted out and dug up this chestnut.

Try a little harder if all you're going to do is troll--rather than engage.

I've yet to see you respond to a single question anyone has posed to you in days other than to deflect superficially.
 

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