Life in these United States...

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Seattle, Jan 19, 2024.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    I called for a doctors appointment, and was told that I could see a nurse practitioner in may.
    I said that seeing her wasn't what i wanted. What I wanted was to be seen by her.

    I was arrested once, as a teenager, for having a beer. Cops came in the back door and one pointed a shotgun at me and said ; "Don't move"
    I asked of I could put the beer down. I had been downtown(small town) after work and I met some old acquaintances(people who my mother did not want me associating with) and they invited me to have a beer-----------so I did....oops.
    anyway, the bail($25.00) was the same as the fine(including court costs)
    Not what I had expected-----
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    EXACTLY! And if you thought you could fight back and save your own life, or even just make enough noise to attract the attention of your neighbor who could help you - you would.

    That's what many black people do when they are arrested.
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  5. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I actually never thought of it that way. If you have a stack of witnesses then the police are less likely to do anything untoward.

    Fair point.
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  7. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Back to my pont:::

    If you foller the cops orders to begin wit (roll you’r window down… put you’r hands where i can see ‘em… get out of the car… set down on the curb… an dont give the cop any lip… etc… ) a need to scream/beg for help is less likely to occur.!!!

    Why does it hapen so often that blacks dont comply wit comands which will immediately lead to escalatin the situaton.???
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Is that honestly what you think is happening in most of these videos though? I get it in the Rodney King type of situation but that's the exception and not the rule. In many of these cases it's just asking for escalation and in many of these cases the cops and the "perps" are black. In others, the cop is just asking for them to stop, answer a few questions. How does it make sense for the reasons that you've brought up, to fight, run, scream, when the cops aren't doing anything other than trying to conduct a normal traffic stop?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2024
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Of course. But many people don't see that. They see the Rodney King video. They hear about their friend, a black 18 year old, who was shot and killed by police. They see the police as a malevolent force in their neighborhood, going out of their way to harass and intimidate people. And for THOSE PEOPLE, the Rodney King situation is the norm - and they base their reactions on that.

    Are they correct in their assessement? In a few cities/towns/precincts - yes. Overall - no. But they live in a very different environment than you or I, so you can't just say "well, I would do X and it would work for me, so everyone should do the same for that reason."
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    That's true to a degree but it's also a bit of a stretch to assume that your scenario is any more likely. It's possible of course. For instance, in those videos in this thread, no cop was pulling guns, talking any differently than they would talk to you.

    When they screamed "Don't kill me" they didn't even do it due to escalation, it was random or just for show as someone walked by. The screaming about the shoulder was also not provoked in the least. It was clearly all for show like a baby that is fine and then suddenly just decides to start crying and then gets bored and stops.

    Legitimate situations would be taken more seriously if we weren't justifying these ridiculous situations.

    Why describe that in the way that you have described what might occur in a Rodney King situation? The lady (white) did the same thing, was drunk, it was all just nonsense.

    Certainly they live in a different world than I do but that doesn't excuse everything in some kind of indiscriminate way. I get it if someone is afraid of the cops in some way that seems irrational to me but not to them for the reasons that you have enumerated. Suddenly screaming when you were calm and are just sitting there can't be blamed on some prior cop behavior.

    Stopping in the middle of the parking lot, right in front of the door, no parking place for a Red Bull. That has nothing to do with prior cop behavior. It's just stupid. Going to the ER when your shoulder is OK is stupid. Saying that you can't breathe when you can is stupid.
  11. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    Agree with that. There will be a part of the community that are doing themselves no favours, a part that are genuinely worried that they could be gunned down on the way to pick up some groceries and a part that want to actively provoke a reaction to illustrate institutional racism in the police. They do not want peace they want war.
    We certainly have that here, illustrated by nationwide riots following a shooting a few years ago.

    As I said before, guns make the whole situation a whole lot more complicated for both civilians and police.

    The chances of being shot in America are about 5 times higher in America than the UK.

    Attending an incident as a copper in the US, a domestic, a burglar, unrest, driving offense, especially in a poor/"street" area could result in you being shot at.

    Being involved in any of the above as a civilian, criminal or not can result in you being shot dead by the police.

    If nothing else ditching the guns would be a start to mend things.
  12. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    cluelusshusbund @ James R--- “Id say most blacks obey cops when pulled over... how about you if you tanned to look black an drove around wit a busted tail light an got pulled over... do you thank you woud be intelegent/sane enuff to obey cops orders... or not.???”

    Im perty Dam sure you woud do what the cop said to do an when he said to do it;;; same as me

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    cluelusshusbund @ Billvon---” Why does it hapen so often that blacks dont comply wit comands which will immediately lead to escalatin the situaton.???”

    Hmmm... like you alluded to earlier… white people dont walk in black peoples shoes an will never fully understand why some black people get pizzy when pulled over.!!!

    Especially the superior types who dont even realize how racist they are.!!!

    Yep… Billvon an JamerR got me to thankin.!!!

    An i remembered back in the 7th grade when a math teecher used a walnut paddle a full 3/4“ thick to corect misbehavin students.!!! He was a 6’ 4” previous basketball player an he coud realy swang that big paddle… i had only had one lick from it an that was more than enuff for me.!!!

    He woud grade papers durin class an we was supposed to study quietly so he coud consintrate.!!!

    On one of his bad days someone walked toward the trash can an tossed a paper wad at it but it hit the front edge an then rolled toward the teechers desk… which disturbed him an he announced to us all… “be close enuff to the can that you wont miss… cause if it hits the floor you will get the paddle.!!!"

    He was good at makin paddle threats… an i guess i was in a bad mood that day… so i wadded up to sheets of paper in a tight little ball… stood up from my desk at the back of the room an threw that paper wad as hard as i coud at the trash can… an it went in wit a bang an stayed in.!!!

    He looked toward the bang an then towrd me as i was settin down… an we stared daggers at each other for at least 10 seconds… an he then went back to gradin papers wit-out sain a word.!!!

    I was fed up wit all of his paddle threats… wasnt thankin about the consequences of my actions / the hell that was surly gonna brake loose.!!!

    Now… i kinda wonder if thats sorty why some black people who are so sick of racism that they behave irrational when pulled over… Duh.!!!

    But hell at least thers a simple cure… an thats to eliminate systemic racism… whos wit me on that.???
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I agree that would make a big difference but it's not going to happen.
  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    The US went through a frontier stage where guns were necessary for protection, thwarting livestock predators, and wild game or meat procurement. Which might have welded the artifacts to the concept of rugged individualism. However, since Canada and Australia had their own versions of "taming the middle of nowhere and erecting civilization", that doesn't seem to wholly hold water.

    So it goes back to the 2nd Amendment ("Only 3 countries in the world protect the right to bear arms in their constitutions"), and the underlying idea that armed citizens were necessary to protect a free state from the potential to become tyrannical in the future. Canada and Australia never forcefully or successfully rebelled against an Empire in that way, so their cultural/political genetics weren't grounded in that kind of threat orientation.

    But the "right to bear arms" was geared around sudden and self-evident transitions to despotism. Not ones that are so gradual and slowly incremental that the majority of the population lacks lucid awareness or certainty of the transformation occurring (frog boiled in a pot). And thereby is never galvanized in a massive, coordinated response to deter such.

    So its guardian purpose has become obsolete or arguably impotent with respect to the reciprocal adjustments of the "hypothetical menace". In addition to potential abuses of anarchical or authoritarian movements themselves utilizing weapon stashes in attempts to overthrow the State.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I am not arguing my scenario is likely. I am arguing that that is how police are perceived by some people. And TO THOSE PEOPLE it's an accurate assesement.

    Consider a woman living in a country occupied by Russian troops. She is often sexually assaulted/raped by those troops. Then one day she sees a Russian walking down the street towards her in a dark alley. She has a gun - so she kills him in self defense.

    Now, are all Russians rapists? Of course not. But TO HER, that Russian represents a very real threat of physical violence and/or rape. And thus while her actions are not OK / legal, they are at least understandable.

    And again, understandable is not the same as OK or justifiable.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I get it but I don't get why you focus so much on this point. Those people in the videos, for example, don't think the police are about to shoot, rape, or do anything else to them.

    I get that in some cases if the cops have their guns out and someone runs, your analyses is probably accurate in many cases. That's not most cases though so why bring it up as being more important that it is in fact?

    Any discussion on here is going to be by necessity of the general case. Yes, I understand that most people don't think that cops are going to shoot them, including most in these videos, so why keep only bring up that point? You don't seem to bring up any points other than the very unlikely? Why? That's not a very balance viewpoint is it?

    Do we really need to bring up Russians? What's next, Hitler?

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    My point might best get described by remember the of SNL site with "Debbie Downer" or the "Empath" movement.

    The statements are true enough but there is no context or perspective.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2024
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Because it is an issue that is often overlooked in these cases. It's easy to say "well I would have done X and that would have been so much better" but you can only react based on the assumptions you make - and there are reasons that not all our assumptions are similar.
    Because social media has already selected only the videos that are "very unlikely" - i.e. the sensational ones. Thus one must apply scenarios that are very unlikely.

    As another example, consider the videos you see about pilot error. Those incident absolutely happen, and absolutely have to be considered. But they are not the norm. They are, to use your term, "very unlikely." Should we ignore them?
    Nope! We are talking about this one incident, not a balanced selection. Which makes it not a balanced viewpoint, by definition.
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    But your exceptions weren't applicable to these videos. No one was thinking the cops might shoot them, no one was worrying about rape. They were just idiots reacting inappropriately to the police.

    Your narrow comments were true, they just weren't applicable.

    You could have said, for example, "These people got what they deserved given their behavior but sometimes reasonable behavior still gets people shot unfortunately. Not very often and not in these cases but it's something to consider."

    You chose not to for some reason.

    If can come off as someone who always has an excuse for anything inappropriate that happens. Someone shoots from a bridge and kills 5 and the comment could be, "Well, in some impoverished households pregnant mothers aren't providing the appropriate nutrients to their young and it can affect development and that could lead to this kind of behavior."

    It's not a statement without any truth but it's hardly relevant given the context.

    And no, we shouldn't ignore pilot error reports or news stories. However we wouldn't say that even though it appears the accident was due to pilot error one of these pilots was from a poor family in SE Asia and midday naps are considered important and if he did fall asleep at the wheel it should be considered in its cultural context.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2024
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You certainly don't have to say that. You can say whatever you like.

    However, the NTSB, whose job it is to prevent future accidents, would. Their objective is not to win Internet arguments or blame people - their objective is to prevent such accidents in the future by determing root cause(s) and suggesting changes. And so they look into things like pilot fatigue and what causes it. Most often it's due to overwork, or poor scheduling, or poor planning - and indeed several times the NTSB has cited a culture of overwork at an airline or cargo business as a contributing factor, and they then recommend changes to that culture to prevent future incidents. I have never heard of a case where the pilot's upbringing played into issues of pilot fatigue, but if it really did - then you bet the NTSB would look into it, and if it was a factor, recommend changes.
  20. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    O good God Dam... people of color makin bad decisions when confronted by cops has long been baked into the system created by old white men

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  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    It turns out that arms might not be needed, since a significant portion of the US population looks to be willing to vote itself into despotism by re-electing a narcissistic strong-man who has more or less said he wants to be a dictator.
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  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    How did you manage to get into their heads to know what they were thinking?

    There have been plenty of well-publicised cases in which police have shot people in circumstances in which it has been shown to be completely unreasonable to do so. There can be no guarantees, when you're stopped by a traffic cop, that the particular cop in question is well-trained, stable, responsible and all of that. There are good cops and bad cops. You usually can't know in advance which kind you're dealing with.
    As billvon said, you started with the very unlikely. Most people, when pulled over by the police for a broken taillight are not going to react by insisting that the cop is hassling them unfairly, and insist on going into a shop to buy a Red Bull before talking to the cop, etc. etc. That's very unlikely behaviour. But that TV show, or youtube channel or whatever, has already selected some very unlikely cases for your entertainment. They never show you routine traffic stops. That wouldn't fit their business model.
    It's a little strange that you're now demanding context and perspective, when initially you were fully content to provide none at all.
    There are legal principles that affect how much credence such "explanations" warrant in a court of law. The general principle is called "proximity". A court will ask "Was the fact that the offender came from an impoverished household sufficiently proximate to the nature of the offence that was committed to provide a reasonable excuse for the commission of the offence, or [more often] a valid reason to reduce the sentence?"

    Courts look at chains of causation as a matter of cause. Very tenuous or difficult-to-prove causal links are typically given very low, if any, legal weight.
    I'm a huge fan of the TV show Aircrash Investigations. It provides textbook examples of how careful investigations into causes should be carried out, with the particular focus being on aviation accidents. In cases where pilot error has caused an airline disaster, air transport safety authorities never stop there and just blame the pilot. They dig deeper, to find underlying causes. They look at the work schedules of the pilots (which are out of their control) and ask whether they are reasonable. They look at the particular circumstances surrounding the pilot in the lead-up to the disaster. If it turns out that among those particular circumstances there are proximate causes to be found that can explain the disaster in part, typically the investigators will recommend measures to prevent a similar chain of causation from occurring in future. One reason that commercial air travel is so safe these days - far safer than car travel, for instance - is that air traffic authorities, aviation regulators and airlines have all [indeed, are often required to by law] implemented the recommendations of the accident investigators following past accidents.

    One more thing about causes of disasters: one thing you pick up if you watch Air Crash Investigations for long enough is that it almost never happens that an airplane crash is caused by just a single point of failure. Usually, these days, it takes a series of three or four separate failures to lead to disaster. For instance, maybe the pilot was overworked and sleepy. But at the same time, the accident still wouldn't have happened without a failure in the aircraft maintenance, or the actions of an air traffic controller, or something else.

    There's nothing wrong with investigating all the way down the chain, right down to whether a culture considers midday naps important, if that helps to determine the ultimate causes of a tragedy. If those things really are proximate causes and it is reasonable to put measures in place to prevent them from becoming factors in future mismaps, then why would you want to ignore them?
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2024
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    It's worth thinking about, more than you have, rather than just rolling your eyes and sticking with your comfortable, vaguely racist-sounding assumptions.
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