Member since: Thu Sep 8, 2005, 09:18 AM
Number of posts: 14,191
Number of posts: 14,191
Of any major city in the US. This is the actual "privilege" that exists...I know people who will swear they need to buy new cars, a bedroom for each of their sub 5 year old kids, eat out 3 times a week and splurge on Saturday for some place nice, move into a turnkey home, it is lunacy that banking regs used to keep from happening.
I had a real estate license in 1985 and sold homes for several years. To qualify for a first time mortgage one had to have 20% down, the 20% had to be earned income or in your bank account for at least a year. Your total indebtedness couldn't exceed 35% including the mortgage.Minimum 2 years job time. People had to save and pay down their debt. Their debt/income may support a $1000 payment which a allow $100k mortgage, but if they couldn't come up with $20 plus 10k closing costs (which could be borrowed but not through collateralization of the real estate) you would buy a $50k home. ..paint the bedrooms, put on a new faucet and toilet, refinish the kitchen cabinets, tidy up the lawn, plant some trees, clean out the gutters, get the ac charged, paint the trim, recalk the windows, and sell it in 5 years for $85k leaving you with $45k equity to buy the $100k fixer upper (2nd home) for another 5 years and scoop the equity allowing for the dream house. It took work. It is what kept the housing market safe for everyone's investment.
Before the bust we had first timers 2 months out of RN school buying 'the home we've always dreamed of' consuming 50% of their income for the interest only for 5 years, 40 year mortgage putting no money down and financing 120% of the purchase price so they can swing by IKEA and furnish the entire new house. Then they pulled up in their driveway in their 2 year leased BMW. ...oh they were so proud. ...now they are the Cabreas'...
both parties shared this one...the other piece is the repubs reducing bank solvency requirements exacerbating the problem.
Posted by pipoman | Mon Feb 9, 2015, 12:37 PM (2 replies)
The reality is that police/law enforcement are needed and here to stay, few people would deny this. With that comes a necessity for acceptable policy and limitations of authority which falls outside of constitutional limitations (or the interpretations that have formed precedent). For most of the 20th century there has been a public campaign to indoctrinate children to trust police, to portray police as friends, and to empower them from the grassroots...all good things as long as police actually are friends of the public, trustworthy, and not constantly pushing the limitations of the authority or will of the public. Where we find ourselves now is in a place of overreaching authority in the name of safety, abuse of authority, actions contrary to the will of the public, and a reputation for lying and corruption with an expectation to receive the benefit of the doubt in every scenario. All of this is further exacerbated by the labor union contracts which have gone beyond protection against unfair labor practices to protection of corruption and publicly unacceptable police policies and practices.
In the wake of perception of sanctioned abuse of power and authority all kinds of demands and proclamations have been thrown around. Many....perhaps most of these demands aren't congruent with the charge to effectively police our communities. Some demands would eliminate protections from prosecution stemming from human error and/or immediate response.
What can't be done. ..
We cannot remove immunities given police for the result of human error. Since all police are human, errors will occur. Without some protection police officers will become impossible to find, nobody is willing to allow their future and their livelihood to hinge on the reality of human error.
We cannot place unrealistic racial quotas on hiring. If qualified candidates cannot be found or aren't interested in police jobs, we must hire those willing and qualified.
What we can do through the legislative process and public demands...
360 degree cameras with sound on all police officers and police vehicles. This seems like a nobrainer considering the availability of tiny camera and storage technology. Police are adverse to this because they really don't want to be second guessed and they believe the footage may lead to acquittal on technicalities.
Demanding that all police policy be public. Police policy, pparticularly local and state policy, has long been a big secret. Defense attorneys have been issuing subpoenas for production of policy and procedure manuals for generations. These requests have been fought and ignored in favor of release of only those parts of policies procedures manuals germane to the case at hand then often heavily redacted.
Eliminating asset forfeiture resulting in enrichment of the department or officer involved. A requirement for a human criminal conviction (as opposed to the practice of charging the assets) before assets can be liquidated and not returned. Then requiring legitimately seized assets to enrich some other government agency unrelated to law enforcement. ..schools, infrastructure, public health services, etc. ..
Eliminating bulk data collection by law enforcement.
Eliminating traffic cameras used for issuing traffic violation citations. This is overwhelmingly despised by the public and protestations have been largely ignored by police.
Revision/review of use of force policy
Eliminate authority to use military vehicles, weapons and tactics against the public.
All of these tactics and policies have been challenged and upheld as constitutional. This doesn't mean they can't be legislated out of existence.
I am sure there are other ideas which would be effective and feasible to improve relations and reduce abuse of authority. Change is never easy, if we can eliminate unrealistic demands and concentrate on the possible, change can be forced..the best place to start is in our cities and states.
Any other ideas for reform?
Posted by pipoman | Mon Jan 5, 2015, 10:24 AM (9 replies)
This issue has two sides. First, where does the necessity for protection from civil and criminal prosecution for unfortunate human error, necessary snap decision making in extremely high stress situations, allowable self defense and defense of the public end, and criminal/civil culpability for their actions kick in?
Secondly, what other accepted practices that have evolved over the years needs to be revisited?
As stated, some protection for public employees is essential in maintaining public services. Since we're all human, and with that comes inevitable errors, how can any of us deny others, who's human error could result in tragedy while performing on our behalf, some measure against ruin when it occurs? What smart, productive person would accept such personal risk for $50k and a pension (that they most likely would never last to obtain) without some protection?
Do policies like "stop and frisk", "asset forfeiture", questioning tactics for minors, plea bargain corruptions, stoplight cameras, racial profiling, militay equipment, zero tolerance/mandatory sentencing, excessive force (always justified by the 95% overused exclamation "officer safety" even when it's ridiculous); lend themselves to overall distrust and even hatred of public servants?
"Community policing" is a joke once practiced and beneficial. ..On the other hand, there are a lot of individual cops who are stellar public servants.
As it is right now, and frankly forever, cases like Zimmerman and Wilson could never be convicted for no other reason than "reasonable doubt". Nobody who is impartial could say either are guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" given our laws of self defense and the evidence presented each jury.
The "reasonable doubt" standard has its own inherent issues. The most public frustration comes when someone overwhelmingly believed to be guilty, is acquitted. The reality is that the standard is in place based on the idea that some guilty must go free to minimize the number of innocent people wrongly convicted...a trade off. ..
Reasonable doubt isn't going anywhere, it's a constitutional standard which has no real opposition. All of the policies mentioned above however are just that...policies. Policy and accepted practice can be changed without a constitutional battle.
Many of the demands I have been hearing surrounding Wilson and Zimmerman would require constitutional amendment to remedy at the expense of more innocent conviction, or prosecution/conviction of unfortunate human error. Would stripping (or reining in) our servants of the policies above, which would actually be possible in a reasonable amount of time, quiet the angry?
It seems all I hear is noise, no solutions (which are even remotely possible)...
Posted by pipoman | Mon Dec 15, 2014, 10:52 AM (13 replies)
Just a little more to ponder. ..You seem to believe that the NRA is the mouthpiece of the "firearms industry". Why...why would the "firearms industry" not want the same level of regulation applied to every gun sold, as is required for every single gun they sell? You do know that every single new firearm sold in any state in the US requires a background check or equivalent, no? That there is only one very specific kind of sale exempted? That is a sale between 2 parties living in the same state who are neither one in the firearms business. That's it. Every single other purchase requires a check.
Why do you suppose those sales were exempted in 1994 in the first place? Why hasn't a single solitary bill ever emerged a judiciary committee regardless who chairs the committee? Since 1994! It is so simple. They can't find a way around the commerce clause.
You have been lied to. Why wouldn't Brady just make public the reason? Because their identity is built around "the gun show loophole". They know states can require bg checks, they know 80% of the public agrees (myself included). There are several states that would be very easily lobbied into it. The one hold up is that federal firearms licensees aren't required in their regs to provide bg checks for private sales. A simple regulatory change with absolutely no constitutional issue could be done via executive order tomorrow. With this states could require bg checks on private sales without having to spend millions reinventing the wheel (as those states which already do require ubc have had to do.
I don't recall ever being on any NRA website, am not and have not been a member, am a civil liberation Democrat and have been here a long time.
Posted by pipoman | Tue Jul 15, 2014, 07:20 PM (2 replies)
Some have been challenged and the decisions of the challenges have given us "case law". "Case law" defines boundaries of constitutionality of laws (among other things). Case law is occasionally reversed or adjusted by more case law. Roe v. Wade is an example of case law, as is every case citing used in any justification of action before a court.
There is case law defining the limits of regulation of the 2nd amendment and every other amendment. One of the examples of case law applying to the 2nd found in USA v. Miller in 1939 was a limit/distinction used to determine if a specific firearm can be under more regulation than others firearms. In this case the firearm in question was a sawn off shotgun. The court decided a sawn off shotgun could have more regulation than a regular shotgun because sawn off shotguns were not "in common use for lawful purposes". This case law has been referenced in many cases since 1939 establishing even more case law. Without SCOTUS redefining the limitations in some other case, effectively overturning Miller, this will be the standard for additional regulation on specific firearms.
Now ask yourself why Bush said he would reauthorize the 1994 assault weapons ban seemingly against the interests of his of his obligations? Why would a Democratically controlled congress fail to reauthorize the assault weapons ban? There were challenges coming down the pike to the assault weapons ban. The challenges mostly based on their statistical evidence that the weapons affected by the ban were "in common use for lawful purposes". Bush allies believed that most weapons affected by the assault weapons ban could be shown to be "in common use for lawful purposes", so did democrats in Congress and the prospect of the ban being overturned could make future legislation more difficult so they chose not to reauthorize.
The point is that there are damned few new gun control ideas that wouldn't require a very rare SCOTUS case law reversal to save. States otoh have more latitude for regulation. Big gun control wastes money lobbying for constitutionally impossible federal legislation. There is a reason the NRA spends so much time and money in the states...
Posted by pipoman | Mon Jun 30, 2014, 09:24 AM (0 replies)
I would absolutely agree if all inmates were just trying to serve their time. This isn't the case. There are many who live to victimize others and resume victimizing at any opportunity. There are individuals and groups within the prison system who run extensive criminal enterprises spanning multiple facilities. Drugs, prostitution, gambling, murder for hire, and every other vice imaginable. Again, not localized. To the vast majority of the population, what happens in the prison system is both unbelievable and unimaginable.
Instead of some blanket determination of no more solitary. ..I'm not sure why this is an issue and institutionalized violence isn't the focus.
Many, especially first time offenders, go in with a desire to peacefully serve their time and work toward release. Many would accept educational opportunities and job skill training. When they get there they are slammed into a population ran by victimizers. They have to either allow victimizing or join a gang for protection. Once in a gang they are labeled "disruptive group members" by the system resulting in extentions of sentences, and a lifetime commitment to the gang. Guards fear for their own safety and that of their families resulting in enabling of the gangs. In the federal system there are people, government employees who are charged with extending people's sentences. They do this by putting people in impossible situations, then punishing them for reacting.
The system is severely broken and solitary is the tiniest tip of the iceberg.
The more effective reform would be to have facilities devoted to education and training for all first time offenders where victimization isn't tolerated. And separate facilities for victimizers. If we polled the population about what they would fear most about going to prison, the number one answer by far would be victimization by other inmates. That is sad and unbelievably corrupt. It is no wonder that recidivism is as high as it is. ..solitary adds to that but isn't the largest problem by far.
I spent many years as a licensed defense investigator, have interviewed many inmates and visited many prisons both state and federal. Prison reform is long overdue, concentration on the tiniest issue to the exclusion of the far bigger issues will not begin to fix the problems...imho..
Posted by pipoman | Thu May 8, 2014, 08:32 AM (0 replies)
I have asked this question before and have only gotten argumentative responses.
I view it as a mistake to label people not being discriminated against as privileged. Privileged indicates, as the definition states, something unearned. We have not all received what we have earned. Those who haven't received what they earned because of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. have, by the definition of discrimination, been discriminated against.
Discrimination can be, has been, battled. Privilege can't be had by all.
Posted by pipoman | Fri Mar 14, 2014, 10:16 PM (1 replies)
The only sales which don't require bg checks are between 2 residents of the same state who aren't firearms dealers.
IOW sales between neighbors, friends, local classified ads, etc. There is no big money behind it. Manufacturers and dealers most likely would like the same restrictions on private sales as are on their sales, no? You can't name a single type of legal personal property which intrastate sale between private parties is regulated by the federal government. .none. Why? Because it is unambiguously prohibited by the commerce clause. States can restrict those sales, the feds can't.
This issue (the renamed "gun show loophole") is the red herring. It has and does raise more money for gun control groups than any other issue. That is the money behind not making constitutional headway on the issue. .If the issue goes away so do a lot of donations to the big gun control groups.
Posted by pipoman | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 02:27 PM (1 replies)
one of my biggest objections is that there are people within the US Justice Department whose job it is to try to extend prisoners stay. They do this by setting an inmate up in an impossible situation and waiting for the inmate to make the logical, yet illegal decision to join a "disruptive group"..which in itself will add time...then watch the prisoner and make subsequent cases for acts committed under extreme, life or death duress imposed by the "disruptive group" they were forced into through fear for their life...all caused by the maniacal games being played by "public servants"...it is a disgrace..
One example is a 20 year old man who was caught when he was 18 acting as a mule coming from South America into south Florida. He was a financially desperate college student who was doing well academically. He was a thin, 160 pound kid whose only defense was that his single mom had forced him, when he was young, to take Taekwondo and he became a blackbelt in his early teens. After his conviction he was sentenced to 5 years in Federal prison. He was transferred to USP Marion and placed in maximum security general population. His cellie was a black "disruptive group member" who immediately and repeatedly victimized him. He complained and was placed in the SHU for admitting to fighting. When he came out of the SHU he was put into a cell with a Mexican inmate who was trying to get into the Mexican Mafia. This inmate gave the young man to a leader of the Mexican Mafia as a gift. The leader victimized him, he fought back and ended up in the prison hospital after a severe, bone breaking beating. When he was released from the hospital, he was put in with a member of the AB. He started out doing jobs for his new cellie in exchange for protection..things like passing kites, smuggling his lunch out of the cafeteria to be given to members of the AB, etc. As time passed the AB asked for more and more risky jobs. One day the guards made an "error" and put him in the yard with another white inmate who virtually everyone on this board would know..a leader of an ally "disruptive group" to the AB...a group which the kid wasn't qualified to join because he didn't have the right ancestry...the "error" was that these 2 were the only 2 in the yard until the kid's first cellie and 3 other members of that rival gang. (Retrospectively the kid believes this was set up by SIS to try to kill the senior member of the other white gang who was causing constant legal problems for the Bureau of Prisons) He said he decided when he saw the situation he would rather be dead than live another day in these prison conditions, and he was going to take as many of his victimizers with him as possible. When the dust settled, the kid had taken a shiv from one of his attackers and killed 2 of them and wounded the other 2..saving his own life and the life of this infamous..known worldwide..leader of this ally gang. The leader immediately negotiated with the leadership of the AB for the kid's full membership in the AB. The kid became the assistant to an AB leader. While some of the requirements for membership were waved, the responsibilities of membership were not waved..in fact he was required to do more risky and dangerous jobs for the AB. At this point, he explained, he had to decide whether he would embrace the brand or risk retaliation for failing to do required jobs..he chose the former. When I was interviewing him he was up for release in 6 months, at 29 yrs old. He feared most coming back in, but the reality of his situation is/was that once out, the brand would contact him to do jobs on the outside..refusal results in bad things happening to the former inmate or the inmate's family. I don't know what happened to the young man..I would be interested to know..
Without the instigation by the Justice Department agents, this young man would have quietly served his 5 year sentence and probably never re-offended..immoral, offensive, and damnable..This entrapment is the norm in the Federal system, and the reason these gangs run the prisons..exactly the same things happen to young black, Hispanic, and Asian inmates..a dirty little secret of the Federal prison system..
As for race, it is the factor on where an inmate belongs among other inmates whether he likes it or not. The other consideration is that there are people in prison who are, IMO, inherently evil..they are the other reason new inmates can't peacefully serve their time. The policy of putting new inmates into maximum security general population until the "earn" a move to a lower security facility insures few will make it to the lower security facilities...it is backward, broken, and sorry..
Oh, and I suspect whom ever killed the prison warden did it under the extreme duress of the disruptive gang he/they was forced to join for protection many years ago..or possibly retaliation for the warden's role in his/their lifelong misery for a mistake they made many years ago..
Posted by pipoman | Sat Apr 6, 2013, 10:55 AM (2 replies)
to what LaPierre says. I don't usually even open threads about the NRA because I don't give a rats ass what they say. I have studied this issue for many years and believe I have a very firm grasp on what has already been established limitations to the 2nd Amendment and to gun control. My opinions are based in hours of reading and none of the reading is that of the NRA. I find this issue so interesting, not because I maintain an "arsenal", but because it is the only enumerated right/civil liberty which is not supported, in it's most liberal sense, by the Democratic party...I find that fascinating as a devout and proven civil libertarian..
edit..A problem arises, and will polarize the process if it continues, when someone who, like me, has no interest in the NRA, unknowingly says something which is similar to something the NRA or LaPierre said/says because it is true, and is automatically labeled an NRA shill..
Posted by pipoman | Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:01 AM (0 replies)