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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
Number of posts: 653

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As a child born in the 50s,

there was still a fair amount of discussion about World War II. A key thing said repeatedly at the time (in the 60s for me as to when I can recollect it as a boy) that supposedly separated the Allies from the Nazis or Japanese was our position on torture.

So I don't get the poll and I'm having trouble believing it or accepting it. It certainly wasn't what people seemed to feel widely about torture when I was growing up.

Maybe I'm naive. But my feelings about torture haven't changed in 50+ years. It's just simply wrong.

Even if one accepted everything Wilson had to say about

this (and I absolutely do not), I cannot accept any officer discharging 12 shots in a residential neighborhood to bring down an unarmed shoplifting suspect. One of those 12 pistol shots (many that missed and often do because pistols are not very accurate) could have killed an innocent person. The bigger picture of public safety has to come first and I strongly suspect all decent police forces on the planet would agree on this.

For randomly selected examples from a google serach:

Florida police fatally shoot innocent bystander during bar altercation

There will be no charges laid against police who shot and killed two people in Montreal last year, including an innocent bystander on his way to work.

NYPD officers fired three shots on a crowded Manhattan street near Times Square on Saturday night, missing the man they believed had a weapon but striking two bystanders, police said.

etc, etc

Wilson should have been fired for that alone - for carelessly putting the public at risk.

My sense of it is he got pissed off and murdered the kid - so I'm not oblivious to that outrageous behavior either. I'm pointing out (again as I did months ago) that the cowboy shootout-at-the-Ok-Corral conduct was also way over the top - and the officer in the top post might have pointed that out.

I'm sick about the result

I still think the world of Obama and the final six years of his presidency have largely gone to waste.

He told us throughout the 2008 campaign that he couldn't bring about change by himself. Congress gridlock has proven that the past four years. He told us that WE had to bring about the change and he needed our help.

Against the big corporate money, we have failed and I'm brutally disappointed.

Obama Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention 2008

What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

2008 victory Speech
This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

Americans voted for Obama but they didn't vote for "new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time" in Congress. They brought most of the same old cronies back.

Obama said time and again, he wasn't the change. That the change had to come from the people. He knew Congress had to change but that he alone could not change Congress - it had to come from the people.

And he said that stuff all long - he didn't wait until the end of his campaign to spring it on people.

The American people didn't deliver.

I don't mind the post

It's something one who has ridden a bike can relate to.

It tries to address a key problem with white privilege: if you're white, it's hard to relate because you haven't experienced being black.

That reminded me of an effort in the early 60s and one before that:

Black Like Me
Black Like Me is a nonfiction book by journalist John Howard Griffin first published in 1961. Griffin was a white native of Dallas, Texas and the book describes his six-week experience travelling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man.
Griffin became a national celebrity for a time. In a 1975 essay included in later editions of the book, he described the hostility and threats to him and his family that emerged in his hometown of Mansfield, Texas. He moved to Mexico for a number of years for safety.

Ray Sprigle
In May 1948, Sprigle, using the name "James Crawford", took a thirty day, four thousand mile trip through the Deep South pretending to be black. He was supported in this investigation by the NAACP and accompanied by John Wesley Dobbs. He wrote a series of articles based on the journey, which appeared on the front page of the Post-Gazette under the title I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days. The articles formed the basis of Sprigle's 1949 book In the Land of Jim Crow. Sprigle's work predated the more famous John Howard Griffin's similar investigation, reported in Griffin's book Black Like Me, by over a decade

It also reminded me of my favorite musician when I was 4 years old: Fats Waller and a famous tune he contributed to that helped provide some perspective on this:

(Thomas "Fats" Waller / Harry Brooks / Andy Razaf)

Out in the street, shufflin' feet
Couples passin' two by two
While here am I, left high and dry
Black, and 'cause I'm black I'm blue

Browns and yellers, all have fellers
Gentlemen prefer them light
Wish I could fade, can't make the grade
Nothing but dark days in sight

Cold, empty bed, springs hard as lead
Pains in my head, feel like old Ned
What did I do to be so black and blue?

No joys for me, no company
Even the mouse ran from my house
All my life through I've been so black and blue

I'm white inside, it don't help my case
'Cause I can't hide, what is on my face, oh!

I'm so forlorn, life's just a thorn
My heart is torn, why was I born?
What did I do to be so black and blue?

'Cause you're black, folks think you lack
They laugh at you, and scorn you too
What did I do to be so black and blue?

When you are near, they laugh and sneer
Set you aside and you're denied
What did I do to be so black and blue?

How sad I am, each day I feel worse
My mark of Ham seems to be a curse, oh

How will it end? ain't got a friend
My only sin is my skin
What did I do to be so black and blue?

Here's Louis Armstrong performing it in '65 (without all the lyrics)

I think if people keep trying to find ways for others to relate, more people will understand and modify their behavior accordingly.

On one hand, I feel notable progress in my lifetime has been made. On the other, it can be painfully disillusioning to see places like Ferguson continuing to oppress blacks still exist. It says to me "we still have a lot more work to do to wipe out this atrocity".

I suppose I can agree only to a limited degree

When I see the Koch Bros and others spending / or the campaign finance laws ...

When I see all the warrants and oppression against blacks in Ferguson, inhibiting their right to vote and it leaves me wondering how many other cities like Ferguson there are ...

When I see all the stuff the GOP has done against minority or low income people to deny them their right to vote ...

When I see all the gerrymandering that has gone on in GOP run states ...

When I see FOX News and the like ... and the mess in the media giving stupid crap like the Birther issue air time ...

When I see all the voting irregularities ...

When I hear all the obvious lies about Obama and the poor job to widely discredit them ...

When I realize many folks struggling to get by, working three part time jobs, don't have the time to digest the political issues because feeding their kids is desperately higher on their priority list and requires most of their time and they can't afford the internet or a daily paper ...

etc, etc

I'm not so sure all of the Americans you condemn are getting a fair shake. It really troubles me.

My impression based upon personal experience

of the presidents during my lifetime is that there was some reverence for the office lost with Nixon and maybe Johnson before him. Eisenhower and JFK seemed more revered or respected and there seemed to be places you didn't go with them that US citizens started to go with Johnson and Nixon. It carried on or eroded from there.

Some of it had to do with TV journalism of the 60s-70s going against Vietnam or uncovering Watergate (TV broadened the impact of the Washington Post exposing Watergate).

Some of what we see today probably has something to do with the paparazzi nature of some political punditry and playing "us vs them" on cable news to get ratings or the internet giving a broader voice to extreme factions that we haven't learned to filter out proportionately in our dialogues.

But I do feel there is something to what the man is saying. I do not think President Obama has been treated well or fairly. I think a hunk of the difference is based upon racism - even in congress.

I can't "prove" that. It's just how I feel about it.

I have the utmost respect for President Obama. To me, he's the best president of my lifetime (I go back to Eisenhower). I'm saddened that a man with such potential for greatness is curtailed by the worst gridlock I've ever seen in congress and the most powerful man in the world can't stop it or solve it. The people I'm most sad and heartbroken for are Americans - who deserve better than this.

Neither do I

In 2012, an estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 9.2 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month.

So let's be fair and revise the number:
23,900,000 drug users - 1 Mike Brown, maybe a drug user = 22,899,999 maybe left to go ....

At 11 shots per drug user, they'll need 262,899,989 bullets. Call the Koch Bros and the NRA for funding ...

(/end silly sarcasm)

I agree

I'll rephrase

I hope the Grand Jury makes his lawyer provide an explanation in a criminal court.

I think I'm a fair person, "innocent until proven guilty" and all for due process, etc.

But I think Mike Brown's family and friends and America needs to hear very clearly why an unarmed young man got shot down under the scrutiny of a court carefully examining all the evidence and testimony.

One curious thing:

where's the sound of the shot that supposedly happened in the car? According to the accounts I've read or heard, he didn't shoot six times in the car. It was one shot.

The sound of the shots is quite clear. The car window had to be open for the struggle. Why don't we hear that first shot? I expect it wasn't as loud because it was in the car but those shots are so clear outside the car, I would have expected to hear something from the open window of the car. Maybe it's before the part of the tape CNN played?

The other thing the officer will have to explain are two general decisions to shoot: the first burst and the second burst. There's some time in between to deliberate so two separate decisions got made to use deadly force. Can he really convince that his life or the lives of others was in danger both times? Can he defend that he didn't put other innocent lives in more danger by rattling off all those shots on a residential street -many that missed? I think he's got a real problem there and the audio pause really helps to accentuate that.

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