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Postby RugbyD » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:01 pm

dannyolbb wrote:Also, if we are going to be discussing politics, wouldn't a more salient topic be the illegal Bush wiretaps? You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that John Dean called "an impeachable offense."

The issue is far greyer than you make it out to be. I'm probably in the top 1% of people most militantly against what was done, but if you want to talk about what's legal or illegal, from what I heard from both sides in print and on the sunday shows, it looks like this was about as close to illegal as you can get without being illegal. It appears as if there's no law that specifically authorized these actions, but the case can be made that by looking at the provisions of 2 different laws, one could infer that this was within the legal scope. It also depends on if you are of the school that either selectively or exclusively believes in the 9th and 10th amendments.

Lets start another thread if you want to go further since it could easily run several posts.
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Postby Big Pimpin » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:24 pm

Phatferd wrote:The sad irony with this is a majority of those kids are the ones overcrowding the jails in 20 years and live off your tax dollars.


You're right about that, and honestly it's very sad that legalized abortion is the cause of falling crime rates. Crime or not, I still have a problem with abortion. Someone read Freakonomics...

Phatferd wrote:I respect everyones beliefs, I don't agree to a lot of peoples (seems to be the majority for the past 6 years :-t ) beliefs. Big Pimpin, I am not attacking you when I say this, I respect your decisions, however, I think you are being dishonest with yourself if you are saying your belief on abortion has nothing to do with religion. I don't know if you are Christian, Catholic, Jewish or whatever, but you gain you beliefs and morals from your religion and upbringing, therefore religion ultimately sets the foundation of your thoughts on these kinds of matters.


I never said that my beliefs on abortion weren't shaped by my upbringing and/or religion. I believe very strongly that the way I grew up and the things that my parents and other adults around me believed had an impact on the way I think today. The only thing I addressed involving religion was capital punishment.

Phatferd wrote:If you are concerned with overcrowding then you are looking at the totally wrong issue. The people on Death Row are less than 1% of people filling up our prisons. If you want to make prisons less crowded then support the propositions to reduce drug related punishments. Drug offenders are the ones overcrowding our jails, most harmless to nobody but themselves.


This is one issue where I'm more of a Libertarian thinker than a Republican. I absolutely support the decriminalization of most drug offenses. I support legalization of marijuana and the psychodelics, and am on the fence about cocaine and heroin. However, there are some drugs (like meth) that not only do terrible damage to the body but also spawn a whole culture of crime. I do think society would benefit from some legalized drugs. Not only could you regulate them and keep them safer, you could tax the hell out of them.

As far as the number of death row inmates, I can't argue with that either. But even if it's less than 100 people, that money could be much better spent on education or our transportation infrastructure than on convicted criminals. I also think there should be less of the "life in prison" sentence and more of the "fry 'em" punishment, which would help out even more.

Phatferd wrote:Why don't we spend more money on recitivism programs to get these people turned around while in jail so they don't come right back. In reality the biggest problem with our system is we want these people to go back out into the world after serving their time without a hitch.


I agree with this as well, much like I think that anyone on welfare should have to take some kind of class to make them into a productive member of society, so when they get off the program (2 year limit, say) they'll be all right. With the money saved by not putting small-time drug offenders in jain and putting more people to death sooner, you could easily bankroll a better rehabilitation program.

Phatferd wrote:I am all for sending people to jail to pay their debts, but these people have almost zero chance of ever being a success after their term. Nobody wants to hire an ex-criminal. Half of these people came from families that didn't provide the emotional and educational support to make them succeed in life in the first place. We want to protect the unborn because, "Well that's not the baby's fault", however, it's not the born childs fault to be raised by drug addicted/sexually abusice/uninvolved parents.

Then the kid becomes a teen/adult and continues the path that he only knew and has his own kid who follows the same path and so on. We want to create this big to do about protecting a fetus, however, we don't want to do enough about those already living. Sometimes I think it's better for the kids sake that he never sees the world he was intended for. I know this is a harsh thing to say, but in my opinion its reality. I know not every kid from a screwed up home becomes a danger to society, but the majority do.


I don't disagree with this assessment. My thoughts are that there are people out there who would love to adopt and that people in the situation above have the choice to give that child up and not bring them up in environment.

Phatferd wrote:My final thought on this whole thing is I personally don't believe in abortion. I, however, see the other side. I have a very big problem forcing my beliefs onto others, knowing how much I can't stand those who do. Because of this, I believe in the freedom of choice, allowing those people to make their own decision for themselves. I can't tell somebody what will be best for their particular situation, because I'm not in their shoes. I can, however, make my own and would do everything I could to talk someone out of abortion and finding alternative means.


I can see both sides too, I really can. However, my anti-abortion beliefs have gotten just that much stronger with the birth of my first child. I just don't see abortion itself as being a reasonable means of birth control. If you don't want to have a baby, don't get knocked up. Then when you throw in the normal emotional distress that many women experience in their lives after having an abortion, it makes it that much worse. When you add all of that up together, I just think we'd live in a better place if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and made abortion illegal again.
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Postby Big Pimpin » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:33 pm

Coppermine wrote:We should try to move our socity to a voluntarily pro-life society... because just like with the issue of drug use, you simply can't legislate people against their own decisions, regardless of how your personal morals come into play.


This is a great comment. If we can't make abortion illegal (and admittedly it would be very tough to do), we absolutely need to preach responsible sexual behavior which would (hopefully) lower abortion rates on its own.
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Postby WharfRat » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:51 pm

Big Pimpin wrote:I also think there should be less of the "life in prison" sentence and more of the "fry 'em" punishment, which would help out even more.


I don't really feel strongly one way or another about the death penalty, but the main objection I do have about it is that there have been a number of occasions in which the guilt of the convicted is questionable at best. If you install a "speed lane" into the death penalty, you're inviting this type of thing, and if it's a problem now, speeding up the process will make it worse. I expect with the rise of DNA testing, the execution of the questionably guilty will decline, but even so, I have a tough time condoning a system with such uncertainty. Ideally, we'd have perfect knowledge in all criminal cases; but the next-best thing would be to somehow limit capital punishment to cases in which there was absolutely no doubt. The thought of the state executing a potentially innocent individual makes my stomache turn.

Also, I haven't looked at numbers, but I imagine the "speed lane" fix wouldn't have much of a cost-saving effect in any meaningful way, when you consider how much we spend on education, etc.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:01 pm

lol - love the diversion fellas. So how about that media bias, eh?
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Postby Coppermine » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:09 pm

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:lol - love the diversion fellas. So how about that media bias, eh?


I was just thinking that... we got WAY off topic with this one, but such is the nature of social discussions.

Anyway, media bias this, media bias that...
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Postby Absolutely Adequate » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:09 pm

Although I seem to be a little late to the party, let's see what I can add.

1. The authors did not receive any funding for this study. However, in the past they have previously received funding from the three premier conservative think tanks in the United States: the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), The Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Groseclose was a Hoover Institution 2000-2001 national fellow; Milyo, according to his CV, received a $40,500 grant from AEI; and, according to The Philanthropy Roundtable, Groseclose and Milyo were named by Heritage as Salvatori fellows in 1997.
But since they didn't receive any funding for this study, they're non-partisan? Hmm...

2. From your study:
As a simplified example, imagine that there were only two think tanks, and suppose that the New York Times cited the first think tank twice as often as the second. Our method asks: What is the estimated ADA score of a member of Congress who exhibits the same frequency (2:1) in his or her speeches? This is the score that our method would assign the New York Times.


So, essentially, they make the assumption that if a member of Congress cites a think tank approvingly, that makes that source biased. Then, when a newspaper uses that same source, they accept that as proof of the newspaper's bias?

According to your study, the NRA is just barely conservative, scoring a 45.9. Another "conservative" think tank, according to this study? The ACLU, which scored a 49.8. The RAND Corporation, which has very strong ties to the dept of defense, scored a 60.4, making it pretty liberal.

Do you really believe that the RAND corporation is more liberal than the ACLU?

3. What happens when we have a story on race relations? The story will often ask the NAACP for their ideas. For balance, they also ask people on the streets. Does that affect their "balance" score? Of course not. The individuals don't count in this study. For the study to be balanced, according to Milyo, they'd probably have to quote the KKK.

4. Does anyone really believe that the Wall Street Journal is America's most liberal news source?

5. They cite other studies, but those studies are all from conservatives. They completely skip over more substantial, non-partisan studies. For instance, the Journal of Communication did a meta-analysis of 59 other studies a few years back. Here's a link: http://joc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/conte ... t/50/4/133

They found no bias. No credible study has ever found any bias in the news. Of course, junk-theory finds whatever they want - which is how we end up with this sort of study. This is alegitimate study in the same way that ID is a legitimate science, in other words.
Last edited by Absolutely Adequate on Fri Dec 23, 2005 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby acsguitar » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:55 pm

Absolutely Adequate wrote:Although I seem to be a little late to the party, let's see what I can add.

1. The authors did not receive any funding for this study. However, in the past they have previously received funding from the three premier conservative think tanks in the United States: the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), The Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Groseclose was a Hoover Institution 2000-2001 national fellow; Milyo, according to his CV, received a $40,500 grant from AEI; and, according to The Philanthropy Roundtable, Groseclose and Milyo were named by Heritage as Salvatori fellows in 1997.
But since they didn't receive any funding for this study, they're non-partisan? Hmm...

2. From your study:
As a simplified example, imagine that there were only two think tanks, and suppose that the New York Times cited the first think tank twice as often as the second. Our method asks: What is the estimated ADA score of a member of Congress who exhibits the same frequency (2:1) in his or her speeches? This is the score that our method would assign the New York Times.


So, essentially, they make the assumption that if a member of Congress cites a think tank approvingly, that makes that source biased. Then, when a newspaper uses that same source, they accept that as proof of the newspaper's bias?

According to your study, the NRA is just barely conservative, scoring a 45.9. Another "conservative" think tank, according to this study? The ACLU, which scored a 49.8. The RAND Corporation, which has very strong ties to the dept of defense, scored a 60.4, making it pretty liberal.

Do you really believe that the RAND corporation is more liberal than the ACLU?

3. What happens when we have a story on race relations? The story will often ask the NAACP for their ideas. For balance, they also ask people on the streets. Does that affect their "balance" score? Of course not. The individuals don't count in this study. For the study to be balanced, according to Milyo, they'd probably have to quote the KKK.

4. Does anyone really believe that the Wall Street Journal is America's most liberal news source?

5. They cite other studies, but those studies are all from conservatives. They completely skip over more substantial, non-partisan studies. For instance, the Journal of Communication did a meta-analysis of 59 other studies a few years back. Here's a link: http://joc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/conte ... t/50/4/133

They found no bias. No credible study has ever found any bias in the news. Of course, junk-theory finds whatever they want - which is how we end up with this sort of study.


wow sometimes I think AA is the greatest mind I have ever come across.


btw I found AA! wooo 2 for 2 ;-D
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Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:24 pm

Coppermine wrote:Our drug laws are antiquated and the "War on Drugs" is futile.


Not to mention unconstitutional.

The War on Drugs is just the latest in our "war on" things to fail, whith the War on Terrorism being the next.

This has been a very interesting thread...goog reading.
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Postby WharfRat » Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:42 pm

Nice post, AA. Dare I say, beyond adequate. ;-D ;-D
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