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Old 08-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #2601
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I have been following 538. Dude has been the most accurate predictor in I think every election I have seen him follow.

Bob
The guys' analysis is really fascinating to read, and his accuracy in past elections has been proven beyond a doubt.

It's interesting to compare his analysis to right wing and left wing sources - nuance seems impossible for either to grasp, but 538 usually manages to hit it spot on. The sad thing is, I think nuance is lost on the vast majority of the population, they just want some easy-to-understand short talking point even if it is completely false so long as it validates what they want to believe, not actual detailed truthful information.

(Edit) Although things like Measuring the Effects of Voter Identification Laws - NYTimes.com completely baffle me. How can someone run around claiming the myth of voter fraud, then justify a law that reduces turnout by 2% of the total population? Wtf?

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #2602
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You (of course) realize that the "Dust Bowl" of the Great Depression is being re-created in the central valley of California by the government. They're cutting off water to farmers while trying to save the "delta smelt", a little minnow that's not indigenous to the area.
To be technically correct, something we hate to do in the Politics sub-forum, one of the main culprits in the Dust Bowl was actually poor or rudimentary farming technique. The good news is, those farmers were not bailed out and many lost their farms and children and some starved to death.

Those were the good ol' days of true free markets! Fail to understand the future implications of not using crop rotation when you have two of the driest years in your lifetime and BOOM! Lose your livelihood and move from the Great Plains to California to become a migrant worker.

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You probably also know about the tent cities outside of Sacramento now. Right? Soup kitchens? Normal. I have a friend who runs one in Washington DC--business is booming.
I was in the process of pulling up all kinds of statistics from primary sources when I stopped.

Are you seriously trying to imply that the quality of life in the USA today is as bad or worse than it was during the Great Depression (the last time the USA went through a huge financial crisis that expanded globally, followed by extreme drought)?


[Edit: Nevermind; I see you were responding to my phrasing of "no tent cities." That was definitely not accurate on my part.]
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:24 PM   #2603
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Russia's Toughest Prisons
That is how prisons need to be. Our prison system is horrid and soft.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:36 PM   #2604
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That is how prisons need to be. Our prison system is horrid and soft.
Here's a question for you, Viper. What is our prison system for? Rehabilitation, or punishment?

If you believe the latter, you create an endless cycle of recidivism. I'll grant you that our society is heading towards that way with how we are treating ex-criminals now (See: Difficulty in getting jobs/places to live/etc.). We are effectively beginning to create a lower class in our society that the people who enter cannot ever leave once they enter it, and are forced to perpetually continue the behavior that got them there.

Further, the current ideology has begun to orient towards stripping them of their constitutional rights. Right now, prison is acting as a training ground for criminals. Send one in, they come out a better criminal - and making prisons harsher is only going to exacerbate this affect. However, you also have to remember they cannot go beyond a certain point with prison's harshness - unless you intend to create an effective death penalty for entering prison, a la the Soviet gulag. But most states have outlawed the death penalty, and creating a de facto death penalty seems insane to me if a state has outlawed it.

If this is the intent of the punishment of the behavior, I have no arguments. However, this seems at odds with how the country was founded - especially considering how many criminals came over here to get a new chance at life.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #2605
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I seriously just spent the half hour typing up a gigantic response to each of your paragraphs but, whats the point?

-We have a problem with labels in this country and like thing to either be A or B (sex offender list anyone??) and in prisons it's the same way. A person in prison for stealing a T.V. should not be treated the same as someone who murdered people.
-My multiple friends who work and have been in the prison system will unanimously tell you that prison is NOT harsh enough on the people who need it the most. They will all tell you that to most hardcore criminals, prison is not punishment, but an inconvenience.
-We flood giant housing areas with gang members and let them spend their days socializing with other gang members who have access to the outside world. How is this going to solve anything? What is the punishment?

However, I do believe we are after the same thing here. We both want better rehabilitation for inmates, correct? This is an internal affair that can't be solved by us.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #2606
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Originally Posted by viperormiata View Post
We both want better rehabilitation for inmates, correct? This is an internal affair that can't be solved by us.
Now you sould like one of those liberal judges from CT that likes to let child abuse sex offenders off with a warning.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:21 PM   #2607
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Now you sould like one of those liberal judges from CT that likes to let child abuse sex offenders off with a warning.
Oh no, no, no, no. You took that wrong. "Us" is Blean and myself.

Better rehab for hardcore criminals would be strict and harsh punishment 24/7. Isolation from other inmates, etc...make it so they never want to come back to prison again.

Edit: Along with job skills training, etc..
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #2608
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Now you sould like one of those liberal judges from CT that likes to let child abuse sex offenders off with a warning.
Death penalty. No, I'm not joking. Those sick SOBs need to GDIAF.

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Originally Posted by viperormiata View Post
I seriously just spent the half hour typing up a gigantic response to each of your paragraphs but, whats the point?

-We have a problem with labels in this country and like thing to either be A or B (sex offender list anyone??) and in prisons it's the same way. A person in prison for stealing a T.V. should not be treated the same as someone who murdered people.
I agree. Completely.

Quote:
-My multiple friends who work and have been in the prison system will unanimously tell you that prison is NOT harsh enough on the people who need it the most. They will all tell you that to most hardcore criminals, prison is not punishment, but an inconvenience.
This is the problem. Right now, we're punishing someone for possessing marijuana as harshly or even more harshly than a murderer now.

This is my huge beef, and why I specifically brought it up. The punishments for small crimes, due to being "tough on crime" are totally disproportionate to the punishments for large crime. A murderer getting a lesser sentence than someone smoking marijuana is ------- insane.

Quote:
-We flood giant housing areas with gang members and let them spend their days socializing with other gang members who have access to the outside world. How is this going to solve anything? What is the punishment?
What is the punishment? What is this going to solve?

Quote:
However, I do believe we are after the same thing here. We both want better rehabilitation for inmates, correct? This is an internal affair that can't be solved by us.
This is the part where I don't have a singular answer. But I do know that the guy stealing a TV, or the guy smoking marijuana...punishing them the same or worse than a murderer or a child molester? What the ---- good does that do anyone?

I mean, I am completely on board with what you are saying if we are specifically talking a murderer, or child abuse, or what have you.

But the problem is, we aren't. And yet, they all get lumped together due to how our prison system works.

What do, Viper, what do?
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #2609
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I....uh...wait

Did Blaen and I agree on something....!
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #2610
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every now and again that happens, it's a weird feeling inside.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:59 PM   #2611
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A murderer getting a lesser sentence than someone smoking marijuana is ------- insane.
Just out of curiosity, in what state does simple possession of marijuana carry a harsher penalty than any homocide conviction?
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:03 PM   #2612
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Just out of curiosity, in what state does simple possession of marijuana carry a harsher penalty than any homocide conviction?
What I was primarily talking about was Gingrich's advocation of the death penalty for possession of marijuana. I think there was an exact amount associated with it, but IDGAF if it's 5 pounds of the stuff, it doesn't call for the death penalty on it's own.

However, if you want more specifics: As one example, someone distributing $20 worth of marijuana, semi-recently at least, got almost 8 years in jail.

That's more than manslaughter, and about as long as some murderers spend in jail. Go check the sentencing of marijuana vs. manslaughter and murder, it gets seriously depressing.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #2613
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Okay, but you specifically claimed that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaen99 View Post
Right now, we're punishing someone for possessing marijuana as harshly or even more harshly than a murderer now.
Where is this happening?



EDIT: Ah, ninja edit. Do you have a link for the 8 year sentence for distribution (which is not exactly what you originally claimed, but whatever)?
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:09 PM   #2614
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Rape vs Marijuana Prison Sentences ę Loopy Lettuce

There is one article I was looking for, Mg.

Enjoy. Of particular interest, note Missouri's one year to life sentencing for simple possession of marijuana.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:15 PM   #2615
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Originally Posted by blaen99 View Post
Rape vs Marijuana Prison Sentences ę Loopy Lettuce

There is one article I was looking for, Mg.

Enjoy. Of particular interest, note Missouri's one year to life sentencing for simple possession of marijuana.
I'm not trying to be pedantic here, really, but you are softening your claim, and I haven't seen anything to suggest that right now we are handing out harsher penalties for "smoking marijuana" (simple possession, not distribution or trafficking) than for murder (not involuntary manslaughter, not rape). Has anyone actually been convicted of simple possession in MO and received a life sentence?

If there is such a case, I'd still be curious to see it, as it'd be an amazing argument against our draconian drug laws, but if there isn't, then better to not make the claim.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #2616
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
I'm not trying to be pedantic here, really, but you are softening your claim, and I haven't seen anything to suggest that right now we are handing out harsher penalties for "smoking marijuana" (simple possession, not distribution or trafficking) than for murder (not involuntary manslaughter, not rape). Has anyone actually been convicted of simple possession in MO and received a life sentence?

If there is such a case, I'd still be curious to see it, as it'd be an amazing argument against our draconian drug laws, but if there isn't, then better to not make the claim.
Mg, bro. A maximum sentence of life in prison for simple possession doesn't meet that criteria?

I mean, hell, Texas allows for a maximum sentence of 99 years for simple possession too.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:23 PM   #2617
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Mg, bro. A maximum sentence of life in prison for simple possession doesn't meet that criteria?

I mean, hell, Texas allows for a maximum sentence of 99 years for simple possession too.
It doesn't meet the criteria of your claim, which was that "[r]ight now, we're punishing someone for possessing marijuana as harshly or even more harshly than a murderer now."
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #2618
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
It doesn't meet the criteria of your claim, which was that "[r]ight now, we're punishing someone for possessing marijuana as harshly or even more harshly than a murderer now."
Quote:
55 Years in Prison for $350 of Pot

Before he got busted, Weldon Angelos was a 25-year-old record producer who appeared to be on the road to stardom. Founder of the Utah-based rap label Extravagant Records, Angelos had collaborated with big names like Snoop Dogg. He had a strong future ahead of him, but now he will rot in jail until he is 80 years old, because three marijuana sales to undercover cops, worth a total of $350, got him a 55-year sentence with no chance of parole.

As Judge Paul G. Cassell pointed out, Angelos got more time than he would have for hijacking an airplane (25 years), beating someone to death in a fight (13 years), or raping a 10-year-old child (11 years). Making matters worse, the father of two didnít even have a criminal record: he was a first time-offender.

Mandatory minimums for drug felonies involving a gun, however, stacked up to make Angelosí weed bust a near life sentence. Angelos never used or brandished his two weapons, but because the police said they saw them -- in his center console and strapped to his ankle -- he received one five-year and two consecutive 25-year sentences.

Judge Cassell was outraged at Angelosí mandatory sentence, calling it "unjust, cruel, and even irrational.Ē He urged President Bush to commute Angelosí sentence to 18 years or less, and 29 former judges and prosecutors filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief imploring Angelosí sentencing judge to declare the sentence unconstitutional. Unfortunately, none of those efforts were successful.
There, happy Mg? I can find dozens, hundreds of murders with less than 55 years of jailtime involved. Note the measly 11-year sentence for raping a 10-year old child specifically.

But wait, I saved the best for last.

Quote:
The Commonality of Life for Pot

Larry Jackson, a small-time crook with a long record of nonviolent offenses, got life behind bars for possessing less than 1/100th of a gram of pot...in Oklahoma.

As Eric Schlosser wrote in Reefer Madness, Oklahoma is among the worst places to get busted for weed, but itís not the only state where you can catch a life sentence for pot:

In Oklahoma City, Leland James Dodd was given two life sentences, plus ten years, for buying fifty pounds of marijuana from undercover officers in a "reverse sting." Oklahoma is not alone in handing out life sentences for buying marijuana from the government. In Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, William Stephen Bonner, a truck driver, was sent away for life without possibility of parole after state narcotics agents delivered forty pounds of marijuana to his bedroom. Raymond Pope, a resident of Georgia, was lured to Baldwin County, Alabama, in 1990 with promises of cheap marijuana; he bought twenty-seven pounds from local sheriffs in a reverse sting, was convicted, and was sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Pope's criminal record consisted of prior convictions for stealing televisions and bedspreads from Georgia motels. He is now imprisoned 400 miles from his family. He has three young children.

The consequences of a marijuana arrest can be shockingly cruel, and they go well beyond those mentioned in this brief list. Many employers fire people instantly for a drug arrest, even if it is only for a tiny amount of pot. Nonviolent marijuana users are caged alongside dangerous felons in facilities where rape and abuse are rampant.

And while the consequences of our war on pot are multifaceted, less can be said for its achievements. The government spends more than $7 billion annually to enforce marijuana prohibition, but has not successfully deterred marijuana use. In fact, more teens now smoke pot than cigarettes, but our relentless pursuit to punish marijuana users nonetheless continues apace.
Which begs the question: Do you support life sentences for any amount of marijuana, especially considering that even first degree murderers rarely get that lengthly of a sentence?
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:30 PM   #2619
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There, happy Mg?
Well, no, not happy; but satisfied, yes.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #2620
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I have put much thought into a flat tax or consumption tax Both would be awful for many reasons I donít want to get into right now.

Iím for eliminating pretty most all loopholes and retain a slightly progressive income tax at the federal level And All forms of income being treated the same for tax purposes.

Romneyís tax plan is basically to make the tax rate for his class of un-earned income extractors or so called job creators (doublespeak right there) zero while eliminating existing tax loopholes for the poor and middle class ~98% of everybody else to pay for it claiming his plan is revenue neutral.

Its just class warfare he is proposing. It will most likely lead to decline and distruction of the nation.

We're LIVING class warfare, courtesy Obama. If you want to take out the loopholes and have a slightly progressive tax rate, I'm all for it. It's good to agree on something, right?

Romney has said that--besides knocking out loopholes, he agrees with the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles study (what did Obama do about that?!), and that taxes would NOT be reduced on high income individuals. Further, SS would become means tested.

There's a lot of faulty information about Romney out there. I am NOT his #1 supporter, but feel that with Obama that the U.S. could very well not recover.
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