Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Two Shootings

On April 17, 2005, during an interrogation, Esteban Carpio shot and killed police detective James L. Allen of Providence, RI. Carpio was re-arrested 45 minutes later. He was punched in the face three times by police detective Christopher Zarella, breaking bones in Carpio's face.
Comments on Carpio:
  • The streets are not like a court room. There is such thing as street justice, which compensates for the crimes that are not paid for by the legal justice system.
  • That's what he fucking gets.
  • He brought that upon himself
  • Should have let the family's of the people he killed go at him, I promise it would have been much worse. Sympathy sorry we're all out here.
  • Cops should be commended. He walked into the court alive even after shooting a cop. Now that is something!
  • Bet the two people he killed are still dead...
  • Justice bitches...  maybe you shouldn't shoot people in the face
  • This dude took a mans life away. He desevered to be killed. Hopefully he looses sight, can't talk, and spends his life in jail.
  • Bet the cop still has no face and a family torn apart by this persons attempt at flight. What bothers me is now taxes have to pay to house this fool. He should have been taken out. Eye for an eye as in Old Testament fashion.
  • This footage makes me feel all warm inside.  I am so glad he got beat like that...yes, yes..yes... because he is an animal!!!!  Kill him, smash him tare him apart.  I hope the cops do this to all these scum bags!!!
  • He got A well deserved beating,they should have not stopped and finished him off'.I can't find one good reason for scum like this to be kept alive,let the taxpayer's money go to something worth while.
In Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014, police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager. Evidence about the shooting was presented to a grand jury, which on November 24 decided not to indict officer Wilson of any crime. In the aftermath of the grand jury decision, residents of Ferguson protested, both violently and nonviolently:
  • National Review: There is clearly significant racial tension in Ferguson. But the best way to resolve it is... by working peacefully through the available democratic mechanisms.... [T]he grand jury resisted the mammoth political pressure to indict strictly to assuage racial grievances, instead opting to follow the evidence. When it comes to justice, that is as much as any American can hope for.
  • Ian Tuttle: There is in fact a law in Missouri that “protects and values” not just Michael Brown’s life but every life — namely, statutes that punish homicide and manslaughter. A grand jury, weighing the evidence, determined that Darren Wilson did not transgress those laws.... As a body politic, perhaps Ferguson should not “move on,” but, legally, Darren Wilson is not a criminal according to the law of his home state, and to punish him as if he were one would be to dismiss the law as illegitimate. That serves no one.
  • Jonah Goldberg: I can’t muster sympathy for the looters, car-burners, the dress-up Bolsheviks and that ilk.... Michael Brown’s family ... should be applauded for their honorable and responsible public statements against violence and rioting.
  • Kathleen Parker: We see in Ferguson, Mo., what happens when respect for our legal process is lost: Arsonists and looters expressed their outrage that a grand jury didn't act as they thought it should.... Ferguson is what you get when mob rule overwhelms the rule of law, which was created as the defense of civilized people against the mob.
  • David Koller: Michael Brown got what he deserved.  Justice was served.
  • The problem with protests in general is they do nothing but create inconvience...and in some cases damage and injury.   The real way to pressure for change is to work through the government, who were elected to govern and who can actually change things.
  • all I see is a bunch of troublemakers that cover their faces like it was Halloween.
  • Why is it that the lowest common denominator, the thugs, get so much press and support. Oh wait, it's other thugs and lowlifes who support them. My bad.
  • The Grand Jury heard the facts and read the testimony - that's law.  What we're now witnessing is criminal trespass, vandalism and maybe homicide. Lock em up!
  • Civil Disobediance used to mean something constructive, now it's just garden variety thuggery.
  • They didn't want justice. They wanted  a lynching. If they had gotten a lynching they would have demanded Wilson burned at the stake. If they had gotten that they would have rioted looted and burned anyway. It's what they do. It's all they can ever do.  What you saw on the streets of Ferguson is the uncivilized gutter trash of society.
  • The moral principle they're fighting for seems to be, if you don't like a justice system ruling, you have the right to act like a pack of insanely rabid jackals and loot burn and destroy everything you can to show your displeasure. The philosophy of the Ferguson maniacs is about as far from Dr Martin Luther King as Adolf Hitler but by the looks of the cowardly punks destroying private property in the name of justice, very few of them would even know who Dr King was, let alone be intelligent enough to emulate his methods.
  • For all the folks who are giving the “black community has no other voice other than to commit acts of senseless violence crowd”, anarchy is anarchy. What about the Caucasian community in California who are now technically a minority? If a Caucasian was shot by a latino officer under similar circumstances, is burn baby burn OK? If every aggrieved community is given the go ahead to burn down the town, that is what we will have. [1]
  • Let's all have a peaceful protest.  What is the protest about? Racism? Poverty? Rule of law?  Desire to loot a licka sto?

Overlawyering, Part II

Shorter Kathleen Parker: Having a personal opinion about whether Bill Cosby is a rapist is a violation of his due process rights. Blog posts and tweets must meet the same evidentiary standards as a criminal conviction. Also, FERGUSON!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Even Prime Fallacy

The simplest possible Even Prime Fallacy is shown below:
Salviati: Most prime numbers are odd.
Simplicio: Two is even! Your argument completely falls apart.
We may express this idea more formally:
Salviati: p is sometimes true.
Simplicio: Yes, but p is sometimes false! Your argument completely falls apart.
Simplicio has failed to disprove Salviati, not because Simplicio's rebuttal is illogical or irrelevant, but because it is literally the exact same argument as the one Salviati made! "p is sometimes false" is an inevitable logical consequence of "p is sometimes true."
Someone who invokes an even prime fallacy probably thinks of an argument as "words you say in response to words someone else says," rather than as an exercise in logic.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Today in Drivers Obeying the Law...

The sign says NO TURN ON RED. It very clearly indicates what lanes you are legally allowed to turn into.

Naturally, the car in front of me turns, on red, into a lane in which it is not allowed. He joins a veritable parade of cars illegally blocking the transit lanes, for what purpose I cannot discern. Further up the street, a car honks at a bus pulling away from the bus stop, even though the car is breaking the law by being in a transit lane. Behind me, a train has to slow to a crawl. The trains take a full block to come to a stop, so the operator has to hit the brakes early to avoid crushing all the cars parked on the tracks.
Drivers think the law is very important, which is why they always obey it.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Consent Schmonsent

At any given moment, one person wants sex more passionately than the other. What's more, whether due to nurture or nature, there is usually a difference in tempo between men and women, with women generally requiring more "convincing." And someone who requires convincing is not yet in a position to offer "affirmative" much less "enthusiastic" consent. That doesn't mean that the final experience is unsatisfying—but it does mean that initially one has to be coaxed out of one's comfort zone. Affirmative consent would criminalize that.
I am finding it next to impossible to read this passage in any other way than "women just need to be raped a little bit or they won't want to have sex." It is deeply, deeply creepy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rhetorical Bestiary: Free Speech is Censorship

Alan Dershowitz:
I would bet anything that 99 percent of the people who are demanding that [Salaita] be restored tenure would be on the exact opposite side of this if he’d been making pro-Israel but equally uncivil statements.
Hypocrisy about free speech is universal. Even among Supreme Court justices, who are supposed to be non-ideological, Epstein, Parker, and Segal found a strong tendency to support the free speech rights of their ideological brethren and oppose the free speech rights of their ideological opponents. No doubt your average Joe is even less principled than Scalia, Ginsburg, or Kennedy.
If free speech hypocrisy is so banal, why make so much of it? The argument goes something like this:
  1. Supporters of X's right to say p claim they care about free speech rights.
  2. Were X saying ¬p, X's current supporters would not defend his free speech rights.
  3. Therefore, censorship is good! P.S., I am not a crackpot.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Clinton Street: Still Too Scary

Two weeks ago, Bike Portland ran a story on Portland's Clinton St. bike boulevard. It included a quote from PBOT traffic safety specialist Greg Raisman:
Our safety performance [on bike boulevards] over time has been excellent. 70 percent of our streets are residential. Less than 20 percent of bike and pedestrian crash activity happens there. … There’s comfort factors that are important in how many cars are on the road. But from a pure safety perspective, the big threat is where you’re crossing the busy streets.
Immediately after finishing the article, I hopped on my bike and rode down Clinton to go to dinner with my girlfriend and her coworkers. Just after I passed 43rd Ave. heading toward Chavez, I saw a group of three cyclists heading in the opposite direction with a Subaru following close behind. I kept my eye on the Subaru, because dangerous passing is a daily occurrence on Clinton. Suddenly and without warning, the car swerved into my lane and started heading straight for me. I had to steer hard to the right, almost colliding with a parked car; the Subaru passed within a foot of my handlebar.
I have been bike commuting for thirteen years, and this is by far the scariest thing that has ever happened to me on my bike. I am thankful to have escaped without injury, but I worry even more about other riders. I had two or three seconds at most to react before a collision happened. What if it had been my girlfriend? She's newer to cycling and can't steer as tightly as I can. What if she hit her brakes too hard and lost control of her bike? What if she avoided the head-on but slammed into a parked car at 15 mph? What about an 8 year old or an 80 year old?
As harrowing as this incident was, this isn't the first close call I've had on Clinton. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to dart off the road to avoid a head-on. I ride Clinton between 51st and 21st to get to work, and not a day goes by without a dangerous pass or two in the morning and another couple in the evening. I applaud Raisman for bringing crash data to the table, but in this case the data can't possibly measure the risk properly. There is an epidemic of aggressive, dangerous driving on Clinton. The only reason why it's not showing up in the crash data is because (thank God) it's been near misses so far. Sooner or later, one of those near misses won't be a miss at all. I am quite certain that if a less skilled rider had been on Clinton that night you'd have read about the crash in the Oregonian, not on some insignificant blog.