Up for Debate: N.O. police officers sentenced in Danziger incident

Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 12:32am

A federal judge handed down strong sentences to four News Orleans police officers and one detective Wednesday for their roles in the shootings of unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Do you agree with the punishment they received? How do feel about how the case was handled?

211 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 11:41

Ben, not everybody in any state shares the same view...why do you prefer the "one-state one-vote" paradigm, as opposed to the "one-man one-vote" paradigm?

The consensus view of millions of human beings should count for a lot more than the absolutely partisan view of fifty non-living artificial political entities.

And those who argue that what's good for one state within our union of states may not be good for every state within our union of states - or the USA as a whole - should take a good hard look at one of the underlying myths that remains an unchallenged, foundational element of the US-Israel "special relationship".

According to the made-in-Israel myth, what's good for the Jewish state is good for the United States of America and good for each and every state within our union of American states.

Can we all see the folly of the idea that whatever is good for a state outside our union of American states is good for each and every American state and good for the entire USA?

Any "Amens" on that?

By: gdiafante on 4/5/12 at 11:42

That's true, slacker. Plus, I doubt the GOP would be too happy about it because they tend to get rural votes while the Dems get urban votes. It would seem to indicate a slight advantage to the Dems.

I say slight because even though there is only 100 million registered voters, there are 300 million people in the U.S. A third of which belong to four states, as I stated earlier. Two are usually solidly blue (NY, CA), FL can go either way and TX is solidly red. All you would have to do is get a small majority in those four states and you'd likely get the majority of registered voters.

By: Ummm... on 4/5/12 at 11:46

slacker said: "As gadiafante mentioned, if the country went to a straight popular vote, 4 state's would determine the winner. That's a fact, anyway you want to spin it."

Here's my spin- if the country went to a straight popular vote, individuals, not states, would determine the winner, no matter where those individuals lived.

By: gdiafante on 4/5/12 at 11:50

Here are some facts (and myths) about the EC...

There has only been four times, since its inception, that the popular vote has differed from the EC winner.

Since its inception, 156 electors have not cast a vote in favor of the party's designated candidates. 71 of these due to the candidate's death. 82 were changed on the personal initiative of the elector (23 of which came in 1836).

No elector has changed their vote since 2000.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 11:53

By: slacker on 4/5/12 at 11:41

As gadiafante mentioned, if the country went to a straight popular vote, 4 state's would determine the winner. That's a fact, anyway you want to spin it.

American voters, who happen to live in four populous states, could possibly determine the winner...that's a better way to look at it, Slack.

Right now, as we saw in 2000, a single non-living state decided the presidential election matter....as ordered in a 5-4 USSC decision...you could say that Bush won by a single vote...Clarence Thomas' vote was the deciding vote....Clarence paid back the Bush family for giving him his cushy job...mission accomplished.

By: brrrrk on 4/5/12 at 11:54

I think that the biggest problem we have right now is this idea that we are not all in this together (as some would have us believe). Like it or not we all live within open environments, both political and environmental, all of which is contained within a globally closed environment (for all intensive purposes). The idea that what we do has no effect on anyone else is ridiculous. And until we can get beyond this.......

Yes, yes, I know that some out there would argue the importance of the individual (and I'm not saying that individuals can't make huge contributions), but the importance of the individual most be taken in the context of the whole. In fact, I would even go so far as the say that the position that most libertarians take regarding the individual isn't even supported in nature..... one less carbon atom will not change a piece of wood into a rock. Our societies have progessed far more through cooperation than they've ever progressed though individualism.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 11:55

So, GD, four strikes and you're still not out? How many times does the system have to fail before you discard it...once should have been enough.

By: yogiman on 4/5/12 at 11:58

If the race was only for the popular vote, and they weren't being counted by the states, why would there be states? We would only become the United America. What would it mean with states in the name?

By: gdiafante on 4/5/12 at 12:00

Nothing is perfect, but 4 times in nearly 250 years isn't bad. The alternative is worse, IMO.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 12:04

Just calling the nation "America" would suit me just fine...the record of states rights is one of bigotry and shame...can't we all just get a bong? One nation. Indivisible.

And now...more Kum-Bah-Yah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo9AH4vG2wA

By: Captain Nemo on 4/5/12 at 12:06

I agree with slackers, the country is too polarized.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/5/12 at 12:08

Ah yes the United 420 of America.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 12:22

GD, the US presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election....if the EC system failed us four times, as you admit, according to my math, that's a 7% failure rate on one of the most important decisions that a voter can make....to me, that's too high a failure rate....anyone else agree with me on that part?

I mean, would you trust a car whose brakes fail 7% of the time? Or the throttle sticks wide open 7% of the time? We can do better and we should demand it.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/5/12 at 12:32

I feel that there are some in this country that think they can do better with out a government. That could be true until the Chinese marched in.

By: brrrrk on 4/5/12 at 12:33

Loner, in an idea world I would agree with you, if not for this....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPsl_TuFdes&feature=related

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 12:40

I don't agree that it failed us 4 times loner. That's your assertion. Your 1 state 1 vote is a ridiculous exaggeration of my position... add another straw man to the tally if anyone's counting.

The history on the EC doesn't matter anyway because the campaigns would be run entirely differently had the candidates been in a popular vote race so that number, historically, is really meaningless because we don't know what the real popular vote would have been had that been the rules under which the election was being decided.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 1:03

"Our societies have progressed far more through cooperation than they've ever progressed though individualism"

But when you make cooperation compulsory via force the ideal falls apart, brrrk. And the state can in no way provide for one man without depriving another either of his time or treasure (with, too, a substantial non-value added tax in the whole system for the leg-breakers doing the taking).

That is why charity, to the degree possible, should not be the realm of government because once you cross that line where is the incentive to do other than receive of the work of others; or in the case of the bureaucrat benefit from a tax on the transaction; or in the case of the worker not produce anymore in the first place?

For the work/reward cycle, upon which all government and charity is dependent, to remain healthy it must to the degree possible reward hard work, innovation and risk of personal wealth and not reward those who would wish only to benefit from those traits in others.

By: brrrrk on 4/5/12 at 1:15

And as always, Ben's arguments boil down to property and money.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 1:20

I read your post about a Tennessee EC, ummm, over and over and I cannot yet see how you take the argument and example at hand and come back to the conclusion you have; so I'll simply chalk this up to us talking completely different languages.

In the case of gd he is considerate of the facts and he is after legitimate fairness - makes sense. In the case of loner he knows exactly the points of the matter but chooses to ignore them in favor of his preferred agenda -- perfectly fine. With you, guy, it's like you are trying to defend someone else's position because it sound's good to you.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 1:26

Ben, to set the record straight, Gdiafante stated, in his 11:50 post: "There has only been four times, since its inception, that the popular vote has differed from the EC winner"....then in his 12:00 post he wrote: "Nothing is perfect, but 4 times in nearly 250 years isn't bad. The alternative is worse, IMO."

I think that Gd was thinking that the EC vote result failed to match the popular vote result "only" 4 times in 250 years....I reduced the 250 figure to the number of presidential elections, giving us the 4 in 56 or 7% "failure rate"...(my term).

I guess that if one thinks that states rights supersede human rights, civil rights and the rights of the individual, then this 4 in 56 "anomaly" is not "failure", but proof of success. It depends on one's frame of reference, Ben....half empty or half full?

By: yogiman on 4/5/12 at 1:27

I believe the reason the state popular votes tells their EC how to cast them is just that, the popular vote of all the state's citizens for one candidate.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 1:31

Your arguments boil down to that too, brrrrk.... mostly, though, other people's property and money.

Make the tax system a flat % of income on everyone and I'll support as much charity and altruism as our government can stand.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 1:39

Ben, my bad...my 11:41 post should not have been directed at you, but at those who defend the winner-take-all EC system, which is, in effect a "one-state one-vote" model.
My apologies...it is clear that you would prefer a system in which each state's EC votes were an accurate reflection of the popular vote in that state....mea culpa.

The remainder of that 111:41 post was thrown in there because the timing seemed right...we were discussing the natural competition between the states within our union...I thought it appropriate to debunk a myth about the US-Israel relationship at that point in the discussion.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 1:41

Pardon my typos, please....I'm getting hasty with the submit button.

By: dargent7 on 4/5/12 at 1:43

re: The Electoral College:
This country is immersed, embroiled in 60's civil right's right now, with the killing of Trayvon.
We couldn't change any widespread laws concernering the election of a President in the next 50 years.
People here still bitch about having to produce a photo ID to vote, like it's racial profiling.
We've got nut cases (yogi, no offense) who still claim Obama was born in Kenya.
$16.5 trillion in debt, and everyone defends Capitalism a, "the best economic system in the world". "Just look at America".
One ground war, sabre rattling on Iran and Syria, and we still can't find our collective asses with two hands.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 1:44

Your angelic view of the federal government and your demonic view of state governments is a pretty black and white way to look at a gray-scale problem there loner.

Do you think it's any of Holder's business if California want's marijuana dispensaries? Or more, should a Tennessee senator decide what manner of perversion a gay couple in San Francisco should be allowed to perpetrate on one another?

By: brrrrk on 4/5/12 at 1:44

BenDover said

"Your arguments boil down to that too, brrrrk.... mostly, though, other people's property and money.

Make the tax system a flat % of income on everyone and I'll support as much charity and altruism as our government can stand."

As soon as we reward people for real ground-up achievements rather than achievements based on standing on the shoulders of others.....

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 1:46

Re types loner... yeah, me too. What's up with me putting all the apostrophes where they don't belong today.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 1:46

types -> typos... lol

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 1:48

And Ummm, I too can't figure out the reason why so many support and defend the EC in its present form....brainwashing? Confederate nostalgia? Or simply inertia?

Certainly, the 2 major parties do not want any competition from a third, so they put out some of the BS on the subject...and the major media are content with the EC system as it is...it's very lucrative for them and they know the system as it; therefore, they will naturally resist any risky changes.

If people thought it through, they might come to see things our way on this matter.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 1:55

Now who are you going to give the power to to be the arbiter of that brrrrk?

The correct answer is that the market is still the best arbiter; as trying to remedy it through a progressive tax system doesn't discriminate on merit or effort.

We spend tons of money to assure people with low means have educational opportunities to turn that situation around. In my experience though the gap isn't in opportunity it is in initiative... and sadly many people are taught that they cannot turn their situation around or worse that their dreams are an impossibility so they don't even try.

By: gdiafante on 4/5/12 at 1:55

Ben's right about it not being a failure. A failure would be the system not working as intended. It did. A President is not elected with the popular vote. These 4 issues are anomalies. This is a Republic, isn't it?

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 2:01

Now it is you Ben who is exaggerating my position when you write: "Your angelic view of the federal government and your demonic view of state governments is a pretty black and white way to look at a gray-scale problem there loner."

Your angels and demons are made of pure straw, Ben Dover.

There are arguments pro and con for a strong central government and for & against states rights...and then there are our human, civil and individual rights...I never said this was a black & white, or a simple right or wrong deal....if there are any demons, it is in finding a fair compromise...the devil is in the details.

By: brrrrk on 4/5/12 at 2:03

BenDover said

"Now who are you going to give the power to to be the arbiter of that brrrrk?"

So would you say that Steve Jobs (or better yet, Steve Wozniak) and Mitt Romney are on equal ground.... in terms of achievement.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 2:20

Ben and Gd: If those 4 anomalies - when the popular vote result differed from the EC vote result - are proof that the system worked as it was designed, then I would argue that the design was flawed to begin with and needs to be corrected, if the human, civil and individual rights of we the people are paramount in our pyramid of democratic values....I thought that the Civil War settled that issue, apparently it did not....what a tremendous waste of humanity.

Apparently the "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice For All" stuff is just fluffy feel good rhetoric....pure BS.

Maybe we need to revise those particular lines in the pledge to this:
"Fifty Competing Sovereign States, Under Jesus Christ Our Lord & Savior, Loosely United, with Liberty and Justice For Those Who Produce".

By: yogiman on 4/5/12 at 2:20

dargent7,

Re your 1:43 post. That's okay, dargent7, I just consider the source and ignore it.

Not to sound ridiculous, but do you know Obama was not born in Kenya? Do you know he was born in Hawaii? Hell, do you really know if Barack Obama is actually that man's name? Didn't think so; because he's so unwilling to prove it.

When and where did I say where he was born? I don't know any better than you or anyone else except himself, his wife, and perhaps a few more that are keeping it to themselves. But I do know of him and his wife referring to Kenya as his home country.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 2:24

I was going back to the states' rights vs. human rights dichotomy you set up earlier and taking your position on the matter from that loner. I'm glad to see we agree.

I still see no negatives in proportioning the electors by state popular vote though. What state's going to choose to do that though. It would diminish their influence on national elections for whatever candidate the majority of the people support; but it would put a certain percentage of the electors in play such that the candidates would necessarily give the states that do have swing electors some extra attention. God knows we'd have to suffer the commercials too. Yuck.

I'm also highly against the populist mentality of pork too; so how does that play into it? Would that have more people promising to spend more of my money on vote whores?

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 2:34

Gdiafante wrote, "...A President is not elected with the popular vote. These 4 issues are anomalies. This is a Republic, isn't it?"

I thought this was a united republic, Gd....or is that an oxymoron?

If our republic is truly united, as claimed in the Pledge of Allegiance, then a "one voter = one vote" system should be the way to go....if we are a fairly loose confederation of sovereign states, then the "one state = one vote" system is good enough.

Maybe we should revert to thinking of the United States of America as a plural proper noun, not a singular proper noun...."The United States of America is a republic" - or - "The United States of America are a republic."....which one is proper?

It looks like secession may be back in vogue? This time I say good riddance to the quitters.

By: Loner on 4/5/12 at 2:44

Ben, I think that the EC system as it is, benefits the major political parties, the PACs & Super-Pacs and the major media....and with that consortium of interested players, sweetheart deals, earmarks and "pork" are natural consequences. Change will be very difficult, if not impossible...we may have passed the point of no return....the system is rotten to the core.

If the popular vote elected the POTUS and Veep, the power of a reinvigorated electorate could upset this cart full of rotting apples....Power To The People!

By: Captain Nemo on 4/5/12 at 2:54

I think this has been the most interesting debate, even if it is not about the subject. There hasn’t been a 4 pager in sometime.

By: yogiman on 4/5/12 at 2:57

Loner,

If the overall popular vote picked the president, would there still a nation of united states, or would there be a nation of united citizens?

By: Captain Nemo on 4/5/12 at 3:02

Shut up yogi.

By: yogiman on 4/5/12 at 3:17

What part do you want to kiss, dumba$$, the crack or the hole?

By: slacker on 4/5/12 at 3:19

I like it Ben, vote whore! ''Look at ya fella'' you show up here at the polls, reeking of whiskey, no damn photo ID., why..sput..sput you're just a vote whore..begone.. lol

By: Captain Nemo on 4/5/12 at 3:25

You have nothing to offer yogi, now go back and kissing your own dumba$$, the crack or the hole?

By: slacker on 4/5/12 at 3:30

Wanted: Vote Whores for our United Republic. Apply Chicago, Tuesday November 6th. 2012.
Ask for: Rahm Emanuel

By: Captain Nemo on 4/5/12 at 3:31

LOL slacker

By: dargent7 on 4/5/12 at 3:44

How do I "know" Brack Obama was born in Hawai'i?
There's a "birth announcement", common in the states, anouncing his birth on August 4, 1961 in The Honolulu Star Bulletin.
Now, I realize to you nutz (flaming), it was a grand conspiracy that in 1961 you thought a half black child who's father's dead, would become President some day.
Anyone would, right? It seems logical.

By: yogiman on 4/5/12 at 3:57

dargent7,

Have you looked at that "birth certificate" closely. If you have, and you can't tell its a fake, you better go get your eyes checked.

Have you even wondered why he FINALLY decided to show it after saying he couldn't?

I could go into details on it but you're so addle brained it would be a waste of effort.

By: BenDover on 4/5/12 at 4:25

Nope... he wasn't even close today loner. There's always tomorrow I guess.