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Former President Jimmy Carter calls for abolition of death penalty

I really feel that people who are pro-small government should also be against the death penalty. There's this idea that somehow the judicial branch is somehow more functional than the other two branches of government, and while that may be true at moments, we need to keep in mind that some judges are elected, that people are not perfect, and no system of government is perfect. Even a liberal, like me, understands that, but I also believe that the best decision is one that is easily changed. Putting someone to death is -not- easily changed, and I don't believe the State should have the right to permanently end someone's right to life (and we can argue about the definition of life in terms of abortion, but that's another discussion entirely.)

I sorta feel like while anti-death penalty people and people who want small government are strange bed fellows (and often are on opposite sides of the political spectrum), but they have very similar arguments in a few areas. You are more likely, for instance, to find someone who defines themselves as libertarian who is against the death penalty than you are to find someone who is conservative, but isn't the conservative ideology conducive to the same argument?

The opinion that the death penalty is somehow cheaper...well...not to make a pun, but the jury is still out on that one. Death penalty cases are on average -significantly- longer trials. I'd love to see the same people who say that the death penalty is cheaper start arguing for marijuana legalization if they really wanted to be fiscally responsible.

P.S.- Regardless of how you feel about President Carter, ad hominem does nothing to make an argument better.

posted @ Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 18:38

Carter: Unlimited contributions 'legal bribery'

@snarkydude: Inflation between 1976 and 2012 would multiply $20,000,000 by roughly 4.1 to show its current day purchasing power. (The cumulative rate of inflation would be 310.4%)

You get roughly $82.1 million dollars.

$82.1 million is roughly 4.1% of $2 billion.

President Obama effectively raised more than 24 times more money than President Carter.

Carter's complaint is legitimate even if you account for inflation.

posted @ Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 12:41

Ga. officials set to discuss childhood obesity

[quote][b]morrow[/b] - You make some good points but overlook the obvious. It costs more to feed kids in schools better. The school district is already furloughing teachers 5 days this coming year. Many of the school children in our schools live in the areas you read about in the police blotter every day and it is not safe for them to play outside. As for PE in the schools every day... That would be great but schools would have to hire additional PE teachers when some schools are leaning towards not having any. It is time we come up with some real ideas on how to get our children moving towards a healthier lifestyle.

We have a choice to either spend more money on education or not to. I can tell you that a $200 million dollar stadium isn't going to make the kids in Atlanta any less fat though.

Georgia is in the bottom half of states when it comes to money spent per pupil, and that number appears to be going down almost every year.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 10:05

Military works to change culture to combat rape

[quote][b]McCarthy[/b] - @Millionexus:
Those sites might be correct, I don't know. I retired active duty and we never had any problems with men being raped, at least not in my units. Once heard two Navy guys got raped, and left in a ditch, after attending a local gentleman's club in Puerto Rico.

If I could speculate a moment, couldn't it be that it is simply embarrassing for a man in the military to get assaulted and so he never talks about it? I have to imagine that would account for a lot of the reason you never heard about it, but beyond that, I don't know when you served. This could be a more recent problem, or it could be a long-standing problem that no one was paying attention to really.

There's also this dynamic that I've read about in a couple spots where during the period that Don't Ask Don't Tell was law, men in general didn't want to report being victims because they feared being thrown out of the military if someone believed the sex to be consensual. That certainly seems like a possibility for some, but I'm not so sure I believe that for a lot of cases.

We also need to be careful (me included) not to confuse sexual assault and rape in our terminology. These sources allude to sexual assault in most cases, not rape. Person A walks up to Person B, hits on them, and then touches Person B inappropriately. That's sexual assault, not rape, and that's what this is talking about.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 09:57

Military works to change culture to combat rape

[quote][b]Realist[/b] - I have seen some very flirty women in the military. They got away with things guys could not. An example was Mogadishu, Somalia. The nurses who worked there in the JSOC hospital would tease. They would go around in t-shirts without a bra. They would write with a marker on the t-shirt things like, "So many men, so little time." Nurses are officers, not enlisted. I know some guys hooked up with them, but it was mutual.[/quote]

Great if it was mutual, but flirting doesn't mitigate sexual assault. I know you weren't implying that, but I don't really see the point in you talking about it.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 09:14

Military works to change culture to combat rape

[quote][b]Realist[/b] - @Millionexus: Maybe, and I admit I am retired. But, during that time frame, I deployed with units. Granted, these are all Special Op's units, and they do have a higher caliber soldier. I just don't believe it because the media and Google say so. Numbers can be deceiving, if there were 3 assaults one year, and 4 the next, one could say that amounted to a large increase percentage wise.
Still, I am not combating you here, just saying I never knew this to be a problem, and in my work with the military I have not heard of this problem. It just didn't happen in the units I was in, or in the units I worked with. I will say I have heard about it in the media. Maybe it's a Navy - Air Force problem more than the Army. I was never a problem anywhere I was, and we had plenty of women in support and operational roles.
I have seen some very flirty women in the military. They got away with things guys could not. An example was Mogadishu, Somalia. The nurses who worked there in the JSOC hospital would tease. They would go around in t-shirts without a bra. They would write with a marker on the t-shirt things like, "So many men, so little time." Nurses are officers, not enlisted. I know some guys hooked up with them, but it was mutual.
We didn't have any thugs. All our people were selected, so that likely has a lot to do with my experience. The leaders I know currently are all in these same type units. I will check with a couple of the 30 year guys I know who are top Sergeant Majors at Division level, and Corps level.

A lot of what the conversation is is how much this seems to have been covered up, for whatever reason. There's also the idea that maybe it did happen some and you just didn't hear about it? I don't know how far removed you are from serving, but the problem does seem to be getting more attention lately.

Stories in the media have places where they originate from. Me throwing out facts from sources doesn't make those facts wrong. I think it is what we do with it, and the narrative with it that could be the grey areas between right and wrong. I'm not trying to spin the story. I'm trying to get the facts out so that we can interpret them without the media.

We're not talking 3 vs 4 from one year to the next though. The Pentagon estimated 26,000 sexual assaults in 2012 alone, which is a 34% increase from the 2010 estimation. I'm not sure how the estimation came out to be that way, but we're talking about a Pentagon estimate. There's smoke there even if they are somewhat inaccurate. There must be fire.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 09:11

Military works to change culture to combat rape

[quote][b]McCarthy[/b] -
Where did you get this data? I served in the military too, and I never heard of 53% of its rape victims being men.

Take your pick.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 08:54

Ga. officials set to discuss childhood obesity

[quote][b]Rita Raines[/b] - @Millionexus:
While all of your points are valid, the real problem with school food is that the students throw much of it in the trash. So when they come home from school they overeat. Since many of the students get home between 3 and 4 in the afternoon having been gone from home since 7 they are starving. Then after they eat many of the students will say that they take a nap until dinner time. I have heard this from elementary school and high school students. So not only are they very hungry when they get home from school, they are also tired.
As far as P.E. is concerned, I don't see why it has to be P.E. Most students would appreciate a couple of breaks during the day to walk around. I think this could be handled in any class. Weather permitting, take the students out and escort them around the building a few times a day. This would pep them up without adding to the drudgery of their school day.

Maybe encouraging kids to eat school breakfast would be a good idea, and/or scheduling lunch a little later in the day. The problem with a simple walk is that it isn't really enough. Kids should be running and playing sports and doing more intense physical activity, not simply walking. A more focused approach is by far better, and it gets kids more excited to actually exercise.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 07:57

Demographic change amplifying racial inequities

[quote][b]Curls[/b] - Great future here. Why do we keep letting illegals into the country ?

Why do we make the pathway to be legal so hard? I'm not even talking about citizenship. I'm talking about workers. When are we going to learn that if someone wants to come here and work that we should make it easier for them to do so so they actually pay taxes, rather than getting paid under the table?

The welfare thing is an entirely different subject, but it should be noted that the majority of people on food stamps, for instance, have jobs. The majority of people on food stamps, too, end up getting off food stamps within 9 months.

I have a friend who is in the country legally. Her purse was stolen, so a lot of her forms of identification were gone, including her green card. She had enough of her personal documents set aside to file for a replacement card, but it took her months to do so because of how slow the system is. She finally got an appointment, but had to go all the way to Atlanta for that appointment. Meanwhile, she's holding down a part-time job that used to make ends meet better than it currently does because her hours keep getting cut. She'd get another job, but, yup, you guessed it, she has to have her green card in order to -get- a 2nd job.

Her appointment was last week, and it'll be 6 - 9 months before her replacement card is issued. She's already in the country, already legal, and already has a job. Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be for someone who -wants- to enter the country legally?

And before anyone gets it in their head that my friend is Hispanic, she's not. She's from Canada, not that it should matter.

Our system is completely broken, and that's true for both people in the country legally and especially those who aren't.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 07:51

Ga. officials set to discuss childhood obesity

[quote][b]loveUSA[/b] - Stop eating chips and drinking soda and get off your butt. Go outside and play instead of sitting in front of an X box or play station all day.
There, I just saved you days of work with this simple solution to your "problem".

We have to consider education and schools too. Children spend 35+ hours at school each week. P.E. isn't mandatory in a lot of our schools, and a lot of school lunch programs are questionable at best.

I'd be all for making P.E. mandatory, revamping school lunch menus, and funding more after school programs which promote exercise and wellness. We keep talking rhetoric, but this is the way we can actually make it happen, and honestly? It wouldn't cost that much. We'd also save money in other places like Medicaid. Exercise is preventative care in its own right.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 07:28

Military works to change culture to combat rape

[quote][b]Realist[/b] - This topic has been over stated. There is no growing problem with rape in the military. I served 21 years and never knew of a single case. All my friends currently serving in high leadership positions say this topic is media hype. Another political sabotage used to relieve Generals not supportive of Obama.
There is infidelity, and it is publicized (and punished) far more than in the civilian world.

A woman is more likely to be raped than killed in action in the military.

Half of all filed sexual assault cases go unprocessed. Of those processed, only 1 in every 6 go to court-martial.

The military is 15% women, and they account for 47% of all sexual assault victims. While that is a disproportionate number, the majority of sexual assault victims in the military are -men-.

The rate of sexual assault in the military went up by 34% between 2010 and 2012.

You're completely and utterly wrong.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 07:10

Athens prosecutor recognizes fault in case, asks for dismissal

[quote][b]gman129[/b] - Let a grand jury decide.

Bit late for that now, but beyond that, if the prosecution's case was flimsy enough where eye color made the difference, then there isn't a case here. There seems to be no physical or forensic evidence linking the accused to the crime, and the eyewitness testimony is out. A grand jury (which would be necessarily to use -before- a trial, not after one starts) would likely find the same to be true, and would not pass down an indictment.

That, of course, doesn't say anything about my opinion on whether or not Bellew did it. I simply don't know.

posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 - 06:29

Girls coming to Boy Scout jamboree for first time

[quote][b]McCarthy[/b] - First gays, now girls? The Boy Scouts must be desperate for membership.

While the rest of us are desperate to be able to neg you more than once.

posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 - 23:59

Rep. John Barrow proposes panic buttons for schools

[quote][b]Save our Republic[/b] -
The problem is that they are still RESPONDING. This waste of money idea is doing nothing to put an immediate force of action in place to stop a threat.
Allow school staff to be armed. End the ridiculous "gun free/victim rich" school zones! Even an assigned SRO (just like they had in Columbine) will have to respond from one part of the campus to another.
Armed teachers, janitors, lunch ladies, coaches, nurses, administrators.....etc are the only TRUE force on force entities capable of quickly ending a suicidal mass shooter!

Yes. Let's encourage more guns in schools that could fall into the hands of a disturbed kid.

There is no surefire way to quickly end a suicidal mass shooter in a simple way, because they have the element of surprise.

posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 - 23:56

Rep. John Barrow proposes panic buttons for schools

[quote][b]Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass[/b] - @Millionexus: OK, so we're saving 20 seconds. Maybe 30. Is this the best use of our money?
And no, cops in the school aren't the answer either.

I didn't think cops in the schools were the answer anyway and I'd appreciate if you'd not assume anything about my opinion, especially since we're typically on the same side of debates.

I think we're saving more than 20-30 seconds, and you completely missed my other points, but okay.

What do I think is the best idea? Coming up with ideas and seeing what works. Locked school doors w/ no windows (where you press a button to talk to a school secretary who will clear you to come in) Classroom doors that lock people out automatically once class starts.

Some people might say we don't have the money for that, but we do. If we can spend money on prisons, war, and corporate welfare, we can spend that money on schools, and I have to imagine that some ideas simply won't cost that much.

posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 - 23:53

Rep. John Barrow proposes panic buttons for schools

[quote][b]Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass[/b] -
How much longer does it take to push two more buttons?

If one had read the article, they'd know that the a signal goes out to -all- officers in the area directly from the button. There's no need to wait on a dispatcher to send officers there, It also works when 911 is out (like the Oconee 911 outage?) and such a panic button can be pressed discretely in a hostage situation. There's a lot of benefit for it.

posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 - 18:16

Rep. John Barrow proposes panic buttons for schools

It is a great idea, and can get police there significantly faster. A few minutes are precious in this sort of situation.

posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 - 16:38

Federal marriage benefits? Not for everyone

[quote][b]CountryDawg[/b] - Just don't call it *marriage*. That is an offense to marriage and long held history.[/quote]

Where on earth do you get off being arrogant enough to believe that you have a monopoly on a word when the idea of marriage transcends Christianity in the first place? Marriage is both a religious and a social institution, as has been discussed many, many times, and it isn't exclusive to Christianity, but even if it were, gay people can be Christians too.

[quote][b]CountryDawg[/b] - But, do not seek to re-define the definition of marriage to some manner of *aberrant* and non-natural behavior.[/quote]

Homosexuality is both normal and natural, as has been found by many, many studies since the 1970s. Do not be so arrogant as to think that you can simply casually cast psychology aside.

[quote][b]CountryDawg[/b] - Haven't 30 or so states ratified the Defense of Marriage Act that Bill Clinton supported?[/quote]

The Defense of Marriage Act, by the way, is not a constitutional amendment, so therefore you or someone who you get your information from completely made up the whole 'ratifying' DOMA thing. States only get a democratic say in federal law when there's a constitutional amendment, and DOMA is -not- a constitutional amendment. You should have figured that because the Supreme Court was able to strike it down. You need to go back to elementary school social studies and brush up.

[quote][b]CountryDawg[/b] - I just do not se why we seem to cow-tow to such a small, albeit *vocal* minority.[/quote]

The majority of people in this country agree with government recognition of same-sex marriage. The minority is those who oppose same-sex marriage, and they've been in the minority for awhile now.

[quote][b]CountryDawg[/b] - That's sort of where I stand and I will not be swayed.[/quote]

That's your prerogative, to be sure, but you've been listening to lies. You have no fact-based analysis on any of your assertions whatsoever, and pretty much the only possible reason for you to still hold your position, given a well-reasoned response I've given you, is that you simply find gay people icky. Feeling that way is fine, but you should simply own up to that rather than try to cloud it with some BS 'non-natural' and religious argument.

posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 - 11:58

Federal marriage benefits? Not for everyone

Stephen Ohlemacher (the writer of this piece) I think doesn't realize that gay people are more well-versed in marriage rights than straight people are, only because we've been -talking- about them for so long, and paying attention to how the government treats us differently.

I thought I was going to be opening up an article which talks about how many same-sex couples still won't have federal benefits, and instead what I got was "The gays don't realize this isn't always a good thing."

It is about the people who are most vulnerable who don't have the same safety net everyone else does, not about the people who can afford to pay more in taxes anyway. I don't understand why this piece is newsworthy, seeing as we've known -what- we've been fighting for for a long time.

posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 - 00:29

Gay rights supporters erupt in cheers over ruling

[quote][b]Anachron[/b] - This thread is crazy.
We need a public event where posters can get together and beat the hell out of one another so we can move on.

You know, I've thought about a public debate before when it comes to AthensTalks, but I reconsidered it once I realized how many of the loose cannons on this forum are also gun-toters and some of them are also homophobes.

posted @ Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 16:19

Gay marriage opponents ask court to intervene

Their motion was denied. Life continues.

posted @ Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 15:59

An Athens story: From sharecropping to the U.S. Supreme Court

I've met Fred several times. He's remarkably smart, a great speaker, and a nice guy to be around. I'm really happy for him!

posted @ Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 10:57

Athens LGBT community sees positive momentum in Supreme Court DOMA, Prop. 8 decisions

@Anachron: Well, it obviously isn't because we think all the people against gay rights are secretly gay. It is also a response to the bigotry and homophobia. They can't -stand- it when they are called that, and its a non-starter. It is a great way to stop the conversation.

There is some truth in it though. A number of people who are VERY homophobic end up homosexual, and you can look at the high profile cases here for confirmation on that. It seems like a number of the anti-gay rights people in Congress end up in some sort of 'gay scandal'. There is a basis for it, to be sure, but I don't think anyone truly believes that they are actually gay...most of the time at least.

posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 - 13:22

Athens LGBT community sees positive momentum in Supreme Court DOMA, Prop. 8 decisions

[quote][b]Anachron[/b] -
If I could see you I'd call you outside for an asinine comment like that. Why is it the gays always use that line? It makes absolutely no sense.

Yes it does. There is a phenomenon called self-loathing homophobia. Many people pickle in it.

posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 - 00:30

Athens LGBT community sees positive momentum in Supreme Court DOMA, Prop. 8 decisions

[quote][b]cazziedawg[/b] - @Millionexus: 37 states already have laws on the books prohibiting same sex marraige. I think we can get just one more. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

It is about to be 14, and you are ignoring polling.

In 21 states, the majority of people favor same-sex marriage.
In another 8, less than a majority oppose same-sex marriage.
That puts you at 22 of the 38 you would need.

54 senators favor gay marriage, which means 46 aren't on record as saying they are, and of that 46, some of them will -still- vote against a Constitutional amendment. This 54 number includes 3 Republicans.

184 Representatives are on record as saying they support same-sex marriage.
184 Representatives put the House at 251 who -potentially- would vote for an anti-gay marriage amendment, and that's 40 short of what they would need.

Like I said, you're going to continue to lose.

posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 - 00:28

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