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I'm severe because I feel strongly about this. I think the biggest problem, and challenge, facing modern leftism is its tendency towards vicarious victimhood. I think this subjucates actual victims to a much greater degree than overt discrimination and has a strong role in establishing societal hierarchy.

It's a giant circle jerk of victimhood. Feels good, man. What do you have against societal hierarchy, though? Seems like something you'd be super excited for!

 

William Voegeli recently wrote an overlong, mixed-bag attempt at explaining the bloat of liberalism's "weaponized compassion" that might be useful here:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Latinate word compassion means, literally, suffering together with anotherits the feeling or emotion, when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it. Note that suffering together does not mean suffering identically. The compassionate person does not become hungry when he meets or thinks about a hungry person, or sick in the presence of the sick. Rather, compassion means we are affected by others suffering, a distress that motivates us to alleviate it. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in Emile, When the strength of an expansive soul makes me identify myself with my fellow, and I feel that I am, so to speak, in him, it is in order not to suffer that I do not want him to suffer. I am interested in him for love of myself.

 

[...]

It follows, then, that the answer to the question of how liberals who profess to be anguished about other peoples suffering can be so weirdly complacent regarding wasteful, misdirected, and above all ineffective government programs created to relieve that suffering - is that liberals care about helping much less than they care about caring. Because compassion gives me a self-regarding reason to care about your suffering, its more important for me to do something than to accomplish something. Once I've voted for, given a speech about, written an editorial endorsing, or held forth at a dinner party on the salutary generosity of some program to address your problem, my work is done, and I can feel the rush of my own pious reaction. Theres no need to stick around for the complex, frustrating, mundane work of making sure the program that made me feel better, just by being established and praised, has actually alleviated your suffering.

 

haha dum feelrs
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I can't speak for Copper. What I think Carrie is getting at here, correct me if I'm wrong, can be summed up as follows: It isn't necessarily bad to be an "ally" or stand in "solidarity" with this oppr

RM is a hypocrite and should rightfully be pointed out as so, but your argument is equally disingenuous and full of unsubstantiated hyperbole. What does it exactly mean that the "rule of law has no re

Thanks (I guess?)   I'm severe because I feel strongly about this. I think the biggest problem, and challenge, facing modern leftism is its tendency towards vicarious victimhood. I think this subjuca

RC

 

First off, thanks for dropping the shtick. I'm dead serious on this. I think this might be the first time you ever have in talking with me, so I guess I feel a bit honored, in a sense. I can't count the number of times I was hoping you'd be willing to have an honest discussion with me.

 

Yes- you're right. I'm commenting on people reacting to a reaction to a further reaction- it is certainly attenuated. But that is part of my criticism. My posts in this thread are pot shots at those reactions, but in something that incites this much national news, attention, and discussion about the relations between the state and race, I guess I just would hope that people would try to be more responsible in how they form their opinions and articulate their position. I think this irresponsibility is a human thing, but is also a very dangerous thing, because it helps further misconceptions about either the law or the events as they took place, and the entire event thus becomes a lightning rod for people to use as criticism, as the original facts about the event become obfuscated over time.

 

This was part of the reason why I got frustrated with RM. I was taken aback at how he can, on one day, be the guy with the bullhorn against the jury, and in the other, demeaning the protests, all the while saying he respected the "rule of law." This was also why I got frustrated with Copper- because I saw an element of making suppositions about an entire community to make points rooted in personal feelings, which I think is particularly irresponsible since it helps further a dichotomy between groups (i.e. us/them, white/black, etc.). I understand these are all rooted in attenuated reactions to snippets on the web here and there, but I suppose I am less willing to be forgiving of that.

 

Speaking of which, wouldn't it be honest to say that your own evaluation of the situation is equally rooted in sort of a distant bystander's viewpoint with few facts? I'm not saying that certain elements of your evaluation are wrong- for example, I have a severe criticism of the general militarization of police forces which the riots in Ferguson helped bring to light. But that being said, your presentation reads as if you almost had your own preconceptions going into the event, and judgments made based upon stories reported here and there and not necessarily rooted in any sophisticated understanding of the facts. One thing to point out is, the grand jury in this case heard a significant amount of testimony, more than any I've ever heard in years of practice... I don't recall the exact number, but I think it was over 50 witnesses in a hearing, which is substantially more than any grand jury I've ever participated in.

 

 

I actually don't find you reprehensible. I think you are quick to resort to your shtick of overuse of exclamation marks and faux playful tone, when you actually have deeper thoughts on something, but for whatever reason, you don't feel the need (or have the time) to actually express them. You especially seem likely to do go to the shtick when I'm posting, maybe because you think I won't address you seriously, even though that's never been the case.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

 

Looters are opportunists. They either don't give a rip about the issue, or they use it to justify their own greed. In other words, I behave only as long as I think I'll get in trouble for not behaving. It's like toddler behavior.

 

Michael Brown's stepfather is angry and wants someone to pay, because he thinks no one did pay for his stepson's death. Somewhat understandable, but not admirable. It's unfortunate that he channeled those feelings to incite a riot instead of creating change.

I totally understand where the parents were coming from. Was Michael Brown a bad kid? I think it likely. But to his parents, he was just a kid who made some mistakes and are angry. They made angry statements, and are entitled to do that. Pinning the riots on Michael Brown's parents is not a fair thing to do.

 

We all knew a riot was going to happen. But to go to the rally and tell people to burn it all down is like throwing gasoline on the burn pile. The family unfortunately lost some of my sympathy with that move. I can understand mourning your child and even excusing your child's flaws. His mother talked about wanting to create change. Unfortunately, I think her husband threw a lot of that out the window.

 

Even Rodney King decried "Can't we all just get along," and we all know how that worked out.

 

The minute this case hit the national news and people started being bussed in to protest, this situation became its own beast. I am not sure anyone could do anything to stop the riots, or even minimize them, and I think we all know no matter how much or how little rioting occurred, nothing was ever going to get done in the way of "social change," because this thing is now just running on pure, irrational emotion, at this point. By the same token, I think certain individuals did pour gas on the fire, like the president for one, and that is because, well, he's the president. To a point, he can impact this situation by what he says and does, but I think its more like degrees of negative impact, with little to no ability for positive impact. Maybe that's pessimistic, but hey, I am pessimistic. But I don't think the step-dad really had any influence, one way, or the other.

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I'm severe because I feel strongly about this. I think the biggest problem, and challenge, facing modern leftism is its tendency towards vicarious victimhood. I think this subjucates actual victims to a much greater degree than overt discrimination and has a strong role in establishing societal hierarchy.

It's a giant circle jerk of victimhood. Feels good, man. What do you have against societal hierarchy, though? Seems like something you'd be super excited for!

 

William Voegeli recently wrote an overlong, mixed-bag attempt at explaining the bloat of liberalism's "weaponized compassion" that might be useful here:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Latinate word compassion means, literally, suffering together with anotherits the feeling or emotion, when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it. Note that suffering together does not mean suffering identically. The compassionate person does not become hungry when he meets or thinks about a hungry person, or sick in the presence of the sick. Rather, compassion means we are affected by others suffering, a distress that motivates us to alleviate it. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in Emile, When the strength of an expansive soul makes me identify myself with my fellow, and I feel that I am, so to speak, in him, it is in order not to suffer that I do not want him to suffer. I am interested in him for love of myself.

 

[...]

It follows, then, that the answer to the question of how liberals who profess to be anguished about other peoples suffering can be so weirdly complacent regarding wasteful, misdirected, and above all ineffective government programs created to relieve that suffering - is that liberals care about helping much less than they care about caring. Because compassion gives me a self-regarding reason to care about your suffering, its more important for me to do something than to accomplish something. Once I've voted for, given a speech about, written an editorial endorsing, or held forth at a dinner party on the salutary generosity of some program to address your problem, my work is done, and I can feel the rush of my own pious reaction. Theres no need to stick around for the complex, frustrating, mundane work of making sure the program that made me feel better, just by being established and praised, has actually alleviated your suffering.

 

haha dum feelrs

 

 

Pong, I understand now what you're getting at, and it's a fair point. I'm a little drunk and tired, so I'll have to respond later (as a teaser: I think my position is a little more nuanced), but you get a +1 for making a good point.

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shorter you : everyone else on the planet is some sort of biased illogical creature steeped in a morass of icky emotions whom stand too distant from any sophisticated comprehension of the truth; I Carrie Mathison LLB am heroically alone with my brains on top of Brain Mountain

 

I know little of law, of policing, or of what it means to be black and/or Southern, and of lots and lots else too but even I can look at an unarmed dead guy on the ground shot by a policeman and want justice to be done and for justice to be seen to be done. Anyone who sees what I sees and needs desperately to focus their eyes on rioters or what the media does or why somehow liberals are horrible can ask themselves (if they want to) why they need to look there instead of at the dead guy and the shooter and the shooter's co-workers.

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Pong, I understand now what you're getting at, and it's a fair point. I'm a little drunk and tired, so I'll have to respond later (as a teaser: I think my position is a little more nuanced), but you get a +1 for making a good point.

I wouldn't waste your time with the whole article, Carrie. I was on a plane and had nothing else to read... found and reposted it because what you were saying kinda reminded me of it. I think the author "gets it" on a base level in at least a few ways, but as you say, there's a lot more nuance to the issue than economics and pity points :)
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Okay. So something I admit to is that I have a very childish approach to this whole thing. "Do unto others as you would have done to you" is a great rule. Some of my comments are really coming off as simple. I really can't judge though. I am not a cop and I am not a person who is black and lives in Ferguson. I know that lots of other people lose children, teens and young adults to a gun violence every day. As a teacher I believe education is the key. Acting out on a situation like this is aweful and really doesn't make anyone who will make decisions about this do something. A lot of businesses who in this economy were struggling to begin with like the Beauty Shop and the Little Ceasar's franchise and the corner market where Brown strong armed his cigarettes are tired and any money they make is invested right back into the business so when damage happens from looting it is so senseless. I keep coming back to this because it is like smashing down something that will help you because you fear - what?

 

As for lots of people hating change it is always old people. Jesus Christ they just need to die already.

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shorter you : everyone else on the planet is some sort of biased illogical creature steeped in a morass of icky emotions whom stand too distant from any sophisticated comprehension of the truth; I Carrie Mathison LLB am heroically alone with my brains on top of Brain Mountain

 

I know little of law, of policing, or of what it means to be black and/or Southern, and of lots and lots else too but even I can look at an unarmed dead guy on the ground shot by a policeman and want justice to be done and for justice to be seen to be done. Anyone who sees what I sees and needs desperately to focus their eyes on rioters or what the media does or why somehow liberals are horrible can ask themselves (if they want to) why they need to look there instead of at the dead guy and the shooter and the shooter's co-workers.

Well, first off- you can understand why this point is different than the point Copper was making, right?

 

Second- I don't really have a position on this shooting in particular; moreso the methods in which others derive their opinions from. But that being said, you said something interesting that I had a question on:

 

I seem to get the impression from your statement that you think a shooting resulting in a death is always (or at least, almost always) indefensible. Is that an accurate reflection of your belief? Is there a ever an instance in which the state is justified in taking a life, say self defense or any other reason (forget, for a moment, the facts of this situation)?

 

If the answer is no, then I fear we have a disagreement at a sort of baseline premise in which it is likely we are not going to convince the other of our position since we have a fundamental philosophical difference on what the power of the state should be.

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Copper's point is, unless I'm wrong, "Imagine how you'd feel if you were them". My point is "why imagine anything else?". I think these two points are sort of closely related but you obviously don't.

 

I have zero interest in convincing you of my position and I have even less interest in articulating my position at length but my answer to the second two of your three questions are, obviously, "no" and "durrrh of course" to the third. But, wait, what cunning trap have you somehow sprung here for me!?!? Am I, through some sort of cleverness on your part, about to be proved a hypocrite? Oh no however could this ---

 

Look. I get it. I'm phony, I'm fake, I'm the kind of person you hate. I don't really want to play freshman discussion group games with you. Everyone else who has an opinion on this matter is, as far as you're concerned, getting it wrong or at best arriving at the right answer by the wrong methods or, crucially, contradicting the mental model you have of them. See also : every other Nightly argument ever with you.

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I know little of law, of policing, or of what it means to be black and/or Southern, and of lots and lots else too but even I can look at an unarmed dead guy on the ground shot by a policeman and want justice to be done and for justice to be seen to be done. Anyone who sees what I sees and needs desperately to focus their eyes on rioters or what the media does or why somehow liberals are horrible can ask themselves (if they want to) why they need to look there instead of at the dead guy and the shooter and the shooter's co-workers.

What would you consider "justice?"

 

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I feel like I've read enough about this to have an opinion now.

 

I'm usually the one Carrie is making fun of for hating on cops, be it for their psychotic overreactions, indiscriminate shootings, their ridiculous justifications for killing the wrong person, or their war on family pets.

 

But here? Eh, when somebody who is suspected of committing a violent crime hits a police officer in the face and reaches for the officer's gun, and then ends up dead with at least some of the witnesses saying the dude was "charging" the officer, I don't see how that officer is ever going to get anything but paid leave time. And without convincing evidence, I'm hard pressed to come up with a reason the officer should be punished. What -- because people feel bad? Because of a history of racism and antagonism?

 

I would really like to see police officers monitored more closely -- in a perfect world, full video and audio surveillance while on the clock -- and not just because I strongly dislike/distrust the police, but because it would really help in cases like this.

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It follows, then, that the answer to the question of how liberals who profess to be anguished about other peoples suffering can be so weirdly complacent regarding wasteful, misdirected, and above all ineffective government programs created to relieve that suffering - is that liberals care about helping much less than they care about caring.

This supposes that all liberals are complacent regarding wasteful government programs and that's just not true, so nothing can logically follow with this supposition unchallenged.

 

This, in fact, reminds of the your writing in this thread; technically wonderful, emotional and profound, yet heavy-handed in its elegance and leading us down a trail with a single, incomplete point. It seems to turn the tables on a popular notion when in effect, it simply is a wordier way of saying the same elitist thing: the victim got was what coming to him and you're a fool to feel badly for him.

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Pong - I don't think my definition of justice differs from yours and I don't know why you'd think that it would. It'd be just if a meteorite fell on the cop tomorrow and he died but I don't expect that to happen and I'm not bothered that it hasn't. I'm not American, the cop doesn't work for me and neither do his buddies, if you guys want petty theft and alleged assault of an officer to be a capital offense that's cool with me, but what I've seen of all this and the way others talk about it bothers me enough to be snippy about it on the Internet. That might say more about me than the situation itself, I don't know.

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This supposes that all liberals are complacent regarding wasteful government programs and that's just not true, so nothing can logically follow with this supposition unchallenged.

Huh? Generalizations are allowed. They don't require everybody to fit the bill!

 

This, in fact, reminds of the your writing in this thread; technically wonderful, emotional and profound, yet heavy-handed in its elegance and leading us down a trail with a single, incomplete point. It seems to turn the tables on a popular notion when in effect, it simply is a wordier way of saying the same elitist thing: the victim got was what coming to him and you're a fool to feel badly for him.

Are you talking to me or Carrie? I don't remember making any of those points, but it looks like you're quoting my quote. What is going on?

 

If me, thank you for the compliments on the technically wonderful, emotional and profound, elegant writing!

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I know little of law, of policing, or of what it means to be black and/or Southern, and of lots and lots else too but even I can look at an unarmed dead guy on the ground shot by a policeman and want justice to be done and for justice to be seen to be done. Anyone who sees what I sees and needs desperately to focus their eyes on rioters or what the media does or why somehow liberals are horrible can ask themselves (if they want to) why they need to look there instead of at the dead guy and the shooter and the shooter's co-workers.

What would you consider "justice?"

 

-------

 

I feel like I've read enough about this to have an opinion now.

 

I'm usually the one Carrie is making fun of for hating on cops, be it for their psychotic overreactions, indiscriminate shootings, their ridiculous justifications for killing the wrong person, or their war on family pets.

 

But here? Eh, when somebody who is suspected of committing a violent crime hits a police officer in the face and reaches for the officer's gun, and then ends up dead with at least some of the witnesses saying the dude was "charging" the officer, I don't see how that officer is ever going to get anything but paid leave time. And without convincing evidence, I'm hard pressed to come up with a reason the officer should be punished. What -- because people feel bad? Because of a history of racism and antagonism?

 

I would really like to see police officers monitored more closely -- in a perfect world, full video and audio surveillance while on the clock -- and not just because I strongly dislike/distrust the police, but because it would really help in cases like this.

 

Yes to all of the above.

 

Yeah. My call for social justice is less here. I was more outraged by Trayvon Martin than I am for Michael Brown.

And yes to this as well.

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Also, how do you guys feel about cameras on policemen?

I JUST SAID! GOD!!!!

 

Heh. It is something about being read on a phone. I really do just gloss over it.

 

Also I do not want a camera to be focused on me during a traffic stop. Not because I don't really focus on make up and hair, but because I tend to take really funny pictures when I'm mad and I don't want photographic proof for people to see later.

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Also, how do you guys feel about cameras on policemen?

I think it is a GREAT idea, and would greatly reduce word VS word disputes over what happened when a police officer makes contact with a member of the public. I know there are a number of police departments in my state as well as across the country that are testing those out.

 

From what I understand the cameras are constantly on and record up to 30 seconds (some are more like a minute) prior to when the police officer presses the record button, so as to prevent the police officer from simply baiting someone, getting them to react, then recording it to make the other person look bad.

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Pong - I don't think my definition of justice differs from yours and I don't know why you'd think that it would. It'd be just if a meteorite fell on the cop tomorrow and he died but I don't expect that to happen and I'm not bothered that it hasn't. I'm not American, the cop doesn't work for me and neither do his buddies, if you guys want petty theft and alleged assault of an officer to be a capital offense that's cool with me, but what I've seen of all this and the way others talk about it bothers me enough to be snippy about it on the Internet. That might say more about me than the situation itself, I don't know.

The definition must differ, because I wouldn't consider a meteor hitting the cop (or any other bad thing happening to him) to be justice. Based off of what I currently think I know about this story, I don't see the cop as a bad guy who deserves retribution.

 

As often as I bitch about police and deadly force on this forum, it isn't because I have a problem with deadly force in and of itself; I have a problem with it being used for no good reason. I freely admit my anti-cop bias, but if a police officer says he or she has reason to shoot somebody, and I agree their reason sounds reasonable and it is found their reasons reasonably check out, I'm fine with it. I think that's a reasonable position to take.

 

So, for review: a feeble and possibly demented old man who may or may not have his hand too close to a kitchen knife dying in a hail of gunfire? This kind of wanton crap is so ridiculously avoidable, it makes me furious. You really think a confused, decrepit old man with shuffling feet and a wheeze is suddenly going to go grab a kitchen knife and go ninja on your asses? Tackle him if you are worried about him going for the knife, but don't taunt and shoot the guy! Verdict: draw and quarter all the officers involved. But somebody who is physically more powerful, somebody who has already gone after your gun once? Assuming that guy was actually charging at the officer, I have no problem with him being shot dead. It only becomes a problem if somebody proves this is a lie (in which case, drawing and quartering is once again appropriate).

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Yeah, but based on what I currently think I know the cop's a bad guy so that seems to be where we disagree (and maybe also on officers being allowed to shoot unarmed men who charge them because seriously why not do literally anything else in that situation instead) . Somebody might prove he was lying about what happened but since there's not going to be a trial I can only hope and pray for the only true justice in this misbegotten world --- meteorite justice.

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Yeah, but based on what I currently think I know the cop's a bad guy so that seems to be where we disagree (and maybe also on officers being allowed to shoot unarmed men who charge them because seriously why not do literally anything else in that situation instead) . Somebody might prove he was lying about what happened but since there's not going to be a trial I can only hope and pray for the only true justice in this misbegotten world --- meteorite justice.

How did you reach what you currently think you know? I am basing my "know" off of the NPR article with all the good stuff from the trial I linked to a page or two ago -- info was not perfect or complete (and who knows, could be a conspiracy), but you have to twist pretty hard to get it to lean away from the cop's account of things.

 

Disagree with you about unarmed men in certain situations. If somebody who is capable of killing me/knocking me unconscious and taking my weapons is charging me, I'm not gonna trust a Taser or pepper spray. I don't think cops -- who are way more likely to be in that kinda situation -- should be forced to rely less reliable methods of stoppage in order to make other people feel better. I think all shootings should be investigated, with punishment meted out if the shooting is deemed "unreasonable," of course. I just don't think being unarmed necessarily = nevar shoot.

 

I also disagree that a meteorite = true justice.

 

So basically, we disagree on everything!

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I have zero interest in convincing you of my position and I have even less interest in articulating my position at length but my answer to the second two of your three questions are, obviously, "no" and "durrrh of course" to the third. But, wait, what cunning trap have you somehow sprung here for me!?!? Am I, through some sort of cleverness on your part, about to be proved a hypocrite? Oh no however could this ---

No trap. I was curious how you arrived at your position, which is why I asked the questions. Although you wouldn't answer me, your answers to Pong essentially get to what I was wondering, in a round-about way. And as such, it appears that we do have fundamentally different ways at looking at the world in which case I would have equally little interest in convincing you nor articulating anything at length, since neither of us is ever going to change our perspectives on this.

 

 

Everyone else who has an opinion on this matter is, as far as you're concerned, getting it wrong or at best arriving at the right answer by the wrong methods or, crucially, contradicting the mental model you have of them. See also : every other Nightly argument ever with you.

To be fair, that is often my point in many threads, but it wasn't my point in regards to you. I was really just wondering why you were white knighting for Copper, something you answered (sorta) on the last page and then our discussion moved on from there.

 

Well, there was that one comment I made about you in the beginning where I called you phony (and I think you are), but that was more of a cheap shot than a serious attempt to initiate a strained dialectic with you. It wasn't until you reappeared in the thread on page 4 in order to come to Copper's defense (for whatever reason.. like I suspect, probably white knighting) that I started re-engaging you.

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