Archive for September 2007

The media makes weird censorship decisions… show a real person getting shot and screaming, but bleep the swears

I don’t like swearing. I am absolutely fine with bleeping out swear words on tv, in fact I think they do a poor job of it and should bleep more stuff and better. (They usually bleep out just the vowel sound, leaving the consonants, so it’s pretty clear what was said.)

That said, as offensive as I find foul language, I find it more offensive and disturbing to see a tape of a cop telling someone to stand up and then shooting them three times when they obey, and hear them screaming in pain.

That’s what they showed on the news, but they bleeped the swear words.

It seems a bit odd to me. I think there’s a time and place for witnessing horrible human behavior, because it’s educational. So sanitizing just a part, and the least evil part, seems strange.

You know, the Bible is filled with descriptions of people’s sins. They’re there (and news reports such as this are supposedly there) to educate or enlighten, not to entertain.

I don’t believe in glorifying or even normalizing immoral behavior, but let’s not swing too far and think we can’t ever depict it at all, for any purpose.

43 Senators vote to violate the Constitution

They say in school the Constitution is the highest law of the land. Then a Senator voting to do something completely unconstitutional is voting to do something illegal.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

That was so important they put that in the Constitution itself. Freedom of speech isn’t in there. It’s in an Amendment. But Habeas Corpus is a biggie, it made it in straightaway.

But now the government doesn’t want to follow the Constitution. And 43 Senators are okay with that.

And they are ALL Republicans, except one Independent, Lieberman. All Democrats, and all other Independents, voted to restore a Constitutionally protected freedom. 6 Republicans crossed the party line to vote for upholding the law.

I’m not a fan of many positions the Democratic party supports. But in this case they are doing the right thing and the ‘publicans are not.

Is it too strong to call the 43 Senators voting to continue the denial of Constitutional freedom traitors? I don’t think it is.

They are traitors to the United States of America.

Tasers can kill. Stop using them when you don’t need to!

A woman in a wheelchair was tasered 10 times, and died.

Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case.

“One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.

Why do people persist in thinking it’s okay to use tasers whenever they want? Because they are supposedly non-lethal?

People can die because of tasers. There have been plenty of incidents.

That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used. But they should only be used when the alternative is using a gun.

Before tasers, police had a baton and handcuffs, or they had a gun. Nothing in between. If they couldn’t subdue someone with physical force, if the person was dangerous, they’d use the gun to kill.

Tasers are a better way, because they let the police subdue dangerous people (usually) without killing them.

If someone charges the police with a knife, and they get tasered and live, great. If they get tasered and die, well, if the cop didn’t have a taser, they’d be dead from bullet wounds anyway.

The problem is when cops use tasers for things they would ordinarily use their batons and cuffs for. Women in wheelchairs come to mind. Obstinate women at traffic stops refusing to exit the vehicle are another. Grab ‘em and put the cuffs on them. If they resist, slap ‘em around, use the baton, they shouldn’t be resisting. But taser them and they die? It’s out of proportion.

The problem is cops buy into the “non-lethal” idea of a taser and think they can just use it whenever. It’s more properly called “less lethal” because it kill less often than gunshot wounds.

Then again there is the fact that the taser can be used to basically torture people. When do you cross the line between “pain inflicted in order to subdue someone” and “pain inflicted as punishment for resisting arrest.” Of course people are often tased for not obeying an officer’s commands, before they are even told they are under arrest.

Why don’t we hold the police accountable when they kill people in easily preventable ways?