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Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:30 pm

Klaudandus wrote:why wont the US do something like this?
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100676783

I have mixed feelings on that. One the one hand, yes we want to stop bailing out banks, and we want them to act responsibly. On the other hand, these execs get paid to make the bank money, which inherently involves taking some risks.

It's very easy to judge things in hindsight and say they were bad decisions. But take the private NZ lending market as an example (because I am intimately familiar with it). There were companies that took deposits from clients and invested that money in various places like used cars.

The used car market was booming, the finance companies were making lots of money, and the depositors were doing very well. Then the US credit market fell over. Many investors in NZ bolted, closing their deposits. This destabilized the finance companies and caused them to violate the debt ratios outlined in their published prospectus, and created cashflow shortfalls that meant they could not payout all their deposits.

Failures of a few NZ finance companies sent a panic through the market, and anyone who had funds invested pretty much pulled the plug.

As a result of all that, several well-run finance companies were taken out along with the dodgier ones. It wasn't their fault - they did everything right except being in the finance business when the public spooked.

The government stepped in an offered guaranteed investments in an effort to get people back into the market so that more companies wouldn't collapse. But by that time the global recession had hit home, and people started to default on their car loans. So while the public came back to a small extent, the investment income started to dry up as people lost jobs and couldn't pay for their cars. With no funding available, car yards went out of business, defaulting on business loans.

What was previously one of the most lucrative industries to be in suddenly became poison to anyone involved in it.

I would be worried that a law like the one discussed in the UK would cause a witch hunt within the well-run finance companies to find a scapegoat on whom to pin the failure. Investigators would look at the portfolios, and the guy who had the riskiest ledger would be locked up.

But it's that guy who, when times are good, makes the real money for the company. They have safe investments to cover the depositors' interest needs, then they have riskier stuff to try to earn some profit. If a guy is playing the risker stuff right - like the used cars - he makes lots of profit for the company. But when it all goes to crap, his investments are the ones that lose the most money.

I just wonder that a law like this would curtail riskier investments, since no one wants to be arrested, and cause finance companies to go ultra-conservative. I'd be OK with it if someone was intentionally doing something detrimental to the company, but that's already covered for the most part in fraud laws. It seems the sort of law they are talking about would simply punish investors for taking chances, which is sort of what they are supposed to do. No risk = no reward.

In the States, finance companies were selling basically crap mortgages knowing they were crap, and playing "hot potato" with them hoping not to be the one caught holding them when it all went bad. To me, that's fraud and is or should be covered under anti-fraud laws.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:02 pm

Klaudandus wrote:why wont the US do something like this?
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100676783
We do have quite a bit of legal recourse if there is fraud going on. It can be hard to prove at times, though more recent legislation (SOX and whatnot) has tried to address some of that.

I mean if you are talking about the collapse in 08, then the government would have to arrest itself after enacting the law. The banks weren't selling these "fraudulent" (as Koatanga labels it) mortgages out of the blue. They were being pushed that direction by the government who signed off on those mortgages via freddie/fannie. The government had a plan to manage the risk by securitizing them and sticking them in an exchange (government speak for hiding who gets screwed). Then the gov't even recategorized them into a less risky category so they could be traded that much easier. There was a nice legal framework legitimatizing it, so it's hard to send people to jail over it. Besides, it all worked pretty well for over a decade until housing prices started to fall, so plenty of people did benefit before it popped.

Reading some of the details of that article, it's really hard to know where things will land with that legislation. The clawbacks are an interesting idea, but it's not clear that this report will lead to legislation that is all that much different than what we have (where the comparison makes sense).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:10 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:47 pm

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23130313/native-americans-incensed-over-pro-gun-billboard

From Colorado, home of Columbine and Aurora, and where a good friend of mine is grieving over a bartender at a local metal club who was recently gunned down in a Denny's. I'd be all for people's right to bear arms if people could show they can be responsible bearing them.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:13 am

Link

So, tomorrow morning, a man will be executed in the death of his rape victim. His 6 month old, daughter of his girlfriend he was living with, Rape Victim. That's right. A man raped, and in the process killed a 6 month old infant. While drunk. Then laid the baby next to her mother in bed.

It's sickening.

And his family believes he's innocent.

Well, the evidence points to the contrary, and he will be executed by lethal injection at 10am tomorrow morning. This happened where I live. It was a terrible ordeal, and a brutal trial.

I have waffled on my stance of the death penalty from time to time, but I'm pretty certain, I'm ok with this one.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Thu May 02, 2013 12:47 am

My Stance on death penalty is pretty harsh. If it can be CLEARLY proven that they are guilty of the crime. Put em in the ground. Simple as that. I'm actually quite sad we caught the boston Bomber, now my federal tax dollars get to go to giving that guy food/water/shelter/dental/medical For 15 years or so until he dies, or even worse life in prison. He's gonna live quite awhile.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu May 02, 2013 4:33 am

I pretty much agree. Of course there is the other side of the coin, in which us, as taxpayers, become accomplice of murder... like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Garrett and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_DeLuna

Interesting documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj8Lj2CXu9k
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fetzie » Thu May 02, 2013 5:10 am

Aubade wrote:My Stance on death penalty is pretty harsh. If it can be CLEARLY proven that they are guilty of the crime. Put em in the ground. Simple as that. I'm actually quite sad we caught the boston Bomber, now my federal tax dollars get to go to giving that guy food/water/shelter/dental/medical For 15 years or so until he dies, or even worse life in prison. He's gonna live quite awhile.

There have been so many times when the court has been "sure" and the evidence has "clearly, without doubt" proven that the defendant did it, only for it to come out afterwards (often-times after the execution) that the person convicted was innocent. I cannot, in good conscience, support capital punishment given the track record of false convictions. It has also been shown that capital punishment does not act as a deterrent, and it is more expensive to carry out an execution in the USA than it is to lock them up in Supermax until they die due to the extensive appeals process (which is fallible) and the need to separate Death Row convicts from the rest of the prisoners with suicide watches etc.

The Death Penalty exists to exercise revenge on the convict. The simple fact that they allow family members and friends of the victim to witness the execution is proof enough of that. The judicial system should not exist to mete out revenge. I would hope that we have moved beyond that medieval notion.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Thu May 02, 2013 7:17 am

Fetzie,
His family maintains his innocence, after he went so far as to say that he didn't mean to kill the 6 month old baby, just rape it. Can you in good conscience say that was a false conviction?

Seriously. we didn't need 15 years for this.

I have a pretty similar stance to aubade. If you are guilty, and we "know" it, stop wasting time, and just get it over with.
This guy, The Unabomber, Brievik in Norway, Dahmer, the Aurora Colorado Shooter (if he's found sane), and I really don't think that it needs to be that complicated.

I also can't find reliable information that says there is this shocking amount of false convictions. Do they happen? Yes. Do we sometimes do terrible things in the name of doing the right thing, only to find out we did it wrong? Yes. It happens. We aren't perfect.

The Price can come down, a lot. The price of execution is ridiculous, because we have gotten to the point where we allow 15 years of appeals to a man who said he didn't mean to kill a baby, just rape it. The Death was accidental. So 15 years of time, spent on appeals, and clemency. Seriously? And we're surprised by how much it ends up costing?

This will probably sound barbaric, and it flies in the face of the rest of my rather liberal leaning beliefs. But a box of shells, and a Hi Point 9MM will run you 200 bucks a pop. Building a Mythbusters style rig to ensure that You don't have someone standing there pulling the trigger, another 2 grand (and I'm guessing WAY HIGH on that).

Look at that. For 2500 bucks, plus the cost to clean the chamber, I just set up a plan that would execute 50 people for a fraction of the cost.

And I have no problem with the family being allowed to be there. That's there choice. What's the difference between them being there for it, and sitting at home waiting to read it in the paper, or on the news? Not much really.

The Death Penalty is hardly the only form of revenge in the judicial system. Suing someone can be revenge, testifying at their trial could be revenge. It's all in how you choose to define it. Is the Death Penalty the end of that spectrum? Probably, but that doesn't change that there is a very large part of the judicial system that is predicated on revenge.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Thu May 02, 2013 10:44 am

The entire criminal justice system is nothing more than standardized revenge. Laws and consequences mean absolutely nothing to the person committing a crime; they'd have done the crime regardless of whether or not there were laws in place to punish them for it.

That's pretty much the only thing I remember from my criminal justice 101 class from a couple of years ago, was the prof saying that. She made it make way more sense than I ever could today, though, but the main thrust of the lecture stayed with me.

Personally I'm glad that we caught the Boston bomber. I hope we throw the book at him, then choke him to death with it, regardless of the cost. Because we are a nation of laws, and a "brass verdict" is beneath us - or, should be. And every now and then, we have to be reminded of that fact by holding a fair and impartial trial for a celebrity criminal. Whether it be the current kerfluffle of the Jodi Arias trial that's taking up so much media time, or the upcoming kerfluffle that will be the Dzhokar Tsarnaev trial. The only difference is that the Arias trial is a local Arizona thing (I'm pretty sure?) and the Tsarnaev trial will be nationwide coverage.

The cost of the trial and the cost of death row is well worth it, considering that it serves a necessary purpose. That of reminding us that, no matter how we may wish otherwise in some cases, we are a nation of laws.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Thu May 02, 2013 1:13 pm

I would not oppose using the detah penatly in some cases, if it could be ultimately proven that the person up did the crime (s)he was accused of.

However, I have heard of and seen too many "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" where I could find reasonable doubt when taking a step back, that I do not believe any justice system is certain enough that capital punishment is realisticly possible under the criteria I set to accept it.

I also think that capital punishment can exist without it being "revenge" - I am not a subscriber to "eye for an eye", but if you take the life of others, and there is no outside influence or illness causing it, and you would do so again as soon as you were released (or managed to escape), then, I think the use of the penal system would be to put you to death, as the penal system exists to adjust behaviour and protect others.

(Just like I think the ultimate liberty would be that I was allowed to do anything I wanted, as long as it did not infringe on your same right)

For the case mentione d(and I only know of it through this forum), from what you are saying Shoju, the 15 years was not undue (well the time it took says more about the speed of the justice system tbh) - as far as I know, there is no death penatly for acausing an accidental death, even with aggrevating circumstances (?), and heinous as the intended crime may be to us and most other people, it does not carry the death penalty either.
(If the accidental slaying of another, with aggrevating circumstances, carries the death penalty, then the above is not really relevant, but I would assume that would also have caused the 15 years to not happen, as the outcome doesn't seem to be in question, just the intent)

If a society wishes to exercise a right to putting its citizens to death, it must also ensure due process in making damned sure that the eprson is actually guilty of a crime that carries the death sentence, and not just put to death due to the undisputed crime being vile.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Amirya » Thu May 02, 2013 1:59 pm

But the question is if it was an accidental death, as you're stating, or an aggravated murder, as the jury found.

Pretty much boils down to, if your actions will cause the death of another, if you do those actions even without the deliberate intent of the death, is that accidental or not?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Fri May 03, 2013 1:32 am

Or felony murder. If you sell someone a gun and they use that gun to kill a couple of people in cold blood, under the law you're guilty of felony murder. That can carry the death penalty, as far as I know?

Same thing if you're the "wheelman" during a robbery where people are killed. You're just as guilty of the murder as the people who actually did the killing in those cases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_mu ... ted_States
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Fri May 03, 2013 2:41 am

Amirya wrote:But the question is if it was an accidental death, as you're stating, or an aggravated murder, as the jury found.

Pretty much boils down to, if your actions will cause the death of another, if you do those actions even without the deliberate intent of the death, is that accidental or not?


Oh, I'm not stating, the (now executed?) defendant was stating so - and since one carries teh death penalty and the other does not, I find it a worthwhile use of the justicesystem.

And as for the second question, it would be a matter for a concrete valuation (as my law lecturer was fond of stating back when I went to law school) - in my opinion whether it is accidental or not is a matter of a culpability evaluation - was the result foreseeable to bonus pate, if so, should the accused also have been able to foresee it (thus excluding mental debilitation[not selfinduced - drinking or doing drugs* should not exculpate you])

*If you were drugged by someone else, exculpation is still on the table imo.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri May 03, 2013 6:01 am

Fivelives wrote:Or felony murder. If you sell someone a gun and they use that gun to kill a couple of people in cold blood, under the law you're guilty of felony murder. That can carry the death penalty, as far as I know?

Same thing if you're the "wheelman" during a robbery where people are killed. You're just as guilty of the murder as the people who actually did the killing in those cases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_mu ... ted_States
Selling someone a gun that they later use to murder someone is not felony murder (it is likely not a crime at all). Felony murder is basically when someone in the act of committing a felony unintentionally kills someone.

Being a wheelman would qualify as felony murder, but the death penalty would likely not be an option unless the wheelman had more involvement in the killing.
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