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Matt Taibbi On Unequal Justice In The Age Of Inequality

This hour is rebroadcast from April 15, 2014.

Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi sees a huge and growing divide in the US justice system, where big money buys innocence and poverty means guilt. He joins us.

In this file photo, author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. There was a heavy police presence around the 42nd Street area as the demonstration began Wednesday morning outside. (AP)

In this file photo, author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. There was a heavy police presence around the 42nd Street area as the demonstration began Wednesday morning outside. (AP)

Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi makes us look at what we might want to avoid, ignore.  And he does it with a rage that compels us to keep looking.  He’s gone after the lords of Wall Street as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”  This time out, he’s going after a great skewing, he says, of American justice.  In an age of great inequality, says Taibbi, our rule of law has been subverted.  Divided into two tiers. Free passes for the rich.  Criminalization for the poor.  This hour On Point:  Matt Taibbi on separate and unequal American justice in the age of inequality.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Matt Taibbi, project editor at First Look Media. Author of “The Divide: American Injustice In the Age of the Wealth Gap.” Also author of “Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History” and “The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire.” (@mtaibbi)

Authur Laby, professor of law at Rutgers University.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Book Review: ‘The Divide’ by Matt Taibbi — “It would be one thing to simply point at such judicial disparity and cry foul. Mr. Taibbi’s contribution is to trace the bureaucratic process that created a prosecutorial doctrine that calls for weighing ‘collateral consequences’—that is, anything that might hurt innocent bystanders—when deciding whether to bring a case against a corporation. ‘Prosecutors may take into account the possibly substantial consequences to a corporation’s officers, directors, employees, and shareholders,’ reads a 1999 Justice Department memo written by a then obscure lawyer named Eric Holder.”

 Washington Post: ‘The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap’ by Matt Taibbi — “Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants, to juxtapose justice for the poor and the powerful.”

NPR: In Book’s Trial Of U.S. Justice System, Wealth Gap Is Exhibit A –  “What I ended up finding is that it’s incredibly easy for people who don’t have money to go to jail for just about anything. There’s almost an inverse relationship between the ease with which you can put a poor person in jail for, say, welfare fraud, and the difficulty that prosecutors face when they try to put someone from a too-big-to-fail bank in jail for a more serious kind of fraud.”

Read An Excerpt of “The Divide” by Matt Taibbi

 

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  • andrewgarrett

    The “age of inequality” has the lowest global poverty rate in history. A billion people escaped poverty in the last two decades, but still Americans are a one percent, so to speak, who have a higher living standard than almost everybody else in history, and spend a tiny fraction of their vast wealth on food and other necessities.

    • StilllHere

      Great global perspective, and a reminder of just how good things are here.

    • John Cedar

      You get a -D
      The proper thinking is too assume the the poor and minorities are getting it stuck to them by the man.
      And then go out and try to prove that and ignore all contrary evidence.

      • harverdphd

        Right on! Then choose a scapegoat and figure out how to steal their money.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      So, there are no economic problems here in the US? We can ignore poverty and hunger, because you say so?

      • harverdphd

        Where did the poster say that?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          He said we’ve got nothing to worry about because it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.

          • harverdphd

            Where…?

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Incarceration has become a big business. Corporations have lobbied for quotas for inmates when bidding on contracts. We incarcerate more people than any other country in the world. We turn nonviolent, and victimless ‘offenders’ into career criminals. This is madness!!!

    • StilllHere

      Prison populations are rising and crime levels are dropping. The system seems to work.

    • John Cedar

      I agree. It would have been much cheaper to spank them when they were kids and enforce a curfew with corporal punishment when they were teenagers.

    • fun bobby

      they call them “clients”

  • John Cedar

    So some Senators can get away with drowning their Secretaries and some people cannot. In order to fix this unequal justice, the libruls would have us let more poor people get way with murder.

    • OnPointComments

      Based on the librul’s proposed solution for income inequality, i.e., let’s make the rich poorer, it’s more likely that their solution for unequal justice will be to lock up some innocent 1%ers to balance things out.

      • John Cedar

        Are you talking about the Duke LAX case? No they just want to change the standard to guilty until proven innocent for white men.

        Okay…and then they want harsher penalties for the same crimes for white men and the wealthy. EPA and lead fines is but one of a million examples. Or take Bieber tossing eggs at his neighbors door if you prefer. Martha Stewart or the queen of mean. they all get prosecuted 10X worse than a poor person would have.

        The reality is apparent to anyone who wants to see it. On average, poor people get away with a lot more crimes before they finally get caught and prosecuted. Or look at the Chicago gun violence outbreak as an example of them getting caught and let go or getting a slap on the wrist.

        • HonestDebate1

          82 people were murdered in Chicago over the holiday weekend.

    • JGC

      The next time you give your HR Lady a lift, be sure all the windows are rolled down. Just in case.

      • John Cedar

        I already said a lady is a chick that’s older than me…so obviously I wouldn’t give her a lift.

        • JGC

          Are you telling me that if you were driving down the highway and saw Sarah Palin standing next to her broken-down snowmobile with her thumb out, you wouldn’t immediately pull over, clear the old Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups and Chick-Fil-A wrappers off your passenger seat, and offer her a ride?

          • HonestDebate1

            I had a dream last night that started the exact same way!

    • jimino

      I realize that in your world view, justice should just be another product subject to the market forces you so fervently worship. It’s the natural order of things, right?

      Just don’t insult us by using terms like “rule of law” and other quaint catch phrases.

      • John Cedar

        I have no idea what you are saying.

        Even if the lie was true that wealthy and non minorities are prosecuted and sentenced in a softer fashion, the answer is not to let the rest of the criminals go, it is to step up enforcement against those fictional groups who you falsely argue are not paying their debt to society.

  • Yar

    A Few Bad Men
    Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls were built by men, men holding guns over men forcing men to build those walls. This Country is built on slavery, what you have today comes from the sweat and blood of those with guns to their head. You weep for children at the border, and you curse the men on the wall, you have that luxury because you don’t know where your goods came from. You have that luxury of not knowing what I know, That while the death of those children will save the lifestyle you so love. You don’t want the truth, you need your ignorance to sleep well each night. All the while I stand on the wall between the haves and have-nots, knowing that life isn’t fair and that you really don’t want it to be. We use words like honor, code, loyalty, patriot. as the backbone of defending our tribe against the world. You use them as a punchline, I have neither the inclination or time to explain myself to men who benefit from the fear and tyranny I impose for you. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a ballot and vote for someone else because the game is rigged to keep me in power, and will not waste my power by giving to someone with a heart or sense of justice, the right to vote is granted only taking power and making a difference in this cruel world.

    Please understand that this piece is written as irony. I desire a world where all are treated with respect and work for a living wage. We live in fear because of those we exploit. How do we accomplish a transition to justice? We are very much like South Africa during apartheid. Our apartheid is based on economic class.

    • John Cedar

      I desire a world with more rainbows and dogs would stay as puppies much longer too.

      • Yar

        But you can’t see a path to justice?

    • geraldfnord

      Once you’ve knocked a man to the floor, it’s dangerous to let him stand up again.

      • John Cedar

        Because he might testify against you for the assault you committed.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Anaïs Mitchell’s “Why Do We Build The Wall?”

      http://lyrics.wikia.com/Ana%C3%AFs_Mitchell:Why_We_Build_The_Wall

      http://www.songlyrics.com/anais-mitchell/why-we-build-the-wall-lyrics/

      “What do we have that they should want?

      We have a wall to work upon!

      We have work and they have none

      And our work is never done

      My children, my children

      And the war is never won

      The enemy is poverty

      And the wall keeps out the enemy

      And we build the wall to keep us free

      That’s why we build the wall

      We build the wall to keep us free

      We build the wall to keep us free”

      • John Cedar

        Now Watergate does not bother me
        Does your conscious bother you, tell the truth.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Watergate was a travesty, and Nixon and others should have been criminally prosecuted.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nixon could only dream of having Obama’s IRS.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Who was falsely investigated? Was a non-profit denied tax-free status? Where’s the problem?

            Issa has amped this issue for his own glorification. There is no there there …

          • HonestDebate1

            Surely you are not serious.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I am totally serious. Who was falsely investigated? Was a non-profit denied tax-free status? Where’s the problem?

          • geraldfnord

            Nixon directly ordered specific individuals’ auditing; there has been no credible allegation of Obama’s doing anything like that, and his I.R.S. is severely understaffed, purposefully so by way of ideologues who don’t think civilisation is worth the cover charge.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nixon didn’t get anywhere. Even the articles of impeachment said he “endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

            Rose Mary Woods erased only about 5 minutes of evidence. Learner got rid of years worth.

          • blaine

            If you mean he could only dream of having an IRS so incompetent they can’t keep proper records and backups, you’re probably right. Nixon was a famous tax evader. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1982&dat=19770201&id=UOVfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qW0NAAAAIBAJ&pg=6324,28843

        • HonestDebate1

          Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers,
          and they’ve been known to pick a song or two. Lord they get me off so much.
          They pick me up when I’m feeling blue
          How about you?

  • Kestrel

    I made this comment earlier, but it did not show up, so please excuse if this appears twice. I suggest reading “Get Out of Jail, Inc.” by Sarah Stillman in the June 23 issue of the New Yorker. It explains how for-profit companies make money off poor offenders – for offenses like traffic tickets. It is a chilling article which proves Matt Taibbi’s point.

    • StilllHere

      Do they make more than what the municipal authority makes when the players haven’t been privatized? Getting your towed car out of the city’s loop auto-lockup costs at least $400 on top of your parking ticket. Bummer, if you run out of quarters.

  • creaker

    As long as one commits a crime under the direction of a corporation, nothing will happen. Worst case an “agreement” will be struck where the corporation pays a fine which may only be a fraction of the money they made illegally and the corporation does not have to admit to any wrongdoing. And the actual people involved just walk. Citi’s recent $7B “fine” being one example.

  • JGC

    From the NYTimes, “Three Enemas Later, Still No Drugs,” by Nicholas Kristof, about people (mainly impoverished people) subjected to law enforcement demanding multiple invasive body cavity searches, and then these innocent “suspects” being stuck with the resulting medical bills in the thousands$

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/opinion/sunday/kristof-3-enemas-later-still-no-drugs.html

    • Kestrel

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Horrifying.

  • creaker

    I seem to remember one case where a hit and run driver was some big player in finance, the judge let him off because a sentence would negatively impact his employment opportunities.

  • geraldfnord

    Given that we accept that if you are rich you will, if you will, eat much better, live in a much less dangerous place, get much better education for your kids, wear much better clothing, get much better treatment from doctors and the police (at least under normal circumstances), and spend your days doing things much more interesting and meaningful to you, why shouldn’t we acept that you will get a better deal from the notional justice system?

    Paraphrasing Terry Pratchett: ‘Justice was something they sent out a servant for when they wanted it.’

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Equal Justice. Equality. Personal responsibility. Shared values. Putting country first. Self sacrifice. Fair play. Leaving something for everyone else. Letting the other person go first.

    Cue the creepy phantom laugh.

    • geraldfnord

      Equal Justice? Equality? Why should horrible squat moochers have _any_ of the rights proper to square-jawed, tall, inventors and architects?

      Personal responsibility? That’s for those of us too dumb not to hide behind a corporate cloak.

      Shared values? The Market will sell you the values you want and can afford.

      Putting country first? The most patriotic American is the man or woman best at putting their interests first, and is worshipped for it, unlike some chump of a soldier or community organiser or hospital janitor.

      Fair play? What, and punish those who by their efforts (including birth) are able to afford better than fair?

      Leaving something for everyone else? Letting the other person go first? Life is a pitiless struggle, my friend*…and we’re going to make sure it stays that way, ‘cos it’ s doing well for us and we get off on watching the losers suffer.

      *(I have never once heard ‘…, my friend.’ used in a manner at all friendly. )

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Wall Street and the three (now) Clintons. Take it all.
    And nothing left for everyone else. Nothing.
    The End.

    Where’s this movie playing? Oh, that’s right. Everywhere.

  • Jeff

    Inequities are so horrible that we have floods of people crossing the border to get here…yep that’s a sure sign that it’s just awful here in America.

    • creaker

      You kind of miss the concepts of “sucks” and “sucks worse”

      • Jeff

        Sure, but what’s better than the US? Where are all the Americans going?

        • jefe68

          They have no place to go, nor do they have the capital. This nation is falling apart, literally if you look out our infrastructure.

          • Jeff

            I lived in Minneapolis and I drove on the 35W bridge every day until it fell, yes I realize that is a huge issue but don’t lie about things falling apart….that was due to a design flaw 50 years earlier…not due to funding shortfalls and repairs couldn’t get done.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            It is almost every bridge we have. It is a flaw in our attitude. We spent a lot of money, but then we stopped, and we are now running on fumes.

          • jefe68

            What? We have bridges that were designed to last 50 years that are now on their last legs. We have other bridges that have been left to rot due to a lack of maintenance as are the roads across the country. Then there are all the natural gas lines and oil pipe lines.
            Lets add the nations electrical grid which is in great need of updating.

            It would seem that the I35W bridge should have been replaced years before it collapsed. The other question is if it had a design flaw, why did it take a collapse to find it?

            You have this bad habit of using one incident to, such as the one posted below about your white friend, as examples that nothing is wrong.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s impossible. Obama said that’s what the “stimulus” was for. The shovel-ready jobs thing was his big issue.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0dFsNwiqOM

          • Jeff

            It was a design flaw…it wasn’t slotted to get rebuilt for another 20 years. Don’t try to make it into something it wasn’t…this was a designer screwing up a set of gusset plates (aka garter plates) and making them half as large/thick as they needed to be as per the load calculations.

          • jefe68

            The I-35W bridge was of a type called “fracture critical,” meaning that the failure of any major member would cause a collapse, because it had no redundancy. The design is lighter and less expensive to build, but has gradually fallen out of favor with highway departments.

            Investigators in the Minneapolis case said it took time to locate all the design information on the bridge, partly because of its age. Structural analysis is easier now, though, than it was when the bridge was built, because of the improvement in computers.

            Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/washington/15bridge.html?_r=0

    • jimino

      So we have reached the point where that’s the standard for the self-proclaimed greatest nation ever has become: “We’re not as bad as the worst places on Earth!!”

      Yippee.

  • AC

    this is interesting, yet depressing. i’ve wondered if the larger financial corps are harder to target ‘the ones’, how many could do the ‘following orders’? i imagine a few would be able to use that as their excuse?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Steal from the American taxpayer – receive the presidential medal of freedom.* Steal a loaf of bread – lose your head.
    American Exceptionalism. Everybody wins!

    * Or a US Senate seat or ambassadorship.

  • Dab200

    America is unfortunately beginning to resemble USSR in many aspects of today’s life i.e. ‘the employers pretend to pay people and the employees pretend to work’.

    • anamaria23

      Do you have even a clue what the USSR was like?
      Most employed Americans are among the hardest workers on the planet.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We only work for the rich.
    –The law firm of Thomas, Roberts, Alito, and Scuzbuzzard {attorneys at theft}

  • creaker

    All systems become oligarchies.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      All systems run down. Hoober Doober

    • geraldfnord

      I see no way around it: people want the best for their children, both uncomplicatedly as such and out of pride. There is a way out: learn to consider more children ‘our’ children, and make it a point of pride that we are, collectively, rich and powerful enough to see that though we can’t erase all differences in the treatment of new people we’ve invited to this party, we can make sure that there were a minimum level below which we won’t let someone fall.

  • Jeff

    Welfare fraud vs bad investments…that’s the big injustice? The bad investments required 2 people (or groups) to agree to them and do the research…you can’t fault one side for being ignorant about markets. Even the people inside the banking firms believed that they weren’t going to see a huge drop in housing that we saw…both sides were ignorant in that situation…just because something bad happened doesn’t mean someone broke the law. It’s the stupidity on both sides where NINJ (no income, no job) loans were given out but it was also wrong for a person to take that loan and not pay it back. That was a horrible miscalculation on all sides…and then to compare that to someone lying to get more free money from the government; no comparison in my eyes…an unfortunate market drop compared to direct fraud…not the same thing.

    Keep in mind that reforms were attempted on the government entities in the mid-2000′s but certain Democrats refused to clamp down on Fannie and Freddie…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPSDnGMzIdo

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      If you rob a bank via their computer vs a gun to the teller’s head. The former carries almost zero penalty. HSBC laundered billions of drug cartel’s money, and got virtually no penalty. But, get caught with a tiny quantity of drugs and get decades behind bars …

    • hennorama

      Jeff — here’s part of the difference, and an illustration of how these fines and settlements simply become a part of the cost of doing business:

      A headline this morning on Forbes.com, regarding Citigroup’s settlement of fraud charges

      Citigroup Profit Tumbles After $7 Billion Mortgage Settlement With DOJ

      See:
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2014/07/14/citigroup-profit-tumbles-after-7-billion-mortgage-settlement-with-doj/

      As part of the settlement, per NASDAQ.com, Citigroup made some significant admissions.

      Citigroup Inc. committed “egregious” misconduct by covering up problems with loans it was packaging into securities and selling to investors, Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to say Monday when the Justice Department announces a $7 billion settlement with the bank to resolve the government’s mortgage probe.

      “Despite the fact that Citigroup learned of serious and widespread defects among the increasingly risky loans they were securitizing, the bank and its employees concealed these defects,” Mr. Holder plans to say, according to a prepared copy of his remarks.

      See:
      http://www.nasdaq.com/article/holder-to-cite-citigroups-egregious-misconduct-in-mortgage-settlement-20140714-00174

      Recall too that Citigroup had previously (in early 2012) admitted to fraud, in that it gave misleading information about the quality of its mortgages to a HUD insurance program that was backing some of its mortgages. The defaults on some of those mortgages cost taxpayers millions.

      • HonestDebate1

        How many trillions did Obama’s Fed first give them?

    • TFRX

      Bothsides?

      No more calls, please. We have a winner (sic).

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Extractive means in our economy are used to some people’s advantage, and this undermines many people. The war on drugs, and the school to prison pipeline are one thing. Much of the financial sector is working in secrecy churning money around.

    Cheap oil can be used to export jobs and then sell the junk to the new underclass that lost the manufacturing jobs.

    Cable television and unequal Internet access boxes people into paying for passive entertainment that is jammed full of high pressure sales brow-beating. Ditto for cell phone bills – just another opportunity to jam more ads in our face. We are paying for the privilege of being sold more stuff …

    Then there is the pay to play requirement of our so-called democracy. Once you get money, you can wedge out the poor. You can pay to pass laws that favor you, and gerrymander the voters so they have virtually no input, and no protection.

    Fracking companies not only can keep their fluid contents secret – they can make it a crime to reveal. They pay off the victims and buy their silence. And then go on extracting under our very feet, making a killing.

  • elzarrow

    Thank you Matt Taibbi for your commitment to truthfulness. I’m grateful for your ability to see clearly and analyze honestly.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We can’t prosecute my buddies! Where am I gonna get my income stream?
    –Eric Holder, someone’s idea of an Attorney General

  • J__o__h__n

    Surely the loss of faith in prosecutors was a collateral consequence as well.

  • Jon

    Judaism Christianity Islam Marxism communism progressivism conservatism the supreme court all fighting in the name of justice with this Euclidean premise – all geometrical objects are created equal

  • Michiganjf

    JUST look at all the injustice and inequality perpetrated by Republicans and the right in our country… and they OPENLY BOAST about it, openly thumbing their noses at the vast majority of Americans!!

    Yet, they are regularly given a pass by the most reliable voting block in the country, even though that voting block really only represents around 25% of the American population.

    The bottom line:

    Not enough Americans care enough to turn out and vote to marginalize the rabid right.

    The status quo will not change, and inequality and injustice will remain… the wealthy will stay in control so long as they can continue to dupe that small portion of America on the far right.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    By every measure, Barack Obama’s presidency is just as big a moral failure as that of his two immediate predecessors. The Vietnam & post-Vietnam generation missed the lessons of the past, somehow.*

    * Must have been all that elite, private schooling they received.

  • Jeff

    Yep, my good friend was arrested for having an open container when he was walking to the sidewalk to show somewhere to park…cops were driving by and we were all 21 years old and they proceeded to write a ticket. This was the middle of the afternoon and we were playing bocce ball. My buddy had no idea that you couldn’t walk to the sidewalk while in a friend’s yard to point to a parking spot…oh and he is white. Cops can be jerks, end of story.

    • jefe68

      Nah, cops know when they spot an easy ticket.
      Not sure what the white thing is about.

      • Jeff

        Are you listening…the guest on the radio is saying that black people just standing around are being written up tickets for open container and sitting on a stoop…my point was that I’ve seen it with people of all colors.

        My friend was on the sidewalk for less than 20 seconds…he wasn’t meandering around he was literally pointing to a parking spot for some friends…he returned to the yard almost immediately and cops happened to be driving by as the friends pulled up and wrote the ticket.

        • jefe68

          Are you kidding? Because of a few incidents that you have seen involving white people that’s your proof that Matt Taibbi is wrong?

          I’ve said this before about some of your comments, you need to grow up.

          • Jeff

            I have a specific incident that specifically refutes that guest’s point…I’ll go ahead and share that, you can say grow up but I was staying on point and sharing a very salient story. You obviously weren’t paying attention and tried to save yourself by suggesting I grow up….okay get some listening skills and follow along next time jerk.

          • jefe68

            Ahh I hit nerve. I followed along fine. Your story has little to do with reality of being a black man in this country when dealing with the police. All your personal stories are full of whining and whinging and really add up to nothing at all. Zero.

            Showing your true troll colors I see.

          • HonestDebate1

            So the police are racists?

          • Jeff

            No you’re just a jerk, sometimes people need to be told that you aren’t arguing any valid points. I’m telling a very specific story about a white guy having the same experience as a black man…get over it.

          • blaine

            Mmm, sorry, but your vignette doesn’t “refute the guest’s point.” Mr. Taibbi is not saying that white people don’t get ticketed for petty things, ever, anywhere. He’s not even saying that about white people in NYC. He’s emphasizing the point that you would have to search very long an very hard to find any citizen of the Upper East Side of Manhattan who has ever been issued a ticket for an absurd offense like “obstructing the right of way” (a.k.a just standing on the sidewalk) in front of their own residence, while the sidewalk is deserted. Yet such absurd harassment and ticketing is a routine occurrence for young black men throughout NYC because of LE policy in that city and the incentives created for officers who want to advance their careers, or even stay in their current position. The other poster is simply pointing out how absurd it is to bring your anecdote into the discussion as if it is a “salient point,” as you say. It’s not.

            By the way, in his book, Mr. Taibbi discusses how SAF policies affect all marginalized citizen’s regardless of race. The first story he tells in the book is about a homeless white kid. The laws are unjust because they are about profiling. They’re about assigning labels, aggregations, caricatures, stereotypes, and negative assumptions to people and then using them as legitimate reasons to harass them, find them in violation of a code, and write them a summons. That guy’s got long hair a goatee and tie-dyed t-shirt: dirty hippie. That guy’s got his cap on backwards and his pants are sagging: thug. That guy’s got dreads: pot-head. That guy’s got tats and gauges: deviant.

            To focus so much on SAF in NYC though is to miss the larger point of Mr. Taibbi’s book: that while beat cops, highway patrols, state troopers, and county sheriffs across the country are aggressively writing citations against “ordinary citizens” and prosecutors are using all tools at their disposal to fill up the jails and prisons with these petty offenders, criminals, who just also happen to be executives at financial institutions, are getting free passes even though they have committed serious crimes resulting in damages amounting to many billions of dollars and affecting nearly all of the nation’s citizens.

          • Jeff

            He literally said during the discussion that he talked to a cop who said “I don’t think I’ve ever written an open container ticket to a white guy before”.

            He was literally saying that white people don’t get ticketed for petty crimes. PAY ATTENTION AND LISTEN TO THE SHOW BEFORE TRYING TO ASSUME YOU KNOW WHAT THE SHOW IS ABOUT!

          • blaine

            “He was literally saying that white people don’t get ticketed for petty crimes. PAY ATTENTION AND LISTEN TO THE SHOW BEFORE TRYING TO ASSUME YOU KNOW WHAT THE SHOW IS ABOUT!”

            No he wasn’t. Click on the link below and start listening to the player at the top of the page at 36:10.

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/04/15/matt-taibbi-inequality-the-divide

            Mr. Taibbi says that a particular judge remarked that *he* couldn’t remember sentencing a white person for an open container offense. Mr. Taibbi immediately continues this anecdote by saying the judge had his staff look into the matter and found that 4% of open container citations in NY were issued to white offenders (for whatever period they investigated).

            This differs vastly from the words you’re trying to put into his mouth and use to buttress your nonsensical comments. You need to pay attention before you start screaming and hurt yourself with your foolishness.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Name someone other than a wog who was prosecuted.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Blankfein in jail yet? How about Fuld? Or the AIG clown?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Or the BP CEO?

  • jecunningham2

    In India, judges impose fines based on the size of your income, for instance, a week’s wages. Wouldn’t adopting their system fix much of this problem?

    • Jeff

      Nope, horrible idea.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Why is it horrible? Sounds more fair than what we have now?

        Since corporations are “people” when will we put one in jail, or execute a corporation?

        • HonestDebate1

          Where is Bernie Madoff?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Was Madoff or Enron part of the financial crisis? Nope. Enron prosecution stopped when the CEO died.

          • StilllHere

            Tell that to Jeff Skilling.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            That was waaaaay before the financial crisis.

          • StilllHere

            Enron’s prosecution didn’t end with the CEO’s death.

        • Jeff

          Enron was executed…they’re executed all the time due to the highest tax rate in the world…bankruptcy is the same thing as an execution for a business.

          • TFRX

            Executed?

            Everyone who ran the great ship Enron into the ground can’t do that with their next corporation?

            You really need to get out more.

      • creaker

        The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

        Except we don’t prosecute the wealthy anymore.

    • jefe68

      In India corruption is rife on all levels of government and business. That would be the last model one should follow.

      That said, we have plenty of corruption here.
      One could say that our country is more or less an oligarchy.

      • Mlynda Sims

        It seems that we *are* an oligarchy. Question is, when did we cease to be a Democracy? There’s no reason to seek an answer to the question, though, unless it will help us to make America a Democracy again.

        • jefe68

          When Nixon was president the amount spent on lobbying was about $100,000 million a year, now it’s in the $3.3 billion range. Back in the Nixon ear it was rare to find a member of either House of Congress working for a lobbying group, now it’s a revolving door.

          It’s about special interest, it’s really that simple.

          • HonestDebate1

            You say special interest like it’s a bad thing. Do you feel the same about solar lobbyist that costs us gazillions? Or the unions who lobbied to bail out GM? Or those lobbying for stricter gun control? How about environmental lobbies?

          • jefe68

            I feel that way about all special interest not matter what.

            Trust you to bring up unions and solar lobbyist. The bottom feeder never stops, like some slow moving slug invading a garden.

          • HonestDebate1

            I just think “special interest” is meaningless phrase for the shallow.

          • jefe68

            It’s not about you…

          • HonestDebate1

            $100,000 million is a hell of a lot more than $3.3 billion.

          • jefe68

            You don’t say.

          • StilllHere

            That guy doesn’t do math.

    • Rick Evans

      India is certainly a lousy example for the reasons cited. However
      Finland and Denmark have extremely low levels of corruption and have
      adopted this income adjusted fine schedule for speeders.

      That said, a fine schedule doesn’t solve the

  • CNR

    sadly i’ve come to expect white collar criminals will get off with just a fine…but what galls me is that the fines are rarely (never?) prohibitive.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Which idiots decided that LTCM should be “rescued”? Any of them go to jail? Or those owners rescued?

    Let right be done. To hell with “proof.”

  • FYI

    US foreign policy in shambles:
    Global crises worst since 1970 as Obama Golfs!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-14/us-foreign-policy-shambles-global-crises-worst-1970-obama-golfs

    Way to go Barry!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    At least Ken Lay (Enron) had the decency to top himself* before he could be dragged off to prison.

    * Alleged heart attack.

  • Slaton Anthony

    I was a bankruptcy attorney in Oklahoma in 1999-2005. I specifically saw Mortgage brokers issuing loans which we fraudulent. Mortgages that on their face never should have been issued. 30 year mortgage to an 80 year old woman. Two mortgages with the exact same monthly payment so the lender wouldn’t realize it was two mortgages. If the authorities were willing to comb through the Chapter 13 Mortgage cases of the early 2000s, I have no doubt they could prove RICO charges against individuals how were involved in the mortgage industry at that time. This could not have just been a few rouge brokers

    • jefe68

      A 30 year mortgage is not fraud even if the person is 80.
      If the person passes away before the mortgage is due, which can happen to a 30 year old, the house would be sold or the mortgage taken over by an heir.

      Sounds like you’re in the wrong business.

      • Slaton Anthony

        Correct when taken in isolation, but it shows a pattern of issuing mortgages which did not have a likelihood of being paid off under their own terms. If the mortgages are then underwritten or in a real since “passed off” to unsuspecting investors in bundles. This is why the patterns matter and could be found by data mining Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.

        • jefe68

          I’m sorry, but mortgages are either A listed or they are not. The bundling and the sale of them is the problem, is it not?
          I’m not sure how unsuspecting some investors are. My take is that’s a sliding scale.

          I’m not into using my own personal experience, but have mortgage that was always paid on time and was never late, not even by a day in over 10 years.
          Citi Mortgage sold it and hundreds of thousands of other mortgages to a large collection agency called Green Tree Servicing. GT also bought up millions of Bank of America mortgages as well.
          GT is currently under investigation by the Justice Department for fraudulent practices as well as other things.

          I refinanced with a local bank thinking I would be safer. Guess what, they sold the loan faster than Citi did in less than two weeks of the refinance to Fannie Mae of all the lousy corporations.

          Which was the exact thing I specifically asked this bank not to do.
          I was told they would not do this and yet they did. Point of my story, it’s the entire banking system that’s not working here and small borrowers like myself are mere pawns in their financial games.

          I’m not sure how I ended up in the same place I was trying to get out of, but I do remember it was one of the documents I signed, and I do remember thinking somethings not right here as this is the opposite of what I was asking for. If I did not sign the waver I would not have received the loan. When I brought this up I was told not to worry. And yet the bank sold the loan. All banks, including the small ones are screwed up.

          • Slaton Anthony

            This isn’t legal advice…..but if you want your lender to not sell your mortgage, best bet is a Credit Union but no guarantees there but chances are greater they will hold the loan rather than sell it on the secondary market.

            I guess in my opinion, the embarrassing thing about all this is that the information is all contained in public records (county land records, U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, Federal security fillings) but no one has data mined it to find the fraud that did occur.

            If a secretary steals $1000 from her employer, its easy to find. If bank executives through institutional fraud steal billions….their institutions get bailed out and they get bonuses because its “HARD” to find their crimes buried in all these public records.

          • jefe68

            I looked into the credit Unions in my area and I could not find one that I wanted to deal with. Part of this is bait and switch.
            I was very, very clear on why I was refinancing. I mean I brought this up at every meeting and phone call with both the lawyer the mortgage officer, and I still got screwed. And I’m an educated consumer!

    • hennorama

      Slaton Anthony — I have seen and heard similar stories, and have even been solicited to commit mortgage fraud on multiple occasions, all of which I reported.

      Here is a common scenario:

      A real estate broker, together with a cooperative mortgage broker, solicits people with excellent credit, but who have no real interest in purchasing a home. They become straw buyers for people with poor credit who actually want to buy a house. The straw buyer gets a lump-sum payment of a few thousand dollars, then signs all the paperwork. The mortgages required zero or very low down payments, of course.

      After the transaction, the people with poor credit occupy the home, and make payments directly to the lender. All is fine until they lose their job and cannot pay, leaving the straw buyer holding the bag. The straw buyer then defaults, ruining their credit and leaving them with significant tax issues.

      And of course, the lender gets a property back that is generally worth far less than the mortgage balance, and is saddled with a loss.

      As to my personal experiences, in purchasing single family and small multi-unit properties as rentals, on multiple occasions mortgage brokers advised that I should lie on the mortgage application by indicating the properties were for personal use rather than to become rentals. Obviously, I did not take their “advice,” and reported them to various authorities.

      To my knowledge, no criminal prosecutions resulted from any of these instances.

    • TFRX

      Is “rouge” a typo, a known joke, or a Freudian slip?

      But, yeah, there seems to be a lack of people who were on the proverbial front lines in the media on this subject.

    • blaine

      All true, but the point of Mr. Taibbi’s book isn’t that the authorities can’t make cases and don’t have evidence with regard to the frauds committed during the financial crisis. As he makes clear in his book, there is lots of evidence and many cases which would make for “slam dunk” prosecutions. His point is that when it comes to the executives who commit white-collar crimes, no excuse is spared in rationalizing decisions not to prosecute. For everyone else, if you get a citation for the most petty offense, issued under the most dubious of circumstances, you WILL go before a judge and prosecutors will spare no excuse in rationalizing the most zealous prosecution of the most minor transgression.

  • Bigtruck

    Matt is a warrior. If you don’t see that the laws are made by the rich for the rich at best you are dishonest.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If Obama wasn’t such a bankers’ tool he’d have appointed Suze Orman head of Fannie Mae.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Since Congress is a conspiracy to defraud the American taxpayer, why not RICO their butts?

  • shoirca

    Over 30,000 criminal referrals during the savings and loans scandal compared to virtually none during this financial crisis. That’s called regulatory capture.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I cannot in good conscience sentence a gentleman who had the good taste and simple decency to sip Woodford Reserve while driving.*
    –Judge Crater, Magistrate

    * His antiquated Alvis.

  • Erica Blair

    Thanks for your work Matt!
    You are one of the only investigative journalists left in this country.
    Check out the central banksters murdering our presidents, starting with Lincoln. There’s plenty of sheeple out there who need to get a wakeup call!

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Most investigative journalists on earth are in foreign jails. None work for MSNBC or FOX. HD

      • Slaton Anthony

        Very true…but give credit to propublica.org

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Re: social cohesion.
    The next president will be as bad or even worse than the ones since FDR. Whoever it is.

  • Rick Evans

    Times Square then (25 years ago) and now …. arrrggghhhh. One can always expect some clueless clown to opine. The main factor in the transformation of Times Square from a crime haven is the change in commercial composition,i.e. Disneyfication , that encouraged a different type of crowd to hang out there.

    Times square businesses don’t want their tourist dollars to be discouraged by meddlesome cops. A different way of looking at it. Imaging a black naked cowboy playing guitar on 125th and Lenox in his skivvies. He would be stopped and frisked.

  • TFRX

    Ken in Billierica needs to ask his fellow good ones Caucasian New Englanders where they get their drugs and hookers.

    • blaine

      Ain’t it funny like that? A Google exec O.D.s and the state spares no expense setting up a sting to catch the woman who he was paying to be with him while he poisoned himself and committed infidelities against his wife. Where are all the free-market, live-with-the-consequences-of-your-actions, cheer leaders? Are they setting up a defense fund to ensure the young woman is not held accountable for his choice to poison himself?

  • Human2013

    It’s capitalism, stupid. This comment applies to roughly 75% of Tom’s shows. It only gets worse

    • harverdphd

      Right. Where’s Lenin when we need him?

  • Adrian_from_RI

    Matt Taibbi makes a good living and gets an
    Onpoint episode dedicated to his rantings “On Unequal Justice In The Age Of
    Inequality.” Live should be that easy for all of us. In Mr. Taibbi’s research
    for his books should he not have discovered the real reason for the economic
    meltdown we are experiencing now?

    Only
    governments have the power to cause disasters like the Great Depression in the
    30th and the economic meltdown we are now going through. The
    financial industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. What makes us think that more of the same is going to
    safe us? What makes us think that piling Moral Hazard on top of Moral Hazard –
    like too big to fail – is the solution?

    The
    present disaster started in 1968 with the invention by community activist organizations
    like ACORN of the phony concept of “redlining” followed by the CRA of 1977
    forcing banks to start giving out toxic loans or perish. These toxic mortgages
    were mixed with healthy mortgage by the government sponsored Fannie Mae and
    Freddy Mac banks. These mortgage backed securities were sold all over the world
    with disastrous results. They caused Iceland to go bankrupt, Swiss banks to
    lose billions of dollars, and millions of Americans to lose their homes.

    Mr. Taibbi should have written about the
    main villain for this disaster, namely, the far from honorable congressman from
    Massachusetts, Barney Frank. He resembles to a tee the Wesley Mouch character from
    Atlas Shrugged.

    For those interested in the history of
    what caused the present economic recession I recommend that you read “The
    Financial Crisis and the free market cure” by retired Branch Bank and Trust
    company CEO, John A. Allison. Tom, you should invite Mr. Allison to be your
    guest.

    • jefe68

      You seem to be woefully misinformed about the causes of the Great Depression and the recent great Recession.
      While government regulations or the lack there of, played a part it was the banks and wall street that created both economic downturns.

      Your other bogus claims about redlining and ACRON clearly point to yet one more member of the right wing misinformation meme crowd. You chaps seem to spread like poison ivy.

    • Mlynda Sims

      The federal government became complicit in the financial crisis when it relaxed regulations (that were intended to restrict the financial sector and protect the economy) and failed to enforce laws on the books.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Large, heaping pile of bunk.

    • blaine

      You’re missing the point of Mr. Taibbi’s book (and the show). The discussion isn’t about who’s to blame for the financial crisis. There were many bad actors and many perverse incentives that brought it about (including those stemming from mortgage banking regulations). The point of the book is that there was also a lot of outright fraud (a.k.a crime) committed by executives at many financial institutions (investment banks, hedge funds, rating agencies) during the period leading up to the crisis and it’s immediate aftermath. Collectively, these crimes caused billions of dollars of damage and incalculable amounts of additional damage to the overall economy. The government has strong cases against the perpetrator’s of many of these frauds yet has not sought to bring criminal indictments against any of them. At the same time “regular” citizens are zealously prosecuted and punished for the most petty offenses, many which result in no real damage (loitering, jaywalking, “trespassing”, public nuisance). The aggressiveness with which stop and frisk quotas are pursued and the nonsensical charges prosecuted is absurd when juxtaposed with the failure to pursue indictments against white-collar criminals whose actions resulted in large-scale damage to the assets and economy of the entire citizenry.

    • StilllHere

      Very interesting points, worth consideration.

  • Ducan MichL

    Just at the moment Matt was saying the word “ANGRY” in his interview our local station WFDD “happened” to run a “required weekly test” of the WEATHER alert system! Hmmm was this a coincidence of time or deliberate censorship from “interested” parties ???

  • Mlynda Sims

    Not to take anything away from Mr. Taibbi’s work, I’d like to bring up the subject of racism. We’re marking the anniversary of Civil Rights events, and I believe it’s pertinent. Because America hasn’t left racism behind.
    Blacks/African Americans are over represented in some undesirable demographics: those incarcerated, living in poverty, homelessness, receiving substandard education, living with addiction. It seems that lower income/urban communities are racially integrated. Is the same true of “housing” for upper middle class and wealthy Americans? We’ve got work to do if Blacks/African Americans are to have the same access to America’s advantages as Whites/Caucasians.
    Understandably, those who are privileged (particularly White/Caucasian men) are reluctant to change the status quo. Doing so requires them to give up advantages they’ve enjoyed for a very long time It requires ordinary Americans to acknowledge some ugly truths (that are already pretty widely known) and then work together to change them. It requires a lot of courage.
    A side note — I’ve noticed that the language for referring to Blacks/Negros and Whites/Caucasians has been shifting. Change is already happening in our country. Is it bringing more justice and greater freedom to our citizens?

    • Jeff

      How do Asians do it with all that racism? Let’s talk about culture instead of race…that’s the real issue.

      • jefe68

        Oy Vey…

      • blaine

        Asians? Asia’s a pretty big place. Lots of people, lots of countries, lots of cultures. Which culture is the one that “does it?”

        • jefe68

          You know, all of them. They all look alike and are good at math…

          • HonestDebate1

            And if you require ID to vote, blacks are not as capable as whites to obtain one. Right?

          • Ray in VT

            People have repeatedly explained the obstacles that exist to obtaining voter IDs and how that disproportionately affects minorities, including African Americans. That you choose to merely ignore such things by turning a blind eye towards them and claiming that people are saying that African American aren’t capable or are stupid is just an incredibly lame and ignorant tactic to distort the issue.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes I know. They also don’t have cars and they’re poor. What is stupid is judging people by the color of their skin. I abhor that. Just stop it.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, but it’s okay when pushing some sort of racist meme about how they’re on some sort of binge of violence against white people, despite the fact that a higher percentage of black people are the victims of violent crime at the hands of white people than vice versa.

          • HonestDebate1

            With all due respect Ray, you’re an idiot if that what you conclude from my comments. A total slobbering idiot. I think it’s more likely you are just a nasty troll.

          • Ray in VT

            You should quit talking about yourself that way. It really speaks to some form of self hatred or something. It’s very sad to read.

          • jefe68

            The real HD comes out.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that that particular comment is a quite classic example of what is known in the psychological field as projection.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, if they’re poor, then that’s their fault, because income is a choice, at least so I hear.

          • HonestDebate1

            That is true of anyone, not just blacks. There is nothing about being black that makes it harder to vote.

          • Ray in VT

            “There is nothing about being black that makes it harder to vote.” As long as one can keep the machinery of the voting system away from conservatives.

          • HonestDebate1

            Beyond stupid.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes. Such blatant attempts to discourage Democratically aligned groups are, but Teapublicans will just keep on trying anyways.

          • TFRX

            It’s about voter suppression. I’ve talked to more honest debaters from the right wing than you.

          • Ray in VT

            That doesn’t seem as though it would be difficult.

          • HonestDebate1

            Are blacks easier to suppress because they are black?

          • jefe68

            Bottom feeding troll alert…^^^

        • StilllHere

          Fair question, but can we generalize about black and white culture also?

        • HonestDebate1

          And a white immigrant from Johannesburg is an African-American. That’s why I don’t use the term, do you?

        • Jeff

          Africa is a large continent, which culture in Africa is responsible for our issues here in America….see how ridiculous that sounds? There is a different culture here in the USA (for each ethnic group), I think it comes down to the groupthink mentality…I’d much rather see people stand up to the cultural norms and get some grit, try harder and do something despite their own view that the world is holding them down.

          • jefe68

            Stupid is as stupid does.

          • blaine

            I agree, you sound ridiculous and that was my point. Each ethnic group has one culture? Really, that will come as news to all of the French, English, Dutch, German, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, etc. people who have immigrated to this country. They all have a single culture shared nationwide, now that they are in the USA, based on their ethnicity. An interesting theory, but far from reality. Such nonsense has no relevance to other ethnicities either.

      • geraldfnord

        Until very recently, and living much more within Chinese culture than on average today, most Chinese in America didn’t have that good a deal, so ‘culture’ alone won’t do it. Similarly, the generation of ex-slaves and their children stressed education and hard work, and it started to work—at which point successful black men started to get lynched, the Klan came out in force, and the worst of Jim Crow got passed, making it very hard for a black person to get a decent education. Cultural values didn’t help them then, and guess what lesson was taught?

      • jefe68

        Which Asians? Chinese Americans who were prohibited from becoming citizens even if they were born in the US?

        Japanese Americans who were interned during WW2 and who lost all their property?

        Vietnamese refuges who have been treated with contempt when they first arrived in the US after the fall of South Vietnam?

        Or Sikhs who have been the subject to racial profiling and violence by good ol’ boys who thought that they were Arabs after 9/11?
        Even though most of the terrorist were Saudis and Egyptians and did not wear anything on their heads.

        Which Asians in particular did you have in mind?

        • Jeff

          All of them. Which part of Africa do you have in mind when you use the term African American?

          • blaine

            Oh, you’re talking about Americans. I thought you were talking about Asians.

    • HonestDebate1

      We all have equal access. I think Obama (and Holder) could set the example by ceasing to blame any disagreement on racism.

      All it takes to quit judging people by the color of their skin it to quit judging them by the color of their skin. It should be illegal for the government to ask you your race on any government form including the census.

      • TFRX

        Hahahahahaha.

        Geezus, white people got it sooooooo rough.

        • harverdphd

          What are you talking about? The 99%?

        • HonestDebate1

          Some do, some don’t. Same with blacks. Get over it.

        • jefe68

          What is it about this show that brings out so many right wingers? You don’t see this on the Diane Rehm show or any other show for that matter.

          • HonestDebate1

            Would you rather live in a bubble?

          • jefe68

            Like you do? Do you really think that what you post has any worth on any level?
            The level of belligerence is noted.
            As is the swagger, the intolerance and the bottom feeding.

          • HonestDebate1

            I get news from a wide variety of sources do you?

          • jefe68

            I don’t get my news from Fox or any right wing talk shows that’s for sure.
            GBH, BUR, BBC, European Journal DW,DE, NHK world, The Guardian, The Independent, sometimes Der Spiegel to name a few.

            Again, you’re belligerent rants are a lot of things, a different and measured point of view, me thinks not.

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly, all left wing sources. That’s a bubble.

          • jefe68

            The BBC and The Independent are hardly what one would call left wing.
            The European Journal DW,DE, is very much like the BBC. Der Spiegel is not left wing either.

            That you have this image that they says more about how far to the right you are.
            As to bubbles, that’s for baths.

            What I see in your comments are a serious lack of critical thinking skills and in that lies the rub.

          • StilllHere

            He would, and doesn’t even know it.

        • HonestDebate1

          When I first read your comment I had not yet heard the show. I have regularly maintained the show is far far more balanced than this blog. Obviously that’s a low bar but now I have heard the show or most of it. Maybe I missed it but I did not hear much talk about race. It was more about wealth. What is the obsession with trying to paint blacks as inherently poor?

          • blaine

            Why is it that only black and white people are considered in your race debate?

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not having a debate about race. I am crediting the show for avoiding the obsession this blog has.

          • blaine

            TFRX: “Geezus, white people got it sooooooo rough.”

            HonestDebate1 (in response): “What is the obsession with trying to paint blacks as inherently poor?”

            Sounds like a debate on race to me.

      • nj_v2

        [[ We all have equal access. ]]

        Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

        Just when you thought thiis guy had hit the bottom of his Clueless Barrel.

        • hennorama

          nj_v2 — Well, the same ignorant fool thinks “82 people were murdered in Chicago over the holiday weekend,” so expectations of him should already be exceptionally low.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yadda yadda.

        • HonestDebate1

          What’s it like to see every one as a victim? How much disdain do you have for your fellow man? The American dream is there for all.

          • blaine

            That’s a nice sentiment, but the American dream is not there for all. This has nothing to do with “victim mentalities”, it is an unavoidable economic truth. Like most desirable things, the components of the dream are scarce commodities (therefore, so is attainment of the dream itself). Not as scarce as beach-front property in Malibu, but they are not in endless abundance assuring that everyone who wants them can get them, even if they follow a traditional path to success (hard work, good education, ambition, prudent saving/investment, etc). The components of the American dream (property, education, job, wealth, family) are all costly and limited by the constraints that are present in any economy. We live in an economy based on competition which, by definition, ensures winners and losers. Ergo, not everyone can have the precious things that make up the American dream. It’s a contest, and like most contests, the ones with the biggest lead and advantages generally prevail. Those furthest behind at the start tend to stay there. The reason that politicians can never deliver on populist promises is because they, like you, generally avoid this uncomfortable reality and hope that no one notices when they say, I’m paraphrasing here: “you can have it all and it won’t cost anything.”

          • StilllHere

            Interesting, what you describe doesn’t seem based as much in race as class.

          • blaine

            Mr. Taibbi’s book is not about race. It’s about the application of law enforcement policy. Specifically how it is applied to criminals who happen to be executives at financial firms juxtaposed with how it is applied to everybody else in the society.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s the impression I got from the broadcast but you could not tell it from this blog.

            Did you read the book or just order it?

          • blaine

            About 85% through it. Well worth reading, IMHO.
            Yes, one caller specifically asked Mr. Taibbi to speak to his observations about racial inequality in the justice system, so he did in reply. Anyone listening only to that response and missing the question, then tuning out after could get the wrong impression about the book.

          • HonestDebate1

            “you can have it all and it won’t cost anything.”

            That’s nuts, please don’t tell me why I think. Nothing is easy, nothing…. except complaining. It seems you have made some assumptions. One is that you are chained to the position in life to which you were born which is false. Another is if you are a “loser” then you will always lose. Getting knocked down is part of the process and makes you better.

          • blaine

            I’m not saying that at all. What I’m saying is that fantasies about everyone being able to achieve the American dream in an economy based on competition are just that, fantasies. By definition of competition, not everyone can have the prize. Some can and others can’t. This has nothing to do with changing your position in life, or choosing how to live, or being resilient. It’s just a simple matter of fact. In a competition based economy everyone can’t win. Further, the generations, families, and individuals that start that race with the greatest advantages will tend to win the race more often than those who start the race with no advantage, or with handicaps. This has nothing to do with ideology of any kind. These are simple, unavoidable truths and constraints. Half the people in this country are below average in any measurement whether it is physical strength, mental ability, dexterity, congeniality, whatever. Many are below average in multiple measurements and is has little to do with how they see themselves. Many skills/abilities relevant to achieving the American dream can’t be changed significantly through force of will or perseverance. This is why equality (equitable treatment under the law, specifically, in this case) matters so much. As we increasingly moved further into a winner take all society, those who are in the lower percentiles are increasingly marginalized, even if they are living righteously and performing to their best levels.

          • HonestDebate1

            I see your point but I just disagree. And it does seem to me you are implying that if you lose once you will lose again. And maybe coming in second is awesome. It’s all relative. If there is competition between many then there can be many winners.

            I suppose we’d also have to define the American dream which I don’t equate with fabulous wealth. I hope I didn’t imply that. But no one has to live helplessly in poverty.

            I also see your point abut physical attributes but it’s more about finding your strengths and passions while acknowledging your limits and weaknesses. You might be physically strong and become an athlete. You might me ugly as sin but smart and become a radio star. You might be quadriplegic and be a gifted orator. The first register of deeds when my county was formed in 1847 was a cripple who taught himself excellent penmanship.

            I also believe that perseverance and force of will are choices, not attributes. Granted if these are not instilled in you by mentors then it’s harder but still a choice.

            I don’t think it’s about winner take all. I don’t think if someone gets more then I have to settle for less.

          • blaine

            No, I’m saying that not everyone can win, or even finish in the top half. Certainly, there’s a lot to go around and many will achieve their definition of the dream, but it’s simply not true that everyone can.

            To your point about relativism. Sure, one can argue that many who live in contemporary America’s standard of poverty are living like kings compared to the impoverished in rural China, or 16th century peasant farmers. But seriously, what relevance is this outside of academic musing?

            Like you, I don’t equate the AD with fabulous wealth, and I don’t think most Americans do either. Traditionally it’s meant ownership of real property, a job with which one can support themselves and their family, and some wealth/assets to provide security in old age (pension, savings, etc). Obviously different folks have different ideas on the degrees, but even at modest levels, there simply isn’t enough for *everyone* to have this, certainly not when vast proportions of an era’s wealth are hovered up by short term winners and then passed almost entirely to future heirs.

            Perseverance is a behavior. Willpower or “force of will” is a characteristic generally manifested through behaviors. The jury’s still out on the weight of nature vs. nurture on how these things come about. I think calling them choices is a bit unrealistic. One may choose to persevere or make choices affected by their level of will power, but the “free choices” argument is extremely flawed. Some neuroscientist argue that there is no free will. Others ethicists argue that free will can’t truly exist in some circumstances. For example, if a baby is born small and with below average mental abilities into abject poverty and remains in the care of neglectful, uneducated parents and is educated in a school district where the schools have sub-par teachers, few resources, and apathetic administrators and graduates illiterate and unprepared for even the most unchallenging job, is it fair to say that this child CHOSE to neglect his studies and just chose to be a bad student; chose to be uneducated? That’s just one example of literally thousands that would come into play when winners argue that losers just “made bad choices.” If you’re interested check out Kent Greenfield’s, The Myth of Free Choice: Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits.

          • HonestDebate1

            My claim is that every one has access to the American dream, not that everyone will or can achieve it.

            Yes, perseverance is a behavior. Behavior is a choice. Self-discipline is a learned asset. you don’t have to born with it. You need mentors (hopefully parents) to push you passed where you thought you could go. Then you learn about your potential.

            If not then at some point you become an adult and it’s on you to better yourself by yourself. It’s a choice.

          • blaine

            That’s true to a point. Behavior is a choice after a certain point in life, under many but certainly not all circumstances. For example is a person with a certain biological make up such that the chemicals in their brain aren’t regulated as they are in most people *choosing* to twitch and cuss? if so, is it fair to say that they are not *choosing* to manage this behavior correctly, even though it would take the same level of effort for them to do so as would be required by you or me to do something much more difficult (like walk a tightrope, or juggle, perhaps)? The jury’s really still out as far as the research on the genetic and environmental variables at play. Willpower and self-discipline have both genetic and environmental components. It’s just a bit simplistic and disingenuous to say “all behaviors” are and can be learned and those that don’t manifest certain behaviors have either chosen not to learn those behaviors or choose not to behave in that manner. Especially so when you’re talking about the ability for people (babies, children) to move from true poverty and a very disadvantaged starting point to a better station in life (the American dream!). Obviously, children don’t choose to be born below average, physically or mentally handicapped, dirt poor, or into the care of neglectful, abusive, or absent parents. They have little to no choice over their environment and development for the important formative years of their infancy and early childhood. These are the realities of being born into poverty, and it’s absurd to pretend that blaming the parents for their choices is any solution to improving the reality of the child. Saying “access to the American dream there for all” is a bit different from what you said, if that was your true sentiment. Sure it’s true in a literal way, but so is the statement “access to Harvard is there for all.” In both cases the obvious but unstated reality is that both are limited commodities and everyone can’t have them. Also unstated but real is the fact that attaining either requires overcoming fierce competition and to no small extent being incredibly lucky. So really to say that “the American dream is there for all” is little more than an empty platitude that is more palatable the closer you are to it and the more privileged you are (for whatever reason). Again, the problem with a lot of policy and politicians is that they can only get elected and stay in office by promising the world to everyone. No one ever got elected by saying “some of you just won’t cut it and will have to accept less than others.”

      • StilllHere

        You would hope so, but they aren’t leaders in the traditional sense. They are also completed invested in the government-dependence system that ensures Democrat votes.

      • Ray in VT

        “I think Obama (and Holder) could set the example by ceasing to blame any disagreement on racism.” Yup, they’re out there day and night, blaming any and all criticism on racism. The nerve of them uppity, shucking and jiving, halfrican boys. Just another TOP view of the world that bears no resemblance to reality.

        Maybe we can have the census also stop asking people about their sex, gender, income, religion or whatever else too, because why do we need to know how the country is constituted. Surely there is some group of liberty loving individuals out there bravely waging war against the tyranny that is the census.

        Where is the blog to which you refer? I don’t see it here in the comments section.

        • HonestDebate1

          Yes, that’s what they do, whine that they are victims of racism. It’s sick.

          The census is out of control. Race is irrelevant and they have umpteen gazzillion categories for it. It’s stupid.

          • Ray in VT

            But of course. You have said it, so it must be true. I mean nobody has it tougher than whitey, right?

            “The census is out of control”? What a bizarre claim to make. It’s a good thing that those brave defenders of liberty in Congress are trying to gut funding for it. Race is irrelevant? I do not recall that being your position when it came to the “epidemic” of black on white crime. What’s the latest news on that out of the white nationalists at the New Century Foundation with their 39 to 1 ratio? I’ll stick with the FBI instead of those racists and their “research”. How scared of black people should we be today?

          • HonestDebate1

            “I mean nobody has it tougher than whitey, right?”
            Where do you get this stuff? Where did I say, imply or hint anything remotely related in the most tangential way to that?
            I have always maintained the government should never require your race for any document. Always.

          • Ray in VT

            Where do I get this stuff? People like you mostly. It’s great comedy.

            I suppose that one benefit of not having race information on the census would be that it would make it harder to gerrymander minorities into certain districts so as to keep conservatives in power disproportionate to the votes that they get at the ballot box.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, you made it up. I didn’t stay anything of the sort.

            Gerrymandering is how the democrat party stayed in control of NC politics for over a century.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure, buddy. Whatever you say, and you know more about word definitions than the dictionary.

            Yup. Those southern conservatives have been playing that game down there to keep the minorities down for a long time. First they did it as Dixiecrats, and then they jumped ship to be Republicans. Some bunch just with a different name.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re not a serious person. Have a nice day.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m dead serious. I bow down to you, the definer of words. My dictionary, though, still has a definition that you claim does not exist. When can I get one that only contains only the definitions that you insist exist?

            Do you have a problem with the fact that the “democrat party” that you deride was the party of states-rats conservatives up until the Civil Rights Era. Maybe you can fight the history books too.

          • jefe68

            It’s interesting how you, a middle aged white man, somehow think you get to dictate the terms about race relations.
            How is it that you think you get the privilege to do this?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, who knows more about race relations and what is good for/wanted by minorities than older, Southern, white conservatives. Long have they looked out for the best interests of the coloreds.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not dictating squat. I have fine race relations in my life. Ray lives in a state full of white heroin addicts. I doubt he has any black acquaintances much less dear friends. My guess is he read “Huckleberry Finn” and thinks he’s an expert. I could be wrong.

          • jefe68

            And there it is… the right wing double down. From what I’ve read of the comments you have posted on race, you come across as condescending and full of overt generalizations. And yeah you are dictating in the tone of your comments. You’re not even aware of it, which says a lot about your “debating skills” or lack there of.

  • Mlynda Sims

    sorry, it seems Mr. Taibbi covered, or at least touched upon, racism in this broadcast. for reasons with no importance, I missed a good part of the program. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to listen.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      You can listen again, here online.

  • fun bobby

    this is sort of like how under the new gun bill wealthy people who are denied will be able to spend a few thousand to get their permits approved but poor people will be out of luck. seems like more of a feature than a bug at this point

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What new gun bill is that?

      • fun bobby

        the one approved in the house and today the senate

        • JGC

          Is this tucked into the “Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act?” or a bill that is free-standing?

          • hennorama

            JGC — pardon the interruption; [fun bobby] is likely referring to MA state legislation, not Federal.

          • fun bobby

            it is H.4278 they vote tomorrow. call your state senator and tell them discrimination should be eliminated not expanded. ask them why there are no data about permit denials by race and income level allowed to be collected.

      • fun bobby

        H.4278 call your state senator today and tell them not to support expanding legal racial and class discrimination in the commonwealth

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Your biased reporting on this is not particularly convincing.

          • fun bobby

            so you would like to see expanded racial and class discrimination in the commonwealth? if that’s your thing say it loud and proud , ” I want to take the civil rights from the poor and minorities in MA!”

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You say that. Where’s your evidence?

          • fun bobby

            i would love to be able to point to some data and say x% of black people who applied and y% of white people that applied were approved, unfortunately collecting such data is expressly illegal in MA. That should put up a red flag right there right?
            could you possibly imagine if the police chief in every town had the power to decide who could vote or not and there was little or no oversight of this activity to the point were it was illegal to collect data on the demographics of who was not issued a voting permit?
            we are forbidden to collect data on this but lets look at something similar.
            studies have been done that prove a $10 voter Id dispoprotionately disenfranchises minorities.
            how could a $150 gun Id not do the same but more so?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You keep setting up straw man arguments.

            Voting is a central right to participating in a democracy, and current registration policies are fine.

            Having a background check is just common sense. Do you pay for a driver’s license? Do you have to pay to register your car? Do you have to insure your car?

            A gun is nowhere near as important as driving.

          • fun bobby

            neil, you keep setting up straw man arguments.

            “Voting is a central right to participating in a democracy, and current registration policies are fine.”
            LOL are you totally unaware of the controversy about voter ID?
            do you think we don’t have the voting system I described because no one would ever accept the outlandish scenario I described? And yet we have that scenario with our firearms permitting scheme

            Having a background check is just common sense.
            That must be why one in included for free by every gun dealer in America. Is it common sense to have two background checks in a row?
            Do you pay for a driver’s license?
            is driving on public roads an enumerated constitutional right?
            Do you have to pay to register your car?
            same question as above
            Do you have to insure your car?
            not in all states

            A gun is nowhere near as important as driving.
            A gun is a civil right and driving is not. a car cannot be used to defend the constitution.
            anyhow, since its your analogy, do local police chiefs decide, with no oversight, who gets issued driving permits and get to discriminate on the basis of race or gender or just politics who gets to drive?
            would you accept a system like that? what if you started hearing stories about cops and lawyers having their driving permits pulled because the local police chief has a personal issue with them? would that be cool?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            There is virtually no problems with in-person voter fraud.

            This is a argument cooked up to suppress voting. The GOP is losing just about all categories of voters except old, white men and they are trying to stop others from voting.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

            You think that saying gun restrictions are racial and/or economically unfair, that will convince someone to be for no gun restrictions?

          • fun bobby

            “There is virtually no problems with in-person voter fraud.”
            agreed, just like there are virtually no problems with FID cards.

            “This is a argument cooked up to suppress voting.”
            yup just as this bill is cooked up to suppress lawful firearms ownership in the exact same group that’s voting rights are suppressed by voter id

            You think that saying gun restrictions are racial and/or economically unfair, that will convince someone to be for no gun restrictions?
            nope, I have never called for no gun restrictions, this is about expanding a provision of law that is currently being used to discriminate against people in their exercise of basic civil rights is that too nuanced?

          • fun bobby
          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            How is that racial and/or an economic issue?

          • fun bobby

            oh IDK how are the demographics different between Lowell and Holden?

  • harverdphd

    Hey! Anybody see the front page above-the-fold story in Sunday’s NY Times about the rape allegations at Hobart and William Smith Colleges? Seems to play into this topic.

  • HonestDebate1

    I didn’t hear the entire show but the focus seems to be on wall street. That was all enabled by government. The bail outs just sealed the deal. Government should not be in the banking business.

    Mr. Taibbi spoke of 3 instances, he mentioned Bill Clinton and what he did about it. Then Bush and what he did. I found it telling that he used the word “even” in regards to Bush. Then he got to this mess and never mentioned Obama.

    • blaine

      You should read the book. You seem to have come away from the radio show with the impression that Taibbi is another Obama media stooge. He’s not. Most of the book is spent lambasting the current USAG/JD and by extension, and sometimes very directly, the current administration for not seeking any criminal prosecutions in cases of fraud on Wall Street even though they have solid cases with lots of evidence.

      As for the bailouts, yes, Hank Paulson, made sure his past and future employers on Wall Street were taken care of with the help of Bush and the Democratic Congress of 2008.

      • HonestDebate1

        No, I did not imply Taibbi is an Obama stooge. And Holder is a disgrace, no one in their right mind would not criticize his corrupt incompetence. That’s nothing to write home about.

        I’m not smart enough to understand all of the machinations of TARP but I do believe there was a crisis that needed to be addressed and the consensus seems to be TARP, warts and all, succeeded. I also understand those who say we should have just let things crash and burn.

        Half of TARP was implemented by Obama.

        • blaine

          Hmm, I think it’s a stretch to say (or imply) that there is a consensus that TARP succeeded in anything other than protecting the profits of large financial firms and the bonuses of the high-level executives at those firms while emboldening them to double down on the same risky behaviors that were a major catalyst of the financial meltdown.

          All of TARP was created and put into law by Paulson, Bush and the 2008 Congress.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think it’s a stretch at all but you don’t have to agree. There is certainly no disagreement that is was implemented horribly. The claim is it staved a total implosion. I’m not smart enough to say.

            I know very well how TARP was passed and implemented. It was to be done in two parts. Bush made the $350 billion available for Obama to use on day one if he decided to do so. It was his decision. And BTW, the paid back money was supposed to go back to the treasury but Obama blew it on the “stimulus” instead.

          • blaine

            Isn’t it a little disingenuous to say that you aren’t smart enough to say whether or not the TARP program staved off a total implosion (presumably of the national and/or global economy) on one hand, but on the other that you’re able to say with confidence that money spent on the “stimulus” was wasted (blown). It seems that the complex economic contexts, variables, and calculations involved to determine the effect of both programs is about the same. Essentially you’re saying: I can’t really figure out if the spending program for banks worked, but I’m sure that the one for citizens and other businesses outside of the finance industry didn’t. How are you able to figure one out but not the other?

  • pete18

    A good counterpoint to the sanctimonious liberal “help”ideas that so many on the left here propose.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9wWF1_YFBA

    • HonestDebate1

      I just saw him on Megyn Kelly’s show, I’ve always enjoyed his perspective. Thanks for posting, I will make time to watch the entire hour.

    • blaine

      Look at you, pilfering from Thomas Sowell’s Townhall column without even giving a proper citation. Good thing that kind of theft doesn’t get counted in the crime statistics.

      • pete18

        Look at you, avoiding the content of the post.

        • Ray in VT

          What’s to avoid or even address? The usual line(s) from the right that any number of social welfare initiatives hurt poor people and minorities? It’s just the usual claptrap, although in this instance Heritage found one of the few minorities who spout it instead of the more typical holder and promoter of such views.

          • HonestDebate1

            Would you call him an Uncle Tom? And if you think that blacks, as a whole, don’t agree with the quote Pete cited then I have a bridge to sell you.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m pretty sure that his name is Jason.

            Is that a bridge the attempts to span the giant manure pond from which you pull your comments, thoughts and opinions?

          • jefe68

            Bottom feeding, yet again.

          • pete18

            Instead of providing us with the usual canned response that attacks caricatured strawmen arguments that you invent for conservatives, as well as belittling any minority who doesn’t buy the plantation plans of the liberals, you should actually listen to his speech and then you can respond to its content on its own merits.

          • Ray in VT

            How exactly have I belittled him? By disagreeing with his positions and opinions? How dare I do such a thing?

            I’m pretty sure that it was the liberals who liberated minorities from the plantations. My guess is that, based upon the forum and the Amazon description of the book, is that it is just more of the same that I’ve heard from others. I’ve taken a bite of that turd sandwich before. Putting it on rye or pumpernickel bread isn’t going to change the taste.

          • pete18

            “How exactly have I belittled him?”

            A minority found by Heritage who will “spout” clap trap for them. Belittles both Riley and Heritage in one felled cliche’

            “I’m pretty sure that it was the liberals who liberated minorities from the plantations.”

            Nope, actually it was Lincoln, who was a Republican.

          • geraldfnord

            …who was, for his time, liberal. Just ask anyone at lewrockwell.org and the like….

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, so accurately stating that he is one of the few minorities who ascribe and push the sort of line that is favored by Heritage is belittling? Good to know.

            Yeah, the Republicans were the liberals back then. If you haven’t figured that out yet then you are even worse off than I have suspected. Perhaps history just isn’t something that you did well with in school.

        • jefe68

          Look at you, posting more inanity.

        • blaine

          I’m not avoiding anything. I already read Sowell’s column and have ordered the book from the library. I’d prefer to read Mr. Riley’s book rather than watch his video. You’re still parroting men smarter than you are and pretending the statements are your own.

          • pete18

            Glad you’re reading the book, not sure why you’re wasting time attacking me for passing on such a great line, which is Riley’s not Sowell’s. You should watch the talk, it’s good.

          • blaine

            Of course it’s Riley’s quote. Calling it out as best from the book is lifted straight from Sowell’s glowing review. I’m not attacking you. Just keeping things honest.

            It’s great that public intellectuals like Prof. Sowell and journalists like Mr. Riley are evaluating policies and judging their effectiveness based on results not intentions.

            It would be even better if the best data scientists of our day would put all effort and resources into developing metrics and algorithms to make such evaluations faster, easier, and less costly, rather than figuring out the best way to manipulated users’ emotions on social media platforms.

          • pete18

            If you’re trying to keep things honest then don’t pretend that using snarky phrasing to accuse someone of “pilfering” without proper citation isn’t an attack.

          • blaine

            It’s only an “attack” to someone with an incredibly thin skin, or possibly a raw nerve over the fact that they’ve been called out trying to pass off another man’s astute observation as their own. I think it’s you that’s doing the “avoiding.”

          • pete18

            Or maybe you’re projecting.

          • blaine

            Maybe. But I think your post speaks for itself. Anyone who’s a regular reader of Sowell’s columns knows the truth: you’re just parroting observations made by wiser men and pretending they’re your own. Be better than that.

          • pete18

            ” But I think your post speaks for itself.”

            I do too.

            You’re new here to the forum so there’s some things that maybe you don’t know. Most of the conservative posters here are fans of Sowell and post links to his articles, quotes or videos on a regular basis. I myself have have posted a myriad of Sowell’s stuff here in the past. If I were looking to claim credit for an insight that wasn’t mine, it wouldn’t be much of strategy for me to steal something from Sowell’s column since half the people here would be reading it on their own at some point. I posted the video that I found at Heritage and Riley’s line, which I first read in Sowell’s column and saw repeated elsewhere, because I though he was an important and thoughtful counter to the victimhood talk and the misplaced focus going on in reaction to Taibbi. I thought the line about a “black man in the oval office” was the best and most reflective line of Riley’s thinking (Sowell thought it had “punch”) that I had seen or read and well worth sharing.

            I thought the post was sharing how wise Riley was not me.
            That you would be quick to see that as me trying to slip one by everyone was hopefully just an over enthusiastic post from someone who doesn’t know all the players here and is still suffering post-traumatic syndrome from having to attach MLA citations to his graduate thesis papers, rather than a projection of how his own brain operates.

          • blaine

            Of course, it’s not you, it’s me because I’m “new here” (?). You’re right “player,” It wasn’t a good strategy which is why you got called out.

            MLA citations? It’s as easy as “Like Sowell says in his National Review piece…” or “I agree with Sowell’s sentiment that…” or “As wise Prof. Sowell noted…” or “Like Sowell…”

            Piece o’ cake.

            It’s pretty obvious from your need to come up with longer, more elaborate, justifications what’s occurred here. Just say “mea culpa” and gracefully post your next “insight” with the honesty and integrity due the great minds that actually conceived them.

          • pete18

            Wow, can’t fool you. Ya got me. My plan to seem brilliant by liking Jason Riley and passing along his kick ass line foiled by your great mind and astute research. Damn!

          • blaine

            Bravo, Pete! You’re on your way. It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong, especially after three days of denial. Stay righteous!

          • pete18

            How can anyone not with “MLA Blaine” on the job?

  • Salty

    Arrest people committing the crimes, police the areas where the crimes are being committed, stop and search people most likely to be committing crimes. If white people commit 70% of the crimes, then most of the stop and searches should be of white folks. If folks that appear to be of northern European decent commit most terrorist atrocities, they the northern Europeans should be under greater suspicion. If white folks don’t want to be under greater risk of stop and frisk or police stops, then the white community needs to sort itself out, parent their kids, stay in school, work if they can at all… If the white folks did that, the issues we deal with would go away…

    Don’t say it is not that simple. It is.

    Just saying…

    • blaine

      What does this have to do with Taibbi, his book, or the discussion at hand?

      • Salty

        The inequities of the justice system…

        • blaine

          That’s what’s being discussed, but the author is not explicitly speaking of the mistreatment of any particular segment of the general population. The argument he’s putting forth is that the current policy of the USAG/JD is to aggressively prosecute/punish common offenders of the most minor transgressions with jail time while simultaneously making all manner of excuses for not bringing criminal indictments against criminals committing large-scale felonies causing billions of dollars in damages to millions of victims.

          To your point, though about going where the crime is, that’s circular logic at best.

    • Ray in VT

      Considering that “folks that appear to be of northern European descent” get off lighter, on the whole, via the criminal justice system than those who are not, I think that your proposition to get tough on white people crime isn’t all that likely to bear the sort of fruit that cracking down on minorities will yield.

      • Salty

        The Northern Europeans should NOT be treated differently. No more of all that “The man just doesn’t understand.” and “It’s not fair to the norther Europeans.”

        • Ray in VT

          Let me know how you’re going to fix that. It is a reality that has proved hard to stamp out.

    • geraldfnord

      No, it is not that simple: even if most of the people doing a particular crime are from one group, if a relatively small percentage of that group do those crimes, you will still get so many false positives that you had better be going about this with intense politesse, which never happens in poor neighbourhoods.

      And if you start with an initial assumption that it were more fruitful to stop members of Group Y for a frisk than of Group X, even if your assumption were wrong and prevalences were roughly equal, your data will appear to support your initial, false, assumption because you will catch more members of Group Y.

      It’s like Bayes never lived.

  • blaine

    It’s interesting that so many of the comments here that have a right-leaning bent, seem to be made by posters oblivious to the fact that Mr. Taibbi’s book is a passionate criticism of the current AG and Justice Dept policy. One would think this would be a point of common ground.

    • Ray in VT

      One would think, unless one is passionately committed to promoting any number of blatantly false, misleading or, at best, factually or logically questionable memes regarding the current President and his administration, liberals, society, history, science, etc.

    • jefe68

      Indeed it is. And not in a good way.

    • TFRX

      Common?

      I wish.

      Howard Baker is dead. Literally. Hank Hill is no longer on TV except in reruns.

      When the wingnuts let loose control of the right-wing party, I’ll be here for some common cause.

      Until that far-off day, it’s a them problem, not a we (the center, Democrats, liberals, actual journalists) problem.

      • Ray in VT

        Given the demographics at play, if one is inclined to see such positions as problems, then perhaps one can wait them out. It was once said that progress was going to happen one funeral at a time. Maybe the death panels are an attempt to speed up that process.

  • blaine

    This would include people with managed retirement pensions who have no decision in what their accounts are invested in. This would also include all those invested in managed mutual funds who never make executive decisions about the companies in the funds. Your suggestion is nonsense.

    • daveish

      Holding investors liable is precisely the point. Individuals must make more informed decisions about what enterprises and organizations they provide funding for, and they must be prepared to share in the responsibility if persons acting on their behalf engage in criminal activities.

      • blaine

        Again, pensioners in these situations have little to no control over the manner. Punitive measures such as the one you propose would have no effect on increasing accountability in such cases.

  • HonestDebate1

    The Justice Department is now inserting themselves into a local incident of a man who built a parade float that is critical of Obama. That is shocking.

    http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/justice-department-enters-fray-over-th-of-july-parade-float/article_3618cfc7-913b-5f4a-af50-348e48e76c5a.html

    • Ray in VT

      Just shocking that a member of their group that deals with discrimination “has joined the discussion”. Just terrible, I know.

      • HonestDebate1

        Are you going to defend this?!

        • jefe68

          Did you read the article? Because if you did maybe you would have read this: The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. Also at the meeting were the NAACP, the Norfolk mayor and The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

          More right wing bottom feeding.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes I read it. This isn’t about race, it’s about the first amendment. The criticism is about the VA. This is still America the last I checked but I’m dubious.

          • jefe68

            Again, your indignation is misplaced and your comprehension skills are showing.

            There are no legal charges, there is a dispute, get it.

            The float was disgusting in my opinion, and the message the man who made it was not projected.

          • HonestDebate1

            The DOJ has no business in this. No one is being discriminated against. What’s next? Are they going to come after me for saying Obama is horrible president on this blog? How far removed are we from Hussein’s method of ripping out the tongues of those who publicly dissent?

            No, this is an overreach of shocking proportions. This is something we’d expect in the USSR. This is something we’d expect from a government that uses the IRS to target opponents.

          • jefe68

            Yawn.

          • HonestDebate1

            You guys have no answer.

          • Ray in VT

            To the sort of vileness that lead some to depict the President in sometimes racist ways? Nope. There is no answer to that.

          • HonestDebate1

            The schoolmarm is gonna scold you for not reading the article…. oh wait, she liked you instead. Well, isn’t that cutsie.

          • jefe68

            So charming… well not really.

          • Ray in VT

            I did read it, which is in part why I find your deranged presentation of the facts of the story to be so funny.

          • jefe68

            People have been answering you.
            They do all the time. You seem to have comprehension issues, or you are so ignorant of what is being said you choose to ignore it. It’s useless trying to reason with a fool.

          • Ray in VT

            Hahahahahahaha. Such delusion would be funny if it wasn’t such a blatant sign of some sort of deep seated psychological or intellectual defect.

          • HonestDebate1

            What was racially charged. What Jeffe, WHAT?!

          • jefe68

            Oy, what a maroon.

          • HonestDebate1

            You can’t do it. You have to infer and project. You have to make it up. For too long people have run from any accusation of racism rather than demand honest debate.

          • anamaria23

            An America that defends cruelty, humiliation, ignorance, gross immaturity all excused by first amendment.
            The “float” is disgusting simply as one human being to another. And, yes, It is about race.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, Anamaria, it is not about race. That’s the point. I just don’t get this notion that all criticism about Obama his rooted in race.

            It’s about the VA. If Westboro is protected by the first amendment then this is peanuts in comparison. It is not against the law to be disgusting but it is against the law to do the disgusting things the VA did to the detriment of our veterans.

          • anamaria23

            The VA issues have gone on before Obama and he hardly could be blamed for it all convenient as that may be as a simplistic answer. And he gets to be the President that fixes it if ever the House and Boehner could bring it forth.
            All criticism of Obama is not rooted in race. but some is.
            What does Westboro have to do with this discussion but to distract.
            My response was elicited by your lack of
            acknowledgment of what a truly low life, demoralizing statement made by the excuse for a “float”
            and were only shocked that there should be an objection and that (oh, horrors!) race should be mentioned.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not aware of lawlessness regarding the VA in previous administrations. If so, hand them from the highest tree.

            I see no evidence of any thing here related to race. Westboro is relevant because they are disgusting and protected by our Constitution to be disgusting.

            I have said nothing about my opinion of the float. I said nothing about any objections to it. The heavy hand of government has no place in this.

          • Ray in VT

            Your ignorance regarding the VA, or any other number of issues, isn’t a surprise.

            The “heavy hand of government” indeed. Where do you get this stuff?

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — to be fair, [Debates?NotHe] did write some truth.

            The problem is that he continued on after the first four words in his comment.

          • HonestDebate1

            Hey everybody, get a load of the schoolmarm. Look what she is reduced too.

            If you have evidence of two separate waiting lists or mail bins stuffed with requests from vets as far back as 2011 then please present it. That goes for Ray too. I will not condone nor defend it as you guys do.

          • Ray in VT

            Come on. This is just more Obama-led oppression. If you weren’t such a blind worshiper of that “enemy of America”, then you would see it as well.

          • jefe68

            Yep, more of the right wing comedy hour brought to you by the makers of intolerance biscuits, belligerence Kool aid and the Rush Limbaugh radio hour…

          • Ray in VT

            I did miss some of the laughs when I was offline for about 10 days. So many “facts” and such that I didn’t learn about them libruls.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — WB.

          • Ray in VT

            WB?

          • hennorama

            Welcome Back

          • Ray in VT

            Ah, I see. Thank you.

          • hennorama

            YW.

          • Ray in VT

            That one I can suss out.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have no idea what Rush has said, if anything, about this. So sorry the first amendment means nothing to you.

          • StilllHere

            It’s just his own pathetic boogeyman issue, ignore.

          • jefe68

            Troll alert. ^^^

            It’s starting to smell of mendacity on this forum, must be still an a__hat is posting his memes.

          • Ray in VT

            If anything, then I’m going to guess something about oppressive government exercising a heavy hand to destroy liberty something something.

          • jefe68

            Wow, you don’t get it do you.

        • Ray in VT

          Defending what? That float? No. That’s sick.

    • TFRX

      Critical?

      A black man in front of an outhouse. Really fugging classy.

      • Ray in VT
      • HonestDebate1

        Tell me what the significance the color of skin has here. Should he have portrayed Obama in white-face?

        • TFRX

          Hey, let’s hear more bullshit from yet another old white southern male who can’t see color.

          Keep fighting (sic) that stereotype.

          • HonestDebate1

            It was a simple question.

            I see color just fine, I just don’t see the relevance of it. I’m not obsessed with painting blacks as inferior and dependent on white guilt for success. Sue me.

          • Ray in VT

            Just portraying them as participating in a “epidemic” of racist violence against white people, right? Who here alleges that blacks are inferior or dependent? I certainly see you claiming that others do, which is a twisted and bogus take on comments relating to how minorities often get shafted, but that is how you roll.

          • jefe68

            And yet your rhetoric is the opposite of the narrative you’re trying to put across.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, you’re just too obsessed with race to see anything else.

          • jefe68

            Ghost Dog, sums you up so well…

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz4a_ipi1eA

          • hennorama

            TFRX — it seems clear that [Debates?NotHe} did not even read the article (Surprise!), which says the following:

            The float’s creator, Dale Remmich, has said the mannequin depicted himself, not President Barack Obama.

            BTW, an image of Mr. Remmich can be seen in this video from CNN, about 8 seconds in. One must note some attributes of Mr. Remmich that are not true of the human representation in his float:

            -Mr. Remmich appears to have white skin
            -Mr. Remmich wears eyeglasses

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Oo6rLSZ0syU

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe Mr. Remmich can’t see color and believes that the mannequin looks like him.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — well, Mr. Remmich also says “I’m turning green,” despite any lack of perceptible green tint in photos of the human representation.

            Maybe he is literally truly colorblind.

            Maybe the “green” got washed out of all of the images taken of the float.

            Maybe.

            But if it’s actually supposed to be Mr. Remmich, why the suit and tie under the overalls?

          • HonestDebate1

            Hey everybody, get a load of the schoolmarm! Look what she is reduced to.

            It was TFRX who said it was a black man in front of an out house. Did you look at the video? It doesn’t look black to me.

            Once again, and this is to everyone replying, the point is either missed completely or belligerently ignored… or you’re all just stupid as hell.

            I don’t care if there was an Obama mannequin with a bone in his nose, monkey ears and the N word plastered all over the float. The DOJ has no business in this. It’s bone chilling that you guys defend this.

          • jefe68

            Trolling at it’s worst.

        • jefe68

          Are you really as obtuse as you sound?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, answer the question. Obama’s policies are $hit but it has nothing to do with his skin color.

          • Ray in VT

            If it is supposed to be him, then did he portray himself in black face?

            Please, tell us some more about how 288,000 jobs gained in a month is just awful, as is millions of people gaining access to health care over the past year, how the caliphate is coming to Vermont and maybe something about Obama’s apology tour. That’s an oldie but goodie that we haven’t heard in a while.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have no idea if the guy was trying to portray Obama, himself or what. I don’t care. The mannequin does not look black to me but it’s hard to tell. It doesn’t mater.

            Dude, the jobs situation is awful, last month’s numbers included. Part-time, lower paying jobs are better than nothing but barely. The critical issues are the dramatically shrinking universe of jobs and the pitifully low percentage of the population working. But hey, keep swimming in the propaganda pool… the shallow end of course.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, it doesn’t matter, yet you prattle on about it and the oppressive tactics of the Justice Department.

            “The dramatically shrinking universe of jobs and the pitifully low percentage of the population working.” Oh the yucks just keep on coming. Perhaps you’ve missed how there are now more jobs in America than ever and that there are a quite significant number of job openings. It’s really terrible, though, I guess for some reason. As to the second laugher in there maybe King Obama can force people into the labor force by EO in order to combat the retirement and lengthened education factors have been working to bring down labor force participation for a decade or more.

            “Part-time, lower paying jobs are better than nothing but barely.” Well, thanks Wal-Mart, the big box stores and the outsourcers, like Bain, which have done so much to ship decent jobs to the Third World so that they can rake in more profits at the expense of our nation. I bet that Obama is behind those too. Maybe he can reverse those with one of his gazillion EOs too.

            I do try to keep out the propaganda pool, but I just keep seeing your lame, mostly factless musings. It must be tough when reality is so against you that you have to whine about how terrible it is in the face of nearly 1.4 million jobs added so far this year.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have seen that headline (There are more jobs than ever before in US history) in a couple of left wing sources I frequent. It is attributed to the fact that we have finally after all these years regained the same number of people employed that there was when Bush was President. They should have said more people working. I was talking about the shrinking universe of available jobs not the number of people working. The last stat I hears was there were 9 million fear available jobs. IT’s a problem. And obviously regarding the number of employed workers it terms of real numbers overlooks the percentages like the LFPR.

            O please, quit making excuses, it’s Obamacare, his regulations and tax policies coupled with his energy policy all under the umbrella of a world becoming more dangerous every day that is the problem not Walmart.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, it takes time to recover from 8 million jobs lost, but I’m sure that a true conservative President, or even a cartoon duck, would have done it super quick. The number of job openings is also up, so I don’t see how that fact squared with the claim of a “shrinking universe of available jobs”.

            Please feel free to provide some evidence that something like the ACA is driving a shift to part time work. That is a claim that gets thrown around by the anti-Obama hacks, but economists that I have read don’t see it, but we probably can’t trust them, as they don’t spout right wing dogma. Of course it’s all Obama’s fault. It’s much easier to blame that “enemy of America” rather than the actions of companies whose business model entails low wages and forcing jobs overseas. How do I know when you’re full of it? When you post a comment.

          • jefe68

            Why should I bother? Your question is as brettearle has stated so well, designed to incite. It’s not even worth the time I’m spending now. Come to think of it.

        • brettearle

          Your question is extremely manipulative and offensive–as if implying that the Float is perfectly acceptable, but that all we are doing now is bickering over skin color.

          Your question is a flagrant example of how you twist things to offer the veneer of being cogent–when, indeed, your motives are to do nothing but to inflame and to incite.

          Your question is outrageous and it scrapes the Bottom of the Barrel.

          • HonestDebate1

            I did not see the float, I don’t care if it was acceptable or not. I have made no judgement on that. My point (I’m tired of making it, read my comments if you missed it) has nothing at all to do with the tastefulness of the float.

          • brettearle

            They’re Inextricably related.

            And you know it.

          • HonestDebate1

            No they are not.

          • 1Brett1

            It’s not about you, HD1.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — [Debates?NotHe] links to an online article containing an image of the float, the appearance of which is the reason for the controversy, writes a comment (to which you replied) implying he thinks the float depicts President Obama (“Should he have portrayed Obama in white-face?”), then claims, below, that “I did not see the float.”

            And he still uses that hilariously inapt moniker. Guess he has his own dictionary, or something.

            My question for you is, Why bother?

          • HonestDebate1

            Another comment about me? Geesh.

            The man says it isn’t Obama, many (in this instance TFRX) are offended and say it is. Maybe you missed the controversy. Or maybe you missed my point, I don’t care. It has nothing to do with anything.

            If you can tell by the link enough detail to say for certain who it’s supposed to be or what race it s then God bless you. I can’t. I also can’t determine much about the meaning or intensions. I would have to see it in the flesh. I don’t know the heart of the builder. He may be lying, he may be telling the gospel truth. But again, I don’t care.

            It is not illegal to be distasteful, or be a racist, or be nasty as hell. Your comments are not illegal. Criticizing our President is not illegal. A government that uses it’s power to squelch dissent is an abomination to everything America holds sacred.

            Your willful tacit compliance boarders on treason, STFU (and I m not referring to undulates)

    • Ray in VT

      Yes indeed. That terrible group the NAACP. Getting all worked up when they see some event as being racially motivated. How dare they. The NAAWP is really a much better friend to them, as white southern conservatives have always been friends of minorities.

  • Arkuy The Great

    “The other thing here is an idea that being that poor means you should naturally give up any ideas you might have about privacy or dignity. The welfare applicant is less of a person for being financially dependent (and a generally unwelcome immigrant from a poor country to boot), so she naturally has fewer rights.”

    So many strawmen, so little time.

    Matt slyly weaves together being “poor” with being a “welfare applicant”. That may make for effective political theater but is quite divorced from reality. These two characteristics are not mutually inclusive. No, being poor has no impact on privacy or dignity. None at all. However, if you are to demand that I pay your sustenance then that is the point at which you have put those rights at risk. If you stick your hand in my face I will be making a judgment whether you are truly in need or are merely free-loading off my sense of generosity. And that is not due to “some new set of unwritten societal rules” or other such charged poppycock. This is the way it has been since the dawn of humanity. Deal with it!

    • jimino

      The identity of businesses receiving our State’s tax incentives for “job creation”, as well as the amount they get, the number duration and quality of jobs they actually create, are all secret. How about the identity of ag-sector beneficiaries of farm bill bailouts? Think they all should be id’ed publicly and drug tested too?

      • Arkuy The Great

        If they are getting “my” money (through the taxes I pay, ultimately at the point of a gun) then the answer is yes. That “free money” should be plenty costly IYKWIMAITYD!

        And that “job creation” is but an egregious case of corporate welfare. Ditto Big-Ag supports. I would just love to be able to go back in time and convince John Maynard Keynes to include a caveat on his “aggregate demand” theory declaring that it is not a blank check for governments to spend wildly on cronyism and rent-seeking!

      • HonestDebate1

        Hell yea!

        • jimino

          When I hear a peep from the right about doing so I will take you seriously.

          • HonestDebate1

            To cite just one, the right was pissed as hell about the money wasted on Solyndra in the name of “job creation”.

          • 1Brett1

            Subsidies, however, for agribusiness, oil, coal, fracturing, and so forth, not so much, though. In fact, the Right approves of those subsidies, irrespective of the enormous profits those companies make (and would continue to make without such subsidies).

          • HonestDebate1

            Two things: 1) fossil fuels work, Solyndra, not so much and, 2) a tax break is NOT a subsidy.

          • Ray in VT

            Fossil fuels do work, and they cause thousands of deaths due to ail pollution and such and are driving global warming. Solyndra’s main problem was having the American market saturated with cheap Chinese products. Tax breaks subsidize companies by providing relief from financial obligations, so indirect payments, such as tax breaks, certainly are a form of subsidy.

          • HonestDebate1

            Just think if all fossil fuels were to suddenly disappear tomorrow. Millions if not billions would die.

            For whatever reason the money we subsidized Solyndra with was wasted, and that’s but one of the Solar company rat holes our money went down.

            I suppose you can change the definition of subsidy and describe a scenario that you label a form of a subsidy but that is the only way a tax break is one. A subsidy grants money; money is exchanged. No money is exchanged with a tax break. Now, it’s totally legit to decry the tax break but it’s still not a subsidy.

          • Ray in VT

            Who is arguing for them to suddenly disappear tomorrow?

            I’m quite fine with the government undertaking to support research and innovative products that could lead to great successes. They don’t always work, and that is fine with me, and our nation has quite a long history of such undertakings.

            I don’t have to change any definitions. I can just consult some reference sources and such. Feel free to take it up with the books if you want to fight with them. Feel free to plant your stake in the ground on subsidy just as you did with lie. You’re wrong, but don’t let that stop you.

          • HonestDebate1

            No one is arguing that Ray, I was making a point, You blame them for death and I am pointing out they supply life.

            Different argument, it was a subsidy in the name of job creation that failed.

            A subsidy is a sum of money granted by government. That is not the same as me keeping a bit more of what I earned. Parse all you want.

          • Ray in VT

            I am pointing out that they kill people, as you are pointing out the life that they help to provide. For the benefits they also have down sides, and solar doesn’t have some of those downsides. That’s just a fact.

            “A subsidy is a sum of money granted by government. That is not the same
            as me keeping a bit more of what I earned. Parse all you want.” Such a statement ignores other definitions and uses that include tax breaks. Fight the definitions if you want. It’s extremely funny to read when you throw down the gauntlet against a dictionary.

          • HonestDebate1

            No one is against solar but it cannot run the world. And let me rephrase it this way: fossil fuels prevent massive death on a global scale.

          • Ray in VT

            They have certainly allowed for expansion of the human population that could not be sustained presently without continued use. However, the fact that they cause thousands of premature deaths every year in America and a driving effects that can endanger the lives and livelihoods of millions, if not billions, seems to be conveniently overlooked or ignored.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — please pardon the interruption of the entertaining, merry discourse.

            You’re right about “subsidy,” obviously, as any but the most determined and stubbornly ignorant would acknowledge.

            Of course, that’s part of your point, which is also directly applicable to one of On Point’s topics of the day, Why We Lie.

            Please carry on.

          • Ray in VT

            What a nice bit of serendipity. One does wonder what drives such behaviors.

    • brettearle

      A Man’s Right to Privacy need not be linked to his enrollment in public entitlements.

      There is no room for such an Indignity, simply because he is connected to Government out of necessity.

      Certain unalienable rights ought to be accorded an individual in our society–unless he is a public figure; has been convicted of a crime that is deemed newsworthy; is an inmate; or is deemed criminally insane.

      • HonestDebate1

        “There is no room for such an Indignity, simply because he is connected to Government out of necessity.”

        But that’s the rub Brettearle, how is it possible to determine if the connection is out of necessity? That person’s unalienable rights do not include forcing others to feed them. It is not prudent for our money to be doled out with no oversight and oversight means a certain lack of privacy for the recipient of the charity. It’s not about dignity.

      • Arkuy The Great

        Actually, when an individual becomes a ward of the state the state has a vested interest in making sure the expense is warranted. When applying for a privately funded loan or grant the questionnaires can be very intrusive. That is the right of the one providing the funds. The government’s rights in the matter are no less so.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Where’s the player/podcast link for this story?

    • Ray in VT

      Click on the link to the original show from April. It’s there.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        Yeah, I *just* figured that out. D’oh! I didn’t realize it was a rebroadcast.

        • Ray in VT

          Oh well. I didn’t even notice that it wasn’t there. I’m surprised that they didn’t put it up on this page and save people the step. A minor oversight and inconvenience.

  • HonestDebate1

    This is only tangentially related but I want to share a story. Tuesday is stall cleaning day here at the farm. I got started while my wife took a small group of lesson kids on a trail ride. There are hundreds of acres of wilderness with a river, creeks, waterfalls, rock cliffs and hollows. There are poisonous snakes, bobcats, beavers and bears. We have strict rules about kids going without an adult or anyone going by themselves.

    So I’m working (as an aside, it’s really more about the pee than the poo but I digress) and into the barn walks the sheriff. He tells me he got a 911 alert and the number was from my wife’s cell phone. He could not get an answer when he called it. I jumped off of the skid steer and onto the four-wheeler and took off. I was very worried and trying hard not to panic.

    I found them, she had butt-dialed 911. She locked her screen but evidently that doesn’t stop the 911 call. She was extremely embarrassed.

    The sheriff was great. For one thing he was there right away. He was not mad at all, just the opposite. He was very happy everyone was alright. No calls came in (fortunately) while he was here. It was a very good feeling to know he had our back.

    When he got the alert there was nothing to tell him anyone’s race, income or social status. My wife has an androgynous name so he didn’t even know her sex. He was just there to serve and protect. I’m writing a letter to the editor of the local paper and making an anonymous donation to the department.

    • blaine

      Ironic that such irrelevant comments are posted for a program called “On Point.”

      • jefe68

        Yep, I think he thinks this is Prairie Home Companion…

        • blaine

          Or “All Things Considered.”

          • 1Brett1

            Or, in HD1′s case, “Many Things Not Considered”?

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not about me.

          • Ray in VT

            It is about the lies, distortions and copious omissions in your gazillion comments.

        • HonestDebate1

          Read your comments Jeffe.

          Love that Shoe band!

          • 1Brett1

            It’s not about you; or, considering most all of your commentary in this thread IS about you, it looks to be about you. So, it’s not about you unless it is about you? Got it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Look at all these comments about me! This thread s huge! That’s why the moderators love me. I’m a traffic bonanza.

            All I wanted to do was complement a cop.

          • 1Brett1

            A delusion, I’d say. I doubt the moderators view you with any particular fondness, especially because you comment and reply on here, morning, noon, and night, all day, every day with inane stories that are supposed to prove/support your viewpoint.

            I also doubt that you complete or bring to perfection the “sheriff’s” role, but who knows; in your mind, calling a law enforcement officer to your house unnecessarily may seem to you an important role you play in maintaining law and order; otherwise, you probably meant that you wanted to “compliment” the “cop.”

          • jefe68

            The lady doth protest too much, methinks…

      • hennorama

        blaine — the added irony is that [Debates?NotHe] repeatedly writes “It’s not about me,” then writes the drivel above.

        As I’ve repeatedly recommended to no avail, he should STFU (Stick To Foaling Ungulates).

        • HonestDebate1

          When will you stop inserting yourself into threads with off topic comments about nothing but me? How many times have you done the today alone? Dude, it’s not about me.

          It’s about giving law enforcement a little credit where it’s due in a place that is justifiably criticizing it pretty heavily. It’s about the notion that law enforcement does not always know the income, race or sex of the victim or perpetrator of a crime or the recipients of their assigned duties. I think it was a worthwhile addition to the debate as far as perspective goes. You don’t have to agree. Why don’t you just tell someone else about me instead?

          • 1Brett1

            As long as you’re offering your opinion about how “worthwhile” your comment is, I disagree; your comment is not worthwhile, as a single incident involving a law enforcement officer in rural North Carolina is not relevant, especially since all he or she did was respond. It proves nothing else. The fact that he (or she) was “nice” after seeing he (or she) was responding to white people supports your argument (if one would call it that) even less.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well, that was worthwhile.

          • 1Brett1

            It appears your earlier admonishment about what is and is not proper regarding whether or not commentators to this forum should or should not police the content of other posters’ comments only should be applied to the comments/behavior of others and not you…okay. Perhaps you should be deputized as a citizen moderator?

            We get it, you feel standards you set for yourself should be different than standards you set for others.

          • jefe68

            One wonders if HD can spell hypocrite.

            I guess he’s sheriff in these here parts, yep… that’s him On Point’s sheriff HD…
            He’s no Andy of Mayberry however.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m more like Barney.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yadda yadda. People can police all they want, I encouraged it. I don’t do it though.

          • jefe68

            If it’s not about you, then why post dribble about you by you?

      • HonestDebate1

        I thought I tied it in tangentially at the end and had the caveat at the beginning.

        You really should read some of these comments and go ahead and police the entire blog for us. You have your work cut out and you’ll have to delete a few of your own. Check some spelling while you’re at it if you’re so inclined but we already have a schoolmarm and lots of grammar cops. Oh and BTW, when you do you’ll find I’m charming.

        • blaine

          Did I say “Tell Me More?”

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t really care what you tell me Blaine.

          • 1Brett1

            It’s not about you, HonestDebate1.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — that might be a candidate for addition to the Goofy Silly Response-O-Matic:

            “I don’t really care what you tell me [but I'll read your comments and reply to them].”

          • HonestDebate1

            IDRCWYTM

          • blaine

            I didn’t think so. The words in quotes are the name of another show on public radio. Just like “On Point,” and “All Things Considered.” No need to get worked up. Relax and take a deep breath of (wait for it) “Fresh Air.”

          • HonestDebate1

            “What do you Know?” Wait, wait, don’t tell me” “This American life” is a “Splendid Table” and if you want to make a “Snap Judgement” then so “Says You” but that doesn’t make it true.

            Sorry for the above, I couldn’t help it. I’ve never heard “Tell Me More” and could not find it listed on my local affiliate so it went right over my head. I just thought you were being an ass. I get a lot of that. But I’m not worked up. It’s rolls right off me.

        • 1Brett1

          “…you’ll find I’m charming.”

          It’s not about you, D.

          • HonestDebate1

            No but some things are apparent.

        • jefe68

          Charming? Well if one considers condescension, self righteousness and ignorance charming then I suppose you are.

          • HonestDebate1

            That was charming.

    • anamaria23

      Nice story. Glad all was well.

      • HonestDebate1

        Thanks Anamaria.

    • 1Brett1

      One is to assume that “tied it in tangentially” pertains to some sort of implication that cops — in this case, a “sheriff” (although more than likely a deputy) — don’t ever alter their behavior based on the social, financial, or racial status of the person[s] involved in a possible crime, which is not true. However, if the tangent wasn’t trying to make some sort of similar point, then the post is completely irrelevant, “caveat” notwithstanding.

      edit: glad it was a false alarm. I, personally, would rather see a law enforcement officer’s time/tax payers’ money wasted than be devoted purely to a tragedy/crime. Money spent on maintaining public services, even if no services are needed in a given situation, is still well spent.

      • hennorama

        1Brett1 — it’s curious how outraged some commenters are about “waste, fraud, and abuse” of taxpayer dollars for some things but not others.

        Unintentional emergency calls (AKA “butt dialing,” etc.) is a massive waste of police time and taxpayer money.

        Perhaps the first one might be free, but any subsequent ones might be billed as false alarms, as many jurisdictions now do for false burglar and fire alarms, once a low threshold is exceeded.

        • HonestDebate1

          I have long been on record advocating forty lashes for butt-callers. How dare they! And don’t think I didn’t deliver them. She learned her lesson. I am sure our aforementioned donation amply offset the costs and it was good to meet the local “sheriff”. He took a brochure, his kid may sign up for lessons. It’s all good.

      • HonestDebate1

        The car said “Sheriff” in big letters but he didn’t have one of those old west star badges or even a cowboy hat, so point taken.

        Funny you mention the voters, today is an election day. There’s a runoff for Clerk of Court and another for District Attorney. It’s been ugly. I did ask the alleged sheriff for his thoughts.

        And no that wasn’t the point. The point was that they don’t always make decisions based on social status (as the show indicated) and race (as this blog insists). I thought that message was getting lost and my morning provided an anecdote. You know how I am. It was not that they never do. Of course they do, both ways too.

  • blaine

    Has anyone else read Mr. Taibbi’s book, the one being discussed on the show (The Divide)? It’s the first of his I’m reading cover to cover (about 85% through it). My opinion is that it’s well worth the read no matter what your political bent. If you’ve read it up/down vote this post to register your opinion. I don’t work for the author, publisher, WBUR, APM, or any other party associated with the book or this show. I’m just curious to know what others thought about the book. Of course, share comments as well.

  • ruthwlandrum

    my classmate’s aunt makes $68 every hour on the
    computer . She has been fired for 7 months but last month her paycheck was
    $15495 just working on the computer for a few hours. visit the site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • HonestDebate1

      Wow, that’s good money. You sure are pretty.

      • Jeff

        Watch out it’s a trick…don’t fall for it…oh wait, she is cute…what she selling? I want 10 of them! Damn, I fell right into her web.

      • jefe68

        PT Barnum was right…

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

President Obama is pushing hard to close a loophole that allows companies to move their operations overseas and pay lower taxes. We’ll look at what’s at stake.

Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and lessons for now.

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