We, as a society

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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127 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    Like you, I find this sort of thing horrifying. How do people like us end this? I mean, that’s the part of it that feels most like tyranny to me. I can vote to decriminalize drugs: it makes no difference. I can vote for candidates who want to end the drug war: it makes no difference. I can write letters to the newspaper, blog day and night, convince everyone I know to support ending the drug war, hell I’d imagine I could even be a celebrity with a huge soapbox and call for an end to the drug war: none of it makes any difference. This is probably why some people talk about having a revolution. My feelings on the prospects there? Not likely to make a difference.Report

  2. Avatar dexter
    Ignored
    says:

    The most recent marajuana arrest data I could easily find stated there were more the 850,000 marajuana arrests in the United States in 2009. The insanity will not stop until all of them show up at the White House at the same time and light up. It will not stop as long as people making money selling kevlar jackets to cops keep making money. It will not stop as long as local judges can get elected by saying they will be tough on drugs. It will not stop until local law enforcement stops making money off of the fines for convictions. It will not stop as long as lawyers keep making money defending or prosecuting arrestees. Ergo, it will not stop.Report

  3. Avatar Bob
    Ignored
    says:

    The actions of the police are outrageous, no question about it. But just to be clear, avoid any confusion, the incident took place in 2008. Perhaps Keep Columbia Free recently obtained the video.

    http://www.keepcolumbiafree.com/blog/cpd-swat-killed-two-retreating-dogs-in-2008-video/Report

  4. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    This is indeed horrifying. Most of us around here are supporters of ending the drug war in some fashion. However when we were discussing HCR a couple years ago many people who were against reform loudly and proudly trumpeted the many choke points in our demo system and noted the anti-democratic nature of parts of how our gov was set up to prevent majorities from doing things. Well those choke points give great power to very small powerful groups to exert control over what can even be considered or tested. The anti-democratic nature of parts of our system do sort of obviously make it harder for people to do things. There are certainly differences between HCR, the drug war, MIC and our aggressive imperialist foreign policies but all those things seem to be either immune or absurdly difficult to change. A government we can’t steer gores all bulls.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      A government without horns gores far, far fewer.

      A government that has decided that such things as “whether you get high” or “whether you get lipitor” as things that fall outside of its jurisdiction would not have these things happen.

      The moment you start saying that we, as a society, have a vested interest in maintaining the health and well-being of us, as a society, you open the door to such things as police kicking down doors to make damn sure that nothing as wicked as Drugs poisons us. As a society.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The moment you rule out any action as a society then what have we lost. Nothing right…rainbow unicorns for everybody. In your zeal to prevent one error you don’t even want to recognize any other errors. To make sure a gov can’t say who gets lipitor then you would make it that millions can’t get lipitor or all sorts of other things. Hell what harm can come from a gov that can’t be changed or adapt to changes. All hail slippery slope fallacy…defender of weak arguments everywhere. As for people, well.. meh.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
          Ignored
          says:

          If you agree that we, as a society, are responsible for the health of the members of us, as a society, you open many, many possibilities.

          Do you *REALLY* think you can keep a lid on the possibilities you find distasteful when we, as a society, have made a decision, Greg?

          Maybe next time will be different?Report

          • Avatar Bob in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            “Maybe next time will be different?”

            It’s more than likely that we can learn from our mistakes. The police in Columbia MO have made several changes in procedure concerning “dynamic entries” and citizens are seeking more safeguards,

            “Although more than a year has passed since the Whitworth raid, Columbia residents were petitioning the review board last night to recommend more policy changes stating that dynamic entries are not to be used for ‘nonviolent crimes.’”

            Yeah, it’s possible to

            http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2011/apr/14/drug-related-swat-raid-numbers-drop-off/Report

            • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Bob
              Ignored
              says:

              I like Balko, but to ignore 2011 in favor of sensationalizing 2008 is improper. HT to Bob for doing the digging Balko should’ve.

              Columbia police have not conducted a single dynamic entry using their SWAT team in 2011, and Chief Ken Burton attributes that to last year’s changes in policy.

              “We are taking the proper precautions,” Burton said. “Significant changes have been made in a way we do search warrants that it has not warranted a dynamic entry yet this year.”

              Burton has previously acknowledged mistakes in the Feb. 11, 2010, raid on Jonathan Whitworth’s home in southwest Columbia that resulted in the death of a family dog. He followed that with changes to fix those errors.

              Although more than a year has passed since the Whitworth raid, Columbia residents were petitioning the review board last night to recommend more policy changes stating that dynamic entries are not to be used for “nonviolent crimes.”

              “We, as a society” need our Balkos, our gadflies. Sometimes they should acknowledge their own successes in swaying “We, as a society” and “our” ability to listen and change. Whether Balko actually made a difference in this case is unknown—the 2010 video went internet-viral—but he’s invaluable at this sort of thing.

              http://reason.com/archives/2010/02/08/how-many-more-are-innocent

              Whether his narrative is straight-up or comprehensive is doubtful, though. Certainly didn’t tell the whole story here, and his claim that

              You’re watching something your government does to your fellow citizens about 150 times per day in this country.

              is putatively sort of true [breaking down doors for drugs], but I dunno if it’s all SWAT teams and flash grenades and 150+ dead dogs a day.

              Not getting into the main point here, the War on Drugs or breaking down doors, just looking for a little epistemological clarity. One must read Balko as an advocate, not a journalist: there will be little in the way of a sense of proportion in a country of 300+ million or “on the other hand…”

              Neither is it self-evident that the WoD is the core problem here: Balko’s other work on wrongful convictions [for all sorts of crimes] suggests that it’s the malfeasance of law enforcement officials that is the true constant.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        You make a good point Jaybird, this is what your government’s constitutional limits are supposed to prevent.

        But they don’t prevent it because as a practical matter the constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means and the Supreme Court is appointed by the politicians the Constitution is supposed to restrain.

        So the question becomes how do you restrain the government from getting involved in trivial matters? I guess an amendment explicitly banning the government from banning the use of drugs might work, but good luck getting that passed.

        The only thing I can think of that would work is large-scale cultural change i.e. convincing about 100m people not to support banning drugs. But that seems even less likely to happen.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to James K
          Ignored
          says:

          “But they don’t prevent it because as a practical matter the constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means and the Supreme Court is appointed by the politicians the Constitution is supposed to restrain.”

          This is a very good point and in fact a key example of the dynamic I mentioned.Report

  5. Avatar Koz
    Ignored
    says:

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote this and this, here. A few days after that the story made the rounds about an Arizona SWAT team an ex-Marine while serving a drug warrant.

    Please for the love of God can we get rid of crap like “pox on both houses” or “it goes both ways” or whatever.

    There’s a thicket of statutes and jurisprudence about what the police can do and what the legal liability for drug use is and all the rest of it. All that’s important but it also obscures one important fact: the SWAT team from the municipal police or county Sheriff’s Department bust down doors and throw grenade cuz they’re paid to do it.

    If we can’t turn off the money spigot the ship of the security state will set its own course.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Koz
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ve got an idea on this Koz and I’m not trying to be sarcastic or anything: what if they started running for office on this? You believe this is the result of the Democrats and their policies, right? And I think you’re saying the Republicans will bring an end to this sort of crap. So, what if they all started running for office on the platform, “if elected, I will defund and end the drug war”? Or even just a lot of them? They have the cause to, since it’s limiting the government, and hell, I’d vote for that. So far, it’s been who promising to end the drug war? The Pauls, okay, but anybody else?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rufus F.
        Ignored
        says:

        The fundamental problem is that both sides agree that we should have a government powerful enough to do this sort of thing, just with enough restraint to *NOT* do this sort of thing.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          No, no, no, there is no pox on both houses, that’s just a cheap way to duck responsibility. We believe in the sovereignty of the citizens. Their team believes that’s a formality to work around when it’s convenient.

          Except for one thread, we haven’t heard a whole lot about Libya, and even then there wasn’t too much about the War Powers Act. I can’t even conceive what the Administration thinks its legal justification for Libya is, or why Team Blue supporters pretend to support it. And no, George W Bush never ever ever ever ever ever did that.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
            Ignored
            says:

            Does Team Red have grounds for impeachment? Do they have enough folks in the House to get some balls rolling?Report

            • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Actually, they might. But whether they do or don’t, impeachment is a horrible response. It’s much simpler (and more effective) for Team Blue players to simply quit playing. And for the grief I’ve given you before, this one really isn’t your fault. The War on Drugs will be with us for a while. Libya could end next week.Report

              • Avatar Katherine in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I was under the impression that Team Red had started the War on Drugs in the first place, and badgered and berated Team Blue into going along with it with a lot of blather about Tough On Crime. In 1972 Team Blue had a presidential candidate who backed legalization. He lost in a landslide.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Katherine
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, by all means let’s continue to bomb Libya tomorrow for the sake of the McGovern campaign of 1972.Report

        • Avatar Fred Chopin in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          The sound of a wailing dog in such excruciating pain is indefensible and unbearable. Does anyone think otherwise?
          We’ve been bonding with our four-legged courageous friends for at least 10,000 years. And God love ’em–I especially love the idea of building a special monument for them in DC. How much they deserve this!Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Rufus F.
        Ignored
        says:

        They could, and maybe they should. But like you mentioned, what good would it do if they did? One typical misunderstanding of politics is that people underestimate by orders of magnitude the amount of organization that it takes to force an issue into the forefront of our political-cultural consciousness.

        That’s why, even as we wish the Republicans did this or that, we should also give them credit for who they are now. Because we have Republicans, we have the hope of reasserting the sovereignty of the citizens over the political process. Unfortunately, because of homosexuality or government shutdowns or whatever, there’s a lot people who are invested in the status quo and are quite a bit afraid of the sovereignty of the citizens. And then when the result of the status quo is 10% unemployment and SWAT team raids they want to think that’s somebody else’s fault. It’s not.Report

        • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          I’m not saying it would get accomplished. It’s just you keep saying that the GOP is the party of limited government and they definitely see themselves that way. So, it seems to me that, if they came out and said, “Look, this is what we mean! Vote for us and we will end this SWAT team drug war shit A.S.A.P.” it would force at least some liberal voters to reconsider their position, especially since the Democrats have never really done anything to end the drug war. I mean, part of the real problem here is that there are a lot of voters who want this to end, for reasons of cost, freedoms, or both, and there aren’t a lot of candidates willing to run on that. Actually, a real problem with the American system is how many issues there are where a high percentage of the population wants things to change but the candidates act like that’s a fringe position.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Rufus F.
            Ignored
            says:

            That’s exactly what my point was before. The political establishment isn’t offering accountability for the various aspects of the Drug War, relative to, say abortion, because the prolifers worked and organized to the point where the various players know they have to come down on that issue somewhere.

            As far as the GOP goes, it’s an interesting thought experiment to see what the GOP would do if it were and an explicitly anti-Drug War party. In particular, what are the issues and what level of government would they be applied at? The states are impeded from legalization due to federal law, and the most of the enforcement is by the states. And a fair portion of federal law enforcement in this area is assistance to the states. Whatever the GOP would do might be taken by some people as not ending the Drug War anyway.Report

            • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              Mr. Koz, I don’t think you can paint the GOP as the anti-Drug War party.

              Further, the issue isn’t a winner for either party, even for pot.

              CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. April 9-10, 2011:

              “Do you favor or oppose the legalization of marijuana?”
              .

              Favor Oppose Unsure
              .

              % % %
              .

              ALL 41 56 2
              .

              Democrats 42 56 2
              .

              Independents 48 49 3
              .

              Republicans 28 70 2
              .Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it any different when the word used is “decriminalization”? Is it any different from what it was ten years ago? Anyone here know more about how those things usually poll?Report

              • Avatar Bob in reply to Rufus F.
                Ignored
                says:

                This poll from Gallup, Oct. 2010, shows the trends you are asking about,

                http://www.gallup.com/poll/123728/u.s.-support-legalizing-marijuana-reaches-new-high.aspxReport

              • Avatar Bob in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                Ooops, Oct, 2009.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, that’s what I was wondering. Because, if you’d told me that roughly 40% supported legalization back when I was a kid, I’d think you were lying. But, now… Yeah, it totally makes sense that Obama finds the idea of legalization so laughable. Ho ho.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                But even if that’s the case, that doesn’t justify (or explain) the SWAT raids and the rest of it.

                Not only are there laws on the books proscribing marijuana, there’s also a tremendous amount of money, power, and resources controlled by the government as opposed to the citizens or the private sector, etc. If the government had to operate with more resource constraints than it does, a lot of this might stop.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                Mr. Koz, “starve the beast” has proven a failed strategy in the West, no less in the US.

                When municipalities go in the red, they preserve all their spending to their favorites [public unions, anyone?] and threaten to cut police and fire unless taxes or assessments are raised.

                NOBODY wants fewer cops or firemen, one of the few functions of gov’t we all agree on as legitimate. And this is how gov’t revenues are “enhanced,” ratcheted ad infinitum, forever and ever, amen.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                Right. That’s how things are different now than say, 1998. Things are more desperate now, among other things.

                “Starve the Beast” is out, “Kill the Beast” is in. The sort of things the GOP is trying now probably wouldn’t be feasible if unemployment were below 7% and growth above 2%.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, Rufus—I would put gay marriage and marijuana on parallel tracks of sentiments, and why there’s no %age for Obama to get out in front on either.

                A strong majority don’t want cops busting individual gays or pot smokers for doing what they do. Neither do they want to give it full legal sanction.

                Yes, I’m aware recent polls have finally put SSM into the majority column; still, voters even in The Hippie State recently voted down Propositions 8 [gay marriage] and 19 [legalize pot] by slim majorities. The issues are in the 51-49 zone. My point would be that there was little outcry even on the right against Lawrence or against various pot “personal use” decriminalizations across the land, that gays or potheads should be prosecuted/persecuted.

                On the other hand, full state-and-society approval is a different question, which the legalization of each or either would signify, at least in many or most eyes.

                There’s a dynamic, a mechanism, a sentiment—even an easy consensus—for what the state is for and about that I think gets lost in most discussions of the hot-button issues. Keeping the state out of the bedroom and the bong is not synonymous with society’s endorsement. But where the membrane between state and society is stretched thin if not broken, legality and approval indeed become synonymous.

                I think this can reconcile the polls, as variously worded.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                “On the other hand, full state-and-society approval is a different question, which the legalization of each or either would signify, at least in many or most eyes.”

                And the fact that such judgments tend to be distorted. Ie, the will of the voters can’t be done or doesn’t make sense. But more importantly that the political class reserves itself final sovereign judgment so the judgment of the citizens has to game that.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                “Mr. Koz, I don’t think you can paint the GOP as the anti-Drug War party.”

                I agree. Our communication channel into the culture at large is only so wide. The GOP is currently after deficits. Should they give that up to go after the Drug War. Not for me. The point is this: going after the size and scope of government gives us the chance to engage everything else. Enabling the lib-Demo establishment guarantees that you can’t.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course I understand and agree with yr meta-argument, Mr. Koz. I do not think you have found fertile ground for it; it’s looking as though the GOP hasn’t either.

                The Ryan plan is about the only one on offer. The Dems have not offered an Rx for the future, indeed they don’t even have a budget for the present.

                My pet theory is that the left are at heart polemicists. Thus, their method is attack, not affirmative argument. They gained the reins of gov’t in 2006 and 2008 by attacking. Whatever success they have in 2012 will come from counterattacking.

                And so, you have stepped in it esp with this particular forum. It’s reflexively anti-GOP even as it shies away from affirmatively defending the Democratic Party and the current administration, for which there is not much in the way of affirmative defense.

                And so it is with the Dem Party itself—by breaking even, attacking the other side as just as bad or worse, it wins the alienated and disaffected. So many of us these days are A&D. Affirmative argument is for suckas. When the choice is a) bankruptcy sometime in the future and b) throwing granny out on the street if Ryan has his way, b) is the far more alienating and disaffecting choice.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                “My pet theory is that the left are at heart polemicists. Thus, their method is attack, not affirmative argument. They gained the reins of gov’t in 2006 and 2008 by attacking. Whatever success they have in 2012 will come from counterattacking.”

                That’s exactly right. They want us to play Emmanuel Goldstein to their Big Brother. After the Two-Minute Hate, they want us to force them to do the things they’re supposed to be doing anyway. Most of Team Red isn’t willing to play that game. But more importantly, we can’t even if we were. We have to be left with something that’s going to work, and the things Team Blue have offered us so far don’t.Report

              • Avatar Katherine in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                The fact that 70% of Republican voters oppose legalization of even a non-dangerous drug like marajuana seems to fairly strongly contradict Koz’s contention that the Republicans are our best shot at ending the War on Drugs.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          It’s almost enough to make you wish that the Republicans would drop the homosexuality thing.

          Oh, that’s not on the table?

          Then I guess I should remain unsurprised that we have two groups of folks who believe that The State should have the right to tell you what to do in the bedroom… it’s just that one of the two sides is more interested in giving directions while the other is more interested in giving prohibitions.

          I wish that Republicans were principled enough to say that there are things that are none of the government’s business. Not even homosexuality or abortion, maybe. Not even Terry Schiavo.

          Something tells me that this will end up like our discussions of spending during the years 2002-2006.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Jaybird, if the government doesn’t have to acknowledge the citizens telling it to ban abortion, it doesn’t have to acknowledge the citizens telling it to stop SWAT teams. But those SWAT raids, they’re not yoooour fault, right Jay?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              Insofar as anyone who might listen to me has voted for people who have expanded government, I have failed.

              We, as a society, have decided that we want a government big enough to tell us what to do.

              We, as a society, fall for the prettiest lies from the prettiest candidates.

              We, as a society, see it as a Republican/Democrat dynamic rather than a Ruling Class/Ruled Class dynamic and so are afflicted, when we see videos such as the above, with people who want to explain that their Ruling Classes are kinder to the Proletariat rather than discuss whether more could be done to make people remember that they used to be citizens.

              We, as a society, have decided that we’d rather cut off our noses to spite our faces.

              But I’d love to hear you explain how the Republicans would give us a government small enough to ban gay marriage, keep kicking down the doors of medicinal marijuana clinics, and set spending records.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “We, as a society, have decided that we want a government big enough to tell us what to do.”

                We? Who’s “we”, kemosabe? We, the GOP, are the party of citizens for citizenship. They are the establishment, enforcing the establishment’s prerogatives. The citizens have minds of their own, judgments of their own, and priorities of their own that may not be the same as mine or yours. At this point, it’s not clear to me what the status of homosexuality would be if the citizens had their say. But, thanks to establishment-enablers like yourself, we don’t have to find out.

                And the SWAT teams, those are somebody else’s fault, right?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                The GOP is also the party that opposed, among other things, Lawrence v. Texas, Raich v. Gonzales (nee Raich v. Ashcroft), and the very idea that Schiavo was an issue to be left up to the states.

                Oh, and poker on the internet.

                But, thanks to establishment-enablers like yourself, we don’t have to find out.

                We have a country full of people who have been trained to think of things as Federal Issues. Republicans cash in on this in order to make some short-term gains and then are shocked, shocked to find that people hold them accountable for the stuff that they did in order to cash in for some short-term gains.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not following you here Jay. I’ll claim the other side of Lawrence v Texas for the GOP and mainstream conservatives. For the rest of them, you’ve got nuthin’. If those things had to rely on their actual support from Americans to justify their existence, probably most of them would be gone.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ll claim the other side of Lawrence v Texas for the GOP and mainstream conservatives.

                What does this mean?
                That you feel that “the states” should have the power to kick down doors and arrest two guys for having sex in the privacy of their own home?

                “For the rest of them, you’ve got nuthin'”

                Do you know who Ashcroft was?
                Do you know who Gonzales was?

                Do you know who Bill Frist was?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “What does this mean?
                That you feel that “the states” should have the power to kick down doors and arrest two guys for having sex in the privacy of their own home?”

                It means that in order to have limited government, you have to trust the sovereignty of the citizens instead of whoever can maneuver their way into power.

                Or put it this way. Let’s say it comes into being that the regulation of sexuality and gambling and the Drug War are held to be illegitimate exercises of government power. That’s not a state of nature so there has to be acceptance of that as a cultural foundation. If you don’t allow for citizens to form their own sovereign political culture, you’re not giving yourself a chance. We certainly know that the current apparatchiks aren’t ending the War on Drugs any time soon.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                So it is the case that you believe that The State ought to have the power to kick down doors and arrest two guys who happen to sleep in the same bed?

                If that’s what most of the voters want?

                Is there any exercise of local authority that would make you say “wait a minute”? Any at all?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “So it is the case that you believe that The State ought to have the power to kick down doors and arrest two guys who happen to sleep in the same bed?”

                Why are you asking me? If sovereignty flows from the citizens and you don’t think homosexual sex acts should be banned, why don’t you ask them instead?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Are you ever going to answer the question with a straight answer?

                If you can just come out and tell me that you’d rather Clinton around the question without answering it with a straight answer, then we can put this stuff to bed early and you can go back to explaining how much much intellectual honesty Republicans have than Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                What, that homosexuality is in principle banable? Sure. But like I wrote, why do you care what I think?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                That was not the question I asked.

                Here, I will cut and paste it for you.

                So it is the case that you believe that The State ought to have the power to kick down doors and arrest two guys who happen to sleep in the same bed?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “ought”? I’ve tried to explain at some length why that’s a loaded word. I can certainly answer yes if that makes you feel any better.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                So you are saying that you will not answer the question?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I think I’ve answered it more than once already. Who do you like in the Super Bowl?

                I’m rooting for the Packers.
                I hope the Packers win.
                I’ve never liked Pittsburgh.
                Oh, please Packers.
                I’m more into the party than the game but I guess I’m pulling for the Packers.
                Ben Roethlisberger’s a perv, I hope he loses.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                No, I don’t think that you have. I think that you’ve deliberately gone the “it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is” route in order to have plausible deniability in future discussions. You’ve said what your answer might be, what you could answer, and how the question contains loaded words.

                “Equivocation”, I believe it’s called.

                It’s a trick that folks who do not want to answer direct questions tend to use.

                (It’s also fun to follow equivocating evasions with “I’ve already answered that”.)Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                ““Equivocation”, I believe it’s called.”

                Sigh. No Jay. You go down these rhetorical cul-de-sacs, and convince yourself that what you have represented in your mind is the way it is (and in fact the only way it can be). Here’s what I understand you’re asking me.

                Can homosodomy be legitimately banned by some unit of government? Yes. Given that it can, should it? Probably. Given that it is, should it be enforced by kicking residence doors? Probably not. Resources are finite, they should probably be used somewhere else.

                How that adds up in terms of “State ought kick down doors to arrest guys sleeping together” you can add up for yourself.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, if you remember, my complaint was that the Republicans and Democrats were indistinguishable when it came to their ideas of the proper limits of jurisdiction.

                Both the Republicans and Democrats agree that they have jurisdiction into your bedroom and should have the power to arrest folks for doing certain consensual things.

                It’s just that this party has these hangups and that party has those hangups.

                And my take is that I will vote for the party that says “you know what? This isn’t the business of the government.”Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Koz, if you remember, my complaint was that the Republicans and Democrats were indistinguishable when it came to their ideas of the proper limits of jurisdiction.”

                So apparently the answer is that everybody should internalize your interpretation of legitimate jurisdiction. My guess is, if you really think about that for a minute you’ll see that’s ridiculous.

                What’s not ridiculous is that we can accept the government requires the consent of the governed for its legitimacy and insist that held in some way in practice. Then, with the authority granted to us by our fellow citizens, we can deny funding to various arms and programs of government that are injurious or problematic or ineffective. That’s not ridiculous.

                In the meantime you seem to want to check out until everybody agrees with your interpretation of legitimate jurisdiction or subject matter of government action. You’ll be waiting a long time for that, of course, and during such time the SWAT teams will come and shoot the dogs (or the ex-Marine). Given that you’ve chosen to check out under these circumstances people like me say to some extent it’s your fault that these things happen.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So apparently the answer is that everybody should internalize your interpretation of legitimate jurisdiction.

                No. I just wanted to know if there was any nook, any cranny, any part of your life that you felt was not any of the government’s business.

                We don’t have to agree where the boundaries are.

                I just wanted to know whether we agreed on their existence.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok. But except for the sake of your own curiosity what difference does it make whether they exist or not?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Then there is no part of my life that I can say “that’s none of your business” about.

                I, on the other hand, disagree.

                But, for the record, you and the democrats agree on this. Well, they see abortion as an exception.

                So maybe the democrats are better than the republicans on this. They, at least, have *ONE* area that they agree is none of your business.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s a number of problems with this. First of all, you’re assuming that my answer is in the negative which it’s not. Second, that you should be afraid of whatever coulda shoulda happen if the planets line up in the perfect way relative to what’s actually happening right now.

                Most importantly, that you are implying that I have way more control over things than I have. Let’s suppose I said, here are the only legitimate functions of government are this:

                1. National defense
                2. Selling lottery tickets
                3. Supporting the judicial branch to adjudicate civil torts

                And let’s also suppose that this is more or less agreeable with your views on the matter. What does this help? The SWAT teams are still executing drug warrants.

                The SWAT teams don’t answer to me. They don’t answer to you. They may answer to the citizens if the citizens invoke their sovereignty loudly enough and persistently enough.

                Is this ok so far?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, allow me to quote you:

                Can homosodomy be legitimately banned by some unit of government? Yes. Given that it can, should it? Probably.

                Allow me to say: Go sniff your own goddamn sheets, you goddamned busybody.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You got anything else, Jay, anything? There’s broken records with more creativity. Have you heard of the Pink Police State? I’m going to save myself some typing and associate myself with James Poulos here.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, my “broken record” is merely to make the point of how far you feel it is appropriate for the state to butt in.

                There ain’t no “none of your beeswax” in your idea of the gummint.

                The difference between you and the democrats is in what makes you clutch your pearls.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “There ain’t no “none of your beeswax” in your idea of the gummint.”

                No Jaybird, really no.

                Most importantly, there doesn’t seem to be any relevance. You’ve insisted on going down this tangent, but apparently you don’t see any need to connect it with the rest of the thread (which coincidentally, you also started).

                So, for the sake of argument, let’s say I answered your questions the “right” way. If in my opinion government should never try to regulate sexuality or sexual acts, what would that change for you?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                That, in the future, when you said “limited government”, I’d know that you at least believed that the government should stay out of my hind end.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, and then what?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                No not really, but if thats how you want to see it then, so be it. You never state what we lose by not having the ability to have some collective action or a government that can do some things. I could easily state your premise as ” A gov big enough to have FEMA help people in Joplin MO, is big enough for death camps.” Its always easy to look only at one aspect and run everything around that. But if you only watch your altitude while flying you will end up upside down and in a stall.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                You never state what we lose by not having the ability to have some collective action or a government that can do some things.

                I am willing to live with fewer omelettes.Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m a registered Republican.
            There are many human activities that are none of the state’s business. After saying that, I believe in the value of human life. Human life is different than, say, animal life, and plant life. I think the state is responsible for protecting human life. In fact that’s one of the few responsibilities of the state.
            That’s what I believe.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            “I wish that Republicans were principled enough to say that there are things that are none of the government’s business. Not even homosexuality or abortion, maybe.”

            Sounds good to me. That’s why there should be no Federal funding of abortion, no Federal tax breaks for same-sex partners, no Federal involvement in State-level statutes regarding same-sex marriage…

            Wait, what? You’re upset by that? I thought that homosexuality and abortion were none of the government’s business.Report

            • Avatar Simon K in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              I’d be just fine with that DD. Of course, there’d have to be no federal tax breaks for marriage of any kind, no federal tax breaks for child rearing, no federal regulation of abortion and no federal statutes regarding marriage, same sex or otherwise. Oh wait, is that not going to happen? Then the deals off.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Simon K
                Ignored
                says:

                The state has a compelling interest in children. Further, we have a different legal standard for children, the legal status of a minor, which is not the full citizenship of an adult.

                Any society or government that doesn’t recognize a “special status” for children is obtuse or insane.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course. I don’t mind that other people might have contrary opinions on this justified by this or that, but people who can’t or won’t see why the status quo is what it is are obtuse beyond belief.Report

            • Avatar Chris in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              I.e. the way things are now.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Koz
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s well known that cops vote Democrat, because that’s where they see their funding coming from.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s interesting you should mention that. As it happens there’s a friend of mine who’s tending bar now but wants to get a job on a municipal police force for a major city a couple of hundred miles away.

        He’ll be in the next policy academy class if he wants to be. The holdup is, there may not be an academy class until whenever. This police department gets federal grants that are contingent upon the force strength being at a given number. So they’ll hold a new academy whenever it appears that they’re in danger of losing federal money without it.

        This increases the federal government’s political control, over the Drug War, over law enforcement, and over extraneous stuff too. In short, it’s a little bit more complicated than they way you wrote it, but not that much.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          I was being sarcastic, Koz. Cops vote Republican, overwhelmingly. So yeah, it isn’t much more complicated than what I wrote, but it is the opposite of what I wrote.

          To see how this works, for law enforcement, one only has to look to Wisconsin.Report

          • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Chris
            Ignored
            says:

            Chris, not a challenge, an inquiry: any data on the police vote?

            The prison guards of California are always in play, often to the Dems, and their [phenomenally generous] packages are relevant to the recent SC decision ordering CA to release prisoners because of overcrowding, etc., since prison guard $$ tends to subtract from infrastructure $$.

            Again, not debating, discussing. That your joke/sarcasm of cops voting Dem was taken at face value was an indication that what you consider obvious is not.Report

            • Avatar Bob in reply to tom van dyke
              Ignored
              says:

              Perhaps the rank and file voted against the national endorsement but I would bet most, by a wide margin voted Republican.

              “…the Fraternal Order of Police…endorsed the Republican ticket in 2000, 2004, and 2008….”

              http://gothamist.com/2011/04/01/gop_is_becoming_turn-off_for_cops_f.phpReport

              • Avatar WardSmith in reply to Bob
                Ignored
                says:

                opensecrets.org says top contributors to Democrats are:
                ActBlue
                Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
                Laborers Union
                Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union
                EMILY’s List
                Plumbers/Pipefitters Union
                National Assn of Letter Carriers
                Ironworkers Union
                United Auto Workers
                United Transportation Union
                American Postal Workers Union
                UNITE HERE
                AmeriPAC: The Fund for a Greater America

                I seem to notice one or two unions in that mix. My guess is the FOP union donates primarily to Democrats (especially in local races) while the rank and file probably vote D for local and R for national races.

                Vis a vis drug laws. Following the money reveals tons of cash to local depts both from (via forfeitures) and for drug enforcement. Take away the drug laws and you’re taking away 20-30% of the police force. Not to mention there was an article this weekend in the WSJ about declining crime rates and police might be starting to feel like postal workers wondering about their raison d’etre.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Chris
            Ignored
            says:

            “Cops vote Republican, overwhelmingly.”

            Not necessarily. Like Tom says, that’s a stereotype but it doesn’t always hold up. By contrast, the enabling of the ratchet-state is more subtle, but much more important.Report

          • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Chris
            Ignored
            says:

            From what I understand, the Wisconsin police and fire unions overwhelmingly sent their money to Walker’s opponent during that election. It’s the norm where I’m from, at any rate.

            The one branch of my family that is solidly Democratic is the branch full of firefighters. Most of the police officers I’ve known (a limited set, to be sure, but more than one would think given my background thanks to my ex-girlfriend’s firefighting father – a Democrat – and his cop friends) are apolitical (in the sense that they hate politicians of all stripes), or are Democrats. They’re the kind of people you would *think* would be Republicans, but aren’t.

            Other than conventional wisdom, on what basis do we assume police officers to be Republican?Report

            • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Trumwill
              Ignored
              says:

              Mr. Koz, it was an open question. Our reliable Mr. Trumwill pipes in that in Wisconsin, the police were with the anti-Walker forces, and if I recall were with the protesters as well, which was at the back of my mind.

              My googlemeister skills have failed me in this instance—I can’t find a goddam thing on how cops [or firefighters] vote. I will not put my tin foil hat on as to why that information isn’t readily and easily available.

              ;-}

              Google-operator error, no doubt. Brother Chris will surely advise.Report

              • Avatar Trumwill in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                I looked and didn’t find anything, either. Then again, I just today I read an article about politics in the medical profession and it said that statistics on how doctors vote are unavailable. It’s probably rather difficult to poll by profession.

                Bob’s link above about the Fraternal Order of Police is pretty valuable, though. Perhaps my observations are atypical.Report

              • Avatar Bob in reply to Trumwill
                Ignored
                says:

                The FOP has been endorsing presidential since 1988. The only Democrat they endorsed was Bill Clinton, his 1996 reelection.

                http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/16/us/fraternal-order-of-police-to-endorse-clinton.htmlReport

              • Avatar Chris in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                Tom (and Koz), Trumwill is unfortunately wrong on Wisconsin. My point was that Walker excluded the police unions, but if you look, you’ll find that both the Fraternal Order of Police and the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association endorsed Walker. In 2008, the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Republicans far more often, including McCain. The donations follow (you can find info on Police Benevolent Association too). If you look at the money specifically, it’s going to be around 60-70% Republican.

                Anyway, this might affect Tom, but Koz is so deeply and blindly partisan that I suspect he’ll rationalize police voting and giving to Republicans by saying that it’s because they’re social conservatives, or something to that effect (because really, police associations would rather give money to people who will screw them but also screw gays and women than).Report

              • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                The Wisconsin Professional Police Association endorsed Barrett. The National Association of Police Organizations endorsed Barrett as well. Those are probably the endorsements that I was vaguely remembering hearing about.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                “Anyway, this might affect Tom, but Koz is so deeply and blindly partisan that I suspect he’ll rationalize police voting and giving to Republicans by saying that it’s because they’re social conservatives, or something to that effect…”

                No no. Police voting can be R or D. It’s only part of the stew, and not the most important part at that. Hiring (and SWAT-equipping) the police involves more than the officers, it empowers the police bureaucracy, the government legal-judicial establishment, the municipal political establishment, and various parts of the federal bureaucracy. Most or all of these support Team Blue.

                Most importantly, all of them are more likely than otherwise to be in political debt to Team Blue if the feds are handing out free money. Jason wrote a post about this here a while back in terms of stimulus money for the state of Texas.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Mr. Koz, I looked up Columbia, MO and it appears to be in heavily-GOP Boone County. You gotta work some facts or nuance into your Team Red-Blue presentation, dude. Neither team is all good or all toejam.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                Tom, precisely.

                The picture is always nuanced. Republicans and Democrats give money to law enforcment, when in office, because appearing soft on crime is a good way to not get elected. The police state that we currently live in is a product of both parties actions, not just Democrats, and certainly not mostly Democrats.

                Koz has built a huge wall around him so that the world he sees fits his views of the “Teams.” At this point, I think we can just dismiss him as obviously blind.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                Really? You know, Columbia is a major state university college town. If it’s heavily Republican it must be the only one. I have spent a fair bit of time in Lawrence, Madison and Iowa City and can assure you they are not at all heavily Republican.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                “Koz has built a huge wall around him so that the world he sees fits his views of the “Teams.””

                No, Chris. In general, we shouldn’t expect things to look this way, it just happens that they do.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Trumwill
              Ignored
              says:

              It’s not about payback for votes, but rather about lacking the political nuts to do to police and fire what you are willing to do to teachers and shitwater recycling plant workers. He’s just a lowlife coward. That’s the point.Report

              • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Michael Drew
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not defending Walker’s actions. Mostly, I don’t think that the relationship between the police and the GOP is as cut-and-dried as he would have it. Apparently, the WLEA and FOP endorsed Walker, but the WPPA and NAPO endorsed Barrett. And the WLEA regrets its endorsement despite their exemption.

                Back where I’m from, the local PD actually had two unions. One would pretty consistently endorse the Democrat while the other was more of a swing vote.

                Anyhow, I will concede that the police union relationship with Democrats is not as tight as I had thought at the beginning of this conversation.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Trumwill
                Ignored
                says:

                Chris & Trumwill, I’m just blegging for data on the cop vote. Sorting out Wisconsin can come later.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to tom van dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                Tom, I can’t find voting information specifically, but the endorsements and donation information I can find are all mostly Republican (again, by a 60-70% margin).Report

  6. Avatar tom van dyke
    Ignored
    says:

    This “new” video is actually from 2008. Mr. Balko didn’t but should have made that clear. Mr. JB, perhaps as well. This reader got the impression from both that this is from 2011, although perhaps that’s just a failure on his part.Report

  7. Avatar stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    The thing I find interesting is that no-knock raids and dog murder tip some people over the edge so easily into apathy and wholesale rejection of government. It’s almost as if these folks are just looking for evidence to confirm their already held fatalistic, nihilistic beliefs.

    But more to the point, if you don’t like the way things are, do something to change it. For all the bitching about our police state and emergent totalitarianism, US style democracy still permits in principle a comparatively high level of policy determination by the body politic. So the fact that US policy sucks so bad isn’t, in my view, a reflection of bad government or even bad politicians. It’s a reflection of shitty citizens who sorta paradigmatically only want to bitch about how the other guy is fucking it up everyone else, but who really ought to take full responsibility for fucking theirownselves by trying so desperately beat the other guy to the punch.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to stillwater
      Ignored
      says:

      But more to the point, if you don’t like the way things are, do something to change it.

      Like what? Voting for Obama? That won’t get you very far.

      It seems to me that the problem is one of fundamental assumptions of one’s own jurisdiction.

      Do I have the right to tell you what to smoke?
      If so, then stuff like what we see in the youtube vid is something that follows from that. (See also: Prohibition.)

      If you come from the assumption that I do not have the right to tell you whether you can or cannot drink a beer in the privacy of your own home, then the whole thing of having cops kick down doors and shoot dogs becomes something that only exists in silly hypotheticals because we know that the cops would never, ever do such a thing.Report

      • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        JB, IMO, the underlying facts in the Lawrence case point to an abuse of law enforcement’s discretion, an abuse of the gray area between what is legal and what nobody gives a good goddam about. It’s worth a lookup.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        This might be important if you were on the SWAT team, otherwise not so much.

        We don’t live in anarchy. There is a machinery of state power, and the reins of that machinery is held by somebody. Unless those person(s) are you, what you have a right to do is trivial in comparison to what those people have the means to do. If they don’t have to answer to the citizens, then they answer only to themselves.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          Thus: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Absolutely. Everybody knew the people hated it. But if that’s just an inconvenience to work around instead of an actual binding constraint, that’s what happens.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              And if I were to frame the two choices as the PPACA and anarchy?

              Wouldn’t you wonder if, maybe, there wasn’t an alternative in there somewhere?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not following you here Jay. My point about the excesses of the Drug War, is about how and why it follows from enabling Team Blue. I don’t see any why and how wrt your hypothetical frame.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                And my point is that there is one team with two faces.

                Both believe that the state should have the power to get into every nook and cranny of your life, it’s just that they disagree over how much discretion those who have that power ought to exercise.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Wtf Jay, if there’s anything we know by now it’s the fact that the state does have that power. It proves it every day. We are talking about limitations on the use of that power. You seem to favor limitations that don’t limit anything.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                No, Koz.

                The difference between you and me is this.

                You say that the state has the power to impose the PPACA on you.

                I say that the state has the power to kick down my door and kill me.

                These are two very different things that we are acknowledging here.

                You kowtow to anyone with power too quickly.

                That’s an unseemly trait, for an American.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Koz, do favor public opinion polling as the right procedural mechanism for determining what limits there actually are on the legitimate use of government power on all matters of public policy (rather than assuming that majorities are elected to legislatures to enact the programs on which they campaigned, with more-or-less activist judges then umpiring the constitutionality of the resulting legislation), as you seem to suggest you do in the case of Obamacare?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “do favor public opinion polling as the right procedural mechanism for determining what limits there actually are on the legitimate use of government…”

                That’s a good question, but no. Public polling is too haphazard for that, certainly that’s the case for the results of one poll.

                But if the public opinion is clear, it should be deferred to, which didn’t happen in the case of Obamacare.

                Most of the time, the situation will be ambiguous enough so that the political class has quite a bit of maneuvering room.

                Furthermore, let’s note that there are other mechanisms that the political class uses to frustrate fairly clear will of the people other than the representativeness (as opposed to direct popular opinion) of the legislature.Report

      • Avatar Fred Chopin in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        A few years ago, while living in Boston, a “perfect storm” of immeasurable consequences occured.

        After a long, painstaking investigation, Boston Police were convinced they had the goods on a local drug dealer.

        Based on the human traffic entering and exiting the man’s apartment–known drug dealers, users, prostitutes, you name it, they had it. Right there on a silver platter.

        So, backed with with what they thought was incontrovertible evidence, they obtained a search warrant and proceeded to execute it, with force if necessary.

        Force was “necessary”. One major problem, though. They had the wrong guy. And the wrong house. A major failure of police intelligence led them to a completely innocent man.

        The man was an elderly African-American gentleman. So here they are, armed with battering rams and search warrants, they stormed his apartment screaming orders for him to not move and stay on the ground.

        I’m sure you know what’s coming next. Yes, he died of a heart attack–right then and there. A needless death if there ever was one.

        So where does one begin? Just whose rights are being infringed upon? Does accidentally killing an innocent man just part of the price a society pays for protecting the rights and safety of the community?Report

  8. Avatar Koz
    Ignored
    says:

    “I say that the state has the power to kick down my door and kill me.

    These are two very different things that we are acknowledging here.”

    I think you’ve got some typos here Jay. In any case, the idea is that the bulwark to protect us from what the state can do is that the state answers to its citizens.Report

  9. Avatar WardSmith
    Ignored
    says:

    Do the states have that power? Obviously Indiana does now via a 3-2 state supreme court decision.Report

  10. Avatar Bob
    Ignored
    says:

    Jaybird, thanks for the kind words way up top. BobReport

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