Thursday, October 27, 2011

Evidence? We don't need no stinking evidence!



A paraphrase of a paraphrase of a paraphrase. But who cares? We live in time where facts are stupid. We have a democracy that has been hijacked by ideology and populism.

Case in point, the omnibus crime bill, aka The Safe Streets and Communities Act. Of course we want safe streets and communities. Of course we've all been touched by crime. Every one of us has been robbed abducted and murdered!

Yet, strangely, the evidence doesn't support this anecdotal hysteria. It seems that we are at a point where our crime rate is lower than it has been since 1972. But still, accepted wisdom dictates that society only gets worse with time, therefore, the records must be wrong. Well, yes, according to our government. Like with every insane conspiracy theory, if the facts don't support, invent new facts. It seems that there is this mysterious cloud of "unreported crime" that no one knows about but we must deal with it and vigorously punish it. 

And deal with it we will! To the tune of.... SOME MONEY. See, therein lays another problem. The government won't tell us what the new bill will cost. But hey, who cares, as long as it puts the alleged perpetrators of unreported crime in jail.

Let's get back to that annoying evidence thingy, shall we? 

We're enjoying the lowest crime rate since I was a pre-schooler.
Judges maintain that mandatory minimum sentences remove their ability to deal in justice on a case by case basis.
Sociologist and criminologists, through decades of study, state that this "tough on crime" approach does not curb crime nor do anything to prevent it.
Statisticians can demonstrate that the crime rate is at an historical low.

However, there is no place in justice for evidence. That is the Harper mantra.

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For those who care, the actual quote from the book, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre by B. Traven
"All right," Curtin shouted back. "If you are the police, where are your badges? Let's see them."
"Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don't need badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrĂ³n and ching' tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you."

Again, I apologize for confusing the issue with facts

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