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The political attacks against Crime Stoppers Houston escalates


Blue Dogs

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Just when you think the uppity WOKE Culture Mob has upped the ante, things continue to escalate in their deep-seated hatred towards everything public safety & law enforcement.

The victims of this despicable attack from the WOKE Mob: Crime Stoppers Houston.

Here's the response from Crime Stoppers Houston:

https://crime-stoppers.org/as-expected-the-politicization-of-crime-targets-crime-stoppers-of-houston-our-response/

Your thoughts on the jackassery of one uppity WELFARE QUEEN on Harris County Commissioners Court: Rodney Ellis, whose attacking Crime Stoppers Houston & Co., ?

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29 minutes ago, Blue Dogs said:

Just when you think the uppity WOKE Culture Mob has upped the ante, things continue to escalate in their deep-seated hatred towards everything public safety & law enforcement.

The victims of this despicable attack from the WOKE Mob: Crime Stoppers Houston.

Here's the response from Crime Stoppers Houston:

https://crime-stoppers.org/as-expected-the-politicization-of-crime-targets-crime-stoppers-of-houston-our-response/

Your thoughts on the jackassery of one uppity WELFARE QUEEN on Harris County Commissioners Court: Rodney Ellis, whose attacking Crime Stoppers Houston & Co., ?

Can you please provide a translation as to the exact issue that appears to have your panties in a tither? As usual, you just used a bunch of empty and meaningless buzzwords, woke, attack, mob, welfare queen, hatred, etc., etc. Please point out exactly where this “woke mob”touched you. If you’re in the deep distress it appears you are in, please take your meds or contact the appropriate professionals. 

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Sounds like they are worried their $$ is drying up and lashing out

"Many of the Democratic judges Crime Stoppers is slamming have cut into the organization’s revenue by curbing a common practice requiring many people sentenced to probation to pay a $50 fee that goes to Crime Stoppers. The nonprofit’s revenue from those fees has fallen by half since Democrats swept the county’s judicial races in 2018."

"By 2021, Crime Stoppers was getting 80 percent less from the courts than it had in 2014 — a drop of about $500,000, to less than $122,000, according to county records."

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/21/us/politics/crime-stoppers-houston.html

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/Crime-Stoppers-chapters-in-Texas-are-stockpiling-17116923.php

https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/traditionally-nonpartisan-crime-stoppers-houston-has-a-new-target-democratic-judges/

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From the link posted by @Blue Dogs, under a header--and entirely unironically, mind you--"Rising Above the Noise":

During a time when crime is out of control and public safety remains the number one issue for Houstonians and victims – the New York Times, the Marshall Project and The Houston Chronicle ignored the plight of those suffering to instead coordinate attacks against the organization and its CEO and staff as they tirelessly work for the safety of all.

Those rhetorical techniques tell me all I need to know.  If there is any "politicization" going on, it's fair to say at the very least, it isn't one-sided.

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1 hour ago, sapo2367 said:

Sounds like they are worried their $$ is drying up and lashing out

"Many of the Democratic judges Crime Stoppers is slamming have cut into the organization’s revenue by curbing a common practice requiring many people sentenced to probation to pay a $50 fee that goes to Crime Stoppers. The nonprofit’s revenue from those fees has fallen by half since Democrats swept the county’s judicial races in 2018."

"By 2021, Crime Stoppers was getting 80 percent less from the courts than it had in 2014 — a drop of about $500,000, to less than $122,000, according to county records."

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/21/us/politics/crime-stoppers-houston.html

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/Crime-Stoppers-chapters-in-Texas-are-stockpiling-17116923.php

https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/traditionally-nonpartisan-crime-stoppers-houston-has-a-new-target-democratic-judges/

So, why are these judges curbing this common practice?

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39 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

From the link posted by @Blue Dogs, under a header--and entirely unironically, mind you--"Rising Above the Noise":

During a time when crime is out of control and public safety remains the number one issue for Houstonians and victims – the New York Times, the Marshall Project and The Houston Chronicle ignored the plight of those suffering to instead coordinate attacks against the organization and its CEO and staff as they tirelessly work for the safety of all.

Those rhetorical techniques tell me all I need to know.  If there is any "politicization" going on, it's fair to say at the very least, it isn't one-sided.

These things are rarely one-sided.  Some people see woke everywhere they turn and some people see white supremacy everywhere they turn.

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35 minutes ago, august948 said:

These things are rarely one-sided.  Some people see woke everywhere they turn and some people see white supremacy everywhere they turn.

I'd just hate to see such an organization be used by the State or other political activists as a passive political actor trying to "turn the tide" in Harris County politics with public money, in particular against the recent "blue waves" in the County judicial system.  You can't argue that there is certainly a fixation among the Republican Party.  

If "crime is out of control," a responsible organization would rely not on such fearmongering and empty verbiage, but cite actual statistics.  It would certainly be helpful to me as a local voter.  I've seen plenty of tweets and headlines, and I'm not arguing with the numbers, but the only thing I've noticed walking around in the past couple of years is the decrease in the homeless population . . . and sign me up for that, especially if they are getting real help in the process.

But this seems pretty clearly to be aimed at low-information voters.  And this thread proves that they've been successful.

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9 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

I'd just hate to see such an organization be used by the State or other political activists as a passive political actor trying to "turn the tide" in Harris County politics with public money, in particular against the recent "blue waves" in the County judicial system.  You can't argue that there is certainly a fixation among the party.

If "crime is out of control," a responsible organization would rely not on such fearmongering and empty verbiage, but cite actual statistics.  It would certainly be helpful to me as a local voter.  I've seen plenty of tweets and headlines, and I'm not arguing with the numbers, but the only thing I've noticed walking around in the past couple of years is the decrease in the homeless population . . . and sign me up for that, especially if they are getting real help in the process.

But this seems pretty clearly to be aimed at low-information voters.  

Propaganda is always aimed at low-information voters.  That's where it finds the most success.

CSoH seems to have gone into at least medium-level detail in their response (linked way above).  I don't think we can deny that crime is up.  And it's undeniable that nationally the Democratic party has supported defunding the police and similar initiatives plus appearing to support or condone the riots of 2020 that led to much burning and looting.  Now the chickens have come home to roost in the form of the perception that Democrats are soft on crime.

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7 minutes ago, august948 said:

I don't think we can deny that crime is up.  

From what little I have delved into, that is accurate for some categories of crime.

8 minutes ago, august948 said:

And it's undeniable that nationally the Democratic party has supported defunding the police and similar initiatives plus appearing to support or condone the riots of 2020 that led to much burning and looting.

This, however, is incorrect.  The Democratic Party as a whole has not supported defunding the police, although some party members have.  But I won't argue that when you have such an effective "Multi-modal" conservative propaganda network to put that idea into people's heads, you certainly have to be careful.

(Incidentally, for one, believe the "much burning and looting" is one of those throwaway, loosely used phrases that may be accurate for a small number of cities in the country, but isn't accurate for the country as a whole.  I recall this past December when my cousin visited from a Fort Worth suburb and asked me how bad the riots were considering I lived blocks from downtown.  She was shocked when I said it wasn't an issue.  So I'd prefer we be a bit more careful with such statements, but to each their own.)

10 minutes ago, august948 said:

Now the chickens have come home to roost in the form of the perception that Democrats are soft on crime.

Which is ironic, given the unprecedented crimes committed against our system of government by the Republican politicians and their supporters.  But, yeah, the effectiveness of the propaganda network cannot be denied.

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23 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

From what little I have delved into, that is accurate for some categories of crime.

This, however, is incorrect.  The Democratic Party as a whole has not supported defunding the police, although some party members have.  But I won't argue that when you have such an effective "Multi-modal" conservative propaganda network to put that idea into people's heads, you certainly have to be careful.

(Incidentally, for one, believe the "much burning and looting" is one of those throwaway, loosely used phrases that may be accurate for a small number of cities in the country, but isn't accurate for the country as a whole.  I recall this past December when my cousin visited from a Fort Worth suburb and asked me how bad the riots were considering I lived blocks from downtown.  She was shocked when I said it wasn't an issue.  So I'd prefer we be a bit more careful with such statements, but to each their own.)

Which is ironic, given the unprecedented crimes committed against our system of government by the Republican politicians and their supporters.  But, yeah, the effectiveness of the propaganda network cannot be denied.

I'm sure it's not on the official Democratic party platform, but I'll check it later to just to be sure.  It would be more accurate, however, to say some prominent and vocal party members have supported defunding the police.  Enough so that it, along support for lax border enforcement policies, hostility to second amendment rights, and perhaps other issues, has positioned Democrats generally as being the anti-law and order party.  That's a headwind that even conservative Democrats have to fly against.

Would you be referring to the riot of Jan 6 or something else?

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Looks like it's time to file a complaint with the IRS that Crime Stoppers is violating the prohibition of political speech by 501c3 non-profits:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Saying that a judge should be voted out definitely violates that provision. If Crime Stoppers wants to say a certain judge should be voted out, then I have no issue with revoking their non-profit status, making any contributions non-deductible, and forcing the organization to pay taxes on its income.

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1 hour ago, august948 said:

I'm sure it's not on the official Democratic party platform, but I'll check it later to just to be sure.  It would be more accurate, however, to say some prominent and vocal party members have supported defunding the police.  Enough so that it, along support for lax border enforcement policies, hostility to second amendment rights, and perhaps other issues, has positioned Democrats generally as being the anti-law and order party.  That's a headwind that even conservative Democrats have to fly against.

I will agree that it is a very easy story to weave.  And the Democratic Party is so awful at messaging that they sure as hell aren't helping tell a more coherent story.  That has left a vacuum that is easily filled.

1 hour ago, august948 said:

Would you be referring to the riot of Jan 6 or something else?

That's the big one, of course, for obvious reasons, along with all that led up to it.  

But there really is a long list that keeps on getting longer.  It ranges from the severity of January 6 to the irony of the former president's Chief of Staff being registered to vote in 3 states.

To me, it's the persistent lack of accountability within the party that is now elevated to the point that the former President's preferred Ohio Senate candidate sees no problem with recommending a "De-Baathification" and "De-Wokeness" of the U.S. and firing all of the bureaucracy to replace it with "our people."  That, combined with the naked maneuvering last year in several states to essentially give state legislatures the power to override voting outcomes based on little more than "they feel like it."  Obviously, not crimes in and of itself, but I can't believe that not only probably 30% aren't disturbed by it, but a smaller number (30%-1% it seems) is actually cheering it on.  I wouldn't be surprised if Bluey was in this camp based on his incessant rhetoric of retribution.

Anyway, I will reiterate what I say constantly with regard to these topics . . . I just don't see it working out well.  And I'm not sure why a good third of the country thinks that overturning our political system based on whimsy think it won't have severe economic consequences that will most certainly trickle down to plenty of "red heads."  And, once we lose it, I don't have much confidence that we'll get it back because once these guys are in power, they sure as hell won't be letting go . . . as has been the case for the entire history of the world.

I know you and I disagree on the probability of the above occurring . . . maybe you put it close to 1% . . . but in another post you said you have seen at least some of what I'm seeing, so I think you will agree it's above 0%.

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7 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

Can you please provide a translation as to the exact issue that appears to have your panties in a tither? As usual, you just used a bunch of empty and meaningless buzzwords, woke, attack, mob, welfare queen, hatred, etc., etc. Please point out exactly where this “woke mob”touched you. If you’re in the deep distress it appears you are in, please take your meds or contact the appropriate professionals. 

"uppity" gives a big clue as to who hurt him since it's only used in association with only a certain group.

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41 minutes ago, JLWM8609 said:

"uppity" gives a big clue as to who hurt him since it's only used in association with only a certain group.

Indeed, I somehow missed the most loaded—and telling—word of all.

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2 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

I will agree that it is a very easy story to weave.  And the Democratic Party is so awful at messaging that they sure as hell aren't helping tell a more coherent story.  That has left a vacuum that is easily filled.

That's the big one, of course, for obvious reasons, along with all that led up to it.  

But there really is a long list that keeps on getting longer.  It ranges from the severity of January 6 to the irony of the former president's Chief of Staff being registered to vote in 3 states.

To me, it's the persistent lack of accountability within the party that is now elevated to the point that the former President's preferred Ohio Senate candidate sees no problem with recommending a "De-Baathification" and "De-Wokeness" of the U.S. and firing all of the bureaucracy to replace it with "our people."  That, combined with the naked maneuvering last year in several states to essentially give state legislatures the power to override voting outcomes based on little more than "they feel like it."  Obviously, not crimes in and of itself, but I can't believe that not only probably 30% aren't disturbed by it, but a smaller number (30%-1% it seems) is actually cheering it on.  I wouldn't be surprised if Bluey was in this camp based on his incessant rhetoric of retribution.

Anyway, I will reiterate what I say constantly with regard to these topics . . . I just don't see it working out well.  And I'm not sure why a good third of the country thinks that overturning our political system based on whimsy think it won't have severe economic consequences that will most certainly trickle down to plenty of "red heads."  And, once we lose it, I don't have much confidence that we'll get it back because once these guys are in power, they sure as hell won't be letting go . . . as has been the case for the entire history of the world.

I know you and I disagree on the probability of the above occurring . . . maybe you put it close to 1% . . . but in another post you said you have seen at least some of what I'm seeing, so I think you will agree it's above 0%.

Is it that the Democratic party is awful at messaging or is it that some of the messaging is awful?

I haven't heard anyone mention de-baathification in ages.  Can you post the link on that one?  All I've gotten so far is linked to the Iraq war.  If someone is truly recommending de-baathification in the US, then they've got one up on Putin's de-nazification of Ukraine.  These days its hard to one-up the Russians like that.  I'd like to read the original source.

It's not just you and me, I've had the possibility vs probability discussion disagreement with others before.  I tend to discount possibility in favor of probability when analyzing something.  Anything is possible really, but that doesn't give us much to go on so I favor trying to peg the probability down.  As you say, I put the probability of civil war or dictatorship occurring here as very, very low.  Taking the Jan 6 riot for example.  The propaganda line is that it was an "insurrection" (see the wikipedia article for notable events of 1861 to see what that actually looks like) but how things are playing out so far is that it was mostly a riot combined with a miscalculation on the part of the Capitol Police on their protection of Congress.  The rest is political gamesmanship trying to nail this person or that person to the cross to gain advantage.  The same process plays out over and over depending on the scandal du jour.  It's possible there was a real danger, since anything is possible, but the reality as I see it is that the actual probability of a collapse of the US Government was almost nil.

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To save money they should close down their offices in Midtown. That would be a big space to be redeveloped that's not a ugly wall on the sidewalk.

Crime Stoppers would be a better fit for Greenspoint, I think.

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8 hours ago, august948 said:

Is it that the Democratic party is awful at messaging or is it that some of the messaging is awful?

Well, I could take the Augie approach here and say "Both parties have at least some messaging that's awful" or "stick to my guns" (cuz I know Augie likes them so much) and say, no, I think the main problem is the Democratic Party is awful at messaging.  Why?  Because its messaging is done by someone else.  So much of America has been so well "groomed" by the conservative media, corrupt religious leaders, and the private sector that fully one-third-plus of the country thinks that Democrats are socialists, baby killers, gun-takers, unpatriotic, anti-military, pro-crime, anti-family--anyway, the list goes on and on.

8 hours ago, august948 said:

I haven't heard anyone mention de-baathification in ages.  Can you post the link on that one?  All I've gotten so far is linked to the Iraq war.  If someone is truly recommending de-baathification in the US, then they've got one up on Putin's de-nazification of Ukraine.  These days its hard to one-up the Russians like that.  I'd like to read the original source.

What Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance, and Others Are Learning From Curtis Yarvin and the New Right | Vanity Fair

Vance described two possibilities that many on the New Right imagine—that our system will either fall apart naturally, or that a great leader will assume semi-dictatorial powers.

“So there’s this guy Curtis Yarvin, who has written about some of these things,” Vance said. Murphy chortled knowingly. “So one [option] is to basically accept that this entire thing is going to fall in on itself,” Vance went on. “And so the task of conservatives right now is to preserve as much as can be preserved,” waiting for the “inevitable collapse” of the current order.

He said he thought this was pessimistic. “I tend to think that we should seize the institutions of the left,” he said. “And turn them against the left. We need like a de-Baathification program, a de-woke-ification program.”

“I think Trump is going to run again in 2024,” he said. “I think that what Trump should do, if I was giving him one piece of advice: Fire every single midlevel bureaucrat, every civil servant in the administrative state, replace them with our people.”

“And when the courts stop you,” he went on, “stand before the country, and say—” he quoted Andrew Jackson, giving a challenge to the entire constitutional order—“the chief justice has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.”

This is a description, essentially, of a coup.

Before you say this is an "isolated incident," "most people are like this," or "every party has its kooks," this guy is (1) on Fox News every other night; (2) got Trump's full-throated endorsement; and (3) is poised to be the next Senator from Ohio.  This is the id of today's Republican Party.  Just read the first message on this thread--he's speaking their language.  (I wasn't going to even mention the fact that his campaign is being bankrolled by a German gay multibillionaire Silicon Valley "elitist," but it's too rich to pass up.)

8 hours ago, august948 said:

It's not just you and me, I've had the possibility vs probability discussion disagreement with others before.  I tend to discount possibility in favor of probability when analyzing something.  Anything is possible really, but that doesn't give us much to go on so I favor trying to peg the probability down.  As you say, I put the probability of civil war or dictatorship occurring here as very, very low.  Taking the Jan 6 riot for example.  The propaganda line is that it was an "insurrection" (see the wikipedia article for notable events of 1861 to see what that actually looks like) but how things are playing out so far is that it was mostly a riot combined with a miscalculation on the part of the Capitol Police on their protection of Congress.  The rest is political gamesmanship trying to nail this person or that person to the cross to gain advantage.  The same process plays out over and over depending on the scandal du jour.  It's possible there was a real danger, since anything is possible, but the reality as I see it is that the actual probability of a collapse of the US Government was almost nil.

All I can say is I sincerely hope you are right.

I do appreciate the dialogue, as always @august948

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17 hours ago, august948 said:

So, why are these judges curbing this common practice?

The main reason given is that this can be really difficult for some folks to pay, leaving them in a debtor's prison cycle. In general I think this is in line with the trend towards eliminating cash bail and reducing convictions for low level offences that a lot of Harris County judges are pushing for. 

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4 hours ago, zaphod said:

To save money they should close down their offices in Midtown. That would be a big space to be redeveloped that's not a ugly wall on the sidewalk.

Crime Stoppers would be a better fit for Greenspoint, I think.

Not a bad idea...perhaps they could engage the problem first-hand there?

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3 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

Well, I could take the Augie approach here and say "Both parties have at least some messaging that's awful" or "stick to my guns" (cuz I know Augie likes them so much) and say, no, I think the main problem is the Democratic Party is awful at messaging.  Why?  Because its messaging is done by someone else.  So much of America has been so well "groomed" by the conservative media, corrupt religious leaders, and the private sector that fully one-third-plus of the country thinks that Democrats are socialists, baby killers, gun-takers, unpatriotic, anti-military, pro-crime, anti-family--anyway, the list goes on and on.

What Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance, and Others Are Learning From Curtis Yarvin and the New Right | Vanity Fair

Vance described two possibilities that many on the New Right imagine—that our system will either fall apart naturally, or that a great leader will assume semi-dictatorial powers.

“So there’s this guy Curtis Yarvin, who has written about some of these things,” Vance said. Murphy chortled knowingly. “So one [option] is to basically accept that this entire thing is going to fall in on itself,” Vance went on. “And so the task of conservatives right now is to preserve as much as can be preserved,” waiting for the “inevitable collapse” of the current order.

He said he thought this was pessimistic. “I tend to think that we should seize the institutions of the left,” he said. “And turn them against the left. We need like a de-Baathification program, a de-woke-ification program.”

“I think Trump is going to run again in 2024,” he said. “I think that what Trump should do, if I was giving him one piece of advice: Fire every single midlevel bureaucrat, every civil servant in the administrative state, replace them with our people.”

“And when the courts stop you,” he went on, “stand before the country, and say—” he quoted Andrew Jackson, giving a challenge to the entire constitutional order—“the chief justice has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.”

This is a description, essentially, of a coup.

Before you say this is an "isolated incident," "most people are like this," or "every party has its kooks," this guy is (1) on Fox News every other night; (2) got Trump's full-throated endorsement; and (3) is poised to be the next Senator from Ohio.  This is the id of today's Republican Party.  Just read the first message on this thread--he's speaking their language.  (I wasn't going to even mention the fact that his campaign is being bankrolled by a German gay multibillionaire Silicon Valley "elitist," but it's too rich to pass up.)

All I can say is I sincerely hope you are right.

I do appreciate the dialogue, as always @august948

Thank you for the link...I'll read it over.

I have to say that if you're stuck to your guns then you may have chosen the wrong grips.  Or you have spilled maple syrup on your Glock.  I like to shoot my guns but having them stick to me is inconvenient except when managing recoil. 

I'm not so sure the Democratic party is as awful as you say at their messaging.  Various members certainly speak their minds on the list you gave.  I don't think that Fox commentators are deep faking the comments made by various Democratic party officials, though they do intentionally paint the entire party with whatever is said.  Same goes for CNN/MSNBC/etc.  Certainly a large number of people believe their messaging and vote for them.  Or is it that a large number of people believe their messaging regarding the Republican party?  Either way, the propaganda runs deep on both sides.  The Democrats are fighting a bit of an uphill battle, though, and it's not due specifically to conservative media but due to our long history as a nation that leans conservative.

As for hoping I'm right, you can rest easy...after all you're either Right or you're wrong... 😄

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1 hour ago, sapo2367 said:

The main reason given is that this can be really difficult for some folks to pay, leaving them in a debtor's prison cycle. In general I think this is in line with the trend towards eliminating cash bail and reducing convictions for low level offences that a lot of Harris County judges are pushing for. 

So, in other words, a policy change entirely within their legal jurisdiction, but of course when the flow of funds dries up we shouldn't be surprised that people engage in fearmongering like what was involved in that press release (e.g., "crime is out of control").  It seems to be a common theme in Harris County elections, I'm sure all orchestrated at the state party level--see the (opinion!) disingenuous rhetoric on "Man Hands" Mealer's website:

Back the Blue and Lock Up Violent Criminals

One of the primary motivations behind my decision to run for Harris County Judge was the state of utter lawlessness that continues to grip our entire county. Whether strolling along the bayou, picking up groceries or even attending an Astros game, residents are now rolling the dice on whether they will encounter a violent, repeat offender. While it is clear that our residents are not safe, we have now reached such a state of crisis that our law enforcement are being routinely murdered by violent, repeat offenders. In fact, in the three years since Judge Lina Hidalgo took office, more officers have been murdered than the prior decade. This is outrageous and cannot continue.

Hogwash.  If anyone literally believes the above, they should seek psychological counseling for paranoia.

Can anyone say "violent, repeat offender"?  How about three times?  Here's a question for "Man Hands"--exactly how many law enforcement officers (or others for that matter) have been killed by "violent, repeat offenders" that were released due to the policy of bail reform?  Methinks the answer is probably 0, or else she'd happily cite the actual number.  (BTW, does the language sound like that used by anyone else on this thread?  I have no idea who would want such a total crackpot as the county executive.  She has zero experience . . . it's all performative--she's just a tool to shore up "red" votes in Harris County for the upcoming statewide and 2024 presidential elections.  But I digress.) 

The above said, I can see why people would ask, "Why would we NOT make criminals pay into such an organization, especially in an environment of rising crime?"  Or "Any murder is 1 too many."  Of course it is--that is not up for debate--but, sorry Toto, it is not reality!  But people can't have a good faith conversation about that (see OP).

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4 minutes ago, august948 said:

I'm not so sure the Democratic party is as awful as you say at their messaging.  Various members certainly speak their minds on the list you gave.  I don't think that Fox commentators are deep faking the comments made by various Democratic party officials, though they do intentionally paint the entire party with whatever is said.  Same goes for CNN/MSNBC/etc.  Certainly a large number of people believe their messaging and vote for them.  Or is it that a large number of people believe their messaging regarding the Republican party?  Either way, the propaganda runs deep on both sides.  The Democrats are fighting a bit of an uphill battle, though, and it's not due specifically to conservative media but due to our long history as a nation that leans conservative.

NO, SIR.  These things can be measured.  It is very lopsided.  This has been written about plenty.  The conservative media ecosystem has evolved into a very effective and self-reinforcing propaganda network.  It's why so many people on the right so readily believe such crazy, crazy flurf.  

That said, I don't watch any cable news.  I can see very clearly with my own eyes.  A bunch of people storming up the steps of the U.S. Capitol trying to assassinate the Vice President isn't a "misstep" by the Capitol Police or some spontaneous, chance event.  They were encouraged to do so.  Shrug your shoulders all you want, but there is no modern parallel in U.S. history and it represents a serious threat to every one of our livelihoods to have the Overton window moved so far in the past decade that "mainstream" candidates for one political party openly talk about Civil War.

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On 4/27/2022 at 12:01 PM, august948 said:

Thank you for the link...I'll read it over.

Surely you're not THAT slow of a reader, Augie.  I'm interested in your thoughts . . . it's a key piece of evidence in judging just how cynical you are, buddy!

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1 minute ago, mattyt36 said:

Surely you're not THAT slow of a reader, Augie.  I'm interested in your thoughts . . . it's a key piece of evidence in judging just how cynical you are, buddy!

Sorry, been reading about the new Ministry of Truth being spun up by the Dept of Homeland Security.  Plus listening to it's new head doing her Mary Poppins rendition.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, august948 said:

Sorry, been reading about the new Ministry of Truth being spun up by the Dept of Homeland Security.  Plus listening to it's new head doing her Mary Poppins rendition.

 

 

Well I will say that was one of the potential type of responses I had on my list. 

I believe the young uns call that “deflection.”

But I guess it could be worse!

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10 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

Well I will say that was one of the potential type of responses I had on my list. 

I believe the young uns call that “deflection.”

But I guess it could be worse!

The cynic in me says It can always be worse.  But, hey, at least she can carry a tune.  And did you get a look at those hands?

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13 minutes ago, august948 said:

The cynic in me says It can always be worse.  But, hey, at least she can carry a tune.  And did you get a look at those hands?

Truisms are not cynical, Augie!

Edited by mattyt36
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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, august948 said:

Sorry, been reading about the new Ministry of Truth being spun up by the Dept of Homeland Security.  Plus listening to it's new head doing her Mary Poppins rendition.

 

 

The fact is jackasses like Ellis have been hostile toward law enforcement. Folks like him & Dora the Explorer are a disgrace to this country. 

Edited by Blue Dogs
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1 hour ago, Blue Dogs said:

The fact is jackasses like Ellis have been hostile toward law enforcement. Folks like him & Dora the Explorer are a disgrace to this country. 

Who is Dora the Explorer? Oh, that's right, the Republican supporters can't come up with actual policy criticism, so they resort to juvenile name calling and racist tropes.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Blue Dogs said:

The fact is jackasses like Ellis have been hostile toward law enforcement. Folks like him & Dora the Explorer are a disgrace to this country. 

(I know this won’t go anywhere, but …)

TELL US MORE, @Blue Dogs

You’ve started this wonderful conversation about Crime Stoppers, filled with facts and all

So enlighten us on this topic as well, please

I suppose—obviously principled and totally levelheaded guy that you are—the fact that she has to hire private security because she can’t trust the Harris County Constables to do so is, er, “just another day at the office,” certainly not a DISGRACE

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On 4/29/2022 at 6:59 PM, mattyt36 said:

Surely you're not THAT slow of a reader, Augie.  I'm interested in your thoughts . . . it's a key piece of evidence in judging just how cynical you are, buddy!

Got around to reading the article this weekend.  Was disappointed but not surprised that de-baathification was just an off-hand comment and not particularly meaningful.

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22 hours ago, august948 said:

Got around to reading the article this weekend.  Was disappointed but not surprised that de-baathification was just an off-hand comment and not particularly meaningful.

Well I guess that’s ONE interpretation. (And here I thought you Baylor grads were all textualists.)

Tell me, how did you come to the conclusion that a candidate for US Senate was just “shooting the flurf” so to speak when fantasizing about dismantling the current system of government? Tell us, what was he REALLY saying there, Augie?

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4 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

Well I guess that’s ONE interpretation. (And here I thought you Baylor grads were all textualists.)

Tell me, how did you come to the conclusion that a candidate for US Senate was just “shooting the flurf” so to speak when fantasizing about dismantling the current system of government? Tell us, what was he REALLY saying there, Augie?

Textualism is the strict reading of a text without regard to any other considerations. 

In my experience, politicians are shooting the flurf until proven otherwise.  The general gist of the article, however, is that in certain conservative circles there's an opinion floating around that our system is about to collapse and speculation on how to react to that.  That's not quite the same as actively plotting to dismantle our current system. Total speculation on my part at the moment but there's likely been barroom talk about replacing our system with a socialist or communist system sometime in the past 100 years or so.  

I know this First Amendment stuff is scary in some circles but it's an essential part of our system. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2022 at 3:48 PM, august948 said:

Textualism is the strict reading of a text without regard to any other considerations. 

Well aware of the definition of textualism.

On 5/3/2022 at 3:48 PM, august948 said:

The general gist of the article, however, is that in certain conservative circles there's an opinion floating around that our system is about to collapse and speculation on how to react to that.

"Certain conservative circles," which, might I point out, include the former president, who is the current de facto party head and likely 2024 nominee.

On 5/3/2022 at 3:48 PM, august948 said:

That's not quite the same as actively plotting to dismantle our current system.

The former president, with the support of many other Republicans, actively tried to overturn the 2020 election with no basis for doing so.  I'd say that's actively plotting to dismantle our current system.

On 5/3/2022 at 3:48 PM, august948 said:

Total speculation on my part

Yes, yes it is.  Willful ignorance, one might call it.

On 5/3/2022 at 3:48 PM, august948 said:

but there's likely been barroom talk about replacing our system with a socialist or communist system sometime in the past 100 years or so.  

And, while we're on the topic of history, let's consider how many times things started this way and didn't work out well in the end.  Barroom talk?  Yeah, a very famous putsch got started that way.  Not exactly the innocuous image I would want to conjure.

On 5/3/2022 at 3:48 PM, august948 said:

I know this First Amendment stuff is scary in some circles but it's an essential part of our system. 

Um, Augie, buddy, I have nothing against the First Amendment.  It used to be the case we would hold our leaders--elected or otherwise--to higher standards and expect them to exercise restraint, deference, and humility.  It's clear one party does not value that anymore ("But he fights!") and prefers a steamroller approach.  That should scare everyone because, at the end of the day, Mr Cynic, you know the politicians don't care about the citizens.  It's not a bargain we should make so freely while tossing caution to the wind.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

Well aware of the definition of textualism.

"Certain conservative circles," which, might I point out, include the former president, who is the current de facto party head and likely 2024 nominee.

The former president, with the support of many other Republicans, actively tried to overturn the 2020 election with no basis for doing so.  I'd say that's actively plotting to dismantle our current system.

Yes, yes it is.  Willful ignorance, one might call it.

And, while we're on the topic of history, let's consider how many times things started this way and didn't work out well in the end.  Barroom talk?  Yeah, a very famous putsch got started that way.  Not exactly the innocuous image I would want to conjure.

Um, Augie, buddy, I have nothing against the First Amendment.  It used to be the case we would hold our leaders--elected or otherwise--to higher standards and expect them to exercise restraint, deference, and humility.  It's clear one party does not value that anymore ("But he fights!") and prefers a steamroller approach.  That should scare everyone because, at the end of the day, Mr Cynic, you know the politicians don't care about the citizens.  It's not a bargain we should make so freely while tossing caution to the wind.

Well...we've had the discussion on probability vs possibility so I won't rehash that.  Historically speaking, the US has gone through periods where there was considerable political upheaval, including the Jacksonian era (mentioned in the article, btw).  While it may seem in contrast to the recent past this is different, I think a thorough reading of US history will show otherwise.

I will say that you are by far not the only one who is concerned more about the possibility of a tyrannical government coming into being than it's probability.  As you may have noted in the past two years especially there are many who view any mandate the government makes, however small and however justified, as an abridgement of their freedom.  Take comfort in the fact that many will resist other larger and more important abridgements of our freedom as well. 

At a much earlier time our founding fathers had this same concern, only as our country was young and our experiment as yet unproven the probability was much higher then than I would judge it to be now.  In their wisdom they gave us the Second Amendment as a safeguard against a tyrant, foreign or domestic.  If you are concerned about the overthrow of our system of government I would urge you exercise your Second Amendment rights and oppose any abridgement of them.  You can certainly believe with 100% probability that any tyrant, left or right, will first act to disarm the public that might oppose them.

Edited by august948
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Posted (edited)

Thanks @Blue Dogs for bringing this issue to my attention, I was unaware of it until seeing your thread. I've always thought Crime Stoppers seemed like a good organization, but I had no idea about the fee that people on probation have to pay to them. Requiring a convict to pay court fees, or pay restitution to his victims, or pay a fee to the local parole division for the administration of his probabtion, I'm good with all that. Requiring him to pay a flat fee to a private nongovernmental  organization that had nothing to do with his case, that's ridiculous, I'm surprised it hasn't been challenged as an 8th Amendment violation. Again, thanks for bringing this issue to my attention.

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I've decided to close this thread.  It's more heat than light.  Sure, politics is often a little rambunctious.  But all I see here is partisanship and name-calling.  If that's your thing, try the comment sections of any newspaper web site.  HAIF is better than that.

Disagree?  Great!  E-mail me at editor@houstonarchitecture.com, and we'll talk about it.

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