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  •  Laws are good (3+ / 0-)
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    Onomastic, kmfmstar, Cedwyn

    if they are enforceable.  If they're not enforceable, then they prevent nothing - they're made for the clean-up.

    Are death penalties a deterent?

    Even DUI laws - unless you're real drunk, get into an accident  or are just unlucky - you're going to get away with it - did you break the law?  Yes.  Did you get away with it? - Yes - as long as you made it home and no one got hurt.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:18:28 PM PST

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    •  That's absurd. (4+ / 0-)

      Any law is enforceable.  It's only a matter of will.  Let's take DUI, a subject I'm most familiar with due to my involvement with our towns teen center.  Teens DUI has gone done over 50% over the last two decades when extensive efforts in outreach, education and yes, changing laws for teens began.  

      xSome proven, effective strategies include minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) laws, zero tolerance laws, and graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems., law, and law.  Those statistics mirror the results in my town.  We also have a major state road passing through town and our section of it is heavily patrolled to the point that DUI related accidents in our town have been reduced well over half in the last 10 years.

      None of this means that everyone has stopped DUI. But results that reduce the numbers in half simply cannot be argued with.  The laws are effective when enforced.

      Getting laws enforced requires a change in thinking.  Teens face a full-frontal assault on their pre-conceived ideas about drinking and driving and the penalties are harsh.  Parents of teens have to participate as well if they want their kids to be able to get a license. Parents have to go through a course as well if they want their kids to get a license.  I've personally watched hundreds go through it and very, very few aren't completely changed by the experience.  I've known some who decided their kid didn't need to drive until they were 18.

      Those programs are a result of the laws being changed and  government deciding to educate as part of the enforcement.  Teens know what the laws are and they are given little mercy when they break the law.

      Gun laws, or any other kind of laws are the same.  All it takes is the will.  The only question is why we don't have the will.

      The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

      by Back In Blue on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:56:44 PM PST

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      •  Thank you. That's a good comment. (1+ / 0-)
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        I would only change your one key phrase:
        "the will"
        "a comprehensive program."

        Laws as part of a comprehensive program,
        with enforcement of those laws
        involving those affected by those laws,
        in a pro-active way,
        that's what I read in your comment.

        That's not just passing one or two laws,
        and hoping the reaction and enforcement
        of those laws
        will have the intended effect,
        but a comprehensive program,
        involving thousands of folks.

        Thanks again.

        •  I wouldn't change it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As you interpreted correctly, all those things go together and you can call it a comprehensive program all you want, but that will just get another group's back up about a "Program" that will do whatever it is they're afraid of—destroy marriage, cede the constitution to sharia law, confiscate my guns.  

          Let me ask you, did they call de-segregation a program?  I don't believe so, IIRC.  The law of the land changed and the government had the will to back it up.  Some serious shit went down and some very brave souls put their lives on the line to move this nation forward.  It's the kind of will that FDR had, that Lincoln had, that LBJ had.  That's the kind of will I'm talking about.  

          It's the kind of will that doesn't get sidetracked because the wrong label or wrong language was used to confuse and obfuscate. The goal of de-segragation was clear.  To physically change the circumstances of the status quo.  To essentially cut through all the bogus arguments and unimportant details and make it happen.  And it did happen, and it was messy, and bloody, and totally worth it.

          I'd like to hold out hope that we've learned enough to not have to do things that way any more.  

          The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

          by Back In Blue on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 03:39:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You may be correct with your feeling (0+ / 0-)

            that using the phrase,
            "comprehensive program"
            is no big help,
            and the true key to success
            in something big,
            a passionate will,
            a will that doesn't get sidetracked.

            But your example does not support your point.

            De-segregation did not truly happen in America,
            it seems to me.

            In fact,
            I was just reading a chapter in a book,
            a book by James Howard Kunstler,
            called The Long Emergency,
            that makes that point.

            And I read a book a few years ago,
            by Jonathan Kozol,
            called Shame of the Nation,
            about segregation of public schools,
            worse now that at the time of Brown v Board.

            I married a black woman over a year ago,
            and we're living in her home neighborhood,
            a pretty much segregated black neighborhood.  

            •  Disagree. (1+ / 0-)
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              De-segregation worked.  And then we abandoned it.  

              To the current reformers, integration is at best an irrelevance and at worst an excuse to shift attention away from shoddy teaching. But a spate of research says otherwise. The experience of an integrated education made all the difference in the lives of black children — and in the lives of their children as well. These economists’ studies consistently conclude that African-American students who attended integrated schools fared better academically than those left behind in segregated schools. They were more likely to graduate from high school and attend and graduate from college; and, the longer they spent attending integrated schools, the better they did. What’s more, the fear that white children would suffer, voiced by opponents of integration, proved groundless. Between 1970 and 1990, the black-white gap in educational attainment shrank — not because white youngsters did worse but because black youngsters did better.

              Not only were they more successful in school, they were more successful in life as well. A 2011 study by the Berkeley public policy professor Rucker C. Johnson concludes that black youths who spent five years in desegregated schools have earned 25 percent more than those who never had that opportunity. Now in their 30s and 40s, they’re also healthier — the equivalent of being seven years younger.  

              It's important when measuring success that you understand the goals.  De-segregation was meant to integrate our schools, provide opportunity to black children that was simply not available to them at all.  It was not designed to de-segratate our lives in the same manner which is much harder and takes a much longer time.  

              The argument that we can't or shouldn't do something because it's not a 100% perfect solution or because past changes didn't work the way they expected is bogus.  The lives of minorities and the opportunity they have today versus the 1950's is simply night and day different.

              The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

              by Back In Blue on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:21:27 AM PST

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