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Comments
Yeah, I'm a bird.
08/24/13, 09:45

This video cements something I've often pondered: however "smart" you are is just a measure of what you can be if you want. If you choose to be a fucking retard, then you are a fucking retard, no matter what your SATs said.
This is a video of a wedding march.
08/24/13, 01:35

Could not find a father figure to walk her down the aisle.
Domestic Terrorism Plot Thwarted!
08/23/13, 18:55

Surprisingly enough, they're white.
Sha Na Na give a compelling argument as to why you shouldn't do drugs
08/23/13, 04:55

... and if they do that, I'm going to need an ongoing battery of painkillers, now won't I?
Stand Up to 'Stand Your Ground'
08/22/13, 15:51

It's not like "Magic: The Gathering", where the SYG law doesn't apply unless Zimmerman floops his SYG card. It was still part of the jury's instructions:

---
If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
---

And juror B-37 even says that was critical to the verdict they reached.
Stand Up to 'Stand Your Ground'
08/22/13, 14:13

"For the first point, again, the only really relevant question is: was the shooter's life in danger? If it was, then both SYG and non-SYG laws recognize the act as self-defense."

Wrong. In sane states, if one of your options for self-defense is to retreat / disengage / hide, you are obligated to do that.

I have to say, this is something that really pisses me off about you libertarian types: you're all about individual rights, but you don't give a damn about the other person's individual rights. In other words, you're all about what you are allowed to do, but you don't give very much thought to what position that puts the other guy in. You keep returning to the notion that you're justified in killing if you're in fear for your life (or at least think you are (or at least claim to think you are)), without allowing that, even then, there are limitations on what your rights are. That's because the other person is due some rights as well. And if you can't see how this is anything but tyranny: it also means that the other guy is limited in what he can do to you.

Two people in a fight can both claim they're engaged in self-defense. But if they keep self-defensing at each other, after not too long they're just plain fighting; that's why sane states put some sort of onus on them to retreat if they can, to stop it before there are fatalities or permanent injuries. Mean ol' gubmint again, I know. This is exactly what the Founding Fathers were trying to prevent.
Stand Up to 'Stand Your Ground'
08/22/13, 12:12

"It's there to give protection to non-aggressive parties who are in a situation where their lives will be ended if they don't take immediate action."

No, the previous laws already allowed for that. SYG simply offers latitude to people who would PREFER to take the lethal option. And it provides so much latitude that it makes killing the other person more appealing, in some ways, than leaving them alive ... good laws don't have that effect.

"Now, maybe the answer is better training for gun owners?"

I understand you have libertarian leanings and are loathe to endorse greater police / regulatory powers, but that's a non-answer. That's like saying "maybe the answer is to teach people not to steal". Some number of people are going to steal (and rape and murder and so forth), whether or not they're supposed to, and that's exactly why our criminal code exists.

"making murder charges even easier to prosecute than they already are"

Yeah, Lord knows our biggest problem is that it's TOO EASY to convict people for murder. Mean ol' prosecutors picking on people who choose to kill when they could have walked away!
Stand Up to 'Stand Your Ground'
08/22/13, 11:04

Once in a while, what you should legally be forced to do coincides with what morality dictates, and I can't think of a more pressing circumstance than when another person will live or die.

The police are, more often than not, capable of looking at a crime scene and seeing if it matches the survivor's story. The survivor is also checked out as well, or at least is supposed to be, to determine whether there were drugs and alcohol in their system. The survivor can expect to be questioned at length, especially with stories that are implausible on the face of them, such as the old "I was following a black kid who got away from me, but then returned to pick a fight, so you see I'm the victim here". What I'm getting at is, murder is not as simple as taking the survivor's word for it; if the police are doing their job at all, they'll make a serious effort to distinguish self-defense from foul play.

So it's not really "assume good faith in nearly all circumstances" versus "presume bad faith and shift the burden of proof to the defendant to the show why he's not a murderer"; it's up to the police to investigate, and if a case can be built for murder, you prosecute.
Stand Up to 'Stand Your Ground'
08/22/13, 10:28

About your thought experiment: it depends on the details. If Martin had grabbed Zimmerman's gun, backed away from him, and shot him to death while he was still on the ground, that would probably have been justified under Stand Your Ground, assuming Martin were white of course. But in states without Stand Your Ground, that would have been some flavor of murder / manslaughter, depending. In the sane states, the courts would recognize that Martin had a clear opportunity to flee without any fatalities, and it would have been Martin's duty to flee rather than fire. And as to what I'd think: if you have the opportunity to flee rather than take a life, that's what you should do. I wouldn't have wept much for George Zimmerman -- a would-be petty authority figure who got his ass handed to him by a kid who didn't want any trouble -- but killing is still wrong if it can be reasonably avoided.
Stand Up to 'Stand Your Ground'
08/22/13, 09:48

In states where there is no "Stand Your Ground" law in effect, the expectation is that, if you can safely retreat from a conflict, you are obligated to do that rather than use deadly force. "Stand Your Ground" takes that duty away, so it grants license to the dumbest, most violent fuckers to take things to their most violent conclusions.

It also makes it tougher to prove murder: all you have to do is claim you were in fear for your life, and rather than disengage when you had the chance, you chose to kill the other guy.

This is about the circumstances under which lethal force is legally allowed. Not everything is about "we want to ban all guns"; in fact, almost nothing is about "we want to ban all guns". Your knee is jerking in exactly the least plausible direction with that.
Stand Up to 'Stand Your Ground'
08/22/13, 09:26

If it weren't for Trayvon Martin, that nice George Zimmerman's life wouldn't have been turned upside down.
ALF cartoon theme song.
08/21/13, 15:14

Nah, he said "mein Kopf" ("my head"). ALF is clearly Jewish anyway.
Somebody Goofed
08/21/13, 00:56

Ting!
Behemoth Cartoon
08/21/13, 00:54

They're called "larnin' glasses".
Sha Na Na - 'Blue Moon' (1972, live)
08/20/13, 12:39

So glad you didn't neglect the "plum-smugglesome" tag.

Bowser is an "Aeon Flux" character come to life.
James Joyce: Ulysses (1967)
08/20/13, 10:32

Can anyone tell me where the part is with the girl's brown body dancing through the turquoise?
Out For A Walk | The Man with the 132-Pound Scrotum
08/20/13, 08:58

Needs a "SCROTegory" tag.
Scott Walker is Still a Steaming Pile of Filth
08/20/13, 03:49

"The parties aren't the same, they are differently garbage."

Even if it's that simple, I still have my preferences when it comes to garbage. Stacks of newspapers neatly bundled with twine are far preferable to garbage cans overflowing with diarrhea and used tampons.

With the Democrats, the problem is that they brought us the ACA but it doesn't provide quite enough coverage and it's not as good as single payer. With the Republicans, the problem is that their version of healthcare is to make a woman pay for the coathanger herself. Which problem would you rather deal with?
Scott Walker is Still a Steaming Pile of Filth
08/19/13, 12:51

Props and kudos to you, Scrimmjob. Over in Ohio, I voted to keep Kasich out of office, manned a phone bank in the weeks leading up to the election too. Seems Ohio and Wisconsin are in a race to the bottom, to see which state the Republicans can fuck up faster.
Scott Walker is Still a Steaming Pile of Filth
08/19/13, 11:32

The formula's pretty simple: vote for whoever can beat the Republican in the general election (probably a Democrat), and the rest of the time, try to improve the Democrats / Independents. Despite what the kids will tell you, a great many Democrats and Independents genuinely want do do what's right for their constituents and their country, and are amenable to reason. That doesn't necessarily mean they will agree with you, though.

Here's a video of Barney Frank trying to talk sense to some supporters of single payer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3BS4C9el98

All they seem to be able to hear is "sellout" and "traitor", no matter how much sense he makes.

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