Friday, July 15, 2011

15 July 2011

Google view-Marietta Ga

A commenter writes:

Somehow it seems that The South will never get any better. Nowhere is perfect, but The South seems to pump out a never-ending stream of demented brutality from men in positions of power. And the South seems to be the future of America.*

apropos of this article at Streetsblog, "Mother Convicted of Vehicular Homicide For Crossing Street With Children"

A 30-year-old woman in Marietta, Georgia was convicted of vehicular homicide this week – and she wasn’t even driving a car. The woman was crossing the street with her three children when a driver, who had been drinking, hit and killed her four-year-old. The driver, Jerry Guy, was initially charged with “hit and run, first degree homicide by vehicle and cruelty to children,” Elise Hitchcock of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “Charges were later dropped to just the hit and run charge.”

The man has previously been convicted of two hit-and-runs – on the same day, in 1997, one of them on the same road where he killed Raquel Nelson’s son.

Guy will serve six months for killing the boy, but Nelson will serve up to 36 months – just for crossing the street with her child. Yes, it’s true: they were not in a crosswalk. Are there any crosswalks on that street at all?

The image is from the Google Street View of the intersection where Raquel Nelson's four-year-old son was killed. There are no crosswalks in sight. I don't know how you can be found guilty of 'vehicular homicide' when you're a pedestrian.

and, via another commenter,

From John Emerson,"If you’re not a conspiracy theorist some of the time, you’re a sucker"

July 13, 2011 On Deficit, Americans Prefer Spending Cuts; Open to Tax Hikes
Twenty percent favor deficit reduction by cutting spending only
by Jeffrey M. Jones

Joe Weisenthal , Business Insider: "IT'S OFFICIAL: The Whole World Thinks Republicans Are Dangerous Maniacs Threatening Everyone"

Dean Baker, "Economic Illiteracy" (via Rob Payne, "Trust in Obama")

CNN, "Tea party to GOP: We could make 'examples' of you over debt ceiling"

1958 interview with Aldous Huxley[video]

*I remember a New Republic article from the mid-90s or so, about how the Southern political model was being exported to the rest of the US. I wish I could remember the title or the author's name.

update: I think this is the article I was thinking of, from 1995, by Michael Lind(partial paywall). It seems that later he expanded it into a book.

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At July 16, 2011 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dean Baker has a hard time talking seriously about economics, while resolving its fraudulence.

He never resolves the fraudulence. He doesn't see that he's a cog in the machine of that fraudulence.

I can't read him seriously.

At July 16, 2011 4:05 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

While I agree that many pronouncements by various prominent economists should be regarded with suspicion(like Greenspan, for an easy example), it sounds like you're saying that Baker has to pass a purity test before what he says might have any merit.

Incidentally, did you look at the link from Emerson,

"If you’re not a conspiracy theorist some of the time, you’re a sucker"?

He also has a bone to pick with economists.

At July 19, 2011 8:17 AM, Anonymous No One of Consequence said...

Regarding the hit-and-run:

Nelson, 30 and African-American, was convicted on the charge this week by six jurors who were not her peers: All were middle-class whites, and none had ever taken a bus in metro Atlanta.

And that explains why the prosecution happened in the first place.

At July 19, 2011 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't give a hoot about "purity tests." Hell, I don't even know why someone would want to use one.

When Dean Baker publicly talks about economics being a ruse and his own complicity in the game, I'll take him more seriously.

Until then, he's just the NPR/PBS token.

As in "token black."

At July 19, 2011 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The arguments surrounding Dean Baker's token-ness, I've already had them with the boys at SMBIVA.

If a reader admires "economics" as a serious field, the reader probably finds Dean Baker "valuable."

Personally, I don't see benefits in tinkering with economics. It's like trimming one's eyebrows in order to "fix" a face deformed by 3d degree burn scars. A pretty eyebrow won't overcome the burn scarring.

If Baker has renounced his former stance of "I'm an economist, so you should take me seriously because economics is serious business" then maybe I should recant.

But I'm unfamiliar with that perspective in Dean Baker's work, so I continue to chide him and his work.

He's just the lesser evil economist.

At July 19, 2011 11:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi NOoC, thanks for visiting.

I was wondering about that too.

I understand that both the mom and the drunk driver are black. If she was wealthy I guess she could sue the city or county for not having an available crosswalk, but maybe the reasoning is only poor people need crosswalks in the first place, hence the lackadaisical attitude towards having them available.

At July 20, 2011 5:48 AM, Anonymous No One of Consequence said...


I doubt that even that much reasoning enters into it. After all, the mother likely wasn't even breaking the law when she crossed:

If I were to a corollary to the Iron Law of Institutions, it would be that institutional duty shall never be held as the personal responsibility of its members. That is, there is no such thing as a group obligation of any sort save for when there is individual obligation for all those in the group.

The upshot? The prosecutor couldn't care less that he's part of a system that is at fault for this child's killing because, as far as he's concerned, there is no system. Since the institution exists to further his aims, the institution's actions that do not affect him cannot be even held relevant to him.

But, in any event, the most immediate answer is you'll see twisted attempts to reach with laws when the victim and the accused are both black. If you can get an all-white jury -- which, decades ago, would have actually been illegal due to legislation to stop this very phenomenon, legislation that the courts stealth overturned literally by fiat -- then you can try anything, no pun intended, but hey, since it's there. . .

Compare this to the investent banker who didn't get prosecuted for running over a surgeon.

And, btw, glad to finally make it here to this blog. There's no good reason why it took me so long to show up; apparently, when I get stressed, it's hard to cross "conceptual" space, and life kinda sucks now. Though that's going around.


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