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Author Topic: Have we gone mental?
Alcon
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A Purdue University student attempted to pay a parking ticket by dropping off a box containing the ticket, the money to pay the ticket, the wheel lock put on his car and his information at the Purdue Parking Authority Office. He's been arrested for terroristic mischief, after the authorities evacuated the building fearing the box was a bomb.

So, it wasn't the brightest way to attempt to pay a parking ticket, obviously. And while evacuating the building was probably overkill, being suspicious of the package was not entirely unreasonable.

But charging the poor kid with a class C felony? A stern talking to, maybe suspension or a fine is far more reasonable. Charging him as a terrorist? Really?!

Editted to add: the second article says he's also being charged with possession of stolen property... meaning the wheel lock, apparently? That's just ridiculous...

Video Linky

Text Linky

[ November 27, 2009, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: Alcon ]

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fugu13
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I only read the text, but they're going to have a very hard time showing the level of intent that seems to be required unless they have a witnessed account.
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Lyrhawn
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I don't see how he is responsible for the overreaction of the school administration.

Basically what they're saying is that any box is potentially a weapon of mass destruction. That's going way over the line. There needs to be a much higher standard than that. I understand you can't shout "fire" in a crowded building, but now you can't leave a box in an administration building?

On an offhanded note, how'd he get the wheel lock off his car? He's apparently getting a pretty decent education there.

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SoaPiNuReYe
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I think the charges will be dropped. Sounds to me like someone's just trying to cover their butt after ordering the evacuation.
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scifibum
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quote:
Detective Sgt. Matt Rosenbarger said that "terroristic mischief" is when a person knowingly or intentionally places a device with intent to cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a weapon of mass destruction.

The charge for terroristic mischief in this case is a Class C felony, punishable by up to eight years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Wow.
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Alcon
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quote:
On an offhanded note, how'd he get the wheel lock off his car? He's apparently getting a pretty decent education there.
I wondered that, too. Maybe that's where they're getting the possession of stolen property charge?
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Hobbes
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quote:
He's apparently getting a pretty decent education there.
That's what I learned there. If only the administrator had attended...

Hobbes [Smile]

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BlackBlade
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I certainly feel that if somebody puts a wheel lock on my car that that lock then belongs to me.
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fugu13
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That's probably it. And that one might be reasonable, depending on what information was on the notice attached to the car (and assuming the wheel lock was properly attached).

(edit: in response to Alcon's last)

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I certainly feel that if somebody puts a wheel lock on my car that that lock then belongs to me.

The law in my state (and presumably others) says you are wrong.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I certainly feel that if somebody puts a wheel lock on my car that that lock then belongs to me.

The law in my state (and presumably others) says you are wrong.
Oh so California belongs to you now, and yet you begrudge me a wheel lock? [Wink]
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MattP
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You can have mine.
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rivka
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BB, precisely.

Ya got a problem wit dat?

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theamazeeaz
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What did the box look like if it caused enough panic to merit an evacuation? I feel like we're missing a lot of details here.
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Godric
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But he was giving the wheel lock back to the owner. It's not like he used it on someone else's car or put it up on ebay to make a profit off it.

This whole thing is whack.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Godric:
But he was giving the wheel lock back to the owner. It's not like he used it on someone else's car or put it up on ebay to make a profit off it.

This whole thing is whack.

Wiggity Whack?
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Lyrhawn
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Godric is bringing back the 90s.
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Godric
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Heh... A client of mine wanted to name an event "Wiggity Whack" until I pointed out the term generally implies a negative connotation. The 90s weren't that long ago, right?
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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, but a lot of people in the 90s weren't really with the 90s.

They didn't get the 411, so to speak.

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Lisa
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When I was in college in the early 80s, a friend of mine took a denver boot off his car and delivered it to the police station with a nasty note. Something like "Don't ever frakking touch my car again."

But he wasn't stupid enough to pay the ticket at the same time, and apparently they didn't have serial numbers on the things.

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AchillesHeel
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Respect, your friend was a BSG nerd before it was popular.... indie BSG nerd.

I really want to google on how to take off the boot, but I fear the cookies. How to remove law enforcement property should be a flagged subject am I right?

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Godric:
Heh... A client of mine wanted to name an event "Wiggity Whack" until I pointed out the term generally implies a negative connotation. The 90s weren't that long ago, right?

He just needs regular type whack.
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The Rabbit
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I'm not sure why, but it seems that more and more our society seems to overreact to things. Things that would likely have been excused as youthful indiscretion, mostly harmless pranks or misfortunate understandings are now seen as dangerous acts that we should punish with the full force of law.

I'm not sure why, but it seems like our society has completely lost its sense of humor and perspective.

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The Rabbit
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Let me give an example.

Back in the 70s when I was in junior high school, one of my friends "borrowed" some chemicals from the chemistry lab and they exploded in his school locker making a loud noise and causing some superficial damage.

He was given a stern talking to and then encouraged to study more chemistry. This friend is now a respected productive citizen with a Ph.D in chemistry.

What do you think would have happened to him under the same circumstances today?

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scifibum
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That's a troubling question, Rabbit. I'm not sure what would happen but I would not be surprised if the response now was disproportionate to the response then.

-

quote:
Originally posted by Godric:
Heh... A client of mine wanted to name an event "Wiggity Whack" until I pointed out the term generally implies a negative connotation. The 90s weren't that long ago, right?

*winces* This reminds me of a family reunion a couple of years ago. The family name is "Black." Somebody made up some t-shirts for the reunion that said "It's wack to be Black." It was doubly painful because I'm pretty sure they didn't mean to disparage the family, and because of the potential for a racist interpretation.
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King of Men
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My advisor tells stories of making black powder in chemistry class - sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal. He went to an English school where they had, the year of Elizabeth's coronation, a collection to buy a memorial chair - an oaken affair to sit in the assembly hall. However, in addition to chemistry the boys had been taught math; and the six pence per week (obligatory) from each boy, over a long period, added up to rather more than the chair cost. Further, the Head was known to enjoy his whiskey. (Black powder and alcohol...) Two and two make four, and black powder makes a hell of a bang when blowing up a much-hated chair.

They were men in the old days!

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Let me give an example.

Back in the 70s when I was in junior high school, one of my friends "borrowed" some chemicals from the chemistry lab and they exploded in his school locker making a loud noise and causing some superficial damage.

He was given a stern talking to and then encouraged to study more chemistry. This friend is now a respected productive citizen with a Ph.D in chemistry.

What do you think would have happened to him under the same circumstances today?

Well it's a delicate balance to be sure. In the past, if you were a boy, "taking a licking" was more common place and less manly boys would be encouraged to stand up for themselves rather than seek outside help.

When you got into mischief, authority figures would employ corporeal punishment, and afterwards you'd look back on the transgression and think, "*sigh* Boys will be boys." If a neighbor spanked you and you whined to your parents about it you were often told "respect your elders" and the neighbors were often thanked for assisting in the discipline.

Corporeal punishment has been all but abolished and yet discipline is still needed. Unfortunately instead of implementing progressive disciplinary measures we have migrated to punishing parents via their pocketbook and simply removing troubled children from amongst us by suspension, or sending them to reeducation centers.

It seems like if you want greater tolerance for mischievous behavior you also have to accept that when you move that bar up, there are going to be more instances of outright physical and emotional abuse in human interactions.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Respect, your friend was a BSG nerd before it was popular.... indie BSG nerd.

Heh.

quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I really want to google on how to take off the boot, but I fear the cookies. How to remove law enforcement property should be a flagged subject am I right?

So Google something like "How to take off a denver boot that was put on by a private citizen because I'd never break the law. Bwa!" That should be safe enough.
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scifibum
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I think the acceptance and use of corporal punishment has probably gone down in the same time period, but I'm not sure I can see how tolerance for mischief is really tied to it.

Aversion to risk has gone way up, I think. I don't think this is the reason that corporal punishment is out of style.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Well it's a delicate balance to be sure. In the past, if you were a boy, "taking a licking" was more common place and less manly boys would be encouraged to stand up for themselves rather than seek outside help.

When you got into mischief, authority figures would employ corporeal punishment, and afterwards you'd look back on the transgression and think, "*sigh* Boys will be boys." If a neighbor spanked you and you whined to your parents about it you were often told "respect your elders" and the neighbors were often thanked for assisting in the discipline

Not during the time period I'm talking about, at least not in the area where I lived. Corporal punishment was never acceptable in any school I attended. I never lived in a neighborhood where it was considered acceptable to spank someone else's children. Those things may have been acceptable in the 50s, but they certainly weren't in the 70s (at least not where I lived).
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Corporeal punishment has been all but abolished and yet discipline is still needed. Unfortunately instead of implementing progressive disciplinary measures we have migrated to punishing parents via their pocketbook and simply removing troubled children from amongst us by suspension, or sending them to reeducation centers.
That just isn't an accurate description of what's happened. When my friend took chemicals from the school lab and made them into something so unstable it exploded in in his locker, he wasn't beaten by the school principle. No one worried that he was a troubled child who might start shooting classmates. They thought of him as a curious kid doing the kind of stupid things that normal kids do. It never occurred to them that he was a dangerous potential terrorist who needed to be locked up to protect society. He was just a curious kid who need guidance, supervision and encouragement.

And this isn't an isolated incident. I'd estimate that about 90% of the Ph.D. chemists and engineers I know at sometime in their youth experimented with making black powder, building a basement still or making dry ice bombs. I remember one high school party I was at where there was a long serious of attempts to blow up various toys using increasing numbers of firecrackers networked together in different ways. And we were generally thought of as "the good kids".

Don't get me wrong, these were definitely stupid and dangerous things to be doing and demonstrated poor judgement on our part. What they weren't was abnormal behavior for lobeless teenagers. What worries me is that society has begun completely overreacting to this this kind of thing and those overreactions are even more likely to ruin someone's life than the dumb things kids do.

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Xann.
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Let me give an example.

Back in the 70s when I was in junior high school, one of my friends "borrowed" some chemicals from the chemistry lab and they exploded in his school locker making a loud noise and causing some superficial damage.

He was given a stern talking to and then encouraged to study more chemistry. This friend is now a respected productive citizen with a Ph.D in chemistry.

What do you think would have happened to him under the same circumstances today?

In 4th grade I told in share & tell that I shook up bottles of seltzer and threw it so it would hit the ground and explode in a rocket. They sen me to the school councillor saying I had violent behavior. They reccommended I go to councilling for now on.

My parents didn't listen, but schools are very strict now.

Thank god the High School doesn't know about the thermite. [Wink]

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scifibum
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I made touch powder once before chem class that went off during. The teacher hit the deck and was pissed, but didn't do anything about it - no disciplinary action whatsoever. This was in 1994, I think.
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ElJay
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It used to be very easy to buy a boot, btw. We have one at work for people who park in the visitor parking spots and don't sign in. Ordered it out of a security catalog.

Not that we actually use it or anything. >_>

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Godric:

This whole thing is whack.

Wiggity Whack?
Nope, just regular type.
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malanthrop
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place holder

[ November 25, 2009, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: malanthrop ]

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lem
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quote:
Things that would likely have been excused as youthful indiscretion, mostly harmless pranks or misfortunate understandings are now seen as dangerous acts that we should punish with the full force of law.
You nailed it! When I was in high school, I use to sluff (cut class) all the time. Once I ran into our vice principal at Wal*mart. I went hiking, played arcades, or just stayed home.

I was on good terms with all my teachers. It was stupid what I did and it caused me to miss out on some scholarships. I was never made to feel I was a threat to society.

Now I work at the same school I used to ditch and we have a truancy officer to track down kids who skip school. They and their parents can be charged for neglecting school. Kids are loosing the "youthful indiscretion" buffer for stupid behavior.

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malanthrop
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Do you live in the same country where they are now inspecting homes for child safety hazards and sorting through your trash to make sure you are recycling?

Of course we've lost our minds. I watched 2 TSA agents carry an old paralyzed lady through the metal detector last week. It kept going off while she was screaming, "It's my hip". Finally they put he back in her wheel chair and frisked every inch of her body for about ten minutes. My squadron of 100 uniformed military members held up the entire airport because military boots take a long time to remove to check for bombs. Navy Seals are going to court martial for giving a fat lip to a guy who murdered five people and dragged their mutilated corpses through the street to hang from a bridge. And disregard the fact that the Fort Hood shooter donated 30k a year to Hamas and yelled Ala Akbar while murdering 14 people; he's just a crazy person, nothing to do with Islamic terror according to our PC leaders. Retarded (sorry, mentally handicapped or is it mentally challenged, perhaps deficient? Not quite sure what is appropriate anymore.)

[ November 25, 2009, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: malanthrop ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Not quite sure what is appropriate anymore.
It doesn't sound like you've made any effort to learn.
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malanthrop
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I spend my time in the real world, not studying 2009 PC terms. Reality is reality and if a midget prefers to be called a little person this year, I'll do my best...next year it'll be something else. Doesn't change the fact that TSA drags paralyzed old women through metal detectors but a 30k a year contributor to Hamas who screams Ala Akbar while murdering 14 people isn't considered a terrorist. You are so wise for your PC sensibilities. Make sure you recycle or they might find a piece of plastic in your trash. Afterall, it's for the betterment of humanity.

[ November 25, 2009, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: malanthrop ]

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Eaquae Legit
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
Retarded (sorry, mentally handicapped or is it mentally challenged, perhaps deficient? Not quite sure what is appropriate anymore.)

That might be because there is no appropriate term. Not for pejoratives. Not for insults. "Retarded" is no longer an acceptable word because it is a slur. Using other terms as a slur doesn't make the slur politically correct, acceptable, or polite.
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malanthrop
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quote:
Originally posted by Eaquae Legit:
quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
Retarded (sorry, mentally handicapped or is it mentally challenged, perhaps deficient? Not quite sure what is appropriate anymore.)

That might be because there is no appropriate term. Not for pejoratives. Not for insults. "Retarded" is no longer an acceptable word because it is a slur. Using other terms as a slur doesn't make the slur politically correct, acceptable, or polite.
Honest comment, thank you. What we now consider slurs were at one time (still) scientific, ie negro. I would never call a black a negro but that term wasn't always considered offensive, even though scientific in nature. I would think the least offensive would be scientific in nature but it is the perception of the younger generation that matters. All generations rebel against their parent's generation. The child of a midget, negro, etc, reject what they were called and want a new label. My position is that labels do not change the reality of the object and aren't necessarily said with negative intent. White's are still whites....perhaps because white children carry no defensive baggage about their color. Politically correct terms change at the discretion of the offended. What was once accepted, is now offensive...hence my frustration. The frustration of a person who doesn't care what you call me...I know what I am and your labels do not matter.

[ November 26, 2009, 12:17 AM: Message edited by: malanthrop ]

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Ace of Spades
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
quote:
Originally posted by Eaquae Legit:
quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
Retarded (sorry, mentally handicapped or is it mentally challenged, perhaps deficient? Not quite sure what is appropriate anymore.)

That might be because there is no appropriate term. Not for pejoratives. Not for insults. "Retarded" is no longer an acceptable word because it is a slur. Using other terms as a slur doesn't make the slur politically correct, acceptable, or polite.
Honest comment, thank you. What we now consider slurs were at one time (still) scientific, ie negro. I would never call a black a negro but that term wasn't always considered offensive, even though scientific in nature. I would think the least offensive would be scientific in nature but it is the perception of the younger generation that matters. All generations rebel against their parent's generation. The child of a midget, negro, etc, reject what they were called and want a new label. My position is that labels do not change the reality of the object and aren't necessarily said with negative intent. White's are still whites....perhaps because white children carry no defensive baggage about their color. Politically correct terms change at the discretion of the offended. What once was not offensive, is now offensive.
Would you call a person a midget to his face (assuming that he was standing on a ladder or something, or you were kneeling down)?
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malanthrop
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I would not call person a midget to his face for sensitivity to his internal struggles. I would be sensitive to his personal baggage and call him whatever the current generation of midgets accepted as correct,...a little person. I will guarantee that your grandchildren will not call midgets of their day "little people",,,,"little" will be offensive. No man is less than another irregardless of height. The midget is a man equal to me. As I said, the PC terms change at the discretion of the offended and the people who are ashamed of what they are. It is for the rest of us to call them as they wish to lessen their shame. My preference is that all people will be proud of what they are instead of focused on ever changing labels.

I do not care if you call me opey, red-neck, trailer trash, whitey, etc. I am confident in what I am and. "sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me" [Smile] It is my hope that the so often offended about names will eventually settle upon a name because I can say "dwarf", "midget" or "little person" and they mean the same thing to me. They only mean something different to the listener. Only when the offended accept what they are with pride, will they be able to live a life as equals and unoffended.

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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
The midget is a man equal to me.

Is that what they mean by "damning with faint praise" or is that more of a back-handed compliment?
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malanthrop
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I don't judge a man by his height, strength, weight, color, whatever. I'm 5'10, is a 5'6 man less than me? Is a man with more freckles or more melanin less or more than me? I do not believe so. Especially in our current society...I work on computers and any midget is my equal with a typewriter. Just pick a label and stick with it already. Even your slurs for me do not bother me. It is my greatest hope that all minorities will have the same level of self confidence.
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Sean Monahan
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What you are explaining here is not quite the same as what you did. You used to term "retarded" about a person/situation that is not in fact "retarded". You used it as a pejorative to mean something that is so ridiculous it is beneath contempt. This is what is insulting to the people with the actual mental condition.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
It is my hope that the so often offended about names will eventually settle upon a name because I can say "dwarf", "midget" or "little person" and they mean the same thing to me.
Yes, well, here's the thing about communication: it's not all about you. No one would be offended in the slightest if you called a black person a negro in total privacy because of course no one would ever know about it.

But when you start using words towards and with other people? Sorry, dude. You don't get to decide what is offensive to someone else. You can decide not to care, but you can't suggest they just 'get over it' and be taken seriously, because of course that exact same complaint can be made to you from them, and be exactly as valid.

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Eaquae Legit
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I think you are still missing my point. It's not about rejecting the labels of previous generations. It's not about what is or isn't politically correct. I'm not one to push the appearance of not giving offence for the sake of appearance.

"Retarded" was an acceptable word. Then it was co-opted as an insult. An entire category of human beings had their identities and selves degraded to the point where they became an insult. The pejorative use of the word retard became so prevalent that it fell out of technical usage. It wasn't just a new generation of social workers and psychologists saying "let's change things up!" The terminology changed, and still changes, because thoughtless, cruel people continue to find ways to make disability an insult, and the words lose their ability to be useful technical terms.

Saying "That's so mentally disabled" is no better than "that's so retarded" or "that's so n****r". Civilised human beings do not use each others' characteristics as insults and slurs. That is what I meant when I said there is no appropriate term. There never will be a string of sounds that is appropriate because the sentiment behind them is never appropriate.

Edit:
quote:
Originally posted by Sean Monahan:
What you are explaining here is not quite the same as what you did. You used to term "retarded" about a person/situation that is not in fact "retarded". You used it as a pejorative to mean something that is so ridiculous it is beneath contempt. This is what is insulting to the people with the actual mental condition.

Or that, but wordier.
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malanthrop
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quote:
Originally posted by Sean Monahan:
What you are explaining here is not quite the same as what you did. You used to term "retarded" about a person/situation that is not in fact "retarded". You used it as a pejorative to mean something that is so ridiculous it is beneath contempt. This is what is insulting to the people with the actual mental condition.

You are correct...The mentally handicapped should be offended that I correlated the correct term for them from 20 years ago to the current climate of political correctness. It would be offensive to sailors to say the record deficit spending is similar to that of a drunken sailor. I am sincerely sorry to the mentally deficient in our nation for equating you with the current administration.
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