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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#15641 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2020-June-09, 21:08

View Postbarmar, on 2020-June-09, 18:53, said:

I'm not sure what to make of that Ben Stein piece.

Some of the statements are so over the top that I was sure it must be satire. OTOH, Stein is a known conservative, so why would he be making fun of conservative values?

There's no downside. Folks who don't get the over-the-top satire are going to vote republican. Conservatives who do understand the satire laugh at it -- and how upset it makes some of their opponents --and are happy that it helps to pull in the votes of the gullible.
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#15642 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 02:17

This discussion about racist Ben Stein is quite amusing.

I would like to acknowledge another conservative comedian, Sean Hannity.

Sean Hannity Claims Trump Is Also A Victim Of Crooked Cops: ‘It’s Horrific’

Quote

Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump is also a victim of “crooked cops.”

Hannity said he wouldn’t compare the supposed victimization of Trump to that of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis killed by police in a May 25 incident that sparked widespread protests, civil unrest and calls for reform.

But then, Hannity did just that during a segment on a supposed “deep state” conspiracy to undermine Trump’s 2016 campaign by figures within the FBI.

“Even the president himself ― it’s not the same thing as what happened to George Floyd ― but it’s horrific,” he said, “He was a victim of crooked cops.”

ROTFL, what delightful irony from America's funnyman B-)
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#15643 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 06:47

A thought experiment.

Imagine yourself as 20 years old. Ok, tough already. But if you get past that hurdle then imagine yourself as from a middle class family, sound mind and body, normal intelligence, considering a career. Your father says, as mine didn't but could have, "The guy across the street is a cop, have you considered that?" Do you think the chance of a positive response has increased, decreased or stayed the same over the past couple of weeks? I went off to college to study math and physics because I was interested in math and physics. For a brief period I got interested in philosophy and considered that, but I figured math was a better career choice. And, ultimately, a lot more interesting. If there was a movement to de-fund mathematics I would probably, again, have re-thought that choice. I had no plans to get rich, but I don't think I would have wanted to prepare for a profession that the public thought should be de-funded. So how about the guy who had been thinking of being a cop? He might re-think this?

I have been mulling this over for a bit. I expect the answer is yes, he might very well re-think it. Nobody is suggesting we de-fund plumbers. So maybe be a plumber.

Just asking.
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#15644 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 08:24

Ive seen some interesting discussions that we're going to need something akin to the de-Baathification program to deal with ex-police officers
Alderaan delenda est
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#15645 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 09:11

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-June-10, 08:24, said:

Ive seen some interesting discussions that we're going to need something akin to the de-Baathification program to deal with ex-police officers


Perhaps we will get some idea of where this is heading by following events in Minneapolis. The Star-Trib had a not very satisfactory article:


https://www.startrib...lice/571112392/

It seems the city council is uncertain as to just what they will be doing, so it's understandable the news article is not all that clear either.

There are union contracts, If they decide to substantially cut the police force I suppose there are provisions as to how it can be done. It seems unlikely, and unfair, that a cop on the force for, say, fifteen years could just be told good-bye w/o some sort of compensation.

There are short term issues, if the city decides to substantially reduce the size of the police force, how will this be handled? And there is the long term issue of whether any normal young person would now even consider a career in the police force, assuming the decision is to reduce the size but keep some remnant of a force.

I was born in Minneapolis and grew up in St. Paul, and then went to the Univ of Minnesota in Minneapolis, leaving in 1967. I have a couple of friends back there that I grew up with, now living "up north" rather than in the cities, and I have been meaning to call them to get their take on what is happening.
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#15646 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 12:44

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-June-10, 08:24, said:

Ive seen some interesting discussions that we're going to need something akin to the de-Baathification program to deal with ex-police officers


I don't know if we can ship them all off to Iraq - but it's not a bad solution. Posted Image
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15647 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 13:37

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-June-10, 12:44, said:

I don't know if we can ship them all off to Iraq - but it's not a bad solution. Posted Image


Ben Stein style satire I assume?


I think there is a serious issue to be addressed. It appears to me that people are saying de-fund the police without really thinking it through. The Star-Trib article I posted suggests there is something to this assessment.



Quote


The Council has not released any specifics. The council members have articulated support for the concept, but the details will be more difficult.


They have done the easy part, supporting de-funding. Now they need to decide what it means. And how to do it.
But de-fund the police is a really catchy slogan.

An earlier article has a statement that was read by the nine council members supporting this idea:

Quote


"We recognize that we don't have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does," they said, reading off a prepared statement.


Well, that's a relief. Glad someone knows.

https://www.startrib...ment/571088302/

As a first guess about what a police free future would look like: Those who can afford it would hire personal security. The rest, a large part of them, would but guns.
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#15648 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 14:10

View Postkenberg, on 2020-June-10, 13:37, said:



Ben Stein style satire I assume?


I think there is a serious issue to be addressed. It appears to me that people are saying de-fund the police without really thinking it through. The Star-Trib article I posted suggests there is something to this assessment.



[/color]

They have done the easy part, supporting de-funding. Now they need to decide what it means. And how to do it.
But de-fund the police is a really catchy slogan.

An earlier article has a statement that was read by the nine council members supporting this idea:



Well, that's a relief. Glad someone knows.

https://www.startrib...ment/571088302/

As a first guess about what a police free future would look like: Those who can afford it would hire personal security. The rest, a large part of them, would but guns.


Yes, it was satirical.

As for defunding - my understanding is that it is in relationship to the present configuration of most police departments. In other words, defund the police status quo and refund in a community support model. There is no call of which I am aware to rid the world of policemen.

The call I have heard is one to make the police accountable by a number of means: living within the community they serve; criminal and civil liabilities for actions in uniform and on duty; and biggest of all IMO, is to eliminate the Blue Wall of Silence that separates and protects police from prosecutions and other types of accountability.

There is no simple answer. But I think community policing is a great start, as is walking a neighborhood beat.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15649 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 15:49

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-June-10, 14:10, said:

Yes, it was satirical.

As for defunding - my understanding is that it is in relationship to the present configuration of most police departments. In other words, defund the police status quo and refund in a community support model. There is no call of which I am aware to rid the world of policemen.

The call I have heard is one to make the police accountable by a number of means: living within the community they serve; criminal and civil liabilities for actions in uniform and on duty; and biggest of all IMO, is to eliminate the Blue Wall of Silence that separates and protects police from prosecutions and other types of accountability.

There is no simple answer. But I think community policing is a great start, as is walking a neighborhood beat.



If the sloganeers think that "de-fund the police" will be broadly understood as advocating community policing they should think a little harder.

"Community policing" would also need some discussion to see exactly what it means but at least there would be discussion. I doubt the movement in Minneapolis will get anywhere until advocates decide that if they mean "community policing" that would be a better way of putting it than de-funding. And if "We recognize that we don't have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does," , taken from the article, means "walking a neighborhood beat" then they need to work on their expository skills. I assume they in fact mean, at least approximately, what they said. But we will see.

Donald Trump needs his aides to explain that when he said nobody could come here from Europe some people unfortunately misunderstood this to mean that nobody could come here from Europe. I expect better from Minneapolitans.
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#15650 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 17:14

Worse than defunding police is this totally racist move by Trump:



Quote

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, overruling his own Pentagon chief, declared Wednesday that he will not entertain the idea of removing the names of Confederate generals such as Robert E. Lee from 10 Army posts, including Fort Hood in Texas, the nation’s largest military installation.

“That is an absolute nonstarter for the president,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a briefing.





He will try to turn the election into a matter of race relations - and I hope there are only a handful of true racists left who will vote that ticket.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15651 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 17:29

Police in Minneapolis slashed tires of many cars belonging to protesters or press just because. No, that's not the claim of some wild antifa terrorist organisers, that's what their own spokesman says.
https://www.npr.org/...ice-agencies-sa

They have lost all sense of accountability. And I don't think that's something you can change with a little bit of reform here and there. (Google about their union president if you can stomach it.)

Dissolve the police. Build a new "Protect your community" agency. You might even rehire a few of the previous police officers if you vet them very carefully. Basically what Camden, NJ did. Except Camden did it to break union contract and half the salary of police officers; Minneapolis instead would do it to get rid of all officers who have gone insane in their attitude to the job, and to rebuild the department from the ground up.
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#15652 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 18:18

I guess it is no longer paranoia with these people are just as concerned:



Quote

Col. Larry Wilkerson: “I immediately thought about two organizations that I'm a member of right now. And let me just put a little different complexion on this, perhaps. One is the National Task Force [on] Election Crises and the other is the Transition Integrity Project. As the names imply, the former is looking at everything up to the November 3rd presidential elections, and has been doing so since early or late 2019. And the latter is looking at the transition, November 3rd to the inauguration on January [20th].

"And what struck me immediately was some of the conversations that we've had in both of these groups. That this sitting president might — if things turn against him in a very decisive way, or even turn against him in a indeterminate way — might use the U.S. military with regard to these elections. And that's a very dangerous situation and very disconcerting thing.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15653 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-June-10, 20:38

View Postkenberg, on 2020-June-10, 06:47, said:

A thought experiment.

Imagine yourself as 20 years old. Ok, tough already. But if you get past that hurdle then imagine yourself as from a middle class family, sound mind and body, normal intelligence, considering a career. Your father says, as mine didn't but could have, "The guy across the street is a cop, have you considered that?" Do you think the chance of a positive response has increased, decreased or stayed the same over the past couple of weeks? I went off to college to study math and physics because I was interested in math and physics. For a brief period I got interested in philosophy and considered that, but I figured math was a better career choice. And, ultimately, a lot more interesting. If there was a movement to de-fund mathematics I would probably, again, have re-thought that choice. I had no plans to get rich, but I don't think I would have wanted to prepare for a profession that the public thought should be de-funded. So how about the guy who had been thinking of being a cop? He might re-think this?

I have been mulling this over for a bit. I expect the answer is yes, he might very well re-think it. Nobody is suggesting we de-fund plumbers. So maybe be a plumber.

Just asking.

Kid, if your heart is set on being a cop, go for it. We need good cops. There are plenty of communities whose citizens understand this as well as the importance of hiring well-educated young men and women, giving them the training and support they need to succeed and paying them well. Do your homework and you won't have to worry about defunding.

Just saying.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#15654 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 05:12

Alan Feur at NYT: https://nyti.ms/2YoSMtF

Quote

The New York mob boss John J. Gotti rose in court one day in 1991 as he was nearing trial and jabbed his finger at the baby-faced Brooklyn prosecutor handling his case.

Dismissing his opponent — a young government lawyer named John Gleeson — as “Little Lord Fauntleroy,” Mr. Gotti claimed that Mr. Gleeson was in over his head. “He can’t handle a good fight,” Mr. Gotti snarled, “and he can’t win a fair trial.”

Within eight months, Mr. Gotti had lost the trial, and Mr. Gleeson, then 38, rode the victory into a long career as a prosecutor, judge and private lawyer.

That career took an unexpected turn this week when Mr. Gleeson, now 66, was called back into government service to take part in a case that could easily prove as bruising as his brush with the famous don.

On Wednesday, the federal judge overseeing the case of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn appointed Mr. Gleeson to oppose the Justice Department’s plan to drop the charge. The position, as a kind of legal adviser to the judge, Emmet G. Sullivan, was both unusual and slightly ill-defined, and was certain to thrust Mr. Gleeson into an open confrontation with Mr. Trump and his army of supporters.

Mr. Gleeson was well positioned to handle the job, a half-dozen of his colleagues said in interviews.

“If Judge Sullivan was looking for a straight arrow, he got one,” said Judge Raymond J. Dearie, who hired Mr. Gleeson as a prosecutor in the early 1980s and later served with him on the Brooklyn federal bench. “John is an extremely talented lawyer who calls them as he sees them.”

Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to investigators as part of a larger inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. But he later sought to fight those charges, asking Judge Sullivan to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea.

The Justice Department stepped into the fray last week and abruptly moved to drop the case after a long campaign by Mr. Trump and his supporters. The reversal prompted accusations that Attorney General William P. Barr had undermined the rule of law and further politicized the department.

While many of the details of Mr. Gleeson’s post remain unclear, Judge Sullivan has tapped him to represent the viewpoint of the original prosecutors who believed that Mr. Flynn had committed a crime.

At this point, both the government and defense agree that the charge against Mr. Flynn should be dismissed. Judge Sullivan has asked Mr. Gleeson to be something like a shadow prosecution, marshaling arguments — discarded by Mr. Barr — as to why the charge should remain. Judge Sullivan has also asked Mr. Gleeson to determine whether Mr. Flynn should face an additional charge of perjury.

Raised in Westchester County by an Irish immigrant family, Mr. Gleeson worked as a caddy at a local golf course before attending Georgetown University. As he prepared himself for a law career, he made his living painting houses.

He joined the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn in 1985 and was quickly assigned to the case of Mr. Gotti, the era’s most renowned and ruthless gangster. Mr. Gleeson was a junior member of the prosecution team in 1986 when Mr. Gotti was tried for the first time. He was acquitted the following year.

After a second acquittal in a state case, Mr. Gleeson oversaw a third trial of Mr. Gotti and in 1992 he prevailed, largely by winning the cooperation of Mr. Gotti’s right-hand man, the assassin Salvatore Gravano.

“There was a feeling among our generation of prosecutors that John was a rock star,” said Gordon Mehler, who worked with Mr. Gleeson at the time. “He was super smart, but also incredibly hardworking. And he could take a punch.”

As a prosecutor, Mr. Gleeson had a reputation for being aggressive — perhaps, some said, overly so — and for taking a humorless, even cold, approach to lawyering. With his tight-lipped manner and wire-rimmed glasses, he was known around the office by a goody-two-shoes nickname: Clark Kent.

As a judge, however, his vision of the criminal justice system, and his sense of empathy, seemed to broaden.

“He began to see many of the inequities that people face — especially the poor and minorities,” Mr. Mehler said. “He became more liberal on criminal matters and a kind of champion for the down and out.”

Mr. Gleeson was an early advocate of federal sentencing overhauls and was a driving force behind bringing special drug courts to Brooklyn, working with an agency known as Pretrial Services to start a program that allowed drug-addicted defendants to avoid prison time by achieving sobriety. In more than two decades as a judge, he regularly visited prisons to ask inmates about the experience of being in custody.

In the financial sphere, Mr. Gleeson oversaw the government’s decision to defer the prosecution of the banking giant HSBC, which was accused of an array of money-laundering violations. While critics attacked the deal, which allowed HSBC to avoid criminal charges, as a slap on the wrist, Mr. Gleeson monitored it regularly to ensure the bank’s compliance, warning prosecutors that such agreements were still subject to judicial oversight.

When Mr. Gleeson left the bench in 2016 and went into private practice, he continued his work on sentencing changes in between more white-collar cases. In the past few years, he has helped free inmates whose prison terms were found to be egregious.

He may have caught Judge Sullivan’s eye this week when he co-wrote an opinion article for The Washington Post, noting that the judge could reject the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the charges against Mr. Flynn if he wanted. The headline said it all: “The Flynn Case Isn’t Over Until the Judge Says It’s Over.”

According to Kelly T. Currie, the former acting U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, Mr. Gleeson’s experience as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer and a federal judge made him well suited to help Judge Sullivan sort through the case.

“He’s meticulous and listens carefully to all the arguments before reaching a decision,” Mr. Currie said. “He’s somebody who takes the law very seriously.”

Love this part: “There was a feeling among our generation of prosecutors that John was a rock star,” said Gordon Mehler, who worked with Mr. Gleeson at the time. “He was super smart, but also incredibly hardworking. And he could take a punch.”
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#15655 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 05:22

View Posty66, on 2020-June-10, 20:38, said:

Kid, if your heart is set on being a cop, go for it. We need good cops. There are plenty of communities whose citizens understand this as well as the importance of hiring well-educated young men and women, giving them the training and support they need to succeed and paying them well. Do your homework and you won't have to worry about defunding.

Just saying.


Perhaps that's good advice to a young person, perhaps. I am not so sure it's advice I would give. And, perhaps more to the point, I was wondering what the young person himself would be thinking. I doubt he would ask my advice and I am not sure I would want the responsibility of giving advice and not sure this is the advice I would give if I did give advice.

I think of my own young years and how I made decisions. Advice from others played very little role. When I switched my major from physics to math I did ask one faculty person, but I choice a math prof to ask so really I had made up my mind. At another point I considered dropping out college. I had a decent job with decent wages that I was enjoying. i discussed this with no one. There were many other such choices, surely this is pretty much the usual. People make their own choices.


So my earlier challenge was to imagine yourself as 20, imagine that you might well have been thinking of becoming a cop, and then try to imagine if whether you would now be re-thinking that choice. I suppose, as in most cases, some would, some wouldn't. I think a fair number would indeed be re-thinking it.

Maybe van Gogh, or maybe Mozart, were on an unshakable path. But most of us, when young, consider various career options. Recent events presumably will have an effect on this.
Ken
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#15656 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 08:27

Quote

“For all intents and purposes, Donald Trump today became the Confederacy’s second president,” the Lincoln Project said in a statement:


I hate to have to burn Atlanta to the ground again, but if you got to, you've got to.
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#15657 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 09:13

David Roberts @drvox (not a medical doctor) said:

Ds' constant harumphing & moral outrage has the effect of elevating Rs to grand historical players. They really need to learn the power of mockery & condescension. Make Rs look silly & small. Trump's Achilles heel is looking & feeling *ridiculous*.

Make Trump look and feel "ridiculous"? Nobody does it better than the guys at the Lincoln Project (who are not Ds): https://youtu.be/0cO-_C9-nF8
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#15658 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 09:43

A little more on de-funding. The Minneapolis Mayor David Frey was interviewed on NPR about his thoughts.

https://www.npr.org/...olice-departmen

Frey, whether you agree with him or not, does not sound stupid and his history does not at all suggest indifference. True, he is a lawyer, but he seems to have used that training intending to help. And since he is a mayor, he has to be at least a bit of a politician. Still, his Wik entry suggests credibility.

https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Jacob_Frey

It seems clear enough to me that he wishes to do good. .Of course wishes and results are different. I don't bet on these things but if I did I think my money would be on Frey, working with others, bringing this through to something that will be broadly viewed as good. Ok, I wouldn't bet the house. But I can hope.



Ken
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#15659 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 09:45

View Postkenberg, on 2020-June-11, 05:22, said:

Maybe van Gogh, or maybe Mozart, were on an unshakable path. But most of us, when young, consider various career options. Recent events presumably will have an effect on this.


My impression is that most graduates these days should be expecting to have 4-5 different types of jobs over the course of their professional life.

(I certainly have)
Alderaan delenda est
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#15660 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 16:15

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-June-11, 09:45, said:

My impression is that most graduates these days should be expecting to have 4-5 different types of jobs over the course of their professional life.

(I certainly have)


I have probably exhausted the interest in the topic but I have looked around a bit. Apparently it is much more difficult to find takers for open police inspection than it once was. Maybe due to more options in the improved economy but on an NPR discussion they figured not just that. I do think the current hoopla will make this worse.

Looking at it differently, this could be seen as strong motivation to get things right. A person likes to be proud of the organization s/he is working for.

Just as a side note, while doing this browsing I found that the median salary for St. Paul cops is about 9K a year higher than that for Minneapolis cops. Hard to understand why. Maybe they are better. Could be. But I dunno.

Anyway, I can't say much more about this without either making it up or repeating myself.
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