Archive for the Legal / Laws Category

ON DOGS AND OWNERS

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Legal / Laws, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 28, 2015 by Drogo

SCOD Community Theory regarding pets, owners, and justice laws.

Dogs have more simplistic brains than humans, but they can be mischievous, unpredictable, and dangerous in similar ways. There should be less dog owners, as most owners are irresponsible. If there cannot be less dog owners, than we need better owners. I am not sure that either can be achieved legally, unless new laws are made restricting the ownership of dogs in urban areas. In wild or rural settings, less civilized situations should be expected.

Problems with Bad Owners and Dogs

We must admit that there are both bad owners and bad dogs. Dog owners tend to let their dogs act however they want, and either cannot or do not control them. Bad dogs and their bad owners are a menace to society, as often one cannot be distinguished from the other. Bad dogs and owners act together in ways that put other citizens in danger of being threatened and bitten, if not severely mauled or killed. Saying that there are ‘no bad dogs, only bad owners’ is a false statement; as there most certainly are bad dogs, just as any mammal that is able to kill and eat other beings, can act more or less harmful to others in subjectively bad ways. Some ‘bad’ dogs are bad most of the time; some dogs may be good some of the time with their owners, and bad some of the time with strangers; and some dogs may be good most of the time, and bad some of the time. Animals can be ‘dicks’ just like humans. Im not sure why people think that animals are supernatural angels; when clearly dogs may attack and try to kill many other types of animals, not just humans. I think we have a desire to own a magical unicorn that will only give us unconditional love and have no other motives; but this is not the reality of Nature. Mammals one and all, have emotions and desires which motivate their behaviors; some are more loving and some are more hating, and I do not believe it is only one species that is capable of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’, that would be truly racist, since humans are considered a ‘race of species’ (the human race). there are WAY TOO MANY DOGS walking irresponsible owners around the sub-urbs, and many owners that should not have dogs in public. The problem is not a case of some of us ‘not liking dogs’, since plenty of dogs are easily loved, petted, snuggled, and played with by people that do not like bad dogs or bad owners. Also the problem is also not about dogs ‘sensing emotions’, as many people who are bitten by dogs were happy minding their own business, or calm and content before they get engaged and attacked by dogs that do not want to behave or listen to humans.

Solutions to Bad Owners and Dogs

Both bad owners and bad dogs should be held accountable for their behavior and actions. Leashes and walls are important to control dogs. When dogs are not restrained by walls or leash, and are out-of-control, anyone that witnesses them should call upon the owners by yelling “LEASH!”, to get the owners to secure the dog by body and collar, and apply the leash. Owners cannot be trusted by saying ‘my dog does not bite’, because dogs can go many years before biting, until they bite someone. Dogs, like humans, can change their behavior not just from sickness, but also threats to their security; such as a new dog or person that they feel competes for their attention from and influence over their owner.

First ‘problem incidents’ are identified; such as dogs aggressively threatening people that do not deserve it, or dogs barking or acting chaotically without civil control. Next it should be determined how severe the situations are, on a scale of 1-10; 1 being perhaps a one-time non-repeating minor annoyance, and 10 being the dog killed or mangled a person or animal that has some value (we might not call a dog bad for attacking Hitler). Then punishments should be determined for various levels of severity. 1-5 could be considered more resolvable, and requirements to make amends or fix the problems should be demanded with time limits. 5-10 could be considered less resolvable and will require the removal of either the dog or both the dog and the owner; if the problem was too harmful or clearly will continue despite efforts. Finally it is the responsibility of those in control of the SCOD community to deal with these issues, remove those that need to be removed, and follow up to ensure the safety of the shire.

Severity of Problem / Examples / Solutions

1 dog barking too much – muzzle the dog

2 dog chasing or barking – keep the dog contained

3 dog chasing, barking, or jumping on – muzzle the dog, keep the dog contained

4 dog allowed by owner to act chaotically – muzzle, keep contained, and mandate training of both

5 dog threatening to bite – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; countdown to eviction

6 dog nips or scratches – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; countdown to eviction; fine $25

7 dog bites, scratches, and barks – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; countdown to eviction; fine $50

8 dog maims another pet – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; possible eviction; fine $75

9 dog maims a human – muzzle, confine, Evict; fine $100

10 dog kills – muzzle, confine, Evict; fine $500; call police if needed

 

  • Human’s should be held to similar legal standards

Military Post-911 Quagmire Essay by Daniel Crimmins

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2015 by Drogo

Veterans for Peace posted this article from Reddit television:

‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’


Visual-Effects asked:

How do you Americans as a people walk around head held high, knowing that every few months your country is committing a 9/11 size atrocity to other people? Imagine if the 9/11 terror attacks were happening in america every few months. Again and again, innocent people dying all around you. Your brothers and sisters. For no reason.

Daniel Crimmins (Mopecore)

from U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division answered:

“Many of us are unable. Many of us watched 9/11, and accepted the government and media’s definition of the attack as a act of war rather than a criminal action. A smaller portion, drifting along passively thought a major war was coming, that people we knew were going to fight and die. Some of us maybe worried about our younger brother being drafted, despite being in college. Now, it seems stupid, but in the 72 hours after 9/11, some Americans, maybe suffering from depression, certainly with a mind shaped by comic books and action movies, ate up the ‘us vs. them’ good vs. evil rhetoric spouted by the cowboy in chief. After all, he was the president, and no matter how bright you might think yourself, you can still be swayed by passion and emotion, led to terrible decisions.

“Some of us, therefore, left our dorm rooms, and walked down Main Street to the recruiter’s office. Some of us were genuinely surprised the office wasn’t full to bursting of young men eager to avenge their fallen countrymen. Some of us were genuinely surprised when we had to push the recruiter to stop trying to sell desk jobs and just let us join the damn Infantry.

Some of us got enlisted, then, and went down to Georgia, head high to mask the anxiety and fear they might have. Perhaps some number of Americans in this situation discovered that maybe it hadn’t been the best idea, but would be goddamned if they were going to admit it, and let everyone back home smuggly remark on how right they were.

So they persevere. They learn to work as a unit, to look past personality issues, to see each other as Soldiers rather than as a race, or economic status, or any of the other things people hate about each other. They learn to kill.

Then some of these people, perhaps while sitting hungover in the platoon area in the Republic of Korea hear that we have invaded Iraq. They have “Big Scary Bombs”, and Saddam Hussein, the secular Arab dictator had somehow colluded with the devoutly religious OBL to attack the US. They hated our freedom, you see.

Then some of these young American men might transfer back to Georgia and be assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, and end up in Iraq in January of 2005. And maybe these kids, still drunk on Fox News and fantasies of glory and renown being enough to win their ex-girlfriends back, are excited to go to Iraq. Sure, we hadn’t found any WMDs yet, and we had Hussein in custody, but they were still somehow a threat and had to be dragged kicking and screaming into Jeffersonian democracy. Inside every dirka is a good American, yearning to be free.

So you fight. You kill. Watch friends die. Its usually quick, almost never quiet, but for the rest of your life, when you remember sitting at the bar with them, they’re blown open. You picture the nights you spent downtown at Scruffy Murphy’s, but instead of the stupid hookah shell necklace, your boy’s jaw is blown off, and his left eye is ruined, and he’s screaming.

You fight, you kill, you watch friends die, and you notice a distinct lack of change. You kick in doors and tell terrified women to sit on the floor while you and your friends ransack their home, tearing the place apart, because they might be hiding weapons. There is no reason to believe this house in particular is enemy, same for the next one, and the one after that, or the seven before; they just happened to be there, and maybe they had weapons. Probably not, they almost never did. There were a few times when we had deliberate raids based on solid intel and we’d turn up some stuff, but generally we were just tossing houses because we could.

Then maybe your FISTer forgets to carry the remainder, and drops a mess of mortars on the village your supposed to protect. Maybe the big Iraqi running at you screaming was just mentally ill. Of course, you won’t know this until after you’ve but seven rounds through his ribcage, and his wailing, ancient mother is cradling his body, spitting at you.

Maybe when you get back to the FOB, the Platoon Sergeant tells you you did the right thing; next time, it might be a suicide bomber. They tell you it was an honest mistake, it wasn’t your fault. They tell you to go get some chow, take a shower if the water works, and sleep it off. You did good work that day, apparently.

During chow, the TV is on AFN, and they are rebroadcasting some Fox News show, and you’re hearing about drone strikes, and all the great things we’re doing, and you can’t help but see that poor dumb assholes face, looking past his mother as he bleeds to death. He’s in pain, obviously, but he has the most perfectly confused look on his face. He doesn’t comprehend what’s happening. Little more hot sauce on your eggs doesn’t really help.

Then you realize you haven’t seen anything to support the idea that these poor fuckers are a threat to your home. You look around and you see all he contractors making six figure salaries to fix your shit, train Iraqis, maintain the ridiculous SUVs the KBR dicks ride around in. You consider the fact that every 25mm shell costs about forty bucks, and your company has been handing those fuckers out like shrapnel flavored parade candies. You think about all the fuel you’re going through, all the ammo and missiles and grenades. You think about every time you lose a vehicle, the Army buys a new one. Maybe you start to see a lot of people making a lot of money on huge amounts of human suffering.

Then you go on leave, and realize that Ayn Rand has no idea what the fuck she’s talking about. You realize that Fox News and Limbaugh and John McCain don’t respect you or your buddies. They don’t give a fuck if you get a parade or a box when you get home, you’re nothing to them but a prop.

Then you get out, and you hate the news. You hate the apathy, and you hate the murder being carried out in your name. You grew up wanting so bad to be Luke Skywalker, but you realize that you were basically a Stormtrooper, a faceless, nameless rifleman, carrying a spear for empire, and you start to accept the startlingly obvious truth that these are people like you.

Maybe your heart breaks a little every time some asshole brags about a “successful” drone strike.

Your statement is correct enough; if all of America was one dude, that dude would not give a shit about the little brown people we’re burning and crushing and choking to death. We aren’t all like that, but it makes me incredibly, profoundly sad to see what my country actually is.” – Daniel Crimmins

*

Plant Pot Seeds – Write State Reps!

Posted in Legal / Laws, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by Drogo

Intending fair use, here is a proposed letter to send to your state representatives:

 

“Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition and replacing it with regulation. The historic votes on Election Day in Colorado and Washington – where, for the first time ever, a majority of voters decided at the ballot box to abolish cannabis prohibition – underscore this political reality.

The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. Furthermore, the criminalization of cannabis simply doesn’t work.

Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to impose common-sense regulations governing cannabis’ personal use by adults and licensing its production. A pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for limited, licensed production and sale of cannabis to adults – but restricts use among young people – best reduces the risks associated with its use or abuse. I encourage you to support our movement to regulate marijuana, not criminalize it. ”

 

–  modified quote from the NORML website, to help the movement to legalize Cannabis (Marijuana).

US Man

Medical Marijuana – Yes I Can!

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Medical, Military with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by Drogo

“ok this is my blog what grind’s my gears

– by SFC Peter A Manuel United States Army Ret.

“Ok there has been a huge debate over medical marijuana ,well here is mine. I suffer from combat related PTSD i have been to a number of programs for this where they used both counseling and medication to try to help me with this, none of which worked at one time not to long ago the Veteran’s Administration had me on trazadone, seriquil, xanex, lisinopril, prozaserin, lithium, welabutron, and a number of other’s . the results were i still had nightmares, social anxiety, and hyper vigilance, hyper tension, and still had sleep issues and i still was in a great state of deprssion but what these med’s did do was cause me to gain weight my triglisrydes were high and so was my blood sugar and i lost all interest in the thing’s that i enjoyed to do and turned into a zombie.

So me being one to question and critically think i decided that i was going to do an experiment on myself b/c i figured i had been a lab rat for the VA, that what would it hurt at this point, so when i left the VA i stoped all med’s immediately, i went to a friend we will call him Cleidus and purchased some marijuana and started to smoke 3 small hit’s puff’s whatever you no what i mean in the morning and did the same around 9pm. I regimented this b/c of an article i read by an Israeli doctor and the result’s were i slept better my deprssion went away and lost all the weight i had gained and even my nightmare have decreased or i have none at all, so what i am saying is that for me this plant is a miracle drug that has not only helped me but may have saved my life , now i am not saying go get blazed up all day long well unless you have nothing to do; then well whatever floats your boat; but it has helped me and remember holistic is always better and prescibed drug’s only weaken your immune system. i am no longer on any medications.”

“And that’s what grinds my gear’s”
SFC Peter A Manuel

If you never change your mind, why have one?

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Legal / Laws, Politics on August 19, 2012 by eposognatus

A guide to discussing gun control and other divisive topics.

In the wake of the recent Aurora, CO.,  Oak Creek, WI., and other mass shootings I’m sure your Facebook newsfeed and workplace watercooler conversations are saturated with both pro and anti-gun rhetoric. It is undoubtedly circular and and divisive, with each side nodding their heads sagely and thinking the other quite insane. Despite generally being a rational person, the subject drives you to a degree of utter inflexibility that no other can aside from perhaps abortion, religion, or Obama’s country of birth. Well, personally, I’ve rather had enough of all your choir-preaching and utter inability to concede on any point whatsoever or hold a logical, productive discussion.

So, in light of your continued and undying cyclical arguments, I present some observations and guidelines here in the vain hope of bringing some common ground. If you find any of them offensive, you’re probably too thin-skinned to even bother discussing the issue anyway.

For everyone

1. Broaden your perspective. Be critical and open-minded. Question and Factcheck. Don’t just read/listen to/watch the propaganda of your own party/group – pick up the newspapers and magazines of “the other side.” Maybe you have to secret yourself away in some dark corner of the basement in order to turn the pages of American Rifleman or Mother Jones but whatever it takes, read up. Know thy enemy, as they say.

2. Educate yourself. Bone up on history, politics, and law. And I don’t mean sit and watch the “History” Channel. Crack the spine of an actual book. There are these fantastic buildings called libraries which are full of them and staffed with wonderful people known as librarians who can help you find a title worthy of your time.

3. Discuss. Talk to friends, family, co-workers, strangers – about what you think and listen to what they have to say. Don’t go looking for an argument or make one yourself. Don’t discard other’s beliefs out-of-hand just because you think them “crazy.”

4. Be active. Don’t just bitch about how things are or aren’t or how the NRA is too powerful or the “Liberal Media” has brainwashed everyone. Vote. Write your Congress-person. Protest. Make a website or Youtube video. Whatever you need to do to get your word out and see what others are saying.

 For the anti-gunner/(non-gun-owning) Democrat/Liberal

You’re a latte-swilling, long-haired dirty hippie/commie/atheist tree-hugging vegan who – if you have a job at all – works at some liberal arts college. You like to whine, whine, whine!

You wouldn’t go to a foreign country without first learning at least a few phrases and checking up on the customs, right? In the language of firearms, right now you can’t even ask where the bathroom is. You are an outsider and you’ll have to make an effort to understand the culture before you can hope to have a conversation, nevermind negotiate a contract. What’s more is that a little book-learning doesn’t replace experiential knowledge. Just because you “know” something doesn’t make you “right,” so be wary of becoming too much like your opponent in this regard.

1. For the love of all that is holy, learn how firearms actually function. You may have a degree in English Lit, but when you talk about guns you sound like a moron. If you learned terms like “high-powered rifle” and “machine gun” from watching CNN and don’t know the difference between a magazine and a clip, get thee to some firearms education.

A. Ultimately, you should probably even find a competent instructor and take a basic course on firearms safety and handling, culminating in actually firing a gun.

B. Taking such steps is not only beneficial to bettering your own argument(s) but substantially improves your own safety and awareness should you encounter a firearm or (unthinkable as it may be) have need of one.

2. Understand why people own guns. There are as many reasons as there are guns – some more reasonable than others – but it is a very personal matter. Ignoring why someone does something or how much they care about it won’t win you any points in a debate, nor will it help you work out solutions.

3. Be calm. Do you find it frustrating how your conservative gun-toting opponent seems so smug and at ease, despite obviously being so WRONG? Aren’t liberals supposed to be the smug ones?! I hate to tell you this, but you do tend to be a bit excitable. They get a kick out of riling you up too (it’s so easy!).

4. Forget the statistics. Numbers are great, and I know how much you love to throw them around (X number people die from guns each year, etc.) but as Stalin is attributed to have said “The death of a single man is a tragedy – a million – a statistic.” Don’t talk about numbers and abstractions. Make it personal. How would a person feel if their husband/wife/son/daughter/friend were shot and killed? What would they do? They may deny that it would/could happen, but suppose it did?

5. Realize that you can’t just “ban guns.” Why not, you ask? A ban is fine, but I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” As tired as it may be, this is true. Let me ‘splain:

A. There are as many firearms in the US as there are adults. Something between 30-40% of persons own a gun or guns. Suppose they were banned tomorrow. How do you propose to collect them all? There is no existing record of exactly who has what (since private sales and hand-me-downs are unrecorded). Do you expect everyone to just quietly hand them over? Do you intend to go door to door with the Police and Military and conduct a Search and Seizure? Do you find this thought unsavory? (you should).

B. As Prohibition shows, banning something that people want just drives it underground. A black market for guns and ammo will undoubtedly be created, with attendant organized crime and – you guessed it – murder.

C. Assume for a moment you have a magical gun magnet that can suck every gun in the country out of stores and homes and cold, dead fingers. What then? Let me put it this way: Cocaine is illegal and yet every year upwards of a thousand TONS of it is smuggled into the United States. If we can’t stop drug-runners from bringing in multi-ton shipments, how are we going to stop gunrunners from bringing in guns?

6.  Realize that the raison d’être for the gun lobby’s incomprehensible aversion to even the most reasonable legislative measures is rooted in a fear of the domino effect. The idea that if one thing is banned their freedoms of ownership will quickly erode until it is impractical or impossible to have a gun at all. This is not a groundless fear as it has happened before their eyes in Britain and Australia. You may not have any problem with this thought, but you’ll never win your case or pass a bill unless you can figure out how to assuage that fear.

 For the gun-owner/Republican/Conservative

You’re a beer-swilling cowboy/redneck/hick who drives a pickup for Jesus and watches NASCAR when you’re not at Walmart. You like to say “Mine, mine, mine!”

You tend to be inflexible. When traveling you are easily discerned by your loud, obnoxious manner, swaggering gait, and bone-headed remarks on the superiority of your own nation. You make no effort to understand other cultures because you’re already written them off as inferior. You need to chill out, man. If your fear of not being seen as powerful and in charge was as tiring to yourself as it is to others, we’d all be much better off.

1. Skip the mantras. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yes, yes, we’ve heard it before and repeating it doesn’t make it anymore relevant even if it is true. You may also famously declare how far more people die from car accidents than guns. You do realize these are avoidant, insensitive, bullshit arguments, right?

A. People always have and (presumably) will continue to find unique and innovative ways of offing one another, but they do often use guns for this purpose. Admit it. Guns may not be the problem in and of themselves, but the US is ranked right between Mexico and the Philippines by rate of firearm deaths and that’s not cool.

B. Saying that firearms deaths aren’t a problem because X many more people die from something else is basically saying that those deaths don’t matter. More people die from heart disease than car crashes – does that mean we do nothing about making cars and driving safer?

2. Get some grey. You’re very often a dichotomous thinker – seeing things in black and white. Your oversimplification of the world may make it easy to be uncompromising, but it is also a symptom of mental illness.

3. The whole truth, please. You do tend to have the “facts” right more often than your utopian opponents, but you like to mangle the context to suit your whims.

A. The 2nd Amendment. You know how it goes: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” You love that bit, but you often leave out the first half. The part about “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” The liberal yokel you’re talking to will surely bring that up, and how the National Guard is that very militia of which our Founding Fathers spoke! That is a long and heavily written-upon debate which I’ll not comment upon here, but consider that in those few words they wrote what is – taken as a whole – a clearly conditional statement.

B. Speaking of conditions… at some point you’ve certainly thought that some person or other shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car. Why then do you continue to defend an absolutist stance on gun ownership? There are definitely people out there – not just criminals – you wouldn’t want anywhere near a gun. Recent illegal uses of legally-purchased firearms weaken your arguments for unrestricted purchasing.

4. You’re very spoiled. For as much as you whine about attempts to restrict your access to firearms, you really can have just about whatever you want. Ok, fine, so you need a Class III FFL to play with the really fun stuff, but it’s not an impossible task to get one. And honestly, you have your pick of thousands of different models of handguns, shotguns, rifles, all in innumerable calibres with infinite customizations and so many accessories you probably spend more on them than on the gun itself. A few comments on this point:

A. Grandad did just fine taking deer with his .30-40 Krag and iron sights. He was probably a better shot than you too.

B. You have to face facts – when the anti-gunners say there is no “legitimate use” for 50-100 drum mags, they’re spot on. Unless of course “fun” is a “legitimate use.” They ARE fun, but with 5.56 at .60 cents a round do you really want to feed that thing anyway? And Slide Fire systems. Come on. Really? There is no way to justify this other than “it’s fun!”

5. Be not Afraid. You’re afraid of a lot of things. The Govm’t, Terrorists, Carjackers, Gays, Zombies, and non-Christians. You may have legitimate reasons for any or all of these, but bringing them up just makes you look like an insecure paranoid nutcase. Also, disguising your fear with disdain doesn’t fool anyone.

6. The hypocrisy of tradition. You love the idea that we have always been a nation of gun-owners. That it is a part of our American heritage. You invoke images of Revolutionary minutemen, 19th Century frontiersmen, and Civil War soldiers. All of whom were shooting muzzle-loading blackpowder flintlock and percussion lock arms. Have you ever even shot such a thing? Or is your idea of a muzzeloader some awful in-line job you only break out once a year to extend your deer season? If you truly love the past then practice what you preach and realize that muzzleloaders, single-shots, and bolt-guns are the bulk of what our forefathers survived with. If they were good enough for them, what excuse do you have for your over-love of black guns with quad rails?

While I speak specifically to the issue of gun control, much of this applies to any divisive issue. Stop following the rhetoric of your party leaders and moderate yourselves. Everyone sounds so crazy because they repeat what is told to them by increasingly crazy people, seeking to out-do their opponents through ever increasing hyperbole. The further each side goes Right or Left, the more they resemble each other, so do yourself a favour and take the middle ground.

UPDATE: Part II

Batman vs Guns

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Legal / Laws with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2012 by Drogo

This article is written in response to all the shootings and mass killings that have happened as a result of guns; most recently the Colorado “Batman Movie Theater Slaughter” (apx. 70 shot, 12 killed). Also the author has had several personal experiences with muggers, psychopaths, and convicted felons.

For those that do not know about the comic book character Batman*, let me start by saying that although he is a violent vigilante, he is against guns and murder in general. Batman is against guns in principle because his parents were shot and killed by a mugger outside of a movie theater in the 1940s. So Batman uses intimidation, martial arts, non-lethal weapons, and citizen arrests to deal with criminals. Although he has dark periods when the horns on his cowl get longer, and he may feel like dealing justice by killing a criminal, he fights against the urge to do that because he would become too much like the enemy, and because he specifically fights against armed people that hurt others.

“Far, far more Americans are killed every year by firearms, in this country — 31,000 in 2010 alone — than were killed on 9/11. We have terrorism right in our midst.” – Dan Rodricks NPR fb-blog

Historically it is true we killed each-other more often using primitive weapons, however i believe in our culture today it is harder to kill someone by using a primitive weapon because we actually are more ethical in general. The 2000 US Census clearly shows guns being the primary weapon used in murders, and all other weapons were significantly less.

Guns kill more people than would be killed if we did not have them today, simply because guns are easier for idiots to use, and it is an easier weapon to kill more people with (than a blade for example). By using a gun, one is less connected to a victim, and there is less time for empathy, morality, ethics, or someone else to stop you.

Despite the fact that gun murders are higher than any other weapon, no one is going to take guns away from us (2nd Amendment to the Constitution). However it is safe to acknowledge the fact of the statistics as a basis for conversation about how we can help people like that shooter to either be more responsible, or if we cannot help them enough mentally then we should make sure they do not have access to guns (or any weapons for that matter, which means confining them or banishing them).

Now granted, in the case of this shooter in the theater, he may have just resorted to using explosives if he could not get guns; but the statistics do seem to favor the use of guns for people into killing other people. Whether every person that killed using guns would have killed using another weapon, i do not think so, but im sure some would have. Im not saying take guns away from responsible people, im saying we should improve the desire for people to be responsible in communities, and to do that we need to be more responsible.

I personally relate to Batman because although I am a conscientious objector to wars (see my book “Ten COW” that I submitted to the US Air Force), I am not a strict pacifist because I believe in self-defense, some hunting, and the ability to use force to defend others. So like Batman, I would prefer to be peaceful, but sometimes there is a need to meet violence with violence, even though violence is wrong. Also like Batman, I prefer not to use guns.

So in closing, I would like to say that we should all be more like Batman; because he clearly cannot handle the work load by himself. Sure not all of us are fit enough, trained enough, wealthy enough, or brave enough; but we can still be more like Batman by looking into the shadows for other lost souls to help by being their friend, or to find help for if we can do nothing ourselves.

RIP all my friends who have died from accidental or intentional gun use: BJ McMurray age 13, shot by his brother in the heart while hunting; Martin Mouser died age 20, put a beer can on his head while drunk for his friend to shoot off, and got shot in the heart; Mike Mihalik aged 20s, gun shot in the heart; etc… those 3 boys were known and loved not just by me, but many other friends and family members. May they not be forgotten.

* note: Batman is a trademark character of DC Comics and this is not for profit.

Federal Student Loan Secrets

Posted in Education / Schools, Legal / Laws, SCOD Online School with tags , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by Drogo

I was never told and there is no info about Loan Forgiveness dates for Low Income on my Federal Loan Repayment Website, so for 10 years i have been struggling to repay thousands of dollars that i dont have based on an uneducated choice i made to attend colleges i did not know i would not be able to pay off within the ‘average 10 years’. I never found that ‘promised magic job’ that my father had. I might have been able to pay rent or afford health insurance if i had known about Loan Forgiveness deadlines.

I just heard on NPR that the Department of Education’s Community Service Loan Repayment plan has been in the works since 2009, but there is still no info about it on my Federal Loan Website. I will seek out more information about these ‘secrets’ and post them below. Here are the important issues that every college graduate with a Low Income should know about, but we have not been educated about:

1. Community Service Loan Repayment Plan

(after 10 years or 20 payments?)

2. Low Income Loan Forgiveness Deadline

(after 20-25 years?)

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According to the official White House Government website:

Under this new law, students enrolling in 2014 or later are offered this option –

Forgive Any Remaining Debt after 20 Years, or after 10 Years for Those in Public Service: Borrowers who take responsibility for their loans and make their monthly payments will see their remaining balance forgiven after 20 years of payments, reduced from 25 years in current law.  Public service workers – such as teachers, nurses, and those in military service – will see any remaining debt forgiven after 10 years.

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Federal Student Aid Information Center
1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
This is a toll-free number.

Direct Student Loans – 1800-848-0979

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After calling both numbers above, they told me all their information is available online, easy, and straightforward not requiring a business or law degree to understand. Ha!  The Education Department was un-apologetic and said “Most people pay the loan off in 10 years.”  Thanks for that.

The White House and the Education Department call it “Community Service” but you cannot find it on the Direct Loan website by searching for that; they call it “Public Service” Loan Forgiveness Plan.

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From the Federal Direct Loan Servicing Page:

Can my loan ever be discharged?

Yes. A discharge releases you from all obligations to repay your loan. Your loans can be partially or totally discharged if:

  • You become totally and permanently disabled. This cannot be for a condition that existed at the time you applied for the Direct Loan unless a doctor certifies that your condition substantially deteriorated after the loans were made.
  • You are unable to complete a course of study because your school closed or because your school falsely certified your eligibility.
  • Your school signed your name on the loan application or promissory note without your approval.
  • You were a victim of identity theft.
  • Your obligation to repay your loan was discharged in bankruptcy court proceedings. This may occur when conditions of extreme financial hardship are present and a judge orders the discharge of the loan(s) in an adversary proceeding.
  • You die.
  • The student for whom a PLUS Loan was obtained dies.
  • You taught in a selected low-income school for 5 consecutive years. You must also have received new loans after October 1, 1998 and have no outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan disbursed before this date. For more information on eligibility requirements for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, please click here.
  • You are and/or were employed in public service field(s) considered eligible under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, during which time you made 120 separate qualifying monthly payments through an eligible repayment plan after October 1, 2007. You must also be employed in a qualifying public service job at the time of your application for forgiveness and when any remaining loan amount is forgiven. For more information on eligibility requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, please click here.
  • You are due but are unable to obtain a refund from your school on your Direct Loan.
  • You have a Consolidation loan obtained jointly with your spouse and one of you dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled.
  • You have a Consolidation loan that includes a Federal PLUS and/or Direct PLUS loan borrowed for a student that has died. The portion of the Consolidation loan attributable to the student that has died may be discharged.

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Repayment Plan

Changing repayment plans is a good way to manage your loan debt when your financial circumstances change. For example, you can usually lower your monthly payment by changing to another repayment plan with a longer term to repay the loan. There are no penalties for changing repayment plans.

The Direct Loan Program offers the following repayment plans:

  • Standard Repayment Plans
    • Non-Consolidation Loans – fixed payment for up to 10 years.
    • Consolidation Loans – fixed payment for up to 10 to 30 years based on total education indebtedness.
  • Extended Repayment Plans
    • Extended repayment terms are available to Direct Loan borrowers with no outstanding principal or interest balances as of October 7, 1998 and with more than $30,000 in Direct Loans.
      • Fixed Monthly Payment Option – fixed payment for up to 25 years based on Direct Loan balance greater than $30,000.
      • Graduated Monthly Payment Option – smaller payments at first that increase every two years, for up to 25 years based on a Direct Loan balance greater than $30,000.
  • Graduated Repayment Plans
    • Non-Consolidation Loans – smaller payments at first that increase every two years for up to 10 years.
    • Consolidation Loans – smaller payments at first that increase every two years for up to 10 to 30 years based on total education indebtedness.
  • Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan
    • Payment amount is based on a borrower’s family size, annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the total amount of the borrower’s Direct Loan(s). This can vary year to year for up to 25 years. The ICR Plan is NOT available to a borrower with a Direct PLUS Consolidation Loan(s) made before July 1, 2006 and/or a Direct PLUS Loan(s) made to parent borrowers. However, a borrower is eligible to repay any Direct Consolidation Loan(s) made on/after July 1, 2006 under the ICR Plan even if it includes a PLUS Loan(s) made to parent borrowers.
  • The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan
    • An alternative to the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan. The IBR Plan is designed to make repaying education loans easier for students who intend to pursue jobs with lower salaries, such as careers in public service. It does this by capping the monthly payments at 15 percent of your discretionary income (the difference between your Adjusted Gross Income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence). You must have a partial financial hardship to enroll in the IBR Plan. If you are married AND file taxes separately, only your income will be considered when calculating your IBR payment amount. Like ICR, after 25 years of qualifying repayment, any remaining balance on the loan will be forgiven, but you may have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven.

The Direct Loan Program previously offered a range of grandfathered repayment plans prior to 9/10/2007. Borrowers who had already entered repayment on one or more of their loans prior to 9/10/07 and who have one of the grandfathered plans already assigned to their loans remained on those plans. In addition, subsequent loans that are disbursed for those borrowers will be placed on the same grandfathered repayment plans. Please note that if at any time borrowers elect to update their repayment plans, they will only be able to select from the new repayment plans. In addition, once they have changed their repayment plan, they will not be able to return to one of the grandfathered repayment plans.

  • Standard Repayment Plans – fixed payment for up to 10 years.
  • Extended Repayment Plans – fixed payment for up to 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount a borrower owes.
  • Graduated Repayment Plan – smaller payments at first that increase every two years for up to 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount a borrower owes.

Please contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center if the above plans do not meet your financial needs.

NOTE :

“Like ICR, after 25 years of qualifying repayment, any remaining balance on the loan will be forgiven, but you may have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven.”

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“The borrower must have made 120 separate monthly payments beginning after October 1, 2007 on the Direct Loan Program loans for which forgiveness is requested.” = 2017 would be the earliest a loan could be forgiven.

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(more information to come)