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Everything posted by Bingoloid

  1. That was one of the things that annoyed me about the story: I understand that she doesn't want to be the one to send her son to jail. It won't help him, it will make it worse, and he hasn't technically hurt anybody "yet", but lady, this kid pulled a knife on you and you have an emergency drill so that your children know how to escape if their big brother tries to murder them? He needs to be out of the house. She's endangering the other two and they're not getting to have their own normal childhoods. If jail is the only option, then yeah, jail. ...but then what? The kid gets out of jail, insurance generally will not pay for long-term hospitalization just because somebody throws fits (and once they're an adult, they're unlikely to be able to hold down a job to maintain insurance to help pay for real treatment and yet will likely make too much to qualify for Medicaid if they try). He comes home, and he's obviously got some disconnect going on where he isn't relating consequences to his own actions. His mom's just the lady who put him in jail because she's mean, the state will likely go after her if she doesn't take him back, so now he's probably actually going to stab them all to death the next time it looks like the cops are about to be called. Something else needs to happen, here.
  2. A little flowery, but worth reading on this topic: http://gawker.com/5968818 A lot of people are hiding home lives like this and don't even seem to realize it's terribly abnormal.
  3. Bingoloid

    Easy Answers, Difficult Solutions

    Er, everything else aside, any city of millions has violent crime every day just as a matter of pure odds. That many people, at least one of them is going to do something stupid. It's definitely newsworthy when that doesn't happen.
  4. "Genius" doesn't really mean anything and there's not some central registry where supposed geniuses are "classified", but there was warning with this guy. An interviewer at a graduate school in 2011 was apparently creeped out enough to write something like "DO NOT admit under any circumstances" on his application, he'd been telling his friends he was slipping and to stay away from him, and even the head of a gun club he tried to join described his answering machine as "bizarre" and "freaky" and asked people to warn him if the guy ever showed up at the gun club. Unfortunately, these types of problems tend to start around age 16-24 or so, as the brain goes through specific, final stages of development, so it's often right about the time that someone is just proving themselves in adult life that they start to crumble. I'm just guessing here, but I'd imagine that when some kid who everybody thinks is going to be a loser anyway starts doing drugs, drinking, getting arrested, ruining relationships, drifting in and out of jobs, having anger fits or acting generally creepy, two things happen: #1) people close to them just think 'oh, that's stupid Carl, never quite getting his life together' and keep giving them friendship and support which keeps them from snapping and helps them find a way to make ends meet, and #2) other people are quicker to throw them to the police or to the state, where they might be forced to get some minimal help. When it happens to somebody who is seen as having more potential, I suspect that people are more hostile when they start failing, making them feel like their life is over, and also that people are much more hesitant to call the cops or send them to a psychiatrist for fear of ruining their situation even further. As far as hospitalizing people, I've taken flack for saying this about "Elvis" a couple years ago on here, there are definitely a lot of these people who can't live their own lives and need to be off the streets. Many of them really are harmless, but letting somebody like that wander around aimlessly in the weather... You see people who are obviously terrified and alone in this world, or emaciated, or perpetually drunk and high, they're abused by thugs, teenagers. They just don't need to be out there. People around here seem to think it's funny, but it seems cruel to me.
  5. It seems to me that people who want to kill a bunch of people find a way, even without access to any specialized firearms. There's a famous case of a guy in Japan who cut off his mother's head with an axe then crept through town all night breaking into houses, killing a few dozen people in their sleep with a sword and a good old-fashioned shotgun. He did it because, after years of sneaking into womens' houses and trying to sleep with them surreptitiously, he felt the women in his village weren't interested in him anymore, so he decided to just murder them all, which tells you something about where he was at mentally. There have also been terrible massacres committed by the people you'd think you could trust with access to weapons, like police officers, etc, who turned out to be known to have serious rage problems. To the extent that this is an American thing (and it's not as unique to us as we think it is, although it's definitely disproportionate), I haven't seen any persuasive argument that the difference is access to firearms. I genuinely do believe that this tends to happen here specifically because of people with severe mental illnesses just not getting the monitoring and treatment they need when people start seeing the signs, and declining until this feels normal. I'm generally the last person to advocate for any kind of socialized healthcare, but in cases where people start seeing the signs, we don't necessarily need to restrict these people's freedoms, but they need to be provided with help and the state needs to be made aware if they stop showing up/start getting worse. Jiverly Voong's father tried to get help from doctors about his son over ten years ago, after he started hallucinating and seeing imaginary enemies. His coworkers knew about his paranoid rants and talk of killing the President. Had some kind of monitoring system been in place, we could have been keeping an eye on the guy before he did what he did.
  6. Bingoloid

    Johnson City Carvel

    Yeah, I think he'd just given up.
  7. Bingoloid

    Johnson City Carvel

    That's what I'm thinking. I hope it wasn't deliberate. We always noticed how little business he'd had for the last several years and were wondering if he was going to close down. Very sad either way.
  8. Bingoloid

    Johnson City Carvel

    Holy hell. Are we talking about the stand on Riverside?
  9. Bingoloid

    teacher pay and benefits

    Sorry to say it like this, but teachers are only "overpaid" from the perspective of very poor people who are stuck at or near the bottom of the job market. I realize that this is a very poor area where relatively few people are educated and a lot of people feel lucky to earn minimum wage, but it's still part of the national job market, and $40-50k is a pretty moderate salary. "Protecting children" isn't even part of it, we're just talking about an ordinary middle class lifestyle. Everybody who works for a living, union or not, is interested in their economic self-interest, and that's entirely normal and moral behavior. The benefits in NYS, however, seem kind of insane. If your pension is such that you can retire before 60 in a society where people are averaging a life expectancy of 78, it's...very generous, and it does seem like there are some problems with teachers getting too much training on teaching "theory" and not being required to get enough rigorous training on the actual subject matter they're teaching. Part of that is probably due to the fact that if you do have the motivation to complete any rigorous math or science training, you can go into dozens of other fields and earn a hell of a lot more than teachers make. I know it's very hard to find people competent to teach economics for the same reason.
  10. Pretty much this, plus if they called, nothing would likely happen. Our system doesn't really do anything about this anymore. That's how all the crazies got dumped back out on the streets of Binghamton. Remember Jiverly Voong, with the imaginary police officer screaming inside his head for years, or the Dark Knight Rises killer, his step-father telling reporters they knew he was sick and had just hoped he'd kill himself before he did something like this? We let these people go until it's too late.
  11. Bingoloid

    fat or hungry?

    Depends on where in the South. Louisiana, sure, but North Carolina and Virginia? Not so much. Either way, the other poster is right: no other MSA in New York made the top 10 fattest metros in America, but we did. Just us, at #2, with a place in south Texas at #1 and a place on the West Virginia/Kentucky border at #3. (That area is also regarded as the nation's unhealthiest overall, but we beat them on the fatness.) I've been all over the United States east of the Mississippi, and it's true. We are large and in charge here, and it's shocking to an outsider who isn't used to seeing a lot of that. It still shocks me. Poverty rates correlate with obesity, and a lot of these people, the only exercise they get is riding a stolen child's bicycle to buy cigarettes or bending over to pick half-eaten food out of garbage cans. Even decent, educated, working people who are obviously way over the obesity line but seem to think they just have a "couple of extra pounds" or "a little bit of a belly" that they can't help, because they're so used to seeing it all around them. Other states may be in worse shape on average, but the New York average is thrown off by New York City, which is one of the fitter places in America. We're on the other extreme end of the spectrum, and frankly, this area resembles the least fortunate parts of the South more than many locals would ever admit. There are a lot of people who can barely feed their families and are too proud to accept benefits.
  12. Yeah, we should all just be polite to criminals and treat them with respect. They've just made "mistakes" and our understanding will ultimately make the community a better place, that's what Matt Ryan and Lea Webb keep saying.
  13. Bingoloid

    fat or hungry?

    I don't think they're talking about the same people who are obese, there. There are definitely families that simply fail to provide enough calories for their kids, just like there are some that provide way too many. Anyway, yeah, obesity is certainly the problem in this area. When I'm at the gym in the morning, I'm overlooking a street and, to a man, everybody I see is some variation on a big fatty boombalatty. Young, middle-aged, black, white, going to work, pushing a shopping cart full of recyclables, you just don't see very many people in ordinary health and physical condition outside of Vestal and the scattered remaining middle-class neighborhoods in the rest of the region. It might be my imagination, but it seems like there's more smokers around here than elsewhere, too.
  14. Bingoloid

    City Hall Arrests Pending?

    David doesn't exactly have a reputation for getting anything done, ever. It's bad enough that people know to copy others on emails to him so that he can't pretend they were never sent, never follows through on anything. Between that and the garbage he's encouraged downtown, local Republicans need to find someone else, stat. It would be just like keeping Ryan. Ineffective and shady.
  15. Bingoloid

    City Hall Arrests Pending?

    I have to agree with the other poster. I wouldn't drink it either, but it's not our problem and Ryan's intervention wasn't even wanted. He was booed and heckled for getting involved. It was a stupid gesture. Of course, your typical Binghamton "taxpayer" makes enough to pay just that much: a dime.
  16. Bingoloid

    New Parking Spaces Downtown

    We're learning a lot about local drivers on this thread.
  17. So, it's such a big conspiracy that Shea was persuaded to plead guilty to something he didn't do, despite already having given up his career, implying that somebody had even more leverage over him and was covering up even more misconduct? Wow, I guess Shea and the BPD are even worse than anybody thought.
  18. In what alternate reality is "losing your job" considered adequate punishment for grand larceny? He didn't even lose his job. He'd already taken his retirement after his previous crimes against the community.
  19. It's less an issue of where it's going to come than it is an issue of what other satellite it will eventually crash into, and what other satellites all the debris from that collision will crash into. Artist's rendering of the situation:
  20. Bingoloid

    New Parking Spaces Downtown

    Yup. Backing into a space like that is certainly easier than backing into a perpendicular parking space (like you see at the mall or Wegmans), which is a fairly basic task. If it's "too hard to do this", you need either remedial training or a talk with your doctor about whether or not you should be on the road. State DOTs have been pushing these in their design guidelines all over the country for a few years now, a competent American driver is supposed to be able to do it. Besides, there are about 10 old-fashioned parallel parking spaces on the opposite side of the street, so I'm not sure what the people claiming you can "only park on one side now" are carrying on about. I'm kind of wondering if these people who "will never come downtown again" have actually ever been downtown to begin with, or if they're just parroting what they heard from other shut-ins. As for people speeding off the circle and not slowing down for folks who need to park, that's probably true. A few dirtbags don't seem to have figured out that Court Street is a city street and that they were never supposed to be trying to speed through there. BPD should be keeping an eye on it, both people who can't park and people who can't get their foot off the gas, and writing tickets.
  21. When officers are caught engaged in criminal activity and there's no public or political pressure to punish them, it's fairly routine for them to be let go with either something that won't substantially hamper their career or, in severe cases, something that will at least let them avoid incarceration. That's typical all over the country. Local prosecutors tend to play ball. Same sort of thing as happened with Monell. I wouldn't be surprised if they discouraged press coverage in order to avoid drawing public attention to the situation for as long as possible. The local media seems pretty cooperative about keeping things quiet (or completely oblivious when the cops don't do their jobs for them and hand the stories over prepackaged) and a lot of people were pissed enough at the crash that they would've practically been calling for a hanging if they'd known about him stealing taxpayer money, too. ...and I wouldn't rule out the possibility that they wanted this to receive minimal play simply because it's the tip of the iceberg about what's really going on in that department.
  22. An Xbox and an iPhone does seem pretty modest in comparison.
  23. Bingoloid

    City Christmas Lights DEAD

    I LOLed. Is that right? The Vestal Parkway is almost totally dark, too, in large areas between downtown Binghamton and the Vestal strip. Just nuts.
  24. He can do whatever he can, wherever he can. I'd have to leave town if I was caught doing something like that just to protect my family from the shame of what I've done, but whatever. I'm one of those old-fashioned people who was brought up with a basic sense of decency. I'm not saying he's unemployable (although in a position of trust, few companies or public agencies would want anything to do with him, try becoming even a bank teller with even a misdemeanor theft "mistake" from your youth on your record), but I do agree with the OP that, if that's true, it's...sketchy...that he's been magically rescued by a local non-profit before the body of his former career is even cold. Can't have any of the good ole' boys in hardship over their "mistakes", can we?