Morning Links

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
  • Nice editorial in the Las Vegas Review Journal on the folly of asset forfeiture. I like this line, which says that even if these seizures are 100 percent legit, “f the drug dealers can write off these kinds of losses as mere incidental costs of doing business, the “War on Drugs” is lost.”
  • Ouch!
  • Guy leaves disposable camera attached to park bench, encourages strangers to snap photos. Results are sorta’ boring, but it’s a nifty idea.
  • Whether or not an Obama delegate should have resigned for calling two black kids climbing in a tree near her home “monkeys” sorta’ depends on how she said it, and I guess which way the winds of political correctness happen to be blowing. I can certainly see an innocuous explanation. And I guess I could see a less forgiving explanation. But a $75 fine? For something she said? Even if she meant it in an overtly racial way, I can’t see how that passes constitutional muster. Or at least how it should.
  • Avondale, Arizona is now posting the photos of suspected shoplifters online. Not convicted, suspected.
  • “I’m here to help.”
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  • 16 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      All those times Mom called us boys little monkeys for climbing in our trees. How dare she call us a supposed racial epithet. Maybe if we use the metaphor of lemurs instead of monkeys. Or squirrels. Thats it. Squirrels.

      PDs have been posting suspected Johns and Pedos online for years. Why not shoplifters? Soon: Suspected jaywalkers.

      Interesting that people mainly took photos of other people. Says someting of the human conditon. Would be a good study for an aspiring psychologist.

    2. #2 |  Danno49 | 

      Ah, posting yet more pictures of suspected criminals. Just what an overly litigious society needs. More lawsuit fuel.

      How do we survive as a nation when we build the tools of our destruction from the inside each and every day? Cynical view, I know, but I just can’t hold out hope for us if there aren’t enough rational minds to hold us together as glue . . . I wish, no pray, there were more of you out there! Especially atheists. ;)

    3. #3 |  parse | 

      I’m not a fan of the idea of posting photos of accused shoplifters online, but this comment from a defense attorney doesn’t make much sense.

      Even though Avondale’s Web site states “all persons are entitled to the presumption of innocence,” the disclaimer does little to dissuade people from assuming the suspects listed are guilty, Hamby said.

      “If they (police) thought the guy was innocent . . . his picture wouldn’t be up there,” he said.

      I hope that if the police thought the guy was innocent, he wouldn’t be arrested.

    4. #4 |  chsw | 

      If the cameras catch perpetrators in the act, are they not simply suspects awaiting trial?

      BTW, how many drug dealers pay taxes on their sales and incomes? I doubt that there are any except those who launder the money through another activity.


    5. #5 |  David | 

      Guy leaves disposable camera attached to park bench, encourages strangers to snap photos. Results are sorta’ boring, but it’s a nifty idea.

      He’s lucky that no one took a picture of a child without his parents, or he’d be posting those from prison.

    6. #6 |  Nando | 

      I’m Hispanic, and I assume Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski is as well. In our culture, and in my native tongue (Spanish), the word monkey is not racially charged. It is not unusual to hear someone yell at kids to “stop monkeying around,” or “stop acting like a monkey” in public. It’s also quite common to refer to someone in a tree as a monkey. So, seeing as I think these comments come more from Mrs. Ramirez-Sliwinski’s experience as a Hispanic, I would pay them no mind. A ticket for speaking is a bit outrageous, tho.

      As far as the cash story in Nevada goes, if the authorities cannot prove that the money is dirty, it should be assumed to be clean. If you then want to pursue tax evasion charges, that’s a different story, but just because someone is found with a large sum of money that they can’t explain where it came from is not illegal.

    7. #7 |  Zeb | 

      I wouldn’t have thought “monkey” was so racially charged in English either. Comparing two little boys of any color who are playing in a tree to monkeys isn’t unusual at all.
      And the disorderly conduct charge is beyond absurd. Who calls the police because they are slightly offended by something someone said?

    8. #8 |  Wayne | 

      Sadly, most people can mouth the words “innocent until proven guilty” but have no idea what it means and take the attitude “if they weren’t guilty, they wouldn’t be in trouble with the law.” The Internet does a great job of affirming the former and dispelling the myth of the latter, but the problem is most of those who equate run-ins with the law with guilt don’t read the right blogs (or maybe just get their news from TV).

      Twenty-five years ago, my high school curriculum included reading things like Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, etc., in an effort to make us question authoritah. Now I have a healthy distrust of legal policy (and I’m a lawyer), which I am trying to impart to my kids (not the lawyer part, just the distrust of legal policy). When I hear about asset forfeiture and placing the onus on the forfeiter to prove his assets were obtained legally — let me just say we are freakin’ doomed. Then when I hear about posting photos of suspected shoplifters based on police discretion and no one legally challenging it, I am totally convinced that our Bill of Rights is dead. Pretty soon we’ll be seeing innocent people randomly picked for public whippings — just to keep the rest of us in line.

    9. #9 |  Dave Krueger | 

      With reagrd to the shoplifting item…

      Imposing punishment before determination of guilt is a slippery slope. But, of course, that’s just stating the obviouls since we’re pretty far down that slope already. Law enforcement and judicial officers routinely enrich their budgets through property siezures without regard to a finding of guilt (or even filing a charge).

      Some of you are too young to remember this, but there once was a time when government had a reputation that was actually better than the people they prosecute (or persecute — take your pick).

    10. #10 |  Greg C. | 

      Of course the “‘monkey” woman shouldn’t be fined. She does seem to be nosy and obnoxious though.

      Who owns the tree? A tree “‘near” her home? Was she telling the kids not to climb their own tree? At the very least it doesn’t sound like her tree or that they were trespassing.

      Is she just a “‘tree hugger” who goes around defending trees from humans?

      If she went next door and told black families what to do with their own tree ( or a tree that wasn’t hers at least) and how to parent while calling their children monkeys- I could see it reasonably being seen as racial.

      Sounds like the dad was right. Mind your business, Lady. The government needs to mind its own business, and so should nosy neighbors.

    11. #11 |  Windypundit | 

      What if she’d called them “apes” instead of monkeys? Humans are in the ape family after all…

    12. #12 |  Psion | 

      No, humans are hominids. Apes and hominids diverged from a common ancestor several million years ago.

    13. #13 |  Scooby | 

      I’m disturbed by the conduct of the police, the child and the mother. I demand that their behavior be punished! “Disorderly Conduct” tickets for all!

    14. #14 |  Windypundit | 

      I only know what I read in Wikipedia, but apparently taxonomists have been tinkering with the names lately, so the common ancestor is in the Hominidae family—a.k.a. Great Apes—and the Hominidae family now includes all descendents, including humans.

    15. #15 |  nom de guerre | 

      watching TV news reporter follies was best laugh i’ve had in a month. (“is it FAKE?!?” *slap!*) even though i gotta believe that plane done kilt that guy.

      and THEN i pulled up “here to help”.

      know a good way to clean spewed coffee off computer components?

    16. #16 |  old | 

      wasn’t the whole monkey thing put to pasture by Kevin Smith in Clerks II?