Morning Links

Monday, May 19th, 2008
  • Violent police crackdown on student revelry at Wesleyan College. Student-oriented account here.
  • New lawsuit alleges that Lifelock customers’ identities were repeatedly compromised due to sub-bar identity protection efforts. Best part is that the suit alleges the president of the company’s identity was compromised, too.
  • Just as California legalizes gay marriage, a Texas minister is caught in a circle-jerk at a public porn theater an Internet sex sting. Coincidence? I think not! Won’t someone please think of the fundamentalist ministers and anti-gay pundits? (Edited–confused this with another sex scandal story. Sorry. So many!)
  • Fake DEA agent bluffs his way into accompanying local police on drug raids. So if this guy was illegally accompanying narcotics cops on drug raids, does that mean the people getting raided would have been justified in shooting him?
  • The Competitive Enterprise Institute has started a new campaign to defend the rights of pain patients.
  • Shawn Macomber reviews what looks to be the most horrifying movie ever made.
  • A(nother) new study shows that marijuana helps relieve chronic pain.
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  • 17 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  David | 

      I was watching the Wesleyan thing on the news the other night, and it was the same as every other “crowd dispersal” story I’ve heard.

      The formula is pretty much: Large crowd gathers, police show up with vague excuse (ID checks for minors, a scuffle, the smell of marijuana) to justify making everyone leave. A few peopl ask why and get pepper-sprayed, or tased, or whatever for their trouble. It seems as if, rather than behaving as peace keepers, the cops who show up to these thing are really there just to smack some smarmy college kid in the mouth.

      This happens in CT with every large crowd I can remember. Spring weekends, graduations, concerts, sporting events (pretty much every time people are gathered outdoors with an official body having sold them a ticket to be there, sometimes even then) and is almost always followed by demands for new laws banning tailgating, bonfires, etc. This is notable because having been to some of these incidents in the past I can say that both the police reports and the media coverage are great exaggerations of what actually happened.

    2. #2 |  Matt | 

      It’s like that (PJ O’Rourke?) joke about Republicans and government: law enforcement is an institution that claims violence and chaos are the inevitable results of even minor rule-breaking, and proves this point by pepper-bombing large crowds any chance it gets.

    3. #3 |  MacK | 

      Doesn’t the police bringing in dogs to attack during crowd control remind you of the Nazi films showing control over the people, that we have seen for the 60 years!

    4. #4 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Re: fake dea agent

      A couple of things here pop out. First, the reporter claims that people mixed up in drug stings don’t make reliable sources. You’d never know that from listening to cops tell it.

      Second, though, it’s nice to see that the mayor canned the police chief and a couple of officers right away. No wagon-circling, instead hand-wringing over tainted cases and genuine concern. We need to see much, much more of this.

    5. #5 |  Zeb | 

      We had an incident sort of like this when I was at Wesleyan, caused by an inadequate coat check at a restaurant where the senior class was having a party. This was before Tasers were quite all the rage, thankfully, but a friend of mine did get bit by a dog if recall correctly.

    6. #6 |  Jim Collins | 

      Here’s a novel approach. Just do what the cops tell you to do. Don’t give them a hassle, just do what you are told. While you are leaving remember the names of the cops, badge numbers if they are visable and their physical descriptions. Then file a lawsuit against the City, County or State for a violation of your right to peaceably assemble. Once you take them for a few million dollars, they are not going to be in such a hurry to do it again. The reason that they do this, is that it is a certainty that some moron is going to give them a hassle thus justifying their actions.

    7. #7 |  JLM | 

      I’ve wondered about Lifelock since the ads started running. From the linked article:

      “Paris said that consumers can activate for free the same safeguards that LifeLock does, but the company fails to mention that in its marketing campaign.”

      You can send in forms to the three credit agencies and have them lock your credit (I’ve done this). They send you an access code that you must use to unlock your credit when applying for more. IIRC it was $10 each for two of the agencies and the other was free. I’m surprised that this isn’t more widely known- the only reason I know about it is because a friend of mine who is a veteran had his locked a few years ago when that Veteran’s Administration laptop containing personal information for a huge number of veterans was stolen. I assume that it is not publicized because the credit industry would prefer that people not have a system in place that makes it a little more cumbersome to apply for credit.

      Another thing one of the agencies does when you have them lock your credit is to stop providing your address to these bulk mailing places. I think it was Experian, and apparently they are where most of those places find you. Anymore I receive a fraction of the junk mail that I used to get.

    8. #8 |  Les | 

      Here’s a novel approach. Just do what the cops tell you to do. Don’t give them a hassle, just do what you are told.

      I understand your point and, to be honest, it’s probably what I would do. But the guy in the videos below has a different idea. It’s really fascinating, I think.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxVXZqMN6XI

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL0WRbPHPNo&feature=related

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHTtal_EK0A

    9. #9 |  TC | 

      “… joke about Republicans and government: law enforcement is an institution that claims violence and chaos are the inevitable results of even minor rule-breaking, and proves this point by pepper-bombing large crowds any chance it gets. …”

      Or would that be Democrat Clinton via ruby ridge or Waco? Too bad neither were actually a joke.

    10. #10 |  Les | 

      Or would that be Democrat Clinton via ruby ridge or Waco? Too bad neither were actually a joke.

      I’m no fan of Clinton (sworn enemy, actually), but I don’t think he had anything to with those incidents, besides refusing Reno’s offer of resignation after Waco. The point of the joke is that Republicans tend to be much more gung-ho for harsh law-enforcement tactics that aren’t proportional to the “threat” at hand.

    11. #11 |  Linda Morgan | 

      “I don’t think [Clinton] had anything to with those incidents, besides refusing Reno’s offer of resignation after Waco.”

      His appointment of her to begin with had a little something to do with Waco.

      Respecting the joke, the two major parties seem to compete to be the butt of it.

    12. #12 |  Les | 

      Respecting the joke, the two major parties seem to compete to be the butt of it.

      I completely agree.

    13. #13 |  Harvey | 

      Radley,

      The Texas minister story is a internet sex sting.

      You specifically promised a circle jerk in a porn theater bust.

      That’s a total bait and switch.

      Needless to say, I’m not happy.

    14. #14 |  Tokin42 | 

      #8

      That guy is just asking to get tazed.

    15. #15 |  Matt Moore | 

      #6 Jim – What if the thing you get tazed for is asking to see their badge number?

    16. #16 |  Les | 

      That guy is just asking to get tazed.

      I’m amazed that he hasn’t been. The power of a video camera? That’s one of the reasons I find those videos fascinating.

    17. #17 |  Jim Collins | 

      Matt,
      First, I didn’t say anything about asking for badge numbers. If it is visable, remember it or write it down if possible.

      Second, I have been tazed. A long time ago, when they first came out. I was in the Navy at the time and they were being evaluated for use by the Shore Patrol. Thought I wouldn’t care to repeat it, it isn’t the end of the world.

      Let the cops provoke the incident, not you.

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