Morning Links

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
  • Inmates in Brazil go old school in figuring out how to get drugs and cell phones into the prison system.
  • How cops really want to police.
  • How did Britain turn into a Nanny State? The British let it happen.
  • Knee-jerk redaction. This administration’s contempt for transparency and accountable is really pretty stunning. So long as they can in some way tie their actions to national security, they believe they can do what they want, when they want, to whomever they want, and no one on earth has the power to stop them.
  • Terrific piece in the Atlantic on how excessive highway signs and roadways laws may make the roads more dangerous, not less.
  • The Texas legislature passed a law allowing private groups to conduct a needle exchange program in Bexar County (San Antonio). Local prosecutors and the Texas attorney general now say that the volunteers who followed that law may still be prosecuted for distributing drug paraphernalia.
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  • 16 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  David | 

      That Freakonomics post is fucking scary. They’re actually trying to come up with a euphemism for “judge, jury and executioner.”

    2. #2 |  UCrawford | 

      Your Brazilian drug post links to a Ron Paul pro-legalization story.

    3. #3 |  Edmund Dantes | 

      And a lot of people in the comments are for it. Jeebus. We really are a nation of scared little kids.

      We went from “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” to “Terrorists (Criminals) are out there. Beware!!! Be suspicious!!! Let Government take care of you!!” Kind of sad

    4. #4 |  Highway | 

      I saw that piece on how cops want to police, and felt a little ill. Then I read all the comments cheering that mindset on, and felt a lot more ill.

      I certainly wish there were more deterrent things to do on the streets, without invoking every bit of the legal system for every penny-ante crime, especially as we have so many ticky-tack laws and mandatory sentences and unthinking prosecutors. But I think the erosion of the family structure, that there is likely to be no parent that could be told how their kid is behaving, or who could keep track of them anyway, among other things, has made the ability of cops and community to keep kids in line just out of reach.

      But there’s a huge difference between that, and cops deciding on their own what sort of retribution to exact on suspects. Especially given the types of cops we’re seeing now (as has been documented on this and other sites). The world doesn’t need these Judge Dredd wannabes.

    5. #5 |  Shon | 

      What I found disturbing about the cops want to plocie article was the comments below the article. Almost half of the comments were in favor of this behavior. This is insane. They actually want street judges running around and yelling ‘I am the LAW’

    6. #6 |  Nobody | 

      I imagine most of those people who are for cops serving as vigilantes have never been falsely accused of a crime.

      Cops are people. They aren’t infallible. They don’t always know what’s best. They’re prone to be knuckleheads just as much as anyone else.

    7. #7 |  dad29 | 

      The problem with the Administration’s use of power is that it sets precedent.

    8. #8 |  Nick T | 

      I’m for this “street justice” stuff if police will support the same means be used on corrupt and criminal police officers. And here’s the thing, local community members get to decide WHO among the police is guilty and corrupt, no lawyers, no courts and then the community members will dole out their own punishment of those people. I propose that any community member can declare on the spot that a police officer is guilty of a crime and then can drag that officer in front of their friends and dole out punsihment. Also, said community member can go to the officer’s home and will be provided with poster-board and a tack and markers and can put a sign on the officer’s door that says “corrupt cop” so when anti-DV superhero’s daughter gets off her school bus, all her friends can see that her daddy is a just criminal with a badge.

      Oh wait, that’s right officer’s have some sort of qualifications and training, they are screened out or something. Fair enough, before any community member can “convict” and officer of a crime, they must first have a High School education, unresolved anger issues and have watched Bad Boys 5 times.

      “Trust me, this works!”

    9. #9 |  ZappaCrappa | 

      So when these interviewed cops are admitting that they have played judge, jury, executioner, isn’t that an admission of guilt? Shouldn’t they be prosecuted? I mean they’ve got their names for chirst sake.

    10. #10 |  claude | 

      Some of them may have played judge, jury, and executioner in maryland yesterday. An man who ran over and killed a cop was put in the jail in the county where it happened and he turned up dead. Apparently strangled. Its a breaking story as of this morning.

    11. #11 |  crack | 

      That Atlantic piece is just a bunch of assumption and opinion. It was a really disappointing read in my opinion.

    12. #12 |  Bot | 

      Regarding the nanny state, be careful how you treat children for they will more easily grow up to accept policies as adults that are practiced upon them throughout their childhood.

      The public schools I attended never had metal detectors or cameras in the classroom but these are both now fairly commonplace. The arguments for their existence are the same (in the classroom as on the street corner).

      Think about that the next time you think random locker searches are a good idea, or if you think a camera in the boys room will prevent your son from being attacked by a bully.

    13. #13 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      2000 A.D. here we are…looking for Judge Joe Dredd. Jeebus!

      The driving article was very disappointing. It is more the feeling of entitlement that Americans have behind the wheel that leads to vehichular accidents than anything else. I came up with that idea the same way the author did: anecdotally via a very small sample. Not a good article at all. Was rather a rant blog post more than anything. Didn’t the author realize that Brits drive better because they are on video 100% of the time???

    14. #14 |  Chris | 

      Qualified agreement on the Atlantic article. When I was taught graduate stats, we learned on a traffic fatalities by state (and other factors) dataset. I know from that class that the probability of a fatal accident is actually highest in low density areas (think Montana). The most common fatal accident in the US is a car on a two lane road veering off and hitting a stationary object. I think the author is probably right about the distraction of signage, but as a psychologist he should know that better statistical tests of his hypothesis are necessary.

      Also, Dan Simons is a cognitive not a social psychologist – that’s why he studies visual attention.

    15. #15 |  Frank | 

      Take a good look at the messages of support. This is how death camps are made.

    16. #16 |  old | 

      This administration’s contempt for transparency and accountable is really pretty stunning. So long as they can in some way tie their actions to national security, they believe they can do what they want, when they want, to whomever they want, and no one on earth has the power to stop them.

      I believe they can do what they want, when they want, to whomever they want, and no one on earth has the power to stop them. Whoever has stopped them? I do not recall one instance of them being stopped.