Morning Links

Friday, January 30th, 2009
  • If you’re a California resident and you allowed the state government to withhold too much money from your paycheck, you may be out of luck. The state has given itself a 30-day reprieve for refunding the money money it owes to 2.74 million taxpayers (ain’t it great how the government can do that?) because the state treasury is dry. It’s not looking particularly promising after that 30-day delay, either. The state’s general fund has been empty for 17 months. Why do I get the feeling we non-Californians are going to end up footing the bill for this?
  • An early test of Obama’s promises for greater government transparency.
  • “According to those closest to him, Dewley may have reached the end of his rope. He frequently breaks down at the sight of seltzer water and often experiences crippling nightmares in which he is chased by a giant bicycle horn.”
  • I’ve thought this would be a good idea for a long time. I’ve always thought someone could also make money marketing a cheap, inconspicuous camera or audio recorder for the car to record traffic stops, but one that uploads content immediately to an off-site server.
  • “Batman” arrested in Tampa. I’m having a hard time seeing how the law the cop cited for the arrest is constitutional.
  • “Take Bacon. Add sausage.” Okay. I’m listening.
  • “If I am sleeping and I am being recorded, that can be used as political gain.”
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  • 29 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Mikestermike | 

      Dewley noted.

    2. #2 |  Nando | 

      The bacon/sausage roll looks awesome but I think you’d have to eat it with a team of paramedics standing at the ready (with a defibrillator and other medical equipment). I don’t think my wife would even let me cook something like this, LOL.

      As for Batman, I guess he was breaking that law, even if it isn’t the spirit of the law. I hope that the judge rules in his favor.

    3. #3 |  Dave W. | 

      I have a patent application on file for a camera with multiple card ports that writes the same video redundantly to the cards in each port.

      I thought of the idea precisely because of the police confiscation of cameras. The idea is that you pocket one card.

      I don’t really hi-light that particular application of the idea in the patent application, tho. I hype it more as a thing for, like, family reunions and such.

    4. #4 |  MacK | 

      Go to YouTube and search this phrase

      Barry Cooper’s latest KOP BUSTERS! Nice work!

      This is a non tech video of some ways to set up a camera with remote storage for the stream just gives you an idea of what can be done.

    5. #5 |  Ahcuah | 

      I’m pretty sure mask laws have been upheld in quite a few jurisdictions.

      A Google search found an article at .

      The money quote: “The courts have held that the anti-mask law furthers the important governmental interest
      of deterring violence and facilitating the apprehension of wrong-doers who seek to hide their
      identity.”

      These days governments can always find some sort of justification that judges will buy.

    6. #6 |  Ahcuah | 

      Shoot. The posting software ate my homework, er, I mean, the URL.

      Try again. It’s here.

    7. #7 |  z | 

      Maybe you missed the news that Gov. Arnold has said the feds should NOT bail out California.

    8. #8 |  nicole | 

      “The controller’s office estimates that the delay in tax refunds will free up $1.99 billion over the next month to pay for education, debt service, and other payments that legally have first claim to state funds.”

      Debt service I can pretty much see, but why do crappy public schools have a legal right to your money before you do? Of course I think that with regard to all taxes…but this is especially bad.

    9. #9 |  Mike H | 

      The instant-upload camera ideas are good, but those Reddit comments are priceless.

      I wish OnStar had a killer app featuring a scenario like this:

      “Hello, OnStar? I’m being pulled over for no discernable reason.”

      “No problem, sir. We’ve got a public defender and a civil liberties expert standing by to monitor your situation. Everything will be recorded for your convenience and protection. By the way, our dashcam readout shows that you were doing the speed limit and obeying all traffic laws in your jurisdiction, so sit tight and stay cool.”

    10. #10 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Once again, there’s a story on Reddit (politics) about cops shooting someone and then confiscating the video cell phones of all the witnesses.

      Here we go again. “Confiscation” refers to the *legal* act of removing an item from someone’s possession. Taking the cell phones of bystanders is simply stealing, not to mention evidence tampering.

    11. #11 |  Nando | 

      Michael Chaney,

      You’re absolutely right. However, those charges would never hold up in court (to our dismay). I just wish judges would rule in the people’s favor, not in the governments, at least one out of 10 times.

    12. #12 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Regarding the batman story, haven’t there been stories in the news about laws making it illegal to wear hats in banks in order to ensure the security cameras can capture a robber’s face? If they can force people to take their hats off in a private place, then they can probably keep them from wearing masks in a public place.

      Of course, I could have my head completely up my ass. It’s happened before. Back in 1979, I think.

    13. #13 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      @Batman story

      Coincidentally, I’m sitting at Panera drinking my mocha thru a straw while in full Storm Trooper gear (hey, it IS casual Friday).

      The Empire is freer than Florida (nation’s wang)!

    14. #14 |  Curmudgeon | 

      One question regarding the mask ordinance, do they arrest children on Halloween? I was under the impression that equal protection of the laws meant they could not be selective in application…

    15. #15 |  Chris in AL | 

      I think a lot of Californians will be adjusting their withholdings so less is kept our of their paychecks now. I certainly would be. Which will make the problem worse.

      And I agree Radley,soon we will be paying for California’s cash flow problem. Which means we will be funding California programs that neither us nor our state representatives voted for or passed.

    16. #16 |  Chris in AL | 

      There was a guy arrested a few years back for wearing a Grinch mask in public. Same type of story. Equally ridiculous.

      http://www.redorbit.com/news/general/152114/man_arrested_for_wearing_grinch_mask/index.html

    17. #17 |  Kieffer | 

      So California has imposed a “temporary refund adjustment”? If I remember correctly, that didn’t work out so well for Lisa Simpson.

      Life … satire. I don’t even know which is which anymore.

    18. #18 |  Brock | 

      If Batman were, on the other hand, to be riding his motorcycle in full black leathers with a full-faced helmet and tinted visor, he’d be a safe motorcyclist.

    19. #19 |  terrorific | 

      For iPhone users, if you jailbreak it you can use an app called Qik that takes video with your camera, broadcasts it live, and keeps a copy of it online. NOt the greatest quality, but good enough for court!

    20. #20 |  Aresen | 

      RE: California Withholding Refunds

      MAD magazine used to parody the refund offers from some TV retailers:

      “Simply return the unused portion of your product and we will return the unused portion of your money.”

      Looks like Arnold has been taking a leaf from Alfred E, Neuman.

    21. #21 |  Michael | 

      I think, after reading comments, that Batman may have some mental issues. That would signify, to me, that his behavior is immature and delusional. Since when does arresting someone for being immature and delusional, get hidden under “constitutional”? Maybe he just needs committed, instead!? He certainly does not appear to be mentally competent, if he dresses in a Batman costume in public, every day! GEEK!! He allegedly thinks that HE IS Batman, in the comments. But, committing him could, likely, be unconstitutional is itself!

      Just like the president!? If the cops say it is illegal, then it is! “I am the law” ( Sly Stallone in Judge Dredd)

      Well if the masks are the law, what gives them the right not to arrest all of the Muslim women with their face covered! They could be terrorists, hiding from detection!! Selective enforcement equals discrimination, does it not? Or am I wrong? (And I don’t care if those women have their faces covered. It shouldn’t be illegal) And, I loved the analysis that SWAT teams often have masks on during their raids! The arrest of the guy on those grounds was just as childish. Harassment of a “troublemaker”??

      And I experience first hand, in more than one “official hearing” people not paying one bit of attention to my presentation for saving my livelihood! Its just that they don’t care about the proceedings, going on at the time. Won’t affect them any if they take a guys livelihood away from him. Just another notch in the gun!

    22. #22 |  Brandon Bowers | 

      From the Batman article:

      “The law is part of a section of Florida Statutes relating to criminal anarchy, treason and other crimes against public order.”

      “Nichols said if investigators search hard enough, they can determine just about anyone is breaking some law.

      “There’s a godawful lot of laws,” he said.”

      Rand was a damn prophet.

    23. #23 |  Cynical In CA | 

      “Why do I get the feeling we non-Californians are going to end up footing the bill for this?” — Radley Balko

      No worries, Radley. There are at least a dozen other states facing bankruptcy too, including New York, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, etc. No need to single out California. I do like the anti-State message of your post, however.

    24. #24 |  Cynical In CA | 

      “The law is part of a section of Florida Statutes relating to criminal anarchy …”

      Criminal anarchy? You mean they actually distinguish between criminal and non-criminal anarchy?

      That’s encouraging. I’d like a working definition of non-criminal anarchy, though.

    25. #25 |  nemo | 

      WRT California: whatever happened to former Lt. Governor Bustamente’s lawsuit that attempted to recoup the money ENRON gouged from the Cali electricity consumers back in 2000?

      Oh, that’s right, a Republican Governator was installed there to prevent that. Checkmate.

    26. #26 |  Rich | 

      “…wearing a hood on a public street…”

      Where I’m from we have a special name for that.

      We call it “Winter”.

    27. #27 |  KBCraig | 

      Free Stater activists in New Hampshire use a system called “Porc-411″ (short for porcupine, the FSP mascot). When they call the number, they are recorded, and as soon as they hang up the audio message is automatically email-blasted to all subscribers. It’s used for actual emergencies, as CYA during traffic stops, and for information (“There’s a DWI checkpoint at…” or “Lauren Canario was just arrested (again), meet us at the xyz courthouse…”)

      Cell phone network bandwidth can’t handle full quality video real-time, but one good solution would be to continue uploading the video in the background, like a hidden app. Even if the phone is confiscated, it can continue uploading video that has already been recorded. A really smart app would even fake shutting down the phone, yet continue operating.

    28. #28 |  ClubMedSux | 

      If you really want to be on top of the latest in artery-clogging bacon technology, you have to follow this thread at one of my favorite beer sites: http://beermapping.com/forum/index.php?topic=864.0 It’s like the Wikipedia of bacon creations: whenever I discover some new bacon construct, I rush to the thread to post my finding only to learn that somebody’s already beaten me to it.

    29. #29 |  The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Off Topic — The Bacon Explosion | 

      […] Tip: Radley Balko Share and […]

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