Saturday Morning Links

Saturday, March 21st, 2009
  • Do bailouts spell the end of America? Terence Corcoran says no, but that may only be if Congress and the Obama administration loosen the reins on the private sector, and let them innovate and produce us out of the recession. It’s not encouraging that neither of the two major parties even pays lip service to concept of individualism anymore. And a good faction of the right, including much of its commentariat, is out and out hostile to commerce and consumerism.
  • Best Buy seems to be running an interesting, limited-time promotion (might not be safe for work, or those with delicate sensibilities).
  • State senator in Arizona gets an error-riddled letter from a student asking shy she slashed the state’s education funds. She sends a mean letter back pointing out how dumb the student is. Turns out, the student kid is developmentally disabled. Oops.
  • Another “this is what the Internet was made for” link: www.explainthisimage.com.
  • Baton Rouge paper says that if it’s allowed to stand, a recent Louisiana appeals court ruling would give police officials almost complete discretion in determining what police records are made available to the press and public under the state’s open records law. The police union is asking the state’s supreme court to go even farther.
  • Holy irony. Google forced to remove street view photos due to complaints about invasions of privacy. In Britain.
  • Florida man freed after surveillance video shows he did not attack police officers as indicated in police reports, but that the police officers actually rushed him and beat him to the ground. The officers, of course, were long ago cleared of any wrongdoing by one of those extra-thorough, new-professionalism internal investigations.
  • So last month, the Missouri State Police circulated a memo instructing officers to look for Ron Paul, Bob Barr, or Libertarian Party bumper stickers as indicators of possible terrorism. This month, an officer with the state’s Internet Crimes Task Force told a local TV station that there’s no reason for adults to play the Animal Crossing Wii game other than to prey on children. Turns out, lots of adults play the game.
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  • 27 Responses to “Saturday Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      Well, it signals the end of the hope we’ll ever eventually have capitalism in America.

      Good to know cops are easily fooled as I remove my libertarian sticker and replace it with “Dare” and “cops are heroes” stickers. Bwaahaahaa!

    2. #2 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      Also, Ron Paul is a Republican and ran as such. Not a third party. Journalism!! Drink your way to a degree.

    3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

      There is no lobby for individualism. How could there be? Individuals don’t form clubs to promote not joining clubs.

      And, as we all know, those without a lobby don’t matter.

    4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

      I watched a movie last night called “Changeling”. It’s supposedly based on real events. It takes place in 1928 and portrays the police dept (LAPD in this case) as being totally corrupt, inept, and self possessed.

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    5. #5 |  Greg N. | 

      Boyd,

      Radley doesn’t say Paul ran on a third party ticket. He just said Paul stickers are included in the report. Reading! Drink your way to competence.

      Radley,

      I know they falsified the police report, but I’m not sure they needed to. The video clearly confirms what the cop said in the article. Ortiz did turn toward the cop, looked aggressive, and said something. If nothing else, assault was probably a valid charge. They certainly didn’t need to beat the man or break his nose, but you can’t expect to escape some physical harm if you bow up on a cop.

      All in all: cops should be punished for falsifying the police report and using excessive force. Ortiz should be punished for assault and resisting arrest.

    6. #6 |  joe in oklahoma | 

      “let them innovate and produce us out of the recession”
      get serious
      what the hell do you think got us into this mess?
      individuals and corporations innovating their way into a debt-centered economy because all adult supervision was done away with.
      unregulated CDOs and CDSs

      the 1999 repeal of much of the Glass-Steagall Act lifted all kinds of regulations. the next year the Commodity Futures Modernization Act prevented governmental regulation of credit swap gambling.

      what we have seen is an explosion of deregulated innovation that has crippled the economy. and now we see those corporations angry that anyone would want accountability, even as they beg for money. meanwhile, thousands of people are losing their homes and their pensions.

    7. #7 |  Eyewwitness | 

      Greg. N.
      Wait, wait, wait! Did you say he turned toward the cop, looked aggressive and, gasp, said something. Well, then he’s lucky they didn’t shoot him down on the spot, he clearly deserved no less. Who the hell did he think he is, turning to a cop and saying something? BTW I’m impressed how you could see his look, much less that it was aggressive, considering that his back was to the camera.

    8. #8 |  Bob | 

      Greg:

      Yes, they did need to falsify the report. Ortiz didn’t assault the officer, nor was he hindering an investigation. The cops came to HIM and got all up in his face, when he refused to cower, they beat him.

      There was no reason for the officers to enter the elevator except to attempt to escalate the situation.

      ‘resisting arrest’? WTF? He was never under arrest. ‘Assault’? WTF? It was the officer who assaulted him by walking up and getting in his face, then… when that didn’t work, ramming him into the back of the elevator. terrorizing other people in the process.

      The officer acted in an unprofessional, arrogant manner, then tried to cover that up.

      Here’s where he lied, and why: (From the report)

      “I then walked to Ortiz and met him at the entrance of the elevator. I advised him he needed to leave because he wasn’t part of the incident. Ortiz continued to yell at me then walked right up to me hitting his nose to my nose.”

      He lied to make it look like he was very calm and reasonable, allowing a pause between his walking up and Ortiz ‘assaulting him’ so he could say what he claims to have said.

      What actually happened was the Officer walked right up to Ortiz in a confrontational manner, and when Ortiz didn’t immediately back down, proceeded to assault Ortiz by shoving him to the rear of the elevator.

    9. #9 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      greg,
      Not Radley, but the article connects Paul to third party. Snarking! Drink your way to egg on your face!

      Massive LOL @ you.

    10. #10 |  Greg N. | 

      Boyd,

      My bad, I guess, but your comment was pretty vague. Most of the time people write stuff like that it’s directed at Radley (I think the “minus 1″ indicates I wasn’t the only person who thought that).

    11. #11 |  primus | 

      The Founding Fathers wrote extensively regarding the corrosive effects on liberty and democracy of the party system. Having political parties leads to people voting for the party, not the person, leads to the person kowtowing to the party, leads to voter apathy and laziness, and leads to legislative paralysis, as the parties try to not offend anyone, because that might affect their party animals’ chances of re-election. As long as the people continue to blindly vote for the person put forth by the party, we will continue to have this crap.

    12. #12 |  Marty | 

      ‘… but you can’t expect to escape some physical harm if you bow up on a cop.’

      or, if they stop by your house and ask for directions, or, if a snitch lies and says you’re a drug dealer, or, if you’re the wrong ethnicity, or, if you’re deaf, or, if you’re a 16 y.o. kid caught drinking beer, or, if you take pictures of cops, or, if you videotape traffic stops, or, if you skateboard on the sidewalk, or, if you’re a teenaged girl and you kick your shoe at a cop, or, if you’re only handcuffed and the BART cop feels you should be dead, or, if you don’t pull your car over quick enough and the officer decides to start ramming your mini-van with your kids in it, or, if the SWAT team decides to shock and awe your property and your dogs, or, if you decide to play poker with some friends, or, if you decide to ride a bicycle in New York, or,…

      ‘The video clearly confirms what the cop said in the article.’ Bullshit. The lying fuckers would’ve gotten a conviction if not for the video. Imagine if this was your son being smacked around physically and legally by these thugs!

      Law and order enthusiasts rave about enforcing the little crimes (gum on the sidewalk, graffiti, etc) to eliminate the bigger crimes- the broken window theory, but make excuses every time a cop (or group of cops) violates the public trust.

      I respectfully disagree with your post, Greg.

    13. #13 |  perlhaqr | 

      I guess I’d better warn my Animal Crossing playing, Ron Paul voting friends to avoid Missouri like the plague.

      No, wait, we already avoid Missouri like the plague. (Actually, living in New Mexico, we avoid Missouri more than we avoid the plague.)

    14. #14 |  Bronwyn | 

      “We thought based on the facts and the evidence, including the videotape, that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial,” said Lee Cohen, assistant state attorney in charge of misdemeanor cases.

      How about, “”We thought based on the facts and the evidence, including the videotape, that the cops royally fucked up and we’ll be pursuing charges against them.”

      Yes, that would have been the right thing to say, Mr. Cohen.

    15. #15 |  Aspasia | 

      “here’s no reason for adults to play the Animal Crossing Wii game other than to prey on children. Turns out, lots of adults play the game.”

      No kidding! I guess adults who read Harry Potter, watch cartoons, pretty much play any other video games and eat brightly colored candy are just doing so to prey on children too. The epitome of hysteria. I am so embarrassed for our species that we have idiots like that among its members.

    16. #16 |  Pat | 

      Here is a contribution to Radley’s Saturday morning pop party.

      CNBC’s Jim Cramer supports Drug Legalization
      http://drugwartreason.blogspot.com/2009/03/cnbcs-jim-cramer-supports-drug.html

      Stewart asserted; ‘There’s a market for cocaine and hookers, so what?’ Edited out of the aired program Cramer, jabbing a finger into the air for emphasis, blurted out “I think those should be legalized”.

      See the video at the link above.

      And my new animation:
      President Barack Obama’s Drug Warrior “sort of” Harm Reduction
      http://drugwartreason.blogspot.com/2009/03/president-barack-obamas-drug-warrior.html

      Enjoy.

    17. #17 |  Greg N. | 

      Look at Ortiz’s friend, who appears to be pleading with Ortiz to chill out and calm the situation down. The cop steps forward (just like the cop said in the article), then Ortiz bows up on him (again, like the cop said in the article). When I say he “looked aggressive,” I don’t mean his face, which is obviously blocked. I mean his stance toward the cop, and his general demeanor.

      What in the video contradicts anything the police said in the article?

      Marty seems to think that since cops in other situations make mistakes and violate rights, then the cops in this situation did, too. He seems to think that since other people are victims of police abuse, then Ortiz is, too. Obviously those don’t follow, and there’s evidence here to prove it. Would I want my son beaten by police? Of course not. Would I expect my son to be if he bowed up on a police officer and resisted arrest? Yes. Did the cops go too far here? Yes. Did they have the right to engage physically? Absolutely.

      The police falsified a report and should be swiftly and severely punished (I voted for “fired” on the poll). But Ortiz is not innocent the way many of the people Radley covers are. He did resist, and he got dealt with. He gets very little sympathy with me.

    18. #18 |  Les | 

      What in the video contradicts anything the police said in the article?

      From the report:

      “As I approached Ortiz to take him into custody, Ortiz spun around to face me and assumed a fighting stance (both left and right hand clenched into fists and body bladed),” he wrote.”

      In the video it’s clear that Ortiz neither clenches his fists nor gets into a “body bladed” position. It’s perfectly clear.

    19. #19 |  Les | 

      Also, there is no part in the video where Ortiz resists anything. He didn’t have time to resist before he was attacked. Was he being stupid and confrontational? Sure. That doesn’t automatically justify being arrested. At least not by a good cop.

    20. #20 |  Greg N. | 

      That’s from the report, which we know was falsified. The police, upon reviewing the tape, decided that no rules were broken because Ortiz “made a move” toward the officer. That’s true. Ortiz admits to a “heated exchange” with the officers, so that’s true, too. I think if a guy is yelling at a cop, then makes a move toward him as the cop is trying to arrest him, that’s grounds for physically restraining him. And since Ortiz kept resisting during the restraint, he probably got beat little more than he otherwise would have.

      While I’m sad he broke his nose, and I think the cops ought to be fired, hopefully Ortiz learned a valuable lesson most of us learned in elementary school: don’t fight cops.

    21. #21 |  Les | 

      I think if a guy is yelling at a cop, then makes a move toward him as the cop is trying to arrest him, that’s grounds for physically restraining him.

      If you mean it’s legal grounds, of course it is. A barking dog is legal grounds for shooting it, according to cops.

      Whether or not it’s good police work depends on what the guy is yelling and what kind of a move he makes. The “move” Ortiz made in the video was the same kind of “move” we seen MLB managers make towards umpires every season.

      While I’m sad he broke his nose, and I think the cops ought to be fired, hopefully Ortiz learned a valuable lesson most of us learned in elementary school: don’t fight cops.

      While the cops wish everyone would follow this rule in all circumstances, again, it depends on the situation (I can think of several situations in which cops need to be fought). Ortiz got hit in the face before he had a chance to resist his arrest, so there’s no way to know if he could have avoided a broken nose or not.

    22. #22 |  Les | 

      All that said, Greg, we probably agree more than we disagree on this.

    23. #23 |  Marty | 

      Greg-

      I’ve been on over 15,000 911 calls as a paramedic and a firefighter/paramedic. I’ve been compelled to testify in civil rights violations cases. I’ve seen lots of shitty cops. I’ve seen some amazing cops. Good cops look for ways to de-escalate a situation. It’s less paperwork. They don’t get hurt. The public doesn’t get hurt.

      There was no attempt to de-escalate the situation. These guys are supposed to be trained professionals, yet this is the best response they can muster? I love how easily the department swept this under the rug after their ‘investigation’.

      ‘While I’m sad he broke his nose, and I think the cops ought to be fired, hopefully Ortiz learned a valuable lesson most of us learned in elementary school: don’t fight cops.’

      Maybe Ortiz was doing what responsible citizens are supposed to do- maybe he questioned authority. The police did not have the right to physically assault a citizen, especially ones who committed no crime. Ortiz clearly was the victim of police abuse.

    24. #24 |  Bob | 

      “What in the video contradicts anything the police said in the article?”

      The all important timing of the events.

      The officer states that he approached, then conversed with Ortiz, THEN Ortiz ‘got in his face’.

      When it’s clear that what happened was the officer approached confrontationally (By confrontationally, I mean violating the personal area around Ortiz with intent to intimidate) Then, immediately, shoved Ortiz to the rear of the elevator.

      Clearly, Ortiz is no saint. Lipping off to cops is just dumb, but being a confrontational, aggressive cop willing to escalate a situation where de-escalation was clearly called for… is much worse.

      He further lied about the arrest part, Ortiz was pinned to a wall, off balance, not turning to fight.

      Then, to make it even more obvious that there is a blue line, the other cop (The one that punched him) cooked his statement to match that of the first officer.

    25. #25 |  annemg | 

      Crap, I was just playing Animal Crossing on Wii a few minutes ago. Guess I’m a child predator now.

    26. #26 |  Michael Chaney | 

      “We thought based on the facts and the evidence, including the videotape, that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial,” said Lee Cohen, assistant state attorney in charge of misdemeanor cases.

      How about “we knew the charges were bullshit so we threw them out”?

      These guys live in a different world…

    27. #27 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Law and order enthusiasts rave about enforcing the little crimes (gum on the sidewalk, graffiti, etc) to eliminate the bigger crimes- the broken window theory, but make excuses every time a cop (or group of cops) violates the public trust.

      I have no problem with the broken window theory, but it should *especially* be applied to cops. Look, what these cops did was felony assault (no weasel language). It should have been stopped, they should be charged not only with the assault, but also with the falsifying the arrest report (which is likely a felony).

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