Morning Links

Monday, May 18th, 2009
  • Maureen Dowd plagiarizes Josh Marshall. Kinda’ funny that this would happen the same weekend the Washington Post ran an op-ed about how Congress needs to protect traditional journalism from having its content stolen by the Internets.
  • Chicago alderman orders a mural on private property destroyed, apparently because it was anti-police.
  • Former Texas prosecutor writes about what it was like to convict an innocent man.
  • Here’s the full write-up of what happened to the Motorhome Diaries crew in Jones County, Mississippi.
  • Cancer deaths expected to rise in next 20 years. Be watchful of how this will be exploited by the public health crowd. This is entirely predictable, and nothing to be alarmed about. The boomers are getting older, and your likelihood of getting cancer jumps with age. Both incidence of and deaths from cancer have been in decline for several years now. We’ve also been setting new life expectancy records each year. But you have to die of something. And if you live long enough, odds are, you’re eventually going to get cancer.
  • Fascinating article on Indonesian carpool jockeys, poor, mostly young people who motorists pay to ride along so they can use the carpool lanes. The jockeys then hop buses back to high-traffic areas and do the whole thing again. Several years ago, I wrote about a similar, though not entirely the same, phenomenon in D.C. called slugging.
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  • 26 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Timothy | 

      I like how Fry’s piece blames everyone but the DA. And himself. Seems a tad convienient, eh?

    2. #2 |  Marty | 

      re the Chicago mural article- it made me think of East Germany, how it was so drab and gray. with the mural, it was a bright, colorful mural that made people think. the govt didn’t like it, so they made it drab and ‘innoffensive’.

      after I moved past the usual libertarian outrage of govt overstepping it’s bounds, it just seems like such a sad thing.

    3. #3 |  Aresen | 

      I agree with Timothy.

      A little more mea culpa in Fry’s piece would have been welcome, but he’s right on the main point: Too many prosecuters are more interested in getting re-elected than in truth.

      On the mural story, I followed the link to the before and after pics. Honestly, I could not see what anyone could find offensive. That alderman is a douche.

    4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

      “But you have to die of something.”

      I am strongly against this. And while I’m at it, I’ll mention that I’m not too thrilled with the fact age brings wrinkles, either. I look back with fond memories of the days when I was merely ugly instead of ugly and wrinkly.

    5. #5 |  nobahdi | 

      And again, police use non-existent laws to their advantage.

      Alderman: He didn’t get a permit.
      City Code: You don’t need no stinkin’ permit!

    6. #6 |  Tokin42 | 

      Re: Jones County Vs. Motorhome Diaries:

      “YOU CALLING ME A LIAR! YOU CALLING MY DOG A LIAR?!” to which Pete responded, “not necessarily, I just know that that happens.”

      It’s not amusing, but this part struck me funny. This a common ploy for cops to use to get around PC needed to conduct a search, either the dog or the cop “smells” marijuana and then they tear your shit apart looking for non-existent drugs. My question always is, what happens when they don’t find anything? The dog “signal” was obvious bs but really there doesn’t seem anyway to prove it, unless of course you can prove a dog is a liar.

    7. #7 |  ClubMedSux | 

      As a native of Chicago’s South Side who lived in the Bridgeport neighborhood for three years, I’m not remotely surprised by the mural story. As much as Daley and his cronies have the power to do whatever they want in our fair city, they have ten times that power in the 11th Ward. Balcer may be the alderman, but the 11th Ward committeeman (who sits on the Cook County board of commissioners) happens to be one John P. Daley. And the meatheads in Bridgeport put up with it all because it’s all they know (most residents still live in the house in which their parents raised them).

    8. #8 |  Aresen | 


      Anybody who has ever held a dog biscuit in his hand knows that dogs are the biggest liars in the world.

      “I’m so hungry. Really I am. I haven’t had anything to eat in a week. I’ll just fade away if you don’t give me that biscuit.”


    9. #9 |  alexa-blue | 

      By in large, the “public health crowd” is skeptical of cancer screening. It’s the doctors who make money off of tests and interventions you have to be watchful of.

    10. #10 |  Sux2bme | 

      Regarding the brand of hospitality shown the Motorhome Diaries folks, I send a message to the people plugging tourism in Mississippi,, a short note letting them know that I wouldn’t be including their state in my plans any time soon …

    11. #11 |  ktc2 | 

      At least that former prosecutor admits it was a mistake. Usually they keep insisting they were/are right in the face of overwhelming exculpatory evidence.

    12. #12 |  Brandon Bowers | 

      So, when to Balcer and the police get prosecuted for vandalism and destruction of property?

    13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

      The Motorhome Diary situation is just another example of how pathetic, petty, and thuggish the cops are. It’s almost as if law enforcement has become an exclusive club for people with an inborn anti-social personality disorder. It’s not a few bad apples. I think they’re too far gone to be reined in. They’re like gang leaders ruling their own territory.

    14. #14 |  Wayne | 

      “New cancer cases diagnosed annually will increase … with a dramatic spike in incidence predicted in the elderly.”

      I also hear that Mondays and Fridays account for a full 40% of all sick days taken in a Monday-through-Friday work week.

    15. #15 |  Samsam | 

      Ever notice when folks use the phrase “a few bad apples”, the never get around to finishing the aphorism?

      A few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.

      This is why tolerating a few bad ons is, well, intolerable.


    16. #16 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

      I must say that the mural story is about the level of thinking I expect from an alderman, or out of Chicago. I mean, would it have hurt to contact the property owner and ask?


      Local government attracts the kind of buttinski who is motivated by his ego to run for political office, but lacks the talent to rise higher. It is the downside of democracy; the price we pay for not being ruled by our “betters”.

      I’ll pay it. The alternative is the kind of petty butt-kisser of the Great who can be paid off with such a minor office.

    17. #17 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      An alternative is no state with much smaller “countries” acting more like private enterprise communities competing for your domicile where you have the freedom (and much better ability) to move freely.

      No, it won’t happen soon. But let’s make sure we realize that a state is not a requirement of nature.

    18. #18 |  pam | 

      in the Fry story, I guess I missed the apology. Also I read a comment left after the story about a different case in the same DAs office, Ashley Estelle. The trial judge took 2 years to rule on a motion for a new trial. The DA was adamently opposed to a new trial even though DNA testing cast serious doubt on Michael Blair’s guilt. My question is, does a trial judge taking 2 years to rule on a motion border on obstruction of justice? Is this normal? Does anyone know what the standard length of time is? It was handed back by the COA.

      The mural, in Bridgeport you either become a cop, a fireman or a politician or at least that’s how it used to be. Da mayer don’t live dere nomore, so may tings have changed.

    19. #19 |  pam | 

      In Bridgeport, if you don’t go to cop school, fireman school or political hack school there is always one more job opening with Streets and San for the Bridgeport kid who couldn’t get through school. No problem

    20. #20 |  Chris in AL | 

      The “I pulled you over because I couldn’t read your plate” line seems to be a common lie down here. That is there way of saying, you did nothing that allows me to legally pull you over, but wanted to fuck with you anyway. We have all heard it at one time or another.

      They pulled my father over once for the same thing. Turns out the real reason they pulled him over is because he was driving an ’85 Celica. After searching his car they told him that many drug dealers were using old cars like that to run drugs. He said “So any older car you see you pull over because you claim you can’t read the license plate then search it for drugs?” and they said “Yep.”

    21. #21 |  Robert | 

      RE: The carpool jockeys. Now, personally I wouldn’t do this, but one way to reduce the jockeys would be to raise the bus fare to $1 ( or whatever level is needed to reduce the problem ) to “leave” the city in the morning, while the bus fare to come into the city would remain 20 cents. Reverse this in the evening. Even if the jockeys started charging more, at least the gov would be taking in more money from the buses!

    22. #22 |  Whim | 

      Thanks to the Jones County, Mississippi Sheriff’s department, Mississippi just got more bad publicity in one day than all their Department of Tourism ads will buy them in a year……

      Apparently, though, the MARV passengers were actually dealing with honest LEO’s.
      The LEO’s didn’t plant evidence.
      They didn’t beat the suspects brains out after hand-cuffing them. 

      They didn’t steal their firearms.
      The LEO’s did not Taze the suspects after hand-cuffing them.
      The Jones County Sheriff’s department SHOULD get sued for pepper-spraying a suspect, and NOT immediately thereafter rinsing the suspects eyes and face off with water.  They committed unremorseful torture on the suspect.

      When police are pepper sprayed as part of their Gestapo training, it is IMMEDIATELY followed by thorough rinsing of all exposed skin, including especially the eyes.
      Some police officers have filed disability claims with their own departments over being pepper-sprayed during training.

    23. #23 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

      RE: Chicago mural:
      “He says he got 3 or 4 complaints from residents. He says he got some from police too and he says he agreed that the piece was distasteful. ”

      And that’s all it takes for the City of Chicago to come onto private property and decide that your art is not permissible. GOVERNMENT AND ART DON”T MIX!

      Man, I think I’ll stay “Downstate” for now, thank you very much. The Chicago (Statist) Machine would be a bit much for me.

    24. #24 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Well, I certainly hope that Alderman who ordered the painting over of the mural is going to be prosecuted for vandalism, forced to pay for the damage, make a public apology, and do some serious community service after he serves his jail time.

      Oh, wait. I forgot he’s part of government.

      By the way, can someone please point out where in the First Amendment it excludes advertising as free speech, giving government the authority to demand people apply for permission to engage in it? Not being a judge, I’m way too stupid to see it without help.

    25. #25 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #22 Whim
      Apparently, though, the MARV passengers were actually dealing with honest LEO’s.
      The LEO’s didn’t plant evidence.
      They didn’t beat the suspects brains out after hand-cuffing them.

      The cop who was supposed to bring the dope probably forgot it. The fact that they didn’t tase them or otherwise beat the shit out of them is admittedly a real stumper, though.

    26. #26 |  JS | 

      Dave Krueger, “The cop who was supposed to bring the dope probably forgot it. The fact that they didn’t tase them or otherwise beat the shit out of them is admittedly a real stumper, though.”

      To use one of their favorite phrases-somebody really dropped the ball on that one.