Morning Links

Monday, June 1st, 2009
  • Scalia’s “things that rarely happen.”
  • LAPD officer wrongly raided by LAPD.
  • Well-done billboard ad.
  • I’ve posted a number of times about Lee Lucas, the Cleveland DEA agent accused of lying and encouraging informants to lie in order to secure a number of convictions. The good news is that he’s now facing an 18-count federal indictment.
  • No idea if this is real. It’s so funny, I don’t think it matters.
  • Man fights city hall eminent domain plan to seize private marina homes and hand them over to wealthy developers. Man actually wins. City fights back with ridiculous attempt to evict man, including claim that his dachshund is a “menace” to the community. Man fights back, actually wins again. City goes after man a third time, with new law that would require expensive renovation of his houseboat. City learns its lesson. This time, they get the feds to take the man’s home away before he has the chance to fight back.
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  • 38 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Tom G | 

      About eminent domain – I know it’s constitutional, but I am totally opposed to it, partly for the abuses such as your last post cites.

      I believe in “strong private property”, which is my own term for the rights that include (among others) no taxing of property, no e.d. under ANY circumstances, and the rights to buy, sell, trade, give away, and grow anything without permits or clearance from any authority from the city level on up to the federal government.

    2. #2 |  z | 

      Wow, the SWAT team calls him and tells him he’s surrounded and has 20 minutes to come out. Was that so hard?

    3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

      It would be nice to see the story about that LAPD officer all over Fox News or CNN, but apparently American Idol and celebrity gossip is far too important.

    4. #4 |  Tom G | 

      Slight clarification to my post, just in case it wasn’t clear….
      “…rights to buy, sell, trade, or give away anything you acquired justly (without fraud or theft), and grow anything on your own property, without needing permits or clearance from any authority from the city level on up to the federal government.”

    5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

      They don’t seem to say how much the LAPD cop got under the lawsuit.

      I bet those two cops would have talked plenty about their higher-ups of they were facing criminal charges for falsifying the search warrant. But, I guess they were safe from that given the way cops “take care of their own”.

    6. #6 |  claude | 

      Regarding the “Man fights city hall eminent domain” story… its amazing that they arent more city hall shootings over things like this. I am astonsihed that people have put up with this sort of thing. I hope im never put in this position, as it would be a rather unhealthy end for all involved. Take everything a man has and put him in a position where he has nothing left to lose… The thought of what i might do is putting a smile on my face this morning.

    7. #7 |  claude | 

      “its amazing that they arent”

      s/b there arent.

      (proofread, proofread, proofread)

    8. #8 |  scottp | 

      From the Lee Lucas article: That’s what real policemen do; they stand up for each other,” said a uniformed Cleveland officer

      That would be all fine and good if it wasn’t for the fact that you know the person you’re standing up for is a liar.
      But, if you’re locking up drug users, the ends justify the means, right?

    9. #9 |  Aresen | 

      There is an absolutely astounding contrast between Officer Randolph Franklin and DEA agent Lee Lucas.

      And, unfortunately, the police seem to think Franklin is the one who needs to be punished.

    10. #10 |  claude | 

      There is another story today from the same news source on the boat seizure, tho it mostly deals with the story taking off on the intertubes.

      http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2009/06/digg_it_fane_lozman_riviera_houseboat_story.php

    11. #11 |  Ginger Dan | 

      Many of us Agitatorees (Agitatorites?) demand a high standard of accountability when it comes to the conduct of LEOs, but even if some misdeeds are found and a trial is held, there is still this mindset for jurors:

      In addition, several jurors said the judge instructed them to think of Morgan and Leikam as individuals, not agents of the LAPD. “If we had been told to consider the officers as part of the LAPD, it would have changed the whole situation,” said juror Orly Benyaminy. “Almost all of us would have voted differently. . . .”

      So if they were told to view this lying and malfeasance as part of being part and parcel with wearing a badge then it’s ok?

      Jesus Harold Christ!

    12. #12 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Wait a sec. Shouldn’t we, as libertarians, be encouraging the government to divest itself of property and functions that can be provided by a commercial entity? I mean, is it really a marina really a legitimate function of government?

      I could be wrong, but the way I’m reading the story, the city owns the marina and is using eminent domain to make the people who love there leave. It doesn’t seem to be using eminent domain to take anyone’s property away. They just want people to move out.

    13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Thanks, Ginger Dan. I always wondered what the H stood for.

    14. #14 |  MacK | 

      Agitatorians

    15. #15 |  Tom G | 

      Dave –
      That’s a separate question from the main one. I agree, cities shouldn’t own or operate marinas. The city should sell it as soon as possible in a competitive auction. However, it looks from the facts in the article that the city wasn’t willing to wait for this guy to leave on his own and manipulated various rules in order to force him off so they could sell it to a preferred developer (some of the “corrupt city” comments definitely imply that the developer-city deal was not exactly open bid.)

    16. #16 |  Ginger Dan | 

      Dave –

      I know, who knew?

    17. #17 |  Bob | 

      The guy has a satellite dish on his houseboat. How does he keep it pointed at the satellite?

    18. #18 |  B | 

      I laughed so hard at the dog in the apartment story that my dog ran away…

    19. #19 |  Andrew S. | 

      re: Lee Lucas… while it’s great he’s being brought to justice, this part of the article made me want to cry:

      In court Wednesday, Lucas appeared relaxed. The courtroom was packed with friends from Cleveland police and the DEA. Minutes before the hearing, he thanked his friends for their support.

      “That’s what real policemen do; they stand up for each other,” said a uniformed Cleveland officer.

    20. #20 |  Nando | 

      Concerning the link with the email about the pets: it seems that David Thorn is in quite a few of those posts linked on the side. I don’t know if it’s a made up name or not, but, if it isn’t, it is a bit hard to believe that this guy would get into so many funny email exchanges.

    21. #21 |  freedomfan | 

      Dave, I agree that the city needn’t be operating marinas which basically serve as rental spaces for people to house their boats and themselves. That’s a service that could more than adequately be provided for by private markets. And, if the city wants to get out of that business, then it should do what any other landlord does and wait until the lease is up and not renew it, or break the lease and pay whatever civil penalty is associated with that. Frankly, I am surprised they didn’t do that, unless there is some unlikely perpetuity clause in the lease (i.e. they are obliged to renew as long as he pays rent or some such).

      From a libertarian perspective (and a Constitutional one, though SCOTUS got this blatantly wrong), what they can’t do is go to the government (apparently, to the feds when their own locals don’t back up their bullying) and impound the guy’s house without any due process.

      I do hope the federal judge that signed that order sees that he was played by the locals and reverses the order. In my mind, that’s really one of the scariest things about this story: Even if the judge really was misinformed or if he’s just a jerk, the mere fact that the federal government has some mechanism in place whereby they can move a man’s home at the request of a municipality without giving him any opportunity to be heard or represented in court is plainly outrageous. Regardless of treachery by the townies or lack of diligence by the judge, that very process shouldn’t even exist. A judge should have no power to render such a ruling without establishing that the defendant has had an opportunity to respond.

    22. #22 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “This time, they get the feds to take the man’s home away before he has the chance to fight back.”

      Silly rabbit — the State ALWAYS wins.

      That’s why it’s the State.

    23. #23 |  Mattocracy | 

      I think we should be The Agitori. But that might be too Star Wars-esque.

    24. #24 |  Ryan | 

      Sigh.. This is a first post on the “Man fights city hall” link:

      “Fane Lozman got just what he deserved for not following the rules. If the city did not have legal grounds to do what they did, I’m sure they would not have done it. Fane Lozman is not an activist, he is a distraction to the board, and residence, and has been for some time. He could have followed the rules and then complained and went too court.”

    25. #25 |  pegr | 

      So copper learns the hard way that coppers are crooked. I have NO SYMPATHY for this jerk. He knew what they were made of. He experienced plenty of corruption and double-dealing. Heck, the Marine Corps should have demonstrated that. He kept playing anyway.

      Play with evil people and get scewed? He knew what they were capable of and continued in the job. As you sow, so shall you reap. He may be a decent guy, but he’s also a fool. I don’t suffer fools gladly. To hell with him.

    26. #26 |  JD | 

      At least Franklin got a phone call telling him his house was surrounded. You know you or I wouldn’t have gotten the same courtesy. BTW, we’re always being told how no-knock SWAT raids are necessary because the searches are so dangerous; if they are that dangerous, why phone the occupant? If he’s determined to fight it out, you just gave him time to set up, and if he was going to go peacefully, did you really need the SWAT team in the first place? The whole thing stinks.

    27. #27 |  Chance | 

      In addition, several jurors said the judge instructed them to think of Morgan and Leikam as individuals, not agents of the LAPD. “If we had been told to consider the officers as part of the LAPD, it would have changed the whole situation,” said juror Orly Benyaminy. “Almost all of us would have voted differently. . . .”

      So if they were told to view this lying and malfeasance as part of being part and parcel with wearing a badge then it’s ok?

      I think you may have the context for that quote wrong. The juror seemed to be saying that because of those instructions, they could not tie the malfeasance of the two officers to their superiors. In other words, they would have voted against the LAPD.

    28. #28 |  Alien | 

      I think the dog story is a bit fishy. The letterhead and e-mail address in the original letter picture both point to this occurring in Australia. And yet, “The ducks will no doubt be flying south for the winter soon ” suggests to me the writer lives in the northern hemisphere! This is, obviously, a conspiracy! Or, he was breeding mutant penguin ducks that like warm summers in Australia and cold winters in Antarctica.

    29. #29 |  Ginger Dan | 

      Chance,

      Looking at it now, perhaps you are correct and I took it out of context. However, I stick by my point that more than a fair number of folks are willing to let things slide if they’re done in the name of law and order.

    30. #30 |  Steve Clay | 

      I’d love to hear the other side to this Lozman story. Could be a clear case of good vs. evil, but I feel like I’m getting half a picture.

    31. #31 |  jeff | 

      Ginger Dan and Dave Krueger: The H stands for ‘Hussein’. Didn’t you get the memo?

    32. #32 |  Currence | 

      Dave Krueger, re: #12:

      Whether or not you own something is an objective matter, apart from whatever the City, State, or Federal government says. (E.g. slaveowners were owners of slaves in name only, because you can’t own someone else (or, certainly, you can’t own someone without their consent, whatever that amounts to).)

      Just because my neighbor controls and claims to own my television, after taking it from my living room last night, does not mean that he owns it. Just because the government controls and claims to own some land (or a building, or a housing tenement, or a highway, etc.) doesn’t make it so. The last thing libertarians should accept is the State’s framing of an issue or use of a term.

      Ownership and property are a matter of: mixing your labor with the land, improving a lot, homesteading, making voluntary trades, [insert your own story of how property comes to be and comes to be properly transferred], etc. As far as I can tell Lozman owns his boat and that space at the marina.

      Of course, a consequence of this way of thinking–that ownership, as a matter of fact, is independent of whether or not government (or, for that matter, non-government) agencies recognize the proper owner–is that a very, very large of things claimed to be owned by one group (the government, supposedly representing “the will of the people”) are in fact owned by another group (the people who work in, live in, and maintain those buildings, roads, and spaces). Figuring out who actually owns what is a difficult task, sure, but I don’t see how justice demands any less.

    33. #33 |  Chance | 

      Looking at it now, perhaps you are correct and I took it out of context. However, I stick by my point that more than a fair number of folks are willing to let things slide if they’re done in the name of law and order.

      Fair enough, I do agree with you on that point.

    34. #34 |  TomMil | 

      Re: that 27b/6 site — do yourself a favor and read the “Party in Apartment 3″ post. I actually was afraid I was gonna pass out I was laughing so hard.

    35. #35 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #32 Currence

      Just because my neighbor controls and claims to own my television, after taking it from my living room last night, does not mean that he owns it. Just because the government controls and claims to own some land (or a building, or a housing tenement, or a highway, etc.) doesn’t make it so. The last thing libertarians should accept is the State’s framing of an issue or use of a term.

      While you make a good point, I wasn’t really arguing ownership so much as the fact that the city shouldn’t be involved in the marina business.

      On the other hand, I have no knowledge that they didn’t originally acquire the property by illegitimate means, nor is there any mention in the article that anyone else is claiming ownership of the land.

      Tom G and freedomfan, however, make the point that the outrage has nothing to do with the city owning the property and running a marina business, but rather their resorting to unethical (and possibly illegal) tactics in dealing with the guy who has been successfully fighting them. I certainly can’t argue with that. The fact that the city is apparently in bed with the developer is also a sign of serious government corruption.

      In any case, Lozman must not own the land if he was paying rent, although there may be a contract or other legal obligations on the part of the city that are not spelled out in the article. I’m unclear on how eminent domain is being used to evict him from his floating home unless it can’t be moved.

    36. #36 |  Ignorantia Juris - Links for a Rainy Evening | 

      [...] LAPD police officer raided by his own department, via The Agitator. [...]

    37. #37 |  GreginOz | 

      Dog story so funny I burst out laffing n my boss discovered I was surfing, oooops.

    38. #38 |  techboy | 

      27b/6 is a reference to the 1985 film Brazil. A film which, by the way, depicts a future we are hurtiling towards. The form 27b/6 was required for all Heating/AC repairs (possibly ALL central services repairs). I think that if more people spent the time getting more people to see Brazil, we wouldn’t be up to necks in the kind of behavior our esteemed Radley writes of. We’d probably just be up to our armpits.

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