Morning Links

Friday, October 2nd, 2009
  • Don’t blame you, Penn. Padma Lakshmi would get me tongue-tied, too.
  • Co-founder of Feminist Majority okay with Roman Polanski’s rape. A few people have emailed to ask what I make of the Polanski affair. I think he ought to go to prison. And Hollywood’s defense of him is pretty disgusting. That Woody Allen signed a petition calling for Polanski to be freed would be hilarious were we not talking about, you know, a drugging and raping.
  • British government considering mandating plastic pint glasses in pubs.
  • Puppycide.
  • The gas masks are a bit much, don’t you think?
  • Here’s more on the Ukrainian woman who created those stunning sand animations.
  • L.A. mandates graffiti-proof homes.
  • Mississippi judge convicts Motorhome Diaries crew on all counts.

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  • 73 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Mary | 

      Forget Polanski. The MH Diary guys got screwed here in the US!

    2. #2 |  J sub D | 

      Simonova has told interviewers she is happy to stay in Evpatoria and will not be travelling abroad to cash in on her growing global fan base.

      Granted that Ms. Simonova has no obligation to continue with her powerful and unique performance art, it would be a shame if she doesn’t.

    3. #3 |  JJH2 | 

      I would be cautious about placing too much reliance on grand jury testimony. It is, after all, given in secret, elicited by the prosecutor, without either the defendant or defendant’s counsel having a right to even attend, let alone question or cross-examine the witness. Polanski pled guilty only to sex with a minor, knowing she was underage. Is he guilty of more? Maybe. Who knows? The victim’s family wrote a letter to the judge urging him to accept the plea deal. Obviously they could have various motives for doing so, and I wouldn’t look too far into it one way or the other. But I would, however, be cautious about proclaiming with any certainty that I know exactly what happened in this case.

    4. #4 |  Michael Chaney | 

      For those of you arguing that the Polanski case involved consensual sex, please do a little reading. The victim is quite open about this. He raped her, and she repeatedly asked him to stop. This isn’t a Debra LaFave case.

    5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

      I don’t know all the details of the Polanski case and I’m not a big fan of Hollywood celebrities outside of seeing the movies they make.

      From what I gather, he wasn’t convicted of rape and the state is not in a position to sentence or treat him as if he were. Both he and the state agreed to a plea bargain and Polanski fled because he thought the judge might change his mind about the plea agreement.

      A plea agreement and/or jumping bail is not proof that someone “did it”. Furthermore, charges don’t always reflect the nature of the crime nor is the prosecution always in a position of being able to prove the crime that is charged. Overcharging is a common practice specifically meant to induce a defendant to agree to a plea. Going to trial is the exception and not the rule.

      I will say it’s a bit disingenuous for the state to now claim Polanski is the Antichrist after coming very close to letting him off with a slap on the wrist. If, indeed, Polanski forced himself on the girl using drugs as a weapon. then the state apparently fell far short of making him pay for it. I don’t blame Polanski for that anymore than I blame OJ for being acquitted.

      On the other hand, Polanski voluntarily accepted the risks when he fled before sentencing and the state has a legal obligation to apprehend fugitives and bring them to justice. Unless his rearrest is so uncharacteristic that it reeks of politics, persecution, or some prosecutor’s ego trip, I don’t really have a big problem with them bringing him back here to close the case.

    6. #6 |  wylie | 

      “RoPol”, good lord.

      Is it too late to go back to non-stop Michael Jackson articles?

    7. #7 |  Morning Musume-kanashimi Twilight Pv | Twilight Blogger | 

      […] The Agitator » Blog Archive » Morning Links […]

    8. #8 |  Jeff | 

      In other news, Polanski’s next film will be set under a bridge in Florida.

    9. #9 |  Jim Collins | 

      There’s more to this Polanski thin than meets the eye. If I have this right, this girl’s Mother delivers her to him so that he can shoot some nude pictures of her and then he rapes her. Where in the hell was this girl’s Father and why wasn’t the Mother charged as well? If this was my kid, this whole thing would have been over a long time ago. Polanski would have had his head blown off right after my Wife had hers blown off. In 1970’s California there would have been a damn good chance that I would have been aquitted for both killings.

    10. #10 |  Michael Chaney | 

      I’ve found nothing to suggest that Polanski ever disputed the victim’s claims (that he drugged her then raped her both anally and vaginally). I don’t believe there’s any controversy over whether he raped her; if there is I have missed it. Rather, the controversy is over whether he should be “brought to justice” after all this time.

      Look, we read about shit (to be blunt) here all the time where some poor black guy pleads guilty to a crime he didn’t commit because the DA is intent on taking him down – justice be damned – and his public defender can’t possibly take on the well-funded DA. I know, you get a little suspect of the whole process sometimes.

      Polanski is not poor, had his own lawyer, has more money than the DA, definitely did the crime, and then skipped bail. Forget the normal Agitator food, this is the real deal.

      He’s also not a “has-been”, he’s still professionally active. He was going to Switzerland to pick up an award.

      It’s sad that he’s not treated as a complete pariah within the industry.

    11. #11 |  Dan | 

      I’m really tired of puppies getting killed by cops. I hope the kid can get another dog.

    12. #12 |  Cynical In CA | 

      #60 | Michael Chaney — “He’s also not a “has-been”, he’s still professionally active. He was going to Switzerland to pick up an award.”

      Thanks Michael, I got my tenses mixed up. He’s a “was.”

      Word-association Family Feud style, say the first thing that comes into your mind when I say, “Roman Polanski.”

      100 people surveyed, top 2 answers:

      Convicted fugitive child rapist: 90

      Film director: 10

      I am caring about this far more than I would like to. The only people that care about Roman Polanski the director these days are in the industry. I’m done.

    13. #13 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

      #10 Michael Chaney:

      “One of the things we see here over and over again is that people will excuse almost any act perpetrated by someone that they see as part of their “group”. Cops cover for bad cops (see Drew Peterson, etc.), priests cover for pedophiles, conservatives will explain for hours how it’s okay that Rush was a drug addict – that’s different!, the list goes on and on.”

      I basically agree, Michael, and this frustates me to no end too. But I’m just wondering if you know of any cops (other than Peterson’s son) who have gone on record to defend Drew Peterson. I thought pretty much everyone, inside and outside of law enforcement, was creeped out by this guy. His egocentrism, love of the spotlight, and lack of concern about his missing wife had me pegging him as a psychopath early on. In spite of all the problems with policing documented on The Agitator, I don’t know many cops who don’t get the willies when they encounter a psychopath.

    14. #14 |  JJH2 | 

      #60

      I think there’s a diminishing utility in debating the merits of a case which, for better or worse, has a thin evidentiary record. Suffice it to say, Polanski has maintained the sex was consensual. When you say he “definitely did the crime” it’s not clear whether you mean what he pled guilty to, or what he was originally charged with. I think there’s no doubt about the former, but an insufficient record to determine the latter. People are obviously free to make credibility calls as to one person’s transcript of a contemporaneous grand jury proceeding or subsequent interviews dozens of years later, but it strikes me a touch disingenuous to pretend that the answer is crystal clear. I definitely have personal feelings as to what I believe is the most likely event to have occurred, but I can’t pretend that it’s anything more than supposition based on the record as it stands.

    15. #15 |  Philip Parker | 

      http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/23/Family_Says_911_Tape_Caught_Cops_Planning_Cover-Up_After_Shooting.htm

      Jeez, they don’t even have to be SWAT teams anymore!

    16. #16 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

      The problem with “omg lynch” in the Polanski case is that the judge, absolutely, was commiting major major misconduct. He was, reportedly, planning on ignoring the crime that he’d actually pled to, and imposing a sentence as if he’d pled guilty to everything.

      Wasn’t there an article on this very website recently decrying that very practice? (Well yes, there was).

      Look, just because the crime was very, very unpleasent indeed dosn’t mean you can set aside due process – indeed, it makes it more important. Why am I having to say this, here?

    17. #17 |  Andrew Williams | 

      Gotta disagree with you re Polanski, Radley. The victim has forgiven him. There was considerable malfeasance in the original trial. And the timing is way off: the DA’s office has had three decades to find this guy–who wasn’t exactly hiding in a hole–and now, with a critical budget crunch and prisoners being released, we HAVE to get this guy? Doesn’t add up. I call “contempt of court.” And I call bullshit.

    18. #18 |  John Markley | 

      “And the timing is way off: the DA’s office has had three decades to find this guy–who wasn’t exactly hiding in a hole–and now, with a critical budget crunch and prisoners being released, we HAVE to get this guy? Doesn’t add up.”

      No, he wasn’t hiding in a hole, but he was outside American jurisdiction in a country that wouldn’t extradite him. What were the authorities in California supposed to have done, dispatch a black ops team to France to abduct Polanski like the Mossad nabbed Adolf Eichmann?

    19. #19 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Re: #63

      I don’t know of *cops* who have, but look up the circumstances of his 3rd wife’s death and subsequent coverup. The medical examiner determined that she drowned, even though the tub was dry and she had bruises all around her neck.

      While nobody might have gone on record, they don’t have to. They helped when it really counted. This is similar to the Stephanie Lazarus case in LA where her buds helped her get away with murder. And countless other cases that we’ve read about here, #65 as an example.

      That these same vile people don’t stand up for their friends in court or whatever is normal – there’s really no honor among thieves.

    20. #20 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #66 Leon Wolfeson

      Look, just because the crime was very, very unpleasent indeed dosn’t mean you can set aside due process – indeed, it makes it more important. Why am I having to say this, here?

      I think the prevailing attitude is that it’s okay to dispense with due process when it’s a child sex crime. Not an uncommon perspective these days.

    21. #21 |  Andrew Williams | 

      #63
      “No, he wasn’t hiding in a hole, but he was outside American jurisdiction in a country that wouldn’t extradite him. What were the authorities in California supposed to have done, dispatch a black ops team to France to abduct Polanski like the Mossad nabbed Adolf Eichmann?”

      Yes, he was living in France, but he didn’t spend every moment of those 33 years there. There were opportunities to get him if the DA’s office had wanted to, just like the ATFBI could have nabbed David Koresh when he went jogging, instead of staging a Goddamn firefight.

      Maybe CA couldn’t have put together a black ops team, but they could maybe have talked a Federal LEA into it. And who knows if they were planning such a thing? Would we ever know? That’s the whole thing about black ops: those who say don’t know, and those who know don’t say.

      As a CA resident, I think we have much, MUCH bigger problems to deal with than Roman Polanski. And yes, I think he’s had enough heartache for one lifetime, although he brought the last one on himself that evening in 1977. And I think he’s a great director–maybe one of the greatest.

      Well, if THAT don’t get me some – karma, then I ain’t doin’ my job.

    22. #22 |  Andrew Williams | 

      Sorry, meant to address that to John Markley. My bad.

    23. #23 |  Swank | 

      What kind of petty scoundrel would want to lock up the maker of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Knife In The Water’ ?

      You owe Mr. Polanski a sincere apology…