Sunday Morning Links

Sunday, December 6th, 2009
  • His plate might as well say, “Go ahead and rear end me.”
  • So I got arrested by the SWAT team last night….” Over a Lego gun.
  • Clever, but I can’t think it’s all that good for business.
  • Seattle, Washington State team up to shut down, arrest, prosecute man who started booze home delivery service.
  • And he doesn’t even have a Garmin.
  • Woman arrested, jailed, charged with felony for recording 4-minute clips of her sister’s birthday party because a copyrighted movie was playing in the background.

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  • 51 Responses to “Sunday Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Aresen | 

      His plate might as well say, “Go ahead and rear end me.”

      I thought the plate was cute until I saw who it belonged to.

      RAM THE *******.

    2. #2 |  Dave Krueger | 

      SWAT teams are quickly becoming the standard response for such a broad range of situations that eventually all cops will be SWAT cops. Ordinary cops as, we know them today, will become extinct. Then, of course, there will be a need for yet a new “special” type of cop for those situations where ordinary SWAT cops are not properly trained and equipped. Maybe they will be called Super SWATs or Ultra SWATs or Delta Force or something like that. They will probably be equipped with fighter jets, pulse weapons, and exoskeletons.

    3. #3 |  Aresen | 

      From the SWAT team link:

      “I certainly can’t knock the police for how they responded, I mean the toy certainly looks legit.”

      Well, jeremybell, I gotta disagree with you. The SWAT response was definitely over the top and once they found out it was LEGO, they should have released you and left.

    4. #4 |  Aresen | 

      Dave K: You forgot the tactical nukes.

    5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Booze delivery services aren’t allowed because they keep drunk people off the road. It follows the same principle as making it illegal to sell booze in stores on Sunday, but allowing drink sales in bars and restaurants. I know, I know, it sounds really stupid, but that’s just ’cause you aren’t one of the select group of government officials who pass these kinds of laws. It all makes perfect sense if you’re a state senator or city council member.

    6. #6 |  Stephen | 

      Heh, my kid probably has enough lego parts to build an AK-47. I am tempted to go looking for the instructions on how to build such things but my kid would probably get taken down by the swat team at school.

    7. #7 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Regarding the video in the movie theater, I keep wondering if the entertainment industry has any common sense.

      I know absolutely that I have the right to walk through the most crime-ridden part of Boston carrying an open box of hundred dollar bills without being molested or assaulted. But, actually doing such a thing would be incredibly stupid.

      I think the entertainment industry is being just as stupid. They are so caught up in exercising their rights that they have thrown common sense out the window and, in so doing, are ultimately alienating their market base and making heroes out of everyone who find ways to steal their material. Remember the days when almost all computer software was bootlegged? I think we’re headed that way with entertainment content from the major suppliers.

      Of course, I might be completely full of shit.

    8. #8 |  Stephen | 

      The lego gun probably came from here:

    9. #9 |  Ahcuah | 

      Re the lego gun: My question is, which one of the morons in his office called the police?

    10. #10 |  Johnny Longtorso | 

      If you’re in Houston Monday (the 7th), Dr. James Hansen, Objective Scientist And Not A Political Activist At All, will be speaking at the The Progressive Forum on “Threat To The Planet, Implications for Intergenerational Justice”.

      There will be a pro-Hansen reception inside, and an, ahem, anti-Hansen reception outside that’s scheduled to start half an hour before Hansen’s presentation.

    11. #11 |  Aresen | 

      It was a nosy neighbor from across the street who was looking into the office window.

    12. #12 |  divadab | 

      At least Toronto SWAT is called out to deal with weapons crimes rather than assaulting some poor pothead and destroying his home and his life like Amerikan SWAT.

    13. #13 |  divadab | 

      Johnny Longtorso – I assume you will be among those supporting Dr. Hansen, a brave man who has done much to expose the evils of mountaintop removal coal mining.

      Or will you be among the corporatist dupes and retards who think climate change caused by fossil fuel burning is not happening?

    14. #14 |  Johnny Longtorso | 

      If I make it, I will be among the corporatist dupes. It may be too cold for me to hang around outside the Wortham.

      I love his showing up the week after the earliest snow in Houston on record.

    15. #15 |  Tokin42 | 

      RE: Movie recording

      “It was never my intention to record the movie,” she said.

      As we’ve all been learning, “intent” doesn’t really have anything to do with prosecutions anymore.

    16. #16 |  Stephen | 

      The guy walking down the amazon is crazy. I grew up there and the first thing the locals do if they want to go somewhere is make a dugout canoe or just a raft if only going downstream. The jungle is thickest close to the river and he has chosen the worst way possible to go through there.

      He needs to slow down and pay attention though. He should not be starving because there is food everywhere if you learn what to look for. Snakes are edible.

    17. #17 |  weambulance | 

      Ya know, when I was a kid I made dozens of pistols out of legos. I wrapped them in electrical tape so they wouldn’t fall apart, and used them in Halloween costumes and such. Good thing people weren’t so crazy back then (all of 12-13 years ago) and they didn’t call a SWAT team on me for pulling out a lego gun in my James Bond costume or something.

      I guess I’m not surprised, but it’s pretty damn sad that the mere presence of a ‘gun’ warranted a SWAT team response. It’s not like the guy was stalking through the office shooting people, he was sitting at his desk minding his own business. I’d get cops called on me daily if his GFW neighbor was here in Alaska, because I open carry everywhere I legally can. In the bush, I carry a rifle AND a pistol. Oh noes! Strangely, I haven’t murdered ANYONE yet.

    18. #18 |  Pseudonymous Coward | 

      Here’s something everyone seems to have missed, including the author of the blog post about the SWAT team: they were called out because he might have a single 9mm pistol. Not because he’s stockpiling armaments for the Day of Atonement, not because he’d allegedly done anything to hurt somebody with that hypothetical pistol, but because the police were so terrified of a small handgun in the hands of a private citizen.

      I know it’s Canada, where the citizenry submits cheerfully and politely to the government’s boot on their neck, but Christ is this ever a good demonstration of how governments fear letting the governed have the means to fight back against their oppressors.

    19. #19 |  john | 

      #2 | Dave Krueger

      i seen a t-shirt with that in mind.

    20. #20 |  MacGregory | 

      Hell, I guess the next time I run short on booze and cigarettes, I’ll just have to ask the hooker…. er, escort to stop and pick those up on her way. Shit. That’s going to cost extra isn’t it?

    21. #21 |  Johnny Longtorso | 

      Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

      Makes you think of Animal Farm

      “Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.”

    22. #22 |  SJE | 

      Women go to see “New Moon,” find out that the real vampires are the movie industry.

    23. #23 |  SJE | 

      Dave: love the T-shirt link. They also need some tazer action. Better yet, make the t-shirt tazer resistant!

    24. #24 |  Michael | 

      I guess, everyone in Toronto thinks it is perfectly acceptable to point a loaded gun at an unarmed person! But, it was the SWAT team! Sounds like the people in Toronto have to worry about getting a SWAT response for toy guns! What sheep!

      Personally, I do not see it as an acceptable response, by the cops, as the victim appears to think. What ever happened to common sense? Maybe a phone call to the office, before man-handling two of its employees, would have been a better alternative. I will never be alright with a SWAT team doing this to a COMPLETELY innocent person. Lets get this back on track. Cops should be called for ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, should they not? This is so wrong, in so many ways!

      What is that Benjamin Franklin quote about liberty and safety?

    25. #25 |  Akusu | 

      Right. Let’s all quote American historical figures when referring to Canadian matters.

      Not that you have the right to bear arms either (that refers to state military, not citizens) but we don’t.

      Pistols do not have a “recreational” use, or any reason to be in an office space. If it had been a hunting rifle… maybe that response would have been over the top, but even so: He was in an office space!

      Although I do find it interesting that the SWAT guys knew the name of the person to nail for it.

      Also, a telephone call is about the dumbest idea ever. “Let’s inform the bad guy that he’s been spotting holding an office hostage”. The whole purpose of SWAT teams is to help prevent situations from escalating and dragging out the whole ordeal.

      Toy guns are supposed to have bright orange caps on the end of them for exactly the purpose of avoiding these misunderstandings. Thankfully the person being interviewed understands that it was a bit of a stupid idea and let it go. At least he’s not litigation happy.

    26. #26 |  Akusu | 

      Also, I might add that considering they knew the name of the person that they’re after, they knew that whatever he had was illegal because they’d know if he had a license or not.

      So again, a response is justified.

    27. #27 |  EH | 

      Although I do find it interesting that the SWAT guys knew the name of the person to nail for it.

      Well of course they did, a co-worker had to have called the police in the first place.

      Other than that, hunting rifles are OK but LEGO pistols are not. Gotcha.

    28. #28 |  Akusu | 

      “Other than that, hunting rifles are OK but LEGO pistols are not. Gotcha.”

      Can you think of a reason for a person to have a pistol out? I did say that a response is still warranted if it is a hunting rifle (because of where he was). I just think in that case I would understand better the reaction of “wtf that’s overreacting”.

      Also, it was the neighbour that called, not a coworker.

    29. #29 |  random guy | 


      “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” -2nd Amendment.

      American citizens do have the right to bear arms. Whenever the founders refereed to powers of the state the called it the state, when referring to the rights of individuals they used the phrase “the people”.

      It has nothing to do with a state run army. If that was the intent why does it give the power to the people instead of the states themselves? Why not say the “the power of the state to maintain a well regulated militia shall not be infringed”?

      The militias that the founding fathers themselves participated in were not state run entities, they were community organizations of voluntary participation. This concept was further outlined by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, It was always about the people being allowed to possess arms and freely organize themselves to oppose tyranny.

    30. #30 |  Windypundit | 

      The Consumerist for got to name the theater that called the police, but it’s in the Sun-Times piece: Muvico Theater in Rosemont, Illinois.

    31. #31 |  Kino | 

      “Akusu : Not that you have the right to bear arms either (that refers to state military, not citizens) but we don’t.”

      No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the[[ PEOPLE]] to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. ~ Thomas Jefferson

      you’re either extremely ignorant , or you’re deliberately Lying , so , which is it ?

    32. #32 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

      You forgot option c: He’s a troll

    33. #33 |  Dave W. | 

      I lived in Toronto. The anti-handgun laws made it a lot safer than it otherwise would be. I ended up living in a building with a drug dealer in it. During that difficult time, both the laws and attitudes about handguns made things less difficult than they otherwise would have been because everybody was relatively confident that there would be no gunplay.

      However, it was disturbing that an anonymous call reporting a gun would get the police into people’s houses, and not in a nice way. Sometimes no guns would be found. Never was a victim of that kind of prank, but I did not like the possibility hanging out there.

    34. #34 |  Ben | 

      The real question brought to my mind with the lego gun story is where can I get a job that lets me play Modern Warfare 2 in the office?

    35. #35 |  Marty | 

      imagine if the lego guy had a joint… what a nightmare.

    36. #36 |  Zargon | 

      Clever, but I can’t think it’s all that good for business.

      It seems like it would be good to me. Advertising is supposed to be memorable first, and inoffensive second. And besides, the group that would likely find this most offensive is happily married people – not exactly the target market.

    37. #37 |  perlhaqr | 

      Sorry Akusu, bad news. You do have the right to keep and bear arms. Your government, however, chooses to abrogate that right.

    38. #38 |  perlhaqr | 

      Dave W: During that difficult time, both the laws and attitudes about handguns made things less difficult than they otherwise would have been because everybody was relatively confident that there would be no gunplay.

      What, you mean like in Britain?

    39. #39 |  weambulance | 

      Hey akusu, bud, here’s a clue: basic human rights are not bestowed by anyone, but inherent in our existence. So, if our wonderful government repealed the entire bill of rights tomorrow, I would still carry a gun and speak my mind and practice any religion I wanted to. There’s a big damn difference between legal and moral, and you can’t legislate the latter.

      Dave W: Ever consider, I dunno, having a pistol of your own for defense? My reaction to a potentially deadly situation is to Not Be There, but otherwise, I’d prefer to be armed rather than hope some tweaker can’t break down my door. But I guess some people would rather shelve their self reliance and hope the cops feel like showing up when Mr. PCP is convinced you stole his stash.

    40. #40 |  Kevin Smith | 

      re: License Plate

      I’m a little skeptical about this one. It is just too perfectly wrong, and no real authority on the click-through that I saw. Photoshooped picture? If the tag is real, are we sure it belongs to that guy?

    41. #41 |  Meaghan | 

      This is precisely why I may never get to have my antique guns with me ever again. Unless I can get my husband to leave Canada, I guess. Sure, I could spend time and money filling out paperwork and having to defend me importing a couple of non-working firearms from WWII and 1840, but god forbid someone actually sees me with them.

      If this story were in the States, the SWAT team probably would have wrecked up the joint more, put the guy in jail and released him when they felt like it, and said they acted correctly. No one would agree with the cops.

      Because it’s Toronto, everyone is sorry and cool about it, but everyone thinks the cops acted correctly.

    42. #42 |  Careful With Those Lego Guns « Ordinary Strangeness | 

      […] via The Agitator Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)teenage and […]

    43. #43 |  Steve Jean | 

      Ed Stafford ought to compare notes with Les Stroud>, A.K.A. Survivorman. He did the solo wilderness bit 23 times. After seeing the hell of trying to survive in Papua New Guinea, I could understand why he wanted to move on to other things not involving starving and being bitten up.

      Ed Grylls, A.K.A. Man vs. Wild takes a camera crew and they had to admit to cheating by staying in hotel rooms. But if you want to see a survivalist eat and drink the grossest things or run around naked in the snow, he’s your man.

    44. #44 |  Steve Jean | 

      damned closing tag

    45. #45 |  Dave W. | 

      Dave W: Ever consider, I dunno, having a pistol of your own for defense? My reaction to a potentially deadly situation is to Not Be There, but otherwise, I’d prefer to be armed rather than hope some tweaker can’t break down my door. But I guess some people would rather shelve their self reliance and hope the cops feel like showing up when Mr. PCP is convinced you stole his stash.

      Even if my wife and I had had pistols, there would be no way that that would have made us safe if he had had a gun. I had to go to work everyday and that meant walking past his door.

      When things got a certain amount bad, we gave 60 day notice and found another apartment to move into at the end of 60 days. When things got much worse over the 60 day notice period, we started to make preparations to spend the last week in a motel, but we also called police and the police ended up arresting the guy which basically gave us time until we were out of there and into the new apartment (which had no drugdealers, yay!). So, yeah, we considered leaving and did leave.

      If a comparable situation had happened in an American city, like, say, Philadelphia, then we basically would have had a much higher motel bill, a temporary storage bill, add’l mover costs and would have had to move further away when we did move. Don’t get me wrong. Some people in Toronto have handguns, but they are much less prevalent, and, in my particular situation, that was a good thing. It saved me money and logistical hassles.

    46. #46 |  World’s Strangest | Man Hiking the Length of the Amazon River | 

      […] via Radley Balko | Photo: The Daily […]

    47. #47 |  MikeZ | 

      Dave W. Out of curiousity how are you sure the gun laws helped here. How do you know the drug dealer didn’t have a gun? If he were selling illegal drugs what motivation would he have not to also have a gun?

      Now highly restrictive gun laws probably do reduce gun injuries, certainly domestic violence and accidental discharge incidents from otherwise law abiding citizens would go down. I just fail to see how a drug dealer who is already commiting crimes that would put him away for a long time, would be bothered by having a firearm for his own safety. Certainly he doesn’t have the option of calling the police if one of his transactions goes bad.

      In my opinion attempting to ban 500+ year old technology seems like an exercise in futility.

    48. #48 |  Dave W. | 

      @MikeZ: That is a good question and I am glad you asked. After I was settled in my new apartment in Toronto, and had somme time to reflect that my anecdote would be subject to searching scrutiny and a high burden of contrafactual certitude by those who hold handgun rights precious and, indeed, paramount.

      So . . . One weekend during the interval Mr. Balko had temporarily banned me from posting at the Hit’n’Run blog I went out and got a parallel universe generator. It pretty much took me all weekend to get the thing set up. It turns out that virtual parallel universe emulators are easy, peasy and you are pretty much good to go out of the box. However, in order to be sure of my experimental results, I paid the extra money for a real parallel universe generator. The money was no problem, but tuning the frequency of magnetic flux variations in the particle accelerator was a straight up b***h. Not only that, the spiral in one of the accelerators was a tad eccentric (nothing you could see, even with a fair microscope, mind you) and I had to take the whole set-up back to Radio Shack and get another one. They did not want to accept the return, but they did me right once I showed them that I was willing to camp out there as long as it took. Sometimes I think I might be the reason that they don’t have 24 hour Radio Shacks anymore.

      Anyway, that first weekend with the generator I had my first successful trial run. I saw what would have happened if Kerry had won (long story short, it would have been worse). then I got busy at work for a few weeks.

      My next free weekend, I did the parallel universe and set my self up in a comparable apartment building in San Diego with a comparable drug dealer. I was more fearful in this parallel universe than I had been in Toronto. I ended up living in a seedy motel on El Cajon Boulevard for 40 days, with all my stuff in a storage locker in La Mesa right by the 8. Although I did not see Tony’s gun, he made some remarks to the effect that he had one and was prone to accidental shootings. I found his threat credible. I got giardia (sp?) from the seedy motel and the movers who did my second move from the storage locker to my new place in LaJolla (well, LaJolla adjacent actually) took our prize collection of, ummm, erotica. Then I returned to our universe, which I call Universimus Prime.

      The very next weekend had had the time to run another experiment. This time I put me and my wife and Tony (the dealer) and Matt (the noisy young drunk on the first floor flat) in a comaparble place in Cincinnati. the place was between downtown and the univesrity. the agent said it was Over The Rhine, but it was not really to far up the hill to be OTR. This time around I did not have a direct confrontation with Tony the dealer. The reason is that there were gunshots and helicopters around so often that I was simply to scared to do so. I ended up breaking my lease and going to Cheviot. Because I broke my lease, I ended up paying $15,000 in combined damages (to my ex-landlord) and legal fees (to my lawyer). In court, I told the judge about the gunshots and helicopters and how I did not feel safe in my unit. I said that the danger made it “uninhabitable” just like my lawyer had told me to do. The judge responded with a Latin phrase, which my lawyer whispered to me means “buyer beware.” I responded to my lawyer that I was only renting, and not buying, but she said that that made no difference. I left that parallel universe just about the time my first credit card bill came. I did not see any other way out.

      Still convinced that I could find the American dream in some parallel universe, I replayed again two weeks later. This time I chose Dallas, specifically East Dallas. Lower Greenville — but, just a bit too low on Greenville, if you know what I mean. In this universe, Tony had a gun and shot me in the head as I was unlocking my front door one day. Of course, Texas has had CCW since ’95, and I had my mine when I was shot. Not only that, I was a crack shot because I would practice with my Dallas, TX buddy D.C. Rean on most weekends. However, Tony got the drop on me and I perished in a fountain of blood and tissue.

      Now here is the crazy thing: if you die in a parallal universe, it turns out that your spirit may return, but your body cannot. You can post on blogs (I enjoy the Adge (natch!), Grylliade and Unqualified Offerings, but that is the only sense in which I continue to exist here in Universimus Prime.

      So, anyway, MikeZ, I hope you accept my proof. I worked hard and made gr8 sacrifices to get it for you!

    49. #49 |  MikeZ | 

      Funny I asked you a real non-hypothetical question that you didn’t need to invent a fantasy universe to answer and you responds with a load of crap.

      You stated that gun laws helped the situation where you lived next to a drug dealer and feared for your safty. I didn’t and still don’t see the connection here so was wondering why you felt they helped. It sounded like you assumed he didn’t have any weapons because he was choosing to obey the laws.

      BTW calling the cops on your neighbors with report of illegal drug dealing is probably a sure way to get your neighbors busted here in the states as well or did you not notice all the articles on much the police enjoy going on paramilitary style raids? So it sounds like you would have had exactly the same experience here and any potential gun law was not relavant anyway.

    50. #50 |  Dave W. | 

      Um, what kind of proof were you looking for again? I mean, I wish there had been an easier way to show you, but I didn’t see one back in aught six, and I still don’t know. Realistically, what should my proof to you have looked like?

    51. #51 |  GreginOz | 

      Whew! All’s ah ken say is “thank Gawd it wernt in da Yew Ess Aye…otherwise they would have shot his Lego dog!!! Hee Haw!!!