Morning Links

Monday, December 21st, 2009
  • Congratulations, Democrats. You’ve proven you can pass a major piece of legislation by buying off votes with last minute pork projects and special favors, then shoving it through the Senate in the middle of the night just as well as the Republicans. You’re an all-growed-up corrupt ruling party, now. (CORRECTION: As noted in the comments, the bill didn’t pass, the Dems were just able to force cloture.)
  • Awkward moments in webvertising.
  • The D.C. cop who drew his gun at a snowball fight this weekend is now international news. This will make it somewhat more difficult for MPDC to continue lying about the story.
  • If Mullholland Drive was the sixth best movie of the decade, I just lived through a different decade.
  • Prosecutors are still whining about the Supreme Court’s Melendez-Diaz decision from last term, arguing in a brief for a similar case next term that the decision “is already proving unworkable.” Oh. Well in that case, sure. Let’s go ahead and scrap the constitutional right to confront one’s accusers because, you know, it’s really, really inconvenient to the government to respect it. I always forget about that footnote to the Bill of Rights that says, “*Unless respecting these rights makes the jobs of government employees more difficult.”
  • A grand jury has ruled that the police shooting and killing of Georgia pastor Jonathan Ayers was justified. I’ll have more on this terrible story in coming weeks.

    Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark
  • 79 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Tokin42 | 

      t’s so cute when people think their opinions about subjective matters, like which movies or music are good and bad, are objectively true……Mitch#29

      “If” Mullholland Drive was the sixth best movie of the decade”[Subjective]
      “Then” (implied) I just lived through a different decade.
      Mitch is an ass with an unhealthy attachment to “Mullholland Drive” and likes to dress up like Ann Miller on special weekends.
      (Ojectively True)

      Did I diagram that correctly?

    2. #2 |  Stormy Dragon | 

      BTW, is Radley’s complaint that Mullholland Drive was rated to highly or to lowly?

    3. #3 |  Aresen | 

      J sub D | December 21st, 2009 at 4:57 pm
      I clicked the wrong button on Michael Chaney’s post, #48.

      Please add 2 to his up score. Also feel free make fun of my internet skillz as appropriate.


      We’ll just snicker behind your back.

    4. #4 |  Elle | 


      He knew at that point that if they stopped him, he would be ruined. Everyone would know about his secret life. He would loose his job, his wife, and his reputation. Instead of facing what he had done, he attempted to flee. First he runs down one officer with his car, then he attempts to run down the second officer. He is shot. After his car stops, he jumps out of his car, and still tries to run away on foot before he is apprehended by the officer.

      My sympathies are with his wife, family, and friends. I hate what this news will do to them when it becomes public, but I’m guessing they’ll just think that everyone involved just made it all up. How sad…

    5. #5 |  buzz | 

      Elle apparently watched some other video than the one from the store. It shows an unmarked caddy screaming up to him, armed men in plainclothes jumping out and running up to his car. I would take off also. As far as his “secret” life that you used your amazing physic powers to discover, the man was a preacher. Who do you think preachers talk to? We have had several here who roam the streets at night talking to the addicts and hookers. It’s part of the job description. What possible reason could there have been for them not to call a marked unit, and follow his car until the marked unit arrived to make the pull over? It’s because that isnt nearly as fun as racing up and jumping out with your gun. That’s it. This guy gave a possible hooker a ride who had a personal stash. BFD.

    6. #6 |  Chuchundra | 

      Grand juries are a tool for prosecutors. Good prosecutors use them to good ends. Bad prosecutors use them to bad ones.

      I spent a month on grand jury some years ago. Most of the stuff was pretty routine, DUIs, drug busts, simple burglary. Didn’t learn much from that except the utter stupidity of the criminal element in our society.

      But we had a few more complex cases, ones that were presented over multiple days with significant witnesses and evidence. It seemed to me that in these case the prosecutor was using the grand jury process to do more than just gain indictments. He was developing a “first draft” of the trial and watching our reactions and listening to our questions to see which charges and theories of the crime made the most sense.

    7. #7 |  Michael Chaney | 

      More on Jonathan Ayers:

      The girl he was helping is now claiming that Ayers had been paying her for sex for years. This is so low, but my belief is that she’s getting reduced charges in other areas (they claimed to have bought cocaine from her earlier that day) for lying about this.

      Before, she claimed she’d had a miscarriage days before the incident and was incapable of having sex on this day. In the audio, she doesn’t claim to have had sex that day, just for years before. Clearly, the entire point is to slander Ayers’ reputation.

      Side note: After reading about Ayers and his life, both in his words and others, it seems very unlikely that he was paying a prostitute for sex. He’s done mission trips in Africa, he’s married with a kid on the way, this isn’t the typical guy who has sex with prostitutes. It *is* the kind of guy who *helps* prostitutes, as he has given his life over to his ministry. That’s what sickens me all the more over this.

      You can also see the “injuries” to the officer in this video. He got a bruise on his arm, which seems unlikely to have come from Ayers’ car hitting him. Regardless, it’s no reason to kill a man.

      The bottom line is that, even if the situation made it “legal” to kill him, the situation was wholely created by these cops. We cannot, as a society, allow them to create a situation which warrants deadly force then use deadly force. Had they simply asked Ayers inside the station or had a uniformed officer pull him over, none of this would have happened.

      I would hope now that the officer’s name is known (“Billy Shane Harrison” for those wondering) that he will be shunned and scorned within his community. He should not be welcomed in any church or any polite company until he apologizes and seeks forgiveness from those that he’s impacted. If he’s a man, he’ll also voluntarily give whatever monetary restitution he can to Ayers’ family.

    8. #8 |  Frank | 

      At this point my “give a shit” meter needle won’t move when I hear about a cop getting killed in Georgia.

      You reap what you sow.

    9. #9 |  Michael Chaney | 

      If I may expound on one point in my previous point – that the officers created this situation then exploited it to kill Ayers – please consider this. What the grand jury said is this:

      “Based upon this finding, we the Grand Jury believe that the officers involved in this incident would be immune from criminal prosecution pursuant to Official Code of Georgia Annotated 16-3-24.2.”

      The law cited by the grand jury states in part that a person who uses threats or force in defense of self or others is immune from criminal prosecution.

      In other words, I can jump out into any roadway in front of an oncoming car. If the driver is unable to avoid me, I can then shoot him since I’m defending myself. Never mind the fact that I created this situation.

      Of course, I’m being silly – this only works for police officers. But you get the drift. The grand jury should have considered not the immediate situation, but the entire situation.

    10. #10 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Sorry, last post I promise. Here’s what Kayla Barrett was saying (through her family) a couple of months ago:

      See how that compares to her GBI interview…

    11. #11 |  supercat | 

      //The defense SHOULD be able to discredit the forensic witness. But it is usually very hard (both from a legal and practical perspective) to discredit your OWN witness.//

      If the prosecution calls a witness, the prosecution has to present its questions before the defense, and the defense can thus tailor its questions and arguments around those of the prosecution. If the defense calls the witness, the situation is reversed. A deceptive witness will be helped greatly by having the party that favors the witness get the last word.

      Further, if the prosecution is allowed to introduce evidence from a witness and wait until after the jury has regarded it as “true” before the defense is allowed to challenge it, having the defense call the witness to the stand and immediately trying to tear him down isn’t going to win any points from the jury. Rebuttal needs to be immediate.

    12. #12 |  André | 

      I really liked the Baader-Meinhof Complex, but I doubt that’ll ever be released in the US.

    13. #13 |  Andrew Williams | 

      Just copied the Barbie boner pill ad to my Pics file. : )

    14. #14 |  Andrew Williams | 

      #12 So cloture prevents bleeding? I thought clotting did that.

    15. #15 |  supercat | 

      //There are many exceptions to the hearsay rule, and if the administrators had their way, lab test reports would just be another permitted exception.//

      An honest court would look at the rights the government is required to honor, and see if government policies actually honor such rights in such fashion as to be meaningful. Unfortunately, many courts instead simply look to see if government policies give lip service to people’s rights. We need courts that will recognize that recognize that deliberate efforts to undermine people’s rights while giving some lip service to them are illegitimate. If the purpose of a government action is to make it difficult for someone to confront his accuser, the action is illegitimate even if it doesn’t make confrontation totally impossible.

      It’s interesting to compare the rules of some sports with that of tournament bridge. In many sports, violations which the ref doesn’t catch aren’t violations, and it is perfectly proper for players to commit violations in the hope of getting away with them. Players may be admired for bending the rules and getting away with it. In bridge, deliberate violation or even bending of the rules is cheating; cheaters are not admired. I wish today’s government were more like bridge than the other sports.

    16. #16 |  Andrew Williams | 

      #54 Con’t:

      Continued from WHERE? Perhaps from your excuse for a brain?

      Troll pwned. EPIC fail.

    17. #17 |  ZappaCrappa | 

      DC Cop goes international: So the chief now says he acted inappropriately…the asst chief says his actions were appropriate…I wonder if the chief will now face retribution for breaking the blue code of silence?

      A side note…after 25 years of voting, I have FINALLY been ordered to report for jury duty. Odds of being selected to sit on an actual jury:

      If I say what they want to hear….50/50. If I am honest….0. By the way…my buddy recently got pulled over by the Mckinney police and they stole his cell phone…after tearing his car apart for 30 mins and finding nothing. No charges. He isn’t even sure why he got pulled over besides being african american. I believe him. I think I’m going to tell them what they want to hear so I can play too. Sorry for going off-topic but I was just all giddy with the news.

    18. #18 |  Overthrow | 

      Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I’d rate “Mullholland Drive” one of the best movies of the quarter century, myself. What about it did you not like/understand?

    19. #19 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      Part of “Police State Bingo” is “What you don’t see on the video is…” and sure enough they called that square. I guess we have to take their word that the officer (off duty) was responding to a 911 call…or maybe a call over his walkie-talkie…or smoke signals that weren’t recorded but justified his pulling his gun. Had he shot and killed someone, that be justimifyiable 2.

    20. #20 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      When innocent people get killed/murdered by cops, I often wonder if the cops involved have a hard time getting over it.

      Cops never kill innocent people, therefore they never have anything to get over.

    21. #21 |  PW | 

      “Maybe an asteroid will land on the Capital building and cloture their asses into dust.”

      Funny. Every time they have one of those state of the union gatherings a small part of me kinda wishes that one of those Roland Emmerich movie plots would unfold where the capitol gets flattened by a giant meteor, tidal wave, alien spaceship, and/or global warming-induced “thundersnow” hurricane.

    22. #22 |  Windy | 

      Excuse me but isn’t the buying of votes a form of bribery? And isn’t holding back one’s vote until one gets concessions a form of extortion? And are those both not impeachable/prosecutable offenses?

    23. #23 |  flukebucket | 

      Thanks for the links Michael Chaney.

      And can anybody tell me where Elle is getting her/his information?

    24. #24 |  Aresen | 

      | Windy | December 22nd, 2009 at 5:01 am
      Excuse me but isn’t the buying of votes a form of bribery? And isn’t holding back one’s vote until one gets concessions a form of extortion? And are those both not impeachable/prosecutable offenses?

      Libertarians are soooo cute when they think that laws should apply to the boss class.


    25. #25 |  Watching | 

      Listen to the recording on the WNEG website of what Kayla Barrett told the GBI on September 1 (within hours of the shooting and before Ayers died) about their relationship, and BEFORE the news broke that he was a pastor (she told the GBI in this interview that she didn’t know what his job was). Make up your own mind about their relationship. Does it sound like he is “ministering” to her?

    26. #26 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

      Kayla Barrett is part of a little crime wave in her part of the country:

    27. #27 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

      I just found this. Look how the GJ in the Ayer’s case was conducted.

      “I am deeply disappointed, however, to now learn that the usual practice in presenting cases to a grand jury will not be followed concerning the death of my husband,” her statement reads.

      “I understand that a first grand jury will be asked to consider the case and to give an advisory opinion on whether a second grand jury should be asked to receive evidence and decide whether to return any criminal indictments against the shooter and others responsible for Jonathan’s death,” her statement reads. “I feel that this tilts the system unfairly in favor of those whose conduct led to this tragic and shocking loss of my husband and his family, including his unborn child that I am bearing.”

      “I intend to follow the law and all recourse available to me to see that justice is done, and that all those responsible for Jonathan’s death are held accountable,” her statement concludes.

      Rickman responded to Ayers’ statement with the following written statement:

      “The district attorney’s office will be presenting the full results of the investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the shooting death of Jonathan Ayers to the Stephens County Grand Jury for their review. The grand jury will be asked to determine whether the officer’s use of lethal force was justified under Georgia law and if not, whether criminal charges are supported by the evidence and Georgia law. This process is important for a fair and transparent review of the facts and circumstances of this tragic event by the citizen members of the Grand Jury.”

      What did this “first” grand jury consider?

    28. #28 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

      Here is another post wherein a commenter says the following about what the news is reporting concerning the evidence put before the GJ. If true, it must be through TV news as I can’t find a print story yet.

      Fixed said:

      The news reports on this matter indicate that the grand jury only heard from the police officers involved and other “expert” law enforcement witnesses. It seems a little odd to me that none of the impartial witnesses present at the scene were brought before the grand jury. . . and it somewhat unsettling that a bunch of law enforcement officers would come out with guns drawn against a person who they had not first identified. If I were put in the same situation as Pastor Ayers, I believe I would have run for my life and acted just as he did. These officers were negligent and careless and should not be trusted with guns. It appears that the foxes were guarding the hen house at this grand jury proceeding !
      Posted 12/21/2009 at 10:43:38 PM

    29. #29 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

      Here is the print story about the evidence and testimony heard by the GJ:

      “The Grand Jury reviewed the entire investigative file of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and heard testimony from six witnesses, including Commander Kyle Bryant, Mountain Narcotics Criminal Investigation & Suppression Team (NCIS); Agent Chance Oxner, Mountain NCIS; Special Agent in Charge Mike Ayers, GBI; Special Agent Megan Miller, GBI; Agent Billy Shane Harrison, Mountain NCIS; and Charles J. (Joe) Key, expert in police use of force.”