Sunday Links

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
  • First Circuit dismisses lawsuit against cop who confronted gun owner holding a licensed, legally concealed weapon; took and kept the gun; then remarked that he was “the only person allowed to carry a weapon on his beat.”
  • Great photo.
  • New Irish law took effect Monday that prohibits “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion”
  • General Motors, which is already majority owned by the federal government, hires lobbyists to win more preferential treatment from the federal government.
  • Essays like this one make me wonder how anyone could possibly support laws prohibiting assisted suicide. It’s really the height of hubris to insist someone endure that sort of agony because your personal morality must be the law of the land.
  • “…you should confess to something so you can be charged and sentenced and serve your sentence and then go back to your family and country, because you will not leave this place innocent.See if you can guess where that statement was uttered, and by who.
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  • 66 Responses to “Sunday Links”

    1. #1 |  skunky | 

      “by whom” not “by who”

    2. #2 |  eric | 

      “you should confess…” I was going to guess Maricopa County.

    3. #3 |  digamma | 

      Man that Canon/Nikon fan rivalry is out of control.

    4. #4 |  Patrick | 

      I think the assisted suicide thing is just like people who are against abortion because people who make a mistake “have to live with the consequences”, said consequences being, naturally, an unwanted child – and we all know there’s nothing as happy as growing up as an unwanted child. But mum and dad sure suffered consequences. Way to show them.

    5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

      With regard to the law suit against the cop, civilization is a continuous war between the government (them) and the people (us). The courts are part of “them”.

      We are idiots if we believe one part of government is going to protect us from another part of government. In the end, they have sanctioned almost every erosion of our rights that the legislative and executive branches have asked for.

    6. #6 |  Nick T. | 

      I am going to guess the quote was from a federal investigator/prosecutor talking to a “terrorist” detainee. But that seems a little obvious, and unremarkable to readers of this site.

    7. #7 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Thankfully, a blasphemy law could never be passed in the freedom loving U.S. Even our religious community would fight against such a thing just as they now fight to get “In God We Trust” removed from our currency.

      Hahahahaha! Just kidding.

    8. #8 |  Dave Krueger | 

      From the medical industry’s point of view, the idea that someone could be permitted to voluntarily terminate their life while they or their insurance company is still solvent is sacrilege.

      The entire reason medical science has progressed at all is because live patients pay better then dead patients.

    9. #9 |  Dave Krueger | 

      “There is nothing against you. But there is no innocent person here. So, you should confess to something so you can be charged and sentenced and serve your sentence and then go back to your family and country, because you will not leave this place innocent.”

      The reason it didn’t get much press is because the attitude isn’t that far out of the norm for all U.S. justice system organizations. The Constitution is just an out-dated silly annoyance that only the incredibly naive still believe in.

    10. #10 |  Nick T. | 

      Oh snap I was right.

      That shit is all just so sickening. Does anyone else feel like they are taking crazy pills when i comes to how important the whole enforcing the law concept is, particularly in going after law-breaking by the bush admin, and yet how little people in the media seem to care? Anyone?

    11. #11 |  Frank | 

      There is no man so free as one with nothing left to lose.

      If cops continue to treat gun owners like criminals, gun owners will eventually return the favor. And from what I can see, cops don’t shoot so good.

    12. #12 |  bobzbob | 

      “The entire reason medical science has progressed at all is because live patients pay better then dead patients.”

      Medical science progresses largely on government funded medical research – this is remote from the morbidity of any actual patients.

    13. #13 |  yanqui bob | 

      “confess to something…because you will not leave this place innocent”

      Sounds like something that might be said in any police station anywhere in America.

    14. #14 |  Marty | 

      hopefully, our kids ask us about the homeland security detentions the way we asked our grandparents about how japanese people could be locked up, concentration camps could be allowed, etc. because if they’re not asking us about it in horrified tones, that means homeland security is even more accepted and advanced.

    15. #15 |  ktc2 | 

      The only amazing thing about the story is that there are actually lawyers out there still naive enough to believe quaint notions like the constitution, justice or fairness matter at all in our legal system.

      I will be returning to court again shortly where I will once again speak about the constitution and the gross injustice that is being perpetrated against my family by the court system, and once again I’ll be told that “Justice” and “the constitution” are irrelevent and likely be escorted from the courtroom for mentioning them as if they were important.

    16. #16 |  Chuchundra | 

      Actually, the biggest joke of that interrogation story is Sullivan’s comments at the end where he takes a shot at…Barack Obama.

      I mean, yes we’re all disappointed that Obama’s DOJ hasn’t pursued prosecutions against these douchbags, but back in 2002 Obama was an unknown Illinois State Senator. Maybe Sully should go and apologize for all the war-mongering, anti-muslim, pro-Bush crap he wrote he wrote then before he tries to pin the whole thing on Barry O.

    17. #17 |  jp | 

      “The only amazing thing about the story is that there are actually lawyers out there still naive enough to believe quaint notions like the constitution, justice or fairness matter at all in our legal system.”

      So true. I am always (sadly) amused when I read or hear someone state somethng to the effect of:

      “make it our vocation to serve and protect the Constitution of the United States…”

      They might as well make it their “vocation” to serve and protect the Tooth Fairy. The Constitution of the United States was nullified about 150 years ago…

    18. #18 |  Radley Balko | 

      I think his criticism of Obama is more about Obama refusing to prosecute the people who ordered this sort of thing.

      And Sullivan has apologized for his support for Bush and the war in Iraq. Several times over.

    19. #19 |  Radley Balko | 

      Medical science progresses largely on government funded medical research…

      Source?

    20. #20 |  Toastrider | 

      Eh. No offense, but there’s a reason some of us refer to Sully as ‘Excitable Andy’. I hope he’s gotten over his fascination with Sarah Palin.

    21. #21 |  Jozef | 

      I’m leaving for Ireland in three days, for a month. I won’t be actively attempting to get fined for blasphemy, but knowing my big mouth and deep disregard for any organized religion, I may end up testing the extent of the law and how much it’s actually enforced.

    22. #22 |  BamBam | 

      I used to wonder how democracies became tyrannies. I know now. Because good men like Obama do nothing.

      High praise for a person that is actively part of the problem because people still believe that Obama’s words mean everything, and his actions mean next to nothing, and that is how you measure someone’s “worth”.

    23. #23 |  Lior | 

      I assumed the cop got away based on QI, but it turned out the court ruled the cop was entirely justified in his actions. The basic point in the opinion is that a cop seeing someone carrying a gun is automatically entitled to “reasonably” suspect that the person is carrying without a license, and thus detain the person to investigate this. Moreover, this kind of detention is based on the intuition of the cop rather specific probable cause, so the cop may give his imagination free rein.

    24. #24 |  Xenocles | 

      “…good men like Obama do nothing.”

      What a pathetic cop-out. As the person most able to change the policy (by virtue of his position), he literally can’t “do nothing.” What looks like inactivity is unequivocally a choice to continue the policy. If it’s a bad policy, that makes Obama one of the bad guys. Live with it.

    25. #25 |  Windy | 

      Anyone who thinks Obama is a “good man” is seriously twisted. Frankly, I think the only “good man” in our federal government is Ron Paul –he clearly speaks his principles, and he sticks to them, come hell or high water.

    26. #26 |  Windy | 

      #1 skunky, if we’re going to criticize incorrect usage of American English, the lawyer writing that piece on the “not leave this place innocent” incident used “me” when he should have used “I”. It’s an error I see far too much, in writing, in speaking, in sitcoms and dramas and movies.

      Obviously, our public schools are NOT teaching language arts at all effectively. Again, obviously, we are reminded the public schools are simply convenient babysitters for working parents, and effective indoctrination centers for government, as they are NOT educating anyone. Any child who comes out of the public school system actually educated, has educated him/herself, with no help from the school or teachers.

    27. #27 |  Dan | 

      I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the court’s decision in support of the cop who stole the guy’s weapon, strikes down the right to carry a concealed weapon. Is that the outcome of this decision?

    28. #28 |  TC | 

      “… Because good men like Obama do nothing.”

      Now that is an abomination of wording right there!

      We should just let all of those guys go so they can run home and learn how to make Obomba panties!

    29. #29 |  Random | 

      #25: Remember when Ron Paul endorsed Don Young in ’08? Even good men can make mistakes. :)

      As for the story itself, just to play devil’s advocate, the guy saying this WAS an interrogator. He’d say just about anything to scare the guy he’s talking to into doing and saying anything, *whether it’s true or not*. There’s certainly an issue there, but I’m not sure it’s the one being discussed.

    30. #30 |  Adam | 

      “he clearly speaks his principles, and he sticks to them, come hell or high water.”

      I’ve never understood why this is frequently cited as an admirable trait, often when paying grudging respect to a political foe (you know the type… “I think Bush was a lousy president, but I’ll say one thing for him: you always know where he stood and he never flip flopped!”).

      Hitler articulated his principles clearly, and stuck to them even as Soviet troops closed in on his bunker. When your principles are repugnant, I would gladly give credit for ditching them. Not that Ron Paul is Hitler, I simply mean that consistency can just as easily be a negative trait as a good one. You need to defend the principles themselves before invoking their immovability as a good thing.

    31. #31 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #25 Windy

      Anyone who thinks Obama is a “good man” is seriously twisted.

      A “good man” could never get elected President. That office is reserved for those who make promises they know they can’t keep and sell favors to those who can afford to buy them. If they held the president to the same standard as someone in the military, they would have to take every president out and shoot him for treason.

      Just my opinion, of course.

    32. #32 |  PW | 

      The gun case is extremely disturbing on two counts.

      1. It means that those “concealed carry permit” laws we fought and practically begged for in the late 90’s and early 00’s essentially amount to nothing. Another article on this story indicated that the cop refused to believe the permit because his own dispatcher dropped the ball at confirming it in their database.

      2. There’s another cop with outright sociopathic tendencies on the street doing this sort of thing to innocent people and thinking that there’s absolutely nothing wrong about it.

      Cases like this make one think that Neil Young had it right all those years ago: “Shelter me from the powder and the finger, and cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger.”

    33. #33 |  Chris | 

      The cop from the first story and the interrogator from the last should both be strung up from a tree upside down with their throats slit.

    34. #34 |  Dave W. | 

      Just in case you wondered what the popos are saying:

      http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137293

    35. #35 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      “The court held that the stop was lawful and that Officer Stern “was permitted to take actions to ensure his own safety.” ”

      AKA: WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT TO DO, I CAN DO.

    36. #36 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      Medical science progresses largely on government funded medical research…

      Beliefs such as this are what doom rapid progress.

      On the other hand, if government were in charge of handing out pussy…

    37. #37 |  bobzbob | 

      “The entire reason medical science has progressed at all is because live patients pay better then dead patients.”

      Source?

      You show me yours, i’ll show you mine.

    38. #38 |  bobzbob | 

      ” Frankly, I think the only “good man” in our federal government is Ron Paul –he clearly speaks his principles, and he sticks to them, come hell or high water.”

      Hitler stuck to his principles, does that make him a good man?

      BTW. Paul DOESN’T stick to his principles. He inserts pork for his local constituents in federal spending bills just like anyone. Sure he votes against the whole bill, but only once he is sure it will pass with his earmarks in tact. Paul is probably the biggest hypocrit in congress.

    39. #39 |  bobzbob | 

      http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2007/07/ron-pauls-personal-pork-projects.html

    40. #40 |  tjbbpgobIII | 

      The only reason the officer had any belief that his safety was at risk is because he stopped a man out innocently walking (supposedly) in a bad part of town.

    41. #41 |  bobzbob | 

      42% of medical research funding comes from government (39%) and charities (3%). But most of the remaining private funding goes to clinical trials so that private firms fund very little (<10%) of basic, innovative research that advances medical science.

      http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/294/11/1333#JOC50105T4

      Consider the cholesterol lowering statins, one of the biggest moneymakers in the history of pharma. The class of drugs was discovered and developed through years of publicly funded (in japan) university research. Drug companies spent money doing clinical trials and developing slightly different (therefore patentable) variants – but did not advance the science much at all.

    42. #42 |  bobzbob | 

      “#36 | Boyd Durkin | January 3rd, 2010 at 6:33 pm
      Medical science progresses largely on government funded medical research…

      Beliefs such as this are what doom rapid progress.”

      OK, give me an example of a major pharmaceutical developed in the last 20 years whose basic research wasn’t funded by the government. And copy cat “me too” drugs don’t count.

    43. #43 |  Rune | 

      sorry if a double post appears, it seems my comment was caught in the spam filter and thinking it over, it is understandable, as the trade name for Sildenafil was in there.

    44. #44 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Government funds medical research. So what? It’s the medical “industry” that sells the vast bulk of medical care to patients and makes sure that no one dies before their bank account (or insurance or Social Security) has been duly soaked for all they can get. To the extent that government is a partner in that endeavor doesn’t alter the fact that the industry benefits when patients aren’t permitted to “check out”, so to speak.

      Of all the parties involved in the health care industry in the U.S., the patient has the least influence. Basically, a doctor’s permission is required for any treatment and the doctor is only going to give you that treatment of the insurance company covers it, and the insurance company is only going to cover it if the government says it has to. As far as the industry is concerned, the patient merely delivers an excuse to deliver care so they can charge someone.

      Patients are little people. To government and the medical industry, they should shut the fuck up and do what they’re told.

    45. #45 |  Erin | 

      What makes you assume that Tony Judt desires to kill himself?

    46. #46 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #45 Erin

      What makes you assume that Tony Judt desires to kill himself?

      I don’t think it’s a matter of whether or not Tony Judt wants to kill himself. I think the essay simply describes a circumstance wherein the denial of suicide as an option could only be described as example of the almost unimaginable cruelty that humans are capable of inflicting on other humans in the name of morality, religion, politics, and ethics.

    47. #47 |  Dave Krueger | 

      That essay reminds me of Dalton Trumbo’s book, Johnny Got His Gun.

    48. #48 |  Mike | 

      Let me make a wild prediction: Ireland’s blasphemy law will only be used when people bash islam. When people say bad things about Christianity, hey, no problem.

      Islam: Evil to the core. Hey Ireland: Sue me.

    49. #49 |  Voltear | 

      It took my breath away as well. I used to wonder how democracies became tyrannies. I know now.

      Dude never heard of the Drug War?

    50. #50 |  Les | 

      Any child who comes out of the public school system actually educated, has educated him/herself, with no help from the school or teachers.

      As a homeschooling parent and an ex-teacher (and not a fan at all of modern education in general), I can attest that this is plainly false.

      The truth, which is all we have to work with, is a complicated thing.

    51. #51 |  SJE | 

      Bobzob: who spent more money is rarely the best indicator of who got the most results….otherwise 90% of D.C. public school students would be headed for ivy league colleges.

    52. #52 |  AJP | 

      The First Circuit decision in the gun case is bad, but if you read to the end of the opinion, you see they never addressed the merits of the plaintiff’s Second Amendment claim, because he didn’t properly raise it below. In the absence of the Second Amendment, the rest of the opinion becomes a simple case of “the office saw a guy with a pistol walking toward a courthouse, so of course he was allowed to stop him.” It would be very interesting to see how this case played out if the plaintiff had raised a Second Amendment claim in the district court. I think there is a similar case going on in Georgia, and I believe the plaintiff there has included a Second Amendment claim, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.

    53. #53 |  bobzbob | 

      “Bobzob: who spent more money is rarely the best indicator of who got the most results….otherwise 90% of D.C. public school students would be headed for ivy league colleges.”

      The fact that the pharma companies now have moved to a model where they rely on the government for most basic research is a strong indicator of who got the most results.

      And yes, v–gra, was privately invented, however its structure was designed to bind phosphodiesterase, whose structure and role in vasodialation was discovered by government funded basic research. No government funding to lead the way, no v–gra.

    54. #54 |  bobzbob | 

      I think it is interesting that Radley’s post asking for a source for my claims gets a +6, while mine asking the exact same thing for his claim gets a -5. Your double standards are showing.

    55. #55 |  Rune | 

      @bobzbob

      since my replies were eaten, it also ate the sarcasm tags ;) Yes, it was based on government sponsored ground research which pfizer thought they could use for better angina medicine.

    56. #56 |  BamBam | 

      The cop from the first story and the interrogator from the last should both be strung up from a tree upside down with their throats slit.

      #33, they should be Dexterized
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter_%28TV_series%29

    57. #57 |  BamBam | 

      Paul DOESN’T stick to his principles. He inserts pork for his local constituents in federal spending bills just like anyone.

      If money isn’t earmarked, then it goes to the federal government to waste, most likely for War On _____. By using earmarks, at least the money has a chance to be returned from the thief (federal government) and given to the lesser thief (state/local government).
      It’s a tactic that also asserts a principal.

    58. #58 |  scott | 

      The concealed carry decision isn’t entirely surprising, but I’m thrilled to see Radley post a note on the current state of the 2A in this country.

      We’ve seen a small handful of states put forth legislation that, on its face, would preclude any federal .gov involvement in the manufacture, sale or transportation of firearms (under very narrow conditions). Specifically, these states have said that any firearm manufactured and stamped for sale *only* in that state are exempt from any federal meddling; the thinking being that the interstate commerce clause is a nonissue if there’s no, ya know, interstate commerce involved. The BATFE has issued letters to those states’ AGs saying, in effect, “Nice try, folks. But we’re still going to act the ass and hassle your firearms manufacturers and owners at our pleasure.”

    59. #59 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #48 Mike

      Let me make a wild prediction: Ireland’s blasphemy law will only be used when people bash islam. When people say bad things about Christianity, hey, no problem.

      I seriously doubt that Christians have been leading the fight for free speech. According to this article the Christians have already been enjoying that protection for some time:

      The justice minister, Dermot Ahern, said that the law was necessary because while immigration had brought a growing diversity of religious faiths, the 1936 constitution extended the protection of belief only to Christians.

      I suppose it never occurred to them that they could achieve equal protection by just eliminating the special treatment for Christians.

      Ireland is a monument to peaceful religious coexistence on about the same level as Israel/Palestine and India/Pakistan. While their antagonism might not be all about religion, religion certainly defines the teams.

      Ideas that stand on their own merits don’t need laws to protect them.

    60. #60 |  Stormy Dragon | 

      I’m in favor of allowing assisted suicide in theory, but in practice I oppose it, just because I know in this society it far to easy for “I don’t think life is worth living and I want to die” to slip into “we don’t think you’re life is useful and we want to kill you”. Just look at the health reform bills that passed the house and senate. Do you really want to give them euthansia as a method of cost reduction?

    61. #61 |  Aaron | 

      A very important thing to note about the 1st Circuit case that is conveniently overlooked in the Examiner writeup:

      It’s not a Second Amendment ruling!

      Turns out the lawyer neglected to make a 2nd Amendment claim in his original filing. It was brought up briefly in oral arguments, but with no case law to back it up:

      Schubert did not assert a violation of his Second
      Amendment right in his original complaint. Nor did he file an-14-
      amended complaint to alert the court and the other parties to such
      a claim. He also did not raise the claim in his written opposition
      to summary judgment. The issue was first raised by Schubert at
      oral argument on the motion for summary judgment. Having reviewed
      the transcript, we conclude that his counsel’s references to a
      Second Amendment issue were extremely brief and were unsupported by
      citations to specific case law.

      Since it wasn’t part of the original argument, it wasn’t addressed on appeal, so the 1st Circuit has nothing to say about the 2nd Amendment on this case.

    62. #62 |  MDGuy | 

      OK, give me an example of a major pharmaceutical developed in the last 20 years whose basic research wasn’t funded by the government. And copy cat “me too” drugs don’t count.

      Cystic fibrosis hasn’t received government funding because it’s considred an “orphan disease” – that is, there aren’t enough people suffering from the disease to warrent government funding. Through private donations and corporate giving the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has provided start-up funds for all the major pharmeceutical advances (including the DNA research that identified the defective gene responsible for CF in 1989) that have increased the average life expecatancy of a CF patient from about 3 in the 1950’s to about 37 today.

      CFF Drug Discovery Pipeline

      Just sayin’.

    63. #63 |  MDGuy | 

      Why doesn’t the First Circuit Court just dismiss itself permanentaly? It’s obviously already come to the conclusion that cops should be judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one. The court has literally declared itself obsolete.

    64. #64 |  bobzbob | 

      Yes, charity accounts for about 3% of the medical research funding in the US – but that is hardly the profit motive is it?

    65. #65 |  Alex | 

      The quote is from al-Rabiah. Whether or not the interrogator said something close to that or not, the exact quote is from al-Rabiah.

    66. #66 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “First Circuit dismisses lawsuit against cop who confronted gun owner holding a licensed, legally concealed weapon; took and kept the gun; then remarked that he was “the only person allowed to carry a weapon on his beat.””

      I’m completely unsurprised. The State will defend itself and its agents against all comers.

      It’s a shame that the officer didn’t rob the plaintiff or in some way act for personal gain because that’s the only way the plaintiff could have won.

      For the millionth time, if an officer of the State is acting in official capacity, not for personal gain, and does not commit a crime of obvious malice (determined by the State of course), then there will be no sanctions by the State of its agent.

      Period.

      End of story.

      That’s the world in which you live.

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