Morning Links

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
  • Jackson, Mississippi dropped a giant catfish this New Year’s Eve. Clever variation on the apple, but they should have had it flop around on the ground until the fifth or sixth of January.
  • “Nah, it’s just ice cream.”
  • Tennessee judge selects random people in his courtroom, orders them to undergo drug testing. Tennessee State Supreme Court “censures” him, but lets him remain on the bench, where he’ll presumably continue to rule on Fourth Amendment matters.
  • Laws against texting while driving largely symbolic, not enforceable. I told you so.
  • This is a great post on urban economies and urban planning.
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  • 22 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Scott in Austin | 

      Judge Durwood Moore. His name sounds like a backwater county goat fuc_er. I hope the County pays a large settlement given this backwater dochebag’s antics. One more reason to avoid Tennessee. It’s on my list of places to not visit, along with Maricopa County AZ.

    2. #2 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      Off to a good start, Balko.

      For those that might not get it, there’s a joke about a penguin, a mechanic, and ice cream.

    3. #3 |  J sub D | 

      Tennessee judge selects random people in his courtroom, orders them to undergo drug testing. Tennessee State Supreme Court “censures” him, but lets him remain on the bench, where he’ll presumably continue to rule on Fourth Amendment matters.

      As soon as legislators and judges on all levels (and their staffs) are subject to random drug testing and prosecuted/fired if they test ppositive, I’ll believe we’re serious about punishing all users regardless of social position.

      Call me when that is enacted.

    4. #4 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      Texting laws are not about enforcement, they are about heaping another charge onto the pile if there is an incident. You have a small fender-bender and another law is there to take away your money and freedom. Easy DA fodder.

    5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Laws against texting is just follows the very popular policy of making everyone subject to being charged with an offense no matter what they are doing. When government has that capability, they have the ability to intimidate anyone at any time. Intimidation is the tool by which they ensure obedience.

      While this is just wild speculation, it’s my guess that expanding law enforcement’s capacity to threaten innocent people with a citation or arrest is likely to encourage further abuse of power by police. Thankfully the vast majority of cops are professional and dedicated to protecting the public and would never tolerate misconduct on the part of their brethren.

    6. #6 |  EH | 

      Mike: That’s addressed in the USNews article.

    7. #7 |  Dave Krueger | 

      That fucking judge and his courtroom thugs shouldn’t just be censured or even fired. They should be charged with kidnapping.

    8. #8 |  Lee | 

      That is a really good post on urban economies and urban planning.

    9. #9 |  jistanidiot | 

      Someone explain why that’s a good post on urban economies. It sounds like the guy is recommending some kind of big government stimulus to keep “doomed” cities from declining and disappearing like they should.

    10. #10 |  Nando | 

      Dave,

      The guy who was made to piss in a cup, Benjamin Marchant, is suing the officers of the court for “punitive damages for denial of his due process rights, outrageous conduct, violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, assault and battery and false imprisonment.”

      I hope he wins (longest shot in the history of long shots).

    11. #11 |  Chris in AL | 

      “Just fix the damn thing and leave my private life out of it, okay, pal?”

    12. #12 |  Bryan | 

      jistanidiot,

      Actually, I think the author is making the opposite point. He is saying not to use big government stimulus to try to “save” the dying city because its not going to work. Rather, use government aid to help the people of the city transition into the new reality.

      He acknowledges that the new economy means that we don’t need as many large cities as we once had — but also recognizes that if the cities die too quickly it will seriously effect the quality of life of a lot of real people in a way that is not always fixed by telling them simply to move somewhere else. Because older people have property in these cities that rapidly declines in value, as well as personal relationships that they are often hesitant to leave, a good number are going to be unable to move somewhere else. Even as the younger generations move in droves. Rather than spending money on long term/big ticket projects designed to “save” the city, he recommends spending money to make it slightly more livable for the people that are stuck their. This keeps up their quality of life as the city transitions into whatever it is becoming, and gives them some mobility if they want to leave.

    13. #13 |  Lee | 

      jistanidiot,

      It seems the point of the article is that the main way the city can help its current residents is by making sure that its infrastructure stays in working order (water, sewer, police and education).

      Giving bailouts to companies to stay in the city is not the most productive use of the city’s declining revenues.

    14. #14 |  damaged justice | 

      The Tennessee State Supreme Court is like the Robin Williams joke about British police.

      “Stop! …Or I’ll say Stop again!”

    15. #15 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #10 Nando

      Dave,

      The guy who was made to piss in a cup, Benjamin Marchant, is suing the officers of the court for “punitive damages for denial of his due process rights, outrageous conduct, violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, assault and battery and false imprisonment.”

      Yeah, but nothing says “you fucked up” to a government bully quite like a nice long stay in the Big House.

      If one of us little people had detained someone without cause, forcing them to pee in a cup, I’m pretty certain we’d be behind bars.

    16. #16 |  Aresen | 

      J sub D | January 5th, 2010 at 10:07 am

      As soon as legislators and judges on all levels (and their staffs) are subject to random drug testing and prosecuted/fired if they test ppositive, I’ll believe we’re serious about punishing all users regardless of social position.

      Call me when that is enacted.

      Is it OK to move out of the way of advancing ice sheets or continental plate collisions while I’m waiting?

    17. #17 |  Windy | 

      Over the weekend, in my town, a man (pedestrian) was killed by an 18 year old who admitted he was drunk, high on ‘shrooms, and texting while driving. Guess which thing they blamed most for the accident. Yep, texting.

    18. #18 |  A.G. Pym | 

      @ #11 Chris – Excellent shout-out to Kip Adotta!

    19. #19 |  z | 

      From the sound of it the judge wasn’t picking people at random, he was engaging in some amateur profiling, trying to pick out people who looked stoned or were likely to get stoned. That interpretation is even more obviously unconstitutional.

    20. #20 |  JS | 

      Dave Kreuger “Thankfully the vast majority of cops are professional and dedicated to protecting the public and would never tolerate misconduct on the part of their brethren.”

      hahahahahahaha…brilliant!

    21. #21 |  Frank | 

      For those of you who are going WTF at 11 and 18:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEZG14eGmR8

    22. #22 |  primus | 

      cities bring this stuff on themselves, by making it too expensive to live there. Too many taxes, too far to travel, and everyone else must make more also to pay to live there, so all other costs go up too. When the underlying economics change, there is no money left to cover the costs, so they decline. The reason costs rise so high? Politicians promise and unthinking taxpayers demand.

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