Morning Links

Monday, February 15th, 2010
  • “All presidents are above average.” Starting the Cult of the Presidency at an early age.
  • This guy nails it.
  • The tone of this article seems surprised that spending on lobbying is up “even in a recession.” When the party in power is making plans to vastly expand the size and scope of government, it’s a pretty sure bet that interest groups are going to spend a lot of money to (a) get a piece of the action, and (b) ensure regulations are written in a way that benefits them, or at least that hurts competitors.
  • Next time the U.S media gets (justifiably) outraged over U.S. journalists detained in North Korea or Iran, it’s worth remembering that our own military has been detaining foreign journalists without charges, too.
  • Cop cracks jokes on Facebook about shooting citizens practicing their legal right to open carry.
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36 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Max | 

    It’s a double standard Mr. Balko, we’re the bigger, more progressive country so we deserve better treatment. How dare you imply that our journalists deserve better treatment then those of a third world country. That’s just baloney!

    As for the Presidents being shown as perfect people, spot on. I can’t believe I actually believed that FDR and Lincoln were two of the greatest POTUS’ ever for a long time. Maybe someday the Department of Education will be abolished and kids can start getting a decent, real education.

  2. #2 |  Max | 

    Oh, it’s early so I messed up the sarcasm about the journalists. And, as for the lobbyists, how can people actually believe that lobbying will go down as government grows?

  3. #3 |  z | 

    It’s not clear the journalist was detained because he was a journalist, the article seems to imply he had ties to a terrorist group. Being a journalist doesn’t make you exempt from arrest on all crimes.

  4. #4 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    From the Facebook follies article:
    “We have to be careful because they’re on his own personal private Web page,” [Captain]Estelle said. “We have to be careful not to violate his First Amendment rights.”

    Since WHEN have cops been concerned about First Amendment rights?

  5. #5 |  random guy | 

    “In no way are his personal comments reflective of any policies or procedures here at the department, nor does he speak for the police department,” Capt. Estelle said.

    Except that as a cop he actually has the power to do those things he advocates. When a police officer jokes about killing citizens for a nonviolent demonstration to express their rights, you don’t get to say that isn’t our policy and still allow the officer to work for you. As the guy in charge, if you let another officer make those kind of statements and still let him serve as an officer you are implicitly agreeing with those policies and procedures.

    Without some kind of punishment, that sticks, there is no way to distinguish how far removed from the actual policies of the comments are. Common sense, or a sense of humor, does not apply to public officials casually talking about harassing and murdering citizens just because they can. Benefit of the doubt are the reason real abuses occur in the first place.

  6. #6 |  ClassAction | 

    This is why the classics remain so important. This bullshit President-worship is nothing but an updating of Plato’s “Noble Lie.” You see, our Presidents have always been made of gold, which makes them our natural betters.

  7. #7 |  tb | 

    “Should’ve pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement … 2 weeks off!!!”

    Shorter asshole: Murder a guy, get vacation.

  8. #8 |  perlhaqr | 

    Hunh. I was always told there’s no such thing as an “ex-Marine”, but I guess there is. That cop seems to have shrugged off his previous oath to defend the constitution.

  9. #9 |  Jay | 

    It’s kind of odd seeing the double standard in such a glaring light. If some civilian had written the things the cop did, they’d be getting a visit from someone at least. If a student (whether elementary, high school or university) had done it, they’d likely be arrested/suspended. But if a cop does it…it’s all about First Amendment rights.

  10. #10 |  Mattocracy | 

    We at Fox News are outraged that another government employee is not respecting our 2nd Amendment rights! Oh wait, it’s a cop? Never mind, we’ll pass.

  11. #11 |  Gm | 

    Ahhh..couldn’t do you morning links without taking a jab at the U.S. Military, could you Radley? It always amazes me how worthless liberal bloggers can sit back and rip on the military every chance that they get. Radley, wha was the last thing that you did(besides complain about everything) that was worth a shit?

  12. #12 |  Scooby | 

    What is it with the detail on Biden’s motorcade?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=ap-bidenmotorcade-accident&prov=ap&type=lgns

    at least no one died this time:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/67365-biden-motorcade-involved-in-fatal-accident-

    but it does make at least 4 accidents in the last few months:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/17/joe-biden-car-crash-injur_n_361483.html

  13. #13 |  Tom G | 

    I’ve said for many years now, that the fact we have so many (i.e. more than 2) lobbyists in Washington is proof that government has way too much power. The only way to get rid of the lobbyists for good is to remove the ability of the legislature to make laws favoring special cases – to have a very small set of laws.

  14. #14 |  Charles | 

    Gm, what was the jab at the military? I see several links to factual descriptions of actual events. Is that what you mean, noting things that actually happened?

  15. #15 |  ClassAction | 

    #11

    I feel ya brother. Leave it to the little people to subscribe to the quaint notion that the standard for when you can criticize an organization is whether or not the organization did something worth criticizing.

  16. #16 |  Mister DNA | 

    Radley, wha was the last thing that you did(besides complain about everything) that was worth a shit?

    Yeah, Radley! Besides helping get innocent people off of death row and out of prison, what have you done lately?

  17. #17 |  Aresen | 

    “All presidents are above average.”

    Average what? Felons?

  18. #18 |  Aresen | 

    Gm | February 15th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Radley, wha was the last thing that you did(besides complain about everything) that was worth a shit?

    I have to agree with Mister DNA @ 11:40. Radley just hangs around, defending civil liberties, bringing violations of civil rights to light, testifying before Congress about the Militzrization of the Police and pointing out abuses of the 4th amendment.

    (He also blogs dogs.) ;)

  19. #19 |  primus | 

    link to cop item fail.

  20. #20 |  Andrew S. | 

    #17 | Aresen | February 15th, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I have to agree with Mister DNA @ 11:40. Radley just hangs around, defending civil liberties, bringing violations of civil rights to light, testifying before Congress about the Militzrization of the Police and pointing out abuses of the 4th amendment.

    Of course! I mean, how dare he question our government! Everything they do is to keep us safe! Why don’t you want us to be safe? You must be a terrorist! They should send you to Gitmo!

    (did I play the part well? I tried not to overdo it. Maybe I should’ve done away with the capital letters and threw in some poor grammar and spelling. Oh well.)

  21. #21 |  J sub D | 

    “All presidents are above average.” Starting the Cult of the Presidency at an early age.

    ♪ When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school
    It’s a wonder I can think at all … ♪

  22. #22 |  Luke | 

    “Should’ve pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement … 2 weeks off!!!”

    I remember reading somewhere that the boys in the guard towers were awarded extra leave time for shooting a Jew who got too close to the fence.

  23. #23 |  Aresen | 

    Great Zeus! The Cult of the Presidency is worse than I thought:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35402169/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

    (At least some Indonesians complained about the statue, but the fact that it existed at all is nauseating.

  24. #24 |  Marty | 

    not directly related to today’s articles, but the St. Louis Post has an article that brought the Garrity rule to light for me http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/laworder/story/3DED1F88160B53E5862576CA0082721F?OpenDocument and I’m fascinated it.

    The fraternal order of police site has an article on it that says ‘…statements which a law enforcement officer is compelled to make under threat of possible forfeiture of his or her job could not subsequently be used against the officer in a criminal prosecution…’ at http://www.azfop.com/alc/prGarrityRule1.htm

    can anyone add some insight for me? I understand some of the arguments for it, but I find myself feeling it’s a key to the corruption of govt officials.

  25. #25 |  Warren | 

    @GM
    Yeah, Cory Maye just got lucky…..and Stephen Hayne just got unlucky…

    On a lighter note, for more fun with everyday objects….

    http://bentobjects.blogspot.com/

  26. #26 |  Elroy | 

    Regarding the presidents, we are always looking for a wunderkind who is going to solve all the problems, right all the wrongs. My favorite president was Calvin Coolidge aka “Silent Cal”.

  27. #27 |  Les | 

    It’s not clear the journalist was detained because he was a journalist, the article seems to imply he had ties to a terrorist group.

    No, the military implied it and they provided no evidence whatsoever to back it up. The military, like most every other branch of the government, is so frequently dishonest and incompetent, that you’d have to have a leftist’s faith in the government to trust them.

    Being a journalist doesn’t make you exempt from arrest on all crimes.

    This is a ridiculous strawman. No one has suggested such a thing. How about, “Being held without charge for a year and a half by the military doesn’t make you guilty of anything.”

  28. #28 |  Aresen | 

    | Les | February 15th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    “Being held without charge for a year and a half by the military doesn’t make you guilty of anything.”

    He must be guilty. Why else would they have arrested him?

    /snark

  29. #29 |  Lucy | 

    #11 Yeah, GM, God damn writers always writing stuff. Man. Why don’t they shoot some people already? That’s ALWAYS worthwhile.

    (Liberal blogger? Really? REALLY? Are you a person or some sort of semi-aware blog of cable news soundbites?)

  30. #30 |  Andrew S. | 

    #22 | Luke | February 15th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I remember reading somewhere that the boys in the guard towers were awarded extra leave time for shooting a Jew who got too close to the fence.

    You are correct. I really hate to compare anything in this country to that (especially having been to Poland and seen Auschwitz and Birkenau), but it is scary (and sad) to see comments like that nonetheless (also that the context of them is being ignored by the media in favor of an “he’s anti-gun!” slant).

  31. #31 |  Stephen | 

    Ha!, that guy did nail it. About half the images seemed almost pornographic and it is just NAILS!

  32. #32 |  Mary | 

    That nail art was not pornographic, but it was incredibly erotic. This, coming from someone who usually does not “get” art. Thanks Radley, for a beautiful distraction from the daily uglies of cops, lawyers, etc.

  33. #33 |  z | 

    #27 Les I agree. It’s possible this guy was some kind of terrorist threat, but it’s also possible the worst fears of a government who claims the power to detain “terrorists” indefinitely without charge or cause are coming true: they are starting to use that power to silence dissent, intimidate journalists, jail political opponents, or just plain ass make a mistake. But what they haven’t done is overtly claim that they can jail a journalist without charge.

  34. #34 |  Nick | 

    My favorite liberal, Glenn Greenwald, wrote a blog post about the media’s reporting (and non-reporting) on imprisoned journalists last May.

    One case Greenwald mentions is the 6 year detention (beginning in 2001) of Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj. He was held at Guantanamo with no trial and was interrogated, not about Terrorism, but about Al Jazeera.

  35. #35 |  Stephen | 

    #32, I’m OK with “erotic”, I did say almost. :)

  36. #36 |  Peter Ramins | 

    @#4 Mike Leatherwood –

    “Since WHEN have cops been concerned about First Amendment rights?”

    Since they have to worry about police unions, which are far more protective than the ‘justice’ system, silly.

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