Lunch Links

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
  • It’s worth noting that included in this map of states where there are documented cases of police departments conducting illegal surveillance of people or groups for exercising their First Amendment rights are Maryland, Illinois, and Massachusetts, the three states that have been most aggressive about arresting civilians for recording police officers.
  • Toronto police put “weapons on the table” to illustrate the threat posed by G20 protesters. Problem is, some of what was on the table weren’t weapons, and others were weapons seized in unrelated busts. Note: This is not to suggest that some of the protesters weren’t actual violent, property-destroying douchebags. From what I’ve seen, there was plenty of that, too.
  • Vatican admonishes a cardinal who helped expose sex abuse scandals.
  • Mary Beth Buchanan criticized for improper travel expenses during her time as U.S. Attorney. She had better hope the new U.S. Attorney is more lenient with her than she was with, say, Cyril Wecht.
  • Marijuana legalization will be on California’s November ballot. Regardless of how it fares (and I’m afraid it’s going to fail), if you grew up in the 80s as I did, this represents a pretty incredible marker of how far the debate has come.

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60 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  John | 

    For sure the California initiative to re-legalize pot is going to fail. No way it’ll pass. So if your against it, there’s no need to even go to the polls on election day.

  2. #2 |  BSK | 


    Duly noted. I don’t necessarily share your level of disdain for the cops, but I agree that two groups of fucktards are fine to beat the crap out of each other.

    The issue arises here: Suppose the cops (who, judging by the video, were incredibly restrained, to the point of actually failing in their legitimate duties) stepped in to protect the private property. Would you still have been okay with them getting beat up? If a cop stepped in and attempted to reasonably stop the group from destroying private property, I would have been 100% on the cop’s side. That’s where these situations get so tricky. I suppose the storeowner could have gone out there with a bat or a gun (are they legal in wherever Toronto is?) but that’s a tall order given the size of the mob. And, technically, that is what we have cops for. If they are going to exist, they might as well be charged with protecting private property rights, something they failed to do here but would have been, in my mind, rightful to have stepped in and stop, with reasonable force if necessary. Your thoughts?

  3. #3 |  BSK | 

    “Oh for god’s sake they stole some random dude’s belegarth gear and then called it weaponry….”

    I believe that belongs to Augie Farcques. He’ll need that back before the next LAIRE meeting.

  4. #4 |  Windy | 

    “people who aren’t police.” What’s wrong with “non-cops”?

  5. #5 |  kino | 

    the term Helots seems appropriate

  6. #6 |  Dave W. | 

    I prefer “regcits.”

    1. It is short and easy to say.

    2. It is intuitively clear, especially in context.

    3. (best of all) It is a new word and implies that police versus private citizen issues have taken on a new cast which necessitates the use of a new word to mean non-police as a distinct class of people (as opposed to a happenstance circumstance occasioned by a person’s career choice).

  7. #7 |  MikeZ | 

    “The people in the videos likely describe themselves as “anarchists”, because unfortunately, that term gets co-opted by a significant number of property destroying assclowns.”

    They always call themselves anarchists, until I get out my shotgun and start defending my property, Then they want government to step in and stop me from dismembering them. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  8. #8 |  Charlie O | 


    The MD state police were targeting more than an Hispanic organization. Under Ehrlich’s watch, the MD state police surveilled both anti-death penalty activists and anti-war activists. One group of which were very dangerous Quakers.

  9. #9 |  albatross | 

    You can’t be too careful with those violent Quaker extremists. They’re almost as scary as fundamentalist Unitarians.

  10. #10 |  albatross | 

    Re the Catholic question, perhaps a parallel is useful: Many perfectly good, decent people maintain their US citizenship, vote, pay taxes, volunteer for the military, work for the federal or state government, etc., even though we’re aware of the truly godawful things the US government is doing and has done in the world. Partly, that’s because the cost of leaving the community where you have built your life, made friends, etc., is high. Partly, it’s because there are things about the US that are worth saving, worth honoring, even though there are also some godawful parts. And partly, it’s because even in an organization that has corrupt, horrible parts, there are also really good parts. The doctor working at the VA hospital treating some old veteran doesn’t become a force for evil in the world, just because the same organization blows up lots of mud huts full of civilians in Afghanistan.