Morning Links

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

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53 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Johnny Longtorso | 

    Journolist, on sexism:

    Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.

    “Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”

    Chris Hayes of the Nation wrote in with words of encouragement, and to ask for more talking points. “Keep the ideas coming! Have to go on TV to talk about this in a few min and need all the help I can get,” Hayes wrote.

    Suzanne Nossel, chief of operations for Human Rights Watch, added a novel take: “I think it is and can be spun as a profoundly sexist pick. Women should feel umbrage at the idea that their votes can be attracted just by putting a woman, any woman, on the ticket no matter her qualifications or views.”

    Mother Jones’s Stein loved the idea. “That’s excellent! If enough people – people on this list? – write that the pick is sexist, you’ll have the networks debating it for days. And that negates the SINGLE thing Palin brings to the ticket,” he wrote. . . .

  2. #2 |  MassHole | 

    Awesome view! Enjoy the high roller status! The only time I have ever been upgraded to first class on a flight was the morning after my best friends wedding. Had not slept and was barely keeping it together. I think the woman at the desk took mercy on me.

  3. #3 |  Griffin3 | 

    re: deputies gone wild … Wow. And chalk another one up for video of deputies, even if they seem to have supplied it themselves.

  4. #4 |  Mike H | 

    “Screw him! Negligent discharge!” What irony. If only all the trigger-happy home invaders operating under colour of law could be judged by the same sentiment. It wouldn’t bring the homeowners and their pets back, but it would meet a satisfying standard of justice.

    I lived in SLO county for a couple of years and there was a ridiculously inflated Sheriff’s Dept presence in town and on the highways. They once followed me to a gas station and harassed me for having a malfunctioning headlight -they even called for backup! Infuriatingly, the one time I needed their help (had my car broken into) they “lost” the critical info (suspect’s plate number) I provided them with.

  5. #5 |  Maria | 

    Now now. Let’s look at the bright side, at least it wasn’t 10 billion!

  6. #6 |  scottp | 

    Surprisingly, they didn’t shoot the dog.

  7. #7 |  Dave W. | 

    I loved, loved, loved the police find the guns video. Thanks sooo much for that link. However, I do want to point out that the narrator makes an incorrect (or perhaps only incomplete) analysis of the facts under 9th Circuit law. Better analysis goes like this:

    There are two separate 4A exceptions that the narrator was sort of getting at: (i) the exigency exception; and (ii) the emergency exception.

    The exigency exception applies when there is an ongoing crime going on in the private place (eg, the house, the safe), or when a criminal is inside the private place, or when evidence of a crime is in the private place. To the extent that the policemen were looking for illegal guns, illegal drugs or other contraband, legal analysis should proceed under the exigency exception because this is the exception that allows police to look for evidence. However, the exigency exception requires probable cause. Furthermore, the exigency requires not just probable cause that a crime has been committed, but also probable cause to believe that the evidence or suspect will disappear before a warrant can be obtained. In this case, the exigency exception is not met because: (i) a negligent discharge outside the residence (even if there really was one, and I don’t think there was) made by a suspect outside the residence with a gun outside the residence does not give probable cause that any guns inside of the residence were used in the negligent discharge; and (ii) even if they found evidence that an additional gun was used (eg, bullets at the scene did not match the “outside gun”), they could have gotten a warrant. Applying exigent circumstances to the resisting arrest and brandishing charges (which they also charged him with, but should not have), evidence of these trumped up charges was not going to be in the house either.

    Moving to the emergency exception, this has to with when someone is hurt, or about to be hurt, in the private place that the police want to go into. This used to be called the firefighter’s exception, and that should give some clue to what it is, and what it is not, about. One question about the emergency exception that has not really been answered by the Courts is how strongly the emergency responder needs to believe a hurt d00d is inside.* Any house could possibly have a boatload of dying people inside at any given time of day or night (even Justice Sotomayor’s house!!!!). Still the standard of how strong the belief must be is probably somewhat higher that “emergency could possibly be there.” If the police officers had suggested that there might be shot people in the house or gun safe, then that might have been their strongest argument (as indicated by the defense atty interviewed in the vid). However, the police officers would have a big problem with that because they weren’t looking that hard for shot people outside, which is where you would most expect to find shot people in the case of a negligent discharge gone bad (or even in the case of outdoor brandishing). Also, it is clear that the policemen didn’t think anybody had been shot in like reality (to the extent that matters).

    Bottom Line: No exigency exception and no emergency exception, and this case would have been an excellent vehicle to create clerarer law on these points, except for the fact that there was an apparent funding imbalance as between the prosecution and the defense.


    * personally, I think the “probable cause” standard should apply here to. For example, some courts dealing with the emergency exception have said that the responder needs a “reason to believe” (in the existence of the emergency) to go in. But this “reason to believe” standard is the probable cause standard (and it is supposedly more rigorous than reasonable suspicion). Some pro-police law professors argue that probable cause cannot apply to the emergency or exigent circumstances exception because of a 2006 SCOTUS case** where the police saw a guy punch a teenager hard in the face from outside through a window of a house, and then they went in. It is true that SCOTUS did not mention probable cause in that case, but my take is that probable cause was only not mentioned because the police seeing the punch was probable cause of both a crime (for exigency exception purposes) and a medical emergency (for emergency exception purposes). There was no need to talk about probable cause. It was manifest and not an issue (there were other, real issues in the case).


    ** Justice Steven called the case an “odd flyspeck of a case.” Which: (i) I thought was a cool description; and (ii) is helpful if you are inclined to GOOGLE the opinion.

  8. #8 |  SJE | 

    Sheriff’s story: Yet again, more evidence that (a) we should be allowed to record cops and (b) that cops should not be allowed to delete their own records.

    The part that is going to be most interesting is how the Chief explains this.
    If he says “normal procedures,” “just following orders” etc, then the entire department is up for a US Sect 1983 civil rights law suit for having a system of civil rights abuse. Looks like the only way is for these guys to take the fall. The other really insteresting thing is whether another police department will hire them: if ANYTHING happens that is remotely suspicious, people will just pull out these tapes to show how corrupt these people are, and how the new department is at fault for hiring them. Its like hiring Michael Jackson to look after your kids.

  9. #9 |  SJE | 

    re: Pentagon’s money.
    They told me they invested it with a Nigerian Prince, who just needed a small loan to get access to his 1 trillion bank account. I mean, it came over the email, so it must be right.

  10. #10 |  Mark R. | 

    That linked pdf about the bagel shop owner makes me increasingly glad I’m not in the food business. I’ve talked about it a couple of times with my girlfriend but we get migraines just dealing with the stupidity of the local zoning officer. Good god if the feds got in our kitchen.

  11. #11 |  Kevin3% | 

    aside from the anger at the cops in SLO and there game playing I always marvel about how carelessly they handle their firearms.

    A cardinal rule in firearms safety in the field:
    yet no fewer than 3 of these assholes are recorded doing just that.

  12. #12 |  Paula | 

    Do you know gets employers hiring? Sales. Do you know where sales come from? Consumers. It called demand and right now, there isn’t any.

  13. #13 |  qwints | 

    I seem to remember Rumsfeld responding to a question about a missing billion dollars in Pentagon funds by insisting thàt it must have only been a million. Events like this lend credence to the protestors who said it was all about oil.

  14. #14 |  Bob | 

    Sheriff’s deputies caught on tape conspiring their way around the Fourth Amendment.

    Crap, the guy is lucky he wasn’t gunned down while reaching for his cell phone.

    Even if all charges were dropped, and these cement head mother fuckers (Who think they’re the ‘good’ cops) were fired, they’d just go 5 miles and get jobs at the next town.

    The problem with the concept of “Brass needs to keep them in line” is that THESE cement heads are the future brass, just like the current brass are the cement heads of old.

    My first question was… was it even illegal TO discharge a firearm on his property? If shooting a gun was legal, then the cops were full on ‘regulators’ who should be in prison from minute one:

    A recent call to the San Luis Obispo County Sherriff’s department reported shots fired at a two-acre privately owned residence in an unincorporated area of the county.

    When Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they immediately moved to detain homeowner Matt Hart, who was sighting in his .22 caliber rifle, as he had done for years, legally, on his own property.

    Well, if that’s true… he was a totally innocent, law abiding citizen shooting his little .22 at targets on his own property in an unincorporated part of the county.

    These cement heads were going to jack an innocent man up on multiple felonies to hide their their own incompetence. They need to be in prison.

    It doesn’t appear that any charges were brought against the regulators at all.

  15. #15 |  Samk | 

    I’m always bothered by regular cops and their approach to these situations…but not just the illegality part. If these guys honestly thought there was a threat then they’re a Darwin award waiting to happen. You only see so many of their actions in the videos, but my first thought was “guy with a gun behind a truck and you’re taking a knee in the open? are you F’ing retarded? Get some solid cover like your car or the tree you’re right next to!”

    The next good one was when they all climbed over the fence at once with their rifles slung or otherwise not readily usable. If there really was someone else inside who might be a danger they could have walked out, smoked a cigarette, set up a table, sighted in and calmly shot every one of them before they could have done a damned thing. Bit of an exaggeration, but seriously…If these idiots have not tactical sense don’t give them the gear to get themselves into truly dangerous situations. All of which is totally besides the point of the nearly complete uselessness of law enforcement in any field whatsoever.

  16. #16 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Raid in SLO, Calif. What a bunch of lawless goons.
    Imagine surgeons acting like the SLO cops.

    “Let’s cut off the other leg too.”
    “Huh? Why?”
    “More money.”
    “How we gonna justify it?”
    “Exigent circumumstances.”
    “Based on what?”
    “What kind?”
    “He flinched.”
    “That’s not enough.”
    “Just flower up the examination report.”
    “No problem.”
    “Hey, cut off the hands too. Then remove the spleen.”
    “No problem.”
    “Git er done.”

  17. #17 |  Hardison Collins | 

    -concerning SLO County Police
    “from citizen to subject to asshole”
    just another instance of police way more interested in asserting their authority than maintaining public order.
    – oh, and posing with hot guns!

  18. #18 |  Bob | 

    “I’m always bothered by regular cops and their approach to these situations…”

    I’m bothered by their approach too. There’s nothing illegal about shooting a gun on private property in unincorporated sections of the county.

    They had no reason to believe he was injuring anyone, or doing anything illegal.

    Their approach SHOULD have been with guns holstered and a friendly hello. Then, when it was obvious there was nothing to see here, left.

  19. #19 |  djm | 

    @#12 Paula,

    It’s worth reading through a couple of the IJ case studies because their point isn’t really to do with the macroeconomic situation. It’s not even primarily to do with the high taxes faced by entrepreneurs anywhere.

    It’s about the regulations. Want to braid hair? That’s a 1200 hour course at your expense (For reference, becoming a cop – 400 hours, firefighter – 240). Want to sell caskets? Not unless you have 3 years experience embalming bodies (The equivalent of every car salesman having 3 years of stunt driving experience). If you want to make bagels and sell them, you need to register with a dozen agencies and comply with their onerous paperwork.

    I’m going to be generous and say that the food safety laws are well intentioned but wrongheaded, got far too big and complex, and could be consolidated and simplified. But others are specifically designed to raise barriers to entry and preempt competition. Disgraceful.

    Yeah, a pickup in demand would be nice. But hey, not even the best economists can agree on how to do that, and at what cost. If you’re looking to stimulate investment with little ill effect, all you really need to do is start cutting the red tape.

  20. #20 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Best way for government to create new jobs . . . is for government to stop preventing people from creating new jobs.

    It’s the “best” way because it’s also the *only* way. If government takes money from working business and gives it to someone else, they will at best break even on the job count.

  21. #21 |  LibertarianBlue | 

    Hey Radley you might be interested in how Root seems to support Some Animals are more equal than others in regards to the NYC mosque.

  22. #22 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “I somehow lucked into a 24th floor penthouse for my 18 hours in New York City. I have an enormous rooftop patio that’s bigger than most bars. Here’s what I woke up to this morning.”

    Upper East Side? Maybe around 70th St. and 2nd Ave.?

  23. #23 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #20 | Michael Chaney

    You’re too kind to government Michael. Government intervention is always and everywhere a money-loser — a misallocation of resources, except for those who get to skim off the top of course.

  24. #24 |  Radley Balko | 

    Re: Root.

    Saw that. I stopped reading when he referred to himself as “one of America’s leading Libertarian thinkers.”

    If you have to say it, you probably aren’t.

  25. #25 |  Monica | 

    RE: The cop video…. “I’ll charge him with anything I can find”

    That opens up a whole world of possibilities doesn’t it, since all these “defenders of freedom” lawmakers have pretty much made everything under the sun illegal.

    As Ayn Rand said in Atlas Shrugged, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    That video is infuriating but this is our fault for being so apathetic about abuses of government over the years. By the time people wake up and realize the extent of the police state in which we live in it is way too late to do anything much about it. Plus, there is always that minority in our country who will excuse ANY abuses by our employees if they can feel “safer”

  26. #26 |  David | 


  27. #27 |  Mario | 

    Those recordings provide a rare, frighteningly revealing, behind-the-scenes perspective of how one local law enforcement agency views the Fourth Amendment …

    Thank goodness it’s only this one local law enforcement agency. Imagine if more cops thought this way!

  28. #28 |  Monica | 

    I know David, the truly frightening part is that it really is the majority. They don’t care about the rights of others because that could never happen to “them”

    Wishful thinking on my part.

  29. #29 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Pentagon announces it lost about $9 billion of Iraq’s oil money.

    Why even mention such a pittance? To the Pentagon that’s like dropping a penny while walking down the street. Bending down to pick it us is more work than it’s worth.

  30. #30 |  xenia onatopp | 

    I stopped reading when he referred to himself as “one of America’s leading Libertarian thinkers.” If you have to say it, you probably aren’t.

    Words to live by. I have a similar reaction to “I’m not a racist, but…” Nothing that follows is going to bear that out.

  31. #31 |  SJE | 

    “one of America’s leading Libertarian thinkers”: gawd. It’s like Daffy Duck describing himself as a “super genius” right before getting pwnd by Bugs Bunny (who turned 70 yesterday).

  32. #32 |  SJE | 

    FYI, “Root” is Australian slang for the sexual act, just one step below the f-word.

  33. #33 |  xenia onatopp | 

    No, no, no! It’s Wile E. Coyote who’s a Super Genius, and he has the business card to prove it.

  34. #34 |  James D | 

    Your first link deserves one of these:

    …. too bad the Govt just doesn’t get it … or care.

  35. #35 |  Billy Beck | 

    “Flowery language” = fucking lies.

    Let’s get that in the record.

  36. #36 |  J sub D | 

    Saw that. I stopped reading when he referred to himself as “one of America’s leading Libertarian thinkers.”

    It’s hard to keep reading when your eyes are filled with tears of derisive laughter, isn’t it?

  37. #37 |  Paula | 


    I agree that there are barriers to entry and they can be pretty high for some industries. However I don’t believe that they are all bad as regulations are usually sparked by some type of negative event that make Americans demand that congress act to protect us. Business don’t always act in the best interest in their communities (superfund sites, acid rain, food contamination, staph infections at the barber shop, …).

    Now back to the macro view, my point is this, if a sales are down owner lays off employees period. I don’t care how many tax cuts we give to corporations, if there are no sales, no one hires. It’s business 101.

    How to generate demand isn’t that tricky really. Owner must provide a good or service at a price that consumers want. I suggest that if a business is failing it is because it’s customers don’t want the product or won’t buy at the price. So either owner needs to sell something else or lower the price. Of course I am over simplifying, but this is essentially what businesses face.

    Now I could get into the whole Keynesian v Friedman discussion…

  38. #38 |  Mrs. C | 

    Sheriff’s deputies caught on tape conspiring their way around the Fourth Amendment.

    After watching this video…I can only imagine…what an audio or video…of the VA FCPD SWAT team’s conduct…prior to…during…and in the aftermath…of my son’s wrongful shooting and killing…may have revealed.

    Veteran police officer Mike Brennler’s comments on Part 3 at 3:14 to 3:42 …did not fall on deaf ears as I listened.

    Solutions do lie in the “consciences”…of law enforcement top brass…executive managers…and supervision…who set the bar…for the rest of the organization…and when they…do not demonstrate…the moral right…of their actions or motives… well…good judgment…along with common sense…are replaced…with wrongful excessive behaviors…the belief that anything goes…and they will justify their actions later…while not considering the risk…they pose…that could end the life…of a fellow human being…for no good reason… as I well know.

    In our case…FCPD policies…protocols… and training…are all also at fault…and there appears to have been no one then…or now…with a conscience.

    Thank God Matt Hart is still alive.

  39. #39 |  Paula | 

    We know why ppl with no money don’t spend, but why do ppl that have money don’t?

    I believe that these ppl, such as myself, are uncertain as to their future economic future. When you see the unemployment rate and the house next door on the market for over two years, you get nervous. Could this happen to me?

    But, I have spent money on good deals. Got a used Lexus at a great price with good terms. Getting home improvements because contractor’s prices
    are more affordable.

    However, I will not spend any money that will cause me to dip into my savings account because I am not certain that my job will be the in a year from now.

  40. #40 |  xenia onatopp | 

    It’s hard to keep reading when your eyes are filled with tears of derision.

    To be fair, would you have been able to find a way to fit “Wayne Allyn Root” and “libertarian” and “thinker” into the same sentence? That’s one job for which he is the only real choice.

  41. #41 |  Marty | 

    I see the posts on entrepreneurs and the deputies as being connected. the entrepreneurs were oppressed by bullshit bureaucrats and the deputies are oppressing with their bullshit power trip.

  42. #42 |  SJE | 

    Gah! I should have gotten that right. Luckily, I’m not trying to chase wabbits, road runners, or votes.

  43. #43 |  djm | 

    @37 Paula,

    I’m not opposed to all regulations. And a lot of what you described isn’t really a barrier to entry. Want to run a diner? Fine, keep the kitchen clean and the staph out of the broccoli (that’s where staph hides right?) But requiring you to complete a 3 year course on restaurant management because some industry group lobbied to have that written into law? Yeah, I got a big problem with that.

    I think you’re exaggerating the scope of the problem when you say that there are “no sales.” Yes, demand is weak, and retail sales are off about 15 or 20% from the peak. That’s a lot, but it’s hardly zero. I know you’re being hyperbolic, but let’s face it, there’s still consumer demand out there. It’s just that consumers are more discerning.

    Go back and read the story about Melony Armstrong (the hair braider). What is most telling is that almost all of the solutions pols will be pushing simply didn’t apply. She didn’t need an entreprenurial grant, or a rebate package. She didn’t need more education (indeed the “educational” requirement was part of the problem). She didn’t need a bank loan or startup capital. And she didn’t need “more demand,” as she already had her customer base albeit in an informal way.

    All she needed was for the government to stand aside.

  44. #44 |  johnl | 

    Update on Erik Scott killing.
    Clark County District Attorney’s office has requested that the coroner’s inquest be postponed indefinitely. … partly because they have not yet received witness statements and reports from metro police. “””

  45. #45 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    Pig Deputies – And they STILL wonder why we are fighting back? Freaking asshats. No wonder I get a little thrill shiver up my spine whenever I hear about one of you “brave boys in blue” getting your dirt carpet or eating your own pistol.

    And I used to root for you guys…now I root for Bonnie and Clyde…and no one to blame for it but yourselves.

  46. #46 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Finally got to see the cop video. What a bunch of condescending assholes.

    Next time I hear some patriotic preaching about how our forefathers fought and died to protect our freedom, this is what I’m going to think of. A bunch of piss-ant neanderthal cops who think nothing of trampling those freedoms into the ground and pissing in the face of real heroes who actually do value and contribute to the American ideal originated by the Founders.

    And if that sounds like a load of unnecessary hyperbole, then that’s just too damn bad.

  47. #47 |  Lucy | 

    In respect to the first link, all I can think of is Dave Barry in Reason in 1994 on government spending creating jobs:

    “Of all the wonderful things government says, that’s always been just about my favorite. As opposed to if you get to keep the money. Because what you’ll do is go out and bury it in your yard, anything to prevent that money from creating jobs… On the other hand, we never say that the money we removed from another part of the economy will kill some jobs.”

    Why does a humorist get it so perfectly?

  48. #48 |  Putting a Human Face on Economic Liberty « Working for Liberty | 

    […] Economy Leave a Comment  See them, and how to create jobs at The Institute for Justice. (ht: The Agitator) […]

  49. #49 |  Bob | 

    This video is an hour long, but it’s damn good.

  50. #50 |  Bob | 

    Oh… The video is called “Largest Street Gang in America”, in case the page adds more content.

  51. #51 |  Windy | 

    SJE #8 I was with you right up to your final sentence, would have given you a +1 if not for that final sentence.

  52. #52 |  Paula | 

    DJM – I read the hair braided stord, and if the facts are correct, it is disappointing and should be fixed. I believe this is an example when the self interest of a few, and powerful, damage the public at large, which was drove home during the crisis 2008.

    Thanks for the conversation, I really enjoyed corresponding with you!

  53. #53 |  SJE | 

    #51: OK, windy. A better one would be “asking Michael Vick to look after your dog”