Sunday Links

Sunday, August 1st, 2010
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48 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Chuchundra | 

    And most people here think Swedish socialism is a bad thing.

  2. #2 |  SJE | 

    The marijuana test debacle shows, again, the need for independent labs. The test maker, cops, prosecutors etc have a vested interest in asserting the validity of the drug test, and no interest in contrary evidence being introduced.

  3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

    Whatever. Socialism doesn’t cause cops to dance, nor do dancing cops cause socialism. But dancing cops would reduce the police state, because it’s hard to kick down a door when doing the macarena.

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    drug testing has always been about money, never accuracy. it started with testing in the military in the 70s- they had a false positive rate of 2% to 12%. that was ok, just keep retaking it until it says what you want… military people started retiring into cush jobs with drug testing companies. then, the testing spread to DOT, govt workers, and into our schools. Accuracy has never been an important issue. selling the $20 test kits and furthering the drug war has always been the most important thing.

    false positives have been reported from the beginning, even under ideal conditions.

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    From the drug kit article:

    Yet, since at least 1990, arresting officers, with the support of prosecutors, have regularly bypassed lab analysts and have purported to identify marijuana at hearings and trials only on the basis of visual inspection and the nonspecific D-L field test.

    Wait. I thought prosecutors were supposed to be diligent and have integrity and be dedicated to actual justice and shit. Hell, any prosecutor will tell you that. Especially the ones you see on TV.

  6. #6 |  Ed Dunkle | 

    Sometimes I think the general public responds more to a dog being shot than to a person being shot.

  7. #7 |  KBCraig | 

    I’ve personally seen NIK kits report that hay was marijuana, and coffee grounds were heroin.

    Never trust them, always challenge them.

  8. #8 |  Highway | 

    It’s not just a flawed test that’s doing it. It’s a flawed system that allows lazy police and prosecutors to get away with using a test with known false positives and judges and juries that don’t get the information that the test is half crap. And the overworked Public Defenders that just plea everything out.

    It’d be nice to think about a prosecutor who thinks that it is actually ‘scary’ that charges could be pressed on that evidence. What’s actually scary is that there are probably plenty of prosecutors who know that’s all the evidence they have, and they push on anyway.

  9. #9 |  Chuchundra | 

    Sometimes I think the general public responds more to a dog being shot than to a person being shot.

    Ed, there was an episode of the Sopranos where Tony indirectly threatened to hurt someone’s dog. And even though he didn’t harm the dog and even though Tony has killed or ordered killed maybe dozens of people in the course of that show, people still talk about how freaked out they were over that scene.

    People are crazy for dogs. That’s just the way it is.

  10. #10 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    nor do dancing cops cause socialism

    Although the cold war would have been far more awesome if that were the primary means of spreading socialism.

  11. #11 |  Big Chief | 

    The D-L test story was one of the best articles I’ve seen in a while. It’s too bad we won’t get much more of that as the newspapers die… What? That wasn’t from a newspaper? You mean the death of newspapers isn’t the end of investigative journalism? Way to kill two birds with one stone!

  12. #12 |  Paavo Ojala | 

    The dancing cop is an actor with some kind of performance against police violence.

    Apparently this is against violence by police, but in Malmö police, firemen and ambulances tend to get stones thrown at them in some neighborhoods.

  13. #13 |  Paavo Ojala | 

    Here’s a link to his profile at Malmö stadsteater: http://www.malmostadsteater.se/om_malmo_stadsteater/vilka_ar_vi/ensemble/33/

  14. #14 |  Maria | 

    Ed, it is a fascinating, warped, complex, illuminating thing…

    I was talking about the idea with a friend, that dead dogs elicit more tears and outrage from strangers then do dead people.

    Even I have had that type of reaction. Watching the Columbia raid, I cried while listening to the yells of the dog and while the owner asked why? and said that the dog was a good dog.

    It disturbed me that I’d had that sort of reaction and it wasn’t to the news of another child killed or another person shot or decapitated. It still disturbs me because the reaction was so visceral and sudden. But I’d also just lost my dogs to cancer so I chalked it up to those emotions.

    A while later I a family member mentioned that of course people react to dead dogs, dogs are innocent. I now wonder if it has to do with the idea of “innocence” and the idea of original sin. A deeply ingrained christian cultural voice that says the victim must have done something at some point to deserve what they got.

    But dogs, they are Innocent. Good dogs aren’t malicious, even when aggressive, they are simply doing what they do. Maybe even what we should be doing, they are warning and defending their pack against outside aggressors. Dogs are also like their children to a lot of people, beyond children, as a lady once told me, ‘Dogs love you no matter what. They will never say anything to hurt you.’ I think the phenomenon is a complex emotional and social response to our evolutionary relationship with these animals.

    However complex and strange the response is, it has a way of influencing and opening the eyes of some people that might otherwise dismiss these raids as ‘deserved’ punishment for criminal actions. All because the cops brutally gun down the dog. When this happens something inside the viewer/reader shifts and they can suddenly relate to the people on the other end of the raid as being human and not just Criminals, because they also own(ed) a dog. Hope that makes sense, having a hard time finding the proper words today.

  15. #15 |  Nash | 

    I think you’re spot on, Maria.
    Another aspect in there isn’t just the “they must have deserved it” mentality that’s rooted in religion, it’s also the fact that a very large number of people still believe everything the police say.

  16. #16 |  Mark R. | 

    @Ed Dunkle

    It’s always been a dynamic. It’s not just dogs it’s animals generally.

    The photography from the civil war of dead horses is some of the most gut wrenching stuff I’ve ever seen.

  17. #17 |  Maria | 

    Totally, in many peoples minds The Police are still The Truth and there’s always a justified reason for the actions. So the more of these cases happen the harder it is for the police forces to justify all their acts under the umbrella of “We’re doing it to protect you from the criminals!” And it’s also harder for them to answer real questions such as: “What protects us from you?” or “What’s the financial incentives to do this to us?”

    I just had a few minutes to spare and read the linked article regarding the field tests. It also echos the fallacy that cops always equal truth. Even the prosecuter in the example case was surprised by the facts of the case.

    I wonder if all those who are falsely accused of possession (cases where there is no cannabis at all) where to insist on the much more expensive lab analysis would we would start seeing visibly lower possession convictions? I’m not sure what the process entails for the defendant (costs/time/resources/etc) so it might not be an option for many of those trapped as false positives.

  18. #18 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #12: “Apparently this is against violence by police, but in Malmö police, firemen and ambulances tend to get stones thrown at them in some neighborhoods.”

    LOL, that’s where the socialism comes in. We will pelt public safety officers with stones, but don’t you dare cut our welfare checks or social services. Look they, like, wear uniforms and stuff. They must be, like, racist or sexist or fascist or something. Let’s throw some rocks, comrade! Then lets break into some capitalist stores and steal some $300 shoes for ourselves. Ah revolution for the incoherent.

    Full disclosure, I used to be a democratic socialist too, but this stuff gets ridiculous. I would not recommend throwing stones at the police, but fire fighters and medics too! What a bunch of unfocused, infantile aggression.

  19. #19 |  Aresen | 

    •Swedish cops appear to react quite a bit differently when citizens whip out the video camera.

    Just tase me, get it over quick! I don’t like to suffer.

    Just imagine the demoralizing effect of break-dancing NYC cops, of LAPD moonwalkers, of the Joe Arpaio Hat Dance!

  20. #20 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Swedish cops appear to react quite a bit differently when citizens whip out the video camera.”

    Sweden is a constitutional monarchy. Seems like an improvement over American democracy. At least the pigs can dance. I guess teaching a pig to dance is easier than teaching it how to sing.

  21. #21 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    I think European cops tend to be less violent because they see their jobs as keeping peace in the community, not enforcing the law. Folks move around less there, and so get to be known in their neighborhoods.

    But still bear in mind that when things turn politically, it is the POLICE that round up the “undesirables”. Officer Friendly is polite this week. He buys in your store. He eats at your restaurant. He smiles and greets your wife and children. But then, back at the station-house, he is told there is a new law on the books: round up all [you and your family are in that group: Jew, Pole, Slav, etc], for deportation. Now, Officer Friendly is “raus!”-ing you into the trucks with a snarling voice and hostility on his face.

    He obeys orders.

  22. #22 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Puppycide lawsuit: Cop responded to mistaken 911 call, kills family dog.”

    I hope the family wins, but this is a road America had to travel once Suburbia and dogs-as-household-pets met the police union. Poor doggies, caught in between the oblivious complacency of their owners and the selfish immature vanity of the police union — such innocent victims in all this.

    The law of unintended consequences is second only to gravity in its inexorableness.

  23. #23 |  EH | 

    I think European cops tend to be less violent because they see their jobs as keeping peace in the community, not enforcing the law. Folks move around less there, and so get to be known in their neighborhoods.

    I think it’s just because they have more recent experience with living under a police state. Think about it: about what other countries do you hear the kinds of stories we read about on this site? It ain’t the refined ones.

  24. #24 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Cops should be forced by law to call ahead when they’re going to be in a residential neighborhood so people can lock their dogs up in a crate. I know it wouldn’t prevent all puppycide because, to some cops, having a dog completely restrained would be just be an open invitation, but I think it would cut down on the killings by cops who have cortical functionality approaching that of the species homo sapiens.

  25. #25 |  Will | 

    Cops are turning into nothing but cowards. Shoot first, fuck the questions.

  26. #26 |  Frank Hummel | 

    ” but opted to use her firearm because she felt her life was in danger”

    Some general pointers for officer whatever her name is:
    -your life is in danger when a thug has the muzzle of a loaded 45 pressed against your head
    -your life is in danger when you are barreling down steep grade in a Toyota and are too stupid to turn the ignition off
    -your life is in danger if you shoot the wrong person’s dog

    When a 35 lb dog comes barking at you the only danger you’re in, is pissing your pants like a little girl and making a fool of yourself. Which is exactly what you did. I really hope none of your fellow officers’ lives will depend on you some day.

  27. #27 |  croaker | 

    Cop shoots dog, owner shoots cop. Cop gets put in an unmarked, unhallowed grave. Problem solved.

  28. #28 |  Val Parker | 

    I didn’t see any gang-bangers in that Sweden video, or any aliens. I wonder if Sweden has an open-border situation where they let undocumented Africans or Arabs in? Has anyone at this site ever maybe wandered into the city limits of St Louis? or Kansas City? or Newark? Don’t get me wrong, I think Americans should be able to tape police all they want, and I think that a good number of cops are truly stupid individuals. Many of the cops in the USA are anal rententive control freaks that really couldn’t do any other job, hence their desparate fear of getting fired. I also think that a large percentage of police lie on a daily basis. But, have you seen some of the total shitbags that populate this country lately? I mean be honest there are large swaths of our cities that you can’t go into after dark. Look at any metro section of a big city newspaper and you will see crimes committed that are not only brutal and senseless, but dumb beyond belief. I’m convinced America is the only developed country that sees this kind of third-world crime, and it’s because of our large African-American population and our quasi open-borders policy.

  29. #29 |  mad libertarian guy | 

    @25

    Turning?

  30. #30 |  Radley Balko | 

    Val Parker –

    That might be the mostly awesomely obtuse, non-sequitur racist rant I’ve ever seen.

    Clearly America has been brought to its knees by the “undocumented Africans,” who merely have to swim the Atlantic Ocean to pollute our virgin shores. We should build a wall.

    Or maybe you’re talking about the descendants of “undocumented Africans,” those blacks who selfishly came here in the 16th-19th centuries to suckle at the teat of generous and gullible plantation owners, and with their willingness to work almost for free, stole plush cotton field jobs from real, hard-working native Americans, most of whom had lived here a good 10-20 years when the Africans started coming. (“native Americans” not to be confused with “Native Americans”–white immigrants killed and stole from the Indians fair and square).

  31. #31 |  Donald | 

    So what if the dog would have bit the cop? People care what happens to dogs.

  32. #32 |  Pinandpuller | 

    I read somewhere that women cops are only good for talking or shooting.

    The canine “officer” that bit the schnauzer was taken off duty for retraining. If it’s good enough for a dog it’s good enough for the rest of them.

  33. #33 |  KristenS | 

    I am more heartbroken by dogs being shot than people. Dogs are completely, 100%, unaware of the whys and hows of being hurt. People are. It’s not that complex.

    That doesn’t mean I think SWAT raids where a person is killed instead of a dog are in any way right or justified.

  34. #34 |  edmund dantes | 

    “People want to jump to conclusions and say that the officer was trigger-happy or that they were eager to kill a dog. That’s not the case” Dickey told 9Wants to Know at the time. “We do not enjoy doing something like that. However, our safety is paramount in these situations.”

    Gee… I don’t know. Maybe the fact the officer had a perfectly acceptable and effective weapon for stopping the dog (pepper spray), but chose her weapon instead may be why people think she’s trigger happy

  35. #35 |  Marty | 

    #28 | Val Parker

    ‘Don’t get me wrong, I think Americans should be able to tape police all they want, and I think that a good number of cops are truly stupid individuals. Many of the cops in the USA are anal rententive control freaks. I also think that a large percentage of police lie on a daily basis.’

    I fixed this part for you.

    ‘I’m convinced America is the only developed country that sees this kind of third-world crime, and it’s because of our large African-American population and our quasi open-borders policy.’

    Apparently, you haven’t traveled much. Violent crime is lower now in America than it was in the 70s, according to numerous studies and statistics I googled.

  36. #36 |  Nick | 

    RE: The Drug Test Story… the example they used in the beginning of the story regarding Robin and her incense… the very first thing she did wrong was to open her backpack for the police there at the parking lot. Her response should have been, “I’m sorry officers, but I do not consent to searches without a search warrant.”

  37. #37 |  Laura Victoria | 

    I blogged on this case when it happened, back in early February. Gives a little bit of the stonewalling the cops did. Basically, they condemn the public for rushing to judgment, but the PD spokesperson immediately came out prior to any investigation and said the cop did everything right.

    http://wp.me/pzqev-30

    This newest article is the first time the cop’s name was published. I tried to get it before but was stonewalled. How the heck do the cops have the right to keep the names of cops involved in incidents secret? We all know why they do it, but I’ve never heard any LE agency give a rationale, beyond, “We’ve got nothing more to say.”

  38. #38 |  Marty | 

    #1 | Chuchundra
    ‘And most people here think Swedish socialism is a bad thing.’

    not ‘just’ Swedish socialism…

  39. #39 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Off topic. Interesting story about a Sacramento cop who makes stuff up when writing DUI reports.

    In laying the ground work for the meat of the story, there’s this:

    Mullock, a 25-year-old who’s been with the department for three years, was most recently assigned to the DUI enforcement team. He has been on paid administrative leave since January, when police alleged that he brandished a gun in an off-duty fracas.

    Don’t worry, though. The prosecutor really made him pay:

    In June, Mullock pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of using offensive words in public in connection with the downtown Sacramento incident.

  40. #40 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “He then ordered Robin to stand by her truck, while he took the incense back to his car and conducted a common field test, known as a Duquenois-Levine, or D-L, test. ”

    How did Florida degenerate from a tourist mecca of flamingos, sunsets, and
    pina coladas into dopey cops busting hikers
    for incense?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  41. #41 |  Mannie | 

    > #2 | SJE | August 1st, 2010 at 12:11 pm
    > The marijuana test debacle shows, again, the need for independent labs.

    Like the “independent” companies that sell red light cameras? The cops will use tame “independent” labs. You can still get your own “independent” lab. Bring money.

    The problem is with corrupt persecutors [sic] who know the tests are bad, but know they can win on them, anyway.

    I don’t blame the cops so much, although they do appear flaky in this case. A presumptive test does establish Probable Cause for arrest. Most of the stuff they bust people for isn’t smudge sticks or coffee grounds but real-live pot.

    It’s the Criminal Justice Machine. It does not care about guilt or innocence. All it cares about is convictions. But the persecutors [sic] are sworn to seek justice, not just convictions. Most of them should be hanged. Presumptively.

  42. #42 |  Val Parker | 

    I’m not sure you read my comments very well. I was clearly talking about Sweden’s lack of a broken border, and that they don’t have any undocumented Africans and Arabs roaming the streets, like we have Mexicans. I used Africans and Arabs as an example because it would not seem likely that Mexicans could make it all the way over to Sweden. There is nothing in my comments that suggests that Africans are jumping the border into the USA or ever have.

    Now if you want to pretend that black parts of town in America aren’t just the biggest shitholes, then go ahead, but all the Time magazine articles in the world are not going to convince me otherwise. Pick up the Metro section sometime and start deleting your Journolist emails, or whatever it is you use to get your story straight with your other left-libertarian buddies.

  43. #43 |  Aresen | 

    Val Parker:

    1) Sweden does have problems with immigrants and crime. Somehow, they manage to keep their cops from turning into assholes. (Even if they are bad dancers.)

    2) Black neighborhoods in the US do have higher crime rates. However, that might have more to do with restrictive labor laws and policies that discourage investment as well as putting a large portion of young black Americans in prison for drug offences and other victimless crimes, thus branding them with criminal records that make it difficult for them to obtain many jobs.

    3) Strangely enough, the immigrant populations of the past that have been labelled as “uncivilized” or “inherently criminal” – the Irish, the Italians, the Polish, the Germans, the Chinese – have all gone through the same stigmatization, have all shown higher-than-average crime rates, and have all gone on to become typical Americans seeking the good life.

    4) You may not have noticed, but a certain person with african ancestry has done remarkably well in US politics lately. Although I disagree with this person’s politics, I think he has shown himself to be just as law-abiding and as hard working as any “white” american politician.

  44. #44 |  Aresen | 

    OOPS. Forgot to close the link.

  45. #45 |  Val Parker | 

    Sweden, like all other civilized nations of the world does not allow undocumented immigration. That nice town in Sweden you mention allows 1500 a year! Tucson get’s that many in a week. I would bet that if you managed to get into Sweden from Kenya without papers, you would get thrown out when you went to apply for welfare.

    Here is a quote form the article you link.

    “They come seeking asylum and not work,” he said.
    He recalled the Scandinavian country’s generous humanitarian policies which provide immigrants with everything they need once they arrive.

  46. #46 |  UCrawford | 

    Sweden, like all other civilized nations of the world does not allow undocumented immigration.

    What, you mean like the Soviet Union and most of the Eastern European countries during the Cold War? Or like North Korea now?

    Sorry, but I’m interesting in being as little like those countries as possible in pretty much every possible way…starting with immigration. And I’d feel that way about immigration even if your arguments weren’t disgustingly ignorant and idiotically stated.

  47. #47 |  Val Parker | 

    @46 How about countries like Germany, France, Canada, Spain, Italy, Australia? All these countries have tight immigration policies and regularly deport undocumented aliens. Hell every country does except the USA if you can get into a city like San Francicso.

  48. #48 |  UCrawford | 

    So what? Just because those countries do it, we should too? What are you…five? If they jumped off a bridge, would you say we should do that too?

    I don’t care if every other country in the world except us kicks out immigrants. It’s stupid law…both morally and economically, and the only reason people like you support it are a) racism (which most of you are too chickenshit and/or self-deluded to admit to) and b) to prop up crappy government welfare programs that shouldn’t exist in the first place. You can’t point to crime being a factor in your decisions because all of the crime statistics say that “illegal” immigrants commit fewer violent crimes than legal immigrants or citizens. So I reject your arguments against immigration on the basis that you haven’t made an argument yet that’s got a measurable plus besides making you and the idiots like you happy.

    And I kind of like it when racists are unhappy because they don’t get what they want.

    (Cue Val’s obligatory hysterical and anecdotal argument about how all of our problems can be traced back to dark-skinned people)

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