Afternoon Links

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Sorry I’ve been out. Migraine put me out of service for a good 36 hours.

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54 Responses to “Afternoon Links”

  1. #1 |  Mo | 

    I was wrong. I guessed Maricopa. There are far too many counties with infuriating police reports.

  2. #2 |  Bob | 

    That’s Dan Quayle’s son?

    I could build a more lifelike robot out of dimensional 2 by lumber and a box of discarded pinball machine parts.

  3. #3 |  Bob | 

    Japanese train posters.

    “Uesugi Teppei, a character from the popular manga “Ore wa Teppei,” offers to give up his seat to the elderly and infirm.”

    Oh! It took me a while, but I found the captions under the photos! I had thought that one was a friendly notice not to jerk off on the train.

  4. #4 |  Kristen | 

    Aaahhhh, sweet sweet Agitator heroin – I can feel it courseing through my veins. Sorry about the migraine.

    That motocycle cop’s mustache had me in stiches. Not to mention that he not only looks like a stereotype, he acts like one too!

  5. #5 |  Chuck | 

    Baca announced yesterday that he’s reconsidering his decision.

    http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/08/11/salazar-files/

  6. #6 |  mark r | 

    Ted Stevens was a disgrace and a thief who managed to do massive (perhaps irreparable) damage to the USA.

    An object lesson on how to abuse power.

    If his “life’s work” eventually serves as the wake up call that results in the dissolution of the senate entirely, maybe he’ll be redeemed. Failing that, the plane crash was too little, too late.

  7. #7 |  A.G. Pym | 

    Later links in the Salazar story say that the Sheriff is now having staff review the records.

  8. #8 |  Thomas M. Hermann | 

    Adam Mueller’s video was not very compelling. Sure, the bike cop was being a prick, but the follow-up officer handled the situation very well. I believe that all encounters with law enforcement should be recorded by law. We’re not going to get there with video like Adam’s. I quit watching 2/3 of the way through because it seemed like the guys shooting the video were doing the harassing at that point.

  9. #9 |  xenia onatopp | 

    Really sorry about the migraine; had to miss work one day last week due to a 48 hour fucker, so I feel you on that. The worst part is people asking “you called out for a headache?” Apparently some people don’t know how lucky they are.

  10. #10 |  Tom Barkwell | 

    Ted Stevens would be one of the poster boys for why I am no longer a republican. They talk a good game when it comes to small government and the principles of liberty and individual responsibility and self-determination, but they’re just as despicable as the other guys.

  11. #11 |  ClubMedSux | 

    I’m guessing it won’t help you cope at the time, but Troubled Hubble has a great song that seems to capture the experience of suffering a migraine pretty well (at least as well as one can while still writing a song that’s enjoyable to listen to). It’s called, oddly enough, “Migraine.” Check it out: http://new.music.yahoo.com/troubled-hubble/tracks/migraine–18312393

  12. #12 |  Julian | 

    Migraines… I know feel Radley.

    Best way to describe the pain:

    I’d shoot myself, but it would make too much noise.

  13. #13 |  Aresen | 

    OUCH.

    Glad you’re feeling better.

  14. #14 |  Aresen | 

    Another puppycide. If you had a single guess as to which county in the country it took place . . . you’re probably right.

    Yep. Prince George County it is.

    Mo | August 12th, 2010 at 1:58 pm
    I was wrong. I guessed Maricopa. There are far too many counties with infuriating police reports.

    Wel, duh! In Maricopa county, they shoot brown people.

  15. #15 |  Cyto | 

    What I learned from the posters is that you can bring your lizard-monster on the train in Japan, but he has to sit in the seat – there’s a robot with X-ray vision who checks to make sure. And they promote fatty man-love. And you are encouraged to smoke and drink scotch on the train. Confusingly, you have to wear a Santa Clause costume if you want to drink scotch on the train. And bring an umbrella! Especially if you are a hot chick. Or Jesus.

    Overall, it was damn confusing, but I think my understanding of Japanese culture is pretty good now… thanks!

  16. #16 |  Dakota | 

    I have to agree with #8. That bike cop video was actually of cops being rather professional and courteous.

    I don’t know what exactly was going on but it looked like a hundreds of people hanging out in a strip mall parking lot, afterhours. Property owner made a complaint to the cops so they show up to disperse the people.

    At the beginning the cop is a minor dick, but never really does anything that bad. The sergeant acts totally professional and entertains the guys questions in a genuine manner, and says “no that’s fine you can keep filming me”. At the end the bike cop sincerely apologizes, and explains that Property management doesn’t want hundreds of people hanging out in a closed lot.

    I watched it and thought. Geez I wish that were the only kind of bad cop stories we saw on the Radley’s blog, cause that was down right officer friendly stuff compared to most days.

  17. #17 |  Mattocracy | 

    I have never trusted rehab centers or psychiatrists. I see them as power hungry people who ruin lives for the sake of money and the thrill of controling others. They’re just variations of politicians and cult leaders.

  18. #18 |  Dan Quayle’s son is running for Congress | Hammer of Truth | 

    […] Balko rightfully points out that Ben Quayle is one creepy […]

  19. #19 |  J sub D | 

    Ted Stevens (R) and Dan Rostenkowski (D) died two days apart. Both were corrupt career politicians, both were financially rewarded for being corrupt career politicians. Both were shamelessly lauded by their fellow politicians even after their corruption became apparent.

    There really is no difference between the two major parties when it comes to morality. It’s all a fucking game to them and we’re the losers.

  20. #20 |  qwints | 

    Damn, I guessed Maricopa as well. Prince Georges was my second guess though..

  21. #21 |  megs | 

    re: the teen rehab

    I knew too many kids who went into those programs as a knee jerk reaction by (former hippies, for shame) otherwise good parents. Usually the ones with more money than average. The kids would either come out like the article says with more anti-social behavior or like cult members who abandoned their former friends and only hung out with other members of the rehab group. Even as a teen I smelled some BS, and especially with those militarize-kids-straight camps. I wouldn’t send an enemy of mine to those things.

  22. #22 |  qwints | 

    Also, major props to the sergeant in the videotaping incident. It’s not often we see police superiors correct bad behavior rather than blindy support their officers.

  23. #23 |  PogueMahone | 

    Regarding Stevens…
    It’s like I tole my wife last night –
    “I wouldn’t have wished it upon him, but the world is definitely a better place without him.”
    My wife replied –
    “Yeah, and it is in these fleeting moments when I think … there is a benevolent god after all. He arrives all too late most of the time though.”

  24. #24 |  TomMil | 

    Check out the Chipmunk version of Ben Quayle’s commercial.

    http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YNQaVNfKV8&feature=related

  25. #25 |  TomMil | 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YNQaVNfKV8&feature=related,

  26. #26 |  Marty | 

    Adam Mueller’s video is outstanding. he shows how to stand up to a cop who obviously is accustomed to running over people. Imagine how many kids without video cameras this guy has run over… Imagine how this would’ve gone without the camera…

    Penn Jillette has a piece where he talks about how annoying Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre are with their video cameras and fighting cops over this little shit… he also agrees that it’s important.

    I think people have become so used to being fucked with, they think it’s fine when a cop stomps up and demands papers and i.d. ‘just because’. Pete and Adam do a great job of showing how to assert your rights and fight back. These guys have been fucked with by so many power-tripping cops, they don’t cut any slack. I don’t blame them.

    Pete and Adam ROCK. These guys are working hard and are dedicated to making a positive difference.

  27. #27 |  Mattocracy | 

    The best part about the gag order story is how many commenters there are calling out Obama for being no better than W. on civil liberties.

  28. #28 |  Monica | 

    So we have a family facing eviction, and just to make their life even more hellish they shoot the dog. These people aren’t even worth the dirt it takes to cover them when they finally do the world a favor and kick the bucket.

    At exactly what point does an animal rights organization become involved in picketing these dog murderers? What’s it gonna take for PETA or some other organization involved with the care and rescue of animals to take up this issue? I don’t see any Action alerts on PETA’s website saying URGENT: Police murder of dogs an epidemic in America!

  29. #29 |  BSK | 

    Yea, I can’t really get on board with the cop video. If he truly is a Libertarian, he would have recognized the property owner’s rights to use his property as he sees fit. That was a case of a cop acting exactly as a libertarian would most like to see… in protection of a complainant’s private property. Yea, he was a bit douchey about it, but seeing as how he handled the end, my gut is to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept his explanation that it was a long shift. That doesn’t excuse it, but if he was clearly one of the major prick cops, my guess is he would have shown much more evidence of that in the video. The kid seemed to be seeking trouble and then balked when he got it. I’m not too sympathetic to his cause. If he really felt that there was a problem, he would have filed a complaint AND made his YouTube video. Seems like he is more interested in making noise than making change, and doesn’t care if that means violating his own principals in the process.

  30. #30 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    It is rather incredible that Ted Stevens didn’t crash into something named after Ted Stevens.

  31. #31 |  BamBam | 

    Gag orders are another way of using threat of physical and/or financial harm to silence opponents of The State.

  32. #32 |  Steve Verdon | 

    What’s it gonna take for PETA or some other organization involved with the care and rescue of animals to take up this issue?

    Monica,

    PETA doesn’t like people owning pets, so this is something they wont care about…well unless the dog was a shelter dog, then they’d have a volunteer euthanize it in the back of a van and the surreptitiously dump the dead dog in a grocery store dumpster.

    You might have better luck with a group that actually cares about dogs.

  33. #33 |  Steve Verdon | 

    f he truly is a Libertarian, he would have recognized the property owner’s rights to use his property as he sees fit. That was a case of a cop acting exactly as a libertarian would most like to see… in protection of a complainant’s private property.

    Wait wut? The property owner was the one asking Mueller not to film? Really?

  34. #34 |  Andrew Williams | 

    Stepford Kid! At first I thought he had long hair, then I realized that was a shadow behind his head. Perhaps the ghost of his dad’s career.

    The non-release of the LA Sheriff’s documents on Ruben Salazar’s death is inexcusable. And Baca’s excuse is laughable: they can’t find ONE staffer to go through 8 boxes? How big are the fucking things? Hell, pay me $7/hr and I’LL go through the fucking boxes. I’d love to see if there’s any good intel about Tom Reddin and Peter Pitchess in there.

  35. #35 |  Andrew Williams | 

    Well, glad to see that Baca is seeing sense on the Salazar files. Maybe he was afraid that WikiLeaks might beat him to it. ;)

    Oh, and glad you’re feeling better, Radley. My partner gets migraines which usually put her out for at least a day. Coffee ice cream (applied externally and internally) helps.

  36. #36 |  BSK | 

    Steve-

    I should clarify. The property owner wanted the people out of the parking lot. The cops were there on a call. They were acting at his request. I have no problem with them enforcing that request albeit doing so in a responsible manner.

    Also, the cop didn’t really stop the kid from videotaping. I think when he approached him the second time and asked him to hand it to a friend, it was because he wanted to have a more candid conversation with the kid. He knew he sorta messed up the first time and was attempting (poorly) to own up to it and probably didn’t want his mea culpa recorded. He didn’t force the kid to stop and didn’t even make all that effort to get him to stop. Again, not the best thing to do, but all-in-all, I’m more bothered by a self-identifying libertarian getting bothered by cops acting at the request of a private property owner to clear people off his property.

  37. #37 |  xenia onatopp | 

    Ben Quayle: More Than Just Creepy, He’s A Hypocrite, Too

  38. #38 |  Ahcuah | 

    Re: Migraines

    You may already know this trick and it may not work for you. But just in case . . .

    As soon as you feel the migraine coming on, take a No-Doz (or other high caffeine tablet). This can often arrest or ameliorate the symptoms.

  39. #39 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #30 | Boyd Durkin — “It is rather incredible that Ted Stevens didn’t crash into something named after Ted Stevens.”

    That is a very witty statement Boyd. Doubledoubleplusgood!

  40. #40 |  cks | 

    Kinda sad that anyone would celebrate a death. I’m not sure who it says more about…
    I think to understand the affection Alaskans had for Ted Stevens, you have to have lived here. You need to feel the boot of the Feds as they appropriate nearly a quarter of the state. You need to understand the statehood compact, and how it’s been ignored by the Federal government. You need to understand that when ‘No Child Left Behind’ says it’s time to move schools it means a float plane ride. You need to understand that a honey bucket is not filled with honey. It’s easy to criticize from a comfortable perch in a city filled with infrastructure. Try it as a injured or sick person from a western Alaska village that has been denied road access to an airport because of some bird watchers from the lower 48. Most of all understand that Ted Stevens really did care about Alaska more than himself. I think a more honest, less biased approach to the article cited by Radley would have noted that Ted Stevens served for decades in the Senate as a relative pauper.
    Here’s something to ponder over….I’m going to posit that Alaska is the most libertarian leaning state in the union…so why did Alaskans love Uncle Ted? Here’s an accused staunch Republican who was pro-choice…huh? Here’s a Senator who believed that Defense dollars were best spent in-country, DEFENDING the country. Here’s a Senator who didn’t let the Clinton administration trade away Alaska salmon for Canadian troops to Bosnia. As long as we’re talking about how an individual represented his state in DC, Uncle Ted was peerless. Bitch all you want about how Ted played the fucked up DC game but he didn’t invent the game. And frankly, anyone who thinks Ted Stevens was in the Senate for personal gain has their head up their ass. Let’s review…an easy chair, a bbq, a dog, and a remodel job that cost what the appraisal increased. Quick! Call Mary Beth!
    Change the rules of the game…and condolences to all of the families who lost loved ones in that plane crash. I honestly believe that Mr. Stevens would be distressed that his death has taken center stage in this event…but maybe that’s because I haven’t demonized him enough in my own mind.

  41. #41 |  cks | 

    OK…now I’m going to refill my drink, talk to one of my fellow fishermen(up here we get paid for producing, not for showing up), toast a guy who really did understand this place. Peace, all. Change the rules.

  42. #42 |  Radley Balko | 

    So while he built monuments to himself with taxpayer dollars for his entire Senate tenure, we’re supposed to cheer the fact that he didn’t outright steal from us until the last five years of his career? Huzzah!

    And I’m sorry, but for most of Stevens’ career, U.S. senators made well over six figures in today’s dollars (I believe they made $170,000 last year), plus travel and office expenses. That’s hardly “a relative pauper.” I’m sorry Ted was hurt to be surrounded by millionaires when he himself was only in the top 5 percent of income earners. Poor thing. That’s not an excuse to start handing over federal contracts in exchange for kickbacks to relatives.

    I’m sympathetic to the argument that Alaska is hostage to federal regulation, and that much of the land there is owned by the federal government. So spend your energy loosening the feds’ grip. Stevens’ spent his raiding the Treasury. Alaska by far and away had the highest dollars in vs. dollars out ratio in the country.

    I’ll take your word for it that the man loved Alaska more than he loved himself. But I don’t live there. And he wasted my tax money on useless works projects that now bear his name. I wouldn’t wish death on anyone who hasn’t intentionally cause the death of others. But I sure as hell won’t mourn Ted Stevens. Or Robert Byrd. Or Dan Rostenkowski.

  43. #43 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I should clarify. The property owner wanted the people out of the parking lot. The cops were there on a call. They were acting at his request. I have no problem with them enforcing that request albeit doing so in a responsible manner.

    Ok, so the property rights argument was not really true then. We don’t know what the actual owner of the property would have wanted regarding shooting video of people in a parking lot easily accessible to the public–i.e. where the expectation of privacy is very low.

    Also, the cop didn’t really stop the kid from videotaping. I think when he approached him the second time and asked him to hand it to a friend, it was because he wanted to have a more candid conversation with the kid.

    Actually it was an attempt to intimidate, which the cop admits to on video. It was a douche move and one that is technically an abuse of authority as is asking for license, registration and proof of insurance….considering the guy taking the video is on foot.

    The cop new he wasn’t going to get anywhere with this guy, IMO. He knew the guy didn’t have to produce ID, now if he’d asked him to identify himself that is another thing altogether.

    He didn’t force the kid to stop and didn’t even make all that effort to get him to stop. Again, not the best thing to do, but all-in-all, I’m more bothered by a self-identifying libertarian getting bothered by cops acting at the request of a private property owner to clear people off his property.

    Which the cop failed to do. He wasn’t doing his job, he was annoyed he was being videotaped and acted like a douche bag. The level of professionalism by the motorcycle officer is severely lacking. Back to training I’d say at the very least.

    Defend the douche bag if you must, but frankly I think standing there and video taping him is no justification for that kind of behavior from a supposed professional.

    Kinda sad that anyone would celebrate a death. I’m not sure who it says more about…

    Not mourning = celebrating? I think you need to buy a better dictionary.

  44. #44 |  Pinandpuller | 

    re Ted Stevens

    I guess an athiest would call that a plane to nowhere.

  45. #45 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    I think we need a list of counties to avoid. Maricopa tops the list with Prince George right behind. I think pretty much all of Florida is there. Anywhere else. I probably shouldn’t have put this so low in the comments section if I planned on getting additions.

  46. #46 |  Mattocracy | 

    #30 | Boyd Durkin |

    I think you won this thread hands down.

  47. #47 |  BSK | 

    Steve-

    I didn’t mean to defend the cops douchey actions. They were, obviously, douchey. And they probably did cross the line into abuse of power (I don’t know the specifics of what the cops can and can’t ask for in that jurisdiction). But the cop only attempted to have him stop filming at the end. In the first interaction, he didn’t say anything about the camera, just got in the kid’s face. It might have been because he was filming or might have just been the first person he happened upon. Hard to know.

    But the kid did start to hassle him about why he was there and the cop was clear: he was called by the property owner to clear the parking lot. He said he had no problem with what was going on, but the guy who owned the property wanted it cleared and, as such, the cop was duty-bound to protect that individual’s property rights. Did he have to do it in such a prickish way? Obviously not. But when the kid started to challenge him as to why he was there in the first place, he was clearly in the wrong and didn’t really seem to give a shit about the owner’s rights, only about making a point.

  48. #48 |  Charlie O | 

    “Oh really, you’re a lawyer now.”

    BINGO! POW! Never fails. Anytime a citizen asserts their Constitutional rights to LEO, that response is number one on the hit parade. I could have scripted that conversation I’ve heard it so many times.

  49. #49 |  Steve Verdon | 

    But the kid did start to hassle him about why he was there and the cop was clear: he was called by the property owner to clear the parking lot.

    Really? The kid hassles him? Now that’s rich. Shooting video of someone where the expectation of privacy is very low is not hassling, especially for a public official. See that italicized word there? That means when said official is doing his job his expectation of privacy is also, generally pretty low as well.

    ut the cop only attempted to have him stop filming at the end. In the first interaction, he didn’t say anything about the camera, just got in the kid’s face.

    Almost surely because he was filming him. And if it was the case that it was the first guy he happened upon why not ask him to leave? Why not say, “the owner of this property wants the parking lot kept clear, so unless you have business here I’m going to have to ask you to leave?” Professional, courteous, and relates to why the cop is actually supposed to be there. In other words, a complete failure on the cops part.

    Did he have to do it in such a prickish way?

    He failed in his initial contact with Mueller. He didn’t say, “the owner of this property wants the parking lot kept clear, so unless you have business here I’m going to have to ask you to leave?” He didn’t say anything like that when he first approached Mueller. It was a failure on the police officers part, it was unprofessional, and on top of it the reason for that failure was to intimidate…to bully.

    Documenting all that is perfectly reasonable. Putting it on the web is perfectly reasonable.

    And yes, you keep defending the cop here. You keep trying to put Mueller as the bad guy when he didn’t try to intimidate anyone.

  50. #50 |  EH | 

    Anytime a citizen asserts their Constitutional rights to LEO, that response is number one on the hit parade.

    It’s telling that the officer’s implication is that lawyers are the only people who *can* know their rights. He demonstrates an attitude that citizens are best thought of as stupid.

  51. #51 |  StevefromOhio | 

    Cop video is a brilliant example of exactly how police interactions ought to go. Cop acts as he was trained, citizen asserts rights, cop (begrudgingly) respects those rights, situation never escalates beyond a controllable situation, cop prioritizes a more pressing issue, apologies shared by both parties.

    Did the cop overreact? Absolutely. Did he have a less-than-acceptable understanding of the law? Yes. But in the end, you have to understand where he’s coming from. We all have shitty days when we explode for ill-advised reasons. Difference is, most average citizens can’t lock people in cages when they become agitated.

    Cop did nothing illegal, just really douchey, for which he offered a polite explanation and apology.

    I wish more of these situations played out the way this one did.

  52. #52 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Cop video is a brilliant example of exactly how police interactions ought to go.

    […]

    Did the cop overreact? Absolutely. Did he have a less-than-acceptable understanding of the law? Yes.

    I’m thinking these two sentences negate each other.

    But in the end, you have to understand where he’s coming from.

    I’m sick of this kind of badge licking. Please. The guy was unprofessional and abusing his authority, there is no reason to give the cop a pass.

    We all have shitty days when we explode for ill-advised reasons. Difference is, most average citizens can’t lock people in cages when they become agitated.

    Which is why “we have to understand where he is coming from” is completely and totally tone deaf.

    Cop did nothing illegal, just really douchey, for which he offered a polite explanation and apology.

    I wish more of these situations played out the way this one did.

    It is better than the way these situations typically play out, but it is still far from ideal.

  53. #53 |  Andrew Williams | 

    #40:

    If I say that I wish it had been Sarah Palin instead of Ted Stevens, does that still make me a bad person?

    Oh, and best wishes and prayers to former NASA head Sean O’Keefe and his son Kevin. However you may feel about the government funding NASA, you have to respect O’Keefe’s ability to do more with less and less $ every year.

  54. #54 |  StevefromOhio | 

    No badge licking, just noting that it could’ve ended way worse. Relative to what has become the norm, this is preferable and therefore the spread of such behavior is to be desired.

    The problem isn’t bad cop, the problem is bad training. Cops aren’t supposed to think. Police departments don’t want their officers to think; they want them to follow clearly explicated guidelines in the form of directives and orders. In turn, cops apply the same standard of behavior to ordinary citizens who haven’t been boot camped into that frame of mind.

    Clashes inevitably result, especially when the cop’s knowledge of the law is far more minimal than necessary.

    This incident shows how effective communication can be established and how that can prevent abuses of authority from worsening.

    The fact that this incident ended as well as it did is nearly a miracle, because the cop’s superiors took control of a situation he clearly messed up and managed to come to an acceptable resolution of the dispute without resorting to the use of force or further infringements on the cameraman’s civil liberties.

    Good, professional leadership from the superior officer. We should encourage this. Not the harassment, but the reaction to the harassment, which was a belated recognition on the part of the offending officer that he had behaved wrongly and an apology for that.

    Should never have happened, of course, but it was managed well once it did happen. Unless you want to see criminal charges to be filed against him, which I’m sure can be convincingly advocated, but someone else can try that.

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