Lunch Links

Friday, August 27th, 2010
  • Scientists bring a Steven Wright joke to life.
  • Redesigning Addis Ababa.
  • Somehow I missed that yesterday was National Dog Day. Here’s a gallery of photos.
  • Montgomery, Alabama to poor people: We’re going to demolish your house, steal your property, and give the land to rich developers. Oh, and we’re going to bill you for the demolition costs. This isn’t even eminent domain. It’s much eviler.
  • Shorter Eric Holder: It might be nice to do something about prison rape, but it’s just too darned expensive. I can see his point. Better that we pay wealthy people to get SUV’s with better gas mileage.
  • Man arrested, falsely charged after filming police making an arrest, calling them “Nazis.” Yeah, he’s an asshole. Barring an actual crime, being an asshole shouldn’t get you arrested.
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28 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  Rhayader | 

    Barring an actual crime, being an asshole shouldn’t get you arrested.

    Being a bear, on the other hand….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uVoarvrrgI

  2. #2 |  Rich | 

    Scientists bring a Steven Wright joke to life.

    I was hoping they’d performed the “put a humidifier and dehumidifier in the same room: let ‘em fight it out” trick. :P

  3. #3 |  Woog | 

    The only mistake the cameraman made was talking to the cops, not because of any law-based reason, but because the entire law enforcement system is now the largest single threat to the average citizen. I wouldn’t recommend yelling at a bunch of gang members, either.

    The cops were trespassing, and since there were multiple cops working together to intimidate and oppress the cameraman, it looks as though I get to drag out my ol pal 18 USC 241 again, which carries a penalty of imprisonment of up to ten years in this case.

  4. #4 |  André | 

    You should probably note that it’s only *marginally* better gas mileage. And it’s hardly like we’ve ever let a lack of tax dollars prevent us from spending money.

  5. #5 |  Bob | 

    Man arrested, falsely charged after filming police making an arrest…

    Hey wait, they didn’t arrest the woman they pulled over, handcuffed, searched, and then searched her car. WTF was up with that? Why the fuck was she handcuffed and searched?

    So… These Jackboots were just cruising around looking for citizens to jack? Then when they caught one, all 3 of them move in to do whatever search they can looking for an arrest?

    Fucking Nazis! The guy had it totally right.

  6. #6 |  Bob | 

    Prison rape.

    The basic, fundamental problem is that these people are already in prison, what punishment are you going to dole out? Put them more in prison?

    The solution is obvious. Stop putting non violent offenders in prison. I submit that it’s the prison system itself that is creating these violent predators.

    Once you program someone to be violent to the point where being in prison means nothing to them, you have created a cycle of abuse that can only be stopped by separating the violent prisoner and his victims.

  7. #7 |  ChrisD | 

    ” being an asshole shouldn’t get you arrested….”

    Concentrated interests being what they are, it seems unlikely that politicians would pass a law like that.

  8. #8 |  SoupNazzi | 

    Is “eviler” even a word?

  9. #9 |  Joe | 

    We sure don’t want to make just being an asshole illegal.

    Because everyone is occasionally an asshole.

  10. #10 |  Joe | 

    There is not an attorney in Alabama available who can’t pool those property owners, get an engineer or architect (possibly pro bono or alternatively on the cheap), and fight city hall? Unless the homes truly are life safety issues warranting demolition (and such structures do exist), this seems to be the sort of thing that can be successfully resisted. Can’t it?

  11. #11 |  Joe | 

    #1 | Rhayader | August 27th, 2010 at 1:06 pm
    Barring an actual crime, being an asshole shouldn’t get you arrested.

    Being a bear, on the other hand….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uVoarvrrgI

    +0

    I was watching the Sopranos last night on DVD and Tony Baccula said:

    “My dad and I were driving to go hunting and saw a sign that said ‘Bear Left.’ So we went back home.”

  12. #12 |  Mike | 

    Joe @10,

    Sure it can be resisted, with money. The people being targeted don’t have the money to hire lawyers, structural engineers, architects, etc. The government could target rich parts of town, but what’s the point, the rich can fight back.

    Remember the Duke Lacrosse rape case? The accusations were false on their face, all it took was a LOT of money to fight them. (I’ve heard millions, can’t verify.)

  13. #13 |  adolphus | 

    @Rich #2. Lettermen did this back when he was still on NBC.

    It was quite a showdown. If I recall the humidifier won. It discharged more moisture than the dehumidifier took in during the hour.

  14. #14 |  Colin | 

    He said: ”There’s nothing else quite like it. Hopefully, we may see dry water making waves in the future.”

    Even your articles love puns!

  15. #15 |  Steamed McQueen | 

    Threadjack: 9th Circuit court says it’s okay for the cops to put a GPS transmitter on your car, no warrant needed, perfectly okay to come on to your private property to do so.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/08599201315000

  16. #16 |  Elemenope | 

    #15

    Which if I’m not mistaken conflicts with a fairly recent DC Circuit decision. Which means that it is likely those will eventually end up in SCOTUS, who are…unpredictable when it comes to 4th Amendment and privacy law.

  17. #17 |  Elemenope | 

    And Kozinski wrote a fairly sharp dissent in the 9th Circuit decision. That dude fairly consistently rocks.

  18. #18 |  Joe | 

    Mike, I hear you. I am not justifying what is going on, but if there is a neighborhood being targetted (of course it is a poor neighborhood, rich neighborhoods are generally not falling down or going to give up without a fight) it seems to me someone could stand up for these folks without them having to shell out a lot of money up front. An engineer could tell you right away if the city’s action has any legs (hell a competent contractor could probably qualify as an initial expert on general construction). If it is being done in bad faith, isn’t this a potential 1983 action (allowing for fees, costs, damages, etc.)?

  19. #19 |  Mattocracy | 

    Eric Holder is as illiberal as they come. He might as well been appointed by Bush.

  20. #20 |  Elemenope | 

    Except for rehabilitating the Civil Rights division of DoJ, eviscerated by his predecessor. But other than that, sure.

  21. #21 |  Loren | 

    One relatively simple and potentially workable solution for the prison rape problem is that prisoners should be divided by weight class. While that wouldn’t do anything for authority-on-prisoner abuse, it would alleviate the physical differences between prisoners themselves:

    http://volokh.com/2010/05/09/a-clever-proposal-that-could-reduce-prison-rape/

  22. #22 |  Bob | 

    “One relatively simple and potentially workable solution for the prison rape problem is that prisoners should be divided by weight class. While that wouldn’t do anything for authority-on-prisoner abuse, it would alleviate the physical differences between prisoners themselves:”

    Size means little. A single, more aggressive person can overpower a frightened person into an obsequious state easily. A gang of people can easily overpower any single person.

    The problem with the theory, is that it assumes all persons in prison are on equal footing in either aggression or confidence in their ability to defend themselves. They are not.

    The biggest problem in prisons is gangs. Gangs stratify and enforce the violence that has been programmed into violent people.

    In theory, the best solution for the violence is to have hundreds of prisons in each state, each with a specific risk level of inmate. This allows every person in need of incarceration a place to be imprisoned but without the added risk factor of either turning them into a more hardened criminal or subjecting them to rape. Of course, some of those prisons would only have a half dozen inmates.

    Obviously, that would be ridiculous. The only VIABLE solution is to just stop throwing people in prison. You stole some money or sold some dope? Even if it’s the fiftieth time you should get Probation, Community service, or something of that sort. Every effort should be made to keep people out of prison.

    And I’m not even starting on the Jail system, where all grades of people (innocent, non violent, and mass murderer) are stored awaiting trial or a hearing (Or to be bonded out)

    People are programmable, they respond to their environment just like animals do. There is a higher order brain function going on that allows humans to get past that, but sometimes that is not the case, the abuse is too much and starts a cycle of abuse itself.

    The only way to stop this cycle is to separate violent abusers from potential victims.

    Instead, the Police State System is actively figuring out new ways to make MORE people into criminals, passing out frivolous felonies like candy and taking the opportunity to arrest anyone they can, for any reason they can.

  23. #23 |  Joe | 

    An idiot lefty British guy ranks some issues facing to the current administration, or also know as “How do you solve a problem like Obma.” I have reranked his positions in proper order:

    1 (formerly 5). It’s Obama himself. ding ding ding ding ding.

    2 (formerly 6). Maybe they didn’t really run such a great campaign and were overrated from the start.

    3 (formerly 1). Campaigns are easier than governing. Not to be discounted. Campaigns are hard, but governing is harder. You’re actually responsible for stuff, and that stuff sticks to you more. Takes a while to figure that out. (if they thought this, and I suspect it is true, it is a subset of issues 1 and 2)

    4 (formerly 2). They were overwhelmed by events. They didn’t understand quite how bad things were going to be (this is an inane, they ran on how bad things were and how they were going to fix them). Actual conditions, I mean: the economy, Afghanistan, unexpected things like the oil spill.

    5 (formerly 6). It’s about personnel. David Plouffe was on the campaign but isn’t in the White House. Rahm Emanuel is, but wasn’t on the campaign. And there are other personnel differences. Maybe these are key. (Duh)

    6 (formerly 3). They didn’t expect the partisan onslaught. (Dumbass there is alwyas partisan onslaught [think what Dems and lefties did to Bush, what Pubs and conservatives did to Clinton, etc.], that is a lame excuse.)

  24. #24 |  Michael Chaney | 

    There is not an attorney in Alabama available who can’t pool those property owners, get an engineer or architect (possibly pro bono or alternatively on the cheap), and fight city hall? Unless the homes truly are life safety issues warranting demolition (and such structures do exist), this seems to be the sort of thing that can be successfully resisted. Can’t it?

    If it were my house being targeted, I’d rent the bulldozer and whoever did the targeting would be short one house when I finished. I really believe that stuff like this is so egregious that there’s no reason to even fight it within the legal system.

  25. #25 |  Pablo | 

    Prison rape is largely preventable and it isn’t a matter of spending a lot of money. Anyone in corrections, or even the criminal law system, knows who is at risk for being attacked–being young, white, gay or seemingly effiminate, physically small, in for the first time, for a non violent offense, not gang affiliated–each of these factors raises one’s risk. If several or all are present the risk is very high. Those most likely to be rapists generally have the opposite characteristics. Knowing all this, one would think that inmates would be evaluated for these factors and segregated accordingly. Sadly this is rarely done. In fact sometimes guards deliberately place inmates where they will be victimized.

  26. #26 |  Someguy | 

    Radley,

    Can you please follow-up on the eviler item?

    That really seems pretty un-constitutional and pretty eviler.

  27. #27 |  pyo1 | 

    #25 | Pablo | August 28th, 2010 at 1:17 pm
    “Prison rape is largely preventable and it isn’t a matter of spending a lot of money.”

    They spend a lot of money on these jokes they call “studies”! The more realistic solution is to shut down most of these bogus prisons and stop incarverating so many people for made up crimes!

    They could shut down the ones near every capitol city and rent those rooms to the representatives of that area so they wouldn’t cry about the high rent and low pay!

    As the PTB constantly demonstarate, they have no idea how to throw money in the appropriate manner. Did any of us need a study done, that likely cost us millions, to figure out that this was a problem?

  28. #28 |  pyo1 | 

    #18 | Joe | August 27th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
    “Mike, I hear you. I am not justifying what is going on, but if there is a neighborhood being targetted (of course it is a poor neighborhood, rich neighborhoods are generally not falling down or going to give up without a fight) it seems to me someone could stand up for these folks without them having to shell out a lot of money up front. An engineer could tell you right away if the city’s action has any legs (hell a competent contractor could probably qualify as an initial expert on general construction). If it is being done in bad faith, isn’t this a potential 1983 action (allowing for fees, costs, damages, etc.)?”

    By limiting the time span, they basically strip your ability to find a competent person(s) to say they are out of line. I’ve done quite a bit of contracting work around here and have seen some places that I wouldn’t want to live in. The owner/resident/whatever usually knew all the tricks to getting around the hazards.

    When our family first migrated to Joklahoma, they took up residence in a cave. My great grandma didn’t get idoor plumbing until I was in high school. People make do with what they have. They paid for it, they should be left alone!

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