Lunch Links

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

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36 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  John Anderson | 

    There’s only one “L” in Mr. Wheaton’s first name.

  2. #2 |  Radley Balko | 

    Fixed. Thanks.

  3. #3 |  Maria | 

    Is there another way to get the SWAT story? It seems to be for paid subscribers only.

  4. #4 |  Matt | 

    Google “Albuquerque SWAT” and click on the first link in the news category, it will let you bypass the subcription page of the Albuquerque journal. Here:

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    I wish 38 yo Wil had written a letter to 15 yo me…

  6. #6 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Still, the attorneys general, the sex-trafficking activists, and the media kept their guns trained on Craigslist, demanding that it shut down its adult-services forum.”

    What right do the Attorneys General have to demand anything if it’s
    not “illegal?” Or was Newmark just trying to thwart the phantom
    “rape” allegation like we saw directed against Julian Assange.
    Even the naive among us can see, the best way to circumvent that pesky First Amendment is to charge people with imaginary sex crimes.

  7. #7 |  M.A.DeLuca | 

    Claim children are involved, that always gives any political campaign wings.

  8. #8 |  Will Grigg | 

    Wil Wheaton should warn his 15-year-old self NOT to miss “DixieTrek ’94” at ALL COSTS; otherwise he’ll make a life-long enemy out of Sheldon Cooper, who is, after all, “just a lab accident away from becoming a super-villain.”

  9. #9 |  EH | 

    SWAT: Shoot When Anybody Talks

  10. #10 |  Joe | 

    I can’t feel my own face after looking at that watermelon video! Ouch.

    As for the Frat House for Jesus, I am assuing jello shots and bong hits are not part of the program. But I do not want to mock people of faith voluntarily associating, networking, and trying to help one another out. But let me ask this, if it is all so secret, who spilled the beans to the New Yorker?

  11. #11 |  Alien | 

    Google Instant is rolling out over several days to users signed in to a Google Account.

    I wonder if searches will be traceable back to individual accounts and how long they will keep that information. This could raise even more privacy issues than already exists with mere IP address tracking.

  12. #12 |  Joe | 

    Nothing on the Koran burning pastor Radley?

    Then again, what is there to say? I am not a fan of book burnings. But I support the free speech right of burning the flag (even if I find it offensive) so burning Korans is about the same thing. I disagree with it, but free speech is free speech.

    Muslims would be wise not to freak out. The way to deal with this is to peacefully protest by waiving American flags and submitting a petition saying that you find this offensive. That might shame enough people to stop doing this. It would also set a very good precident for how to deal with such incidents.

    Unfortunately, there will probably be freaking out.

  13. #13 |  TC | 

    Seems we have a precedent for our current flood of organized violence against the citizens!

  14. #14 |  Michael Chaney | 

    The SWAT teams work four 10-hour shifts but are on call at all times. They wear regular uniforms while working in the field but drive SUVs packed with their SWAT equipment.

    This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Note that they’re wearing regular uniforms.

    The story is really sensationalized, but what they’re saying is that uniformed officers, who apparently wouldn’t be doing anything otherwise, are now going to be walking around in crime-ridden neighborhoods. It could be a good response if they get to know people and all that.

  15. #15 |  Maria | 

    Matt – interesting! Thanks for the tip.

  16. #16 |  Joe | 

    Michael Chaney–if the purpose of the SWAT teams going around neighborhoods is about a community policing policy, I would agree. The more contact they have with community leaders and the public the better. This is one of the better ways to improve a police department and prevent abuse (that and having officers have college degrees).

  17. #17 |  Joe | 

    The link is of course from Radley’s post below.

  18. #18 |  EH | 


    Yeah, I don’t know about that. So we have search warrants being militarized and SWAT teams being overdeployed for some reason. This is the state of the union as it stands, but now it’s supposed to be OK for these commandos to infiltrate the beat? I don’t think so. Can’t the regular officers do that? Nobody needs SWAT people walking around the neighborhood. If there’s no use for them, get rid of or downsize the unit. Of course, you never hear about fiscal restraint from the law enforcement community, nor any self-reflection about the wisdom of militarizing beat cops.

  19. #19 |  Dave Krueger | 

    More on the Craigslist “Adult Services” shutdown, from my colleague Jacob Sullum, and from Slate’s Will Saletan.

    Excellent piece by Jacob Sullum. Concise and yet included the most significant points. The Slate piece was a nice compliment, highlighting other players in the crusade. Still, while I have seen numerous reader comments (in response to these and similar commentaries) about legalization as a better remedy to bring protection to those in the sex trade, very few articles give voice to that option.

    I compare this to the drug war. Just as the drug war visits way more destruction on people than the drugs themselves, so does the war against prostitution create way more misery than the prostitution itself. And those who actively crusade to keep prostitution illegal are on the same moral plane as those who sustain and prosecute the drug war.

  20. #20 |  Cynical in CA | 


    Kind of a “you got chocolate in my peanut butter” story involving the war on people (prostitution edition) and our favorite sheriff’s department west of the Mississippi:

  21. #21 |  Marty | 


    if society’s judged by how we treat our weakest, we’re all doomed. that’s the first article I’ve seen that revealed these details. horrific.

  22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Thanks, Cynical. I used that.

  23. #23 |  Jon Gray | 

    Re: the new google search

    Does anyone else find it as annoying as shit? I liked the suggested search option, that was fine. However, I don’t want my screen going gray as I type in my search.

    Further, the link refers to people taking 30-90 seconds to complete a search. A.) When did my grandma get a computer and B.) if it takes you 30 seconds to type something into the google search bar this instant stuff is going to fuck your world.

  24. #24 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I’m calling bullshit on the Craiglist Adult Services issue with regards to trafficking in children for sex. I bet they couldn’t even produce a single example.

  25. #25 |  omar | 

    Muslims would be wise not to freak out

    As a cultural Muslim*, I will be doing my part to protest the Koran burning by ignoring the hell out of it. If sufficiency provoked, I may roll my eyes a little and say “oh, great, here we go again.”

    As a libertarian, my protest is one of not giving a shit what the crazies do by ignoring their rights to do it.

    As a former New Yorker, I will protest by being glad I moved back to the oh-so tolerant New South.

    If there’s one lesson the world of 2010 everywhere could learn from the Intertrucks it’s this: Stop feeding the trolls.

    *In much the same way some of my friends are cultural Jews. They find it fun to be Jews, doing Jewish things with their Jewish families, but they realize that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; there’s probably no such thing as G-d. And even if there is one, It doesn’t care about your prayers for new cars or dead-people Disneyland any more than your unceasing fuck-fantasies.

  26. #26 |  Balloon Maker | 

    Wife and I had a discussion about whether, in fact, Wil Wheaton was dead. Turns out it was Jonathan Brandis. How did we live before the internet?

  27. #27 |  JOR | 

    I wish I lived in a world where I could be shocked and outraged and, most of all, surprised that some poor, sick woman who, to anyone’s knowledge, never hurt anyone was kidnapped and confined against her will… and by all appearances slowly and deliberately roasted to death.

    Fuck the jailors, fuck the police, and fuck the politicians and voters who enable them all. The only good cop is a dead cop, and that goes double for prison guards.

  28. #28 |  qwints | 

    “They wear regular uniforms while working in the field but drive SUVs packed with their SWAT equipment. ”

    I could go either way on this. A lot depends on how they conduct the patrols. If they’re getting to know residents of high crime neighborhoods and deterring crime at the same time, that’s great. The policy might also make SWAT officers more sensitive to their needs of their community and prevent them from developing a ‘militarisitic’ view of their community.
    On the other hand, the fact that they are carrying their SWAT equipment might increase the likelihood of violence.

  29. #29 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Some big “ifs” there, qwints.

  30. #30 |  jeffbbz | 

    That New Yorker C Street Peice involved almost no actually research and is pretty fluffly and probably misleading. For a real view of C Steet or The Family, involving real research, I would suggest checking out the writings of Jeff Sharlet particularly his forth coming book about C Street. (true I’ve not read it so it could suck but past experience with Sharlet says probably not). In fact on his blog he took some guesses about what kind of lame article it would be when he heard it was being written (the new yorker called him to fact check the date of his book) and he was pretty much dead on.

  31. #31 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Since there’s been a dearth of posts lately, turning this one into an open thread …

    There’s a story developing in my neck of the woods, specifically Los Angeles, where the Westlake division of LAPD experienced an officer-involved shooting that left a Hispanic man dead. What’s noteworthy is not that a cop executed a civilian — that’s commonplace and getting to be sadly unremarkable — but that the community is now in its third day of protests, some of them violent, and has forced LAPD to circle its wagons and meet face-to-face with citizens in town-hall meetings.

    So far the police have promised a thorough and transparent investigation. That and $4 will get you a frappaccino. I’m watching with interest to see if we get April 29th, 1992 redux, but that’s not likely.

    However, what can be learned from this is that civilian review boards are completely impotent unless the civilian review board is composed of a majority of the citizens of the jurisdiction AND if those citizens are willing to resort to mass coordinated action to achieve their goals.

    See, the police don’t work for you or me or Fred as individuals, but if you and me and Fred and 10,000 of our closest friends show up at the police station and demonstrate our will directly, it is almost assured that the police will submit, if only temporarily.

  32. #32 |  flyingsquirrel | 

    Sometimes I’m glad I live in Canada. It has its share of stupid policies, but at least they don’t kill prostitutes here for no reason. (and prostitution is legal)

  33. #33 |  flyingsquirrel | 

    Oy crap, I was responding to cynical’s link above, not the post. oh well…

  34. #34 |  Cornellian | 

    “Sometimes I’m glad I live in Canada. It has its share of stupid policies, but at least they don’t kill prostitutes here for no reason. (and prostitution is legal)”

    But it’s really cold there.

  35. #35 |  qwints | 

    @Cynical, is that the shooting where 6 civilian witnesses have said the guy was drunk and lunged with a knife at the officer? I’ve read a couple articles on it (e.g., and I just don’t understand the reaction. I must be missing something.

  36. #36 |  Steve Verdon | 

    This article says Jamines did not have a knife, according to a woman who saw the shooting.

    Of course, others said he did have a knife.

    Also, the officer who shot him has been in this situation before,

    The Los Angeles Times first reported that he shot a female robbery suspect in 1999 when the woman allegedly pointed a handgun at Hernandez and his partner and refused orders to drop the weapon. Her injury was not life-threatening.

    In 2008, the Times reported, Hernandez shot an 18-year-old assault suspect who tried to flee, then pointed a gun at Hernandez and another officer. Hernandez shot the man once, wounding him.

    Interesting, in previous instances suspect supposedly had a gun and the shots were non-lethal. A knife however, double tap to the ol’ noggin.

    I love this comment from the last link:

    At this point there is no reason to doubt the police version, Menace with a dealy weapon and you are playing suicide by cop.

    Yeah, and no reason to believe it either. Lets play make believe….

    Cop shoots a drunkard who is being annoying, but no threat to anyone. What will cop say? At the very least I’d expect, “I thought he had a knife and was in fear of my life.” If the felt he could get away with it, he might actually plant a knife. What I don’t expect is, “I shot an unarmed man cause I just had enough of dealing with drunks.”

    Cop shoots a drunkard who has a knife, and is a threat to people around him. What will cop say? At the very least I’d expect, “He had a knife and was in fear of my life.”

    So, we get the cop saying pretty much the same thing in both cases. Just because the cop says something does not mean we should believe it. Believing everything the cops say is a sure sign one is a badge licker.