Lunch Links

Monday, October 4th, 2010

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65 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  JS | 

    We have troops in 156 countries because that’s what empires do. And no, Washington doesn’t care what the locals think. Colonies are to obey, not think.

  2. #2 |  Nick T | 

    Anyone know anything more about the guy sentenced to probation for raping children in handcuffs?

    I mean how is that even possible at all? The sexual assault laws must allow for some significant prison time, and what could have lead any sane person to not give *some* jail time? I find this dumbfoudning. Anyone have any other info?

  3. #3 |  Sam | 

    Our criminal justice system is set up in such a way that the complaints of children go virtually ignored. As depressing as this next bit is to type, she’s lucky her rapist got any punishment at all. I used to work with abused children – victims of abuse absolutely unthinkable to the average person – and none of their parents, not a single one, ever did time in jail. Had they done to adults what they did to their own children, they’d still be behind bars. This despite detailed records of the abuse.

  4. #4 |  qwints | 

    Just another example of how messed up our juvenile justice system is.

  5. #5 |  V-Man | 

    Aren’t empires supposed to get tributes from their colonies? Seems to me the US is spending tons of cash maintaining these overseas bases…

  6. #6 |  Chris Berez | 

    While in state custody for falsely filing a criminal report, a teen is raped by a juvenile counselor. The girl got 12 months for filing the false report. The counselor got probation for raping her.

    Jesus Christ, I think my blood pressure just took a major spike. That’s the kind of think makes me so sick and angry my eyes hurt.

    Where’s Frank Castle when you need him?

  7. #7 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Didn’t the councilor also get suspended with pay while the case was tried?

  8. #8 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Why, again, do we still have a huge military presence in Japan? Or, for that matter, why do we have troops and/or bases in 156 of the world’s 202 countries?”

    To fight for Truth, Justice and the American way.
    Which was a pretty solid agenda until we became self-serving, arrogant,
    greedy and generally evil.

  9. #9 |  JS | 

    V-man “Aren’t empires supposed to get tributes from their colonies? Seems to me the US is spending tons of cash maintaining these overseas bases…”

    Yea they are! The American empire is unusual in that most empires have always exploited the colonies to enrich the homeland, while America exploits the citizens to pay for the military adventurism and the CIA’s control over other people’s countries.

  10. #10 |  tb | 

    6 months, tops, until someone comes forward with evidence that this bigot putts from the rough. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  11. #11 |  delta | 

    “I think someone should start a website that takes bets on when the latest anti-gay ranting politician gets caught in his own gay sex scandal. Now taking wagers on Michigan prosecutor Andrew Shirvell. I’ll bet the under on 18 months.”

    All my friends that I pointed this out to said the same thing.

  12. #12 |  Big Chief | 

    The story about the Michigan AAG, Shirvell, is weird – you’re bet may be a good one, Radley. But it’s got a lot of interesting undertones. I found it interesting that we didn’t get any substantive reason for why Shirvell thinks the UM Student Body president is a political threat. I don’t care to check Shirvell’s site to read it, but it makes me think Cooper is trying to maximize Shirvell’s oddness. The coverage makes it pretty clear that Cooper has an axe to grind in this, too.

    But the Free Speech part of this is what I find very troublesome. The blog “The Greatest American Lawyer” that you link to had the comment “There is a difference betwen hate speech and free speech.” As bad as Shirvell’s actions are I find this kind of comment even more troubling. It bothers me that a public official may hold viewpoints that may effect his ability to do his job, but I am even more bothered by those attempting to fire him based on his speech.

    Overall it sounds like Cox, the Mich AG has it right. Unless someone files a suit against him (and it sounds like there are some legit reasons to do so – filming the guys residence – yeesh – heck, I thought Cox was making it clear he WANTED someone to file a restraining order or civil suit) or unless it can be shown that he’s not properly doing his job, he should be left alone.

  13. #13 |  DaveG | 

    Odds are -110 Mike Huckabee is in the tabloids for having a secret gay lover and +900 that Ron Paul is smeared for calling Borat a queer

  14. #14 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Dangerous criminals like rapists are cycled back into the populace much faster than nonviolent offenders for the simple goal of keeping you afraid while making that bank. Nonviolent offenders are low-maintenance cash cows. Violent offenders are high maintenance. Turning them out quickly, or not jailing them at all, leaves room for the relatively peaceful cash cows to fill up the jails, while assholes like rapists are set free to go about terrorizing the populace – this strategy works really well from a law enforcement perspective as there is always a dangerous group moving about freely through our society from which the sheeple will need protection. Of course, this protection entails you giving up more of your rights and cash…

  15. #15 |  SJE | 

    re: Anti-gay politicians. I’d bet on Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. Consider the evidence:

    Went to college, apparently had sex with several guys, then had what appears to be an extreme reaction
    – joins conservative fundamentalist Church
    – declares that women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex
    – any and all sex outside heterosexual marriage, including masturbation, is wrong and should be illegal
    – has not, to my knowledge, been married, engaged or even dated since then.

    Perhaps I have completely missed some important facts, but from what I’ve seen, its the “doth protest too much” that sounds like the sort of cognitive dissonance we saw with Larry Craig, pastor Eddie Long, etc etc. Here, its protesting WAY WAY too much, and without any contrary evidence (e.g. Eddie Long has four kids). I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with being a lesbian, just that it would be “incompatible” with her public persona, which is almost entirely based on a particular brand of sexual morality.

  16. #16 |  MikeS | 

    Not to too deep into this, but that map of 156 countries with US troops looks very suspicious to me, and not just because their color coding is garbage — Europe is white while other countries are two tones.

    I’ve looked over the CDI website and found the map source ( Many of those 156 countries have single-digit or double-digit US personnel in them. For example, they list almost all countries in Africa, but only Djibouti has a significant presence. If you’re talking 10,000 or more, the list is Germany, Italy, UK, Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    What’s the comparison? Do the UK or China have similar “deployments”? Are these military personnel assigned to embassies? Maybe it’s just me, but having two military personnel stationed in Antigua does not seems like an extension of our Empire.

    I don’t disagree that we should pare down our foreign involvements. But let’s have an honest debate. The US is not occupying 3/4 of the world.

  17. #17 |  JS | 

    Those are good point SJE but so far I haven’t heard anything that shows Eddie Long is guilty. Not saying he’s innocent of what he’s accused of but its possible. When you’re famous and have money you may as well have a target on your chest. So far its just those young men and their lawyers making an accusation that it seems like it’d be awful hard to prove.

  18. #18 |  PW | 

    Re. Shirvell, there have been several developments in this story that suggest his activities have progressed far beyond simple “free speech.” He has apparently been following Armstrong around for several weeks. At least once he showed up in Armstrong’s front yard at 2 AM. It appears he then called in a noise complaint on the house so he could take pictures of the cops harassing Armstrong, all of which were then posted on the blog with innuendo that Armstrong was engaging in that oh-so-horrible criminal offense of underage drinking.

    This guy is a real piece of shit and a mentally disturbed individual at that. Don’t know if he’s gay or not, or really care for that matter. It might be that he’s a hypocrite closet case, but we already know for sure that he’s a creepy authoritarian.

  19. #19 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Damn I wanted to go heckle Shirvell for being a hack but he made his blog invite only. LOL.

  20. #20 |  SJE | 

    Big Chief:
    Andrew Shirvell has a personal vendetta against someone because that person is gay and has different political and religious views.

    Andrew Shirvell is not just some random joe: he is a prosecutor, with an almost unreviewable power to destroy a person’s life at his whim. There have also been unexplained police raids on events associated with his target: circumstantial evidence, but smells bad.

    So, while people should be allowed to have personal lives and views, Shirvell’s activities appear to (a) call into question his impartiality towards others (b) call into question his judgement and (c) place the government in a bad light. He should be out.

    Of course, the underlying issue is also why do we allow prosecutors to be so untouchable, but that another story.

    I work for a private law firm and no power concerning anything in Michigan. However, if I did the sort of things Shirvell does, I expect to be told to stop or face termination merely because it makes by employer look bad.

  21. #21 |  SJE | 

    JS: I agree, its too early to tell.

  22. #22 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Why, again, do we still have a huge military presence in Japan? Or, for that matter, why do we have troops and/or bases in 156 of the world’s 202 countries?”

    Who is this “we” of whom you write?

    Did I miss something, did Radley join USG?

    As for why USG has the aforementioned global military presence, the answer is “because USG can!”

    Who’s going to stop them?

  23. #23 |  Michael Chaney | 

    The counselor got probation for raping her.

    Radley, you usually do a better summary than this. He got probation for 1 rape and two “sexual assaults”. Prosecutors believe he had been doing this for 10 years. One of the girls was raped behind some lockers, and he had stocked the area with condoms and cookies. That means this was premeditated – he didn’t just lose his mind and rape someone. Also, most or all of his victims were underage.

    It’s far worse than “he raped one girl”. Anybody else would be looking at life behind bars for a crime spree of this magnitude.

  24. #24 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “While in state custody for falsely filing a criminal report, a teen is raped by a juvenile counselor. The girl got 12 months for filing the false report. The counselor got probation for raping her.”

    The present system is far superior to anarchy. Just remember that. I can’t forget it, I’m reminded of it so often.

  25. #25 |  Mister DNA | 

    Why do we still have a military presence in Japan? We’re fighting him over there so we don’t have to fight him over here!

  26. #26 |  TC | 

    From the God Biz pulpits to the legal pulpits it seems that those screaming the loudest or the most frequently are all too often found to be VERY much a part of what THEY shout out against!

    Hey didn’t Crystal Magum file a false police report? Small item about some white kids raping a black chick at a frat party in NC a while back. Wonder WHAT the false charge was she filed?

    As above, lots of outrage, but no real details… It just MIGHT be due to many not feeling any sympathy for her. Despite her personal violation being pretty sick, it might also be a cheap lesson to her, far more effective than what a judge may render.

    Military presence;
    Every time the earth has a hiccup the world looks to the USA for help, policing, sending carrier groups to provide aid and hospitals, even calling upon us to provide the cannon fodder to fight their wars! At least some of those activities WE all pay for go by far for the good of the peoples of the world. Having an ear to the ground is not a bad thing.

    Okinawans are continuing to sound more like Frenchmen than the French! Go plant some rice and donate a few daughters to the cause, gawd knows history proves you have either no backbone or ability to actually be your own country and peoples. (yeah that was hard)….

  27. #27 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Wow TC, are the results in from your visual auto-colonoscopy?

  28. #28 |  SJE | 

    To be fair to the Okinawans, they wonder why THEY get the U.S. presence, and not other parts of Japan.

  29. #29 |  Big Chief | 

    SJE – I don’t disagree that Shirell has gone beyond “speech” and has done some things that are actionable. I also don’t know what the Civil Service laws are in Michigan, but I came away with the impression AG Cox is trying to follow them. Again, I thought in his appearance on CNN he was TRYING to get Shirell’s victim to file a restraining order or civil suit so he could legally remove him.

    My issue is with the comment in the blog about “Hate Speech isn’t Free Speech.” I disagree totally with that statement. While Hate Speech is a fuzzy term, I can’t think of many situations where Free Speech rights wouldn’t extend to Hate Speech. And Cooper’s coverage, and the blog link, seem to focus almost entirely on the speech aspects of this case. I think there are issues with public officials and free speech and some good discussions about where the line can be drawn, but I’m even more concerned with the general attack on free speech in this country.

  30. #30 |  Salt | 

    Or, for that matter, why do we have troops and/or bases in 156 of the world’s 202 countries?

    This is done to spread the good news of Jesus, as Sarah Palin says.

  31. #31 |  SJE | 

    Big Chief: I agree with you 95%. I agree that the 1st amd covers even hate speech, and that the government should not and cannot ban hate speech. At the same time, banning hate speech is very different from terminating the employment of someone for such speech. Thus, even if Shirvell DID nothing except speak, I think that his SPEECH itself should get him canned. When a senior government official goes on a public vendetta, it invokes the power of the government in ways the are inconsistent with liberty and democracy.

  32. #32 |  Random Guy on the Internet | 

    “She kept silent as she was found to be a juvenile delinquent and sentenced to 12 months. She says her only crime was initially [b]reporting to police she did not know who had jumped and cut her on the way to school”[/b].

    Wow! talk about punishing the victim.
    All she did was walk the “stop snitching” talk of her generation.

  33. #33 |  Stephen | 

    “#27 | Cynical in CA | October 4th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Wow TC, are the results in from your visual auto-colonoscopy?”

    That made me laugh.

    I’m stealing that one by the way. :)

  34. #34 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Rape victim: black

    Rapist counselor: state stooge (yeah, he is black, too, but being a government employee trumps color)

    No surprises here.

  35. #35 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    The issue of Okinawa, to me, is a bit muddied.
    Having a billion bases all over is not a good thing.
    However, Okinawa was invaded and succesfully taken from the Japanese. I don’t know the specifics of the end of WWII and the treaties and conditions set forth, but to me, a conquest is a conquest.

    I try to imagine it if something similar happened here. If Hawaii was won by a foreign nation during a war, and part of the conditions to end the war would allow said foreign nation to turn 15% of one of the islands into multiple military bases, how would we react? Those on US mainland would be concerned but not enraged. Those on the island would probably be pissed.

    My liberal self sez close all foreign bases, but my “let’s protect the world from communism” Reagan childhood sez we have to keep a base to defend Taiwan.
    I dunno…..

  36. #36 |  flukebucket | 

    Read somewhere that Shirvell was so deep in the closet he had a Narnia zip code.

  37. #37 |  Marty | 

    does the counselor even have to go on a sex offender registry? this guy looks like the poster child of exactly what they say they want on the list…

  38. #38 |  JS | 

    Mike Leatherwood “My liberal self sez close all foreign bases, but my “let’s protect the world from communism” Reagan childhood sez we have to keep a base to defend Taiwan.
    I dunno…..”

    I just read something that you might find interesting:

    Personally I don’t care if China invades Taiwan or North Korea invades South Korea.

  39. #39 |  Mike | 

    Stop talking sense, Marty.

  40. #40 |  EH | 

    Our criminal justice system is set up in such a way that the complaints of children go virtually ignored.

    Not in this case. What appears to have happened is that the needs of the NYSCOPBA outweigh charges of child rape.

  41. #41 |  Danny | 

    The Daily News column on the rape is a little odd. I wonder how fact-checked and completely-reported it is.

    Conceivably, the victim-witnesses were so impeachable that the prosecution felt the best option was to take a no-jail plea bargain which, nonetheless, puts the guy in sex-offender-registry hell. There are probably more facts behind the plea deal that would be more illuminating than what the column provides.

    I have never heard of a system where juvenile sentences could be extended at the whim of the custodians, as the victim implies. She talks back and, with no court hearing, they get to add to her 1-year court-imposed sentence without even going back to a judge? Very fishy; cannot see how that would hold up to constitutional challenge.

  42. #42 |  Dr. T | 

    RE: Troops in 156 countries

    Marines guard our embassies and consulates in 125 countries. Does anyone believe that we have combat troops in Russia, China, India, South Africa, etc.? The United for Peace & Justice map and comments are bullshit that no intelligent person should believe.

  43. #43 |  ktc2 | 

    @Danny 41

    Our constitution has yet to jump out of it’s glass case and challenge our government at anything. It’s nothing more than a ceremonial document at this point which is paid occasional lip service.

  44. #44 |  Juice | 


    Aren’t empires supposed to get tributes from their colonies? Seems to me the US is spending tons of cash maintaining these overseas bases…

    It’s less about colonialism and more about subsidizing the protection of markets for US (and some others) corporations using US taxpayers.

  45. #45 |  SJE | 

    To all the Christine O’Donnell fans giving me negative karma – How about some actual substantive comments? If I’m wrong, or just being douche-y, please explain. If not, I’ll have to stick to the analogy with W, Palin, and her acolytes who seem to avoid any substantive debate.

  46. #46 |  SJE | 

    Re: Okinawa. You could make a better argument for Okinawa than most any other US military base. N Korea is still technically at war with everyone else except China and Russia. Most military ppl agree that Okinawa is a good spot for monitoring China, Russia, N. Korea and Vietnam, and keeps open the shipping lanes between Japan and everywhere West. Okinawa is also one of the more important bases that are good insurance policies, providing support for submarines, electronic listing posts, etc. There are also strong reasons for keeping bases, or access to the bases in Guam, Diego Garcia, and Australia. More problematic, IMO, are all the bases and entanglements that create a whole heap of problems.

    The biggest problem, IMO, are the “allies” that do not pull their weight. The Brits and Aussies consistently show up to the party to lend a hand. Japan, and most of the Europeans are mostly no-shows.

  47. #47 |  Joe B | 

    Dr T, they’re libertarians. Take your reality back outside, it just clutters up the room and detracts from the oh so important theoretical discussions they use to garner so much respect and power around the world.

  48. #48 |  Cynical in CA | 

    @#33 | Stephen

    Thanks, I’m here ’til Thursday, try the veal!

  49. #49 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Wow Joe, if you think reason is what garners respect and power in the world, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

    Who’s the naive one?

  50. #50 |  Joe B | 

    Reason, reality. Tomato, tahmahto.

  51. #51 |  Cynical in CA | 

    No Joe — force, reality. Potatoe, potahtoe.

    There, corrected it for you.

  52. #52 |  croaker | 

    @14 Which is why the preferred solution to such slime is shoot, shovel, and shut up.

    @23 I take comfort in the knowledge that some family members will soon even the score. Or is that just wishful thinking? I know that if some scum only got probation for raping one of MY nieces, the sumbitch had better watch his six.

    @24 At this point I’d take anarchy, thank you.

    @28 Okinawa : Japan :: Nevada/Utah : USA

    @30 Reality check: Most of those countries have a few US Marines as embassy guards. They’re not really there to spread Pax Americana.

  53. #53 |  JS | 

    Dr. T:×1341066

    The most common figure quoted is 800 military bases in 140 countries. Chalmers Johnson estimates higher. And of course these are just the ones that we know of.

  54. #54 |  JS | 

    croaker “@30 Reality check: Most of those countries have a few US Marines as embassy guards. They’re not really there to spread Pax Americana.”

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed it but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of pax in the Pax Americana these days.

  55. #55 |  Henry Bowman | 

    Commenter #16 (Mike) makes a plausibly good point. Havings 5-10 U.S. military personnel in a country really is not significant. Are they counting Marines at embassies, as well (they should not count, as embassies are considered U.S. property)? Anyway, it would be nice to see a table of the number of U.S. military personnel by country [including the U.S.].

    However, to me at least, it’s time to exit Japan, Germany, and Korea.

  56. #56 |  Joe | 

    We have bases in Okinawa because of its location. It is just a few hours away from everything worth bombing in Asia. The Philippines are not an option anymore and Guam is too far away.

    Seriously, that is why.

    Why are we spending that kind of money? Our own interest is clearly part of it. It is a legacy of dealing with the cold war and it is not like North Korea is going away. And of course there is always Taiwan. And China. And Japan. Things could go to shit pretty quickly.

    While it might sound good to cut it all completely, that would be a mistake. Personally I suspect a lot of this can be substantially cut back without compromising security. If we are going to ever get serious about cutting entitlements, we need to scale back defense spending too.

  57. #57 |  Joe | 

    We have a series of air bases all over the world. Greenland, the Azores, Spain, Germany, Kuwait, Qutar, Diego Garcia, Guam, etc. That may be expensive, but it is really not that expensive and it may be money well spent.

    Large numbers of troops should be moved closer to home.

  58. #58 |  SusanK | 

    Danny (#41)
    A lot of juvenile centers work this way:
    We have a one-year program. If you follow the program, you can be “rehabilitated” and released in a year. If you do not follow the program or make progress on “your goals”, then you will continue in the program until (1) we are satisfied that you are a good, upstanding piece of state machinery or (2) you reach maximum age.
    Most states do not allow incarceration for juveniles (because, after all, they are kids), but they do have locked “treatment” facilities that, for all intents and purposes, are simply kiddie jails.

  59. #59 |  Peter Ramins | 

    So I was idly flipping channels just now and a rerun of “The Closer” was on. The plot-reveal involved an immigration officer who was raping young female illegals, and then deporting them. At the end of the show there was a big standoff where had a hostage because he knew he was in big trouble if he let himself be captured, and it ended with the heroine’s FBI husband shooting him.

    I think this is a big part of the problem. Take Law & Order or any of the other generic “Cop Drama” shows – all the police hate Internal Affairs because it’s made to look like IA is out to destroy LEOs’ lives, to take them to task, to hold them accountable. Hell, most of these shows go so far as to make it seem like IA is willing to consider the slightest most circumstantial bit of evidence as ‘proof’ that an officer or detective is corrupt.

    Then you see the reality in stories like this one, where a LEO gets probation for multiple rapes.

    There is such a profound disconnect between the popular notion of police policing their own, of the system holding them accountable too, and the reality, which is more like “get out of jail free badges” and “prosecutorial discretion.”

    This is absolutely disgusting in every way. It is a massive indictment of the system’s failure.

    It’s one more reason among many that a ‘Society for Aesthetic Deletions’ looks more and more attractive every day.

    Who among you thinks the Justice System actually doles out justice now? Lady Justice has a police scanner on one scale and a wad of cash on the other, and the generic masses with no political connections or civil servant jobs are out of frame, under her hobnailed boots.

  60. #60 |  JS | 

    Peter Ramins, great post!

  61. #61 |  billy-jay | 

    Japan pays a shitload of money to keep American bases.

    Also, Okinawa used to be its own kingdom and has its own culture. The U.S. kept Okinawa for itself until the early 70s and then sold it back to the Japanese. Okinawa is also among the poorest and least influential areas in Japan. The national government is okay with the majority of U.S. troops in Japan being in Okinawa.

  62. #62 |  Derfel Cadarn | 

    Simmons: This scumbag should be thrown in prison where the ensuing activities might be considered punishment if violent enough. Life no parole
    Toronto: Huzzah! These ladies get my respect.
    Solve the budget problems: Get out of the business of American Empire! You will find that minding ones own fucking business is very cost effective. 156 out of 202= empire

  63. #63 |  Ric_in_OR | 

    Military in Japan –

    We have bases other than Okinawa.

    For example: Yokosuka. It is due south of Tokyo.

    We keep the Navy there to protect against <a href="; Godzilla

  64. #64 |  André | 

    @Peter Ramins:

    Friend’s dad is a lawyer who has done police brutality cases. He made a point of telling me that we don’t have a justice system, we have a legal system. Any overlap between the two is coincidental.

  65. #65 |  Eric_in_AK | 

    He is not a politician, but I’ll bet a small amount of money that the Allegedly Reverend Fred Phelps (of picketing funerals fame) will be outed sometime soon.