Sunday Links

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

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57 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  damaged justice | 

    If I was a low-rent wage slave for Micky D’s, my response would be: “I used to say I’d consider supporting Republicans when they changed their slogan from Slightly Less Socialist Than Team Blue. But voting is for slaves and tyrants, not free people.”

    Re neighbor complaint: The tyrant next door is just as dangerous as the one a thousand miles away. More so, even. Fucking Mrs. Grundy stukach.

    Re Stewart/Colbert: I have no interest in an event whose sole purpose is to celebrate how incredibly much smarter and nicer I am than everyone who disagrees with me.

  2. #2 |  Stephen | 

    The upside down sign from picture #21 says “Karl Rove isn’t a cartoon villian?”.

    Just a public service so that nodoby else has to turn their laptop upside down. :)

    Happy Halloween everybody!

  3. #3 |  edmund dantes | 

    To be honest, I’d have to see the sidewalk obstruction before I pass judgement on that one.

    NYPD one is a time where qualified immunity should not be active. He was ignorant of the law, and he intentionally created an unsafe situation. He was not acting legally when he did what he did.

  4. #4 |  tarran | 

    The neighbor has a point (although his/her gutlessness in calling the police made everything worse): the sidewalk is a public right of way, and blocking it and driving people into the street is dangerous.

    The fact that the maze-builder felt he could block the sidewalk and everyone would be happy is somewhat surprising. Requiring children and the elderly to detour out to the street strikes me as being very unwise.

    That being said, the person should have gone to their neighbor and suggested he change the maze design.

    On the other hand, we only have the maze-builder’s word that nobody talked to him/her. Sometimes people tell self-serving lies. It’s possible that the neighbor did talk to the maze builder, was rebuffed, and then went to the police. We just don’t know.

    I am also puzzled by the emphasis on the fact that only “one person” complained, as if the size of the complaining set of people somehow affects the rightness of the complaint. If only one person complained that a county’s policy of pulling over every black motorist driving on its roads and checking their cars for contraband, the newspaper probably wouldn’t be emphasizing the fact that only one person complained.

  5. #5 |  Bill | 

    Is there a way we can donate libertarian books to prisoner groups? Seems like we might be able to make some inroads, especially since in most places felons can vote after serving their sentences.
    I’ll donate a few of my books, although they aren’t expressly libertarian.

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    the Amit Bornstein story is very disturbing- lots of google hits for rallies and calling the cops out for their lack of disclosure, but no facts. looks like a lot of track covering going on.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    I’ve seen bureaucratic code enforcement assholes use the ‘anonymous neighbor’ ploy to shut things down before… I’m a little suspicious of this, because it’s a long standing activity.

  8. #8 |  Salt | 

    The sidewalk neighbor will be in church this morning testifying how he beat the devil and shut down that haven of demons.

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    #4 | tarran

    I don’t see blocking a subdivision sidewalk ‘driving people out into the street’… this isn’t an urban environment. People cut through yards, cross the street, gather on driveways- it’s a subdivision.

  10. #10 |  Marty | 

    I love the ‘I’m here for the gangbang’ sign!

  11. #11 |  Tom Barkwell | 

    Worse than the McD’s franchise owner’s pathetic and misguided attempt to influence the political choices of his employees, is the lawyers’ characterization of the stunt as “intimidation” in order to set up his inevitable lawsuit against a mega-rich corporation.

    Yes, I’m sure the suggestion to vote for Republicans made the employees quake in fear, and wrought untold amounts of pain and suffering. As a matter of fact, as an occasional McD’s customer, I too feel intimidated just from reading about the notice. I wonder if that qualifies me to compensation as well? Class-Action, anyone?

  12. #12 |  mark r | 

    This is directed generally at people who hate on bikes. 250 pedestrians a year are killed by rouge cars. Nothing is done.

    The scourge that is the bicycle requires constant vigilance and absolute enforcement of any and all applicable law with draconian consequences, otherwise….people will get broken arms and scraped knees.

  13. #13 |  David Chesler | 

    The workers weren’t threatened for voting the wrong way.
    The employer said things wouldn’t get better if the wrong lizard was elected. Which may or may not be in violation of the bit that says he can’t say things will get worse.
    We’ve got a pretty good system going, free speech and secret ballots. It’s a bad law.
    Would it be any different if it was a vote for a city councilor who was running on a “No fast food in our municipalities” platform?

    Re haunted house, query why if it’s such a little deal the enforcement officials didn’t use more discretion. Also query if Norfolk got tired of doing it but didn’t want to be called the Halloween Grinch so he turned himself in. Would Norfolk have changed plans if the one neighbor had requested early enough? If he refused, and another neighbor called in anonymously, I wouldn’t want to be that first neighbor who did the right thing.

  14. #14 |  Mike | 

    An observation: one of those pictures (#24) showed 9/11 truth signs. Given that UCLA calculated that a similar percentage of Tea Party signs were racist, we can now claim that the Sanity rally is as Truther oriented as the Tea Party rally was racist.

  15. #15 |  Stephen | 

    OT – I thought this was funny:

    Now, how long before some gung ho drug warrior files charges?

  16. #16 |  billy-jay | 

    There were a lot of funny signs at that link. I still hope the Dems lose every race (and O’Donnell’s twice).

  17. #17 |  Bob | 

    Neighbor complaint about “blocked sidewalks” shuts down beloved Halloween maze.

    I gotta side with the grinchy neighbor on this one. You can’t just unilaterally build some giant assed ‘attraction’ on a public space.

    I had a housemate like this. Every fucking Halloween this wack job would turn the entire fucking house into a haunted fucking cave. The first year, I didn’t realize how much having the entire inside of the house being covered in black plastic for 2 weeks prior to Halloween would suck.

    Sure, the hundreds of people at the yearly Halloween party (Yes, hundreds) thought it was great! They didn’t have to deal with it.

    The next year, I complained that I didn’t want to do that. Which started the drama until I couldn’t take it anymore and agreed to his haunted cave.

    People that put up giant assed Holiday displays like this are insane and can’t be reasoned with. They do these things to support their own egos and aren’t going to listen to anyone.

  18. #18 |  Xenocles | 


    How many pedestrians do cars of other colors kill?

  19. #19 |  adolphus | 

    @12 Mark R.: I am challenging that statistic. I doubt that many red cars kill pedestrians.

  20. #20 |  adolphus | 

    Damn you Xenocles and your faster typing skills!

  21. #21 |  Joe | 

    There were some funny signs, but my favorite was “There an’t no party like a Mr. T Party.”

  22. #22 |  Xenocles | 

    “McDonald’s franchise tells its employees that future raises and bonuses could hinge on them voting Republican.”

    So endorsing candidates by warning of the perceived consequences of an election is now illegal intimidation? That’s pretty weak sauce. This doesn’t even rise to the level of union electioneering, where the union takes its members’ money and uses it to campaign for preferred candidates.

  23. #23 |  Joe | 

    Remember “a McDonald’s franchise” probably does not speak for McDonald Corporation, or even Ronald McDonald, it speaks for its owner.

  24. #24 |  croaker | 

    There’s an NYPD cop that needs to be zapped with his own Taser. In the balls.

    Speaking of needed a Taser, that “anonymous” neighbor that decided to use the police as his private brute squad. I hope the kids cover his lawn in toilet paper.

    The jail beating, sadly, doesn’t come as a surprise. Guess they thought he was going to make a terrorist bomb or something.

    As far as McD is concerned, I’ve heard from several employers that say if they have to lay off, the first people to go will be the ones with Obama stickers on their cars.

  25. #25 |  K9kevlar | 

    What were the charges the dead guy was facing?

  26. #26 |  derfel cadarn | 

    NYPD proves again that they are thugs and should be disbanded. They are certainly not protecting citizens if they cannot do their intended function then there is no need for them Big budgetary savings too!

  27. #27 |  Joe | 

    Why video taping cops can be a GOOD thing:

    “NYPD cop parks in bicycle lane, tickets bicyclists who ride around his car for riding outside of bicycle lane.”

  28. #28 |  Joe | 

    Okay, the obvious question. Who has the bigger dick ahem…crowd. Beck or Stewart-Colbert?

  29. #29 |  EH | 

    So endorsing candidates by warning of the perceived consequences of an election is now illegal intimidation?

    He wasn’t warning them of the perceived consequences of an election, he was warning them about the consequences of their individual votes.

  30. #30 |  TC | 

    Possible hijack……

    Clarification of what is REALLY happening in America this election cycle.

    Remember, keep it simple…..

    RE-Elect NO-ONE!!!!!!

    From local to federal, send them all to the line beside you waiting for a job!


    I guess an “I like Ike” button would be over the top eh?

    Service industries really should just STFU when it comes to wage and compensation issues. Though they provide a role and a platform for folks to get a job, it’s well known they will pay taxes vs. employees EVERY TIME!

  31. #31 |  Joe | 

    #27 | Joe | October 31st, 2010 at 12:23 pm
    Why video taping cops can be IS a GOOD thing:

    “NYPD cop parks in bicycle lane, tickets bicyclists who ride around his car for riding outside of bicycle lane.”

    I cannot really think of why it would be bad.

  32. #32 |  Xenocles | 


    Nonsense, unless you meant this in the broad sense that individual votes influence elections. Read the actual handout. The management believes that electing Republicans will have a positive effect on the franchise’s performance. One consequence of this effect is the ability to pay everyone better. It’s not a promise of bonuses in exchange for Republican votes, since even if the entire store votes a straight GOP ticket. It’s not (by itself) a threat of retribution against people who vote Democrat.

    Candidates often advertise the idea that we will be less safe if they don’t win, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to come kill me. They mean that their opponent will weaken the country’s security. That’s a policy argument, not intimidation. If I say “Hey, if that health care bill passes, I’ll have to cut your plans,” I’m sharing my assessment of the situation, not threatening my employees. It’s no different than saying “If we don’t meet our sales goal this quarter there will be a round of layoffs.”

  33. #33 |  Joe | 

    <i?Prison librarian’s memoir details what books prisoners read.

    Sixty Minutes did a segment on this subject. A hugely popular topic was the Roman Stoics, in particular Marcus Auerilius. Then Tom Wolfe did his novel “A Man In Full” that focused in part on that very theme.

  34. #34 |  Joe | 

    Prison librarian’s memoir details what books prisoners read.

  35. #35 |  Nick | 

    And, if you want a “Sunday Link” that makes you angry, watch The State vs Patricia Smith.

    Just saw it on the ICYMI RSS Feed. Disgusting.

  36. #36 |  ola | 

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech……

    mcdonald’s owner can say what he wants. how would he know how his employees vote? any employee who is “intimidated’ by that is a pussy. doucebag attorneys.

  37. #37 |  Rojo | 

    Having been a wage slave for Mickey D’s for two years (thankfully almost two decades ago), I can say that just about the only thing that would have made me vote for a Democrat is if my overlords urged me not to. (Same goes for Republicans, btw).

  38. #38 |  BSK | 

    The thing about the McDonalds situation is, regardless of who wins, they’ll still probably cut wages or benefits at the first chance they get.

  39. #39 |  The Mossy Spaniard | 

    @Nick #35
    I just watched that video. I shouldn’t have. I am literally shaking with rage over that.
    There has to be a tipping point somewhere, something to upend the consciences and the actions of the lawmakers, cops, prosecutors, judges, and in this case, jury members who routinely prop up this kind of evil. Public confrontation and censure, death threats, actual deaths (mandatory disclaimer: not actually advocating this), voter fraud, whatever. I don’t care anymore how it’s done, legally or illegally; it’ll be better than living in the America we currently know.

  40. #40 |  Bob | 

    @Nick #35
    I just watched that video. I shouldn’t have.

    Yeah, I watched that too.

    It was painful. I have to assume the prosecution went out of their way to pad the jury with badgelickers and marijuana haters.

    It is simply incomprehensible that she deserved a 2 to 4 year prison term for that.

  41. #41 |  Mattocracy | 

    I might get some negative Karma here, but a lot of those signs don’t make me feel any more positive about the Restore Sanity Rally. It’s just the flip side of Republican Partisanship resorting to teabagger name calling instead of socialist name calling.

    If these people think voting for the party that didn’t close gitmo, didn’t end the war in Iraq, added trillions of dollars of debt, and didn’t repeal the Patriot Act is sane, they’re just as crazy as Glenn Beck.

  42. #42 |  dave smith | 

    What do people expect from MickeyDs? You can’t attack someone in the political arena and not expect them to respond.

  43. #43 |  KristenS | 

    I am suddenly having a craving for a Royale with Cheese….

  44. #44 |  Elroy | 

    Gotta agree with #17. I have never called the police or the city to report anyone. I probably would not in this case either but I can’t say I’d be thrilled if my next door neighbor built a giant maze and had hundreds of kids showing up to go through it. I would imagine this causes all kind of traffic headaches for the neighbors. Its probably great fun if you have kids or are just into halloween but its probably just a pain in the ass for some neighbors.

  45. #45 |  Elroy | 

    Regarding McDonalds, I have seen unions mail out lists of who to support, why not McDonalds.

  46. #46 |  T'Mershi Duween | 

    I did some time in the US prison system 20+ years ago, there was a book named “Bloodletters and Badmen” that was a history of violent/spectacular criminals, and was about as popular a book as was to be had in the reformatory-for-men. Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour has serious traction too.

  47. #47 |  Juice | 

    There’s no way that the McDonald’s managers would know who their employees voted for. All they’d have to say is “yes, I voted Republican.”

  48. #48 |  Cyto | 

    Two months after a man is beaten to death in police custody – on video – and they still haven’t got anything to say? On the face of it, we have a classic cover-up under way. You can’t tell me that if they had any other crime with known perpetrators and a videotape of the crime the prosecutors wouldn’t have charges filed by now? Not even an arrest? Not even a statement about “persons of interest?”

    Time to file that civil suit and get those subpoena’s in effect. Destruction of evidence is bad, but it becomes a really big deal once you are on notice that it is being subpoenaed by the courts.

    Another level of bad that could be going on here is using Garrity/Gardner or other constructs to erect a wall of immunity around the officers involved so that they cannot be prosecuted.

  49. #49 |  Cyto | 

    More on the Bornstein case – it seems the Coroner wants to know if the victim was on steroids. Because he can’t determine a cause of death without analyzing a urine sample. Because it might be steroids. Although they did already test the blood.

    Of course there is reason to suspect it might be more than steroids:
    Photographs taken during the autopsy show bruises on the face, legs, arms, chest and back. There are purple restraint marks on the wrists and ankles, a gash above his left eye and welts on his back.

    Sheriff Golden is in the middle of an election fight, but he hasn’t had much to say other than this:

    “To date, I have received no indication that there was any wrongdoing conducted on the part of the Monmouth County Correctional Institution and employees thereof. It is irresponsible and inappropriate for anyone to provide comment on the subject matter of an investigation.”

    Which could just be cover for accusing his challenger of wrongdoing in bringing up the death during the campaign. At least he didn’t end with the normal “I’m confident that the investigation will show no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of our officers.”

    Still, with a video tape in hand, a dead prisoner in hand and photos of someone who was obviously beaten while in restraints, I think it is a little irresponsible and inappropriate to claim you have received no indication that there was any wrongdoing. “No indication”, that’s quite a stretch. I mean, the dead guy should have been at least some indication. Or the bruised wrists on the corpse. That’s at least a bit of an indication, doncha think?

  50. #50 |  KBCraig | 

    Halloween maze:

    I wouldn’t want it in my neighborhood either, but I sure wouldn’t call for the government to shut it down.

    As others noted, this isn’t an urban environment. It’s a suburban housing development in Texas. I’m surprised to even see sidewalks: most developments don’t have them at all (mine doesn’t). I guarantee the sidewalks don’t belong to the city, and weren’t built with city funds. The city may have required them, but the developer built them and the homeowners paid for them.

  51. #51 |  BSK | 

    Even more reason for the police to be involved. Unless each homeowner privately and exclusively owns the sidewalk in front of their property, no one has any right to build on them without explicit consent from all involved parties. If the sidewalks are shared by all the residents of the development, than it is just as much the neighbors’ property as it is the maze-builders. As such, the maze-builder infringed his/her neighbors’ property rights and the cops were duty-bound to protect those rights.

    I understand much of the grief about LEO and big government. But if we don’t even allow them to protect the rights that are core to libertarian principals, then our message is not one of libertarianism but merely of anti-cop and anti-government.

  52. #52 |  Ben | 

    Ah, neighbor complaints to government agencies. I just got screwed by a neighbor (anonymously) and the DEP to the tune of $1300. I run a wood furnace. I knew that I wasn’t 100% in compliance with the arbitrary heights I needed to be, but I burned in such a way that the smoke was never a problem.

    Another neighbor decided it would be a good idea to start his furnace in August. Which pissed off somebody and they, instead of talking to the guy burning the stove, turned in everyone within a half mile radius. Which brought out the DEP, which brings fines if you don’t conform to the arbitrary numbers in the law.

    So now I go about trying to get the law changed. Good luck with that, though, since loosening restrictions is just about impossible.

  53. #53 |  PW | 

    #51 –

    Assuming that sidewalk is like most sidewalks, it was probably (a) city property but also (b) legally obliged to the homeowner for routine maintenance, and without any reimbursement from the city for performing that maintenance. I’m betting that this particular homeowner performs this task by edging the sidewalk as he cares for his own lawn and by generally keeping it free of weeds, trash, fallen leaves, and other debris for most of the year.

    And I’m also betting that if, say, some idiot drove down this guy’s street and deposited an old tire in the middle of that sidewalk, not only would the government that technically owns the sidewalk fail to pick it up, but they would also expect the homeowner whose house it was in front of to do so and likely penalize him if he failed to do so in a timely manner.

    Therefore in the larger scheme of things, I’m generally unmoved by a rigidly asserted “libertarian” property rights argument on behalf of a government that claims property rights on a sidewalk when it is convenient to do so but is generally unwilling to do anything to maintain the same property and in fact routinely places the costs and burdens of such maintenance onto private individuals who do not technically own it but would be penalized by that same government under force of law if they neglected to maintain that property which they do not own.

  54. #54 |  PW | 

    “I understand much of the grief about LEO and big government.”

    No you don’t, BSK. You only “understand” it when it happens to protected “minority” groups, and not out of concern for their individual rights but rather their collective group status.

    As for libertarian principles and sidewalks, I have a deal to offer you. I’d like to build a concrete pathway through the middle of your front yard. The sole purpose of this pathway will be to allow complete strangers to traverse your property at will at any time of their choosing. I will not be compensating you for the land I will take from you to build the pathway on, but that’s the part of the deal for me building it, which I’ll also be subsidizing through the taxes you paid me on that property last year. Once my pathway across your yard is built I will generally abandon it. But I will expect you to completely care for it in my absence, which means cleaning it of fallen leaves and debris, shoveling away snow, and picking up any litter that the random strangers using it to cross your property happen to leave behind. I also expect it to be edged and kept free of weeds. I will not be reimbursing you for any of these tasks, but you must do them anyway as part of your responsibility to me for confiscating your property so that I may build my path. And should you fail to do any of these things I will fine and prosecute you under cover of law. Also, don’t even think about obstructing my pathway in any way as I will prosecute you for that too. Sound like a deal?

  55. #55 |  BSK | 

    I was referring to KBCraig’s point that the sidewalk was likely owned by the community and was solely private property. If the homeowner himself owned it, they should use it as they choose. If it was shared by the community but remained private, then the homeowner should have acquired the necessary permission from his co-owners. Absent doing this, the cops were right to step in on behalf of the complaining neighbor.

    If the sidewalk was public property, the situation is complicated, for many of the reasons offered.

    Regardless, let’s deal with the facts that we DO know, since we don’t currently know the specifics of the ownership of the sidewalk. What we do know is that no one was prosecuted. The maze builder was simply told to build on his property, not on the sidewalk. Let’s not exaggerate for the sake of painting the cops or government as the villains. In this case, what exactly did they do wrong? They peacefully enforced a code.

  56. #56 |  Medicine Man | 

    I think that NYPD cop should have a Bud Light Real Men of Genius spot done for him.

  57. #57 |  Mannie | 

    Now, I’m all for cracking down on scofflaw bicyclists. I think that in most cases, summary execution would be appropriate, but hey, fair is fair. You can’t create a hazard and cite people for responding to it. There is certainly no shortage of real scofflaw cyclists to shoot.

    The City Ordinance says, “Whenever a usable path or lane for bicycles has been provided, bicycle riders shall use such path or lane …”

    If there is a cop car parked in the bike lane, there is no usable path or lane for bicycles. The cop obviopusly should be promoted to Captain, so he can impart his profound wisdom to (inflict it on?) the rest of the force.