Saturday Links

Saturday, November 6th, 2010
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78 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  K9kevlar | 

    I’m surprised Meserle didn’t get a small fine and have to apologize. We are making progress since Mary Jo Kopechne.

  2. #2 |  Joe | 

    I did not realize that having an attitude or not jumping to respond to orders is justification for taking one’s guns away.

  3. #3 |  K9kevlar | 

    Joe – Having guns and not being a member of goverment is reason enough.

  4. #4 |  Joe | 

    The West Memphis case points out the need for serious forenisic crime scene training, not to merely get convictions, but to get the right perpetrators.

  5. #5 |  Joe | 

    Filming a candidates’ debate is not the same as filming a rock concert. And why give anyone in the press and “exclusive” on that? That policy is perverse. Do you think it I gave the Nation an exclusive on a debate that reporter might have a different perspective if I gave Fox the exclusive? The whole nature of public candidates running for public office should be their statements and positions are fair game to all.

  6. #6 |  Matt | 

    Fuck Meserle. Why didn’t Ryan Frederick or Cory Maye or the list of others get this justice

  7. #7 |  Joe | 

    Given the jury convicted the BART cop for involuntarily manslaughter the charge range was 2 to 4 years (I do not see how gun enhancement comes into play once it is determiend to be involuntary manslaughter). The bigger lesson here is if only regular citizens got the same lee way and benefit of doubt when situations are reversed.

    And defending yourself when your door busts open in the middle of the night is not a crime…well at least not for you defending yourself.

  8. #8 |  Brandon | 

    “”If he’s that defiant, should this guy have a gun?” said Sgt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman. “The most uncommon human trait is common sense. He’s not using good, adult judgment.”

    Jesus fucking Christ. And that’s the fucking spokesman! They’re not even pretending to respect the law anymore.

  9. #9 |  Brandon | 

    I’m surprised they didn’t tell him “don’t be stupid, man, you know we can just shoot you if we want.”

  10. #10 |  Highway | 

    The police need to stop thinking that they have ‘rights’. Police in the line of duty have no more ‘rights’ than anyone else has. They don’t have the ‘right’ to take a gun away, or arrest someone, or give them orders.

    They have a privilege granted by the state.

    I find it infuriating that they claim more rights than other people. But that might just be me. The reason they do it, of course, is that it elevates in their mind their arbitrary and oftentimes capricious whims to the same level as other people’s actual rights.

    Ask some law and order conservatives who grants their rights, like the 2nd Amendment. Is it the government or are they inherent to their person-hood? They’ll say person-hood every time. But then they’ll turn around and say the government can grant the right to steal, harass, and ruin the lives of other people…

    But only as long as they’re the ‘wrong’ sorts of people.

  11. #11 |  Collin | 

    Wow. I’m glad I don’t live in Philly. One gem from the articles comment section is

    “When cops punish you for lawful behavior, we no longer have law, we have warlords.
    — kadar”

    I wonder if he posts here?

  12. #12 |  Collin | 

    re: Josh Marshall, I read his blog and generally find myself in agreement with him, but this “reasoning”, and I’ll put that in quotes, is hard to comprehend.

    The last paragraph sums up the main issue not only with inaction on marijuana prohibition but every civil liberties issue: It hasn’t impacted me or my friends yet, so why should I care? Pathetic.

  13. #13 |  Joe | 

    “It hasn’t impacted me or my friends yet, so why should I care?”

    Pathetic indeed.

    Perhaps he should ponder this warning.

  14. #14 |  Marty | 

    the blogger in Wisconsin did a great job keeping his cool and staying on topic. by simply exercising this most basic right, he showed how repressive the bureaucrats are making this country- he had to resist cops, professors, and the political hacks.

    How can citizens with jobs fight through this level of bullshit? I’m glad there are kids with enough time (and balls!) to stand up to these idiots.

  15. #15 |  Mario | 

    Collin @ 12

    For me, his “reasoning” on the issue is Exhibit A in the case for limited government: why should a bunch of people, based on their inarticulate, murky, emotion-based “reasons” get to decided what I — or anyone else — can or can’t do, when that action has nothing to do with anyone but the individual taking the action?

    “Don’t tread on me!”

  16. #16 |  hexag1 | 

    Baby Kim: he’s the Ilest.

  17. #17 |  JS | 

    When the dear leader was a baby it rained Gerber’s baby food over the land for 3 years.

  18. #18 |  Cynical in CA | 

    I think Sullum’s criticism of Josh Marshall is a bit harsh. Everything Marshall was quoted as saying is congruent with how I feel about marijuana laws, especially in the context of how impossible it seems to end the War on People.

    I wish this were a perfect world, I’d do a lot less bitching and moaning here, but the one constant appears to be State oppression. Confronting the sovereign directly by trying to end the Drug War gravy train seems to be piss-poor game theory. Freedom-loving people will find freedom, and they will find it as far from the State as possible.

    I had my own run-in with marijuana laws many years ago in NJ, which is why I am now in CA. I was lucky, but I am white. I have boatloads of sympathy for minorities who are unjustly targeted by drug laws. I wish that marijuana were decriminalized, legal, whatever. Heck, I wish there were no State, no government per se. But I can’t help but share Marshall’s father’s sentiments that if you use common sense, keep it as private as you can and don’t draw attention to yourself, that you can pretty much fly under the State’s radar indefinitely.

    Until you can’t, of course. What a mess.

  19. #19 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #15 | Mario — “For me, his “reasoning” on the issue is Exhibit A in the case for limited government…”

    Explain this “limited government” thing to me. How does one limit government?

  20. #20 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Arkansas Supreme Court orders a new evidentiary hearing for the West Memphis Three.

    Personally, I think the scariest guy in the whole episode is that spooky nut case bible thumper.

  21. #21 |  Joe | 

    “I had my own run-in with marijuana laws many years ago in NJ…”

    NJ is a good place to be from.

    I had a run in with a cop in Jersey over my registration being expired. You would think I was on the FBI most wanted list.

  22. #22 |  perlhaqr | 

    I’m just surprised Mehserle was sentenced to any jail time at all.

  23. #23 |  Cynical in CA | 

    @ #21 | Joe

    Best decision of my life, Joe. New Jersey State Troopers are something else. And the town I was from had more cops per capita than they knew what to do with, so they spent all their time harassing us kids — they were worse than the State Devils. Good riddance, NJ. Their motto is “The Safest State” — no shit! New Jersey proves that security is inversely proportional to freedom. But you really haven’t lived until you suffered a beat-down by a NYPD cop, an unfortunate item on my CV.

    @ 22 | perlhaqr

    Probation was an option, so you are correct to be surprised, as am I. He was truly repentant too, sniff, sniff …

  24. #24 |  Pete | 

    I think if more prohibitionists were shown that the biggest risk involved with drug use in general and marijuana in particular is discovery by the state machine, they would change their tune.

    Can someone totally wreck their life after being introduced to marijuana? It’s probably possible, but the same *is* true for alcohol. I mean, movies about pot are usually funny, not tragic, but go watch Leaving Las Vegas or When a Man Loves a Woman and blog about in stitches you were and how you peed yourself laughing. I haven’t seen any movies titled Dank Nugs II: The Sad Dankening, about how Little Johnny smoked himself into a berserker rage and eviscerated everything he ever loved and then sobered up and gave that arms-in-air and man-on-knees “NOOOOOOOOOO!” (Other than propaganda films from the 30s, that is.)

    I’ve seen plenty of documentaries about pot, though, and state awareness and involvement in a pot user’s or merchant’s life is uniformly detrimental and destructive, equaling or far exceeding even the worst-case scenario of ‘pot head is baked all the time.’

    I guess maybe if more people realized that the simple act of jaywalking (potentially harmful to yourself) could result in an intrusion by a pumped up and well armed SWAT team, followed by years of incarceration, they would maybe come around.

    Disclaimer: I tried pot a few times (less than 5) in high school, yeeeeaaaars ago, and it never really caught on with me. I do not use use, at all, or buy/sell, at all.

    Anecdotal Observations: I know lots of recreational marijuana users. My mother and father were a raging alchoholics. Out of those two contrasts, guess which ones’ habits killed them. Yes. Both of them.

  25. #25 |  djm | 

    I trust my local drug dealer more than I trust the cop. The drug dealer wants my business. The cop demands my servitude.

  26. #26 |  croaker | 

    @2 @3 The bottom line is when the blue nobility unzips and tells you to kneel and suck, your choice is to suck or go to jail.

  27. #27 |  Joe | 

    Cynical, Glad me and you are not here.

  28. #28 |  Dave Krueger | 

    The asinine, condescending logic of anti-pot “progressives”.

    I think liberals are only luke warm to legalizing pot and the new “limited government” conservatives are not for it at all.

    Stossel did a segment about the “marriage between conservatives and libertarians” this week. Where the hell did that marriage metaphor come from? If the libertarian movement wakes up to find itself in bed with the conservative movement, it needs to immediately invoke the divorce metaphor and check into rehab.

    Kate Obenshain didn’t seem to take the conservative support for the drug war too seriously on Stossel this week. In this video clip (at around the 50 second mark) she laughs it off, which I found quite rude. Of course, it was her tirade against prostitution that really got my attention. And the real stunner is that she is saying all this at the same time as she is bragging about the new conservative movement in support of individual rights. I guess they support individual rights as long as they are conservative approved individual rights.

    Disclaimer: I recorded it off my TV and have no idea how to boost the sound, so you’ll have to turn your speakers up to hear it.

  29. #29 |  pam | 

    Arkansas Supreme Court orders a new evidentiary hearing for the West Memphis Three.

    Personally, I think the scariest guy in the whole episode is that spooky nut case bible thumper

    the bible thumper I think you are referring to is John Mark Byers, step-father of Christopher Byers. He may be a “nut job” but it wasn’t his DNA found in the ligature of one of the murdered boys. It was Terry Hobbs, step-father of Stevie Branch, along with Hobb’s friend, Jacoby whose DNA was found nearby. The ligature the hair matching Terry Hobbs DNA was found in was not his step-son’s, it was one of the other boys.

  30. #30 |  Baby Kim Jong-il | 

    #17 | JS | November 6th, 2010 at 11:51 am
    When the dear leader was a baby it rained Gerber’s baby food over the land for 3 years.

    +1

    What! Do you suggest the baby food stopped raining over the land? And would the people’s paradise of North Korea ever have dirty capitalist baby food rain on it? Re-education for you. Time out JS! Time out!

  31. #31 |  BamBam | 

    #9, they may have told him that. Remember that the police write the reports. Even if you tell them things, that doesn’t guarantee it makes it into the report. They control the narrative and thus can control the outcome to some degree.

  32. #32 |  EH | 

    Cynical in CA:
    …especially in the context of how impossible it seems to end the War on People.

    First of all, congratulations on agreeing with an old man. Don’t ever let anybody call you immature. Secondly, it’s not hard to see why you agree with Josh. You both have opinions on the matter based–and based proudly, I might add–on ignorance and irrationality. Things just “seem” like they should be a certain way, or hay, maybe being a hypocrite is a good reason now!

    Josh has been sliding for years, as he’s gotten married, had kids, and gotten chummy with the DC world (I’ll not be surprised to see him pull a Press Secretary gig in the next 20yrs), which has coincided with a concomitant slide to the right. I do think it’s because he’s in his 40s, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and like college graduates getting getting “adult hair” styles over their first free summer, he’s gotta become a square. I guess I should be happy he didn’t write on the topic sooner.

    Maybe both of your’s parents never taught you that it’s OK to let other people get what they want, especially when it doesn’t affect you at all. Oh sure, you have a stoner friend, but we’ve all seen that PSA. You don’t have to exaggerate the situation and denigrate anything that doesn’t completely eradicate the “War on People” (whatever that is). Why can’t merely shrinking the War on People be a good thing?

  33. #33 |  Marty | 

    Cynical-

    ‘…if you use common sense, keep it as private as you can and don’t draw attention to yourself, that you can pretty much fly under the State’s radar indefinitely.’

    this is exactly what we preach to the kids, only not just with drugs. The less you interact with bureaucrats the safer you are.

  34. #34 |  Les | 

    But I can’t help but share Marshall’s father’s sentiments that if you use common sense, keep it as private as you can and don’t draw attention to yourself, that you can pretty much fly under the State’s radar indefinitely.

    This is very true. But it seems that Josh is using this fact to justify the contemptible position that people who grow and sell and use marijuana still really ought to be put in jail. This is especially awful when there is no practical or moral argument made to justify it.

  35. #35 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #31 | EH

    First of all, who the hell are you?

    Cynical in CA: “…especially in the context of how impossible it seems to end the War on People.”

    “First of all, congratulations on agreeing with an old man. Don’t ever let anybody call you immature.”

    I call it like I see it. I can not one whit about the personal characteristics of the opinion-holder with whom I agree.

    “Secondly, it’s not hard to see why you agree with Josh. You both have opinions on the matter based–and based proudly, I might add–on ignorance and irrationality.”

    False. My opinions are based on observation of reality, personal experience and intense education involving reading just about any source material I can find on the web. They certainly don’t consist of making bald assertions like you do.

    “Things just “seem” like they should be a certain way, or hay, maybe being a hypocrite is a good reason now!”

    No hypocrite here. Things ARE a certain way. If you knew one thing about me, it’s that I’m an anarchist, which means I eschew political solutions. In my original comment, I wrote: “I wish that marijuana were decriminalized, legal, whatever. Heck, I wish there were no State, no government per se.” What seems to be the problem? As for this Josh person, I never heard of him before today, and I expect to never hear from him again until I encounter another of his published opinions. He is meaningless to me.

    “Maybe both of your’s parents never taught you that it’s OK to let other people get what they want, especially when it doesn’t affect you at all.”

    Do you have a mental problem? You don’t even know ME, and you’re bringing my PARENTS into this? I’m forty-fucking-three years old, douchebag!

    “Oh sure, you have a stoner friend, but we’ve all seen that PSA.”

    Huh? Can someone else here make any sense of this? Why am I bothering!

    “You don’t have to exaggerate the situation and denigrate anything that doesn’t completely eradicate the “War on People” (whatever that is). Why can’t merely shrinking the War on People be a good thing?”

    Well, I guess we can agree to disagree, except that you missed the part where we agree. Here’s some advice, from one stoner to another — smoke AFTER you hit “submit comment.”

  36. #36 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #33 | Les

    CinCA: “But I can’t help but share Marshall’s father’s sentiments that if you use common sense, keep it as private as you can and don’t draw attention to yourself, that you can pretty much fly under the State’s radar indefinitely.”

    Les: “This is very true. But it seems that Josh is using this fact to justify the contemptible position that people who grow and sell and use marijuana still really ought to be put in jail. This is especially awful when there is no practical or moral argument made to justify it.”

    My sympathy with what I consider to be the wise, practical philosophy of Marshall the Elder is completely independent of Marshall the Younger’s op-ed. Whatever the latter is propounding regarding drug laws and enforcement, it should be clear to anyone who has ever read a word of my writing that I disagree with every fiber of my being. If I am responsible for the confusion about this, I apologize, and I’ll leave it at that.

    FWIW, I read the comments over at Reason and I was rather disgusted by the tone and venom directed at Marshall. I know it’s easy to lash out in an anonymous forum, but there seems to be an inherent contradiction in posting ad hominems at a site called Reason. What Marshall wrote was anti-libertarian, but I am still not getting why he is being singled out for special treatment when authoritarians spew their nonsense 24/7 all over the place. Is this Marshall guy supposed to know better or something? Is he a traitor to the “cause?”

  37. #37 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Pete @24 – It rather amuses me that much of America has jaywalking as a crime. Oh, I know many countries (including most EU ones) do, but the UK doesn’t.

    (If you were doing something stupid and get hit? Well, you won’t push up their car insurance bill, as you would if the driver was reckless).

    Strangely enough, our pedestrian road death statistics are not dramatically worse than anyone else’s – indeed, they’re among the best in the EU and are about a third of America’s.

  38. #38 |  Aaron | 

    but I am still not getting why he is being singled out for special treatment when authoritarians spew their nonsense 24/7 all over the place. Is this Marshall guy supposed to know better or something?

    That is it precisely. This position is badly at odds with the rest of his purported positions.

    You think it’s useless to engage in politics because the state will do what it want. The reason crowd thinks its generally useless to engage with authoritarians. However, for one that doesn’t generally take authoritarian positions, pointing out that they seem to have slid into it seems useful.

  39. #39 |  JS | 

    baby kim jong il “Time out JS! Time out!”

    hahaha…sometimes I speak without thinking things through.

  40. #40 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Marshall: “I just don’t know if I think marijuana should be legalized at all. Maybe it’s that I’m getting into my 40s. And maybe I’m a hypocrite.”

    If Marshall had left it right there, he would have been correct. Then maybe he would have discovered his twisted “logic” and realized that you should not advocate arrest and incarceration for smoking a plant, particularly one you yourself have used. It’s the same lesson Barrack Obama should have learned.

    Reformed stoners, like dry drunks, may not be well qualified to develop policies for the way our society deals with the use and abuse of substances.

  41. #41 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “If he’s that defiant, should this guy have a gun?” said Sgt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman. “The most uncommon human trait is common sense. He’s not using good, adult judgment

    So much wrong with that statment. First of all, defiance shouldn’t mean anything. Was he in violation of the law or not? But a defiant black man in Philly (or many cities) may just be to much for the involved beat cops to accept.

    Another angle: Could the fact that the arrestee was a licensed security officer have anything to do with the officers’ irritation. Some, but certainly not all, police officers view private security personnel as 1.) “The competition” or 2.) Incompetent and not nearly as qualified to provide protective services as a government POleece or 3.) People who just weren’t “good enough” to join the ranks of public police (this opinion is also held by many citizens, even though most “policing” in our society is done by private actors). As a private healthcare security officer, I have dealt with some officers who were condescending and didn’t seem to want to listen to security (or most non-police). They just wanted groveling, because they are the “real police” and all that bull shit. The fact that they know precisely dick about healthcare protection issues never occurs to these officers.

    And as for the “common sense” and “adult judgement” remark, I would suggest that Sgt. Evers look in the mirror. Do you support drug prohibition, a policy that INCREASES the crime your department is supposed to be fighting? If you do, you are not using common sense. Do you support restrictive gun control measures that limit the ability of citizens
    to protect themselves from the criminals your department is supposed to be dealing with? If so, you are not using common sense and adult judgement. So take your lecture and shove it, Sgt. Evers.

  42. #42 |  MassHole | 

    I was blown away by Marshall’s poor reasoning as well. I’ve read his site for years and usually find him pretty intelligent even if I may disagree with him. It was lazy and emotional thinking to the extreme. The old “I know the drug was is wrong and evil, but it’s for the children” argument. Seeing as how he lives in NYC where they arrest an insane number of people on personal possession charges just shows that he must be largely ignorant of the details of the issue. Or perhaps he was high when he wrote that.

  43. #43 |  shecky | 

    That is it precisely. This position is badly at odds with the rest of his purported positions.

    Sullum: You know, for a magazine called Reason… progressive like Josh Marshall…

    Drink!

  44. #44 |  Cynical in CA | 

    @ #38 | Aaron

    Thank you for clearing that up Aaron. I guess it’s interesting to watch someone like Marshall backslide into statism.

  45. #45 |  Bob | 

    Here’s a plan! Lets bust a college kid for a small amount of pot, then, in exchange for a lenient sentence, give her over 10,000 dollars to buy Cocaine, 15,000 Ecstacy tablets, and a Handgun.

    What could go wrong?

    Oh. She could get killed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH_U9IUQ4m0

    This happened in 2008. So, what disciplinary action do these dirt bags get?

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/sep/25/report-outlines-disciplinary-action-police-informa/

    One guy was fired, 3 guys got a 2 week unpaid vacation, and they got shuffled around the department. Seems light, but it’s not like their total incompetence gor anyone killed. Oh wait.

    So, what happened to the guy that got fired? Is he flipping burgers?

    Oh fuck no! He’s back on the force!

    http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/89778022.html

  46. #46 |  delta | 

    Re: Josh Marshall — I’ve long held a theory that the people want one harmless, illegal drug (marijuana) so they can all feel edgy and transgressive. I’ve never seen anyone come out and actually say that’s what they want before now, though.

  47. #47 |  JThompson | 

    Anti-pot progressives are nanny state authoritarians that want to inflict their moral judgments on the rest of the world. They’re the mirror image of anti-gay conservatives. There’s no rational argument for how pot causes harm to others, so they have to resort to slippery slopes (OMFG legal pot will make everyone smoke teh meths!) and circular logic (Pot is bad because it’s illegal. Pot is illegal because it’s bad.).

    To quote Josh himself: “And let me be clear that I think our drug laws are catastrophic.”. To which he may as well have added “But I’m going to support them because someone in authority created them, so screw the people it harms.”

    It makes you wonder exactly what it is they think they’re progressing towards. In fact any time you hear someone call themselves a “progressive” hold on to your hat, because they’ve got an opinion (and a law) for everything you’ve ever considered doing.

  48. #48 |  Baby Kim Jong-il | 

    Baby Kim Jong-il angry now…It might have something to do with those NoKo diapers.

  49. #49 |  Mediocrity | 

    You missed the best crime story all week:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/west-virginia/woman-utters-line-never-previously-recorded-police-report

  50. #50 |  CharlesWT | 

    So, how’s your uncle, Min Tal Lee Il doing?

  51. #51 |  Cynical in CA | 

    George Will wrote that if progressives aren’t making their enemies angry, they’re not progressive enough.

  52. #52 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Defiant a crime.
    They want you broken and weak.
    Refrigerator!

  53. #53 |  Pete | 

    People argue against this, but I believe in my bones that The Founders (yes, I think that deserves Capital Letters) wanted the populace armed against state tyranny. My personal reason for believing this – I like to think that they knew no system, no matter how constrained, would not be able to stand the eroding effect of bad faith governance, or even good intentions. You can disagree, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that a group of intellectuals who were drafting the birth papers of a nation won by the blood and tears of common men wanted those same common men to keep the instrument of their freedom at hand.

    So of course it makes perfect fucking sense that disrespect of state agents – mere disrespect, mind you, some bad attitude – is grounds to take a man’s innate and unalienable right to self defense away, as well as his it’s-just-a-goddamn-piece-of-paper constitutional right to bear arms.

    Because he didn’t immediately drop to his knees, exclaim “YESMASSA!”, and then fellate the badges?

    What a fucking crock of shit.

    I used to think that the cop mindset of ‘us vs them’ that sets in in most of them after a few years on the job was a really bad thing. Now I think the peasants totally missed the bus on it. It IS us-vs-them, and we unwashed proles are losing.

  54. #54 |  Joe | 

    Who is suspected of killing those boys if it was not the West Memphis Three? Not that showing another suspect is necessary for reversing the conviction of those three, but someone murdered those children. Who was it?

  55. #55 |  Les | 

    @36, Cynical, I see your point about separating an opinion on the best use of pot from the condoning of its prohibition.

    And Reason is funny. There are a handful of regulars who are authoritarian at their core and even more who post the most spite-filled rhetoric you can imagine. That said, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Reason’s staff, even when I’m disagreeing with them.

    And if you want the highest percentage of reflexive, juvenile awfulness, you just have to visit the partisan loyalist sites like Red State and Daily Kos.

  56. #56 |  Bob | 

    #53 Joe

    Who is suspected of killing those boys if it was not the West Memphis Three? Not that showing another suspect is necessary for reversing the conviction of those three, but someone murdered those children. Who was it?

    If you read the connected articles, you’ll find that the stepfather of one of the 3 boys is a strong suspect.

    this is a clear case of total Police incompetence. Not just incompetence, but hubris bound lack of judgment (They should have brought in the State Police right away) and sheer cliched use of every bad cop trick in the book (Let’s round up the kid with a 72 IQ and interrogate him until he confesses! That took 12 hours)

  57. #57 |  JS | 

    Pete #51, Great post! Very well said. I guess the Founding Fathers were cop killers of their day in a way. I mean, they shot British troops who were their lawful authorities.

  58. #58 |  Joe | 

    Bob, I understand the cops screwed up this investigation from the start. How the state police did not take over the murder of three eight year olds is beyond belief.

    I was wondering if you had some new information, since suspects in this case have shifted over time.

  59. #59 |  mad libertarian guy | 

    @28

    I think liberals are only luke warm to legalizing pot and the new “limited government” conservatives are not for it at all.

    You’re not kidding. Check out this conversation at AmSpec, and you’ll see exactly that; many “limited government” conservatives are not “limited government” at all, but authoritarian statists in small government clothing. They simply cannot differentiate between not agreeing with “x”, and advocating for the use of government force in order to prohibit “x”. There is no difference in their minds. They don’t agree with “x”, therefore it is the duty of the government to prohibit it.

  60. #60 |  croaker | 

    @41 @51

    Yup. Just another uppity n1gger getting what he deserves.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    /sarcasm

  61. #61 |  luvzbob | 

    If you ever read the founding documents you would know that the founders did not consider the British troops their lawful authorities. That was the whole point of the declaration of the independence after all.

  62. #62 |  Lee | 

    @57
    One of the funniest things I’ve ever encountered was seeing a conservative commenter rant about how liberals are always interested in controlling their lives, so I naturally asked him if he supported ending marijuana prohibition and he response was “of course not, I’m a conservative”.

    What was interesting about Marshall’s post was that what inspired it was that he’d been getting mail that assumed that he was in support of legalization, and he wasn’t sure why that was assumed. I still don’t think he realizes that people assumed that he was pro-legalization because

    a) they’re dumb conservatives who think everyone on the left supports legalization
    b) they’re regular readers of his site and just assumed that he had a basic understanding of the drug war and the correct policy approaches

    I’m in category b, and it completely floored me that he said something so incredibly dumb.

  63. #63 |  JOR | 

    In honor of my personal tradition of commenting on a diverging tangent in the comments, I’ve never quite understood the whole “freedom vs. security” idea. If stormtroopers are fairly free to harrass, assault, rob, rape, main, or kill people, then to the extent they can and do behave that way (i.e. the extent to which people are “unfree”), people aren’t particularly safe. For that matter, I also don’t understand the “freedom = responsibility” thing. Sure, in a free society, drug users would have to keep their habit under control if they want to make a living or whatever, but they have to be even more responsible now, where losing their job is the least of their worries if they get caught by authorities.

  64. #64 |  Will | 

    More bad news:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/nick-clegg/8114603/Nick-Clegg-abandons-red-tape-cutting-project.html

  65. #65 |  delta | 

    #61:”I’ve never quite understood the whole “freedom vs. security” idea. If stormtroopers are fairly free… people aren’t particularly safe.”

    Notice that you just used the word “free” and ended by concluding that people’s safety was reduced. That’s actually support for the argument.

    But I do agree on the “freedom = responsibility” wrongness.

  66. #66 |  Joe | 

    Why did Olbermann get suspended? The real reason, not the network statement.

  67. #67 |  Joe | 

    Why Olbermann got woodshedded:

    BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Network sources tell Playbook that Keith Olbermann was suspended because he refused to deliver an on-camera mea culpa, which would have allowed him to continue anchoring “Countdown.” Olbermann told his bosses he didn’t know he was barred from making campaign contributions, although he is resisting saying that publicly. Olbermann may not hold as many cards as he thinks. He makes $7 million a year and MSNBC’s prime time is not as dependent on him as it was before the addition of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell, who make considerably less.

    Wow, who does MSNBC think it is, the NYPD? Then again, I suspect MSNBC can find a provocative lefty for less than $7 million a year.

  68. #68 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Wow, the DEA really gets in bed with some interesting characters. I wonder if this guy ever made it onto the no-fly list. Probably not. Homeland Security probably has their hands full looking at body scanners and don’t have time to pay attention to actual would be terrorists.

  69. #69 |  JOR | 

    “Notice that you just used the word “free” and ended by concluding that people’s safety was reduced. That’s actually support for the argument.”

    Sure, and I sort of did that on purpose, because what we see here is that person A’s freedom means a decrease not to A’s safety, but to B’s safety. The libertoidal narrative is that people are afraid of freedom, in the sense of having freedom for themselves, because then they’d be less safe. But threats to “freedom” are threats precisely because they threaten your safety in some way (people can nag at you not to do drugs or sleep around or whatever all day; it doesn’t affect your freedom at all). If cops were “not free” to aggress against other people, it would be because they reliably feared some kind of unpleasant consequences for doing so (beyond a pained conscience, which is easily soothed by dehumanizing one’s victims and other such rationalizations) – that is, because they feared for their security, should they misbehave.

    The fact is that people who are for the drug war, by and large, either don’t have any real interest in doing drugs, themselves, or have a pretty reasonable expectation that they’ll never be punished if they do. So they’re not really losing any freedom (at least not obviously so) from its prosecution. In fact, they have some freedom they’d lack if drugs weren’t prohibited – they can use the cops as a weapon against drug users they don’t like, for example.

  70. #70 |  delta | 

    #69: “Freedom” in the abstract is usually meant across all people in a certain society (i.e. an average across everyone). Picking a special elect subset to have license to abuse and persecute the rest doesn’t count as “increasing freedom”, and it’s silly word games to act like anyone means it that way.

  71. #71 |  Grenadier1 | 

    I am patiently waiting until we all agree its time to take the streets beack from government appointed thugs. Via force if necessary.

  72. #72 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Positives from Oscar Grant’s murder:
    1. Mehserle has been “green-lighted”–jail inmates have the go-ahead to kill him. However; they’ll most likely only have a couple days to get to him while in jail.

    That’s it. Nothing else positive.

    Judge Perry seems to be the biggest one to blame for letting Mehserle off. This ass hat listened to all the victim impact statements and then let the murdering cop go as free as he could possibly allow. Meanwhile, the cops will continue to protect their own while he plays checkers in the rec room for a couple of months.

    I look forward to Judge Perry giving the minimum sentence when a citizen “accidentally” shoots a cop…or a judge. I am sure an historical check of Judge Perry’s sentencing will not show leniency toward peasants (those who don’t work for the state).

    Remember: Mike Vick served more time than Mehserle. Unconfirmed, but I read that one of the protestors (of Grant’s murder) arrested last year for taking a swing at a cop got a sentence more than half what Mehserle will serve.

    Judge Perry: Grow a pair and do your job. Stop rolling over for cops because they can make your life slightly more difficult if you hold them accountable for murder (yes, I know murder isn’t the charge put in front of the jury).

    It has been said many times before on this site: They aren’t even pretending any more.

  73. #73 |  Irving Washington | 

    I saw that Michael Vick comparison and instantly thought that Vick got too much time.

  74. #74 |  Woog | 

    In a free country, is not decriminalization of something the same as legalizing something as far as the end user is concerned?

    I’d argue that deciminalization is preferred, as “legalization” usually comes with heavy government intervention, ala alcohol.

  75. #75 |  Aaron | 

    In a free country, is not decriminalization of something the same as legalizing something as far as the end user is concerned?

    No, it’s not. The police still have an excuse to hassle you. Your weed still gets confiscated. You have to pay a fine ($100 in CA. But I’m sure they slap fees on top). If you’re a student you lose all chance of federal government loans. The risk premium for dealers and growers means the price is still much higher than it would be in a free market.

  76. #76 |  albatross | 

    Irving:

    Michael Vick got more time than Johannes Mehserle, and he also got more time for mistreating dogs than he’d have served if, say, he’d just beaten the mortal shit out of his wife. Completely f–ked up, IMO.

  77. #77 |  Woog | 

    Aaron, I do believe you’ve made my point for me: in most places within the United States, the rule of law is no longer in effect. If there is no law against an activity in a free country, by definition the activity is legal.

  78. #78 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Another nice little example of out of control police. In a car chase they pounce on the wrong car. When they order the driver out she asks what is going on and they just drag the driver out by her hair. When it becomes plain that they have the wrong person they dash off and just leave her lying on the ground.

    The comments are interesting. Most of the commenters are reasonable but one badgelicker believes that you should allways do what the police say without question and supports their actions. Almost funny in his irrationality.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/11/update_video_audio_of_police_i.html

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