Saturday Links

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

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78 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  Cynical in CA | 

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

  2. #2 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Defiant a crime.
    They want you broken and weak.

  3. #3 |  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.

  4. #4 |  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?

  5. #5 |  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.

  6. #6 |  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)

  7. #7 |  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.

  8. #8 |  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.

  9. #9 |  mad libertarian guy | 


    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.

  10. #10 |  croaker | 

    @41 @51

    Yup. Just another uppity n1gger getting what he deserves.

    Nothing to see here, move along.


  11. #11 |  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.

  12. #12 |  Lee | 

    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.

  13. #13 |  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.

  14. #14 |  Will | 

    More bad news:

  15. #15 |  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.

  16. #16 |  Joe | 

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

  17. #17 |  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.

  18. #18 |  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.

  19. #19 |  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.

  20. #20 |  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.

  21. #21 |  Grenadier1 | 

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

  22. #22 |  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.

  23. #23 |  Irving Washington | 

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

  24. #24 |  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.

  25. #25 |  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.

  26. #26 |  albatross | 


    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.

  27. #27 |  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.

  28. #28 |  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.