Morning Links

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
  • City of Glendale set to shell out a total of $400 million to keep the Arizona Coyotes, worth $100 million, from moving.
  • Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell at Belmont University. (Obligatory Caveat: Since it’s a private university, Belmont should be legally permitted to hire/fire whom it pleases, for whatever reasons it pleases. And I’m free to criticize them for it.)
  • ICE seizes domains of hip-hop blogs, won’t say why. And no, ICE isn’t the name of a rival hip-hop artist.
  • I missed these when they came out, and I still haven’t looked them over yet, but you can find the first full year of data from Maryland’s SWAT transparency bill here. I wrote about the first six-month report here.
  • The iPhone “snitch” ap.
  • Harry Reid jumps on board the Internet gambling bandwagon. There’s a lesson here for the money-corrupts-politics crowd: Reid only switched because of support from the Vegas bricks-and-mortar casinos. Which goes to show that money can have a good influence as well as a bad one. I’ll take a corrupt congressman who votes correctly over a pure-hearted legislator who consistently gives us terrible laws. (Not saying Reid fits either description.)
  • Terrible story out of Long Beach, California, where police shot and kill a man holding a water nozzle. No announcement, no order to drop the thing. Just shooting.
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61 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    From: ICE seizes domains of hip-hop blogs article:

    …there’s pretty clear First Amendment problems with the governments’ actions.

    Yeah, I’ll bet the government is terrified of the repercussions of trampling the First Amendment.

  2. #2 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Regarding the The iPhone “snitch” ap item:

    I don’t see any button for downloading secret government documents.

  3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

    When it comes to the proposed legalization of on-line gambling, I’m more suspicious of the legislation than happy about it.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    As for the hose nozzle shooting, just remember, when it comes to cops, it’s not excessive unless more than eighty shots are fired.

  5. #5 |  devhead17 | 

    It’s actually the Phoenix Coyotes, not the Arizona Coyotes. I’m not in favor of them staying in Phoenix because that’s a terrible hockey market and I think it’s silly to spend that much to keep a woeful franchise (they weren’t very good as the Winnipeg Jets either). The owner of Reacher in Motion desperately wants to bring a team to Hamilton and Quebec City is trying to fill the void left when the Nordiques bolted to Denver; seems like a perfect move- ship them to Canada.

  6. #6 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    Police should have rolled in with overhead lights and sirens. There is a lot of focus on internet forums about how the police had no chance to announce after Zerby allegedly pointed his weapon at them, but that misses the point that they should have announced long before that last moment.

    Sneaking up on the man was reckless, criminally so.

    I also don’t believe that he purposely pointed the nozzle at the policemen. I don’t think he even knew they were there.

    Does anyone know if the policemen had uniforms? I am not sure the makes a difference, but I am curious about that.

    Sean Bell. Jonathan Ayers. Now Douglas Zerby. When police sneak up on people then bad things happen. Uniforms. Sirens. Lights. Bullhorn. Needs to be mandatory. Needs to be SOP.

    The commentry on police bords is downright sickening on this one.

  7. #7 |  CRNewsom | 

    @#4 Dave Krueger: Remember that number is subject to change based on the highest number of shots fired in a particular incident. So, if the next incident is 400 shots, the number will be amended thusly.

  8. #8 |  ktc2 | 

    Hey, it could have been one of those nozzle guns! We have to keep officer safety paramount you know.

  9. #9 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Radley, did you catch this one in our own city:

    http://www.newschannel5.com/story/12522527/dui-officers-warned-to-arrest-more-people-or-else

    It’s a general story, about officers being given quotas for DUI arrests, but it also contains a story about a guy who was arrested for DUI even though the toxicology reports showed he hadn’t been drinking (or doing anything else interesting).

  10. #10 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Let he who has not held a water nozzle and pretended it was a gun cast the first stone. If this were standard procedure, there’d be a lot of dead toddlers and granny gardners.

    Poorly trained and cavalier about killing peasants, cops and their fluffers are truly a dangerous and sick bunch.

  11. #11 |  random guy | 

    Jesus, those stadium and team owners are effective. There doesn’t appear to be a single city in the country that won’t buy into a shitty stadium for a sub-standard team. What I wouldn’t give to be able to consistently get someone to buy a dollar from me for ten.

  12. #12 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Harry Reid jumps on board the Internet gambling bandwagon. There’s a lesson here for the money-corrupts-politics crowd: Reid only switched because of support from the Vegas bricks-and-mortar casinos. Which goes to show that money can have a good influence as well as a bad one.

    Your missing a bigger point, which is that these casinos were behind the effort of making internet gambling illegal. When they legalize it, it’ll only be for the casinos, not in general. Last I looked at this particular legislation, it required that you operate a brick & mortar casino for 5 years before you can open an online casino, basically blocking all the current internet-only casinos.

  13. #13 |  Michael Chaney | 

    I can’t believe I did that. “Your” should be “You’re”.

  14. #14 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    Re: Long Beach:

    “‘The officers had a position of cover and were observing the suspect while other officers were en route,’ said Sgt. Dina Zapalski, a spokeswoman for the Long Beach Police Department. . . . Police said they did not have time to make their presence known or to tell Zerby to drop the weapon before opening fire because they believed he was a threat. ‘They wanted to shoot him before he shot them,’ Zapalski said. ‘There was no time to react. If you’re standing there and someone points a gun at you, you’re going to react….There was only two of them there. This happened first, and that’s why they shot.'”

    So they had time to “observe” him, but no time to announce their presence or order him to drop the “weapon.” Yeah, that makes sense.

  15. #15 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    @ Buddy Hinton #5:

    “Does anyone know if the policemen had uniforms? I am not sure the makes a difference, but I am curious about that.”

    Doesn’t make a difference in this case, since he never even got a chance to see them before he was murdered:

    “Police said they did not have time to make their presence known or to tell Zerby to drop the weapon before opening fire.”

    They could have been wearing giant neon signs saying “POLICE” and it wouldn’t have mattered.

  16. #16 |  ceanf | 

    so what i get from this MD report is that the SWAT team is used for its intended purpose 8.4% of the time. The rest… well the rest of the time they are serving search warrants. But this is not new news, and we did not need a report to confirm those facts. Radley has been letting us all know for years about the perversion of SWAT and its transformation into a gestapo, terrorist arm of the government. Very sad.

  17. #17 |  Joe | 

    A farm hockey team is worth 100 million.

    And Glenndale Arizona is going to up its original investment of 180 to an additional 400 million?

    WTF?

    Why not build fifty ice arenas in Glenndale and start building a hockey team from the ground up. At least the kids can get out of the heat and skate.

    The problem is not enough taxes, the problem is spending.

  18. #18 |  Marty | 

    the snitch app… I remember the ‘1984’ commercial, feeling like a rebel because I had a mac, jobs and woz seemed countercultural. of course, I’ve known for years that’s all bullshit. jobs and co will weed out porn apps, but this is ok… I’m not buying the snitch app, but I hate that my money supports this shit.

  19. #19 |  Marty | 

    a great comment on the Coyotes article:

    ‘This to me has been a most puzzling aspect of living in the States – the conservatives I hang out with are adamant that it’s a terrible idea to socialize healthcare or spend tax money on base shelter and food for folks unlucky enough to need it but at the same time believe it makes perfect sense to finance the cost of stadiums for commercial sports from taxes.’

    he’s got a point- we’ll socialize sports, but not healthcare. I’m against any of it, but…

  20. #20 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “ICE seizes domains of hip-hop blogs, won’t say why. And no, ICE isn’t the name of a rival hip-hop artist.”

    Damn, just thinking of what my comments will look like when ICE seizes The
    Agitator. But I guess, that’s a moot point. Seized websites are always
    lacking in the “comment department.”

    Eugene O’Neill was right, and quite prophetic when we warned us : The ICEman Cometh.

  21. #21 |  Joe | 

    “Terrible story out of Long Beach, California, where police shot and kill a man holding a water nozzle. No announcement, no order to drop the thing. Just shooting.”

    I recognize cops have to be on the look out for citizens shooting them (if you google it you will see those type of shooting are more common than you think). So they have to be careful. But that is in close proximity where you have no time to react. Here these cops were just to observe until back up cam. But when you treat responding to calls like you are going to battle, well there are going to be collateral losses.

    We might want to rethink this mentality.

  22. #22 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    One more thing re: Long Beach:

    “The Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office will conduct independent investigations into the shooting.”

    …and “independently” find it to be completely justified.

    In the immortal words of the Clash, “Murder is a crime, unless it is done by a policeman.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPeWSpB_7w4

  23. #23 |  celticdragonchick | 

    “Police said they did not have time to make their presence known or to tell Zerby to drop the weapon before opening fire because they believed he was a threat. ‘They wanted to shoot him before he shot them,’ Zapalski said. ”

    My God.

    I wrote a little about this yesterday, butI didn’t know that the officers were hiding from the victim.

    The various threads on this at the newspapers are sickening. People are actually laughing about wasting another “idiot” who they think was looking for cops to point fake guns at. I saw some debate from these fine citizens about whether he was committing suicide by cop.

    He didn’t even fucking know they were there.

  24. #24 |  Joe | 

    Lights and sirens definitely have a sobering effect. I agree, that should be SOP.

  25. #25 |  Andrew S. | 

    Damn, just thinking of what my comments will look like when ICE seizes The Agitator. But I guess, that’s a moot point. Seized websites are always
    lacking in the “comment department.”

    The daily links page post-seizure would be interesting to see.

  26. #26 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The damage is done, #12.

  27. #27 |  ClubMedSux | 

    City of Glendale set to shell out a total of $400 million to keep the Arizona Coyotes, worth $100 million, from moving.

    Home attendance ranking for Phoenix Coyotes:

    2009-10: 30th out of 30 teams
    2008-09: 28th
    2007-08: 29th
    2006-07: 24th
    2005-06: 22nd

  28. #28 |  Whim | 

    Once upon a time, police were held in high esteem by the public.

    Then, things changed. The War on Drugs, and the resulting militarization of the police probably is the root cause of the problem. Also, high capacity magazines in semi-automatic pistols issued to every officer, along with a plethora of torture-inflicting Tasers results in many more deaths.

    One other thing. In urban mythology, police are paid to take risks. However, they have managed to shift ALL the risk over to the public. Both the physical risk of injury due to a slam-down for a minor traffic stop like Radley posted yesterday of the Illinois family suing a small-time police department for the five Taserings and beat-down of a car PASSENGER on New Years 2010.

    Or, the exaggerated risk of death due the application of deadly force when NONE is justified, like today’s example of the Long Beach guy shot repeatedly while holding a hose nozzle, or the motorcycle club participant repeatedly tased and then shot in the chest while sitting on the steps of a house in Wilmington DE. The shooter in Delaware is then promoted to Captain…..

  29. #29 |  Juice | 

    On their applications Belmont asks you what denomination of Christian you are. To work there you have to be a Christian and the right kind.

  30. #30 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @#18
    Socializing (or subsidizing) sports teams is especially a terrible idea when you consider that sports teams do not boost the economy. Basically, they steal entertainment dollars from other activities and neighboring cities. But what the heck.

  31. #31 |  Juice | 

    I love how the app lets you report a pandemic!

    But hey at least it’s got one for government waste, but that may be the one where they come and pick you up for reporting it.

  32. #32 |  Michael Chaney | 

    This to me has been a most puzzling aspect of living in the States – the conservatives I hang out with are adamant that it’s a terrible idea to socialize healthcare or spend tax money on base shelter and food for folks unlucky enough to need it but at the same time believe it makes perfect sense to finance the cost of stadiums for commercial sports from taxes.

    Um, I hang out around a lot of conservatives, and I cannot think of a single one who supports giving tax money to sports teams. Maybe the guy who made this quote is confused about the politics of his friends, but, no, conservatives see it as corporate welfare which they are roundly against.

  33. #33 |  Marty | 

    Boyd-

    I agree- it’s a complete waste. even taking the govt out of th equation- a hockey team in the desert?! they’re in bankruptcy for a reason. there are canadian and northern US cities begging for teams- let them go.

    this should be ‘exhibit a’ when it comes to why allowing a few to make decisions with our tax dollars is a bad idea. you won’t have to look far to find more exhibits.

  34. #34 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Once upon a time, police were held in high esteem by the public.

    Whim, I don’t mean to nitpick, but I disagree. The “public” includes everyone and as far back as US history goes, the police have been feared and hated by a sizable portion of the public that was the target of their abuse. The police have always been abusive, murdering bullies. And, most likely, always will be.

    I believe you meant “a majority of the public”. I agree and the vast majority still licks the badge. The current trend of changing opinion is noteworthy, though. In the past, the police abused by race, religion, and poverty level. Now they target anyone who isn’t a state agent like them.

    They view the game as the same “Us vs. Them” it has always been. It’s just that a lot of previously un-targeted groups are now victims of police abuse. We’ve certainly turned a corner! A white college kid now can understand (or soon will) the fear his black friend has when he sees a cop.

  35. #35 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    btw, what the Zerby shooting reminds me of is the Wikileak “Collateral Murder.” I wonder whether the guys who shot Zerby were trained for combat in Iraq and were simply bringing their training home to Long Beach.

  36. #36 |  Aresen | 

    @ ClubMedSux | December 15th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Except for that slight upward blip in 2008-09, they have a definite trend going.

    With the new stadium, they could set a new record: 32nd out of 30!

  37. #37 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Marty,
    It’s funny to watch government “do” business!

    As a capitalist, I’m not sure I’d write off hockey in the desert. I wouldn’t try to bring the NHL there, but youth hockey (hell, youth sports in general are HUGE) and multi-purpose ice arenas can do very well.

    Michael Chaney,
    While I agree that Cons tend to view stadium deals as corporate welfare, I can testify that three Cons I speak to every day who still have Bush/Cheney bumper stickers are 100% behind government stadium deals as “effective economic stimulus”. Mitigating factor: they are all Red Sox fans and hate Fenway.

  38. #38 |  Big A | 

    Interesting SWAT data. While the numbers show that SWAT teams are largely deployed for search warrants etc, only 3 deployments of 1600 resulted in a dead animal and 3 in an injured animal (not sure if these are the same 3). Also, firearms were discharged in 11 of 1600 deployments. I guess I though these numbers would be higher. However, property was seized in 81% of cases, whereas arrests were made in 63%. So in almost 1 of 5 deployments, property is taken, but no arrests are made. What could cause this?

  39. #39 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    what’s with the ‘tator being up and down (I keep getting 403 forbidden errors) today? Radley manage to piss off ICE?

  40. #40 |  Trepanated | 

    “Arizona Coyotes”

    Obviously you’re not a golfer.

  41. #41 |  random guy | 

    Big A –

    The short answer “To justify a raid with no arrests”.

  42. #42 |  Cackalacka | 

    Marty, “Um, I hang out around a lot of conservatives, and I cannot think of a single one who supports giving tax money to sports teams.”

    True anecdote, I was at a wedding over ten years ago. I, a fresh-faced, liberal, college graduate had a lively discussion with an animated econ professor from NCSU. Our town was floating hundreds of millions of dollars via bonds, to support NCSU’s basketball complex (which happened to be shared by the Carolina Hurricanes NHL franchise.)

    I questioned the judgement; after all, my income taxes pay for his salary, as well as buttresses the NCSU A.D. If this was such a fantastic idea, why should my sales taxes do the same?

    His response, “There there, my child, you are but a twenty something, I am an economics professor. Those hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds won’t have any direct impact on your life.”

    I had no idea the dude was a rock-solid ‘conservative’ until I read an Op-Ed with his picture next to it, about 2 or 3 years ago in the local paper.

    He decried- wait for it- frivolous government spending. Which in this case meant education and transportation. Curiously they did not publish my LTE asking them to ask the professor on what planet professional franchises (with essentially a foreign sport) and NCSU’s Dean-Dome-envy were any more practical than an educated populace with reasonable commutes?

    But hey, we did win the Stanley Cup 4 years ago, I guess that takes the sting out of being stuck in a parking lot daily.

    I’ll give you libertarians credit, y’all don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. In the case of ‘conservatives,’ not so much. Don’t believe me? I’ve got a stadium in Pittsburg I’d like to sell you.

  43. #43 |  Charlie O | 

    I read some follow up the LB shooting. If you listen to the press conference put on by the LB PD, you’d swear Zerby put a gun to his head and shot himself. Every time the fuckwad police chief opened his vile mouth, he referenced “actions by Mr. Zerby.” Basically we done nuthin’ wrong, it was all the dead guys fault. Fuck the Police. Every last stinking one of them.

  44. #44 |  Brian | 

    @31 Michael Chaney
    “Maybe the guy who made this quote is confused about the politics of his friends, but, no, conservatives see it as corporate welfare which they are roundly against.”

    You’re likely correct that the commenter is confused about his friends politics, then again the word “Conservative” just like the word “Liberal” has been bastardized beyond recognition and therefore is essentially meaningless.

  45. #45 |  OBTC | 

    #38 | paranoiastrksdp
    “what’s with the ‘tator being up and down (I keep getting 403 forbidden errors) today? Radley manage to piss off ICE?”

    I got the same thing as well no matter how I tried to access the Agitator.
    Obviously all is well – cuz here I am.

  46. #46 |  Brian | 

    if the police were taking cover how were they in danger of being shot?

    How on earth did homeland security become the copyright police?

    Corporations buy a politician and that’s a good thing?

    The Walmart thing is just creepy

  47. #47 |  OBTC | 

    #5 | Buddy Hinton:
    “The commentry on police bords is downright sickening on this one.”

    Which boards – could you provide links?

  48. #48 |  Justthisguy | 

    On the Long Beach thing:

    To paraphrase Sam Clemens: Cops are un-English. They are un-American. They are completely irregular. They are, in fact, French.

    I am not kidding. When Bobby Peel first started up police forces in England, traditional conservatives were against it. One guy reputedly said that he would rather have a man’s throat cut in the road before his house, than suffer the all-pervading busybodyness of the police as the poor Frogs had to put up with.

    Don’t forget that there was no such thing as uniformed police in any English-speaking country until about 1830.

    One last remark, here; I betcha the person who called 911 was a woman.

  49. #49 |  Joe | 

    I do not think cities and states sould cater to sport teams begging for subsidies. And if you polled fiscal conservatives on that, the vast majority would agree. If a city wants to build a stadium and lease it to a franchise, fair enough (I am not supporting it, but it is something local people could do or not do as they see fit), provided it pencils out on the revenue stream and I am not footing the bill for it.

  50. #50 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    http://www.policeone.com/police/daily-news/

    http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/147900-man-killed-after-pointing-water-nozzle-at-police

    http://forums.officer.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?10-General-Law-Enforcement-Topics

    This is off topic, but there was an interesting discussion (now locked) about k9s and drug sweeps at one of these sites this week:

    http://policelink.monster.com/topics/79271-high-school-drug-sweep-questions/posts

  51. #51 |  FelipesCableRepair | 

    Count me among the libertarians/poker players who think that we’ll be worse off under the legalize/regulate/tax approach than we are today under the illegal-but-not-enforced regime. Where do poker players expect that these tax revenues will come from? Sure, some of it will come out of the profits of Pokerstars, Full Tilt, etc., but the rest will be passed onto the players in the form of higher rakes and fewer promotions/freerolls.

    Beyond that, there is the issue of data collection on players in a regulated environment. If the fact that I play poker online could be discovered in a background check, it could affect job applications or credit decisions — these prospects are a far larger deterrent to me playing online than the current UIGEA.

    My theory is that legalization really benefits just the poker industry (big name poker pros, poker authors, other poker media) rather than people who only earn money by playing poker. Professionals who make paid TV appearances or sell books definitely stand to do better if poker is “legitimized” in the eyes of the general public because they bear almost no cost of the legislation. On the other hand, the “pure” poker player may benefit from an influx of new players, but he/she will definitely assume an additional cost burden.

  52. #52 |  Kevin3% | 

    not infrequently I get a message 403 access denied or some damn thing when I try to visit the ‘tator or try comment. Happened 4 times today.

    Is someone fucking around with your blog, Radley?

  53. #53 |  delta | 

    From the snitch app article: “Much like the new DHS program ‘If you see something, say something’…”

    Hey, that’s not new — We’ve been barraged with that on NYC buses & trains at least since I moved here five years ago. But apparently they’re now expanding that Bush-ism to the rest of the country via Wal-Mart.

    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/dhs-expands-if-you-see-something-say-something-to-walmart-stores-video.php

    So I suppose if this can get additional people pissed off about it, perhaps it’s somewhat to my benefit…

  54. #54 |  delta | 

    Random other stuff — Just saw a leaked CIA memo on Wikileaks with this fascinating header (top of document p. 3):

    “American Freedoms Facilitate Terrorist Recruitment and Operations”

    http://mirror.wikileaks.info/leak/us-cia-redcell-exporter-of-terrorism-2010.pdf

  55. #55 |  nathan | 

    Am I the only one who saw the snitch app and thought it might be a great way to start reporting on every government employee at every conceivable agency who sneezes in my general direction? Imagine if every iPhone toting libertarian made it a point of downloading it, and making sure to turn in at least one officer/legislator/bureaucrat a day!

  56. #56 |  Marty | 

    #54-

    so… it’s really ‘they love us for our freedoms’?

  57. #57 |  Pete | 

    For the purposes of this report, a weapon is defined as a firearm by the Annotated Code
    of Maryland, …

    So flashbangs and smoke grenades probably aren’t considered weapons? I wondered how many times those were ‘deployed’.

    And to put this report into perspective, how many search warrants for those crime categories were issued, period? I’m guessing that would be much harder to track, but it would add more perspective.

    Still reading the report.

  58. #58 |  Pete | 

    FelipesCableRepair, all of your arguments sound just like “The government should mandate what we eat or we’ll get fat. Fat people are unhappy, and fat people are frequently pass over for jobs in favor of skinny people.”

    Those are personal consequences you mentioned from a life choice that affect the chooser. So no, the state doesn’t need to be involved.

    Or maybe we should lobby to get online poker playing labeled as a ‘clear threat to national security’ as well. =p

  59. #59 |  FelipesCableRepair | 

    Pete,
    I’m not sure I understand your reply. My point was that the current situation in which online poker is illegal but without enforcement may be preferable to one in which it is legal but with burdensome restrictions / consequences. I agree that the state shouldn’t be involved — my belief is that legalization and regulation will amount to more state involvement rather than less.

    Moreover, the personal consequences that I described (e.g. poker account showing up in background or credit checks) would be a direct result of state intervention. Today, Pokerstars doesn’t have to disclose my personal information to the government to prove that I’m “qualified” to play, but under the proposed legislation, they would be required to do so.

  60. #60 |  A.G. Pym | 

    @#37 Boyd:

    There’s been “Hockey in the Desert” here in eastern Washington for over 20 years, now, with the Tri-City Americans WHL Team.

    Yes, the story involves an (eventually) tax-subsidized facility. But they seem to be a better team than this one, even at the lower level.

    This facility (Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA) was the site of the 1990 “Goodwill Games” (remember those?) preliminary hockey competition. Watched the USSR team totally pwn the US team one night – and the only conversations I could hear around us was “Where’s Jaaaaannnnneee? What’s Jaaaaannnnnneee wearing?” (Fonda and husband Turner came for part of the game – whoopee).

  61. #61 |  Chance | 

    “Since it’s a private university, Belmont should be legally permitted to hire/fire whom it pleases, for whatever reasons it pleases”

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

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