Last Links of the Year

Friday, December 31st, 2010
  • Haley Barbour frees the Scott sisters, but on the (probably unconstitutional) condition that one donate a kidney to the other. Glad Barbour did the right thing, even if he almost certainly did it to save his own ass. At this rate, Cory Maye is only a couple racially insensitive Haley Barbour comments away from a pardon.
  • Huge and fascinating map of American English dialects.
  • Vote for the police misconduct video of the year. (On Monday, you’ll be able to vote here for our annual Worst Prosecutor of the Year award.)
  • Fifty great headlines from the past year. Number 13 is particularly racy. (Sorry. Last bad pun of the year!)

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44 Responses to “Last Links of the Year”

  1. #1 |  Mario | 

    27 police misconduct videos to choose from. My, but it’s been a busy year.

  2. #2 |  Mattocracy | 

    A life sentence for robbing two dudes for $11? How much did the tax payers of Mississippi spend to to imprison these women over 11 fucking dollars?

  3. #3 |  BSK | 

    Not only that, Mattocracy, but they were 20 and 22 at the time, first time offenders, and their role was purported to be leading the victims into the ambush, but not actually participating directly in the attack or sharing in the “proceeds”. I don’t think punishment was unwarranted… but a life sentence? Sheesh.

  4. #4 |  SJE | 

    I’m with #2 and #3. So much has been on the kidney donation, but little is spoken about a life sentence for two women for their first offense. Whether or not you think that is justice (I do not), I think that the state should have considered the cost-benefits of imprisoning two women for 50-60 years, at thousands of dollars each.

  5. #5 |  Matthew | 

    Ahh, my favorite at #13: “Tired Gay succumbs to Dix”. I sent that to you, Radley, but you never linked it. I guess it hit a little too close to home, huh? ;)

  6. #6 |  Ray | 

    I like the map. My hometown is right where the “south” begins, and so of course it’s right on one of the dialect borders. Seems pretty accurate from what I know anecdotally.

    Kentuckians have about three different dialects with eastern being the real-deal hillbilly speak with most of western and central having a fairly decent sounding drawl.

  7. #7 |  EH | 

    #4: Not only that, but the possible future news stories about how one sister offered to donate a kidney, but was rebuffed, resulting in the in-custody death of someone who was incarcerated for $11. The surviving twin would have quite a story to tell.

  8. #8 |  BamBam | 

    #2, I doubt that everyone knew their robbery would net $11 and proceeded with their acts, so saying “X was done for $11” would be an inaccurate statement. The act of robbery should be the focus, not the net amount.

  9. #9 |  croaker | 

    I will have to recuse myself from voting for the reason that I am unable to vote and projectile vomit simultaneously.

  10. #10 |  Freedonian | 

    Since Cory Maye’s conviction has been vacated by the Mississippi Supreme Court, he is now being held on suspicion of murder until he is recharged, the Governor cannot pardon Cory until he is convicted.

  11. #11 |  Robert E. | 

    The map is way cool. I had no idea I was right in the middle of a linguistic crossroads. Could you put that on FB so I can share if with people. I’m a former Navy linguist and geography freak, so I love things like this.

  12. #12 |  SJE | 

    BamBam: I agree that the focus should be on the armed robbery. This was, however, a first time offense that did not result in injury or death. I don’t see the justice or the benefit in locking people up for 50-60 years under such circumstances. Indeed, if they had not imprisoned these people, the state would not have had to pay for a kidney transplant.
    There are also perverse incentives: if you are not going to see freedom for the rest of your life, why not kill the witnesses and make it harder to be caught?

    In the tight economy, the conservatives who preach fiscal restraint must also account for the costs of their lock-em-up approach to crime, which is based in large part on a particular belief system. Perhaps the liberals do have a point: that alternative punishments, and better incentives like school etc might be more effective AND cheaper

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Off topic.

    DHS Secretary Napolitano is in Afghanistan to teach them how to secure their borders.

    She’s there to secure the borders of Afghanistan? WTF? Do we own it now? Or does she not understand the word “homeland” (as in D. H. S.) ? Or is it typical governmental mission creep? Am I the only one that thinks she’s probably not the best authority on how a country should secure its borders?

    This is too friggin’ ridiculous to be real (even for DHS). Someone pinch me.

  14. #14 |  World’s Strangest | Enormous Dialect Map of North America | 

    […] Link via The Agitator […]

  15. #15 |  luvzbob | 

    “Building and maintaining a strong border crossing system is critical to the stability and security of Afghanistan,” Napolitano said in a written statement. “Over the past year, the Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with the Afghan government to help establish a border security and customs system to counter terrorism while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”

    Since customs and border security are a part of DHS. What other agency would you send to afghanistan to work on border security and customs?

    And yes, we DO own it now – thanks to the “pottery barn rule”. Regardless of how you felt about the initial invasion you have to own up to the fact that we made afghanistan our problem and we have an obligation there.

  16. #16 |  luvzbob | 

    “Perhaps the liberals do have a point: that alternative punishments, and better incentives like school etc might be more effective AND cheaper”

    Exactly. Investment in education pays back many times over down the road.

  17. #17 |  Marty | 

    I think I’m gonna pick the columbia mo swat raid, but this is like picking the ugliest chick in a mississippi truck stop bar at closing time- there are so many eligible candidates…

  18. #18 |  Marty | 

    ‘Since customs and border security are a part of DHS. What other agency would you send to afghanistan to work on border security and customs?’

    because they do such a bang-up job here… these fascists will be polishing their techniques in third world cesspools and then setting up shop in our airports, train stations, and bus terminals.

    I’m not sure how throwing billions of dollars at securing their borders is going to help the afghan people.

  19. #19 |  Packratt | 

    Thank you for letting everyone know about our poll Radley, I appreciate it! Hope you and everyone here has a wonderful new year!

    As an aside though, maybe Secretary Napolitano is over there to show them the TSA’s full-body search techniques with some hands-on demonstrations?

  20. #20 |  Z | 

    Haley Barbour didn’t release them out of compassion although saving his worthless hide was part of the equation. He released them because by doing so he kept the MS Dept. of Corrections from picking up the tab for the kidney transplant and dumped this in Medicaid’s lap. This would be the same federal health care system he rallies against btw.

  21. #21 |  SJE | 

    Z: I had the same thought. I wonder if MS can escape payment, tho. If I were the Feds, I would say that they went into prison healthy, and now one of them needs a kidney transplant: YOU broke em, you fix em.

  22. #22 |  Guido | 

    “Vote for the police misconduct video of the year”

    I’m checking All of the Above.

  23. #23 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Aw, you guys are making mountains out of mole hills. If those police misconduct incidents had been serious, the cops would have been punished more harshly.

  24. #24 |  Marty | 

    #20- good point, but you’re missing one of the main co-conspirators in CMS, the company that contracts health care to the prisons in Mississippi (and many other states). there’s a long history of negligent care and then prisons dumping prisoners (patients?) back into society to fend for themselves.

    Andrew Skolnick lost his job due to reporting on these criminals. CMS is well-worth looking into and here’s a decent place to start:

  25. #25 |  Marty | 

    #21 SJE-

    you’re trying to use logic- if you’re going to enter a discussion about prison health care, you need to leave that behind…

  26. #26 |  Troy | 

    @ #1

    No kidding. 27 videos. I wish that every time one of these videos pops up, the victim gets to take a swing at Antonin “The New Professionalism” Scalia’s fat head.

  27. #27 |  the innominate one | 

    Haley Barbour: Still a shit.

  28. #28 |  Z | 


    The second verse reminds me of Haley Barbour.

  29. #29 |  Kevin3% | 

    #26 Nice…is that considered a threat? lol

    I started to view that thread and after only a brief scan….27….twenty-fucking-seven! I told myself NO FUCKING WAY AM I GOING TO DISTURB MY EVENING WITH THAT SHIT. It is not a good way to finish the year or to start the New Year.

    So I say the winner should be the dog-killing SWAT raid in Columbia, MO.
    Here is my reasoning: It was outrageous. It revealed the arrogance of the thugs due to the fact that they would actually video the raid and think it could benefit them in some way. The fact that it went viral. In response the Chief LEO showed his true colors with statements like, “I hate the internet.” and I believe it was one that unequivocally showed a very wide audience just how far out of control the pigs in this country are.

    Sorry, I just could not bring myself to watch all of the others and remain sane.

  30. #30 |  OBTC | 

    New laws aim to make Californians healthier and safer

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed more than 730 bills into law in 2010.

    Some of those:

    Another change Saturday makes marijuana possession an infraction rather than a misdemeanor for anyone caught with an ounce or less. The violation will no longer be part of the person’s criminal record or result in a court-clogging criminal trial. The punishment remains a fine of up to $100, with no jail time. “The courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket,” Schwarzenegger said when he signed the bill.

    Drunk teenagers: provides immunity to prosecution for minors who have been drinking if they call authorities to report a medical emergency such as someone passing out from alcohol use.

    Safe driving is the impetus behind a requirement that state residents younger than 21 now complete a motorcycle safety course before being issued an instruction permit that allows them to practice riding a motorcycle. The permit must be held for six months before the motorist receives a license.

    Mental health: allows minors 12 and older to consent to mental health treatment, including in residential shelter services.

    Freeway signs: allows freeway signs that feature traffic warnings and Amber Alerts to also be used to notify the public when a law enforcement officer has been attacked.,0,4232253,full.story

  31. #31 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    Good John McWhorter article on the damage done by the drug war:

  32. #32 |  AdamK | 

    “Racially insensitive”? Try “historically moronic”.

  33. #33 |  Highway | 

    What’s the point of alerting everyone when a cop has been attacked? Are you trying to tell everyone where to go to join in? Is it to tick everyone off when there’s a backup because people slow down to read that some jackass police officer got himself in a situation? It just seems like a really stupid law, because there’s no actual reason to tell everyone on the road that some cop got attacked somewhere.

  34. #34 |  Z | 

    #32 both of those and politically astute. Remember, the GOP is a motely crew of overzealous Christians ignorant of history, mostly southern and midwestern racists and the oligarchs who fund them.

  35. #35 |  BladeDoc | 

    #21– Medicaid is state funded. Conspiracy theory/ulterior motive fail.

  36. #36 |  markm | 

    At a minimum, freeing the sisters saves the cost of transporting them to the hospital for the operation, and then keeping a guard on the room 24 hours a day.

  37. #37 |  Highway | 

    #35, I don’t think it’s a ‘fail’ as much as you. State agencies guard their separate piles of money very jealously, even if they’re from the same source. The prison doesn’t want something like that coming out of their budget when it can come out of the Medicaid budget. Additionally, there may be payment conditions that favor Medicaid over the state prison – lower payment rates, more favorable hospitals, etc.

  38. #38 |  Homeboy | 

    @ #12

    “I agree that the focus should be on the armed robbery.”

    Excellent; we see eye-to-eye on this. So, these two subjects were given lengthy prison sentences for their participation in a violent armed robbery. I see no problem with this.

    “This was, however, a first time offense that did not result in injury or death.”

    Here, however, I must depart from you. While the court record discloses that this was, indeed, the first time these criminals were actually caught participating in an armed robbery, it also discloses that the victims were barrel-whipped and had their heads smashed with the butt-stocks of shotguns, causing them cranial injuries. This vicious, uncharged element (in relation to the sisters) of the crime no doubt affected the court’s judgment in issuing their sentences, and I have no problem with that.

    “There are also perverse incentives: if you are not going to see freedom for the rest of your life, why not kill the witnesses and make it harder to be caught?”

    The problem with this thinking is that criminals do not generally have the means to make that calculation, since they are generally unfamiliar with the intricacies of sentencing rules. In fact, in the present case the court’s sentence does not actually prevent these criminals from seeing freedom again for the rest of their lives. They were sentenced with the possibility of parole, and were due for their first parole hearing within 38 months. Thus, they both could have and most likely would have seen freedom again relatively soon, regardless of Barbour’s well promoted actions.

  39. #39 |  albatross | 


    More fundamentally, criminals carrying out an armed robbery in a context where they can’t possibly net more than a couple thousand bucks have already proven themselves to have disastrously bad judgment. I mean, if you figure out a low-risk way to steal millions of dollars and be set for life in Brazil or something, you’re just evil, not stupid. But criminals carrying out a potentially-lethal armed robbery for peanuts are skirting around Darwin award territory.

    There was a case like this in my hometown a few years back. Some f–king moron got fired from a restaurant, and so decided to come back a couple weeks later with a gun and rob the owner at closing time. He killed the owner, netted maybe a thousand bucks, and was caught by the police in a day or two. That idiot will be getting out of prison about the time he’s ready to start getting Social Security, and he was a young man when he committed the crime. Not only evil, but incredibly, horribly, tragically stupid.

  40. #40 |  croaker | 

    @33 It’s to give fair warning to the good people that the cops are on a hair-trigger and will shoot everyone in the car given the slightest excuse.

  41. #41 |  Stan Hooper | 

    Seeing all those corrupted cops just makes you wonder how they can go so long without being caught or arrested, and yet weed still is a misdemeanor:

  42. #42 |  Libby | 

    I know it’s a fake headline, but Michelle Obama’s op-ed title still makes me laugh:

    “If We Don’t Stop Childhood Obesity, Our Fat Toddlers Could Become Fat Fucks.”,17455/

  43. #43 |  Phelps | 

    I was disappointed that police video #11 (the motorcycle guy beaten by the two cops) didn’t include the most chilling video to me. It’s from another car that arrives afterwards. The cop gets out, goes up and talks to the other officers for 20-30 seconds, then come back to his cruiser whistling to himself… and turns his camera away from the scene.

    That was the most chilling part to me.

  44. #44 |  Kayak2U Blog » Blog Archive » “The dialect of the tribe” | 

    […] A great page of U.S. dialects, with maps and everything, demonstrating a stupendous amount of effort.  And all sorts of parameters and aspects of language new to me, and likely to you, too.  I'm still trying to pin down the particular peculiarities of the New Orleans accent exhibited by some friends Sweet Cheeks and I made the last few months.  I can tell you I can tell where they're from, but I still can't tell you how I know how I can tell where they're from.    Via:  Balko. […]