Morning Links

Monday, January 17th, 2011
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39 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Jack | 

    That story about the Intruder is *really* irritating. The cops complain about being understaffed, but you just *know* they still likely feel they have time to go after minor drug offenders and give out pointless traffic tickets. Seriously, if they’re staffed that low, they should pretty much exclusively spend their time on rape, robbery, and murder.

  2. #2 |  Z | 

    “Haslam was heavily criticized during the campaign for refusing to say how much he earned from family owned Pilot, a national truck stop chain with annual revenues of about $20 billion.”

  3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

    Unfortunately the likely constitutional crisis’s happen everyday.

  4. #4 |  derfel cadarn | 

    It would appear that the Gov. has something to hide,he and his cabinet should be recalled from office for exempting themselves from the same laws governing the People and so should be all politicians at all levels of government. No longer can America tolerate this double standard and survive.

  5. #5 |  Marc | 

    I bet that county, despite only having 6 officers, still manages to find the man hours to camp out for “speeders” and the like. Anyone travelling through that area should keep a print out of that article in their car so they can ask why the department claims it’s understaffed, if you should get pulled over there.

  6. #6 |  MIkeS | 

    Re: the 911 call. Two points. First, this should be thrown at every gun control advocate who thinks we should get rid of our guns and call the cops. Second, I guarantee you the local government, as governments do, has cut essential services like law enforcement while keeping a bunch of BS spending intact. Now they’ll site this as a reason to raise taxes.

  7. #7 |  Joe | 

    Oh, there’s nothing halfway
    About the Iowa way to treat you,
    When we treat you
    Which we may not do at all.
    There’s an Iowa kind of special
    Chip-on-the-shoulder attitude.
    We’ve never been without.
    That we recall.

  8. #8 |  Joe | 

    In regards to the 911 call: Have a tactical shotgun in the house and know how to use it. What was the story on the guy trying to break in? Did he know them? Was it random? It is pretty brazen to keep trying to get in when you know they are home.

  9. #9 |  Marc | 

    And he might have seen them on the phone at some point. Even if he didn’t, does someone really think you can spend 10+ minutes trying to break into an occupied home and someone’s NOT going to call the cops? The whole thing is crazy.

  10. #10 |  David Chesler | 

    Not quite puppycide. Coyote spotted near Sen. John Kerry’s home in Boston, shot (not euthanized) because it had mange.
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/01/17/coyote_spotted_on_boston_common_and_killed_by_officials/?p1=Local_Links

  11. #11 |  Joe | 

    Marc, they were beating him with a vaccum and he was still there when the deputy showed up ten minutes later.

  12. #12 |  Joe | 

    Dr. MLK Jr.’s promised land speech gets me choked up every time I see and listen to it. Especially when you realize he was murdered the next day. Powerful oratory. Thank God it was preserved.

  13. #13 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Many of the commenters on the site of the article about Iowa State seem to think that the University exists, or could exist, in a vacuum. This is absurd. Of course there are political considerations to any appointment to a State college. Anybody who expects otherwise probably believes in the virgin birth of political activists.

    Also; I note that the article states that antibiotics are given to grain fed cattle because feeding them on corn makes them ill. While I don’t KNOW this is wrong, I do wonder what was done on feedlots before the development of antibiotics, since I DO know that grain fed beef predates germ theory and the development of antibiotics.

  14. #14 |  Marty | 

    the constitutional crises article was fun to read until they suggested ‘25,000 congressmen’… I had visions of congressmen pulling up to my land to see what their serf had to offer- the congressional districts would look like aldermanic wards.

  15. #15 |  Joe | 

    I would suggest giving the MA cops a pass on shooting the coyote. When she showed up in a Jets jersey, they could not hold back.

  16. #16 |  Joe | 

    I always thought the excessive use of anti biotics on modern feedlots was more due to crowding too many cattle together than just eating corn.

    Although, I have heard there is a great feed lot job which involves using a section of pvc pipe to relieve the cattle of excessive corn gas.

  17. #17 |  Pablo | 

    The news channels here in Atlanta have reported, after a string of highly publicized break-ins, shootings, muggings, etc in affluent intown areas, that more residents here are getting CCW permits, buying guns, and learing how to use them. I also noticed that a new firing range has opened up within the actual city limits. Glad that people are taking responsibility for their safety and exercising their 2A rights.

    Of course, the local news reported that the police department’s position on this is they do not advise people to carry guns, but instead to call 911. I’m not sure why they think an attacker would give a victim time to make a phone call, and then wait until police arrive–WTF?

  18. #18 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Re: #1

    Williamson County is has the highest per-capita income in the state, and is likely still in the top 10 counties in the nation in terms of per-capita income (top 5 if you ignore the DC area). There is little crime there of any kind. Brentwood, one of the large cities in the county, had a rapist about 10 years ago who was recently caught. That was their only reported rape in that time period. It’s wealthy people and little crime.

  19. #19 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Budget cuts meant Williamson County only had 6 officers patrolling 583 square miles on Tuesday night.

    “In a perfect world, I would like 15-20 more officers but we also realize the reality of the situation,” said Parker.

    But Ribeiro never thought budget cuts would leave her fighting a criminal in her kitchen.

    “Let’s do something as a community, if they are understaffed lets hire people,” said Ribeiro.

    No, how about *you* do something and take responsibility for your own safety. Why would a woman living alone with a daughter be so irresponsible as to not have a gun? My wife would be calling 911 afterward to come clean up the mess…

  20. #20 |  Joe | 

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/257277/dupniks-confession-rich-lowry

  21. #21 |  Michael Chaney | 

    It would appear that the Gov. has something to hide,he and his cabinet should be recalled from office for exempting themselves from the same laws governing the People and so should be all politicians at all levels of government. No longer can America tolerate this double standard and survive.

    There’s no law requiring me to reveal my income to anybody, so if anything the governor is removing a double standard. What he “repealed” was an executive order that the previous governor put into place forcing the higher ups in the state government to reveal their income. He changed it to force them to only reveal *sources* of income.

    His family owns Pilot. Yes, all of those truck stops. They own them. All of them.

    He makes a ton of money, and it might even be considered a trade secret. It’s a private company so they don’t have to disclose such to anybody but the IRS. I actually don’t blame him for doing what he did. But don’t act like it makes him “special”; if anything it removes some of the specialness.

  22. #22 |  Juice | 

    #14 – Marty,

    I think there should be about 10,000 “representatives.” You would have maybe 30,000 people per “representative.” There are many advantages to having a a much larger house and “representatives” with many fewer constituents. I wouldn’t want them to be paid anywhere near $175k each though or have a huge staff. They’d have to share staff.

  23. #23 |  croaker | 

    “My wife would be calling 911 afterward to come clean up the mess…”

    I’m willing to bet that if the woman had told the dispatcher “I have a gun and will shoot this sumbitch the instant he comes into my house” she would have had more cops than she really wanted.

  24. #24 |  Waste93 | 

    The headline about the 911 call is a bit misleading. She was transfered a couple times and was on the line with the correct agency for 14 minutes. They didn’t have that bad of a response time considering the area they were covering and the number of officers on. My question is more of why twenty minutes to transfer the call twice. Being a dispatcher I suspect there was an issue with getting her address correct. Either they didn’t ask and got it from the ANI/ALI and messed that up or she told them an incorrect one. The ANI/ALI display from a cell phone shows the cell tower location, not the caller location.

    Adding more officers does not necessarily correct the problem however. One thing to keep in mind is that serious crimes like this burglary or a murder are not overly common nor predictable. You can go months or even years between some of these types of events. So if you hire more officers you have them with more down time between those events. To pay for them the local agency will have them running more traffic to increase revenues to pay for those positions.

  25. #25 |  Bob | 

    # #13 C. S. P. Schofield

    Also; I note that the article states that antibiotics are given to grain fed cattle because feeding them on corn makes them ill. While I don’t KNOW this is wrong, I do wonder what was done on feedlots before the development of antibiotics, since I DO know that grain fed beef predates germ theory and the development of antibiotics.

    Feeding cows corn is like raising a child on Wonderbread, and will have some similar effects. Now, the big difference is cows are raised to be killed, of course, so the parallel isn’t direct. What’s often done is to raise a cow initially on a grass diet, then ship it to the feedlot for pre-slaughter fattening.

    As to antibiotics, yes. They fed cows corn without them, they just slaughtered the cows when they got sick. They didn’t care about ‘food safety’ back in the day. If you died eating contaminated beef, that was your fucking problem.

    The problem here is that “Big Agriculture” (Actually only a few giant firms) owns states like Iowa. They don’t care that they’re polluting the crap out of the environment or using up the limited water supply. (Yes, they WILL run out of water. Just like the planet will run out of oil. Unlike oil, water is reclaimed by the planet, but not at the rate we’re using it in the midwest.)

    The flaw: Sustainability is not as profitable as maximizing yields. This is a fatal flaw of “Laissez faire” capitalism, and is a big reason Libertarianism gets a lot of bad press.

    Conundrum: If you castrate government to the point it can’t reign in companies, you must watch hopelessly as these same companies obliterate the eco system. Likewise, if you irresponsibly grow government without a focus on checks and balances, you create a totalitarian monster.

  26. #26 |  Sandy | 

    I wonder if the sheriff’s department in Williamson County has a SWAT team.

  27. #27 |  Cackalacka | 

    Regarding the dispatch article. True story: 13 years ago this month, when I lived in ATL, my roommate saw a suspect wanted for attempted murder, & called the cops.

    After pleading with the 911 dispatch, guess when officers arrived at our house:

    a) 2 minutes later
    b) 2 hours later
    c) 2 days later
    d) 2 weeks later

    Take a wild guess, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  28. #28 |  Bob | 

    “She should have told them there was some marijuana in the house.”

    This is how we do shit in Douglas County, Mo.:

    http://articles.ky3.com/2010-10-31/lengthy-car-chase_24800719

    After the deputies couldn’t find the people in the woods, they told everyone to arm themselves if they had guns (Which was virtually everyone). When the crooks went to borrow a phone to call for a ride, both people in the house were armed and ready. They also had the presence of mind to record the number they called and gave it to deputies afterwards.

    Basically, two armed, dangerous assholes were too afraid to break into anyone’s house. Instead they meekly knocked on a door and acted like their car broke down up the road and asked to borrow the phone.

  29. #29 |  Les | 

    Why would a woman living alone with a daughter be so irresponsible as to not have a gun?

    I’m all for gun-rights, but this is a little silly. Your chances of being hurt or killed in a car accident are ridiculously higher than your chances of being hurt or killed by a home invader. It would make much more sense (and yet, still be silly) to say, “Why would a mother regularly put her child in a car and drive?”

  30. #30 |  Bob | 

    Les,

    That’s an argument for seat belt use, not refraining from driving in the first place.

    It IS smart to safely own firearms when you live in areas that are far away from the closest cop station, just like it’s smart to always buckle up when you get into a car. OBVIOUSLY, though, if you then drive like a maniac because you stupidly feel safe due to your seat belt, then you’re compromising the safety factor of the seat belt. The same with firearms. If you stupidly leave it loaded under the sofa cushion, you cause more potential danger than you avoid.

    The point of owning a firearm in this situation isn’t that you actually intend to use it, but that you know you can if you absolutely need to. You never have to worry “What if something happens? It’ll take the cops a half hour to get here.” With thoughtful precautions, “Plan B” isn’t looking for the Vacuum Cleaner to fend a burglar off with, it’s unlocking the box the gun is kept in.

  31. #31 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Les, what Bob said.

    Furthermore, most firearm use doesn’t end up in someone being hurt or killed. If you go back to Kleck’s research, guns are used 1-1.5 million times per year legally in the US, most of those ending up with nobody harmed and no story in the paper. While you’re correct that they’re more likely to end up harmed in a car accident, you’re making a false dichotomy.

    It’s more akin to smoke detectors. My house is outfitted with them, and they cost more than a handgun (all together). My insurance for the house is 1/320th of the estimated replacement cost of the structure, insurance companies typically multiply by 2 to get their rate (to cover overhead), so the chance that my house will burn down in a given year is no more than 1/640. Looking around here, I have a pretty good idea of how many houses that is and I can tell you that for houses of this vintage the chance is much much smaller than even that.

    So I shouldn’t get smoke detectors, right?

    The chance of a catastrophic fire is low, but for a few hundred dollars I can dramatically decrease the possible damage from one. The chance of a nut breaking into the house while you’re at home to harm you and your child is small, but for a few hundred dollars you can pretty much completely solve the problem. In both cases the stakes are extremely high but the chances of such happening are extremely low. In both cases, it makes sense to spend the few hundred dollars and be prepared. Especially if you live a long way from the fire station or sheriff’s office.

  32. #32 |  Gordon | 

    “When seconds count, police are only minutes away.”

    Taking responsibility for your personal safety, as well as that of your family, is *essential* to being a free person.

    I’m glad Ms. Ribeiro had the gumption to defend herself and her daughter with whatever she had available, and am glad that it was sufficient this time.

    Firearms ownership isn’t for everyone, and part of being a free person is being able to decide for oneself whether or not firearms ownership is a good choice for them. There are good and valid reasons for a person to choose not to own a firearm, and we should respect that, even as we try to explore possible alternatives.

    I do hope this incident helps people to understand some of the stakes involved in their choices.

  33. #33 |  Episiarch | 

    Hmm, topically, I just bought a Kel-Tec P3AT on Saturday. Of course I already had a bunch of guns, but for $250 and at 8.3oz…

  34. #34 |  Chance | 

    I dunno, I kind of like the idea of sticking to the 1 representative per 30,000 ratio.

  35. #35 |  Joe | 

    Although, I have heard there is a great feed lot job which involves using a section of pvc pipe to relieve the cattle of excessive corn gas.

    Come to think of it, that guy should work at Congress. There are a few midwestern politicians who need that type of relief.

  36. #36 |  jb | 

    HB, Martin. HB

  37. #37 |  KBCraig | 

    Re: the home invasion in Tennessee

    First, “Mrs. Amber Alabama” needed a shotgun more than a vacuum cleaner.

    Second, six deputies patrolling 583 square miles is overstating the case. Over 120 square miles of that is within municipalities that are responsible for their own police protection. The unincorporated portions of the county have less than 15,000 population. Six deputies patrolling after midnight for less than 15,000 residents is far better coverage than most counties in rural America.

    My county in Texas only runs two deputies at night for an unincorporated population of 28,000 spread out over 875 square miles.

  38. #38 |  Elliot | 

    To any participants in these comment sections (like Jeff Goldman) who think that the solution to crime is to ban guns, realize that the most effective means this woman had to protect herself from the intruder was a firearm.

    When you outlaw guns, or place onerous restrictions on purchasing or possessing them (or use back door means like ammunition restrictions), you deprive such people of their inherent right to defend their lives effectively. Calling 911 and waiting 35 minutes is not, in any way, effective.

  39. #39 |  Perfidy - What ifs | 

    […] Balko aims us in the direction of a list of Eight Crazy Constitutional Scenarios. My favorites: 5. Two House […]

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