Morning Links

Friday, January 28th, 2011

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28 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Mister DNA | 

    I should have known the comments at HuffPo for the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech would be a goldmine of cluelessness.

    It’s too early in the morning for a drinking game, so whatever you do, don’t drink after someone at HuffPo asks in the comments, “Why isn’t Liberty U on the list?”

  2. #2 |  Cyto | 

    About the reporter emailing the sherrif:

    News Center 7 also talked with Tonya Tieman who is a city prosecutor in Shelby County. She said, so far, she has not approved any criminal charges against Leese.”

    Well done Ms. Prosecutor – keep the charges hanging out there so we don’t have to worry about that pesky 4th estate.

  3. #3 |  Tweets that mention Morning Links | The Agitator -- | 

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by FoxArtCultTech, teaist atts. teaist atts said: Morning Links $ […]

  4. #4 |  qwints | 

    All you need to understand the HuffPo Comments is the following principle: If people from the other party are complaining about rights violations by people from your party, the complaints must be biased, and the other party must be worse.

  5. #5 |  Rhayader | 

    The 12 worst colleges for free speech.

    WTF, two of the top 3 are in upstate NY. My homies are pissing me off.

  6. #6 |  Joe | 

    So remember the Chicago cop recently sentenced to a paltry 4.5 years in prison for lying about his routine torture of suspects over the years? Remember how he and the other cops couldn’t be charged for the actual torture due to the statute of limitations, and how the statute of limitations expired because local officials, including Chicago’s current mayor, refused for years to hold them accountable? Remember all that? Well guess what? He’ll also get to keep his pension.

    Now that is a WTF moment.

  7. #7 |  JThompson | 

    Speaking of dumb drug war policies, do we have any that aren’t? In the millions of lines of text dedicated to defining the war on drugs, is there a single sane policy?

    Re: The UMass policy forcing protesters to act as their own security: That seems like an awfully good way for the school to get sued after security puts a foot in someone’s ass for throwing a bottle or rock.

  8. #8 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    The comments on the FIRE article are hysterical. Not funny, just hysterical.

    If I were a college administrator (gods forbid) I think my policy on protests would be something like; “If you hold a protest, all members of your group are responsible for the behavior of any member of your group. If one of you takes a swing at a heckler, you all get suspended. We will provide security to protect you from non-group members. YOU must provide discipline amongst yourselves. Other than that, please refrain from verbal taunts that might reasonably be expected to provoke physical retaliation, such as yelling “Nigger” at a black person or accusing anyone present of being a Nazi. And have fun.”

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    protests are a big deal around here because of the westboro baptist church. lots of people running around here trying to devise rules for ‘acceptable’ protests. to me, if you’re gonna act like a 3 yo poking people with a stick, don’t be surprised when you get fucked with. walking around a funeral with a sign celebrating a kid’s death should get you whacked, not police protection. if you believe in the cause- maybe it’s worth it.

  10. #10 |  sqlcowboy | 

    There are schools that actually DON’T censor their student bodies and prevent free speech? News to me.

    Only difference between the ones on that list and every other college is the other colleges aren’t in the news.

  11. #11 |  Anon | 

    It is worth tracking down the Chicago Reader’s coverage of Burge. When discussing Burge’s sentencing they included a comment from John Conroy that sticks with me:

    When he published the book Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture (University of Califormia Press) in 2000, Conroy described torturers as people like you and me. They do what they do at the office then come home to the wife and kids (though Burge never married). Conroy often wondered what made Burge a torturer, and after the trial he reflected, “”I think Burge is a guy who was failed by his supervisors. I think that if the first time Burge as a detective pulled somebody in and roughed him up in some way, if his lieutenant said to him, ‘Burge, you do that one more time and I’ll have you guarding the parking lot at 11th and State,’ I don’t think it would’ve happened again. He was a good enough cop without it. He could’ve gone just as far without the torture. It just required some supervision, somebody to say, ‘We don’t do that here,’ and there’s no Jon Burge—Jon Burge is not notorious, he’s a well-regarded cop and serves his career and retires to Florida and all’s well with the world.

    “I think everybody wants Burge to be a monster, and he’s not. He’s a creature of our own devising, in a way. He’s a product of the Chicago police system at the time—and now, too—which does its best to protect errant cops unless they’re caught red-handed. . . . If the state’s attorney’s office were prosecuting people for engaging in misconduct of this kind, you and I would never know who Jon Burge is, or we’d know him as an officer who’d brought in some notorious criminals, or as an officer who did something heroic. He wouldn’t be a notorious torturer.”

  12. #12 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Todd Snider hypothetically meets Bob Dylan.

    Okay, this is weird . . . I was just listening to Todd Snider and was about to email you suggesting you make “The Ballad of the Kingsmen” your Five-Star Friday pick (given all the ridiculous posturing about language and violence over the past couple weeks, it seems appropriate). Then I lot onto the Agitator and . . . BAM . . . there’s Todd Snider. What are the odds?

  13. #13 |  Mattocracy | 

    Colleges do to their student bodies what our justice systems does to everyone else. Inconsistantly apply the rules without fairness or equality in mind and issueing punishments that are overly severe, effecting future employment forever.

  14. #14 |  CyniCAl | 

    “So remember the Chicago cop recently sentenced to a paltry 4.5 years in prison for lying about his routine torture of suspects over the years? …. ”

    State agents — they’re just not like the rest of us.

  15. #15 |  Aresen | 

    Re the Chicago Cop keeping his pension:

    I suppose we should be grateful that the time he spent in prison won’t count as pensionable.

    It won’t, correct?

    Please tell me it won’t.


    I hope.

  16. #16 |  Pablo | 

    #11 Anon–thanks for sharing that quote. I recently read the Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo, who did the Stanford Prison experiment back in the 70’s. Excellent book. It goes into great depth regarding how decent people can do evil under certain circumstances. Zimbardo was on the defense team for one of the soldiers charged in the Abu Ghraib case and he makes the point that you can’t blame “rotten apples” if the barrel itself is rotten.

  17. #17 |  EH | 

    It should be easier for a police to lose their pension.

  18. #18 |  Anon | 


    That’s a good question about prison time being pensionable time.

    By the way, the argument the board seems to be making is that Burge was convicted of perjury when he was no longer an officer, so he shouldn’t be penalized. (The statue of limitations had run out for charging him with the torture directly.) At the same time, the city paid Burge’s lawyers’ fees because what he was being questioned about was his conduct as an officer.

    In case this isn’t enough to make you want to punch a wall, a few more comments:

    The decision was applauded by Burge’s attorneys, who said the pension didn’t amount to much income.

    “It’s paltry. It’s a little more than Social Security,” said Burge lawyer Marc Martin.

    “They keep acting like he’s drawing millions from the city, and he draws about $30,000 a year,” another lawyer, William Gamboney said. “I’m glad to see he still has minimal means of support.”

    Half of the police pension board is made up of members of the Police Department elected by police to oversee the fund. Shields, Michael Lazarro, Kenneth Hauser and James Maloney all vote against revoking Burge’s pension.

    The other four board members, who all work in the financial sector and were appointed by Mayor Daley, voted in favor of terminating his pension. They were Stephanie Neely, Gene Saffold, Michael Conway and Steven Lux.

  19. #19 |  Anon | 

    Sorry, linked incorrectly

  20. #20 |  The_Chef | 

    The HuffPo article comments just make me cringe.

    Many of the usernames also make me cringe.

    Okay, fuckit, that whole site is like a festering sore of partisan circlejerking.

  21. #21 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    And when the pension goes broke, they will raise your taxes to bail it out. Openly envious of their racket.

  22. #22 |  BrentM | 

    the banner on this website is trying to recruit ppl to a education program for FBI guys and shows a guy in SWAT/tactical gear. Irony

  23. #23 |  Gordon | 

    @C. S. P. Schofield (#8) – That plan is unworkable. Student organizations are open to all students, meaning, for example, that students having antithetical views must also be permitted to join. (Not to mention the fact that they could join under false pretenses.)

    So, under your plan, all it would take to put a student organization (and its members) out of business is a single infiltrated “agent provocateur” who violates the rules.

  24. #24 |  croaker | 

    Sheriff Douchebag is trying to emulate his hero Sheriff Asshat (Maricopa County) and failing miserably. Too bad he can’t get his own personal dog-shooting SWAT team home invasion.

    Cop keeping pension: This is why it’s important to hold off on criminal charges until the retirement paperwork is approved. But this can be solved by putting the cop into general population. I figure they’ll only have to pay out another six months or so.

  25. #25 |  McRibertarian | 

    The kicker on the HuffPo article is that Greg Lukianoff is a self-described political liberal.

    Oh well, I guess if you despise the other side enough, you too can laugh when a simple civil liberty gets trampled upon.

  26. #26 |  demize! | 

    Point 1) fat sack of shit Burge learned his trade in Viet-nam as an MP. or Intelligence officer. Can’t remember which, too lazy to look it up. Point 2) Zimmbardo is a douche. And his famous experiment was a combination of unethical subject control, and improper experimental modality. The resulting conclusions are extremely flawed. Food for thought.

  27. #27 |  Justthisguy | 

    About that Chicago cop (and lotsa other folks who’ve been named here):

    I think of that scene in “The Sand Pebbles” when Steve McQueen meets the “student activist” and goes, “You!” and gives him a roundhouse swing with the axe, just below the brisket.

  28. #28 |  demize! | 

    Awesome movie. They don’t make em like Steve McQueen anymore!