Sunday Links

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

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14 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Matt | 

    “Illegal arrest” is kidnapping, abduction, or whatever other term you can find that means violent encagement.

  2. #2 |  BSK | 

    My friend just beat a ticket in NJ traffic court that demonstrated an fundamental misunderstanding of the law by all involved parties. He was charged with using a “electronic communication device” (generally cited as “driving while talking/texting on a cell phone”). He was, in fact, using an iTouch to change the music playing. An iTouch, outside of a WiFi spot apparently does not qualify as an electronic communication device, the only type barred by the statute. Apparently, every previous instance went unchallenged and cops were erroneously ticketing people for something that was not illegal. It will be interesting to see if this case changes any actual practice. My hunch is they’ll just expand the scope of the law, though I assume that will take some time. Regardless, ain’t it grand that my idiot friend (he is a true idiot) and his out-of-law-school-for-6-months brother apparently knew the law better than the cops, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and everyone else who interacted with it for however long it has been in effect?

  3. #3 |  FridayNext | 

    Two size 12 shoe boxes full of pot?? That was never normal for casual users that I recall and I knew guys in college who couldn’t start a day without a bong hit or two. I admit it’s been a long time, but that much pot should be measured by the pound, not the ounce, or do I misremember?

  4. #4 |  Andrew Roth | 

    As with eminent domain reform, the Aitken case looks like another one in which liberals have been AWOL because they find their prospective bedfellows distasteful.

    As a matter of basic principles and philosophy, liberal activists should have been all over the case from day one. It involved an unconstitutional property search by rogue cops, a trial whose sole evidence was fruit of the poison tree, a judge who openly refused to consider exculpatory evidence, and a peaceable man sent to a really nasty prison for committing a nonviolent noncrime.

    Where were the bleeding heart liberals throughout this miscarriage of justice? Probably off having a snit about scary guns that kill people and scary gun nuts who are going to kill people in accidental discharges someday. The left has become hostile to the Second Amendment (which I find bizarre) because many leftists have never spent time around responsible gun owners and assume that the only people who use guns are crazed, racist militia rednecks and hardened urban gangbangers. The PETA fringe has an outsize influence on the left’s gun attitudes, too, convincing more reasonable people who don’t know any better that hunters are a bunch of bloodthirsty maniacs. Where does the ethical treatment of citizens fit into this fantasy? It’s not even an afterthought.

    At least libertarian activists and Governor Christie have taken Brian Aitken’s side. There needs to be some kind of bulwark against an arbitrary police state. It’s pathetic, though, when the bleeding-heart left refuses to help in such a case because it doesn’t want to sully itself by agreeing with the NRA and a deficit hawk governor.

  5. #5 |  perlhaqr | 

    Dear sweet and fluffy lord we need Gary Johnson as president.

  6. #6 |  TC | 

    ” …assume that the only people who use guns are crazed, racist militia rednecks and hardened urban gangbangers. “…

    Your talking about cops there right?


    I’ve not been around MJ much, but saw a brick in 1971 once. It would easily fit inside a shoe box and weighed in at 2.2 lbs!

  7. #7 |  buzz | 

    Not really enough detail in the story to know exactly what happened with the Daniels thing. Did they have bricks in the shoeboxes? Was it loose? Was it a lot of filler? That could explain the charges. I would expect being white kids in Princeton is the reason for the resolution, I don’t know that from the article. The article advances the argument that pot smoking was not widespread nationwide in 1970, but how about on the Princeton campus? In the dorm? Who knows? While I disagree with Daniels on criminalization of most narcotics, I don’t know that not holding the same opinion one held 40 years ago is grounds for hypocrisy. If he is smoking pot now, or in the last few years, or has attempted to get a friend or relative off for smoking pot now, then sure. Being a 18 year old near socialist does not preclude me from being a 49 year old libertarian.

  8. #8 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Re: #6:

    Good point. And it would put the hard left into a right royal snit to realize that they share prejudices with police officers of a criminal persuasion.

  9. #9 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Re: #7:

    The change of heart would be hypocritical if Daniels benefited from leniency that he now wants to deny to defendants in the same position. A politician who was shown leniency on felony drug charges as a youth has no moral authority to throw the book at drug defendants, and to falsely claim such moral authority is evil. That’s all there is to it.

    That kind of depraved hypocrisy is rampant in the political and chattering classes. They’re full of people who used drugs or still use drugs without causing the sky to fall, but who insist on ruining the lives of other, less powerful, drug users. Newt Gingrich had the gall to do this on matters of drugs and sex, first as the admitted former marijuana user who introduced federal legislation to provide for the death penalty for middling drug traffickers, and then as the active adulterer with a much younger mistress on his staff who led the campaign to turn Monica Lewinsky’s life upside down.

    As far as the Beltway media establishment is concerned in these matters, some people just don’t have the moral courage to drop the pretense and take up work in a high-end brothel.

  10. #10 |  Andrew Roth | 

    A broad problem related to my last post is that so few politicians show any gratitude for the immense blessings from which they’ve benefited. This applies to a large swath of society, too. Gratitude has subtly been made out to be some sort of quaint anachronism practiced by square fuddy-duddies and suckers, a useless piety or a hindrance to those who are hip, savvy and successful.

    In reality, gratitude is one of the foundations of a just and livable society. It reminds people that empathy, kindness and mercy don’t just fall like manna from the skies. They’re the products of conscious decisions by individuals, and those who recognize this truth are more likely to make moral decisions.

    For the same reasons, gratitude is an annoyance to the arrogant and entitled because it gives them pause about getting ahead by harming others. It’s much more convenient to make oneself the star of one’s own Horatio Alger story, and maybe peddle similar stories to the help when they aren’t motivated enough.

    (This ethical rot, then, has come around before. According to fourth turning generational theorists, it comes around precisely every eighty years, meaning that America is past due for a wave of cleansing reform; interesting, but a bit dogmatic for my taste.)

    The intersection of gratitude with politics and policy can be tricky. What does one say to the socialist who benefited from the free market but now sincerely believes that the free market’s cruelty and caprice must be restrained? Or to the libertarian who benefited from socialism but now sincerely believes that socialism is an unfeasible Utopian pipe dream that saps society’s energy and work ethic? Hell if I know. Some of these scenarios baffle me.

    What I do know is that there are many fewer shades of gray when those without gratitude insist on killing other people or letting them rot among violent prison rapists.

  11. #11 |  JOR | 

    If Hitler had never become a mass-murdering dictator – if he, in fact, had not lived exactly the life that he lived, to the smallest minutae – none of us would ever had been born.

    Gratitude is an improper response to a world that is what it is regardless of our choices or desires, which will be mostly evil, and which will benefit each of us until the very moment it kills us (since nonlife is the default state of matter in the universe, simply existing as a living being is an immeasurable benefit). Gratitude is a moral and emotional response to specific, targeted actions; not something that should be felt for ‘conditions’ or for people that did what they did for reasons of their own far out of the scope of one’s own life. We can appreciate people as decent or good or kind or brave on their own terms, and we very well should – but they have done exactly as much to give each of us the only possible world we could have existed in as we have as all the nastiest, cruelest, and most treacherous people – and we owe them exactly as much gratitude: none.

  12. #12 |  nevernot | 

    Got to love the hypocrisy of the former MADD president. This is the same organization that recently backed allowing four time convicted DUI offenders to get their licenses back in Florida. If they haven’t proved they have a problem they have no intention of dealing with by the second DUI, what makes you think they’ll stop until they kill someone. BTW MADD received a huge donation from a local millionaire that, big surprise, recently was convicted of his fourth DUI….

  13. #13 |  Pablo | 

    Re: the MADD arrest

    I can’t say Im surprised. It makes sense that someone with a drinking problem might be attracted to an organization espousing an all-or-nothing, absolutist approach to the problem of alcohol abuse. Denial, projection, and all that. Not much different than a closeted homosexual who persecutes gays (see Larry Craig, Roy Cohn, J Edgar Hoover).

  14. #14 |  PW | 

    Our friend “Jack Dunphy” is upset that his cop union is supporting the union thugs in Wisconsin. But rather than see this as the natural tendency of all things union, he views it as an aberration because…well…you know…cop unions are supposed to be “different” and they need collective bargaining because of the “unusual” nature of their job.

    In short, Dunphy just exposed himself as the hypocritical whore for the state that we all knew him to be: