Saturday Links

Saturday, April 30th, 2011
  • Thoughtful piece from Abigail Thernsstrom on racial politics and gerrymandering. Wish there was more of this kind of dialogue from both right and left instead of the usual racial bomb-throwing.
  • Pretty cool idea: the Genetic Music Project.
  • Looks to be another incident of Las Vegas cops intimidating a citizen for recording them.
  • They pretty much nailed me here. Interesting to see a couple open-minded liberals use the word queen as an insult.
  • Cops taswer a kid, break his arm in saggy pants altercation.
  • Jury rebels against NYPD in case of woman who confronted cops over her son’s arrest in a stop-and-frisk case. Maybe I’m just noticing it more, but it seems like we’re seeing more and more of these juries who are willing to question law enforcement. That’s a good thing.
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41 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  perlhaqr | 

    Given the preface of “Kochfare”, I believe they were trying to make a play on “Welfare Queen”, not making an allusion to your sexual orientation.

    They’re still fucking idiots. Shame, I used to enjoy reading the Exile.

  2. #2 |  Nipplemancer | 

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014913811_settlement30m.html
    Seattle pays $1.5 million to the family of John Williams, the woodcarver shot by former SPD Officer Ian Birk

  3. #3 |  TomG | 

    I could be wrong, but the article title on you is pretty clearly using “queen” not in the “fabulous gay” sense, but in the “welfare queen” sense, aka “OMG someone is cheating the government and living high on the hog”….except to them, the Koch brothers are the “hog”.
    Of course, that means they are using a mostly mythical group of cheating lower-class folks as an insult – not surprising, since a lot of liberals have completely forgotten any sympathy for the less fortunate.
    Can’t get to the article, Radley. I think they messed up their linking, it just goes back to one of your older posts. I don’t think I will bother with them anymore. There are a lot of thoughtful leftleaning anarchists I think could argue rings around whoever “The Exiles” are.
    – and “mankind’s only alternative since 1997″ ?? Yeesh.

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    the thing that still surprises me about all the abuse stories out of Las Vegas is that they’re also crying about the economy and tourism being down. I would think cops intimidating people would be a red flag that they’d want to fix immediately.

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    #2- nice link

  6. #6 |  Nate | 

    Gotta love the ad hominem. I’m surprised at the cheer-leading on the left for law enforcement unions. Haven’t the police and prison guards done enough to realize it might not be such a good idea?

    My brother wanted me to add this link/picture to drive the point home:
    http://infinitethought.cinestatic.com/index.php/site/working_together_for_a_safer_london/

  7. #7 |  croaker | 

    @4 You would think so, yes. Apparently Vegas cops aren’t the only people in Vegas who are slow learners.

  8. #8 |  croaker | 

    Despite Federal law, we still have a bully problem in school. Only the bullies are government official issue.

  9. #9 |  demize! | 

    Comments on the brutalized kid are just incredible. The sub rosa racism, and obvert classism, ageism, authoritarianism, and general cruelty and mean spiritedness are something to behold. I don’t remember who said it and I paraphrase, but most people would rather have some nominal authority over some less fortunate than to be truly free themselves. Friggen sad .

  10. #10 |  ShortWoman | 

    Judging from the squad car, that’s not LV Metro, but the Clark County School District Police. They aren’t used to adults with rights.

  11. #11 |  EH | 

    Ha ha, those Vegas roid-heads reaching for their guns!

  12. #12 |  Highway | 

    Regarding the kid with the broken arm, the story seems to jump from him sassing the cops to them grabbing him and yelling the cops patented cover phrase “Stop resisting!” You do need to wonder if there was something in between that escalated the violence from sassing and disobeying to physical violence. But even if there was, it’s pretty unlikely that the kid actually went over to the cops and started a physical altercation, which leaves the probability that the cops, unhappy with being sassed, started the physicality portion of the encounter.

    I think this points to another phenomenon as well: The more ‘police departments’ there are, the lower and lower the quality of those officers will be. While there are some principled folks that go to smaller or limited forces, I’d think it more likely the folks staffing school and transit and private development and other semi-private forces are going to be the folks who go to forces that don’t really examine their folks as much.

  13. #13 |  Marty | 

    the kid with the sagging pants clearly violated school policy. if they would’ve killed him, it would’ve been his fault. policy is policy, after all.

  14. #14 |  Anthony | 

    Highway, good point. I never thought of it that way but its the same principle that applies to professional sports.

  15. #15 |  John Q. Galt | 

    Is the name Koch now a confirmed signifier of leftist* bigotry?

    * Funny to see it outside Rockwellian circles.

  16. #16 |  Stephen | 

    The genetic music thing made me think of the 4 chord song thing by “axis of awesome”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I

  17. #17 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Nate – Except the Unions are NOT the problem in the UK, especially since they’re largely toothless (the APCO is a different story, but it’s also not a Union, it’s a company!). There is a problem with police training and procedure which is widely acknowledged, and a detailed report was commissioned. The last government was implementing that report.

    Then… this, further-to-the-right, government cancelled those changes virtually the day they came into power. More, they’ve ordered kettling again and again with peaceful protesters, and arrested by deception peaceful protesters as well. Again, this UK ConDem government is NOT the Government you’re looking for.

  18. #18 |  Joe bananas | 

    The only way a human can be a conservative is to also be a racist. I have nothing against rackets or conservatives for that matter. But all rackets are conservatives and all conservatives are racist.

  19. #19 |  Dennis | 

    You’ve somehow managed to be a far better liberal activist than Mark Ames, despite not being a liberal. When he can explain how his spree-shooter apologetics have done more to help the downtrodden than your criminal justice work, perhaps I’ll be interested in his opinion of your career.

  20. #20 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    It’s funny those people at The eXiled. I still read some of their stuff from time to time but really, they’ve just turned into name calling imbeciles who lack substance almost all the time.

    The only benefit of the site is Gary Brecher who once in a while will write something worth reading.

  21. #21 |  Anthony | 

    I’m leery of anything with the titile “What you should think”
    Sounds like authoritarian bullshit to me.

  22. #22 |  Hartmann | 

    Demize!, your comment is spot on. It’s heartening to know I’m not the only one deeply bothered after reading those comments about the police beating down the “saggy-pants kid.”

    Just ponder this: even with 1000 comments, most supportive of the police and a few not, no one asked the most poignant question of all: WHAT are the police doing in most every American public school, grades K-12, and HOW and WHEN did they get there?!? At least we know WHY? The fear and hatred of the average commentator explains that much.

    My six-year old niece thinks school police are normal, and that being led away in handcuffs for “bullying” or “crying too much” is normal. Apparently, my neighbors, their children, and the school staff agree. Even the people I went to high school with support this, though we somehow managed to do well enough without taser-wielding police breathing down our necks.

    I sometimes feel deep despair when I think where our country is headed. Then I remember that “the children are our future.”

  23. #23 |  Allen Murdoch | 

    the exiled followed up the next day with this gem (which just links back the The Agitator):

    “Bwah-Hah-Hah! Kochfare Queen Radley Balko Of Reason Magazine Plays Political-Correctness Card Against The eXiled! Libertards, Libertards…”

    lame.

  24. #24 |  Mojopin | 

    Actually, the geneticmusicproject reminded me initially of Baba O’Riley. I recall hearing a story that the backing track was “vital information” of a band member, put to music. Turns out the rumor I heard was close — it is actually that of Baba Meher.

    The Who had planned on having one person from the audience in a live show have their vital information collected and put to music to make a theme for a unique version of that song.

    Something bigger ended coming from it in The Lifehouse Project.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lifehouse_Method

  25. #25 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Derby Police Chief Robert Lee said Villarreal used profanities when the officers asked him to pull up his pants. Lee also said the officers tried to escort Villarreal back inside the school to the office, but he refused to go. At one point during the struggle, Lee said, Villarreal stood up and took ‘an aggressive stance,’ which led to the Taser attempt.”

    So much clearly wrong with this case. If the kid was off school property, what were they doing following him and scolding him about his pants. Aside from this, if this whole thing started because the kid wore saggy pants, that is simply pathetic. You can get manhandled and tased for damn near anything these days. If that was the starting point, and the kid was not engaging in any REAL criminal behavior, all police actions after that are wrong, in my opinion. And I’m sure the fact that the kid was Hispanic had nothing to do with the use of force or the tone of the comments on the newspaper site. THEIR TAKIN’ R JAWWBS (Borrowed that one from Southpark, of course).

  26. #26 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #11 EH:

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, you are right EH! Those douche bags were approaching that lady like she was pulling a fucking .45. Hands on sidearms because she had a camera. Guess what officers, you violated this woman’s rights and managed to come off looking like a couple of pussies. Any decent police officer would heap derision upon you guys for that display of cowardice.

  27. #27 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Ok. So let’s see, two “highly trained professionals” both turn their backs to their initial “suspect” to confront a woman with a camera? True, the “suspect” seems to be a harmless young girl, but still. I guess it’s back to cop school for those two guys. Or not….

  28. #28 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @2
    No admission of guilt or liability with that settlement. Cop faces no charges by state prosecutor for killing that man. Cop resigned after the scathing report, he was then fired! But no charges!

    How do I become a cop and where does that prosecutor live?

  29. #29 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Guys, he wasn’t tazed for baggy pants. You know this. He was tazed for Contempt of cop.

  30. #30 |  Nipplemancer | 

    Boyd – that is the infuriating thing about the whole situation. Some people are lobbying for a grand jury and the Feds are looking into it as a violation of Williams’ civil rights.

  31. #31 |  Aresen | 

    Since there are no “Sunday Links”, I am going to assume that Radley has departed on his East European vacation.

    If you are looking in Radley, have a great trip!

  32. #32 |  Juice | 

    Isn’t Pandora the main purpose of the genetic music project?

    Oh, no Pandora is part of the Music Genome Project.

    So this genetic music project sounds like a ripoff.

  33. #33 |  John C. Randolph | 

    Ames needs to back off on the cocaine a mite. He’s no Hunter Thompson.

    -jcr

  34. #34 |  Warren | 

    Radley heads overseas and Osama Bin Laden turns up dead at the same time…coincidence?

  35. #35 |  CyniCAl | 

    This is a great opportunity for Balko to dissect the sycophantic, stenographic press as it breathlessly and askeptically repeats every word supplied to it by the government as gospel truth.

    Now is certainly no time for reason and doubt, it is a time for mindless jingoism and State-worship as we eagerly await the revelation of the identity of our new national bogeyman.

    Cue retaliation, reaction by eradication of all remaining civil liberties on three … two … one ….

  36. #36 |  Whim | 

    How did police serving as school “Resource Officers” end up in all of our public schools?

    Incrementally, of course.

    It started in large metropolitan schools that were experiencing drug, crime and behavioral problems, circa the melodramatic description of public schools in the movie “The Blackboard Jungle”.

    Then, middle schools starting attracting police attention, because of the genesis of bad behavior, crime, sexual promiscuity, and drugs begin during the period of puberty.

    School districts also like having control of their own police force, which is answerable to the School Superintendent, and not to the local police department. That way, real crimes and the school district’s legal liability can be more easily covered up. Like when school campus rapes do not get reported to the police…..

    Police also like to either moonlight as school resource officers, or land easy and safe jobs after they become police department retirees.

  37. #37 |  cobaco | 

    Apperently we now have fashion police

  38. #38 |  albatross | 

    The Thernstrom piece was pretty good. I think it reflects a reality of journalism, though–journalists tend to report on the concerns of the people currently in power or close to it, because those are their sources. Dilution of black voters and the end of racial gerrymandering seem like really good things for the country, but are very bad news for many of the black political leaders whose position depends on those safe gerrymandered districts and concentrated black voters. (This is similar to the way that hispanic elected officials and activists tended to be much more favorable to bilingual education for Spanish speakers than hispanic parents, who sensibly wanted their kids immersed in English.) Ghettoes in general may not be very good for the people stuck in them, but they’re still someone’s power base, and that someone has zero interest in seeing them abolished.

  39. #39 |  Brandon | 

    Osama Bin Laden is dead! Now we can drop Homeland Security, the TSA, and the Patriot Act, right? That’ll help with the deficit!

  40. #40 |  Brandon | 

    “”In the wake of this operation, there may be a heightened threat to the U.S. homeland,” a U.S. official said.”

    Goddammit!

  41. #41 |  FriendsOfBones | 

    Cincinnati Police corruption has led to the fatal shooting of an innocent man, ten years after the riots. David Hebert, “Bones” to many of us across the country, was shot and killed by Cincinnati Police April 18th, and they have no proof as to why they did it. They’ve lied, intimidated witnesses, covered it all up, lost the cruiser cam footage from 4 cruisers.

    The officer who shot him tasered an innocent person two years ago, and has shot two other people in his five years on the force. Bones was 40 years old, weighed 115 lbs, and had no criminal record of violence.

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