Bonus Afternoon Links

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Some extra links for you this afternoon, at no additional charge:

  • More “Enhance!” (Via the comments.)
  • Congress begins another attempt to collect reams of personal data under the guise of fighting child porn.
  • Michigan lawmaker wants to expand asset forfeiture to allow police agencies to use forfeited funds for general operations. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Pointing a loaded gun at a reporter’s chest is a pretty moronic way of showing your support for the Second Amendment. And, you know, counterproductive. Just saying.
  • Mitch McConnell says the Casey Anthony trial shows how hard it is for prosecutors to win convictions, which is why we should keep holding Gitmo detainees without trying them. If there were some sort of record for the total cumulative number of wrongful assertions, analogies, conclusions, and factual errors packed into a single sentence, this would be a strong contender.
  • Ah, I see my bounty of wisdom is having just as much impact in my newly adopted home state as it had in my prior adopted home state.
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37 Responses to “Bonus Afternoon Links”

  1. #1 |  dead_elvis | 

    News of note- Randall Adams, the wrongly prosecuted subject of “The Thin Blue Line” (a movie which I imagine is of interest to readers of this blog), passed away.

    http://www.khou.com/news/texas-news/Texas-exoneree-featured-in-Thin-Blue-Line-dies–124529789.html

    Quotable quote:

    “The man you see before you is here by the grace of God. The fact that it took 12 and a half years and a movie to prove my innocence should scare the hell out of everyone in this room and, if it doesn’t, then that scares the hell out of me.

  2. #2 |  TXSwede | 

    How many times does McConnell get to rail against the Constitution and declare his rooting interest against America? Seems like we should be past the point where his power and position should be forfeit.

  3. #3 |  Henry Bowman | 

    Well, pointing a loaded gun at someone is also very much illegal, for good reason. Truly a stupid action, unless you actually wanted to kill the person.

  4. #4 |  Curt | 

    Along similar lines to the reason article, foxnews had an article today about warrants to get your info from facebook on the basis that it’s third party so you have no right to control access or even be aware of the search warrant.

    Best part of the article is reference to 1976 US v. Miller ruling that bank didn’t have to inform customer when it turned over his financial records to BATF. SCOTUS ruled that customer has no 4th amendment protection because records were bank property and he had no legitimate expectation of privacy.

    Just to be clear… I have no legitimate expectation of privacy with regards to my financial records??? I would dare to say that someone most certainly has a very legitimate expectation that their bank records are private. I also expect that government will piss on that privacy, but I still expect that my records should be private.

  5. #5 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    So yea, the UK anti-cp system? Is ISP-run, blocks 600-800 URL’s at any time and does NOT collect any form of personal data. And has told the government to go shove when they’ve tried to expand it’s remit.

    (Oh, they take reports as to certain other forms of illegal content /hosted/ in the UK, for taking action upon, but they don’t include those in their blocklist)

  6. #6 |  Curt | 

    ref: pointing gun at reporters chest

    Another article I read says that Klein also defended herself by saying that she pointed the gun at an empty chair and then the reporter sat down in the chair.

    Kinda seems to miss the point that it was completely inappropriate to have pulled her gun out (especially at the Capitol) and pointed it at anything (other than maybe the ground) to show off her laser sight.

  7. #7 |  DarkEFang | 

    Weapons training 101: Do not point your weapon at anything you do not want to destroy.

  8. #8 |  Mario | 

    dead_elvis @ #1

    Wikipedia has Randall Adams as having died back in October of 2010, and even the article at KHOU which you linked to is not inconsistent with this. Nevertheless, that is a great movie and a great quote.

    I actually knew a gentleman, an English teacher from New York, now retired, who corresponded with Adams after the movie came out but while he was still in prison. (I used to take *Tae Kwon Do* lessons with his sons, and he and my mother would trade off driving duty to lessons.) I believe he encouraged his class of high school seniors to write to him, too. After Adams was released, the gentleman I knew met with him and invited him to dinner at his house. There was a big article in our local paper.

    A woman I worked with, years later, was a student in that man’s class and Adams came to speak to the class. For what it’s worth, and I’m willing to cut the man some slack, maybe jail had hardened him a bit or maybe she was just a tad fainthearted, but she thought he seemed “scary” sitting at the front of the classroom addressing the class.

    In any case, that poor man got a bum rap. He’s lucky to have lived at all, never mind lived long enough to be released from jail for a crime he didn’t commit — killing a Texas cop in cold blood.

  9. #9 |  Cyto | 

    Weapons training 101: Do not point your weapon at anything you do not want to destroy.

    Yeah. Someone shoulda told that to this guy.

    He shot and killed Tarika, who was unarmed, on her knees, holding her 14-month-o­­ld son and complying with orders to get down on the floor (her son was shot twice but survived) because he was startled as others on his SWAT team shot the dogs downstairs.

    If someone had just given him your warning, he could have escaped all those nasty charges. Oh, wait. He was cleared of all wrongdoing. So never mind then….

  10. #10 |  Aresen | 

    Ah, I see my bounty of wisdom is having just as much impact in my newly adopted home state as it had in my prior adopted home state.

    Some of the commenters there seem sane.

    A lot of them are nauseating.

  11. #11 |  Andrew S. | 

    Some of the commenters there seem sane.

    A lot of them are nauseating.

    So, basically, the same as with Radley’s HuffPo article on Caylee’s Law.

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @#4,
    My understanding (spotty) is that state agents of every stripe coerce 3rd parties heavily with all the weapons at their disposal to get all the info they want. If that fails, they get Congress to make a law forcing it.

    Privacy is obviously a big issue today and businesses that can guarantee private transactions will have a stampeded of customers. Of course the state hates privacy and the thought that people will a) skirt an insane tax or b) discuss how to hold the state accountable for being terrible.

    Please try to remember that a state health care system will open up virtually every part of your life to the state. Nothing to worry…if not guilty blah blah blah.

  13. #13 |  jppatter | 

    From the Nashville Caylee’s Law article: ““If a child is missing, the authorities should be notified immediately, not one day or 30 days later.””

    Last time I checked, “24 hours” was “one day”. So by this politicians “logic”, his proposed law already fails his own test.

  14. #14 |  albatross | 

    Boyd:

    Do you think your doctor’s office, insurance company, or hospital will refuse a request from, say, the FBI for all your records? I would be rather surprised if they did.

    As medical records are increasingly made electronic, I assume they’ll just routinely be vacuumed up by the surveillance net, just like all kinds of other information is. Of course, no political hack will *ever* leak information about, say, some whistleblower’s struggles with depression, or his HIV scare. That would never happen, because of course, such officials would surely be prosecuted. After all, it’s not like powerful people can just ignore laws with impunity here in the US. Right?

  15. #15 |  mcmillan | 

    Re: Michigan drug forfeiture
    Of course we need to expand the ability to use forfeiture money for things other than drug enforcement. Otherwise the cops that don’t work drug cases will get jealous of the toys the drug cops are getting to buy.

  16. #16 |  BSK | 

    No comment on this: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/07/12/137792912/reports-cia-tried-to-confirm-bin-laden-dna-using-fake-vaccination-drive

    If they can do it there, why not here?

  17. #17 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Futurama takes the “enhance” joke in the opposite direction:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0n189uwiBE

  18. #18 |  irish red | 

    and it’s turned into a he said/she said: http://thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/07/daniel-zimmerman/senator-lori-klein-gives-ttag-her-side-of-the-story/

  19. #19 |  buzz | 

    “The gun was loaded and there was no safety to keep it from firing.”
    Of course there was. It’s called a “trigger”.
    However, this was:
    1.stupid.
    2.illegal
    3.aggravated assault.
    4.totally against the number one rule of firearms, don’t point any gun, loaded or empty, at anything you don’t plan on shooting.

    The woman is a idiot, and if she has a carry permit should lose it.

  20. #20 |  Andrew S. | 

    One of the other clauses I noticed in that child porn bill is a clause that increases to 20 years the penalty for possession child porn of a child under 12 years old. We’ve reached the point where the penalty for child porn is going to be worse than the penalty for actually molesting a child. Talk about your perverse incentives.

  21. #21 |  BSK | 

    I thought the “Enhance” thing was going to be a spoof. It would have been great if someone edited it so that they were all watching a porno.

  22. #22 |  You’re Not Helping « Americans for Forfeiture Reform | 

    […] via Radley Balko. Share and Enjoy: var SurphaceSettings = { s4id: 'Q392MJV3' }; var _surphld = […]

  23. #23 |  You’re Not Helping « Rough Ol' Boy | 

    […] Story via Radley Balko. […]

  24. #24 |  DocHoliday916 | 

    Poor judgement Senator Klein, very very poor judgement.

  25. #25 |  marco73 | 

    There has never been any issue that demagogues won’t use to advance their agenda. So you have 24 hours to report your child missing?
    Why not just have every parent contact a government agency daily, to report that their child is alive.
    How about hourly?
    And since children may be in school or with someone else for a whole hour, cut out the middle man (parents) and just attach a monitor to every child at birth, that will provide continuous updates to the government that the child is alive. The monitor could be removed at age 18, or 21, or whatever, depending on what the law is at the time.
    And why only for children? Just attach a monitor to every person to be continuously monitored.
    There may be some old foggies who would invoke some sort of nonsense like the Constitution, but dammit, its for the CHILDREN!

  26. #26 |  Dwight Brown | 

    According to the NYT obit, Randall Dale Adams died October 30, 2010, but his death wasn’t “widely reported” until late June of this year. The NYT obit is dated June 25th.

  27. #27 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “The gun was loaded and there was no safety to keep it from firing.”

    Maybe a dumb question, but do they even make guns without safeties nowadays? If so, I’m mildly surprised that’s legal.

  28. #28 |  Oscar | 

    Re: Michigan drug forfeiture. Here’s the first thought that went through my mind when I read this article. Michigan has serious budget problems. If this bill passes, then sometime in the near future the state and local governments of Michigan will start cutting police budgets to save money, figuring that police agencies can make up the difference through asset forfeitures.

  29. #29 |  Dwight Brown | 

    “Maybe a dumb question, but do they even make guns without safeties nowadays?”

    Safeties are extremely rare (almost to the point of non-existence) on revolvers, which are still quite common. (I believe Smith and Wesson still makes the Model 42, which has a grip safety; that’s the only current production example I can think of.)

    (I’m not counting the internal trigger lock on Smith and Wesson revolvers as a safety, at least in the sense I think 2nd of 3 means.)

  30. #30 |  2nd of 3 | 

    Thanks, I’ve only seen or fired shotguns, rifles, or automatic pistols, and they all had a safety. I didn’t know revolvers were different. Are they inherently more difficult to accidently fire, or would a safety interfere with the function or something? I guess I should just google it. :)

  31. #31 |  jcalton | 

    Not sure about everyone else, but the links to the AZ Guardian don’t work for me–they say a subscription is required.
    Here’s an AP version:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jcsheRw4IoCd86wUevqiRwp2uuHg?docId=6c932396f3414f32aed8023a5db91022

  32. #32 |  Dwight Brown | 

    “I didn’t know revolvers were different. Are they inherently more difficult to accidently fire, or would a safety interfere with the function or something?”

    Pretty much the former. With most modern revolvers (certain S&Ws excepted) there’s two ways you can fire them: you can pull the trigger, which brings the hammer back and then releases it. This is called “double action”; because you’re both pulling the hammer back and releasing it, the trigger pull is harder, and it takes more of a conscious effort to fire.

    The other way is to manually pull the hammer back, and then pull the trigger. This is called “single action”: because you’re only releasing the hammer, the trigger pull is generally lighter, and it takes less effort to fire. BUT you have to pull the hammer back first, so there’s still conscious effort involved.

    Early revolvers, like the classic Colt Single Action Army (which you see a lot in old cowboy movies) fire single action only; you have to pull the hammer back between each trigger pull.

    I’d also point out, for the record, that not all automatic pistols have safeties, either. Glock pistols, for example, don’t have a safety in the traditional sense; that’s one of the big deals about the Glock design. (I’m simplifying things a bit here; there’s a safety device built into the trigger that’s activated when the trigger is pulled, and there’s internal safety devices designed to prevent the gun from firing if it is dropped.)

  33. #33 |  Ronald Pottol | 

    In the link from the Truth about guns above, she makes a very coherent explanation for what happened, and why it was (mostly) not her fault, the reporter asked her to show him the weapon, and moved in front of the laser.

    Her explanation is what I would expect from a reasonable, careful, person carrying a gun, so it is likely true, or a very well thought out lie.

    (same link as above) http://thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/07/daniel-zimmerman/senator-lori-klein-gives-ttag-her-side-of-the-story/

  34. #34 |  Matt | 

    @2nd of 3

    I think including external safeties on handguns are incredibly unsafe in most circumstances. A safety is a mechanical device. It can fail, or the human operating it can fail. It should not be relied upon.

    I think this is especially true for people who don’t have firearms experience who come into contact with a gun. Some seem to think “safety” is a magic button that makes the gun into a toy. Check the writeups on accidental shootings; most of them have the shooter claim that “he thought the safety was on” when he shot his friend/sibling/acquaintance/etc.

    I suppose a safety would be OK if you want to carry a 1911 style pistol with a round in the chamber and the hammer back. An external safety is probably the best way to make that gun “safer”.

  35. #35 |  Dwight Brown | 

    “An external safety is probably the best way to make that gun ‘safer’.”

    Is gun! Is not safe!

  36. #36 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “It should not be relied upon. ”

    No, of course not, but I still wouldn’t be comfortable without one. Bike helmets are just a lump of styrofoam, but I’m not going to work without mine. I’m not a gun enthusiast though, so it’s a bit of a moot point for me, I was just curious.

  37. #37 |  Jim Majkowski | 

    Re: Asset Forfeiture

    The bad thing is it may expand efforts to seize property. The good thing is that it may (but not likely) cut down on expansion of drug enforcement, which is the only thing the thefts -oops, seizures — can be devoted to under existing law. As it is, anyone with a pill for which he isn’t carrying his prescription or a roach probably loses any cash he may have on his person, and his passenger(s) may, too. Besides, money being fungible, any money which pays for “drug enforcement” frees up money for other police activities. This is a politician trying to get some name recognition.

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