Morning Links

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

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74 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  JS | 

    I don’t agree that training would have helped in the Saint Bernard case. You can’t train sadism, arrogance and cruelty out of someone.

  2. #2 |  qwints | 

    I really don’t see the point of “Leiby’s Law?” Why would the state need to authorize stickers saying their employees had a background check? The bright side, I suppose, is that it doesn’t seem to create a new criminal offense.

  3. #3 |  Robert | 

    Maybe he was traumatized by “Cujo” as a kid.

    Yeah, right.

  4. #4 |  Jason | 

    The jury felt the guy arrested for resisting arrest was wronged, yet they convicted him anyways. Compliant, supine, spineless, badge-licking losers.

  5. #5 |  David | 

    #2: Pretty much. A law named after a dead kid that creates an opt-in program with no criminal penalties for noncompliance? I think we’re getting off easy here.

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Headline of the day.

    LOL! The Arabs are so behind the times when it comes to crusades involving imaginary gods and demons. Hell, I hear they are so friggin’ backwards that they even dispute the well known fact that God gave Jerusalem to the Jews.

  7. #7 |  Stephen | 

    Silly Brits…

    I hate some of their stuff too.

    I’m in Texas, a boot is something that goes on your foot!

  8. #8 |  marco73 | 

    #4 – And does that judge have any knowledge of the law, at all? Because the defendent, who speaks no English and has a child’s mind, declines to take the witness stand, the judge comes down HARDER on him at sentencing.
    IMHO, the jury was trying to make a deal with the judge: sure, we’ll go ahead and find him guilty, but just give him some sort of minor fine and let him go.
    But the judge, who wants to stay on the good side of the cops, sentences this guy to 30 days, starting immediately, and a large fine.
    I hope the civil suit yields a large payout to this guy.

  9. #9 |  Mario | 

    On the Americanisms:

    48. “I got it for free” is a pet hate. You got it “free” not “for free”. You don’t get something cheap and say you got it “for cheap” do you? Mark Jones, Plymouth

    Who wants to tell the poor bastard that some people do say that they got something “for cheap”?

    By they way, if you were claiming to speak the Queen’s English, wouldn’t you say “I got this cheaply“?

  10. #10 |  Rune | 


    And a trunk is the main supporting body of a tree or what’s attached to the face of an elephant ^_^

  11. #11 |  Mattocracy | 

    I didn’t realize those were all americanisms. But hey, at least we pronounce aluminum correctly.

  12. #12 |  David | 

    “The pedicabs are obviously doing much more than driving a bike,” he said. “The pedicabs are obviously out at the National Mall to make cold hard American cash.”

    And that’s just un-American.

  13. #13 |  Roho | 

    “I think your actions put you and the officers in harm’s way. This could have been easily avoided.”

    Yeah! Go justice! He’ll think twice before doing *that* again. Another dangerous criminal off the streets. Who cares if he was technically never *on* the streets, or even outside his own home, and that he didn’t technically *do* anything other than sit terrified in his own bathroom as large men with guns screamed at him in a language he doesn’t understand. His actions totally put those cops in danger. Anyone who says otherwise hates our children.

    Why won’t you think of the children?

  14. #14 |  MattJ | 

    @ Rune:

    This is also a trunk:

    They used to put these on the backs of wagons, and later automobiles. For storage. Later they started integrating them into the automobile design.

  15. #15 |  DarkEFang | 

    Most of that list of “Americanisms” consists of slang, regional colloquialisms and business-speak that only a fraction of the population uses.

    “40.I am increasingly hearing the phrase “that’ll learn you” – when the English (and more correct) version was always “that’ll teach you”. What a ridiculous phrase! Tabitha, London”

    Of course it’s a ridiculous phrase. People say that ironically.

  16. #16 |  djm | 

    I quite like “my bad,” it’s saying sorry when you’re not really. Like when someone says “I’m so sorry,” because they were stuck in traffic. You’re not sorry. There was nothing you could do about it. There’s no reason to be sorry. If brits are uncomfortable with “my bad, traffic sucked” they could replace it with “the motorway was bollocksed, the cunts,” and I would be equally happy.

  17. #17 |  Pablo | 

    The “resisting arrest” story is just appalling. WTF did the judge think he should do, call an interpreter over to the house while the police were invading it? I’d also like to know more about the call made by the neighbor which started the whole thing.

    I’ll bet a week’s pay no one on the jury knew anything about their power to nullify.

  18. #18 |  B | 

    @4 Jason:

    “The jury felt the guy arrested for resisting arrest was wronged, yet they convicted him anyways. Compliant, supine, spineless, badge-licking losers.”

    Do Americans even know about jury nullification? Do Judges? Can you even talk about it openly? What are the odds that if you ask the judge about jury nullification while deliberating, he finds you in contempt.

    There needs to be a mandatory Miranda style warning to juries. They need to know what jury nullification is and they need to hear it from from the judge’s mouth.

  19. #19 |  ClubMedSux | 

    RE: Man convicted of “resisting arrest” after police mistake him for a burglar in his own home…

    I’m guessing that Patrick Gettrust won’t have as much of an issue with juries after this verdict. Actually, he’s probably starting a petition to get that jury hired as twelve of his beloved “professional jurors.”

  20. #20 |  Mike H | 

    Cops: Boy, we made a big mistake invading the home of a mentally handicapped man, then beating and arresting him. How should we handle this?

    DA: Relax, we’ll tarnish his reputation by charging, convicting and jailing him, and while that may not intimidate his fancy lawyer, his ensuing civil rights lawsuit will be that much harder to win!

  21. #21 |  Kristen | 

    Brits objecting to American English?!?!? HAHAHAHAA!

    “Mind the gap”, anyone? “Way out” for exit? And the bastards don’t even pronounce their R’s!

  22. #22 |  Chuchundra | 

    The country that invented Cockney rhyming slang has no standing to critique our language usage.

  23. #23 |  Maria | 

    “There needs to be a mandatory Miranda style warning to juries. They need to know what jury nullification is and they need to hear it from from the judge’s mouth.”


    But it will never happen. The mere idea of the people utilizing their power of citizens is genuinely appalling to many judges and attorneys.

  24. #24 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Americans and Brits; “Two people separated by a common language”

  25. #25 |  Rune | 


    No silly, that is a travel chest ^_^

  26. #26 |  BoogaFrito | 

    And the bastards don’t even pronounce their R’s!

    Unless a word ends in “A.” Just so you know, that big country in East Asia is NOT called “Chiner.”

  27. #27 |  Rune | 

    Of course, both UK and American parlance with regards to cars does not hold up to those of my native language. Translated verbatim, Boot/trunk is ‘luggage compartment’ and bonnet/hood is ‘motor helmet’ which makes imminently more sense as a helmet is made of metal, bonnets or hoods not so ^_^

  28. #28 |  Bernard | 

    I think we should propose a Sauceda’s Law in which police who attack a person behaving themselves in their own home are put in stocks, pelted with vegetables and then summarily dismissed without any employment rights.

    As a reactionary piece of legislation it might lead to a few police officers being unfairly treated, but I think it’s a small price to pay to protect the children who might otherwise be harmed by police invasions of the home.

  29. #29 |  qwints | 

    But Bernard, you forgot the proper hierarchy of values:

    1) Cops
    2) Soldiers
    3) Children

  30. #30 |  WWJGD | 

    Oh look, Balloon Juice going silly over evil-corporate-mega-lord Borders going out of business. RIP Classic Americana Institution squashed by Corporate Greed.

  31. #31 |  Burlyman78 | 

    Puppycide — The problem is, this *is* their training. They are trained to shoot dogs if the dogs move toward them in what they perceive as a “threatening” manner. The heavy emphasis on training to “triggers” is the core police training problem, as far as I can tell. If (X), then (y). If a person does not comply with an order, tell them you will tase them if they don’t comply; if they still don’t comply, tase them, etc. Training to “triggers” can be useful, but not when they replace thinking, which I think is what’s happened in police departments today.

  32. #32 |  Andrew S. | 

    Why yes. The judge’s comments *were* particularly appalling:

    Taking a few moments to collect his thoughts, Flournoy then addressed Sauceda directly. The dialogue of the trial was delivered in Spanish to Sauceda, via translator Josefina Villanueva. Flournoy told Sauceda because he did not take the stand in his own defense it was difficult for him to sympathize with his situation.

    “I haven’t heard from you and I have no idea why you didn’t speak. That causes me some trouble. I don’t agree with the notion you are a victim in this case,” Flournoy said. “I think your actions put you and the officers in harm’s way. This could have been easily avoided.”


    I’d be surprised, but then again I figure that the death of the 5th Amendment is buried somewhere in the PATRIOT Act.

  33. #33 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    I didn’t realize those were all americanisms. But hey, at least we pronounce aluminum correctly.

    Some of them aren’t. For example, #27 is “oftentimes”:

    “And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
    The instruments of darkness tell us truths,”
    — Macbeth, Act I, Scene 3

    Likewise someone complains about the phrase “Scots-Irish” being contradictory, having apparently never learned about The Plantation of Ulster.

    Apparently one thing Americans and the British have in common is ignorance of their own culture and history combined with a need to lecture others on things they know nothing about.

  34. #34 |  Andrew S. | 

    #23 | Maria | July 21st, 2011 at 10:08 am

    But it will never happen. The mere idea of the people utilizing their power of citizens is genuinely appalling to many judges and attorneys.

    Not to this attorney. Last time I had jury duty, while my fellow prospective jurors and I were waiting in the courtroom hallway for voir dire, I told a group of them (since people were asking me all kinds of questions once they found out I’m an attorney) about jury nullification and its history and reasons for it. The case they were looking for a jury for wasn’t a nullification case (it was a first degree murder case). But while I had the chance, I wanted to get the message out. Who knows, it might make one of them think in the future.

  35. #35 |  Andrew S. | 

    Doesn’t that “Leiby’s Law” already exist?

  36. #36 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Another puppycide..”

    After all we’ve been through…

    Isn’t it time for Lassie’s law? Anyone speak legalese?

  37. #37 |  Ed Dunkle | 

    I could NOT care less! Well, actually I could.

  38. #38 |  Charles | 

    Can someone explain why that judges comments are not immediate grounds for a retrial? Or something? Because he has openly admitted that he based his sentencing on a man invoking his constitutional rights. Don’t they tell juries not to take that into account? Why is it different for the sentencing judge to do so?

  39. #39 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

    I called the defense attorney in the Lufkin case because I could tell from the story that Mr. Saucedo is developmentally disabled. I represent clients who care for people like that and interactions between my client’s clients and cops are so fraught with danger.

    According to the defense attorney, the prosecutor had dismissed the resisting arrest charge. When the defense attorney filed a notice of federal lawsuit based on Mr. Saucedo getting the hell beat out of him, the prosecutor refiled the charges.

    Moreover, the jury’s note actually said that the jury thought that Mr. Saucedo had been “abused.” I hope that the federal jury agrees.

  40. #40 |  Irving Washington | 

    I swear I’ve heard more than one of those “Americanisms” from British people. The Rolling Stones’ Waiting on a Friend comes to mind.

  41. #41 |  PeeDub | 

    The English are about their language the same way they are about soccer. They believe they still own the bloody things.

  42. #42 |  Shorter | 

    Man, if there is one good way to ruin my morning, it’s to follow the puppycide links.

  43. #43 |  Bot | 

    My favorite Americanism that Brits hate is “wrong side of the road.” To all Brits: it is NOT “the other side” – you twits drive on the fricken WRONG side. Dumbasses.

  44. #44 |  DarkEFang | 

    I’m finding the comments on that article about annoying Americanisms fascinating. For instance, did you know we’re responsible for people in the UK saying “I knocked his door”? And we apparently also spell laser with a “z” (lazer).

  45. #45 |  Chris in AL | 

    From the Witchcraft article:

    “He said that such beliefs were more prevalent among older, rural and often illiterate individuals…” And apparently the government.

  46. #46 |  bendover | 

    I apologize – this will be the last threadjack I make concerning this video:

    Cop threatens to execute concealed carry holder during traffic stop.

  47. #47 |  Cyto | 

    I’d say the judge’s comments are prima-facie evidence for a reversal of the sentence. He straight up admits that he takes the defendant’s exercise of his rights into account in issuing a harsher sentence. This is law school 101 stuff and clearly not permissible.

    Judge should lose his job over such a fundamental error. Prosecutor should lose his job and be disbarred for using a criminal prosecution as recrimination/deterrent for a civil rights lawsuit.

  48. #48 |  Stephen | 

    OK, how about a cool cop video? Just for a change of pace. :)

  49. #49 |  Aresen | 

    RE: Americanisms the British loathe.


  50. #50 |  James D | 

    Radley, you never seem to read my emails (probably because you get a million) so posting this here (ignore the ‘site’ – if you’re opposed to InfoWars – just watch the DHS video).

    “In the course of the 10 minute clip, a myriad of different behaviors are characterized as terrorism, including opposing surveillance, using a video camera, talking to police officers, wearing hoodies, driving vans, writing on a piece of paper, and using a cell phone recording application.”

  51. #51 |  Anthony | 

    Park police:
    You know you live in a polce state hn you have specail police for everything, especially parks.

  52. #52 |  Anthony | 

    How sad is it that “a cool cop video” is one where a cop admits that you have a right to carry and “this is not a third world country” but I’m still going to stop, disarm you and demand identification. You know, for the cop’s safety.
    May our chains hang lightly around our necks.

  53. #53 |  overgoverned | 

    From the story about the deputy sheriff who buried the dog alive:

    “After a two-week internal investigation, Taylor was fired.”

    That’s a miracle on the order of the loaves and fishes. He was 1.) fired, 2.) quickly. Where’s the year of paid administrative leave?

  54. #54 |  Cyto | 

    #44 | bendover |

    Wow, that’s some grade-A roid rage there. I wonder how well his immunity will protect him… he’s guilty of terroristic threats, death threats, criminal coercion, false arrest, false imprisonment, making false statements under oath – at a minimum. I’m sure there’s other criminal statutes.

    If the Turner murder is anything to judge by, the fact that there were multiple officers present means you can also charge them with participating in a criminal street gang.

    But, if you can actually murder someone in plain view, on video tape, in front of multiple witnesses and not face criminal charges, i really doubt that you can get charged for merely threatening to kill someone, or threatening to pull them over and arrest them and tow their car every time you see them, or threatening to physically assault them if you see them….

  55. #55 |  Highway | 

    I thought “My Bad” was a Sudanese phrase, specifically Manute Bol’s:

  56. #56 |  Highway | 

    And that story about Marco Sauceda is just so horrid. Once again, at every step, someone could have stopped this injustice: Cops could stop hassling him, cops could decline to arrest him, prosecutor could have not charged him, dropped charges later, jury finds not guilty, judge acquits, judge doesn’t give sentence. But no, at all those steps, we *have* to keep railroading a guy who didn’t even threaten the police except in their own overly excitable minds.

    What a way to run a railroad.

  57. #57 |  Cyto | 

    Executive summary of Highway #54:

    “Procedures were followed” – so nobody is culpable.

    Actually, that may have something to do with these cases. If responsibility is spread diffusely, a group will make a decision that no individual will ever make on his own. In this case each cog in the machine believes that some other cog down the line will correct the obvious error.

    I’ve seen this up close and personal in business. We had a department that had some quality control issues. So they added a review to double-check the work. But problems continued so they added a second reviewer. And a senior reviewer. And a final compliance review. Quality tanked. Each person relied on everyone else to do the review better than them, so the reviews were perfunctory at best. And the original workers knew there were multiple layers of reviews to catch any errors, so they didn’t bother being careful. Counterintuitive, but kinda obvious in hindsight.

    The same goes for all of the “just following the rules” automatons that enforce things like “zero tolerance policies” and “resisting arrest” charges where there is no underlying offense to resist arrest from.

  58. #58 |  Mike | 

    #42, “lazer” is incorrect. Geek trivia time, laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

  59. #59 |  BamBam | 

    Radley, saying that “training would have helped here” implies that training is the issue. The issue is very rarely training, but is sociopaths living out their fantasies and using The State and the police union and qualified immunity as their shields against accountability. As you yourself have said many times, how do mail delivery people, electrical meter people, etc. deal with dogs and not kill them? How is it that the general public doesn’t kill dogs at the slightest “furtive movement”?

  60. #60 |  ‘Resisting arrest’? When police have wrongly invaded your home? « David McElroy | 

    […] This story comes via a link at Radley Balko’s site, the Agitator. Share: […]

  61. #61 |  Pablo | 

    #55 Cyto–you hit the nail on the head. It is called “diffusion of responsibility” and psychologists have talked about it for decades. If lots of people potentially are responsible then the tendency is for no one to do anything b/c they think someone else will. Psychologists started studying it in the 60s after that lady in NYC was stabbed to death in front of dozens of her neighbors, none of whom did anything to help–not even calling the police until after she was dead.

  62. #62 |  Laura Victoria | 

    As a former criminal defense lawyer, I and others often didn’t put criminal defendants on the stand if we thought the judge would think they were lying in their own defense. It was a criminal law truism that judges would sentence higher if your client took the stand and lied.

    I’ve never ever heard of a judge sentencing higher because the client did not take the stand.

  63. #63 |  John | 

    Hey Radley

    Maybe this will make you happy

    though sadly the authors are the sort to look the gift horse in the mouth…

  64. #64 |  lunchstealer | 

    A few of those ‘Americanisms’ are genuinely both ‘American’ and plausibly annoying. But most of the complaints are dumb, and a few are absolutely retarded. A number of them are complaints that we use one word for an idea instead of an entire phrase, which is just foolish. “Put into alphabetical order” is fine if you’ve got all day, but if you’re in a hurry, “alphabetize” says the same thing in a third of the time.

    Perhaps the most egregious example: 31. “Hike” a price. Does that mean people who do that are hikers? No, hikers are ramblers! M Holloway, Accrington

    So if one hikes up one’s skirt, one is taking a cross-country walk up a skirt? Some words have multiple meanings, douchefuck.

  65. #65 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    Bill Line, a National Park Service spokesman, said the pedicabs are engaged in illegal activity when they come onto park service property because they aren’t allowed to make commercial transactions on the National Mall or the park service property around it — including the roads.

    “The pedicabs are obviously doing much more than driving a bike,” he said. “The pedicabs are obviously out at the National Mall to make cold hard American cash.”

    How dare that man earn a living. Voltage is a must.

    Bill Line, sheepfucker or something more sinister? I’m only asking questions.

  66. #66 |  Ted S. | 

    My favorite came courtesy of the BBC quiz show “Brain of Britian” a good 15 years back, when the contestants were asked what Americans call a coffin.

    (Yes, they were looking for the word “casket”, but I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t use the two words interchangeably.)

  67. #67 |  JS | 

    Johnny Clamboat “Bill Line, sheepfucker or something more sinister? I’m only asking questions.”

    It could be both.

  68. #68 |  Bernard | 

    Hi Pablo,

    The Kitty Genovese thing is kind of an urban myth. It really did happen, but the hysteria about all her neighbours watching and not doing anything was entirely made up be the newspapers to get a juicier story.

  69. #69 |  Rojo | 

    All the Brits that submitted to the annoying Americanisms piece can go get stuffed! (Is “go get stuffed” an annoying Americanism?). Our English has diverged, get over it. Similarly, all (hypothetical) Americans submitting to a piece on annoying Britishisms can also go get stuffed.

    I was going to say that there’s nothing I hate worse than language Nazis, but that would obviously be hyperbole. I do dislike ’em though. Language is fluid. It always has been, it always will be.

    Having lived in London (UK), Pune (India), New York, Massachusetts, Texas, and now Oregon at various points over my years, I’ve grown quite fond of the varieties of English that I’ve encountered. In fact, being open to such differences might even enrich one’s understanding of others, I dare say.

    That said, I don’t like “First off,” as in “First off, we should try the lamb.” That one bugs me. Yes, I’m a hypocrite.

    …and some of those “annoying Americanisms” I’ve never heard of.

  70. #70 |  Xenocles | 

    A while ago I came to the conclusion that a culture that feels the need to protect its purity has long since lost its relevance.

  71. #71 |  croaker | 

    @20 And cops wonder why no one respect them anymore. Before long, people will start thinking “I’m going to jail anyway, may as well be for putting this pig in ICU.”

    @23 This actually happens in MD and two other states.

    @32 Actually this should be (and I believe it is) grounds for appeal. A judge basically said that taking the “fif” is something to be punished. The judge should be censured by the bar, presuming he’s a lawyer.

    @39 I figured the prosecution was pure retaliation. That time line should be grounds alone for going after the DA for malicious prosecution.

  72. #72 |  c andrew | 


    Or the means of administering a leather enema.

  73. #73 |  Buzz | 

    “as large men with guns screamed at him in a language he doesn’t understand. ” Screw that. If large men with guns screaming at me in a language I DO understand, locking myself in the bathroom is self preservation. There is no reason for a bunch of cops to enter my house, I’ve broken no laws. I do own firearms, I do have a CC. How do I know they will just detain me until whatever the issue is cleared up? How do I know they just wont start shooting at me? Locked in the bathroom with a cell phone calling lawyers, media, any one else that might provide a small matter of protection sounds like a very good idea.

  74. #74 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I’ll let you know when there’s something about the British that I like.