Saturday Links

Saturday, August 13th, 2011
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49 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  primus | 

    The item on the GOP’s search for a candidate has the BEST picture of Michelle Bachman. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  2. #2 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Michele Bachmann tries out a local delicacy at the Iowa State Fair – a foot-long corn dog. Photo: Toby Harnden”

    LMFAO! I believe they also call that the “Deep Throat Dog.” Thanks for the Saturday morning laugh, Radley. Now I will read through the rest of the morning links to get my nut punch.

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    a GREAT caption for the elephant photo!

    the cell phone shutdown is pretty disturbing- are there lots of situations this could happen or is BART a unique entity because the subway’s underground?

  4. #4 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “The operators of the Bay Area Rapid Transit subway system temporarily shut down cell service last night in four downtown San Francisco stations to interfere with a protest over a shooting by a BART police officer, a spokesman for the system said today.”

    Damn. That’s some “Bourne Identity” shit right there. Did they kill the CCTV cameras for half an hour so the BART cops could wade into the protesters and “teach them a little respect.” Way to make yourselves look even worse, BART!

  5. #5 |  Government Sucks | 

    Don’t you think the elephant photo could be applied to both major political parties? Why just pick on the republicans? A little disappointed with the show of bias.

  6. #6 |  freebob | 

    “Not touching this one.”
    I think we’ve found the next cover of Newsweek.

  7. #7 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    What amazes me about the upcoming Presidential Election is that it really seems to come down to the question: Will Evangelicals vote for a Mormon en masse?

    Obama will easily beat Perry, Pawlenty, or Bachmann Turner Overdrive if one of the two Mormons can’t win the nomination. So then it comes down to religion. What a fucked up country this is. Headline number 2 really summed things up nicely.

  8. #8 |  freebob | 

    Just in case someone has never heard of Gary Webb:
    http://www.mega.nu/ampp/webb.html
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1888363932/theagitator-20/

  9. #9 |  curethedots | 

    I’d like to see more prominent coverage on the BART shut down. The tech blogs are covering it in droves, but the more shame that can be brought on BART the better.

    Same with the UK trying to limit social media access in response to the riots..

    Scary precedents being sought with a vocal reaction needed regardless if you are Libertarian, Democrat, Republican, etc.

  10. #10 |  Stephen | 

    Bachmann really needs to learn how the media works and never give those kind of photo ops. She should have used a knife to slice the sausage into thin slices.

  11. #11 |  Radley Balko | 

    Don’t you think the elephant photo could be applied to both major political parties? Why just pick on the republicans? A little disappointed with the show of bias.

    Keep thinking about what you just wrote.

  12. #12 |  albatross | 

    I expect one lesson from the Arab Spring, los indignados, the London riots, etc., will be that the authorities will want to control when and how the citizens may communicate. This i awful in many ways, however, one core one is the personal safety one. If there are riots where I am, I’d like to be able to call the police for help, or call my wife and tell her “I’m holing up in this hotel till this blows over,” or share information about where the rioting is happening so I and others can avoid getting beaten up by a gang of thugs. But that will be shut down in order to make the authorities’ job easier. And I expect this to become a standard part of all protests, peaceful political ones especially included.

  13. #13 |  Michael Pack | 

    About the tons of cocaine.Is’t this how CI’s work.They commit crimes while giving imformation.That’s how undercover cops work too,although there’s a line their not to cross.( right).That’s the biggest flaw in the WOD,you need to break the law to enforce it.

  14. #14 |  DoubleU | 

    #12 albatross
    Everything is being put into place and being tested. Your cell phones track you, your EZpass tracks you (not just at toll booths) all your emails are tracked, and your digital phone calls are tracked. Cameras are being put up on every intersection.
    The police SWAT raids are becoming common place. TV shows feature wise cracking police abusing civil liberties to get the job done.
    etc
    The authorities are doing it because they can.

  15. #15 |  Rune | 

    @Government Sucks

    And while you are thinking, let me give you a hint: Traditional animal representation of US parties

  16. #16 |  Laura Victoria | 

    #15 and Radley. This party animal thing reminds me of my days as a criminal defense attorney in SF. Much to my distaste, I had to pal around with statist Dems at legal/political fundraisers, etc. Anyhow, I was talking to Angela Alioto, who was sporting an elephant pin. (This would be the same AA who took 7 tries to pass the bar). I made a little joke about the irony of it (that was pretty obvious), and she was like, Huh. What do you mean? You’d think a Dem elected official would get it, but it least I got why it took her 7 tries to pass the bar exam.

  17. #17 |  EH | 

    The Bachmann pic reminds me of a previous classic:

    http://whosyourcaddie.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Golf_Trophy.jpg

  18. #18 |  EH | 

    As for BART, I was thinking last night that maybe we need a “Charles’ Law,” that makes it a felony for mass communications to be disrupted by any organization that receives tax dollars.

  19. #19 |  New York Cynic | 

    There is already an excellent Republican candidate, his name is Ron Paul. However that would require Republicans and Conservatives to give up their love for statism and jackboot thuggery which I dont see happening.

  20. #20 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    Bachmann really needs to learn how the media works and never give those kind of photo ops.

    At the risk of giving her too much credit, these sorts of things give her the opportunity to play the victim, “look how mean the media is to me!”. It works for Palin.

  21. #21 |  JS | 

    New York Cynic “There is already an excellent Republican candidate, his name is Ron Paul.”

    lol he sure Giuliani’d Rick Santorum the other night.

  22. #22 |  DoubleU | 

    Mrs. Bachmann liked it so much she went back for a second corndog.
    http://kurlander.blogspot.com/2011/08/michele-bachmann-no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o.html

  23. #23 |  JS | 

    If she can do that to a corndog just think what….oh never mind.

  24. #24 |  jnc | 

    Regarding BART: A few weeks ago some homeless asshole started to throw a knife at a BART cop and the cop drilled him twice with his .40. Then a bunch of other assholes started protesting by shutting down BART and stopping the trains from running. Hundreds of thousands a people a day depend on BART to go from SF to the East Bay.

    Word got out about another planned shutdown to be coordinated by txt msg by the assholes so BART asked cellular companies to shut down service for antennas ON BARTS PROPERTY underground.

    Commendable and perfectly legal. Bravo BART.

  25. #25 |  Les | 

    @24, the facts of the shooting are hardly clear, unless you reflexively believe the cops’ version. And whether or not a demonstration inconveniences people isn’t really relevant as to the legality or appropriateness of shutting down cell phone service by a public entity.

  26. #26 |  hamburglar007 | 

    ON BARTS PROPERTY
    i.e. public property

  27. #27 |  jnc | 

    @25 Actually, the facts are pretty damn clear. The cop says that the homeless asshole was yelling, waving a knife and drew his arm back to throw the knife. The cop defended himself. The video shows the knife going through the air to the right of the officer, apparently hitting a stopped BART train out of frame, and then (back on video) going back to the cops left and skidding across the platform.

    There is no question about the “legality” of asking cell phone providers to shut down service on BART property. Check out Volokh consipiracy for the legal analysis. You, like many people, are confusing “I don’t like it” with “unconstitutional.”

    And, are you sitting down, it is perfectly legal for BART to arrest people for protesting on BART platforms. There is no right to assembly in such locations. Again, see Volokh.

  28. #28 |  George E | 

    @Government Sucks — there’s no bias here. It’s just coincidence that Radley forgot to ID that suspended MS judge as a Dem. And it was reasonable to believe that the Rep legislator from IN was going to propose marriage to the 18 year old from Craigslist. Yes, it may seem like bias that the mistakes and oversights generally seem to go in one direction, but but but ….

  29. #29 |  Les | 

    #27, facts are always clear if you describe facts as “The cop says…” There were other witnesses who said the man wasn’t really a threat. The fact that the knife flew out of his hands when he was shot doesn’t mean he needed to be shot. Again, I’m not saying the cop was right or wrong, I’m just saying that, unless you assume that cops always tell the truth and always respond appropriately to threats, the facts are not clear.

    And BART didn’t “ask cell phone providers to shut down service.” They shut down the service and informed the providers they were doing so. That’s a big difference.

    I’m also confused as to why you’d suggest that I thought any of this was “unconstitutional” as nothing in my post suggested as much. Again, I only said that the facts of the shooting were unclear and demonstrations don’t dictate the legality or appropriateness of shutting down cell phone service. This is hardly radical.

    Finally, I know and agree that it’s perfectly legal to arrest people protesting on BART platforms. But that has nothing to do with a public entity unilaterally shutting down cell phone service.

  30. #30 |  jnc | 

    @29 – Let’s see, first you say the facts aren’t clear and now you say the “knife flew out of his hands when he was shot.” So how do you know that if the facts aren’t clear? Which is it? I think I will believe the videotape, which is consistent with what the cop says and contrary to your version. (And by the way, if you have some asshole waving a knife around on a BART platform with lots of bystanders as can be seen in the videotape, that is a threat. End of analysis, shoot him.)

    Oh. so you are not questioning the “constitutionality” of shutting down the service, just the “legality”? Ummmkay. So you think there might be some breach of contract between BART and the cellular providers? That’s what your complaining about? What is the “legality” issue if not the constitutional one?

  31. #31 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    jnc, you haven’t mentioned that this was an isolated incident, and that the officers followed all procedures.

  32. #32 |  Les | 

    @30, it should be obvious that “the facts aren’t clear” doesn’t mean “NONE of the facts are clear.” Will you next be pointing out that since we know this happened on a BART platform, then the facts must be clear?

    It’s false that you can see anyone “waving a knife around” on the BART platform from the video. I get that you think that anyone who takes a knife out around a cop deserves to be shot, but there’s no reason to make stuff up. There were witnesses who weren’t as nervous about this guy as the cops were (as cops often are).

    As far as shutting down the cell phone service, if someone disconnects any service I’m paying for without my permission or the permission of the service provider, I’d say the legality of that is questionable. I don’t know what the constitution has to do with it.

    Again, I’m not concluding anything. Maybe it was legal. Maybe that guy was a clear and immediate threat to the officers. I don’t know. But I do know that knee-jerk judgments are usually not the best ones.

  33. #33 |  jnc | 

    @32 In other words, you have no facts or evidence to support your assertion that the “knife flew out of his hands when he was shot.”

    From the video you can see a knife flying through the air towards the cop. Witnesses confirm that the guy was waving the knife around and did not drop it when asked. Oh gosh, but they weren’t as nervous as the cop? That’s what you got?

    “if someone disconnects any service I’m paying for without my permission or the permission of the service provider, I’d say the legality of that is questionable.” You can say whatever you want about legality. But you might want to have a read through your TOS agreement with your cellular provider – you know the one you apparently think gives you the legal right to uninterrupted cellular service.

    “Again, I’m not concluding anything. ..But I do know that knee-jerk judgments are usually not the best ones.” Oh you mean the one about the knife magically flying out of his hand as he was shot? That kind of knee-jerk judgment?

    @31 I don’t care whether it was isolated or not. Knife waving assholes should get popped EVERY TIME.

  34. #34 |  SamK | 

    I’m not terribly fond of jnc’s philosophical stance, but I just watched that video…the cop isn’t all jacked up looking for trouble…he doesn’t even see the guy until a few moments before shooting him and that knife was definitel an assault on the guy. With more time to think I might ignore the drunk’s attempt to throw it because i’ve known near zero people who can accurately throw a knife sober…but this really is an instance of a cop having seconds to react and making a reasonable decision…to me.

    I think it’s a bit of an open question whether free speech is covered by communications. I’m the token commie around here (read: republican 20 years ago) so I think it should…but it’s not perfectly clear either…and the shooting was as close to justified as I think a shooting can be. It’s not like Oscar Grant.

  35. #35 |  hamburglar007 | 

    I hope it is revealed that Bachmann has an illegitimate child with that corn dog, consequently derailing her political aspirations.

  36. #36 |  jnc | 

    Sam K – I agree that the Grant shooting was an outrage. I think the penalty should have been much greater, even if it was merely negligence on the cop’s part (mistaking his service pistol for his Taser).

    It is an interesting question though – there was a post here recently about whether a woman who was watching a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 year old should be criminally charged for letting the children wander off and one of them drowned. I agreed with the prosecutor that it was possible endangerment and that she should be charged to let a jury sort it out. Radley thought that was “insane” and several posters agreed noting that it was “just a mistake.” I wonder if those folks think that Mehserle (the cop who shot Grant) should not have been charged because it was “just a mistake” …

  37. #37 |  Kristen | 

    Dear fellows: I am in an airport, reading The Agitator and taking pics of airplanes. If I don’t show up in the comments for a while, call a good lawyer. Kthxbye.

  38. #38 |  Les | 

    #33, the cop shot and the knife flew out of his hands. Did the cop shoot as the knife was being thrown? Did the force of the shots cause the knife to fly? I don’t know. Neither do you. But, like you said, it doesn’t matter to you if the guy was a threat or not. He had a knife out and, therefore, deserved to die. There’s really no point in discussing it anymore as your position is so simple, statist, and fear-based.

    Pretending that I believe that my provider owes me uninterrupted service when I was very clear in stating that the issue is with a third party, a tax funded party, unilaterally deciding to disrupt the service, is rather consistent with your emotional, shrill, and dishonest methods of discourse.

    Your mind is made up about the facts and about strangers who might disagree with you. And your certainty is stronger than your courtesy, so, respond if you can’t help yourself, but I certainly won’t as there’s obviously there’s no point in this exchange. Adios, amoeba.

  39. #39 |  SamK | 

    Heh…I find it handy to be careful about getting worked up about responses around here. Even Radley says things that I think of as dogma rather than well thought out responses (or well thought out but not well-grounded or…hell, I just disagree with the reasoning behind). I’m torn on the instance you’re referencing as I think it likely that it’s over-reaching on the part of the law but it’s also entirely possible that the short article doesn’t include enough information to outline what may be an honest case of negligence. I’ve cared for very young children and they do need a fair bit of attention…they also do tend to get into or out of things when you least expect it. Given the tone and focus of this site I’m willing to forgive a degree of assumption for some feel good bitching.

  40. #40 |  JOR | 

    “A few weeks ago some homeless asshole started to throw a knife at a BART cop and the cop drilled him twice with his .40.”

    Throwing a knife at a cop is a horrible thing to do. Seriously, if you have a knife you STAB with it. If you throw the damned thing you just make yourself look stupid. And then you don’t have a knife.

  41. #41 |  JS | 

    Kristen, If they do get you just remember it’s for the good of the Fatherland!

  42. #42 |  perlhaqr | 

    Government Sucks: If you find us a picture of someone fisting a donkey, I’m sure we’ll be happy to make a snarky comment about Democrats and titter appropriately. :)

    New York Cynic: I’m actually vastly disappointed in Ron Paul. He said that if Gary Johnson ran for president in ’12, he’d stay out of the race and support Gary. Johnson is running. Paul has remained in the race. It’s really sad to see Paul acting like just another politician who doesn’t really mean the things he says.

  43. #43 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    In re Bachman and the corndog: Are pictures of male candidates eating corndogs just as funny, and for the same reason?

  44. #44 |  jnc | 

    @38 So Les says all of the facts aren’t known and then he says “the fact” that the knife flew out of his hands as he was shot” I call him on it and now he’s moved on to to something else.

    “it doesn’t matter to you if the guy was a threat or not. He had a knife out and, therefore, deserved to die. ”

    Actually the reason he was a threat was because he had a knife out, every witness who saw it confirms this, every witness who was within earshot confirms that the cop told him repeatedly to put it down. The copy says he shot when the homeless asshole drew his arm back to throw the knife. The video shows the knife flying through the air towards the cop just after the shots were fired. I am sorry if reality doesn’t comport with the narrative you have running through your head. I guess that’s why do decline to talk about the “facts” that are known.

    There’s really no point in discussing it anymore as your position is so simple, statist, and fear-based.

    “Pretending that I believe that my provider owes me uninterrupted service when I was very clear in stating that the issue is with a third party, a tax funded party, unilaterally deciding to disrupt the service, is rather consistent with your emotional, shrill, and dishonest methods of discourse.”

    Oh, we’re back to that. Let’s see, you’ve conceded there isn’t a constitutional issue with what BART did just some nebulous “legality” question. Okay, so you think someone might have a tort claim against BART for interfering with their contract with their cellular provider or something? I mean if it isn’t a constitutional claim what is it? It’s interesting that you say that I am dishonest when you get repeatedly called on your bullshit “facts” and bullshit legal posturing and then just squirt ink and scoot away.

    “Your mind is made up about the facts and about strangers who might disagree with you.”

    No. My mind is made up about what few facts there are as confirmed by the cop, strangers, and the video. There is lots that is unknown. But, unlike you, the I don’t make shit up.

  45. #45 |  thorn | 

    Ya know… I’m not an LEO apologist. Really quite the opposite. But if some guy starts waving a knife around or throwing it in my direction, I’m going to shoot him a couple of times myself.

    I’ll at least be fair and give a cop the same leeway on this one.

  46. #46 |  H. Rearden | 

    I have no insight on the BART shooting in particular, but why do I have the feeling that if it was some citizen with a concealed carry permit who shot this knife wielding homeless guy, we’d all be up in arms that he was being prosecuted for manslaughter?

  47. #47 |  EH | 

    thorn: i might, if cops knew how to shoot anywhere but center mass.

  48. #48 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I am sorry if reality doesn’t comport with the narrative you have running through your head.

    THIS is the narrative I hate. Can we agree to a narrative where we admit narrative is overused?

  49. #49 |  albatross | 

    Nitpick: An action by the police or other parts of the government can be illegal without being unconstitutional. For example, when a policeman is arrested for demanding bribes, I don’t think theres any kind of constitutional issue, just a matter of criminal law.

    IMO it’s also spectacularly bad policy to have anyone have the authority to shut down communications networks whenever they feel like it. The overwhelming majority of uses for that power are bad ones, and with no review (even at the judge issued rubber stamp level) and maybe not even a requirement to notify the public how often it has been done, the bad uses
    become easier and less likely to land anyone in hot water.

    When China or Egypt or Bahrain shut down communication networks to suppress demonstrations, most people in the US understand what to call it. The same words apply to local police shutting down communications networks to suppress demonstrations.

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