Morning Links

Friday, August 19th, 2011
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19 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  cjp | 

    Too bad that WM3 article starts with several inflammatory quotes from Steve Branch, rather than, you know, an explanation of how empty the case against the WM3 was.

  2. #2 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: West Memphis 3…

    “Steve Branch said he plans to be at Friday’s hearing.”

    ‘I know that if Echols walks out, I know he’ll have one major question on his mind,’ he said. “And I’ve got the answer for that question. Nowhere on earth.”

    Uh oh. Security better be tight at that hearing. After all Steve Branch has been through, discussion of DNA from a different suspect may not make much difference. Reasonable doubt may sound like legal mumbo jumbo. Like too many people, he probably believes that if the police arrested these guys, and they were convicted, then they are clearly guilty. It is sad to see a person victimized by depraved killers AND sloppy, incomplete or rushed investigative work. So now Mr. Branch just inferred that he is going to “take the law into his own hands,” as the saying goes. Maybe he said it out of frustration, due to the turmoil he’s been through. But maybe he was dead serious.

    This situation should be thought provoking for Agitator readers that endorse anarchism. Here we have three men who may have been falsely convicted, and a grieving father who sounds like he may be inclined to seek his own brand of justice no matter what the law says or does. I don’t intend to go on a rant about this subject, as I sympathize with the motives of the anarchist, and I believe that aspects of anarchist philosophy (mutual aid, voluntary association, etc) are useful, even to non-anarchists. I certainly believe that societal relations should be voluntary to the largest extent possible. With that being said, I ask the anarchists out there, will society truly be less violent if all of us have the absolute right to take the law into our own hands? If formal courts, law enforcement agencies and other institutions are dismantled, who is to say that witch hunts and lynch mobs won’t be the logical replacement. Especially when children are murdered or abused (understand that I am NOT endorsing the way the current system handles these cases either). We can talk all day about mutual protection agencies, private defense providers and all that, but if there is no “law,” in the formal sense, who’s going to stop a Steve Branch from disregarding all that and reaching for his gun?

    To paraphrase Jello Biafra, I’m asking you, not telling you. True principled anarchists will understand why I ask these questions. All systems must be challenged.

  3. #3 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Dick-Snip Vic to Cock Chop Doc: You Prick”

    Holy shit, that is a steamroller of dick jokes. That just blew my mind. Of course it is early.

  4. #4 |  Serpentio | 

    “. . . the West Memphis Three may be released today.”

    The article seems very much slanted to the opinion that the WM3 are guilty. Even the headline (“Deal for West Memphis 3 Could Allow Them to Go Free Friday”) insinuates some sort of corruption by using the word “Deal.” If judicial review has determined that a new hearing is in order, then where’s the deal?

  5. #5 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Why don’t the Registries just focus on repeat offenders, as opposed to
    Romeo and Juliet lovers and other indiscretions?
    They’d save about about a billion dollars.

    Speaking of repeat offenders, I wonder if Julian Heicklen is
    in handcuffs right now. I don’t think Judge Perry liked those “Professor
    types” agitating folks ’round the courthouse. From tyrannyfighters.com:
    # Friday, August 19, 7:30–9:00 am and 11:30 am–1:30 pm: I will distribute fully informed jury literature at the Orange County Courthouse. Others are welcome to join me, but be prepared to be arrested.
    # Friday, August 19, 8:00–11:00 pm: Take pictures of police in downtown Orlando

  6. #6 |  New York Cynic | 

    I hate the “Its for the children” bullshit, it’s right up there with “…it will help poor people”. Alot of these problems facing kids can be solved with parenting, it’s not that difficult to understand. Of course that would take effort, it’s easier for people now adays to cry to the state for help.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    Peru has been at the top of my bucket list for a few years now- that’s been amended to include Bolivia. I’ve gotta get a picture of me and my bike on the flats.

    that kid does an amazing version of Dead Flowers, too!

  8. #8 |  Bob | 

    “New hearing raises hopes the West Memphis Three may be released today.”

    Ah yes! False confessions! The backbone of modern police investigations. The great part about confessions is you don’t have to get the actual killer, just someone confused enough to confess.

  9. #9 |  Chris | 

    Word is, they are going to allow them to change their pleas to no-contest as an alford plea. After 17 years, I can see why this would be tempting. I hope they demand a new trial instead.

  10. #10 |  Stephen | 

    #7 | Marty |

    Peru is like two different countries depending of which side of the mountains you go to. If you can handle the heat and mosquitos, some of the jungle tours out of Iquitos are pretty good. If you like fishing, try out one of those peacock bass trips.

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    I’m dreaming of a motorcycle tour of Peru and in the beginning of planning. I haven’t been to south america and want to tour the andes. Machu Pichu is a big draw for me. the kid’s a freshman, but after she’s done with college, I can be a lot more selfish.

    I’ll look at both the fishing and the jungle!

  12. #12 |  Matt | 

    #2

    With that being said, I ask the anarchists out there, will society truly be less violent if all of us have the absolute right to take the law into our own hands? If formal courts, law enforcement agencies and other institutions are dismantled, who is to say that witch hunts and lynch mobs won’t be the logical replacement. Especially when children are murdered or abused (understand that I am NOT endorsing the way the current system handles these cases either). We can talk all day about mutual protection agencies, private defense providers and all that, but if there is no “law,” in the formal sense, who’s going to stop a Steve Branch from disregarding all that and reaching for his gun?

    A few points:

    1. Under an anarchist system I doubt the WM3 trials would happen at all. The current court system that elevates emotional appeals and eyewitness testimony as the highest form of evidence is a construction of the state.
    2. Lynch mobs were common in the US not too long ago. There was a statist system then just as there was now. In fact, many of these “lynch mobs” had the assistance of law enforcement when committing their acts of violence. Because of this I think their disappearance has more to do with our maturity as a species than any external law or court system.
    3. Is there any reason these gentlemen would be less safe in a statist system than an anarchist system? If this father hunts them down I don’t really see what anyone is going to do about it. Hell, in an anarchist system they would probably be allowed to buy guns, but obviously they will be barred from that in the statist system. If laws stopped people from committing crimes, why are there prisons?

  13. #13 |  Highway | 

    Helmut, an individual may have the ability to take the law into their own hands in anarchy, but they also need to remember that everyone else does too. Someone who takes it upon himself (using male pronoun because it’s more of a real word) to exact ‘justice’ (which is more like ‘vengeance’) will quickly find himself not welcome in the rest of society, or even facing the judgment and justice of the remainder of society.

    You certainly wouldn’t have a ‘right’ to exact whatever revenge on another person that you feel they deserve any more than people do now.

  14. #14 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @2 – “I certainly believe that societal relations should be voluntary to the largest extent possible.”

    And you know where that actually *happens*, right?

    …the Nordic Countries.

  15. #15 |  J | 

    ‘West Memphis 3′ freed in child killings after 18 years
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/08/19/arkansas.child.killings/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  16. #16 |  CharlesWT | 

    Salt – Tears of the Earth (2001)

  17. #17 |  KBCraig | 

    The major media continue to parrot the West Memphis prosecutor’s claim that the WM3 “pleaded guilty in exchange for time served”.

    Uhhh… no. They entered an Alford plea, a form of nolo contendere, which means they continue to claim innocence, and are free to continue the appeals process.

  18. #18 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Does everyone become retarded when they have kids?

  19. #19 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Just a quick thank you to the readers that shared feedback on my comments in #2. I really enjoy the exchange of ideas on this blog. Food for thought. Have a good weekend. I am working, so I have to cut it short for now (or for once ;) ).

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