Morning Links: Extended Browser-Clearing Edition

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
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57 Responses to “Morning Links: Extended Browser-Clearing Edition”

  1. #1 |  Jim Collins | 

    I’ll believe it when the Obama “Civil” Justice Department prosecutes the New Black Panther Party.

  2. #2 |  ZK | 

    That Chief deserves credit for turning down a bunch of Glock 18s, but this shouldn’t be taken as evidence of opposition to militarism or use of automatic weapons in police work.

    The Glock 18 on full-auto is just unmanageable for any practical purpose. Even the most militaristic department wouldn’t actually use them (although some might keep them as toys).

  3. #3 |  MassHole | 

    I’m not sure how a police dept. could mistakenly order or be shipped fully-automatic Glocks. There are serious amounts of paperwork associated with manufacturing and receiving full auto firearms. Not to mention, I would doubt the seller would manufacture them, much less ship them, without some payment. In addition, as the police chief stated, a full auto Glock will have virtually no utility for a police force. It would be a hella fun toy though.

    Maybe the chief should check with Deputy Chief Matthew Fillenwarth. He may know something about this.

    http://www.greenwood.in.gov/department/division.php/division.php?fDD=12-169

  4. #4 |  V | 

    Because two yokels are a greater threat to civil liberties than corrupt law enforcement agencies? Please. This is the exact reason the DoJ didn’t bother to do anything. Because it would be a waste of resources when there more severe threats.

    Unless you mean they should prosecute the New Black Panther Party just because of its existence, you know, in complete violation of the First Amendment.

  5. #5 |  Roho | 

    Bwaha! That “Miserable Cities” slide show fits nicely with CNN’s list the other day of the Best Cities to Retire:
    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/real_estate/1109/gallery.best_places_retire.moneymag/index.html

    So I guess Boise and Cape Coral are great places to retire if you’re aiming to be a miserable old coot?

  6. #6 |  Chuchundra | 

    It’s always amusing to watch politicians who’ve argued that we really really need to buy a couple dozen more hundred million dollar fighter planes just in case the Chinese get uppity then turn around and get all bent out of shape because the DOJ paid too much money for some fucking muffins.

    It wouldn’t shock me to find out that the investigation into “Muffin-Gate” cost more than the actual amount of money wasted by overpaying for conferences. It’s all high political theater.

  7. #7 |  GSL | 

    Obama not the first politician to throw millions of taxpayers’ money at Solyndra.

  8. #8 |  DoubleU | 

    There was a “most miserable areas in the US” index about a year ago, the two lists don’t match up. I doubt things have improved/declined in the listed areas enough to make the lists total different. Perhaps they are using different standards to measure miserable.

  9. #9 |  Ted S. | 

    “It was misleading.” That’s putting it mildly.

    I wonder if the folks at Pro Football Talk asked Aaron Rodgers for comment.

  10. #10 |  Radley Balko | 

    It’s always amusing to watch politicians who’ve argued that we really really need to buy a couple dozen more hundred million dollar fighter planes just in case the Chinese get uppity then turn around and get all bent out of shape because the DOJ paid too much money for some fucking muffins.

    Does it have to be either/or? Just for comparison, the $120 million DOJ spent on conferences over two years is three times more than the agency will spend on its criminal civil rights division this year, the office that investigates police brutality and misconduct.

  11. #11 |  Stephen | 

    A full auto pistol is pretty worthless if you actually want to hit what you are shooting at unless it is only 6 feet away. Too hard to control and your ammo is gone really fast. Fun toy at the range though.

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    I’ll believe it when the Obama “Civil” Justice Department prosecutes the New Black Panther Party.

    Also, did you know that Robert Byrd was once in the KKK?

  13. #13 |  GSL | 

    Also, the RAND Corporation finds that medical marijuana dispensaries don’t cause higher crime, and may actually prevent it.

  14. #14 |  DarkEFang | 

    “DOJ spent $120 million on conferences over two years, including expenses like $16 muffins and afternoon snacks that ran $32 per person.”

    This is just creative accounting. Those $16 muffins serve the same purpose as the Department of Defense’s $10,000 toilet seats: They finance off-budget activities. The Justice Department obviously isn’t running any black ops, but they’ve clearly got some stuff going on that they don’t want subjected to Congressional oversight – probably anti-terrorism type activities of a Constitutionally-questionable nature.

  15. #15 |  2nd of 3 | 

    All told, Justice’s Civil Rights Division is conducting 17 probes of police and sheriff departments — the largest number in its 54-year history.

    Okay, credit where it is due and everything, but am I the only one who thinks that’s a really sad statement? 17 is the most ever at one time? There are roughly 14K law enforcement agencies in the U.S. While it obviously is isn’t practical to investigate all or even all that many, are you really telling me that only .012% agencies have violations worth investigating? And it’s usually less?!?! Pathetic.

  16. #16 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Re: #15

    True. Also, this is the same Justice Department that had a hand in “Operation Fast & Furious” and is now trying to cover it up.

    Then there’s this:

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_18924755

    Plus the fact that these are civil cases, not criminal.

    I’m not convinced they’re doing much here.

    Re: #1 – They seriously dropped the ball on that one, too.

  17. #17 |  SJE | 

    Great news: 2 Prince George’s officers indicted in beating of University of Maryland student

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/xxxx/2011/09/20/gIQAMYbviK_story.html

  18. #18 |  V | 

    Dammit SJE, you just beat me to that link!

  19. #19 |  Jim Collins | 

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203550604574361071968458430.html

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

    A little clarification of my previous statement. The Obama DOJ tends to cherry pick their cases with an eye towards politics, just ask the Gibson Company.

    Yes I knew Byrd was KKK, what does that have to do with this?

  20. #20 |  Fascist Nation | 

    “ETHICS trial of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas begins.”

    That won’t take long.;-)

  21. #21 |  Mario | 

    The Obama administration is ramping up civil rights enforcement against local police nationwide, opening a number of investigations to determine whether officers are guilty of brutality or discrimination against Hispanics and other minorities.

    Oh please, I can just see it now. The police departments will argue in their defense that they’ve been beating plenty of white people over the head, and that if the Justice Department is unconvinced, they’d be happy to beat up a few more.

  22. #22 |  Roho | 

    Wow, certainly some choice quotes from SJE’s link.

    “Baker’s attorney, William C. Brennan, said his client has an “umblemished” record of 18 years with the police department and before that served “honorably and with distinction” with the U.S. Marines for eight years.”

    I will totally grant that, for the sake of argument. If that’s a valid excuse for the conduct, then I think a fair, unbiased exchange rate is needed. How many years of unblemished conduct equals how many free beatings of anyone that looks at you funny? Do you need the full 18 years to get your freebie? Can you roll them over, like some companies do with vacation days?

    “This case is not about police misconduct,” Brennan said. “It is about the lawlessness and destructive riots following University of Maryland athletic events.”

    If I’m ever indicted, I’ll have my lawyer try that tactic. Juries love non-sequiturs. I’m being charged with, say, practicing unnatural charms on a goat. “This case is not about my client and the goat. This case is about the Cuban embargo!”

  23. #23 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Obama Justice Department ramping up civil rights investigations into bad cops. They deserve credit for this.”

    I remember Chris Rock doing a bit where he talked about people taking credit for things that they are supposed to do.

  24. #24 |  Comrade Dread | 

    DOJ spent $120 million on conferences over two years, including expenses like $16 muffins and afternoon snacks that ran $32 per person. But no worries! Government thrift will bring down the cost of health care!

    So let’s get a whole series of random, but annual, Independent audits from private firms funded by the Legislative branches set up to root out waste and inefficiencies in the bureaucracy and defense departments.

    And I think the main argument in the cost containing aspects of single payer health care is that having one provider that covers one risk pool will reduce costs rather than having multiple providers with smaller risk pools to draw funds from, not that the government is more thrifty or pennywise than private industry.

  25. #25 |  Sean L. | 

    Why did they feel the need to move Dione when they made the composite image? I do understand there’s some artistic license to make these shots better for public consumption (especially when it comes to color) but really? Dione wasn’t close enough to Titan?

    No, I don’t think there’s any kind of ‘conspiracy’ here.. it just annoys my sense of leaving well enough alone.

  26. #26 |  SJE | 

    While I’d give the cop some consideration for his unblemished record, I’d also note (1) police departments in any county only rarely discipline cops for misconduct on a member of the public (2) Corruption was widespread and deeply rooted in PG county: the mayor, his wife, police, administration, etc, who all had “unblemished records” until the FBI came calling. I’d also note that the police not only beat students, but tried to cover it up by (a) arresting and charging them and (b) deleting video evidence. I’d throw the book at them.

  27. #27 |  EH | 

    So, what company (-ies) are allowing themselves to be paid $16 for a muffin?

    As for the MD cop, 18 “unblemished” years on the force? Have there been any “officer followed policy” incidents that weren’t caught on tape in there anywhere? There are a lot of ways of sweeping things under the rug when you’re a member of The Brotherhood.

  28. #28 |  Bob | 

    “Greenwood, Indiana police chief turns down package of “machine pistols.” He deserves credit for this.”

    Are you shitting me? What does he deserve credit for, covering up for an incompetent underling that ordered the pistols without his knowledge or consent, or running a Police Department so monumentally incompetent that it can’t track an order for automatic weapons?

    This isn’t like ordering books out of Amazon.com, automatic weapons require a mountain of paperwork with a paper trail a mile long. You don’t just pick up a phone and say “Yo! Gimme half a dozen auto glocks. Sure, here’s my credit card number.”

  29. #29 |  (B)oscoH | 

    Apparently, they didn’t have a SWAT team raiding a meth lab* for Riverside. Also, Orlando looks awesome.

    * Not that there is anything wrong with having more test tubes in your meth lab than teeth.

  30. #30 |  celticdragonchick | 

    The sheriff’s office in Alamance County, N.C., is still battling the Justice Department in court and has accused it of having political motives.

    Alamance County NC was the site of a significant pre-Revolutionary War battle in 1771 between Colonial Militia under British Governor Tryon and pro-reform North Carolinians called the Regulators, who were marching to confront the Governor and Crown officials on massive tax corruption.
    that was endemic in the Carolina frontier.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Alamance

  31. #31 |  celticdragonchick | 

    It’s always amusing to watch politicians who’ve argued that we really really need to buy a couple dozen more hundred million dollar fighter planes just in case the Chinese get uppity then turn around and get all bent out of shape because the DOJ paid too much money for some fucking muffins.

    The F-15 has been really great…but they do wear out and break apart in mid air from time to time. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22400351/ns/us_news-military/t/grounded-f-s-have-us-searching-cover/

    They were the top of the line for 4th gen jet fighters, but the design is 40 years old. It is time to replace the air superiority F-15C’s.

  32. #32 |  Danny | 

    MechTech Systems has some stuff that might make those Glocks more practical.

  33. #33 |  2nd of 3 | 

    Question about the muffins and other expenses – were these bought seperately, or did they come as a package, like “you can rent our space for your event, but no outside food allowed,” or was this somebody actually going out and seperately buying the most expensive muffins and such? Not saying waste is good, but the former is a little more understandable. Most of the conferences I’ve been to you get little bottles of water, maybe some light snacks, but any thing more is usually provided by a vendor (usually to get you to sit through a lunch commercia…I mean, presentation.

  34. #34 |  2nd of 3 | 

    Ahh, there was a second page to the story. Disregard my question.

  35. #35 |  Robert | 

    @ #15 “There are roughly 14K law enforcement agencies in the U.S. ”

    I’d say more than that. ~ 30K incorporated cities each with a PD. Plus ~3000 county sheriff depts, plus each state’s SBI, Highway Patrol, fish and game depts, state treasury depts, etc. Plus all of the various federal. Probably at least 50K.

  36. #36 |  Charlie O | 

    OT. Two of the six cops in the Kelly Thomas beating in Fullerton, CA have been charged with felonies. One of them charged with murder.

    http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2011/09/breaking_murder_charge_in_kell.php

  37. #37 |  Lyn | 

    “Calderon again hints at drug legalization”

    He needs to continue his war against Mexican drug traffickers. To stop fighting them is tantamount to a Mexican national surrender.

    Never mind that the USA has people who want to buy dope. Calderon’s country is undermined by corrupt & violent criminals. He needs to continue the fight. I can understand his idea that maybe it’s time for America to legalize dope if America is not committed to the “reduce demand” part of its war on drugs. But Calderon has got to keep fighting Mexican narcocriminals.

  38. #38 |  Muffy | 

    “This is just creative accounting. Those $16 muffins serve the same purpose as the Department of Defense’s $10,000 toilet seats: They finance off-budget activities. ”

    No, it probably was just muffins. Hotels are notoriously high cost locations to hold events, because of the food. And in order to rent the space, you have to purchase their food.

    Hotels have a revenue maximization formula. You can rent the space without purchasing any food from them, but your rental fee for the space will be much, much higher. The more food you purchase, the less your room rental fee. Hotel room nights are also entered into this formula. These fees are standardized and are hard to negotiate. So either you pay for the space at a premium, or you agree to use the space and purchase food through the hotel at a lower price.

    The prices listed here are in line with my experience in the hotel industry. That $16 probably represents both the hotel’s cut and the pay of the people serving it, plus setup and breakdown of the space. For example, it can be hard to get a boxed lunch with a sandwich, a bottle of water and a piece of fruit for under $30 (and that does not include the service charge as it is ‘boxed’). The story is not quite as outrageous as it seems.

  39. #39 |  A. Cooper | 

    In case anyone’s wondering, it looks like the picture of NOLA is actually from their Red Dress Run. Hardly the exemplar of metropolitan misery.

  40. #40 |  c andrew | 

    Thanks for the update Charlie. Maybe some justice will be done in Fullerton.

  41. #41 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Orlando looked pretty good to me.

  42. #42 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Lyn,

    Legalizing drugs and going after the thugs who currently sell them need not be incompatible. For one thing, although in the case of legalization a few drug dealers may go legit, it is probably beyond the worst of them. They are simply too accustomed to operating with threats and violence …. which will still be illegal.

  43. #43 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “That was definitely a turning point, a defining moment” the district attorney said. “Telling Kelly Thomas at that moment in this encounter had changed a fairly routine police detention into a beating by an angry police officer. By doing this, Ramos instilled in that victim a reasonable fear for his life, in danger of a police officer who wanted to f— him up with his fists.”

    Good god. If this actually stands it could change the way police…er…fuck people up. It should work this way. If a cop says “I’m going to fuck you up”, then that is assault and you should be able to draw your gun and shoot him. He has a gun, threatened physical harm, and you believed him. Done. The clown college that spits these cops out has to start rejecting the hyper-aggressive and training them with MUCH better conflict resolution skills.

    Most cops cannot control their mouths (or their fists, or their dicks, or their trigger fingers), so recording what they say is vital. VITAL!

  44. #44 |  EH | 

    For one thing, although in the case of legalization a few drug dealers may go legit, it is probably beyond the worst of them.

    It worked for the Kennedys and Bushes.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Obama Justice Department ramping up civil rights investigations into bad cops. They deserve credit for this.

    Polite golf applause. Obama has suckered me in before (closing Gitmo…many more, too). Show me the cops in prison, the innocent out of prison, and restitution to those abused.

  46. #46 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    threadjack:

    Guy who found 250 M of gold in the Mediterranean has to give it all
    back to Spain, who he repeatedly contacted to share the wealth
    if they helped find it and get it.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-21/odyssey-marine-drops-38-percent-as-court-upholds-black-swan-ship-ruling.html
    I’m reading the PDF ruling and it looks like total bullcrap.
    And the apparent media blackout bugs me..

  47. #47 |  albatross | 

    I think Mexico has decriminalized personal use of a bunch of drugs already, so supporting legalization is not a completely shocking next step.

    My question: Mexican drug gangs benefit from the US meth trade. The restrictions on sale of sudafed in the US move the production of meth into Mexico and enrich those same drug gangs. As far as I know, there’s not any obvious drop in meth use or rise in street price from the US sedated restrictions. So why not get rid of them? Fewer severed heads in Mexico, fewer stuffed-up heads here in the US–its a win-win.

  48. #48 |  StrangeOne | 

    So, Lyn, let me get this right:

    Because of American drug policy, Mexico has been in semi-official state of civil war for at least a decade.

    In the US the “War on Drugs” is a metaphor for harsher criminal penalties the slow elimination of certain civil rights, in Mexico its an actual war (42,000 dead after the latest government push according to the article).

    Despite the violence, the US government continues to fund and encourage the Mexican government to wage this LITERAL war on its own territory.

    US citizens continue to fund the drug cartels simply by doing recreational drugs that our government prohibits.

    The president of Mexico seems to be under the impression that the violence IN MEXICO is pointless and that he should consider legalization options.

    And your response to this state of affairs is “He needs to continue the fight.” For who? Why should the president of Mexico allow all the violence and destruction to continue in his own country, among his own people, for American drug policy? Why should Mexicans die to prevent Americans from getting high? I can’t think of a more imperialist attitude, using an entire nation as a body shield from the black market drug trade we created. Mexico should legalize and force the US to secure its own borders and fight cartels and drug runners. Maybe if this crap started happening on US soil, it would be harder for the politicians to hide the fact that they lost the war on drugs decades ago.

  49. #49 |  Sean L. | 

    FYI.. the shift in Dione is explained in the comments of the link to the NASA image. Quite interesting.

  50. #50 |  supercat | 

    #14 | DarkEFang | “This is just creative accounting. Those $16 muffins serve the same purpose as the Department of Defense’s $10,000 toilet seats: They finance off-budget activities.”

    The way DOD budgeting rules are written, research and development costs are amortized into the prices of equipment, and not necessarily in the most logical fashion. If the military spends $9,900,000 on the research and development of a weapon whose material and labor cost $1,000 per unit, and if the initial order is for 100 units, then the product will show up as 100 units, at $100,000 each, for a total cost of $10,000,000. Since each weapon whose material and labor cost $1,000/unit has a budgetary cost of $100,000/unit, the budgetary costs of the constituent components will be adjusted correspondingly; a bolt which cost $0.09 will be listed at $9.

    If a product ends up getting abandoned after a considerable amount of money has been spent on research and development, but before many units are built, the budgetary per-unit cost may bear little relation to reality. Perhaps the project was a foolish waste of money. Perhaps it was a wise and prudent use of money when it was begun, but at some point after we had invested considerable money in the product some of our spies revealed that ongoing developments in Russian weapons technology would render it ineffective.

  51. #51 |  Paul | 

    Cutler is a bit of a wuss though ;) The Packers will show him on Sunday.

  52. #52 |  Cyto | 


    They were the top of the line for 4th gen jet fighters, but the design is 40 years old. It is time to replace the air superiority F-15C’s.

    I think they’ve decided that fighter jets are sooo last century for air superiority. Look for big black holes in the defense budget for the next decade that indicate the purchase of unmanned drones for the purpose of air superiority. They’ll probably come on budget around 2016-2020 when they are ready to unveil them to the public in whatever the next stupid war is.

  53. #53 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Re: #43 – I don’t know of any cop that said “I’m going to fuck you up”. It’s not in the report, and the other officers at the scene didn’t hear anything like that, either. It’s just hearsay. As for any “video”, let’s assume it hasn’t been altered in any way. You know how easy it is to alter video – people could dub anything there. Either way, it doesn’t tell the whole story, just part of it. I mean, you don’t know what Kelly Thomas did to provoke that attack. He was resisting while those cops (who just want to go home to their families each night) were trying to lawfully arrest him for resisting.

    What’s so hard about all of this? Those guys are being investigated by an internal investigation, I’m sure the PD there will release more information after that. Hey, these officers are innocent until proven guilty, and they have rights. Let’s not draw conclusions before the facts are in and the internal investigation complete.

  54. #54 |  Michael Chaney | 

    (waiting to see how many people fall for this)

  55. #55 |  Joe | 

    http://minx.cc/?post=321678 Ann Coulter says execute the mother fucker. I feel like I am watching Pulp Fiction. I told them at Ace’s to check out Radley and the Agitator, but surprisingly no link today on this case.

  56. #56 |  RobSmalls | 

    On a lighter note, that Nepalese Milky Way shot has been bought, paid for and is now nestled comfortably as my desktop wallpaper.

  57. #57 |  croaker | 

    @1 You don’t need the Just-Us Department to deal with two thugs who intimidate voters.

    You just need a rope.

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