Morning Links

Monday, October 24th, 2011
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45 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Name Nomad | 

    Re: School drug search

    “They are kids. They are students. They are not there to be used.”

    Andrew Schneider, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, called it a “terrible policy. It will cause more trouble in the long run. Young people will learn not to trust the police.”

    At least some good came out of the ordeal.

  2. #2 |  Charlie O | 

    ‘The drug search is “something that is good to do periodically. It says we don’t have drugs in the school,” she said. “Either way it’s a win-win. I know people get concerned … there seems to be an overreaction.”‘

    What a complete asshole statement. Win-win my ass. I can’t imagine being told to cower in the corner of a classroom back when I was in high school.

  3. #3 |  DoubleU | 

    Did Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs have something to do with Pajamas Media? I remember after Johnson did a 180 on his political believes he found racism in religious symbols and the Tennessee state flag.

    I am never surprised to hear democrats insulting any minority… well when that minority walks off the plantation.

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    the school story isn’t unique. my daughter went to public school for one year and experienced a number of ‘lockdown’ drills. dogs were always brought in and the drug sweep was the real point of this. Even local parents don’t believe me when I tell them what’s happening. This is the best reporting I’ve seen on this, but they weren’t outraged enough. In a few years, these kids will be our cops, prosecutors, judges, and teachers- since their rights weren’t respected, it’ll never occur to them to respect ours.

  5. #5 |  David | 

    Re the problem with private prisons: The company is obliged to list risks to the future of the business. This would appear to be one of those statements. Read any SEC 10K form, there are dozens of them.

    I don’t see that this is advocating criminalisation, although I wouldn’t put it past some lobbyists to get on the bus.

  6. #6 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Shooting ruled justified.

    Sierra told investigators he feared for his life because he believed Farmer had a gun.

    Is this an excuse civilians can use?

    Is the carrying of a weapon (legally or not) justification for someone to execute you? Make no mistake, this was nothing other than an execution…that the state (at least one head) then decided was justified.

  7. #7 |  kirby | 

    Was that private prison annual report their 10-K? If so, I bet the quoted statement came from their risk factors section. What I’m getting at is if you read the quote out of context it seems like the company itself thought of this, is talking about it, and possibly planning to do something about it. In the context of a 10-K risk factors section, the company says this so later they can be sued by a class of shareholders claiming the company didn’t adequately lay out the risks it knew about.

  8. #8 |  Stephen | 

    Here is one I like.

    Grand jury kicks out prosecutors. DA’s office throws a fit wants back in and petition is denied by judge.

    http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/in_focus&id=8401416

  9. #9 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: CPD shooting…

    “In fact, Farmer was only holding a cellphone.”

    From Sierra and CPD’s point of view, they probably did view the cell phone as a terrible threat. After all, one can take photographs and video of police actions with a cell phone. Scary shit.

    And six shootings in a year? What the fuck!!!! Is this guy Dirty Harry? Most police officers never shoot anyone, even in Chicago. Unless Sierra is the Forest Gump of the CPD, and just happens to show up at the most precarious situations all the time, how can this not draw attention.

  10. #10 |  Eric Hanneken | 

    Re: “The problem with private prisons.”

    Yes, businesses that run private prisons have an incentive to lobby for the criminalization of everything, but then so do those who work for government-run prisons. It’s not as though government employees are more saintly and less self-interested than private-sector workers. See “public choice.”

  11. #11 |  Radley Balko | 

    It’s not as though government employees are more saintly and less self-interested than private-sector workers.

    I don’t think I or Anderson implied that they were. The prison guard union in California has been particularly awful about expanding laws and sentences there.

  12. #12 |  Jesse | 

    If high-school kids learn that their government school baby-sitters, and more importantly, the police, are not to be trusted, then that is the best possible outcome of this drug-search stunt.

  13. #13 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: Private prisons statement…

    Well, at least I respect the honesty of the company rep. That is the only thing I respect about he or his company. Making a healthy profit off of the backward criminal justice policies in this country is just good business. No hint of remorse. This is a grand illustration of the parallels between publicly traded corporations and the humans we call psychopaths (or sociopaths, depending on your preference). And yes, it could also be called fascism, just like Blackwater and other war profiteer type companies hired by the U.S. Government to do its dirty work.

  14. #14 |  Stephen | 

    Lets do a little math here. 16 shots, only 7 of them hit. 3 of the 7 were point blank execution. So that means 13 shots with 4 non-fatal hits. If nothing else, this cop should be fired because he cant hit what he shoots at 70% of the time. Where are those other bullets going? Across the street to hit some innocent kid?

  15. #15 |  H. Rearden | 

    RE: High School Drug Search

    The high school official admits that there isn’t a drug problem at the school then complains of an overreaction by those who complain of subjecting students to a mock lockdown, all just to do a drug search.

    It seems that the overreaction is on the part of this official. By the way, no drugs were found.

    Can we use an anonymous tip to get this duchebag’s house raided by SWAT. When no drugs are found, just explain that “We are providing a safe and secure nurturing environment” for our community.

  16. #16 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Hank Rearden,
    The school most likely had a circle-jerk with the cops and figured this would be awesome. A lot of school officials lick the badge.

    It would be tremendous if every kid and parent boycotted the school for one day and piggybacked off the Occupy theme. Get TV news out there and have a spokesperson (a well-spoken and prepared parent would be best) to articulate for everyone how fucked up this school is…and to not let it happen anywhere else. Tweet, Blog, Video Blog, Youtube, Facebook…all the things.

    It would be a tremendous lesson for the kids, but law of averages says this would conflict with some state testing going on. I mean, we have to test these kids!

  17. #17 |  R. Pointer | 

    Mr. Balko,

    That VIPR story ran the same day that you posted on Mexican truck drivers finally getting the right to come into the U.S. I have a feeling that that coincidence wasn’t one. CYA is political operations as per normal.

  18. #18 |  sspiker | 

    Radley, the Virginia candidate is running for State Senate this November (off-year election cycle), not for Congress.

  19. #19 |  Bob | 

    The problem with private prisons, put in pretty frank terms by a private prison company.

    Don’t worry! Once the Feds privatize all prisons under a Federal Charter Corp like they did with home and student loans, the incentives to stuff people in prison will rise even more dramatically.

    And guess who will be campaigning hard for that to happen? Yup! Police and Prison Guard Unions.

    I predict a big “sales pitch” will be that the new prison system will have “Drug rehab” built right in! So the very best place for ANY drug user will always be in prison… where they can … um… “get help”.

  20. #20 |  JOR | 

    #10, There’s not even that much difference. “Private” prisons are as much a part of the state as are the “private” Fed and the “private” USPS. The same goes for military contractors of all sorts, and for a lot of big corporations in general.

  21. #21 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    I like the juxtaposition of the evil massage parlor owners
    and the Chicago cops who shot the man lying prone, on that link.
    Those who provide the Happy Ending will do time.
    Those who provide the Unhappy Ending (shooting an unarmed man) will walk free. They had badges.

  22. #22 |  marco73 | 

    The high school lockdown story sounds similar to the fake drunk driving deaths last year: 2 popular kids are announced in school as deceased, teachers place roses on an empty desk, police hang around the school while kids are crying over their lost friends. Then when the popular kids showed up alive, the students were outraged about being lied to by adults in authority.
    Using a “fake” intruder in order to clear the halls for a drug dog and pony show? They just need Steven Seagal in a tank to drive over some chickens and they’ll have a complete picture of just how stupid authorities can be.

  23. #23 |  freebob | 

    I’m terrified of the TSA being out on our interstates. Does that count as terrorism?

  24. #24 |  Bob | 

    “We wanted to practice,” said Superintendent of Schools Joseph McCary. “We said there was a lockdown with an intruder inside. Doors are locked, shades are drawn and the lights are turned off and students are told to move to a corner of the room.”

    “After 10 minutes we say this is a drill and at that point we started a search for drugs,” McCary said. “We are providing a safe and secure nurturing environment.”

    “Safe and Nurturing”, huh? Jesus, that is so fucked up.

  25. #25 |  Comrade Dread | 

    I don’t see that this is advocating criminalisation, although I wouldn’t put it past some lobbyists to get on the bus.

    I think it’s naive to assume they don’t lobby.

    Private prisons and prison guard unions both stand to benefit from increased criminality and harsher penalties, which is why you frequently see one or the other supporting and advocating ‘tough on crime’ laws and pols, and especially why you see the prison guards union opposing alternative sentencing that lets non-violent offenders avoid prison.

    Same thing applies to the police unions with regards to public perceptions of crime. Crime, on the whole, is decreasing, but you will never see a police union advocating relaxing the laws or letting a few officers go as they’re not currently needed.

    Self interest and self preservation make private prisons a bit suspect.

  26. #26 |  Kevin | 

    The “problem” with private prisons is the same with public prisons. Unions for correctional officers and police take the same stance and have greater leverage on the legislative process than the private firms.

    Once again, the state takes a potentially negative aspect of the private sector and makes it worse, not better.

  27. #27 |  Brandon | 

    I like this system, Radley. Read the VIPR link, go to the Child’s Own link to get the blood pressure down. Read the Private Prison link, go through a couple more pages of cute stuffed animals, etc… I just hope I don’t run out of pages on the Child’s Own site.

  28. #28 |  James D | 

    Considering the amount of antisemitism on display at the ‘Occupy’ protests so far (unlike all the ‘racism’ supposed at Tea party events with no real proof to this day), and videos like this from Reason that are easily obtained:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMjm4LxFa1c

    I can see where they might assume they saw a swastika ……

  29. #29 |  Goober | 

    My god, these parents actually named their daughters “unwanted?” Can we finally put to bed this nonsense that “all cultures are equal and equivalent and no one culture is better than another?” Please? Because these people’s culture has them not only telling their daughters that they are unwanted, but giving them that name so that they never forget it.

  30. #30 |  Les | 

    James, there were a few incidents of racism at some Tea Party events.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRJ2UmyHhxI

    But, obviously, that doesn’t mean the Tea Party, as a whole, is racist. Just as the few incidents at the OWS protests prove that the movement, as a whole, is racist.

  31. #31 |  Pablo | 

    I went to high school in the 80′s. If the school and police had tried anything like this fake alarm and drug search ALL of the students’ parents would be outraged and marching to the principal’s office.

    Leaving aside the outrageousness of the false alarm and the drug dogs, is it even approriate to have a “lockdown” policy if there is an active shooter? It seems to me all you are doing is herding victims together and preventing them from escaping the situation. If I am in any public building and hear shots fired, the first thing I’m doing is GETTING THE FUCK OUT! Shouldn’t students do the same, then phone in later to confirm they are OK?

  32. #32 |  Brandon | 

    I’m kinda curious why Glenn Reynolds is associated with Pajamas Media. He’s fairly libertarian, but most of the stuff that PJM publishes could come straight out of the neocon bible.

  33. #33 |  pam | 

    Well, the kiddies learned something that day at school, which probably couldn’t have been drilled in, that the cops are bald faced liars and will hurt you and deceive you “for their own good”.

  34. #34 |  Marty | 

    privatizing prisons invites different evils. prisons privatized healthcare by contracting out to hmo’s specializing in correctional medicine. to have the socialized medicine scared out of you, google ‘cms prison death’ and read about some of the abuses.
    Private prisons increase the options of using prisoners for slave labor. A number of judges have been busted shuffling kids into private correctional facilities and receiving kickbacks.
    the only thing that makes sense to me- less laws, less crime= fewer people locked up. prisons can’t be fixed until issues with criminal justice are fixed.

  35. #35 |  overgoverned | 

    I’m more amazed by the bootlicking tone of the TV news report about the Tennessee VIPR checkpoints than I am by the Tennessee VIPR checkpoints.

  36. #36 |  GSL | 

    Government cares about righting the wrongs of the housing crisis. So much so that it’s foreclosing on non-delinquent recipients of public housing loans.

  37. #37 |  Pablo | 

    #35 overgoverned–exactly. The reporter and anchor are tripping all over themselves to fawn over our rulers. Whatever happened to a skeptical media and asking tough questions?

  38. #38 |  James D | 

    Les, I hate to break it to you but about half of those racists and their signs were ‘plants’ … a common phenomena the past 2 years because all the claims of ‘racism’ weren’t matching the liberal matra …. so many times liberal plants show up to rallies to make the Tea Party look racist, example pics/etc:

    http://startthinkingright.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/tea-party-crashers-as-a-particularly-nasty-species-of-vermin/
    (notice the guy with the green hat and black shirt … same guy from your video … as well as some of the signs).

    Sorry, but I’ve seen far more antisemitism in just the past few days than I’ve seen racism in Tea Party videos over the past 3 years …. the first group of people to get blamed by socialists during a bad economy is the group most successful at capitalism …. it worked pretty well for Stalin and Hitler …. sad but unsurprising that it’s happening again.

  39. #39 |  brian | 

    James D: I am assuming you are a plant, sent here to stir up anti-OWS sentiment. The crazies that show up to OWS events and spout anti-semitic remarks are also police plants. We live in a mirror world, where perception is as real as ‘reality’, and you and your compatriots are pushing this ‘OWS anti-semitism’ thing as hard as you can. Pretty much all the people I know active in OWS in New York City, are themselves Jewish.

    I am going to assume you are a police/Tea Party plant/troll from this point forward. I encourage the rest of The Agitator’s readership to do the same.

  40. #40 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    #21: Thank you, Yizmo; I noticed the same thing, and it always heartens me when others do as well.

  41. #41 |  glasnost | 

    The problem with private prisons, put in pretty frank terms by a private prison company.

    This is a genuinely interesting thing for you to say, Radley. I suppose my next move here is to suggest that you’re breaking from the libertarian fold by questioning the concept of private prisons. And then you would say something like “You’re scoring points off a cariacture of actual libertarians”.

    So let’s cut to the empirical chase – is the CATO institute heavily in favor of privatized prisons? They’re in favor of privatized roads, schools and medical care – it would seem to be an expected pattern match.

    Kudos to you for admitting it though.

    Now, moving on to the dogma:

    I don’t think I or Anderson implied that they were.

    They may not be saintly, but government officials report to elected individuals, who at least have an incentive not to throw people in jail over obviously baloney offenses because such things are unpopular. Mayors and police chiefs, especially in cities, do actually face threats to their re-election from public and civic groups when they preside over above-average levels of predatory police behavior.

    Meanwhile, there are no direct disincentives for private prison companies whatsoever to lobby for increased criminalization. At least union contracts are publicly negotiated and unions tend to rely public advocacy. Private prisons and their associated lobbies are even less transparent.

    With government employees, the elected officials who have (some of) the right incentives are their bosses. With private prison companies, said elected officials are their servants. The power dynamic is inverted.

  42. #42 |  glasnost | 

    The prison guard union in California has been particularly awful about expanding laws and sentences there.

    I’m pro-union, but so much in favor of breaking police and prison unions specifically that it almost tempts me into sympathy for the movement as a whole. Maybe less picking on underpaid public-school teachers and more picking on police unions would be a good idea.

  43. #43 |  Rojo | 

    “My god, these parents actually named their daughters “unwanted?” Can we finally put to bed this nonsense that “all cultures are equal and equivalent and no one culture is better than another?” Please? Because these people’s culture has them not only telling their daughters that they are unwanted, but giving them that name so that they never forget it.”

    The problem is when the bad acts from some actors in a particular culture are labeled as emblematic of the culture as a whole, if one can even speak of a culture as a whole. Speaking as someone whose cultural background is Hindu Indian via one side of the family, Southern Baptist Kentuckian via the other, and atheist New Yorker and Oregonian via life experience, I can assure you that all cultures have bad actors.

    One can and should criticize things that come out of different cultures, but one should not use specific things to condemn all of a certain culture or cultures.

    Example of ways not to condemn an entire culture: “Holy Cow! These people actually accept that more of their population should be locked up than any other country on earth and that it’s reasonable to terrify children in order to further (fruitless) drug searches? Can we just entirely dismiss American culture as hopelessly authoritarian now, please, because these peoples culture has them not only jailing large portions of their populations for completely harmless activity but terrorizing other non-involved portions of their population in order to do so!”

    Also, many Indian daughters (including my mother) are/were loved and cherished by their parents and that is part of their culture.

    Many American daughters are horrifically abused and that is part of our culture.

    If you want to view your culture as superior, I suppose that’s fine, but it ignores the multiplicities of cultures that exist in this country and every other country, for one, and will allow Indian cultural supremacists, just for example, to point at you and say, “My god, look at that guy, can we say American culture is supremely arrogant and self-righteous now? Please?”

  44. #44 |  Booker | 

    RE: High School Lockdown

    Am I the only one who noticed that the drug search was comprised only of student lockers, locker rooms and the student parking lot? Seems to me that if the intent was to keep drugs out of the school, they would have checked the teacher’s lounge, administrative offices and the staff parking lot as well. But, then again, how embarassing would it be for the kids to come up clean, but not the ones in charge?

  45. #45 |  demize! | 

    #28 @James your a friggen imbecile. Just shut up. Beside your comment not being at all germaine to anything being discussed, you seem like a neocon who sees antisemitism lurking behind every bush. You might be more at home at Pajamas Media, seems more your speed.

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