Late Morning Links

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
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37 Responses to “Late Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Public Outrage | 

    Homeland Security: hard at work trying to figure out how to monitor your Facebook/Twitter activity.

  2. #2 |  omar | 

    Oh thank god for a slow news day. I can relax my nuts for another day until they get kicked again.

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    the iphone story is another ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ story. if a cop would’ve been shot bashing in the door, this would be another death row adventure. and the media and govt would emphasize the son’s meth empire.

  4. #4 |  Charlie O | 

    I’m with Mr. Coates. I have resolved to no longer fly in the US. Recently drove up to Ottawa from PA rather than fly. I’m taking the train to New Orleans later this month. It takes a full 24 hours to get to NO from DC (which is really rather sad) but I’m looking forward to the trip. I’m sure the 24 hour train ride will be less stressful and more comfortable than the 5+ hours I’d have to commit if I wanted to fly from BWI.

  5. #5 |  MH | 

    Re: iPhone – Second day in a row Radley complains about possibly overzealous defense of property rights. This is NOT a big problem for the USA these days.

    I’m with Coates on taking the train. I’m taking the train this Thanksgiving in lieu of flying as I normally would. I won’t fly unless there is really no alternative.

  6. #6 |  phlinn | 

    I think your link on Kuchinich has changed, because I’m not seeing what your link suggests.

  7. #7 |  phlinn | 

    Never mind, missed the key sentence. :( Sorry.

  8. #8 |  Nick T. | 

    Wow, so Dennis Kucinich hates the right to counsel. It’s that simple.

  9. #9 |  Tommil | 

    The iPhone: Since they could monitor the location of the phone at all times there was no reason not to get a warrant, I don’t see any indication that they had one. I smell some bs from the “finder” of the phone (not enough to overcome a beyond a reasonable doubt burden of proof). If they didn’t have a warrant, the prosecutor had more than his stated reasons for dismissing and the “finder” could probably gain more than a phone if they sued.

    Kucinich’s position on DOJ lawyers changing sides is bizarre.

  10. #10 |  Tommil | 

    Oh yeah, they could have knocked and asked for the phone too. LOL

  11. #11 |  MH | 

    Sounds like they did have a warrant: “A deputy at his preliminary hearing said he knocked on his doors and windows and entered only after obtaining a warrant to investigate stolen property.”

    Taking someone’s phone back to your house seems sketchy to me. In the days of GPS, it’s also stupid.

  12. #12 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Re Ta-Neshisi’s Coats on the rails:
    When clunky 39 mph trains are a pleasant diversion, air travel is in
    a serious funk. Or was she in, like, Europe?

  13. #13 |  ravenshrike | 

    How cute, Coates thinks that the TSA is stopping at airline travel.

  14. #14 |  qwints | 

    I really can’t get upset about the iPhone story. Police came to knock on the door and ask for the phone back, but the ‘finders’ of the phone didn’t answer the door. I have no reason to think that the initial contact wouldn’t have been, “Hi, do you find a iPhone? The owner contacted us and said it was at this address” “Oh ok, let me go get it. Here you go.” Problem solved.

    Instead, the finder took the found property without informing the store owner or the police, failed to get in touch with the rightful owner and didn’t answer the door when the police came to get the phone despite being at the residence. The police then acquired a search warrant based on clear probable cause and executed it. Maybe the execution was unnecessarily violent, but I didn’t read about a swat team or abusive tactics in the article.

    As to the son’s arrest for meth possession, it’s entirely reasonable for the police to have found the meth while searching for the phone. If they found it in a location where the phone couldn’t have been or after finding the phone, then the evidence should be suppressed. The obstruction charge is probably bull, but there’s no evidence one way or the other in the article.

    The prosecutors did the right thing in dropping the charges because there was no evidence that the finder had any intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of her property (an element of the offense.) The message she left is affirmative evidence of her innocence. But it’s clear that neither the owner nor the police received the message.

    All in all, this is actually one of the most encouraging stories I’ve read about the justice system on this site. A fast response by police to a probable crime followed by a proper exercise of discretion by the prosecutors without any quotes about people being soft on crime or unfairly slandering the defendant.

  15. #15 |  Marshall | 

    If I could, I’d take a 10 hour train ride over a two-hour flight every time.

    My most common travel route breaks down as:
    * 1 hour plane flight (+overhead)
    * 8 hours driving
    * 16 hours by train (+overhead)

  16. #16 |  2nd of 3 | 

    I’ve started taking the train for vacations and visits to family several states away. It’s often (though not always) cheaper than flying, and it’s usually much more pleasant.

  17. #17 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Taking someone’s phone back to your house seems sketchy to me. In the days of GPS, it’s also stupid.

    Never underestimate…
    Scores of videos of stolen laptops where the owner remotely logs on and uploads vids of the thief to YouTube.

    Scores of criminals getting identified via their FaceBook photos.

    Scores of marriages ending in similar obvious ways.

    So…
    Cops haven’t figured out yet that everything in public is recorded. Hell, they forget their own dashboard records (sometimes). Petty criminals sure haven’t gotten it figured out.

  18. #18 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    How cute, Coates thinks that the TSA is stopping at airline travel.

    Correct. Here are some unsubstantiated rumors I’ve heard discussed:
    1. Toll Booth TSA: Don’t like it? Don’t travel via highways.

    2. Bus Station TSA: The state cannot have you moving around un-tracked like that.

    3. Rental Car TSA: Leave the airport right thru the convenient TSA checkpoint.

    4. Horse Stable TSA: Yes, they will check your goddamn horse’s ass! OK, this one is made up.

    TSA will try to expand to all of the above. Hell, that’s good job security where 1 out of every 3 people is searching and watching the other 2…because they hate our freedom*.

    *See what I did there? I changed “they” from “terrorists” to “TSA”.

  19. #19 |  fwb | 

    Maybe Kucinich needs to learn that some folks come to hate a system that fucks over the people most of the time. A system where lying, cheating, framing, evidence manufacturing is commonplace.

    Searching:

    The Fourth Amendment requires the specifics of what is being searched for. Anything not on that list is not searchable except that the stupid courts in the US don’t grasp what We the People were allowing. Legal texts of the late 1800s agree with me but that doesn’t change how the cops behave.

  20. #20 |  Warren | 

    About the trains: I think there is an untapped market for competently run train service in this country. But instead of government run HSR where it’s essentially a plane attached the the earth keep it slow and elegant and private. Make the traveling itself an experience. Great food, entertainment and perhaps short stops at interesting places along the way.

    This would only work for people who don’t mind giving up a day or two getting to their ultimate destination and another day or two getting back but I think there are enough of those folks to make it pay. Provided that entrepreneurs had the economic freedom to make it happen.

    Of course if there was economic freedom the airline industry itself would look a lot different from what it looks like now. Air travel would be a lot better in a free market of course and it might be so good as to render all medium to long distance train travel obsolete.

  21. #21 |  Seth Owen | 

    I’m with qwints on the iPhone story. The “finders” acted very stranegly, in my opinion, and while there was insufficient evidence for the prosecutor to go forward on a “beyond a reasonable doubt” basis there seems to have been more than enough to go on from a “probable cause” standpoint and I really don’t see any grounds to criticize the police response in this case.

    I’ve been very supportive of Mr. Balko’s vigilance on police abuse of power in the past, but I just don’t see it here.

  22. #22 |  croaker | 

    IPhone: This is precisely why NY has a 10-day rule written into the found property law. Not that NYPD has ever paid attention…

    TSA: Don’t be too sure about that horse thing. They tried to get mule skinners at a state park investigated and credentialed as if they worked at an airport. TSA: Terrorist Support Agency.

  23. #23 |  PeeDub | 

    @quints “Instead, the finder took the found property without informing the store owner or the police, failed to get in touch with the rightful owner and didn’t answer the door when the police came to get the phone despite being at the residence.”

    Reading comprehension fail. They left a freaking message.

  24. #24 |  jimn | 

    I happened to find a very expensive android phone outside my house the other day. The first thing I did was power it up and gather enough pertinent info to identify/contact the owner. The second thing I did was pull the battery so it couldn’t be tracked. It was late, and I visions of some overzealous owner banging on my door in the middle of the night, I didn’t even think of the police.

  25. #25 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich has a room temperature IQ. He has had a room temperature IQ since his election as Mayor of Cleveland, back in the late 1970′s. He ran for that office, in part, on a platform of ‘Save Muny Light’, a campaign to ‘save’ a municipal light company that had not generated one watt of electricity in decades, and which bought electricity from the local commercial power company (ies) and resold it at a loss (and didn’t pay its bills). The question was never whether Muny Light could be ‘saved’ – it was far too late to salvage anything, the place had been a wreck since the 1950′s, at a conservative estimate) – the question was whether the power companies to which Muny Light owed millions would accept its essentially worthless plant in lieu of payment.

    I move from Cleveland shortly after that election, and kind of vaguely hoped that (as I thought of him) that idiot, Kucinich, wouldn’t wreck the town too badly. Imagine my dismay when he appeared on the national political scene. Since that appearance I don’t believe I have heard of him saying or writing one thing that wouldn’t disgrace the intelligence of low level fungus.

  26. #26 |  Bee | 

    Did the finders of the phone provide their home address in the voicemail they left for the phone’s owner? If not, there is no reason for them to be expecting anyone to visit about the phone.

    And I generally don’t answer my door when someone knocks and I am not expecting anyone. I live alone in a skeevy neighborhood. I guess that makes me suspicious according to upright citizens like quints and MH.

  27. #27 |  Mike T | 

    It was late, and I visions of some overzealous owner banging on my door in the middle of the night, I didn’t even think of the police.

    I think most juries would commiserate with you if you “mistook” them for someone trying to break and enter and treated them accordingly.

  28. #28 |  Raoul Duke | 

    Thanks for the Niskanen link. I was unaware of him and as a craver of intellectual honesty, was glad to be informed.

  29. #29 |  MH | 

    “And I generally don’t answer my door when someone knocks and I am not expecting anyone. I live alone in a skeevy neighborhood. I guess that makes me suspicious according to upright citizens like quints and MH.”

    Well, if they had a search warrant, and nobody answers the door, what do you think is going to happen?

  30. #30 |  Robert | 

    http://reason.com/archives/2005/12/01/amtrak-sucks

  31. #31 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    http://reason.com/archives/2005/12/01/amtrak-sucks

    Okay, okay, our trains suck, our infrastructure sucks, our politics suck,
    our legal system sucks, our economy sucks, and our education system sucks.
    But we have the best damn killin’ machines on the planet.
    Hence the claim to “greatest” country.

  32. #32 |  ktc2 | 

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/01/school-police-union-u-raise-em-cage-em-t-shirts-anger-town/?test=latestnews

  33. #33 |  Jesse | 

    Pripyat and Chernobyl in general has always fascinated me…..several years ago I found this website made by a woman who took a semi-authorized solo motorcycle tour through the exclusion zone to check things out.

    http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

  34. #34 |  Emerson Biggens | 

    They are on to ya down in Chattanooga, Radley.

    http://sceniccity.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=police&action=display&thread=27920

  35. #35 |  buzz | 

    The lady left a message with the owner about the phone. If I lost (not had stolen, lost) something but could tell where it was, I would expect to get it back but not in my wildest dreams would I think I could get a search warrant to search the probable finders house until after said finder refused to return it to me. “Well, if they had a search warrant, and nobody answers the door, what do you think is going to happen?”
    Not that a cop would kick my door down and search for a phone I found and who’s owner I had been trying to get hold of. I’m crazy like that.

    The Kucinich thing about how the government makes money by paying itself rent and how it would lose money if that office was empty goes a long way to explaining why people think SS has a huge surplus. And the general state of the federal budget.

  36. #36 |  MH | 

    “Not that a cop would kick my door down and search for a phone I found and who’s owner I had been trying to get hold of. I’m crazy like that.”

    Maybe when someone knocks at the door, you should answer it, or at least see who’s there — particularly when you are in possession of someone else’s valuable property.

  37. #37 |  plutosdad | 

    Just because those companies pled guilty or agreed to pay fines doesn’t mean any of them did. I read the Pump Handle blog, and while half of it is typical left wing arguments, the other half is a litany of abuse of workers (safety violations which in the cases cited also resulted in worker injuries or death) by some of the worst companies, all of which have millions of dollars of fines going back over a decade and they just don’t bother paying.

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