Morning Links

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
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67 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Nicholas | 

    Radley, Broken link on that first one. Thanks.

  2. #2 |  Radley Balko | 

    Thanks — should be fixed, now.

  3. #3 |  Blaze Miskulin | 

    Regarding the “Correction of the Day”:

    And a thousand math teachers and general contractors breathed a sigh of relief, and Congress set aside the Protect Our Children From Math and Carpentry Act (working title until the Acronym Doctors can be consulted).

  4. #4 |  Blaze Miskulin | 

    On a serious note:

    At what point does a police force become an army?

    If a force is trained by military personnel, uses military tactics, and wields military weaponry while pursuing a “War on X”, why are they not an army?

    Armies regularly engage in “peace-keeping missions” and “police actions”. The scope of duties heavily overlaps. Both the police and the National Guard are called in for crowd control, for instance. Why is the former a police force and the latter an army?

    A relevant quote from Battlestar Galactica…

    Adama: There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

  5. #5 |  Mattocracy | 

    Those evil Koch’s, who oppose the corporatism that the lefties hate, want to end the drug war, and want to stop corporate welfare. What terrible, terrible people.

  6. #6 |  ravenshrike | 

    Given that the NCVS is horrible at tracking activities that can implicate the surveyee, why should I think the NSDUH is any better? Not to mention they don’t control for population density and gang membership.

  7. #7 |  Irving Washington | 

    9% of white kids, across the country, have a substance abuse problem serious enough to be labeled a disorder under the DSM? BS!

  8. #8 |  Michael P ack | 

    I’ll give the Mexicans a pass.They,along with the rest of south and central America ,are enforcing the U,S. governments drug war.Think of alcohol prohibition being used in this way.Although,back the,no one whould have considered making other countries enfore our laws.Mexico has always been corrupt,and that’s their problem,but,the drug war is ours

  9. #9 |  SamK | 

    Eh, I’m not a fan of Occupy whatevah, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to say that someone pushing through a crowd, getting through, and falling down amounts to violence. The crowds are getting rowdy, but people having accidents isn’t exactly one of the horrors of mobs on a rampage. Loosely packed crowds chanting and joking, a car being blocked and a conversation that begins with “excuse me sir…”, a crowd that can be pushed through by a single policeman, one woman getting out of hand and a man with a baby dragging her back to calm her down, etc.

    When Dolores goes down she’s surrounded by friends and police, there are a bare handful of protesters even present, there’s no scuffle and I’m having a hell of a time finding the scene she describes in her interview (even she doesn’t say she was pushed) where a girl “dropped her arm” and Dolores “went flying”…she’s right next to the exit doors on a wide floor at the top of some stairs, far from those stairs, and looks like she tripped if anything. No one is rushing to her yet the people surrounding her are *not* OWS, they’re police and AFP members etc…

    Radley, I’ve been around bad mob situations where a convoy was blocked by pissed off people with weapons, chanting…screaming…beating on the vehicles and the people who tried to calm things down got put in the hospital, one losing an eye, and the lack of deaths was due to automatic weapons being put into play. This? This isn’t even violence, this is an old woman slipping in a situation barely more volatile than a garden party for god’s sake! ((for those of you not interested in watching video, that isn’t an exaggeration, there’s *nothing* happening in the video)) I implore you to watch the video and make an adjustment to the use of the word “violence”. Repeating inaccuracies is not the best way to continue conversations concerning social events.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prgkEAuSQT0&feature=related
    2:20 in.

  10. #10 |  Aresen | 

    Study: Black youth less likely to do illicit drugs than all ethnic groups but Asians. And yet they’re arrested at a far, far higher rate.

    While the second part of that is no news to any Agitatot, I have to admit that the first part was a surprise to me. Yet another lesson in going along with what “everybody knows.” Pass the humble pie, please.

  11. #11 |  2nd of 3 | 

    I watched the video. Looks like some dude trips and knocks over a lady by accident. It doesn’t look like he was pushed or purposely tripped. I guess a crowd blocking a path can be pretty intimidating, but unless they were forcefully preventing them from leaving I’m not sure I agree that inconvienance equals violence.

  12. #12 |  Aresen | 

    The Atlantic piece implies that Police Militarization began with the WoT and then cities the Guerera incident – which was more clearly related to the WoD.

    I am wondering why they chose to ignore the WoD and how much it has done to increase police militarization.

  13. #13 |  John Thacker | 

    And, unfortunately, Jim Hood is going to win reelection as Mississippi AG. Take a look at this hideous quote from an endorsement of Hood:

    As Hood told the Editorial Board: “Fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves is probably the most rewarding thing I do.”

    Ugh.

  14. #14 |  John Thacker | 

    Apparently “those who can’t fight for themselves” are horribly unqualified medical examiners and prosecutors, not the accused.

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “Study: Black youth less likely to do illicit drugs than all ethnic groups but Asians. And yet they’re arrested at a far, far higher rate.”

    Mark me as a cynic, but since the second half of the above is demonstrably true, believing the first part violates the precept that all Drug War press releases are at best 50% true.

    Seriously; How about “Black Youth better at lying to white buttinskis than all ethnic groups but asians”? Or “Politically motivated researchers less likely to accuse Black Youth of behavior violating Political Correctness, based on vague behavioral pattern guidelines, than they are to accuse other groups”? Or “Race based study wastes whole grant, finds nothing, makes up headline grabber”?

    This study maybe entirely legitimate, but we haven’t been given enough data to know. does anybody here have the education necessary to read the scholarly paper and give us a precis?

  16. #16 |  CH | 

    Wow, I hadn’t realized that Weigel had…

    1. become a bona fide Koch-hater.
    2. his nose so far up the OWS behind.

    True colors and all.

  17. #17 |  boomshanka | 

    From the OWS article this great quote from an AFP’er:

    “When I was in high school,” said Kreidler, “I was at a big pro-Iraq War rally in Wichita. And that wasn’t even violent.”

  18. #18 |  Felix Bellator | 

    Let’s grant for the sake of argument that the study is correct, that Black youth are less likely to do drugs (although I notice that the summary doesn’t say _how_ much less – are we talking 5% vs 10%, or 9.8% vs 10%?) And I will certainly grant that the police are racist, in many places. But I feel like there is a behavioral factor, too: we have to consider whether there are racial differences in what drugs people use and how they use them.

    Some anecdata: I live in a predominantly Black neighborhood, in a very racially diverse city. I have almost never seen a White or Asian or Hispanic person walk down the street anywhere openly smoking a joint (and I know plenty of people who use) but in my neighborhood it’s fairly routine to see a Black person, usually but not always a young man, smoking up right out in the open. I’ll grant that the police are corrupt and racist, but if you’d limit your weed-smoking to indoors, you’d have a much better chance of staying out of the legal system…

  19. #19 |  MassHole | 

    Newflash: Standing in front of a random car in the street while screaming at the occupants, may result in you getting run the fuck over. If you’re down to take one for the team like that, don’t bitch when you get squished. If I had been in that situation with my kid the car, I would have seriously considered running them down too. I think someone brought up Reginald Denny the other day and that would have been running through my head as well. I thought it was funny the one guy kept harping on the fact it was a Mercedes. I bet a lot of those kids parents drive one.

    The OWS guys are going to lose whatever good will they have by acting like this. I’m quite frankly more weren’t arrested for trespass.

  20. #20 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “In an effort to remedy their relative inadequacy in dealing with terrorism on U.S. soil, police forces throughout the country have purchased military equipment, adopted military training, and sought to inculcate a “soldier’s mentality” among their ranks.”

    In the interests of checks and balances, Internal Affairs should get with the times and ratchet up the mean factor to counter out of control cops… Seriously, how many cops would go rogue if an IE investigation involved waterboarding, Nepalese bamboo torture, and “the rack”?

  21. #21 |  JSL | 

    2ndof3, I agree it doesnt look like a purposeful action on a protesters part. That said, some of the videos I’ve seen show protestors at the doors of the event blocking people from leaving. There was a video somewhere interviewing a woman in a wheel chair not able to leave. Thats unlawful imprisonment or whatever DC calls it.

  22. #22 |  Bad Medicine | 

    2 + 2 = get your belt out and whip someone. Doesn’t everyone learn that in school?

  23. #23 |  Eyewitness | 

    As long as we’re discussing OWS violence, let’s not forget the driver of the car that ran over people in two instances a block or two apart in DC, who was allowed to go his merry way by the police. I’m pretty sure he didn’t qualify for the “I had a kid in the car” exemption to attempted vehicular homicide.

  24. #24 |  hexag one | 

    That blacks youths are being arrested at far higher rates than non-black youths, despite using drugs less, is outrageous, but at this point we should hardly be surprised. That, after all, is the whole POINT of the drug war.

    We throw people in jail for possession of dried flowers (marijuana), not because we are afraid of the effects of dried flowers, but because the arbitrariness of it of them allows police to enforce the law unequally.

    That, above all, is why the drug war has gone on for so long. That’s its’ appeal. People vote for politicians that are tough on ‘crimes’ – like possession of dried flowers – so that police will arrest poor minorities disproportionally, thus putting the thumb of the state on the social scales that keep the middle and upper classes securely in their place.

  25. #25 |  Tim P | 

    Blacks probably arouse suspicion in police, some of it unfairly. But it seems from my observations that blacks are less careful than other races.

  26. #26 |  Chris Mallory | 

    #23,
    This is true and according to Dale Carson in his book Arrest Proof Yourself it is a main reason why blacks are arrested more often. Drinking or toking up on the street, in an alley, in a car are more likely to get you arrested than doing it in a home where a warrant is required. Who is going to be most likely to get busted? The black kid with expired tags and no insurance or the white kid with his paperwork in order and who doesn’t mouth off to the cop?

  27. #27 |  J | 

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/entries/icons/original/000/002/135/sw50sw8sw578.gif?1293729577

  28. #28 |  Aresen | 

    @ Yizmo Gizmo | November 8th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Actually, I think Donut Deprivation would probably be enough to break the baddies.

    :)

  29. #29 |  MassHole | 

    #22. Can you provide a link?

  30. #30 |  Mike T | 

    Who is going to be most likely to get busted? The black kid with expired tags and no insurance or the white kid with his paperwork in order and who doesn’t mouth off to the cop?

    The sad part is that many blacks don’t realize that Chris Rock was probably intending for this video to be as much of an education video for young black men as a comedy sketch.

  31. #31 |  Tim P | 

    This is way off subject, but I have been following the Penn St scandal very closely, and thought I’d share something here since I read this blog everyday. Wide receivers coach, former student coach, and former starting quarterback Mike McQueary walked into the locker room showers late at night and saw Jerry Sandusky having anal sex with a 10 year old boy. That was 9 years ago. McQueary has been walking around that campus for 9 years with that secret. Now these kids being raped were all poor kids, but more importantly they all lacked fathers in the home. Sandusky picked these kids with some thought. McQueary and the other 2 indicted faculty members knew these kids were fatherless and poor and I believe that’s why they were able to walk around for 9 years knowing a little boy was raped and didn’t do anything about it. I think about this in the context of black kids often not getting a fair shake from police and prosecutors. I also think you can draw a close parallel to McQueary not wanting to rat on a colleague and a police officer not wanting to rat on a fellow police officer.

  32. #32 |  Les | 

    Yeah, guys, the problem isn’t that black people drive around without insurance and mouth off to cops. The problem is that study after study clearly demonstrates that black people are targeted, arrested, and prosecuted at higher rates (and with stiffer penalties) than other races, when they’re not committing more crimes than people of other races.

    “Driving while asian” and “driving while white” are not problems in the U.S.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/policeabusedotcom2

    Sure, we all know that black people aren’t good tippers and that they like to talk at the movies, but that’s no reason to blame them for getting arrested at higher rates than they deserve.

  33. #33 |  2nd of 3 | 

    @JSL – Sure, if they actually prevent someone from leaving I agree they are in the wrong. I also agree these particular tactics probably aren’t helpful and make them look pretty bad, the claim violence just seemed a bit extreme to me.

    As for running over people, probably not a good idea if at all avoidable.

  34. #34 |  Kid Handsome | 

    #29 – I thought McQueary reported what he saw the next morning. I don’t think he waited 9 years. However, I have not been following very closely. I think McQueary is going to take a lot of heat, even though he did turn in a legend in his profession, at the institution where he achieved legendary status. That had to be tough.

  35. #35 |  rapscallion | 

    #29,
    The Penn St scandal is just another illustration of why it’s idiotic to give people the idea that crimes at universities or businesses should be reported to superiors and not to the police. Sexual harassment policies deserve a lot of the blame because they’ve created extra-legal institutional mechanisms that people see as authoritative for dealing with all manner of sex offenses, but are totally inadequate for serious crimes.

    If Mike McQueary had seen a little boy being raped on the street, he would have called the cops ASAP.

  36. #36 |  Jim | 

    Of COURSE the USSC will allow cops to track cars without a warrant, they do it now, and the SC has been reliably on the side of what ever law enforcement wants, Bill of Rights be damned, for decades. Scalia knows how tough it is out there for LEOs, he watches ’24’!

  37. #37 |  Juice | 

    More occupy asshattery.

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/11/07/socal-street-cart-vendors-hurting-after-occupy-group-splatters-blood-urine/

  38. #38 |  Mike T | 

    #35

    In addition to the attacks, the vendors also said they recently received death threats.

    It’s amazing how the mere rumor of a black man getting spat on by a Tea Party protester can create a whirlwind of media hysteria, but OWS protesters threatening to murder a food cart vendor gets barely a mention.

  39. #39 |  Mike T | 

    The violence and threats thereof against ordinary people like the 78 year old woman and these small business owners are why I’ve started to go from somewhat sympathetic to OWS to thinking that their problems could be best solved by a generous dose of 5.56 applied to them by the National Guard.

  40. #40 |  Sam | 

    Yes, we should visit statist violence against those people who do things we don’t personally approve of. Not drug use of course, but protesting the vast inequality that exists in society is definitely worthy of violence.

  41. #41 |  MH | 

    Peaceful protesting is fine. Violent protesting is not. And, I would add, blocking someone’s means of egress may be assault if it causes the person to fear violence if they were to attempt to walk past. The law prohibits threats of force, not just actual force. It would then be battery if any touching occurred.

  42. #42 |  Inkberrow | 

    On the drug study: it’s unclear from the Time article if those conducting the study consider there to be a distinction between use and “abuse”. Nor is it clear that respondents were interviewed under circumstances conducive to truthfulness. Finally, “arrested for drugs” does not necessarily mean “for drugs alone”. It could be one of several charges in a given bust, and not necessarily the primary reason for police attention in the first place. African-American drug users may be much more likely to support their habits by armed robbery, for instance. They turn out to be holding, and the PCS charge goes context-free into the data hopper of a study whose very auspices is to “prove” racial discrimination.

  43. #43 |  albatross | 

    It seems to me a good solution to rhis is videotaping misbehavior by protesters. This then provides evidence for criminal or civil cases later. as a bonus, the protesters probably won’t think they can get away with arresting you for taking videos of them.

  44. #44 |  omar | 

    …I’ve started to go from somewhat sympathetic to OWS to thinking that their problems could be best solved by a generous dose of 5.56 applied to them by the National Guard.

    It takes a real snake to swing from “sympathy” to wishing death in such short order.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    At #33:
    all crimes such as sexual abuse should be reported to the police thru your lawyer. Never talk to the police or you’ll be getting charged.

  46. #46 |  Tim P | 

    @33 In 2002 McQuery saw Sandusky raping the boy. He drove home, called his dad and they decided to talk to Joe Pa the next morning. McQuery has much to be ashamed about.
    @42 I disagree with that. There are certain crimes that require a moral stand be taken right away and this was one of them. Boyd I would hope that if you came across a 10 year old being raped you would first do everything in your power to stop it, then call 911 right away. Neither of those things were done in the Penn St case.

  47. #47 |  MassHole | 

    “I would hope that if you came across a 10 year old being raped you would first do everything in your power to stop it, then call 911 right away.”

    And make sure that old man child rapist “slipped” during the intervention and had to eat through a straw.

  48. #48 |  SamK | 

    Mike T, you haven’t watched the video, have you?

  49. #49 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @42 I disagree with that. There are certain crimes that require a moral stand be taken right away and this was one of them. Boyd I would hope that if you came across a 10 year old being raped you would first do everything in your power to stop it, then call 911 right away.

    How are you disagreeing with me? I stop crime when I see it (saying “STOP!” while taking pics with a phone usually works). If the crime warrants calling the police (which this sure did), give your statement with your lawyer present. Best way of making sure something good happens.

  50. #50 |  Ted S. | 

    @ #33 rapscallion

    The lesson I’ve learned from the Penn State scandal is that it’s another illustration of how if something is sufficiently morally repulsive, so many people will be willing to jettison the rule of law to see the accused person punished.

    And I say this as somebody who was sexually abused.

  51. #51 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “Surprise inspection of Mexican prison turns up 100 plasma TVs, 19 prostitutes.”

    I wonder what the Plasma TVs had done….

  52. #52 |  BSK | 

    Amazing how many people here have a knee jerk reaction that tells them a study that concludes that black folks aren’t exactly the worst things on earth must be utter bullshit.

  53. #53 |  JOR | 

    “9% of white kids, across the country, have a substance abuse problem serious enough to be labeled a disorder under the DSM? BS!”

    Keep in mind that pretty much every trait actual people have in real life is some kind of disorder under the DSM. We’ve gotten to the point where people don’t have quirks or habits or even personalities anymore; everyone is just a configuration of various disorders.

    So given that knowledge, I’m a little more reluctant to call BS. At least for that reason.

  54. #54 |  Awktalk | 

    Can someone please post the link or video of the Occupy DC violence? I look at all of these links Balko posts and I don’t see any violence. Can someone please point me in the right direction? I know the violence must be there, not just some old lady falling down stairs and not people blocking a street, because we all know that old lady falling down stairs and people blocking an intersection is not violence. So can someone please post a violence link?

  55. #55 |  Awktalk | 

    Is it possible that Balko is finally showing his “true colors” by:

    a) not disclosing that he is paid handsomely by the powers that fund and run “Americans for Prosperity”? That all of his anti-occupy links are to the sewers of the right-wing blogosphere (DailyCaller, Stacy McCain, Slate), yet he makes no mention of the fact that what he is defending is sending him a pay check every two weeks?

    b) none of the links he posts actually show any violence? Does Balko now believe that blocking intersections is a display of violence?

    I never wanted to believe that Balko was intellectually dishonest, but this post and the one from Saturday have proven that he is just another shill, protecting his own personal economic interest instead of what he pretends to stand up for. This is becoming despicable and grotesque.

  56. #56 |  markm | 

    “9% of white kids, across the country, have a substance abuse problem serious enough to be labeled a disorder under the DSM? BS!”

    This study used a definition that (properly) includes alcohol, and not just alchoholism (addiction), but any problem drinking. So start with the frat kids…

    OTOH, that makes the comparison to the arrest rates for illegal substances pretty questionable.

  57. #57 |  markm | 

    Awktalk: Physically blocking someone from going where they have a right to go is violence.

  58. #58 |  Xenocles | 

    “Study: Black youth less likely to do illicit drugs than all ethnic groups but Asians. And yet they’re arrested at a far, far higher rate.”

    Naturally, this just proves that the WoD is working. Now they just have to focus just as hard on all the other ethnic groups too.

    /s

  59. #59 |  MassHole | 

    #54 is correct.

    Awktalk. What would you do if someone physically trap you and and tried to prevent you from going about your business? Would you just sit down and hope they go away?

    There are consequences for actions. Aggressing towards someone may result in getting your ass kicked. Maybe there is a time and place for aggressive protest, but I’d say it’s pretty rare and certainly not appropriate in this case. No one would have been hurt here if the protesters had acted in a rational manner and engaged these people. Instead they acted like the emo version of the G-20 protests.

    A few simple things to remember:

    – If you stand in the road, you are taking the chance of getting hit by a car.

    – If you block people from going about their business with the intention of intimidating them, they may respond with violence.

    – Take responsibility for your actions and don’t cry victim when you are the one that instigated the situation.

    I really wish the OWS had a coherent message. To big to fail, socialized losses / privatized gains, unregulated CDS market, etc. are issues that must be addressed. Unfortunately, OWS doesn’t seem to be sophisticated enough make these point and has become a vehicle for the drum circle crew. It’s too bad.

  60. #60 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @36 – Among other things, it’s looking VERY probable that the death threats, at least, are a false flag operation.

    There have been at least two CONFIRMED attempted false flag ops against Occupy in the UK, one 99% sure police-instigated. Both foiled for now.

  61. #61 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “There are consequences for actions. Aggressing towards someone may result in getting your ass kicked.”

    My standing in a crowd shouting slogans isn’t aggression. If I grab you, purposely trip you, or tackle you, okay, that’s aggression. If I’m standing there and you have to shove past me, that’s your problem. If you rasie your hand to strike me because I’m in your way, you’re the one who initiated the violence, not me. Maybe you’ll kick my ass. Maybe it’ll go the other way. Regardless, I am not the one who attacked first.

  62. #62 |  Radley Balko | 

    Awktalk:

    You do realize that I haven’t worked for a Koch-funded group since May, right? And that when I did, I was paid to write about police brutality? Also, Slate is right-wing? I’d hate to see what you consider left-wing.

    And yes, I do believe that physically preventing someone from moving freely is a form of violence. So is vandalizing a food cart with urine and blood, throwing water on a reporter, and punching a photographer in the face.

  63. #63 |  JOR | 

    As a rule, assume any reported misbehavior on part of protest movements is a false flag operation, either by detractors or the police, until shown otherwise. Not because protest movements are by nature very well behaved (they’re not), but because defenders of the status quo become exceptionally dishonest or stupid when faced with protest movements they disagree with, and the police in these situations are acting on malevolent and completely insane motives beyond human comprehension.

  64. #64 |  Flight 714 | 

    Radley must be pretty well off with all this money that he’s being secretly paid by, well, everybody.

  65. #65 |  MassHole | 

    #61

    “My standing in a crowd shouting slogans isn’t aggression.” Correct – No one said it was.

    “If I grab you, purposely trip you, or tackle you, okay, that’s aggression.” – Yup

    “If I’m standing there and you have to shove past me, that’s your problem.” – Sure, if you’re just standing there minding your own business. If you along with others are making a concerned effort to hinder my lawful movements and actively changing your position to do so, then that is aggression Don’t cry about it if you get what you asked for. Why don’t you do a little experiment. Go make a point to keep a random person from being able to go on their way, maybe someone walking with their kids, and see what happens.

  66. #66 |  Tim P | 

    I hope nobody is saying that because black kids might not have substance abuse problems at the same rates as Mexican kids there is not a huge problem in black neighborhoods and families. There are. Take a look at any big city newspapers crime section and if you come to the conclusion that everything is fine I don’t think your paying attention.

  67. #67 |  Les | 

    @66, I can’t think of a single person at any time who has suggested that “everything is fine” when it comes to substance abuse in any low-income areas, regardless of race. The problem, of course, is that black folks are getting arrested for having illegal drugs at higher rates, while using and abusing illegal drugs at lower rates.

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