Morning Links

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
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55 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Police union alleges commanders are misspending forfeiture money.

    Yeah, I can see how the police union is looking out for the citizens here. LMAO! My guess is that nothing would have been said if some of those iPads had been going to union officials…

  2. #2 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    Criminal prosecution for an accidental sewage error.

  3. #3 |  Christ on a Cracker | 

    Re: Cop shot kid in Columbus

    The comments are frightening,. A couple of years ago Cols voted raised the income tax 25%. The warning was “pass this or we will need to disband the SWAT, undercover and freeway patrols”.

    Thank FSM I’m out of that hole.

  4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “When a Domino’s deliveryman thought an order from 139 Wrexham Ave. was suspicious, he alerted police and SWAT officers took over.”

    If they order the pineapple with double crust, or green peppers
    and pepperoni, with no pepsi, or suddenly
    switch from medium size to 24-inch, there’s almost
    always some foul play at work.
    Pizza Cops are trained for that. They’re considered the Elite in
    Law Enforcement circles.

  5. #5 |  Mark Flakne | 

    Here is a petition in support of Chief Burton in his battle against the police union. Anyone can sign.

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/in-support-of-columbia-mo-police-chief-ken-burton/

  6. #6 |  Jesse | 

    [i]”We’re not turning over one inch of Texas to the cartels, or transnational gangs that support them,” said McCraw.[/i]

    You mean like the ATF and CIA?

  7. #7 |  syskill | 

    Ron Paul could pull an upset in Iowa. I predict that if he does, whoever comes in second will be declared the winner.

    That would be hilarious if it weren’t true…

  8. #8 |  Invid | 

    Some of the pizza details are troublesome – a pizza was apparently ordered for a vacant house and the undercover officer was met outside by some kids (one with a knife and mace).

    But even if they were looking to rob the cop, after he whipped out his gun I’m trying to imagine the robber who would still try to attack. Unless the cop waited to the last possible second to pull the gun which is stupid.

    The comments are awful though. I always hope that one day the police will mistakenly visit the home of one of these commentors so they can enjoy having their peers assume that they are scumbags on comment boards.

  9. #9 |  Comrade Dread | 

    I’m looking forward to seeing the GOP and the their friends in the corporate media heads explode if Paul wins Iowa. The entertainment value would be phenomenal.

    And, if I had to pick one man out of the GOP clown car of candidates, it would be Paul. As much as I disagree with his economic ideas, the man is actually principled, and if he stopped the foreign intervention madness, it might be worth it to put up with four years of Austrian economics.

  10. #10 |  BamBam | 

    “put up with four years of Austrian economics.”

    As opposed to the Keynesian notionsof central command being able to force and predict what people will buy, how they will buy, when they will buy, and hoist the same provably failed system onto everyone?

  11. #11 |  Leah | 

    Those are going to be some angry Norwegians on Christmas Eve with no julekake.

  12. #12 |  CyniCAl | 

    Regarding the story of the sheriff who wants to pay people $100 to narc on drug dealers, the blogger is missing the true genius of it.

    There doesn’t need to be one single case of a citizen actually following through with the offer and narcking on a drug dealer for $100, the only thing that matters from a law enforcement perspective is the publicity of the offer.

    This is the big assumption: if enough street drug dealers (assuming that there actually are street drug dealers) become aware that every one of their potential customers could be narcs, then that would first put a dent in their business, then drive it further underground. Which, even from a diehard decriminalizationist like me, would be preferable from it being sold on the streets.

    So, I think one needs to evaluate this from a very Machiavellian viewpoint regarding the sheriff’s behavior, because on the face of it, his idea doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    Of course, just about all LEOs are drooling morons, so I could be giving him WAY too much credit. Just trying to climb inside the sick, twisted minds that are LEOs and figure them out, that’s all.

  13. #13 |  EH | 

    Mark Flakne: Internet petitions are stupid and always a waste of time and effort.

  14. #14 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    “The CPOA cements the perverse solidarity that separates the the police from the community and turns otherwise good cops into accessories to the crimes of the few truly bad cops. Ratting on a bad CPOA member cop would carry a harsher punishment than ratting on a gang member in the streets.”

    I disagree that only a few cops are “truly bad”, but otherwise this is a great passage.

  15. #15 |  captainahags | 

    The comments on the pizza story are ridiculous. I’m not going to say that the full story was necessarily told, because it doesn’t seem anyone knows it there, but the number of people saying that he had to be a criminal just because the officer shot him is disgusting, as well as the number of people saying that the officer should have shot to kill. At a 15 year old.

  16. #16 |  Fascist Nation | 

    “Ron Paul could pull an upset in Iowa. I predict that if he does, whoever comes in second will be declared the winner.”

    Thanks for the good chuckle!

  17. #17 |  JimBob | 

    Hey, BamBam–

    It’s not really productive to act like an ass just because some disagrees with some of the things Ron Paul supports. I’m an Austrian economics guy myself, but if somebody is willing to come on board with Ron Paul on the basis of stopping foreign wars, ending attacks on our civil liberties, stopping the insane drug war, and maybe trying to restore some of our fucking freedoms, it’s usually best to just say “Welcome aboard”.

  18. #18 |  Burgers Allday | 

    But even if they were looking to rob the cop, after he whipped out his gun I’m trying to imagine the robber who would still try to attack. Unless the cop waited to the last possible second to pull the gun which is stupid.

    This reminds me of a case we were discussing at ratemycop this week:

    http://ratemycop.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=162&func=view&catid=11&id=78450#78450

    except in that case it was a private homeowner who shoot and killed the putative burglar.

  19. #19 |  CyniCAl | 

    Reread BamBam’s comment JimBob. Exactly how was he being an “ass?” Because he didn’t conform to your idea that one shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good? Seems you need to look in the mirror.

  20. #20 |  Difster | 

    I wish that headline read “15 year old boy shoots cop dressed up as pizza delivery man.” It would have been far more satisfying.

    If Ron Paul wins Iowa, what it will mean is that Iowa is not a significant race, if he loses, then it’s very significant.

  21. #21 |  Phelps | 

    Sounds like it is now harder to become a tour guide in NOLA now than a cop.

  22. #22 |  BamBam | 

    JimBob, what Cynical said.

  23. #23 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “I wish that headline read “15 year old boy shoots cop dressed up as pizza delivery man.” It would have been far more satisfying.”

    Yeah, psychiatrists could use fridge magnets and let people
    rearrange that sentence to their greatest liking in order to
    assess personality traits, creativity and rebelliousness.

  24. #24 |  Chuchundra | 

    I could see Paul winning Iowa. I don’t think it’s likely, but I wouldn’t be shocked. The GOP field is very weak (Gingrich? Really?) and I could see the Paulites overwhelming everyone else’s ground game.

    Even if he wins in Iowa, what does that really mean? Howard Dean won big in Iowa too.

    Paul has a pretty hard ceiling of support in the GOP that’s not much north of 25%. He doesn’t have the money or the machine to compete in big states.

  25. #25 |  Mark Flakne | 

    EH: “Mark Flakne: Internet petitions are stupid and always a waste of time and effort.”

    We are also gathering old-fashioned signatures on paper.

    In a way, I agree with you, EH. The online petition will carry very little real weight, if any, with the government agents and/or bureaucrats in city management, but I don’t agree that it is stupid or a complete waste of time.

    The folks who are seeking Chief Burton’s resignation are circulating an online petition and their cause was/is receiving a great deal of attention from the local media in our little town of 100k. Our petition drive was mounted merely to prove a point (that more people support the chief) and garner some media attention for supporters of Chief Burton. The comments on the online petition will hopefully serve as moral support for the chief.

    If Burton is pushed out or decides to move on just to get away from the headache caused by these veteran “beat first ask questions later” cops, no prospective chief interested in reforming the department will come within miles of Columbia.

    Burton has done more than fire this brutal cop and work to combat racial bias among his officers. He called a moratorium on the use of SWAT and “dynamic entry” in the service of search warrants for non-violent crimes, especially those concerning cannabis. He has put an end to the misuse of confiscated weapons and drugs in the department. Heck, the guy hosts screenings of Flex Your Rights “10 Rules For Dealing With Police.”

    He’s not perfect, as Radley’s blogs have reflected, but he’s about the best we can hope for in a police chief. Sending a message of appreciation and support in the form of an online petition can’t hurt.

  26. #26 |  JimBob | 

    What-the-fuck-ever. I capitulate. I guess using differences of opinions as an excuse to make condescending asshole arguments REALLY IS a totally awesome way to help elect the one major candidate who doesn’t (completely) suck. You’re TOTALLY right.

    I guess this means I’m helping now? Or do I need more condescension?

    Do you realize how much an attitude like BamBam’s turns people off? It’s like listening to all the democrats who agree with you when you talk about civil liberties and ending corporate welfare, then contemptuously sneer at you for not buying into universal health care. “Well, I guess you only care about LETTING OLD PEOPLE DIE COLD AND ALONE SO DOCTORS CAN DRIVE PORSCHES!”

    Screw that. I’ll call it as I see it. BamBam’s comment was assholic in nature. I may be an asshole, too, but at least I’m aware of it. I’m also aware that bringing people around to ideas like Hayek’s doesn’t involve mocking them for holding a different viewpoint.

  27. #27 |  EH | 

    I don’t agree that it is stupid or a complete waste of time.

    That’s fine, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are both. Always. Two people at a city council meeting can beat any amount of internet signatures.

  28. #28 |  Highway | 

    JimBob, you really seem to be overreacting here. I sure didn’t read BamBam’s as mocking Comrade Dread.

  29. #29 |  Dave | 

    Texas having a “navy’ is not an issue (they already have the federal recognized Texas Maritime Regiment) the issue is a law enforcement branch having this kind of vessel (even though my local NYPD has armored patrol boats with 50cals, which I also think is an issue). This is Border Patrol juris not the state of Texas. I mean here in NY we have the NY Naval Militia ( a government paramilitary force) that patrols our water ways with a variety of boats, some similar to this one in texas. The difference is Texas has theirs under the command of law enforcement and here in NY we have it under the command of New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs which also handles our National Guard. The five states with Naval Militias have them recognized by the DoD and operate similar to the NG but not exactly like it (these are purely state agencies and not federal military like the national guard) and exist under Title 10 of the United States Code. They are a state run paramilitary force that sometimes can join up with the the Coast Guard or the navy depending on situations. If texas had used the Texas Maritime Regiment, their registed Naval Militia, then I would have no problem with it, but giving it to TPS, a law enforcement branch, that is an issue

  30. #30 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “The sheriff will pay people up to $100 to tell him who is dealing drugs and then possibly help with undercover work.”

    Perhaps the sheriff will also provide free pizza to any kid that rats out their mom and dad for smoking weed on the weekends.

    The U.S. seems to be well on its way to becoming like East Germany (with better P.R., perhaps). In East Germany, there were many Stazi (secret police) officers, but they almost didn’t need as many as they had. The reason: damn near everybody thought that everybody else was an informant for the Stazi. If you just make everyone feel like they are being watched, maybe they will behave. And the just go on talking about that “land of the free” jive.

  31. #31 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #25 Mark Flakne:

    I gladly signed your petition, Mark. I agree with your comments as well. Don’t mind EH, he just thinks he’s a little better than the rest of us proles.
    I live in Central IL, so I won’t be able to attend a council meeting in Columbia, but I’m sure that EH will be glad to attend. Ya know, since he believes that this is what a true, pure activist would do.

  32. #32 |  Marty | 

    the Texas navy is gonna be busy- they gotta write a lot of tickets and confiscate a lot of assets to cover 40 cops and 6 boats. these are 1/2 million dollar boats- I can’t imagine the maintenance and fuel costs.

  33. #33 |  Ben | 

    I agree with JimBob. Radley writes about topics that will bring readers with political opinions broad enough that not everyone will be whole-hog libertarians. I don’t really get why BamBam would pick out that one point and argue economic policy with someone who, although definitely not a libertarian, is willing to entertain supporting Ron Paul due to agreeing with him on other issues. What does that accomplish? Does everyone who supports Ron Paul HAVE to be converted to libertarianism in all policy areas? This isn’t a libertarian policy site, is it?

  34. #34 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    CyniCAl,

    On another tack; can you imagine the kind of adolescent morons who would be WILLING to wear a wire for $100?

    And, just to be cynical myself, what do you bet that one or more of the wire-wearers (if any step forward) gets charged with attempting to buy, notwithstanding that they were supposedly working for the cops at the time?

  35. #35 |  Greg C | 

    @ #3 re: Columbus taxes and cops

    I remember a couple years ago one of the local news stations ( either 4 or 10) was covering a fairly small-time burglary or something similar and interviewed the victim on camera. At the end the “reporter” said something along the lines of ” If you don’t vote for a tax increase, the police will no longer be able to respond to any crimes and everyone in the city is going to be robbed and assaulted.”

  36. #36 |  Greg C | 

    @ #24

    So, you are saying only Romney has a chance? Paul has more money and volunteers than Gingrich. I think Perry did have more money, but I don’t think he does anymore.

  37. #37 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Fuck the police union. Union officials along with the thug cop should all go to jail. When is it that the unions will finally admit that an officer is wrong ?

  38. #38 |  CyniCAl | 

    Not sure you got my point, CSP. I think the sheriff’s idea could be effective (and cost-effective) by just making drug dealers think twice about EVERY customer of theirs. There doesn’t need to be an actual informant.

    It’s kind of like the idea that security cameras that are hollow decoys can be just as effective a deterrent as a real camera if the decoys look exactly like functioning cameras. It’s the idea that that one thinks one is being watched, not the actual watching itself that is most effective. Same principle behind those ceramic owls that people put in their gardens to scare away crows and whatnot.

    As for you JimBob, man, if you think there’s an actual chance of Ron Paul getting elected president, by whatever strategy you can dream up, then you are one helluva sucker. I, for one, and I know I’m not alone, would rather speak up for what I know is true and be an asshole in your eyes than think that if I just shut up about Austrian economics or the demonstrable failures of Keynesian or Monetarist economics that will somehow get Ron Paul elected — which as an anarchist, is meaningless to me anyway.

  39. #39 |  CyniCAl | 

    #33 | Ben — “This isn’t a libertarian policy site, is it?”

    Umm … yes Ben, it is. And Austrian economics is Libertarianism 101. Well maybe 201, right after decriminalization of marijuana. ;-)

  40. #40 |  Ben | 

    CyniCAL – Radley’s bio on this site mentions that he writes about criminal justice abuses, civil liberties, music and the Nashville scene. Yes, he does occasionally bring up some libertarian economic topics, but that’s maybe the 5th biggest focus of this site, at most. You’re going to get non-libertarians coming here for the other topics, and the goal is to purge all of them with economic discussions, then that’s bad for Radley.

    And as for your second point, that certainly as hell wasn’t MY experience when I first became interested in libertarianism. For me, the civil liberties side is what brought me in. It wasn’t until I was pretty much onboard before I started reading about the economic theories. And a lot more people would be coming over from the left if people didn’t start the conversation off with shoving Hayek down everyone’s throat.

  41. #41 |  ice9 | 

    Dave, if you’re still listening on the thread, thanks for a concise and comprehensive comment on the Texas Navy. And Marty, that 580K figure is for six of them, I believe.

    ice9

  42. #42 |  albatross | 

    Cynical: Yeah, because there certainly arent any other schools of economic thought common among libertarians–I mean aside from an obscure movement centered on a little-known private college in the biggest city in Illinois, and who’s ever heard of them?

  43. #43 |  Comrade Dread | 

    @BamBam

    Does it have to be one or the other?

    Couldn’t we have a saner economics theory where we did our best to eliminate corporatism, enact some free market reforms, still protect people from the negative externalities of capitalism (via safety net programs, law enforcement, and judicial options), and be fiscally responsible enough with our tax policies so that we balance our budget most years (or pay off existing debt) and have enough leverage to borrow money in bad years to try and lessen the impact?

  44. #44 |  Comrade Dread | 

    And to clarify, I was a libertarian, but I reassess my economic beliefs because given the clusterfuck of the last few years, I no longer believe that the people running companies make rational decisions based on the long term health of their companies.

    They make short term quarterly decisions to reap short term profit and bonuses, straddle the legal boundary of fraud, and expect that the government will dutifully clean up the shit they leave behind and never hold them accountable.

    And I’m not convinced that giving them even more freedom is going to encourage them to change.

  45. #45 |  JOR | 

    #44, Well, it’s funny, but Austrian economics explains that much better than rival schools (when consistently applied, as it sadly not often is). And it’s a misperception shared by most libertarians and non-libertarians that companies would be “more free” in a free market. In most ways, the biggest firms would be much less free, in the same way that cops, who would no longer get to harass, rob, assault, torture, and kidnap people with impunity, would be much less free in a libertarian society than they are now.

    In practice, the mainstream left is probably the biggest ally that the corporate elite has. Whether this is intentional or not probably varies from mainstream leftist to mainstream leftist.

  46. #46 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Well, it’s funny, but Austrian economics explains that much better than rival schools (when consistently applied, as it sadly not often is).

    Well, there’s the problem. In theory a lot of things sound good. It’s in the application where things tend to break down, and I’m unconvinced that the application of said principles wouldn’t result in a robber-baron economy where everyone except the well-connected was expected to be an island.

  47. #47 |  The Angry RPh | 

    “Ron Paul could pull an upset in Iowa. I predict that if he does, whoever comes in second will be declared the winner.”

    It’s starting now: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/15/politics/ron-paul-iowa/index.html

    From the article: “If Paul wins, then whoever comes in second — assuming its Gingrich or Romney — will ‘win’ having beaten the other. So, whoever comes in third under this scenario is the loser.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  48. #48 |  JOR | 

    Whenever someone says something like, “that sounds good in theory, but won’t work in practice”, it’s a telltale sign that they don’t know how theories relate to application, and that they don’t understand the theory in question. And yes, it’s a telltale sign when people say it about communism or single payer healthcare or whatever, too.

    Corporations have too much freedom because they are creatures of the state, which itself is The One Big Corporation that leftoids are so afraid of. I don’t blame idiot leftists too much for not seeing this, as plenty of libertarians don’t quite get it (or its implications) either: there are only private interests.

  49. #49 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    And I’m not convinced that giving them even more freedom is going to encourage them to change.

    It’s not about giving them more freedom, it’s about giving them more responsibility and consequences for their actions, which the government currently does a pretty good job of shielding them from at the expense of the rest of us.

  50. #50 |  Comrade Dread | 

    No, it’s a pretty accurate statement of human nature.

    There are vested interests with power, money, and influence that exist. They will game the system. They will protect themselves, and what you will get out of a move towards Austrian economics will not be the free market anarcho-capitalist system you want. It will be a system called the ‘free market’ where everyone who has power, money, and influence will continue to be shielded from responsibly, consequence, and harm, while everyone without those things will be fed to wolves when they can’t make their credit card payments.

  51. #51 |  Comrade Dread | 

    @Just Plain Brian

    Companies can be pretty good at shielding themselves on their own too, at least the large, multinational ones, who can overwhelm individuals with the resources at their disposal, or limit ‘punishment’ for misdeeds to a single subsidiary while shielding higher-ups.

  52. #52 |  albatross | 

    comrade dread:

    So, we’ll get the same system we have now?

  53. #53 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Well, the system we have now, minus safety net programs, Medicare, Social Security, and schooling, but we’ll get new toll roads, education corporations (which will probably require government vouchers, grants, and subsidized loans like college), and for-profit libraries, so we got that going for us. :)

  54. #54 |  JOR | 

    “No, it’s a pretty accurate statement of human nature. ”

    Any time someone mentions human nature, it’s a telltale sign that they understand neither what they are saying nor what the interlocutor is saying.

  55. #55 |  JOR | 

    #53, so the system we have now did not arise from human beings acting out their human nature?

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