Morning Links

Monday, January 9th, 2012

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34 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I’ll bet that kid with the pocket knife takes THAT lesson to heart; “Don’t trust the authorities!”

    And later, the school admin types will poll these kids about smoking and drug use, AND BELIEVE THE ANSWERS!

  2. #2 |  omar | 

    Gwinnett is great.

    When I was in 8th grade, the Gwinnett County school system put me in four days of in-school suspension for joking that a maple leaf pulled from a tree outside the classroom was pot. The brilliant minds called the cops to examine the leaf, which was conclusively maple. When I protested that I hadn’t actually done anything wrong, zero tolerance was evoked.

    Zero tolerance is old-hat now. I’m in my 30s.

  3. #3 |  Highway | 

    Hey, they did him a big favor! They *could* have suspended him for 10 days! They did you a big favor too, omar. Aren’t you glad they bent the rules to not kick you out for 10 days?

    They’re really fuckin’ magnanimous.

  4. #4 |  Mario | 

    Radley, you could spin off another blog just for Florida.

  5. #5 |  FridayNext | 

    I realize this will be a really unpopular sentiments in these parts. I understand ridiculousness and dangers of teacher’s unions and the drag they are on education reform. I get all that. But if the asshats who suspended this kid were the ones making decisions that profoundly effected my career and ability to provide for my family, I’d join a union, too.

  6. #6 |  nigmalg | 

    The FDOT likes to use the Honor System for writing tickets. Officers using the totality of the circumstances will decide if you were going “too fast”.

  7. #7 |  Bob Mc | 

    Bush era represented “the golden years of libertarianism.”

    Someone doesn’t know what libertarianism is.

  8. #8 |  FloO | 

    “Student disciplined after reporting knife at school.”

    I only takes one interaction before you understand that you never, ever trust a scrub-haired, bitter, crazy-eyed hippo, on a mission from God, and working for the county government.

  9. #9 |  marco73 | 

    re: Florida DOT story.
    Not sure if it’s the law in other states, but here in Florida speeding fines are doubled when workers are present.
    “Workers” and “present” can have some unusual meanings. It is not uncommon for multiple troopers to be ticketing a section of SR 60 when the only workers present are parked way off the road, in a vacant corner lot that is being used for a material storage area, having lunch.

  10. #10 |  marco73 | 

    Conclusion of a horrible drug war death from 2008: recent college grad is arrested for a having a tiny amount of pot and some pills without a prescription. Untrained and frightened young girl is then talked into setting up her “dealers” with a big felony drug sting.
    Incompetent cops lose the girl’s trail, and the young girl is killed by the drug dealers who figured it was a sting. Both drug dealers are caught and get a life sentence for murder.
    The family finally settled with the city for a large sum of money. All the cops involved are still in law enforcement, some with promotions. Family is left with only memories of a life cut short, and taxpayers are out $2.6 million. OK gang, identify any winners here.

  11. #11 |  Ahcuah | 

    Not to burst anybody’s bubble, but Nick Gillespie really took the “the golden years of libertarianism” quote out of its context. If you look at where Frank’s says that, he is referring specifically to the hands-off free-market economics portion of libertarianism, not the whole thing. And he points out how that all crashed down.

    Yes, he is sloppy to use the word “libertarianism” since it applies to so much else. And yes, in the full quote he refers to big government. But, in context, he is criticizing the adoption of the economic policies that left us open to the criminality of market manipulations of all sorts. (And yes, I recognize that some libertarians recognize the rent-seeking that often comes with large corporations.)

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    All the cops involved are still in law enforcement, some with promotions.

    Again, I need to get a job where fucking up is never punished and often rewarded…even if someone gets murdered.

  13. #13 |  tarran | 

    If you look at where Frank’s says that, he is referring specifically to the hands-off free-market economics portion of libertarianism, not the whole thing.

    Jesus Christ! Anybody who can say that’s what was going on in the age of Sarbanes Oxley, “the Greenspan Put”, the U.S. tax code, and the Patriot Act’s anti-money laundering provisions is either incredibly ignorant or a modern day Goebels.

    The myth that the free market collapsed in the 2000’s is as pernicious a myth as the one that posits that the Jews stabbed Germany in the back in WW I.

  14. #14 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    #13 I had copied the same text in preparation for mocking and ridicule. After hitting F5 I see that you handled the task quite capably.

    Here are but a few examples of the hands-on approaches of Shrub:

  15. #15 |  CyniCAl | 

    •It isn’t zero tolerance if you call it something else.

    Four days off from a State indoctrination center sounds like a pretty good ride to me.

  16. #16 |  Hal_10000 | 

    Why am I not surprised by the Florida speed limit thing. The government has, for years, taken an attitude about the law that you’ll know you broke when they arrest you. We’re al slathered in 6 million regulations written in legal Martian with interpretations left up to prosecutors and judges. At least Florida is being honest about trolling for tickets.

  17. #17 |  Marty | 

    being a transgender hooker, I can’t imagine that victim’s life was a cakewalk up until she was murdered. horrible drug war story, indeed.

  18. #18 |  Highway | 

    Four days off from a State indoctrination center sounds like a pretty good ride to me.

    No, CyniCAl, you only get the days off from the State Indoctrination Center if it’s the 10-day one. The four day one is “in-school” suspension, so you have to go and be ‘punished’ there.

  19. #19 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    You have a point. I’m not against Public School teachers having a union. I’m against Public Schools having a lock on nearly all education money from the State. We need Vouchers. And while we can’t get them, we need to fund private charities for children who would otherwise have no options.

    Break up the near-monopoly of the Public School System, and I think (I HOPE) that a lot of other education-related stupidities will begin to sort themselves out.

  20. #20 |  JimBob | 


    Unfortunately, the punishment was four days of “in-school” suspension. So it’s actually more like four days of hard-core prison-prep indoctrination, often meted out by a surly former phys ed teacher (“SIT STILL, SHUT UP! IF YOU DIDN’T WANT TO BE HERE, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE FOLLOWED THE RULES!”).

    Really, I don’t see why you expect the this young man’s punishment to be a vacation. The article never said the kid was a cop, after all.

  21. #21 |  StrangeOne | 

    I once got three days of in-school suspension for getting punched in the face after laughing at a joke. I naievely assumed I shouldn’t have fought back because I thought I wouldn’t be punished just for getting jacked. In retrospect I should have been as violent as possible to prevent the other prisoners students from seeing me as weak.

    It was a lot like solitary, we could only read, no one was allowed to talk, we were served lunch seperate from other kids, also in silence. And we were given additional work that “would be graded”, which I’m pretty sure was thrown in the garbage by my real teachers.

    Fights were rampant in the school, but unless it happened directly in front of a teacher they wouldn’t bother to do anything about it. The fact that the administrators gave victim and bully equal punishment kind of destroyed any chance of someone speaking up about it.

    The funny thing is that as a kid I had heard the “schools are prisons” analogy and thought it was hyperbolic, but as an adult I’m less sure about that.

  22. #22 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The zero tolerance story reminded me that the state is staffed by Humpty Dumpty.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone. “It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

    Fucking words! How do they work?

  23. #23 |  CyniCAl | 

    I stand corrected, thank you all for the nut-punch. After all, that’s why we keep coming back. ;-)

    The best advice you can give a kid in a State Indoctrination Center is to beat the crap out of another student in a crowded cafeteria on the first day of school. Instant alpha status, with all the attendant attention from the ladies and the respect of the betas. And you might even get a 10-day furlough too.

    The State is so good at perverse incentives. If only knew then what I know now.

  24. #24 |  UCrawford | 

    Don’t know if anyone saw, but Haley Barbour apparently pardoned another wife murderer over the objections of the victims’ families and the state parole board.

    I realize this has absolutely nothing to do with anything Radley posted today, but it struck me as something worth mentioning since Radley wrote an article about Barbour’s bizarre pardoning tendencies for Slate a couple of years ago.

  25. #25 |  Nick T. | 

    #13, that’s exactly right.

    It would be great if people recognize that corporation/industry-favoring regulations are NOT free market economics. Bush wasn’t hands off, free market he was always help the big guy who’s executive is my friend. Just a raging corporatist.

  26. #26 |  EBL | 

    Sort of like a big fuckin’ deal! I love that photo, very funny.

  27. #27 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The Barbour pardon story is bizarre. No mention of what might have warranted a pardon…for a guy who murdered his wife in ’93 and tried to kill another guy. I’m wearing underwear I bought it ’93–so it ain’t that long ago.

    The guy was working at the governor’s mansion, so Haley may have just liked the cut of his jib. Would like to know the whole story.

  28. #28 |  UCrawford | 

    @Boyd…the guy, like all the other pardons, was a trustee inmate. Meaning he worked at Barbour’s house doing some kind of labor under some weird program they do in Mississippi. Barbour seems to have a fondness for giving them pardons. It’s interesting, though, how many of them who received pardons have been wife killers…and not even wife killers whose guilt was in doubt.

    Radley’s piece in 2009 touched on it a bit more:

  29. #29 |  Rojo | 

    So, under the school’s policy, the incentive for a kid who actually does accidentally bring something dangerous to school is not to self-report and instead try to get away with it. That’s thoroughly stupid.

  30. #30 |  Aresen | 

    @ UCrawford

    Well, there was this one-armed man…

  31. #31 |  c andrew | 

    Strangeone wrote:

    The fact that the administrators gave victim and bully equal punishment kind of destroyed any chance of someone speaking up about it.

    I think that this deliberate moral equivalence between aggressive violence and self-defense is not accidental. I think that they want to create citizens who will equate the violence of the state with legitimate force and question their own right to defend themselves.

  32. #32 |  Frank Hummel | 

    More good stuff from the Gwinett county school district:

  33. #33 |  Elliot | 

    When a girl with a history of being a bit nutty sat down behind me in my 10th-grade English class, pulled a revolver out of her purse, and set it down on her desk with a loud clunk which told me it was quite heavy and obviously real, I was rather shocked. “See my gun?” she asked. When asked WTF she was doing bringing a gun to school, she told me she was going to shoot herself. I was pretty sure this was a desperate cry for attention—she had previously brought a bottle of whiskey in her purse and made a point of showing it to others in school. She put the gun back in her purse and later got up from her desk, at which point I let the people around me know about the situation.

    Did we turn her in, thus ensuring the girl would be expelled and face criminal charges?


    Another girl, Dana, took the gun from the purse, wrapped it up in a sweater, and said nothing. She took the gun home to her father, who would hold onto it until the “unstable” girl’s parents contacted him.

    The authorities were bypassed and the girl’s parents had to confront the situation.

  34. #34 |  StrangeOne | 

    c andrew,

    I think you’re painting school administrators as more cunning than they really are. The truth is that zero-tolerance gained prominence because it creates a system that allows the administrators to bypass making judgement calls.

    If two kids fight and one of them is clearly the agressor and you punish the aggressor as such; you now have to deal with angry parents who can’t believe their precious snowflake spends recess making other kids eat mud. Theirs a flipside to it too, one kid throws a rock and gets the shit beat out of him and then goes crying to mommy about the bullies at school. Aggressor/Victim status is rarley clear cut in schools fights. Kids are manipulative, and parents are easily manipulated, all to the chagrin of school officials.

    I would contend that dealing with those situations is their JOB, its what they signed up for. But instead they have adopted zero-tolerance policies and when the parents complain, legitamately or not, they can wash their hands of it and say “its school policy”.