Morning Links

Monday, January 23rd, 2012
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42 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Illinois cold medicine:

    As I am suffering a cold, I offer a toast to the old NyQuil. You used to be able to take two shots and drift off into a coma to dream of riding unicorns over gravy rivers and Bill Murray as your wingman all with an Edith Pilaf soundtrack.

    THIS is why I hate government.

  2. #2 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “LANCASTER, Calif. (KTLA) — Authorities in Lancaster have yet to find a weapon in the fatal shooting of a man who deputies thought was armed.”

    He didn’t have a bicycle light. Now he’s dead. Only in America, folks.
    Note the wording, they “have yet” to find the weapon.
    Looked in his pants, not there, in his hand, not there,
    in his shoe, not there. In his nostril, not there.
    Damn, where is that gun? No way they could have just shot
    a guy with no gun, that would suggest officer misconduct.

  3. #3 |  NAME REDACTED | 

    Dems are more honest. They stay bought?

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    The only thing that pisses me off more than Newt Gingrich are all the assholes commenting about how smart he is and how he’ll destroy Obama in the debates. Nothing magnifies delusional dumbassary like democracy.

  5. #5 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Thanks for linking my blog on the puppycide thingee. I wanted to mention to the readers that I would have linked the court opinion, but I could not find it in any freely available database. I hated to criticize w/out linking, but I blame the thing on PACER.

    Also, if you would like to see me singing “Kid Charlemagne” then that is here:

    http://youtu.be/KRluJh1-9rE

  6. #6 |  Let's Be Free | 

    Gingrich is a personable and that makes him a phony. How deep must you dig?

  7. #7 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “The deputies chased Cobian for a short distance before he allegedly reached for his waistband. That’s when at least one of the deputies opened fire, hitting Cobian.”

    Jesus not another “waistband” shooting. Let’s see, reputed gang member in southern California. Maybe he reached into his waistband because he had BAGGY PANTS and was trying to pull them up while running. Based on my experience with gang members in my neck of the woods, this seems pretty likely. They have their own uniforms, which tend to include baggy ass pants. And all over the fucking lack of a bicycle light. Sounds like a shitty shooting to me.

  8. #8 |  JimBob | 

    Okay, we need to write down the official rules for “not getting shot by cops who are somehow on the force despite having uncorrected eyesight problems that make Mr. Magoo look like a fucking Marine Sniper”:

    1. Don’t ever reach for your waistband; it might be a weapon.
    2. Don’t ever hold a cellphone; it might be a weapon (and if it isn’t, they’ll beat the shit out of you and smash it anyway, just to try and make sure that you didn’t record your encounter)
    3. Don’t ever have an actual gun on your person, even if it’s legal and you notify the cops, because then they’ll spend ten minutes threatening to shoot you in the head and telling you that they’re legally capable of doing so without repercussions
    4. Don’t look like you’ve EVER done drugs; a cop might think you’ve done PCP and shoot you pre-emptively.
    5. Don’t get confused by the conflicting orders you’re given; this might be mistaken for non-compliance, which is a good reason to shoot you.

    Anything I’m missing?

  9. #9 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Whatever political tick started the ‘register to buy pseudophedrine’ nonsense shoul be struck briskly across the sinuses with a five iron.

    Dolt.

  10. #10 |  Charlie O | 

    Cobian was wanted on a felony drug warrant. That will trump everything and make it OK to have killed him.

    The dog murder decision only solidifies my sincere belief that pet owners everywhere should immediately shoot any cop who kills their pet. Since it is obvious there will NEVER be any legal ramifications or consequences for these asswipes. Shoot them immediately. I have a black lab that is completely harmless (except to chipmunks and rabbits). He will run up to anyone to anyone to begging for attention. Based on the stories I’ve read here, this is all the excuse cops seem to need to shoot a dog. If it ever happened to my lab, there will be a dead cop laying in the street.

  11. #11 |  Leonard | 

    Seconding #6. Here’s a quote from the article: Gingrich also appears to make a distinction between individual reporters and the media as a whole. Shocking! The man appears to be able to do what anyone more intelligent than drooling moron can.

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    1. Don’t ever reach for your waistband; it might be a weapon.
    2. Don’t ever hold a cellphone; it might be a weapon (and if it isn’t, they’ll beat the shit out of you and smash it anyway, just to try and make sure that you didn’t record your encounter)
    3. Don’t ever have an actual gun on your person, even if it’s legal and you notify the cops, because then they’ll spend ten minutes threatening to shoot you in the head and telling you that they’re legally capable of doing so without repercussions
    4. Don’t look like you’ve EVER done drugs; a cop might think you’ve done PCP and shoot you pre-emptively.
    5. Don’t get confused by the conflicting orders you’re given; this might be mistaken for non-compliance, which is a good reason to shoot you.

    6. Don’t drink from a Dr. Pepper can…might be mistaken for a gun when undercover cops bum-rush you at midnight on an empty street.
    7. Don’t defend your home from intruders in the middle of the night as they rush into your bedroom without ever saying a word.
    8. Don’t be a kid who sits up on a couch when the front door is blown open; or you’ll get shot in the head by a cop peaking through your window.
    9. Don’t answer the door when they knock; or they’ll shoot you.
    10. Don’t NOT answer the door when they knock; or they’ll shoot you.
    11. Don’t be mentally disabled; or you’ll be shot for acting funny.
    12. Don’t be big; or you’ll be shot for being menacing.
    13. Don’t take pictures; cameras look like guns.
    14. Don’t be foreign; you’ll be shot for not following English commands
    15. Don’t be old; you’ll be shot for not running away.
    16. Don’t run away; you’ll be shot for not standing still.
    17. Don’t surrender to an arrest; you might be shot because bad-trigger-discipline.
    18. Don’t lay handcuffed on the ground; you might be shot because mistook-gun-for-taser.

    I have 30 more…and I’d still miss some.

  13. #13 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    …my sincere belief that pet owners everywhere should immediately shoot any cop who kills their pet.

    You might try “He had a gun, said he was going to kill me, killed my dog to prove he was serious, and I believed him. Now if you’ll excuse me, this was all traumatic and you can schedule an interview through my lawyer.”

    I’m not condoning this, but it is probably your best tactic.

  14. #14 |  Burgers Allday | 

    “I’m not condoning this, but it is probably your best tactic.”

    No, because the police don’t secretly destroy the recordings when it can be used to prosecxute a regcit.

  15. #15 |  George | 

    The notion that a candidate must be a phony if he’s congenial with reporters and calls them on the carpet for misdeeds is silly. One doesn’t need to be a hater to object honestly about differences.

  16. #16 |  Andrew S. | 

    Good news for once: The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 split decision (3 separate opinions) in US v. Jones upheld the DC Circuit’s ruling that attaching a GPS device to a car constitutes a search for Fourth Amendment purposes.

  17. #17 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    I love how people believe that if a business is there, they have to purchase something from it. Kinda goes like this:

    1. We don’t eat McDonald’s. They’re not healthy.
    2. They opened a McDonald’s in town.
    3. We must eat a Royale with Cheese.
    4. We’re unhealthy and it is McDonald’s fault.

    Truly, we are idiots.

  18. #18 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Good news for once: The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 split decision (3 separate opinions) in US v. Jones upheld the DC Circuit’s ruling that attaching a GPS device to a car constitutes a search for Fourth Amendment purposes.

    My recap:

    case decided on grounds that the physical placement of the GPS, by the police, on the vehicle (which was not supported by warrant), was a trespass, and because it was a trespass, the action was a “search” that requires a warrant (unless an exception is applicable).

    The main concurrence frets that this decision will not prevent the police from warrantlessly obtaining data in situations where the police do not need to install the device themselves (think LoJack). This is a valid concern, but I don’t think the Jones case was the place to address that issue.

    First, cases should generally be decided on their easiest and clearest dispositive grounds as a general rule of jurisprudence.

    Moving to a deeper level, there are lots of cases where the police trespass and then claim that it is okay for the police to trespass, 4A notwithstanding. These are not GPS cases I am talking about, but simple garden variety cases where police go into a home or vehicle where they do not belong. These trespasses often seem to be excused, either by qi or by not being raised at all in the shadow of qi. Now it seems like trespass has been recognized as pretty much a prima facie 4A violation across the board. THAT’S HUGE!!!

    You may wonder what I mean by “police trespass.” One example would be the puppycide story I posted about today (that Mr. Balko was kind enough to link). Here is another example with video:

    http://youtu.be/kassP7zI0qc

    Now, obviously this was a famous video from last year and many of you have seen it before. However, my point is that I nobody, but nobody, but nobody-but-me criticized the policeman (the nice one, not the mean one*) for hopping into the backseat of the car right off the bat. That is a trespass, but it was totally unremarked upon (except by me).

    Despite the fact that police trespasses can vary greatly in their details, the important thing to realize is that policemen trespass all the time (often with guns drawn) because they don’t see trespass as an automatic Constitutional violation. That perception needs to change and Justice Scalia’s opinion is just the thing (although I wish he had gotten 5 votes). In this way, Justice Scalia’s opinion is much broader than mere GPS issues.

    FOOTNOTE(S):

    * The mean policeman got fired last week because there were other similar incidents that came to light bcs of the linked vid.

  19. #19 |  phlinn | 

    Reading the 2 links about newt, it sounds like he is relatively friendly with the media who regularly deal with him, and enjoys engaging with enemy questions. That doesn’t mean he approves of the way the media handles any number of things.

    I wouldn’t mind sitting down with Obama to argue various political points with him. That wouldn’t indicate approval of him. Similarly, I have several coworkers whose politics I am almost directly at odds with, but I nonetheless have friendly interactions with them at work.

    I just don’t see those articles as strong support of the concept that Newt is a phony.

  20. #20 |  Ben | 

    @Burgers – By my counting, Scalia DID get 5 votes:

    “SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,
    C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined.”

  21. #21 |  EBL | 

    Breaking news: Rand Paul detained by TSA in Nashville?

  22. #22 |  EBL | 

    Chris Dodd, he came to do good and he did very well!

  23. #23 |  Andrew Roth | 

    I’m not a health foods freak and I’m not diametrically opposed to fast food (I love Burger King, for instance), but Loma Linda’s restrictions on fast food outlets sound like a reasonable and fruitful exercise of local control. Loma Linda’s subculture is by all accounts one of exceptional physical health, and municipal and church policies appear to contribute to this excellent health by encouraging healthful habits and discouraging unhealthful ones.

    At the same time, the scope of these policies is quite restrained by American standards. Loma Linda’s residents may freely cross the city limits to get as much junk food, liquor and tobacco as they’d care to consume, but city officials have put restrictions or bans on the sale of these items within the city limits. The result is that Loma Lindans are exposed to fewer temptations to ruin their health and more temptations to improve their health. It’s effective incentivization at the local level, but without the stupidity and moral panic of the war on drugs.

    And let’s not pretend that the eating, smoking and drinking habits of Americans at large aren’t ruinous. They are. So are our excessively sedentary lifestyles. The combination of sitting around and consuming such unbalanced diets is doubly ruinous, and extremely common in the United States. It’s no wonder that we have high and rising incidences of diabetes, heart disease, morbid obesity and high blood pressure. Loma Linda’s regulatory regime is much more reasonable than the American standard of letting developers build as much car-centered exurban sprawl as they wish and saturate the market with outlets selling foods that are known to wreck the health of a notoriously sedentary population.

    There should be some room for common prudence in a regulatory regime. As a nation, we’re fat, out-of-shape and in ill health. Regardless of what libertarian zealots say, I say there’s a place for zoning restrictions, municipal ordinances and similar local regulations to shield the public from the constant onslaught of garbage that they’d otherwise face. In the end, I’m not taking the side of the major distillers, tobacconists and junk food peddlers in this fight.

    Regarding the suggestion that Loma Lindans are groupthink zombies, I’ve never visited Loma Linda, but I suspect I’ve seen worse in Ashland, OR, where I’ve lived off and on for five years. I have to give Loma Lindans props for believing in the health sciences, because Ashlanders believe in the “healing arts” and every nutty conspiracy theory about vaccinations. Ashland is dominated by a medieval vanguard, which is really scary on examination. I’m not kidding that the country would devolve to a medieval existence if these fools had their way. If I have to sooner trust my health in the hands of the offshoots of an apocalyptic sect, so be it, because they appear to actually believe in science.

  24. #24 |  el coronado | 

    “Cops chasing Cobian (…) before he allegedly reached for his waistband, blah blah blah, so they opened fire.”

    Yup. You could use that sentence, word-for-freakin-word, changing only the names and dates, in 90% of the cop shootings in Vegas. “Thought I saw the suspect make a furtive move towards his waistband – so I emptied my mag at him just to be on the safe side.”

    TELL me they’re not teaching that phrase in the cop academies, presumably as Lesson 1 on Day 1. It’s like a magic spell – say it and no harm can befall you, Officer!

  25. #25 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Regardless of what libertarian zealots say, I say there’s a place for zoning restrictions, municipal ordinances and similar local regulations to shield the public from the constant onslaught of garbage that they’d otherwise face.”

    I don’t care what you say, you’re wrong. It is not ok to boss other people around. Ever. You’re a dick and just because you think you’re doing everyone else a favor by being a dick doesn’t make you less of a dick.

    Freedom is paramount.

  26. #26 |  Ted S. | 

    “I say there’s a place for zoning restrictions, municipal ordinances and similar local regulations to shield the public from the constant onslaught of garbage that they’d otherwise face”

    Can I zone things so that politicians can find no place to live? I find much of what politicians say to be a “constant onslaught of garbage”.

  27. #27 |  Ben | 

    #23 – Authoritarianism at the local level is still authoritarianism.

  28. #28 |  lunchstealer | 

    From the Boston Globe article on SOPA/PIPA:

    The action was held in opposition to the Stop Online Privacy Act

    Best.

    Typo.

    Evar.

  29. #29 |  picachu | 

    Yizmo Gizmo “He didn’t have a bicycle light. Now he’s dead. Only in America, folks.”

    Nicely summed up!

  30. #30 |  Nick T. | 

    #23, your comment is filled with a lot of presumptions. You should consider how your reasoning (even if it WAS fact-based, which it’s not) could easily be used to limit freedom in a countless other ways.

    And then when people did that and you opposed it, peopel would properly call you a hypocrite. Then, you’d reply by going “well, it’s different see, cuz, like food and health are … people are dying!!!” But really the only difference would be that YOU liked your regulations and OTHERS liked theirs.

    Freedom means literally zero if you’re not free to make BAD decisions, even decisions that cause you to die and others to be ever-so-slightly, indirectly inconvenienced and expensed. Freedom is an end in itself, it’s not just some notion we embraced until someone comes along with a bunch of assumptions and tells everyone how to have a better society.

  31. #31 |  Doug Walker | 

    As much as the words “President Gingrich” send a chill down my spine, the articles you linked are a much stronger indictment of Romney as a phony. Gingrich’s very human, unguarded relatability with media members serves him well in this race, especially in contrast to the bubble-wrapped, manufactured cipher that Romney is. You’re attacking what is unfortunately one of Newt’s strengths in this race, and most Republicans have no problem separating his chumminess with individual reporters from his attacks on the irresponsible media as a whole. Plus, John King was a fucking idiot to ask the question, the way he did, emphasizing the salacious “open marriage” aspect, right at the top of the debate. Handed S.C. to Gingrich.

  32. #32 |  StrangeOne | 

    Loma Linda has about 20,000 residents, and as the article states there are already several fast food restraunts within the city and several McDonalds within 5 miles of it.

    The article casually mentions that a certain alliance of doctors / city councilmen want healthy restraunts to out-number fast food restraunts. The goal of the city council is not to prohibit fast food in the town, it is to prevent McDonalds, and only McDonalds, from building in a specific lot.

    This isn’t a health issue even though the obstructionists are trying to frame it as such. They are selectively prohibiting fast food in a way completely different from the blanket bans on smoking and liqour products (which for very small communities I have less of a problem with than national or state-wide bans).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a signifigant financial intrest with the existing fast food and “healthy” restruants among some of these people behind the ban.

  33. #33 |  jb | 

    #7 “Maybe he reached into his waistband because he had BAGGY PANTS and was trying to pull them up while running.”

    …or maybe he didn’t reach into his waistband at all.

  34. #34 |  jb | 

    The shooting scenario doesn’t ring true:

  35. #35 |  jb | 

    The shooting scenario doesn’t ring true:

    * Suspect jumps off bike with officers in persuit.
    * No reason to assume suspect is armed, so police have not drawn their own weapons.
    * Suspect reaches into waistband.
    * Officers unholster their weapons and shoot.

    There has to have been some time elapsed between, “Fuck, he’s reaching into his waistband!” and “let me see if I can get my own weapon out.” During that time there must have been some opportunity to evaluate the situation to assertain no weapon was present. Or are we to understand the officers were in persuit with their weapons drawn? In persuit of a bicylist guilty of riding without a light at night. If their weapons were not drawn, how can can we believe they made a split second deciasion?

  36. #36 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Officers generally pursue with their weapons drawn (or at least they are commonly understood to do this and to be allowed to do that). But, the current understanding is that most pursuits will lead to a weapon being drawn at the earliest convenience of each individual officer involved. This is because the police officers regard the pursuit in and of itself as a dangerous felony — usually making irrelevant everything that might have happened before the pursuit started.

    Claims of reaching for the waistband are problematic. I mean, I don’t even think reaching for the waistband is partiularly probative of reaching for a gun, and that is especially true when a suspect is merely reaching “toward” the waistband without actually putting a hand in the waistband. There are simply too many innocent explanations regarding reaching toward a waistband (for example, runners appear to momentarily reach toward their waistband with each stride). Putting your hands down by your sides generally involves reaching toward yr waistband.

    Eventually somebody is going to have to count up police claims that someone was reaching for a waistband, and then determine what percentage of reachers actually had a weapon in their waistbands. I am going to speculate that it is a low correlation, and that courts will be embarasssed to entertain “reaching for the waistband claims” after it is quantitatively determined how few of these shootings saved anybody from any weapons.

  37. #37 |  Jay | 

    “agentzer007 at 7:36 PM January 23, 2012
    OfficerDreamWeaver at 5:39 PM January 23, 2012
    How would they know that? Why did th ecops leave that part out about why they stopped him, or attempted to?

    rambrainiac, what do you mean left it out? I read it right there in the article. Lay off the sauce, you’re not making sense. But, you accidentally make a good point here: How were they to know about the warrant, etc. How do you think most dumba** criminals get caught? They get stopped for a minor infraction and upon further review, the cop finds the history, the warrant, etc. THEN they go to jail. Knowing this, our misguided upstanding example for the community DECIDED to run, rather than be made accountable for his actions. When you put yourself in the position of having police point guns at you, it’s time to move extremely slowly and do exactly what they tell you to. He didn’t. It’s over. Thank you officers. You see, all you cop haters expect the cops to know he didn’t have a gun, on the run in the dark chasing a gangbanger, but they aren’t expected to know he’s got a warrant? I’d call you on Double Standard, but ram, I wouldn”t want you to strain that pea brain of yours.”

    This kind of commenter makes me nauseous.

  38. #38 |  Burgers Allday | 

    rambrainiac, what do you mean left it out? I read it right there in the article. Lay off the sauce, you’re not making sense. But, you accidentally make a good point here: How were they to know about the warrant, etc. How do you think most dumba** criminals get caught? They get stopped for a minor infraction and upon further review, the cop finds the history, the warrant, etc. THEN they go to jail. Knowing this, our misguided upstanding example for the community DECIDED to run, rather than be made accountable for his actions. When you put yourself in the position of having police point guns at you, it’s time to move extremely slowly and do exactly what they tell you to. He didn’t. It’s over. Thank you officers. You see, all you cop haters expect the cops to know he didn’t have a gun, on the run in the dark chasing a gangbanger, but they aren’t expected to know he’s got a warrant? I’d call you on Double Standard, but ram, I wouldn”t want you to strain that pea brain of yours.”

    Lets be clear here. It would only be a true double standard if the runner could shoot the police (assuming he didn’t absolutely know they were police and not imposters) and get away with doing that scot free.

    I have no problem with officers drawing guns on fleeing felons. However, firing that gun requires the police to absolutely know that the suspet absolutely know that it is police that she is running from. When the policeman don’t know that for sure who the runner thinks the policeman might be, then there is a big problem with the policetriggersqueeze.

    Running from the police is perfectly okay if you are not absolutely sure they are police. better safe than sorry!

  39. #39 |  Jay | 

    Actually, running from the police is a perfectly acceptable strategy to avoid dying. Sometimes you’ll get shot for it, but you could always be killed while in custody, as well. You never know what mood Fat Tony could be in.

  40. #40 |  Burgers Allday | 

    +1 and RIP Sal C.!

  41. #41 |  Jay | 

    @ #40

    I must be pretty short, ‘cuz you just went over my head.

  42. #42 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Jay,
    Sal Culosi was killed by an idiot cop.

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