Morning Links

Friday, January 27th, 2012
Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

35 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  (B)oscoH | 

    Why not aspire to build a real Jurassic Park?

    I got this one. Because Michael Crichton was a lousy story teller. Did I nail that, or what?

  2. #2 |  Dante | 

    Is “cops on the internet” supposed to be a dead link?

    Was it a joke?

    I”m always the last to get the joke, aren’t I?

  3. #3 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “items like a permanent moon base make it clear that Gingrich is still intent on blurring the line between science fiction and government policy”

    Why you can make a good argument that a moon base may or may not be a bad idea, equating it with science fiction is a more than a little unfair. A base would be expensive, and difficult, but it is not outside our capabilities. Gingrich’s plan for space is basically to provide prizes and other incentives for the private sector, rather than Apollo style NASA mega-projects. I’m not sure if libertarians consider helping business to expand into a currently impractical environment a legitimate government function or not, but in terms of “less big government” Gringrich, Obama, and Ron Paul are probably closer to each other on space policy than to Romney.

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    if I can buy a coupon to tase and beat someone for a buck, I’ll take $20 worth of coupons right now, thank you.

  5. #5 |  C. S. O. Schofield | 

    (B)oscoH

    I must disagree. Crichton is quite a good storyteller, or his stories, as absurd as they may be, wouldn’t stick in the mind the way they do. What he isn’t is a great writer. This happens. Edgar Rice Burroughs was a goddamned AWFUL writer, and one of the best storytellers of the last couple of centuries. He had a gift for arresting images in print, that overcame his turgid, overheated, Edwardian prose. I’m quite looking forward to JOHN CARTER, and even mediocre Tarzan interpretations tend to work. But I don’t READ the books much anymore, and haven’t since I hit puberty.

  6. #6 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “He was not under arrest and the four officers had no reason to fear for their safety. Nonetheless, they asked Kirby to consent to a pat-down search; he declined. When Kirby’s mother arrived, he began walking to her. One officer ordered him to “comply or be tased.”

    That’s it, turkey— Surrender your Constitutional rights on demand, in the absence of any actual crime, or be electrically subdued and crippled by State Police: Further evidence that out on the street the Constitution is hypothetical, rather than actual.

  7. #7 |  billy_ran_away | 

    Here is Google’s cache of “Cops on the Internet.”

  8. #8 |  Marty | 

    that’s a helluva perk the teachers in Buffalo worked out- I’d love to see a before and after pictorial on them. I wonder if this is a perk that would entice someone to come in long enough to get the perk and move on…

  9. #9 |  SamK | 

    Look, I understand the desire to minimize violence in conflict, but when your only option to prevent further violence to self is to fight every instinct you have to lay still and perhaps beg for mercy while continuing to be violated…isn’t this the very point at which you simply shoot back? Is there any other option for a free people?…assuming that we are a free people to any extent whatsoever? I’m honestly not looking for a circle jerk, and I’m sure I could find this conversation elsewhere on the internet, but I know the voices here…IS there a threshold, philosophically, at which one should make an assumption of the need to initiate deadly force and is there an appropriate way/process/chain of events necessary to make it legal when confronting violence from police officers? I understand the likely and practical effect of resisting (getting shot down by cops or losing in court because of corruption/lies/etc), what I’m asking is if there’s an appropriate legal pathway to defending one’s self that can actually be argued in a court of actual law.

    I also understand this question might be a bit much for Radley’s forum section, please don’t consider my feelings if you find it out of line for this post and think it should be removed.

  10. #10 |  (B)oscoH | 

    @C. S. O. Schofield: Actually, I loved Chrichton as a writer long before he started wearing his politics on his sleeve. I was just noting that Gingrich wants Jurasic Park, but thinks Crichton doesn’t spark people’s imagination. Giant Newt sized WTF to Gingrich on that logical black hole.

  11. #11 |  FridayNext | 

    Sure he wants a Jurassic Park, but with a Moon Base we are more likely to get an Andromeda Strain. DOES THAT MAN NOT READ THOSE BOOKS!

  12. #12 |  Mario | 

    Regarding the plastic surgery benefit, the benefit was originally put into the contract to cover reconstructive surgery for burn victims and accident victims, for treatments not covered under normal insurance coverage. Buffalo is a big district, and it’s not crazy that they should put in a self-insured rider like this. Here is where it gets interesting:

    In 2003, Buffalo doctors began promoting the loophole [covering all sorts of elective plastic surgery] by advertising directly to teachers through their union’s newsletter, The Atlantic reports.

    I will agree that the union should have taken some initiative to police abuse, but I don’t see what is so wrong with the benefit in the first place. So, before we start with the teacher union bashing, let’s reserve some ire for the shameless doctors.

    I seem to remember a story, years ago, concerning some national association of plastic surgeons advocating to have small breasts designated as a birth defect, so that they could charge insurance companies for augmentation surgery and expand their practices.

  13. #13 |  the innominate one | 

    Fuck nickleback.

  14. #14 |  Goober | 

    I love the judge’s ruling in the beating case – he was attacked without provocation, beaten, and then tased again two more times, but the subsequent beatings and tasings are his fault because he didn’t comply with the cop who we’ve already determined was physically assaulting him without cause.

    Did I get that about right? You’re supposed to stick around for your own beating and not fight back?

  15. #15 |  a_random_guy | 

    I love the judge’s ruling in the beating case – he was attacked without provocation, beaten, and then tased again two more times, but the subsequent beatings and tasings are his fault because he didn’t comply with the cop who we’ve already determined was physically assaulting him without cause.

    Did I get that about right? You’re supposed to stick around for your own beating and not fight back?

    I am just waiting for a case this clear cut, preferably captured in a video, where the defendant stuffs the cop’s head where the sun doesn’t shine. Self-defense ought to be a slam-dunk.

    That said, the $1 for pain and suffering doesn’t bother me a bit – “pain and suffering” is frankly a bit stupid. They should have sued for violation of civil rights and sought punitive damages. Even better – for credibility – promise to donate any award to a charity.

  16. #16 |  Deoxy | 

    Did I get that about right? You’re supposed to stick around for your own beating and not fight back?

    You got it exactly right. Legally speaking, there does not seem to be ANY threshhold that I have seen where it is legal to defend yourself from a uniformed police officer who claims to be doing his duty, at least if he’s not acting alone (the lone crazy who happens to be in a police uniform and assaulting you in the privacy of your home with no warrant and no knowledge by the department where is or what he is doing MIGHT be ok to defend yourself from).

    After the fact, the employer of that policeman may have to right you (or your family) a check, and in extreme cases, they might actually be fired, and in a few REALLY extreme cases (that ALSO manage to get lots of publicity), there might be charges filed against the officer, but that is ALL after the fact. During the event, the law is essentially that the police have ultimate unchallengeable dictatorial powers.

    Have a nice day!

  17. #17 |  Deoxy | 

    Wow, “write a check”, not “right a check” – spell check wouldn’t catch that one, but it’s still amazingly bad!

  18. #18 |  fatfred | 

    In the tazer case it is one lawyer (the Judge), looking out for another lawyer,
    (the plaintiffs lawyer). When the plaintiff gets one dollar his lawyer can submit a bill for all of his time (six figures or more) to the losing side.

  19. #19 |  nigmalg | 

    The cops on the internet article was right on.

    “- Judges and jurors determining officers’ credibility in criminal cases.
    – Community trust and the resultant officer safety.
    – Community support and the implications for law enforcement funding”

    After that Florida Trooper & Miami cop incident, I think non-police civilians for the most part were shocked and awed by how feverishly the officers defended double standards.

    What did they think that looked like?

  20. #20 |  picachu | 

    SamK ” is there an appropriate way/process/chain of events necessary to make it legal when confronting violence from police officers?”

    If I’m not mistaken I think it’s already perfectly legal to resist an unlawful arrest in some states. But thats just on paper, it don’t mean anything. If you try it you will get clicked on when they call for backup and if you survive the judge will ignore the law that says you had a right to resist.

    In America laws are just for suckers and poor people.

  21. #21 |  MacGregory | 

    Just a warning about Moon bases:
    There will be a build up of magnetic energy triggering a chain reaction of nuclear waste. The ensuing explosion will blast the Moon out of Earth orbit and hurling through space.

  22. #22 |  Mike | 

    What universe have you been in, MacGregory? That already happened in Space, in 1999.

  23. #23 |  celticdragonchick | 

    I would love to see Newt Gingrich put into a mashup of old Space:1999 episodes…especially the “Dragons Domain” episode where the nasty tentacled space critter from a ship graveyard was sucking in the astronauts and burning them to death in its guts and then spewing the fried carcass back out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tbXhu09m5s

    Who wouldn’t like to see Newt get toasted by the space critter??

    By the by, that episode gave me nightmares as a kid. Pretty scary stuff in 1975 and I still remember vividly how much it scared me.

  24. #24 |  Dorothy | 

    When I read about Gingrich’s moon base thoughts and his private sector “partnership” all I see are government contracts with private companies. So it wouldn’t be private companies completely absorbing the cost. It would be the government funding the contractors. My primary issue with a moon base is: “Why?” The Mars mission is an easier sell to me than the Moon. As a Libertarian, when I read Gingrich’s statement, I *almost* fell for his private sector partnership statement…until I really thought about it and realized that most of the time Republicans just mean hiding the tax dollars under a government contract and not creating a larger government at first glace…yet still managing to balloon the budget.

  25. #25 |  Steve Verdon | 

    That judge in the Kirby case really is…well…Christ anything I write would likely look rather bad.

    I hate these bastards…when they die we should all dance on their graves.

  26. #26 |  Burgers Allday | 

    suspect killed in prison:

    http://www.officer.com/news/10619445/ex-maryland-corrections-officer-indicted-in-death

    If I remember the case, the central question was:
    a. did the policeman start firing thru the suspects windshield before the suspect satrted moving his car; or
    b. did the suspect begin moving his car toward the officer before the officer started firing through the driver’s windshields.

    at the time (couple yoinks ago now), I really wanted to hear the recordings. Even audio would probably be telling. However, the prison guard decided that that was a risk that could not be taken apparently.

    anyway, this is a good case to read more about for people who think that policeman shooting at cars is a stupid and counterproductive strategy.

  27. #27 |  nigmalg | 

    The judge admits that the police didn’t have probable cause or even reasonable suspicion for them to issue such an order (to be patted down)..

    Yet the judge immediately defends the behavior of the police because Kirby defended himself right after??

    The police can walk up to you out of the blue and shock you in the face. If you have the nerve to rip the prongs out or defend yourself in any way, you will be liable.

    “Oh shit, this officer just tazed me in the nuts out of nowhere. I should immediately lay here and not move while they kick my head and put a knee on my neck. If I so much as lift a finger, the police get a blank check to beat my skull in with their batons. Hey if I’m luck, I won’t have permanent brain damage when it comes time to my shot-in-the-dark civil suit”.

    Screw. that.

  28. #28 |  Juice | 

    #5,

    There are a lot of bad-writer-good-storytellers out there. Steven King, IMO, is the ultimate example followed by Dan Brown.

  29. #29 |  dunphy | 

    there is an officer in my dept. who got plastic surgery for free.

    breast reduction surgery. she didn’t have big breasts, but as a lesbian, she wanted her breasts REMOVED. she got it.

    free.

  30. #30 |  dunphy | 

    “he judge admits that the police didn’t have probable cause or even reasonable suspicion for them to issue such an order (to be patted down)..

    Yet the judge immediately defends the behavior of the police because Kirby defended himself right after??

    The police can walk up to you out of the blue and shock you in the face. If you have the nerve to rip the prongs out or defend yourself in any way, you will be liable.”

    which is of course utter rubbish, and there are a metric assload of cases where tasers have been found unjustified, cops have been sued, etc. etc.

    ONE case, an apparently egregious one is no more a justification for such broad brush nonsense, as any other single example

    there is a recent 9th circuit case for example that substantially limits tasers, and tons of other cases of cops who overused tasers being disciplined, fired, sued successfully, and prosecuted

    is this case an outrage? yes. although that’s with the caveat, that i prefer to read actual court documents vs. a mass media ACCOUNT of the decision, since the lay media does a piss poor job of reporting in general, and on legal issues they are no better

    that’s why i prefer to read the actual court documents, actual court decision, etc. responsible news outlets, etc. will usually link to same. most don’t, because they want to be the grand interpreters for the masses vs. providing source documents

    cops have grossly overused tasers, partly out of “new toy ” syndrome, and partly because the law was essentially unwritten on them (for a while) and because many dept .policies were WAY too broad on when they could be used.

    i used to hear “taser application, need a sgt.” on the air several times a week

    now, i can go weeks without hearing it once. that’s anecdotal, but i suspect the trend is consistent with other agencies, and from what i hear from officers with other agencies, it is the trend

    drawing hysterical, histrionic conclusions from ONE apparently bad court case is the kind of hysterical shit i expect from liberals.

    not from libertarians

  31. #31 |  lunchstealer | 

    If you had to live in Buffalo, you’d hardly want to also have to deal with ugly teachers, too.

  32. #32 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Pick a dream…moon base, Mars base, universal health care, another Firefly season, more than three Mad men episodes a year, a mag-lev train connecting all cities. Gov wants to build these…not because they are hard, but because they will get rich off the contracts and slack-jaws will vote for them.

  33. #33 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Become a cop. Find out where that Fed judge lives. Bring crisp dollar bill.

  34. #34 |  JSL | 

    On the free teachers surgery, duh, its for the children. That many more are hot for teacher.

    Re Newt “Moonraker” Gingrich, he wants to fullfill his dream of a space ride with Dr. Goodhead.

  35. #35 |  Windy | 

    I think you will find it interesting that on facebook, J. Neil Schulman and L. Neil Smith (you all do know who they are right?) are having a discussion about whether it is better to go for a base on the moon or to go right to the asteroids, Schulman says moon, Smith says asteroids. Unfortunately this discussion is on neither author’s page, but is on someone else’s, but if you are on facebook you can go read it on David K. M. Klaus’s page.

Leave a Reply