Morning Links

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

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25 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Protect and Serve.

    Christ, Almighty. I’ve seen that Twilight Zone episode
    a dozen times and never even connected the dots to what’s going on
    out on the streets. They tasing, the clubbing , the bullying, the mass incarceration.
    Dontcha see?
    “Protect and Serve” man. It’s a cookbook! Run for your lives!

  2. #2 |  Brandon | 

    Collusion between powerful private interests and government. There’s a word for that…

  3. #3 |  Cynic in New York | 

    RE: Erickson

    This is why it’s very hard to find sympathy for conservatives when get they just deserts from the police state that they cheer on and helped create themselves. Erickson’s reaction is what I expect from him and other conservatives, he comes off as just a younger version of Savage.

    RE: Protect and Serve

    It should be more Protect and Serve themselves, citizens be dammed.

  4. #4 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Shit. I never took Erickson to be such an ass hat.

    If CNN fired Rick Sanchez for making some petulant remarks about Jews, surely it can fire Erickson for being a sadist.

  5. #5 |  Wonks Anonymous | 

    An interesting book about stuff like #7 is Elaine Showalter’s “Hystories”.

  6. #6 |  BamBam | 

    re: tasers, it is so painful to see, over and over, people not stating the obvious. FACT: the human body is a complex electrical system. FACT: tasers transmit electricity at extremely high levels that override the body’s electrical system. FACT: overriding a human body’s electrical system leads to unknown results. FACT: death can occur from overriding the body’s electrical system (stopping heart, stopping blood flow to organs and brain, muscular system locks up and person falls over and: hits head, falls over ledge, falls and breaks bones because you cannot reflexively stop your fall). FACT: tasers are a less-LETHAL device than a firearm. FACT: tasers are at the top of the force continuum, equal to use of firearm.

    Everything I state is fact based on data and logic.

  7. #7 |  omar | 

    FACT: the human body is a complex electrical system.

    You should really go back and read your bible.

  8. #8 |  MassHole | 

    omar, WTF are you talking about?

  9. #9 |  omar | 


    Nothing at all really. Sorry, unrelated sarcasm button is not working today. Please ignore my amateur hour-level snark and carry on.

  10. #10 |  Mannie | 

    British court rules that composing a photo the way someone else has could be a violation of copyright.

    According to a photog f(r)iend, there is basis for this in US practice, and the issue is as muddy as the rest of copyright law. Apparently there is a practice where people try to rip off expensive stock photography by recreating it on the cheap. Copyright infringement cases have been won on this basis.

  11. #11 |  Mannie | 

    #6 | BamBam | February 2nd, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    FACT: tasers are a less-LETHAL device than a firearm. FACT: tasers are at the top of the force continuum, equal to use of firearm.

    You are contradicting yourself, there. The fact is that they are toward the top of the force continuum, but vastly less lethal than firearms, and considerably less dangerous than the old police standby, the sap. It is also less dangerous than fistfighting or wrestling the subject.

    The problem with the taser is that the casualty rate is low enough, and the effects unpleasant enough, that it is used as a torture device, to enforce compliance, and to apply “street justice.” It’s the perfect storm of a device that might as well have been designed to be abused. So abused it is.

  12. #12 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    I figure we’re less than five years away from competitive trampoline gymnastics for dogs.

  13. #13 |  DarkEFang | 

    If any dipshit with an iphone camera and photoshop can recreate a photo, what value does it really have?

  14. #14 |  Robert | 

    RE: The photo copyright case. It’s a bit more than the headline suggests. It’s more that the court decided that if you take a photo that has the exact same elements from the same perspective, turn it B&W except for the bus in the center of the shot, which is colored red, and you wash out the sky background so that your photo matches the same photo that is used in another company’s ads, then yes, you are infringing copyright.

  15. #15 |  Rogue Medic | 

    Tasers are safe.

    Most police have to be incapacitated with a Taser as a part of their training, before they are allowed to use a Taser on someone else. The problem with Tasers is inappropriate use, whether due to poor training or due to intent to torture. Anything can be used for torture, the Taser just makes it more convenient.

    BamBam – Calling something a fact does not make it a fact. You do not understand the way Tasers work. The rate of in custody deaths is not any higher for those restrained with the use of a Taser, than for those restrained without the use of a Taser.


  16. #16 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    Most police have to be incapacitated with a Taser as a part of their training

    And wouldn’t you know it, when they are there are people waiting to catch them (and sometimes mats of the floor), so they don’t get hurt by this “safe” training.

    So as long as the non-cop has people ready to catch them, they’ll be safe too.

  17. #17 |  Waste | 

    In reference to the IL wiretapping story. This caught my eye.

    It is a crime to use any device “for the purpose of hearing or recording all or any part of any conversation … unless [done] with the consent of all of the parties to such conversation or electronic communication. …”

    If that is truly what the law states think of this. Hearing aides are a device use for hearing. It’s illegal. Court cases use stenographers to record the court proceedings. They use a device. Do they get everyones consent prior to trial to use them? They ‘record’ conversations. Speakers like those in a car or movie theatre are used to hear the conversation of radio stations or movies. Did everyone get permission?

    Just think of all the fun we can have pointing out more examples.

  18. #18 |  Onlooker | 

    The tasering of the illegal dog walker (heaven forbid) is clearly just a case of an arrogant LEO who deals out a punishment for not quickly and totally submitting to their (almighty) authority. Just can’t have that. You shall be dealt with harshly.

  19. #19 |  BamBam | 

    @16 bingo

  20. #20 |  kant | 


    I would also add that most demonstrations also have paramedics at the ready…you know, just in case.

  21. #21 |  cyto | 

    The copyright case turned on the fact that the defendant had been using the photographer’s picture without ourchasing the rights. When they couldn’t agree on the amount of royalties, the defendant went out and recreated the sae photo to avoid paying

    Apparently copying the elements of a work to avoid paying royalties is a violation of copyright. In this case it was a slam dunk, because the defendant admitted those facts.

    Intent is important for this type of violation… so I assume intent is normally difficult to prove. If I were to take the same photo and try to sell it (prior to this case making the papers) I”d likely be in the clear, having never seen the work in question.

  22. #22 |  Peter Ramins | 

    I will gladly debate with you for hours about copyright, and my position will be that our current copyright system (along with a corrupt representative government) is stifling creativity in virtually every art medium.

    That said, if you actually read this article, see the two photos, you agree with the outcome if you respect intellectual property rights at all.

    This isn’t a matter of “I accidentally took a picture that looks like a famous picture.”

    This is a matter of “I intentionally took a picture that looks like someone else’s picture, and intentionally tried to recreate that person’s post-processing to exactly mimic his photo and effects.”

  23. #23 |  Bill | 

    #15, Rogue Medic: In addition to all the points already made, the cops who get tasered in training have also been cleared medically, and (hopefully) aren’t drunk or stoned.

  24. #24 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Erickson: “I won’t play it on the radio because the number of F-bombs the guy just starts yelling as they’re tazing him . . hahahah . . ahh, but watching that hippy protester get tazed just made my day,, you can watch it for yourself, it is just made of awesome.”

    This is what political labels turn us into. Or religious labels. Or occupational titles. They make us think that we are superior to those with different labels and/or titles. They convince us that the “other” is a little less human than us. That “they” are “all the same” (in a very negative way). In the worst case scenarios, labels make us incapable of appreciating that the “other” can feel pain. They make us lose sight of the fact that the “other” has the same basic needs as us, has feelings of insecurity like us and just wants to be happy like us. In reality, the “other” is more like us than not. He or she breathes the same air, relies on water and sunlight, and has nearly the same DNA profile as us (when you consider that humans have nearly the same DNA as Chimpanzees).

    The separation we feel from the “other” is basically an illusion. And labels like conservative, Christian, liberal, Muslim, libertarian and anarchist are just convenient names we have chosen to roughly express certain schools of thought. They shouldn’t really mean that much. If Mr. Erickson understood this, he would not gleefully encourage violence against a non-violent person. But Erickson is confused. We are all confused, but Erickson seems to be more confused than most.

  25. #25 |  supercat | 

    #21 | “The copyright case turned on the fact that the defendant had been using the photographer’s picture without ourchasing the rights. When they couldn’t agree on the amount of royalties, the defendant went out and recreated the sae photo to avoid paying…”

    If that is the case, it seems entirely reasonable for the copyright holder to assert that sales the defendant might get with the recreated picture are sales which the defendant would likely not have gotten had it not previously, illegitimately, distributed the copyrighted one. As such, the recreated-picture sales would constitute part of the ill-gotten gains to which the copyright holder would be entitled.

    Absent prior demonstrable copyright infringement, I don’t see any basis for the type of copyright claimed, though a trademark claim might be reasonable and viable. Some products, after all, are very strongly associated with a swatch of color in front of an otherwise black-and-white picture. Trademark rules, however, are completely different from copyright.