Sunday Links

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

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41 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  rapscallion | 

    The cop in the video looks drunk.

  2. #2 |  picachu | 

    Since when does the government care about whether or not the public supports a war?

  3. #3 |  Bob | 

    #1 rapscallion

    The cop in the video looks drunk.

    You’d be drunk too if that was your life.

  4. #4 |  Brian | 

    Fired? That cop needs to be in jail or locked up in an institution. He’s unstable and dangerous, with our without the badge.

  5. #5 |  Joshua | 

    Reading about police tracking people without warrants — using the excuse that either the people are in public or the data is given to them voluntarily by private companies — I wonder why nobody has set up a massive crowdsourced database to track all police officers’ movements, even when off duty. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, after all.

  6. #6 |  primus | 

    I had to turn it off, my heart was just pounding. Can’t imagine what it must have been like for those young men to have to deal with that psychopathic cop.

  7. #7 |  Jack | 

    Hey, what if they tackled the cop, handcuffed him and called the paramedics to calmly report that a security guard was totally freaking out and possibly suffering from a mental breakdown or on drugs?

    When the bus (and probably a PD unit) shows up, the cop is foaming at the mouth, rolling on the ground, cursing, etc, and the two dudes are compassionately trying to talk him down, stroking his hair, etc. The security video would have backed them up.

    They explain to the paramedics quietly, in the spirit of “hey, I know this is unusual, but this guy is ON something. We’re not trying to get him in trouble or anything, and please be assured we’ll keep this between us–just get this guy some help. We know you guys do an important, high-stress job. Please take care of you fallen brother and get him back to health–god bless our men in blue”…

    Hmm, now I’m thinking that this could actually be a viable tactic in some of these cases–obviously not if the cop has already drawn his pistol, but whenever a lone cop flies off the handle like this and he’s outnumbered.

  8. #8 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Last time, the Essex police were told by the (Labour) government to stop.
    That means this time the Tory government have authorised it.

    Not the government you’re looking for, Radley!

  9. #9 |  Jay | 

    I live in the UK. Ask me anything.

  10. #10 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “This cop should be fired.”

    Preferably from some large smooth-bore cannon.

  11. #11 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    If the mainstream media was willing to try to sell the war, the numbers would be higher. Which doesn’t mean that the war is just, reasonable, or even effective. It also doesn’t mean it is unjust, unreasonable, or ineffective. The Intellectual Left, which includes most journalism majors (what are reporters? 75+% self described Liberals?), has deliberately avoided learning much about war as an extension of politics since WWII. They have driven Military History off of college campuses and out of primary education, which is asinine at best. If you don’t have a grounding in how WWI was fought you have no chance of understanding why WWII was fought the way it was; the politics of appeasement, the reluctance to face the facts about the Nazis, etc..

    I’ve said before that I fear that the terrorists will eventually drive us to rage. The alternative is the kind of small wars for limited aims that Bush started in Afghanistan and Iraq. I don’t think they were planned as well as they could have been (we should have left Iraq as soon as Saddam had been hanged), and the Media were unwilling to get behind them, but they were still better than the Total War I fear is coming.

    Peace is not an option available to us for any length of time; the extremists will not stop their fear tactics, and the majority of the populace in the U.S. would not countenance what it might take to appease them even if it were possible.

    I foresee a large sheet of glass where the Arabian Peninsula is now. And I’m not happy about it.

  12. #12 |  Other Sean | 

    No offense Schofield, but military history is pretty much bunk. What you get is just a bunch of hindsight bias and halo effect driven biographies – not that such books can’t be fun reading for boys and men alike.

    Take your own example, the appeasement narrative from the 1930s. At best, it gives us a banal and straightforward lesson of history: “sometimes you meet an enemy who only grows more aggressive when you make concessions.” But since there is no test to determine when one is actually facing such an enemy, the so-called lesson is useless in real life.

    And sure enough, the Munich example gets cited to support each and every military intervention proposed by anyone, anywhere. The story is always that “we must fight today to avoid another Hitler tomorrow”. That logic has got us into 5 wars in 65 years. At best you can maybe defend the results of 2 of those wars.

  13. #13 |  Tom | 

    Despite the contention the YouTube page, the cop was not a City of Houston officer. The uniform is not from the HPD, which are medium blue shirts with dark blue pants. Officers from nearby Bellaire, TX and Sugar Land, TX wear uniforms similar to the one in the video. I’ve met Sugar Land PD at Sam’s Clubs in the city of Houston before. From the patch, I think he is Sugar Land PD. If this bozo isn’t just plain dunk, he is probably been working too many after hours jobs and is too tired to think rationally. I have some sympathy for cops, who have to work extra jobs to support there families, but it is no excuse for this behavior.

  14. #14 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Other Sean,

    All history is biased; it’s something you need to take into account. Sometimes it isn’t even intentional; my Father was a History of Science professor, which discipline arose because (for example) modern chemists who were accustomed to working with relatively pure chemicals couldn’t understand why pioneering chemists got so many wrong answers with their experiments.

    By not teaching the military history of WWI we allow the real horror of that conflict to fade from memory, and this leaves us baffled by the number of otherwise intelligent people who were determined to not seed where a certain Austrian paperhanger was going. Having some conception of just how bad WWI was gives the Munich lesson an important context.

    The Intellectual Left has labeled Military History as bunk, as if it were unique in that regard, because military history (bunk or not) teaches certain harsh lessons that they would rather not entertain.

  15. #15 |  Other Sean | 

    But test yourself with an example: Let’s say a year from now Egypt and Syria are both Islamic revolutionary states. Let’s say they team up with a bunch of other sympathetic parties and have a serious go at Israel for the first time in 40 years.

    Can you name one non-trivial idea or principle you’ve learned by studying the history of war, that would tell us how to react in such a case?

  16. #16 |  AlgerHiss | 

    I believe Colin Powell is credited with “If you break it, you own it” when it comes to invading another country to “fix” things. At first, I understood his point, and actually agreed with it.

    But now, no. A place like Afghanistan was quite broken before we ever went in, back in 2001. We had every right to go there and blow the living fuck out of the place. We should have lit it up for 6 months, then come home.

    We need to get completely out of that piss hole, and let them go back to their miserable lives.

  17. #17 |  Les | 

    ”The alternative is the kind of small wars for limited aims that Bush started in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

    There are numerous experts in military history (political “right” and “left” having nothing to do with it) who would point out that it is precisely these kinds of “alternatives” which create many more terrorists than there would otherwise exist. Invading and occupying countries which pose no threat to us while killing a good number of innocent civilians in the process is a fine way to ensure that there will always be terrorists for us to wage war against.

  18. #18 |  Omar | 

    @C. S. P. Schofield

    I learned a lot about ww1 in high school and college. The instruction was almost always focusing on the horror and devastation, and cited as a primary cause of ww2. I graduated high school 13 years ago, but my sophomore brother is currently learning about these subjects.

    We even read ww1 novels, and they were sad as shit.

  19. #19 |  David | 

    Repeated for emphasis, the post by #2 (Picachu):

    “Since when does the government care about whether or not the public supports a war?”

    The public has been against these things for years. I remember, back when I used to follow pop politics, the mainstream media telling us before the 2006 elections how it was all a referendum on the “wars” (a word I don’t know is applicable because it implies some sort of equity in the combat, which doesn’t exist in these one-sided slaughters of millions). Anyway, THE MORNING AFTER the elections, I was listening to talk radio on the way into work, and suddenly the “liberals” were suddenly and suspiciously hawkish and tempered in their anti-war statements. The new consensus was suddenly, “Well, they can’t change anything too quickly. It’ll take a few years and we do want to make sure we win the wars.”

    Just a total bait-and-switch (bait = Democrats will end the “wars”; switch = F— you! We were just lying to get your vote!)

  20. #20 |  Thom | 

    That cop not only needs to be fired, he should also be charged with assault and battery.

  21. #21 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    “these one-sided slaughters of millions”? Maybe I missed something, but I thought that the highest figures being bruited about were considerably lower. After all the Civil War, which was in many ways the first major modern slaughter-fest didn’t kill a million Americans with Americans fighting bitterly on both sides.

    I mean, I understand your point, or think I do. And I don’t think you are totally off base, either. But throwing figures like “millions” around seems irresponsible and undermines your position. The wildest estimate I ran across in a quick check was 1,600,000 plus for Iraq. It was on the order of twice the next lower estimate. The Afghan war estimates seem to be just topping 50,000.

    Not that “hundreds of thousands” is much improvement.

  22. #22 |  Christ on a Cracker | 

    Ohio calls that action “Aggrevated Menacing” a fifth degree felony. It’s a forth degree felony when the victim is an officer. I’m sure Texas is similar. The cop (whatever he’s from) should be charged with that.

    The penalty should be at least double, since he is on duty and represents the police force.

    I know, dream on.

  23. #23 |  David | 

    CSP Schofield:

    If you go to a search engine and type in the appropriate key words, you’ll find many, many sources with millions of casualties. Here’s one result:

    It’s funny, because you can always go to LiveLeak, Torrent, DailyMotion, etc., etc., etc. and see countless videos of “the troops” murdering defenseless Arabs (laughing as they’re picking them off from the backs of jeeps, tops of buildings, helicopter FLIR vids, etc.) but I was thinking how there’s no evidence like this of any killed Americans. Yeah, there are the odd videos where the Arabs are disguised in masks and things (and we don’t know who’s behind them), but in terms of cell phone and cam video of Americans being killed like the ones of Arabs being killed? Zero. I believe this is because there are no such videos because there are no Americans being killed by Arabs.

    Ah, teenage boys having innocent laughs!

    Funnily, every time there is video of an American murdered….it turns out to have been done by fellow Americans. Kind of like how cops are much more likely to kill each other than be shot by third parties, only probably even moreso.

    I think that ALL human life is sacred (both from the Bible and as written in the Declaration of Independence) and so, for me, the nationality or whatever doesn’t matter. But, just as an exercise in how Americans’ thoughts are so totally controlled by the media (more American men die working every single year than have been killed in the ENTIRE Iraq “war” and, again, those deaths almost always seems suspicious), this is interesting in that respect. The D.C./Zionist propaganda machine (the movies and such) clearly create Americans’ concepts of the “war”, not the “war” itself. (Much like, as Balko wrote, American crime has plummeted since 1990 and yet Americans all believe that crime has gotten worse. Because of the media, obviously, because that idea couldn’t have come from observing the world around them.)

  24. #24 |  BamBam | 

    @16 “We had every right to go there and blow the living fuck out of the place.”

    By what moral reasoning do you make this statement?

  25. #25 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @15 – Oh hey, intellectual left Jew.

    In fact, the Arab states have made some important overtures of peace to Israel lately. The Arab League, impelled by the Arab Spring, have made important concessions on the right to return and boundaries. There are both political and economic reasons for this.

    That both the Isralie and Palestian governments are too weak to utilise the opening is another matter. It’s still useful that Hamas have had to cut their ties with (and funding from) Syria, mind you – and that Hezbollah has had to declare themselves against the Arab Spring and FOR Syria/Iran.

    So let’s focus on realistic cases, shall we. Because the Egyptian military ain’t going anywhere it doesn’t want to, and Syria is under embargo from the other Arab states.

  26. #26 |  Woog | 

    How, exactly, is the “awful story” awful? A person demands service they cannot pay for (and by a mechanism which has gutted the charity care of yesteryear), unsuccessfully demands additional services upon receiving gratis care, is removed by police as trespassers often are, and come to find out that humans in the medical field are not all-knowing little gods.

  27. #27 |  Woog | 

    Crazy wal-mart cops needs to be fired and have the DA investigate bringing a criminal indictment before a grand jury. Felony assault and either kidnapping or false imprisonment for starters.

  28. #28 |  David | 

    I agree with #25.

    It’s “awful” only in the sense that, unfortunately, nobody is perfect – including doctors and hospital workers. Even if they’re entirely sincere and scrupulous, they’re still going to make mistakes and mis- or non-diagnose ailments, and people are going to die. It’s also tragic when somebody’s car hits a slick patch of road and skids off, killing them, but at the same time such events are inevitable.

    I’d like to say that I’m uninsured and so I’ve been to the hospital three times in my adult life. Each time, in utterly severe pain (a pair of gastrointestinal ailments), the nurses and doctors were heroes – relieving me of the pain and acting with competence and professionalism. (Again, even though I had no money.) The last time I went – just this last January – the emergency room was jammed up by poor people there for absolute non-emergencies, but just exploiting it for attention, minor aches and pains, or very likely to get free prescription pain killers. These scumbags caused me to have to writhe in agony for hours waiting my turn. Ultimately, I had to have my gallbladder removed. So this “boy who cried wolf” situation with many poor people (and, yes, disproportionately black) is going to cause other problems, such as that story.

  29. #29 |  David | 

    (Correction: I meant I agree with #26, “Woog’s” post about how hospital tragedies are inevitable.)

  30. #30 |  AlgerHiss | 

    @23 “By what moral reasoning do you make this statement?”

    There was no question that Afghanistan was the epicenter housing and training those responsible for what had happened here. It would have been immoral and unethical not to clean their streets.

    Only uncivilized, immoral and unethical people would have “turned the other cheek”.

  31. #31 |  Radley Balko | 

    How, exactly, is the “awful story” awful?

    Because a mother of two died on the floor of a jail cell from a preventable condition.

  32. #32 |  Jamie | 

    Narcotic seeking and disruptive indigent patients are both legitimate problems in urban emergency care settings. Google “Things I learn from my patients” sometime. It’s a thread on a student doctor’s forum for docs, nurses, medics, EMTs, and firefighters to share stories about crazy things they’ve seen in emergency medicine, and unfortunately, a huge number of those posts are about people who are homeless, mentally ill, or some combination of the above doing stupid and/or crazy shit to get themselves in the ED or while in the ED. Fortunately, the thread is hilarious.

  33. #33 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “My legs don’t work!” Brown yelled as police wheeled her out of the hospital after the exam. Officers dragged her into the jail and left her on the floor of a jail cell, where she died.

    I trust that the cops involved slept well that night comforted by others that they did nothing at all wrong. Stanley Milgram uncovered something very powerful indeed.

  34. #34 |  Pi Guy | 

    Brit Cops break into homes:

    WTF? Some of the commenters are like “Thank you, Big Brother!” I assume that they don’t have something like the 2nd Amenment across the ditch but I’m certain that here in the US (not currently nor ever have been a gun owner) there’d be a pile of dead cops in Essex. Just one time, mind you, but it would stop.

    How is not a fucking crime for someone to enter your home without authorization? Jeebus…

  35. #35 |  Juice | 

    The dead homeless woman story is tragic, but what could have been done? She went to the hospital complaining of leg pains. She was examined using ultrasound. They didn’t find any blood clots. She died about an hour later. That woman was dead no matter what happened that night.

  36. #36 |  Jeff Hall | 

    @35: Juice: nonsense. A leg clot is not a death sentence. In fact, deep vein thrombosis is fatal in about 4% of all cases. If she hadn’t been DRAGGED TO HER CELL by two policemen who were given notice that she couldn’t use her legs, she would surely have had a better chance of survival.

    > She was examined using ultrasound. They didn’t find any blood clots. She died about an hour later.

    This is what I don’t get about this story. An ultrasound detects most clots, but not all clots. How could this ER have excluded DVT based only on an ultrasound? Do they have some sort of magical super-ultrasound machine not available to the rest of the community?

  37. #37 |  StrangeOne | 

    #34 Pi Guy

    Have you read this website before? Americans are entirely tolerant of police breaking into homes and even killing the residents. All that’s required is a near complete media blackout on such cases, and if one does trend well and gets reported on, all the police have to do is throw out a few stock phrases and all is forgiven. Just say the victim had some unproven connection to “drugs” or “terrorism” or “resisted arrest” or that “officers feared for their safety” or that “a thorough internal investigation is being undertaken” and chances are everyone will forget about it in six months. If the family has legal funds they *might* get a settlement from the state, which will not effect police or their tactics in the slightest.

  38. #38 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @28 – That’s the ONLY medical care they have. So yes, of course they’re going to go there for relatively minor issues.

    It sounds like the hospital’s triage procedures were poor, to me.

  39. #39 |  Johanobesus | 

    It seems to me the lesson of the dead homeless mother is that we need more government assistance, including some sort of government guarantee of health care. The story was lacking in details, but most long-term homeless are mentally ill or addicted to drugs. If the police were told by physicians that she was perfectly healthy and was hysterical or deranged or maybe high, then why should the cop argue with the doctor? For once, I’m not certain the cops deserve too much blame.

    It was the hospital that decided not to further investigate her symptoms, probably because she could not pay for it. I know some people don’t have a problem with persons dying because they don’t have money to pay for medical care, but I and a great many others see that as just plain evil. If we had Medicare-for-All, maybe the ER would have performed a more thorough exam or kept her for observation. Maybe if we had a decent government funded infrastructure to help addicts and the mentally ill she wouldn’t have been on the street to begin with (assuming she had such problems). That story seems like a good argument for a bigger welfare state.

  40. #40 |  R. Pointer | 

    Update on the awful story:

    No word on what if anything might happen.

  41. #41 |  Woog | 

    Johanobesus, there are two critically fatal flaws with your analysis:

    First, medical services are a finite resource just like everything else in the known universe. Trying to get Uncle Sugar to use his government club to beat people into providing more resources will not magically make such resources appear. Too much government clubbing, and individuals will choose to exit the medical profession entirely, just as they have done in other countries with government-run medical systems.

    Lastly, forcing individuals to do work is known as slavery. Are you aware that you’re advocating slavery?