Morning Links

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
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82 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Sam | 

    Are you sure you want to rush into that Headline of the day claim? http://imgur.com/h7zVs

  2. #2 |  Mike | 

    In the pictures from the “poorest county in America”, they have:

    Houses
    Washer & Drier
    Cars
    Horses
    Lots of pots and pans
    Nice clothes
    Furniture
    Food

    There aren’t any poor people in America, there are only those less indescribably rich than they want to be.

  3. #3 |  Leonard | 

    Radley, that first bullet point as you wrote it is quite tendentious.

    “Don’t say gay” is a fair characterization of the one bill. So, that’s fine.

    The other bill criminalizes causing a miscarriage. It does not criminalize miscarriages.

    And the rest of your item is pure projection of malice onto your enemies. I thought better of you. What you are seeing in the two laws you dislike is the Christian right using democracy to implement popular laws that reify their morality. I am sure you don’t like it. But such is democracy: even Christians are allowed to vote. But nobody in this country advocates allowing people to shoot innocent people.

  4. #4 |  crazybob | 

    The charges against Cooksey aren’t about blogging, but about dispensing dietary advice. This country has a long history of charlatans ripping people off and providing advice or products that useless or harmful, with great public harm. Hence rules like NC’s that regulate the dispensing of medical advice. I would point out that the US has one of the longest life expectancy’s in the world, and public health efforts & regulation have been an important part of that success.

  5. #5 |  Eric Hanneken | 

    I had the same reaction to the “poorest county in America” photos that Mike had. I might add that pictures also showed apparently healthy pets who hadn’t been eaten, and young girls with shaved legs, wearing makeup. In contrast, if you do a Google image search for “poverty Asia” or “poverty Africa,” you will see pictures of people picking through trash heaps, and people dying of disease or malnutrition.

  6. #6 |  M | 

    Tennessee, home of the worlds largest Takei Pride Day celebration

  7. #7 |  Ashlyn | 

    @ Leonard The people passing the Don’t Say Gay law intend to use force to prevent other people from disseminating information that offends their delicate sensibilities. Is it really such a stretch for Radley to joke about their next dick move?

  8. #8 |  David | 

    There aren’t any poor people in America, there are only those less indescribably rich than they want to be.

    And, y’know, the homeless.

  9. #9 |  Mattocracy | 

    “The other bill criminalizes causing a miscarriage. It does not criminalize miscarriages”

    It most certainly does criminalize a miscarriages. That bill doesn’t distinguish between a natural miscarriage and malicious/negligent causes of miscarriages. This bill has prosecutorial overreach written all of it.

  10. #10 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ crazybob,

    Freedom of speach. You don’t need a license to exercise it. Nor should you.

  11. #11 |  lthof | 

    Could a felony conviction for $1 soda theft qualify as a “third strike”?

  12. #12 |  Ashlyn | 

    @ crazybob Plenty of those charlatans were licensed. In fact, states still license and regulate chiropractors and homeopaths. Licensing is not about protecting consumers; it’s about protecting incumbent practitioners of the trade.

    Everyone is free to ignore Cooksey and his dietary advice, which he openly admits is the product of his personal experience and not of any formal training.

    On second thought, I might not mind if we criminalized my mother nagging me to take echinacea.

  13. #13 |  syskill | 

    C’mon, Radley, get real. “Reasonable suspicion” is way, way to high a bar to clear when you think you might be dealing with an illegal immigrant.

  14. #14 |  Leonard | 

    Ashlyn, he is imputing to them a dick move that they won’t make because they believe it is wrong to do that sort of thing. I don’t find it funny to impute to people beliefs that they don’t actually believe in, even if in your own worldview those they ought to accept those belief. Rather, I believe that you should work hard to understand what other people do believe, and why they believe it. Even when it is contrary to what you believe. This is called “understanding”.

  15. #15 |  Radley Balko | 

    The other bill criminalizes causing a miscarriage. It does not criminalize miscarriages.

    See #9. You might look at how similar laws have been applied in other states:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/24/america-pregnant-women-murder-charges

    But nobody in this country advocates allowing people to shoot innocent people.

    Buddy: It was a joke.

    Next up!

    The charges against Cooksey aren’t about blogging, but about dispensing dietary advice.

    On a blog. Where he talks about his personal experience and encourages others to find the same success he found. And which includes disclaimers that he is not a dietitian.

    I would point out that the US has one of the longest life expectancy’s [sic] in the world and public health efforts & regulation have been an important part of that success.

    Wait. During the Obamacare debate, didn’t I keep hearing how we’re one of the least healthy countries in the world because of our inadequate health care system?

    So big government is why we’re so healthy, and not enough big government is also why we’re so unhealthy.

    Got it!

  16. #16 |  Andrew S. | 

    Leonard, I’ll understand whatever you want to believe. But when you start making laws that restrict my freedoms and allow for what will likely be horrible prosecutorial overreaches? Sorry, that goes beyond what I’m willing to “understand”.

    Quite frankly, it would not shock me at all if there were legislators in Tennessee who would love to pass a bill like that if they thought they could get away with it. And I’m willing to bet that if you put a bill like that up for a public vote in November, it would get a significant vote; possibly a majority.

  17. #17 |  Andrew S. | 

    Also, concern trolling is never effective, Leonard. So please stop it.

  18. #18 |  Player1 | 

    liked the article on sears and delta blues. you should put up skip james’ Washington D.C. Hospital blues up…make a bad ass blues week happen.

  19. #19 |  Juice | 

    That Dallas cop story is behind a paywall.

  20. #20 |  JimBob | 

    So… I have a bet to make.

    Due to the cameras, the Dallas PD claims that there have been a number of officers charged with misconduct for stuff like speeding, failing to obey traffic signals (while not running lights/siren), and the like.

    Now that they’ve dropped the monitoring, I’d like to bet a dollar that sometime in the next 12 months, the Dallas PD will point to the drop in misconduct charges that coincides with the decision to stop monitoring cameras as some sort of proof that cops are behaving better and being more professional.

    They did the same thing with civilian crime statistics: if the cops don’t investigate, there was never a crime in the first place, right?

  21. #21 |  V | 

    “I have two children — in the third- and fourth-grade — and don’t want them to be exposed to things I don’t agree with,”

    Can’t he just send his kids to a school that’ll teach kids the way he wants them to be taught? Also, a school whose curriculum will include dinosaurs walking side by side with man, a 6,000 year old Earth, and one where fascists and communists were the same (ignoring the fact both sides hunted and killed the other).

  22. #22 |  Lorenzo | 

    http://www.ksat.com/news/Dallas-police-halt-routine-dash-cam-video-reviews/-/478452/11637580/-/1510mppz/-/index.html

    This may be the Dalls cop story.

  23. #23 |  Jamie Niles | 

    How off-putting is it that I had to do a double take after reading the sarcasm in the Tenn. story. Given the state of things, I half believed it at first.

  24. #24 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Isn’t it terrible that the poor little police pussies were going to have to play by the rules ,like the rest of us. So they held their breath and pissed their diapers and the big bad commission went bye-bye. It is about time we held these lying stealing bullying corrupt diaper pissers to the full extant of the law. If they don’t like let get a new job.

  25. #25 |  K | 

    @Mattocracy

    I agree that the Tennessee bill is dumb, and there’s real danger of misuse, but it certainly does contain more nuance than the linked article suggests. This is from the local news story that the linked article links to:

    He noted the measure explicitly excludes any harm to an embryo or fetus cause by the pregnant woman herself.

    The bill includes language declaring it does not apply “to any act or omission by a pregnant woman with respect to an embryo or fetus with which she is pregnant or to any lawful medical or surgical procedure to which a pregnant woman consents, performed by a health care professional.”

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/apr/24/bill-authorizes-prosecution-for-death-of-an/

  26. #26 |  Goober | 

    I notice that about 98% of the “suffering” shown in those “poor county” photos was self-inflicted. It doesn’t take money to clean up after yourself.

  27. #27 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    V,

    When you require that people pay for something (via taxes) in a representative system, you necessarily grant them the right to meddle with it. One of the less recognized aspects of the matter; people who want you to pay for their Art performances, but get all huffy if you want input into the program. The citizens are on the hook for public education. Seems to me that they therefore have a commanding interest in what is taught. Their decisions may (and probably will) be silly as hell, but the principal stands.

  28. #28 |  Mike | 

    #8 Dave, the homeless have: Welfare, food stamps, soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, AFDC, WIC, tax credits, more. They get all of that for FREE. When was the last time you heard of someone dying of starvation in America? It just doesn’t happen.

    Free market capitalism doesn’t allow famines, there’s too much profit from bringing in food. Starvation requires government.

  29. #29 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Radley, have you seen this story:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/davontae-sanford-vincent-smothers-hit-man-confession_n_1309760.html

    Retarded kid in jail for “confessing” to a murder that a hitman who’s in prison has confessed to doing. The gun was found in the hitman’s home.

  30. #30 |  Pasquin | 

    This post reads like an Onion article. Especially the first point.

  31. #31 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ K,

    While that language makes me feel somewhat better about this bill, I discount these words:

    “to any act or omission by a pregnant woman with respect to an embryo or fetus with which she is pregnant”

    Given the hisotry of prosecutor misconduct and overreach in this country, I don’t think this will prevent a DA from prosecuting a woman who, for example, in a single car accident (let’s say she runs off the road and flips her vehicle) which then causes herself to miscarry. Lawmakers are making procreation a liabilty rather than a blessing.

  32. #32 |  Brandon | 

    It’s funny how seamlessly team red and team blue switch sides whenever it’s convenient without regard to any overriding principle. Or Leonard, were you also such a huge fan of democracy when Obamacare was passed, or when states have legalized gay marriage?

  33. #33 |  marco73 | 

    Poor people in 21st Century America live better than Kings 100 years ago.
    Running water, refrigeration, air conditioning, cell phone service, electric lights, access to medical care and modern live-saving drugs. The list is almost endless.

  34. #34 |  FridayNext | 

    @#2 Mike

    You forgot cigarettes.

    I am always amazed in this country that no matter how poor someone is in this country, they seem to always be able to afford smokes.

  35. #35 |  The Crip Bandit | 

    #31

    Did you miss the stuff about the mobile home not having electricity or running water? I used to drive through that area, I would see the locals carrying jugs and buckets to a straight pipe sticking out of the side of a hill with spring water flowing out of it. That is where they got their water. This was 15 years ago, I highly doubt it has improved much.

  36. #36 |  Herb | 

    Got some local news hysteria for you, RB… teens drinking hand sanitizer

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hand-sanitizer-20120424,0,4801404.story

  37. #37 |  Juice | 

    Free market capitalism doesn’t allow famines, there’s too much profit from bringing in food.

    Not from people who don’t have any money.

  38. #38 |  Sean L. | 

    More on the poorest county:

    They’re also pretty well-fed and seem to have enough leisure time to play some music. Not bad. But my first impression was how nearly every image shows piles and piles of stuff. Stuff on the floors, stuff on the walls, and not all of it crap.

    We live in a country where the bottom 1% can afford to be hoarders.

  39. #39 |  omar | 

    Free market capitalism doesn’t allow famines, there’s too much profit from bringing in food. Starvation requires government.

    This is a bit of wishful thinking, isn’t it? There are more natural forces in this universe than all the government oppression and voluntary capitalist exchanges put together. Despite all of our planning or not planning, like every species on Spaceship Earth, we are, have always been, and will always be dancing on the edge of extinction given the right input. I don’t think it’s un-libertarian to say free market capitalism will not solve all of our problems forever.

    I’d get on board with “free market capitalism is less prone to famines…starvation will still happen now and again.”

  40. #40 |  EH | 

    Here’s a neat one about Orthodox Jews convicted of sex crimes having their names redacted from public records:

    http://forward.com/articles/155197/orthodox-abuse-suspects-get-exemption/

  41. #41 |  EH | 

    BTW, I see ads for this puppy mill when accessing the site on my Android phone:

    http://www.familypetclassifieds.com/bluespring-valley-dogs

  42. #42 |  perlhaqr | 

    and one where fascists and communists were the same (ignoring the fact both sides hunted and killed the other).

    So, are trotskyists and leninists not similar because they killed each other too?

  43. #43 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Up next, a bill that would allow legal gun owners to shoot anyone they reasonably suspect to be a sex offender, undocumented immigrant, or abortion doctor.

    Check out what happened in Georgia this last week to an interracial couple from Zaire who went to go change locks on the home they just bought. The next door neighbors grabbed a couple of AR-15 rifles(http://www.ajc.com/news/newton-county-neighbors-charged-1424231.html) and held them at gunpoint while yelling at them to “shut up!” when they tried to explain they were the new home owners.

    The police initially arrested the man and wife and held them a jail overnight on charges of trespassing and prowling before finding out they owned the property.

    The father and son from next door are in jail now.
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/04/men-accused-of-pointing-gun-at-new-homeowners-changing-locks/1#.T5beEO2-xio

    ****************************

    A father-son pair of neighborhood watch volunteers have been arrested on criminal charges for allegedly holding at gunpoint the new owners of a neighboring house who were changing their locks , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

    Robert Canoles, 45, and his 18-year-old son Branden have been charged in Newton County with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal trespass, the newspaper says.

    The pair, armed with semi-automatic weapons, allegedly sneaked up behind Jean-Joseph Kalonji, 61, and his wife, Angelicia, 57, who were changing the locks on the home in Porterdale that their son, Bruno, had just purchased for the family.

    The Kalonjis — who moved to the U.S. from Zaire in the late 1990s — said they stood with their hands in the air for 10 minutes during the ordeal Thursday evening.

    “(I was) told to put my hands up and to get out, otherwise he shot us,” Kalonji tells WSBT-TV.

    It took four days for events to turn completely around, with charges of loitering and prowling dropped against the Kalonjis, and the criminal charges filed against the Canoles. Robert Canoles says he was initially praised by responding officers, the Associated Press reports.

    “I don’t know what they can charge me with,” Canoles said late Monday before turning himself in, the Journal-Constitution reports. “This is my Second Amendment right. Look, this is the country out here, and we protect our own.”

  44. #44 |  Matthew | 

    Arizona’s up to all manner of shenanigans: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/24/us-usa-immigration-attorneys-idUSBRE83N05N20120424

    Isn’t that guy in the background Captain Homo-bin-sheriff, who threatened to deport his cabana boy if he outed him?

  45. #45 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Running water, refrigeration, air conditioning, cell phone service, electric lights, access to medical care and modern live-saving drugs. The list is almost endless.

    For frak’s sake…!

    Poor people 400 years ago also had food, water (generally of about the same quality as the rich, although not the same quantity or variety) and access to about the same competency level of health care as the rich (although you didn’t get to have a doctor who stayed with you 24/7 if you were poor. Rich people were bled to rid them of “bad humors” and had leeches applied just like the poor people)

    They were still poor, all the same. In fact, poor people today have far less access to health care, since it is now virtually impossible to bargain with doctors for treatment the way you could have done 150 years ago. That means you are stuck with going to an ER for routine access, get stuck with a preposterous bill that you cannot possibly pay off (since uninsured patients get billed at 200% to 300% what insurance is billed) and the hospital ends up discharging the debt onto the rest of us.

  46. #46 |  JOR | 

    “But nobody in this country advocates allowing people to shoot innocent people.”

    Well of course not*. They do advocate laws that define away the innocence of certain peaceful people to get around such technicalities.

    *Actually, even if you define innocence as “in accord with all laws and regulations including the ‘unofficial’ laws like those against DWB, and lucky enough to not be on the business end some cop or other state agent having a bad day/a wrong door raid/some other officious error” your claim is not really true. There are plenty of people who are just fine with shooting some categories of innocent people, who would make excuses for it, defend it, play victim-blaming games, implicitly deny that the shooters should be punished (that is to say, ‘advocate allowing people to shoot’ said innocent people), etc.

  47. #47 |  omar | 

    “This is my Second Amendment right. Look, this is the country out here, and we protect our own.”

    I’ll take false legal beliefs and non-sequiturs fo $1000, Alex.

  48. #48 |  JOR | 

    All the idiot libertoids commenting on “the poor”:

    People in American prisons are materially better off than many people have been in many times and places, ergo being imprisoned is nothing to complain about. The prison industrial complex is a First World Problem.

    And don’t even get me started on all those bitchy rich fucks who whine about marginal tax rates.

  49. #49 |  Mattocracy | 

    Poverty and wealth are relative things. The poor in America might be better off than the poor in other countries. But by American standards, poor Americans are still poor regardless of what the past was like or what it’s like in other countries.

    There really shouldn’t be an argument about whether or not these people are really in poverty. These people are mother fucking poor compared to just about everyone else in this country. You can be a libertarian and admit that.

  50. #50 |  GaryM | 

    Leonard: Where do you get the notion that Balko is disputing the right of members of the Christian right to vote, and what does an uncontroversial statement about shooting people have to do with any point in question? You’re correct that the bill would criminalize causing miscarriages, not miscarriages, and if you’d stopped there instead of running off on tangents you’d have made a solid contribution to the discussion.

    Those tangents won’t stop people from noticing that the bill will make causing a miscarriage murder and has nothing to do with disenfranchising voters and only an incidental connection to shooting people.

  51. #51 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @2 – That’d be why food banks are overwhelmed, and people routinely die of easily treatable conditions then. Cost of living is also something else you’re ignoring, of course.

    The real poor ain’t photogenic, and are often quite hostile to being filmed.

  52. #52 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Yes, Matt, they are poor. However, “poverty” means that you lack the necessities – food, water, clothing, shelter. Worldwide, about 60,000,000 people die every year from starvation. That is poverty. While I wouldn’t voluntarily trade places with these folks, it’s pretty obvious that they have access to food, water, clothing, and shelter. That puts them far ahead of large segments of the world’s population. And as others have pointed out, a nicotine addiction seems pretty common meaning they even have enough excess to waste on an unnecessary item.

    My ancestors apparently saw this coming 100 years ago and moved to Indiana.

  53. #53 |  crazybob | 

    “Freedom of speach. You don’t need a license to exercise it. Nor should you.”

    No, but should a license be required to practice medicine? It appears the prosecution has drawn a bright line between blogging about diet as OK, and dispensing advice to specific individuals as an activity that requires licensure. The only question is: where should that line be?

  54. #54 |  crazybob | 

    “While I wouldn’t voluntarily trade places with these folks, it’s pretty obvious that they have access to food, water, clothing, and shelter”

    Don’t be surprised to learn that the kids in the photo’s regularly go to bed hungry. The human body can take a lot of abuse and still function. That doesn’t mean there isn’t suffering.

  55. #55 |  Zeb | 

    While I am not completely unsympathetic to the very poor people in KY, I think that the points made about how well off they are compared to the truly impoverished people in the world are valid. People in countries where there is true poverty will migrate to places where there is more garbage to pick through to find anything of value. The junk piles that the people in KY have would be treasure to the truly destitute people of the world. Sure, it still sucks to be poor, but let’s keep some perspective.

  56. #56 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ Crazybob,

    No one should be barred from giving advice, especially when someone makes it clear what his or her background is in a particular subject.

    Considering that Cooksey makes it very clear he is not a medical professional, he isn’t misleading anyone. There is no fraud. There is no crime here. How much validity people put into his advice is their decision, as they have been fully informed about the means that he uses to derive said advice. There no reason to suspend his right to free speech.

  57. #57 |  Zeb | 

    Another thing about the poor folk. Can’t they go somewhere else where they might be able to get a job? I mean, much poorer people from Mexico and points south uproot their whole lives and move to a country where they don’t even speak the language so that they can work and get ahead. The people in the article are legally allowed to live anywhere in the US and speak English. If your family has spent generations in the same spot, being poor and not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to try living somewhere else.

  58. #58 |  nigmalg | 

    Considering that Cooksey makes it very clear he is not a medical professional, he isn’t misleading anyone. There is no fraud. There is no crime here. How much validity people put into his advice is their decision, as they have been fully informed about the means that he uses to derive said advice. There no reason to suspend his right to free speech.

    This. As a consumer of advice, you do have a responsibility as to what you take seriously. It takes both sides.

  59. #59 |  Brandon | 

    Matt, don’t bother with Crazybob. He’s a pro-government troll regardless of the subject, details, context or anything else about what is being discussed. As far as I know, Radley has banned at least 3 of his alts so far.

  60. #60 |  Goober | 

    As I said, it looks like a vast majority of the “suffering” in that KY story is self-inflicted. YOu can disagree with me all you want, but it’s right there in the print of the story.

    The guy living in squalor doesn’t need money to clean up after himself.

    The broken down old car in that field that is rusting away is probably worth $500 in scrap metal, and in one of the pictures, one guy is driving a 3/4 ton pickup, and so easily has the capability to haul it off for scrap.

    The guy living in the mobile home without water or electricity is referred to several times as a “former” chimney sweep. if that is his skill, and that is how he makes his living, then why is he a “former” chimney sweep? It shows him in another picture after having run a weed eater in the local cemetary, so he likely isn’t disabled – why did he stop working and earning a living?

    The rest of the people in that article lived in much the same conditions I lived in when I was growing up, and I certainly didn’t consider my self in poverty. poor, yes. But not impoverished. I only saw one home that was in any way comparable to what I would define pverty, and I have a lot of questions abut that guy and his decisions leading up to his impoverished conditions – my guess is that he is largely to blame for that, and is probably happy to live that way so long as it means he doesn’t have to keep sweeping chimneys.

    As for the kids – they were going to senior prom, meaning they graduated from high school. If they want to break the cycle, all they have to do is leave and go somewhere else where they can find work. If they choose not to, then their poverty is self-inflicted and I don’t feel any sympathy for them.

    Forgive me if my bleeding heart isn’t simply breaking over a bunch of people who look like they are doing just fine – living in conditions comparable to the ones I lived in when I grew up, with enough disposable income to buy big, elaborate dresses, beer, and cigarettes.

  61. #61 |  Marty | 

    #56- I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, but people generally end up how they’re raised. I’m sure wealthy people are looking at my middle-class ass and wondering wtf is wrong with me.

  62. #62 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ Michael Chaney,

    I agree with a lot of the assessments made. The poor shouldn’t be smoking. They don’t have to live in clutter. There are various opportunities missed that poor people can take advantage of to alleviate their plight, maybe even move up the socio-economic ladder. They could move to a place with better economic opportunities as so many Hispanic people from Mexico have done. I agree with all of these things.

    The issue I have is that I often hear libertarians try to argue that being poor in America isn’t really being poor when compared to the poor people in other places. We’ll cherry pick something like a pack of cigarettes in a photograph as if kicking a smoking habit is really gonna result in significant prosparity for people making less that 20k a year. It makes us appear completely dismissive of the issue. That doesn’t do the cause any good when trying to win over converts in the political ring.

    It’s not a slippery slope that will lead someone to socialism to admit that some people are born into shit and getting out of said shit is a staggering process. Promoting libertarianism solutions to poverty by arguing a “only the strong survive” policy isn’t really doing us any favors. There are much more positive ways to promote libertarian solutions to poverty.

  63. #63 |  Zeb | 

    #60, Marty: IT certainly is true that people do end up where/how they were raised. But it seems like people nowadays feel entitled to live wherever they want to. Some places will just never be strong economically because of geography, climate and available natural resources. The only way for the rural poor to become less poor is either massive subsidy of their lifestyle or they go live somewhere else where something is happening. The rest of the world is not obliged to subsidize their charming rustic existence.

  64. #64 |  Onlooker | 

    @18 Juice

    You can get around that paywall – and many/most others – by copying the headline into a search engine and going to it through the link there. It’s a loophole they have intentionally put there to keep traffic coming through the search sites.

  65. #65 |  jmcross | 

    Dallas police article can be found by going here:

    http://www.ksat.com/news/Dallas-police-halt-routine-dash-cam-video-reviews/-/478452/11637580/-/1510mppz/-/index.html

    You’ll find a clear link in the 3rd paragraph.

  66. #66 |  jmcross | 

    Ref the Dallas PD

    \\“The hard, aggressive officer was slowing down because he was getting hammered,” said police association President Ron Pinkston.//

    I see that as a feature of the process.

    \\These kinds of problems were found during the review process. Some could be considered serious violations warranting disciplinary action; others fall into a gray area where officers feel they should be allowed to exercise discretion. Officers:

    Gave chase without activating lights and sirens.

    Exceeded the speed limit in residential areas or active school zones during chases.

    Topped the speed limit by more than 20 mph during pursuits and other emergency calls.

    Failed to stop at stop signs or red lights during chases.

    Violated the strict pursuit policy, for instance by chasing a motorist who fled while getting a traffic ticket.

    Failed to activate wireless microphones, resulting in no audio recording of events during an investigation or arrest.

    Failed to notify dispatchers that they were involved in pursuits.

    Deactivated video recorders during police pursuits and assist-officer calls.

    Failed to download video from their squad cars at the end of every shift. (If this isn’t done, the unit sometimes fills up and will no longer record.)

    Moved GPS antennas from the car’s interior to the trunk, where reception is poor or nonexistent.//

    Note the policy violations centering around the monitoring devices. The causes of these could range from negligent disregard for policy to mens rea. Really, how does a LEO justify turning off the camera? Or shoving the GPS antenna in the trunk? Right to privacy? Please.

    Cops shouldn’t have the option to turn off monitoring devices. Same goes for prison guards.

    I’m generally in favor of the right to collective bargaining, free association and all that. However, the routine whining of cop union presidents when their members are held to minimal standards and policies that already lift them above the common man is simply vile. The self-centered group-think of the cop-class is astounding.

  67. #67 |  picachu | 

    jmcross “I’m generally in favor of the right to collective bargaining, free association and all that. However, the routine whining of cop union presidents when their members are held to minimal standards and policies that already lift them above the common man is simply vile. The self-centered group-think of the cop-class is astounding.”

    Well said! Again every problem with police abuse goes back to their astounding arrogance and pride. That’s what seems to have grown worse over the years.

  68. #68 |  JSL | 

    “No, but should a license be required to practice medicine? It appears the prosecution has drawn a bright line between blogging about diet as OK, and dispensing advice to specific individuals as an activity that requires licensure. ”

    Given the current state of the licensed to practice medicine crowd when it comes to nutrition, a license doesn’t mean jack squat.

  69. #69 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    America is, like much of the West, a great deal wealthier than any country in any other age of history. How do I propose to prove this? The current hysteria of the War on Obesity; the commonest dietary problem of our poor is that they are too fat.

    Is this to our credit as a Nation? That can be argued. Certainly in each age of our Nation there have been self-selected elites who were SURE that if the Common People were allowed the increased control of their lives that increased wealth brings they would make Wrong Choices. Typically these elites have had fine sounding plans to keep the poor from getting their hands on too much money.

    The current lot of thieves, I mean Concerned Citizens, encompasses both the Progressive Left and the Business-as-usual branch of the Republican Party.

    Libertarians, by contrast, have a touching faith in the ability of people to make the right choices, when surrounded by loud voices giving them bogus advice.

    Me? I’m a Crank.

  70. #70 |  supercat | 

    #48 | Mattocracy | “These people are m—– f—— poor compared to just about everyone else in this country. You can be a libertarian and admit that.”

    There seems to be a widespread notion that one can be made poor by the fact that other people have too much more wealth. That is an evil lie.

    Those who are conditioned to be covetous will be miserable if anyone else has more wealth than they do, and they will blame their misery on the fact that others have no wealth, but that won’t be the real cause. The real cause of their misery will be their own covetousness.

    Other people who are not covetous may find themselves in a rut, but for psychological or psychiatric reasons lack the impetus to get themselves out. While it may be possible to help some such people, there are limits as to what can be really done. If someone has a psychological or psychiatric condition which will cause him to lose in fairly short order any wealth he might acquire, the person’s misery isn’t a result of insufficient welfare payments. Actually, a welfare system may end up doing more harm than good if it causes such a person not to seek assistance from a good church (which, regardless of how one feels about the religion preached there, would help the person find friends–something that a lot of people sorely lack).

  71. #71 |  tariqata | 

    ‘Wealth’ is not just about having the basics needed to sustain life.

    A lot of stuff necessary for life – food, clothing – is relatively cheap in North America. These people may have more capacity to buy things – although not, apparently, adequate shelter – than a lot of people in the world, but it looks to me like they’re still shut out of an awful lot of the opportunities that many of us can take for granted. If they didn’t smoke or drink beer or send their kids to prom (though I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of those dresses have been worn by more than one girl), would that leave them with enough money to send their kids to university so that they could gain access to work that might sustain them better than sweeping chimneys? Would it be enough money to pay for medical care when they get sick?

  72. #72 |  Not Sure | 

    “It is illegal to feed dolphins in the United States. Federal law prohibits this. I do not recall anything in the Constitution authorizing federal laws against feeding dolphins, but I’ll let that pass. The fact is, people ignore the law. They love to feed dolphins. In Tampa Bay, tourists are big law-breakers in this regard.

    Why shouldn’t people be allowed to feed dolphins? Because, marine biologists say, giving dolphins free food addicts them to handouts. People are turning dolphins into welfare bums.

    The federal government’s fish police see the threat. Handouts destroy the ability of dolphins, who are very smart fish (mammals), to survive on their own. Mothers do not teach survival skills to their offspring. They teach them to live off welfare.

    Tourists are creating inter-generational welfare dependence. In a 2009 article in the “Tampa Bay Times,” we read this from a biologist employed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. “We are able to document lineage, from grandmother to mother to calf, all following fishing boats and taking thrown-back fish.”

    Marine biologists, who themselves are being fed by the federal government, understand the threat to ecology posed by welfare economics. It is a bad idea, they say, to addict smart fish to handouts. But the logic of this position is not applied to human beings, who are far more clever than dolphins. What is gospel at the National Marine Fishing Service is anathema at the Department of Health and Human Services. What the government’s experts on fish see as a threat to the fish, the government’s experts on human beings do not see as a threat to people.

    What is the threat? Creating permanent dependence.” – Gary North

  73. #73 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I hate to be the “paranoid guy” here, but I suspect the shutdown of the review in Dallas wasn’t about speeding at all.

    I think speeding was just the least-damaging excuse they could use to shut it down. Any actual reprimands or punishments for speeding, and the like, were just a dog-and-pony show.

    Sgt: I am afraid I will have to give you a stern verbal warning for speeding. You were often 1, or even 2 mph over the limit even when you weren’t Code Three.

    Policeman: But that is ridiculous.

    Sgt: Do you really want the Commission going thru all your dashcam recordings. Remember, I know what you did last summer.

    Policeman: I understand, Sgt, and want to thank you. I guess I need to go see the FOP guy about this outrage.

    Sgt: that is EXACTLY what you need to do.

  74. #74 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Marine biologists, who themselves are being fed by the federal government, understand the threat to ecology posed by welfare economics. It is a bad idea, they say, to addict smart fish to handouts. But the logic of this position is not applied to human beings, who are far more clever than dolphins. What is gospel at the National Marine Fishing Service is anathema at the Department of Health and Human Services. What the government’s experts on fish see as a threat to the fish, the government’s experts on human beings do not see as a threat to people.

    Last I checked, dolphins are not fish. You did mention they are mammals…and mammals are not fish. Next, dolphins are animals subject to the rather stringent laws of nature where the sick, maimed and elderly are ruthlessly culled by predation and natural forces. Human beings live in societies that evolved to combat this kind of thing, since parents really don’t like seeing dire wolves and cave bears eat their children. Thusly, we support and help the weak, sick and elderly and the very young. We tend to accept that some undeserving people will get help as well as the people we meant to help all along. The “survival of the fitest” mentality adopted by some libertarians is actually derived (IMHO) from a strain of Puritanism that has been around for the last 350 years in America. It particularly views “malingering” with suspicion and contempt, while extoling the virtues of work and character (to the exclusion of many other things).

  75. #75 |  Not Sure | 

    It looks like you don’t want to address the issue of the danger of teaching people to depend on others instead of helping themselves, I guess?

    And the fish thing- I didn’t write it and I’d guess the writer didn’t intend to be taken literally. But what do I know?

  76. #76 |  Other Sean | 

    That poverty slideshow is half statistical artifact, since it features people from the poorest county without necessarily featuring the poorest people. Most likely what makes their county unique is that it has no wealthy residents to lift the average. Also, you can look and see that there is obviously a certain amount of unrecorded economic activity going on there (including, god forbid, unlicensed cosmetology).

    If you want to see real poverty in America, go and meet the users of socially unsanctioned drugs living in a city of more than 200,000. That’s where you find 18 people in a four bedroom house with neither heat nor water, using an antique bathtub as a dry latrine.

    Anyone who goes preaching to them about how smoking is making them poor will get the ass-kicking he deserves.

  77. #77 |  brian | 

    #73, I think you meant Work, and Character. Otherwise you nailed it.

  78. #78 |  Marty | 

    #62 | Zeb-

    I’m not arguing that anyone should subsidize anyone’s ‘charming existence’, but you do raise an interesting point- they have phone lines/internet connections. This would be a fascinating experiment for Bill Gates (or anyone) to invest in teaching computers. I can see lots of entrepreneurial opportunities for any kid with a little knowledge. Computers are cheap. A little skill and low debt could go a long way…

  79. #79 |  omar | 

    @#73 | celticdragonchick

    You nailed it on the head.

    I’d add: Pretending a problem doesn’t exist, doesn’t make it go away, even when that problem has a traditionally governmental remedy. It takes a libertarian with no imagination to see problems like the existence of very poor people and only see socialism as a solution – leading to the naive conclusion that there is no problem.

  80. #80 |  M | 

    PGC SWAT team raided a guy known for driving anti-illegal immigrant legislation:
    “After he did so much to place greater trust in local police officers nationwide, police in Prince George’s County sent a SWAT team to his house to look for . . . spray paint.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/time-of-trial-for-proponents-of-self-deportation/2012/04/24/gIQAe6lheT_story_2.html

  81. #81 |  Zeb | 

    Marty, sorry if I came of as argumentative. I think we more or less agree. I hadn’t really considered the advantages of being connected. Though good internet connections are still hard to come by in a lot of rural places.

  82. #82 |  Mister Pickles | 

    re – the poorest county in America

    Good luck to those people.

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