Sunday Links

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

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32 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  CyniCAl | 

    •Let’s give some due praise to Jefferson Parish, Louisiana Sheriff Newell Normand.

    Meh. Mafia spat.

  2. #2 |  Ted S. | 

    What’s so bizarre about being obsessed with donating sperm? Most men just obsess about doing it by having real sex with real women. ;-)

  3. #3 |  nuh uh | 

    Kowloon Walled City was torn down 20 years ago. by population density, I imagine sections of Indian cities (or maybe still parts of Hong Kong) are now the most dense.

  4. #4 |  tarran | 

    The sperm donor story is really one of those private bits of family drama where people’s deep dark desires and needs lead them to hurt each other.

    The guy’s wife had a hysterectomy. They have no children.

    The guy wants kids. Not children he adopts, but children who carry his genes.

    So he starts donating sperm to childless couples. Lesbian couples are relatively new, and its a growth market, so he moves into it.

    Wife is angry and feels rejected. After all, he is signaling that she is worthless to him because she can’t bear his seed to fruition.

    So she publicly tries to shame him.

    Honestly, when affairs like this splash across the news, I prefer to apply the Japanese custom that “nakedness is often seen but rarely observed.” In other words, to turn away, ignore it, and let these people sort out this problem privately.

    At this point reconciliation between these two former lovers is possible (barely), but encouraging them to fight it out in public will lead to one or both nuking the marriage.

  5. #5 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    Explain, please. On it’s face it looks like a Sheriff who actually has some self-respect and expects his officers to behave like people instead of bad hollywood stereotypes.

  6. #6 |  Kevin | 

    Does anyone else find the unplanned structure of Kowloon kind of attractive (for a ghetto)?

  7. #7 |  omar | 

    The incident was reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office, which is protocol and no wrongdoing was found.

    Word order is important. Let me fix that for you guys:

    The incident was reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office and no wrongdoing was found, which is protocol.

  8. #8 |  Other Sean | 

    I can’t speak for CyniCAl (nor can I spell for him), but it seems he’s comparing the Sheriff’s motives to those of a mafia boss who has one of his henchman killed for committing some especially conspicuous crime. It’s not that the mob boss has any compunction about the crime itself, it’s just that he doesn’t like things which bring attention his way.

    My answer would be: who cares about his motives? One way or another, we want a world where the improper use of force brings consequences for the users of that force. Between constitutional scruples and political self-preservation, the latter will always be a more abundant and more reliable source of motivation.

  9. #9 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    I bet Gary Johnson eats plenty of yogurt.

  10. #10 |  Other Sean | 

    Kevin #6,

    Yes – it looks like a city developed entirely from the fort-building genius of unsupervised ten year olds. And I mean that as a compliment.

    The architecture itself speaks to the indifference of authority figures, and thus also to the relative absence of authoritarian meddling. It doesn’t have that creepy aspect one associates with Soviet-era housing blocks, and it somehow looks a lot better than planned slums such as the “City of God” or the South Bronx under rent control. And unlike the Sanzhi Pod City, real human beings actually chose to live in these buildings.

  11. #11 |  David | 

    Gary Johnson nomination: Good.
    Two-day tantrum about party chairmanship: Bad.

  12. #12 |  bbartlog | 

    One wonders what exactly the British and Chinese governments found so ‘intolerable’ about the continued existence of Kowloon. Somehow I suspect payments from real estate developers were involved. Though mere controlfreakery is also possible, I suppose.

  13. #13 |  asg | 

    From the Louisiana sheriff story:

    Normand said he did not hear any racial slurs on the video, but he saw Hoobler issuing unnecessary warnings to stop resisting before firing the weapon.

    “The video reveals clearly that he’s not resisting,” Normand said.

    The sheriff said he believes Hoobler ordered those commands in an attempt to justify the tasing.

    My jaw hit the floor. A LEO in a supervisory role describing warnings to stop resisting as “unnecessary” because the subject was not actually resisting, and going on to say straight up that the warnings were pretextual? Is hell freezing over?

  14. #14 |  MacGregory | 

    That first Kowloon photo made me think of the Borg ship.

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Other Sean,

    I suppose one could look at it that way, but as regular readers of this blog know a Sheriff who even gives THAT much of a damn is rare. That he’s talking about going to the FBI if local prosecutors won’t do their job inclines me to believe that he’s genuinely outraged; if he were a typical “of course they’re guilty, we arrested them” type, the last thing on earth he’d want would be doing is attracting the attention of the FBI.

  16. #16 |  croaker |

    Incompetent CVS pharmacist and Dallas gestapo drag crippled woman to jail for trying to refill a pain prescription.

    Fuck you, drug warriors. May someone in your family get chronic, debilitating pain, and get an Advil and told to suck it up.

  17. #17 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    croaker, what do you have against the families of drug warriors?

  18. #18 |  shecky | 

    Old German doc with English subs on Kowloon:

    “One wonders what exactly the British and Chinese governments found so ‘intolerable’ about the continued existence of Kowloon. Somehow I suspect payments from real estate developers were involved. Though mere controlfreakery is also possible, I suppose.”

    Really? Did you look at the pictures of the place? I have no trouble believing any modern thinking government would have found the existence of Kowloon to be nothing more than an absolute embarrassment.

  19. #19 |  Len | 

    Croaker, of course the cop was just doing his job and nothing will happen to him….despite the fact he’s so stupid that a woman on crutches didn’t cause to him to reconsider what he was doing. Nor will those above him be in trouble despite there being no safeguards such as contacting the doctor or verifying that the DEA # was correct. Not that I condone the WOD, but even allowing for it, it’s still crap to not have procedures in place to make sure this kind of incident doesn’t happen.

  20. #20 |  croaker | 

    @17 Drug warriors laugh at lawsuits and criminal charges. The only thing left is to make their families suffer the consequences.

  21. #21 |  Other Sean | 

    C.P.S. #15 – You’re probably right about this particular guy, since given the place it seems less likely that his constituents are somehow pressing him into this. Maybe he really is that rare person who holds his principals above the interests of his guild.

    But I’m sticking to my (non)guns on the general case: if we want to see more of this behavior, we’d better figure out a way to make police executives feel like it’s in their self-interest to defend constitutional fidelity and restraint. Waiting for them to voluntarily sign up with Oath Keepers is not much of a plan.

    Croaker #20 – So your idea is to “make their families suffer the consequences”, because hey…what could possibly be wrong with punishing some people for the actions of others? That’ll definitely move us closer to a world of freedom and sanity.

  22. #22 |  Me2 | 

    I’ve been to Kowloon. Some of those buildings still exist there, but more interesting is what else has remained. If you ever find yourself in Hong Kong, definitely check out the Night Market in Kowloon before it disappears. It’s huge and it’s an awesome example of what a down-and-dirty free market looks like. Everything is DIRT cheap and the variety of products is mind boggling. You can get almost anything. Shopping bags full of bootleg DVD’s for pennies on the dollar, good quality knock-off purses and clothing, electronics, toys, jewelry, etc. Even genuine ivory, and that’s just the stuff that’s visible. There’s probably a lot more you could get if you ask around. The Night Market is surrounded by large luxury brand stores and malls, but every night it’s so packed with people that it’s hard to even move around. Hopefully it remains unmolested after Hong Kong goes full on red.

  23. #23 |  Delta | 

    I must admit that something smells funny about the Jefferson Parish story. Note that the incident previously went through the review process and no wrongdoing was found (which is what we would expect):

    “The incident was reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office, which is protocol and no wrongdoing was found. But Normand said he became ‘overwhelmingly concerned’ after watching video of the incident because he believes Hoobler used the Taser three more times than was warranted… Normand said he did not hear any racial slurs on the video, but he saw Hoobler issuing unnecessary warnings to stop resisting before firing the weapon…
    The sheriff said he believes Hoobler ordered those commands in an attempt to justify the tasing. Normand said he will conduct an internal investigation into why Hoobler’s actions were cleared of wrongdoing despite evidence there were problems.”

    So why was the Sheriff reviewing the tape independently after the review was over? Why would he spend the time on that? And come to a completely opposite conclusion from the prior review? And make these unprecedented claims that (a) the “stop resisting” order was bogus, and (b) the officer was using improper force, and (c) was immediately fired, and (d) criminal charges are pending? Something doesn’t add up here.

    My suspicion is that somehow the officer crossed the Sheriff in some other private disagreement, and this is a convenient excuse to kick him to the curb.

    Hazard a guess: the “internal investigation” on why he was cleared of wrongdoing the first time will come up empty.

  24. #24 |  kant | 

    wow, the runner up for the headline of the day has one of the best euphemisms ever.

    Pace learned in 2006 that he had been crowned the world record-holder in the category of unwanted cranial ammunition acquisition

  25. #25 |  John David Galt | 

    The real reason Fox News fired Glenn Beck, demoted Judge Napolitano, and have abandoned the cause of freedom.

    You won’t often hear me say this, but this needs to be forwarded far and wide while we still can.

  26. #26 |  Eric Y | 

    Me2, which market was this? I just paid visit to the Temple St. night market on Yau Ma Tei and Jordan on the Kowloon side last winter. It was called the “men’s market” by tourists. They had exactly what you mentioned. It was also very odd because these small vendors would set up booths on either side of the public sidewalks for several blocks, and only at night. Everyone would be gone by daylight. You will be walking down the sidewalk seeing anything from goofy communist Mao gear to neat knicknacks, electronics, and once in a while, an adult toys booth. It was pretty awesome (but awkward if you made eye contact with the adult toys vendor). Some of the neat stuff that most tourists don’t see are on the other side of the booths that face the center aisle. Instead of walking down the main streets or alleyways of these markets, try walking down the narrow spaces between the building shops and the booths. There are a lot of businesses there that most folks gloss over. Also, do stop by the Temple Street Spicy Crab restaurant. It takes up all four corners of the market intersection. San Miguel 640mL bottles of beer for $2 USD and several plates of food for a few bucks each. For $10, you’ll be feeling pretty good!

    There was also the Tung Choi St market in Monkok, the “ladies market” which is perpetual and occupies several blocks of alleyways. It’s famous for buyers being able to haggle with vendors. There are also several lingerie vendors there. Part of it actually burned down while I was there. I was also in Hong Kong during 1997 handover to China. Not much has really changed before or after. The flag changed and the queen disappeared from the currency but the capitalism is still there. You can get 1000MBit Internet and cable TV for $30/month. $10 for a Bolex from the guy on the street corner or walk into an authorized Rolex store around the corner and drop $30k on a Pave-diamond-studded Presidential. Not everything is dirt cheap. Genuine stuff costs genuine money and you don’t save anything from buying it in Hong Kong.

    In fact, I would say the wealth in Hong Kong has grown with all the wealthy mainland Chinese businessmen flocking the city to spend their spoils. People from China would pull out big fat rolls equivalent to $100 bills to pay a $5 taxi fare. There weren’t that many Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis, and Rolls Royces last time I was back. You start seeing them the moment you drive through the airport parking garage.

    Here are some photos. Trinkets and Mao gear at the Men’s Market at night:

    Ladies buying ladies stuff at the Ladies Market:

    You can still smoke while fondling merchandise in public, if you want!

  27. #27 |  Mike T | 

    Gary Johnson wins the LP nomination for president. This is a good thing for the LP. Best thing in years, in fact.

    You mean another “the banks did not break the law tool” won the LP nomination.

  28. #28 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Normand said he did not hear any racial slurs on the video, but he saw Hoobler issuing unnecessary warnings to stop resisting before firing the weapon.
    ‘The video reveals clearly that he’s not resisting,’ Normand said.”

    I concur with asg (#13) on this aspect of the story. It’s about time someone in law enforcement acknowledged that whole phenomenon.

  29. #29 |  CyniCAl | 

    #5 | C. S. P. Schofield — “CyniCAl, explain, please.”

    Happy to, CSP.

    Fuck the police.

    Have a nice day.

  30. #30 |  CyniCAl | 

    @CSP, or, what Other Sean said. Good enuf.

  31. #31 |  CyniCAl | 

    You guys picking on croaker are not reading his words. He’s not advocating that family members of law enforcement officers be stricken with painful diseases, he just doesn’t give a shit if they are and is cheering the karmic consequences. And I happen to agree, much like the story of the prisoner who was the son of a cop and was tortured to death. Who really has time to give a shit about these people when there are so many truly innocent victims ahead of them?

    Damn people, don’t be a cop. And if you’re related to law enforcement, you’d better watch out for yourself or trust your law enforcement family and friends (read: mafia) because there aren’t many other people who will care.

  32. #32 |  MO Libertarian | 

    FYI, Bill Johnson from AL the sperm donor was the Libertarian US Senate candidate in Missouri sometime in the early 90’s. He received almost 5% of the vote in a 3 way race. From the article it doesn’t sound like he is very libertarian anymore.