Morning Links

Thursday, May 10th, 2012
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39 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Dave | 

    What’s going on in the ‘Justice’ link? Is it that the Jeep is boxed in?

  2. #2 |  Paul | 

    re: Justice photograph. It looks like a parking lot near Shea Stadium. There is an EZPass on the windshield, and the Blue top to the stadium in the background. Some other cues in the photo as well. I can’t spot Waldo in the photo :)

  3. #3 |  namowal | 

    Thanks for the link to the accidental shooting story, but one quibble. “One officer’s gun went off” is not passive voice. “To go off” is an intransitive verb – it can’t be used in the passive. Yes, there are lots of accountability issues in that article, so please just say that without vilifying and misidentifying the passive voice.

    For a better written critique of this issue, read this:
    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3897

  4. #4 |  Mr Lizard | 

    I like the ‘justice’ pic, but it would’ve been better had the vehicle been a hybrid. Making fun of SUV drivers is so 2006.

  5. #5 |  Nacim | 

    The jeep took up two spots by parking on the line. The response by the other cars to box it in is a reasonable punishment given the transgression.

  6. #6 |  Delta | 

    Maybe there should be a national organization dedicated to assisting and publicizing civil lawsuits against cops who shoot people’s pets. It’s the only thing I can think of for effective pushback against this obvious cop modus operandi.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “With Congress getting ready to assemble the next big defense authorization bill, two House members are coming together across party lines to ensure that everyone arrested in the United States—even suspected terrorists—gets a fair trial.”

    I never thought I’d see the day when the concept of the “fair trial” became a protracted, expensive controversy in the USA. What fundamental rights are next on the docket to go up in flames?
    DHS needs to create another boogeyman, then we’ll find out.

  8. #8 |  perlhaqr | 

    I don’t think “No” quite covers it, Radley. I’m going to have to go with “Oh hell no.”

    ——

    Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for Homeland Security Investigations, would not address the question of the agency’s approach to the arrest, except to say, “Our foremost consideration is the safety of the agents”

    A.) This is not surprising.

    B.) Doesn’t seem to have worked all that well, does it?

  9. #9 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “Dekalb, Georgia officer who shot a chained dog a few months ago is now under investigation for kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach.”

    Let’s see; he’s shot somebody’s dog and assaulted a pregnant woman. Now all he needs to do is run his patrol car into a schoolbus full of nuns, and they’ll vote him Officer of the Year.

  10. #10 |  Other Sean | 

    “Should U.S. Troops Fight the Drug War?” Man…another museum quality specimen from the NY Times.

    They paneled six people to answer that question, and none of them was Radley. That’s an outrage by itself. But even worse, they managed to find six “different” opinions without coming anywhere near even a half-assed opponent of the drug war.

    It’s some kind of dark art, the way that paper narrows the world into a spectrum perfectly aligned to the consensus of current power holders in American life.

  11. #11 |  Gordon | 

    Not “accidental shooting”. It’s “negligent shooting”.

  12. #12 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    From the botched raid:

    “Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for Homeland Security Investigations, would not address the question of the agency’s approach to the arrest, except to say, “Our foremost consideration is the safety of the agents” and other people in the area.”

    Initiating violence where none existed belies that statement.

    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

    Note that the “other people” did not make it into her quote but perhaps that’s on the stenographer/reporter.

  13. #13 |  albatross | 

    I am so looking forward to seeing how the tools of the war on terror will be applied to the war on drugs. Secret prisons, torture chambers, death squads, assassinations, unaccountable paramilitary forces roaming the countryside. And all this will be such a new thing for Latin America, which has *never* seen anything like that before, *especially* not done with US backing. No doubt we will soon be hearing about how these tools must also be used here in the US, and only dirty fucking hippies and crazy black helicopter types could possibly object.

  14. #14 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    I like the ‘justice’ pic, but it would’ve been better had the vehicle been a hybrid. Making fun of SUV drivers is so 2006.

    It’s not that it’s an SUV. It’s that the driver was a jerk who parked taking up several spaces, and now as a result is trapped until everyone leaves.

  15. #15 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    •Dekalb, Georgia officer who shot a chained dog a few months ago is now under investigation for kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach.

    Any psychologist could tell you that people with a history of attacking animals frequently escalate into attacking humans.

  16. #16 |  all day every day | 

    - a great deal of this “war on drugs” behavior has become ritualistic, the act itself is what counts and not the the reasons (or lack thereof) behind it.

  17. #17 |  Alex | 

    I did enjoy the last bullet point, listing all of Joe Arpaio’s efforts to improve the criminal justice system.

  18. #18 |  CyniCAl | 

    Alex ftw

    From the link provided by our “grammar Nazi” [I kid, I kid]:

    “Mention is made of “a lack of self-confidence from the prosecution, which switches to the passive voice at a crucial moment in the action.”

    Is the blogger oblivious to the hypocrisy of “Mention is made,” or is that a bit of grammar sarcasm?

    Oh, grammar, you are so much fun! And I thought those hours in 7th-grade English were a complete waste of time. Silly me.

  19. #19 |  niobiumstudio | 

    I especially like the pregnant woman kicked in the stomach…police chief said “It is all within our policy”… Best policy ever – kick all pregnant women in the stomach…but only if they are visibly about to explode. Extra points for fetal ejection… How can a police chief say that it is policy to kick pregnant women in the stomach and people STILL get behind the police and say “That pregnant bitch must have been doing SOMETHING to deserve getting kicked in the uterus”…

  20. #20 |  Difster | 

    From the first story, I take issue with your characterization that it was “a raid gone wrong.” It couldn’t have gone any better unless they killed the old guy. Their goal is to continue to instill fear in compliance in everyone.

  21. #21 |  Personanongrata | 

    •The answer is no.

    They already are and have been doing so for decades.

  22. #22 |  Brandon | 

    The comments to the Times article on the drug war are awesome. Almost 100% skeptical of the drug war, and mostly encouraging re-legalization. Of course, this probably means that the Times is going to stop including comments sections, but the populace appears to be waking up, slowly, to the absurdity of the war on drugs.

  23. #23 |  H. Rearden | 

    >blockquote>#3 | namowal | May 10th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Thanks for the link to the accidental shooting story, but one quibble. “One officer’s gun went off” is not passive voice.

    Your point, IME, is one of grammatical minutiae. Perhaps a valid point being directed at Radley, a professional writer. But the larger point is that a gun does not ‘go off’. A gun is fired, which expressly implies that there is someone that pulls the trigger. The phrasing used is a strange attempt to muddy this fact.

  24. #24 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Yizmo Gizmo,

    I’m almost 100% with you, BUT. Long usage in international law holds that due process for spies caught in wartime (and operatives not in uniform satisfies the definition of spies nicely) is a secret military trial (transcripts made public after the war is over), followed (assuming conviction) with a bullet in the back of the head. That is the standard, by the rules of war. This isn’t new. This isn’t a fresh outbreak of fascism. This is what we were doing in WWII.

  25. #25 |  Personanongrata | 

    •Another raid gone wrong. Dog dead, federal agents wounded.

    Note to the “professionals” playing SWAT dress-up (federal, state, local) there isn’t one special forces operator who would ever participate in a dynamic breach without actionable intelligence in hand.

    SWAT for warrant service is a recipe for disaster, espeacially when the “professionals” apparently didn’t even know that there was a women residing in the home who worked the night shift and would be returning home in the early AM when their “raid” was set to begin.

    What type of surveillance was conducted? (Rhetorical question)

    Never mind opening fire and wounding your own in a close quarters battle (CQB) type of situtation, very “professional” cowboy posers.

    Lighting off flash-bangs and conducting dynamic breach entries are nothing more than blatant attempts by the state to terrorize US citizens.

    Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.” ~ Issac Asimov

    Of course these types of SWAT paramilitary actions continue full circle and the law of the instrument is re-confirmed daily.

    “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” ~ Abraham Maslow

  26. #26 |  Juice | 

    WTF were the zookeepers thinking? I’ll bet the idiots regret it now and probably for the rest of their lives.

  27. #27 |  Personanongrata | 

    •Dekalb, Georgia officer who shot a chained dog a few months ago is now under investigation for kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach.

    It would appear that a certain Dekalb, Georgia “professional” does not have the temperment to be a law enforcement officer. When a chained dog and pregnant women appear as threats and you respond with use of force it only exposes you for the weak link in the chain that you are.

    The “professional” in Dekalb should be fired ASAP before a human-being is killed in a wanton display of fear fueled state sponsored violence.

  28. #28 |  Marty | 

    dhs is busting gangbangers now? the continued stretch of the word ‘terrorism’ is gonna get much uglier. I can remember congressmen calling for marijuana users to be executed and people stretching drug use to ‘supporting terrorism’. This is a scary use of a police force.

    No Godwin. No Godwin. No Godwin…

  29. #29 |  SJE | 

    Apparently the cop who kicked a woman in the stomach “could not tell that she was pregnant” WTF? She was almost 9 MONTHS. I’d like to see the next time this officer is called to court to testify.

    Defense attorney: “so Officer X, According to this news article, you have stated that you cannot tell a woman who is 9 months pregnant from any other person” and take it from there……

  30. #30 |  The Crip Bandit | 

    #27,

    They folded many of the old government agencies into DHS when it was created.
    Here is a list of “Featured Componets”:

    Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
    U.S. Coast Guard
    U.S. Secret Service
    Office of Inspector General

    They also have a tab on their website about “cyber security”.

  31. #31 |  Pablo | 

    #28 SJE in all fairness there are a lot of really fat people around and due to the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, more and more people (women included) seem to be carrying their excess weight around the middle. Google “FUPA.”

    Not that this excuses what happened in the slightest–during a verbal dispute a cop should not kick anyone in the stomach, male, female, pregnant, not pregnant.

  32. #32 |  SJE | 

    Pablo: good point. I agree that you should never kick people in head or the reproductive organs unless they are attacking you.

    At the same time, if an officer is to be relied upon for his skills in observation, you can still use this against him. Pregnancy looks different from obesity, especially at 9 months. Cops also get extra deference in court because they can claim that they have special powers of observation based on their training and experience. If I can tell the difference, and a cop cannot, then where are his special powers.

    In the end, we will never know the real facts because the department closed ranks behind him as “just following procedure.” If the police get to make things up to protect themselves, then there is also no record around to protect them.

  33. #33 |  Mario | 

    On the raid gone wrong, here’s a quote from the article from one of the parents on the subject of the raid, their son:

    He even appeared in court a week earlier and could have been arrested then, his parents said.

    Of course, anyone following Radley’s work knows that there’s no (federal) money in merely arresting someone already in your possession. In a case like that, you have to play catch and release, and then send in the SWAT team, otherwise you’ll never pump up your department’s stats.

  34. #34 |  marie | 

    Initiating violence where none existed

    This is what they intend to do. The more chaotic it is, the greater the possibility that confused people will make mistakes–confess, for example. When the ICE agents came to my house, a bunch of them (8? 10? 12? I don’t know) burst through the door as soon as I opened it. They swarmed through the house, refusing to show me the search warrant until they had “secured the premises.” The premises, of course, were secure before the home invasion. They planned to execute the search at a time when the children were home, increasing my husband’s and my anxiety, increasing the likelihood that someone would misunderstand something, make a terrible mistake.

    At some point, I realized that their jackets identified them as ICE agents, which made no sense. Homeland security? Immigrations and Customs Enforcement? They are simply the mercenaries the feds use to track down whatever the hot crime-of-the-day is. At my house that day, it was child porn. The DOJ has decided to crack down on child porn (because they don’t have enough prisoners in the system already?), and DHS/ICE is flooded with the money needed to do it.

    Today drugs and child porn. Tomorrow, what will it be? Sooner or later, it will touch you.

  35. #35 |  derfel cadarn | 

    I have spent decades intimately involved with firearms they do not go off “accidentally”. Firearms discharge for two reasons by intent and by stupidity. The case sighted here is an obvious case of officer stupidity. There is NO excuse for this from a supposedly trained “professional”. Disciplinary action should be taken against the officer and restitution paid to the victim out of the officers pocket,NOT the taxpayers as the shooting involved negligence of which the taxpayer had no control.

  36. #36 |  Belle Waring | 

    “Our foremost consideration is the safety of the agents”
    The guy was in court the preceding week, and they could have just arrested him then?! [Grits teeth. "Must remain calm."]

    Also, from the other post, stop making me so sad with the threatening dogs, Radley, please. I really think we should set up a nationwide series of seminars in which UPS, FedEx and USPS workers train law enforcement officers in what to do with threatening dogs. They’ll teach techniques such as backing away from a clearly angry/scared dog, calling the owners to see if they will put the dog inside, and the ultra-secret “extending your hands to the dog so she can have a sniff and decide if you’re an OK person or not” strategy. I guess the cops would just get bitten at that point, though. Dogs can smell evil.

  37. #37 |  Eric | 

    Is no one else on the edge of their seats for that last bullet? The suspense is killing me!

  38. #38 |  Delta | 

    German police fired only 85 bullets at people in all of 2011. (Compare to 84 bullets at one suspect in Harlem last April.)

    http://news.yahoo.com/german-police-used-only-85-bullets-against-people-155155175.html

  39. #39 |  Bergman | 

    The gun went off? That’s quite the poorly made weapon, if it can go off without a finger pulling the trigger while held firmly in the hand. The agency in question should immediately withdraw all weapons of that make and model from service, pending discovery of the manufacturing fault that can cause it to “go off” for no reason.

    I doubt the police would have been so forgiving if the woman had been the one holding the gun when it “went off” all by itself. Odds are, every officer there would have opened fire, kept firing until their magazines ran out, then reloaded and kept firing. They certainly wouldn’t be withholding names.

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