Morning Links

Monday, May 21st, 2012
  • Yes, it is possible—and not all that difficult, really—to beat someone to death with your hands.
  • Congressmen seek to legalize what the government already does, anyway.
  • Cory Booker learns that there’s no room in politics for integrity or truth-telling.
  • Some sad photos from the earthquake in Italy.
  • Here’s what Obama considers a more “humane” drug war: Federal agents waking a 12-year-old girl, putting guns in her face, cuffing her because a relative sold glass pipes on the Internet.
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55 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Marty | 

    I love all the federal agencies involved in investigating and raiding the bong dealers. Those clowns must really load their Kool-aid down with xanax to be able to sleep at night…

  2. #2 |  Other Sean | 

    All these years, while the DEA has been sprinkling payola over the TV networks to make sitcom characters regret their first taste of weed….it’s been illegal.

    Man, Willis deserves a second chance to enjoy that lid he bought back in 1982.

  3. #3 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    Looking at those Italy pictures, I can’t help but feel bad for those people, while at the same time, look in amazement at the number of jobs Mother Nature just created at such a critical time. Did Obama call it or what? Jobs and growth, not austerity.

  4. #4 |  Bob | 

    Holy shit! I’m just waiting for the DOJ to announce it’s “Final Solution” to the Drug War and start shipping drug users to a camp in Nevada.

  5. #5 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    more “humane” drug war….

    Jesse Ventura said there were a bunch of CIA goons embedded
    in the Minnesota gov’t (in violation of their Mission Statement) and that he felt he was just a fly on the wall compared to the secret gov’t that surrounded him.
    Same with the DEA: they’re everywhere and they do as they please.
    No new “softy” president is going to rein them in. Barry Obama is just the
    Game Show Host this season, and you don’t wanna know what’s
    behind that curtain.

  6. #6 |  David | 

    What the government does anyway? Murder? Perjury? Prostitution? Man, I hope it’s prostitution.

    Propaganda? Aw.

  7. #7 |  omar | 

    Those clowns must really load their Kool-aid down with xanax to be able to sleep at night

    In my life I have known several people (past tense) making a living directly off the drug war. The people I knew labeled every white person involved with marijuana as a worthless hippy. People of other colors involved with drugs were just thugs. There was a constant barrage of tasteless jokes and stereotypes about hippies. They sounded a lot like right-wingers and the very small minority of libertarians still upset about the 60s.

    Acting like a barbarian is not difficult if you dehumanize the people you abuse.

  8. #8 |  Other Sean | 

    Omar, you are wise: “Acting like a barbarian is not difficult if you dehumanize the people you abuse.”

    That…and not racism as is so commonly believed…is what gives the drug war its special character.

  9. #9 |  Lorenzo | 

    Regarding the propaganda legislation, I’m going to do my small part by voting against Mac Thornberry, who represents my district.

  10. #10 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “Yes, it is possible—and not all that difficult, really—to beat someone to death with your hands.”

    That is, after all, the entire basis of the existence of Karate and Kung Fu.

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    ‘Acting like a barbarian is not difficult if you dehumanize the people you abuse.’

    we make this point to our kids on a regular basis. I agree 100% with applying it here.

  12. #12 |  CP Norris | 

    Just because you say something nice about a massive financial firm doesn’t make you a brave crusader for truth and justice.

  13. #13 |  Burgers Allday | 

    the first and second coil structures are located in a side-by-side arrangement with the first and second coil axes being at least substantially aparallel to each other; and
    a winding direction of the first coil structure is opposite to a winding direction of the second coil structure.

    This is why someone who is being assaulted (that is, placed in imminent fear of bodily harm) does not have to wait for the assaultor to throw the first punch. And, yeah, they put that question on the bar exam sometimes. Usually it is a bodybuilder who fears being hit by a little old lady’s umbrella just to make it interesting.

    Ultimately, this may not cut in Zimmerman’s favor.

    There is supposedly some relatively strong evidence (contemporaneous phone conversation) that M. was personally and subjectively in fear at the time of the confrontation.

    Given that he was being followed by a man late at night, and for a stupid reason, and after a police dispatcher tried to discourage said following, this fear begins to seem objectively reasonable, by a reasonable person in M.’s shoes, as well as subjectively held M. personally.

  14. #14 |  crazybob | 

    A reasonable person would find being followed and then confronted in the dark by an armed man threatening. Under florida’s stand your ground law, wouldn’t that person then have a right to use his fists (even if they amount to deadly force) to defend himself?

    Of course that is rhetorical question, the NRA can’t sell fists, so the politicians in their pockets have no interest in protecting the rights of fist owners.

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    #13, #14,

    Go paint yourselves purple and moo.

  16. #16 |  Belle Waring | 

    I’ve always been curious to know, was Martin struck at true, point blank range, I mean, with the muzzle up against his body? Like, stippling, powder burns, the whole 9 yards? Chalk it up to one of the many things we don’t know, I suppose. I’ll admit to being completely wrong about how badly Zimmerman got beaten up. I thought he was unscathed, and I was wrongity wrong wrong. I’m surprised whey were able to clean him up that well at the scene and that he refused to go to the hospital. Or else, his injuries weren’t as bad as all that? I still maintain he’s 12 kinds of dumb, was playing cop, followed and tried to illegally detain Martin (thinking he was one of the criminals responsible for the recent break-ins), and since he brought a gun to a fist-fight, shit got bad quick. I also think he can’t, in all likelihood, be shown beyond a reasonable doubt to have done so, and will be acquitted. Part of the reason he can’t be convicted is that the cops decided to have the boys in the fail whale precinct handle the case, and they waited so long to arrest him that most of the evidence was lost. The whole thing sucks.

  17. #17 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I also think he can’t, in all likelihood, be shown beyond a reasonable doubt to have done so, and will be acquitted.

    now that really depends upon what the other 45 (or more) calls say. Z. is a repeat player, and his relevant behavior patterns should shed some light (one way or the other) on the parts where there is not definitive and credible direct evidence.

  18. #18 |  qwints | 

    Even if Martin’s use of force was lawful, that wouldn’t necessarily mean Zimmerman’s wasn’t. I don’t know Florida case law enough to give an informed opinion, but the relevant statute doesn’t seem to require that the force used against you must be unlawful in order for you to have a right to self defense.

    Compare

    Florida Statute 776.012
    “Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. ”

    and

    Florida Statute 776.013 (3)
    “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

  19. #19 |  Marty | 

    wake me when the Martin/Zimmerman story is resolved. I’ll get the Cliff’s notes…

  20. #20 |  qwints | 

    On another note, I’m completely flummoxed by this whole sequence of events. There seems to be good evidence that Zimmerman shot Martin with the gun at most 18 inches from his chest (see the Washington Post’s coverage of the autopsy) and that he sustained heavy injuries before doing so. Additionally, there appears to be a witness who says he say Martin sitting on top of Zimmerman, punching him. Absent evidence that Zimmerman was “engaged in an unlawful activity”, he seems to be covered by the statue quoted above.

    If we look back at the coverage in March, especially the City Manager’s letter posted March 21, there’s a reference to “physical evidence and testimony” supporting Zimmerman’s statement. At that point, the case had become a national story. Why not release the photos of Zimmerman’s injury at that point? They’re clearly Brady material, so even if they were considering prosecuting him they would have had to turn them over. The autopsy was conducted February 27 and the report issued March 15.

    Based on this, I think most reasonable people can conclude that it’s not possible to for the state to disprove Zimmerman’s self defense claim. Thus, the state was right to not charge Zimmerman. But what possible reason was there for not releasing the evidence that cleared Zimmerman for two months? They let their city, their chief of police and, most importantly, Zimmerman be vilified in the national media. Even worse, they decided to prosecute Zimmerman. I think that this story is a lesson in just how much contempt prosecutors and law enforcement have for the accused and how much distrust they have for the general public.

  21. #21 |  Burgers Allday | 

    @20:

    and why did they fire the sheriff. That happened, not just quik, but right-quick-like (as they say in the South).

  22. #22 |  Brandon | 

    #12, do you have a point, or is this just a knee jerk reaction to any perceived criticism of Obama?

  23. #23 |  Brandon | 

    Burgers, Qwints, shut up. Just shut the fuck up, or change the subject. We don’t know anything that we didn’t know Thursday, so just go back and re-read that thread if you absolutely have to rehash it.

    Crazybob, shut up because you’re an idiot with nothing relevant or coherent to add.

    And #16, if you go back to last Thursday’s thread, you will find that Burgers Allday and several others apparently know every single fact about the Zimmerman case, and have already drawn well-supported conclusions, and if you disagree with either conclusion you are either a racist or a hippie, depending upon who it is with whom you disagree.

  24. #24 |  nigmalg | 

    That is, after all, the entire basis of the existence of Karate and Kung Fu.

    Sometimes people need reminding

  25. #25 |  Eric Y | 

    Sheriff? Fire?

    You mean Sanford city’s police chief Bill Lee resigning temporarily and the city putting him on paid leave because they won’t let him quit permanently, and installed an interim police chief to mantain the department in the meantime? There are internal politics at play and word is Lee didn’t want to railroad what they determined to be an innocent individual.

    People are assuming the police botched everything but we still don’t have all the facts and folks have a ridiculous entitlement mentality that the public is supposed to be made aware of all internal investigating documents and evidence. One new sliver of evidence comes out and people create their own myopic conclusions around it. The jury pool is already polluted. Let’s jot drop another turd into the punch bowl. Police botch jobs tend to favor other bad cops, not minorities. (we still calling Zimmerman a racist “white man of Hispanic descent” despite raising black kids and criticizing Sanford’s lack of action in the beating of a homeless black man?)

  26. #26 |  CyniCAl | 

    All government communication is propaganda. Propaganda is any political statement.

  27. #27 |  Burgers Allday | 

    You mean Sanford city’s police chief Bill Lee resigning temporarily and the city putting him on paid leave because they won’t let him quit permanently, and installed an interim police chief to mantain the department in the meantime? There are internal politics at play and word is Lee didn’t want to railroad what they determined to be an innocent individual.

    Yeah. Tht hep o’mess ain’t normal, and I am not at all sure that your speculative explanation is the true one.

    I can imagine a set of facts where Lee is innocent of any wrongdoing in how his department has managed its calls (especially those from Z.) over the years.

    I can imagine a set of facts where Zimmerman announced his not-bad intentions before encountering Martin and where Zimmerman tried hard to forestall any misunderstanding that might otherwise have arisen from Z. following M. around in the dark and talking about him on the telephone.

    I can imagine lots of things, but that yummy, yummy, gun-nutty flavor of those speculations doesn’t necessarily make those things true, or even particularly likely.

  28. #28 |  Mattocracy | 

    Well Brandon, you tried.

  29. #29 |  SamK | 

    Could we pretty please ignore Burgers and his ilk today?

  30. #30 |  SamK | 

    I mean, feeding the trolls is one thing, but it’s really getting out of hand on this one…even as much as I enjoy arguing with the scaly bridge dwellers.

  31. #31 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Nigmalg,

    When I was in high school I hadma friend who was working on his second Dan in one of the Korean arts. His teacher was assaulted while he was locking up his school. To review; a small asian man in sweats was attacked while locking up a martial arts school.

    The Cleveland cops put down the cause of deaths as “suicide pact”.

  32. #32 |  Eric Y | 

    ” That is, after all, the entire basis of the existence of Karate and Kung Fu.”

    The entire basis of most modern martial arts is to sell you bits of colorful cotton belts indicating increasing profficiency and promising that paying X dollars and with an elapsed time of Y weeks will guarantee you reach the next plateau of skill. Building confidence and learning to do sporting duels of mutual combat in a controlled tournament with referees, rules, and no low blows for gold cups and ribbons has few parallels to the realities of violent conflict and how escalation and judicious use of force falls into place.

    Likewise the modern popularity of MMA has just as little to do with reality. If you get in a fist fight and start bouncing someone’s head off the sidewalk because you can do that safely in an MMA gym I’m a bouncy ring, you’re in for a rude awakening when the prosecutor says you were using lethal force. MMA and martial arts instructors rarely have an understanding or experience with the law in their background. Chances are they’ve never been involved in real, overwhelming or systemic violence either. But that doesn’t stop the MMA instructor claiming all fights end on the ground or the kung fu guy teaching you one hit knockouts. The topic of martial arts in itself are just as obfuscated as the topic of self-defense for most people. It’s also full of hype, scams, and ultimate fighting promises.

  33. #33 |  Mannie | 

    #8 | Other Sean | May 21st, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Omar, you are wise: “Acting like a barbarian is not difficult if you dehumanize the people you abuse.”

    That…and not racism as is so commonly believed…is what gives the drug war its special character.

    Roger that. But it’s also reflected in non-drug police work.

  34. #34 |  EBL | 

    The first rule of Fight Club is…

  35. #35 |  Personanongrata | 

    •Congressmen seek to legalize what the government already does, anyway.

    In case it was ever in doubt now you can be 100% certain that when a polictican or a government spokesperson’s lips are moving they’re lying.

  36. #36 |  Christopher Swing | 

    As I’ve said before, it looks like Martin had just as much reason to fear and was equally justified in defending himself.

    We’ll see what happens at the actual trial.

  37. #37 |  Nick T. | 

    I think you’re being to kind to Booker, Radley. He has friends he was protecting there. But you’re overall point is correct in that “Team” trumps everything. The point is never to get at good results or to have honest discussions. It’s always about winning, power.

    But I’m really looking forward to that legalization “debate” the President says we should have. But then he keeps mocking/laughing/ridiculing those who ask the questions…. weird.

  38. #38 |  Personanongrata | 

    •Here’s what Obama considers a more “humane” drug war: Federal agents waking a 12-year-old girl, putting guns in her face, cuffing her because a relative sold glass pipes on the Internet.

    The words humane and war are incompatible together in the same sentence.

    Humane war reads alot like US government propaganda.

    “The open sale of drug paraphernalia promotes unlawful drug use and helps drug traffickers thrive,” Olson said at a press conference on May 10. “These indictments show federal, state and local law enforcement partners will attack drug trafficking on all fronts.”

    “These indictments show federal, state and local law enforcement partners are truly delusional in the wasting of finite tax resources and man hours which are allocated to federal, state and local law enforcement partners in order to suveil and then raid privately owned businesses for the crime of selling bongs.

    Torture, rendition, starting wars based upon lies, looting the treasury (et al) are all ok with the US government, selling water pipes is bad.

    I love the sound of official US government propaganda hypocrisy in the morning.

  39. #39 |  Krishan Bhattacharya | 

    Yeah. Booker isn’t learning about integrity or truth with the criticism that he’s getting, which he certainly deserves. The fact that Bain capital did more to “support business” (a vague notion in itself) says nothing at all about whether or not Bain’s practices were ethical.

    And, why should Booker be honest about it? The Democrats have received more money from Bain than the Republicans:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/21/democrats_and_bain_2/

  40. #40 |  LBrothers | 

    http://www.pixiq.com/article/cop-caught-on-video-threatening-to-ram-penis-in-suspects-mouth

    Just thought I’d send this along as a potential Headline of the Day.

  41. #41 |  croaker | 

    Propaganda is illegal? Someone needs to tell the Partnership For A Truth-Free America…

  42. #42 |  John David Galt | 

    What’s the number of the propaganda bill? I want to write my Senators.

    While I’m at it I’ll tell them that existing tax-paid propaganda efforts — including the ONDCP, anti-smoking nannyism, and the radical women’s groups funded by VAWA — need to go away too.

  43. #43 |  Deoxy | 

    As I’ve said before, it looks like Martin had just as much reason to fear and was equally justified in defending himself.

    And as I and a myriad of others have said before, only ONE of them was justified in defending himself with violence, and (discounting Zimmerman due to his personal stake in the matter) the public facts do not tell us which one.

    Fear because someone was following him? Sure! Right to break out the kung fu? No.

    We’ll see what happens at the actual trial.

    Not likely; unless the government agents lied on the stand at the bail hearing, there’s no ethical way to bring it to trial, and any vaguely ethical judge will dismiss at the first suggestion.

  44. #44 |  Eyewitness | 

    @17 Burgers
    “now that really depends upon what the other 45 (or more) calls say. ”

    Do you think you’re ever going to teach that pony another trick?

  45. #45 |  r.l.s.3 | 

    If it were to be proven that Mr. Martin was indeed pounding the other dude’s head into the sidewalk, could he still be described as “unarmed”? I mean, a giant slab of concrete can really knock a man silly.

  46. #46 |  Belle Waring | 

    He’s still unarmed. No one has ever described anyone in the world in a fist fight as being “armed” with the street when his opponent falls down. Come on. The person pleading for his life for the last 45 seconds of the fight is the person looking down the barrel of a gun, not the person looking down the barrel of another dude’s face.

  47. #47 |  r.l.s.3 | 

    But people have been described as armed if they pick up a rock and throw it. And people have shot and killed people who throw rocks at them, and not faced charges. So what’s the difference if the rock is stationary and the person forced into it? I would imagine that equivalent forces could be applied to the skull in either case, and I think I’d rather have the rock thrown at me. I would at least have freedom of movement.

  48. #48 |  Nando | 

    It’s not drug paraphernalia until it’s been used with/for drugs. Until that time, it’s just glass. Any lawyer worth their salt will be able to get those charges tossed.

  49. #49 |  Christopher Swing | 

    “And as I and a myriad of others have said before, only ONE of them was justified in defending himself with violence”

    Not necessarily true, under the law in question.

    “Not likely; unless the government agents lied on the stand at the bail hearing, there’s no ethical way to bring it to trial, and any vaguely ethical judge will dismiss at the first suggestion.”

    Tough shit, it’s going to trial, cry about it more.

    You lost this in the previous thread, Deoxy. There’s no point in repeating it.

  50. #50 |  Radley Balko | 

    The person pleading for his life for the last 45 seconds of the fight is the person looking down the barrel of a gun, not the person looking down the barrel of another dude’s face.

    I think you’re way off on this. The far more plausible explanation is that Zimmerman was screaming as Martin was pummeling him, then pulled his gun and killed Martin.

    Now. I can see thinking that Zimmerman made a poor decision to shoot Martin. I can see the argument that his injuries don’t suggest Zimmerman was in serious danger (though I’m not sure agree). I can see the argument that the confrontation that led to the shooting was of Zimmerman’s own making. I can see someone thinking that Zimmerman’s history suggests he probably profiled Martin, and in taking his neighborhood watch too seriously, likely provoked Martin.

    But what you’re suggesting, and what I find wholly implausible given what we now know, is that Zimmerman pulled his gun, held Martin at gunpoint for 45 seconds as Martin plead for his life, then murdered Martin in cold blood. You have to view everything in just about the least charitable (to Zimmerman) light possible to come up with that scenario.

  51. #51 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    EBL, as a boxer, those cats sure ain’t boxing. Reminds me of when we used to trade hobos six-packs for piggy-back rides. Nothing looked good about it.

  52. #52 |  Vic Kelley | 

    re: “Congress seek to legalize” – American propaganda against Americans

    I assumed they did this already. But seeing it in writing like that, ready to become written law, scares me. I’m more and more sorry that I still live in this country. Our elected leaders really do have a lot of contempt for us.

  53. #53 |  Deoxy | 

    You lost this in the previous thread, Deoxy. There’s no point in repeating it.

    Yes, I lost the battle to get publicly known, common law, centuries old, 101-level ethics facts through to people who don’t want to hear them, such as yourself.

    But yes, on the second point, you’re most certainly correct.

  54. #54 |  Bobby Black | 

    Yemen’s government sucks.

  55. #55 |  Christopher Swing | 

    Don’t be shy, Deoxy, link to it: http://www.theagitator.com/2012/04/21/saturday-links-69/

    You know, the thread where you were arguing that it was totally cool to use “lynching” in reference to Zimmerman being brought to trial. The only question being whether you know you’re being a racist jackass or if you’re just Randall.

    “And so, to what is likely (based entirely on your earlier responses to others on this thread) your great delight, I am no longer going to respond to you.”

    And yet you’re yapping at me again, Deoxy. I should have known that was a promise you couldn’t keep.

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