Saturday Links

Saturday, May 26th, 2012
  • Albuquerque DA says there might be something wrong with system that has never found a cop criminally liable for a shooting. Includes this: ” . . . there are nine cop shootings still pending with the D.A.’s  office, including one by a cop who listed his job description on Facebook as ‘human waste disposal.'”
  • You need to fire your layout editor.
  • Judge sentences Texas honor student to a night in jail because she has missed too much school. There’s really no problem we can’t fix with more incarceration.
  • Just following policy: School nurse withholds inhaler while a student nearly dies of an asthma attack. Apparently his parents hadn’t signed the proper consent form.
  • Report says policing and criminal justice are increasingly turning into make-work jobs programs.
  • About 30 North Korean bureaucrats died in simultaneous car accidents last year.

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45 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Judge sentences Texas honor student to a night in jail because she has missed too much school. There’s really no problem we can’t fix with more incarceration.”

    Jails, being full of sadists and creeps, just hate 1-nighters. Lucky for this candy-ass honor roll student he didn’t end up in the hole, or disappeared Texas style for 2 1/2 years like that DUI guy….or get Daniel Chonged.

  2. #2 |  Dave Krueger | 

    About 30 North Korean bureaucrats died in simultaneous car accidents last year.

    Well, what do you expect of a country that doesn’t have drones?

  3. #3 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “In the Florida case, the situation was left to the nurse, and the nurse’s solution was to lock the door. She did not call 911. She left this child to whatever might come of the asthma episode.”

    Totally inexcusable. In the event of a life-threatening emergency minors can be treated under implied consent. And you don’t have to be a big bad school nurse to know that. I learned it in the early stages of an emergency medical technician-basic class. She should lose her license ASAP.

  4. #4 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: Justice Policy Institute study…

    Meant to send you a link to that earlier today, Radley. Sounded like it would fit in right here on The Agitator.

  5. #5 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    Coffee (and yogurt) out my nose with layout picture. I can’t even share that with Facebook friends without looking like a creep!

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    I think the copy editor was planning on quitting anyway and that’s the parting shot at the newspaper. WOW.

  7. #7 |  perlhaqr | 

    Jesus fuck. I thought I was pretty unshockable, but that Florida school nurse story has me just utterly mindboggled. As an EMT… I literally cannot imagine what was going through her mind. If you’re not in it to save lives, please, just get the fuck out.

  8. #8 |  Other Sean | 

    Its’ kind of funny to read Justice Policy’s last three blog posts in a row.

    May 3: “Improving Public Safety by Employing Youth”, a post arguing that jobs programs are a “key” to safer communities.

    May 16: “Starting out in Criminal Justice”, a post welcoming 2012 graduates to the exciting and growing field of locking people in cages.

    May 23: “Arresting Development”, a post which wonders if the criminal justice system mightn’t have become a massive, bloated, ugly, ruthless jobs program.

    Is that what they call journalistic theme development?

  9. #9 |  David Chesler | 

    The Texas case pretty well demonstrates that it’s not about education but about asserting authority.

  10. #10 |  TGGP | 

    If we want to decrease the number of people in prison and don’t want more crime, the solution will probably involve hiring a lot more police officers. That’s part of the take from Mark Kleiman’s “When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment”.

  11. #11 |  DoubleU | 

    The oddest part about the North Korean car accidents is that no one is allowed to own a car.

    Never found a officer libel… “Pursuit that ended in fatal crash handled correctly, police say”

  12. #12 |  Bill Poser | 

    It is hard to believe that Florida law does not give medical personnel the authority to administer life-saving treatment to minors without parental consent, but if that is true, this is probably yet another casualty of the insane war on drugs. There is no reason a 17-year old should not carry his own inhaler and use it as he finds it necessary. Ironically, a parent who denied his child the use of an inhaler in similar circumstances would probably be charged with child abuse.

  13. #13 |  Onlooker | 

    Re: the honor student

    Yes, the death of common sense reaches up to the levels of our judiciary. This is the quality of “judgment” we get from our judges? God help us.

  14. #14 |  xenia onatopp | 

    Re: the Texas honor student, I’ve been following this story, and it’s even more appalling than Radley’s summation makes clear. The girl isn’t just an honor student, she is a 17 year old who also works two jobs in order to support herself and her younger sister, whose guardian she is. She’s being punished for taking on responsibilities that are well beyond most kids her age and managing to keep her grades up at the same time. I really don’t have the words to describe this level of outrage.

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Bill Poser,

    This is a case of ‘zero tolerance’ colliding headlong into common sense. There have been multiple cases where school policy has been to separate students from ‘use as needed’ medication, and parents have sued. To the best of my knowledge no such suit has failed. In a couple of states, outraged (I mean they sound seriously angry, not just soundbite angry) legislators have passed laws specifically exempting inhalers from school authority … and in a couple of instances schools have tried to confiscate them anyway (ignorance? who knows?).

    I really think that what it comes down to is that there is a breed of vermin, capable of passing as human, that gets what amounts to sexual pleasure from being a sphincter and clenching up. So much pleasure that they do so even when the consequences are obviously going to result in a serious sh*t storm.

  16. #16 |  Pi Guy | 

    …the solution will probably involve hiring a lot more police officers.

    OK. First I was just going to say “You’re new around here – aren’t you?” but decided that I should read the study first. I was just as disappointed as I’d expected. There’s no strategic thinking going on there. It mostly “If only we had more cops…” this is what I say could happen.

    I’m back to my gut: I can’t imagine for the life of me how having more barely-got-thru-high-school, hopped-up-on-steroids-and-donuts, dog-fearing, gun-toting idiots on the loose. I only see more dead dogs on SWAT raids.

  17. #17 |  Pi Guy | 

    …on the loose makes society safer.

  18. #18 |  jrb | 

    This is a case of ‘zero tolerance’ colliding headlong into common sense.

    I believe that’s the point of ‘zero tollerance’.

  19. #19 |  Other Sean | 

    TGGP #10,

    For someone who currently lacks the time to read Kleinman’s book, can you explain why a system of arbitrarily swift punishment would be better than a system of arbitrarily severe punishment?

    Right now we send 1 weed dealer in 10 to prison for 20 years. How could it possibly be an improvement to send all 10 to prison for a year each?

    That is what Kleinman seems to have in mind.

  20. #20 |  freedomfan | 

    I read the story where the Florida high school nurse not only refused commonplace life-saving treatment for the student, but locked him in a room as well. (WTF!?! Why lock him up?) I assume students not being able to carry their own inhalers is part of some zero-intelligence policy to keep kids “safe” from something or other. I agree with the general sense of outrage in the article, but the final paragraph

    We owe it to children to ensure when they go to school, they are safe, they are cared for and they will receive lifesaving treatment if they need it.

    Actually, kids would be better off not hobbled by the misconception that they can trust government to keep them safe and care for them. Any parent raising children to think that way, perhaps hoping that the government will take care of their kids the way they (the parents) would, should rethink that view.

  21. #21 |  Rojo | 

    re: “human waste disposal”

    I think I’ve mentioned the guy I used to call the “cop-in-law” in Agitator comments before. He used to, before heading off to work, say stuff like, “Well, off to go handle the scumbags.” To be clear, he was not referring to his colleagues in the Seattle police department.

  22. #22 |  gs | 

    The administration of honor student Diane Tran’s high school also deserves attention from angry voters. If they lacked the minimal backbone required to look the other way on a situation the truancy laws were obviously not intended to address, they should at least have taken the trouble to inform the judge of the exceptional circumstances. I see no indication that they did so.

  23. #23 |  En Passant | 

    About the Texas judge throwing the honor student in jail —

    I noticed that the story from CBSAtlanta didn’t even mention the judge’s name. Of course they did mention the honor student’s name. So, a little google-fu:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=7e31dd1cd0ae5982&biw=853&bih=505

    produced this encouraging story which did mention the judge’s name:

    His surname name is, appropriately enough, the same as Sherlock Holmes’ evil nemesis: Lanny Moriarty.

    The report, according to the link above, has hit Reddit and other aggregators, and has produced some major outrage.

    I would hope it also produces some well deserved assistance for Ms. Tran.

    I hope that any bloggers who can do so might set up a contribution button and a trust account for Ms. Tran and her further education. She apparently could certainly use some financial assistance, and I think she is very deserving of any assistance which good people can offer.

    I also hope that some TX lawyer would take her case pro bono publico, to make sure her criminal record is expunged (yes, truancy is a criminal offense), and possibly to file appropriate complaints with any state authority which oversees judges as well. Of course, in TX nothing would likely come from filing a complaint.

    I don’t have a blog, and I’m not a TX lawyer, so there isn’t much I (or most anyone else but TX lawyers and bloggers) can do except contribute to some fund, if someone sets one up.

    There is a video at the link above. If anyone can watch it without being outraged at the ruthless judge Moriarty, they have no heart.

    Like the nurse in the inhaler story today, he comes across as objectively evil. Words on paper mean more than actual human lives to such sociopaths.

  24. #24 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Not just “School nurse withholds inhaler while student almost dies”, but “School backs her up because letting him die would be the right thing to do.”

  25. #25 |  En Passant | 

    Oh, didn’t get to this until after posting previously.

    “Judge” Lanny Moriarty is a Justice of the Peace. Or so says his website:

  26. #26 |  CharlesWT | 

    Petition: Lanny Moriarty, Justice of the Peace (Precinct 1): Revoke the fine and sentencing of honors student Diane Tran

  27. #27 |  croaker | 

    @24 Make that a recall petition and send him out with bootprints on his ass..

  28. #28 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    I would say, rather, that that is the inevitable RESULT of zero tolerance. The point, or purpose, is to relieve spineless administrator types of any responsibility without diminishing their authority. How frustrating they must find it that the Common Folk (who they despise) keep insisting that when they do this they are brainless twits!

  29. #29 |  James Sr. | 

    Albuquerque DA says there might be something wrong with system that has never found a cop criminally liable for a shooting. Includes this: ” . . . there are nine cop shootings still pending with the D.A.’s office, including one by a cop who listed his job description on Facebook as ‘human waste disposal.’”

    Unfortunately, the real reason for this is the rulings on excessive force is not “clearly established law” in the United States.

  30. #30 |  Ariel | 

    “Unfortunately, the real reason for this is the rulings on excessive force is not “clearly established law” in the United States.”

    It’s more a mindset of the Police are all heroes so not one can do a bad thing, because they’re all heroes and heroes don’t do bad things, rinse, repeat. When one is found to be bad, it’s an isolated incident. Every incident is isolated because they are heroes, and heroes don’t do bad things. Rinse, repeat.

    My heroes, overwhelmingly, died to become heroes. It wasn’t their intention to become heroes, just to save their buddies or the innocents around them. They got their medals posthumously. The few that got them without dying never talked about how their job was, you know, really dangerous so they were heroes no matter what they did. Oddly, they never talked about how their safety was paramount…..and they never really thought they were heroes. They just did what needed to be done. That is a hero.

  31. #31 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Agree with you. I think you exagerate the likelyhood of a heroic act leading to one’s death. But agree with you that the genuine item is usually self effacing and are embarassed by being called heros. The usual response to such a description is what else could I do?

  32. #32 |  Marty | 

    school nurses are like jail house nurses- they’re not there for the students, they’re for administrative purposes. if teachers think a student is high, they take them to the nurse and the student is ‘assessed’.
    there are instances of nurses doing good, but I don’t think people become school nurses to take care of kids- if you want to take care of kids you work on a pediatric floor or er of a hospital. school nurses are in it for the schedule and it’s an easy job.
    this is another story that makes me hate public schools.

  33. #33 |  Other Sean | 

    Marty #32,

    And there you have it. If there was ANY possibility of the students leaving this school in significant numbers, stuff like this wouldn’t happen. If that nurse was answerable to anyone other than her supervisors and her shop steward, she would have seen immediately the justification for bending those rules.

    Take note, haters of capitalism: if the same kid had collapsed asking for a rescue inhaler surrounded by total strangers in a Walmart, he would have got it – if not from the pharmacy staff, then at least from one of the patrons.

  34. #34 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    The school nurse, and in a larger sense the whole public school clusterf*ck, is a consequence of removing public schools from the authority of the local school boards. It was done for the usual Progressive reason; that the locals couldn’t be depended on to make The Right Choices, but the effect has been to divorce the schools from any feeling that they are working for the parents.

    And this is another reason why, whatever flaws they may have, I think that vouchers are the only way out. Public schools, however closely rooted in local politics, will always be vulnerable to meddling from outside do-gooders. Give the money to the parents, who then give it to the schools, and you greatly reduce the leverage that self-rightious buttinskis will have.

    Which they will absolutely HATE.

    The trick will be to allow schools WE disapprove of to flourish, if they meet some minimal standards. If anybody can use the courts to dictate what the schools can or cannot teach above and beyond the basics, then the system is doomed. I don’t WANT to see ‘Afrocentrism’ twaddle taught, or ‘White Power’ claptrap, or whatever nitwit agenda PETA is pushing this month. And that doesn’t matter. If kids come out of the schools able to read, they will be able to form their own opinions, and knowing teens, they will tend to toss what they were taught in school in the ashcan anyway.

  35. #35 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Schofield – Of allowing the poor to be educated? Yea, they’re the only way you can feasible de-fund much of the system without getting outright lynched, and the rest can come later.

  36. #36 |  Other Sean | 


    Yes, yes, and yes. Renewed localism would produce a million revolting outcomes (the most obvious being an occasional pocket of intelligent design nonsense and a few public school prayers mumbled in defiance of the establishment clause).

    But those outcomes would be small and sneaky and insignificant, and that is what counts.

  37. #37 |  Arthur | 


    So, the only system that allows for “…the poor to be educated” is one that involves national control and massive expenditures of stolen money? Maybe you are just interested in teaching different lessons than some of us are.

  38. #38 |  Other Sean | 

    Excuse me #37, but I speak Leon…courtesy of a previous discussion.

    He believes there are only two realistic options in the game of political economy:

    One is called “capitalism”, and is characterized by every negative stereotype you ever read concerning the city of London from 1750 – 1850. The other has many names, but is basically a socialist leaning mixed economy where the state directly controls about 50% of GDP, with active regulation of the rest.

    Leon believes that anyone who is against option 2 is necessarily an advocate of option 1. To clarify: he doesn’t believe your ideas MAY lead to some of the uglier features associated with early industrialism, he believes your ideas MUST be a direct return to the Dickensian nightmare of the East End circa 1800.

    Thus when someone says “public funding and control might not be so good for education” he hears “out of the classroom and into the coal shaft, you filthy urchin!”

  39. #39 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @37 – “Stolen money”. Ah right, it’s SO bad that those dirty poor have ANY rights whatsoever. Yea, next, I hear Somalia’s lovely.

    And no, Other “Murder’s Great” Sean, you want to use overblown hyperbole – and yes, you’re a great example of a City banker in your greed and hatred of the poor – you’re quite unable to recognize the fact I’m not a socialist at all. There’s more than one type of left winger.

    What do I actually believe? Well, I believe in evidence. I believe that every situation isn’t a unique snowflake. That you don’t need to make the same mistakes, kill even more poor people off, time and time again.

    You have invented your own conspiracy theory out of whole cloth. And indeed, you HAVE just said that you want children working in coal shafts, and I shall quote you on it. You’re working VERY hard for your 1% on those Dickensian conditions you love so much.

    As I said, done with your hyperbole where you argue no history is ever relevant, or do you want me to demonize you some more?

  40. #40 |  Bill Poser | 

    The inhaler story is no doubt due largely due to the war on drugs, but schools behaved in perverse ways before that. When I was in elementary school one time I got a migraine headache. I just wanted to go home where I could lie down and get the medicine I took for migraines. I lived two blocks from the school, walked to and from school every day and often went home for lunch. In spite of the headache, I was more than capable of walking home. They wouldn’t let me go but insisted on calling my mother and having her come and pick me up, which resulted in my sitting, increasingly sick, in the nurse’s office for two hours. Needless to say they didn’t give me any medication. (The result of this was that my parents gave me medicine to carry with me. Fortunately, zero-tolerance drug policies had not yet reared their heads, and in any case the school didn’t know about it.)

  41. #41 |  CharlesWT | 

    Donate to help Diane Tran

  42. #42 |  Other Sean | 

    Leon #39,

    I really wasn’t trying to parody your views. It just took me a while to figure out that you honestly see any move away from Leonism (or whatever you call that leftish mixed economy thing you like so much) as a return to child labor, black leg exploitation, and the alms house.

    Is that not a fair summary? I mean, if I suggested privatizing the NHS (just for example) wouldn’t you say “clearly Sean is in favor of poor sick people dying untreated in the streets”?

    Based on everything I’ve heard from you in the past, you’d almost have to say that.

  43. #43 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    A friend of mine said about Judge Moriarty, “Tar. Feathers. Judge. Mix well.”.

  44. #44 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @42 – You’re not “parodying” anything, you’re deliberately making up conspiracy theories.

    You cannot understand, based on your extremely narrow ideology, how anyone else can have mature views that differ from yours without being automatically evil.

    Not to mention the ridiculous argument you have repeatedly pushed that you cannot learn from history. And you /are/ in favor of that. You’ve stated so repeatedly. No transfer programs of any sort, which means pay or die.

  45. #45 |  Other Sean | 

    Leon #44,

    I do believe you are avoiding my question.