Saturday Links

Saturday, June 30th, 2012
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27 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  Tom | 

    I was reading the Complaint filed by the Troopers in Neveda and paragraph 65 is an absolute gem.

    “At the conclusion of the graduation ceremony press interviews of dignitaries, K9 Teams, and Wal-Mart representatives were conducted. When the press and department photographers requested a photo op of Wal-Mart representatives presenting the facsimile check to the Governor and Nevada Friends of K9 board members, the check facsimile could not be found. Colonel Perry and Major Sanchez were also missing. In an embarrassing, bizarre juvenile act, Colonel Perry and MajorSanchez had absconded with the check facsimile, flew by airplane with the facsimile back to Carson City, and attempted to place the $100,000 donated for the purchase of K9’s into the Highway Patrol general fund.”

  2. #2 |  EBL | 

    Radley and Agitator readers: You might all want to get this app for your iPhones (unfortunately there is not an android version yet). http://www.allamericanblogger.com/22548/tapin-the-iphone-app-every-citizen-journalist-must-have/

  3. #3 |  EBL | 

    Of course some regulation is warranted in construction…

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    I just got back from San Fran. How many hippies and Asians are concealing weapons that would cause city officials to think they have an epidemic?

  5. #5 |  Highway | 

    EBL: That kind of story makes me realize that the people who call for ‘government regulation’ have no clue about its effectiveness. I *guarantee* there was supposed to be a government inspection of the electrical work related to the construction on that golf course. It sure wasn’t designed as an extra hazard. So someone messed up on construction.

    So where was the inspector? Didn’t find it, obviously. And the next question becomes: What good would more regulation that the inspectors don’t check up on matter? And are they MORE or LESS likely to find problems like (I’m guessing here) an unsealed electrical box that can cause the pond to be electrically live when they’re instead spending their time putting levels on the paths to determine if it’s at a 12:1 or a 10:1 slope? Cause one’s ok, and the other one is such a hazard that the law brings the full effect of punishment down on the owner.

  6. #6 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “The Houston Police Department wouldn’t speak on camera about the arrest, but stood by the officer’s report that she was walking in the road and a danger to herself and others. ”

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  7. #7 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The state is as good at regulating as it is at economics. Well intentioned, but misguided and ineffective. That is at least when it isn’t even well intentioned and opts for fascist and corrupt.

    Or, think of how well the group that used to lynch minorities and torture gays can be at regulating business.

  8. #8 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Police manifesto for citizen “agitators”
    http://www.pixiq.com/article/nypd-publishes-poster-of-professional-agitators

  9. #9 |  xenia onatopp | 

    I hope this post doesn’t run twice; I’m on a new phone and without thinking I submitted my comment using a different email address than I’very used here in the past, so it’s awaiting moderation. Being impatient, I’m just trying again with the old address.

    When I emailed Radley a link about  the Valenti blog censorship case on Thursday morning, I had no idea of the number of other bloggers who would pick up on his mention of the story and run with it.

    It’s great to see what kind of impact The Agitator has. Getting this story a little national attention is important, since the knowledge that there are a lot of non-local eyes closely following the proceedings might keep this from being handled as just business as usual. Local attention has been scant– while our daily paper has reported on the story, so far its editorial board and regular columnists have not found the time to mention it. Understandable, I suppose, when they have such crucial issues as rulings made by the board  responsible for state high school sports, or a local production of Fiddler On The Roof, to opine about.

    Anyway, good work Radley, and thanks.

  10. #10 |  thexjib | 

    I wish Dan Valenti had some balls… the judge has no authority to order the removal of blog post yet he took them down like a good little bitch… making it that much harder for the rest of us.

  11. #11 |  EBL | 

    Highway: Building inspectors are are best spot checkers. They rely on the builder to meet the code (they will tell you this). They figure the owner can pursue the builder if there is a problem. With decrease in county and city budgets they just to not have the manpower to check.

    Which is why if you are getting something done, do not go with the lowest bid. Go with the most reasonable bid and check out your builder.

    So this girl dies playing miniature golf. And “justice” will be a wrongful death suit involving all the various parties and their insurance companies.

  12. #12 |  EBL | 

    And Highway, you are absolutely right. We should focus on life safety as the priority (electrical being one of the most critical since it can lead to electrocution and fire, structural design too, etc.). But often that is not the case and a law intended to make life easier for a minority of disabled people becomes a distraction that greatly increases the cost of construction and can (potentially) put us all at greater risk.

  13. #13 |  Highway | 

    EBL, I agree to a point, although I’m not the biggest fan of adding more and more building regulations on (but there’s the problem that it’s almost impossible to go after contractors for shitty / incomplete work, the only leverage you have just about anywhere is the hold back money on completion, and most of the time the rats can put a lien on the property for the money that never gets reviewed. I watch too much Mike Holmes…). The inspectors are a vital tool… when the procedures get followed, when they’re not completely overworked, when the contractors are on the up and up, and when people pull permits for work.

    But regulation doesn’t do jack squat when Fly-By-Night Constructors doesn’t follow the rules, doesn’t get a permit, wires up the place wrong, and then covers over everything with drywall and fresh paint (which makes anything look good). Then some kid gets killed and the government boosters say “OMG We need more regulation to make sure this doesn’t happen again!” It’s complete bullshit. The regulations you had were supposed to cover that. The regulation doesn’t mean anything, it’s just words on the paper, and it’s used after the fact (if ever!) to punish people who either are already punished (owners of non-compliant things who are crushed by the loss of both their loved one and their faith in humanity) or don’t give a rat’s ass (Contractor who declares bankruptcy to get out of any judgment against him, and reincorporates under a different name).

  14. #14 |  xenia onatopp | 

    @thexjib– I think it’s unfair to characterize Dan Valenti as a little birch, or as having no balls. He faces both fines and jail time if he fails to comply with the order; he is not a wealthy man, and his blog is not his means of support, so non-compliance would be potentially ruinous financially. Aside from that, he has made it clear that he strongly believes in the rule of law, and feels bound to comply with the order until his hearing on 7/9; while I don’t share that sentiment, it’s an entirety legitimate position to take.

    I should also mention that while I read Valenti’s blog I’m not really a fan, and disagree with him more often than not. I do believe that in this case his reporting was 100% accurate

  15. #15 |  EBL | 

    Highway, what you describe is correct. But what is amazing is how inspectors have almost no liability when they screw up. Sort of like prosecutors. Make them civilly liable and watch how the emphasis changes.

  16. #16 |  EBL | 

    As for Valenti, if what he wrote was false then the person he wrote about has a remedy: sue him for liable. Granted, that is a high hurdle, but it is a high hurdle for a reason (the first amendment) and we should not circumvent that with anti harassment orders and injunctions. She has the initial burden.

    I am not going to second guess him on the decision to comply (at least for now). It sound like it was a temporary restraining order that was issued. Those are granted without argument (usually). He has a hearing on 7/9. That is where the battle should be fought. Why risk jail and financial ruin and potentially piss off the very judge hearing the ruling on 7/9? The ruling was wrong.

  17. #17 |  EBL | 

    “Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.”
    Louis D. Brandeis

  18. #18 |  EBL | 

    “Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter. The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance.”
    William O. Douglas

  19. #19 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    EBL,

    Now THAT’S an idea; make the government liable for its screwups, both civilly and criminally, with little or no immunity other than that which a private citizen might have (say, like good samaritan law). And then watch the State bail the hell out of an awful lot of things that it does badly and are none of it’s business.

    Which is, of course, why it won’t be allowed to happen. But I can dream….

  20. #20 |  yonemoto | 

    Actually, did you notice that the federal regulations would NOT have prevented it? Clearly this is a case of negligence; but it is impossible for any regulatory scheme to be preventative for every possible negative outcome. “Wrongful death suits against everyone” are exactly the right thing to minimize this sort of thing happening in the future.

  21. #21 |  a_random_guy | 

    “make the government liable for its screwups

    I trust you mean: make the individuals in the government liable. Yes.

    Clearly, immunity should apply in cases where the individuals were proceeding in good faith, however, in the case of genuine idiocy the individuals should be personally liable, with the government’s pockets only a backstop after their personal assets have been exhausted.

    More: the venue for the trial must be one that is objective. Either a court in a different jurisdiction, or a completely independent system within the same jurisdiction. This is the problem with police overreach, in particular: their buddies in the prosecutors office have little interest in prosecuting them.

  22. #22 |  Personanongrata | 

    “This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country.”

    So transparent that the Obama administrations bare lies just on shine through the worn and faded fabric of this once was republic. (To paraphrase a few words borrowed from William S. Burroughs)

  23. #23 |  Windy | 

    I usually do not propose any new laws, we have too many laws already and most of them cause more problems than they solve. However, I can conceive of two laws that would solve a LOT of problems in our union, the first one would be that in order to become a prosecuting attorney, a lawyer must first have served 10 years as a practicing criminal defense attorney, and the second would be that ALL lawyers, regardless of their field of expertise, would be barred from holding office in any legislative position (local, State or federal), they should be limited to the judicial branch of government ONLY!

  24. #24 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Windy,

    I know where you are coming from, but I would be deeply suspicious of any law that would have prevented John Adams from serving this country as he did, or Abraham Lincoln for that matter.

  25. #25 |  Andromedus | 

    Not happy about the development in San Francisco. That said, it gives me hope that the police chief actually opposes it:

    ‘However, the chief is confident that once the mayor “hears the downside of this and how it was not well received in New York or Philadelphia or by law enforcement in general, he’ll see that’s not the best way to do business here.”

    On Thursday, Suhr reiterated his stance, adding that suspects are detained solely on reasonable suspicion.’

  26. #26 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @19 – No, watch a lot of things happen which can’t be reversed, allowing you no recourse. The sensible people will bail, leaving the vicious and incompetent. So, you and your buddies…

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    [...] it exclusively from the Google Cache. Ken at PopeHat has covered the story in depth and so has Radley Balko. Suffice to say the whole way Meredith Nilan ‘s / Meredith-Cliff Nilan (of Pittsfield)  case [...]

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