The Surveillance camera had been set up on a ranch road in Santa Fe County, New Mexico to catch vandals. An officer has been placed on administrative leave, but the New Mexico State Police have not released the name of the trooper caught on video administering a unique kind of roadside sobriety test.
Call this a new twist in the war on photography of police.
Something is on the ground between his legs in the surveillance photo. Small dog? Cat? His ticket book? It’s not his duty belt, that seems to be hanging half way to the ground.
UPDATE: The officer and the woman have been identified [I generally don’t repeat names on this blog]. No criminal charges will result to either, but the officer’s job may be in jeopardy. He certainly brings embarrassment to the New Mexico State Police and if the military standard of “conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentlemen” applied, he’d be fired. I guess police officers are not expected to be gentlemen. Nor badge bunnies expected to be ladies.
A spokesmen for the NM State Police has said this officer would be considered on duty even if he had finished his shift because he was still in uniform. Well, that’s good to know. In a strict legal sense, there is no such thing as an off-duty police officer. Once sworn the power of arrest and all aspects of the oath are present 24/7 until the officer’s employment terminates.
The spokesman said the woman was not involved in any of the officer’s cases. It would be a much different matter if that were so.
It’s a legitimate question to ask — what would this officer would have done if he had come upon two citizens doing what he was doing? A little more than coitus interruptus, I’d say. Another legitimate question might have something to do with abuse of the power of the badge. That’s the real misconduct here, and to my mind the thing that makes this officer unfit.
UPDATE II: He’s been fired. He has 30 days to appeal.
Clarence Thomas has always been a man of honor and high intellect in my book, but I’ve taken no small amount of abuse and ridicule from liberals for it. They believed Anita Hill while I pegged her as a bald-faced liar and opportunist from the get-go.
My admiration for Justice Thomas was increased by reading his excellent book, My Grandfather’s Son. Thomas is the ultimate poor kid who made good against great odds, without any help from the race establishment of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al. He didn’t need their help because he was well equipped with the values of honesty and hard work thanks in no small part to his grandfather’s guidance.
I recently suffered a liberal friend and house guest refer to Thomas as “a pig.” She swallowed whole the fiction of the fabulist Anita Hill, it seems.
Clarence Thomas is still driving liberals crazy as he continues to gain stature on the Supreme Court. His influence on Constitutional jurisprudence is strong and growing. This is disturbing to liberal writer Jeffery Toobin who has a long article on Thomas in the August 29th edition of The New Yorker.
Toobin is grudgingly admiring of Thomas’ undeniable talent but also takes the opportunity to slander him as well. While praising Thomas, sort of, for his commitment to upholding the right of anonymous speech Toobin can’t resist throwing this in:
Like his intellectual heirs in the Tea Party, Thomas has a special hostility for government attempts to level the playing field in the political arena. For this Justice, the Constitution mandates the law of the jungle.
No Jeffery, it’s not the law of the jungle that Justice Thomas believes is mandated in the Constitution. The law of the jungle is rule by the strongest. Justice Thomas believes the Constitution mandates a special Rule of Law that establishes limits to the actions government may take against any citizen. Liberals tolerate limits only when it helps them get something they want. Thomas is right to be hostile to government attempts to level the playing field because that’s never the outcome and probably not even the intent. It is basic logic that one is presumed to intend the foreseeable and inevitable result of their actions. Government attempts to level the playing field never helps those it is purportedly intended for; it never makes everyone equally prosperous but invariably makes everyone equally poor and miserable.
Walter Russell Mead weighs in on Toobin at New Blue Nightmare: Clarence Thomas and the Amendment of Doom.
Mead pays Thomas this high compliment:
Lord of the Rings aficionados know that the evil lord Sauron paid little attention to the danger posed by two hobbits slowly struggling across the mountains and deserts of Mordor until he suddenly realized that the ring on which all his power depended was about to be hurled into the pits of Mount Doom. All at once the enemy plan became clear; what looked like stupidity was revealed as genius, and Sauron understood everything just when it was too late to act.
I highly recommend both Toobin’s New Yorker piece and Walter Russell Mead’s article. You’ll learn a lot about current Constitutional jurisprudence and how one remarkable and much maligned Justice on the Supreme Court is helping to shape a new order, being the restoration of what the founding fathers intended.
See also, Michael Barone, Clarence Thomas: Liberal Nightmare on Obamacare
Another study on the health benefits of regular chocolate eating. It may cut the risk of heart disease by a third, and it is also thought to inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Milk chocolate found in candy bars, i.e., the kind that tastes good, is not the one that confers health benefits. There’s always a catch, right?
It’s dark chocolate high in cocoa (70-85%) and low in sugar that cuts heart risk by as much as a third. That’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that it doesn’t taste as good as milk chocolate. The good news is that you aren’t likely to pig out on it which would negate the health effects. One or two square inches a day may be all you’ll want. Works for me.
These Carter ads fell flat. I’m betting the Obama campaign will adopt a similar style, and they will also fall flat.
On the other hand, ads similar to this might work beautifully against Obama.
The 1st Circuit Federal Court of Appeals said that a lawyer who used his cell phone to record a video of police making a drug arrest was within his rights and that the seizure of his cell phone and his arrest by police violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights.
In answer to the question, “Is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public?” the Court gives a resounding “Yes!”
This is huge. It’s huge partly because it’s taking place in Boston, the cradle and birthplace of liberty, but also a city and a state which has at least a 75-year history of not having much respect for constitutional rights.
The court said,
The First Amendment issue here is, as the parties frame it, fairly narrow: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative. It is firmly established that the First Amendment’s aegis extends further than the text’s proscription on laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” and encompasses a range of conduct related to the gathering and dissemination of information. As the Supreme Court has observed, “the First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press and the self-expression of individuals to prohibit government from limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw.” …
Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.”
It didn’t matter that he is not a professional journalist with press credentials:
Moreover, changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw. The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.
See the full Text of the Court’s decision in Simon Glik V. City of Boston.
The trial court threw the criminal prosecution out and Attorney Glik then filed this civil suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The suit also names the individual police officers in their individual capacity as defendants. The City and the individual police officers filed an interlocutory appeal from the trial court’s ruling denying them qualified immunity from Glik’s suit. The Court of Appeals affirmed holding that his arrest was without probable cause and clearly violated his Fourth Amendment rights.
I hope the city doesn’t pay the judgment against the individuals that is likely to now result. If some cops have to lose their houses to stop this war on photography and its consequent harassment of law-abiding citizens, so be it. Cops have to realize they are policing Americans; we are free citizens of a Constitutional Republic; we are not peasants in some third-world tyranny ruled by a criminal gang.
If you have a Kindle or iPad and purchase digital downloads for them from Amazon you may be paying sales tax in addition to the digital download price. You will not be told of the tax before you click the download button and you’ll never know where your tax dollars are going. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t depend on where you live or where you happen to be when you buy it. But there is a way to get at least part of this information.
If it says “sold by” MacMillan or Random House Digital or some other publisher under the Kindle price, tax will be added. The reason I don’t think it matters where you live is because the percentage is not always the same. On Ann Coulter’s new book Demonic sold by Random House Digital, the rate was 7-3/4%; on the book Reckless Endangerment sold by Macmillan, it was only 4%.
Here’s how you can tell in advance that there will be no tax added: if there is no “sold by” or “price set by” indicated. In that case the digital order is sold by Amazon and there is no tax. Also, most times the price will be $9.99. The price will be higher if the digital download is sold by the publisher. That was the case with Ann Coulter’s book in Kindle edition which was $14.99 plus tax and Reckless Endangerment was $12.99 plus tax.
Everyone will decide for themselves whether any of this is important. Here is my early New Year’s resolution, to go into effect immediately. I will buy no Kindle book if I can’t get it for a maximum price of $9.99 with NO tax. For me, it’s a moral issue. I won’t pay a cent to any parasite bureaucrat anywhere when I have no idea who they are, where they are, and what they are doing with my money. Safe to say they aren’t doing anything worthwhile with it.
I know, I know. We’re talking about minuscule amounts of money. It’s a moral issue.
Will I be missing a lot of good books I could be reading on my Kindle? No, just a little delay. Most new books I’d like to read will be available on Amazon in the hardcover used market at about one-fourth the original hardcover cost within 3 months of first publication. I can wait.
This is one New year’s resolution I may actually keep.
Why does this not surprise me?
[Warren Buffett] wrote of the so-called “super-rich,” which he apparently defines as households earning $1 million or more a year: “Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.” Isn’t that nice of Mr. Buffett?
But if he were truly sincere, perhaps he might simply try paying the taxes the IRS says his company owes?
Read the whole thing.
So they risk years in prison and get nothing of value. Real clowns.
Obama campaigning in 2008, in which he attacks George W. Bush for adding $4 Trillion to the National Debt in 8 years. Since then, Obama has added another $4 Trillion in less than 3 years.
For some time there has been a debate over whether Obama is intentionally harming the country or whether he is just incompetent. In other words, is he inept but not evil, or is he just evil? If we assume he meant what he said in 2008 his own words indicate that he knows what he is doing and is acting intentionally. With malice to boot.
First, the obvious damages:
- High unemployment
- Crashing home values, worst since the Great Depression
- Explosion in the national debt and the annual deficit
- Massive and growing unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Government Pensions, and to this he added OBAMACARE which will bankrupt our children and grandchildren
- The S&P Downgrade, first in history
The Hidden Costs, The “Pain And Suffering” Damages:
- Obama’s continual excuses and attempts to shift blame everywhere but himself, his “my-dog-ate-my-homework” explanation for everything from his failed Stimulus to the jobless non-recovery is creating a terrible image for young people in their formative years;
- The numerous and costly lawsuits by the states that Obamacare wasted incalculable time and resources but was made necessary by Obama’s unconstitutional health care mandate which, if unheld, will erase all remnants of the founding fathers concept of a federal government with limited and enumerated powers;
- Obama’s frenzy of Federal regulations strangling American business and stifling economic recovery;
- The overwhelming uncertainty and fear of what Obama will do next that is preventing American companies from investing and hiring new workers;
- Perhaps worst of all, the sheer demoralization of American under Obama.
The whole article is an excellent read, do give it look.
In 2007 the government took in revenue of $214 Billion a month (average) and spent $227 Billion a month (average) creating a deficit of $13 Billion a month (average), or about $433 Million a day, $18 Million an hour.
In 2011 the government will receive revenue of $185 Billion a month and will spend $303 Billion a month creating a monthly deficit of $118 Billion a month, nearly $4 Billion a day, $164 Million an hour, nearly $3 Million a minute. See this story in today’s LA Times.
Every cent of that $164 Million an hour, $3 Million a minute, that the government spends in excess of its revenue is borrowed.
$0.40 of every dollar the government will spend in 2011 is borrowed. Could you do that? Yes, you could. For a little while.
Living on borrowed money is living on borrowed time.
Lower taxes would stimulate the economy, as the Stimulus didn’t, and would provide the government with enough money to do every one of its legitimate functions. It would not, however, provide Democrats with enough money to buy all the votes they need to remain in power.
Natural rights are those “unalienable rights endowed upon us by our creator” and have their genesis in universal natural law. They are to be distinguished from legal rights that emanate from man-made legal institutions, such as government. While natural rights do not come from government, they need to be protected by government; they need protection from those who would infringe them and deny them to us, such as criminals who attack and rob. They also need protection from government because it holds a monopoly on violence. Government strong enough to protect rights is certainly strong enough to take them completely away.
Because a right of self defense is necessary to preserve one’s very existence it must be a natural right. Not everyone agrees. The usual comment from radical leftists that “you don’t need a gun, the police will protect you,” evinces hostility to the idea of self defense as a natural right. A legal duty to retreat, still the law in some states, is an official declaration that the right of self defense is conditional. Some may say that no right is ever absolute, and reasonable conditions upon the right of self defense are appropriate. But a problem soon arises over just what conditions are reasonable or appropriate. A right to life and the pursuit of happiness are subject to only one condition; that one’s exercise of these rights not deprive another of the same rights.
Any argument that the use of force in defense of self is not justified, because it infringes the right of someone else to their life, is fallacious so long as defensive action is distinguishable from offensive action. The right to self defense only arises when some other, human or animal, has placed one’s life in jeopardy.
There are still many who believe that self defense cannot be justified. This notion is so prevalent that an entire nation, Great Britain, the very nation that was once the cradle of rational thought, has outlawed it. The results were predictable. Rampant violence by young street thugs against the law-abiding; victims who have the temerity to try to preserve their lives and dignity are given jail terms at the same time the criminal aggressors are allowed to go free.
Sarah Thompson, M.D., in her article Raging Against Self Defense, published by Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, has attempted to understand the psychology of those who are committed opponents of the right of self defense. She finds anti-self defense attitudes explained by the unconscious defense mechanisms of Projection, Denial, and Reaction Formation.
There is some solace for our curiosity in psychological explanations of this sort. We know a lot of people are emotionally and psychologically unbalanced. That isn’t enough to satisfy, however. We still need to know what motivates officials, who are otherwise mentally well adjusted, to crave such power over their fellow citizens as to try to deny them what is arguably the most basic natural right,the right to protect oneself and to live peaceably?
The answer to this question is more likely to be found, not in psychological studies, but in unbiased political science that explores another aspect of human nature: the quest of human beings for power. This inquiry starts with the premise that political liberty only exists where there is no abuse of power; it is an eternal experience that every man who holds power is drawn to abuse it; he will proceed until he finds the limits. [Montesquieu]
By way of Instapundit, I’ve found a recently written article that brilliantly describes the infringement of the Obama administration upon our natural liberties. It’s not that the Obama government is that much different in its propensity to run roughshod on the rights of citizens; Montesquieu spent his life writing about the proclivity of all governments to overstep the bounds. The Obama administration though, is especially shameless and determined to trample on rights it considers a threat to its power.
Mike McDaniel is a former police officer, detective, and SWAT member of a large police department. He has written a web article titled Gunwalker and the Foundation of Liberty — The lives of the individuals harmed by Gunwalker mean nothing to statists.
McDaniel says the statists beliefs of politicians and bureaucrats care little for the individual except as it relates to their own ability to sustain their privilege and power. The individual’s value is measured by how much or how little it means to the state. These attitudes are the necessary and sufficient foundation of socialism.
It all comes down to this: Is there an inalienable right to self-defense? If there is, each man has indisputable, inestimable value, value that he may rightly preserve even if the life of another man is forfeit. A man may kill another in lawful self-defense even if the policy preferences of the state would prefer his death. If a right to self-defense actually exists, it is in a very real sense the highest law of the land and all lesser laws must pay it deference. It fundamentally defines the social contract, the nature of the relationship between man and the state.
But if there is no such inalienable right, the entire nature of the social contract is changed. Each man’s worth is measured solely by his utility to the state, and as such the value of his life rides a roller coaster not unlike the stock market: dependent not only upon the preferences of the party in power but upon the whims of its political leaders and the permanent bureaucratic class. The proof of this analysis surrounds us.
Irony abounds in that England, the cradle of the common law and of our doctrine of self-defense, has utterly done away with even a government-condescended privilege to self-preservation. Not only have the English allowed themselves to be virtually stripped of firearms, British politicians have made attempts with varying degrees of success to ban knives. Attempting to protect the self or others from brutal criminal attack can and will lead to lengthy jail sentences in jolly old England — for the victims. Attacking criminals often go free, and often successfully sue their victims for daring to harm them in the process of depriving them of property or their very lives.
In the recent riots in Britain, we see America not far into the future if the progressive worldview is much further advanced. Contemporary England is a nation that spends a great deal of time and energy ostensibly caring for “the people,” yet cares not a whit for the life of any individual, particularly when that life is threatened or taken by a member of a favored political class or victim group, criminals included. This attitude and practice is a foundation of socialism.
Read the whole thing.
Intrade prediction market nows gives Obama less than a 50% chance of being reelected in 2012. As of 10:40 A.M. EST:
Some are predicting that Obama will start a war, or several wars, in an effort to boost his election chances. Wag the dog? That could backfire.
Glenn Reynolds said THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN WE’D SEE ENDLESS WAR. AND THEY WERE RIGHT!
As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.
Steven Hayward uses that quote today to preface some remarks on the stupidity and hypocrisy of liberals,
Almost every day I wake up and find examples of the hypocrisy and/or stupidity of modern liberals on the front page of the paper. Today’s first nominee might well be the continuing refusal of the Democrats in Congress to ratify our free trade treaties with central America. Canada—liberal Canada—has passed theirs, and as such its wheat farmers are enjoying growing sales to Colombia while our wheat exports are suffering because Colombian tariffs on U.S. wheat are still in place.
The Colombian free trade agreement, first negotiated during the Bush Administration and re-negotiated by the Obama regime just last April, languishes on Obama’s desk. With the utmost chutzpah Obama blames Congress for not approving it, but as usual, he’s lying. He’s never sent the agreement to Congress for approval. The real reason the U.S./Colombian Free Trade Agreement sits collecting dust is that Juan Manuel Santos is a democratically elected president of Colombia, and has instituted reforms and restored freedom to his country. Colombia is a friend of the United States. As we have learned, friends of the United States get rough treatment from Obama while he extends cooperation to America’s enemies. Colombia is surrounded by left-wing dictatorships, which Obama seems to favor at every turn. If Santos wants the trade agreement approved perhaps he should stage a military coo and establish a totalitarian regime. Obama would no doubt immediately send the trade agreement to the Democrats in Congress where it would be approved in a flash.
See also, A Sad Day For U.S. Wheat Growers
He needs the illegal immigrant vote. The new policy is that illegal immigrants will not be deported unless they commit another crime in addition to illegally entering the country. It is illegal for non-citizens to vote. So when they vote (for Obama), thus committing another crime, will Janet Napolitano deport them? Fat chance. The whole reason for the new “policy” is that Obama needs the votes of illegal immigrants and hopes to get it with this little caper.
Professor Jacobson says,
I have often warned that what Obama could not achieve through legislation, he would achieve through regulation. Now the corollary: What Obama cannot achieve through legislation or regulation, he simply will do anyway.
The British Disease comes to Washington D.C.
And an all-female flash mob ransacks a convenience store — public reaction
Vodpod videos no longer available.
In Britain the mobs are burning stores to the ground. Does it portend?
Would be racist to note that there were no white people in these mobs?
Read more at these related topics:
You never know when or where a Philharmonic orchestra might show up and instead of stealing your stuff play Ravel’s Bolero for you…
I wonder if the trains stopped running?
The title to this post is an oxymoron, and could be the best example of an oxymoron. Perhaps it is just oxymoronic since an oxymoron is usually just two words juxtaposed which contradict one another, such saying someone was falsely truthful.
In England self defense is illegal. Carrying any article or instrument, even a pencil, with the intention of using it to defend oneself from attack, is a crime called carrying an offensive weapon under the Prevention of Crime Act of 1953. If attacked, one is to flee. If the victim is 75 and the attacker is 17, that might be a bit of a problem. When the victim harms his attacker in any way he will be charged with assault. If someone aims to kill you and you kill him to stop him from killing you, a murder charge awaits you. British subjects are to rely exclusively on the police to protect them from violence. Sometime between about 1970 and 1990 the police abandoned all pretense of protecting anyone from attack. But the laws against self defense remain unchanged. Not oxymoronic, just moronic.
So what usually happens to the burglars, the street thugs who assault the innocent or rob them at knife or gunpoint? For the most part, nothing. Crime and violence have soared in recent years. Only a moron (there’s that word again) would fail to see the reason why this is so.
Law professor Joyce Lee Malcolm has been studying and writing about British crime and its idiotic self defense laws for years, and has a great piece in the Wall Street Journal, titled The Soft-On-Crime Roots of British Disorder.
The Brits are buying base ball bats on Amazon so fast Amazon can’t fill the orders in a timely fashion. Of course, every one of those baseball bats constitutes an illegal offensive weapon under Britain’s senseless laws.
This is a sad symbol of the failure of the British approach to crime—with its sympathy for offenders, intolerance of self-defense, and unwillingness to pay for adequate crime control. A people once proud of their peaceful country and unarmed policemen had to resort to clubs to protect life and limb.
Great Britain’s leniency began in the 1950s, with a policy that only under extraordinary circumstances would anyone under 17 be sent to prison. This was meant to rehabilitate young offenders. But the alternative to incarceration has been simply to warn them to behave, maybe require community service, and return them to the streets. There has been justifiable concern about causes of crime such as poverty and unemployment, but little admission that some individuals prefer theft to work and that deterrence must be taken seriously.
Read the whole thing.