Your Priorities Suck

The weirdest thing about this Will Saletan piece regarding the LA City Council’s decision to ban additional construction of fast food joints that Matt and Ezra mock is not his apparent lack of understanding of the widespread practices of zoning boards all across the country, but that this is a priority at all for premier column space. And so as to not engage in the concern troll wankery that is all too popular among the bobbleheads in the village, in which you state “there are far more important issues” and then never discuss them but instead furl your brow and tut-tut about the unseriousness of everyone around you, here are at least two things that individuals concerned with freedom should be far more upset about:

1.) Federal agents can take your possessions, without cause, and do whatever the fuck they want with them:

Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“The policies . . . are truly alarming,” said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government’s border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.

The STASI called. They are jealous.

2.) SWAT teams raid a Mayor’s house and kill his dogs without so much as attempting to knock or handle things in a non-aggressive manner:

As the police came in, Calvo said, they shot his 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, Payton, near the front door and then his 4-year-old dog, Chase, also a black Lab, as the dog ran into a back room. Walking through his house yesterday, Calvo pointed out a bullet hole in the drywall where the younger dog had been shot.

“I understand they have a job to do, but it didn’t have to go like that,” Calvo said. He said the police could have knocked on his door and asked him about the package. “I’ve never done drugs in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that I am so adamantly opposed to them.”

Police said yesterday that, when they seized the package during the raid, it was unopened.

Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy said county police and the Sheriff’s Office had not notified his department of the raid. He said town police could have conducted the search without a SWAT team.

“You can’t tell me the chief of police of a municipality wouldn’t have been able to knock on the door of the mayor of that municipality, gain his confidence and enter the residence,” Murphy said. “It would not have been a necessity to shoot and kill this man’s dogs.”

And I could go on and on. There are far more serious and dangerous violations of your civil liberties happening every day done in the name of safety and the war on drugs and the war on terror, all committed by nameless, faceless, and unaccountable folks, and there is really nothing you can do about it. Fight back and you will be shot or tasered to death, or jailed for resisting arrest if you are lucky. And no one, that I can tell, other than Russ Feingold, the corpse of William kunstler, a few folks at Reason magazine, and some DFH’s, seems to give a shit.

At least with the LA City Council decision, you can address the issue. If it is unpopular, elect council members who will do your bidding. There is a course of action available.

Who do you turn to when the DEA shoots your dogs? Where do you go when Customs Agents steal your laptop? Who do you turn to when federal agents commit home invasion. That, to me, seems far more troubling than having to go to one of the already existing 200 McDonalds in LA for a burger.

*** Update ***

Or, you know, this:

His aunt says he is undergoing major surgery for a broken back and broken heel. While he was lying on the ground, she wonders why Ozark police used an electric stun gun on him up to 19 times.

“I’m not an officer, but i don’t see the reason for ‘Tasering’ somebody laying there with a broken back. I don’t consider that a threat,”

His dad says the use of the stun gun delayed what would have been immediate surgery by two days.

“The ‘Tasering’ increased his white blood cell count and caused him to have a temperature so they could not go into the operation.”

“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers,” said Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset.

Police say although there are several unanswered questions; the reason for the use of a stun gun is not one of them.

Kid falls off a highway overpass 30 feet to the ground, breaks his back. Cops use a stun gun 19 times because he won’t get up.

In a decent society, every single fucking one of those cops would be facing hard time.

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97 replies
  1. 1
    NonyNony says:

    When I read the first one the other day, I was angry (I still am, actually). This is arguably worse than the confiscation of property that goes on with drug busts these days because they don’t even need to have a suspicion of wrongdoing to target you – that’s insane.

    When I read the second one yesterday, I have to admit I got a little scared. You can get a SWAT team to bust into a mayor’s house with guns blazing by sending him a box of pot through the mail? That’s scary as hell – almost no one is safe from that kind of monkeywrench.

  2. 2
    Justin says:

    Every time we declare war on something, we lose a little more of our liberty.

  3. 3
    cleek says:

    exactly.

    which is why i couldn’t get excited about the FISA bill. yeah, it sucked, but it’s just a little nick on the edge of the gaping hole that drug laws and things like Carnivore, National Security Letters have left in the 4th amendment.

    we’re well past the point where something like spying on your international phone calls is going to matter.

  4. 4
    Ricky says:

    Even Stranger is that Yglesisas’s readers launched into a vigorous debate over impervious cover restrictions.

    Well, as Jake Tapper would say “all these comments seem to imply a xenophobic attack on Angelenos as a race.”

  5. 5
    cleek says:

    alas… strike “Carnivore” from my post above. i see that it’s been replaced by other kinds of monitoring.

  6. 6
    sparky says:

    well, for a long time, there wasn’t anything you could do about it, unless law enforcement did something that could be seen as wrong by just about anyone. then, for a little while, we had that pinko Supreme Court say wacky stuff like the Constitution requires police to behave within certain boundaries, and that there might be consequences if they didn’t (exclusionary rule, Bivens, section 1983 claims etc). but as we now have decided that we prefer our jurists in the ideological flavor that the government can do no wrong (high irony since the enablers have all been appointed by right-wing authoritarians posing as glibertarians), well, that’s all over now. you don’t like it? don’t do anything wrong and you don’t have anything to worry about. oh, and we’ll let you know if you do anything wrong.

  7. 7
    susteph says:

    brilliant post, john. best i’ve ever read here. i even love the title.

  8. 8
    Tim Fuller says:

    If only the Mayor had been a nutjob preacher who had been raping his kids for years, had killed his wife and stuffed her in a freezer four years ago you’d be given the kind of respect during your arrest that you deserve. (Hint: they let him finish giving his daily sermon before arresting him)

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/.....index.html

    Enjoy.

  9. 9
    Ricky says:

    What amazes me is that the WaPo put the article in the Metro section. If Michael Vick had shot those dogs in would be front page, crawling across the cable screen and headed for a weepy appearance by the Mayor on Ellen.

    But, by following your link, I note that the young Mayor and his wife to whom the pot in question was addressed are white and clearly not missing so their story is not a Cable news priority. However, if Jake Tapper can get Barack Obama to address the targeting of the dogs, both of which were black, maybe there is hope this story will make The View.

  10. 10
    Brachiator says:

    Who do you turn to when the DEA shoots your dogs? Where do you go when Customs Agents steal your laptop? Who do you turn to when federal agents commit home invasion. That, to me, seems far more troubling than having to go to one of the already existing 200 McDonalds in LA for a burger.

    Sorry. I’m not with you on this one. The LA City Council’s decision to put a moratorium on fast food joints is stupid and somewhat evil because it is paternalistic and engages the worst instinct of some liberals, namely the joy of telling people without power how they should live.

    The ban will kill jobs, for one thing, pure and simple. And it will do nothing to encourage other types of eateries to the area. And since middle class eateries in the Southern California area are already closing down or cutting back hours, the city council’s action is flying in the face of economic reality.

    But the fools who called in to the local public radio station to support the city council on this were happy that the city was going to stop all these poor people from becoming obese. They didn’t seem concerned at all about creating jobs or raising wages in South LA (especially since the sit-down restaurants that the council prefers tend to cost more money, especially with tips included).

    And so it goes.

    By the way, my modest proposal would be to ban liposuction clinics and fitness centers in upscale neighborhoods. Then we would see if all these people who claim that they know better than poor people how to eat properly are really holding up their end.

    Now, as for the other item. Yeah, the DEA shooting dogs is horrible, but call me silly because I am more outraged at cops possibly shooting innocent people and getting away with it (Inglewood officer is involved in a second gun death).

    Authorities say Brian Ragan fired on Kevin Wicks in self-defense while responding to a disturbance call because Wicks raised a gun at police. Residents are upset that Ragan, who was already under investigation, was back on the job.

    There is the possibility here that the cops went to the wrong apartment and did not clearly identify himself, and the dead man — who may have been trying to exercise his 2nd Amendment rights to defend himself — is being turned into a criminal by the most venal of the local media.

    Kevin Hackie, a private investigator hired by Wicks’ family, said later that officers had gone to the wrong apartment and that they did not identify themselves. But police said that was not the case.

    Ragan and Officer Roman Fernandez had previously been placed on administrative leave after the May 11 shooting of Michael Byoune, 19, Larry White, 19, and Chris Larkin, 21. Byoune died from his wounds.

    In that case, the officers had believed they were under fire when they shot at the vehicle the three men were riding in, but the men were unarmed. The victims’ families have filed a $25-million lawsuit against the city and the department.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:

    In a decent society

    There’s your problem right there.

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    “He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers,” said Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset.

    Listen, John, this was a guy who threatened the life of a law enforcement officer. Sure, he was laying on his back, totally unarmed, and clearly disabled. Sure, shooting the guy with a stun gun failed to improve the situation in the slightest – and the 18 consecutive stuns didn’t appear to improve the situation either.

    But what if something something blah blah ugady-boogady John? Can we really take that chance?

  13. 13
    jake says:

    The raid happened a few miles from where I live and I had no fucking idea. Christ, if this is how they treat the mayor, imagine how they treat the damn janitor.

    “We’re not in the habit of going to homes and shooting peoples’ dogs,” Ellis said. “If we were, there would be a lot more dead dogs around the county.”

    Charming. The dog owners of PG county will be so relieved.

  14. 14
    John H. Farr says:

    n a decent society, every single fucking one of those cops would be facing hard time.

    Amen, bro’.

    And I don’t see any way this gets reversed unless everything breaks down and all these bastards (plus the rest of us) are out of jobs and money. Maybe when we start all over again, we’ll realize that we have to treat each other as equals.

    The Golden Rule is all there ever needed to be, and it’s never gone away.

  15. 15
    cleek says:

    it is paternalistic and engages the worst instinct of some liberals, namely the joy of telling people without power how they should live.

    that is not a “liberal” instinct.

  16. 16
    capelza says:

    Storm troopers…

  17. 17
    Jon H says:

    “We’re not in the habit of going to homes and shooting peoples’ dogs,” Ellis said. “If we were, there would be a lot more dead dogs around the county.”

    Maybe habit is putting it too strongly. It’s an occasional bonus.

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    Sorry. I’m not with you on this one.

    I am not sure what I have said here or in the previous 11,000 posts on this blog that would lead you to believe that I agree with the LACC decision.

    I don’t. I am just pointing out that zoning boards make decisions like this every single damned day all across the country, and they are not nearly as dangerous to your freedom as these other things.

    Now, as a practical matter, you are far more likely to be impacted by decisions made by your local zoning board than have your dogs shot by a SWAT team, but I still assert that the latter is the greater evil, particularly since there is no form of redress.

  19. 19
    RSA says:

    On border security:

    With about 400 million travelers entering the country each year, “as a practical matter, travelers only go to secondary [for a more thorough examination] when there is some level of suspicion,” Chertoff wrote. “Yet legislation locking in a particular standard for searches would have a dangerous, chilling effect as officers’ often split-second assessments are second-guessed.”

    Right, because split-second assessments are a critical component of identifying terrorists going through customs at the airport carrying a laptop. If I’ve read anything stupider in the past week, I can’t think of it.

  20. 20
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Talk to any dumb fuck wingnut (DFW?) and they will insist that this is the ‘greatest country on God’s green earth’, and if you disagree with them you are a DFH and a commie to boot. We are so perfect that when we fuck up we are still perfect. Amerika can do no wrong, but everyone else can. If you are on the ‘right’ side of Amerika, life would be good for you too.

    The standard wingnut reply to the above is ‘move to Russia’ or some other inane response. To me, it’s not ‘if it ain’t broke then you can’t fix it’, but more like ‘it’s so broken it can’t be fixed’.

    I don’t think things are going to get better in my lifetime, and I have resigned myself to the fact that our country is a nation in decline and most people are quite happy with that.

  21. 21
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    But, by following your link, I note that the young Mayor and his wife to whom the pot in question was addressed are white and clearly not missing so their story is not a Cable news priority.

    America has been a police state for black people for the last hundred years.

    Now it has become one for whites too.

    Welcome to our world.

  22. 22
    Paul L. says:

    I suspect that if a City Council decided to ban the additional construction of abortion clinics, John, Matt and Ezra would not dismiss it as “practices of zoning boards all across the country”.
    And to head off the “abortion is constitutional right” argument, does that mean that City Council cannot ban gun shops?

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    cleek Says:

    it is paternalistic and engages the worst instinct of some liberals, namely the joy of telling people without power how they should live.

    that is not a “liberal” instinct.

    You are right. There are some psychologically damaged people who love to tell other people how to live. The worst of these people who become conservative want to use “law and order” or religion or an appeal to tradition as their club of choice.

    The worst of these people who become liberal want to use a nanny-state government or inadequate appeals to health and safety or the environment for their club.

    John Cole Says:

    Sorry. I’m not with you on this one.

    I am not sure what I have said here or in the previous 11,000 posts on this blog that would lead you to believe that I agree with the LACC decision.

    I don’t. I am just pointing out that zoning boards make decisions like this every single damned day all across the country, and they are not nearly as dangerous to your freedom as these other things.

    I disagree with your trying to prioritize the LACC decision as a lesser danger to freedom. The LA City Council has a bad habit of making decisions that fuck over poor people, to put it bluntly. It’s not just about the bland right of zoning boards. In the recent past, residents in the area pleaded that some recently purchased land and buildings be designated for commercial use, but the council decided that low income housing was a more important priority — even though every freakin’ study showed that there was no shortage of housing in this particular area.

    And as I noted, the ban on fast food places kills jobs, pure and simple, which is insane in an already declining economy. The council has a history of banning “objectionable” businesses (e.g. liquor stores) in South LA, but then doing nothing to bring in alternative businesses. And, equivalent zoning laws to the contrary, they would never think of pulling this shit on the upscale Westside or other areas.

    By the way, another aspect of this fast food ban is the claim that there are not enough supermarkets in the area that provide fresh food. But the city council that is so concerned about the health of people in this area has a fetish for trying to bring in the major “legitimate” supermarket chains, but have strangely choked off efforts by individuals, especially Latinos, who have attempted to bring in smaller scale food vending and sales operations.

    Again, poor people get fucked over, wages and jobs don’t grow, and the solicitous fools on the city council go home at night congratulating themselves on another job well done.

    I can’t speak of other areas of the country, but here in Southern California, there are self-deluded fools who label themselves as progressive. The problem is that where in the past, they would stand with the poor, now they far prefer to dictate to them how they should live, but since it is “for their own good,” it’s somehow acceptable.

  24. 24
    Phil says:

    Regarding the first story: Not only can they take your laptop away arbitrarily, they can do it “without any suspicion of wrongdoing.” So they can take your property just because they want to or because you look funny? What the hell? How on earth can this possibly be constitutional? In what kind of weird Orwellian dystopia are we living, in which people think this is ok?

    Regarding the second story: This just ruined my day. The police shot two dogs, the first one because he was defending his family from invaders, the second one as “the dog ran into a back room,” i.e. was running away to get help or hide.

    I have no doubt that if the police were coming into my house that way they would have done the same to my dogs. I don’t have kids, so my dogs are my children. I work at home and they are my constant companions. They are smart, friendly, and very loyal. They would risk their lives to protect me, and I would do the same for them. If someone were to kill my dogs like that, I would kill them or die trying. I’m sure that makes no sense to most of you but that’s the way I feel.

  25. 25
    Kevin says:

    In the past, police departments had psychological exams for potential recruits to help root out the sadists in the employ of that Ozark department.

  26. 26
    Ugh says:

    The STASI called. They are jealous.

    Love that line.

  27. 27
    John Cole says:

    I suspect that if a City Council decided to ban the additional construction of abortion clinics, John, Matt and Ezra would not dismiss it as “practices of zoning boards all across the country”.
    And to head off the “abortion is constitutional right” argument, does that mean that City Council cannot ban gun shops?

    You always know there is going to be some first class wankery when Paul L. shows.

    First, I don’t support the LACC position, I have merely noted there is something people can do about it- elect new council members.

    Second, I am not sure where I became some pro-choice diehard. Abortion has never been an issue that motivates me beyond general concern for government butting the fuck out of people’s lives, whether it be abortion, birth control, prostitution, smoking, fast food, drugs, booze, etc. I guess such nuance is lost on Paul L. now that I am a member of “teh left,” so I must really really now be pro-choice.

    Third, my point remains. Zoning boards make decisions like this all day every day. You can do something about it. What can you do about your dogs being shot, your privacy being invaded, your possessions being seized and searched. Not much that I can tell.

  28. 28
    John Cole says:

    I disagree with your trying to prioritize the LACC decision as a lesser danger to freedom.

    Then you are just wrong. The LACC is accountable to voters.

    The DEA, SWAT teams, and generic police state are not. Period.

  29. 29
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers

    Was he, I don’t know, *carrying a fucking gun*?

  30. 30
    Zifnab says:

    I suspect that if a City Council decided to ban the additional construction of abortion clinics, John, Matt and Ezra would not dismiss it as “practices of zoning boards all across the country”.

    It happens all the time. Austin is currently in a rather big fight over a newly proposed Planned Parenthood Clinic. Zoning laws keep getting flipped around and regulators keep sweeping in to do emergency inspections on construction and permits.

    Again, John hasn’t indicated he’s pro-zone laws in the least. He’s simply indicating that – as in the situation of the PP Clinic – petitions can be filled, laws can be changed, and eventually the building can get built.

    Under the “I shoot your dog and steal your shit, cause I’m with the DEA” mode of government, all the petitions and lawsuits in the world are so much wasted paper and hot air. The federal government doesn’t have to listen to your petty complaints.

    And to head off the “abortion is constitutional right” argument, does that mean that City Council cannot ban gun shops?

    According to the SCOTUS as of a month back, no. No they cannot.

  31. 31

    […] John Cole writes about our rights being ameliorated.  Not. […]

  32. 32
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Sorry. I’m not with you on this one. The LA City Council’s decision to put a moratorium on fast food joints is stupid and somewhat evil

    Really? So if a SWAT team bashed open your door and killed your 2 dogs, you would think “well, at least I can open a McDonald’s down the street”?

  33. 33
    Cain says:

    I don’t think things are going to get better in my lifetime, and I have resigned myself to the fact that our country is a nation in decline and most people are quite happy with that.

    We can start with Reagan to Dubya for that. Republican presidents and their “War on XXX” has fucked up society to no end and we’ve had no change in drugs or anything.

    We can’t seem to back track either since removing such laws is seen as “losing the war”. It looks like we are going to have to hit rock bottom before anything is going to be better. It’s as they say, sometimes you have to lose everything to understand what you lost. I mean look at what we got: weasly congress who apparently has no power even to drag anybody from the executive branch so they can talk to them. Rove, et all are all laughing as they ignore everything congress does. We got a president who is so stupid that he’s fighting a war of choice in a place that is completely in a different geographic area than the scum who attacked America and apparently is going to tax cut us to death as well.

    It is no accident that in the past 8 years the police have become more and more brutal. I read a case where a cop shot a naked man because he feared for his life? WTF? Fat fucks who don’t exercise are already walking around obese. I thought these fools were trained in hand to hand combat? Lazy fat bastards would rather use their gun than either their brains, mouth and their muscles. We obviously have a decline in good recruits as well.

    We. Are. A. Nation. In. Decline.

    And it is fucking sad.

    cain

  34. 34
    Michael D. says:

    The “Shitty Cops” category is lonely.

  35. 35
    28 Percent says:

    Thank you Brachiator if that is your real name for haveing the GUTS to speak TRUTH TO POWER like the hippies like to say. It is important to remember that minimum wage service jobs are all some people can get so it is good to use land SMARTLY and put in KFCs so that poor people can work there and get they’re food because how else will they lift themselves out of poverty? The LA-la land law will stifle business and business opportunity like opening a fast food franchise only knocks once but there will always be another day when your laptop does not get confiscated and your home is not raided and besides you can alwasy get another dog at the pound.

  36. 36
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    You always know there is going to be some first class wankery when Paul L. shows.

    Some people just don’t get it. Maybe they simply refuse to see.

  37. 37
    Cain says:

    Welcome back 28 Percent… we missed you.

    cain

  38. 38
    Edmund Dantes says:

    The killing of dogs happens enough there is a term for it. Puppycide.

    Radley Balko follows a lot of this stuff at The Agitator blog. He used to work for CATO (I think he still freelance with them , but I’m not sure of his official employment status).

    Look up Ryan Fredericks. Kathryn Johnston. Corey Maye. The list goes on. All people getting screwed over by the police state.

    Another good one is the Rack and Roll case. Take the time to read the ugly details on that one.

    Once you do you’ll never take a cop, prosecutor, etc for their words the next time you are on a jury.

  39. 39
    Richard Bottoms says:

    n a decent society, every single fucking one of those cops would be facing hard time.

    Instead, we live in a society where people vote for George Bush, sometimes twice, then moan about the police state nature of things.

    The GOP is an evil party of torture loving religious freaks that needs to be destroyed politically if we are ever going to put things right.

    If you vote Republican at any level, for any office, anywhere, fuck you very much, and you can stick you carping in your ass. Until there is a unassailable Democratic majority, nothing will change. Period.

    There are no bad Democrats. There are no good Republicans.

  40. 40
    Edmund Dantes says:

    Ahem… I should clarify. Fredericks is currently getting screwed over as he’s in the process of being tried for Murder.

    Corey Maye already lost and got screwed over on a wrong door raid.

    Kathryn Johnston? Well she got a little more than screwed over. They killed her.

  41. 41
    Paul L. says:

    now that I am a member of “teh left,” so I must really really now be pro-choice.

    I pigeonholed you in with the “progressives”.
    Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy
    I apologize.

    However it is good to see that the Senate Ethics committee has got their Priorities straight.

    … Sen. Coburn is in trouble with the Senate Ethics committee for delivering babies for free.

    Delivering babies!!!!! How anti-choice.

  42. 42
    Emma Anne says:

    Well, now I am all sad and outraged. Good post. :-)

    The dog shooting hits me the hardest too. They would definitely kill my yappy little dog.

  43. 43
    alhutch says:

    I have no doubt that if the police were coming into my house that way they would have done the same to my dogs. I don’t have kids, so my dogs are my children. I work at home and they are my constant companions. They are smart, friendly, and very loyal. They would risk their lives to protect me, and I would do the same for them. If someone were to kill my dogs like that, I would kill them or die trying. I’m sure that makes no sense to most of you but that’s the way I feel.

    As a fellow dog (no kids) owner, it makes perfect sense. Somewhat ironic (to me) though that I would probably die exercising my 2nd Amendment right, if placed in a similar situation. Guess thems the breaks…

  44. 44
    Ugh says:

    Other things for the STASI to be jealous about. Greenwald interviews the ACLU observer at the Gitmo show-trial.

  45. 45
    Brachiator says:

    John Cole Says:

    I disagree with your trying to prioritize the LACC decision as a lesser danger to freedom.

    Then you are just wrong. The LACC is accountable to voters.

    The DEA, SWAT teams, and generic police state are not. Period.

    You are mixing kiwi fruit and kumquats here. The DEA are feds, SWAT teams are local and “generic police state” a fantasy.

    And if you think that the LACC is accountable to voters, you clearly don’t know California politics. Getting to the city council is like inheriting a duchy, and getting to the LA County Board of Supervisors is like inheriting a small kingdom. But I take your point, but also note that the DEA and SWAT teams are part of agencies that are in theory ultimately accountable to voters.

    Notorious P.A.T. Says:

    Sorry. I’m not with you on this one. The LA City Council’s decision to put a moratorium on fast food joints is stupid and somewhat evil

    Really? So if a SWAT team bashed open your door and killed your 2 dogs, you would think “well, at least I can open a McDonald’s down the street”?

    I am profoundly against animal cruelty. But if you put my back against a wall, I would have to say that in my more extreme moments I think that any human who owns or controls an animal is committing a type of slavery. So people and “their dogs” or cats is not a big issue for me.

    But even here, as the other story I noted indicates, I care far more about the lives of human beings than I do about the rare outrage against pets. DEA agents shooting dogs just doesn’t happen that often, especially when compared to incidents of cops shooting or abusing people and then faking the evidence to get away with it.

    8 Percent Says:

    Thank you Brachiator if that is your real name for haveng the GUTS to speak TRUTH TO POWER like the hippies like to say. It is important to remember that minimum wage service jobs are all some people can get so it is good to use land SMARTLY and put in KFCs so that poor people can work there and get they’re food because how else will they lift themselves out of poverty?

    Interesting. There is a guy who lives in La Habra, started out working at a fast food place, learned food service, opened his own restaurant and now not only employs others but also feeds hundreds of people every Thanksgiving out of his own freakin’ pocket.

    And note that I never said that minimum wage service jobs are all that some people can get. I wonder where your condescension towards the poor comes from?

    And also note that there are middle aged folks and senior citizens working at McDonalds and other places to supplement their incomes as the Bush Administration strangles the middle class.

  46. 46
    Tax Analyst says:

    Now, as for the other item. Yeah, the DEA shooting dogs is horrible, but call me silly because I am more outraged at cops possibly shooting innocent people and getting away with it (Inglewood officer is involved in a second gun death).

    Well, the point should be that the cops should neither be breaking into people’s home and shooting dogs OR humans. When the cops are allowed unrestricted rights in breaking & entering and firing their weapons the shot following the one that killed your dog might be in YOUR chest. In either case there is plenty to be outraged about.

    I agree that the LACC zoning decision is little more than silly grandstanding, but I think uncontrolled police misconduct would have to be a bigger issue. Dogs or humans, the point and principle involved is whether cops are subject to any limitations in regards to entering your home premises and then using lethal force methods. That should be a concern to all of us.

  47. 47
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I pigeonholed you in with the “progressives”.

    Thank you Brachiator if that is your real name for haveing the GUTS to speak TRUTH TO POWER like the hippies like to say.

    it is paternalistic and engages the worst instinct of some liberals

    I might be reading this thread wrongly, but it sure seems to me that the “LA council decision is worse than cops breaking down doors” frame is based solely on “if liberals want something, it must be worse”. Which is pretty freaking childish.

  48. 48
    The Other Steve says:

    Seems to me that the people who are being stupid are the ones predicting the zoning change will fail. I’ve never heard of a similar zoning change, so I’m not quite sure how we would know. If I recall correctly it’s a moratorium for a year so it’s just a study.

    Zoning boards make decisions like this all the time.

    In fact, I’ll bet you’ll find that in Chevy Chase, MD where Saletan lives, the zoning board limits the number of fast food restaurants in town because it’s not the image they want to project.

    The fact is, a large part of the obesity problem in America is because people lack appropriate choices. From what I’ve seen, the market is doing a pretty piss poor job at delivering appropriate choices.

    This is one of the reasons I want the government involved in our healthcare. It’ll force some concern over appropriate choices because the people doing the zoning will be worried not just about the jobs, but also about the long term consequences of building a whole fucking city with no fucking sidewalks.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    The Other Steve says:

    On the drug bust thing.

    We had an incident here in Minneapolis a few months ago where the SWAT team raided a guys home at night, because some guy tipped them off that he had drugs.

    2am in the night, the guy heard people downstairs.

    He got his gun.

    Fired 8 rounds at the police, and the police fired like 30 back. This was through the door to his bedroom. Eventually communication got through and they stopped shooting and there were no serious injuries.

    It took time, but police had to apologize and pay to have a carpenter come in there and fix the house.

    This is getting to be ridiculous.

    But to bust into the mayors house, because he got a package? Jesus, why not just leave a note saying that they tried to deliver the package, please come to the post office to pick it up and then grab him when he walks out carrying the package?

    A package? So the way to get someone in trouble is to send them a package anonymously?

    nice

  51. 51
    28 Percent says:

    There is a guy who lives in La Habra, started out working at a fast food place, learned food service, opened his own restaurant and now not only employs others but also feeds hundreds of people every Thanksgiving out of his own freakin’ pocket.

    That is an inspirational story and it is even better because it is TRUE just like the movie with Will Smith where he is homeless and becomes a stockbroker and the wonderful books by Alger Horatio. Anybody can do it it is not that there are not opportunitis it is just that so many of them are lazy and dishonest or are not right with GOD and do not know how to save their moeny so sad but that is the truth though many people do not like to hear it.

    But it is true that minimum wage is the best some people can do if not why would they as you say need the fast food job? that is capitalism but it is theyre own fault that they do not work harder and save money instead of spending it on things they do not need like alcohol.

  52. 52
    Tony J says:

    he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers

    Was he, I don’t know, carrying a fucking gun?

    How were those cops to know that he wasn’t sending directions to his invisible Robot Guardian? Huh? For all they knew he was a temporarily disabled superbeing, or maybe he’d fallen to Earth from orbit and was only seconds away from rebooting his offensive systems and vapourising ten city blocks with his nano-storm.

    The point is, heroes like these have to make split-second decisions in order to protect people like you from things that they think might happen. And to do that effectively, they have to know that you’ll support them when they, only occasionally, have reasonable suspicion (like when the criminal in question verbally threatens them!) that their lives are in imminent danger from some kind of freaky zombie/android monster, even when it turns out to be a baseline human just pretending to be a freaky zombie/android monster.

    That’s not to much to ask, is it?

  53. 53
    D-Chance. says:

    The One

    Stuff like that make the baby MUPpet cry… *sniff.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    Tax Analyst Says:

    Now, as for the other item. Yeah, the DEA shooting dogs is horrible, but call me silly because I am more outraged at cops possibly shooting innocent people and getting away with it (Inglewood officer is involved in a second gun death).

    Well, the point should be that the cops should neither be breaking into people’s home and shooting dogs OR humans. When the cops are allowed unrestricted rights in breaking & entering and firing their weapons the shot following the one that killed your dog might be in YOUR chest. In either case there is plenty to be outraged about.

    Shoot my dog, that’s a law suit. Shoot me, that’s murder.

    Anybody here want to prosecute a dog shooter for murder? Anyone?

    I agree that the LACC zoning decision is little more than silly grandstanding…

    Probably not as silly if you don’t have a job. Probably also not as silly if there are no property tax or sales tax revenues from the business that might have been in place save for the LACC zoning decision.

    … but I think uncontrolled police misconduct would have to be a bigger issue.

    Government misconduct and abuse of power, is not an Either/Or. The same city council that fails to rein in cops also stomps over poor people.

    Notorious P.A.T. Says:

    I might be reading this thread wrongly, but it sure seems to me that the “LA council decision is worse than cops breaking down doors” frame is based solely on “if liberals want something, it must be worse”.

    Yep. You’re at least reading my contribution to the thread wrongly. What control freaks want is bad, whether they are liberal or conservative. Cops breaking down doors and shooting dogs occurs about as frequently as a total solar eclipse appearing exactly over your house at 2:20 pm on a Wednesday. Here the outrage is all out of proportion to the occurrence.

    I understand those who wish to combine a cop killing of a human and a cop killing of a dog into some kind of equivalent tale of police misconduct, but I don’t accept it.

  55. 55

    didn’t the supreme court say it’s OK for cops to enter without knocking?

    I believe they did. this is the inevitable result. And imagine how this is goign to inevitably play oput in states like Virginia and Texas where they have laws that say a person can shoot first without warning if he/she thinks his/her house is being broken into?

    The inevitable result will be A) dead cops and B) drug dealers who deliberately shot the cop, knwoing it was a cop, tying up the justice system with claims like “I thought I was getting burglarized.”

  56. 56

    Well, look at the bright side. The guy in the anthrax lab at Fort Detrick who the FBI has spent the last seven years tracking down (after he allegedly sent two Senators the poison powder and killed a bunch of postal workers) committed suicide before he could get arrested and go on trial. Now we don’t have to go through the stress of a trial, just like Jack Ruby spared the Widow Kennedy from the trauma of a trial back in ’63. We should be happy about that.

    I wonder how many maniacal psychopaths work in the anthrax lab among the two dozen people in there. Must be a lot of mirthless laughter in the lunchroom. I bet the Feebs must have spent years scratching their heads and asking each other, “Is it this psychotic murderer in the lab, or is it that psychotic murderer?” You know, because there are so many.

    Plus, there were a bunch of other cases on the front burner, like Barry Bonds lied about taking steroids maybe, and Michael Vick had that dog-fighting thing. And that sprinter. And there was that Dem governor who was hiding the money he was using to pay a whore. Surely, you can understand why trying to murder a couple of Senators and actually murdering other federal employees would take a backseat.

    So instead of busting in and arresting the guy, they told him they were going to arrest him or told him that they were thinking of arresting him and the depressed guy OD’ed on tylenol with codeine. Jeez, did he OD or ruin his liver from the tylenol?

    Well, I’m ready for the weekend. When’s the first NFL pre-season game?

  57. 57
    The Other Steve says:

    They released the name of the knife killer in Canada.

    It’s Anton Chigurh.

  58. 58
    The Other Steve says:

    Actually looks like the wingnutosphere is all over the canada knife killer. Apparently he’s muslim, and he told police the Koran told him to kill the guy.

    Although I can’t find this information in any news stories.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    28 Percent says:

    Shoot my dog, that’s a law suit. Shoot me, that’s murder.

    Anybody here want to prosecute a dog shooter for murder? Anyone?

    Brachiator is right again but I am sure the LIEBERALS here do not care. Our nation has a “thin blue line” so-called that is under assault from the MSM and “people” like the ACLU who do not realize that if the police ever shot someone who did not deserve it they would be charged with a crime the same as everybody else. Why liberals are so filled with hate they can not even support the police who keep them safe from the bad people out there is a mystery I do not know.

  61. 61
    Fledermaus says:

    “We’re not in the habit of going to homes and shooting peoples’ dogs,” Ellis said. “If we were, there would be a lot more dead dogs around the county.”

    Yeah why isn’t the librul media talking about all the dogs who they DIDN’T shoot?

  62. 62
    Don K says:

    There are no bad Democrats. There are no good Republicans.

    Maybe, but there are lots of chicken Democrats. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll be voting for Obama in November, but I expect nothing to change on this front as a result of his election. Little things like civil liberties and the Constitution tend to be low priority no matter who is in office, if standing up for them will result in being called Soft on Crime, Soft on Drugs, or Soft on Terrorism, and when there’s not a lot of upside for the politician in question.

    Who knows, maybe I’ll be proved wrong. Maybe the new head of DHS will reverse the laptop policy. Maybe some rogue DEA agents will be disciplined. Maybe there will be some high-profile prosecutions of the worst offenders in local police departments. I’m not holding my breath, though.

    I fully expect law enforcement officers to continue to be able to act as though the laws and the Constitution don’t apply to them, because few people in power want to call them on their behavior, and when they are called on it the Blue Wall goes up to protect the bad element.

  63. 63
    The Moar You Know says:

    28 Percent Says:

    BABBLING CRAZY

    Dude! Good to have you back.

  64. 64
    Tax Analyst says:

    Anybody here want to prosecute a dog shooter for murder? Anyone?

    Ever hear of “Animal Cruelty”? In fact, I believe you mentioned that earlier. That and, yes, as you mentioned, possibly a lawsuit. I NEVER said, “killing dog = killing human”, and I wouldn’t. You may WANT to ascribe that to my comments, but that’s because you want to piss a little more on overwraught animal lover’s who DO see total equivalency in the two. But cops shouldn’t be breaking into homes and killing either in the situations described in this thread. My comment wasn’t directed at the specifics of either or any case, but just as a GENERAL POINT that I THOUGHT would be hard to disagree with.

    Well, even I’m wrong every once in a while…

  65. 65
    David Hunt says:

    he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers

    Personally, I’ve got a W.A.G. that the poor guy didn’t start saying that stuff until after the cops started tasing him for non-compliance. i.e. after he didn’t get up with a broken back and ankle. Not that it would have excused what they did if I was wrong.

  66. 66
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    It’s Anton Chigurh.

    Soooo…Canada is no country for old men?

  67. 67
    gil mann says:

    But if you put my back against a wall, I would have to say that in my more extreme moments I think that any human who owns or controls an animal is committing a type of slavery.

    You have a switch on your back that turns you into Ingrid Newkirk?

  68. 68
    JoeTX says:

    yeah, but the actions of the city counsel violated CORPORATE SOVEREIGNTY which is not acceptable

  69. 69
    tavella says:

    Given wingnuttia’s distanced relationship with reality, I have severe doubts about that, especially given that his name is “Vince Weiguang Li”. Yes, there are Chinese muslims, but they generally have Uighur names, not Han ones. Also, the Canadian cops have been very quiet about the case and I doubt they are gossiping with the right wing crazies on the side.

  70. 70
    Zifnab says:

    I NEVER said, “killing dog = killing human”, and I wouldn’t. You may WANT to ascribe that to my comments, but that’s because you want to piss a little more on overwraught animal lover’s who DO see total equivalency in the two. But cops shouldn’t be breaking into homes and killing either in the situations described in this thread.

    Anyone mind telling me where the line finally gets drawn?

    “Hey, I only burst into your house, smashed up your living room, and shot your dog. It’s not like I hurt anyone.”

    Assuming SWAT comes busting down the door guns blazing, would you feel safe knowing some cop has a loaded weapon being fired off in your home, even if it only hits your pets?

    I know, if I had kids, and cops started dropping in through the windows, I’d sleep safer knowing that they are only discharging their weapons at animals and not any small children who would be playing nearby or rushing towards them for protection.

    I mean, it’s not like we have to question the safety of recklessly unloading lethal force in a person’s residence. What could go wrong?

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    Sorry. I’m not with you on this one. The LA City Council’s decision to put a moratorium on fast food joints is stupid and somewhat evil because it is paternalistic and engages the worst instinct of some liberals, namely the joy of telling people without power how they should live.

    That’s not really what the ban is about. The problem is that shopping center developers work out deals with food chains that exclude other businesses. In many areas here in SoCal, there’s only one or two developers in a city and so you’ll get the same restaurants repeating constantly. Where I live it’s Baja Fresh/Daphne’s Greek/Coffee Bean/Golden Spoon/Charo Chicken. If you find one, you are almost guaranteed to find all and nothing else.

    We had a Ben and Jerry’s in the center by my house and it was packed constantly. The manager told us it was one of the highest revenue stores in CA because we have a lot of people here that walk and they would let you take your dog inside (everyone here owns a dog) so it was a regular destination for pretty much every family. The developer kicked them out after signing a deal with Golden Spoon and the place is always empty.

    The residents were choosing how to live but the developers kicked out a successful business for an unsuccessful one – and that trend is continuing in my area. You’ve got the equation totally backward here.

  72. 72
    Zifnab says:

    The residents were choosing how to live but the developers kicked out a successful business for an unsuccessful one – and that trend is continuing in my area. You’ve got the equation totally backward here.

    Capitalism!

  73. 73
    montysano says:

    This is the trickle-down of Abu Ghraib, of Gitmo, of no habeas, of Rove saying “Fuck you” to the Judiciary Cmte, of warrantless wiretapping, of a politicized Justice Dept, of Plame, ad nauseum. This is the society that is engendered when the leaders at the highest levels have contempt for the law, and when those tasked with reining them in are a pathetic lot of cowards. All of this sends a message to law enforcement that they’ve been let off the leash. The good ones continue as before. The bad ones shoot Labs for fun.

  74. 74
    RP says:

    I am not sure what I have said here or in the previous 11,000 posts on this blog that would lead you to believe that I agree with the LACC decision.

    I don’t. I am just pointing out that zoning boards make decisions like this every single damned day all across the country, and they are not nearly as dangerous to your freedom as these other things.

    THANK YOU! It drives me crazy when I see a glibertarian give the “war on terror” a pass, but go apes*** when a city imposes some sort of limitation on a business. I’m not defending all or even most of these types of zoning decisions or other types of restrictions (e.g., transfats), but get your f**king priorities straight.

  75. 75

    They broke into a house, and shot two black labs?!? What, exactly, was the threat? The only danger a black lab poses is if you’re allergic to friendly.

    Then again, it was a cop who burst in guns blazing. He probably is deathly afraid of anything that might like him.

  76. 76
    iluvsummr says:

    Brachiator — while I don’t live in South L.A., I’ve worked in South L.A. for a year now. As an east coast transplant who’s lived in many large cities, I find that for the first time in my working career, I’ve been forced to cook the food that I eat for lunch every day because of the paucity of healthy food outlets near my workplace. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for me – I’ve lost a few pounds in the process :). While the city council’s specific approach may be misguided, I bet they are hoping that more stores like Fresh and Easy open up in the area. That brings jobs *and* more diverse food options to South LA. My colleagues at work do geographical information science research that examines the relationships among nutritional options (restaurants, grocery stores), recreation space (parks, etc.), income and health outcomes. Let’s just say that a glut of mcdonald’s style fast food restaurants in an area is not positively correlated with good health outcomes. In fact, health outcomes in parts of South L.A. are similar to outcomes in Bangladesh. It might surprise you to know that some community groups in South L.A. are well aware of this, and have agitated for more restaurant and grocery store options (i.e., some of the pressure on city council came from them). I’ll freely admit that how to use public policy to improve health outcomes is not my area of expertise, but I’d love to hear your suggestions.

    With regards to the other news items – the fact that people recognize that there is a decline is the first step. There’s a lot that can still be done to prevent the US from completely turning into a police state.

  77. 77
    Gus says:

    This shit kind of makes me think I should take advantage of Minnesota’s surprisingly loose conceal-carry law. May need to protect myself from the cops.

  78. 78

    F*ckin’ Nazis! (the stun gun cops).

  79. 79
    Should Know Better says:

    I wish people would stop focusing on the damned dogs.

    Look, I like dogs fine. But the point is NOT that the dogs were killed. That’s the part that gives the story emotional impact but it’s beside the point.

    The point is that the police can come into your house whenever they want, do whatever they want and you can do shit about it anymore. Whether they kill your dogs , taser you for asking why you’re being issued a ticket, terrorize your family, kill your grandma or simply bring you in because you’re some sort of hippie you pretty much have to take it with a smile now.

    Which is pretty fucking un-American regardless of party affiliation.

  80. 80
    slippytoad says:

    I’m curious. Policemen who behave like gang-banging thugs living in a world where there is no rule of law are running a risk. The risk that, eventually, with no rule of law, people may simply start taking things into their own hands.

    Are these guys stupid? They’re declaring war on a citizenry that outnumbers them tens of thousands to one, and who still, last I checked, retained the right to bear arms.

    It’s not helping anyone to know that cops behave like this, and police departments who don’t reign these guys in are telling the community that there are no limits.

  81. 81
    iluvsummr says:

    So instead of busting in and arresting the guy, they told him they were going to arrest him or told him that they were thinking of arresting him and the depressed guy OD’ed on tylenol with codeine. Jeez, did he OD or ruin his liver from the tylenol?

    Well, after ruining Steven Hatfill’s life (driving over his foot while zealously tailing him, conspicuously videotaping him while he tried to interview for new jobs, and having John Ashcroft announce to the world that he was suspect numero uno), and losing a law suit as a result, I guess the FBI decided to tread a bit more cautiously with his former colleague, Bruce Ivins. Getting a depressed man who saw what happened to Hatfill to commit suicide wouldn’t be too difficult.

  82. 82
    Tsulagi says:

    The STASI called. They are jealous.

    No doubt.

    Probably thinking “Shit, we were doing it wrong.” Sure, we had our unitary executive thing going long before them. Yes, we could and did fuck our people over simply because we could. Confiscate their property, communications too, and even seize their sorry ass. No problem.

    But damn, look at those other guys now. Sure, they’re now doing the same telling the fuckees the fuckers are doing them for their own good because otherwise some evildoer bogeyman might win. Probable cause and redress being tools of the bogeyman union. Been there, done that. Got the t-shirts. SOP.

    But shit, in America the politicals can get the fuckees to voluntarily give them money. Big money. Even right after a good screwing. Amazing. Telling them not to notice or bitch about the screwing otherwise the bogeyman might win. They get millions! They call them campaign contributions. Hell, we never could have got our people to give us one lousy DDR mark unless there was a barrel pointed at their head. Yeah, we’re really jealous.

  83. 83
    Heshe says:

    I bet mayor Calvo is a Democrat. I wonder if Rove was involved.

    Things are going seriously wrong in Amerika.

  84. 84
    Tax Analyst says:

    The point is that the police can come into your house whenever they want, do whatever they want and you can do shit about it anymore. Whether they kill your dogs , taser you for asking why you’re being issued a ticket, terrorize your family, kill your grandma or simply bring you in because you’re some sort of hippie you pretty much have to take it with a smile now.

    In case anybody misunderstood my last post, this was pretty much my point. Thank you very much for restating it with perhaps a little more clarity.

  85. 85
    Brachiator says:

    The Other Steve Says:

    The fact is, a large part of the obesity problem in America is because people lack appropriate choices. From what I’ve seen, the market is doing a pretty piss poor job at delivering appropriate choices.

    Orwell would really enjoy this bit of newspeak: “Yes, you can make any choice you want as long as it’s an appropriate one.”

    28 Percent Says:

    Brachiator is right again but I am sure the LIEBERALS here do not care. Our nation has a “thin blue line” so-called that is under assault from the MSM and “people” like the ACLU who do not realize that if the police ever shot someone who did not deserve it they would be charged with a crime the same as everybody else. Why liberals are so filled with hate they can not even support the police who keep them safe from the bad people out there is a mystery I do not know.

    I really enjoy how you twist what I write into something else entirely. It takes a rare talent and an unerring instinct for cliche. Not much intellect, but talent indeed.

    gil mann Says:

    But if you put my back against a wall, I would have to say that in my more extreme moments I think that any human who owns or controls an animal is committing a type of slavery.

    You have a switch on your back that turns you into Ingrid Newkirk?

    It almost seems that way. The only thing is that I take PETA as seriously as I take people who believe in baby Jesus, that is, not at all.

    Martin Says:

    Sorry. I’m not with you on this one. The LA City Council’s decision to put a moratorium on fast food joints is stupid and somewhat evil because it is paternalistic and engages the worst instinct of some liberals, namely the joy of telling people without power how they should live.

    That’s not really what the ban is about. The problem is that shopping center developers work out deals with food chains that exclude other businesses. In many areas here in SoCal, there’s only one or two developers in a city and so you’ll get the same restaurants repeating constantly. Where I live it’s Baja Fresh/Daphne’s Greek/Coffee Bean/Golden Spoon/Charo Chicken. If you find one, you are almost guaranteed to find all and nothing else….

    The residents were choosing how to live but the developers kicked out a successful business for an unsuccessful one – and that trend is continuing in my area. You’ve got the equation totally backward here.

    Nope. Sorry. Here it doesn’t have much to do with shopping centers. But you are right that the council is titling to existing business interests, in this case existing merchants who are trying to prevent some groups, particularly Latinos who sell food from vending carts or trucks, from taking away business from existing storefront merchants. But this is a bonus on the fast food moratorium.

    And the council member behind this, Jan Perry, admits that there are no alternative businesses ready to come into the area:

    Councilwoman Jan Perry, who has pushed for a moratorium for six years, said the initiative would give the city time to craft measures to lure sit-down restaurants serving healthier food to a part of the city that desperately wants more of them.

    The ban covers a 32-square-mile area for one year, with two possible six-month extensions….

    The law defines fast-food restaurants as “any establishment which dispenses food for consumption on or off the premises, and which has the following characteristics: a limited menu, items prepared in advance or prepared or heated quickly, no table orders and food served in disposable wrapping or containers.”

    In six years, Perry has not been able to come up with ways to improve the area economically, and there is nothing to indicate that she would do better even if she were given six more years to try to come up with an answer.

    iluvsummr Says:

    While the city council’s specific approach may be misguided, I bet they are hoping that more stores like Fresh and Easy open up in the area.

    That’s the problem. The city council is hoping that more stores open up, when the fact is that middle level restaurants in all but the toniest neighborhoods are closing down because of the general economic slowdown.

    Let’s just say that a glut of mcdonald’s style fast food restaurants in an area is not positively correlated with good health outcomes.

    I agree with you in part here.

    In fact, health outcomes in parts of South L.A. are similar to outcomes in Bangladesh.

    On the other hand, I am not sure that this is true at all.

    It might surprise you to know that some community groups in South L.A. are well aware of this, and have agitated for more restaurant and grocery store options (i.e., some of the pressure on city council came from them).

    This is not quite true. Much of this has been a pet peeve of a couple of local pols, Jan Perry and Mark Ridley Thomas, two of the most unimaginative politicians who have ever been elected to public office.

    They could not address the economic stagnation that saw more diverse eateries leave the area beginning in the late 1970s and which was accelerated as an aftermath to the riots after the Rodney King verdict.

    As an aside, council member Perry is doing the moratorium even though 2 Starbucks coffee shops, which had been strongly wooed to come into South LA, are closing down. So again, suppressing business activity — even if it is evil fast food — makes no sense when other businesses are leaving and reducing jobs in the area.

    I’ll freely admit that how to use public policy to improve health outcomes is not my area of expertise, but I’d love to hear your suggestions.

    Actually, your job and its relation to studying health-related issues sounds very interesting. But I think that improved health outcomes are an indirect result of robust economic activity; they can’t be mandated by discouraging employment. And to the extent that putting a halt on certain types of business reduces taxes that the city could use to re-invest in the area, well, it seems as though the city is cutting off its nose to spite its face.

  86. 86

    […] 1, 2008 Priorities Posted by John O under Political | Tags: Balloon Juice, introspection, John Cole, Media Man |  John Cole gets another one exactly right. […]

  87. 87
    sparky says:

    what i find fascinating about this thread is that many people seem to somehow equate zoning with use of force. nicely illustrates the deep confusion in this country about rights.

    zoning is a regulation of the use of property. regulation is, generally speaking, not a confiscation of property. even if it is, we’re still talking about taking property.
    shootings, wiretappings, and forcible entry, however, that result in death, destruction or criminal charges, are simply not in the same league. yet many seem more exercised about regulation.

  88. 88
    whiskey says:

    guess what McCain wants…

    Answering a question about his approach to combatting crime, John McCain suggested that military strategies currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods here in the US. McCain called them tactics “somewhat like we use in the military…You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control.”

  89. 89
    jake says:

    YAY!! 28 Percent is back!
    [Fires gun into air]
    [Dodges falling duck]

  90. 90
    jake says:

    McCain called them tactics “somewhat like we use in the military…You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control.

    Because McPappy knows that for the [ahem] people living in high crime neighborhoods, being clamped down and secured is part of their cultural heritage. That’s how they did things when he was a young nipper and everyone was happy.

    Jesus Christ.

    And shouldn’t the known criminals be … I don’t know, arrested, tried and if convicted, put in jail?

    Jesus BASE Jumping Christ.

  91. 91
    Rachel says:

    I can’t believe no one has cited the incomparable Digby on this topic. Get thee to Hullabaloo straigtaway!
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....higan.html

  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    Answering a question about his approach to combatting crime, John McCain suggested that military strategies currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods here in the US. McCain called them tactics “somewhat like we use in the military…You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control.”

    McCain really is working to make his Secret Service’s job impossible.

  93. 93

    Who do you turn to when the DEA shoots your dogs? Where do you go when Customs Agents steal your laptop? Who do you turn to when federal agents commit home invasion.

    Smith & Wesson.

  94. 94
    Tsulagi says:
    Who do you turn to when the DEA shoots your dogs? Where do you go when Customs Agents steal your laptop? Who do you turn to when federal agents commit home invasion.

    Smith & Wesson.

    Barrett.

  95. 95
    Doug says:

    MESSAGE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT: A TASER is meant to replace the use of your gun, not your common sense.

  96. 96

    […] Um. Sergeant Mario Ellis, I’d like to speak with you for a moment: Your deputies are fucking pussies. The picture above is of my black lab mix, Lula. She is currently lying prostrate next to me so that I may scratch her belly more completely. When she meets a new person, she rolls onto her back and wags her tail so that the new person may scratch her belly more completely. Yes, she’s bigger than that now, but everyone should know that the natural progression from that picture is puppy –> sedentary lummox, not puppy –> “Oh my god, shoot the monster!!!” Anyone who feels threatened by a black lab needs to grow a goddamned pair and certainly shouldn’t be working in law enforcement. Then again cops in Missouri tasered a kid with a broken back, so maybe there’s a pattern here. I agree with John Cole: “In a decent society, every single fucking one of those cops would be facing hard time.” […]

  97. 97

    […] Remember that story last week about the SWAT teams breaking down the door of a Maryland Mayor and shooting his two dogs? It gets better: […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Remember that story last week about the SWAT teams breaking down the door of a Maryland Mayor and shooting his two dogs? It gets better: […]

  2. […] Um. Sergeant Mario Ellis, I’d like to speak with you for a moment: Your deputies are fucking pussies. The picture above is of my black lab mix, Lula. She is currently lying prostrate next to me so that I may scratch her belly more completely. When she meets a new person, she rolls onto her back and wags her tail so that the new person may scratch her belly more completely. Yes, she’s bigger than that now, but everyone should know that the natural progression from that picture is puppy –> sedentary lummox, not puppy –> “Oh my god, shoot the monster!!!” Anyone who feels threatened by a black lab needs to grow a goddamned pair and certainly shouldn’t be working in law enforcement. Then again cops in Missouri tasered a kid with a broken back, so maybe there’s a pattern here. I agree with John Cole: “In a decent society, every single fucking one of those cops would be facing hard time.” […]

  3. […] 1, 2008 Priorities Posted by John O under Political | Tags: Balloon Juice, introspection, John Cole, Media Man |  John Cole gets another one exactly right. […]

  4. […] John Cole writes about our rights being ameliorated.  Not. […]

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