Reason Morning Links: Surveillance, Lindsay Lohan, and a Sex Tape

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  • ||

    Eyes without a face reference!

    Great movie. Well played Mr. Walker.

  • ||

  • ||

    Who fucking cares about LeBron James? Has he announced what team is willing to sacrife team chemistry for box office receipts yet?

  • ||

    Yes. 12 hours ago.

  • Suki||

    He saves millions in state and local taxes by going to Miami instead of New York. It was a Libertarian move.

  • ||

    That, and being free to live his own life, something NE Ohio cannot comprehend, being collectivist/tribalist, inferiority complex-suffering knuckle draggers with no jobs and no future.

  • marlok||

    ouch.

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    Best comment:

    Personally, I don't give a "dmn" about where "King Lebron of James" plays, because he too is a reflection our misappropiation of priorities in society. It's no wonder that we have such a dysfunctional culture. We worship sports at the expense of the arts, and even academics, which ultimately ends up serving our corporate masters. Right now we have scouts looking for the next super athlete as far down as primary school. For what? so that person can "play a game"! so that person can generate ad dollars and product lines etc. - to capitalize!

    Quite.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I thought he was going to go back to Cleveland.

    I still would have thought him a major douche for his total lack of class.

  • Mike M.||

    I've never seen a pro sports owner act such a whiny little baby as this guy Gilbert is.

    James gave them seven prime seasons, and was surrounded by nothing but sh*tty teammates and idiot coaches the whole time. The hype was completely over the top, but I don't blame him a bit for wanting to go to a better franchise where he'll actually have a chance to win a championship.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Seven prime seasons, except when he (intentionally?) quit against Boston this year. I mean, the man out-and-out stopped playing.

    Sorry to hear that you think Shaq, Varejao, West and Ilgauskas are "shitty" teammates. LeBron took a less-talented team to the finals before that, so what was his excuse for this year?

    That's right - he knew he wanted to leave the whole time.

  • ||

    Exactly. This whole thing was a charade. I don't blame him for leaving high tax cold and crappy Clevland for not so high tax warm and sunny Miami. But I do blame him for quitting against the Celtics and dragging out a decision I am convinced he was going to do all along.

    I am starting to think he is just a loser. He doesn't have the killer give me the damn ball and get out of the way instinct. Great players want to beat other great players, not play with them in some kind of REC pick up team. All he cares about is the "brand" and marketing. He only joined the Heat because he thinks he can market "the big 3". If he just cared about winning, he would have talked Dirk Nowitski (the perfect side kick to a creater like James) into signing with Chicago. That team (Rose, James, Noah, Nowitski and Deng) would have been a monster. The Heat team, despite its big 3 won't make it out of the east. The Celtics won with a "big 3" in 08, but they had a young Rajan Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, James Posey, and PJ Brown. The Heat don't have and won't get any supporting players of that caliber. To say they can win with just three players and a bunch of guys on minimum contracts is to discount the contributions of guys like Derrick Fisher, Robert Horry, and Michael Cooper, and Danny Ainge to great teams of the past. It isn't going to work. And oh by the way, what happens if Wade's shoulder goes out again? Mark my words, James won't win a title in Miami.

  • Prosecutor Harris ||

    Where did LeBron touch you, John?

  • Mike M.||

    Shaq has been past his prime for years, and the rest of the guys you mention are nothing but role players, and not particularly good ones at that.

    In the modern NBA, you need at least two star players in order to be able to win a championship; even Jordan couldn't win until Pippen came along. Gilbert has nobody to blame but himself.

  • ||

    In the modern NBA, you need at least two star players in order to be able to win a championship; even Jordan couldn't win until Pippen came along. Gilbert has nobody to blame but himself.

    Is 2004 "modern NBA"?
    You may recall that the Detroit Pistons beat the crap out of the LA Lakers in the finals that year. Let's look at the Pistons starters ("Stars" in bold)
    Point Guard - Chauncey Billups
    Shooting Guard - Richard Hamilton
    Small Forward - Tayshaun Prince
    Power Forward - Rasheed Wallace
    Center - Ben Wallace
    and the Lakers players ("Stars" in bold)
    Point Guard - Gary Payton
    Shooting Guard - Kobe Bryant
    Small Forward - Rick Fox
    Power Forward - Karl Malone
    Center - Shaquille O'Neal

  • Johnnybegood||

    Billups, Sheed and Ben Wallace are all stars, even though they're not superstars like Payton, Bryant, Malone and Shaq.

    Of course, they're not much of stars nowadays, but Detroit had a good squad that played good team basketball together. LeBron did make it to the finals, but Cleveland was basically the LeBron show.

  • x,y||

    Sorry to hear that you think ... West ... are "shitty" teammates.

    Good teammates don't reverse cowgirl with your moms.

    "How playa is that, Jim." - Delonte West

  • ||

    Yeah. I really want to hear the full story about that. I wish Labron would have come out and said that he was leaving Clevland because West banged his mom. That would have been great.

    The only thing better would have been if he would have said "I wanted to sign with the Knicks, but the taxes are too high and Mayor Bloomburg has a problem with any black man who owns a gun". That would have been fucking great. LaBron would have immeidately become my favorite sports figure of all time.

  • ||

    What? Nothing on the Mehserle verdict?

    I came in this morning, hoping to share a little outrage.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Whoops! Meant to include that. It's there now.

  • ||

    Thank ye kindly.

  • People Power Hour||

    Yeah, it woulda sucked not to be outraged first thing in the morning by more cop privilege. Involuntary manslaughter my ass....

  • ||

    I can't believe they bought the "I thought it was my Taser!" excuse.

    Aren't they slung on different hips?

  • Rich||

    when he shot him in the back ... he showed a disregard for Grant's life.

    Who writes this stuff?

  • WTF||

    I have to wonder what the whole dynamic and reaction would be if the skin colors were reversed, and a black cop had shot a white subway brawler.

  • ||

    No charges brought? I really have no idea.

  • ||

    Just imagine what the fallout would have been had Mehserle and friends not been in uniform. That's how you know Mehserle didn't get what he deserved.

  • ||

    PPH: What do you think about the Orlando homeless feeding decision?

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    Have the riots started yet? I wouldn't want to be a truck driver or a shop owner in Oakland today.

  • anarch||

    Sure would be nice to live in a world in which guilt be could recognized without provoking vengeance, let alone misdirected vengeance.

  • anarch||

    Since that might increase the incidence of recognizing guilt.

  • Cyto||

  • ||

    Jury nullification is a wonderful thing, ain't it?

  • rhofulster||

    Are you saying that the jury deliberated and found that voluntary manslaughter and murder 2 are unjust laws?

  • ||

    No, he's taking the argument that "nullification" is a bad thing because it's used to acquit cops and it was used in the past to acquit white people of lynchings.

    That's not jury nullification, just to let you know.

  • ||

    Right. It's only jury nullification when the jury makes the right decision.

    That's a swell way to make sure jury nullification never has any bad effects, but somehow it doesn't satisfy my concerns.

  • ||

    Jury nullification doesn't mean that a law is inherently unjust, only that it's being unjustly applied. Which is what the jury had to have found here, given the weight of the evidence.

  • robc||

    Better 1000 guilty go free than 1 innocent go to jail.

    Applies to jury nullification too. The misuses of it (if that is what this is) dont negate its value at all.

  • ||

    Jury nullification only applies when the defendant is known to be guilty, so that little canard doesn't apply here.

    And of course its misuse negates its value. It provides a useful tool for denying unpopular minorities the protection of the state justice system. Read a gorram history of the South sometime.

  • robc||

    The canard still applies with minor adjustment.

    Better 1000 guilty of real crimes go free, than 1 guilty of something that shouldnt even be a crime go to jail.

    Better?

    And Im aware of the abuses of jury nullification. And I still support it.

  • ||

    If you consider equal protection of the laws less important than having a lazy, easy way to void laws that you don't like without going through normal legislative processes, then that's your decision.

  • Abdul||

    Sorry, but this is part of the Lesser Included Offense doctrine, not murder.

    Basically, if a person is charged with aggravated assault, a jury can find the defendant guilt of the lesser included offense of simple assault if they have reasonable doubt about the element of aggravated.

    BTW, good explanation of how the jury probably got to involuntary manslaughter here: http://www.popehat.com/2010/07.....w-the-law/

  • Abdul||

    d'oh, first line should read "this is part of the Lesser Included Offense doctrine, not nullification."

  • WTF||

    This was not a case of jury nullification. Maybe you need to read up on what jury nullification actually is. The jury simply believed the cop's story enough to find he did not have the requisite intent to have committed murder, and instead found him guilty of the lesser offense charged. That is not nullification.

  • ||

    Really? How do you know this? Did the jury issue a written opinion?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Voting "involuntary manslaughter" tautologically proves WTF's point, Tulpa.

  • ||

    Not if we don't know the reason for that vote. If this were a case where a jury acquitted on the count of weapons possession while committing a drug crime, but convicted on the lesser offense of weapons possession without a CCW permit, would you be so sure nullification wasn't at play?

    Of course not -- because you don't like drug laws, and thus consider them appropriate targets for nullification. But a jury with not a single black person on it is just as likely to consider applying murder laws to cops as unjust.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Nullification, to me, means that despite overwhelmingly obvious evidence, the jury lets the guy walk out the courtroom door.

    It does not mean "Send the guy to prison anyway". Why would a jury feel bad about applying murder statutes but still convict the guy of a serious felony anyway?

  • Johnny Longtorso||

  • ||

    The GOP gets a lot of well deserved shit for nominatong that airhead for VP in 2008. Let is not forget that John Edwards was the Dem pick in 2004. Sarah Palin looks downright Jeffersonian lined up next to this moron.

    Vote third party. Any third party.

  • 2010 Voter||

    Vote third party. Any third party.

    QFT. No incumbents.

  • ||

    No J sub D. Palin is evil. She is the dumbest human being ever. You must hate Palin more than anyone else on earth or else they will take your Libertarian card. The fact that the Democrats nominated a sex pervert for President, VP or both in every election between 1992 and 2004 is just racist tea party "facts". Don't let the truth get in the way of the narative.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Your sarcasm really needs work, John. Sarcasm is supposed to be used like a scalpel, not a blunt club to unfunnily beat your "point" into peoples' heads.

  • Fluffy||

    I wouldn't say that Clinton or Edwards are sex perverts.

    Clinton is a good looking guy who used his charm to get laid a lot. I don't really see anything perverse in that. If I looked like him, I'd put up Wilt Chamberlain like numbers. [No, I don't believe Kathryn Willy or whatever her name was.]

    Edwards is a flake who met another flake and couldn't resist the supernova combustion of uberflakiness they must have produced when they spawned. That kid of theirs will probably grow up to be the new Buddha.

  • ||

    If Clinton had been banging Diane Sawyer in the Whitehouse, I would agree with you. But, when you are gettting blowjobs in your office from fat teenage interns, you have a problem.

  • dennis||

    Naah, then you're just combining a bbw fetish with a barely legal fetish. While either of them might not be everyone's cup of tea, they aren't deviant (unlike those Plushies.)

  • ||

    She wasn't fat when she was servicing him. The weight gain came later.

  • ||

    One other thing. It is not that taken in isolation what Clinton and Edwards did is that bad. It is more that what they did, given their position, showed such a complete lack of self control. How do you think it is a good idea to make a sex tape with your mistress when you are a public figure? How do you think it is a good idea to get a blowjob in the oval office from some intern with nothing to lose and every reason to sell you out to the media? You think it is a good idea because you totally think with your dick and have absolutely no self control when it comes to sex. You can bang the odd groupie or keep a mistress and still do it in ways that minimize the potential for exposure and embarassment. When you don't do that because you can't control yourself, you are a sex pervert.

  • ||

    There were no lasting consequences for Clinton, so I'm not sure it's appropriate to put him in the same bin as Edwards.

  • Abdul||

    Sex tape with visibly preggo chick is getting close to the mainstream definition of "pervert," but in the post-internet pr0n age, it's pretty weak tea.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    "Who has the rights to the John Edwards sex tape?"

    Roll over baby, and show me The Other America.

  • John Edwards||

    a sex tape showing ex-presidential candidate John Edwards being less than presidential

    HEY!! That was a damn fine performance!

  • Ragin Cajun||

    We all have a right to that tape, to be in our first aid kit, to be used in case of accidental poisoning.

  • Editor||

    the world's first full-face transplant

    Oops! Forgot to show the result!

  • ||

  • The Authorities in Iran||

    That's right. We're just gonna stone her into a coma, biotches!

  • ||

    Involuntary manslaughter; I cannot help but wonder how disappointed the prosecutor *really* is.

  • Death Panelist||

    How many first full-face transplants have there been now? Something like eight?

    Someone wake me when they get to the first full-head transplant.

  • Ted Williams||

    No, wake ME!

  • Jesse Walker||

    How many first full-face transplants have there been now? Something like eight?

    The previous face transplants didn't include the tear ducts. Or so says the article that I linked to, anyway.

  • Death Panelist||

    Oh, there will always be a grandstanding doctor out there to claim, "No, the last quack didn't include this part of the face!" Nasal hair or the uvula or something.

  • T||

    Don't mock the nasal hair, man. A friend has a dog with no nasal hair, and the critter is prone to all kinds of weird respiratory ailments. Nasal hair is your friend.

  • Death Panelist||

    But someone else's nasal hair? I think I'll pass. I'll just wear a surgical mask like those avian flu alarmists or Michael Jackson used.

  • ¢||

    I cannot help but wonder how disappointed the prosecutor *really* is.

    I'm sure the whole office is pretty down today, because the least charge they offered the jury was involuntary manslaughter. It should have been a noise violation, or littering, or unlicensed pet grooming. The jury would have gone for it.

  • less tasteful than thou||

    or unlicensed pet grooming

    Racist.

  • Blago||

    This shit is fuckin GOLDEN!!

  • ||

    On the privatize public sector crap front:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/o.....v06DTHn5ZM

  • ||

    Ten bumbling Russian agents plead guilty and head home...

    ...with their children, who are American citizens. We moan and wring our hands over Mexican illegals who are leaving Arizona and heading back to Mexico with their American children, yet nary a peep of concern for these other American citizens who, in record time, were shipped to a foreign country without their consent?

  • Zeb||

    Huh? Don't moan and wring your hands if you don't want to.

  • ||

    Way to miss the point!

  • Zeb||

    Way to miss the point!

  • ||

    They are their parents kids, not America's kids. If their parents are being deported, what are they supposed to do, leave them here with us because they are American born? They can return when they are 18 if they so choose.

  • mr simple||

    They can return when they are 18 if they so choose.

    By which time they will be perfectly trained spies.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If they're trained by their parents, I don't think we have much to worry about.

  • Mike M.||

    I swear, out of all the evil SOBs on the planet, the Russians have got to be the dumbest. They go around assassinating their own people in foreign countries in the most buffoonish kind of ways, and now mere days after their public show of hysterical outrage over these clowns getting arrested, they agree to do a swap for them.

    How these people ever managed to become a world superpower at all is beyond me.

  • PIRS||

    The last thing that the CATO Institute or any libertarian organization needs is Lindsay Lohan's endorsement. Using drugs is one thing, using any drug (including alcohol) while driving an automobile is something entirely different.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    DUI is a victimless crime.

  • PIRS||

    DUI puts other people at serious risk. I don't care if she gets drunk and stays home. I DO care if she gets drunk and gets behind the wheel of an automobile. That puts innocent non-participants at risk.

    Same with other mind altering drugs. I don't care if she smokes crack and stays home. I DO care if she smokes crack and then gets behind the wheel of an automobile.

    We can argue about what the BAC limit should be but if it is to the point that it impacts her driving (hitting a tree is evidence that it has done so) she needs to stay home. What if instead of a tree she had hit a child? Would you still call it a victimless crime?

  • ||

    TAO's statement is logically true. If someone drives impaired with a mind altering substance and makes it to their destination safely without injuring others or destroying someone's property, has a crime been committed?

    Hitting another person involves another actor.

  • PIRS||

    Groovus, is ATTEMPTED but unsuccessful murder a victimless crime? Note: the attempt at murder failed here.

  • ||

    Moral equivalency FAIL.

    TAO said nothing about the morality of the act. He postulated that DUI, in itself, is a victimless crime. That statement is true.

    Now, if I drink a few Tanqueray and tonics, and do a line of blow off a hooker's ass, then drive home without incident, are you suggesting I would be guilty of attempted murder?

    I would be guilty of stupid and irresponsible behavior, and I don't endorse anyone doing it, anymore than I endorse texting or applying makeup while driving.

    The truth value of TAO's statement still stands.

  • ||

    There's this thing called context that you might have heard of. TAO was clearly intending more than just the bare meaning of the statement; he was claiming that DUI should not be illegal.

  • ||

    The Angry Optimist|7.9.10 @ 10:20AM|#

    DUI is a victimless crime.

    I saw no endorsement of repealing DUI laws, nor did I infer such a thing. I don't see where TAO said "DUI laws are wrong and should be repealed".

    Perhaps TAO can clarify?

  • ||

    Perhaps you can read the post he was responding to.

    It's kind of an odd place to make an academic statement about whether the crime has a victim unless he's trying to make a larger point.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    DUI is a victimless crime.


    Only in the same sense that firing a pistol randomly in a crowded place is a victimless crime.

  • PIRS||

    +10

  • ||

    Only in the same sense that firing a pistol randomly in a crowded place is a victimless crime.

    Just like, while driving, one: texts, eats, converses on a cell (even hands free), fiddles with the radio, talks to a passenger, applies makeup or pretty much any other act that distracts a driver from the act of driving at any given time. Any one of these has the potential to lead to plowing into another person or thing with a 2,000 lb bullet.

    TAO's statement stands.

  • PIRS||

    A teenager once hit me because she was distracted on her cell phone. Am I not a victim of her distraction?

  • ||

    Is she guilty of attempted murder?

  • PIRS||

    "Is she guilty of attempted murder?"

    I never said she was. In case you misunderstood my point, both acts put another person at risk.

  • ||

    PIRS|7.9.10 @ 11:16AM|#

    Groovus, is ATTEMPTED but unsuccessful murder a victimless crime? Note: the attempt at murder failed here.

    You are still alive and kicking PIRS, no? You are equating DUI without incident as attempted murder. So, the other examples Tulpa pointed out downthread are also attempted murder, no?

    An act that puts another person at risk of death == attempted murder.

    Shall we now make breach of all traffic laws attempted murder?

  • ||

    Sure, but you need to acknowledge that if she did not, you would not be a victim of her distracted driving. You want to claim you are a victim either way.

  • ||

    Being drunk or impaired by other drugs is far more likely to lead to a collision than talking to a passenger or on a hands free cell phone. Just because accidents can happen even without engaging in reckless endangerment doesn't mean reckless endangerment laws are unjust.

    Several of the things you mention, especially texting, should be illegal to do while driving too, for the same reason.

  • ||

    Being drunk or impaired by other drugs is far more likely to lead to a collision than talking to a passenger or on a hands free cell phone.

    Linky?

    Just because accidents can happen even without engaging in reckless endangerment doesn't mean reckless endangerment laws are unjust.

    The laws themselves, no, I agree. Application of said laws...

    Several of the things you mention, especially texting, should be illegal to do while driving too, for the same reason.

    Agreed. Illegality, compliance, enforcement are very different things different things, however.

  • PicassoIII||

    My biggest problems are with the enforcement and techniques.
    If someone is driving like an ass they can already be ticketed for a list of offences. But a vast majority of cases in traffic court are speeding with a couple DUIs thown in. I have never seen nor heard of someone getting a ticket for improper lane usage, failure to signal, etc. There are of course 'gotcha' no turn on red but never for not turning into the proper lane.
    Municipalities set up their monthly speed traps or sobriety checkpoints. Bag whatever number of offenders required to meet the quota and go back to the donut shop. Instead, they should be out actively looking for douche drivers when they are most likely to be on the roads.
    And of course 'professional courtesy' keeps fellow officers and politicians immune. The more solvent can buy themselves out of the system to a point as well.
    Don't get me started on cameras.

  • robc||

    Pot impairment is much less dangerous than alcohol impairment. Might be less dangerous than cell phone impairment.

  • Blago||

    No and no.
    It's been shown over an over that the distraction of talking on the phone or to a passenger can cause an equivalent 'loss of control'. It doesn't even have to be complete (say running off the road or into opposing traffic) but just bleeding a few feet into an adjacent lane is enough.
    And certainly all drugs are not equal in this. Pot is almost a wash, coke can actually improve reaction time while hallucinogens are obviously very problematic.

  • PicassoIII||

    Damn joke handle...

    Fucking GOLDEN!!

  • ||

    DUI is a victimless crime.

    Driving through a red light is a victimless crime.

    Driving the wrong way down a one way street is a victimless crime.

    Driving on the wrong side of the road is a victimless crime.

    Driving while blindfolded is a victimless crime.

    Letting your five-year-old drive is a victimless crime.

    Doing donuts in the middle of a crowded expressway is a victimless crime.

  • PIRS||

    +10

  • ||

    Driving through a red light is a victimless crime.

    If there is no loss of life or damage to another's property, check.

    Driving the wrong way down a one way street is a victimless crime.

    Same as above.

    Driving on the wrong side of the road is a victimless crime.

    Same as above.

    Driving while blindfolded is a victimless crime.

    Depends on where you are doing this.

    Letting your five-year-old drive is a victimless crime.

    Child endangerment; 5 year old children cannot enter a contract.

    Doing donuts in the middle of a crowded expressway is a victimless crime.

    res ipsa loquitur

  • marlok||

    Are you describing my morning commute?

  • T||

    On a typical morning commute, I'm gonna see at least one of those.

  • ||

    Tupla, I agree they are. And driving over the speed limit is a victimless crime too. But the moment you actually cause harm, that changes.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tulpa - most of what you mention causes imminent or immediate danger. Tell me the difference between these two scenarios:

    1. A man drives home at 2 AM without incident.

    2. A man drives home at 2 AM without incident.

    Give up? The difference is that Man 1 has an arbitrary BAC in his system; Man 2 does not. So, how is Man 2 a criminal again?

  • ||

    most of what you mention causes imminent or immediate danger.

    Nope. Driving through a red light only causes danger if there is other traffic going through the same intersection. Ditto with driving the wrong way on a one-way or in the wrong lane, and most of the others (the donut example I specified traffic in, but it would not be dangerous if there was no traffic nearby).

    The point is, the driver doesn't KNOW whether the act will be dangerous beforehand. This is also true with DUI. Man 2 doesn't know whether his drive will complete without incident when he starts it, and the probability of there being an incident is higher than in the case of Man 1.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Really? So what is the probability difference, and at what point does it turn from legal act to illegal act?

    Nope. Driving through a red light only causes danger if there is other traffic going through the same intersection. Ditto with driving the wrong way on a one-way or in the wrong lane, and most of the others

    Do you think that endangering others might be a better standard here than "you didn't do what the sign said"?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Also, Tulpa, many of the examples you cite are examples of laws designed to keep order on the roads and keep traffic flowing. DUI laws do neither.

  • ||

    You need a standard that is clear and immediately discernible by a person directing a 2000 lb or heavier hunk of steel and glass at 40 mph or more, and easy to enforce after the fact as well. Endangerment of others is inferior to "do as the sign says" in both respects.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Every person desiring to have the State have total control over movement always refers to that "one-ton steel" bit. It is trite, ridiculous and paternalistic in the extreme.

    Maybe you do not realize this, but people on PCP have a higher probability to commit violence than those who are clean. That is not going to make me support the War on Drugs.

    Statists, both left and right, you included, love roads, and they love roads because in the modern State, roads = control. Because the State loves control, it refuses to protect the inherent human right to travel and instead bullies, cajoles and scares the populace into believing that, without Mommy and Daddy State at the helm, all of the sudden people are going to mow down grandma in the crosswalk at the Piggly-Wiggly.

    Endangerment of others is inferior to "do as the sign says" in both respects.

    Yes, but immediate endangering others is not a victimless crime. Going through a ridiculously-timed red light at 2 AM when there is no one else around is a victimless "crime".

    You never answered my rejoinders to you:

    1. At what point in this nebulous "probability calculus" does a legal act become a crime?

    2. Do you agree that the examples you cited (donuts in the expressway, one-way street turning) are laws that are there to facilitate the flow of traffic and maintain order on the roads? If so, how do DUI laws fit in that scheme?

  • ||

    1. Heap fallacy. I know when I see a heap even though I don't know exactly how many objects it takes to make a heap.

    2. Now you're admitting an even lower standard for coercion now -- to keep traffic flowing. That certainly doesn't negate the justness of laws protecting against high-risk behaviors like drunk driving.

    In any case, those criminal laws are not present to keep traffic flowing. The rules of the road are designed to do that, and the laws punishing violations of the rules of the road are in place to prevent damage and injury to drivers and pedestrians who travel expecting that the rules of the road will be followed.

  • ||

    the inherent human right to travel

    How interesting that one who opposes public property would cherish such a right. Your right to travel is subject to the agreement of the owners of the property you travel through. If they think that your method of travel is too risky to themselves or others using their property, your cherished right to travel is nullified.

  • ||

    Since private ownership of the road system is infeasible, the government must act as a reasonable owner would. And you can bet a reasonable owner would not allow drunks to drive on his or her road with other traffic.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I like to think I am reasonable, and I would certainly not set my private road's BAC at .08, which is two drinks in one hour.

    As a matter of fact, if you follow the rules of my road, you're fine. I don't have any interest, as a private road owner, in harassing my clients if they aren't bothering anybody. Not good for business.

  • ||

    Good luck getting insurance for your road if that's your rule. Unless you want to be liable for damages when someone gets killed by a drunk driver while using your road, in which case, good luck too.

    Privately owned theme parks have rules that they require you to follow when you drive the bumper cars, and they reserve the right to shut down your car if you don't follow them. I'll take their behavior as evidence of what a reasonable owner would do over the musings of an opinionated anonymous blog commenter with an ideological axe to grinde.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    So, yeah, again, they set the rules and if you do not follow them, they shut you down...because bumper cars can cause spinal injury if you don't follow those rules.

    How exactly do bumper call rules bolster your point, exactly? Talk about a totally irrelevant comparison.

    Are you saying that insurance companies are going to require me to have security forces do random Breathalyzers? Because I doubt that very much. Besides, I can have entering the road as implied consent that you release me from liability from the actions of others on the road. You don't think that if someone shoots someone else in your store, even though you don't have a rule stating "no shooting other customers", that you're somehow liable for that, right?

    It isn't a surprise to me that you would support BS liability laws for owners when it's the users who cause the risk.

  • Don't squeeze the Charmin||

    A guy leaves a bar, gets in an accident and kills someone. He blows a .07% BAC. the legal limit is .05% (recently changed from .1%). The victims family sues the bar that served him for $5 million, and the bar loses its liquor license. Several victims here. The lawyer gets a cool $1.65 million. So, I guess that's what a Keynesian would call "stimulating the economy"?

  • ||

    The man is guilty of vehicular manslaughter. His estate should have been sued. A 0.07 approximate to 45 mL of 80 proof ethanol or a 3.2 beer which is no different than being sleep deprived, say up for about 20 hours, from a motor skills POV.

    I find it hard to swallow that one beer or shot of liquor would precipitate an accident any more than any other distraction I have presented would.

    The bar owner should not have been sued. Perhaps the bar owner should have had liability insurance?

  • Don't squeeze the Charmin||

    I'm assuming the bar's liability coverage was $5 million. I'm assuming the man's auto insurance was the average $50,000/accident, or possibly the state minimum of $35,000. I can't find the article. The local newspaper must have taken it down. But apparently, someone in the bar testified that the guy admitted in the bar to being "buzzed" to the bartender.

  • Bingo||

    Honestly, it was a DUI conviction that was the spark that turned me into a libertarian. Actually seeing how the criminal justice system in America works is eye-opening.

    I'm not going to hold it against her, hopefully this event leads to her educating herself some more! (and taking more caution when using mind-altering substances)

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Just to clarify, because I was asked, DUI laws are wrong and should be repealed.

  • ||

    Thank you for clarifying TAO. I concur. Like with drug possession and use, prosecute actual acts of violence and destruction of other's property, such as theft, assault and involuntary vehicular manslaughter.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Nice! I've been on this DUI-is-not-a-crime kick for a few years now, and most people haven't the cojones to agree.

  • PicassoIII||

    Count me in.
    Franklin's quote about essential liberty VS safety and all that.

  • ||

    Well, if you think the only thing keeping others from agreeing with you is pusilanimity, then at least you don't have problems with self-doubt. I guess that's positive.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I, too, good squire, am capable of a blistering reposte...you big soppy douche.

    Honestly, though, there are regulations-a-plenty on the act of operating a vehicle (must be 16, must have liability insurance, must drive on the right side of the road, must obey speed limits, must use turn signals, must pass on the left, etc. etc. ad infinitum). I do not think the alcohol content of one's blood is a "reasonable regulation" in any sense of the word if one is able to follow the other thousands of regulations that come with operating a motor vehicle.

  • ||

    Even though I have treated victims of MVA's where alcohol and drug use was involved, I am no longer convinced of the efficacy of selective enforcement of DUI laws any more than I am convinced of drug prohibition laws.

    The act itself of operating a motor vehicle while impaired is foolish, but if there is no incident of another being deprived of life or property, I don't see the crime here.

  • PicassoIII||

    That's refreshing.
    More often than not, docs, nurses, paras; tend to be the most likely to spout tear jerking anecdotes.

  • ||

    I am no longer convinced of the efficacy of selective enforcement of DUI laws

    What do you mean by "selective enforcement"? If you mean arresting only some offenders, ie giving a pass to off-duty cops, wealthy-looking people, hot chicks, etc, then I'm right there with you.

    If you mean "not having a breathalyzer interlock on every vehicle's ignition", then be careful what you wish for.

    In any case, do you also think that there's no crime in firing bullets in random directions without looking, so long as you don't actually hit people or property?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Blind firing creates an immediate risk. Something following the rules of the road does not do, drunk or no.

  • PicassoIII||

    Eh, even less than that. Simple traffic enforcement was enough.
    Working in a chi-town suburb that sets up illegal speed traps all the time.

  • George||

    A federal judge ruled today that part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.

    Time to start tar & feathering some judges.

  • PIRS||

    For this? Why for this? I agree that many judges deserve to be tarred and feathered (like the one's who ruled against property rights in the Kelo case). But why for this?

  • Zeb||

    Well, obviously the next step is to allow people to marry their dogs, breeding a mongrel race of half human half dog people. It's a slippery slope.

  • ||

    If the dog consents I see no problem with it. Otherwise it's just as icky as those girls who are betrothed to some old sheik because her parents hate her.

  • ||

    ""If the dog consents I see no problem with it. Otherwise it's just as icky as those girls who are betrothed to some old sheik because her parents hate her.""

    I agree, and they shouldn't complain if the dog gets half in the divorce either.

  • PIRS||

    LOL. Some people ask me "Should people be able to marry their cars?" If this is the question I answer "Why you do with your car in the privacy of your garage is YOUR business. I don't want to know about it. But sure, why not. Just don't complain if the judge awards your car alimony payments after you drive another model car."

  • mr simple||

    So they would have opposable thumbs,a super sense of smell, super hearing, and be able to lick their own balls? I for one welcome our new mog overlords.

  • Abdul||

    I understand why you're joking about moral conservatives "slippery slope" arguments, but the funny thing is, Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas was a warning that holding laws against homosexuality to be unconstitutional would lead to constitutional arguments for same sex marriage. People said then that he was an idiot, that he was using a slippery slope fallacy, etc.

    This case? Cites extensively to Scalia's dissent for support of same sex marriage. Scalia's warning isn't looking so dumb now.

  • ||

    ""Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas was a warning that holding laws against homosexuality to be unconstitutional would lead to constitutional arguments for same sex marriage. People said then that he was an idiot, that he was using a slippery slope fallacy, etc.""

    A believer of limited government wouldn't have a problem keeping the fed or state out of the bedroom.

  • Abdul||

    The issue in Lawrence wasn't about whether it's good to have laws that apply to bedroom antics, but whether such laws are consitituional. Under the "rational basis" test, as traditionally applied, almost all laws are constitutional. Lawrence, for the first time, applied higher than "rational basis" scrutiny to laws that were justified by traditional morality. Scalia's dissent said this will have unintended consequences that the majority has not considered. And he was right.

  • mr simple||

    Seriously, good on him for using the 10th to reign in federal power grabs.

  • PIRS||

    I agree. When I first say the headline I thought it was going to be the same old gay rights line. But I was PLEASANTLY surprised to learn the 10th was used. I think the 10th is making a comeback in a big way and we need it.

  • ||

    No, it will be buried in the dustbin of history once it serves the liberals' purposes.

    While I agree that DOMA is unconstitutional, there are far more egregious violations of the 10th Amendment on the books that will never be overturned because doing so would not align with a liberal cause du jour.

  • PIRS||

    My point is that libertarians can now point to this case whenever progressives equate the 10th with slavery. We have an easy case to point to to tug at their heart strings. Then make our case. Sometimes with progessives that is what you have to do to get your point across.

  • ||

    There are already plenty of examples of inconsistent application of the bill of rights on the part of liberal justices to point to.

    Liberals don't care about consistency. They support whatever favors the items on the incoherent laundry list of positions their masters give them.

  • Cyto||

    there are far more egregious violations of the 10th Amendment on the books that will never be overturned

    Like 90% of everything on the books? Drug laws, social security, welfare, medicare, medicaid, and, and and....

  • Rabbit Scribe||

    Because George isn't a libertarian?

  • George||

    Because judges like this are destroying the moral fabric of our great nation.

  • PIRS||

    How?

  • George||

    Because we all have to help pay social security benefits to some queer guy because some idiot in Boston says he can marry some other queer guy.

  • PIRS||

    George, would you object if the government just got out of the marriage business altogether? For most of human history the government was not involved in this issue. Your church could refuse to marry two gay guys but my church could. The government need not be involved.

  • ||

    Wow. That may be one of the most ridiculous and insulting arguments ever put forth on Reason. And I'm including "arguments" by posters like Tony and Chad.

  • PIRS||

    I agree. It is ridiculous and insulting. I don't even support Social Security - it, like DOMA is unconstitutional.

  • Fluffy||

    Then your problem, dumbass, is with social security.

    Seriously, the way you fuckers try to use social programs as your justification for your bigotry against gays - and Mexicans - is really starting to piss me off.

    "Who, me? I don't hate gays and Mexicans. I just don't like paying for all these welfare state benefits."

    Then fucking pick up a rifle and get rid of the welfare state. Until you do that, I'm going to remain convinced that you really don't mind the welfare state all that much, and really are just looking for an ex post facto justification for your real animus, which is what other people do with their squishy parts.

  • George||

    Sure, I should spend 40+ years working my butt off so the government can steal a big chunk of my paycheck, and now that I can actually get some of it back, I should try to kill social security off.

    Right now it is all about damage control and trying to keep the leeches from destroying it for the rest of us.

  • T||

    You didn't pay enough in to cover what you're going to get back. Once you start cashing those SS checks, you're just another leech.

  • PIRS||

    George, Social security is a PONZI scheme. I do not know how old you are but if you are under 40 you are probably not going to see much of it anyway. The whole program is broke. Hell, the whole country is broke.

    But you still have not answered my other question. Would you object to government getting out of marriage altogether?

  • Byron||

    Hate to break it to you, George, but the money you paid in is already gone. There's nothing to 'get back' except that stolen from the wealth of future generations.

  • ||

    Dude, I'm as skeptical about gay marriage as anyone, but the reality is you'd have to pay SS benefits if he married a lesbian just for show, too.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Time to start tar & feathering some judges.


    The Massachussetts v. Health and Human Services case was a Tenth Amendment challenge like U.S. v. Lopez and U.S. v. Morrisson .

  • Zeb||

    A federal judge ruled today that part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.

    About damn time. Everyone knew that was unconstitutional from the start and it's been around for how long now?

  • PIRS||

    Since September 21, 1996. It was signed into law by the hero of gay rights, William Jefferson Clinton.

  • JEP||

    While I agree that the law is wrong, I don't think gov. should be involved in marriage in the first place, so the idea that the definition of marriage is "unconstitutional" just seems irksome.

    I guess if you read it as "the government has no power to define marriage" it makes a lot more sense.

  • ||

    he too is a reflection our misappropiation of priorities in society. It's no wonder that we have such a dysfunctional culture. We worship sports at the expense of the arts, and even academics, which ultimately ends up serving our corporate masters.

    Public school teacher?

  • ||

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....on_LEADTop

    The Democrats plan a mad duck Congress. They know they are screwed and plan to pass card check, cap and theft, and massive tax increases after the election during a mad duck Congress. Then they can fillibuster any changes later. We are so screwed. The media will then dutifully portray any attempt to undo such things as a "radically overreaching Congress". If they do that, the only sollution will be some kind of revolution. Depressing.

  • ||

    How do they plan to overcome GOP filibusters? They were only able to pass Obamacare because the original bill passed the Senate when they had 60 votes. Plus, with Satan probing Robert Byrd's anus with a drill bit, they only have 58 votes now.

  • ||

    Never mind, WV has a Dem governor, and the Dem secy of state has decided not to hold a special election until 2012. Crap.

    But they still have only 59 votes.

  • ||

    They plan to pass more acceptable versions through the Senate, crazy ones through the House, then in a mad duck congress, pass the crazy version through a conference committee which only requires a majority. The Republicans have to not pass anything this summer to prevent it. I am not confident they are smart enough to do that. Also, retiring porkers like Bob Bennett will sell out for one last score. Fuck you David Brooks.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    A federal judge ruled today that part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.


    Other judges have upheld DOMA, as Assistant Attorney General Tony West (not that Tony) pointed out in his brief in Smelt v. United States .

    This will likely wind its way to the Supreme Court.

  • ||

    http://volokh.com/2010/07/09/d.....amendment/

    And he did it on 10th Amendment grounds. If they would now apply this reasoning to other uses of federal power, this would be a great thing. But I suspect it will be a case of judges deciding that the 10th Amendment only applies to things the elite doesn't like. It will just be a convienent, little used, club to keep the bubbas down rather than an actual amendment that means something and is applied consistently.

  • ||

    The Tenth Amendment only applies to powers not delegated to the federal government. Given that modern jurisprudence holds that the Commerce Clause gives essentially every power imaginable to Congress, the Tenth Amendment is simply vacuous -- it's like saying that you can't eat beef from a hundred-foot tall purple cow.

  • Jason||

    So if the USSC rules against the DOMA on 10th Amendment grounds, it would weaken the all-inclusive Commerce Clause interpretation?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Yes.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Here is an interesting video on DOMA.

  • Don't squeeze the Charmin||

    - Lindsay Lohan discovers the Cato Institute.

    Here's the thing. Even if it were a "victimless crime", or you don't agree with sentencing guidlines, or the law itself, she plead guilty and voluntarily entered into a contract, probation, with the court. She violated that contract. She is then subject to the terms of the violation of that contract.

  • ||

    Correct.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    A contract she would not have had to entered into in the first place if there were not such victimless laws on the books.

    Would you be saying the same thing if she was convicted of merely carrying a certain amount of marijuana and agreed to probation?

    There is no "entering into a contract" when it's "Enter into this or go to jail". Unless you're a statist, of course.

  • Don't squeeze the Charmin||

    That's the way our criminal justice system works. Plead guilty and get a deal, or go to trial and do the max. It's called leverage. Regardless, the law is the law. I know that first hand. I did 4 months on something similar. $20 of cocaine. I didn't have to take the probation. Technically, I got 3 years, but got a state run early release program. I got what I would have gotten had I chosen to go to trial and been found guilty. I fucked up, I'm not complaining. I knew the law, and chose to break it.

    Of course, I agree that those laws shouldn't be on the books, but that don't mean shit in front of even the most liberal judge or prosecutor.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    All of that is totally irrelevant to your seeming endorsement of Lohan's punishment.

    You seem to be mixing reality with morality: for you to say "well, she made a contract, and I approve of the enforcement thereof, even if the law is unjust", that's a loathsome thing, morally, to say, because it means you're fine with contracts that are forced upon a person based on bad premises.

    Practically, if you say "well, she knew the law and messed up anyway, and this is what happens", I get that, but speaking in vacuous platitudes about practicality bore me.

  • ||

    Because we all have to help pay social security benefits to some queer guy because some idiot in Boston says he can marry some other queer guy.

    Actually, SS pays less to a married couple than it would to two separate single individuals with the exact same contribution history.

    There was a bunch of geezers getting divorced but continuing to cohabit a few years ago so that they would get additional benefits.

    I don't recall SSA doing anything to change the disparity, just as the IRS has done nothing to mitigate the "marriage penalty" in joint tax returns.

    Oh, and for the record, george, you're an ignorant bigoted dickhead.

  • ||

    I think he's referring to the Social Security benefit for widows.

  • Sideshow Bob||

    Convicted of a crime I didn't even commit. Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?

  • ||

    Can Lindsey Lohan be charged with involuntary douchebaggery? Is there anyone as dumb and nasty as she is? (outside of politics and Hollywood of course)

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