When a Cop Claims a Murder Suspect Confessed, Ask for the Tape

The New York TimesThe New York TimesNew York Times reporters Michael Powell and Sharon Otterman tell the eye-opening story of how an innocent man was convicted of murdering a Brooklyn rabbi in 1990. Chaskel Werzberger, an adviser to the Satmar rebbe, was fatally shot by a would-be robber who stole his car while fleeing the scene of a bungled diamond heist. David Ranta, now 58, has been in prison since 1991 for the crime, based mainly on testimony from self-interested witnesses who later admitted they had lied and a detective's uncorroborated report of a confession that Ranta has always denied making. Powell and Otterman report that "four of the five witnesses in the first lineup did not identify Mr. Ranta." Furthermore, the eyewitness who should have gotten the clearest look at Werzberger's killer, the diamond courier he tried to rob, testified at the trial that Ranta was "100 percent not" the right man. The jury evidently gave more weight to other witnesses, including one who was 13 at the time and now says a detective told him to pick Ranta out of a lineup.

In 1996, five years after Ranta began serving his sentence, a woman testified that her husband, an armed robber who was identified by an anonymous tipster as Werzberger's killer shortly after the crime but died in a car crash a few months later, had confessed to her. But that was not enough to win Ranta a new trial. "I figured I was going to die in prison," he told the Times. Since then, Powell and Otterman write, "nearly every piece of evidence in this case has fallen away," including the testimony of a criminal who avoided a potential life sentence by claiming to have been Ranta's accomplice. This week Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, who was elected to his first term the year before Werzberger's murder, announced that he was recommending Ranta's release based on an investigation by a unit that Hynes created to uncover wrongful convictions. Powell and Otterman's story shows how the pressure to solve a high-profile murder, a criminal's incentive to lie in exchange for more lenient treatment, and a cop's determination to convict someone he's sure is guilty can combine to create a terrible injustice.

The weight given to undocumented confessions is further illustrated by the case of Debra Milke, who has been on Arizona's death row since 1990, when she was convicted of conspiring to murder her 4-year-old son. Like Ranta, she was convicted based on the testimony of a detective who said she had confessed. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit explains in a recent decision overturning her conviction, "The trial was, essentially, a swearing contest between Milke and Phoenix Police Detective Armando Saldate, Jr." Although "the judge and jury believed Saldate," they did not know about his "long history of lying under oath and other misconduct." That history included "a five-day suspension for taking 'liberties' with a female motorist and then lying about it to his supervisors; four court cases where judges tossed out confessions or indictments because Saldate lied under oath; and four cases where judges suppressed confessions or vacated convictions because Saldate had violated the Fifth Amendment or the Fourth Amendment in the course of interrogations." The prosecution "knew about this misconduct but didn’t disclose it," in violation of its obligations under Brady v. Maryland, the 1963 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that due process requires prosecutors to share potentially exculpatory evidence with the defense. 

Writing for a three-judge appeals court panel, Alex Kozinski highlights the trial judge's failure to comprehend the significance of this prosecutorial misconduct:

In reviewing the exhibits attached to Milke’s postconviction petition, [Maricopa County Superior Court] Judge Cheryl K. Hendrix, who was also the trial judge, was "unable to find a reference to the type of evidence that is allowed under Rule 608 to impeach the credibility of a witness." That is no doubt because she grossly misapprehended the nature and content of the documents that Milke presented. Even though the judge claimed to have reviewed the exhibits, she referred to the collection of court documents as containing mere "motions and testimony from other cases in which Det. Saldate was the interrogating officer. It establishes nothing. The filing of a motion to suppress does not mean the police officer engaged in improprieties."

Had these been merely motions and testimony, that would be true; anyone can make unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct. But seven of the cases included court orders finding that Saldate had lied under oath or violated the Fifth or the Fourth Amendments during interrogations. Multiple judicial determinations that Saldate lied in performing his official functions and violated suspects' constitutional rights would have been highly relevant where the state's case rested on his testimony.

In a separate concurring opinion addressing the issue of whether Milke knowingly waived her right to counsel and her right to remain silent, Kozinski emphasizes that "the only evidence linking Milke to the murder of her son is the word of Detective Armando Saldate, Jr.—a police officer with a long history of misconduct that includes lying under oath as well as accepting sexual favors in exchange for leniency and lying about it." Kozinski blasted "Saldate’s unorthodox interrogation methods," which included questioning suspects who were intoxicated or who had asserted their right to remain silent. During Milke's trial, Saldate testified that it would be "ridiculous" to stop interrogating someone just "because they asked for an attorney." Kozinski comments:

What I find ridiculous is that this man—with his track record of trampling basic constitutional rights—is sent to interrogate a suspect without a tape recorder, a video recorder, a witness or any other objective means of documenting the interrogation....

In effect, Saldate turned the interrogation room into a black box, leaving us no objectively verifiable proof as to what happened inside. All we have are the conflicting accounts of a defendant with an obvious reason to lie and a detective whose disdain for lawful process is documented by one instance after another of lying under oath and other misconduct.

No civilized system of justice should have to depend on such flimsy evidence, quite possibly tainted by dishonesty or overzealousness, to decide whether to take someone's life or liberty. The Phoenix Police Department and Saldate's supervisors there should be ashamed of having given free rein to a lawless cop to misbehave again and again, undermining the integrity of the system of justice they were sworn to uphold. As should the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which continued to prosecute Saldate’s cases without bothering to disclose his pattern of misconduct. 

The other two judges on the panel seemed to share Kozinski's dismay, agreeing that their opinion should be sent to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division "for possible investigation into whether Saldate’s conduct, and that of his supervisors and other state and local officials, amounts to a pattern of violating the federally protected rights of Arizona residents." You can read the whole decision here.

[Via Above the Law. Thanks to Jonathan Bard for the tip.]

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  • sloopyinca||

    And we're called bigots for despising these cretins.

  • sloopyinca||

    Oh, but I can hear it now: "You don't hear about all the good cops that go about their day without breaking the law." Well fuck that shit, because those so-called "good cops" aren't doing a goddamn thing to uncover corruption, criminality and otherwise evil behavior within their ranks. And until they do, I have to assume that they are silently condoning that which they refuse to punish.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Most of those "good cops" are perjuring themselves all the time, whether they know it or not. It is just too easy for it to happen.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Trial level judges pretty much do everything possible to avoid making decisions that interfere with the prosecution already. They know the defendant will just plead out or all the hard choices will just get diverted to higher courts later.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Japan is a distopian toilet bowl, by the way. Does anyone remember- I think it was Choad- who always remarked about how sophisticated and shit Japan is, and how happy everyone is to be there?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Japan is weird, weird, weird country.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    I had the pleasure of living in on Japanese block in Taipei, and although I love Japanese design and aesthetics, and the young people are great, the older ones were total assholes. Great neighbors, but when they weren't ignoring you, they were just rude and mean, especially compared to the Taiwanese.

    It wasn't universal, but it happened enough that I sure didn't leave thinking the Japanese were the master race.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Awesome. Cardassian Justice FTW.

  • Irish||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Japans been in an economic slump for 20 years. This kind of makes me think you might actually be D.B. Cooper. I mean, D.B. Cooper disappeared in 1971, and if you're just resurfacing that could explain how you still think Japan is an economy to emulate.

    As for the rest of the world, no one's been trying to emulate Japan economically since 1992.

  • Irish||

    Japan is totally ethnically homogeneous and locks up virtually everyone who gets accused of a crime! It's American's perfect country!

  • ||

    Japan is totally ethnically homogeneous except for all the Zainichi Koreans

  • ||

    And what minority could be worse than Koreans?

    Aren't they also an ethnically homogeneous nation with massive economic growth under their belt? I'm not really sure why you'd be excited about Japan and hate on the Koreans unless you've been reading Japanese propaganda about how great Japan is and how it's cultural development owes nothing to contact with those backwater Koreans.

  • ||

    It's sweet of you to be concerned for me, but which part specifically are you concerned about?

    My belief that Korea has grown economically, my belief that East Asians are prone to self-aggrandizing accounts of their own history while downplaying the contributions of others, my belief that Japan's cultural history was influenced at points by Korea, or my belief that Korea is ethnically homogeneous?

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Your sarcasmometer needs recalibrating. He thinks Koreans are fine, but our immigrants are broken.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I wish I was so alone and unproductive that I had time to scour Asian text books for mentions of black people.

    I commend you on your persistence, but feel sorry for you at the same time.

  • ||

    Love it! It's baloney, but it's funny. So what led you to get so excited about the Japan?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I would love to live in Japan, though I could understand why I wouldn't be wanted.

    I don't think you'd be too happy in Japan as they don't have quite the sheep population to meet your "needs".

  • General Butt Naked||

    That hurts, it really does.

    But I'll take that hit if it saves just one farm animal from your advances, because I care.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Citation please.

    If you're gonna argue collectivist points at least have some collectivist references to back it up, dumbass.

  • Proprietist||

    My wife is Japanese and certainly thinks Japan's criminal conviction rate is bullshit. Cops and lawyers are extremely corrupt in Japan, and bend numbers to make themselves look good. Trial by jury is only available if you give up right to appeal.

    Japan's crime rate is so low because the yakuza have a heavy financial incentive to keep police out of their gray and black market business. The corrupt cops get a cut, and in return the cops promise to leave them be as long as underworld violence doesn't spill over into the community. It's not because they are exceptionally enlightened or ethnically homogenous but because there is a longstanding, mutually understood equilibrium between the Law and the underworld.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If the good cops aren't arresting the bad cops, why shouldn't I assume that the good cops are giving implicit approval/license to the bad cops?

  • DJK||

    Where's dunphy to tell us that there's nothing to see here?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Where’s dumpy to tell us about a dirty cop that he personally turned in?

    -jcr

  • ||

    It's pretty disgusting how there can be virtually no evidence and juries will convict anyway. And how prosecutors can withhold bad behavior on the part of cops so easily.

  • Jordan||

    No kidding. What the hell is wrong with these juries? If I ever actually get on a jury, I imagine a fist fight breaking out in the deliberation room because I refuse to hang some poor slob.

  • Kevin47||

    Prosecutors typically seek to root out intelligent people in the voir dire process. If you want on a jury in a criminal case, you will certainly want to dress down.

    The best bet is to dress like your a bumpkin who is taking the occasion seriously. White male in cords with a plaid shirt and maybe an ill-fitting tie is the sweet spot.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    This is terrific advice. I'm concerned I'd get found out in the selection process. Anyone have any insight on how to make it though?

  • sloopyinca||

    Drool occasionally and make sure you never completely close your mouth when the prosecutor is asking you a direct question.

  • Kevin47||

    No. Don't go full retard. Then the defense will kick you out.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Predictability is a big selling point, right?

  • sloopyinca||

    Not if it's a public defender.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    So what's the strategy? Memorize the public defenders' names, then if they're the defendant's attorney, fellate the police during the voir dire?

  • ||

    Just be as milquetoast and impressionable as you can be.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I told them that I didn't trust the police any more than the general public and in a drug case I trusted them less do to the perverse incentives of asset forfeiture.

    They put me on (not a drug case though).

  • sloopyinca||

    Don't worry. You'll know a public defender when you see one. He/she will also be standing with mouth agape as the judge gives instructions.

    Either that or he'll be the guy choking out the prosecutor.

  • ||

    Last time I got called up it was for a death penalty case and was promptly sent home because under "Do you have any moral obligations to the death penalty?" I said "It costs more than life imprisonment without parole."

    I was sad that I got sent home too. I bumped into a guy who ended up getting selected and had lunch with him and it was a very interesting case.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Avoid expressing considered opinions. Got it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Express belief in jury nullification. Works like magic.

  • some guy||

    See, I'm convinced that it's better for a libertarian to say whatever it takes to get on a jury. It sucks, but I'd feel bad if I found out later that I could have changed the outcome of a case for the better.

  • Proprietist||

    Don't say "I support legalization of drugs and will nullify any jury I'm on." Learned that from experience.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I once met a DA at my kid's birthday party. He asked whether I had served on a jury before, and I said "No, I'm an engineer and I always get excluded in voir dire." I had assumed it was the defense that tossed me because engineers are pretty much law-and-order types, but the DA replied, "I hate to get engineers on a jury. They're too logical, and they want to look for holes in your argument."

    My opinion of the legal system changed that day.

  • Sevo||

    "the DA replied, "I hate to get engineers on a jury. They're too logical, and they want to look for holes in your argument.""

    See below; skeptics are not welcome.

  • John||

    Juries consider cops to be the gold standard of truth. If a cop gets up and says that you confessed to him, you are fucked. Combine that with a couple of witnesses, no matter how unbelievable, who finger you and you are done.

  • some guy||

    Maybe this will change as more and more people have run-ins with the cops. In my experience it only takes one or two interactions with an agent of the state before you learn they are less trustworthy than the average hobo.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Well, when you have people that feel this way bragging about how they got out of jury duty (as happened when I told of getting on jury duty on here) this is what happens.

    I jump at a chance at jury duty; I've done it once, got called again but dismissed because I just had it.

  • Sevo||

    "I jump at a chance at jury duty"

    I don't, but more than one lawyer/friend has offered a similar explanation:
    Both prosecution and defense are going to tell a 'story' about how X is either guilty or not. They really want people who believe the stories told to them.
    Any suggestion of skepticism higher than that expressed by the other candidates means you go home, pal.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Jesus, I feel like such a dumbass for getting picked for a jury.

    Dang.

    I wish I was so smart that they'd never pick me (but not smart enough that I couldn't get myself on a jury).

  • Jordan||

    Kozinski continues to kick statist ass and take names. Which is why he'll never make it to the Supreme Court.

  • Tman||

    So are we moving the Friday nut punches to Wednesday now that Balko went to the dark side?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Balko who? That guy who never really had much of an opinion on any statist bullshit other than police matters?

  • Corneliusm||

    I'd argue that criminal justice matters is more than enough for a guy to be entirely focused on. And Balko's done good work.

  • Sevo||

    OT: BofA doesn't want business from arms mfgrs.

    "Today Mr. Ray Fox, Senior Vice President, Market Manager, Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking (Bank of America) came to my office. He scheduled the meeting as an "account analysis" meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit we
    have with them. He spent 5 minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last 5 years and have become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories. At this point I interrupted him and asked "Can I possibly save you some time so that you don't waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer want my business."

    I thought this was a hoax, but the McMillan web site confirms it:
    http://www.mcmillanusa.com/
    "Thanks for Your Support!
    Kelly McMillan extends his thanks to everyone who supported McMillan and our 2nd Amendment Rights. ...
    McMillan is now banking with National Bank of Arizona."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Bank of America is terrible. Their fees are usurious; their customer service, atrocious; and their corporate policies, abhorrent.

  • Sevo||

    And I hope it goes without saying that perhaps BofA doesn't want the business of individuals or other businesses who support A2.
    I for one would be more than happy to remove my business from them, but I already have (for other reasons).

  • sloopyinca||

    What the fuck is a "Bank of America"?

  • Jordan||

    A zombie that only survives by leeching off of taxpayers. Fuck BofA.

  • sloopyinca||

    Oh. I thought their logo looked like Amtrak's for a reason.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Libertarians should refuse to do business with the 5 largest banks - those deemed "too big to fail, too big to jail". Those would be B of A, Wells Fargo, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. If they're too big, well let's just make them a little bit smaller. Also, these 5 also happen to be on at least one side of 95% of all derivatives, NTTAWWT, I'm just sayin'.

  • Sevo||

    OK, now that's FUNNY!
    Way to GO, D.B.!

  • sloopyinca||

    It is natural resources and human capital that create wealth. Both things are limited.

    Right, because the world isn't collectively wealthier today than it was in 1963.

    Note to D.B. Cooper: if you're gonna troll, please come with a better brand of bullshit than this. I can get this grade of troll on Facebook or YouTube. We demand better.

  • sloopyinca||

    So in what way is it limited, as you said above?

  • Irish||

    You don't seem to know what human capital is. It has nothing to do with 'number of people.'

  • sloopyinca||

    Yeah, sure. And there are no incentives at all for scientists to enter into the oil business.

    Trust me, genius, the number of people that want to do this work is limited a lot more by intellect than by choice. And if the number drops below what is needed to continue developing innovative processes, then the oil companies will raise their compensation to attract more and better candidates.

    Ooh, I think I just explained the "market" you were asking about upthread.

  • ||

    I plan on building robots to replace workers, and creating computers that can think to solve your technical problems. After which, I'll be setting up mining operations on the moon.

    Try moar harder.

  • some guy||

    I plan on getting oil out of my magic hat.

    Who says oil is the only or best source of energy? Markets can't magically create more oil than exists within the Earth, but they do create incentives to better exploit the existing oil and to come up with alternatives sources of stored energy. It's like you're back in 1650 claiming that there's only so much whale blubber in the world and markets can't magically create more.

  • Irish||

    How is human capital limited?

  • Sevo||

    Irish| 3.20.13 @ 8:40PM |#
    "How is human capital limited?"
    Careful there. You don't want to cause the "ERROR" overload.

  • Brandon||

    You don't seem to know what a "Market" is.

  • Irish||

    American's pseudonyms are getting more interesting.

  • ||

    Try harder troll. *yawn*
    Where did you read that drivel?

    I grew up on a farm. I have been in the timber business all my life. There isnt anything about resources that you can tell me.

    Human capital....heh....I know where you are going with that one pinko.

  • sloopyinca||

    Hey, Suthenboy, what's the SYP market like these days? Are the mills stockpiling, or are the forests just overgrowing their past levels? I used to run several lumber yards in Georgia and I've been curious what the market has been like since I left.

  • ||

    Around here it is not good. IP has closed several mills; one in natchez, one in pineville and another one down south. Willamette Valley has shut down everything. A few small local operations...Natchitoches, Jena, Opelousas...have shut down.

    This is one of the best places in the world to grow timber but it has been over exploited. There isnt enough mature wood to feed the mills, the paper market is dying, and that is why they are shutting down. My latest sale brought a good price from Willamette's plywood mill in Winnfield but they have since sold all of their assets. I am not sure if the new outfit is just them under another name or not.

    I usually sell by sealed bid, and it is a different bunch that shows up each time. Over the last ten years the bidding has gotten more competitive.

    there is no replacement for wood as a building material as of yet, so the plywood/lumber market should follow the housing market....but paper is dying quickly. Prices are down a bit but still bearable.

  • ||

    Oh...tip to anyone thinking of selling timber....

    Buying timber is speculating. You buy for a lower price than you think you can sell for tomorrow. You are gambling that the market will go up later after you are finished processing and ready to sell.

    So, as a seller, the longer you give the buyer to harvest, the better his chances of making money later are. Typically around here sellers give the buyer 6 months to cut.....which sucks. You need good weather and dry ground to cut.

    I give them two years. That gets me a much better price. The last sale they waited until three days before the time was up to cut....because the market for plywood is so shitty right now.

  • Sevo||

    ..."but only because of what is put into them in terms of natural resources and human capital, divided by the amount of consumption to get the per-capita total wealth"...

    D.B., I having a bit of difficulty here. How about defining the metrics so we can do the math?
    What is the "amount of consumption"? And how are "natural resources" and "human capital" measured?
    And how would this compare to, say the quasi-socialist economy we currently have? Which of those variables would change and how?
    Just askin'

  • sloopyinca||

    Right, because every drop of oil that's in the earth was placed there all at once by the Hand of God.

    I hope the "D" in your name stands for "Danny", because I've always wanted to ask somebody this.

  • sloopyinca||

    Most of it was created hundreds of millions of years ago.

    And? My point was that there is not a finite amount of oil in the ground. It is ever-expanding because our capacity to extract it gets better every day. Hell, 30 years ago, all we could really do was stick a giant straw in the earth and suck it out of the large, pure pockets. We are now hydrofracking oil, using sonic tech to remove oil from shale beds and developing technology that will utilize lasers to remove oil underground without interrupting any of the surrounding rock formations at all.

    You are looking at this all wrong. You don't realize that man's ability to innovate makes the supply increase regularly and at a greater rate than we can currently extract and consume.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    My point was that there is not a finite amount of oil in the ground.

    There is a finite amount of oil in the ground. But because of continually improving technology for energy production and a market to smooth transitions, from a practical standpoint, we are unlikely ever to run out. When the prices start to rise upward permanently, the amount of R&D going into alternatives will be unstoppable.

    There is such a thing a Peak Oil, but by the time it actually happens, it will be irrelevant.

  • Irish||

    Right, because every drop of oil that's in the earth was placed there all at once by the Hand of God.

    Plus engines are equally as efficient as they were 30 years ago, so we don't get more energy out of the same amount of oil. Also, drilling technology is unchanged, so we only have access to the same amount of oil.

    -DB Cooper stops talking, bails, opens parachute.-

  • Sevo||

    D.B. Cooper| 3.20.13 @ 8:33PM |#
    "Natural resources can be measured by being compared against themselves. Fifty barrels of oil is fifty barrels of oil. Human capital can be measured against the ability to extract resources from the environment. Amount of consumption refers to the amount of the natural resources that are consumed."

    So, yes, 50bbl of oil = 50bbl of oil. Hmmm, wonder why I didnt think of that.
    Could it be because it's an idiotic statement? Why, think that's it!
    So, troll or really, really dumb poster?

  • ||

    citation please.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    D. B., how do you feel about legalized gamboling?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *snicker*

  • ||

    According to this sockpuppet, we're still using whale oil and slash-and-burn agricultural techniques.

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    Jesus Fuck! DB Cooper you are a deeply, deeply stupid individual.

    If God is an economist, and there is a hell, you are in serious trouble.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The Phoenix Police Department and Saldate's supervisors there should be ashamed of having given free rein to a lawless cop to misbehave again and again, undermining the integrity of the system of justice they were sworn to uphold.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Wheeeeee!

  • Brandon||

    OT: First prick in the student loan bubble?

    http://money.msn.com/now/post......a4be1b0eb4

  • sloopyinca||

    First prick in the student loan bubble?

    Nope. Here is the first prick in the student loan bubble.

  • sloopyinca||

    Nothing? I get nothing for that gem?

    Well fuck you people.

  • ||

    Groanz!

    Happy?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    "This college has a very low percentage of students graduating with debt, but it has come up a little and we just don't think that is a good idea," Davis said. "This a work college, not a debt college." The school years ago stopped taking students who wanted to get public loans.

    At College of the Ozarks, nicknamed Hard Work U, students work across campus in cafeteria, housing, maintenance, landscaping, agricultural and other jobs. The school has working hog and cattle farms, gardens, lodging and a restaurant. ...

    Davis said the school will create more work opportunities for students who have depended on loans. They can also get jobs off-campus in summer to save up money, he said. The school will waive its $25 weekly summer dorm fee for students who work in Branson, he said.

    Sounds legit.

    There is nothing wrong with taking a loan to purchase something, if you have the means to pay back the loan.

  • sloopyinca||

    There is nothing wrong with taking a loan to purchase something, if you have the means to pay back the loan.

    Agreed. Hell, I'm even OK with people taking out student loans. But it should be between them and their banker and it should never, ever be guaranteed by taxpayers who have had a gun put to their head.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Why do you hate America's children?

  • Sevo||

    Because.

  • ||

    I hate them too.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Why do you hate America's children?

  • Sevo||

    Because.

  • ||

    I hate them too.

  • sloopyinca||

    You forgot to change back to your regular handle before posting this somewhat sane post.

    Or is it the broken clock syndrome? Tune in tomorrow morning to find out!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No, that's just D.B.'s/American's technocracy fetish.

  • sloopyinca||

    I like the idea of having leaders that do not want to lead but rather want to get the fuck out of the market's way.

    Actually, fuck that. I don't want leaders at all.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Because if you're smart in math, you're automatically a good and moral person.

  • Irish||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As DB/American has stated before, Irish, he sees nothing wrong with eugenics. Therefore, I'm afraid your point might be lost on him.

  • Irish||

    Yep, it's American. T - 20 minutes before he's banned again.

  • sloopyinca||

    Support of selective breeding or not allowing any self-aware being to breed as they see fit is despicable.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Who determines what constitutes "genetic fitness"? What is a "defect" in one situation can be an advantage in another.

    For example, both my wife and I have different forms of thalassemia. Thalassemia is a defect in the production of hemoglobin; however, that same defect provides increased resistance to malaria.

    Secondly, what of those whom are deemed "genetically unfit" wish to have children? Would you use force to prevent them from having children?

  • ||

    So you prefer more of a Gattaca dystopian future?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    D.B. Cooper's America: Negroes and Poor White Trash need not apply.

  • sloopyinca||

  • Irish||

    We Godwinned within a minute of each other. Hell yes.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    At College of the Ozarks, nicknamed Hard Work U, students work across campus in cafeteria, housing, maintenance, landscaping, agricultural and other jobs.

    OMFG indentured servitude! Those children should not be allowed to sell themselves into slavery in that way!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You have to admit it's a pretty good racket.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    A market cannot magically create oil.

    Nor will it sustain a "substitute" which is produced at a net economic (and energy) loss; it takes a government mandate to do that.

  • ||

    A market cannot magically create oil.

    Yes it can.

  • ||

    No, that's an example of alternatives becoming viable due to price increases in demand. Absent a market, where efficient transactions take place, synthetic oil would never have come about.

  • Sevo||

    That could just as easily be an example of "magic".
    D.B., are you familiar with Karl Popper?
    I ask, since you just toss off un-defined terms in a way that suggests 'falsifiability' isn't a concept you've heard of.

  • sloopyinca||

    D.B.'s got a theory about magic and miracles.

  • sloopyinca||

    Tickle me!

    /Elmo during Meth-fueled sex party with underage boy

  • ||

    some dudes have all the fun.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Okay, the game's over. Take off your hood (your Scooby-Doo hood, not your pointy white one) and let's see who you are.

  • Irish||

    I don't know what human capital is and they made fun of me because I kept using a word that made no sense in the context! Mom! The Cosmos won't stop being mean to me!

  • Andrew S.||

    Just for the record, you're just trolling us, and you can't actually believe what you're saying, right? Right? Please tell me I'm right.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Geez, it's like you can't even have a sensible discussion about immigration by showing up in on a post about the legal system and molesting economics terminology while advocating eugenics anymore.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Yes, for the same reason I oppose slavery: even though there are humans in the world who are fit only to be slaves, I see no men fit to be masters.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    That was kind of a weird takeaway from my comment. My implied question was, why would you show up in an unrelated discussion, post stuff that's inflammatory from the first sentence and culminates in advocating a policy that 99 people out of 100 only associate with virulent genocidal racism, and expect different results from what happened?

    I'm not sure why I'm even writing sincere answers to you. Don't you think that by any reasonable standard, the evidence that you're arguing in bad faith is overwhelming?

  • Sevo||

    "I'm not sure why I'm even writing sincere answers to you"
    They may be "to" DBC, but they are also a public statement of your responses to DBC's insane posts.
    I'd suggest you continue.

  • ||

    You didn't answer the fucking question.

  • Michael||

    O/T: Kooky conspiracy theories aside, "taxation inflatin' up your cheddah" is one of the greatest hip-hop lyrics I've ever heard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wit4iRS_AMM

  • General Butt Naked||

    They already tried that and got their asses nuked for the trouble, dumbass.

  • Hyperion||

    They didn't have an army of fembot sex slaves back then, that changes everything.

  • Hyperion||

    You got that right, feminism chopped the balls right off of America.

  • Hyperion||

    I was just told recently that I am going to be sent to Gitmo for attempting jury nullification, so good luck with that. But, yeah, I agree with you, it is badly needed. If that don't work it's time for the Rand Pall legislative brigade to triumph, or...

  • Sevo||

    D.B. Cooper| 3.20.13 @ 10:52PM |#
    "Japan will rule the world in the end. They are probably the sanest country in the world"

    That's what D. B. C. posted; I just copied and pasted.
    Now Japan has spent the last 20+ years in stagnation as a result of gov't policy and DBC thinks this is a hot idea!
    At first I thought DBC was a sock, trolling (and I mean those both in the literal sense, like, oh Sloopy flying a false flag). Now I'm pretty sure we have an individual who simply is stuck in mid-to late-20th century political thought.
    The later comments on jury nullification seem somewhat sane, but is that the acorn s/he found?

  • Hyperion||

    If they're the first to come up with fully functional sexbots, and they seem to have the lead, then I agree. I have it on good faith from my Korean(south) friend, that they are going to beat out Japan for that and world domination.

  • ||

    They Japanese better be grateful that the South Koreans have learned that trade is more profitable than war, since many people don't quite understand the depth of the animosity between both Koreas and Japan.

  • Hyperion||

    I'm somehwt sketpical of sexbots

    People were skeptical of air flight also. They were skeptical of personal computers. If you would have told someone 30 years ago that people would one day be able to communicate with anyone else anywhere on the planet, instantly, they would have laughed you to scorn.

    Sexbots will be as common as a cell phone in another 30 years. And no one will think anything about it. It will put an end to a hell of a lot of bad shit, feminism being the worst of those things.

  • Hyperion||

    You'll buy it if you live that long, and so will the rest of us.

    Pump and dump are ok, but they can still get pregnant, by accident of course, or cry false rape.

    Also, the level of sexbot(you won't be able to really tell the difference, eventually) which will be available to men who cannot otherwise achieve that, will be the deciding factor.

    Don't be a luddite dude, you can't, and should not try, to stop this.

    Don't get me wrong, you will still be able to decide on a human feminine companion, but you now have options. If not for pussy, there is no such thing as radical feminism. Good riddance.

  • ||

    I don't know about that, I think they'll spend all their time deciding whether to spend their money on a $300 hookerbot or 300 $1 hookerbots.

  • Hyperion||

    No need to decide, just download the plans and print your own. Customize it with your nano assembler mod unit.

  • ||

    Whoever he is he sure is boring.

  • Hyperion||

    Actually, everyone can get a hell of a lot richer than they are today because of technology. That's just a fact. The only thing that can stand in the way of that, is politicians.

  • Hyperion||

    Are politicians, grammar will still suffer after the singularity...

  • ||

    They're still panicking about the aging population since for a variety of genetic and cultural reasons Japanese people live a long time and it's going to bankrupt their social security and healthcare system.

  • Hyperion||

    Technology can solve all of those issues, just get government the fuck out of the way, and we are on our way to being able to do anything.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: D.B. Cooper,

    I think libertarianism, and its cousin, liberalism, is a delusion caused by living in an urban area,


    You think letting people pursue their interests in liberty and peace is delusional?

    If you live in a rural area, close to nature, you see the process of the creation of wealth differently.


    Sure, like that time I saw a spider eating a fly that had a white head and was screaming "Help! Help!"

    Or which nature were you talking about?

    That what we think of as economic wealth is really simply resources extracted from the environment.


    You don't extract resources from the environment. Such statements tell me you have no idea, no clue, not even a hint given to you out of pure pity, what the terms "economic", "wealth", "resources", "extracted" and "environment" mean.

    A market cannot magically create oil.


    No, but that's only because a market is the network made of the billions of decisions taken by billions of individual humans, and not a chemistry laboratory.

    Again, not even a hint.

  • ||

    For a commentariat called Reason, you'd think that people wouldn't be trolled so easily. This never happened when Postrel was in charge.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Jeez, slow down! I can't drink that much that fast.

  • ||

    Easily trolled or just really bored?

  • ||

    This. I got seven more pages to write for my research paper on Israel's ban on skinny models and then I'm officially on spring break.

  • ||

    Fun plans for Spring Break?

  • ||

    I'll probably just go home for a few days and then come back to work.

    I'm not really a planner when it comes to these sorts of things, I just ask friends what they're doing and tag along.

  • ||

    That's no fun. I wish I'd made more of spring breaks when I was a young'un. Whereabouts is home?

  • ||

    I hesitate to ask what class that would be for and whatever the answer I'm glad that at 26 I'm too old for that shit.

  • ||

    Women in Israel, basically a women's studies class taught by a former Knesset member.

    She let us pick whatever topic we wanted and so here I am.

  • C. Anacreon||

    OT: Just heard this radio public service ad:

    "One out of three high school girls drinks alcohol.

    One out of five high school girls binge drinks alcohol monthly.

    The reason? Alcohol advertising. Make sure to talk to your children about alcohol advertising, and discuss with them the realities of alcohol abuse whenever you see a televsion commercial that advertises alcohol."

    I need to do the old Bill Cosby Noah bit: "Yeah, Riiigggghhht!"

    Seriously -- teenagers drink alcohol because the TV told them to? People actually believe this, and went to the trouble to make a PSA about this?

  • ||

    Seems low to me. 1/3? Please!

    That makes 2/3 liars.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Agreed, at least in my day. I would have never gotten to second base without girls binge drinking!

  • JeremyR||

    Lefties don't really believe in free will - they think everything someone does is the result of something external.

    Sartre really struggled with this for most of this life, since he was a commie (by choice) and yet his whole philosophy was based on the idea that people did have free will

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Former BlackBerry executive George Campbell has been deported to his native Scotland after an infamous incident of rowdy drunkenness on an Air Canada flight.


    “Both men were restrained with plastic restraints,” the court document states.
    At this point, the two ex-executives behaved like wild animals caught in a trap.
    “One of them managed to get out of the restraints; and Mr. Wilson appeared to have chewed his way out of the plastic restraints,” the document states. “Tape was used to restrain them.”
  • ||

    Where there no sheep to fuck on the plane?

  • C. Anacreon||

    This is why corporate jets are needed, so executives can get drunk and stupid without suffering the indignity of comeuppance from commercial airline personnel.

  • SumpTump||

    Oh yeah, always ask for the tape dude.

    www.PC-Privacy.tk

  • Jgalt1975||

    Having clicked through and read the opinion in the Milke case, the most mindblowing thing is that the guys who actually committed the murder were arrested but didn't say anything against Milke in their interrogations, nor did they testify against her at trial. It quite literally appears that there's no other explanation for Milke's prosecution other than that the detective and prosecutor wanted to get an innocent person executed.

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