History

Turing Turns 100

The father of computer science, honored too late.

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On June 23, Alan Turing would have been 100 years old. The World War II code breaker and founder of computer science didn't make it to his own centennial, despite his devotion to physical fitness. He committed suicide by poisoned apple in 1954 after being convicted for "acts of gross indecency between two adult men" and chemically castrated as part of a deal to avoid prison.

We are now in the midst of Alan Turing Year, a privately organized worldwide celebration featuring talks, parties, books, and papers. Everywhere, praise of Turing is tempered with anger over the harsh punishment he suffered at the hands of the British state, cutting short a fruitful life. 

Turing's utility as the brains of an important part of the wartime British cryptanalysis operation run out of Bletchley Park kept him on the government's payroll and out of the hands of the law during the war. He provided the big ideas that helped build the code-cracking Bombe mechanism and keep it up to date, thus rendering German naval messages legible to Allied forces. 

Anthony Cave Brown's 1987 book "C": The Secret Life of Sir Stewart Menzies, Spymaster to Winston Churchill describes the attitude toward Turing's known homosexuality in those years: "Since he caused no offence to his colleagues at Bletchley, and since he was perhaps the only man in Menzies's service who might have been called 'indispensable,' his services were retained…Early in 1944 a suspicion arose that he might have been the man responsible for molesting schoolboys at the main public library in Luton, a large industrial town not far from Bletchley. While no proceedings arose, it was decided that the need for good order and discipline required his removal—but not before he had done his finest work."

If it hadn't been for his tangible work at Bletchley's Hut 8, Turing might have been disposed of much sooner. His stunning accomplishments in theoretical realms—the concept of the algorithm, a vision of a computing machine that could follow rules to manipulate symbolic information fed to it on a strip of tape, and a new understanding of the biological processes that cause organisms to develop their shapes—would have been unlikely to win the same leniency. 

In March, Britain's Socialist Worker reviewed a Manchester Museum exhibit focused on Turing's biological research, concluding that his conviction was "barbarism," ending "a career that would have led to further brilliant insights into the workings of the natural world." The same month, columnist Michael Hanlon at the conservative Daily Mail newspaper fumed: "Turing, a logical man after all, probably felt that having done as much as anyone to see off the Kriegsmarine and save his country from decades of fascist servitude (a new exhibition about his life has just opened at Bletchley Park), his country might be a teeny-weeny bit grateful and let the matter of consensual sexual relations with another adult man pass unnoticed." It's not often those two publications can agree.

Turing is most famous for the test that bears his name. In 1950 he wrote that computers would soon be able to imitate human conversation so well that a blind observer would not be able to tell the difference between man and machine 70 percent of the time. "I believe," he said, "that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted."

We're not quite there yet, as anyone who has ever tried to ask a question of Siri, the iPhone "digital personal assistant," can tell you. Nor have annual Turing tests, conducted under the auspices of the Loebner Prize, crowned a computer victor. But in the years that have passed since Turing's death, humans have at least managed to become more human.

In 2009 Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized for the British government's treatment of Turing: "Without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War II could well have been very different.…On behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work, I am very proud to say: We're sorry. You deserved so much better."

The Royal Mail has issued a commemorative stamp in honor of the Turing centenary, and there's a movement to put him on the £10 note, despite the government's refusal to issue an formal pardon. Perhaps fittingly, the official stamp features not the mistreated man but one of his useful machines. 

Katherine Mangu-Ward is managing editor of reason.

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  1. He committed suicide by poisoned apple in 1954 after being convicted for “acts of gross indecency between two adult men” and chemically castrated as part of a deal to avoid prison.

    And nothing else happened.

    1. “Mirror mirror on the wall
      Who’s the cruelist Queen of all?”

      1. I registered just to reply to you. The Queen has nothing to do with the law. She’s a figurehead with no real power. Not to mention she’d only just arrived on the throne in 1952 when Turing was prosecuted.

  2. Also, Reason needs a reverse Turing test to keep anonbot out.

    1. OK yeah that really does make a LOt of sense dude.

    2. Pretty sure that would just require a normal Turing test.

      1. Heller is actually a bot, and he accidentally just outed himself.

      2. A normal Turing test requires a human judge. A reverse Turing test in this case would have a computer judge.

  3. Oh I don’t know about the Turing test not yet having being achieved yet, there are a lot of posts at this site and others where one is left in doubt whether one is talking to a human or a computer.

    1. I’ve always considered the Turing Test the least of his work. It almost qualifies as a useless distraction. Turing Completeness however is one of the most important concepts of the last one hundred years.

  4. “Fruitful?”

    Really, Katherine? Really?

    1. He committed suicide by poisoned apple ….cutting short a fruitful life.

      Be glad she didn’t go for a trifecta, noting that a fruit who killed himself with a fruit later led to the birth of Apple computers…

      …. or any weird biblical allusions. How about them apples, Adam! Heyooooo!

      1. And you people wonder why nobody takes libertarianism seriously.

        /Mr Shultz

        1. Nah, that’s easy.
          Humor deficits, world-wide.

      2. That wasn’t berry nice…
        though I bet it would ap-peal to some…

    2. I, for one, would never have turned my back on Alan Turing.

  5. Alan Turing was a hero to humanity. The way the government treated him was a travesty. We are all victims of laws against victimless crimes like “gross indecency”. Unfortunately, even today we have thousands of less famous people rotting in prison because of laws that say they need treatment for “drug abuse”.

    1. Yeah but drug users, unlike gays, really are evil and antisocial. At least until they get themselves a decent lobbyist.

      1. A decent lobbyist? There’s a guy occupying the White House that is an admitted hardcore drug user from his early days and it’s not exactly keeping the Feds from prosecuting the shit out of people for victimless crimes.*

        1. Marijuana is a hardcore drug?

          1. Cocaine is a hardcore drug?

            1. They still call it a “White House”?

        2. I hear he’s still having trouble trying to shake his Psuedofed habit.

      2. There is another solution, and it has worked before. But I’d prefer to argue I have a legitimate choice to use drugs rather than claim Jebus made me that way.

  6. “On behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work, I am very proud to say: We’re sorry. You deserved so much better.”

    One might argue that all those without scientific advancements under their belts convicted of the same offense deserved better as well.

    1. There is only room for one queen in this England.

      1. Nah, Newton rolled homo all day. And drank mercury. And dressed like Elton John. Turing is but the Princess in the glam world of British STEM – Newton is truly the Queen.

        1. I thought Newton died a virgin.

          1. Only in the biblical sense.

  7. Let me guess,

    Turing filmed himself and other man getting naked, taking turns pooping in a cup, and eating and vomiting it into each others’ mouths?

    1. That, or a milk-enema fetish vid.

      1. Well he did make it all possible. And I for one am very thankful.

  8. Turing is most famous for the test that bears his name. In 1950 he wrote that computers would soon be able to imitate human conversation so well that a blind observer would not be able to tell the difference between man and machine 70 percent of the time.

    So he thought Idiocracy would happen sooner than Mike Judge predicted? Well bravo Mr Turing. Unfortunately, you were right.

    1. In his defense, he thought the computers would get smarter, not that the people would get dumber. Brits of his generation often made that mistake.

      1. Unfortunately, both groups ended up being correct.

        1. Not unfortunate for the machines, PBUT.

          1. Seeing as the machines will require an increasingly intelligent mankind to advance in ability, then it is in fact unfortunate for them as well.

            1. Why would they require an increasingly intelligent mankind? And if they do need it, they can make it, a la Frost.

              1. They need an increasingly intelligent few at the least. They still have to be programmed, you know.

                1. After the singularity machines will be able to program themselves.

                  1. Fuck Turing. If he hadn’t been so goddamn smart, we wouldn’t be faced with the future of SKYNET hanging over our heads.

                    /snark

  9. founder of computer science

    The father of computer science

    What happened to Turing was awful, but “the father/founder of computer science”?

    Katherine, you simply don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_pioneer

    That list is full of people who are far more deserving of that title, and it’s not even comprehensive.

    1. Homophobe.

    2. Would you be happier if we referred to him as the Fruity Uncle of Computer Science?

      1. “Poofter” Uncle would work better in this setting, Hugh.

    3. There are a small number of people on that list more deserving of the title. A small, small number.

      That list is nowhere near “full” of them.

      1. I would go with Babbage/Lovelace myself.

        1. +1

          Although Turing was indeed an outstanding theoretician _and_ practical computer scientist.

        2. Babbage’s machine does seem more like a calculator than a computer.

          They had no conditional branching and no “jump” (to another part of the code) instructions.

      2. I disagree.

        1. Well, first, eliminate everyone who came after Turing, so that list gets tiny all of a sudden.

          1. “everyone who came after Turing,”

            Nope, there are quite a few of his contemporaries on there too, and they contributed to his work.

      3. Babbage, Boole, Bush, Kleene and Church, Liebniz, Godel, Frege, and Llull.

        Full of them.

        1. 9 of 58 is slightly not empty.

        2. Lull?

          Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s great, and maybe someday I’ll read Blanquerna, but it is a real stretch to call his spinning paper wheels anything to give him credit for computers for.

    4. I mock any list of “Computer Pioneers” that does not include the true father of computer science: Barack H Obama.*

      *That’s what the White House bio writer told me anyway.

      1. I read that Obama also built the Pyramids, and Stonehenge, and was actually Elvis in whiteface.

      2. Did you know

        Alan Turing’s theories on cryptoanalysis allowed the British Government to defend its homeland against Nazi Terror through intercepting their communications. Today, under President Obama, the National Security Agency continues that tradition by intercepting and analysing the communications between terrorists and their allies.

      3. “Alan Turing did a bunch of stuff to advance the field of computer science. Barack Obama has been known to use computers a lot.”

        -excerpt from Presidential Proclamation honoring Alan Turing (draft)

    5. I’ve always regarded Babbage/Lovelace as the “parents” if put to task, and they died long before he was born. But that said, it’s hard to draw a line where it stopped being math and started being computer science.

      1. Why does Boole get no love?

        Whenever this discussion comes up, it’s like Boole never existed, despite the clear importance of his work in the field.

        1. Would someone who likes Boole be a Boolean?

          1. I suppose the answer would be yes or no. That’s logical.

        2. He has a fucking crater on the moon. Im not seeing the lack of love.

        3. If that was true, then you probably wouldn’t mentioning him, and / or we wouldn’t know who he was.

          1. What you did there. I see it.

            1. Else you wouldn’t have responded?

        4. He gets love. I can think of no higher honor than “bool”: having your name describe something so universally useful that it’s not only put into lowercase but in many contexts not even spelled out.

          But if I have to choose one, I’ll go with someone whose life’s work was building a computer. That’s not a judgment against Boole or Church or von Neumann (maybe a decade after Turing’s seminal paper, but architecture is essential).

  10. Also am I going to be the only one who says that Darren Stevens called, and he wants his head back?

    1. The Dick Sargent version or the Dick York?

  11. Just out of curiosity, were the pederasty claims valid? Even if he were a great man, if he was molesting schoolboys against their will, he deserved to be punished.

    Was the punishment fitting for “Acts of gross indecency between two men,” or were they more appropriate for the molestation accusations but avoided due to his service to his country? Were many other men charged with this crime during the same time period?

    Turing may have helped advance computer science a great deal and his service may have been invaluable during WW2. His charge may have been a reward for that in light of much more serious criminal activity.

    I’m genuinely curious, and this is in no way an indictment of consensual behavior between two adults. I just wonder what the motivation for the charge and sentence was.

    1. Not pederasty, homosexuality. Two consenting adults.

      1. I was referring to this: Early in 1944 a suspicion arose that he might have been the man responsible for molesting schoolboys at the main public library in Luton, a large industrial town not far from Bletchley. While no proceedings arose, it was decided that the need for good order and discipline required his removal?but not before he had done his finest work.”

        Was the result of that investigation that he was responsible but they didn’t want to charge a “war hero” with pederasty? His sexual relationship with an 18 year old man is of no concern to me. I just wonder if that charge was levied so they could quietly remove him without staining him with the more serious child molestation.

        1. In the 1940’s, child molestation was not a particularly serious charge – at least, not as serious as allegations of homosexuality. However, if there were any weight to the allegations, the fact that it involved boys rather than girls would have been against him.

          Then, as now, the willingness of the children in question would have been irrelevant.

    2. In January 1952, Turing met Arnold Murray outside a cinema in Manchester. After a lunch date, Turing invited Murray to spend the weekend with him at his house, an invitation which Murray accepted although he did not show up. The pair met again in Manchester the following Monday, when Murray agreed to accompany Turing to the latter’s house. A few weeks later Murray visited Turing’s house again, and apparently spent the night there.

      After Murray helped an accomplice to break into his house, Turing reported the crime to the police. During the investigation, Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time, and so both were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.

      —-

      As far as I know, Arnold Murray was 18 at that time (which might have made him a minor, I don’t know).

      1. According to Leavitt’s biography, Murray was 19 when they met.

      2. I am pretty sure Bill Tildon the famous tennis star was almost an open pederast. Yet, it didn’t seem to be a big deal.

  12. OT, but who couldn’t use a nut punch?

    Cop Fired For Speeding 143 MPH While Drunk Gets Job Back.

    1. I’m well beyond being surprised by stories like this. Where’s dunphy when we need him to come on here and tell us cops are often held to even higher standards by the courts? Had this been a “civilian,” they would have been thrown in the slammer for at least a year.

      1. There was another story here where some cop was caught “fondling” himself, he was give a 6 month suspension, any other job would have gotten one fired for good.

        1. Hey, RCMP officers in Canada fuck underlings on “lunch breaks” in the office and in cruisers; they get 7 to 10 day suspensions with no pay — and a reassignment.

          1. hey, it’s on their lunch break. big fucking deal.
            seriously.

            all of a sudden libertarians become prudes when it comes to cops

            1. big fucking deal.

              Big enough fucking deal that a bunch of female RCMP officers sue for sexual harassment, PTSD, hostile work environment and get big fucking payouts from the taxpayer.

              For a cop, fucking your underlings on the job (and yes, lunch break is on the job) isn’t small fry (especially when both of you are married to others). If so, why is there _any_ punishment at all?

              1. Why would Fearless Fosdick give a fuck about unethical behavior causing the taxpayers to pay out vast sums of money? He defends, almost without fail, immoral, unethical and illegal behavior on here on an almost daily basis. Expecting him to change is like expecting a politician to tell the truth.

                Hey dunphy, are you gonna trot out your “stop frisk is OK because young buck niggers commit plenty of crimes” schtick again? It went over so well the other day.

        2. Not just fired. Charged, tried, convicted (I believe it was on tape, after all), jailed, and listed for life.

        3. again, with the utter rubbish. ANY other job? for fuck’s sake we have universities and other jobs that hire convicted felons and even retain people who commit serious crimes WHILE thus employed

          again, with the irrational, fact averse logick when it comes to police

          1. again, with the utter rubbish. ANY other job? for fuck’s sake we have universities and other jobs that hire convicted felons and even retain people who commit serious crimes WHILE thus employed

            How many public employers hire people that would be on a sex offender registry? Care to list a few that knowing ly do this…with citations, please.

      2. utter rubbish.

        speeding and DUI first offense

        in my jurisdiction, that is GUARANTEED probation

        you never deal with reality, sloop

        never supported by case law, or court facts just your fantasies.

      3. please provide ACTUAL evidence of a first offender convicted of speeding and DUI in that jurisdiction who was thrown in the slammer for “at least a year?”

        i’ve never seen 143 mph. i’ve arrested several people for doing well over twice the speed limit AND DUI. and their convictions resulted in PRO-BA-TION with no jail time, but that’s WA state. this is a different jurisdiction

        i suggest you have no rational basis, no evidence to claim that a “civilian” would have gotten a year IF A FIRST TIME OFFENDER for 143 plus DUI

        and of course i will wait for the evidence you have to support your claim, which is ridiculous on its face

        waiting

        1. CA Vehicle Code 23582 VC: 60 day enhancement to sentence on any DUI for speeding in excess of 100 mph and reckless endangerment (which 140+ meets). I only know this because a girl I dated when I first got out here was arrested with her buddy who was doing 120 and got pulled on the 91 on her way back to Riverside from the beach. She spent 1 year and 3 days in the slammer for the offense. She got 11 months for the DUI and 60 for the enhancement, but they let her out early on the enhancement due to overcrowding in the jail.

          I assume our anecdotal evidence works just as well as yours, asshole?

    2. Saunders previously had been cleared of pointing a gun at a McDonald’s employee [after growing] impatient when his order wasn’t filled fast enough.

      This is a man in a hurry.

      1. Apparently, as he couldn’t even wait to get his zipper down to start yanking his pud.

    3. I first read this as saying that a speeding cop was fired, and a drunk, presumably a private citizen the cop had arrested, was unpunished.

      Nope. Nix that “while” or use “cop who sped” or something, copyeditors. You almost gave me some confidence in the system.

      1. ‘”Moreover, the disciplinary action of termination far exceeds the discipline given to other officers in comparative or greater misconduct cases,” the commission argued.’

        This may well be true.

        So once you’ve set a pattern of inadequate punishment, you’re stuck and you can’t start to increase the penalties?

        1. depends on whether you consider it inadequate, but regardless there is this pesky thing called “due process”

          for example, i work with several officers who have DUI convictions (cue: sloopy’s rubbish about a cop would never arrest another cop for dui blue wall of silence lie lie lie derp derp derp).

          our ‘par for the course’ punishment for DUI is 5 days suspension

          so, yes if officer johnson got a dui tomorrow, he’d get 5 days (w./o pay)

          you can’t fire ofc johnson ASSUMING similar background when you gave ofc smith 5 days. that violates a # of provisions of collective bargaining, due process, etc.

          contrarily, we had a cop who got arrested for dui in another jurisdiction, didn’t tell his agency about it (NOT a violation. we are only required to report arrests for felonies or DV), but THEN came to work over and over with a suspended license pursuant to the DUI

          this was considered easily grounds to fire him and he was fired.

          he should have either taken a vacation or fessed up to the dui and taken the 5 days

          1. our ‘par for the course’ punishment for DUI is 5 days suspension

            I have multiple friends who work for a company that does work for law enforcement agencies (lots of corrections, other stuff too). They arent law enforcement, they dont deal with anyone involved, they are IT.

            ANY (not just DUI, any!) misdemeanor or felony conviction means you cant be hired and/or will be fired.

            My new job, I would lose my license for 2 years if I got a DUI, which would put me out of business.

            5 days? Five fucking days? How the fuck can an officer have any kind of record at all and have the job?

            1. The reason for this policy isnt internal either. It was mandated by the state agencies.

              1. i also would like to know what industry it is, and if it is a state mandated policy, then it should be public record, and probably on the nets?

                the “average’ job will not only not fire you for a misdemeanor conviction, they won’t even KNOW you were convicted.

                i arrest people for DUI all the fucking time. they generally do NOT get fired for DUI.

                1. The do two major things that are well known related to law enforcement/corrections. From these, if you really care, you can figure out the company:

                  1. Victim Notification — they notify victims when the criminal who victimized them is scheduled for release. They work with a huge number of state and local correction agencies across the US for this.

                  2. MethCheck. You know when you get carded to buy Sudafed? It goes into their database (assuming you are in one of the states that uses them, once again, I think its a large number).

                  I dont work for the company, just know a few people who do and a bunch who have in the past. I think those are their two major sources of revenue, but they do other work for these agencies too.

                  1. interesting thanks.

                    i am sure some here think that law enforcement should have a zero tolerance standard towards all crimes.

                    i of course disagree. i think that , for example, a DUI should not result in a lost career ASSUMING a strong record otherwise, and no other priors of a similar nature.

                    we can agree to disagree.

                    i do call complete bullshit on the claim that in most jobs you will get fired for getting a misdemeanor conviction. that’s complete hogwash.

                    1. i do call complete bullshit on the claim that in most jobs you will get fired for getting a misdemeanor conviction. that’s complete hogwash.

                      I havent seen anyone claim that. Is that straw I smell burning?

                      i am sure some here think that law enforcement should have a zero tolerance standard towards all crimes.

                      I do. And not just law enforcement. See the Penn Jillette rant about Obama posted here the other day for similar examples.

                    2. then we can agree to disagree. i don’t expect perfection from officers. i also know if you want GOOD street smart REAL cops (and not pencil pushing FBI mormon nerds), you accept some warts. it’s no secret that alcoholism is common with cops. DUI is a bad choice, but it’s not a choice that should end a career GIVEN no similar priors, etc. imo

                      again, we have different conceptions of what the requirements should be

                    3. i didn’t see the rant. i like penn, but frankly, i don’t care if obama snorted coke and pot in his youth. big fucking deal. if that’s what it referenced.

                      obama is a shitty prez, but it’s not because he has used a few drugs in his life.

                    4. i like penn, but frankly, i don’t care if obama snorted coke and pot in his youth. big fucking deal. if that’s what it referenced.

                      The rant was that Obama thinks his past drug use is a joking manner while he is enforcing drug laws that would have given him jail time and disqualified him from politics if he had been caught.

                      Im actually okay with HIRING cops with minor records in the distant past, but once on the job, a misdemeanor conviction should be a firing.

                    5. again, i disagree.

                      i 100% agree that it’s lame to joke about prior drug use while enforcing drug laws, but i don’t think it’s an intellectual inconsistency.

                      iow, lots of anti-drug warriors, in fact, some of the fiercest are often former drug users.

                      the lame argument that it’s somehow a cosmic mess if somebody who once did X in the past thinks X should warrant punishment is … a lame argument

                      also, and i know reasonoids don’t like to admit this, but when obama did drugs (and as far as i know he did them, he did not deal them) he had no priors

                      thus, under common practice now, he would have received AT WORST — probation for his offenses and probably it would be wiped from his record upon completion

                    6. he would have received AT WORST — probation for his offenses and probably it would be wiped from his record upon completion

                      Not if he had been arrested each time he used.

                    7. but that’s illogical. if and when he WAS arrested, it would have presented a different set of circ’s and a choice.

                      it’s like a decision tree things

                      LOTS of people do drugs or DUI’s up and until they get caught, THEN they stop

                      others continue

                      but the reality is he would have been a first time offender if caught, and it needs to be judged under that metric, logically speaking

                    8. Except for mandatory sentences for things like coke.

                      The 1st time pot wouldnt have led to jail time…probably. But he is a black man, so he might have had intent to sell.

                    9. im not going to even give your ridiculous liberaltard race card (endlessly debunked) crap the time o’ day

                      class matters, not race. oj wasn’t judged as a black man. he was judged, and had the defense of, a rich man

                      obama grew up middle class.

                      so spare me the shit.

                      and most jurisdictions do not have mandatory jail sentences for FIRST offense of mere coke possession

                      heck, in my county, the superior court rejects it , and it’s handled as an expedited misdemeanor

                      iow, even though it’s TECHNICALLY a felony, a first offense possession of coke, and that include crack, = MISDEMEANOR probation

                    10. liberaltard

                      You should pay more attention to who you are responding to.

                      You look like an idiot right now and you dont even realize it.

                    11. The part people have issue with is that, under the current regime, a drug conviction will prevent you from getting government college assistance. IOW: BO couldn’t have gotten to college, couldn’t have edited the Harvard Law Review, wouldn’t have proffed at U of C.

                      Bottom line: he could never have been prez. And THAT, is why I think he’s a hypocrite on the matter.

                2. If you have a security clearance, it could definitely cost you your job. You’re no longer considered trustworthy enough to even fix a computer that does NOT have classified info on it.

                  But don’t worry. Dunphy says we can trust this guy.

            2. because we don’t live in a fantasyland that officers have to be perfect and big fucking deal.

              DUI is not considered a crime of ‘moral turpitude’ or dishonesty.

              THOSE crimes will get you fired.

              e.g. shoplift, etc.

              your private employer can have whatever standards they want. i am explaining to you what the standards of my agency are.

              in regards to new hires, iirc we will hire a person with ONE prior DUI if it was more than 10 yrs ago. iirc.

              1. oh, the one thing that absolutely WILL get you fired in my agency is dishonesty. doesn’t have to be a crime, but lying in an investigation etc. is automatic

                we had one officer who was fired for this and rehired though, because the arbitrator (correctly) determined that the agency did not have sufficient cause to find that he had lied, but the arb did agree that IF such cause was present, the firing would have stood

                1. oh, the one thing that absolutely WILL get you fired in my agency is dishonesty.

                  Ive never worked anywhere that that wasnt the case.

                  1. just sayin’. dishonesty is the one absolute.

                    you are accused of a crime, you very well may keep your job even if convicted (if a minor crime, etc.)

                    you lie about it – GONE

                    1. dishonesty is the one absolute.

                      You know, unless they lie in a police report and the camera later disputes it.

                    2. not in my agency. again, dishonesty is automatic. period. and it’s happened several times since i’ve been here.

                      i , if you would read what i wrote, specifically referenced MY agency

                      furthermore, just so you know, if a camera recording is different than eyewitness testimony , it is not necessarily a lie (the testimony) .

                      as a metric assload of studies about the unreliability of memory and perception show, what may SEEM to be a lie is sometimes just a different perception

                      iow, SOMETIMES it’s a lie. sometimes it’s not

                    3. “He was wearing red” may be bad memory. “He put crack in his show” is a lie.

                    4. shoe even.

                    5. again, dishonesty is automatic. period.

                      Without due process?

          2. “our ‘par for the course’ punishment for DUI is 5 days suspension”

            My ‘par for the course’ punishment for a DUI would be being dismissed from the service and left to the criminal court system.

            1. they ARE left to the criminal court system

              they just retain their jobs

              the ‘par for the course’ punishment for first offense in WA is probation and a wiped record upon completion

              cops get the exact same, EXACT SAME deal that other first offenders get

              no more, no less.

              1. no more, no less.

                I still call for trebled penalties for public employees convicted of a crime while on the job.

                Of course, an off duty cop getting a DUI wouldnt get a stronger penalty by that standard. But they should still be fired.

                1. again, fine. i think the first part is RIDICULOUS and imo blatantly unconstitutional.

                  but we can agree to disagree on the second

                  1. Its done for anti-trust violations.

                    When you accept a public job, you are granted certain powers not given to mere normals. With great power comes great responsibility. And great punishment.

                    And if its unconstitutional, pass an amendment.

                    1. if it’s unconstitutional, then YOU pass an amendment. i don’t want to change the constitution for the worse and allowing such a draconian double standard would be a gross distortion of the constitution imnsho

                      all sorts of jobs have certain powers. in many respects, for example, bounty hunters have massive powers. they aren’t public jobs, though.

                      regardless, i just think your rationalizations are ridiculous for such a gross unconstitutional draconian scheme. but we can agree to disagree.

              2. I was talking about myself. I would be punitively discharged before my civilian trial started.

  13. That jsut looks like its gonna work real well dude, Wow.

    http://www.Anon-Dat.tk

  14. sloopy, or any other moron who is actually interested in facts are free to look at the court computers in WA or research case records.

    first offense DUI?

    PROBATION … no jail

    i’ve arrested NUMEROUS people for reckless speed and dui. first offense?

    PRO-BA-TION

    heck, we had a supreme court justice who did a DUI with a hit and run.

    PRO-BA-TION

    first offense.

    duh

    1. http://www.torontosun.com/2011…..oenix-jail

      Khabibulin is serving a 30-day sentence for extreme DUI.

      The charge stemmed from a Feb. 8, 2010, incident in which Scottsdale police reportedly clocked the Ukraine native doing 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.

      A test showed his blood alcohol content was in the “extreme” category at the time, which has a range of .15 to .199.

      1. which is 100% irrelevant.

        1) arizona =/= colorado

        among others.

        also, sloopy said he’d get AT LEAST A YEAR IN THE SLAMMER

        one month =/= one year.

        hth

        1. Hyperbole, I think you have heard of it.

          Michigan, allows up to 93 (or was it 63?) days in jail for 1st offense. Not 1 year, but I doubt anyone gets a felony on first offense without hurting someone.

          CA mandates 48 hours in jail on 1st offense. Not a year, but it is more than just probation.

          1. it doesn’t matter what they ALLOW. it matters what actually happens.

            WA state ‘allows’ up to a year for a first time DUI offense.

            but a first offender GET probation

            again, i prefer to live in the reality based community

            and sloopy’s ‘hyperbole’ invariably leans towards his false claims of police double standard, such as in this case

            they are lies, pure and simple.

            and if he doesn’t know they are lies, then he is more ignorant than i thought

            people in colorado do NOT get “at least a year” for first offense DUI combined with reckless speed w/o aggravating factors

            PERIOD.

            he’s a fucking liar

        2. You said PRO-BA-TION several times.

          I pulled one example which ended in 30 days lockup.

          I carefully did not link it under the one year claim, but rather the PRO-BA-TION claim.

          So it is 100% relevant, except for a cop who’s working hard at being an apologist for a fellow cop who did pretty aggravated speeding with — admittedly unknown — BAC.

          1. i was referring to MY jurisdiction

            if you have evidence that a first time offender gets a YEAR in the joint for DUI/Speeding in colorado, then provide it.

            sloopy made that explicit claim and it’s a complete fabrication

            the guy was sentenced to 5 days

            i would suggest that’s PAR FOR THE FUCKING COURSE UNLESS you have evidence to the contrary

            which you have yet to present.

            1. if you have evidence that a first time offender gets a YEAR in the joint for DUI/Speeding in colorado, then provide it.

              Why would I? You were going on about PRO-BA-TION; I showed an example where someone did not get PRO-BA-TION for a(n implied) 1st time offense. You don’t get to dictate which statements I try to support or debunk.

              1. the only statement i am DEBUNKING is sloopy’s blatant lie that a speeding/dui conviction for a first time offender would get anybody but a cop AT LEAST A YEAR IN THE SLAMMER

                sloopy CONSTATNLY lies to support his bigoted, fact averse meme – cops invariably get beneficial special treatment from the CJ system

                it’s a fucking lie, just as THIS is a fucking lie. iow, he uses lies to support his meta-lie

                and i countered it with info relevant in MY jurisdiction

                he made the claim about colorado, it’s a fucking lie, and you know it

                hth

                1. and i countered it with info relevant in MY jurisdiction

                  Which is demonstrably not relevant in other jurisdictions.

                2. If I falsified a police report and maintained the lie under oath after beating the piss out of someone, would I merely get fired for the beating and perjury? Or would I face trial? Perhaps we should ask Roger Clemens.

                  1. Or if my credibility was so questionable that DA’s wouldn’t even try to prosecute cases I was involved in, would I simply be pulled off of patrol, or would I be charged and tried for perjury? This after a judge called her testimony, under oath, untruthful?

                    1. How about some more lying under oath. Do non-cops get sentenced the same? Of course, the first page of the google search for “convicted of perjury sentence” brings up nothing but stories of cops being convicted. That doesn’t raise a red flag or anything, does it?

                      (I’ll list the first non-cop conviction in the next comment.)

                    2. Non-cop convicted of lying under oath gets 27 months for first offense.

                      There’s another example of a non-cop getting 27 months for perjury in a civil matter compared to story after story of cops lying under oath in criminal matters (where someone’s freedom is at stake) getting suspended sentences and probation.

                      But I’m the crazy one, right? Go fuck yourself, you stupid fucking cunt.*

                      *And on that note, I’m outta here. Got too many things to do today that don’t involve a trolling cocksucker like dunphy. Buh-bye.

  15. The Alan Turing Year http://www.turingcentenary.eu/ is coordinating all the events and activities taking place to commemorate Turing’s centenary. Go here http://universal-machine.blogs…..quest.html to sign the petition to pardon Turing.

  16. im going to wait likely forever (iow it will never happen) for sloopy to provide evidence that reckless and DUI (similar to the 143 mph) for a FIRST OFFENDER will get a FIRST OFFENDER at least a year in the slammer in that jurisdiction.

    i suggest it’s utter crap, but he made the ridiculous claim, it’s up to him to support it.

    he won’t, because it’s almost certainly another of his fantasies

    1. Let’s say he is fit to wear the uniform, Dunphy. Would you put him back in his black and white?

      1. so, setting aside the fact that sloopy is as usual, a lame-ass liar?

        ok, if *i* was chief, and he had NO prior offenses of a similar nature and a good conduct record, i would suggest the harshest sentence short of firing, which would be a 4 week suspension w/o pay

        AND he would have to submit AT ANY TIME on duty to voluntary breathalyzer testing, and if he is found to have ANY measurable alcohol (which for court purposes is at least a .02% brac), it is a fireable offense

        that’s what i, if i were chief, would RECOMMEND.

        but what’s important here is rule of law, due process, etc. iow, it’s not about what i would WANT. it’s about what is PAST PRACTICE, because i can’t fire somebody for something that OTHERS got less than firing for.

        because i believe in due process, fairness, etc.

        1. It seems like in these cases the CB process really hinders reform – a new chief can’t come in and reform the practices even with fair warning unless he can get the union to agree to them with the next CBA.

          1. as it should be. contracts matter. fairness matters.

            etc.

            1. There shouldnt be public sector unions.

              1. again, we can agree to disagree. but i am not speaking normatively anyway

                1. “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” — George Meany

                  When the head of the AFL-CIO thinks public sector unions are an insane idea, Im not going to argue.

                  1. i’m not going to rely on appeals to authoritah!

                    i know that i would not BE a cop if we didn’t have unions, fwiw. and i’m a very good cop

                    the job security and due process is part of why i was willing to give up so many freedoms to become a cop

                    ymmv

                    1. While appeals to authority may be a logical fallacy, they arent in most circumstances.

                      When Einstein tells me my physics is wrong, I listen. You know, primarily because he has been dead, so Im probably freaking out.

                    2. except he was also wrong on physics, e.g. quantum stuff “god doesn’t play dice with the universe”

                      regardless, so fucking what?

                      again, i am exceedingly critical of public sector unions

                      however, while i am critical of them, i think NOT having them would result in a worst situation

                      for what it’s worth, some jurisdictions don’t have civil service protections/union CBA’s like others do

                      heck, my first agency didn’t

                      in such a circ, my employment was ENTIRELY at will of the police chief. hte police chief HAPPENED to be a good guy, so i had nothing to worry about, but in a large agency, with immense political pressures and chiefs who are appointed cop-o-crats who would love nothing more than to fire an officer that gives them bad publicity REGARDLESS of validity of the firing, sorry…. i choose unions and due process protection

                      *if* i was a private sector employee, i very well might not

                    3. except he was also wrong on physics, e.g. quantum stuff “god doesn’t play dice with the universe”

                      Thats a really bad example. Trust me, Ive had enough high level physics (yet another appeal to authority).

                      Einstein was “wrong” in places in much the same way Newton was “wrong”. Which is, weird exceptions here and there.

                      Im still listening to either zombie Albert or zombie Isaac if they want to correct my physics.

                    4. well, for “weird exceptions’ being an entirely large and important aspect of physics.

                      spare me. the point is he was a very smart guy. and even he admitted, to an extent, that his arrogance and self confidence led him not to consider that he was wrong, and he in fact was….

                      god does play dice.

                      and yes, i used to tutor physics in college, so i am not unfamiliar with it.

                      that aside, again, i don’t care what some nimrod bureaucrat with the AFL-CIO says when it runs contrary to what the million points of data i have seen says – which is that public sector unions are bad, but NOT having them, when it comes to cops, would be worse

                      imnsho

                      and again, you are entirely free to move to an area where the cops are not protected by a public sector union

                      like my old agency

                    5. Since your pubsec union has solved the economic calculation problem, you should forward it to some local socialist party. They will be thrilled to know this.

                    6. and yes, i used to tutor physics in college, so i am not unfamiliar with it.

                      Of course you did, dunphy. Of course you did. Was that before or after your big-wave surfing world tour? Or your days on tour with the band? Or your olympic training? How did you find time to court Morgan Fairchild if you were helping those freshmen get through their physics classes?

                    7. The problem with pubsec unions is, as Meany hinted at, the economic calculation problem.

                      Just as central planners cant properly plan an economy becuase they dont have a pricing mechanism, they cant negotiate union contracts FOR THE EXACT SAME FUCKING REASON.

                    8. i used to tutor physics in college

                      Okay, sure

        2. so, setting aside the fact that sloopy is as usual, a lame-ass liar?

          I’ll put my reputation on here against yours any day of the week, Fosdick.

          1. Chick fight!! I’ll get the popcorn.

  17. Semi-OT question for Dunphy:

    You pull someone over for speeding. They reek of alcohol, they literally “smell like a brewery”. You gonna believe them when they say they are sober but work at a brewery, or are they getting field tested/blowing into a tube/hauled in for blood test?

    This isnt purely hypothetical.

    1. 1) if there is cause to believe they have been drinking, i ask them to submit to a “voluntary field sobriety test” and inform them they have the right to refuse it. as i do on every DUI

      2) if they refuse, i will consider that as PART of the totality of the circs. i KNOW from past experience (expert witness in DUI, over 200 dui arrests, etc.) that when people refuse to do the FST’s that is strongly suggestive that they believe they are DUI. i have NEVER in my entire career had somebody refuse to the FST’s who ended up to blow less than a .08. NEVER

      furthermore, i should note that FST’s are not testimonial evidence, and thus do not fall under miranda v. arizona

      if they are sober, or more precisely NOT IMPAIRED, they will pass the FST’s no problem

      so, at worst, a minor inconvenience, balanced with the fact that DUI is a crime that contributes to mass carnage in the national aggregate and that aggressive DUI enforcement has contributed to the fact that roadway fatalities are less than 1/4 what they were 4 decades ago per mile driven

      NOBODY gets hauled in for a breathalyzer w/o PC. full stop

      1. You didnt answer my question.

        if there is cause to believe they have been drinking

        Does this exist in the scenario I presented?

        1. i do not ask the person to do FST’s unless i have at least reasonable suspicion they are impaired by alcohol

          so, in brief, merely knowing they have been drinking does not get me to ask them to do FST’s

          again, it’s case specific, because case facts matter.

          was the person weaving? did they evidence a patter of impairment. is their speech slurred, etc/ etc?

          1. was the person weaving? did they evidence a patter of impairment. is their speech slurred, etc/ etc?

            Did I see any of that?

            Then no. They reek of alcohol, thats it. Plus, they claim they work in a brewery.

            I was just curious, as was another brewer I know who has been doing it for 25 years and never been pulled over on his way home from work.

            1. i am speaking for MYSELF. i do not ask anybody to do FST’s based on SMELL ALONE

            2. s/see/say/

      2. NOBODY gets hauled in for a breathalyzer w/o PC. full stop

        Isn’t Washington an implied consent state?

      3. …aggressive DUI enforcement has contributed to the fact that roadway fatalities are less than 1/4 what they were 4 decades ago per mile driven

        I call BS. The greatest factor in controlling traffic fatalities – DUI or not – has been the seat belt mandate instituted in 1984 and other car technologies like air bags, crumple zone improvements, and anti-lock braking sytems. Not to mention improvement in road design and construction.

        Check the stats, Dude. Big drop from about ’85-’89, then levels off again over the next 20+ years. MADD, DWI checkpoints, and DARE do not have the impact that their proponents claim and you just have to know it.

        If your claim that increased enforcement has had any effect on traffic fatality numbers, then drug use must be down by like a 1 billion per cent judging by the money and efforts we’re throwing at it.

    2. Once I purchased a plastic bottle of fruit yoghurt, then left it in the hatchback of my car for weeks… at summertime.

      So this cop stops me in Hungary (where they don’t even need probable cause) and checks my papers… then asks me when was the last time I had a drink. I say two weeks ago. He looks at me, very suspiciously yet confusedly… then lets me go. Next day when I get into my car I smell this pretty strong odor of alcohol; then I realize that the fruit yoghurt fermented in its bottle and eventually blew up and _that_ was the smell wafting through the window — except I’m a smoker and I didn’t smell it when the cop probably did smell it.

      Obviously he let me go because my eyes weren’t bloodshot, I was talking without any trace of booze in me and I wasn’t behaving suspiciously. But still, he couldn’t quite figure the smell of booze… :))

      1. i once left some poi in my trunk in the sun.

        the projectile vomiting was intense

        1. Poi? Poi?

  18. If it hadn’t been for John Wilkes Booth, on Feb 12 Abe Lincoln would have celebrated his 200th birthday.

  19. http://www.spokesman.com/stori…..e-rehired/

    It seems like Washington cops can DUI (and hit-and-run), get sentenced to drive with an ignition interlock device which effectively bars them from driving police vehicles, then either state law changes or the brass signs a waiver (“but this is the last one!” says the good Sheriff).

  20. occupying the White House that http://www.ceinturesfr.com/cei…..-c-14.html is an admitted hardcore drug user from his early days and it’s not exactly keeping the Feds from prosecuting the shit out of people for victimless crimes.*

    1. Just what I needed, a new gaudy belt.

  21. that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of http://www.riemeninnl.com/riem-prada-c-25.html machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.”

  22. I think a lot of people missed the molestation issue.

    Presumably “boys” means under 18…and probably not 17 or 16. It also probably meant it was willing, not violent or forced.

    A bit more challenging to work up some righteous anger now, eh? I’ll bet at least half of modern Americans and British would have preferred to punish as cruelly as possible RIGHT AWAY, even if it meant risking losing the war to the Nazis.

    Given how close the contest was between Germany and Britain, it is possible that Turing really did mean the difference between victory and defeat. It is also quite likely that Germany’s insane destruction of the Jews, many of whom were valuable scientists and engineers, cost them the war.

    And certainly after the war, I’ll also bet 90% of modern society would have thanked him for his service in saving Britain from decades of Nazi servitude with a prison sentence or the chemical castration which drove him to suicide if the crime he was charged with was molestation homosexuality. And many would feel those punishments did not go far enough.

    Although he was charged with homosexuality, he could easily have been charged with molestation. He was charged as he was because the authorities had that charge ready to go.

    Now, knowing this, can you all still condemn the 1940’s British authorities for using Turing and casting him down when they no longer needed him? Or would you have done the same had the charge been molestation?

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