Morning Ed: Crime {2016.10.27.Th}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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182 Responses

  1. Avatar j r says:

    As a topline finding, 88 percent of respondents reported that police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence.

    I don’t know why this 88% number would come as a shock. Scratch that. I know exactly why. It’s because social science and advocacy are hopelessly entangled. There tends to be a popular conception of domestic violence that is out of whack with what most domestic violence actually looks like (this is what I mean: It makes perfect sense that, to police arriving on a scene, it’s not going to be crystal clear that one of the parties is the clear aggressor and that the other is the clear victim. And even in situations where it is clear, the victim may be very hesitant to cooperate, because what she wants is to be out of immediate danger, but not necessarily to have her partner arrested.

    And that’s not to say that there can’t or shouldn’t be more that police departments can do to train their officers. You’ll never catch me saying that the police have no room for improvement. As a matter of fact, this is another reason why I personally would only definitely call cops in two situations: someone’s life is in imminent danger or I need to report a property crime for insurance purposes. Anything short of that, I really have to take a moment to ask whether the introduction of police into a situation is likely to be a net positive or not. Generally, this is an issue where the more tools we develop to deal with these situations that don’t involve either the police or the criminal justice system, the better off everyone involved will be.

    On Julian Assange, I expect now that information can move around more easily and secret information can leak more easily, the powers that be will begin spending an awful lot of time going after the sources and less and less time analyzing the content. In a world where information can be faked or spun any which way, what team you play for will become more and more the arbiter of truth. And this is not necessarily a judgment, just an observation leading to a prediction.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      I’m on the side of freedom of speech, and freedom to publish leaks. They do tons more good than harm.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      If I remember correctly, you live abroad now (Japan?). Are your feelings about calling the police the same there as they are here? If so, is that informed by similar issues there?Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The big problem with police reform was always going to be the public. Many people in the United States believe in a very law and order approach to criminal justice and have a lock them up and throw away the key narrative. It does not matter how ineffective, expensive, or problematic approach this is. They want the people they see as baddies in jail. Its something of a miracle that police misbehavior is getting as much play these days because I bet tens of millions of Americans still support the police in this and believe the victims of police violence got what they deserve.

    Domestic violence: It seems that many police officers really don’t like having to deal with the tougher aspects of their job.

    Donald Trump is the type of politician that Ben Franklin warned against when he said “A republic if you can keep it.” Like Saul, I really believe that Trump’s wildness and behavior is a big part of his appeal to his supporters. Many of them want to live that type of cocaine and sexy young woman as a man of extreme wealth lifestyle. They want to be just as hedonistic as their hero.

    Erick Erickson wonders why so many people think he is hateful and stupid hack crank writer.Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      Many people in the United States believe in a very law and order approach to criminal justice and have a lock them up and throw away the key narrative.

      Yes, God forbid society lock criminals up so they won’t commit any more crimes. Maybe if we just understood that they didn’t get enough love as children or they suffer from low self esteem that would fix the problem.Report

    • Avatar Damon says:

      “Americans still support the police in this and believe the victims of police violence got what they deserve.”

      Generally, this is accurate and true, both in perception and real life. If a cop is confronting an armed criminal and he’s resisting…well…. What a lot of folks have problems with, including me, is that there seems to be a lot of unjustified shootings, coupled with a hear no evil / see no evil, ass covering “followed procedure” justifications, which a lot of people are finally realizing is just bullshit.

      Re Trump: I think it’s more “Let’s blow up this bitch” with bitch being the current political environment.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        To illustrate why, prior to more ubiquitous cameras (a problem the police have been trying to solve by illegally confiscating them whenever possible), people simply didn’t believe any of those stories of shady uses of force by police, I’ll bring up something said to me about 15 years ago.

        An average, white, very median middle class guy said the following during a news report on a Death Row inmate who new evidence (that newfangled DNA stuff at the time) has shown to be innocent:

        “I’m sure he was guilty of something, or he’d have never been a suspect”.

        That attitude is still pretty solidly embedded, and pops up immediately (even with video evidence) as people frantically try to show the dead body belonged to a criminal, even IF he’d clearly been shot for no freaking reason.

        Because that makes it okay, and we can hit the snooze button on the problem.Report

        • Avatar Damon says:

          Yep, but I think that’s slooooowly changing.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            Very slowly. It’s rather a difficult issue to face, if you’ve not had the personal experience.

            And even then, you want to blame a few bad apples that can be safely left to internal procedure (even though the actual saying finishes with “spoils the whole barrel”).

            Our current issues with policing had many fathers, but I’d say the most prominent cause has been America’s long tradition of using the police in an…unofficial…manner to enforce certain social requirements.

            Bluntly put, the police have 200 years of the tradition of the majority asking them to make sure the wrong sorts knew their place. (Where wrong sorts have been, over the decades, Germans, Irish, Chinese, Native Americans, Hispanics, blacks…..Always the immigrants of the day, as it were, plus Native Americans and blacks).

            And without video tape, it was always the officer’s word against the “criminals” word (assuming he was alive to give it). And who believes a criminal over an upstanding police officer?

            I think ubiquitous cameras will eventually at least mitigate the issue — it’s a steady drip-drip-drip…Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      There are up to four things that we want to do with criminals (we need not do all of them, but we generally want to do *ONE* of them).

      1. Punish
      2. Sequester
      3. Rehabilitate
      4. Force them to provide restitution (to their victims, to “society”, or whatever)

      Generally, firm believers in one of these as being a “need to have” see another as a “nice to have” and another as “what in the hell are you thinking?!?”

      Or “problematic” is the word I guess we’re using for that last one now.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        The forth is something they don’t care aboutReport

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Have you ever heard the phrase “paid his debt to society” used unironically?

          If so, something like the fourth is bubbling around out there.

          (Or “her debt”, I guess.)Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            I have, but generally on conversations about restoring the right of felons to vote after they’ve finished their probation, or when discussing “ban the box” kind of things.

            That is, once your sentence + probation is done, the idea of a lingering, lifelong, unofficial punishment seems a bit…wrong.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Sure, but that indicates that the germ of the idea is still floating around out there.

              Heck, you can even see the ideas for what we’re going for in the names.

              Prison == Place where we imprison people
              Penitentiary == Place where people will become penitent
              Correctional Center == Place where people will be corrected
              Reformatory == Place where people are reformed
              Gaol == from Old French “jaiole”, which means “cage”Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Oh true enough. I think we’re slowly moving back to the “rehabilitation/treatment” model for drugs, for instance. (Well, possession at least) which means we might have only screwed addicts for four or five decades with the ‘War on Drugs”.

                But hey, we still think of mental illness in general as a problem of insufficient moral fiber or internal weakness, so I suppose it’s understandable we often refuse to understand the concept of ‘addiction’.

                We have made great strides in corrupting prison guards due to the amazing demand for drugs inside prison. It does turn out that imprisoning addicts does not magically cure their addiction.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m not even sure that we’re talking about addiction.

                When we did tests on rats and crack in the 80’s, the test was to whether they would press the button… while in a bare cage.

                Of course, they did. When they had options of “press the button for crack *OR* press the button for food *OR* run on the wheel for a while *OR* hang out with friends *OR* make a fort in the sawdust”, they wandered around and only got crack occasionally.

                So the idea of putting people in a cage and then expecting them to *NOT* want crack is to misunderstand what happened with the rats.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I think you’re talking “bored people are bored and seeking anything to relieve the boredom” whereas I’m talking “addiction is actually a thing, including biochemical mechanisms that are pretty solidly understood, and thus can’t be defeated by sheer Galtian will” which seems to be the default of a lot of Americans.

                Then again, we’ve (America) have always liked to add in extra dose of moral failing to anything we dislike. It’s not enough that you’re poor, you must clearly be poor because of your sinful nature. That’s when we’re not going Calvinist, of course.

                So clearly while God-fearing Americans can struggle with nicotine addiction, those heroin addicts are all weak-willed who don’t want to be better — why try to treat that?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                From what I recall, the rat/crack experiments was used as justification to argue that “after one hit of crack, you’re *ADDICTED*.”

                And, with that, everybody who was caught/busted with crack was not a crack user but a crack addict.

                By definition. It’s been proven by scientists who had rats in a lab and everything.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I was not referring to that at all.

                Most illegal drugs are addictive. Addicts are, pretty much by definition, addictive.

                Addiction is not a failure of will or moral fiber. It ranges between self-treatment for a variety of mental illness to biochemistry proper.

                We chunk addicts into jail, and expect them to stop being addicts. They’re lucky if we bother trying to wean them off the chemical dependency.

                Treatment, to handle both chemical dependency or underlying mental illness or trauma, is a far more productive use of the time and money than imprisonment.

                We don’t do this, because America has some twisted views of mental illness and addiction. In addition to an often rather unfortunate take on the ‘punishment’ part of the law.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:


                This is where the problem lies.

                Imagine you’re a person who always played by the rules, worked hard, showed up, and never asked for anything.

                So there’s this other guy who broke the law in order to feel good and not just feel good but feel good chemically and you’re saying that instead of punishing bad behavior, you’re effectively going to give him a present?

                That’s not part of the social contract.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy says:

                So there’s this other guy who broke the law in order to feel good and not just feel good but feel good chemically and you’re saying that instead of punishing bad behavior, you’re effectively going to give him a present?

                If that’s what’s going to best improve my situation by better enabling me to satisfy my needs and caprices, why wouldn’t I give him a present?

                I mean, I gotta pay my own good cash money to keep this whole social contract going. That’s bad enough, but why waste it on spite?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:


                Billions on defense.
                Not one penny in tribute.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy says:

                There’s at least a colorable argument to be made that this is a sensible approach to take with actual military matters.

                It seems inapplicable to more metaphorical wars on abstract concepts.

                Unless, of course, your point is just that many people believe silly things, which is manifestly true.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Um, not at all. I’m saying that, as a society, we want him to stop doing those things, but we choose to try to stop him via a method that is both more expensive AND less effective than other methods.

                We’d like them to, you know, stop being addicts. Even if they’re harming no one but themselves.

                But instead of doing the things that have the greatest likelihood of making them stop being addicts, we choose a method that not only is unlikely to work, but tends to lead to more criminal behavior in the future.

                When choosing between “Do we want criminals to stop being criminals” or “Do we want criminals to suffer from being criminals” we tend towards the latter.

                Even as we claim the former.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                But that isn’t how it is *PERCEIVED*.

                If you want your solution to work, you need a huge chunk of society to buy in and perhaps even buy in enthusiastically.

                If they don’t, your solution won’t work.

                Even if it’d be awesome in theory. Even if it would work if everybody bought in.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                You realize my original point was, entirely, “We used to do rehabilitation for addicts, which is more successful, then switched to a harsher and harsher punishment regime instead, and after four decades of that failing miserably, that appears to be maybe changing a bit”?

                With a bit of “American culture has generally preferred punishment over rehabilitation, big cultural thing” tossed in.

                I’m not sure what you’re arguing with, really. We seem to be agreeing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Which brings me back to “successful at *WHAT*?”

                My point is that if your goal is “punishment”, it seems that rehabilitation is *FAILING*.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                It’s not about boredom, it’s about crushing trauma.

                The rats were not just bored, they were in extended solitary confinement. There’s a reason the UN considers over 15 days in solitary to be torture.

                Unless you think the main punishment of imprisonment is that it’s kind of boring, not that you are systematically stripped of your humanity, and are quite likely to be subject to violence and rape, and to be further punished if you try to report it.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I’d be more than happy to have them outdoors breaking large rocks into small ones or cleaning trash on the road but liberals object. Better to let them watch TV and lift weights, I guess. Besides who cares what the UN thinks?Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Yes, who cares? Who cares that somebody accuses us of treating our fellow human beings in a deeply inhumane way? Who cares if they have psychological research on their side about the horrific long-term damage inflicted by the practice? They’re a bunch of foreigners and liberals, so let’s just keep destroying the minds of our fellow man because we decided they are official Bad People and therefore do not matter.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Sure, the same UN that thinks junk food is a human rights concern and wants us to import tens of thousands of refugees.


              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                Why not actually defend solitary confinement instead of whatabouting with every bad thing the UN has ever done?Report

              • Avatar Pillsy says:

                To ask the question is to answer it.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                I’m just amused that our local rightist is using a rhetorical technique developed to deflect American criticisms of the Soviet Union.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I find the UN’s 15 day rule to be a bit much. I could see objecting to months or years but 15 days? I find that a short time to be called “torture.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                For the record, if Joe Arpaio is set to breaking rocks in blistering heat until he collapses, this sensitive liberal will not object.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Asserting that people have “law and order” mentality is a bit misleading, actually.

      The evidence on the ground shows that generally speaking people’s attitudes towards justice vary widely depending on who is accused, and of what.

      I think its fair to say that when the accused is from an unpopular group people exert maximum harshness, and when the accused is from a favored group, maximum permissiveness.

      There is also the Peasant mentality that grants a wide swath of forgiveness to the powerful and entitled.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        You see that in a lot of places — there’s been studies on pain management, for instance, that show even doctors often have truly…unscientific…beliefs about people’s ability to endure pain.

        (The strange belief that blacks are practically superhuman in terms of pain tolerance, and that the elderly are apparently just masters at ignoring pain to name two).

        This is among people that, theoretically, had highly focused education that said otherwise.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        Speaking of the variability of the whole “Law ‘n Order” mentality that we supposedly have.

        The Bundys were aquitted.

        White privilege, Exhibit A.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          At least we’ve established what’s OK before the election.Report

        • Avatar Damon says:

          Privilege or jury nullification?Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          How does this verdict have anything to do with “white privilege?” It’s stretch but liberals seem to want to make most things into something racial.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Had the occupiers been black panthers instead of white militia, all other things being the same, the implication is they would be convicted.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              Of course that is the implication. My reading comprehension isn’t that bad However, there is no evidence that they jury found the Bundy crowd innocent because they are white. So bringing race into this without any evidence of it being so is a typical liberal race card ploy as far as I can tell.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Glad to see your reading comprehension is improving!

                Jab aside, that’s a fair point, given what I posted from Hanley’s FB. That doesn’t mean their whiteness didn’t help them*, but rather that the acquittal had more to do with the prosecution’s mis-steps than the skin color of the defendants.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Yes and no.

                We can only speculate but there is still the possibility that their skin color allowed the jury to focus on the mis-steps.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                If you want to start speculating then we can speculate that maybe climate change had something to do with the outcome as well. Why not keep the speculation to a minimum?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                My general rule is to not assume malice when stupidity or incompetence is in evidence.

                There is always the possibility that had the defendant’s been Black Panthers, we’d have a much different outcome, but given that there is a clear indication that the prosecution screwed up*, then white privilege goes from deciding, to merely contributing factor.

                *By overcharging the defendants, which seems to be a habit in cases that have a lot of media attention on them.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Oh yes, I don’t mean to imply malice.

                Rather, if implicit bias or some other subconscious factor allowed the jurors to sit there and think, “Let me consider the case against these defendants… man… it’s shaky!” where they would have looked at defendants of a different race and thought, “Ya know, the case has some holes in it but these guys can’t get away with that,” then race was indeed a contributing factor. Subconsciously.

                Ideally, all defendants would get that first treatment.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Hence my point about black panthers. I can imagine a jury that would see a group of black defendants and then toss all reason aside and convict them because they are scary black defendants. But that leaves us trying to prove a hypothetical, which in the absence of other evidence could be a worthy exercise, but…Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Oh yes. Like I said, pure speculation.

                My point was really that prosecutorial blunders do not disprove race as a factor. They don’t prove it either. The question remains unanswered (and, perhaps, unanswerable).Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Police reform: Yep. It’s the public. IIRC a lot of people talk about releasing or having less punishment for non-violent drug offenders or some such but balk at lowering sentencing for violent criminals. The other problem is that people think crime is rampant and unstoppable even though it is lower than it has been in many years.

    Erick son of Erick: Fucking hell do I loathe Erick Erickson. This is the man who called Justice Souter a “goat fucking child molester” and falsely tweeted about how his parents would not let them eat Asian food on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.* Yet he is shocked and mad and oh so upset that the Republicans nominated the vulgarian named Donald Trump. Eric son of Erick is so upset that he can’t stop calling Donald Trump a Democrat.

    Whatever happens during this election it is clear to me that the Republicans are going to be bloody Bourbons and learn nothing. They are going to No True Scotsman and “Conservatism can’t fail. It can only be failed” from learning any lessons.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      She posted a picture on twitter of the drink menu at the main hotel bar.

      Take a look at the second drink. Named after the guy that was Postmaster of Washington DC when the building went up originally back in 1899.

      The bad part? That guy died in the building that same year; fell down an open elevator shaft.

      The worst part? Trump got Willett’s name wrong – he was James Willett, not John Willett.Report

      • Avatar Pillsy says:

        Worse, you get to pay $24 for the privilege of having them screw up your Old Fashioned.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I’d order some of the cocktails if they were about 6-12 dollars cheaper depending on the price. A good cocktail should set you back around 10-14 dollars.

        The icky part of the article to me was the guy who described the escort as his “cousin” and then he, the escort, and the bartender laugh about it like a soundtrack on a sitcom. Is that a common innuendo for sex workers?Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          I think the 20-24 dollar cocktails are more pricey than the equivalent ones you can get at the Willard or the Hotel Washington, but not by much (I think those can be 17 to 20 bucks. I mean, it’s pretty much pure expense account business)

          As for the lingo, I dunno, maybe look out for an Elliot Spitzer AMA?Report

  4. Avatar Kim says:

    16% of people are pro-Ebola (this is a consistent polling number, courtesy of Trolling with Polling, who routinely asks this question). Please do not listen to them, whether they are Republican or Democrat.
    They are not going to rebel, and may have pushed the wrong button.Report

  5. Avatar Pillsy says:

    The Trump campaign is describing their perfectly ordinary negative campaigning as “voter suppression” because they’re a bunch of geniuses.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor says:

      @pillsy : What did you think of the piece? I had a Usual Suspects shattered mug moment realizing that Trump is already running a media campaign rather than a political one: flying out to Maine for rallies; sending out expensive mailers in upstate New York and LA; setting up polling firms in historic blue states. It all makes much more sense if he’s scouting out new media markets and could give a toss about the electoral college.

      And within that framework, the “voter suppression” stuff is just bluster. Ya sure … he’s spending millions of dollars on micro-targeted negative ads that only black Democrats will ever see … sounds as credible as my Canadian girlfriend, she’s away on a modeling shoot which is why you can’t meet her. The critical thing is that Trump smuggled the donor lists out of the RNC and is working with multiple media savvy people. That gives him way more staying power than, well, any GOP candidate in history…Report

      • Avatar Pillsy says:

        My impression was actually very similar. I think at this point Trump’s campaign is essentially a grift of some sort, with relatively little interest in winning the election. The more rational folks involved are probably looking forward to the next stage, where they will be able to exploit mailing lists full of millions of people who’ve proven they’ll believe absolutely anything….

        And yeah, the voter suppression thing is bluster, it’s just stupid bluster that plays directly into the hands of the Democrats.Report

        • Avatar trizzlor says:

          Yeah, he’s at a point where what’s good for Trump Inc. and what’s good for the Democrats is no longer mutually exclusive. I’ll lay down the marker now that the Trump election speech will include something along the lines of “I do not concede and will continue to contest elections in all 50 states”. Which will be another avenue for him to broaden media reach.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            It also fits with Tod’s Marie Claire piece about how the various surrogates and hangers on are also grifters, each looking for their own slice of the action, and no one gives a rip about the election itself.Report

            • Avatar trizzlor says:

              Yeah … hiring young, dumb, telegenic surrogates who could talk to fill any time block never did make much sense as a political strategy now that I think about it.Report

  6. Avatar veronica d says:

    Katherine Cross has her own writeup of Assange:

    On Trump, I was quite entertained by Phil Sandifer’s take on the whole shebang:

    • Avatar Kim says:

      The piece would be a lot more fun if they understood that Assange is just a figurehead.

      Author appears to have no idea about the concept of Smoking the Mirrors, let alone contemplate that it is actually happening. For a person that claims to know something about sausage-making, she seems remarkably ignorant.

      Anyone paying any attention whatsoever knows that Wikileaks doesn’t publish everything they’ve got (though not publishing the Syrian Russian connection? that seems odd).

      I’d be a hell of a lot more sympathetic to the people within Gamergate, if I didn’t know who wrote their PR Book (to that end, I’m mildly sympathetic to the author, as I doubt she rolls with trolls).

      Wikileaks deserves to be treated seriously, but I must tip my hat to the trolls — watching the left and right do an abrupt about face is hilarious!

      Pinning everything on the Russians is priceless, by the way.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        For a person that claims to know something about sausage-making, she seems remarkably ignorant.

        I agree, those people are the worst.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      I think it is going too far to say that the Assange lovers have any overriding ideology except maybe that they want to watch the world burn to varying degrees. They are usually on the scale of wanting to stick it to the man. Sometimes they are harmless. Sometimes they are grifters. Sometimes they are trolls and potentially dangerous. They are always annoying.

      Take someone like HA Goodman. He started off as a Rand Paul fanboy and switched to being one of the more hardcore Bernie or Busters and writing for Salon. Now he is writing for Tucker Carlson’s right-wing Daily Caller and still being a HRC troll. As far as I can tell, HA Goodman’s shtick is to be just “anti-establishment” and a kind of Eaprtier Le Bourgeois.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        @saul-degraw — Yeah. These are the discordian types, unburdened by principle, and often unburdened by any real stakes. It is no surprise that these are usually bored-and-boring white guys, the vacuous set, raised with pacifiers and video games.

        One suspects that these guys actually envy minorities and queers and freaks, inasmuch as we are at least superficially interesting. It is the most self-indulgent ennui.


        • Avatar Kim says:

          Wikileaks runs with a rougher crew than you might suppose.
          Oh, sure, there’s rabble everywhere — but it’s a mistake to think that folks like Anonymous haven’t had real stakes. There have been murders (not by Anonymous, actually — not their style) — there’s a reason they stay masked (besides trolling the Scientologists. Apparently the masks made the entire cult go apeshit).Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

          unburdened by any real stakes.

          I think this is the key part. I have known the type in any organization I have ever been involved in. They snipe at the people actually making the organization run, claiming a position of moral purity. They are usually harmless annoyances. Part of making the organization run is working to keep everyone happy, or at least as many people as possible, making compromises between the various desires. The whole point of the moral purity position is to reject compromises. Usually this pisses off enough people to warn them of the folly of putting the purists in charge. On those occasions that they do find themselves in charge they either learn some hard realities fast, quit the leadership position in favor of purity sniping, or wreck the organization.

          See also: Congressional Republicans.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Does Michael Moore want the world to burn?
        He may be a cinematographer, but I somehow think he’s trying to fix things.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      That is a rather long take on Trump.

      This is going to sound a bit snobby (because it is) but the big thing to understand about Trump and his appeal is that he is from Queens. Now there are sections of Queens like Astoria and Long Island City that are cool and hip but when Trump was growing up Queens was about as unfashionable, uncool, and unhip as you can be. So even though he grew up in the Tony and very not-urban Jamaica Estates, he still was an outsider from Queens and seen as a bit of an urban bumpkin probably to people who grew up in Manhattan.

      My parents are the same age as Trump. My dad grew up in Manhattan and my mom on the suburbs of Long Island. To them and their parents, you fled places like Queens and Brooklyn. Queens and Brooklyn were associated with poverty, provincialism, and generally not being cool. It took my parents a while to understand that Brooklyn became cool with my generation and now it is the go to destination.

      Garrison Kellior wrote about it in the Chicago Tribune in a way that is strangely philo and anti-Semitic:

      Why doesn’t someone in your entourage dare to say these things? So sad. The fans in the arenas are wild about you, and Sean Hannity is as loyal as they come, but Rudy and Christie and Newt are reassuring in that stilted way of hospital visitors. And The New York Times treats you like the village idiot. This is painful for a Queens boy trying to win respect in Manhattan where the Times is the Supreme Liberal Jewish Anglican Arbiter of Who Has The Smarts and What Goes Where. When you came to Manhattan 40 years ago, you discovered that in entertainment, the press, politics, finance, everywhere you went, you ran into Jews, and they are not like you: Jews didn’t go in for big yachts and a fleet of aircraft — they showed off by way of philanthropy or by raising brilliant offspring. They sympathized with the civil rights movement. In Queens, blacks were a threat to property values — they belonged in the Bronx, not down the street. To the Times, Queens is Cleveland. Bush league. You are Queens. The casinos were totally Queens, the gold faucets in your triplex, the bragging, the insults, but you wanted to be liked by Those People. You wanted Mike Bloomberg to invite you to dinner at his townhouse. You wanted the Times to run a three-part story about you, that you meditate and are a passionate kayaker and collect 14th-century Islamic mosaics. You wish you were that person but you didn’t have the time.

      Yes there is a snobbery to this but also a truth. One thing that I have noted in the past is that it often seems like lot of Palin esque cultural resentment of the urban, liberal, professional, and upper-middle class is because of how that class chooses to spend their free time and their hobbies. We read different books, we generally don’t go to religious services but we go to brunch, we go to the theatre and dance performances by touring companies from Sweden and Taiwan. We prefer to design our homes with minimalism and understated colors, etc.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        What’s kind of funny is that, from the outside, “He’s from Queens” means nothing to me. Like, I have a mental image Manhattan, and Brooklyn. The Bronx, too, though that may be wildly inaccurate. Staten Island I’ve learned about largely due to forums like this one but for the most part my historical association is identifying it with Long Island and New Jersey as a place that other New Yorkers look down on (though NJ has/had other associations).

        But Queens? I got nothin’ beyond the Eddie Murphy movie and it being where the Mets play.

        Which isn’t to say that you’re wrong. Queens could simply be a more specific identification of an aspect of New York I associate as a more part of the general soup.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


          That’s sort of the point even more. Queens doesn’t even have a place in the national imagination. Everyone knows Manhattan and Brooklyn and the Bronx and has mental images of the places from the media. No one has that about Queens or there image of Queens is that it happens to be suburban looking but just happens to be part of NYC.*

          So this is even more of a sore spot. You can say you are from Brooklyn, or Manhattan, or the Bronx and non-New Yorkers will have a distinct (if inaccurate) image for each. If you say Queens, it might as well be Cleveland because there is no distinct.

          *Queens is pretty large and diverse. So you have areas where it is mainly apartments. Areas with modest, working class homes, areas which look like wealthy suburbs (Douglaston, Little Neck, Jamaica Estates) and even some old school socialistically planned communities (Sunnyside).

          The article is right that Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse or diverse parts of the country if not the world.Report

          • Avatar j r says:

            I was born and raised in Queens. Don’t know if I’m the only regular around here from Queens, but I might be, so let me clear up a few things.

            I don’t know that people from Queens have any sore spot about the Bronx or Brooklyn. I grew up wishing that I lived in Manhattan or as we would sat, “the city.” This was when the Bronx was still full of burned out buildings and before hipster/Yuppie Brooklyn became a thing.

            The whole love for cities/urban environments is a relatively new phenomenon.
            Historically, there has probably been much more social cache in moving to single family homes in Douglaston or Jamaica Estates or to co-ops in Forest Hills or Jackson Heights than to either Brooklyn or the Bronx, where the housing stock wasn’t particularly enviable. The exceptions are the areas of Brooklyn that have brownstones. Brooklyn Heights and parts of Park Slope have always been desirable, but not a lot of folks were dying to move into Ft Greene or Bed Stuy in the ’80s and 90s.

            No. Queens was WASP and German Protestant.

            How far back are you going? Queens has and has always had a large population of foreign-born and first-generation Americans, which means that its demographics mirrored the larger waves of immigration. Jackson Heights and Woodside were Irish before they were Hispanic. Jamaica was Irish before it was black. The Rockaways is still Irish. Astoria may be the most well-known Greek neighborhood in the country.

            I grew up in a neighborhood that predominantly black and Hispanic, but with remnants of large Jewish population, which has actually gone up since I left. Alumni of my local public high school, which I didn’t go to, includes Bernie Madoff, Joyce Brothers and Richard Feynman.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          You never heard of King of Queens?

          Queens is an interesting borough in it’s own way. It was a very rural place, with farms and everything, when it was incorporated into New York City in 1898. The only really urban area was around what we know call Astoria and Long Island City. It quickly developed after World War I as the subways were being built. Some of those areas were very urban and filled with apartments, factories, and mixed-use areas. Others resembled more dense versions of suburbs. During the mid-20th century, it was regarded as one of the white parts of New York City with the exception of Jamaica. A sort of suburb for people that couldn’t quite make it into Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, or the counties of New Jersey. Than it became much more ethnically diverse during the 1980s onwards. You had Hispanics in Woodside, Asians in Flushing, Little Neck, and Douglaston, and Indians in Jackson Heights.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:


            Weren’t most of the white areas largely immigrants, specifically Eastern European/Russian?Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              No. Queens was WASP and German Protestant. Trump’s dad allegedly joined the Queens chapter of the KKK and rioted against the Catholic NYPD in the 1920s.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Billy Joel is from Queens.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      My take is that while liberals and progressives were taken with Assange and WikiLeaks at first, the mirage quickly wore off. I was always wary of him as a Jew. Besides the chaos agents types, Assange’s biggest fans seem to be the ones that regard the biggest evil facing the world as the sheer power of the Untied States. This causes them to adopt an enemy of my enemy is my friend approach to foreign politics and side with the likes of Putin or the Ayatollahs of Iran because they see them as counterweights to the United States.Report

      • Avatar Pillsy says:

        I lost whatever shred of respect I had for him when he sought political asylum to duck rape charges.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          That was when the mirage started to get shattered for most people. The more it became clear that Assange was something of an agent for Putin pushed people over the edge.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            He drove off some of his fanboys in this election. The clearly BS hype — multiple releases were hyped as “Hillary killers” or “game changers” that either had nothing terribly interesting in them at all, or were just re-releases of already released (and fairly boring) material — drove off a lot.

            Others got really annoyed by the clear intent to ‘direct’ the election — instead of releasing it all early on, and letting the public decide, they clearly were trying to shape public perception between hyperbolic (when they weren’t outright lying) about the contents of the releases and slowly dribbling them out to maximize the exposure of Assange.

            Add in their latest (releasing private emails, like Podesta’s) and they’ve lost even the figleaf of trying to play sunshine to corruption. They’re just releasing private stuff to release private stuff, even when there is zero value in the public knowing it.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            if you believe that, which I don’t.
            The FBI doesn’t exactly have a super shiny history about these things.
            (Pinning things on people who “coulda” rather than “did” is a bit of a thing within the Obama Admin Cybersecurity Team.)Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          taking a case that was dismissed and pulling it back up because the guy decided to do something political screams double jeopardy.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          Haw. At the time, most people claimed that the rape charges were either jumped-up by embarrassed Western governments to look far worse than they actually were, or were just flat-out lies. Here’s an example; there are more.Report

          • Avatar Pillsy says:

            I remember that, and thought it was ridiculous at the time, too. Even if the charges were baseless, the way he reacted to them was preposterous and self-serving.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              Yeah, well, you ain’t wearin’ that charming ring he’s got, now are you?
              I think he’s got reason enough to be paranoid — there’s certainly been plenty of people over the years who have disappeared when they got too inconvenient for people in power.

              And let’s not forget the Swiss Bank Accounts whose information he threatened to release…Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

            I was actually willing to believe that it was possible that the charges were a smear attempt. The timing was convenient and he stepped on enough toes in enough countries that at least one government should have the lack of ethics to try it. I mean, even our squeaky clean government has done much worse.

            Then it became pretty clear that Assange is a narcissistic crazy person. I have zero trouble believing that sexual assault is just one of many serious interpersonal skeletons in his closet.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck says:

              He was a troubled hero up until about a month ago, at which point it became obvious that he was a narcissistic crazy person and had been all along. Um, just like those pig right-wingers had said all along but uh we just uh just uh weReport

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:


                Ah, forget it. You go ahead and just post whatever thoughts you want on my behalf.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I’m with Duck here. Back in the glory days, the left was widely, almost univocally, engaging in apoplectic apologetics regarding Assange’s Sweden rape charge. Hell, I was one of em (well, not the apoplectic part, just the “it doesn’t make any sense” part…). And I still am: I think the whole thing was a Trumped up sting. That doesn’t preclude me from also believing his recent actions revealed his basic character as being founded on slime.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I was always a bit wary of Wikileaks and Anonymous, even when they were on the correct side of things, if only because i recall getting burned by developing a crush on Alan Grayson and Glenn Greenwald, only to see pretty shortly how the messenger of a good message can also be a total jerk.

                Which is a point worth always keeping, that even the enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend.
                But its equally true that a flawed and imperfect jerk and outright criminal can be right sometimes.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I think being a flawed deeply imperfect jerk is almost a requisite for being a certain kind of good guy. Obsessiveness, self-righteousness and mono-focus on the good you are sure you doing seem like useful character traits in someways. Not for a friend but for being an underdog fighting the Man, yeah i can see that.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                I kind of figured when I heard about the whole WikiLeaks thing that it was run by a weirdo. I just also was willing to credit the possibility that a conveniently timed hard-to-prove cross-border accusation might not be entirely on the up and up, given how many governments he had just pissed off. Then Assange opened his mouth and it became obvious that WikiLeaks isn’t an idealistic project thing run by an eccentric person with principles so much as something that’s all about bringing Glory and Power to the Great Assange. He could really only maintain anybody’s sympathy and credulity as long as he stayed more or less anonymous.

                The Greenwald analogy isn’t terrible–he certainly seems like an awful person who had the story of a lifetime fall into his lap. But he also seems like at least a functional human being. Assange just seems like a mess who just does the right thing by accident sometimes.Report

              • Avatar Trizzlor says:

                Note that you mention it, it’s staggering how many of Clinton’s troubles are tied to men with sexual abuse in their past: Bill, Trump, Assange, Ailes, and now Weiner.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Greenwald is more than a bit on the “arrogant” end of the spectrum, sure, and he’s relied on some non-traditional sources, but seems otherwise to be good at what he does. He’s a polemicist rather than a journalist so that needs to be borne in mind when reading him. But his writing can be profitably mined for information that could only be found, if at all, with difficulty elsewhere, so I still read him often.

                Grayson is a dick. The cruel part of me wants to see him and Steve King have a WWE-style wrestling match, and then have Godzilla win.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy says:

                Grayson and King should fight a duel.

                With hand grenades.

                At two paces.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                The enemy of my enemy is not my friend, they are my temporary ally whose interests align for the moment, but whose long term goals are their own.

                Assange got badly burned by establishment Democrats, not surprising he has an axe to grind.Report

  7. Avatar Kim says:

    I didn’t know the Rothchilds had stakes in the Economist.
    (Assange stating baldly that the Rothchilds control the Economist (at best a quarter truth, mind) was stated as “evidence that he’s anti-Semitic”).
    ((If wikipedia is wrong on this, can someone let me know??))

    I’d think the journalist owed it to everyone to note that “Yeah, they really do own stakes.”

    As a person prone to hyperbole when I’m talking about people I have a personal grudge against, I can sympathize with Assange while wanting to tell him “shut the fuck up you’re not helping”.Report

  8. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    The “tough on crime” thing is totally a cultural thing – I post on a very large video game forum, mainly in the Off-Topic area. It’s a very liberal forum, due to harsh moderation, a more international audience, and a younger skew, but even there, the difference in reactions from the American members of the forum and everybody else is massive when it comes to whenever something comes up about some European criminal getting a light sentence or vice versa, some story about somebody getting 20 years in jail due to 3 strikes laws or something along those lines.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Its also an example of Anatole France’s statement about the majestic equality of the law.

      This is the actual law in the case. Aliens who commit two or more Crimes involving Moral Turpitude are removable from the United States even if they are legally present because they are now classified as aggravated felons. USCIS can institute removal proceedings years after the crimes was committed even if the alien reformed him or herself and has family in the United States. It doesn’t matter whether the alien was in the United States for most of his or her life and all his family ties are in the United States or anything else. Being classified as an aggravated felon eliminates nearly all forms of relief from immigration proceedings.Report

      • Avatar Gaelen says:

        I don’t think that you can get an aggravated felony out of two CMT’s. It sounds like his original burglary charge might have been an aggravated felony because he was served 25 months. The same is true of the assault (though we don’t know the outcome of that case). But, his attorney said he was eligible for cancellation of removal, though the judge denied his request. If he was eligible (and I’d imagine his lawyer would know) then he wasn’t charged with removability based on an aggravated felony.

        Either way, your right that aggravated felonies are incredibly harsh.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          Your right, I made a mistake in conflicting the provisions concerning being removable for committing two or more CIMTs not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct and being removable for committing an aggravated felon.Report

          • Avatar Gaelen says:

            The mandatory detention for CIMT’s is bad enough. I will say it is amazing to me that he didn’t get cancellation of removal. It really is a shame it sounds like he is giving up. This seems like the type of case with a decent chance of success on appeal.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq says:

              I’m not sure if he was eligible for cancellation of removal. If he never had a green card in the first place than he could not apply for EOIR-42A or if he could the CIMTs and a potential aggravated felon charge could have pretermitted the application. The criminal charges might have also pretermitted EOIR-42B. Even if they did not, the IJ could have denied for lack of good moral character because of the convictions.

              IJs are also getting tougher on cancellation of removals because of the statutory limits. If he was in the New York Immigration Court and had no criminal history, his lawyer would be heavily pressed to go the I-601A route unless the qualifying relatives had a real extreme and exceptional hardship.Report

    • Avatar Pillsy says:

      The story about the Masher acquittals was right there under it, too.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      You know, peoplr hereabouts having been trying to express that there is a growing discontentment among folks in the rural west.

      I think this might be a sign of that…Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        There was always a discontent among folks in the rural west. Even when everything was going their way, they had discontent.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          Even when everything was going their way…

          Care to expand on when that was?Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            When the Federal government was busily getting rid of the Native Americans so white people could settle the West. They also seemed to have received a disproportionate share of federal largess from the 19th century to the present even as America urbanized. There are many programs designed to give farmers free money and support and not a lot for people in cities and suburbs.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              When the Federal government was busily getting rid of the Native Americans

              You mean like, this afternoon in North Dakota?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Wrong, the pipeline protesters are being handled by the local cops not the feds, even though they are on corps of engineers land. Maybe the feds could bring in the shooters they used at Waco and ruby ridge?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              When the Federal government was busily getting rid of the Native Americans so white people could settle the West.

              Was there a time or place where the gummint wasn’t busily gettin rid of Native Americans, Lee? Why pick on the West?Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              As Chip and Still say, show me any line west of the Atlantic Ocean high tide line where the natives weren’t ejected.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Should have also addressed the land grant and rural support things as well. The Homestead Acts failed miserably from the Great Plains west, the land grants simply weren’t large enough to create workable farms and ranches in regions that dry. Most of the New Deal rural supports were aimed at areas east of the GP. Financing for the large western dams was set up so that the costs have long since been paid off by the sale of electricity and irrigation water.

                (And yes, the contemporary American West (including as defined by the Census Bureau) runs the thousand or so miles from the center of the GP to the Pacific, plus the special cases of Alaska and Hawaii.)Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

                Cool, so we can quick sending all this dirty urban and suburban elitist money to rural areas on both the national and state level and actually invest in people who actually want government spending in their area. I mean, at least when suburbanites complain about the “wrong” people using mass transit, at least they don’t try to break in to the local transportation department with guns.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Not what I’m saying at all. I’m taking exception to statements that assorted federal policies aimed at assisting rural areas — for all sorts of values for “assisting” — have disproportionately benefited the West as we define it today.

                To your point, I’m a consistent advocate that rural areas need to acknowledge how big the subsidies are and which way they flow, and we all need to figure out a way to keep ruralia from falling behind that isn’t just “send more money”. Also that I have no clue how to do that.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko says:

              I’m going to have to quibble with “not a lot to the cities and suburbs.” What is the mortgage interest deduction if not a downright massive subsidy to suburbia?Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        So which is it, that we need stern enforcement of Law and Order, or we need land reform to redistribute land to the peasantry?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        Yes but I also don’t care. Pardon me but I’m a bit angry. The rural west, whitey-tighties want special pleading in my mind. They want subsidization for a way of life that does not make economic sense and can’t survive on its own. Yet they feel free to tsk tsk against urban culture (read: black and hispanic) for being pathologically wrong.

        Michael Cain has pointed out that if the situation were up to the urban and suburban dwellers of the West (who tend to be very pro-conservation), law would go in guns blazing against the group.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:


          First off, I am as shocked as everyone that this wasn’t a slam dunk for the prosecution.

          Second, the trial was not held in some podunk federal courthouse in the middle of eastern Oregon, it was in downtown fecking Portland, OR. The one city on the west coast that can probably out liberal your wonderfully liberal bay area. So a federal prosecutor with literally all the facts on his side could not convince a jury from one of the most liberal cities in the damn country to not convict.

          This isn’t about urban vs rural, it’s either about a massively unlikable federal prosecutor, a massively incompetent one, or there is a message here being sent to the federal government.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            The actual trial took place in a Portland district court. Assuming that the jurors came from there, Portland has massively different values than the rural West. There could have still be jury nullification involved. The Prosecutor also seemed to have gone for a charge that was something of a stretch compared to a slam dunk charge with a shorter jail term.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            So a federal prosecutor with literally all the facts on his side could not convince a jury from one of the most liberal cities in the damn country to not convict.

            Well said.

            Something else is going on.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Were conspiracy charges the only ones they faced? How is that possible?Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar says:

      IMO this looks like a big step down a bad road. I see this only emboldening the Sovereign Citizen types (essentially, anarchists) who are already all too willing to wave guns around and point them at LEOs. At some point in the near future I expect some Federal agent is going to get shot and the response will be a fishin massacre. The Feds have been pretty patient and restrained thus far. I don’t know how much longer you can expect that restraint to hold.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      From Hanley’s FB feed:

      “Were the Malheur Refuge verdicts jury nullification? I spoke a little while ago with one of FIJA’s Board of Advisors members who sat for six weeks at the table in court next to Ryan Bundy as a paralegal. The answer is no.

      The conspiracy count accused that the defendants “did knowingly and willfully conspire and agree together and with each other and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury to prevent by force, intimidation, and threats, officers and employees” from doing their jobs. As I understand it from our esteemed Advisor, defendants argued that it was actually the federal government who told its employees not to report to work. They did not impede them. Additionally, defendants argued that this was not their intent. Their intent was to protest that the refuge in question did not belong to the federal government, but to Harney County. Without that intent to do what the charge accuses them of “knowingly and willfully” doing, the charge is not sustained.

      As to the weapons charges, I just looked up the indictment and found the exact language. If the charge was just possessing a firearm on federal property, as it is widely being incorrectly reported, yes, this would be jury nullification. But no. The prosecution dramatically overstepped. One count was of firearms possession “with the intent that the firearm or dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime” and one was of “did knowingly use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence”. Without convicting them of any crime, let alone a crime of violence, the firearms charge acquittals were not jury nullification.

      The simple fact is that hundreds of tax paid government employees went up against a rag tag crew of misfits, many of whom represented themselves with standby counsel only, and the government could not get the job done. These verdicts were brought to you by government incompetence and hubris in overcharging beyond what they could prove to try and make an example of people.”


      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        This is why I asked about the specific charges in the other thread.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Looks like the prosecutors fucked up.Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          No, it’s white privilege.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          I couldn’t see a Portland jury letting these guys go on a “Good Ol’ Boy” pass, but I can certainly see them refusing to let the prosecutor over-reach.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


            Was the trial in federal court or state court? If it was in Federal Court, the jury pool came from a much large area than Portland.

            There are six judges in three locations for the District Court of Oregon. The majority are in Portland. There are also Federal courthouses in Eugene and Medford.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Trial happened in downtown Portland, so my guess is the jury is probably Multnomah County at the very least, maybe a bit of Washington County and Clark County (WA state). I’m not entirely sure how federal jury pools are selected, but any further than that and people would have a good excuse to avoid jury duty.

              So unless the prosecutor just sucks at voir dire (or the defense was exceptionally good), he’d be able to assemble a very friendly jury.Report

              • The defense was largely pro se, so it probably wasn’t exceptional.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                Well, one defense attorney was so awesome that the government tased him.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Yeah, WTF was up with that? The judge was furious (it was US Marshels, I believe, and not the baliff or anything).

                As I understand it, all the lawyer was doing was some pointless posturing over the Judge’s decision to release the defendants still facing charges in Nevada to the US Marshals for transport, instead of releasing them then having the US Marshals re-arrest them.

                Which is, you know, how it works when you have someone facing another set of charges because you don’t want them to accidentally wander off somehow.

                Then the US Marshals in the courtroom apparently went full jack-boot.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos says:

                Thugs gonna thugReport

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                I don’t feel too bad for the lawyer; he’s got some great advertising opportunities now.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I’ll get TASED for you!Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Which is, you know, how it works when you have someone facing another set of charges because you don’t want them to accidentally wander off somehow.

                Wander off where? The courtroom door? They weren’t going anywhere.Report

              • Yeah, they weren’t dangerous characters like Don Siegelman.Report

            • Avatar PD Shaw says:

              Federal court. The case was heard in Portland, but the jury pool was drawn from the entire state.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Technical question: In such a pool, if a juror is selected from, say, Bend (a good 2-3 hours away), does the government put them up in a hotel? Also, how likely is such a distance going to allow a juror to ask to be excused?Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                I have no idea; ability to serve would likely be an issue. I don’t know if this is normal in Oregon. There is one federal district court for all of Oregon, containing four divisions. A large part of the reason for having divisions is convenience to the parties and jurors, so I tried to find out last night why the case was heard in Portland. I couldn’t find anything, but there was a motion to transfer venue away from Portland because of liberal bias, and the judge denied it explaining that the jury will be drawn from the entire state. I’m guessing this is not normal, so what they would do about someone driving hours away might be specific to this case.

                The odds are that most of the jury was from the Portland metro though, right?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                That’s what I’m surmising, but IANAL, so I’m happy to be corrected on the specifics.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                IMHO, the case probably should have been heard in Pendleton and heard by a jury from the eastern half of the state.

                In the Hammond trial, the feds filed the criminal complaint in Portland for arson in Harney County, and the judge granted the motion to transfer venue to the Pendleton division. (Motion here) Since the Bundy trial pretty much arose in protest of the Hammond sentence and the occupation of federal land occurred in Harney County, I’m not sure why the Bundy trial was not moved as well. Depends on your judge I guess.

                Since the District Court of Oregon has not developed a specific rule mandating which division a criminal case must be filed, the US Attorney gets to pick whichever division is most favorable. For civil suits, the rule is pretty clear: file the suit in the division “in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subject of the actions is situated.” Having different venue requirements appears to be a systemic bias towards the prosecutor.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                So not only did the prosecutor have all the weapons he needed, he also got to pick the battleground?Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        That sounds right to me. Conspiracy charges seek to penalize secondary actors for the acts of the primary actors based upon providing support or planning. So the government’s case reads as if these defendants did not do anything wrong themselves, but they were part of a larger plan that the government argued was to disrupt government. This intent had to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, where the defendants said their intent was to protest federal lands policy. Frankly, I think many liberals would normally disagree with the government’s case, but for the presence of guns.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David says:

      This might be a reason behind the juries actions:

      A juror was replaced by an alternate and deliberations began from scratch this week, after a juror sent a note to the judge asking: “Can a juror, a former employee of the Bureau of Land Management, who opens their remarks in deliberations by stating ‘I am very biased’ be considered an impartial judge in this case?”


  9. Avatar Road Scholar says:


    Strawman much? Seriously, I’m baffled that you would draw that as the takeaway from my comment. The jury has spoken and that’s all well and fine; that’s the system and the process. Maybe they were overcharged, maybe the prosecution was incompetent, maybe they benefited from jury nullification. IANAL and I wasn’t in the courtroom so I will offer no opinion.

    BUT, we also watched on the TV machine as these clowns staged an armed occupation of Federal facilities. That wasn’t my imagination or some kind of liberal fever dream. It’s sort of hard to imagine how there wasn’t some sort of lawbreaking involved there. Which they seem now to have gotten away with.

    You remember back to the original Bundy stand-off in Nevada? Bunch of asshats waving guns around at Federal agents? And then a few days later a couple of their supporters went down to Vegas and murdered a couple of cops? Good times, right? Expect more of that is all I’m saying.Report

  10. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    In the “ought to be a crime” category… It’s the last week of October. Yesterday it was 78 here. Today it’s supposed to get up to 79. Forecast says highs in the 70s right through Halloween. When this happened two years ago, it was followed by snow all the way into May. I thought I’d messed up dragging my feet on having the roof replaced so the work was scheduled for October. The house around the block had shingles delivered yesterday for installation in November.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The reddit showed me this article today, for some reason.

    It’s from a year and a half ago but some guy in Texas shot a SWAT guy entering his home and killed the officer. And the jury saw the cop-killing as self-defense.Report