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Don't bots speak English anymore? Have they been outsourced, too?


criticizing cops is protected speech

Via Radley Balko via Andrew Sullivan, a beautifully articulated opinion from Judge Alex Kozinski:

Defendant relies heavily on the fact that Duran was making obscene gestures toward him and yelling profanities in Spanish while traveling along a rural Arizona highway. We cannot, of course, condone Duran’s conduct; it was boorish, crass and, initially at least, unjustified. Our hard-working law enforcement officers surely deserve better treatment from members of the public. But disgraceful as Duran’s behavior may have been, it was not illegal; criticism of the police is not a crime.

[T]he First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers…

The freedom of individuals to oppose or challenge police action verbally without thereby risking arrest is one important characteristic by which we distinguish ourselves from a police state…

Thus, while police, no less than anyone else, may resent having obscene words and gestures directed at them, they may not exercise the awesome power at their disposal to punish individuals for conduct that is not merely lawful, but protected by the First Amendment.

Inarticulate and crude as Duran’s conduct may have been, it represented an expression of disapproval toward a police officer with whom he had just had a run-in. As such, it fell squarely within the protective umbrella of the First Amendment and any action to punish or deter such speech–such as stopping or hassling the speaker–is categorically prohibited by the Constitution…

No matter how peculiar, abrasive, unruly or distasteful a person’s conduct may be, it cannot justify a police stop unless it suggests that some specific crime has been, or is about to be, committed, or that there is an imminent danger to persons or property.

Kozinski is probably one of the best jurists in the country in terms of recognizing the constitutional limits of police power. Which is of course why he will never be nominated to the SCOTUS.


the most infuriating thing about the arrest of Prof. Gates

...has nothing to do with his race.

What's infuriating is that you have to be a famous, tenured professor at Harvard to have "disorderly conduct" charges against you dropped, when the only thing you're guilty of is failing to be sufficiently obsequious to a cop on your own damn property.


apropos of nothing whatsoever

What if instead of soliciting monetary donations to their campaigns, politicians could only sell bonds on their campaign promises, payable with interest on a certain date if said promise was not kept? So instead of giving $500 to Sen. Blowhard, you give $500 to "pull out of Iraq or pay me $600 next October."

Surely I cannot be the first person to think of this?


fun with instruments

SOC Rovers @ Bombadil's CD release party this weekend. This is 10 minutes of sheer ridculousness, including our (rather deconstructed) tribute to Micheal Jackson.

And before you ask...yes, this is pretty much what we do.

You can see/hear most of the set in pieces here.


why 6 is afraid of 7

Today's date is 7/8/9. There won't be another for 100 years*. Seems like there ought to at least be a commemorative pint glass or something.

*Except of course, in the rest of the world, where it will happen in a month.


Man it just warms my black little capitalist heart to see a restaurant using lefty commie-chic to sell overpriced appetizers and cocktails.

the technical term is "going scarborough"

If Sarah Palin doesn't have a show on Fox News by the end of this year, I will eat my hat.

I really didn't want to blog about this, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to get on the record with this one.