Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.09.19.Tu}

[LO1] Tyler Cowen investigates the claim that maybe we need more police.

[LO2] This sounds pretty serious.

[LO3] Not much headway has been made in attempts to get Ferguson, Missouri, to stop burying its own people in fines.

[LO4] Prosecuting parents for the sins of the child.

[LO5] An appeals court rules that alienation of affection is speech.

[LO6] The fact that Deep Throat turned out to be a petty bureaucrat really is kind of a cool plot twist.

[LO7] A family business in West Virginia.

[LO8] Checking in with Rod Blagojevichand how he is adapting to prison.

[LO9] Taking care of prisoners is kind of tricky.

[LO0]


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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64 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.09.19.Tu}

  1. LO4 and LO7 should stand as object leasomsvon why it isn’t a good idea to let prosecutors get too creative with the law. It leads to over charging and the conviction of the innocent. It turns prosecution into persecution.

    LO5, imagine the lucrative legal market if this Tory extended to single people vying for affection.

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            • *** Hey lawyers, school me! ***

              Actually I think I understand now. A “tort” is an actual misdeed that occurs in the world, which might have civil liability. It’s the “bad thing that happened,” which I guess is to a civil suit as a “crime” is to a criminal case.

              One question: does it only become a “tort” is a lawsuit is brought. For example, in the case of a “crime,” an act can still be called a “crime” even if the cops never find out about it. Is it the same for a “tort”?

              On the law in question, I can sort of see the logic to it. I don’t like it. It’s archaic. But I see it like this: most of us view a marriage as a deal between two people. It’s an agreement they make. However, it’s more complicated than that. A marriage license has all kinds of effects outside of the couple themselves. For example, visitation rights, financial rights and obligations, power of attorney type stuff, etc. Thus a marriage is not merely a contract between two people. It has force within the broader community.

              Okay, so these laws see the existence of marriage as demanding monogamy not only from the couple themselves, but from the surrounding community. Speaking loosely, it sees marriage not only as contract, but also as title.

              When I buy a house, it’s not merely a contract between the seller and me. It also means the house and property are mine. I have title to the propetry.

              Get off my lawn you damn millennials and your memes!

              Anyway. This seems a terrible way to view marriage, but I can see how people think this way.

              Given all of this, I don’t see how the hell this could apply to the lovelorn. There is neither contract nor title. So where is the wrongdoing? Who has hurt whom? Who would get named in the suit?

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              • Not all misdeeds carry civil liability but your essentially correct a tort is a bad thing that gives rise to civil liability. If a bad thing happens to you and you decide not to sue on it than it isn’t really a tort.

                Like noted in the article and on this thread, alienation of affection doesn’t really exist in most places as tort. The female version if you call on that was breach of promise where a woman could a man who proposed to her but letter reneged on the promise. The common law used to have all sorts of actions that made more sense in the past than they do in the modern era. Most of these have been eliminated by legislatures but if a legislature hasn’t acted on the subject a clever lawyer can still invoke them.

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                • — I should dredge up one of these laws and then sue one of my polyamorous tgirl partners just for the lulz.

                  Can you imagine the look the court clerk would give me!

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  2. [LO3] Not much headway has been made in attempts to get Ferguson, Missouri, to stop burying its own people in fines. That’s what the NYTimes would have the reader think, but there is only one person discussed in that story and he was from Florida. He was sitting in a parked car in a park, when it sounds like he got the ‘what are you doing around here, boy’ treatment. Ferguson is a poor, inner suburban city that utilizes its strategic location to exact tolls from people driving through. Now that the mostly minority businesses have been destroyed and abandoned, fewer traffic charges can be levied, and the federal government required that the police be given raises, the city is utterly screwed.

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  3. [LO8] The Rod Blagojevich story is pretty sad; he has young children who are completely attached to their mom, checking on her throughout the day to make sure their sole caretaker is alright. They visit their father less and less because its too hard for them to transition back to real life afterward. “At this point, nobody ever wants to go,” Patti Blagojevich admits. Their father writes them long e-mails, some of which they don’t read. The sentence is probably too long, but most are.

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  4. L01: Some years ago, at a previous job, I had occasion to read the police and charging files on a drug dealer case. It was all very dramatic, with an inter-agency task force doing stake outs and using confidential informants, culminating in a SWAT-style raid on the house. They got the wrong guy. The right guy used another guy’s name, and the cops were too dumbshit to check. This is how I, working in a civil firm, got to read those files. The kicker is that this whole Law & Order routine was for a kid dealing a little pot to his high school buddies. No, we don’t need more police. The ones we have clearly have too much time on their hands. This also explains why cops are against legalizing marijuana. They would have to find something else to justify their employment.

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    • That doesn’t address the argument in the link. What Alex Tabborok argues is that an increased visible police presence deters the commission of crimes, particularly street crimes. Your anecdote involves a crime that wasn’t deterred in the first place and post crime investigations.

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      • So the argument is actually not that there are too many police, but that police are too busy not being visible, or are too busy investigating crimes that have little social value.

        Ergo, investigative incentives are poor and need adjusting.

        Sounds like the whole point of Community Oriented Policing.

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        • This. Police seem to be willing to pour huge amounts of effort into investigating minor drug crimes, but if your stuff get stolen and you have a video of the thief driving away with his license plate showing, they’re usually too busy to do anything except file a report that you can send to your insurance company.

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      • Street crimes aren’t really an issue in my town. I’m not saying that they don’t exist, but it’s not a muggings-and-vandalism kind of place. The police blotter runs more to second degree assault domestic disputes and a surprising number of cases of white collar embezzlement of local businesses. But even apart from this, you have merely made the argument that the police resources have been mis-allocated, and that there is some better use of their time than The Wire cosplay.

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    • This also explains why cops are against legalizing marijuana.

      Speaking from a state that legalized recreational use, it hasn’t done away with policing marijuana. Still lots of big illegal grow operations, lots of big quantities being shipped to and fro. What it has done away with is the easy busts which, among other things, were handy for hassling suspected criminals when nothing bigger could be proven.

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  5. [LO5] Good fucking grief. Your partner stopped loving you. Accept it and move on.

    This is about power and control. Cheaters suck, but those who crave control are abusive.

    [LO7] For me this is personal, given that a number of my poly partners do porn and/or cam work, which yeah, it’s not escorting, but I worry that some shitty prosecutor in some flat and dismal state won’t see things that way. Like, what if I buy my g/f tickets to fly out to a shoot? Furthermore, I’ve dated a couple people who were former escorts. I wouldn’t absolutely rule out dating someone who is currently doing some kind of “full service” work. So, does that make me liable? Why?

    Stupid fucking moralistic jackasses. There is nothing wrong with having sex for money.

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  6. Trump said the U.S. might need to “totally destroy” North Korea at the General Assembly. Never have I been more happy that the man is a coward and a liar.

    But our too highly paid pundits will praise this tough talk because they love them some muscle flexing. Strange supposed intellectuals our pundits are.

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      • No one here claimed that. No one here is being polite to Kim Jung Un or saying that the president should have been. Saul was saying the president shouldn’t have threatened to totally destroy another country which is a different thing.

        Believing there’s no reason to be polite to Richard Spencer is a reasonable belief. (There are also reasonable beliefs about why someone should be polite even to him.)

        Please engage with what people say and not with things people aren’t saying.

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      • Are you complaining that liberals think there’s no reason to be polite to Richard Spencer?

        Because making such a complaint would be the height of moral idiocy, and for that matter regular idiocy, but if you aren’t complaining about that, it’s completely opaque why you mentioned him at all.

        (Also, threatening a bellicose but obviously inferior foreign power in a haphazard manner is stupid and reckless, not rude.)

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        • Stop escalating, please. I’ve asked you not to escalate before. If someone makes a comment that seems beyond the pale and needs addressing, you actually *do* have other options. Flag it, email me, or just take a deep breath and check back in later. Moderating “from the floor” rarely works.

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            • I happen to agree with you, which is why I was already addressing the original comment (and the “Stop clutching your pearls.” comment was also a problem given the context). Don’t escalate” is very different from “there was nothing wrong with what was said.” It’s why I encouraged you to communicate with me about such comments in the future. I still need you to not escalate, and I appreciate the efforts you’ve been making not to do so.

              ETA: Sorry, I just realized you may have been taking my “don’t escalate” as “don’t be worse than the first person” – that’s not what I meant. And you definitely weren’t. I more meant, if there’s a small fire burning, don’t add gasoline. Both are problems but I wasn’t suggesting the former at all.

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        • Richard Spencer doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction pointed at Japan and South Korea. I’m all for putting Kim and his cronies down if it can be done safely, but until we figure out how, there’s no point in needlessly antagonizing him.

          Also, “totally destroying” North Korea would, presumably, involve a great cost in terms of civilian casualties. I want the North Korean government dead, not their victims.

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      • There is no reason to be polite to NORK. There is, however, a good reason to not threaten to destroy them. Every diplomatic analysis I’ve read of NORK suggests that the pursuit of nukes, and all the weapons tests, etc. is really all about the fear that someday, the world will simply be tired of their shit and it will end the regime.

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        • This. You’d think that someone whose negotiating kung-fu was so brilliant it substituted in the minds of millions for actual qualifications fir the office… would be able, or at least willing, to read the opposition before formulating a plan. And then willing to formulate a plan instead of whatever half-assed thing he blurts out since his limbic system takes control when the klieg lights are on.

          Seriously, I could forgive a lot of the puerile racism, narcissism, and structuring institutions under him for maximal chaos – if 45 were even 10% of the successful business creator and dealmaker he’s supposed to be.

          But if anything he’s less competent at his primary career than he is at domestic politics.

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        • I think the problem is Americans seem to have serious issues accepting that there are such things as no-win situations and situations where the only possible courses of action are bad.

          North Korea is exactly one of those situations. They just seem like a country where the leadership is a cult of personality and they are willing to flaunt every norm imaginable and at all times.

          A lot if Americans including our pundits (who can be smart and dumb at the same time) want America to be this torchlight of democracy and safety so the idea that the best (but still bad) cause of action on North Korea is to do nothing is really frustrating.

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      • “In more than 30 years of my acquaintance with the U.N., I have not heard a more courageous and sharp speech,” Netanyahu, a former Israeli ambassador to the body, said after Trump’s remarks. “President Trump told the truth about the dangers lurking in the world, and called to face them forcefully to ensure the future of mankind.”

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  7. [LO5] Wait, you can sue somebody for making your spouse not love you any more?

    I’ve heard some stupid shit today, but that is the stupidest shit I’ve heard in the last five minutes. What the fuck.

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