Archive for September 19th, 2007

Taser Tag

Betcha can’t zap just one…

A Clay County woman’s family said it’s seeking justice after their loved one died shortly after being shocked 10 times with Taser guns during a confrontation with police.

The family of 56-year-old Emily Delafield said it would take the Green Cove Springs Police Department to court, according to a WJXT-TV report.

(…)

Officers said they arrived to find Delafield in a wheelchair, armed with two knives and a hammer. Police said the woman was swinging the weapons at family members and police.

Within an hour of her call to 911, Delafield, a wheelchair-bound woman documented to have mental illness, was dead.

Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case.

“One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.

According to a police report, one of the officers used her Taser gun nine times for a total of 160 seconds and the other officer discharged his Taser gun once for a total of no more than five seconds.

A medical examiner found Delafield died from hypertensive heart disease and cited the Taser gun shock as a contributing factor, the report said. On her death certificate, the medical examiner ruled Delafield’s death a homicide.

Look, just because tasers aren’t handguns doesn’t mean you can just zap people with them as many times as you feel like when they’re not cooperating to your satisfaction. I would also note that zapping someone with a whole bunch of electricity does not actually make them docile. It makes them scream and try to get away, and possibly convulse. I would guess that 99% of the time, a single taser zap is sufficient (and probably not necessary) to get one’s point across, and I would further venture to say that percentage is even higher when the taseree is a middle-aged woman in a wheelchair.

But hey, I guess everyone’s taser-happy these days. Even the Forest Service wants to get into the act.

(h/t Mike Stark)

September 19th, 2007 at 10:22pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Torture,Wankers

Moral Victories And Supporting Our Troops

Not exactly unexpected (at least not by me), but the Republicans blocked bills to restore habeas corpus and the Webb Amendment to guarantee troops as much time out of Iraq as in it. In both cases they got 56 votes in favor, with a handful of Republicans voting with the Democrats, and not-even-pretending-to-be-a-Democrat-anymore Joe Lieberman voting against them.

The ACLU seems to think that just getting a majority of votes to restore habeas is some kind of great victory, but the only real victory would be to, y’know, actually restore habeas. Of course, even if the Democrats had been able to muster 60 votes on either bill, Dubya still would have vetoed, so the best bet really would have been to NEVER HAVE VOTED AGAINST HABEAS IN THE FIRST PLACE. But I digress.

The only positive that I see here, and the reason that trying to bring these bills to a vote is worthwhile, it that the Republicans have to go on record by voting against civil liberties, and voting against the well-being of the troops. If the Democrats are smart, they’ll force them to explain those votes over and over again in 2008 – especially the Webb Amendment, which should be devastating to the hypocrites who blather insincerely about how Democrats undermine our troops while Republicans support them.

The only thing better would be to force the Republicans to actually filibuster. I really can’t think of any good reason not to.

3 comments September 19th, 2007 at 09:34pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Democrats,Iraq,Lieberman,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism,War

The Wacky Madcaps Of Auschwitz

This is just damn creepy:

As Ms. Erbelding and other archivists reviewed the album, they realized they had a scrapbook of sorts of the lives of Auschwitz’s senior SS officers that was maintained by Karl Höcker, the adjutant to the camp commandant. Rather than showing the men performing their death camp duties, the photos depicted, among other things, a horde of SS men singing cheerily to the accompaniment of an accordionist, Höcker lighting the camp’s Christmas tree, a cadre of young SS women frolicking and officers relaxing, some with tunics shed, for a smoking break.

In all there are 116 pictures, beginning with a photo from June 21, 1944, of Höcker and the commandant of the camp, Richard Baer, both in full SS regalia. The album also contains eight photos of Josef Mengele, the camp doctor notorious for participating in the selections of arriving prisoners and bizarre and cruel medical experiments. These are the first authenticated pictures of Mengele at Auschwitz, officials at the Holocaust museum said.

(…)

[O]ne of the Höcker pictures, shot on July 22, 1944, shows a group of cheerful young women who worked as SS communications specialists eating bowls of fresh blueberries. One turns her bowl upside down and makes a mock frown because she has finished her portion.

On that day, said Judith Cohen, a historian at the Holocaust museum in Washington, 150 new prisoners arrived at the Birkenau site. Of that group, 21 men and 12 women were selected for work, the rest transported immediately to the gas chambers.

Do check out the slide show; it’s eerie. They either don’t realize that what they’re involved in is pure evil… or they’re totally at peace with it.

1 comment September 19th, 2007 at 09:00pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Quote Of The Day

I’m not even sure if this is for real, plus it’s actually from yesterday, but I like it:

Boris replied, “They back in the re-publican churches again already with voter guides and suggestion lists about abortions and stem cells,” by now Boris was waving a sauce dripping half eaten pork rib like a conductor waves a baton, “and the goddamn election ain’t until next November. One thing you don’t hear from these fuckers is anything about that fucked up war in Eye-rack. Somebody ought to be taken out behind the shed and have their ass whipped for that one. I lost a daughter and two nephews in this bullshit and I ain’t one fuckin’ speck safer today than I was on the day before that 9/11. I’m sorry I get emotional about this crap. I used to be what you would call a conservative but boy, I’ll tell ya if my little girl could come back out of that cemetery over yonder and kiss me on the cheek and get ready to go out dancin’ all the gays in the country could get married, any body man woman dog cat bird or fish could get an abortion when they wanted one and Hillary Clinton could be president for life I could not give a fuck. Now write that in your paper and make sure you spell ‘Boris’ right.”

I can’t help thinking that Boris is not unique.

September 19th, 2007 at 08:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes

Aaahhhrrrr.

‘Tis Talk Like A Pirate Day, mateys!

Talk like pirates amongst yourselves, ye scurvy landlubbers! Ahhhrrr!!!

…I got nothin’.

September 19th, 2007 at 07:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness

Kill This Meme Now

Ron Fournier makes one good point in his largely hacktacular AP column about whether or not John Edwards is a great big hypocritical phony:

Some who call Edwards a hypocrite assume that a multimillionaire trial lawyer can’t be an authentic advocate for the poor and working people. That’s nonsense. You don’t need to be blind to help those who can’t see or crippled to aid those who can’t walk, and wealthy families like the Roosevelts and Kennedys had no problem connecting with working-class voters.

(He immediately goes on to complain that Edwards’ “excuse” for taking a hedge fund job is “lame”)

The “rich hypocrite” meme is very, very pernicious, because if it takes root it will effectively doom all Democratic advocacy for the poor. The fact is that almost everyone who gets to the senatorial/presidential level in politics is going to have a lot of money, as well as multiple indicators of “elite” status. If this meme takes hold, they will be even more reluctant to aggressively advocate for the poor than they are now, and I don’t think the poor can afford any more timidity from the party that purports to represent their interests.

5 comments September 19th, 2007 at 11:52am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Edwards,Media,Politics,Wankers

Air & Space Biplane Photoblogging

I like the old-school aeroplanes.

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This was a lovely red-and-white checkerboard pattern, but it actually looks much better in B&W. No, really.

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It kinda looks like it’s leaping.

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The Germans used a rather… interesting camouflage pattern.

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Biplane wheel!

September 19th, 2007 at 11:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Washington DC

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Little-known facts about Benjamin Franklin:

AS RECOUNTED in his memoirs, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite during a storm to prove that lightning was, in fact, electricity. A key was attached to the kite and, when it was struck by a bolt from above, the Founding Father saw it light up, thus proving his theory.

However, in a newly uncovered first draft of his autobiography, Franklin recounts how he also experienced a short-lived but strange side effect from the experiment.

“When I touched my wife Deborah afterward, white sparks did fly off me, shocking her,” he wrote. “Our cat almost hit the ceiling when I went to pet her. I thought, for a moment, John Adams had come to visit – but it was my electric touch that did cause it. No doubt ’tis short-lived.”

However, Franklin’s condition was even more extreme than he thought.

“The next day I was debating the question of independence with my fellow Philadelphians,” said Franklin. “I became very agitated, and when I threw up my hands in disgust bolts of electricity flew out of them, striking a tree and dislodging a branch not far from Mr. John Hancock.”

Intrigued, Franklin waved his arms again, shooting more crackling energy around the green.

“While the question of independence was not decided right then, I was able to ‘convince’ my fellow congressmen to personally liberate themselves from my presence.”

After a week Franklin’s electric powers soon faded. However, his experience taught him a great deal about the nature of energy, and inspired him to invent the lightning rod, which protects ships and houses from electrical damage.

“I was quite a lightning rod myself with the missus,” he concluded in the excised passage.

I would love to see a re-enactment of Ben Franklin shooting lightning bolts at future revolutionaries. The bit about the missus… not so much.

September 19th, 2007 at 07:14am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News


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