Morning Links

Monday, December 15th, 2008
  • New York governor’s new budget includes an “obesity tax” on non-diet soda.
  • The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady has a column on the new developments on the CIA/Peruvian downing of the plane containing missionary Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter Charity back in 2001.
  • The city of Minneapolis will pay out $600,000 for the botched raid late last year on Vang Khang, his wife, and their six children. Police commenced the raid after receiving a bad tip from an informant, without doing any corroborating investigation. So Minneapolis taxpayers will foot the bill for the police mistakes in this case. If you’ll remember, the officers themselves won merit badges for the raid.
  • Cuil Theory might be new favorite weird Internets meme. I think Cuil Theory itself might be a Cuil or two removed from reality.
  • Death penalty stats for 2008: 37 executions, 4 exonerations. Half the executions last year were in Texas, and 95 percent were in the South. Make of all that what you will.
  • Marriage officiants in Vegas apparently have to be affiliated with a city-approved religion to perform a ceremony. D.C. has this rule, too, and it seems to me that it’s likely unconstitutional. But it’s even weirder coming from Vegas.
  • Party at the neighbor’s.
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  • 26 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  dave smith | 

      The fat tax is somewhat odd, considering that many studied have linked diet soda to obesity as well. Why not tax it too?

    2. #2 |  Mister DNA | 

      The fat tax is somewhat odd, considering that many studied have linked diet soda to obesity as well. Why not tax it too?

      The governor of New York is in the pocket of Big Artificial Sweetener.

    3. #3 |  Brandon Bowers | 

      I didn’t know the governor of New York had the authority to unilaterally create new taxes.

    4. #4 |  Nando | 

      Not everyone that drinks regular, or non-diet, soda is or will be obese. Setting an obesity tax on non-diet soda alone is pretty dumb. Why not tax everything that contains some form of corn? It’s what they use to fatten up the cows, right?

      Oh, wait, everything has corn! DOH!

    5. #5 |  MacK | 

      Personally, I’m glad to see the Khang’s have won the $$$, but it would have also been nice to see some true punishment doled out for the culprits.

      That party banter is some very funny stuff.

    6. #6 |  Zeb | 

      Shouldn’t the obesity tax be on fat people?

    7. #7 |  z | 

      $600,000 here, $600,000 there, and maybe government officials will eventually decide to rein these guys in a little.

    8. #8 |  CRNewsom | 

      I propose a new church in Nevada: The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      You know, for all those people who wish to get married that don’t fit into one of those other churches.

    9. #9 |  Regarding Liberty | 

      So agents of the State violate someone’s rights. In compensation, the State takes taxpayer money and gives it to that person. Because spending will not decrease over this, the money lost will need to be made up elsewhere, so the citizens should look forward to increased taxes. Exactly how does the State learn its lesson?

    10. #10 |  Stephen | 

      Nice to see the Bowers shoot down still making the news. I’m glad they haven’t managed to sweep it under the rug completely.

      My parents were missionaries in the same place and actually knew the parents of the woman that was killed. We came back to the U.S. in 1980 so I missed the whole drug war thing in the area.

      Wrong house raids, wrong plane shoot downs, all just a days work for the drug warriors. Covering up when their screw-ups get some attention seems to be popular as well.

      Take a look at the border with Mexico. It is worse than Afghanistan and getting worse fast. No daily media body count from there but it is getting so it will be hard to ignore for much longer.

      Just google “mexico border violence” for stories that are worse than we hear of out of the middle east.

    11. #11 |  Bill | 

      Yeah, I remember the “merit badges” for the cops in the Hmong raid. I’m guessing that if a Minneapolis cop knocks down the right door, avoids getting into a shootout with innocents, and doesn’t cost his city $600,000, he gets a parade.

    12. #12 |  Marty | 

      I always wanna be like the guy who responded to ‘party at the neighbors’! Someday, I’ll pull a stunt as cool as ‘Dave’ did…

      I think next year’s New York budget has a cancer tax on diet sodas because of all the artificial sweeteners. In 2011, the hair subsidies start, with an aggressive sin tax on Rogaine. 2012 will see the start of cold subsidies, with monies raised from the kleenex taxes being used to eliminate this scourge.

    13. #13 |  Party At Matthew’s Place | Social Services for Feral Children | 

      […] Via. […]

    14. #14 |  Matt I. | 


      Moua said Friday her children are still afraid of the police. (Correct)

      She said she is trying to turn that around, to make them to believe that most police officers are good and are there to help, rather than harm. (Wrong)

      “I told them not all police are bad,” she said. (Wrong)

      “I don’t want my kids to be afraid of the police.” (Wrong)

      This woman’s attitude is part of the reason why cops are treated so lightly, both by the courts of law and those of public opinion.

      At least there is hope for the next generation.

    15. #15 |  Elliot | 

      Dave Smith, you beat me to the punch. Yes, so called “diet” drinks are no good at curbing weight gain, just as most “diet” foods substitute sugars for fats.

      I dropped 10 pounds in just over a week when I quit drinking “diet” drinks.

      Most of what the “experts” claim about nutrition is upside-down and backwards, given obvious counter-examples (Inuit and Maassi tribal people, as well as higher-fat French diets). Animal fat is good and, by itself, doesn’t metabolize to body fat, as is wrongly assumed. Processed food, particularly sugars and grains, trick the body into storing fat, due to the insulin response. (Which is similarly why vegetable oils are worse than animal fat.)

      I can attest to the effectiveness of the Paleolithic Diet, coupled with Intermittent Fasting and strength training.


      It’s scary thinking how misguided politicians, who should mind their own business when it comes to our dietary choices on principle, may actually be driving Americans to having greater problems with obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer (the “diseases of civilization”).

    16. #16 |  Bot | 

      1 Cuil – Cops arrest the Hamburgler based upon informant tip.

      3 Cuil – Tax payers bailout fastfood industry after raid on medical marijuana dispensary fails to give everyone the munchies

      6 Cuil – Use of SWAT team and aggressive no-knock policing tactics are curtailed to only hostage crisis situations after careful, rational review of the cost and impact of the existing drug laws.

    17. #17 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      How this mattered in that botched raid I will never know:

      “Other elements of the settlement seek to improve police understanding for Hmong culture, and improve relations between police and the Hmong community. Those include the appointment of a police liaison to the Hmong community, more training for police and more efforts to recruit Hmong police officers. ”

      Because, as we all know, it was a misunderstanding of the Hmong culture that led to this incident, not stupidity, idiocy, a drug war, criminal negligence, bad tactics, racism against blacks, a blue wall, and poor marksmanship.

    18. #18 |  aland | 


      Maybe they can convince the cops that the Hmong find it deeply offensive if people break into their homes without reason, shoot their pets dead, and beat them up.

    19. #19 |  KBCraig | 

      You’ve 509’d the party! :-(

    20. #20 |  Steve | 

      Re: #8 CRnewsmom,


      Suggested symbols could be found on . Though I’m not crazy about the atherisk myself.

    21. #21 |  MacGregory | 

      I love it when the government raises taxes on a specific product. They, somehow, believe that it will deter the use of things that they deem as bad. They taxed and sued the hell out of the tobacco industry. Let me get this straight: You want me to quit smoking, yet you base your budget on that same tax revenue.
      When they raise taxes on marijuana, then I will be really mad.

    22. #22 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

      “Half the executions last year were in Texas, and 95 percent were in the South. Make of all that what you will.”

      No suprise at all. The south is the heart of the “tough on crime movement.” And, if things are still the way they were when I was a criminal justice undergrad, then I’m sure you’ll find that the southern states also continue to have the highest crime rates in the nation. Still believe that capital punishment is a deterrent to crime, ladies and gents of dixie? Surely you jest!

    23. #23 |  CC | 

      In DC, getting a minister from another state approved to perform weddings is a bitch, even if the minister is from an approved religion.

      We flew our minister friend up from Florida, had our religious wedding in DC, then the groom and I, a witness and our minister went to Maryland the next day and performed a simple ceremony in Great Falls park. We danced and prayed and ate cake in DC, and our legal wedding license is from Montgomery County, MD.

      Worked great, but DC laws are still crazy.

    24. #24 |  Jim Collins | 

      …..and they wonder why people shoot their neighbors.

    25. #25 |  perlhaqr | 

      I went through that in NV. I was living in Vegas at the time, my (now) wife and I were going to ask a friend to marry us, but the restrictions were ridiculously onerous, so we went to her instead, up in Seattle.

      People think of Vegas as some sort of free for all, but it’s been heavily infected with California Disease. Everything not mandatory is forbidden.

      I presume it was a business lobby driven law. All those drive-thru wedding chapels didn’t want the competition, so they bought enough congressweasels to get a law passed so the competition was restricted.

    26. #26 |  Jason | 

      The new York Governor: A colossal idiot.