Morning Links

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
  • Dems looking to scrap term limits for committee chairs. Bring back the Rostenkowski era!
  • Foreign Policy names Cato the world’s most innovative think tank, and notes, “Cato’s libertarian stance, once viewed as fringe, is now considered respectable.” Hey, it’s a start.
  • Obama’s pick for OLC looks to be pretty good.
  • Coming soon, to a hysterical public health activist near you:  third-hand smoke!
  • Some nice ice-themed photos.
  • Fun with speed cameras.
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  • 77 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Tsu Dho Nihm | 

      Third-hand smoke, eh? Huh, and I’ve just been calling it smoker-stench all my life.

    2. #2 |  MacK | 

      Tomorrows headlines:

      Man dies 50 years after contact with 5th hand smoke, confirming scientific studies.

    3. #3 |  ZappaCrappa | 

      3rd Hand Smoke…haven’t we figured out by now that you can get cancer from just talking to someone on the phone that is a smoker? Why don’t we just execute them all and dump them in a toxic landfill? Then we can get started on all those nasty meat eaters and soda drinkers.

      *WARNING* The Surgeon General has determined that listening to government experts and public health do-gooders greatly increases your chance of catching stupid.

    4. #4 |  chance | 

      Poor smokers. Yes, I’m weeping for them, I really am. Boo. Freakin. Hoo.

    5. #5 |  Hunter | 

      RE: the speed camera thing

      “It is unfortunate that kids have a lot of time on their hands that they can think of doing such a thing.”

      Yes, because the real problem here is that the children aren’t kept busy enough and have time to be devious.

    6. #6 |  thomasblair | 

      I’m shocked to see it took this long for the practice to become widespread enough to merit an article. I did this once nearly a decade ago.

    7. #7 |  Hunter | 

      @chance: Here’s your “I’m a dick on the internet” award. Congrats…

    8. #8 |  Jason | 

      New hazard: third hand stupidity. New York Times readers are frequently exposed.

    9. #9 |  thomasblair | 

      Anyone care to start a pool on when the phrase “fourth-hand smoking” will appear in the NYTimes?

      Bonus points if you can accurately guess the definition.

    10. #10 |  CRNewsom | 

      @thomasblair-> May 4th 2013:

      Fourth-Hand Smoke example: I smoke outside (first-hand smoke), I come back into the office, your desk is next to mine (third-hand smoke), you go home to your family (fourth-hand smoke).

    11. #11 |  mischief | 

      Not that I’d ever advocate this *ahem*, but I did read recently a highly unverifiable blurb about people doing that license plate trick in Australia, only using the license plate of the mobile speed trap vehicles. If true, a nice bit of monkeywrenching, that.

    12. #12 |  Sithmonkey | 

      Fourth-hand smoke is the stuff Jerry Jones keeps trying to blow up us Cowboys’ fans’ arses…

      Andrews also said that this could hurt the integrity of the Speed Camera Program. “It will cause potential problems for the Speed Camera Program in terms of the confidence in it,” he said.

      Speed Camera Program used in the same sentence as integrity…there’s some more fourth-hand smoke for ya…

    13. #13 |  bobzbob | 

      A number of commenters above appear to dispute the conclusion that the toxins present in “third hand smoke” are harmful. What evidence do you have for this?

    14. #14 |  TomMil | 

      I know that bringing up my support for Universal Health Care (Socialized Medicine) on a libertarian blog is like screaming, “I’m a freak!” in a crowded movie theater but I generally do favor the idea and think it could, be liberating*. The problem is that so many Americans are fusspots and busybodies. Universal Health care will open the door to all kinds of restrictions based upon b.s. like “3rd hand smoke”. The rationale will be, “I’m paying more in taxes to support your unhealthy lifestyle.” Which will be immediately followed by, “There ought to be a law!” I really don’t get it. I lived in Germany in the 80′s ( Army) and while they had socialized medicine, I’d bet 1/2 the population smoked. I don’t recall there being a backlash. BTW, I don’t smoke.

      * For one example, it would promote greater job/career choices. I’m engaged to a woman who is keeping a job she despises because she is sure a new employer’s health insurance provider will refuse to cover her very serious and very expensive medical condition as a “pre-existing condition”.

    15. #15 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Wait a sec. Are we back to persecuting smokers again? I thought fat people were the new target. Sheesh! No one tells me anything.

    16. #16 |  thomasblair | 

      CRNewsome,

      So, to generalize, the (n)th-hand smoker is determined by the (n-1)th degree of situational separation from the smoker?

      *Valid for n=2,3,4…

    17. #17 |  Ginger Dan | 

      Andrews also said that this could hurt the integrity of the Speed Camera Program. “It will cause potential problems for the Speed Camera Program in terms of the confidence in it,” he said.

      Right, because before high-schoolers were making the technology look ridiculous, everything about SCP was just dandy.

      As an aside, for you Agitatorites out there, Montgomery County is right next to everyone’s favorite Maryland county, Prince George’s.

    18. #18 |  Marty | 

      #13 bobzbob

      I think people are assuming the evidence is dubious because of all the exaggerations regarding smoking by the anti-smoking nannies. I, for one, am not a smoker, but I don’t take any govt study seriously when it comes to smoking ( or many other things, for that matter).

    19. #19 |  Nick T | 

      “Your nose isn’t lying,” he said. “The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: ’Get away.’”

      Really Doctor? Scientific medical toxicity reduced to the effing smell test. That must be why some people love gasoline, or why I would much rather smell left over smoke than mushrooms (they make me gag – no idea why). I guess it’s just that simple.

      I love the speed camera article, but can I just point out that the parent – who seems to be right on the money – talking about our rights being “exploited” apparently doesn’t know what that word means, and has a rather liberal definition of “civil rights.” Sad that the one guy articulating a liberty-minded opinion sounds like a doof.

    20. #20 |  Marty | 

      #14
      ‘The problem is that so many Americans are fusspots and busybodies. Universal Health care will open the door to all kinds of restrictions based upon b.s. like “3rd hand smoke”.’

      you say you’re for universal health care and then you point out the dangers of the unintended consequences and then you say you’re for it anyway?!!

    21. #21 |  nemo | 

      I don’t smoke, and don’t hang around people who do, but I really can’t stand the kind of attitude evinced by many ardent anti-smoking groups, because that attitude is basically inimical to the democratic process. For example:

      “Indeed, in other related situations, courts in more than a dozen states have ruled that smoking around a child — even in one’s own home — can be grounds for the loss of custody. Moreover, in hundreds of cases judges have issued orders prohibiting such smoking — which is increasingly being considered a form of “child abuse,” “child neglect,”
      or “reckless endangerment.” In addition, three states have banned smoking in the home where a foster child is present, and several more are considering it.

      “This is clear evidence,” says Banzhaf, “that a man’s home is no longer his castle when it comes to smoking. Courts are now applying the same principles to secondhand tobacco smoke which they have long since applied to other dangerous — or even irritating — chemicals. We would not tolerate a situation where asbestos or benzene drifted into someone’s apartment, and we are now beginning to apply the same rule to tobacco smoke, which is likewise a known human carcinogen.” (Emphasis mine – N)

      Always, always, always…for the best of reasons the worst of things happen. What Mencken said about the ‘uplifters’ is no less true nearly a century later…

    22. #22 |  Paul | 

      #13 Bozbob It’s not a matter of whether those toxins are harmful (they are) but whether they persist in sufficient concentration to cause harm. Some or many of those toxins are found in smoke from fireworks, so do we ban watching firework displays outdoors? Some of them are in vehicle exhaust fumes, so we ban vehicles? How about air-conditioning? Computers? Paint? Washing up liquid? Meat?

    23. #23 |  Nick T | 

      And Radley, I read that Greenwald post about the new OLC designee and I think the mere selection of someone with those views completely vindicates your support for Obama. No expansion of government, regulation of markets, or wasting of tax dollars is as dangerous or harmful to a “free society” as utter disdain for the rule of law. GWB was almost certainly the worst president ever in this regard, and Obama, with this selection, has, at worst, played an enormous amount of lip service to the idea that the rule of law is critically important.

    24. #24 |  TomMil | 

      #20 I know it’s amazing isn’t it. I usually don’t get out of bed in the morning for fear of unintended consequences, but then there are the unintended bed sores. Damn!

    25. #25 |  TomMil | 

      Marty,

      Sorry about the snotty tone of my reply. I think that UHC could be done with caveats about micro-managment built in. We could try to minimize the potential dangers in the initial creation of a program like that.

    26. #26 |  Marty | 

      #23
      THAT’S your rebuttal? impressive…

    27. #27 |  Tim C | 

      Re: speed cameras – my question is why – surely some sharp lawyer has thought of this – are ANY camera-issued tickets valid? I.e, I seriously doubt any of the cameras are of sufficient quality to discern a real vs. a counterfeit plate, so proof of guilt would be impossible to establish (let alone, isn’t the driver’s face required to be picked up, too? Ha, I think I know the answer to that…). Many (if not most) states, you are pulled over and required to show license AND registration, the latter of which would verify the correct plate is on the car (assuming the officer missed the tape, or it was a stolen plate, or whatnot).

    28. #28 |  Marty | 

      oops, I responded too quick.

      can you point out any programs where ‘caveats about micro-management’ minimize the dangers of govt overstepping boundaries?

    29. #29 |  Marty | 

      #26 | Tim C

      there’s been plenty of arguments against the legality of the cameras and I’ve watched interviews with lawyers advising people to fight, but it seems to come down to the govt has lots of time and money to fight and the fines piss people off, but usually don’t cause incredible hardship, so people just pay. That’s what I did, anyway. Every time I see the cameras, I’m pissed right off. I’ve thought of shooting them with a cross bow, paint ball guns, using photoblocker spray, putting up protest signs, etc. These kids have the best idea I’ve seen…

    30. #30 |  Chuchundra | 

      Ah, the libertarian defense of the poor, oppressed smoker. Honestly, I am surprised that there isn’t more concern here for people who enjoy defecating in public.

    31. #31 |  perlhaqr | 

      So… cheap, white Crown Vic + vinyl numbers from Home Depot + a photorealistic printout of police car license plates? Not advocating, just saying, of course.

    32. #32 |  perlhaqr | 

      Chuchundra: Don’t be ridiculous. Of course we support your right to speak in public.

    33. #33 |  Ahcuah | 

      OK, so how long before they go after 2nd or 3rd hand fat?

      I can see it now: it would be measured in degrees of separation from Bacon. (Kevin Bacon, of course.)

      Sorry about that.

    34. #34 |  Shon | 

      Well one thing in favor of smoking bans. There was an article about the ban that Pueblo CO enacted last year and the rate of heart diesese has dropped 41% since then. I will link the article when I can find it again.

    35. #35 |  Shon | 

      Correction it was hostipalizations related to smoking including heart issues. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090101/ap_on_he_me/med_smoking_ban_heart

    36. #36 |  Zeb | 

      Third hand smoke is bullshit because there are loads of more dangerous things we are exposed to everyday in car exhaust, various solvents we come in contact with, natural radioactivity coming out of the ground, mold spores, etc.

      Smoking is unhealthy and tobacco smoke contains some substances which are known to be harmful in specific ways. So it is true that even highly diluted smoke will still contain some of these substances. So what? The dose always makes the poison. Tobacco is not uniquely harmful among things we are supposed to.
      Crap like this is presented as real research, but I see no studies mentioned in the article which correlate exposure to “third hand smoke” to any disease or increased mortality. Show me the bodies.

    37. #37 |  Marty | 

      #33
      here’s a link: http://www.healthnews.com/family-health/dramatic-drop-heart-attacks-attributed-smoking-ban-2385.html

      The CDC and various anti-smoking nannies are raving about this. The only reasonable sounding person is Dr. Michael Siegel, who says, “I don’t think it’s as clear as they’re making it out to be.”

      This is classic bullshit, like the seat belt arguments were/are. you gotta look past the nannies…

    38. #38 |  John Jenkins | 

      Foreign Policy is usually a good read (and they recently added some good IR bloggers to their site), but it *is* somtimes a little slanted. For example, they rightly say that the Heritage Foundation is partisan, but somehow they think Brookings is not. Now, I like the Brookings reports as much as the next guy, but they do have a point of view, so it seems silly not to recognize it.

    39. #39 |  CRNewsom | 

      @thomasblair-> Exactly, sort of like Cuil Theory, in that respect.

      http://cuiltheory.wikidot.com/what-is-cuil-theory

    40. #40 |  Barry | 

      “Foreign Policy names Cato the world’s most innovative think tank, and notes, “Cato’s libertarian stance, once viewed as fringe, is now considered respectable.” Hey, it’s a start. ”

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      That just goes to show that FP is not particularly worth listening to, especially as it comes as the Greenspan/Friedman Era is collapsing.

    41. #41 |  RWW | 

      Oh yes, Cato is “respectable.” That’s certainly one way to put it.

    42. #42 |  James D | 

      Marty, there’s a surefire way out of the speed camera tickets (and I’ve done it a couple times):
      - first you get in the mail the notice … tear it up. They can’t prove that you got the mail. Maybe there was an issue with delivery.
      - usually they will try to mail you again. If so, tear that one up too.
      - lastly, they will send a person to your door. If you avoid them and don’t answer the door for strangers, they can’t ‘serve’ you.
      - they will give up after that and no ticket for you

    43. #43 |  Frank | 

      You missed some pretty big news, there.

      http://news.google.com/news?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=s&hl=en&q=Jet+Blue+T-Shirt&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ncl=1287306575&sa=X&oi=news_result&resnum=5&ct=more-results&cd=1

      TSA and Jet Blue avoid a finding of discrimination and civil rights violations (which should have resulted in jail time) by paying an Arab passenger $240K for giving him a hard time about his t-shirt with arabic and english writing on it.

    44. #44 |  Marty | 

      thanks, James! I’ll definitely look at that the next time (and there will be a next time…) I get one of these tickets.

      is there any listing of the case being dismissed against you? I had St. Louis come after me 9 years after I moved for a parking ticket I didn’t know I had. They were threatening to ding my credit with collections!

    45. #45 |  fwb | 

      I’m sorry but maybe those who criticize Bush should spend some time learning that the tactics he used and the claims to power he made come primarily from the past democratic presidents, TR, FDR, Truman, Wilson, etc. Bush was NOT the protector people thought he would be but he definitely did not invent any of the claims he used. This includes John Yoo’s claims of presidential powers. Unitary executive theory is part and parcel of the left and the incoming administration is no stranger to its use.

      Check out The Cult of the Presidency.

      NOTE: Kids and speed cameras. Those kids just proved the stupidity of the government and all the officials who think speed cameras and more intrusive government spying will make improvements to life. We should applaud them for the rebels they are. In the 60s they would have been held high as examples of fighting the man.

      Note: smoke (1st, 2nd, 3rd, ad infinitum) can cause death. Please note life begets death. No one gets out of here any other way.

      EVERYTHING the government does it f-cks up. When the government commissioned wheels, they were square but they are “safe”. ANYONE who wants government to do anything more than keep us from each others throats and outsiders from our collective throats is an idiot in need of institutionalization.

    46. #46 |  Frank Hummel | 

      Speed cameras are OK. Had them In Ontario, Canada for a while. Got a few speeding tickets from them, quite annoying, paid them and continued to drive the speed I wanted. Still better than some stupid cop stopping you and getting points that increase your insurance.
      Right now I have to constantly keep an eye out hidden cruisers. Much safer with cameras.

    47. #47 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I misunderstood the definition of “3rd hand smoke.”

      My experience with 3rd-hand smoke went like this:

      Many years ago I was at a party with these two chicks. I took a massive bong hit and kissed the first one, blowing the smoke into her lungs. She then turned to the other girl, kissed her and blew it into her lungs.

      THAT, my friends, is 3rd-hand smoke. And give me 3rd hand smoke or give me death anytime.

    48. #48 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I say let’s join Frank Hummel and say a kind word on behalf of Big Brother.

      Who’s first?

      Anyone?

      Bueller?

    49. #49 |  James D | 

      Marty, I think the matter just gets dropped. I never hear about the matter again.

      If the true purpose of speed cameras was to enforce the law, they would do something to my record, or call me, or send an officer. But since the real point of speed cameras is just to make money, they give up on you and go after an easier target (sucker).

    50. #50 |  limited | 

      @35,
      The study states that rates of hospital admissions for heart attacks declined 41% after a workplace ban on smoking. Even if this shows that the ban reduced overall heart attacks, it demonstrates no drop in heart attacks among second hand smokers. In fact, the study itself mentions that regular smoking dropped 15% (from 24% to 21%) during the study. The smokers that didn’t quit likely had to cut down due to the ban. Both of these facts likely caused a drop in heart attacks.

      If data had been collected on these heart attacks about the smoking status of the victim, they might be able to draw conclusions about second hand smoke. Instead it is just cargo cult science.

    51. #51 |  Barry | 

      I should explain my ‘BWAHAHA!’ comment; Radley definitely deserves that:

      The CATO Institute has definitely held the line on civil rights for the Bush administration, and deserve credit for that. But now, as the economic system of the world undergoes a massive crisis, they offer pretty much more of the same (doctrinaire libertarianism) combined with revisionist history (which most libertarians will now support, IMHO, since many of the gains claimed by them are now questionable).

    52. #52 |  Matt Moore | 

      #34 – That study, like all the previous ones studying hospitalizations after a smoking ban, has serious problems.

      But the study had limitations: It assumed declines in the amount of secondhand smoke in Pueblo buildings after the ban, but did not try to measure that. The researchers also did not sort out which heart attack patients were smokers and which were not, so it’s unclear how much of the decline can be attributed to reduced secondhand smoke.

      One academic argued there’s not enough evidence to conclude the smoking ban was the cause of Pueblo’s heart attack decline.

      The decline could have had more to do with a general decline in smoking in Pueblo County, from about 26 percent in 2002-2003 to less than 21 percent in 2004-2005. If there were stepped-up efforts to treat or prevent heart disease in the Pueblo area, that too could have played a role, said Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health.

      “I don’t think it’s as clear as they’re making it out to be,” Siegel said.

      Smoking bans may very well decrease the incidence of heart disease, but I suspect it’s not because they decrease second-hand smokers. Instead, it’s because first-hand smokers quit (or smoke less) when they’re not allowed to smoke at work.

    53. #53 |  Robin | 

      Have they actually studied the harm of third hand smoke exposure, or only how aware the public is of this presumed risk? Because the latter is all that’s reported on in this article. But of course harm from third hand smoke can’t be demonstrated in a verifiable non-ridiculous sort of way. Just think about it for like a second! But those doctors coined a term! How discouraging to think that there are “scientists” out there investigating this. Shouldn’t they be trying to make a new vaccine or something, instead of taking bullshit polls to help further marginalize a group of people?

    54. #54 |  bobzbob | 

      “13 Bozbob It’s not a matter of whether those toxins are harmful (they are) but whether they persist in sufficient concentration to cause harm. Some or many of those toxins are found in smoke from fireworks, so do we ban watching firework displays outdoors? Some of them are in vehicle exhaust fumes, so we ban vehicles? How about air-conditioning? Computers? Paint? Washing up liquid? Meat?”

      Let’s see: Yes we DID ban vehicles with excessive exhaust fumes (without catalytic converters or emission controls or using leaded gas), so now much of the danger from that has been reduced or eliminated. Yes we DID ban paint with high VOC content, yes we severely restrict solvents, fireworks displays do not produce chronic exposures and eating meat doesn’t expose anyone else to the toxins. I don’t know what AC or computers have to do with this – neither of these emit dangerous toxins in normal use – but we DID ban disposal of these in ways that might expose people to toxins.

    55. #55 |  Les | 

      Barry,

      When and where has “doctrinaire libertarianism” been tried and how did it lead to the current financial crisis? Also, could you provide some examples of the “revisionist history” in which Cato is engaging?

    56. #56 |  Mattocracy | 

      Barry,

      The economic crisis is the result of government intervention in the market. There was nothing remotely Libertarian about our economy pre-financial crisis, and certianly not now. You say we have revisionist history, but maybe you should take a look in the mirror.

    57. #57 |  Cappy | 

      Butane – Oh shit! No more camping cookstoves for you! Bad camper!

      Hydrogen Cyanide – Apples and pears contain amygdalin which in turn can create hydrogen cyanide during digestion. It is also produced in a multitude of foods when cooked. No eating for you!

      Toluene – Found naturally in crude oil. The human body has no problems breaking it down into harmless properties when in small doses…like cigarette smoke.

      Arsenic – Organic and inorganic, both found in the foods we eat. Regular high doses can lead to cancer. High doses are not found in food…or cigarettes.

      Lead – Used in a wide variety of products. Hell, it’s even mined. In other words, lead is all over the place. Don’t see people dropping dead because of it.

      Carbon Monoxide – Go suck on a tailpipe, dumbasses.

      Polonium-210 – Found in tobacco leaves grown with PHOSPHATE FERTILIZERS. Get rid of phosphate fertilizers and you get rid of polonium in your tobacco. Case dismissed. Oh wait, phosphate fertilizers are used in crop production. SHIT! FUCK! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

    58. #58 |  TC | 

      I can’t wait for the UT legislature to get their hands on that article, they will for sure be the first theocracy to implement more bans on smoking.

      I wish some asswipe group would do a study on the harmful effects of breathing in the stench from a deep fat fryer that permeates everything in the entire building!

      No that crap stinks! Sends my brain into full retreat mode it does!

    59. #59 |  MacGregory | 

      And what of the effects of second and third hand perfume/cologne? Anyone who has every worked in an office knows WTF I’m talking about.

      But I guess thats better than being around someone who just needs to take a fucking bath.

    60. #60 |  Glenn Greenwald thinks Obama’s latest appointments are good at Klintron’s Brain | 

      [...] (via The Agitator) [...]

    61. #61 |  Balloon Maker | 

      note on beating camera tickets. I live in PHX, which is blanketed with the f’in things. If my wife and I are in a hurry, i drive her car. ticket comes in her name with a picture of me. Mail it in. Done and done.

      Or just wear a mask.

    62. #62 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I drive without a front license plate (never been pulled over for it in 5 years, the one time I was pulled over was for not having a light over my rear license plate).

      When I drive through a camera intersection, I put my hand in front of my face, including my eyes. I leave a little gap between my fingers so I can still see.

      A while back, I even sprayed a reflective substance on my rear plate, but that fades too quickly and leaves ugly yellow stains.

      There could be no end to the various methods one can use to thwart cameras, yet the State is raking in the dough.

      Sheeple.

    63. #63 |  supercat | 

      //Man dies 50 years after contact with 5th hand smoke, confirming scientific studies.//

      The joys of statistical homeopathy (the more remote the causality, the more powerful the presumed causitive agent)

    64. #64 |  James D | 

      I’m in PHX area too Balloon, it sucks …. rumor is the new Governor might get rid of the damn things ….. crossing my fingers ….

    65. #65 |  Werner Patels | 

      Third-hand smoke, is it now, eh? I can picture it now: the entire anti-smoking lobby dies of cancer … of the brain.

    66. #66 |  crack | 

      You might appreciate Radley, another problem with ‘obesity’ related deaths.

      http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2009/01/05/chemo_dosage_obese_women/index.html

    67. #67 |  Bob | 

      “When I drive through a camera intersection, I put my hand in front of my face, including my eyes. I leave a little gap between my fingers so I can still see.”

      Let me get this straight. When you BLOW THROUGH A RED LIGHT you put your hand over your face so the camera can’t nab you? For the love of god, I hope I don’t ever have to drive anywhere near you.

      You guys crack me up.

      Why don’t you… Oh, I don’t know… just not speed or run red lights?

      Oh wait, that would be safe. And that, apparently, isn’t the libertarian way.

      Personally? I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket in 30 years. Here in Fairfax, we have Camera Intersections all over… and yet! I fail to get tickets.

      Why is that? Oh! It’s because I don’t speed or run red lights.

      And yet… I still get to my destination no slower than you. Hmm.

    68. #68 |  The_Chef | 

      Hey Bob, you in your car doing exactly the speed limit (Not one bit over, and me in my little broke ass Civic doing 7 over every posted limit. Physics says I get to the destination faster.

      Your final point is so full of shit that only select members of congress could shovel it all.

      Physics > Bob

    69. #69 |  billy-jay | 

      Bob, I was with you until you tried to turn your post into a smear of libertarians.

      Screw you. Get the hell out of here and don’t come back until you have two braincells to rub together. You and your collectivist hive mind need to evolve to the point where you are capable of rational thought.

    70. #70 |  Steve S | 

      Red light story appears to be an urban legend: http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/snaptrap.asp

    71. #71 |  Chris K | 

      The thing about 3rd hand smoke exposure is that the dangers of 2nd hand smoke have never been proven; the “statistical evidence” is just that: numbers jerryrigged to scare and sell smoking cessation products. Seriously, they claim what? Second hand smoke increases the risk of cancers by 20%. OK, but what’re the risks of a non-smoker getting cancer to beging with? Average. And a 20% chance + average is still more or less average. Take a look at who funds these studies and wild claims – Robert Wood Johnson is one huge purse in the anti-smoking campaign. Their non-profit is funded primarily with Johnson & Johnson dividends, which they receive at 1% tax as a NPO. Who makes Nicorette? Johnson & Johnson.

      I don’t dispute the adverse health effects of smoking, but it’s a person’s choice to do that to themselves. I completely dispute anyone’s claims to protect someone from their self.

      Finally, by way of analogy, the National Cancer Institute published a study that women using Listerine (and other mouthwashes with 25%+ ABV) had a 90% higher risk of cancer than those who did not, and men a 60% risk. But what did the institute conclude? They said the findings “do not firmly establish the risk.” Cf. the second hand smokescreen.

      > http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE6DC133EF930A15757C0A967958260

      It’s a nuisance, but tough shit.

    72. #72 |  thomasblair | 

      Bob,

      Let me get this straight. When you BLOW THROUGH A RED LIGHT you put your hand over your face so the camera can’t nab you?

      Fuck! Can you read or are you willfully obtuse?

      Try again:

      I leave a little gap between my fingers so I can still see.

      Fail > Bob

    73. #73 |  Cynical In CA | 

      #67 | Bob | January 7th, 2009 at 1:17 am

      “Let me get this straight. When you BLOW THROUGH A RED LIGHT you put your hand over your face so the camera can’t nab you? For the love of god, I hope I don’t ever have to drive anywhere near you. You guys crack me up.”

      First, it’s ok that you have a small penis.

      Second, it has been proved that many municipalities contract with private red-light camera companies working under a profit motive, so there is incentive to generate as much revenue as possible. This leads to nasty little tactics like 3-second yellow lights and camera “malfunctions” where a picture is taken even if you weren’t in the intersection.

      Nowhere in my post did I admit that I run red lights. If a yellow light is only 3 seconds in duration, it is practically impossible to stop in time. Stopping short can be just as dangerous as running the light, as you might get rear-ended. Very dangerous if you’re driving a Ford Pinto.

      And in one of the classic examples of perverse incentives, drivers are now being trained to slam on their brakes when the light turns yellow, causing more accidents than if they proceeded through the red light.

      BTW, going through a red light is not dangerous per se — it depends on how long the light has been red. Less than one second, no big deal. The other light isn’t even green yet. No oncoming traffic, no big deal.

      Just to bring it on home to libertarianism, Bob, red-light and speeding cameras remove individual judgment from the equation. No matter how f’ed up people may be, taking away their judgment can only make it worse.

      Please do a better job of thinking next time, Bob.

    74. #74 |  claude | 

      Ever notice how claims like the one in colorado r always in states where they actually have a winter? See folks, back over 20 years ago there was a study done in colorado. That study also dealt with heart attack rates based on admissions to the hospital. Had nothing to do with smoking tho. The study was comparing heart attack rates in colorado winter vs summer. Turns out admissions to the hospital were far higher in the winter as opposed to the summer. The study concluded that shoveling snow in the morning when males r more susceptible to heart attacks (something to do with higher testosterone levels in the morning) was the reason for the drastic differences. How does this relate to smoking bans? Well, in colorado the study they were using compared those rates in an 18 month period b4 and 18 month period after the ban. Yeah, the 18 month pre-ban data included 2 winters and 1 summer. The post ban data included 2 summers and 1 winter. In other words, youre not likely to see the same study in Hawaii. Those antismokers sure r sneaky.

    75. #75 |  SusanK | 

      About red light/speed cameras: they’re talking about them in my neck of the woods (sometimes it’s good to be behind the times in Nebraska). It usually involves a change in the law to state that there is a presumption that the registered owner was driving. They can also change the way these have to be served, such as mailing to last registered address is sufficient service.

    76. #76 |  Bob | 

      “Hey Bob, you in your car doing exactly the speed limit (Not one bit over, and me in my little broke ass Civic doing 7 over every posted limit. Physics says I get to the destination faster.”

      I’m curious as to why your “Broke ass Civic” Is somehow superior to whatever I drive. If it wasn’t. you wouldn’t have pointed it out, hmm?

      As for “Cynical in CA”

      “First, it’s ok that you have a small penis.”

      I actually do have a fairly small penis. I have no idea how you know that, but it really doesn’t matter.

      The rest of your crap is just stupid. How about driving more safely instead? Hmm?

    77. #77 |  Cynical In CA | 

      It was a good guess, Bob.

      Loved your rebuttal. Guess you forfeit.

      Quitter.

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