Morning Links

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
  • Hey, DHS: I “reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.” So go ahead and put me on your list. Also, way to reinforce the very sentiments your report warns about!
  • Latest calls to end the drug war: Clive Crook in the Financial Times, Mike Gray in the Washington Post, Stanley Crouch in the NY Daily News.
  • Everything you thought you knew about the Columbine shootings was wrong.
  • My boss continues to expose how politicians, activists, and the media are exploiting the death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart to pass an ignition interlock law.
  • Euchre! Haven’t played in ages, but I must have played thousands of games in college.
  • I’m not sure this is a “fail.” It’s actually sorta’ true.
  • A fine use of taxpayer money: EPA hosts two-day conference on bedbugs.
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  • 72 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Robin | 

      Absolutist ban on “certain uses” of various chemicals? It seems like DDT, given the proper precautions could be used safely to get rid of the bed bugs that are probably infesting my apartment. If that means that I would have to stay out of my apartment for a certain period of time, not use my mattress, I don’t know, clean up the chemicals once the bugs are dead…seems worth it.

    2. #2 |  Robin | 

      UCrawford–I know you agree with me, didn’t mean to sound argumentative, just venting general frustration.

    3. #3 |  max | 

      “Point is, nobody knows about the game outside of the Midwest. If you know about it, odds are, you have a Midwest connection somewhere.

      And also, there is a direct correlation between playing euchre and calling a soft drink “pop”.”

      Non-sense, I learned to play euchre from my grandmother in Maine and she was never further west than Worchester Mass.. And it’s “tonic” not soda or pop. Although come to think of it I haven’t played euchre since I was in Michigan about 20 years ago.

    4. #4 |  Zargon | 

      “If you benefit from “theft” by using “the fuck out of that service”, you are just as guilty as the guy who went out and stole the goods to begin with. Condemn yourself first, then I’ll listen.”

      Let’s straighten this out. Some people decided that I’m paying them X dollars for the privilege of working during the year 2008. If I don’t pay X dollars, those people will send goons to do many times X dollars worth of damage to me and my property.

      Then, those people gave me a basket of stuff. If there’s any restrictions on using that basket of stuff, believe me, they’re good at telling me so. If I figure out how to use my basket of stuff to cause more than X dollars worth of expenses, that’s not stealing.

      If I walk past an $11.95 all-you-can-eat place, and the owner picks my pocket for $11.95, and then tells me to have something to eat at his place, that’s stealing. If I then manage to pack away $20 worth of food, neither the owner, nor the other hapless people who got their pockets picked and ate less than $11.95 worth of food get to complain. And cutting my losses after getting my pocket picked by having something to eat doesn’t mean I can’t complain about getting my pocket picked in the first place.

    5. #5 |  Matt D | 

      Eh, it’s not just a matter of spraying chemicals. You need multiple treatments of the whole building and all the property in it, most likely using residual pesticides. So, it’s understandable that the EPA would have an interest in it, especially as such undertakings become more prevalent.

    6. #6 |  Fargus |

      The equivalent report, equally sweeping, about left-wing radicals.

    7. #7 |  Robin | 

      Matt D–well that’s probably true given the current state of affairs, but I imagine much less necessary once the situation is a bit more under control, or completely under control as it once was. Are we to just live with these bugs then? What do you suggest, because they can’t be stopped you know? There’s no freaking stopping them! Once they find there way into your bed you, and you feel like a goddamn leper, people afraid to pay you a visit, you might be singing a different tune.

    8. #8 |  Matt D | 

      Robin–you might have missed the earlier post, but yeah, I’ve had them.

    9. #9 |  omar | 

      @#54 | Zargon

      Your analogy is good. I have another following similar logic.

      Someone steals your TV. You want a new one, so you go to a shady dude selling TV’s and you buy one – following the same logic, he stole from me, you are going to cut my losses. You then turn around and judge the thief and anyone who buys from the thief and was too dumb for knowing the TV was stolen. It’s ok to buy from the thief as long as you know the tv is stolen and you wish theft would go away.

      According to the anarchist philosophy, voluntary action of cutting your losses enables the evil system to perpetuate. Saying “do as I say, not as I do” is fine as long as you aren’t judging others for doing and saying.

      I continue to belabor the point not to argue with this specific issue, but to show there is not an absolute right/wrong answer. Depending on how you define evil, we are all evil people. I sympathize and tend to agree with the anarchist position, but I can’t respect the poisonous “I’m right, you’re wrong, you horrible fuckwad” attitude anymore than I respect it when I hear it from the lefties and neocons. If you are interested affecting real-world results, it’s best not to hate the minds you want to change.

    10. #10 |  chance | 

      Negative karma for my elephant story? You guys are in a bad mood tonight, geez. :)

    11. #11 |  omar | 

      Negative karma for my elephant story? You guys are in a bad mood tonight, geez.

      It’s tax day, yo. :)

    12. #12 |  chance | 

      Then maybe this one will make youse guys feel better:

      “Monkeys Pay Taxes Too. “

    13. #13 |  bobzbob | 

      Bed bugs started showing resistance to DDT in the 50’s – within a decade or so of the start of its use. Bedbugs still carry that resistance. So DDT would in the long run would be of little value. DDT is not used in much of the world because the target insects became resistant to it, not because of any ban. Mosquitos develop complete immunity in about 7 years if its use is widespread for things like agriculture.

    14. #14 |  UCrawford | 


      No worries…if I had bedbugs that were screwing up my sleep, I’d be pretty frustrated too. :)

    15. #15 |  mds | 

      Hey, what’s T-Jeff (Thomas Jefferson) doin’ in lockup?

      Reminiscing about his own sweeping expansions of federal executive power?

    16. #16 |  Burrow Owl | 

      “Also, way to reinforce the very sentiments your report warns about!”

      I believe that’s known as a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.

    17. #17 |  Lucy | 

      I too reject federal authority for state and local authority! How about that?

      Under Republicans, the war protesters are treasonous and threatening, under Democrats, it’s back to fearing right-wing militias (those being anyone who doesn’t like government.) It’s endlessly predictable.

      Also, the Columbine stuff I think I basically knew, it’s been coming out for years. The article DIDN”T mention the appallingly lax response of the police, though.

      Also, did anyone notice the “tips” section in the Columbine article? Unless you have real evidence that your child has sociopathic tendencies, advocating spying on their every browser visit is downright creepy. Even knowing what they’re doing at at all times is downright absurd, and part of the new, bizarre ideas about childrearing… The ones where you think that your child is either about to shoot up the school, or that there’s a molester behind every tree.

    18. #18 |  Drew | 

      “Under Republicans, the war protesters are treasonous and threatening, under Democrats, it’s back to fearing right-wing militias (those being anyone who doesn’t like government.) It’s endlessly predictable.”

      I’m a little disappointed to see the Reason crowd jumping on this bandwagon of exaggeration and hysteria.

      There really ARE some pretty scary right-wing extremist groups, mostly parts of the WP movement, which really ARE targeting ex-service-members for recruitment. It’s been a known problem for quite some time, and there’s no particular reason why law enforcement shouldn’t be informed about these sorts of things, which is precisely what the report discusses. Most of the “outrage” over the report has come from misrepresenting its contents and purpose by placing it in a generalized, rather than specific context.

      Plus, the damn thing was commissioned under GW’s watch, making it somewhat nonsensical to claim that it’s some sort of special project of Democrats writ-large. They put out these kinds of alerts/reports regularly, including ones on leftist groups like the ALF. But people are acting as if these are the only two reports they’ve ever put out, and somehow that they should be equalized instead of realistic.

    19. #19 |  Jon H | 

      “Although…it should really be the states doing that symposium, not the feds.”

      Which states? The incentive would be to wait for each state to wait for another state to do it.

      Given that bedbug infestations can be spread across state and national lines (in, say, luggage brought home from a trip) it seems pretty reasonable as a Federal issue.

      And it’s not exactly inherent in a ‘symposium’ that it must involve a large outlay of Federal money. The attendees’ employers (probably state and local governments, and public and private universities) probably paid for transportation and housing. I doubt they rented space at the Ritz-Carlton.

    20. #20 |  Jon H | 

      Here’s the EPA description of the event. Doesn’t sound very posh:

      EPA is changing the location of its National Bed Bug Summit in order to accommodate the expected attendance. The meeting will be held on April 14 through April 15, 2009, in the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel, located at 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202; 703-769-3942; Sheraton Crystal City.
      EPA’s National Bed Bug Summit meeting is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first come basis. No RSVP or advance registration is required. The Summit’s agenda (, directions, close-by hotels, transportation options, etc., are available on the Web site (5 pp, 258K, about PDF). For those who cannot attend in person, EPA is providing a webinar for the Tuesday morning session. Instructions for participating via webinar are also on the Web site (1 p, 52.01K, about PDF). Contact Karen Angulo ( by e-mail or telephone (703-306-0404) with questions.

      Meeting participants will share information on topics including the expanding impact of bed bugs on the housing, hospitality, and other sectors; factors contributing to the growing problem; and the response of the public health community and government agencies. The meeting will provide a venue to communicate with others in the diverse community affected by the increasing problem of bed bugs.Participants will also identify ideas and options for bed bug prevention, control, and management; create strategies for outreach and education; and develop recommendations for action.

    21. #21 |  Jon H | 

      FYI, the bedbug conference agenda includes this on the first day:

      Lunch (On Own)

      ie, no luxurious taxpayer-funded lunch spread.

    22. #22 |  UCrawford | 

      Jon H,

      Given that bedbug infestations can be spread across state and national lines (in, say, luggage brought home from a trip) it seems pretty reasonable as a Federal issue.

      Valid point.