Morning Links

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
  • I’ve never been a big Lego person, at least not since I was a kid, but this is pretty damned cool. And forget Wired’s request for that fascist Le Corbusier’s hulking brutalism, give me some Frank Gehry next.
  • Jay Bennett, RIP.
  • Cardinal who presided over Ireland scandal in which Catholic priests were show to have sexually abused young boys going back decades declares that atheism is the “greatest of all evils.”
  • Uh, sure. I mean, especially now that the dishes are clean.
  • Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) calls out Obama over preventative, indefinite detention.
  • Off-duty Chicago cop who struck and killed a boy on a bicycle was allowed by other cops to sober up for four hours before they gave him a breath test.
  • So how long until some contrarian lefty pens an op-ed about how recessions aren’t so bad, because they tend to mitigate income inequality? Come on. I know Michael Gerson’s mirror image is out there somewhere.
  • Really fascinating and at times disturbing article in the NY Times about mental acuity and old age. The interesting/disturbing part is the story’s backdrop: Hyper-competitive bridge clubs in retirement communities, where playing partners are the first to notice signs of deterioration, and tend to let their friends know they’re on the downslope by booting them out of the game.
  • Next up for the British Nanny State: mandatory single-file queues at pubs, two-drink maximums, and rope barriers. The U.K. is turning into a Pink Floyd video.
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  • 43 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  JS | 

      They let him sober up before testing him, hmmm, why am I not surprised. Police corruption and abuse is the biggest story in this country today. Its bigger than the economy or the war on terror or any of that. Its what makes living in America so miserable for so many people now and yet its barely covered in the MSM.

    2. #2 |  Marty | 

      I’d love to hear how the cops rationalize covering for the drunk cop that killed the 13 yo boy- I’m betting they’re blaming the kid because he snuck out and ‘shouldn’t have been there in the first place…’ if cops will cover for each other after they’ve killed an innocent kid, how can they ever expect the public to trust them?

    3. #3 |  ktc2 | 

      Anybody know anything about Judge Sonia Sotomayor (apparently Obama’s SCOTUS pick)?

      I’m not expecting anyone decent of course, but hope springs eternal.

      Is she a drug warrior thug? A liberal social engineering commie? Or is she a nobody who just got the nod because she’s female and hispanic?

    4. #4 |  Marty | 

      I always thought Jay Bennett was an odd guy, but what a monster of a musician. he’ll be missed.

    5. #5 |  Jeeoshi | 

      No, the cops will justify it by claiming the kid wasn’t wearing a helmet.

    6. #6 |  JS | 

      ktc2 “Is she a drug warrior thug? A liberal social engineering commie? Or is she a nobody who just got the nod because she’s female and hispanic?”

      Brilliant! The real questions the media should be asking but won’t!

    7. #7 |  Taktix | 

      Re: …atheism is the “greatest of all evils.”

      Right, because so much war and human destruction was caused by atheist zealots, like…

      Oh wait, I can’t think of any. Fucking papist…

    8. #8 |  Mattocracy | 

      People have often speculated, what would we do with all these law enforcement agencies if we ended the drug war?

      Here’s an idea, have these officers and prosecutors investigate and punish crooked cops. Then they can shoot and kill each other instead of innocent people.

      Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor reminds me of a great quote from a friend of mine. He was getting his Masters in Theology or something like that. He said, “God isn’t the problem. The problem is religion. They are far from being the same thing.”

    9. #9 |  thorn | 

      Why are you surprised/shocked/etc that Catholic clergyman would believe that turning away from God is the most evil thing one can do?

    10. #10 |  Tokin42 | 

      #8

      You’re right. I believe that it’s the only unforgivable sin in christian doctrine. I think radley was going for the “ironic” view. The good Archbishop maybe should have focused a bit more on actual sins (diddling little boys) than “theoretical” sin.

    11. #11 |  thorn | 

      I’d understand irony if it were a prosecutor, congressman, mayor, talk show host… some non-clergy that had been involved in an abuse case. But there’s just no irony at all in clergy making a point from doctrine.

    12. #12 |  CRNewsom | 

      A student of theology myself (I was actually going to become a Jesuit at one point in time), I find it interesting that he should say that is the greatest sin. Note he did not say it is the greatest crime. There are some in the clergy who do not recognize secular law in any way. I see that there is a conflict between religious and secular law similar to the conflict between beauty and art.

      #7: Your friends quote is dead on.

      /Not trolling, promise.

    13. #13 |  Tom G | 

      You know, I used to say that the further up the Catholic hierarchy a person was, the further away from God he got. Maybe I wasn’t so off-base after all.
      I’m an atheist. (Not a “Bright”, thank you)

    14. #14 |  Stephen | 

      Oh, crap. My son is a lego addict.

      I can see it now… he’s going to want the Lego Taj Mahal for his birthday even though he has enough random pieces to probably build two of them.

      I HATE stepping on lego pieces barefoot!

    15. #15 |  Barry Stocker | 

      Radley’s comment on the story about bizarre regulations in British pubs is disappointingly hyperbolic. This is a proposal, not a policy in practice, of one local council in the whole of the UK. Hopefully the publicity generated by the newspaper item will kill the idea stone dead, if not the inevitable opposition of all local drinkers. Let’s be fair to the council concerned, according to the story they are facing problems of violence in local pubs. Their solution is wrong but it’s not the highest standard of fairness to highlight this bad solution without any mention of the underlying problem. People outside the UK need to understand there was a major liberalisation of legal drinking hours in pubs under Blair, so Radley’s suggestion that British drinkers are being forced into a Pink Floyd dystopia is not the best moment of a generally admirable columnist and commentator.

    16. #16 |  Gabriel | 

      #3 | ktc2 : Is she a drug warrior thug? A liberal social engineering commie? Or is she a nobody who just got the nod because she’s female and hispanic?

      She’s a product of leftist identity politics who sincerely believes that latina females, by nature of race and gender, make better judges than white males. She does not believe in objective law but states that judging is a subjective exercise of power. She believes in developing a feminist theory of jurisprudence as distinct from the patriarchal tradition. In short, “liberal social-engineering commie” is too kind a description.

      Read her own words here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/politics/15judge.text.html

    17. #17 |  MacGregory | 

      They allowed him to sober up before testing. Thats OK. They will probably need to do that again just before he accepts his awards from MADD and DARE.

    18. #18 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      #15- We’ve had similar “local council” solutions that soon become state and possibly national agendas (trans-fats, for one). It always starts somewhere. The fact that it is even considered as a good idea is frightening. Well, maybe for us in the States. We’re not covered with police run video cameras…yet.

    19. #19 |  Barry Stocker | 

      @Mile Leatherwood
      There’s no chance of the the proposed policy of Oldham council becoming national. The idea of buying drinks in a pub being regulated in this way is completely in contradiction with the way British people buy drinks as the article makes clear. People in the UK are not indifferent to CCTV cameras, but the issues of ID cards and the government keeping DNA records of criminal suspects who have not been convicted have been at the forefront. There’s a lot of things going wrong and I don’t want to claim there are no problems in Britain. Some silly proposal in one local council, of Oldham which is a much smaller place than NYC obviously, is not worth getting excited about compared with: CCTV camera, biotech ID cards, DNA records, reversal of Blair’s slight but real liberalisation of prostitution and drug laws, the return of trade union power. The biggest problem with the control of drinking in the UK is at the national state level with regard to a persistent control freak lobby which wants to put up the price of alcohol and start scare camapains about alleged near universal alcoholism. Let’s look at the big picture.

    20. #20 |  Zargon | 

      #11
      But there’s just no irony at all in clergy making a point from doctrine.

      I mostly agree. But if I could, I’d love to ask him why atheists were singled out. I mean, by their doctrine, all non-catholics are equally screwed. What about atheists makes them extra-worthy of being damned?

      Also, what kind of god forgives believing child rapists and damns unbelieving saints? Is our cardinal sure he isn’t worshiping the god of evil? Or at least the god of backwards priorities?

    21. #21 |  thomasblair | 

      Cardinal who presided over Ireland scandal in which Catholic priests were show to have sexually abused young boys going back decades declares that atheism is the “greatest of all evils.”

      He’s right, you know. It’s better to fuck little boys than to not have an imaginary friend.

      /theinsanity

    22. #22 |  Aresen | 

      May I ask just where the good Cardinal was when Irish priests were giving shelter and support to IRA thugs?

    23. #23 |  Aresen | 

      I hope that the family of the 13-year-old-boy finds a lawyer who can think of a creative way to bring the officers who allowed the driver to sober up into the lawsuit.

    24. #24 |  ChrisD | 

      “Right, because so much war and human destruction was caused by atheist zealots, like…”

      Uh, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot.

      Not like the Cardinal isn’t a worthless scumbag making a ludicrous statement, but it doesn’t warrant letting zealots of other (or no) religious beliefs off the hook.

    25. #25 |  Aresen | 

      As for the Lego, how about a Lego Congress?

      Libertarians could give it to one another so they could kick it to pieces.

      ;)

    26. #26 |  MacK | 

      Whew! I’m so glad he got all the way down to .079, and was not fall down – defy gravity stupid drunk at .08.

      Is there an expert that can extrapolate what he could have been 4 hours earlier? Assuming he was a 180lb man.

    27. #27 |  Jozef | 

      As for the Lego, how about a Lego Congress?

      Libertarians could give it to one another so they could kick it to pieces.

      Congress ain’t such a bad thing. As long as it’s deadlocked…

    28. #28 |  Two--Four | 

      [...] Monday, already:”The U.K. is turning into a Pink Floyd video.”Radley Balko May 26, 09 | 1:12 pm AxeBitesVarious guitars I see floating by, mostly Gibson and mostly eBay. [...]

    29. #29 |  Billy Beck | 

      “Police corruption and abuse is the biggest story in this country today.”

      That’s because they are the “standing army” that the Founders never saw coming. That’s the dimensions of the thing, now.

    30. #30 |  J sub D | 

      Cardinal who presided over Ireland scandal in which Catholic priests were show to have sexually abused young boys going back decades declares that atheism is the “greatest of all evils.”

      Shucks. Thanks, but I really don’t think think I’m part of the greatest. Let’s just say that atheism is in the upper tier of all evils and leave it at that. We evil athiests with no foundation for morality don’t like to brag.

    31. #31 |  Billy Beck | 

      “Right, because so much war and human destruction was caused by atheist zealots, like…

      Oh wait, I can’t think of any. Fucking papist…”

      If you really want to go there, I would suggest you start thinking about Mao and Trotsky, and I could do this all day long.

    32. #32 |  CYA | 

      Mack, I used the chart here: http://www.dui.com/dui-library/bac/how-much-alcohol

      For a 180 pound man to register 0.08, it says you need four drinks. We all know from MADD that you can eliminate approximately one drink per hour, so four hours previous, he’d had four more drinks than that.

      That means at the time of the accident, he’d had approximately 8 drinks, which isn’t on the chart, but we can extrapolate to about 0.19.

    33. #33 |  Packratt | 

      #5

      Well, in this case, that’s one excuse they can’t use…

      Why?

      The initial reports I read stated that the officer hit the boy at such a high rate of speed that the force literally ripped the boy apart.

    34. #34 |  Whim | 

      Reckless homicide, DUI and Hit-and-Run charges against a $2,000,000 bail for the police officer involved in the fatality “accident” involving the juvenile bicyclist.

      Apparently, the policeman was still charged with a DUI, despite the 4-hour police delay to allow their fellow officer time to sober up.

    35. #35 |  Aresen | 

      @ Packratt # 33.

      I know you are just passing along information, but I really, really, really did not want to know that.

      It is simply too horrible to think about.

    36. #36 |  Sean | 

      Archbishop Nichols saying the Irish Child Abuse Commission report “Should not overshadow all of the good that institutions such as the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy had done” is to me, much like saying Romans throwing Christians to the lions should not overshadow the fact that thousands of people received free entertainment.

    37. #37 |  Aresen | 

      @ Sean # 36

      …like saying Romans throwing Christians to the lions should not overshadow the fact that thousands of people received free entertainment.

      Not to mention the lions getting fresh meat.

    38. #38 |  Stefan | 

      Using the formula from that chart on dui.com and assuming that it is somewhat scientific, I came up with this equation:

      (3.8 * d / w) – (m/40 * .01) = BAC

      d = drinks, w=weight, m=time elapsed in minutes

      So, assuming he weighed 180lbs, and at 1:30a he had been drinking for 4 hours (starting at 9:30p) to be at .07 at 5:30a, he would have had to have 9 servings of alcohol. So, at the time he was stopped, I would think he would have been more like .13; which I believe the technical term would be “plowed.” If I try different durations, it obviously changes how many drinks he had, but the BAC keeps coming up at or around .13 when he was stopped.

    39. #39 |  Stefan | 

      Oops, I realized he was .079% not .07%, so he would have been more like .139% at the time he was stopped.

    40. #40 |  Brandon Bowers | 

      Wow. Every day it seems like atheists and religious zealots have more in common. They both seem to live in this black and white, anyone-who disagrees-with-me-is-stupid-and-evil world that just doesn’t exist in reality, and they’re both unbearably obnoxious about it.

    41. #41 |  Sukoi | 

      Speaking of cool things and Lego’s, check out the fully outfitted Lego aircraft carrier:

      http://damncoolpics.blogspot.com/2007/01/lego-aircraft-carrier.html

      Now that’s cool…

    42. #42 |  Stephen | 

      When I was forced to attend a DWI class a long time ago, I was taught that a man that size would drop about .015/hr as long as they were not consuming more alcohol.

      4 X .015 = .06

      .06 + .079 = .139

    43. #43 |  Mattocracy | 

      @40,

      I concur.

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