Sunday Afternoon Links

Sunday, June 21st, 2009
  • I’m glad New York Times reporter David Rohde escaped after being kidnapped and detained for months by the Taliban, but I wonder how likely the news media would be to keep secret the kidnapping of a newsworthy figure who wasn’t a journalist. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen (the Howard Kurtz column linked above mentions one such incident with the A.P.). Just raises some interesting questions.
  • Japan study finds that people chubby at age 40 live six to seven years longer than skinny people. And yes, the study does account for smoking habits.
  • Appropros of nothing, Slate’s culture blog browbeat is worth adding to your RSS feed. Interesting stuff, smart commentary.
  • Steven Bierfeldt, the Campaign for Liberty staffer detained by TSA for having too much cash a few months ago, has filed a lawsuit against the agency. He’s represented by the ACLU and libertarian superstar attorney and friend of TheAgitator.com, Alan Gura.
  • Here’s a good clearinghouse site with some terrific photos from the Iranian protests.
    Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark
  • 13 Responses to “Sunday Afternoon Links”

    1. #1 |  max | 

      The Bierfeldt thing still puzzles me, $4,700 isn’t that much when you are traveling – I brought about that with me in cash on my last vacation (I take cash on vacations so it can be a vacation and I don’t have to keep a running tab to see if I’ve spent too much). Surely TSA must often encounter people with that much cash.

    2. #2 |  Woog | 

      Similar situations to the Campaign for Liberty’s attempted robbery were foremost in my mind when I purchased some property a while back, driving across several states, with ~$25,000 in cash, and a pistol.

      I believe that was when I became aware I was far more wary of cops than potential crooks.

    3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

      I used the Japan weight study to justify an extra Father’s Day doughnut.

    4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

      From the Steven Bierfeldt link:

      The lawsuit does not seek money but asks the court to declare the TSA’s actions unconstitutional and to prohibit the agency from similar searches when there is no evidence aircraft are endangered.

      If he wins this suit, I will take everyone to lunch. And by everyone, I mean everyone on the planet.

    5. #5 |  Gonzo | 

      Judging buy your last post, I doubt you’d find a Dunkin’ Donuts big enough. But I’m looking forward to it, Krueger, if just to see if I’m correct on having you pegged as a jelly-filled man (though not a jelly-filled man, if you follow).

    6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #1 max

      Surely TSA must often encounter people with that much cash.

      Every chance they get.

    7. #7 |  Darryl | 

      PREDICTION: Within two days the government will be holding a press conference to explain why a SWAT team was needed to arrest Mr. Bierfeldt. The charges against him and his location will be sealed in the name of national security.

      Anyone willing to wager an adult beverage against this prediction?

    8. #8 |  Matt I. | 

      While nothing would please me more than the TSA getting their comeuppance, I think that filing this lawsuit is a mistake.

      The problem is that the guy was released after a ‘minimally intrusive detention’ (future judge’s words).

      Then, thanks to the bad decision the TSA will have case law precedence for making these kinds of detentions routine.

      Please, please DO NOT file 4th amendment lawsuits unless the case is so egregious that when the judge rules for the state, people get riled up. You should know that that 99% of judges in the justice system are pro-state. Don’t people think about this?

    9. #9 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

      “Then, thanks to the bad decision the TSA will have case law precedence for making these kinds of detentions routine.”

      So be it– if nearly everybody endured this kind of crap,
      as a result of some legal precedent which supports tyranny,
      people would stop flying and the airports would be out of business.
      If it really comes to this, let the river run its course.

    10. #10 |  Spleen | 

      The problem is that the guy was released after a ‘minimally intrusive detention’ (future judge’s words).

      Then, thanks to the bad decision the TSA will have case law precedence for making these kinds of detentions routine.

      You sound like the NRA when Heller filed his lawsuit in D.C.

      Without a lawsuit, these “minimally intrusive detentions” would continue as a de facto standard TSA practice, precedent or no. You have to take a stand against injustice sometime.

    11. #11 |  Henry Bowman | 

      Radley, Ed Morrissey lists several examples of the New York Times reporting on kidnappings that were not of journalists.

    12. #12 |  Matt I. | 

      -Spleen

      Hey, you’ve convinced me, let Bierfeldt go for it.

      I will point out that the difference between this and Heller is that Heller went to a Supreme Court with 5 justices guaranteed to rule in his favor. As paid Republican appointees they were obligated to rule for the party line, which happens to include gun rights.

      By the way, didn’t the NRA fully support Heller? Were they initially skeptical of the suit?

    13. #13 |  Gaythirst Meatcop | 

      On media and kidnapped journalists:

      Have you noticed the total silence of Current TV since the kidnapping of two of their reporters by the North Korean government? Other outlets have reported extensively on it, but not Current TV for some reason. Not a mention.

      I mean, the cat’s out of the bag. They have good reason, though. Blabbing might compromise their ability to bail the journalists out. But there’s something that just smells fishy about it.

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