Saturday Links

Saturday, June 27th, 2009
  • Why there are 60 minutes in an hour
  • Bloomberg takes the next step down the road toward anti-tobacco hysteria.
  • Zimbabwean newspaper prints billboards on paper made from the country’s worthless currency.
  • Legless frogs epidemic probably not caused by pollution, but by dragonfly nymphs with a jones for frogs’ legs.
  • Obama administration will support indefinite detention of terror suspects without a trial; drops the news late in the evening on a summer Friday.
  • TSA detains man for comic book script. Kicker: Scropt was about a guy who gets wrongfully harassed by the government for writing fiction about terror attacks that came true.
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  • 37 Responses to “Saturday Links”

    1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

      From the TSA story:

      “I cooperated politely and tried to explain to them the irony of the situation”

      Yeah, I think irony might not be something a TSA guy is likely to be able to wrap his head around.

      “In the end, I feel my privacy is a small price to pay for educating the government about the medium.”

      But, you see, they won’t stop at your privacy.

    2. #2 |  Dave Krueger | 

      If I were an NYC retailer, I would put an INGSOC poster up right next to the anti-smoking poster.

    3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

      I think legless frogs are just a sign that life is trying to crawl back into the water, retracing its steps to find out where it made the mistake that ultimately evolved into republicans and democrats.

    4. #4 |  MassHole | 

      “One official said the administration is hoping that as many as 70 Yemeni citizens will be moved, in stages, into a rehabilitation program in Saudi Arabia. ”

      WTF. Our government doesn’t give a shit about freedom, only doing our bidding.

    5. #5 |  hamburglar007 | 

      Wow @ the indefinite detentions. I wonder if this story will get a lot of coverage, and if it will make a convert out of any of the Obama supporters. I’m sure there will be apologists, but it might be difficult to reconcile this outright contradiction of the WH administration.

    6. #6 |  perlhaqr | 

      re: Bloomberg’s anti-smoking posters

      Brilliant! I think this is a wonderful first step. Next we’ll need to put up pictures of naked, morbidly obese people at fast food restaurants, followed shortly by pictures of slaughterhouses at places that sell leather.

      Eventually, we’ll be hanging pictures of aborted fetuses inside abortion clinics. What could possibly go wrong!?

    7. #7 |  Mario | 

      So, Mayor Bloomberg wants gruesome pictures hung in retailers to illustrate the effects of smoking? Fine. Let’s have the similarly gruesome English essays and math homework of students displayed at the entrance of NYC schools to illustrate the effects of public education.

    8. #8 |  Marty | 

      #6-

      I’m looking forward to the warnings in strip clubs! We need one for motorcyclists and bicyclists who don’t wear helmets… Maybe we could post a poster in a military recruiting office about what could happen if you get hit with a roadside bomb… We need to post warnings in camera shops about what could happen if you take pictures of cops… people need to be warned about the dangers of driving in Mississippi with out of state tags… Signs warning about asset forfeiture…

      anyone posting some of these signs would end up on a terrorist watch list… maybe we need a sign for THAT, too!

    9. #9 |  Mario | 

      Will Obama stop at indefinite detentions, or will he take advantage of the media frenzy over Michael Jackson’s death to institute all kinds of controversial policies? As his chief of staff said, no crisis should be wasted.

    10. #10 |  hamburglar007 | 

      Oh, as far as Bloomberg goes, ex smokers are the worst. Perhaps he should make the NYPD put up posters in their stations and on their cars of all the people they have maimed.

    11. #11 |  Aresen | 

      “In the end, I feel my privacy is a small price to pay for educating the government about the medium.”

      No it isn’t.

      The people have no duty to “educate” those in power.

      Besides, the TSA goons are too stupid to understand.

    12. #12 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

      Hmm. Explains the frogs missing legs, doesn’t explain all the other crazy shit I see happening to the frogs (physiological malformations, 2 heads, no eyes, etc.) when I’m in the field, however.

      Also, this is me being more anal than anything, and maybe they do it differently over in the UK, but dragonfly nymphs are referred to as “naiads”.

    13. #13 |  Someone | 

      I’m so tired of the TSA’s bull. They’re there to protect aircraft but yet all the stories you read recently have very little to do with keeping anyone safe.

    14. #14 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

      “…toward anti-tobacco hysteria.” ?!?

      Bloomburg and the other buttinskis reached hysteria sometime in the early 1980′s, and are now exploring the outer reaches of manic derangement.

    15. #15 |  Michael Chaney | 

      They’re there to protect aircraft

      And this is where you’re confused…

    16. #16 |  MacK | 

      Are those piles of turds on Zimbabwean currency?

    17. #17 |  Chance | 

      I’m skeptical. From the guys own testimony, all he got was secondary screening. Were LEOs called in? Did he miss his flight? Was he denied boarding? Was he threatened?

      Ah, I know what you’re going to say: those questions are all irrelevant because TSA is a fascist organization that shouldn’t even exist, and if it has to exist should only worry about keeping the airplane safe and nothing more. Fine, fine, I’ll agree if only to keep the conversation going. But let me ask you this – private screener, TSA screener, local dogcatcher, don’t you think whoever is doing the screening should have a few additional concerns and questions for a guy walking around with a document that appears to be full of brainstorming plans for terrorist plots (note it says script, not a full comic) ?

    18. #18 |  MacK | 

      Nope they are rocks and it is for the One Hundred Trillion Dollars bill.

      http://english.china.com/zh_cn/business/news/11021613/20090203/images/15307232_2009020314385815949800.jpg

    19. #19 |  MacGregory | 

      #9 Mario LMFAO.
      #6 |  perlhaqr
      “…pictures of naked, morbidly obese people at fast food restaurants…”
      That may not be so far-fetched in the eyes of the government. Careful with that intellect. Since government has none of that and little imagination, they may steal your idea. Thievery is something they ARE good at.

      I wonder if Bloombergs’s posters will be multi-lingual. Since some of our immigrants may be the only people on earth who haven’t had the notion that “smoking is bad for you” driven into their brains with a sledgehammer.

    20. #20 |  MacK | 

      Chance I believe the story in this instance is more about the irony of real life following the fiction he wrote in the script.

    21. #21 |  Bill | 

      Chance says: “But let me ask you this – private screener, TSA screener, local dogcatcher, don’t you think whoever is doing the screening should have a few additional concerns and questions for a guy walking around with a document that appears to be full of brainstorming plans for terrorist plots (note it says script, not a full comic) ?”

      No.

      First of all, writing is protected by the First Amendment. The guy isn’t yelling “fire”–writing a story like this won’t cause a panic unless the people reading it (in this case, the TSA guys; often it’s school administrators) are too dumb to be able to distinguish fiction from reality. Really, how hard can it be? Do real terror plots generally include dialogue?

      Second, a terrorist who is carrying written plans for terrorist acts through a TSA checkpoint isn’t smart enough to be a threat.

      Third, policing of thought almost always results in more harm than good. It’ not something we should ever encourage.

    22. #22 |  J sub D | 

      The assistant commissioner for tobacco control, Sarah B. Perl, says …

      Who wants to bet that she doesn’t have underlings?
      Government waste? Not on Bloomberg’s watch!

    23. #23 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #17 | Chance

      …private screener, TSA screener, local dogcatcher, don’t you think whoever is doing the screening should have a few additional concerns and questions for a guy walking around with a document that appears to be full of brainstorming plans for terrorist plots (note it says script, not a full comic) ?

      Actually, no. Airport screening, which gives them the power to search you without a warrant, should not be used to do anything except protect the plane and passengers. I don’t think a script, in the absence of any other means to execute an attack constitutes a threat to anyone.

      In any case, I don’t believe the TSA should be reading anything that comes out of someone’s luggage unless they believe the material can be fashioned into a weapon. In fact, I think of they even find anything that doesn’t pose that risk, they shouldn’t be able to use it as evidence against the person carrying it (and probably shouldn’t be allowed even to confiscate it).

      They’re using this screening to search for drugs, child porn, and thought crime evidence which they ordinarily wouldn’t have the right to do without cause. It’s the typical government getting an inch and taking a mile.

    24. #24 |  thorn | 

      Chance,

      TSA shouldn’t have the authority to read his personal papers in the first place… nor examine his cellphone text history, his laptop computer files, the contents of his urine.

      Agencies such as TSA are starting to endanger the very existence of the “slippery slope” fallacy; more often than not, govt DOES go right down that slope.

    25. #25 |  Bill | 

      I agree with you, Thorn, except that with government it’s usually more of a cliff than a slope.

    26. #26 |  Michael Chaney | 

      The Jena 6 trial is now over, with the rest of the 5 attackers pleading no contest, having to pay restitution, admitting that the victim didn’t use a racial slur before the attack, and apologizing to the entire town for the trouble they caused. In other words, they now admit that they attacked the victim for no reason.

      What a mess.

    27. #27 |  Henry | 

      If the TSA story is true, it’s pretty outrageous, even by TSA standards, but I’d like some confirmation before I jump to being angry. The only source seems to be him and his publisher, and the site pretty much reposted what they said without any research.

      So, to honest, this looks like a publicity stunt.

    28. #28 |  ClubMedSux | 

      It’s a sad reflection on the Obama administration that President Change can explicitly extend a terrible policy that was heavily criticized when first promulgated by the Bush regime and it only elicits two comments here out of the twenty-six thus far. At least my co-workers have stopped asking why I was so cynical about Obama…

    29. #29 |  Mikestermike | 

      With a TSA story like that, I find it a miracle Radley is allowed to fly at all….

    30. #30 |  Warren | 

      I find the TSA story to be unbelievable. There is no way that could happen. I mean, TSA goons can READ?

      Pull the other one, Mark.

    31. #31 |  Mattocracy | 

      Good analogy of of dead babies in abortion clinics. I think I might use that in the future.

    32. #32 |  kt | 

      The dragonfly nymph theory doesn’t explain the sudden onset of reproductive inability in male amphibians. The most plausible explanation I’ve heard blames this on the flood of female hormones released via flushing perfumes, cosmetics, etc, many of which are based upon real or synthetic hormones.

    33. #33 |  jahigginbotham | 

      Any reason to believe finger joints for counting? I’ve always thought (as pointed out by rec) that having more divisors made 12 attractive.

    34. #34 |  kt | 

      Re: the Mark sable/TSA incident, I should have realised that under Obama’s foreign policy which seems to be centered around firing missles from drones at funerals and weddings thereby making terrorism a self-fulfilling prophecy, that it wouldn’t be long before prescience would be a treasonous thought-crime of the highest rank, which makes me want to get high.

    35. #35 |  Aresen | 

      #18 | MacK | June 27th, 2009 at 11:52 am
      Nope they are rocks and it is for the One Hundred Trillion Dollars bill.

      I want a Z$100,000,000,000,000.00 bill. (Got change for a quarter?)

    36. #36 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

      “I was subjected to not one, but two invasive searches of my person and belongings. TSA agents then ‘discovered’ the script for Unthinkable #3. They sat and read the script while I stood there, without any personal items, identification or ticket, which had all been confiscated.”

      Elvis Costello said it best:
      Never mind there’s a good film playing tonight
      where they hang everybody who can read and write
      oh that could never happen here
      but then again it might

    37. #37 |  Frank | 

      FlyerTalk discussion of this incident at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security/969394-man-detained-his-writings.html#post11981542

      Expect lots of comments on Propaganda Village (aka The TSA Blog) to be censored and otherwise ignored. And expect Blogdad Bob to make some sort of inane statement supporting the actions of TSA employees.

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