Morning Links

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
  • Seniors learning “cane-fu” self-defense. Bonus points for use of the phrase “punk kid.”
  • Via the comments section, Florida cable company partners with local police department to have its service workers look for crimes.
  • Oh, boy. I’d actually have pegged the male-female ratio to be quite a bit more lopsided.
  • Google/Blogger kill libertarian blogger’s traffic by caving to a few readers’ objections and adding an “objectionable content” disclaimer to anyone accessing her site.
  • Conor Friedersdorf catches Ezra Klein: Pass a politically popular but less aggressive health reform bill now, then just implement the politically unpopular aspects later, when no one is paying attention and there’s no political accountability.
  • British nanny state in action: Girl with history of skin cancer in her family forbidden from wearing sunscreen at school, due to possibility of other children having allergies. I suppose the alternative nanny state policy would be mandatory sunscreen for all of the children. Everything that isn’t mandatory shall be prohibited.
  • Delta will now charge you five dollars for the privilege of paying $25 for checking your bag. Call it an “inconvenience fee.”
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  • 53 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Matt D | 

      Girl with history of skin cancer in her family forbidden from wearing sunscreen at school, due to possibility of other children having allergies. I suppose the alternative nanny state policy would be mandatory sunscreen for all of the children. Everything that isn’t mandatory shall be prohibited.

      Good grief. I’ll grant that it’s a bit silly, but, you know, it’s pretty easy to imagine that sort of thing happening anywhere. Hell, I could pretty easily see my employer issuing such a ban if ever there were an incident with someone allergic to sunscreen.

    2. #2 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Regarding the cable company (cross posted from the lefty blogger thread):

      Hey, who better to watch over your neighborhood and report suspicious behavior if not the people who don’t live there. As a mere resident with no training, you couldn’t possibly match the critical observation skills of a “cable guy”. This is just a natural extension of Walmart photo lab employees being deputized to root out pedophilia disguised as innocent pictures of children in the bath tub.

      I suspect this is nothing more than the cable company pretending to do a free community service which is, after all, much more highly regarded than greedily trying to earn a profit by providing a service.

    3. #3 |  SJE | 

      Radley, didnt you already cover the story about the girl is forbidden to wear sunscreen? About a week ago?

    4. #4 |  CRNewsom | 

      @#2: Dave,

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. Have you seen the average cable company employee? I don’t know about where you live, but here, I think most of them have first hand experience of our Metro Bed & Breakfast (TM). I don’t have a problem with ex-cons working for the cable company at all. I do have a problem with ex-cons judging who is breaking the law and whether to report it to the police.

    5. #5 |  JP | 

      I live in Orlando and just had a Bright House technician at my house yesterday. In fact, I had two at my house becuase the first one was too incompetent to figure out how to install the equipment and had to call for backup. And now I find out these boobs may be “checking things out” in and around my house? Absolutely infuriating. Excuse me, I have to go research options to replace Bright House.

    6. #6 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      Fortunately, there are tons of other blog sites that Short Shorts can set up shop. And many of those do not censor or put up warning flags. Besides, Blogger is to blogs as Kia is to luxury cars.

    7. #7 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      Oh, somethng to note about the singles site: not a single person from his own district is on there.

      And there are options to search for couples. RonPaulSwingers.com?

    8. #8 |  mcmillan | 

      “And there are options to search for couples. RonPaulSwingers.com?”

      Not just couples, also groups? No wonder he got popular with something like that going at at rallys.

    9. #9 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Google’s Content Policy clearly states that “Blogger is a free service for communication, self-expression and freedom of speech” right before they list what expression is not allowed (such as nudity) and explain that the rules can change at any time.

      What I didn’t find in either their Terms of Service or their Content Policy was any reference or information regarding their use of an Objectionable Content” splash page.

      Wow! Classy. A real front line warrior when it comes to freedom of expression, huh?

    10. #10 |  Sam | 

      Isn’t it perfectly acceptable for Google to do whatever the hell it wants?

    11. #11 |  Eric | 

      Short Shorts seems a little confused. She claims libertarian, but thinks Google has the responsibility to protect her free speech. Host your own blog for $3/month and take responsibility for your own free speech.

    12. #12 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Mother charged with neglect over 555 lbs. 14 year old son:
      http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/07/22/cb.obesity.crime.cnn

      She actually tried to get him help that the state offered, but the facility refused to admit him due to his size. Interesting story.

    13. #13 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

      “While Operation Bright Eyes is new to the company, the concept is not, Craven said. Workers have always reported suspicious incidents they see on their rounds. Now, with training provided by Crimeline of Central Florida, they’ll have a better idea what to watch. ”

      Wow, that’s great. Nowthe “Cable guy” is not just arrogant, nasty and pugnacious but now he’ll report your ass to the police if he doesn’t like what he sees.
      Woo hoo. Just what Florida needs. There aren’t enough screwy cop stories
      down there already!

    14. #14 |  ChrisD | 

      Ezra Klein. A person dumb enough to condescend to Greg Mankiw is dumb enough to do anything – even accidentally tell the truth in his column.

    15. #15 |  ktc2 | 

      Brighthouse in Orlando is totally incompetent at their own jobs. Why the hell would anyone want those morons spying for the police? Oh wait . . . the police would. Duh. Any report is an excuse to rough somebody up, shoot a dog and maybe even taser someone.

      Seriously though their support techs are idiots. Their job one is to blame the customer equipment somehow and get off the phone.

    16. #16 |  ktc2 | 

      JP,

      If you live in Orlando Brighthouse has a monopoly on cable. You have no choice. You could go satellite TV and DSL but not recommended. Satellite reception goes out during most moderate or more rains and DSL is slower than cable internet.

      Want to start a competing cable company? Too bad, you can’t.

    17. #17 |  Spleen | 

      What I didn’t find in either their Terms of Service or their Content Policy was any reference or information regarding their use of an Objectionable Content” splash page.

      It’s right there in the page you linked to:

      “Image and video content that contains nudity, sexually graphic material, or material that is otherwise deemed explicit by Google should be made private. Otherwise, we may put such content behind an interstitial.

      The Simple Justice blog Radley linked to mentions “risque photographs.”

    18. #18 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #10 Sam

      Isn’t it perfectly acceptable for Google to do whatever the hell it wants?

      Of course it is. But we don’t have to like them for it and it’s perfectly acceptable for us to bitch about it.

    19. #19 |  Hamburglar007 | 

      It is easy enough with the cable company to cancel your service if you don’t like the policy (I don’t, and I would if I was unfortunate enough to live in Florida). What isn’t so easy is doing that with your electric service if they jump on the band wagon.

    20. #20 |  Fluffy | 

      “Short Shorts seems a little confused. She claims libertarian, but thinks Google has the responsibility to protect her free speech.”

      Um….no she doesn’t.

      I missed the part of the article where she sued them or something.

      She just closed down her blog, and told everybody why she was closing down her blog.

      By the way, if Google will put an interstitial in the way of any content that anyone complains about, why aren’t we even now matching the bad faith complaints that were leveled at shortshorts with complaints of our own made in equally bad faith?

    21. #21 |  Hamburglar007 | 

      The Delta headline is a little misleading. The $5 fee is charged if you decide you want to add check in baggage when checking in at the airport. The fee doesn’t apply when you are online. And as much as I despise the airlines, I don’t have a problem with this. People deciding last minute they want to start checking things in create longer lines.

    22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #17 | Spleen

      “…Otherwise, we may put such content behind an interstitial.“

      Damn! I was wrong again!

      Well, now I know a new word: Interstitial. :)

      Thanks!

    23. #23 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #21 Hamburglar007

      The Delta headline is a little misleading. The $5 fee is charged if you decide you want to add check in baggage when checking in at the airport. The fee doesn’t apply when you are online. And as much as I despise the airlines, I don’t have a problem with this. People deciding last minute they want to start checking things in create longer lines.

      Good point. Maybe they can use the $5 to open additional ticket counters, thereby speeding things up for those who don’t know how many bags they will have when they buy their ticket on line.

    24. #24 |  parse | 

      Interesting that the Ron Paul singles site will let a woman search for a woman but doesn’t have an option of a man searching for a man.

    25. #25 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “Conor Friedersdorf catches Ezra Klein: Pass a politically popular but less aggressive health reform bill now, then just implement the politically unpopular aspects later, when no one is paying attention and there’s no political accountability.”

      This idea is as old as the hills. For an excellent read, pick up Boise State professor Charlotte Twight’s “Dependent on DC.” One of the central theses is this “foot in the door” approach to legislature. It worked like a charm with Social Security and continues apace today.

    26. #26 |  Tokin42 | 

      #24, Yes it does and thanks for making me look. I hate you now.

      We all know Radley is recently single but lord, there has to be a better way to find date man. I feel amused and dirty all at the same time, I kinda like it.

    27. #27 |  parse | 

      Tokin, my bad–I honestly wasn’t trying to pull a “made you look.” I just misread my screen when checking out the site.

    28. #28 |  Angie | 

      Why aren’t there more Californian men my age on the Ron Paul singles site? ugh!

    29. #29 |  MacGregory | 

      A true story. Many, many years ago I had to have a cable service call. I had mistakenly left my bong out on the coffee table. After the cable guy fixed the problem, it went something like this: “hey man, mind if I hit that thing one time”. So we spent an hour or so doing bong hits and “checking the cable signal.” We have been friends ever since.

    30. #30 |  JP | 

      #16

      Actually, AT&T U-verse is available in the general Orlando area now, but not in my neighborhood yet. I will be watching to see when it will be though.

    31. #31 |  Jim Collins | 

      Delta’s 5$ charge is to pay the salary of the person who has to man a counter to collect your $25 fee for checking a bag. It is almost getting cheaper to ship your luggage to your hotel by UPS and just go with a carry on.

    32. #32 |  Mojotron | 

      Conor Friedersdorf catches Ezra Klein: Pass a politically popular but less aggressive health reform bill now, then just implement the politically unpopular aspects later, when no one is paying attention and there’s no political accountability.

      I’ve noticed a recent trend here of trying to “gotcha!” Klein and Yglesias; I disagree with them on plenty of stuff, but I find the arguments against them posted here pretty weak (at least Conor admits that he may be misunderstanding Klein’s argument). I don’t understand the point being made in respect to “no one watching”- right now EVERYONE with a stake in health care is watching Massachusetts. Nor do I get the “no political accountability” either:

      Section 44 of Chapter 305 of the Acts of 2008 mandated the creation of a Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System to “investigate reforming and restructuring the system to provide incentives for efficient and effective patient-centered care and to reduce variations in the quality and cost of care.” Section 44 established three responsibilities for the Special Commission: (1) to examine payment methodologies and purchasing strategies, (2) to recommend a common transparent methodology, and (3) to recommend a plan for the implementation of the common payment methodology across all public and private payers in the Commonwealth.

      The commission only makes recommendations, not laws. In order for their suggestions to be implemented they still need to be voted on by politicians, who are accountable (in theory:). As for the charges of incrementalism and unsustainable status quo while in transition, that’s not that uncommon- the 3/5ths compromise, drug decriminalization, etc… not great solutions but far and away better the the previous alternatives.

    33. #33 |  MacK | 

      What about those folks like my mother in-law, who at 75 is never going to use the intertubes with any skill. She travels plenty, she has seen more places around the world then I, and I’m a (20 years service) retired soldier. There are many people in this country that reside in rural locations and do not even have computers, let alone the net.

      Isn’t this part of what the $25 fee is for to begin with? What exactly is the additional $5 fee for? It will also go up to $20 and $30 August 4th.

    34. #34 |  BamBam | 

      Another Isolated Incident (to borrow Radley’s phrase):

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/030636.html

    35. #35 |  ChrisD | 

      Mojotron,

      I should cop to not caring for the analyses provided by either of those guys. Both seem smart enough, but both have never done anything but go to school and be pundits. I probably have a bias too b/c most often I only read them when Radley links to them, which means I may only see them at their worst.

      Radley has done serious research, in depth investigative reporting. Andy Sullivan has a PhD from Harvard. George Will was a polysci prof and has a Princeton PhD. I’m not all about credentialism, but I don’t feel like I get anything but arguments from these guys. I rarely learn something new. Some of what I read (Matt Y: tax at 90% all income above about $2 million) is so stupid that it colors my perception of all of their ideas. Even if you disagree with Krugman, Sullivan, Radley…etc. you get something else out of it, an exposition that brings facts you didn’t know into play, new historical insight – whatever. I never feel that I learn anything from Ezra and Matt other than what they think on issue X.

    36. #36 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #34 BamBam

      Another Isolated Incident (to borrow Radley’s phrase):

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/030636.html

      Absolutely disgusting.

    37. #37 |  ktc2 | 

      #36,

      More so because the prosecutor simply “chose” not to prosecute the cops despite clear video evidence.

    38. #38 |  Mojotron | 

      ChrisD, I’m not sure I understand your distinction between Sullivan and Yglesias, can you elaborate? I read both regularly, to me they’re pretty similar stylistically.

    39. #39 |  Michael Chaney | 

      I posted the video link from LiveLeak for that Lopez incident in another thread yesterday. The cop came in and attacked her, felonious attack since it involved a firearm. We also the obvious “under color of law” aggravating circumstance. I have no idea why it wasn’t prosecuted, and I’d also like to know why the attempted cover up wasn’t addressed.

      It’s really creepy.

    40. #40 |  ChrisD | 

      Trying. One, I am busy and, like I said, don’t read as much Matt Y as I should. I never heard of Oakeshott before reading Sullivan. I’m more likely to get the “Russell Kirk had this same argument…” type thing from Sullivan. I feel like he pulls in greater context that comes from a deeper level of knowledge. Even if he and Matt Y share an opinion completely, I feel like what lies beneath Sully’s opinions goes deeper and wider and is more likely to broaden my knowledge (to murder that metaphor) :).

      EK and MY are smart and will get better with age, but I’m always asking myself “Why do I care what [EK/MY] thinks?” when I’m reading them, unlike the Greenwalds, Glenn Reynolds and Radleys of the world – even when I disagree with them. I should probably go a little easier on them. Gotta scram, but hope that’s more clear.

    41. #41 |  SJE | 

      Re: isolated incident. Disgusting. What happened to the Lopez boys? Still on the beat? Otherwise

      1. Seems to be particularly bad in Philly, this lying on videotape.
      2. Why no civil suit?

    42. #42 |  Marty | 

      #4 | CRNewsom |
      @#2: Dave,

      ‘I don’t have a problem with ex-cons working for the cable company at all. I do have a problem with ex-cons judging who is breaking the law and whether to report it to the police.’

      they keep stacking the rules and we’re all gonna be ex-cons pretty soon… one of the main tricks of totalitarian govts is to get citizens to rat each other out- this is always ugly stuff.

    43. #43 |  Marty | 

      that is an UGLY link BamBam- I’m glad it’s making the rounds.

    44. #44 |  lunchstealer | 

      I know all cosmetics in Australia are required to include sunblock, and I believe that there’s also a requirement that children wear wide-brimmed hats at recess. They may actually require sunblock for kiddos, but I have no links to back that up.

    45. #45 |  Jon H | 

      “I know all cosmetics in Australia are required to include sunblock, and I believe that there’s also a requirement that children wear wide-brimmed hats at recess. They may actually require sunblock for kiddos, but I have no links to back that up.”

      Makes sense for Australia, given the amount of sun they get and having the world’s highest incidence of skin cancer.

    46. #46 |  Sallie | 

      #44: can you provide a link to your statement about all cosmetics in Australia being required to include sunblock? I’m an Aussie (and, incidentally, a complete obsessive about sunblock) but have never heard of that rule. And yes, kiddies at most schools are not allowed outside during breaks if they don’t have a hat on.

    47. #47 |  Marty | 

      here’s a story in today’s post about a cop getting indicted for bad behavior- I checked and it’s not April 1st!

      http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/laworder/story/C1B2743DF5825648862575FB0073A403?OpenDocument

    48. #48 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #47 Marty |

      here’s a story in today’s post about a cop getting indicted for bad behavior- I checked and it’s not April 1st!

      http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/laworder/story/C1B2743DF5825648862575FB0073A403?OpenDocument

      Wow! If that story had been any shorter, it would have disappeared completely. Guess stuff like that isn’t hat important to that paper.

      In any case, it sounds like the charges were federal which makes me wonder if assaulting someone who’s handcuffed constitutes a state crime. I mean, when a cop does it. We know it’s a crime for ordinary people.

      Of course, it’s always good (not to mention exceptionally rare) when a cop actually faces charges for abusing someone. I want to see the video. There must be one, otherwise there would never have been charges, right?

    49. #49 |  Marty | 

      Dave-

      I didn’t see any video links, but I think it’s gotta be overwhelming evidence OR the city of ESL is in hot water again and they’re being leaned on because someone isn’t ‘cooperating’. It’s an easy city to beat up on…

    50. #50 |  Edmund Dantes | 

      So why is this guy still employed?

      http://www.philly.com/philly/news/51196597.html?viewAll=y

    51. #51 |  Mojotron | 

      ChrisD, I appreciate your response and see your point about “why do I care what these guys think?” (I get that more with Klein myself) but I think a lot of that is the fact that they discuss government policy a lot of the time and it gets boringly wonky. Sullivan’s blog is more entertaining and definitely showcases more viewpoints, but I think MattY is intelligent does have an interesting take on politics, governance, and transportation (and sometimes basketball) even if I disagree or feel his conclusions are wrong (*cough* Allen Iverson *cough*). Similar to why I come here- Radley’s stuff on civil liberties is excellent even if I disagree with him or feel he’s wrong (*cough* Sarah Palin *cough*).

      Reynolds OTOH descended into hackery a while back, which is pretty sad. He’s a smart guy- smart enough to know he’s lying.

    52. #52 |  Matt | 

      I guess no one bothered to read the whole sunscreen article. The girl is in fact NOT ‘banned’ from using sunscreen but merely has to apply it with the teacher’s supervision. It sounds like the right things are going here – parents and teachers getting together and deciding what’s best for the students. Way to latch onto a headline folks :)

    53. #53 |  Dave W. | 

      Rick Klaus, a Product Manager with Blogger, posted about the controversy with Becky’s blog here and in comments on Becky’s penultimate post. He states that the issue was nudity, not political opinions.

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