Morning Links

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Angry moms want to ban ice cream trucks from playgrounds.

U.S. life expectancy hits all-time high, deaths from cancer, heart disease, HIV all down. You’d never know it from the health care debate. Or the obesity debate. I opine on our world life expectancy ranking here.

• The blog Classically Liberal has more difficult details on the Bernard Baran case I wrote about earlier this week, as well as some general observations on the spate of child care sex abuse cases from the 1980s.

MSNBC shows tight shot of Town Hall protester packing heat, suggests racism against Obama might why people are carrying guns to these events. Problem is, they needed the tight shot, because the guy with the gun was black.

Declan McCullagh is a heading up a new civil liberties section with the CBS News website. We need more of this.

Giant robot cage fish farms may soon roam the seas.

• PayPal continues to be evil. My article on how the once-great company fell from grace, or rather was pushed from grace by government, here.

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78 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  justaguy | 

    Dear Angry Mom’s who hate the Ice Cream Man,

    You signed up for this when you chose to have a child. You knew he would be distracted by the ice cream man. Why do you want to suck the joy out of everyone else’s life?

  2. #2 |  Tokin42 | 

    Re: MSNBC

    What struck me funny was the fact they must have thought “no one will notice” before they put that bit on the air. At least they didn’t allow “facts” to get in the way of their meme.

  3. #3 |  Andrew S. | 

    PayPal has never been a great company. It was okay at first. But it makes fraud way too easy, and ever since eBay took it over, it’s been worthless.

  4. #4 |  Posts about racism as of August 20, 2009 | Discrimination Law News | 

    […] said, attempting to deflect the message); I actually wrote from an earnest place of bewilderment. Morning Links – theagitator.com 08/20/2009 • Angry moms want to ban ice cream trucks from playgrounds. […]

  5. #5 |  Mike | 

    I have two very young girls, and I keep wondering where the Ice Cream trucks are. I need to borrow one of those pushier vendors for my neighborhood for a few weeks.

    We goto the town beach (on a pond) and the playground all the time and I’ve seen an ice cream truck twice all summer. One of those times I literally did forget my wallet and felt like an ass.

  6. #6 |  Bearded Beavis | 

    Radley,
    FYI. That’s CBS, not ABC.

  7. #7 |  JS | 

    Wow, sorry to threadjack but this just in-kids ticketed for violating dress code at a public shopping mall!!! : http://galvestondailynews.com/

  8. #8 |  Bronwyn | 

    Revolution Money Exchange, Radley.

    I just sent a referral to your inbox.

  9. #9 |  Fluffy | 

    You know, after the Bush years I could have easily concluded that the media wasn’t actually liberal, given the reliable stenography they did to amplify every one of that administration’s bad arguments.

    And then you get something like this shot-clipping, and that just gets blown away.

  10. #10 |  LivingPre911Still | 

    The Giant Robotic Fish Farm article was very rich. The Woods Hole PhD could have saved himself a lot of time, financial grant money ande effort if he had gone and talked to any given redneck on the dock because they would have told him what was going to happen. RedNeck 101 trumps overeducated PhD’s every time when it comes time from transfering a paper plan to real life projects.

  11. #11 |  Gabriel | 

    Ice cream response option 1: “Johnny, the free market is going to provide you with many opportunities to purchase and/or consume things that are not in your best interests. This is an opportunity for you to start developing the skills necessary to become a critical consumer and a responsible adult human being.”

    Option 2: ban the trucks. Let Johnny grow up free from any tantalizing temptations, until he escapes your apron strings, goes to college, and immediately selfdestructs on pizza, beer, strippers, heroin, etc.

  12. #12 |  flukebucket | 

    I loved it that there are black guys in the crowd packing heat. I don’t think they are upset with the new President. I think they are just hoping that one of the crackers takes a shot at him so they can pop a cap in the shooter.

    What an event that would be to attend. The more folks who are armed the safer the event. Right?

  13. #13 |  KeithH | 

    Just wondering if any of the people showing up at these events carrying guns have been harassed because of it?

  14. #14 |  Fritz | 

    That story about Bernard Baran has completely destroyed my day. It’s astounding to me how many truly evil people are on the wrong side of the law.

    When I was younger, I never understood how a person could become a criminal defense attorney. In my mind, they were mostly greedy, sleazy opportunists who profited from defending obviously guilty scumbags. I really regret my naïveté.

    Having one’s eyes opened to the evil that exists on the other side of the courtroom and behind the bench is something that most people don’t want to deal with, but I think it’s absolutely necessary.

    Thanks for all your work on this, Radley.

  15. #15 |  Federalist Paupers » Blog Archive » Holy Schniekies | 

    […] H/T: Radley […]

  16. #16 |  MS-NBC’s Racist Lie Must Not Be Allowed To Stand | 

    […] 4: Linked by Radley Balko, Political Byline, and Weasel Zippers. Thanks and don’t foger to call or write to someone at […]

  17. #17 |  Euler | 

    @ flukebucket

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  18. #18 |  MDGuy | 

    From the ice cream article

    “Sometimes you’ll see a child in a stroller parked right next to the exhaust pipe of the truck,” said Lori Bukiewicz,

    So obviously the answer here is to ban trucks. God, I hate that mentality – “I’m too lazy/stupid/incompetant/negligant to take care of my spawn so the whole world should reorganize itself around ME!!!!” Just like all the do-gooders who whine to the FCC about what’s on television because they use the idiot-box as a damn babysitter while they’re busy do-gooding.

  19. #19 |  Mattocracy | 

    Maybe the giant roving fish farms is a way for sea steading to become economically viable.

  20. #20 |  Highway | 

    AndrewS, I agree completely. PayPal was never ‘great’. They weren’t even ‘good’. At best they were ‘different’ and ‘new’. But even before eBay bought them, they were a pretty horrible company, and then combined with eBay, which in every instance I’ve known of has done the wrong thing, it’s a match made in hell for users.

    The amazing thing is that people still use both companies. I guess it shows the basic scruples of most people, since eBay basically does whatever fraudsters want. I’ve noted fraud on both sides of eBay sales and shipping, and every time, eBay punished the person who was acting in good faith.

  21. #21 |  Aresen | 

    I don’t have any objection to the Ice Cream Truck selling his wares wherever.

    I do object to their playing the same fifteen bars of The Entertainer or Turkey in the Straw on a continuous loop on tinny loudspeakers on my street.

    When I hear one of those pests on my street (usually every day in the summer), I start wondering where on the web I could find instructions for an IED.

  22. #22 |  Bob42 | 

    Off topic(s) but very encouraging news from Manchester NH.

    After calling the police chief to announce his intentions, he walked around a Manchester park for a couple of hours asking people why marijuana is illegal, while holding a bud of it in his hands. No police showed themselves to enforce their statutes, so he proceeded to the police station and had a chat with the secretary, requesting an officer come talk to him about the issue, making it quite clear he was possessing the illicit plant material. After waiting in the lobby for over 30 minutes, he and the other activists decided to call it a day.

    A few months ago a Free Stater in Keene did something similar. He was arrested without incident, despite the crowd of protesters. Apparently the Judge has a sense of humor. His fines and fees totaled exactly $420.

  23. #23 |  Fred Mangels | 

    I can’t recall ever having a problem with PayPal. I actually used it for accepting payments from at least one customer until they started charging. I don’t have a problem with them charging a fee, but they should at least try and be competitive with the post office since I liked using PayPal to avoid envelopes and postage fees.

    As it is now, it’s much less expensive for me to just e- mail a bill to the customer and she snail mails me a check, rather than lose close to $3.00 out of a bill of $72.50 as happened the first time they charged.

    I wasn’t aware they started charging until I received less than the full total of a bill for payment. I’d been expecting it for some time, though, as I didn’t see how they could keep doing it for free. If they would have charged a flat fee of something less than the cost of a postage stamp, I might of stayed with them. As it is, old fashioned mail is cheaper for receiving payments.

  24. #24 |  John MacNeill | 

    “The bad news: American still die sooner than counterparts in 30 other countries.”

    30 other countries. “You’d never know it from the health care debate. “

  25. #25 |  Hannah | 

    Per the IceCream article
    “As a new mother, she said, people coach you on potty training and what to feed your child. “But the ice cream truck, nobody ever mentions that,” she said. “

    Remember lady the word “parent” should be treated as a verb. Tell your kid “no” from time to time is parenting and will not kill them. Heck the child may even learn that the world doesn’t revolve around him. If you need a book on “how to deal with stressful situations like the ice cream man and your child” you need to go back to square one. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

  26. #26 |  Nando | 

    I just looked on the Paypal website this morning and this is what I found regarding their fees:

    Payments (for Goods, Services, and eBay items) are always charged to the person getting paid in the amount of 1.9% to 2.9% + $0.30.

    However, Personal transfers (Gift, Payment Owed, Cash Advance, Living Expense and Other) are always FREE when the money comes from your PayPal balance or a bank account.

    If you are using a Credit or Debit card, tho, then you pay 2.9% + $0.30 (the sender decides who pays this fee).

    I participate in several Fantasy Football leagues and pools and we all make our payments through PayPal (for ease of accountability). We all use our bank accounts and make personal transfers as Gifts and Paypal doesn’t keep one penny of it. I suggest people start using that option if they want their transfers to be free.

  27. #27 |  Lee | 

    As a parent with 2 kids. That ice cream story really bugs the crap out of me.

    The reason the kids have the Pavlovian reaction is because the parents trained them to have it. Sure my kids get excited when they hear the truck coming down the block. They find me, ask (nicely), then haul-ass to the truck.

    Now that the 12 yr old has a job, she checks her money first. If she has the cash, then I’m out of the picture (she usually buys for her little sister).

    I know this is not politically correct, but training kids is very similar to training dogs.

  28. #28 |  Justin | 

    Radley, the life expectancy comparisons are a major abuse of statistics–just looking at the numbers without context what you can’t draw any conclusions.

    However, I think you make a similar mistake in your post. You mention mortality rates for various cancers, including breast cancer. But as an extremely good article in the Atlantic made clear, the statistics of breast cancer are incredibly complex. The issue is that many women have extremely slow growing tumors that are unlikely to cause them harm or even be noticed if the women live to be 90. But if you screen aggressively, you pick up those cancers, and thereby distort mortality rates. I don’t know if screening is actually more common in the US, but it wouldn’t be surprising, thanks to a very aggressive lobby for screening and breast cancer research (not that such a lobby is such a bad idea–it’s a nasty disease, and it’s worth combatting as best we can).

  29. #29 |  Tom G | 

    Classically Liberal has long been one of my daily reads.

    And about Paypal…one of Eliot Spitzer’s sins is that he crusaded against them early on when they could have been a good libertarian e-money site, and they were forced to “play nice” with government.

    (LOL – when I looked up some reference for the above, the first link was to YOUR old Reason article from 2005!)
    http://www.reason.com/news/show/33114.html

  30. #30 |  Tom G | 

    Also – That story from MSNBC was on Classically Liberal too :)
    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2009/08/conflicting-stereotypes.html

  31. #31 |  omar | 

    Re Angry Moms…

    I live on a street bordering Prospect Park. I see these rich whiny women all the time. They are just bored coked-out park-slope moms doing the typical New York bitchfest thing. There’s nothing like spending your afternoons pushing your $3000 bugaboo around the park, giving sour looks to the brown men earning a living…well, except maybe having your brown nanny push your kids around for you while you go to pilates. People in this neighborhood are in each others’ business like I never thought possible, looking to control everything they can about their neighbors and environment. They will call 311 if your trashcan is the wrong color. They will call 311 if your stoop isn’t swept to their liking. They will call 311 if someone is selling ice cream on the street.

    I run around the park a few times a week. I run by the playgrounds. There are few ice-cream men. These women are hyper-sensitive liars.

    I can’t wait to move.

  32. #32 |  Aresen | 

    On the Classical Liberal link, I noted the comments about the “witch hunt” mentality that makes it difficult for doubters to speak out against the hysteria.

    I remember the hysteria of the “child molester” mania in the 1980s. I also remember stories of people who were accused out of pure spite by some very malicious children. Since those days, I’ve never talked to a child except when their parents are present.

  33. #33 |  Tokin42 | 

    #32,

    My neighborhood is full of kids, there’s a little elementary school at the end of the block and it attracts young families. One of my dogs is freaked by kids, so I would take him down to the park to watch the kids little league practice just to help him get used to the chaos. You wouldn’t believe the looks a grown man by himself gets when he’s watching a group of kids. At first I thought it was the dog (a doberman) they were concerned with until I realized they were all watching me, not the dog.

    Re: Ice Cream truck,

    same story, I make my spouses little sister go buy me ice cream because parents stared when I did.

  34. #34 |  MacGregory | 

    The ice cream man made my kids fat. He must be a witch. BURN HIM!

  35. #35 |  Eric | 

    I may be missing something, but what is the point of the new bring-guns-to-healthcare-protests trend other than to provoke and implicitly threaten those on the other side of the issue? Though I lean to the right on the healthcare reform issue overall, the “I’m going to protest and I’ll strap on my weapons for an extra little fuck you” looks like a dick move.

  36. #36 |  Radley Balko | 

    Eric,

    I mostly agree. Seems like an intimidation tactic. I don’t think they’re dangerous, I just think they’re trying to provoke. That said, I support the right to open carry, so I don’t think they should be arrested for it, or forced to give up their guns. To its credit, the Obama administration has said they have every right to carry at the events, where Obama speaks, so long as they’re abiding by local law. That’s more than you can say for the Bush administration, which arrested people for wearing t-shirts and restricted them to “protest zones” far away from where anyone could hear them.

  37. #37 |  Fluffy | 

    I may be missing something, but what is the point of the new bring-guns-to-healthcare-protests trend other than to provoke and implicitly threaten those on the other side of the issue?

    Well, in many jurisdictions, it’s perfectly legal to openly carry a firearm.

    But because almost no one actually ever DOES openly carry a firearm, the majority of people have completely forgotten that they possess this right, and simply assume that it’s illegal to have a firearm in public.

    So if your aim was to remind people that it’s legal to carry firearms openly in public, one way you might do this would be to openly carry firearms to a place where you knew there would be a lot of people and the news media. If you can do it in a context where it will shock people and get noticed [say, next to a location where the President is going to appear], even better.

    It’s precisely because there isn’t ENOUGH open carrying that people wet their pants when someone does it.

  38. #38 |  Ernesto | 

    Turns out that one of the mothers quoted runs The Chip Shop, a restaurant that deep fries everything…

    http://tinyurl.com/l7cq5c

  39. #39 |  Bee | 

    I live in a poor neighborhood, and I wouldn’t even consider buying food from one of those bacteria wagons. The trucks and drivers are filthy and broken-down. We have up to 3 of them cruising the neighborhood continuously, all day long until dark, sometimes one immediately behind another. They must get enough business to make it worth their while, though. They trawl for probably 8 or 9 months of the year – the weather is pretty nice in LA.

    They’re recently been supplemented by a guy who looks like a homeless man, pushing a shopping cart whose basket is stacked with garbage bags of ice, and the baby seat filled with jugs of syrup. He announces his presence with a Harpo-style horn.

    Yes, my area is “underserved” by places to buy healthy food. And no, I have no issue with vendors making a living or people treating themselves or their kids. I just boggle that people would buy food from such grimy vendors. Perhaps it’s not so nasty in other cities.

  40. #40 |  MDGuy | 

    Sorry if I’m feeding the trolls; couldn’t help it.

    #12 | flukebucket | August 20th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    What an event that would be to attend. The more folks who are armed the safer the event. Right?

    Someone inform me if I’m wrong, maybe I’m out of the news-loop. How many shooting rampages have there been at these protests so far? Is it zero? I think it’s zero. No snark intended. Having said that, I still tend to agree with Eric above; even if the intention isn’t to intimidate or threaten, it still comes across as kind of a dick move. Get a concealed carry permit if you really feel like you need the weapon for safety. If it’s a political statement, do it at a 2nd ammendment rally.

  41. #41 |  K. Wilson | 

    MSNBC: This story was just hilarious. I’ve been “discussing” the racial “undertones” of these town hall meetings and I asserted that the undertones are for the most part the imagining of the left-leaning media. They guffawed and insisted that America is predominately racist to this day, and the media was just reporting the facts ma’am.

    Sometimes life hands you little bits of chocolate you have to savor. :)

  42. #42 |  MDGuy | 

    Just finished the piece on Bernard Baran. I had some general knowledge of the “Ritual Satanic Abuse” hysteria in the 80’s and I was somewhat familiar with the McMartin case but I’ve never really read the gory details. So depressing. Also didn’t know that Janet Reno was a ringleader in all that. I despise her even more now.

  43. #43 |  seeker6079 | 

    The guy carrying the AR15 is a Ron Paul supporter. The guy who interviewed him is a Ron Paul supporter, a friend of the rifle-tote (they met while working with Paul)…
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/2009/08/assault-rifle-interview-outside-obama-event-in-phoenix-was-planned.php

    … and has ties to a nasty 1990s militia.
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/08/az_gun-toters_tied_to_violent_90s_era_militia.php

  44. #44 |  Eric | 

    I should clarify that I am right with Radley and others that if a gun-carrier is within the law in his or her jurisdiction nobody should bother them. And good on the Obama administration for not freaking out about it.

    I guess it is just so disconnected from the health care debate – and seemingly connected to the agressive tone many of the protesters have struck – that it comes off as unnecessarily hostile and pointless. It’s disappointing to see that this is the modern state of political dialogue.

  45. #45 |  seeker6079 | 

    “I should clarify that I am right with Radley and others that if a gun-carrier is within the law in his or her jurisdiction nobody should bother them. And good on the Obama administration for not freaking out about it. ”

    What Eric said. It was interesting to watch the debate at Pandagon, a progressive-left feminist-based blog. There was considerable multi-person defence of a person’s right to do what was legal with a firearm. It’s what distinguishes the lefties (who love to argue with each other) from the guys at places like Red State where self-reinforcement is the enforced norm.

  46. #46 |  Eric | 

    It’s equally disappointing to see calls for a mass boycott of Whole Foods after their co-founder writes a well-reasoned and evenly stated op-ed against health care reform.

    Knee jerk and extreme statements are the ones that get covered in our crowded media, so they are the ones that get made. It’s one more reason why I am grateful to Radley for this blog; he gives us thoughful commentary instead.

    (Wow, this is my third comment on a thread; a new record for me.)

  47. #47 |  Aresen | 

    OOPS.

    Meant to +1 on Eric #42.

    Apologies.

  48. #48 |  dhex | 

    even better:

    http://gawker.com/5341401/park-slope-mom-who-wants-to-ban-predatory-ice-cream-trucks-is-a-fried-pudding-pusher

    chip shop, for those who don’t know, does brit style fried everything, including slices of pizza and macaroni and cheese.

  49. #49 |  seeker6079 | 

    MDGuy at 39:
    “Someone inform me if I’m wrong, maybe I’m out of the news-loop. How many shooting rampages have there been at these protests so far? Is it zero? I think it’s zero.”

    MDGuy, you do see the flaw in your logic, right? People bringing weapons to a debate and nobody’s been shot yet. I could, in the 1960s, just have easily pointed out on April 3, 1968 that we need not get worked up about

    I recall a great deal of seething anger on the left at Bush’s plans to change Social Security in 2005, but no guns brought to meetings. I’m pretty sure, though, that if lefties brought pistols to social security meetings the media (with its hysterical 1960s carry-over-fears) would have had endless discussions along the lines of “has the left gone nuts?” and so forth. Hell, vast swathes of the country went ballistic when the Dixie Chicks complained publicly about Bush, and that was just the good old first amendment.

    We also have to factor in media bias problem regarding what’s normal and for whom. Freaked out right-wingers taking guns to meetings is simply going to get less negative press (although maybe not less reporting) simply because there is a default assumption that “that’s not what they do”. These incidents are getting more “normal” coverage in the mainstream because reaching for violence when one’s interests are threatened is rightly seen to be a conservative response in American society. For all the fear of the DFH terrorists in the 60s and since the record of the violent left was pathetic. The Weathermen (gasp! fainting couch!) killed more of their own people through incompetence than they did targets. Compare that to the killings by police kill in trying to suppress the civil rights movement, or the number of folks killed by Timothy McVeigh. The lefties may have their whackaloons but none of them is going to, say, shoot up the Creationism Museum like that nutter shot up the Holocaust Museum.

    Put in a nutshell it is this: It is one thing to state the truth that if somebody wants to tote a gun around because it’s legal then that’s fine. Hell, many on the left will agree with you. But the left and centre in America knows that when conservatives get frightened and reach for their weapons they use them. That’s the point where a difference in degree becomes a difference in kind.

  50. #50 |  seeker6079 | 

    Typo alert.
    Second para should read:
    “MDGuy, you do see the flaw in your logic, right? People bringing weapons to a debate and nobody’s been shot yet. I could, in the 1960s, just have easily pointed out on April 3, 1968 that despite a tidal wave of death threats nobody had actually taken a shot at MLK so we need not get worked up about it.”

  51. #51 |  Fluffy | 

    We also have to factor in media bias problem regarding what’s normal and for whom. Freaked out right-wingers taking guns to meetings is simply going to get less negative press (although maybe not less reporting) simply because there is a default assumption that “that’s not what they do”.

    Come on, this is just fucking absurd.

    The media bias goes the opposite way. Public protest is an accepted tactic of the left wing to the point where the standard leftist complaint is that the media doesn’t even cover or notice their activities. But if more than two right wing people show up anywhere and shout, it’s “thuggish intimidation” and every leftist in the country wets their fucking pants.

    There is absolutely no way any reasonable or fair person could look at the way the health care protests have been covered and not conclude that the media has collectively decided that it’s OK for leftists to protest but not OK for rightists to protest.

    Even when leftist protests result in riots and property damage [for example, the anti-WTO protests] the media narrative is always, “A well-meaning protest got out of hand because of troublemakers”. It is never, ever, “thuggish intimidation is sweeping the land and threatening the republic itself”.

  52. #52 |  seeker6079 | 

    Get real, Fluffy. The anti-war protests early in the Iraq war drew often drew hundreds of thousands of people, and were scantily covered. Often, when they were covered it was to point the camera at the tiny minority of batshit anarkiddies. The narrative isn’t, as you wishfully thinking state, “A well-meaning protest got out of hand because of troublemakers”, it was and is “people oppose free trade / the WTO… and it’s these masked property-smashers”. Oddly enough the tens of thousands of well-dressed, well-behaved protesters behind them just never seem to get mentioned.

    HAve you forgotten that, for example, NYPD was conducting systematic sweeps and mass arrests of nonviolent protests groups in advance of the 2004 GOP convention. They were detained (often without food, water, toilets or access to counsel) long enough so that they couldn’t actually protest, and then released with perfunctory grunts that no charges would be laid.

    I repeat: How many people brought guns to the social security town halls? Zip that we know of. How many people are bringing guns to the health care town halls? More each time, it seems.

    Why open-carry a weapon to a political event filled with unarmed people who disagree with you? There can only be one message: “I disagree. Very strongly. I’m armed. You’re not. You work it out.”

  53. #53 |  Bee | 

    Do the people claiming the TownHall protesters are racist actually know any elderly people? It is just possible that they feel genuinely alarmed and angry at the thought of lessened or restricted health care.

    It’s up to those seeking change to persuade those who are affected by the change, and whose buy-in they need. Calling nervous old people racist is not going to help with the persuading bit. This whole endeavor seems to be being handled very badly, and is proceeding much too quickly for people’s comfort level.

    I’m amused by people who are frightened of open carry. Big props to the Obama administration for not getting its panties in a wad over this red herring.

  54. #54 |  omar | 

    @#48 | dhex

    oh hell! i’m sure as hell never going back to the chip shop for a deep-fried cadbury egg. bastards.

    i’m starting to think park slope is competing for most selfish neighborhood in the world. it’s me me me, everyone do what i want in the way i want it. the words feeling of “entitlement” doesn’t come close to covering it.

    gag me.

  55. #55 |  flukebucket | 

    I have only been to Arizona once. Tempe to be exact. Never saw a single person carrying a gun the 4 days I was there.

    Of course health care was not being debated at the time either.

  56. #56 |  Dave W. | 

    From a Catholic perspective, in Professor Dershowitz’s hypo, Justice Scalia would be in an analogous position to Pontias Pilate. Is there an official Catholic teaching on the moral status of Pilate’s decision? Even as a Catholic, I don’t know, although I have a guess.

  57. #57 |  seeker6079 | 

    Bee:
    One of the things that frustrates progressives is that it’s damned difficult to get your message out. The right to be on TV pretty much stops in the light blue section of the Democratic party and doesn’t move any further to the left. Wanna talk about nonexistent government death panels? You’re on Meet the Press. Wanna talk about how the insurance industry has had de facto death panels for years? Get lost, DFH.

    Look by way of comparison at leftie Amanda Marcotte and conservative Ann Coulter. Coulter takes a very aggressive approach, refuses to let the interviewer control his own interview and spouts right-wing views and is a talk show darling. Marcotte was once interviewed on mainstream TV and.. .wait for it … took an aggressive approach, refused to let the interviewer control his own interview and presented progressive or left-wing ideas and arguments. After that all of her other interviews were cancelled.

    The notion that a large, corporatist, capitalist media is somehow megaphone central for lefty progressive wealth-distributing ideas is ludicrous and convincingly debunked by a systematic observation of the American media.

  58. #58 |  Mattocracy | 

    I’m kind of geting tired of the insuation that people are anti Obamacare becuase they are rascist deep inside. Is that any different than saying that people are anti war becuase they are secretely terrorists?

    I have to agree with Fluffy. Seeker, I’m not sure what news you were watching during 2003-2004, but war protestors were covered fairly well. The only news programing that was snarky about it was Fox.

    The Denver police did the same thing for the DNC convention in 2008 as the the NYPD did for the GOP in ’04. The only news site that mentioned Denver’s beat down of protestors was…well, the agitator. The media sucks, I’m with you. Sometimes its biased. And sometimes they are just plain inept.

  59. #59 |  PiledhighDeep | 

    Radley- If you want to do conditional life expectancy comparisons between countries, you can get the necessary info from a ‘life table’. The 1999 U.S. life table I have from me old biostats class shows that an individual entering age 35 (in 1999) had a life expectancy of 43.5 years, which gives an expected age of death of 78.5 years old. For comparison, a newborn’s life expectancy was 76.7 years in 1999.

  60. #60 |  seeker6079 | 

    Mattocracy: This is where we get into degree/kind, no? Look at how the two difeerent situations were covered.

    War protests: Hundreds of thousands in American streets, millions in the streets of American allies. Message: some people oppose the war, now let’s cut to hours of programming on why the war is necessary / inevitable, and few if any interviews with senior people like Feingold who oppose the war.

    Health care: hundreds of protesters who get constant coverage, whose views are repeated ad infinitum, whose views are also advanced by constant appearances by senior GOP officials, and whose positions are taken seriously and debated at length.

    Think about that. Going to war that will kill countless thousands of people? Opposition coverage slight. Going to expand government programs to provide some additional health coverage that is laughably pissant by the standards of the rest of the western industrialized world? Opposition coverage constant.

    And you still wanna sell me on the notion that the media is either neutral or merely incompetent? Incompetent, I grant you? But neutral? No. For the most part they, like any other private business, advance the views of their owners: vast corporations.

  61. #61 |  KBCraig | 

    Regarding whether or not it’s “appropriate” to open carry at a health care debate:

    Since when are protestors limited to the announced topic? Were anti-war protestors chastised for showing up when Bush was speaking about things other than the war?

    If issue X is important to you, and you want to raise public awareness, then you should appear at high-profile events, not just gatherings of fellow “issue X” sympathizers.

  62. #62 |  Bee | 

    #57 seeker

    As an anarchist, boy, do I hear you on the damned difficulty of getting the message out!

  63. #63 |  K. Wilson | 

    seeker6079 said: “Get real, Fluffy. The anti-war protests early in the Iraq war drew often drew hundreds of thousands of people, and were scantily covered. Often, when they were covered it was to point the camera at the tiny minority of batshit anarkiddies. The narrative isn’t, as you wishfully thinking state, “A well-meaning protest got out of hand because of troublemakers”, it was and is “people oppose free trade / the WTO… and it’s these masked property-smashers”. Oddly enough the tens of thousands of well-dressed, well-behaved protesters behind them just never seem to get mentioned.”

    Scantily covered??? ARGHHHH!!!!! Are you kidding me? The protests were covered all the time and for the most part not negatively at all. “Anti-war sentiment is growing in this country as people question the legality of the war” was the headline every other night! (And for the record I questioned the war greatly and think for the most part it was a huge waste of tax payer money.)

    And it wasn’t limited to anti-war protests. Remember the pro-immigration marches? I was IN Chicago for a writing conference during the big one there. Huge crowds in the street. Very positive press for the most part ALL OVER THe NEWS. And the “peaceful” nature of the protests was praised again and again in the media.

  64. #64 |  flukebucket | 

    If your reason for carrying openly is to provoke and intimidate I question whether or not you are mature enough to carry at all.

    I already understand that open carry has nothing to do with maturity. It is a right in Arizona.

    But I expect there are still certain neighborhoods where it is not smiled upon.

  65. #65 |  K. Wilson | 

    I said in my last post that I am a conservative who greatly questioned the war and feel it’s a waste of tax money–and I do, but I wanted to add that the waste of life concerns me more. I meant to add it in the first place. :)

    K…

  66. #66 |  Fluffy | 

    A couple of points to keep in mind:

    The “These protestors are engaging in thuggish intimidation” claims predate the open carry incidents. This line of argument was advanced by the media as soon as the town hall protests started.

    If you think that the town hall protestors have received outsized attention, given their numbers, relative to the antiwar protests, I agree with you. But you have no one to blame but progressive bedwetters and their media allies. In order to spread the “thuggish intimidation” meme, you have to draw attention to the protests themselves. It’s unavoidable.

    It was the KOSites who started the “ZOMG the brownshirts are back!” complaining in response to a relative handful of people who showed up at town halls and rudely shouted. It was the KOSites who organized on the web and said, “Everybody call their local news outlet to make them aware of all this thuggish intimidation!” So if you have any problem with the media attention lavished on these guys, take it up with the people who made them a media sensation.

  67. #67 |  James D | 

    For the ‘AZ gun guy’ …. basically we in AZ are proud of our open-carry laws, but the group he is a part of says stuff like “we are brandishing our guns to show that we are ‘ready'” …. overall it makes 2nd Amendment supporters look bad :( Here is the video they themselves taped during the event:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63GiXzpfGhA

    I just think it’s one more thing the liberal media can point to and say “look, anyone who doesn’t agree with us is a bunch of right-wing, extremist nutjob!”.

    I just wish I could find the local radio station’s interview with the group leader (I think they call themselves the local libertarian party in Phoenix actually?) but they don’t seem to have it posted anywhere.

  68. #68 |  J sub D | 

    When I hear one of those pests on my street (usually every day in the summer), I start wondering where on the web I could find instructions for an IED.

    Here ya go.

  69. #69 |  Aresen | 

    Thanks, J sub D

    Should have known I could count on you.

    ;)

  70. #70 |  J sub D | 

    Aresen,

    I used to have the print version in the ’70s. I was an active duty 2nd class petty officer working on weapons systems at the time. Doesn’t that make you feel comfortable?

    Truth be told, I was more interested in the LSD recipes than in undermining the United States government.

  71. #71 |  Matt D | 

    Re. NBC:

    Yes, the man in that particular clip is black. Most of the people toting guns to these rallies have been white. IIRC, there was also a white man with a similar weapon at that very same rally.

  72. #72 |  notjenna | 

    I guess it’s good that CBS is doing a civil liberties blog but choosing Declan McCullagh to do it does not give me confidence. Why? His flogging of the story of GW denier Alan Carlin’s report, an easily debunked story, gives me pause.

    McCullagh’s flogging of the GW denier talking point makes whatever else he says suspect.

  73. #73 |  Drunkenatheist | 

    Seeker,

    Marcotte worked for the Edwards campaign. Stop claiming she’s actually left-wing or anything but a sorta-left of center Democrat.

    Also, quit acting as if Pandagon is some sort of bastion of radical thought. I’m a radical feminist who can’t stand most of what occurs on Pandagon because it’s often a bunch of commenters who are an eensy bit left of Hillary Clinton who think that sitting around and posting self-congratulatory comments is more important than actual feminist discourse. I occasionally pop onto the site, but more often than not, it is thinly veiled shilling for the Democratic party. The “It’s a Jungle Out There” bullshit killed most of the urge I have had to visit the site and has reduced my visits to minimal, at best.

    I am so sick to death of the idea that the big feminist sites are so omg! radical! and omg! progressive! Christ.

  74. #74 |  Windy | 

    The media is neither right nor left, it is authoritarian, it will report on those activities which will cause the sheep to cry out for more regulations, more laws, and it will report them in such as way as to make those sheep as frightened as possible.

  75. #75 |  seeker6079 | 

    Gasp! Amanda Marcotte worked for Edwards? I never knew that!

    And I’ve watched Marcotte get a new ass torn for her frequently on her own site for that decision and for the way that that turned out, and for how Edwards handled it. (Myself, included, btw, but since you only “occasionally pop onto the site” you obviously know it faaaaaaaaaar better than I do.)

    I think that you’re making the mistake that Pandagon is a blog which inevitably reflects the views of Marcotte. It doesn’t; the commenters frequently disagree — and yes, frequently agree — with her. There’s a far wider range of discourse there than red state, which is exclusively GOP uber-righters, or Kos, which is Dem party driven, or even here, which has a niche libertarian populace. All those sites are great at what they do, but they simply don’t start with or end up with the diversity of debate that one sees at Pandagon and I do think that Taylor, Marcotte and Spaulding should get credit for that. (Oh yeah, kinda missed that there were two other people regularly blogging there, eh?)

    Look, if you want a wholly radfem blog, go to Shakesville where that philosophical view is unchallenged. Don’t piss on Padagon for (gasp!) advocating views that aren’t sufficiently pure for you.

    And just for the record, if you’d troubled your lazy ass to actually to use google you’d find that I post there linking back here with some frequency: six times by the most basic search. There’s a huge overlap on civil liberties between progressives and libertarians and it drives me nuts that neither side sees it much.

  76. #76 |  Jim Collins | 

    “When I hear one of those pests on my street (usually every day in the summer), I start wondering where on the web I could find instructions for an IED.”

    http://www.libertyreferences.com/improvised-munitions-handbook/improvised-munitions-handbook.shtml

    This should do it for you.

  77. #77 |  annemg | 

    I’m getting really f-in tired of parents who want to ban stuff so they don’t have to parent. Dear Ice Cream Truck Mom, The word is “No.” Its not hard, try it some time. Grrr.

  78. #78 |  old | 

    MSNBC shows tight shot of Town Hall protester packing heat, suggests racism against Obama might why people are carrying guns to these events. Problem is, they needed the tight shot, because the guy with the gun was black.

    Wrong to do that. MSNBC should have just shown pictures of the actual racist signs and the town hall.

    Wasn’t it Reagan that didn’t want guns carried? Ah yes the Mumford bill, maybe. My California history is rusty. Nothing like seeing Glenn Beck begging on air to his audience that we don’t need another Timothy McVeigh. What a dilettante! It must be interesting steering weak willed people into whatever sort of action you want of them. But then, you have to come back from that brink, and implore your audience not to blow up any FBI buildings.

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