Saturday Links

Saturday, September 12th, 2009
  • Fire chief shot in the back in court by cop will be charged with battering a police officer. Seems there’s a disagreement over who shoved whom first.
  • Checking Obama’s math on the number of people without health insurance.
  • Kittycide.
  • Wonderful photo collection from Afghanistan and Nepal.
  • I told you this would happen. We don’t even have a health care plan yet and the anti-fact advocates are already figuring out how to use it to police what you eat.
  • 9/11 didn’t change everything. And that’s a good thing.
    Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark
  • 28 Responses to “Saturday Links”

    1. #1 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Well, bad timing. Here’s a repost of my Jonathan Ayers update from the last thread:

      Sheriff Randy Shirley has finally come up with the woman that he claims was the target of the investigation that led to the death of Rev. Jonathan Ayers:

      Again, folks, take it with a grain of salt. They’ve been claiming for a week now that she exists, and there was *no* reason to hide her identity. Well, there is potentially one good reason: they were grooming her for her public appearance as the person who was with Ayers right before his death.

      I’m not saying that I know for sure that they’re making this up. What I am saying is that 1) we know it’s possible (look at the Kathryn Johnston case) and 2) they have a reason to make up a back story.

      I probably won’t be a 100% believer unless they can come up with unedited video linking her with Ayers, or multiple independent witnesses.

      In other news, one of the agents involved (the one who was maimed by Ayer’s car) is back on duty.

      I also found this interesting article:

      With this quote:

      Some said they didn’t have all the facts but others said they didn’t want to run into any trouble with the law because they voiced their opinions on television.

      Ah, self-censorship to avoid being the next Ayers.

      The mentality of these cops is pretty scary:

      “We’re still going to go out and do the job and do the war on drugs in each county,” said Bryant. “There’s a need in communities to get rid of the problem.”

      Drugs *are* a problem, and people really shouldn’t use them. But how many deaths have been caused in the area by drugs? Probably “none, ever”. On the other hand, we have an innocent man dead and police who are trying to get off scot-free for murder. I find that to be a lot scarier than drugs, and likely far more harmful to your community. Reading above, you have a community that’s afraid of their police, and rightly so. That’s just wrong.

      If you want to get rid of a “problem”, why not start with the problems on your police forces?

    2. #2 |  dsmallwood | 

      “floated the idea of taxing soda”
      will the tax revenue be bundled into corn subsidies? i sure hope so. i don’t want to burden the American farmer.

    3. #3 |  perlhaqr | 

      Well, I won’t deny that many of the people who support the health care bills are “anti-fact advocates”, but I suspect you meant “anti-fat”. :)

    4. #4 |  miserRHCP | 


      I take it you grow your own food in your own backyard?

    5. #5 |  David in Balt | 

      Well of course they had to charge the fire chief with something. The prosecution and police are still under the impression that all people (and unfortunately many still do) still buy the bullshit idea that if someone is charged as a criminal, everything the police do was legitimate. Even shooting an unarmed man in the back when there are six other officers present. Heroes my ass.

    6. #6 |  Dan | 

      Poor kitty.

    7. #7 |  Wesley | 

      “Seems there’s a disagreement over who shoved whom first.”

      Obviously Han shoved first.

    8. #8 |  max | 

      #7, only in the original version, it the redone version it appears the other way around.

    9. #9 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      Police what you eat? Nah. Tax what you eat. Remember: tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax.

      In Socialist America, the war on drugs will gain even more strength…for the good of the state.

    10. #10 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      One more thing, next time I’m with 8 of my hombres and I shoot an unarmed man in the back I’ll have to remember to tell the pigs that “he shoved first” so I can dance away free.

      Although come to think of it, next time anyone shoves me for any reason I’m coming out with guns blazing. That’s how I understand the rules now.

      Nice defense asshole cops!

    11. #11 |  OB | 

      “But what happens when the health insurance industry realizes that our system of farm subsidies makes junk food cheap, and fresh produce dear, and thus contributes to obesity and Type 2 diabetes? It will promptly get involved in the fight over the farm bill . . . .”

      At least this is good. I am in favor of the health insurance industry fighting farm subsidies. There is no good reason for taxpayers to subsidize consumers’ junk food purchases.

    12. #12 |  David Chesler | 

      I agree with OB.
      Not every change is worse, especially if the change might be to reduce the government’s hand in things.
      (As a not-nearly-as-fat-as-my-friends middle-aged Type 2 Diabetic, I strongly suspect there’s something wrong with all the high fructose corn syrup.)

      Obamacare might not be ^h^h^h^h isn’t the best way to achieve it, but prevention is almost always cheaper than cure.

    13. #13 |  Morgan Bird | 

      “I told you this would happen. We don’t even have a health care plan yet and the anti-fact advocates are already figuring out how to use it to police what you eat.”

      Did you even read the fucking article? I like some of what you write, RB, but this kind of shit is the reason no one takes libertarians seriously. First, the article isn’t even about what *he* wants to do, it’s about what he thinks insurance companies will want once they have to insure fat people. Second, if you’d ever actually read Pollan’s more prescriptive stuff you’d know most of what he suggests are market solutions. Y’know, little things *not* massively subsidizing the production of junk food.

    14. #14 |  Nick T. | 

      I will never understand the “9/11 changed everything” mentality.
      I recall abck in 2000(well 1999( leading up to new year’s everyone was talking about being safe and concerns abou an attack on Time Square. No one was pissing their pants, or talking crazy but everyone seemed to recogize this was a serious possibility. Moreover, no one was screaing that we need to be invading, countries, torturing suspects, wiretapping everyone’s phone etc. Most news coverage focused on things people were doing – ike police – to keep us safe. Thats how it hsould have been and 9/11 should have mad us invest more effort, time and money on intel, and collaborating with out allies etc. but not undoing our civil liberties and or freedoms.

      ANyone who says 9/11 changed everythin is saying all those principles that we stand for are only meaningful as long as they always work perfectly. That’s just insane. It’s like seriously suggesting we live as a PTSD society. But PTSD is an illness.

    15. #15 |  Radley Balko | 

      Yes, I read the article. And yes, Pollan is right about subsidies. He also advocates for soda taxes, and quotes the usual tripe about fat costing taxpayers money (it doesn’t — modest overweight actually has health benefits, and the morbidly obese die early, which means they incur less in lifetime health costs). He doesn’t advocating allowing health insurance companies to charge higher premiums to obese people. Instead, he’s gloating that universal health care will get the insurance industry lobbying for a greater government role in food production and distribution.

      If Pollan advocates market solutions in other writing, good for him. But this article expresses hope that an expanded government role in health care will lead to an expanded government role in what we eat.

    16. #16 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      The only issue the police cief had with the cat killing was that the cat should have had a better resting place?


      If a teenager would have done the same thing, even thinking the same as the cops, they would have labelled him a potential serial killer and locked him up.

      Cops = serial killers. Now things are making sense…

    17. #17 |  karl | 

      Perhaps Pollan’s ideas for food policy rankle because he mentions a soda tax and the word “tax” immediately causes libertarians to stop reading.

      He’s assuming that change (of which a soda tax is one possibility) in food and agricultural policy will be lobbied for by the health-care industries — not by government diktat. He’s looking at a private sector battle in which both sides attempt to enlist government support. In this climate of competing corporate interests a tax proposal makes sense (if you assume no change in agricultural subsidies — an easy assumption).

      Naturally, the best course would be to do away with subsidies and other policies that distort the market prices of food — on this we liberals tend to agree with you libertarians (although we tend to part ways immediately after).

      One thing is certain: no one is going to stop me from eating a bacon cheeseburger — if I can afford one.

    18. #18 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I am very glad that “kittycide” is extremely rare. I have a 16-year-old Maine Coon who’s an inside/outside cat, but unlike the victim in the story, he has claws and a name tag. Oh, and he’s as friendly as all get-out and all the neighbors know and love him.

      What an unbelievable ending to an 18-year-old cat. To get that far in life and then spend your last minute getting sprayed by a hose, captured with a hook and a bullet put in your brain.

      Take good care of your loved ones, people. The world is a very dangerous place if you are careless.

    19. #19 |  Cynical in CA | 

      #1 | Michael Chaney — “Again, folks, take it with a grain of salt.”

      I’ll take the whole shaker. No, make it the whole mine.

      The State is presumed to be lying. That’s why it’s a sign of a sane society that the burden of proof is on the State.

    20. #20 |  Cynical in CA | 

      #16 | Mike Leatherwood — “Cops = serial killers.”

      The State — the entity with a monopoly on crime in a given geographic area.

    21. #21 |  Fluffy | 

      Screw the soda tax, Pollan’s really offensive idea is restrictions on “food marketing”.

      The simple fact of the matter is that, regardless of what our quisling Supreme Court may have to say about the lack of protection for “commercial speech”, if the day ever comes when Michael Pollan can jump out of the bushes and try to arrest me if I say the words “I make hamburgers and think you will like eating them if you try them”, he will deserve a bullet to the face.

    22. #22 |  SusanK | 

      I would be surprised if the fire chief who was shot in the back is actually convicted by a jury trial. You have a town that is over-policed and irritated with the officers. Jurors don’t forget those kinds of things when they’re seated. Plus, I have found that jurors in general think that officers need to put up with a higher level of abuse than the ordinary person and are reluctant to convict in most assault of a cop cases.

    23. #23 |  z | 

      Pollan suggests that U.S. people spend twice as much as Europeans on health care, and it’s because of our diet. Then later says that our diet accounts for 10% of the health costs. I must have slept through math class.

    24. #24 |  Mario | 

      [W]hy, if police suspected Tobey had rabies, [would they] shoot him in the head when the brain would be needed for testing.

      It’s because they obviously have less brains than did the poor cat.

    25. #25 |  Cynical in CA | 

      #17 | karl — “Perhaps Pollan’s ideas for food policy rankle because he mentions a soda tax and the word “tax” immediately causes libertarians to stop reading.”

      I missed the rest of your post, karl, because I stopped reading.


    26. #26 |  JS | 

      I like what John Stossel said on Air America when they were talking about government regulating what people can eat (for our own good of course) He said “Remember, the government that is big enough to tell you what you can eat, is big enough to tell you with whom you can sleep.”

    27. #27 |  Pablo | 

      If the gov’t is going to tax sodas then why stop there? What about all those “energy drinks” that have even more sugar than a coke? What about all the yummy concoctions from Starbucks that are little more than cups full of melted candy bars? And fruit juice is not nearly as healthy as everyone thinks–just as much sugar as sodas. I think this is less about consistency and more about targeting fat people who happen to have pedestrian tastes.

    28. #28 |  fwb | 

      Maybe the reason healthcare in the US is so expensive its the FACT that we already have 132,720 pages of rules, regulations, etc on healthcare. Research shows that over regulation is a direct cause of poverty. Too much money goes to the regulators.
      Tiocfaidh ar la!