Morning Links

Monday, December 28th, 2009
  • David Boaz points to two surprisingly strong editorials in the Washington Post with libertarian themes, one on problems with the criminal justice system, and one on the Obama administration’s troublingly expansive view of human rights (and its rather casual treatment of actual human rights).
  • Bruce Schneier: “Only one carry on? No electronics for the first hour of flight? I wish that, just once, some terrorist would try something that you can only foil by upgrading the passengers to first class and giving them free drinks.”
  • The top ten Top 10 lists of 2009.
  • This is a positive development.
  • Gay rights, leftist groups in D.C. fight other gay rights, leftist groups in D.C. over right of anti-gay rights groups to take out ads on the city’s Metro trains. Good on the pro-speech folks.
  • Zero tolerance strikes again.
  • Federal judge won’t toss the obscenity charges against John Stagliano. I think his attorney is right. This is a good chance to bring Miller v. California into the Internet age. “Community standards” means something quite a bit different now than it did then.
  • This smug op-ed by the guy wrongly arrested in the Snowball Fight Heard ‘Round the World is almost enough to make me support the gun-waving cop.
  • I can’t believe people still make these kinds of arguments. What a vapid waste of electrons.

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  • 35 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Matt I. | 

      I fail to detect smugness in the snowballer’s article. He pretty much described the incident, talks about his job in relation to law and law enforcement, and says that while he thinks that the cop overreacted, he still hopes he won’t lose his job over the incident.

      Seems fair to me.

    2. #2 |  John-David | 

      I lost count of the number of fallacies in Mary Grabar’s article. My favorite was that alcohol must be legal because the bible teaches us how to drink it.

    3. #3 |  Aresen | 

      If it isn’t depressing enough that Ms. Grabar’s “arguments” will be deemed sound by the drug warriors, then you can be even more depressed by the fact that she is a Professor of English.

      Just thought I’d brighten everyone’s day.

    4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

      My smugness detector, a Christmas gift, also failed to go off
      from the snowball essay.
      Checking batteries. And warranty.

    5. #5 |  Aresen | 

      I would like to think that the attempted currency grab will be the “Dear Leader’s” Timosora.

    6. #6 |  Eric | 

      My favorite quote of the Grabar article was the closing – “legalization is supported by the same forces that promote Kevin Jennings, one-world government, Gaia worship, and legalized prostitution.” Bam!

      I also liked that the comments featured some nicely articulate refutations of the article, followed immediately by commenters describing them as “drug surrenderists” and “societal parasites.”

    7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

      The PJ Media article is astounding. I mean…holy ridiculous fuck. How can these people take themsleves seriously? I don’t even want other people to read the article it’s so mind numbing. Here’s a brief summary…

      Basically never addressed the fact that a guy in PC Florida choked on a bag of pot because it was illegal. Obviously, this guy would’ve swallowed a bag of pot and choked on it even if drugs were legal. I guess that’s what they’re saying, they just sort od skirted that whole aspect of the story.

      All adult film stars and strippers are drug addicts and have to be to do their job. Because fucking and dancing naked for shit tons of money isn’t enough of an incentive.

      Alcohol is ok because the Bible says so.

      Drugs are part of the counter-culture, which is bad because it’s different and not sanctioned by the Bible. Therefore, people who don’t do what the Bible says hate God. Duh!

      Drugs turn people into irrational zombies, easy to indoctrinate, passive, unthinking. But not the church, you totally can’t say that about religion. We don’t do that to people, only drugs. Drugs don’t help people become good artists, musicians, or writers or anything like that.

      And my favorite…Libertarians are in cohoots with the high taxing, big government, nanny state loving, gun hating George Soros. I mean, it’s just so fucking obviouis becuase of this one issue. Any other differences between the two can be disregarded.

    8. #8 |  JS | 

      Nice article on human rights. Wow, that Hilary Clinton seems like the biggest interventionist of them all!

    9. #9 |  Aresen | 

      In a way, Ms. Grabar’s item is educational:

      I have never seen so many ad hominen and non-sequitur arguments put together in one piece of writing.

    10. #10 |  Dakota | 

      Dr. Graber must have awesome English classes that read all the great works of conformist literature. I thought you were supposed to smoke Pot with your English professors.

    11. #11 |  JS | 

      From the snowball guy’s article

      “The crowd’s anger at the detective over this violation was palpable on Saturday. In his book “Here, the People Rule,” Harvard law professor Richard Parker eloquently defends the “political energy” of “ordinary people”: “Government must not only be responsible to ordinary people. . . . It, above all, must be responsive to them — not just occasionally, but systemically.””

      Hahahaha, what world does this guy live in?

    12. #12 |  M | 

      They targeted the Hummer because it was a gas guzzler? Maybe he only drives it in crappy weather. I wish I had one right after the snowstorm. It would have been super practical compared to an econobox or even the other two wheel drive cop cars.

    13. #13 |  perlhaqr | 

      So, speaking of the current administration’s disregard for actual human rights, have you heard about this yet?

    14. #14 |  Andrew S. | 

      That Pajamas Media article gave me a headache trying to understand her logic. And then the comments (although at least there are a lot of pro-liberty people in the comments, and they’re, for the most part, far more articulate and logical than their opponents, who mostly seem to be resorting to namecalling, mistruths, and outright lies)

    15. #15 |  Aresen | 

      For a great dissection of Ms. Grabar’s arguments, go here:

    16. #16 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      From the comment section on the peppermint oil article:

      “What kids will do is fill a peppermint oil bottle with toothpicks to soak overnight, and then sell them to other kids. Peppermint can be a low-level stimulant. The school was correct in suspending her. She has to be taught that its wrong to sell things like that in school, and send that message to other kids. If she comes back and does it again, then there’s a real problem with her.”

      I just can’t even begin to respond to statements like this. Perhaps soon I will have to sign my name to buy a candy cane, as they’ll be kept behind the pharmacist’s counter…

    17. #17 |  nicrivera | 

      If you think the logical fallacies in Grabar’s pro-Drug War article are ridiculous, you ought to read the arguments of those commenters defending her position:

      “But adults-only libertarians are closet socialists. They’re anti-liberty, and anti-family.”

      Thankfully, most of the commenters are criticizing her position. The other 20% or so are perfect example of the authority-worshipping/liberty-hating mentality of all too many on the political right.

    18. #18 |  primus | 

      The guy with the top ten Top Ten Lists mentions his middle name as coming from a famous movie star, and that it is not manly, but he does not give it. My guess is “Marion” which is John Wayne’s real first name. Any other guesses?

    19. #19 |  Stephen | 

      “Libertarians Need to Rethink Support for Drug Legalization”

      Ok, rethinking…rethinking some more…

      Nope. Still think pot should be legal and that stupidity such as Ms Grabar’s should be regulated.

    20. #20 |  Aresen | 

      @ Stephen @ 12:57

      If they reglated against stupidity, they’d have to shut down Congress.

    21. #21 |  Aresen | 

      One final note on Ms. Grabar’s item:

      I am willing to bet that a minimum of 90% of “Marijuana-related deaths” are due to being shot by a LEO.

    22. #22 |  Andrew S. | 

      #20 | Aresen | December 28th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      @ Stephen @ 12:57

      If they reglated against stupidity, they’d have to shut down Congress.

      I fail to see why that would be a negative consequence.

    23. #23 |  Mister DNA | 

      As soon as I saw the name Mary Grabar, I knew I was in for some comedy gold.

    24. #24 |  hattio | 

      Also failing to see the smugness, much less enough smugness that it justifies having a gun pulled on him. Care to elaborate?

    25. #25 |  BamBam | 

      #13, it’s called another step towards world government and global control of you.

    26. #26 |  perlhaqr | 

      Well, I know that. I was just wondering if Radley had any sources on the story that we don’t, yet.

    27. #27 |  SJE | 

      I didn’t see any smugness either. Perhaps a bit too much purple prose, but he made some good points: trying to be fair to the cop but saying he over-reacted. I did like his point that merely passing a law is often meaningless – something you don’t often hear in DC.

    28. #28 |  Mattocracy | 

      How much business will the airlines have to lose before they lobby the government to reform the TSA and their ridiculous regulations. Oh wait, they’ll just ask for a bailout.

    29. #29 |  Mattocracy | 

      Grabar is one of those people who says such dumb shit without the slightest bit of rational thought. It is so infuriating because no amount of logical arguement will work with people like her. It’s like reasoning with a child. Sometimes the only solution is just to slap ’em a few times and send them to bed without any dinner.

    30. #30 |  jppatter | 


      If they reglated against stupidity, they’d have to shut down Congress.

      No, Congress would just exempt themselves from the law like they always do.

    31. #31 |  Guido | 

      Smugness or not I think that the two larger point should be made that one you don’t pull a gun on a crowd throwing snowballs, especially if you are a cop, and two you don’t throw snow balls at someone’s car because it’s just fucking stupid. It’s dangerous for the driver and others around them. I’m venturing to guess Radley is miffed at this article because the former point is kind of, you know, a big deal.

    32. #32 |  Andrew Williams | 

      I’m sending the Graber essay to my Logic and Critical Thinking teacher for shits and giggles.

    33. #33 |  MDGuy | 

      Graber’s arguments crumble even when accepted at face value. Alcohol should be legal because it’s mentioned in the Bible? Well then…

      Genesis 1:29
      And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

      I guess God’s cool with it as long as it’s schwag and you make brownies with it.

    34. #34 |  FrBunny | 

      Marijuana, in contrast, has always been counter-cultural in the West. Every toke symbolizes a thumb in the eye of Western values. So it follows that in order to maintain our culture, we need to criminalize this drug.

      Symbolic antisocial acts must be outlawed. Got it, kids?

    35. #35 |  The Plant In The Middle Of The Culture Wars « Around The Sphere | 

      […] Radley Balko: I can’t believe people still make these kinds of arguments. What a vapid waste of electrons. […]