Morning Links

Friday, October 8th, 2010
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45 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  bobzbob | 

    more uncritical acceptance of the word of “unnamed sources” in a single news story as gospel, just because it agrees with your worldview.

    THink about the possible motives here: Obama has nothing to gain by raising a “terror alert” – fear of terrorism would almost certainly be a benefit to the republican candidates at the midterms.
    Another point: the named source in the report is a pakistani official, when it is well documented that the ISI has ties to terrorist groups.

    THis is how the right wing operates – take a story of suspect provenance and value and repeat like its gospel. Radley childlike uncritical acceptance of anything that might fit his opinions is a prime example of what wrong in this country: critical thinking has taken a back seat to ideological thinking.

  2. #2 |  bobzbob | 

    and proofreading your own comments has taken a backseat to the “submit” button.

  3. #3 |  M | 

    Geez, after a long run, I guess one beer is a binge for me, to say nothing of a beer after giving blood.

    Also, I’m all for banning OnStar so the gov’t has one more hoop to jump through when they want to know where I am.

  4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Binge-drinking…
    Manufacturing misleading alcohol statistics is a perennial government
    pastime. There’s the classic case: If a legally sober driver is involved in a traffic accident in which another legally sober person is killed, and the person killed happened to drink one beer 30 minutes prior to the accident, the NHTSA will classify that fatality as “alcohol-related.”

    I suppose by distorting the truth and creating kooky definitions
    for kooky terms, they can scare more people, and thereby get more funding to distort and mislead. It’s political suicide
    to resist the scare-mongering that goes along with these
    campaigns and the bureaucracies that create them.

    Lawrence Taylor’s DUI Blog has some startling facts about
    how the Bill of Rights (esp search and seizure, self-incrimination, right to jury) is, increasingly, not relevant in DUI cases.

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    great- these clowns audit me and I gotta fork out $2500 for a bullshit paperwork error… I guess they needed it for some corpse.

  6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

    Bobzbob, you’re a joke…

    “Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan’s president, suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat…”

    Yes, I’m sure that Hasan, a Pakistani national who is pissed off about the American attacks in his own country, is a Republican hack supporting the very party that initiated the conflict resulting in the high profile drone attacks along their border with Afgahnastan.

    I’m sure that Thomas de Maizière, Germany’s Interior Minister, is also an American Right-Winger.

    Your child-like Obama apologizing is a prime example of critical thinking taking a backseat to idealogical pandering.

  7. #7 |  Dave Krueger | 

    While Liu Xiaobo may be very deserving of the Noble Peace Prize, his chain smoking disqualifies him as a role model for children. Let’s face it, heroically standing up to one of the most powerful and repressive governments on the planet is all well and good, but shame on him for setting a poor example for the world’s fragile youth.

    Of course, if only we had a Ministry of Truth, it could simply edit out any references to his nasty habit. If it saves only one child, it will have been worth it.

  8. #8 |  Z | 

    I find it interesting that a judge is obsessed with pledging allegiance to a country whose founding principles he evidently does not accept.

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    the ‘cracked’ link is very cool- I love how they break down the power freak mentality of politicians and serial killers. As if I need another reason to write in Chuck (my labrador) on the ballots…

  10. #10 |  Maria | 

    I filled a “health” questionnaire out once and was amused to find out that drinking 1 to 2 glasses of wine a week(!) was considered to be “heavy” alcohol consumption. Damned teetotalers.

  11. #11 |  PeeDub | 

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Cracked used to be a crappier version of Mad Magazine? When did they get …. interesting?

  12. #12 |  Dave Reed | 

    I assume that the Honorable Secretary Ray LaHood will be targeting CD Players, iPods and Radios as well? After all, there are a LOT more radios in cars that cellphones…

    GM, Ford, etc, you guys are OK with a ban on all driving distractions, right? We could build the car so the driver is COMPLETELY cut off from the passengers. Like airplanes and their cockpit. Of course, having two seperate compartments MIGHT increase the cost of the car, slightly.

    And I’m sure NO ONE would be upset to take CB Radios, FM Radios, Tape Players, etc, etc, etc away from long-haul truckers.

    Or parents on vacation

    Or commuters stuck in traffic

    Hmmm… maybe we need to rethink this plan….

  13. #13 |  KrisV | 

    @ Maria

    Same thing here. I was in the hospital for something and filled out the survey and they sent social services to “have a talk” with me. I’m 41 yrs old, BTW.

    Am I on a list of bad (very, very nasty bad) binge drinkers somwhere now? Are they gonna take my kids away??? Geez.

  14. #14 |  Dave Krueger | 

    re: binge drinking

    Never believe any government statistics that involve any activity that is a subject of hysterical social activism. First of all, moral crusaders almost universally use statistical “enhancement” (often to the point of outright lies) as a fear mongering strategy. Advocacy groups know the mass media will repeat the inflated numbers without question whereas criticism gets practically no play in the media. The public is guaranteed to be taken in.

    The federal government has no problem manipulating statistics to satisfy advocacy groups. In fact, advocacy groups feed statistics to the government which are then published on official government websites (State and Justice department websites for example). The advocacy groups then link to the government websites as the source for the data because of the credibility conferred on the data by it simply being listed on a government site. Such advocacy groups are a politician’s best friend because it gives them free press and no one opposes them (how can anyone oppose making families and children safer?).

    While I am less familiar with the anti-alcohol movement, anti-prostitution groups (which now call themselves anti-trafficking groups) have adopted this strategy so completely that you can only marvel at their boldness in shoveling delusional bullshit out to the press and how, with equal enthusiasm, the press laps it up.

    Just remember, whether they’re against alcohol, gambling, sex related businesses, or drugs, they are all prohibitionists.

  15. #15 |  jrb | 

    PeeDub,
    You are absolutely correct about Cracked. I think it took off about 2 or 3 years ago. They even had an article on there with a title like “Cracked is (finally) Better than Mad”. I’d look it up, but cracked.com is blocked where I work.

  16. #16 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Re: the cell phone ban

    Hey, a cell phone ban is completely logical. I don’t think it would have any trouble meeting the criteria by which all new legislation is measured. That, of course, is the “if it only saves one life, it will have been worth it” criteria.

    And, no, it doesn’t matter how many people it kills. Only naysayers, pessimists, and obstructionists focus on such negativity. Laws are our best tool to make people safer. If they didn’t work, we wouldn’t have so many.

  17. #17 |  Mo | 

    Here it is.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-cracked-is-finally-better-than-mad/

  18. #18 |  Dave Krueger | 

    re: 72,000 dead people.

    If you want to lay blame for this, how about putting it where it belongs.

    You can’t expect government data bases to accurately reflect the state of everyone in the country at any given moment. People move, die, and get convicted constantly.

    Now, if you people weren’t so selfish in demanding privacy and wanting to spend your money on foolish things instead of supporting the government, the feds would be much better at tracking exactly where you are and what you’re doing at any given instant.

  19. #19 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I’ve known Prohibitionists, and I’ve known Junkies. The both lie as a matter of course, you have to watch your wallet around either group, and on the whole the Junkies are more amusing company.

    Just sayin’.

  20. #20 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Cracked was always in my mind a pale imitation of MAD.
    Even as a kid that was apparent. There was another one too, Crazy or something.

    And MAD TV, like “Fridays,” never amounted to more than a pale imitation of SNL.

  21. #21 |  matt | 

    So how long before we outlaw drivers talking to their passengers or being talked to by their passengers?

  22. #22 |  Cyto | 

    Except “Fridays” had Michael Richards before Kramer. His “boy playing with army men” skit was one of the funniest things ever to air. Not really a social commentary or anything, just laugh out loud funny.

    Well, that and Melanie Chartoff was pretty cute.

    Other than that, it pretty much blew.

  23. #23 |  PeeDub | 

    [blockquote]Cracked was always in my mind a pale imitation of MAD.
    Even as a kid that was apparent. There was another one too, Crazy or something.[/blockquote]

    There was a Sick Magazine, but I don’t remember Crazy.

  24. #24 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Can someone explain to me why if marijuana is prohibited, then alcohol is not?

    I believe neither should be prohibited, of course. But how on Earth can one be, but not the other?

    Either marijuana and alcohol should both be prohibited or neither. Seems to me this is the simplest refutation of marijuana prohibition.

  25. #25 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    You know that beer lobbyists buy a lot of hookers to keep booze legal…and lately they’ve been lobbying to keep maryjane illegal.

  26. #26 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Cracked explains the science behind Lord Acton’s famous quote.”

    And yet, a considerable volume of posts on this blog sets out to prove otherwise, that “if we could only get good people in office …”

    Yadda f’en yadda.

  27. #27 |  capo | 

    DOT Sec. on banning texting:

    I don’t like them! It annoys me to see people talking on the phone! Therefore it must be BANNED! I am a Federal Beaurocrat and I have SPOKEN!

    I love how his own press release acknowledges that crashes have INCREASED in States that enacted bans, but that just proves the need for…more bans!

  28. #28 |  pam | 

    Cynical @24-

    I don’t know this to be true, but I was told by a reputable source (not the confidential informant kind, the Cornell kind) that marijuana was outlawed because the government was invested in cotten (way back whenever that was). Therefore hemp had to be outlawed therefore marijuana became illegal.

    Here we are, two million prisoners later…mostly Africian American…all because of cotten. Jeez, who would have thought soft white cotten could be so sinister.

  29. #29 |  Dannyp19 | 

    Pam,

    If you think about it, cotton was also the reason for slavery and therefore the civli war.

    I believe cotton has killed and enslaved more amercians than marijuana and alcohol combined.

  30. #30 |  c andrew | 

    DOT Sec. Ray LaHood now pushing for a complete ban on cell phones in cars. He’s also targeting OnStar and Sync.

    s/b DOT Sec. Ray LaHood …

  31. #31 |  c andrew | 

    Sorry, that is Ray AHood…

  32. #32 |  Cashoola | 

    Whoever puts this blog together should get away from using the sarcastic tone when writing headlines. Sarcasm can be an effective tool, but it is usually a sign of laziness or inability to express himself properly on the part of the author. In most cases it makes one sound uneducated.

  33. #33 |  KBCraig | 

    An average size American man can have five beers over the course of a professional baseball or football game (about 3 hours), and never reach .08 BAC, much less what any rational person would call “drunk”.

    MADD and company are neo-prohibitionists who bring to mind the famous C.S. Lewis quote: “omnipotent moral busybodies…..who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  34. #34 |  Rick H. | 

    Sarcasm can be an effective tool, but it is usually a sign of laziness or inability to express himself properly on the part of the author. In most cases it makes one sound uneducated.

    Who told you this?
    1. You’re extremely wrong, and
    2. Not to speak for Radley, but my guess is that his blog has a purpose other than to puff up the author’s ego and make him feel “educated.”
    3. You’re probably trolling, and I fell for it. Drats!

  35. #35 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    re: LaHood and Driving Distractions: Then I submit under all the evidence offered by LaHood that if even hands free cell phones are a danger, I can’t even IMAGINE the danger of using a 2-way radio while in pursuit of a suspect at high speeds or any other speed is. Have you ever seen all the electronic gizmos going on in a patrol car? Ban comunications radios in police patrol cars NOW! I won’t hold my breath.

  36. #36 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    Oh…and #32 Cashoota…Radley’s sarcasm is very much appreciated ( I assume) by most of his readers. Without it he would appear to be yet another cookie cutter news site with no imagination and as tasty as stale white bread. Why…I haven’t seen any of those on the web in like….I don’t know….3 minutes.

    I have found that people who criticize others with statements that are obviously false are usually jealous and makes one sound pompous and arrongant :)

  37. #37 |  pam | 

    “cotten”, ha, I knew that didn’t look right but I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.

  38. #38 |  Andrew | 

    ZappaCrappa:
    You’re exactly right. If private citizens cannot talk and drive then the police should be prohibited from talking on the radio. Likewise if the public can’t text then they shouldn’t be able to use their in-car computers. Now we can’t exactly expect the police to write themselves tickets so their radio transmitters and in-car computers must be automatically disconnected when the vehicle is in motion. Then and only then should restriction on private citizens be enforced.

    And while we’re on the subject LaHood is a poster boy of the modern bureaucrat. A nosy scolding authoritarian busybody who has no hesitation about using the full force of the government against the citizenry.

  39. #39 |  PW | 

    I don’t know what pisses me off more about this story:

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2010/10/08/del-alcohol-enforcement-chief-resigns-after-dui-arrest/

    1. This hypocritical bitch got a DUI while head of the Delaware alcohol enforcement office or

    2. She’s also a retired former state police sergeant with a hefty pension despite being only 45 years old.

    Cop hypocrites sucking on the cop welfare teet. The only thing missing is a little “professional courtesy,” but that will probably come when this thing goes to trial.

  40. #40 |  Cashoola | 

    ZappaCrappa, which part of my statement was false? I think this is a great blog, but the sarcastic tone detracts from its value. It makes it sound like an editorial in a major city newspaper, where the almost the entire text is just one poorly worded sarcastic sentence another. Take a headline like “I am shocked that an American president might exaggerate the threat of terrorism for political purposes.” It would be much harder to re-write this headline into a non-sarcastic form, but the benefit would be that we would genuinely know how often the blogger thinks that an American president exaggerates the threat of terrorism. Is it “Another one of a long line of cases where American presidents have exaggerated the threat of terrorism,” or is it more accurate to say according to the blogger “One more piece of evidence that American presidents have a tendency to exaggerate the threat of terrorism?” Sarcasm is very inaccurate because we know that the author doesn’t mean what he just said. But how much did he not mean it? Sarcasm should be used sparingly. If it is used a lot, it loses its effectiveness. Having said that, it may be true that some people who currently read this blog would not be reading it if the blogger did not use these sarcastic headlines. I just want to know how the world works, and not interested in somebody who wants to make headlines interesting.

  41. #41 |  Max | 

    I’ve known Prohibitionists, and I’ve known Junkies. The both lie as a matter of course, you have to watch your wallet around either group, and on the whole the Junkies are more amusing company.

    Well, speaking as a teetotaler due to health issues (not a prohibitionist), junkies & drunks all think they are really amusing but actually they are usually just really really boring.

  42. #42 |  Donald | 

    Cashoola I deeply respect your views on sacasim.

  43. #43 |  MikeH | 

    I’m not sure as to the constitutionality of a cell phone in cars ban, but I would definitely like to see it tried.

    I drive a motorcycle instead of a car, which makes me a little bit more aware of how other folks drive ( a motorcyclist who wants to stay alive needs to keep a very close eye on cage traffic.) Generally, people on cell phones drive like they are well on the way to being drunk.

    See someone driving on the interstate in the passing lane doing 50 in a 70 zone…probably deep in conversation on a cell phone. Get behind a driver whose speed varies 10-15 MPH for no reason…odds are they are on the phone. See a car in front of you suddenly slow down and start weaving…they’re either answering a call or dialing a number. Twenty miles below the speed limit, straddling the center line…they’re texting. Radios, CD players, etc. don’t seem to cause these kinds of problems.

    People who text or talk on cell phones and drive are a menace. Cars should be equipped with a scrambler that makes cell phone inoperable once the vehicle is put in gear.

  44. #44 |  V | 

    Bobzbob’s point, as badly delivered as it was, is that Mr. Balko’s conclusion that recent terror alerts are motivated more by domestic political considerations, based on statements made by Pakistani and un-named “European” intelligence officials, is poor. Not to say he isn’t correct, but frankly the sources here are just as questionable as the U.S., French, German, and U.K. sources which describe the threat, and any conclusion based off suspect sources itself becomes questionable.

    Each group has its own domestic considerations and Pakistan’s are as strong as the United State’s.

    The notion of citing European intelligence officials is also questionable. Is this an EU official or a government official? If the latter, which government, one which is cited in the recent reports (and may have better access), or one which isn’t, such as Albania, Hungary, or Estonia (and consequently wouldn’t have such access)?

  45. #45 |  Andrew Williams | 

    WoW. I remember when CRACKED was MAD’s lame cousin. Color me impressed.

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