Late Friday Afternoon Links

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

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64 Responses to “Late Friday Afternoon Links”

  1. #1 |  Renniks | 

    Not Tyranny until you want to own a tiger. I tend to think that the worlds endangered species would be much better off if people could own them as pets or livestock. If you feel people should not be allowed to own tigers, what about the PETA people who feel it’s wrong of you to own your dog? Where is it appropriate draw the line, and who to draw it? What principle are you standing on by making that judgement if any? Same murky quicksand that plagues all 1 size fits all institutions. Tigers should be free to own as dogs cats, cattle and all other of the earth’s creatures.

  2. #2 |  Andrew S. | 

    WRT the British drug raid: Hey, they apologized. If it had happened in the US, they would’ve shot at least one dog, laughed about it, walked off, and said they did nothing wrong.

  3. #3 |  Cyto | 

    Parent’s Television Council:

    Pedophile – you keep using that word…. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Bonus tie-in over at Kid asks lunch lady for a cookie. Lunch lady asks coworker to give it to him. Coworker reports her and school reprimands her for grooming the kid.

  4. #4 |  God's Own Drunk | 

    “The November issue of GQ has raised the hackles of the Parents Television Council.”

    EVERYTHING raises the hackles of the Parents Television Council. Their website is always good for a chuckle. It must be hard to live in a world where absolutely everything shocks and offends you. But how do you keep up a constant state of outrage? It has to be mentally taxing.

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Witness statements appear to contradict police accounts of the incident.

    Well, police are highly trained professional experts in observing stuff. It’s only natural that their version of events would contradict the haphazard recollections of ordinary citizens.

  6. #6 |  Aresen | 

    The botched British drug raid:

    1) They didn’t break the door down even though it was unlocked. (It doesn’t sound like a SWAT team was used, but the story doesn’t make that clear either way.)
    2) They apologized.
    3) They didn’t push her too the floor and handcuff her immediately.
    4) They did have probable cause, in that at least one shipment of the ‘tablets’ were actually sent to her address.
    5) They listened to what she had to say.
    6) They asked her permission to go upstairs to check the rooms.
    7) They didn’t shoot her dog.
    8) They actually did go next door to find their suspect (the story doesn’t say if they made a “dynamic entry.”
    9) Even though they found 10,000 tablets in the suspect’s home, he was released on bail the next day.

    Totally soft on crime, those Brits.

  7. #7 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    While Soros might be a citizen, he sure doesn’t act like one.

  8. #8 |  Aresen | 

    @ Dave Krueger | October 22nd, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Agree with everything you say, except the last two words should be “worthless peasants” not “ordinary citizens.”

  9. #9 |  Rhayader | 

    @Renniks: I suppose that’s fine, so long as tiger owners are held responsible for whatever small children and assorted house pets their tigers happen to digest. Also, tigers are large undomesticated animals — keeping them in overly confined spaces verges on cruelty.

    I guess from a strict “the government has no right” sense I see your point, but preventing private tiger ownership just doesn’t really tug at my moral sense like more mundane regulation tends to. Plus those things are just too goddamn cool to be doing anything other than hunting shit in the jungle if you ask me.

  10. #10 |  Cyto | 

    @ Rhayader Plus those things are just too goddamn cool to be doing anything other than hunting shit in the jungle if you ask me.

    Unfortunately there’s just not enough jungle to go around. From the fine article we learn that there are 50% more tigers in captivity in the US alone than there are running free in the jungle.

  11. #11 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Parents Television Council says GQ photos of TV actors in their 20s is an appeal to pedophiles.

    It’s not uncommon for those in the sex paranoia business to count people in their twenties as children. One so-called scientific study of on-line adolescent sex trafficking (on craigslist and backpage) included girls assumed to be as old as 22 in their statistics. I say ‘assumed’ because they didn’t actually know the real age of any of the girls advertising sex on line.

    Don’t forget the rationale for these strategies: “If it saves only one girl from exploitation, it will all have been worth it.” One interpretation of that could be: “We will gladly sacrifice our integrity and lie through our teeth if we can only claim to have helped someone.” It’s the mantra that guides all moral crusades.

  12. #12 |  Marty | 

    it would’ve been cool if che calvo had a couple tigers when the dog-murderers broke his door down… I’m suspecting the outcome may have been a little different!

  13. #13 |  Rhayader | 

    @Cyto: Yeah that surprised me — although it makes me wonder if the bigger problem is ample physical space for wild tigers or simple underpopulation. I wonder how the tiger density has changed over the years in those environments.

  14. #14 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Among things government might regulate that I’d classify as “not tyranny…..”

    Some libertarian you are.

  15. #15 |  Bob | 

    Pace University football player shot, killed by police.

    This is suspicious as hell. Note the photo in this other article, showing the bullet holes in the window:

    The shots were fired from the passenger side of the vehicle. Apparently, the cop jumped on the hood from that side, probably in an attempt to intimidate the guy… then just opened fire.

    There is no way the car was “speeding off”, only Bruce Willis jumps on the hood of a car that’s speeding off and opens fire, and that’s because the driver has 5 pounds of weapons grade plutonium as part of a movie plot.

    Sean Bell, anyone?

  16. #16 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Was that an endorsement of John Dennis? You mean it’s true? If only good people were elected, all of our problems would be solved?

    Cue John Dennis sex/corruption scandal on three … two … one ….

  17. #17 |  Cynical in CA | 

    •Walgreens has announced that it will soon provide a photo recovery service.

    Congress has announced the Anti-Photo Recovery Service Act of 2011.

  18. #18 |  Cynical in CA | 

    •Among things government might regulate that I’d classify as “not tyranny…..”

    I just knew that “kittycide” was just around the corner ….

    All kidding aside, I would PAY MONEY to see the look on some asshole cop’s face when confronted by a tiger!

    “A Tiger!!! A f$#@king tiger!!! Never leave the boat! Don’t ever leave the boat!!!” — Apocalypse Now

  19. #19 |  Bob | 

    “Gagneux has spent many hours fashioning devices to coax sperm from chimpanzees.”

    I did not click on this. Because quite frankly, I didn’t want to see pictures of some guy giving a chimpanzee a reach around.

  20. #20 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #15 Bob: “There is no way the car was ‘speeding off’, only Bruce Willis jumps on the hood of a car that’s speeding off and opens fire, and that’s because the driver has 5 pounds of weapons grade plutonium as part of a movie plot.”

    Shooting at a person in a moving vehicle could increase the threat to public safety. If you disable the driver by shooting him, you unleash a big piece of careening steel into the path of any motorists or pedestrians in the area. If that is what happened, that would be a poor tactical decision.

  21. #21 |  awp | 

    Re:John Dennis, GOP longshot, runs to left of Pelosi

    When you are far left on social issues and far right on economic issues, does that average out and make one a centrist?

    It just goes to show how meaningless right v. left is in defining some actual consistent principle.

  22. #22 |  Bob | 

    …While some tigers are housed in zoos, many more are privately owned…

    Wait… so, of the 5000 in the US, most are in private hands?

    Ok… I can see owning tigers if, for example, you rent them to movie productions or photo shoots, etc. Let’s face it, tigers are damn cool and there’s a market for that.

    But how many are actually kept as pets in poorly secured conditions? Let’s face it, if you have a 500 pound cat as a pet, you’re a freakin’ idiot. Even a 10 pound house cat that’s the result of thousands of years of domestication will want to play rough once in a while. A 500 pound cat one or two generations out of the wild will tear your fucking arm off in the blink of an eye.

    Apparently, that figure of 5000 is lowball. other estimates got from 7000 to as many as 20000 (counting smaller critters like cougars and mountain lions. Interestingly, cougars are illegal to own)

    Wow. I can tell you my secret now. I can see stupid people.

  23. #23 |  Elliot | 

    Maddow has milked the OKC bombing so much, I just don’t see how any respectable news organization could keep her on the payroll. (What, she works for MSNBC? Oh, that explains it.) On April 19, she had a whole special on it, intimating that people observing Patriot’s day in DC and across the river were actually celebrating the bombing.

    The very idea that there are significant numbers of people out there who celebrate McVeigh’s monstrosity is absurd. Even if someone were depraved enough to consider murdering dozens of innocent Americans, including children in a day care, as acceptable “collateral damage”, the fact is that McVeigh did not kill any of his intended targets. They were out of the office that morning. Even the most virulent BATF-hating loose cannon isn’t going to celebrate that event.

  24. #24 |  JS | 

    Bob ““Gagneux has spent many hours fashioning devices to coax sperm from chimpanzees.””

    I know a girl named Heather that does something similar and she doesn’t even have a degree.

  25. #25 |  John Jenkins | 

    Electronically stored data is pretty damn resilient. Even after having been overwritten, if someone has the write equipment, data can often be recovered (it’s trivial if it’s merely “deleted” and not overwritten). I am impressed that the tech is being pressed into service in the consumer space, but I wonder how they will overcome the average retail worker to get it to work.

  26. #26 |  Juice | 

    Keeping a tiger is simply NOT the same as keeping a dog.

    The dog among all animals is a truly unique species in that it was both created almost entirely by humans and not used for food (generally).

    It always miffs me when people start comparing eating or keeping certain wild animals to eating/keeping domesticated animals.

    It’s just not the same thing.

    And dogs among domesticated animals are special. They just are.

    [Horses, mules, oxen, and other domestic beasts of burden are not very different from their wild cousins. Pretty much the same animal and they can go back and forth. Same with cats for the most part. Typical domesticated food animals are different from their wild counterparts, but they’re used for food, so…]

  27. #27 |  Cyto | 

    @ Rhayader there is no “underpopulation” in a wild population for any appreciable length of time. If there is more food and space than the given population requires, they will hump and make more of themselves until they fill the ecological niche. Unless, of course, there is pressure from predation or use of birth control that prevents the population from reaching equilibrium.

  28. #28 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Parents Television Council says GQ photos of TV actors in their 20s is an appeal to pedophiles.”

    Jesus. This rationale is so goddamned frightening. Pedophiles are turning into the new terrorists.

  29. #29 |  Sean L. | 

    Juice —

    What’s your point? You’ve made a few claims, but as I’ve repeated ad nausium to my 10-year-old: “Just because you say something doesn’t make it true.”

    Even if it is true that they’re “just not the same thing,” please inform us as to WHY I should be restricted in this way, so long as my ‘pet’ does no harm to others.

  30. #30 |  Meister574 | 

    For anyone who has ever lost data on a flash card in a camera or phone, Walgreens offering data recovery is great news. The alternatives are data recovery software (which works in some cases but not others) and data recovery companies like Ontrack, which cost a fortune. Ontrack is better dealing with hard drives and servers.

  31. #31 |  Marty | 

    ‘Even if it is true that they’re “just not the same thing…”

    tigers love pepper. dogs don’t.

  32. #32 |  Sam | 

    Let’s not forget Charlton Heston’s famous lines, “They can have my backyard tiger when they pry its jaws from around my cold, dead noggin…”

  33. #33 |  Collin | 

    I was returning a rental car earlier and they had the local news on covering the shot football player. The latest is that ‘anonymous sources’ said that the victim had a BAC of 0.13 when he was shot, but helpfully noted that the official coroners report hadn’t been released. I admit my own bias here, but it seems like yet another smear the victim story by the ever helpful media.

    While I was waiting there was a guy ranting at the TV saying that the victim got what he deserved, shouldn’t have attacked the police etc. Not my usual policy to get in to arguments with total strangers, but such fawning badge licking almost made me.

  34. #34 |  Bob | 


    “Even if it is true that they’re “just not the same thing,” please inform us as to WHY I should be restricted in this way, so long as my ‘pet’ does no harm to others.”

    Because your pet is a 500 to 800 pound predator. Personally, I’m not willing to wait for it to tear my leg off to have a problem with it. Cats are just not docile, pacifistic creatures 100% of the time. It’s not in their nature. This is well documented fact. Even domestic cats will scratch and bite, sometimes without warning or cause. The big difference is you can get away from / hold down / push away a domestic cat. You ain’t getting away from a 500 pound tiger.

    I would have the same problem if you were making Nitroglycerin in your garage. Sure! Nitro is perfectly safe! So long as it’s not jostled.

  35. #35 |  Bob |

    Holy Crap!

    13.400 bucks. Tigers are expensive. Of course… you DO get the Ivory collar! A 1200 dollar value!

    So… they poach Elephants too?

    Here’s my favorite:

    “already trained to be nice with its owner, to eat meat and respond to basilar voice orders.”

    What the hell is a “basilar voice order”? Is that like in “Dune”. where Paul uses “The Voice”

    Generally, unlike dogs, the only voice order a cat will obey is “Yo Cat! Do whatever you want!”

  36. #36 |  M. Steve | 

    @29: Sean L

    I’d be interested in seeing the actuarial tables for businesses that have captive tigers for circuses, or movies, or whatever. If the cost of insurance for personally owning a tiger in a residential neighborhood with nominal training is within reach of the average person in a community, I think you have a really strong point, one I find hard to argue with.

    However, if it costs something like $100,000 a year, and no one except the rich could reasonably afford coverage, then I think outlawing personal ownership is a moral necessity. Without up front costs borne by potential owners, and only reactive penalties possible, the likelihood of an irresponsible owner legally purchasing a tiger is too high given the probability to life and limb outside the owner’s control, and so ownership must be restricted.

  37. #37 |  JS | 

    Bob “13.400 bucks. Tigers are expensive. Of course… you DO get the Ivory collar! A 1200 dollar value!”

    Wait till you see what the litter box costs!

  38. #38 |  Bob | 

    And of course, you can’t expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover the damages when your tiger goes tiger:

    They go into the costs of owning one of these bad boys here:

    Here’s my favorite:
    “All wild cats, neutered or not, male or female, will spray bucket loads of urine all over everything they wish to claim as theirs (including you) because this is how nature has taught them to guard territory.”

    Awesome! And, I would expect that something that weighs 500 to 800 pounds make a lot more urine that the litter box will be able to handle.

  39. #39 |  pyo1 | 

    @ #15 – Bob, there were two men shot in that event. The driver and a passenger. One article I read on this event states that the cop was hit with the side view mirror and magically flopped onto the hood. Given the photo in the link you provide, I would say that ol Lucky Charms popped 2 into the driver and one into the passenger.

  40. #40 |  André Kenji | 

    Maddow´s show in the beginning was pretty good. Now, it´s just partisan hackery.

  41. #41 |  M. Steve | 

    @#39 Andre Kenji

    Unfortunately, like everyone else, she responded to incentives. Most people don’t want an interesting, balanced take on issued, taking everyone to task… they want to be told their “side” is right, whether it’s MSNBC (liberal), CNN (like, aggressively “independent”/moderate/boring), or FOX (Neoconservative). She had to change to maintain/grow viewership. Adapt or die. We often get what we deserve, and I find that one of the secret beauties of the free market. Maybe that makes me a nihilist…

  42. #42 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    I don’t recommend keeping a tiger as a pet. However, domestic cats are rather more domesticated than they’re being portrayed. Some cats attack at random– most don’t.

    I’ve found that cats will learn to come (for short distances) when their names are called without being trained.

    I know more ambitious people who’ve trained their cats to wave a paw, or jump through their arms, or, more practically, get into a cat carrier on command.

    Moscow Cat Theatre:

  43. #43 |  the innominate one | 

    Obviously, when tigers are outlawed, only outlaws will have tigers.

  44. #44 |  RWW | 

    1. As far as I’m concerned, there can be no pedophilia unless someone under 14 (or so) is involved.

    2. The very first sentence of that tiger article is such typical thoughtless news gibberish: “Rising numbers of captive tigers in the United States… could be fueling illegal trade in animal parts…” Who the hell could find a statement like that the least bit sensible?

  45. #45 |  Jim | 

    I will back up that previous guy that said there just is a difference between tigers and dogs and other animals. First, unless you have in the dozens of acres for it to roam around the tiger will be in neglect. Second and most important to me, if I am attacked by a “pit bull” I might suffer damage and face permanent injury and there is even a chance it could kill me while if I get attacked by a tiger the least that will happen is I suffer major permanent injury and the chances of death are much greater. I don’t care that the owner had great insurance that would pay for it I would rather not suffer any of these two things especially when it is nearly impossible to care for one properly for private individuals.

  46. #46 |  KBCraig | 

    Wow, what a comment-rich collection of links.

    First: “Before I knew it, I was back in San Diego, sperm in hand, at a late-night rendezvous with Gagneux.” Sounds like a cheap porn story.

    Next: “John Dennis, GOP longshot, runs to left of Pelosi” … ummmm, “left”? “Libertarian wing of the GOP”? Okay, I guess so, in that monochrome world where opposing war and foreign entanglements is the same thing as “left-wing”. But wait, doesn’t this successful capitalist businessman also support cutting government spending and taxes? Doesn’t this make him a right-wing extremist?

    Darn those pigeonholes and the free thinkers who refuse to fit them.

  47. #47 |  DarkEFang | 

    #13 Rhayader –

    “Yeah that surprised me — although it makes me wonder if the bigger problem is ample physical space for wild tigers or simple underpopulation. I wonder how the tiger density has changed over the years in those environments.”

    There has been some human encroachment into tiger territory. The bigger issue, however, is poaching. The Chinese eat tiger penis soup because they think its an aphrodisiac. And poachers are more than happy to kill tigers for the few thousand dollars it goes for on the black market.

  48. #48 |  delta | 

    The British lady in trouble for giving a cookie makes me think of this: Acquaintance online today posts about how she’s getting drug-tested and fingerprinted for a new secretarial job, and how she’s now actually excited about it (although in the past she thought it wasn’t a good thing). This kind of stuff from big companies seems way more in-your-face, unavoidable, and closer to people I know on a daily basis. Freaking awful.

  49. #49 |  Stephen | 

    I think cats are better at training people than people are at training cats.

    About the only consistent thing I’ve seen them respond to is the sound of a can opener.

  50. #50 |  Elroy | 

    Forget tigers, I want a fire breathing dragon. Should keep those annoying teenagers away. I hear they make good pets if you raise them correctly.

  51. #51 |  PeeDub | 

    Dennis does sound fantastic. Too bad he’s got no shot.

  52. #52 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    From Wiki-
    “As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia (or paedophilia) is typically defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents (persons age 16 and older) characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty may vary).”

    Yeah, those GQ pics sure made them look like 10 year olds…….

  53. #53 |  supercat | 

    //Electronically stored data is pretty damn resilient.//

    Information on magnetic drives is sometimes recoverable because the effective ‘range’ of the write pulse doesn’t always hit exactly the same places, and domains near the edges of the written area may have a blend of old and new data, and because every square micron of disk space has many magnetic domains. I don’t know how reliably data can be recovered, but there have been some impressive feats.

    Memory is another story. A particular byte of data which is overwritten on a typical flash chip will be pretty well gone. A byte of RAM which is overwritten might theoretically be recoverable for a millisecond or two, but unless one put probes in place before it was written, there will be no way to recover it before it’s gone completely.

    When data is recoverable from solid state devices, such recovery is possible only when/because the new data wasn’t written in the same place as the old data. Most flash devices are divided into rather large blocks (4Kbytes on older ones; 64Kbytes or even bigger on newer ones). Once a byte is written, it cannot be rewritten unless or until the entire block containing it has been erased, and erasure is quite slow. Most operating systems expect to individually write sector of 512 bytes. While it would be theoretically possible for a flash controller to handle a write to e.g. sector #24601 by reading all of the sectors in the same block as #24601, erasing the block, and writing all the sectors back, that would be slow and impractical. Instead, the controller allows each sector to be independently placed arbitrarily in flash. When a “write sector #24601” request is received, the controller will find an empty spot, put the new data there, indicate that sector #24601 is now at the new spot, and the spot that used to hold sector #24601 is available for reclamation. If no blank spots are available, a block will be located with lots of reclaimable sectors, and the still-valid sectors from that block will be relocated.

    A variety of factors affect when blocks get reclaimed. A controller which waits until there is almost no free space before reclaiming sectors will minimize energy usage and chip wear, but will often be rather slow. A controller which attempts to maximize speed may aggressively clean out ‘dead’ sectors when it is sitting idle. I’m unaware of any controllers that allow one to control the ‘cleaning’ policy. Would be interesting to know.

    Of course, if people get too good at recovering ‘erased’ information, police will simply have to erase the information more effectively (e.g. by confiscating the phone and incinerating it).

  54. #54 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #42 | Nancy Lebovitz — “I know more ambitious people who’ve trained their cats to wave a paw, or jump through their arms, or, more practically, get into a cat carrier on command.”

    Nancy, my snowshoe/siamese male mix has trained me to follow him around our neighborhood, up to 2 miles at a time. He doesn’t even put me on a leash!

  55. #55 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Thankfully someone is going to deal with this problem! My neighborhood is absolutely inundated by pedophile tigers. Oh! Did I mention the lions and bears also. Imbelciles every last one of them with brain power like this there is no hope for America

  56. #56 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    There’s a practical reason for grasping the idea that cats are trainable– the woman who trains her cats to get into their carriers on command isn’t physically able to chase them down. Having compliant cats means she can take care of her cats.

  57. #57 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Tiger stories compell me to tell the “tail” of a man in Austin who kept a tiger in perfect peace and quiet. The healthy tiger was eventually killed by state agents who decided they needed to take it away. The owner warned them again and again not to tranquilize the tiger due to the extreme heat of the day in Austin. They state experts didn’t listen (I believe they handcuffed the owner), tranquilized the tiger, and the tiger died.

    I believe the chief of the expert state agent investigated and found no wrongdoing on the part of the expert state agent.

    IMHO 99% of people suck at pet ownership. But you should never forget that whatever the state regulates, they fuck up beyond recognition.

  58. #58 |  Roark | 

    ‘Libertarian’ Balko: No problem with Soros
    Let’s do some drugs!

  59. #59 |  the innominate one | 

    Is that your best effort at trolling, Roark? Pathetic.

  60. #60 |  Roark | 

    @ #59
    It’s called agitating.
    A ‘libertarian’ who defends Soros must be high.

  61. #61 |  Liberty Belle | 

    If they really wanted to double the world population of tigers, they could do it in a couple of years by encouraging private ownership. Then we could also be out in the open with voluntary helpful clubs and outreach agencies. Private ownership has only helped the populations of at-risk species.

  62. #62 |  fwb | 

    Feds have NO AUTHORITY granted in the Constitution to regulate “backyard things” or ANYTHING for that matter. What the feds have done has not been legal.

    If one wants to grasp how limited the feds authority is to legally “ban”stuff, try reading the 18th and 21st amendments. It required an amendment to ban booze. It requires an amendment to ban anything. Everything the courts have “interpreted” out of the Constitution come from gazing into their crystal “balls” that they keep hidden under their robes. The Commerce clause existed when the 18th was passed and no one tried to claim authority under the commerce clause at that time. But today, everyone is just dumb and dumber and the feds get away with abuse after abuse after abuse.

  63. #63 |  Alex | 

    Radley – what is it with you and animals? First it’s no dogfighting and now you don’t think people should be allowed to own big cats? For a libertarian, your views on animal property are, well, agitating.

  64. #64 |  Roark | 

    OK, now I get it!
    From LA Now:
    “George Soros, the multibillionaire investor who helped bankroll three initiatives to change drug laws in California, endorsed the marijuana legalization initiative Monday and plans to make a major financial contribution to the campaign.”