Morning Links

Sunday, November 14th, 2010
  • The Washington Wealth Boom continues. Four of the top five, and seven of the top 10, richest counties in America are now in the D.C. suburbs. This trend isn’t healthy.
  • Kansas City police open fire on a backfiring van.
  • The world’s coziest prison.
  • I am (not really) shocked that Thomas Frank would write something misleading. I mean, he’s never done it before.
  • Stop smearing federalism. While we’re at it, let’s stop calling it “states’ rights.” States don’t have rights. States have powers. People have rights. It’s no coincidence that this point was lost the people who used the “states’ rights” mantra to deny people—mostly black people—their rights.
  • Glenn Beck (further) beclowns himself with a staggeringly stupid attack on George Soros. Matt Welch corrects Beck here. Commentary corrects him here. When Commentary is defending Soros from your unfair attacks, it’s time to pack it up.
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33 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  K9kevlar | 

    What were the charges againt the driver of the van? Defective equipment, disorderly conduct, interfering with the officers, obstructing justice, posessing an explosive device/ weapon of mass destruction, or simply terrorism?

  2. #2 |  Andrew | 

    Am I the only one who saw Thomas Frank and wondered why a former slugger would be writing a column? I must be one of those dyslexic libertarians…

  3. #3 |  Bob | 

    “Kansas City police open fire on a backfiring van.”

    That’s good work, boys.

    Wait. There’s more.

    “Windows of the police car were apparently shot out by the officers as they exited the patrol car.”

    That’s really good work, boys!

    Let me get this straight. These clowns drew and fired before even getting out of the car, with no visible target, and with no direct evidence that they were being fired at?

    I assert that most cops shouldn’t even be carrying guns. If someone DOES start shooting at them, they should run and call other. more capable cops.

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    It just seems that Soro’s opposes modern Republicanism for all the right reasons, but supports Democrats for all the wrong. For every good thing he does, there is something else questionable.

    For instance, Soros criticized Obama’s bank bailout, but only because he thought he should have just taken then over. He talks a good game about free speech, but supported McCain-Feingold.

    This just looks like another example of pots and kettles. No reason to pick sides between them.

  5. #5 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    I used to have to worry about stories, like idiots shooting themselves when cleaning their guns, that would be used to help anti-gun advocates.
    Now, it looks like the police are helping out. Jesus fucking Christ.

  6. #6 |  Pablo | 

    #3 Bob–I agree–ive seen cops shoot at the range and most are pretty crappy shots. Most of them also carry their guns in “snatch resistant” holsters which require various gyrations to free the gun when drawn. To use a holster like that takes a LOT of practice and I wonder how many cops do that.

  7. #7 |  BSK | 

    One of the problems I find with the pro-federalism argument is that many folks believe that local governance is inherently better than more distant governance. There are many instances where it is, but we do not want to blindly assume that it will always be. I generally agree with federalism, but am weary of the ways in which such concentrated power can be abused.

  8. #8 |  Chuchundra | 

    Not to turn The Agitator into all TSA, all the time, but:

    http://johnnyedge.blogspot.com/2010/11/these-events-took-place-roughly-between.html

  9. #9 |  JS | 

    Very nice use of the word “beclowns”

  10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

    While we’re at it, let’s stop calling it “states’ rights.” States don’t have rights. States have powers. People have rights. It’s no coincidence that this point was lost the people who used the “states’ rights” mantra to deny people—mostly black people—their rights.

    Wow! Great point. I predict you will be remembered for this statement long after you’re gone.

  11. #11 |  Matt D | 

    One of the problems I find with the pro-federalism argument is that many folks believe that local governance is inherently better than more distant governance.

    Well, I think it’s a question of what constitutes ‘better’. In my experience, proponents of federalism tend to be social conservatives who think they’ll be more successful in pushing their agenda through a more local government.

  12. #12 |  Joe | 

    As for Soros, it is perfectly okay to question his current motivations given his childhood. I mean come on, none of you have though, damn Soros is kinda like Magnito? Growing up that situation would change your world view. It is a legitmate subject to explore.

    That said, I am not for questioning what people did to survive the Holocaust. It might not always be what you would describe as brave or noble (and those heroes who did rise to greatness under unbelievable stress deserve our everlasting respect), but in a situation like that it is also hard to condemn anyone for anything short of murder to survive.

    There is plenty to condemn George Soros for without going there.

  13. #13 |  BSK | 

    Matt D-

    Obviously, “better” is subjective. And what many consider “better”, others consider “horrible”. For me, some of the weaknesses of distant governance (such as at the federal level) is that it is easy for those governing to have little perspective about or understanding of their constituents. At the more local level, I think a major weakness is that power can be quickly and easily abused. If we believe federalism to be, as the Reason article states, the argument that some decisions are made locally and others federally, I agree. But for many people, federalism means all local, all the time and that local is inherently better. I can’t get behind that.

  14. #14 |  delta | 

    From Fox News DC article: “‘Profit’ usually means providing products or services their customers want, which leads to voluntary, mutually beneficial transactions that leave both parties better off.”

    That’s not remotely the definition of the word “profit”. But Fox News doesn’t really give a shit, then, now do they.

  15. #15 |  Marty | 

    BSK-

    please flesh out your federalism argument- what works better at the federal level? education, the military, homeland security, immigration, and agriculture are a few of the programs I think of when someone says ‘federalism’. I think, in each case, if these organizations were broken down, ala Elinor Ostrom’s models, they would all function much better…

    granted, local power doesn’t always work, but the scale of damage is much smaller.

  16. #16 |  Marty | 

    as a Missourian, someone please explain to me when we supplanted Florida as the dipshit state?

  17. #17 |  Highway | 

    The other advantage to more local government is that it’s far easier to leave. It’s much easier to leave a town, city, region, or even a state than it is a whole country. And it’s much more likely that people will concentrate with other like-minded people in areas on the scale of a town, city, or region, and thereby have governance that suits them. And yes, that can include petty discrimination, since the key is that it’s fairly easy to leave.

    But I think something that most people who lean libertarian actually want is less governmental power everywhere.

  18. #18 |  TomG | 

    The last words of the Commentary article defending Soros against Beck are very amusing: “…and undermine his [Beck's] own credibility as a commentator.”

  19. #19 |  JS | 

    Marty “as a Missourian, someone please explain to me when we supplanted Florida as the dipshit state?”

    Dude! We in Texas gave the world George W, Bush. As far as I’m concerned you two can fight it out for second place.

  20. #20 |  CharlesWT | 

    “Dude! We in Texas gave the world George W, Bush.”

    That worked out so well we’re going to give you Rick Perry too.

  21. #21 |  chuchundra | 

    There’s an idea that local government is more accountable and easier to keep tabs on and control. In many cases, the exact opposite is true.

    Often when you get down to the local level, there’s very little if anything in the way of reporting or oversight. The big dailies don’t have the resources to report on these issues and the weekly shoppers and other local news outlets don’t care much about school board meetings or fire district finances.

  22. #22 |  Marty | 

    ‘Often when you get down to the local level, there’s very little if anything in the way of reporting or oversight.’

    and big government is different how?

    I’m very aware of abuses in fire district finances, but it’s getting worse… 10 years ago, almost no funding of local fire depts came from the fed govt- today, there’s billions of dollars of federal money available as ‘grants’ and being used to pay ‘deployment expenses’ to disasters such as Katrina. fire district finances are getting much uglier. part of this is absolutely due to the feds.

  23. #23 |  JOR | 

    “Local” government isn’t necessarily more accountable. (Neither is “distant” government). It’s divided, competing government that is more accountable; to the extent that federalism makes government more accountable, it does so by fostering competition between power centers.

  24. #24 |  JS | 

    Radley if we promise to be nice can we have our karma buttons back?

  25. #25 |  Aresen | 

    Kansas City police open fire on a backfiring van.

    I notice that the story says the driver of the van was uninjured, but the cops apparently shot out the windows of their own police car.

    However, the story does not answer the question: Did the cops actually hit the van with any of their shots?

    I’m betting they didn’t.

  26. #26 |  CharlesWT | 

    Another case of “Shoot first, ask questions later” backfiring.

  27. #27 |  JS | 

    CharlesWT “Another case of “Shoot first, ask questions later” backfiring.”

    If they’re so anxious to shoot they could always volunteer to go to Afghanistan. Just saying.

  28. #28 |  jb | 

    #26,
    Actually, it would be in this case “backfiring, shoot first, ask questions later”

  29. #29 |  random guy | 

    Anyone seen the movie “The Other Guys”?

    Will Ferrell proves so incompetent with his firearm that he is given a wooden safety gun so that he can appear to be armed. Then when he manages to mess that up, they give him a rape whistle so that if he needs help he can alert other officers.

    I suggest the Kansas City Police take this approach.

  30. #30 |  Carter | 

    Vattel explains:

    “Nations or states are bodies politic, societies of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safely and advantage by the joint efforts of their combined strength. Such a society has her affairs and her interests; she deliberates and takes resolutions in common; thus becoming a moral person, who possesses an understanding and a will peculiar to herself, and is susceptible of obligations and rights.”

  31. #31 |  Z | 

    All ten of the wealthiest counties of America are on the east coast, all north of Washington D.C. What does that say about America?

  32. #32 |  Mannie | 

    #3 | Bob | November 14th, 2010 at 11:07 am
    “Kansas City police open fire on a backfiring van.”

    “Windows of the police car were apparently shot out by the officers as they exited the patrol car.”

    That’s really good work, boys!

    Let me get this straight. These clowns drew and fired before even getting out of the car, with no visible target, and with no direct evidence that they were being fired at?

    Not so. They instinctively shot at where they know bad guys are – at the police cars. Good shooting, cops. Youse guys don’t give the cops enough credit. [Ducking]

  33. #33 |  James D | 

    Compared to that ‘prison’ my high school was like a concentration camp ….

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