Morning Links

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

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50 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Marty | 

    Rob Beschizza gets instant advice-giving credibility with this article.

  2. #2 |  Rhayader | 

    Americans don’t care about politics.

    The question the survey asked was:

    “Suppose that you alone could determine whether a Democrat or a Republican represents your Congressional district by paying a specific dollar amount? How much would you be willing to pay to ensure that a Congressman from your preferred party will win the office?”

    Apparently people who wouldn’t pay a lot so “that a Congressman from [their] preferred party will win the office” were clearly uninterested in politics. But I have a feeling that plenty of people here wouldn’t pay one red cent to get a Republican or Democrat elected simply because of party affiliation. Does that mean those people don’t care about politics?

    It’s a pretty flawed premise, even going so far as to specifically mention Republicans and Democrats in the hypothetical scenario. One can be apathetic about election outcomes (or feel helpless to affect said outcomes) without being apathetic about “politics” in general.

  3. #3 |  Bad Medicine | 

    Surely there was a transcription error somewhere in the execution of that t-shirt site. I-heart-Texas, maybe…

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    those were the worst t-shirts ever. I wanted a t-shirt business when I was a kid, but I wanted to make concert t-shirts and shirts that made fun of everything… we blew up a picture of a local police car in a 7-11 parking lot and made posters that said ‘for police protection this year on halloween, don’t dial 911, dial 7-11’ and plastered them all over town. we thought we were so clever. we even used the school darkroom to do it!

  5. #5 |  pris | 

    Richard Holbrooke stated the words about stopping the war in Afghanistan to his Paskistani surgeon before his surgery. Was he saying that the people of the region need to stop the war or was it a general statement?

  6. #6 |  KristenS | 

    You have got to be fucking kidding me with those t-shirts.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”

    That Indiana story is really troubling. I thought Henry Hyde
    wrote some law to correct that kind of abuse, or was that just for the Feds.
    Maybe the Founding Fathers should have written their history-making documents in Hebrew, Latin, or Greek so that they would become litany.
    Then people would memorize every word..
    “Secula, seculorum, don’t steal the people’s shit…”

    “For example, in 2006 Fleming approved the expenditure of $10,000 from the fund to purchase a K9 unit for the sheriff’s department.”
    I must be out of the loop– does a “K9 unit” denote a dog?

  8. #8 |  Scott | 

    FYI there was another scare in this area recently with perchlorates in the water supply and the same thing is happening. Barstow was put into a panic over the whole thing but now experts are telling us the levels were not dangerous at all, not that anybody will listen.

    Also, I’m using your info on the barber shop raids and Reasons’ coverage of the Columbia University scandal to talk about how little remains of the Fourth Amendment in an editorial. Mostly for the purpose of preventing the resurrection of an ill-advised local rental inspection proposal.

  9. #9 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    T-shirts for taxes? When they sell an anal dildo with “IRS” embossed on the side, I’ll buy one…um…for a friend.

  10. #10 |  Big A | 

    I’m in for calling Gov. Christie. Who’s with me!!

  11. #11 |  Mattocracy | 

    Afghanistan-Where empires go to lose their wealth, political power, soldiers, and begin their slow and painful demise.

  12. #12 |  dave smith | 

    Any Obama administration folks on those t-shirts?

  13. #13 |  dave smith | 

    KristenS wins for simplicity.
    Boyd Durkin wins for cleverness.

  14. #14 |  overgoverned | 

    “In the police dashboard video of the arrest, posted at, Steven Kotlinski admitted to officers that he was drunk while riding in the passenger seat of the family’s Ford Expedition, said attorney Christopher R. Smith of Smith, Johnson and Antholt, LLC.”

    I just love this — he “admitted” to being drunk…in the passenger seat. Drunk riding! Think of all the people who could have been killed.

  15. #15 |  André | 

    Radley: Another example of the War on Drugs colliding with our War on Terror. However, unlike other stories you’ve suggested that the War on Drugs triumphs at the expense of the War on Terror, in this case, neither comes out a clear winner (but America still manages to come out a loser).

  16. #16 |  delta | 

    “Americans don’t care about politics. I find this encouraging.”

    (a) That’s a frankly terrible sentiment, from the “shoot my foot off in spite” school of political philosophy.

    (b) That’s a terrible article with ridiculous reasoning. Asking how much one would pay to induct a particular party in office 55% vote zero. This is taken as an indication people don’t care. However, noted that these people still vote. So now there’s apparently a high mystery about people voting and apparently not realizing it probably won’t on its own, sway an election. “In a previous blog post, we argued that most American’s don’t vote with the intention of changing an election result. Rather, they vote because they enjoy expressing themselves…”

    That’s just stupidity compounding on top of stupidity.

    Alternate conjecture: People wouldn’t pay money to take over a political seat because that’s “buying an election” and is flatly immoral and corrupt. Duh.

  17. #17 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Stop the war? Wow, Mr. Holbrooke didn’t understand the war racket. The war against terrorism* is the greatest gift of all time to governments around the world. To be fair, calling it a “gift” doesn’t do justice to what the USG has done to earn it.

    Unlike wars against other states (which tend to bother the old boy network), this is a war that is a no lose for the state and never needs to end. The state agents running the show are in no physical danger whatsoever and only benefit handsomely from the continuation.

    Roll back civilian rights. Extend Executive powers. Increase spending. Decrease privacy. Benefit from paranoia…etc.

    I dare someone to list even one downside to the state of the endless war against terrorism.

    *Yes, I know he was talking about Afghanistan but that’s just a convenient hill to explode ordnance upon.

  18. #18 |  dave smith | 

    Also, keep in mind that there were people stone drunk driving around while the cops were detaining and abusing these law abiding folks.

  19. #19 |  luvzbob | 

    How about a t-shirt that says “taxes created the internet which gives me this forum to complain about taxes”

  20. #20 |  Big A | 

    How ’bout people who love taxes just pay more of them. I do the same thing with chocolate and it’s been working fine. (Of course, I don’t expect people who don’t love chocolate as much to support the industry as much.)

  21. #21 |  ClubMedSux | 

    How about a t-shirt that says “taxes created the internet which gives me this forum to complain about taxes”

    Hmm… According to the article, the internet was developed through the research of “the laboratories of Vinton G. Cerf at Stanford University, Donald Davies (NPL), Paul Baran (RAND Corporation), and Leonard Kleinrock at MIT and at UCLA.” Stanford is a private university, the RAND Corporation is a not-for-profit, and MIT is a private university. Sure, they all receive governmental support in the form of grants, etc., but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the internet would have still been developed even without my tax dollars.

  22. #22 |  kant | 

    RE: DWI story

    I know this is a little bit off topic but I feel I need to bring up Radley’s argument to abolish drunk driving laws. While I agree with his argument in principle, In practice stories like these show pretty clearly that when you put discretion into the hands of the police, it doesn’t work out well for john q public.

  23. #23 |  luvzbob | 

    “but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the internet would have still been developed even without my tax dollars.”

    Unlikely. Virtually all the research, and all the predecessor networks (arpanet, darpa, bitnet, nsfnet, the cern network, etc.) where all publicly funded. Perhaps the internet would have been invented without tax dollars, but the fact is that it wasn’t! So here we have evidence that sometimes tax supported activity at the least produces some things sooner than the private sector.

  24. #24 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Re; the DWI story.

    I increasingly think that one of the weaknesses of our legal system is that for the most part you can only sue for money. I imagine it would be far more satisfying, not to say cheaper for the public and more intimidating to rogue cops is you could sue for the right to administer fiver full taser shocks to the officers in question.

  25. #25 |  Roho | 

    DWI case looks like another case where the police decided someone needed a beatdown, and are pissed that the target struggled. When will the lowly civilians learn to be grateful for such treatment? How else can the cops unwind after a hard day of protecting us from violence?

    “Get in the car!”
    “Okay, I’m in the car.”
    “I’m only gonna tell you once, get out of the car!”
    “Okay, let me just unbuckle my seatbelt.”
    “THAT’S IT, SCUM!” *k-ZOT*
    “Ow, it hurts so bad!”
    “He’s convulsing!” *flashlight to head*
    “Umph, my blood! I was still using that!”
    “Oh, a bleeder, huh?” *draws gun*

  26. #26 |  EH | 

    #24: It’s the steroids.

    If Holbrooke really gave a crap about ending the war, he’d have leaked documents before he died.

  27. #27 |  EH | 

    #23 You also get to do it by surprise. When they’re at the grocery store, out to the movies with their family, sitting in a park…all the usual tazing locations.

  28. #28 |  ClubMedSux | 

    “So here we have evidence that sometimes tax supported activity at the least produces some things sooner than the private sector.”

    Actually we don’t. We have evidence that a group of public and private researchers, partially funded with tax dollars, created the technology that formed the foundation of the modern internet. There is nothing in that observation to support the assertion that technology was developed faster than it would have been absent taxpayer funding. Who’s to say that, absent government funding, researchers would not have been able to get support from the telecom industry or venture capitalists? There may be evidence that the internet would have developed more slowly without taxpayer dollars, but the fact that it was created with taxpayer dollars is not said evidence.

  29. #29 |  Gretchen | 

    “I heart taxes” strikes me as like saying “I love people in power.” Doesn’t the entire issue rest on who is in power, and what your taxes are paying for? We could argue about whether taxes are a necessary evil or just plain evil, but regardless it should sure as hell matter what they’re funding.


  30. #30 |  Francis | 

    Radley: Don’t know if you’re still collecting troubling police shooting cases, but here’s one from my hometown. The neighborhood he lived in, Belmont Shore, is upscale and racially mixed.

  31. #31 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    That DUI vid is really creepy.
    Throwing around an innocent couple in the snow at
    3 AM and inducing heart convulsions.
    Now I’ve seen fucking everything.

  32. #32 |  Aresen | 

    @ delta | December 14th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    So, would you rather be rogered by a big Team Blue Dildo or a big Team Red Dildo?

  33. #33 |  Kevin | 

    Alternate T-shirt suggestions:

    “Taxes paid the cop/da/judge who [Insert violated constitutional right here]”
    “Taxes put an innocent man into prison”
    “Taxes feed people with poor decision making skills”
    “Famous Taxpayers: Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi tell you why they are better at spending your money than you are”

  34. #34 |  Brandon | 

    Is Luvzbob Joe Biden?

  35. #35 |  Brad Warbiany | 

    Americans don’t care about politics. I find this encouraging.

    Politics still cares about them. I find that discouraging.

  36. #36 |  EH | 

    Kevin: How bout “My Dad was murdered with your tax dollars and all I got was this stupid t-shirt.”

  37. #37 |  arglebargle | 

    There is no F’ing way those were the last words Holbrooke spoke. Sorry, I call baloney!

  38. #38 |  Chuchundra | 

    Privately-run online services that existed during the pre and proto-internet eras were generally pretty bad. They were expensive — with high monthly and per-minute use fees — and offered no or limited connectivity outside their walled gardens. Forums were often heavily moderated and there was little opportunity to create your own content unless you ponied up a large chunk of cash.

    Were there no government-created “information super-highway”, the modern connected world would probably look a lot like a high-speed version of AOL. There would be no Wikipedia, no eBay and certainly no Agitator.

  39. #39 |  Juice | 

    Americans don’t care about politics, yet still bend to the will of authoritahs.

  40. #40 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Here is a new one from Long Beach this last Sunday…,0,806358.story

    Police pull up and blow away a guy holding a hose nozzle. He was never told to “drop the weapon”.

  41. #41 |  André | 


    I’m sure the officers will be cleared of wrongdoing, and 27 bullet holes reflect a reasonable and balanced response to the threat to public (i.e. officer) safety.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  42. #42 |  Sean L. | 

    1) EH FTW! (See comment # 36)

    2) Boyd Durkin: “The war against terrorism* is the greatest gift of all time to governments around the world.”

    Yes.. War on Terror = War on Drugs II

    Who could ask for anything more?

  43. #43 |  freedomfan | 

    Chuchundra, the fact that early private networks were not impressive is hardly evidence that something closer to what we have now couldn’t have developed without taxpayer funding. Even leaving aside the fact that those networks existed at the same time as the taxpayer-funded ones, the highly regulated nature of the telecommunications industry and network (remember that AT&T was a government-approved monopoly during those early days), means that even those early retail-level networks had to develop in that regulated environment, whereas ARPA, DARPA, et alii had their own rules.

    Meanwhile, the factor that is often overlooked in these hypotheticals is the very real impact of government “crowding out” the demand for private investors in numerous areas. In effect, government spending money on something, particularly research or technology, tends to crowd out private effort and investment because the risk of developing something new may not be worth it if the government will do the same thing and pass the cost along to taxpayers. In addition, many projects initially developed by taxpayers tend to continue on with government subsidies afterward and that reduces the business incentive to enter that market.

    Anyway, we will never know if a privately developed internet would have been roughly the same, better, or worse than the one we have now.

  44. #44 |  c andrew | 

    He probably had a catheter in place and couldn’t have leaked anything.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    So here we have evidence that sometimes tax supported activity at the least produces some things sooner than the private sector.


    There would be no Wikipedia, no eBay and certainly no Agitator.

    I agree that there are many expensive things the USG invents that have no viable use by anybody in the private sector. Is that really what you meant to say?

    In his second paragraph, Freedom fan presents one argument against government “crowding out”. Personally, Mises Economic Calculation against this type of collectivism does it for me. However; I sincerely doubt either is a useful tool on someone who is starting at “The government created the Internet”.

    Maybe a premise that “The Internet would still be shit if it weren’t for private sector business going online in 1994.” Of course no private sector going online means no tech bubble, no Clinton “surplus”, and maybe no funds for constant war (or at least we’d already be thru the collapse). Damn butterfly wings always flappin’.

    Great god Loki I hate when “USG invented the Internet” comes up.

  46. #46 |  Justthisguy | 

    OT, but in the spirit of The Agitator:

    Jerry Pournelle mentioned on his blog (on two days in a row) that 8 Long Beach cops murdered a guy sitting on his balcony for playing with a pistol-like hose nozzle as if it were a pistol. Dr. Jerry is right upset and excercised by this, as should be all people. He said they snuck up on him, didn’t say a word, waited 8 minutes and then just opened fire. Pournelle says that would be murder if anyone else did it, but the local media are (of course) spinning it in favor of the pigs.

  47. #47 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    On the Long Beach hose nozzle murder (and that is what it was, murder) the police should have rolled the cars in with overhead lights and sirens. Increasingly police car

  48. #48 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    Increasingly police cars are trying to sneak around. This makes thing LESS safe for everybody, including crime victims, innocent bystanders and victims of incredibly reckless misunderstandings (like Mr. Zerby).

  49. #49 |  Luke | 

    Hey Radley,

    Big fan of Reason and your site but need to look a little more deeply into the chromium 6 poisoning in Hinkley. My mother’s side of the family lived in Hinkley when this was going on. And I can tell you first hand that chromium 6 causes far more problems than just cancer.

  50. #50 |  JOR | 

    Blah blah no internet without taxes. You know what? None of us would have even been BORN if Hitler* hadn’t rose to power. And yet, nobody mistakes the drawing of one’s next breath as a vindication of the Third Reich. And yes, libertoids make arguments of this exact form all the time, with “capitalism” as the supposed benefactor. And yes, those arguments are stupid too.

    *Godwin’s Law is fucking stupid. The problem with a bad Hitler/Nazi analogy is that it’s a BAD analogy, not that it’s a Hitler/Nazi analogy; and a discussion in which the aim is to “win” is not worth having anyway.