Morning Links

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
  • City of Glendale set to shell out a total of $400 million to keep the Arizona Coyotes, worth $100 million, from moving.
  • Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell at Belmont University. (Obligatory Caveat: Since it’s a private university, Belmont should be legally permitted to hire/fire whom it pleases, for whatever reasons it pleases. And I’m free to criticize them for it.)
  • ICE seizes domains of hip-hop blogs, won’t say why. And no, ICE isn’t the name of a rival hip-hop artist.
  • I missed these when they came out, and I still haven’t looked them over yet, but you can find the first full year of data from Maryland’s SWAT transparency bill here. I wrote about the first six-month report here.
  • The iPhone “snitch” ap.
  • Harry Reid jumps on board the Internet gambling bandwagon. There’s a lesson here for the money-corrupts-politics crowd: Reid only switched because of support from the Vegas bricks-and-mortar casinos. Which goes to show that money can have a good influence as well as a bad one. I’ll take a corrupt congressman who votes correctly over a pure-hearted legislator who consistently gives us terrible laws. (Not saying Reid fits either description.)
  • Terrible story out of Long Beach, California, where police shot and kill a man holding a water nozzle. No announcement, no order to drop the thing. Just shooting.

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61 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  FelipesCableRepair | 

    Count me among the libertarians/poker players who think that we’ll be worse off under the legalize/regulate/tax approach than we are today under the illegal-but-not-enforced regime. Where do poker players expect that these tax revenues will come from? Sure, some of it will come out of the profits of Pokerstars, Full Tilt, etc., but the rest will be passed onto the players in the form of higher rakes and fewer promotions/freerolls.

    Beyond that, there is the issue of data collection on players in a regulated environment. If the fact that I play poker online could be discovered in a background check, it could affect job applications or credit decisions — these prospects are a far larger deterrent to me playing online than the current UIGEA.

    My theory is that legalization really benefits just the poker industry (big name poker pros, poker authors, other poker media) rather than people who only earn money by playing poker. Professionals who make paid TV appearances or sell books definitely stand to do better if poker is “legitimized” in the eyes of the general public because they bear almost no cost of the legislation. On the other hand, the “pure” poker player may benefit from an influx of new players, but he/she will definitely assume an additional cost burden.

  2. #2 |  Kevin3% | 

    not infrequently I get a message 403 access denied or some damn thing when I try to visit the ‘tator or try comment. Happened 4 times today.

    Is someone fucking around with your blog, Radley?

  3. #3 |  delta | 

    From the snitch app article: “Much like the new DHS program ‘If you see something, say something’…”

    Hey, that’s not new — We’ve been barraged with that on NYC buses & trains at least since I moved here five years ago. But apparently they’re now expanding that Bush-ism to the rest of the country via Wal-Mart.

    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/dhs-expands-if-you-see-something-say-something-to-walmart-stores-video.php

    So I suppose if this can get additional people pissed off about it, perhaps it’s somewhat to my benefit…

  4. #4 |  delta | 

    Random other stuff — Just saw a leaked CIA memo on Wikileaks with this fascinating header (top of document p. 3):

    “American Freedoms Facilitate Terrorist Recruitment and Operations”

    http://mirror.wikileaks.info/leak/us-cia-redcell-exporter-of-terrorism-2010.pdf

  5. #5 |  nathan | 

    Am I the only one who saw the snitch app and thought it might be a great way to start reporting on every government employee at every conceivable agency who sneezes in my general direction? Imagine if every iPhone toting libertarian made it a point of downloading it, and making sure to turn in at least one officer/legislator/bureaucrat a day!

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    #54-

    so… it’s really ‘they love us for our freedoms’?

  7. #7 |  Pete | 

    For the purposes of this report, a weapon is defined as a firearm by the Annotated Code
    of Maryland, …

    So flashbangs and smoke grenades probably aren’t considered weapons? I wondered how many times those were ‘deployed’.

    And to put this report into perspective, how many search warrants for those crime categories were issued, period? I’m guessing that would be much harder to track, but it would add more perspective.

    Still reading the report.

  8. #8 |  Pete | 

    FelipesCableRepair, all of your arguments sound just like “The government should mandate what we eat or we’ll get fat. Fat people are unhappy, and fat people are frequently pass over for jobs in favor of skinny people.”

    Those are personal consequences you mentioned from a life choice that affect the chooser. So no, the state doesn’t need to be involved.

    Or maybe we should lobby to get online poker playing labeled as a ‘clear threat to national security’ as well. =p

  9. #9 |  FelipesCableRepair | 

    Pete,
    I’m not sure I understand your reply. My point was that the current situation in which online poker is illegal but without enforcement may be preferable to one in which it is legal but with burdensome restrictions / consequences. I agree that the state shouldn’t be involved — my belief is that legalization and regulation will amount to more state involvement rather than less.

    Moreover, the personal consequences that I described (e.g. poker account showing up in background or credit checks) would be a direct result of state intervention. Today, Pokerstars doesn’t have to disclose my personal information to the government to prove that I’m “qualified” to play, but under the proposed legislation, they would be required to do so.

  10. #10 |  A.G. Pym | 

    @#37 Boyd:

    There’s been “Hockey in the Desert” here in eastern Washington for over 20 years, now, with the Tri-City Americans WHL Team.

    Yes, the story involves an (eventually) tax-subsidized facility. But they seem to be a better team than this one, even at the lower level.

    This facility (Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA) was the site of the 1990 “Goodwill Games” (remember those?) preliminary hockey competition. Watched the USSR team totally pwn the US team one night – and the only conversations I could hear around us was “Where’s Jaaaaannnnneee? What’s Jaaaaannnnnneee wearing?” (Fonda and husband Turner came for part of the game – whoopee).

  11. #11 |  Chance | 

    “Since it’s a private university, Belmont should be legally permitted to hire/fire whom it pleases, for whatever reasons it pleases”

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one.