Morning Links

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

I’m back in the U.S., now, and should be back home in Nashville this evening. Many, many thanks to my guest-bloggers, who did a fantastic job. They may (or may not) be putting up sign-off posts throughout the day.

By the way, if you plan to fly internationally anytime soon, you might avoid coming back through Atlanta. You’ll actually have to go through the full TSA theater after you’ve de-planed and gone through customs. That’s right. Nudie scanners, take off the shoes, pat-down, the whole routine, even though you aren’t boarding another plane.

Here are some morning links for you:

  • Mother Jones criticizes Ron Paul for wanting to end the federal war on drugs, and for not voting to require ISPs to monitor users’ Internet activity.
  • Another odious IP bill moving through the Senate.
  • Sister Wives vs. Police Women of Broward County
  • The company formerly known as Blackwater is building an army for the United Arab Emirates government.
  • Cliche tourist photos.
  • Jon Stewart at his best, slamming Fox News over the dumb Common controversy.
  • Some public sector lifeguards in California are pulling in $200,000 per year.
  • Honolulu city council also now considering a law that would make it illegal to use a cell phone while walking.
  • The sacrifices a good socialist makes for a life in public service: A half-million dollar (tax free) salary, an open-ended expense account, first class travel, and, at least until this week, a “get out of jail free” card for rape. There’s been justifiable condemnation of Strauss-Kahn’s behavior toward women, but I doubt we’ll see the sort of outrage over his lavish, taxpayer-funded lifestyle that we saw over, say, Jack Welch’s lavish but privately-funded lifestyle, despite the fact that Welch actually created jobs and wealth, while Strauss-Kahn only redistributes money, and usually in ways that have made developing countries poorer. The reason is all about intentions. Jack Welch is a greedy capitalist. Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been staying in $3,000/night hotel suites, flying first class, and sexually assaulting women in service of the world’s poor. So hey, cut the guy some slack.
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63 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  skunky | 

    If I remember correctly, it has been a struggle each year to staff all of the lifeguard spots in the NYC area due to lack of qualified candidates. Looks like California did the free market thing and raised wage rates to find enough lifeguards. Not sure how this is anti-freedom and liberty. Why the outrage? I keep hearing people on Fox News tell me that $250k per year doesn’t make you rich in NYC or LA. What’s the cost to society of a drowning?

    From the article it’s not even clear that the state is paying for them and not the local municipality.

    Best line “Moreover, they get to reitre at 50!”. Yes, because what this world needs are more elderly lifeguards.

  2. #2 |  witless chum | 

    Jack Welch created jobs? That wasn’t his rep and wikipedia at least suggests that he spent most of his tenure at GE firing people. That’s pretty much what he’s famous for. Again, if wiki is to be believed GE employes significantly less people now (287,000) than when Welch took over (411,000). He created value for GE stockholders because the stock went up, so laud him for that, but I’m not where he creates jobs. In the CATO piece linked, Radley asserts that, but doesn’t explain how.

    But I’m kind of a socialist (though I haven’t yet been able to parlay that into a lavish lifestyle and a squad of Frenchmen defending my every action) so maybe I don’t understand the awesomeness that is Jack Welch.

  3. #3 |  Jozef | 

    The TSA hassle in Atlanta is one of the two main reasons why I prefer flying internationally to and from a different US airport and take a domestic flight to Atlanta, where I live. The second reason is that so far Delta has been by far the worst airline I’ve ever taken for transatlantic flights (and I did so several times, to several different destinations).

    And the TSA hassle used to be worse: as late as a year ago, neither the airline nor the airport would warn you about the checkpoint when you tried to purchase duty-free booze. There were several media-reported instances where irate travelers downed the entire bottle before going through the checkpoint.

  4. #4 |  Brian | 

    Thankfully, criminal suspects are innocent until proven guilty even when they’re agents of the state.

  5. #5 |  SamK | 

    The head of the IMF is a member of his country’s socialist party…I’m going to have to defer to those with more knowledge than I get from the news/net/wiki but it does seem odd that you’re suggesting he’ll get some sort of free pass because he does work for the world’s poor when he’s in charge of pushing neoliberal economic practices and the entire hippie sector is mobilized to protest his organization…hell, we’ve had riots over this sort of thing.

    Everything I see written about the IMF and their actual practices seems to indicate movement to a freer market system, is that *not* what they do? There are long lists of links lambasting them for fucking over the world’s poor and not a one describing it as a socialist enterprise. The hooplah seems entirely tied to libertarian-style economic policies. We here should all be familiar with that type of vitriol, but I’m not sure why you’re trying to turn it into a socialist thing unless you’re suggesting somehow that socialism and neoliberalism (and its similarities to libertarian economics) are the same?

    Seriously, I’m trying to minimize snark and sarcasm, I don’t see how these things are at all related except for your dislike of that word “socialism” and the fact that a fellow is in trouble who claims to be a socialist. I’d appreciate any suggestions as to how I should grok this one…just afraid that it’s going to be convoluted and suspect. Crossing my fingers that it’ll all make sense shortly…

  6. #6 |  SamK | 

    http://www.socialistworld.net/pubs/imf/imf00.html

    Just as an example…when socialistworld.net is calling for people to “Smash the IMF and World Bank!” I’m having a hard time seeing it as an agent of socialism.

  7. #7 |  capn_amurka | 

    “You’ll actually have to go through the full TSA theater after you’ve de-planed and gone through customs. That’s right. Nudie scanners, take off the shoes, pat-down, the whole routine, even though you aren’t boarding another plane.”

    At that point, what options do arriving flyers have? It seems like the TSA’s authority to search is slim to none AFTER travel. What are they going to do if arriving flyers simply refuse to submit to the search?

  8. #8 |  Bronwyn | 

    “”I’m in support of Bill 43 just because as a new driver I guess that it makes me feel safer knowing that the pedestrians won’t be like texting while crossing the street,” said Ewa Beach resident Kristi Fuchikami.”

    Well, my goodness, that is the finest argument for a law I’ve ever seen.

    *headdesk*

  9. #9 |  Bob | 

    They let you back into the country?

    Damn it! I lost the pool!

  10. #10 |  Chuchundra | 

    They’re playing that “total compensation” game again with the lifeguard article. None of the lifeguards are “pulling in” over $200K. That’s their total compensation package, including their admittedly generous retirement benefits.

    Moreover, the county has 13 full-time lifeguards and hires over 200 part-time and seasonal lifeguards every year. It’s reasonable to assume the highly-paid, full-time lifeguards are hiring/training/managing/etc. the part-timers, not just sitting on a tower and making sure people don’t drown.

  11. #11 |  Tolly | 

    Welcome back, Radley. And those were some great photos from your trip – I never thought that much of that part of the world, but it looked like a pretty amazing region. More like Italy than the communist bloc.

    And how nice that you got a refresher experience in American security. It used to be seeing the Statue of Liberty. Now it’s having a unionized, mouth-breather rent-a-cop looking at your junk and patting down your toddler. Go USA!!!

    Oh and while you were gone the Supreme Court shat on the 4th Amendment a little more. Not that those two events were related or anything…

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    Looks like California did the free market thing and raised wage rates to find enough lifeguards. Not sure how this is anti-freedom and liberty.

    Uh, a local government paying lifeguards $200K per year and full benefits to work four days per week as part of a collective bargaining agreement with a public employee union is about as far from “the free market thing” as you can get. And sorry, I don’t find the argument that this is a “free market” undertaking because you might remember there once being a shortage of lifeguards in a city on the other side of the country to be all that convincing.

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #1 skunky

    What’s the cost to society of a drowning?

    Good question. The preferred answer should be zero.

    And the government should probably not even be in the beach business.

  14. #14 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    GE was heading the way of the dodo bird. I’m not a Jack Welch fan at all. But he turned around GE and made some great jobs and products…rather than employee many thousands more in crappy jobs before going under.

    Yes, he made investors money. Efficient use of capital is still the best way of maximizing “good”…counter to socialist dogma where intentions are all that matter.

  15. #15 |  Cahn5 | 

    The IMF is a socialist organization? I think you had one too many shots of Absinthe over there in the Eastern Bloc, Radley.

    From your own article on Jack Welch:
    “He laid off thousands of workers in his efforts to streamline and change the focus of the company. Wall Street loved him”

    BTW, “streamline and change the focus of the company” is just bullshit code for “we want to lay people off and keep our stockholders happy”

    Your only statement about Welch creating jobs was “For every job he slashed, he eventually created dozens of new ones”, with no source. Natch.

  16. #16 |  M | 

    I think you are confusing the work done by the IMF with the work done by the World Bank. That’s ok; it’s a common mistake. Slate’s Explainer had a column on the difference between the two institutions: http://www.slate.com/id/1001979/.

  17. #17 |  Bob | 

    “Some public sector lifeguards in California are pulling in $200,000 per year.”

    This utterly smacks of political favor handouts. You support our pro-union mega government cause, we give your boy a lucrative job.

    Go apply for one of those jobs and see how far you get.

    You cannot tell me that in Southern California, there aren’t hundreds if not thousands of people that could do those jobs and would be chomping at the bit to do them a LOT cheaper. No, this has “Political Payoff” written all over it.

  18. #18 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    You have to do that anytime you clear customs back into the US. It’s because you have had access to your luggage and then have to reenter the sterile area of the airport. It has nothing to do with the TSA, you’ve had to do it for years, even before the TSA existed.

  19. #19 |  Joe | 

    Radley if you can score a life guard job you can blog too. Now that is winning!

  20. #20 |  Mario | 

    I think the point of the Mother Jones article was to portray his positions as controversial to illustrate that a good portion of voters will be less than pleased with Ron Paul. They explicitly state that he holds positions that are highly unpopular with either Democrats or Republicans, or in some cases both.

    Though I’m sure the editors and writers at Mother Jones have their opinions on each issue, I think they’re keeping their opinions out of this particular article.

  21. #21 |  Joe | 

    As for Strauss-Kahn, he deserves a fair trial. While the police get a critical view here (generally), this is not the first high profile case for the NYPD and everything they do will be double and trippled reviewed.

    If guilty, DSK deserves to spend a few years in a facility in upstate New York.

    And yeah, the “socialist” is a hypocrite.

  22. #22 |  Cahn4 | 

    Radley blocked my comment from being posted because it was critical of him calling the IMF socialist. Instead of just blocking troll comments, your block posts that might challenge your point of view? How sad.

  23. #23 |  Shannon's Mouse | 

    witless is right and I’m no socialist. I’m a former GE’er hired into one of their entry-level leadership training programs out of college and got to experience Crotonville “work out” sessions first hand. I also worked in the town where he got his start at GE.

    He was very good for GE stockholders and very good at negotiating his compensation package with his cronies on the board. He wasn’t very good for the employees that got laid off, the GE company towns that many of his decisions laid waste to, and the lakes, rivers, and land GE polluted that he fought tooth and nail to avoid taking responsibility for. His management techniques relied on fear to a larger extent than people credit (the “fire 10% of your people every year” rule of thumb was ridiculous), but his company was far from the worst place I’ve worked at.

    He’s an engaging speaker who has a gift for seeing through other people’s bullshit while simultaneously being able to generate tons of his own. The obsequiousness and fanaticism he inspired in some of the more sociopathic corporate ladder-climbers I met at GE was creepy.

    He hasn’t received enough criticism for the road to ruin he set GE Capital down, relying on the commercial paper market for sustaining a large share of corporate profits. GE’s reliance on GE Capital’s paper shenanigans is pretty much the reason why the TLDP bailout program was created. Jeff Immelt is everyone’s fall guy in that instance, but Welch actually set the company down that road to ruin.

  24. #24 |  Chuchundra | 

    No Newport Beach lifeguard is making $200K per year in salary. Here’s the actual salary schedules:

    http://www.newportbeachca.gov/index.aspx?page=294

    The max salary for any lifeguard position is $108,492.80. That’s for a Battalion Chief at the very top of the pay grade.

  25. #25 |  djm | 

    Radley, welcome back.

    Have you already concluded that DSK is guilty? I don’t like the guy, and I don’t like his lifestyle (I especially don’t like that the IMF agrees to it), but come on we’re still learning the facts here.

  26. #26 |  Irving Washington | 

    Criticized by Mother Jones is a pretty good job qualification in my book, but the Paul candidacy probably dooms Gary Johnson, and for that I can’t forgive him.

  27. #27 |  crazybob | 

    More libertarian nuttiness. Call a “Battalion Chief” with a staff of 200 and the responsibility for the safety of hundreds of thousands of visitors a lifeguard and then use it as a false example of public sector excess.

    Same thing with Strauss Kahn – $500K in salary and expenses is paltry for the manager of a major financial services firm in the private sector. Don’t you think public sector institutions should pay market rates for staff?

  28. #28 |  skunky | 

    @Radley you’ve had some good fact-checking from your commentators here, which is a much better argument than a lifeguard shortage in NYC, for sure.

    My point was, it’s not like this is a no-show job with zero responsibility. These people save lives, despite the above commentator’s ultra-libertarian wish that we should all risk drowning every time we go to the public beach. It’s like arguing for the abolition of fire departments and ambulance corps.

    Political patronage operation for a group of 14 people? Hardly seems like enough to tip an election.

    And again, I’ve been hearing arguments for years that $250k/year isn’t rich, so complaining about the fact that obviously highly-qualified highly-experienced people who save others’ lives at the risk of their own make enough money to probably live comfortably in Newport Beach isn’t working for me.

    If we complain about bankrupt states paying people what seem to be fair wages, why was there such an uproar from libertarians when the bankrupt-but-for-the-taxpayer financial services companies paid bonuses 10-100x higher? Oh, that’s the “free” market operating?

  29. #29 |  Radley Balko | 

    Radley blocked my comment from being posted because it was critical of him calling the IMF socialist.

    No, your comment was automatically held for moderation, as all posts from first-time commenters are. The message you received when you posted it told you as much. It’s a spam-prevention tool.

    I have approved your comment, as well as your subsequent comment incorrectly accusing me censoring you.

  30. #30 |  Radley Balko | 

    If we complain about bankrupt states paying people what seem to be fair wages, why was there such an uproar from libertarians when the bankrupt-but-for-the-taxpayer financial services companies paid bonuses 10-100x higher? Oh, that’s the “free” market operating?

    Uh, if you didn’t hear any uproar from libertarians when executives at bailed out financial services companies got huge bonuses, you weren’t reading any libertarian websites.

  31. #31 |  V | 

    Chuchundra

    Maybe not in Newport Beach, but the original writer of the piece, the Orange County Register (http://www.ocregister.com/articles/beach-121491-ocprint-lifeguards-lifeguard.html), was using publicly available State Comptroller data, found here:

    http://lgcr.sco.ca.gov/

    and was commenting on all of L.A. County. I suppose it’s just cost of living, or what the job actually entails. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to feel actual outrage unless I know what the job actually requires. The image of a lifeguard is some 17 year old sitting at the municipal pool, which, combined with 80,000 total compensation seems outrageous, but I’d rather have more information first.

  32. #32 |  DarkEFang | 

    #20 Shannon’s Mouse –

    GE firing 10% of its staff after performance reviews every year is a policy that always bugged me, too. Sure, when a new CEO arrives at a struggling company, there are going to be low performers that need to be fired. After a couple of years of firing the bottom 10% of the staff, how many of those low performers are going to be left? At some point, you either start cutting flesh, or there’s a serious problem with the replacements you’ve hired.

    Instead of creating a system where good performance is rewarded, you’ve really just created a system rife with backstabbing and paranoia.

  33. #33 |  Cappy | 

    A guy who beat the TSA when arriving in country: http://noblasters.com/post/1650102322/my-tsa-encounter

  34. #34 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    $835 parking ticket story. Watch it to hear the smug, humorless state agent remark: “Respect the SIGN!”
    http://news.yahoo.com/video/politics-15749652/835-parking-ticket-leaves-woman-furious-25211337

    Yeah, contempt of “sign”…even the state’s signs are above peasants.

  35. #35 |  perlhaqr | 

    Criticized by Mother Jones is a pretty good job qualification in my book, but the Paul candidacy probably dooms Gary Johnson, and for that I can’t forgive him.

    Seconded. Ron Paul said he was going to sit this one out if Johnson ran, and now he’s not doing that. I would love to hear an official explanation for this one from him.

  36. #36 |  Sean L. | 

    Welcome back. I echo Tolly’s comments on your photos.. amazing!

    I took it upon myself to go over all the guest posts and give my evaluation of the team chosen to fill in. Of course, this is the opinion of one regular reader/occasional commenter, so take it for what it’s worth.

    I evaluated each poster’s quantity as well as quality. Each post earned from zero to three points depending on quality, so someone who put up more quick posts could do as well as someone Here are my quality guidelines:

    3 points for an excellent post. Multiple links, good detail and narrative. Basically, what we expect from a good Radley post.
    2 points for a solid post. Link to the story and some thoughts surrounding it, but pretty much a one-trick pony.
    1 point for a quick ‘headline of the day’ type, or if it was generally weak.
    0 points if the post either didn’t add anything to the blog, had too much self-serving attitude, or was a bad fit for the blog’s style and ideology.

    Mike Riggs was a no-show until May 9th, nearly a week into your vacation. But his first post was outstanding, even if was a cross-post — http://reason.com/blog/weekly/2011-05-08#article_149225
    Total posts: 1
    Sean L. points: 3
    Grade: n/a (too small of a sample)

    Kate Klonick has been an occasional poster, and have mostly been one-liners and tid-bits. Not a huge contribution, but they have had their place.
    Total posts: 5
    Sean L. points: 8
    Grade: C+

    Alyona Minkovsk has been putting up some very decent posts. Her only setback has been volume, so while she hasn’t racked up the points others have, I’m still giving her a thumbs up.
    Total posts: 9
    Sean L. points: 18
    Grade: B+

    Peter Moskos has kept up very well. The style is a little different than we’re used to, but I didn’t take points away for that. He does dive a little deeper into the personal side a little more than I like to see, but all told, a very good contributor.
    Total posts: 12
    Sean L. points: 21
    Grade: B+

    Libby Jacobson has definately caused the most controversy. Her posts have had a higher level of personal opinion than the others (one time being in direct opposition to the libertarian viewpoint). Unfortunately there were two posts that the topic/link was the exact same one someone else had posted previously. I do, however, commend her for a solid effort.
    Total posts: 12
    Sean L. points: 17
    Grade: B-

    Dave Krueger has been by every metric the top contributor. His posts have been interesting, sparked discussion, and have kept on target with the blog’s established style (even including Five-star Friday, occasional lunch links and weekend dog blogging posts). I, for one, would welcome Dave to fill in again at any time.
    Total posts: 30
    Sean L. points: 60
    Grade: A

  37. #37 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Paying Pam Anderson $200k to slowly jog the beaches in my town is one of the FEW things I would vote to pay for with taxes. I’ll need pics of these lifeguards before rendering a decision.

    Shannon’s Mouse @#23 nailed it (describing Welch). I hated the guy…and I hated all the dipshit CEO/Executives that parroted his retarded management style after boiling it down to “Yell At Everyone”. 20 years later and his disciples still are ruining companies. Hey, the business section on Amazon is full of books undoing Welch’s shit.

    That being said, please remember the objective of companies (it is not to provide free coffee and internet while you escape your house). Jack Welch at his worst still creates more jobs than the best IMF blockhead. Those GE products industry bought? Any chance they were the best products? Any chance those companies were more competitive because of GE products? Business ain’t a vacuum.

  38. #38 |  Rhayader | 

    I’m in agreement with Mario #20 — the Mother Jones piece is less criticism than a simple list of Paul’s stances that are considered controversial in this political environment. They don’t offer much praise or criticism.

    And I have to say, the comments were a pleasant surprise. If you sort them by “Best Rating”, they are actually very supportive.

  39. #39 |  Mattocracy | 

    I don’t see where Radley refered to the IMF is a socialist organization, only that it was being run by an outspoken one.

    The IMF does advocate higher taxes and promote infationary policies. Those generally hurt the poor the most, particularly the latter.

  40. #40 |  Anthony | 

    The TSA gets soldiers returning from overseas on R&R when they arrive in Atlanta too.

  41. #41 |  gersan | 

    Strauss-Kahn is not a socialist. The IMF is a thuggish mafia that has impoverished nations by forcing them to eliminate what little social programs they have, like education and rice-allotment.

    If anything, they should book him for being a member of it.

  42. #42 |  JeffW | 

    How is the Mother Jones piece criticism? It’s a list of positions that are too extreme for one party or the other. In that respect, it’s completely accurate. He’d never get elected under the two party system. Hell, it applies perfectly to me, as I like a whole lot of what he says, yet a whole lot also scares the shit out of me.

  43. #43 |  Robert | 

    “You’ll actually have to go through the full TSA theater after you’ve de-planed and gone through customs. That’s right. Nudie scanners, take off the shoes, pat-down, the whole routine, even though you aren’t boarding another plane.”

    It’s been that way for years and I’ve been through it several times. Because as another commenter mentioned, you’ve had access to your checked luggage and even if you are not getting on another plane, you do get on the shuttle subway inside the sterile area of the airport and could get off at any stop or hand anything over to another person that is boarding another aircraft. Since people are allowed to fly with firearms in checked luggage, and also people are flying in from many different locations which may not have adequate security procedures, it would be a huge loophole if they did not screen people.

  44. #44 |  TomG | 

    That Mother Jones’ article about Ron Paul is extremely disingenuous. Technically they aren’t overtly letting you know what they think of those 15 positions, BUT they omit crucial information in nearly every one.
    Take #15 for instance – Ron Paul didn’t single out Mother Theresa and it’s absurd to imply he did. From what I’ve read, he believes that taxpayer money should NEVER be used to award civilian medals, but he also has offered to help fund such medals from his salary if all other Congressmen would agree to do the same.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    gersan @ #41 wrote:

    Strauss-Kahn is not a socialist.

    I am completely confused…

    Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn, often referred to in the media as DSK, is a French economist, lawyer, and politician, and a member of the Socialist Party of France.

    Please explain. Is it like Glenn Beck saying he’s a libertarian when he isn’t?

  46. #46 |  Cyto | 

    #32 | DarkEFang

    The “fire the bottom 10%” thing wasn’t about downsizing 10% every year. It was about encouraging turnover as a natural selection tool. Cull the herd by eliminating 10% with undesirable traits and over time you’ll have a herd with much better adaptation to its environment.

    The 10% rule works pretty well in very large organizations. If you only have a few people in your group, finding one to cull after a few rounds might be tough – even counterproductive. I had a team of 8 working for me at the time his 10% rule was popular in the press. Year 1 I could have cut one mediocre performer, but after that I would have had a very hard time finding a better worker than anyone on my team. That’s been what, a dozen or more years ago? All but one of those 8 are still with me. Talented and loyal… makes for a great work environment.

    In any sufficiently large group there’s always outliers at the low end. 10% is just an arbitrary rule to remind you to continually remove low performers and try to replace them with better performers. It is very difficult for most people to fire someone, so having a rule to enforce turnover is helpful. I’ve only let 1 guy go in 15 years. Another handful left because the handwriting was on the wall and they would have been let go soon. Only 2 left for greener pastures. I have 40 on my team now, and I’d put them up against anyone. I wouldn’t do well under Welch because I hire reluctantly and fire reluctantly – not his style at all. But I understand where he’s coming from.

  47. #47 |  DarkEFang | 

    #45 Boyd Durkin –

    DSK is a member of France’s Socialist Party, which is the dominant left-wing party in French politics. However, France is a socialist nation, so the right-wing party is socialist as well. Being competitive in French politics requires a politician to be socialist. That isn’t to say, however, that DSK would choose socialist policies if he had his choice. The above posters are suggesting that his work with the IMF points to his being significantly more economically conservative than one might expect from a French politician.

  48. #48 |  John hall | 

    I am very glad you’re back. Personally I would prefer if next time you didn’t have so many guest bloggers (or none).

  49. #49 |  Rhayader | 

    Personally I would prefer if next time you didn’t have so many guest bloggers (or none).

    There’s this cool thing called “not paying attention to stuff that doesn’t interest you.” I suggest you check it out sometime. Ignored guest posts and non-existent guest posts are the same thing from the reader’s perspective.

  50. #50 |  Robert | 

    @ Boyd Durkin

    Probably a SINO then. Like a RINO but, you know… ;)

  51. #51 |  Aresen | 

    Boyd Durkin | May 17th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Paying Pam Anderson $200k to slowly jog the beaches in my town is one of the FEW things I would vote to pay for with taxes.

    On the one hand, that would save lives because none of the guys on the beach would go into the water.

    On the other hand, probably 20 fat old farts per day would drop dead of heart attacks as they tried to jog along with her.

  52. #52 |  Zeb | 

    OK, I understand that if in ATL you have to re-enter the sterile part of the airport after clearing customs, then the security checks are in some sense necessary. What I don’t understand is why the fuck did they design the airport that way? Every airport I ahve ever been to sends you right out to the public/non-secure part of the airport. Designing the airport so that people have to go through security after completing a 8 hour flight is just fucking cruel and thoughtless. I will be sure to avoid the Atlanta airport.

  53. #53 |  Aresen | 

    BTW: This week’s Economist has a good essay about the erosion of Civil Liberties in the USA.

    It mentions the Institute for Justice but not Radley.

  54. #54 |  Zeb | 

    I don’t think that there is anything “ultra-libertarian” about thinking that people should be responsible for themselves while swimming. If someone drowns while at a beach, that is sad and unfortunate, but it is not everybody’s problem. Swimming is a dangerous activity, to some extent, and you must accept the dangers before you do it. If you feel a need for a lifeguard, then you can seek out a beach that has life guards and pay for that service. Or not go to the beach. It is an optional activity.

  55. #55 |  John C. Randolph | 

    SamK, socialists have always been real big on fighting with socialists of rival franchises. Just look at how the bolshies and the brownshirts used to duke it out in the streets back in the 1920s.

  56. #56 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    #46 Cyto

    We used to joke about all the managers with 9 people looking to hire one dipshit. Guess who’s getting axed?

    #47 | DarkEFang
    …The above posters are suggesting that his work with the IMF points to his being significantly more economically conservative than one might expect from a French politician

    This goes without saying. Most socialists (most politicians) have beliefs that can be bought and sold. In other words, if you can’t call a card-carrying member of the Socialist Party of a socialist state a socialist…who the flip can you call a socialist?

  57. #57 |  Robert | 

    I suspect it’s like this. “So-and-so isn’t a REAL because they don’t support my favorite cause.”

  58. #58 |  Robert | 

    That should have been, “So-and-so isn’t a REAL *insert ideology here* because they don’t support my favorite cause.”

  59. #59 |  scott | 

    Welcome back, Radley!

    Because I’m a team player and in order to help your transition back to the real world, here’s a little outrage for you: Former NSA scientist tried to blow the whistle, now faces multiple felony counts.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/23/110523fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=all

  60. #60 |  skunky | 

    #54 Zeb: So swimming is dangerous, I agree. So is driving. Are you suggesting that the appropriate libertarian position is the abolition of traffic lights? That drowned swimmer could do a lot for society. Dead, not so much.

  61. #61 |  GÄC | 

    Living in southwest Germany and having family in Alabama, I routinely fly from Stuttgart to Atlanta. On the last flight, we were deposited in immigration/customs and then had to go through the whole re-check baggage/go through security again to exit the airport. When we got to the main baggage claim, we ended up waiting for an hour for our bags to make the same journey across the airport that we just made in about 10 minutes.

    It was funny listening to all the Germans (mostly engineers from Mercedes) who were on the flight discussing the design of the airport and the security we had to go through. My wife had to translate some of it for me – my German profanity isn’t quite up to par just yet…

  62. #62 |  JOR | 

    A socialist working to destroy welfare state policies and subsidize capitalism in third world countries is not that odd. The USSR deliberately starved millions and imposed totalitarian state capitalism. It’s a mistake to see capitalism (in the strictly economic sense of capital accumulation, i.e. centralization and mechanization) or economic “conservatism” as the opposite of socialism, just as it’s a mistake to see “green” as the opposite of “tall”.

    (Compare the arguments in the healthcare debate: There were some progressives making arguments that centered around pity, or fairness – making sure everyone gets adequate healthcare, etc. – the naive goo goo liberals. And there were some progressives making arguments that centered around the brokenness of healthcare as America had it, the overconsumption, the need for stricter rationing and greater efficiency, etc. – the aristocratic lifestyle nazis, the technocratic liberals. Both were perhaps arguably ‘socialist’, but they had very different – indeed, diametrically opposed – values and approaches to the problem.)

  63. #63 |  The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Ad Populum | 

    [...] Hat Tip: The Agitator [...]

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