Morning Links

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

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49 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Marty | 

    I thought you cleared up all the govt abuse and hypocrisies yesterday. I wasn’t expecting more…

    nice simile for the Roger Clemens article!

  2. #2 |  Griffin3 | 

    I tried to comment on the LA Times version of the “internal bomb” article, but locked my fool self out of the comments, somehow.

    But … wouldn’t an implanted bomb be detected, though probably not identified, by, like, a metal detector? You know, the kind we were using back in the 70s?

  3. #3 |  M | 

    We must be seriously screwed up if a country that we’re trying to keep in a perpetual state of war is perceived as better than the USA.

  4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Sorry, but if you want to fly, we’re going to have to open you up.”

    It’s no joke. In the post-911 world, fecal bombs, exploding tampons
    and radioactive flatulence are all within the insidious repertoire
    of anti-US brown people, and other boogey men manufactured by Uncle Sam in order to replace the vacuum created when the USSR (the former imaginary menace used to aggrandize our military and suppress our rights) became defunct. Be prepared to “open up” to TSA in more ways than one. And this may include the scalpel, or stirrups and colon scanners.
    They hate us become of our freedom. Back when we had freedom.
    But they still hate us.
    And, oh yeah, enjoy your flight…

  5. #5 |  Kelly James | 

    LOL on the flashing breasts at a stripper bit

    And thank you for mentioning the Brian Miller / Pima County GOP controversy.

    It is not okay to punish someone for having the balls to speak up for what is right. It’s a quality that is sadly lacking within government; one we desperately need more of. The individual is the smallest minority on earth; what kind of message does it send when someone is excommunicated for standing up for an individual’s rights, rights which were clearly violated?

    It sends the message that the collective group is more important than the individual; an idea which could prove quite worrisome for whatever individual is either unfortunate enough or brave enough to stand out from the group.

    This is not the America promised to us by the Constitution. How can excellence be achieved if everyone is afraid to stand out, to become better than they were, to do the right f—in thing?

    I find that unacceptable.

  6. #6 |  John Anderson | 

    What if the stripper is a lesbian? ;)

  7. #7 |  BSK | 

    For some reason, I am enjoying that monkey self portrait entirely too much. I have a coffee table book called “Monkey Portraits” which is exactly what it sounds like and awesome. But all the pictures were taken by a human.

  8. #8 |  BSK | 

    John Anderson-

    What if? What if??? Have you ever met a stripper?!?!

  9. #9 |  PeeDub | 

    Body implanted explosives – we may be dealing with the Joker, here, gentlemen.

  10. #10 |  Marty | 

    I’m surprised the border hawks aren’t clamoring for credit for the decline in illegal immigration.

  11. #11 |  Aresen | 

    From the “stimulus money” link:

    “I have said from the beginning of the [economic] recovery program that weatherization is high-risk,” said Earl Devaney , who as chairman of the Recovery Transparency and Accountability Board is Washington’s top cop overseeing how stimulus dollars are spent. Noted Devaney in a statement to iWatch News : “There was little in the way of internal controls.”

    Does anybody here remember when libertarians and fiscal conservatives were being pilloried for saying that 1) Money would be wasted and 2) Insisting that proper controls be put in place and 3) Bernake was saying “just trust us”?

  12. #12 |  James J.B. | 

    The Clemens Trial – proves one stellar point – we cannot cut the government anywhere. All of its resources are used appropriately. Let’s start at the testimony before congress – a day or two of testimony – plus, the investigation of the attorneys and staff, plus all of the court time and court personnel, plus the time and money clemens has spent defending himself. If it is just a million – it is all worth it right and noooooooo waste!!!!

    The Law is the Law.

  13. #13 |  Joe | 

    While I am not a big fan of the charges, given that Rodger Clemens pitiched for the Yankees and is a total douchebag, I am finding it hard to defend him.

    Of course, if you don’t stand up for douchbag Yankees, next you know they will be coming after you!

  14. #14 |  Joe | 

    As for illegal immigration from Mexico…well no surprise there. The economy sucks. It is the jobs that bring in illegals. If you do not offer illegals jobs, they won’t come.

    And if the economy ever recovers, perhaps we will have a rational plan to either offer illegals the chance to be legal immigrants with the goal of assimilation or we will put enforcement on employers that keep highering illegals (but recognizing that means paying more for hotel cleaning, veggies and agricultural products, and restaurant meals).

  15. #15 |  Brandon | 

    HuffPo, MSNBC and other left-leaning orgs are all talking about Republicans asking for stimulus money while publicly denouncing the stimulus like that is some sort of gotcha. There is plenty to criticize the GOP for, but that is just as stupid as calling a libertarian a hypocrite for taking federal student loans. You can be against the stimulus in general, but since they passed it anyway, it would be foolish to put your constituency at a disadvantage when it comes to the distribution of funds. It would be nice if the GOP would stand on principle, but anyone who did in this case would end up as a martyr, and this kind of demagoguery just perpetuates the fucked up idiotic system of government “saving” the people. (There was a sidebar story about this on the iwatchnews link.)

  16. #16 |  Brandon | 

    And the mouthpiece at Frumforum, while he seems to be trying to write a balanced column, still repeats the scurrilous “linked to a home invasion crew” smear for which there is still absolutely no evidence other than the word of the SWAT cops’ lawyer. The GOP may be hopeless.

  17. #17 |  NY Cynic | 

    Frum doesn’t like Libertarians, so I expect that type of reaction from him.

    RE: #10 Marty

    Im sure if we dig deep enough we can find a Buchanan (either himself or one of his lemmings) that takes credit for it.

  18. #18 |  Mannie | 

    #14 | Joe | July 7th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    And if the economy ever recovers, perhaps we will have a rational plan … [for anything]

    Optimist! Pass the joint, it must be some goooood stuff. :-)

  19. #19 |  James J.B. | 

    Re: the Monkey photo

    1. Could we have more of those – I loved the picture.
    2. I propose a new game – what is the common thread between all of the linked stories …and go…

  20. #20 |  albatross | 

    So, David Frum’s point in that article, as best I can tell, is that as Ron Paul’s supporters come up in the ranks of the GOP, ideas and concerns held by Ron Paul and his supporters will more often be brought up within the GOP. I’ll admit I don’t see why this is different or less desirable than when the same thing happens from either the invade-the-world brand of neocon, or the religious right. Why, if pro-life Christians become important in the GOP, we’re going to have minor party officials and local elected Republicans bringing up their opposition to abortion all the time. Who could have forseen such an outcome?

  21. #21 |  Pablo | 

    Re: the “body packing” panic:

    Typical TSA/DHS pants-shitting so that they can justify their existence. AFAIK this whole panic came from an al-quaida (however you spell it) “operative” who appeared to be speculating aloud. I haven’t heard of any evidence it was seriously discussed, much less planned or attempted.

    We have become such a nation of pussies since 9/11 that we are giving up our freedoms whenever someone halfway across the world has a brain fart.

  22. #22 |  PW | 

    Here’s something I’m genuinely baffled about: who reads Frum? And how does he keep enough of a following to sell his books and run that website?

    In all seriousness, I cannot for the life of me figure out where he gets his audience. Obviously it’s not libertarians, but it shouldn’t be conservatives either. Levin, Savage, Limbaugh and all the other right wing talk shows absolutely hate him even more than we do. They’re always attacking him as a sellout or a “RINO.” And even his neocon roots have dried up. AEI fired him, and National Review pushed him off their pages.

    So who the hell is keeping this guy in business? And why does anyone care what he says about politics any more than a raving homeless person on the street corner?

  23. #23 |  Kelly James | 

    #20 / Albatross: The difference is the ridiculous stigma of “extremist” with which Big Brother and the SPLC are trying to label anyone who identifies as a “R3volutionist”, “Patriot”, or “Constitutionalist”. Could you see anyone being asked to step down because they were anti-abortion or spoke out against such?

    #16 / Brandon: Although Guerena’s well publicized 2009 arrest resulted in no charges, it has certainly served to ensure that he will be remembered as a criminal for the rest of eternity…and, of course, nobody gives a shit about a criminal.

    Enough to make one sick huh…Brilliant PR job, PCSD!

    #18 / Mannie – Joe: Economic recovery? LOL. Pass that joint over here guys :-)

  24. #24 |  albatross | 

    The thing is, there has been a sequence of these “latest terrorist threats” which have come up in the news media. They have almost never turned out to predict anything. For example, about a year ago, the fear was Mumbai-attack-style suicide infantry assaults on US and European cities.

    The reason why these latest threats are almost always wrong has two parts, I think:

    a. Our information about terrorist plans is actually really bad. Much of our information comes from interrogations under torture, either by us or our allies. A lot comes from monitoring “chatter” on jihadist websites and in phone calls and emails. And mostly, it comes from observing recent attacks and trying to adapt to them. Sometimes, it comes from foiled attacks, even when those attacks were largely driven by FBI agents/informants leading clueless wannabe terrorists. Even worse, where there’s ambiguity in interpreting this stuff, or in deciding which questions to ask the guy with the electrodes on his nuts, our current beliefs will dominate. So the fact that we expect plots of a certain kind will drive what we kind of plots we “discover.”

    b. Politicians and media types want a story to tell today, and know that almost nobody actually goes back and looks at what they said a year ago to see if any of it panned out.

    A big part of what’s going on here is what Bruce Schneier refers to as “movie plot threats.” The underlying bug in how human minds work is called the conjunction fallacy–the more detailed a story I tell you, the more plausible it sounds–Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to a bald and unconvincing narrative. as some famous light opera composer might say.

  25. #25 |  paranoiastrksdp | 


    No, if you read some of the things the TSA is saying about this “belly bomb” they’re going with the binary explosives bullshit again. “Someone might drink one liquid and then inject another with a syringe on the plane, making an explosive”

  26. #26 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    “No specific plot has been identified but an anonymous official said new intelligence highlighted the threat.”

    Did that “new intelligence” happen to be…a fucking batman movie?

  27. #27 |  Aresen | 

    One can be certain that no “belly bomber” would have the guts to do it again.

  28. #28 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Someone might drink one liquid and then inject another with a syringe on the plane, making an explosive”

    Don’cha just long for the carefree days of “I’m Suzy, fly me…”?

  29. #29 |  albatross | 


    As best I can tell, a substantial fraction of national security reporters, their anonymous sources, and politicians talking about terrorism get their intelligence from movies and TV shows and the occasional Tom Clancy novel. (Though it should be noted that the 9/11 attacks were in some sense an echo to an attack carried out in a Tom Clancy novel, so maybe he’s not such a bad source for these things.)

  30. #30 |  albatross | 


    Yeah, this is one piece of really good news. Suicide bombing has a remarkably low recidivism rate.

  31. #31 |  TC | 

    Any buddy willing to wager about how soon if ever, Holder and gang will be facing a trial for “Gun Walker” (Texas Ranger…)?

  32. #32 |  greg | 

    As for the drug dealing cop:

    Britto faces a potential life sentence if convicted

    Are you kidding. Cops get off doing all nature of horendous things, but sell some meth and IAB will not only come after you, but lock you up for life?

  33. #33 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Why are they calling it “gun walker” now? I thought the it was “operation: Fast and furious”.

    Did they go for the least douchey of the two?

  34. #34 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    and no, no heads will roll over that little stunt. gun laws are for little people, not government agents working towards a “greater good”.

  35. #35 |  Eric_in_AK | 

    Before I disparage the Implanted Bomb idea as a “Movie Plot” (hat tip to Bruce Schneier for the term) I had to remind myself that it WAS a movie plot. There was a not very good Sean Connery movie called Wrong is Right in 1982 that involved this idea as a minor plot point. If memory serves, at slow points in the movie a terrorist would suddenly jump into the air in slow motion and then explode in a underwhelming manner. I guess the TSA needs a new threat for budget time.

  36. #36 |  Kelly James | 

    ALL laws are for little people and it’s customary to ritually sacrifice a human being a week to the “greater good”…didn’t ya know?

  37. #37 |  croaker | 

    @33 “Gunwalker” was the name assigned to F&F by the blog that first publicised the whole thing (

  38. #38 |  Joe | 

    PW, I wonder that too. Frum alienates conservative, libertarians and liberals. Who friggin listens to him? I doubt his wife takes him seriously.

  39. #39 |  Joe | 

    mannie, I wish!

  40. #40 |  Aresen | 

    “Officer of the Year” suspected of drug dealing.

    I’m sure that the prosecutor will go for the maximum sentence and pile on the charges.

  41. #41 |  Michael Pack | 

    So these guys living in caves and deserts can sucessfully implant a large device in the limited space of the body and ,with out internal damage or infection, to blow up a plane?Did anyone think this through before telling this B.S. to the press

  42. #42 |  Kelly James | 

    #37 / Croaker: Re Gunwalker and Sipsey Street – oh yeah, silly me, that’s why they’re being labeled “extremists”! Of course the government had to destroy the reputability of the guy who blew their conspiracy wide open Somebody may have actually believed him.

  43. #43 |  Dan | 

    Everyone must submit to colonoscopies before their flight.

  44. #44 |  FLA-MRK | 

    Another one from my state:

    A sheriff’s deputy repeatedly sexually harasses waitresses at a restaurant. The outcome? Deputy still a deputy, EEOC sues the restaurant for subjecting employees to a hostile work environment.

  45. #45 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “The Boynton Beach Department vigorously polices itself, and this case is an example of how law enforcement roots out corruption from within its own ranks.”

    Ok, once in awhile. That doesn’t mean the system works.

    This statement reminds me of a certain controversial Chris Rock bit, in which people claim credit for doing shit they are supposed to do (ie: “I take care of my kids”) or act like they are great because they don’t do certain things (“I’ve never been to jail”).

    Don’t pat yourself on the back to hard fellas.

  46. #46 |  albatross | 


    Is there data (as opposed to selected-for-interestingness anecdotes) to show how common it is? Without such data, we risk making the same error as the “there oughtta be a law” types, using scary media coverage of extremely rare events as evidence of a crisis and responding with new laws that do far more damage than the original problem did.

  47. #47 |  Quote of the day | Square Holes | 

    […] “Roger Clemens goes on trial for lying . . . to politicians. Which is a bit like putting a woman on trial for flashing her breasts at a stripper.” – The Agitator […]

  48. #48 |  c andrew | 


    May I say that you, sir, (or madam) are the very model of a modern major blog commenter.

  49. #49 |  Julian | 

    I sympathize with the point, but isn’t lying to Congress perjury? I was under the impression that, during Congressional hearings, Congress takes on many of the aspects of a court, just as Parliament used to way back in ye olde day when it heard trials.