Morning Links

Friday, July 22nd, 2011
Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

78 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  TomG | 

    Look, I’m no fan of Rick Perry and I know he’s speaking from TX self-interest, but I do think libertarians need to prioritize things. And speaking for myself only, NASA is quite low on my list of what to de-fund. It isn’t killing people, and usually not telling them what to do.

  2. #2 |  Mario | 

    I think this country is in so much trouble that someone running for president needs to come along and say that he or she is going to do nothing about a whole bunch of issues, because they should be dealt with afterward. We are running this country into the toilet with our wars, debt spending, and inflationary monetary policy. 10 or 20 years from now I don’t believe we’ll still be here in any meaningful way if we don’t do something about it. We will still manage, however, if we simply keep the status quo in a lot of other areas, as important as they are to some people.

    We need to prioritize.

  3. #3 |  DarkEFang | 

    Out of all the money the federal government wastes, one area I have no problem with is money spent on space exploration. It’s a relative drop in the bucket, and the potential is literally limitless.

  4. #4 |  dave smith | 

    I agree with TomG and DarkEFang. And I’ll add: if gov’t is going to waste money, NASA is how to do it.

  5. #5 |  dave smith | 

    Regarding the Newark councilwoman interviewed in the story. If I could change peoples words and attitudes in one way, it would be this: I wish people would not say to the government: “I have a right to photograph (or what ever.)” and would instead say “The government has no authority to stop me.”

    To me, it does not matter if the cameraman in the story had a right to photograph. That agent of the state had no authority to stop him.

  6. #6 |  Xaq Fixx | 

    The NJ video is from 2008 http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/newark_special_police_officer.html
    He was suspendeded and a the camera man (Quodomine) filed a civil rights lawsuit against Officer Brain Sharif and the city of Newark (http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/10/23/CivRts.pdf).
    I cannot find any followup on the IA investigation or the lawsuit (without a PACER account)

  7. #7 |  OrangeYouGlad | 

    I am pretty sure the Newark story is a couple of years old. I remember seeing clips of this incident in the documentary Brick City which I think took place in 2008.

  8. #8 |  2nd of 3 | 

    My comments aren’t posting. Are links allowed in comments? What is the syntax if so?

  9. #9 |  Laura Victoria | 

    Regarding poor Ziggy the black Lab, note how the police were “confirming” that there was nothing in the house the crooks wanted – such as illegal drugs. They care more about making arrests, any arrrest, than they do about public safety.

    Calling 911, unless you’re hiding in a closet with an intruder in your house and no gun on you, accomplishes nothing. Just like Mr. Espinoza from yesterday’s post, whose wife called 911 after he’d already chased off home invaders. Her call brought on a more deadly team of home invaders. After shooting your dog, their next act will be to run your name through the computer for warrants.

  10. #10 |  Nathan A | 

    I would love to see that dog headline on a botched home invasion. By the ones with badges.

    Yeah, yeah, I know: “How does it feel to want?”

  11. #11 |  2nd of 3 | 

    I’ll try it without the link:
    @Tom – NASA is moving towards greater use of privately built spacecraft to resupply the ISS and eventually take astronauts as well (yes, private companies built all NASA spacecraft, but on cost-plus contracts for a single customer’s use). While certainly not a free market, this approach is much closer to that ideal than how NASA has traditionally done business. Arguably, space policy is where the Obama administration is most pro-free market. It’s sad that so many supposedly free-market Republicans oppose NASA’s efforts merely because of pariochal concerns and blind opposition to Obama.

    Space exploration is an activity I think is worth doing, but I don’t think the private sector has much incentive do anything (talking exploration versus tourism, communications, or other commercial activity) in the field. Only the government for the foreseeable future has any incentive to send a probe to Europa or Mars. That said, that doesn’t mean we have to just keep on doing it in the most ineffiecient and wasteful manner possible.

    Google Rand Simberg, “Obama’s Conservative Space Policy” for a better editorial on the subject than I can give.

  12. #12 |  Wiregeek | 

    The Newark bit is pretty old, but it still gets the old blood flowin’. Radley, you appear to be soft-shoeing your ball kicking today, you feeling OK?

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I’m guessing we won’t be seeing the New Zealand style safety videos anytime soon. I’m guessing it would most likely be considered a sex crime in the U.S.

  14. #14 |  Dave Krueger | 

    There are too kinds of government programs: Entitlements, which can’t be touched, and everything else which is too small to matter. NASA fits into the latter.

    I have yet to hear about a government program that someone within ten feet doesn’t think is too important to cut or too small to matter.

  15. #15 |  Dave Krueger | 

    too = two in the first instance.

  16. #16 |  TomG | 

    2nd of 3, #10 – I really don’t disagree with you, I just think there are many much more important things to focus on at the federal level. I will cheer on any effort to bring genuine competitive practices into the space exploration area.

  17. #17 |  ClubMedSux | 

    When I first read about Leiby’s Law, my initial response was, “Well, at least it won’t give prosecutors another tool for throwing people in jail.” But then my second response was, “Wait! This wouldn’t have prevented this crime in ANY way.” Sometimes I wish we’d just go back to the old days of pretending we’re making a difference by signing meaningless online petitions instead of passing actual laws.

  18. #18 |  Lefty | 

    It’s an open secret that Republicans don’t actually want smaller government. That’s a libertarian position that republicans pay lip service to. Texas has been run by republicans for some time and the state gov there hasn’t shrunk. Eight years of Bush didn’t see government shrink either. Just the opposite. Two wars, a huge debt, the patriot act and warrantless surveillance of americans. How they can take the moral high ground now is beyond me.

    There’s a strong authoritarian streak in the xian right wing. They would like nothing better than to set up a theocracy to enforce their screwy morality. The strong showing of Bachmann demonstrates this the dominionist leanings of today’s right wing.

  19. #19 |  Lefty | 

    #13

    Republicans have disingenuously gone after npr and planned parenthood this year on budgetary grounds. None of them is willing to go after military spending even when the pentagon asks them to.

  20. #20 |  BoscoH | 

    [i]Seeming to confirm a case of mistaken identity, police made a search of the home and were unable to turn up anything of value that the robbers might have been looking for.[/i]

    Because nothing says probable cause for a search like having your home burglarized and your dog shot.

  21. #21 |  Curt | 

    I saw that Air NZ safety video on my recent flight from Auckland to Wellington. It was pretty entertaining. During the video I looked up at a flight attendent nearby and thought she looked just like the girl in the video. Looked back and forth several times to confirm. She noticed, smiled, and said, yeah it’s me.

    They’ve also got one featuring Richard Simmons. Thankfully he was not on any of my flights.

  22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #18 Lefty

    #13

    Republicans have disingenuously gone after npr and planned parenthood this year on budgetary grounds. None of them is willing to go after military spending even when the pentagon asks them to.

    That’s the impression I get as well. Republicans are champions of small government only when it comes to programs favored by democrats. Just another example of the war between the parties being far more important than the job elected politicians are supposed to be doing.

  23. #23 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Here is the safety video.

  24. #24 |  kant | 

    Why do I get the feeling that we’re just a stone’s throw away from mandating a law like leiby’s law for all business in “crime/drug free” zones? You know “for the children”.

  25. #25 |  freebob | 

    “Massachusetts plans to use high-speed license plate scanners”
    If I remember this report correctly. Memphis is already using a system like this. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/

  26. #26 |  Curt | 

    @ #18 Lefty…

    So true. I got an email about six months ago from the office of one my senators. The subject line was bragging about how he was calling the democrats’ bluff. It talked about how hard he was working to reduce spending and proclaimed that “all options” were on the table. The email listed the things he was focused on cutting… shockingly, they were all liberal programs.

    I sent a reply to the email and also through his website. I asked if military spending was included as part of “all options” on the table. I’m still waiting for a response.

  27. #27 |  Anthony | 

    Newark: the ironic thing about the arrest was that everyone was there to stop senseless violence.

  28. #28 |  Cyto | 

    Radley, you appear to be soft-shoeing your ball kicking today, you feeling OK?

    Ok, try this on for size then.

  29. #29 |  Irving Washington | 

    It isn’t killing people

    Not on purpose.

  30. #30 |  Lefty | 

    #20

    I don’t need to see Richard Simmons with anything painted on.

  31. #31 |  Kirsten | 

    Here’s another one for the puppycide file, this time with a bit of a twist: officers threaten to kill a paraplegic man’s dog if he asserts his 4th amendment rights.

    Alameda sheriffs threaten to kill paraplegic man’s dog in marijuana raid
    http://www.examiner.com/medical-marijuana-dispensaries-in-portland/alameda-sheriffs-threaten-to-kill-paraplegic-man-s-dog-marijuana-raid

    “Jason Rivera, a paraplegic who suffers severe chronic pain, was detained by sheriffs presenting a warrant at his recording studio. The warrant was based on the tip of an anonymous informant, said Rivera, recounting the statements of deputies on the scene.

    As sheriffs executed the warrant at the studio, one asked Rivera about searching his home. Rivera says the deputy threatened to kill his dog if he didn’t cooperate. “We can do this the easy way and you can take us to your house to look around,” Rivera recounts the deputy saying, “or we can detain you for six hours while we get a warrant and go to your house and shoot your dog.””

  32. #32 |  Lefty | 

    It seems to me like the rebublicans have dug themselves quite a hole. They were so desperate to get back into power that they actively courted all the wingnuts on the right. Now they reap the benefits. Perry and Bachmann are serious candidates while Huntsman gets slapped down when he says something moderate.

  33. #33 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “The computerized scanners, known as Automatic License Plate Recognition devices, instantly check for police alerts, warrants, traffic violations and parking tickets, which cops say could be an invaluable tool in thwarting crime”

    This is right out of the film Idiocracy. Bar codes for every peasant/citizen and scanners everywhere. Dangerous fugitive! Dangerous fugitive!

  34. #34 |  Big A | 

    #29 Lefty- you’d rather see him without anything painted on?

  35. #35 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Richard Simmons flight safety video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWhHpjZfTik

  36. #36 |  demize! | 

    Im with @DaveKreuger on this one. First NASA is and has always been a military agency. Whether it is classified as such is inconsequential, that has been its primary mission; the hegemonic miltary domination of the heavens. It has a scientific mission as an adjunct component and makes it sound and look benign. NRO launches more payload bearing spacecraft in a year than NASA has in its entire duration. Im of the belief that the simple axiom holds here: get your own house in orded before you go fucking around on Mars and shit. There is also some naivete coming from some of the comments that I find hard to reconcile with a Libertarian or Minarchist philosophy. Cut all programs cept the ones I had lots of patches of when I was a kid seems to me.

  37. #37 |  celticdragonchick | 

    I agree with some of the others here:

    NASA is one of the last things I want to see cut. I am just old enough to barely remember the first moon landing. I would like to see something like that again.

  38. #38 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Im of the belief that the simple axiom holds here: get your own house in orded before you go fucking around on Mars and shit.

    If we did that, we would never have left Europe in the first place in the 15th Century. Your quote makes a good soundbite, but it is inimical to any sort of discovery or exploration. Fuck that. This is the richest nation in the history of the human species. We can afford whatever we prioritize…or we can just whine and let somebody else do it while we slink into irrelevance.

  39. #39 |  Lefty | 

    #Big-A

    That was worded poorly. Although I did go watch the video. Got the smell the milk before you throw it away.

  40. #40 |  celticdragonchick | 

    By “We” in the previous post, I do mean most European Americans. I did not mean to sound ethnocentric, and I know that many people were here already. Presumably, Native Americans would not have come either if they had done as demize suggested. Of course, others came here by force via the Middle Passage. My apologies if I was offensive, because I did not intend that.

  41. #41 |  demize! | 

    Ok, how is this libertarian? Who is whining, you like exlploration? Then go explore, just dont force me to finance it. We are “the richest nation” blah bla blah we make priorities. Ok, my prioritiy is that all children have adequate food and resources and that they dont get blown to pieces by ordnance that Im also forcebly coerced into financing.

  42. #42 |  J | 

    I love it how republicans complain about bigger government now, but ignore things like the patriot act and the DHS increasing government.

    Now that the dems are in control, the dem form of big government is bad.

    Politicians are such pieces of shit.

  43. #43 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I do have to agree that the manned space program is one of the few government programs that seems to bring some kind of respect and awe from the rest of the world, but I think it’s past due to be transitioned to private enterprise and driven by the profit motive rather than trying to show the rest of the world how great we are (which pretty much how manned space flight began).

  44. #44 |  Dave Krueger | 

    # #40 | demize! | July 22nd, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Ok, how is this libertarian? Who is whining, you like exlploration? Then go explore, just dont force me to finance it. We are “the richest nation” blah bla blah we make priorities. Ok, my prioritiy is that all children have adequate food and resources and that they dont get blown to pieces by ordnance that Im also forcebly coerced into financing.

    Don’t be silly, demize. No one is forcing you to finance space exploration. That’s paid for with debt (and we will continue to be creating debt for the foreseeable future) so it’s actually your kids who will be paying for it.

    Personally, I think our kids and grand kids are going to rise up and start killing off baby boomers until they have a majority at the polls. Then they will declare that day an annual holiday and name it Independence Day. After that, the ones who won’t be eating will be us older folks (those of us who survive, anyway). And I wouldn’t blame them.

  45. #45 |  Marty | 

    the license plate scanners are a little freaky- cops just drive through mall parking lots and they have 3 cameras that’ll scan 3000 plates/hr. I wanna figure out an easy latch system for my plates and just take them inside with me. will these things scan motorcycle plates, too?
    I’m a big wanderer and don’t particularly care to be loaded into a bunch of databases…
    I can see people behind in their child support payments being dinged by these scanners, people on sex offender registries, late on taxes, johns soliciting prostitutes, drug buyers/sellers, etc. a bureaucratic wet dream.

  46. #46 |  albatross | 

    Dave #13:

    The third category is the military/spy/homeland security budget. I, for one, really appreciate my children paying more taxes to blow up random people in the third world with million-dollar missiles, and even more appreciate them paying to build a police state for us all to live in.

  47. #47 |  sailor | 

    Why are do so many here treat NASA like a religion?

  48. #48 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “the license plate scanners are a little freaky- cops just drive through mall parking lots and they have 3 cameras that’ll scan 3000 plates/hr. ”

    It wasn’t until the 1930’s that legislation was passed requiring vehicle drivers to obtain a driver’s license and pass a driving test to drive legally. ..

    Good thing license plates and driver’s licenses never became a “dragnet”
    way to mess with people. Politicians and police *care* about us.
    Really. I saw it on TV.

  49. #49 |  Memo to Republicans: Your serious contenders are hypocrites, too « David McElroy | 

    […] administration for cutting jobs in NASA now that the space shuttle program is winding down. (The link comes via The Agitator, a site which is worth your daily […]

  50. #50 |  Cyto | 

    Why are do so many here treat NASA like a religion?

    ’cause
    That’s me in the corner
    That’s me in the spotlight
    Losing my religion
    Trying to keep a view
    And I don’t know if I can do it
    Oh no, I’ve said too much
    I haven’t said enough

    I thought that I heard you laughing
    I thought that I heard you sing
    I think I thought I saw you try

    But that was just a dream
    Try, cry, why try
    That was just a dream
    Just a dream
    Just a dream, dream

  51. #51 |  Robert | 

    @ #44 Marty ” wanna figure out an easy latch system for my plates and just take them inside with me.”

    And you’ll come back out to find that your car has been booted / towed and ticketed for “Failure to display plate”.

  52. #52 |  hamburglar007 | 

    I’m a huge opponent of the military industrial complex, but NASA is one government agency where there has been a huge return on the investment, in ways that don’t seem obvious either.

  53. #53 |  Marty | 

    49- is that a crime if you’re in a parking lot? the vehicle wouldn’t be on a public roadway…

  54. #54 |  BC | 

    That Newark incident is from 2008.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/newark_special_police_officer.html

  55. #55 |  TomG | 

    I really don’t understand the notion that some of us are “treating NASA like a religion”. I don’t think the people agreeing with me are all saying “keep it forever!”, we are saying that on the loooong list of government funded agencies, it is one of the least harmful and has some beneficial side effects. Now, if you want to focus on why we are wrong about NASA – instead of focusing on the agencies we agree should be shuttered ASAP (such as the DEA, HUD, FTC, ATF, etc.), and on the massive amount of money spent on our current military operations overseas – well I guess we have different priorities.

  56. #56 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #51 | Marty | July 22nd, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    49- is that a crime if you’re in a parking lot? the vehicle wouldn’t be on a public roadway…

    They require that my dog be on a leash and have a license tag in my own yard. I know this because the animal control cop actually stopped and told me that when he saw my dogs running around in the front yard. I glared at the guy so hard I thought he was going to burst into flames. I think he left because he thought I might shoot him if he didn’t.

  57. #57 |  Marty | 

    ‘I know this because the animal control cop actually stopped and told me that when he saw my dogs running around in the front yard.’

    a leash in your own yard?! these are the little indignities that make me wanna kick someone in the balls. he might be making that shit up, because these law enforcement bureaucrats have been known to do that…

  58. #58 |  JS | 

    I like the idea that the government will havea harder time spying on people without their satellites. Fuck NASA.

  59. #59 |  Highway | 

    Marty, I’m sure your vehicle will get towed out of a private parking lot (that you don’t own) if it is not obviously registered.

  60. #60 |  DPirate | 

    “police made a search of the home and were unable to turn up anything of value”

    ?

    Regarding Leiby, the writer neglected to add the word ‘white':

    “It seems every time a child is murdered a law pops up in his or her place”

  61. #61 |  shane | 

    Even though that Newark cop video was uploaded to YouTube on July 18, 2011, that video is maybe over a year old.

  62. #62 |  Lefty | 

    #51
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a crime. I got a ticket for no tags recently. My temp registration was on the windshield if they’d bothered to look.

  63. #63 |  DPirate | 

    On reading further into the Leiby story, I now realize that the writer is just plain bad:

    “And would people who had small infractions in their pasts—an unpaid parking ticket, say—be worried about a store participating in this program and not apply for a job out of fear of a background check? The unemployment rate is high enough as it is.”

    The fail in this paragraph is immense.

  64. #64 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    When I was younger, I loved NASA, Space, and the whole “Final Frontier” mindset. On the other hand, I seriously expected that we’d have footprints on Mars by now. Nasa hasn’t done that. What I want to know, though, is whether defunding Nasa means opening things up for private enterprise. The only data I have on the subject is a book (The Kings of the High Frontier), and while it was a thrilling tale, I have no idea if its assertion that there are a lot of regulations stifling private space exploration has any basis in reality. If it does, cutting NASA off at the knees is only half the job. The other half would be getting the frack out of the way. There’s a lot of energy and a lot of raw material out in space. That should tempt the adventurous. If it doesn’t, we probably deserve to be restricted to this One Earth …. although what we’ve done to deserve the twits that use that phrase is beyond me.

  65. #65 |  Lefty | 

    #55

    You do realize that the shuttle isn’t the only way to get satellites into orbit.

    From what I can gather NASA’s budget is going up. The only thing is what that money will be spent on. Shuttle missions are very expensive and draw money away from other projects.

  66. #66 |  croaker | 

    @30 With cops shooting dogs so common, it was only a matter of time before a pig make this threat. Pretty much along the lines of threatening a person under investigation with prison rape.

    @36 http://xkcd.com/893/

  67. #67 |  JS | 

    #61, yea but with the government hopefully going broke they won’t be able to afford sending more of their satellites up there. I’m all for private industry sending them up. Yea I had read that the shuttle had degenerated into just an expensive exercise in public relations, getting everybody all charged up about our brave spacemen and stuff.

  68. #68 |  Marty | 

    #56 | Highway-

    I’m betting you’re right, but an argument could be made that you’re helping law enforcement, because vehicles without tags are easy to spot and probably less attractive to thieves…

  69. #69 |  Z | 

    Small government= cutting programs we don’t like while imposing ones we do.

  70. #70 |  CK | 

    I have always despised NASA for stealing space from the entrpreneurial types and giving the military types a monopoly. I am happy to see the end of NASA. Now if only a real Harriman comes along to fulfill the ideals of :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Sold_the_Moon
    Until them keep cheering for Marvin the Martian.

  71. #71 |  André Kenji | 

    “Personally, I think our kids and grand kids are going to rise up and start killing off baby boomers until they have a majority at the polls.”

    I doubt. I never understood why the Americans of my age(30) were so silent during the Health Care reform debates. One side were arguing against seniors paying more for their health and openly arguing that young people should be subsidizing the healthcare of older people by being forced to buy health insurance. The other side was defending the status quo, where the young people gets no health care in the world while the seniors get the most subsidized and generous health care in the world.

    I hardly saw anyone under 30 complaining, everyone was silent.

  72. #72 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Fucking NASA.

    I say that as someone genuinely interested in space. No, it’s not the US military space program, that’s quite separate and a lot more competent. I’m with Pournelle – NASA went to the moon, then it discovered bureaucracy.

    They only JUST got grounded the 70’s design, dangerous semi-reusable manned spacecraft they had, which was built as an expensive white elephant, with a tiny tin can in orbit to go to, when they deliberately de-orbited the big central fuel tanks to the end.

    Shipping PEOPLE and CARGO into orbit are two very, very different things. If they’d continued to work on descendants of the Saturn heavy-life program, and developed a reusable space plane for Humans, we’d be decades further along!

    So…FUCK NASA

  73. #73 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @70 – Not really. NASA hasn’t been the problem for entrepreneurs per-se, it’s been a drastic lack of vision in the funders of these projects. Same goes for a bunch of other things in travel like Airships and Cargo submarines, for that matter.

    There are also some really, really obnoxious patent issues in America which have seriously delayed private spaceflight.

  74. #74 |  André Kenji | 

    What delayed private spaceflight is that sending people and things to space is very expensive and unless you are a bored billionaire there is no way that you are willing to pay what´s necessary to go there. Space in real life is very different from the space of movies, it´s a very brutal place,

    Besides that, that´s the problem with anything related to space exploration and research: everyone confuses science fiction movies and books with reality.

  75. #75 |  BoogaFrito | 

    It’s a shame they spent all that work painting clothes on the flight attendants, then shot them in close-up…

  76. #76 |  Jason E Bintz | 

    In response to the article and video about the protest in Newark:

    I fear that we are getting to the point at which the american public will no longer ponder the fact that the police are supposed to protect the people, but the question of who protects the people from the police?

    It is a sad state of affairs that the current laws on the books that are supposed to protect our basic rights are being distorted under the guise of protecting us from terrorism. So maybe in a way, the terrorists have won!

    I fear my last statement might inflame someone, but if you are angry about it, think long and hard about how possibly right the statement might be before you begin a flame war.

  77. #77 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @74 – I’ve seen fully costed plan after fully costed plan in the transport sector, including spaceflight, simply be ignored by financiers, even when the risk is considerably lower than other things they’re doing.

    Want to call Pournelle a space cadet? (Please do, I need a good laugh)

  78. #78 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @#58

    I like the idea that the government will havea harder time spying on people without their satellites. Fuck NASA.

    Different budgets. The spying on people and securing the defense of the state is hidden in many Defense and Homeland Security budgets…so it is pretty much unlimited.

Leave a Reply