Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I thought I’d commemorate this blog’s 10th blog-a-versary by publishing an e-book collection of posts. I have no idea if anyone would want to buy an edited e-book of posts that are already available for free, but the e-book services out there are pretty inexpensive, so I figure I’ll do it anyway, and sell them for a couple bucks.

So if you have a favorite post or two from over the years that you think should be included, leave a link in the comments section. I’m thinking I’ll also include a chapter called “Regrets” comprised of posts I’d like to take back. (Like this one!) Feel free to include those, too. Also include favorite headlines, favorite posts from commenters, and anything else that makes sense.

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48 Responses to “Suggestions?”

  1. #1 |  Frank | 

    It takes a big man to admit he was wrong about a blogpost on torture.

  2. #2 |  Sandy | 

    Do you look back at early posts thinking, “Oh, god, this is going to be such crap” and then are pleasantly surprised? I’ve had that happen a few times. Though I have some that are more in the realm of the torture post you link to.

  3. #3 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    I thought the post from 2003 was satire. Bad form Radley, damn.

  4. #4 |  ktc2 | 

    Maybe sprinkle in some of the more brilliant comments as well. There have been some classics of both humor and wisdom over the years.

  5. #5 |  boomshanka | 

    holy shit radley… you actually wrote that? i’m interested to see when your opinion changed, if you have subsequent posts that discuss it.

  6. #6 |  Joe | 

    Cory Maye has to be in there on the heroic fight side of this blog.

  7. #7 |  Meep_Meep | 

    Don’t feel too bad. I also made the mistake of supporting torture after 9/11. I didn’t come to my senses and see how wrong it was, and how dangerous to all of us it is to allow the government to have this power, until maybe two and a half years ago. Now, I’m totally against it, along with Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping, “extraordinary rendition,” a parallel system of military courts for civilians, etc. Hopefully, as a result of being so wrong on this due to the “fever” of Islamophobia and “anti-terrorism” after 9/11, I will be less likely to repeat this mistake again in the future, when the next “fever” hits.

  8. #8 |  CyniCAl | 

    I, for one, would like to see a roundup of posts where a political endorsement is made, then each endorsement is correlated to its subsequent sex/corruption scandal. There’s got to be at least a dozen of those over the years, although my sense of it is that the endorsements are getting fewer and farther between, wisely.

    On the “positive” side, certainly an homage to wrongfully convicted persons like Cory Maye is warranted, as is a dogage to all puppycide victims.

  9. #9 |  SJE | 

    I think some of the comments should be kept in the e-book form.

  10. #10 |  Jeff B. | 

    This late-2010 piece on cable news is unfortunately timeless:

  11. #11 |  Craig | 

    I’d pay for a book with posts dealing solely with criminal justice issues, thematized into SWAT/police misconduct, forensic lab problems, prosecutor misconduct, and sentencing issues (that’s just a recommended order).

    Regardless of how you collect your posts, though, I’ll probably make it required reading for a few college courses I teach (e.g., argumentation). Such a book would be useful as a discussion tool because it demonstrates sustained deliberation on topics of social importance. I already send students to your blog, but a book would be easier to use in class.

    (FYI–It’s going to take me some time to process that torture post. I’m sure glad your attitude has shifted toward a more libertarian perspective on the issue.)

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    I, for one, would like to see a roundup of posts where a political endorsement is made, then each endorsement is correlated to its subsequent sex/corruption scandal. There’s got to be at least a dozen of those over the years…

    I doubt it. I don’t think I’ve ever actually endorsed a politician on this site. Maybe once or twice for some state-level rep like Bob Evans. And the only politician I can think of that I’ve written nice things about who later had a scandal was Mark Sanford. And I’d probably still vote for Sanford over anyone in the current GOP field, save for Paul and Johnson.

  13. #13 |  Andrew S. | 

    This late-2010 piece on cable news is unfortunately timeless:

    I actually thought of that post recently. Was in my car, very early morning, driving 3 hours for a meeting (it was about 4:30-5 AM). Had left CNN on the XM Radio in my car the evening before. The host and two talking heads were arguing. After making a reference, the host laughed and said “I forget which one of you I assigned each position to”.

    I too am guilty of supporting torture shortly after 9/11. Heck, I supported the Iraq war for a couple of months after it started. I don’t know what I was thinking in either case. Neither is a mistake I’ll make in the future.

  14. #14 |  scott | 

    Are you serious? Radley, I say this in all honesty as a broke-ass college student/single dad: I would buy *any* book you author. An e-book would be ideal as I could buy a copy or two as gifts to send immediately to my tech-enabled friends (many of whom are burgeoning Libertarians without even realizing it).

    So yes. Please do this. And if you need volunteers to help with formatting, grammar, etc. please add my name to the list.

  15. #15 |  Abersouth | 

    I would buy an ebook. I also wish a second updated volume of “Overkill” was available.

  16. #16 |  DeadGuy | 

    Any and every post dealing with Monkeys, Monkey Butlers and the Emerging Island Nation…and fish clubs.

    Also, a chapter of e-mails from disgruntled readers would be awesome.

    I also like the idea of putting in some of the best comments. I think you’ve got a good start – Corey Maye, Criminal Justice, Monkeys, e-mails and comments. There’s a book already…what else do you need?

  17. #17 |  Mattocracy | 

    There should be a chapter entitled “I Blame Gay Marriage”

  18. #18 |  Mattocracy | 

    And a chapter called puppycide. I know it’s a bummer thing to write about, but I bet it would really open people’s eyes to see how many times a year law enforcement kills pets. You could probably get other news sources to run with it and bring the issue to a wider audience.

  19. #19 |  Leah | 

    What scott said.

  20. #20 |  ClubMedSux | 

    I would enjoy a section of your “I Get Email” posts. Those are always gold.

  21. #21 |  Dr. Q | 

    You could do a book with all your Cory Maye-related posts.

    Or you could do a book with all the “isolated incidents” that have written about since Overkill was published. It might be a useful research tool for anyone studying SWAT teams.

  22. #22 |  André | 

    Bacon bourbon, please.

  23. #23 |  Ted S. | 

    Some of the “[insert name of victim here]’s Law” posts and the moral panic posts, such as the Four Loko panic.

  24. #24 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    I think your Phelps “apology” was one of the great sarcastic pieces ever written. Two friends who didn’t know I followed you sent me links to that from random chatrooms, one of them for NY Giants fans.

  25. #25 |  thomasblair | 

    I second the Phelps Apology piece, and the followup, wherein we merry band of Agitatortots compiled of list of people who have smoked pot and turned out all right.

  26. #26 |  Daniel | 

    Damn, I was beaten to the monkey butler island post…

  27. #27 |  Larry Yudelson | 

    As the proprietor of a small niche publishing company, I’d be delighted to publish a print version of the anthology. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a larger company, able to offer a larger advance, would want it to.

    I think Craig is on target: You should focus on telling one story. Your central story is: The criminal justice system sucks, because the people in charge are accountable to nobody. Your book will be a way for your core readers to change other people’s opinions about the criminal justice system. “You think the police and the D.A. are always right? Here’s a book you should read.” The model would be Andrew Sullivan’s collections of Cannabis posts.

    Give me 100 pages, and I can sell it for $9.95 and you and I can both make a little money.

    And there would have to be a chapter on “puppycide.” Actually, people love books about dogs. Maybe you should do a whole book on the topic…..

  28. #28 |  B | 

    Man…I just poked through some old posts (2003-04), found all kinds of flame wars in which I was involved that seem completely ridiculous to me now. And that I had forgotten about completely.

    I think some of the heated threads in the run-up to the Iraq invasion might make for entertaining/depressing reading.

    Also, some of the threads before the DC smoking ban went through.

  29. #29 |  B | 

    Also, a compilation of dog pictures, please…

  30. #30 |  cryingAces | 

    If I may ask Radley, what made you post that pro-torture post in March of 2003? You’ve been against torture (judging by your posts) ever since I started reading this blog many years ago. I was wondering what caused you to choose that viewpoint and what caused you to change?

  31. #31 |  Tom Johnson | 

    I like the irony: people are now combing your old blog posts to find favorites they will then buy in book form. Blogs are more community than communications medium, I think.

    That said, I like the idea of including some comments. Perhaps an appendix with some of the smartest, and another with some of the…uh, not smartest.

  32. #32 |  Eric | 

    I’d be more interested in a real book, say from Amazon’s self publishing service.

  33. #33 |  CyniCAl | 

    CyniCAl: “I, for one, would like to see a roundup of posts where a political endorsement is made, then each endorsement is correlated to its subsequent sex/corruption scandal. There’s got to be at least a dozen of those over the years…”

    #12 | Radley Balko — “I doubt it. I don’t think I’ve ever actually endorsed a politician on this site. Maybe once or twice for some state-level rep like Bob Evans. And the only politician I can think of that I’ve written nice things about who later had a scandal was Mark Sanford. And I’d probably still vote for Sanford over anyone in the current GOP field, save for Paul and Johnson.”

    Since I’m not going to sift through 10 years of archives, reasonable people can disagree as to the quantity and to what actually constitutes endorsement, but my general point remains, one that I formulated from reading actual posts on The Agitator. Endorsement of ANY political candidate is a minefield better not navigated, and frankly beneath anyone interested in liberty.

    I suppose one has to cross a bridge of no return on the voting thing to really get how futile and counter to liberty it is, at least as presently constituted. I hope someday you’ll join us Radley.

  34. #34 |  CyniCAl | 

    Was that Big Blue Interactive, Reggie?

  35. #35 |  mrSchmedly | 

    Radley is butthurt that he used to support torture :(

  36. #36 |  dmoynihan | 

    Everything Corey Maye. Ever.

    /And if you need help formatting or something, let me know… I’m rather experienced.

  37. #37 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Throwing my support in for a Cory Maye Timeline / Chronology, for graet justice.

  38. #38 |  GÄC | 

    Add me to the list of definite buyers when it comes out. I’ve only been around here for a couple of years, so I would love to see some of the earlier discussions.

    Echoing a couple of the prior suggestions, I would definitely put everything Corey Maye into a chapter – show the whole slow process (with a good ending!). Some of your favorite photos as well (dog as well as place – I’ve been enjoying your Budapest pics!)

    As for other suggestions, could we have a chapter of victories, where something actually changed for the better (can’t think of any specific examples off the top of my head, but I know I have read some of them here)? An entire e-book of crotch shots would be painful…

  39. #39 |  Chuchundra | 

    I’ll throw in another vote for the Cory Maye saga. It’s would be great to have that all in one place, perhaps with some new material to stitch it all together and give it better narrative flow.

    I’d be happy to throw you some coin for something like that.

  40. #40 |  Peggie K | 


    Why did you used to support torture? Was it Reason that changed your mind on the subject?

  41. #41 |  Richard Head | 

    I’ll second the call for a collection of your criminal justice posts, you do amazing work on that front.

  42. #42 |  Mark Draughn | 

    Don’t just collect blog posts, write a real book. Did you ever read any of James Bovard’s books? They’re basically collections of stories of government abuse sorted into categories and heavily footnoted. That sounds like a put-down, but they’re valuable reading, and one of the reasons I’m a libertarian. I never come out of one without a full-blown case of righteous libertarian rage. Kind of like your blog. I think you could collect up your posts into the obvious chapters — Isolated Incidents, The New Professionalism, Puppycide, Prosecutorial Misconduct — re-write them into a continuous (if not exactly coherent) narrative, and have yourself a pretty decent book. It’s more work than just collecting blog posts, but I think you could sell it to a lot more people than just us.

  43. #43 |  Radley Balko | 

    Why did you used to support torture?

    I think some of it was 9/11 aftershock. I drove by the smoldering Pentagon on my way to work for several months. Part of it I think was also just not thinking the issue through. And not applying my skepticism of government in other areas to this one. I retracted that post a few years ago. It was the wrong position, but it was also pretty callous and flippant, given the subject matter.

  44. #44 |  Chuchundra | 

    A lot of very reasonable, very intelligent people just went kinda crazy after 9/11. Seriously, there was a window of a few months after the towers fell where even I liked George W. Bush.

    As Americans, I think we should all get a mulligan for anything we did or said in response to the attacks up to about 2004.

  45. #45 |  GregS | 

    Definitely include “Two Cheers for Shorter Lives!” It’s one of my all-time favorite blog-posts, from anywhere. It so wonderfully makes the point that there are things worth trading a little bit of life for. I believe I read it when I first started realizing I was a libertarian, and my inner economist was deeply nourished by it.

  46. #46 |  Bob Weber | 

    Cory Maye coverage is worthy of a book in and of itself.

  47. #47 |  Tyler | 

    After 9/11, I felt the same way about torture: “Do what you have to do.” This blog, Hit & Run, and a good amount of introspection have completely turned me around on the issue. I’m comforted to see that other people go through the same process. Thanks for pointing out that old post!

  48. #48 |  JOR | 

    I must be an odd one, since it was around 9/11 that I started to completely lose all sympathy for government (including the warfare state) and stopped seeing myself as part of “the right” (though this had been a gradual process over the few preceding years). This coming from someone who was (very mildly) pleased that Dubya “won” in 2000.