Morning Links

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

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45 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  FTP | 

    Regarding link three: although it’s been almost unversally reported as such in the mainstream media, the ballot initiative in San Francisco never sought to ban circumcision. It merely placed an age restriction on it. Agree with it or not, I really wish people could get that clear. It’s not that difficult to understand.

  2. #2 |  Dave Krueger | 

    The discovery of the “unprecedented” hole comes as the Canadian government is moving to cut its ozone monitoring network.

    Well, that will teach ’em. And if you threaten to cut research into and monitoring of global warming, brace yourself for a sudden increase in temperature. :-)

  3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

    This isn’t the first time that Cheney has displayed a strange sense of honesty.

  4. #4 |  JimBob | 

    Oh, good job, Gov. Brown. God forbid we should stop parents from mutilating a kid’s genitals. A mother has the absolute right to slice up her son’s penis– it’s just… it’s just… how things are done!

    Circumcision should be (and still is) legal for anybody old enough to consent to the procedure. If you want your pecker snipped, and you’re old enough to vote, nobody should be able to stop you. Not how I’d want to spend *my* Saturday afternoon, but, hey, whatever melts your Velveeta….

    But there is a strong libertarian case against infant circumcision, dammit. It’s a non-reversible procedure that has long-term consequences for the child, and it’s done without the child’s consent, or even the possibility of consent. Add in the fact that it involves SLICING THE CHILD’S GENITALS WITHOUT ANESTHESIA, and you’re talking about something a libertarian would never allow to happen to an adult, or to any child capable of telling the doctor “hey, that fucking hurts!”.

    I know that they put older children being circumcised under general anesthesia– probably to keep the kids from punching the doctors. 8-year-old boys? Put ’em under; it would be cruel to do this while the kid is awake. 8-hour-old boys? Snip-snip-scream!

    I hope San Francisco finds a way around this, honestly. Maybe they can require anesthetic, at the very least.

  5. #5 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Yet more problems for the Fullerton, California police department.”

    So they rape and kill, big deal. Do you realize how many
    seatbelt violators they’ve apprehended over the years…

  6. #6 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    Considering the religious freedom component, I suspect that this is simply an effort to save the government money. I’ve never considered Brown particularly sensible, but you would have to possess the foresight of a cherrystone clam to fail to see the proposed regulation becoming a huge civil-rights/anti-semitism hairball.

    I’m not saying your arguments are wrong, I’m just suggesting that in this case being objectively right may not be enough.

  7. #7 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    JimBob, I’m in general agreement with you, but it isn’t just mothers. Some fathers are also strongly in favor of having their sons circumcised.

  8. #8 |  GeneralGarbage | 

    It’s crazy the things we’ll accept once they’ve got the weight of tradition behind them. If scientologists thought that Xenu demands that infant boys have their pinky fingers snipped at the first knuckle, no one would say “Well, it is their religious freedom”.

  9. #9 |  JimBob | 


    You’re 100% right. Without generalizing too much, I’ve found that the phrase “slicing up the penis without anesthetic” tends to make men cringe more readily than women, which tends to make them more sympathetic to anti-circumcision arguments. And I’ve noticed that, for most of my friends and relatives who have given birth to boys, the doctors have asked the mother about whether or not the child will be circumcised– NOT the father.

    But I will be more careful about how I express the sentiment, because you are correct. Sorry ’bout that!


    I see where you and Brown are coming from. It’s sad that the idea of *not* performing such a cruel act on an innocent child would be seen as a violation of religious freedom. I get that some people would consider this anti-semitic, even though the majority of circumcised men in the world today are NOT Jewish.

    Actually, looking at things a little more closely, WHO stats indicate that the majority of circumcised men are Muslim. I wonder– could a sufficiently unscrupulous person could latch on to popular Islamophobia and fear of sharia to turn the tide of opinion against circumcision? I’m pretty sure that I know a few folks who would think differently of circumcision if they thought it was a “Mooslum” custom…

  10. #10 |  CyniCAl | 

    “I never seen so much hate build up in one minute,” Mr. Harris says. “For what?”

    1984 had its “2-Minute Hate.” I guess things move twice as fast in Chicago these days.

  11. #11 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    That house in Chicago had clogged gutters. Clogged gutters! (shudder)

    I deem this an appropriate use of SWAT.

  12. #12 |  steve | 

    As for the Economist article about the internet, it is typical Economist double speak. They routinely make a case for the free market then in the same article suggest government interventions into that market.

    In this case, they point out that the internet is not controlled by government but rather a myriad of private entities. They further state that many governments want to control the internet. They worn direly that creeping state control would suffocate the internet.

    So far so good. Yet somehow, someway, they conclude from this analysis that “Governments have a role to play”. They just drop this in near the end of the article as if what was a fact of nature. No explanation of why government is needed or what role it is to play. It just appears out of no where as a deux ex machina having forgotten all about the rest of the article which clearly implies government is not needed.

  13. #13 |  Juice | 

    The ozone hole over the arctic just means that it’s getting a lot (a lot) colder in the arctic stratosphere.

  14. #14 |  fwb | 

    Government is not about THEM serving US. It’s about US slaving for THEM. No government has ever been good for the governed. It is a lie to claim that the US system has ever functioned according to the Constitution. From day one, those in power have done everything in their power to exercise and expand that power. Lord Acton warned us. But in general People are too freakin lazy and too freakin stupid which is why it is so easy for fool them.

  15. #15 |  DoubleU | 

    Circumcision was so traumatic for me I don’t remember it happening.

  16. #16 |  Kristen | 

    I wonder if Balko’s move had anything to do with this ;)

  17. #17 |  Brandon | 

    From the Chicago-unspecified-reason-home-raid link: “”I felt like I was on ‘The Wire!’ Fantastic,” she wrote. “… The neighbors hung out near our fence, trying to appear as nonchalant as possible, you know, as if this sort of thing happens every day in Lincoln Park. I watch ‘Breaking Bad,’ yo, I know about meth. I bet they were totally cooking in there.”

    Someone’s life is being ruined! How exciting! What a fucking cunt.

    And Jimbob, if you have to latch on to some ephemeral anti-muslim feelings to make your case, then maybe you just don’t have that good a case.

  18. #18 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    Your points are well made. Of course, technically, since many islamic people are Semitic, anti-semitism could be said to extend to islamophobia. In general, though, this country has a much bigger bag of anti-Jewish baggage, especially laws that were supposedly public health or safety measures but transparently intended to persecute Jews – a distressing tradition that can be traced back to English Common Law.

    I’m uncomfortable with many religious practices … like male AND female circumcision. I am for more uncomfortable with buttinski government. I take the (unhappy but resigned) view that if a religious practice injures its members enough the religion will, in a free society, change or die. In a society where our Government Masters determine what we can and cannot do in the name of faith, we’re ALL screwed.

    And, of course, reality is somewhere in the middle. We would be well advised to persecute a religion that advocates killing people (I’m looking at YOU Islam). On the other hand, France outlawing headscarves is clearly out of line … even when it deals with the same bunch of intolerant, violent religious nuts.

    It isn’t an easy subject. But, for me, outlawing circumcision is pushing it. We need more practice at disapproving of things, as a society, without outlawing them. Let’s practice on this issue, eh?

  19. #19 |  Matt | 

    Sorry I didn’t specify this at first, Radley, I was actually looking for a photo of Scalia and Ginsburg being TRAMPLED by an elephant.

  20. #20 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    Re link #4, there’s a reason that Chicago is the undisputed Nanny State Champs in the City Division. What an awful story.

  21. #21 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    I take the (unhappy but resigned) view that if a religious practice injures its members enough the religion will, in a free society, change or die.

    It’s great to hope that the men of the future will be spared from having their genitals mangled without their consent, but what about those of us who are already victim to this and unhappy with the result?

  22. #22 |  the innominate one | 

    Re: a photo of Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg riding an elephant

    I was expecting, even hoping, for bestiality. Maybe that’s just me, though.

  23. #23 |  Erin | 

    This opinion piece is pretty incredible, arguing that legalizing drugs won’t reduce violent crime because ending Prohibition didn’t.

    Maybe her argument makes sense if you care only about violent crime within the United States. Apparently this so-called researcher has never heard of the exotic lands of Mexico and Central America, or of never-violent groups like the Zetas, Sinaloa Cartel, Juarez Cartel, etc.

  24. #24 |  Bad Medicine | 

    Re: The Economist article on internet governance:

    “Imagine if the ITU, a classic example of a sluggish international bureaucracy with antiquated diplomatic rituals, or indeed any other inter-governmental organisation, had been put in charge of the nascent global network two decades ago.”

    I’m imagining text-based news groups and 2400-baud modems still ruling the roost…

  25. #25 |  Dave Krueger | 

    If God wanted you to have a foreskin, he would have made it so it would grow back like he did for hair.

  26. #26 |  perlhaqr | 

    but what about those of us who are already victim to this and unhappy with the result?

    You could sue your parents for having had it done.

  27. #27 |  Marty | 

    in the Chicago house raid story- they busted in the door to ‘rescue’ the dogs?!! if there were a bunch of vicious dogs, that would’ve been an interesting rescue. What a horrible story. Code nazis suck. These cops suck. The animal control assholes suck. Hopefully, something is in the works to put them back into their home.

    I love the ending of the article- ‘Chicago is better than that.’ No it isn’t.

  28. #28 |  Rick H. | 

    Isn’t “making it illegal to pass certain laws” what a State Constitution is supposed to do?

    Just pass a new law (we’ll give it a catchy name like the USA S.T.A.G.N.A.T.I.O.N. Act) prohibiting any other new laws which conflict in any way with the status quo. Mission accomplished. All the legislators can go home and retire on their padded pensions.

  29. #29 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Maryjane-fighting troopers smell the evil weed in a car,
    fondle the suspect’s dingus to get a reaction, plan works,
    so they twist his hands up over his head pretzel-style and proceed to kick his ass.
    One problem, it all got captured on tape.

  30. #30 |  c andrew | 

    DoubleU wrote, Circumcision was so traumatic for me I don’t remember it happening.

    Well, jeez, you got off lucky. I got a circumcision and couldn’t walk for TWO YEARS!

  31. #31 |  Kristen | 

    Amanda Knox & Rafeallo Solecito cleared:

  32. #32 |  Matt | 


    Well looks like the US isn’t the only country with morons calling for blood against people who are rather clearly innocent…

    Glad they got out, although that insane prosecutor probably has more pain in store for Amanda and Raffaele before this is over.

  33. #33 |  crzybob | 

    “The ozone hole over the arctic just means that it’s getting a lot (a lot) colder in the arctic stratosphere.”

    A natural consequence of greenhouse gas build up which traps heat close to the surface, cooling the upper atmosphere. This cooling of the stratosphere by greenhouse gases was predicted by the climate scientists 2 decades ago, but hey everyone knows global warming isn’t real!

  34. #34 |  Beniamino | 

    @ DoubleU #15 – “Circumcision was so traumatic for me I don’t remember it happening.”

    No disrespect intended, but if you’d been buggered at infancy you probably wouldn’t remember that either. I’m all for circumcision, by the way.

  35. #35 |  J |

    In 2002, Farrar was found guilty by an Arapahoe County jury of multiple counts of sexual assault on a minor, his stepdaughter Sacha, who accused him and her mother of forcing her into sexual encounters from the age of eleven until she was fifteen. There was no physical evidence in the case and minimal investigation by authorities, who relied almost entirely on Sacha’s testimony. But a few months later, after refusing to testify against her mother, Sacha returned to court and recanted her story, saying she’d fabricated the entire tale in order to go live with her grandparents.

    Judge John Leopold refused to grant Farrar a new trial, concluding that Sacha’s recantation wasn’t any more credible than her original testimony. (Colorado case law urges courts to regard recantations in sex abuse cases skeptically, since victims might be pressured by family members to withdraw allegations.) But Sacha has stood by her recantation for the past eight years and wasn’t living with family at the time she admitted perjury. A narrowly divided Colorado Supreme Court upheld the conviction in 2009.

    [more at link]

  36. #36 |  CyniCAl | 

    #29 | Yizmo Gizmo

    Brice Wilson may not be guilty of anything more than DWB. In Georgia, and practically every other state, that’s probably cause.

  37. #37 |  Acksiom | 

    Technically, circumcision is already illegal, just like any other amputation of a normal, healthy, functional human body part done without a direct medical health necessity.

    It’s criminal mutilation by default, because it’s criminal mutilation when people do it to any other body part, regardlesss of religious belief or potential prophylaxis.

    It remains criminal mutilation unless and until the disagreeing provide a valid and supportable explanation for why such a special, unique, extraordinary exception to the normal laws and standards must — not just should, but MUST — be allowed ITFP.

  38. #38 |  Kevin | 

    #33: There is all sorts of nonsense “predicted” by climate models. So you happen to pick on one thing that “may” have been accurately predicted and carp about the validity of AGW? I say “may” because, frankly, we haven’t been keeping track of atmospheric ozone all that long. The depletion is “unprecedented”. Yeah, it probably is unprecedented in the comically short time frame humans have been able to actually measure it.

    When it comes to science, every generation makes the same mistake. They forget that they don’t know what they don’t know.

  39. #39 |  Brandon | 

    “Technically, circumcision is already illegal…”

    Yeah, reality would tend to disagree with you.

  40. #40 |  John | 

    “Chicago is better than that.” Yeaaah… I’m going to go ahead and disagree with that. Plus — white yuppy neighbors and developers using the police and mudslinging to get rid of ‘ethnic’ neighbors in gentrifying neighborhoods? Well, I never!

  41. #41 |  BamBam | 

    another TX kidnapee escapes The State’s death sentence:

  42. #42 |  Cyto | 

    I found the blogger’s take on the Cheney interview interesting.

    Cheney is noting that the Obama administration is following the Cheney doctrine on the war on terror (only more so), but using rhetoric to say that they are not doing so and repudiating Cheney. He offers reasons as to why he thinks this is damaging to the effort beyond the personal insult to himself (Cheney).

    The blogger doesn’t seem to be able to understand this, and somehow implies that Cheney thinks Obama is “wrong” in his pursuit of the terrorists. It sounded to me like he was saying that Obama’s rhetoric was full of crap and that the rhetoric could actually have consequences (if the government actually chose to follow the rule of law). It sounded pretty reasonable to me (if twisted).

    If we are no longer engaged in a war – then the President’s commander in chief authority doesn’t apply and he cannot use the machine of war to drop bombs on people in foreign countries. That’s a pretty obvious and straightforward conclusion. I’m not sure where the snarky blogger thinks Cheney is being a hypocrite.

    Particularly when the real story here is “Obama out-does Cheney on the evil-meter” if you are on the ‘Cheney is evil’ team.

  43. #43 |  albatross | 

    What if you are instead on the “American politics selects for sociopaths” team?

  44. #44 |  GSL | 

    In other California news, the 4th Amendment no longer applies to people suspected of engaging in CD/DVD piracy.

  45. #45 |  AFF | 

    The only thing worse than reading the Chicago story was reading the neighbors comments, who clearly supported getting rid of the black family by any means available to them.

    I hope this family gets some legal assistance.