Morning Links

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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27 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  a_random_guy | 

    Is it just me? The White House petitions website mostly just displays a blank page. I actually got it to work once, a couple of weeks ago. I’ve tried today under both Chrome and Firefox. Maybe it’s run by Microsoft and only works with IE?

  2. #2 |  Stick | 

    ‘Dog tucks himself in’ : My brothers Staffordshire bull terrier used to do that when he was a young dog – I’ve seen him do it. Now that he’s old and arthritic he can’t manage it, so he scratches at the back door and has a special ‘tuck me in’ bark (I shit you not!) and my brother has to go and tuck him in.

  3. #3 |  cjp | 

    Your runner-up should be the winner of “get over yourself.” The CPI people seem to have taken the Onion story pretty light-heartedly — am I missing something?

  4. #4 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Brought up to see the human body as sacred, I would be willing to bet that Mr Smith has no problem with blowing bodies into messy little pieces in our illegal “wars” around the world. After all it is for the children. On the matter of the farm to fork dinner the proper response to the health official was no tell them to call the police,to assure them to tell the police to bring guns for they were going to need them. This was not a matter of “public” interest and these employees should be reprimanded for their actions. American need to stand up for their rights,while there is still time.

  5. #5 |  Chris | 

    It would have been truly awful if that health department worker suffered an accident.

  6. #6 |  nigmalg | 

    Well you know, weapons for “Drone Safety” of course.

    I’m wondering how growing surveillance technology coexists with Kyllo v. United States. If I remember correctly, the limits of “reasonable” were right in line with natural human capabilities. Once technology begins reading extra-regular radio, light, or thermal energies, it’s deemed unreasonable without a warrant.

    I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong in Kyllo.

  7. #7 |  Maria | 

    “We’re not going to use it to be invading somebody’s privacy. It’ll be used for situations we have with criminals,” Gage said in a soothing assuring voice while patting the reporter on the head.

  8. #8 |  nigmalg | 

    Nope I was wrong in Kyllo. “general public use” was the test. We’re screwed.

  9. #9 |  Dwight Brown | 


    I don’t think you’re wrong about Kyllo; I studied it briefly as part of a class I was taking this semester.

    However, what I walked away from the decision with was that the use of thermal imaging in Kyllo was unreasonable, at least in part, because the technology was not readily available to the general public, but only to law enforcement.

    I have a friend who works as a highway engineer and has been using thermal imaging cameras as part of his research. They’re still expensive, but like everything else, the price is going to come down.

    So if we get to the point where thermal imaging cameras are being given away as prizes in cereal boxes, does that invalidate Kyllo? The way I read the decision, if this kind of equipment becomes more “readily available”, the Court might reconsider their ruling. And frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about the issues involved.

  10. #10 |  nigmalg | 


    We’re guaranteed that the price of almost all sophisticated surveillance technologies will come down in price, eventually. What this means is that eventually, this SCOTUS reasonableness test will evaporate the 4th amendment.

    There are energies in our world that will allow you to see every detail of the interior of people’s homes, clothing, vehicles, etc.. They’re just expensive, cumbersome, or we don’t yet have the technology to emit, absorb or interpret them.

  11. #11 |  Collin | 

    a_random_guy, I’m using Firefox running Ubuntu Linux and it loads fine for me.

  12. #12 |  DoubleU | 

    Am I the only one who doesn’t have a NY Times account to log in and read stories?

    We the people link, that has a chance to be read, and removed.

    a_random_guy, I’m also using Firefox under Ubuntu and it loads fine. I also have noscript and adblock addons running.

    Happy freaking Halloween agitators.

  13. #13 |  Eric Hanneken | 

    RIP, William Niskanen.

    A few years after joining Ford in 1975 and becoming its chief economist, he was critical of the company when it ended its longtime commitment to free trade and pushed for restrictions on Japanese imports. . . .
    “A common commitment to refrain from special favors,” he wrote in a memo at the time, “serves the same economic function as a common commitment to refrain from stealing.”
    His criticism did not sit well with Ford and it fired him.

    Of course, everyone knows that libertarians are merely corporate shills. Especially the Cato ones.

  14. #14 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    derfel cadarn,

    Your knee-jerk reaction does you little credit. Maybe Mr. Smith is a caricature of a Conservative Christian – God knows there are enough of them – but it it equally possible that he is a part of the significant Christian community that is genuinely pacifist and against all wars. You don’t know. And I expect that you wouldn’t like being stuffed into the characterization of a Dippy Liberal Hippie, One Each.

    The problem with Mr. Smith is that he has lost track of the ability to disapprove of something without outlawing it, a failure that is hardly limited to the Prudish. He has lost track of the word Vulgar. The silhouette isn’t pornography, it’s vulgar. Vulgar isn’t illegal, it’s simply grounds for deciding that the person displaying it is trashy.

  15. #15 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “New Police Drone Near Houston Could Carry Weapons”

    I’m much more excited about the ACLU drone that follows around
    rogue cops.

  16. #16 |  Scooby | 

    How can the runner-up guy tell that the silhouette is of a nude woman? I think he might be projecting some pornographic details onto a two dimensional detail-less shape.

  17. #17 |  Texas Sheriff's Dept Get Unmanned Aerial Drone, But Don't Worry: "It'll Be Used For Situations We Have With Criminals." - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine | 

    […] Via Radley Balko. […]

  18. #18 |  Pablo | 

    “No matter what we do in law enforcement, somebody’s going to question it, but we’re going to do the right thing, and I can assure you of that.”

    So there! Move along folks, nothing to see here.

  19. #19 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Aside from the whole unnecessary force angle, how did the police manage empty a gun at something that big just a couple feet away and completely miss?

  20. #20 |  Chicagojon | 

    I love the ‘keep back 100ft’ printing on the top half of the helicopter in a small font. It’s likely visible from 50′ away and certainly not from the ground but I’m sure it can be used as a ‘he was approaching the helicopter and was too close so I reacted stunned/shot/hellfired him’ defense.

    Also, WTF is up with shooting that cow. Did they think they were dealing with a Grizzly? (note: shooting a grizzly would also not be cool). You’re in a 2 ton car…what’s a cow going to do to you? Block the road, call a professional.

  21. #21 |  Stephen | 

    #19 | Stormy Dragon |

    He probably didn’t miss. A cow is pretty hard to drop with a handgun unless you hit it in exactly the right place. It would probably have walked off and died later after the first cop emptied his gun. To make a cow drop instantly requires a pretty big gun. Something like a Sharps .50 buffalo gun or bigger.

  22. #22 |  Windy | 

    “We’re not going to use it to be invading somebody’s privacy. It’ll be used for situations we have with criminals,” Gage said.

    Well, when LE considers half the population criminals and the other half potential criminals . . .
    Yeah, nothing could ever go wrong here.

  23. #23 |  Woog | 

    From the petition: “We the People, those who grant you the power to govern in the first place, are requesting changes in policy directly, circumventing legislators who already do not listen to us.”

    Most of the petition’s wording is great. However, the above sentence appears to be asking Obama to become a dictator. That’s not so great.

  24. #24 |  Muffy | 

    I read the story about the farm and the health department and I think the farm is in the wrong.

    This wasn’t a gathering of family and friends – they sold tickets to the event. THe farm is trying to make it seem like these were just guests, but it was a public event. Of course they need permits, if it is open to the public. Of course, they need sanitation certificates. Didn’t dirty farm machinery just kill a few cantaloupe eating citizens over the past few weeks?

    The farmers know they are in the wrong here – that’s why they keep referring to ‘guests’ instead of ‘ticket holders’. She also complains she doesn’t know the difference between ‘public’ and ‘private’ events. If you sell tickets, its a public event.

    I don’t know if the inspector handled this in the right way, but I don’t blame the health department. If you are going to serve the general public, you at least need someone with a servesafe certification on hand (a basic course on preventing foodborne illness – keep your hands clean, keep hot food hot and cold food cold, how to store food, and how not to cross contaminate).

    She admits food wasn’t being held at the proper temperature, saying, “It was being prepared to be brought to proper temperature for serving when the inspection occurred”. To me, this sets off red flags. Hot food needs to stay hot, and cold food needs to stay cold. There is no ‘being prepared to be brought to proper temperature’. Someone probably would have been ill after eating this food. Food not held at the proper temperature is one of the main causes for food illness in this country.

    To quote Billy Bush: “It’s gross”.

  25. #25 |  StrangeOne | 


    It’s simply recognizing the reality of the imperial presidency, Obama can “declare” wars without congress, why not anything else? Also many policy decisions which ARE the Presidents sole discrestion have been ignored on the white house site; specifically a few petitions regarding the Federal raids on the legal medical marijuana despenseries.

  26. #26 |  Woog | 

    StrangeOne, when criminals are assaulting, looting, and pillaging, the last thing the victim should be asking for is MORE crime.

    Government not abiding by its law is a crime, make no mistake. Returning to the rule of law and equality under the law would fix the vast majority of government problems, to include the economic ones.

  27. #27 |  twency | 

    Chris #5: “We are sorry that we had to throw out all of the food we had planned to serve tonight. However, we are pleased to announce that in its stead we are preparing a succulent roast longpig.”