Morning Links

Monday, November 7th, 2011

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30 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  whomever | 

    The DEA link is pointing to the cash for clunkers article

  2. #2 |  CyniCAl | 

    The NY Times runs interference for Democratic administrations. They are pathetically attempting to deflect attention from Fast & Furious. And Solyndra. And all the other scandals.

  3. #3 |  MassHole | 

    So the government circumventing the laws on the books that are used to prevent guns from being sold to unauthorized buyers is the reason we need more laws?

    What the hell kind of logic is that?

    The vast majority of gun violence in the US involves handguns. The idea that banning rifles with adjustable stocks and bayonet lugs (when was last time someone was bayonetted?) is a farce.

    Here in good ole Massachusetts, they kept the AWB on the books at the state level. A rifle you can buy in New Hampshire is suddenly too evil and dangerous for a MA resident to own. The gang kids in Boston continue to shoot each other with cheap handguns they bought on the black market, but let’s make a regular joe a felon if his rifle has a stock that allows 3 inches of adjustment.

    This is what happens when the guns are icky crowd gets to make the laws.

    A perfect example is US Rep. Carolyn McCarthy. Her husband was killed in the LIRR shooting in ’93 by an handgun. Terrible that she lost her husband and her son was injured as well. She ran for congress on a gun control platform. Regardless, she wants to ban so called assault rifles. Now, you would think that someone who has made their political career around gun control would actually take the time to learn about what she wants to ban. One would be incorrect. See below:

  4. #4 |  celticdragonchick | 

    slingshots and crossbows.

    Modern crossbows are actually kinda nasty. The old ones weren’t very nice either. An uncle of mine visited Malta and told of seeing a skull in a museum that was still afixed within a metal helmet with a crossbow quarrel running up from the chin and the point sticking out of the top of the helmet. Some poor idiot had looked over a castle wall and been shot from below right though his head.

  5. #5 |  Mattocracy | 

    The assault weapons ban never banned assault weapons. When it expired, it mostly allowed collapsable stocks and full capacity magazines to be sold again. It’s not like AK’s were ever outlawed and then legalized again.

  6. #6 |  Name Nomad | 

    Since Mr. Balko has shared a number of pictures of Croatia, I thought some of us might like to get some news of what’s going on over there regarding law enforcement/prosecutorial overreach.

    Croat man risks charges after explosive sex game

    ZAGREB, Croatia (AFP) – A 50-year-old Croat, who had to get medical help after inserting an anti-aircraft shell in his anus, sparked a police probe and risks charges if similar weapons are found at his home, local media said on Friday.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Citing Glik, a New Hampshire judge upholds the First Amendment right to record police in public.”

    It’s comforting to observe judges in lofty positions, with years and years of training and experience, upholding Constitutional protections that most any 10 year old would be expected to know…

  8. #8 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    If you mean DEA FAST teams, they have been around for over 30 years.

  9. #9 |  captainahags | 

    To act as though improving the mpg of the entire US by .65 mpg is meager is, to put it mildly, stupid. Calling C4C a bust based on that column seems a bit hasty.

  10. #10 |  Lee | 

    If you read the article on the Cash for Clunkers, the analysis is that the benefits were meager not that the program was a bust (assuming that ‘bust’ means that there were no benefits).

  11. #11 |  Mattie F. | 

    From the Cash for Clunkers article: “The paper examined U.S. car sales using trends in Canada as a control group”

    Given that Canada’s economy has been in a tar-sands fueled boom, I can’t help but call shenanagins on this.

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 


    I was recently defending libertarians from being called naive (by a leftie socialist…his words). I started listing things that libertarians have been against. I kept the list to recent times:

    1. Cash for Clunkers
    2. Wall Street Bailout
    3. US Automaker bailout
    4. Deficit spending
    5. Debt ceiling increases
    6. War with Iran–no WMD and no link to A.Q.
    7. War in Afghanistan–nation building doesn’t work
    8. US support of torture (in any way)
    9. Support (via policy) of housing bubble
    10. Support (via policy) of education bubble
    11. Patriot Act
    12. Support for Middle East dictators
    13. QE 1, 2…n
    14. Cheap money (low interest rates)

    In each case libertarians (and others of similar views) clearly stated these “programs” would be failures, how they would fail, and the bigger effect of each. In each case, libertarians have been 100% correct while Democrats and Republicans have only three responses:
    1. Oppose because the other party supports
    2. Support because the other party opposes
    3. Support because it expands government

    Libertarians are not naive. Nor are AnCaps. So far, the only people I have seen as naive during my time on this planet have been Democrats and Republicans who seem to have the foreign policy and economics understanding of a stoned Klan member. No offense, stoned Klan member.

  13. #13 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    the analysis is that the benefits were meager not that the program was a bust (assuming that ‘bust’ means that there were no benefits).

    If I spent US$3B and got meager results…

    A 50-year-old Croat, who had to get medical help after inserting an anti-aircraft shell in his anus, sparked a police probe

    …anus…police probe…

    Well done.

    A rifle you can buy in New Hampshire is suddenly too evil and dangerous for a MA resident to own.

    My NH pride forces me to agree. We got skillz up here. ;-)

  14. #14 |  nigmalg | 

    The whole concept of “Fast and Furious” was to be able to run several of the NY Times style stories; blaming legal gun owners.

    Even when they screwed up the conspiracy, they still run the story.

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    The New York Times too leave of reality sometime in the 1980’s, and only rarely comes back to visit.

  16. #16 |  MassHole | 

    “My NH pride forces me to agree. We got skillz up here. ;-)”

    Ha! I hear ya. Being a Virginian by birth, I’m appalled at the gun weenies here in MA. Where I grew up, you’re weird if you don’t own guns.

  17. #17 |  derfel cadarn | 

    It is time for the “old gray whore” NYT to expire. The assault weapons(define assault weapon please) ban had NO effect on the war on drugs. Weapon bans along with ALL other prohibitions are only effective against those who are willing to obey the law. Last time I looked drug trafficking was against (stupidly and un-Constitutionally)the law, that does not seemed to have the desired affect. “Assault weapons” are readily available around the world because we Americans have no problems suppling them by the millions to every petty tyrant and dictator in an attempt to extend our “influence”and when they come back and bite our ass our so called leaders blame the American people and not themselves. The firepower is getting close to home and our elitist leaders are shitting in their pants fearing history will repeat itself.

  18. #18 |  JSL | 

    It is rather amusing when you hear about cops carrying ar-15 type rifles in their patrol cars now. Its rarely called what they are, “assault rifles” but “patrol rifles”. It can be the same damn rifle that joe citizen can buy (semi auto) but its ok because they’re police and its a patrol rifle.

  19. #19 |  Mike T | 

    It is time for the “old gray whore” NYT to expire.

    I don’t understand why conservatives and libertarians don’t demand copyright law weakened to the point where groups like the NYT and MAFIAA can barely stay in business.

  20. #20 |  Fascist Nation | 

    I thought the BATF was arming the cartels?

  21. #21 |  Jeff | 

    I don’t know if it’s the DEA FAST teams, but in the early ’90s I was told about US LEOs receiving ranger training and deploying to South America on six month tours. The guy said it was similar to his Vietnam experience, with base camps, patrols, boobytraps, and firefights in the jungle. The big differences were being a civilian and very well paid.

  22. #22 |  Brandon | 

    #10, even though it’s a pathetic stretch to say that if there were any benefits to anyone the program was not a bust, the linked article also doesn’t include any of the externalities imposed upon every single person in this country, such as the 15 to 20 percent increase in the price of used cars that still hasn’t been corrected. Any benefits that there were from Cash for Clunkers are illusory, at best, and are vastly outweighed by its massive direct and indirect costs. The program was, at best, a bust, and at worst criminal malfeasance.

  23. #23 |  Difster | 

    The cars for clunkers article didn’t even take in to consideration the fact that lots of cars were destroyed which left low income people far fewer choices available when it comes to buying a used car. That raised the overall price of cars(inflationary effect) to the detriment of the people they were supposed to be helping.

  24. #24 |  Mark R. | 

    When you’re calculating fuel savings you’ve got to take diminishing returns into account.

    The math is somewhat counterintuitive, but trading in a 14 MPG car for an 18 MPG car is significant, and basically the same as trading in an old toyota for a new hybrid, as far as gas consumption is concerned.

    Assuming cars will drive 200,000 miles here’s some math:

    14MPG car uses 14,285 gallons of gas in its lifetime.
    18MPG car uses 11,111 gallons of gas in it’s lifetime.
    Difference of 3,174 gallons.

    Trading in a 25MPG car for, say, a hybrid that gets 40:

    25MPG car uses 8,000 gallons of gas.
    40MPG car uses 5,000 gallons of gas.
    Difference of 3,000 gallons.

    You actually save more gas with going from 14 to 18 MPG than you do going from 25 to 40 MPG.

  25. #25 |  Arthur | 

    Ahhhh yes…how to fight hundreds of wars simultaneously without declaring a one! Executive administrations have been using LE agencies to put military style units into action around the globe for decades. Always to make us safer, of course. Never to go after “bad actors.” Never to use this threat of violence to influence political and administrative functions of sovereign foreign powers. Never for perceived personal or national strategic gains. Always just to make us safer.

    I am reminded of an episode of a show a few years ago on Nat Geo or Discovery (no idea of the title) that trumpeted these units: they followed DEA goons through the tropical forests of Columbia where they were engaged in a HOT war with locals. Some of the comments from the agents were so naive and infuriating that I couldn’t help rooting for the locals. [Seriously stupid shit like ‘What we do here is helping the kids back home’ and ‘these people are attacking America with every ounce of drugs they ship here.’] I will wager that not a single one of these guys realize that their illegal behavior outside our borders actually just increases the value of those commodities, magnifies the violence, and destroys what little international credibility the U.S. has left. I am not ashamed to say that I’m still rooting for the locals every day.

  26. #26 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    Thanks for the cartoonist/marathon link– it was very charming.

  27. #27 |  Andrew_h | 

    Difster is correct. Cash For Clunkers may have been good for the middle and upper classes who buy new vehicles but it has been devastating for the poor. Very low cost used cars that many poor folks purchase had their prices more than double. Cars that once went for less than 500 dollars now go for well over 1000. Sub 500 dollar cars are now nearly non-existent. The cars that were previously 2 grand are now 4 grand or more. Before CFC I could buy 200-500 pickups all day long but now trucks of that vintage and mileage go for 2000 at least. Used parts have also went up dramatically. CFC demanded that engines and major parts be destroyed. Most of these perfectly serviceable vehicles that had tens of thousands of useful miles left or had many salvageable parts were simply crushed.

  28. #28 |  World’s Strangest | Cartoonist Illustrates Marathon While Running It | 

    […] -via The Agitator | Artist’s […]

  29. #29 |  freedomfan | 


    To act as though improving the mpg of the entire US by .65 mpg is meager is, to put it mildly, stupid. Calling C4C a bust based on that column seems a bit hasty.

    The article Radley linked to misquotes the actual report. The report (see pp.18-19) never said average fuel efficiency of all vehicles in the U.S. went up by 0.65 mpg. It says that the mpg of new cars sold during the one month Clunker program went up by 0.65 mpg. It also notes that cars sold right before and a little after the program had lower average mpg, because people looking to purchase fuel efficient vehicles either waited to do so or did so early in order to take advantage of the program.

    During July and August, the program increased the average MPG of new vehicles by 0.65 (from 22.72 to 22.37[sic]) based on the full sample estimation. Over a longer time horizon, the effect on average MPG diminished: although the program increased sales of high MPG vehicles in July and August, it actually reduced sales of those vehicles in other months.

    People absolutely should not misread that report (as the WaPo article apparently did) to imply that the Clunker program increased overall fuel efficiency of vehicles in the U.S. by 0.65 mpg. That number applies only to the new vehicles sold during the program, which is a very small fraction of the vehicles on the road.

  30. #30 |  Jim Collins | 

    Nobody factors in the number of lower milage cars who’s owners are forced to keep them on the road due to the increase in price of used cars.