Morning Links

Friday, November 11th, 2011
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51 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Sailor | 

    Forget classic rock awards. Hero Dog Awards!!!

    http://www.herodogawards.org/

  2. #2 |  SamK | 

    Actually, I rather like the idea of being able to report parking violations via iPhone. Do you have any idea how many cops I’d be turning in?

  3. #3 |  John Spragge | 

    Two notes:

    1) Medicare, Obamacare, whatever: if Americans want free market health care, you have a variety of models for doing it. Milton Friedman provided one model. Regulating medical safety the way the government now regulates aviation safety offers another. You do not currently have either of these systems; instead, doctors organize themselves as a “self governing profession”. This makes them, together with lawyers, the last of the Medieval craft guilds. You can make a case for this arrangement, but not on free market grounds. If the government uses force to reguate who can practice medicine, then sooner or later the government will also have to regulate what authorized practitioners can charge.

    2) Parking: on what grounds, exactly, do you object to citizens providing information to the courts about illegal and unethical behaviour?

  4. #4 |  c andrew | 

    Austin Texas recycles an old Central European idea of Governance. Hmmm, let’s call them the Parking Stasi’s!

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    I love the goat picture in the agriculture article. I can see where this information would be valuable to a business. I’d be surprised if universities don’t pick this up.

    Snitch phones freak me out- totalitarian govts love turning citizens against each other…

  6. #6 |  Amiable Dorsai | 

    SamK, don’t be silly–you know that even cops aren’t allowed to turn in cops.

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    Those evil libertarians forcing people to litter against their will.

  8. #8 |  Swampy | 

    As someone who lives in Austin, I’m somewhat in favor of the traffic photo idea. I commute by bicycle and have to deal with cars parked in the bike lane daily. This wouldn’t be a problem except that the street is lined with “no parking in the bike lane – car will be towed” signs and even has a designated areas along the lane for cars to park. However, many motorists don’t feel the need to comply with the law.

    Understanding the unintended consequences, The best alternative to the photo parking program would be to have the cyclist print out, stop and put a flyer stating the law and asking the motorist to be aware of where they are parking.

  9. #9 |  Alex | 

    The Coke/Koch author later says (regarding a frivolous rescue call): “The Park Service should have charged them the $3,400, but somebody also should have put them in jail overnight.”

    Hm, those are interesting kinds of solutions.

  10. #10 |  Big A | 

    “so I think if you’re going to allow this you should also expand this ordinance to include the ability of the police department and code compliance to purchase smartphones for their volunteers”

    Ah ha. Almost got it by me.

  11. #11 |  kant | 

    RE: coke/koch story

    I thought the best gem of the article came in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs

    [blockquote]“Banning anything is never the right answer. If you do that, you don’t necessarily address the problem.”

    I disagree. I’ve always thought the ban on murder was a good idea, likewise the ban on child molestation.[/blockquote]

    This almost made my head explode. I wonder were we’ve heard this argument before….

  12. #12 |  nigmalg | 

    “Miami Interim Police Chief Manuel Orosa also tightened the department’s policy for pulling over fellow law enforcement officers, mandating no traffic stops without approval from a supervisor and only if the targeted officer is engaged in a felony.”

    Fantastic! The issue has been solved. We’ll stop this bickering and infighting by allowing criminal activity from our police force. Are you happy citizens?

  13. #13 |  Greg | 

    That Miami cop story is just infuriating.

    She did nothing wrong. After that jackass led her on a chase for 3-5 minutes, it was objectively reasonable for her to conclude that there was a decent shot that the police cruiser was stolen and that the occupant was possibly violent.

  14. #14 |  Cordero | 

    Shocking! Who would have ever thought that in order to make universal healthcare affordable and contain costs, there would need to be an implementation of price controls. Oh I know who thought that, EVERY OTHER ADVANCED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! More coverage, better outcomes, and less expensive. BRILLIANT!

  15. #15 |  jeff | 

    nice to see florida cops are now above the law.. can we just save time and kick florida out of the union now?????

  16. #16 |  CyniCAl | 

    •I’m not sure I understand the point of handing out annual awards for classic rock.

    To promote themselves, of course. I did learn, however, that Foo Fighters is a classic rock band, not an alternative rock band like I thought all these years. Who knew?

  17. #17 |  CyniCAl | 

    One shouldn’t make the mistake of evaluating the decisions of elites like NCAA football coaches and State law enforcement officers through the prism of lower/middle-class values. You will not be able to square that circle.

    State agents have their own code, which enables such lovely behavior as compulsive kiddy-diddling and reckless driving. Sad to say, there’s not much one can do about this in a Statist world.

  18. #18 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Your post on professional courtesy assumes that police forces actually suffer from either professionalism or courtesy,in both cases it is seriously doubtful. Professional courtesy is corruption(the law does not apply equally to all)regardless of how small corruption is corruption. The parking ticket ,idea smacks of the East German Stasi,that is not a comforting thought.

  19. #19 |  Al | 

    “The incident, captured on video, has sparked furor among citizens as well as law enforcement officers who say Watts acted recklessly in drawing her weapon, yelling and handcuffing a fellow police officer.”

    Really? Furor among citizens? Most of the citizens I know thought she did the right thing.

    Of course, I also thought she’d get smacked down for it. Sorry, but not surprised, to see my prediction was correct.

  20. #20 |  Zeb | 

    Re: plastic bottles article. Why do people think that banning something else will stop activity that is already illegal (littering)? And the link to Koch shows some serious derangement. The left is more insane about Koch than the right is about Soros. I think I liked it better when no one thought they knew what libertarianism was.

  21. #21 |  Jozef | 

    nice to see florida cops are now above the law.. can we just save time and kick florida out of the union now?????

    If cops being above the law was enough to kick a state out of the union, there would be no states left.

  22. #22 |  ClubMedSux | 

    I’m not sure I understand the point of handing out annual awards for classic rock.

    That’s because YOU’RE not Bob Seger.

  23. #23 |  Greg C | 

    I would file the whole parking snitch thing under the generally good advice to never ever call the cops or involve law enforcement for any reason. Just as I don’t report my neighbors for potentially illegal behavior when involving law enforcement would cause more harm ( and probably damage families) than not.

  24. #24 |  nigmalg | 

    “Really? Furor among citizens? Most of the citizens I know thought she did the right thing. ”

    That’s also a complete disconnect between the editor of that story and the trend of citizens. From my perspective, you’re right that most people who read or see this story support officer Watts.

  25. #25 |  Matt | 

    Wow, get a load of this from that cellphone article:

    “I am a community policer from way back,” one resident said at the meeting. “I’m also one of the first code compliance volunteers in my neighborhood… Low income people like me can’t even afford a cell phone, so I think if you’re going to allow this you should also expand this ordinance to include the ability of the police department and code compliance to purchase smartphones for their volunteers.”

    Step back a minute and just try to imagine how unpleasant and self-righteous this person is in real life. We have the triple whammy of “community policer”, “code compliance volunteer” and a healthy dose of “buy me free shit”.

  26. #26 |  Invid | 

    Imagine how much fun it would be to try to fight one of those cell phone tickets if you were parked legally and someone decided to have fun with you.

  27. #27 |  Lint | 

    I honestly wonder if the last one is just a way for some people to afford smartphones.

  28. #28 |  Rob Lyman | 

    The thing I don’t understand about the Miami PD/FHP story is, if she thought the cruiser was stolen, why couldn’t she have her dispatcher contact the driver and/or MPD to get an answer to that question? Presumably all of those DHS “interoperability” grants have bought a few multi-channel radios for the dispatchers. It’s exceedingly dangerous for uniformed officers to be drawing down/handcuffing each other because one of them “might be an imposter.” If MPD guy had decided to fight on the grounds that he thought the FHP cruiser was stolen, what is the outcome? (I understand that some readers would be delighted to see one cop kill another, but I wouldn’t be).

    That said, the MPD officer deserves a reckless driving charge and a pretty serious beat down from his superiors. 120 mph because you’re late for your off-duty job is ridiculous. I don’t know if he’ll get either.

  29. #29 |  Brandon | 

    John Spragge, your first point is right on, except that doctors are more of a cartel than a guild. You kind of had a point in your second bit, until the very end. Why would the government have any interest in “unethical behaviour” if it is not illegal, other than government being a surrogate parent?

  30. #30 |  Ted S. | 

    Single payer legal care. Because there’s not a single lawyer anywhere in the country who does anything worth more than minimum wage.

    I’ll let you figure out how much of the above is serious.

  31. #31 |  David | 

    Really? Furor among citizens? Most of the citizens I know thought she did the right thing.

    It’s a neat grammar trick. The clause “who say Watts acted recklessly” just applies to “police officers”.

  32. #32 |  Dante | 

    Regarding the “citizens turining in violators”, you know sooner or later there are going to be people who use this “service” to retaliate against an enemy. Calling the police on someone these days causes sheer terror.

    So the police then become an instrument of terror, in effect. Terrorists, if you will.

    Gee, didn’t our government have a special program for Terrorists? Shock & Awe, or something?

    Can’t wait to see them use it on the newest variety.

  33. #33 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @3 – Yea, can’t have that “medical ethics” thing, if someone isn’t covered for that particular hospital when they get taken into the emergency room, they should be straight out again!

    @14 – But, but, socialism!

    (Never mind that copying the NHS isn’t a good idea either, there are plenty of good market-based solutions to copy)

  34. #34 |  Jesse | 

    If the author of the police article thinks there is some citizen uproar over the FHP officer acting “recklessly”, how many pieces has he written on police conduct when they pull over a citizen doing the very same thing? In those cases the citizen would likely be beaten and/or tazed by a phalanx of cops, then charged with multiple felonies rather than simply reckless driving.

  35. #35 |  JOR | 

    Watts may well have acted inappropriately or dangerously. The important thing though is that she acted as if the person the the car was a mundane. Which probably indicates that cops think that treating mundanes that way is perfectly acceptable, given the circumstances. If it’s acceptable to treat mundanes that way, it’s acceptable to treat cops that way (furthermore, it’s acceptable for anyone to treat anyone that way, given the circumstances). On the other hand, if it’s not acceptable . . .

    But of course, cops see this not as an indication that their standards are inconsistent and have to be rectified (in one direction or the other) but as a dispute over the proper pecking order.

  36. #36 |  John Spragge | 

    @29 Brandon: I had intended the phrase “illegal and unethical” as a modifier for the word “behavior”. In other words, when behaviour both harms and identifiable person, which makes it unethical, and breaks statute law, on what basis do we object to citizens reporting to the authorities? I get that we don’t want the state playing moral nanny, I get that we don’t want people turning each other in over a spliff, but does anyone not have a problem with illicitly parking in a disabled spot? That counts right up there with endangering a child as behaviour I have no objection to informing the police about.

    @33 Leon: if the state regulates doctors the way they regulate programmers, it makes sense that some variant of the “open source” model in medicine will arise. As it stands now, unregulated providers such as suicide prevention make services available for free, often highly effectively. If the government regulates medicine the way it regulates aviation, I would expect some analog to life flight to spring up. I don’t consider the status of “self governing profession” the only foundation for ethics. In any case, I don’t say we should have free enterprise medicine; I remain agnostic on the subject. I merely say, and I insist, that comments on this subject should not start with the notion that the US had free enterprise in medicine in, say, 1950, and government programs since have violated that freedom. A medieval craft guild does not equal free enterprise.

  37. #37 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Why do I think that, when it comes to these Public Spirited Snitch tickets, the principal of being allowed to confront your accuser in court is going to fly out the window?

    Of course, if it doesn’t the whole program will tank because people will soon learn that reporting a parking violation is tantamount to volunteering to spend time in court.

  38. #38 |  Tim P | 

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Teen-Punching-Man-at-CTA-Stop-Caught-on-Tape-133703583.html?dr

  39. #39 |  Tim P | 

    Someone want to tell me there isn’t a problem with black teens. Can’t blame the cops for everything.

  40. #40 |  H. Rearden | 

    Oh, the fun I could have in Austin with a smartphone and my very own handicapped parking sign.

    @36 John – anything for teh childrens and teh handicappeds! You’re not the kind of guy who’s going to call the cops on me when I leave my kids in the car to buy a gallon of milk, are you?

  41. #41 |  Sam | 

    Would it make more sense for the Massachusetts state government to pay whatever bills it was sent instead?

  42. #42 |  Jesse | 

    #35 JOR:

    My post just prior to yours says that no, this cop did not get treated as a mundane. Driving a cop car with a uniform means you don’t get apprehended by a large group of backup police, tazed or beaten in the process and then charged with multiple felonies.

    My take on this incident is that this officer did exactly what a police officer is supposed to do, under the law. Use their force and power judiciously against someone that is acting with reckless disregard to the safety of other people, but refraining from using their power and fellow officers to administer “street justice” against someone that did not actually harm anyone.

    The only problem is that it seems police officers are the only recipient of truly moderated, proper police enforcement, at least in this case. Any mundane would get put through the police and legal wringer.

  43. #43 |  Homeboy | 

    “If MPD guy had decided to fight on the grounds that he thought the FHP cruiser was stolen, what is the outcome?”

    Please, PLEASE tell us that you are not serious! The outcome would be that you have an MPD guy claiming to act on spurious, ridiculous, moronic grounds. No one could reasonably suspect that an FHP cruiser was stolen simply because he observed its occupant acting responsibly in the pursuit of a criminal while bedecked in an official FHP uniform.

  44. #44 |  Bobby | 

    Interesting, my comment at the Coke article was deleted. All I did was point out how wrong the writer was on all of his points. I wish people would actually make an effort to learn about libertarianism, preferably by reading stuff by actual libertarians or talking to them, instead of losing their minds arguing with the “libertarians” in their heads. I still do not understand the mindset behind banning something (plastic bottles) that is already covered by anti-littering rules.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Leon,
    Socialism sucks balls and/or ass. That’s it in a nutshell, but it isn’t the extent of the available argument against socialism. Yes, anything that even hints as being collectivist/socialist sucks and I–along with several hundred others on this site–can explain exactly why it isn’t what “we” want and why it doesn’t provide what it (and supporters) claim it provides. But few want to argue with a rock, so you’ll have to do some work here.

    I think we all know you love socialism and have only great things to say about it. If you want an honest debate, great…let’s do it. This would be a great chance for you to level-up here.

    The post at #14 identifies one of the failures of collectivist health care…namely that it does not reduce costs at all and predictably doubles-down on the mistakes by implementing price controls…which also are doomed to failure. To this, you respond:

    @14 – But, but, socialism!

    Is that the extent of the socialist reasoned response?

  46. #46 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @45 – No, it’s the limit of yours.

    America has some VERY socialist policies. Rent controls, credit unions and more. It’s just that nobody’s allowed to call then what they are.

    You can explain precisely why you’re ideologically committed to ensuring that the current failure of corporatism is continued, that you want to ride it all the way down. Right.

    Never mind, again, that there are universal, largely market-driven systems of healthcare in some countries, the .nl one delivers a far HIGHER percentage of care from the private sector, for example.

    Nope, you cry socialism. Never mind America is spending twice as much to cover a fraction of the population, and that you want to make the situation worse by excluding more people, and dialing back even further on preventative care. No, universal healthcare is a failure because you must view it as a failure because of your ideological blinders.

    (Also, “leveling up”. I’m mocking you, you think I care for your ideological markers?)

    @36 – I completely fail to see to the relevance of a local helicopter ambulance service, I’m afraid.

  47. #47 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Those interested in the FHP v. Miami pd thing, might also be interested in this other policeman fight that made the news this week:

    http://police4aqi.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/video-policeman-versus-ex-policeman

  48. #48 |  JOR | 

    “Yes, anything that even hints as being collectivist/socialist sucks…”

    Capitalism is socialist.

  49. #49 |  Rob Lyman | 

    The outcome would be that you have an MPD guy claiming to act on spurious, ridiculous, moronic grounds.

    It seems to me the FHP’s worry that the cruiser might have been stolen is similarly spurious, ridiculous, and moronic. A stolen police car is sort of incident you’d expect to be reported over the radio pretty promptly, and certainly the sort of thing you could confirm with the dispatcher before using it as a justification for whatever you did. Furthermore, the speeding MPD guy was also in uniform, which makes the “stolen” claim even weaker.

    MPD guy is definitely very much in the wrong here, but FHP gal could have dealt with the problem better. The goal is to achieve appropriate discipline and compliance, and what we may get instead a feud between MPD and FHP, which MPD guy’s gross recklessness is ignored or minimized.

  50. #50 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    You can explain precisely why you’re ideologically committed to ensuring that the current failure of corporatism is continued

    A position I do not hold. This has been explained to you several times before. I have to conclude the concept (I am against corporatism) is beyond you. Do you understand?

    BTW, I could explain that position rationally even though I don’t believe it…that’s often called for in debate.

    Nope, you cry socialism. Never mind America is spending twice as much to cover a fraction of the population, and that you want to make the situation worse by excluding more people, and dialing back even further on preventative care. No, universal healthcare is a failure because you must view it as a failure because of your ideological blinders.

    I take this as a “NO!” to my request for an honest debate. This is just a terrible failure on your part, Leon. Again telling me my position (incorrectly) most likely for two reasons:
    1. You are unable to understand a libertarian, capitalist, or free-market position.
    2. You only care about axe-grinding and planting your freak flag far-and-wide.
    3. You aren’t capable of actual reasoned debate. Hey, it isn’t as easy as flaming…I’ll give you that.

    (Also, “leveling up”. I’m mocking you, you think I care for your ideological markers?)

    I mentioned “leveling up” to mock YOU since it appears you’re only capable of ranting and cascading logic fallacies which is like a Level 1 mage who gets killed by a sand crab. You spend a lot of time here and these issues are important to you. I highly recommend you get better at logic and debate. It will–maybe–put your position in a better light to convince others. As it stands, I’m thrilled you are representing socialism. That’s a win for my side every time.

    After studying and learning you don’t have to use your new skills, but it’ll enrich your life greatly and you can thank me later if you want. This advice is my gift to you.

  51. #51 |  Stray | 

    As someone who’s handicapped and can never find a parking space I’m all for the snitch photos. I had this argument last night with a black woman who was parked in a handicapped spot, and in typical fashion, just babbled away trying to justify why she should park there.

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