Morning Links

Monday, November 14th, 2011

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51 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  StrangeOne | 

    Proving once again that the Catholic Church is so corrupt and villinous that it is beyond parody. At this point they are the worlds largest publicly operating criminal syndicate.

    Except unlike other proffessional criminals, who commit crimes for money, the church seems deadset on using their vast sums of money to cover up and export as many pedophiles as they can.

  2. #2 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    I believe there’s some kind of conspiracy surrounding the
    Clackers prohibition.
    “The two balls would swing apart and together, making the loud clacking noise that gave the toy its name. If swung too hard, the acrylic balls would shatter, sending flying shrapnel everywhere.”

    Seriously, how many people were injured by flying clacker shrapnel
    compared to steak knives?

  3. #3 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Catholic Church’s investigator of pedophilia claims found with thousands of child porn images on his computer.

    Is this an appropriate use of “Well played, Catholic Church pedophile”?

  4. #4 |  Aresen | 

    •Strange Internet criticism of the day.

    I have seldom seen elitist snobbery so nakedly displayed.

    How dare the hoi polloi express their own opinions! Only professional critics should be allowed.

    I get the feeling that if this guy had his way, there’d be a licensing board for critics.

  5. #5 |  JimBob | 

    Wait– so we DON’T want to support legislation that could send Justin Bieber to prison? When the hell did THIS happen?

  6. #6 |  Aresen | 

    From the “Press release of the Day”

    2012 Presidential Election will be Satan vs. Satan

    So the 2012 Democratic Campaign slogan will be “Better the Devil You Know….” ?

  7. #7 |  Bob | 

    Clackers? NOOO! We played with these as kids! They were great! Sure, we heard about the rumors of them exploding… that just made us bash them together even harder.

    It’s 2 heavy, hard plastic balls being swung around and bashed together as hard as you possibly can. It can also be used as a bola. What could go wrong?

    Freakin’ “safety” nazis!

    Next you’ll tell me kids can’t buy dynamite anymore.

  8. #8 |  Burgers Allday | 

    BHest JB story since he pegged that copper with a water balloon.

  9. #9 |  Chris in AL | 

    We played Jarts for years. That ban is stupid and if I could find a set I would buy it because we loved it. You can still choose to let your kids play with pellet guns, archery sets, horseshoes etc…but not lawn darts? The ban is ridiculous and should be lifted. I wonder how many injuries happen every year because people are trying to do wheelies or jump stuff with their bikes that they shouldn’t.

  10. #10 |  Aresen | 

    @ Chris in AL | November 14th, 2011 at 12:27 pm


    In a similar vein, I wonder how many of the anonymous donations for civic BMX tracks and skateboard parks come from tort lawyers.

  11. #11 |  Highway | 

    That internet criticism is just the same one we see all the time from ‘journalists’ complaining about the lack of vetting of ‘bloggers’. This time it’s from a guy who relies on the art critics to drive customers to him (President of the Kennedy Center). Sure I’ll bet it’s a lot easier to get opinions in line when you only need to deal with 5 or 10 people’s opinions (people you already know, who are all coming to the first show, and who you can wine, dine, and shmooze), rather than an unknown multitude. He even throws in a whine about how they can’t get free advertising from as many sources, hidden in the ‘papers are getting rid of art critics’ complaint.

    Whether ‘art’ is driven down to the ‘lowest common denominator’ is up to him, not the criticism of art, isn’t it? Were a lot of people going to see shows that they ended up not liking, just because the guy in the paper liked it? Or did they delude themselves into liking it because someone who was published liked it? Or is it because the shows were good, and they heard it from their friends?

    I can’t help thinking that this is just the same kind of thing that auto writing is (See Scott Burgess and the Chrysler 200). If they know where the criticism is, they can exert some control over it.

  12. #12 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    But it is difficult to distinguish the professional critic from the amateur as one reads on-line reviews and critiques.

    Those amateurs are so horrible you can’t even tell them apart from the pros!

  13. #13 |  Aresen | 

    The peculiar thing about critics is how often they have been wrong, historically.

    Shakespeare was panned in his own time. Dickens writing was considered popular trash. Les Miserables was panned both as a book and a musical. Mozart had to go to the popular theatre to get his operas produced.

  14. #14 |  Doubleu | 

    Jarts were awesome, I am sure they are in storage somewhere at my parent’s house… but the plastic may have become brittle. I did see a link about making your own home made Jarts on the Internet.
    Battlestar Galactica Missile Launcher, The Onion had a story once about a child’s toy being banned because “some stupid kids shot the missile up their nose.” That must have been the inspiration.

    Don’t send Justin Bieber to jail, just make him marry the girl who claims he is the father of her child.

  15. #15 |  Marty | 

    those banned comic books are going for a nice price on ebay- I want one!

  16. #16 |  David | 

    More anti-Catholic fodder for the dolts who get all their information from the mainstream media so they think pedophelia is rampant.

    No, accusations and investigations are rampant….because of the media’s fixation on it. It’s a stupid cycle: media commands dolts to think “Priest = molester”. Lemmings dutifully follow suit and make accusations and look for offenses where the only offense is actually in their own pervert imaginations.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for a media vendetta against another group:

    The media and their obedient public’s vendetta against Catholics – now a decade strong – makes the 1980’s day-care sex abuse hysteria seem as mellow as a fishing trip in comparison. Only nowadays, American men are too hopped up on their Viagara and self-righteousness to step back and say, “Whoa. We’re making fools of ourselves here. Time to back out of this dark alley.”

  17. #17 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    That internet criticism is just the same one we see all the time from ‘journalists’ complaining about the lack of vetting of ‘bloggers’.

    The same “journalists” who can’t see or hear Ron Paul at a Republican Debate. If I’m Ron Paul, I’m making a list of the hottest journalists and waiting in their shower.

    Invisibility rocks!

  18. #18 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    It’s getting a lot of play, but for those that missed it:;storyMediaBox

    This is where 60 minutes follows the lead of others (like Peter Schiff) and explains how it really should be “Occupy Congress”. I really like 60 Minutes (even with all the blemishes), and this is one of the most important segments they’ve ever done. Good for them.

  19. #19 |  jmcross | 

    Just spitballing a few ad ideas for the cloven one…

    This time the lesser of 2 Evils is NOT AN OPTION!
    2+2=5 & 666×2=2012
    Satan & Satan say, “All your polling station are belong to us!”

  20. #20 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    #14, re Bieber; what has that poor girl done to deserve such a punishment?

  21. #21 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    @#16 “More anti-Catholic fodder for the dolts who get all their information from the mainstream media so they think pedophelia is rampant.”

    Sounding a bit defensive there, Father David.

  22. #22 |  Aresen | 

    C. S. P. Schofield | November 14th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    #14, re Bieber; what has that poor girl done to deserve such a punishment?

    You mean aside from being one of his mindless fans?

  23. #23 |  Johnny, shut down that reactor and come eat your dinner right this minute. » Gator In The Desert | 

    […] (via Radley Balko @  The Agitator) […]

  24. #24 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    More anti-Catholic fodder for the dolts who get all their information from the mainstream media so they think pedophelia is rampant.

    It isn’t rampant pedophilia people are claiming as much as “systemic cover-up going all the way up to the Pope”.

    David, you’d let your children sleep over with priest? Dave Chapelle has your answer:

  25. #25 |  GaryM | 

    Just a thought: Might Jarvis have had those images because he was gathering evidence, only to learn that possessing the evidence is itself a crime?

  26. #26 |  Agammamon | 

    Neat toy list, I had the Cylon raider when I was young.

    But the author is confusing *recalled* with *banned* and even *out of production*.

  27. #27 |  StrangeOne | 


    That defense might hold water if he was a law enforcement officer and had pressed charges against anyone. But he’s not. If this “evidence” was gathered against a member of the church, then it should have been turned over to the proper authorities and arrests should have been made. After a certain point in time it shifts from “holding evidence” to “covering up evidence”.

    The fact that the church is allowed to investigate this problem internally at all is a joke to begin with, given all the information that has already come out about the systimatic problems the church has with it. They simply don’t treat the issue as a crime, despite the protestations of just about every other group of civilized people in the world. It’s amazing what you can get away with by simply claiming divine right, even in this day and age.

    I’m not a big fan of the possession of child porn being a crime though, as Radley noted on a story earlier this week, it often carries harsher penalties than actual child molestation. And in the digital age, having the possesion of anything that can be infinitely and freely copied being a crime, is kind of laughable. I just take this as yet another indicator that the church is beyond self-governance, and needs serious intervention with jail time for those who have aided, abeted, and covered up for the literal decades of child rape. I highly doubt a man with child porn on his computer was doing the diligence in bringing pedophiles to justice.

  28. #28 |  freedomfan | 

    While I like Bieber’s comments (he at least recognizes authoritarianism when it impacts him directly), I can’t say that the commercial will be very compelling or effective. Instead of giving a good example of how the proposed law will affect millions of typical citizens, it focuses too much on the celebrity dust up. It should use that dust up to draw attention to something more people can relate to (“What do you mean I could go to jail for facebook posting a video of my granddaughter singing along with American Idol?”), rather than the posing the issue as a Bieber vs. Klobuchar, which only a small fraction of people will take seriously, and disproportionately small fraction of those will show up to vote.

  29. #29 |  David | 

    So the StrangeOne thinks that child porn is cool, as long as it’s possessed by “the authorities”. (Gotta love effeminate American men, prostrating themselves before the government at every turn.)

    Still another toadie for the mainstream media, cutting-and-pasting what he reads in the New York Times and regurgitating what he hears on Fox News.

    (I also love evidence and proof of crimes by the U.S. and other governments are dismissed as “conspiracy theories”. But when impotent American whities are told to believe that Arabs or Catholics all conspire, they start nodding like bobblehead dolls. “Yeah! Send in our brave authorities to put them all in cages!”)

  30. #30 |  Kristen | 

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

  31. #31 |  MacGregory | 

    I never thought Jarts were any more dangerous than horseshoes. Maybe even less. At least I had some idea where it was going and it stops when it hits the ground. A pitched horseshoe – not so much.

  32. #32 |  Flight 714 | 

    The Satan versus Satan article reads like it was copy/pasted from The Onion. I might have to bookmark that site.

  33. #33 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I have to wonder how much of the criticism of amature criticism stems from an uneasy feeling that if the general public gets involved being a professional Artist might have to involve some actual skill, as opposed to creating one hip little politically correct in-joke after another.

  34. #34 |  Highway | 

    Macgregory, I think the more dangerous part of Jarts is that they’re more likely to be thrown WAAAAAY up high, and come down like a missile, through whatever’s in their path.

    Personally, I think it was one of those things, like woodburning kits and Monster factories, that taught valuable life lessons, like “Staying alive is difficult. Pay attention.”

  35. #35 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I’d like to submit David’s post at #27 as an Agitator Classic.

    It has awesome written all over it. I trust you know how I’m using “awesome”.

    If David doesn’t like effeminate American men, I can send some bear friends to his place that are more to his liking. The leather cap crowd travels well.

  36. #36 |  Mattocracy | 

    Stupid media, reporting on people doing really terrible things instead of glossing over it like the archdiocese does. Cause it’s all the media’s fault that everyone things that priests are molestors and not the Catholic Church’s fault for systematically covering it up for decades.

    Accountability, how does it work?

  37. #37 |  Big Texan | 

    So the David thinks that child porn is cool, as long as it’s possessed by “the Church”. (Gotta love effeminate Catholic men, prostrating themselves before the Vatican at every turn.)

    Still another toadie for the Church, cutting-and-pasting what he reads from the archdiocese and regurgitating what he hears from the Pulpit.

    (I also love evidence and proof of crimes by the archdiocese and other churches are dismissed as “conspiracy theories”. But when impotent Christians are told to believe that Muslims or Jews all conspire, they start nodding like bobblehead dolls. “Yeah! Send in our brave crusaders to put them all to death!”)

    There I fixed it for you

  38. #38 |  Meister574 | 


    When I saw the no. 3 toy on the list, that is exactly what I thought.

  39. #39 |  Goober | 

    The snark is strong with #35.

    There is no defense for the Catholic Church at this point as applies to the child sex scandals. None. And the media isn’t spinning it like every priest is a molester – that is a straw man and you know it. The media is merely reporting the truth, which is that at all levels of the Catholic hierarchy, these allegations were covered up for years rather than being looked into and having the guilty be punished. And by all levels, i mean all the way up to the Pope, and that isn’t conjecture or hyperbole – it is proven fact.

    If you want me concede that all priests are not molesters, i need to point out to you that it is not a concession – no one, including me, has ever indicated that this was anything other than a very small minority of priests who actually did the dirty deeds. I am merely pointing out that the men who did these things were supported and sheilded from punishment by the Church. Care to argue that point? Care to explain why a man who serves a boy up on a platter for sexual molestation and then does nothing to stop it or punish the man responsible is not just as guilty as the man who did the deed? I’m listening.

    If you find yourself defending the Catholic Church’s actions in this matter, you need to stop and re-assess, because YOU ARE WRONG. You are defending men who covered up child molestations. This is evil. Wrong. illegal. immoral. A DEADLY SIN that will very likely condemn every one of their complicit souls to Hell by Catholic doctrine.

    If I were a Catholic, i would be ripshit pissed off at these sons of bitches for tarnishing the good name of my Church, but instead, you defend them when there is no defense for what they did. You remind me of the patriot that confuses their love of country for the love of the country’s government. They are not the same. i’d fight and die for the United States of America, but it’s current government can go piss up a rope for all i care. They are not one and the same.

  40. #40 |  Thomas D | 

    The weird thing about that Kennedy Center guy’s complaint is that the typical newspaper or magazine arts critic is probably far more widely read today than in the past. The readership of most newspaper/magazine websites is much higher than their respective print circulations ever were.

    Now, there are FEWER of those critics today (as he does point out), because of staffing cutbacks. But those cutbacks are all tied to web revenue/advertising stuff. For the ones still around, their reach/influence not only hasn’t diminished, it’s grown.

    And yes, they’re now on a platform where they’re side-by-side with legions of amateur critics. That just means the world has a bigger bounty of arts criticism at hand, and I’m not sure I see what’s so bad about that.

  41. #41 |  Ted S. | 

    My view on (professional) critics is always tempered by the fact that the screenwriter of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is considered one of America’s most prominent movie critics.

  42. #42 |  markm | 

    The criticism of the Catholic church in regards to child molestation is much like the criticism of cops on this website – only a few of them are directly doing wrong, but nearly all of them participate in the cover-up. That’s known as “accessory after the fact”, and it means they’re also criminals.

  43. #43 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    David @ 16:

    I believe that any organization which has access to children is at risk for including pedophiles, and the larger and more respected the organization is, the higher the risk of a cover-up.

    Until the Penn State story broke, I assumed that the ability to move pedophiles from one place to another after accusations was important, but apparently less than I thought.

    This means that there probably are pedophiles taking advantage among Jews, but it doesn’t mean the Catholic Church is being unfairly accused.

  44. #44 |  MassHole | 

    Hmmm. It’s like there is a pattern here or something. Penn State, Catholic Church, Cop Unions, US Government…

    Could it be that large institutions given authority over people become corrupt and self-serving at the expense of those they are suppose to look out for?

    “Dolts”, like David, will slavishly defend their chosen authority because they just need someone to tell them what to do. He hates on the US Government, but loves him some pope. Talk about lack of reflection.

    Organized religion, partisan politics, football fanaticism, etc. just prove that most of us are as tribal and superstitious as we have been since the beginning of time.

    “If you want to get rich, you start a religion” – L. Ron Hubbard

  45. #45 |  the other rob | 

    What I find interesting about the Bieber-related item is that it comes close to a tactic that I’ve advocated on occasion (albeit at the ballot box); namely, single out and politically destroy one elected rep, pour encourager les autres.

    I’ve often thought that it’s only mass buy-in to the two-party shell game that prevents this tactic being more widely adopted.

  46. #46 |  Elliot | 

    How does Rev Keller know Mitt has “satanic markings” on his “magical underwear”?

  47. #47 |  derfel cadarn | 

    I cannot believe that I am going to say I applaud Justin Bieber. Most of the time I just find him creepy,perhaps there is hope for the ytouth of the world.

  48. #48 |  Elliot | 

    On another website, an author whom I’ve followed for many years was commenting on the Penn State story. He has, in the past, been a bit of an apologist for the Catholic church. This time, he was suggesting that people reserve judgment on Paterno, but in the very next article’s comment section, was ranting about how the Nazi SA were a “cult of sodomy”. He’s a conservative Catholic, who is rather adept at debate, but devotes (wastes) much of his time railing against gays, atheists, evolution, and the like.

    I just don’t see how one can invest so much negative energy into demonizing adults who engage in consensual relations with other adults of the same sex, but push for caution and restrain from guilt-by-association judgment when an organization he supports is tainted by predators who do harm to defenseless children.

    Upside down and backwards. Religion, partisan support for one brand of government control … these things rot the brain and deprive one of the ability to reason.

  49. #49 |  albatross | 


    FWIW, I am a Catholic, and I’ve been horrified by the ongoing scandals. As far as I can tell, the priorities everyone in the Church had when dealing with accusations of pedophilia against priests were:

    1 Protect the reputation of the Church
    2 Help the poor, misunderstood priest out
    3 Wait, was there a #3?

    I see that scandal as very much like a lot of others, including scandals involving police brutality and criminality, doctors being drunk or incompetent, etc. Get people thinking “us” vs “them,” add in a uniform, shared sacrifices/experiences, a sense of important mission, and shake. This kind of scandal, where the small fraction of really bad people are protected by the large fraction of normal, more-or-less decent people, arises in those conditions.

  50. #50 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    @#49 –– Yes, there was definitely a #3, though often it was actually #1: Discredit and intimidate the victim and the victim’s family.

  51. #51 |  Justthisguy | 

    I had one of those derringer buckles. It was really cool. Shot a little plastic bullet, too. It was on the gun belt which held my Mattell SAA, which was quite realistic, with loading gate, and everything. Oh God I miss realistic cap pistols!