Sunday Links

Sunday, November 20th, 2011
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33 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Ashton | 

    I think Balko meant to say someWHAT heartwarming, because once you hit the part about her former husband very probably being wrongfully executed and THEN a Google search leads you to the gruesome details of his execution, that warm fuzzy feeling in your chest will be replaced by a nasty one in your stomach. I highly doubt the sonsabitches responsible for that fuck-up were forced to swallow cancer vomit by a large black Messiah, and at least in the Green Mile, that guy was guilty. Oh, and the guy who was probably responsible? Paroled for “good behavior,” after lying through his damn teeth to avoid the chair himself, probably before the stench of Jesse Tafero’s burnt corpse had totally left the death chamber.

    When Stephen fucking King is capable of a happier ending than the American Justice system, something is seriously fucked up.

  2. #2 |  freedomfan | 

    Regarding Jacob Sullum’s article, I would also like to pose the question to Representative Wolf: If Jack Abramoff Had Bought a Congressman, Would Frank Wolf Want To Ban Legislation?

    Actually, that doesn’t exactly work as reducto ad absurdum, since, in the unlikely event that Wolf were consistent and supported such a ban, I don’t know that I would really oppose him…

  3. #3 |  Stephen | 

    That heartwarming story gets less so when you read the whole thing. Looks to me like Florida executed the wrong man for murder. The real murderer only got life because he accused the other two.

  4. #4 |  Doubleu | 

    re: Internet gambling
    “Internet gambling is the crack cocaine of gambling.”
    I consider the state lotteries the crack cocaine of gambling. Easy access, inexpensive addiction, and it is pushed by filthy dirt bags.

    re: more cops
    One of the local mayors was running an ad on TV, it said (quotes) “You felt safer when we purchased new police cars.” “You felt safer when we added police.” You felt safer when I stood along side mayor Bloomberg for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. (last quote is paraphrased)
    Thank you for telling me how I feel sir, and thank you for hiring more thugs for your corrupt administration. (Can’t totally fault him, the city has been corrupt for decades)

  5. #5 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I’m not a Romney fan, but I’m not a fan of the idea of requiring any office holder to preserve all notes, emails, etc so that his political enemies can spend that next several decades quoting them out of context. Or in context, for that matter. The next step will be to require them to record all conversations and preserve the recordings. I can see the necessity of preserving letters, forms, etc., but I think that at some point you have to let people who work together in government to chat, indulge in dark humor, blow off steam, and rant without having to worry about it showing up on News At 11. If only because of the kind of people who would be willing to work under those conditions (eek!).

    If the laws says that Romney should have preserved all those emails, then the Law is wrong, and should be changed. If Romney is a Bad Man, we’ll be able to prove it without the goddamned emails.

  6. #6 |  edmund dantes | 

    It kind of gets glossed over that Mr. Tafero was put to death, and later Mr. Rhodes confesses to the murder. It’s an aside to this “wonderful” love story.

    Not sure I call that heartwarming. It’s great for her and her new husband, but either Mr. Tafero wasn’t as innocent in all this or a man was needlessly put to death. This story is almost like “How was the play Mrs. Lincoln?”

  7. #7 |  JimBob | 

    I have to agree with Edmund– Tafero was executed, and Rhodes later confessed that he lied about the whole deal, and that he committed the double-murder. Shouldn’t this be up there with the Cameron Todd Willingham case of “executed people later exonerated (or at least shown to be very unlikely to be guilty)”?

  8. #8 |  c andrew | 

    I agree with dantes and JimBob. This appears to be a clear cut case of the murderer testifying against his hostages one of which was judicially murdered by the state.

    It’s straightforward enough that only massive evasion by death penalty conservatives could allow them to construe it otherwise.

  9. #9 |  c andrew | 

    and with Stephen too, of course.

  10. #10 |  Mattocracy | 

    Lotta fap material in that cabin porn link.

  11. #11 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Tennessee is one of two states that get to test out a new federal plan to make the roads safer.”

    Sigh. When the state or local cops get federal grants you can just about gurantee that citizens will be getting fucked. The name of this campaign should be “More Cops, More Revenue,” by the way.

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Romney: Radley’s was the same reaction I had when I heard. Mitt Romney just showed the first sign he’s capable to be President.

    Lotta fap material in that cabin porn link.

    Challenge accepted.

  13. #13 |  Matt | 

    “Nearly one-third of those killed on Tennessee’s highways during 2009 involved drunk drivers. Sixty percent of people killed in crashes in Tennessee during 2009 were not wearing their seatbelts.”

    So, more than two-thirds of people killed on Tennessee highways *didn’t* involve drunk drivers, and forty percent (nearly half) of people killed in crashes *were* wearing seatbelts.

    The data says sober drivers are twice as dangerous as drunk drivers and flipping a coin determines seatbelt efficacy.

    Please, someone steal more of my money to pay useless violent sub-humans to derail other peoples’ lives for no reason.

  14. #14 |  Omar | 

    The data says sober drivers are twice as dangerous as drunk drivers and flipping a coin determines seatbelt efficacy.

    The data defiantly does not say this, but it also does not say this program is in any way useful.

  15. #15 |  MacGregory | 

    #13 Matt
    I don’t know what Tennessee is using for it’s definition but those numbers may be further skewed if it’s anything like this:

    “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. defines a fatal crash as alcohol-related if either a driver or a non-motorist had a measurable or estimated BAC of 0.01 g/dl or above.”

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/alcoholcountries/background_&_intro.htm

  16. #16 |  Matt | 

    “The data defiantly does not say this”

    How can it not?

    More than two-thirds is always the complement of “Nearly one-third.”

    40 percent is damn near half.

  17. #17 |  yonemoto | 

    Matt: I agree with your sentiment, but your math is just wrong.

  18. #18 |  yonemoto | 

    let’s put it this way. If asians were 10% of the population and causing one third of road accidents, you wouldn’t be saying that asians were half as dangerous as non-asians.

  19. #19 |  Matt | 

    “your math is just wrong.”

    Explain.

  20. #20 |  Matt | 

    “If asians were 10% of the population and causing one third of road accidents,”

    Now you’ve got two variables. The drunk-driving-fatality statitistic in that article only has one: “sober” or not “sober.”

  21. #21 |  Omar | 

    Matt,

    Let’s say for argument that 1% of drivers are drunk at a given time and out of the total number of accidents, 50% of accidents are caused by drunk driving. Say there are 1000 people driving and 10 accidents. 5 accidents are caused by drunk drivers and 5 by sober drivers. This makes the crash rate of drunk drivers 5/10, or 50%. 5 out of the 990 sober drivers have an accident. That puts the rate of sober drivers crashing at 5/990 or around 0.5%.

    In this scenario, drunk driving is 100 times more dangerous than sober driving.

    Like another commentator said, I agree with your sentiment. But the math is incorrect.

  22. #22 |  Omar | 

    Now you’ve got two variables. The drunk-driving-fatality statitistic in that article only has one: “sober” or not “sober.”

    I think we are making a reasonable assumption that there are more sober drivers at any given time than drunk drivers. This is actually wherevthe math very much supports the idea that these measures are unnecessary. The rate of drunk driving is low, as are the chances of actually causing an accident while drunk.

    Convential wisdom says drunk driving has a higher rate of accidents than sober driving. I think the onus is on you to show otherwise.

  23. #23 |  Joshua | 

    I think the real question is: what percentage of the people who died in alcohol-related accidents weren’t wearing their seat belt? Given only the numbers above, it could be as high as 100%.

  24. #24 |  Matt | 

    “Convential wisdom says drunk driving has a higher rate of accidents than sober driving. I think the onus is on you to show otherwise.”

    Conventional wisdom. Pfft. Conventional wisdom would have you drilling a hole in your skull to let the evil spirits out.

    How about elderly driving? Drowsy driving? Driving while hopped up on cough medication?

    Let’s not get distracted too much. The fact is that driving drunk isn’t a genuine crime because there is no victim, but tax-feeding power pigs use it as an excuse to control you.

  25. #25 |  BamBam | 

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/uc-davis-professor-demands-chancellor-resign-over-pepper-spraying-of-students/news/2011/11/19/30450#.Tskf4fF5mSN

    Read the article, look at the photos, watch the video. Spraying pepper-spray down someone’s throat? That is attempted murder. Why didn’t someone shoot the damn cops? Oh yeah, because they are The State and even with full knowledge that they are being filmed, do not GIVE A SHIT because The State is accountable to no one.

    Dismantle The State.

  26. #26 |  nigmalg | 

    “Read the article, look at the photos, watch the video. Spraying pepper-spray down someone’s throat? That is attempted murder. Why didn’t someone shoot the damn cops? Oh yeah, because they are The State and even with full knowledge that they are being filmed, do not GIVE A SHIT because The State is accountable to no one.”

    I’m sure a few key players will be allowed to retire. Problem solved.

  27. #27 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Does the Illinois felony eavesdropping statute apply to television camera crews recording openly in public? I’d love to see the shitstorm created by a dirty Chicago police goon squad threatening or arresting a TV camera crew on live satellite video feed. The CPD wouldn’t have a chance in hell of wiggling out of that sticky wicket.

    I also doubt that the Illinois eavesdropping law will be upheld by the federal courts if challenged. The courts seem to uphold the First Amendment more consistently than they do other amendments (e.g., #2 and #4); upholding a bullshit law with an unmistakable chilling effect on the press would be completely out of character for the appellate courts or SCOTUS.

    And while we’re at it, fuck the mayor. Rahm Emmanuel is clearly either corrupt or negligent in allowing the CPD to enforce such a law, but aside from that our politicians, especially those in Chicago, need to be told to fuck off every now and then. It’s like slamming the door in the Queen’s face: it does a nation good.

    Also, as I’ve written before, God bless Janusz Kopycinski and the CTA. Bad cops don’t go home.

  28. #28 |  John Spragge | 

    In a genuinely minarchist society, nothing like the car culture we presently know would exist. The signs call the American interstate highway system the “Eisenhower Interstate system”; they might also call it the eminent domain and 90% top income tax rate interstate system.

    The car combines power engineering inefficiency (strapping a 500 kg engine and a 1200 kg car body to each 80 kg person) with necessarily imperfect operators; political and other marketing considerations dictate the government must extend license privileges to people who have demonstrated few, and in some cases virtually no skills. This combination means the car requires a greater infrastructure commitment, both in terms of space and money, than any other mode of transportation.

    So who does the car make free? Not pedestrians mowed down in crosswalks. Not those of us taxed to pay for the infrastructure. Not people who have had houses and businesses bulldozed to make way for road development.

  29. #29 |  Marty | 

    we have tickets to John Prine for his St. Louis show- it’ll be our first time. Really looking forward to it…

  30. #30 |  albatross | 

    Practical freedom has a lot to do with population density. In a sparsely populated place, you can ride your car, 4wd, or dirtbike pretty freely without bugging anyone else, you can drive on the public roads with a limited impact on others, etc. As population density goes up, your freedom almost has to decrease, simply because there’s less room to swing your fist before you find the tip of my nose.

  31. #31 |  Matt | 

    “a few key players will be allowed to retire”

    At a young age with full tax-fed pension and health care.

  32. #32 |  Matt | 

    “a 500 kg engine”

    I hope you’re counting the transmission and entire driveline in that number, all the way out to rims and tires. 500kg is approximately one quarter the weight of a modern mid-size vehicle.

    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=500kg+to+pounds

    If you have a better way to make a car or the infrastructure, let’s do it.

    I propose privatizing all roads immediately. Auction them off. I’ll gladly buy the strip in front of my house.

  33. #33 |  Omar | 

    I hope you’re counting the transmission and entire driveline in that number, all the way out to rims and tires. 500kg is approximately one quarter the weight of a modern mid-size vehicle.

    I’m strapped into my chair at the prospect of another Matt math lesson.

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