Extra Afternoontime Links

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
  • My Huffington Post colleague Ryan Grim on how Ron Paul has been one of few politicians to talk about the racist origins of the drug war.
  • Popehat is asking you to vote for the “Censorious Asshat of the Year.” So many nominees, so devoted to their cause.
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer assails new caffeine product before it comes to market.
  • L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has jailed hundreds of innocent people due to misidentification.
  • When Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the nation’s clandestine drone war was confined to a single country, Pakistan, where 44 strikes over five years had left about 400 people dead . . . The number of strikes has since soared to nearly 240, and the number of those killed, according to conservative estimates, has more than quadrupled.” These are estimates, because the government won’t say how many innocent people its drones have killed.
  • Federal worker pay saw lowest increase in 10 years last year, but even with the Obama “freeze,”  it was still more than the increase in the private sector. According to USA Today, one in five federal employees now makes over $100,000 per year. The recession isn’t exactly crippling members of Congress, either.
  • Comedienne-turned-conservative-activist Victoria Jackson serves up a hot plate of crazyburgers.
  • Headline of the day.
  • New York Times attempts to paint conceal carry permit owners as crazy gun nuts with an itchy trigger finger, accidentally publishes data suggesting they’re  far less likely to commit crimes than the general population, but runs with the narrative anyway.
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26 Responses to “Extra Afternoontime Links”

  1. #1 |  A Critic | 

    Re: Schumer. Betcha he’d flip if he saw me vaporizing pure white caffeine crystals.

  2. #2 |  Ken | 

    Hypothesis: Andy Kaufman is not dead. He’s in drag, being Victoria Jackson.

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “# L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has jailed hundreds of innocent people due to misidentification.”

    Easy fix on this one. Just make being “misidentified” by authorities a crime.

  4. #4 |  picachu | 

    Look for Victoria Jackson to get a prime time show on foxnews in 3…2…1

  5. #5 |  picachu | 

    In Houston they take you directly to jail if a cop catches you without an ID. Yea I know, legally they can’t do that.

    But they do.

  6. #6 |  Tom | 

    From the article linked in “Comedienne-turned-conservative-activist Victoria Jackson serves up a hot plate of crazyburgers.”

    “Victoria Jackson, working on confidential information she as a web talk show host has special clearance to obtain….”

    I just could not stop laughing, until I started crying.

  7. #7 |  Juice | 

    After some cursory watching of Victoria Jackson over the years, I’m becoming more and more convinced that she has been outdoing Andy Kaufman in pulling a huge one over on all of us. I’m serious. I don’t think she is. But how can you tell? Is she totally batty? Maybe. Is she a genius? Maybe.

  8. #8 |  Juice | 

    @4,

    I certainly hope so. If that happens, she wins the game.

  9. #9 |  Deoxy | 

    “The number of strikes has since soared to nearly 240, and the number of those killed, according to conservative estimates, has more than quadrupled.”

    While I’m all for pointing out the obvious and ridiculous hypocrisy of the current administration of such things, the difference between “drone strike” and “air strike”, for these purposes, is a distinction without a difference, and air strikes kill innocent bystanders… ESPECIALLY in a guerrilla war situation, where the combatants blend in with (and hide among) the local population.

    Make your case that the war itself is unjust, unwise, whatever (and I’m open to those kinds of arguments), but just pointing out that air strikes kill innocent bystanders in a guerrilla warfare situation is… well, rather pointless.

  10. #10 |  Invid | 

    Pointing out that killing innocent bystanders is pointless…..

    After all, we’re not talking about killing Americans, just those lesser other people….

  11. #11 |  Dante | 

    Yizmo @ #3:
    “Easy fix on this one. Just make being “misidentified” by authorities a crime.”

    Be careful what you wish for. See, here is me playing devil’s advocate:

    They WILL make it a crime. If a citizen is mis-identified due to a mistake by authorities, the citizen will be charged with a crime.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  12. #12 |  FloO | 

    “L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has jailed hundreds of innocent people due to misidentification.”

    Back when they researched the property value of Trail’s End Ranch in Malibu (which isn’t even in LA County) and murdered the owner hoping to steal his ranch and divide up the proceeds (including a percentage paid directly to the deputies who initiated the scam) that particular Sheriff’s Office knew they could get away with absolutely anything. Jailing innocents is probably the least of their atrocities.

  13. #13 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    The New York Times has, in my lifetime, transformed itself from an international news outlet of some importance to a provincial hack rag of no particular merit. One of the clearest symptoms of this is the degree to which the NYT staff make it clear that they believe that anyone who has beliefs, opinions, or concerns foreign to a Manhattan cocktail party is a subhuman troglodyte.

  14. #14 |  Cynical in New York | 

    Another Neocon ranting about Sharia law? Whats next the sun coming up tomorrow?

  15. #15 |  EBL | 

    C.S.P Schofield, I blame the myopic view of New Yorkers on this.

  16. #16 |  Pi Guy | 

    …serves up a hot plate of crazyburgers

    Best the Agitator article hyprelink ever, IMO. Still wiping up coffee.

  17. #17 |  albatross | 

    Deoxy:

    I have two concerns about the drone war:

    a. It’s kept under even more secrecy than the rest of the war, apparently to keep the American people from troubling our pretty heads about what is being done in our names.

    b. It makes rhe short-term visible cost of war much lower. If you believe (as I do) that a lot of our war on terror policies are lng-term bad for the country, it’s easy to see this leading us to do more destructive but apparently cost-free stuff. Since the mainstream view is that talking about blowback makes you an evil propagandist for Al Qaida and a cheese-eating surrender monkey, I expect that drones will encourage a lot more killing of foreigners who maybe have some tenuous link with AQ, and thus will encourage making thousands of intensely committed enemies who, when they see Americans, see the charred remains of their kids, and find themselves just fine with pulling the cord on the suicide belt.

  18. #18 |  Tim | 

    boutique caffeine is pure profit:

    aeroshot: $3 for 100mg.
    canned coca-cola: ~$2.30 for 100mg.
    decent cup of shop-brewed coffee: ~$0.50 for 100mg.
    anhydrous caffeine pills: $0.02 for 100mg.
    anhydrous caffeine powder, retail: <=$0.01 for 100mg.

    if people want to waste their $, let them. they can pry my coffee and no-doz out of my warm, jittering hands.

  19. #19 |  croaker | 

    Another reason why the War on Drugs should die.

    http://www.advicegoddess.com/archives/2011/12/28/the_war_on_drug_2.html

    Apparently .gov is creating an artificial shortage of prescription medications, forcing people with script to get it from a street dealer.

  20. #20 |  Aaron Fown | 

    I’m getting a little tired of all of this bellyaching over federal employee wages. The average back in 69 was around $15k, which is nearly $90k by present standards. Throw in the higher cost of health care, and the greater prevalence of college grads in government work (they start at a slightly higher pay grade), and the number of workers around the 100k mark is entirely understandable as a natural result of inflation.

    A better question is why private sector jobs haven’t kept pace with inflation like federal wages have. In fact, private sector wages are falling behind the inflation curve to such an extent that the middle class is in danger of disappearing entirely, even though productivity and corporate profits have gone through the roof. Punishing federal workers because they are keeping their heads above water might make you feel good, and it might make the job creators happy since they will have one of the few pressures on them to not cut wages further relaxed, but how will it help rebuild our middle class, or our consumer society, if you take away their wages in the name of austerity? I mean, I suppose you could pay for more tax cuts, but our recent history of tax cuts followed by more outsourcing and wage depression doesn’t give me high hopes that our precious job creators would use that extra cash to hire people here rather than in China.

  21. #21 |  Rich | 

    So Schumer is worried about inhaled caffeine?

    Would it be rude of me to suggest to the senator that he try it in suppository form instead?

  22. #22 |  treed | 

    The NYT on guns: long ago, the big government types told us we “would have the wild, wild West” if “shall issue” permit laws were put in place. Well, the wild, wild West did not happen, so now we have to be surprised by the fact that, out of 240,000 permit holders in NC, a handful have done wrong. I think the other side has moved the goal posts quite a bit. I wonder what the felony rate is for LEO’s. I really don’t care. My rights are not subject to limitation because somebody else does wrong. Should we shut down newspapers because a handful print slander?

  23. #23 |  treed | 

    The NYT on guns: long ago, the big government types told us we “would have the wild, wild West” if “shall issue” permit laws were put in place. Well, the wild, wild West did not happen, so now we have to be surprised by the fact that, out of 240,000 permit holders in NC, a handful have done wrong. I think the other side has moved the goal posts quite a bit. I wonder what the felony rate is for LEO’s. I really don’t care. My rights are not subject to limitation because somebody else does wrong. Should we shut down newspapers because a handful print slander?

  24. #24 |  JOR | 

    “. . . but just pointing out that air strikes kill innocent bystanders in a guerrilla warfare situation is… well, rather pointless.”

    Only if you take for granted that killing bystanders is no big deal if your goal is really really important to you. If you start without that assumption it’s possible to work from the fact that aerial strikes kill innocent bystanders to the conclusion that wars that involve aerial strikes against civilian areas are illegitimate. Maybe it’s right to start without that assumption and maybe it isn’t, but clearly it’s not ‘pointless’ to not do so.

    Also, guerrilla soldiers don’t really “hide” among civilians any more than conventional soldiers do. That’s just a convenient excuse, much the same as the way the whole cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were defined as military targets as a rationale for what were pure acts of terrorism.

  25. #25 |  derfel cadarn | 

    To Chuck Schumer If I pour Irish Mist into my Starbucks latte I get a coffee royal. Perhaps I dump shots of bourbon glass and all into my Dunkin supersized espresso and get the coffee equivalent of depth charges, or if wanting to avoid chipping a tooth I just pour in a double I can enjoy a caffeine boiler maker. You will never stop people from having what they want, it would be obvious from the example set by the Prohibition debacle Sir, your ideas on peoples freedom are so basically wrong on so many levels that I am astonished that even New Yorkers elect you.

  26. #26 |  James D | 

    Victoria Jackson may be a little nutty, but seeing what has and is happening with Europe and Sharia Law BS and what is starting to happen here … I don’t know, seems like at least a partial threat. If most Americans actually understood what is said in Arabic when no one else is around at most Mosques, we would all be labeled ‘Islamophobic’. I still don’t buy the ‘moderate’ Muslim meme … considering the ‘moderates’ money always seems to flow into Jihadist causes (and why wouldn’t it … the stated goal of Islam is to convert or kill the world).

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