Sunday Links

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

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31 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Bill | 

    The Georgia bill I have a hard time voicing opposition to because of my own personal experience. In 2009, and only of days before his birthday, the urn part of my son Daniel’s grave was stolen as were over 50 other similar objects at the cemetery where he is buried. Daniel lived less than 14.5 hours and on the sixth anniversary of his birth and death me and my wife had no where to put flowers.

    Metal thieves are scum.

  2. #2 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    • The gods forbid that the parents of a dead child admit to themselves that if they’d raised it better it wouldn’t have been doing whatever killed it. Or that sometimes bad things just happen and if it’s anybody’s fault it’s God’s.

    • As long as I’ve been alive it seems to me that all manifestations of transnationalism in Europe have been kinda creepy, Interpol included.

    • I like the way the photos of musicians look like they’ve been talking shop.

    • If I own a pro sports franchise, ANY SPORT, I’m selling it quick. But that’s me.

    • Say what you will about bad Texas prosecutors, they seem to have a freewheeling attitude toward their justice system, so that the whole state isn’t in lockstep. Hope that swine Anderson gets his.

    • What gets me about Hollywood posters isn’t that they run to cliche’s – how else? – but that they are mostly such bad graphic design. If the Post Office needs money it should rent out whoever they have designing stamps – which are almost always pretty good graphic design – to movie studios. Or maybe we should use the National Endowment for the Arts money to do the same thing. It would brighten our lives considerably more than whatever ‘edgy’ crap the NEA is paying for now.

    • I’m unwilling to condemn the Georgia bill until I see some statistics on metal theft. I DO think that there might be an exception written in for mixed lots of cans, though.

  3. #3 |  Stephen | 

    Here is another one. How dare this veteran be depressed.

    “I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit!”

  4. #4 |  Jim Collins | 

    I have to support the Georgia bill. In my area we have had everything from the bleachers at a park stolen, up to a small bridge stolen. All were cut up and sold for scrap.

  5. #5 |  EBL | 

    Glenn Reynolds found a new twist to filming cops in Baltimore: You can do so, but then they charge you for loitering if you do!

  6. #6 |  JimBob | 

    Interpol has gone down hill. Used to be, they were the good guys– sending notifications of VILE criminals stealing famous landmarks along to my buddies at the Acme detective agency. Now they’re hunting down journalists who have possibly blasphemed? Talk about drastically lowered standards all around…

  7. #7 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    Anyone have ideas about libertarian solutions for fences? Licensing and/or “you should have known better than to deal with thieves” laws both seem problematic.

  8. #8 |  Abersouth | 

    The Georgia bill is interesting. I do telecommunications construction (cell towers) all over the U.S. and it’s always interesting the different places where it is a real hassle to recycle things. Sacramento sucks for this.

    My industry definitely has a problem with metal thieves. There is a lot of copper in transmission lines, so it is a target. There is often also excess material on sites, and we often have to decommission old lines. So the excess material becomes either trash which you have to pay to haul off or a quick bonus check for those doing the work. Incentives matter. Especially when on the road, living in hotels, we don’t have the ability to store excess material. So, it’s bring it to a dump, or a recycling center. If the place requires all sorts of registration and hassle paper work, we will simply take it to the dump instead.

    I get why some want to implement registration, to attempt to keep out the bad actors. But I wonder if they ever discuss the very likely unintended consequences.

  9. #9 |  perlhaqr | 

    Having lost a fair bit of material to aggressive recyclers, I’m sympathetic to the intent of the Georgia law, but I don’t think it’ll actually work.

  10. #10 |  Abersouth | 

    Yes. Can’t agree more perlhaqr. Intentions do not equal outcomes.

  11. #11 |  Abersouth | 

    But that acknowledgement isn’t enough. What is the libertarianish solution to these thefts? I look at a couple of cell industry websites and I would not be surprised in the least if she is bringing this regulation because some business guys are bringing it to her attention. They don’t have to watch their towers if they can get the power of the state to do it for them. It would be a hefty expense to put cameras on all their sites compared to virtually no expense to get the draconian power of state to make it a real hassle to recycle copper. In that cost benefit analysis, there is a clear winner.

    I am not an economist but I know there is a term for costs imposed outside of your industry that the primary property owner doesn’t have to pay for. I guess that is where I see this as ought to be about. Private property and if you care about it, you should take the brunt of protecting your investment and/or property.

  12. #12 |  CyniCAl | 

    •Georgia bill would require a thumbprint, ID, and set up a state database for anyone who wants to recycle metal. It would also ban cash transactions for metal.

    We already have that in Kalifornia.

  13. #13 |  Abersouth | 

    I didn’t realize that was California wide. I do remember giving about $400 worth of copper to a bum by a recycling center in Sacramento. I wonder if he was able get any money from it. Perhaps he was arrested? No good deed goes unpunished. I remember how absurd it all struck me.

  14. #14 |  CyniCAl | 

    I bring recycling to a nearby center. I must show my DL and they took my thumbprint. That was just for bottles and cans. I do it to raise money for my daughter’s high school marching band. I hold my nose while doing it, and not because of the smell.

    Absurd, absolutely.

  15. #15 |  Bob Mc | 

    #3- I’d love to know what Mr Corrigan was charged with, and what the outcome of those charges was.

  16. #16 |  Stephen | 

    #15 | Bob Mc |

    This is the only other thing I’ve seen. I’ve poked around a bit and haven’t found any more yet. Apparently it took him 16 days to be free and awaiting arraignment.

  17. #17 |  supercat | 

    It would certainly make sense to exempt things like used food and beverage cans from the excess-paperwork requirement, since people who steal beverage cans from individual recycling containers don’t really harm society. By contrast, individuals who would steal and destroy a $50,000 piece of equipment for the purpose of extracting $50 worth of scrap metal do a great deal of harm to society, and could cause a major destabilization of the infrastructure.

  18. #18 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    Isn’t protecting property at least some of what Government is supposed to so? Does being a big corporation mean that it’s OK for visigoths to steal from you?

  19. #19 |  Windy | 

    Re: the veteran. I want to know what happened with his dog after it was taken to the shelter since he was unable to get to the shelter to get his god back, was it killed? Adopted out to another?

  20. #20 |  Abersouth | 

    C.S.P. Yes, I think that is a proper role of government. Being a corporation does not mean it is ok to steal. I hope I didn’t give off that impression.

    I hasten to add that I have had property stolen from me before. But that doesn’t mean I advocate for shutting down pawn shops. I bought replacements and beefed up my security. I have a gps unit hidden on my truck. I own the protection of my property. I don’t farm it out to law enforcement.

    I could tell a few funny anecdotes about police in Golden and Ft. Collins CO being less than useless. Also Atlanta Georgia.

    Bottom line, I think it is the property owners responsibility to protect their property. Am I wrong in thinking this?

    @ supercat

  21. #21 |  Stephen | 

    #19 | Windy |

    “get his god back”… :) Probably lost that in Iraq or Afghanistan. Maybe why he was depressed.

  22. #22 |  Abersouth | 

    Whoops, posted too soon.

    Supercat- I’ve also worked on some energy companies wireless intranet works, and one of the things was installing ip cameras on towers. Then they have the ability to monitor their property, even at night. Motion detection and viewable from a cell phone by anyone with access. Easily able to read license plates. I was privy to some meetings where the powers at be discussed the drop in vandalism. Yes, it cost them money. But it didn’t cost “the public”. I think registration does cost the public.

    I guess when it comes down to it, I don’t like government prohibition in much of any form (except maybe bazookas).

  23. #23 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Teen hit, killed by car while playing hooky. Parents sue the school.”

    Stories like these make you realize there are two groups of people turning public schools into disastrous institutions. One is public school administrators and the other is made up of parents like these.

  24. #24 |  el coronado | 

    Of course, the GA law ain’t about ending the scourge of metals theft at all. Nothing happens by accident in politics, and this certainly applies.

    I know folks who own a scrap-recycling yard in CA. Yup, they’ve gotta get ID, take pics of the sellers, take thumbprints, and *must* pay by check, even if it’s Derek the Scummy Rummy cashing in $10 worth of cans & bottles. A new Government mandate to “stop crime”, brought to you by the same folks who claim they “care about” The Little Guy being kept down by The Man. Except…..

    1) the bulk of scrap-recycling customers are street people eking out booze money from beer cans and bottles. Chances are REAL good they a) don’t have any ID to show b) might have a checkered past and don’t really want to put their prints out on AFIS c) don’t have a bank account to cash their checks. As an added bonus, banks now (legally)(really. it’s on the comptroller of the currency website) now charge $5 or even $10 to *cash their own checks*. Whoops: looks like Uncle Friendly Sam just fucked the poor again, while claiming to do the opposite.
    2) The scrapyards hate it. These bullshit laws & regs require expensive new software and ‘puter systems – which the state damn sure ain’t paying for.
    3) The cops responsible for dropping in on scrapyards are busily building themselves a nice little empire. Barge into the businesses, (who gives a damn if said business is busy or not?), demand compliance paperwork “NOW, or we’ll arrest you for interfering with our police business” (actual quote from actual Scrapyard Warrior to the $9/hour girl working the counter at a yard I know of), and generally crap all over everything they can see that might be fun to crap on. It’s fun, it’s easy, and a whole lot less stressful than chasing after the crips or cartel Locs. Hey, those dudes are *scary*! Besides, any paperwork impropriety means fat fines for the city (read: the cops) to fatten their budgets on.

    Limbaugh has said it again & again: liberalism and statism isn’t about trying to help (LOL) or even about Making A Difference. (Check Obama’s Wall St donations – they’re keeping their boy bought & paid for, and he…seems to LIKE it!)(Check also the number of Wall st fatcats successfully prosecuted by the Obama administration: Just like Bush, that number is essentially “zero”.)(Jon Corzine is quite grateful for this, one reads.) The end goal of the left is “Control”. Like depriving homeless bums of a chance to make a few bucks. If they can’t make any money on their own, who will they turn to? Any guesses?

    Meanwhile, apropos of nothing, the municipality in which the yard I know of is located in has multiple file cabinets full of unserved murder/rape/assault/robbery warrants. FTP. FTP. FTP.

  25. #25 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Not meaning to tell Radley how to run his house, but the “depressed veteran” story seems like it deserves its own thread.

  26. #26 |  Abersouth | 

    El Coronado- You state nothing happens on accident in politics. When I look at the picture of the person advocating the law, I see a lot of industrial products that get recycled. I think the powers that be largely don’t care how the new law will affect the poor. I’m more inclined to believe that the law is designed to keep friends happy moreso than oppress the poor. The poor in this situation aren’t even an afterthought. I would be surprised to learn that the state really has it in for the scrapyards as well. I think they just think their good intentions will be followed by good outcomes for everybody. I am not at a point where I will ascribe malevolence to any of the actors yet.

  27. #27 |  C.E. | 

    Is that Rupaul with Dave Grohl and Kurt Cobain? How come she’s not listed with the “famous” people in the picture?

  28. #28 |  StrangeOne | 

    The Georgia Bill is lazy to an extreme, it puts the onus of enforcing the law on business owners and allows the law enforcement to dick off and continue doing nothing, or raiding pot heads houses at 3 am in SWAT gear.

    There are not a huge number of scrap metal thieves out there, in any major city your are most likely to have a small gang or two doing the majority of the theft. The police like to say “oh well in this one case its not worth it to conduct a thorough investigation, better just let insurance eat the cost”, no actual consideration is given to enforcing the law.

    By doing police work, following up on witnesses nearby, checking security footage from neighboring businesses, or even just asking around the neighborhood they could get a pretty good idea of who is doing it. From there its a matter of narrowing down suspects and conducting stake outs to catch them in the act, if they can catch just one guy in the act they will most likely get the whole gang by getting him to roll over. It’s too much work for “one case” but to stop serial semi-professional thieves its more than worth it. It just requires patience, dedication, and actual police work, three things most police are practically allergic too.

  29. #29 |  el coronado | 

    OK, Abersouth, I can see where you might think that way. ‘Congress just wants to protect the property of taxpaying, employing businesses, and has no sinister ulterior motives for the massively negative impact these new laws & regs have on the po’. And hey, that might even be true. Except….

    * These are the same clowns who routinely pontificate about ‘helping the poor’ at vote-buying time. When it’s pointed out their pretty new law *hurts* those poor folks, the say – by their attitude – “fuck the poor”. You’re right about one thing: for these crooked scumbuckets, “the poor ain’t even an afterthought.” But that’s not what they SAY, of course. I believe such blatant hypocrisy constitutes willful malevolence on their part. Are you saying you don’t??

    * “You’d be surprised the state really has it in for scrapyards”?? You must not know any scrapyard people. I do. Over the past 2 decades, the state has been jacking with scrapyards in any way they can think of: increased fire inspections; increased EPA attention; now they’re seeing *health inspectors* for the first time….the state HATES the scrap business. It’s dirty, and messy, and certainly what the state WANTS to have in their jurisdiction: shiny clean highly-taxed tourism, and hi-tech, and legal firms, and call centers. Gleaming white folks wearing ties to work and paying lots of lovely tax money to the state/municipality.

    * If after all these decades of the massive FAIL of pretty much every social engineering stunt that government has pulled – ever seen a recent high-school grad try to do simple math, or fill out a job app in legible, correctly-spelled handwriting? trust me, it’s painful to see – if after all that, they STILL honestly, truly “think their good intentions will be followed by good outcomes”, then….we’re screwed even worse than it seems.

    This just in: We’re being governed by profoundly corrupt gibbering morons whose brains have disintegrated enough that we can see light shined on the back of their heads through their eyes. Women and The Poor expected to be hardest hit. In other news, a movement is afoot to impose similar new customer-unfriendly regulations on _jewelers_, as they have been known – once in a great while – to have purchased stolen jewelry. All them murderers and rapists and gang thugs can wait. This new scourge must be STOPPED! at all costs!!

  30. #30 |  Pi Guy | 

    But I wonder if they ever discuss the very likely unintended consequences.

    You’re only just now getting around to asking this question??

  31. #31 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Glenn Reynolds found a new twist to filming cops in Baltimore: You can do so, but then they charge you for loitering if you do!

    Explicitly make it legal to video them? No problem, there are 100 other things they’ll arrest you for…including “we can just arrest you for no reason.”

    Until that changes, nothing gets better.