Morning Links

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

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41 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  a_random_guy | 

    NCAA: Whatever the graduation rates, they are pretty irrelevant. Anyone who went to one of the colleges where athletics are important knows: athletes are given all sorts of academic breaks academically. They couldn’t fail out if they tried – because athletics are big money for the schools.

    I worked my way through college, and I was never so angry as the time the registration desk took my check for a semester’s tuition, only to *give* a check *to* the next student in line – an athlete – to pay for his housing and food expenses.

  2. #2 |  Some Guy | 

    Sorry…the link for the pink slime article is the same as the link for the bullying article.

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    A big part of Zakaria’s segment touched on Pat Robertson’s griping about how the US has locked up many more people than necessary. How screwy have things gotten that even right-wing teleevangelists are screaming “Hey, there are too many damned people in our jails”?

  4. #4 |  SamK | 

    Eh, I do think there’s a problem with bullying: No support for the kids that react appropriately. Tell someone? Who the hell are they kidding? I grew up three decades ago and I knew better than that, and I’ve listened to kids tell these stories over and over since with one thing in common: No adult does anything that *actually* helps. The only thing that’s ever made a difference is kicking the other kid’s ass and you get in one hell of a lot of trouble for it. I don’t think anything has changed and I’m not sure what the political agenda is that I’m certain is attached to this campaign, but I’m not averse to some publicity on the subject if it gets some cursed adults on board or forces them to do their jobs and actually protect children under their care.

  5. #5 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    Anyone have a plausibility check on the man bites dog story? God knows the world is weird enough, but do the Israelis really send in dogs alone to subdue prisoners? Or could it have been one random decision rather than a policy?

  6. #6 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I’ll go a little further than a_random_guy and say that the NCAA athletics system actually has the unique ability to piss almost everyone off. Athletes, students, parents…everyone hates it. Well, except for the couple thousand people making massive amounts of money off it.

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    There has always been a problem with bullying, but I wouldn’t say it’s worse now than before. It’s just on the radar now. I can’t imagine that depending on school officials to stop it is going to have positive results when they have been ignoring the problem for so long. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do think the media campaign against bullying will have a greater impact than administrators ever will.

  8. #8 |  A Critic | 

    @Radley In defense of “pink slime.”

    Wrong link.

  9. #9 |  Krishan Bhattacharya | 

    Radley, w/r/t the Zakaria piece, what do you think about the thesis Michelle Alexander puts forth in her book “The New Jim Crow”? She argues that the war on drugs is really a recreation of the racial caste system that has been part of American society for centuries. Since the Civil Rights Act and related legislation and court rulings, the rights won in that period have been systematically eroded, especially for people of color. In this view, since we are no longer allowed to officially discriminate based on race, so we now arrest black men by the hundreds of thousands and brand them as ‘felons’, against whom we can freely discriminate.

  10. #10 |  marco73 | 

    Shoot, the graduation rate of ALL college students is ridiculous. Only about 50% of all students who start college will have a (4 year) bachelor’s in 6 years. For athletes, it’s difficult to find the figures, but I recall it is significantly less.

    College athletes on a big campus, for big sports, live like kings. Seperate dorms, cafeterias, tutors, special privileges for registration, parking, etc.

    The real crime for athletes is the 1 year renewable scholarship.
    As soon as the athlete’s eligibility, or injured body is used up, they are cut loose. If a school had to make a 4 year commitment to an individual athlete, then there would be more incentive for that athlete to move along in school.

    Sure, there would still be plenty bogus degrees for athletes, but if they hang around for more than 1 year, maybe they’ll actually pick up a book.

  11. #11 |  MikeZ | 

    For me the Pink Slime wasn’t really an issue, until the company who makes it stated they were shuttering 3/4ths of their production. So if they can’t feed it to people, it isn’t cost effective to put it in pet food? Makes me think something really screwy with the pricing where they were able to pull a premium price for a low grade product. I’m sure its perfectly safe, but also guess when I pay an extra $1/lb for the lean ground beef most of what I was paying for was the slime (as it is 100% lean).

  12. #12 |  Jesse | 

    Is it just me or is it just inappropriate for police to be using dogs to attack people, period? The dog knows no morality or sense of proportionality. It will clamp it’s jaws around your throat if it gets the chance. And if you try to defend yourself against this animal that has no knowledge of the law, or the rights of the accused, or why it’s attacking, you’re charged with a crime just as if you had attacked an officer.

  13. #13 |  Doubleu | 

    The school bully.
    Years ago I was taking my niece somewhere and I saw the old grade school bully. I made a comment to my niece, she responded with “Your school had bullies? Wow! We don’t have them.”

  14. #14 |  Homeboy | 

    Once again, Nick Gillespie manages to miss the point and fail to impress.

  15. #15 |  Bob | 

    In defense of “pink slime.”

    Yay! The link is fixed.

    Wow, it was all I could do to read that utterly misinformed trash. The entire conceptual basis the author used to defend “pink slime” is completely wrong.

    Completely Wrong.

    First, “Use” of every part of the cow doesn’t mean selling it as a product. Everything not used as food for humans, and everything the cow dropped along the way can be used directly or as composting material to return vital nutrients to the soil that grew the greens for the cow in the first place.

    Oh wait. We don’t feed cows greens. We force then to eat a diet of corn and waste crap. So we’re using the land that COULD be growing grass that feeds cows directly to grow corn in the most non-sustainable way we possibly can.

    Second, Feed lot raising of cows already wastes most of the cow by not recycling the cow’s manure and urine back to the soil. Where do you think that stuff came from? Magic? No. It’s not a waste product, it’s a valuable commodity that the soil needs back. It’s “Part of the cow” too.

    See where the total disconnect is? The part of the equation that is routinely ignored is the cow’s food supply, which should be a multicultural perennial mix of greens. This food source requires simple maintenance to flourish and provide maximal “cows per acre” ratios on pastureland. However, no one does that. There is no reason to believe we couldn’t grow just as many cows as we currently do on proper pasture land as do by feeding them corn. We just have to learn how instead of mindlessly believing everything “Big Agriculture” tells us.

    Yes, yes… I know none of you will agree with me. You should google a guy named Joel Salatine and read the books he’s written on the subject.

  16. #16 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “Man bites (police) dog.”

    I find it deeply disturbing that, true or not, this is by far the most reasonable interaction of Police, civilian, and canine that Radley has posted in the time I’ve been reading him.

  17. #17 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    Want to know what irritates me as much or more than the land used to grow corn for ffed? The land being used to grow corn, oil-palms, etc for bio-fuel! All so a few devout (and deluded) ‘environmentalists’ can feel morally superior.

    There are real concerns with our use of fossil fuels, and there are technologies I’d like to see developed or at least explored, but cultivating marginal land for bio-fuel strikes me as a problem, not an answer.

    Besides, I like Orangutans more than I like green-activists.

  18. #18 |  PermaLurker | 

    I’ve eaten grass-fed beef. It got me permanently barred from donating blood by the American Red Cross ( resident in Britain 1980’s). I know it’s supposed to be better for you and yadda yadda yadda. Except it tastes VERY different than corn fed and I just do not like the taste.

  19. #19 |  (B)oscoH | 

    “I haven’t written much about pink slime—that creamy mixture of meat and animal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of industrial meat processing.”

    To loosely paraphrase the classic Nirvana song… Sounds like Santorum

  20. #20 |  Brandon | 

    #13, so what is this elusive “point?” Because every article I’ve seen on this topic has fallen into the “we have to do something!! It’s a crisis!!” trap, which are exactly the points that Gillespie addresses.

  21. #21 |  Some Other Matt | 


    I don’t think you’ll have as much a negative reaction as you would imagine. Feeding our food-animals their natural diets flows not only with logic and research, but also with free market style principles. Subsidizing corn and soy growth and the sort of intense legal lobbying in favor of Monsanto are both antithesis to a libertarian stance.

    I don’t believe these topics are the kind normally seen on this blog. Not faulting Radley on this, just saying I don’t think it’s one of the usual topics here. There are a number of other sites that focus on freedom and quality in food choice. For one, I hope it’s a topic that picks up more traction, but who knows how the government would react to that. “USDA certified grass* fed** beef***.”

    This off-topic semi-rant brought to you by lack of coffee.

  22. #22 |  shecky | 

    There’s a panic over bullying?

    What does seem to be increasing is more awareness about the nature of bullying among youngsters and understanding about the victims. This is behavior that would be considered criminal if it was done by adults even on other adults, yet has a history of misplaced punishment, being tolerated and laughed off by authority figures up through high school.

    And Gillespie wonders why folks call him glib!

  23. #23 |  Brandon | 

    Bob, you have a good point, but as usual, the primary problem is not “Big Agrictulture,” it’s Big Government. If there hadn’t been massive subsidies for growing corn for the last 50 years, then it would be cheaper for ranchers to feed cattle in the most direct way, which is of course pasturing. Less labor-intensive, less transportation cost, etc. And while I’m not sure about the cows-per-acre figure, I do know that marginally productive land can be used to graze cattle much more cheaply and easily than it can be used to grow corn.

    PS: Most of the regular commenters here are extremely reasonable, which is why they are here and not at Huffington Post. Just don’t do the drive-by trolling “Government invented the internet, therefore libertarians are wrong about everything” crap that so many idiots seem to love and we’ll get along fine.

    PPS: I just ordered “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” for my Nook, Salatin seems like an interesting dude.

  24. #24 |  Brandon | 

    Yes, there is a panic over bullying. To the point where there are children being put on trial over it, there is a government website devoted to it (Strangely one that neglects to mention the many adult victims of government bullying perpetrated by adults), there are the usual busybodies lining up to see who can most shrilly and irrationally condemn it without doing anything useful, and of course there are the useful idiots who repeat the shrillness and add self-righteous undertones along the lines of “If we just changed these parameters to conveniently fit the narrative it would be CRIMINAL!!! IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN WHY DO YOU HATE THE CHILDREN??!!!!!!!!!” whenever anyone tries to inject a reasonable counterpoint that goes against the narrative. Yep, seems like a pretty run-of-the-mill panic.

    And Shecky wonders why intelligent folks don’t take him seriously!

  25. #25 |  Graham Shevlin | 

    Gillespie is indeed glib. His elaborately worded article is merely a padded-out standard apologia along the lines of “it’s the way of the world, deal with it”. As another commenter has observed, that is below naive. Nobody in the system wants to address bullying, mainly because it is awkward to deal with, it involves hard work and constant monitoring. It involves educating people that peer group thinking and actions have a malevolent side as well as an upside. Far better to revert to the “law of the jungle” approach. Fighting back does not work either in the system. I fought back once, and ended up being blamed for starting a problem. That did more to reduce my respect for authority and the education system than anything else.
    Gillespie’s article is a pile of part strawman and part bullcrap.

  26. #26 |  Goober | 

    Comment on the “Police man posts memorial to Nazi Soldiers” article.

    First, let me start by saying that this guy is an idiot and probably did this for the wrong reasons.

    That being said, I find nothing all that offensive about posting a memorial to soldiers who fought for the Germans during World War II. Most fo the time, they are branded “nazi soldiers” when in fact, the vast majority of them were nothing of the sort. They were German farm boys, forced by coercive, violent government action to go and fight their war. We tend to forget that when we think about WWII being a abttle of good vs evil – it was, but in large part, the evil folks weren’t the ones fighting. The evil folks just sent otherwise good men to do their fighting for them, by proxy, and gave them a choice between that and the firing squad.

    As is the case so often with these sorts fo things. War is easy for those who wage it. Much less so for those forced to fight it, 0ften against their will. THis is why I think the draft is evil, because it allows unscrupulous men to wage unscrupulous wars thatwould never have the support needed to field an army if it weren’t for the draft.

    When folks started talking recently about bringing it back, I began to state my opinion quite loudly – which is to say, if you don’t have enough popular support for the war to field an army of volunteers, then you shouldn’t be fighting it.

  27. #27 |  MacGregory | 

    Man accused of arson in firefighter’s death now faces murder charge

    Volunteer firefighter responding to a call sees smoke. Stops on bridge, gets out of vehicle to look for origin of smoke. Falls off bridge and dies. Man later caught and admits to setting fire to railroad ties; charged with 1st degree murder.

  28. #28 |  Bob | 

    #21 Brandon

    Bob, you have a good point, but as usual, the primary problem is not “Big Agrictulture,” it’s Big Government….

    I agree with you. There is little that can be done about “Big Agriculture” until their partner in crime, “Big Government” is dealt with. “Big Agriculture” would be forced by market forces (As the hub bub over “pink slime” is demonstrating.) to be more compliant to the will of an informed populace if there were: A: An informed populace. and B: no “Big Government” to appeal to.

    In a reality where you COULD directly market beeves raised on poly-cultural perennial greens and processed on the farm directly to end users with minimal regulatory restrictions, “Big Agriculture” would wither and fade, destroyed by the very abuses to the ecosystem that “Big Government” goes out of their way to allow.

    So yes, the real target of my ire is “Big Government”. As much as I dislike “Big Agriculture”, they are just playing the game “Big Government” has created. Remove the game, and “Big Agriculture” will adapt to market forces.

    But… I don’t see the way for that to happen outside of waiting for some massive debt-collapse or something forcing the government into total bankruptcy.

    The solution seems so obvious: Build government such that it cannot directly gift money to citizens or to businesses on the citizen’s behalf. But that approach has been demonstrated to fail in democracies simply because politicians can change that to get votes. People would, it seems, on average anyway, prefer to get a Cheeseburger today than to have stability tomorrow.

  29. #29 |  Mattocracy | 

    “His elaborately worded article is merely a padded-out standard apologia along the lines of “it’s the way of the world, deal with it”.”

    Really? I read the same article and didn’t get that impression whatsoever.

  30. #30 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    And…SCOTUS approves strip searches legal for any arrest. ANY arrest. Let’s spend 5 minutes thinking how this can be horrifically abused by police.

  31. #31 |  picachu | 

    “I began to state my opinion quite loudly – which is to say, if you don’t have enough popular support for the war to field an army of volunteers, then you shouldn’t be fighting it.”

    Except that there’s no such thing as a war so unpopular they can’t get enough volunteers. I think it wouldn’t matter if they were to go to war against Mother Theresa’s order of nuns with foxnews cheerleading in the background, most people I know who went into the military thought that “the morality or immorality of the war is the government’s problem not ours.”

  32. #32 |  Brandon | 

    Graham: It is not glib to point out an overbearing response to a “crisis” whose existence is not supported by evidence for what it is. Yes, it sucks for kids to be bullied, but as we are already seeing, the “cures” being recommended and used are far worse than the disease. And if you really don’t have a better response than cheap emotional appeal and “Law of the jungle” conflation (speaking of strawmen), then maybe you need to rethink your position.

  33. #33 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Breaking story:
    6th grader in Oakland finds jewelry cache.
    “As students might have expected, police confiscated the items in order to do an investigation and hopefully return them to their rightful owners.”

  34. #34 |  Mike T | 


    How screwy have things gotten that even right-wing teleevangelists are screaming “Hey, there are too many damned people in our jails”?

    In my experience, there’s a dividing line based on the primacy of religion among conservatives when it comes to social issues. Most of the serious, committed religious conservative I’ve known are very fond of homeschooling and other lifestyles that are vehemently attacked at the local level as being akin to having an open air crack market in your living room by local government agencies. Most of the nominally religious conservatives I’ve ever known tend to be far less concerned about these as they are generally “moderate” on most social issues. Thus they tend to be dismissive about police militarization, abuse of power, etc. because they are not likely to be targets; serious religious conservatives who homeschool are in many areas as likely to be victimized by aggressive local authorities as drug users. Thus they tend to understand that the weapon used on the hippies today will be used on them tomorrow.

  35. #35 |  Cyto | 

    Gotta love the huffpo commentariate. A running theme among the “man bites dog” comments is that the guy was a scumbag wife abuser, so they’re glad they sicced a dog on him. They are also aghast that he’s such an animal that he would bite a dog.

    I’m astonished that anyone would think sending an attack dog into a prison cell to “subdue an unruly prisoner” is in any way a legitimate form of prisoner control. I also love the universal authoritarian logic that the only legitimate response to having a police attack dog tearing at your arm with his teeth is to lie prone on the ground and submit to the mauling passively to show that you are not resisting arrest and wait to be taken into custody.

    Although I do agree with the sympathy for the dog. It certainly isn’t his fault that his handlers sent him in to assault a prisoner.

  36. #36 |  Danny | 

    Doubtful story, but, assuming it’s true, I think that dog showed more restraint than most any human official would show at having his ear bit.

  37. #37 |  JOR | 

    There are a few simple things people can do about bullying without asking the state to do the one job that minarchists insist we need it for, or whatever scares tools like Gillespie.

    1. Stop shaming the victims.

    2. Stop punishing victims who defend themselves.

    3. Stop shaming the victims.

    4. Be willing to step up and use proportionate tactics against kids that bully your kids (or your kids’ friends, or your neighbors’ kids, or whatever). Taunting and teasing for taunting and teasing, asskicking for asskicking, injury for injury, etc.

    5. Stop shaming the victims.

    No state involvement required.

    Bullying is not worse than it has ever been. If anything it’s not as bad. But it’s not as bad precisely because of the “panic” over it, the awareness, etc.

    Sort of like police brutality. Police aren’t any more venal, dishonest, thieving, or violent than they’ve always been. There’s just more cameras around, and Respectable Journalists are more willing to shine light on it. This is as it should be.

  38. #38 |  Brandon | 

    “But it’s not as bad precisely because of the “panic” over it, the awareness, etc.”

    [Citation needed]

  39. #39 |  croaker | 

    Walmart has deeper pockets than whatever agency employs Officer Douche Nozzle. Sue them both.

  40. #40 |  CharlesWT | 

    This video is a follow-up to Adrian Murray’s facebook post over the weekend, in which he says that he donated to the Obama campaign as “Adolph Hitler,” occupation “Dictator” living at a German address. As you can see in the clip, citizen journalist George Scaggs of Austin tries the same thing at three different campaign sites, that of Obama, Romney and Santorum. Only the Obama site accepted the donation without the verification number.

    Obama Campaign Disables Credit Card Verification, Accepts Donation from ‘Nidal Hasan’

  41. #41 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Portlandia needs to do an episode about the Captain Mark “Ehrenbaum” Kruger: “Nazi behind the bush.”