Morning Links

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

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82 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @2 – That’d be why food banks are overwhelmed, and people routinely die of easily treatable conditions then. Cost of living is also something else you’re ignoring, of course.

    The real poor ain’t photogenic, and are often quite hostile to being filmed.

  2. #2 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Yes, Matt, they are poor. However, “poverty” means that you lack the necessities – food, water, clothing, shelter. Worldwide, about 60,000,000 people die every year from starvation. That is poverty. While I wouldn’t voluntarily trade places with these folks, it’s pretty obvious that they have access to food, water, clothing, and shelter. That puts them far ahead of large segments of the world’s population. And as others have pointed out, a nicotine addiction seems pretty common meaning they even have enough excess to waste on an unnecessary item.

    My ancestors apparently saw this coming 100 years ago and moved to Indiana.

  3. #3 |  crazybob | 

    “Freedom of speach. You don’t need a license to exercise it. Nor should you.”

    No, but should a license be required to practice medicine? It appears the prosecution has drawn a bright line between blogging about diet as OK, and dispensing advice to specific individuals as an activity that requires licensure. The only question is: where should that line be?

  4. #4 |  crazybob | 

    “While I wouldn’t voluntarily trade places with these folks, it’s pretty obvious that they have access to food, water, clothing, and shelter”

    Don’t be surprised to learn that the kids in the photo’s regularly go to bed hungry. The human body can take a lot of abuse and still function. That doesn’t mean there isn’t suffering.

  5. #5 |  Zeb | 

    While I am not completely unsympathetic to the very poor people in KY, I think that the points made about how well off they are compared to the truly impoverished people in the world are valid. People in countries where there is true poverty will migrate to places where there is more garbage to pick through to find anything of value. The junk piles that the people in KY have would be treasure to the truly destitute people of the world. Sure, it still sucks to be poor, but let’s keep some perspective.

  6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ Crazybob,

    No one should be barred from giving advice, especially when someone makes it clear what his or her background is in a particular subject.

    Considering that Cooksey makes it very clear he is not a medical professional, he isn’t misleading anyone. There is no fraud. There is no crime here. How much validity people put into his advice is their decision, as they have been fully informed about the means that he uses to derive said advice. There no reason to suspend his right to free speech.

  7. #7 |  Zeb | 

    Another thing about the poor folk. Can’t they go somewhere else where they might be able to get a job? I mean, much poorer people from Mexico and points south uproot their whole lives and move to a country where they don’t even speak the language so that they can work and get ahead. The people in the article are legally allowed to live anywhere in the US and speak English. If your family has spent generations in the same spot, being poor and not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to try living somewhere else.

  8. #8 |  nigmalg | 

    Considering that Cooksey makes it very clear he is not a medical professional, he isn’t misleading anyone. There is no fraud. There is no crime here. How much validity people put into his advice is their decision, as they have been fully informed about the means that he uses to derive said advice. There no reason to suspend his right to free speech.

    This. As a consumer of advice, you do have a responsibility as to what you take seriously. It takes both sides.

  9. #9 |  Brandon | 

    Matt, don’t bother with Crazybob. He’s a pro-government troll regardless of the subject, details, context or anything else about what is being discussed. As far as I know, Radley has banned at least 3 of his alts so far.

  10. #10 |  Goober | 

    As I said, it looks like a vast majority of the “suffering” in that KY story is self-inflicted. YOu can disagree with me all you want, but it’s right there in the print of the story.

    The guy living in squalor doesn’t need money to clean up after himself.

    The broken down old car in that field that is rusting away is probably worth $500 in scrap metal, and in one of the pictures, one guy is driving a 3/4 ton pickup, and so easily has the capability to haul it off for scrap.

    The guy living in the mobile home without water or electricity is referred to several times as a “former” chimney sweep. if that is his skill, and that is how he makes his living, then why is he a “former” chimney sweep? It shows him in another picture after having run a weed eater in the local cemetary, so he likely isn’t disabled – why did he stop working and earning a living?

    The rest of the people in that article lived in much the same conditions I lived in when I was growing up, and I certainly didn’t consider my self in poverty. poor, yes. But not impoverished. I only saw one home that was in any way comparable to what I would define pverty, and I have a lot of questions abut that guy and his decisions leading up to his impoverished conditions – my guess is that he is largely to blame for that, and is probably happy to live that way so long as it means he doesn’t have to keep sweeping chimneys.

    As for the kids – they were going to senior prom, meaning they graduated from high school. If they want to break the cycle, all they have to do is leave and go somewhere else where they can find work. If they choose not to, then their poverty is self-inflicted and I don’t feel any sympathy for them.

    Forgive me if my bleeding heart isn’t simply breaking over a bunch of people who look like they are doing just fine – living in conditions comparable to the ones I lived in when I grew up, with enough disposable income to buy big, elaborate dresses, beer, and cigarettes.

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    #56- I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, but people generally end up how they’re raised. I’m sure wealthy people are looking at my middle-class ass and wondering wtf is wrong with me.

  12. #12 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ Michael Chaney,

    I agree with a lot of the assessments made. The poor shouldn’t be smoking. They don’t have to live in clutter. There are various opportunities missed that poor people can take advantage of to alleviate their plight, maybe even move up the socio-economic ladder. They could move to a place with better economic opportunities as so many Hispanic people from Mexico have done. I agree with all of these things.

    The issue I have is that I often hear libertarians try to argue that being poor in America isn’t really being poor when compared to the poor people in other places. We’ll cherry pick something like a pack of cigarettes in a photograph as if kicking a smoking habit is really gonna result in significant prosparity for people making less that 20k a year. It makes us appear completely dismissive of the issue. That doesn’t do the cause any good when trying to win over converts in the political ring.

    It’s not a slippery slope that will lead someone to socialism to admit that some people are born into shit and getting out of said shit is a staggering process. Promoting libertarianism solutions to poverty by arguing a “only the strong survive” policy isn’t really doing us any favors. There are much more positive ways to promote libertarian solutions to poverty.

  13. #13 |  Zeb | 

    #60, Marty: IT certainly is true that people do end up where/how they were raised. But it seems like people nowadays feel entitled to live wherever they want to. Some places will just never be strong economically because of geography, climate and available natural resources. The only way for the rural poor to become less poor is either massive subsidy of their lifestyle or they go live somewhere else where something is happening. The rest of the world is not obliged to subsidize their charming rustic existence.

  14. #14 |  Onlooker | 

    @18 Juice

    You can get around that paywall – and many/most others – by copying the headline into a search engine and going to it through the link there. It’s a loophole they have intentionally put there to keep traffic coming through the search sites.

  15. #15 |  jmcross | 

    Dallas police article can be found by going here:

    http://www.ksat.com/news/Dallas-police-halt-routine-dash-cam-video-reviews/-/478452/11637580/-/1510mppz/-/index.html

    You’ll find a clear link in the 3rd paragraph.

  16. #16 |  jmcross | 

    Ref the Dallas PD

    \\“The hard, aggressive officer was slowing down because he was getting hammered,” said police association President Ron Pinkston.//

    I see that as a feature of the process.

    \\These kinds of problems were found during the review process. Some could be considered serious violations warranting disciplinary action; others fall into a gray area where officers feel they should be allowed to exercise discretion. Officers:

    Gave chase without activating lights and sirens.

    Exceeded the speed limit in residential areas or active school zones during chases.

    Topped the speed limit by more than 20 mph during pursuits and other emergency calls.

    Failed to stop at stop signs or red lights during chases.

    Violated the strict pursuit policy, for instance by chasing a motorist who fled while getting a traffic ticket.

    Failed to activate wireless microphones, resulting in no audio recording of events during an investigation or arrest.

    Failed to notify dispatchers that they were involved in pursuits.

    Deactivated video recorders during police pursuits and assist-officer calls.

    Failed to download video from their squad cars at the end of every shift. (If this isn’t done, the unit sometimes fills up and will no longer record.)

    Moved GPS antennas from the car’s interior to the trunk, where reception is poor or nonexistent.//

    Note the policy violations centering around the monitoring devices. The causes of these could range from negligent disregard for policy to mens rea. Really, how does a LEO justify turning off the camera? Or shoving the GPS antenna in the trunk? Right to privacy? Please.

    Cops shouldn’t have the option to turn off monitoring devices. Same goes for prison guards.

    I’m generally in favor of the right to collective bargaining, free association and all that. However, the routine whining of cop union presidents when their members are held to minimal standards and policies that already lift them above the common man is simply vile. The self-centered group-think of the cop-class is astounding.

  17. #17 |  picachu | 

    jmcross “I’m generally in favor of the right to collective bargaining, free association and all that. However, the routine whining of cop union presidents when their members are held to minimal standards and policies that already lift them above the common man is simply vile. The self-centered group-think of the cop-class is astounding.”

    Well said! Again every problem with police abuse goes back to their astounding arrogance and pride. That’s what seems to have grown worse over the years.

  18. #18 |  JSL | 

    “No, but should a license be required to practice medicine? It appears the prosecution has drawn a bright line between blogging about diet as OK, and dispensing advice to specific individuals as an activity that requires licensure. ”

    Given the current state of the licensed to practice medicine crowd when it comes to nutrition, a license doesn’t mean jack squat.

  19. #19 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    America is, like much of the West, a great deal wealthier than any country in any other age of history. How do I propose to prove this? The current hysteria of the War on Obesity; the commonest dietary problem of our poor is that they are too fat.

    Is this to our credit as a Nation? That can be argued. Certainly in each age of our Nation there have been self-selected elites who were SURE that if the Common People were allowed the increased control of their lives that increased wealth brings they would make Wrong Choices. Typically these elites have had fine sounding plans to keep the poor from getting their hands on too much money.

    The current lot of thieves, I mean Concerned Citizens, encompasses both the Progressive Left and the Business-as-usual branch of the Republican Party.

    Libertarians, by contrast, have a touching faith in the ability of people to make the right choices, when surrounded by loud voices giving them bogus advice.

    Me? I’m a Crank.

  20. #20 |  supercat | 

    #48 | Mattocracy | “These people are m—– f—— poor compared to just about everyone else in this country. You can be a libertarian and admit that.”

    There seems to be a widespread notion that one can be made poor by the fact that other people have too much more wealth. That is an evil lie.

    Those who are conditioned to be covetous will be miserable if anyone else has more wealth than they do, and they will blame their misery on the fact that others have no wealth, but that won’t be the real cause. The real cause of their misery will be their own covetousness.

    Other people who are not covetous may find themselves in a rut, but for psychological or psychiatric reasons lack the impetus to get themselves out. While it may be possible to help some such people, there are limits as to what can be really done. If someone has a psychological or psychiatric condition which will cause him to lose in fairly short order any wealth he might acquire, the person’s misery isn’t a result of insufficient welfare payments. Actually, a welfare system may end up doing more harm than good if it causes such a person not to seek assistance from a good church (which, regardless of how one feels about the religion preached there, would help the person find friends–something that a lot of people sorely lack).

  21. #21 |  tariqata | 

    ‘Wealth’ is not just about having the basics needed to sustain life.

    A lot of stuff necessary for life – food, clothing – is relatively cheap in North America. These people may have more capacity to buy things – although not, apparently, adequate shelter – than a lot of people in the world, but it looks to me like they’re still shut out of an awful lot of the opportunities that many of us can take for granted. If they didn’t smoke or drink beer or send their kids to prom (though I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of those dresses have been worn by more than one girl), would that leave them with enough money to send their kids to university so that they could gain access to work that might sustain them better than sweeping chimneys? Would it be enough money to pay for medical care when they get sick?

  22. #22 |  Not Sure | 

    “It is illegal to feed dolphins in the United States. Federal law prohibits this. I do not recall anything in the Constitution authorizing federal laws against feeding dolphins, but I’ll let that pass. The fact is, people ignore the law. They love to feed dolphins. In Tampa Bay, tourists are big law-breakers in this regard.

    Why shouldn’t people be allowed to feed dolphins? Because, marine biologists say, giving dolphins free food addicts them to handouts. People are turning dolphins into welfare bums.

    The federal government’s fish police see the threat. Handouts destroy the ability of dolphins, who are very smart fish (mammals), to survive on their own. Mothers do not teach survival skills to their offspring. They teach them to live off welfare.

    Tourists are creating inter-generational welfare dependence. In a 2009 article in the “Tampa Bay Times,” we read this from a biologist employed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. “We are able to document lineage, from grandmother to mother to calf, all following fishing boats and taking thrown-back fish.”

    Marine biologists, who themselves are being fed by the federal government, understand the threat to ecology posed by welfare economics. It is a bad idea, they say, to addict smart fish to handouts. But the logic of this position is not applied to human beings, who are far more clever than dolphins. What is gospel at the National Marine Fishing Service is anathema at the Department of Health and Human Services. What the government’s experts on fish see as a threat to the fish, the government’s experts on human beings do not see as a threat to people.

    What is the threat? Creating permanent dependence.” – Gary North

  23. #23 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I hate to be the “paranoid guy” here, but I suspect the shutdown of the review in Dallas wasn’t about speeding at all.

    I think speeding was just the least-damaging excuse they could use to shut it down. Any actual reprimands or punishments for speeding, and the like, were just a dog-and-pony show.

    Sgt: I am afraid I will have to give you a stern verbal warning for speeding. You were often 1, or even 2 mph over the limit even when you weren’t Code Three.

    Policeman: But that is ridiculous.

    Sgt: Do you really want the Commission going thru all your dashcam recordings. Remember, I know what you did last summer.

    Policeman: I understand, Sgt, and want to thank you. I guess I need to go see the FOP guy about this outrage.

    Sgt: that is EXACTLY what you need to do.

  24. #24 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Marine biologists, who themselves are being fed by the federal government, understand the threat to ecology posed by welfare economics. It is a bad idea, they say, to addict smart fish to handouts. But the logic of this position is not applied to human beings, who are far more clever than dolphins. What is gospel at the National Marine Fishing Service is anathema at the Department of Health and Human Services. What the government’s experts on fish see as a threat to the fish, the government’s experts on human beings do not see as a threat to people.

    Last I checked, dolphins are not fish. You did mention they are mammals…and mammals are not fish. Next, dolphins are animals subject to the rather stringent laws of nature where the sick, maimed and elderly are ruthlessly culled by predation and natural forces. Human beings live in societies that evolved to combat this kind of thing, since parents really don’t like seeing dire wolves and cave bears eat their children. Thusly, we support and help the weak, sick and elderly and the very young. We tend to accept that some undeserving people will get help as well as the people we meant to help all along. The “survival of the fitest” mentality adopted by some libertarians is actually derived (IMHO) from a strain of Puritanism that has been around for the last 350 years in America. It particularly views “malingering” with suspicion and contempt, while extoling the virtues of work and character (to the exclusion of many other things).

  25. #25 |  Not Sure | 

    It looks like you don’t want to address the issue of the danger of teaching people to depend on others instead of helping themselves, I guess?

    And the fish thing- I didn’t write it and I’d guess the writer didn’t intend to be taken literally. But what do I know?

  26. #26 |  Other Sean | 

    That poverty slideshow is half statistical artifact, since it features people from the poorest county without necessarily featuring the poorest people. Most likely what makes their county unique is that it has no wealthy residents to lift the average. Also, you can look and see that there is obviously a certain amount of unrecorded economic activity going on there (including, god forbid, unlicensed cosmetology).

    If you want to see real poverty in America, go and meet the users of socially unsanctioned drugs living in a city of more than 200,000. That’s where you find 18 people in a four bedroom house with neither heat nor water, using an antique bathtub as a dry latrine.

    Anyone who goes preaching to them about how smoking is making them poor will get the ass-kicking he deserves.

  27. #27 |  brian | 

    #73, I think you meant Work, and Character. Otherwise you nailed it.

  28. #28 |  Marty | 

    #62 | Zeb-

    I’m not arguing that anyone should subsidize anyone’s ‘charming existence’, but you do raise an interesting point- they have phone lines/internet connections. This would be a fascinating experiment for Bill Gates (or anyone) to invest in teaching computers. I can see lots of entrepreneurial opportunities for any kid with a little knowledge. Computers are cheap. A little skill and low debt could go a long way…

  29. #29 |  omar | 

    @#73 | celticdragonchick

    You nailed it on the head.

    I’d add: Pretending a problem doesn’t exist, doesn’t make it go away, even when that problem has a traditionally governmental remedy. It takes a libertarian with no imagination to see problems like the existence of very poor people and only see socialism as a solution – leading to the naive conclusion that there is no problem.

  30. #30 |  M | 

    PGC SWAT team raided a guy known for driving anti-illegal immigrant legislation:
    “After he did so much to place greater trust in local police officers nationwide, police in Prince George’s County sent a SWAT team to his house to look for . . . spray paint.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/time-of-trial-for-proponents-of-self-deportation/2012/04/24/gIQAe6lheT_story_2.html

  31. #31 |  Zeb | 

    Marty, sorry if I came of as argumentative. I think we more or less agree. I hadn’t really considered the advantages of being connected. Though good internet connections are still hard to come by in a lot of rural places.

  32. #32 |  Mister Pickles | 

    re – the poorest county in America

    Good luck to those people.