Lunch Links

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

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68 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  Danny | 

    As an ardent opponent of the death penalty, I deem the Connecticut repeal to be uniquely heinous, and a ‘cure’ that is even worse than the ‘disease’.

    It is prospective only, which makes an utter hash of any notion of equal protection under the law.

    It substitutes “supermax” conditions, without regard to conduct or public safety — for the first time explicitly using supermax conditions for the mere purpose of immiseration and suffering with no goal beyond retribution.

    We have become evil the way the hour hand moves on a clock. It happened so slowly we could not see the motion, even those of us who watched intently. But here we are, the midnight hour of evil.

  2. #2 |  Michael Chaney | 

    As I said elsewhere about the Connecticut police recording bill – it doesn’t matter. It’s already legal to record the police, it’s already illegal for them to arrest you for doing so, and it’s already the case that you can sue a police officer for actions that are outside of his legal duties. What we need is simply known as “rule of law”. If we use the laws we already have *and apply them to everybody equally* this won’t be a problem. Since we’ve already put police officers outside of the law there’s no reason to believe that yet another law is going to magically apply to them when all of the others don’t.

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Re TSA theft
    “The police said they went and reviewed the videotapes but they were too blurry,” Petti says

    So, the day of 911 you could see Atta et al just fine, but
    10 years later and many many billions of dollars spent on enhancing
    surveillance and the tapes are “too blurry.”
    Any chance we can get our money back?

  4. #4 |  Aresen | 

    That letter from Ken White is brilliant. I’d love to see what, if any response it gets from the addressee.

  5. #5 |  MacK | 

    I would have to beat a teacher till he or she shit theirs pants if that was my child, they made sit in the soiled condition.

    I also think that the crack local news team should investigate the incident even more, and highlight the shear gross negligence of the schools policies, and administration before something even worse happens.

  6. #6 |  perlhaqr | 

    Well, ok Danny, then what the fuck *do* you think we should do with serial killers?

  7. #7 |  Andrew S. | 

    Harumpf. My Little Pony is an awesome show. Better character development and plots are deeper than most of what’s out there for adults nowadays.

  8. #8 |  Aresen | 

    @ Andrew S. | April 26th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Better character development and plots are deeper than most of what’s out there for adults nowadays.

    Bit of a low bar you set there, isn’t it?


  9. #9 |  MikeZ | 

    I have two daughters a 4 and 7 yr old so am quite familiar with and have watched more episodes of My Little Pony than I can count. So I’m speaking with some experience when I say, I have no fucking idea what is up with Bronies. I just don’t get it.

    Now I remember back when I was in college and drunkenly watching Ren and Stimpy, or perhaps even old Rocky & Bullwinkle episodes in the basement of my fraternity. Certainly nothing else is on during the daylight drinking hours. However we never formed a fan club, and I’m pretty sure that nowadays my old fraternity has a couple of Tivo’s anyway so no real need to watch MLP.

  10. #10 |  Joshua | 

    That Connecticut law doesn’t look very tough to me. The exceptions in it seem to completely negate its power:

    (1) lawfully enforce a criminal law or municipal ordinance;

    Blocking a public sidewalk.

    (4) safeguard the privacy of a crime victim or other person;

    I suppose that other person could be the police officer or anybody walking around in the background.

    And on top of these two, the police officer only needs a reasonable belief that these things are the case. He doesn’t have to be right!

  11. #11 |  PeeDub | 

    “Writers everywhere solute you, sir.”

    Agreed. Hopefully this letter will precipitate a quick solution and leave the regretsyans a bit more solvent.

  12. #12 |  Andrew S. | 

    To each their own, MikeZ. I’m confused as to how anyone could like 90% of what’s out there in entertainment.

  13. #13 |  Jeff Hall | 

    “Of all the states, you have been the awesomest this week, Connecticut.”

    Yeah, but we used to be the awesomest every week of the year.

    (Michael Chaney: the law, as I understand it, doesn’t make anything unlawful that wasn’t unlawful before. It just makes it easier for citizens to sue police departments and individual policemen who break the law in this manner.)

  14. #14 |  Iced Borscht | 

    Somehow I intuitively knew that Link No. 2 was going to lead me to a Bronies story.

  15. #15 |  FridayNext | 

    Okay, the pants pooping story angers the blood.

    But did anyone notice that it was during “testing time” for kindergartners? I’m not as anti-standardized tests as some people, but they are not the panacea others think them to be.

    But for KINDERGARTNERS????

  16. #16 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Stop it. Seriously. Just stop it. I mean, look at yourselves.

    I concur. Wholeheartedly. I think it’s more hipster-ism run amok.

    I mean, my little girl started watching this recently, and I couldn’t get through more than 5 minutes of the wretched show.

  17. #17 |  Bob | 

    #6: perlhaqr

    Well, ok Danny, then what the fuck *do* you think we should do with serial killers?

    Which kind? The kind that actually kill in a serial manner, or the kind the police talk into confessing?

  18. #18 |  Wiregeek | 

    #9, #14, #16, I have several adult male friends, so I have some exposure to it, and I have no clue what is up with soccer. I mean, one of my room mates just started watching this recently, and I couldn’t get through more than 5 minutes of the wretched game.

  19. #19 |  The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » The Nutmeg State’s Senate Passes Bill Protecting Right to Record Police AND Abolishes the Death Penalty in the Same Week | 

    […] Tip: The Agitator Share and […]

  20. #20 |  hilzoy fangirl | 

    So-called libertarian Radley Balko wants to prevent people from watching television shows that he doesn’t approve of.

    I kid, I kid.

  21. #21 |  Kutani | 

    > So-called libertarian Radley Balko wants to prevent people
    > from watching television shows that he doesn’t approve of.

    There’s watching (and enjoying) a show, there’s being a fan of a show, and then there’s that one step beyond where you’ve got to accept you’re going to get strange looks because you’re frankly ridiculous. “Bronies” fall in that third group, and I’ve no doubt they’re the ones Radley is calling out.

  22. #22 |  MH | 

    Soccer doesn’t have ponies.

  23. #23 |  Noclipper | 

    There has been a periphery demographic of older fans of animation ever since the first kids who watched cartoons never stopped, and learned to appreciate the art form in a new way. Many of those kids went into animation as a career choice, and made a new generation of cartoons, and again.

    Adult fans of cartoons are nothing new, Anime and manga of all genres have always had a large audience of fans who aren’t ashamed to like cute things.

    Most bronies have enjoyed cartoons of all kinds, finding one who hasn’t seen Invader Zim or Adventure Time is practically impossible. I wouldn’t say FiM is the best cartoon, but its designed to appeal to kids and their parents, and so also caught that inbetween group who are neither.

    There’s plenty in the show available for a newcomer to resonate to, no matter what they prefer to focus on.

    The comedy spans the spectrum, subtle pop culture references, slapstick, puns, pure non sequitor Pinkie Pie, and so on.

    The characters are simple in premise, very strong architypes with the logical connecting desires and flaws, the “mane six” make the show with their interaction and dialogue, rather than relying on drawn out action sequences.

    The art style, compared to previous incarnations of the show, is softer, more cartoon-like, with less detail. This baseline is perfect for many different works of fan art, it’s so simple that one can easily imitate it with little practice, or expand upon it to the artist’s content. Anyone can contribute to the ever-growing tome of comics using the well-known characters, drawing from scratch or using vector images provided by other fans. Plenty of fan animations have been made as well, rivalling the actual show in quality.

    And finally, the last piece that Lauren Faust brought to the table along with the strong characters and signature style, is the world in which the series is set. In the previous generations, The titular species was mostly a glorified talking pet, with human children often taking the lead role. Friendship is Magic is set in an utterly unique world, one where ponies are the dominant intelligent species, at least in the area in which the show is set. They are a trifold race of fliers who have tamed the weather, magicians who wield untold power, and earth ponies whose strength and endurance have sparked an industrial revolution, and have as royalty benevolent giants. To a writer, this world has unique challenges to overcome, a new place to tell old tales, and see a world where our everyday problems of injustice, starvation, and atrocity are utterly alien.

    The show, by itself, is just another fairly good cartoon. Many adults would enjoy it if it had been the same show, but with humans, or cats, or robots. But the periphery demographic has made it so much more than just a cartoon, it is a living, breathing community full of some of the most creative minds I have had the honor to talk and work with.

    I’ve also met dozens who’s lives have literally been changed for the better from this show, building connections between siblings or children that didn’t exist before, rekindling the creative fire after being burned out from being smothered by an uncaring world, or as corny as it may seem, they learned the true lesson that Friendship is the closest thing we have to Magic in this world, and everyone can use a friend, the benefits will outweigh any problems that might arise.

    So yeah, we’re looking at ourselves, and we’re awesome.

  24. #24 |  otto e mezzo | 

    I told ya. We haven’t had any vehicles go missing.

  25. #25 |  Comrade Dread | 

    #18, And if I ever start calling myself a Foozbro, then I give you permission to come over to my house, punch me in the face, and tell me to stop it. :)

  26. #26 |  Aresen | 

    @ Kutani

    “Bronies” are free to be public about their preferences.

    But I do wish they’d stayed in the closet, er, stable.


  27. #27 |  Chris | 

    Really? I’m the only one that notices that the poop pants kid has the last name Skidmore?

  28. #28 |  CSD | 

    #21 “Soccer doesn’t have ponies.”

    When it does they call it Polo.

  29. #29 |  CSD | 

    Headline of the Day really needs some video to elevate it to legendary.

  30. #30 |  picachu | 

    Michael Chaney #2 Awesomest post of the day!

  31. #31 |  BamBam | 

    TSA story of the day 2: when one has an untenable position, accuse the accuser of the crime, then invoke “for the children” or “national security”

  32. #32 |  BamBam | 

    @9, Bronies is for people that gew out of the Furries phase

  33. #33 |  Dante | 

    Re: recording the police

    In Maryland, there were a couple of cases where the court specifically told the police that they had to stop arresting people who photographed the police.

    So, the police started arresting those same people – for loitering.

    I kid you not. They will find a way, no matter what the law says.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  34. #34 |  picachu | 

    Dante “n Maryland, there were a couple of cases where the court specifically told the police that they had to stop arresting people who photographed the police.

    So, the police started arresting those same people – for loitering.

    I kid you not. They will find a way, no matter what the law says.”

    See this is what is so dangerous. I know there have always been police abuse. I don’t think police in America have ever been anywhere close to this level of arrogance and pride and also realised that they really are above the law. They don’t fear any legal consequences and that is very dangerous.

  35. #35 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    If Gay men are to be allowed to cavort in sexually themed costumes during Gay Pride events (and I think they’re silly, but don’t want to stop them), then I don’t see why fans of a terminally silly animated TV show shouldn’t be free to embarrass themselves in public too. Maybe if enough little niche fandoms go public, things will get to the point where tiresome political activists with silly causes can no longer get attention by playing Shock The Squares. `That would have to be a net improvement to our nations political discourse.

    But no, if tiresome silliness could wear out its welcome the Bush = a certain Austrian Corporal meme would have been tossed on the ash heap of history long before his term was over.

    Still, I don’t see the harm. It’s a less urgent form of public service than the tree-dwellers who sport Confederate flags or Iron Crosses, but it does mark people that you might want to avoid, doesn’t it?

  36. #36 |  EBL | 

    You might consider adding this to your links, although it leaves me cold…

  37. #37 |  Hal_10000 | 

    This is weird. My daughter just got into the My Little Pony thing. To be honest, I can see why it has an appeal to a segment of nerddom. But they do seem to have gone a bit … too far.

  38. #38 |  Brandon | 

    #12, 80% of everything is crap. Usually, the most popular entertainment is crap. In 1969, the year that “These Eyes,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and several other of the greatest songs of all time were released, the most popular song in the country was “Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies.

  39. #39 |  (B)oscoH | 

    I’m not sure what the best part of that lead story on the local news was. My semi-finalists are Dad divulging his sincere beliefs in his heart about crappy pants and the Kindergartners simulating testing conditions they will face in 3rd grade. Seriously, if I were in that Kindergarten class, I’d be all “kill me now, please before I shit my pants — i have 12 more years of this?”

  40. #40 |  Bob | 

    Pfft. Those posers call themselves “Bronies”? Where are their Cutie Mark tattoos?

  41. #41 |  Psion | 

    There’s a webtsite I hang out at. It’s intended for fans of science fiction in general and Star Trek in particular. Most of the regulars there have avatars — little pictures associated with their posts — with sci-fi themes or favorite actors or models. Now and then one of ’em gets political, but that’s tolerated. Hell, we’re Trekkies … infinite diversity in infinite combinations and all that! Right?

    So a few months back, one of the regulars gets an avatar with a distinctly girlish cartoon pony. Said regular hadn’t previously seemed girlish, but, Hell, we’re all Trekkies, and there are plenty of girl Trekkies.

    Then, another regular got a pony. Then another. Then another. Within the space of a week or so, I was starting to feel a little creeped out. I got no fugg’n clue what’s goin on here, and I’m suddenly feeling like I’m, with my shiny sci-fi-ish avatar and all, in the minority and no longer one of the boys, if you know what I’m say’n. And then they started *talking* about their ponies. About their adventures and such.

    You ever seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers? This was a freaking *Star Trek* site, I’m talk’n about, and they’re all going on about their ponies!

    Then it just stopped.

    Like it was coordinated and I wasn’t in on the gag, they all just got bored or something, and day by day, the ponies went away.

    And everything went back to normal. Except, after seeing all that, I knew it would never be normal there again.

    Now, I come here, and what do I find?


  42. #42 |  Amerek | 

    I think that’s awesome that a local news team took up the cause for the little girl and her mom. In high school and college, students are allowed to use the bathroom when they need to, even during testing. I don’t see why elementary school is so draconian; it probably just traumatized that poor girl and her classmates who had to smell her.

  43. #43 |  zywie | 

    My Little Pony is the only kid show besides Backyardigans that I can tolerate. I have 2 kids, a boy and a girl, and they both love it. We all watch it together. I was skeptical at first but the show slowly won me over. And @Psion, its funny you should mention the subject of bodysnatchers as that was basically the premise of the latest My Little Pony episode.

  44. #44 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Wait a minute, Mr. “My dog just went on a date with her boyfriend” is criticizing other people for being silly about cute things? Seriously, we’re just having fun with something we enjoy and we’re not bothering you. Why all the anger?

    Don’t forget that resentment of other people having fun “the wrong way” is usually the first step to big government.

  45. #45 |  Rick H. | 

    The CT “Right to Record” law seems worse than useless to me. As others have pointed out, the exceptions and weasel words seem designed to make a loophole that could accommodate a fleet of police trucks and Joe Arpaio’s tank, all at once.

    Worse than useless, because it’s now locked these bogus excuses into a legal precedent. For a hypothetical, it’s like if they’d written a law that explicitly allows police beatings so long as the magic words “stop resisting” are uttered.

  46. #46 |  Nephilium | 

    I believe I can track back the first infestation of the Broney plague:

    It started at Slashdot, in the year 2006… it’s just taken this long for them to spread.

  47. #47 |  Cyto | 

    A shout out in support of Danny. 50 years in SuperMax solitary confinement is beyond cruel and unusual. It is twisted beyond belief.

    Personally I’d much rather see those that cannot live peaceably with the rest of us shipped off to Australia… except they already have turned that into a country. So maybe we could just turn some of those massive shuttered military bases out west into our own penal colonies. One for men, another much smaller one for women. Grow your own food, trade with the outside world, just don’t leave the territory. That’s pretty harsh, but at least it is a sane human existence. A lifetime without human contact is not humane.

    And no, it doesn’t matter if they deserve it or not. There’s plenty out there that deserve worse. But God help us all if we get what we deserve.

  48. #48 |  Jerryskids | 

    I just had to check here to make sure somebody else realized that the “crack local news team” was actually doing its’ job. It wasn’t a kindergartner crapping her pants – kids do that – but the treatment she got from the supposedly intelligent adults around her that was important. If her mother had treated the child that way, she would be risking having her kid snatched away by the state. How is how the teachers treatment of the child any different than the TSA’s treatment of the aged couple? Both got treated like crap.

  49. #49 |  winston smith | 

    D.C. ‘bronies — I’ve changed my mind about involuntary euthanasia. :O)

  50. #50 |  Personanongrata | 

    •Stop it. Seriously. Just stop it. I mean, look at yourselves.

    The decline and fall of Western Civilization.

  51. #51 |  Onlooker | 


    I agree, that story was maddening. It was just another in the long line of stories illustrating the complete loss of common sense in so much of our society; especially our public schools, all too often.

    On top of that is the ridiculous testing focus that drives their whole existence and leads to stupid kindergarten teachers treating their students that way. UFB

  52. #52 |  Cyto | 

    Hey zywie ,

    Another vote for Backyardigans. Both of my kids love it and it is actually tolerable for adults in the room (although you wouldn’t watch it without kids like you might with Sponge Bob or Phineas and Ferb). Beyond that, the music is actually real music – for kids yes, but still actual music written and performed by talented musicians performing in a wide variety of genres. Cindy Lauper and Alicia Keys even make appearances. Because the music is so well done the shows stand up to repeated watching. I wish they’d bring that show back instead of, well, most of everything else they are making.

    Although I will say that kids shows today are way better than the junk I loved as a kid. Superfriends? Wow, that was truly awful. But we loved it just the same.

  53. #53 |  contrarian | 

    Just in: TSA agents let 20 kilos of coke through checkpoint for $2400 bribe:,0,4508192.story

  54. #54 |  Cyto | 

    Wow, that poopy pants story was pretty crappy. (pardon the pun)

    For those who can’t view the video, the 6 year old girl got diarrhea during a test and the teacher wouldn’t let her leave the class. (Spoiler Alert!) She couldn’t hold it so she had explosive diarrhea in her seat. The teach still made her sit there until the end of the test, another 15 minutes, with runny poop dripping through her clothes. Then she called the kid’s mom to come pick her up and left her sitting there in class in her own runny poop for another 20 minutes until mom could get there. No effort to help the kid at all.

    That kind of empathy lets me know you don’t belong in the classroom with young kids.

  55. #55 |  contrarian | 

    And this:
    Activist files lawsuit against County Executive alleging illegal police surveillance. Finds himself pulled over for broken tail-light, searched, jailed for MJ possession:

  56. #56 |  Aaron Brown | 


  57. #57 |  John C. Randolph | 

    I really want to know who the hell that sadistic teacher is. This kind of thing needs to be a career-ending mistake. In fact, it should be the kind of thing that renders that teacher unemployable anywhere that people can google his or her name.


  58. #58 |  MikeZ | 

    I will admit soccer is certainly worse than MLP. That and baseball are the two slowest sports to watch and I can’t stand either, although at least baseball you can multitask a lot easier. Anyway I certainly enjoy cartoons made for kids that also entertain adults, but I just don’t see MLP is all that good at it compared to others. I certainly was entertained by many kids shows after I passed the target demographic. Ren and Stimpy, Animaniacs (Pinky and the Brain), just don’t recall the rabid fandom. MLP doesn’t seem as good as those, heck even Spongebob or Phineas and Ferb seem better suited to a crossover audience to me.

  59. #59 |  Woog | 

    Don’t worry, Radley – in spite of your misgivings about us, we’ll still love and tolerate the shit out of you. :)

  60. #60 |  marco73 | 

    So some adults get all gooey eyed over My Little Pony? Well at least they aren’t feeling up 95 year olds and stealing their money.

    How about bronies replace the TSA? Since the TSA has already ratcheted the creep factor up to 11, it can’t get any worse, can it?

    And that teacher who made the little girl sit in her own feces – sounds like she has a bright future in government, because I don’t know any private employer that would retain such a fool.

  61. #61 |  Ted S. | 

    I will admit soccer is certainly worse than MLP. That and baseball are the two slowest sports to watch and I can’t stand either

    People only watch car racing for the crashes. :-)

    More seriously, I always find striking the difference between the perception of car racing and the perception of horse racing by our soi-disant “betters”.

  62. #62 |  Frank Stein | 

    The emasculation of the American male continues apace. This is an example of a dangerous feedback loop caused by the internet – a forever alone dude finds a kids show to be mildly entertaining, which normally would be the end of it. But then he sees someone else mention it online, reinforcing (and magnifying) his interest, soon there are dedicated message boards and it spirals into dress up and other pathetic public displays that in ages past would have led to immediate shaming and attitude readjustment.

    I mean, damn man, I’ll admit I’ve watched a couple episodes of Adventure Time and found it to be entertaining. But there’s no need to get into a costume and go to AT conventions. Learn wordworking or how to repair an engine. Fix up your house or plant a garden. Lift weights. Be a man!

  63. #63 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Fix up your house or plant a garden. Lift weights. Be a man!

    Who’s gonna make me? You? ;P

  64. #64 |  EH | 


  65. #65 |  Murc | 

    But there’s no need to get into a costume and go to AT conventions. Learn wordworking or how to repair an engine. Fix up your house or plant a garden. Lift weights. Be a man!

    It’s been years since I picked up the whittling knife, but I’m actually capable of doing all those things. They’re not mutually exclusive.

    Also, being as how I am a man, by definition, anything I do is manly.

  66. #66 |  JOR | 

    “The emasculation of the American male continues apace.”

    Oh shut the fuck up you whiny little bitch.

  67. #67 |  Frank Stein | 

    I’ve upset the bronies, their neck beards are quivering.

    I’m just asking, begging if you will – since civilization is serious business – to look at yourself in the mirror, dressed in your finest pony outfit. Do you not feel some shame? You are alive today because your ancestors, against all odds, survived and reproduced successfully for thousands of years, facing untold hardships and unimaginable obstacles. Was it all for this? NO! they cry from the beyond…NO!

  68. #68 |  CyniCAl | 

    Better than average trolling Frank. Keep trying.