Saturday Links

Saturday, April 28th, 2012
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57 Responses to “Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  voodoo | 

    Slight correction: Concord, MA, not Concord, NH.

  2. #2 |  mb | 

    “So I’ll be unfolding a map over the steering wheel when I get lost instead of pulling up my phone’s GPS. Much safer.”

    I’ve been lost many, many, many (really, too many) times and have never employed either of these tactics. Didn’t even know these were my only options.

  3. #3 |  Jack Dempsey | 

    Ray LaHood = Blithering dumbass.

  4. #4 |  Pasquin | 

    Ah hem, that’s Concord Massachusetts. Where the stupid was heard around the world.

  5. #5 |  contrarian | 

    The bottled water story is from Concord, MA, not Concord, NH.

    Don’t feel bad, Sarah Palin made the same mistake a few months ago. OK, feel bad. Really bad.

  6. #6 |  that guy | 

    Re: bottle water ban.

    Is that Concord, NH or Concord, MASS?

    “How nuts is Concord? The same voters who want to take away your right to buy bottled water have elected a state rep who is fighting for physician-assisted suicide. They want you to have the right to literally kill yourself.”

    Is the author pointing out the hypocrisy in being able to commit suicide but not buy bottled water or does he think it is just silly to legalize suicide(doctor assisted)?

  7. #7 |  that guy | 

    didn’t mean to be the third person asking about NH or MASS. my bad

  8. #8 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    The link about groupon goes to a video link about restricting competition with taxis.

  9. #9 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    So I’ll be unfolding a map over the steering wheel when I get lost instead of pulling up my phone’s GPS. Much safer.

    Not that I agree with the regulation, but as the article makes clear it’s against talking on the cellphone, so your GPS example is disinegenuous.

  10. #10 |  Mark Z. | 

    Just to be different, I’ll ask if you really meant Concord, California.

  11. #11 |  The Crip Bandit | 

    #8
    Doesn’t matter if you were using GPS or not, when the cop says you were talking on your cell phone, as far as the judge is concerned you were talking on your cell phone. This just gives the cops another reason to pull people over and ticket them.

  12. #12 |  derfel cadarn | 

    How is it anyone else’s business who or how you fuck?

  13. #13 |  Radley Balko | 

    Not that I agree with the regulation, but as the article makes clear it’s against talking on the cellphone, so your GPS example is disinegenuous.

    They’re calling for a ban on both talking and texting. I doubt they’re going to make an exception for people who tell the cop who pulls them over that they weren’t texting, but typing an address into a GPS ap.

    LaHood has made it pretty clear he’s against any use of a cell phone. He’s even pressuring car manufacturers like Ford to stop technology that lets you change radio stations, make phone calls, and program GPS units with voice commands. Which is exceptionally stupid if your concern is actually highway safety.

  14. #14 |  Doubleu | 

    From the Cop/porn link… the caption under the picture reads “co-director Spock Buckton” Porn needs more than one director?

  15. #15 |  Bob | 

    Ray LaHood:

    Why stop there? Make it a Federal Felony to talk in the car, too. Unless you have Tourette Syndrome, of course… then you’re protected by the ADA.

    Of course, we’ll need a HUGE Federal stimulus package to hire more cops and build more jails. It’s for the economy!

    Oh! Oh! And interstate driving would be MUCH safer if you had to stop and show your passport when crossing state borders. Or just whenever a cop feels like stopping you to asset forfeiture your cash er… make sure you’re carrying it.

  16. #16 |  (B)oscoH | 

    LaHood obviously has it out for an aesthetic he doesn’t like. Banning cell phones while driving, even banning texting while driving, is a clear overreaction based on data and trends. The deaths, as exaggerated as they are, are but noise on a multi-decade trend.

    I write software, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a developer is “premature optimization”, i.e. trying to squeeze performance out of something before you really understand what the bottlenecks are. What it generally leads to is more expensive development and maintenance of a system that actually performs worse than if you hadn’t optimized. I think that’s what LaHood and the cell phone banners risk doing here. That is, making deaths per mile driven increase by ignoring the safety benefits of some distractions. Radley’s GPS example is excellent. I wonder if anyone here has ever been angry or depressed behind the wheel, called someone, and calmed down. I bet that happens a million times a day on LA freeways.

    All that aside, I’d be willing to give LaHood his cell phone ban… if we can charge him with murder when deaths per mile go up. It’s more than an even bet against LaHood because the proportion of deaths even indirectly attributable to cell phone use is small, less than 5%.

  17. #17 |  Bob | 

    #14 : Doubleu

    From the Cop/porn link… the caption under the picture reads “co-director Spock Buckton” Porn needs more than one director?

    Yes, it’s common for directors to overcome themselves during the production.

  18. #18 |  c | 

    Brookings Inst and Afghanistan.

    As soon as I saw Ohanlon’s name, I stopped reading. As a stenographer to the pentagon and general warfluffing lickspittle, he has demonstrated that his name is prima facia evidence of mendacity, special pleading, and general stupidity no matter what the subject.

  19. #19 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “•Man reunites with biological father after 35 years after seeing his own face on a milk carton.”

    Classic. For those who don’t know by now, most of those Milk Carton kids
    were involved in custody disputes, not dragged off to Never-Never
    land by the Pied Piper.

  20. #20 |  World’s Strangest | World Record Title Holder of Longest with Bullet in Head Dies | 

    […] -via The Agitator | Photo: Modesto Bee/Joan Barnett […]

  21. #21 |  Jerryskids | 

    @Indianapolis ADA cat fight – Ah, bless you for that link to some of the finest entertainment available on the internet! The comments – wherein we see the cut-throat competition for More Victimized Than Thou status – are pure comedy gold. It’s just a shame neither of the contenders seems to be a lesbian or person of color; I am confident that would earn them a bye in the Regionals and vault them straight into Nationals.

  22. #22 |  Aresen | 

    From the “Afghanistan Requires Our Patience” link:

    In fact, it is mission incomplete, going worse than we had all hoped — but better than many now understand. With patience on all sides, we can still reach a tolerable outcome that prevents terrorist groups from establishing large sanctuaries on Afghan soil in the future.

    That is like a flashback to my late teens and early twenties when Johnson and Nixon administration apologists kept explaining how the US was “about to turn the corner” in Vietnam.

  23. #23 |  perlhaqr | 

    Shit yeah! Another war! Woooooooo! I love it. USA! USA! USA! Gawdamn, I just wanna go vote for Obama now that he’s picking a fight with yet another fucking country!

  24. #24 |  On the Lost Hwy | 

    To The Crip Bandit in #11, But can’t you pull out your phone and look at the built in log of calls? I use cheap pay in advance as you go service, but the phone’ll show me the times of my incoming and outgoing calls.

    Related, I had a friend visit our small (with stupid if not corrupt deputies) town and get pulled over. Deputy first told him he was talking on his phone (illegal while driving in our state). Uh, no… look at my phone’s log, haven’t used it in over an hour. Well, you were going really slow down Main Street, I clocked you at only going 23 mph. Well, sure, the speed limit is only 25. OK, then you were weaving. At that point I think my friend told the deputy to get stuffed and drove away.

  25. #25 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “And so it begins.”:

    If I thought we would stealth bomb the snot out of the ruling council, various weapons programs, and the military, and then go home, I wouldn’t mind so goddamned much. But our Ruling Class will convince themselves that we need to go in and help rebuild – really, they won’t be able to contain their lust to meddle with a whole NEW batch of subjects.

    Foo.

    Still, if Jug-ears is thinking about hammering random annoyances BEFORE we get attacked again, that actually calms my fears a little. What I’m afraid of is a President who leaves the terrorist-enablers to fester for so long that we get an attack that makes 9/11 look like an accident with radio-controled models. If that happens I figure it’s at least even odds we go roaring over to the middle-east and get bogged in so deep that we won’t get out in my lifetime. That we go full-bore Imperial.

    Gunboat diplomacy (or stealth bomber diplomacy) isn’t nice. It’s messy, and it’s amoral. On the other hand, the long history of Islamic squirrel food seems to be that if they are not regularly scared back into the trees, they only keep pushing. Gunboat diplomacy has a track record of working. Taking things to the U.N. has a track record of miserable failure.

  26. #26 |  Cynical in New York | 

    RE: Iran

    Looks like Obama wants to take the Clinton route and start another war in hopes he will be kept in office.

    RE: Service Dog

    As someone who has worked in retail this one pisses me off to no end. In New York state there is no clear guideline for service dogs. Traditionally most owners of them either have some sort of card or the dog itself has a vest that says “Service Dog”. Legally a business can’t ask for proof of a service dog that all a business has to rely on is the person’s word. 95% of the time the dog is a service dog but once in awhile you have the asshole who heard from word of mouth that a business isn’t allowed to ask so they just waltz right in with their pet (who by behavior alone shows that it’s a pet and nothing more) and just declare it a service animal.

    Off Topic

    Here is a nice article by Will Grigg on two cops who actually do the right thing and NOT abuse people but feel the wrath of the blue line.

    http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2012/04/officer-regina-tasca-goes-rogue.html

  27. #27 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Cynical in New York,

    If Jug-ears thinks that starting another piss-up is going to make him more popular rather than less, then he must have an interesting opinion of the effectiveness of the anti-war drum beat that his fellow Democrat-lefties have been beating ever since the invasion of Iraq failed to catch Saddam with his finger poised over the launch button of an ICBM on day two. Says worlds about his confidence in the rump-kissing the media has been giving him throughout his term, too.

    Interesting.

    I have to say that if (I repeat IF) we are going to take a whack at some third-world pest-hole, Iran makes more sense than most. But I have no confidence in Obama’s capacity to not screw it up, one way or another.

  28. #28 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Why throwing more money at failing public schools won’t fix the problem.

    I don’t see how this is the indictment against public education you make it out to be.

    Fix the corruption. Don’t throw out the idea of socialized education. Thats my 2 cents.

  29. #29 |  Mike | 

    HANG UP AND DRIVE. That said, it’s not the Federal government’s business. Of course, that won’t stop them; interstate commerce, don’t cha know.

  30. #30 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Burgers Allday,

    The assertion was not that Public Schools needed to be abandoned. There’s an argument for that, but this wasn’t it. The argument was that this showed that simply increasing their budgets wouldn’t accomplish anything useful (unless you consider purchasing luxuries for school functionaries useful. I don’t).

  31. #31 |  David | 

    If I thought we would stealth bomb the snot out of the ruling council, various weapons programs, and the military, and then go home, I wouldn’t mind so goddamned much.

    Really? Fuck, at least a prolonged occupation ties all the “enemy” forces up in a ground war for a while. We’ve seen what Iran does after their nuclear facilities are bombed. It’s called “the present.”

  32. #32 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #26

    If you haven’t noticed the anti-war left has more or less been exposed as frauds when most of them stayed silent when Obama started more dust ups. The only true anti-war people (not just anti-war when their murderer is in power) are libertarians and paleocons. Obama doesn’t have to worry about the anti-war left since they have no one else to turn to other than voting for whoever gets the Green Party nominee or if Nader runs again.

  33. #33 |  R. Pointer | 

    How exactly is the Federal government going to outlaw cellphone driving?

    When was the last time they had patrol cars pulling people over?

    I just don’t see how this isn’t a reserve power of the states.

  34. #34 |  David | 

    They can make it one of the conditions of federal highway funding, like the drinking age?

  35. #35 |  supercat | 

    I have a very strong feeling that a lot of the politicians pushing for the ban on the use of technology while driving are doing so to keep the little people–those who can’t afford chauffeurs–in their place. While it’s certainly good for people to, when practical, make their phone calls when they’re not driving, there are many circumstances where a driver might need to receive a call which would cause him to alter his route prior to reaching his original planned destination. If someone who can’t afford a chauffeur ends up driving for hours to a meeting which, for whatever reason, doesn’t happen at the anticipated location, that’s too bad for them. Never mind that such needless driving (and all the EvilNastyDeadlyHorriblePlanetKilling CO2 emitted in the process) could have been avoided had the person received a phone call notifying them of the change.

  36. #36 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Cynical in New York,

    I’ll admit that we no longer hear a great deal about the anti-war Left. I’d attributed that to the media’s “Obama can do no wrong” policy on coverage of issues. I suspect that it still exists, though, throughout Jug-ears’ base. And while they aren’t about to vote for a Republican (Horrors!), they might easily vote for some splinter party or just stay home. There is a substantial segment of the Left that is unable to let go of the anti-war stance, because it is close to the only importance that they have. If Obama is prepared to jettison them, then we might want to keep that judgement of their political importance in mind in the future.

  37. #37 |  albatross | 

    I think the antiwar left has suffered the same fate in this administration as the small-government right did in the previous one–they are no longer useful for attacking the other side, so their party and the media friendly to their party no longer have much use for them.

    The folks close to power, whatever party they play for, have zero interest in either smaller government or ceasing to blow up random foreigners for murky purposes. That stuff, like most other rhetoric from the two big parties, is just stuff those guys (overwhelmingly professional liars, with fewer scruples than conmen) say when they think it will help them get more power.

  38. #38 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    albatross,

    All I’m suggesting is that if Obama is prepared to ignore these people, maybe the next time they get paraded before us as examples of “Mainstream opinion”, we should do likewise.

  39. #39 |  David | 

    I’m willing to bet that the number of people who are anti-war for pacifism’s sake, instead of for partisan reasons, is about the same as the number of people who want an actual small government, and not just a government that’s off their backs while taxing everybody else, or a government that’s weak whenever their team loses an election.

  40. #40 |  crzyb0b | 

    ” For those who don’t know by now, most of those Milk Carton kids
    were involved in custody disputes, not dragged off to Never-Never
    land by the Pied Piper.”

    False – while it is true that the vast majority of child “abductions” are related to custody disputes, the Milk Carton kids are generally cases of stranger abductions or cases where the abducting parent is considered a threat of somekind.

  41. #41 |  crzyb0b | 

    Sometimes a military buildup is the best way to avoid a war, its a common tactic that has been used from before recorded history – it is often effective.
    So claiming the buildup around iran is evidence of intention to make war, is false. It is equally likely that is shows an intention to avoid war.

  42. #42 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Look up accident statistics for countries who use primarily road markings (most of the EU) versus primarily road signs (the US).

    Yea, do that first.

  43. #43 |  Herb | 

    I fully expect the people worried about the gov’t banning cell phones to cut down on distracted driving would have no problem whatsoever if a movie theater did the same thing to ensure silence, mostly thanks to simplistic “public vs private” and “choice vs coercion” type thinking.

    As to the GPS example….why not figure out where you’re going before hand? They say technology is making us lazy. It also apparently leads us to make poor choices.

  44. #44 |  Rick H. | 

    #42 Herb:

    I fully expect the people who don’t think a turnover made out of oranges sounds very tasty would have no problem whatsoever eating an apple turnover – mostly thanks to simplistic “apples vs oranges” type thinking.

    And you’re right, a driver’s circumstances never change while they’re en route. That’s just a silly notion cooked up by non-politicians.

  45. #45 |  Burgers Allday | 

    CSP,

    I know that he wrote “stop throwing money.” Its coded language for : “starve the beast.”

    Socialized schools don’t necessarily need more money in the aggregate, but there does need to be per pupil spending parity, at least within states if not nationally (and nationally is probably better — that way the kids of Mississippi and places like that can actually be competitive at a national level when they grow up).

    This redistribution of money would certainly involve giving a lot more money to schools.

    Look at the top educational institutions in the private sector. Exeter, Harvard, etc. Do they ever make wasteful expenditures? Engage in conspicuous consumption as a way of making school seem cooler thn it is? Sure they do. Way, way, way, way, way more than Baltimore ever did.

    The message to the kids in the ghetto should be clear: stay in school and you get nice stuff by doing that. Part of that is making the schools nicer than they have to be. This might sound like a pipe dream, but suburban soccer mom dollars go a long way in low income neighborhoods. And this is exactly what should happen, instead of continuing to breed the permanent underclass that we have started to breed ever since the middle class moved away from the poor people in American cities. They have a right to go, but their payments into the socialized education fund need to still go, primarily, to the neediest — and that hasn’t really been happening.

    Unless one wants a more-and-more skewed division of wealth over time. Because that is what is happening and has been happening. It ain’t a good state of affairs.

  46. #46 |  Burgers Allday | 

    CORRECTION:

    –This redistribution of money would certainly involve giving a lot more money SPECIFICALLY to schools LIKE BALTIMORE SCHOOLS.–

    Left out a couple important words. No edit fcn = grrrrrrr.

  47. #47 |  Herb | 

    #43 | Rick H.:

    Simplistic thinking apparently leads to tired metaphors, too. I’m not talking apples and oranges. I’m just talking apples (cell phone bans) and a philosophy that would defend one (in theaters/to ensure silence) while deploring the other (on roads/to reduce accidents). And hey, I get it. Don’t want to be coerced by the government….

    But what’s sad is that one must be “coerced” by “the government” into responsibly operating a vehicle.

  48. #48 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #36

    The “small government” right doesn’t exist, it’s nothing but a conservative myth. Their only “small government” when compared to the left but big conservative government is ok as long as it’s in the name of “safety. fighting terrorism, promoting christian values” and other bullshit. Conservatives only complain about big government when they’re not in charge. Like clockwork we hear “conservatives have lost their way” no it’s that you lost your way conservatives, your just as statist scum as the left but like the left you get enough people to buy into your bullshit for enough time to get elected.

    http://mises.org/Community/blogs/brainpolice/archive/2008/01/10/i-hate-conservatism.aspx

  49. #49 |  Radley Balko | 

    I know that he wrote “stop throwing money.” Its coded language for : “starve the beast.”

    No, it isn’t. It means stop thinking that money will solve these problems. The problem is that parents in these districts have no choice in where they send their kids to school. So there’s no competition to provide a better education. Which is why administrators can spend a half million dollars on office renovations with no consequences.

    Look at the top educational institutions in the private sector. Exeter, Harvard, etc. Do they ever make wasteful expenditures?

    Yes, they do. And a huge part of the reason why is that the federal government has created a buyer’s market with college loan subsidies. It’s also a little absurd to compare the spending habits of a private secondary school students attend voluntarily and a primary public school students are compelled to attend.

    Socialized schools don’t necessarily need more money in the aggregate, but there does need to be per pupil spending parity . . .

    Private schools spend much less money per pupil than public schools. Look it up. Washington D.C. spends more money per student than any big city in the country, and it’s one of the worst public school systems.

  50. #50 |  KHH | 

    RE: Iran
    It looks like the government has been helping fund and train groups inside Iran murder nuclear scientists, along with attacking facilities with the stuxnet worm. While the US was busy with that the Iranians were supplying and helping shi’a insurgents in Iraq kill American soldiers. This is NOT how it begins, it has already started. This is how it ends

  51. #51 |  albatross | 

    I have every confidence that our bombing, invasion and occupation of Iran will be done with the same care and cleverness (and honesty with the American people about the costs and setbacks) that we have seen with our wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.

  52. #52 |  albatross | 

    Aresen:

    Yeah, I think I’ve seen some variant on the “light at the end of the tunnel” story about a dozen times now–what we were doing before was all wrong, but now we have the right general and strategy, and there are some (cherry picked, preliminary) signs of success. And six months or a year later, the same story, but with new cherry-picked preliminary signs of success, new words used to decribe the new counterinsurgency strategy (inevitably some combination of buying off one set of bloodthirsty warlords while blowing up another set, along with a couple feel-good cosmetic stuff and an interview with a woman happy to emerge from the 13th century all the way into the mid-14th century, but with better weapons). We’re about due for another one of these rashes of stories soon, I think.

    If media organs had memory, they would point out that this is the Nth time we’ve been within a couple Friedman units of success in Afghanistan. But of course they don’t, so we get the same damned story.

  53. #53 |  Juice | 

    Yes, they do. And a huge part of the reason why is that the federal government has created a buyer’s market with college loan subsidies.

    Seller’s market?

  54. #54 |  contrarian | 

    Private schools spend much less money per pupil than public schools. Look it up. Washington D.C. spends more money per student than any big city in the country, and it’s one of the worst public school systems.

    The DC budget is here: http://cfo.dc.gov/cfo/frames.asp?doc=/cfo/lib/cfo/budget/fy2013/FY2013_Volume_3_Chapters_Part_2.pdf

    The DCPS budget for 2012-13 is $802 million. Projected enrollment is 47,174. That works out to $17,000.89 per pupil. A boatload of money, to be sure. Highest in the country. The DC charter school system is separate, they have a budget of $490 million for 31,768 students, or $15,424 per student. Again, a lot of money.

    But put that in perspective. I send my kids to private school in DC. Tuition is over $32,000 per year. Actual spending per student is around $37,000 per student, with the rest made up by fundraising and income from the endowment.

  55. #55 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    > And so it begins.

    MUST protect Israel at all costs because…DON’T YOU ASK WHY!

    Not the only reason the criminally insane US will murder Iranians, just one of the biggest.

  56. #56 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Porn producers in Simi valley should send over a few hundred gay porn vids first. Then, shoot and send over a couple hundred more gay cop porn vids followed by a few hundred…you get the point.

    Not that there is anything wrong with gay porn…not…at…all.

  57. #57 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Sometimes a military buildup is the best way to avoid a war, its a common tactic that has been used from before recorded history – it is often effective.

    Lol. I need a best friend who is this good at being an apologist.

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