Morning Links

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
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24 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  EBL | 

    Here is a link you may have missed: Do you like excessive sentencing? Angela Corey is your kind of prosecutor…

  2. #2 |  Kevin | 

    The taxi medallion system in New York and other cities raises fares, impoverishes drivers, and hurts passengers. So why can’t we get rid of it?

    What gives away the non-libertarianship of the author is the last question. Most libertarians give up on such questioning after about a year in lieu of “you bastards!”.

  3. #3 |  John Thacker | 

    If solitary confinement is torture, and I think it is, then surely the plans to bring the Gitmo detainees and put them in SuperMax prisons (as was bandied about by the Administrations) would arguably be worse torture than leaving them in Gitmo (and not waterboarding anymore.)

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Psychological studies indicate that approximately a third of prisoners in solitary confinement suffer from mental illness…

    That’s not so bad. Probably no worse than it is among those in the business of putting them there.

  5. #5 |  John Thacker | 

    The Taxi medallion article tries to blame a lot of the problems on letting the medallions be leased, but I don’t think that they make the case. After all, they note that the supply was fixed as soon as it was introduced.

    Apparently creating a class of protected rich investor-owner-operators is better to the authors than creating a same sized class of protected rich investors who hire someone to drive the cabs.

  6. #6 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Re; the Taxi medallions,

    Now here’s somewhere that Bloomberg could do some good with a Crusade. Ending the medallion scam would help lots of poor working class stiffs. But Bloomie is more interested in passing laws to try to make those same working stiffs eat like his yuppie friends.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    The trial can most certainly be the punishment.

    Given that you can “indict a ham sandwich,” which we learned from Ken Starr, it’s not difficult to put someone on trial when he has committed an “offense” which is not a crime.
    Problem is, when they gotta lay down the cards and
    show their hand, the prosecution sometimes looks awfully
    stupid. Take the John Edwards case. Or DeLorean.

  8. #8 |  omar | 

    Apparently creating a class of protected rich investor-owner-operators is better to the authors than creating a same sized class of protected rich investors who hire someone to drive the cabs.

    I think the article makes a pretty good case between an owner driver vs. a the eternal own-lease system. Leaving aside the obvious solution of getting rid of the medallions all together, I’d rather see a Jeffersonian world of landholding farmers than a feudal lordship with peasants tied to the land.

  9. #9 |  Lorenzo | 

    http://deadspin.com/5912006/how-readable-are-bill-simmons-jason-whitlock-charlie-pierce-rick-reilly-and-others-science-has-an-answer

    According to Deadspin, Reilly’s Flecsh-Kincaid readability level is 5.2, the lowest of the sports writers they examined.

  10. #10 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    Sandusky’s alleged victims weren’t really the point of Reilly’s column. They were mere props he used to make a point that Sandusky should not have dragged Penn State through this. Extremely poor choice of props. Extremely. Alleged sexually abused kids aren’t props. And, as the lawyer points out, neither are the civil rights of an accused man.

    Reilly’s point, which I’m sure we all disagree with, is that Sandusky should have the situational awareness to realize (a) that he has no chance of beating this rap, especially if he was fondling or screwing boys, and (b) he’s ruining things for the next guy. Totally kidding. (b) He is putting the culture at Penn State which allegedly enabled him to allegedly sexually assault boys under an extended microscope. And ruining a proud tradition which, coincidentally, enabled him to do what he did for a long period of time.

    In reality outside Rick Reilly’s column, if the spectacle of the Sandusky’s criminal trial brings sunlight to institutional wrongs that enabled his alleged behavior, then that is a bonus. I am the biggest college football fan you’ll ever find (“Fight On!” — my Dad graduated from USC, and I have been a fan since I was “this tall”, and have a ticket stub collection “this thick”). Saturdays in the fall define my life. But it’s not a religion. It’s not a cult. Individuals have a responsibility to weed out any evildoers that find themselves in the program. This Sandusky thing is not skirting NCAA amateur status rules. It’s buggering little boys. It’s tolerating that for more than a decade. The program and the school deserve every bit of embarrassment they have coming to them and a lot more.

  11. #11 |  NickCharles | 

    A writer or somebody said something once about how they envy one who is reading say, Romeo and Juliet, for the first time. Well, count me among they who envy those who have NEVER read Rick Reilly for the first time.

  12. #12 |  celticdragonchick | 

    1. Sandusky is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. Period.

    2. Given things that Sandusky and his wife have said in public, we the public are entitled to view them collectively as a pus filled abcess on the ass of Penn State.

  13. #13 |  Brandon | 

    #9, anyone from Denver could’ve told you that. Reilly is a smug, self righteous prick. It’s kind of his thing.

  14. #14 |  Steve | 

    Rick Reilly is a smug, self righteous prick as Brandon said but I don’t disagree with the sentiment in the article.

    If Sandusky is innocent and all of these charges are trumped up and 8 individuals were coerced into lying then I feel terrible for him for being publicly tried as he has been.

    But, if Sandusky did commit the assaults, and if he knows he committed them, and if he knows that there is no way to avoid imprisonment for the rest of his life then he absolutely could have done some good and gone away quietly. He 100% had the right to a fair trial as do we all. The point remains that while we all have the right to a fair trial, we also have a right to admit to our failings and face punishment.

    As I write, I notice that parts of the above paragraph can be used to justify having so many low-level drug offenders just take plea bargains and I have no way to consolidate the conflict without some verbose moral argument but that isn’t my strength.

  15. #15 |  Tommy | 

    I just saw something troubling this morning here in Charlottesville, VA. A shiny new Lenco Bearcat without so much as a paint job parked in a parking lot downtown with “local gov’t use only” tags. No machine gun in the top hatch yet.

  16. #16 |  james | 

    parent takeover of failing schools. that’s funny. i left a career in the law to teach at a failing school. the lack of parent involvement is the cause, not the solution. we can’t even generate enough interest to have a pta, or get more than 10% of parents to show up for back to school night. and now they are going to turn the school around? ha.

  17. #17 |  perlhaqr | 

    Bloomberg doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected anymore. He could just triple the number of medallions and tell the current group of owners to go screw.

    It would be amusing to see if they’d try to file a lawsuit against unlawful taking against the city for reducing the value of their government granted monopolies.

  18. #18 |  Aresen | 

    Jeff Bezos is building a giant clock.

    On first reading, I thought that said ‘Jeff Bezos is a giant dork’.

    Seems first impressions can be valid, after all.

  19. #19 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #16 James:
    I share some of your concerns about this one, James. But let me preface my remarks by saying that I am not a fan of our current system of public education nor am I a stooge for large teachers unions.

    I think Radley’s headline makes this approach sound more radical than it actually is. My prediction is that parents will actually have very little control over the school. They most likely won’t be “running it,” so to speak. They will no doubt hand it over to a “private management”–which is likely a euphemism for large private corporation. So you don’t like state schools. Will it be better for children to be treated as cogs in the corporate machine, always being prepared to be better employees? Actually, that’s pretty much what state schools are doing to them now, so at least they would be used to it. I bet they’d even have their own standardized tests to please the CEO!

    In the long run, parents will probably have as much influence over day to day operations at these schools as they do over the operation of their phone company. But at least this option is a bit more empowering than the sad ghetto lottery scenarios that have come out of school voucher programs. It’s always great to play poor people against each other.

    Now what if schools were actually “controlled” by communities, as a consumer cooperative of some sort. Or, possibly better, parents could send their children to tutors rather than mass education centers/prison preparation programs. But maybe that would just be too radical. Schools R Us, LLC, here we come!

  20. #20 |  Other Sean | 

    James #16,

    You wrote: “I left a career in the law to teach at a failing school. Lack of parent involvement is the cause, not the solution. We can’t even generate enough interest to have a pta, or get more than 10% of parents to show up for back to school night.”

    I’m terribly sorry your noble sacrifice in joining Teach for America wasn’t met with instant enthusiasm by all the parents in your district. Obviously those peasants should have cheered when news of your gallantry reached them. On the other hand…

    Has it occurred to you that those parents might have stayed away from PTA involvement because the school is failing, and because they fully understand parents have no power to match against that of the school bureaucracy and the teacher’s union? Of course they couldn’t know that, those filthy ignorant rubes!

    If a bear and a tiger proposed a meeting with you to discuss the subject of personal nutrition, would you bother to show up?

  21. #21 |  TGGP | 

    What does it actually mean for parents to control the school? The article didn’t really explain, just that there are “trigger laws” and disputes over them.

  22. #22 |  Cyto | 

    #5 | John Thacker |

    I had the same take. He seems pretty satisfied with the notion of government granted monopolies, just not so much with the idea that rich financiers make all the money and screw the little guy. The overall impression I got was that he saw the problem as being one of allowing investors in to the cab business, rather than a problem of a government-created scarcity.

    Or maybe that was just the hook he was using to reach those 99% folks who read slate.

  23. #23 |  Dunmore | 

    What exactly is a taxi “medallion”? Is it a physical piece of metal that is attached to a car? Why aren’t people counterfeiting them and attaching them to their cars and just working as a taxi? Whatever happened to American ingenuity?

  24. #24 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @5 – Right, the problem it *isn’t* a simple licensing system. If it was, with a background check and requirement to prove current car insurance …well, there goes the problem.

    (Unlicensed taxi system? FUCK NO I’m not ever getting in one. Too risky)

    @20 – Yup, keep saying there’s no alternative but to have most of those kids out working, which is what happens when you start charging poor families massive amounts for education…

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