Sunday Links

Sunday, June 24th, 2012
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22 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Other Sean | 

    I clicked the Chopra engine about 25 times trying to see if it would accidentally produce a true or falsifiable statement. I stopped when it gave me this:

    “Kittens are insects.”

  2. #2 |  Pi Guy | 

    “Quantum Evolution blah blah Higher Spiritual Plane blah blah send me your money.”

    Not random but still pretty indistinguishable from something Chopra would really say…

  3. #3 |  marco73 | 

    Well, of course they have to shell out $7.5 million for a series about Nashville. If not, it would just be called “Atlanta” or “Houston” or “South Bug Tussle”, whoever could come up with the largest check.
    Since it’s taxpayer money, that is just a bottomless bucket of money to fund entertainment shows.
    Honestly, look how much public money goes to football, baseball, and basketball venues for rich guys. $7.5 million is chump change in that world.

  4. #4 |  kant | 

    @marco73

    in all fairness a football, baseball, and basketball stadium does bring in lots of tourism to the city.

    RE:plea bargin article

    This kind of illustrates the hugely alarming amount of power prosecutors have….or as a corollary the trend of assuming the accused is guilty until proven innocent and thus defense attorneys just trying to damage control.

  5. #5 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Banks’ case points to a broader concern. True, often those guilty of crimes plead guilty, thereby saving taxpayers the expense of a trial.”

    I’m sure the taxpayers’ expenses are the paramount concern for
    the defendant looking at some insane number of years in the slammer.
    Of course the great irony here is, it’s expensive as hell to lock
    people up willy nilly, as the US has been doing since Reagan.
    If you really want to save taxpayers money, don’t incarcerate so
    many friggin people.

  6. #6 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Mr. Balko occasionally references the long running Brian Kelly video recording case out of Pennsylvania. This long running case may finally be over as I have now reported at my police-related blog:

    http://police4aqi.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/the-original-policeman-arrests-regcit-for-recording-him-case/

  7. #7 |  Rob Haneberg | 

    I’m not a lawyer, but it’s hard to see how the USOC can own rights to the “Olympics” name when the competition started 2,000 years before Columbus crossed the ocean.

  8. #8 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    Space scarf is totally cancelled. And all other events are pending!

    After reading that, I wondered if someone had turned on the Ken @ Popehat beacon, and called our litigious superhero into action. He is already on it.

    Disclosure: I had already decided to boycott the Olympics when it finally became clear that Michael Phelps was a user of performance enhancing drugs.

  9. #9 |  Joshua | 

    When the government sets consequences for exercising a right, you don’t really have that right anymore. There are now consequences for exercising your right to trial.

  10. #10 |  Bob | 

    “Another local government tries to smother the free speech rights of an eminent domain target.”

    Well sure, they need to give the land to Old Dominion so it can better compete for Federal Student Loan funds.

    So… not only are they stomping on the constitution, but they’re doing it in support of the Federal Government’s desire to bankrupt the country by devaluing it’s currency into the stone ages through the process of creating and spending money as fast as possible.

    How more perverse can this be? How much longer can this ponzi scheme last?

  11. #11 |  Andrew_M_Garland | 

    Don’t spend time diving into the following quote, just get a feel for it.
    === ===
    The Rubicon of Reality: Precultural Socialism, Socialism and Neomaterial Capitalist Theory
    In the works of Gibson, a predominant concept is the concept of textual art. It could be said that Baudrillard promotes the use of neostructuralist constructive theory to deconstruct capitalism. The subject is contextualised into a predialectic paradigm of expression that includes narrativity as a reality.
    === ===

    The above is significant because it was constructed by the computer program Postmodernism Generator. It produces senseless texts which mimic postmodern, deconstructive “thought”.

    Even better, Professor of Physics Alan Sokal submitted an article of nonsense to the respected journal Social Text in 1996, as a hoax. They published the paper without consulting any physicists to check if the concepts were true, then they refused to publish the story behind the hoax. Postmodern social theorists don’t show much humility, humor, or competence.

    An Intellectual Program

  12. #12 |  Bob Mc | 

    #4 | kant | June 24th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    @marco73

    “in all fairness a football, baseball, and basketball stadium does bring in lots of tourism to the city.”

    Most publicly financed sports venues never recoup the initial taxpayer investment.

    Money spent at these places comes from the discretionary entertainment budgets of the locals and would otherwise end up in the local economy anyway.

    These boondoggles never bring significant new spending to a local economy.

  13. #13 |  PermaLurker | 

    This one from the Chopra Engine is vaguely Randian : “Freedom is only possible in unbridled external reality”

  14. #14 |  Arthur | 

    The plea bargain issue is absolute proof, at least for me, that our criminal system has lost it’s justice. We care a lot more about “punishing criminals” than we do about making sure the people we punish actually are criminals. Then we create laws at an exponential rate so anyone we don’t like is a criminal…oh, I should stop…that’ll never happen in America.

    It is undeniable that we spend billions on incarceration and enforcement while spending so little on the court process that is supposed to be one of the absolute, unimpeachable rights of a person inside the United States of America: the right to a jury trial before your peers.

    Our goal should be 100% jury trials, not the other way around.

  15. #15 |  marco73 | 

    @ #4 and #12 — Bob Mc you are correct
    The city and state officials go to great lengths to champion public spending on sports stadiums, movie making, car races, etc as somehow bringing in outside money. Analysis after analysis demonstrate that this is just reallocating entertainment dollars that were already going to be spent.
    The champion boondoggle is the Olympics: after all the bills are paid, England, and London in particular, will lose money hosting the 2012 summer games.

  16. #16 |  Clark | 

    http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2012/06/why-libertarians-should-oppose-sweatshops/

  17. #17 |  contrarian | 

    “#7 | Rob Haneberg | June 24th, 2012 at 1:01 pm
    I’m not a lawyer, but it’s hard to see how the USOC can own rights to the “Olympics” name when the competition started 2,000 years before Columbus crossed the ocean.”

    It was granted by special act of Congress:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/220506

  18. #18 |  albatross | 

    marco73:

    But sports teams and events enhance the stature of the politicians who get them, and offer many opportunities for political patronage. So even though they are a net loss for the citizens and taxpayers, they are a win for the people making the decision of whether to spend lots of money to get them.

  19. #19 |  Other Sean | 

    Clark #16,

    I’ve often thought the problem with left-libertarianism is that the world contains only one Roderick T. Long, while there seems to be a regrettably unlimited supply of Steve Chapmans.

  20. #20 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    RE: Knitting makes a mockery of Olympics.

    Olympics dignity on display:

    http://www.olympic-games-2012-london.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/mascots.jpg

  21. #21 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @ Joshua #9

    When the government sets consequences for exercising a right, you don’t really have that right anymore. There are now consequences for exercising your right to trial.

    Very true, and this is one reason why conviction statistics are often a bunch of crap.

    PS: I totally missed a better Olympic snark: “If they don’t like “knitting scarfs for hockey”, they’ll really be pissed at my plans for watching the Brazilian Women’s Beach Volleyball team.”

  22. #22 |  Deoxy | 

    Our goal should be 100% jury trials, not the other way around.

    Part of me thinks that dumb – I can certainly see the logic in saving money when the result is foregone (“dude, we have you on full-color, high-quality video doing the deed, with 37 witnesses who are all EAGER to take the stand against you”). The only way to achieve that is to offer at least some bit of discount to you, as it costs you nothing to use a state-provided lawyer and eat up my time and money.

    So, from an entirely utilitarian standpoint, that’s crazy. There should be a very high percentage of pleas – the prosecutor shouldn’t be bringing charges at all unless the evidence is strong.

    Of course, what that leaves out is what the state is going to DO with all that time and money saved…. that is, come up with more crimes for the prosecutors to prosecute.

    THAT is why we should have wasteful trials – it makes the prosecutors choose which crimes are worth their time to actually convict.

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