Reason Morning Links: Times Square Suspects, Debit Card Fees, and Some Latebreaking News from Kent State

• The FBI arrests three people suspected of assisting the Times Square bomber; the Pakistani government brings in one more.

• The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be even larger than previously believed; the company that owned the deficient oil rig wants its liability capped for the leak.

• Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) introduces a bill to keep American tax dollars from funding an EU bailout.

• The Senate passes new restrictions on debit card swipe fees.

• New evidence comes out in the Kent State shootings.

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  • Johnny Longtorso||

    The previously undetected command could begin to explain the central mystery of the Kent State tragedy - why 28 Guardsmen pivoted in unison atop Blanket Hill, raised their rifles and pistols and fired 67 times, killing four students and wounding nine others in an act that galvanized sentiment against the Vietnam War.

    None of the Guardsmen involved have come clean after all these years? If they were responding to an order, they would have known about said order. I don't doubt the Guard would lie, they are govt after all, but it is surprising.

  • ||

    I don't see where it makes a difference. One of two things happened. Either the Guardsman on their own over reacted and fired or their commander overreacted and ordered them to fire. Either way someone freaked out in a stressful situation and wrongly fired. I don't really get much comfort either way. Further, the order was "prepare to fire" not "fire". It seems at least possible that the commander ordered them to turn and "prepare to fire" thinking it would intimidate the crowd but never intended to actually order them to fire. Then, someone either panicked or accidentally fired and everyone else in the line followed suit. Regardless, the lessen is the same; don't send armed troops to break up demonstrations.

  • ||

    John, is there a statute of limitations on this sort of thing? Or does this fall under "sovereign immunity?"

  • ||

    There is no statute of limitations on murder. And you are not sovereign immune when you commit a crime. So, if for example someone found a long lost film that showed the Guardsman yelling "kill the hippies" and firing, they could still be charged with murder. But, it would take evidence that compelling, rather than an audio analysis showing "prepare to fire" to get someone to charge them. No one really wants to dig up and relive the late 60s and early 70s.

  • ||

    Except for Baby Boomers.

  • Obama||

    No one really wants to dig up and relive the late 60s and early 70s.

    Speak for yourself, fascist.

  • Hysterian||

    If you meant the 1860s and 70s, carry on.

  • ||

    Sand Creek, November 30, 1864.
    Black Kettle remembers.

  • PermaLurker||

    There's always a Leeroy Jenkins in every party

  • Ska||

    I shouldn't have laughed but I did.

  • Marc||

    Ditto.

  • ||

    That video was staged.

  • Fluffy||

    I think John is correct here.

    Of course, on some level it is darkly [really darkly] amusing that if there was, in fact, a "Prepare Fire" order that was misunderstood, that makes the entire situation eerily like the Boston Massacre. I mean, more than it already was.

  • ||

    JOHN: there's a third possibility - that someone other than the commander said "Guard! [pause] All right, prepare to fire!" I'll be the first to admit that this seems far less likely than either of the more obvious scenarios, but bears consideration.

    GM: For me, this isn't about "reliving" that era, but about getting as close to the full objective truth as we can about a pivotal event in US History. FWIW, I was in elementary school at the time, so not invested in that era.

  • ||

    GM: For me, this isn't about "reliving" that era, but about getting as close to the full objective truth as we can about a pivotal event in US History. FWIW, I was in elementary school at the time, so not invested in that era.

    Tonio, I do understand and agree with you that always the search for truth should be paramount for the integrity of accurate history. My comment was moreso directed at the Baby Boomers and Age of Aquarius generation's, for the most part, interest in re-living the social and political aspects and goals that defined that generation, with less than stellar results we currently enjoy.

    Apologies if I offended.

  • ||

    No, not offended. Just wanted to make it clear that I wasn't an aging hippie. Sorry.

  • ||

    I think it is worth knowing the truth to. I just doubt anyone would want to prosecute this absent undeniable evidence of murder.

    And your possibility is more likely than you think. There were hundreds of people running around doing God knows what. I wouldn't be shocked if one of them yelled that and the Guardsman confused it for a real command. Anything can happen in those kinds of chaotic situations.

  • Freeper||

    Fucking hippies got what they deserved.

  • ||

    Lessons of Kent State: 1) Do not throw rocks at people with guns. 2) Do not stand near, or behind, people throwing rocks at people with guns.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

  • Corduroy||

    That's Johnny, always lifting my morning mood.

  • Almanian||

    Balko, is that you?

    Thanks for the links. The one on "Prussianization" is particularly provocative. Hadn't thought about some of this - after reading, light goes on, "ahhh, yes, of course". Thanks again!

  • Richard Head||

    No way, Ron told me the company would pay for all the cleanup. Or is it really private profit/public liability???

  • ||

    Transocean is not BP. BP is on the hook for the spill, not Transocean. If Transocean turns out to be the one at fault, BP would have to sue Transocean for damages. Reading comprehension; its really not that hard...

  • Richard Head||

    I am gladdened by your words. I have a bridge you may be interested in purchasing.

  • Rich||

    “This legislation would require that countries like Greece cut spending and put their own fiscal house in order"

    Good thing Krugman says We're Not Greece.

  • Corduroy||

    What an utter dipshit Krugman is. That he can openly endorse inflation as a cure for oversized deficits, only cements in my mind that he is a fool of the nth order.

  • Rich||

    Yeah, there are some real nuggets in that piece. I especially liked "we have a clear path to economic recovery" and "we should ignore those who pretend to be concerned with fiscal responsibility, but whose real goal is to dismantle the welfare state".

  • ||

    Can't I be "concerned with fiscal responsibility" AND want "to dismantle the welfare state"?

    Why yes I can.

  • Rich||

    Yeps.

    How about: "we should ignore those who pretend to be concerned with the welfare state, but whose real goal is to dismantle fiscal responsibility".

  • Zeb||

    What an ass. Does he think people want to dismantle the welfare state just to be mean, or what?

  • ||

    Yes. That's the criticism that's consistently leveled against anyone who opposes the welfare state. Also...(wait for it)...(you know what's coming)...RACISM!

    Srsly, I don't know whether supporters of TWS honestly believe that or whether it's just a convenient talking point.

  • ||

    Well, don't forget that many libertarians accuse conservatives who oppose immigration of the same. And many libertarians accuse progressives who want to expand the state of doing so with evil intent as well.

    Evil intentions are overstated. Most people believe what they're doing is right, even when I think that they're totally wrong, and in any case I don't find it convincing to argue about secret intentions. Arguing that the effect of policies might be racist is another thing.

  • Mike M.||

    "we should ignore those who pretend to be concerned with fiscal responsibility, but whose real goal is to dismantle the welfare state"

    I know, this is so rich. Greece and virtually all of western civilization is run by scumbags just like him who are bankrupting everything, and what this hack comes up with is "ignore anyone who is concerned".

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Yeah, there are some real nuggets in that piece. I especially liked "we have a clear path to economic recovery" and "we should ignore those who pretend to be concerned with fiscal responsibility, but whose real goal is to dismantle the welfare state".


    And Paul Krugman's problem with dismantling the welfare state is...

  • ||

    "No State shall make any thing but gold or silver coin legal tender in payment of debts." I'm sorry if that isn't clear enough for Krugman.

  • ||

    Because I am a masochist, I followed a link provided in the comment section of the article. It was called yes we can long island, and after reading just a few paragraphs I now have a stabbing pain behind my left eye. Here is just one of the brave stances these people take:

    Finally, the bottom line is this. The US owes its money in dollars. The US can print money. The US is not going to run out of money(pdf). There may be some inflation but anyone who tries to tell you that the US won’t have enough money to pay SS or Medicare is simply lying to you.

    I say brave because it does indeed take courage to stand behind such blatant inanity.

  • Corduroy||

    "I say brave because it does indeed take courage to stand behind such blatant inanity insanity."

    FIFY

  • Marc||

    Was it signed "Alice Bowie"?

  • Rich||

    The raids come a day after the Obama administration slashed $53 million from New York City's terror-fighting budget.

    See, we *can* do more with less!

  • ||

    From Johnny L's link:

    In effect, the IRS is requiring companies to provide documents the government can then use as incriminating evidence for tax avoidance charges. After all, what's to stop IRS agents from simply using the documents to induce businesses to pay a maximum tax liability without regard to the merits of a particular deduction or tax credit, secure in the knowledge that it's often cheaper just to go ahead and write the big check rather than incur the expense of fighting the government?

    The IRS would *never* do that; that's too much like extortion.

  • ||

    From Wiegel's Ezra Klein Link.

    You might wonder why this is becoming an issue, given that the Obama administration isn't bailing Greece out. Well, in something of a bank-shot argument, Republicans are saying that it is. The International Monetary Fund is extending loan guarantees to help Greece. Like other countries that are part of the IMF, the U.S. pays dues to the organizations. Those dues will help fund the aid package. So there's your bailout.

    Perhaps because the US Gov has a nasty habit of providing aid directly using borrowed funds as opposed to issuing via the IMF, again using borrowed funds?

    It's a clever, albeit ultimately disastrous, stance. At this point, it's genuinely hard to imagine anything that would be as devastating for the global economy -- which includes us, sadly -- than if Europe drops off a cliff. It would freeze our financial sector, destroy demand for our exports, destabilize other countries we trade with, and generally throw us all back into a recession.

    Yet this Administration sure seem hellbent on transforming our economy to the same failed European model. How could the EU be in such financial straights? Everyone is taken care of, right? RIGHT?

  • ||

    In Ezra's world you can just live bailout to bailout. We can bailout Europe and then they can bailout us. And we both get to keep our completely unsustainable welfare states. Don't you get it?

  • ||

    Just what I thought, John. Does every fiscal crisis, real and imagined, require us firing up the printing presses?

    Regarding the Klein piece; he is being disingenuous to merely claim that the US just pays its dues like other member nations. Our contributions dwarf those of other nations, so yes Ezra, it is a bailout, and it is direct.

  • ||

    No John, I am fiscally responsible. I am assuming that automatically disqualifies me form understanding, let alone questioning, the economic wisdom of our betters.

  • Almanian||

    ***taking notes, calls SWAT***

    "Hey, we got one o' them 'fiscally responsible' types over here - thinks he's smarter than Nobel-Prize-Winner Paul Krugman! Haw haw haw! Yep, he's probably been thinking for himself recently. Yeah - the guy in the lab coat...take him in for re-eduction questioning. "

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    The more you spend, the more you save!

  • Ad Hoc||

    And here, to help you even more, are some complimentary money-saving tax credits coupons!

  • ||

    One thing for sure is that the Kent State shootings ended all further violent rioting in the US.....

  • ||

    The International Monetary Fund is extending loan guarantees to help Greece. Like other countries that are part of the IMF, the U.S. pays dues to the organizations. Those dues will help fund the aid package. So there's your bailout.

    I can't decide if Klein is just an idiot or is consciously lying.

    The US doesn't just "pay dues" to the IMF. It capitalizes the IMF, that is, provides the funds that the IMF then loans out.

    Klein seems to be saying that using a cutout is perfectly acceptable money laundering; that if we gave money to, say, the Israelis, knowing that they would use it for a nerve gas attack on the Palestinians, our hands would be clean.

    I'd say I know he's lying, but I am fully prepared to believe he is actually that stupid.

  • Almanian||

    I can't decide if Klein is just an idiot or is consciously lying.

    Both! He's two, two, two mints in one!

  • ||

    Klein is amazingly stupid. To think that he went to either Harvard or Yale and is considered one of the bright intellectual lights among the left. In past eras, he wouldn't have made it on his college newspaper. Now he has a huge platform and people actually listen to him. He is a walking talking example of how far our educations system has fallen. He is a classic example of what they call a "system kid". System kids are careerist, conformist from the day they are born. They come from upper middle class and wealthy back grounds. They spend their entire academic career checking blocks and learning to parrot everything their teachers tell them. To do all the right extra circular activities, get great grades and go to the best schools. But they never learn a damn thing other than how to parrot whatever leftist nonsense passes for thought among the education establishment.

  • ||

    Shorter Ezra Klein: I can critically think, as long as someone tells me how to do it.

  • ||

    I am starting to get the sneaking suspicion that the Ivy League colleges are not all that great. It seems that every time someone is introduced as being a graduate of one of these fine institutions there follows vacuously prosaic puppeting, and parroting of worn out ideas. Their ersatz perspicacity into matters of the real world seems to be what they were taught not actual critical thinking.

  • ||

    It is the kind of person they admit. Think about it. To get into one of those schools out of high school, unless you are an idiot son legacy or a celebrity, you have to have a 4.0 in high school. I am sorry, but I don't think you can be an independent thinker and go clear through high school and get only As. Teachers have egos. Eventually you will run into one who holds your views against you or one you just don't like or get along with. The only way you get all As is if you are a complete and total suck ass. And that is who gets into these schools. These kids are trained to be careerists from the time their parents get them into the right day care center. You end up with a bunch of admittedly intelligent kids whose only real skill is going along with the group and telling their teachers and superiors what they want to hear.

    When you think about that, it goes a long way to explaining why so many of our institutions are so fucked up right now. We are turning our best and brightest into mindless go along and get along drones.

  • ||

    John, I know what you're talking about.

    Even though I go to school for a hard science, I have to take a lot of bullshit courses, including an international history course. The one I signed up for was 20th century Russian history, which I thought sounded interesting. The class should of been called Stalin: Working Class Hero, A Dialectic Materialistic Approach to History

    I just couldn't imagine the crap I would have to write to get an 'A' in the class. I am a bit too old and stubborn to pretend that the Russian revolution wasn't anything more than a bloody stain on history. Maybe I'll take ancient Japanese culture or something, teehee.

  • Steff||

    Speak for yourself! XD My best and brightest are being taught (admittedly in pre-school ways) all about liberty and free market principles and self-determination.

    The really sad part is that every year that passes, the more I regret what kind of society I brought them into.

  • ||

    Reasons why people home school.

  • ||

    Public schools are a joke. If you homeschool your kids correctly, they could be doing calculus and reading Locke by 14-15. In a public school you will be lucky if they can read.

  • ||

    John,

    I got straight A's through grade school and high school...

    ..and I agree with you.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I am starting to get the sneaking suspicion that the Ivy League colleges are not all that great. It seems that every time someone is introduced as being a graduate of one of these fine institutions there follows vacuously prosaic puppeting, and parroting of worn out ideas. Their ersatz perspicacity into matters of the real world seems to be what they were taught not actual critical thinking.


    So why do Ivy League colleges still have reputations for being elite academic institutions?

  • kinnath||

    Salon actually has an interesting article on Rand Paul. God only knows how this one snuck through the editorial process over there.

    http://www.salon.com/news/paul.....arty_obama

  • mr simple||

    That was actually a well written, informative article. I like this line:
    libertarians are by disposition even less likely to sublimate their egos than your average Internet commentator

    The comments are hilarious. People saying to reduce government you'd have to cut medicare, SS, defense, etc. in a manner to suggest that no one could honestly believe in cutting these programs or having a balanced budget.

  • kinnath||

    From Salon's comments:

    I will vote for any candidate who most convincingly argues their intention to end NSA wiretapping, stop the enroaching unbalancing of executive power, and end the war(s!). I'll even vote for a creationist who does so (previously a dealbreaker, but I'm desperate.)

    And quite frankly that might be anyone at all at this point, because Obama has failed me so utterly.

    Perhaps the Paul dynasty is the answer.

    A glimmer of sunlight from the left perhaps.

  • ||

    @kinnath

    I think this is the second good article in as many weeks that doesn't discount and insult libertarian ideas. I'll go and try to find the other.

  • ||

    Okay, I found it.

    Here is a good piece on Gary Johnson.

  • kinnath||

    Saw that one too.

    Can't help but wonder what's going over there. The magazine went from 50% useful & 50% nuts back in the clinton years to 99% nuts during the bush years.

  • ||

    Boy those Feds sure have no shortage of spare time on their hands now do they? Amazing.

    Lou
    www.total-anonymity.se.tc

  • Barbara Mandrell||

    Louie, I won't warn you again!

  • Ska||

    Lou - call up Jess and Jo. We're having an anono-rager this weekend at my crib. See you there. LOL

  • kinnath||

    I see the anon-bot is polluting the waters over at Salon as well.

    I'm heartbroken, I thought we had an exclusive relationship.

  • ||

    Prostitution is an honest form of commerce kinnath, if not the most honest of transactions.

  • ||

    if we gave money to, say, the Israelis, knowing that they would use it for a nerve gas attack on the Palestinians, our hands would be clean.

    Absolutely; as long as they write down the serial numbers of the bills we give them, and promise not to use them at the nerve gas store, everything's fine!

  • ||

    Maybe. It all depends on the circumstances. The fact that we gave money to Afghan rebels in the 1980s makes us entirely responsible for Bin Ladin. But the fact that we fund the IMF in no way makes us responsible for or in any way connected with it's actions. You just have to understand that the IMF is an international organization and is good, so funding it is always good or something like that.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The fact that we gave money to Afghan rebels in the 1980s makes us entirely responsible for Bin Ladin.


    That makes sense.

    We were responsible for Stalin by aiding him.

  • ||

    "Richard Durbin, who seeks to ensure that debit-card interchange, or “swipe” fees, charged to merchants “are reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing transactions."

    Tomorrow's headline at The Onion website: Senate Passes Bill To Ensure Congressional Pay is Reasonable and Proportional

  • ||

    Salon has another article about "diluting the legal rights of American citizens", stuff like not reading Miranda rights to the Times Square guy (where we read them to John Walker Lindh), legislation in Congress that strips U.S. citizens of their, well, citizenship (so they can be held indefinitely without legal protection and habeus corpus) and much much more!

    Here's the link:
    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....3/citizens

    Unsettling? Oh, just a wee bit...

  • Fluffy||

    The Durbin amendment stuff is a textbook example of the way that an action that the left would consider laudable if undertaken by hippies suddenly is horrific to them if undertaken by a corporation.

    The debit card / credit card companies control access to their payment network. To benefit their customers, they have told merchants: "If you want to use our network, you have to accept the cards as payment for ALL transactions and you can't charge customers who use our cards a higher price than customers who use cash."

    Durbin is against this, because it's an "evil corporation" stealing from "Mom and Pop stores".

    But if it was a UNION or a CONSUMER COOPERATIVE that had started a campaign to get consumers to "show solidarity" and refuse to patronize businesses that don't "treat less affluent customers fairly" or whatever, and all those consumers banded together to force merchants to accept the cards as payment for all transactions, regardless of dollar amount, that prick Durbin would think that was AWESOME.

    So if I get VISA to aggregate my interest with other consumers and act to secure favorable payment terms on my behalf, it's evil. But if I get some asshole ACORN group to do it, it's good.

    This is because Durbin is a worthless piece of shit.

  • alan||

    I am sorry, but I don't think you can be an independent thinker and go clear through high school and get only As. Teachers have egos.

    That is so on the money, I could have written it from my own personal experience.

    One professor, I bit my tongue during the entire semester because he wore his politics on his sleeve and he was incredibly ignorant about everything outside of his specific subject mater (modern African politics), called me into his office after I turned in the first report I ever turned into him.

    He accused me of plagiarism because it was too sophisticated to be the work of an undergraduate. Then he asked me, 'where did you get this?' I told him that the theoretical model I used was based on Jean-Baptiste Say and I applied it to a problem I saw in IMF loans going to Kenya.

    He then asked, 'well, then, you should have included his quotes in the footnotes.' I explained I never quoted Say. I assumed he would have been familiar enough with Say to know where I was coming from so it should have been entirely unnecessary.

    That is when it hit me. Here was a man with a PhD in a field of Social Science who had never even heard of Say. Half of his digs at Herbert Walker Bush the president at the time in class were on his administration's economic policy, but the man had never heard of Say.

    I got a 'C' on that report even though the man flat out told me it was 'too sophisticated to be the work of an undergrad.'

  • ||

    He had a PHD in comparative politics or political science or some other such nonsense. I bet he had never taken any serious economics classes since under graduate if even then. Say's Law is pretty standard stuff.

    I had the same experience when I took a college history course my senior year in High School. I had a lefty professor who was always raging about Reagan's deficits. I wrote a paper on government fiscal policy in the 20th Century and showed how if the government used generally accepted accounting procedures and counted the full liability when it is incurred versus when it was spent, Johnson and Carter's deficits dwarfed Reagan's. The guy got so mad he threw me out of his office. And yes, like you, I got a C.

  • ||

    Alan, I have heard this tale told many times, and that is why I dropped my class this summer. It's rough when you take a non-major class and get a grade that brings down your gpa, all because you won't be a sycophant, or write like one.

    Working your ass off, and turning in quality work for a 'C' is bullshit.

  • C-Dog||

    Pass/No pass for the shitty professors. You get to turn in shit work with a smirk, showing the professor how much you respect them.

  • دردشة||

    thank u

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