Radley Balko Around Town This Week

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Just a reminder, I'll speaking at a forum at Cato on no-knock raids this Thursday at 4pm. Co-panelists include Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Mayor Cheye Calvo and Peter Christ of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. A few commenters have asked why no one taking the pro-hyper-militarized police position will be speaking. As I understand it, several possible candidates were invited, but none accepted. I've actually sought out several opportunities to debate this issue in the past, and had similar problems finding opponents.

Also, I'll be doing a live chat at the Art of the Possible blog Wednesday evening at 7pm ET

NEXT: Ron Paul, not for the Long Haul

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  1. I’ve actually sought out several opportunities to debate

    It’s not surprising you have trouble finding adversaries willing to debate you. What do they have to gain? Their position is already accepted gospel.

  2. Maybe Juanita could pencil you in as a debate opponent? Or Dooonderooo?

  3. A few commenters have asked why no one taking the pro-hyper-militarized police position will be speaking

    Because it’s indefensible in a rational discussion? Tell you what: I’ll show up, take that position, and then beat the shit out of myself. It’ll be great!

  4. Not only is their position accepted gospel, it requires a substantial quantity of faith on the drug warriors’ part. (If any make the mistake of attending, what works best to get under their skins is to simply tell the truth about their holy drugwar’s totally racist history — works every time to make ’em go hysterical & red-faced, in person or online!!)

  5. Balko,

    I’ve actually sought out several opportunities to debate

    Is this a typo? No period and odd structure indicate a cutoff sentence – or not.

  6. A few commenters have asked why no one taking the pro-hyper-militarized police position will be speaking. As I understand it, several possible candidates were invited, but none accepted.

    They’ll be there. Hopefully no one brings their seeing-eye dog.

  7. I’ll show up, take that position, and then beat the shit out of myself. It’ll be great!

    Once in high school, US History I, we had a staged “debate” on Worcester v. Georgia, except nobody would take the side of Jackson. I got drafted into it. The other side went heavily into moralizing, so I argued that the state is not inherently a moral actor; the state acts on behalf of its own self-interest, and its highest good is self-perpetuation.

    I won.

    I never felt so dirty in my life.

  8. I never felt so dirty in my life.

    Why? You told the truth.

  9. I never felt so dirty in my life.

    No way. Taking utilitarian positions in debates is fun because you can steamroller right over your opponents. Even if you don’t agree, your position is powerful.

  10. A few commenters have asked why no one taking the pro-hyper-militarized police position will be speaking. As I understand it, several possible candidates were invited, but none accepted. I’ve actually sought out several opportunities to debate this issue in the past, and had similar problems finding opponents.

    That’s because it is just so damned hard to defend the indefensible.

  11. Most of the time, when I read about Cato, I think about the libertarian think tank. Some of the time, though, I think about something else: “You fool! You raving Oriental idiot! There is a time and a place for everything, Cato! And this is it!”

  12. Elemenope-

    We know that you gave the history teacher a “little dossier” before the debate and told him that it would be such a shame if the dossier somehow saw the light of day. You should feel dirty! For all we know, today you are a well paid, deep cover, GOP dirty trickster.

  13. none accepted

    No need for debate when you have all the firepower.

  14. Elemenope-

    Although I am sure that you were a pretty good debater in high school, you learned early, like Gordon Gekko, to only bet on sure things.

  15. It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another

  16. A few commenters have asked why no one taking the pro-hyper-militarized police position will be speaking. As I understand it, several possible candidates were invited, but none accepted.

    They didn’t accept because they didn’t want to lose the element of surprise. Once the flash-bang grenades go off, they’ll fast-rope through the ceiling and debate your ass off!

  17. Abdul,

    I was thinking something similiar. LOL. My scenario started with the PHMPP pulling out a gun, pointing it at Radley and Calvo, and telling them to “debate this”.

  18. Why? You told the truth.

    Because I was implicitly arguing for the state’s ability to exterminate entire peoples. The very idea that such an argument is *winnable* nauseates me.

    I was not so naive as to have believed it was unwinnable, mind you. I was just shocked at how easy it was. It made me hate humanity a little, inside, if you know what I mean.

    On the other hand, sophomore year English class, a bored and inexperienced teacher thought it would be fun to do a class debate on whether welfare recipients should be sterilized. Ugh. That debate made me hate humanity *a lot*.

  19. On the other hand, sophomore year English class, a bored and inexperienced teacher thought it would be fun to do a class debate on whether welfare recipients should be sterilized. Ugh. That debate made me hate humanity *a lot*.

    You were a precocious one weren’t you.
    I didn’t reach the hate humanity stage until I was 25 or so. First came mocking mumanity, then pitying, after that the unbridled, red hot, visceral hatred of humanity started.

    😉

  20. Radley,

    For a price I will come and ask questions and defend the indefensible. I think someone should just so people realize how stupid the arguments for these things are. Yeah, I would be a plant, but I will make the best arguments I can, I promise. Both sides deserve a fair hearing. I will even make sure I am sober so that I don’t burst out laughing when I start arguing how flash grenades and M16s are necessary for the officers’ safety.

  21. John has a point Radley.

    “I don’t throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought.”

  22. For a price I will come and ask questions and defend the indefensible

    “For a price”?

  23. “For a price”?

    A bottle of Popov and some lube. John’s a cheap date 😉

  24. A bottle of Popov and some lube. John’s a cheap date 😉

    Jeez. I’d at least hold out for a better vodka and a box of rubbers.

  25. Jeez. I’d at least hold out for a better vodka and a box of rubbers.

    This is the root of your troubles.

    High standards.

  26. What’s worth doing is worth doing for money.

  27. I’d at least hold out for a better vodka and a box of rubbers

    So you don’t want to go bareback?

  28. What’s worth doing is worth doing for money.

    I dated a woman who thought like that once. For about a half an hour if I recall. Could have been more though, I was pretty drunk at the time.

  29. I am an even cheaper date than you people think. I will take a smile and a promise to respect me later.

  30. a promise to respect me later.

    ooooooh, sorry, deal breaker.

  31. Drake: Look, Jerri… Hey, I want you to know, I will say anything in order to get you into this bunk. Ok?

    Jerri: Awww. So sweet.

    Drake: So, I guess we’ve had enough chatter.

    Jerri: Drake, wait. I can’t do this. I want to, but on the other hand, I really want to. I need to be true to myself.

    Drake: Look, this is a load of crap. The only reason you’re here is ’cause I’m hard and you’re easy. But you’re not worth all this bull.

    Jerri: Thanks for understanding.

  32. On the other hand, sophomore year English class, a bored and inexperienced teacher thought it would be fun to do a class debate on whether welfare recipients should be sterilized. Ugh. That debate made me hate humanity *a lot*.

    What a stupid thing for the teacher to waste your time on. Of course they should. Like, duh.

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