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Reason Morning Links: Fire in California, Fraud in Afghanistan, Freedom in Argentina

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• Fire sweeps through California.

• Dick Cheney says he might not cooperate with the Justice Department's torture investigation.

• More reports of vote fraud emerge in Afghanistan.

• Jay Rockefeller's staff is quietly preparing a bill that "appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency."

• Argentina decriminalizes marijuana.

• City of Memphis to cops: no tasers.

• Freedom Communications, the newspaper chain founded by the radical libertarian R.C. Hoiles, is expected to file for bankruptcy this week.

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  1. I’m taking the most prevalent “cybersecurity emergency” will be nasty unamerican dissidents spreading false information through chain e-mails.

  2. “Dick Cheney says he might not cooperate with the Justice Department’s torture investigation.”

    We might have to torture him a little to get him to tell us what we want to know 😉

  3. “Jay Rockefeller’s staff is quietly preparing a bill that “appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.”

    Read about this on Drudge. It needs to go the fuck away. NOW!

  4. Old Dick just needs a bit of the waterboard he’s been such a supporter of.

    Really, can’t he just die in a nice natural way?

  5. Memphis cops to people of city: Your dogs will regret this.

  6. I don’t get this. Cheney practically disappeared from sight from 2006-08, and now that he’s out of office he’s become a pathological attention whore. Seemingly every day, there’s a story in my news feed about what Dick thinks about some issue of the moment.
    It’s like the media is his personal Twitter feed.

  7. Probably the most controversial language begins in Section 201, which permits the president to “direct the national response to the cyber threat” if necessary for “the national defense and security.” The White House is supposed to engage in “periodic mapping” of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies “shall share” requested information with the federal government. (“Cyber” is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks.)

    WOW! Sometimes I really wonder whenever a publicized political brouhas is prominent in the news, what the hell is being discussed “quietly” for vote and implementation. Folks, if you thought the Patriot Act was bad, think of this Cybersecurity bill as the 15 foot tall, green and REALLY pissed off version of the Patriot Act (which Dear Leader has not seen fit to abolish). I see the Law of Unintended Consequences, along with RC’s Iron Law, “That law which can be used against your enemies, can be used against you later [paraphrased]” really, REALLY running amok on this one.

    This appears to be the FEMA eqivalent of technology. Most regard Katrina as a great failure of government response to a crisis. Would you really want the WH in charge of cyberstuff during a “national crisis?”

  8. As long as they don’t takeover or block Farmville from Facebook, half of my friends won’t know there is a national emergency.

    And, now you know why I come here for intellectual stimulation.

  9. Now I can tell all of my liberal moron friends that voted for Obama due to the Patriot Act and other such civil liberties abuses that they are liberal morons.

  10. If there’s a massive cyber-attack against U.S. sites, I have a feeling the government would only muck things up attempting to seize control of anything. Besides, what’s the authority for this?

  11. Freedom Communications, the newspaper chain founded by the radical libertarian R.C. Hoiles, is expected to file for bankruptcy this week.

    Thus proving what all of here know only too well: there is no market for freedom in contemporary America.

    And Rockefeller’s cyber bill started off bad and got worse. In response to complaints about it being overly specific, his staff made it so vague as to be all-encompassing. It really is a flaming turd.

  12. There should be a closed italic tag in there somewhere.

  13. Do small kitchen appliances have an effect on that pacemaker…? Just wondering…would be so simple

    “we might have to torture him a little to get him to tell us what we want to know ;”

  14. Seemingly every day, there’s a story in my news feed about what Dick thinks about some issue of the moment.

    Why doesn’t he get his own talk show? It could be scary/good.

  15. Really, can’t he just die in a nice natural way?

    “That is not dead which can eternal lie.
    And with strange aeons even death may die.”

  16. Art,

    That’s a great idea! We could call it “The Talking Dick Show.”

  17. “Besides, what’s the authority for this?”
    Because they say so, PL … because they say so.

  18. Re Memphis tasers: That’s three out of, oh, a few million, that are off the streets. Great news!

  19. That’s a great idea! We could call it “The Talking Dick Show.”

    If Cheney has a sense of humor about himself at all (doubtful) and hires some good writers, I could easily imagine it being the greatest show evar.

    Sugarfree, that (Lovecraft?) quotation should totally kick off the program.

  20. Art and CN,

    Yes, but another part of the Myhtos comes to mind. Has anyone ever done a thorough examination of this creature known as Dick Cheney? He sounds awfully familiar.

    Tsathoggua

    He was very squat and pot-bellied, his head was more like a monstrous toad than a deity, and his whole body was covered with an imitation of short fur, giving somehow a vague sensation of both the bat and the sloth. His sleepy lids were half-lowered over his globular eyes; and the tip of a queer tongue issued from his fat mouth.

  21. There could be a regular segment every week where a celebrity gets shot in the face. Let the audience vote on who it will be.

  22. If there’s a massive cyber-attack against U.S. sites, I have a feeling the government would only muck things up attempting to seize control of anything. Besides, what’s the authority for this?

    You’re so cute, Pro L. The authority, of course, is the “implied” executive power to do anything and everything to respond to a security threat. You remember, the one that was heinous and fascistic when a Republican was in the White House, but totally reasonable and business-as-usual now that Democrat is in the White House.

  23. When the government shuts down all the porn sites, and then points the finger at (fill in the blank), the recruitment offices will be full.

  24. It was a rhetorical question. I bet law school will get really easy once the Constitution is once and truly gone. Each fact pattern will be answered thus: “The right answer is whatever the government says it is.”

  25. “Each adult is free to make lifestyle decisions without the intervention of the state,” the court’s ruling said.

    Has the State Department issued a terrorism alert forbidding travel to Argentina, yet?

  26. Meet Wesley Cheeks.
    Wesley is a police officer.
    Wesley has a good imagination and unlimited authoritah.
    Wesley makes up laws as he goes along.

  27. Pro Libertate | August 31, 2009, 10:27am | #

    It was a rhetorical question. I bet law school will get really easy once the Constitution is once and truly gone. Each fact pattern will be answered thus: “The right answer is whatever the government says it is.”

    I disagree with this sentiment. The reason they can subvert the Constitution is because they have years of various precedents that carry more weight than the words in the document themselves. Keeping things complex is actually what makes it so easy to do whatever they want. In that respect the Constitution is gone, and whatever rights we still retain from that document is what the the unelected justices on the court let us have for the moment.

  28. ? Jay Rockefeller’s staff is quietly preparing a bill that “appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.”

    Let’s hand more power to the executive branch because lord knows POTUS options are soooo limited by that quaint and obsolete document, the U.S. Constitution.

    Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

    Because nothing says professional competence like a government license. Were this piece of shit legislation to pass, I confidently predict bureaucratic sinecures for hundreds, if not thousands, of useless buffoons so far behind the learning curve that any attempts to do their jobs will only hinder internet development and security.

    They’re not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors.

    Rockefeller, Kennedy, what’s the difference? Were American voters ever to correct thier rectal/cranial inversion problem political families such as these would all be unceremoniously shown the door. It won’t happen, but I can dreram about the end of the political class in this country, right?

  29. As long as they don’t takeover or block Farmville from Facebook, half of my friends won’t know there is a national emergency.

    Could you imagine if Obama shut down Facebook? His approval rating would probably drop down to about 20% overnight.

  30. We’re approaching the point where answers to Constitutional law questions are “the Necessary and Proper Clause, the General Welfare Clause, and the Commerce Clause, and, in the alternative, the National Security Power.” But we’re not entirely there yet.

    I agree that burying the “we can do anything” power within the seeming framework of Constitutional law is how we’ll get to ultimate tyranny. The illusion of the rule of law and of checks on government power are a big problem these days.

  31. ? Fire sweeps through California.

    No surprise there.

    ? Dick Cheney says he might not cooperate with the Justice Department’s torture investigation.

    Nor there.

    ? More reports of vote fraud emerge in Afghanistan.

    Definitely not there.

  32. “””Because nothing says professional competence like a government license.”””

    I think it’s more like you do what we want, or you lose your license. I don’t think it’s about competence as it is compliance.

    In other words, when the government call for you to do X, you can’t represent your company’s interests. You must comply, or lose not just your job, but your career.

  33. “””Cheney called the techniques “good policy” and said he was comfortable in cases where interrogators went beyond what they were authorized to do”””

    Even when they go beyond what is allowed, he has no problem. If the republicans really gave a shit about government accountability, they would kick him out of the party.

    Not gonna, happen, not gonna happen.

  34. If the republicans really gave a shit about government accountability, they would kick him out of the party.

    How do they do that, exactly? I mean, I’m a minarchist libertarian, but if I walk around saying I’m a Republican and vote in their primaries it’s not like they can say I’m not. The designated spokesmuppet for the RNC can say I do not represent the mainstream of Republicans or some blather. There’s really no way to kick someone out of the party as long as they claim they’re a member. It’s very odd.

  35. They could ban him from RNC events. That not really banning him from the republican party thought. It would be symbolic, not literal.

  36. Nice sentance. I got to remember to proof read before hitting submit. I’ll try again.

    That’s not really banning him from the republican party though.

  37. Who were the victims of this torture?

    Who were the torturers?

    Where did the torture happen?

  38. “”Who were the torturers?”””

    Are you really interested in have that question answered in public light?

  39. That not really banning him from the republican party thought.

    Its better that way, TrickyVic.

  40. “We do NOT torture.”

    By definition, nothing we do is torture.

    See how that works?

  41. Fire sweeps through California.

    There’s such a thing as “agricultural fireworks”?! I gotta get me some to scare varmints away from our vegetable garden. I promise I’ll mostly use them in a safe and sane manner.

  42. “””Its better that way, TrickyVic.””

    LOL, You’re right!!

  43. Are you really interested in have that question answered in public light?

    If American troops were engaging in torture as a practice, it would be prejudicial to discipline and good order.

  44. So would that be a yes or no?

  45. “appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks”

    This makes a lot of sense if you start with the belief that government is fundamentally better suited to deal with an attack on private networks. While that seems rather absurd to me, I think that is precisely what these people believe.

  46. City of Memphis to cops: no tasers.

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