Reason Morning Links: Homecoming Edition

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  • Wisconsin's missing Democrats deny reports that they're coming home.
  • Wyoming will allow carrying concealed weapons without a permit.
  • "Thugs in plain clothes" attack activists in Egypt.
  • Arizona-style immigration laws stumble in the rest of the country.
  • The end of the big box era?

NEXT: Global Warming By Another Name

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  1. Unfortunate Freakonomics Post from Friday. Asserting (without evidence) that allowing concealed carry on university campuses in Texas increases risk and hence wage requirements of professors…

    1. You know, when Whitman started shooting from the tower in Austin, more than one professor returned fire with his deer rifle. (In 1961 many of the profs were veterans of WWII and/or Korea.) None of them thought they were going to hit him, but they hoped to keep his head down. Concealed carry had nothing to do with Whitman, or the kid last year who shot up the library.
      /rant

      1. How the hell do you conceal a deer rifle? Are you putting it in a box of roses, Terminator 2 style?

        1. My point is that guns have been on campus forever and there have been exactly 2 incidents. The one with major fatalities involved the guy literally bringing in a trunkload of guns. In neither case did concealed weapons help keep people safe. In one case, citizens having guns in their workplace may have helped lower the number of casualties.

          1. “In neither case did concealed weapons bans help keep people safe.”

            1. Yeah, that omission held up my *tiny shaken fist* since i was left scratching my head at the reversal.

              *tiny shaken fist* incoming.

          2. I don’t disagree with your point, but there have been a few more than two. For instance, the “Crazy Jill” shootings at Penn State in 1996, at which I was present.

            1. Sorry, I was restricting myself to the University of Texas at Austin — the only school I have any knowledge of school shootings at.

            2. Has PSU allowed guns on campus forever?

              1. I heard that back in the ’80s it was common for students to bring deer rifles and shotguns to classes at PSU during hunting seasons, but by the time I was there the Univ had adopted a strict no guns policy. Jill took 7 shots, striking 3, killing 1, wounding 1, and ruining the backpack and textbook of 1 within about 30 seconds before a brave fellow from my dorm subdued her while she was reloading her sporterized Mauser. I remember watching out my window as people kept walking uphill into the field of fire, not recognizing the sound of gunshots.

                A few people carrying that day would have helped, but probably not stopped the fatality, which IIRC was the first shot she took.

        2. Or his point was that the rush to outlaw concealed weapons based on an incident that involved no concealable weapons is crazy-stupid.

          1. The UT shooting had nothing to do with outlawing concealed handguns on campus. Carrying handguns was illegal in Texas from the end of Reconstruction until 1995.

            1. But they were used to carve out an exception when the shall-issue law was passed.

      2. You know, when Whitman started shooting from the tower in Austin, more than one professor returned fire with his deer rifle.

        As did students and Texans unaffiliated with the university.

    2. Sorry to see Freakonomics adopt the “guns are icky” leftist dogma.

    3. increases risk and hence wage requirements of professors

      You gotta hand it to em, that’s a pretty crafty scheme for getting a raise.

      1. You gotta hand it to em, that’s a pretty crafty scheme for getting a raise.

        Particularly if assistant professors are denied tenure en masse. I’m surprised more government schools haven’t used this rationale to justify those pensions and benefits in lieu of such dismal returns on “investment”.

        “It’s combat pay!”

        1. Do schools even hire tenure track faculty anymore? I thought they just had armies of post-docs they replace every couple years. Maybe if one of the old guys dies or retires they hire someone to replace him?

          1. Do schools even hire tenure track faculty anymore?

            I don’t know, MSL. The tenure track may apply more to liberal arts subjects as opposed to pure and applied “hard science” subjects, since a tenured track engineering professor, for example, could probably make more money outside of academia, so why bother with tenure?

            Now, a philosophy or sociology professor…not so much.

            1. Then it’s completely upside down. It is precisely because the soft science dweebs have no other options that tenure is not needed as a recruitment tool.

              1. It is precisely because the soft science dweebs have no other options that tenure is not needed as a recruitment tool.

                There’s the rub. Since this country has an obvious market deficit of gender studies and underwater basket weaving experts, leave it to universities to fill that glaring market void. Fine tweed jackets with elbow patches aren’t cheap, you know.

              2. “Do schools even hire tenure track faculty anymore?”

                sure, though it’s obviously been tuned down a bit over the past five years or so.

                but tenure is spread pretty evenly over the “hard” and “soft” areas – i know someone with a bioinformatics phd looking for a tenure-track position now. (she likes teaching, not so much the private sector)

                1. (she likes teaching, not so much the private sector)

                  Those who can’t…

                2. I was just in a meeting last week discussing the hiring of a new department chair. One of the questions was whether or not he should be hired on a tenure track; it passed unanimously. However, the question of whether or not he should be hired as a “full professor” as opposed to an “associate professor” met with 2 or 3 opposition votes. Interesting to note that a department chair would not unanimously be considered a full professor, but should be tenured in 3-5 years.

            2. A lot of “hard science” PhD’s (::raises hand::) are the type who would rather pursue their own personal research interests than have to do the bidding of others, as would be necessary in non-academic jobs. (btw, much of academia is “private sector”) For such a person the additional money available in industry may not be worth it.

              1. A lot of “hard science” PhD’s (::raises hand::) are the type who would rather pursue their own personal research interests than have to do the bidding of others, as would be necessary in non-academic jobs.

                Are you seriously suggesting that “private sector” academia is beholden to no other interests than their own? You’re doing someone’s bidding, Dr. Tulpa.

                1. “Those who can’t…”

                  or those who did and found it not to their liking, obviously.

                2. OK, I’m trying to get my papers published, trying to market my new textbook, applying for NSF grants, yes. But these are all done at my whim — no one is standing over me saying, “Tulpa, get this inf-sup condition for Smith’s discontinuous Galerkin method proved and on my desk by next Monday.”

          2. My current school seems to be making a push for adding women to the tenured ranks (engineering department being my only exposure).

            1. This is quite widespread, and really sucks for recent PhD’s not blessed with vaginas. Luckily it didn’t happen to me, but some of my fellow doc grads lost out on jobs to women with fairly insignificant theses.

      2. Somewhat related, from snopes.com’s “New York Alligator” article:

        Each year at least half a dozen people ask New York City’s Bureau of Sewers about those infamous gators. John T. Flaherty (Chief of Design) answers these inquiries routinely.

        I could cite you many cogent, logical reasons why the sewer system is not a fit habitat for an alligator, but suffice it to say that, in the 28 years I have been in the sewer game, neither I nor any of the thousands of men who have worked to build, maintain or repair the sewer system has ever seen one.

        Flaherty (whose sense of humor is of the dry yet deadly variety) added the one clear proof of the absence of alligators — not a single union official has ever advanced alligator infestation as a reason for a pay increase for sewer workers.

        1. Another example of inefficiency in government. Why does NYC need a Chief of Design for it’s sewer system which was designed around 60 years ago? Any new building has to have plans that tie it into the existing system.

          Sorry, I liked the gator story, especially his union dig, but this just jumped out and screamed “WASTE” at me.

          1. Because the system is under constant repair plus there are huge projects that have been in the works for decades.

            1. Not to mention the alligator traps.

              1. And the mutants.

                1. I have no doubt that C.H.U.D.’s once inhabited the subterranean world of the NYC sewer system.

                  What’s really scary is that they now walk among us as nobel laureates and other writers of distinction at what was once a great daily paper.

          2. The city is also currently building a MASSIVE new wastewater treatment facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

            1. They’re building a MASSIVE property theft facility in Atlantic Yards, too.

          3. Some of the cockroaches I’ve seen in my limited time in NYC could easily be mistaken for alligators.

    4. While entertaining there are often theoretical and assumption issues with the freakonomics articles as well as some of the conclusions in the books.

    5. It wasn’t the Freakonomics guys themselves but frequent contributor Hamermesh, I skip his stuff anyway, the guy’s a rube.

      1. …the guy’s a rube.

        Plus he was always trying to eat those Smurfs.

    6. Well, it only really matters that the pool of potential candidates believes it increases risk to impact their sense of a fair wage.

  2. GOP Targets College Voters

    New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state – and effectively keep some from voting at all.

    One bill would permit students to vote in their college towns only if they or their parents had previously established permanent residency there – requiring all others to vote in the states or other New Hampshire towns they come from. Another bill would end Election Day registration, which O’Brien said unleashes swarms of students on polling places, creating opportunities for fraud.

    The measures in New Hampshire are among dozens of voting-related bills being pushed by newly empowered Republican state lawmakers across the country – prompting partisan clashes akin to those already roiling in some states over GOP moves to curb union power.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..id=topnews

    1. “Live Free or Don’t”

    2. Not sure how I feel about this. Out-of-state students should not be voting in local elections anyway. If they are not a permanent resident, why should they get a say in local elections?

      1. Eh. Letting the incumbents define residency for voting eligibility rubs me the wrong way.

        1. Letting the incumbents define residency for voting eligibility rubs me the wrong way.

          Matrix has a good point, Brett L. Do you trust your permanent neighbors to vote for your interests? Further, would you want an influx of temporary residents vote for bad policies so you’re stuck with bad policy as they make their getaway, assuming you’re not in a position to relocate easily and conveniently.

          1. What if I pass a law saying you have to sleep in your house in town 362 days a year to vote to qualify for residency?

            1. What if I pass a law saying you have to sleep in your house in town 362 days a year to vote to qualify for residency?

              You have heard of the recent mayoral victory of a one Rham Emmanuel?

              1. Yep. Apparently me and the Illinois Supreme Court are on the same page. See also: Sen. HR Clinton of NY

                They took UR VOTEZ!!1!

            2. That would never survive a court challenge. Voter eligibility is already restricted by state laws, it just happens to be extremely permissive (ie, making one eligible to vote in both one’s domicile and one’s residence).

              1. Umm, no. You can vote in either your domicile or your residence, not both. I don’t know how the system works, but I do know the various states have gotten together and share voter registration info. We had to deal with one very indignant woman who swore up and down she was registered to vote in TX, but her TX registration was suspended when she registered in OR.

        2. College kids can vote for something that saddles the town with debt and entitlements, then move out and leave it to the permanent residents to figure out how to pay for it. That makes no sense to me. Better to restrict it in some way, that’s the lesser of those two evils.

          1. They can also pay local sales tax and rent (effectively paying property tax) the whole time they live there, too. You abolish the taxes on them, I’ll let you strip their vote.

            1. I agree with Brett here. I think the better solution would be to write sunset clauses into all voter-enacted legislation.

              The college kids are realistically going to have to deal with these same issues for 3-4 years, so it’s not like they’re off scot-free.

              1. I think the better solution would be to write sunset clauses into all voter-enacted legislation.

                This suggestion alone, applied to all legislation, would solve more woes than problems it could conceivably create.

                1. Texas has some form of Sunset legislation that covers some portion of the code. IIRC, Kevin Brady R-TX introduces a similar bill at the federal level every Congress.

                  1. I can get wholeheartedly behind a sunset clause.

      2. I say let only property tax payers vote in local elections. Solves this and several other problems without making up a new over-strict standard of residency.

        1. Renters don’t vote huh? Wow. Do they have to follow the laws then?

          Renters pay the tax, just to their landlord who then pays it.

          1. Plenty of people ineligible to vote have to follow the laws.

            Though it’s nice to see you’re coming around on indirect taxation. Next we’ll talk about payroll and corporate income taxes.

            1. Though it’s nice to see you’re coming around on indirect taxation.

              Any resemblance of recognition of his indirect taxation, both living or dead, is entirely and purely coincidental.

      3. IIANM, some localities allow people who own property there but live elsewhere to vote in elections for the body that sets property tax rates.

      4. If out of state students get to vote the universities shouldn’t be able to charge them non-resident tuition rates.

    3. New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state – and effectively keep some from voting at all.

      Fucking absentee ballots, how do they work?

      Sorry, I’m extremely suspicious of a system that makes it easy for the same person to vote in two different places in the same election. This is a good move by NH.

      1. Voting in two different places in the same election… there’s a word for that…. oh, wait “Voter Fraud”

  3. Wisconsin’s missing Democrats deny reports that they’re coming home.

    When the legislators decide to return you’re going to know it, because they’re going to get together and do a cover of that totally kick-ass Cinderella power ballad.

  4. Let’s see, corporations unlimited giving, check. Public unions busted, check. Hey, how about making it harder for college kids to vote? Check. Almost ready for 2012!

    1. Don’t forget Photo ID bills!

    2. Those corporations (and now, those unions) have every right to give as much as they want. At least the anti-2nd amendment crowd can point to “militia” language and make a plausible argument. (I do not agree with it, but at least it makes sense).

      What part of “Congress shall make NO LAW…” is eluding you?

      1. I guess the part about corporations having that right. What clause is that part in?

        1. teh CORPURASHUNS!!1!

          1. Is that the sequel to “Oh Noes TEH UNIONS!”

            1. Is that the sequel to “Oh Noes TEH UNIONS!”

              I have to admit, I LOL’d.

        2. also, I can find the part on no restrictions on freedom of speech but not on freedom to spend on electioneering. Where’s that part?

          1. “Congress Shall Make NO LAW…” No law – dealing with corporate speech, No law dealing with speech on elections. No law, fucking period.

            1. I’m actually not down with the restraint in Citizens, but I am fine with limits on campaign spending. Nothing in the 1st about freedom of spending.

              1. Like fluffy is fond of saying, money is a necessary part of speech, unless you consider “freedom of speech” to mean “speech that is made with your unaided voice.”

                Don’t placards cost money? Megaphones? Newspapers? TV shows?

                Money is a necessary component of speech,

                1. Money is a necessary component of speech,

                  “speech that is made with your unaided voice.”

                  Time = Money

                  So even such a limited expression has a price.

                  1. I’m with you. Walking to and participating in a rally could be called an in-kind contribution and therefore also regulatable.

                    1. Walking to and participating in a rally could be called an in-kind contribution and therefore also regulatable.

                      So what you’re saying is that there’s a contradiction in the Constitution between the 1st Amendment and the Commerce Clause? Better to just do away with those pesky freedoms then.

              2. Nothing in the 1st about freedom of spending.

                So freedom of speech really means freedom to converse with your unamplified voice, and no more?

              3. Nothing in the 1st about freedom of spending.

                The First Amendment puts restrictions on Congress, not on citizens.

        3. The 1st amendment is a limitation on Congress, not an enumerated right.

          And… spending on advertising is NOT the same as a direct political contribution (which is limited by law)

          Fucking details, how do they work?

        4. Where does it say people have that right?

        5. Corporations and unions are made up of people with (among other things) the right to free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition their government for redress.

          Utilizing any of those rights does not, nor should not, require you to relinquish any of the other rights.

          1. “Corporations and unions are made up of people with (among other things) the right to free speech”

            Yup, and every individual should be able to speak freely. Every real individual, no corporate fictional people.

            1. So what you just said about not liking Citizens, that was just a lie? What about New York Times Inc.?

            2. So people can spend as much as they want on electioneering communications, but they can’t pool their money to be able to communicate better.

              Why do you not want poor people to be able to communicate effectively?

              1. Sure they can pool their money; they just have to call their corporation “the press”. MNG doesn’t want New York Times, Inc. to lose any (more) of it’s ability to sway public opinion, he just doesn’t understand the implications of his proposed legally enforced oligopoly.

                Well, at least I assume it’s just a failure of understanding. A lot of people share the same view, but I suspect a handful of them come from the corporations that can afford to buy half of NBC and just don’t want to have to share influence with all their competitors.

            3. Yup, and every individual should be able to speak freely. Every real individual, no corporate fictional people.

              So if an employee of the corporation creates an ad, is that ad not the speech of an individual protected by the 1A? Does it stop being the individual’s speech if they express themselves by including a corporate logo?

            4. Yup, and every individual should be able to speak freely. Every real individual, no corporate fictional people.

              So much for collective bargaining.

            5. Yes that’s right folks. Corporations are now composed of fictional corporate people. Presumably soaked in corporatey-corporateness.

              Citizens United vs FEC is a bottomless well of lefty butthurt. You lost again assholes.

        6. I hate to get all Alberto Gonzalez on you, no part of the 1st amendment says that human beings have a right to free speech. It just says that Congress isn’t supposed to abridge the freedom of speech, if it exists.

        7. I guess the part about corporations having that right. What clause is that part in?

          Well, there’s freedom of association, which makes little sense if the groups people form by association are denied basic rights.

          But, there’s also the bit about how the plain language of “no law” contains no exceptions. For commercial speech, for collective speech (including corporate speech), for anything.

          1. Playing devil’s avocado here, but the first amendment doesn’t mention freedom of association.

            1. Freedom of assembly is used interchangeably.

              1. That’s a stretch.

                1. How so? They seem analogous to me: coming together in an association to further common goals.

            2. Go to Haas!

              Actually, I have nothing to add to this discussion. I just wanted to pun.

            3. the first amendment doesn’t mention freedom of association.

              So, just like freedom of speech means no more than the freedom to converse with your unaided voice, freedom of assembly means no more than the freedom to stand near other people.

              Gosh, who knew the 1A was so limited in its limitations on government? That Congress was free to pass laws outlawing the sale of paper and ink (except, one supposes, to duly certified members of “the press”), and to prohibit the formation of any organization?

              1. Freedom of association is clearly one of the preexisting, unenumerated rights protected by the 9th, so I’m not arguing it doesn’t exist.

                But handing money to someone representing an organization bears little resemblance to gathering in a public place. Far less than broadcasting a speech via radio waves resembles speaking with unaided voice, for instance.

                1. Fuck you, Tulpa. If I want to pay someone to go yell at the government for me, I will. If I want to pay 5 or 500 people to do it, I will. Just because I’m stuck in this institution against my will doesn’t mean I’m not going to fight these bastards.

    3. Making it harder to gerrymander elections through bribery with my coerced money and geographic locations. check.

      Although the college issue is a little silly, it does make for some interesting arguments since residency is sporadic over 5-6 years.

  5. They killed-off the Mom&Pop;, to become a Mom&Pop;.

    1. weird ‘;’ ghost in my text-is that a virus?

      1. Other evidence suggests it’s more likely a tumor.

        1. I keed, I keed.

        2. It’s NOT a tumah!

      2. using the ampersand symbol messes with their comment software, since ampersand + symbolcode + semicolon is how HTML encodes special characters.

        The software doesn’t let the fact that there is no symbolcode “pop” get in its way.

        1. if you includes spaces around the ampersand it works normally though.

          Mom&Pop;.
          Mom & Pop.

          1. Also, & as an ampersand

            1. I was too lazy to go look up something I should’ve already known by heart. (or, at the least, been able to guess in one or two trys)

              Also, nice job gaming the bug to get the exact code to display.

  6. The latest research on how to deal with trolls effectively.

    I don’t think this person has dealt with real trolls. Perl v. Python has nothing on deep-dish v. thin crust.

    1. Are serial linkers “trolls,” or just narcissists?

      1. Depends. Links to golden girls articles are trolls. And should be punished with the instant ban hammer without warning.

          1. I was serious. I like you and Longtorso, but you both should be banned for life. Justice.

          2. No, I had not seen [that]. I must now post it everywhere to bring it to the attention of everyone, particularly capitol l.

            1. [shakes fist at sky]

    2. >>And eventually negotiate a common ground: “…Maybe you can still write Python code and be productive in it while still not in love with it. Who knows, maybe you’ll even grow to like it. Feel free to stick around and ask questions.”

      And then of course it’s Kumbaya time! These ideas for smarter communication with trolls are really inspired – for anyone who might possibly give a shit about communicating with trolls…

    3. Be polite and friendly.

      LOL

    1. “Gangster Government”
      “Hot water heater”
      “PIN number”

  7. I’ve been thinking Colorado….but Wyoming just moved to the top of the list.

    1. The Colorado House just passed a similar bill, but it is questionable whether it will make it through the Senate (which it Dem-controlled).

  8. Miami Herald: unfamiliar with Reason’s We Are Out Of Money series.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/201…..arent.html

  9. The Post’s travel section has a story on TSA and if their tactics constitute a police state. buried near the bottom was a line about the TSA setting up random roadblocks, which is something I hadn’t seen before.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..02608.html

  10. The curious moral world of wonkette.

    http://datechguy.wordpress.com…..-wonkette/

    1. Unfortunately, not surprising. Mentioning that a Koch did something altruistic is like yelling “Comcast!” at a BitTorrent users meeting.

      1. I LOL’d. But seriously, working for an MSO I would have to debate you regarding the morality of and lilbertarian position of Network Utilization by third parties, etc.

        DAMN YOU NETFLIX!!!! KAHHHNNNNN!!!!!!!

  11. I love TPM, it’s such a pathetic hack rag I almost feel sorry for them.

    A return to Wisconsin at this juncture would appear to give the green light for Walker’s legislation to pass — that is, a win for Walker’s efforts to pass legislation when numerous polls show the state disapproving of Walker, and saying he should compromise. However, at this juncture it is unclear just what is going on.

    The first link (numerous polls) is a to the liberal Public Polling Polling agency, that is not acknowledged for it’s “ideological bent.” The last linked article (saying he should compromise) is to the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and spends a few sentences acknowledging the non-profits ideological leaning as conservative. While the middle link (saying he should compromise) concerns a Rasmussen article and ignores the main point of the Rasmussen findings.

    That’s three or more layers deep of propaganda bullshit and manipulation, almost impressive if not so blatant.

  12. Good article on the fiscal reality in the NYT of all places.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03……html?_r=1

  13. Nut [Punch]!!

    Weare police charge [man] for recording traffic stop
    …William Alleman, 51, of 140 Helen Dearborn Road, was charged Tuesday with interception of oral communication prohibited, which is the state’s felony wiretapping law RSA 570-A (click for text).

    Police Chief Gregory Begin released few details of the case when reached for comment Thursday. The charges stem from a July 10 traffic stop, Begin said.

    “He was making an audio recording of the officer during a motor vehicle stop without getting consent of the officer,” Begin said.

    Alleman said the charge is based on a cell phone call he made as an officer approached his vehicle.

    Police considered it wiretapping because the call was being recorded by a voice mail service without the officer’s consent….

    1. Police considered it wiretapping because the call was being recorded by a voice mail service without the officer’s consent….

      Talk about your thin gruel!

      1. File a civil rights complaint. Until the cops have to pay, even for defending these actions if the complaint doesn’t prevail, they will continue.

    2. That’s odd. Dunphy was just telling me last night that police chiefs love suspending cops at the slightest opportunity.

    1. Gambling in Casablanca? I am shocked, shocked I tell you!!

    2. Do they mean bond holders when they say non-union employees?

      1. Actually, they mean our future Overlords

        1. dammit, corrected

          Actually, they mean our future Overlords (in reference to UNION employees)

          snark ruined

          1. Shouldn’t your name be “scRuffy”?

  14. Where is PETA on this one?:

    STILLWATER, Oklahoma — A researcher at Oklahoma State University received a $740,000 grant to study African giant pouched rats and whether they can sniff out bombs.

    The U.S. Army research office is funding the grant to help screen the best animals that can detect bombs.

    It’s already been established that these do work. Why waste more money? Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to just use politicians for this line of work?

    1. Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to just use politicians for this line of work?

      Not with their current salaries and benefits. The African rats have a terrible union.

      1. All immigrants do in the first generation. Just you wait, in two more generations one of them will be running that University.

        1. I’d actually attend a uni run by African giant pouched rats. Great Afro Studies program.

          Go Fighting Eagles! (Ha, you thought their mascot would be a rat, didn’t you.)

          1. Now that I think about it, any number of educational institutions are already run by giant rats. This is obviously discrimination that there are no African giant pouched rats being selected for such posts.

            1. We have done our evil work well! Bwahahahahahaha! Right Jenner?

              1. Nicodemus is dead…

                The lee of the stone.

            2. POUCHISTS!

      2. http://voices.washingtonpost.c…..t_the.html

        Scabby the Rat has been down the block for more than a month now. protesting a hotel that uses non-union labor.

  15. Necessary and Proper.

  16. Canadian science fiction author Peter Watts, of recent TSA debacle fame, has now contracted necrotising fasciitis, aka flesh-eating bacteria. Poor bastard. There are some extremely graphic pics of the wound in subsequent blog posts, but none in what I’ve linked. I’m not cruel enough to rick-roll you guys with exposed calf muscle.

    And while Watts praises socialized medicine for the treatment he is getting for the infection, he seems unwilling, or perhaps unable, to ponder socialized medicine’s role in him getting the infection during a routine skin biopsy.

    1. he seems unwilling, or perhaps unable, to ponder socialized medicine’s role in him getting the infection during a routine skin biopsy.

      Prions. They will be the death of us.

    2. I’m as down on the socialized medicine as the next guy, but what’s this got to do with it?

    3. click through for pics! Unfortunately I couldn’t find any ‘before’ shots to see what the infected leg looked like, but the post-op leg looked like a trip to the local butcher’s shop.

    4. Thousands of people die due to medical mistakes and hospital infections in the US every year. Bacteria don’t care about socialized v. unsocialized.

      1. Bacteria don’t care about socialized v. unsocialized.

        No, but they care a lot about the quality of care.

        1. Or the lack thereof.

        2. But isn’t the primary argument against Canada’s health care system that rationing causes delays in care and waiting lists. When has it ever been claimed that they have sub-standard sterilization methods, etc.?

          This seems like something that could have happened anywhere, and has nothing to do with whether the medical care was socialized or not.

  17. >>Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington… noted Arizona was the most recent state to allow concealed carry without a permit. And he noted that a man has been charged in the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people at a congressional meet-and-greet Jan. 8 outside a Tucson supermarket.

    Damn. If only Arizona had required Loughner to have a concealed carry permit, that whole tragedy would have been easily avoided!

    1. Obviously not, but I can’t say I’m sold on permit-free concealed carry. Requiring a permit seems like a reasonable restriction (assuming the permits are easy to get for non-dangerous people).

      Open carry should of course be OK so long as the owner of the property you’re on doesn’t object.

      1. Why are permits on concealed carry a reasonable restriction?

        1. Because concealed weapons are of greater use to criminals than they are to innocent citizens (assuming we allow open carry without a permit). And I’m not talking about onerous regulation here, just an easy-to-obtain permit.

          1. You’re assuming that a criminal would leave his gun at home if he didn’t have a permit.

            1. No, I think the assumption is that if we find someone trying to sneak a gun around somewhere in a locale where open carry is permissible, it’s not unreasonable to think they are up to no good.

              Grabbing them on that basis alone means we don’t have worry about waiting to find out what specific form of no good they were getting up to.

      2. So wouldn’t the criminal just open carry before he starts whatever you don’t like him doing? Or he’d just conceal carry without a permit. Either way, permits are stupid.

        I’ll say it again. Anyone who is too dangerous to carry a gun is too dangerous to carry a letter opener, steak knife, sling shot, or rock. Lock ’em up or leave ’em alone.

    2. You mean I have to fill out paperwork before starting my murderous rampage? Screw that, my guild is raiding tonight.

  18. Wyoming will allow carrying concealed weapons without a permit.

    Combined with the government shutdown!!! furlough of all the park’s rangers and policemen, I predict a bodybag concession for Yellowstone National Park will be hugely profitable. I hope it’s not too late to apply.

    1. dude…ANY concession is profitable there. We went to the “nice” restaurant on the lake and paid a butload of moeny for canned green beans (it is irrelevant that I actually prefer canned but whatever). I have NEVER had worse service and worse food anywhere! To quote xenones “Yo, Fuck a Yellowstone concession!”

      50 DKP!

  19. “This is a terrible injustice. This is a political decision, not a legal or financial decision,” Turner said in a phone interview with TheDC. “There were people who were penalized and people were chosen as winners and losers. The White House, the administration and the Auto Task Force (ATF) decided who were going to receive their pensions and who were not.”

    Bruce Gump, one of the workers who lost most of his pension and his health and life insurance plans, said what really disappoints him is how Geithner justified his decision. “Mr. Geithner justified that by saying in the press that there was no commercial necessity to do anything for those people,” Gump told TheDC. “So, to him, we were just ‘those people’ and he thought that commercial necessity was a justification to out certain groups.”
    -from Johnny Longtorso’s link

    Is there anybody in the fucking universe who thinks Timmay has been anything but a disaster as Treasury Secretary?

    1. As a matter of fact, P Brooks…

      1. Sorry Pauly, It’s been confirmed that you actually inhabit a parallel universe. Disqualified.

    2. Will someone explain to me why anyone would want a defined benefit pension plan instead of a defined contribution plan?

      The theory is they are more secure, but that is just not true. Even if its a PubSec pension, the government may just change their mind, as the Sconnies are learning.

      The 401k may have been an accidental loophole, but it was one of the best things congress has done. And, of course, that can only be due to it being an accident. Law of Unintended Consequences working in our favor for a change.

      1. Good point. With a name like Bruce Gump, he should have known that pension plans are like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get.

  20. Not having a dog in the fight at all – Both Wisconsin and Republicans are far from my home – I still can’t help a little snark at hypocrisy:

    What happened to “elections have consequences”? Weren’t these same Democrats running about claiming they could post any incompetent to the bench, any zealot to the administration, pass any legislation without input from the Republicans because “elections have consequences”? It isn’t like this is ancient history – we are talking about 12 months ago for crying out loud.

    1. That was last Hate week, and we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

      Again.

  21. I don’t have a link, but I got a speeding ticket on my way in to work today. I’ve kinda Google-searched for some plausible ticket defenses, but any other ideas would be appreciated.

    Is it in my best interest to contest an issue on the citation itself? On one area it says “64/45 zone” but then for actual speed he wrote me up at 54. Would it be stupid on my part to contest that contradiction?

    1. It might be worth a try. I go a ticket kicked when the cop wrote down the wrong model of car.

      1. “got” I drive better than I type. I swear.

      2. My only concern is that they say “Well-hell-hell…” and then increase the citation amount. Is that a possibility? I would pretty much be calling into account the cop’s leniency and then using that to get out of the entire ticket.

        1. Considering it’s just a corrupt racket, they probably won’t kick a ticket for a simple writing error. And you won’t really be counting in the cop. Traffic court is the ultimate kangaroo court. If the judge has the 54/64 error pointed out to him, he will probably just fine for 54 for expediency’s sake. The fine is nothing after all, in the face of the court “fees.”

          Is there a price difference in the fine for 9 over vs. 19 over? That’s what you would most likely be fighting over. Is that amount worth going to court instead of just mailing it in?

          1. The cop said he clocked me at 64. Wrote on the ticket in the section “Location of Occurrence” @990FT 64/45 zone. But then he told me he was gonna do me a solid (paraphrasing) and wrote me down as doing 54 in a 45 posted speed zone in the “Violation” section of the citation.

            Based on that downgrading about $130 got knocked off and I would imagine quite a few points. So that’s the only thing. I mean I hate to just pay the ticket (I always feel like fighting this shit in court) but realistically at only about $120 it would probably be in my better interest to just take the class and knock a bit more off the ticket and pay the remainder.

            1. The only thing I’d worry about is paying for 54 and they come back and say that you underpaid for 64. In KY, underpaying automatically triggers a bench warrant. (Or, at least, is supposed to according to the last traffic ticket I got–it’s the same as “failure to appear”.)

              1. Why don’t you just go in and tell the judge you want the cop to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were speeding. If he can’t do that, then why should you have to pay? Ask the judge if hearsay evidence is enough to convict when there is contradictory evidence at any other trial and request the police office be sworn in and ask him if he’s ever lied before (not under oath, but ever). Then ask the judge how he can take the word of an admitted liar as “beyond a reasonable doubt” with no corroborating evidence.

                1. In most states there is no such “reasonable doubt” expectation for speeding. They basically say “if the cop says you were speeding, you were speeding.”

                  I know in Georgia for a radar clocked speeding ticket the only grounds for objection are 1) the grade of the road, 2) the certification of the officer, 3) the calibration of the instrument and 4) the location of the officer relative to a blind curve.

                  Anything other than that is irrelevant, by statute. “I wasn’t speeding and I have video and GPS evidence to prove it” isn’t even a legal argument for radar-based speeding tickets. “The officer made a mistake and pulled over the wrong black honda” is not an argument you can even offer.

                  These infringements on due process are a nod to expedience by the courts – they have no shot at trying all traffic cases as normal trials, so they make it perfunctory for the state to win. That’s why so many traffic cases hinge on the cop showing up to court.

                  1. I got a ticket when I lived in Augusta for rolling a stop sign and beat it in court because I presented evidence. I also questioned the location of the sign in relation to the intersection..it was too far back to see the cross streets. They came and moved the sign about a month later.

                    Side note: I got followed all the way from the courthouse to work when I left. Even making two u-turns just to check. When I pulled in to the lot, I waved at the cop who had followed me the 10 or so miles. I sold my car the following weekend.

              2. That’s only a danger if you mail in the payment. If you’re allowed to pay the fine in person, say at the court clerk’s office, then they can’t possibly come back later and say you underpaid — you paid what the clerk told you to.

                1. BTW, in California, to contest the ticket you have to post a bond…which is in the full amount of the ticket plus court costs. Or, you can pay the ticket without costs and sign up for traffic school to get the points removed.

                  They actually make you pay the fine (by way of calling it a “bond”) to contest the assumed guilt. You also have to appear on the date they set and cannot get a continuance, even with a physician’s note. If you fail to appear, you are found guilty and also have to pay a penalty for not appearing, even though they simply tried you in absentia. Oh, and if the cop doesn’t appear, the DA is granted an automatic continuance up to two times.

                  Obviously, it’s designed to keep the roads safe as opposed to collect revenue. [rolls eyes]

                2. Really? You think the judge has to follow the rules? They can issue a bench warrant for any reason they want with no consequences.

      3. A cop wrote me up for rolling a stop sign at an intersection that only had traffic lights.

        I fought it, it was pretty amusing as the cop tried to get all weasely and the judge slow talked him, literally, “Ans…wer…the…quest…ion…as…it…was…asked”. At that point the prosecutors eyes rolled back in his head as he realized he was about to lose a traffic case. Then the judge found me guilty because “Im sure you ran a stop sign somewhere else” (which, while true, is beside the point). Im sure if I had hired a lawyer I would have won.

        Anyway, the judge was nearly disbarred shortly thereafter, but he died first, so I claimed victory.

        1. Victory by way of Act of God. Justice did prevail.

        2. That’s pretty dangers “I’m sure, somehow, somewhere, you broke a law, so I find you guilty, even if you are innocent in this particular instance.”

          So, um, no proof needed to convict anyone because, we all know everyone has broken the law.

    2. It would be best to hire an attorney specializing in this area (geographic and legal). From my experience they can often make a ticket go away completely. It doesn’t cost any less than the ticket itself – it often costs more – but you don’t get the points on your license.

      From a layman’s point of view there appears to be some sort of payoff system akin to catholic indulgences. If you don’t pay the lawyer toll you get rolled. Pay the lawyer toll and you stand a good chance of getting a free pass. You don’t wait until the end of the docket, you get to plea down to “faulty equipment”, whatever. The attorneys who handle that court routinely will usually have a stack of tickets to carry up to the DA/Judge depending on how it is done there. They’ll handle them all in one go, win/win for the court and the attorney. If you defend yourself, you wait until the end and count on luck of the draw as to whether you get a fair hearing. The court/DA have no incentive to work with you in particular, because you don’t have a stack of cases that you can offer to clear in one fell swoop.

      1. Good point. Most of the stuff I’ve read so far states that one of the biggest factors is whether or not the cop shows up. I would hate to have my entire citation rest on that.

        However, not sure where I would find out but I don’t see anything about the number of points on my license. Traffic school is an option, but I’ve gotten a ticket for 9 over before and I don’t believe I got any points. So this may just be a “pay the fine or don’t have to pay the fine” battle in court.

        1. Another screwing over is that, if you represent yourself when going to court, you might find your case getting continued three or more times. Each time it gets continued, you have to take off of work, etc…doubt this happens if you retain a local attorney who specializes in this sort of thing.

          I like Cyto’s metaphor of the whole system being akin to Catholic indulgences.

        2. I always go to court. If the cop shows up (in my experience, they usually do) – you can plead nolo contendre, and request the points not be added (this is in FL). Usually, you don’t get the points, but have to pay the fine. If the cop doesn’t show up, then the ticket goes away.

          1. I might do this then (as I live in Florida as well). It just sucks as Gray Ghost pointed out because I have to take time off work, but even if the cop shows up I’m sure he’s considered on duty and getting paid to be there.

            1. “…but even if the cop shows up I’m sure he’s considered on duty and getting paid to be there.”

              Yep. Often it’s overtime for the LEO. In Harris County, TX, some of the highest paid county employees are LEOs. In 2006, it was because many of them primarily handled DUI cases. They testified a lot, get paid a lot, and much of it was overtime. http://www.chron.com/disp/stor…..12910.html

              I don’t know what the pressures are in showing up for an “ordinary” speeding ticket case. Given my local jurisdiction is panicking over losing their anticipated red light camera money, I’d bet on the officer showing up if TPTB calculated he brought in more money by showing up than he cost the county in overtime.

          2. I always go to court because Texas has a neat trick called deferred adjudication. If you pay the fines and court costs and don’t get another ticket for 3 months, nothing goes on your license. It makes the cash grab aspect of it really freaking obvious. Some jurisdictions (Pasadena, TX!) will start traffic court at 8 AM and you can be gone by 8:20 if you do deferred.

            1. Wow, did not know that. I did online defensive driving for my two prior tickets. I’ll have to try it your way the next time.

        3. A lot of places will pay the cops overtime to go to traffic court, and oftentimes they will be paid for 4 hours regardless of how long they were actually there.

    3. I dunno. Some jurisdictions rape you with fees if you demand a trial and lose, rather than just paying the fine or plea bargaining…so it may not be worth the risk. If they offer a significant reduction through plea bargaining that’s probably a better avenue.

    4. Just contest. The cop won’t likely show and you win by default-or you pay a lawyer a flat fee, and they settle for less of a fine

    5. Got a speeding ticket, 15 over, and only showed up at court because the ticket didn’t tell me something that was important to know how and where to pay it. So I get there and the cop asks me into the hallway and offers $150 fine, no points for a plea down to parking on pavement. At the least, for showing up they’ll offer you something like that.

  22. For some reason, the Repubs in Wisconsin are unwilling to just pass the damn collective bargaining bill as a stand-alone bill. Don’t know why; its not like they’ll get any Dem votes after the fleebaggers return.

    Since they’re not going to do that, maybe the smart move now is to say “OK, Dems. Give us your balanced budget proposal. Don’t forget the layoffs. If it balances, we’ll pass it.” The Dems broke it, they bought it.

    There will be other opportunities to circle back and pick up the collective bargaining issue, although it would probably take the minor miracle of the Repubs developing a decent messaging machine to tie all manner of state and local layoffs to the refusal to reform collective bargaining.

    The one thing I would jam through is the end of automatic deductions for union dues. That only went into place a few years ago, something the semi-mythical Repub messaging machine could get across.
    “Hey, fired workers, I’m sure the thought that you sacrificed to preserve the phat collective bargaining chokehold of your former colleagues will keep you warm at night.”

    1. Democrats have been able to stop the budget bills from passing because they require a quorum. Without the Dems being there, the GOP is one vote short of the required number.

      The flip side of that is that non budget bills do not require a quorum, so the legislature can do pretty much anything that they want, without any interference from Democratic State Senators, so long as it isn’t budget related

  23. The push to expand permit-free carry of concealed guns is coming from people demanding the freedom to protect themselves in tough economic times without the requirement to pay for state permits, National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.

    Personally, I would prefer to see this focused on the idea that it frees individuals from the need to be worried about getting caught in some technical violation of the concealed carry law, like having your pistol under your coat on the front seat of your car (in order to make it less tempting to some smash-and-grab artist at the gas station or grocery store. Generally speaking, when I have my pistol(s) with me, it’s because I’m on the way to or from the range, not because I feel the need to lug the damn thing around in case of Indian attack.

    1. “getting caught in some technical violation of the concealed carry law”

      THAT is a good point. There was case up here in New Hampshire that turned on the fact that the guy had his pistol in a duffel bag, but with a round in the chamber. That combination put him in violation. IIRC, had the gun been in plain sight, with a round in the chamber, he’d have been OK. Makes no sense, which, I believe, is the point.

  24. You’re assuming that a criminal would leave his gun at home if he didn’t have a permit.

    Words-on-paper = MAGICK!

    Haven’t you noticed what a paradise on Earth this country is?

  25. “Yo, Fuck a Yellowstone concession!”

    I have seen a few Yellowstone “concessionaires” I wouldn’t mind spending a little quality time with…

  26. I have seen a few Yellowstone “concessionaires” I wouldn’t mind spending a little quality time with…

    Holy crap. They have a concession for that at Yellowstone? I think my vacation plans just changed.

  27. Do you initial guys know what that “reply to this” button is for?

  28. Do you initial guys know what that “reply to this” button is for?

    “I didn’t surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender.”

  29. *Gives finger to server squirrels.*

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