Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Morning Blog

Venezuela is sort of my diet version of North Korea. All the crazy but now with half the horror! Anybody remember when Chavez declared that it would have its own time zone ?

There are really two ways you can look at this. One: This is why terrorism suspects should not be afforded civil trials. Or two: This is precisely why torture is never, ever compatible with the rule of law.

This is actually a pretty sad 'chickens coming home to roost' moment. After years of lawlessness, I think it shows how difficult it is to return to simple, procedural justice.

Tracking voter disgust. Takeaway :

These voters did not hate politicians. They simply saw both parties, along with the media and big business, as symptoms of the larger societal ailment. And this underlying perception, that politicians in Washington conduct themselves just as childishly and with the same lack of accountability as the kids throwing chicken casserole in the lunchroom, may well be the principal emotion behind the electorate’s propensity to vote out whoever holds power.

I agree. Now can we all stop frothing at the mouth for a minute and....I dunno. Have a grown up discussion?

I don't understand how this piece on Verizon's inaccurate billing constitutes an argument for greater government regulation over internet access. First of all, it concerns phone bills. Second of all, they recognized a mistake and have taken steps to provide restitution. Third of all, yes! The internet is profoundly important to both our economy and our democracy and frankly, it seems to be doing just fine thanks, without undue government intrusion.

Unintended Consequences Dept. Clean Energy Edition. Turns out producing clean energy is obnoxiously loud. Takeaway (and it's poetic!):

“I remember the sound of silence so palpable, so merciless in its depths, that you could almost feel your heart stop in sympathy,” she said. “Now we are prisoners of sonic effluence. I grieve for the past.”

Op-Ed from the attorney general of Maryland concerning Snyder v. Phelps. I agree totally that these Phelps creatures are yelping thugs of the lowest, knuckledragging variety. Frankly, their existence constitutes a pretty profound argument for reproductive rights.

That said, I would hope that the Supreme Court will be extremely leery of this suit, the basis of which (judging from the op-ed), appears to be that free speech targeted at individuals can be limited during so called 'private moments'. That strikes me as dangerously broad.

Reporting on the protests concerning this case is available here.

Christine O'Donnell vs. Alvin Greene. A Smackdown for Crazy Folks. I'm not really sure of the beef here...Is the author upset that the batshit crazy black guy didn't get as much support as the batshit crazy white lady? Personally, I think that not supporting the batshit crazy regardless of their race is a good thing.

Not to be flip but vampire fish and 23 foot tall carnivorous plants are more than enough bio-diversity for me, thanks.

Very interesting post by Megan McArdle on the relationship between management and the UAW at GM. I think at the very least, the UAW needs to diminish the power of their retirees if there's any hope of the American auto industry regaining any sort of competitiveness.

Long post....Lots of interesting stuff going on today, I guess. Just one more....

Because they don't get enough credit. Good cop:

And sadly, sadly, sadly. Bad cop. Be aware that the video is (to me at least), profoundly upsetting. For background, this raid resulted in the home owner pleading guilty to single possession of marijuana paraphernalia and received a $300 fine. For follow up see here.

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