Category Archives: Assorted Links

Afternoon links

The U.S. considers sanctions against Pakistan over a $7B “peace pipeline” deal with Iran.  Such a deal threatens U.S. efforts to bring Iran to its knees for failing to prove that it is not manufacturing nuclear WMDs in a repeat of the same strategy used to start a war with Iraq.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.  Wait a sec.  Aren’t they already a nuclear state?  Surely the recent U.S. strategy of flying strategic war planes around over the peninsula will calm things down.

A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a man who stabbed his best friend ten years ago, paralyzing him, to be paralyzed himself if he can’t come up with $266,000 in compensation for his victim.

What happens to persecutors who abuse their trust and destroy people’s lives?  Nothing.

From  A Texas state trooper charged with sexually assaulting two women during a traffic stop was providing them with “customer service,” says Dale Roberts, the executive director of the Columbia Police Officers Association (CPOA) and a professor at the University of Missouri. (The CPOA is a part of the Fraternal Order of Police, one of the country’s largest police unions.)

Wednesday Afternoon links

  • Two Texas cops indicted for illegally initiating a roadside body cavity search of two women stopped for littering.  The male officer who initiated the stop was charged with theft and the female officer who conducted the cavity search was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression.
  • The FBI is pursuing real time Gmail spying power as top priority for 2013.  Because, if you have nothing to hide, why do you need privacy anyway?
  • Two years after being ordered to by the the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the TSA is finally initiating the public comment period required before they can set up the full body scanners they’ve already been using since 2007.
  • Cost for a one-night stay in Paris for the Vice President?  $585,000.50   More than $100,000 more than his stay in London which only cost a measly $459,338.65  So, how many federal jobs could be saved from sequester if Biden were to do what VPs are supposed to do: nothing.

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal.
If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative.
If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate.
If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist.

“Need” now means wanting someone else’s money.
“Greed” now means wanting to keep your own.
“Compassion” is when a politician arranges the transfer.

Tuesday Afternoon links

When a cop brings a drug dog to your front door, he is conducting a search, so he better have a warrant before he does it.  So says the Supreme Court in a judgement in the case of Florida v. Jardines handed down this morning.  The fact that it was a 5 to 4 decision illustrates how tenuous your few remaining rights actually are. For more background read This Dog Can Send You to Jail.

Bitcoin is going to open an ATM in CyrpusBitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that, unlike government operated central banks, increases supply only under rigid automated rules.

The Tennessee legislature is considering a bill that would abolish the power of police to seize property without ever charging the property owner with a crime, a practice universally referred to as theft if conducted by any other entity.

Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government. In Hale County, Alabama, 1 in 4 working-age adults is on disability.

A Tunisian preacher has called for a 19-year old girl who posted her topless pictures on Facebook to be “quarantined” and stoned to death before she starts “an epidemic.”  She also had the words, “My body belongs to me” written across her chest.

Only a cop could crash into a dirt bike with a squad car from behind (twice!) and then blame it on the biker, charging him with reckless endangerment.  I bet cops hate it when video, showing their blatant abuses, winds up on the internet.   The name of the biker is, of course, public, while the name of the cop is protected.

Monday Morning Links

Bailout agreement for Cyprus will close their largest bank and seize deposits greater than €100,000.  Without the bailout it might have been the first country forced out of the Eurozone.  No one wants to be first, you know.

The good news is the Dow Jones is back to what it was before the financial crisis.  The bad news is that the value of the dollar relative to gold has fallen faster than the improvement in the Dow.

While the U.S. government looks for ways to restrict gun ownership in “the land of the free”, the CIA is busy shipping thousands of tons of military equipment to rebels in Syria.  Because the U.S. unequivocally supports the right of people to rebel against tyranny (except in cases where the tyrants are friendly to the U.S.).

The military is asking Congress for money to expand the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  The want $50M for a new building to house special prisoners.  This would bring the total bill for upgrading the prison to $195M.

So much for Colorado’s plan to treat marijuana like alcohol.  And that’s not to suggest that alcohol regulation is exactly a great example of government restraint.  The real mistake was letting government think it had the power to control either one.


The costs of war don’t end when the war ends.  We’re still paying beneficiaries from 19th century wars and billions for 20th century wars.  And the costs of recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are rising.

Afternoon Links

  • Fifth Circuit rules that Benedictine monks can make and sell low cost caskets in Louisiana referring to the regulation as “nonsensical”.  Up to now, state law forbade anyone except state license funeral homes from selling caskets.  You know, to protect the people.  Such a law would instantly be recognized as sleazy political corruption by anywhere except in “the land of the free”.
  • No charges will be filed against a New Jersey man who posted a picture on Facebook of his son holding “what appeared to be a military-style rifle”.  From what I’ve heard through various news sources, it’s pretty obvious the cops, acting on an anonymous tip called into a child abuse hotline, used intimidation tactics to try and get permission to search the house and record the serial numbers of his weapons.  Well, you know, anything to protect the children…
  • Kill Anything that Moves is the name of a new book about Vietnam that I just added to my Amazon wish list.  The reason you have to read numerous books about war is no other governmental activity generates so much official and mainstream media bullshit.  We will never hear the story of what the U.S. really did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Egypt, Mali, or Syria until everyone who played a role in it is dead.  By then  most of us will also be dead.
  • The “Rise of the naked female warriors“.  I wish two things.  First that they had a position I believed in and second that they weren’t always protesting in places so far from where I live.  They clearly favor using nudity and sex as a means to get attention.  But, they oppose women using nudity and sex to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.  The same story in U.S. media outlets would, of course, be edited to satisfy those who vociferously claim to be offended by nudity in order to make sure no one else can see it.
  • Obama declares that the oxymoron, Mideast Peace, is not an oxymoron just as every U.S. president since WWII has done.  Peace will remain perpetually unlikely as long as neither the Palestinian nor Israeli (or U.S.) governments would benefit from it.  Obama supports a two-state solution which is exactly one state beyond what the Israeli government is willing to agree to.

Morning Links

Obama is worse for press freedom than Nixon says Pentagon Papers lawyer James Goodale.

The next country on the NATO target list is apparently Syria.  Pretty soon it will be easier to count the middle east countries that the west hasn’t attacked than the ones they have.

And if Syria weren’t enough to keep the war industry going, Obama is also going to be discussing the fate of Iran on his visit to Israel, where some officials in the U.S protectorate believe Obama has been dragging his feet on attacking Iran.  While Obama has clearly been pursuing a strategy to justify a war with Iran nearly identical to the Bush administration’s lead-up to the Iraq invasion, it has not yet culminated in an actual war as powerful Israeli political powers have wanted.

Mainstream press outlet, UPI, reports that  : The Iraq War killed 190,000 people, 70 percent civilians and 4,488 U.S. service members and will cost the U.S. taxpayer $2.2 trillion, U.S. researchers say.  But, a respectable 2006 study claimed death toll of 650,000 and there have been many more since then.  And this article says the dollar cost could total $6T.

Maryland Senate votes to decriminalize small amounts of pot and the House is also expected to pass it.  The federal government, corrupt as ever, remains under the control of the beneficiaries of the drug war.

Fifteen benefits of the drug war.  Not for you.  For the government.

Transportation Security Administration inspectors forced a wounded [active duty] Marine who lost both of his legs in an IED blast and who was in a wheelchair to remove his prosthetic legs at one point, and at another point to stand painfully on his legs while his wheelchair was examined, according to a complaint a congressman has registered with the TSA.  Nice work, TSA.

Know your rights at increasingly common U.S. police state checkpoints.

Tell your dog, Rover, to start saving more for his health care.  Obama care is expected to hit veterinarians by forcing them to pay an excise tax on any equipment that can also be used for human care.

Lunch time links

  • New York Mayor Bloomgerg’s ban on large soft drinks was shot down by the New York Supreme Court, calling it “arbitrary and capricious”.  There was no explanation for what makes this particularly more “arbitrary and capricious” than about ten gazillion other nanny-state laws.
  • Which Presidents presided over the largest increases in government spending?spending





Monday morning links

  • Former SFPD crime lab tech pleads guilty to misdemeanor.  She resigned in 2009 after being caught using cocaine that came in as crime scene evidence. She thought the cocaine would help her control her drinking problem.  The scandal led to the dismissal of hundreds of drug cases.
  • West Sacramento police officer Sergio Avarez for using his authority to rape women in his patrol car.  He was put on administrative leave back in September and an investigation ensued.  the police chief says they are reviewing their procedures to see how this could have happened.
  • The U.S. Air Force is no longer reporting data on drone attacks in Afghanistan.  Reporting this data was fine when no one was paying attention, but routinely killing innocent civilians in numerous other countries seems to be drawing unwanted attention to the U.S. war-based foreign policy.
  • When a Michigan elementary school third grader brought cupcakes topped with toy soldiers to school to celebrate his birthday, the school principal removed the little figurines saying it was inappropriate and inconsiderate considering recent school tragedies.
  • Police in Garland, Texas, illegally searched a property and car without permission or a warrant.  Unfortunately, for the cops, the search was caught on surveillance cameras before one of the cops was able to twist the camera around so it pointed at the wall.  The police department is self-investigating the case, so we can rest assured justice will be done.
  • Grace Wyler at Business Insider thinks “Paul’s filibuster — and the groundswell of support for it across the conservative spectrum — was a crowning moment, signaling their reintegration into the mainstream Republican Party,”    So that’s all it takes to bring libertarians back into big government, war mongering, bible thumping, big spending, republican party?  I think not.

Morning Links from The Agitator

Here are a few interesting links picked up from The Agitator.

  • Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams will no longer accept the testimony of six city police  officers.  So far, 270 cases have been thrown out, which seems to hint that there may be some question of the officers’ ability to tell the truth.  An investigation by the FBI is on-going but, of course, what is being investigated remains a secret.  As is typical of most cases of police misconduct, the cops have not been charged and remain on the force. I guess their job will be reduced to doling out street justice since they’re useless in any criminal prosecution..  From the article: “The Fraternal Order of Police has defended the officers, saying they were doing their job.”
  • Here is some helpful weapons training for cops who suffer from the handicap of trigger-pull hesitation when confronted by a threat from a child or pregnant women.  I’m guessing this might be an extension of whatever program was used to eliminate any hesitation an officer might have when it comes to shooting family pets.


  • Dayton, Ohio cops break down the door to a man’s home after noting that he failed to signal for a turn.  They apparently followed the man home, knocked at his door,  and when the man refused to answer, they used a battering ram to enter his house.  They then searched his house “for officer safety” and found drugs.  An Ohio appeals court declared the entry lawful based on precedent, but offered the consolation that they only did so because they had to.

Afternoon Links

  • According to this New York Times article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim 20,000 of the 30,000 deaths from guns in the U.S. in 2010 were suicides.  It turns out that a bullet to the brain is one of the most effective ways to kill yourself.  My question is, why the hell is the CDC tracking anything related to guns or suicide neither of which is a disease?  Oops.  I forgot.  As a government agency, there are no bounds to its mission.  Oh, and congratulations to the 50 million gun owning households that managed to make it through 2010 without any suicides.
  • There will be no armed drones in the U.S., at least until they change their minds or violate their own rules.  In terms of privacy, the FAA couldn’t care less.
  • Are republicans an endangered species?  We can only hope.  And we can only hope they take the democrats with them.  Personally, I’d much rather we replace the current two party system with a myriad of much more narrowly focused parties.  I can think of a couple.  An anti-war party.  A balanced budget party.  A small government party (I mean a real small government party, not the Tea Party).