Category Archives: Weird things people do

Why we get the police state we deserve…

Nick Gillespie has an article up at The Daily Beast that expands on the phenomenon of people being more accepting of bad policies if they come from their own party.

In the first flush of stories about how the National Security Agency is surveilling American citizens, one stomach-turning revelation hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves: We get the surveillance state we deserve because rank political partisanship trumps bedrock principle every goddamn time on just about every goddamn issue.

Every political issue that captures the public attention invariably degenerates into a political battle between the two parties.  This is a clear indicator that republicans and democrats see every issue as being all about them rather than having anything to do with “what’s best for the country”.  This is true even when their differences are microscopically small, as is it usually is when it comes to war, increasing government power, drug policy, being “tough on crime”, pork barrel spending, balancing the budget, corporate welfare, interfering in other countries, foreign aid, support for Israel, etc, etc.

So, when democrats complain about what a republican does, it makes perfect sense when their concerns suddenly evaporate when a democratic president does exactly the same things.  It’s not about what they do; it’s only about which team they’re on.

The journalist Glenn Greenwald, who jump-started this overdue conversation on civil liberties and the war on terrorism, has promised that the revelations are just getting started. But nothing that comes out can be more dispiriting than the simple truth that Democrats and Republicans are both happy to love Big Brother as long as he’s got the right party affiliation.

Maybe are catching on to this an that’s why Americans want more independents in Congress.

No more pressure cookers for Massachusetts

From the Dedham Patch:

Williams-Sonoma, the specialty retailer of home furnishings and gourmet cookware with over 250 stores in the United States, has pulled pressure cookers from their shelves following the Boston Marathon bombing.

“It’s a temporary thing out of respect,” said Kent, who is the Store Manager of the Williams-Sonoma at the Natick Mall.

No, Kent.  It’s more like an irrational thing out of idiocy (and an example of really poor taste in attempting to capture a little free advertising).

Glenn Beck calls himself a libertarian…again.

On this week’s Stossel, Glenn Beck apologized for being wrong in the past and whined about how libertarians aren’t enthusiastically embracing him and his new found wisdom.  In reality, it sounds more like he is disenchanted with republicans than undergoing some intellectual awakening.  The idea that he can simply change his mind on a few issues and suddenly expect to be welcomed as a new voice for libertarianism highlights the one thing that many libertarians find so repugnant about Beck.  Beck is all about Beck.

Listening closely to what he says on Stossel tells me that Beck has a long way to go in his metamorphosis.   The establishment parties select their positions on various topics based on politics rather than philosophy, so their positions are inconsistent and routinely conflict with each other.  Beck is product of that environment, so he picks and chooses what his position is on issues, and sometimes he happens to pick the same position as libertarians.  So, he now thinks he must be a libertarian.  Maybe he will someday be a libertarian, but he ain’t there yet.  And instead of complaining about how he’s not being welcomed with open arms, maybe he ought to learn a little humility.  While it is true that conservatives sometimes sound like libertarians, conservatives have established a history of not practicing what they preach.

Woman trades sex for a beating

A California college student, Morgan Triplett, advertised on CraigsList for someone to beat her up in exchange for sex.  A man answered the ad and sometime after the beating the Triplett called 911 to report that she had been raped on a UC Santa Cruz campus trail.  The police eventually uncovered the ads on CraigsList and determined that she had been lying.

Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schoenfield explained the woman’s actions this way:

Part of the prompting for posting these ads was thoughts of suicide, depression, and wanting somebody to hurt her to almost bring her back to life,” Shoenfield told NBC.

Richard Triplett, the girl’s father, said “there are two sides to every story“.

She is sorry for any problems or chaos she has caused,” he said. “What we’re dealing with is a very scared, very upset, very confused 20-year-old girl who has made some poor choices. This is the culmination of these choices.”