16
Sep
10

Roundup – NYPD Recruitment With Will Ferrell

Line O’ the Day:

“Religion might be part of the particular motivation of every major side in the wars and terrorism of today, but it is the secular religion of collectivism, the civic religion of statism, that is most philosophically responsible for all this violence, and that has allowed people to reject their own religious teachings not to kill the innocent for what they have convinced themselves is the pursuit of the greater good. Utilitarianism and materialism and the worship of the worldly, not the spiritual, are the main problem here.” – Anthony Gregory,Mosques, Book Burnings, Collectivism and War Worship [The Beacon via The Independent Institute]

Best of the Best:

Fidel Castro says Cuban model no longer works [Reuters]

Jeffrey Goldberg, a writer for the Atlantic Monthly magazine, wrote in a blog that he asked Castro, 84, if Cuba’s model — Soviet-style communism — was still worth exporting to other countries and he replied, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.”

Taxes: What People Forget About Reagan [CNN Money]

So, despite his public opposition to higher taxes, Reagan ended up signing off on several measures intended to raise more revenue…Two bills passed in 1982 and 1984 together “constituted the biggest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime,” Thorndike said.  The bills didn’t raise more revenue by hiking individual income tax rates though. Instead they did it largely through making it tougher to evade taxes, and through “base broadening” — that is, reducing various federal tax breaks and closing tax loopholes.

Bedbugs Bad for Business? Depends on the Business [New York Times]

The costs of coping with bedbugs are significant, and they are not covered by most insurance policies because they are seen as a maintenance issue. Hiring bedbug-sniffing dogs, which is considered the most effective detection technique, costs about $250 for a 1,200-square-foot retail store and as much as $10,000 for a million-square-foot department store.

Dear Government: Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Handicapped! [Greg Perry via LRC]

It is my contention that if ADA advocates were honest – and they are not – they would require every handicapped person in the country to carry firearms.  I cannot make a fist like you normal people can. I can’t defend myself the way you normal people can. So having a firearm would make it more fair and fair is the ADA advocate’s favorite word. But you know the same people who love the ADA hate firearms. More accurately, they hate citizens who have firearms. So the ADA will never fight for handicapped people’s right to defend themselves.

Dear Summer, Please Go And Die [Big Daddy Drew's Thursday Afternoon Dick Joke Jamboroo on Deadspin]

If you’ve ever played football (or any fall sport, for that matter, but I associate it with football because that was the fall sport I happened to play), you’d recognize that smell. Smells like clipped grass mixed with condensation mixed with OH FUCK YEAH FOOTBALL WOOHOO GODDAMN RIGHT BITCH!

5 Weird “Captain Planet” Episodes You Probably Don’t Remember [Arkard via Uproxx]

It seems that there is this kid who looks like a dopier version of Tobey Maguire and he gets infected with the HIV virus. It‘s implied that he got it from a blood transfusion but the doc does not fail to mention other fun ways of contracting the virus are bareback sex and sharing needle drugs. Keeping with the high level of class “Captain Planet” has always been known for, when word spreads out that Tobey is HIV-positive, he actually gets chased by an angry mob and decides to live in a cabin in the swamps…

US soldiers ‘killed Afghan civilians for sport and collected fingers as trophies [The Guardian]

Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.

Tylenol Mouse-Bombs of Death Attack Snakes of Guam from Helicopters [BoingBoing]

The test took place in the forests around the US Naval base there last Wednesday, to combat proliferation of a non-native snake species: the brown tree snake. Expired mousies are stuffed with acetaminophen, like so many teensy drug mules. Their cute little bodies are strapped to pieces of cardboard and plopped from helicopters. The snakes can’t resist these tasty aerial hors’doeuvres, but acetaminophen is deadly to these snakes.

The buying and selling of legal marijuana [David Harrison on Stateline]

The Oakland County incident highlights a legal conundrum at the heart of many states’ marijuana laws. In seven of the 14 states that allow marijuana use for medical purposes, registered patients are allowed to grow their own supply or designate somebody as their grower. Michigan is one of those states. But the Michigan law is silent on how patients or their providers are supposed to begin growing an otherwise tightly controlled drug.

America the Exceptional [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

But we invade, occupy and destroy Iraq — while severely abusing, torturing and killing their citizens — and then demand, as a condition for our allowing the end of crippling sanctions, that they fork over hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to American torture victims, even though it all happened 20 years ago, under an Iraqi regime that no longer even exists.  They hate us for our Freedoms.

Muslims and Islam were Part of the Twin Towers’ Life [New York Times]

Leaping down the stairs on Sept. 11, 2001, when he had been installing ceiling speakers for a reinsurance company on the 49th floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam had a brief, panicked thought. He didn’t see any of the Muslims he recognized from the prayer room. Where were they? Had they managed to evacuate?  He staggered out to the gathering place at Broadway and Vesey. From that corner, he watched the south tower collapse, to be followed soon by the north one. Somewhere in the smoking, burning mountain of rubble lay whatever remained of the prayer room, and also of some of the Muslims who had used it.  Given the vitriolic opposition now to the proposal to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero, one might say something else has been destroyed: the realization that Muslim people and the Muslim religion were part of the life of the World Trade Center.

Obama wins the right to invoke “State Secrets” to protect Bush crimes [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

In a 6-5 ruling issued this afternoon, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed the Obama administration a major victory in its efforts to shield Bush crimes from judicial review, when the court upheld the Obama DOJ’s argument that Bush’s rendition program, used to send victims to be tortured, are “state secrets” and its legality thus cannot be adjudicated by courts.

Oil From the BP Spill Found at Bottom of Gulf [ABC News]

Professor Samantha Joye of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, who is conducting a study on a research vessel just two miles from the spill zone, said the oil has not disappeared, but is on the sea floor in a layer of scum.

Remembering the US Soldier Who Committed Suicide After She Refused to Take Part in Torture [The Nation]

The official probe of her death would later note that earlier she had been “reprimanded” for showing “empathy” for the prisoners. One of the most moving parts of the report, in fact, is this: “She said that she did not know how to be two people; she…could not be one person in the cage and another outside the wire.”

Day One At Dink Inc.: A Woman Begins Her Odyssey Through Sports Gambling’s Underworld [Beth Raymer via Deadspin]

Robbie J. blew me a kiss. My heart swelled with pride. In girly cursive, I wrote the bet neatly onto a ticket and tossed it to Dink. For the remainder of the evening, the three of us unwound. We pushed the boxes of leftover pizza to the side and stretched our legs over the banquet table. Otis slept at my feet, surrounded by empty two-liter bottles of Coca-Cola. It was like a Norman Rockwell portrait of a family, but instead of bowed heads and palms in prayer, we rooted for the Bucks to hit a three.

The Hemline Index [Baardwijk & Franses of the Econometric Institute via The Big Picture]

Urban legend has it that the hemline is correlated with the economy. In times of decline, the hemline moves towards the floor (decreases), and when the economy is booming, skirts get shorter and the hemline increases. We collected monthly data on the hemline, for 1921-2009, and evaluate these against the NBER chronology of the economic cycle.  The main finding is that the urban legend holds true but with a time lag of about three years. Hence, the current economic crisis predicts ankle length shirts around 2011 and 2012.

How Much “Success” Can the Afghans Stand? [Nick Turse via TomDispatch via LRC]

Almost 10 years of U.S. and allied occupation, development, mentoring, reconstruction aid, and assistance has taken the country from unbearably dismal to something markedly poorer.  And yet even worse is still possible for the long-suffering men, women, and children of Afghanistan.  As the U.S. war and occupation drags on without serious debate about withdrawal on the Washington agenda, questions need to be asked about the fate of Afghan civilians.  Chief among them: How many more years of “progress” can they endure, and if the U.S. stays, how much more “success” can they stand?

Man Vs. Machine: How the Crash of ’87 Gave Birth To High-Frequency Trading [CNBC]

A small coterie of savvy investors smelled an opportunity. Since the SOES trades were automated, meaning they received almost instant execution, and were given priority ahead of the rest of the market, a fast-moving trader could move in and out of stocks using SOES at a far-more rapid clip than large investors, generating big profits

Government Using Anti-Terrorism Laws to Crush Dissent [Washington's Blog]

And a 2003 FBI memo describes protesters’ use of videotaping as an “intimidation” technique, even though – as the ACLU points out – “Most mainstream demonstrators often use videotape during protests to document law enforcement activity and, more importantly, deter police from acting outside the law.” The FBI appears to be objecting to the use of cameras to document unlawful behavior by law enforcement itself.

Whimsical Pursuits:

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Any opinion expressed here is my own and not that of the firm which employs me.  Under no circumstances should writings or links on this website be taken as a solicitation for an investment or as investment advice.  These topics and commentaries are, whole and entire, for entertainment and discussion purposes only.

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