Recent comments

  • zygodactyl's picture
    zygodactyl 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    As a former OTR truck driver, I can vouch that trucks carry things like that. Personally, I have not ever hauled radioactive cargo, but I have hauled general loads for the military and hazardous loads for regular companies. Such loads get placed into a semi trailer, secured appropriately if needed, and gets the correct placards on all four sides of it.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Are we ready for the commercial exploitation of space exploration yet? It is nice to dream about how NASA research benefits humanity in some abstract way, but really, we need to see people actually *GO*, and permanently settle the new frontiers. And it would be nice if those settlers did not owe some debt of allegiance that makes them do stupid things contrary to their own interests.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    It is an election year. If the people are not sufficiently bribed with their own money, they might actually vote to reform state politics!
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    I'd say we have a moral duty to protect property owners from governments telling them how to build. In a perfect market, land is used for its most profitable purpose. In a market where land that experiences frequent severe flooding is used for housing, using the same building standards as houses on dry land, something is severely distorting the market. That distortion undoubtedly includes federally subsidized flood insurance.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    As the manhunt for Osama bin Laden showed us all, once the U.S. has decided to take you down, you may only have an entire decade left to live. Kony had better start planning his funeral now, such as by making small monthly contributions to an interest-bearing account for the next 120 months. Though it seems like it would be more his style to begin a campaign of rape and pillage now, so that he can have a platoon of 9-year-old child soldiers as his personal honor guard when the time comes. Hyperbole aside, Kony's mode of operation seems rather familiar. Take control of people's children, brainwash them to love, fear, and obey you, and then do whatever you want without fear of retribution.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Homeland Security is likely involved because the MDMA was likely shipped across the international border. And 50 years for this is why America is the most imprisoned country on Earth. The law also makes little distinction between home-grown cannabis and lab-produced MDMA--which are among the "lighter" recreational drugs--and the heroin or cocaine sourced from war zones in Asia and South America. Some drugs actually are worse then others; the D.A.R.E. "gateway drug" propaganda being almost entirely untrue. Of course, if the law were entirely rational, you could buy Aloha Phatty and Kingston Gold from the shelves next to Marlboro, Pall Mall, Jack Daniels, and Grey Goose. Alas, the law is a creature of politics, and bent by people with their own prejudices, so the drugs accepted by the establishment, tobacco and ethanol, are legal, while the demon weed and the aphrodesiac made famous by bass-thumping teenager-filled illegal warehouse-trespassing parties are both outlawed. You don't have to take drugs to believe that an entire lifetime in prison is a just punishment for what this man is alleged to have done, but if you do, you might just benefit from Ecstasy, as it supposedly enhances your sense of empathy.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    “But we have a moral duty — we have an economic duty — to protect property owners that have built as government has told them and have been law-abiding Americans." Fools.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    I believe that sensitive military materiel is often shipped on the public highways and across ordinary train routes in unmarked semi-trailers and cars, indistinguishable from more innocuous traffic. Sometimes it goes direct via military cargo plane, but those movements are more easily traced. The original production runs of these weapons are decaying, as the chemicals used in them break down eventually. They become dangerous to keep, just like old dynamite that has begun to sweat the nitroglycerin out of the binders. Since the required skilled labor and capital is expensive, processing the old rockets happens at only one place. I don't believe for a moment that this location was selected because it was the only place such weapons can be found.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    A couple of remarks. First, my own (pre-1985) employment experience was very different. Possibly, you may have encountered an unrepresentative company. My observation was that human resources were highly valued, and trained in one way or another, and paid well so as to minimize attrition. The cost of recruiting and acclimatizing a new hire was recognized as considerable, so this made good sense for the bottom line.   Second, I later began my own business and for a few years it prospered well, to the point when I needed to hire help. Aware of the enormous surcharge of regulation and red tape I succeeded in avoiding hiring any employee, and that was deliberate; the government-imposed hassle was simply not worth it. So I used a temp-help agency instead, and paid over the odds. Had the growth continued I'd have had to change that, but alas it did not.   Having seen the scene from both ends, I do recommend setting up shop as an employer, or at least visualizing what it would be like, and figuring out what you'd choose to do differently from what you've seen. Who knows, if employers are that bad, you may discover a business opportunity!
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 34 weeks 6 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Work culture is different from working for somebody else. It is a culture that connects work with obtaining the stuff of life, the expectation that work -- whether it is work you do for pay or work in your garden or work in effectively disciplining your child -- is part and parcel of achieving anything in life. A person may not have a job, but can still feed the family by investing labor in hunting, trapping, gardening, etc. 'Tis the concept of work as an intrinsic part of life having value and dignity that seems to be lacking...
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 34 weeks 6 days ago
    Onward into the Night
    Web link Sharon Secor
    I haven't the slightest idea what I'm to feel otherwise - since the question has never occurred to me. Pure, indefatigable contempt is all I have ever felt for the terminally ignorant.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 2 hours ago Web link Sharon Secor
    I'm glad Popehat mentioned that the state system is not just that which people recognize as "the government", but also the constellation of dependent businesses that could not survive without it. It is sometimes difficult to realize that as big as it appears to be, the state is like an iceberg, where what you can see is only a fraction of what is actually there.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 hours ago Web link Sharon Secor
    I have noticed (anecdotally) a trend in business wherein a worker is fired, or not hired, on the basis of his current productivity. While profitable, employment may continue, otherwise the worker is dumped at the curb. Thus, training and apprenticeship programs are gone. Training costs money. If the company hires only trained workers, they will train themselves at their own expense to get the job. If a contract or big order is lost, a mass layoff occurs, rather than shuffling those affected to other work. If they want another job with the company, they can apply for it, just like everyone else, except the company won't have to pay them as HR works out the details. Entry-level jobs are among those that are initially unprofitable. So they disappear. Companies remove the lowest rungs of their career ladders. Unless you bring your own stilts, you cannot even begin to climb. And this creates a culture of chronic deprivation, without hope, opportunity, or thought for the future. People stop looking for work because it is a fruitless waste of their time. They find other ways to survive. They abandon work culture in the same way that work culture abandoned them.
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 35 weeks 4 hours ago
    Vlad's Oscar
    Page Jim Davies
    You are correct, Jim. The really scary thing is that all the bluster may lead to the death of the planet. No longer is hubris and posturing just entertainment. There are enough nukes to make these psychopaths extremely dangerous to everyone, including their own families. McCain wants war with Russia. Israel wants war with Syria and Iran. Obama is probably content to murder a few wedding parties, but he is being pushed to think big. Perhaps those photographs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima should be included in every government communication.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 5 hours ago
    Onward into the Night
    Web link Sharon Secor
    To answer the question, we are supposed to feel empathy and compassion for them. They are raised in an environment of ignorance to be ignorant, and in a culture that is fearful and hateful toward the unfamiliar to hate and fear the unfamiliar. They do not know how many of their opportunities withered to nothing before they ever knew they existed, because they have been systematically denied the non-scarce resources required for their personal growth. Contempt is blaming the victim.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 5 hours ago Web link Sharon Secor
    The most useful skill you can teach a child is how to use all available learning resources (such as classroom teachers and parents) effectively in pursuit of his or her own goals for self-education. Once children learn that they are able to learn anything they wish to know, their educations are no longer limited by either teachers or parents, but by their own aptitudes.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 35 weeks 5 hours ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Here are a couple interesting articles from different sources this morning: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35144/Congress-Mulls-Licensing... http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2014/3/23/tdv-week-in-review-march-23rd-... Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 35 weeks 5 hours ago Web link Sharon Secor
    "The state... reduc[es] women to enslaved baby factories" - well said, Log. Mea culpa, but I've never seen it expressed so clearly.  Not only do anti-abortion laws force pregnancy, these intrusive "child care" edicts compel women into slavery.   This particular case might be defended on the grounds that the still birth did not result from cocaine use. But one day there will be another, in which a still birth was so caused. If the mother wants to give birth, snorting coke would be highly irresponsible of her; but if she doesn't much care, she should, if anything, be helped and encouraged to abort anyway. Unwanted children are an even greater tragedy than infant mortality.  
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 5 hours ago Web link Sharon Secor
    The state--embodied in the zealous prosecutor--places the interests of the unborn over pregnant women. This is misogynist in the extreme, reducing women to enslaved baby factories for the duration of their gestation. In the absence of a marriage or similar reproductive rights contract, I believe the only person with standing to represent the interests of an unborn child is its mother. If the mother does harm to her baby, only those with a pre-existing agreement with her have any potential interests to be recovered--via civil process, not criminal. In the example detailed in the article, the overreach is made worse, as it is clear that the prosecutor was chasing down any reason, no matter how implausible, just to color a misfortune with a faint hue of malice. This is someone apparently looking to build a political career based upon the support of people who oppose abortion, forgetting that the people thrown into prisons are just as much people, if not more so, than the babies that were never born healthy.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 6 hours ago Web link Sharon Secor
    The U.S. reliance on trade sanctions to produce diplomatic pressure only serves as a depressing reminder than Americans just don't export as much as they once did, and that the U.S. government is all too willing to cut American producers off from their foreign markets for political purposes. But there may be other motives. Vigorous trade between nations is one of the most powerful deterrents to war yet identified. Cutting trade is often a precursor to military adventures.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 6 hours ago
    Vlad's Oscar
    Page Jim Davies
    I suspect that Chinese politicians are watching carefully, working frantically to engineer a remotely plausible mechanism to achieve a 96% positive secession and annexation referendum on an unpopulated group of islands in the South China Sea. The state is always pondering what you may have that can be taken from you profitably. The health of the state rests upon what it can take by force. Putin can take an entire peninsula on the Black Sea, even with the supposed "protection" of another government. As long as states hold incredibly powerful reservoirs of violence, no one can be secure in their own property. And as violence is required for the state to exist, they will always hold them. As long as states exist, you can only keep what freedom and property you have because no one backed by the power of the state has yet decided to take it from you. The one and only thing that creates restraint in such a person is the willingness for people to resist.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 35 weeks 10 hours ago
    Generalissimo Cuomo
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    CNBC drew their report from original research by WalletHub; details here. It's a good effort, but on taking a closer look I can see some frayed edges.   Examples: (a) New Hampshire ranks 28th, not #1 or in the top few, as I'd thought. Looks suspicious. In particular it fails to list NH as being free of income taxes; news to me. (b) The methodology assumes an individual lives in a home worth the median $174,600, but I'm not clear how they handle the common practice of a family living in such a home. Wouldn't that mean the individual slice, for two adults, is $87,300? Further: $174,600 will buy you a lot of house in rural areas, but only a rat-infested slum in NYC. So this guide is not all-encompassing.   For all that, Wyoming and Nevada look very good.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    The great thing about paleontology is that there are so many species that existed over the millennia that if you work long enough in the field, you are almost guaranteed to discover one. The bad thing is that Ken Ham will still have more revenue than you.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Bureaucrat discovers a new way to convert more public funds into private profits. I am shocked, simply shocked. Why is the state involved at all? All it does is muddy up the price system and make an efficient market in health care absolutely impossible. But isn't that the point? Inefficient markets create opportunities for arbitrage, wherein people with an information advantage can profit as the expense of everyone else.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    This is a small symptom of a big problem. The type of jobs that were the mainstay of the middle class years ago--the kind where you work at the same company your whole life and earn your pension--vanished. The state attempted to pick up the slack by inventing jobs that looked like about the same thing to the worker, with one critical difference. They did not produce anything of value. So rather than being an engine of economic prosperity, they were parasitic ticks, growing fatter every year. We are approaching the point at which the remaining jobs are dying from the parasites directly, rather than just competitive pressures. So there isn't enough actual work getting done to support the charade, and the state organization goes officially bankrupt. Never mind that it was insolvent from the day the critical factory left town, and never voluntarily accepted the pain from that loss. People chase money around so much they forget that money is just a mathematical shortcut for trading goods and services. If you don't produce any, before long, you won't be able to get any from anyone else. The state's power to steal can keep up a shell game a lot longer than anyone else, but eventually it can run out of people to rob.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    In other words, cops don't want criminals to be smart or careful about their cell phone use. They must have forgotten that most of their usual targets are neither smart nor careful, which is likely a significant factor in their choice to become criminals. Also likely is that the general public, who do not see themselves as criminals, may take offense at this overt attack on the fragile security of their main communications network and complain.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    According to the article, the enzyme does not itself reset the body clock. It just makes the body more responsive to those triggers. One such trigger for resynchronizing the circadian body-clock is to shine bright light into the eyes with a significant blue component. This stimulates the melanopsin in retinal ganglion cells, which triggers, among other things, pupillary dilation and contraction, and circadian response. Peak response for this pigment is 485-495 nm, which is a greenish-blue or cyan color. To the body, unaware of technology, this indicates that the sun has risen high enough in the sky for its blue component to still be significant after atmospheric scattering. If the sky is blue, it must be daytime.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I suspect this was a chaff test. Curious investigators should look for metallized polymer fibers on the ground at the closest publicly accessible site to the radar blot's earliest known location.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    In earlier eras, tyrants would jail the writers and editors of publications critical of their rule. Machiavelli seriously needs to update his playbook, now that it is so much easier for people to communicate. Now we have the Streisand effect, where attempting to remove something from the network can make it more popular than ever. Erdogan may have simply made Twitter a bigger platform in Turkey.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    This is simply putting wings on an existing technology--the WiFi Pineapple. You can stop this by forcing your device to ask you before connecting to any wireless network. If it asks to connect to McDonald's when you are at home, you know someone is up to no good. In a similar vein, it is only a matter of time before the Stingray takes to the air, to target "criminals".
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Is there no end to the number of people who believe that authoritative censorship is compatible with a free society? I am eager to see how the people who will actually be affected respond to this.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    It stands to reason that if you want to read all the mail in a neighborhood, you don't go around picking the lock on every mailbox. You just find the one delivering the mail, and copy every key on his key ring.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I suppose this person is counting on the likelihood that when the state can control who is and is not allowed to share their ideas, the bootlicking toadies of the government will still be allowed to self-censor their own speech whenever they please.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    The state loves keeping its lists, doesn't it? Who beats their kids? Who is allowed to fly? Who contributed to my rivals' campaigns? This is what authoritarians without imagination do with technology. They make giant lists of their enemies. And they do it in the most slipshod manner possible. No doubt this list also has security holes large enough to fly a 777 through, and is completely unauditable with respect to database modifications.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 35 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul, I think that you are correct about Tucker creating a straw man. He would have done better if he had simply written that when we express our arguments, we need to show empathy for people who suffer from the sometimes negative consequences of poor individuals choices. It was not necessary for him to act as if there were some kind of huge number of brutalists among us. Yes, sometimes we express ourselves with the insensitivity. I have done this myself at times. So has Tucker. This does not make of him or me a brutalist. That name is simply a stereo type, and stereo types are always over generalizations. Regarding the effects of Liberty, I believe that peace is more than just a side effect of Liberty, however. Because the spontaneous order that characterizes liberty is the naturally emergent system, it is by its very nature the most peaceful one. Perhaps not in every instance, but overall, yes it is. Study of chaos theory, swarm theory, decentralized decision making, and emergent systems indicates that the spontaneous order really is the one with the least friction. It also is the one that supports life more than any other.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 35 weeks 1 day ago
    Trade Unions
    Page Jim Davies
    Well said, Lawrence. Usually the Detroit disaster is blamed on government corruption (no argument from here) and on car company mismanagement, but it seems obvious that if the cost of labor is kept artificially high, sooner or later the industry will succumb to rivals.   Perhaps those three factors made a perfect storm.   Wiki has a nice comment on the old guilds: "They often depended on grants of letters patent by a monarch or other authority to enforce the flow of trade..." and later, "In many cases [guilds] became the governing body of a town..."   The Left is sometimes hot against wicked capitalists with government monopolies, but the root of labor monopoly is right there. When government has evaporated, both will disappear too.  
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 35 weeks 2 days ago
    Trade Unions
    Page Jim Davies
    Jim, this was a fine analysis of unions and the damage they do. Very few people realize how much destruction is inflicted by these unions. As a former Detroiter, I recall how the GM Poletown plant (i.e., the Hamtramck Assembly Plant) was built by use of eminent domain. An entire neighborhood was sent packing to build this tax-subsidized monstrosity in the early 1980s. The 4,200 residents and 1,400 homes were leveled so that 1,600 unionized workers could slurp down their bloated salaries and continue its symbiotic relationship with tariff-seeking General Motors. This is proof that unions played a key role in the demise of the city of Detroit. They still don’t have a clue.   Far too few people recognize that the demand for "privilege" underlies the impetus for unions. They seek to set aside the voluntary peaceful market-based relationships and replace them with a gun held against the heads of consumers and employers and everyone else involved for some short-term gains that will eventually prove to be their own undoing anyway. After all, GM went broke, and nobody dares ask why. But Bush and Obama resuscitated it anyway. Zombie corporation much? The desire for a labor union is nothing less than savage, short-term thinking on the lowest level. It is the enemy of the consumer and, indeed, of all taxpayers.   It is not surprising that labor unions have roots in the monopolistic practices of the medieval guilds. These town-based monopolies worked hand in glove—as current unions and their symbiotic corporations do—with the governments of their time. Indeed, the guild-masters frequently were part of the medieval town’s governing councils. Fascism then, fascism now. Just as these medieval guilds—masquerading as “guarantors of quality”—kept their foot at the throat of the medieval consumer, so today’s labor unions have stepped into the same roles. What is amazing is how they have managed to hoodwink the populace into seeing them as the “voice of the poor man” or “voice of the working man.” No, they are simply the “voice of The Man,” and they were privilege seekers then and still are. By means of the government schools, serving as propaganda farms, they keep the booboisie in thrall.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 35 weeks 2 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Again: what matters is to strike the root, to take action to abolish government. When that is done, nobody but historians will care whether governments used to operate their police and prisons with direct-hire employees, or through contractors.   And when that is done, the industry of justice will consist of competing companies hired by actual victims or their insurers, to detect and apprehend aggressors, establish their guilt, ensure that ordered restitution is paid, and that the facts are published. Costs will be minimized by the market process, and improper treatment of accused persons will be deterred by their right to counter-sue. There won't be any prisons, nor any police force that we would recognize as such.  
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 35 weeks 2 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Indeed, that is the saddest part. 
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The system, as it is today, has fully integrated the privatization of public funds. These hangers-on, addicted to the flow of easy government money, provide additional ways for the people invested with government authority to personally profit from betraying the public's trust. It's fine to say that the very concept of government is inherently corrupt. It is. These public-private business deals just make it so much worse. They are entities that stand to profit by making the state behave more sociopathically than it otherwise would. And I think they are just as much part of the system as the state itself. As you say, they would have no customers, no revenue, and no profits without the state. That alone is enough to let you know they are not like ordinary private businesses. Without them, the state would have fewer and more obvious ways of bribing its loyalists. People grouse when a retired police chief is collecting a $150000 annual public pension at the ripe old age of 50, but no one even notices when the same sort of person lands a sinecure at a private prison management company. They don't even have to disclose how much he is paid or what he actually does!
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Fully agree, that the government's so-called "justice system" creates ways to fund itself by multiplying laws; for example rural speed traps have been part of its miserable landscape for a very long time.   But this has, with respect, nothing at all to do with whether or not parts of its machinery are contracted out to for-profit suppliers. Wrong target. Go for the system, not the way it's administered. Strike the root, not the branches. "Desirable state", by the way, is an oxymoron.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    It isn't just privatized prisons. Allowing the "justice" system to fund itself in the form of fines and seizures has provided a perverse incentive for it to prosecute more crime, and to manufacture it whenever it finds a dearth of naturally occurring crime. Funding it out of tax revenues without respect to its performance is bad enough already. In reading the article, there was no indication that anyone involved had any interest at all in the impact that "law enforcement" had on this ordinary person in a not entirely uncommon situation. No one took any time for consideration as to what would have constituted sufficient punishment, or whether punishment was warranted at all. They kept an accounting and then issued invoices. The problem is not the monopoly, nor the attitude, but the money. The system is paid more when it processes more criminals. So it processes more criminals, digging up whatever laws it needs in order to ensure the dockets stay filled. It's right there in the first paragraph. Prosecution of minor offenses is this town's second-largest source of revenue. The immediate solution is to mandate that punitive fines be spent on something that has zero impact on the justice budget. If the town cannot profit by harassment under color of law, then it will not do it. The question that naturally arises afterward is how, then, do you pay to maintain order? But that is premature. You must first have a desirable state before it can be maintained, and when poor folks are grist for the justice mill, that is not something I wish to perpetuate.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    To take aim at privatized prisons is, in my opinion, to miss the target altogether.   Suppose you built a private prison and hung out a shingle. How many customers would you expect, and what would be the source of your revenue and profits?   Answer, of course: none, none and none. There would be a missing ingredient - namely, the force of government. If government doesn't force purchase of a $1.50 sandwich for $18, there's no sale.   From the POV of the hapless third party - the taxpayer - the justice system should be as cheap as possible, consistent with humane handling. We know that for-profit operations always perform two or three times more efficiently than those run directly by government, so it makes sense to contract them out. But even that misses the point; namely that the whole has nothing to do with justice.   Join me, therefore, in taking proper aim at the government "justice" monopoly that falsely equates that concept with punishment.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    It is worth noting that the default zero-tolerance response to an act of compassion was immediate punishment. A manual override had to be engaged to stop it. Without such hasty intervention, the hero would have been libeled by her permanent record for the remainder of her academic career.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The greatest danger I see with autonomous vehicles is not that they are a safety risk, but rather they might lead to some of the public rights-of-way being closed to human-driven or human-powered traffic. Be wary of any autonomous vehicle system that does not explicitly accomodate non-compliant vehicles or those broadcasting false information. They can only become practical via regulatory legislation.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    In this political climate, I feel that any protest at all, no matter how effective it is in fact, deserves some positive recognition. Bravo to the porcupines.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    There are two problems with Taser's cameras, and the police departments testing their use. First, the camera can be turned off by the person wearing it. Second, the footage can be kept secret from the public indefinitely. This is emphatically a "soft" approach, so that when the public demands that police officers be filmed while on duty, the departments and the union can respond that cops are already wearing them. As a result, these will produce no greater reform than dashboard cams in cruisers. In any event that would cast the police in an unfavorable light, the camera will be "malfunctioning" or the resulting footage "lost" or "recycled". And we will continue to see theatrical nonsense, such as repeated orders to "Stop resisting!" against people who are already limp as a rag doll because they have recently been beaten to death. It is our responsibility to ensure that the cameras recording police conduct are always on and always accessible to us. You cannot trust the police cameras for this, therefore every person should record every police encounter they witness with their own camera.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The headline does not match the article, which appears to be about a plea for the voluntary suspension of tobacco sales. I wouldn't say it is contradictory at all to provide your customers, who have varied tastes, with a wide variety of products--products that, I might add, no one is forced to buy. One might as well complain that it is contradictory for a government to have a justice department at the same time that it employs hundreds of thousands of people to create millions of tiny injustices.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Crime management is now a for-profit industry. The crime itself still doesn't pay, but rather the "services" to criminals and criminal suspects--and more importantly, their associated fees--are the growing business. The criminals cannot refuse to pay, you see. Metaphorically speaking, the judge will order you to eat a $10 sandwich. The jailer will then give you a $1.50 sandwich and charge you $18 for it. It is not necessary that you eat that sandwich, but if you do not pay, you will be ordered to eat more sandwiches. Privatization of the prison industry needs to stop, immediately, before everything is criminalized in pursuit of profit.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 35 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Had this man decided from the start to defy the law, and build without prior approval or permits, it is likely that the EPA would be blissfully unaware that this had even happened. The same trap is laid in the states where marijuana growing is at least legal some of the time. The DEA is taking the state's records of people compliant with their own laws, and using them as the basis for federal investigations and prosecutions.