Links for January 17, 2011: “An American Conversation” on Tucson, Drug Prohibition, etc.

  • Reason.tv once again lives up to its name.

  • On January 5, 2011, a gang of gun-wielding thugs rampaged into a private residence and killed a grandfather of 12. My question is: Were the killers inspired by violent “drug war” rhetoric, or were they simply crazy? It is time for an American Conversation on the tragedy in Framingham. Raids like this are conducted over 100 times each day across America. Yes, people die.

  • Vodpod videos no longer available.

    ANN COULTER: I have one statement for you: the welfare state. No, people can not do whatever they want to do and live however they want to live, as long as Ann has to pay for it, when they can’t hold a job and raise their own kids and buy their own food and pay for their own rent. You get rid of the welfare state and we’ll talk about people sitting home and shooting heroin all day, but right now, oh, and now I have to pay for their health care!

    JOHN STOSSEL: So because we have a social welfare system, we have to give up these other freedoms?

    ANN: Yeah, as long as Ann is paying for it.

    Ann Coulter is a little more forthright than the average prohibitionist. Her argument is that since the government is forcing her to pay for something, then it might as well be what she wants most of all, which is to bastille her fellow citizens when she disapproves of their private, personal conduct. If she weren’t forced to pay for something, she might then be open to not paying out of her own pocket to imprison people who have committed no crimes against her or others.

    If Ann doesn’t want government health care money and living expenses to go to drug addicts, then her solution is counter-productive. Even prior to ObamaCare, the only people in the United States of America who have been constitutionally entitled to state-funded health care have been prisoners. Her argument, essentially, is: “I don’t want to pay for drug addicts’ health care food, room, and board, but I love throwing them all in jail, where I’m guaranteed to pay for all of their health care, food, room, and board. It is more important to Ann that we throw drug users in jail than it is that we save Ann’s tax money.”

    That is the logic of prohibition. For more hemming, hawing, evading, and stammering, see part 2:

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    You can decide for yourselves whether the logic of prohibition wins the day.

  • If you support marijuana prohibition, then you embrace the possibility that this will happen to either you or to someone you care about. It’s too bad I do not have a video of this raid to re-post, so you can appreciate another example of what these look like.

  • Quebec police draw guns on a man because a skunk was in the neighborhood. They thought they smelled marijuana.

  • Guinea Pig breeders in the UK, beware.  A swat team may confuse your house for a grow house. Had this happened in the United States, fortunately, it would have been a Fourth Amendment FAIL under the Kyllo decision.

  • "To bus or not to bus. That is the question."

    The story is making the rounds, replete, of course, with Neanderthal insults of Tea Partiers left by readers of MoJo’s facebook page.

  • One of the organizations pushing for ending forced school integration. They’ve been around since 2007.

  • From 2007. Relevant to the discussion of school forced segregation vs. forced integration vs. freedom.

  • ♩♫ $14,000,000,000,000 strong … and growing!! ♫♪

  • I’m no expert on the history of Tastykakes, but these are the sorts of things I would look for in search of an answer to the question: “Why did this have to happen?”

  • "Fiji: You can't get any further away before you start coming back." ~Truman Burbank

    Resnick’s “authentic and honest” is a bit rich, given that Mother Jones and many other media outlets have repeatedly criticized Fiji Water for rampant greenwashing and supporting Fiji’s military junta.

    More from MoJo on Fiji water. This piece is meant to expose the half-truths and lies of the company’s founders and owners. I support this type of criticism as an aid to the consumer, but here, MoJo makes a claim that it simply does not support.

    If you follow the links, you will read many a claim about the diesel electric generators, the long journeys of Chinese plastic, and the lack of potable water available to the islanders, all of which I’m thankful to MoJo for revealing, but unless I have missed something, you will not read a single particular allegation of material support that the water company has offered to the military junta. To the contrary, the first link, which MoJo also published, criticizes Fiji water for “tolerating” the junta. “Tolerating, IMO, is different from “supporting”. The second link criticizes Fiji water for using it’s political clout to avoid supporting the junta through taxes. This article portrays the junta as more-or-less benevolent dictators who would undoubtedly use the tax revenue to “improve and conserve the islands water resources”. Fiji water is portrayed as the guileless enemy for offering only “token” water services to the Fijian public. The third article describes these services in greater detail, and they appear to be doing the people some good:

    Of course, the irony of shipping a precious product from a country without reliable water service is hard to avoid. This spring, typhoid from contaminated drinking water swept one of Fiji’s islands, sickening dozens of villagers and killing at least one. Fiji Water often quietly supplies emergency drinking water in such cases. The reality is, if Fiji Water weren’t tapping its aquifer, the underground water would slide into the Pacific Ocean, somewhere just off the coast. But the corresponding reality is, someone else–the Fijian government, an NGO–could be tapping that supply and sending it through a pipe to villagers who need it. Fiji Water has, in fact, done just that, to some degree–20 water projects in the five nearby villages. Indeed, Roll has reinvested every dollar of profit since 2004 back into the business and the island.

    I suppose the moral that MoJo wants you to take from these articles is that if your company manages to coexist with a military junta, and if your company fails to shower the local people with sufficient manna, then, your company is guilty by association of supporting the junta.

  • The new atheist Vuvuzela players confront the long-standing militant theist establishment. The article includes typical criticisms of Atheism, such as:

    If atheist are allowed to march in the parade, then maybe next year we can add some strippers advertising the silk stocking or how about some petafiles advertising their love for the kiddos! Those wouldn’t be wrong, since we are wanting to be welcoming of everyone!

    This is what those who merely decline to believe in spirits, virgin births, resurrections, transubstantiations, and the like often have coming to them. Remember these words each time you hear an theist accuse an atheist of being belligerent. Special thanks to the woman who, in the spirit of Christmas and fellowship, allowed the band to march.

    Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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