No ice bucket challenge for U.S. diplomats | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour: "Lawyers at the State Department have banned American ambassadors and other high-profile foreign service officers from participating in the ice-bucket challenge to raise money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. In a cable sent this week to all U.S. diplomatic missions..."
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." - Shakespeare
Newspapers are, pretty much, dead. - Boing Boing: "Clay Shirky has some some truths: "Maybe 25 year olds will start demanding news from yesterday, delivered in an unshareable format once a day. Perhaps advertisers will decide 'Click to buy' is for wimps. Mobile phones: could be a fad. After all, anything could happen with print. Hard to tell, really.""
Because Bob Tyrrell Prefers Scotch, Marijuana Should Be Banned - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "In a column published yesterday, Bob Tyrrell, founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator, explains why alcohol is better than marijuana. Both drinking and pot smoking are "coping mechanisms," he concedes, but alcohol is clearly more "civilized" because people can enjoy the taste, drink while reading or conversing, and imbibe without getting "blitzed." All this is either impossible or quite rare among cannabis consumers, Tyrrell asserts with the confidence of someone who has no idea what he's talking about.
"Pot prohibitionists have been pushing this argument for many years, utterly undeterred by how ridiculous they sound to anyone who is familiar with cannabis or with cannabis consumers. If Tyrrell were merely defending his own tastes, there would be no point in arguing with him. But he is doing more than that: He is defending the legal distinction between alcohol and marijuana, insisting that his tastes should be forcibly imposed on everyone else. Given the boldness of that demand, the frivolousness of his argument is striking."
Why 2 Businesses Survived Ferguson Looting A Lesson for All: "There were police everywhere in Ferguson Sunday night, and not one of those stores were protected against looters. But the two businesses above WERE spared — because they were able to arm themselves. The lesson should have been learned for good after the 1992 L.A. Riots, when only shop owners in Koreatown were spared because they defended their stores with force of arms...
Why 2 Businesses Survived Ferguson Looting A Lesson for All: "At Riverfront Tattoo, owners Mike Gutierrez ( below left) and Adam Weinstein (third from left) brought AR-15s, body armor and lots of high-capacity magazines (the type Obama wants banned) to guard their store against mayhem..."
Huey P. Newton Gun Club Pushes #BlackOpenCarry to Protest Police Violence - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "In Texas, blacks are protesting police violence in a particularly Southwestern way: By invoking their right to open carry. On Wednesday, more than 30 members of the newly-formed Huey P. Newton Gun Club gathered to march through South Dallas with rifles, shotguns, and AR-15s. The group eventually entered a restaurant with their weapons while Dallas police officers were inside eating lunch."
Malcolm X - Wikiquote: "We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary."
From School Cupcake Bans to Ferguson to Iraq: George Will's Unified Field Theory of Contempt for Govt - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "Washington’s response to the menace of school bake sales illustrates progressivism’s ratchet: The federal government subsidizes school lunches, so it must control the lunches' contents, which validates regulation of what it calls "competitive foods," such as vending machine snacks. Hence the need to close the bake sale loophole, through which sugary cupcakes might sneak: Foods sold at fundraising bake sales must, with some exceptions, conform to federal standards.
What has this to do with police, from Ferguson, Mo., to your home town, toting marksman rifles, fighting knives, grenade launchers and other combat gear? Swollen government has a shriveled brain: By printing and borrowing money, government avoids thinking about its proper scope and actual competence. So it smears mine-resistant armored vehicles and other military marvels across 435 congressional districts because it can.
And instead of making immigration policy serve the nation’s values and workforce needs, government, egged on by conservatives, aspires to emulate East Germany along the Rio Grande, spending scores of billions to militarize a border bristling with hardware bought with previous scores of billions.
Much of this is justified by the United States’ longest losing “war,” the one on drugs. Is it, however, necessary for NASA to have its own SWAT team?... Contempt for government cannot be hermetically sealed; it seeps into everything. Which is why cupcake regulations have foreign policy consequences. Americans, inundated with evidence that government is becoming dumber and more presumptuous, think it cannot be trusted to decipher foreign problems and apply force intelligently."
Ferguson's "free speech zone" is a padlocked no-man's-land - Boing Boing: "The ACLU was denied an emergency injunction against Ferguson's cops' illegal "no standing on the sidewalk" rule because Ferguson promised to erect a "free speech zone," but the only thing on that site is a fenced-off, locked-up pen that no one is allowed to use. At least 78 people have been arrested for standing on the sidewalk in Ferguson, prompting Amnesty International to send 10 observers to the town -- the first time Amnesty's observers have been deployed in the USA. Activists point out that the rule against protesting while stationary amounts to a ban on protesting by disabled and elderly people altogether."
Petty Law Enforcement and Its Effect on Ferguson - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "If indeed more people's usual interactions with police had anything to do with "protecting and serving" and less with violently messing up your life for reasons that can seem petty and pointless, from people whose version of respect is "do everything I say the way I'm comfortable with or you might die," the atmosphere surrounding what happened in Ferguson would likely be less toxic. I remember a few years ago lecturing on libertarianism to a group of community college kids in downtown Atlanta. They sniffed a bit of anarchism around what I was discussing, though I wasn't explicit about it. How would society work without police, a student asked me? I asked them this Zen question: contemplate for a moment that, in any respect in which it helped rather than harmed your life, there pretty much already are no police. No one argued much."
Police Department Says Cop Camera Footage Not Public Record - Hit & Run : Reason.com: " At least one witness claims Brown stood with his hands up and screamed "I don't have a gun, stop shooting!" while a "source close to the department's top brass" told FoxNews.com that Brown nearly beat Officer Darren Wilson unconscious before Wilson shot Brown six times. With such disparity between eyewitness accounts, and with high-definition video technology so inexpensive and ubiquitous, there is a growing demand for police to record their interactions with the public. As Reason's Ron Bailey wrote, "Requiring law enforcement to wear video cameras will protect your constitutional rights and improve policing." There have already been some ups and downs with experiments in police cameras. Cameras have been turned off, failed to record, and footage has been lost. It will also likely take some time before departments require their officers to record and preserve video evidence rather than merely suggesting they do so. Still, in places like Rialto, California, the mere presence of cameras has resulted in a precipitous drop in complaints and use of force. It has also improved community relations with the police, since everyone tends to exhibit more civilized behavior when they know they are being recorded."
Trying so hard not to laugh. BBC News - Global warming slowdown 'could last another decade': "Scientists have struggled to explain the so-called pause that began in 1999, despite ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere."
Awesome. Police officer goes above and beyond for Sumter teen - WSMV Channel 4: "A few weeks ago, 13-year-old Cameron Simmons called Sumter police because he was upset after fighting with his mom. The teenager told police he didn't want to live in the house with his family anymore. Officer Gaetano Acerra responded to the call. "I said, ‘You have it good, you have a roof over your head,'" said Acerra. "I told him I would try to help him out, and here we are now." The officer brought Simmons home, and realized the boy didn't have a real bed. In fact, Simmons didn't have nearly anything he needed for a bedroom. "My heart went out for him," said Acerra. "I thought the little things that he needed I could give him, to make him a happier kid." A few weeks after the call, Acerra showed up at Simmon's house with a truck full of gifts. "Bed, TV, desk, chair, a Wii game system that somebody donated to me because of the story I told them," said Acerra."
"Captain America: He's Cool Now."
Millennials Are Selfish and Entitled and Helicopter Parents Are to Blame | TIME: "There are more overprotective moms and dads at a time when children are actually safer than ever...
Seventy-one percent of American adults think of 18 to 29 year-olds—millennials, basically—as “selfish,” and 65% of us think of them as “entitled.” That’s according to the latest Reason-Rupe Poll, a quarterly survey of 1,000 representative adult Americans. If millennials are self-absorbed little monsters who expect the world to come to them and for their parents to clean up their rooms well into their twenties, we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves—especially the moms and dads among us.
Indeed, the same poll documents the ridiculous level of kid-coddling that has now become the new normal. More than two-thirds of us think there ought to be a law that kids as old as 9 should supervised while playing at a public park... We think on average that kids should be 10 years old before they “are allowed to play in the front yard unsupervised.” Unless you live on a traffic island or a war zone, that’s just nuts. It gets worse: We think that our precious bundles of joy should be 12 before they can wait alone in a car for five minutes on a cool day or walk to school without an adult, and that they should be 13 before they can be trusted to stay home alone. You’d think that kids raised on Baby Einstein DVDs should be a little more advanced than that...
Curiously, this sort of ridiculous hyper-protectiveness is playing out against a backdrop in which children are safer than ever. Students reporting bullying is one-third of what it was 20 years ago and, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics, the past decade has seen massive declines in exposure to violence for kids. Out of 50 trends studied, summarize the authors, “there were 27 significant declines and no significant increases between 2003 and 2011. Declines were particularly large for assault victimization, bullying, and sexual victimization. There were also significant declines in the perpetration of violence and property crime...
But whatever the reasons for our insistence that we childproof the world around us, this way madness lies."