Wednesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Bubbles in liquid going down.
  2. “On this date”,  remembered (more here).
  3. Wisconsin noted, here and here.
  4. Google and its decisions.
  5. So, is that the central difference between right and left?
  6. In a sane world, “connections to Penn State” would be a bad thing for Mr Sandusky, not a good one.
  7. The media tries a strained analogy.
  8. So was this move Consitutional? And was it a good/bad idea? Are those two related in any way?
  9. How not to make an argument, that has to be the worlds worst argument against single sex schools ever. Point one is irrelevant, point two is a good argument for not against, and point three is quickly rebutted by the poster. Whoops.
  10. A good monopoly, … mostly good? Good or not?
  11. Misunderestimating the tendency of writers to invent words?
  12. Secret is secret … unless some small political fallout might be in their favor.
  13. Biden … taking stupid to new heights every day. Seriously, do you want a pony too?

8 Responses to Wednesday Highlights

  1. 7.The media tries a strained analogy.

    What analogy? It’s the exact same thing. The state of Mass under Romney was ‘picking winners and losers’ by giving the solar company a state loan. Every other ‘big difference’ cited here is irrelevant. Yes the loan was smaller than Solydna. But then the state budget of Mass is smaller than the Federal Budget. Yes the company paid back its loan, but again if the issue is ‘picking winners’ that hardly matters. If Romney’s policy is the gov’t should never be giving private companies loans because they seem to have ‘good ideas’, then this would be the exact opposite.

  2. 12.Secret is secret … unless some small political fallout might be in their favor.

    I’m unclear how one could say ‘now Al Qaeda knows’ about the underwear bomb thing. They give the underwear bomb to a member to go blow up a plane, guy disappears and plane doesn’t blow up and, of course, no answer on his phone or at his apt….just maybe they already figured out by then that their new underwear bomb was in the custody of enemy intelligence. Likewise I suspect the Pakistani doc. was uncovered not so much by leaks but by the Pakistani gov’t which made him a scapegoat to their domestic political radicals.

    Beyond that, though, this story seems to be ignoring the tactical value in revealing secrets. Take the underwear bomb. You give the new bomb to one of your agents, you expect him to blow up with a plane but he doesn’t. You have no idea what happened, you think maybe he got caught . Possibly he turned on you. But when the ‘secret’ is revealed that he was a double agent all along playing you this makes matters worse. Your organization no longer looks like it’s on top of things. If he was playing for the other side then whose to say there aren’t more double agents? If you were a wannabe terrorist why would you want to join an organization that seems easily infilitrated?

    Again recall the story pushed right after 911. It was that it was too hard to get people inside Al Qaeda. Few people spoke the languages, few people could pull off a convincing cover story. Getting trustworthy people on the ground and trusted by the enemy was hard and the enemy was well hidden in secret caves and scattered amonst tribal groups. Now the story has changed 180 degrees for the better.

  3. 8.So was this move Consitutional? And was it a good/bad idea? Are those two related in any way?

    I think it was Constitutional. It was also a good idea. Volokh’s counter case isn’t very good. In that police had a warrant to search a tavern, upon belief that evidence of a crime would be found inside it. That didn’t automatically extend to everyone who happened to be inside at that moment. BUT in this case the police had reasonable cause that not evidence but a criminal would be in a car at the intersection.

    An analogy might be to consider the police descending upon the tavern but before they enter the one door they hear a gunshot. No one inside admits to knowing who shoot the gun or why. It would be reasonable for them to not only search the tavern but all patrons in order to discover where the gun is and who shoot it.

  4. Boonton,
    Strained. Company gets 2 orders of magnitude less money. Pays back loan. Doesn’t fail until 5 years after Mr Romney left office. If Solyndra had failed 5 to 9 year from now (depending on whether or not Mr Obama gets a 2nd term) and had paid back their loan the analogy might be more apt. But otherwise, the analogy is strained.

  5. So you remove from the table Romney’s assertion that gov’t should not be ‘picking winners’. Noted. So your objection then is that a gov’t guranteed loan was not paid back. Are you willing to bet then that 100% of all loans that might have been provided by Mass. during Romney’s term there were paid back in full?

    As I pointed out the scale of the loan is a non-issue here. Clearly a state will have a smaller budget than the Federal gov’t .

  6. Boonton,
    The problem with your analogy is that searching of one’s car is not the same as searching one’s person in a tavern. Is the car a public place or is more like your house … or somewhere in between. You need a warrant to enter my house. I think that’s the issue being approached here.

    BUT in this case the police had reasonable cause that not evidence but a criminal would be in a car at the intersection.

    BUT they had no warrant.

    An analogy might be to consider the police descending upon the tavern but before they enter the one door they hear a gunshot. No one inside admits to knowing who shoot the gun or why. It would be reasonable for them to not only search the tavern but all patrons in order to discover where the gun is and who shoot it.

    But would it be reasonable for them to handcuff everyone in the bar for an hour and a half while their search proceeded? What if it was a train station, not a tavern and 90% of the people missed trains and connections?

  7. Boonton,
    The point being that you can search my car, if you stop me for a traffic violation (for example) and you have probable cause to suspect me of something based on my behavior or appearance not necessarily based on my location and proximity to other vehicles. That is, what criteria are valid for the police to engage in a search of a vehicle. I think those criteria are established legally. Being in an intersection at a particular time may not be one of them. And handcuffing a number of people based on their location and proximity for 90 minutes … is that legal?

  8. You need a warrant to enter my house. I think that’s the issue being approached here.

    Actually you don’t, you need ‘reasonable cause’ to suspect either your home or your car. Getting a warrant provides the ‘cover’ for the cop that they brought their cause before a judge and got the ok that it was reasonable.

    But warrants are not always required. For example in ‘hot persuit’ a cop can enter your home if he sees the crook run into it, even without your permission and without bothering to get a warrant. Ditto if there’s some urgency such as if someone calls 911 from your home saying they are being held there. In this case it sounds like a bank had just been robbed and the police knew (for some reason) the robber was being driven down a road that would pass a nearby intersection.

    But would it be reasonable for them to handcuff everyone in the bar for an hour and a half while their search proceeded? What if it was a train station, not a tavern and 90% of the people missed trains and connections?

    It probably would.

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