Category Archives: The Nanny State

Tuesday Linkorama

  • An interesting article on how child abuse panic is keeping men out of the childcare industry. My daughter had a male teacher at her school for a while. She really liked him and it was good to see her having a male role model in her life beyond me. But I also admired the man’s courage; I would not put myself in such a vulnerable position.
  • One of my favorite things to do as a grad student was to look up heavily referenced papers to see if they said what people said they said. At least a quarter of the time, they didn’t. Maggie McNeill just dug up a 30-year-old bit of Mathematical Malpractice that’s been cited incorrectly in support of innumerable bad laws.
  • A frustrating story about why we can’t watch WKRP in its original format. We really have to do something about fair use. The Republicans indicated that they might; then ran away from that position.
  • This video, of a hilarious bug in the FIFA 2012 video game, had me giggling.
  • I have to disagree with almost everything in this article claiming the alcohol industry is trying to make us drunks. It assumes alcoholism is entirely a function of government policy. And it mainly reads like a press release from the powerful forces trying to overturn the SCOTUS decision on out-of-state liquor importation, an issue of particular relevance to Pennsylvania.
  • Is airport security taking more lives than it is saving? Seems like.
  • I’ve been sitting on this story, about how doctor witheld information about a child’s medical future from the parents, for a while, trying to think of a way to approach it. Might still write a long form post. But I default to thinking people have a right to know. To presume to make that decision for them is arrogance. As our diagnostic tools get better, we need to give people the legal option: do you want know if we find anything bad? What happens if a cure is invented and this kid doesn’t know that he needs one?
  • Monday Linkorama

  • Whooping cough is making a comeback. Oh joy! Thanks, anti-vaxxers.
  • The obesity rate has leveled off. Not that I expect the Nanny Staters to admit this. I suspect we’ve simply reached our natural maximum.
  • The CDC needs to stay out of social engineering. They seem to keep finding was to make problems seems much worse than they actually are.
  • I am just so glad to see the company behind those creepy King ads is down for the count. Let’s get rid of all the ad agencies.
  • Wednesday Linkorama

    Lots of non-political links today!

  • PJ has the last word on the tiger mom thing.
  • A wonderful photo essay of history’s biggest cities. Personally, I’m hoping the next picture in the chain is Mare Tranquilitatis City.
  • The latest on the to breed or not to breed question. Told you those sociologists were bullshit.
  • For some reason, this photo essay makes me feel almost patriotic. Americans are almost proud to be ridiculous. #51 is my favorite.
  • Political Links:

  • The latest from the food grabbers.
  • In the end, they’ll realize that gay marriage is a conservative thing.
  • I keep asking this: what is the point of Democrats if they’re just going to out-police-state Republicans?
  • All right. I give up. When Mann fucking Coulter is the voice of reason, we are REALLY in trouble.
  • Thursday Linkorama

    Non-political Links:

  • Commie Monopoly. I love it! Americans may have forgotten the evils of communism. But the Poles have not.
  • On the one hand, this story, about child opium addicts in Afghanistan, is horrifying. On the other hand, 19th century western societies routinely dosed their kids with laudanum so that they’d sleep better. And sometimes they slept for good. So we’re in a bit of glass house here, saying, “We don’t drug our kids! Anymore! Well, not with opium, anyway!”
  • Political Links:

  • The continuing attention to Donald Trump is mystifying. He’s Paris Hilton without the looks.
  • Yes, the CBO was manipulated.
  • Sometimes it’s fun to be a libertarian. It drives the more ignorant parts of both Left and Right completely mental.
  • This is what happens when you let the government direct energy policy.
  • And this is what happens when they direct development.
  • Tuesday Linkorama

    Non-political links:

  • Happy Birthday, wikipedia, our generation’s version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • A nice story about good deeds in the face of unthinkable tragedy (also; WTH was wrong with the airport personnel?)
  • Political Links:

  • The best response to the “MLK would have supported the WOT” nonsense? TNC, of course.
  • The War on For-Profit Colleges continues.
  • Jeez, who could have predicted this.
  • PZ Myers is an idiot. What is with some people and their bizarre straw-man definitions of libertarian? Neither of his descriptions is remotely accurate. What’s the matter, PZ? Bored with stomping on communion wafers?
  • It doesn’t surprise me that he biggest slow in cyber-warfare so far was struck by us.
  • Monday All Politics Linkorama

    It’s not that there’s no non-political stuff to talk about; it’s that I get so back-logged with the political side.

  • The Nanny State strikes again.
  • Ah, Global Warming bad skepticism. Repeating elided quotes from Phil Jones shown long ago to be incorrect? Check. Quoting temperature records incorrectly? Check. Repeating long-debunked claims about recent cooling? Check. It’s like a broken record with these guys. No matter how often their talking points are debunked, they keep repeating them. Meanwhile, the Earth keeps warming.
  • The best weapon against radicalism? American TV. Neal Stephenson called this one.
  • Shit like this is why I sometimes want to throw up my hands and get my own survival bunker. Democrats have been bashing Republicans for not responding to a 9/11 First Responders bill. Turn out, it’s a dreadfully written bill. But we must do something!
  • Neal Boortz is really hopelessly insane these days. Now he’s going through the NSF budget, identifying grants that sounds ridiculous to him and slagging them. Never mind if it’s viable peer-reviewed research that has to perform to sustain funding. Dinosaur fossils! Apparently, scientists are now part of the “looter class”.
  • This is what I fear Tea Party candidates will do to the nation. With Michelle Bachmann Overdrive already backing down on the earmarks pledge and a budget-busting $900 billion Stimulus IV going into place, it’s already happening at the national level.
  • I’m with TNC. How can you not be cynical about politics when Peter Orzag leaves the White House and goes straight into an eight figure job with one of the companies he was regulating?
  • Stephen Breyer reminds me of Noam Chomsky. He sounds brilliant when you listen to him, but what he says is so totally wrong it beggars belief.
  • Thanksgiving Linkorama

    Non-political links:

  • Jonah Lehrer on why expertise doesn’t translate well.
  • London.
  • Political Links:

  • Megan McArdle talks about Ireland.
  • El Paso, sisters city of the most violent city in Mexico, is the safest city in America. The reason? El Paso’s cops aren’t wholly-owned subsidiaries of the drug cartels.
  • Why the UN is a joke. A dangerous joke.
  • If I were liberal, I’d probably love Glenn Greenwald. Here he defends a libertarian from a nasty smear job.
  • Since I so rarely say it –or have a reason to — good for Obama.
  • HuffPo remain a bastion of pseudo-medical Nanny State lunacy.
  • How the government drives up the cost of healthcare.
  • All Politics Linkorama

    All political links today, I’m afraid:

  • More on why our evil drug companies aren’t so evil.
  • I have to agree with Saletan. The Democrats won big over the last two years, getting huge pieces of legislation passed. Elections are temporary; big government programs are forever. By the same token, I think the GOP really lost in 2000. They won an election but completely screwed the pooch on policy. Unfortunately, much of the current GOP leadership can’t tell the difference.
  • Michael Bloomberg: soup nazi.
  • I really don’t know what to make of payday lending. The arguments against are obvious. But Reason point out that banning them may simply be making things worse.
  • This sort of thing, in which a reporter waxes rhapsodic about how romantic the Communists are, drives me nuts.
  • Torture update: the Brits say Bush is full of it; but Obama says he won’t go after agents who concealed it
  • If the Democrats sided with a foreign government against the President, I imagine we’d be seeing a different reaction.
  • Wednesday Linkorama

    Non-political links:

  • My God. This sounds like the most boring video game ever.
  • Stories like this make me so sad. Whether you believe that government can help these people or not — you can probably guess my opinion — to see people fallen so low is heart-breaking. The photo of the child (and the story behind it) is really hard to see.
  • Google almost starts a war.
  • Political Links:

  • Who killed the electric car? Science did.
  • Jesus tapdancing Christ, what next from the Nanny State?
  • Radley Balko tries to find some consistency from Juan Cole. Good luck.
  • This nostalgia for President Bush is badly misplaced. All the policies people hate about Obama started under Bush. Never underestimate the power of self-delusion.
  • 400 Win Linkorama

    Non-Political Links:

  • The list of things we are afraid of but shouldn’t be continues to grow: add Halloween and BPA.
  • Is this political? I shouldn’t think so. I don’t think there’s much politics in thinking it’s disgusting when debt collectors break the law.
  • Political Links:

  • I agree with this rant to some extent. People who say “our country should take care of the poor/sick/infirm/etc” need to explain why we can’t do so with the $6 trillion we’re already spending. In the end, restraint on government spending is going to have to come from the Left (as it did in the 90’s). Because we can’t help people if we’re just burning money to no good end. We have to prioritize.
  • I think Eddie Izzard got it right. California is quickly becoming the Nanny State. Soon they’ll be going to the libraries for a wild time.
  • Charles Johnson describes how he came to view waterboarding as torture and as wrong. My progress was identical.
  • Ooops. This is one of those times, like with the CDCs bullshit obesity statistics, that I wonder if someone made the mistake deliberately in order to get a bogus meme into circulation. How many lefties do you think will site the bogus statistics without correction?
  • More horrors from the CPSIA, one of the stupidest laws to ever pass our Congress. Keep in mind while you read: Mattel, the company that poisoned our toys in the first place, was given a federal waiver to do their own internal testing.
  • Friday Linkorama

    Non-political links:

  • Yeah, I love archeology.
  • Really? What kind of busy body are you?
  • I love it when facts trump common wisdom. Freakonomics dismantles the idea that steroid testing is why run-scoring is down. One of the things I didn’t like about Ken Burns’ Tenth Inning was that it accepted as gospel the idea that steroids produced the recent offensive explosion.
  • “Safety” does not make us safe.
  • Political Links:

  • I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t like Dick Blumenthal. Watch here as Linda McMahon — of the WWE — cleans his clock on how jobs are created. She says it better in ten seconds than he does in almost two minutes of burbling.
  • Seems like Lou Dobbs is every kind of hypocrite.
  • You’re Full of It Watch: the anti-Prop 19ers.
  • So what do you do when your Keynesian economic plan has failed? Blame foreigners.
  • Ah, redevelopment. What a scam.
  • You know, I remember when “binge drinking” actually meant binge drinking, not just drinking.
  • Aussie Linkorama

    Non-political Links:

  • What if the Earth stopped spinning? Remember, according to the Bible, it did.
  • Posnanski writes a great post on the idea that we were wrong about steroids. Notice that most of the people disputing him use the, “Oh come on, it was SOOO obvious!” line of argument.
  • Wonderful color pics of the Depression era.
  • The illustrated guide to a Ph. D..
  • Political Links:

  • You’re Full of Shit Watch: Paul Krugman is full of it on Paul Ryan, Newt is full of it on the Cordoba Mosque and Bill Kristol is just full of it in general.
  • San Francisco is rapidly becoming a joke on Nanny State issues. This is absurd.
  • The idea of removing the lifetime tenure of Supreme Court nominees tends to surface every now and then, mostly when the White House has switched parties. I agree the debate has gotten nastier, although we have Democrats to thank for that (see Bork, Robert). But this is a dumb idea. The best thing about the Court is that the justice are free to rule as they see fit. We’ve seen a number of them go in unexpected directions. And that’s a good thing.
  • Tuesday Linkorama

    Non-political link:

  • Awesome.
  • Political Links

  • Reason gives the Nanny of the Month award to San Francisco. I remember when California use to be the crazy wild state. They are considering legalizing marijuana. Too bad their senator isn’t on board.
  • I’m with McArdle. While I accept global warming, the idea that we’re facing a phytoplanton apocalypse seems dubious. The planet has been a lot warmer in the past than it is today and supported more abundant life.
  • Meanwhile, another climate report confirms global warming. Expect radio silence from the Right Wing; but loud screams of fraud the next time an IPCC claim is found to be inaccurately sourced.
  • The Feds want more latitude when it comes to snooping through electronic records. Of course, this had nothing to do with embarrassing wikileaks expose. On the flip side, they’re after Google for inadvertently picking up open wireless signals.
  • MIchelle Rhee may finally be taking on the Cartel of Big Education. But it’s not clear yet that Race to the Top is going to produce the kind of change that decentralization and choice would.
  • Another reliable forensic test turns out to be anything but. You know, I’d like to see an episode of Law and Order where a man is convicted based on unreliable lab tests, voo-doo criminal profiling and bogus hand-writing tests and turns out be innocent.
  • The Republicans are still fiscal frauds.
  • Monday Linkorama

    Sorry. All politics today.

  • Lenore Skenazy lays into the panic-driven CSPA.
  • A federal judge rules that cheerleading is not a sport. Ignoring, for the moment, the Title IX implications, this is asinine. Whatever one may think of cheerleading, the college level has grueling training, judged competitions and a higher injury rate than most contact sports. To me, that makes it a sport.
  • Boy, these sex offender registries just keep getting better and better, no? Can’t they give him a “I’m not a pedophile” card or something?
  • And this mosque business sure brings out the stupid, doesn’t it?
  • A long story on the Phoebe Prince case. I ache for her parents, but I’m not comfortable with the criminal charges being leveled. I’m not sure if I believe everything in the article, but it’s clear we weren’t told the entire story.
  • Are bans on conflict diamonds making the situation better or worse? I honestly don’t know what to believe here, despite my inclinations against sanctions. Life is so much easier when I don’t have to think.
  • Glenn Greenwald lays into the media for attacking the blogosphere again.