29
Sep
09

More birdshot blogging

(Lots of little pieces, low metaphorical recoil.)

——

First we have this delightful statistic on PATRIOT Act “sneak and peek” warrants:

In a traditional search warrant, the person/people/place being search are notified when the search is conducted. One aspect of the PATRIOT Act is the delayed notification warrant, aka the “Sneak and Peek”. For this, the search is conducted but the person being investigated is not told that the search was executed for some delayed time afterwards. For a terrorism surveillance case, this allows investigators to attempt to detect plots in the planning stage.

In the government’s FY2008 (Oct’07 to Sep’08), 763 new warrants were obtained. Of these new warrants, a mere 3 were for terrorism.

(Emphasis in the original.)

Don’t worry though: that’s sure to go up as we broaden the definition of “terrorism”.

——

Next, some commentary on the  Roman Polanski apologists, this time on what I’m told is a popular TV show:

(Hat tip: Below the Beltway.)

After posting a clip of the commentators on The View arguing over just how much Polanski’s victim had it coming, Christopher notes:

What I find much more disturbing is that, in that clip and another one that’s posted at Jezebel, the ladies of The View engage in some terrifying “debate” about what happened to then-13-year-old <redacted>*. Whoopi floats the notion that rape “wasn’t the allegation,” and that the victim “was aware,”[...]

Notwithstanding that, though, is that the standard of consent now, “She was aware?” Keep an eye on your drinks, ladies, because in Whoopi’s world, the right dose of rohypnol will leave you just conscious enough to have deserved it.

Looks like the world didn’t unfuck itself overnight.

Whoopi Goldberg isn’t the only celebrity who’s willing to excuse child rape for rich folks who make good movies.  The folks over at Big Hollywood (the blog, not the target) are keeping a list:

Salman Rushdie? Well… fuck.

——

Moving on, we note with amusement and approval Don Boudreaux’s latest volley against protectionism, in particular the question of whether consumption drives production:

Here’s the money shot:

Adam Smith correctly understood that the desire to consume is what justifies production, and not vice-versa.  If <the protesting protectionist> were correct that the ultimate goal of economic activity is production, then he should be just as pleased to have set before him for dessert a fresh-from-the-oven sawdust-and-earthworm pie as he is to have an apple pie.

Another eloquent demonstration that basic economics is intuitive if properly phrased.

——

And finally, over at Jalopnik, Murilee asks the pointed question:

The one given in the decades-old debate over government-mandated safety features on motor vehicles has been this: Drivers are idiots, and they’re destined to crash all the damn time. Have we taken the wrong route?

Yes.

——

* Want the name?  Click through.  Sure, I’m pissing into the wind, but at least it’s keeping me warm.


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