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Friday links

  • If somebody in private enterprise did this — let alone did it again and again — heads would roll, congressthings would hotly hold hearings, new regulations would strangle business, and the fedgov would mutter about the need to take over entire fields. But … oopsie! (H/T MJR)
  • Here’s one more for the “one term in office and one in jail” concept of term limits. Better yet, former Honorable Speaker Hastert is going down not for some real crime, but for one of those faux crimes that Congress itself invented.
  • “In praise of uncertainty.”
  • The art of running from the police. Sad truth via LarryA.
  • Okay, guys. You want one. I know you do. (Also MJR)
  • How to tell whether this week’s Worst! Ever! Drug! stories are telling the truth.
  • Woman quits job to build beautiful bamboo houses.
  • 🙂 How investigative journalists justify their existence.


  1. Joel
    Joel May 29, 2015 7:21 am

    I’m really not sure how I’ve lived without one of those Ripsaw things up till now…

  2. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 29, 2015 8:03 am

    I wonder how they stand up to a good old-fashioned Molotov cocktail…

    Thanks for that article about running from cops. It seems a large percentage of our population is actually living in a police state in its worst manifestations, unlike the rest of us who have not run afoul of it very much yet. (I got stopped for driving after midnight in Montana, still caught my breath when the bastard ran my driver’s license. One never knows what surprises the system has up its sleeves. Anyway why run my license when the cop had already determined I was not drunk, but only tired?)

    The bastards will get what is coming to them, soon enough. They won’t get any sympathy from me.

  3. Claire
    Claire May 29, 2015 8:34 am

    Those Ripsaw tanks may be tacticool, but somehow all that glass and the open top just ruin the very “tankness” of the thing for me. Should I ever acquire a tank, I’ll prolly stick with a Panzer or a Patton or something.

  4. KenK
    KenK May 29, 2015 9:04 am

    Driving “after midnight” is crime in MT? I thought it was a song by Eric Clapton.

    Popular Mechanics had a story about the Ripsaw a few years back, only that model was a remote controlled version.

  5. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 29, 2015 11:02 am

    Not a crime per se, but I am referring to the fact (factoid?) I learned just recently, that after midnight, one in four drivers are drunk – thus leading to enhanced scrutiny by cops who are out and about then. In my case the cop said I had wavered a bit in my lane and once touched the “fog” stripe. Mea culpa…

    Claire, I found an excellent blog post concerning stoicism:

  6. Laird
    Laird May 29, 2015 1:06 pm

    Somehow, I don’t think that Ripsaw is intended for use in a combat situation (or probably even in Baltimore). Looks like it would be great up in Alaska, though. But I think I’ll wait until they come out with a hybrid version (gas mileage, you know).

    Regarding Dennis Hastert, what to me is the most interesting feature about this whole story is that the feds have charged him with currency violations but not with any underlying crime. He was paying protection money to someone, after all, and he wouldn’t have paid them $3.5 million over some trivial peccadillo. Whatever it was surely had to be illegal, and of course the demand for blackmail payments is itself illegal so why wasn’t the recipient charged as well? Clearly the government doesn’t want us to know what actually happened here. Which suggests that it might provide Hastert with some bargaining leverage. He’s already charged with felonies; disclosing what the payments were for couldn’t make that any worse, and it might force the government to agree to some minor plea bargain if they really don’t want it known. Just a suggestion. (I’ll be sending Hastert a bill for my services.)

  7. Claire
    Claire May 29, 2015 1:17 pm

    “Regarding Dennis Hastert, what to me is the most interesting feature about this whole story is that the feds have charged him with currency violations but not with any underlying crime.”

    Precisely. And the currency violations (aka “structuring”) are an idiot creation of idiot fedgovians. Much delicious irony there.

    Circumstantial evidence makes it appear that maybe Hastert was diddling a high schooler during his time as a teacher and coach. In that case I can see why he’d be desperate enough to pay millions rather than risk losing everything. Now that the media is on it, details of the “misconduct,” whatever it was, are surely going to come to light. I’m betting the FBI already knows the backstory.

  8. Tahn
    Tahn May 29, 2015 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the link to the article “In praise of uncertainty.” That was good.

    How does a former congress critter even have 3.5 million?

  9. Laird
    Laird May 30, 2015 8:36 am

    Tahn, what former congress critter doesn’t have $3.5 million? Especially a former Speaker of the House? He’d have to be pretty bad at his job (his real job, not the pretend one of representing his constituents) not to have amassed some serious wealth.

  10. Hanza
    Hanza May 30, 2015 10:38 am

    One story I read about the Hastert situation said that the high school student was a *male*.

  11. Adam
    Adam May 30, 2015 1:59 pm

    Re: “In Praise of Uncertainty”

    Brings to mind the quote by writer Anne Lamott:

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

    Re: Ripsaw

    Hey, it comes with a winch and a wench!

  12. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 30, 2015 7:54 pm

    Hastert – wow, that was a very expensive diddle…

  13. LarryA
    LarryA May 31, 2015 7:16 pm

    Should I ever acquire a tank, I’ll prolly stick with a Panzer or a Patton or something.

    Both good choices, but you might consider the AAV-7, particularly considering how much water there is where you hang out.

    Lots more room for your family.

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