December 19, 2011

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121911)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.


Kim Jong Il is dead. A civilized world truly interested in its self-defense would have an overwhelming strike force ready at any moment to take control of rogue countries like North Korea, take advantage of the confusion, and liberate an enslaved population when something like this happens. Too bad the civilized word isn’t sufficiently interested in its self-defense. So, unless something remarkable and out of our control occurs, we get to watch and hope that the new guy isn’t any worse than the old one, and listen to the tired tropes about how oppressive communist countries eventually fall on their own — which they almost never do unless somehow pushed.


The killing of Osama Bin Laden was the top news story of 2011 — if something more noteworthy doesn’t happen in the next 13 days.

Vaclav Havel, who led millions of Czechs to freedom from the Soviet Union in 1989, is dead.


Investor’s Business Daily on the proposed ban on cellphone use while driving:

There’s No Reason To Ban Cellphone Use While Driving

A federal agency is calling for a nationwide ban on all cellphone use while driving. Once again, Washington busybodies are exaggerating a problem because it happens to be a behavior they don’t approve of.

… First, regulating cellphone use is not a federal responsibility, even on federal roads. This is not an issue that Washington has the authority to address.

Second, there’s no compelling reason for it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 3,092 traffic deaths last year involved distracted drivers. But using a cell phone is only one of many driver distractions. Eating and drinking while behind the wheel are two others, and they are far more dangerous than yapping on a phone.

In fact, a 2009 NHTSA study found that 80% of all car wrecks are caused by drivers eating or drinking — not cellphone use — with coffee-guzzling the top offender.

Then there’s this. According to federal data, traffic deaths have fallen from 2.1 per 100 million vehicle miles in 1990, when virtually no one had a cellphone, to 1.1 in 2009, when almost everyone does.

We have no problem with bans on texting while in the driver’s seat. … But it must be done at the state level.

Facts never seem to matter to Ray LaHood.



  1. Well here’s an Obama foreign policy success story:

    Crisis Unfolds in Iraq

    Essentially, Iraq is going to dissolve into civil war along sectarian lines because the Shiites have decided they can run the country without the Sunnis or the Kurds, you know, like Iran. The current Prime Minister (Maliki) has reneged on written agreements and what’s Obama’s response… waiting…waiting…still waiting.

    When Maliki didn’t like the response of the opposition to his reneging: Maliki prompted their action by arresting and torturing the bodyguards of Sunni vice president Tariq al Hashemi.

    Now the ante has been upped: Tension rise as Iraq seeks Sunni VP arrest

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi authorities issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Muslim Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi on Monday for suspected ties to assassinations and bombings, a decision likely to fuel sectarian tensions after the U.S. troop withdrawal.
    The move risks unraveling Iraq’s fragile power-sharing deal among Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs who have struggled to overcome tensions just a few years after sectarian slaughter drove the country to the edge of a civil war.

    The irony here is that the accusations are something that Maliki’s own party is most likely guilty of doing because he is supported in part by you know who…that stellar person of the year…Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the al sadr brigaids

    Comment by dscott — December 19, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  2. #1, so many things falling apart, so little time to note them all.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 19, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

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