Rachel Maddow's Blind Deference to Government Power

The MSNBC host doesn't want plain people calling the shots.

Is there a difference between government and society? Rachel Maddow seems to think not.

Pay close attention to these words from the MSNBC host's promo as she attempts to defend "America" against those who (in her view) believe its best days are in the past: 

"No, no, no. We're not going to build it. No, No, No. America doesn't have any greatness in its future. America has small things in its future. Other countries have great things in their future. China can afford it. We can't"—you're wrong! And it doesn't feel right and it doesn't sound right to us because that's not what America is." 

The first question that arises is: Who is it that says "America [unlike China] doesn't have any greatness in its future"? Who is Maddow arguing against? The last time I heard something like that, it came from the "limits to growth" crowd, which is probably part of Maddow's fan base.

This question continues to be a puzzle until you realize that when Maddow says "America," she means not individual Americans or society but government. And now her fallacy is clear. Frédéric Bastiat identified it in 1850. In his classic, The Law, Bastiat wrote that the "socialist" confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education... We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.  

I can see Maddow saying that. One need not be a state socialist, however, to commit this fallacy. It's done all the time all along the political spectrum. But Maddow offers us a particularly good example.

Note Maddow's unspoken premise: An achievement isn't great if the government has nothing to do with it. Government does big things. We mere private individuals do only small things. The bias toward government—a curious thing when you consider that its essence is the legal power to use physical force against peaceful individuals—couldn't be more stark. Yet what grounds are there for believing this? When people are left free to innovate and produce, they routinely take risks to achieve things that are great in the sense that they make our lives better, healthier, and longer. Moreover, much of what makes life better is the cumulative effect of many "small" achievements, marginal improvements in products and services. Any one of them may be small, but the total effect on our lives is great. We'd be worse off without them.  

Echoing President Obama and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, Maddow apparently believes that no private accomplishment is possible without government support through spending on infrastructure, education, and research. But that is wrong. All of those things can be and have been provided in the private market. Government has a way of crowding out private efforts and then asserting its own importance because of the lack of private alternatives. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy! 

Government doesn't just crowd out private-sector activities; it also substitutes inferior ones in their place. No one is pleased with education—which has been under government control for close to 200 years. If the infrastructure is in disrepair, who's to blame for that? Politicians don't think about fixing things until they need a rationalization for "stimulus" spending. Why does it take a recession to make them think about the roads and bridges? American history is rife with examples of private roads and bridges, whose owners didn't wait for an economic crisis to fix them. Their incomes—their businesses—depended on satisfying customers. That goes for education and research too.

What sort of great things does Maddow have in mind? When historians rate American presidents, they tend to favor the ones who took America into war. A president who avoided war and just let people go about their business in freedom would have no chance of being ranked among the greats because he didn't "do anything." This attitude colors the views of pundits like Maddow. They also rank congressional sessions by how many bills were passed. A far better measure would be how many were repealed.  

But let's assume Maddow isn't looking for a war to make America great. To her credit, she's written a book—Drift—complaining that America gets into war too easily these days. So what kind of greatness does she have in mind. Since she has shot promos at Hoover Dam and a wind farm, we may assume that these are the sorts of things she wants. She apparently likes industrial policy, government-guided economic activity in which politicians decide which industries and firms should be encouraged and which not.

Maddow needs to be reminded that we live in a world of scarcity. That doesn't mean great things can't be accomplished, but it does mean that if politicians and bureaucrats decide what is to be built, the scarce labor and resources used in those projects will be unavailable for other projects—particularly those that private entrepreneurs are willing to take risks on. It's Bastiat's broken-window fallacy again. We readily see a government project being built. (Don't worry, the politicians will make sure of that.) What we don't see are all the things not being built because government preempted free enterprise.

But we must ask: Who is better qualified to determine how scarce labor and resources should be invested, politicians or private individuals? Politicians operate under a perverse set of incentives and lack critical information. They aim to please electoral constituencies and special-interest donors, while having no market feedback to guide them in choosing among the many alternative projects; they risk no capital of their own and acquire resources by force—taxation. Why would we expect them to make good decisions? They may call what they do "investment," but in economic terms, it is consumption not investment.  

On the other hand, entrepreneurs—at least when government provides no safety net of bailouts, guarantees, subsidies, cheap credit, and the like—do risk their own capital or must raise it from investors who are free to say no. (Try saying that as a taxpayer.) It's not an infallible process, but if consumers are ultimately unhappy with what is produced, they are free to withhold their dollars and send the misguided entrepreneur into bankruptcy, a process that will transfer resources to more able hands. That's a kind of clout which political subjects can only wish they had.  

In other words, government may do flashy things, but they are things that are never subjected to the market test of actually serving consumers. Do political decision-makers pay the price for their failures? Usually not. Occasionally an incumbent may lose an election, but he never had any capital at risk.

Maybe that's why Maddow prefers government "greatness" to private "smallness." She doesn't want plain people calling the shots, which ultimately they would do in a freed market. She seems more at home with the governing elite and their court intellectuals, who promise to take care of the rest of us rather than let us look after ourselves through the vast mutual-aid society known as the free market.

This article originally appeared at The Project to Restore America.

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  • Sernylan||

    "the legal power to use physical lethal force against peaceful individuals family pets—couldn't be more stark."

    First they came for the dogs, and I didn't speak out...Then they came for the cats, I remained silent, still...and then they came for the turtles, and there was no one left to speak out for me, (well..except the chimpanzees…. Of course.)

  • Cliché Bandit||

    *whispers* "If you have poo, fling it now."

  • Raven Nation||

    "then they came for the cat" and I cheered them on.

  • Sernylan||

    I have suspected that this police on family pet murder frenzy is the 'plague' that leads to the planet of the apes, you know... after they murder the last dog, the chimps are all we will have left.

  • IceTrey||

    They may have the legal power but they certainly don't have the moral authority.

  • wef||

    Perhaps you are over-analyzing this power-worshiping lewinsky. Dime-a-dozen apologists for the overclass.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They also rank congressional sessions by how many bills were passed. A far better measure would be how many were repealed.

    That would be a step back in the mind of a socialist, so I doubt any of them would use that as positive criteria. The love of government is the love of control. People like Maddow fantasize about helming the ship of state, aligning the cogs to work in perfect harmony or moving the chess pieces to achieve whatever victory. Whatever metaphor you want to use, it's all about control.

    Free markets are anathema because people are engaging each other without central oversight, so the wrong person might benefit. Smart people guiding the masses in the direction they should go is the utopia for Maddowkind, because she is blind to the fact that government leaders are just as self-serving and power hungry as any corporate CEO, except D.C. also has the power of force to move its will on people.

    Fuck socialists and their one-size-fits-all bullshit. We're 350 million individuals. Leave us alone and big things will happen, even possibly a few things that might benefit Ms. Maddow.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Free markets are anathema because people are engaging each other without central oversight, so the wrong person might benefit.

    It's early, so for some reason that looked like "flea markets" at first, which still oddly works in the sentence.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You read as an Asian stereotype? You racist.

  • Ted S.||

    I think he's actually a lacist.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Of course, the stereotype is that someone cannot pronounce "l," and instead uses "r," as in "I am a graduate of U C R A!" Also, the stereotype doesn't apply to all Asians. Chinese, for example pronounce "L" just fine. (Evidence: Surnames Li, Lin, and Lao, for example.)

  • PapayaSF||

    Yes, but I think you are missing something important: they justify their love of control as necessary because they are Saving People From Poverty and Sickness and Oppression and Injustice. It's obvious to them that free markets can never solve those problems. In fact, they often think that such problems are created by people acting freely. So it becomes an issue of morality, and those who oppose the power of the state to "fix" those things must be people who actually want poverty and oppression and so on.

  • GILMORE||

    such problems are created by people acting freely

    Of course they are.

    And if our right-minded solutions which function via appropriating your property and redistributing it aren't actually producing intended results, then it just means we aren't taking enough.

    The Program must continue

  • Todd||


    She doesn't want plain people calling the shots, which ultimately they would do in a freed market. She seems more at home with the governing elite and their court intellectuals, who promise to take care of the rest of us rather than let us look after ourselves through the vast mutual-aid society known as the free market.


    The best words I've read all year, bar none. Heaven forbid the common folk expose the weaknesses of the elite. We can't allow this to happen! /sarcasm

  • Rick Santorum||

    The trouble with freedom is that it interfere with expected outcomes. Self-governing people might get the wrong ideas in their heads, and then they might do the wrong things.

  • section9||

    Can't have people smoking weed, carrying firearms, and engaging in buggery on their own time. People might think it's the Royal Navy!

    You know what Mr. Churchill said, "Don't talk to me of Naval Tradition! It's all rum, buggery, and the lash!"

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I think this is appropriate here.

    An article title'd 'The organism will do what it damn well pleases'

  • ||

    Your link has been sugarfreed.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    BLAST!!!! I haven't SF'd a link in over 3 years!!!! DAMN!

    HERE IT IS DAMNIT!

  • amelia||

    B.F. Skinner said "the rat is always right." If it didn't do as predicted, there was something wrong with your hypothesis.

  • ||

    B.F. Skinner said "the rat is always right."

    That's an excellent way of putting it. I'll have to remember that the next time I argue about government action and unintended consequences.

  • amelia||

    I'm glad you like it. I think so too. The sad thing is that Applied Behavior Analysts, who are supposed to be Skinnerian behaviorists by definition, make their livings off the therapeutic state for the most part and would hard-pressed to see the implications of Skinner's words for government interference in the economy.

  • Xenocles||

    I think technically you have to pass a bill to repeal a law.

  • np||

    PEDANT!1!1!! ...so it's like adding a -1, where it still counts as adding

  • Xenocles||

    Just saying that maybe you could use that fact to hack the moronic rating systems.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    in Dominion that is called a curse card. They suck

  • ||

    +(-1)

  • section9||

    One of the great tragedies of the passing of William F. Buckley is that it removed from the GOP a public intellectual who said the following, "I would rather be governed by the first one hundred names in the Boston white pages than by the Harvard faculty." That said, as much contempt as I have for the modern GOP Establishment, who deserve scorn, contempt, and a good horsewhipping, the constant fellatio laid down on Power Democrats by Rachel Maddow is deeply troubling.

    Here is a woman who is credentialed, a Rhodes Scholar, yet she worships power without restraint because she wants to be on the Inside and counted as part of the In crowd. For all her intellectual heft, and I don't doubt that heft for a moment, she fails to rise to the level of Jack Anderson and Mike Royko, who were journalists of integrity.

    If you want to see how much integrity Rachel Maddow has, watch her post-2008 interview with Barack Obama. It is a stunning display of obsequiousness and bootlicking.

  • dantheserene||

    In Rachel's case, "cunnilingus" is probably a more accurate comparison.
    Not that's there's anything wrong with that.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The possibility of getting invited to the right cocktail parties and maybe getting to shake the hand of the "leader of the free world" is a powerful seduction.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    An even better example his dishonest ambush of Rand Paul after he won the primary in his Senate race.

    He had been on her show previously, discussing serious issues and expected the same, instead he got a proglodyte mugging.

  • Brutus||

    It's all she's got against RP, really.

  • Skip||

    Judging by the recent Senate election, the first one hundred names in the Boston white pages are likely to be libtards like Maddow anyway.

  • PapayaSF||

    I kid you not: Sometime after he made that statement, some bonehead said it was prejudiced, because white people were more likely to have names beginning with letters from the first part of the alphabet!

    George Washington and John Winthrop were unavailable for comment.

  • wareagle||

    unfortunately, you conflate the terms "credentialed" and "intellectual" for intelligent. They are not. I have interviewed countless farmers with little more than middle school educations whose grasp of concepts like cause and effect were far ahead of Maddow's.

    If anything, one could make the case that her credentialing and alleged heft are inversely proportionate to genuine common sense smarts.

  • Rhywun||

    Nah, they know "cause" and "effect" - they just choose to ignore it. That makes them evil, not dumb.

  • Brutus||

    The predominant characteristic of the credentialed class today is the capacity for self-deception, to craft ever more intricate explanations for what is simply daft.

  • ||

    It's funny you say that. As I move forward in life and gain more experiences my liberal education (including university) becomes inreasingly irrelevant. The so-called "elites" and their "ideas" are just that - theories.

    Meanwhile, I've met contractors, plumbers, salespeople etc. who all have things at stake who display an honest intelligence you just don't see out of the likes of Maddow.

    Really, I just can't understand how anyone thinks this person is intelligent.

  • Adam||

    Excellent point(s). I've noticed the same thing in my life; almost all of the useful information I've obtained in my life I either received from my Grandfather or by experience, both good and bad ones, AFTER I finished University. Didn't someone write a book quite a while back saying essentially the same thing?

  • Sarg221||

    People think that she's smart because that fancy piece of paper on the wall says so. After all, paper never lies...

  • waaminn||

    Well now that makes a lot of sense dude.

    www.WebAnon.tk

  • ||

    She doesn't want plain people calling the shots, which ultimately they would do in a freed market.

    She doesn't want people calling the shots because deep down inside in places she doesn't talk about at parties she wants government on that wall. She is looking in the eyes of her worshipers and telling them very plainly that she thinks they are too stupid to make their own decisions and too weak to create their own success. They swoon and think that she is really talking about everyone else. This is Rachel Maddow, she does the NYT Crossword in pen! Only Confucius would have the temerity to try something so bold and get away with it.

  • Nick Griffin||

    Like the Mohikens said, "Don't tell me what to do with my scalp, and I won't tell you what to do with yours." Freedom.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you suggesting that freedom is when the government can help itself to your scalp?

    Don't scalp me and I won't scalp you sounds pretty reasonable by comparison.

    Two wolves and a lamb arguing about what's for dinner. Democracy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Echoing President Obama and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, Maddow apparently believes that no private accomplishment is possible without government support through spending on infrastructure, education, and research."

    I think the most bizarre aspect of Obama and Warren's statements to that effect is the suggestion that the infrastructure, education, and research they're talking about were paid for by government.

    ...as if the government had a source of funding independent from private enterprise and individuals.

    That bridge was paid for by the private sector. The government doesn't pay for education. Profit creating private enterprises and individuals pay for education.

    I've got some news for Barack Obama. If the government built a bridge, he didn't build that! Everybody who paid taxes did. Obama and Warren make it sound like the individuals and enterprises who paid the taxes to educate those children and build those roads are somehow freeloading by using the things--the taxpayers themselves paid for!

  • ||

    "If the government built a bridge, he didn't build that! Everybody who paid taxes did. Obama and Warren make it sound like the individuals and enterprises who paid the taxes to educate those children and build those roads are somehow freeloading by using the things--the taxpayers themselves paid for!"

    Bingo. And yet I have not heard one member of the GOP throw this in their faces. I truly believe that the GOP establishment is fully on board with what the Dems are doing. Their opposition is all pretend to please their voting base. They fully expect to reassume power and the more the dems aquire, the more for them when it is their turn.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yeah, the GOP did a lousy job of countering that. Their whole thing was, "the titans of industry built these things" when a better counter would have been "the taxpayers paid for all of these projects...well, the taxpayers and all of the people we're forced to borrow money from because we're broke paid for all of these projects like bridges and roads, as well as all of the cowboy poetry festivals, all of the Solyndra's, all of the body scanners at airports, all of the drones used to kill kids around the world, Planned Parenthood, etc, etc, etc"

    That would have been an effective sell to the American people. But Team Red is too stupid to do that.

  • ||

    "But Team Red is too stupid to do that."

    I dont think it is stupidity at all. I am accusing them of outright throwing the fight. In some ways this makes them more despicable than the dems. At least the dems are honest about being power mongers, thieves and control freaks.

  • sloopyinca||

    What was the benefit of throwing the fight? At least, what was the benefit of throwing away the Senate races they had locked up? I can see them throwing the presidential race since Romneybot was nothing but an Obama clone with white skin, but they had a chance to get the Senate to 51-49 or 50-50 and the fucked it up by running muppets against the most vulnerable Democrats...and it cost them dearly. Hell, now Dirty Harry is gonna change the Senate rules and do all kinds of crazy shit because Team Red is a bunch of fucking retards. And that can't be good.

  • ||

    The advantage is that the dems grab more and more power and the repubs cry feebly " no! Dont! Stop it! No, dont stop!" and all of the accumulated power eventually falls to them. They fully expect to have the presidency in 2016, and they probably will have it.

    Ok, and stupidity too.

  • XM||

    California was under dem control for more than a decade now. 60% of their residents do not blame them for ruining their economy and wrecking their budget. They've just handed the dems a super majority in the recent election.

    Losing is not a blessing in disguise, especially when you consider how the status quo was established in the first place. When big government fails, the left will just blame capitalism or other ready made narrative that serves their purpose, instead of seeing the light.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The republican establishment does genuinely hate the tea party and Ron Paul crowds. Much more so than their democrat friends. So there's a lot of truth to what Suthenboy writes and at the same time the GOP establishment was pissed that the tea party ruined their chances to gain some Senate seats (same as in 2010).

  • Mike M.||

    So much this. The loathsome, despicable John Boehner in particular spends almost all of his working time trying to figure out how he can screw over lovers of liberty and limited government without any of the rubes catching on.

  • Brutus||

    I'm coming around to this view, too. We need someone in his position that knows the tune, not just the words.

  • Adam||

    Ahhh, give him a break...his problem is that he's nostalgic for the 80's, when Team Red talked like lovers of freedom while spending money like there's no tomorrow, turning the government from the massive regulator of the 70's to the still huge regulator that is in bed with every large company in the country....for him (and oh gawd, what's his name....ran for president against clinton in '96...crap! anyway) those were the good ol days.

  • PapayaSF||

    I don't think they threw the fight so much as got bad advice from consultants. They thought Romney could win by not being Obama, by playing it safe, by not being too argumentative, and by not confusing or boring voters with numbers and free-market or anti-socialist ideas.

  • Sernylan||

    "That would have been an effective sell to the American people. But Team Red is too stupid to do that."

    What? and cop to the fact that the government is piss poor broke, always has been, and always will be? It's always been our tax dollars pissed away, from both sides...and OUR debt they are both racking up... context is important. Banks are generally broke as well, but at least generate some cash on interest/service fees/overdrafts, but just like the government...it's always been our money. Team red would rather eat shaved glass than have that truly put into perspective.

  • Brutus||

    But Team Red is too stupid to do that.

    Bill Whittle at PJTV had a superb video the other day of an address he gave at a conference, where he explained Team Red's problem here. It's that they don't believe what they profess to. If they did, he opined, their response to attacks like these would have been devastatingly clear-headed. That they weren't was telling.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The few times when Romney/Ryan were clear headed were the times when they got beat up on the most. While I wouldn't characterize Ron Paul's oratory as clear-headed since he rambled on and on about whatever came into his head, his clear and consistent pro-liberty positions weren't exactly selling like political hotcakes either.

    At some point you have to consider the possibility that your ideology really isn't popular and won't be made so by any imaginable type of oratory...and possibly attempt to figure out an alternative means. Don't delude yourself into thinking that the GOP lost because they were insufficiently in agreement with you.

  • MJGreen||

    Not really, because the argument isn't that there wouldn't be the resources to build a bridge, but that there wouldn't be the incentive and coordination for private actors to do so. People may have the extra money on hand to invest in it, but since it's a 'public good,' there are other investments that will bring a better return. And/or it's too big a project and thus too risky for private investors. If the government doesn't take those resources and direct them towards building the bridge, the bridge will never be built. Hence, "there are some things only the government can do."

    If you point out the absurdity of such a broad conclusion, they might scale it back to, "There would be fewer public goods than we truly want there to be." At this point it ultimately devolves into a debate over personal opinions, with their subjective criteria of optimal number of goods vs yours.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Not really, because the argument isn't that there wouldn't be the resources to build a bridge, but that there wouldn't be the incentive and coordination for private actors to do so."

    That would be a more compelling argument if I hadn't spent so much of our investors' money over the years building bridges, roads, and infrastructure.

    Who do you think builds that stuff?

    Hell, private developers are the ones paying to build schools, too! Do you know how much in school fees they charge to build anything in your hometown? I pay school fees to develop industrial warehouses--for some reason!

    Do you know why age restricted "senior housing" is so much less expensive than other kinds?

  • ||

    Exactly. It makes the assertion illogical and nonsensical.

    But I read, on a CRITICAL THINKING site no less, a philosopher defending Obama on the premise people who took issue with it misread his quote.

    Bunch of crap. We got it loud and clear and I think the rebuttals were accurate, powerful and deserved.

    It was one of the dumbest things I've ever heard from a leader.

  • PapayaSF||

    This is very true, and I've said as much around these parts. It was the perfect reposte and they never made it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I guess it's another symptom of the same misattribution Richman is talking about. Maddow can't tell the difference between the government and society, and Obama and Warren can't tell the difference between themselves and the taxpayers.

    ...to the point that Obama and Warren imagine that the taxpayer's accomplishments are their own!

    I've accomplished lots of things without using any resources I didn't pay for, but Obama and Warren are incapable of doing anything--like build roads or finance schools--without parasiting off of individuals and private enterprise.

    Their refusal to acknowledge their debt to private individuals for every single thing they do is part of what makes Progressives America's most horrible people.

  • sloopyinca||

    Since the dawn of man, there have been a majority of people that think there are better men than them to run things and that we need a ruling class. It is evidenced by the fact that almost every society throughout history had a "ruler" or a "ruling class" that made the rules the common man was forced to live by. Even in democracies, the rules for those democracies were set and administered by "Top Men" of the time.

    Many people will always desire to be mastered. Libertarianism is anathema to the entire developed history of mankind, and until people evolve to realize their best interests are served when they are master of their domain and their neighbors are of their's, then we are doomed to have a ruling class that continues to destroy liberty in all forms at an astounding pace.

    Now, that said, I do support one kind of ruling class. The kind that rules at picking college bowl games in the Reason Hit & Run College Bowl Pick Em. And just like last year, the winner of the league, if single, gets to choose another single reasoniod to marry.* So come one, come all. It's that time of year again. And even though we all know the Buckeyes got screwed and it'll be a tainted National Championship game without them, we an still ponder over the Beef O' Brady's Bowl matchup as well as the Pizza Bowl and other idiotic matchups.

    password: reason

  • sloopyinca||

    BTW, I'll need a little promotional help this year, so if one of you dedicated playaz is out there reading this, please get the word out this week. I'll be a little preoccupied with the baby coming Wednesday and all. I doubt I'll remember to post this after today and possible tomorrow morning.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Republicanism and the social contract is, at its heart, an updated version of the divine right of kings: in both cases a farcical reason is construed to establish the legitimacy of the ruling class, and people either apathetically go with it or enthusiastically embrace this new mythology of the state. Unfortunately, until people realize that they are suited to make decisions for themselves -- and not at all suited to make them for others -- we won't see the veil lifted anytime soon.

    Will be praying for your family, sloopy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Libertarianism is anathema to the entire developed history of mankind, and until people evolve to realize their best interests are served when they are master of their domain."

    Damn straight.

    That's my favorite definition of libertarianism right there: Libertarianism is the idea that I'm better at making choices for myself than other people are at making choices for me.

    Progressives think they're better at making my choices for me than I am, and their enthusiasm for using the power of government to force their choices on me is really what makes them America's most horrible people.

  • sloopyinca||

    Agreed. Now join the fucking Bowl Pick-Em.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I get to pick-em myself?

    That's why I like fucking Bowl Pick-Em!

    The Progressives want pick my bowls for me.

  • Sernylan||

    "The Progressives want Nate Silver(tm) to pick my bowls for me.

    FIFY

  • ||

    "....until people evolve to realize their best interests are served when they are master of their domain and their neighbors are of their's,..."

    Unlikely to happen.

    Being libertarian offers a survival advantage for a state. This evolution could happen if a libertarian state were to exist and outcompete all others. I have no doubt that it would if it were to come into existence, I just doubt that it will come into existence.

    You and your family will be in my thoughts Wednesday Sloopy. I wish you well.

  • sloopyinca||

    Thanks for that last bit. I'm horribly nervous already and I've got a couple of very important business meetings tomorrow that I have no idea how I'll make it through.

    And you're right, they would outcompete. Just look to Singapore. They have a strong security and police state, but economically, they are very libertarian when it comes to competing with the rest of the world. And they are quite successful for a tiny nation with no natural resources. The reason is they allow markets to compete properly and the good ones succeed and the shitty ones fail.

  • ||

    Singapore is an interesting example because it is libertarian economically, yet is insanely controlling when it comes to society. I guess the compulsion to control cannot be completely suppressed in people. Kill it in one sphere and it pops out in another.

  • sloopyinca||

    Libertarianism: a perpetual game of whack-a-mole with the state.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I would be happy wit hitting at least one mole in the US. I think colorado MJ might be a mole but I shudder to think of its counterpart popping up and what it will do.

  • Sernylan||

    "It is evidenced by the fact that almost every society throughout history had a "ruler" or a "ruling class" that made the rules the common man was forced to live by"

    They are called sociopaths/psychopaths, and their kind has always aspired for power...of the all-encompassing kind. They have always found enablers and bootlickers, power slave lackeys to carry their water while singing their praises, and always will.

  • np||

    you're wrong! And it doesn't feel right and it doesn't sound right to us because that's not what America is."

    It feels good to get free shit, so it must be right. Oh, it comes at someone's expense? I can't see that but more importantly I can't feel that, so it must not matter.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Tim Geithner is a sleazy little shyster cunt.

  • BigT||

    No.......worse.

  • Mike M.||

    I can't believe this motherfucker actually had the nerve to ask to give up control over the debt ceiling.

    At least they had enough intelligence to say no. If the republicans weren't such a bunch of pussies, they would tell Obama he doesn't get an increase unless all the tax rates get extended for another year. The debt ceiling is the ultimate trump card, and the republicans have it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I watched a little bit of Hipster Douchebag Focus Group this morning. The topic, as usual, was, "Why isn't the government spending more money on wealth transfer programs?"

    None of those people have Any Fucking Clue about where the money for their desired government largesse actually comes from.

    I'll bet you didn't know that.

  • ||

    "Why isn't the government spending more money on wealth transfer programs?"

    That is...holy shit....completely meaningless. You are correct. they dont have a fucking clue.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yes they do. That's why they all support raising taxes on the wealthier Americans even though they know it won't even put a small dent in the deficit or debt. They know exactly what wealth transfer programs are: punishment. And they fully support punishing rich people for simply being rich because they think opportunity is an outdated concept and outcome should be equal. They're all little Jean-Luc Picards, if you will.

  • Jerryskids||

    There ya go - it is pointless to argue about whether or how much raising rates on the rich will raise revenue when the point is to punish the rich.

  • ||

    Goddamnit. I was in a good mood this morning. Now y'all have me all stirred up and pissed off.

    I am going to go make a ham sandwich. Or maybe a vodka.

  • Banjos||

    Vodka sammich?

  • sloopyinca||

    If you're not already marinading your ham in vodka, you're doing it wrong.

  • Juice||

    Rum Ham!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    THIS is something I will actually try.

    (I am in no way condoning the practice of breaking with the Paleo by ingesting rum. I will now do two sets of squats for penance.)

  • Pagan Priestess||

    If you marinate it in whiskey, you're not breaking paleo.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    single malt?...thats pricey

  • ||

    I went with the ham sandwich and a glass of milk so I am back.

    The root of the problem with govt is the lack of market forces in the form of accountability. This is supposed to exist at the voting booth but in my view it has been rendered toothless. I think if term limits were in existence for all elected offices it would correct alot of things. I mean term limits for any individual holding any combination of offices. Restricted time 'serving' in govt..

    Unrig the game.

  • sloopyinca||

    And there needs to be a randomized computer program that draws district boundaries. Way too much gerrymandering districts so there is very little competition anymore. Of course, the two parties love only having to compete with each other (and nobody else) for maybe 10% of the seats any given election. Letting people draw congressional lines is as corrupt as any other component of the electoral process.

  • ||

    I forgot that. Yes.

    I was too busy fuming and imagining grabbing any random pol by the scruff of their neck and chasing them around in circles with a hickory stick.

    Hmmm. No, not any random...Tammy Fae Boehner would be my first choice....we would have some justified tears for once.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Some computers will be the new top ment? Good thing they program themselves.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Dammit! Should have hit reload instead of submit.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Unless the singularity is doing the drawing, humans still would make the criteria for the computer to choose. Manipulation would at best one remove.

    Reynolds v. Sims was a mistake.

    (P.S. Also pulling for you and the family on Wednesday.)

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I think if term limits were in existence for all elected offices it would correct alot of things. I mean term limits for any individual holding any combination of offices. Restricted time 'serving' in govt..

    Term limits make things worse. Flat out.

    The only way democracy works is if politicians are afraid of losing their jobs. Term limits throws a wrench into that dynamic.

  • Juice||

    You can really tell who are the real establishment insiders when all the media and other politicians lament their loss. Recently it was Lugar. I can remember everyone went apeshit when Tom Daschle lost. Everyone got their jimmies russled when Lieberman got primaried and sighed relief when he got back in. The turnover should be much higher so they get used to seeing their buddies tossed out on a regular basis.

  • Sernylan||

    "The only way democracy works is if politicians are afraid of losing their jobs."

    An ancient Spartan crucible, with clear contrast for good and bad descisions; between being stabbed to death, or allowed to go home, after their term in office was ‘peer reviewed’ would be a novel approach too.

  • mtrueman||

    I doubt that restricting time serving would change things significantly.

    I think the problem comes from these limits to growth. There's only so much pleasure one can derive from a bottle of pop. Government can get only so big before it gets unavoidably unwieldy and bureaucratic. The universe may or may not be limited; man certainly is. One outfit charged with guiding the lives of hundreds of millions of subjects simply cannot be held accountable. Much better chance with a couple hundred or so.

  • robc||

    The last time there was a serious number of self-term-limited candidates corresponds to the most controlled congressional spending of recent decades.

    Coincidence?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And they were replaced by big spending republicans.

    Their constituents (and the rest of us) would have been better served if they had not self term limited.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Their constituents (and the rest of us) would have been better served if they had not self term limited.

    I disagree. The failure to term limit themselves would have resulted in their corruption into statists, anyway.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I would be in favor of looking into ways of having at least part of our government selected at random from among the population, as is currently done with jury duty.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Since the dawn of man, there have been a majority of people that think there are better men than them to run things and that we need a ruling class.

    I'm sure this is true for a lot of people.

    I just think there are jobs I'm simply not willing to do. Like pump out my own septic tank. As far as I am concerned, legislators deserve exactly as much respect as, and no more than, any random shit pumper.

  • sloopyinca||

    That shit pumper provides you a service commensurate with the money he gets in return. You can't say the same about legislators.

    Sorry, but you owe shit pumpers an apology for that remark, Brooksie.

  • Juice||

    Shitter's full!

  • Mike Laursen||

    An allowance is made for the possibility of the private sector doing big, evil things: Microsoft, Wal-mart, Wall Street, etc.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I can see Maddow saying that. One need not be a state socialist, however, to commit this fallacy

    Maddow being an actual socialist is just a bonus then.

  • DEG||

    In the absence of a weekend open thread, I'll leave this editorial from the local (thankfully not hometown) shitpaper.

    Money quote:

    We found it more than a bit presumptuous that some officials we contacted suggested it’s the media’s responsibility to vet candidates for compliance. The state is too busy doing more important things, they said.

    Well, so are we.

    NH must review its ‘felon’ election statute

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The root of the problem with govt is the lack of market forces in the form of accountability.

    But any reduction in the stranglehold of the establishmentarian gatekeepers is just the same as auctioning off government!

    We NEED an entrenched professional political class, otherwise our civilization would collapse into chaos.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Maybe that's why Maddow prefers government "greatness" to private "smallness." She doesn't want plain people calling the shots, which ultimately they would do in a freed market. She seems more at home with the governing elite and their court intellectuals,

    Yep, she sees herself as a top man(?) but the market sees her as a joke. So the market is obviously wrong & evil.

  • ||

    OT
    Once again, for the sole purpose of making everyone jealous I want to announce that I have aquired a new gun.

    A beautiful mint Winchester 94 with a long eye relief scope in 450 marlin. I already have a headache so I am going to try and shit my brother into shooting it first.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I already have a headache so I am going to try and shit my brother into shooting it first.

    Ok, you had me until that sentence...ohh and in a fit of jealous rage "FUCK YOU< CUT SPENDING!"

    sorry, I havent had a new one in several years.

  • ||

    Big Al's guns will put one on layaway for you. He has just acquired some real beauties too.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I, uhh, don't purchase them, uhh, unless it is from an individual and no paperwork is filled out. I am a libertarian after all and lists make me nervous. So buying for me is a bit of a chore (often cheaper though) and I don't get financing, layaway, or store credit.

  • ||

    Oh, and that is Big Al's in Pineville, Louisiana

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I thought you were talking about Uncle Albert from Car Wars.

  • robc||

    There is very little difference between "National Greatness Conservatives" and "National Greatness Liberals".

    In fact, I would say "none at all".

  • A Serious Man||

    You know who else always talked about National Greatness?

  • sloopyinca||

    Ryan Zimmerman?

  • A Serious Man||

    Well it certainly isn't Davey Johnson. Fucker should have used Strasburg because I know the Nationals would have beaten the Giants and I wouldn't have to be taking crap from Giants fans until next spring.

  • ||

    Sorry bra, as poorly as that situation was handled, no one was going to beat the Giants this year.

  • robc||

    In this case, that isnt an inappropriate analogy.

  • A Serious Man||

  • Rick Santorum||

    You know who else always talked about National Greatness?

    BLARGH NATIONALISTS WANT TO KILL JEWS (hurrrr durrr I'm a progressive lolbertarian)

  • iggy||

    HURR DURRR, I'm Rick Santorum and I don't know how jokes work! Minimum wage should be $700!

  • retiredfire||

    They may call what they do "investment," but in economic terms, it is consumption not investment.

    Investment drives our economy, government spending is a drain on it. That is why it should be done only when absolutely necessary.
    Anyone who says that government spending stimulates the economy should have their entire net worth taken away and given to someone who knows how economies work.

  • sloopyinca||

    OK, all you people that said you'd be praying for us on Wednesday...you may want to start now instead. Looks like she's starting labor and our doc just said to get our asses down to the hospital.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Good luck Sloop. It isnt as bad as you think. BUT, my advice: DONT LOOK!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Seconded.

    Don't. Fucking. Look.

  • AuH2O||

    Cthullu rules definitely apply.

  • RBS||

    No, you should definitely look. Unless they have to do an episiotomy. DO NOT WATCH THAT.

  • robc||

    Stop posting and get your asses down to the hospital.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I second that.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Best of luck to you and the Mrs, Sloop.

  • Jordan||

    Prepare to be horrified. Seriously though, best wishes.

  • Ice Nine||

    I'm sure glad no one mentioned cops or Dunphy right around 11:30 or Banjos would have been driving herself to the hospital.

  • AuH2O||

    That escalated quickly!

    Good luck.

  • Not an Economist||

    Best of luck.

  • A Serious Man||

    She's a pinko fuck that spent her formative years pissing on the toilet seat because the benevolent hand of government didn't teach her how to lift it up first.

    She's also a petulent child when someone like Nick Gillespie shatters her delusions about government. It's clear that she attributes all government malfeseance and failure to sabotage by evil Rethuglicans.

  • Raven Nation||

    Significant problem with ReasonTV clips of Reason commentators on MSNBC: you have to listen to the hosts & the other guests as well as the Reason folk. I've started fast-forwarding through the other people's comments; I think they act like brain slugs.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    A beautiful mint Winchester 94

    Whatever.

    Now, one of these would be COOL.

  • ||

    I opted for these instead.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gESLOmz-4sc

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Is one of each an option?

  • ||

    Of course!

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Excellent!

    My wife was busting my balls a couple of months ago over 'all those guns in the house'. Then she finally got serious about finding one of her own. Now she's got more on her wishlist than I own and she's still adding to it. It's down to a 686+ or a P99 under the tree. I can't find a 686 locally so it's going to be a Deutsch Weihnachten.

  • mtrueman||

    "Maddow needs to be reminded that we live in a world of scarcity."

    Is this really true? With unemployment over 10% in most of the world, how is labour scarce? Agricultural and industrial production has never been as high as they are now. This is a world of great abundance, not scarcity. What is to be gained by refusing to recognize the extent of our wealth?

  • ||

    Scarcities are relative.

  • XM||

    He means we live in a world of limited resources. We either let private individuals or markets maximize them, or let government put them to waste.

    Maddow's side will argue that healthcare is a right, and that we have the right to the best kind at all times. But we recognize that there are limited amount of doctors and hospitals available, and it takes committing of a prime of one's life, at least 7-10 years and a boatload of debt to become a doctor or a nurse.

    "It's my right" ends the debate for the left. That overspending on education, welfare, some literacy program will eventually cut into spending on another is beyond their comprehension.

  • Brutus||

    If it's a right, then the antebellum plantation owners were correct.

  • Ice Nine||

    Be sure to watch Maddow's show this week, Richman; I'd venture a bet that you are going to become well-known to hundreds of thousands of wingnuts.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What is to be gained by refusing to recognize the extent of our wealth?

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Fuck off, slaver.

    Standard lolbert response to anything clashing with their worldview. FUCK OFF SLAVER *ignores that 99% of libertardians are corrupt and would gleefully murder hobos for a tax break and a prostitute*

  • ||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

    Durrrr anyone who opposes libertarian orthodoxy is a sockpuppet.

  • Sevo||

    "Durrrr anyone who opposes libertarian orthodoxy is a sockpup"

    Naah. Just those dumber than rocks.

  • ||

    Mostly it's just you and T o n y, sockpuppet.

  • ||

    That was to Red T o n y, not you Sevo.

  • Sernylan||

    "Durrrr anyone who opposes libertarian orthodoxy is a sockpuppet."

    Well...your statement was pretty fucking stupid, so.....

  • yonemoto||

    without the NIH we would never have cured Polio!!!1!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How could anyone deny the supremacy of the Collective?

    Society owns you and everything you produce.

    RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

  • ||

    "How could anyone deny the supremacy of the Collective?
    Society owns you and everything you produce.RESISTANCE IS FUTILE."

    I think you just put every captain zero speech into a nutshell. Bravo.

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, we're at the hospital and Kara's water has ruptured apparently. Looks like we're here till this is done. And it looks like that will be in a few hours. Dammit, I wish our doctor was here but at least the head pediatric surgeon is on call, so that helps our chances quite a bit getting the baby stabilized post-birth.

    I got nervous with my first two and they were 100% through the whole thing. This is absolutely terrifying to me.

    Sorry to talk about it here. My mom isn't answering her phone and I don't want to tell Kara how scared I am but have to talk about it in some way.

  • ||

    Good luck, man. It'll be alright.

  • AuH2O||

    See, my default reaction in tense situations is to make jokes, which I feel may be inappropriate.

    Still super tempted to make a "The Meaning of Life" reference.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Mine was very weeks early so i know what it is like but trust in the medical staff, they are very good at their jobs.

  • Rick Santorum||

    I don't want to tell Kara how scared I am

    lol

  • AuH2O||

    Seriously, Rick, go down to the store, buy a dildo, embed it with razor blades, don't use lube...

    AND FUCK YOURSELF

    There are times when your moralistic, douchbaggy, cuntastic existence can be tolerated, but this is not one of these time you cock-punching, child raping fucking waste of human existence.

  • Rick Santorum||

    you cock-punching, child raping fucking waste of human existence.

    Only one of those accusations is applicable to me.

  • ||

    Fuck off sockpuppet.

  • Sevo||

    'Every one of those accusations is applicable to me.'
    FIFY, asshole.

  • Sernylan||

    Santorum plug sez "lol"

    Aren't you supposed to be dying in a fire right now?

  • ||

    The million dollar question is, which name was the winning bid? Is Banjos about to give birth to a little Invecso? Doritos? Toecutter?

  • sloopyinca||

    High bid is currently $210 for Justine or Ayn (the high bidder gave us our choice). Bids will be accepted for another couple of hours though. Or until they take my phone away, whichever comes first.*

    *waiting on the anasthaesiologist to come in right now.

  • Sernylan||

    "High bid is currently $210 for Justine or Ayn "

    Why not "Velveeta Sloopyinca" or even, violence channel correspondent "Formica Davis"?... that would be even more better!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Conan or Zena.

    There is no choice.

    "What is best in life little sloopy?"

  • Sernylan||

    "What is best in life little sloopy?"

    To crush your doctors,..to see them driven before you,...to hear the lamenting of the nurses....

  • sloopyinca||

    They're shaving her up so its going down like now. NICU people are ready and the surgeon is coming up right now to tell Kara what's happening.

    Just met the surgeon and got the schedule. I'm out until she's here. God bless you all.

  • Not an Economist||

    Have faith everything will be great. Best of luck and bless you, your wife, and your new child.

  • A Serious Man||

    Thoughts and prayers for you and the missus for the birth of a healthy baby girl.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    +1 prayer

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Best of luck, sloopy. Will continue to pray for you and your wife.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    insert many where appropriate.

  • JW||

    "Useful idiot."

    That is all.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Richman is correct in general, but focusing on Maddow personally is unwise because it makes this look like a partisan attack. Historians and journalists in general prefer Great Men doing Great Things over the chaotic fluctuations of the little people in a free market for much the same reason physicists prefer analyzing planets going around stars rather than dust particles moving inside tornadoes...the story is much easier to tell.

  • Sernylan||

    , but focusing on Maddow personally is unwise because it makes this look like a partisan attHack.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    MAN the Bears defense sucks. Consecutive 94 and 80 yard TD drives to Captain Noodlearm to lose the game?

  • sloopyinca||

    Baby is here. Doc says it couldn't have gone better. She is stable and breathing perfectly on her own.

    Looks like they're gonna hold off on transferring her to Children's Hospital for a couple of days so Kara can bond some. Thank God that she looks fine so far. Thank you all for your prayers.

  • ||

    What was the issue? Premature? Congrats to you and Banjos!

  • sloopyinca||

    She has an Omphalocele, which can be catastrophically bad. But we're apparently in the lucky crowd so far. She's going to be in the NICU at Children's Hospital once they transfer her for a couple of months. Then it looks like a major surgery to put things right some time after 6 months or so and hopefully she'll be normal and fine.

    I know we've only made it through the first step in the process, but it was a very important step and a rather dangerous one. It all came down to her respiratory function and fortunately she came out screaming like crazy.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Egads man. More best of luck your way.

  • ||

    Holy crap, that does sound scary. Damn libertarian kids are difficult right from the start.

  • PapayaSF||

    Wow. Good luck and congratulations.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    SWEET!!! I hope Zena and mom continue to do well.

  • ||

    Congratulations. Long-time lurker and I hope everything works out for you and Banjos.

  • RBS||

    Congrats! I hope everything continues to go well!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Good shit man, congratulations.

  • Rhywun||

    Best of luck, sloopy.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Best wishes!

  • AuH2O||

  • JW||

    Congrats old man, both to you and the missus! Best of luck with the new bundle. I can't imagine sitting through the next few months.

  • XM||

    Congrats, but you'll have bid adieu to many a good night's sleep.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • General Butt Naked||

    I don't know if it was the beer, or what, but I was laughing my ass off.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    OK, is anyone else bothered by the Ford commercial claiming the space shuttle Endeavour was "practically weightless" in space? I mean, the force of gravity on the shuttle in LEO is more than half of the force of gravity on earth's surface, it's just the enormous orbital velocity relative to earth that keeps it from descending.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Wouldn't two canceling forces make it weightless, but not massless? You can be weightless in an (really fast) elevator.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    No you're not! The elevator is just falling at the same rate you are so there's no feeling of being pushed down against something by gravity. Well, until you reach the bottom of the shaft.

    Indeed, it's the upward force from the surface you're on that produces the sensation of weight.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I thought weight was just normal force which for an object in free fall would be zero, but if it's defined as gravitational acceleration times an objects mass then you'd have weight any where in the universe*.

    *unless you could find a magical spot with complete cancellation

  • ||

    That's right.

    The biggest problem with the commercial is saying "practically weightless". No. It's weightless. As is the person in the falling elevator or anyone or anything else in free fall.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    What force is causing the object to fall if it's weightless? Are you a pastafarian who believes in intelligent falling?

    And objects in motion remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. If the shuttle were weightless, it would travel in a straight line rather than orbiting the earth.

  • ||

    Newtonianism. How quaint.

    It is more accurate to say that objects remain in free fall unless acted on by an external force. As masses warp space around them, the natural behavior of objects in space is to fall toward the mass.

    Weight is only present if something, such as the ground, is preventing that fall, and the force of the prevention is the weight. Take a spring scale up to the shuttle and tell us what it says your weight is.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    It is more accurate to say that objects remain in free fall unless acted on by an external force.

    You'd have to be careful about what free fall means. It's not necessarily motion directly toward the earth, or whatever dominant massive system is nearby, as demonstrated by satellites that are technically in free fall while in orbit. Figuring out what kind of motion free-fall entails in a given situation requires introducing some idea of tangential velocity/momentum, which -- if we've cast Sir Isaac into the dustbin -- in a general relativistic setting is going to require some serious differential-geometry-fu.

    And that's leaving aside the problem that many of the concepts taken for granted in our daily experience suddenly become unclear once 20th century physical innovations are brought to bear, such as mass (not constant under gen-rel), motion (not universally agreed upon under spec-rel), force (not terribly well-defined even in classical mechanics, let alone relativistic), and time itself.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Weight is only present if something, such as the ground, is preventing that fall, and the force of the prevention is the weight.

    That's not what weight is commonly understood to mean. And that definition has some serious problems. The most striking one is that one's weight would increase when being pulled upward by an airplane or fast elevator, and would go to zero even if one is just jumping an inch off the ground.

    Take a spring scale up to the shuttle and tell us what it says your weight is.

    That's a limitation of the scale, not a need to redefine weight. The scale is designed to give the correct weight under certain assumptions. For instance, if you push up from below the scale it could easily give a zero, or even negative weight reading. And of course, the 2001 space probe's centrifugal "force" would cause a positive weight reading on a spring scale, despite the "force" involved having nothing to do with gravity.

    Just like the fact that a compass will not point toward north if you hold a bar magnet an inch to its east isn't a limitation of the concept of north...it's a violation of the assumptions the compass was designed for.

  • ||

    That's not what weight is commonly understood to mean. And that definition has some serious problems. The most striking one is that one's weight would increase when being pulled upward by an airplane or fast elevator, and would go to zero even if one is just jumping an inch off the ground.

    All true. But it's a far more useful definition of weight than the one that Newton was hampered with.

    It was only 105 years ago that someone had the "happiest moment of his life" when he realized that a person in free fall does not feel his own weight.

    Yes, Newtonian equations do a fine job of predicting a parabola or an ellipse. But there is something fundamentally useful in recognizing that weight is an abstraction that works in the formulas but really doesn't exist unless there is something to push against -- be it a spring scale or an elevator floor. It's so useful that it forms the basis of the whole General Theory of Relativity.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    But it's a far more useful definition of weight than the one that Newton was hampered with.

    No, it's not. Try designing an airplane wing without referencing the concept of weight.

    But there is something fundamentally useful in recognizing that weight is an abstraction that works in the formulas but really doesn't exist unless there is something to push against -- be it a spring scale or an elevator floor. It's so useful that it forms the basis of the whole General Theory of Relativity.

    You've been watching too many Brian Greene TV shows. People who really have to solve physics and engineering problems avoid GR and QM considerations whenever possible because they complicate things, and usually it's good enough for all practical purposes to pretend Einstein and the Copenhageners were never born (with transistors and satellites being important applications where Newton/Maxwell is not sufficient).

    For the 300+ years between Newton and Einstein, which saw the most incredible explosion of scientific knowledge and technological progress in human history, there were only 4-5 experimental results that indicated Newtonian mechanics might be incomplete: the photoelectric effect, the blackbody radiation problem, the Michaelson-Morley experiment, and the existence of line spectra. None of these issues were important to any industrial application and were fairly contrived experiments.

  • ||

    I am not a fan of Brian Greene. I do not believe mathematics equals science. Indeed, what separates Galileo, Kepler, and Newton from Greene is that they came up with math, but backed it up with experiment. I believe in Newtonian mechanics and agree with the importance of it. It should be used virtually always in any practical exercise.

    But, seriously, an object in free fall is weightless. It is far more useful to describe what happens to the object or to things in or on the object to say that it has zero weight than to say it has a weight composed of the superposition of the gravitational effects of all bodies around it times its inertial mass.

    Do you want to know what happens when you fire the orbital maneuvering engines on the shuttle? By all means use Newtonian mechanics. Modeling gravity as a force when there are other forces applied works, and works very well, due to equivalence. Do you want to know what happens when you sneeze on the shuttle? Dude, you're weightless! Put down the calculator and stop trying to determine the gravitational effect of the sun on your snot.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    f it's defined as gravitational acceleration times an objects mass then you'd have weight any where in the universe*.

    Yes, you do. Though the effect is negligible once you get far from earth (which LEO really isn't -- it's less than 35% further from the center of earth than the surface is)

  • JeremyR||

    I dunno. I think she had a point, but not a good way. "Great" things often don't really have much of a benefit for people, so they are better off if they hadn't made them.

    I mean, like the pyramids. They're pretty damn cool on the one hand, but if you were an Egyptian who had to work on it, or had to be taxed to pay for it, well, you probably wouldn't think so. They certainly didn't benefit from it.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hey man, if we do high speed rail in Cali, it'll benefit the tens upon tens that ride it. That should be enough for the millions that pay for it.

  • sloopyinca||

    Millions? Damn, you're optimistic.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Only tens will ride it, but millions will pay for it.

  • iggy||

    You guys just don't understand. The Europeans have high speed rail. You want to be like the Europeans, right? Right now we're just stupid Americans, standing around and throwing feces at each other. But after we have high speed rail we will at long last be like the cultured and ingenious European!

    How can you not want that?

  • General Butt Naked||

    It's funny that every news article ever has at least one Euro-Fuck talking shit on us backwards ass Americans not realizing that we invented the fucking INTERNET. Jesus.

    Wow!, you get 8 months vacation a year; we'd do the same but we're too busy PUTTING PEOPLE ON THE FUCKING MOON!

    Fuck Europe and and fuck all the sniveling sycophants that want to emulate that bloated corpse of a people.

  • iggy||

    Yeah! Plus, American trucks can TOW A SPACE SHUTTLE! Europeans don't have badass trucks OR space shuttles! Try towing a space shuttle with a Mini Cooper, Eurotrash!

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'm kinda glad we have the gun-toting, prone to violence image. Keeps 'em off our shores.

    Oh and we're fat too, real fat.

  • iggy||

    What's really great about our prone to violence image is this: America had 11,000,000 violent crimes last year. England had 6,000,000. Germany had 6,000,000. They have less than half as many people as America, even when you combine the populations, and yet they have more crime.

    The reason people think America is violent is entirely based on murder statistics, which are higher than the Europeans. But Europeans kick our ass in per capita rapes and assaults.

  • Sernylan||

    "But Europeans kick our ass in per capita rapes and assaults."

    I'm sure they are just beaming with pride.

  • American||

    I'm calling bullshit on iggy's Europe claims. Rape, maybe, only due to feminists caliming having sex with you're girlfriedn while she's drunk is "rape." But assult? Really?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I'm calling bullshit on iggy's Europe claims.

    The Brits themselves recognize this.

    In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed [in the EU] Austria with a rate of 1,677.

    The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.

    The chart they have shows 523 burglaries and 164 robberies per 100,000 residents. The US has 726 and 133, respectively. Looking at the wiki page for rape stats reveals that their rape rates and murder rates are lower than ours.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Plus, American trucks can TOW A SPACE SHUTTLE! Europeans don't have badass trucks OR space shuttles!

    1. American truck companies think the shuttle is weightless in orbit, so that cancels out the intelligence gain.

    2. We don't have shuttles either; we're totally dependent on the gorram Russkies for manned space travel.

  • iggy||

    One second: Looking up assault stats. They're hard to find since England and mainland Europe apparently call them different things.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah, I mean stupid nationalist posturing is stupid and nationalist, but if you want to actually look at reality, well....Americans invented reality. Glancing at the wikipedia article we have, in chronological order.

    The mail order catalog, the lighting rod, the catheter, the cracker, the cotton gin, the cupcake, the suspension bridge, the fire hydrant, the coffee percolator, the circular saw, dental floss, the sewing machine, the combine harvester, the steam shovel, the wrench, the circuit breaker, vulcanized rubber, the pin tumbler lock, the safety pin, the dishwasher, fire alarms, burglar alarms, potato chips, clothespins, condensed milk, toilet paper, pepper shakers, Mason jars, pencil erasers, ironing boards, electric stoves, escalators, vacuum cleaners, the repeating rifle, jelly beans, postcards, machine guns, breakfast cereal, ratchet wrench, cowboy hats, the urinal, the motorcycle, the paper clip, barbed wire, refrigeration, vibrators, American football, pipe wrench, clothes hanger, can opener, sandblaster, earmuffs, blue jeans, the spork, jockstrap, dental drill, synthesizer, tattoo machine, phonographs, cash registers, clothes iron, dissolvable pill, skyscrapers, lap steel guitar, popcorn machine, filing cabinet, telephone book, screen door, ballpoint pen, and the drinking staw.

    That's from the first of four wikipedia Timelines of United States inventions.

  • iggy||

    Here's rapes:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/gr.....per-capita

    America doesn't make the top 50.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

    Wikipedia gives different numbers but we still have fewer rates per capita than France, Belgium or Great Britain. For some reason, Wikipedia doesn't have stats for a lot of countries. What's up with Sweden? They're like twice as bad as the rest of the industrialized world.

    For some reason I cannot find assault statistics. Different countries probably call it different things.

    I totally agree that nationalistic posturing is absurdly stupid. I don't know whether it's worse than obsessing over how great you find other countries, but they're on the same plane of stupidity. Although, I do feel a slight twinge of American pride in the knowledge that you can thank us for the spork.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The biggest point, to my mind is that the Euros are obsessing about a 4.2/100K murder rate. As in, something that has a 0.0042% chance of happening.

    And there are several hundred guns in the US for every incident of gun crime.

  • Virginian||

    I think, if I'm doing my math correctly, that 99.99997 percent of American gun owners did not kill anyone last year.

  • Pagan Priestess||

    I was feeling that twinge for the toilet paper..it also explains a lot.

  • Sernylan||

    'Murica...fuck yeah!

  • General Butt Naked||

    if you want to actually look at reality, well....Americans invented reality. Glancing at the wikipedia article we have, in chronological order.

    ...the spork...

    *beems with pride*

  • Tulpa Doom||

    How amazing is America? We export chopsticks to China.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Your life would suck without Canadians.

  • General Butt Naked||

    My life sucks without hockey and there is no hockey.

    Ipso facto...

  • waaminn||

    Sounds like a plan to me dude. Wow.

    www.Mask-Dat-IP.tk

  • Tulpa Doom||

    FUCK YOU BOB COSTAS.

    Holy shit. "If Javon Belcher didn't have a gun, he and his girlfriend would still be alive today."

    Just like the guy with the bow and arrow and knife in Wyoming, and his dad and stepmom, I presume?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Exactly.

    Dude was 230 pounds of muscle, and fucking dipshit thinks he needs a gun to kill a small woman.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Every gun discussion board I'm on just exploded with multiple threads on Costas. LOL.

    The people who want him fired are going a bit too far. (though he should have been fired for being a boring, pompous moron in general long ago)

  • General Butt Naked||

    Yup, been looking around.

    AR15.com has a 6 page thread.

    PAFOA has 4 different threads.

    Defensivecarry.com has a few.

    That's just what I checked in the last couple of minutes. There is going to be backlash over this thing.

    What a fucking fartstain bob costas is.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    My favorite is the Derpocratic Underground version. Complete with the undoubtedly pro-gun comments "hidden by jury decision" and regular posters complaining about all the outsiders posting on their threads (I thought the GOP was the xenophobe party?).

  • General Butt Naked||

    Why'd I click that? Now I am enraged an will not be able to sleep and will fail my 7am test tomorrow.

    I love the projection by lefties considering guns. How they make one more likely to kill or shoot someone over a stupid argument. When one carries a gun one is more likely to avoid confrontation and try to settle things peacefully. But they're psychopaths that probably shouldn't actually be armed and see the rest of us as demented as them.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Barf. (unless this is parody)

    * [new] Costas (6+ / 0-)
    has always been such an interesting commentator. His late night show a few years back was excellent, and his sportscasting is always top quality. He deserves all the support we can give him.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:08:10 PM PST
  • General Butt Naked||

    Yeah, now a bunch of fucks who could of given two shits about bob costas enjoyed him before he was cool and consider him thoughtful and interesting.

    fucking gag me with a spoon

    You guys email NBC yet? I did.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Fuck that. NBC employs Madcow, they don't give a shit. Email Verizon, Wendy's, and Toyota.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Sponsors are already on my radar. Gotta wait 'til tomorrow.

    *7am test looms*

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Aaaand here comes 10 minutes of news followed by an hour of rehashing the Stillers game.

  • robc||

    Waste of 10 minutes.

  • DK||

    Actually, he was quoting an article (in the third to last paragraph) by Jason Whitlock. But, Costas shared the sentiment, so, yeah, fuck him and Whitlock.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Very few people would have noticed Whitlock's article if Costas hadn't quoted it on the most-watched weekly television program in the US.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Maybe if he had sliced her to pieces with a Knife, Bob?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    "Hell! They didn't have to cut her! She could have been used two or three more times!"

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I call dibbs on the WY thing. I made the point about sensationalism there.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    p.s. Costas is a douche

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Are you trying to muscle in on my hat tip?!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    "Thou shalt not horn in on thy neighbor's … racket"

  • Cliché Bandit||

    one word: Timestamp!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Just watched the rant on u-toob, and what a crock of shit.

    Fuckin' commie bastard announcing a football game, what the fuck is htis world coming to?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Here's the commie rant, if you've not seen it.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Was the guy filming that hiding in the closet or something? Weird ass:pect ratio.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I don't know, but I've seen that with phone vids before. It's weird.

    One guy says that Costas will be the average American wife's hero 'cause now sundays will be open for chores from all the boycotters.

  • BigT||

    WTF! If Belcher didn't have a gun his GF would be on life support in some local hell-hole hospital AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE. And Belcher would be staying in some local slammer AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE. And we would be putting him on trial etc etc AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE.

    2nd Amendment is good for the economy.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Al Michaels does not know how to pronounce "Montréal Canadiens"
    Where's the outrage over that?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    My outrage over Al and pretentiously H-less Cris has dulled with exposure over the past few years.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If Russell Wilson had a gun, he may have killed himself before the game today and the Bears would have won.

  • mustard||

    There should be a law requiring all guns to be pink. Then we'll see how many gun nuts are "exorsizing their" so-called "rights" vs. who is just pathetically overcompensating for not being enthralled with their male sexual performance.

    I'd like to see how many pink guns the NRA could sell.

  • BigT||

    There should be a law requiring ...

    You are an a-hole.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    This is the same problem I have with Neil deGrasse Tyson. As a science communicator, I have seldom seen his equal (using the written word, for example, Isaac Asimov was king, Carl Sagan the celebrity prince, but Tyson deserves to be in their company; in video, Don Herbert, Julius Sumner Miller, Bill Nye and also Sagan rank very highly, but again, Tyson has a place in that crowd). Still, he irritates me when he sneers at the private space program because, in his mind, they aren't doing the cutting edge stuff -- it goes without saying (again, in his mind) that only government (primarily NASA) can possibly do the grand projects!!! There is nothing wrong with NdGT that a little less worship of the omnipotent State wouldn't cure.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Maddow apparently believes that no private accomplishment is possible without government support through spending on infrastructure, education, and research. "

    You didn't achieve that!

  • ||

    She apparently likes industrial policy, government-guided economic activity in which politicians decide which industries and firms should be encouraged and which not.

    IOW, she's a typical fucking fascist, which has been the only real form of government employed in the first world since WWII. Top Men.

  • CBar1||

    ...Has anyone else noticed that this promo is from April of 2011...?

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