You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way Journalists Blow

When it comes presidential kill lists, too many in the media dig power absolute power absolutely.

(Page 2 of 2)

the memo and then deciding that al Qaeda is pretty much always about to attack the U.S., he concludes

Well, either this makes a certain sense to you, or you just think that a state can't be in the business of killing its own citizens and that's all there is to it. There's no doubt that a sentence like "the president has the power to order the assassination of American citizens" sounds positively despotic. However, these are people who have gone off and joined Al Qaeda (the white paper also mentions "associated groups," and one definitely wonders where that line is drawn, precisely). If an American citizen of German descent had gone back to...Germany in 1934 and joined the Nazi Party and worked his way up such that he was involved in the plotting of attacks against American soldiers, and Roosevelt had order him killed, no one would have batted an eye in 1940s America.

You got that? You're either with the president's logic or you can't understand it (shades of George Bush's simplistic, Bible-based manicheanism when he said you're either with us or against us!). There's enough qualifiers in the passage above to give anyone pause, of course: Who are the associated groups after all? How exactly is this like 1940s America? The short version, as even Tomasky eventually grants later, is that "it's not 1940s America." Last time, I checked, Congress declared war against Nazi Germany. And the Nazis kept membership lists which greatly minimized - though didn't eliminate fully - questions of who belonged. Maybe more important, mistakes were made, including the internment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans and alien residents for no good reason other than hysteria. Can we learn at least a little from the past? And not the distant past, either. Enough of the detainees at Gitmo were wrongly held so that you'd figure Obama (didn't he pledge to shut that prison down?) would want to make double-plus sure that he's targeting the right bastards?

But all Tomasky's mental whittling is besides the point, really, because people aren't saying they can't think of scenarios in which the state has the legitimate right to kill bad guys (including its own citizens) without going through every possible aspect of criminal or military due process. The current controversy is over Barack Obama's unwillingness to explain precisely how and when he's been making such calls and exactly where he thinks he derives the right to do so.

Tomasky's colleague at The Daily Beast, David Frum, is not beset with internal strife. A former Bush speechwriter (best known for coining the phrase "the Axis of Evil"), Frum says that just about anything Obama does is plainly covered under the authorization of the use of military force (AUMF) that was signed a few days after 9/11. "That resolution remains in force today," writes Frum. "It assigns to the president - not to some judge - the authority to determine who committed the 9/11 attacks. It assigns to the president - not a jury - the responsibility to prevent any future acts of international terrorism." Leaving aside the fact that it was signed a dozen years ago, the AUMF does direct the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force" to bring the 9/11 terrorists to justice as well as "to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States." While the authorization covers a lot of ground, it doesn't mean that the president, or whoever he designates, can simply do whatever he pleases. As Eli Lake noted for Reason in 2010, the Supreme Court limited President Bush's powers under the AUMF and the Obama adminstration itself pledged to respect international law even while prosecuting the war on terror. More to the point, perhaps, the AUMF doesn't mean that Congress can't oversee or be privy to the president's actions and logic. What does it say about Obama's respect for a separation of powers and the Constitution that he has refused to give the Senate the classified truth on his decision matrix for killing suspected terrorists? Nothing good.

We grudgingly allow the government to surveil, detain, and confront people all the time when various sorts of suspicions are raised; the difference is that there is a clear framework in place so that we can judge whether the government is acting in accordance with the law rather than simply acting on its own impulse. You'd think that Obama - an Ivy League lawyer and a Nobel Peace Prize winner no less- would be proactive in reassuring the Congress and the country that he's not flying by the seat of his pants on this.

By making clear that as a journalist he tries to see things first and foremost from the perspective of the powerful, Michael Tomasky helps to clarify why so many in the media are rushing to the president's defense. They are entranced with power and the view from the top. "Presidents live with that responsibility [of protecting American lives] every day," he writes. "If that responsibility were mine, I can't honestly say what I'd do, and I don't think anyone can." Not all journalists are awed by power, of course, even on the right (National Review's Jim Geraghty, for instance, asserts that this sort of thing of extra-judicial killing policy wouldn't be cricket even under a GOP president).

This isn't ultimately about ideological hypocrisy - of liberals changing their tune once their guy is in office - but something much more basic and much more disturbing. It reveals that for all their crowing about being watchdogs of all that is good and decent in society, when push comes to shove, too many journalists are ready and willing handmaidens to power - including the power to kill.

There's the old saw from Mother Jones - the namesake of today's left-wing publication - that her job was to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." To its credit and unlike too many on the broadly construed left, Mother Jones (the magazine and website) still believes that as it relates to civil liberties. As Adam Serwer has written,

The Obama administration claims that the secret judgment of a single "well-informed high level administration official" meets the demands of due process and is sufficient justification to kill an American citizen suspected of working with terrorists. That procedure is entirely secret. Thus it's impossible to know which rules the administration has established to protect due process and to determine how closely those rules are followed. The government needs the approval of a judge to detain a suspected terrorist. To kill one, it need only give itself permission.

That such an obvious analysis escapes so many in the press is troubling, to say the least. But it makes total sense if, as Michael Tomasky says, you focus first on what you would do if you were in "Politician X's position." The world - and your concerns - must surely look different when viewed from such a lofty vantage point.

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  • Fool||

    Hey, but don't forget, it's the "social contract." Apparently we agreed to bend over and take it, at least according to many of the smarter people I know.

  • Agreenweed||

    Right. The feds will give it to us doggystyle.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way Journalists Blow"

    plus one million

  • A Serious Man||

    This sort of analysis struggles to rise above Goofus and Gallant in Highlights for Children: Goofus constantly invokes real and imagined threats to concentrate his power. Gallant talks a good game about protecting rights even while claiming far more power than this predecessor.

    I always new Gallant was a budding sociopath.

    I’ve always written about politics with part of my brain focused on the question of what I would do if I were in Politician X’s position. This line of thought came so naturally to me that I imagined everyone did this.... [The memo is] certainly not something that makes the breast swell with pride. But it does make me wonder what I would do in this situation, and I can’t honestly come up with easy answers.

    I have an easy answer Tomasky: you're a spineless Team Blue shill and bootlicker that is afraid to criticize a black president for committing the same crimes as GOP predecessor.

  • LLizard||

    Thank you, Mr. Tomasky. I tried your technique, and focused my brain on the question of, What would I have done if I were in Stalin's position?
    After reexamining things from HIS perspective, I realize I've been unjustifiably critical of Uncle Joe - he had to make lots of hard decisions, for the protection of his people.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    committing worse crimes than his GOP predecessor.

    FTFY

  • fish||

    Nick Gillespie: You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way Who the Journalists Blow

    FTFY

  • Tman||

    And this joke only took two minutes!

    Impressive H&R crowd, impressive indeed.

  • Ted S.||

    Whom.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    THANK YOU.

  • Agreenweed||

    FOR THE FUCKING WIN

  • ||

    The media is majority TEAM BLUE, but even more so, overwhelmingly statist. They are the remoras hitching a ride on the politicians. The more powerful the politicians, the more exciting their access to them. The more they are elevated just through contact.

    Any expectation that they will act as any brake on the government is laughable, to expect it when the majority of them have their TEAM in charge is insane.

  • JeremyR||

    They decide and the shotgun sings the song!

    If there is a better political song than Won't Get Fooled Again, I don't know it.

  • Almanian.||

    Why Don't We Do It In The Road?

    No?

  • Sevo||

    "Taxman"

  • werewife||

    From the immortal Johnny Mercer, by way of Instapundit: The Country's In the Very Best of Hands.

  • ||

    TEAM BE RULED

  • Almanian.||

    Lloyd B. No Longer Free

  • Almanian.||

    Excuse me - forgot the name change:

    WORLD B. No Longer Free

  • Art Vandelay||

    I prefer:

    World B. Droned

  • Sevo||

    'And if the President is mistaken, who is to tell him of it?'
    SCOTUS on Nixon's claim of executive privilege.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Heck, I'll do it. For free.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    So why does the much larger libertarian and conservative media carry water for the fascists? This magazine and website, others like The National Review or Daily Caller, are constantly railing against progress to a social democracy.

    When do we hold them accountable for preventing the only thing that can fight against the monopoly power of the market and its push for the imposition of fascism?

  • Hugh Akston||

    C+

  • Cytotoxic||

    Give him better credit than that. I think it's A material.

  • Almanian.||

    Pffft - GRADE INFLATION!!!11!

  • Cytotoxic||

    He has potential!

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    AHHHHG! Here comes the Democratic-Socialist Predator drone!!!

  • Almanian.||

    Only if you're talking Old Skool programming, and not troll grades.

    D

  • Almanian.||

    Good point. If we're not careful, the libertardians are soon going to control not just MOST things, but EVERYTHING.

    Also, chem trails.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And everyone knows libertarians are constantly plotting to take over the world and leave everyone alone.

  • Bill||

    LOL

  • Anonymous Coward||

    #TFT

  • Almanian.||

    THANK YOU for your explanation in the other thread.

    May I propose

    #TFE

    (ebbyday)

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I only need one day off from abusing trolls. The other six days, I want to have a progtard-stomping fiesta.

  • A Serious Man||

    LOOK OUT! Libertarians want to take over and then LEAVE YOU ALONE!

  • ||

    Dude, it's a pathetically obvious sockpuppet. Ignore it.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    No, the libertarians will never take over. They will just undermine and prevent a strong democracy which will allow the far-right to seize control.

    This is what happened in Weimar Germany. The libertarians and "patriots" fought tooth and nail against the social democrats establishing a basic system of governance which created a power vacuum allowing the corporations to bankroll Hitler into power. Then everybody lost, not just the democratic left.

  • Sevo||

    "No, the libertarians will never take over. They will just undermine and prevent a strong democracy which will allow the far-right to seize control."

    'Nother F.
    See you next semester.

  • RyanXXX||

    The "libertarians" in Weimar Germany? Ok, pal...

  • Mumu Bobby||

    What part of a pogrom ISN'T libertarian?

    Speaking of pogroms, gun owners who smoke and don't agree that Obama has replaced your Dad, and religion, should self-deport, now, before it gets worse for you.

  • ||

    Don't stop him, he's on a roll...

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Wasn't that right before the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

  • Rick Santorum||

    They will just undermine and prevent a strong democracy

    Why on Earth would I want there to be a "strong democracy"? America has a strong democracy, and it has ruined us.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Apparently that bug Menendez spreads creates dementia.

  • mgd||

    You don't have even a nodding acquaintance with interwar German history, do you?

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    So who took control of the Military/Police/Fascist-Welfare state in this country? Last I looked, right/left is just a distraction. Who is behind that surveillance drone flying above your home? Who is pressing the LAUNCH button on Killer Drones? Lindsey Graham/Karl Rove/George Bush or Barack Obama/Janet Napolitano/Hillary Clinton? Or all of the above?

  • derpules||

    c'mon, we can't let the lib[ertarian]s take over. there would be no roadz, no educationz, no healthcarez, and fatcatz would bogart all the cubanz!

  • Sevo||

    ..."the monopoly power of the market"...
    Sorry guys; F
    In fact, the student must repeat the course.

  • wareagle||

    So why does the much larger libertarian and conservative media carry water for the fascists?

    new derp...sounds much like the old Tony derp.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    So you're denying that Fox News, Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh, etc. don't have more viewers/readers/listeners than democratic left equivalents?

  • wareagle||

    let's see: fox/rush/wsj vs ABC/NBC/CBS/NPR/WaPo/NYT/academia/Hollywood. Rush's entire week barely equals one night of an network's evening newscast, let alone their morning show and other news programming that may appear.

  • Redmanfms||

    So you're denying that Fox News, Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh, etc. don't have more viewers/readers/listeners than democratic left equivalents?

    Doesn't admitting that the "democratic left" outlets have fewer viewers/readers/listeners belie your insistence that it represents the "will of the people?"

  • DWC||

    And these people have precisely what in common with libertarians? You can not seriously be this much of an idiot? What you are apparently too stupid to realize is that the blue team and the red team and the media and the corporatists are all the SAME team. And ALL of those guys are against you. Libertarians are FOR you. It takes a certain amount of discernment to be able to determine who your friends are and who they are not. You, apparently, lack that.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Of course they do. But they are more often humans and less often subnormals like you.

  • werewife||

    If only. If f###ing only.

    G-d, I miss Andrew Breitbart.

  • fish||

    Nahh...that's Mary derp. She must have separated from her husband again. This is how she acts out.

  • ||

    She has a husband? Poor bastard

  • Killazontherun||

    It wasn't by choice. An activist judge sentenced a child rapist to the worst possible punishment he could imagine. Being married to Mary.

  • Rick Santorum||

    I thought I was Mary.

  • KPres||

    The different personalities aren't aware of each other, apparently.

  • Calidissident||

    The libertarian media is much larger than the liberal media?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, yeah, if you go by the volume of the voices in her head.

  • ||

    Wow. That is one horrible mish-mash of ridiculousness.

  • ||

    Good evening T o n y.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, nothing says we're carrying water for fascists like a post denouncing the current president for executing Americans at whim--and, in the same post, criticizing the last president for holding Americans at Guantanamo without pressing charges...?

    He'd get a D- if he put his name on it, but he didn't do that, so he gets an F.

  • ucky||

    well done. an F is grade inflation in this case.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    He will likely get a social promotion and a New World Order Swastika branded on his forehead.

  • ucky||

    huh? first, take your meds. second, try to respond to the easy target that is obama's narcissistic arrogance re drone attacks, kill lists, executive orders, etc. you idiots elected a would be dictator, a man that thinks he is above all others, and all else. and even when he spits in your stupid faces, you still love him. that's the feckless idolatry of the fools in the media, the progressive class, and among the broad swaths of the great unwashed. staggeringly, dangerously, dumb and naive.

  • Bill||

    Words and political labels have meanings. You should learn what they are.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Too many journalists are ready and willing handmaidens to power - including the power to kill."

    Well if they spoke up about it, they might not get as much access for interviews and such--and isn't that what's really important?

    Oh, and it should be noted, these are the same people who sat back and did nothing while Bush Jr. sold us a bill of goods regarding Al Qaeda, mobile WMD labs, and yellow-cake in Iraq.

    No, that doesn't demonstrate that they're playing fair in their biases--it demonstrates that the left shouldn't expect them to suddenly become competent informers of the public interest once their man is no longer in office, either. They're incapable no matter who's in office.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Well if they spoke up about it, they might not get as much access for interviews and such--and isn't that what's really important?

    You mean like if libertarians don't kowtow to progressivism, they won't get invited to cocktail parties?

  • ChrisO||

    To a degree, I think you can blame the increasingly Ivy League pedigree of political journalists. Not that they received an Ivy League degree, per se, but that they are classmates and long-time chums with the very people they are purporting to cover and investigate. It's essentially the same group of people, so it's ridiculous to expect them to suddenly morph into real reporters.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    So the problem is that they've gotten an elite education?

    Would have been much better if they dropped out of the University of Idaho right?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Probably. Then they wouldn't have the delusional that their 'education' was meaningful beyond political indoctrination.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    Right, gaining knowledge and experience from the best experts in every field is a terrible thing.

    Why not let ol jimbob down at the tire fire make the decisions for everyone. Much better plan!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Or just let people make decisions for themselves.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    I agree to the extent that they don't harm anyone else with the consequences of their decisions.

  • ||

    So law-abiding gun owners shouldn't have their activities impeded. I'm glad we finally agree.

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 7:48PM |#
    "I agree to the extent that they don't harm anyone else with the consequences of their decisions."

    IOWs you oppose the government?

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    No, I believe the government should meet everyones material needs, a simple and non-intrusive process. That way its citizens can enjoy true social, moral and emotional liberty.

  • A Serious Man||

    No, I believe the government should meet everyones material needs, a simple and non-intrusive process.

    Except government knows nothing but force, therefore everything it does is intrusive, coercive, and violent.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    That's why you need to move government towards social democracy. Coercive force is a symptom of the right.

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 8:04PM |#
    "That's why you need to move government towards social democracy. Coercive force is a symptom of the right."

    Truly brain-dead.

  • ucky||

    i give this lemming credit for coming up here and showing the true face of the left. brain dead, but game for a beating. gotta respect that, lmao.

  • A Serious Man||

    That's why you need to move government towards social democracy. Coercive force is a symptom of the right.

    Alright, sounds good. You hear that guys? We don't have to pay our taxes unless we really want too. MSL promises us that coercive violence won't exist when the state has all the guns and our 'fair share' is over half our income. Nope, it'll all be voluntary.

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 7:57PM |#
    "No, I believe the government should meet everyones material needs,..."

    OK, single IQ alert!
    Bozo here never heard of communism.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    I've heard of Communism. It's the longest running resistance movement against far-right totalitarianism.

    It has its flaws because it requires the far-right to cease to exist before it can function properly. That's why social democracy is a necessary and powerful step in the right direction.

  • DWC||

    Oh, that's the flaw with Communism, it requires the far right to disappear!!! Please, please don't tell me you are one of those "Communism is good in theory!!!" people. No one is seriously that dim.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    But a communist would hold that a social democrat is nothing more than a social fascist. Either hopelessly naive or worse, a willing traitor in service of Capital.

    Why, Modern Social Liberty, Why must you be a Social Fascist?

  • wareagle||

    No, I believe the government should meet everyones material needs, a simple and non-intrusive process. That way its citizens can enjoy true social, moral and emotional liberty.

    you have just described the opposite of liberty. The same govt giving you free shit is the same one that can take it away.

  • ||

    No, I believe the government should meet everyones material needs, a simple and non-intrusive process.

    And how, do you propose, the government accomplish such a feat?

  • Bruce Majors||

    So you believe the state should enslave people and force them to provide you and your friends with what you want. In exchange you will support the state. So you are a quisling and a whore. Got it.

  • grey||

    +++

  • DarrenM||

    So you believe the state should enslave people and force them to provide you and your friends with what you want. In exchange you will support the state.

    There do seem to be those who gladly relinquish any semblance of personal rights and autonomy in exchange for someone else taking care of them, telling them what to do, and what to think. Yes, a comfortable slavery.

  • werewife||

    My material needs include restaurant meals, a 4-bedroom house, monthly theater tickets, and an annual Disney Cruise for my extended family (10 people). Provide them. Simply and non-intrusively, of course.

    Or is it you who determines what my material needs are? Got it.

  • ||

    I agree to the extent that they don't harm anyone else with the consequences of their decisions.

    So you're a libertarian then?

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The elite pricks and cunts are so much more effective at fucking people over -- and have learned in their institutions how to protect THEMSELVES from the consequences. Where does the elite worship come from?

  • A Serious Man||

    How about we let no one make decisions for everyone?

  • wareagle||

    Top. Men. He wants to be one.

  • derpules||

    Why not let ol jimbob down at the tire fire make the decisions for everyone.

    Why not let ol jimbob down at the DMV make the decisions for everyone. Much better plan!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Why not let ol jimbob down at the tire fire make the decisions for everyone. Much better plan!

    Jimbo's unlikely to get us involved in endless war or think that groping five year old girls and octogenarian cancer patients make flying safer. Jimbo thought that giving poor people loans they couldn't pay back was a really bad idea. And he doesn't think that printing new money is the path to prosperity. He doesn't want someone thrown in rape cage for getting high.

    So yeah, ole Jimbo will do a hell of a lot better job than the best and the brightest have done.

  • MSimon||

    And he doesn't think that printing new money is the path to prosperity.

    Printing old money will work.

  • DWC||

    It is absurd to talk about "experts" when referring to the "social sciences". Social science consists solely of indoctrination of some kind or other. Now, talking about actual academics - the hard sciences and mathematics and actual disciplines such as architecture and medicine and so on, things that require actual, measurable ability - is something else altogether, but these people are not the people interested in running the country or the lives of others. They are interested in actual accomplishment, rather than the facsimile of it. I'm betting you actually think that people like Hillary are truly accomplished people.

  • Rick Santorum||

    the best experts in every field is a terrible thing.

    Lol, I was going to comment on that one, but you beat me to it.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Best experts according to themselves and the government that funds them? See, you are a sheeple. So now we know why your comments are so thoughtless.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You do understand, I hope, that most of us don't expect politicians, let alone journalists, make our decisions for us. I realize you might get a little confused about this, as the nice men in the white coats do that for you.

  • ||

    Attending Harvard, for instance, entails being in Massachusetts, and I'd rather subject myself to eternal fire.

  • ||

    So the problem is that they've gotten an elite education?
    Not that they received an Ivy League degree, per se, but that they are classmates and long-time chums with the very people they are purporting to cover and investigate.

    Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Reading Comprehension

  • StackOfCoins||

    This is enough to determine if MSL is ignorant or a troll, and based on the decent vocabulary, grammar, and brevity of the answers with a focus on spin, we can surmise it's probably the latter.

  • ||

    Oh, for god's sake...it's obviously T o n y.

  • Almanian.||

    blame the increasingly Ivy League pedigree

    Appopriately enough, I blame Bush - both the Elder and the Lesser - in this case.

  • MSimon||

    Blaming Bush?

    Would that be Smoking Bush? Or Eating Bush?

  • Ray||

    This sort of analysis struggles to rise above Goofus and Gallant in Highlights for Children: Goofus constantly invokes real and imagined threats to concentrate his power. Gallant talks a good game about protecting rights even while claiming far more power than this predecessor.

    Most enhanced interrogated metaphor ever?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I’ve always written about politics with part of my brain focused on the question of what I would do if I were in Politician X’s position. This line of thought came so naturally to me that I imagined everyone did this.... [The memo is] certainly not something that makes the breast swell with pride. But it does make me wonder what I would do in this situation, and I can’t honestly come up with easy answers.

    I have an answer: not kill Americans without due process.

  • ||

    Bush deserves an apology.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    And yet you all get upset when people properly point out how libertarians spend all their time defending Republicans and other parts of the far-right.

  • ||

    She means we should apologize for all the mean things we said about him before the Great One taught us the error of our ways, or How We Learned to Love Authoritarianism.

  • ||

    By Barack Hussein Obama II

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 7:50PM |#
    "And yet you all get upset when people properly point out how libertarians spend all their time defending Republicans and other parts of the far-right."

    OK, rare double F.
    No research leading to false conclusion.
    You are an ignoramus, aren't you?

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    Says the guy who's never even heard of monopoly power. (Let alone studied any political history.)

    Hint: Doesn't have to do with the crappy board game.

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 7:59PM |#
    "Says the guy who's never even heard of monopoly power. (Let alone studied any political history.)"

    Idiot, there was *one* monopoly that wasn't a government creation. The government broke it and the consumers suffered.
    Yes, I've heard all the lefty fantasies about 'monopoly power'; the concept is promoted by those whose brains have leaked out.

  • A Serious Man||

    Two things: one, Standard Oil was never able to achieve a market equilibrium that made it a true monopoly. It reached its acme in the 1890s with like 90% of the market, but by the time the trust busters came around that share had already eroded to below 70%. At any rate, consumers benefited from SO's ability to produce large quantities of cheap oil.

    And secondly, shithead bitches about monopolies but wants the state to have a monopoly on guns, on currency, and on the legal system because democracy means nothing will ever go wrong ever.

  • Sevo||

    Nope, not Standard Oil. Alcoa. The state broke in in spite of falling aluminum prices; prices immediately rose as others tried to learn aluminum refining.
    I'm not sure the current ignoramus has thought through his/her fantasies to even imagine the results you mention; that would require some logical development. Such is not yet in evidence.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    A social democracy is not monopolistic because we're all decision makers with equal say in one.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    *equal say and equal rights

  • Rick Santorum||

    equal say and equal rights

    What if those God-fearing white Southern Baptists have an equal say against gay marriage? What then, shithead?

  • A Serious Man||

    Sure, just as long as the pigs get to be more equal than others.

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 8:09PM |#
    "A social democracy is not monopolistic because we're all decision makers with equal say in one."

    See below. This troll is one despicable asshole.

  • fish||

    Sevo...it's Mary in White Indian mode! Back away!

  • Sevo||

    fish| 2.7.13 @ 8:29PM |#
    "Sevo...it's Mary in White Indian mode! Back away!"

    OK, but evidence?

  • ||

    No, it's Tony, or to be more precise, Tony's string-master.

  • ||

    Or a Reason-paid sock puppet to get more eyeballs here...

  • ||

    It's a libertarian conspiracy!

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Well, MSL, that crappy board game has never killed anyone, unlike the murderous political philosophy you espouse. You know, DoAsWeSayOrYouAllDieism otherwise known as Leftism.

    Anyway, since you probably don't believe in private gun ownership nor private property rights, where will you organize and how will you fight this growing fascism?

    Hint: From you I expect a crappy answer laced with a lame-ass attempt to insult me. Or you'll just continue playing with yourself and sniffing Elmer's glue. Either way is fine with me.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    It's simple, through the government we can prevent the rise of a monopoly power and maintain our rights.

    Fascists and the rest of the far-right will always try to establish that power to seize total control which is why you have to be vigilant and ensure that the peoples needs are met so they can't be deceptively lured into the false promises of the right.

  • wareagle||

    just stop with the fascists and far right boilerplate claptrap and under a simple reality: hard left regimes have killed tens of millions of people while promising them all utopia. It is not the role of the govt to provide for anyone's needs and those who believe it is are pretty much advocating slavery.

    Govt exists to protect the rights you have. It cannot give you rights because if it could, then it could also take them away. Our form of govt - a democratic republic with a capitalist economy - has proven the single most successful model in world history, as loathsome as you and your professor find it.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    And yet there's more relative poverty in the United States, more gun violence, more drug use, more income inequality, less democracy, more corporate power, less workers rights and more religion than in any other modern nation.

    And this is supposed to a defense of denying liberty to all?

  • wareagle||

    no one denies liberty to anyone except statist pricks who believe govt is giver of all things good. And, no, there is NOT more poverty here than anywhere else. By global standards, America's poor are most nations' middle class.

    Gun violence is largely the product of the drug war, which most here oppose. Drug use is going to happen, and does, in any place where people seek intoxicants and distractions from life. The religion we have does NOT include beating or killing women for doing things like walking alone, beating gays for being gay, or requiring that everyone follow the same faith. And that you claim the US has less democracy than any other foreign nation is just weapons grade clueless.

    Whatever school you are learning this from should be sued for malpractice, if not shut down entirely. Liberty occurs when govt leaves people the hell alone, protects their rights, and gets out of the way so individuals can make the decisions that best suit them, whether you like those decisions or not. Long as my rights are not violated, I have no say in what you do.

  • ||

    no one denies liberty to anyone except statist pricks who believe govt is giver of all things good.

    Congratulations. You've just uncovered what's behind the "Tyranny of Liberty" curtain.

  • CbadCAMom||

    I always read the comments on Reason, because 99.999999% of the time they are better than the articles.

    You made my day. Thank you. Unfortunately, MSL and his ilk are hopelessly deluded. On the positive side, he probably believes the world is overpopulated and is pro-abortion, so we don't have to worry about him reproducing.

  • ||

    Relative poverty? That is laughable. Fuck relative poverty and fuck you. Poverty counts not relative anything. Your envy for anyone who has more than you do is loathsome.

    More gun violence? False.

    More drug use? False.

    More income inequality? False.

    Less democracy? False, but we can always hope.

    More corporate power? False or not, you assume this is a bad thing. More envy.

    Less workers rights? False.

    More religion? False.

    Yes, you are a despicable piece of shit alright.

  • Gemini||

    Sounds like you believe that the US is the worst of all possible places.

    If you live here, it would perhaps behoove you to move to somewhere more tolerable to you. The system in place here is not conducive to quick change, so maybe a revolution in an unstable country, of your choosing, would be a better expenditure of your efforts and time? Then, you could model it after whatever ideology you wished! Create the utopia and people all over the world will flock to it and praise your achievements in humanity...sounds like a worthy endeavor, pack now and please go post haste.

  • DarrenM||

    And yet there's more relative poverty in the United States

    This is a problem with Leftists, the focust on *relative* poverty instead of absolute poverty. A person could own a mansion with all the comforts of modern society and still be 'poor'.

  • wareagle||

    I say our new buddy Modern Social Liberty is engaging in a class project for some mid-level Political Science course. So much of what he says sounds like sophomoric boilerplate than even he will be embarrassed by in a decade or two.

    When someone equates the govt providing life's necessities with liberty, peak derp is among us.

  • A Serious Man||

    Hopefully he's an Occutard that will get his skull thumped by agents of his beloved state at his next protest.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    When your necessities are taken care you're freed to pursue true social, moral and emotional liberty.

    Look into Mazlow's hierarchy of needs. The more we address those needs the more we can advance upwards to enjoy liberty instead of struggling to resist poverty.

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 8:12PM |#
    ..."Look into Mazlow's hierarchy of needs."...

    Got it, asshole. Reality isn't one of your acquaintances.

  • wareagle||

    Maslow never advocated using govt force in order to have one's needs met. His hierarchy says that's your job.

  • CbadCAMom||

    How do you propose government meets those necessities and how are necessities defined? I'm kinda curious. I'd love to hear your answer.

  • werewife||

    What in the late great lamented name of Andrew Breitbart is "emotional liberty"?

    I'm genuinely curious about this.

  • wheelock||

    I love how this one keeps insisting we just havent been made aware of the poli-sci 101 claptrap he is being spoon-fed in his first year in college.

  • ||

    "..peak derp is among us."

    I laughed.

  • ||

    I think he's sarcasmic in disguise. He was far too good at emulating a progressive last week.

  • Sevo||

    OK, needs to be here so it isn't lost in the nested thread.
    Our newest brain-dead lefty actually posted this:

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 8:07PM |#
    "I've heard of Communism. It's the longest running resistance movement against far-right totalitarianism.
    It has its flaws because it requires the far-right to cease to exist before it can function properly. That's why social democracy is a necessary and powerful step in the right direction."

    Now you've gone beyond stupidity to truly evil, asshole. Communism is the cause of some 100million innocent deaths in the 20th century, you ignorant, sleazy bastard, and you propose it as some sort of positive value?
    I can only hope someone rapes you with a rusty chain-saw.

  • A Serious Man||

    I can only hope someone rapes you with a rusty chain-saw.

    I'd settle for dropping him into North Korea.

  • Sevo||

    So long as the drop put him/her outside the government.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    So you think absolute liberty isn't a positive value?

    The states that fell into totalitarianism were not because of the rising up and social liberation of the oppressed but because of reactionary forces that seized power before the liberating system could be properly put in place.

    Besides the only reason you're bringing up those crimes (and trying to attach them to the left) is because you're trying to obfuscate the crimes of the right.

  • wareagle||

    the crimes of the left speak for themselves and odd as it must seem to someone like you, no one here advocates for statist crimes from either side. Here's a hint: learn what libertarianism is, and more important, what it is not before coming in here full of newfound piss and vinegar.

    States that fell into far left totalitarianism did so under leaders who promised utopia and delivered murder. Right-wing dictators were dicks from the word go.

  • Modern Social Liberty||

    You don't advocate for it, you just undermine any effort to oppose crimes from the right.

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 8:26PM |#
    "You don't advocate for it, you just undermine any effort to oppose crimes from the right."
    No, we undermine the efforts of evil idiots like you to promote human cruelty.

  • wareagle||

    you don't read well, do you? I said people here oppose authoritarianism from either side. It's why most see Repubs as being almost as evil as Dems.

  • Sevo||

    wareagle| 2.7.13 @ 8:29PM |#
    "you don't read well, do you? I said people here oppose authoritarianism from either side. It's why most see Repubs as being almost as evil as Dems."

    See above; fish is claiming this is mary. In which case, there's no reason to engage.
    To be honest, the fantasies offered so far suggest that even if it's not mary, there's really no possibility of argument.
    We have a bleever; the faith is strong and the devil has been identified. It is "THE RIGHT", and I'll presume this idiot figures National Socialism is somehow 'right'.
    So, w-e, I'm going with Warty's comment, even if that claim does get tired.

  • benji||

    In mild fairness, most people ARE taught that communism is the left and fascism is the right*. And in the middle are people like Thomas Friedman.

    All part of the collectivist/statist con.

    *Because one is hierarchical and the other is not...whatever the hell that is supposed to mean in regards to a "dictatorship of the proletariat" and nomenklatura.

  • Sevo||

    benji| 2.7.13 @ 8:49PM |#
    "In mild fairness, most people ARE taught that communism is the left and fascism is the right"...

    I got that pitch also, but the hope is that if you are truly educated, you can skeptically examine what is handed out in a classroom.
    Whether the current idiot is a sock or just an ignoramus, the fact is that the false dichotomy has been ignored (ignoramus) or finessed (sock).

  • Sevo||

    Modern Social Liberty| 2.7.13 @ 8:19PM |#
    "So you think absolute liberty isn't a positive value?"

    I think you're an incredibly stupid ignoramus who hasn't the slightest clue as to the results of your fantasies.
    To make is simple, you're nothing other than one more religionist willing to have people killed for your bleefs.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Left, right, just shut the fuck up. It's all statism. You're either really ignorant, or just a prick. "So you think absolute liberty isn't a positive value?" That's really delicious troll baiting, since liberty is basically our bread and butter here.

    If you're a troll, consider me trolled, because you're incredibly irritating to read.

  • Boisfeuras||

    I've heard of Communism. It's the longest running resistance movement against far-right totalitarianism.

    It has its flaws because it requires the far-right to cease to exist before it can function properly

    And Communism will just help them cease to exist by murdering a few tens of millions of wreckers, deviationists, and kulaks.

  • MJGreen||

    Of course, classical liberalism predates communism by 200 years, and actually has secured people's liberty in very tangible ways.

  • ||

    There is no sockpuppet so obvious that you people will refuse to feed it, is there?

  • Sevo||

    Warty,
    Sometimes that act gets tired.

  • fish||

    Sometimes you just can't help yourself.....

    (slinks away)

  • Redmanfms||

    It can be fun sometimes.

  • ||

    Hmmmmm.
    *squinting at Warty and wondering if he is the sockpuppet*

  • Sevo||

    Suthenboy| 2.7.13 @ 9:29PM |#
    "Hmmmmm.
    *squinting at Warty and wondering if he is the sockpuppet*"

    And fish? Where did fish come from?
    Dunno, but after fish claimed MSL was mary, MSL disappeared.
    I dunno, but MSL is (per above) knave or fool.

  • ||

    This one is borderline hilarious.

    Really, we havn't seen the art performed at this level for months.

  • waaminn||

    Sounds like one heck of a plan to me dude. Wow.

    www.ImaAnon.tk

  • ||

    PJ Orourke riffed on this concept (in parliament of whores iirc) about how journalists feel important by proxy - their closeness to people with power makes them feel important too. it's about "access" and feeling like they are part of something special because a person with power dared to share info with them, etc. it's frankly, kind of childish.

  • ||

    is there some kind of understatement award?

    according to MSL, communism "has its flaws". that's gotta be a winner in the understatement category.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Hey Dunphy,

    What's your take on the LAPD blindly firing into trucks that look like Dorner's?

  • ||

    They had it coming?

  • ||

    sounds like a bad shoot.

    you must IDENTIFY your target. there is almost never (i can't think of an excuse) an excuse for firing blindly.

    in police work, the concept of "cover fire" IS NOT USED.

  • MSimon||

    I have identified mine:

    Medical Marijuana prohibition is a crime against humanity and a violation of the religious precept - heal the sick.

    CB1 CB2

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is why John is so important to HandR. As soon as he comes here Mary will blow her cover. She is in love with John.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    Perhaps y'all should consider pooling some money to hire a graduate student to do a thorough taxonomy of the Hit & Run commentariat.

    References to past commenters such as this "Mary" or that "Steve Smith" or the amazing level of antagonism that exists between blog regulars; these are baffling yet intriguing to outsiders such as myself.

    If we knew the players we could begin to make sense of the game.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There once was a wiki devoted to Reason Hit 'n Runology, but it mysteriously disappeared.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    Elder Fuþark FTW

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It was more like the Voynich Manuscript, but with pornography.

  • ||

    Lurk and learn.

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    That's what I did. It works :)

  • ||

    You start to understand the different commenters and their values/traits and relationships with each other the more you're around them (and conversing with them). Of course, people will always have differing opinions on at least what the values and traits are, but the more experience, the clearer the picture.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    So, is Mr Gillespie's thesis taken as so thoroughly proven that there is little to discuss on the topic (which perhaps it is) or has Ms Modern Social Fascist done her duty for the evening and derailed the thread?

    Or perhaps there is the potential Han Solo movie to discuss?

  • ||

    Last thread of the day rarely stays on topic. But if you have a comment about the article, I'm sure you'll be able to find someone willing to engage.

  • ||

    Let's discuss circumcised fetuses operating a food truck!

  • ||

    Selling deep dish pizza and mayonnaise.

  • Bruce Majors||

    The response to the Code Pink protest yesterday was instructive. Liberal and conservative media peeps, including allegedly new media Breitbartians, all attacked CP and by implication defended Obama at a Toure level of whorishness. Gretchen Carlson and some, but not all, FOX presenters pitch right in, saying Obama's return to a medieval right of the King to kill his subjects at his own discretion is his one good policy.

  • Agreenweed||

    When you blow, consider these mouth condoms. No one wants syphilis. http://www.morecondoms.com/condoms/mouth-condoms/

  • GregMax||

    "It is by my order, and for the good of the state, that the bearer of this has done what he has done." Richelieu - The Three Musketeers.

    It ain't new. . .

  • SDN||

    You mean Democrats and media are lying hypocritical suckweasels? Quelle Surprise!!!"

    Sorry for the several redundant words; Democrat would have sufficed.

  • Baal||

    Even the Onion is often a liberal mouthpiece these days,
    but they nailed this one:
    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....go,31207/.
    My point? Sometimes satire is the best way of saying 'WTF?'

  • ThomasD||

    And now that Obama is securely into his second term it is acceptable for those wishing to retain some shred of civil liberties cred to begin noticing the rank hypocrisy on display.

    But only for a year or so, because then the election season starts again, the rubes need shining, and the cycle repeats.

  • Gemini||

    "It's a relief to that the president has" ... sorry to play word police, but the correct spelling is "too".

    "christ" ... when is this ever not capitalized?

    "besides the point" ... I think you mean "beside the point".

    OK, I'm done with that. It is just difficult to read a journalist when they don't use their primary tool properly.

    Comment: The FISA courts were constructed to address these sorts of actions by the PotUS and his administration. I'm not buying that some administrative official has the ability, let alone the authority, to kill a US citizen without oversight. There is way too much room for abuse there, not to mention the possible rights violations. There is an easy fix for this, since the FISA courts are being ignored, just have Congress (re)legislate the parameters of killing US citizens aiding the "enemy" in foreign lands. It seems to me that if Congress can watchdog over Barry Bonds' apparent PED use, they could keep an eye on the Executive branch's assassination policies, no?

    Just a thought here, did *any* liberal media types consider walking a mile in GWB's shoes?

    That's what I thought....

  • Loki||

    Well, either this makes a certain sense to you, or you just think that a state can't be in the business of killing its own citizens you're a craven power fellating shithead, or you're not and that's all there is to it.

    FTFY

  • T Clark||

    I am a liberal and strong supporter of President Obama. Generally I support his policies and I think his foreign policy has made the US more respected and safer.

    That being said, his drone policy bothers me. It doesn't seem any more justifiable than the Bush administrations support of torture, which I opposed.

  • burserker||

    more respected?
    i hope it bothers you, i'd choose 'torture' over being killed

    try to grow a backbone you sicophant

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    More respected and safer? On FP Obama is Bush II, only with murder.

  • ||

    You do realize that he has continued the torture right?

  • Government Hack||

    I think his foreign policy has made the US more respected

    I was reading some Pew Forum research on how foreign nations perceive us. Very interesting.

  • wheelock||

    That's just really fascinating. What other braindead insights on foreign policy do ya got?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    The problem with looking at the situation from the political leader's position is that the decision is always going to look good from their position. That's why they made it in the first place. Unless you think your political adversaries are twirling their mustaches and laughing "BWUUUUHAHAHAHA!!!", even the worst of policies are entered into with the best of intentions. I've no doubt that Dick Cheney slept like a baby at night, fully convinced that history would hail him for keeping America safe in a dangerous world. It's precisely because of this that the press is supposed to cast a skeptical eye on the actions of public officials.

  • Alec Leamas||

    You know, it occurred to me some time after January of 2009 that those "Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism" bumper stickers that were so popular - these Leftist assholes actually peeled them off of their cars when Obama was inaugurated. Just think about that for a moment.

  • HollyW||

    According to a report in the Daily Rash, this morning Minneapolis, when reporters asked Obama if he planned to surrender his skeet shooting gun as a symbolic gesture while he's seeking support for gun control, the president responded "I'll give up my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hands." http://www.thedailyrash.com/ob.....dead-hands

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    How does he still not realize that he IS "They"?

  • grey||

    I do think Obama is twirling his imaginary mustache and laughing, "BWUUUUHAHAHAHA". Someone please help clear up my misconception that Obama is not just one more evil socialists wishing to kill for reasons only the State should know using an oversized military purchased with money stolen from people that he doesn't given a shit about? Now I hear NPR saying, "Obama has been ready for a dialogue on drone use for years." Ummm, yeah, sure, he's ready to dialogue with the peasants. HOLY COW, how did I listen to NPR tripe for so many years and think it made sense?

  • burserker||

    its difficult to be an objective journalist when you've got a politicians dick in your mouth

  • Ryan60657||

    Add the Chicago Tribune to the list -- a completely offensive editorial today defending the President's unilateral authority to assassinate Americans:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....6670.story

  • CVA||

    The ultimate irony on this is that our supposed watch-dogs in the media forget that the President works for us. The President has a hard job, but in trying to understand that we should not look at it from his or her point of view -- the President should look at it from our point of view. Always. All the time. As each new Presidential administration becomes more and more like royalty -- for both good (security) and bad (ego) reasons -- it is all the more important to remind ourselves every single day: "that guy (or gal, eventually) works for me." The media forgets this at our peril.

  • Peyton32||

    Eva. I agree that Eric`s blurb is impossible, on monday I bought a gorgeous audi when I got my check for $8011 this-last/4 weeks and just over ten k last munth. with-out a doubt this is the most-financialy rewarding I've had. I began this 3 months ago and pretty much straight away started to earn at least $76... per-hour. I follow this website,, http://www.FLY38.COM

  • buybuydandavis||

    "So what then explains the contortions that journalists fold themselves into like so many carnival sideshow rubber-men in defending their hero?"

    Party affiliation.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "It's sad, though never unexpected, when leaders such as Obama flip flop like a fish on the sand once they ascend power. "

    Slogans used to attain power are not principles. The only principle of progressivism is power.

  • Quimby||

    just as Frederick said I didnt even know that any one able to profit $5524 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this website http://www.FLY38.COM

  • Quimby||

    just before I looked at the draft for $5524, I did not believe that...my... best friend woz like they say actually erning money in their spare time from there labtop.. there sisters roommate had bean doing this for under ten months and resantly repayed the depts on there apartment and bought a great Nissan GT-R:. we looked here, http://www.FLY38.COM

  • rmodiz@me.com||

    Please fix the typing errors.

    The facts/opinions expressed in the essay are too important to be presented so carelessly.

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