Woman With a Car vs. Washington D.C.'s Taxi Cartel

Chapter one of a four-part series on the sharing economy.

Chelsea Spade, 27, is earning her master's degree in social work, but to make ends meet she’s working as a part-time cab driver in Washington, D.C., through a company called Lyft. But Chelsea isn’t like most D.C. taxi drivers.

Traditional cabbies have no way to buy their own cars, because each D.C. taxi is required to have a special permit, which the city has stopped issuing. So the only way to get a vehicle is to rent one from one of a handful companies in the district that already own large fleets of permitted cabs.

Chelsea, on the other hand, simply drives her own car. Since she doesn’t have a top light or a uniform paint job, she affixes a giant pink mustache to her front grate to make her car easy to identify for customers.A giant pink mustache lets customers identify Lyft cars. |||

Traditional cabbies in D.C. don’t only need a permit for their cars, they also need permits for themselves. For years, the city had stopped minting new drivers, but recently it started again. Still, aspiring cabbies need to take a mandatory class and pass a test before they can apply. Chelsea, on the other hand, saw an advertisement for Lyft online. After a few hours of training, she was on the road.

Customers of traditional taxis generally hail them on the street. Chelsea’s customers find her by opening Lyft’s mobile app, which allows them to see her car on a tiny map and hire her for a ride.

Lyft, along with its competitors, Uber and Sidecar, are remaking the taxi business, while kicking to the curb the bevy of useless government rules and licensing requirements that exist in almost all major cities. But politicians and bureaucrats are fighting back against this new model. Washington, D.C. recently proposed new rules that would force Chelsea to obtain a special license to operate, require that she have her car inspected by the city every six months, and allow her to work no more than 20 hours a week. In PhiladelphiaNew York CityAustin, and Minneapolis, Chelsea’s car could be impounded if she were caught driving. In San Antonio, she might get arrested.

There’s no logical case against allowing Lyft, SideCar and Uber to operate freely; the fight is all about protecting the existing taxi cartel. In fact, passengers are safer riding with Chelsea than in a regular cab because traditional taxis don’t provide their customers with an easy way for registering complaints. With Lyft, passengers get to rate their experience after every ride, and if drivers get consistently lousy reviews, the company will fire them.

Arun Sundararajan is a professor at NYU's business school who studies businesses like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar, which are part of what’s been dubbed “the sharing economy." He argues that the customer feedback mechanisms built into these new online platforms makes them largely self-governing.

Chelsea Spade on the road. |||Another big advantage of sharing economy businesses, says Sundararajan, is that they don’t require any upfront investment. "Models that tap into these assets that already exist, these peer-to-peer models," he says, "will grow a lot more rapidly and have better economic fundamentals than business models that require you to buy assets and deploy them."

These companies are part of yet a larger trend in which new technologies—including online marketplaces, 3D printers, and virtual cryptocurrencies—are cutting out middlemen and allowing individuals to trade goods and services directly with each other. These new business models will remake our economy—that is, unless the government stands in the way.

Click here to watch Reason TV's entire series on the sharing economy.

Written, shot, and produced by Jim Epstein. Additional camera by Joshua Swain.

About 4:43 minutes.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to get automatic updates when new material goes live.

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  • Flowingwords213||

    The correct way to go about this might be to just deregulate the existing taxi standards so they can compete with Lyft and Uber. But I'm sure nobody wants to hear/do that.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's crazy talk. The solution to problems caused by regulation is always more regulation. Look, these rules were put there with the best of intentions, and undoing them is an insult to those good intentions. That's why we need more well intentioned rules to fix the unintended consequences of well intentioned rules. Then when those rules have unintended consequences, the solution is more well intentioned rules. Then when those rules have unintended consequences, the solution is more well intentioned rules. Then when those rules have unintended consequences, the solution is more well intentioned rules. Then when those rules have unintended consequences, the solution is more well intentioned rules.

    Freedom!

  • Brian D||

    I read this drek on another forum.

    I believe that rights come from God – not from government – and that it should be limited, its taxes and spending should be low, its regulations few, and its protection of our liberties constant.


    if rights come from god, and not the government, why have so few places over space and time not had our rights? why did it take forming a government to get them for us?
    and how is government supposed to protect our liberties without passing regulations, and without having money to spend doing it?

    So much stupid concentrated in so few words.

  • ||

    No, they are actually basically right. Contract enforcement and property rights require money to enforce. Rights don't come from God. They are human inventions, but they are inventions that need to be internally consistent and uniformly enforced. Not just any set of rights you make up is going to work. And technically, laws against fraud and murder are "regulations".

    The problem is the regulations we have are not grounded in legitimate rights and rights enforcement. In many cases, they have become economic privileges granted based on political influence.

  • SIV||

    Rights don't come from God. They are human inventions,

    FIFY

  • Cytotoxic||

    Ahahaha no. Keep your mysticisms out of my arguments for the rights of Man please.

  • Paul.||

    As an atheist, I can assure you my right to freedom of speech and bearing of arms didn't manifest itself out of the filing cabinet of some bureaucrat.

    Because you see here, if there were no government, I would still enjoy those rights. IN fact, it could be argued I'd enjoy those rights with fewer exceptions and interventions from the state.

  • Agammamon||

    The answer, for these people, is *never* to remove existing regulation. Its always to 'level the playing field' by imposing those regulations (and often *more* regs) on the newcomers.

    UPS and FedEx - UPS thinks non-unionized FedEx should have to follow the same regs as unionized UPS.

    Brick and mortar businesses think online stores should have to fill out all the paperwork they do.

    Goes on and on. Never 'these regulations are pointless, repeal them for everyone'.

    I thin its mainly because while its a legitimate point - level playing field, etc - these complainers know that no regulator is going to get onboard with repeal. There best chance of protecting themselves is to force others to abide by the same restrictions.

  • John||

    Part of me wants to go do this some weekend as an act of civil disobedience. I have a Merc Class, which is nothing but a Frankfurt Taxi. Could pick up some extra money and do my part to stick it to a cartel.

  • Dweebston||

    That's a fine vehicle you've got there, John. Be a shame if something were to happen to it.

  • John||

    Sadly, that wouldn't surprise me. Part of me feels bad for the seemingly hard working cab drivers. But you know the companies screw them. I bet the average cabby would do better on his own in a true free market than working for the cartel.

  • RBS||

    I sort of feel bad for them until I remember how many terrible cab drivers I had when I lived in DC.

  • From the Tundra||

    Or the ones here that wouldn't drive you home from the airport if you had any booze or were traveling with a dog.

  • John||

    No shit? That happened in DC? I know the Somalis out in Minnesota pulled that shit. But I wasn't aware of it happening here.

  • From the Tundra||

    Sorry, I was talking about MSP.

  • Dweebston||

    Aggressive cabbies, sure. Or cops just seizing cars.

  • John C. Randolph||

    That shit's already happened in Paris. The cabbies have vandalized some Uber cars.

    -jcr

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    I have a Merc Class

    Huh. I would've pegged John as a 1981 Trans Am man.

  • John||

    LOL. And if I were, it would be a 77 not an 81.

  • RBS||

    Who wants a mustache ride?

  • Dweebston||

    +1 shenanigans

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That picture; it's like these people go out of their way to make me hate them.

  • Dweebston||

    Forget it, Brooks. It's Bay Area.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'll bet SASSY GRRRRL, stickin it to The Man, has a matched set of Obama Biden '08 and '12 stickers on the rear bumper of her car.

  • Dweebston||

    Those reproductive rights aren't going to look after themselves.

  • Shelly||

    Hope she never gets in an accident while driving for lyft; she would be completely screwed. Lyft insurance policy is basically a PR stunt to give a false sense of security. Read the fine print and you'll find out.

  • Agammamon||

    Is there some point to this?

    If she's driving people around the she should have an insurance policy that covers that. Nothing controversial about that.

  • Irish||

    Hope she never gets in an accident while driving for lyft; she would be completely screwed.

    I'm confused: Does she not have her own car insurance?

  • It's a wagon wheel!||

    Doubtful her normal insurance covers anything commercial, it's usually specifically excluded and requires a different, much more expensive policy.

  • Irish||

    Sure, but if she's going to be driving commercially she's probably legally required to have a certain level of coverage.

    Someone has to be paying for that, or Lyft would open itself up to all kinds of lawsuits.

  • It's a wagon wheel!||

    but if she's going to be driving commercially she's probably legally required to have a certain level of coverage.

    I don't think that's how it works with part-time commercial vehicles though.

  • Irish||

    Either way you can buy your own commercial insurance. If you don't want to do so, then don't drive for Lyft. It isn't like anyone is stopping you from getting commercial insurance for your job as a Lyft driver.

    If people didn't drive for Lyft unless Lyft provided the insurance, then Lyft would provide the insurance. If Lyft doesn't directly provide the insurance, then the driver should do it him or herself in order to protect against liability.

    I'm not sure what the issue is here since no one is stopping a driver from getting the requisite insurance.

  • It's a wagon wheel!||

    I'm not either, I was trying to give information.

    If she drives commercially she should have the insurance for it, but it's easy not to.

  • Hunthjof||

    I can hear the talk in the leftists political cigar rooms now.

    "We need to stop this! Minorities might start buying used cars cleaning them up and start driving around making a good living. Soon they will be making good money. Maybe they buy another car and have someone else drive for them. Soon they will be small business owners. They will no longer need us and start voting against us."

    Like regulations on food carts and trucks these regulations seem to specifically designed to inhibit the exact people the leftists say they want to help.

  • ||

    The useful idiots are probably saying things along the lines of "But it's unsafe! How will people know that their driver isn't a convicted felon who is going to rape and murder them?"

    Because useful idiots generally lack imagination and follow the party line.

  • ||

  • ||

    The USA is attacking really well but they just. Can't. Score. They need to get their act together. They can actually win this, they just need to get serious.

  • Rev-Match||

    Well, that, and stop pussy-footing on defense. Also, not shooting right at the defender when you're on (or near) the 6 when you have 20 feet of goal at which to shoot would be helpful.

  • ||

    They seem to have corrected the problem. Now...more.

  • Rev-Match||

    Yeah, Jermaine Jones is my new hero. That shot was epic.

  • Timon 19||

    Jermaine, once again, left it all out on the field for the shirt. I was skeptical of that guy's heart from the moment Bradley brought him into the team, but he proves me wrong with every game. I treasure that man.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Isn't there some socker, er...sokker, er... saucer, er... whatever, site where you can chat about that stupid game/TV show?

  • Timon 19||

    Yeah, this one.

  • Agammamon||

    The USA is attacking really well but they just. Can't. Score. They need to get their act together. They can actually win this, they just need to get serious.

    Yeah, its soccer - they only have to work hard to get one, two goals at the most and can then coast the next three hours to a 1-0 win.

  • Timon 19||

    A bit surprised to see Portugal conceding so much possession.

    That shot that Howard flapped at was a nervy moment, though. Man...

  • ||

    How dare you work without permission from the government, Chelsea!
    If we allow people to just go around doing stuff in exchange for money without official government authorization, how are we supposed to get our cut? My autistic aunt needs a check so she can be free to pursue her dream of making handmade baskets for a living. By working without permission, you are STEALING FROM HER!

  • kibby||

    Weekends are dead around here. Booooo.

  • ||

    Shouldn't you be unpacking something?

  • kibby||

    It's too hot to do any more of that. Still.

  • ||

    My understanding from friends from AZ is that it's never not too hot.

  • kibby||

    That is the impression I'm getting up here. Driving to work at three tomorrow without air conditioning will be a delight, I'm sure.

  • ||

    It's at least dry heat, no?

    You could practically swim to work during the summer months in Daegu.

  • kibby||

    My Mom has a shirt she hikes in that says that -- it's two skeletons lying in the desert. But it is one less awful thing to deal with, at least.

  • Jerry on the sea||

    Bye Bye CR7.

  • Jerry on the sea||

    FFS, why 5 minutes of added time...

  • Ted S.||

    The sign didn't say five minutes of stoppage time; it said play on until Portugal score.

  • Timon 19||

    It was originally 4 until the substitution plus slight injury stoppage at the 91st minute.

    I didn't expect anything less, really.

  • SweatingGin||

    "earning her master's degree in social work"

    Degree in social work doesn't really seem like it would match up well with the "sharing" economy, or an unregulated thing like uber. Heh. Make sure not to tell coworkers in the department of social work what you did to earn your way through grad school. They'd have a fit.

  • ||

    Allowing that fucking goal was fucking pathetic. After playing really well, they choke and allow that last stupid fucking goal. Fuck, I hate chokers.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Team USA needs to Put. That coffee. Down. Coffee is for closers only.

  • ||

    Hey Serious, you see Ronaldo's hair? That haircut costs more than your fucking car.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The goals are out there. You pick it up, it's yours. You don't, I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on that pitch tonight and close, CLOSE. It's yours. If not you're gonna be shining my shoes.

  • ||

    Fuck you. That's my name.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Not without a shoe-shining license.

  • Ted S.||

  • MJGreen||

    You could see how it was going down, though. Once Portugal got the ball and there were only two defenders to put a stop to it, you could predict exactly how it would play out.

    God damn.

  • ||

    20 fucking seconds left. Folks, this is what premature triumphalism gets you. Choking...and no victory.

  • Timon 19||

    Who was prematurely triumphant?

  • ||

    They thought they had it. They knew there was almost no time left, and they had too few defenders back. You don't give up a goal in the last 30 seconds of a game unless you get complacent. The other team is desperate and therefore fucking up, you just need to keep the pressure on. It's just pathetic and embarrassing to have a win taken away like that.

    Don't get me wrong, I thought they mostly played a very good game otherwise, and the second goal was beautiful and a textbook example of teamwork, passing, and recovery. That's what makes them letting Portugal score a tying goal with 20 seconds left so fucking frustrating. All possible energy should have been brought to bear to make sure that didn't happen, yet it did.

  • AdamJ||

    Bradley cost that one. Horrible first touch and then he tries to possess instead of kicking the ball out of bounds. I know fatigue played a huge part, but Damn were they sloppy with the ball after the second goal.

  • Timon 19||

    It wasn't so much too few defenders (actually, they had the box pretty well packed). It was the giveaway and that CR7 got one-on-one with Beasley one last time. All Ronaldo needed was a yard or two to whip the cross in. Cameron didn't pay attention to the man at the back post.

    This sort of shit happens in the game. All. The. Time. Especially in this particular edition of the World Cup.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Oh, so that's how it feels to be a Cleveland Browns fan.

  • Fluffy||

    Soccer fucking sucks. Every time I watch it, it is confirmed again.

  • Timon 19||

    If you can watch that game (let me guess - you didn't!) and say the game itself sucks, you have no heart and probably no mind.

  • Timon 19||

    Hell, this entire tournament has been absolutely fantastic.

  • New Normal||

    "he'd see why Virginian passengers like the convince and flexibility" I think "convince" should be "convenience".

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Feminist burns a copy of Christina Hoff Summers' *The War Against Boys* -

    http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2.....-happened/

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Sommers, not Summers.

  • Bam!||

    I await the environmentalist critique.

  • ||

    Google Invests $50 Million In “Made With Code” Program To Get Girls Excited About CS

    This week, Google launched a new initiative called Made With Code, aimed at getting young women excited about learning to code and close the gender gap in the tech industry. The idea behind it is to show young girls that the things they love, from apps on their smartphones to their favorite movies are made with code, and they can apply the skills they learn to their own individual passions.

    Google is investing $50 million into the program over the next three years, and Made With Code has a host of partners to help foster the community including Chelsea Clinton, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Girls Who Code, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, and TechCrunch as a media partner.

    It will be good if this works, though I think the root of the problem is not that girls don't realize they like things that programmers make, but rather that girls seem to tear into each other more often and more harshly about being "nerds".

    Also, I'm eagerly awaiting the complaints about stereotyping wrt "the things they [girls] love".

  • Ted S.||

    Shoes? Candy Crush Saga?

  • New Normal||

    So I'm guessing $45 of that $50 million is going to Chelsea Clinton?

  • Agammamon||

    Why is the gender gap' bad again?

    Its not like there are serious roadblocks to a woman seeking a career in STEM, its just that, with the options they have available, women choose to pursue other opportunities.

    And anyway - I don't care about the sex (or the lack/surplus of) of the people who do my coding. I'm certainly not going to pay extra for a little sticker on my next hone that says 'OS coded b women'.

    This is just more stupid PR by Google. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I assume its a fairly harmless boondoggle that allows them to employ a few high profile (and children of high profile) pols and complainers to keep them off their backs in other areas.

  • ||

    Why is the gender gap' bad again?

    The theory, which I generally albeit not wholeheartedly agree with, is that there's no obvious reason why women should be less inclined than men to program (or at least not to the extent manifested in their representation in the labor force), and as such, the economy is losing potentially skillful programmers.

    There are a lot of holes in that theory, so it's not something that I would invest money in. But if Google wants to, I think it will be a good thing overall.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I read it as "the gender Gap Band", which is far more entertaining, imo.

  • Agammamon||

    Is that like a 'band gap'?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Agammamon||

    I disagree its money (IMO, for what its worth - I admit I'm talking without access to the data Google used to make this decision) wasted that they could use elsewhere to increase return to shareholders.

    Plus - by *paying* into this thinking, I think they actually do harm to the rest of us.

    And as for the gender gap idea that the economy is losing out because people choose to do work that they may not be the best at - that's the same thing as government calling a tax decrease a 'tax expenditure' - semantic bullshit.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    Plus - by *paying* into this thinking, I think they actually do harm to the rest of us.

    Which thinking? I agree that the thinking that goes along the lines "If an industry is not split 50-50 among men and women, that is ipso facto evidence of injustice" is not merely incorrect, but harmful.

    However, I don't think that's the thinking Google is paying into. I think it's a more docile type of thinking along the lines of "Programming is a worthy profession for women that many girls dismiss out of hand". That is fine.

    And as for the gender gap idea that the economy is losing out because people choose to do work that they may not be the best at - that's the same thing as government calling a tax decrease a 'tax expenditure' - semantic bullshit.

    This statement is muddling different concepts.

    First are the non-normative concepts of opportunity cost and misallocation of (labor) resources. If there is a factor causing a misallocation of resources, rectifying that factor will increase prosperity (ceteris paribus, of course).

    Second is the normative concept of whether anyone is required to change their actions to reduce such a misallocation of resources. Clearly that is not the case.

    Saying that it would be good for people to take such actions is different from saying that they ought to.

  • Bam!||

    This week, Google launched a new initiative called Made With Code, aimed at getting young women excited about learning to code and close the gender gap in the tech industry.

    Why is that a goal?

  • Irish||

    You see, any time women aren't involved in any business to the same extent as men, it's because the evil patriarchy is keeping them down. It can't be that women just don't want a certain job for some reason, there must be a nefarious plot.

    As a result, in order to get those silly girls who don't know what's good for them to get involved in businesses in equal numbers to the men, we must spend millions on emotionally manipulative advertising campaigns that are doomed to fail.

    We must make sexist ad campaigns to avoid sexist workplaces. It's just logic.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Okay. How about changing it to "Maid with Code"?

  • ||

    Why is it a goal for whom?

    For Google, it is PR and to increase the labor pool from which they can draw.

  • Sevo||

    "For Google, it is PR and to increase the labor pool from which they can draw."

    Re: that second point. If they get some fems, well, they might just get more guys, too.
    Sort of works that way.

  • ||

    If they get some fems, well, they might just get more guys, too.

    This is why we need more female libertarians. This place is a total sausage fest. I think kibby is the only lady-libertarian who has commented today.

  • Agammamon||

    This place is a total sausage fest.

    I' have thought that was a *good* thing, from your perspective.

  • Irish||

    LB normally shows up. Nicole and Kristen haven't been around that often lately, nor has Invisible Furry Hand. Banjos is too busy having baby libertarians to play with us anymore.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Also we will be losing kibby tomorrow since her job has her working the late shifts.

    But I suppose that's good news for those here that are already quite sick of us.

  • Irish||

    I think kibby is the only lady-libertarian who has commented today.

    Hey man, don't talk shit about Shelly.

    Shelly|5.14.14 @ 3:56PM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    Hope she never gets in an accident while driving for lyft; she would be completely screwed. Lyft insurance policy is basically a PR stunt to give a false sense of security. Read the fine print and you'll find out.
  • Ted S.||

    Did you look at the date on that comment?

  • Irish||

    Did you look at the date on that comment?

    We both know that I did not.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Hey man, don't talk shit about Shelly.

    How do we know Shelly is a woman? It can be a male name too.

  • Whahappan?||

    Sure, like Percy Shelley

  • Ted S.||

    To get this back to soccer, Raul Meireles has a better beard than Jesse.

  • ||

    What is your definition of "better"?

    Conical, pointy, long?

  • ||

    Ag: The last LA meetup was all dudes and a full third gay. It's certainly a demography I can get behind.

    Irish 1: This is all true. But lady libertarians seem to do things away from computers on the weekends. BuSab also pops in regularly but sparsely.

    Irish 2: who has commented today.
    Shelly|5.14.14

    I've seen no Shelly today, have you?

  • Ted S.||

    Ag: The last LA meetup was all dudes and a full third gay.

    So you and two other guys?

  • ||

    So you and two other guys?

    Aye. Statistically relevant, no. Sound good on paper, absolutely.

  • Irish||

    Irish 2: who has commented today.
    Shelly|5.14.14

    Irishmen are never taught how to read dates. I'd prefer if you didn't rub my face in my disability.

  • ||

    Irishmen are never taught how to read dates. I'd prefer if you didn't rub my face in my disability.

    I'm so sorry. I didn't know. I hope this doesn't affect our friendship!

    *In today's episode we learned a valuable lesson about cultural differences. Remember kids, sometimes you think someone's wrong, when in reality they've just been raised on a steady diet of potatoes.*

    The More You Know!

  • Irish||

    I stumbled on a random, really shitty short film on Youtube.

    It provided me with a YOUTUBE COMMENT OF GENIUS!

    Marx warned you all. It is called alienation. You're all scurrying around with broken parts trying to make sense of it all. Now go consume some more.

    36 upvotes and two positive comments underneath.

    People are retarded.

    Also:

    This movie humbled me in ways I can't put into a few words. I am Christian, so I was raised to be against same sex relationships, but regardless of that I've always strived to be accepting and treat everyone equally (or at least I thought I did). But this little film, seriously opened my eyes to the guilt, pain and fear that people can feel when faced with people like me. I may have always been accepting and very liberal for someone who's meant to be religious, but I have never felt empathy or sympathy for the ones I thought I was trying so hard to treat equally. I've realised exactly how 'cold' I am myself, something I never thought I was. I am so very, very humbled. This brought me to tears, mostly out of complete guilt if I'm honest, and touched my heart. Thank you for sharing this creation, it's changed my life and attitude in ways I never thought were possible.

    If your life is changed by mediocre youtube short films, you're an easily manipulated moron.

  • Irish||

    I'll reiterate: That is a motherfucking horrible short film, but it somehow got people talking about Karl Marx and changed a woman's life.

  • ||

    The movie is described as a bitter-sweet ode to Toronto.

    I think your expectations might have been too high.

  • Sevo||

    "Marx warned you all. It is called alienation. You're all scurrying around with broken parts trying to make sense of it all. Now go consume some more."

    I know more than a couple of self-righteous twits who would make similar comments. I also no longer associate with some folks who would do so; got tired of smiling and nodding.
    Schumpeter warned you all, too; it's called starvation.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not to mention the fact that Marx's Entfremdung theory is just the intellectual equivalent of petulant 5 year old having hissy fit because mommy wouldn't buy the toy they wanted.

    "I was a good boy, Mommy! You must buy me that toy or you'll alienate me from my Gattungswesen! WAAAHHH!!!"

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Beaten and threatened: the 'Donetsk People's Republic' turns on city's priests

    "Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have declared their loyalty to Orthodoxy - and all other faiths are suspect"

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....iests.html

  • Sevo||

    Yep, his sky-daddy is better than her's.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    What?

  • Sevo||

    Her's is better than his?
    I don't know; one bleever is claiming the other bleevers are WRONG!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Some people are beating, kidnapping and issuing death threats against those of a different religion from themselves.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Or more than one different religions, because they seem to be targeting Protestants and Catholics.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    When Communists murder fellow communists, is this simply a case of one group of atheists "arguing" with another group of atheists?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Listen. Mensheviks are nothing like Bolsheviks. Ok?

  • Sevo||

    Notorious G.K.C.|6.22.14 @ 9:44PM|#
    "When Communists murder fellow communists, is this simply a case of one group of atheists "arguing" with another group of atheists?"

    yes, of course. Arguing about who is the true bleever in the state is what atheists do.
    I do that all the time!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    No, no, all atheists are the same! They are one undifferentiated blob!

  • Rich||

    How could it be otherwise? If you don't believe, you're a non-believer!

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    There's clearly no need to differentiate among all the different kinds of atheists. I mean, Communists, Objectivists, Sam Harris, libertarians, they're all pretty much the same, right?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    There's clearly no need to differentiate among all the different kinds of atheists. I mean, Communists, Objectivists, Sam Harris, libertarians, they're all pretty much the same, right?

  • Rich||

    Exactly! They're all going to Hell!

  • Ted S.||

    We need more people loyal to heterodoxy.

  • Rich||

  • Irish||

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Muslims "argue with" perceived atheists and gays in the Maldives.

    http://minivannews.com/politic.....nues-86753

  • Rich||

    "Acceptance and freedom of religion – that is true democracy."

    Is that so?

  • ||

    Well gee, I didn't want to go to the Maldives anyway!

    I honestly can't figure out how you'd spend your life angry if you live your life someplace that pretty.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Ahmadi Muslim bleevers pursue silly religous quarrel with Pakistan government, some leave the country to escape so-called "persecution."

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.....805205.cms

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Iranian figures criticize their own government for persecuting members of the Bahai faith. Why do they interject themselves in this quarrel among bleevers?

    "As noted by Gissou Nia, the Executive Director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, awareness of the persecution of Baha’is has been growing in recent years, both inside and outside Iran. Iranians are increasingly expressing solidarity with their beleaguered Baha’i compatriots, and several human rights lawyers and activists have defended Baha’is at great risk to themselves."

    http://www.internationalpolicy.....rt-bahais/

  • Sevo||

    BTW, I presume the soccer match is limited to metric time? 96'-43" equals what in real time?

  • Timon 19||

    Is it your mission to ask this question in as many threads as possible?

  • Sevo||

    Yes. Yes it is. I'm easily amused.

  • Sevo||

    "Does Audrie's Law go too far?"
    Yes. Any law named after some white teen-aged girl "goes too far".

    "Sheila Pott, mother of Audrie Pott, reads a statement in support of Audrie's Law"
    Mommy, who is now going to make a career of victimhood-by-proxie gets ink! Take a hike, Mom; I'm tired of people getting their 15 minutes trying to blame someone for the kid's death.
    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/ar.....570164.php

  • Irish||

    Fouad Ajami died today. There were many things I disagreed with him about, but the criticisms of him mentioned in this New York Times article are unbelievably unfair.

    Mr. Ajami’s harshest criticism was leveled at Arab autocrats, who by definition lacked popular support. But his use of words like “tribal,” “atavistic” and “clannish” to describe Arab peoples rankled some.

    Yes. Some people get angry when you accurately describe them. It would also be accurate to refer to the Irish as tribalistic and atavistic, but you don't see me bitching about it.

    “The Dream Palace of the Arabs” told of how a generation of Arab intellectuals tried to renew their homelands’ culture through the forces of modernism and secularism. The Christian Science Monitor called it “a cleareyed look at the lost hopes of the Arabs.”

    Partly because of that tone, some condemned the book as too negative. The scholar Andrew N. Rubin, writing in The Nation, said it “echoes the kind of anti-Arabism that both Washington and the pro-Israeli lobby have come to embrace.”

    What an asshole, saying Arabic nations should modernize! Again, the Irish were unbelievably backwards as recently as the 50's. It's a good thing that country's modernized. Maybe it's time for the Arabs to do so.

  • ||

    Besides an old guy drunkenly slurring "get oughtta my way" while my roommate and I stood at a bus stop on a very wide sidewalk, and then trying to pick a fight when I didn't realize he was talking to me and when I couldn't understand his barely intelligible English, the Irish were wonderful. The idea that they were 20 years out from constant violence was amazing.

    They've even managed to stop stabbing each other constantly Limerick. Crime levels there are well below Glasgow now (not that that says much).

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to restore voting rights to people convicted of nonviolent felonies, he said Sunday, previewing a bill he plans to introduce this week.

    ""I have a friend whose brother grew marijuana plants 30 years ago in college, has a felony conviction and still cannot vote," Paul said on CNN's "State of the Union." He added: "I think that's wrong and unfair.""

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....nt-felons/

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Rand had a pretty good Sunday. The reason why I feel he is a very formidable presidential candidate is because he comes off as making a lot of sense when he speaks out on issues like these.

    It completely diffuses the extremist tag the left will try to tarnish him with.

  • Irish||

    I was listening to the radio and heard some leftist say 'It's good he's talking about this felon issue, but he hasn't said a word about something like voter ID which is disenfranchising minorities.'

    I really wanted the conservative in that discussion to say 'That's probably because, unlike you, Rand Paul isn't a moron who believes in fantasies for which there is no evidence.'

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    'It's good he's talking about this felon issue, but he hasn't said a word about something like voter ID which is disenfranchising minorities.'

    I like to point out that if liberals spent half as much time and money registering poor minorities and old people as they do complaining about the laws it wouldn't be an issue.

  • Irish||

    If progs actually tried to help people instead of desperately agitating in favor of mindless government force, they wouldn't be progressives.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I would love to think so.

    But as we approach the election, we'll hear about the Civil Rights Act, the Southern Avenger, Pushing Grandma off the Cliff, cruel austerity, Ayn Rand, Aqua Buddha, etc.

  • Rich||

    Not to mention the sins of the father.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I suspect that the Dem nominee (Hillary or whoever) will run ads (or have an independent committee do it on her behalf) featuring a tearful woman whose son died from a heroic overdose pleading with Rand Paul to stop being soft on drugs, followed by a voiceover: "Call Rand Paul - tell him that drugs are a real problem in America!"

    Hillary could chop the head off a marijuana dealer, and the "social liberals" and stoners, after all that, will go to the polls (if they're not too stoned to remember which day is Election Day) and vote for Hillary in order to Save the Country From Rand Paul.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    heroin, not heroic

  • BakedPenguin||

    Either one works.

  • Irish||

    Leftists are the lowest sort of scum for that exact reason. Even when I disagree with conservatives, I have to admit that they hold to their principles. I understand who they are because they're honest about who they are. Conservatives don't want more immigration, and they are actively trying to defeat pro-amnesty candidates in primaries. Likewise, conservatives will sometimes not show up on election day if they feel a candidate is not representing what they want.

    Progs, on the other hand, are little more than mindless power worshipers. They will vote for a Democrat completely without regard for whether or not that Democrat has jettisoned everything progressives claim to care about.

    They adore Bill Clinton, and he's the guy who signed the Defense of Marriage Act and ended Glass-Steagles, both of which progressives claim are two of the worst policies America has ever had. So they talk about how much they despise the policies Clinton actually had, but are such base power mongers that they can't bring themselves to attack the actual fucking person who signed those laws they hate so much.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "As progressives we want to reform our awful drug policies, we want people to know about the Harrison Act of 1914 and the Marihuana Tax Act of the 1930s. And that nasty racist Anslinger! What kind of right-wing extremists would sign those bills and let a fanatic like Anslinger have a law-enforcement job?"

    "That's why we need to vote Democrat!"

  • Irish||

    "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, progressive hero*

    “The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self preservation… until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.” - Woodrow Wilson, progressive hero

    *As an aside, you should be proud of the Buck v. Bell decision. The only dissent from that horrifying eugenicist ruling was a Catholic who dissented for religious reasons.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Thank you, but as to this -

    "religious reasons"

    How do we know this? Justice Butler didn't give an opinion.

    I would guess that he was *influenced* by his Church, just as OW Holmes was influenced by his legal positivism and Nietzschean nihilism.

    Which of these influences was more rational and more in tune with longstanding Western legal tradition?

  • Irish||

    How do we know this? Justice Butler didn't give an opinion.

    Sure, but given that the only dissent was from a noted ardent Catholic, it seems likely his reason for dissenting was related to his Catholicism.

    If there was a case establishing Christianity as a state religion and the only person dissenting was an ardent atheist, we could make some assumptions about his reasoning.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I'm simply suggesting that Holmes is open to the same criticism of being influenced by his philosophy, the difference being that Holmes' philosophy was untethered from, and contrary to, the American tradition. It was also probably influenced by the fact that the was, in his political capacity, a eugenicist fanatic.

    That gives some context to any religious influence on Butler. In short, I'm not saying you're wrong, but that you should take a look at Holmes' influences too.

  • Irish||

    I agree with you. One of the reasons why, even though I am an atheist, I hate atheists who behave as if religion is the problem, is because the most murderous ideas of the 20th century were either anti-religion, as is the case with Communism, or unrelated to religion, as is the case with Fascism. Both philosophies were actually based more on a perversion of scientific discoveries than on anything that can be considered religious.

    In fact, in the case of both Communism and Fascism, the most common counterweights to abuses of state power were religious organizations. This is most obvious in the Polish Solidarity movement which came from the Catholics in Poland and the fact that Pius XII fought against deportations in a number of Catholic countries and probably saved close to 900,000 Jews.

    Both are cases in which religious authority saved lives from being exterminated by secular authorities.

    I tend to take the Kurt Vonnegut view that when science is divorced from sound moral judgment, there is a disturbing tendency for death camps to be the end result.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    That's fair!

  • Raven Nation||

    the most murderous ideas of the 20th century were either anti-religion, as is the case with Communism, or unrelated to religion, as is the case with Fascism

    1. I heard an atheist spokesman once argue that Nazism was basically Christian in nature and it was another example of religion slaughtering people.

    2. While it is true fascism was mostly unrelated to religion in philosophical terms, Mussolini did win over a lot of Italian workers by being favorable to both Catholicism and Italian nationalism both of which the communists rejected. Having said that, Italian fascism was not as mass-murder-y as other -isms.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Mussolini was a disgruntled socialist that still maintained the staunchly anti-clerical views that characterizes the radical left.

    He detested religion and only played nice with the Vatican for the sake of national unity. Mussolini also had the good sense to know just how absurd and unscientific Nazi racial theory was as was their animosity towards Jews.

    It's interesting how despite inventing fascism he wasn't really that bad compared to the other fascist nations he was allied with.

  • Raven Nation||

    He detested religion and only played nice with the Vatican for the sake of national unity.

    Don't disagree. My point was just that politically (rather than philosophically) Mussolini understood the importance of cultural Catholicism to many Italian workers and played on that.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Do try to follow along Irish, it is perfectly simple:

    everything good and nostalgic about the 90s was because of Bill Clinton; everything bad and destructive was the fault of Reagan's animal spirit possessing the nation and the Republicans in Congress.

    We've always been at war with Eurasia.

  • Sevo||

    ..."everything bad and destructive was the fault of Reagan's animal spirit"...

    In the local paper web sites, every time a thread shows up re some bum acting out, it is blamed on Reagan closing the 'mental health' facilities and pushing them out on the street to save money!
    And this, regardless of the number of times it has been pointed out to the brain-dead lefties that he simply complied with the court decision in a suit brought by the ACLU.
    EVERY TIME! There is no cure for stupidity. Tony, the commie-kid, craig, the road-guy, slimy shreek; there is no end.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Right and the media will definitely give it a lot of play, but how exactly do you call a guy that wants to emancipate hundreds of thousands of black people and restore their rights a racist?

    Can you imagine the heads exploding if Paul's campaign or a friendly Super PAC released an ad highlighting the fact that Paul wants to restore rights to minorities and expand their choice in where to send their children to school?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Convinced progs will simply find some reason to dismiss it.

    "Rand Paul says he cares about minorities in prison, but he would deny them social services when they're released, leaving them do die on the streets or return to a life of crime!"

    "Rand Paul will release thousands of drug dealers into minority communities!"

  • Agammamon||

    Its pretty easy. Just ignore what you can, gloss over what you can't ignore, and focus on *any* possible negative of the policy -even if you have to make one up.

    Hell, look at the charter school fight.

  • ||

    Hysterical (not funny hysterical) man has owl trapped in his house. Finally gets it to sit on a swiffer and slowly puts it outside.

    The second video almost isn't worth watching but the menacing look the owl gives him toward the end is delightful.

    Trigger warning: vertical video, some swear words, owl, the Lord's name being taken in vain repeatedly.

  • Irish||

  • ||

    Why is Benghazi part of the hashtag?

  • Sevo||

    Notorious G.K.C.|6.22.14 @ 10:38PM|#
    "There's clearly no need to differentiate among all the different kinds of atheists. I mean, Communists, Objectivists, Sam Harris, libertarians, they're all pretty much the same, right?"

    I'm going to allow that the 'misunderstanding' is not willful:
    The Bolshies/Menshies/Trotskyites were certainly arguing (at least for public consumption) about who was the most loyal follower of Marx, and I'll not even mention the 'similarity' to religion in that argument.
    They were NOT arguing who was the most pure unbleever in a skydaddy, as opposed to your link where the issue in question concerned who was the most pure of skydaddy bleevers.
    Do you see the difference? Do I need to make it more clear?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "the issue in question concerned who was the most pure of skydaddy bleevers"

    I thought the issue in my links was that governments and armed movements were persecuting people of disfavored religions by such techniques as torture, kidnapping, assault, imprisonment, and the like.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I should say, persecuting people of disfavored religions, plus persecuting atheists as well.

    Whew!

  • Sevo||

    "plus persecuting atheists as well."

    "Which States Ban Atheists from Holding Public Office?"
    [...]
    "If you live in one of the 42 more enlightened states, more power to you."
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/f.....ic-office/

    Let's see, 57 minus 42 equals, oh, eight of 'em.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Again, I showed a link about mob attacks on alleged atheists in the Maldives.

    Really, much of the news H&R gets about anti-atheist persecution in the rest of the world comes from yours truly.

  • Sevo||

    "I thought the issue in my links was that governments and armed movements were persecuting people of disfavored religions by such techniques as torture, kidnapping, assault, imprisonment, and the like."

    So it is one set of bleevers enlisting government coercion?
    I repeat:
    "Yep, his sky-daddy is better than her's."[sic] Right?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Yes, it is one set of bleevers.

    When you first replied, I understood you to be drawing some kind of moral equivalence between the persecutors and their victims by dismissing both groups with the same label.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Yes, it is one set of bleevers.

    When you first replied, I understood you to be drawing some kind of moral equivalence between the persecutors and their victims by dismissing both groups with the same label.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Evenin' kids, what's hapnin?

  • Sevo||

    I didn't wrench on any cars at Sonoma; did you catch any fish?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I did. An even dozen, in a steam 2 minutes from my house. Two were 16" Browns.

    Life is good!

    Drinking Bourbon and coke.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    stReam

    My fly rod for an edit function.

  • Raven Nation||

    I was impressed that someone had designed a steam room with a fishing hole.

  • ||

    Apparently there's a sport in the rest of the world called "futebol" which is suspiciously similar to our soccer, but unlike soccer is wildly popular. People can't stop talking about it here.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Are they also consuming wine and cheese? Maybe have an nice quiche later?

  • ||

    Very likely!

    I an't judge too harshly, I'm trying to figure out how much effort I'm willing to put in to making a bunch of quiches to bring for lunch at work. It seems like a good excuse to eat bacon for lunch every day.

  • Sevo||

    But don't ask about the metric game time of 96'-43" and what that means to a white man.

  • Timon 19||

    It's actually Imperial Russian time.

  • Sevo||

    I KNEW it!

  • kibby||

    I'm finally in my new apartment!

  • ||

    But she has brown accent walls!

  • kibby||

    ONLY UNTIL TOMORROW. & shut up! I've never been allowed to have any color on my walls that wasn't fit for a mental institution so this is exciting for me!

  • Sevo||

    With an innertubes connection!
    (did you talk 'em into moving your piano?)

  • kibby||

    A woman has to have her priorities, Sevo.

    Ask Serious when he visits & has to help me move the rest of my furniture if he's up for transporting my piano (currently sitting very out of tune at my parents').

  • Sevo||

    Kibby,
    I married a woman worthy of a piano move, and we remain married.
    I was gonna say that meant a real sacrifice on my part, but then it dawned on me that she married me, so I'm not sure who got the best of the deal.
    Tell him to get the damn piano over there.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yay.

    Sorry, but I haven't been keeping up.

    From where to where and how far are you from that Serious person?

    Did I catch something about a job too?

  • ||

    You just lose track of the world around you when you stop drinking.

    #SoberHorrorStories

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Without alcohol, there is just no reason to live.

  • kibby||

    Tucson to Chandler & I have no idea -- it's a little cheaper for him to come visit, at least.

    Yes, new job that actually pays something!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yes, new job that actually pays something!

    Well, what is it?

    You aren't turning tricks are you?

  • kibby||

    It's a bank thing.

    Turning tricks seems like a little too much work.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Well, try to keep the hookers out of your bank. They're always sneaking into banks with their clients, and practicing safe sex.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Ugh! Are you proud of that?

  • kibby||

    It's a job that pays & where I get to be something of a detective. I'm just happy to have found anything with my degree that is above minimum wage.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    That was for Eddie and his sorry pun. Wasn't bagging on your employment.

  • Agammamon||

    Chandler huh? Finally one of you guys is close enough to start stalking.

    But it'll have to be on weekends though - too far to make the drive every day.

  • kibby||

    I have weekends off, so that will be prime stalking time as I'll be getting everything done!

  • ||

    You can carpool for LA meetups!

    Unless kibby is a serial killer.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    From where to where and how far are you from that Serious person?

    445 miles.

  • kibby||

    What were we at before?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    No, your new place. I Googled our addresses and that was the precise distance.

    It is, however, 45 miles closer than we were before.

  • kibby||

    Still entirely too far. =(

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Oh, I misread that. We were 492 miles apart when you were in Tucson.

  • Raven Nation||

    Hmm, not great but not too bad. I'm 717 miles.

  • Sevo||

    I'd like to believe this viewed slavers with displeasure, but I'm not sure:
    http://www.gocomics.com/pearls.....6buZ8oTG64

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    G-night kidz.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Geez. I just got home from work, and Francisco is already passed out drunk.

  • ||

  • kibby||

    STOP RUINING LIVES, PLAYA. Don't you see how much you're hurting us?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Hugs Not Drugs

    Grins Not Gin

    Jokes not Smokes

  • ||

    I seem to remember him trying to tempt you out to Las Vegas at one point!

  • RishJoMo||

    So how do you know when tto go dude.

    www.WentAnon.tk

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