Send a SWAT Team to Check Water Quality? Sure, Why Not?

There are so many possible jokes about the Environmental Protection Agency sending a SWAT team — for purely bureaucratic purposes — to an Alaskan gold mining community bearing the name “Chicken” that one scarcely knows where to begin.

No doubt it wasn’t amusing for the miners there, though. And they’re up in arms about the way the feds have treated them in the pursuit of possible Clean Water Act violations. The Alaska Dispatch explains:

When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think.

Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? Some of the miners, who run small businesses, say they felt intimidated.

Others wonder if the actions of the agents put everyone at risk. When your family business involves collecting gold far from nowhere, unusual behavior can be taken as a sign someone might be trying to stage a robbery. How is a remote placer miner to know the people in the jackets saying POLICE really are police?

Miners suggest it might have been better all around if officials had just shown up at the door — as they used to do — and said they wanted to check the water.

Chicken is a small roost, boasting all of 17 full-time residents and lots of seasonal mine workers, according to the Dispatch. The EPA wouldn’t explain why it has suddenly shifted to an armed team to check for Clean Water Act violations. According to the Dispatch, one Senate staffer was told the EPA sent an armed team because they were told by Alaska State Troopers there was “rampant drug and human trafficking” in the area. A spokesperson for the troopers denies they told the EPA any such thing.

Hat tip to Radley Balko. Apparently he has a book or something out about this sort of behavior.

Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories at @reason247.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • CE||

    And they’re up in arms about the way the feds have treated them...

    If only.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If the EPA didn't send a SWAT team in to check the water quality, it might have given the miners time to flush the evidence.

  • Number 7||

    Some of the miners, who run small businesses, say they felt intimidated.

    Mission accomplished.

  • Paul.||

    The use of a SWAT team is a tool for sending a message, not because there are water-quality violators who are going to shoot back when the agencies arrive for an inspection.

    This is why SWAT is so widely used. Something's going on in government, and they sense or feel that their authority is under question. The uses of a SWAT team and its concomitant fear factor helps scare people into compliance and/or cooperation.

  • ||

    Considering that their authority is at an all-time high, I'm not sure why they would feel it is under question.

    I think SWAT is widely used because the SWAT teams want to be used, and the politicians and bureaucrats see an asset that they're not using, and do so. I would bet that the SWAT teams are constantly begging to be used more. Because otherwise they'd never be deployed, because the need for them is so uncommon.

    When you give every agency and every rinky dink town a SWAT team, all the adrenaline junkies who join these things are going to be itching to get out there. So, we see they are, more and more. It is surprising?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    True fact: The Department of Justice has mandated that a police department cannot appropriate a military surplus vehicle unless they also install a BOSE sound system with this on constant loop.

  • Paul.||

    If only SWAT teams drove around in UPS vans, wearing regular uniforms, no body armor and 10/22 carbines.

  • Alan||

    They are wearing body armor in that clip - it's just that it consists solely of a bullet-resistant vest. Watch for it as they are exiting the van.

    But I was thinking the same thing - they look quite different from today's cops.

  • Paul.||

    Oh, I thought that was just some fancy dress for when they went out.

  • ||

    Damn, I forgot Dan Tanna was in that show.

  • fish||

    True fact: The Department of Justice has mandated that a police department cannot appropriate a military surplus vehicle unless they also install a BOSE sound system with this on constant loop.

    I think this is more appropriate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY7XxgxGx8M

  • Generic Stranger||

  • AlmightyJB||

    That was silly on so many levels.

  • Paul.||

    Considering that their authority is at an all-time high, I'm not sure why they would feel it is under question.

    Because their authority is at an all-time high.

    Oh, and the Kochs or teabaggers or something too.

  • ||

    "......I'm not sure why they would feel it is under question."

    I know this thread is long dead but I dont have anything else to do at 530 am and I cant resist pointing this out.

    We live in a quasi-socialist state where the parasites outnumber the hosts. We are going to run out of scratch, no doubt about it. When that happens the shit is really going to hit the fan.

    The parasites will swarm into the streets in their own neighborhoods and burn them down, but the ruling class will be untouched by that.

    The hosts, i.e. the middle class, is well armed, better educated and thus much more of a threat. I think the militarization of the police and rampant use of SWAT is to intimidate us before hand and get some practice in for the coming shitstorm.

  • Invisible Finger||

    one Senate staffer was told the EPA sent an armed team because they were told by Alaska State Troopers there was “rampant drug and human trafficking” in the area. A spokesperson for the troopers denies they told the EPA any such thing.

    Since when are the EPA police the first responders for drug and human trafficking? I would think the DEA might be a more apropos fed gang, but the friggin' EPA??

    And how the fuck is there "rampant" ANYTHING in an area with 17 people??

    Seems like a "Battle of Lying Police Forces." But that may be redundant.

  • Paul.||

    And how the fuck is there "rampant" ANYTHING in an area with [only] 17 people??

    That's when shit gets the most rampant.

  • angus||

    Canadian people smugglers - the definition of rampant.

  • ||

    And how the fuck is there "rampant" ANYTHING in an area with 17 people??

    Someone hasn't been on the set of Diff'rent Strokes.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Deadwood makes me think "What would Hearst do?"

    And it wouldn't surprise me if he'd try to sic an armed gang on the competition.

  • Irish||

    OT: Thomas Friedman is the dumbest fucking person in the history of human kind.

    We need a policy response that simultaneously deters another Syrian poison gas attack, doesn’t embroil America in the Syrian civil war and also doesn’t lead to the sudden collapse of the Syrian state with all its chemical weapons, or, worse, a strengthening of the Syrian regime and its allies Hezbollah and Iran. However, I think President Obama has the wrong strategy for threading that needle. He’s seeking Congressional support for a one-time “shock and awe” missile attack against Syrian military targets. The right strategy is “arm and shame.”

    (SNIP)

    We need to use every diplomatic tool we have to shame Assad, his wife, Asma, his murderous brother Maher and every member of his cabinet or military whom we can identify as being involved in this gas attack. We need to bring their names before the United Nations Security Council for condemnation. We need to haul them before the International Criminal Court. We need to make them famous. We need to metaphorically put their pictures up in every post office in the world as people wanted for crimes against humanity.

    Yes. Clearly the best way to stop Assad is to say mean things about him.

    Note: Earlier today John Kerry said Thomas Friedman "is most often correct." This explains a lot.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If the President of the United States has no shame, what makes Friedman think the President of Syria would?

  • ||

    WAR BONER DRAIN BLOOD FROM HEAD

    MAKE TOMMY FEEL FUNNY

  • Paul.||

    We need to use every diplomatic tool we have to shame Assad, his wife, Asma, his murderous brother Maher and every member of his cabinet or military whom we can identify as being involved in this gas attack

    Shaming a tyrant in the middle east may not work the way we Western lightweights think it would. "You kill your own people, SHAME!"

    I'd think most middle-eastern dictators would wear that as a badge of honor. "fuck with me? I kill my own people, bitch!"

    Note: Earlier today John Kerry said Thomas Friedman "is most often correct." This explains a lot.

    It's all about access.

  • Irish||

    Shaming a tyrant in the middle east may not work the way we Western lightweights think it would. "You kill your own people, SHAME!"

    I think Friedman's "Let's shame him into cooperation!" idea comes from two common liberal delusions.

    1. Liberals are OBSESSED with being liked. They hate being called names. That's why liberals think HURR YOU'RE A RACIST or REPUBLICANS ARE STUPID! are good arguments. It's also why left wing groups spend unbelievable amounts of time enforcing group think. If everyone thinks the same, then no one will be disliked and we can all be happy! When you're a pussy, you assume that everyone else will dissolve into a weepy temper tantrum when insulted, just like you would.

    2. Liberals don't want to go to war with Syria, but they simultaneously don't want to allow Assad off the hook for a gas attack. Instead of being adults and admitting that there are two bad options and that we should pick the least horrible, they want to imagine that they can have it all. We can avoid war while still punishing Assad! All we have to do is shame him!

  • Irish||

    Ha! I just noticed that Epi posted the following in the thread about northern California threatening to secede.

    Episiarch| 9.4.13 @ 7:28PM |#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    You guys are all missing the underlying factor here: have you noticed how butthurt collectivists get when you reject them? They fucking hate it. Because collectivists are by their very nature insecure; they don't have the confidence to stand outside the collective, and hate anyone who does. So any talk of secession or that you're going to homeschool your kid or anything where you reject the collective goes right to the "I'm being rejected!" part of their emotion-brain, and they get mad.

    ^^ Exactly. Being insulted or called stupid or told you're a racist is a sign that you are outside the collective. Since the collectivists entire personality is bound up in being part of the collective, rejection terrifies them. Being rejected from the collective is the equivalent of having your entire personality taken away. This is why they use insults like 'Uncle Tom' the subtext of which is that you have been rejected by your racial collective.

    This is also why Friedman thinks shaming Assad will make him change his mind. If the collective that Friedman desires to belong to rejects Assad, then surely Assad would be just as broken up as Friedman!

  • Paul.||

    Yeah, I mean, I was posting an addendum to my first post but deleted it because I couldn't get it worded right. But it's almost as if Friedman believes that Assad will miss being invited to all the finest cocktail parties or his wife won't be featured in Vogue anymore.

  • ant1sthenes||

    This is a simulation taking place in a universe like Niven's (though with Niven being an easter egg, of course). Progs are Puppeteers. Cons are Kzinti. The War on Women meme is a joke referring to the fact that all Kzinti players are male in reality, for obvious reasons.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    This is a simulation taking place in a universe like Niven's (though with Niven being an easter egg, of course). Progs are Puppeteers. Cons are Kzinti. The War on Women meme is a joke referring to the fact that all Kzinti players are male in reality, for obvious reasons.

    Fuck off, Slavers!

  • Alan||

    Yeah. I was just thinking that we ought to provide some of the more reputable rebel groups some heavier weaponry that can take out tanks, all on the Q.T. of course, and I gather that Obama is already doing some of that.

    But why didn't I think of shame? Shame is so effective against mass murderers!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Dweebston||

    I'm going out on a limb and saying there's no policy response robust enough to deter future gas attacks while keeping the U.S. uninvolved.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yesterday's news from Syria is unbelievable, and it raises questions about whether there might just be light at the end of the tunnel. It is impossible not to be tantalized by the potential of these events to change the course of Syria's history. What's important, however, is that we focus on what this means to the citizens themselves. The current administration seems too caught up in worrying about their own skins to pay attention to how their people are doing. Just call it missing the desert for the sand.

    When thinking about the recent ethnic strife, it's important to remember three things: One, people don't behave like computer programs, so attempts to treat them as such are a waste of time. Computer programs never suddenly shift their course in order to fit with a predetermined set of beliefs. Two, Syria has spent decades torn by civil war and ethnic hatred, so a mindset of peace and stability will seem foreign and strange. And three, freedom is an extraordinarily powerful idea: If corruption is Syria's ironing board, then freedom is certainly its flowerpot.

  • Paul.||

    And three, freedom is an extraordinarily powerful idea: If corruption is Syria's ironing board, then freedom is certainly its flowerpot.

    Freedom in the middle east seems to mean something entirely different than it does here in the west.

  • Irish||

    That was a parody of Friedman's style. The absurd mixed metaphor was the tell.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Christ, I thought HM lost his mind for a sec there.

  • Paul.||

    Good catch. HM got a little mercurial in that post. I should have known.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    "During lat year's Durbin conference, as I received a blow job from a young South African rentboy of the local Xhosha people, I came to the realization that parody is the Devil's bicycle; a reboot of its firmware only leads to frustration."

    -- Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat

  • Paul.||

    It almost makes me want to read Friedman...almost.

  • fish||

    One of you IT types needs to come up with something like this for Friedman.

    http://www.wisdomofchopra.com/

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Don't reveal my ancient Chinese secret.

  • Dweebston||

    Second, I'd tell them to look at China, which all but solved its same-sex marriage crisis over the past decade. When I visited China in 1998, Bartho, the cabbie who drove me from the airport, couldn't stop telling me about how he had to take a second job because of the high cost of same-sex marriage. I caught up with Bartho in Shanghai last year. Thanks to China's reformed approach toward same-sex marriage, Bartho has enough money in his pocket to finally be able to afford tennis shoes for his kids.
  • Heroic Mulatto||

    When I was in Syria last August, I was amazed by the level of Westernization for such a closed society, and that tells me two things. It tells me that the citizens of Syria have no shortage of human capital, and that is a good beginning to grow from. Second, it tells me that people in Syria are just like people anywhere else on this flat earth of ours.
    So what should we do about the chaos in Syria? Well, it's easier to start with what we should not do. We should not ignore the problem and pretend it will go away. Beyond that, we need to be careful to nurture the fragile foundations of peace. The opportunity is there, but I worry that the path to stability is so poorly marked that Syria will have to move down it very slowly. And of course Damascus needs to come to the table.

    Speaking with a up-and-coming violinist from the large Sunni community here, I asked him if there was any message that he wanted me to carry back home with me. He pondered for a second, and then smiled and said,"al-Zawoj asm, al-Zawojha shaysh, al-Zawij saeed," which is a local saying that means roughly, "A Deaf Husband and a Blind Wife are Always a Happy Couple."

    I don't know what Syria will be like a few years from now, but I do know that it will remain true to its cultural heritage, even if it looks very different from the country we see now. I know this because, through all the disorder, the people still haven't lost sight of their dreams.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You have a gift

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In a Neolithic tribal society, I would have been a shaman.

  • Sudden||

    And you would have coronated me your God-king.

  • Hyperion||

    You can still be a shaman. The hippies will dig it.

  • Alan||

    I believe you. The Syrians I have met (in Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.) and Encarnacion (Paraguay) struck me as being highly intelligent and civilized people. This civil war will be a mess, no doubt, but I expect the Syrian people will prevail.

    I do wonder why no one considers dividing the country into majority-Alawite and majority-Sunni sections. Why do people treat national borders as something holy instead of looking at the population as it is. At the very least there could be significant autonomy.

  • Paul.||

    You know who else didn't treat national borders as holy?

  • Sudden||

    Reason magazine?

    /underzog

  • Hyperion||

    Why do people treat national borders as something holy instead of looking at the population as it is

    Because if a politician loses one bit of power or revenue, that's the equivalent to the end of the world for that politician.

    To demonstrate this point, let's ask some politicians in Sacramento how they feel about some county up north seceding from the state.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Because if a politician loses one bit of power or revenue, that's the equivalent to the end of the world for that politician. -- Hyperion

    Indeed. As I was reminded of, during this year's meeting of the Bilderberg conference in St. Mortiz, if revenue is the world's stapler; then liberal democracy is it's phone cord.

    During the conference, I availed myself of the hotel's complementary upper colonic. I asked my technician, a young Filipina by the name of Maria, what her thoughts were concerning the Arab Spring. She narrowed her eyes in deep rumination, and, after some time, said "walang paumahin ikaw rin rin," which is a Tagalog idiom that roughly translates as "your upper intestine is impacted with a massive amount fecal matter."

  • Sudden||

    I feel like I have read the full authoritative works of Thomas Friedman in only a handful of posts here. You should start a series of Cliff Notes of Infamous Stupid people.

  • C. Anacreon||

    loved all of them, great work HM

  • Hugh Akston||

    I agree with Scruffy, you're quite talented at that. If I didn't know better, I would swear you were a myopic, self-important retard yourself.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's beautiful, man. I was skimming the comments and started reading your comments before seeing the Friedman reference above, and immediately thought, "WTF is going on, why does HM sound exactly like Thomas Friedman?" I tip my (top)hat to you, sir.

  • AlmightyJB||

    +pie

  • PapayaSF||

    Very good. Needs a reference to what his taxi driver told him, though.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Little Tommy Freedman thinks we can "engineer" a success in the Middle East with posters and armed rebel groups.

    I bet he thinks we can get Putin to do our bidding by arm wrestling him too.

    Potential wars really bring out the dunces and their pet theories.

  • ||

    Doesn't he mean 'we need to make them infamous' and not 'famous.'

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If only they had representatives in Congress who could demand answers from state agents for this kind of thing.

  • LarryA||

    Or a state legislature.

  • AlmightyJB||

    LEA's are barely squeaking by on their austere budgets. Just one swat member away from total anarchy I tell you. I think the next person who tells me how taxes should be higher is getting punched in the face.

  • umh||

    If they have SWAT gear they will use it. We need to defund government agencies that have enough excess budget to buy unneeded equipment.

  • CE||

    We need to defund government agencies that have enough excess budget to buy unneeded equipment.

    FTFY

  • CE||

    Tigard, Oregon police arrest hedge fund manager for wanting to pay to spend the afternoon with them:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101008527

  • Teddy Bear||

    I just watched the movie Elysium. The general consensuses is that it is liberal propaganda, but I don't think so. If it had really been a liberal movie, it would have shown immigration turning Los Angeles into a paradise, not into another third world hellhole. I think the movie was meant to be subversive.

  • Hyperion||

    I read an article a while back, I can't even remember what site it was on now, that claimed that it's not liberal propaganda at all, and liberals only imagine that the message fits their ideology.

    No one here would believe it and I don't have an opinion since I haven't watched it, yet.

    But now I think that I will.

  • ||

    Blomkamp, the director, also did District 9, which was very good and wasn't propaganda. So it's entirely possible.

    My main beef is that a co-worker whose taste I often agree with saw it and panned it, because, she said, it's essentially just another superhero movie. You have a guy in a suit fighting another guy in a suit or whatever the chief enemy is, and they slug it out at the end.

    If I want to see that I'll just rent Iron Man 3.

  • Hyperion||

    I have District 9 on blu ray, great movie.

  • ||

    Blomkamp, the director, also did District 9, which was very good and wasn't propaganda.

    Lol! Perhaps it didn't quite rise to the level of propaganda per se, but it's a nakedly transparent morality play with all the subtlety and complexity of a TBN production.

  • PapayaSF||

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Just as an action/hero movie it is decent.

    Plot summary though: if the evil white people who run the korparashuns would just let the poor helpless slum creating mexicans into their neighborhood then we could all have free health care. And by "we", I dont many any white people, they all gotta die, even Matt Damon.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Go see The World's End. Funy as hell. Great action/fight scenes. And a libertarian message at the end.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    And a libertarian message at the end.

    British comedians and libertarianism? Does not compute.

  • William of Purple||

    Fawlty Towers was pretty libertarian.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yes, Minister is pretty... well, cynical about government, at any rate.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yes, because a South African "Progressive" couldn't possibly be a racist who believes that Brown and Black people need White people to direct their community.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Conversely, us white folk often need the Magical Negro to get us out of a jam.

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

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Sometimes, all you need is a heroic mulatto.

    Just sayin'

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I thought we could do better. But I suppose you'll have to do. ;-)

  • AlmightyJB||

    As long as you talk like Scatman Crothers you're the man.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • AlmightyJB||

    That would be pretty sweet.

  • RightNut||

    Man, Soundwave's original transformation was lame as all hell.

  • ||

    Magical Negro?

    Jesus H. fucking Christ on a popsicle stick. Can people dream up anything else to be offended about?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I saw this video the other day and it starts out talking about the study originally done to make sure minorities were safely handling their food. Not poor people, or people in general, but minorities. Really? How did those black possibly survive all those years without those edumacated white folk lookin' out for them. Much better I'm sure.

    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure.....p=features

  • Teddy Bear||

    Notice that of the almost wholly non-White LA, it was the one White guy(an orphan of course) who is the non-White's savior.

    Look at district 9. On it's face the humans are the villains and the prawns are the victims, but the prawns are nevertheless showed as uncivilized. It is the prawn's own fecundity and lack of intelligence that leads them to misery in the slums, not human oppression.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, i got a kick out of Tom Cruise as the last Samurai:)

  • Irish||

    Look at district 9. On it's face the humans are the villains and the prawns are the victims, but the prawns are nevertheless showed as uncivilized. It is the prawn's own fecundity and lack of intelligence that leads them to misery in the slums, not human oppression.

    Then how did they build those sweet ass guns? I thought the ended up in those camps because then they showed up they were all very ill because their ship had broken down and diseases had spread. They were essentially taken to the camps when they were at their weakest.

    It is a valid point that the prawns are eventually saved by a white dude, just like in Elysium.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I though they were an essentially authoritarian species where the lower "classes" were bred or trained to lack the intelligence and initiative for self-rule (though clearly there were exceptions); they were so reliant on being told what to do and letting their leaders think for them that when a plague killed off their leaders, they basically had no idea what to do with themselves, despite their technology, and only made it to earth thanks to an automated system.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Maybe the prawns didn't engineer the ship and fly it to Earth. Maybe they were a sub-class on their home planet, rounded up and shipped off into space. Sort of a slavery metaphor without a "slave owner". Maybe the ship landed on Earth incorrectly, wrong coordinates thingy. Actually, now as I type this, I'm thinking it probably was a slave ship. The prawns revolted, overtook the slavers and scuttled the ship at the nearest planet. I don't know. Vodka.

  • Irish||

    This subplot that we just made up adds so many layers to that movie. The prawns were subjugated on their own planet and were shipped off, presumably to some sort of interstellar Australia, but ended up on Earth by accident. Then they were immediately subjugated on Earth.

    I mean, if you keep getting subjugated no matter what species you run into, there's a good chance that it's your fault, prawns. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    So are the prawns a peaceful species who didn't want to act violently against their new planetary hosts? And were subsequently victimized by their host? Or are they violent degenerates who were perfectly fine with the new living arrangements?

    Damn I've got to watch that movie again.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In case you don't have time to watch the short film, it clearly states the prawns were "captive labor".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Maybe the prawns didn't engineer the ship and fly it to Earth. Maybe they were a sub-class on their home planet, rounded up and shipped off into space. Sort of a slavery metaphor without a "slave owner".

    That was one of my beefs with District 9; I liked it better when it was titled Alien Nation.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You've all seen the short film that was the prequel/pitch for District 9, right?

    If not, here you go.

    Fun fact: The "man on the street" interviews responses about the prawns were actually South African (Zulu, Xhosha, etc.) responses to being asked what they thought about Nigerians and Rwandans coming to South Africa to work.

  • JeremyR||

    But wait, I thought the whole idea of immigration was to turn the US into a 3rd world hellhole, thus finally achieving equality.

    And for corporations, oodles and oodles of cheap labor. Gotta drive salaries down to nothing.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Things you could do in 1975. Kinda depressing.

    http://www.humanevents.com/201.....e-in-1975/

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, no shit, it is really depressing.

  • Hyperion||

    The first comment is a good one:

    This loss of freedom is what leftists call "progress"

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Um they had lame toys, music and fashion style while gays, trannys, single moms, pot, cohabiting couples, home distilling, internet, cable TV and airline deregulation weren't accepted so this is reactionary bullshit. Things are getting better and better, so sez Gillespie.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think pot was pretty well "accepted" in 1975.

    Jus' sayin'

  • Hyperion||

    It was around. So I heard back then.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Yeah but were there any states legalizing it?

  • Tejicano||

    Alaska legalized private possesion of pot under 4 oz in... ...1975

  • Hyperion||

    Technology is getting better.

    Freedom is rapidly shrinking.

    No doubt technology could make freedom better. It's also making tyranny easier.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Lame music. No. Lame fashion. For men for sure. But we did have halter tops and hot pants and Farrah Fawcett.

  • Tejicano||

    I will sign up to wear bush jeans and waffle-stompers for the rest of my days if I never have to see a woman (with a nice figure) wearing a skirt OVER a pair of jeans again.

    Hot pants are lame fashion?

  • AlmightyJB||

    No I was saying I liked hot paints and halter tops. It was men's fashion that I agreed was lame.

  • Tejicano||

    But today's fashion - at least the one I see all too often - of women wearing skirts over jeans is not lame?

  • Goldwin Smith||

  • AlmightyJB||

    I can't believe he failed to mention craft beers and online porn.

  • Tejicano||

    Not only could you NOT buy a gun through a dealer without showing ID in 1975 you had to fill out the same 4473 form just to buy ammo. The ammo requirement went away in the 1980's.

    Technically you didn't need an ID to buy through a private sale but that has not changed at the federal level.

  • ||

    Citation required.

  • ||

    I don't remember filling out forms for ammo?

  • Tejicano||

    I've been looking for info on the ammo requirement but not finding a specific cite.

    I do remember filling out 4473's for ammo purchases and specifically remember being thrilled that I wouldn't have to do that - IIRC it was when FOPA was passed. Reading the GCA you can see that it always referenced "firearms AND ammunition" with respect to restricting possession and transfer.

  • ||

    Been hunting since 77. Never heard of such a thing.

    State thing? Certain ammo types? I seem to recall an age limit. 16 or 18?

  • Tejicano||

    I hadn't thought of this in years and now that I am surfing for more info I'm wondering if I just ran into some gun store clerk who a) didn't know the law, b) was just covering his ass, or c) was just stupid/confused - or all the above.

    Until I was about 25 or so I was too poor/cheap to buy much ammo so I cast and loaded my own most of the time.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Not in Texas

  • Robert||

    But 1975 was before most of the state decriminaliz'ns of marijuana.

    You couldn't own your telephone or answering machine. You couldn't choose your phone company even for long distance.

    You couldn't choose between airlines based on fare, and air travel in gen'l was costly. Oil & gas were price controlled.

    You had only one state you could go to for casinos. Pinball was illegal in NYC.

    In some major municipalities or parts thereof, cable TV was illegal. Broadcasting was still subject to the Fairness Doctrine, and there was a limit on the number of broadcast stations you could own. You still needed code for a ham license.

    Fireworks were legal in fewer states. Shall-issue pistol carry was an exception rather than the norm.

  • Tejicano||

    You could drink at 18 in a number of states back then and I was legally drinking at 17 - on the base where I was stationed - even though the drinking age off base was 21.

    In fact the bartender at Universal Studios simply decided he would serve any of us who were in uniform without asking for ID. I cannot imagine that happening any time in the past 20 years.

  • Generic Stranger||

    My father was drafted into the Navy during Vietnam. He walked into a bar in Salem, OR and they ended up kicking him out because they refused to accept his military ID.

  • Tejicano||

    Universal Studios was filming "Black Sheep Squadron" at the time and it was well known that Robert Conrad was a Reserve Marine officer - so that may have had something to do with the bartender's reaction.

  • ||

    I met the real Pappy Boyington at Oshkosh when I was a kid. He was plastered and signing autographs. Kinda sad.

  • Generic Stranger||

    "Baa Baa Black Sheep" (which I assume you're referring to) didn't start filming until '76, after Vietnam was over. My dad got kicked out of the bar sometime in '71 or '72.

  • Tejicano||

    Yup. This was about '77. Still close enough to the war that I got the occasional "Grunt!" said in my direction - so it was refreshing to get served a beer because I was in uniform.

    We had just run into Robert Conrad during the studio tour and - being a fellow Marine - he called us all over.

  • ||

    Oregon? Maybe this was lefties just fucking with a sailor during an unpopular war.

  • Robert||

    There were more & higher international trade barriers.

    You needed a medical license to do what today nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants are allowed to do.

    Many of today's legally sold dietary supplements were at least presumptively illegal drugs, at least to sell without a prescription.

    Inheritance taxes were confiscatory in many cases.

    There was the national 55 MPH speed limit that all states but one adopted.

  • ||

    You needed a medical license to do what today nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants are allowed to do.

    To be fair, that's partly because of the modern licensing requirements of nurse practitioners and PAs though.

  • ||

    There was the national 55 MPH speed limit that all states but one adopted.

    I had to look that one up, didn't realize it was signed by Nixon. I thought it was Carter.

  • CatoTheElder||

    In Texas you could bring a shotgun in the gunrack of your pickup truck to a public school.

  • Tejicano||

    Until about '74 our high school ROTC units would march around the school grounds with full-auto(capable) M-14's. No ammo and missing the firing pins but by ATF rules they were machine guns. No adult supervision and none of us could have been older than 18.

  • JeremyR||

    You could go to a roller disco.

  • Hyperion||

    The comments on that site, Alaska Dispatch are generally not bad, but some people seem shocked that the EPA has a swat team and would use it in this manner.

    Where the hell have these people been? In a box?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Probably don't know about the FDA goon squads ether.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/033.....eline.html

  • Irish||

    Dude, that's natural news and all of the links are to places with names like 'Myopia' and 'Dr. Passwater.' Do you have a more reputable site?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't know about reputable but at least you've heard of them:)

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/05.....ish-farmer

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/11.....raid-fight

  • Hyperion||

    And this pretty well sums it up:

    What you see from this is a pattern of government-sponsored terrorism against innocent Americans and small business people

  • Sidd Finch||

    I saw a few episodes of Alaska State Troopers. There's at least one instance in every episode where they hear about a thief in some tiny village, one or two take the couple hour journey in some type of deathtrap, then beg the guy to jail. Maybe it really is different up there?

  • Hyperion||

    Dear Leader as de Debil

    Not a bad caricature of dear leader.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If it was smiling it would look like Gilbert Gottfried

  • Hyperion||

    Well, at least el Presidente has won the hearts and minds of the Egyptians. Now it's on to Syria to do the same there!

  • John C. Randolph||

    If there's "rampant human trafficking" going on there, why the FUCK are these idiots wasting their time collecting water samples?

    -jcr

  • Hyperion||

    Maybe the miners are libertarians and are using slave labor to mine ore and polish their monocles? And then the drugs would just be a no-brainer, because you know libertarians/drugs, it goes without saying.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Must not be Union either.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Human trafficking is now an anti-euphemism for "hookers". Sort of like "rape" is now used as an anti-euphemism for any sort of unwanted sexual attention or undesirable male behavior; in fact, I assume this terminology was probably dreamed up by feminists who really don't understand the parable of the boy who called a feral chihuahua a wolf.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Going to watch Los Doyers. Night all!

  • Hyperion||

    Boa noite, amigo.

  • Hyperion||

    75,000 troops on ground to secure chemical weapons in Syria?

    Speaking to the committee on Tuesday as he made the case for a congressional authorization to bomb critical Syrian military sites, Kerry seemed to leave open the possibility that 'boots on the ground' could be marshaled specifically to secure chemical weapons stockpiles 'in the event Syria imploded, for instance.'

    Dear Leader: Umm, I didn't say no boots, the world said no boots, he said no boots, she said no boots, everyone said no boots, but not me, I didn't say it!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    This is a machine that you can buy.

  • Hyperion||

    Wow, I am speechless. Leave it to those zany Asians.

  • AlmightyJB||

    We're getting closer.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, that thing is not exactly the fully customizable and upgradable fembot 3000, but it's... it's really weird and pink...

  • AlmightyJB||

    an expensive fleshlight on a piston (nice touch)with a reservoir(not necessary).

  • ||

    That opening looks a little big to be the Asian model.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    They have a "portable" model.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That should totally be Kate Middleton's eyes and ears on that instead. Not because I think she's the hottest chick, but just because.

  • William of Purple||

    Is there a male version of the Sybian?

    asking for a friend.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Is she hot?

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE SMITH NEED NO SPERM COLLECTOR. STEVE SMITH HAIRY CHEST SERVE AS SPERM COLLECTOR.

  • ||

    Technology trying to render hardworking sluts redundant!? This cannot stand.

    Halt sexbot technology! FOR THE SLUTS!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Is it covered under Obamacare?

  • William of Purple||

    It had better be

  • Irish||

    James Carville: The fact that people don't want to invade Syria is Bush's fault.

    I actually think he's right in this case. War weariness from Iraq is one of the reasons no one wants to get involved in Syria. Of course, the fact that Carville and O'Reilly think the fact that people don't want to unnecessarily attack Syria is a bad thing says a lot of bad things about them.

    Carville's argument that Obama's handled the Middle East well is absolutely hysterical though. It's Shrike level mendacity.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Carville's argument that Obama's handled the Middle East well is absolutely hysterical though. It's Shrike level mendacity.

    Democrat shill is still a Democrat shill. Film at eleven.

  • AlmightyJB||

    So more Americans learned that the government is incompetent and can't be trusted to do anything right:) God, that would be nice.

  • CatoTheElder||

    It's also Kerry's fault and Hillary!'s fault. They voted for Iraq War II.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, yes, I suppose it's Bush's fault that people think that the initiation by a Presidential administration of a cruel and ineffective campaign of random bombings, no fly zones, and sanctions might lead that administration's successors to escalate to a ground invasion in the naive belief that the purpose of their country's foreign policy was to actually achieve some sort of concrete national objective like the removal of a war criminal from office; that is, to assume that their predecessors were incompetent, timid, or ineffective, rather than calculating, evil, and willing to orchestrate the ongoing slaughter* of foreign civilians solely for domestic political motives.

    *I must agree here with the president and his supporters that a military engagement in which the attackers experience essentially no level of personal risk cannot be properly termed a "war"; "slaughter" is much more fitting.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Anyone read Looking Backward? It's by Francis Bellamy's cousin Edward.

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

  • Robert||

    I've read it and have a copy (not that having a copy means anything for public domain stuff that you can get more conveniently in e-form now). What of it? It's pretty good but drags in places. Clever ending.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Wow. It's like the Uncle Tom's Cabin of progressivism.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    So did Reason take its name as a reference to this newspaper?

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

  • ||

    I don't get it.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    dang the link is too long

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_Reason_(newspaper)

  • ||

    No, I got that. Just wondering what your point is comparing Reason to socialists.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Why not? It's not like Vidal, Zinn, Greenwald weren't socialists. Also the early libertarians were initially quite buddy-buddy with the socialists.

  • Irish||

    Unsurprisingly, prodigious hack Hugh Hewitt reacts like a bitchy little girl to those of us who don't think coming into a war on the side of Al Qaeda is a good idea.

    I think eventually a majority of both the House and Senate GOP caucuses will support the AUMF 2.0, but not all opponents of the resolution will be isolationists last seen holding signs for Ron Paul outside of the Tampa Bay GOP convention. Some, like my guest last night, Victor Davis Hanson, have worries about the "second order impacts" of a weak strike on Syria with such a weak president at the helm. To be sure, the "SMAERLs" --"the social media amplified extremists of right and left"-- are flooding every zone with their far right or far left views, but there are some legitimate arguments against voting for the feckless president's latest zig-zag, and VDH made them on my show last night.

    You see, the only political beliefs of any value are those between the National Review and The Nation. Anything outside that box has no value and should be ignored by all right thinking Americans.

    When you stoop so low as to come up with a dumb nickname for your opponent, you have pretty much admitted that you have no intellectual basis for your argument.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Hewitt's obnoxious warmongering just may leave him without an audience, or a job.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "When you stoop so low as to come up with a dumb nickname for your opponent, you have pretty much admitted that you have no intellectual basis for your argument."

    I don't think that's fair -- an insult or nickname can't legitimately replace an argument, but it can complement one, provide entertainment, and perhaps suggest to the audience that the wit of the mocker lends credibility to his argument.

    Of course, by the same principle, a poor insult or stupidly chosen nickname can lead someone to lazily assume your argument is as inane or idiotic.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Not to contradict you entirely, as you did specify "dumb nickname".

  • ||

    Yeah. If I'd be debating Kerry all I'd do is say shit like, "whatever, you say Thurston Howell III" and "Yeah, yeah. No boots. Got it. Admit it, you banged Mary-Ann and Ginger while your wife watched helplessly" and "I understand your point about Syria...Thurston."

    Just keep doing it until he goes all Scanners.

  • JeremyR||

    What's fascinating is if you read the comments you find almost no pro-war ones., except a few bomb them all remarks.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    When you stoop so low as to come up with a dumb nickname for your opponent, you have pretty much admitted that you have no intellectual basis for your argument.

    Erm....

  • William of Purple||

    Video games good for Granny

  • William of Purple||

    How to wear: T-blouse

  • Sevo||

    First:
    "When you stoop so low as to come up with a dumb nickname for your opponent, you have pretty much admitted that you have no intellectual basis for your argument."
    Nope. Shithead *is* shithead, and it affects my arguments not at all. Shithead *is* shithead.
    Other than that:
    Moonbeam (yep, and he is moonbeam) ducked the opening of the new bridge because he 'wanted to spend more time with his family'. Bullshit! He wanted to duck any connection to that boondoggle.
    Now we have that pathetic hag Pelosi: "Pelosi: 'This time it's different'"
    "Rep. Nancy Pelosi was one of the fiercest critics of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, but..."
    Bullshit. "did Pelosi vote yes on Iraq?"
    Well, "If she did, doesn't she have a right to change her mind? Obama voted as well for invasion of Iraq, and Hillary as well, but on false information given to them, by Cheney and others. And they both have changed their minds"
    http://answers.yahoo.com/quest.....138AA9snqh
    Bush made 'em do it.
    Oh, and shithead is shithead.

  • William of Purple||

    namecalling does nothing to address the issue being discussed. how does it advance your own position?

  • Irish||

    "When you stoop so low as to come up with a dumb nickname for your opponent, you have pretty much admitted that you have no intellectual basis for your argument."

    Nope. Shithead *is* shithead, and it affects my arguments not at all. Shithead *is* shithead.
    Other than that:

    I think Sevo may have just proven my point.

  • Sevo||

    You guys are welcome to you opinion; shithead *is* shithead.

  • ||

    There is a time and a place Sevo. Shitstopper and Tony are worthy of nothing but contempt. But when interacting with those arguing in good faith and there is the potential to change their minds or to change the minds of those on the sidelines who've yet to form an opinion on the topic, you do more for the cause by being civil.

  • ||

    Unless "civil" means not calling a woman a "cunt", then it's a TERRIBLE idea.

  • ||

    It's pronounced Sha-THEED!

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    I always read it as "Sithlord"

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    So tonight Letterman's Top 10 list: Top 10 John McCain excuses for playing online poker during Syria hearing.
    #3 was pretty good.
    "Someone has to win back our $17 Trillion"

  • Irish||

    That's not even counting the 3.5 trillion in state and municipal debt!

    Remember though, if you think that maybe, just maybe, 20 trillion dollars in debt could pose some problems in the future, then you're a racist Republican who just hates Obama. Also Bush's fault.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Also it took 5 years, but Letterman finally called Obama a weasel in regards to his Red line denial.

  • John Galt||

    With all the other federal and state agencies raping innocent Americans with their new Super-Gestapo© Dura-Boners™, why should the EPA have to be the impotent weenies among the agencies?

  • SIV||

    So Patriot Act-passing, Reason-cover boy Jeff Flake is frotting warboners with John Mccain and Lindthy Graham.

  • ||

    I missed out on this last night. I've been to Chicken. I didn't realize there were even miners there. As I understood it, it was a family of 3 who spent their summers in Chicken and winters down south, flying to Chicken on their small plane. Chicken is the only stop on a dirt/gravel/washedoutexposingbigrocks road between Dawson and the main highway in Alaska. If this can happen to Chicken, it can happen anywhere. This really is mind-boggling.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement