A.M. Links: Putin Finalizes Crimea Annexation, Still No Sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Turkey Bans Twitter

Credit: Фото пресс-службы Президента России/wikimediaCredit: Фото пресс-службы Президента России/wikimedia

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty that formally annexes Crimea. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk signed an agreement on closer relations with the European Union.
  • Search teams looking for the possible debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 seen on satellite images have found nothing.
  • Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ordered an investigation into the CIA’s alleged spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  • Turkey banned Twitter, the social media site that is being used to share evidence of alleged corruption within Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle. Erdogan said, “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says.” Thankfully, Turks can still tweet via text.
  • Brigadier General Jeffrey A. Sinclair avoided jail time and was ordered to give up $5,000 per month for four months by the judge overseeing his sexual misconduct trial.
  • President Barack Obama told Democratic donors that Democrats usually “get clobbered” in midterms “either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

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  • sarcasmic||

    Hawaii police demand to keep a legal exemption that allows them to have sex with prostitutes

    A Hawaii bill cracking down on prostitution originally written to scrap the sex exemption for officers on duty. It was amended to restore that protection after police testimony
    Critics, including human trafficking experts and other police, say it's unnecessary and could further victimize sex workers


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....tutes.html

  • UnCivilServant||

    How about extending that exemption to all citizens and not worrying about it?

  • ||

    Hello.

    "I don’t care what the international community says."

    And Obama gets ideas.

  • Slammer||

    Howdy!

  • Doctor Whom||

    Zdravstvuyte.

    The Obamessiah cares what the international community says -- enough to bug their cell phones, anyway.

  • Zeb||

    "Zdravstvuyte"

    Is that how you spell that (or transliterate it, I guess)?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Cops are scum

  • Zeb||

    If I were on a jury I'd have a hard time convicting someone of prostitution if they couldn't prove that they had actually had sex for money (putting aside the fact that I would never vote to convict anyone of any "crime" like that).

  • Brett L||

    I don't get the exemption, though. Cops are allowed to possess drugs for stings without an exemption being written into the law.

  • sarcasmic||

    Cops must break the very laws they are enforcing in order to enforce them.

  • Brett L||

    I wonder if they have a bestiality exemption, too.

  • Zeb||

    No, the exemption is stupid and a bit disturbing.

    In a more sane world, a good rule of thumb would be that if it is OK to do the thing that is against the law in order to enforce the law, then it really shouldn't be against the law.

  • Mike Laursen||

    McGarrett never had to pay for it.

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    Bang her Dano.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Why SEC Employees Are Freakishly Good Stock Traders
    ...The academics, Emory University professor Shivaram Rajgopal and Georgia State University accounting Ph.D. candidate Roger M. White found that SEC employees tend to sell a company's stock before the SEC takes enforcement action against the company.

    The result, they wrote, were abnormal returns of about 4 percent for the market in general, and about 8.5 percent for the U.S. stock market. That's significant. While an SEC employees' stock purchases are normal, their stock "sales appear to systematically dodge the revelation of bad news in the future," according to the paper's findings....

  • UnCivilServant||

    What I don't get is why people get up in arms over insider trading. Isn't that just part of business?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    You are allowed to use formulas or guesses to determine whether or not you want to buy/sell, but you may not use Secret Information.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Why?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Because it would not be Fair.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Because it's fraud. I'm an officer with a company and know about a major lawsuit that I know will sink the companies stock before it is made public. I sell a million dollars in shares to you. That's fraud.

  • Fluffy||

    I think we have to draw a distinction between fiduciary officers and third parties.

  • AlmightyJB||

    How does a third party gain "inside" information?

  • Fluffy||

    How does a third party gain "inside" information?

    Unless it's by B&E, they shouldn't have to care.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Or I am a government official and I am aware of a new highway exit going in. I buy all the real estate in that area from people that are not aware of that plan. Same concept.

  • 21044||

    Are really the governor of Delaware?

    http://archive.delawareonline......from-state

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Because people will more likely make investments if they feel like they're going to get the same information at the same time as anybody else and not get fucked. It's utilitarian, but so are toilets

  • UnCivilServant||

    Buying a good toilet is an investment. Buying stock is getting scammed.

  • Entropy Void||

    You cannot buy a good toilet in the US ... just ask either of the Rufi.

  • Mike Laursen||

    That's odd. We have a Toto, and I'm pretty sure we didn't travel all the way to Japan to acquire it.

  • Restoras||

    An individual investor NEVER has the same information as institutional investors.

    Individuals should be investing in mututal funds.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Mutual fund managers are people too

  • CampingInYourPark||

    At least the ones that aren't Bronies

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That's why I use index funds.

  • Florida Man||

    I just bought vanguards admiral 500 index. I was looking at I bonds to ladder my cash but the rate is .2%
    I don't know where to make money on liquid assets. Has anyone don't person to person loans?

  • KeithC||

    I do P2P lending at Lending Club, FM. The on-site tools they have are pretty neat, and you can do quite a bit of filtering. I've been on the site for close to a year-and-a-half and am right around 9%, factoring in defaults. Nothing spectacular, but as a spot to park a percentage of my non-401k savings, it works.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    An individual investor NEVER has the same information as institutional investors.

    Individuals should be investing in mututal funds.

    Fuck the stock market. I invest with people I know or in goods that either increase in value or are already something of more value than the purchase price.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think it's more to do with trying to "protect" the market than protecting the investors. Who is going to buy stocks if they think they're getting shafted?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    What do you think about selling a house with a known defect that a reasonable inspection wouldn't uncover?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Caveat Emptor.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Is there any form of less than truthful transactions to which you wouldn't apply "caveat *"?

  • Jordan||

    "Does this house have any defects that might affect its value?"

    "No."

  • UnCivilServant||

    No, but I'm paranoid and always assume I'm being cheated. The key is to figure out what is driving them to take such a patently stupid move as selling anything to me.

  • Brett L||

    Does the closing paperwork ask me to affirm by signing that I have revealed all information known to me about the condition of the house?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Moral of this comment:

    Don't buy a used car from Brett L

  • ||

    Even if it were in perfect running condition, you'd never get rid of the smell

  • ||

    I was never a huge Ford Pinto fan to begin with.

  • Brett L||

    Dude, please. Its a Mazda-badged Ranger.

  • R C Dean||

    This isn't just insider trading.

    This is insider trading by people who have the power to move the stock price, a lot, just by issuing a press release.

    Government employees, up to and including Congress and the Prez, should not be allowed to invest in anything by index funds. Would solve a lot of problems, and align their financial interests with the broad economy.

  • Mainer2||

    I love the scenes in Wall Street when the square jawed SEC investigators catch Charlie Sheen's unusual trading patterns real time, and bust him

    Because it's such a fantasy.

  • ||

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk signed an agreement on closer relations with the European Union.

    Which entailed France shipping them a half million white, easy to wave flags.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Which are also surprisingly easy to convert to cleaning kits for AKs.

  • ||

    I thought AKs never had to be cleaned?

  • UnCivilServant||

    It's a self-respect thing. It's also why the kit need not be that sophisticated.

  • Shirley Knott||

    So, another reason why they came from France?

  • Don Mynack||

    Were the Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea even armed? They seemed to spend a lot of time holding their hands above their heads and walking in straight lines.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    President Barack Obama told Democratic donors that Democrats usually “get clobbered” in midterms “either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

    No no no. It's because of a lack of adequate donations.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Isn't there some barely seen YouTube video dooming their chances?

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    + 24

  • AlmightyJB||

    ?

  • Rich||

    I believe Bee's referring to the "Innocence of Democrats" video.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Thanks.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Couldn't find it. I think putting Innocent and Democrat in the same search line might have just broke Google.

  • Atanarjuat||

    "Innocence of Democrats"

    Is that a real video, or a riff on the Innocence of Muslims debacle?

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    Former troll used to insist that if you just asked these questions and film the reply, we can change the world!!! or such.

  • ||

    Yeeeeah...lowering expectations after insurance companies warning of the doubling of costs soon for many.

    I suspect 'clobbered' won't really cover it. We will see.

    I see Pelosi spouting the exact same shit as Shreek, almost word for word. Goddamn they are transparent and mendacious.

  • Entropy Void||

    "Most transparent regime EVAH!"

  • R C Dean||

    ObamaCare has laid a big fat landmine right in front of the mid-terms.

    Insurance companies have to send notices of cancellation and submit their rate increases on a schedule set by the states, and its typically 60 - 90 days in advance. The (vast?) majority of health plans roll over on January 1, so those notices will be hitting in October.

  • Restoras||

    How much you wanna bet that gets pushed back to avoid the elections?

  • R C Dean||

    State law, my man. Obama can't push it back, certainly not the rate increases.

  • sarcasmic||

    Autopsy reveals slain college student, 23, shot five times by police officer during traffic stop was twice the legal limit

    Cameron Redus, 23, was killed after being pulled over for a traffic stop by campus police officer Chris Carter on December 6
    Autopsy reveals he was shot 5 times at close range, including to the eye
    Parents devastated by autopsy details on how their son died
    Police claimed student was charging at Carter when he was shot five times


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....tment.html

    'We are stunned to learn that Cameron was shot in the back from very close range. The report also shows that the shot to his eye was delivered at a downward angle, again from very close range,' they wrote.


    So he shoots the kid in the back for failure to obey, and then after the kid falls to the ground the cop shoots him in the face for good measure.
    Will anything else happen?

  • KDN||

    Considering that the kid had performed an act that was the functional equivalent of firing a machine gun into a crowd, I'd say the cops were justified in using deadly force. Good shoot.

  • ||

    If that were my son it certainly would.

  • ||

    Chief Richard Pruitt of the Alamo Heights Police Department, said Cameron had wrestled Captain Carter's baton from him and hit the policeman in the head and arm with it.

    Captain Carter eventually got the baton back and told Cameron four times to stop fighting him or he would shoot.

    That's when the student allegedly turned around and charged at Captain Carter with his arm raised to strike, and Captain Carter fired six shots, hitting Cameron five times in the chest, neck, eye, arm and thigh.

    How does his raised fist warrant deadly force, but Cameron stealing the officer's baton and beating him on the arm and head with it does not?

  • UnCivilServant||

    That account doesn't jive with shot four times in the back and once in the eye at a downward angle.

  • Zeb||

    And what about pepper spray or something else less lethal. This seems like an appropriate situation for a taser even if what they say is true.

    Fuckers. Cops should be held to a higher standard for use of deadly force, not a lower one.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm assuming they have the photos and ER report confirming blunt force trauma on the good Captain?

  • R C Dean||

    Alright, this guy turns around and charges another cop, so the cop behind him shoots him four times in the back. That's the story, right?

    Think about the alignment of the three people in this scenario. Sounds to me like they were strung out along pretty much a straight line. Which means the shooter broke a fundamental rule of firearms safety: he took a shot at a target, when there was stuff beyond the target he didn't want to kill.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Again, we have an example of what Rand called "the hatred of the good for being good." Redus, a valedictorian, and on the Dean's List at his college, was an athletic and fairly handsome guy. Described by friends and family as "level-headed" and "compassionate".

    Contrast him to his killer, Carter, an morbidly obese man-whale whose face resembles the Pillsbury Doughboy's ass. Carter's most dear academic accomplishment was probably receiving the 2.5 GPA that allowed him to enter the police academy, where he again, graduated with a 2.5 (or in Policeone speak "cum laude")

  • gaijin||

    graduated with a 2.5 (or in Policeone speak "cum laude")

    which they pronounce "come loud"

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    What Happened to Iraq's WMD / How politics corrupts intelligence
    ...The intelligence services of everyone else were not proclaiming Iraq to be in possession of WMD. Rather, the intelligence services of France, Russia, Germany, Great Britain and Israel were noting that Iraq had failed to properly account for the totality of its past proscribed weapons programs, and in doing so left open the possibility that Iraq might retain an undetermined amount of WMD. There is a huge difference in substance and nuance between such assessments and the hyped-up assertions by the Bush administration concerning active programs dedicated to the reconstitution of WMD, as well as the existence of massive stockpiles of forbidden weaponry. ...

  • AlmightyJB||

    OMG! Really! Why has no one ever mentioned that?

  • Not an Economist||

    Of interest is the article is by semi-disgraced, ex-weapons inspector, Scott Ritter.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Kos Folds Up the Big Tent

    If Markos Moulitsas had his way there’d be no Affordable Care Act, no Dodd-Frank, no economic stimulus package. That’s the price when purity tests are applied to Democrats.

    In a remarkable post yesterday, Moulitsas, founder and publisher of the progressive community site DailyKos, celebrates the departure from the Senate of 10 moderate Democrats over the last decade, and makes clear his hope that Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) lose their tough reelection battles this year. He doesn’t name some other moderates in tight races, like Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), but his logic suggests that he’d be only too happy to say goodbye to them as well.
  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    This is an attempt by Kos to save himself from irrelevance.

  • Brett L||

    He's about 5 years too late.

  • SugarFree||

    Sounds as stupid as the GOP complaining that Romney lost because he didn't have the sterling qualities of a Santorum or a Huckabee.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    True belivers can always be counteed on to double down on stupid.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    "counted"

    Need more coffee.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    I kind of like "counteed" - kind of like counted + guaranteed.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Or like Ricardo Montabon saying counted.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    +1 Rich Corinthian Leather

  • Ken Shultz||

    Further evidence that the opposite sides of the left-right political spectrum strive to become the caricatures their opponents make them out to be.

    They want to be like Fred Phelps--only on the left.

    That is always the goal.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Dead and rotting?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Media representations of the caricatures their opponents make them out to be.

    You make Republicans out to be ignorant, gun toting, abortion hating, assholes, and there are tons of smart people out there, who will strive to forget what they knew, buy a gun (because they never had one before), and start treating their fellow Americans like shit.

    You make progressives out to, likewise, be latte-swilling, individual rights hating caricatures, and they will start buying lattes--even though they never liked them before.

    I think this is part of what is happening with libertarians today. It's a bit oversimplified, but the effect is there! The left started denouncing mainstream Republicans as a bunch of libertarian radicals, so a lot of Republicans, in striving to become the caricatures their opponents are making them out to be, starting caring a lot about individual rights--even though they never cared much about that before.

    I've seen a number of people describe themselves as libertarian but don't seem to know much of anything about it--other than that the Democrats and progressives hate it.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I remember meeting this Beck head one night. Claimed he was a Libertarian. Was pretty clear after five minutes that he had no idea what that meant. And to your point, yeah he was clearly attracted by the fact that progressives hate Libertarians.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    celebrates the departure from the Senate of 10 moderate Democrats over the last decade, and makes clear his hope that Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) lose their tough reelection battles this year.

    Wasn't this this same line used by Limbaugh after the GOP got waxed in 2006 midterms? "I'm not upset, I'm glad they lost!! GLAD, I tell you!!"

    If Markos is using this kind of rhetoric several months before the actual elections, that's not a good sign for the Dems.

  • sarcasmic||

    Fishing with otters: Age-old Bangladeshi tradition involves harnessing mammals up like reindeer as they chase fish into nets

    Fishermen in Narail, 130 miles from capital Dhaka, use the otters to lure fish into their nets
    In 25 years the number of families otter fishing has dropped from 500 to 150
    Expert Mohammed Feeroz fears that if the trend continues otter fishing will be 'wiped out' within 20 years
    The fishermen spend around half of their £150 earnings each month buying feed for the otters
    Rivers in the area are now short of fish because of water pollution and overcatching


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....-nets.html
    I'd never heard of that. It's kinda cool.

  • Steve G||

    Wild, kinda like that fishing they do in China w/ birds.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Search teams looking for the possible debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 seen on satellite images have found nothing.

    Has anyone bothered to ask Courtney Love?

  • robc||

    Morning. Expect to be dishing out fun details this afternoon.

    At least I survived my two weeks of involuntary servitude. Or have I spoke too soon?

  • Rich||

    "It ain't over 'til it's over."

  • Brett L||

    Nullify!

  • Steve G||

    Libertarians edge Dawkins-style Athesists FTW in Round 1 of Bitchy Bracket

    We don’t have a prayer against the Vegans in the next round however

    Also gun nuts won over scientologists and Snowden and Cannabis fans are losing in their matchups.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Don't forget "marijuana reform advocates," those annoying, bitchy annoyers!

  • SugarFree||

    I see they left off "Dipshits on Gawker sites." I guess they wanted a fair fight.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    I think that Men's Rights Activists will win. Unless "Twitter Feminists" includes Tumblr Social Justice Warriors, in which case those two really need to go head to head.

  • ||

    Very good (and long) post about why it is difficult to win a debate with vegans.

    Meat eaters are the ones who have to say, “No, it’s okay to kill, and death’s not a big deal,” which sounds a little unseemly when you say it out loud. We can try to get around this by saying, “Well, actually, if you eat only certain kinds of meat — like grass-fed cows or whales — this ends up killing fewer animals than if you were to eat a veggie burger made from tofu, which required pesticides and tilling, which killed many small mammals.” And indeed, the pro-meat side did make this point in this debate. And I agree, there certainly might be cases in which this is true, but this grants the vegan premise that we should kill as little as possible, and it’s far from clear that someone eating lots of animal products is killing fewer animals than vegans. Especially since even many pasture-raised animals are fed plants that humans could have eaten, as vegans like to point out, which tends to undermine the point completely.
  • UnCivilServant||

    These Livestock wouldn't even be alive if we didn't keep them for food. Their numbers are a direct result of being tasty. Their propserity and success as a species are directly tied to being eaten by us. We are doing nature's work and the livestock benefit from it.

  • Zeb||

    That's a good response.

    I also have no problem saying that it is OK to kill (non-huuman things that you are going to put to some useful purpose) and death is not a big deal except as a social event among humans.

  • Zeb||

    Fuck, yeah! 3 comments in a row with no problems.

  • ||

    We deal with a committed vegan parent at the daycare. I don't think they're all the rational at all. And the child doesn't look healthy.

    But that's me.

    We have to deal with all sorts of people including anti-vaccine-ers, linguistic chauvinists, nit-pickers etc.

  • ||

    Everyone thinks they figured out 'the scam' or the answers to 'better living.'

    They're chasing a shadow.

    Like investors who think they figured out how the market works.

  • UnCivilServant||

    The market works by charging suckers a transaction fee to buy or sell valueless pieces of paper.

  • JW||

    Lost big, eh?

  • Zeb||

    It seems like a motivated adult can be quite healthy with a vegan diet, but putting kids on that diet seems like a bad idea.

  • From the Tundra||

    I totally agree, Zeb. Kids' requirements almost demand a high protein, high fat diet. I have several vegans in my family and they tend to look less healthy on the whole.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    We have to deal with all sorts of people including anti-vaccine-ers, linguistic chauvinists, nit-pickers etc.

    oh yes this...the daycare is a dark carnival with the most SWPL/Park Slopish tendencies on full display.

  • ||

    A look at the composition of breast milk gives a clue to what a few million years of evolution thinks small kids need, plenty of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) likely for brain development. That this need might completely disappear at the age of, say, five, seems unlikely. B12 is another problem for vegans but I'd say short chain fatty acids is the biggie for children.

  • Steve G||

    A vegan friend of mine posted how her daughters (both compelled to eat the same way) are in the 20 or 30th percentile for growth. Yet the mother just blamed the ex's genes and would never consider that perhaps the diet is causal as well if not more so.
    Meanwhile my paleo son who's half-asian and I'm no giant is in the 96th percentile for height. Just n=1, but we think there's something to it.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Then just embrace the slaughter. After all, being a vegan requires mass death of living things as well.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    It's obvious vegans are wrong by simple observation:

    Look how much effort people put into coming up with vegetable products that taste like meat. Yet on the other side, no one has ever gone to me, "Hey, you got to try this; it's made from beef but it tastes just like broccoli!"

  • John||

    That is one hell of an astute point.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    That is freakin' excellent - Stormy!

  • Florida Man||

    I can't lose. I'm like 9 of the things on those brackets.

  • ||

    The Atomic Wedgie and other bizarre deaths

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/w.....ys-3009801

  • Atanarjuat||

    Moon liver
    In the year 763, starry-eyed poet Li Bai, 63, tried to kiss the reflection of the moon in the water next to his boat, fell overboard and drowned.

    His liking for liquor may have proved a factor.

    One of his poems was Alone and Drinking Under the Moon.

    So racist.

  • Lord Humungus||

    News Anchor Retracts Claim That Jay Carney Gets Questions In Advance



    Phoenix news anchor Catherine Anaya acknowledged on Thursday that she didn't have things quite right earlier this week when she said White House press secretary Jay Carney gets questions in advance from reporters.

    Anaya gave plenty of fodder to conservatives and media critics alike when she recounted her time with Carney during an "off-the-record" meeting in Washington this week.
  • Slammer||

    Wonder what they have on her.

  • gaijin||

    Wonder what they have on her.

    A cushy job in the administration?

  • Drake||

    He gets the questions in advance but still can't answer them with anything except vagaries and bullshit.

  • Ted S.||

    FAKE SCANDAL!!!111!!!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    she didn't have things quite right

    IOW, she realized that she destroyed her insider cred by revealing something that was intended to be off the record, and is trying to salvage her career.

  • Rich||

  • MJGreen||

    This reminded me that Hannibal is on tonight.

    WOO, Hannibal!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ordered an investigation into the CIA’s alleged spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    The CIA already knows more about that investigation than Reid.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Dozens of Planes Have Vanished in Post-WWII Era

    Some 83 aircraft have been declared “missing” since 1948, according to data compiled by the Aviation Safety Network. The list includes planes capable of carrying more than 14 passengers and where no trace — bodies or debris — has ever been found.

    I blame Warty.

  • Slammer||

    That is one huge basement.

  • UnCivilServant||

    You expect the 1948 victims to still be there?

  • db||

    The ossuary is in the attic.

  • SugarFree||

    "Air Raid" by John Varley

  • Pro Libertate||

    It didn't occur to me before, but the Bermuda Triangle mythology started with missing planes.

  • ||

    Erdogan said, “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says.”

    To which Obama responded, "Wait, you can do that? Let's meet up."

  • UnCivilServant||

    I wish someone would eradicate twitter. Twits get on my nerves.

  • ||

    Noooo! Without Twitter, we wouldn't have this

  • ||

    I LOVE HER

  • From the Tundra||

    That's pretty good! I liked this:

    In order to aspire to the truth, you must shed your thoughts & preconceptions & just put on a good simple cool bikini.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Or this.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Caterpillar Said to Be Focus of Senate Overseas Tax Probe

    In 2009, Daniel Schlicksup, an employee who had worked on Caterpillar’s tax strategy, alleged in a lawsuit in federal court that the company used a “Swiss structure” to shift profits to offshore companies and avoid more than $2 billion in U.S. taxes. He also alleged that Caterpillar used a “Bermuda structure” involving shell companies to return profits to the U.S. without paying required taxes.

    According to Schlicksup’s complaint, the Swiss structure involved “many shell corporations with no business operations,” in which the management of profitable businesses was technically shifted to Switzerland while actually remaining in the U.S.
  • ||

    Schlicksup? Schlicksup??

  • Rich||

    'Sup, ifh?

  • UnCivilServant||

    I blame the Tax code. If there weren't taxes, there wouldn't be any evasion going on.

  • gaijin||

    If there weren't taxes

    but then there would not be any roadz! people would starve! noone would defend us from, well, whatever we need defendin' from!

  • Restoras||

    Correct. Here is a nice little article about St. Warren and his own tax evasion.

    Warren Buffet avoids taxes while shreeking at everyone else to pay up.

    Companies don't pay taxes. People do.

  • ||

    But did they break any laws?

  • Jordan||

    Did they break any just laws? Nope.

  • Mokers||

    It will be like Toyota. The DOJ will find a price caterpillar will pay to avoid prosecution without having to prove any actual wrongdoing in the case.

  • sarcasmic||

    'You are married to the Lord and your daddy is your boyfriend': Purity balls, in which girls 'gift their virginity' to their fathers until marriage, sweeping America

    Purity Balls now take place in 48 states in the US, and in 17 countries
    Daughters promise to remain pure and give virginity to fathers to 'protect'
    Girls given a ring as well as having wedding style 'first dance' with fathers


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....erica.html
    That's so poorly worded it looks like the girls are having sex with their fathers.

    Purity balls, in which a girl pledges to remain ‘pure’ until her wedding day, symbolically ‘marries’ God, and promisesher father that she will remain a virgin until she's a wife, have become a phenomenon in America, now taking place in 48 out of the 52 states.


    52 states? Does anyone proofread this shit?

  • Rich||

    The regular fifty, plus DC, uh, D and C!

  • waffles||

    Puerto Rico? Guam?

  • UnCivilServant||

    PR doesn't have senators, and Guam capsized. I'm thinking Quebec and Regular Canadia.

  • ||

    Anal doesn't count.

  • Brett L||

    Technical is the best kind of virgin.

  • Doctor Whom||

    But remember: It's those stupid Merkins in the Benighted States who don't know other countries' geography.

  • ||

    Once, after trouncing a Brit who thought trashing Yanks was easy game, his lame response, "Well, at least I have a passport."

  • UnCivilServant||

    "You need it when your country is smaller than a state."

  • ||

    Going on orchestrated package tours in your own backyard in order to drink as much as possible at much lower prices is totally worldly because it requires a passport, unlike those provincial Yanks.

  • Mainer2||

    The phrase "purity balls" had me very confused.

  • ||

    Me too. Pretty creepy.

  • Zeb||

    I was initially thinking of some sort of spherical object.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    But we've got the Purest...Balls of them all

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's odd. I read that in Bon Scott's voice.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    Then it worked.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Brandishing a gold ring, Ron continues: "This is just a reminder that keeping yourself pure is important. So you keep this on your finger and from this point you are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend."

    He then places the ring on the forth finger of his daughters left hand – her wedding finger.

    Nope, nothing unseemly about that at all!

  • Atanarjuat||

    How to give your daughter a life-long case of daddy issues, Vol. 1.

    Side note, an ex-girlfriend always stepped the sex up a few notches when her dad was visiting. Weird, but hey, I had fun.

  • From the Tundra||

    The Offspring wrote a little ditty about just that:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....feature=kp

    Bonus Zooey!

  • Zeb||

    How the crap are you ever supposed to get married if your father is your boyfriend? Or do these people do arranged marriages as well?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Traditionally, Christian fathers give their daughters to the man who they are marrying, since he, as the head of his family is responsible for her well-being. They even have this little scene where the minister asks who is doing the giving. Over time this has grown to include others, such as a mother.

    I think the ceremony described in this article is just something to formalize that tradition.
    Can't say I've ever heard of a father being considered as their daughter's boyfriend though. Must be a Colorado thing

  • UnCivilServant||

    How do they explain away the bigamy if she's already been wed to God?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    How do they explain away

    Like I said, I don't have any idea what these particular folk have in mind.
    Maybe they don't give a shit about bigamy or explanations

  • Rasilio||

    "That's so poorly worded it looks like the girls are having sex with their fathers."

    Maybe they are, I mean who loves her more than her daddy right? :-)

  • Juice||

    Wait a minute. How can they be married to The Lord? Isn't marriage one man and one woman? Not one teenage girl and one triumvirate deity. And how many girls is The Lord married to by now? And you can never marry an actual human being because first you'd have to divorce The Lord, which isn't kosher. Unless you're getting into some group marriage thing.

  • Zeb||

    Nuns are supposed to be married to God or Christ or something, aren't they?

    But if these girls are intending to marry an actual person some day, would they need to get a divorce from God first?

  • Atanarjuat||

    For what it's worth, I remember from Sunday School being taught that the husband and wife both love God, so it's more of a triangle, which is, after all, one of the most stable shapes.

  • Juice||

    Three is the magic number.

  • Slammer||

  • CampingInYourPark||

    How racist are the preschools in your state?

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Black students are more likely to be suspended from U.S. public schools -- even as tiny preschoolers.

    The racial disparities in American education, from access to high-level classes and experienced teachers to discipline, were highlighted in a report released Friday by the Education Department's civil rights arm.

    http://www.wtop.com/346/358728.....uspensions

  • UnCivilServant||

    Are they also more likely to have offended?

  • WTF||

    Even asking such a question is racist.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Are they also more likely to have offended?

    The point is that what warrants suspension is highly arbitrary.

  • Brett L||

    What the hell can a pre-schooler do that warrants suspension? Who are these giant pussies?

  • Slammer||

  • Ted S.||

    I thought in Canada they called grilled cheese "Kraft lunch".

  • Lord Humungus||

    Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight and the dangers of being ideologically neutral

    Nate Silver's new venture, FiveThirtyEight, is now live, and the reviews are starting to come in. To summarize: it's terrible. Reviewers from Paul Krugman to Tyler Cowen — who seldom agree on much — have panned the launch. If you need to be personally convinced, just check out this example. Yikes.

    What went wrong? One major problem has to do with ideology. In an attempt to focus solely on objective analysis, Silver is ignoring one of the hardest-won journalistic lessons of the last decade — there is no such thing as ideology-free journalism.
  • Palin's Buttplug||

    So polling and statistical analysis has a "political ideology"? I know it does with John but not with rational people.

    Fuck them, my money is on Silver - a proven winner.

  • ||

    Holy shit shriek! You are kidding , right?

    Now that is funny.

  • Zeb||

    Statistical analysis doesn't, but polling sure as hell can and usually does.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Silver throws out the polls with poor performance.

    For instance, the pollster who called Florida a "sure thing" 100% lock for Romney will be zapped.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    So, if he gets one wrong will he off himself?

  • ||

    That Krugman doesn't like it is not a good thing for Silver.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I read the allegedly "terrible" example and I didn't see a problem.

  • tarran||

    The CAGW cult has done immeasurable damage to humanity in the way they coopted and discredited major scientific institutions. The sad thing is that if humanity one day does face an existential crisis that requires action now to stave of disaster many years in the future, the people raising the alarm will have an even higher bar to hurdle thanks to the boy-who-cried-wolf effect.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Back in the fifties SCIENCE was the answer to everything. How many stories involved scientists bailing out humanity?

    Now, of course, we reject science because we prefer to just feel rather than to think and feel.

  • ||

    Yeah, WTF is wrong with that example? Give me a break.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Agree. That's a perfectly cromulant post.

  • Brett L||

    He does seem to be pissing off all of the right people. There's a roundup post here.

  • Lord Humungus||

    well duh...

    In Book, Architect of Health Law Predicts a Shift Away From Employer Coverage

    But now Mr. Emanuel thinks that a number of well-known national companies will break the mold and begin a trend. By his estimation, the proportion of private-sector workers who receive health care from employers will fall below 20 percent by 2025. Currently, just under 60 percent of private-sector workers get health care from employers.

    “It’ll be a matter of a few big employers, blue-chip companies,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview. “Then it’s going to be the norm.”

    Mr. Emanuel, the brother of Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff, said that shift “will be a good thing” by helping control costs and enhance consumer choices. He concluded that “you might put it under positive, unintended consequences.”
  • Mokers||

    Well no shit, that was the design. Single payer has always been the goal.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    The "goal", if there ever was one, was to create a gruesomely convoluted system that would leave a large number of well-connected pseudo-independent middlemen in a position where they faced no risk and had the government forcing people to buy their products. The middlemen would then fight like dogs to preserve that system, funneling lots of cash to the politicians who supported that system. I don't think we're heading to single-payer, we're heading towards an ever-more-horrid Rube Goldberg corporatist machine.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Truer words were never spoken.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    Depressingly accurate

  • ||

    "If that is done, suddenly schools will become mini-surveillance states."

    Schools using fingerprint scanners on their students

  • Rasilio||

    "If that is That will be done, suddenly schools will become have long been mini-surveillance states."

    Fixed this

  • Zeb||

    It it really too much to ask teachers to take attendance?

  • ||

    Planet Fitness makes hottie cover up because she intimidates other gym goers.

    Fuckin' hilarious. My son manages 5 Anytime Fitness gyms and Anytime has just opened a location here. He studied his competition and I had a hard time grasping what he told me. He said it is not really a fitness place but a social club that ha pizza and donut parties for fatties.

    That chick was in the wrong place.

  • waffles||

    Stop fat shaming me!

  • ||

    There's a woman at my friend's gym who stands naked in the change rooms and dries herself with two hairdryers. My friend says it's particularly disturbing when she cocks a leg to dry her crotch

  • Jordan||

    Good lord. I haven't seen anything that bad, but all the old men who just hang around chilling with their nuts hanging out is really fucking annoying. Put on your fucking clothes and leave!

  • SugarFree||

    Seriously. The campus gym has one of those. Put those damn things away.

  • Restoras||

    ^OMG this. And, for what it's worth, I've seen dudes 'cock a leg' to dry their sacks with the hair drier. W.T.F.?

  • From the Tundra||

    Seen that. Not pretty. Even worse? The guys who stand at the sinks, shaving, with their sacks resting on the counter. Just ridiculous.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    GAH!!

  • Rich||

    BOOOOSH!

  • ||

    I tease my son by asking him what he sells. He gives a big, long speech. Then I point at all the mirrors and the guys in tights watching themselves and say " no, you sell vanity."

  • Restoras||

    I suppose it's a fine line depending on the gym. I belong to NY Sports and the gym I go to has a really weird mix of people - lots of middle-aged people trying to stay fit, and a lot of lunkheads. But the dudes that juice and preen themselves before working out, and then leave the 100lb dumbbells laying around all over the place - yeah, pure vanity.

  • Brett L||

    I love the Anytime near my work, but the one by my house sucks balls. There is one barbell and one of those 2-axis Smith machines, which is just stupid. And they've got a whole room dedicated to aerobics classes... which they run one hour every other day. I talked to the manager about it and his take (I'm spinning it a bit) was that he and other personal trainers make money by teaching women to do a bunch of bullshit floor exercises, and why aren't the machines and dumbbells good enough?

  • Lord Humungus||

    'Antisocial network' Cloak helps users avoid their friends

    Cloak, created by programmer Brian Moore and former Buzzfeed creative director Chris Baker, is billed as the "antisocial network" and uses check-in data from Foursquare and Instagram to allow users to see the locations of their friends on a map, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

    "Avoid exes, co-workers, that guy who likes to stop and chat -- anyone you'd rather not run into," the app description in the iTunes store reads.

    The app also allows users to "flag" certain friends and they will receive notifications when the flagged friends show up within a certain range.
  • db||

    This.must be a.problem had primarily by people who.live in a.city and never get further away from their.homes than a 1/2 walk or a subway ride.will take them.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    "Avoid exes, co-workers, that guy who likes to stop and chat -- anyone you'd rather not run into," the app description in the iTunes store reads.

    I think "Project NiceGuy" would have a better ring to it.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Should call it the Marauder's Mapp.

  • ||

    President Barack Obama told Democratic donors that Democrats usually “get clobbered” in midterms “either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

    What the fuck is he even talking about? Donors aren't like the press, or your base voters, or democrat house members. The unrequited love you experience with these groups don't extend to donors.

    He's been in the bubble for far too long if he thinks he can talk to these people like they're assholes and still expect them to open up their wallets. Maybe he doesn't want to have a majority in either house. He probably just assumes it'd be easier to be a lame duck.

  • db||

    "IT'S NOT.MY FAULT" is the easy way out.

  • Don Mynack||

    Or, you could create a mandatory insurance program that everybody hates. That could be it, too.

  • Rich||

    Black preschoolers more likely to face suspension

    The data doesn't explain why the disparities exist or why the students were suspended.

    Permit me: RACIST!

  • Rich||

    But, I see Camping is already on the case.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Preschool race discrimination was the case that they gave me

  • robc||

    Dammit, you stole a joke I was going to make later today.

    I guess I will make a Law & Order joke instead.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    You were planning a Snoop Dogg joke? Do tell!

  • Slammer||

  • Lord Humungus||

    some people have all the luck:

    Woman finds 4 live grenades in attic

    Caroline Cyganiak was cleaning a box of her late husband's war mementos when she found the grenades. She notified the police who called the close explosive ordinance disposal unit to remove the explosives. They were determined unstable and disposed of at a remote location.

    “I’m sure it would have damaged that house extensively and probably injured anyone within a radius. That’s what they’re meant to do. They are weapons of war. They are meant to kill with fragments,” said Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards.

    After the situation was resolved, Cyganiak said she went to the cemetery and reamed her husband out.
  • waffles||

    I'd be so mad if I were saving those grenades for all these years...

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    We had guys suddenly remembering they had grenades, MK19 ammo, etc all the time before getting on the flight home in AF....used to have the portacrappers get pumped out and find grenades, empty the trash and find worse.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Woman Paid For 2 Health Care Plans After Trouble Disenrolling From Obamacare

    “I enrolled online and it is very convoluted and takes a very long time to enroll,” Battles explained.

    After getting a full-time job with benefits, Battles went to disenroll from the Obamacare insurance she purchased through HealthCare.gov. But trying to disenroll from Obamacare turned out to be a full-time job in itself.

    “The first person I spoke with after being on hold for 49 minutes couldn’t do anything and they had to refer me to a specialist, who still couldn’t do anything,” Battles said. “They had to refer me to an event resolution center. There was no email address, there’s no direct number to the event resolution center, only the main 800 number. And there’s no mailing address to file any type of grievance or complaint about how it’s handled.”
  • Rich||

    “I was blown away that they had not thought forward enough to realize that people are going to disenroll."

    LOL

  • ||

    Or 'disenrolling' was never an option? Or they were so sure it was going to be a success they didn't bother thinking ahead?

    With this bunch, who knows?

    Disenroll! I like that. I'm gonna use it a lot moving forward.

  • ||

    I have a friend on facebook who has posted about many attempts to get healthcare coverage. She actually has a lot of medical problems, is only partly employed, and married to a guy in the same situation. But She's looking at having a $11,000 deductible after enrolling. I think if you put all her assets together they wouldn't total that much. I feel for her, but at the same time, I have a perverse schadenfreud at her salty ham tears because I know she supported The Great One, and probably still might if given the chance.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I bet if she stopped paying her premiums they'd figure it out.

  • Juice||

    And report it to the credit agencies.

  • Don Mynack||

    Just stop paying. You are automagically "dis-enrolled", via the contractual terms. Is it an Obamacare thing that you have to do anything different?

  • Ted S.||

    Some people are incredibly lucky:

    Wasp swarm attacks farmer

    A Waikato farmer had to walk 45 minutes for help after she was stung at least 50 times in the head by wasps when she stepped in a nest on a remote block of land northwest of Taumarunui.

    A "really, really sore" Janet Kelland last night spoke to the Herald from her bed at Taumarunui Hospital after the ordeal which began about midday yesterday on the farm she part-owns.
  • Ted S.||

    But the story gets better (or worse, depending on your POV):

    Wasp attack victim cheats death a third time

    A Taumarunui sheep farmer who was attacked by hundreds of angry wasps in a remote valley has dodged death for the third time.

    The attack by hundreds of angry wasps yesterday could have killed Janet Kelland, but she's bouncing back, just as she did on two earlier near-death experiences.

    Kelland, 54, was climbing Mt Everest in the 1996 storm that took the life of New Zealand mountaineer Rob Hall and says she had been extremely lucky to survive.

    "I really had no right to make it out of that storm", she said.

    Her second escape from death happened five years ago while riding a horse on her property, when she was thrown off, breaking her neck and several bones in her back.

    "The doctors really didn't think I would survive that – but I did."

    She was airlifted to Waikato Hospital by the same pilot, Dan Harcourt, who transported her to Taumarunui Hospital yesterday. He flew her to Waikato Hospital after she was involved in another riding accident about two years ago, from which she also fully recovered.

    "I think I've extended those nine lives, by about 20," she told Fairfax.
  • Atanarjuat||

    UNBREAKABLE!

    I sometimes feel like I've used up more than 9 lives. I used to climb on steel structures for a living, and on a few occasions nearly slipped and fell when my safety gear wasn't hooked up.

  • robc||

    Sean Connery will be visiting her soon to begin training.

    At least make a good movie rererence.

  • The DerpRider||

    But when Mario Van Peebles shows up, everyone falls into the fetal position and tries to ignore him.

  • ||

    Ouch! I worked on a Christmas tree farm as a kid in the summers (which is a bad ass summer job, I might add. Walking around with a machete and cutting trees), went to clear some brush out from under one of the trees and BAM! I put the toe of my boot right into a hive of white-faced hornets.

    25 stings and a 1 acre sprint later, I was sent home for the day.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    How many parsecs did it take you to sprint the acre?

  • db||

    +1 Kessel Run

  • ||

    So, would Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks be a shit game or quite competitive? Should I bother going?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    good brawl chance there

  • Mokers||

    They are rivals here in the states. MLB has started past seasons overseas and the games have been just as good as any regular series. The teams will try to win but can't tell you if it will be competitive or a blowout.

  • PD Scott||

    I was watching BBC news the other day, they had a little feature piece on this game along with an explanation of Major League Baseball. Only 2 problems I saw with the piece - the reporter used an aluminum, excuse me, aluminium bat, and when the graphic displayed the teams and divisions the National League and American League were switched.

  • Rasilio||

    The Dodgers should be very good, The D-backs were a decent up and coming team last year and are generally pretty well run so they tend to stay at least competative but I have no clue what happened to them in the offseason or whether this is a rebuilding year for them.

    Overall if you like baseball or think you might like it there are worse matchups you could go see.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Perennial punching bag Peter Schiff Gets Destroyed On TV During Debate About Inflation

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com.....z2wbR0pxbA

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I guess Mark Dow never heard of cumulative CPI and how exponential functions work.

    Like you, he seems to be baffled by 9th-grade math.

  • Slammer||

  • SugarFree||

    Smith not only found Gavin, he gave him the surprise of a lifetime today on "Good Morning America."

    I only made it through half the video. It was sickening.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Erdogan said, “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says.”

    Haven't people been talking about the legendary corruption, there, since...when they called the place "Byzantium"?

    Byz·an·tine

    adjective \ˈbi-zən-ˌtēn, ˈbī-, -ˌtīn; bə-ˈzan-ˌ, bī-ˈ\

    4a : of, relating to, or characterized by a devious and usually surreptitious manner of operation

    http://www.merriam-webster.com...../byzantine

    The correct response from people who care is to start twitter pages criticizing Ataturk and memorializing the Armenian genocide.

  • Rich||

    Douglas has become "Donna," a transgender woman who claims that she is not responsible for the murders because Douglas no longer exists.

    A "variation" on the "Twinkie" defense?

    If Donna’s defense were to be accepted by the courts, it could lead to unintended consequences for the transgender community as their former selves could possibly be universally considered mentally ill. This is a diagnosis that people with alternate lifestyles have been working hard to defeat for decades.

    It would never be accepted. Right? RIGHT?!

  • SugarFree||

    It's a win/win... if Douglas/Donna is convicted, ve gets to go to a women's prison, a place full of ver favorite sort of victims.

  • John||

    Seriously, since we have the State of California saying elementary school kids get to go to the gender's bathroom they choose, how long before a judge rules that men who claim to be women get to go to women's prisons? I wouldn't shock me if it hasn't already happened.

  • SugarFree||

    Post-op trans already go to women's prisons in most states. Pre-op are about half-successful and usually dependent on their compliance to hormone therapy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    A jury trial is like a box of chocolates...

  • Ken Shultz||

    There may be some compelling arguments there; you might not be the same person on estrogen.

    But, at best, those should be considered by the judge during sentencing. Not by the jury as to whether Donna's corpus is the murderer.

    And these murders happened decades before--we're all different people than we were decades ago. That doesn't change our responsibility for what we did them unless we were insane.

    It's also a rights issue. If trans people aren't responsible for what they did before reassignment, then do they have to pay off their credit cards and home loans? How is the rest of society going to treat them as a class if they can't be held responsible for what they've done before reassignment?

  • ||

    And indeed, why should the argument only work in their favour? If they're not the same person, should they be considered the owners of the property owned by the pre-op person? Or be considered to have their qualifications or work experience? It's really such a silly position.

  • paranoid android||

    I think it's pretty argument that in Donna's case, this argument is entirely self-serving and being made in bad faith.

    In all accounts I've ever heard from transgender people, they state that the point of the reassignment surgery is to bring their body in line with their perceived identity--meaning that the identity is a constant between both sexes. Well, as constant as anyone's identity can be, I suppose.

    I can't accept this as anything but an unserious gambit by very disturbed person, and not an attempt to redefine rights for transgender individuals.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    A "variation" on the "Twinkie" defense?

    goddamit the Twinkie defense is not a real thing.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Try to touch my fucking Twinkie and find out!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I just think it's awesome in the comments to Brietbart article linked they launched into a whole debate over transhumanism.

  • Ted S.||

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Headline says it all:

    Analysts have 'no clue' what it will cost to fix Maryland's flawed health exchange

    And MD was supposed to be a "good" state.

  • Rich||

    “We have no clue what it’s going to cost, no clue what it’s really going to take,” said Simon G. Powell, who wrote the budget analysis.

    And a mighty fine analysis it must be, Simon.

    YOU'RE FIRED!

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    This little gem too should have everyone fired:

    the exchange at one point included in its budget money to set up kiosks, where people could enroll in health insurance on the go

    Kiosks? Are you fucking kidding me?

  • Rich||

    "We meant 'toilet stalls'!"

  • ||

    Axiom I believe: When something gets off to a bad start in most anything, it rarely gets back on track.

  • Brett L||

    Well that's because the funds available haven't been limited yet. Jesus, does nobody understand how consulting works?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I don't have an answer for you Brett. But if you pay me an undetermined sum of money, I could possibly get back to you.

  • Brett L||

    Listen, I only $100k to buy the answer, but I'll probably have another $600k to implement whatever answer you come up with.

  • Rasilio||

    Generally speaking when an IT project reaches this state it is not worth fixing because the cost of finding and fixing all the bugs will exceed the cost of starting over again from scratch

  • CampingInYourPark||

    NC State has repaid the basketball gods for the fluke that was the 1983 NCAA Tournament. That game was sick

  • Don Mynack||

    The fact they lost because they couldn't hit free throws after intentional fouls was particularly great. That's exactly the strategy they employed against Phi Slamma Jamma, making the game a total slog, save for the dunk at the end.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Microsoft says it snooped on Hotmail to track leak

    Microsoft Corp., which has skewered rival Google Inc. for going through customer emails to deliver ads, acknowledged Thursday it had searched emails in a blogger's Hotmail account to track down who was leaking company secrets.

    John Frank, deputy general counsel for Microsoft, which owns Hotmail, said in a statement Thursday that the software company "took extraordinary actions in this case." In the future, he said, Microsoft would consult an outside attorney who is a former judge to determine if a court order would have allowed such a search.
  • ||

    Pot, kettle, no?

  • Slammer||

    Teachers who had lesbian tryst in classroom to get jobs back.

    FTA:
    The Manhattan appellate judges said foreign-language teachers Alini Brito, 34, and Cindy Mauro, 38, were treated too harshly when they were dismissed for engaging in a topless classroom tryst inside Brooklyn’s James Madison HS in 2009.
    “The penalty of termination is shockingly disproportionate,” said the ruling, which noted that “engagement in what appeared to be consensual sexual conduct with an adult colleague is not in and of itself criminal or otherwise improper.”
    And at least the school-room romp didn’t involve minors, the Appellate Division judges added.
    “Indeed, lesser penalties have been imposed where a teacher had an ongoing relationship or engaged in inappropriate behavior with a student,” the decision says.

    “[It] sets a poor example for other teachers. They may think they can do it, too,” fumed one James Madison teacher, who asked not to be named.

  • John||

    I used to get angry about stuff like that. Now I am more circumspect. If you really think that public education is a bad idea and want it to go away, you should be happy to see liberals help that process along by going completely insane.

    The people who should be angry about these sorts of things are good government liberals who still believe in public education. Instead, those people have become so jaded and stupid they think this is just fine.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm thinking the judges based their decision on the long precedent common-law doctrine that takes into account the relative hotness of the two defendants.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I looked it up and you're definitely right.

  • John||

    In fairness to the judge, I was pleasantly surprised by their pictures. I at best figured one of them would be okay and the other look like a fat homely guy.

    Honestly, I don't think God loved me as a child nearly enough to ever allow me to walk in on that scene when I was in school.

  • R C Dean||

    So, if these judges were to walk in on a couple of their clerks going at it on their desks, they wouldn't fire them?

  • John||

    So it NCAA tournament time. So that means every idiot sports commentator gets their outrage on over the "exploitation" of college athletes. The economic ignorance knob goes to eleven.

    First, NCAA athletes are paid. They are just paid in kind via room and board and access to education. Second, who cares if their employers make money off of their name and rep? That is what employers do. There are any number of engineers and scientists in this country who have developed patents worth billions and never seen a dime from them. Why? Because their employment contracts say the employer owns to the rights to such things. The bargain is the scientist gets a lab and a steady salary and in return the employer gets to keep the patents as a return on providing the platform. Same thing is happening here. Minor league baseball players don't make any money selling their jerseys. The only reason college basketball stars could possibly do so is because the NCAA has spent 75+ years developing the platform for these guys to get famous playing on. They have every right to take the money from selling jerseys from that platform. If the players don't like it, don't take the deal. To say they are "exploited" is to believe in a bullshit Marxist labor theory of value instead of a negotiation market based one.

  • John||

    Yes, the NCAA is a cartel and conspires to cap player salaries at in kind room and board payments. And that is a bad thing, if you believe in anti-trust laws. But I don't believe in anti-trust laws. I think cartels are limited in their ability to do damage and in fact sometimes provide a better product. Regardless, the cure for a cartel, which is essentially letting the government and the courts run an industry until they think it is "competitive" enough is much worse than any harm any cartel has ever done.

    Sure players can't go to the NBA out of high school. But that is not the NCAA's decision. And again the NBA is perfectly within its rights to say they won't hire anyone directly out of high school. It is their business not mine.

  • RBS||

    Hahaha, one of the local guys was talking about this on my drive to work today. I went to a small school and knew pretty much all of the football and basketball players. Exploited was never the word that came to mind and we were small and really didn't have any of the extra amenities that the big schools have like the training table etc.

  • John||

    The funny thing is that trade unions do this sort of thing all of the time. It is called an apprenticeship. It doesn't matter how great you are at a trade, you have to spend so much time making squat money before you get the union seal of approval. Yet, I bet none of these people who whine about college athletes have a problem with unions.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    And that is a bad thing, if you believe in anti-trust laws. But I don't believe in anti-trust laws.

    Weren't you the dude making that "only man with a bridge" argument?

  • John||

    Yes. But that just means I am okay with government roads. I think roads are the one time that it doesn't make very much sense to privatize at all. But if you did, I wouldn't support anti-trust laws. And I have no problem with private roads being built to compete with the government built ones.

  • Restoras||

    If only basketball and football had true junior and minor leagues like baseball and hockey, we wouldn't even have this discussion.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Anyone is free to start one if they want, but John's point is spot-on: there is no celebrity behind minor leagues players like there is for college players.

  • John||

    Here is the thing about minor leagues. The NBA and NFL figured out a symbiotic relationship with the NCAA. The minor leagues cost MLB a fortune. Baseball only has them because the college baseball season is too short to do the kind of skill development you need in baseball and baseball depends on foreign players who do not have the aptitude or interest to go to an American in a way that the NBA and the NFL don't.

    Back in the 1990s, I read somewhere that it cost MLB an average of $1 million dollars to get a single player from drafting to major league. If you were the NBA or NFL, why would do step and pay that when you don't have to?

    I really don't see why everyone bemoans the lack of a true minor league. The NBA and the NFL don't owe their employees a living or free training. And they do pay a price for that because most top athletes in high school who are drafted in baseball choose baseball over usually football but sometimes basketball because they can immediately make big money playing baseball.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    You guys never heard of the NBA D-league?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    And football has the CFL

  • John||

    And the NFL used to have the Euro league. What the NFL found out was that players where already sufficiently developed out of college. It wasn't worth playing for the Euroleague since the players there were unlikely to ever become contributing NFL players.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It wasn't worth playing for the Euroleague since the players there were unlikely to ever become contributing NFL players.

    Right. There's also the injury factor--these guys get the shit kicked out of them during the course of a game. I read somewhere that from a physics standpoint, it's like getting into a 40 mph car wreck, over and over and over again.

    Sending NFL players to a minor league makes no sense because you're just breaking his body down that much faster. NFL players have the shortest average careers and make the smallest average salaries of the Big Four sports. There's no sense drafting a player if you think he won't be able to contribute right away in some fashion, even if it's as a scrub for the starters in practice.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Well, all I have to say is fuck the NCAA.

    *Goes and checks his bracket*

  • Rasilio||

    Ok, I'll take the cheerleaders and womens volleyball teams, you can get the rest

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    Mmmm....women's swim team....

  • Drake||

    All it means to me is no CBS for a few weeks.

  • KDN||

    I have no problem with them capping what the schools can offer as compensation to the athletes, it's their policing of outside transactions that gets me. Suspending people for trading shoes and photos for tattoos? Or working too many hours at a car wash? It's rigid enforcement of the petty bullshit restrictions that only a bureaucrat would love. The NCAA enforcement personnel are worse than IRS agents. Fuck them.

    It's also just a huge game set up to protect the already successful, just another incumbent protection racket erecting barriers to entry to squelch competition. The Pony Express SMU teams should have been a blueprint for how to make your middling school successful when surrounded by opponents with innate resources that dwarf your own instead of a cautionary tale about crossing the powers that be.

  • John||

    You sign a contract. I can't practice law on the weekends and could be fired if I did. Your employer has a right to tell you that you can only work and make money for them and fire you if you break the deal.

    As far as your complaints about how the NCAA is set up to protect the big schools, I largely agree. But if you think it is bad now, lift the restrictions on outside income and make it so the schools with the most and richest alumni and fan bases can offer players real money via merchandise sales and such and see what happens then. Then the small schools would have even less chance to compete.

  • Restoras||

    But at least then the players would have the opportunity to sell their services to the highest bidder and actually receive compensation. Why should it matter what happens to the small schools?

  • John||

    It matters to the small schools and by extension the NCAA. You would like it better if it were that way. And maybe I would too. But the NCAA doesn't and it is their game. It is a question of taste and business decision making and nothing more.

  • KDN||

    Again, I don't really disagree about whether the NCAA has the right, but their policies are largely idiotic and strange love child of 60 years of campus Marxism combined with some strange fascination with the preservation of amateurism. Their policies are tolerated because they are doing a very good job of keeping costs down and maximizing profits for these supposedly non-profit enterprises, but they are still stupid and we should say so.

    You sign a contract. I can't practice law on the weekends and could be fired if I did. Your employer has a right to tell you that you can only work and make money for them and fire you if you break the deal.

    Does your contract prevent you from washing cars on the side, or getting paid more than $8 an hour if you do? Of course not, because that's irrelevant to your job as a lawyer. Provided you perform the task your contracted to perform, what you do on the side should be of no interest to your employer. These guys aren't playing arena league football, they're acting as bouncers and bartenders and still getting in trouble. It's colossal bullshit.

    Then the small schools would have even less chance to compete.

    It would probably shake out the same, but the football team of the small alma mater of a random billionaire stands a much better chance of getting ahead under the free scenario than what currently exists.

  • John||

    Does your contract prevent you from washing cars on the side, or getting paid more than $8 an hour if you do? Of course not,

    I am pretty sure it does. I think I have to get permission to do virtually any kind of outside work.

    But even if it doesn't, so what? There is nothing saying it can't.

  • KDN||

    There is nothing saying it can't.

    Not my argument. I'm saying that those contracts that do stipulate such things are stupid, and employers that demand such stipulations are worthy of scorn.

  • John||

    I don't think they are worthy of scorn. Who am I to say that their demands are "wrong"?

  • KDN||

    Their employee? Your fine with having no input on your employer's relationship with you? That's cool, but I don't believe in turning the whole of my life over to my employer.

    I find it to be unseemly that my employer would prevent me from legally earning income in a way that has absolutely no material effect on them. It's a dick move on their part.

  • KDN||

    *You're. Sigh. I never make that mistake. Such embarrassment.

  • John||

    I have lots of input KDN. It is called quitting. No one makes me take the job. Ultimately, I only have input to the extent that I can leverage my ability to leave. Indeed, lots of college athletes do just that by going pro early.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    A game that's completely voluntary to join.

  • Rasilio||

    I don't have much sympathy for the athletes should be paid argument.

    What I do however have a problem with are the hypocrites, mostly on the basketball side but they exist in all college sports, who go on and on "worrying" about the kids who leave school early or skip school and go straight to the pro's not getting an education.

    Lets forget for a moment that most college athletes whose sports offer big money don't really want to go to college, they are just basically required to by the pro leagues they want to get into and that most of the big name schools don't do much to ensure they get an education.

    Lets just assume that all of them actually go to class and major in real fields (no comparative film studies or underwater basket weaving majors). How many of those athletes are actually studying something that pays significantly better than $50k a year? The overwhelming majority of college athletes who actually try to get a degree get one in fields that basically don't pay shit like Communications or Journalism or ones which have a very small number of really rich guys and everyone else with that degree ends up being a waiter like Political Science or Econ. How many STEM majors play college sports? How many Actuaries or Accountants or Finance majors are there?

    The fact is those college athletes could get full degrees for free and they probably will be less well off than their teammate from high school that didn't got to college and got a job as a welder

  • John||

    Depends. You make a lot of contacts and have a lot of opportunity thrown at you as a former college jock.

    As far as why we have college athletics, it is a marketing tool and a very good one. The problem colleges have is that once people graduate they really have no reason to ever care about the school or come back to it. This makes raising money from alumni a challenge.

    What college athletics does is give former students a sense of identity that follows them after they leave. It gives them a reason to come back to campus and care about the school. This makes much more available for fund raising and not just for athletics but for the whole university.

    In Europe for example, it is unheard of for a person to give money to their old college. US colleges in contrast raise billions. And athletics and the for lack of a better term tribal identity that it brings is a big part of the reason why US universities raise so much money.

    Athletics really are an effective marketing tool. Now, you can object to state schools using tax money to market themselves in such a way. But really your objection is to the concept of a state run school not so much to athletics.

  • SugarFree||

    SugarFree Language Watch
    brought to you by the makers of "otherkin"

    TERF: Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist; a feminist who believes that female to male trans women should not be considered women, and are in fact merely men attempting to hijack femininity for sexual purposes

    SWERF: Sew Worker-Exclusionary Radical Feminist; a feminist who refuses to accept that sex work is a valid choice for a feminist to make

  • John||

    They really do hate each other more than they even hate us.

  • Slammer||

    They probably hate themselves the most.

  • John||

    That too. The thing that amazes me about the really hard core progs is how angry they are all of the time. I get plenty angry about things. But I am not angry all of the time. Sometimes you have to just shrug your shoulders and enjoy life. Hard core progs seem to be incapable of doing that. Their entire existence revolves around being constantly outraged about something. What a horrible way to live.

  • RBS||

    This. I used to clerk with one. She could go from quiet to full rage in about a second. Over pretty trivial things too so you know she was always just simmering.

  • John||

    I really think the ideology attracts a certain type of damaged personality.

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah, we have a few of those. It must be exhausting to constantly stomp around looking for something to be outraged about.

  • Zeb||

    I think they must enjoy it.

  • Rich||

    Is seamstress a valid choice?

  • John||

    I know a lot of under 30 women who are way into sewing and crafting and such. They seem to be more into that the women my age ever were. I think being a seamstress is coming back.

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah, I don't get the whole knitting thing. A co-worker gave me a nice sock-cap, though. Or maybe a dread-bag. I'm not sure why she thought my head was the size of a medicine ball, but it's the thought that counts.

  • John||

    My wife has been trying on and off to learn it. A lot of women do it because it keeps them from snacking while they are watching TV. Beyond that, younger women generally seem to be taking up crafting and such more, which I think is a good thing. My mother was madly skilled at such things and was always saddened when her daughters were less so.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    My wife has made a whole cottage industry out of it, and she's extremely talented at such stuff. She repurposes burlap rice bags from Asia with interesting designs into purses, tote bags, and handbags that sell at 350 a pop.

  • John||

    That is great. My wife would love to do something like that. But she isn't quite as skilled as my mother was or your wife seems to be. Sadly we lost my mother so she lost her mentor. But she would love to do something like your wife is doing.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There are tons and tons of youtube videos, which my wife watches all the time, that teach you how to make just about anything. A metric ton of them are in Spanish, but if you know the basics, you can follow what they are doing just by watching their hands.

  • John||

    Youtube is a Godsend. I am finding that out with cars. There isn't a single mechanic job out there that someone who knows hasn't made a good video showing you how to do it, what the tricks are and what tools you need.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    Home repair too.

  • ||

    It's also a good way to help quit smoking, for those who are interested in that sort of thing.

  • SugarFree||

    Nikki, is that esty gal selling knitted cock-cozies you?

  • Zeb||

    I like knitting and am fairly good at it, but I don't do it much because I prefer to smoke and eat snacks.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm not sure why she thought my head was the size of a medicine ball,

    Umm . . . .

  • Rasilio||

    Only for men, if a woman chooses that profession then it was false consciousness forced on her by the patriarchy internalizing stereotypical gender roles

  • ||

    LINK: An attempt to hyperlink which doesn't work but feels good.

  • ||

    I read that first definition 2x. I still have no idea what it means.

  • Zeb||

    female to male trans women should not be considered women, and are in fact merely men

    I am very confused. Is a trans-woman someone who started out as a woman or someone who wants to become a woman?

  • Brett L||

    Identifies as female, born male. I think the prevailing way to discuss their gender is to apply trans to the gender they identify as.

  • Fluffy||

    So apparently the preposition "to" no longer means what it actually means.

  • Zeb||

    Or some really bad editing.

  • Tonio||

    female to male trans women

    I thought that F2M were transmen. I've never heard radfems express an opinion about F2M, but the batshit fringe of feminism hates them some M2F.

  • Brett L||

    I think SF just got his sexes mixed up.

  • John||

    CRASH!!

    Nearly half of callers to California's health insurance exchange in February and March couldn't get through and abandoned their call, state figures show.

    Those service woes could worsen as more people try to beat the March 31 deadline to get Obamacare coverage under the Affordable Care Act…

    On the service front, [Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California] said the exchange has been able to reduce wait times on the phone from about 50 minutes to 30 minutes. The state has hired more call-center workers and added phone capacity in preparation for a last-minute rush.

    Still, less than 5% of calls are answered within 30 seconds and about a third of callers get a busy signal, state data show. Overall, 40% of exchange customers surveyed said they found the enrollment process difficult.

    http://www.latimes.com/busines.....3696.story

  • tarran||

    If our dropped call rate increased to 0.5% and stayed there for over a week, either I or the head of customer service would be fired.

    OF course, if our customers can't reach us, our company goes bankrupt. I wonder what happens to organizations staffed by government employees when their 'customers' can't reach them?

  • John||

    My main client is a government based IT service. We provide an IT platform to other governments. If one day our system started losing .05% of the data put into it or if .05% of our users were kicked off the system, people would be fired and the program would be in danger of being defunded by Congress.

    Unless you are ticketmaster and it is the line for tickets to the Led Zeppelin reunion, 33% of your callers getting a busy signal is beyond appalling.

  • db||

    More funding, of course.

  • UnCivilServant||

    When I worked a helpdesk, a wait time of over 1 minute got us yelled at, and more higher ups would jump on phones when the volume got too big. The government call center here? Fifty agents - three takeing calls, over 45 minute wait times on a good day.

  • Rasilio||

    Their "customers" get penaltaxed

  • tarran||

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

    Lewandowsky paper flushed, then floated again

    Today has been entertaining to say the least. On Twitter, Ben Pile of Climate Resistance has been telling us all about how he learned that the Lewandowsky-Cook Paper#2 – titled ‘Recursive Fury’, which detailed all manners of conspiratorial ideation theory, was retracted, or was retracted and put back up, or is about to be, or something. Nobody seems quite sure of the behind the scenes machinations going on at “Skeptical Science” and Lew-world

    One of the major signs that the global warming cult is full of shit is that the leading lights of the cult are reduced to making up 'evidence' that the people showing them to be full of shit are nuts.

    And their denial of reality isn't limited to mere natural-climate-change denial.

  • Tonio||

    A stinky turd that won't flush, what an appropriate analogy for catastrophic warmists.

  • Lord Humungus||

    My latest ultra shitty book is out on Amazon for 99c
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00J2UWKGG/reasonmagazineA/

    In a few days it will pop up on B&N, Apple, etc for free. It can currently be downloaded from Smashwords for no cost.
    https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/419849

    After I finish the follow-up to my Nano Zombie book, I'm going to retire "Paul Westwood". With 11 "books" - 9 novellas and two novels - out of my system, I'm pretty tapped out. If I do any writing after this, it will be something completely different and more epic in scale.

  • SugarFree||

    Bronies vs. Zombicorns

    Go with it. All yours. After Warty Hugeman I'm going back to my erotic memoirs. I almost up to 1985.

  • John||

    Serious question, are there actually a lot of bronies? I mean like more than a thousand?

    I wonder sometimes if Bronies are to under 30 men what the Westboro Baptist Church is to Christians; a tiny group of nuts that the media covers as a way to slander the entire group.

  • SugarFree||

    No, they are very few in number. Like furries, felchers, and otherkin, they seem everywhere because they are inherently absurd figures and the internet megaphone effect.

  • John||

    That is what I figured. I have never actually seen or met one in real life. Only on the internet.

    On a related topic, my wife and I are friends with a couple who go to comicon every year. They are always posting pics on line. It is amazing the number of hot women who go to that thing. But then I thought about it and realized it was inevitable. Really the whole thing is just a big dress up event. And women, much more so than even the dorkiest guy, love to play dress up, even as adults. It is really no surprise that women eventually latched onto an event where everyone who wants to gets to dress up in a costume.

  • Zeb||

    It's not so different from the silly shit people do at huge comic conventions and things like that, if slightly more fruity than usual. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a million of them.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Why we have a Brony in our very midst.

  • John||

    Seriously?

  • Lord Humungus||

    I won't name names, but someone on H&R admitted a few weeks ago to being a Brony.

  • John||

    Wow. Well, to each their own. I defend their right to be so and pursue whatever lifestyle they choose. But still, wow.

  • Lord Humungus||

    dammit, I tried to search H&R but I'm not finding the post.

  • Lord Humungus||

    the reason I didn't name names is because I couldn't remember who said it...

    but here we go:
    http://reason.com/blog/2013/11.....nt_4150081

    and apologies...

  • John||

    This feels like Bloom Country when they found out one of them was really a girl. Good for him. It is a free country.

  • Andrew S.||

    I shoulda seen this earlier. Me, Johnny boy. Me.

    I don't apologize for it. It's fun. Yeah, there are weirdos in our midst, but there are weirdos in every fandom.

  • John||

    There are weirdos who do everything Andrew. And really, every hobby is really just some degree of geekdom. Even the most macho hobbies like guns and cars can be as geeky as any Star Trek convention.

    We are all geeks now. It is just what species of geek you choose to be.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I've got no problem with it.

    I mean, geez, I can go on and on about differences in vacuum tubes, or vinyl pressings. I also like to watch anime, vintage Star Blazers, and Robotech.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||

    +1 wave motion gun

  • Rasilio||

    Define a lot. over 1000 certainly. There is probably over 1000 in the military alone (where they are more common than in the civilian population)

    Then there is this...

    http://herdcensus.com/generalsurvey.shtml

    I highly doubt that it is anywhere even within an order of magnitude of the numbers they list but 10% of their low end figure would probably be in the +/-50% range so somewhere between 350,000 and 1 million in the US alone or about 0.50% to 0.75% of US males

  • tarran||

  • SugarFree||

    I don't think the ideas overlap as much as you think. So far, at least.

  • Brett L||

    You're now $0.99 minus Amazon's commission richer. I enjoyed Nano Zombie.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Thanks. I get 30c! Amazon's pay structure stinks for low-priced books.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Occupy founder calls on Obama to resign and appoint Eric Schmidt CEO of America

    Probably the least stupid idea ever from any Occupier. But that's not really saying much.

  • db||

    Saskatchewan considers banning Russian Vodka.

    Government cites insufficient Canadian Club content in well drinks sold in Province.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Perhaps they should encourage Canaidan producers to make better content?

  • John||

    Does Canada even make a vodka? And why just Russian vodka? Is Grey Goose or Absolute more "Canuck" than the Russkie stuff?

  • Dave C||

    Yeah it's called IceBerg. From Nfld. Not bad.

  • John||

    Really, all but the cheapest vodka is at least "not bad". Vodka doesn't have to be aged or blended. It is extremely easy to make. And in fact the more industrial and huge your process, the better it is likely to be since what you want in a vodka is purity. Big industrial processes are good at that. Unlike bourbon or Scotch where different flavors and impurities are celebrated, vodka is all about purity.

    When I first saw that there were "small batch vodkas" all I could think was "there really is a sucker born every minute."

  • sarcasmic||

    What happens if you age vodka in charred wooden barrels?

  • John||

    I don't know. I assume it would take on some interesting flavors and would be some kind of whiskey at that point. I don't think it would be vodka anymore.

  • Zeb||

    You get whiskey, more or less.

  • Zeb||

    If it's made from grain, anyway.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's funny. I almost specified grain as opposed to potato in my comment.

  • sarcasmic||

    That was meant as a rhetorical question.

  • Zeb||

    OK. You never know. Though you do seem to know your food and drink, so I should have guessed.

  • John||

    I figured that out right after I hit submit.

  • ||

    When I hear 'small batch vodkas' I think akvavit.

  • JW||

    An old boss of mine introduced me to akvavit.

    Holy fuck it was good. It was even caraway flavored and I detest caraway.

  • Homple||

    Not vodka! Akvavit is flavored with spices, and the best stuff travels a round trip by ship from Norway to Australia in wooden barrels, twice crossing the equator. Sufficiently artisanal, I should think, to not be vodka.

  • Zeb||

    That's my take on vodka. I can't see why anyone would ever spend more than $20 on a bottle of vodka.

  • sarcasmic||

    I generally go for Skyy, or if I want flavored I'll get Ketel One.

  • Zeb||

    I usually get Skyy too. Because I like the bottle.

  • Restoras||

    Funny, I like Ketel One for the bottle too but my favorite is Chopin.

  • Zeb||

    I'd guess it has something to do with Ukraine.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Then why aren't they banning Ukrainian vodka, Zebulon?

  • Zeb||

    Gay marriage, probably.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Exactly! That and the "The" that Ukraine lost and Ohio State stole.

  • ||

    Still fighting the War on Blintzes.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've eaten at a Polish restaurant (pierogies!) but never a Ukrainian one. Perhaps when the refugees start coming I can finally try one.

  • ||

    Ukrainian fast food python burgers could be the next big thing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We're breeding cold-tolerant pythons for non-food purposes. Can't tell you why or for whom, but think The Day of the Dolphin. But with pythons.

  • ||

    fa love pa...thon

  • ||

    Nothing?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'd have responded, but I couldn't find a decent quote from any of the dolphins. Must be tied up in some guild dispute.

  • ||

    Any amount of Canadian Club is way more than sufficient.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. Seagram's 7 or nothing.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'll take CC over 7 any day of the week.

  • Zeb||

    I was mostly joking. I like Crown Royal, though. It's been a long time since I've had any other kind of Canadian whiskey.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They call it that because it feels like you were clubbed like a Canadian seal the next morning.

  • ||

    Baby seals get off lucky in comparison.

  • John||

    That is awesome. I will remember that.

    I have always had good luck with Crown Royal. I have never gotten blitzed on Canadian Club. But the worst hangover I have ever had was from Canadian Mist. Oh God that stuff is horrible.

  • sarcasmic||

    CM is disgusting. It's like partially soured mash Canadian whiskey. Can't stand it. My wife prefers it.

  • Sevo||

    CA D's mightily confused:
    "Democrats on Rand Paul's Berkeley fans: 'Who are these folks?'"
    Uh, maybe the lies are wearing thin? I can hope.
    http://www.sfgate.com/politics.....336056.php

  • John||

    Roger Simon at PJ media had a good column on Paul's visit to Berkley. The liberals have been fucking the young and black communities for decades. They don't even try to make rational arguments anymore. But the Republicans are such sad sacked losers they just meekly accept the liberal claim they are really "racist" or the "party of old white men" and promise to do better. The Tea Party, for all its virtues basically preaches to the choir.

    Good for Paul for taking the argument to new people. The only way people are going to change is by talking to them. And Paul understands that. I really am starting to think Paul is a new and different and better kind of Republican.

  • Pro Libertate||

    While it's not government's role to make people's lives better, the fact is that the parasite the government has become has made people's lives much worse. So, in that sense, a politician can legitimately claim to be working to improve people's lives by trying to reduce the size, scope, and cost of government.

  • sarcasmic||

    Seen vs unseen. The lives that government helps are seen. Welfare, retirees, health care, government jobs, food safety, and so on and so forth.

    Opportunity cost is unseen and difficult for many people to understand.

    You can't prove that the money taken from taxes would have been used for a better purpose.
    You can't prove that companies would hire more people if they weren't bogged down by burdensome regulations.
    You can't prove that our health care and health insurance wouldn't be so screwed up if government had never messed with it.

    Unfortunately, most people only see the seen. They can't see the unseen because doing so requires actual thought. I hate to say it, but I don't think many people think.

  • John||

    The one upside to a huge government is that it is bound to do all kinds of things that actively hurt various groups of people. For decades as government grew, liberals could paint anyone who objected as being against progress and wanting to hurt this or that group. Now, government is so big and doing so much harm to so many people, the roles are reversed. People like Paul can claim to want to help people by eliminating programs that are harming them.

  • ||

    I just read that. (quick OT; I haven't been to that site in a while, but they really need to cut that "go to next page/view as one page" shit. I clicked the damn link, so give me the whole damn article! Anyways...)

    Naturally, the article put Rand in a nice light, until the end where they have to get in the obligatory "but I'm not willing to cut defense spending just yet" as if all spending is good spending in that case.

    PJM and all the other sites from the same cloth will ditch him the second he makes a mistake or the next Herman Cain flashes in the pan.

  • John||

    I don't think so. First, Paul is a hell of a lot smarter than is father. He is not going to piss off the mainstream right by finessing the defense issue. You are not going to see Rand Paul make the stupid and counterproductive statements his father did. Paul is going to come across as a reasonable guy who can be counted on to do the right thing and defend the country. That will be good enough.

    The thing you have to remember is that the rank and file right represented by PJ media is desperate to win and desperate to kill off the GOP establishment and have a candidate that the MSM has a harder time slandering as an angry old racist white guy. Paul is that candidate. They are going to give him a lot of leeway on defense issues as they figure that fact out.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If there is a President Paul, I think he'll want to steer the U.S. to a less interventionist position, but I also think he knows it would be very difficult to just stop being World Cop. Russia has made that much more difficult, at least as far as Europe is concerned.

    Personally, I think we should wean the Europeans and other off of the U.S.'s military protection, but that's going to take time, realistically speaking.

  • John||

    If I were Paul, that would be the point I would make. Admit upfront that Russia is a problem. That will convince the mainstream right he is not a get the US out of North America type. But then also say that because they are a problem Europe is going to have to step up and live in the real world and help the rest of the world deter them and that the lesson of the first 15 years of this century is that the US cannot deal with these issues unilaterally.

    All of that is pretty much true and also reasonable sounding such that neither side can credibly call him an isolationist or a war monger.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    wait .... Paul Sr "finessed" the defense issue? I think that was his problem. He had no finesse at all.

    But I agree with overall point.

  • John||

    I forgot a word. Ron never finessed anything. That is why he failed. Rand in contrast is going to finesse and that is why I think he can succeed. The sentence should have read

    Paul is, unlike his father, going to avoid pissing off the mainstream right by finessing the defense issue.

  • 110 Lean||

    Here's what I'm wondering. Progressives are all about projection. But if Team Red/Team Blue are just opposite sides of the same coin, in what ways does Team Red project?

  • John||

    I don't think they do in the same way the Left projects. If the Right and Libertarians project, it is in not understanding how emotional and crazy the left actually is and projecting their own sense of rationality on them.

    The conservatives and libertarians I know are all hard working reasonable and well meaning people, even if i do disagree with them on some things. The mistake they often make is in assuming that Progressives are the same way and just mistaken.

  • The Laconic Marc F Cheney||

    They think it's everyone else who's the perverts.

  • John||

    That seems to be the case with the really crazy anti-porn people. Time and again those types are caught with porn.

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