Celebrating the End of the Fairness Doctrine

On August 4th, 1987 the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to repeal the fairness doctrine, its policy requiring broadcasters to air all sides of a controversial issue. Despite its lofty name, the fairness doctrine was abolished over concerns that it had a chilling effect on free speech. 

"It does sound great," says George Mason University's Thomas Hazlett, "but the fact is there is a frontal conflict between the first amendment...and the government considering whether or not the fairness of a particular report passes muster." 

Hazlett sat down with ReasonTV's Nick Gillespie to discuss the fairness doctrine, its repeal, and why we are unlikely to see it instituted again. 

About 9 minutes. Interview by Nick Gillespie. Shot by Joshua Swain and Meredith Bragg. Edited by Bragg.

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    "Air America"? What's this "Air America"?

  • Fluffy||

    http://www.tennessean.com/arti.....dyssey=nav|head

    Ron Paul hooligans troll TN Senate primary...and win.

    IN YOUR FACE TENNESSEE

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "Ron Paul hooligans troll TN Senate primary."

    Come back when the Dems start spoofing the Ron Paul trolls.

  • DEG||

    “Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket.

    So Democrat voters in Tennessee are too stupid to vote?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I plan on making one political Facebook post this year, about a week before the election. Something along these lines:

    "Despite what you may hear about how you should vote, if you don't already know who you are voting for, please don't."

  • ||

    I'll have to use that one too.

  • PapayaSF||

    I'll be reposting this.

  • ||

    The Clayton campaign’s Facebook page champions three major positions: strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution, family stances that are pro-life, and keeping the country from turning into “AN ORWELLIAN SUPER STATE.”

    Ron Paul hooligans troll TN Senate primary...and win.

    Mark Clayton sounds more like a fundamentalist conservative hooligan to me.

  • Fluffy||

    He's got some other pretty extreme anti-war, anti-international-organization, and anti-war-on-terror views that are expressed in very Rockwellian terms.

  • Fluffy||

    Sorry, I left out the most important part -

    It was the DEMOCRAT primary.

  • John||

    But Fluffy I thought Democrats cared about civil rights and ending the war. Why should thy be upset?

  • Fluffy||

    Right. It's funny - I know you think that I overweight the gay marriage issue, but the Kos kids are going absolutely BERSERK that they have an anti-war, pro-civil-liberties candidate who happens to oppose gay marriage.

    Which was Obama's position three months ago.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Which was Obama's position three months ago.

    We better go boycott his chicken business.

  • Suki||

  • John||

    They just keep making the tent smaller and smaller don't they? First it was abortion. Now it is gay marriage. They just keep picking one issue after another that is non negotiable.

  • ||

    They just keep picking one issue after another that is non negotiable.

    They negotiate it pretty well from what I can see.

    Obama was against gay marriage for at least 3 years of his presidency.

    And if I remember correctly it was Clinton who said abortion should be rare but legal.

    People who the Dems want in power are called moderates while people who the Dems don't want who hold the same policy positions are called extremists.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The new emphasis on behalf of the Obama administration on gay marriage has one purpose: to rile up the plebes in order to provide cover for the media to attention on teh kultur war, raising the importance of the words of a CEO of a tier B fast food franchise and the response of those who use Twitter to that of an economy that sucks with 8.3% unemployment.

    And the media has done a masterful job of conning the American people in order to get the result it desires.

  • Randian||

    Can I get a link to the Kos kiddies going nuts? I'm having a long day and I could use the refreshment of Kos-tears.

  • PapayaSF||

  • Robert||

    So many ways to parse, so little time. Anti-(Gay) Conspiracy Theorist? (Anti-Gay) (Conspiracy Theorist)? Anti-(Gay Conspiracy) Theorist? Anti-(Gay Conspiracy Theorist)? (Anti-Gay-Conspiracy) Theorist?

  • Fluffy||

  • anon||

    Wow. Just wow.

    Also, OT: It's quite hilarious how at Kos the commenters all basically say "Wow, he doesn't tout the party line. We should start a new party with a stronger ideological purity test and kick everyone out that doesn't agree with us 100%."

    Compared to most of the guys here, generally we'll pick a point of contention with (well, pretty much everything), and actually discuss why something is right or wrong, and whether such qualities make for a bad candidate to vote for.

    I dunno, I think I may have just seen too much stupid in the span of 5 minutes.

  • ||

    The Maddow video is actually pretty good.

    By the way I favor the creation of "Americanadexico"

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    Don't forget about FARK. Although we wish we could.

  • ||

    Next time, Tennessee Dems, make sure that the first person listed on your primary ballot isn't a batshiat-crazy John Bircher homophobic moron

    It is ice to know there is a Shrike twin out there who is not homophobe and can actually criticize his own party.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    the Kos kids are going absolutely BERSERK that they have an anti-war, pro-civil-liberties candidate who happens to oppose gay marriage.

    The Kos Kiddies have never been anti-war, they're just anti-Republican-war. When their guy does it, he's tough, bold, a man of action, standing up for the poor brown foreigner against an oppressive regime, fighting for a humanitarian cause, etc.

    They are all for civil liberties, so long as you agree with them about everything unfailingly. Example: guys who run chicken restaurants, which dovetails nicely into the last part.

    The Kos Kiddies found it in their hearts to look past Obama's grave sin of opposing gay marriage for however many years he did prior to his sudden conversion a few weeks ago, so it can't be that damned important to them.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    But in their heart they always knew he was in favor of gay marriage.

  • toddb||

    Hazlett says moving back to the Fairness Doctrine would be very problematic on practical grounds...he does know he's talking about politicians, right?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "They actually went to the courts, originally, and asked the court to throw the law out and the court laughed at the FCC and, 'Look, this is your regulation, you know, look, if you wanna repeal it, you can repeal it.' Of course the reason the FCC, even the Regean FCC, went to the courts was because they didn't want the liability on this thing. Congress, the Democratic Congress, was going to be very upset if they took this measure and of course the wrath of Khan came down on the FCC..."

    FROM HELL'S HEART CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS STAB AT THEE!

    Imagine the different landscape if the Fairness Doctrine was never repealed. Now, of course, the internet would have eventually made the doctrine less impactive, but still.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    At least they didn't go all The Final Frontier on the FCC.

  • DEG||

    I chuckled at the mention of the Kennedy/LBJ administration using the Fairness Doctrine to stifle speech. I can see Democrats claiming "But Nixon did it too!". Heh.

  • SIV||

    Let's play Name That Douchebag!:

    Same-sex marriage. I'm so pro, I almost wish I were gay so I could have one.

    No Googling

    Bonus hint:

    I favour legal abortion. I don't think embryos or fetuses are persons, and I don't think it's wrong to kill them. I also don't think infants are persons

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Um, let's not take that last part out of its complete context.

    “I favour legal abortion. I don’t think embryos or fetuses are persons, and I don’t think it’s wrong to kill them. I also don’t think infants are persons, but I do think laws that prohibit infanticide are wise. Birth is a metaphysically arbitrary line, but it’s a supremely salient socio-psychological one.”

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You know what else is a supremely salient socio-psychological one"?

  • SIV||

    Killing fetuses is OK because they aren't persons. The douchebag does not believe infants are persons either. He thinks personhood comes with some grasp of language.

    The full context is more damning as he admits " But I could be wrong." about the social utility of prohibiting infanticide.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    He clearly supports abortion and prohibiting infanticide. He's just making the case that his rationale for the former doesn't necessarily invalidate the latter.

  • wareagle||

    he's tying himself into knots. What is "arbitrary" about birth? In most species, it is the time when biology has ruled the fetus ready for life outside the womb. Any animal that gives live birth to its young has a predictable gestation period; nothing arbitrary about it.

  • Randian||

    Birth is very clearly an arbitrary line.

    What is the substantive difference between a born child and a child that is two days away from birth?

    Finding birth significant means you are reduced to saying that 50%+1 of the child must cross the vaginal threshhold. That's just magical thinking.

  • wareagle||

    I disagree that it's arbitrary. Gestational periods are predictable; when a child is born at six months as opposed to nine, neo-natal units spring into high gear because there is a greater risk of mortality. Nothing magical there.

    Unless I am misreading it, your own question kills the arbitrary argument. For all practical purposes, there is no difference between two days prior to birth and the day of. But in legal terms, the gap is huge.

  • Randian||

    I am not arguing the legal point. Legally, marijuana is illegal. That does not prevent me from stating that it should not be so.

    Gestational periods are predictable; when a child is born at six months as opposed to nine, neo-natal units spring into high gear because there is a greater risk of mortality

    There is the problem right there. Legally, if a child is born at 21 weeks (the earliest, IIRC, that has been accomplished), you could not terminate the infant then, because it is born. But could you have a legal abortion at 21 weeks? Yes, absolutely - 23 weeks is the cutoff period.

    Those two data points clearly conflict.

  • wareagle||

    I think the original Roe v Wade had a time component, plus we have the atrocity that is late-term. AZ has a 20-week cutoff law that is now in the federal court system. This issue will never go away.

  • Randian||

    I am wondering how you can find late-term an "atrocity" while still supporting the paradigm that rights are imbued at birth.

  • wareagle||

    I'm not supporting that rights begin at birth, just acknowledging that that is how it is. For me, the viability argument has always held the most water. If you are undecided on abortion by the time that being can survive on its own outside the womb, then you have forfeited your right to the procedure.

    I can understand the fast termination of a pregnancy much more than the delayed action. My view of it changes after the first trimester to a point, and to a greater point as the second unfolds.

  • Randian||

    Like I said downthread though, viability just means "able to survive outside of the uterus", which is just a fancy term for "birth".

  • wareagle||

    you also mentioned the term "fraught with category error" WRT viability and birth heads down that road if premature birth, emergency birth, and regular birth are lumped together. You can hear some lawyer making this argument, that just because birth is in the naming does not make everything equal.

    I oppose abortion when the child is viable. Doesn't mean I get my way.

  • Randian||

    Killing fetuses is OK because they aren't persons

    Is that not correct? Would one not say that a rights-having being (RHB) must become imbued with or deserving of those rights at some point, and at other points, he is not an RHB, i.e. a "person"?

  • wareagle||

    I suppose you can parse this to death, but doesn't killing a fetus implying bringing death to some living thing? I get that there is no such thing as fetus-cide (sp?) but killing something makes clear that the something was alive. Just say you're pro-choice and be done with it.

  • Randian||

    I suppose you can parse this to death, but doesn't killing a fetus implying bringing death to some living thing?

    Of course! We kill living things all the time, though. That does not make it wrong.

    Just say you're pro-choice and be done with it.

    He did say that.

    here is the article.

  • wareagle||

    the waters get a bit murky when he questions whether infants are persons. What other designation would they have?

    For me, this comes across as someone not knowing when to stop. You favor abortion; fine, leave it at that and move on to the next issue. Seldom do folks raise eyebrows by saying too little.

  • Randian||

    It's a question of when rights attach to the being.

    If Wilkerson thinks it's some other point other than birth and that criteria only occurs after birth, then it makes sense to say that newborns are not "people", or rights-having beings.

    I think that the rights attach before birth. But birth is a nonsensical point for attachment.

  • wareagle||

    But birth is a nonsensical point for attachment.

    and yet, that is how our system views it. I recall a few cases of a pregnant mother being murdered; one count of homicide. Rights before birth would turn the abortion argument on its head.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "Rights before birth would turn the abortion argument on its head."

    Yes, but why should rights come before birth? Let's say I give you the second and third trimesters. Let's say I also give you the last 8 weeks of the first trimester.

    Is there anything about the embryo that qualifies it as a person, thereby establishing rights that are inalienable?

  • Randian||

    Yes, but why should rights come before birth?

    Because if there is no difference between a born child and a two-days-before-birth child, then you are setting birth as a magical artifact, as there is nothing biologically significant, development-wise, about birth.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Maybe there's a biological development after conception but before birth that could be used as a defining line or, at the very least, used to inform what Wilkinson calls our "socio-psychological" attitudes about abortion and infanticide?

  • Randian||

    That is my position.

    The biological development of significance is, IMO, the development of human-unique brain waves.

  • wareagle||

    in some quarters, viability outside the womb is a defining line but it appears a line in name only in the overall scope of the abortion debate.

  • Randian||

    The term "viability" is fraught with category error as far as I am concerned. The very definition is "to be able to live outside of the uterus". That's just begging the question and the term stops making sense in light of technological advances.

  • wareagle||

    I would say the term changes with technological advance. Preemies that routinely survive today would have no chance not all that long ago. The whole issue is fraught with category error; both sides seem absolute in their positions and I don't see an argument that changes that.

    I am willing to be proven wrong but no one has made a convincing argument to that effect yet.

  • MisterDamage||

    I would go with the neurocyst stage. The point where the brain begins to develop.

  • Paul.||

    as there is nothing biologically significant, development-wise, about birth

    Well, there kind of is. After birth, the baby is no longer breathing amniotic fluid or getting its nutrition through an umbilical cord.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    If Wilkerson thinks it's some other point other than birth and that criteria only occurs after birth, then it makes sense to say that newborns are not "people", or rights-having beings.

    The problem is that there's nothing stopping Wilkerson's fellow travelers from saying that an entity becomes a RHB, aka person, when they are of use to the government.

    Which is not an absurd claim to make considering that they believe rights are grants from the government, an entity which the worship in general.

    When your pov is that humans inherently have rights there are only three possible starting points for those rights. Conception, viability or actual birth.

  • Randian||

    When your pov is that humans inherently have rights there are only three possible starting points for those rights. Conception, viability or actual birth.

    That's a conclusion, not an argument backed by logic or evidence.

    What if I think that rights are inherent but they do not vest until the fetus exhibits unique human brain waves?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Do you have any way to measure that?

    In any case, that is a biological event, as are the three that I mentioned and not an arbitrary social construct like Wilkersons.

  • Randian||

    I would assume that a natal EEG could measure that. I am not knowledgable enough to state that definitively.

    I do not know what Wilkinson's position on the subject is, but I would agree that anything not reliant on something biologically measurable and instead reliant on a chaotic mass of legal and philosophical argument would ultimately rest on "birth panels" some such similar thing, and that is an unqualified bad thing.

    The place where I will dissent is that the significance behind "biologically significance" is a philosophical argument point, and therefore at least in part a "social construct"

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Do you have any way to measure that?

    Fetal electroencephalography has been around for awhile.

    Jus' sayin'

  • Randian||

    I realized I would further quibble with the notion that "viability" is (a) definable (b) relevant and (c) biological in nature. I would emphasize (c), in that "viability" is no longer merely a biological event in the face of technology. A 21 week old was not viable 40 years ago and *can be* now, despite the fact that the pure biological development of fetuses has remained unchanged.

  • Killazontherun||

    At first blush, it is not clear what the ethical value of killing a fetus may be given it hasn't accumulated any property. Take Wilkerson, for instance, killing him would be quite ethical given he is a famous guy who certainly has accumulated wealth that would be well worth the effort to plunder. But a fetus?

    The abortionist rationale makes the most sense, he will most likely not know whom the child would grow up to become to make it worth his wait upon the most advantageous time to kill him, so taking the three hundred dollars right then and there makes the most sense. For the mother, it does appear to be a form of immediate gratification in terms of time preference, weighing the value of killing him now in terms of his immediate cost to her in his first few decades, given the value he may be worth killing off when he reaches maturity and accumulates property.

  • AuH2O||

    I support the viability argument, and I support abortion to that point. Incidentally, that is the standard now, after Planned Parenthood v. Casey

    Roe was crap because they drew an arbitrary line near the end of the 2nd trimester, and had nothing to do with science or the possibility of a baby being able to survive if it was brought to term earlier.

    And I think viability is a good standard for human personhood (not human life- I agree- It is human, it is alive, these are objective facts. I just do not think that those two qualities necessarily convey rights. On the consistency side, I also support the death penalty. I'm like an anti-Catholic church) because at that point, you don't require (a term that must be used loosely because obviously a baby would need to be fed, etc) another human being to live anymore.

    And, of course, I know the counter argument is, "Well, what about people who need machines to live?!" Well, first of all, there is a difference between being hooked up to a machine to live and being hooked up, to, ya know, a person.

    Cont

  • AuH2O||

    Secondly, I actually, as a larger, broader, medical ethics point, think that our technology has surpassed our medical ethics. For so long, death was the absolute worst thing that could happen to you, so we put "avoidance of death" as our highest medical ethic. Sure, you lost your leg to gangrene, but you didn't die.

    Except now, and especially in the field of geriatric medicine, we have surpassed death but lost a shit ton of quality of life. Seriously, I want to be able to sign a paper, at 40, that says, "If at 86, I am crapping in a diaper and pissing in a catheter and my spouse is dead and my brain is being eaten away by dementia, you are allowed to kill me even if I object at that time."

    I have seen it happen to my grandfather, and it is goddamn depressing knowing that 40 year old him would hate what 88 year old him has become. 40 year old him would shoot himself right now... but he doesn't have that mental state or capacity.

  • Killazontherun||

    Man is a purposive creature. When he engages in senseless behavior that serves as an axiomatic definition of crossing a line between moral and immoral behavior. Any gradation of what is immoral and moral action will begin with whether the action had a purpose.

    Without the economic rationale of the mother, the abortion is a senseless action. It is also the factor not discussed.

    Let's apply this to butt rape. If one were to butt rape a new born child that would be a senseless act by definition if there are no mitigating circumstances like you being paid to butt rape the infant. Otherwise, there is no advantage to be obtained. Would butt raping Wilkerson be as senseless as butt raping a new born? Possibly, but not inherently. Butt raping Wilkerson will inflict a mental pain in him that could be used to your advantage, ie. purpose. He has fears of the act that a new born would not. For the infant he is going to squeal whether it is a thermometer or a penis that gets shove up its rectum, but for Wilkerson, who is an 'actual person' with the social experience that defines, in his view, personhood, butt rape is likely to be a highly effective means to get him to reveal his account numbers where just checking his temperature would not.

    So, is this less or more moral? Since there is purpose here to butt raping Wilkerson when there is none for abortion without economic calculation, how can the former be more moral than the later?

    And, also, butt rape.

  • Robert||

    But why should you be allowed to bind your future self? What gave you an hour ago authority over you now?

    What makes death so bad is the unknown factor. We don't know what it's like to be dead. Answering that question would have ramific'ns far beyond practically anything we discuss here.

  • Lord at War||

    AuH2O-

    I agree with almost every position you espoused- other than my ambivalence on the death penalty. (I'm leaning in favor today due to Holmes, but I'm sure the State will provide another outrage that causes doubt...).

    Seriously, I want to be able to sign a paper, at 40...

    You definitely need a Living Will, today. Shit happens.

    If lightning strikes tomorrow, you could be the next Terry Schiavo or Karen Ann Quinlan.

  • Suki||

    Simply, when it has unique DNA it is a unique person. It is measurable. It is scientific.

  • AuH2O||

    Robert- We bind our future selves all the time. Its called debt. Now, there is generally a way to get rid of it (except for student loans, but thats its own bullshit for another time). There are a number of legal comments predicated on the idea of me doing something in the future. The idea is that by consenting now, my future self has also consented.

    Lord- I do need a living will, but a living will currently only covers vegetative states, as far as I know. I don't mean when I need tubes to live. I mean when I don't recognize my own offspring, I am taking dozens of pills to stay alive and manage pain, am barely able to feed myself, and have lost control of bowel and bladder functions, but my brain is too far gone to recognize what a sorry state that is.

    The vegetative state scares me far less than the situation I just describe, because when you lose your mind, you lose your personality and essentially what makes you you is erased, but the creature now inhabiting your body is not mentally able to asses and recognize that. That is what truly terrifies me- to die, but in a way that is neither legally nor medically recognized, because to them my body is alive and my brain still functions and I have shadowy flickers of my old self.

    I don't know what the solution is to that, but if I ever were to start getting close to that, I would either want a bullet in my brain or for someone else to have the mercy to do so for me.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I support the viability argument, and I support abortion to that point. Incidentally, that is the standard now, after Planned Parenthood v. Casey"

    Don't forget the broad "health exception" which the Court requires even for post-viability abortions. This is an exception which risks swallowing the rule. In other words, a viable fetus doesn't nearly have the same rights as a newborn.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    This doesn't strike me as true. Historically, we've said people have rights because they have reason or cognition. But, that sort of brain activity produces (I believe it's) beta brain waves. Those brainwaves, if I recall correctly, start showing up around the end of the first trimester. While this is admittedly very close to the point of viability, it doesn't necessarily equal it. It seems that would be the most logical point to assign rights.

  • ||

    "Um, let's not take that last part out of its complete context."

    A distinction without a difference. They shouldnt be killed because it is illegal and that is good, but they still arent human lives with inherent value.

    Yep, a distinction without a difference.

  • Randian||

    This is, of course, the fundamental problem with the rank utilitarianism of the kind Wilkinson nakedly engaged in. He's trying to be a "pure pragmatist", but his assumptions of what is 'good' ultimately rest on moral outcomes.

  • Randian||

    What is your point exactly, SIV?

  • Randian||

    For clarification, even though Wilkerson's article was total shit, that does not mean that he cannot bandy about intellectually challenging positions on infanticide.

  • Brutus||

    Without looking...Peter Singer?

  • SIV||

    Singer is probably OK with the infanticide but I doubt he wishes to switch his sexual orientation out of "solidarity".

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Why is the title of an article no longer a link back to itself? I would sometimes use that to refresh or copy a link.

  • SIV||

  • wareagle||

    so if Douglas had NOT won gold, no problem? I don't see the problem anyway; it's a freakin' commercial, not a personal shot at a competitor.

  • ||

    Politically incorrect. What are you, a non-progressive?!

  • wareagle||

    egads, I have strayed from the Borg.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    It might not have been so bad if not for Costas's quote right before the commercial break:

    "Also safe to say that there are some young African-American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves, 'Hey, I'd like to try that, too.'"

  • ||

    Can you imagine the clusterfuck that would have ensued if he'd used the word "negro" on live TV?

  • wareagle||

    A-A is an interesting term, mostly in who is NOT covered by it. If you are from one of the top-shelf countries of the continent, the Arab Strip so to speak, or if that is where your bloodline comes from, you are technically "white", not A-A. Less sure about the white kid whose roots are in South Africa but it's fun to follow the trail of PC to potential outcomes.

  • Randian||

    "African American" is a dumb, white people invention.

    I have no black friends who call themselves anything other than "black".

  • ||

    They must all be self-hating, Uncle Tom, brainwashed conservative fiends. Real, enlightened coloreds call themselves African-American.

    Some race-baiting sack of shit from the NAACP told me so on MSNBC.

  • Randian||

    Really? I would like to see that interview. That should be a hoot.

  • wareagle||

    no, A-A is a Jesse Jackson invention.

  • Suki||

    no, A-A is a Jesse Jackson invention.

    He isn't a rich White guy? I thought he was afraid of Black utes walking up behind him?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I thought he was afraid of Black utes walking up behind him?

    He's a typical white woman.

  • ||

    So can white people call black people black or not?

    Seriously I want an official ruling on this.

  • Randian||

    I vote "yes". This is a totally subjective, anecdotal observation, but I think that black people prefer to be called black.

  • anon||

    I call black people I know black all the time.

    Calling someone black isn't like calling someone a nigga. And calling someone a nigga is way different than calling someone a nigger.

    Then again, I live in the south, so I'm obviously racist hate mongering etc.

  • Killazontherun||

    Might as well had, the condescending fuck.

  • Randian||

    The Manufactured Outrage Machine just churns out more and more shit every day.

  • ||

    Obviously it was a good doctrine if it had the word fairness in it.

  • Anacreon||

    I need the genius minds on this board to help me. We just returned from a vacation and during my absence, a "kaizen" (Toyota LEAN consulting thingie for workflow improvement) was held in my department. True to groupthink, they came up with a solution to a very minor problem (which of course they want implemented Monday) which will destroy all the other operations in our department and may lead to staff resignations.

    I need a good analogy term for this, something along the lines of "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." I can't think of one, but surely there must be an expression that means "curing this very small problem will create unanticipated major problems in something that worked well." Little help?

  • Brutus||

    "Striving to better, oft we mar what's well." - King Lear

  • Brutus||

    Burning down your house to make toast.

  • Anacreon||

    This is a good one I've never heard before -- and I think it will penetrate the thicker skulls at work who won't quite get the Shakespeare. Thanks for both!

  • ||

    I like that Brutus. good one.

  • Randian||

    "Throw the sake out with the stopper"

  • CraterMaker||

    We call it "Spending a dollar to save a dime"...

  • Libertarian||

    I think the term, "federalized" might work.

  • Randian||

    I find it cosmically unjust that Romney and Obama are going to spend tens of millions of dollars in my state and I cannot get a cut.

    I wish it were legal to buy votes. At least then I could see some tangible benefit.

  • ||

    I find it cosmically unjust that Romney and Obama are going to spend tens of millions of dollars in my state and I cannot get a cut.

    Umm and what effort have you put into building an outlet to the voters and media of your state that you can charge entry fees too?

  • Randian||

    Man, good point! I gotta figure out a way to get in on this.

  • ||

    Start a political blog get people to read it. sell advertisement space.

    If you succeed expect to make about 5 cents per hour of work you put into it.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I wish it were legal to buy votes. At least then I could see some tangible benefit.

    It is. There are various names for it, but the two most popular are "entitlements" and "earmarks".

  • AuH2O||

    You live in a swing state too?

    My friend this election is the remote's "mute" button.

  • ||

    +10

    I live in the Kansas City area.

    I get ads from two states. No idea what party, what state, what office; just that the the opponent is a tool of the trial lawyers and union bosses and to end social security.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The attack ads that don't even mention the attacking candidate's name are funny.

  • Ted S.||

    That vote you've got? You didn't create it. Someone else made it happen.

  • AlgerHiss||

    No shortage of intellectual dishonesty going on here: All these comments and no mention of Limbaugh.

    The highbrow libertarian just can’t face the truth sometimes.

  • ||

    Do you wish to say something on this subject?

  • Fluffy||

    This is dumb.

    We're standing around in a circle celebrating the policy change that made Limbaugh's career, fame, wealth, and influence possible.

    And we're doing that celebrating because it made Limbaugh's career, fame, wealth, and influence possible.

    What more do you want?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    In a free market stupidity always outsells depth and intelligence. Rush Limbaugh is proof of that just as Larry the Cable Guy will outsell the wit of a John Kennedy Toole every time.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, although I think Rush is scum, there's little doubt in my mind that the "difficulty level" of talk radio dramatically rose after the passing of the Fairness Doctrine.

    Rush at least addresses political and philosophical subjects. With the Fairness Doctrine in place, we'd have nothing but car talk, lame comedy, meaningless and pointless sports talk, and relationship help on talk radio.

    Rush is George Bernard Shaw compared to 70's radio, dude.

  • Fluffy||

    NB: By "passing", I mean "the departure".

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I agree. The market pushes useless polemics into dustbins eventually. I hope Micheal Moore goes away just as quickly.

  • ||

    And gardening shows. Don forget gardening shows.

  • Brutus||

    Then why are MSNBC's ratings so low?

  • Paul.||

    They compete with the New York Times, CNN and NPR.

  • ||

    Who the fuck gives a fuck about Limbaugh?

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    Leftys are obsessed with him.

  • Lefty||

    I'd say the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic is worthy of admiration.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It was just sad that his kid got addicted to oxycodone.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Lots of Limbaugh fans post here - John, Lord What the Fuck, Mike M, et. al.

  • ||

    I listen to him.

    I also listen to NPR...pretty sure I'm not fan of NPR.

    Have you ever actually listened to him Shrike? Or do you get your opinions from other left wingers who also have not listened to him?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yeah, I live in Atlanta/Athens. When driving its either bad music or bad talk radio.

    Limbaugh is a right-wing hero for the truly ignorant. He is so misinformed that a Warren Buffett could not communicate with him on taxes and public policy. Of course Limpy would just call Buffett a commie and claim victory. That would be the end of it.

    Its sad that the right is just so goddamn stupid in this country.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Like Fast/Furious and Solyndra, the Fairness Doctrine is just ammo for redneck AM talk radio (Limbaugh, Hannity, Boortz). They try to scare their idiot listeners into thinking someone will take their AM 750 away.

  • CraterMaker||

    So then refresh us, Palin : what are the intended effects of this legislation, and what might be the unintended effects?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    What legislation? There is none.

  • Brutus||

    Not at the moment. "Liberals" have tried and failed to introduce legislation to reinstate it before.

    And taking away their Rush is exactly why they are doing it.

  • ||

    yeah cuz a libertarian could never be concerned with a failed police operation that sold guns to violent drug cartels or concerned with the federal government spending millions on failed private companies that heavily donated into political campaigns.

    You are an idiot.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Only Obama could make so called Libertarians against Free Trade and guns.

  • Fluffy||

    Hey, I'm delighted that the guns went to Mexico.

    I'm not delighted that the ATF was facilitating that free trade specifically hoping people would die so they could trumpet their need for wider powers and more funding.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I noticed you used the word "powers" instead of "legislation".

    Yes, the ATF motives are suspect but Obama wants no legislation on guns. It is a political loser and he is pro-2nd anyway.

  • Fluffy||

    I've never been convinced that the White House had any involvement whatsoever, beyond instinctively (and stupidly) moving to protect Holder.

    I think the ATF came up with the stupid idea.

    I think Holder heard about it, didn't think a whole lot about it one way or the other, but then was stupid enough to lie to Congress about when he heard about it.

    Those are the only guilty parties that I see here.

    This is pretty typical small-ball agency budget-seeking and press-coverage-seeking bullshit, and by its nature would have been way, way beneath the White House's notice.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I agree with you again. But I almost always do.

    Holder didn't take it seriously then had to lie about when he first learned about it.

    A weak case for the GOP at best. They know that and just want political points.

    And on Solyndra - what solar/green firm would oppose Obama's election? No fire there either.

    The right is trying to gin up a fake scandal while they protected Bush and his lies and CIA evidence-fixing that cost us dearly.

  • ||

    And on Solyndra - what solar/green firm would oppose Obama's election? No fire there either.

    So I take it now you are in favor of the coal industry supporting coal friendly candidates?

    I don't see many of them complaining about Citizens United like Obama does.

    Easily identified hypocrisy of the President of the United States is bread and butter news Shrike not partisan hackery.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I think Holder heard about it, didn't think a whole lot about it one way or the other, but then was stupid enough to lie to Congress about when he heard about it.

    Those are the only guilty parties that I see here.

    This is pretty typical small-ball agency budget-seeking and press-coverage-seeking bullshit, and by its nature would have been way, way beneath the White House's notice.

    So you think out of control government employees that commit multiple felonies and their scumbag bosses that lie to protect them are not big deal?

    In some ways, your scenario is worse than the gun control casus belli theory.

  • Fluffy||

    Don't get me wrong; I think the people pushing this intended to go before Congress and ask for more gun control.

    I just think this was an agency-level scheme. How do you go about empire building if you're an ATF official? You get Congress to give the ATF a) more money and b) more to do.

    "We need to close the gun show loophole!" is not merely a gun control argument in the philosophical sense. It's also the ATF's excuse to kick in more doors. And these guys want nothing as much as they want to kick in more doors.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You may be right about it being agency level instead of administration level scheme.

    But that makes it even worse. You have out of control bureaucracies running around breaking laws for their own aggrandizement and their bosses are not only allowing it but lying to cover it up.

  • ||

    Hey, I'm delighted that the guns went to Mexico.

    There is only one legally authorized retail outlet for firearms in Mexico, which is located in Mexico City: UCAM

    So you favor a combination of policies that gets guns to violent criminals yet prohibits private citizens from defending themselves?

    Fluffy please disengage your head from inside your ass.

  • Fluffy||

    Mexico's laws really aren't my concern.

    The question is, "Am I in favor of US citizens being able to transport guns to Mexico and sell them?" Yup.

    If Mexico's citizens don't like their tyrannical government, they should abolish it.

  • Randian||

    I believe in the free flow of arms.

    That does not mean that I want my government hand-delivering those arms to violent gangs.

  • ||

    Being in favor of free trade and guns rights means I favor reducing regulations to trade ending the drug war and repealing gun laws.

    It does not mean I favor my government selling weapons to violent cartels of the black market created by those trade restrictions, drug war and gun laws.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    See, Reagan - Iran/Contra and arming Saddam Hussein and the Mujahadeen.

    F/F is a pimple.

  • ||

    Nice goal post moving Dipshit.

    What now? Should I talk about the Bay of Pigs or something?

    In my first post on the subject I explicitly stated why as a libertarian I cared about the subjects you were dismissing. I don't give a shit about your TEAM BLUE score keeping.

    Anyway I will take your amateur attempt at changing the subject as an acknowledgment that you just lost the argument.

  • Brutus||

    Could Shriek get any stoopider?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Except those were acts of national policy. So, am I to take it that, under the Obama administration, it is now national policy to arm the Zetas?

  • Suki||

    Violent drug cartels have human rights too!

  • Fluffy||

    When legislators talk about bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, we are entitled to take them at their word.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    True, and I recall Nancy Pelosi threatening a newshack with it. Wouldn't most people?

    Four years as Speaker and she didn't do a damn thing about the FD.

    It is a dead issue.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Yeah, she did get laughed at. Because she was threatening Fox News, a cable channel outside the FCC's jurisdiction.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Gary Johnson on Fox News @ 10 tonight, for everyone who has no life.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    New FB post from a lefty acquittance.

    Considering that taxing people based on income was illegal for about 100 years after they died, this is correct.

  • Archimedes||

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the United States and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare that it can’t be anything but man-made global warming, says a new statistical analysis from a top government scientist.


    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/0.....singleton/

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Weather is only climate when it is hotter than normal.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And whenever it's hotter than normal it's 100% due to humans.

  • Voros McCracken||

    As a general rule, when someone comes out and says there can only be one possible explanation for an observed phenomenon, they are almost always wrong.

    They may actually be right that AGW is the big cause in this case, but the "there's only one possible explanation" stuff is usually nonsense.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That's a good rule of thumb.

  • Brett L||

    Hello? 1934 calling. Hotter AND drier in the US.

  • Sevo||

    Wife draws my attention to an Olympic event: One of the runners is an amputee, carrying say, 30# less than the other runners and has 'calves of steel' (literally!) that ain't likely to suffer degradation over the length of the run.
    I mention that if I were competing with the guy, I'd have a real gripe; give me spring steel legs! Wife says it's been 'decided'.
    Anyone else see a problem here?

  • JW||

    Yeah, I saw that too. I can't understand how that is considered equivalent to flesh and bone, but hey, we also have top NBA players in the Olympics too, so it balances out, I suppose.

  • sticks||

    If they allow this they should also allow athletes to dope.

  • Canman||

    Nice to see Thomas Hazlett still hanging around Reason. His "Selected Skirmishes" column was usually the first thing I would read in Reason magazine.

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