Reason Morning Links: Iran Executes Protesters, Geithner Defends Payouts, Toyota Recall Tops 5 Million


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  1. Apparently I am the only one who didn’t play the drinking game last night.

    1. I didn’t play that drinking game either 😉

  2. U.K. grants fathers government-enforced paternity leave.

    The announcement represents a victory for Harriet Harman, the Equalities Minister, who has championed the cause in a Cabinet battle with Lord Mandelson.

    This is not a joke.

    1. I thought it said grandfathers government-enforced paternity leave. Even worse, I was wondering why grandfathers needed paternity leave.

      The world is not the same without coffee.

      1. I was wondering why grandfathers needed paternity leave.

        They knocked up their daughters.

        1. Oh, University of Kentucky, not the other UK. Thank you!

        2. Take your Bible stories elsewhere, SugarFree. This isn’t a religious blog.

          1. 30 Lot wentz owt uv Zoar to da mountnz wif hiz doters. He wuz scared uv Zoar so he live in cave wif doters.

            31 den de oldur siztur luked at hur yunger siblin nd sayz “Dadz old, and wez nevur seen anuther dood.

            32 letz get himz drunk and have sum PENIS GOES WHERE, den we can haz kidz fer him to keepz blood-line goez. Lol.”

            33 And dey got Lot drunkz so first doter went in and had PENIS GOES WHERE wif her dad wifout finking about how growss dat is. Andz Lotz not notice rly.

            34 Den doter tellz siztur “Hey, I got preggerz last nite. Ur turn, letz get himz drunkz again and u can go do it too. Srsly.”

            35 So dey got himz drunkz, and other doter went and sleepz with der Daddy, andz Lot didnt notice again.

            36 So dey were boff preggerz by der daddy.

            37 doter one had a sun she name Moab.

            38 and yunger also haz sun she name Ben-am’mi.

            Genesis 19:30-38

            1. You know… maybe if Lot’s daughters had lost some weight, they could have found other men than their Dad to diddle.

              And the one on the left looks like a circus pinhead.

              1. Well, yeah. She’s getting ready to pour the wine all over the cheese.

              2. Actually, that was considered an attractive body type at the time that painting was made.

        3. Probably did, actually.

          After all, this is England, and “knocked up” means something completely different there.

          As anyone, from WWII vets to more recent visitors, can tell you, linguistic differences with the Mother Country can lead to embarassing misunderstandings.

          1. IB, SF is right but don’t blame the grandfathers. They don’t call UK girls “Wildcats” for nothing!

          2. Issac,

            According to heir “knock up” means to impregnate in British slang as well.

            1. Half my fambly is from da U.K., and “ring up” means to call someone on the phone; “knock up” means to come by and knock on the door – as in “I’ll come round and knock you up in the morning so we can get an early start.”

              BTW, be careful about using the word “fanny” there – it sure doesn’t mean the same thing it means here.

              1. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re in Australia, don’t tell your local friends that you’ll be “rooting” for the home team at Saturday’s footie match.

              2. I learned that while dating a delightful young Scottish lass.

                1. Re fanny.

            2. Definition two is the traditional. i suspect dfinition one has crept in to the vernaculat in the last forty or fifty years as a result of More American influence.

              If you’ve heard stories from both US and Canadian WWII vets you will know about what kind of funny situation arose as a result of misunderstandings.

      2. Harman would not have prevailed had Lord Voldemort not been preoccupied.

    2. I’m wondering where the Equalities Minister stands in order of precedence relative to the Minister of Silly Walks.

      1. Equal, of course.

      2. The United States is The Only Industrialized Nation in the World? without an Equalities Minister. Even Cuba and North Korea have them. Shame on America.

        1. There are those who say the US doesn’t need an Equalities Minister.

          1. That’s unmutual!

    3. I expect it’ll only be a couple of years before single people are given maternity leave for the sake of “equality.”

      1. “If I can’t dump all my work in your lap and disappear for six months how possibly can the human race perpetuate itself?!?”

        “What do you mean I don’t get the promotion?!? I’ve only been gone two years!”

        “I can’t come in on Saturday, I have kids, you know.”

        “A single flake of snow fell and I have to be home all day, let those childless freak pick up the slack.”

        1. Job going badly? About to be sacked? Get pregnant! Babies = job security.

          1. You guys is fuckin’ nuts. I’d been contemplating early retirement this year — I’d pick up that second career, paint myself blue and run for office as a Libertarian, maybe write that novel or a haiku or two.
            And then my wife had twins.
            Oh, well.
            It’s the childless freaks who’ve got things easy. (Not that I’d trade places with them.)

            1. I don’t mind if people have kids, I mind if people who have kids think that they can use kids as an excuse to abdicate responsibilities onto other people. There are trade-offs to having children. Accept them and move on.

              Boys or girls? Identical or fraternal?

            2. CN–I am SO, so sorry.

              And what you said about who has it easy. Sug, you get to go home to your libidinous wife, copious free time and expendable income to use as you wish. You know how you can go anywhere, anytime you feel like it? Do you know how you have *fun*? Yeah, I vaguely remember those days.

              Just take your much, much higher quality of life and be happy with it. Don’ be hatin’ on the breeders for theirs. We can only envy the dead.

              1. I got the set, boy/girl. Today my son (now four) said “Daddy, I want to live forever so I don’t miss anything.”
                I know just how he feels.

                1. OK, that’s a keeper.

  3. The Toyota article has this gem:

    “Toyota’s “reputation for long-term quality is finished,” said Maryann Keller, senior adviser at Casesa Shapiro Group LLC in New York, a strategic adviser to the auto industry. “People aren’t going to buy Toyotas, period. It doesn’t matter which model. What’s happened is sufficient to keep people out of the stores,” she said in an interview yesterday. ”

    I have a hard time believing this. It seems to me that Toyota is taking the high road here. Shutting down production until the problem is fixed is a hell of a step to take. I don’t think we would ever see GM or Chrysler do that except to accommodate the UAW.

    1. That’s just wishful thinking. Toyota is fixing the problem and will remain a high-quality auto manufacturer. Maybe Honda will gain some share, but that’s likely it.

      1. Those were my thoughts exactly.

        Shapiro is smoking some vicious crack.

        1. *Keller instead of Shapiro

      2. That’s just wishful thinking. Toyota is fixing the problem and will remain a high-quality auto manufacturer. Maybe Honda will gain some share, but that’s likely it.

        *slowly shakes head*
        Pro Lib, Pro Lib,
        I am dismayed because you usually think before you post. If you haven’t noticed, Ford Motor (the US based auto manufacturer that isn’t owned by the Treaury Department) has been gaining market share wordwide over the last year. The Toyota screwup (not a major one to be sure) will bolster that trend.

        Yeah, the writer has a wishful thinking head up an ignorant ass claiming this is going to be a death knell for Toyota. It certainly ain’t gonna help zthem, but if Ford survived both the Edsel and the Pinto, Toyaota can muddle through a floor mat fiasco.

        1. I thought about Ford, but I think it’ll be a cold day in hell before Ford really makes serious inroads against Toyota and Honda. Short-term gains are the best Ford can expect. It’s not like Ford makes superior cars.

          1. They’re starting to make very good cars. But, until they find a new supplier for power steering pumps, you know other than the one they’ve used for 40 years, they’ll keep that rep.

            Mine sounds like an NYC taxi from the 70’s when I make a turn. EEEeeeerrrrrrrAAAAAEEEEERReeeerrrr.

            1. Belts and tensioners are wear items

              1. Well, yeah. The thing is, my 1992 Honda Accord, which I owned for 11 years before getting this Ford, never made that noise. They seem to know how to build a PS pump using something other than the original design from the 50’s.

                The Accord had it’s own issues, though not nearly as many, but it was a *solid* car.

                1. I’m driving a 1995 Accord (having by far the oldest car in reserved parking). Still going!

                  1. Hardcore ProL, hardcore.

                    I like shiny things on wheels too much. Not, not pimpin’ shiny.

                    I do believe my next car will be an Infiniti. Me likee.

          2. Short-term gains are the best Ford can expect. It’s not like Ford makes superior cars.

            Don’t be to sure about that.
            Detroit Auto Show: Ford Sweeps Car and Truck of the Year

            DETROIT ? The Ford Motor Company’s strong showing in 2009 was reaffirmed Monday with a sweep of the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year Awards.

            The folks in Dearborn woke up and smelled the coffee a few years ago. Expect market share, profit and reliabilty ratings to continue to improve.

            1. Is Ford making better cars than it used to? Absolutely. Is it gaining tremendous market share from GM and Chrysler? Hell yeah. Is it even close to having the quality and the sustained reputation for quality of Toyota and Honda? Not even remotely.

        2. Ford is gaining market share worldwide, but I am not sure how much of that is because they are taking out Toyota. In the states, I think most of their conquests will be from GM and Chrysler.

          Still, I think Mullaly has done a pretty good job. too bad he is up against the government looking to prove they didn’t make a mistake with GM.

      3. It is an embarrassment, to be sure, and there will certainly be some people who, Rainman-like, avoid Toyota forever. But I suspect the the public willingness to take the fiscal hit, find-n-fix the problem, and make it right for their customers will work as much in their favor.

        There is also the matter of the problem appearing to be deep, complicated, and systemic, rather than something that makes you say “Didn’t they have an engineer look at that?”.

        I predict a palpable hit to their sales this year and maybe next, but a rapid recovery.

    2. Sounds like Casesa Shapiro Group LLC in New York works for GM or Chrysler.

  4. “In the U.S., General Motors Co. said yesterday it will offer sales incentives for the 2.3 million owners of cars recalled by Toyota on Jan. 21. Ford Motor Co. plans to offer $1,000 in rebates to Toyota and Honda customers in a bid to make them switch to its models, said Robert Parker, a spokesman.

    Isn’t it ironic that a government owned entity is offering incentives to switch from Toyota just as that very same government is more or less forcing Toyota’s recall?

    The correct answer is “No, that isn’t ironic at all, that’s completely expected.”

    Seriously, now that the same government that forces recalls is offering incentives to switch from a specific foreign competitor, can we ever take another nation to arbitration at the WTO with a straight face again?

    1. Nice work, President Obama!

      I couldn’t have done it better myself.

    2. Do we ever anyway?

  5. “Taxpayer money should not have been spent to save a mismanaged and misguided enterprise,” Mr. Paulson said. But “AIG could not have been effectively wound down ? the only option was bankruptcy.” That, he added, “would have buckled our financial system and wrought economic havoc.” Unemployment, he estimated, could have risen to 25%

    Rivers would have reversed course. The moon would have left its earth orbit, and crashed into the sun. Utter collapse of civilization; mass insanity, demonic possession and speaking in tongues, people sprouting horns, tails and hooves.

    And that’s the “best case” scenario.

    Count your blessings, America, and offer up your thanks.

    1. Wait! The last time it left earth orbit it started a TV series the hard core Sci-Fi guys talk about!

      1. Thanks for planting the theme song in my head. At least there were two of them; I can alternate them all day long.

    2. Unemployment, he estimated, could have risen to 25%

      Continuing my harping on MSM financial/economic reporting, what’s with the inappropriate use of “estimated”? The word implies that some thought goes into producing the estimate, with evidence of such thought given. It doesn’t apply to a number pulled out of one’s ass because it sounds scary.

      If I brought my car to a mechanic and said my brakes were squealing and asked for an estimate, and he just said $500 without even looking at the car, I would not consider that an estimate.

    3. Well , even without AIG’s collapse, “mass insanity, demonic possession” seems like a pretty good description of the conduct of the power class in DC. And “speaking in tongues” is a pretty accurate description of the incoherent twaddle that passes for political speech and policy discourse. So, “people sprouting horns, tails and hooves” might not be that far behind.

    4. 25% unemployment at AIG perhaps, but nationwide across all industries? I doubt it.

  6. By the way, I already understand that there’s no way the Obama Administration, or anyone that answers to them, would call for an unnecessary recall, just to benefit the government owned car company and the UAW workers that work there.

    …because they just wouldn’t do something like that. ; )

    1. Who ever said that libertarians jump to conspiracy theories at the drop of a hat?

      1. I’m not talking about something that might have happened here.

        Would it be too far out there to suggest that if 12 instances of accelerator pedals malfunction had been found on GM cars, that government might have handled it differently?

        I’m not saying I know what’s in the regulator’s hearts, but this is an excellent example of why the government shouldn’t own GM.

        However, from the timing of their new program to offer $1,000 discount specific to recalled Toyotas, I’m not going out on a limb saying that GM at the very least knew the recall was coming.

        1. Ken,
          If you read the automotive press, there have been far more reported instances than 12. In addition, Toyota, according to accounts I have read, is the only company with computer controlled brakes and acceleration without an automatic override with the brakes canceling out the acceleration signal.

          1. Yeah, I hope you’re not missing the forest for the trees.

            There’s a fundamental conflict of interest when the people who regulate an industry are also participants in that industry. This being an excellent example. If this were happening in Venezuela right now, you’d all be screaming for a foul.

            And the fact that GM had their rebate offer in place the same day the recall hit speaks volumes.

          2. I don’t think Shultz is begin fair!

            …just because it’s the the United States, doesn’t mean they can’t take a page from my playbook.

            Or is it just wrong when I do it?

            …or, no, no, no–I get it! Because it’s the United States, it’s just assumed that the government’s doing it for other, less nefarious reasons! And I guess that makes it okay?

            Who cares if the government has effectively shut down the production of a former competitor…in favor of the state owned manufacturer…

            …the important thing is that it couldn’t possibly have been done for the obvious reasons. And anybody who suggests anything otherwise is a capitalist pig, conspiracy theorist!

          3. No, other DBW setups will still let you left foot brake.

            And I will cockpunch the regulator that eventually requires this throttle-override “feature”

  7. I only drive cars with an actual cable which physically connects the pedal (my foot) to the engine air intake.

    I’m a luddite; sue me.

    1. Should I ask beloved what my truck (Ford) has?

      1. It seems to be a computer-control issue. Perhaps Al-Qaeda is testing their RAV (Rapid Acceleration Virus). Now that would be nefarious.

    2. Throttle cables are getting harder & harder to find. Electronic throttles, if done right, are great. If they’re done poorly it makes the driving experience miserable and is a dealbreaker for the whole car.

      1. Long ago, the throttle cable on my VW bug snapped while I was out once. I tied some speaker wire to the lever assembly, ran it out the “hood” and through the driver’s window and worked it by hand until I got to the mechanic.

        1. I did the same damn thing, except with a bungie cable and I hooked it up to the window crank.

  8. “Toyota’s “reputation for long-term quality is finished,” said Maryann Keller

    Yeah, okay.

    Thanks, Maryann.

    *rolls eyes*

  9. People still buy Chryslers, don’t they, Maryann?

    Quality is apparently not a determining factor in every vehicle purchas.

    1. Quality is apparently not a determining factor in every vehicle purchas.

      Or comment 😉

  10. Let’s put it this way. I heard about the recall, checked to see if my 2007 Sienna was on it, saw that it wasn’t, and figured everything was okay. Because I trust Toyota to protect its brand and reputation. They’ve earned it, and this recent mess alone won’t take that away.

  11. from the timing of their new program to offer $1,000 discount specific to recalled Toyotas, I’m not going out on a limb saying that GM at the very least knew the recall was coming.

    I’m willing to ascribe this to opportunism, although Government Motors is not exactly impervious to criticism.

    Glass houses, stone-throwing, “what goes around…” et c.

  12. Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data…

    The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny.

    The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming.

    The Information Commissioner’s Office decided that UEA failed in its duties under the Act but said that it could not prosecute those involved because the complaint was made too late, The Times has learnt. The ICO is now seeking to change the law to allow prosecutions if a complaint is made more than six months after a breach.…..004936.ece

  13. What a bunch of ANIMALS. We should have NUKED the entire region years ago. Just exterminate them all.


    1. What great prophet will interpret AnonBot’s divine words?


      1. There is no Bot but the Anon Bot and Pingback is his prophet.

        Anon Akabar!!!!

    2. As I recall, we did nuke Japan. Or anon-bot not talking about the Toyota recall?

      1. I think it means Detroit. Or maybe DC.

        1. Well, traditionally, nukes have been tested in uninhabited areas….

          1. I vote DC. Then I can LARP Fallout 3 in style. After all, Detroit is already a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

  14. Testimony concludes in California Prop 8 trial.

    Can anyone summarize what approach the challenge is taking this time?

  15. And then my wife had twins.

    Twins make excellent science fair projects.

    1. “Come and play with us, Danny.”

      Excellent Halloween costume ideas abound.

  16. The two men executed at dawn on Thursday were among 11 sentenced to death on charges including “moharebeh” (waging war against God), trying to overthrow the Islamic establishment and membership of armed groups, the student news agency ISNA said.

    You’d kinda think that God could stick up for his ownself if some mere mortals waged war against him.

    1. He keeps his hand clean by working through cut-outs. Like any good Mafia Don.

      1. “Yeah, Allah had a lot of buffers.”

    2. I’m just glad we haven’t got a charge of membership of armed groups over here yet. What with DHS thinking we’re terrorists and all, it’d be way to easy to get us on that one.

  17. I can’t remember if this was already posted or not. “LA city council votes to shut down 80% of medical marijuana dispensaries?”…..aries.html

    1. I’m pro weed, but 1,000 dispensaries seemed a bit much.

      1. Then the market can sort it out…

  18. The Toyota problem seems to be limited to cars built in the US, for what that’s worth. I know my FJ Cruiser (built in Japan, one of the reasons I bought it) isn’t on the list.

    This is Not Good for Toyota, but unless it really drags on and/or there are some super-high-profile accidents, I can’t see it doing too much damage to their reputation.

  19. The Iran story does put a little perspective on the problems we have. Those people were fighting for the rights we take for granted.

    And they exemplify the true meaning of martyrdom.

    1. As Obama ignores them.

    2. I don’t take them for granted for one minute.

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