Black Markets

Reason Morning Links: Scandals, Weapons, and Countereconomic Food


• Another earthquake hits, this time in Taiwan.

• Scandals keep causing trouble for Rep. Charlie Rangel and Gov. David Paterson.

• Washington sells advanced munitions to Pakistan.

• D.C.'s gay marriage law takes effect.

• Black market restaurants.

NEXT: Chicago's Pointless Handgun Ban

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  1. Scandals keep causing trouble for Rep. Charlie Rangel and Gov. David Paterson.

    Actually, this seems like the first time there’s been any real consequence to Congressman Rangel’s misdeeds.

    1. Even Nancy Pelosi stood up and took notice.

      1. Standing there on her hind legs, like a little Rory Calhoun.

  2. Obama is going to wear out that earthquake machine.

    1. I heard a talking-head cable-news twinkie ask her weather guy yesterday if all these earthquakes were related. He assured her that they were not. Probably. At least there was no evidence.

      1. Taiwan and Chili are both on ring of fire. Haiti would probably be unconnected, but I could see a Chili/Taiwan connection. Would have to look at a plate tectonics map to see if they are on opposite edges of same plate.

        1. Looking at a map, Haiti is on the border of the NA Plate and SA Plate. Chili is on the SA Plate and Nazca Plate. Taiwan is on the Eurasian Plate and Indo-Australian Plate.

          So, actually, Chili could have been a followup to the SA Plate shifting after the Haiti earthquake. Dont know if this is true or not, but they do have a plate in common.

          1. To be fair, the twinkie and weather guy were discussing the rogue wave in the Med.

        2. Taiwan and Chili are both on ring of fire

          robc, shame on you for not providing a link for that.
          (1st is Social Distortion, 2nd is Cash’s original).

          1. Especially considering Im thinking about purchasing some of the post-mortem Cash albums.

            Really enjoy this one

            1. Unchained has some really good selections if your Cash collection is limited.

        3. I had some Chili in Taiwan once, and my anus felt like a ring of fire afterward. So there may be some connection.

          1. Took a while for someone to pick up on that.

            1. I caught it immediately after my first post and then proceeded to do it again in my next one. The squirrel really needs to add a freakin preview button.

        4. Don’t forget the quake off the coast of Japan last weekend. Didn’t do much damage, but it was a pretty big one.

          1. The Taiwan one seals it. China is doing it and they were just practicing with the other ones.

          2. Vanuatu had a 6.4 quake about an hour ago. The earth is very busy of late. Not just the ring of fire but on minor faults all over as well. Mr. Cayce was right.

            1. China is after them too. Good thing we haven’t defaulted on our bonds they own.

      2. Of course there is a connection, all of these nations have made pacts with Devil.

        True story.

        1. This should serve as notice that future pacts with the devil must include a no earthquakes clause.

          1. I hear that costs extra.

  3. I purchased a German dinner for 8, made by a couple from germany, at a church auction. It was served at a house of one of the guests (I chose not to use my house). Realistically, “Wink” is no different. It was sold openly, no need for secret emails. Technically, it might be a violation of something or other, but really, is anyone going to care?

    1. You were lucky you didn’t have a SWAT team rading the place.

      1. Dont worry, Im armed. Oh wait, crap. Considering how well they tend to shoot, I might be able to take 2 or 3 out with me.

        1. BTW, I dont smoke pot so if they find some, it was planted.

          1. Growing it is a loophole? Who knew!

          2. But does your dog smoke pot? ‘Cause that’s who they’ll shoot first.

            1. I fooled them, dont own a dog.

              1. Then the cops will have to plant a dog with pot then shoot it. Really, you’re just making it harder on yourself by acting in such an innocent manner.

    2. Black market restaurants.

      I thought it said restraints and thought “GAWD! Another Alabama story!”

  4. Scandals keep causing trouble for Rep. Charlie Rangel

    According to MSNBC, Rangel has merely “stepped aside” from his chairmanship. He’ll be right back. Just went out for coffee and bagels. Nothing to see. Move along.

    1. He’s probably only going to remain “aside” until after the election — but of course if the Dems lose the House, he’s not going to get it back.

      1. He’s toast. Rangel non grata. Sorry, Charlie.

        1. Yeah, even if he somehow manages to avoid being federally indicted, he’ll be 80 in a few more months. I won’t be too surprised if he just decides not to run for reelection pretty soon.

          1. Maybe a LaRouchian will challenge him in the primary.

  5. Goodbye, Charlie.

    1. Um, ew?

      Who are these freaks and where does this compulsion come from that they need to share their every personal issue with the entire planet? Other than being part of the most important self-absorbed generation, evah, that is.

      1. Someone does namecheck Cake Farts in the comments. Hilarious.

        Yes, the link is very NSFW.

  6. Yeah Rangel won’t be a major player again for a while. We’ll all miss that raspy ass voice…

  7. Wrt “black market restaurants”, I gotta note that so-called progressive dinners — despite the name — rarely get health-inspected.

  8. Wink and outfits like it are illegal. They take paying customers but they’re off-limits to and off the radar of city health inspectors.

    Obviously, roving bands of SWAT-backed health inspectors should be randomly kicking down doors in search of these menaces to society. The scourge of unlicensed fine dining must be stamped out.

    1. Does your neighbor have more than 15 mustards? Report him and let the police decide if he is in compliance. Be on the look out for suspicious shipments of truffle oil and cornichons.

      Is a neighbor having a dinner party? Does it sound like people are having a good time? Call out tip-line: 1-IMA-SHITBAG.

  9. I can see having all eateries submit to some kind of inspection regulations (I know many of you guys don’t and would rather every eating out be a kind of Choose-Your-Own Adventure Caveat Emptor experience but bear with me) but I’ve never understood what the whole general license justification is supposed to be. Is it to create a list for said inspections enforcement, to “raise revenue” for such inspection regimes or what?

    1. From what I’ve read, both ideas are part of it. But a lot of the licensing scheme was put in place to control liquor sales more than food safety.

      I’m fine with food inspection (assuming that’s what they are actually doing and not solely collecting for the state or acting as agents of the established business against, say, food trucks), but I don’t see why it can’t handled better and cheaper by an outfit like Underwriters.

      As an aside, my wife is obsessed with reading the food inspection reports they print in our paper. The best one she ever found was a violation for “taco shells stored in box with raw chicken.”

    2. MNG, good to see you’re back. Here’s the the thing about those inspections, they are useless. Having a knowledge of the business I can honestly say its best to choose your eatery by word of mouth.

      In a real dirty place the inspection happens as such: Health guy comes in. Rats and cockroaches dance and fiddle at his feet. He tells you to bleach the ice machine and to cover the fluorescent bulbs in the basement. He comes back a year later and makes sure his recommendations have been followed. They haven’t. Repeat.

      Also the worst two establishments I have seen were tres expensive, but had very charming owners.

      So it’s caveat emptor anyways, right?

    3. I can see having all eateries submit to some kind of inspection regulations (I know many of you guys don’t and would rather every eating out be a kind of Choose-Your-Own Adventure Caveat Emptor experience but bear with me)

      How about if the proprietor prominently displays a sign that states “Not inspected/approved by city/county/state health commission. Dine at your own risk.”?

      Assuming you are eating in an establishment you are familiar with, I don’t see the problem.

      1. I watch Anthony Bourdain eat at plenty of random street vendors in 3rd world hell-holes and Ive never seen him fall over dead. There is probably a reason for this.

        1. Yeah, funny that. Usually while smoking too.

      2. JW’s solution would be good for so many things. We could keep the regulatory agencies we now have, although downscaled. Business owners could pay to have epa, fda, health etc approval. The business would pay the inspectors and such, and it would be totally voluntary.

        Changing the subject, everybody who eats in a restaurant or plans to should read Kitchen Confidential, by Bourdain. It is spot on.

    4. I can see having all eateries submit to some kind of inspection regulations

      So you’re in favor of having the government send inspectors to inspect the cooking in private households and potlucks?

      If not, why would you think that the places where less than half of all meals are made, staffed by trained professionals — foodie fanatics — with some background in health procedures, would somehow be at higher risk than places run by ordinary people with no special training?

  10. “There is nothing sexier than a beautiful woman who can’t poop.”

    It should be utterly unnecessary to say this, but “That’s not actually true. I don’t care what you tell yourself when you’re alone.”

  11. D.C.’s gay marriage law takes effect.

    Funny, I Google and Google, but I can’t find Obama’s statement commending the people of Washington, D.C. for their progressivism.

  12. Obama names brother of undecided House Dem to Appeals Court…

    1. If Matheson should suddenly switch to a Yea vote, it’ll go over about as well for him in his district as the Cornhusker Kickback did for Nelson in Nebraska.

  13. “Slid” Marx; is that the past tense of Skid?

  14. Teachers in trouble after honoring O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul for Black History Month

    LOS ANGELES – Three Los Angeles elementary school teachers accused of giving children portraits of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul to carry in a Black History Month parade have been removed from their classrooms, a school district spokeswoman said Wednesday.

    Children from other classes at the school displayed photos of more appropriate black role models, such as Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman and President Obama, Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry said.

    The incident occurred Friday at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School in South Los Angeles, where the student body is more than 90 percent Latino.

    District Superintendent Ramon Cortines placed the teachers – all white men who teach first, second and fourth grades – on administrative leave on Tuesday while an investigation is conducted, Pollard-Terry said.

    “The superintendent will not let anyone make a mockery out of Black History Month,” she said.…..z0hDj0L5SY

    1. How is RuPaul not a good role model? Damn homophobes.

    2. Maybe they should have hedged their bets and given the children prints of that photo of Obama with a cigarette dangling from his lips.

    3. Oh, so now it has to be blacks that are good role models and not just historically significant? Would Shaka Zulu be okay, I wonder? How about Kwame Nkrumah or Fred Hampton?

  15. Anybody else aware of these open carry gatherings at Starbucks?

    Why pick on Starbucks from every direction? It’s their property, they should make the rules.

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