Reason Morning Links: Angle vs. Reid, Obama vs. Gay Soldiers, Trolls vs. the Web


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  1. European Kyoto “success” consists of outsourcing emissions-producing manufacturing to China, thus replacing more efficient manufacturing techniques with less effective ones. While European CO2 production has decreased 17%, CO2 used in products consumed has increased 40%.

    1. As a progressive, and thus the center of the known universe, if I don’t see the factories, they don’t exist. What happens in my mind is all that is important. Everything outside my skull is insignificant detail.

      1. Believing that feeds my ego.

        1. If China ever does democratize, they’re gonna be pissed at all the industrial shit we dumped on them.

          1. I think they will be laughing because they will have jobs and we won’t.

            1. How will they have jobs if no one else has one? If nobody has money to buy their crap how can they still be employed?

              1. They can buy it from each other. You know have a domestic economy rather than trying to get rich by manipulating your currency and selling things at a loss.

              2. How will they have jobs if no one else has one? If nobody has money to buy their crap how can they still be employed?

                By that point, the Chinese will have enough disposable income to buy their own products.

                1. (dammit…what John said.)

                  1. The Chinese have had huge relative growth because they were piss-poor. They still have massive bureaucracy, massive corruption, huge state impediments to starting new businesses, and severe restrictions on the flow of information. All of those will combine to put a ceiling on the Chinese economy.

                    1. They also have a worse unbalanced economy than Japan. You cannot in the long term build an economy built on cheap currency and exports. Eventually your trade partners will demand you do something about your currency or other countries will undercut you even more. At some point, you have to have a domestic demand for products. Also cheap currency creates asset bubbles and causes you to over invest in export industry at the expense of domestic services. This is what happened to Japan. In 1985 they finally had to agree to bring the value of the Yen in line. That caused their exports to drop and they had no domestic demand to make up for it. The more valuable currency then burst their asset bubble and they have now gone 20 years with effectively no growth. The same thing is going to happen to China, only China has huge internal problems Japan never had to deal with. China is not going to be the super power everyone thinks they will.

    2. The same people who are talking about the evils of shipping jobs overseas support cap and trade. Under cap and trade, we would literally pay companies to shut down factories in the US and move them overseas.

      1. Is that why the Democrats don’t cut the military?

        Team America, World Cap and Trade Police

        1. Psst. Ixnay on illingspay the eansbay.

      2. This is one reason why I’ve opposed cap and trade. It’s a killer of traditional union jobs.

        1. It’s a big reason why I don’t buy the arguments that cap and trade is equivalent to a tax, at least for tradeable goods. (For energy utilities it’s different, since they don’t cross the ocean, although we get some electricity from Canada.) Cap and trade is a cap on domestic production– the equivalent cap would be on consumption, but we can’t possibly regulate foreign production.

          So the end result of cap-and-trade is generally to have a tax on foreign goods to offset the fact that you’re hamstringing your own industry– in which case why not just have a uniform tax to start with?

          1. This. And your point is one of the reasons it drives me nuts that Ron Bailey, a guy who should know better, still supports cap and trade and acts like it is not really a tax.

            1. I thought he backed off of that and is now on the Carbon Tax bandwagon?

            2. He’s a carbon tax guy. Which is almost as bad.

        2. This is one reason why I’ve opposed cap and trade. It’s a killer of traditional union jobs.

          But if it killed non-union jobs, that would be cool?

          1. No, still bad, that feature just accentuates it.

            1. Why is the loss of a union job greater than the loss of a non-union job?

              The only difference I can see is the union job offers a kick-back to the Dems, while the non-union job worker gets to keep his own money without the forced donation to the Democratic Party.

    3. I actually support some ecological protectionism, at least in theory (much like I support capital punishment for murderers in theory, but don’t trust government to properly execute that power in practice). If there is some cost to the global common good from manufacturing, then the consumer should bear that cost regardless of where the good is produced. The only way to do that for goods produced overseas under environmentally lax regimes would be through a tariff which would be used to fund some sort of pollution cleanup or offset program. The main problem is that granting government such a power will inevitably be used for either environmental radicalism (making the cost born much higher than than the ecological damage), revenue generation, or simple rent-seeking on the part of domestic competitors.

  2. Under a law passed by the [NY] City Council today, new toilets will have to be high water efficient or “dual-flush,” which allow users to choose between a high pressure flush for solid waste, and a low-pressure flush for liquid.

    I can’t believe ML didn’t include this abomination. Everybody knows you need “triple-flush” with a medium-pressure flush for loose stools.

    1. tmi, but

      In my experience, it is the loose stools that require high pressure. Toilet pressure is something that concerns me once, sometimes two or three times a day.

      1. One covers the loose stool with toilet paper before flushing. It’s a matter of common courtesy.

        1. TMI, Flushed with Pride, TMI.

      2. Only if your stool is the size of nickles.

        If you shit beer cans, the solid ones blow right through the water [especially in the newer low-capacity toilets] and smear themselves on the side of the commode like bugs on a windshield. You can need a fire hose to get that stuff off.

    2. yeah because our water shortages are all about people flushing toilets. It has nothing to do with our subsidizing agriculture in in the middle of deserts. God environmentalists are fucking stupid.

      1. Nobody retires to Vermont or Maine or North Dakota where there’s water. Them boomers want a nice, dry climate.

        1. When I think of Florida, the first word that comes to mind is “dry”.

          1. Try tapping a well on the sun coast.

            1. Easy, find a girl who’s half drunk already and try to convince her that you really think she can contribute something…Oh, you meant that literally. Can’t help you there.

            2. Why tap a well, just collect rain water.

              1. Rain water collecting is highly regulated to illegal in some states.

          2. The second word that comes to mind, mind you, is “gin.”

          3. 2 words: nuclear desalination. We could put it on the US Sugar plantation that the state of FL is about to own.

            1. I thought that deal (buying the US Sugar property) had gone south.

              1. Did it? I thought they had it all worked out and packaged up. Thank fuckin’ God.

      2. And to the extent that it is about toilets, it’s about leaking toilets, not the number of gallons per flush in a working toilet.

        1. it’s about leaking toilets

          There oughta be a law!

        2. Flapper valves.

          What. The. Fuck. Is that really the best we can do?

          1. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the original 1925 toilet in my first floor master bath uses about 10 gallons per flush. They will have to pry the flush handle from my cold dead hands…

  3. With “a phantom doctor, a phantom office and phantom patients, the conspirators could bill Medicare with abandon.”

    Hey, don’t look at me!

    1. the phantom doctor? I wonder if he was caught by a great dane and a bunch of nosy teenagers in a green vw bus.

  4. Among those charged was Armen Kazarian, whom authorities described as a “vor” — a member of a select group of high-level criminals from Russia and other former Soviet republics.

    I think we now have an excellent word to replace “Czar”.

    1. Pretty sure that Lois McMaster Bujold got there first with that word.

      1. My appy polly loggies. I nominate you for “Word Vor”. 😎

    2. “a member of a select group of high-level criminals”

      He was a legislator?

      1. “VOR” must stand for “Very Ordinary Representative”.

  5. http://jammiewearingfool.blogs…..-thee.html

    Dieting is for the little people.

    1. That’s right. I’m not an overweight child.

      1. And you will set the example for those who are by stuffing your fat face with Cheeseburgers at every opportunity.

        1. “stuffing your fat face with Cheeseburgers at every opportunity.”

          Wow, nasty much John?

          1. Busybody scum like Michelle Obama don’t deserve basic human decency. I’m surprised you don’t realize this.

            1. ^^THIS^^

              1. Raaaacist!

          2. Hypocrisy brings out the nasty in all of us. Which is why I’ll point out that it wasn’t arugula that gave Michelle those massive arm waddles.

          3. Pretty tame on the H&R insult scale.

      2. You’re just a woman with an HGH problem.

        I can forgive her this – it probably takes a lot of protein and calories to keep that Godzilla body of hers going.

        How is she supposed to use her radioactive breath weapon if she can’t eat a cheeseburger and onions now and again?


    Looks like Barney may really be in trouble this time. Right when his opponent was getting some momentum, he runs off and takes a free trip to the Virgin Islands in the private jet of some hedge fund billionaire. Then claims the value of it was only $1500. I think that is about what it costs to start a good corporate jet these days.

    1. You mean the no longer virgin islands?

      1. Didn’t Branson buy them a while back? Aren’t they the Virgin? Islands now?

    2. $2k to $4k per hour of operation depending upon the size of the biz-jet.

      1. I think it is a bit more. The article says

        “Aviation experts say the cost of flying a private jet between Maine and the Virgin Islands would cost as much as $30,000 each way.”

        I know a Blackhawk helicopter is billed out at $5000 an hour. It doesn’t say what kind of jet he had. But it is only about a four hour flight if that. So it was probably more like $7000 an hour.

        1. Depends on the jet. High-end biz jets will go up to $5k or $6k per hour. $7k per hour would be the very top of the line for a biz jet.

          1. The guy is a billionaire. So I doubt he has a Bonanza.


              Note the Global Express and Gulfstream V are under $1500 per hour direct operating cost. These are the flagships for their respective OEMs. The new jets have very efficient engines.

              Throw in the rest of the cost of ownership (employees, maintenance, and etc), these high-end biz jets will bill out in the $5k or $6k range.

              Our CEO flies around in a damn fine jet that bills out at about $5k.

              The $30,000 number quoted in the article compares to street-value estimates provided by the police after a drug bust.

              1. Ok. Thanks for the info. I have flown in corporate jets a couple of times. What a way to travel.

                1. You’re welcome.

              2. Aviation experts say the cost of flying a private jet between Maine and the Virgin Islands would cost as much as $30,000 each way.

                4 hour flight * 7K/ hour = 28K

                It’s not nearly as bad as street price for pot math.

                1. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank’s GOP challenger is calling on the congressman to release an ethics opinion that Frank says cleared his trip to the Virgin Islands aboard a $25 million private jet owned by a billionaire hedge fund manager.

                  $25M is not the top of the line for a biz jet (that would be $40M to $50M). So Barney took a ride on a mid to mid-large biz jet. Billable cost would be in the $4k to $5k range. Assuming he was the sole passenger, then he would be getting a $40k round trip, not a $60k round trip. Not as big a lie as the police on drug values, but typical for a journalist with an agenda.

    3. I seem to recall that Congressholes only have to report the commercial fare when they fly private. Like there’s no difference between cattle class and a Gulfstream II.

      1. In the rare occaision when a engineer gets to hop a ride on the corporate jet because the CEO just happens to go to the same place at the same time, standard practice is to bill the cost to the development program as a 1st class ticket.

        1. Which, to a non-member of the corporate jet set, seems perhaps to overstate a bit the marginal cost of an engineer tagging along, as opposed to the cost of the CEO/Congressman taking the trip. So, I’d think it would make more sense for the Congressman to report full $5K an hour price, or whatever, and 1st class airfare for anyone who accompanies him.

          1. It appears that the congressional rule is a micro-mini fig leaf that allows a sitting legislator to take a “perk” from a contributor and point to a standard accounting practice for claiming the “cost” of the perk.

            It’s bullshit, but it’s a 99% lie not a 100% lie.

      2. The same thing happens when the president takes Air Force 1 to a non-official event. He is billed the price of a first-class ticket even though AF1 costs upwards of $55,000/hr to operate.

    4. I think they are forgetting the value of the head job Bawny provided on the way down. That probably brings the costs back inline.

      1. Unfortunately, Barney will get away with it. He might lose a few points at the polls, but the dunderheads will still send him back to work this November.

        1. Maybe, but maybe not. He sure is acting worried, and I expect the election to be like 1994 only more so. Barney actually might lose.

          1. He can always go back to running a brothel. At least that’s an honest business.

    1. I’m Barrack Obama and I approved this economy.

    2. I saw that the other day. WTF? That reads like a bad undergraduate economics paper. We really are in a lot of trouble.

    3. [Bernanke said] “nonconventional policies have costs and limitations that must be taken into account in judging whether and how aggressively they should be used.”

      With all due respect, Chairman, please just fucking tell us your policies so we can plan how aggressively to nonconventionally respond.

      1. You fool! Maintaining uncertainty in the markets is our key strategy to encourage growth and investment.

    4. So Bernanke still ascribes to the theory that higher inflation means low unemployment? I wonder what he was doing during the 70’s. Whatever it was, paying attention to the economy was apparently not involved.

      1. I wonder what he was doing during the 70’s.

        Studying economics at MIT.

        1. So you think he’d be familiar with the concept of stagflation?

          1. Na. He was busy studying the Great Depression living in the academic bubble.

        2. So, paying attention to the economy was definitely not involved.

    5. You know you’re in for a ride when the “all else equal” assumption creeps in in the first 5 lines.

      We need to ship Ben to Japan ASAP. He will fit in perfectly at Nichigin.

    6. He says “expectations of low inflation will become self-fulfilling” like that’s a bad thing.

    7. You know what the silver lining in all this is?

      The growth rate after all this crap ends should be phenomenal.

      1. You assume that they’re going to leave enough capital for there to be any growth.

  7. HaHa*.

    I was going to pull a quote from the original DADT thread of Tony defending Obama, but there were so many that I couldn’t decide.

    Tony seems to experience an arrogant glee out of giving people power who regard him as less than human. What a joke.

    *ala Nelson Muntz

    1. Tecnically — irrespective of his sexual orientation — Tony is less than human.

  8. The Obama administration keeps fighting for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    Of course they will appeal. It has nothing to do with principles, it’s all about the adversarial court system. They will appeal, simply because they lost. And it’s even worse that they lost to the Log Cabin Republicans.

    Official Libertarian Party Statement:

    Gay Democrats are like abused spouses who return to their attackers.

    Christ, even Bob Barr says that DOMA was a mistake, and said it should be repealed, and he wrote the fucking Law. What have the Dems done about DOMA???

    1. Bob Barr on DOMA:…..5836.story

    2. But repealing DOMA doesn’t allow them to steal or control other people’s lives. Think about all the times in the last two years they have said they wanted to do things regardless of the polls so they could be historic. All of those things involved sending money to their cronies and controlling people’s lives. If they don’t care about polls and want to be historic, why couldn’t they have done something about DOMA and DADT? That would have been historic and courageous right? But those things don’t produce a lot of cash. And the Dems are a cash money operation.

      1. Keep an eye out for the “Legalize and Tax Gay Marriage Act of 2011” if Prop 19 passes.

        1. Won’t legalizing result in a marriage penalty tax anyway?

  9. Are the Patriots really 3 point favorites against the Ravens this weekend? After what happened last playoffs, I’m not seeing it.

    1. I’m suprised about that one too. The Ravens have looked good this year, with the addition of a quality WR for Flacco (who is getting better and better) to go along with the defense and Rice. I hate them, but they are good…

      The Pats have looked good this year too, but I would take the Ravens…

      1. Well, the lines are set to try and keep money on both sides of it, so that means most bettors are going with the Pats. I know that Brady hasn’t lost a regular-season home gain since 2006, and I know people don’t like to bet against a streak. Still, after last playoffs, and after how the Ravens have played this year, I’m not sure I see it…

        1. The Pats? The same team that had trouble putting away Buffalo? Fuck, that’s a no-brainer. The rest of the lines don’t look stupid, but I don’t know if the beat-up Bears can cover 8 points against Seattle.

          1. This is an NFC West team coached by Pete Carroll…I think the 8 points is safe.

            It’s usually a bit much to see a two-touchdown spread, but Colt McCoy, in Pittsburgh…yeesh.

  10. In fairness the Dems put forward legislation* about DADT which Obama supported. That’s way more than the other side has done.

    *It got filibustered by the other side iirc.

    1. No they stuck it as a rider on a bill they knew Republicans wouldn’t support for other reasons. They never once put a repeal up by itself for a vote. They never did that because they don’t want to repeal DADT. And they don’t want to be seen voting for a bill that just did that. We have only had this discussion about thirty times. You know it was a shame and I and others have explained why it was a shame multiple times.

      1. I agree the way they put it forward was dissappointing, but they did put it forward and support it. The other side actively opposed it. It’s pretty obvious which is “worse” there to non-partisan hacks.

        1. And as I note below, the Dems had sixty votes in the Senate from January to December of 2009. Yet, they never tried to get a repeal through. At some point you have to conclude that they really don’t support DADT and are lying when they say they do. Suppose I kept telling you that I am going to buy you a pony once I had the money. Then, I won the lottery and had plenty of money for a pony. But I still didn’t buy you one. Then after I had spent a good chunk of the money, I took you pony shopping only to say “sorry, they are all too expensive I don’t have the money I used to”. Would it be fair to say I never intended to do it? I think so.

          1. To take it a step further, and up to date: Now imagine that a nice judge agreed to buy minge a pony, but John tried to get another judge to block the sale.

            Get yer head out of the clouds minge, you ain’t gettin no pony, because yer a homophobe.

            1. Wait a minute, I’m confused. Are we talking about a gay pony?

              1. I think those are called unicorns.

              2. Yes.

                Gay ponies hate you MNG, because they can see the hate in your eyes.

                1. I thought unicorns liked to hang out with virgins? Is the problem that they can’t navigate the stairs down to Mom’s basement?

    2. Yes, to be fair that’s correct, there was legislation passed forward. It just wasn’t considered a high enough priority to really push for it. (Still ranks higher than anything civil liberties, though.)

      I won’t deny that the Democrats are better on the issue, but it’s also clear what sort of priorities the party has.

      1. How are they better on the issue if nothing changes when they are in power? I don’t see how lip service counts for much. And further, the Dems had a filibuster proof majority from January of 09 until the Scott Brown special election. How come they didn’t do anything then? Why did they wait until the Republicans could filibuster it to introduce the repeal?

        1. Clinton did a similarly messed up thing with the Striker Replacement Ban. He heralded much support for it but never pushed it pre-1994, and then after they lost control they brought it up. Yes, the Dems are disgusting often…

        2. How are they better on the issue if nothing changes when they are in power? I don’t see how lip service counts for much.

          Well, on the average the Democrats are better, but it’s not a big enough priority that you can distinguish between simply keeping the base entertained and actually meaning it. No doubt there are Democrats in both camps.

          And sheesh, John, as someone who regularly supports the GOP as the least worst alternative, you should be familiar with this argument.

          1. But its the wrong side for John dude!

          2. If Republicans started throwing gays in jail you would have a point. I am not saying the Republicans are any better just no different. They just play people like Tony and MNG like fiddles.

            1. It’s not like Lawrence vs. Texas was ruled in the 70s.

            2. “”If Republicans started throwing gays in jail you would have a point. I am not saying the Republicans are any better just no different.””

              If you are not saying Rs are better than Ds, the what’s the point claiming the republicans won’t throw you in jail?

    3. It was Republicans that brought the suit. Is that more, or less? They won in court, and the Dems lost in Congress because they couldn’t convince 1 or 2 Republicans. That’s weak leadership.

      1. It’s the Dems fault that all the Republicans opposed the bill? Not the GOP’s fault, eh? Interesting idea of responsibility there.

        And I don’t think the LCR is in the mainstream of the GOP dude…It’s like a suit brought by Democrats for Life.

        1. The Dems didn’t have to convince the Republicans that brought the suit. I’m sure if they looked hard enough, and twisted a few arms, the could have gotten a couple Republicans, but they are weak. Face it, Obama and the Dems are weak. Bush/Cheyney got a lot of shit passed without a filibuster proof majority.

          1. …and I do mean shit.

        2. Again, why not offer it as a stand-alone bill? Sticking it in an already doomed bill is stagecraft, not leadership. Until we all stop defending our preferred team’s bullshit because its not the other team’s, the bullshit will continue.

          And no, I don’t think the Rs get to take credit for it. The Log Cabin Republicans get treated like absolute step-children. Good on them for sticking to their own agenda, but that wasn’t the agenda of the elected Republicans.

          1. Every bill should be stand-alone. And every single piece of legislation – every goddamned page – must be written in clear, plain English, and read by everyone before going up for a vote.

        3. It’s the Dems fault that all the Republicans opposed the bill?

          Partially, yes. The handling of health care definitely pissed off even the moderate Republicans. It certainly killed immigration reform, where Lindsey Graham and others were very willing to deal.

          The Democrats chose to play maximally on health care, deny amendments, etc. By doing so, they sacrificed progress on other priorities. I’m not certain that I’d fully endorse the “they never wanted it anyway” argument on immigration or DADT (or civil liberties issues), but at the very least it’s easy to see what’s a priority and what isn’t.

          1. Hell, I’ll concede these points.

          2. I thought the thing that killed immigration reform was Obama saying that he was wouldn’t support reform until after the mid-terms because it would eliminate a useful wedge issue.

        4. You have a limited amount of political capital, both as President and as a majority. The Administration and the Majority decided to spend it on stimulus and health care, which weakened the chance of getting other things passed.

          The Bush Administration had a lot of major bipartisan bills. Many of which were hated by libertarians for what that meant they contained, certainly, but they did a better job from the “get stuff passed” angle.

          1. They were better at cowing Democrats into joining them, but the Dems have done pretty good at passing big bills (“Comprehensive” Energy, Finance & Health Care Reform and a Stimulus), it’s just that the bills they passed were almost all terrible.

            1. Other than the Patriot Act, they didn’t cow the Democrats. They passed laws that gave the Democrats what they wanted. Look at No Child Left Behind and the drug benefit. Ted Kennedy basically drafted NCLB. And the proscription drug benefit was the first major expansion of medicare since the 1960s. Yeah, the hard left Democrats whinned that it wasn’t a top down price control structure they liked, but the more centrist ones voted for it. You will never convince me that had Obama and the Democrats been smarter, they couldn’t have convinced people like Lindsey Graham and the moron twins from Maine to sell out on health care and immigration. They just had to kiss their asses and throw them a bone. Why they didn’t do that is beyond me.

        5. Maybe, but are most people going to know that, or just see “Republicans” and assume?

    4. It’s easy to support something that you know isn’t going to pass, considering the machinations used to include that repeal in a larger bill.

      It’s much harder to support something when it’s under your direct control.

      They do not have to appeal this ruling. It is solely the choice of the Administration to do so. That should tell you everything you need to know about his true stance on DADT.

      1. If, as John says, the reason they did this is they don’t want to be on record supporting repeal, then offering this bill and recording their support for it is a funny way to do that…

        Its discouraging they are going to appeal. They already are politically going to take heat for support of repeal. Perhaps they really are doing it on principle (that they don’t want this solved in the courts)? I’ll admit its getting hard to believe the current administration has any principles…

        1. Because no one cares how you vote on a bill that doesn’t passes. DADT is still in effect so no one is really going to take much heat over voting for a repeal that never happened. Putting up bills they know will fail is a way of giving people like you talking points without taking any risk or changing anything.

  11. Sadly the MD debate is not “big” as it appears the one-party debacle that is MD state politics is on again this year…MD is for the Dems like what the Deep South is for the GOP, you could put a chicken up for office with a D beside it and it would start with a 20 point lead…

  12. This is the same group that said in June that $1 trillion could be cut from the defense budget in a report called “Debt, Deficits and Defense: A Way Forward.”

    One of the rules of thumb is to never hire someone who was able to take 5 years working for a defense contractor – he wont know the difference between right and wrong – and do you really want to have someone on your staff that doesn’t know the difference.

    Sounds about right.

    1. Someone should tell this lady that republicans are the opposition party, and aren’t going to give you what you want. The democrats spent almost a decade giving it up for Dubya that they actually think that is how the opposition is supposed to act: In assenting submission.

      Maybe they will learn something for the next time they are the minority under a bellicose jesus freak. Nah, who am I kidding…and the beat goes on.

    2. But the expected Republican gains in the coming mid-term elections may solve one of Obama’s problems: his misplaced faith in logic, persuasion and cooperation in the national interest.

      One of my favorite things about TEAM RED/BLUE idiots is their apparently sincere belief that the other side hates America, since it’s so objectively obvious to all that their team has logic on their side.

      1. And it’s incredible, since the differences in the way the rule are so minute.

      2. ‘”I think the Republicans have been diabolically clever about how they’ve portrayed this,” Axelrod conceded.’

        This was the point where it jumped the shark for me. The Republicans couldn’t be clever by accident, much less intentionally.

        1. They have been diabolically clever. By not being the Democrats.

          1. That’s like calling someone vivacious because they are breathing.

            1. My point exactly.

    3. Shorter Cynthia Tucker:

      It’s because Obama is black.

  13. if I don’t see the factories, they don’t exist.

    This is what I refer to as the “magic hat” effect. Progressives apparently believe their marvelously green bicycles come from a magic hat, rather than from a dirt-floored shed in China filled with noxious brazing fumes.

    1. To be fair a lot of progressives try to care about the origin of products (i.e., “Fair Trade” coffee) and they still get the scorn of most people here…

      Certainly libertarians can respect some form of ethical consumption, however far that might be from what many progressives envision…

      1. Master shake, I think most people here hold those fair traders in scorn because usually there is an arrogance to such movements, and also a hypocrisy. I mean are these people clamoring for fair trade iphones?

        Additionally, those that assert that there is a morality behind consumption of certain goods, i.e. fair trade coffee, organic food, imply that those who don’t purchase in such a manner are immoral. Such as poor people who can’t afford $3 tomatoes.

      2. Most “ethical consumption” is pure tokenism based on the fact that most “progressives” have no idea how stuff is made or how stuff works.

        Most of the “progressives” I know are a bunch “math is hard” Barbies (or Kens). The ones that can actually add and subtract are a lot more realistic in their outlook and know that for the most part things like organic farming and “fair trade” are nothing more than marketing scams.

  14. Forty-four people are charged with perpetrating “the country’s largest single Medicare fraud.”

    Make that “the largest single Medicare fraud uncovered to date”.

    1. The largest Medicare fraud other than, you know, Medicare itself.

  15. Busybody scum like Michelle Obama don’t deserve basic human decency. I’m surprised you don’t realize this.

    I’m surprised you’re surprised.

    1. I’m surprised you’re surprised that I’m surprised.

      Do you really want to go down this hole? I’m surprised at you.

      1. I don’t want to go anywhere near that hole.

  16. The couple associated with the Oath Keepers had their baby returned to them after a court hearing.…..e?page=0,0

    1. Incoming Wonkette article in…3…2…

      hello? Anyone there?

  17. a lot of progressives try to care about the origin of products (i.e., “Fair Trade” coffee)

    “Hey, look over there!”

  18. OC Register looks like it’s about to endorse Prop 19. Arnold’s latest “infraction” decree changes nothing.…..ssion.html

  19. I think the Republicans have been diabolically clever

    see also, “Clouseau, Inspector”

  20. Alan–“You are a wack job, Sandy. That is what anal compulsive types do when they engage in politics. Hide their insanity behind the language of pragmatism.”

    Libertarians like all extremists hide their extremism behind a mistaken concern for consistency.

    Your the nutjob who wants to legalize drugs when virtually every economist who isn’t from the Chicago school is AGAINST legalizing drugs. Find me 5 economists not from a libertarian school of thought who think legalizing drugs is a good idea.

    1. Just because they are economists doesn’t mean they aren’t statists in favor of oppression, which is what prohibition is. Why should any libertarian give a damn what they think?

    2. Many Marxians want to legalize drugs as well. And many old-school conservatives. By “non-libertarians” I assume you mean “Keynsian”, though, so I probably can’t find any of that crowd who would want to legalize, as Keynsians make it their business to mind other people’s business.

  21. Only 16% of economists favor outright legalization:…..5310284×5/

    Most of these no doubt hail from the Chicago school.

    1. Economists, like weathermen, use flawed models and are not fired for bad predictions.

    2. Who gives a shit what economists favor? You make the msitake of assuming their personal preferences are driven by their economic understanding. Good lord, they cover the difference between normative and positive economics in Econ 101. Just because a guy is brilliant on positive economics doesn’t mean his normative positions aren’t full of crap. Paul Krugman has made a career out of proving this point for me.

      1. T–
        You’re missing the point. If legalizing drugs is good for society from an economic utilitarian stance and promotes freedom, then what is there to oppose?

        1. Also, economists tend to favor some form of liberalization, but not legalization (see link), suggesting that their concerns are driven by more than arbitrary cultural values.

          Libertarians, however, must support legalization regardless of the science. They are not credible.

          1. If legalizing drugs is good for society from an economic utilitarian stance and promotes freedom, then what is there to oppose?

            For me, nothing. For somebody else, who knows? There are a staggering number of people that feel the state is free to interfere in any choice another human being can make.

            suggesting that their concerns are driven by more than arbitrary cultural values.

            Again, normative vs. positive. Economists are expressing a value judgment. Their value judgments have no relation to their technical expertise. Even if it did, they might still be wrong on the technical side. You’re making an appeal to authority based on the idea, which has no support, that their value judgments are driven solely by their technical expertise.

    3. Uhh, you do realize that that article is nearly 20 years old and opinions have shifted since then?

      And did you even read the article?

      The article does state that 58% would support decriminalization, which is another position libertarians have put forward.

      Of the five options they were given, 71% favored some type of decriminalization or legalization. Less than 2% supported increased penalties. Only 27% support the status quo.

      The strongest supporters of drug prohibition were business economists or those who worked for the government. Those in public finance, labor economics, and monetary theory or worked for non-academic private institutions were most likely to favor decriminalization or legalization. Those in the Chicago, Austrian, or Public Choice schools were also more likely to favor decriminalization.

      And, in a follow up study in 2002, all of the economists who have published on the topic of drugs came out for some type of decriminalization or legalization, ranging from defacto legalization to decriminalization to treating drugs like alcohol to outright legalization.

  22. Nick–“Just because they are economists doesn’t mean they aren’t statists in favor of oppression, which is what prohibition is. Why should any libertarian give a damn what they think?”

    Considering you rely on a few token economists to sway libertarians, I’d think you’d care a lot actually.

    Prohibition IS the absence of legalization. They might favor enforcing the laws differently or some reforms, but they overwhelmingly oppose legalization.

    1. Prohibition IS the absence of legalization.

      Because if it isn’t explicitly allowed, it is expressly forbidden. Hail the Almighty State!

    2. “Prohibition IS the absence of legalization”

      Wow. That is incredibly stupid and backwards. Are you really saying that the natural state is that everything is prohibited?

      Sandy, do you really fail to see that prohibition is simply immoral? Ending slavery was also difficult to do, was politically dangerous and had plenty of negative effects on the country, but it was still unquestionably the right thing to do.

      1. oncogenesis–
        “Prohibition IS the absence of legalization.

        Because if it isn’t explicitly allowed, it is expressly forbidden. Hail the Almighty State!”

        strawman and you know it. If there are no laws banning something, it’s legal. You remove current drug laws, drugs become legal. Learn some logic.

      2. Slavery cannot be compared to drugs. That’s moronic.

        1. True. But it can be compared to drug prohibition, as I did above. I would agree that slavery is a worse crime against humanity than drug prohibition, but it is a difference in degree, not in kind.

  23. “Economists, like weathermen, use flawed models and are not fired for bad predictions.” You sound like a creationist. Ignoring expert opinion is the last resort of ideologues. By your logic we disregard the economic arguments in favor of legalization.

    –OMG. So how do you explain the fact only 16% of economists support legalizing drugs?

    Correctionn: Last post should read “non-libertarian” in second paragraph.

    1. Sandy, nobody here gives a fuck about the economic arguments for or against legalization. The libertarian case against prohibition is about self ownership and personal autonomy.

  24. oncogenesis–
    “Prohibition IS the absence of legalization.

    Because if it isn’t explicitly allowed, it is expressly forbidden. Hail the Almighty State!”

    strawman and you know it. If there are no laws banning something, it’s legal. You remove current drug laws, drugs become legal. Learn some logic.

    1. Learn some logic.

      Now that’s funny.

  25. I don’t have anywhere else to put this … but I’ve just been shocked to discover that Obama’s mom’s research is libertarian.

    Check this out:……html?_r=1
    Based on these observations, Dr. Soetoro concluded that underdevelopment in these communities resulted from a scarcity of capital, the allocation of which was a matter of politics, not culture. Antipoverty programs that ignored this reality had the potential, perversely, of exacerbating inequality because they would only reinforce the power of elites. As she wrote in her dissertation, “many government programs inadvertently foster stratification by channeling resources through village officials,” who then used the money to further strengthen their own status.

    These same observations also led her to start working with institutions like the Ford Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development to devise alternate pathways for reaching and working with the poor. She helped to pioneer microcredit programs that made small amounts of capital available to weavers, blacksmiths and other low-income groups ? people who would otherwise have had no access to credit.

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