Foreign Policy

If Qaddafi Wins, Can Fitty Keep His Money?

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With great hotness comes great responsibility.

"Artists may find themselves standing on the wrong side of an ethical line if political circumstances shift suddenly," warn the Los Angeles Times' Reed Johnson and Rick Rojas in a report on the "potential ethical breaches" of pop stars who play private gigs for dictators and their family members.

Since Saif Qaddafi emerged as the Simon Cowell of dictators' sons, performers like Mariah Carey, Beyoncé Knowles and 50 Cent are finding they won't get rich and may die tryin' when they perform for foreign potentates. Since the start of the Libyan civil war, they and other songbirds have been pressured to give away the million-dollar paychecks they received for playing for the family of Libya's Brotherly Leader Moammar Qaddafi. Johnson and Rojas say the stars are "tempted by fat fees and all-expense-paid trips by private jet to a remote tropical island or luxury resort." Among the rogues gallery of music fans: "Fortune 500 corporations, Wall Street tycoons and nouveau-riche developing-world businessmen." Also Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, whose croaking cover of "Blueberry Hill" at a star-studded charity concert will live in infamy.

The article does not really question the idea that performers have an ethical responsibility in choosing their audiences, but since it's always about Sting around here, I'm interested to see the King of Pain giving a provocative dissent:

Sting, for his part, offered no public mea culpa for playing the Uzbekistan concert [for the daughter of dictator Islam Karimov], for which the former lead singer of the Police, well-known for his concert work on behalf of human rights and ecological causes, reportedly pocketed as much as 2 million British pounds. Sting later said he was "well aware of the Uzbek president's appalling reputation in the field of human rights as well as the environment. I made the decision to play there in spite of that."

"I have come to believe," the rock star declared, "that cultural boycotts are not only pointless gestures, they are counterproductive, where proscribed states are further robbed of the open commerce of ideas and art and as a result become even more closed, paranoid and insular."

Even Richie Cunningham did a better job singing this song.

I don't think either the L.A. Times' scolding or Sting's inflated sense of his own diplomatic powers really applies. On this matter I agree with Hitler. When news surfaced that some of his favorite artists had signed a communist pamphlet, the easygoing Führer waved the matter off, saying, "I don't take any of that seriously. We should never judge artists by their political views. The imagination they need for their work deprives them of the ability to think in realistic terms. Artists are simple-hearted souls. Today they sign this, tomorrow that; they don't even look to see what it is, so long as it seems to them well-meaning."

Even if you grant performers an informed interest in politics, it doesn't follow that they have an obligation to tailor their careers around it. In the 1980s, a group of musicians joined Silvio from The Sopranos in singing their refusal to play concerts in then-segregated South Africa. The musical result was poor, and the gesture had the same effect as the proverbial pee-pee in a dark suit. But to the extent the action showed real political engagement it was because it was done by choice. Other people played Sun City with little financial damage.

Even assuming Qaddafi is so toxic you can't with sound conscience take his dinars, that didn't just become the case a few weeks ago. That Qaddafi was an enthusiastic murderer of his own citizens and those of other countries has been known for decades. And those other countries include the United States. Unlike Saddam Hussein, Raoul Cédras, Slobodan Milosevic and other strongmen the United States has attacked, Qaddafi has a well established record of killing Americans. In the middle of the last decade the American and British governments – in a shameful attempt to make it look like the Forward Strategy of Freedom was working – tried to rehabilitate Qaddafi. But diplomacy doesn't change facts. If you believe Qaddafi is untouchable now, you had no excuse for not believing it before.

And if it didn't bother you before, that just means you haven't let politics colonize one of the few areas of freedom our insect overlords still allow us: performing music. Which is how it should be, because artists are simple-hearted souls. You should have kept those loonies, Nelly Furtado.

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  1. Playing concerts for oppressed crowds that paid for the tickets with their own money is one thing but giving private concerts for dictators means that you’re helping them spend the money they stole from their people.

    1. Or that you’re taking it away from them.

      1. I guess it could be ok as long as you don’t sing too well. That clears 50 and Beyonce. I hope Sting was lazy and/or hungover when he did his show.

  2. This just confirms my belief, Hitler was a hipster.

      1. better at putting people to sleep

      2. rather|3.12.11 @ 9:35PM|#
        “worthless self-promo”

        Thank you, rather, you’re good at that.
        We’ve all met people who presume importance for little matters; the high-school quarter back, the hall monitors, the kid who excelled in home-ec.
        Personally I’ve never before encountered a twit who presumed such importance over being born as one sex over the other.
        You’re licking the floor when you set the bar this low; sucking whale shit is next.

        1. lol, I’m so not into coprophilia but hey, whatever sevo, good luck with Epi

          1. rather|3.12.11 @ 10:49PM|#
            “lol,”

            ‘Nuff said.

      3. I’ll never know.

    1. This just confirms my belief, Hitler was a hipster.

      Well, he was a failed artist. That alone makes your hypothesis 92.6% true.

  3. Wait, so that’s it. We’ve given up on ousting Qaddafi. BUT WE WERE SO CLOSE!

    I’m not kidding when I say I blame the state of Wisconsin and tsunamis in general.

    1. I continue to blame Bush

      1. Just don’t blame me. I did nothing.

  4. I didn’t know Beyonce was a Kennedy

  5. Sting, for his part, offered no public mea culpa for playing the Uzbekistan concert…pocketed as much as 2 million British pounds. Sting later said he was “well aware of the Uzbek president’s appalling reputation in the field of human rights as well as the environment. I made the decision to play there in spite of that.”

    Do what I say, not as I do makes Sting a typical Libertarian

    1. I take that back, it makes him a fucking whore like me.

      1. Congrats on your new job. Brandeis to professional whoredom Helle is quite a step bend down but won’t your mommy be mad about all the tuition she paid?

        1. It really hurts me when you credit a little boy with a small dick with all my hard work…

          1. OK, I will refer to you as helle’s bitch-do you feel better?

            BTW, helle visits my blog

              1. Hmm, I think he takes testosterone. My little wooden test-tube boy wants to grow-up and be a man -Just like the guy who spooged into a vial to create him!

                I keep on telling Helleocchio, the dick fairy will come one night, and he will be able to do a daddy too

                1. See? I told you I talk like a retard…

                  1. Even I don’t understand what you’re saying. And I’m you!

                    1. Baby, you bore me-I wrote it for helle. He loves to pretend he incifed me.

                      You on the other hand, don’t give me anything to play with.

                      Helle’s my favorite test-tube baby who sends me hate mail on the Brandeis server and then pretends it is another little boy.

                    2. Baby, you bore me-I wrote it for helle. He loves to pretend he incifed me.

                      You on the other hand, don’t give me anything to play with. Helle’s my favorite test-tube baby who sends me hate mail on the Brandeis server and then pretends it is another little boy.

                    3. I haven’t even seen anyone named “helle” here. I guess I’m not only retarded but hallucinating too!

  6. Please work in reference to Larry Hagman’s popularity in Romania. Somehow it seems related, and it’s been at least a month or two since it’s been mentioned on H&R – it feels overdue.

    Also, Elton John played at Rush Limbaugh’s, what, 5th? wedding. So there’s no limit to the depths…

    1. Rush Limbaugh is the moral equivalent of a mass-murdering Islamic dictator?

      1. Limbaugh is WORSE than any mass-murdering dictator who even existed, except Hitler (Stalin and Lenin and Mao had no choice).

  7. If I had to give up listening to or reading the works of artists I disagreed with, I doubt I would have any entertainment whatsoever.

    OTOH, an artist is perfectly free not to make his work available to those he disapproves of.

  8. Aresen|3.12.11 @ 10:05PM|#
    “If I had to give up listening to or reading the works of artists I disagreed with, I doubt I would have any entertainment whatsoever.”

    Could be, but that’s not the point. The point is the hypocrisy of ‘artists’ such as Sting.
    He claims that “We are a global village…” ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/the…..ics/sting/ ) in a PR effort to promote his ‘sensitivity’ to African poverty, and then turns around and takes personal payment for performing for a thug.
    Some ‘sensitivity’.

    1. The more money Gadqahadaffy spent on music acts, the less money he has available for torture implements and things to kill people with. Though Avril Lavigne might fall into both categories.

      1. Tulpa|3.12.11 @ 10:46PM|#
        “The more money Gadqahadaffy spent on music acts, the less money he has available for torture implements and things to kill people with.”

        Killing is cheap. Stalin and Mao proved that.
        Hoping that his $Xmn spent on some crooner is keeping bullets from his thugs is asking a lot.
        And it’s aside from Sting’s hypocrisy.

      2. Though Avril Lavigne might fall into both categories.

        I can think of worse ways to die.

        1. Justin Bieber. Michael Buble. Just to name two.

          The fact that music like this gets exported from Canada is proof that the Canadians have no qualms about committing crimes against humanity. 😉

          1. Spencer Krug alone absolves Canada of both Bieber and Buble.

  9. I don’t really care if glitterati entertain presidents and dictators.

    It is, however, annoying when they come back home and gush over how wonderful they are … like they do about Castro and Obama.

    1. Yes, I have to agree. I generally think it’s not worth bothering about. Then along comes someone like Sean Penn, gushing about Castro and Chavez, and I’d like to cast him (and del Toro) in a movie about the Cuban revolution – as Che’s victims. If I was feeling especially kind that day, I might even give the firing squad actors blanks.

  10. Once you get past the whole genocide and warmongering side of his personality, Hitler wasn’t actually that bad of a guy.

    1. I have to admit, I didn’t ever think I would hear any words of consequence from Adolf’s lips that wouldn’t make me shudder.

      But, I agree with Tim. That is a fairly inciteful quote.

      1. Hitler was known for his ability to incite…

        1. Hitler was known for his ability to incite…

          Don’t be a putch. (grins)

  11. Tulpa|3.12.11 @ 10:41PM|#
    “Once you get past the whole genocide and warmongering side of his personality, Hitler wasn’t actually that bad of a guy”

    Yeah, but he couldn’t get a band and didn’t have a PR agency to pitch his ‘sensitivity’.
    Whata loser!

  12. Artists Congresscreatures are simple-hearted souls. Today they sign this, tomorrow that; they don’t even look to see what it is, so long as it seems to them well-meaning.

    FTFY

  13. I do love how so many “stars” rush to give back the money now. What’s changed since they took the money in the first place?

    Pinheads…

    1. the favor of their fans

      1. Narcissistic personality disorder

        U.S. National Library of Medicine
        National Institutes of Health
        National Center for Biotechnology Information
        U.S. National Library of Medicine
        National Institutes of Health

        Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
        Causes, incidence, and risk factors

        The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

        Symptoms

        A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

        * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

        * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

        * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

        * Exaggerate achievements and talents

        * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

        * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

        * Need constant attention and admiration

        * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

        * Have obsessive self-interest

        * Pursue mainly selfish goals

        Link to my blog.

  14. I decided to google the Hitler quote and a result was another website ripping off this blog post in its entirety.

    1. do you mean the one that posted If Qaddafi Wins, Can Fitty Keep His Money?
      Posted on 12th March 2011 by Reason Magazine-nothing wrong with that; they credited teh Reason

    2. Well the ones I just found didn’t steal the alt-text…

    3. Reason doesn’t believe in IP, so no big deal.

      1. Plagiarism isn’t an IP issue it’s an ethical issue. Lots of literature is public domain but I wouldn’t suggest using it without citation in a paper.

        Besides, I don’t think Reason has a institutional position on IP (unless you can cite one?) though I would imagine individual writers here have varying takes on the issue.

        1. Tulpa doesn’t believe in disclaimers, either.

  15. Almanian|3.12.11 @ 11:27PM|#
    “What’s changed since they took the money in the first place?”

    I’d guess it’s nothing more than someone pointing out the hypocrisy.
    Unless it’s their tax advisers saying they can’t afford the extra income, since it’ll kick ‘me up to the next marginal tax rate. Could be that.

  16. Which is how it should be, because artists are simple-hearted souls.

    You know who else thought artists were simple-hearted souls?

    1. On this matter I agree with Hitler.

      You know who else agreed with Hitler?

      1. hellerectal?

      2. Mark David Chapman?

  17. surprise surprise. rectalheller wreck yet another thread.

    1. I haven’t even comment on this thread.

      1. Me neither. You fucking mendacious douches.

          1. Narcissistic personality disorder

            U.S. National Library of Medicine
            National Institutes of Health
            National Center for Biotechnology Information
            U.S. National Library of Medicine
            National Institutes of Health

            Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
            Causes, incidence, and risk factors

            The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

            Symptoms

            A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

            * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

            * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

            * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

            * Exaggerate achievements and talents

            * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

            * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

            * Need constant attention and admiration

            * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

            * Have obsessive self-interest

            * Pursue mainly selfish goals

            Link to my blog.

    2. On the positive side, this is the thread that finally made me install the INCF.

      1. Good, you bore me too

        1. Narcissistic personality disorder

          U.S. National Library of Medicine
          National Institutes of Health
          National Center for Biotechnology Information
          U.S. National Library of Medicine
          National Institutes of Health

          Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
          Causes, incidence, and risk factors

          The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

          Symptoms

          A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

          * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

          * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

          * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

          * Exaggerate achievements and talents

          * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

          * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

          * Need constant attention and admiration

          * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

          * Have obsessive self-interest

          * Pursue mainly selfish goals

          Link to my blog.

  18. I got the first two sentences into this blogpost and knew– knew that somehow the eighties “We Are the World” era would be brought into it, and Tim didn’t disappoint. Even though that entire era was the biggest musical disappointment in the history of music.

    1. that entire era was the biggest musical disappointment in the history of music.

      Worse than now? You’ve got to be kidding me. I know, the kids tell me you just have to search wider for the good music these days and not just listen to the radio, but I don’t see it.

      1. Generally, yes. And I would agree with the kids. There’s some really great stuff out there, but you won’t hear it on mainstream radio– which has gone down the tubes over the last decade.

        Try here.

        Go to their streaming archives section. I’d be stunned if you couldn’t find something you’d like.

        1. Also note in the lower right panel they offer ‘free song of the day’ which you can listen to off the site or download the mp3. Always something worth a listen and download there.

        2. Hell, even if you think mainstream radio has gone down the tubes over the last decade, I’d suggest it’s still better than the “We Are the World” era. Your original point was right without qualification.

          1. Right, because there was no underground music scene in the 80’s. It was all Milli Vanilli and Corey Hart.

            If you went toe to toe on any genre (except pop), the music of the 80’s was far superior to today’s crap.

            1. Ill take Madonna over KeUSDha, so no reason to make the pop exception.

            2. This is simply not true if you’re into electronic music…but there is still plenty of good rock today (QotSA and other Josh Homme projects, Wolfmother, etc), and while hip-hop is kinda sucking right now, there is good stuff every now and then.

  19. Holy Smokes man that girl is fine. Wow.

    http://www.anon-tools.es.tc

    1. I had Lung Bung once, but it cleared up nicely after I started using mouthwash regularly.

    1. Don’t be such a bitch, I should know.

    2. I remember the old days when trolling was done for its own sake and the blog whores were subtle. Now we’ve got Rectal being all ‘Fuck you! Pay attention to me! Read my blog! Fuck you!’ She’s like some sort of troll-whore and it’s hard to tell which is the means and which is the end.

      1. That’s right bitch-I write the rules. You are here for my entertainment, not yours.

        1. Narcissistic personality disorder

          U.S. National Library of Medicine
          National Institutes of Health
          National Center for Biotechnology Information
          U.S. National Library of Medicine
          National Institutes of Health

          Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
          Causes, incidence, and risk factors

          The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

          Symptoms

          A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

          * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

          * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

          * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

          * Exaggerate achievements and talents

          * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

          * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

          * Need constant attention and admiration

          * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

          * Have obsessive self-interest

          * Pursue mainly selfish goals

          Link to my blog.

          1. Be creative jackass-you bore me too

            1. Narcissistic personality disorder

              U.S. National Library of Medicine
              National Institutes of Health
              National Center for Biotechnology Information
              U.S. National Library of Medicine
              National Institutes of Health

              Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
              Causes, incidence, and risk factors

              The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

              Symptoms

              A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

              * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

              * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

              * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

              * Exaggerate achievements and talents

              * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

              * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

              * Need constant attention and admiration

              * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

              * Have obsessive self-interest

              * Pursue mainly selfish goals

              Link to my blog.

              1. I bet you have trouble satisfying a woman in bed too. You see, when a woman says you are boring -she means your dick is too small write something creative, or don’t bother

                1. Narcissistic personality disorder

                  U.S. National Library of Medicine
                  National Institutes of Health
                  National Center for Biotechnology Information
                  U.S. National Library of Medicine
                  National Institutes of Health

                  Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
                  Causes, incidence, and risk factors

                  The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

                  Symptoms

                  A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

                  * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

                  * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

                  * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

                  * Exaggerate achievements and talents

                  * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

                  * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

                  * Need constant attention and admiration

                  * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

                  * Have obsessive self-interest

                  * Pursue mainly selfish goals

                  Link to my blog.

                  1. lol, I need to mail your wife/GF/sheep a vibrator-no hope for you old dog

                    1. Narcissistic personality disorder

                      U.S. National Library of Medicine
                      National Institutes of Health
                      National Center for Biotechnology Information
                      U.S. National Library of Medicine
                      National Institutes of Health

                      Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
                      Causes, incidence, and risk factors

                      The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

                      Symptoms

                      A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

                      * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

                      * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

                      * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

                      * Exaggerate achievements and talents

                      * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

                      * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

                      * Need constant attention and admiration

                      * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

                      * Have obsessive self-interest

                      * Pursue mainly selfish goals

                      Link to my blog.

                    2. I miss LoneWacko….

                    3. Menstrual Psychosis

                      IAN BROCKINGTON
                      World Psychiatry. 2005 February; 4(1): 9?17.
                      PMCID: PMC1414712
                      Copyright World Psychiatric Association

                      Menstrual psychosis has the following characteristics: a) acute onset, against a background of normality; b) brief duration, with full recovery; c) psychotic features: confusion, stupor and mutism, delusions, hallucinations, or a manic syndrome; d) a circa-mensual (approximately monthly) periodicity, in rhythm with the menstrual cycle.
                      Premenstrual tension and depression, or the menstrual exacerbation of chronic mental illness, are excluded.
                      Many of the cases described in the literature are based on retrospective accounts, reports from relatives and prospective studies without adequate duration or dating. These are considered possible cases. For a confirmed case, there must be enough detail on the onset of menses and psychosis to perform statistical tests, indicating a probability of

  20. “I agree with Hitler” ~Tim Cavanaugh, 3/12/11, Reason.com

  21. Okay, I clicked through to the Putin vid. WTF did you do to me, Tim? I’ll never trust you again.

  22. “We should never judge artists by their political views. […] Artists are simple-hearted souls.”

    Cool… I don’t have to feel dirty for liking The Clash or Billy Bragg or New Model Army anymore!

  23. “On this matter I agree with Hitler.”
    Best. Sentence. Ever.

    Prepare to be quoted out of context though, Tim.

  24. Off-topic, but if I were a black person, I would be insulted and angry because of this. But that’s just me.

    On-topic:
    Tim, some of your fellow journalists are going to use that one sentence out of context in an effort to smear you. It WILL happen. Even if Hitler had said “Hey, the sky is blue today!” back in 1942, you’re not supposed to agree with him.

    1. if I were a black person, I would be insulted and angry because of this

      What is the “passing score” to get a job at the Department of Justice?

    2. The local NAACP guy didn’t really seem angry, but did seem a bit insulted.

      1. He said he didn’t support the measure. I’ll take it.

    3. >>”Off-topic, but if I were a black person, I would be insulted and angry because of this.”

      I didn’t have time to read yet another article about the Obama presidency so I had to give this one a pass.

  25. I swear, the only people I hear call 50 Cent “Fitty” are awkward white people trying to be funny …

    1. ….I’m a clueless peckerwood.

      1. I call him “4-bits”…

        1. Timmy Geithner and the Bernanke call him a dollar seventy five.

    2. We have regulations against that much smug in one sentence.

    3. You obviously haven’t been around that many white 17yr/old rap fans pathetically trying to be hip hopsters.

      1. You best step off, bitch. No-wh-im-sayin’? You got’s to reconize me and my niggaz, bitch. Else i’m gonna cap yo ass.

        Do somethin’!

        1. Pull up your pants, for heaven’s sake, and get a job! Darn kids with their newfangled transistors and borg culture! Where’s my prunes?

  26. Artists tend to be retardeds with over inflated egos. (same with sports stars)

  27. “Fortune 500 corporations, Wall Street tycoons and nouveau-riche developing-world businessmen…”

    …are every bit as odious as Qaddafi?

    1. Put a noose around their necks! I’m looking for someone’s ass to kick!

  28. Speaking of retards with overinflated egos, Mitch Mcconnell is on my teevee right now.

    I hate that guy.

  29. Surprised there’s no on-going discussion here of the nuclear emergency in Japan.

    I’ve been following this as closely as I can, and things are obviously not good. At a peak radiation concentration measured at the plant of 1557 ?Sv (equiv. to several chest x-rays), it’s clear there hasn’t been a massive release–yet.

    While I was too quick to jump on rather on Friday for “spreading panic”–something about which I now wish I had held my tongue–I do stand by my initial reaction that panicking on little information is a vain act. However, smoothing things over based on too little information is an equal or worse transgression.

    The Japanese government seems to have been, up until now, reluctant to release actual numbers, which has been quite frustrating. All you see in the press are qualitative statements, with no data to back them up. I’m glad to see some actual numbers coming out.

    I am less encouraged to see the number of anti-nuclear protests this has spawned–the quotes from many of the protesters are born of ignorance–people in Germany, for instance, saying that the same things could happen there as in Japan. Completely ignoring (or ignorant of) the differences between the types of plants, and especially the relative seismological risk.

    1. It’s especially sad that this will probably quash the incipient drive in Congress to force the Obamarrhoids administration to re-open Yucca Mountain for nuke wastes. Even though if we’re going to be worried about something in light of this disaster, it should be decades worth of waste sitting in steel cannisters next to every nuke plant in America.

      1. I live 7 miles up the river from Beaver Valley 1 and 2. Also used to work for the company that owns and operates them. That swimming pool is far from full. But it makes more sense to put it in the ground. Actually it makes more sense to reprocess it but that’s another political fuck-up.

        1. Apparently the DoE’s response to the problem of increased radiation from the “swimming pools” has been to quietly raise the safety limits every few years on how much radiation they’re allowed to emit.

          1. Apparently the other DoE’s response to the problem of increased radiation stupidity from the “swimming pools” public schools has been to quietly raise lower the safety limits education standards every few years on how much radiation retardation they’re allowed to emit let slip through the cracks.

      2. Gosh I hope Congress pushes for Yucca Mountain as the Dems could use picking up Nevada’s electoral votes in 2012…

        Seriously though, while I’ve been fond of nuclear power as an alternative given the carbon concerns of late this kind of thing is why I don’t think anti-nuke folks are just nutty Luddittes. The disaster scenarios for nuclear power sources seem somewhat rightly more concerning than a coal plant or whatever.

        1. The problem with the hard-line anti-nuke crowd is that through their actions it becomes impossible to research, develop, and refine safer nuclear systems. Their argument is not “we need safer nuclear power,” it’s “NO NUKES, period.”

          That is not workable, and it’s terribly foolish to simply close the door on all things nuclear.

          1. Abolitionists of all sorts jump on any safety issues, even those which are probably correctable, as justification for a total ban.

            This is common to nuke opponents, pro-lifers (disclosure: I am one), gun banners, food nannies, etc. And here on Reason, we have death penalty opponents who do precisely that.

            1. But, but…teh cildrenz, Tulpa, teh childrenz!!

              1. There was a case in the news here in Western PA last week about a pregnant woman getting murdered.

                It amazes me that most of the people who would oppose executing the guy who murdered this woman, would at the same time support the killing of the fetus for the crime of occupying her womb.

                1. Unless it was the state killing the fetus, you’d get a giant boner over that.

                  1. I expected more from you than an ad hom, L. And a false one at that, since it’s pretty tough for a fetus to commit a capital crime.

                    1. Oh Yeah?

                      Don’t take it personally. My spring break is over now and I left myself a shit ton of work, so I’m feeling salty right now.

                2. It amazes me that most of the people who would oppose executing the guy who murdered this woman because the state has proven it cannot be trusted with this power, would at the same time support the killing removal of the fetus, which they do not believe to be a living human being

                  Try that.

                  1. The removal comes after the killing in all but the earliest abortions. And even the bona fide “removals” are just as much killing as dropping someone out of an airplane with no parachute.

                    1. You are expecting us to accept your contention that the fetus is a human being prima facie. We don’t. The burden is on you to prove this, which you haven’t. I’m only using birth as a ‘safety point.’ I could be persuaded to okay infanticide if pro-infanticiders could prove to me that there is no personhood in an infant and then find were the infant becomes a person.

        2. This is precisely the dysfunction of the political system now. You give no reason to actually be concerned about storing wastes at Yucca, but are chomping at the bit to politically destroy anyone from the other team who tries to make it happen.

          1. Could that be a good reason, Tulpa? We don’t need no stinkin’ scientific reasons.

        3. I wonder how many deaths have occurred related to coal mining compared to nuclear accidents. I’m thinking with tailings damn failures Coal is starting off at easily 100+ deaths, from the top of my head.

          Chernobyl is in a league of its own for stupidity and poor handling. I’d treat it as an outlier and not something that would occur (refering to the accident and subsequent cleanup) in the US or Japan.

          1. Chernobyl was also partially a result of poor reactor design. An example of needing safer nukes, not NO nukes.

        4. I don’t think anti-nuke folks are just nutty Luddittes

          Anti-nuke activists tend to be. Lots of people who aren’t activists have legitimate concerns, of course.

    2. Haven’t the videos of all that looting and raping going on in Japan been just awful? Just like New Orleans? Oh, wait…

      1. Racis….oh, wait….

      2. We should put them all in camps to stop them. For their safety of course.

      3. I’m pretty sure that looting and raping went on in the rest of Asia. Videos?

      4. all that looting and raping going on in Japan been just awful?

        The correct Japanese term is bukkake.

        1. That’s not true. There are no giant plants in bukkake.

    3. While I was too quick to jump on rather on Friday for “spreading panic”–something about which I now wish I had held my tongue–I do stand by my initial reaction that panicking on little information is a vain act. However, smoothing things over based on too little information is an equal or worse transgression.

      I sentence you to read my blog everyday for a year

      1. Not going to happen.

          1. https://reason.com/blog/2011/03…..nt_2178927
            sometimes withholding important information from the public for fear of “spreading panic.”
            If you reread my post, my point is that they announced virtually after the quake the no-damage report.
            It looks like you’re trying to criticize for something I never implied; I wrote only facts that related to the story. You replied with unmerited critique based on your psychic ‘expertise’, or maybe you know someone there?

            1. They were making energy at the time-no way to inspect/conclude in the short time period.

              BTW, I advocate NE, and still do

              1. Narcissistic personality disorder

                U.S. National Library of Medicine
                National Institutes of Health
                National Center for Biotechnology Information
                U.S. National Library of Medicine
                National Institutes of Health

                Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
                Causes, incidence, and risk factors

                The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

                Symptoms

                A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

                * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

                * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

                * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

                * Exaggerate achievements and talents

                * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

                * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

                * Need constant attention and admiration

                * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

                * Have obsessive self-interest

                * Pursue mainly selfish goals

                Link to my blog.

                1. That one may be going away (and good riddance) in DSM V.

                  1. Not this one though

                    Menstrual Psychosis

                    IAN BROCKINGTON
                    World Psychiatry. 2005 February; 4(1): 9?17.
                    PMCID: PMC1414712
                    Copyright World Psychiatric Association

                    Menstrual psychosis has the following characteristics: a) acute onset, against a background of normality; b) brief duration, with full recovery; c) psychotic features: confusion, stupor and mutism, delusions, hallucinations, or a manic syndrome; d) a circa-mensual (approximately monthly) periodicity, in rhythm with the menstrual cycle.
                    Premenstrual tension and depression, or the menstrual exacerbation of chronic mental illness, are excluded.
                    Many of the cases described in the literature are based on retrospective accounts, reports from relatives and prospective studies without adequate duration or dating. These are considered possible cases. For a confirmed case, there must be enough detail on the onset of menses and psychosis to perform statistical tests, indicating a probability of less than 0.01. I have used a non-parametric and a parametric test. In both, the mean intermenstrual interval is calculated. In the non-parametric test, two episodes are used to define an interval within which the psychosis starts (the spread of onsets), and the number of episodes with exact timing is counted: p = (a/b)n-2, where a = spread of onsets in days, b = mean inter-menstrual interval in days, n = number of timed episodes. In the parametric test, where x = mean onset of psychosis, ? = half the intermenstrual interval, s = standard deviation of the onsets of psychosis, n = number of timed episodes. This is referred to the t-distribution with n-1 degrees of freedom.

                    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm…..MC1414712/

          2. Narcissistic personality disorder

            U.S. National Library of Medicine
            National Institutes of Health
            National Center for Biotechnology Information
            U.S. National Library of Medicine
            National Institutes of Health

            Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
            Causes, incidence, and risk factors

            The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

            Symptoms

            A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

            * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

            * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

            * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

            * Exaggerate achievements and talents

            * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

            * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

            * Need constant attention and admiration

            * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

            * Have obsessive self-interest

            * Pursue mainly selfish goals

            Link to my blog.

      2. You don’t really know how to take an apology gracefully, do you?

        1. was that an apology? You have got to be fucking kidding.

          something about which I now wish I had held my tongue– [man language translator: I’m wrong but it was my tongues fault, or the speed of light’s fault but hell, I can’t just say sorry, I am wrong or my left nut will fall off]

          I do stand by my initial reaction that panicking on little information is a vain act [man translator: blame my error on you,; even though you didn’t panic, and you were correct to respond it was too soon to know but I’m a guy so I need to protect my ego, and cant just say. I was wrong, sorry.]

          1. Narcissistic personality disorder

            U.S. National Library of Medicine
            National Institutes of Health
            National Center for Biotechnology Information
            U.S. National Library of Medicine
            National Institutes of Health

            Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
            Causes, incidence, and risk factors

            The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

            Symptoms

            A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

            * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

            * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

            * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

            * Exaggerate achievements and talents

            * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

            * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

            * Need constant attention and admiration

            * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

            * Have obsessive self-interest

            * Pursue mainly selfish goals

            Link to my blog.

            1. I love that you look for my posts-It reminds me of my other pets.

              What should I call you?

              1. Narcissistic personality disorder

                U.S. National Library of Medicine
                National Institutes of Health
                National Center for Biotechnology Information
                U.S. National Library of Medicine
                National Institutes of Health

                Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves.
                Causes, incidence, and risk factors

                The causes of this disorder are unknown. An overly sensitive personality and parenting problems may affect the development of this disorder.

                Symptoms

                A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

                * React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

                * Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

                * Have excessive feelings of self-importance

                * Exaggerate achievements and talents

                * Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

                * Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

                * Need constant attention and admiration

                * Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

                * Have obsessive self-interest

                * Pursue mainly selfish goals

                Link to my blog.

                1. I think I’ll call you Dr. Whodayathinkshrink or Dr. who for short

                  1. Menstrual Psychosis

                    IAN BROCKINGTON
                    World Psychiatry. 2005 February; 4(1): 9?17.
                    PMCID: PMC1414712
                    Copyright World Psychiatric Association

                    Menstrual psychosis has the following characteristics:

                    a) acute onset, against a background of normality;

                    b) brief duration, with full recovery;

                    c) psychotic features: confusion, stupor and mutism, delusions, hallucinations, or a manic syndrome;

                    d) a circa-mensual (approximately monthly) periodicity, in rhythm with the menstrual cycle.

                    Premenstrual tension and depression, or the menstrual exacerbation of chronic mental illness, are excluded.

                    Many of the cases described in the literature are based on retrospective accounts, reports from relatives and prospective studies without adequate duration or dating. These are considered possible cases. For a confirmed case, there must be enough detail on the onset of menses and psychosis to perform statistical tests, indicating a probability of [less than] 0.01. I have used a non-parametric and a parametric test. In both, the mean intermenstrual interval is calculated. In the non-parametric test, two episodes are used to define an interval within which the psychosis starts (the spread of onsets), and the number of episodes with exact timing is counted: p = (a/b)n-2, where a = spread of onsets in days, b = mean inter-menstrual interval in days, n = number of timed episodes. In the parametric test, where x = mean onset of psychosis, ? = half the intermenstrual interval, s = standard deviation of the onsets of psychosis, n = number of timed episodes. This is referred to the t-distribution with n-1 degrees of freedom.

                    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm…..MC1414712/

      3. I call 8th amendment……

  30. Ugh, so tired today.

    Fucking daylight savings time, how does it work?

    1. Huh. I forgot about that.

    2. What is this day light savings time you speak of?

      1. “Saving” time. One s. Thank you.

  31. “Sting’s inflated sense of his own diplomatic powers really applies”

    Well, if you were on the receiving end of the Stinger splash or the Scorpion deathlock you may have a new respect for his powers.

    1. The Scorpion death lock had to be about the coolest move (north of the border) since the Camel Clutch.*

      *The figure-four leg lock predates both and will always be the greatest move ever. Whooooooooo!

  32. (Reuters) – U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against the Cuban state, state-run television reported on Saturday, in the latest setback to relations between two Cold War enemies.

    A panel of judges reached the decision after a two-day trial last week in which prosecutors said Gross was involved in what the government described as a U.S.-funded “subversive project” to “topple the Revolution.”

    The case was the latest flare-up in U.S.-Cuba relations that have been sour since a 1959 revolution put Fidel Castro in power.

    Gross, 61, was convicted of “acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state” for working to set up clandestine Internet networks for Cuba dissidents using “sophisticated” communications technology.

    Prosecutors sought a 20-year sentence for the longtime development worker, who has been jailed since his arrest in Havana on December 3, 2009.

    Just the other day, somebody was telling me how he wants to go to Cuba and see the Paradise before it’s destroyed (by freedom).

    Fucking hipsters- how do they sleep?

    1. It is the stupidity. The stupid always sleep well.

    2. The outcry from the State Department is deafening.

    3. I know a couple of lefties who will say he got what he deserved for trying to accelerate Cuba’s fall into the materialist consumer culture that America has foisted on the rest of the world.

      1. Please slap them on my behalf

        1. Slap? Punch ’em in the fucking face.

  33. In the middle of the last decade the American and British governments ? in a shameful attempt to make it look like the Forward Strategy of Freedom was working ? tried to rehabilitate Qaddafi.

    The US made a deal in order to get him to dismantle his farther-along-than-we-thought nuclear program, and we did succeed in that. Are you suggesting that that was a terrible idea as well, Tim? I thought it was one of the popular alternatives to actually going to war.

    Just as avoiding politics in performing music means accepting money from tyrants, being antiwar occasionally means “rehabilitating” evil tyrants. Constantly calling tyrants evil increases the chance of fighting wars against them.

    Oh well, just confirming the truth that some people will bitch no matter what you do.

    1. Constantly calling tyrants evil increases the chance of fighting wars against them.

      While I am not in favor of getting militarily involved in Libya, I would say this: Constantly doing evil things increases the chances of tyrants having war made upon them (by internal or external forces). And Gaddafi has been doing some seriously evil things.

    2. Just as avoiding politics in performing music means accepting money from tyrants

      Wait, what? Quietly declining a gig does not constitute “politics in performing music”. Hell, even loudly declining a gig from a reprobate like Qagahadfiey isn’t much of a political act, since it’s not exactly a controversial stance here in the free world.

      1. Well, that’s apparently Tim’s argument, if you read the post. To wit:

        And if it didn’t bother you before, that just means you haven’t let politics colonize one of the few areas of freedom our insect overlords still allow us: performing music. Which is how it should be, because artists are simple-hearted souls.

        He’s pretty definitely arguing that artists should absolutely *not* quietly or loudly decline a gig from reprobate.

  34. I apparently won’t have prolix pontificator and class warrior Frank Rich Roger Elizabeth de Bris to kick around anymore.

    Bummer.

  35. I think we should send the First lady to Tripoli to admonish Quadeff Kudif What’s-His-Name.

    If you’re serious about stamping out bullying, why fuck around?

    1. No way. The last thing we want is for Chakduffi to eat more fruits and veggies and extend his life by 10 years.

      1. I can bully that muther-fucker into eating more veggies. I can kick his ass.

  36. Artists are simple-heartedminded souls.

  37. Fucking markets- how do they work?

    Mr. Obama said he had ordered a review of why oil companies aren’t producing more petroleum on federal land, and said his administration would monitor “any possible manipulation in the oil markets” and work with state governments to monitor for potential price gouging at the gas pump.

    Later-

    Mr. Obama called, as he has in the past, for stepped-up efforts to reduce oil consumption through conservation and new technology.

    What we need to do is keep prices LOW, as we hector the rubes to not overconsume.

    Genius!

    1. …that Mr Obama shithead is turning out to be! “All efforts directed towards new prosperity and technology will be heavily punished under my administration.”

  38. Oates never played Sun City, both by conscious decision and lack of invitation.

  39. This is really my very first time here, great looking it.

  40. Ya’all don’t expect me to return any of my Libyan loot now.

    1. I ain’t givin’ mine back, you devils.

      1. Whatcha lookin’ at ME for?

        1. You three are not artistes, so don’t worry about it.

          1. I thought the whole “Minister Farrakahn” charachter was a spinoff from a Saturday Night Live skit. You mean he’s a real guy?

            Holy shit.

  41. Nothing yet about the earthquake? What the fuck? Don’t you libertoid assholes do natural disasters? Privatize the fucking universe, and they won’t happen, right?

    1. Here’s one of several, dumbfuck.

      https://reason.com/blog/2011/03…..sunami-hit

    2. and 19 comments too, including this classic

      ?|3.11.11 @ 9:15AM|#
      You know it’s bad when even the Japanese drop their phones and run.

      I wrote about Jesse walker’s post here

  42. We don’t need any government regulation, voluntary self-policing private associations work so great!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03…..ggler.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02…..wanted=all

    1. Currently, government has a monopoly on “regulation” and “policing”. So, any “comparisons” are tenuous, at best. What I do know, is that government enforcement leaves much to be desired. In fact, the SEC just let Dick Fuld off the hook for accounting fraud. Fuck you, and your government.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/artic…..-105-fraud

      And while you are at it, read this.

      http://csinvestor.com/how-did-…..is-scheme/

    2. Fuck you. Read this, and then tell me how wonderful the government monopoly on regulation is so wonderful.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/artic…..-105-fraud

      1. Then read this:

        http://csinvestor.com/how-did-…..is-scheme/

        The SEC is a fucking joke. And you are a bad joke for supporting it. Fucking statists.

      2. Read this, and then tell me how wonderful the government monopoly on regulation is so wonderful.

        Then give this a look-see:

        http://bit.ly/fN1JxA

      3. Nothing to see here, folks. In no way does this contradict every claim I’ve beaten over your heads over the last two years. Move along.

    3. Contrast BBB’s treatment of those driver-scamming scoundrels (trashing their rating as soon as word got out) with the federal government’s handling of Fannie and Freddie.

  43. In the wake of what appears to be the evil murder of five Israeli settlers Israel responds with more eminent domain/public housing plans! What could go wrong?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03…..el.html?hp

    1. I don’t think you are going to find too many supporters of Israel, here. Try again.

      1. Are you kidding? You can barely throw a turd around here without soiling a Likud apologist.

        1. I haven’t seen underzog in a while.

          1. I haven’t seen underzog in a while.

            You may have just summoned him.

            1. Nahh, you have to say his name three times, not once, and the lights have to be off in the bathroom.

            2. Only those who have turned to the Dark Side can summon underzog.

        2. I felt a strange pull to this thread and whaddya know I’m here.

          I don’t care for the Settlers, but the idea that Israel is displacing bunches of people to build horrible stuff like homes, schools, and supermarkets is a myth. It’s done on empty land. There have been extremely few dispossessions and they were compensated. There was an excellent National Post article some time ago about this I will have to dig it up.

    2. Yes, the important thing to point out after a family is butchered by Palestinians is Israeli policy.

      Fucking morality, etc.

  44. Bullies 1, Truth 0

    State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley is stepping down under pressure from the White House regarding controvesial comments he made about the man accused of leaking secret cables to Wikileaks, according to a report.

    Crowley will step down as early as Sunday afternoon, CNN reported, because administration officials were furious with his suggestion they are mistreating Army Private Bradley Manning

    No word yet as to the fate of the “bad apples”.

    1. Why didn’t you include Obama’s response? At a press conference he said that he checked with the Pentagon and they assured him they weren’t violating Manning’s human rights. GWB would be proud.

    2. The comments over at The Hill are disturbing.

  45. NPD guy, you are 3x more annoying than rather. Knock it off.

    1. Sorry, I’ll try harder

  46. I really want a H&R pool for the NCAA Tournament. I’ll run one if anybody’s up for it.

    Any takers?

    1. I got Villanova.

      1. Here’s the link to the bracket I set up for H&R.

        http://reasonhnr.mayhem.cbssports.com/e

        Group name is: Hit & Run
        Password is: jacket

        I think it’s anonymous for those of you who don’t post your e-mail or blog addresses on here.

      2. I got Villanova.

        Wait, it’s an NIT bracket?

  47. he checked with the Pentagon and they assured him they weren’t violating Manning’s human rights. GWB would be proud.

    Well, yeah. And that thing about making him sleep nekkid is just a bunch of commie teabagger propaganda. They give him an awesome snuggie nightshirt with sleeves that tie in the back so he can’t strangle himself in his sleep.

  48. God damn!!! Is that Beyonc? smokin’ or what??? Any woman who looks like that could be taking kickbacks from Hitler and I still wouldn’t hold it against her. Well, I mean I certainly would hold it against her if I got the chance, but you know what I mean.

    1. Entirely possible that she is the most beauteous woman going. And as far as I know, its all natural.

      Of course, although (because?) she is beautiful and talented, she is also fairly nuts.

  49. Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i’ve been waited for so long.

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