Reason Morning Links: GOP Cold to Obama's Libya Speech, BP Officials May Be Charged With Manslaughter, Report Suggests Cheating at Improved D.C. Schools



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  1. There once was a mogul named Don…

    1. Who wisely avoided teh pron …

      1. Veto exercised.

  2. Donald Trump fails to produce a birth certificate.

    Where he’s from, on planet Buttugly, they don’t give birth certificates. No one will admit they’re from there, but in his case it’s impossible to hide.

    1. He was born on planet comb over but grew up on hairpiece.

      1. Some commentor on the Politico story actually questioned if his wife could even qualify to be the first lady because she was from Yugoslavia. Beautiful double-fail.

        1. I read that and thought it was sarcasm. Another person posited that he is KGB since his ex-wife is named Ivana and his daughter is Ivanka. He does seem to have a taste for Eastern European women.

          I got a good chuckle out of it.

        2. I’ll just leave this here:

          Double facepalm.


    Interesting take on the correlation between the rise in food prices and the unrest in the middle east, specifically Syria.

    It is the typical complete lack of understanding of second order effects. The the same Washington establishment dumb asses who are always preaching about stability seem to have no clue that theirs and Bernake’s hair brained scheme to inflate away the debt is creating the very instability they claim to abhore.

    1. “Spengler” has always been pessimistic. I still agree though with his general gist that there don’t seem to be any good options in the Muslim world.

      Didn’t American Thinker run an article a few weeks ago citing a lengthy letter from a guy claiming to be an Egyptian student, that put a lot of the blame for the Egyptian unrest on high food prices? High prices that were caused both by Mubarak loosening a lot of the price restrictions and other market controls, plus the general Fed-catalyzed rise in commodities prices?

      Nevermind, found it here:….._revo.html

  4. Friends don’t let friends work in finance.‘t-let-friends-get-into-finance/

    1. Why is the financial industry poaching engineers?

      I know a few engineers and they know fuck-all about finance.

      I am asking seriously, because a lot of them are looking for work and will be pleased to know that Goldman Sachs is hiring engineers(win the future).

      1. Because the companies can teach you about finance. They want people who have the quantitative skills of people in STEM fields to build models and design algorithms for trading.

        1. Is there a dearth of finance majors out there? Or do the finance programs not adequately teach the programming skillz that STEM peeps would have?

          1. Physicists and engineers are about the only people who get taught computational computing in undergrad.

        2. I thought the big boys were doing virtually all of their trading with computers already.

          1. Yes, but someone has to develop the model that the computer is going to implement and someone else is going to have to write the code. Computers only do what you tell them to do.

            1. Fucking computers, how do they work?

          2. Its an arms race. The game now is to build an algorithm that will beat the other guy’s algorithm.

            Concepts such as “value” are hopelessly outdated. The horizon is shrinking from end-of-the-day to end-of-the-minute.

            Forget having SkyNet in charge of defense. Its already taken over finance.

      2. Here are course descriptions for the MSCF program at Carnegie Mellon, which is typically regarded as one of the top such programs in the country, to give you an idea of the kind of stuff these companies want financial engineers to know.

        1. Looks like the stuff that the computational chemists, and physical biologists use, specifically in drug design/ protein modeling.

          Monte carlo, genetic programming, dynamic simulations, etc

        2. hey Montani, are you affiliated with CMU? I know a couple people who graduated from that program. It’s funny how a Bachelor’s just isn’t enough degree for me. But seeing their lives play out after school I already know finance is not my calling.

          1. Did you ever get a chance to see their creepy-ass robot greeter?

            1. It’s funny when you type dirty talk into his interface and he responds, “I don’t understand that!”

            2. I had a class project to calibrate her infrared “eyes”. Also had unsuccessful an unsuccessful campaign to make the robo-ceptionist less creepy. In my time her speech recognition was abysmal. Always assumed you were looking for Wean Hall or asking about the weather.

              1. Her? Last time I was there it was a male voice.

                1. 2006 was when I took robotics classes for fun on top of my MechE classes. The male voice and avatar started in 2008 I think.

                2. It’s definitely a dude-bot.

                  Last time I had to go over there it didn’t say anything, and looked quite melancholy. Guess that’s what happens when you spend your days being told to fuck off by spoiled Chinese kids.

          2. No, I don’t have any connection to the school other than living in the area.

            1. I think that p-burgh might just be the most well represented place on h&r.

    2. link didn’t like the apostrophe, nonetheless, good article. As an engineer who saw many peers go into finance, I can’t say I blame them. It’s tough to look at my job and see it as sexy in any way.

      I do like that my work is challenging though. Even if I ever leave engineering, the critical thinking and problem solving will always stay with me. It’s work that keeps me growing intellectually and I’m thankful for that.

      1. But you are wasting your talent pushing money around when you could be doing something productive.

      2. As an engineer who saw many peers go into finance

        Okay, I am still mystified. What kind of engineers are we talking about here, and why are they being poached by finance? Are they going back to school and getting another degree or are they getting finance jobs based solely on their engineering degrees?


        I could add a year or so on to my schooling and get a chem engineering degree, and would still be totally ignorant in matters of money, would they hire me?

        I’d consider the extra schooling(and not boring-ass finance courses) if I could get a sweet money pushing gig.

        1. Thing is, the people who go into finance never really are engineers or ever intended to be one. They fill out the core requirements for an engineering degree for it’s rigor, no love of it. The junior/senior year electives do get filled with computational finance, management, and public policy courses. It’s misleading to suggest that these students were ever poached from engineering.

          1. I know tons of engineers that took 100% engineering courses and intended to become engineers, but were offered much better pay to go into finance and took that. Learning finance OTJ is a lot easier than learning high level mathematics and programming.

            1. Well, it’s anecdotal for me. YMMV, I did tend to run with a more alternative crowd in college.

            2. prostitutes, one and all 😉

          2. Okay, they actually have course tracks similar to this where I am at for chem.

            I just had this picture of a civil/enviro guy sitting at his computer at GSachs with his new boss pleading: “Now make us money!”

          3. I actually had that conversation with an employer the other day during a job interview. There are guys who get engineering degrees and then there are the born engineers. If the guy you’re interviewing doesn’t take things apart just to see how they work, he’s one of the former.

            Back when I was interviewing, the accounting firms were the ones looking for engineers, for much the same reasons. They wanted analytical problem solving skills, and figured they could teach the coding and accounting.

          4. Finance companies are recruiting at my campus like crazy. I have displayed zero interest in finance and taken all my electives in either dynamics, systems, or propulsion. I am still getting more unsolicited interest from financial companies than actual engineering companies, due to my computational/programming skills. It’s actually gotten annoying: if I wanted to do finance I would have done finance. I did engineering because that’s what I want to do.

            1. Funny, I did engineering because I didn’t know what else to do. I do think that regardless of where you end up engineering is one of the best undergrad degrees around.

        2. The modeling of financial systems and physical systems is mathematically similar. like Montani Semper Liberi said above, if you have the STEM background that you get from a BS or MS in engineering, then the jump to modeling financial systems is trivial.

          The math for pricing options is pretty similar to the math I re-learned for doing computational fluid dynamics.

  5. Donald Trump fails to produce a birth certificate.

    That’s it. Constitutional Amendment to say: “All presidential hopefuls are to present a valid birth certificate before they can even talk about running for president of the United States of America.”

    1. I’m not sure we should allow him to talk about running for president, considering how he’s done so much damage to the New York skyline that we might as well call him the 20th hijacker.

      (Shamelessly stolen from Gilbert Gottfried).

    2. I disagree. I also understand why the founders wanted the president to be a natural born citizen (think Poland), but I think they were short-sighted. I work with a guy who was born in India. He came to the US at the age of two. He is as American as anyone you’ll ever meet. I see no reason (other than that pesky Constitution) why he shouldn’t be eligible for the presidency.

      1. When we run out of natural born citizen candidates, then we can talk.

      2. Agreed. Naturalized citizens should be just as eligible. I don’t like the concept of democracy with arbitrary restrictions on who you can vote for any more that I like the concept of capitalism with arbitrary restrictions upon which kind of lightbulb you can buy.

        The founders had some views that have come to be seen as outdated, especially in regards to race/gender and qualification to vote/run for office, which have been reformed and modernized. This falls in the same category for me, since we can’t determine where we’re born any more than we can our race or gender (OK, you can kinda determine the latter after the fact.)

  6. it was trying to organise an African haven for him, and the US signalling it would not try to stop the dictator from fleeing.
    He wants Europe; it will be interesting if he settles for Africa.

    1. NO!! He will join me, so we can (Dare I say it?) … RULE THE WORLD!!

      1. I prefer the restaurants, and shopping in France. I’d rather rule the Louvre-Tuileries

    2. My throat is considered a haven for African cock. Holla!

      1. don’t use my handle

        1. That’s what he said.


        2. DIAFC*

          *where C = cunt

    1. This has gone too far, Johnny!

      1. Submit to the power of the Golden Ones, OM.

        1. I’ll allow it.

    2. I think that you overestimate your powers, Torso’d One!

      I give you GOLDEN GIRL ZOMBIES!


    1. Seeking to replace combustion-powered cars with a more efficient “road, rail, air and water” transportation network to include a large shift in freight from roads to the other methods of transport.

      Yes, because motorcars are sooooo 20th Century. The EU wants something more… 19th Century.

      The motivation? Reduced foreign oil dependence, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased jobs within the EU, and improved infrastructure for future economic growth.

      This from the very people that invented an unsustainable currency scheme.

      And what is it about “creating jobs” that has so many politicians obsessed? Jobs are a cost to production, not the end-all, be-all of the economy. Jobs are the result of productive efforts, not the other way around, and killing the motorcar industry and replacing it with 19th Century hi-tech is not going to help the economy. It may spark job creation in rail tie placement… Yay.

      1. Those rickshaws aren’t going to pull themselves.

        1. I pull myself, if you catch my drift.

      2. Yes, because motorcars are sooooo 20th Century. The EU wants something more… 19th Century.

        Says the devotee of the 18th/19th century philosophy of libertarianism.

        1. As opposed to the 20th Century philosophy of relativism? Unlike technology, “newer” isn’t always “better” when it comes to philosophy.

        2. So if I want a crossbow, does that mean I have to be a monarchist?

    2. If I can have a nuclear-powered car, I might get rid of my internal combustion engine.

  7. BP officials may face manslaughter charges over oil rig explosion.

    Accidents no longer to be deemed “accidents.” Later, automotive fender-benders will be deemed “acts of vandalism.”

    1. If you out of ignorance order people at a complex and dangerous work site to do stupid shit and it results in 11 people getting killed, I could see where your actions might rise to the level of criminal misconduct.

      1. Re: John,

        If you out of ignorance

        Good way to start a mens rea case…

        1. You missed the second part about a complex and dangerous work site. Manslaugtered doesn’t require specific intent. It requires a level of negligence beyond the normal. I think that giving orders out of willful ignorance in that environment could rise to that.

          “I am from corporate. I have never done anything on an off shore rig before now. But I stayed in a Holiday Inn last night. Now go ahead with the concrete mixture I told you to use and you vehemently objected to” amounts to something more than just negligence.

          1. If I have one engineer who says that the concrete mixture will work, and one who says it won’t, it is an almost intolerable injustice to assert that it is a criminal act for me to take the word of the first engineer.

            Basically everyone other than Captain Hindsight on South Park is a criminal if that’s the case.

            1. Depends on what the professional standard is. If the advice is completely out of whack, it doesn’t matter than an engineer is giving it. What matters is that it is out of whack.

              1. But you can’t know it’s out of whack before an accident happens. If the engineer (or whoever) provides empirical evidence that his system works or will work properly, than an accident is unforeseen, but that doesn’t make it negligence.

                1. There’s that lovely “precautionary principle” that Bailey referenced this morning…

        2. A common legal definition of recklessness is “knew or should have known of the risk right”?

          1. Re: MNG,

            A common legal definition of recklessness is “knew or should have known of the risk[,” right?]

            Not of the risk, as everybody takes risks just by stepping out of bed. Recklessness is acting with total disregard for people’s lives or property. It would take a great leap to conclude that BP officials acted with total disregard for people’s lives or property just because one of their pieces of equipment failed. As an engineer boss once said to me (actually, several times): “Los fierros no tienen palabra”, loosely translated as Machinery has no word to keep. They can fail on you without prior warning.

            And, people will do stupid shit sometimes, out of ignorance, maybe, or tireness, carelessness, stress, tension, lack of sleep, coldness, homesickness, you name it. That does not make them criminal; makes them liable for restitution, but not criminally liable.

            1. This is the fundamental problem with corporations. They socialize damages for their carelessness instead of willingly making extra precautions to protect their liability. If I accidentally set my house on fire because I was lighting firecrackers in my hardwood-covered living room, and my house burns down, and my neighbor’s house burns down and their 2 year old daughter is killed, I’m not personally liable for manslaughter and destruction of property?

              All reports are that executives knowingly skimped on safety measures to save money and didn’t listen to their engineers warning of the dangers. They deserve to be held accountable – far more so than BP’s non-managing stockholders who have so far received the bulk of the shaft.

      2. I agree. When you manage people at a hazardous work site you take on certain responsibilities. While the individual workers are ultimately responsible for their own safety, you do have a moral responsibility to not order stupid stuff, nor look the other way from unsafe conditions or actions.

        Most industrial injuries occur because of personal carelessness or stupidity, but there are ones that management can affect by attempting to provide a safer work environment. Any manager of industrial workers should feel the weight of that responsibility. If you are one, and you don’t, better get out of that business.

        1. BP is the past master of corporate safety neglect. As late as last summer a friend of mine was still tasked with bringing the safety documentation at the Texas City plant up to standards. Five years after they blew up a distillates tower on a restart by doing all sorts of unsafe shit, they’re finally almost up to spec.

        2. Re: db,

          Most industrial injuries occur because of personal carelessness or stupidity, but there are ones that management can affect by attempting to provide a safer work environment.

          Maybe you have worked in a plant or you may have not, but I have and have found that a place can be safe only if the people working in it make it safe. Most of the time, people do not care; it gets to the point where management has to threaten workers with termination if they do not comply with safety protocols.

          In other words, it is not as cleancut as you think, and I find it funny when people are quick to judge with the benefit of hindsight.

          Any manager of industrial workers should feel the weight of that responsibility.

          Most already do. It’s called “improving the bottom line,” and so far, having an accident that stops a process is NOT good for the bottom line, has never been. A person that allows his business to operate unsafely is bound to lose money. That makes that person a) Stupid and b) A lousy businessman. It does NOT make him criminal, though.

          If you are one, and you don’t, better get out of that business.

          Competition takes care of that. If your business loses money due to accidents, those competitors that do not will drive you out of business, by taking away your best workers. What actually stiffles this process and makes it LESS SAFE for workers is protectionism which, in the US, abounds.

          1. OM, you’re misreading my argument. I have worked in industrial facilities as an engineer and manager for many years, and I know firsthand what it takes to build a safe workplace. You’re right in that it sometimes takes disciplinary action to enforce adherence to safety protocols. Some of my biggest frustrations have been interactions with labor unions that grieved discipline over safety infractions.

            I don’t see what’s wrong with instilling responsibility for safety in senior industrial managers along with the floor level workers. I have felt that pressure, and literally lost sleep over worrying about my employees’ safety. Thankfully, I never had one of my direct reports be injured, and I chalk that up in part to my insistence that they work safely, and in part to my attempts to ensure a safe workplace.

            As I wrote before, the ultimate responsibility for safety /lies with the individual, but the management of a facility must have a real commitment to safe operation.

          2. Maybe you have worked in a plant or you may have not, but I have and have found that a place can be safe only if the people working in it make it safe. Most of the time, people do not care; it gets to the point where management has to threaten workers with termination if they do not comply with safety protocols.


      3. In this case, though, it’s hard for me to say how they would establish that level of ignorance.

        The emails released during the Witch Hunt investigation show competing sets of engineers arguing pretty strenuously about the best way to proceed.

        It’s not like they were blithely ignoring safety. It was a pretty significant concern. They just had highly-trained engineers who disagreed among themselves.

        1. That is true. Like I said “it might”. I am not a petroleum engineer. So I can’t say. But just because you are an engineer, doesn’t mean that you can’t be guilty of gross stupidity.

          1. Especially when your business has a track record of excessive “accidents”.

          2. One would think that only someone that understands the technical background of the work the engineer does can make that judgement though. I don’t picture congress spending much time listening to technical testimony. It might kill some of them.

    2. It cannot be dismissed as simply an “accident.” When you’re engaging in a highly complex and potentially dangerous activity, you’ve got a duty to exercise a great deal of care.

      There apparently is evidence that they simply failed to take precautions and actions that a reasonable operator would have done under the same circumstances.

      Whatever happened to the meme about foreseeable versus unintended consequences?

      The BP blowout was entirely foreseeable, and in fact predicted. They evidently fucked up and allowed it to happen anyhow.

      And in just about any automotive fender-bender, one or both of the operators of the vehicles are at fault. It’s not an “accident” if you fail to yield or don’t allow enough stopping distance or run a red light, or whatever. It is a collision caused by your negligence, for which the other driver can and will hold you liable for whatever damages you caused. And if you were sufficiently negligent, it can in deed rise to the level of a criminal act.

      1. The key is understanding what the level of sufficient ignorance/negligance is to determine whether it was indeed a criminal act. In a car accident, it takes breaking another law (speeding, DWI, running a red light) before the accident can become criminal in nature. If you fail to see the hazard (turning on a blind corner while completely sober), no reasonable judge would throw you in jail. The key is knowing whether or not there was a recognition the hazard existed and whether or not other hazards were being created on purpose by the person in the accident before it can really be a negligent action.

  8. Woman Claims TSA Fired Her For Being A Wiccan

    MSNBC reports that Smith, who is a Wiccan, had been working at the airport for seven months when she was called into a supervisor’s office because she’d been accused of threatening workplace violence. Or rather, her former mentor, Mary Bagnoli, said she was afraid of her because she practiced witchcraft. Bagnoli claimed that Smith had followed her on the highway and cast a spell on the heater of her car, which made it stop working.

    1. Sounds like a witch hunt to me. (HAHAHA!)

      An airline should hire Smith as a flight attendant. She would be great. In case of a water landing, she could be used by passengers as a flotation device. (HAHAHA!)

      (There’s also a joke in there somewhere about TSA enhanced pat downs and crystal balls.)

    2. I don’t understand why the accuser hasn’t been removed on the basis of her paranoia and insanity.

      This woman literally believes people are out to get her with black magic, and that the black magic in question works and get destroy mechanical equipment, and she retains a position where she gets to exercise what amount to police powers against the general public?


      1. You skip the Balko posts, don’t you?

      2. I don’t understand why the accuser hasn’t been removed promoted on the basis of her paranoia and insanity.

        Its the TSA.

      3. Making a car heater stop working isn’t black magic.

      4. I don’t understand why the accuser hasn’t been removed on the basis of her paranoia and insanity.

        These are prized qualities in government employees. I’m surprised she hasn’t be promoted yet.

    3. Put gris-gris on your doorstep
      And soon you’ll be in the gutter
      Melt your heart like butter
      A-a-and I can make you stutter

    4. Well that’s fantastic, Al Qeada better not gain 100 pounds and learn magic or we are fucked.

      1. If I had to cast the current group in Washington based on the Harry Potter character they’re most like, I’d go with:

        Obama as Draco Malfoy (evil power-hungry bastard)
        GWB as Neville Longbottom (ineptitude)
        Ezra Klein and Pauly Krugnuts as Crabbe and Goyle (blind allegiance to their leader)
        Joe Biden as Ron Weasley (ineptitude again)
        Nancy Pelosi as Bellatrix Lestrange (blind allegiance and evil)
        John Boehner as a Mandrake (for the whining)
        Rand Paul as Harry Potter (cause he looks like the only hope but doesn’t know it yet)
        The Koch brothers as Dumbledore (there were two of him after all)
        Christine O’Donnell as Hermione Granger (for practical application of witchcraft)

    5. Someone should maybe email this article to her boss.

      Someone please save the picture for our next troofer visit.

    6. Just one more job that Christine O’Donnell can’t get.

    7. If you can’t use Eldritch Blast, you aren’t a real witch/warlock.

  9. D.C. looking into allegations of cheating on standardized public school tests.

    The cheaters will have job openings available to them as staffers…

    Hey, they show initiative, the kind that the “great literary genius” would appreciate!

    1. That’s what it comes down to. A guy spoke with claimed to have hired a couple guys with average educational background and experience who had criminal records, over a couple other guys with excellent grades and experience with no criminal records. Said that he actually hired these guys BECAUSE they had criminal records…said that their personalities and criminal records both indicated “initiative and a willingness to do what it takes to do what’s good for the company, without being restrained by morals and expected codes of behavior.”

  10. Nine days into this military intervention, Americans still have no answer to the fundamental question: what does success in Libya look like?

    With all due respect, what does success in *the U.S.* look like?

    1. Regime change?

    1. I’ve googled lightly on the subject and haven’t found the answer… are the Wisconsin union dues taken out of paychecks on a pre-tax basis?

      1. union dues are not tax deductable. So they are post tax

        1. Hmm… I wonder if anyone has tried to argue that union dues in a non-right-to-work state are a deductible business expense.

          1. Sug, union dues are an itemized deduction, but subject to the 2% lim.

            1. Interesting. Thank you, Dags.

            2. Union dues, ie membership fees which are supposed to be used solely to meet the costs of running the union are tax deductable.

              The union check-off, ie the “voluntary” contribution union members “agree” to make to the union for to be used for political purposes (ie transferred to the Democratic Party) are not.

              AFAIK in most places the union can have them collected by payroll deduction.

              The reason for the quotes above is that people who don’t sign up for the check-off seem to lose their jobs or have other troubles sooner than others.

  11. Indiana democrats successful in attempt to deny students in under performing schools a chance at a better education.

    Warning: Reading comments may lead to high blood pressure, raising urge to kill.

    1. Most comments amount to begging the question, “Why do you hate poor children?”

      This was an actual comment:

      Until someone produces conclusive research showing that vouchers are a good expenditure of public money, no vouchers should be offered unless they are 1) subject to a lottery by application, and 2) an analysis is done to see whether among those that applied, the kids with vouchers did better than those without. This would create a randomized trial such that the comparison would be apples to apples, as opposed to the crappy studies done to date.

      Here, let me FTFY:

      Until someone produces conclusive research showing that public schools are a good expenditure of public money, public schooling should NOT be offered unless 1) Politicians are willing to place their kids in the system; and 2) an analysis is done to see whether among those politicians’ kids, the kids in public school did better than those in private school. This would create a randomized trial such that the comparison would be apples to apples, as opposed to the crappy studies done to date.

    2. I’ve almost stopped caring. The metro section of the Post basically has a running feature on the incompetence and corruption within DC schools. It’s apparent that the system is designed to provide employment. but my kid won’t go there. so screw it. if people want to defend a system that has only 12% of its 8th graders reading at level, there’s no hope to change it.

      in reporting test scores, the school system’s own website reports: “One thing to remember in comparing DC to other states, is that we are not a state but rather an urban district, so comparisons to states may be misleading.” pathetic.

  12. Hillary Clinton: Does the female form make you uncomfortable, Mr. President?
    The Dude: Uh, is that what this is a picture of?
    Hillary Clinton: In a sense, yes. My policy has been commended as being strongly vaginal which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina.
    The Dude: Oh yeah?
    Maude Lebowski: Yes, they don’t like hearing it and find it difficult to say whereas without batting an eye a man will refer to his dick or his rod or his Johnson.
    The Dude: Johnson?

    1. Ve vill cut off your Chonson!

  13. No Walmart link?

    I am, you know, disappoint.

  14. “I expect you to cooperate with us,” Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, told Hayward at the hearing. “Are you failing to cooperate with other investigations as well? Because they’re going to have a hard time reaching conclusions if you stonewall them.”

    It’s hard to conceive of anybody actually making Hayward a sympathetic figure, but Waxman could pull it off.

    1. The evil mole man from planet X could make Lucifer himself seem sympathetic.

      1. Matt and Trey already did.

  15. EU Considering Banning Combustion Cars From Cities By 2050

    The Romanian Model!

    And think of the jobs created by all that donkey shit.


    Police lock teens arrested at a house party in van for 14 hours without food or water.

  17. Police locked teenagers arrested at a house party in Fort Lee New Jersey in a fan without food or water for 14 hours. Sorry, for no link but the Reason spam filter won’t take the link. Bastards.

    1. Exactly how big was this fan?

    2. The story’s on Reason’s Brickbats this morning.

  18. New Company Promises to Give You a Pretend Facebook Girlfriend

    According to the site, signing up is easy as:

    Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend.
    Step 2: We bring her into existence.
    Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network.
    Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl.

    Step 5: Kill yourself out of shame.

    1. Why waste time with all those steps?

      What they should do is as soon as you enter your credit card to purchase such a service, ninjas rappel down to wherever you are and kill you painlessly. For your own good.

      1. Mercy killing as internet start-up. I’m willing to buy some shares.

    2. Step 4.5: Pay lots of blackmail when you decide to call off the “relationship” for whatever reason.

      1. Whatever happen to the reliable “You wouldn’t know her, she’s Canadian, we met a Niagara Falls over the summer” routine?

        1. Some enterprising young man probably tried that, and everybody asked him: “Oh yeah, why isn’t she your friend on Facebook??”

          His friends didn’t believe that his new girl was a Niagran Amish…er…Model.

          1. OK, yeah. The internet has made that one less plausible.

          2. Uh, how hard is it to create a fake profile with an obscure but voluptuous model’s photo and insanely strict privacy settings to keep your pals from seeing she’s a cyber-beard?

            Not that I’ve ever done that.

            1. Using a model’s photo would not be a good plan.

              You need to find a photo of an age-appropriate female who is only slightly out of your league in appearance terms. So if you’re a 3, you have to find a photo of a 5.

              Or better yet, a photo of some anime character, or maybe a piece of craft/art work from Etsy.

              If you need to have a fake Facebook girlfriend, no one is going to believe a photo of a model.


                I’m not so sure about that.

  19. This woman literally believes people are out to get her with black magic, and that the black magic in question works and get destroy mechanical equipment, and she retains a position where she gets to exercise what amount to police powers against the general public?

    The President has repeatedly commended Secy Napolitano, dude. That stuff is a requirement for the job.

  20. At the risk of jinxing myself-

    Dear Squirrels,

    Thank you for *not* including a video in the morning links. Keep up the good work.

  21. in reporting test scores, the school system’s own website reports: “One thing to remember in comparing DC to other states, is that we are not a state but rather an urban district, so comparisons to states may be misleading.”


    1. “they’re hard to work with”

      *stunned look*

      “…invisible people, yeah.”

  22. Severance? Sick pay? Sheesh.

    Attention, school boards: Don’t come cryin’ to us.

    If you approve a contract that pays a boss half a year’s salary when he quits voluntarily, mid-contract, to take another job, don’t come cryin’ to us about your budget problems.

    Or if you approve a contract that pays 10 years of health benefits under those circumstances.

    Or if you treat sick leave like an end-of-duty windfall rather than something that protects employees when they’re actually … sick.

    The occasion for this rant is the voluntary, repeat, voluntary, departure of Lakeville School superintendent Gary Amoroso, who is reported to have been an excellent superintendent and is no doubt a fine fellow.

    As reporter Mila Koumpilova explained Thursday in an article headlined “Superintendent’s exit to cost district $360,000,” Amoroso announced his retirement earlier this month. Two days later, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators announced that Amoroso would start work as its executive director this summer.

    Thursday, we learned from Koumpilova’s report that Amoroso’s contract requires that he be paid half a year’s salary “upon the termination of the Superintendent’s employment with the district for any reason,” short of really bad behavior. So, according to his school-board-approved contract, taxpayers owe Amoroso $91,000 for quitting, voluntarily ? have we said that already? ? to take another job.

    They also owe him, according to the contract, another $91,000 for unused sick leave, and another $178,000 in health benefits over the next 10 years.

    There are several problems here. Undue expense to taxpayers is just one of them. More troublesome is the irrationality, the misdirection implicit in a deal that delivers a windfall to an employee who leaves a job voluntarily.

    It’s one thing to protect a person in a high-stakes, high-stress, high-expectations environment from the caprice of public pressure and sudden firing. That’s reasonable. It’s another to pay a man a bonus for leaving voluntarily and call it “severance,” and to pay a man a bonus for leaving voluntarily and call it “sick leave,” and to pay a man fortunate enough to retire at a young age and take another good job 10 years of health benefits.

    1. Why do you hate the middle class?

  23. virtually any other. But the public in Japan and elsewhere has every right to question the s

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