Reason Morning Links: Floods, NATO, and Other Disasters


The latest from "Q&A with Russ Roberts."

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  1. AMTRAK called massive failure by its founder…..s-founder/

    1. The good news: ridership up significantly in 2011.
      The bad news: they’re Al Quaeda scouts.

    2. An independent 2009 study of Amtrak’s operations and revenue offered some startling facts

      Startling to who? Only someone who’s never read a story about Amtrak.

      1. The same people who are surprised that raising the minimum wage causes unemployment.

  2. NATO ignores a boat carrying 72 refugees from Libya as the craft drifts without fuel; 61 passengers die of hunger and thirst.

    This reminds me of how the FDR administration stopped immigration to America during WWII. We should airlift the Libyans who want to move to America and withdraw our military.

    1. How about instead the US withdraws its military and the Libyans figure out how to run their own country.

      Under your plan I guess you would allow Kaddafi to immigrate to the US. He would fit in good among the megalomaniacs in Washington.

    2. It’s a disgrace.

    3. The US had nothing to do with this. Italy and Malta were squabbling over whose S&R zone the ship was in and the French aircraft carrier ignored them when they passed.

      1. It’s a disgrace.

    4. Can we load up one of those boats with some of our Enlightened Cosmopolitans? and leave them out in the middle of international waters too?

      Given that they’re Citizens of the World, they ought to at least die in the territory under the jurisdiction they’ve declared their fealty to.

    5. I’m sure MediaMatters will admonish the Obama administration over this heinous crime.

      Any minute now. They’re busy, but they’ll get to it.


      Huh. Well, maybe tomorrow. The story’s still fresh-ish.

    1. SEIU… commies? Why, the very idea.

    1. Pippa is awesome. What a body.

    2. Now that there is T&A you want to talk about the royal wedding 😉

    3. dude looks like a total dork

    1. The chicken got what was coming to it.

      1. Nude chickens are an irresistible temptation.

        1. The chicken was not unresponsive.

          1. What, would it have been better had the chicken been fully clothed?

    2. Cooks also had several outstanding warrants.

      I understand how the police might have trouble finding a guy who crawls through broken glass and sits in the sink eating raw chicken.

      Seriously, what kind of drugs is Michael taking or not taking?


    Due to rent control San Fransisco has 31,000 vacant housing units.

    Meanwhile, liberal cities on the coasts and the upper midwest are seeing the greatest black flight since the 1920s. We are witnessing the a reverse of the great migration out of the south back to the south. If a conservative southern city were running black people off at the rate San Fransisco is, it would be a national scandal.…

    Short of an Iraq style invasion regime change nation building, I really don’t know what you do with San Fransisco. And even that would take generations to succeed. You think it is hard dealing with centuries of tribal and religious hatred, try dealing with 80 years of progressive stupid. There is no fixing that. Yeah, you can say that it is good that those people are confined to San Fransisco and not out infecting the rest of the country. But, San Fransisco is one of the great cities in the world. How do we stand by and watch it turn into a dystopian hell hole of beggars and aging hippies.

    1. I really don’t know what you do with San Fransisco.

      Nuke it from orbit, just to be sure.

    2. “Short of an Iraq style invasion regime change nation building…”
      another elective war

    3. They built that city on rock and roll.

      1. A dubious claim and a more dubious song.

        1. To think Bernie Taupan wrote that song. The same guy who co wrote all of Elton John’s classics. WTF happened?

          1. I guess anyone can have a bad day.

          2. Do you think he spends the royalty check on anti-depressants?

    4. Put a one-way fence up around it.

    1. No one freaks out more at the sight of a young minority than a rich, white liberal.

    2. southern police officers are hardly liberals duh

      1. Duh. Montgomery County is the richest, whitest and most liberal suburb of Washington. Calling Montgomery County cops “Southern” is like calling Berkley cops Southern.

        1. teh last time i checkd dc is suoth of masson-dickens line so yes it is

          1. Hey fuckface, I’m from DC and no one here considers it southern. Or Baltimore for that matter.

            Stupid cunt.

        2. “By 2005, 52.5% of the population was black…”

          1. o wait u r talkin abbout marryland not alabma im retard lol

            1. Way to RTFA.

        3. Loudoun and Fairfax Counties (VA) are the wealth heavyweights in the region (country, too), so I doubt MoCo comes close to being the richest suburb of DC. Maryland is only part of “the South” if you’re from New England – use of the Mason-Dixon line is archaic.

          1. Montgomery is number 10. But it includes Potomac and Bethesda which are richer than about anywhere even in DC.

            1. I keep forgetting about Bethesda. Confusing PG and Montgomery doesn’t help either.

  4. Rescuing Detroit: No news about government’s good news

    The actual headlines make the point. “Demand for fuel-efficient cars helps GM to $3.2 billion profit,” declared The Post. “GM Reports Earnings Tripled in First Quarter, as Revenue Jumped 15%,” reported the New York Times.

    The lack of accountability is stunning but not surprising. It reflects a deep bias in the way our political debate is carried out. The unexamined assumption of so much political reporting is that attacks on government’s capacity to do anything right make intuitive sense because “everybody knows” that government is basically inefficient and incompetent, especially when compared with the private sector.

    Government failure gets a lot of coverage. That’s useful because government should be held accountable for its mistakes. What’s not okay is that we hear very little when government acts competently and even creatively. For if mistakes teach lessons, successes teach lessons, too.…

    1. GM Makes a Big Profit: Time to Celebrate?
      …Okay, let’s not get too excited here. GM sold off big stakes in Delphi (formerly its captive parts supplier) and Ally Financial (formerly its capital arm) to generate the bulk of that profit; the company’s not making record money because it sold three times as many cars. GM is still excessively dependent on big incentives and fleet sales to move cars off of its lot, which means that despite quality enhancements made possible by the bankruptcy (which lowered fixed costs, and allowed them to put more money into making cars), their brand still hasn’t recovered from decades of neglect. And while later in the post, Cohn makes it sound as if GM has suddenly turned itself into the world’s premier small-car maker, it is still heavily dependent on the same old gas guzzling SUVs and trucks that have been shoring up GM profits for decades as foreign competitors steadily eroded their car sales. Right now in America, small cars are largely an economy business, which means that unless you can command the sort of quality premium that Toyota and Honda get–and I think the reliance on incentives shows that GM can’t get that sort of markup–it’s still very hard to make money in that space….

      1. Beat me to it, Mr. Torso.

        I’d love to know how big a bet GM made on the Volt, and how truly crappy sales on it over, say, the next two or three years will impact the company.

        1. The Volt will never be high enough volume to really do anything for or against GM. At best it would be a first-gen vehicle they could use to make an actually competitive second-gen vehicle. But they’re certainly not going to make any money on them selling at 40,000, or with that giveaway 300/month lease. Ever. The Volt is a low-volume PR stunt, trying to make GM look good to their investors in the Obama Administration, which gets to pimp their ‘Green-ness’.

      2. Not to mention that every time GM comes out with a new small car it gets rave reviews, and then within a few years it’s back to the cash-on-the-hood leader lease and fleet queen. That’s if they don’t just fall apart.


        We’ll see if the Cruze fares better, but it’ll take some years for it to play out.

    2. In what universe is the majority of media coverage somehow skeptical of the government in ANY endeavor? Maybe I’m suffering from confirmation bias, but I sure don’t see it.

      1. Without that skepticism, the concept of the media being a “Fourth Estate” is totally meaningless.

    3. Regardless of whether or not they turn out profitable now, bailing them out was the wrong decision.

  5. NATO ignores a boat carrying 72 refugees from Libya as the craft drifts without fuel; 61 passengers die of hunger and thirst.

    And of course, NATO will still pretend it’s at war kinetic military action with Libya because of its people…

    1. NATO started its kinetic military action in Libya because there were 24 hour news reports and day after day of headlines about “something needs to be done about Libya” and the politicians are conditioned to jump on anything that has 24 hour news coverage and day after day of headlines.

      So if you want something done about refugee boats then you need to stick Katie Couric and Brian Williams in the boat with a satellite feed and watch them slowly starve.

      1. […]stick Katie Couric and Brian Williams in the boat with a satellite feed and watch them slowly starve.

        Sounds like a plan! I’ll get the popcorn.

        1. hold on, i’ll have ur artifical flavoring ready in just a moment

      2. NATO got involved because the Italians and French didn’t want to be awash with Libyan refugees. This is in keeping with their plan.

  6. And for the few who think that the “War on Terror” is going to wind down, the Marines just ordered 250 mine resistant armored ambulances (as used in Iraq and Afghanistan) for a bargain price of $183 million. Or maybe its for the new “War for foreigners democracy” I wonder if they will get them before the invasion of Libya?…..05111.html

    1. Somebody has to rescue the French.

    2. that actually is a bargain. I’d have pegged them for more than $1M a pop, what with standard military contracting and procurement procedures

  7. The Mississippi River wraps its arms around Memphis and other cities.

    We’re all thinking it, so I’m just going to come out and say it. That river has become more trouble than its worth. (That’s right; I’ve also decided that’s what that saying is.)

    1. Ol’ Man River must have Alzheimer’s, ’cause he’s wandering far and wide.

    2. Nuke it from Orbit?

      1. roads it from somalia!

  8. There simply is no more basic liberty than the right to be free from Presidential executions without being charged with — and then convicted of — a crime

    How about the right to ingest a plant you grew on your property?

    1. You can’t even make rope from it.

    2. How about the right to ingest a plant you grew on your property?

      That’s obviously interstate commerce.

  9. Keith Olbermann, arbiter of taste

  10. Now, Senator, I’m going to gently lift your moobs.

  11. Was Bin Laden betrayed by his right-hand man? Al Qaeda’s deputy leader ‘led U.S. troops to Pakistan hideaway’
    Osama Bin Laden’s deputy led U.S. troops to the Al Qaeda leader’s hideout so he could take over the terrorist group, it was claimed today….

    1. This is brilliant misinformation. Bin Ladin obviously commanded a lot of loyalty. The word is that the number two guy doesn’t have near his street creed. Putting out that he sold out Bin Ladin doesn’t exactly help with unit cohesion and moral.

    2. no way or he’d have a bullet in his head too

  12. The Mississippi River wraps its arms around Memphis and other cities.

    Like a big giant hug from Mother Nature!

    1. climutt chanje is no joke milion will b ded in amerca so go ahed adn laff

      1. glowblla wrmgng bad bad 4 u glarble glugg

        1. god monring old mex spoffing me is geting old pls stop

          1. 8======D

    1. … Candygram …

    2. Warty Challenge of the Day: I’m in the mood for some progressive, Finnish, black, folk metal with Viking mythological themes. If you can get this one, you will have thoroughly proven yourself.

        1. I was looking for Moonsorrow, but that’s close enough.

          1. Yeah, I guess that is blacker. Whatever that means.

            1. Racist?

      1. I predict (perhaps given some leeway concerning the “black” criterion) this is a piece of cake for Warty.

        1. Right. “Serious” black metal takes itself too seriously to mix with the other stuff, but if you define it down to screaming over a fast drumbeat, I can work with that.

      2. I saw Amon Amarth the other day, and it was an unbelievable blast. Any of you degenerates who are able should see them on this tour.

        1. hey watry do u like bon jovie there my faverite band glam medal is teh best

        2. When the fuck is Meshuggah coming back to the states? I needs me some Meshuggah.

          Enslaved might also have fit the criteria from the above challenge. Saw them open for Opeth in 09, and they were awesome, though admittedly it’s hard to be juxtaposed with Opeth, even if musicianship is the only criteria.

    1. The spokesman said use of the proposed software would be voluntary and intended only to count keystrokes and mouse clicks rather than the content of the work being completed.

      Oh. As long as that’s the intent and I can keep on typing my obscene emails with impunity, OK then.

    2. Note that the employees in qestion are employees of the Australian Tax Office.

      An employer has the right to monitor the conduct of its employees while on the job.

      In this case, it is not outside the realm of possibility that they really are trying to study repetetive motion injuries and not just spy on their workers. If I was an employer that got stuck with a 31 million dollar workers comp assessment I’d want to be looking into it to.

      Of course, ever since they started taking these layabouts’ complaints about getting hurt by mouseclicks seriously they’ve had nothing but trouble. They should have just told the flaming bludgers to quit whinging.

      I interpretted your reaction to this as due to a missapprehension on your part that the ATO was planning to put monitors on everyone’s employees in Oz. Maybe they’d like to but that’s not the story here.

  13. Nothing from my Snuggie Sutra link? I post sexual positions using a Snuggie and get just a collective yawn?

    My genius is wasted on you people.

    1. We’re preparing our defamation lawsuit.

    2. This site is for a serious discussion of issues and we have no interest in your sophmoric and smutty jokes.

      1. […]we have no interest in your sophmoric and smutty jokes.

        Actually, yes we are.

    3. I saw the words “Golden Girls” above it and immediately skipped over everything else you linked over, thus missing out on the Snuggie Sutra bit (which wasn’t half bad).

      You really need to work on your credibility, dude. Quit your GG addiction cold turkey.

    4. it’s monday. We’re all at work.

    1. That is what they claim. But is it true?

    2. Stuxnet v.2 coming right up!

      1. AKA Windows Vista

        1. HEY!! Windows 7 fixed all that!

          1. [TONE]-The service you have slected, EMERGENCY COOLING, is not in service. Please make a note of it.-

    3. Jesus, a 2 year disabling through software isn’t good enough for you?

      1. Oh ye of little faith. Jesus can walk on water, so he should be able to perma-hack any nuclear facility with a snap of the fingers.

    4. The George W. Bushehr Nuclear Plant.

    5. the russians are refusing to load the fuel claiming Stuxnet will reactivate & cause a disaster

      1. IF there ever was a disaster, either via Stuxnet or Israeli bombs or earthquake, which are common in the area, it might irradiate the Persian Gulf. If so, Kuwait and all of the small states would be SOL. There is no water in Kuwait or Qatar or the UAE. They get all their water from desalination of the Gulf. If the Gulf is radio active, they are screwed, as in biggest humanitarian crisis in history screwed.

        1. biggest humanitarian crisis in history


        2. Didja know that Iran is the most seismically active region in the world? Also they are due, seriously due for a massive release. I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame Israel even though Allah will really be at fault.

          1. Something tells me the mad mullahs don’t exactly have the same efficiency or safety procedures that the Japanese have. IF a big earthquake fucks over an advanced country like Japan, what would it do to theocratic shithole like Iran?

          2. I took a shit in Iran once.

        3. Mutantarian crisis, you mean.

      2. Stuxnet didn’t do anything with the reactor. Stuxnet “reactivating” would have like, zero, effect on the plant’s operability. Now if the processed fuel were bad, most likely it would just be hard to sustain a chain reaction.

    6. I guess Stuxnet didn’t work as well as we were told.

      Even assuming that that the mullahs aren’t lying, I would say cratering the Iranian nuke program for, what, a year? is a pretty big success.

  14. Didja know that Iran is the most seismically active region in the world? Also they are due, seriously due for a massive release.

    Of course we know they are due for a massive release. That’s why we need to airdrop 50 tons of hardcore lesbian porn in there and follow that drop up 30 minutes later with smokes.

    *Repeat in every hardcore muslim nation then sit back and relax.

    1. lesiban porn?? you didn’t know that the mideast was teh geyz?…..oset/5774/

      “It’s a lot easier to be gay than straight here,” he had said. “If you go out with a girl, people will start to ask her questions. But if I have a date upstairs and my family is downstairs, they won’t even come up.”


    Randi Rhoades insists Bush knew for years where Bin Ladin was. And managed to keep this from Obama after leaving the Whitehouse? Goes unexplained.

  16. I keep saying how I don’t mind that we whacked Bin Ladin. But then I see things like this and wonder if maybe he didn’t have a point.

    1. All we need from the next generation are robot pilots and SpecOps types. Decadence is actually built into our military future readiness plans.

    2. Damn some people can’t help but spoil their kids.

    3. I call BS.

      I’d bet that 90% of those pics are of an older sibling taking a quick ride in the stroller that the parents brought for their younger bro/sis.

      A lot of those pics also look like they were taken when the parent stopped somewhere to get a snack and the older sibling decided to use the smaller stroller to sit in.

  17. “In a shocking revelation gleaned from computers seized in his compound in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden spent millions of dollars investing in a company that makes 3-ounce bottles of liquid and gels.”…..-and-gels/

  18. The Mississippi River wraps its arms around Memphis and other cities.

    Lake Champlain is a foot over it’s highest mark ever, and 3 feet over flood stage.

  19. Paul Krugman writes column about dangers of top-down planning, head explodes from irony.

    Sadly, only half is true? Can you guess which half kids? And remember, Occam’s razor should apply.

    1. Krugman’s point is that REPUBLICAN top-down planning is bad. Apparently things will go smoothly now that Teh Write Peeple are in charge.

      1. Also got to love how he just completely brushes off Europe, because it doesn’t fit with the, “TEH CONZERVATVIES ARE EVIL!” message.

  20. More on the media’s obsession with marginalizing Ron Paul and Gary Johnson from the Washington Post.

    That was reinforced at last week’s first presidential debate of the season, which, aside from former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, featured a handful of long shots and no-shots debating such topics as the legalization of marijuana ? and even heroin.

  21. From MSNBC, especially for Matt Welch:

    The foreclosure crisis is getting worse:…..l_finance/

    (Matt is welcome to post “I told you so” on their webpage.)

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