Reason Morning Links: Moody's, Mumbai, and a Vaccination Operation

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The latest from Reason.tv: "Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)."

NEXT: Kody Brown and His Four "Wives"

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    1. “Today, almost every provision of the Bill of Rights restricts government at all levels. That’s because the Fourteenth Amendment applies them to states.”

      But do they also apply to the TSA thugs?

      1. TSA can’t save us from Terror??? if they are constrained by silly things like laws.

      2. Epps thinks the BoR applies to the states, but also that the BoR is basically powerless (the 1st says nothing about political speech by the ‘wrong’ people, the 2nd applies to militia only and that means only the National Guard, the 10th is a mere truism, etc).

        1. Why is the 2nd Amendment even necessary if it means having the National Guard? why even bother putting it in there since it is redundant with giving Congress the authority to raise and fund an Army. I guess the difference is that the National Guard is under the different states, except when called up. However, there is nothing in the Constitution about the states in regards to this.

          1. Good point, and if that was all it was for, why would it be written as it is? “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

            It is written such that it assumes such a right already exists – it also states that this right “shall not be infringed.”

            If it was just about the National Guard it could have been written in a more collective manner – “The states will allow their citizens to bear arms” or some such but instead we have an amendment written in a very individualistic manner.

    2. Johnny Longtorso (insert brackets as needed) really is doing FSM’s work with reading Epps’ writing for us.

      1. Who is this Johnny Longtorso? He’s Aqua Budha.

        Then again, just like my buddy Clark and that dashing Superman, they never are in the same place at the same time. Must be a coincidence.

    3. The 14th is a piece of shit. I mean, I appreciate the intentions from a libertarian perspective, but since all of the “rights” were mainly implemented as restrictions on Congress, it becomes impossible to distinguish which restrictions were to implement individual rights, and thus should be carried over to the states, and which restrictions were simply to implement an antifederalist structure of power, and thus should be left alone. They should have taken the time to actually specify which restrictions should be placed on the states, explicitly, and which should not.

      1. You would be right, if it weren’t for the “privileges and immunities” language (since ash-canned by SCOTUS, of course).

        The BOR is pretty clear, for the most part, on what “privileges and immunities” of citizens cannot be infringed by Congress. I’m think of language like “the right to keep and bear arms” and “freedom of speech and of the press”, off the top of my head.

        As drafted, I think the 14th works pretty well. As gutted and then applied by SCOTUS, not, perhaps, so much.

    4. Who is this Epps guy, and why does he think shit like this?

      http://www.theatlantic.com/nat…..ts/241671/

      http://www.theatlantic.com/nat…..ss/239374/

    5. Like a Buddha

      [Noodly jam-band ecstasy]

  1. Esquire’s psalm to Obama
    …Before the fall brings us down, before the election season begins in earnest with all its nastiness and vulgarity, before the next batch of stupid scandals and gaffes, before Sarah Palin tries to convert her movie into reality and Joe Biden resumes his imitation of an embarrassing uncle and Newt and Callista Gingrich creep us all out, can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph. Whatever happens this fall or next, the summer of 2011 is the summer of Obama….

    Fannie Mae Played a Bigger Role in the Financial Crisis than Previously Thought
    …After James A. Johnson, a Democratic political operative and former aide to Walter Mondale, became chairman of Fannie Mae in 1991 . . . it became a political powerhouse, intimidating and suborning Congress and tying itself closely to the Clinton administration’s support for the low-income lending program called “affordable housing.” This program required subprime and other risky lending, but it solidified Fannie’s support among Democrats and some Republicans in Congress, and enabled the agency to resist privatization or significant regulation until 2008. “Under Johnson,” write Ms. Morgenson and Mr. Rosner, “Fannie Mae led the way in encouraging loose lending practices among banks whose loans the company bought. . . . Johnson led both the private and public sectors down a path that led directly to the financial crisis of 2008.”. . .Far from being a marginal player, Fannie Mae was the source of the decline in mortgage underwriting standards that eventually brought down the financial system. It led rather than followed Wall Street into risky lending. . .Edward Pinto (a former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae) . . . presented . . . evidence . . . showing that by 2008 half of all mortgages in the U.S. (27 million loans) were subprime or otherwise risky, and that 12 million of these loans were on the books of the GSEs….

    1. I liked you better when you were Johnny Longtorso.

      1. I like the Aqua Buddha handle, it’s inherently funny.

        1. ** giggles uncontrollably **

          1. Here, Randall. Have one of these cookies.

      2. I deny everything.

        1. No, no, no. That’s a definitive factual statement and you can later be prosecuted for perjury. If you say you simply can’t recall anything at this time, you don’t have this issue.

          1. No, if he means literally everything, it’s more of a philosophical position.

            1. He IS a Buddha.

    2. I too will remember Obama like a Peyton Manning pass. Specifically, the one that he threw in waning minutes of SB 44 that cost me about $200.

  2. Gunwalker – a smoking gun email?
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/k…..un_control

    1. watrebord vinn deisil lol

      1. “Internal ATF emails seem to suggest that ATF agents were counseled to highlight a link between criminals and certain semi-automatic weapons in order to bolster a case for a rule like the one the DOJ announced yesterday [Monday].”

        Townhall has obtained the email which states “Can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same FfL and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks Mark R. Chait Assistant Director Field Operations.”…

        1. Looks pretty smoky to me.

        2. How incredibly stupid would one have to be to send an email like that, knowing it’s subject to FOIA? It was totally unnecessary to even disclose the motivation for nabbing a single FFL. The first sentence is all that’s necessary to tell the recipient what they are expected to do, and it’s not at all incriminating.

  3. Kiss my ASP!

  4. Mila bails on marine.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/n…..CIq3UR2A9O

    1. waterboard the beyoch…plus sodomy

      1. wecome bakc old mex growup n enuf w// teh spoffin

        1. I can always tell it’s a spoof when it manages to spell more than ONE word right in a sentence.

          Seriously OO, you spelled “old” right. That’s the only one.

          I don’t count “mex” as a word.

          1. Meh. She was way cuter on That ’70s Show.

            1. You mean when she was 13?

    2. Not smart. Would you stand that guy up?

      Besides, she was getting massive pub for agreeing to go. And she would definitely be the Queen Bee once she got there. These B-list celebs would ordinarily kill for that kind of exposure.

  5. “No, I don’t plan to publish any more,” the beloved creator of the famed “Ramona and Beezus” and “Henry Huggins” series says. “After all, I’m 95. I hope children will be happy with the books I’ve written and go on to be readers all of their lives.”

    …the little fucking ingrates.

  6. “Moody’s isn’t happy about the debt ceiling situation.”

    I am surprised that they have given the Mafia’s bonds AAA rating for as long as they have. But of course I am sure there was coercion.

    1. Meh. What does *J.D. Power and Associates* think?

    2. That’s a nice rating business you got there. Be a shame if something…’happened ‘ to it.

    3. All the FED has to do is give Moodies a few billion in fees and they will get a AAA rating. After all it worked for the mortgage companies.

    4. I’m surprised rating agencies still have credibility given how many f-ups they’ve had. They might as well be government institutions.

    5. So Moody’s might downgrade USGovt debt, unless it gets a new credit card? Then everything will be OK, as long as they have some bullshit 10 year plan that we all know will be changed in 2 years?

      I know they were useless rent seeking bootlickers, but that is fucking stupid.

  7. # Moody’s isn’t happy about the debt ceiling situation.

    The same rating agencies that rated CMOs and CDOs.

    1. The bias was all in one direction, though. Non-random. How bad does it have to be to get downgraded?

      1. Yeah, it’s like how if even Kurt Loder pans a movie, it must be truly an irredeemable turd.

      2. I totally agree with the unidirectional bias for CDOs. But that in no way means the inverse, or downgrading has any relation to their desire to upgrade a bond or financial instrument. I was just pointing out the messenger needs to be shot in this case and whatever he says is most likely not something I would use to back a position.

  8. Immunization programs in Pakistan already have a hard time convincing many to get vaccinated. In 2007, a polio-vaccination campaign in northern Pakistan failed to immunize 160,000 children, due to rumors that the vaccine was an American attempt to sterilize children.

    I can’t tell, was this scheme hatched by Margaret Sanger or Jenny McCarthy.

    1. Depends on if it really sterilizes the chuldrinz.

      1. Nice debt ceiling you got here. Be a real shame if something should happen to it.

  9. So here’s what I think of the debt ceiling debate. First, I think the GOP is silly to categorically reject anything that bespeaks a tax increase, but you can hardly blame then considering that in every past deal that involved increases spending increased ahead of them. But more importantly I don’t think the ceiling should be raised. You don’t get out of terribe debt by issuing more of it. Not raising it will not cause a default, we just need to spend much, much less (part of what we do spend will have to be on the debt itself and then there should be no default).

    Back in the 92 Dem campaign Jerry Brown quite astutely argued that debt should be a concern to liberals. Debt means taxpayers have to pay interest to debt holders-a large number of are wealthy domestic and foriegn holders-and get no social benefit from it, it’s a regressive transfer scheme. The failure of liberals to do this, their punting of the debt problem, is going to be their shame for decades imo…*

    * Note I don’t give the GOP much credit as I think they are not willing to cut their sacred cows (“with common sense exceptions…”) and I question their motivations but they are at least starting to talk and center on this problem

    1. I am glad that you, unlike most of the media, at least acknowledge that not raising the debt ceiling does not inherently equal default. I give you props for that.

      If we ended the wars and shut down all of those military bases in Europe and the Middle East we could make a huge dent into the problem. But that is **crazy** talk that no-one other than Ron Paul or Gary Johnson would even consider.

      1. “If we ended the wars and shut down all of those military bases in Europe and the Middle East we could make a huge dent into the problem.”

        +1

        It’s like if your relative called you saying they were in bad debt but were spending like sailors and asked if they should raise their credit limit on their credit card to continue spending and when you said “no, cut your expenses and start paying that debt off” they screamed “but then I won’t be able to pay my credit card bills!” It’s absurd.

        1. Good analogy, there is some point (and we may already be there) when it is impossible to pay back all of the debt ever no matter what we do.

      2. I’ve seen a couple of articles calling out Bachmann for being an abject idiot for making this point, but not one of the ones I’ve read actually bothers to state WHY she’s an idiot.

        1. Agreed. Bachman is an idiot for entirely other reasons 😉

          Actually, I’ll defend Bachman a bit on her latest scandal. I don’t begrudge someone if they think homosexuality is not a good lifestyle for someone and want to change it for whatever reason. While silly, judgmental and paternalistic this actually just bespeaks concern for the person who is gay. Gays and supporters of gay rights should be less upset about this and more focused on actual deprivations of rights, benefits and such.

          1. I don’t understand all of the indignant outrage over it.
            “WHAT?!?! The Evangelical Republican Palin-Lite Candidate holds fairly mainstream Evangelical views on homosexuality?!?!? FRONT PAGE!!”

            1. The other shocker is that a therapist tries to change someone’s behavior. I thought that is what all therapists do?

              1. Fixing Frank was an interesting movie about that.

              2. Not necessarily. If someone is unhappy with their situation, a therapist either helps them change, or helps them accept the situation for what it is. I am unaware of any evidence which suggests that sexual orientation itself can change (as opposed to behavior, which certainly can) so in that situation the second approach makes more sense.

                1. If heterosexual Anthony Weiner can get therapy to enable him to contol his heterosexual behavior, then why can’t a homosexual get theropy to enable him to contol his homosexual behavior?

                  1. Well, first, no one is suggesting Weiner should switch from women to men. Second, even though behavior can change, the basic attractions will not. So an “ex gay” will still be attracted to men while stuggling to have sex with women. This is a ghastly existence, both for the “ex gay” and the wife/girlfriend.

            2. Well, the outrage is appropriate if “fairly mainstream Evangelical views” on the topic are themselves outrageous.

              And I don’t really think they’re that mainstream. After all, to an evangelical Christian, homosexuality should be a moral problem that requires a solution that involves God’s grace. When you diverge from that to start regarding it as a psychological problem that can be “cured” by counseling, you are engaging in straightforward quackery and don’t get to hide behind your religion as an excuse.

            3. In fact, if the premises of evangelical Christianity are correct, then psychology as a discipline shouldn’t even exist.

              1. And what are your qualifications on being a evangelical Christianity expert. And is your expertise so great that you can tell evangelical Christians what they should believe?

                By the same argument you should also claim that evangelical Christians should not be surgeons but instead be faith healers. Nor should they be farmers, but instead wait for manna from heaven to feed them

                1. Psychology is different.

                  If the entire “Jesus sends God’s grace and it makes you a good person” riff is true, then there is NO SUCH THING as a psychological disorder. There’s only sin and the consequences of the absence of God’s grace.

                  If it’s EVEN POSSIBLE for any issue surrounding sin to be simply a disorder, and not a problem arising from the absence of God’s grace, then that entire superstructure collapses into nonsense. (Even greater nonsense than it already is, that is.)

                  1. False dichotomy.

                  2. Fluffy, you’re out of your area of expertise. God’s grace doesn’t make you a good person. From a Christian perspective, you’re responsible for your decisions and actions regardless of whether you’re a born again Christian or not.

                    If you assume that God’s grace DOES make you a good person, then the logical conclusion is that Christianity is a farce since so many Christians are obviously not perfect.

                  3. If the entire “Jesus sends God’s grace and it makes you a good person” riff is true, then there is NO SUCH THING as a psychological disorder.

                    Evangelicals (and Catholics and Orthodox) don’t think that grace automatically makes you a good person, only that it helps you do good things and avoid bad things. If you have a bad temper or a big appetite, for instance, grace isn’t expected to remove it, it just helps you control it. There’s room for the existence of psychological disorders there.

                    Evangelicals and Protestants in general also believe that grace constantly shields one from God’s judgement, while Catholics and Orthodox believe it actually cleanses sins upon absolution, but that’s a separate matter.

                    1. Hey, you know what?

                      Tulpa has successfully corrected me.

                      I stand corrected.

                      Thinking through Tulpa’s statement, it became clear to me that BOTH grace and worldly inducements could lead an evangelical to avoid sin.

                      If “grace” plus “beat the shit out of that disobedient kid” can get you a more moral kid, then I guess I have to concede that “grace” plus “talk to some asshole who’s probably a closet case himself” can get you a more moral adult.

                      I suppose I could be a real stickler and try to draw a distinction between ministry and psychology (the premises of psychology assume a model of the mind that isn’t easily compatible with the notion of Sin) but I guess it doesn’t matter. “Talk” therapy is unscientific enough that it doesn’t need any theoretical underpinning to be useful. We can just call it practical reinforcement and social support.

                    2. Wow, Fluffy.
                      Which evangelical pissed in your Cheerios?

                2. I’m holding out for quail.

              2. “In fact, if the premises of evangelical Christianity are correct, then psychology as a discipline shouldn’t even exist.”

                The Church of Scientology would agree with you on that.

            4. I’m more offended by the pissant little organization getting all this attention with its “litmus test”, than by her.

      3. I agree that we need to pull back our military from Europe, and Asia as well. I personally think we should maintain a ‘reasonable’ presence in the middle east if only to be in a position to respond to events. Unfortunately, what’s ‘reasonable’ and what’s perceived as ‘reasonable’ by politicians are two totally different things with the latter being far more expensive and therefore, we should be pulling back sharply in the middle east as well.

    2. What I find truly disingenuous about the GOP is that the proposal on the table does practically nothing to cut the deficit NOW. They too are punting the problem down the road under the false guise of “structural reforms”, reforms which can, and regularly are, undone by future politicians dirtbags.

      And I agree that the no “New tax” stance is a farce. They could start to unwind the tax code, cutting out all of the favors, which is something that Obama put on the table. Their “well we know it’s a loophole but we’ll keep it because it reduces overall tax burden” is utter bollocks.

      1. It’s all about staying in power. That is the unrelenting, driving motivation of all politicians and any threat to that, perceived or real, will be kicked down the road for someone else to deal with. No one will sacrifice thier ‘career’ as a congresscritter for the sake of a financial sound and fiscally responsible republic.

        Also agree that the tax code needs to be drastically simplified. However, this is unlikely to happen as well since this is one of the tools congresscritters use to buy contributions from business and other special interests.

    3. First, I think the GOP is silly to categorically reject anything that bespeaks a tax increase,

      I don’t think they are. A tax increase in the debt ceiling bill would destroy their chances at doing much of anything in November 2012.

      But more importantly I don’t think the ceiling should be raised.

      I agree.

      1. If it’s only a tax increase on the wealthy I don’t think it’s a problem for them. Remember that 50% of the population pays no income taxes.

        1. Its a problem for them regardless of who gets tagged with the tax. They are on record with a “read my lips: no new taxes” type pledge.

          Their base will go apeshit, and the likelihood of a bona fide third party goes way up. The Tea Party is holding a loaded gun to the heads of Republicans, and they know it.

          1. Or you could look at it another way:
            the GOP is holding a loaded gun to the heads of the Tea Partiers: “Look, if we don’t compromise just to please you, we will lose in 2012 and you certainly don’t want another four years of Obama do you?” When it comes down to it, how many tea partiers are willing to take two or three steps back in order to stand on principle and lose another election?

            1. I’m not sure they care. Tea Partiers aren’t modern, nihilistic fuckers, so they can actually believe in ideas like “it’s better to die fighting than live on your knees”. The politicians are still craven little shits, of course, but the movement is significant because it isn’t a party, just a popular sentiment.

  10. Given the precarious relationship between health workers, militants, and civilians in many areas of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the existence of a fake vaccination program ran by the CIA is likely all the evidence many need to accuse all vaccinators and health workers of spying. The end result will be fewer families willing to have their children vaccinated, and more attacks on health workers providing any manner of medical care to communities.

    Wrong. That is the end result of the determined resistance of these Neanderthals to entering the 21st (actually 20th) century, as already well-known and as documented in the second and third paragraphs of the article. I have no inordinate regard for the CIA but the rather clever – successful or not – CIA vaccination caper is a drop in this bucket and hardly a significant cause of the public health problem in Pakistan, now or in the future.

    1. Pardon me if I don’t shed a tear for the future of the vaccination aid worker. Here’s an idea Pakis: spend a little of our aid money on your own freaking vaccine efforts if you’re suspicious of our charity. Until then, suck on this polio…

      1. Yeah, I don’t know who’s paying for this, but I’d say they can find better places for their charity.

      2. The end result will be fewer families willing to have their children vaccinated,

        “Paging Mr. Darwin….Mr. Charles Darwin”

    2. How is this different from Palestinians using ambulances to transport weapons? Doing military operations under the guise of providing medical aid is abhorrent.

      1. Not familiar with the Palistinians/Ambulance situation, but in this case the Pakistani children were actually vaccinated. So the vaccination campaign was not “fake” as many hand-wringers have stated, but it appears to have been a cover for something else.

        1. Based on the Ars article I read yesterday, multiple rounds of vaccination are required for success, and the last round was never performed. So, while they weren’t precisely giving out placebos, they didn’t properly vaccinate the children, mainly because they never gave a shit about that part of it in the first place.

        2. OK, so if the Palestinian used the ambulances to transport weapons but also gave out medical care using the ambulances, that would be OK?

          The point is that disguising military missions as civilian (and especially humanitarian) activity is against the law of war as it forces your enemy to start attacking civilian and humanitarian targets.

          1. “Start”? That’s rich.

  11. Debt ceiling FAQs.

    What happens if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2? No one knows for sure.

    How about getting all set to raise it, but holding off moment to moment until we see what actually happens. If TSHTF — Instantly raise the ceiling!!

    1. I say lower it until something happens.

      1. That’s just crazy talk.

      2. I say tap into the SS trust fund.

        1. I’d tap that.

        2. Unfortunately the Treasury used the SS IOU’s to wallpaper the executive washroom so they are no longer available.

        3. I think the SS Trust Fund is no longer a reliable vessel.

          1. Three Hour Tour?

        4. This is actually a way out. The feds could just admit that the “trust fund” is no such thing, that the “bonds” that are in it are just book-keeping entries, and write them off.

          Voila! Lots of room under the current debt ceiling.

          Of course, this would require telling the truth, so it won’t happen.

          1. It would also require failing to send out Social Security checks. SS isn’t buying treasuries at this point, it’s cashing them in as it’s already in deficit.

          2. Good point. If SocSec is converting its Treasuries to cash to pay checks, then paying those checks doesn’t increase our debt, and the debt ceiling isn’t an issue.

            1. Actually it does, because the shortfall between SS revenue and SS payouts has to be financed with more debt.

              SS is a finely crafted trap indeed; whether you’re running a surplus or a deficit it always adds debt.

    2. That happened once right? 1994 or something? The federal government shut down for a couple weeks and people discovered that it didn’t affect their lives one little bit. Scared the bejesus out of the politicians because society started to wake up to their uselessness and illegitimacy.

      I think that’s what the politicians fear the most. That if the federal government shuts down the people will see that it, it’s taxes, and it’s debt, serve no useful purpose.

      1. yep that happened. and it re-elected bill clinton when the gop got the blame

        1. So Big O’s plan is to allow the federal government to shut down, blame the Rs, and use that to get re-elected.

          clever

          1. It actually seems to be working fairly well for him so far…

          2. That’s exactly right.

            I think it will work, too. Mostly because the Repubs are gutless (they will cave under this threat) idiots (they can’t manage to put the blame back on the guy causing the problem in these negotiations).

            So: We are still looking at trillion dollar deficits for years to come. I expect that any “plan” that might be adopted won’t change that, and the planned cuts of course will be jettisoned immediately.

            Hence, fiscal collapse, monetary collapse, etc. Not a question of whether, just when and how bad.

      2. Actually, the shut down was not over a debt ceiling raise. It was over the budget.

        But, if there is a shutdown, I’m expected to continue coming in and doing my work, but we won’t receive paychecks until it starts back up.

        1. Good luck with that. I don’t get paid, I quit showing up and spend my time shopping my resume to recruiters.

        2. Budgets?

          We don’t need no stinkin budgets!

      3. “I think that’s what the politicians fear the most. That if the federal government shuts down the people will see that it, it’s taxes, and it’s debt, serve no useful purpose.”

        That’s what’s happening here in Minnesota.

      4. The problem is that government never “shuts down”. “Shutdown” means that government takes away the carrots, and keeps beating us with the sticks.

        True shutdown would be mean that the government would neither run the parks, nor run us out of the parks. It would neither grant us the licenses we need to conduct our business, nor would it punish us for failing to have them. It wouldn’t spend our money, but it wouldn’t collect taxes either. That doesn’t happen.

        Shutdown is just a fancy word for placing America under siege until we relent and agree to pay tribute. If we thought clearly and had more balls, we’d treat it as such and start dumping rocks and boiling tar on them.

    3. You’ve gotta love a FAQ that has answers like “Nobody knows.” Gee, thanks!

      Or as that chocolate factory boy lover put it:

      There’s no earthly way of knowing
      Which direction we are going
      There’s no knowing where we’re borrowing
      Or which way the river’s flowing
      Is it raining? Is it snowing?
      Is a hurricane a-blowing?
      Not a speck of light is showing
      So the danger must be growing
      Are the fires of hell a-glowing?
      Is the grisly reaper mowing?
      Yes! The danger must be growing
      For the borrowers keep on borrowing
      And they’re certainly not showing
      Any signs that they are slowing!

  12. The Menace Within
    What happened in the basement of the psych building 40 years ago shocked the world. How do the guards, prisoners and researchers in the Stanford Prison Experiment feel about it now?…

    1. Did the Golden Links die with your old handle?

      1. What old handle? I have no idea what you’re talking about.

        1. How dare you deny your Golden Heritage while Betty White still draws breath!

          1. She was great in Boston Legal as a crazy murderess.

      2. He’s trying to hide the fact that the ‘nets have reached Peak Golden Girls.

        We need to start rationing links!

  13. I liked you better when you were Johnny Longtorso.

    That’s what she said.

  14. Weather isn’t climate! Unless we want to argue it is!

    Hot, muggy weather created dangerous conditions for residents of the South and Midwest on Tuesday, and there were reports of heat-related deaths. We all know that it’s impossible to link any particular heat wave to the phenomenon of global warming, but those of us suffering in humid areas have to be wondering?is the Earth getting wetter, too?

    1. It’s possible for both sides to be correct.

      Wait, what?

      1. It’s possible for both sides to be correct.

        That’s what she said.

    2. Hot, muggy weather created dangerous conditions for residents of the South and Midwest on Tuesdayfor time immemorial

      Fucking SUMMER, how does it work?

    3. dumbed down for denierz; weather = pennies & climate = dollars

    4. We have had a lot of rain this spring in Indiana, and just like last year, the corn crop looks great. If this is the result of climate change, I’ll take it.

    5. Giant solar powered dehumidifiers, pump the millions of gallons of water these things take out of the air into water towers. This solution actually does something to curb warming because water vapor makes up something like 95% of GHGs. Taking water from the air then drinking it would kill two birds with one stone -without killing any actual birds in the process.

      1. AKA atmospheric condensers, which as Picard found out would be a monumental undertaking.

      2. Water vapor in the form of clouds also reflects sunlight — the greenhouse effect is just one cog in the machinery of climate.

      3. Fucking with the whole heat/precipitation cycle. What could possibly go wrong?

        1. Exactly. Let’s practice deliberate terraforming on our backup Earth, m’kay?


  15. Local Law 17 would require crisis pregnancy centers to disclose whether or not they perform abortions or give access to them; disclose if they have a medical professional on the premises; and say if emergency contraception and prenatal services are offered. It also requires that patient information be kept confidential.”

    I don’t see a problem with that, informed transactions are more truly voluntary and a good thing. They are just requiring them to truthfully represent their services, there was a problem with them misleading people.

    1. Imagine if Christian Scientists established “Cancer Crisis Centers” around the city, advertising them as such, without mentioning at any point until your consultation starts that they have no medical staff on hand and plan to counsel you to pray away your cancer. What purpose would be served by the number of people duped into coming in and leaving having wasted everyone’s time?

      1. Did you ever read employment ads that sound too good to be true? “Wanted: College grad, up to $50K/year?” When you send a resume, you always land an interview? And it turns out to be some multi-level marketing scam?

        Aren’t these crisis centers the same thing? Shady, but legal. And generally, when I see the ads, I can pick the wheat from the chaff.

        1. Maybe, but I’m not sure sending in your resume=going in to get care for a major medical issue, in the latter case when the trick is pulled on you its a bit more crappy (though both are crappy)

          To me its a gray area bording on fraud to misrepresent yourself in order to induce another’s reliance on that misrepresentation…

          1. If I were going in for a major medical procedure, I would call the place and say, “Excuse me, do you perform Procedure X? Can I set up an appointment?”

            If I just show up at some clinic and expect them to perform Procedure X, I’ve wasted my time/gas and have no one to blame but myself.

          2. It just seems like it’s not so much the risk of “misrepresentation” that has people up in arms, but the nature of the speech that these centers are engaged in that has people up in arms.

          3. You’re aiming for false advertising rather than fraud. Fraud requires an exchange of value.

            And of course it’s not false advertising as long as there are no false statements in the advertisement; you don’t have to disclose every detail about your business in every ad.

          4. Of course, the ultimate in “false advertising” is an provider of services preventing people from becoming parents, or making parents not parents anymore, calling themselves “Planned Parenthood”.

      2. Aren’t these centers free?

        There can be no question of fraud when the item in question is provided for free.

        They just happen to think the correct response to a “pregnancy crisis” isn’t an abortion. And there’s no question that they’re sincere.

        I am pretty militantly pro-choice, but arguing that other people can’t advertise that they counsel pregnant women in the way they see fit unless they are providing the option YOU think they should offer is pretty damn arrogant.

      3. MNG, on the other side of the coin, imagine if someone created a “toddler crisis center” that had staff on hand to teach parents anger management techniques and parenting skills for stressed out parents who are worried that they might hit their kids in frustration. How would you reach to people calling the center fraudulent for not having medical staff on hand to euthanize the toddlers?

    2. I say as long as they aren’t breaking an already existing law (fraud, holding women against their will, etc) let them be.

      I’ve heard a lot of sound and fury recently about the Crisis Pregnancy Centers, but haven’t heard any cases of someone being seriously injured or adversely affected because of one.

      Someone who is offended when a volunteer advises them not to get an abortion can just get up and leave.

      1. I think it is an attempt to shut them down and nothing more. Pro-abortionists saw that when Catholic hospitals were required by law to perform abortions, they simply shut down.

        Abortion is the Left’s most holy sacrament.

    3. Re: MNG,

      I don’t see a problem with that, informed transactions are more truly voluntary and a good thing.

      Indeed, as you and me know (wink, wink!) that women are simply too stupid to ask a pregnancy center if they offer abortions. Women are stupid, men-populated government is smart.

      Of course, there are those people too stupid to know that an airplane that flies from Denver to San Jose will not fly to Cuba, so there has to be a law that makes the airline disclose such important factoid.

    4. I don’t see a problem with that, informed transactions are more truly voluntary and a good thing.

      That’s the key word. Making a law kinda makes it involuntary.

      I’m assuming anyone could ask, and if the center says no, or gives them the run around, then forget it. But let’s no pretend ignorance on what this was intended to achieve.

    5. So if I open a restaraunt called “Tulpa’s Sandwiches”, would I have to clearly state in all my advertising whether I offer BLTs? BLTs are a common sandwich, so people might be “duped” into thinking I serve them.

      1. One Clause to rule them all, etc. etc.

  16. Busy morning, so off to do more actual work. But wanted to note two general things here before I run:

    1) Morning, Reason!

    2) “FUCK OFF, SLAVER!” to any slavers who post during the day when I can’t reply. (I’m lookin’ at you, Tony)

    That is all. Thanks.

    1. There is no Tony. That’s just a mirror you’re yelling into.

      1. Is he like Candyman? He appears if I say his name three times?

        OK, I gotta run…

        Morning, Reason! Fuck off, SLAVERS!!!

        1. That was ME, ya dumb bitch!

      2. “There is no Tony, there is only Zuul.”

  17. “Beezus wept”

    Jesse’s wordplay FTW!

  18. The ASP program was promoted as one of the Bush administration’s top national security efforts. In 2006, Congress approved $1.2 billion for the machines. But GAO investigators and congressional overseers discovered that the nuclear detection office had underestimated the costs, overstated the benefits and provided misleading information to Congress.

    Congress required that the homeland security secretary personally certify the effectiveness of the machines before deployment. Preliminary tests of the machines in recent years revealed numerous problems.

    This is surprising. We’re talking about government bureaucrats, who operate solely in the interest of the common good.

    1. Wonder which ex-DHS or DoD executive will be found on the Board of Directors for the ASP machines this time?

      The pisser is that screening incoming cargo for special nuclear material is a task that DHS actually should be doing. I don’t worry about a dirty bomb, per se, but a IND detonation, made from ex-Soviet or, even funnier, ex-U.S. material unaccounted for, would be unbelievably bad. You can kiss goodbye the remnants of the 4th and 5th Amendments if that happens.

  19. Jury duty wrap-up. I was in a group of 65 people who were selected for an aggravated sexual assault case. The Assistant DA and the defense attorney each had an hour to talk to us an ask questions to decide who to eliminate. It was pretty interesting.

    One of the more interesting moments was when the defense attorney asked each person to pick from one of three options why they thought people should be put in prison for committing crimes. The options were rehabilitation, as a deterrent, or as punishment. About 80% of the people said punishment, I think, with about an even split of the rest between rehabilitation and deterrent.

    I said rehabilitation. I was not selected, though I was juror 53, so it’s possible I may have been if I’d been further up the list. I was curious which of three everyone here would pick.

    1. Depends on the crime. Serial killers are sent to prison for retribution. Embezzlers are sent to prison for deterrent. Drug users are supposedly sent to prison for rehabilitation.

      1. I always figured once you get up into major violent crime territory (murder, agg. assault, rape) part of the justification is quarantine. You are a threat to the rest of us and should be kept off with the rest of the animals until such time as you provide us with some evidence you’ll behave. So I guess that’d be rehabilitation?

        1. IMHO quarantine is the only justification for putting someone in prison, since all prison really does is teach a person how to live in prison.

          I’d even go so far as to call prison “cruel and unusual punishment” since it amounts to subjecting a person to random beatings and rapes while taking away a piece of their life that cannot be recovered.

          I say bring back the stocks, whipping post and gallows.

          Pain and public humiliation as punishment and deterrent, with death for those unfit for society.

          1. Pain is fine, but I’m honestly not sure that public humiliation would be an effective punishment these days.

            1. You do have a point.
              There is no shame left in our society.

              1. What are you talking about?

                1. Heh.
                  You spelled it like “Cookie”.

          2. with death for those unfit for society.
            Were that so, everyone here would be in a lot of trouble.

            1. I should amend that to death to those who are dangerous to members of society. Better?

              1. Nope. I’m afraid I’d still stand accused.

              2. No. A whole lot of people consider libertarianism dangerous to members of society. I consider liberalism extreme dangerous to society, with theocracy running a nearly indistinguishably close second.

                1. I suppose libertarianism is dangerous because it wouldn’t allow institutionalized theft and fraud, forcing the thieves and liars in government to resort to illegal criminal activity instead of the legal criminal activity they currently do.

              3. I should amend that to death to those who are dangerous to members of society.

                As determined by whom? And someone can be dangerous to (members of) society even if there’s no evidence they’ve committed a particularly bad crime.

                1. I saw that movie, and it sucked.

                2. Anyone who is perpendicular to anything else is dangerous to society.

                  1. Shall we declare war on orthogonality?

                    It might actually be over before the war on terror.

        2. I guess… if we’re accepting “lock you in a box and check back every 5 years to see if you’ve learned to love humanity” as rehabilitation.

        3. Agree with T 100%. The only justification for locking someone up is if it is necessary to protect the rest of us.

          1. BTW the attorneys only got two hours to pick a jury in a major felony case??? WTF?? I’ve taken a lot longer than that in DUI cases.

          2. So Bernie Madoff and George Ryan shouldn’t be in jail.

            Ryan’s never going to hold public office again, and no one is going to trust Madoff with money, so they’re not threats to repeat their respective crimes at all.

            1. I think you are a little optimistic regarding Ryan and Madoff.

              A con man like Madoff is always dangerous. There are lots of gullible people out there who would believe him, even now, if he told them what they wanted to hear.

              Regarding Ryan, the fact that someone has abused the public trust does not mean they cannot worm their way back into a position of power or trust, e.g. Alcee Hastings, Marion Barry, etc.

        4. You are a threat to the rest of us and should be kept off with the rest of the animals until such time as you provide us with some evidence you’ll behave.

          And somehow the judge knows exactly how long that process will take at the time of sentencing? I think not.

          And we would (rightly) be screaming bloody murder if the state said they were keeping a convict in jail beyond his or her sentence because they thought this person was a danger to society.

          The main purposes are deterrent and retribution. If rehabilitation happens that’s good but it’s not the purpose.

          1. And we would (rightly) be screaming bloody murder if the state said they were keeping a convict in jail beyond his or her sentence because they thought this person was a danger to society.

            We would. The rest of society seems okay with it, especially when it comes to sex offenders. Wasn’t there a proposal recently (within the past two years) to keep pedos locked up past their sentence because they can’t be rehabilitated?

            1. Yeah, that’s true. But I believe we’re nearly unanimous here in thinking that’s a gross injustice.

    2. None of the above?

    3. It’s a frothy mixture of punishment and proactive collective self-defense after the fact.

      No one is rehabilitation by prison. They may learn to commit crime again because the downsides are so unpleasant, but that is not rehabilitation.

      Deterrence is a bromide for people squeamish about punishment. The punishment aspect is the deterrent, in so far as it works.

      1. I think you accidentally some words.

        1. Dammit. Speed kills, kids. Speed kills.

          1. Only if you do it wrong.

            Otherwise, it’s all good clean fun.

      2. I think prison used to be a lot better at rehabilitation, and I was picking based on what I would like to be in an ideal world, I suppose. I was on the fence between that and punishment.

        1. I suppose the rehabilitation question is a lot like the difference between the joyful Christian–people who love Christ with their whole heart–and those who obey the precepts of Christ out of a fear of eternal damnation.

          I doubt anyone comes out of prison with a joyful heart (rehabilitated), but they might be sufficiently cowed enough to obey (effectively punished.)

          (I’m focusing on those who commit aggressive (in the libertarian sense) crimes. I would imagine consensual “criminals” just come out hating everyone and everything, as they should.)

          1. What about the atheist libertarian who lives by the non-aggression principle, and as a result is even more “moral” than the average Christian?

            1. That’s dangerous talk, s.

            2. Those Christians either don’t understand morals or they reject them for personal gain.

              It is not so much that morals are relative, but rather that they are non-obvious and as a result are outlined and defined by humans according to their prejudices and for their own ends.

          2. I fell asleep during that part of Clockwork Orange.

    4. Interesting. I actually have jury duty coming up on Monday.

      1. Be sure to give us a wrap-up when you get back!

    5. I’m a punishment guy. Let’s not kid ourselves.

      Punishment, of course, also serves as a deterrent, but locking people up in concrete and steel hellholes is punishment, folks. The deterrence is just a side effect.

      1. Well it wouldn’t be a deterrent if it weren’t punishment. I think the distinction we’re looking for is deterrent vs. retribution.

    6. So, “isolation” wasn’t even a fucking option?

  20. Punishment and deterrence, in that order. Why would I put someone in prison to rehabilitate him?

    1. That story activates my secret happy place.

      1. How long do you think before there’s a fettuccine-ist and linguine-ist schism?

        1. It might be a while, considering the difficulty of nailing 95 noodles to a door.

          1. That’s why I hold to strict lasagna-ite principles.

          2. Fettucciniists and Linguineists are apostates before the eyes of our lord and savory

          3. I laughed

  21. Wow. I had no idea Beverly Cleary was still alive. Coincidentally, I just finished reading my five-year-olds their first Cleary book, Henry and Beezus, (unless The Mouse and the Motorcycle was Cleary, in which case it’s the second).
    Oh, Ribsey, will you every learn?
    And I wish we could fit restitution into the Crime and Punishment equation, somehow.

    1. Yeah. M & the M is Cleary.
      Henry makes me feel old. I had to explain to my kids that once upon a time 11-year-olds really could and did deliver newspapers or do other jobs in order to earn money to save and buy their own bikes and such.
      I was once in the same position as Henry. When I was 12 I actually delivered the same newspaper I work for now and used some of the money for a new bike.
      Of course, back then we also all wore onions on our belts, which was the style at the time.

      At least my kids still know what a newspaper is.

      1. “At least my kids still know what a newspaper is.”

        They’re for starting charcoal, right?

      2. Henry makes me feel old. I had to explain to my kids that once upon a time 11-year-olds really could and did deliver newspapers or do other jobs in order to earn money to save and buy their own bikes and such.

        Reading Cleary’s books today is like watching “A Christmas Story”–there’s so many little things like you described that date them to a specific time period, especially the character’s names. Beatrice, Ramona, Hobart, and Henry are the kind of names you’d expect to see on a nursing home register, not a typical suburban household.

  22. I wish we could fit restitution into the Crime and Punishment equation, somehow.

    Wait- you mean giving money to some dopey civilian when the Sheriff’s Department needs new treads for their tank? Are you nuts?

  23. http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/…..?hpt=hp_t2

    The TSA’s pet Palestinian born-again Christian convert turns out to be a con artist.

    Apparently, all you have to do to get money from the TSA is show up and say, “I used to be a Muslim terrorist, but now I’m a born-again Christian who gives speeches saying that all Muslims are security threats. Can I have some TSA money, please?”

    1. The bar for getting USA federal funds is rather low if you’re a former or current Muslim. Just look at the Saudi government. It outlaws women driving, does not allow non-Muslims to proselytize, ect. The feds funds the KSA, because it is moderate enough to not fund terrorist attacks against Western civilians. The aid we send to Pakistan shows a similarly low standard. We’ve got to stop being so freaked out by the handful of Muslim terrorists. That fear makes us too eager to throw support behind anyone who looks like the lesser of two evils.

      1. I think aid to SA and Pakistan has more to do with having enormous oil reserves and having nuclear weapons, respectively, than with being Muslim. In the case of Egypt it’s protection money for Israel.

        The US doesn’t give squat in aid to most Muslim countries.

    2. I’d try that, but I’m not swarthy enough.

    3. “All Islamic organizations in America should be the No. 1 enemy. All of them.”

      The guy sounds like a raving lunatic and no one bats an eyelash? Color me surprised.

  24. Anyone see “One Man Army” last night? Four guys compete with various skills a soldier might need. The cop was sent home after the first challenge. He could barely unclip his carabiner from the rope line, couldn’t run uphill(!), and was a terrible shot. His time was over twice as long as the other contestants.

    1. You don’t have to be a peak athlete in order to shoot dogs and taze motorists to death.

      1. In other words, they didn’t test the right skills.

        1. Exactly. For example, I bet the other three wouldn’t be able to shoot a guy in front of a liquor store for the heinous non-crime of buy beer with his son. That takes a special skill set of straight-faced lying, and a complete lack of simple moral sense most people haven’t trained out of themselves.

          1. And I thought: My God — the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure.

            1. I did that whole bit as my dramatic monologue in my Public Speaking class.

              1. I’d have gone for the Hannibal Lecter speech from Manhunter. “If one does what god does enough times, one will become as god is.”

                1. underrated flick.

                  1. I also prefer Brian Cox over Hopkins as Lecter, but I suppose that puts me in a minority.

  25. My condolences to India. May those injured in this weeks terrorist attacks heal quickly and completely.

    1. She probably learned that strategy from Zodiac.

    2. inre: the first story

      I find myself shocked that I agree with the commenters. They didn’t charge the guy with shit, he could do like 30 days, or less, with those charges.

      If you middle-man a teener of coke for a friend they’ll try giving you ten years, but if you kidnap a lady and her baby you get probation.

      Studies: eating main cause of obesity

      …and not being able to hyperlink causes the diabeetus

  26. Re: MNG,

    You don’t get out of terribe debt by issuing more of it.

    You… you… you Krugmanism denier! Denier!

    1. Sorry, Old M. The science is settled.

  27. “Studies: eating main cause of obesity”

    STFP

    (That’s “stop the fucking presses” for you civilians.)

    1. Also discovered: sexual intercourse is the main cause of teenage pregnancy.

      1. To be fair, the articles were more specific — among “eating”, they pinpointed restaurant food and snacks as the main drivers.

  28. Why the states shouldn’t be the gatekeeper of jobs:

    Rob Lang worries he won’t get his certified public accountant’s license before his job starts in September.

    Lindsey Moline fears a job offer will be revoked if she can’t get a cosmetology license soon.

    Leona Jovanovich anxiously waits for her nursing license so she, too, can start a new job.

    Many of Minnesota’s licensing boards closed up shop June 30 when a state budget impasse led to the now 2-week-old government shutdown. People who need to obtain or renew licenses to work – including nurses, cosmetologists, accountants, truck drivers, union apprentices and teachers – are stuck in limbo as they wait for the state to reopen.

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_1…..ck_check=1

    1. See? We NEED government!
      They’ve made sure of it.

    2. How the parasite becomes a symbiote.

    3. Of course, nobody will manage to reach the conclusion that rent-seeking restrictions on commerce are a bad thing, even though they’ve just gotten the pointed end of that particular stick.

      1. No one could find the paperwork to become a properly licensed stick sharpener.

  29. Ars interviews the new copyright chief (or whatever her title is) and *surprise* she sucks. In general, I like the Ars commenters. It’s a mix of socialists and libertarians. And one thing you can count on from that mix is copyright lawyer hate.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-po…..mments-bar

    1. Ah, so that’s where the liberaltarian movement went.

  30. Will the state of Minnesota arrest people who pick up trash in state parks without proper credentials and authorization?

    Will they set up checkpoints at the Wisconsin border to search vehicles for alcohol or other goods for which artificial, government-created shortages exist?

    1. You have no right to pick up trash on public property.

  31. “Coercing speech” my foot.

    The New York law in question requires “pregnancy crisis centers” to disclose whether or not they offer abortion services. The only reason for any business NOT to disclose this information is so they can give would-be customers the runaround, DEFRAUDING them of their right to find the service they want and need.

    Shame on Jesse Walker for supporting this practice of FRAUD and wanting to enable it.

    1. Now THAT’S an interesting positive right…

    2. The other day I went to a sandwich shop advertised on TV, but only when I got there did they tell me they didn’t make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

      FRAUD!

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