Reason Morning Links: Libyan Endgame Edition


The latest from J. Neil Schulman discusses his work.

NEXT: Third Base Foul Line

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  1. George Paraki ponders a presidential run.

    In less interesting news, so does George Pataki.

      1. HEY!!

      2. Jesse, if that’s the biggest mistake you make today, you’re doing better than most people.

        1. I rotally agree!

          1. Rooby rooby roooo!

            1. Rota Rota Rota!!!

            2. Rots of ruck!

    1. What about George Takei?

      1. He certainly has the experience.

    2. The difference is, I might have voted for Paraki.

      1. I might have voted for Takei.

        1. He has a distinguished service career.

          1. I would never trust a president who was paralyzed with fear upon seeing a viewscreen full of knives.

            1. Homophobe!

            2. Granted, but how often does that come up when steering the ship of state?

              I am slightly concerned about how well he’d handle any issues with the Japanese, as he’s shown an unreasoning terror of samurai, but, again, not likely a problem. We get along just fine with the Japanese and probably would improve relations still further with a Japanese-American as president.

              1. He does know how to tickle a pickle.

    1. I work my fingers down to nubs researching and writing that and you fuckers just ignore it?

      1. We need some more Fannie Mae supporters on here to make it interesting. A good fight always makes posting more fun. Perhaps you can post the same link on bubblejuice with a redirect to here.

        1. WRONG! Fanny Mae gives poor people free [houses]! WHY DO YOU HATE POOR PEOPLE!!!1

        2. GlAss SteAgal!!1!11!!!

      2. When does the Readers Digest version come out?

      3. Appreciated…read…and not surprised, though it doesn’t exactly absolve everyone else who jumped on the “gravity doesn’t exist, watch me fly” bandwagon. I’d love to charge everyone who signed the CRA with fraud along with everyone who perpetrated it, but its not going to happen so I’ll just continue to drink myself to death.

      4. This was great, but not surprising. The level of detail and authoritative references were appreciated. I will bookmark your blog for my lib friends when they cry ‘deregulation’.

        1. “Deregulation” does tend to be wringting hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of regulations and either replacing or adding to existing regulations, doesn’t it?

      5. I worship you, Aqua Buddha.

    2. Well done. That makes for easy one-click linking.

    1. Global warming runs out of gas

      Nothing like rough economic times to disabuse people of their fantasies. Which is at least one redeeming feature of rough economic times.

      1. Recession finds what auditors can’t.

  2. College Rape Accusations and the Presumption of Male Guilt
    Pressured by the Obama administration, universities abandon any pretense of due process in sexual assault cases.

    1. Well, I guess they can get away with it since these boards are not courts of law. Still shady and dangerous, but I guess it passes the constitutional muster. I love how illiberal liberals can be.

    2. Just another reason I’m glad to be taking courses online and not in a classroom.

      1. cyberrape?

    3. “On campus, where casual sex is celebrated and is frequently fueled by alcohol, the ambiguity that often attends sexual encounters is heightened and the risk of error in rape cases is increased.”

      As in most cases the liberal project often works at cross purposes with itself. The oft derided prudish sexual mores of the past were often barriers to crossing into such ambiguous territories.

  3. Can I wear a sheer blouse with a dark bra to the office?…..le2126407/

    1. If the photo resembles the questioner, then the answer is YES

      1. If the photo resembles the questioner, then the answer is YES

        Yeah, but wouldn’t a white sheer blouse have been so much more exquisitely skanky?

        1. It needs to be bedazzled.

          And she needs to be va-jazzed.

    2. That’s not a problem anywhere but the workplace.

      Phew, turns out my mother-in-law was wrong about what I wore to her husband’s funeral.

      Pretend I’m female for this comment. Or don’t, it works either way.

    3. No? Sheer bra, then.

      1. Just the sheer blouse and no bra.

        1. As you wish …

    4. Here in FL, we’re prepared to go all hurricane pr0n all the time for the next week. By friday, I’m going to be begging for the thing to hit something, preferrably TWC’s headquarters in Atlanta.

      1. WTF squirrels? Just put that link anywhere.

      2. Tell me about it.

        I live in the Catskill Mountains of NY, an area that consistently gets overlooked by the Weather Channel. The other day we were having a round of thunderstorms going over, conveniently right at the bottom of the hour. So I turned on the Weather Channel hoping to get a nice bigger map of where the storms were and how long they would last.

        After showing the basic northeast US map, they zoomend in on the Boston area. Then they panned down to NYC — no storms yet, but they’re on the way, we were assured. Then they panned over to the rural part of central PA (roughly the entire part of the state where you’d hit Lake Ontario if you went due north), which always seems to show up in their closeups. But anything in New York north of Westchester county gets ignored.

        1. I think they hit central PA in such detail because Accu-Weather is based in State College. Either they have a deal where they buy a lot of data and analysis from AW or they’re purposely stomping on their toes out of spite.

        2. North?!

        3. You do know TWC has a website where you can type in a zip code for a local forecast, no?

          1. What’s the internet?

          2. their online maps suck too.

          3. I’d rather not have the computer on during a thunderstorm. It’s a bigger pain to replace the computer than a TV if God forbid we get a direct lightning hit while the computer is on, even with surge protectors and all. (And I was watching on the old CRT TV in the spare room. I already had to replace the TV in that room once before, which I did by buying a flat-screen for the main TV and moving another old CRT into the spare room.)

            In the past, I would have turned on the one digital sub-channel which was just a constant radar image, but the channel in question just changed their digital subchannels so that what used to be their weather radar channel is now a rotating channel showing a pre-recorded forecast and a bunch of other stuff, so they only have the radar some of the time. Even then, living here in Ulster County, we’re at the bottom of the screen in the radar images, and one of the Albany TV channels runs such a big warning bar during the thunderstorm warnings that it covers up where I am on their weather maps.

            Go ahead and make fun of me for being old-fashioned. 🙂


          Internet, how does it work?!

        5. So Ted, you are saying you are the Ron Paul of weather?

        6. Very Good online weather


      3. Nothing like a good weather-graphic boner to make you proud to be…in the path of destructive natural forces…or something.

  4. “You’re talking about the aristocracy of American finance going down the tubes without the federal money.”

    As if that would have been a bad thing…

    1. “Why in hell does the Federal Reserve seem to be able to find the way to help these entities that are gigantic?”

      “Too big to fail”, biotches!

    2. Preservation of the status quo is of paramount importance to DC and Wall Street. Upsetting the apple cart is the last thing most of them want. This is the result.

      1. And its no coincidence that the Federal Reserve is nothing but a banking cartel.

    3. And I bet they got these loans at less then 1% interest so they can then turn around and buy Treasury bonds at 3%.

      1. Government Sachs got their loans at .01%.

        Burn these motherfucking dinosaurs to the ground.

      2. …and then use the bonds as collateral to borrow more money, which they can use to buy bonds (and which provides money for the gov’t). And it doesn’t cause inflation because the government isn’t printing money!

        It’s such a beautiful circle.

  5. Libya’s rebels have taken most of Tripoli.

    All that’s left is a game of Michigan.

  6. Libya’s rebels have taken most of Tripoli.

    Well, I hope doing the bidding of our European allies to prevent Libyan refugees flooding their countries turns out to be worth the price of giving the jihadis a a new place to train soldiers to fight against US forces.

  7. Student loan debt has shot up 511 percent since 1999.

    Consider those debt collection jobs created/saved!

    1. At least they’re not personal trainers, massage therapists or executive chefs.

  8. This happened despite a cyber-attack on the campaign Website, announced on Paul’s Facebook page, that shut it down for a few hours.

    Sounds like a *hate crime* to me!

  9. George Pataki

    This is great news; I really thought this race could use another has-been milquetoast Republican candidate.

  10. Why Huntsman Is Praised While Ron Paul Is Ignored…..ed/243910/

    1. Johnson and Paul are challenging orthodoxies of thought that are bi-partisan in nature and implicate much of the political and media establishment.

      IOW, they’re *crazy*.

      1. What gets me is that the media never looks to people who have been accurate in their forecasts. It’s always the same gaggle of dipshits who are always wrong about what’s coming.

        The same is true of von Mises and Hayek. Keynesian forecasters have been consistently wrong but they still get respect.

        1. [Insert Rodney Dangerfield joke here]

          1. My favorite:

            Why do men die before their wives?

            Because they want to.

        2. I’m wondering if this might not be a dying trend.

          Most of my radio is now via podcast and I’m always a week or so behind. It is amazing to see how incredibly bad these “wonks” are when predicting the future.

          Just listened yesterday to some local political reporter telling us how the Wisconsin recall elections were going to tip the senate to Team Blue. The race he claimed was too close to call ended up being 58-42.

          Are other people having the same chuckles as me?

        3. Keynes justifies the government doing what it really wanted to do, namely tax a lot and spend a lot. Libertarian economics does not. Clearly, the one that gives the powers-that-be justification must be the correct one!

    2. Huntsman is a Democratic plant, like Donald Trump was earlier this year.

      1. The former Republican governor of one of the reddest states in the country is a Democratic plant?

    3. Ok, I’m voting for Huntsman’s wife for first lady.

    4. “In quick succession, he trumpeted his belief in evolution, said climate change is caused by humans, and insisted that it was essential to raise the debt ceiling”

      Huntsman is saying things the press happens to agree with – therefore he gets the praise of the press. I agree with him about evolution but the others in the quote above I do not.

    5. “But doesn’t it take a lot more political bravery, and bring focus to a lot more evasions and orthodoxies of thought, to insist that we’re waging war in too many places, that War on Terror excesses threaten our civil liberties, and that the War on Drugs is a demonstrable failure with tremendous human costs that ought to be ended?”

      Of course, but when the mainstream press’s chosen candidate is in the White House (in this case Obama) and that chosen candidate is waging war in too many places, threatening our civil liberties and is continuing both the failed War on Drugs and the failing War on Terror that is just a bit inconvenient. I am convinced that if we “win” the War on Terror it will be a Pyrrhic victory.

  11. Libya’s rebels have taken most of Tripoli.

    Oh Tiiiiiiim…

    1. I think he’s sleeping in after a night of celebration.

  12. The White House pressures New York to embrace a foreclosuregate settlement.

    I know I repeat myself, but not the fucking -gate suffix again.

    1. Gate-gate strikes again

    2. Give it up. For the rest of time, the news writers will reach back to the Gate suffix to remind us of their glory days destroying Nixon. Plus, they’re just too damn stupid to come up with a more creative suffix.

      1. Plus, they’re just too damn stupid to come up with a more creative suffix.

        The Gatemageddonpocolypse[applicable year] will not be denied!

        1. I stand corrected.

      2. a more creative suffix

        How about “-shit”?

      3. Why not call for more creative prefixes? “Pre” and “post” are so stale!

        1. infix is the way to go.

          1. Foreclogatesure?

            1. I gotta give you an “A” for effort…

      4. I was born in 1972. I’m fucking sick and tired of everything being analyzed through a prism of what happened between the assassination of John Kennedy and the resignation of Richard Nixon.

        I write a classic movie blog, and I actually enjoy quite a few of the movies that were contemporary to the Baby Boomer era, and the design in those movies. But I can’t stand all the modern-day revisionist stuff looking back at the 50s and 60s, such as Mad Men

    3. Agreed.

  13. But Mr. Donovan and others in the administration have been contacting not only Mr. Schneiderman but his allies, including consumer groups and advocates for borrowers, seeking help to secure the attorney general’s participation in the deal, these people said. One recipient described the calls from Mr. Donovan, but asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.

    Retaliation? Those guys are paranoid. This is not some banana republic.

    It’s not like the Attorney General would sic the SEC on somebody for downgrading Treasury debt.

    1. Better the SEC than the Big East or Pac 10 – those guys are just plain VISCIOUS.

      Me – I’ll take a Big 11 (AKA “Big Ten”) intervention any day. They’re pussies since Woody and Bo passed away…

      /Flyover Country Perspective

      1. It’s Pac-12 now, apparently.

        1. Things change slowly here in Flyover Country?

          1. I missed the announcement too. My tipoff was when I read the new name in an ESPN article.

          2. Er, Nebraska and Colorado are part of flylover country last I checked.

            1. “Flylover” country? Sweet RC’z Law!

              1. Hey, its where the feedlots are, isn’t it?

            2. OK, and…Nebraska’s in the Big 11, (now Big 12 I think) and Colorado’s in the Big…whatever Oklahoma and Texas are in.


              1. Colorado and Utah are in the Pac-12 now.

      2. Did you ever notice that the Big 10 has 12 teams, while the Big 12 has 10 teams? Why is that?

        1. Those big state schools aren’t so good at the counting.

        2. It’s the new math.

      3. The nice thing about the SEC is that you can just buy ’em off – and you won’t have to listen to any condescending lectures about inferior academics either. Of course, the best investigation would be from the ACC… they might even share their hookers and blow if you ask.

      4. Q: How many college athletes does it take to screw in a light bulb?

        A: One. But he does get three credits.

        1. Hiyo!!!

  14. Note to Tim: I think “we” have “won” in Libya now.
    (And prepare yourself for uncontrollable retching at Dear Leader’s inevitable White House press briefing on it, BTW.)

    1. We can’t have won, we weren’t at war.

      1. But we’ve ALWAYS been at war with East Asia, DJF…

    2. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

      Although I’m guessing TIMMEH’s definition of #WINNING differs somewhat from the Obama Administration’s?.

      1. Now for the ritual slaughter of the defeated, the purging of the new regimes’ ranks and then a brand new dictator!

        1. You are my kinda guy, Tim.

          You gonna go for heads on pikes? Head on pikes RULES.

          1. line the road to Bucharest with their impaled bodies…those romanians knew how to take care of Turkish hordes.

  15. What better image for Obama than rebels in the streets of Tripoli chanting allahu akbar.

  16. George Pataki ponders a presidential run masturbating in public.


    1. “Squirrels!”

  17. The AP steps up to provide fluffer services to the Fullerton PD, with help from Comcast.
    “Cops increasingly under siege after homeless death”…..ess.Death/

    1. Prosecutor Rebecca Reed, who handled Mam’s case, said her office received the tape more than a month before trial but no one reviewed it until she watched it on the first day of the misdemeanor trial in June. She relied on officers’ accounts in building her case, she said.

      “I thought it was reasonable that Veth Mam had been involved in this altercation before filming,” she said. “The video did not show the whole story.”

      Yeah! Fuck that video that contradicts what the police told me! She believes the police so thoroughly she doesn’t even need to WATCH that fucking video to know she’s right!

      And even if she did, the video doesn’t tell the whole story. You know, the story she needs to tell to make her case.

      1. Jesus wept. Please tell me this is her first solo case after passing the bar. Not reviewing video evidence? Even for a misdemeanor trial, that’s bad for your win percentage.

  18. Cooking With The Simpsons

    Tom Collins Pot Pie (From “$pringfield”)

    What you’ll need: pie crust, cloves, Tom Collins mix

    1. Unsure of what actually makes a Tom Collins, we went by what The Internet said and used the following ingredients: ice cubes; 2 oz. dry gin; 2 oz. lemon juice; 1 teaspoon sugar syrup; soda water; slice of lemon; and 1 colored cherry (we actually didn’t include the cherry).

    2. Pour the drink into the pie crust

    3. Then add a sprinkling of cloves

    It?it was bad. I mean, look at that picture below. It looks we caught some dragon flies, dried them up, and then sprinkled their corpses into a pool of vaguely-alcoholic water, all held together by a cheap pie crust. That’s pretty accurate, actually. The crust and drink were fine?together, even with the sogginess of the graham cracker crust, it tasted pleasant(y), with, in the words of Peter King, a nice hint of citrus?but the cloves were tooth-chippingly hard to chew. The look on Homer’s face, the same Homer who once enjoyed a hot dog with band-aid on it, says it all; even he couldn’t have more than a bite.

    1. the didn’t have one for Space-Age Out of This World Moon Waffles. of course, Homer holds the patent.

    2. OT I just finished Dance with Dragons and… whoa…
      That little bastard better not wait for 2017 to give us a sequel.

      1. I will cut anyone who puts spoilers on H&R. I am deliberately not reading Dance with Dragons until after I take my first of 4 CPA tests next week.

  19. The White House pressures New York to embrace a foreclosuregate settlementi

    Mmmmm – this one strikes mea a bit as Much Ado About Nothing. Of course they’re “pressuring” him to accept – they want him to accept. But I don’t see anything here beyond a couple phone calls. What, they’re giving him a “stern talking to”?

    Meh…there’s enough real and “over-the-line” government coercion out there – this, not so much.
    Usual libertarian disclaimers, and Fuck the Government anyway, just on principle and based on experience.

    That is all.

    1. For me — granted I reserve the right to change my mind once my coffee kicks in and I reach full consciousness — the issue isn’t the “pressure” so much as knowing they support the settlement in the first place. It’s the latest example of the double standard between the super-rich and politically connected, and the rest of us. Push for a settlement, don’t hold the banks accountable, don’t expect them to pay for the damage they caused and ESPECIALLY don’t lock them in prison — we need those cells for more dangerous criminals, like pot-smoking cancer patients and low-income mothers who jaywalk in lieu of carrying their toddler kids an extra couple miles to the nearest damn crosswalk.

      Remember the words of Bizarro Spiderman: “With great power comes no responsibility.”

      1. I’m pretty sure those words came from the crazy uncle.

      2. Good points, and fair enough.

        1. Yep, coffee’s kicked in and I still find this monstrous.

      3. Foreclosuregate is 99% BS and whatever settlement the feds obtain will probably be outrageously in their favor anyway.

        1. Not so sure, Fluffy. I think the clearinghouse was massively effed up, and that lots and lots of mortgages were probably invalidated under state law. Many states require an unbroken chain of transfers, on paper with actual signatures, which the clearinghouse was not providing.

          There also seems to have been a fair amount of perjury/fraud around foreclosures, with people signing documents for the banks, under oath, making claims that were either not true, or which they had no way of knowing were true or not.

          1. Something I’ve been unable to understand about this mess: if I’m a mortgage holder and you-the-bank lack paperwork to prove you own the debt (and thus have the right to foreclose if I don’t pay) … then who has the paperwork to eventually prove “This mortgage has been paid off, and I now own the house free and clear?” I’ve reached the point where, even if I lived in a state with non-confiscatory property tax rates, I’d be afraid to buy a house for just that reason: if nobody can prove who owns the debt, who can prove it’s been paid in full?

            1. Assuming, of course, that MERS processes were not compliant with law in your state, its a godawful mess, no question. A couple of things:

              (1) The controversy over MERS has to do with the mortgage (the right to foreclose), not the note. You’ll still owe the money, but it may be an unsecured loan.

              (2) The real (potential) problem here has to do with clean title. If whoever releases the seller’s mortgage when you buy your house doesn’t actually have the authority to do so, then that mortgage is still on the books and clouds your title. Title insurance theoretically would apply here, but the title insurance companies don’t have nearly the assets to deal with this.

              1. Un unsecured loan falls under chapter 7 (or is it 13) bankruptcy rules then, because the bank loaned you the money without getting collateral. It should be handled that way. Unfortunately, that essentially screws up everything for the banks and craters their chance of survival, so the only option they have left is to make shit up and hope the defaulting homeowners go with it.

              2. One thing I would have to point out here is that if MERS goes tits up, the mortgage could still always be assigned in the old-fashioned way.

                It would be a pain in the ass in many cases, due to the fact that many of the originating lenders no longer exist, but SOMEBODY picked up the residual assets in those bankruptcies and if the previous electronic assignments were invalid they can just do paper assignments.

                1. Not if they technically shredded the original Deed in Trust or the bank couldn’t identify which MERS investors held those particular pieces of the original note. Its a paperwork clusterfuck is what it is and the banks are desperate for someone else to fix their gross errors.

          2. With regard to MERS, I would appreciate the outrage before if this had arisen with the very first mortgage ever foreclosed on under MERS.

            But there was no outrage. At all.

            This was a system that existed in the open. It wasn’t a secret.

            As soon as any competent court upheld a proceeding based on a loan that went through MERS, that justified the banks thinking the system was proper, in my opinion.

            The current outrage about MERS seems to me to be a case of the states looking for a stick to hit the banks with so they can stop them from foreclosing on loans that legitimately deserve foreclosure.

            So we’re not actually seeing the advance of the rule of law here, but the opposite: The states are seizing on a pretext to try to get the banks to not pursue foreclosures. It’s out-and-out demagoguery and extortion.

            The “fraud” on the court in attestations is even more pretextual, IMO.

            People now use computers to keep records and generate documents.

            If my computer is keeping track of who’s paying a particular debt and who isn’t, and I program it to print out the proper legal document to file against people who are in default, if I print documents out in the morning and sign them without reading every one that’s not “fraud”, that’s simply the application of technology to a tedious task.

            I would be more impressed by the claims of “fraud” in such filings if I thought that every last case of any litigation where anyone signed a document prepared for them by someone else would also be considered a “fraud”.

            1. You’re absolutely right that state law has not evolved to recognize electronic document management.

              That doesn’t change the requirements of state law, or the fact (apparently) that MERS didn’t comply with those requirements for the transfer of many mortgages.

              I don’t know when the first MERS foreclosure was upheld in court, what challenge was turned back, whether it was in a “wet-ink” state, etc. But I do know that whether a foreclosure was upheld in one state has no effect on the viability of similar foreclosures in other states.

              1. Given the sheer mass of MERS mortgages out there, I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe that there wasn’t a court-approved MERS-backed foreclosure in every state in the union by 2006.

                Even just the pool of Ohio Savings Bank correspondent loans ALONE would have had to have produced one in each state.

            2. That the states system is antiquated and not useful doesn’t make it OK for the banks to essentially bypass it for the sake of expediancy. Any real estate lawyer should have sent up red flags that MERS could not work legally because of state rules and either had states amend rules to accomodate MERS or not securitize loans in the states that couldn’t accomodate MERS.

    1. When did Rob Zombie become an economist?

      Also, House of 1000 Corpses was on this weekend – what a GREAT fucking movie. Esp Cheryl Moon Zombie…mmmmmm….

    2. These billionaires keep saying that crap, but they never seem to get around to cutting checks to the IRS, which they can already do.

      1. The Treasury, I believe. But yeah…

        They can pay the top percentage of their income tax rate by taking absolutely 0 deductions. Then, if they don’t feel that amount is enough, they can write checks to the Treasury and pay what they feel is their fair share.

    3. Let me be clear.

      I have repeatedly said I am open to serious suggestions from either party.

      Janet, please let me know Zombie’s affiliation.

      1. “White House of 1000 corpses”

        1. They’re all under the bus.

      2. Until suggestions like this *are* taken seriously, the tax code will not be “fixed”.

    4. You know, you could actually create a system where you make a contingent commitment, such that you pledge in a legally binding way to pay a certain amount of taxes (possibly for a certain set of programs or departments), but only if other people in general pledge to raise at least a certain minimum total.

      If you can create a set of such pledges (if everyone pays at least 1 billion, I’ll pay a thousand of that, if everyone pays 2 billion, I’ll pay three thousand, etc.), you end up with something like an auction system. Once time is up, you just start with the highest conditional total, see if there are enough bids to reach it, and if not, go down to the next one, and so on, until you find something that works. You can even keep track of the largest budget that has resolved, in order to spur the reticent into pledging.

      I think (in terms of game theory and whatnot) that it should be a functional model for a utilitarian, sometimes progressive, but non-coercive system for funding public goods.

    1. Joe Perry would kick Les Paul’s ASS, even if Les Paul weren’t dead.

      1. Do you have any idea just how many people would stand with Les if that scenario actually took place???

  20. “Student loan debt has shot up 511 percent since 1999.”

    To be honest, I have lately thought about going back to college half time just so I can temporarily stop paying my student loans. It would feel like I was getting a huge raise. The way the world is now I might not ever have to pay them back anyway. It is a gamble but I am thinking about it. I would pick some major that is actually useful if I did.

    1. I’m starting to be concerned about the growth of obligations that aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy.

      There are certain things that just never work out well. The absence of legal remedies for insolvency is one of those things.

      1. Are you saying that the student loan community is TooBigToFail?

        1. No, I’m just saying that years ago the only obligation that couldn’t be discharged in bankruptcy was unpaid taxes.

          That wasn’t the best situation, but it wasn’t unbelievably onerous, either.

          But then they decided to make back child support obligations nondischargeable also.

          And then they added student loans.

          They felt they “had” to add the last two because of the welfare state. In a classic example of unintended consequences.

          The problem is that social orders marked by large numbers of insolvent persons burdened by debts they can never discharge or repay tend to be marked by extreme inequality and brutality.

          Everyone always bitches that libertarians aren’t concerned enough about “equality” but I’m telling you this much: nothing libertarians could ever do or advocate could possibly reduce social mobility as much as the desire of centrists to continue to escalate their abuse of people who can’t or won’t pay their student loans or their child support.

          1. “I’m telling you this much: nothing libertarians could ever do or advocate could possibly reduce social mobility as much as the desire of centrists to continue to escalate their abuse of people who can’t or won’t pay their student loans or their child support.”

            Quite true. Of these two I have more sympathy for the argument that child support should not be discharged. I do believe people have an obligation to people they help create. But I also understand that every situation is unique – some people simply cannot afford them.

            1. With regard to child support –

              I can certainly understand the desire to make solvent child support debtors pay up.

              But insolvent is insolvent. If they don’t have the money, they don’t have the money.

              If I thought that there were vast numbers of deadbeats with secret assets that would be disgorged if the threat were just severe enough, I could understand current policy better. Because right now that policy has turned into, “You don’t have the money? Well, you better GET the money!” (Waves Pipe In Air) and that will not end well.

            2. My main issue with child support (unless they’ve changed the laws considerably, which I doubt) is that it refuses to consider changed parental circumstances. Consider: say I’m still a minor, parents married, Mom’s a housewife, and Dad loses his job and later gets a new one paying only half as much. Well, then, Mom’s and my standard of living will be cut in half, right along with Dad’s income.

              But assume the same situation — Dad’s job loss and halving of his income — only this happens after my parents divorced and Dad put on the hook for child support: he’s still expected to make the same payments now that he did when he had twice the income. If my parents are married, everyone understands “Dad makes less money equals I get less money,” but if they’re divorced, that little bit of economic reality is completely ignored.

              If I were a man, I wouldn’t dare have kids unless I were a Supreme Court justice or government pensioner; i.e, someone who knows “Unless the US government collapses entirely, my income will NEVER, ever drop.”

              1. Also tax increases are not included in the formula. Taxes go up and the guys at the edge go over and the a new crop of guys go to the edge. It’s kind of like the mob. You have to pay a certain amount no matter what.

              2. I used to work in child support, Jennifer. In the situation you describe, the father could ask for adjustments to his payments. Just as if he got a really high paying job making 3 or 4 times more than he was making before the divorce, then Mom can ask for an adjustment based on his new income. There’s one big formula done on a spreadsheet that takes into account a lot of different variables to come up with what amount the non-custodial parent has to pay.

                1. He can ask for adjustments, sure. No guarantee he’ll get them. I seem to recall — possibly on Hit and Run, here — reading of cases where Dads with dropping income found themselves well and truly screwed.

                  1. Too often, our legal system presumes that the loss of income is either temporary, or intentional (to try to game the child support system).

              3. At the risk of going offtopic: I feel that with legal abortion, child support becomes highly unfair in some situations.

                1. Without reposting the whole thing from the weekend thread, I am currently having my asshole metaphorically reamed to the tune of $10500+ per year (after taxes) for a kid I was told could not be conceived, did not want and am not allowed to see. Doing the math, I’ve got to pay around $225,000 after taxes over a 20 year stretch* just because I had sex with a duplicitous woman who wanted to find a sperm donor with a decent job.

                  *included half of a college education the judge ordered as well.

                  1. did not want

                    And that’s the point I was making. The woman doesn’t want the kid but the man does, too bad: that kid’s dead. The man doesn’t want the kid but the woman does, too bad: that kid’s getting paid for by the man.

          2. This is the boat I am in. I just lost my job a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been employed 6 months out of the last 3 years. I owe $87,000.00 in student loans. I owe about $12,000.00 in back child support. my daughter was with me until just a couple of weeks ago. I requested a modification both with Idaho and AZ. Both said, “fuck you.” I will be technically homeless on the 31st.

            Part of me is much less stressed. I am no longer stressed about bar complaints, clients, going to court, paying the morgtage, getting paper clips.

            But the other part of me believes that I am going nowhere. I am not big enough to get part of those 1.6 trillion $$$ in secret loans. I am stressed about whether I am going to eat, where I am going to stay, when I will see my daughter again.

            I am where I am because of the choices I made. I don’t want welfare (but I will take food stamps because I want to eat. Sorry, my libertarianism ends at starvation). But I gotta tell you, it is maddening to watch. Watching trillions of dollars being thrown about to help Wall Stree stay afloat (lest some poor trader have to swap his 911 for a Camry). I want to see the whole house of cards fall. And that isn’t right.

            OK. OK. This is my final fit. My final bellyache.

            1. Well, that’s just it:

              Both parties to any given transaction have to face the possibility of failure or massive moral hazard problems arise.

              As well as massive equity problems.

              We used to recognize that in our bankruptcy system. Now we don’t, at least with regard to certain things.

              In order to try to provide guarantees for lenders, the taxpayers, and spouses, we now feel we have to grind certain debtors down into the dust. But the presence of those guarantees leads precisely to the kinds of bad practices we’re trying to compensate for in the first place.

              1. The kid who’s going to be living in squalor because mommy or daddy left wasn’t party to the “transaction” that resulted in his or her conception.

            2. Your situation is worse than mine I must say. But this is part of the tempation that leads some to be “professional students”. If I were in your shoes I almost certainly WOULD go back to college. You could use your student loan money to rent a dorm room which might suck but at least you would not be homeless. You could probably get a “student job” on campus so you could update your resume. Long term it might be better for you.

              I am debating if it would be better for me.

            3. I’ve already told my kids they will be going to college while living at home, working, and incurring no, or if necessary, a bare minimum of student loan debt.

              This whole college situation is going to blow up fairly soon. I don’t know exactly how long it is going to take, but I don’t want them paying their entire lives for getting caught at the top of the bubble.

              1. I used to do work for a state guaranteed student loan program. I saw a lot of people defaulting and such on their student loans. Massive amounts of money owed, by both doctors and lawyers who could not or would not repay their debt.

                This was before I went to college. I decided there that I was not going to bog myself down with hefty loans. I went through college without owing a dime afterwards. I’m glad I was able to.

            4. Look at the bright side, owing that child support could cause you to end up in jail. 1 or 2 hots and a cot.

              1. Unfortunately, I saw AZ in his post. I, for one, would rather be homeless than be in Arpaio’s jail.

              2. New debtors prison?

          3. How did they manage to achieve “debts they can never discharge or repay“? And why should they ever not have to pay *something* toward repayment of a debt they voluntarily incurred?

            1. We have entire classes of debtors that can achieve just that.

              Only the debtors we’re currently discussing can’t.

              If your problem is with the existence of the concept of bankruptcy in the first place, I don’t know what to tell you.

              Every legal system that has ever existed historically that lacked bankruptcy ended in mass debt peonage and a caste system of one kind or another.

              Every person who extends credit is taking a risk: the risk that their borrower might become insolvent. I totally understand your visceral reaction against it, but most of the economic history of the last 10 centuries or so shows that that risk is necessary for a free and capitalist society.

              When you tell the creditor that he owns the debtor, in the end he will take you seriously.

              1. Whatever debt they’ve managed to create should stay with them for their entire life until it’s paid off. No one else is responsible for whatever poor decisions they’ve made. Locking them up doesn’t help anyone but some percentage of whatever income they make should be used retire their debt. This should continue until it’s been paid or they die. Everyone should know that there’s no way out. Think before you borrow.

            2. Shall we put them in prison if they can’t meet all of their obligations? Bankruptcy is the equitable way of unwinding an insolvent person’s debt obligations without enjoining them to slave labor, prison, or indentured servitude.

              1. I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

              2. Well, student loans cannot be undone by bankruptcy. There should be a way without putting people in jail (which adds more costs) to make them repay their debts. Perhaps they should make contracts that people who default with no collateral. You could take stuff and sell it, but often that will mean taking a lot of stuff with little return. And you certainly don’t want to take away their means of income (clothing, transportation, tools, etc). Perhaps contracts should be arranged so that a person would have to work off their debt, should they be unable to repay, while still getting some kind of stipend in order to survive on until the debt is repayed in the event that they are unemployed or underemployed, or until a point that they can start making payments again on their own.

                1. Well, student loans cannot be undone by bankruptcy.

                  They used to be included in bankruptcy.

                  The law was changed because the federal government started guaranteeing student loans to encourage lenders to make them.

                  And then the federal government got pissed off that lenders were lending to anyone and everyone (as they naturally would, since the loans were guaranteed) and the borrowers were just declaring bankruptcy upon graduation to get out from under the debt.

                  Of course, having created this problem, it never fucking occurred to the Congress that maybe all they had to do was stop guaranteeing the loans. That wasn’t regarded as an option.

                  No, they decided to risk bringing back serfdom instead. Because getting rid of the guaranteed student loan program was just SO MUCH MORE UNTHINKABLE than fucking around with a system of bankruptcy law that had driven peonage out of the world.

                  1. And now they’ve added another layer by actually taking over student loans directly instead of just etelling banks they were secured.

                    All loans are now lent courtesy of the taxpayer, and we’re on the hook when hipsters, who don’t understand why their degree in Medieval Slavic Women’s literature doesn’t qualify them for a real job, default on their loans.

                    And this is coming from a guy who has an MA in, you guessed it, medieval literature. I was just never stupid enough to go in to massive debt trying to get my degree.

              3. Wage garnishment is the usual tool for paying off debts that can’t be otherwise paid off. Yes, debtor’s prison is not a good idea.

            3. Given that you can be on the hook for child support without being the biological parent of the child in question because your accuser picked you out of a phone book and the state decided to act as an accomplice, they aren’t always by choice.

          4. Child support isn’t a creation of the welfare state, it’s a creation of basic human decency and personal responsibility.

            You sprays the slime you does the time, as Juanita would say.

            1. The non-dischargeability of child support is a creation of the welfare state.

              The feds and the states took on the responsibility of providing for fatherless children. That’s a systemic bias across all welfare systems.

              This, naturally, produced a shitload more fatherless children than we’d ever had before.

              Pissed off that their programs had produced what anyone could have predicted they’d produce, the states have become more and more militant about trying to collect back child support – because they’re angry at having to pay for the welfare programs they passed.

            2. BTW:

              Would you advocate a legal regime where I could send SWAT teams into the homes of the unemployed, declare that they haven’t spent a “statutory minimum” on their children, and send them to prison?

              And when they object that they don’t have any money and that’s why they didn’t spend the minimum, should I be able to say, “Shut the fuck up, loser! I’m going to taze your fucking ass!”

              Basic human decency and personal responsibility can’t require you to give money you don’t have. Having $0 is definitive. Math is more moral than your concept of ethics, Tulpa.

            3. She also upholds that marijuana smokers are morally bankrupt and deserve to be raped in jail.

              Juanita is not really the authority you want to go to, is it?

        2. The student loan community now includes the Federal Government, so of course.

          1. I believe after ObamaCare the student loan community now consists almost solely of the federal government.

            1. True. So if the entire Obamacare law is struck down as unconstitutional what happens to my student loans? Do they simply vanish into nothingness?

              1. I have no idea.

        3. Define “student loan community”.

          1. My question answered above. Thx.

      2. I am too. But right now I am sort of in a bind financially – thanks to loans for both a BA and an MA. I would probably be better off now financially if I had never gone to college. But now I need the money. Going back to college would be better than getting another job at this point – assuming I could even get another job in this economy.

  21. Libya’s rebels have taken most of Tripoli

    Remember folks, weeks not months.

    After a few months of downplaying and leading from behind you can expect BO to appear soon to strut his stuff like a rooster on Cialis.

    1. Wrecked my whole day, this news.

      1. I wouldn’t go that far — it is possibly good news for the Libyan people. Though as we saw in Egypt’s case it’s often not that simple.

        Yes, I’m concerned about this being a feather in the cap of interventionists if things actually do work out, but that doesn’t outweigh the positive possibilities.

        1. Does anybody have the foggiest idea who these rebels actually are?

          1. Does anybody have the foggiest idea who these rebels actually are?

            Um, no?

            1. Remember folks, weeks not months.

              It was days, not weeks. too.

              157 days, to be exact. 22 weeks too. What, you thought he meant just a couple days? Silly rabbit.

          2. Freedom fighters!

          3. Hey, we’re just a bunch of guys who dress alike and enjoy firing automatic weapons into the air.

          4. Well yes, that’s the non-simple part.

    2. In 2020, after we’ve had peace keepers there for about a decade to stop the various ethnic and religious groups from blowing each other up, we’ll have forgotten all about this “weeks not months” business.

    3. Yeah, it’s only been ~20 weeks, so what’s the beef?

      1. Beef? That’s so Walter Mondale.

      2. Iraq took years. All you peaceniks who criticized the war have to admit that Libya was not Iraq and you were wrong.

        1. Has anyone figured out who the rebels are and what policies they intend to implement?

          1. I sure haven’t.

        2. Agreed: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

        3. And that it was an illegal war from the get-go has no bearing on it at all?

          Playing the results is openly admitting you’re a piece of shit.

          1. Progressives don’t get offended when you accuse them of believing the ends justify the means, they’re just like “Uh, so?”

    4. you can expect BO to appear soon to strut his stuff like a rooster on Cialis.

      Yeah, ’cause he should get a big bump in the polls out of this, shouldn’t he?

      1. I suppose that as Gaddahafi lives out his “Furhrerbunker” drama it will please him not that BO will put his head on a pike next to Osama’s for the 2012 campaign.

      2. He’ll get a big bump in his pants, more likely. Americans don’t have the same knee jerk hatred of Gaddafi as they did toward bin Laden.

    5. It took 20 weeks to get rid of Gadaffi/Kaddafi/Quadafi/however the fuck you’re supposed to spell it this week, how long will it take the Libyan people to get rid of NATO?

      1. Depending on when you want to start the Iraq War timeline, it was quicker than the Libyan war.

        Invasion of Iraq: March 20.

        Fall of Baghdad/End of Hussein regime: April 9.

        1. LOL. Hadn’t thought of it that way.

        2. People seem to disagree on how to define winning or losing a war but regardless of how you want to measure it Iraq was one of the most successful invasions of all time. You can argue the numbers if you like but roughly 169000 square miles taken and ~9200 enemy combatants killed for ~170 coalition deaths in about a month.

  22. The Federal Reserve hands out $1.2 trillion in secret loans.

    They should be allowed to operate in secrecy lest transparency or overview makes them unable to function… or some question-begging shit like that, given by some as reason for the Fed’s supposedly “required” independence.

  23. I love it when anyone tells libertarians what they believe. Especially when it includes greatest hits like “Somalia” and “roads” along with some rare B-sides like “cholera.”

    1. Gaaaaahhhh, what a pot of stupid. Same old straw men, same old tired arguments.

      For some reason, noone ever seems to get that corporatism relies on the power of government to exist. These dumb shits never pause to consider that without the government backing them up, corporations cannot enforce monopolies and abuse labor. It’s mind-boggling.

      1. The corporations run the government!
        We need to put a stop to this!
        What we need to do is give more power to the government that is controlled by the corporations so it can be powerful enough to control the corporations that control it!
        What could possibly go wrong?

    2. Sorry, Rat, but there is absolutely no way in hell I am going to a site called “Skepchick.” No fucking way.

      1. Okay, I relented, and read until I found this pile of stupid in the comments:

        “You need some kind of “government” that has the power to redistribute resources so those who are coming up short at this point in time don’t die because those who have plenty don’t want to share.”

        I love the use of “redistribute resources” to replace the more accurate “stealing from a person with more to give to a person with less via the implied threats of incarceration, seizure, and violence against that person’s self and/or property.”

        Protip, asshole: my stuff is mine, and I shouldn’t have to “share” it with anybody unless I choose to do so- a choice of which you want to deprive me, which, believe it or not, does not make me feel more giving toward thieving assholes like you.

        1. That commenter ought to be held liable to whoever owns the rights to “Atlas Shrugged.”. That comment was taken almost verbatim from the book.

          Un. Be. Lievable.

          1. On the internet, eventually all Rand caricatures come true.

            It’s a “Monkeys and Typewriters” kind of situation.

    3. It also includes all the standard libertarian rebuttals:

      Libertarians are for SMALL government.
      Anarchy is NO government.

      Indeed. Libertarians want just enough government to prevent the angry mob from giving them exactly what they deserve…

      1. Anarcho-capitalists are libertarians. Minarchists want small government.

      2. Anarcho-capitalists are libertarians. I think “minarchists” would be a good term to label the people you are describing.

      3. there are many types of libertarians, including anarcho-capitalists, minarchists, and even “socialist-libertarians”, though I wonder how that actually works.

  24. The latest Ron Paul moneybomb brings in $1.6 million in a day.

    Kochtopian HQ, 3:30 AM EDT Monday, 22nd of August, 2011.

    “Something must be done about it… Uh, I know! Quickly, let’s rehash that old newsletter story thingy!”

    “What, again?”

    1. Crap, I meant to contribute on Saturday. Oops.

    2. It was a day and a half, actually. The RP campaign claimed that their site got DDOSed toward the end of the night so they extended the MB till noon of the next day.

    1. I’m feeling disabled today. Maybe I should apply.

    2. I think we need to completely do away with the SSDI system and replace it with some sort of minimum-income system using a reverse income tax / earned income tax credit type situation.

      Hear me out: yes, I know the alternative I’m proposing is a bad thing under the terms of the standard libertarian disclaimer.

      But the simple fact of the matter is that the SSDI system has been totally corrupted and is being USED as a phantom minimum income system.

      Liberals like Duncan Black make no bones about the fact that they’re delighted by the parabolic growth of the SSDI system, because the people now moving into the system in mass numbers – middle-aged rural and suburban people who initially fell out of the workforce due to unemployment related to the recession, and not due to disability – “deserve” an income and “can never re-enter the workforce again at their old wages anyway”. They’re also perfectly happy to see parents get their children declared disabled to get benefits, because previously these families would have received more generous welfare benefits.

      SSDI is broke because it’s being used as post-99 week unemployment and post-welfare reform AFDC.

      But in addition to being out the money, we’ve introduced a whole new tier of corruption and fraud into the system. We have people concocting years-long schemes to convince Social Security that either they or their children are disabled. We have a huge parasitic bureaucracy administering those claims, and providing legal representation and medical opinions to support those claims. It’s an entire shadow economy.

      If I have to be taxed to pay welfare, I’d rather just pay the welfare and not also pay to support a corrupt superstructure of attorneys and doctors pushing phony disability cases and bureaucrats winking at the whole system.

      1. I think we need to completely do away with the SSDI system and replace it with some sort of minimum-income system using a reverse income tax / earned income tax credit type situation.

        Hear me out: yes, I know the alternative I’m proposing is a bad thing under the terms of the standard libertarian disclaimer.

        While a reverse income tax is far from the best idea, it is clearly better than what we have now.

        Oh, and off-topic, Im rereading Jericho. It holds up. I love the chapter when Sakal calls the Melek “Adu-na” ever chance he gets. For some reason, I read that as “Adoooo-na”, really drawing out the first syllable and stressing the mockery.

        1. erm…2nd syllable.

        2. Thanks! It’s nice to know someone is reading it.

          I overestimated its market appeal.

          1. Unfortunately you get no money when I read it the 2nd time.

            Bwah hah hah!!!!

            You are 10/10 for reviews on Amazon. Everyone seems to like it. I guess that is the problem with self-publishing though, no company to push the book. No marketing.

      2. Up until August 5, I was part of that shadow economy. I worked for an attorney who did SSDI claims. It is a volume market as his fee cap is $6,000.00. He was pretty good in the sense that he got most of his client SSDI. And that made me think, “Where is the money comeing from to pay these people their SSDI? How many people have to work so these disabled people can sit at home?”

        As far as legitimacy of claims, it seems pretty arbitrary. WE had some majorly fucked up clients get denied. But I couldn’t stand most of the clients. The sense of entitlement permeated every discussion. For some, I didn’t mind, they worked 40 years, got fucked up and this is what they were promised. But others, the mental cases, whine, whine, whine…. sigh……


    IL: Rahm Emanuel Joins “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”

    New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has joined the controversial anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In a statement announcing his inclusion in the group, Emanuel said almost half the guns recovered in Chicago come from outside Illinois. He said Chicago must work with other cities to stem gun trafficking, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.”

    What a fucking racket

    1. Sounds like pretty good evidence that gun control doesn’t work. What a tool.

    2. So he wants to make it easier to buy firearms in Illinois, right?

      Meanwhile, at least the ban on firing ranges in city limits is gone. I hadn’t realized that until today. It’ll be good to have some competition. I’d like to see some state-of-the-art facilities in Lincoln Park in the next couple of years.

      1. None are actually open yet though, right? We just did our required class for the handgun permit, had to go all the way out to Dundee for the range portion. Basic message is: you can have a handgun, but only if you already have a car. Also not too psyched on going in person to 4700-something S. Kedzie to hand off the forms. Talk about a load of suck.

        Anyway…f Rahm. I just got a mailer from my State Representative too, a survey for her constituents on issues we want her to focus on. I filled it out basically saying PASS CONCEALED OR OPEN CARRY five times without reading her spiel first: “Gun groups pushed hard to legalize freely carryin concealed weapons near our homes and parks and even at street fairs. The measure was defeated, making Illinois the only state that does not allow concealed weapons in public. As pressure from gun advocates continues to intensify, Rep. Cassidy vociferously opposes this movement that would greatly endanger public safety.” Also, did you know that there were 344 people “murdered by guns” in Chicago last year? Not by people–by guns.

        I’m sure I would hate any politician elected here in Chicago, but something about sending such a partisan line of bullshit to all constituents, not just supporters, really rubs me the wrong way.

        1. None are actually open yet though, right?

          No, of course not. They only lifted the ban last month. I would kind of hope that some health clubs would jump on this opportunity!

          The form-filing is kind of a pain, and it’s demeaning to get fingerprinted, but overall it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

          you can have a handgun, but only if you already have a car

          …and you have enough extra money for fees and training, and you can afford to take off time from work for training and filing forms.

          The whole thing really does discriminate against the people who could use the guns the most.

    3. Maybe the ATF smuggled them in, has he considered that angle?


    NY: NYPD Cop Rapes Female Teacher in Alley at Gun Point

    “Officials from the New York City Police said that an officer has been arrested on charges of raping a 25-year-old teacher in an apartment backyard.
    Michael Pena, the accused officer, was not on duty at the time of committing the crime and was jailed after the incident on Friday morning in the Inwood section of Manhattan, a Daily Mail report stated.
    The woman was tricked by the accused officer who approached her asking directions initially, showed her a gun and dragged her several blocks to the backyard, where he raped her.
    The woman ran towards the officers screaming “He raped me,” and “be careful he has a gun,” reported the New York Daily. …
    The department said the officer has been suspended without pay.”

    Assault and rape a woman, get a suspension — justice, how the star-spangled fuck does it work?

    1. Well, I guess now we know what it takes to get suspended without pay:

      Assault a citizen while off duty.

      And those libtards say there is no accountability.

    2. Suspension without pay is the strongest penalty until it goes through the process, after which this guy will ultimately be on trial for rape.

      It’s not perfect, but it looks like his captain is fully prepared to throw the book at this guy. Beating a citizen to a pulp while on duty is one thing. Being caught raping a woman, mid-stroke, is another. This guy is going down big time. (no pun intended)

      1. Beating a citizen to a pulp while on duty is one thing.

        Deadly assault is one thing…Rape is another?


        1. I suppose the point is that there are cases where an officer might be plausibly justified in physically assaulting someone, but rape isn’t anywhere on the officer’s side of the UOF continuum. Which I should probably thank dunphy for adding to my vocabulary.

    3. Nothing. Else. Happened.

    4. All I saw there was “gun used in rape.”

      1. “This is my rifle!
        This is my gun!
        This is for fighting!
        This is for fun!”

  27. Gary Johnson’s Profile In The New American

    Page 19 (Page 21 pdf)


    Usually described as a libertarian, Johnson comes across as more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. Whereas the other Republican candidate he most resembles, Ron Paul, often argues from first principles and invokes the Constitution, Johnson is more likely to discuss a policy in terms of its cost-benefit ratio. Thus, he supports marijuana legalization not so much as a matter of personal liberty but as a matter
    of putting a stop to wasteful, counterproductive spending. Likewise, his foreign
    policy, while nearly as noninterventionist as Paul’s, is predicated less on a belief in
    minding our own business than on the fact that intervention is expensive.

    As to the War on Drugs itself, Johnson maintains that while marijuana should be legalized, “harder drugs should not be legalized, but their use should be dealt with as a health issue ? not a criminal justice issue.” Johnson frequently likens drug prohibition to the alcohol prohibition of the 1920s and
    points to the many similarities between the two, including crime, violence, and overdose deaths. America came to its senses and
    repealed Prohibition, he says, and it should do likewise with the War on Drugs. Even here, though, Johnson’s pragmatic side
    comes through: Unlike many libertarians who would call for complete freedom to use
    any and all drugs, Johnson stumps for “regulating, taxing, and enforcing [marijuana’s] lawful use” and for government treatment of those addicted to harder drugs.

    Soooo, let’s recap again, shall we? He’s for “legalizing” mariguana in order to regulate it and tax it, despite the fact that the first anti-mariguana laws were actually TAX laws; he’s not for legalizing the so-called “harder” drugs but to treat their use (and users) as a public health issue, albeit not a criminal one. In other words, let’s nanny people to death instead of incarcerating them.

    You know what, Gary? I would rather take my chances with the Feds than submit to forced treatment.

    It would also seem that Gary here is in favor of sending troops to kill brown people as long as the killing is “cost-effective.” Sure, maybe instead of intervention for Democracy [or whatever], he will call for cities to be pillaged for their riches to pay for the expeditions – you know, like the vikings of old.

    Are we consequentialist enough, guys???

    1. Such arguments I think would be better apt to persuade an “independent” than arguing on principles.
      You can’t use principles to persuade someone who doesn’t have any.

      1. Re: sarcasmic,

        You can’t use principles to persuade someone who doesn’t have any.

        Who would care about those?

        Such arguments I think would be better apt to persuade an “independent” than arguing on principles.

        Maybe they’re independent because they have principles.

        1. When you argue on principles, on “right and wrong”, many people just roll their eyes and look for something else to do.
          Johnson doesn’t do that.
          Because of this I think he would be more persuasive than Paul in a debate.
          Though personally I prefer Paul.

          1. Re: sarcasmic,

            When you argue on principles, on “right and wrong”, many people just roll their eyes and look for something else to do.

            Well, the very reason for protecting ourselves with guns and locked doors is because of people that “roll their eyes” when hearing an argument for right and wrong.

            Johnson doesn’t do that.

            Which is why I am wary of him.

    2. You don’t save Cleveland by arguing from first principles.

      1. Ya can’t save Cleveland until Cleveland wants to be saved.

        1. That flies in the face of Calvinism, which says you are pre-determined saved or not. So Cleveland has no choice but to be saved.

          1. Or else cannot be saved.

    3. Apparently, though, we still aren’t incremental enough.

    4. He’s for “legalizing” mariguana in order to regulate it and tax it, despite the fact that the first anti-mariguana laws were actually TAX laws;

      And yet, the current system wherein alcohol is heavily taxed and regulated still beats the hell out of Prohibition; I see no reason why the same wouldn’t hold true for marijuana.

      1. If you wish to compromise away half of your inherent freedoms in order to retain the other half (for now), then there’s nothing wrong with the tax-and-regulate approach to marijuana reform. That is, if you don’t mind further entrenching and strengthening the state’s “right” to tax and regulate you. Just don’t bitch about it later, as you will have forfeited any right to complain.

        1. Ah, yes. Absolutism in opposing the drug war has worked so well thus far.

          The absolutists must be banking on (a) the complete collapse of government in the US and (b) winning the subsequent civil war against the authoritarians.

          1. If possessing integrity and the ability to comprehend the corrosive nature of compromise makes one an “absolutist,” then I’m all that. Better to fight and fail than surrender the faculty which separates men from cattle.

            1. I find this attitude to be the elevation of moral vanity over the achievement of progress which might actually help people.

              1. Morality is a “vanity” now? Then you reveal yourself as a pragmatist (when you are not–on occasion–a moralist yourself). I wouldn’t be proud of this apparent willingness to vacillate on matters of freedom. Is it really worth sacrificing your ethical integrity for a few crumbs tossed your way by those who are clearly in the wrong?

                1. Is it really worth sacrificing your ethical integrity for a few crumbs tossed your way by those who are clearly in the wrong?

                  Ask a guy imprisoned for possession of an illicit plant if regaining his freedom is merely “crumbs.”

        2. If you insist on “all or nothing,” I guarantee you’ll end up with nothing.

          1. Re: Jennifer,

            If you insist on “all or nothing,” I guarantee you’ll end up with nothing.

            You might was well enjoy it.

            Isn’t acquiescing fun?

            1. Yes, because when I go the liquor store and pay tax on my legal purchases it’s exactly like being raped, and if ever I bought and paid tax on legal marijuana that would be identical to rape as well.

              Seriously: if you want to win converts to The Cause, tell customers at a state ABC store they’re just like rape victims, then go to the rape crisis centers and tell their clients they’re just like ABC customers. Really, do it! The lack of that analogy in the public discourse is surely the only reason so many drugs remain illegal.

              1. OM has gone peak retard in this Paul v Johnson debate.

                The only thing that matters is a politician’s willingness to use government against me. If not, believe whatever the fuck you want.

                OM doesn’t appear to want freedom, he wants someone who thinks exactly as he does with every little point as to what freedom is.

                1. Bullshit. It seems like every few days someone says “oh, OM went peak retard”, and then he finds some new reserves of retard or develops some more advanced technology for extracting retardation from a post. While simple physics dictates there must be some sort of finite limit, the experts have been wrong so often that I feel like petulantly assuming that OM will never hit peak retard, at least not for as long as HnR exists.

      2. Re: Jennifer,

        I see no reason why the same wouldn’t hold true for marijuana.

        Whatever turns you on. Just don’t pretend to call such position “libertarian.”

        1. Yup. It amuses me to see the various “libertarians” here bemoaning their particular states’ byzantine liquor laws. Do they ever wonder how they got there? Do they ever wonder why their state controls the liquor business, or why they can’t buy wine in a supermarket, or why they have to pay a 50% tax on a gallon of whisky? They seem to assume that the laws invented themselves without the acquiescence of the people, who compromised their principles and surrendered their freedoms. So what do they do? They pout and swear and blame “the state” for accepting their surrender.

          1. Just don’t pretend to call such position “libertarian.”

            Any position that rolls back the Total State by so much as an inch is libertarian.

            Just because it isn’t as libertarian as you would like, doesn’t mean it isn’t better. For, you know, all the people who wouldn’t be jailed or abused by the State under the “compromise” which you disdain.

            1. You might wish to re-examine the historical steps by which the “total state” came into existence. Was it through the actions of principled men, or by the surrender of pragmatic compromisers?

              1. Surrender means losing something, not gaining less than you wanted.


    Ron Paul Weekly Message: “We Must Own Firearms”

    In his weekly update for 8/22, presidential candidate Ron Paul was speaking about the recent violence abroad, saying it is clear that we must protect ourselves; that we can’t expect government to do it for us.”

    1. Re: Res Publica Americana,

      it is clear that we must protect ourselves; that we can’t expect government to do it for us.

      Even worse still: The government may impede you from protecting yourself. Government does not like the competition.



      1. I had this debate with my roommates. They are Republican, but they are very much supporters of the “status-quo”… no repealing gun laws, no repealing drug laws, allow smoking bans, and supporting a whole host of other overreaching government BS. They hate how the government is running right now, but they are against a citizenry that is armed with automatic weapons and able to challenge an out of control government.

        Banning guns to prevent murder is like banning penises to prevent rape. Any policy makers reading this: do not use my analogy to make a law banning penises. I will murder you with a gun if you try to.

  29. Perv alert!
    Kate Moss’ little sister gets noticed.…..twalk.html

    1. Hey now!

      1. I havent read any of them, so was wondering yours and others opinions.

        Doesnt sound good. Ive heard good thinks about “The Lifecycle of Software Objects”.

        1. Willis is a fine writer, but has been writing the same basic time-travel novel for a couple of decades now. And she’s won a Hugo 11 times.

          More surprising is who didn’t win… No Le Guin? She didn’t scribble something they could give her another award for? She’s not going to be around to lavishly overpraise forever, you know. Lois McMaster Bujold didn’t win for the 19th Vorkosigan book? Gosh, I sure hope she writes 19 more of those!

          If Dr. Who is the best science fiction TV being currently produced, maybe we, as a culture, need to stop making science fiction TV.

          By the way, the Chiang story is available to read online.

          1. I agree. I am disappoint. That was the safest slate of winners anyone ever chose.

            OT, The Unincorporated Woman, book 3 of the series is out and I read it this weekend. Absolutely no advancement of the libertarian/self-ownership arguments in the first two, just a space opera. Authors are about as subtle as a trainwreck, but good enough I guess, for killing a weekend..

        2. The winning novel is about time travel to the 1940’s. I don’t know if the state of new science fiction has hit bottom yet, but if not it must be getting very close.

          1. RE: Fatty and SF

            Yeah, I havent seen much good about the Willis novel. Those that love her love it (which is why she won, I guess), but others think it is derivative.

            I saw an article on “why isnt Willis famous?”. The answer is she has a small niche of rabid fans but hasnt spread beyond them. Ive read a couple of here older short stories (Hugo winners) and generally didnt get her.

            1. People with small niches of rabid fans don’t win eleven Hugos and seven Nebulas. And it’s a fine novel.

          2. I don’t know if the state of new science fiction has hit bottom yet, but if not it must be getting very close.

            Science fiction is alive and well, living in England under the care of some fine gentlemen. It hopes one day to return to America.

            1. Vinge is in San Diego.

              1. He’s probably thinking mostly Banks.

              2. One man can’t hold back a tide of shit with a single novel.

                Between vampires and dragons and dragon vampires and were-dragon half-reverse vampires and romance novels prancing around in science fiction costumes, 99% of The Aughts were lost in American SF. The British produced Asher, Grimwood, Reynolds, and Morgan during that period, and Banks remained active.

                1. England also has Stross, MacLeod, and Mi?ville (blanked out there.)

                2. I avoid the fantasy ghetto, so I failed to notice the were-dragon half-reverse vampires.

                3. The Baroque Cycle was in the aughts, but I guess it techically isnt SF.

                  1. I’ve been perusing the Hugo nominees. There was only two American male science fiction nominated for a Hugo who hadn’t published anything before 2000: Paolo Bacigalupi and John Scalzi. And even though I really like Scalzi, he is basically a pastiche-ist.

                    1. Oh, and read about the paranoid NPR universe of Bacigalupi’s book: Waterworld meets CORPORASHUNS! meets Frankenfood nonsense.

                    2. The Windup Girl is set in the 23rd century: Global Warming has raised the levels of world’s oceans, carbon fuel sources have become depleted, and manually wound springs are used as energy storage devices.


                4. Between vampires and dragons and dragon vampires and were-dragon half-reverse vampires and romance novels prancing around in science fiction costumes, 99% of The Aughts were lost in American SF.

                  I subscribe to Analog and F&SF; and the thing I notice most about American writers is that they lack a distinct edge and grit, especially as opposed to the Brits. Perhaps its the conservative editors, but it’s all just too nice (and boring).

                  1. If Scott Westerfield would come back to the Risen Empire books (although the Behemoth novels aren’t bad, if a little on the YA side), we’d have someone. Not hard sci-fi, but at least universes worth a shit. GRRM and Pat Rothfuss are slapping around the rest of the world’s fantasy authors like pimps on the 3rd day of a coke bender, but that has nothing to do with Hugos. Stephenson has a new book out in October, but that man needs an editor. Anathem may be the most self-indulgent novel ever and I’m including Atlas Shrugged.

                    1. It’s interesting – awhile back, I was mostly SF, not that much fantasy. Lately, mostly fantasy, not as much SF. The books I fidget for are nearly all fantasy these days – Rothfuss, the Malazan books (finally finished, although they are finishing up some companion volumes), etc.

                      Just re-read Jack Vance’s Lyonesse trilogy. Utter, crystalline, brilliance.

          3. I don’t know if the state of new science fiction has hit bottom yet, but if not it must be getting very close.

            Sturgeon’s Law, dude. 80% of it is crap, but the other 20% can be very fine, indeed.

            1. I own something like 7 of the 13 volumes of The Complete Short Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, the man practiced what he preached.

    1. Connie Willis bores me to tears. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to finish a book of hers.

      So I guess she’s great like Jmes Joyce, then.

    2. I second SF’s “meh”. Did anyone read any of these?

      This list reminds me: why does anyone think Inception has any merits?

      1. Its Chris Nolan and Leo DiCaprio and they had that rotating room fight and shit. Meh. It was SciFi and pretty, if not the most gripping film ever.

        1. Here’s a wake-up call for America: Leo DiCaprio is dull. Always running around in a panic, flabby and sweaty.

          So I’m similarly baffled about why the execrable Shutter Island gets such high praise. DiCaprio + one of the least-believable twists ever.

  30. The Federal Reserve hands out $1.2 trillion in secret loans.

    So this is the new form of the continuation of Quantitative Easing. Instead of buying treasuries from the private entities, they’re now going to pay the private entities money to continue buying the treasuries instead. This obviously explains how the interest rates continue dropping to their completely nonsensical rates.

    Meanwhile, our currency will continue to go down the crapper along with the good faith and credit of our country’s name. Rick Perry is dead on the money on this one: Bernanke deserves to be shot in the head.

  31. Speaking of the onerous burden of college tuition…

    Though such plans have undoubtedly allowed a greater number of modest-income students to go to college, they can actually end up unintentionally raising tuition costs. While the plans typically don’t charge a fee for payments made by check or direct deposit, they tack on a hefty charge for credit card payments.

    Why? Because most institutions outsource the management of their plans to private companies, which have to make a profit. They charge universities a fee for processing credit card payments, and the schools pass those costs on to students and families, amounting to over a thousand dollars or more per year in some cases.

    “Private companies, which have to make a profit.” They charge a fee for performing a service. Oh, the horror.


    Meanwhile, wealthy families that can afford to simply write a check upfront each month avoid both credit card fees and interest payments.

    Shocking. Not only that, people with ready cash can pay up-front, and get a DISCOUNT! They can even evade year-to-year tuition increases. Is there no end to the perfidy of the wealthy?


    Our institutions of higher learning cannot continue to offer their best deals to a privileged few. Our country needs colleges and universities to recruit and cultivate talented young people from diverse backgrounds. To do so, we must ensure that children from working families have the mechanisms not only to obtain college admission and afford to attend without compromising their studies, but also to be free to enter the economy relatively unburdened by debt.

    I think the solution is obvious. Nationalize higher education. Free unlimited indoctrination for everyone!

    1. Why? Because most institutions outsource the management of their plans to private companies, which have to make a profit. They charge universities a fee for processing credit card payments, and the schools pass those costs on to students and families, amounting to over a thousand dollars or more per year in some cases

      Fucking interchange fees, how do they work?

  32. Rahm Emanuel Joins “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”

    I think that should be “mayors in favor of illegal guns”.

    They want to make guns illegal, right?

      1. Also, any time I see something written by someone named “Walker”, my brain goes, “Walker, you resilient bastard…” in JOhn Lithgow’s voice from “Cliffhanger” [admitted guilty pleasure].

        So Jesse, “Walker, you resilient bastard…”

        1. Apparently Almanian has amazing taste in movies.

          Lithgow’s accent in that movie is a combination of South African and awesome.

  33. Why my post above ended up there instead of here – anyone’s guess.

    Damned threaded comments…


    A movie poster for a biopic about a drug dealer who converted to Christianity has some critics raising eyebrows for its depiction of actor Gerard Butler toting a machine gun in one hand while shielding a small child with the other.

    Roflmfao, when will they run out of shit to bitch about?


    MI: Londoners die for want of a gun

    Defenders of the Second Amendment couldn’t have asked for a greater gift than the spectacle of unarmed policemen and defenseless citizens standing by helplessly while rampaging hordes of youths burned London and beat up and murdered innocent residents.

    Europhiles endlessly remind us of the superiority, compassion and refinement of the European social democracies.

    But the anarchy that raged in England couldn’t happen in America. At least not in my neighborhood, where every third house contains a hunter with a gun safe full of pistols, shotguns and rifles.

    1. I’d be willing to bet that where I live, the ration is far greater than 1:3. It’s without doubt closer to 3:3.


    NJ: Newark activists hosting toy gun exchange

    Newark-based group Stop Shootin’ Inc. is holding a toy gun exchange program on Monday. They’re asking children to bring in their toy guns, water pistols or cap guns and exchange them for a positive toy or a book.

    Newark City Councilman Ras Baraka says more children and teenagers die each year from gunfire than from cancer, the flu, HIV/AIDS or other causes combined.



    1. Well, that should certainly solve the problem of gangbangers shooting each other in Newark.

      1. Unless you’re very, very young, or very, very old, I feel like you shouldn’t die from an ordinary strain of flue these days.

        1. Or flu, even.

        2. Just last week I read about the authorities finding the skeleton of someone who died in a flue.

          True story.

        3. You should NEVER die from a flue, unless it’s installed improperly.

    2. What the fuck is a positive toy?

      1. One that a child can’t have fun with, is my guess.

      2. I think a dildo would qualify.

      3. I imagine that the statists of NJ would consider this to be a great toy.

    3. IIRC, Ras Baraka is the genius who recently proposed that all small businesses open past 9pm should be legally required to hire a security guard. When it was pointed out to him that a lot of these businesses would probably just close early rather than take on the expense of hiring a guard, he said that was OK since they didn’t add anything to the neighborhood anyway. I really cannot understand how these embarrassments keep getting elected.

    4. Re: Res Publica Americana,

      Newark City Councilman Ras Baraka says more children and teenagers die each year from gunfire than from cancer, the flu, HIV/AIDS or other causes combined.

      Just the name “Ras Baraka” makes me take anything he says with a grain of salt, but I know the guy pulled that “statistic” out of his ass.

      1. Oh, I know — the statistic is utter bullshit

    5. You can pry my super soakers from my cold, wet hands!!!

  37. Did the whole reason staff (except Jesse Walker) take a Euro-style vacation or sumpin? No posts for over 2 hours – I’m dyin ovah heah!

    1. They’re all trying to find a way to dismiss my awesometastic war in Libya.

      Give it up Reason, MY warmongering has been justified!

      1. While I am glad the Libyan have a chance at a better life…

        You still suck.

        1. “Libyans” or “Libyan people”

          Your choice.

      2. “Give it up Reason, MY warmongering has been justified!”

        So can I assume we will leave Libya just as quickly as we left Afghanistan and Iraq?

        Oh, wait ….

        1. I don’t think we have soldiers in Libya. Its more akin to what we’ve been doing in Pakistan, wantonly violating their sovereignty (though probably with tacit acceptance by their military) to wage drone wars against those we’ve deemed terroristical.

  38. Nice

    Governments have an obligation to spend our tax money on programs that work. They fail at this fundamental task. Do we really need dozens of retraining programs with no measure of performance or results? Do we really need to spend money on solar panels, windmills and battery-operated cars when we have ample energy supplies in this country? Do we really need all the regulations that put an estimated $2 trillion burden on our economy by raising the price of things we buy? Do we really need subsidies for domestic sugar farmers and ethanol producers?

    Why do we require that public projects pay above-market labor costs? Why do we spend billions on trains that no one will ride? Why do we keep post offices open in places no one lives? Why do we subsidize small airports in communities close to larger ones? Why do we pay government workers above-market rates and outlandish benefits? Do we really need an energy department or an education department at all?

    Here’s my message: Before you “ask” for more tax money from me and others, raise the $2.2 trillion you already collect each year more fairly and spend it more wisely. Then you’ll need less of my money.

    1. Terrorist!

    2. What? you want accountability on how tax dollars are squandered?


  39. Have a heaping helping of senile rambling

    Government oversight is not some wild-eyed liberal dream. Rather it’s an inevitable response to what is often corporate negligence sometimes approaching criminality.


    Think of your last commercial airline flight. Then, recall what flying was like before deregulation of the airlines in the Carter administration. Which flight did you enjoy more? We may have cheaper fares ? but it’s a cattle call now.

    You’re welcome.

    1. Well, back before deregulation you didn’t get your genitals probed by federal agents. So maybe he has a point.

    2. We may have cheaper fares ? but it’s a cattle call now.

      Why don’t airlines offer some sort of service where you can pay more and have a more pleasant experience, for example priority boarding, larger seats, better food, and more personal service?

      This is a textbook example of market failure, which is why we need to re-regulate the airlines.

      1. That would be discriminatory against the poor. Airplanes shouldn’t be segregated based on class.

  40. maybe he has a point.

    I’m pretty sure that’s not what he meant.

    I think it has to do with smelly peasants.

    1. Well yeah, I was sarcasticizing.

  41. Newark City Councilman Ras Baraka says more children and teenagers die each year from gunfire than from cancer, the flu, HIV/AIDS or other causes combined.

    He left out cirrhosis of the liver and senile dementia.

    1. And heart disease. And emphysema.

      And on the other hand, let’s not forget smallpox and polio.

    2. But fewer than drowning, car accidents, and probably power tool mishaps.

  42. Good news.

    PHILADELPHIA ? The city’s embattled schools superintendent abruptly left the district Monday, capping a tumultuous tenure that saw increased test scores but also clashes with community members, the teachers union and city leaders.


    Teachers union president Jerry Jordan, who had previously called for Ackerman to step down, said Philadelphia needs a leader who is more willing to listen to teachers and employees.

    Everyone knows the school system should be run for the benefit of the teachers and employees. What the fuck do those snot-nosed little brats think; that schools should be run for their benefit?

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