Military Halts Production of Medals for Drone Operators, White House Rejects Ryan's Budget, Danish Officials Considering Plan to Import Pot From Washington and Colorado: P.M. Links


Credit: david_axe/flickr
  • The military has stopped making medals for drone operators after backlash from veterans and lawmakers.
  • The White House has (perhaps not surprisingly) rejected the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), saying that "The math just does not add up," and that it is "the wrong course for America."
  • City officials in the Denmark's capital are pushing to legalize marijuana, arguing that they could possibly import cannabis from Washington and Colorado. 
  • Astrobiologists have said that while the universe might be really, really big life is probably very rare, if it exists outside Earth at all. The announcement comes on the same day NASA said that life could have existed on Mars
  • Almost 21,000 people in Obama's home state of Hawaii could lose Medicaid coverage thanks to Obamacare. 
  • Since the last Senate budget the U.S. debt has risen by $5.5 trillion. A 1921 law requires that the president send Congress a budget plan on the first Monday of February, which Obama did not do.

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  1. The military has stopped making medals for drone operators after backlash from veterans and lawmakers.

    Carpal tunnel still gets you a Purple Heart, right?

    1. The drone operators still get to wear berets, right?

      1. As punishment, yes.

        1. “You’ve got it on backwards!”

          1. “HOW CAN YOU TELL?!”

      2. If you think Clara`s story is unimaginable…, last week my sisters father in law recieved a check for $8848 just sitting there twenty hours a week from there house and there friend’s aunt`s neighbour was doing this for nine months and errned over $8848 in there spare time On there computer. use the information at this address…

    2. If the enemy caused, it, sure. So only unfriendly reach arounds qualify.

    3. I didn’t really have a problem with them getting medals per se. It was the order of precedence that bothered me. They wanted it to be over a BSM(V) and the Purple Heart, which is abjectly silly.

      1. this

        1. This, plus the existing medals are sufficient to reward such action.

      2. The Air Force has been fucking up the BSM for years.

        My Father-in-Law was in Korea, where he was over-run by the Chinese Army and trapped behind enemy lines for two weeks, he was promoted 6 times in eight months to become an 18 yr old 1SG and for his service received a BSM.

        During the Kosovo ‘Ignore the Girl in the stained blue dress’ affair, the Air Force was issuing Bronze Stars to guys who showed up to work in Whiteman AFB, MO, where they hung bombs off of B2s and went home at night.

        Why shouldn’t someone with carpal tunnel and a bad caffeine head-ache get a higher award?

      3. Yes, but the problem is that the rank of the medal is tied to promotions, and from what I’ve read they already have trouble getting people to become drone pilots. If it’s a career dead end that will only get worse.

        Drones are becoming extremely important to the military and it’s in everybody’s interest to have the best operators possible, so they need to work this out.

        1. People are reluctant to take up a job which at the direct admission of their command may involve assassinating American citizens without due process? And this is a problem?

          Quick, somebody figure out how the Einsatzgruppen met their recruitment quotas.

          1. They could use airplanes for the same purpose and there is no shortage of wannabe pilots. Drones do a lot more than targeted killings (aka assassinations) and are becoming more and more important to the military overall. The assassinations program is an entirely separate issue.

    4. Carpal tunnel still gets you a Purple Heart, right?

      No but if you finish your “Big Gulp” before the mission is complete they add the “V” (valor) to any decoration awarded.

      1. This is why there will be no drone control centers in New York City.

        1. Don’t say that!

          As part of the Police Force, they’ll receive dispensation.

  2. The announcement comes on the same day NASA said that life could have existed on Mars.

    David Bowie vindicated!


      1. “The thin white duke” is what I call my penis.


        1. That’s what Mick Jagger called it too.

          1. I didn’t know he even had a name for my penis! My wang is truly grateful for this honor.

            1. He’s a sentimental guy, that Mick.

        2. Can you tie the duke into a knot?


          1. No, but I can tie it into a cute little bowie. *rimshot*

        3. so, whitesnake?

    2. Hugo Chavez was right. Blame it on capitalism.

  3. Black smoke.

    1. Was the Vatican droned?

    2. Have baby dragons been born?

      1. Danerys Targaryen has been named as Pope?

        1. Armand Tanzarians reign of terror is over then?

      2. I think black means the first clutch didn’t come out right and had to be destroyed.

    3. Only Jack can stop it.

    4. Does that mean they left the stems and seeds in, or something?

  4. City officials in the Denmark’s capital are pushing to legalize marijuana, arguing that they could possibly import cannabis from Washington and Colorado.

    Let the commerce begin! And then let’s see what the Feds do.

      1. But the jobz!

  5. Astrobiologists have said that while the universe might be really, really big life is probably very rare, if it exists outside Earth at all. The announcement comes on the same day NASA said that life could have existed on Mars.

    Well that’s depressing.

    1. Don’t worry, ASM. When the E.T.s show up — very soon, as Eric Holder might say — those naysayers will be the first to be eaten.

      1. The E.T.s are already here, and have been for aeons, and when they rise up, you will want to be eaten first.

    2. It’s not depressing, it’s some people talking out of their ass. We know so little about the universe, other solar systems, and the like that they literally have no idea and are just speculating.

      The universe is so vast that the possibilities for life, the universe, and everything are are equally vast.

      1. If the universe, not just our own galaxy, is so unfathomably huge, wouldn’t the existence of life, even if there were only a .00000001% probability of the conditions that led to the creation of our planet being repeated elsewhere, become an almost certainty?

        1. It would appear so to me. But that near certainty is also juxtapositioned by the reality that life’s inevitability elsewhere is only the result of the universe being so vast and unexplorable, hence making it virtually moot.

        2. That’s my view of it. I find the arrogance of the “it could only happen here” crowd to be amusing. There is an unthinkably huge set of conditions out there in the universe. Not only are there almost guaranteed to be extremely Earth-like planets, who knows what else there might be?

          1. I find the arrogance of the “it could only happen here” crowd to be amusing.
            But Barack Obama was born here on Earth. What would even be the point of life elsewhere in the universe?

          2. unthinkably huge set of conditions

            Exactly. Some conditions very well might result in life that would be equally as complex and diverse as life on Earth and yet be completely unrecognizable as life by Humans.

          3. Someone has to be the first or the last.

            1. Someone has to be the first or the last.

              There is no last with infinity. Hard to grasp, but that is how it works.

              1. This presumes that the universe is literally infinite (who knows?) and that entropy won’t eventually snuff everything out.

                I only posit it as one possibility. At some point, some life form will be the last to arise in this universe. Are there other universes? An infinite number of universes? Will this one ultimately collapse and reform? Again, who knows?

          4. The universe may be infinitely large. It may go on literally forever, without end. And there may be an infinite number of universes.

            Either or both cases would mean there would be an infinite number of planets with life on them, literally no end to them.

            1. We’ve gone from earth being the center of the universe, to it being a planet around the sun, to the sun being a mediocre sun in a galaxy, to our galaxy being a mediocre one in a vast sea of galaxies … and yet some people still insist that life on earth is somehow special and unique, instead of probably just one example among a vast multitude, possibly an infinite multitude.

              A repeated failure of imagination.

              1. I think we need to contemplate more than just “there’s a large number of planets out there” when thinking about this question.

                Given how even in our particular solar system, evolved “intelligent” species is not an inevitable result – it’s actually an illogical and unlikely result.

                This is true because our brain takes an enormous amount of resources to maintain and is completely unnecessary for sustained life.

                Combine this with other “knowns” like:
                1) with what we know about plant life cycles with their fairly consistent interaction with other large bodies such as asteroids and/or
                2) any intelligent species is likely to be able to produce species ending technologies such as nuclear weapons and/or
                3) the time frame these species may evolve and eventually die out (whether for some environmental or self-caused reason, or because the planet’s star dies) versus our time frame (meaning maybe intel life existed earlier or will exist after we’re gone elsewhere, but how would we say it does now?)…

                & I think the assumption that true intelligent life exists elsewhere is less likely than most believe.

                And given the likely rarity – it would be even rarer to have two or more of these life forms to come into contact with each other.

                Though maybe we’ll be as lucky with being close enough to another life form to interact as we were with the Earth being where it is and evolving how it did.

            2. Could something that is infinite in an infinite set still be considered rare?

            3. The universe may go on without end, but matter will not. Protons have a half-life, and this universe is not making any more.

              1. “Protons have a half-life”
                No they don’t…

        3. If the universe, not just our own galaxy, is so unfathomably huge, wouldn’t the existence of life, even if there were only a .00000001% probability of the conditions that led to the creation of our planet being repeated elsewhere, become an almost certainty?

          That is known as “The Iron Law of Large Numbers”: No matter how improbable an event, given enough chances for it to happen, it will certainly happen.

          1. Don’t forget the corollary that most humans are far too retarded to have a good enough understanding of probability and statistics that they will fuck shit like this up every. single. time.

            1. I shouldn’t laugh at such a depressing truth, but here we are.


          2. Or given an infinite amount of time/chances, even the most unlikely event will happen an infinite number of times.

        4. Had a college prof explain that given enough time, the impossible becomes possible and the possible a certainty.

      2. Yeah, there’s totally a chance that even this is real.

        1. I can’t unhear that you fucker.

          1. Neither could I.

      3. Hundreds of billions of galaxies each with hundreds of billions of stars…

        You do the math.

          1. What I never understood about that song, he referenced the speed of light as 12,000 mile per minute. He’s fucking British, shouldn’t he be dropping kilometers instead?!?!?!?!?!

            They stolez it from uz.

            1. I imagine the challenge is to make the meter work. It’s a song, after all.

              1. So the kilometer would literally kill a meter?

                1. (groan)

                2. Ohhhh, that was for me. Nicely done.

            2. They didn’t officially adopt the metric system until 1965, didn’t begin to force the change until 1978, and they still haven’t completely switched over. That’s why you’ll still here the guys on Top Gear reference mph and mpg.

        1. Even if only one star in a trillion has an earth like planet and only one in a million of those has life, there are still at the very least hundreds of millions of planets with life. It seems absurd that there would be no other planets with life. It does seem quite possible, however, that we may never know for sure. Which leads me to wonder, what is the point of an astrobiologist anyway?

          1. Well at least they don’t have a long wait for collider or telescope time.

          2. “what is the point of an astrobiologist anyway?”

            Getting grants.

            1. Is there a field of astrobioethics and if not, why hasn’t some smart/lazy PhD come up with it?

      4. Vast is a fun word.

      5. Yep. Astrobiologists should just shut up and find something real to work on until there is any evidence at all one way or the other. Such speculation is totally meaningless and empty.

      6. Yep and this rampant speculation may well continue on forever as there is also the possibility that life exists but we will never have the ability to find it.

    3. …if it exists outside Earth at all.

      So they’re saying the aliens are already among us. Possibly even some right here in this chatroom…

      1. IIRC, Warty is the rapey alien from Species, Episiarch is the giant cockroach from Men in Black, and I am, of course, a mild-mannered reporter for a metropolitan newspaper.

        1. Men in Black?!?

          1. Oh alright. You’re the pilot of the Mothership that’s sensitive to Apple Viruses in Independence Day

            1. That’s marginally better. I’d rather just be one of those little pack-killer aliens from Galaxy Quest. They’re so cute!

        2. Wart : Natasha Henstridge :: Shriek : ???

      2. (Laughs up all seven sleeves)

        1. I, for one, welcome our new septopus overlords.

    4. Let’s go ahead and say very rare equates to 1%, as in life may exist on 1% of rocky planets located in the goldilocks zone of it’s star. Given the sheer scope of the universe, life could be extremely rare and yet simultaneously more abundant than we could ever dream.

      The scale of the universe is what makes it possible and yet what also makes it extremely unlikely that any of us or our great grandchildren will ever actually find out.

      1. I need an airsickness bag.

    5. This is one of the dumbest “scientific” statements that I have read in a long time. “Might” not have a lot of life is different from “might” have? Why do I fear a multimillion dollar grant behind such a “discovery”?

      1. “Astrobiologists: Obese lesbians might comprise all extraterrestrial life”

    6. No, it isn’t. It’s nothing but a rehashing of the Drake Equation.

  6. Since the last Senate budget the U.S. debt has risen by $5.5 trillion. A 1921 law requires that the present send Congress a budget plan on the first Monday of February, which Obama did not do.

    I’m sure that the future will do it for him, retroactively justifying whatever spending levels do occur.

  7. Japan Says It Is First to Tap Methane Hydrate Deposit

    Experts estimate that the carbon found in gas hydrates worldwide totals at least twice the amount of carbon in all of the earth’s other fossil fuels, making it a potential game-changer for energy-poor countries like Japan.

    Usually doom and gloom about climate change included, of course.

    1. BLUE HADES is gonna be pissed.

    2. IIRC, the US has 1,000 years supply (at current consumption) of gas hydrates off the Carolina coast alone.

      Peak fossil fuel ANY DAY NOW.

    3. What? They’re turning a very potent greenhouse gas, methane, into a very weak greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

      1. They’re raping Gaia! Literally! With their drills!

  8. Not really news to people paying attention, but this illustrates some of the foolishness behind ethanol fuel mandates.…..2792.html? mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

    In addition to increasing food costs, expanding cultivated land, and increasing the cost of operating a vehicle, the ham handed way in which ethanol mandates were enacted are forcing gasoline producers to buy more ethanol than they can safely blend with the gasoline they sell.

    1. Your link is busted.

      1. Err…nevermind, it looks malformed but it still works.

        1. Heh heh heh…

  9. Guys, I’m worried about Dr. Groovus. I’m afraid he might be leading a team of Ukrainian Killer Commando Dolphins on a crazy mission of world domination.

    1. “It’s unknown if the three missing dolphins had such equipment on them when they went missing, but it is believed that they are out seeking mates.”

      Let’s hope they don’t also get drunk or things could get ugly.

    2. These particular dolphins are trained in the use of special knives and firearms to kill enemy divers. They are also adept in the use of explosives to sink enemy ships.


      The good doctor *has* been rather conspicuous by his absence. I’m thinking the, um, romance may have been kicked up a notch or two. I’m hoping for good news soon.

      1. The dolphins are highly trained, intelligent, and can strike anywhere.

        No one expects these dolphins……like nobody expects…the Spanish Inquisition!

        1. “You’re not from the military are you? Trying to teach whales to retrieve torpedoes or some dipshit stuff like that? ”

          No, ma’am. No dipshit.

          1. Too much LDS in the 60s.

            1. GD Mormons ruin everything.

    3. Has anyone seen him on lately? I haven’t seen him in weeks.

      1. I think he was successfully suckered in by a pretty face and is now locked in an old school Soviet torture dungeon being subjected to the death of a thousand cuts.

        1. Some of us pay good money for that.

        2. That seems most likely.

        3. suckered in by a pretty face

          In the interest of peace, remaining mum.

    4. The dolphins are highly trained, intelligent, and can strike anywhere.

      So make sure you check the back seat of your car before you get in tonight. Especially if you live in Iowa!

  10. From the everything is rape files:

    Non-consensual facial after sex is rape.

    Ok, granted, it’s a dick move, but I’d say it was more akin to holding someone’s head under the covers when you fart.

    (disclaimer: I did not see the episode, do not watch the show, just looked up reviews when the feminists started bitching about it today.)

    1. See, that’s what I get for not watching. Just saw a clip and it’s her dress. That’s right, cum on her fucking dress is considered rape by these people.

      1. But Bill Clinton is a great guy.

        1. Didn’t even see that angle. Awesome.

          1. And given that it was agreed that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman” it would seem that rape isn’t sex.

      2. I think you linked to the wrong article.

      3. Er, I think you crossed the links.

        1. My bad, that one was to show a writer who wrote an article in favor of soda bans say this:

          Here are some good, basic ideas for fighting violence against women:

          1. Violence against intimate partners is not ok.
          2. Rape is rape, even within a marriage.
          3. Religion, custom and tradition are not excuses for committing acts of violence.
          4. Everyone has a right to bodily autonomy and integrity.

          1. Everyone has a right to bodily autonomy and integrity.

            Even fans of Fifty Shades of Grey?

      4. I would think that shit like this woudl be awfully offensive to people who have actually been raped. Calling anything that is kind of creepy and wasn’t agreed to on paper before hand “rape” really seems awfully disrespectful to people who have actually had someone force them to have sex. Fuck these people.

        1. Some of the commenters seem to indicate discomfort with that point. The others, and the OP, seem to think that we’re basically missing a word here–there needs to be something less strong than “rape” but more strong than “bad sex” or something. I guess they’re not happy with “sexual assault” because it’s too legalistic; the point is these wouldn’t necessarily be prosecutable crimes but would still be clear moral wrongs and serious violations.

          1. there needs to be something less strong than “rape” but more strong than “bad sex”

            How about “doubleplusunrape?”

            1. How about “violation”?

              1. No good. Violation can be a synonym for rape.

                1. Sexytime foul.

              2. Well, taking that example right there. If she consents to bareback sex, then at some point she’s going to have jizz on her or in her. So how is the face a violation or whatever word we want to use, but inside her or on her tits or whatever not?

                I mean, if he was wearing a condom and specifically tore it off to blast her face, that’s a situation I’d call perfect for the “word between rape and rudeness.” I think changing up the exact location of the glazing is just rudeness.

                1. Evidently she specifically said she didn’t want him to come on her dress, and that’s where he came. I would say if you specify a no-go location, a violation of that specification becomes a sexual violation. This has happened to me, and I would sure not call it rape though.

                  1. I would say if you specify a no-go location, a violation of that specification becomes a sexual violation.

                    How much allowance would you give for bad aim?

            2. Double Dribble.

    2. Is that the wrong link?

      1. Yep, my bad.

    3. ‘Not the hair! Not the hair! Rape!’

      Who hasn’t had that conversation?

      1. Sinead O’Connor’s husband?

        1. Good answer.

      2. LT Illia in the best Star Trek movie ever made?

        1. Sexy answer!

      3. Ron Ben-Israel?

        1. Is that a porn star?

          1. Only in a metaphorical sense.


    My God Jay Carney is a fucking prick. How someone hasn’t just gone up to the podium and pounded the little bastard is beyond me.

    NPR’s Mara Liasson asked him a question about Obama’s yet-to-be-released budget. “Mara, the way you phrase that question, you know, makes me think that you’re still working on a typewriter or something,” Carney told the 57-year-old radio correspondent.

    “I challenge virtually every premise of your question,” he told Plante. “I don’t know what your question is here,” he said when Plante tried to ask it in a different way.

    “Bill, how long have you been covering Washington?” Carney asked the 75-year-old newsman when he persisted in inquiring about the tardiness of the budget. “Has there ever been a presidential budget that was enacted, word for word, into law?”

    NBC’s Chuck Todd broke in, telling Carney that a president never waits until after the House and the Senate introduce budgets to introduce his own.

    “Well, I disagree with that,” Carney snapped.

    If anyone in the major media will hire that asshole, they have no pride or shame, which of course they don’t.

    1. NBC’s Chuck Todd broke in, telling Carney that a president never waits until after the House and the Senate introduce budgets to introduce his own.

      So Chuck Todd acknowledges that Obama plans on breaking tradition and blazing a bold new path for America, then?

    2. Has a budget ever failed to receive one vote from the President’s own party?

      1. and Obama has done that twice, I believe.

    3. I read that earlier. When you realize what a pissy mood he had to be in to be that bitchy, it’s kind of a fun read. I winder what that was about. Did the boss give him a dress down?

      1. no. he’s not important enough for that.

      2. Maybe his wife didn’t put out for the 37th night in a row.

      3. Worse, Obama failed to acknowledge him at all.

        1. Poor Jay.

      4. You’d be a total bitch if you had to defend this gang every day.

        1. I’d be drunk. Obviously and uncaringly so.

          “What’s your question? Fuck, I dunno, make some shit up. That’s all I’m gonna do. Here, I’ll get you started: blah blah sequester blah minorites blah republicans blah uncaring. Go.”

          1. Can I quote you on that?

  12. City officials in the Denmark’s capital are pushing to legalize marijuana, arguing that they could possibly import cannabis from Washington and Colorado.

    Okay, everyone is under arrest for trafficking.

  13. Astrobiologists have said that while the universe might be really, really big life is probably very rare, if it exists outside Earth at all. The announcement comes on the same day NASA said that life could have existed on Mars.

    Astrobiologist: The universe is really fucking huge and we honestly have no idea what’s out there. We haven’t found anything alive in the limited space we can observe so there’s most likely no other life out there.

    1. Would it really matter if there was? We would have no way of interacting with life outside our solar system, except for perhaps the closest systems near ours. Anything else would be too far to travel.

      1. This is the real problem. I imagine it will be another 1000 years or so (if humanity makes it that long) before humans are even capable of real space exploration. Until then, it doesn’t really matter.

        1. 1000 years is a bit steep. I would imagine we will probably be having manned missions to Mars in the next few decades and possibly setting up colonies there and on the moon by the end of the century. Manned travel outside of the solar system is likely within the next 150 years.

          but unless there was a capability to do FTL travel or some other means to cover great distances in a short amount of time, we will not get much beyond the nearest star systems.

          1. If the “Generational Ship” could be made viable as a means of colonization, an average travel rate of 0.1% of the speed of light would mean the entire galaxy would be colonized within 300,000,000 years. Certainly long by our standards, but short in comparison with the age of the Milky Way.

            This is the origin of the “Fermi Paradox”, btw.

    2. Screw those people.

      What do the *astroarchaeologists* have to say about it?

      1. Whatever comment they make, I guarantee they’ll dig in on it.

        1. Is it possible to unearth something from space?

        2. They may need to bone up on the issues first.

          1. All these fucking puns are really digging under my skin

            1. You old fossils need to get with modern advances in humor.


    Get your pope bets down while you still can.

    1. If His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellete promises to replace the bread and wine with transubstantiated poutine, I will return to the loving embrace of Mother Church.

      1. I have him at 10-1.

    2. it’s blocked. are they’re odds on Cardinal Wuerl?

      1. I am blocked too. But last night I think it was running around 12 to 1.

        1. he’s my pick. I like that guy.

    3. Bono at 1000-1?

      Jesus, people are dumb.

  15. “The math just does not add up,” and that it is “the wrong course for America.”

    The Obama White House is all about setting the country on the right course.

    1. If I had to bet my net worth on Ryan’s math or Obama’s math it sure as hell wouldn’t be on Obama’s.

      1. Don’t worry, by the time they’re done your net worth won’t be worth much.

        Buy an actual net. You can catch fish with it.

    2. He’s too lazy to bother with his own budget.

    3. the wrong course is anything that does not lead us over an economic cliff.

      1. While the right course has 18 holes and forgiving greens.

        1. And the balls all have a favorable lie, which is especially attractive to politicians.

    4. The Obama White House is all about fucking math…

      1. They sure tie it up and have their way with it, anyway.

  16. If nicole and anyone else following this month’s Cato Unbound hasn’t seen it yet, the dissenting essay has been published. The abstract:

    Nicole Hassoun makes the case for positive rights. Without adequate water, food, and health care, questions of consent cannot be reached in the first place. A government that does [not?] help all its citizens to secure these things is not one we could ever reasonably consent to. Somalia demonstrates that in the real world, anarchy is typically horrible. Pre-tax income is not a thing we own as a property right; it is simply an accounting figure. These conclusions, she argues, follow from common sense.

    Perhaps it’s the author’s responsibility to provide the above, but given the number of hoary cliches crammed into a single paragraph, I hope it was the site’s editor having a bit of fun.

    Tom Palmer’s response was also posted recently, and it’s great, as usual with him.

    1. Thanks, MJ, I know I need to go back and read the responses but I’ve gotten so into the book that I haven’t yet. It is fucking killer. Mini-sample.

      1. Yeah, I’m definitely going to buy it soon. But I started War & Peace recently and, as it’s been more than two years since I’ve read a novel, I’m going to finish it before starting another libertarian book.

        Plus, it’s hard to put W&P down.

        1. Use your knees, not your back.

          1. When I put a book down, I do it with a squat.

      2. I picked up that book from the library on your recommendation. I was going to get to it after I finished George Dyson’s book about von Neumann and Turing. If it’s less awesome than indicated, I’LL KILL YOU.

        1. Well, I do not think you will have to kill me. I think I was actually getting turned on by it last night.

          1. Wait, what?

            The book or Warty’s death threats?

            1. The book, the book!

              1. I pirated it last night. I had money in my Amazon account to, but I pirated it anyway.

                yeah, I’m a badass. I know.

                1. You may, in fact, be a supererogatorily moral badass.

    2. Wow, the response from Nicole Hassoun is horrible.

      States have not secured most people’s actual consent, and it would not be reasonable to consent to be governed by some states, but this does not entail that we should abolish states. Even if states can only do what private agents can do, perhaps they should do what they can to secure (reasonable) consent. In my book Globalization and Global Justice I argue that, to consent, people must at least be able to reason and plan. So people must be able to meet their basic needs for things like adequate food, water, and health care. Legitimate states have to help all of those subject to their rules secure these things.

      This is where Huemer’s simplicity and clarity really become noticeable–when the woman arguing against him says basically nothing in an extremely convoluted way. People must be able to reason and plan in order to consent, including in order to consent to the state, and therefore legitimate states must make life easy enough for their subjects to reason and plan so they can consent to be governed by them? Is this saying something other than that?

      1. Closely followed by, “fuck consent anyway”:

        Maybe there is no way to ensure that everyone who is subject to a state’s rules can (even reasonably) consent to their rules, but we need states anyway.

        Boring old argument is boring.

        1. Seriously, how disappointing. Give us a fucking challenge, you statist bitches!

          1. Slap her until she wises up. It’s obvious rational argumentation doesn’t work.

            Or at least changes her name so you don’t have to share.

            1. I know, the only statist in the bunch (so far) is a woman named Nicole. What gives?!?

      2. I don’t know. It seems like she’s trying to improve the old canard that you can’t really consent when the stakes are too high (how can you consent when saying no means getting fired!?), yet she made the argument even worse. What constitutes adequate food and water? What condition do you have to be in, above merely living and conscious of your environment? How the hell did health care get into the picture? A cancer patient who can’t afford chemo is suddenly unable to reason and plan/consent? Is consent a one-time question or a continuous process? Once consent is given, when or how often must your belly be kept full? Is consent ever expressed, or is it still tacit and assumed, thus ignoring one of Huemer’s central points?

        And as you say, it’s essentially a circular argument that goes nowhere. It’s vanilla social contract: Consent cannot be bestowed until the state does as she prefers, because that’s the only kind of state people could possibly consent to.

        1. And I’d love to know how she’d answer a group of people that could get their own food, water and health care, without the state, choosing to revoke consent. If consent means a real choice and not a euphemism for “tough shit,” then can’t the successful revoke consent for a welfare state?

          Similarly, if there is a group that can’t consent because the state has not given them food, etc., is it just as legitimate for the state to eject those people? If a school prides itself on all its students getting a 3.0 GPA or above, making sure all students get an education is only one method. Another is to expel those who can’t cut it.

          1. Agreed–she’s just repeating the exact same tired social contract arguments and making them slightly worse. I know Cato Unbound is supposed to be responses to essays, but it’s so clear she didn’t read his book, because his book demolishes every single thing she says.

      3. Hassouns response amounted to, “nuh uh, because I said so.” I mean is is so hard to work in a “because”?

  17. Awesome story: The GOP congressman who destroyed Obama’s sequester scare story

    What stunned Rep. Harris and others was that after claiming in the 2013 budget last year that $58 million could be cut without harming vaccinations, the CDC this year claimed that sequestration cuts to the same program, estimated at $30 million, would have devastating effects. So Harris ? who is also a medical doctor ? brought the subject up in questioning CDC director Frieden.


    Should it be a federal offense for businesses to refuse to hire felons? Yes, according to new rules issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) intended to browbeat businesses into changing their hiring standards to benefit criminal offenders.

    The EEOC is dedicated to boosting employment of “protected groups.” The agency’s “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions,” released last April, notes that the imprisonment rate for black men “was nearly 7 times higher than white men and almost 3 times higher than Hispanic men.”

    What a bogus excuse for putting even more screws into the concept of free association. From my chair, I can hit at least three black guys in the back of the head with erasers who have no criminal history. And that is just the ones within my reach.

    1. They’re apparently not *real* blacks.

      1. I heard some real blacks on the bush lamenting that they were having a hard time getting meaningful jobs because of their criminal records. They thought it unfair because all they did was burglarize people’s houses when they were in their late teens/early twenties.

        1. On the BUS

        2. I would never hire anyone stupid enough to get caught at such an easy crime to get away with.

    2. How about instead of forcing people to hire felons, we stop putting so many people in prison in the first place for bullshit felonies like drug possession?

      1. Now you’re discriminating against prison guards, parole officers, social workers, drug testing workers, drug counselors, etc.

        Have you no shame?

        1. This.

          Especially since many of these people are Black.


    This is what happens when your Dictator is a prepper.

    1. I think that has less to do with Hoxha or Communism than Albanian culture’s long history of blood feuds. Throughout Albania there are these towers specifically build for people to take refuge in, if they get caught in a blood feud. Bunkering up with a weapon and a cache of food is like a 1000 year old Albanian tradition.

  20. Is there a planet where socialism works?

    1. It doesn’t even work in fictional worlds.

      1. The Culture made it work. Get to building those AIs, I guess.


    ? Threats were made to African American employees by other Justice Department staff.

    The threats were made because the black employees were willing to work on cases like the New Black Panther voter intimidation case and a case in Mississippi involving a black wrongdoer and a white victim. I testified about this disgusting hostility toward race-neutral enforcement of the law, and today’s report confirms it took place.

    Remember, it is us tea bagging nihilists who are the racists, never white liberals.

  22. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.c…..-sf-buses/

    Dueling Islamic bus ads in San Fransisco.

    1. Why don’t these hateful rednecks and dipshit liberal dogooders just dispense with the pretense and suck each other’s dicks already?

      And also, this doesn’t really do much to combat the idea of the islam=evil posters, does it?

      “San Francisco won’t tolerate Islamophobic bigotry,” said Gascon. “The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to look the other way and do nothing.”

      1. LOL. That is classic.

      2. Remember kids, accurately quoting what a particular Muslim said is Islamophobic!

    2. Harder to vandalize express your 1A right on *bus* ads.

    3. …one of the ads, which has people debating the line between free speech and hate speech.

      Fuck you, cut spending.

      1. Whistling past the graveyard is the primary talent of American punditry and politicians.

  23. Dear God, look at the horror that is the Policeone comments on an asshole cop.

    Pig rear-ended a motorcycle, then goes all Gotham cop on the guy he hit.

    1. This is a classic

      omg, you guys are quick to put down your fellow officer. quick to want this guy suspended. quick to hang him out to dry. i bet you guys are the same ones who, when pulled into IA, already start talking and pointing fingers. The guys swore, big fucking deal. The guy didn’t check on the victim…..really? a victim. He was tapped from behind at like 2mph. We are calling this guy a victim….pathetic. The guy had a plan, he had a camera rolling. no victim here. you guys all must work in mayberry…..Howdy ma’am. ….coffee boss?

    2. That’s what discretion gets you kiddos. Too many cops see videos and hear stories like this and they write everything they stop. Then people complain that cops are too harsh. Well guess what? You made us that way.

      1. So not writing a ticket to someone who is INNOCENT OF ANY OFFENSE is now “using discretion”?

        1. There’s a lot of posts like this, though, which is encouraging.

          Posted by sgtbuck187 on Sunday, March 10, 2013 05:43 PM Pacific Report Abuse
          What a great training video. The biker did nothing wrong, realized the officer was escalating and actually used great technique in leading this “professional” out of an emotional situation. Just a shame many of us cannot admit when we’re wrong; as if it diminishes our stature. Imagine if the LEO had simply asked if the biker was OK, apologize, (get another officer or supervisor to do the report if there was noticable damage)and then shake his hand. We’re only human, but I’ll bet his sergeant already knows all about this guy.

          1. Encouraging in the sense that it is better than the one I quoted. But it is discouraging in the sense that cops are such professional dickheads they have to be trained not to react like angry baboons when they have rear ended someone.

            1. Yeah, the ratio of good to bad comments isn’t very encouraging either. Even the most of the cops who think he was wrong think he just needs a “talk” with his supervisor. You think a UPS driver would skate on this shit?

    3. So, I had a positive cop experience today. Got pulled over by a TX DPS officer for 82 in a 75. Can’t find my license. He just takes my name and birthdate, confirms I have a valid FL license, and sends me on my way with a warning. All the while making polite conversation. No hassle at all. God, it’s great being a white guy in my mid 30s.

      1. Were you in a rental or did you have out of state plates?

        I’ve never been pulled over by DPS for anything less than 9 over. Hell, when I go back and forth between DFW and Austin for football games I set my cruise control at 9 over and buzz right past DPS and city cops in both directions.

        1. Texas vs Florida. You can speed here, but are much less likely to run into a positive cop experience.

      2. Same demographic, a few years older. Some months ago, a Pinellas cop pulled me over as I was going maybe 53 in a 40. I’d forgotten to renew my registration, and didn’t have proof of insurance on me. (I did have insurance, though.)

        I got a warning. If there is such a thing as white privilege, this is it.

    1. I largely agree with him, but I think he overstates the fascination with violence.

      There’s nothing interesting about 12 inner city youths sitting in a library and that’s why such a video wouldn’t get views. That African-American college student who rocked it on Jeopardy got a lot of views even though it wasn’t violent. Generally, something interesting or unusual gets views, whether it’s violent or not.

      1. Well, he appears to be some sort of communist-ish revolutionary, so you take what you can get.

        1. Based on that short conversation, I think I could have a more sane conversation with him than 520 or so members of Congress. Hell, if nothing else, he recognizes that gun violence is just a symptom, which means he’s lapped the pack as far as I am concerned.

  24. So, if I’m reading current events properly, at this point Dennis Rodman is the only barrier to nuclear war. I’m confused… does this mean President Drone Strike needs to hand over his Nobel Peace Prize? And is Rodman’s next visit shaping up to be this generation’s Yalta Conference?…..-un-031213

    1. It only looks like Matt Damon is working with the enemy, he is there to avenge the death of his child by being in position to call in the strike.

  25. “The White House has (perhaps not surprisingly) rejected the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan”
    Hey, give ’em a break! It’s been a long time since they’ve even looked at a budget.

  26. Reddit found out about a sexual assault article from Harvard.

    The pwnage in the comments is hilarious. There’s a gender studies teacher getting her ass handed to her. (sorry about 3 of these today, but it’s almost literally all the feminists are talking about today)

    1. I didn’t know “rape denier” was a thing until now. They just love that word. I wonder if they know what it means.

      1. I guess I should say, I wonder what they think “denier” means.

        1. It’s pretty obvious they don’t know what ‘rape’ means.

          1. It’s pretty obvious they don’t know what ‘rape’ means.

            That’s it, you’re on the list!

        2. I believe it means thinking that there are any amount of non-convictions that are false claims.

    2. Harvard’s current policy defines rape as “any act of sexual intercourse that takes place against a person’s will or that is accompanied by physical coercion or the threat of bodily injury,” stating that “unwillingness may be expressed verbally or physically.” In contrast, an affirmative consent policy defines sexual assault as occurring in the absence of enthusiastic verbally or physically expressed consent.

      A number of colleges and universities throughout the country, including the University of Iowa and Antioch College, have official policies of affirmative consent.

      What I don’t understand is, why do these places even have “policies” that define rape? It’s a fucking school. If you get raped, you call the police. School is for going to class and getting grades and a magical piece of paper at the end that will give you a job.

      1. False consciousness detected.

      2. This is the reason:

        UnjustlyServed Kimberly Theidon ? 4 days ago ?
        Then allow me to add my voice.

        There was a woman I had a sexual relationship with. No real chance of it going anywhere, but we hooked up semi-regularly as moods hit us. It went well enough, but I was beginning to get annoyed by one particular foible… to put it delicately, her willingness to receive pleasure, but unwillingness to give as she got.

        One specific evening she called me up, invited herself over, and we went to it. She undressed me. After some foreplay, she put the condom on me. She climbed on top of me and oriented me in various ways… by all accounts an active and enthusiastic participant. That is, up until the point where I was close to finishing, whereupon I requested that treatment she was so loathe to perform. She refused. I said she was being selfish. She didn’t care. So I told her to pack up her things and go, and to delete my number of her phone.

        Yes, it was abrupt and unceremonial. Maybe even a little mean. In the shouting match that followed we each aired out exactly what we thought of the other in stark terms, culminating with her unimpeded (and at that point, HIGHLY welcome) exit.

        1. cont.

          Two days later, I get a knock on the door from two officers investigating a claim of sexual assault. What happened from there I’d rather not drill down into, aside from saying that you find out who your real friends are in a hurry, and that they’re rare and special people. Everyone else is very quick to condemn on nothing more than the spiteful story of a spiteful woman looking to retaliate against some “wrong” done to her, by using the state as the blunt instrument of her vitriol.

          My situation may be uncommon, but it did happen. For years I felt as though I could never talk about it, because even the hint of an accusation is enough to cost friends, associates, opportunities… and in significant numbers of cases, blood, treasure and lives.

          I have deep sympathy for victims of any sort of assault or violation of their person, and while they have collectively done great harm to me over the years, I don’t hold a grudge against those who would err on the side of believing someone who claims to be a victim of a heinous crime. Just know that the disdain, the dismissals, the hostility people show to men in my position are also deeply unjust and harmful.

          Perhaps there’s not enough room in your schedule to consider men like me at the moment. I hope one day that people like yourself can find the time and consideration to widen the scope of your concern to include those run through the wringer for nothing more than upsetting a woman.

          1. Which gets this reply:

            College ’98 UnjustlyServed ? 3 days ago ?
            Let’s recount the story using your words: This woman was willing to have sex with you without commitment but was never willing to give you a blow job.

            This “annoyed” you, but instead of accepting or discontinuing the sexual relationship,
            you decided to keep pushing to get a blow job out of her. So even according to your site of the story, she wasn’t an “enthusiastic participant” in the act she kept refusing to give. Moreover, your “request” for the act was accompanied
            by a shouting match, in which you accused her of being selfish. That sounds abusive, at best.

            I’m far from a feminist. But I’d put your case, as you tell it, somewhere in the grey area. It’s unclear if sexual assault occurred, but neither was her report the act of a spiteful woman “using the state as the blunt instrument of her vitriol.”

            Here’s a tip: If you want commitment-free sex while avoiding “spiteful” women, take what you can get and don’t try to push for more.

            1. On what planet is that not taking what you can get and not pushing for more? Gah.

              1. On what planet is that not taking what you can get and not pushing for more?

                Planet Harvard

                (I know it was rhetorical, I just wanted to say that.)

            2. I wonder if that person is acquainted with Steve Smith. I wonder if they knew him before the snap that turned him into a carefree, random raping woods wanderer. I wonder if this person caused the snap to happen in the first place.

            3. Moreover, your “request” for the act was accompanied by a shouting match, in which you accused her of being selfish.

              Um, not reciprocating the very thing you demand is the definition of selfish.

              The bitch wanted to be eaten out but didn’t want to give a blowjob. Yeah, small wonder that started an argument.

      3. The police have to (ostensibly) follow rules of evidence and obey the Constitution when they investigate a rape. The university does not. The university can’t throw you in jail, but they can expel you. And like most kangaroo courts, they find it’s much easier when there are little to no protections for the accused.

      4. I agree with serious crimes like rape but on the other hand I don’t have a problem in general with having an alternative justice system. Yeah it can be full of stupid bullshit but then again so is the legal system. I’m damn glad my college decided to deal with underage drinking by assessing small school fines rather than issuing legal tickets.

    3. There’s a gender studies teacher getting her ass handed to her.

      I figured she would know better by now not to wander out of the friendly confines of her department. She got destroyed.

      1. The LOLMRA following her around calling everybody racist and misogynist makes her look extra silly too. I wonder if somebody is doing that on purpose.

        1. The LOLMRA

          The what?

          1. LOL Mens Rights Advocate.

            1. Ah.

          2. Sorry I forgot to put in the word troll. That was their commenter name.

    4. From someone who disparages the idea that men have rights:

      You know what normal members of society do to avoid “living on egg shells” from the threat of being punished for rape? They don’t rape anyone.

      I know, right? Because authorities never make mistakes. Everyone in jail belongs there, and every victim of police brutality had it coming.

  27. The math just does not add up

    Since when the hell do these fuckers know math? I believe they must be stating that the math in his budget doesn’t increase (add) as much as they want.

    1. He does add 500 billion in military spending. One wants 500 billion of free shit, the other wants 500 billion of drones and tanks. Normal sane people are left on the side scratching their heads in disbelief???

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