Economic Growth

The End of Power

How wealth, health, cheap flights, and prepaid phone cards are undermining authority across the globe

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Power is shifting—from large, stable armies to loose bands of insurgents, from corporate leviathans to nimble start-ups, from presidential palaces to public squares. It has become harder to wield power and easier to lose it, and the world is becoming less predictable as a result. As people become more prosperous and mobile, they are harder to control and more apt to question authority. 

Insurgents, fringe political parties, innovative start-ups, hackers, loosely organized activists, upstart citizen media outlets, leaderless young people in city squares, and charismatic individuals who seem to have "come from nowhere" are shaking up the old order. These are the micropowers: small, unknown, or once-negligible actors who have found ways to undermine, fence in, or thwart the megaplayers. Navies and police forces, television networks, traditional political parties, large banks—the large bureaucratic organizations that previously controlled their fields—are seeing their authority undermined.

Micropowers should be aberrations. Because they lack scale, coordination, resources, and a pre-existing reputation, they should not even make it into the game, or at least they should be quickly squashed or absorbed by a dominant rival. But the reverse is increasingly true: The micropowers are beating the megaplayers. 

Javier Solana, the former Spanish foreign minister, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and European Union foreign policy chief, once told me: "Over the last quarter-century—a period that included the Balkans and Iraq and negotiations with Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian issues and numerous other crises—I saw how multiple new forces and factors constrained even the richest and most technologically advanced powers. They—and by that I mean we—could rarely do any longer what we wanted."

The end of the Cold War and the birth of the Internet helped enable the rise of today's micropowers, but they were by no means the only important factors. We need to look at deeper transformations in how, where, how long, and how well we live. These changes can be usefully imagined in three categories: the More Revolution, the Mobility Revolution, and the Mentality Revolution. The first is swamping the barriers to power, the second is circumventing them, and the third is undercutting them. 

The More Revolution

Ours is an age of profusion. There are more people, countries, cities, political parties, and armies. More goods and services, and more companies selling them; more weapons and more medicines; more students and more computers; more preachers and more criminals. The world's economic output has increased fivefold since 1950. Income per capita is three and a half times greater than it was then. Most important, there are more people—2 billion more than there were just two decades ago. By 2050 the world's population will be four times larger than it was a century before.

The More Revolution has progressed in the face of economic recession, terrorism, earthquakes, repression, civil wars, natural disasters, and environmental threats. Without diminishing the urgency or the human and planetary toll of these crises, we can assert that the first decade of the 21st century was arguably humanity's most successful: As the Center for Global Development scholar Charles Kenny put it, "Best. Decade. Ever."

According to the World Bank, between 2005 and 2008, from sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America and from Asia to Eastern Europe, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty (those with incomes under $1.25 a day) plunged. Given that the decade was marked by the onset of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression of 1929, this progress is even more surprising. The world is expected to reach the Millennium Development Goals on poverty set in 2000 by the United Nations much earlier than originally anticipated. One of the most audacious goals back then was to cut the world's extreme poverty in half by 2015; that impressive feat was achieved five years early, in 2010. 

Despite the global financial crisis, the economies of poorer countries continued to expand and create jobs. That trend began three decades ago; 660 million Chinese have escaped poverty since 1981, for example. The share of Asians living in extreme poverty dropped from 77 percent in the 1980s to 14 percent in 1998. This sort of progress is happening not only in China, India, Brazil, and other successful emerging markets but also in the poorest countries of Africa. 

The economists Maxim Pinkovskiy of MIT and Xavier Sala-i-Martin of Columbia University have shown that between 1970 and 2006 poverty in Africa declined much faster than generally recognized. "All classes of countries, including those with disadvantageous geography and history, experienced reductions in poverty," they write in a 2010 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. "In particular, poverty fell for both landlocked as well as coastal countries; for mineral-rich as well as mineral-poor countries; for countries with favorable or with unfavorable agriculture; for countries regardless of colonial origin; and for countries with below- or above-median slave exports per capita during the African slave trade."

Since 2000 child mortality has decreased by more than 17 percent worldwide, and child deaths from measles dropped by 60 percent between 1999 and 2005. In developing countries, the number of people in the "undernourished" category decreased from 34 percent in 1970 to 17 percent in 2008. The World Bank reckons that since 2006, 28 formerly "low-income countries" have joined the ranks of "middle-income" ones. These new middle classes may not be as prosperous as their counterparts in developed countries, but their members now enjoy an unprecedented standard of living. The Brookings Institution's Homi Kharas, one of the most respected researchers on the subject, told me: "The size of the global middle class has doubled from about 1 billion in 1980 to 2 billion in 2012. This segment of society is still growing very fast and could reach 3 billion by 2020."

The world's socioeconomic landscape has changed drastically during recent decades: 84 percent of the world's population is now literate, compared to 75 percent in 1990. Average scores on intelligence tests all over the world are now higher. Meanwhile, combat deaths are down by more than 40 percent since 2000. Life expectancy in countries hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic is starting to rise again. And we are providing for our agricultural needs better than ever: Since 2000 cereal production in the developing world has increased twice as fast as population. Even "rare earths"—the 17 scarce elements used in the manufacture of cellphones and in fuel refining—are not so rare anymore, as new sources and producers enter the market.

According to the United Nations Human Development Index, which combines health, education, and income indicators to give a global measure of well-being, standards of living have risen everywhere in the world since 1970. Simply put, billions of people who until recently lived with almost nothing now have more food, more opportunities, and longer lives than ever before. 

The overall picture of humanity living longer and healthier lives, with basic needs far better addressed than ever, is crucial to understanding today's shifts and redistributions of power, and to putting into perspective more fashionable explanations of current events. Yes, the Arab Spring and other recent social movements have made spectacular use of modern technologies. But they owe even more to the rapid rise in life expectancy in the Middle East and North Africa since 1980; to the "youth bulge" made up of millions of people under 30 who are educated and healthy, with a long life span ahead of them, yet have no jobs or good prospects; and, of course, to the rise of a politically active middle class. It's no coincidence that the Arab Spring started in Tunisia, the North African country with the best economic performance and the most success in lifting its poor into the middle class.

When people are more numerous and living fuller lives, they become more difficult to regiment and control. The exercise of power in any realm involves, fundamentally, the ability to impose and retain control over a country, a marketplace, a constituency, a population of adherents, a network of trade routes, and so on. When the people in that territory—whether potential soldiers, voters, customers, workers, competitors, or believers—are more numerous, in fuller possession of their means, and functioning at ever-greater levels of ability, they become more difficult to coordinate and control, let alone dominate. 

The Mobility Revolution

Not only are there more people today, living fuller and healthier lives; they also move around a lot more, making them harder to manage. This trend changes the distribution of power within and among populations, whether through the rise of ethnic, religious, and professional diasporas or through individual vectors of ideas, capital, and faiths that can be either destabilizing or empowering. The United Nations estimates that there are 214 million migrants across the globe, an increase of 37 percent during the last two decades. The number of migrants during that period grew by 41 percent in Europe and 80 percent in North America. 

Immigrants are changing the businesses, religions, and cultures of the countries in which they settle. In the United States, the Hispanic population grew from 22 million in 1990 to 51 million in 2011; one of every six Americans is now Hispanic. In Dearborn, Michigan, the world headquarters for the Ford Motor Company, 40 percent of the population is Arab-American. Such enclaves are bound to transform coalitions and voting patterns as well as business strategies and even religious competition. Political parties, politicians, businesses, and other institutions increasingly face competitors that have deeper roots and a better understanding of this new population. The same thing is happening in Europe, as governments have proven unable to stem the tide of immigrants from Africa, Asia, or other, less wealthy, European countries. An interesting case in point: In 2007 a Nigerian-born man was elected in Portlaoise, Ireland, a commuter town west of Dublin, as that country's first black mayor. 

Immigrants send billions of dollars in remittances to their home countries every year, promoting economic growth and development. Worldwide, they wired, mailed, or carried home $449 billion in 2010. (In 1980 remittances totaled less than one-fourth of that in inflation-adjusted dollars.) Nowadays, remittances are more than five times larger than the world's total foreign aid and larger than the annual total flow of foreign investment to poor countries. In short, workers who live outside their home country, who are often very poor themselves, send more money to their country than foreign investors and more than rich countries send as financial aid. For many countries, remittances have become the biggest source of hard currency and, in effect, the largest sector of the economy.

Perhaps the most aggressively power-transforming aspect of the Mobility Revolution is urbanization. More people have moved, and continue to move, from farms to cities than ever before, particularly in Asia. In 2007, for the first time in history, more people lived in cities than in rural areas. The U.S. National Intelligence Council reckons that "every year 65 million people are added to the world's urban population, equivalent to adding seven cities the size of Chicago or five the size of London annually." Internal migration—especially population shifts from farms to cities—can be as disruptive to power as international migration. 

A newer form of mobility is also reshaping the landscape of power: brain circulation. Poor nations tend to lose many of their skilled and better-educated citizens to richer countries, which attract them with visions of a better life. This well-known "brain drain" deprives nations of nurses, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and other professionals who are expensive to train. In recent years, however, increasing numbers of these professionals have been returning to their countries of origin and upending business as usual in industries, universities, the media, and politics. 

AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that Taiwanese, Indian, Israeli, and Chinese immigrants who worked in California's Silicon Valley often became "angel investors" and "venture capitalists" in their old countries, starting up companies and eventually either moving back or traveling frequently between their old and new countries. In so doing, they transfer the culture, approaches, and techniques they learned in the United States. Inevitably, the dynamic, competitive, and disruptive business culture common in entrepreneurial hubs clashes with the monopolistic and traditional ways of doing business often found in developing countries. 

These migrations are occurring in the context of a vast increase in the movement of goods, services, money, information, and ideas. The trade in goods was barely slowed by the recession that started in 2008. In 1990 the world's total exports and imports amounted to 39 percent of the global economy; by 2010 they had risen to 56 percent. And between 2000 and 2009, the total value of merchandise traded across borders nearly doubled, from $6.5 trillion to $12.5 trillion (in current dollars), according to the United Nations. Total exports of goods and services in that period jumped from $7.9 trillion to $18.7 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund. 

Money also has become more mobile. The stock of foreign direct investment measured as a percentage of the world's economy jumped from 6.5 percent in 1980 to a whopping 30 percent in 2010, while the volume of currency that moved internationally every day grew sevenfold between 1995 and 2010. In the latter year, more than $4 trillion changed hands across international borders each day.

The ability to move information around has expanded even faster. Somalia epitomizes the concept of "failed states," societies in which citizens lack access to basic services that most of us take for granted. Yet even there, 21st-century mobile telephony is widely available. In 1990 across the globe, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 people was 0.2. By 2010 it had exploded to more than 78. The International Telecommunications Union reports that in 2012 subscriptions to mobile telephony exceeded 6 billion—equivalent to an astonishing 87 percent of the world's population.

In 1990 the number of Internet users was insignificant—a mere 0.1 percent of the world's population. That number rose to 30 percent by 2010 (and to more than 73 percent in developed countries). By 2013 nine-year-old Facebook had nearly 1 billion users, more than half of whom access the social network via mobile phones and tablets. 

We should consider the impact of another tool that does not get the credit it deserves for changing the world: the prepaid phone card. The growth of calling-card usage leaves the Internet's growth in the dust. Now prepaid calling cards are giving way to prepaid mobile phones. Prepaid cellphones have displaced those that require a long-term subscription and bind the user to a service provider through an elaborate contract. The less-well-off who choose to leave home for opportunities further afield no longer face as stark a choice between staying close to their families and improving their fortunes. 

The two characteristics shared by all of these mobility-enhancing technologies are the speed and extent of the drop in costs of moving goods, money, people, and information. Airline tickets that used to cost thousands of dollars 20 or 30 years ago can now be had at a fraction of the cost. Transporting a ton of cargo today costs one-tenth what it did in the 1950s. Wiring money from California to Mexico in the late 1990s cost about 15 percent of the transferred sum; today the charge is less than 6 percent. Mobile phone platforms through which money can be transferred from one cellphone to another will soon make remittances almost cost-free. 

The Mobility Revolution has had a profound effect. Power needs a captive audience. In situations where citizens, voters, investors, workers, parishioners, or customers have few or no alternatives, they have little choice but to consent to the terms of the institutions they face. But when borders become porous, and the governed—or controlled—population becomes more mobile, entrenched organizations have a harder time retaining their dominance. 

The Mentality Revolution

The More and Mobility Revolutions have created a new, vast, and fast-growing middle class whose members are well aware that others have even more prosperity, freedom, and personal fulfillment than they do. These new members of the global middle class hope and expect to catch up. These expectations, and the discontent they breed among those left behind, are now global. They affect rich and poor countries alike; indeed, the overwhelming majority of the world's population lives in what could now be called rapidly changing societies. The embattled middle classes take to the streets and fight to protect their living standards while the expanding middle classes protest to get more and better goods and services. This is a new mind-set—a change in mentality—that has profound consequences for power. 

The Muslim world is a rich source of examples of how the Mentality Revolution is transforming long-held traditions, from the rise of a fashion industry aimed at hijabi (veiled or covered) women to the spread of no-interest banking in Western countries that have large Muslim immigrant communities. In India, the transformation in attitudes is spreading back from the young generation to their elders. A country where divorce was once considered shameful—and women, in particular, were discouraged from remarrying—now has an increasingly robust matrimonial advertising industry devoted to listings by divorced senior citizens, some in their 80s or even 90s, seeking love late in life and without embarrassment. Mature adults are leaving the arranged marriages into which they were inducted when they were teens or young adults.

Global public opinion surveys provide a clearer picture of the extent and velocity of these attitudinal changes. Since 1990 the World Values Survey (WVS) has been tracking changes in people's attitudes in more than 80 countries, containing 85 percent of the world's population. WVS Director Ronald Inglehart and several of his co-authors have documented profound changes in attitudes concerning gender differences, religion, government, and globalization. One of their key findings is a growing global consensus regarding the importance of individual autonomy and gender equality, along with a corresponding popular intolerance for authoritarianism. 

Globalization, urbanization, changes in family structure, the rise of new industries and opportunities, the spread of English as a global lingua franca—these have had consequences in every sphere of modern life, but their effect has been most important at the level of attitudes. The more contact we have with one another, the greater our aspirations.

One of the best examples of all three revolutions working simultaneously is the Indian outsourcing industry. Young, educated Indians who belong to the country's burgeoning middle class have flocked to work at urban call centers and other business-process outsourcing companies, which in 2011 generated $59 billion in revenue and directly and indirectly employed almost 10 million Indians. Although the jobs pay relatively well, they plunge young Indians into a welter of contradictions and competing aspirations—that is, aspirations to succeed in an Indian social and economic context while sublimating their cultural identities with fake accents and names, and dealing with abuse and exploitation at the hands of affluent customers a continent away. 

For young urban Indian women in particular, the jobs have provided opportunities and economic benefits they might not otherwise have had, leading to lasting behavioral changes that are upending cultural norms. Never mind the lurid newspaper articles about call centers as "a part of India where freedom knows no bounds, love is a favourite pastime, and sex is recreation," as an article in the India Times put it in 2004. Closer to the mark is a recent survey by India's Associated Chambers of Commerce finding that young working married women in Indian cities are increasingly choosing to put off having children in favor of developing their careers.

Revolutionary Consequences

The More, Mobility, and Mentality Revolutions challenge the traditional model of power. In that model, large, centralized, coordinated organizations deploy overwhelming resources and crushing force to obtain and retain power. As the three revolutions continue to progress, organizations that rely on coercion face ever-increasing costs simply to maintain market share and patrol their boundaries. 

The inability of the United States or the European Union to curb illegal immigration or illicit trade is a good example. Walls, fences, border controls, biometric identification documents, detention centers, police raids, asylum hearings, deportations—these are just part of an apparatus of prevention and repression that has thus far proven to be extremely expensive and largely futile. The United States has failed utterly to curb the inflow of drugs from Latin America despite a longstanding and enormously expensive interdiction effort. 

Power exercised through code or moral obligation also faces challenges as the three revolutions advance. Traditions embedded in family or tightly knit communities help people who live short lives marked by disease and poverty to cope, share support, and accept harsh realities. But as their material comforts increase and they gain access to more alternatives, the world's lower classes become less dependent on their inherited belief systems and more open to experimentation. Consider the crisis of the Catholic Church, which is having more and more difficulty recruiting priests who accept the vow of celibacy and competing with small evangelical churches that can tailor their messages to the culture and concrete needs of specific communities. 

Power that operates through persuasion, such as advertising campaigns or political patronage, is also challenged by the three revolutions. Imagine a political candidate or party trying to drum up votes through a combination of messages, advertising, and promises of rewards in the form of constituent services and jobs. The More Revolution is creating better-educated and better-informed pools of constituents who are less likely to passively accept government decisions, more prone to scrutinize authorities' behavior, and more active in seeking change and asserting their rights. The Mobility Revolution is making the demographics of the constituency more diverse, fragmented, and volatile. The Mentality Revolution breeds increasing skepticism of the political system in general. 

By no means is big power dead. The big, established players are fighting back, and in many cases are still prevailing. Dictators, plutocrats, corporate behemoths, and the leaders of the great religions will continue to be the defining factors in the lives of billions of people, even as they slowly lose market share. But these megaplayers are more constrained in what they can do than they used to be, and their hold on power is less secure. 

The More, Mobility, and Mentality Revolutions are attacking the model of organization so persuasively advocated by Max Weber and his followers in sociology, economics, and other fields, and they are attacking it precisely at the points where it once drew strength. Large organizations were more efficient because they operated with lower costs, thanks to economies of scale. Today, however, the costs of maintaining order and control are going up. 

The profound changes in the way power is gained, used, and lost drive many of the trends that are changing the world. Some of these trends are welcome and worthy of celebration: more competition in business, politics, or the sciences, tyrants and tycoons who are now less secure in their dominant position, more meritocracy and opportunity for those with talent, grit, and ambition. But the decay of power drives unwelcome trends as well: the inability to contain carbon emissions, reach a reasonable political deal about the budgetary choices of the American government, the failure to stop the carnage in Syria, and Europe's economic catastrophe. We have entered an era where many players have just enough power to veto, undermine, or dilute the initiatives of others but no single player has enough unconstrained power to push through an agenda. Many democratic countries are overdosing on checks and balances and the resulting gridlock, dilution, and delays in governmental decision-making have become dangerously common. This can and will change. In the next decade or so, the wave of innovation that has revolutionized communications, medicine, and physics will inevitably drastically transform the way we govern ourselves.  

Reprinted from The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím. Available from Basic Books, an imprint of the Perseus Book Group. Copyright ©2012.

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  1. But the decay of power drives unwelcome trends as well: the inability to contain carbon emissions…

    You had me then you lost me.

    1. Mois?s Na?m is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. He previously served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, minister of industry and trade for Venezuela, and executive director of the World Bank.

      1. Hold on, let me strap down my jerking knee, he was minister before Ch?vez’s reign of terror.

  2. …”As people become more prosperous and mobile, they are harder to control and more apt to question authority.”…

    Not working that way in CA.

    1. Yeah, I too was staring at the article slackjawed with disbelief.

      Maybe SOMEPLACE this is happening, but not where I live.

    2. Considering that Guvnor Brown can’t stop people from fleeing the state, it sounds spot on to me.

      1. Well, there is evacuation.

    3. Not working that way in CA.

      People in CA aren’t getting more prosperous.

  3. Mois?s Na?m? Damn, bitches, I’s impressed. Five years ago, Na?m wouldn’t have wiped his high-level ass with a copy of reason.

    If y’all keep this up, I’ll stop my daily letters to the Kochs petitioning them to buy VPostrel out of retirement.

    1. What’s the address?

  4. Could this be the death of parody?

    One of the central facts about modern America is that everything is political; on the right, in particular, people choose their views about everything, from environmental science to gun safety, to suit their political prejudices.

      1. Not to defend Krugman, but I’m not seeing how California could have 1/3 of the nation’s people below the poverty if less than a quarter of the population is below the poverty line. Isn’t the national rate much higher than 10% (which is roughly what it would have to be for that to be true, although it would probably need to be even lower)?

        1. How many people are below the poverty line in this country? California’s population is 38 million. One fourth comes out to about 9 million people. That would mean 27 million people below poverty in the US.

          You’re right. The number don’t make any sense, since the census claims 40 million below poverty line. I just looked it up. California still has much higher level of poverty than U.S. average, since the U.S average is 15% of the population, while California’s is 24%.

          1. I believe that he is referring to the fact that roughly 1/3 of medicaid and SNAP recipients live in CA.

            Since CA has roughly 14% of the population of the US but 30%+ of the recipients of these welfare programs it is fair to say that CA is both poorer and more liberal with handouts than the US generally, and likely any other state.

            1. After some google searches, I’m pretty sure the number is for TANF. California still has a relatively high share of the population on other programs, but nowhere near a third of the nation’s recipients.

    1. Well, he has a point. The right is notoriously biased against left wing views, while those on the left are always objective, logical, and pure of motive.

      1. “those on the left are always objective, logical, and pure of motive.”

        Now that you mention it, why, yes. Uniformly!

        1. those on the left are always objective, logical, and pure of motive.

          That’s what they tell us, and because they INTEND to be objective, logical, and pure of motive, they must always be so.

      2. while those on the left are always objective, logical, and pure of motive

        you forgot /proglotard

    2. Who was it who accused Kruggy of being a Dadaist genius performing artist?

      I like to believe that is the case. It kinda cheers me up a little. It is so much less depressing than what is more likely true.

    3. One of the central facts about modern America is that everything is political

      Citation needed.

      1. That bothered me to. The article had a few too many of these kind of statements. I deal daily with apolitical people. So “everybody” is not political, therefore, “everything” can’t be. Perhaps it is harder to avoid these days, you must go further and further from technology and people.

    4. I’m not so sure the right in particular does that, but I think that they probably do just about as much as people on teh left do. They aren’t all principled libertarians. Right and left, a lot of people just pick a team.

    5. Thus sayeth Krugman, “Basically, it depends on the claim that runaway inflation is just around the corner. Why have so many people found this claim persuasive?”

      Because they compare present conditions to those that created runaway inflation in the past, that’s why.

      The check from my Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel should already be in the mail.

  5. More wisdom:

    Conservative-minded people tend to support a gold standard ? and to buy gold ? because they’re very easily persuaded that “fiat money,” money created on a discretionary basis in an attempt to stabilize the economy, is really just part of the larger plot to take away their hard-earned wealth and give it to you-know-who.

    “Nuthin’ up muh sleeve!”

    1. “What evidence? Why do I need to provide evidence for my absurd, unsubstantiated assertions?” /Krugthulu

    2. It’s interesting that krugman is starting to beat the fiat money drum. A few weeks ago there was a columnist (Yglesias?) calling for outright printing money and sending it to people for stimulus.

      It seems like setting things up for a fight on monetary policy, complete with demonizing gold bugs.

      Almost as if people are starting to realize they’ve run out of other people’s money to steal.

      1. I think they are realizing it. They like to pretend they can’t do math. But they can. And they have to know that entitlements are broke. And even if they can be fixed, they will take away any money to do anything else.

        1. I’ve had fun with a lefty friend about this.

          The sequester didn’t drop government spending, it just moved it from defense and discretionary to entitlements.

          Well, guess what. Entitlements just keep growing from here on out, and any significant increase in interest rates from their historical lows will mean a big portion of the budget goes to interest, too.

          From here on, discretionary and defense go down, entitlements and interest go up. Sorry, no fix if you don’t touch entitlements.

          It’ll be like a sequester every year.

          1. And it is equally true on the state level. If the libs want to keep those gold plated public employee pensions they claim to love, they can pretty much give up on the government having any money to do anything else.

            1. I figure there’s a good chance that at least one of the bankrupt California cities (and later, Detroit, Illinois, and California) will wind up just being a pension fund.

              Nice court order to satisfy the pension requirements, which takes up so much of the budget that it can’t actually provide any services.

              Would be quite amusing, if terrifying.

              “What do you get for your property taxes here?” “Protection from a mob of retired city bureaucrats. That’s it. No actual streets, or lights, or police, or fire, or trash pickup.”

              1. There are people who don’t want to believe the pension costs are bankrupting us. I mentioned it on a football board where one of the threads turned into a financial envy thread (those evil billionaire owners, don’t you know) and even included a link to a news report about Stockton’s bankruptcy.

                Asshats responded asking me why I didn’t care about our veterans.

            2. If the libs want to keep those gold plated public employee pensions they claim to love, they can pretty much give up on the government having any money to do anything else.

              Or they could offer to help private sector workers with their retirement savings, by moving their 401k money into the public sector pension fund. By “offer to help” I of course mean “force”.

              The CFPB is already putting out feelers on this — one reason I’m not letting a dime go into my 401k at my new job.

            3. I don’t see libs forming charities to save the public employee pensions. Am I missing the coverage on these good hearted people digging into their own wallets?

              I’m in what they call a “fly over” state, so I assume I’m just not seeing the coverage on their selfless charity.

          2. Well, guess what. Entitlements just keep growing from here on out, and any significant increase in interest rates from their historical lows will mean a big portion of the budget goes to interest, too.

            This is what was so stupid about Bernanke lowering the interest rate to zero–he’s effectively painted the government into a corner of his creation that can’t be undone passively. If the blended interest rate on just our current debt goes to 3.5%, that’s a $560 billion tab that has to be paid or the government goes into default. That’s about 1/4 of what the government took in total taxes last year.

            And since the debt is just going to keep climbing, any growth in the blended interest rate means a growth in the debt payment obligation.

        2. They don’t realize it, and they can’t do math; but the people who give them their marching orders and talking points do and can.

          That’s why they so often come off as Brick Tamland inviting us to a pants party.

        3. John| 4.14.13 @ 2:27PM |#
          “I think they are realizing it. They like to pretend they can’t do math. But they can.”

          Not sure. I keep reading that S/S is really OK, it just needs a couple of tweeks.

      2. Fair share! Are you paying yours?

        -Ministry of Plenty

      3. A few weeks ago there was a columnist (Yglesias?) calling for outright printing money and sending it to people for stimulus.

        I made this very suggestion a couple of years ago (entirely tongue in cheek, mind you). Rather go through the progressive slant on trickle-down economics (pour money on the unions and the green energy con-artists and somehow, it will reach the rest of us). If you’re going to try and buy votes with public money, might as well cut the foreplay and just start writing checks.

        1. Hasn’t this been what they’re doing? QE(s). Stimulus.

    3. really just part of the larger plot to take away their hard-earned wealth and give it to you-know-who.

      Well, if you inflate the value away, then no one gets it, much less your precious government, Kruggie.

  6. God what dreck. That was nearly as bad as Thomas Friedman’s writing.

    1. Has anybody ever seen Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman in a room together?

      1. OMG IT’S TRUE!!!

    2. Dreck. Thank you, I was having a difficult time putting the right word to this. I can forget about it now.

  7. God what dreck.

    You actually read it? I plucked out a few random sentences and bailed.

  8. I’m partial to Na?m’s optimism, but perhaps less sanguine about the revolution of individuals over bureaucracy. And for someone prizing nimble upstarts over institutional dinosaurs, this sop about democratic gridlock is contradictory.

    1. We have been down this road. Most Libertarians have little understanding of why central governments arose in Europe in the first place. They were created to protect the emerging merchant classes from the aristocracy.

      1. Mind elaborating, or pointing me in that direction? From the sound of it, government was cronyism first and foremost.

        Genuinely curious, bee tea dubs.

        1. Go read any good history of the early modern era in Europe. What happened was France, Italy, England, Germany were totally torn apart by local wars. Without a strong central government, there was no way to keep the gentry from hiring mercenaries or control the mercenaries once the war was over. Also there was no way to guarantee anyone’s rights without a strong king. The local gentry and the local churches were basically answerable to no one. That is why sheriffs were so important. The sheriff was an agent of the king and the only thing standing between the gentry and the common people.

      2. Wait, central governments arose to protect noblemen from the rabble. Government was much more heavily centralized in Russia, which can hardly be claimed to have had an ’emerging merchant class, than it was in England or the Netherlands.

        The mercantile countries actually had less centralized governments than the rest of Europe, as can be seen in the fact that the Netherlands was the first really mercantile country and they basically had no central government to speak of.

        1. Wait, central governments arose to protect noblemen from the rabble.

          Not true at all. The noblemen had the money and the military might. The rabble had no chance, especially in the days before the invention of effective firearms.

          1. John, the Dutch Republic had virtually no central government, just a bunch of completely autonomous provinces. England was more centralized when all the power was vested in the king than it was after the glorious revolution, when parliament was given more power.

            The goal of central government is ease of tax collection. The Ottoman’s had a much more centralized government than did the Holy Roman Empire, and the goal of the Ottoman’s centralized government was sure as hell not the protection of the mercantile class. It was because it helped the Ottoman sultan collect taxes more efficiently.

            It’s true that the protection of property rights by governments was to protect merchants from the aristocracy, but property rights are not the only thing centralized governments do.

            1. What do you think Parliament was if not a central government? Central government doesn’t necessarily mean monarchy.

              And the Dutch Republic only arose after the invention of firearms. And further it was an outlier at that.

              And if you want to see why a central government was necessary, look no further than the War of the Roses. Without a strong central government, the nobility spent its time ravaging the country trying to determine who would be king. Pretty much any time you didn’t have a strong king, you quickly ended up with a civil war. Things like parliament were created to ensure there government didn’t depend on the quality of the king so much.

              1. Germany and Italy didn’t get strong central governments until the late 1800’s. And we saw what wonderful protection of rights that resulted in

      3. You do realize that an all-powerful king, ruling by “divine right”, is probably the most central government there is, right? In fact, they were the first central governments; prior to kings, people existed in bands of tribes and other decentralized political.

        1. *decentralized political units.

      4. I always thought it was-a la rothbard-a reassertion of the feudal state over the merchants, as they were dissolving away the old aristocratic order

  9. OT: Former New York Times chief counsel says Obama has “been more restrictive of the first amendment than any other president in history.

    I actually don’t agree because of the clusterfuck that was the John Adams administration, but Goodale’s point still stands.

    1. “I actually don’t agree because of the clusterfuck that was the John Adams administration,…”

      Wilson also set a very low standard.

      1. Don’t forget FDR.

        1. The above comment was brought to you in association with the Ad Council.

    2. Like 2 people were actually prosecuted by the Adams administration under the A&S Acts. Back then the federal govt had very little means of enforcing its edicts if the states didn’t help it.

      It’s sort of like saying Rasputin was worse than Hitler.

      1. Actually, 25 people were prosecuted under the Alien and Sedition act and ten were convicted.

        How many people has Obama flat out prosecuted for writing news articles he didn’t like? 0. That makes Adams worse.

        1. “How many people has Obama flat out prosecuted for writing news articles he didn’t like? 0. That makes Adams worse.”

          Maybe.
          It requires people to violate the law, so the question is who has figured out how to either duck the law or avoid prosecution.

          1. I suppose if you limit it to “writing news articles”, but if you look at theft, drones, surveillance, continued drug war…

            Need I go on? Every Administration in my life time has been worse than Adams.

  10. I saw, the other day, one of those little crawlies at the bottom of the teevee screen which basically said, “The idea that the Fed is monetizing the debt is ridiculous.” I did not see any attribution; probably Janet Yellin or some similarly unimpeachable source.

    Why would anybody be buying gold, or other hard assets? That dollar is as sound as if is Jefferson Davis, himself, were on the front!

    1. If the fed buying debt with printed money is not “monetizing the debt”, what the hell is it?

      1. Shut up, that’s what.

        I’m just gonna keep buying about 50 bucks of silver every paycheck. I doubt it will get less valuable.

        1. How do you get that small an amount?

          1. How do you get that small an amount?

            Local coin shops will usually sell one-ounce silver rounds or old Morgans for about $5 above spot, and there’s always junk silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars as well.

            1. Cool, thanks.

              1. Plus APMEX.com

      2. Technically paying off the debt with printed money is “monetizing the debt”, not buying debt.

        Federal Reserve is also technically a private bank.

  11. Magic spell is magic!

    Manchin was clearly moved by the families of those killed in last December’s school massacre in Connecticut, which jolted the country and prompted the current drive for stricter gun laws backed by President Barack Obama.

    Manchin called them “the strongest people” he’d ever met with.

    “They even said, ‘We know that this bill that you’re working on will not have saved our children. We know that. But it might save somebody else’s child,'” Manchin recalled.

    “You know this is useless. I know this is useless. But what the fuck, it might make somebody ‘feel’ safer.”

    1. John “I left whatever marbles that weren’t burned on the deck of the USS Forest Fire in the Hanoi Hilton” McCain :

      there’s a lot more that needs to be done

      Great. I can’t wait to find out what McCain and his sidekick Lindsey the Boy Blunder will give up next.

      1. Crap. Supposed to go in the quotes:

        there’s a lot more that needs to be done

    2. But what the fuck, it might make somebody ‘feel’ safer

      Tell that to this homeowner, who owes his life to his gun.

      Armed home invasion foiled by armed owner, 2 scumbags dead

      Happy for the owner that he didn’t live in NY, where he would probably now be charged with several felonies, for protecting his home and family.

    3. Once the comments. Just…the comments:

      Gurgyl

      This nation needs total “GUN-BAN LAWS”. Period.

      rs

      Nothing in this bill will prevent another school shooting.”

      ______________________
      Sure it will help. Closing the gun show loophole will be big, especially in my state. Your learned helplessness though is endemic of the gun crowd: “X doesn’t work 100% of the time , so we should just give up”. Again- they Marlboro man with a gun? Fantasy!

      Using your logic, we should give up on the 2nd Amendment. Really want to go there?

      wigglwagon

      I do not understand why it is so hard to get gun control legislation passed. All they have to do is explain that the Newtown shooting would not have taken place if this legislation had already been in effect.

      2012liberal

      Adam lanza couldnt have killed all those ppl and children if the awb would have been extended or made permenant. Nancy bought that gun after awb was lifted. Enough said.

      There isn’t a palm big enough for my face right now.

      1. wigglwagon

        I do not understand why it is so hard to get gun control legislation passed. All they have to do is explain that the Newtown shooting would not have taken place if this legislation had already been in effect.

        Goddammit. If i can’t trust Wigglwagon to accurately describe gun control legislation, then who can I trust?

        1. “wigglewagon” makes me think of piracy in revolutionary America.

          1. THERE’S NO ‘E’ in WIGGLWAGON JESSE!!! How can you not know this? He is one of the great thinkers of our time.

            1. Damn Irish, I went to school in America, how am I supposed to know how to spell things?

              (Actually I was in private school for most of my education and my orthography is superlative)

      2. It’s bad enough when you’re deprived of your liberties, but when it’s window licking idiots doing the depriving, it’s that much worse.

      3. Adam lanza couldnt have killed all those ppl and children if the awb would have been extended or made permenant. Nancy bought that gun after awb was lifted.

        So no one thought to tell them that while the federal AWB sunset, the identical CT ban is still in effect?

  12. As people become more prosperous and mobile, they are harder to control and more apt to question authority

    What planet does the person who wrote that, live on? All you have to do to control 90% of Murikans, is give them a little free shit and make sure that they have 400 channels of brain dead fluff to watch.

    1. I thought it was 47%. Did Romney lie to me??

  13. All you have to do to control 90% of Murikans, is give them a little free shit and make sure that they have 400 channels of brain dead fluff to watch.

    And threaten them with an endless parade of hobgoblins, real and imagined, foreign and domestic.

    1. that too

  14. The rich get richer.

    Billionaire collector William Koch, after waging a $17 million legal battle over 24 bottles of counterfeit Bordeaux, was awarded $12 million in punitive damages by a New York jury, many who shook his hand after court.

    The federal jury in Manhattan found against the consignor, Eric Greenberg, concluding he made fraudulent representations about the authenticity and provenance of the wine, including claiming that many purported grand crus, with one dating back to 1864. Late yesterday, the panel found Greenberg fraudulently sold wines he knew were counterfeit and awarded Koch $379,000 in compensatory damages.

    The jury’s verdict today concluded Greenberg exhibited “criminal indifference” in the 2005 wine sale. U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken said during his instructions to the jury that the award was designed to “punish the defendant for wanton, malicious or reckless acts.”

  15. Hugh Jackman makes the ladies crazy.

    1. For all you kids watching CSI and thinking it’s the profession for you, BEHOLD:

      The NYPD Crime Scene Unit recovered the weapon and had to pick the hairs out of it to match them with her DNA, the source added.

      Sounds like a real…

      (?_?)
      ( ?_?)??-?
      (??_?)

      hairy situation.

      1. How the hell did you get that image macro to work here? Everyime I’ve ever tried it, Reason fucks it up.

        1. I copy and pasted it from here.

          I didn’t think it would work, but it did. It’s the small miracles that make life worth living.

  16. “I’m sorry that the wines I sold to Mr. Koch were counterfeit, but I thought they were real,” Greenberg told jurors today.

    Hueston asked Greenberg if his offer to reimburse Koch for the wines was an effort to keep the incident from becoming public.

    “No, absolutely not,” Greenberg said. “Instead, we’re spending $17 million in litigation, millions of dollars in taxpayer resources, when federal furloughs are under way. This is an absolute waste of time, a waste of money, a waste of resources, and these people have used three weeks of their lives here,” he said, turning to jurors.

    “Also, fuck him, he’s rich. He should have just sold them on to the next greater fool, like I did.”

    1. Hueston asked Greenberg if his offer to reimburse Koch for the wines was an effort to keep the incident from becoming public.

      What other harm was done? Why should there be any other punishment, besides giving the guy his money back for the fake product?

      1. I’m guessing that he was upset about the way it was handled that by the time he was offered a refund he wasn’t satisfied with such a private resolution.

        I see this all the time in the restaurant. Some people aren’t satisfied with getting most of their meal for free and want to holler until they feel someone has suffered enough.

  17. 17 million to get 379k in compensation? This sort of non-sense should not be allowed in a court of law. We don’t have a real or fair justice system here.

  18. 17 million to get 379k in compensation?

    Plus $12 mil punitive. But, yeah, it’s unquestionably fucked up.

    I have to wonder why there was no criminal fraud charge involved.

  19. Should’ve read page two;

    ,iDuring the trial, Greenberg testified he had earned about $40 million from selling rare vintage wines. Rudy Kurniawan a rare wine dealer who sold bottles to Greenberg and Koch, has been indicted by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for allegedly fabricating counterfeits. He is scheduled to go on trial in September.

    1. $40 million is a lot, so he should have to compensate for the fraud. But my point is that you shouldn’t be winning judgments against someone, just because you can outspend them.

      And also cases that are just a personal vendetta, where you can have the ‘law’ punish someone, just because you can outspend them, and there is no real benefit for you, this is just pure fucking bullshit.

  20. I appreciate this wanker’s optimism, but share it not at all. Too much debt, too much instability, too many nukes and other scary weapons that can fall into even more-unstable people’s hands when regimes fall (see Libya as a minor example).

    Nope – I don’t see this ending well at all in the next 10, 20 years…

    1. Maybe someone was pissed that OG Double D didn’t have the chest his name implies.

  21. cases that are just a personal vendetta, where you can have the ‘law’ punish someone, just because you can outspend them, and there is no real benefit for you, this is just pure fucking bullshit.

    Based solely on the reporting, Koch says he was motivated by a desire to expose endemic fraud and misrepresentation in the wine market. True? Your guess is as good as mine.

    I am completely baffled by the wine market. Do people really spend that kind of money for a bottle of wine, and then drink it? Or is it all some weird antiquities trade?

    1. I hate to think what the guy has hanging on his Park Ave apt. walls.

      1. I was just thinking the same thing.
        No doubt he has the original Mona Lisa in the living room.

    2. Or is it all some weird antiquities trade?

      Yes, because most of those “wines”, if opened, would have already turned to vinegar.

    3. Based solely on the reporting, Koch says he was motivated by a desire to expose endemic fraud and misrepresentation in the wine market.

      Then he should be writing about Robert Parker.

  22. Why should there be any other punishment, besides giving the guy his money back for the fake product?

    Excellent question. I think this would be an excellent “loser pays” poster child.

    1. How so? It was a giant waste of time and Koch won.

  23. Tiger needs to rethink this “Golf” career.

    1. Yeah, where does he get off finishing 4th in a major? Fucker needs to retire.

  24. [quote]Power is shifting?from large, stable armies to loose bands of insurgents…[/quote]PR might be shifting. The will to do as much as possible might be shifting. Loose bands of insurgents could be turned to radioactive ash if a large, stable army chose to do so.

  25. most of those “wines”, if opened, would have already turned to vinegar.

    That’s what I thought.

  26. Americans are sheeple

    1. Meu Deus, we are so fucked. Can we not please find another planet to live on where these people cannot come to?

      1. Can we not please find another planet to live on where these people cannot come to?

        Nope. They’re like parasites, following their hosts to new territories. Look at any place that the people on the edges of society move to to get away from arbitrary authority, soon enough the banners, suckers, politicians, priests and schoolmarms follow.

        If you want to get away, you’ll have to move somewhere in Alaska where prosecuting the myriad of stupid laws we have is, at the moment, to inconvenient for our masters. This is sort of my plan, so far.

        1. That’s ok, let them follow us. But they had better not be expecting a giant welfare state or entitlements. They had better transform into a more frontier like do or die mentality.

          1. I think if you’re talking about totally inhospitable places, that could work.

            On the other hand, look at California or Colorado, or (fuck) this entire country.

          2. I love that frontier attitude. We see it a lot in our more rural residents of my jurisdiction. They don’t whine and call police for bullshit crybaby stuff like the city dwellers, they protect their own property (with arms if necessary) and they take personal responsibility for their safety and their property’s security. They work WITH us (the police). They don’t expect the state to be their daddy and protect them from everything that goes bump.

            Country boy can survive and all that. And then you get the former city dwellers who move to the outlying areas and then call the police to complain their neighbors are target shooting in the back yard. Welcome to the country, people. That’s how we do it out here. Got a proper backstop? Fire away

            1. Yeah, my GF lives in Granite Falls and it’s pretty much like the rural PA we came from, but the seeds of the citied class are starting to take over. Prices are going up, and the old-timers are leaving or dying off. Pretty soon all those awesome properties with the “NO TRESPASSING YOU WILL BE SHOT” besigned gates on the side roads will be filled with apartment buildings and housing developments.

              A funny story about not calling the police for something happened in my own home as a kid. Some guy that was partying with my parents broke into our house after everybody went to bed and went into my parents bedroom. I didn’t know this, but was awoken by my dad firing his colt .357 at the dude in our yard as he fled, my dad was in his tighty-whities, which makes the whole thing comical. Pa’s a gangster so your results may vary.

              1. Not a colt, dammit. It was a smith and wesson.

                Brainfart.

              2. When I was a kid my Dad noticed some dudes breaking into our neighbor’s house (our neighbors happened to be related to us). He came out just as they were leaving (w/o a weapon) and slammed the car door into one of them as he was getting in the car. The car drove off with the guy hanging from the open door.

                I didn’t fuck with my dad.

    2. Remember Chet, Democracy is the most wonderful thing ever and the voice of the people is the voice of God.

  27. Intruder calls cops afraid that the homeowners may own guns.

    1. We had this happen a ways back. Homeowner/soccer dad caught spracked out burglar in his garage and held her at gunpoint. She ALSO called 911 and asked us to hurry up as she was afraid the homeowner would shoot her.

      He didn’t, but I hope he put the fear into her and maybe she’ll reconsider her next burglary. The desire to burgle for money for meth is strong, but not stronger than the will to live.

      1. I’ve noticed that when you live in a place with higher gun ownership (totally anecdotal) that the addicts are more likely to scheme and ripoff soda machines than perform full-on home intrusions.

        Pittsburgh is one of the best armed cities in America and our crime rate is comparatively low, especially violent crime. I live in one of the so-called bad areas, but I walk around after dark and don’t feel in too much danger.

        I have some experience around the Seattle area and noticed that it’s largely the same; most likely because of the liberal gun laws of Washington.

        1. It’;s very true. I used to work Hawaii, where nobody has guns and occupied burglarys were common. Not here, because burglars don’t wanna get shot. I’ve interrogated a lot of them and it’s definitely in the forefront of their concerns – making sure nobody is home. They will case and knock with some bogus story, but just to make sure nobody is home.

          True on an international basis, too. Lots of occupied burgs in England where very few households are armed and self defense laws are weak.

        2. Anything else common between Pittsburgh and Seattle? And maybe Portland?

            1. You bastard. That can’t be played in the US because of copyright bullshits.

              I like the organic chicken named Colin sketch better anyways.

              1. ironic… Happening as we speak… would never happen in jolly ole england.

                5 AGO…AT LOC…SUSP STOLE SOMETHING OFF LOC PORCH….HOMEOWNER IS CHASING HIM…SUSP GOA IN A LIGHT BGE CAR LAST SEEN ON ****** RD TOWARD THE HWY…HOMEOWNER IS CHASING HIM IN DGRY CHEV PICK UP TRUCK….

                :RP STATES THE HOMEOWNER IS ARMED ** PISTOL **
                20:01:12 NOMORE
                20:01:31 MISC Comment:SUSP LIVES DOWN THE ROAD…IS ASSOCIATED WITH A 200 HOUSE
                20:02:24 MISC 19/C101 Comment:SPEAKING TO HOMEOWNER WHO FOLLOWED SUSP ACROSS THE STREET FROM ****** GOLF COURSE ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE BRIDGE… SUSP GONE ON FOOT… RP IS ARMED WITH A GUN

                Comment:HOMEOWNER HAS THE SUSPECT WITH HIM AGAIN.. HE IS AT THE BRIDGE THAT CROSSES THE RIVER AT THE GOLF COURSE.. HAS SUSPECT AT GUNPOINT

                lesson: don’t mess with the peeps in my jurisdiction!

                1. You’re advocating vigilantism?

                  1. That is not vigilantism. He is interrupting a crime in progress and helping to apprehend the suspect as he flees the scene.

                    That’s a good thing.

                    Vigilantism is going after somebody ex-post facto because you feel the justice system isn’t handling it right, seeking revenge, etc.

                    Interrupting a crime in progress and chasing down the suspect is NOT vigilantism. It’s what good people do, considerations of their safety aside (iow within reason).

                    If you interrupt a crime in progress and chase down the suspect all the while giving updates to police so they can take over when we get to the area is entirely responsible citizenship.

                    It is NOT vigilantism.

                    1. Another case I mentioned the other day, that is not vigilantism is the guy that some soccer dads CAUGHT IN THE PROCESS of ‘luring’ a crime, trying to entice a child into his car (guy turned out to be a convicted child rapist and registered sex offender).

                      They apprehended him and when he resisted arrest, they used reasonable force to keep him detained.

                      I support cops when they use reasonable force, which sometimes means bad guys get hurt (hint: don’t resist).

                      I support “civilians” in the same manner. No double standard. People have both a right and a duty to protect themselves and their loved ones and I applaud the soccer dads for recognizing a crime in progress, apprehending the bad guy, using reasonable force (and y es, the guy suffered injuries. His face was all bruised up… which is what happens when you get pushed down into the pavement WHEN YOU RESIST), and waiting for the police.

                      Likely, if the cops used such force, the reasonoids anticop brigade would assume excessive force, but the reality is when people resist cops should and do use force to overcome the resistance. Soccer dads have the same authoritah (arguably more lenient laws actually in regards to citizens using force in citizen arrest situations as case law establishes)

                    2. He called the cops, the cops didn’t arrive in a timely manner (to him), and he proceeded to take over a criminal investigation.
                      Ergo, vigilante.

                    3. also, how do you know there was actually a crime? he may have called in a “crime in progress” and targeted his neighbor who played music too loud on Fridays?

                    4. You don’t KNOW, just like in ANY criminal investigation. He gets the benefit of the doubt.

                      Look, if you don’t support the right of non-cops, to interrupt crimes in progress and to chase down perpetrators, fine. Case law, common law, etc. do establish that non-cops iow average joes DO have such authoritah and I fully support it.

                      In 20+ yrs of police work, citizens who are willing to get involved and who apprehend criminals when they observe a crime in progress, whether it’s store security and a shoplifter, or a homeowner apprehending a burglar – these are good things.

                      Vigilantism is a different thing. It’s the idea that since the justice system isn’t “working”, that people should administer their own justice.

                      That’s not what’s happening here. Chasing down and detaining a suspect PENDING arrival of police is something that we, as libertarians should (and generally do) support.

                      Protecting our neighborhoods and responding to crimes in progress is not something that only state actors (iow LEO’s) have the authoritah or imo the moral duty to respond to.

                      You are free to CHOOSE not to do anyhting and just wait for police, but you are under no obvligation to just watch the criminal run off with your stuff.

                      Libertarianism is about taking personal responsibility, and that includes when you are a victim of a crime.

                    5. false. Crime in progress, flight therefrom … chasing the guy down is what I, as a cop, support “civilians” doing. It’s not vigilantism.

                    6. I agree with Dunphy.

                      Well said Dunphy. I find myself agreeing with you much more frequently since you started capitalizing letters.

                      To expand on Dunphy’s point, vigilantism is when someone says ‘I’m going to go out and start trying to solve crimes and kill people who I find out committed crimes.’

                      If someone actually tries to victimize you and you catch them as a direct result of their attempt to victimize you, it’s not the same as being a vigilante. You’re simply refusing to be a victim.

                      You can’t expect that a cop will find a criminal at a later date. If you have an opportunity to catch someone and hold him for the police, you should.

                    7. Trayvon Martin

                    8. You mean the guy who may very well have assaulted George Zimmerman and was subsequently used as a political prop by leftists who don’t care about the truth?

                      That Trayvon?

                    9. The only evidence against him was from some vigilante who chased down a suspicious character after the police dispatch told him not to.

                    10. The police dispatch actually said ‘we don’t need you to do that,’ which, if I were deeply suspicious of someone, I might not even hear.

                      You’re also a liar that there’s no other evidence.

                      http://abcnews.go.com/US/georg…..WuNnbWKJ8E

                      Zimmerman had multiple lacerations on the back of his head, as well as bruising on his face.

                      One of the gashes was over an inch long.

                      I’m not saying Zimmerman is innocent, but the presumption of guilt is just ridiculous given the fact that nothing Zimmerman has said has been contradicted by any evidence.

                    11. Zimmerman saw someone who looked suspicious, but before that no crime had been reported.

                    12. Looking suspicious is not reason to be shot.

                    13. Yes, Chet. But if he attacked Zimmerman, then it was still self-defense. If you’re casing out a property for a potential crime, someone interrupts you and they assault you, you shooting them is in self-defense.

                      You seem to be continuously ignoring the fact that Martin may very well have assaulted Zimmerman before the shooting occurred.

                    14. Maybe Martin attacked because he didn’t like being accused of something he didn’t do? That’s self defence. Unfortunately he was unarmed.

                    15. “Maybe Martin attacked because he didn’t like being accused of something he didn’t do? That’s self defence.”

                      People saying things that upset you is solid ground to physically attack them, but if you were to defend yourself from such a person, you thereby become a vigilante.

                      Got it.

                    16. Thanks, Irish.

                      Fwiw, “citizens” are generally held to the standard that if they are going to make a citizen’s arrest/detention, that they must have actually witnessed the crime. That’s the standard in most states. Iow, generally speaking, they can’t act on probable cause without actually witnessing the act, but especially cannot detain based on reasonable suspicion. THAT is a significant difference. Most citizen arrests/detentions are store security who witness the entire crime either in person or by video surveillance and then make the habeas grabbus ™. That’s perfectly fine.

                      In the luring case, the soccer dads witnessed the guy pull up in his car and motion some 10 yr old over to the car. They saw the kid start to get into the car. They ran over and found that the guy had just offered the kid some candy and to play a portable video game if he’d only get in the car with him. The guy tried to drive off, but they blocked his car. They were perfectly fine with waiting for cops at that point, but the guy jumped from his car and tried to run and that’s when he got tackled. Again, totally fine.

                      Turns out the guy, as a RSO was not even alowed anywhere near little kids, let alone trolling a playground and trying to entice a kid into his car.

  28. So was this article a review of some new movie or tv show?

      1. Gun violence at an NRA event?

        1. So if it was sponsored by State Farm insurance you would expect someone to kill themselves?

          1. unless they were looking for an adjuster amongst the drivers?

  29. OT: Just came back from the post office. There are notices posted that the last outgoing mail will now be 3 pm instead of 5:30 pm when the P.O. closes. I’ve seen similar notices at other collection boxes with much earlier cutoffs.

    Is there a group at the Postal Service that actively works on ways to drive their remaining customers away and piss off the public that keeps the life support on?

    1. Your PO is open on Sunday?!

      1. The counter isn’t, but the lobby with PO boxes and the APC machine is. Just wish they’d make the drop box for it larger so I never had to use the counter again.

  30. Hey, where is everyone? I know it’s Sunday and there aren’t many postings… but, just came inside after my wifey and niece stopped grilling(showing me how it’s done, haha), with me eating and dranking, (:. Was hoping someone would be here…

    1. Do you see any abortion/circumcision/immigration/gay marriage threads?

      1. Did you hear anything about this Bioshock game?

        1. Hmmm, I heard about that Bioshock game, it seems that it’s some type of Canadian propaganda.

          1. Bioschok is not a Canadian made game. You’re thinking of Ubisoft.

            1. I was joking…

    2. what did you grill

      1. Dead Canadians, probably. Hyperion really hates your kind.

        1. we have a very gamey taste

          1. That’s why when I am raising a Canadian for consumption, I’ll strap him to the ground until his muscles atrophy and become nice and tender.

            I call it ‘Canadiveal.’

          2. Canadian jerky is the best, though.

        2. Yeah, I hate Canuckistanians way more than I hate Micks.

          1. that’s hurtful.

            1. I’m sorry dude, I didn’t really mean it… I hate Micks worse than anyone!

      2. I didn’t grill nuthin, see because as mulheres were showing me how it’s done. But, they grilled some pork, excellent, rib eye, excellent, veggies, no comment, and lamb, I refuse to eat that very strange tasting stuff.

        1. what did they say you did wrong?

          1. Everything. But to be more serious, I didn’t take the grazing approach…

            IOW, the Brazil approach to cooking out, at least in Nordeste(the north east) is to set a table outside with things to munch on(appetizers?), and then cook things one course at a time, laying them out on the table, all the while drinking, dancing, whatever.

            I actually like this approach, and definitely I am no match at all for these wimins folk when it comes to cooking, inside, outside, wayside, upside down, whatever.

            1. The middle eastern people I know bbq like that. They drink all day and each type of food comes out individually and at a constant rate… All day.

              It’s good because you never get stuffed, and you can drink like a motherfucker.

              1. I hear you bro, I’m a believer.

              2. They drink all day

                You’re telling me there are people who don’t do this?

                1. Yes, and I have bravely moved among them. They go through all the motions of socializing, holding a sprite in their hand pretending at being real people, talking and whatever. I’ve noticed that they actually think that they’re people, which is the saddest part of it.

                  1. First time I was in Brazil, first day, Caribaribe river, after dark, I very much remember this music on the boat. Magical shit.

                    Ugh, I’m a Brasileiro

        2. What the hell is the ‘no comment’ dish?

          Canadians?

          1. No, read again, no comments dish is veggies, Canadians rank way below veggies.

            1. we’re a better source of iron and protein than veggies, I’m sure.
              did they make you eat Quinoa?

              1. Quinoa? Hell No! I choose my slave girls well, no fucking Quinao, or TOFU!

                1. 7 Benefits Of Quinoa: The Supergrain Of The Future

                  1. I sure hope no one had a severe gluten type allergy to it.

        3. I grilled some lamb chops on the grill tonight. I hope you’re joking about refusing to eat lamb. Seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing.

  31. As this new new new non sequitur non sequiturs, more non sequiturs are non sequituring in new new new 21st century ways. Non sequitur non sequitur non sequitur more more more.

  32. You know who else wanted to control others…

    1. Ernst Blofeld?

    2. Svengali?

  33. “The police dispatch actually said ‘we don’t need you to do that,’ which, if I were deeply suspicious of someone, I might not even hear.”

    Our dispatchers, per policy, do the same thing in these cases. It’s a liability thing. They believe if they do not actually tell the person NOT to follow the bad guy or whatnot, that if the follower gets hurt he can sue us and argue we enticed him to get involved etc. Fortunately, many “citizens” ignore that REQUEST by dispatchers and continue to follow the bad guy.

    We get a lot of DUI’s from citizens calling in the guy driving like a nimrod, and staying on the line with 911 while the citizen follows and we hone in on the location. It’s a huge boon for public safety. And ime, when they call in a driver as possibly DUI ,in ALMOST every case they turn out to be right. They aren’t acting on subtle cues, but on guys who are totally drunk… I’m talking .15 – .30 is a common range.

    1. We’ve had several burglars caught by home/business owners, which is also awesome. Imo, they exercise plenty of restraint with shooting. Generally speaking, they know that they can’t shoot a (non-violent) fleeing felon in almost all circ’s. They actually have greater latitude to use deadly force than cops in most of those situations (like the kelso case where the guy used deadly force against a guy who had burglarized an unoccupied home and the guy had no reason to believe he had used any violence or was armed, but he still shot the guy in the back. He was not charged. A cop likely would have been).

      I’m not a cop apologist. I’m a beliveer in the right of EVERYBODY – cops AND non-cops to use reasonable force to defend themselves and their property Ime, both cops and ‘citizens’ *do* use proper restraint in such situations, the overwhelming majority of the time and an armed, active citizenry is a huge aspect of freedom.

  34. The More Revolution is creating better-educated and better-informed pools of constituents who are less likely to passively accept government decisions, more prone to scrutinize authorities’ behavior, and more active in seeking change and asserting their rights… The Mentality Revolution breeds increasing skepticism of the political system in general.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    *deep breath*

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    It must be fucking awesome to live a life sheltered enough that you could actually convince yourself of this ridiculous shit at the same time that the only rights not being violently buttfucked by authority of all kinds are the positive rights that the “Mentality Revolution” has invented out of whole cloth.

  35. til I looked at the receipt that said $7050, I didnt believe that my mom in-law woz trully earning money parttime online.. there sisters roommate haz done this for only about seven months and recently cleard the loans on their appartment and bought a new Lancia. read more at, http://www.wow92.com

  36. Cameron. if you think Kyle`s storry is cool… on sunday I bought themselves a volvo after making $5268 this past four weeks and in excess of ten grand this past-month. without a question it is the coolest job I’ve ever had. I actually started 7-months ago and almost immediately started to bring in more than $77… per hour. I follow the details here,,
    http://www.big76.com

  37. my neighbor’s aunt makes $87 every hour on the computer. She has been without work for eight months but last month her pay was $13473 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more http://www.wow92.com

  38. as Joanne answered I didnt even know that you can earn $8073 in 1 month on the internet. have you read this web link
    http://www.big76.com

  39. That seems like a lot of money to earn in one month, I’m sure even my volvo dealer doesn’t earn that much money! He has his own website http://www.waterhousecars.co.uk/volvo/ if anyone is interested.

  40. How can someone make that much money in one month? I agree with Sarah that the volvo dealer that I know does not make that much per month. He does sell mostly used volvo cars but that is still a lot of money to make. http://www.waterhousecars.co.u…..chelmsford

  41. Read Chapter 9 of Part II of Orwell’s “1984,” in which he, writing as “Goldstein,” neatly lays out the threat of health and growing affluence to hierarchical power structures. In the book, this threat was neutralized by endless war, pervasive surveillance, and control of mass media. The purpose of war was to tackle the problem of affluence, by destroying goods, and tying up labor and other resources in war production. I guess I will have to read “The End of Power,” to see how the author concludes that his “revolutions” will overcome what seems, from where I sit, to be a hat trick for the oligarchy of rulers and crony capitalists in at least the embryonic implementation of Big Brother’s strategies. Even in the “freedom loving” US, we have endless war (or moral equivalents thereof), pervasive surveillance and a huge level of influence on media by the powerful. We like to talk about the disruptive effects of internet and cell phones, but who controls the choke points of those media and is infamously attempting to tighten their already firm grip?

    (continued in reply msg)

    1. (continued from main entry)

      The story that “The End of Power” tells sounds much like the “economic rules have changed” rhetoric we heard during the dot-com boom. No they didn’t, as the subsequent bust proved. I fear that the long-established patterns of history will likewise resist being erased by the three revolutions discussed in this article. In my eyes, Orwell’s shrewd speculation has been creepily accurate in the substance of what has transpired behind the scenes in the global halls of power. I hope the realities of our future ultimately prove him wrong, but I don’t think it is wise to bet against him just yet.

  42. Spanish foreign minister, secretary general of the North

  43. come from nowhere” are shaking up the old order.

  44. Hulu commercials: Commerception.

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