A.M. Links: Maduro Wins Venezuelan Election, Inmates Clash With Guards at Gitmo, Global Military Expenditure Fell in 2012

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Credit: Congreso de la República del Perú/wikimedia
  • Venezuela's electoral authority has declared Nicolas Maduro the winner of the presidential election. Chavez's hand-picked successor narrowly beat Henry Capriles, who has demanded a recount. 
  • Inmates at Guantanamo Bay have clashed with guards after communal housing was ended at one of the camps.
  • Global military expenditure dropped in 2012 for the first time in over a decade, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
  • The LAPD will no longer provide the media immediate information on celebrity "swatting" cases. 
  • At least 32 people have been killed in coordinated attacks in Iraq. 
  • Scientists have created a functioning lab grown kidney that produces urine when transplanted into animals. 

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  1. Scientists have created a functioning lab grown kidney that produces urine when transplanted into animals.

    Things were better when Postrel had two kidneys.

    1. DRI…uh, PISS!

    2. Ke$ha has ordered a dozen.

      1. How about livers?

        1. FAVA BEANS! And a nice Chianti?

  2. Put down the Frisbee or I’ll shoot!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..party.html

    1. Wow, from a ‘local-organic-green’ place, I did not expect that.

    2. You stay classy Jersey.

      1. On the other hand, Rutgers now has a new basketball coach…

    3. “They went from three cops to the riot squad,” Palisi said.

      ‘It only turned into a riot when the cops came,’ Mike O’Reilly, a Rutgers senior, told the Newark Star-Ledger.

      Sounds about right. I’ve had two cops clear out house parties of 60+ people several times in my youth. Lazy bastards.

      Police said they had to break up 300 to 400 students from seven parties that merged into a giant block-long street of revelry.

      50 – 60 kids per house? That’s a typical Saturday night down there. The day shift needs to get their game up.

  3. ‘Beer should be like violence: domestic’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..trage.html

    1. Wow, from a ‘local-organic-green’ place, I did not expect that.

      1. It’s easy to assume that because there is a lot of overlap that the local-organic-green types and the PC types are one and the same.

        1. Yes, while ‘local’ is starting to diversify and de-collectivize, ‘organic-green’ is usually synonymous with ‘humorless’.

          I mean, I don’t eat much non-organic food. Mostly because I’m not a silicon based life-form.

          1. Other than the greens, you also have people like my mother, who bought organic for years because she thought organic meant “healthier”. When I learned this, I explained what it meant to her but her purchasing habits didn’t change.

            1. What’s always fun is to go to a health food store and ask where the inorganic food aisle is.

              1. Salt’s on aisle 6.

          2. I always thought you were the Horta. You disappoint me.

          3. Mostly because I’m not a silicon based life-form.

            And they stopped making Twinkies.

    2. Tasteless, but funny.

    3. Does this lead to a new advertising campaign from Starbucks?

      We like our coffee how we like our women: ground up and in the freezer.

      1. I like my coffee how I like my women: room temperature and riddled with herpes.

      2. WE like our coffee how we like our women: cold and bitter.

      3. I like my coffee how I like my whiskey: 12 years old and mixed up with coke

        1. Wait a minute…

        2. Go for an 18 and keep the coke on the side.

      4. Reason's Kermit Gosnell

        I see you’re classing up the place, generic.

        1. Shouldn’t reason be lower case, and not followed by a bunch of gibberish?

          1. not followed by a bunch of gibberish

            It could be MonkeyAIDS screeching about cocktail parties.

    4. Roots is delicious. Now I have another reason to go back.

  4. Gold bubble?
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6055…..z2QXFA0e6z

    1. Only in paper gold.

    2. Buy on the dips. Long term, green paper with dead politicians on it isn’t worth anything. Good thing it’s payday. I might buy a little gold to go with my silver.

      1. You should get gems instead, they don’t count against your encumbrance, and they can fit in a Gem Pouch.

          1. If you plan to hoard them, it doesn’t matter.

        1. Old school D&D thread?

        2. And they can take a +1 protection spell better than a gp coin.

    3. When ever central banks stop the music in the musical chairs game that is the international monetary system, I fully expect gold to touch 850 again. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went lower. But I think it’ll hit at least 850.

      I just wonder if my local physical dealer will actually sell me any silver at spot + 1.50, at today’s price

  5. I told you that a wealth tax was coming.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fin…..-outs.html

    1. The council, known as the “Five Wise Men”, is often used to test new policies that are later adopted officially.

      Holy shit, they are half a step away from calling them TOP. MEN.

      1. Wait, I thought there were only 3 wise men?

      2. The council, known as the “Five Wise Men”, is often used to test new policies that are later adopted officially.

        Silly Germans. *We* have *states* to test new policies.

        /sarc

        1. Maybe that’s why they wanted to be in the EU.

      3. You have to staff your Star Chamber with Top. Men.

      4. So is this the small council?

    2. Time for them to hire private armies to protect their wealth.

      1. What are you, an anarchist?

    3. OMG! Sarca Smic linking to something that’s not in the Daily Mail!

  6. Chavez’s hand-picked successor narrowly beat Henry Capriles, who has demanded a recount.

    Narrowly beaten in Venezuela pretty much means Capriles had more real votes.

    1. Funny how leftists never seem to ever lose a close election. If it is close, the leftist always wins. It is like divine intervention or something.

      1. ‘It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.’
        –Guess Who?

        1. George Bush?

        2. Ryan Seacrest?

        3. Bob Saget?

            1. Alanis Morissette?

            2. Billy Joel?

        4. David Axlerod

          1. Miss Universe

      2. also, a razor thin margin is magically transformed into a mandate.

      3. Just like in 2000.

      4. Yeah.

        That Al Gore sure won a close one in 2000.

        1. Hehe I would argue that the guy who blew federal spending through the roof, who started a whole new healthcare entitlement, and eagerly signed in a huge education bill written by Ted Kennedy was the leftsit.

          1. That is 99% of my argument. What good are Republicans when they outspend Democrats?

            I may retire from here if ten people agree with this statement.

            1. I agree. What we really need is a strong Libertarian party.

            2. I may retire from here if ten people agree with this statement

              I agree with that statement.

            3. What good are Democrats when they outspend Republicans? Bush sets new spending record, then Obama beats him out. The next Republican will probably set a new mark.

              A pox on both their houses.

              1. Bush sets new spending record, then Obama beats him out. The next Republican will probably set a new mark.

                Seems that the latest trend, started by Reagan, is to double the debt in their term.

            4. I would agree with you, but that would make us bothe wrong.

            5. I may retire from here if ten people agree with this statement.

              Nobody believes you.

            6. Why it is as if government spending is the only thing which matters. Issues like regulatory overreach, foreign policy, immigration, or abortion could never be a deciding factor for anyone when forced to choose between Republicans and Democrats.

              1. Issues like regulatory overreach, foreign policy, immigration, or abortion could never be a deciding factor for anyone when forced to choose between Republicans and Democrats.

                In practice I fail to see a difference in how either party deals with those issues.

                1. In practice I fail to see a difference in how either party deals with those issues.

                  It’s simple – one party is a pack of lying, thieving weasels who claim to be better at one half of those issues.

                2. And all of them are tied to spending.

    2. Back in my day, a good Dictator was elected by a 99% margin. None of this namby-pamby 1-2% crap.

      1. This new breed of dictators know that appearances count. Jimmy Carter’s not going to vouch for you if you win 99% of the vote, but 55%, or 50.1%, and he’ll back you all day.

        1. Jimmy Carter’s not going to vouch for you if you win 99% of the vote

          Citation Needed

  7. Emma Watson
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..prize.html
    or Ashlee Simpson
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..amily.html

    1. I am starting to wonder if Emma is going to age well. The older she gets the more harsh her features seem to become. I really wonder if she is going to be one of those women who was hot as a young woman but not so much after 30.

      1. Uh there’s a shit ton of women who were hot before 30. In fact, being hot after 30 is kind of the exception, not the rule.

        1. Hear hear.

          Also who cares if they’re hot after thirty (hint: they’re not), because there’s always more twenty somethings.

        2. I know a lot of women over 30 who are hot. Some women get better looking after 30. I am biased but I think my wife did. Women in their late teens and 20s have a certain youthful cuteness. That both covers up flaws and fades as they get older. I think some women look better with a few years of age.

          1. 27 is the perfect age, and they decrease in hotness on either side of that. Though, obviously it’s a linear decrease on the left and an exponential decrease on the right.

            1. You have been in Liberia too long. The heat is starting to affect your brain.

              1. It’s not really that hot here. About like Florida.

                1. Yeah, but who the hell wants to live in Florida?

            2. *looks suspiciously at work photo of 27 year old wife*

    2. Watson. Jessica has shown us what horrors lurk in the Simpson genome.

      And that’s even considering that Emma looks like she’s letting out a huge, wet fart in that last full body pic at the link.

      1. Emma looks like she’s letting out a huge, wet fart in that last full body pic at the link.

        IBIMB.

      2. I wasn’t going to check out the links until you wrote this:

        And that’s even considering that Emma looks like she’s letting out a huge, wet fart in that last full body pic at the link.

        Very accurate call, sir. I bow to your ability to recognize various types of farts in a still frame photo.

    3. I really don’t find either of them terribly remarkable. They both still look like awkward teenagers.

      1. but that’s wut sarcasmic likes!

        1. I would have added a ‘like his coffee’ anecdote for that, but everyone’s already touched on that upthread.

    4. If you can get past this, then I guess Emma Watson is fairly hot.

      1. You just turned PB on.

      2. Amazing. White people *do* all look alike.

    5. I was going to say that’s a question even John could answer correctly…but there he is failing it in the very first reply.

  8. Global military expenditure dropped in 2012 for the first time in over a decade…

    An open door invitation for the Soviets.

    1. I think it’s mostly because Crazy Vic’s House of Armament was having such amazing sales. With those discounts, I sometimes think that Crazy Vic really is crazy.

  9. Well, the experiment is over. My contract is up in three weeks, and I’ve decided not to waste another year here in Liberia, so moving to Florida to live off my pension and savings until I figure something else out. If anyone wants any souvenirs from Liberia, too bad, because there’s nothing here worth the time and effort it would take for me to buy it and get it on the plane.

    Although you can find lots of good used clothes and purses cheap, if you’re into that sort of thing and know what the hell brand names you’re looking for. I don’t.

    Work here was pretty boring, which is one of the big reasons I’m giving up. I mean it’s pointless to have a job in ‘security’ if you never get to ‘secure’ anything. And frankly the company is wasting money on me, it’s too calm to need anyone like me, much less the six of us they have.

    In any case in celebration of my decision not to re-up, keep it Troll Free on Mon-dee!

    1. The planning part of security is pretty interesting. But the actual act of doing any kind of static security is soul draining.

    2. pointless to have a job in ‘security’ if you never get to ‘secure’ anything.

      Does ‘secure’ mean ‘kill’ in Liberian?

      1. Well it means that the potential is at least there.

        1. Now that’s the kind of job that would get me out of bed each morning!

    3. In any case in celebration of my decision not to re-up, keep it Troll Free on Mon-dee!

      Mon-dee Thursday?

      In any case, congratulations. What part of Florida will you be moving to? If anywhere near Orlando, feel free to hit me up for a beer some time.

      1. Well, should be Jacksonville for a bit, then FWB, but I’m sure I’ll get down to Orlando, and will definitely take you up on that.

        1. As long as it’s before August. Just shoot me an email.

  10. I’m sure some of our more, uh, experimental members are asking this very question

    Why Are Monkey Butts So Colorful?
    http://www.popsci.com/science/…..o-colorful

    1. So you can tell what team they’re on.

  11. Snakes Snails, why did it have to be snakes snails?

    South Florida residents are being warned to be on the lookout for one of the world’s most destructive invasive species: the giant African land snail, which can grow as big as a rat.

    The huge mollusks were first spotted in Florida in 2011, and their numbers are growing, Reuters reports. More than 1,000 are being caught each week in Miami-Dade County and more will continue to emerge from hibernation in the coming weeks.

    1. First pythons and now this. Florida is turning into land of the lost.

    2. the giant African land snail

      Racist.

      1. …which can grow as big as a rat…

        1. Oh, so because it is the same size as a rat it must be African, right? Because black people are vermin, right?

          God, you racists just can’t stop, can you?

    3. Maybe they can make giant escargot.

      1. They eat them raw here. But they are indeed edible (and ok if they’re cooked).

        They’re also one of the few redeeming features of this hell hole, including red-head lizards, weaver birds and FREAKING GIANT BATS.

        1. Red-headed lizards?

          They’re combining gingers and reptiles now? Eeewww.

          1. That might actually be a redheaded female I’m not interested in.

        2. I seem to recall reading somewhere eating raw snails is a great way to acquire some spectacular parasitic infestations. But as happens, I may be confusing that with something else.

    4. It’s time for a Florida border fence discussion.

    5. Holy fuck, buy futures in slug bait.

      1. Is this gonna be a standup fight, sir, or another bug hunt?

        1. A xenomorph may be involved.

    6. I really can’t think of a better representative for Floridians than Giant Slugs (slug/snail/whatever).

      1. A snail is just a slug with a condo.

    7. Hope those are limited to South Florida, like the pythons are. Only just, really.

      1. They mostly stay in the south, mostly.

      2. Just think of it as a chance to expand the menu at Mounty Python’s. Quebecois are like Frenchies, yes? GIANT Escargo on a stick!

        1. Hell, yeah. As noted in our press release, Mountie Python is open to expanding into other mammal-free entr?es.

    8. Great, now all they need to do is grow giant flail shaped appendages on their heads, then we’re all screwed.

    9. If they ever make it to Louisiana, I’m sure they’ll figure out how to make something delicious out these little bastards.

  12. Inmates at Guantanamo Bay have clashed with guards

    If this isn’t an opportunity for a drone attack, I don’t know what is.

    1. Jay-Z and Beyonce (or any of us for that matter) can’t take a long weekend trip to Cuba, but the US military can pay $2,000* a year to lease the prison and pay for port access?

      They’ve had that rate since 1903 and get to keep it that way as long as they are current on their payment, must be nice.

  13. I see dead (Victorian) People
    http://io9.com/the-strangest-t…..-472772709

    1. They sit real still, which is great for low speed film.

      1. Daguerreotypes were on copper plates electroplated with silver, tintypes were on lacquered iron or steel plates, and albumen prints were produced from wet or dry glass plate negatives.

        No “film” was involved.

        /pedant!

        1. What do you call the thin layer of albumen on a glass plate? How about a thin layer of lacquer?

          1. Emulsion. “Film” referred to the fact the emulsion and the carrier medium (nitrate, diacetate, triacetate, or polysester) is flexible.

            Albumen was an emulsion for paper development (a printing-out process). Wet and dry glass plate negative both used a collodion based emulsion. The lacquer on tintypes was neither an emulsion or a photo-sensitive medium. It was merely to keep the iron or steel from rusting. The tintypes (or, more accurately, ferrotype) image medium was based on the photo-sensitivity of iron salts.

            1. No, I get it. My point was that if you want pedantry, the emusion forms a thin film on the substrate.

              1. Not in all photographic processes. For example, the emulsion is absorbed directly into the carrier medium in callotypes, salt prints, paper negatives, platinotypes, and cyanotypes.

        2. BTW, what’s the best way to store old slides and negatives? Dessicated and room temp? Moderate humidity and cold? Flaming hot and soaking wet?

          1. One, understand that no storage medium or method will preserve the color palette of aging color photos. All of them are based on organic dyes that both breakdown and breakdown at different rates.

            Dry and cool (but not cold) is best. But more important than the temp or the humidity is the stability of the conditions. Consistent high heat and high humidity is less damaging in the long run than swings in temp and humidity. The best place to store all types of photographs or negatives in a private residence is an interior closet (i.e. not on an exterior wall of the house or apartment) elevated about a foot or so off the floor.

            1. Thanks. Does using a dessicant help?

              1. I wouldn’t. Certain types of images and paper begin to degrade if the humidity is too low. And I’m against introducing anymore chemicals than necessary to a situation that is all about unstable chemistry in the first place.

    2. Victorian era? I do this all the time in my basement.

      Related: it’s funny how all crime dramas have creeps with darkrooms even though we now have digital cameras and cheap photo printers.

  14. Who fathered Michael Jackson’s children? Lawsuit may end years of guessing biological origins of King of Pop’s kids

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..-kids.html

    1. Whoever the real father is, he’s going to get screwed with having to pay child support.

      1. David Crosby better break out his wallet then.

  15. Judge giving other judges a bad name.

    On Friday afternoon, during a prosecutor’s closing argument during a jury trial, Voet’s new smartphone began to emit sounds requesting phone voice commands. Voet says he thinks he bumped the phone, and the embarrassment likely left his face red.

    During a break in the trial, Voet fined himself. He says if he can’t live by the rules he enforces he has no business enforcing the rules.

    1. I respect this.

    2. Shot through the heart and you’re to blame
      You give judge a bad name

  16. Newtown gunman Adam Lanza ‘was beaten and belittled by fellow classmates at Sandy Hook Elementary so badly his mother considered suing school over it’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..ntary.html

    1. After Columbine, the media made bullying a big part of the story. The reality of course were that the shooters at Columbine were not bullied at all and were in fact bullies themselves and just sociopaths terrorists. The shooter at Newtown seems to in fact been the victim of pretty horrible bullying. Yet the media barely mentions that angle of the story. It is like there is some kind of iron law that the national media must get every story wrong.

      1. “There is no bullying in public schools.”

        1. My son turned against Obama in 2008 when they rolled out their anti-bullying protocols at his school while thanking dear leader for his wisdom in ordering those protocols implemented.

          Basically, my son said that the anti-bullying rules tended to disproportionately harm the victims rather than the bullies, since the admin that lacked the knowledge to id and deal with bullies before the new rules came into force wasn’t suddenly wiser as to who was who afterwards.

          It was so beautiful; he said that if this was how Obama ran the schools, which are just full of kids, how the hell can he run the country which is more complicated?

          Out of the mouths of babes.

          Then again, at that age my son loudly proposed the implementation of a thatcherite poll tax in front of a bunch of parents headed to a PTA meeting, so his wisdom has limits. 🙂

          1. Obama issued an EO requiring local school protocols?

            I need a link on that stretcher.

            1. Probably more likely that he spoke at tarran’s son’s school and the administration chose to use policies endorsed by Obama. Either way, it’s crap that sounds good and does nothing, like everything out of Obama’s mouth.

              Except for the stuff that actually sounds bad and does a lot.

              1. Obama wouldn’t come to my son’s school; Mitt Romney’s grandson is a student here.

                No what happened was some educrats in the Dept of Education put out a set of rules, and of course the local educrats wasted no time singing hosannas to the educrats in Pyonyang Washington and of course the dear leader who leads them so wisely.

                1. I don’t know how old your kid is, but I certainly had a phase where I was aware of the government, but didn’t quite get exactly how it worked. I gathered that the president was in charge, so when they introduced seat belt laws and I thought that was really dumb, I got pissed at Ronald Reagan.

          2. Obama wasn’t sworn in until 2009.

            1. IT was the first full school year of the Obama admin. So yeah, 2009-2010 time frame.

              I should point out that this isn’t an anti-Obama thing; the educrats held their posts during the era of Bush the lesser as well.

              The big mistake of the educrats was handing the kids a shit sandwich and telling them they were so lucky that Obama had showed the educrats how to cook up this lovely sandwich for them. I’m pretty certain that Obama had nothing to do with the policy, but someone thought the kids should believe it came from his holy lips, and so they damned him in the kids’ eyes.

        2. Except the media loves stories about bullying in public schools lately. I think John’s right. They just can’t help but get something massively wrong in every story.

      2. I mean just look at Adam Lanza. He just screams “bully me!”.

        1. Another item for the universal background check: “Have you ever been bullied, or looked like you should have been?”

      3. I agree that the media generally gets it wrong, oftentimes purposefully, but if you think that the media would actively hide a bullying story that would perfectly uphold the zero tolerance policies of the modern liberal, you’re smoking something.

    2. I knew that kid had to have some traumatic connection to that school. My guess was that he was sexually molested by a teacher, not just bullied.

  17. Jamie Foxx continues to be a douche.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..wards.html

    1. Think he could name a single one of the Sandy Hook victim’s? And “Adam Lanza’s mom” doesn’t count either. I bet they don’t know a single child’s name.

  18. At least 32 people have been killed in coordinated attacks in Iraq.

    Thank Allah that’s someone else’s problem now!

    1. coordinated attacks

      Unlike the *chaos* that existed before.

    2. 1) Who cares

      2) 40 people killed every few weeks by terrorists or 2 – 3 people killed every day by murderous state police, still not all that hard to argue that Iraqi’s are better off today than they were with Saddam in power.

    3. That is simply a bad week in the summer in Chicago.

  19. Now He’s After Your 401(k)
    The White House pulls a switcheroo on retirement savings accounts.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..#printMode

    How many times have you read financial-advice stories lecturing you to max-out on your IRA, save as much as you can in your 401(k), and even pay taxes now to change your regular IRA into a Roth IRA that will be tax-free until you die?

    Well, be careful how much you save.

    That’s the message in President Obama’s budget for fiscal 2014, which for the first time proposes to cap the amount Americans can save in these tax-sheltered investment vehicles. The White House explanation is that some people have accumulated “substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.” So Mr. Obama proposes to “limit an individual’s total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013.”

    god forbid someone is successful…

    1. Tax deferred 401(k) contributions have always been capped.

      1. If you read more carefully, I trust you’ll come to understand that this proposal isn’t about the cap on contributions.

        1. nah, he never actually reads the article. He already has his talking points at the ready.

        2. Sure it is — contributions and/or gains.

          If you are racking up in tax sheltered gains then you just limit-out but can continue to profit outside the system.

          1. Isn’t it taxed when you withdraw it anyway? If so, the sheltered status helps avoid double taxation of income and ensures that people living exclusively off of investment income aren’t taxed more preferably than salaried/hourly folks who invest some of their earnings.

            1. The shelter just defers taxation until retirement or withdrawal.

              1. The shelter just defers taxation until retirement or withdrawal.

                No, it defers it until withdrawal, either voluntary or forced by law. The withdrawal can begin before, at, or after the time of retiring.

          2. Sure it is — contributions and/or gains.

            Sure it isn’t. It’s about the account balance, which is not purely a function of contributions.

            1. Sure it is — contributions and/or gains.

              1. Look, you don’t even grasp the taxability issue so it’s probably no wonder you think contributions and gains are the same as contributions.

            2. Sure it isn’t. It’s about the account balance, which is not purely a function of contributions.

              Even more to the point, it’s about the total annual annuity. Let’s highlight what Obama’s Gloryhole skipped over, shall we?

              limit an individual’s total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013.”

              So not only can’t Obama’s Gloryhole not have the ability to do 5th grade math, he doesn’t even have 5th grade reading skills.

              1. That doesn’t even get into the fuckwittery of ignoring what’s involved in financing an annuity — survivorship, inflation, lack of flexibility — and comparing it to sustainable withdrawals from a retirement account as if they were interchangeable.

          3. Sure it is — contributions and/or gains.

            Whoosh! Thanks for participating.

    2. I can understand the desirability of a tax system that doesn’t offer preferential treatment for select types of investment or consumption, but this isn’t the way to go about getting that reform.

      1. That is because their goal is to steal not fix the tax system.

        1. That is some damn fine teabagging, John.

          KEEP YER GODDAMN GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!

        2. It’s amazing. Literally they will get that money in taxes 10 – 40 years down the road. They are willing to sacrifice long term revenues for short term gain.

          It’s like they thought Herman-Hoppe’s book on Democracy was a cookbook!

          1. They know in 40 years the system will have collapsed. They’re trying to get while the getting’s good.

          2. 10 – 40 years down the road someone else could be in office. You know, how government thinks in the longer term than the private sector? They’re mainly thinking that it will be someone else’s problem by then.

    3. The lifetime pension allowance was cut in the UK as well.

    4. Hide your Roths; hide your 401(k)s! They stealin’ everything up in here!

    5. Don’t former Presidents get a $400k annuity for life? Why more for thee than for me?

      1. They just get paid as if they were a cabinet member for the rest of their life.

    6. In a sane world, anyone who used the phrase, “substantially more than is needed” when referring to someone else’s property/money, et al, would be disqualified from ever holding public office.

      1. Who does anyone really *need* a retirement account that holds more than 7 dollars?

        1. Exactly. We have safety nets here in the wealthiest nation on Earth.

      2. In a sane world, anyone who used the phrase, “substantially more than is needed” when referring to someone else’s property/money, et al, would be disqualified from ever holding public officetaking another breath.

        FIFY

    7. Still not on board with how this particular type of social engineering is somehow special and thus should be defended by libertarians.

      There is zero relationship between the proposed cap and some sort of real confiscation.

      1. Seriously?

    8. The White House explanation is that some people have accumulated “substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.”

      Straight up envy.

  20. Kama Sutra… the 3D version: New app allows couples to study book’s positions on their smartphones

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..hones.html

  21. Pigeon crashes into kitchen window and leaves greasy imprint showing its body and wings

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..wings.html

    1. Weird. From the description, I thought that was going to be another Ke$ha story.

      1. I know, and I had my bunk all ready to go too.

    2. Awesome.

  22. Dad Furious After Finding This Crayon-Written Paper in Florida 4th-Grader’s Backpack: ‘I Am Willing to Give Up Some of My Constitutional Rights?to Be Safer’
    http://www.ibtimes.com/4th-gra…..to-1189891

    1. It’s OK, Dad. I’m sure the teacher had the students stomp on that paper, just like with crayon-written “JESUS”.

      Seriously, I suspect Dad can make some good money out of this with a bit of effort.

    2. At least the schools are being more open about their advocacy of serfdom.

  23. Why Do We Get Emotional When We Drink?
    http://mentalfloss.com/article…..z2Q9jmt200

    Once the barrier is breached, alcohol settles into the outermost layer of our brain, the cerebral cortex. This thin layer of cells (also known as grey matter) covers the cerebrum and cerebellum and is responsible for processing sensory information and thoughts, and for initiating the majority of our voluntary muscle movements. Alcohol disrupts the normal flow of neurotransmitters across the cortex’s synaptic connections, and we enter an altered state. The first thing to go is our inhibitions, which the booze-free cortex would typically keep in check. We become more talkative and assured, and our better judgment begins to slip away.

    and this is the moment that you can blurt out “I LOVE YOU!”

    1. Or if you are with a guy friend “I LOVE YOU MAN”

      1. Dude…. dude. You… are a great guy!

    2. We become more talkative and assured, and our better judgment begins to slip away.

      Aha! Politicians are drunks. That explains alot.

    3. Dude is talking to his friend after a party, and mentions that he blew chunks when he got home. His buddy consoles him saying that it’s not that unusual to puke. Dude says “You don’t understand, man! Chunks is my dog, man!”

      1. boo! (but I still laffed)

  24. So last night I was turned on to the amazing derpgallery that is /r/TumblrInAction.

    There’s just way too much material to work with, so I’m just going to stick with what I do best: Asian chicks.

    1. Thread on insane poetry slam entry butthurting all over Cho Chang (from Harry Potter).

    See thread for link to YouTube video as Reason are fascists who won’t allow me more than 2 links.

    It’s silly name, but seriously, bitch be trippin. Such a shame, she looks OK.

  25. http://www.theatlantic.com/bus…..nt/274957/

    Long term unemployment sucks or “Wait, you mean laying around for 99 weeks can hurt my job prospectS?”

    1. It is a real problem. Thanks to the village idiot, a lot of people flat out can’t get a job no matter how hard they try. Then they hit six months of UE and it gets worse. So even when the economy eventually recovers, they still might not get hired.

      1. The thing is though, is that you’d rather be shorthanded then pay a bum. If I am hiring, and I have a choice between someone who’s been busting his ass working two shitty jobs to make ends meet versus a guy who’s been collecting “unemployment benefits”, I’m picking the guy who works.

        My boss fired someone a long time ago for something truly idiotic and unprofessional. That was about a year and a half ago, so she probably has another 35 weeks or so of unemployment.

        1. But of course not everyone who loses a job is a bum. People really do have bad luck, especially in the age of Obama where the government is waging war on the private sector. You have a bad break and the company you work for goes broke. You then hit a really tight job market and don’t get lucky and get a job in the first six months. And then that is it, you are done. You might never find a job again. That is a serious problem for both you and for the economy at large.

          1. The private sector is setting daily records for profits and valuations, idiot.

            1. And the unemployment rate hasn’t been this high for this long since the 1930s. Yes, Wall Street cronies who elected and own Obama are doing well. Everyone else not so much. That is how fascist economies usually work.

              1. Wall Street =/= the private sector.

        2. Idiotic and unprofessional, eh?

          I (briefly) used to work at a Washington Post subsidiary where one employee repeatedly shit himself on the job. They ended up having to haul 3 chairs to the incinerator, because he’d just sit there in it. Other employees complained about the smell and they confronted him about it again and again but they wouldn’t fire him. He was totally replaceable and had no particular skills that might justify this incredibly lighthanded treatment, too. I can only imagine that he either squawked about a suit for his “condition” or whatever–which also apparently precluded other personal hygiene besides being potty-trained–or had the dirt on somebody.

          Also the workplace policy “don’t sexually harass, steal from, berate, or gun down your coworkers” training videos were the actual ones used by WaPo itself, and they were exactly like you’d expect and thus quite hilarious.

      2. Now you’re blaming Dumbya too?

        Hell yes!

    2. I have a friend, recent college grad (2007 or so), degree in IT, who hung around on unemployment for a long time after layoff. He’s having a real hard time finding better than menial jobs. He should have taken our advice on gaps in the resume.

      1. Exactly. In a tight job market there are tons of people who are qualified, tons of people with great references. You’re going to toss anyone with huge gaps of time with no job. Why would I hire a “dude I’m just chilling till my unemployment runs out” when I can have the guy who took a job that was below his qualifications because he had to.

        1. Well in all fairness it is often not that simple because companies are just as reluctant to hire someone overqualified for the position as they are to hire someone who has been out of work for a long time.

          There have been numerous times I have been involved in interviews, on both sides of the desk, where the companies thinking was “If we hire him for this he’ll just leave as soon as something better comes along” and not infrequently the hiring manager is sitting there thinking “based on this guys resume he could do my job, I don’t want him around”.

          So just taking something below your qualifications is not exactly a choice that is always available.

          1. “overqualified” is a rage inducing word for me. I went a stretch without a job because everything available was below my qualifications and no one would hire me because of it.

            I was applying for several jobs per day. I even got turned down for a 5 month contract because I was overqualified. WTF? I’m going to sign a contract that says I’ll do this crap job for the next 5 months for the crap pay you’re offering just so I have a job for the next 5 months and I can’t get it because I’ll do too good a job??

            “overqualified” pisses me off almost as much as “degree required”

            1. Well obviously they’re going to look for the “just right” guy who can do the job well but not be looking to move onward and upward ASAP, or leave as soon as he gets a better offer.

              But between that guy, and “Dude it’s so great…as long as I apply for like three jobs a week, the checks come for like almost two years. I can just chill all day”, they’re going to take the “overqualified” guy.

              1. Yeah, as someone who just had to hire for a just-above-entry-level job, the overqualification thing is a real problem. And I feel bad about it, but I also have to be realistic about my own needs. If I see someone who is overqualified, depending, of course, on how they sound and everything, I’m definitely going to be worried that they’re just waiting for something better. And if I need someone to stay in place at almost-entry-level for at least a year or more, I can’t gamble on that.

              2. “But between that guy, and “Dude it’s so great…as long as I apply for like three jobs a week, the checks come for like almost two years. I can just chill all day”, they’re going to take the “overqualified” guy.”

                You sure about that?

                Chances are the guy who left the job (or got fired for it) was not likely that much more of a go-getter than slacker dude and if the manager hires slacker dude worst case scenario is he minimally acceptable production out of the position, nothing great but nothing that will show up negatively on a status report. On the other hand if he hires overqualified guy anything from him leaving quickly resulting in increased recruiting costs and depressed employee retention stats to overqualified guy taking the managers position could result.

                See, your logic is from the POV of an entrepreneur, not that of a corporate manager, the incentives for the two are vastly different.

    3. really, in that case it’s best to fudge your resume a bit, pushing the time frame a few months.

      1. Thank you, Tiger Woods.

        1. you’re welcome, Mr. Roberts.

    4. Have these people never heard of lying on the app/resume? Of course they are seen as deadbeats after 99 weeks of unemployment. Just say you were working…they rarely if ever check.

      1. Vandelay Industries. Seriously, though, if I got laid off, I’d be “consulting,” “freelancing,” “writing a book,” and “starting a business” all at the same time. It’d probably look good on a resume.
        Hell, I buy and sell antique maps and atlases as a hobby — so I could just list Citizen Nothing Antique Maps and Prints in the gap on my resume. Why not?

        1. Even simpler than that, look up a list of companies going out of business. List those on your resume. The company is gone so who are they going to call to check?

  26. 2. Asian high-schoolers cat-fighting over affirmative action and PRIVILUGE!!!:

    To all those accusing affirmative action of “stealing their place”: your privilege and sense of entitlement is what causes you to call that place “yours” to begin with. As part of a majority culture, for the rest of your life, you will never face the overt and covert racism that a member of the minority faces. Your insensitive remark dismisses the very real lifelong struggles faced by minority and LGBT youth.

    1. Now I need to calculate my privilege? Where’s an Obama Administration official to help me?!

    2. FTA:

      By the way, future college applicants: don’t give up hope. Despite my statistical disadvantages, failure at playing the piano, and less than perfect score on the SAT, I was accepted to Harvard, Yale and Princeton

      So Asian girl bitches about how difficult it is being Asian, and then goes on to say she was accepted into the schools that the white girl complained she wasn’t. I fail to see how this proved Asian girl’s point or disproved white girl’s point.

      1. I only read the first few paragraphs of TFA before deciding to stop wasting my life.

        Then I played Skyrim.

  27. http://www.nationalreview.com/exchequer

    Payments on the debt will be larger then defense budget.

  28. 3. No offense but you’re an EVIL CULTURAL APPROPRIATOR.

    4. North Korea is actually a great place!

  29. The case against stop-and-frisk in NYC is falling apart.
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/o…..nhcgG39HjM

    Email
    Print

    Clearing the cops

    Last Updated: 11:46 PM, April 14, 2013
    Posted: April 15, 2013

    Surprise: The big lawsuit against the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program, which enters its fifth week today, is actually doing the city a service ? by proving, with each passing day of the trial, that critics have no valid legal claim against it.

    Indeed, New Yorkers can take some comfort in how rapidly the case is falling apart.

    1. Silly proles with their 4th (and 14th) amendments.

    2. Great article in the Winter City Journal about this.

      “Debbie McBride has nothing but contempt for the ongoing litigation. McBride is a street-hardened building superintendent in the heart of the South Bronx zone targeted by the NYCLU. When asked about TAP, also known as the Clean Halls program, she doesn’t mince words. “I love it!” she roars. “I’m serious, I love it. Me being a woman, I feel safe. I can get up at 4 AM and start working.”

      Seems people in high-crime areas love stop and frisk because it leads to, get this, less crime. It’s the liberals in the nice neighborhoods that hate it, since the police have to also use that policy in those places for appearance’s sake, i.e. to avoid charges of “racial-profiling”.

      http://www.city-journal.org/20…..crime.html

      1. Yeah I’m sure NY is totally safe now that there’s stop and frisk. What evidence is there that it reduces crime? Crime rates have been falling for a couple decades. And since when does a liberal like Bloomberg object to it? The vast majority of stop and frisks are done in poor neighborhoods to minority men. There’s little to none done in nice neighborhoods for “fairness” sake. Ever think people might object to it because the police have no right to stop someone without good reason to think they’ve committed a crime?

        1. Did you RTFA? A 73% drop in crime is pretty significant.

          And the woman who’s loving it is a minority woman….otherwise known as prey to many criminals, most of whom, in her neighborhood, are minority men.

          Know why the stop and frisks are done in her neighborhood and not in the nice ones? Because the nice ones have less ‘prey’ in them.

  30. 5. Not being an anime or white chick fan, I’m not insulted. I just appreciate the sheer effort behind this derp:

    Important note to all Asians :
    – This days there are more and more westerner who claim as Asian while they don’t have what makes someone deserve to be called as Asian or don’t have what makes someone have the rights to call themselves as Asian, such as :

    – Not have 100% or pure Asian blood, someone who does not have pure Asian blood will not have pure loyalty towards Asian.

    – Not have Asian country nationality such as Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, etc. Someone who does not have Asian country nationality will also have no pure loyalty towards Asian.

    – Not born and raised with Asian cultures & traditions which makes them don’t have the Asian way of thinking and doing.

    1. HAHAHAHA the only thing Indonesia and Japan have in common is that they’re islands.

      1. Yeah I’m guessing the writer is not Japanese.

      2. They’ve both been hit by major tsunamis recently…

      3. Yeah, might as well have said Syria and Japan. They also apparently have loyalty towards Asian, whatever that is.

    2. someone who does not have pure Asian blood will not have pure loyalty

      You know who else believed in the purity of bodily fluids?

      1. Jenna Jameson?

      2. General Jack D. Ripper

    3. This can’t have been written by an actual Asian. They seem to care about more, shall we say, finely resolved divisions of race. I’ve never heard an actual East Asian (in Asia) talk about “blood purity” other than in the context of Japanese vs. Chinese vs. Indonesian vs. Korean vs. Vietnamese etc. They are some of the worst racists I’ve met.

      1. Very true.

        They could just be a retarded mongrel, though.

      2. I say this not to generalize, but out of actual experience. I was traveling once with a Japanese man in China and the Chinese were quite rude to him and made comments to me about the racial inferiority of the Japanese. Several Japanese I met talked in equally creepy terms about the inferiority of Chinese but how the Koreans were better (closer to Japanese blood). They were some of the most uncomfortable conversations I’ve yet had.

        1. Oh I know. My Chinese ex called Koreans “the black people of Asia”.

          1. Koreans are also the result of humans mating with apes.

            /Eastern racism

            1. Koreans also think of themselves as superior. It’s part of North Korea’s ideology that the South has been tainted by Westerners.

              Heh heh, “Chosun people”.

          2. And these are educated businessmen making these statements.

      3. I love how, because they never developed an academy that feels bad about colonialism and had no civil rights struggles, blatant East Asian racism is. Why would you ever feel bad about pointing out obvious facts like Japanese are criminals and Koreans are dirty like dogs?

        1. This is what I hate about White Guilt. It’s not good enough to learn from the past and seek equality; we have to frame ourselves (those of us who white, that is) as history’s sole bigots.

  31. America Needs an Alternative Maximum Tax
    When do federal, state and local taxes indisputably start to harm the economy?at 50% of income? 60%? 70%?
    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..on_LEADTop

    They keep coming back, like the villains of a good zombie movie, chanting “more taxes, more taxes.” Long ago, Congress passed the alternative minimum tax, or AMT?a simple flat rate to ensure that in an insanely complex tax code, no one escapes paying something. Now we need an alternative maximum tax as a simple, rough-and-ready way to limit the tax zombies’ economic damage. Call it the AMaxT.

    With Monday’s deadline for filing tax returns looming, let’s start a national conversation: How much is the most anyone should have to pay? When do taxes indisputably start to harm the economy and produce less revenue?when government takes 50% of people’s income? 60%? 70%?

    1. Funny, Obama offered to cut Social Security via altering the inflation formula and the Republicans said NO!

      1. thanks for the unrelated comment. Carry on trolling.

      2. When did Obama do this and what else was attached to the offer?

        1. In the budget he submitted. It also boosted infrastructure spending, education spending, capped deductions for high-income earners, enacted the Buffett Rule, raised taxes on tobacco products, and raised taxes on investment managers’ income. It supposedly saves $1.8tt over a decade.

          1. Exactly. But in PB’s world the Republicans rejected Obama’s budget because of altered inflation formula, not because of all that other stuff.

          2. It supposedly saves $1.8tt over a decade.

            That’s just a fancy way of saying that they are extorting $1.8T more over the next decade. It doesn’t actually save anything.

      3. Switching to chained CPI would be useful but the budget also called for increased tax revenues (read: rates) and upped discretionary spending. Let’s not pretend that SocSec changes were the only thing in O’s budget bothering Republicans.

        1. True. But cutting the deficit in half from the $1.3 trillion he inherited is a bipartisan goal.

          1. There are different ways to cut the deficit. Some are bad, some are good. Obama has shown a preference for the bad.

            1. Obama offered 4 parts cuts to one part tax increase in 2011 and the GOP turned him down.

              A 4-1 ratio is downright fiscally responsible if not in exact accord with the LP Purity Doctrine.

          2. It certainly should be, but that was a one-year deficit. Average deficit under Bush was $443bb (giving him ’09, giving Clinon ’01). I’m not saying he was a good president, but the deficit was decreasing from the ’03 tax cuts until the 2007, after the economy started to sour and the Dems resurged.

          3. the $1.3 trillion he inherited

            He “inherited” a debt. He didn’t inherit a deficit. You have an astonishing ability to confuse values with changes in values.

    2. Thumbs up for John Cochrane. He writes good things.

  32. Depressingly non-Asian-chick-related derp:

    1. I’m actually kind of done with white cishet dudes jerking off to “science”:

    I’m sick of science worship. Science can be oppressive. Science can be wrong. Stop fucking fapping to Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins (both of whom have suggested, by the way, that child sexual abuse is not something to be taken seriously). Stop using “because science” as an argument to deny the lived experience of oppressed people. Stop shaming people for not embracing your culture of white male atheism. And really please just go fuck yourself with the whole “social sciences aren’t real sciences”, because then you’re pretty much just saying “oppressed people don’t matter because they don’t behave as predictably as my lab rats”.

    1a. No, really, cishets. There is a word for everything now.

    1. “social sciences aren’t real sciences”

      Well…they aren’t.

      Unless you think a cursory survey conducted by social science majors of whoever happened to walk through the quad on Tuesday morning reveals deep truths about humanity.

      1. Unless you think a cursory survey conducted by social science majors of whoever happened to walk through the quad on Tuesday morning reveals deep truths about humanity.

        90% of cursory surveys show this. So, there, Science sez!

        1. Where does the political scientist fall on this spectrum?

          1. It cant be replicated and thus isn’t science!

            /STEM major

            And you STEM majprs wonder why we cool social scientists give you wedgies and bang coeds. We’re the Venkman to your Egon!

            1. “Social science” isn’t science, and it’s anti-social.

              1. Back off man, I’m a scientist.

            2. At least we can spell “majors” and still have jobs that don’t involve saying “Thank you, come again!”

              1. Jesus, I’m amazed you can read something non numerical.

                Oh, you used Google translate to make it binary,didn’t you?

                1. This isn’t the 60’s. I read in hex, thank you very much.

          2. Mostly to the left.

      2. There’s a lot more to social sciences than on campus surveys and studies. But I agree that it really isn’t science in the same way hard sciences are.

        1. Oh I’m not a STEM guy at all. PoliSci, then Education, then History, then PreLaw.

          But it’s essentially learning how to bullshit better and giving you more things to bullshit about. Which is fine. I just hated the people in my majors who pretended they were just as good and smart and academically rigorous as the engineering students.

          I know plenty of engineers who can talk about history or politics, but I don’t know any poli sci majors who can do calculus.

          1. My biggest gripe with my fellow journalists is that, like Malibu Stacy, they can’t do math. They just can’t. And I’m no better. I took an honors calculus sequence in college and did well, and then I became a journalist and that part of my brain died.

            1. One thing i have noticed is how as an adult, the mental process of math is very different than what they taught in school. I add up the hundreds then tens then ones then combine to a new number, rather than whole number plus whole number

              1. I had a great teacher at the beginning of my studying actual math who gave his first law as “if it works, do it”. You had to prove that what you were doing worked, but no points off for not following the exact techniques taught.

          2. Lawyers, as a class, can’t do math. I’m amazed they can bill correctly.

            1. All the IP lawyers I know can. They were all engineers first though.

  33. More depressingly non-Asian-chick-related derp:

    2. Break free from your web browser’s oppression.

    3. Also, awesome (satirical) quote from a post not worth linking:

    Why do I have to shave my legs? People having expectations of me is oppressive. Also, how gross are neckbeard losers?

  34. Robert Samuelson: Family meltdown
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    Just what caused these changes remains controversial. In his 2012 book “Coming Apart,” Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute cited shifts in cultural norms. Having a child out of wedlock became more common and acceptable; the sexual revolution enabled men to get sex without marriage. The waning power of religion undermined the importance of family. Feminism and expanding welfare programs made it easier for women to survive ? through jobs or aid ? on their own. Liberalized divorce led to more breakups.

    But there’s also a more strictly economic case. In a paper for Third Way, a liberal think tank, economists David Autor and Melanie Wasserman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology attribute the decline of marriage ? which, like Murray, they say is concentrated among the poorly educated ? to the eroding economic heft of men compared with women. Women are more independent economically; men are weaker. Marriage has lost much of its pecuniary pull.

    1. The family unit as a positive institution is vastly overrated.

      1. aww… does someone have mommy or daddy issues?

      2. Yeah, it’s only been the cornerstone of complex civilizations for thousands of years.

    1. This is like how all the other states send guns to New York city to undermine their violence-free utopia.

    2. This is like how all the other states send guns to New York city to undermine their violence-free utopia.

    3. To attend progressive’s political rallies.

  35. “Scientists have created a functioning lab grown kidney that produces urine when transplanted into animals. ”

    These are the days of miracle and wonder.

    1. It really does seem like it is just a matter of time before they grow you a organ for transplant that is specially suited to your body, no worries of rejection or finding a donor.

      1. If they ever figure out how to replace brain tissue without destroying the personality and memories, it’s going to be fucking awesome!

        1. I want them to be able to add brain tissue with specific skills or knowledge. Go and get a procedure and walk out speaking fluent French or being able to do differential equations. Now that would be awesome.

          1. The rate of growth in technology is exponential. There’s no telling what will be possible by mid century. I don’t go in for all the “singularity” hype but the generations born after 2050 are going to have about as much in common with us as we do with neanderthals.

            1. My kids find Simon and Simon almost unwatchable because they can’t relate to the problems caused by a lack of cell-phones.

              1. My kids find Simon and Simon almost unwatchable because they can’t relate to the problems caused by a lack of cell-phones a digital umbilicus.

          2. Yeah, the brain thing is awesome but the big money is in 10″ dicks.

            1. So, how’d you end up with a 12-inch pianist?

      2. So far, with these artificial kidneys ans similar things, they still need a donor for the structure that the new organ grows on. But it is still huge and would allow organs from less healthy dead people to be more useful.

        1. Yes but it can also be done with the recipient’s DNA meaning that there is no possibility of organ rejection saving them a lifetime of immune supressing drugs and in theory allowing indefinite life extension through organ transplants for as long as we can manage to keep the brain healthy.

          1. Yeah, that will be the biggest thing. I was just responding to the comment that it would get rid of the need for a donor. Though I guess it would be a whole lot easier to find a compatible donor when you don’t need to worry about rejection.

  36. FYI: Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” is free today.

  37. Paul Krugman on Bitcoin

    “…bitcoins are in a sense the ultimate fiat currency, with a value conjured out of thin air.”

    How do you get a Nobel Prize in economics without knowing the definition of the word “fiat”? Bitcoins are the exact opposite of a fiat currency.

    “Even when people relied on gold and silver coins, what made those coins useful wasn’t the precious metals they contained, it was the expectation that other people would accept them as payment.”

    And people expected others to accept them as payment specifically because of the precious metals they contained. Krugman must understand that he making these mistakes. He just doesn’t care. When you have an agenda and you are “earning” a fat pay check, logic be damned.

    1. When you have an agenda and you are “earning” a fiat pay check, logic be damned.

      Fixed it for you.

      1. Haha. Thanks. Don’t know how I missed that one.

    2. How are bitcoins the opposite of fiat currency? Seems like Kruginuts is right here. Bitcoins are just digits people have decided have value. What am I missing here?

      1. There is no entity using threats of violence aka legal tender laws to force people to use bitcoins.

        They’re kind of like cigarettes in a prison in that respect.

        1. Except that cigarettes have value and became currency because of that. The government force only gets people to put value in the digit or piece of paper. Even if the people do so voluntarily, it still seems to be a fiat currency.

          1. No John, the whole point is that a fiat currency must be accepted. It is illegal, in the US, to refuse to accept USD. That’s what the fiat means.

            1. No. The whole point of a fiat currency is that it has no innate value. It is something whose value rests entirely on people’s perception of it being valuable. The government force aspect of it is usually there because most of the time people don’t find something otherwise not valuable valuable unless they are forced to. But them choosing to do so doesn’t make it less of a fiat currency or avoid any of the dangers associated with fiat currency.

              1. Jesus fucking Christ.

                A fiat currency is one established by the force of a central authority. BitCoin is not established by the force of a central authority, therefore it is not a fiat currency.

                Words have meanings.

                1. Sure they have meanings. But not every distinction is significant.

                  1. Except that one is significant. If the dollar utterly collapsed tomorrow, like serious holy shit its worthless collapse, it would still be illegal to refuse to accept it.

                    That’s all fiat currency is: accept these worthless green slips of paper, or we will throw you in prison.

                    1. If the dollar utterly collapsed tomorrow, like serious holy shit its worthless collapse, it would still be illegal to refuse to accept it.

                      Not unless we had price controls. And I know it says “legal tender for all debts public and private” on the bill, but that is complete fantasy. How exactly do you think the government could force people to abide by that? Do you really think they could ban bartering? Because that is what they would have to do to make it “illegal to not accept it”.

                      And beyond that, so fucking what? Okay, people have to accept dollars, which you say are some day going to be worthless. No one has to accept bitcoins which some day probably will be worthless. From the point of view of the user, what the hell difference does it make? Even if they have to accept my dollars, without price controls, there is nothing to stop them from demanding huge numbers of dollars making it effectively impossible for me to buy anything. Everyone had to accept the German Mark. But that didn’t stop everyone from bartering during the hyper inflation of the 1920s. Sure they had to “accept it”. Of course no one had enough marks to purchase anything and had to instead barter. But hey, they had to accept it.

                      You are arguing a distinction without difference.

                    2. So if they passed a law banning offensive blog comments, that would be ok, because there is no way to enforce it?

          2. That’s not what fiat means.

            “Fiat” means litearally some godlike authority saying “Let there be”.

            A fiat currency is something that just wouldn’t be money without that authority decreeing it to be so.

            Bitcoins are not decreed to be money. Rather, someone came up with a neat algorithm and set of protocols that people are free to implement or not implement as their own desires drive them.

            Very different animal.

            1. No it is really not. You can call it something different if you like. But the reality is bitcoin, just like the US dollar has no innate value and its value is totally the result of the collective decision to give it value. And it is thus subject to every single risk that the dollar is subject to.

              Make the distinction if you like. But it is a pretty meaningless one. If anything, Bitcoin is more risky than the dollar since there is no one with a gun enforcing its value. That means it is more likely to suffer bubbles and wild swings in valuation. It is basically everything Goldbugs claim to hate about currency.

              1. Yes, Bitcoin is more risky than the dollar, but it doesn’t depend on coercion. And the difference isn’t meaningless. Dollars can be printed at any rate the central authority chooses. Bitcoins will be produced at a well defined rate that cannot be altered.

                The point is that “fiat” means “decreed by authority”. It does not mean “has no innate value”.

              2. Hey, I agree with you about Bitcoin volatility, but that’s about it. It has innate value in that people invested in “mining” it from the get go voluntarily demonstrating that even in the absence of a market for them, they valued them.

                Your definition of fiat currency actually encompasses almost all currencies, including precious metals, since absent some use (fish-hooks, cigarettes), the rationale for people digging them out of the ground/manufacturing them is entirely due to a collective decision to give them value.

                I’m not saying bit-coins are a good money, I’m just saying they ain’t fiat currency. Calling bit-coins a fiat currency is like calling Episcopelians a bunch of papists.

            2. This is what I was getting at. We could theoretically reach a point where everyone voluntarily accepts Bitcoin and therefore you must trade in Bitcoin if you want to trade at all. (How cool would that be?) But that is not the same thing as the State saying “thou shalt use Bitcoin”.

              Bitcoin is more like a currency issued by a privately owned bank, only the money isn’t backed by anything tangible and the bank is incapable of printing money faster than the defined rate. (And the bank will never collapse, though the value of the currency might.)

            3. A fiat currency is something that just wouldn’t be money without that authority decreeing it to be so.

              And in the case of bitcoin, the authority is the bitcoin processing network, who has the power to say “no, that text file you just sent us with ‘Hello, World!’ in it is not a valid bitcoin”.

              1. Stormy, that’s not correct. The authority has to force people to use something as money for it to be money.

                A bank telling people that the paper marked up with crayons isn’t a valid bank-note doesn’t force people to accept the paper as money.

                1. But what does forcing people to accept currency (oh the horror of having a common medium of exchange) have to do with any of the complaints gold bugs and assorted anarcho libertarians have with fiat currency? Forcing people to accept the currency has nothing to do with inflation or its value.

                  This whole thing is such a sorry bait and switch. The alternative currency crowd spends decades bitching and moaning about the inflationary tendencies of fiat currencies and the wonders of private currencies. Then when we get a private currency and it turns out to be just as inflationary and prone to bubbles as fiat currency, now we hear that the real evil of fiat currency is how the government forces everyone to accept it. Whatever.

                  1. John, I am pretty amazed that you are being so willfully obtuse.

                    Are you seriously asking what’s wrong with the sovereign using force to make people use a money equivalent that is less valuable than what the sovereign claims?

                    Are you drunk?

                    Did you get hit on the head over the weekend?

                    Did you get amnesia that has dumped any memory of the unrest and rebellions triggered by the collapse of the Continental?

                    1. Terran having a common medium of exchange makes our economy much more efficient. Do you realize the transaction costs of having multiple currencies?

                      You are arguing for poverty in the name of principle. No thanks.

    3. The second quote almost makes a good point. That nothing really has intrinsic value. Gold and silver happen to be rare and useful, so they are almost universally considered valuable, but ultimately, they are only worth something because of what people are willing to trade for them.

      1. That is true. And that is why gold bugs are delusional. Even if we went back to the gold standard, the government could still inflate the economy if it chose to.

        1. That is true. And that is why gold bugs are delusional. Even if we went back to the gold standard, the government could still inflate the economy if it chose to.
          ________

          How?

          1. Cut the amount of gold in the coins, debasing the currency like the Romans did. Or changing the set price of Gold. The world was still on the “gold standard” after World War I. But that didn’t stop governments of Europe from destroying their currencies in the 1920s. The “Gold Standard” is only as good as the government’s willingness to live by it and not manipulate the price or the percentage of gold in the dollar.

            1. Right and when that happens….people react to it accordingly.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gresham‘s_law

              You won’t find many pre 1965 quarters in your pocket change. Because people pick them out because they’re worth more then 25 cents.

              1. But you are still stuck with inflation and all of the problems of a bad currency. The Gold standard is no magic elixir that keeps governments from debasing their currencies.

                1. *John launches spinning roundhouse kick*

                  not so tough now, are you straw man?

                  1. Virginian,

                    If the Gold standard doesn’t protect you from the government debasing the currency, how is it any better than a fiat currency? That is the whole point of the Gold Standard, isn’t it? To have one stable currency that has some intrinsic value that the government can’t destroy?

                    The goldbugs yell for the Gold Standard because fiat currencies are always devalued and inflated screwing everyone. Then when someone points out that all of those things can and have happened under the gold standard, they come back and claim “we never said it would do those things, that is is a straw man”. When then why the fuck do you have such a hard on for the gold standard then?

                    In the end, gold is just a substitute religion for a lot of people.

                    1. Except it does you ninny. Because, as I explained to you already, if governments debase metal coinage, you can tell very easily. A 90% silver coin looks nothing like a 40% silver coin.

                      It’s like asserting that a constitutional republic is just as bad as a dictatorship because rights violations can occur under both regimes.

                      I’d rather have total freedom trade in whatever medium the traders choose, but a gold standard backed legal tender is better then what we have now.

                      Do you understand now?

                    2. So what if it looks different? You are free to store you value in something else, just like you are now. The currency is still debased either way.

                      I’d rather have total freedom trade in whatever medium the traders choose, but a gold standard backed legal tender is better then what we have now.

                      And you can’t barter now? Just because they have to take money doesn’t mean they only can take money. And a Gold standard would be no better than what we have now. Any currency, be it private or public, is only as good as the backer’s commitment to keep its value. If we had the gold standard today, our currency would be just as debased, the government just be debasing it through a different means.

      2. If you beat a gold coin featureless, it is still valued (assuming your metals-based economy isn’t completely screwy) close to what it was previous to your defacement. If you bleach a $100 bill, it is worth only its material component, i.e. fractions of a cent.

        It’s about the persistence of worth beyond fiat status, not the phenomenon of worth itself.

        1. That is assuming that the gold coin is really gold and hasn’t been debased or that the government hasn’t manipulated the price of gold to make that amount of gold worth less than it was.

          1. *ahem*

            (assuming your metals-based economy isn’t completely screwy)

          2. And this is one area where Bitcoin is superior to other types of money. It can’t be debased in any way. It takes x amount of effort (electric power and computing equipment) and t amount of time to make a Bitcoin. There will only ever be y number of Bitcoins. So everyone will always know exactly what went into making all the Bitcoins, which should cause Bitcoin to eventually stabilize in value.

            Of course, if no one is using Bitcoins, that value will be zero.

        2. I’m investing in alchemy. Scientists only deny the phologiston theory to get grants.

      3. The second quote makes a good point in the sense that it is a truism. He could have easily said “Even when people relied on gold and silver coins, what made those coins useful was the precious (valuable/useful/desirable) metals they contained.”

        1. It may be a truism, but a lot of people have a hard time getting past the concept of intrinsic value.

          1. Yet another truism…

  38. ‘She would have been a Belieber’: Justin Bieber causes outrage after writing ‘tasteless’ message in guest book at Anne Frank museum

    Maybe I’m just as “tasteless” as Justin Bieber (perish the thought… as I double check my new name, D’oh!), but I never saw the appeal of Anne Frank. The chick wrote a diary. Aren’t the point of diaries to remain secret? So if people didn’t “discover” her diary and decide to publish it, she would just be another Jewish girl who died in the Holocaust. There was nothing heroic about writing down her thoughts and hiding in an attic.

    1. The thing about Anne Frank wasn’t that she was some Ace Rimmer who used an alligator as an airfoil and gunned down a Nazi firing squad to rescue the princess, rather she was an ordinary person placed in horrific circumstances and who managed to retain her humanity.

      I’m sure there were tens of thousands of people like her, and her story testifies for them as well.

      1. She was a typical teenage girl. So I am thinking that if she were alive and 12 today, she probably would be a Bieber fan. I don’t see what the Bieber did wrong here.

        1. Dude, have you read her diary?

          It screams The Iron Maidens fan.

        2. I think the point is he went to the Anne Frank house and was supposed to be moved, but instead could only think about himself.

    2. I think that the whole point was that she was just an ordinary teenager (who could write reasonably well).

      And I think that the point of diaries is to record the events of each day. Not all diaries are for teenage angst. Whether or not it is meant to be private will depend on the author.

  39. the sexual revolution enabled men to get sex without marriage.

    What a tedious, obnoxious line of bullshit.

    Based on my admittedly unscientific sampling, women like sex, too. A lot. And they don’t want to have to get married just to have a good roll in the hay, either.

    1. That is true. But women also like to use sex as leverage to get what they want. And women, for the most part, want a husband and a nest. If everyone can get sex without marriage, then women no longer have much leverage in getting men to marry them.

      1. They could just, you know, have a personality that makes you want to stick around.

      2. There are plenty of men who want to get married and have kids too. Just not ones in their 20s.

        1. I’d like to be married and possibly have kids before I turn 30, but a woman is going to have to demonstrate enough value to convince me that I want to be married to her.

          1. Yeah, for all this “the end of men” stuff coming from the lack of male college degrees(which will exist as long as victimhood degrees exist, because most guys see through that bullshit) no one seems interested in the fact that post college women aren’t great shakes either. But I guess that also is because no 20something guy even has, let alone would ever, a jezebel esque platform to get on and bitch about the immaturity of the other gender

            1. no 20something guy even has, let alone would ever, a jezebel esque platform to get on and bitch about the immaturity of the other gender

              Yeah, most of them don’t find the H&R comments section until they’re in their 30s.

              1. I’m an early bloomer.

  40. So one of my subjects turned me on to this new thing called “email”. Isn’t it nifty?

    1. Lile the book of faces, I leave such amusements to the lower orders

  41. http://www.infowars.com/califo…..-firearms/

    Remember kids, saying liberals want to ban and confiscate firearms is just a right wing meme.

    1. I dunno. I kinda don’t want to go down the InfoWars route here.

      1. Infowars is the living embodiment of the old adage that even paranoids have enemies. They are paranoid nuts who do occasionally print an interesting and truthful story.

      2. Re: John,

        Minnesota & Missouri Democrats Introduce Guns Confiscation Bills to Their Respective Legislatures

        And here we have other Democrats saying “Ha ha ha! You damned right-wing loons! Nobody wants to take your weapons away! That’s crazy talk!!”

        1. Notice how pharisaic the language in those laws are. It’s almost guaranteed to make law-breakers out of peaceable gun-owners.

    2. Some liberals. Believe it or not, there are still some who remember that some day the government might not be run by their guy.

    1. Video game ownership should be public information

      Subscriptions to Parents magazine should be public information

      Purchases of sugary drinks should be public information

      The list goes on and on ….

    2. Those how have abortions should be public information.

      1. If you want 13 year old girls to have to tell their parents they are getting abortion, you are literally worse than Hitler.

    3. Similarly, I am opposed to anonymous/psuedonymous writing, as it does not let us know who exactly is exercising their First Amendment rights.

    4. Web browsing history should be public information

    5. I still think it is a bad idea to have a public registry for any kind of offender, but the editorial does make a somewhat valid point. It is not a registry of all gun owners, but of people convicted of crimes involving guns. Since convictions are public records, the information is already public, just presented in a more accessible way.

      1. The title is really misleading.

    1. Who is that cow and why is she at the MTV movie awards?

    2. I already linked that as John pron.

    3. Jonah Hill in drag.

      1. Yeah, when I first saw the girl, I thought she might be Jonah Hill’s sister.

        I think the first movie I saw her in was Ghost Rider. In fact, it’s probably the only movie I have seen that she’s in.

  42. BBQ question. I’ve got a chargriller with a side firebox. it’s okay for a once a season type thing. but it leaks and doesn’t maintain a constant temp. it’s basically home depot a charcoal grill with box on the side that’s okay for a short time — like chicken for 2-3 hours. i did a turkey once that turned out too. but pork butts or something that goes for 8+ hours just doesn’t really work on it.

    any recommendations for an actual wood burning bbq pit?

    1. 55 gallon drum cut in half with hinges attached as the main cooking area, and then cut out part of one side to attach your wood/charcoal box.

      1. thanks — i’m not exactly handy, but that’s worth investigating

        1. You could probably have a welder do it for minimal cost, or if you’re friendly enough the promise of future burnt offerings. Just make sure you get a good coating on the inside and outside so that it doesn’t rust.

    2. Smoke for 2 hours then finish in the kitchen oven at 275 until done.

      1. Exactly. It doesn’t need constant smoke.

        1. I like to sidebox arrangement for cold-smoking salmon. I never had much success doing much else with the model that I had because the firebox was too small.

          I have a large grill that I bust out for larger occasions, a standard Weber kettle grill for day-to-day. I use this large grill for hot smoking placing the fire on one side and the meat on the other. Smoke a a pork butt for a couple of hours then into the kitchen oven. Smoking for any longer than that is a waste of wood. Replenishing w/ charcoal to maintain temp takes too much effort and again, a needless expense.

          The industrial smokers used at BBQ joints operate on the same principle – smoke for 2 hours then low and slow.

    3. I had one of those. I never could get the sidebox to work.

      For long hot-smoke sessions, it might be worth making an Alton Brown hacked together Big Green Egg.

    4. I have one of the chargriller side firebox ones and it works pretty well. I choke the chimney off with its damper, leaving about 1/4″ open, and control the heat witg the air inlet on the side of the firebox. You can seal the edges of the firebox lid and the coal grate doot with insulating fire tape (the braided cloth type that is used on wood burners) if you need a better seal. I have done several 5.5 hour smokings. Usually I smoke ribs for 2 hours and the wrap them in foil for the rest of the time, turning them over and end-for-end every hour or so. Although I may try the idea of finishing in the oven–seems easier than tending a fire.

    5. Buy a sous vide, use the smoker for the last hour of flavor.

    6. Just get a large charcoal/wood grill, something like this

      I use it to cook turkeys all the time, I just put the charcoal/wood on one side of it and the turkey on the other. Depending on the size of the turkey it takes ~4 – 6 hours to cook that way (admittedly I usually do this in the fall/winter, it will probably be quicker in warmer weather).

      I know that I can fit up to a 22lb spatchcocked turkey on one side with the charcoal segregated on the other and have a relatively stable 300 – 350 cooking temp for the bird.

  43. The whole point of a fiat currency is that it has no innate value. It is something whose value rests entirely on people’s perception of it being valuable.

    Backwards, you have it.

    1. No I don’t. Think about why you don’t like fiat currency. It is not just because someone forces you to recognize it. You don’t like it because there is nothing stable about its value. Bitcoin is the same way only worse. Sure, you can not buy Bitcoin. But you can always turn your savings into gold and get out of dollars too.

      1. It is not just because someone forces you to recognize it.

        ____

        That’s exactly why I don’t like it. The other bad things about it stem from the fact that we are forced to use it. If you are forced to use something, there is no incentive to keep it valuable.

        1. You are not forced to use it. Nothing says you have to store your wealth in dollars. You just have to convert it to dollars when you go to purchase something. But so what. That is a simple transaction you can make right before you buy something. The important thing is how you store you wealth long term.

          1. You’re not forced to pay taxes. Nothing says you have to pay taxes. You just have to pay taxes or you’ll go to jail.

            Red Tony comes out in the mornings apparently.

            1. Do you do you not have to store you value in dollars? Is it illegal to own gold? And if there ever were a real no kidding hyper inflation, you wouldn’t be using dollars no matter what the government said. We know how this works. We say it in 1920s Germany. And what people did was either to demand to be paid in goods or if they were paid in Marks, they would immediately go out and buy goods and then use the goods to purchase things during the month. The economy went to a barter system and there wasn’t a damn thing the government could do about it.

              And what the fuck does understanding how currencies actually work have anything to do with partisan politics? If you don’t have a good response to an argument I make, maybe you ought to reconsider your own positions and say something like “gee John I had never thought of it that way before” instead of screaming “red Tony” and sounding like Shreek?

              Is there any subject no matter how technical and apolitical you think doesn’t relate to the daily partisan obsession?

              1. You don’t fucking get it, do you?

                It is is immoral to force people to trade in a currency. The moral policy would be to allow people to trade in whatever they so choose.

                As violations of freedom go, it’s not as bad as a Gulag, but it’s definitely not as trivial as a ban on 32oz soda.

                1. It is is immoral to force people to trade in a currency

                  No one is forced to trade in currency. People could trade in other things if they chose to. And many things, like corporate bonds or stocks, futures contracts, act just like currency. There is more to trading than shopping at the local 7-11.

            2. I think the real reason libertarians instinctively distrust fiat currency is because in most cases, it’s issued by the government, and the money supply can be easily manipulated. That’s not the case with Bitcoin.

              1. I don’t see how Bitcoin isn’t easily manipulated. In the end, the value of any currency is directly related to the faith people have in the organization issuing. What is to say that the company that operates Bitcoin won’t be taken over by a group of scammers and manipulated? No matter how legitimate a business is, there will always be the possibility the business will fail either through criminality or just ordinary incompetence.

                1. Of course it can be manipulated, just not directly by the government. To be specific, they can’t flood the bitcoin market with new bitcoins like they do with dollars.

    1. Faces 15 years in prison.

      Wow, really? I wonder if Chris Hansen was there when the arrest was made; that’s the only reason I could see him actually being charged for that much.

      1. Haha, I just realized how incredibly insensitive that moniker was when replying to one of your posts. Sorry, man.

        I think the “joke” has gone on long enough. Boring old “generic Brand” is back.

  44. I am reluctant to believe this

    A gun-rights group that had a hand in developing the recent bipartisan measure on background checks in the U.S. Senate said gun grabbers walked into its trap and that it would take pleasure in seeing President Barack Obama sign the bill.

    The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms on Sunday endorsed the agreement brokered last week by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

    In an email to the IBTimes on Sunday, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the committee, explained that he and the group’s attorney lobbyist not only influenced the bipartisan legislation but also wrote parts of it.

    Cont’d due to stupid fucking character limits…

    1. There’s a few false flag gun control groups out there masquerading as gun rights groups. You know

      “Reasonable sportsmen support every single gun control bill ever written because we are reasonable sportsmen. You don’t need an assault weapon to be a reasonable sportsmen like us reasonable sportsmen who sportsmen and reasonable.”

      1. That’s a pretty good impression there.

      2. I believe it was L Neil Smith (maybe Vin Suprynowicz?) who said the NRA is the largest gun-control organization in the USA.

    2. Even if it isn’t a false flag gun control group, their whole assertion is too clever by half.

      Salami-slicing 2nd Amendment rights isn’t political ninjitsu, it’s just stupid.

      1. Exactly. The majority is on the side of freedom here. Now is the time to charge, not to retreat or to devise stratagems.

      2. I previously said that gun rights groups should just re-write existing Class III legislation, and make a big point in the media that the legislation would outlaw automatic weapons except to holders of Class III permits.

        The gun grabbers are so ignorant of what they want to outlaw, I suspect it would work.

        1. They should present the NFA, but with the silencer regulation removed, and the taxes lowered.

  45. I’d love to see this story on PoliceOne and read the comments. I wonder who they’d find fault with? The officer that turned another cop in, or the one that actually stole $20 from the effects of a person that had just committed suicide.

    1. What? It’s not like the dead person needs it anymore! Geez! And it was ONLY $20! Now criminals will run rampant because we have one less paragon of virtue out on the streets stopping them.

  46. Jury convicts Minneapolis police officer on a number of charges after he walks up to a stranger in a bar and cold-cocks him before running away.

    1. Dude, police officers need to blow off steam every once in a while. It’s a very stressful job shooting dogs in front of kids, beating up women, and tasering handcuffed people, especially the pregnant ones.

      They deserve to beat random people in the head once in a while.

      1. Yeah but his problem is he did not say “Stop Resisting” before doing it therefore he was not in compliance with procedures and for that he must receive a paid vacation followed by proper training.

  47. “The gun grabbers have stepped into our trap,” Gottlieb said in the statement. “It will be fun to see Obama forced to sign it!”

    With about 600,000 members, Gottlieb’s organization has close ties to the Second Amendment Foundation. Its public endorsement of the Manchin-Toomey measure highlights a split in the usually united gun-rights lobby.

    ———–

    “If you read the bill, you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains like interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection if you sell a gun plus more,” Gottlieb said in his statement. “It also exempts the sale or transfer of firearms between family members and friends as well as sales outside a commercial venue from a background check. If you have any kind of current state permit to own, use or carry, no check is done, just the Form 4473 to stay with a dealer.”

    I see this as a move to federalize gun laws, which I oppose.

    And, of course, why should I believe they won’t go back on the recordkeeping rules?

    I don’t even have my fingers crossed.

  48. If you bleach a $100 bill, it is worth only its material component, i.e. fractions of a cent.

    But if you bleach a $1.00 bill, and print “$100.00” on it, you’ve got something.

    What defines a “fiat currency” is the government fiat part.

    We can disagree (and dicker) over the value of a sack of flour, or a Hemi Cuda, and adjust the price in dollars, but the government dictates and enforces what a “dollar” is.

  49. What does a “pro-capitalism” Republican governor do when presented with a bill that will mandate open pricing of medical services to allow people to shop around for the best deal? Why, veto it, of course!

    The legislation by Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, would have put hospitals and doctors in the same position as retailers: They would have to give customers an opportunity to learn what certain procedures will cost before they show up in a waiting room.

    That would have included both a requirement for online posting and making a price list available on-site.

    Barto promoted the legislation as a cost-containment measure, especially for patients without comprehensive health insurance who end up having to pay all or part of their medical bills.

    In her veto, the third of the legislative session, Brewer said she supports providing more “useful information to help patients manage their health-care needs.” But the governor said there are “practical and potential legal implications of this bill.”

    1. But the governor said there are “practical and potential legal implications of this bill.”

      Are these practical and potential legal implications spelled out in the article? Or are we just left to assume she is talking out her ass?

      1. The practical and political implications probably boil down to “My crony-corporate medical donors will fillet me if I sign this bill.”

      2. Well, people might find out why their insurance payment is so high.

    2. I would say that requiring a business to post prices actually is anti-free market, even though I would personally like that information beforehand.

      There is a glass company around here that advertises a lot based on the fact that they provide information about there rates upfront, unlike their competitor (apparently).

      1. I would say that requiring a business to post prices actually is anti-free market, even though I would personally like that information beforehand

        If the real cost of medical care wasn’t through the roof, I’d concur on this. But real-world experience has shown that the medical industry practices cartel-like behavior in charging for services, and a big part of that is that they aren’t required to post those costs upfront. A normal live birth and two days in a private room, which cost less than $1,000 inflation-adjusted 50 years ago now costs $9-10K or more now. Because everyone needs medical care at various points throughout their lives, the customer is at a huge disadvantage.

      2. To elaborate, imagine your car insurance was used not just to cover accidents, but nearly all basic repairs as well. Imagine dropping off the car for an oil change or water pump replacement and not knowing the real cost for another 1-2 months, and not knowing what insurance covered for another 1-2 months after that (which is what happens with the vast majority of medical service transactions).

        Not only would the cost of car insurance be more expensive, the cost of that oil change would skyrocket, because there’s no incentive to offer competitive pricing upfront.

        1. None of that makes it free market to require posting prices, it just makes it better for customers for that to happen. Those are different things.

          The real free market solution would be to remove the government granted monopoly on providing medical care. Then you’d get people posting prices pretty quickly.

          1. The real free market solution would be to remove the government granted monopoly on providing medical care.

            So much this.

            Hospitals and health-care are about as free-market as the electric company. If you work for a hospital – or a public utility company – you are a government employee as far as I am concerned.

            Want to see health-care costs come down? Allow Walmart to operate walk-in clinics in their stores and for-profit companies to open surgical clinics anywhere they want.

            We don’t pay as little as we do for a loaf of bread despite the fact that there are a dozen or more bread-sellers in any decent-sized town, we pay as little as we do because there is so much competition for our bread-buying dollar.

            1. ^^THIS^^ You are exactly right Jerryskids. But none of the things you mention have anything to do with insurance or the dreaded employer provided insurance libertarians are always yapping about.

            2. But medicine will never be like bread. I can live without bread and eat something else. I can’t live without that appendectomy. For that reason the demand for most medical services is always going to be very inelastic.

        2. No, imagine if all car insurance had to cover all of that. You can buy car repair insurance. It just costs more than ordinary accident insurance.

          And of course insurance companies have an incentive to keep costs down as well. I have never understood why Libertarians think insurance companies have no bargaining power.

          1. I have never understood why Libertarians think insurance companies have no bargaining power.

            Perhaps because that’s not what libertarians think.

            Insurance companies have bargaining power, but since they’re bargaining with other people’s money, the incentives are different than consumers bargaining with their own money.

            Time to bust out the Milton Friedman.

            There are four ways to spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why you really watch out for what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well then, I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it costs, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40 percent of our national income.

            It also describes insurance to a point. As long as premiums are paid and profit is made, where’s the incentive to bargain?

            1. The less an insurance company pays out, the lower their premiums can be, and the more customers and profits they will have.

        3. Not only would the cost of car insurance be more expensive, the cost of that oil change would skyrocket, because there’s no incentive to offer competitive pricing upfront.

          Yeah because no insurance company anywhere has ever had any incentive to hold down repair costs? WTF?

          You get what you pay for here. The problem that government regulation is keeping the insurance companies from charging based upon risk and services. The fact is Obamacare is great for some people. If you are old and have terrible health, you don’t want to be charged on individual risk. Those people are getting over. If you however are young and healthy, you want to be able to buy minimum coverage and be charged according to your personal risk. Obamacare, by imposing community ratings and by forcing every health insurance policy gold plated, prevents you from doing that and screws you.

          The problem is the regulation, not health insurance itself. It is funny, Libertarians hate health insurance like cats hate water. They don’t really know why they hate it and they really shouldn’t hate it, but they know they do.

          1. Yeah because no insurance company anywhere has ever had any incentive to hold down repair costs? WTF?

            And for all the insurance companies’ efforts to hold down prices, medical care is monumentally expensive, even on an inflation-adjusted basis. That’s the real world, not some fantasy-land where third-party payers lowers the real cost of services.

            The problem that government regulation is keeping the insurance companies from charging based upon risk and services.

            If that were the case, costs wouldn’t have gone up at three times the rate of inflation the last 30+ years. Hell, even Medicare/Medicaid pays five times more than what they take in taxes for those programs. Yes, the government was partially responsible for creating this monster, but it’s the height of lunacy to insinuate that a lack of open pricing has been beneficial for consumers.

            1. If that were the case, costs wouldn’t have gone up at three times the rate of inflation the last 30+ years.

              So the cost of an individual good or service or sector can never rise above the overall rate of inflation? Bullshit. Costs have gone up because medicine has gotten better and the demand for it has increased. There are tons of very expensive medical procedures that were not available 50 years go. Think of it this way, in 1900, you couldn’t get any medical services beyond setting a bone and taking an aspirin or some opium. Now think about what you can get. You don’t think that huge rise in capability should translate into a huge rise in relative cost?

              1. So the cost of an individual good or service or sector can never rise above the overall rate of inflation? Bullshit.

                Yeah, just look how well that attitude is working out for the costs of college.

                Costs have gone up because medicine has gotten better and the demand for it has increased. There are tons of very expensive medical procedures that were not available 50 years go.

                There’s more complicated about a normal live birth now than there was 50 years ago. Your argument is weak.

                You don’t think that huge rise in capability should translate into a huge rise in relative cost?

                No, I don’t think that giving a woman a mild pain-killer and telling her to push should cost 10 times more now than it did 50 years ago. Maybe you do.

          2. The problem is the regulation, not health insurance itself. It is funny, Libertarians hate health insurance like cats hate water. They don’t really know why they hate it and they really shouldn’t hate it, but they know they do.

            That statement is full of shit. I don’t hate health insurance–I want to see it used for its original purpose: to cover emergencies only. Do you really think a normal live birth should cost 10 times what it did on an inflation-adjusted basis 50 years ago? For god’s sake, look at the Oklahoma Surgery Center–they can charge up to 80% less for services than what a similar insurance-based plan would have to pay.

            1. Do you really think a normal live birth should cost 10 times what it did on an inflation-adjusted basis 50 years ago?

              Yes. You are talking about the overall cost of all births. Fifty years ago there was no such thing as care for premature babies. Now we have the capability to treat and save nearly all of them. That comes at a cost. Call the midwife and have any baby born more than a month premature be written off at birth is going to be a hell of a lot less expensive than what we have now.

              don’t hate health insurance–I want to see it used for its original purpose: to cover emergencies only.

              That is nice. And the government should not prevent you from buying that insurance. But it is none of your fucking business if people want to purchase insurance that does more than that. The problem here is the government dictating how insurance is purchased, not insurance itself. If I want to pay for gold plated insurance that covers every possible cost, that is my business not yours.

              1. Yes. You are talking about the overall cost of all births.

                No, I’m not, and you’re full of shit. I’m talking for a normal, live birth. The hospital charged our insurance company $9,000 when our kid was born. They gave my wife a minor pain-killer, an IV drip, and told her to push. She didn’t even stay the night at the hospital. There was nothing complex or complicated about the delivery. You honestly think that’s a $9K cost? Get real.

                Fifty years ago there was no such thing as care for premature babies. Now we have the capability to treat and save nearly all of them. That comes at a cost.

                Sorry, but that’s bullshit. Nowhere on our medical statement after the birth did we see “Costs to take care of premature babies” included on the bill.

                But it is none of your fucking business if people want to purchase insurance that does more than that.

                It is when the associated costs of the service go through the roof and affect my related costs. Go fuck yourself.

                1. It is when the associated costs of the service go through the roof and affect my related costs. Go fuck yourself.

                  To believe that my buying insurance is causing those costs to go up, you have to believe that insurance companies print their own money and just overpay doctors out of the kindness of their hearts.

                  Everyone has a right to contract. If I or anyone else want to pay more for insurance and reduce my risk, that is my right and you have no right to tell me I can’t.

                  No, I’m not, and you’re full of shit. I’m talking for a normal, live birth. The hospital charged our insurance company $9,000 when our kid was born. They gave my wife a minor pain-killer, an IV drip, and told her to push. She didn’t even stay the night at the hospital. There was nothing complex or complicated about the delivery. You honestly think that’s a $9K cost? Get real.

                  I would say $9K for the time of a doctor, anesthesiologist, a nurse and a delivery room is pretty reasonable. And even if it is not, why is that cost so high? Might it be because we force hospitals to give those services for free to those who can’t afford it and those costs are then passed on to paying customers? That sure sounds like a better explanation than the evils of freedom of contract and insuring for risk.

                  1. I would say $9K for the time of a doctor, anesthesiologist, a nurse and a delivery room is pretty reasonable.

                    Dude, you’re fucking high if you think that’s “reasonable.” It’s not even reasonable on an inflation-adjusted basis. It’s the same people, procedures and services used 50 years ago that cost $1000 or less. And as I mentioned, that $1000 included two nights in a private room. We didn’t even do that.

                    I pull this link out every time Tony says something stupid about the costs of medical care. Maybe it’s time you read it too.

                    http://www.oftwominds.com/blog…..07-09.html

                    1. And even if it is not, why is that cost so high? Might it be because we force hospitals to give those services for free to those who can’t afford it and those costs are then passed on to paying customers? That sure sounds like a better explanation than the evils of freedom of contract and insuring for risk.

                      There’s no “freedom of contract” when premiums keep rising for the same services at rates greater than inflation, and medical insurance can’t be purchased across state lines, and you can’t find out the cost of a service before contracting for that service. That “freedom” you cite doesn’t exist.

                      Try calling up a hospital sometime and ask them how much they charge for a broken arm or an appendectomy. I’ll bet the cash cost is at least 40% lower or more than if insurance is used as the payment mechanism.

                      Yes, Medicare and Medicaid are a huge part of this, as is EMTALA, a Reagan-era law that forces hospitals to treat patients irrespective of their ability to pay. But don’t sit back and pretend that the medical industry is any less complicit in this. When you have a vast pool of “free” money, whether its from taxpayers or various insurance companies, where is the incentive to lower costs? Colleges get away with exponentially increasing tuition rates for the same reason–because they know that they’ll get paid regardless of whether their grads make enough to pay off the debt they accumulate, thanks to government loan guarantees.

            2. Got a friend of mine who had is appendix removed. Originally his insurance wouldn’t cover it so he arranged for the doctor to do the procedure for 5k. The insurance comapny changed their mind and covered the procedure – the doctor charged *them* half again what she was willing to take in cash

              1. Time is money. Takes the insurance company a while to pay. Makes sense the doctor would take less to get cash in hand now.

                Beyond that, so what? It is the insurance company’s money. If they are easy to part with it, that is their problem.

  50. There’s a few false flag gun control groups out there masquerading as gun rights groups.

    These guys are closely affiliated with the Second Amendment Foundation.
    Are they just shills for the statist “reasonable gun safety” crowd? I can see how the guys who went to bat for gun owners in Washington and Chicago would see themselves as moving the ball forward, but if they are not very very careful, in the aggregate rights will be lost.

    That would piss me off in a major way.

    1. The SAF is doing good work in the courts. I’m just worried they’re getting too clever for their own good here.

      Legislation should never be passed, because they write legislation vague enough now that the ATF and the rest of the pig brigade does whatever the fuck they want.

      No more fucking gun laws. Not one.

      1. they write legislation vague enough now that the ATF and the rest of the pig brigade does whatever the fuck they want.

        They’ve got to pass it to find out what’s in it.

        1. They take the whole “courts interpret the meaning of the law” thing seriously.

  51. Thane-

    Thanks for that Volokh link. It reinforces what I had assumed in my paranoid fever swamp of wingnuttery.

  52. Jury convicts Minneapolis police officer on a number of charges after he walks up to a stranger in a bar and cold-cocks him before running away.

    I read an article about that yesterday. The prosecutor apparently asked why he didn’t just move away if the guy was bugging him, as if he were some pathetic knee-bending prole with a duty to retreat, instead of a heroic defender of civilization.

  53. Tomorrow night on PBS, something I hope you guys all watch: Ken Burn’s documentary on the Central Park 5. (The link is to an article on the original movie from a few months back.)

    I have to admit that I remember the Central Park jogger being brutally raped and nearly killed by the ‘wilding’ teens – but I don’t know for sure that I recall it later turning out that the NYPD – and the complicit prosecutor – flat-out framed the kids. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention – but maybe the media shitstorm over the original story of ‘Teens Gone Wild! Everybody Panic!’ and the subsequent lack of a media shitstorm over the ‘NYPD Frames Some More Niggers, What Else Is New?’ had something to do with it.

    1. I’d never heard of this.

    2. My memory is also that the kids were caught red-handed mugging people, and the deal was going down for 50 years for the muggings or taking a plea on the rape.

  54. I’d appreciate opinions from fellow Reasonoids on an item of interest. I’m a professor at a college in upstate NY and received the following email this morning regarding an upcoming gun control debate:

    [redacted] has joined 254 other universities in a pledge to provide meaningful debate and dialogue on gun control and gun violence.

    Our nation looks to colleges and universities to solve its most pressing problems and national issues such as these demand we analyze information, consider opinions based on precedent and understanding of history, as well as apply relevant personal experiences to shape our views. Each one of us has an opportunity to influence the direction our nation moves forward and more importantly, how we as a nation reconcile differences of opinion.

    [redacted] and [redacted] are leading a group that will sponsor a panel in the Forum this Wednesday, April 17, at 3:30 p.m. (This forum was originally scheduled for February 8, but was postponed due to a winter storm.)

    Panelists will first focus on factual information and peer-reviewed scholarship, and then initiate dialogue with the audience on personal experiences and ethical and philosophical dilemmas.

    1. Individuals who have committed thus far to join [redacted]in speaking at this first panel represent the legal profession, scholars of the U.S. Constitution, business and community leaders, and ethicists.

      If you would like more information prior to the event, please send [redacted] a note at [redacted] or to [redacted] at [redacted]. While we welcome dialogue with all voices on the issue and hope the campus community will use this a jumping off point for additional dialogue, [redacted] and [redacted] are particularly interested in speaking with members of the campus community from other nations where gun control may be either more noticeably lax or strict than the USA; as well as individuals who may want to step forward and share their story as a victim of gun violence.

      The letter which includes the pledge [redacted] has committed to can be found at: [redacted].

      I encourage you to attend the forum, and to use the dialogue shared at the forum to further engage with your peers and colleagues on solutions.

      1. My first question for you is this. Are you tenured? If so, I’d say go ahead and participate. As P Brooks says below, they kinda tipped their hand with that one line. I’d imagine this “discussion” isn’t going to be pro-gun and your job may be placed in the firing line (pun intended) if you speak in favor of 2A rights.

        1. My job is pretty well protected due to specific circumstances that I’ll keep off the boards. I don’t plan on this being purely a spectator event.

      2. “It’s a trap!”

        Srsly, given the realities of liberal academia I suspect the debate will be very one-sided and that the only thing you’ll accomplish is to out yourself as a 2A supporter.

        Besides, what will this debate accomplish, really? Your efforts would be better spent by foregoing a night out and sending the money saved to one of the 2A advocacy groups.

        1. Not tenured and don’t really give a shit at this point. I’m not spending the rest of my career in academia. What surprised me the most was:
          are particularly interested in speaking with members of the campus community from other nations where gun control may be either more noticeably lax or strict than the USA

          I’m consistently reminded that some animals are more equal than others.

  55. as well as individuals who may want to step forward and share their story as a victim of gun violence.

    And here is where they tip their hand.

    “Dialog” is their code word for “Sermon”.

    I’m guessing anybody who steps forward and calls for allowing Americans to be allowed freedom to exercise their Second Amendment rights will be booed right off the stage.

    Go for it.

    1. The university is pretty big on science and engineering so there aren’t a lot of political overtones you would find at the SUNY’s. There are a lot of students that come from the Adirondacks and other rural areas where civil liberties are more respected. The administrators are obviously pushing the “discussion” in one direction so hopefully there will be significant dissent. I may video some of it and post a link here for guffaws.

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