A.M. Links: The NSA Can Hear You Now, CIA Doesn't Know Who It Drone-Killed, IMF Admits Blowing It With Greek Bailout

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    1. Shameful.

    2. Worse. Than. Hitler.

      1. You know who else was worse than Hitler?

    3. Colombia’s controversial cure for coke addicts: Give them marijuana–

      http://www.thestar.com/news/wo…..juana.html

      “Hipster Conservatives” have their own blog:

      http://hipsterconservative.com/

      1. Speaking of hipsters a ran into a group of them at the store yesterday. If you wear a bow tie with shorts while sporting a ridiculous mustache you deserve to be hit by whatever my son throws at you.

        1. it must be moments like this that make the struggles of parenthood all worth while

        2. I hope you looked the biggest one in the eye, smiled and said, “nice throw, son” when they turned around to complain.

        3. Made his old man proud, huh? What’d he throw at them?

        4. They didn’t happen to look like this sad sack, did they?

          http://www.theatlanticwire.com…..ten/59082/

    4. Not an actual substantive comment, so no prize for you.

      Congrats, however, on having beaten him. Keep up the good work.

  1. The CIA had no idea who it was drone-killing in about one out of every four cases in Pakistan…

    Hopefully the terrorists don’t mimic our strategy of indisciminate killing.

    1. You’re slipping, Fist…

      1. On the contrary, yesterday he didn’t close an italic tag. This is his comeback.

        1. The real prize is getting a relevant comment with a bold, blockquote, and italics in first…now THAT is something to strive for.

  2. Heroic police officer suffers a scratch to his cheek as he punches deaf woman in the face over and over and over.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..rders.html

    1. Obviously she must have harassed, annoyed, threatened, or alarmed him.

    2. What happened to her dog.

    3. Heroic police officer suffers a scratch to his cheek as he punches deaf woman in the face over and over and over.

      My wife has a hearing impairment. We have cards attached to the visors in all our vehicles for communicating with the police. We made sure of that after a woman was badly beaten by the police when she “resisted arrest.” The paramedics determined the “drunk and disorderly” woman was actually deaf and diabetic and suffering a low blood sugar.

    4. Dehumanizing stare!

      Also is it just me or does it seem like maybe the cop is smiling while showing off his battle scar.

      1. He just beat up a defenseless woman! Of course he’s beaming!

  3. Dutch treat – coffee shops fight back.

    1. It looks like the root of all of this is… traffic jams in Maastricht.

      But U.S. drug warriors use it as an excuse to say that cannabis liberalization has failed in the Netherlands.

      Come The Revolution, U.S. drug warriors… well, fuck, use your imagination.

      (Hit & Run is monitored by the authorities.)

  4. covering the llama beat:

    4 llamas involved in car crash in SW Florida
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article…..sw-florida

    1. Jesus the damn things are coming out of the woodwork.

      1. I for one welcome our new llama overlords.

        1. Better than camel overlords….I think.

          1. Please let “Camels Vs Llamas” become the new “Pirates Vs Ninjas”

    2. Some dumb broad hit a doe right outside my neighborhood and all the idiots from the city were just gawking at the dead deer in the middle of a lane of traffic. My roommate pulled out just ahead of me and dragged the thing off the road. Its just a dead deer, people.

      Although she didn’t look that fucked up, coulda made some damn fine sausage.

      1. I dodge the fuckers every day on my drive home. Never hit one yet but have had a few close calls. I never fail to invite the local hunters to my farm every Autumn.

      2. I don’t think you’re just allowed to turn motorists into sausage, no matter how attractive they are. ;{)

        Srsly, in my state if you kill a deer with your car you’re allowed to keep it if you want. Not sure how kosher it is to immediately transfer the carcass to someone else.

        1. I think the rules are the same here, but the cops don’t give a shit as long as it was an accident. If you “hit” a lot of deer in your truck with a cattleguard, they’ll send the FWC cops after you.

          1. In KY, legally, you’re supposed to call the game warden who confirms that it was a traffic fatality (vice poaching) and who then will give you a special deer tag.

            I speak from experience, and have some really delicious $28.75 per pound deer in my freezer.

            ($1000 deductible on car + $150 processing with sausage for about 40 pounds of well tenderized venison)

    3. Better than 4 lamas.

      1. What about 4 Lorenzo Lamasassss’s

        1. I believe that is like the 5th seal.

        2. +4 casual pouches

    4. “Llama Beat.” Heh.

    5. “Ralph” the Wonder Llama.

      1. A Moose once bit my sister.

        1. ^This is why I love this place.

          1. And why nobody takes libertarians seriously.

    6. I have two llamas.

      That is all.

      1. I assume if you have one of each sex, that won’t be all for long.

  5. Off-duty NYPD cop ‘shoots wife dead in the street before turning shotgun on himself’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..mself.html
    At least there was a happy ending.

    1. this is why only police should have guns… oh wait…

      1. But…shotguns are good! Joe Biden said so! Biden couldn’t be lyin’!

    2. At least no dogs were killed.

    3. Although she didn’t look that fucked up, coulda made some damn fine sausage.

      1. If you are fishing for Soylent Green jokes, I ain’t biting.

        1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

  6. Baby dies in fire after police Tase father who tried to run into burning home to save him

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

    Shortly after this a fire started at the home. The grandparents grabbed one boy and ran out of the burning building. They then realized the baby was still trapped inside.
    Emergency crews and the parents arrived at the same time, according to KENS5.
    When the father tried to run into the building police held him back but eventually had to Tase him.
    San Antonio Police Department said it was for his own safety.

    I sincerely hope someone murders that cop. With all my heart. That fucker deserves death.

    1. STOP ACTING HEROIC!

    2. San Antonio Police Department said it was for his own safety.

      And he was making the heroic first responders look bad.

    3. Of course, if the cops didn’t tase him, it would probably just be two dead bodies. But, it should be his choice to try to save his baby.

    4. Officer Friendly: Stop rescuing! I mean, stop resisting! Aw fuck it, I really just wanted to tase somebody!

    5. Covered yesterday.

      If you are going to spam us with links, make them new links.

      1. Duly noted. I mean ignored.

      2. Well, or links of hot celebrities.

        1. New links of hot celebrities.

          Or hot links of new celebrities.

      3. For what it’s worth, this was worth posting again. In fact, it is probably worth posting everday as a lesson that the cops are not on our side.

  7. Cook’s 97% Consensus Study Game Plan Revealed
    It’s essential that the public understands that there’s a scientific consensus on AGW. So Jim Powell, Dana and I have been working on something over the last few months that we hope will have a game changing impact on the public perception of consensus. Basically, we hope to establish that not only is there a consensus, there is a strengthening consensus. Deniers like to portray the myth that the consensus is crumbling, that the tide is turning. However, our survey of the peer-reviewed literature shows that the opposite is true – the consensus is getting stronger and the gap between those that accept and reject the consensus is increasing. What we have in mind is an extended campaign over 2012 (and beyond)….

    …To achieve this goal, we mustn’t fall into the trap of spending too much time on analysis and too little time on promotion. As we do the analysis, would be good to have the marketing plan percolating along as well….

    1. Phlogiston had a consensus, too.

      1. Phlogiston had actual predictive/engineering uses, didn’t it?

    2. Science is all about marketing! Everyone knows that you glibertarians!

      1. Obama’s biggest failure is his marketing of global warming!

    3. I didn’t get to put this in P.M. links yesterday, but congratulations on the sterling diagnosis regarding your anal health, Johnny. Let us never go back to the dark days in which libertarians wereuniversally mockedfor neglecting their anal health.

      1. I can post pics if you want.

        1. Let’s not start getting Warty all excited.

          1. You’re, um, a little too eager for my personal comfort.

        2. We’ve all seen goatse, no need for you to reenact it for our benefit.

    4. “We asked ourselves if we were right, and we all agreed we are. So there.”

  8. Visual map to represent the how areas around the country use different nomenclature for the same things
    I’m originally from Oklahoma. I’ve referred to carbonated sugary beverages as Pop and Soda interchangably. My former roommates always call them cokes. To me Coke is a specific drink. If I ask for a Coke, I don’t mean a Pepsi or a Dr. Pepper. They also call shopping carts “buggies”. Drives me up the damn wall everytime I hear it.

    1. Fuck You!!!

      1. You say “buggy” don’t you, you bastard?

        1. Its a “cart” and a “coke”.

          1. condemn the hillbilly to death!

            1. he’s only half-hillbilly since doesn’t refer to it as a “buggy”. So, we can let it slide.

          2. Coke is a line of Coca-cola products, including Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and the flavored varieties.

            It can also be cocaine

            But Coke is never Pepsi, dammit!

            1. In my region it’s called sugar bubbles.

              1. in SF’s region is is called “CAN OF DEATH!”

                1. Anyone here design mobile games? Think fps, but with diabetics as the enemy instead of zombies. Marshmallow guns, coke grenades, king-sized twix melee weapons.

                  Clich? Bandit and I get conceptual credit, and SF can write the dialogue.

                  1. I already have a sound track in my head.

      2. No, they say that in Oklahoma, too.

        1. Say buggy? Maybe in Hickstown, Oklahoma. I’m from OKC.

          Now we often say “kleenex” instead of “tissue”.

          Some might say “Q-Tips” instead of “cottonswabs”. I guess it’s similar to some saying “Coke” instead of “soda” or “pop”. But cottonswabs and tissue don’t vary significantly enough as much as sodas do.

          1. No, say “fuck you.” Threading, how does it work?

    2. Well, you can always just go to a water bubbler if it bothers you that much.

      1. we call it a bubbler. Where is it called that in the US?

        1. Fountain. Water fountain. Goddamnit Australia, learn to speak English right!

          1. actually Goldie it is called a water fountain in some parts of Australia, so some of us get it right 🙂

            There is a book called Word Map which lists all these variants in Australia, so I shall never be unsure of the appropriate names for a glass of alcohol in any pub

        2. The map has Wisconsin and Rhode Island. I grew up calling it that in New Hampshire.

          1. Yeah, bubbler is definitely a New England thing, though getting to be used much less.

          2. MA does as well.

            I can kind of see it when it’s the this kind, because it does bubble. But when people use it for this kind it makes zero sense.

          3. Bubbler – Kohler Company: Sometimes used as a generic, particularly in Wisconsin and New England.

            From Wikipedia’s list of generic and genericized trademarks

        3. In my region it’s called a nose wash.

          1. WHere I come from, we call them “bidets”. Or “asswash”.

            1. That must make for some interesting days at the park.

        4. Wisconsin says it. Those assholes also pronounce a lot of i’s as e’s.

          Pillow is pellow and milk is melk. Bubbler and pop is the least of your worries in Wisconsin if nuances of speech piss you off like it does to me.

          Not only should everyone speak English in America, they should speak as I do!

        5. Depends on where in the US you are, I know in Massivetwoshits (Massachusetts) it is a Bubbla (Bubbler) but why you would use one when you could put your sneakers (not tennis shoes) on your feet and walk down to the Packie (liquor store) to get some tonic (Any non cola non alcoholic carbonated beverage) or Coke (any cola flavored carbonated beverage)

      2. what the hell planet are you from?

    3. I really don’t get the coke thing. In Houston, I never hear that shit. Everyone I know says soda.

      1. It falls off with the square of the distance from Atlanta, where Coke was founded and originally dominated.

        1. Okay, I can accept people in the 40s calling it Coke, but still? Is there something wrong with the state of Georgia?

          1. Do you call off brand facial tissues a Kleenex? Same thing.

            1. Tissues come in different flavors?

              1. After they’re used, sure.

                1. Yeah, we recycle at my house.

                  Tissues aren’t so bad, but the toilet paper is the worst.

          2. Is there something wrong with the state of Georgia?

            Its kind of a long list, actually. Although the area just West of Tallahassee had this small town with something like a dozen people who bought small amounts of Coke stock from a door-to-door salesman and ended up millionaires. So there’s some strangely partisan love of Coke.

            1. there certainly was after Sherman visited *badoom-tish*

            2. I happen to know a scion of one of those families. He’s not rich but some of his relatives own Coke bottlers now and are quite well off.

        2. I don’t think it’s totally generic. I mean, even there, people don’t say, “Give me a Sprite coke.”

          1. Yeah, its usually offered or spoken of past-tense as generically “coke”.
            “Do you want a coke?”
            “He was drinking a coke”
            Can both mean any type of soda.

            “I’ll have a Coke” will get you a Coca-Cola orginal flavor.

            1. “Do you want a coke?”

              “Yeah.”

              “What kind?”

              “Sprite.”

              ^^^legitimate conversation. But yeah, “Ill have a Coke” gets you a Coca-Cola.

              1. Yes. On the other hand, I find “pop” execrable. Soda’s accurate enough, I guess, but lame. We need a new word.

                Incidentally, my family is from the “coke” region, but I’ve never really consistently done that (I don’t think my parents do, either). I may have said it some, I can’t really remember, but since my soft drink of choice is regular Coke (or Sugar Coke, when allowed), I usually mean Coke when I say coke.

                1. I used to say “pop,” but my wife is from central PA so now I say “soda.” Yeah. I’m whipped.

                2. Hearing someone call it ‘pop’ inspires me to violence.

                  1. You’re wrong, because the preferred nomenclature is ‘pop’

                    1. Preferred by whom, pray tell?

                    2. Decent hardworking people.

                    3. Pop is correct. I don’t know why you’d call it anything else. Soda is carbonated water. Pop is carbonated water with flavoring syrup added.

                    4. I am just from booze central, where a carbonated beverage was typically called a “soft drink”?

      2. That is because most houstonites are transplants from soda country.

      3. I have family in Houston. I could swear they use Coke more often than Soda. I’ll pay closer attention next time I visit.

    4. It’s absolutely “law-yer” and not “loyer,” by the way. It’s right there in the fucking spelling and derivation!

      1. Here, it’s abogado.

      2. I didn’t ask for a baloney sandwich! I said an abalone sandwich!

      3. No, it’s pronounced “Li-ar”

    5. I slap people who call soda “pop.”

      You don’t want to know what I do to people who call shopping carts “buggies.”

      1. Bugger them?

        1. Worse than that.

      2. I often use both “soda” and “pop”.

        1. Flip-flopper.

        2. “Let me be clear: when pandering to. Midwest audience I use pop, and when I am on the East Coast I use the word soda.”

    6. Convenience Store Lady: “Y’all wanna sack fer that?”
      Me (first time in TX): “Excuse me?”

      CSL: “Y’all wanna sack fer that?”

      Me: “um…”

      CSL: “A sack.”

      Me: “Oh, a bag? Sure.”

      CSL: “No, a sack.”

      Me: “…”

    7. I’ve never lived in the region where thye say “coke…” Why the hell do I say it?

    8. My college roommate was from north central TX and said “coke” in place of “soda”. One time I was going to the vending machines and she asked me to get her a “coke”. When I came back with a Coke, she said she wanted a Sprite. I said “do they speak English in Texas?”

      1. Please. You guys probably say “Bow” instead of “Boo” when talking about Bowie knives.

        1. If it’s good enough for David Bowie it’s good enough for Jim Bowie.

        2. I live in the DC area. Check the map for how we pronounce Bowie (which, incidentally, is the town in TX where my roommate was from).

        3. Seriously, how do they all get it wrong? A Bow-ee knife is a certain bisexual singer’s penis.

          1. Although, depending on your part of Texas, it might actually be a boo-ah knahf.

    9. They also call shopping carts “buggies”.

      I am intrigued by this idea and would like to subscribe to the Shopping Buggy Newsletter.

    10. SODEE POP

    11. Oklahoma is full of Yankees? I didn’t know that.

  9. There’s a metaphor somewhere in here:

    Tanker truck full of Scotch whisky tips over and catches on fire in Woodbridge
    http://www.nj.com/middlesex/in…..ch_wh.html

    1. That’s the town that used to be Mayor’d by infamous “Gay-American” Jim McGreevey, FYI.

    2. I’D RATHER A CHURCH BURNED!

  10. So many people in the US talk wrong.

  11. Make-up artist who released photos of porn stars au naturel unveils new set of incredible before-and-after transformations

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem…..tions.html

    1. Not enough real bodies and performers exercising their agency for me. Also not nearly queer and intersectional enough!

    2. I only recognize two of the porn chicks in that list (Kagney Linn Karter and Sophie Dee).

      Clearly I need to watch more porn.

      1. Sophie Dee’s eyes are amazing…

        Also, I think I need a femsplanation on why a chubby looking face looks slimmer with makeup, or a gaunt looking face can look more full with makeup. That don’t make sense.

        1. It depends on what you’re doing with the makeup and what you’re starting with. Basically, different shades of makeup can create width or reduce it. For example, darker shades down the side of your nose can make it look skinnier. Blush can create the illusion of a shadow under your cheekbones. Dark eyeliner all around your eyes can make them look piggishly small.

          1. Srsly? It’s no different than how artists create the illusion of shadow and light in paintings.

            1. (that was in reply to gB, not ifh)

        2. Ah, gB, you need a lesson in contouring!

          The key of course is that you’re wearing different makeup or at least putting it in different places depending on face shape. Typically, for what you’re talking about, you would use bronzer or a dark shade of blush to create contours by making it look like you have shadows where you don’t actually have them on your face. E.g., if you have a chubby jaw/neckline, you put bronzer along your jawline from below your ear down to your neck to make it look like you have more of a curve there. Does that help?

          1. gB: Smile, nod and say, “yes, thanks”. Try not to let them see your eyes are glazed over.

            1. Dude, you asked.

              1. Its like Nigel Fawlty and Germans. The first rule is “Don’t mention the war!!”. The second rule is to change the subject as quickly as possible.

                1. Basil!

                  1. Shit. Its been 20 years since I watched that show.

          2. It sounds complicated!

            1. You have no idea, and if you’re sane, you’ll keep it that way.

          3. They do the same thing for Tarzan’s muscles (particularly abs) in the Disney parade.

    3. What? They’re selling a fantasy that is only tangentially related to reality? Cancel my subscription! Oh wait, its free.

    4. Hmmm. I like the befores better.

    5. Make-up artist who released photos of porn stars au naturel unveils new set of incredible before-and-after transformations

      This just in, make-up covers up ugliness. More at 11.

      1. Also, I doubt the validity of some of those comparisons.

      2. Also, who is looking at their faces that much?

      3. Why do girls wear make-up and perfume?

        Because they’re ugly, and they stink!

  12. New York State may may make it a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” police officers.

    So why do people live in New York again?

    1. It sure as hell ain’t cuz of the Deep Dish

    2. As if they didn’t have enough leniency for the wanton firing on innocent civilians they already do.

      Was it 9/11 that turned NYCers into a bunch of pussies? It used to mean something if you were from there.

      1. NYC has always been about false bravado. The toughness stemmed from being in proximity to boatloads of crime, but most New Yorkers have never had to deal with any of it and have high-tailed it out of the city at first opportunity.

        If you watch Mad Men, Peggy’s boyfriend Abe is your typical New Yorker.

        1. THIS^^^.

          Fuck my roommates I’m like 3 weeks behind on this season which I think has been very good.

    3. I made the mistake of being born in upstate. This is the ‘Empire State’ and now we have a governer who thinks that makes him Emperor and a legislature that goes along with him.

  13. Juggalo’s Surrender, the book you’ll all be reading this summer.

    1. Not. Going. To. Click.

  14. New York State may may make it a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” police officers. Wait a minute … Damn it. Did I wake up in North Korea?

    What is more annoying to a cop than someone calling 911?

    1. Local for me, but it’s apparently gone national:

      Five-year-old calls 911 to repail hole in swimming pool

      (I haven’t seen anybody else post the article here.)

      1. Police were not able to repair the pool.

        haha I’m glad they threw this bit of information in there.

        1. why are we paying taxes then?

        2. But police were definitely annoyed.

          After tasing the criminal, he is being processed for felony annoying.

          Fucking five year olds!

  15. Never heckle a Wookie, it’ll pull your arms right out of your sockets.

    1. Or just pull some passive aggressive shit.

      1. Honestly, almost all commenting about the incident is dumber than what happened. Except mine.

        1. Don’t sell yourself short.

  16. Ex-Miss America Erika Harold’s campaign plan
    http://www.politico.com/story/…..92261.html

    For the former Miss America who just jumped into the race for Illinois’s 13th Congressional District, the Republican primary might be, well, a bit like a beauty pageant.

    She calls her opponent, an incumbent freshman, a “good person,” insists there’s no need for attacks, and says let the judges, no, make that the voters, decide.

    “I view this primary process as being very healthful to the party because we will be able throughout the campaign to debate the issues that are important to the party,” newly declared candidate Erika Harold told POLITICO, referring to her challenge of Rep. Rodney Davis in the GOP primary.

    1. Wait, she’s running as a Republican, hows that world peace platform all beauty queens practice gonna work?

      1. I’ve never heard of a beauty queen that wasn’t a Republican.

        1. Beauty pageants are no where for socialist agendas. The whole goal is to be better than all the other bitches on the stage in the eyes of the judges, who may or may not be objective, and maximize competitive advantages.

          1. Wonder how they’ll cope with the nixing of bikinis at this year’s Miss World

            1. Nude competition?

              Please?

            2. Probably just glue even more of the fabric even deeper in their ass cracks.

  17. Fat cat union president Mark Rosenthal voted out by rank-and-file after ‘sleeping too long’ on the job

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/l…..y5iAw1QK2L

    1. Bet he has an awesome pension.

    2. I saw a police officer sleeping in his cruiser in a parking lot in Coraopolis, PA yesterday. It was all I could do to not pull over and snap a photo. But I figured I’d have a hell of an afternoon if he woke up and saw me.

  18. http://patterico.com/2013/06/0…..gressives/

    Might have already been posted.

    1. That’s a pithy way of looking at it.

    2. a comment:

      The other obvious point is that to give “Libertarians” a separate category is nonsensical. Capital-L Libertarians are in politics the equivalent of a lunatic fringe. They’re a tiny fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the voting public. They’re not even one-half of one percent of the electorate. If Libertarians are a separate category then so too are the Greens, the Constitution Party, and the CPUSA. Let’s not get trapped in our own silly cocoon.

      1. Isn’t that provably untrue since Gary Johnson got more than 1% of the vote? There are probably a good number of people who would have voted for Johnson too, but thought it would be a wasted vote.

        All you have to do is look at the last election results to realize that libertarians make up more than half of one percent.

  19. Mexican Family Go Insane – cause? Marijuana!
    http://www.theworldsbestever.c…..nity-lulz/

    1. Seems like a reasonable foundation of facts to build the nascent Drug War upon.

      1. You mean “upon which the Drug War was built”, right?

        1. Yeah that’s what I meant to say, not making excuses or anything but I did work the night shift last night.

  20. Two IRS officials were placed on leave amidst the fallout over a really, really expensive conference which blew through taxpayer money.

    The IRS bureaucracy is really just trolling the taxpayers at this point.

  21. How to Make War on Patent Trolls
    http://www.newyorker.com/onlin…..rolls.html

    MPHJ Technology Investments allegedly made plenty of money last year using a rather interesting business model. First, according to a lawsuit filed by the State of Vermont, it bought patents of dubious validity that could theoretically cover basic technologies, such as the scanning of documents. Next, it and its subsidiaries sent threatening letters, with various misstatements of fact, to businesses and nonprofits around the country, alleging patent infringement and demanding payment. MPHJ never went to court; it is said to have just collected settlements, asking for a thousand dollars per employee of the targeted firm. It didn’t invent anything. It didn’t create anything. It just took advantage of our patent laws to leech money from companies that do.

    It is time to declare total war on patent trolls. The federal government, and the states, should do everything they can to exterminate them and to make anyone regret getting into such crooked work. The existence of trolls is entirely a product of government: they abuse a government program (the patent law), and continue to exist only thanks to government inaction.

    1. The problem is the specious patents, and not the so-called patent trolls.

      A patent can’t be “of dubious validity”. It was either issued by the US Patent Office, or it wasn’t.

      The Patent Office has handed out a huge number of specious patents for minor technical improvements, for broad conceptual categories, and for obvious business process alternatives that should never have been patentable.

      Having done that, they should not now complain that people are attempting to enforce them.

      If the patents aren’t valid, cancel them. Until they’re cancelled, nobody should be sued by any state Attorney General for relying on the validity of those patents and proceeding accordingly.

      1. A patent can’t be “of dubious validity”. It was either issued by the US Patent Office, or it wasn’t.

        It is not as simple as that. Under US patent law, a patent application must list relevant existing references the innovator is aware of.

      2. Our rule of thumb is that 85% of all patents are invalid.

        The US system has the govt evaluating patent validity in the USPTO – govt bureaucrats. They are OK but are judged on the NUMBER of cases handled not on quality. So many of these examiners are easy. We do not have a system that aggressively examines patents until there is a commercial conflict. Patent trolls are a nuisance much like nuisance lawsuits in other areas of society.

  22. So, Christian Ponder, being just barely competent to carry a starting NFL QB’s jock, gets Jeff George as a mentor. Why do the Vikings fear successful QBs?

    I forsee lots of fat people walking pets with doggie fitbits, puzzled by why Wuzzums is so obese.

    1. Well, he did win his only playoff game as a Viking?

    2. Ughh don’t remind me about Jeff George. He was awful.

      1. Awful? In context, he wasn’t any worse than Dave Krieg, Ken O’Brien, Rich Gannon, Neil O’Donnell, Steve Bartkowski, or other QBs that had decent but not great careers.

        His biggest problem was that he was a prima donna and refused to fit into an offense that didn’t cater to his preferences.

    3. Don’t worry. I hear a switch to a West Coast offence has fixed all of Cutler’s problems!

      1. Please don’t be joking!

    4. George does know all of the things not to do to be a good quarterback.

      1. So its kind of like bringing in Warren Moon to give marital advice.

    5. The Vikings either get a big-armed, wreckless QB like McNabb or Culpepper, or a timid, weakling game manager like Ponder, George, or Frerotte.

      The pendulum swing in the pass offensive philosophy year after year is exhausting.

      1. Wait, Jeff George is a weakling game manager? Buh? Did this actually happen in Minnesota, because his reputation is squarely in category 1.

    6. George was actually a pretty good QB towards the end of his career, his problem was that his bad attitude and lack of work ethic made him impossible to work with or approach his college hype earlier on.

      1. I saw him play for Illinois in college. He must have had some talent because his coach got ridden out of his next job (Texas) on a rail.

        1. Oh he had huge talent, probably threw the best deep ball of any QB in the history of the game but for probably the first 5 – 6 years of his career he was a lazy primadonna who blamed every mistake on his teammates and never took responsibility for anything.

          Towards the end of his career he kinda grew up a little and started to get the clue that talent alone wasn’t enough and he actually needed those teammates help to win games and look good, this is not to say that his work ethic and attitude problems went away, they just came down to more Jay Cutlerish levels

  23. ‘People Think It’s Over’
    Spared Death, Aging People With H.I.V. Struggle to Live
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06…..-live.html

    Mr. Schalchlin no longer worries about dying of AIDS. But he has other health problems, more often seen in people 10 or 20 years older: kidney damage, diabetes, chronic fatigue, thyroid disease, partial paralysis in one eye and general weakness that limits him throughout the day.

    He is, he has learned, host to a virus that never stops working, grinding away at him, and requiring sustained, complicated treatment, each medicine bringing its own side effects. At times, he said, it becomes too much.

      1. tldr version: even with all the miracle drugs, HIV still sucks.

        1. Thanks. I thought everyone knew that, though.

          1. There were articles a few years ago about people who had lost their terror of HIV seeing it as a manageable condition instead of a death sentence, like diabetes or something, and were getting reckless again. Apparently they were not realizing that the drugs are expensive and the dosing schedule is still exacting even if you’re taking a single pill drug, the side effects can be gnarly, and the combination of the virus and the drugs will still destroy your life expectancy.

  24. Verizon has been ordered by the federal government to turn over records of all phone calls passing through its system, according to a leaked top secret court order.
    One of my co-workers and I had a very heated argument about this. He doesn’t have a problem with them spying on us. “what do you have to hide?”… ugh.

    1. Go in a little early and start going through his things.

      1. +1 Watergate

    2. Tell him, “Plenty.”

      1. Or, “come into my basement, and I’ll show you”.

    3. Wait, I missed this one. ALL phone calls? Through one of the biggest providers? How is that remotely legal? I mean, all Verizon subscribers are suspects? What are they all supposed to have done?

      1. How is that remotely legal?

        There’s that FYTW Clause you seem to have forgotten.

      2. What are they all supposed to have done?

        They stand accused of still being Verizon customers even after this same thing was done during the GWB administration.

        1. Great, it’s a bipartisan fuck you.

  25. New York State may may make it a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” police officers.

    Poor, delicate little flowers; asking them to identify themselves terrifies them.

    It’s cruel and unusual.

  26. The CIA had no idea who it was drone-killing in about one out of every four cases in Pakistan, according to intelligence reports.

    You can determine with a high probability that someone is involved in fighting against US forces in Afghanistan without being able to determine whether he’s Taliban, some splinter group, Haqqani, etc. It’s like shooting down a bomber in the Mediterranean at night in 1942. You may not have known whether it was precisely German or Italian, but you can verify it wasn’t yours and obviously up to no good.

    1. So any group of guys outdoors with guns is bad news? Let’s hope they don’t apply this logic to the U.S.

      1. You’re smarter than that. Apply the Verizon/NSA story to Pakistan. If you overhear planning to send insurgents or weapons into Afghans specifically to kill Americans/NATO troops/allied Afghan government troops, then you have enough to legally strike them without them mentioning precisely which of the many anti-US groups they are supporting.

        1. Except that’s not what they did.

          They observe people by drone entering and leaving certain buildings.

          If you enter a building they think is suspect, and then they follow you to another building, and then your brother in law enters that second building and later leaves it, they feel entitled to kill your brother in law.

          Read the summaries.

        2. But now that they know we listen to such things, and they have known this for a while, it is pretty doubtful they will use such a means to communicate anymore.

          And this seems more than just listening to foreign calls or foreign calls transiting through US servers. They are listening to every call. We changed the law because it made no sense for the NSA to need a warrant to listen to someone in Pakistan talking to someone in Yemen whose call routed through the US. That was a legit point. But they seem to have taken this reasonable accommodation and used it as legal justification to listen to every call in the US. And that is a problem.

          1. But now that they know we listen to such things, and they have known this for a while, it is pretty doubtful they will use such a means to communicate anymore.

            You’re making some bold assumptions about their intelligence, education, and access to substitue communication methods that probably aren’t warranted.

            I really shouldn’t be talking about this, I’m done. But I will say that it’s fine to be against this stuff but the “and it doesn’t even work!!1!11!!!!!!” stuff just makes everyone spouting it look silly. There’s definitely some marginal benefit. Maybe it’s not worth the costs, maybe it’s counter productive, etc. But that’s the argument to make, not this one.

            It’s a repeat of the absurdity of all the people who insisted that torture, in addition to being evil and counterproductive, could never ever work at all for anything because they’ll just make up stories, which is pretty clearly bullshit. If I want verifiable information (password, account number, location) it most definitely can work.

            1. Zak,

              It really doesn’t work. Intelligence and police work is really hard to do. No one has mastered it very well, except maybe the Israelis. And interestingly enough, the Israelis don’t do mass sweeps of information like this. You can’t just collect everything. You have to have a plan and you have to do a lot of leg work.

              What is happening here is that we have a huge intelligence bureaucracy that is lazy, hidebound, and wants to justify its existence. It is broke and it doesn’t know how to fix itself. So what it is doing is things like this that sound good, are easy to do, but really accomplish nothing.

          2. “They are listening to every call.”

            No they’re not. They don’t have the resources to listen to even a % of the foreign calls.

            What they are doing is data-mining the calls to look for patterns and indicators. The real evil in this is that when data sets get big enough, data mining will find patterns that just happen to randomly or coincidentally form. The potential for a false positive in data when there are so few actual events to test against means big brother starts watching potentially anyone for any number of unknown reasons. Even worse is the potential for ‘kinetic action’ based on this black box analysis.

            1. Bob, it’s a complete unknown what listening capabilities they have.

              Real-time human monitoring is limited by the number of employees. The only way to make that faster (without adding employees) is to switch to near-realtime listening where the employee hears a time-compressed version of the phone call.

              It is suspected that they are using computers to screen phone calls to look for suspicious words, then sending recordings of those flagged calls to humans for verification. Nobody knows what percentage of calls are screened – the most pessimistic say that all calls are screened.

              1. I agree that ‘listening’ to every call in real time is probably currently impossible, but it’s definitely within the capabilities of NSA et al to ‘store’ every phone call made within the U.S. Not just the from/to/time info, the contents of the call.

                When I did a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the cost to do so, based on Gov’t data for how long people spend on the phone, and Skype’s bandwidth/time to digitize the average phone call, I came up with about $150M/yr to buy the storage for the data. Storage is really cheap these days, and getting cheaper. It makes it a lot easier, and therefore cheaper, for the agencies to get the info to store, if they can run very high throughput taps into the telecoms’ backbones, and haven’t they done so since 9/11?

                My again SWAG for the amount of domestic voice data coming in to the NSA’s computers is about 0.1 TB/sec. How big of a processing farm would you need to, in real time, do signal processing, filtering, and screening of a data stream that big? Is it feasible, and how much would it cost?

              2. When I say data-mining, that is part of it. If you say ‘hello k-mart’ and the mining technology hears ‘allu ak-bar’ then you might get some human attention or overwatch from a flying death machine.

                Once somebody flags an event, data-mining protocols start looking for patterns and similarities. That can be anything from words or phrases, to switch-boards, numbers, times of day, to anything entered in the data base.

                Even time compressing conversations would still require millions of Secret Squirrel personnel listening 24 hours a day to listen to a small percent of the through-put going in and out of the USA, Let alone what is going on inside the country.

                1. Continued:

                  NSA probably does have enough storage and given recent advents in distributing processing loads, they can probably can handle some level of screening for mining it all. Still, though, all of your conversations for an entire week compressed into one chunk is just a grain of sand on the floor of the ocean.

                  1. time to learn Estonian.

    2. Yep, that donkey cart and a dozen folks on foot in Sicily is obviously an elite
      Waffen SS troop. Strafe ’em!

  27. “‘”‘IMF admits failures”””‘

    Don’t worry everyone, the IMF and its personnel have immunity from almost everything so niether the IMF nor its employees will suffer from its own failures.

    http://www.imf.org/external/pu…..x.htm#art9

  28. The Bradley Manning Enemy List
    http://www.newyorker.com/onlin…..-list.html

    Our enemies, then, read the information that Wikileaks “released”?to the public, and in co?peration with other media outlets, not at some Al Qaeda dead drop. Readers of the New York Times, the Guardian, and other publications read it, too, after those outlets made the files not only available but more easily searchable. Perhaps another prosecutor, in this case or the next one, will argue that a defendant should have “understood the nature” of the Times. Or that of The New Yorker. What might it have meant, legally, if a copy of our magazine, bought at a news kiosk in Karachi, was found rolled up on the floor of bin Laden’s complex in Abbottabad? How much are we meant to be judged by what we can guess about the character of our readers?

    1. Except that there was really nothing “confidential” in those leaks. I remember them as being mostly embarrassing to the State Department, and that is the only reason Manning is being prosecuted.

      1. Wasn’t the war in Yemen news?

        1. What war in Yemen? 😉

  29. Remember when Boomers were all about sexual liberation? Now they’re all prudes. I thought we were supposed to let young women explore their sexuality in safe environments, not charge them with sexual harrassment.

    group of Scripps Ranch High School students who made a controversial “twerking” video will be allowed to go to the prom and walk at graduation, but a sexual harassment charge will be added to their school records.

    1. “twerking”

      I’m afraid to even ask.

    2. Oh, no. Not their school records!

      1. If any of them apply for the military, when this comes up on their background checks they could be found to be not sufficiently moral to go and kill people.

        1. Yeah’ they’ll end up on the Group B bench with all the Father Rapers

      2. Their permanent school records.!!!!!! This will follow them for the rest of their lives.

      3. I did skip the obvious Violent Femmes reference.

      4. Their permanent records!

      5. Their permanent records!

        1. Not in triplicate, though.

    3. What? How the hell is that sexual harassment? Who was harassed?

    4. They’ve been prudes since the eighties when their kids became old enough to be interested in sex, drugs and rock and roll. Watching them do a complete about-face on youthful hedonism was delicious.

      1. But they are worse than their parents were. It seems to be more than an about face.

      2. And in fairness, time goes quick. Most of the people who have teenagers now are Gen X. Boomers are grand parents. Meathead is now Archie. So really you can blame this stuff on my generation as much as the Boomers.

        1. Yeah and the Gen X’ers (of which I am one but in hearty disagreement over this sexual freedom bit) are all just bitter because they missed out on the 70’s

    5. No offense, but something on the website at the link is a monstrous memory hog. It literally caused severe memory-handling problems for a good 30 minutes.

  30. Retiring? Phucket.

    Phuket has something for nearly every budget. Again, if your retirement budget is limited, you could live inland, in Phuket Town or in one of the smaller villages on the north or south ends of the island, and enjoy a very comfortable and full life on as little as $1,000 per month. If your nest egg is more generous, you could live an elegant and affordable lifestyle in Patong or another upscale coastal village such as Surin and Karon.

    Woohoo, ladyboys for my golden years, when women no longer do it for me!

    1. So, I guess when they tried to come up with a name that sounded dirtier in English than Bangkok, they just said Phucket?

  31. New York State may may make it a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” police officers.

    What if my wife is a police officer? When will I ever not be arrested?

    1. Great, now I look like I physically harm this fictitious wife. I JUST ANNOY HER.

    2. So they’ll end up disenfranchising all of the annoying people?

      1. Ugh, we’re never gonna hear the end of it if they do, will we?

        1. Racist!

  32. Amnesty Int’l: Disappearances in Mexico a ‘crisis’
    http://news.yahoo.com/amnesty-…..18184.html

    The number of unsolved disappearances in Mexico constitutes a national scandal and a human rights crisis, Amnesty International said Tuesday, citing what it called a systematic failure by police and prosecutors to investigate thousands of cases that have piled up since 2006.

    Rupert Knox, Amnesty’s Mexico investigator, said relatives are often forced to search for missing loved ones themselves, sometimes at considerable risk.

    damn you, pot smokers!

  33. Pope Francis says wasting food is like stealing from the poor
    Pope Francis has attacked a “culture of waste” and stressed that discarding food was like stealing from the world’s poor.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..-poor.html

    1. To be fair, that’s not really any different than what my Mom told me when I didn’t finish my rice growing up. And he is the Papa.

      1. My family raised me the same way.

        1. Same here. Family of seven, middle class, one income, and Catholic – all the makings of “there are poor people all over the world who can’t afford to eat so well.” And a couple decades later, I can’t stand to throw food away.

          1. I heard ‘children in Europe are starving’ almost daily when I pushed the beans off my plate. I guess they’ve moved to Africa.

        2. the Dutch here have their “clean plate club”. If you leave the restaurant without finishing the last drips ‘n’ drabs, you get the stink eye.

          1. How is that any different than the stink eye you get when you sit down?

            1. can’t tell the difference really.

    2. I’m liking this new Pope so far, I gotta say.

    3. Not helping is the same as stealing. That’s some proggie boilerplate right there.

      1. This ^^^

        It’s stupid comments like this that make me glad my dad moved over to the Protestant side by the early 80’s.

        Wasting food can be shamed, but conflating it with stealing is absolutely retarded.

  34. Two IRS officials were placed on leave amidst the fallout over a really, really expensive conference which blew through taxpayer money. They were, undoubtedly, rogues.

    Radicalized by those Cincinnati extremists.

    1. Why do you think they call them the Cincinnati…REDS?! WHY?!

  35. Obamacare’s only victims are mindless, beer-guzzling 25 year olds. So who cares?

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli…..?test=true

    1. I clicked the link. Then realized it was by Jon Chait and decided I hate you Asskicker.

      It is uncalled for to post something by the chaitfag and not give us a warning.

      Seriously fuck that guy.

  36. Looking at a bra ad in Sweden leads to wrong ideals, bad health and inequality:

    A Swedish friend of mine snapped this blurry pic whilst on the Stockholm metro. He translates the caption as: “Warning! Exploiting the female body leads to wrong ideal, bad health and increased inequality between the two sexes.”

    1. Since men can’t get pregnant, pregnancy promotes inequality between the sexes. Until male gestation technology is developed, Sweden should ban pregnancy. And since sex can lead to pregnancy, it follows that Sweden should ban PIV sex.

    2. Obviously Burkas are the only answer.

  37. If you guys are here, Calib and Pro Lib. The town you were talking about last night is right near where I grew up. When I was in high school our hockey team played in the Canada part of that town because that’s where the closest rink was. I also got drunk in the US part at 17 and we walked down the street to yell at Canada.

    1. “Stupid Canada! I walked all over your face!”

    2. They probably deserved it.

      1. Oh, they know what they did.

        I, however, have forgotten.

    3. I’m in Canada. I’m in the United States. Canada, United States. Can-a-unit-da-states.

      1. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I think I stood on the US side and peed across the border onto Canada.

        1. Technically, and strictly as a matter of international law, that’s an act of war. A state of war exists between our two countries.

          1. What if I pissed on them from space?

            1. In space, no one can hear your stream…

            2. Well, clearly, you’d need some sort of enhanced pissing to actually hit Canada. A urine accelerator of some sort? And you’d need an array of targeting satellites.

              1. So, would that make it a use of urine of mass destruction?

                1. no, it’s a weepon of mass destruction

                2. UMDs? I don’t think they exist.

                  1. Canada, we face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against spaceborne biological warfare alone.

                    1. They’ve got that robot arm, don’t forget.

                    2. we all have robot arms.
                      armed robots too.

                    3. No, no, they have that robotic arm in space. Apparently, the U.S. is woefully inadequate when it comes to robot arms in space.

      2. One of the reasons hockey is great: Last night Gregory Campbell played about 45 seconds of the penalty kill with a broken leg. One of the reasons it sucks? He’s Canadian.

        1. Like someone who wasn’t Canadian would have done that.

        2. I’ll grant that some Russians play the game, but, for the most part, hockey is a league of Canadian players paid for almost entirely by Americans.

          1. I just realize why I like it. We’re paying to watch Canadians beat each other up.

            1. Ah, you’ve uncovered the reason. I always wondered why. I was so thrilled when the Tampa Canadians beat the Canadians from Calgary.

              1. I guess we don’t just have them doing straight up queeb fights because we are trying to put up an air of civility. Hockey allows us to pretend that we aren’t watching just to look down at the Canadians hurting each other for our amusement.

                1. So it’s some sort of international thingee that has reined in the fighting somewhat.

  38. When children at a church music camp were asked to draw Jesus Christ, they came up with an interesting look: Chuck Norris in a disco suit.

    Read more

    1. Makes sense, has anyone ever seen Jesus and Chuck Norris in the same room?

      1. Chuck Norris didn’t die for people’s sins… he beat thos sins into submission.

  39. President makes bad jokes during Ravens White House tour.

    1. That’s so Raven.

    2. “Man you guys really killed it… Sorry, Ray.”

      1. Obama’s jokes are looking better.

      2. Bitter is an ugly color on you Cleveland fans.

        1. Cleveland fans have a different color?

        2. Why? Their team has won yet another Super Bowl.

    3. I hope this doesn’t hurt his political fortunes in Maryland! But Maryland, forgive a Democrat?

      1. Sadly, most of my liberal friends thought he was hysterical.

    4. You know, Fuckface could have just droned Ray Lewis and I would have forgiven him for everything. But he couldn’t even murder someone who deserved it, could he? Fuck him.

      1. Be patient, Warty. Obama’s still dronin’, and Ray’s still livin’.

      2. What’s that Warty? You want to see Ray Lewis dance? Holding the Lombardi?

        You wish has been granted.

          1. I aim to displease.

            Besides, he’s young and strong. He can take it and let it flow through his body.

            1. The pain will strengthen him and his lust for revenge.

  40. OMG, Tropical Storm!!! Its raining and windy but as yet, I am still bravely manning my post at the H&R Morning Links, despite the weatherpocalypse with the same winds that destroyed the NYC/NJ area.

    1. Thank god it’s not half an inch of snow!

      1. Auric, we all agreed to be nice and not make fun of the South for becoming complete retards when it snows. I swear to god young man I will make you wait in the car.

        1. What is this “snow” you speak of? Is it like the stuff you go to the mountains to ski on? But, like, at your house?

        2. That’s okay. Everyone down here still manages to become a complete retard on the roads when there are a few drops of water hitting the windshield.

          1. The worst trouble I’ve ever seen on the roads with rain was in Minneapolis. I know, they’re so good at handling snow that I think many have sled dogs in their trunk–just in case, you know. But they’re like the Wicked Witch of the East when it rains.

            1. I had a professor from WI who moved to LA and thought “I can’t believe these people can’t drive in the rain, I’ve driven in far worse conditions” not realizing that the constant air pollution in LA leaves a fine layer on the road and the light rain makes it very slick. She went out driving and nearly lost control of her vehicle, and no longer criticizes southern CA drivers when it’s raining out.

              1. Google “summer icing”. I had heard it was the fine layer of oil off of cars, not pollutants adsorbing onto the ground, but the effect is real. It can be dangerous, the first rain after a long hiatus, like ~late October, early November in coastal CA.

    2. Isn’t a “tropical storm” just Floridaese for “a bit of a wet day”?

      1. Yeah. Its like snow in the mountains, anything less than a Cat 2 hurricane isn’t shifting anyone who isn’t worried about storm surge.

        1. When Katrina hit, I was working in domestic ops for the Army. Shortly after that Wilma hit Florida. Of course the feds are bouncing off the walls after Katrina. It was absolutely priceless to see the Florida state people tell the feds to go fuck themselves they handle this stuff for a living. The difference in competence between Florida and Louisiana was epic to say the least.

          1. And there is no excuse for it. We have had many hurricanes.

          2. We’re insane, but we’re not stupid.

        2. The one time we actually went somewhere during a hurricane was Hugo. My mom and I went to Florence to stay at my uncle’s which ended up being worse than if we had just stayed at the beach.

        3. Yeah, unless you’re below sea level, this is just “an exceptionally wet day.”

      2. I think “Tropical Storm” is Pro Lib’s stage name when he’s “exotic dancing”

        1. it is, and you should be grateful you have never seen how he lives up to it at the climax of his act

          1. yeah .. that “storm surge” is worth the cover charge.

          2. He tells me you never paid him for the bachlorette party you hired him to do.

            1. I tried shoving his fee into the nearest crack on him, but he refused to believe this wasn’t play money

              1. Australia has the queen on their money? Shameful. They need to replace her with Donn Bradman or Michelle Jenneke or Jocko or someone.

                1. Don Bradman…Jacko

              2. Maybe plug in your computer and upload some bitcoins?

            2. She thought it was pro bono.

              1. Heh-heh…what does “bono” sound like? So he did it for a bono????

          3. Do they hand out garbage bags to the first three rows?

            1. no, hazmat suits

              1. They play him out onto the stage with “Purple Rain.”

      3. We get storms that are practically tropical storms all summer, but this is an actual one, with tons of rain, strong gales, and tornadoes. I just got notice that we’re in a tornado warning zone here at work.

        But it’s not really a big deal. I mean, I’m at work, not cowering in the tropical storm shelter.

  41. Well, at least my state senator voted against making it a felony to hurt a cop’s feelings…

    1. Funny how the most “progressive states” seem to have the worst and most abusive cops. If Mississippi tried to pass such a law all right thinking people would be appalled by its “racism”. In New York, it is a great idea.

      1. Yeah, you’re right, but oddly that was a state senator from Manhattan who voted against it.

  42. http://www.reuters.com/article…..2920130606

    If collecting phone data is such a “critical tool”, then you ought to easily be able to name the various terror plots than have been disrupted because of doing it, right? We have been doing this for 12 years now. You should have something.

    1. but … corporations are collecting everything!

      /derp

      1. It just shows how dumb Congress is. The tact to take against this is not “oh my God they are collecting our phone records”. That should work. But in the day and age of fear and a total devaluing of privacy, that dog just doesn’t hunt like it should. The proper tact is “what could you possibly do useful with all of that information?” They would have no answer to that.

        These collections do nothing to make us safer. They collect so much information that it is impossible to find any useful information that is in there. They know this. So they don’t talk about it. They just keep on collecting so they can say they are “doing something”.

        1. In fact the only way such information could be useful was if you wanted to use your power arbitrarily and needed a fog leaf of an excuse. But that’s why I don’t hang out in polite political company, with my crazy notions like that.

        2. Um…you can’t do keyword searches? You can’t positively identify one bad guy and then use his records to backtrack to associates or find other links (hotel room rental, odd purchases, etc.) that lead you to additional people in the network?

          This shit should be common sense to anyone with a modest IQ.

          1. This shit should be common sense to anyone with a modest IQ.

            No. This shit is common sense to people like you who know just enough about this to be dangerous. A keyword search for what? Any word you can think of will be used millions of times in a completely innocent context. So keyword searches do you no good. There armies of contractors who have spent years trying to write algorithms to sort through this stuff. They have had little success. If you know the numbers and the time of the call, you can get it. But if you know that, you already know about the plot and the people anyway. But to just take that information and sort through it and find the proverbial needle in the hay stack? Forget it.

            1. ^This^

              Doing document review with keywords is a lot faster than the ol’ brute force methods but unless your keyword searches are very carefully crafted your going to drag in a lot of dreck. And of course if you craft it too tightly you risk missing out on stuff. It is also difficult to know what keywords exactly you need before you’ve actually looked at some documents.

              I’m doing this on a scale orders of magnitude smaller than the phone data being collected here.

              1. Yup. With documents, if it is really important and you really care, you have to read them. Keywords don’t cut it.

              2. Plus search time on that much info is way too long.

                You want targeted data based on my actual investigative work, that is much easier to search.

                Any know what order key word search is?

                Is it O(nlogn)?

            2. Seems to be the Fed’s new way of doing things: go on fishing expeditions, see what you drum up.

              1. Easiest way to fish is using dynamite drones.

            3. And even worse than that since the calls themselves have not been recorded all they are getting is a record of Phone number A called phoned number B at time t on date d and the call lasted for n minutes.

              The phone numbers may or may not be able to be traced back to a specific individual and there is no way to know what if anything was discussed on the call.

              The only way this could help is if you knew a specific number to look for, but if you already knew that number you could simply get the records for that specific number and even wiretap it. Dragging a record of every call ever made cannot possibly help

    2. Revealing which plans have been disrupted leads the planners to figure out how the US disrupted them, which can lead to them changing methods. Without knowing the US did something they might assume it was bad luck or dumb shit their operations guys did that gave them away.

      1. Sometimes sure. But not all of the time. Sometimes, you want to arrest them right? And when you do that, you have to charge them in court and that reveals everything.

        Beyond that, even in the cases you mention, they could give a classified briefing to Congress. Moreover, what is secret is the means and methods. If they are advertising the fact that they are listening to every phone call, then the means is no longer secret and its usefulness greatly limited.

        1. Have you ever seen the US government admit, let alone “advertise” listening to phone calls without someone holding their feet to the fire? It’s all over Hollywood and the occasional unconfirmed news reports like this one, but signals intelligence is the number one “we don’t talk about it” area of intel collection.

          1. They talk a lot. And even if you are listening to just the right person at just the right time, its still very hard to figure out what was going on. The NSA was listening to Bin Ladin’s phone calls before 9-11. But they still failed to put the dots together to stop it. Why? Because the dots only make sense after something blows up. Before that, you can’t tell what is real and what is noise.

        2. Sometimes, you want to arrest them right? And when you do that, you have to charge them in court and that reveals everything.

          Which is why Obama has decided to just use drone strikes. You can’t hold them indefinitely without charging them, and you can’t charge them because then you might have to divulge secrets that you don’t want everyone to know. So… RELEASE THE DRONES!

    3. This may be my favorite scandal so far. It is EXACTLY what Bush did, and watching the progs make excuses for thos one will be delicious

      1. Thus far (and it’s early yet), my liberal friends are going with “We have to repeal that awful Patriot Act that BOOOOOOOOOSSSHHHH and the Rethuglicans crammed down our throats!!!!!11!11!!one!”

        1. That same PATRIOT Act that Obama has signed extensions on 2 or 3 times, right? My uncle just used the excuse you posted when I posited on Facebook that there seems to be nothing Obama could do that would make his supporters disown him.

    4. and I thought my (ex) drug dealer friend was just paranoid.

    5. The only way I can see the phone records being used is post analysis after an “event”, or if a citizen person is a known terrorist. A list of contacts, frequency of calls, and location (if included) could show the scope of an organization.

      Of course the same information could be used for drug dealers, the mafia, protesters, tea party groups, or anyone with a wide social network.

      1. Sure. But that same information can be collected about that person with a specific warrant. How does that justify collecting everything? Indeed, doesn’t collecting everything just make it harder to find the information you actually need?

        1. I agree with you – just trying to think of their reasoning.

          1. Getting it all makes it easier to hide which information and people you’re really targeting.

            1. ^^THIS^^ Forget politics for a moment. Lets stipulate Obama has not done this. But regardless, with all of that information sitting there, how long before some President does use it to spy on his political opponents?

              1. I am shameless ripping off Tom Clancy here, but how long before someone uses this kind of traffic analysis data to make a killing on the stock market? Advance knowledge of mergers, that sort of thing?

                Speaking ex rectum, isn’t it helpful to see who everyone called by the known bad guy, calls in turn? Can’t that build up a network of possible contacts for future investigation? With the proliferation of throw and gos though, I don’t know what you gain just by knowing the numbers called; you’d also have to get some of the content too, things like voice prints (assuming you can get individually identifiable ones from a cell phone call).

  43. “Verizon has been ordered by the federal government to turn over records of all phone calls passing through its system, according to a leaked top secret court order.”

    Can you fear me now?

  44. The Daily Mail brings the hard-hitting journalism. Are hunks who wax their chests sexy… or absurd?

    What kind of dude wouldn’t want a pelt to flaunt? I don’t get it.

    1. it’s a damn shame, that’s what it is

    2. Maybe if you are a bit swarthy and don’t get into the bear scene. But yeah, chest hair is natural. Why would you go through the pain and aggravation to get rid of it?

      1. would you say the same to women about leg and underarm hair?

        1. Fair point. But women don’t seem to mind chest hair. So why get rid of it? But yes, if my wife said “i am not shaving my legs unless you shave your chest”, I would suck it up and do it.

    3. If you live in the South and run/ride long distances in the summer, then heat rash happens. But I’d rather look broken out than bother shaving.

    4. Swimmers and divers can wax their chests, and I guess some strippers and porn stars. But that’s all!

    5. I’m not attracted to pre-pubescent boys, and I’m super-duper not attracted to grownass men who try to look like pre-pubescent boys.

      I get on the squeeze’s case when he just trims a little (apparently it’s uncomfortable to wear a rigger’s harness when your chest hair is long. Call the waaaaambulance!)

      1. Kristen,

        One of the reasons to have a g/f or a wife is so she can monkey groom you and make sure these things stay reasonable. Chest hair is fine. Back hair, Brezhnev mutant eyebrows, not so much.

        1. I don’t mind a little back hair. It generally comes with the territory of a really hairy chest. And I like really hairy chests, so a little back hair is the price I have to pay.

          1. what about facial hair? Any love for ZZ Top?

            1. Hey, “La Grange” was yesterday. Have mercy. A haw, haw, haw, haw, a haw. A haw, haw, haw.

            2. I love facial hair, but not hipster facial hair. I don’t have any feelings for ZZ Top one way or the other. But I do love them Robertson boys on Duck Dynasty.

              1. Kristen,

                My wife thinks women who go for big facial hair do so because of the similarity between a bearded mouth and certain parts of the female body. Sort of a way to be on the other team without actually doing so.

                1. one of my sisters-in-law had a large teddy bear collection, so I assumed marrying my very bearded brother was just a way to add to it

                2. Not as complex as that. Facial hair feels good on skin.

                  1. I used to sport a short beard from 2003 to late 2009. I always kept it shortly trimmed because I never liked the feel when it got longer. It often irritated my face if it was touched. Plus, I did not want to look old. Ever since I had to go through BOLC, I decided to just shave.

      2. So obviously you only like men with mullah beards then?

    6. Guys who shave or wax creep me out. No offense to anyone, if it is your thing then knock yourself out. You are free to feminize yourself, I am free to be creeped out by it.

      1. No you’re not. You must recognize all perversions as signs of superiority, or be subject to re-education.

      2. Do you consider any man without a mullah beard to be feminine? How is shaving your chest different than shaving your neck and face?

    7. Body (and facial) hair come and go in a cyclical fashion. Hairy was in in the ’70s, waned in the ’80s and was out in the ’90s. Metrosexuals pissed everyone off and hairy became popular again.

      Realizing I was gay and was going to be insanely hairy in the mid-’90s was terrifying when everyone was waxed below the eyebrows. Now I can get hit on in places that aren’t bear bars.

  45. The fact that the IRS is getting in trouble for taking free food at conferences is a small thing compared to the rest of it but a revealing thing. Free food at conferences is a big deal in the federal government. The feds can’t accept it. Yet, most conference centers offer it to their private sector clients as incentives to attract customers. Such things are nearly always included in event contracts. So whenever the feds do a conference, they always have to get a new contract made because the boiler plate ones won’t work. In places like Washington where they deal with the feds more than not, they will have special fed contracts. But in a place like New Orleans or Las Vegas they will not. I can’t tell you the number of legal opinions I have written on coffee and doughnuts. Everyone in the federal government knows you can’t take free food. For the IRS to ignore that very basic rule tells me they ignored every rule.

    1. I only go to conferences for the free food – oh, and the beer.

    2. is it different than the lobbying restrictions? we can do finger foods, but a plate triggers all sorts of nonsense.

      1. Pretty much. You can’t do anything other than very light refreshments. No lunch or dinner unless you have a good reason and you work through lunch. So for example, if some pooba can only come and speak at lunch, you can pay for lunch provided said pooba speaks at lunch and everyone is required to stay there and eat lunch. But the exceptions are pretty narrow. Like I said, food is a big deal to the feds. And if the IRS was ignoring that, they were ignoring everything.

        1. i was advised not to invite a neighborhood kid to my son’s birthday party last year b/c his dad’s a congressional staffer.

          I totally was going to corrupt that guy with hot dogs and Costco cake and ice cream for his 3 year old.

          1. You got bad advice. You can have personal relationships outside of work. As long as they didn’t arise from work, you are fine. The guy lives in your neighborhood. Your kids know each other. You would have been fine.

            1. that’s the argument I made. Until I realized that we were even having this discussion was beyond stupid.

    3. This makes me boggle.

    4. You can’t use government money to buy food anyway. An agency cannot write out a contract to have the hotel or conference center provide food or other refreshments to the conference goers at the expense of the government. That should, technically, come out of per diem from each person attending. There are interesting ways of navigating through this, though.

      1. Exactly. And everyone knows that. It is a really basic rule. If they ignored this, what didn’t they ignore?

        1. As an intern, and not even a law intern, for the Army, I had to point this out to some higher ranked officers and GS employees to keep us all from going to jail.

          1. Oh yes. But there are plenty of lawyers and contract people around to do that. Apparently not at the IRS though.

          2. Well, I see you adopted the “keep us all from going to jail” BS we love to use about stuff like this. Is anyone doing time for ignorantly (or willfully?) screwing this sort of meal expense stuff up? I’m pretty sure you have to be embezzling lots of funds before actual jail is much a possibility.

            If you really want to see high ranked officers ignore monetary rules go on a deployment and try to explain why Congress says you can’t spend CERP or god help me ARP money on their latest brainwave.

            I’m pretty sure the Army wasted about 100 man hours arguing over a (clearly unauthorized) $500 turban/gift purchase I was forced to do under a very thin pretext after getting a legal opinion saying it didn’t fly.

            1. I sympathize with Zak. But the problem once you start allowing shit, there is no stopping it. You start overlooking the small things and quickly people start spending hundreds of thousands or millions on shady shit. Once you create a culture of “sometimes the rules don’t apply” there is always someone who will take that and run with it.

              1. Oh, we had a guy in an attached unit who did exactly that with Afghan security forces funds. Bought like 20k in unauthorized stuff for the Afghan army. It was all actually for them and stuff they needed, but explicitly banned for various policy reasons (they don’t really “need” it or it should be handled through their only non-functional logistics channels). He got de-certified to handle money and his boss pretended the dude was a rogue agent and it wouldn’t happen again.

                1. They probably did and he probably meant well. You really are in a no win situation. You can spend money fast or you can spend money with a lot of accountability. But you can’t do both. I saw this in Iraq. There was this huge pressure to start putting money out there. So people did that. Then five years later the GAO comes in and talks about how so much money went unaccounted for. Well, yeah, you wanted it spent and that is what people did. If you wanted it accounted for down to the dollar, you should have been willing to have it be spent slower.

            2. I was an intern. Though technically at GS-9 at the time, I was at the bottom of the totem pole. I was easily expendable. And since my fellow intern and I were key in planning these events, if they weren’t handled right by the OICs, I could see it all falling back on us. Perhaps they could have spared us jail, but they would not have spared our jobs.

              1. Matrix,

                Just put it in writing. I have given advice about this kind of stuff lots of times. And when they didn’t like it and threatened to ignore me, I just wrote up a memo explaining my position and why I didn’t think it was allowed, signed it, and told them to do whatever they thought was right. Never once, did someone then ignore my advice.

                Now, I am a lawyer so I carry more weight than an intern. But the principle is the same. Once it is in writing, they can’t then claim that no one told them or that it was someone else’ idea. So they always back down.

                1. This is why I never, ever conduct any business over the phone. You want me to do something? Email it to me.

                  1. Yes Kristen. I live by that as a lawyer. Giving legal advice over the phone is lunacy. If you want me to do something, put it in writing the question you are asking and I will give you a written answer back. That way there is no confusion about the issue or my answer. No “hey the lawyer told us we could do this” stuff.

  46. New York State may may make it a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” police officers.

    I’m sure there’s no way our noble heroes in blue will abuse that…

  47. Pimpin’ ain’t easy. I wonder if there’s any way to work this into the plot of the next Bring It On sequel?

    1. she can get credit for that in her business studies class though, right?

  48. If the guy appointed to run the IRS did not already know the American people fear and distrust the agency, he’s too fucking stupid to have any job which does not involve pushing a broom eight hours a day.

    Same for the guy who appointed him.

    1. They need to either eliminate the agency, ideally, or if that is not politically possible, massively cut their budget. I would love to see the miscreants go to prison. But that wouldn’t affect the culture. The only thing that affects a bureaucracy and causes it to change its ways is cutting its budget. The inteligence community lived in chastened fear from 1978 to 2001 after the Church Commission, not because they were ashamed or were worried about the bad things that happened to other intel people. They were in fear because the Church Commission resulted in massive budget cuts. That got their attention.

      1. Yep. I’d introduce a bill to cut the tax-code volume by 50% and the budget by 60%. Just to make sure I had everyone’s attention. I mean, something like 40% of the tax code could be excised with no effect on 90% of tax-payers. Its full employment legislation for CPAs and lawyers.

        1. People are horrified when I tell them I would scrap the entire fucking code. They worry about what I would do with my time.

          1. I’m with you man. I’d find some other kind of consulting work to do, or *gasp* go back to auditing financials.

            1. Yep. Financial/managerial accounting in the private sector. Of course, they expect results.

        2. Why so timid?

          Repeal the entire tax code. Eliminate the corporate tax. Pass a flat-income tax or a national sales tax.

          Cut the IRS budget by 95%.

          1. Camel’s nose. Once 40% of the tax code goes away and nobody who does their taxes at the H&R Block retail center notices, I go after the rest of it.

        3. Actually the national association of CPA’s (whatever their name is) is all in favor of a massively simplified tax code because the way it is now actually makes their jobs much harder and they have no shortage of other job requirements to keep them busy.

          IIRC they actually endorsed the Fair Tax plan a few years back

          1. Just because the accountants don’t like being sued and sharing their money with the lawyers.

      2. I caught Ted Cruz talking this morning (probably on Glenn Beck’s radio show) while I was scanning the dials. He is apparently pushing for exactly that–the elimination of the IRS. I assume in favor of a flat/fair tax.

        This is a really good time to slowly build the pressure to do just that. The scandal looks like it’s going to be one of the biggest in a very long while.

  49. Two Internal Revenue Service employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office told congressional investigators that IRS officials in Washington helped direct the probe of tea-party groups that began in 2010.

    Transcripts of the interviews, viewed Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, appear to contradict earlier statements by top IRS officials, who have blamed lower-level workers in Cincinnati.

    Elizabeth Hofacre said her office in Cincinnati sought help from IRS officials in the Washington unit that oversees tax-exempt organizations after she started getting the tea-party cases in April 2010. Ms. Hofacre said Carter Hull, an IRS lawyer in Washington, closely oversaw her work and suggested some of the questions asked applicants.

    From the WSJ behind the paywall. So you will have to trust me on the link. But it looks like this wasn’t just rogue agents after all. And the drones are not taking the fall.

    1. The lefty scum hive mind is already hard at work thinking “smear or ignore, smear or ignore?”

      1. They will do both. First ignore and then when they can’t do that smear them. I am sure those poor people’s tax records, divorce records and so forth are already in the hands of Dem operatives.

        1. Cruz said something this morning about the IRS asking people what books they were reading and what they prayed about. I doubt he’s making that up. Holy sweet Jesus.

          1. I think the folks who testified before Congress this week said that. It is pretty scary shit.

            1. This is a big test for this country. It’s tyranny, and nothing less. Do we crush everyone involved, or do we let it pass? If the latter, we’re just that much closer to a tyrannical system rather than just tyrannical politicians.

              1. It really is. And the internet trolls defending it are outing themselves as fascists.

              2. And Stephanie Cutler, Obama’s deputy campaign manager and world class political hack was at a bunch of the White House meetings with the head of the IRS. What in the world was she doing there if not to coordinate with the IRS on who to go after? It defies credulity to believe that the Administration didn’t use the IRS as an arm of their re-election campaign.

                1. I don’t care if you orgasm every time you hear Obama’s voice–there’s more than enough to be concerned. This scandal transcends politics, and anyone who doesn’t want it dug into with a bulldozer is a moron.

                  What’s done at the end may be political, especially if this, as most suspect, goes all the way up, but we at least need to know how badly and pervasively our rights have been violated. All of us are victims here, because, given the “right” government, anyone could be abused in a similar manner.

                  For the Democrats, let’s imagine a conservative wins the presidency next election and this whole scandal gets ignored. What do you think he’ll do to you, if he’s as unprincipled as Obama? Hmm?

                  1. They are not swayed by that argument Pro. Liberals think they are special and the rules don’t apply to them. They have no shame or principles. If a Republican President tried all of this, they would go after him with a vengeance. The fact that Obama did the same thing wouldn’t matter, just like it didn’t matter that Johnson and Kennedy were probably as bad or worse than Nixon ever was.

                    1. Johnson came within a hair of being busted for election fraud in the Senate. And it’s widely acknowledged that he was as corrupt as hell.

                    2. It is acknowledged now that it no longer matters. But back when it did matter, not so much.

                      In retrospect, I wish Nixon had made the Senate do an impeachment trial. His defense was going to be to drag out every dead body from the Johnson and Kennedy Administrations and show how Congress knew about all of it and argue that nothing he did was any worse and therefore by practice these things were not high crimes and misdemeanors.

                      The Dems were so worried about this defense they took one of their brighter young lawyers on the staff, a one Hillary Clinton, and assigned her to work just on the issue of how a President has not right to present a defense at an impeachment trial. They wanted to prevent Nixon from having any ability to say anything in his defense to keep all of that from coming out.

                      If the trial had happened and Nixon had gotten to put on his defense, it would have made Watergate about how bad the government was not just about how Nixon was the worst guy ever, which is what the Dems were able to make Watergate about.

                    3. What’s sad is that Nixon was a scumbag. Personally, he may have been the worst. But as far as corruption, tyranny, and contempt for civil liberties and limited government go, he’s not the worst.

    2. Funny all the new Google hits on Carter Hull now.

  50. Its full employment legislation for CPAs and lawyers.

    But FAIR SHARE!

    1. I’ve heard over the years that tax compliance costs people in the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars a year. In fact, I’ve heard a figure slightly north of half a trillion.

      That’s what a non-flat tax costs us and corporate America, folks.

      1. but think of all those CPAs and tax attorneys you’ll put out of business!

        1. I daresay there are alternative careers for accountants and tax lawyers.

          1. there is shit to be shoveled and crops to be harvested.

  51. James Taranto makes a point I have been making for years, although he puts it better than I ever have.

    Multiculturalists are no less prone than other human beings to be hostile to out-groups. It’s just that they are willing to accept almost anyone foreign, or otherwise identifiably different, into their in-group. The only out-groups they readily recognize are familiar, domestic ones, like the “other communities” that, according to Rae Binstock, “don’t have to deal with the idea that lots of communities of different people have to coexist.” It all goes back to oikophobia.

    A more abstract form of this parochialism is the multiculturalists’ frequent insistence that “only white people can be racist.” In this view, racism is perhaps the greatest moral failing of which human beings are capable–but nonwhites are absolved of moral responsibility for their racial prejudices.

    But moral responsibility is the essence of humanity. It is what sets Homo sapiens apart from other animals. Assigning moral responsibility to whites while denying it to nonwhites is therefore a way of dehumanizing the latter. Multiculturalism turns out to be a disguised form of white supremacy.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..TopOpinion

    1. It’s just a combination of smugness, paternalism, and self-hate.

    2. When “political correctness” first started coming into vogue, I was concerned that the emphasis on identity groups rather than individual character might be a problem. Yeppers.

      1. Who the fuck do you think you are, MLK? What a racist!

        1. Say, he did say something along those lines, didn’t he? Must’ve been a racist or something.

          1. Did you just say that a black man was racist?

            You are the most disgusting and ignorant racist I have ever seen.

            1. Hold on. Think about it for a moment. Sowell, Thomas, Williams, Watts. . .all black men, technically. All horrible, horrible racists. He’s that kind of racist. I mean, read the “I Have a Dream” speech. It’s practically klan talk.

              1. Well, they are racists, obviously, but they aren’t really black men. They are conservatives. It’s obvious that you aren’t black if you are Republican.

                1. Was King a black man? I’ve heard he was very religious. That’s a Republican thing, right?

                  1. Only the wrong kind of religious. The kind where you listen to some old white guy far away from you instead of a loud black guy right in front of your.

                    1. I think I’m still drunk from watching hockey till 12:30.

                    2. I saw a black guy playing for someone else at a Lightning game. I almost fainted in shock.

                    3. Was it Georges Laraque?

                    4. It might have been. Is that legal?

                    5. not only legal, but encouraged.

                    6. I dunno, from my experience watching hockey, I’d say there’s a disparate impact against at least one minority going on.

      2. Its been the critique forever, but it was just waved aside because it was delivered mostly by paleocons.

        1. Right and wrong, truth and falsehood have nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

        2. It may be the one thing the paleocons ever got right.

  52. A backbench MP from Alberta who is known for criticizing his own government resigned from the Conservative caucus last night, citing amendments made to his private member’s bill seeking public disclosure of the expenses and salaries of highly paid public service workers.

    “My decision to resign from the CPC Caucus is because of the Government’s lack of commitment to transparency and open government.”

    1. Welcome to the libertarian exile, pal.

    2. He should come to the U.S., where we have the most transparent government in history. And open? Hell, yeah, open for bid.

  53. Right and wrong, truth and falsehood have nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

    By George, I think he’s got it!

    1. It’s true in more than one way. What I meant at the time was that these things transcend politics. Of course, practitioners of politics just don’t care about them at all.

  54. You’re wrong about “the NSA can hear you now.” The FISA court did not approve wire taps that would let the government listen to calls.

  55. New York State may may make it a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” police officers. Wait a minute … Damn it. Did I wake up in North Korea?

    Why the hyperbole when you could have used a more realistic example like the former East Germany?

    1. East Germany no longer exists as East Germany. North Korea still very much exists and still very much oppresses its people.

      1. No kidding, but North Korea is really not an apt comparison because there does not exist the widespread distribution of technology that existed in the Eastern Block in North Korea. Soviet Communism is much closer to Western social norms than most of us are willing to accept.

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