A.M. Links: Yemen Claims To Have Foiled Al Qaeda Plot, Judge Cuts Bradley Manning's Maximum Sentence, HHS Inspector General Says Obama Privacy Protections Way Behind Schedule


Credit: US Army/wikimedia
  • The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services has said that the Obama administration has not done enough to ensure that that Americans' privacy will be protected as Obamacare continues to be implemented.
  • The house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for about a decade is being demolished today.
  • Last night Jay Leno asked Obama the sort of uncomfortable questions not usually asked by the D.C. press.
  • Earlier today 62 Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria were killed by government forces in an ambush outside a town near Damascus.

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  1. The judge overseeing Bradley Manning’s court martial has cut his maximum possible sentence from 136 years to 90 years.

    The terrorists chance of winning just increased by 66%.

    1. It’ll be Nine-eleven times one thousand!.

      1. That’s 818.18!!! ZOMG!

        1. Nope! 9/11 x 100 = 81.81

          1. I hyphenated it.. not slashed it. so it’s more like nine-hundred and eleven. So 911 X 1000 = 911,000

            1. Or a minus sign. (9 – 11) X 1000.

              So negative two thousand. He gets out just in time to witness the events of the new testamant. Cool!

  2. …the Obama administration has not done enough to ensure that that Americans’ privacy will be protected as Obamacare continues to be implemented.

    The NSA sporting a visible erection.

  3. Magic Eight Ball says Yes.

    Will Republicans Blow It Again in 2014?

    Based on the way the races look now, then, a Republican takeover of the Senate is unlikely. Too much would have to go just right for it to happen. But that assessment is subject to revision — especially if Obamacare stays unpopular and the Republicans get their act together.

    1. The question is always who fucks up worse. I would never give better than even odds on either party.

    2. Why do you care? I thought you were LP.

      1. Why do you care so much about whether he cares?

        1. There are lots of conservatives here masquerading as libertarians.

          1. And at least one Obama cum dumpster.

            1. Fuck the GOP. You assholes had your chance and elected Bush/Cheney – the two worst pieces of shit to ever sit in the White House.

              1. They surely were. Until the current pieces of shit sitting in the White House doubled down on everything Bush/Cheney did wrong. Yet somehow to those who think like you, it suddenly became okay, because the right people were doing it.

                1. Let me know when Obama lies us into a $2 trillion dollar ground war that kills 4500 US soldiers.

                  1. BUSHPIG!!! Let it out shreek.

                  2. Let me know when Obama lies us into a $2 trillion dollar ground war that kills 4500 US soldiers.

                    Right, because the soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan in the two-plus years since Bin Laden was shot don’t mean shit to you.

                  3. Let me know when Obama lies us into a $2 trillion dollar ground war that kills 4500 US soldiers.

                    So the cost and causalities are your standard of legitimacy? I suppose Obama drone striking upwards of 170 children in Pakistan is legit because 170 Paki children aren’t worth all that much.

              2. “Fuck the GOP.”

                Shut the fuck up you useless cunt. Go hang with Dunphy. Literally.

      2. Troll gonna troll . . .

    1. That is probably the most worthwhile thing on Twitchy.

    2. “She literally posits are world in which men are Baby-Crazy and women are all like, “Nah, can’t we just do oral?”

    3. She actually thinks it is men who force women to have children. How sad of person is she. If she doesn’t want to have kids, that is her choice. But she seems incapable of understanding the difference between preference and moral imperative. Nothing she believes is ever just her taste. It is always an expression of some moral principle. So if she doesn’t want to have kids, having kids must be wrong. And since women are never wrong and men always are, women only choose to have kids because men force them to.

      I can’t imagine going through like that neurotic.

      1. Well, I mean the gf was like “I don’t think I can get pregnant” and I was like “riiight”. Until I decided I didn’t care whether she got pregnant or not, and then I was like “yeah, fuck condoms!” and then she missed her next period.

        I reminder her of that at least once a week.

        But I think it can arise where men want children and women don’t. My friend’s twin sister’s husband filed for divorce because he wants kids and she doesn’t. She told him when they first got together she didn’t want kids. He thought she’d change her mind and she didn’t.

        However, in general, men do not tend to be as pro-baby as women.

        1. Everything happens sometime. But as a general rule women tend to want kids more than men. Moreover, men are capable of having kids into their 60s so don’t feel the pressure to do it that women do. A woman in her late 30s needs to be having kids pretty quickly. A man can take his time to decide.

          Beyond that, anyone male or female who allows their partner to pressure them into a life altering decision like having children is a weak willed moron who probably deserves what they get. If you don’t want children, say so and don’t do it.

        2. My wife did that too. Freaking out over the idea we’re waiting too long, what if she can’t get pregnant, etc.

          Then first month with no protection, pregnant.

        3. She told him when they first got together she didn’t want kids. He thought she’d change her mind and she didn’t.

          A friend of mine had no interest in having kids. Her husband wanted five. Using their disposable income as a bargaining chip, she haggled him down to two and a small dog and just had her first kid two months ago. I’m curious to see how many they end up with.

    4. “For men, Third Base = Picking out a name”

      my favorite. I think ace wrote a whole column on this, which is worth a read.

      1. I like the one that said the original Playboy icon was a stork.

      2. All of the pick up lines from Marcotte’s universe have my dying. The third base one is definitely the funniest though.

    5. I know when I’m having sex with a woman, I’m totally thinking about how awesome it’s going to be to pay child support.

  4. Last night Jay Leno asked Obama the sort of uncomfortable questions not usually asked by the D.C. press.

    I’m sure the president handled the challenge like an olympic athlete.

    1. I’m sure the president handled the challenge like an special olympic athlete.

    2. How does Jay expect to keep his access pulling a stunt like that?

  5. Man teaches mice to skateboard

    Shane Willmott has built a mouse-sized skate park in the backyard of his Gold Coast home where his mice ‘drop the vert ramp’ and get airborne on mouse-sized toy skateboards.

    The furry daredevils even fly through a ring of fire.

    Mr Willmott, who has been training mice to surf for about 10 years, said he decided to teach them to skate because it was too cold in winter to take them to the beach.

    Next – skeet shooting.

    1. The hardest part is getting the mice to hang on to the clay pigeon as it is catapulted into the air.

      1. Staples.

        1. Yes, Staples is a great place to buy Superglue.

          1. Was trying to make a reference to the Bill Murray movie Scrooged.

            “I can’t get the little antlers to stay on the mice.”

            “Have you tried staples?”

    2. If every mouse had a twelve gauge
      And a surfboard too..

        1. The most underrated of the Zucker and Abraham flicks.

          “But he was one of the lucky ones. He managed to escape in a balloon during the Jimmy Carter presidency.”

          1. for some inexplicable reason, my wife breaks out in tears of laughter when the cow is walking with the army boots on.

            1. There are so many winners in that movie.

              Colonel von Horst: [reporting on Nick’s interrogation] They’re still working on him. He won’t break. We’ve tried everything! Do you want me to bring out the Leroy Nieman paintings?

              General Streck, German High Command: No. We cannot risk violating the Geneva Convention!

              1. My favorite gag is the bad guy with the rubber stamp (because he orders this all the time) that says “Find him and kill him.”

    3. That’s so cute. Isn’t it great that people and animals can make each other so happy? Animals like to play, but don’t have the technology to play more than the simplest games by themselves. We provide them with the tech, and the room & board, and they give us entertainment while having a ball–which often involves a ball.

      1. Alas often at the cost of their balls… 🙁

  6. Last night Jay Leno asked Obama the sort of uncomfortable questions not usually asked by the D.C. press.

    They both make a living talking about what they learned from newspaper headlines.

    1. True, but Leno does it better

      1. “Did you see this, did you read about this? Apparently my administration directed the IRS to hassle Tea Party groups before the elections… It was a win-win, I got re-elected and their outlook on government got validated.”

  7. Stay Out Of Syria To Avoid Turning War Into Another Federally Funded Entitlement

    Obama administration policy toward Syria is a slow train wreck. Unremitting pressure from war-minded elites is pushing President Barack Obama closer to military intervention in the bloody civil war. Yet getting involved would be a fool’s errand.

    Nevertheless, America’s putative allies appear to believe that they are entitled to U.S. support. The president should disabuse them of this dangerous notion.

    1. I find the assumption that Obama wants no part of war to be willfully naive.

      As long as he can find something in it for him, he’s all on board, he’s just waiting for the best way to deliver the message to his base that his “hands are tied” or some other good excuse.

  8. This is obviously just a testicle saving measure.

    Man saves dog from drowning, then wife

    Anley and the dog swam to shore before returning for his wife whose safety line had snagged on the steering gear.

    The Jack Russell was wearing a specially tailored dog life-jacket which has its own emergency strobe light attached to it.

  9. In the Affordable Care Act, Some Children Left Behind

    Here is how it works. Under the new law, employees look to their employers to provide health insurance coverage that is affordable and that meets certain standards for quality of coverage. Beginning in 2014, if the company does not offer individual insurance that meets the basic tests of affordability and quality, its employees can buy health policies for themselves on the new state exchanges, or marketplaces, where they are likely to receive tax credits to offset the cost of the premiums or other subsidies.

    But here’s the catch, and it’s a big one. In the rules it has written, the I.R.S. treats the family members of these employees differently. If the company offers family members health insurance, they immediately become ineligible for the tax credits and subsidies ? regardless of whether the insurance the company offers is affordable.

    1. But we have to pass it to find out what’s in it!

    2. As a follow on ACA: The people already utilizing Affordable health care HDHPs will probably be ineligible for Obamacare credit and have to change their plan or pay the penaltax.

      Also, megadouche quotations:
      Many experts scoff at the argument that people don’t need more than a very high-deductible policy because they’re healthy and don’t use many medical services.

      “Unfortunately, people have catastrophic things happen to them, or they get chronic conditions that expose them to serious financial harm,” says Sabrina Corlette, research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.

      Oh, right. Nobody goes through medical bankruptcy now. Fucking toady.

      1. Many experts scoff at the argument that people don’t need more than a very high-deductible policy because they’re healthy and don’t use many medical services.

        I despise this argument. It makes no fiscal sense whatsoever. The whole point of insurance is to hedge against catastrophe.

        1. not anymore. “insurance” has been redefined to mean “as much as you can consume pre-paid (by someone else) medical goods and services)

        2. “The whole point of insurance is to hedge against catastrophe.”

          Unfortunately, a large majority of Americans seem incapable of grasping this fundamental concept of insurance. Many Americans, maybe most, actually think that insurance should even provide for certain expenditures like contraceptives and discretionary expenditures like Viagra.

          1. Health welfare

            1. ^^THIS^^

          2. It’s the WAR ON WOMEN!

        3. “The whole point of insurance is to hedge against WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT IT TO HEDGE AGAINST AL LONG AS I’M WILLING TO PAY FOR IT”

          Fixed your wrong claim.

    3. Wait, so if an employer offers family coverage for $10,000 a month this makes the husband and children ineligible for tax credits or subsidies on policies from the exchanges?

      How many employers don’t offer spouse and dependent coverage?

  10. Why do people celebrate by shooting bullets into the air?

    Gravity, how does it work?

    I always got nervous when I was outside and the neighbors around would shoot off their guns in the air during certain holidays.

    1. A woman in Michigan was killed at a fireworks display a while back from someone who shot a gun into the air. Hit her in the head on the way down.

      1. Happened this year in Richmond. Killed a 7-year old.

    2. That is common here. On new years eve you can stand outside and hear shots from all over. Most people are knowledgable enough about ballistics to use shotguns loaded with bird shot.

  11. Yemen: it’s all right guys, we took care of it. Come on back!

  12. Jay Bilas exposes one small nugget of NCAA hypocrisy, ESPN makes no mention of this for obvious ESPN-y reasons.

    Also pertaining to the Worldwide Leader, Hugh Douglas don’t much like Michael Smith.

    1. I like Hugh Douglas, but it sounds like he might be having some personal issues. Bilas did some nice trolling of the NCAA. But screw that dookie turd.

      1. Duke sucks.

        But still a good job by him. Awesome trolling.

    2. I loved Hugh Douglas when he was with the Eagles. But man, he has a screw loose somewhere.

    3. God those NY Post pages are extreme memory hogs. Literally took over the browser for 20 minutes, with simple things like scrolling up and down the page causing browser freezes.

      1. I use Firefox with NoScript, loads right up for me.

        1. Is there a NoScript equivalent for Chrome?

      2. I use 8 gigs of RAM these days(I know), puts even Firefox in its proper place.

  13. As part of my “Let the Bombs Fall” special report.

    Police: Couple Stabbed Each Other Over ‘American Idol’

    Police say they got into a drunken argument over which contestant ? Candice Glover or Kree Harrison ? should win the season’s title.

    Investigators say one went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed the other.

    The person stabbed first then grabbed the knife and stabbed the other.

    1. And a new reality TV series is born! Huzzah!

    2. It’s a good thing that one of them didn’t unfriend the other on Facebook, or it would have probably been a double homicide.

  14. Another execrable Justin Peters gun control article on Slate, but it does contain the eye-rolling irony of a cop say this:

    Well, three cheers for Cpl. T.B. Scearce of the Danville Police Department, who defied my expectations with an intelligent, accurate statement to the Danville Register & Bee. (Thanks to the reader who sent this story my way.) Scearce told the paper that “there is no such thing as an accidental discharge?it is a negligent discharge. In order for a gun to fire, Scearce said three things have to occur: It has to be functional, it has to be loaded and the trigger has to be pulled.”

    Let’s see if this standard will ever be applied to cops.

    1. Yeah lets see. And of course the cop is right. But lets see Peters square that reality with his obsession with the dangers of owning a gun. Guns don’t just go off, yet somehow owning one puts your life in danger.

    2. Ive been arguing this for years on here.

      With the extra training police get, Im willing to go murder 1 on them.

      1. There is such a thing as an accidental discharge. It’s caused by mechanical failure of the firearm. But that also means it’s not safe to shoot.

  15. Obama cancels meetings with Putin amid tensions

    In a rare diplomatic snub, President Barack Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month.

    The decision reflects both U.S. anger over Russia’s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow’s stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights.

    1. When the person you want to convince of your point of view doesn’t immediately acquiesce, you stomp away in a huff. That’s diplomacy.

      1. He’s making the world fall back in love with America, one country at a time.

      2. That’s what my 4 year old did. She’s 6 now, and knows better.

    2. Putin has show so little regard for Obama it’s hilarious. Looking back, he had zero respect for Bush. He basically sits back and lets them make fools of themselves for his own amusement.

    3. There is no reason for us to be at odds with Russia. All we need to do is let them have their sphere of influence just like we have ours. We shouldn’t be fucking with them in Georgia anymore than they should be fucking with us in say Mexico or Central America. And I am sure they would understand that. We actually have the same interests in the Middle East in fighting Islamic extremism. But we need to understand Russia has a huge demographic problem and are paranoid as hell. Stop giving them reasons to think we are out to get them.

      1. Containment Theory?

        1. But they are not the USSR anymore. The Russians are not out for world domination. They just want to remain a great power and fix their demographic problem. There is no need to contain them. They just want a sphere of influence like every other great power.

      2. I don’t see why the Russians should be worried about a country run by a guy with a Nobel Peace Prize.

      3. What if the Georgians don’t want to be in the Soviet sphere of influence?

        1. It sucks to be them. I love the Georgians. They are great people. But is it worth getting in a war with Russia over them? If Russia is really serious, that is what it would take. So I am not sure what we can do to help them.

          1. Yeah, I’m not sure how we are obligated to be involved in a dispute between Russia and Georgia.

            1. Georgia has the bad habit of bringing it on themselves. Enabling that tendency is also a bad habit.

      4. The problem is that the government elites in the US have come to believe that the entire globe is our sphere of influence.

        1. Yeah. The Kosovo war is looking back on it the biggest strategic mistake of the post cold war era. Liberals love to talk about Iraq. But Iraq just cost us money and at least did eliminate a real enemy. Kosovo in contrast alienated Russia and destroyed all of the good will we had at the end of the Cold War. And for what? To stop a genocide that wasn’t occurring and to keep Europe from having to take in a few Albanians. What an utterly pointless and destructive war. And Kosovo still doesn’t have independence today. It sits in this fucked up UN no man’s land and the Kosovars increasingly hate the US and the UN for not giving them independence. Even the people we where supposed to be saving hate us now.

          1. But Iraq just cost us money and at least did eliminate a real enemy.

            This is just pure Team Red Wishful Thinking Bullshit? right here, John.

            1. Saddam wasn’t an actual enemy? He didn’t threaten to invade most of the middle east and try to whack the President and shelter any number of terrorists?

              It is funny, the people whose critical thinking skills that have been most affected by the war and who are most emotional and irrational about it are people who really never had any contact with it. The anti-war people just can’t get over it and never will get over it that Iraq didn’t turn out to be as horrible as they hoped. Let it go MLG. It is getting to be a long time ago. Let it go.

              1. Saddam wasn’t an actual enemy?

                Not to anyone but his own people and maybe those in immediate proximity to Iraq.

                He didn’t threaten to invade most of the middle east[?]


                and try to whack the President

                Not necessarily.

                A classified US intelligence analysis has concluded that Kuwait may have “cooked the books” on an alleged plot to assassinate former President Bush while he was in Kuwait last month. […] At least one administration official has expressed the fear that President Clinton, under heavy criticism for his indecision over issues like Bosnia, may be tempted to hit at Iraq to prove his willingness to undertake resolute action. The report notes that some of the evidence definitely points to Iraqi involvement. The explosive devices captured by the Kuwaitis, for example, match those used by Iraqi intelligence in other terrorist operations. But the report says it was unable to corroborate the Kuwaiti assertion that the plot was aimed at Bush.

                But even if it were the case that Iraq tried to kill Bush I, is it really up to our military to invade the country a decade later?

                That’s called “revenge”, not an acceptable precept for war.

                and shelter any number of terrorists?

                None of whom were a problem until we completely destabilized the country and then hauled ass.

                Iraq was a complete waste of time and an utter failure.

          2. Kosovars increasingly hate the US and the UN for not giving them independence.

            That wasn’t my experience there at all (although this was 2007, things could have changed). The closest thing I got to flak was when a woman reminded me to appreciate how nice it was that as an American I can travel just about anywhere I want without difficulty. She didn’t couch it as a Kosovo/American difference but a former eastern bloc/American difference.

    4. Wonder if Hilary still has that reset button?

      1. That whole thing was just cringe-inducing.

        1. Wait, what? Hillary has done something that wasn’t cringe inducing? I must have missed it.

        2. Oh man, and the props! The goddamn props they brought with them! They put the Russian translation of “reset” on a fucking Staples(TM) red button toy. Even then, then got the wrong translation!

          Didn’t it say something like “overspend” instead of reset? I forget what the exact fuck up was.

        3. the whole stunt felt like a third tier company marketing plan.

  16. The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services has said that the Obama administration has not done enough to ensure that that Americans’ privacy will be protected as Obamacare continues to be implemented.

    Hopefully, this point was made by typing this document with Google Docs and not sharing it with anyone.

  17. The house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for about a decade is being demolished today.

    I know its a tough market, but no one is looking for a house with three bedrooms, new windows, fully stocked dungeon…

    1. The semi-attached abortion clinic should sell it.

    2. Warty’s got a crib, so no

    3. They just don’t want some innocent family to buy it only to discover it’s Poltergeist-level haunted. Then it will be made into a bad movie.

      1. I didn’t mean to imply Poltergeist was a bad movie, of course. It deserved not only an Oscar, but a Nobel Prize for Literature.

  18. Someone needs to start collecting money so that Manning can make a “contribution” to the Obama Library and get himself a presidential pardon like Marc Rich. The difference between Rich and Manning being Rich actually committed crimes.

    1. I bet if the Kochs agreed to give say ten million or so to the Obama library, Manning and Snowden could get pardoned in a package deal.

    2. Like Scooter Libby – convicted but free.

      1. Yeah, just like Marc Rich. A bullshit lying to investigators charge is just like ripping millions of dollars off from investors. And a commutation is just like a pardon.

        Suck that Dem cock. Suck harder.

      2. BUSHPIG!!!111!!!CHRISTFAG!!11!!!!

        (Talk about ‘fake scandals’)

  19. Number 19 in dating sites for everyone is a lie. Or a gay site. Everyone knows there are no female libertarians.

    1. Most of them seem to be using the same engine.

    2. I can’t believe The Official Clown Dating Agency is defunct

    3. Colin Klein’s first kiss was at the altar?

      Even Tebow is rolling his eyes at that.

  20. surprised to see Mark Steyn discuss the militarization of the police

    I wonder what Mr Wrana’s final thoughts were of the country he fought for 70 years ago. Too much law enforcement in America has lost all sense of proportion: If you need six armed officers to police a nonagenarian in an old folks’ home, seven armed officers to police a 20-year old female you suspect might have a beer in her shopping bag, thirteen armed officers to terminate Giggles the baby doe, you’re doing it wrong ? and you’re the real threat to public order.

    1. Well said. They don’t do police work anymore. The do terror work.

      1. Officer safety requires overwhelming force.

    2. I’ve never seen him be much of an apologetic for the police-state. Then again, I haven’t read much of his stuff over the past couple of years.

      1. true – I should have said that I’m surprised to see it on NRO, and the comments aren’t too hurr-de-durr, considering the law ‘n’ order worshiping that goes on there.

      2. Steyn has always has a strong libertarian streak. That’s why he lives in New Hampshire.

        1. I think he left Canada because of some outrage over his anti-Islam work. Something about hatespeech thoughtcrime.

    1. He only paid $250 million for the paper. If you take that into account, he basically got the paper for nothing.

      1. Its almost like paying 1.5 (or more) workers to do a single job [which is what defined benefit pensions look like in real time] is a good way to be non-competitive.

    2. Without those expenses — many of which may only end up existing on paper — the newspaper division would have shown a profit in 2011 and 2010, as well as this past quarter.

      This guy should run for mayor of Chicago, Detroit, and about 45 other cities on Pew’s list of fucked places.

    3. and needs to find new ways to spin its large digital audience into income

      Weak paywall just like NYT.

  21. Apparently our President is in a snit about something, and has cancelled a meeting with Vladimir Putin. That’ll show ’em.

    1. Once he changes his mind and tries to go to Russia, they should deny him entry.

      1. “Sorry, President Putin has a ribbon cutting for a martial arts gym that day, then meetings with Edward Snowden and Anna Whatshername. Then he’s going to shoot several bears. We’ll get back to you on a better day.”

        1. Then he’s going to shoot several bears.

          I knew Russia was homophobic, but that’s intense

          1. No, no. He shoots ursines, he prefers “wrestling” species sapiens bears.

    2. I’m sure Putin is absolutely crushed, devestated even, that he doesn’t get to have an audience with The One, The Godking himself Barack The Magnificent Obama. /sarc

      1. No sarc tag necessary. =P

        1. You never know some drive by prog-tard might read that and think “Finally, another shameless Obama fluffing tardo, just like me!”

  22. Plain cigarette packets aren’t enough – we need smart-card licences for smokers


    1. What the fuck is up with Australia? I thought you were supposed to be all cool and rugged and shit.

      1. We were all cool and rugged and shit, but somewhere along the way we lost our freakin’ minds

        1. That’s one of those things that surprised me growing up–the increasing pussification of the Australian. It shockingly happened to the Scots, too.

        2. It started when Paul Hogan went “Hollywood”.

          1. Yahoo Serious. Ended everything good and ushered in the nanny state.

            1. I can understand how Australia would take drastic steps to prevent exporting another Yahoo Serious.

          2. It started when Midnight Oil sold a record.

      2. They’ve been in a contest with the UK and Sweden for about a decade now to see which can be the first country to collectively achieve peak retard.

      3. there was a time when Aussie soldiers were considered some of the toughest in the world – as Rommel found out in Tobruk.

        1. Nothing tougher than crazy tough.

        2. Defend Tobruk with Australians – impregnable.

          Defend Tobruk with South Africans – “Mistah, mistah – don’t hurt us!”

        3. Don’t forget Gallipoli. Churchill marched those poor bastards right into the teeth of Kemal Ataturk’s interlocking defenses set on sheer hills and they still almost made Winston look good.

          Ataturk himself said:
          Those heroes that shed their blood
          And lost their lives.
          You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
          Therefore rest in peace.
          There is no difference between the Johnnies
          And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
          Here in this country of ours.
          You, the mothers,
          Who sent their sons from far away countries
          Wipe away your tears,
          Your sons are now lying in our bosom
          And are in peace
          After having lost their lives on this land they have
          Become our sons as well.”

          1. Our leaders suck. They get Ataturk, and we get this asshat…

  23. WA teen prison riot ‘entirely predictable’

    Am I the only one who wants to see a movie called “Teen Prison Riot”?

    1. Hmm. Pretty sure this already exists as porn.

    2. That would be one Tarantino flick I would pay to see.

    3. IFH, you might want to see if you can find a copy of Untamed Youth, although IMDb says it’s not available on DVD.

      The Mayor of Hell, however, is on DVD.

      1. “If you had two heads you’d still be a moron!”

        Heh, thanks for the tips, I’ll keep an eye out for ’em

    4. The article refers to inmates, youth, and juveniles. They never specify whether it’s male or female facility. Maybe it’s both – seems unlikely.

      But, as is likely, Australian Teenaged Boy Prison Riot? I’d watch that. They’d probably at some point take their shirts off.

  24. The house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for about a decade is being demolished today.


    1. Are people just superstitious about the place, or was there a structural reason to demolish it?

      1. It’s superstition, I’m sure. Just like demolishing the school at Sandy Hook.

  25. Russian guy steals road. No word if he intended to sell it to Somalia

    1. “OK, got road. Now how get out of here?”

      “Idiot! Was supposed to take from far end first!”

  26. Where Obamacare premiums will soar

    Rate hikes depend on age and gender. To give consumers a better idea of how premiums will change, CNNMoney took a look at the plans provided by one insurer: Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana.

    Our analysis found that 21-year-old men will pay a lot more for an exchange plan, but 42-year-old women and 62-year-old men will shell out less for a silver-level plan that comes with a $2,500 deductible and a roughly $25 co-pay for office visits.

    Under this scenario, a young man’s monthly rate will rise to $214 on the exchange next year, up 63% from today. The woman, however, will pay $284, a drop of more than 7%, while the older man will be charged $615, a nearly 6% decrease. This is because Obamacare requires that women pay the same amount as men and does not allow insurers to charge older participants more than three times the young.

    1. But those half wit millennials got to be a part of history in 2008. I am sure it is going to be worth it to them.

    2. “A lot of people will get more for their money,” said Sarah Lueck, senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Even people paying a higher rate will benefit. It will be a big change in most states.”

      It’s a good deal even if it costs more!

      1. If I thought it was a benefit, wouldn’t I be paying for more comprehensive “insurance” already?

        1. If I thought it was a benefit…

          Obviously there’s something wrong with your thinking if it differs from Sarah Lueck’s.

  27. Cop of the year nominee.

    In the arrest, a police chief accidentally Tased his partner and himself.

    Rodriguez, who had received Taser training earlier that day

    Obviously their training budget has been slashed thanks to RETHUGLICAN SEKWESTER!!!11!!!!1

    If only he had “accidentally” grabbed his gun instead and shot himself and his partner, then he’d be a shoe in for cop of the year instead of just a nominee.

    1. But I just learned upthread that weapons don’t go off accidentally, only negligently.

  28. The women who runs Fire Dog Lake is one of the few liberals who actually has a brain and some style. Here she is destroying Kos over NSA and privacy.

    Kos: “NSA spying is bad! So is stop and frisk. So is splitting up families by deporting children to countries they’ve never been to and don’t speak the language. So is harassing American muslims. Government overreach is bad. But to act like having the government track who you call is the height of government abuse is a very white privileged view of the privacy issue. But as for Greenwald and Snowden? Seriously, I don’t give two shits.”

    FDL: “Please, Mr. Moulitsas, tell us, what is the proper, non-privileged, multi-cultural view of the ‘privacy issue’? Is it one that stays within the confines of what’s allowed by the Democratic Party? Is it one that is relevant to the war on women, or voting rights, or immigration, but ignores the collapse of the rule of law and the justice system (which is far from a ‘white privileged’ issue)?”

    FDL supplements its posting with a word from our leader, from the days when he was free of the burdens of leadership and leveraging our antagonism for the previous leader:


    1. But to act like having the government track who you call is the height of government abuse is a very white privileged view of the privacy issue


      There is no way that anyone with a functional brain can even start to take these people seriously anymore. They’re just making up stuff that has no meaning at all now.

      1. What I don’t get is the idea that businesses using personal information to legally target ads is like the worst imaginable horror, while government collecting, using, and sharing personal information in disregard of the law is okay.

        1. It’s ’cause the government is “We the People.”

          1. Gosh, we must be insane then.

          2. People are bad, so they can’t be trusted and need to be watched and controlled by government all of the time, because we are the government, which is made up of people, but which can be trusted.

            Did that make any sense?

            1. Aren’t corporations made up of people, too?

              1. Yeah, but they’re all corporationy and evil.

        2. It’s because many people still believe the government has the best of intentions (for some reason I still cannot figure out). They operate under the illusion that the power does not corrupt when it is democratically elected.

          1. It’s like this. If you are elected to office, as a Democrat. I can’t stress the Democart part strongly enough, because Democrats are good, Republicans are bad. Ok, now that is out of the way.

            If you are elected to office as a Democrat, it’s like God just comes down and turns you into an angel with only the most pure and benevolent of intentions, and then you evolve you know, and so the longer you stay in office, the more angelic you become.

            I know, I know, it seems like the saintly Democrats are doing the same things that evil satan like Republicans are doing. But that’s just a trick! The Republicans want you to think that when they do the same thing as Democrats that they are also doing it for your good, because their intentions are pure. LIES! Kochtopus! BOOOSHH! RACIST! WAR ON WOMEN!

        3. Because, businesses are just profit seeking, trying to make you buy things that you don’t want or need. The government only uses your information to help protect you from scary stuff, like too much freedom, and forces you to buy stuff for your own good.

  29. “Unfortunately, people have catastrophic things happen to them, or they get chronic conditions that expose them to serious financial harm,” says Sabrina Corlette, research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.

    Based on a conversation I had recently, the talking point seems to have shifted from, “Everybody gets cancer in their early twenties!” to “Everybody gets in a near-fatal car crash!”

    So, mandatory full coverage insurance for everybody.

    1. Bad things can happen to people Brooks. So we are going to have to take their money up front just in case.

    2. Forgetting of course that your car insurance usually has a very large medical rider on it. What is cheaper, Obamacare or a decent car insurance policy that has a medical rider and uninsured motorist?

      And I thought all proper citizens didn’t own cars and just used public transport?

      1. I thought proper people drove (rode) these:


        1. Beautiful bike. But it is Italian. How long before it breaks down?

          1. Fix

          2. Change the word “bike” to “girlfriend” and you have your answer.

            I joke, but take it in every 7500 miles for a tune-up and it runs great.

          3. 36000 miles of rumbling perfection and counting.

            1. Never had a bit of problem with mine either. For your enjoyment!


    3. I just don’t get why that is an argument against high deductible plans. That kind of situation is exactly what that type of plan is good for. When you don’t need to go to the doctor a lot and are reasonably healthy, but you want to be covered if you have some big injury or get cancer or something.

      1. It is not. But logical consistency is just not how they roll.

    4. They also leave out the HSA side of these plans. I had a $5000 deductible and could contribute $2500/year. I think I bought the plan in May 2008. I put aside a pile of money ($2500) every year into the HSA. I could use that HSA for meeting my deductible. Every year I didn’t use all my HSA money, I won. By January 2010 I had more money in my HSA than an annual deductible. My out of pocket medical from then on was effectively zero. Also, I had some ridiculous coverage $3.5M/year max and $35M lifetime max or something. Fuck these people. They have to kill these plans because they existed before Obamacare and work for everyone who isn’t ill.

      If they were interested in fixing the actual problem, they’d make HDHP with HSA the only employer tax break eligible plans and subsidize the really sick people and it wouldn’t be destroying state budgets left and right.

      1. Didn’t Obama tell you that if you like your plan, you can keep it?


        1. But I can keep it. Until 8/31/2014. Fuckers.

        2. I started working for someone again as an employee instead of a contractor and saw the writing on the wall. I gave up my HDHP but get to keep all of my HSA money tax free. For now. Believe me, I’m spending it down as much as possible.

    5. Right, but the catastrophe is limited to the size of the deductible.

      So if you have a $20,000 deductible, and $20,000 in space on your credit cards, essentially it’s not likely that you will free ride on the health care system.

      They’re lying again. The real reason they hate high deductible plans is because men under, say, 45 don’t really require routine health care services, and women do.

      Some if high-deductible plans are allowed to exist, men will happily make the correct economic decision and buy them, and never incur a claim or be forced to pay any of the deductible. But if women buy the same plans, they will face costs against their deductibles every year.

      Since justice requires that I be forced to pay for everybody else’s vagina, that means high deductible plans have to go away.

      1. I will be 44 soon and yep.

        I have an HSA. Basically, it gets used for eyes and dentist.

        And when I eventually cut off an arm or something, I will be covered.

  30. Some words I’d like to introduce you to…

    Otherkin are a community of people who see themselves as partially or entirely non-human. They contend that they are, in spirit if not in body,[2] not human. This is explained by some members of the otherkin community as possible through reincarnation, having a nonhuman soul, ancestry, or symbolic metaphor.[1] According to Joseph Laycock, “scholarship has framed this claim as religious because it is frequently supported by a framework of metaphysical beliefs.”[3] Not all otherkin necessarily share these beliefs; some may simply prefer to identify as non-human.

    Otherkin largely identify as mythical creatures,[4] with others identifying as creatures from fantasy or popular culture. Examples include: angels, demons, dragons, robots or androids, elves, fairies, sprites, plants, aliens,[5][6][7] and cartoon characters.[8] Many otherkin believe in the existence of a multitude of parallel/alternative universes, which would explain the existence and the possibility to relate to fantastical beings and even fictional characters.[9]

    A person/otherkin who in some identifies as a non human animal that does exist or has existed on this planet Earth. Usually means animals accepted by ‘mainstream’.

    Fictionkin (mediakin, otakukin)
    Otherkin who believe they are not human (or fully human) and are in fact fictional creatures, especially from anime.

    1. Which gives you a frame of reference for this brainwreck:

      The term is fictionkin. And yes we are around.

      Just like any other kind of otherkin, many fictionkin knew of their species or had an idea long before they saw their source. For example, I identified as a tool using cheetah-like feline sense I was little and so once I found the therian community thought myself maybe therian or close enough. I stumbled across my source three years ago, and that was a shock.

      You are assuming that we didn’t identify as we did before we saw our Source. It is really no different than a someone who identified as four legged avian creature decides to call themselves a griffin to get their form across. Its a label. Their identity best matched what ‘griffin’ means so they uses it.

      Tool-using cheetah-like feline? You mean Thundercats? You think you are Cheetara?

      1. Oh, and this:

        For me, it depends on the person and their claims. I find someone who believes [themselves] to be *the* Pikachu dubious at best…but someone who believes to be *a* Pikachu is much more ‘realistic’ in my head.

        “Realistic” indeed.

        1. What about someone who believes himself to be *a* Prince of God?

          1. Is there any historical evidence that he existed in the first place? Because that should be established before the burden is on me to disprove his metaphysical claims.

      2. Self-delusion – Making parents proud since before the Pharaohs.

        1. There is also a sub-faction of fictionkin who think they were fictional characters in a past life, which is the reason they feel like they are that character.

          Let that soak into your brainholes for a second.

          A fictional character died and was reincarnated as a human.

          A fictional character died.
          And was reincarnated as a human.

          1. I could just handwave at that and say that the reason humans are able to create fiction is because all fictional events are happening in their own universe, and our brains interact with those other parts of the multiverse due to quantum fluctuations in our brains.

            So there really was a universe where Don Quixote lived. He died there, so it’s now possible for me to be his reincarnation.

            See? I should totally go all L. Ron on this shit. If I could restrain the impulse to laugh at my own jokes and discuss the artifice of my own lies, I could totally start and spread one of these things in about ten minutes.

            1. Fluffatology

              1. the study of oral but stopping before climax?

            2. Yeah, I’ve always realized that I could probably get a cult going pretty easily. The main hurdle would be having to hang out with people dumb enough to believe me.

              1. I always figured L Ron had to despise his followers.

              2. There is no god but Cheetara, and Fluffy is his prophet.

            3. Heinlein beat you tot it.


          2. Let that soak into your brainholes for a second.

            I keep my brain covered in Saran Wrap for this very reason.

          3. Sounds like a twist on Heinlein’s universe.

            1. It has been explored a number of times. The earliest I can think of is “The Roaring Trumpet” (1940) by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt.

              (Not just a multiverses, but the idea that fictional universes are just parallel universes.)

              1. Bradbury did it. Farmer did it. We all do it.

              2. THAT IS FUCKING GREAT.

                Talk about writing the road map.

                By making it “psychologists using symbolic logic” you can hide the religion inside crackpot psychology, just like L. Ron did.

                We could have college kids hand out leaflets on the street for a free “personality test”, and when the marks come in we give them multiple-choice tests about different fictional universes. Whatever one they score highest on, we tell them they’re “partially tuned” to that universe, and we can help them “master the power” of their true selves if they just pay us a lot of money.

                1. I’m in. I want the Ohio franchise.

                  1. I’ll settle for being the supplier of all your mystical mumbo-jumbo needs.

                  2. “I’m in. I want the Ohio franchise.”

                    NO DAMN YOU.

                    1. NO DAMN YOU.

                      Now, now, fellas… There’s plenty of gullible idiots to go around.

                    2. Now, now, fellas… There’s plenty of gullible idiots to go around.

                      I probably have more friends who post about being faeries than he does, though. Just ask my facebook.

                    3. But Citizen Nothing is half-unicorn, so he has a bigger network of friends and family to bleed

                    4. Seriously. You could both split Columbus into two territories, and have plenty of business.

                      Also, go Buckeyes!

                  3. I claim Pennsylvania.

                2. So if they have the power, they can be the Masters of the Universe?

                  Bad news, Fluffster – He-Man beat you to it.

              3. Don’t forget Zelazny and the 9 Pinces of Amber.

            2. Sounds like a twist on Heinlein’s universe.

              And not really a twist. In The Number of the Beast, they travel to Barsoom, the fictional Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

              1. Also, Oz and the Gray Lensman universe off the top of my head. Although naming your characters John Carter and Dejah Thoris and then sending them to Barsoom is a little much.

              2. That was the first Heinlein book I ever read. It was a bit confusing as an introduction to his work. But I loved it.

                1. Mine was Red Planet, recommended to me by a kindly librarian.

                  1. I tried reading Number of the Beast as my first Heinlein novel at 13. It didn’t work.

                    I claim Pennsylvania.

                    Maryland is already one-party rule by the Eviler Party, so they’ve already got the market locked up.

                    1. Since you’re talking about a multiverse, EVERYONE can claim Pennsylvania, there are infinite Pennsylvanias.

                      Sad, really.

                  2. Librarians really are the best, ain’t they?

      3. I’m sorry, until you change your DNA, you are Homo sapiens sapiens. Though with perhaps less emphasis on the sapiens part than others.

        1. Homo sapiens idiota Can interbreed but shouldn’t.

      4. This may sound weird…

        Alright, this will be the first time I’ve typed this all out. This is hard for me to do, given what I am.

        For starters, I am a goddess. I was exiled a long time ago, for a “crime” against another god. I”m a creation goddess, at least, that’s the closest I can get to describing what I am. Also, I am a deity of darkness. I need the shadows and the night like mortals need the air that they breathe. I’m not from earth, or – as you might call it – this “plane” of existence. I’m not an Egyptian deity, or a Nordic one or whatever. Really, I have no business being here. My powers are pretty much moot for now, so I am baisicly stuck in this small human form until I can… do something to return home. I’ve been awakened form about three years, and all the time I am remembering small tidbits of information. But certain thing I cannot remember, and I hope that being here will help me regain more of my memories.

        In reply:

        Well, I am not going to pass judgment or anything, but I will have to warn you, Akui, that most people, even Otherkin, will have a hard time swallowing your claim to being a deity.


        1. and she votes

          1. How could she? She’s only three-years-old! Voter ID laws NOW!

          2. The part that kills me is the OTHER Otherkin won’t believe her. Jesus wept, that’s fucking hilarious.

      5. “For example, I identified as a tool”

        You don’t say.

      6. ow, Ow, OW! I recognize every single word in that, but put them all together and it, well it just, arrrrggggh.

    2. Where does Warty fall on this spectrum?

      1. Warty believes that he was himself in a past life.

        Warty was. Warty is. Warty will be.

        1. Warty is the Alpha and the Om..my GOD!!!

          1. The terror you feel is my gift to you.

    3. People will do anything to make themselves freaks. It is like they are disappointed that they were born normal people and don’t have an obvious claim to victim hood. So they invent something that makes them so.

      1. It’s the same thing as thinking that the way you dress makes you special instead of your deeds. Or thinking your sexual preferences are a defining aspect of your life accomplishments.

        1. Yes. I really don’t care about people’s sexuality unless I am having sex with them. I wish people would start valuing their privacy more and realizing there is more to life and to themselves than who and how they want to bang.

      2. People will do anything to make themselves freaks

        Some even become libertarians.

      3. I’m not sure if victimhood is the goal. I think it’s an instinct to make yourself a protagonist in your own personal narrative. Hell, back when I was a teen I did the same stupid thing. I had a mohawk and a chain running out of my nose, and ranted bitterly about how the system couldn’t cope with me. (As opposed to the system looking at some knucklehead dressed as a clown and rolling it’s collective eyes).

        Some teens have drugs, some have music bands, other have….well, I guess pretending to be a dragon elf or some shit. Whatever. All good, and they’ll grow out of it. (For any “otherkin” reading this, once your turn 18 you still need to find a job and survive in the real world, alright?)

    4. At the rate at which stupidity is metastasizing, I fear what I will one day see if the singularity comes and I live another century.

      1. How weird and stupid would people get if they had a few centuries rather than a few decades to work on it? Maybe there is something to be said for mortality.

        1. There is something to be said for objective and critical judgment, a skill that we have largely lost because of our relative riches. There’s something about true need that wipes away all of the bullshit.

          1. I remember in college thinking about the singularity and wondering how cool it would be if the Einsteins or the Feynman’s or the Michelangelos of the world were allowed to live 300 or 400 years, what amazing things they would discover and create. Boy was a naive. What the singularity will really mean is the ability of a lot of really stupid people to get unimaginably more stupid.

            1. I think we have to keep in mind that when Reason writes about posthumanism, it sounds cool.

              But when it actually happens, it’s probably going to manifest itself as people turning themselves into hobbits and Cheetara and shit.

              The technology will be glorious, but it will be like being stuck at a furry convention…for the rest of your life. Every neurosis will be indulged, and more will be invented to keep providing a new bleeding edge of stupid for the people who simply MUST occupy the bleeding edge of stupid.

                1. When it happens, this will be me.

                  You’re going to transform yourself in Professor Farnsworth? That’s pretty cool, I guess.

                  “We’re trapped, my sweet hippopotamus!”

                  1. He can’t just transform himself. He has to go through a series of (very expensive) procedures Administered by a Trained Fictionologist.

              1. But when it actually happens, it’s probably going to manifest itself as people turning themselves into hobbits and Cheetara and shit.

                The technology will be glorious, but it will be like being stuck at a furry convention…for the rest of your life.

                This entire thread of comments has been absolutely wonderful.

              2. It will be chaos, glorious chaos.

                Well, at least for a bit. Your monkey nature will re-assert itself before too long and you’ll start ‘progressing’ again. This will lead to the event that precipitates what is durationally referred to as the ‘second singularity'(don’t blame me, I didn’t name it).

                And then things’ll get weird.

          2. Nah, people were always this stupid.

            Humors, witchcraft, and all those inbred twits trying to turn lead into gold don’t magically become less ridiculous with the passage of time.

    5. Check your privilege. I’m a dragonkin. And my dragon headmate has a fictional human headmate. And my fictional human headmate is in a relationship with me. We’re in love.

    6. [Lobs softball]: SF, what do you call a mermaid/merman community?

      1. I love wet boobs, but fishginas are boner killers.

        1. That’s why they always have them transform into regular people in the mermaid movies and TV shows. For sex, I mean.

          1. They didnt on Futurama.

            In the Lost City of Atlanta episode.

            1. “Yeah I’m a little confused too. How do I… y’know… with the tail and all?”

              “I’m not your first am I? I mean, I lay my eggs and leave and you release your fertilizer.”

        2. Thats why you gotta go for the fish on top, woman on bottom combo.

          1. I bet Atlantis banned sodomy.

      2. Whatever you do, just never go bass to mouth. Or ass to trout. Although they’re really the same thing.

        1. You sir, deserve something for that. I’m just not sure what.

        2. Amazing!

    7. It sounds on a similar level of reality with progressive political doctrine.

    8. If one were to go up to such a person and say “You know Bob, there ain’t no such thing as a Gawdamn Elf! Stop it with this shit and put on some fucking pants!” Would that be actionable as harassment of a mentally ill person?

      Are they a “protected” class?

      1. Are they a “protected” class?

        If they aren’t already I’m sure they will be eventually.

      2. That would be a hate crime, mister! Why do you hate the Elves?

      3. Mentally Ill? They aren’t mentally ill.

        You’re othering them despite the fact they have clearly expressed their identity to you. In reality, you’re the one who is being antisocial and unmutual.

  31. Cop ‘Upset’ By Speeding Woman’s Dying Dad Lie, Arrests Her

    A New Hampshire cop was so miffed when he discovered an “emotional” woman had lied to him about speeding in her car to get to her dying father that he later went to the woman’s house and arrested her for driving with a suspended registration.

    “I’m pretty used to people trying to bend the truth to get out of speeding citations, but this woman preyed on my emotions as a human being,” Christopher J. Cummings, the state trooper who made the arrest, told ABC News today.

    “She told me her father had stage four cancer, that he was breathing only six breaths a minute, and that she was trying to make it to the hospital before he passed,” Cummings said.

    1. “I’m pretty used to people trying to bend the truth to get out of speeding citations, but this woman preyed on my emotions as a human being,”

      Yeah right, like cops actually have human emotions. I call bullshit. He was just pissed that she didn’t respect his authoritay.

    2. Top comment:

      if only politicians could be arrested for telling lies

  32. Otherkin largely identify as mythical creatures,[4] with others identifying as creatures from fantasy or popular culture. Examples include: angels, demons, dragons, robots or androids, elves, fairies, sprites, plants, aliens,[5][6][7] and cartoon characters.

    “I’m Batman.”

    1. When I was in my 20s the problem was people who should have been adults still doing teenage things. Now, the problem seems to be adults acting like five year old kids.

    2. How do you self-identify as a robot?

      1. There was a Star Trek TNG episode on that.

        Educate yourself.

        1. He should check his canonical episode privilege.

        2. Also, Grandma’s Boy

        3. That episode would’ve been much better if the kid made the choice to continue acting like an android for the rest of his life.

          Huh? What’s wrong with using Data as a role model? Hey, don’t other androidkin!

      2. Pinocchio/Pygmalian in reverse.

  33. Google’s and Bing’s autocomplete won’t fill in sex terms, but will suggest “how to strangle a dog.”

    1. This calls to mind George Carlin’s routine where he questions social mores favoring violence ober sex in the media, and suggests replacing in old movie cliches the word “kill” with “fuck.”

      “Well, Sheriff, we’re gonna fuck ya now!”

      1. “But we’re gonna fuck ya slow!”

      2. “I like you, Sully. That’s why I’m going to fuck you last.”

      3. “Shamu, the Fucker Whale!? AAAAHHHHH!!!!!”

      4. Marsellus: You better fuck me!

        Butch: [Brings up a gun] Yeah, somebody gonna get fucked. SOMEBODY GONNA GET THEIR KILLING HEAD BLOWN OFF!

      5. Kay: “Presidents and Senators don’t have men fucked!”
        Michael: “Now who’s being naive, Kay?”

      6. “If it bleeds, we can fuck it”

        1. “If it bleeds, we can fuck it”

          That is most assuredly not what she said.

      7. Steven Segal is Hard to Fuck!

      8. “A Time to Fuck”

      9. And, just to take it the last mile: To Fuck a Mockingbird

        1. Faster Pussycat! Fuck! Fuck!

  34. this woman preyed on my emotions as a human being

    This, of course made him the target of unrelenting meanspirited japery and derision down at Sociopath Central.

  35. Ted Koppel gets it mostly right on America and Terrorism: “America’s Chronic Overreaction.”

    At home, the U.S. has constructed an antiterrorism enterprise so immense, so costly and so inexorably interwoven with the defense establishment, police and intelligence agencies, communications systems, and with social media, travel networks and their attendant security apparatus, that the idea of downsizing, let alone disbanding such a construct, is an exercise in futility.

    As Koppel notes, the whole point of terrorism is to provoke an overreaction by an asymmetrically powerful opponent that will harm it in the long run. He doesn’t go into details, but this can happen by a number of methods, including creating severe financial stresses on the opponent, stirring up political strife within the opponent or within a population the terrorist wishes to turn against the opponent, and damaging the opponent’s international relationships, among others, all of which the U.S. has managed to do.

    Another item he doesn’t explicitly mention is the damage done to a society that abandons its core principles in response to a terrorist attack, and the internal malaise and outright damage such an ideological turn can cause.

    1. Part of it I think is our narcissistic look at me culture. 911 was a big deal. A really big deal and hopefully a once in a generation occurrence. But people are narcissistic these days they want every event that they are part of to be as big as every other event. So New York has 911, damn it Boston has the marathon bombings. How dare you say they are any different. Everyone wants to be a victim. Nothing is more valued in this society today than being a victim. Suffering, rather than something to be overcome and borne with dignity is now a badge of honor to be wallowed in. So we totally overreact to every event. You can’t put something like the Boston bombing into perspective because doing so would deprive the people of Boston of their victimhood. It would prevent them from feeling important and feeling a part of history.

      It is really wierd and sick. People of previous generations looked at bad things as bad things they wished didn’t happen. They didn’t talk about things like Pearl Harbor or World War II because they were bad things that were best forgotten. But right around the Kennedy assassination, bad things became something to be celebrated and to be proud of. Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated is really kind of a strange question when you think about it. What is good or worth remembering about the President being murdered? Nothing really, except the narcissism of bragging about how you were there and survived this or that hardship.

      1. Reading that made me think about the documentary film that I watched named ‘The Woman Who Wasn’t There’.

        It’s surreal.

      2. Boston Strong!!!!

  36. A fictional character died.
    And was reincarnated as a human.

    Go big, or go home.

    1. He is just trying to get on Putin’s good side. Wouldn’t not having to suffer through a few hours with Obama put you in a better mood?

      1. I would just tell him, send me an email and I might respond, cause no way am I going to listen to your whiney annoying voice, sit through all the ‘uhhhhs’ and ‘ummmms’. And seriously, you’re boring as hell, so email.

        1. Send over Biden. He as least is an amusing retard.

        2. A picture is worth a thousand words:


          1. Putin is a former KGB tough guy. He is plenty evil. But he is also a serious guy. You really wouldn’t want to meet Putin in a dark alley. He has to look at Obama and just laugh. There is nothing about Obama that is either serious or interesting.

            1. Putin is straight out of a David Baldacci novel.

  37. So in CA the other day a homeless guy with a history of various arrests and with a substance abuse problem drove a 2008 Dodge Avenger into the crowd.

    In MA the other day a drunken Haitian refugee on welfare and food stamps crashed a 2006 Cadillac DTS into a Boston Globe delivery truck and knocked it off a bridge.

    I hate to go all Reagan on this one, but I have to ask:

    How the fuck are homeless guys and Haitian EBT refugees getting these cars?

    1. By stealing them?

      1. That doesn’t seem to have happened in these cases, unless I missed something.

        1. A 2006 Cadillac DTS will run you about $8000 used. It’s a seven-year-old car.

          1. Fair enough Fluffy.

            The MA driver has a job (or at least did until recently) so 8 grand isn’t a huge stretch.

            A 2008 Dodge Avenger is under 10 grand in Littleton, but it still is puzzling how such a flakey guy got the cash or credit for this.

            1. Salesmen get paid on sales, not payments. You can have credit rating of negative 221 and still get a car loan. Once it’s off the lot it’s GMAC’s problem.

              My guess is the guy took a loan with 30% interest and simply didn’t pay it. If you don’t have a real address, the repo man ain’t gonna find you.

            2. How do you know what a dodge costs in Colorado? Aren’t you like down under and in the future?

    2. If you don’t give a shit, life isn’t bad being poor. Life being poor would be hard for you and I because we are normal human beings who don’t like living in our own filth, like to do things besides get drunk and piss on ourselves and enjoy having a nice place to live. But some people don’t value that stuff. Some people are totally not bothered by living like an animal. And if you are one of those people, welfare is great. You don’t have to work, you have no real expenses, and you get all of this free money to spend on cars and booze and whatever you want. I bet they owned those cars. You can do that when you are getting a check every month and have no living expenses.

      1. But some people don’t value that stuff

        Some people do value that stuff, they’re just not willing to work for it. They think you owe it to them. Or else, probably in most cases, they believe that the government has an endless supply of money and they are entitled to it.

        1. No, they really don’t value it. Even if they have money they don’t spend it on things. Think about some methbilly who stumbles into a big injury settlement or something. He has the money and doesn’t have to work. But I guarantee you he will still be living in a trashed out trailer and have a $50,000 pickup parked in the yard.

      2. Cars are a status thing – I work for a (large) plastic injection molding company that has a decent sized workforce.

        Most of these $10hr (or whatever) workers drive newer cars than me or even my wife. Of course many of them have higher miles… and I consciously choose to spend my money on other priorities (right now).

        Driving through the poorer parts of town and you will see the same thing. Even out in the country, I see families standing outside the local food bank driving nice newer pickup trucks.

        1. For sure. People are poor often because they make stupid decisions and go for immediate gratification. Rather than spending their money on say going to night class getting that extra certification that will get them a raise or a better job or saving their money so they won’t be out on the street if they get laid off, poor people will do stupid shit like buy a new car that they can just afford on their paycheck.

        2. Portable (faux) status. Zod only knows how long it’s been with us.

          True story, I swear, but I recall asking my mom when I was probably 6 or so, driving through a less nice part of town, why poor people had such nice cars if they were so poor?

  38. Most Americans don’t want to live to 120

    Well, as I’ve said before… if I could stop aging and would be perpetually healthy, I would be fine with living indefinitely… at least until I was ready to move on. I can understand wanting to die once you’re too old or sick to get around. But if I’m healthy both mentally and physically and stopped aging, I think living until I grew tired of it would be just fine.

    1. It all depends on what living means. If it is living 80 years with the health I have in my 40s, i will take it. It it means 40 years of the health I have in my 80s, no thanks.

      1. I had a great uncle who was still chasing tail, boozing it up, smoking pot and joking coherently into his nineties. The man was an inspiration.

        1. My great grandmother was funny as hell and sharp as a tack until she was 95. She went down hill pretty quickly after that. But she was still quite a person in her 90s.

          1. We just celebrated my greataunt’s 100th birthday. She still beats people at 42.

          2. Yup. My neighbor across the alley was still mowing he lawn with a power-mower at 93. I asked her what she’d charge to do my. She said she wasn’t interested.

    2. Being a creature of limited intelligence, limited power, and limited knowledge is a blessing in that regard. It makes eternal life a feasible endurance for one who will never tire of living for the next beer on his list to sample or go back to after a few years. Who could possibly be more suicidal than an omnipresent and omnipotent God?

      1. Could God create an ennui so great even He becomes suicidal?

        1. It may have already happened.

    3. I want to live forever (well, til the end of the universe). Dying is like throwing away a mystery novel 20 pages before the big plot reveal.

      1. Objectively, proton decay will catch up with you before it catches up with the stars. But it would be a near thing.

      2. You know how some books are really good in the middle but the author can’t close it well? I have a feeling that’s how the universe is going.

        1. The thought that the universe will go on expanding and cooling until absolute 0 is so depressing. I’d rather a Tau Zero-type situation.

          1. A woman person familiar with Paul Anderson, real hard science fiction and not just playing Comic-con dress up in science fantasy themes to attract similarly affectatious geek culture guys? How is it you slipped passed me?

            1. I learned about Tau Zero from Michio Kaku (who is a waaaay better popular physics instructor than that Neil DeGrasse Tyson feller), but I haven’t read it yet. But it sounds like it’s just up my alley. I should get it, now that I’ve started using the Kindle app and I have a long vacation of sitting on a dock and fishing all day coming up.

              1. He may be a bit dated and square for 2013, but I like Paul a lot, almost everything he wrote is worthwhile, including his Viking oriented fantasies. If you are looking for hardcore science but with an air of up to date bitchiness, I can’t recommend Alastair Reynolds enough. Start with Diamond Dogs if you want a good short sample, plot is an update of Rogue Moon.

                1. I’ll check those out!

              2. And ++ for the slap at Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He’s likable enough, in one guy’s memorable phrase, but overrated.

                1. I like Brian Cox too. He has about the most passion for physics than anyone i have ever seen plus he was in a band.

                  My first Kaku was Hyperspace, I still like that book.

        2. You’re saying it all ends just like “Lost”? THAT’s depressing.

          1. Unless you are Sawyer, and you get to be with Julia all over again [wipes away a little tear].

  39. The judge overseeing Bradley Manning’s court martial has cut his maximum possible sentence from 136 years to 90 years.

    That’ll help.

  40. Prochoice academic admits Americans are more prolife than the polls indicate.

    “”If you look at it numerically,” [Prof. Tracy] Weitz said, “most Americans think abortion should be illegal in most numerical cases.”…

    “”I think the pro-choice movement is having trouble breaking through to have a conversation with an American public that has a more nuanced position on abortion,” Weitz said. “They are more conflicted on it. They have a lot of questions. They want some regulation of abortion, but they don’t know what it is. The only people who are speaking to them are the folks who are putting forward regulations.””


    1. What exactly do the pro choice fanatics have to say? Having a conversation means admitting the other side may have a point. And I don’t see the pro choice fanatics doing that anytime soon. The big lie that an abortion at one week is just exactly like one at 30 weeks is finally being seen for what it is. I don’t think the pro life people have any hope of getting a full ban anytime soon. But the pro choice people are about to die on the hill of abortion at any point paid for by the taxpayer.

      1. The prof is admitting that a majority of Americans opposes the majority of abortions. If their views were reflected in law, most abortions would be illegal. Hence the choicers’ hysterical focus on rape and mammograms, as if abortionists spent their time killing rape-babies and looking after legitimate women’s health issues. They know that exposing the true picture of abortion would be disastrous, though they still rely on federal courts as a backstop. But since Roe and its progeny are ultimately backed, not by the law, but by public opinion, public enlightenment chips away at those, too.

        1. When Roe was decided, we didn’t have sonograms. Fetal development was not nearly as well understood and not really understood at all by the general public. That has all changed. And it has changed people’s opinion of abortion.

  41. The judge overseeing Bradley Manning’s court martial has cut his maximum possible sentence from 136 years to 90 years

    Phew! Manning must be elated at the good news.

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