A.M. Links: Security Forces Trying To End Hostage Situation in Nairobi, Washington Navy Yard Shooting Unlikely To Prompt Gun Control Debate in Congress, Merkel Needs Opposition Support Despite Historic Election Victory


Credit: Martin Falbisoner/wikimedia
  • Security forces in Kenya are trying to end the ongoing hostage situation in a Nairobi mall following an attack that began on Saturday which has resulted in the deaths of at least 69 people. The Somali Al Qaeda-linked group Al Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • It doesn't look like the recent shooting at the Washington Navy Yard will prompt a new debate on gun control in Congress.
  • Despite a historic third-term victory in yesterday's German elections Angela Merkel will need opposition support in order to put together a ruling coalition.
  • The one-time Chinese political star Bo Xilai has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power.  
  • A woman was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon at the 9/11 memorial in New York City yesterday after trying to pass through metal detectors with a .380-cal semiautomatic pistol.
  • A double suicide bombing at a church in the Pakistani city of Peshawar killed at least 80 people yesterday.

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  1. A woman was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon at the 9/11 memorial…

    Well, it was right next door to a suspicious mosque.

  2. …Angela Merkel will need opposition support in order to put together a ruling coalition.

    You know who else fell short of absolute domination?

    1. Obummer?

      1. The Washington Redskins? New York Giants?

        1. No I’m pretty sure the New York Giants experienced total domination

          1. There needs to be a Tom Coughlin in game feed or something. Or at least NFL films better be capturing all this for 2013 Giants season review film.

        2. For once, it wasn’t the Cleveland Browns.

          1. See? They can let you down in so many ways.

    2. I was unaware that the German people needed to be Ruled. I wonder if they know it.

      1. Oh, they know it.

    3. Pinky & The Brain?

      1. So you were pondering what I was pondering!

    4. The 2007 New England Patriots?

      1. Obligatory Fuck You inserted here. Nothing personal.

      1. something something, don’t talk about Lucy

    5. Anthony Weiner?

    6. David Cameron?

    7. Darth Sidious?

    8. Double first? Is that a first?

  3. It doesn’t look like the recent shooting at the Washington Navy Yard will prompt a new debate on gun control in Congress.

    NRA money strikes again.

    1. The shooter checked all the wrong boxes on the narrative – black, liberal, mentally ill, passed a background check anyway, didn’t use the weapon du jour. It pissed them right the hell off.

      1. Also he used the Vice President’s preferred weapon.

        1. God love ya

        2. The Bidenator?

        3. And it took place on a military installation in Washington DC – that’s a really gunfree zone inside a bigger gunfree zone. Even Congress would have trouble making the Navy Yard more gunfree (or target-rich).

          1. That’s why we need nationwide gun control. That’s what the progs tell me, and they really don’t appreciate it when I ask how it will work better for guns than it has for drugs.

          2. It’s like a gun-free matryoshka doll.

      2. “I *welcome* this debate.”

  4. Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines
    …The income of the typical D.C. household rose 23.3% between 2000 and 2012 to an inflation-adjusted $66,583, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, its most comprehensive snapshot of America’s demographic, social and economic trends. During this period, median household incomes for the nation as a whole dropped 6.6% ? from $55,030 to $51,371. The state of Mississippi, which had one of the biggest declines, dropped 15% to $37,095: Nearly one in three people there have an income that is near the poverty line.

    The Washington, D.C. metro area ? which includes the surrounding suburbs in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia ? has it even better, with a median household income of $88,233 that ranks highest among the U.S.’s 25 most populous metro areas. Tampa, Florida’s median income, by contrast, is under $45,000….

    1. Chart of the Day: Median income in DC vs the rest of us
      …From the mid-1980s to around 2007, the median household income rise in DC remained pretty closely linked to that of the nation as a whole. Anyone remember what happened in 2007, besides the economic slowdown that would turn into the Great Recession? Democrats took control of Congress and federal spending shot upward ever since. And at least according to the Fed, that disparity is actually accelerating, at least to 2012, with DC median income skyrocketing while the rest of us stagnate….

    2. Johnny, people in DC are just smarter, better looking, and gosh-darnit, people just like them. That is why their income has gone up. Why do you hate politicians children, Johnny?

      1. This is what many people in the DC area actually believe. They actually say reality-challenged things like “If they got better educations like us, they’d be like us.”

        1. Higher education :: the DC elite =
          Obedience training :: pet owners

      2. better looking?

    3. Well what did you expect would happen if you confiscated and then concentrated the wealth within one metro area?

    4. Well, when in Rome.

        1. Proscribe your political opponents and appropriate their property to make up any shortfalls?

      1. Bugger your boy-slaves?

        1. What do you think those pages are for?

          1. live boy; dead girl; etc.

    5. Why aren’t the liberals worried about this worrisome escalation of income inequality, with Washington DC residents getting so much richer than everyone else?

  5. Rep. Alan Grayson: Thank goodness for all of the “stealth socialism” going on around here
    …How big is the Fed balance sheet, $3 trillion?

    [Rep. Alan Grayson] $3.5 trillion. We’ve had a government takeover of the bond market. Stealth socialism’s been created. Government simply ends up owning more and more and more. If government had taken over the steel industry, maybe it would have been more noticeable. They’ve taken over the financing of housing industry as well, with a desired result….

    1. See, the guy’s an asshole, but uncommon honest for a politcian.

      1. Yep, he’s honest, but unfortunately he’s apparently not smart enough to understand all of the negative consequences that will accompany the Fed’s turning the market into a giant crack addict.

    2. How large is the total domestic bond market? Private and public.

      I’m guessing $25-50 trillion.

    3. Why even bother with quote marks anymore?

  6. It doesn’t look like the recent shooting at the Washington Navy Yard will prompt a new debate on gun control in Congress.

    …To the extreme consternation of Obama. The BBC radio show played a good chunk of his anti-gun whining in some speech last night.


    1. Its not that good of news, she will probably have to have a broad right/left coalition which will end up doing the middle of the road policies which has gotten things in the mess they are today.

    2. You know who else was a light-hearted German?

      1. Otto Von Bismark?

        1. Holy crap, the way those Germans were looking at the camera almost rendered me NSFW.

  8. Security forces in Kenya are trying to end the ongoing hostage situation in a Nairobi mall following

    Proof that Obama is a sekret Muslim! The wingnuts were right all along!

    1. You’re hitting the bottle before 9:00?

      1. Bottle? Maybe a bottle of hallucinogens.

    2. You mean this isn’t proof that Obama single-handedly won the war on terror?

      1. It’s evidence that we need common sense gun legislation to prevent these attacks from happening again. Or something.

  9. She likes it ruff: Beaming Joss Stone hands out the gongs at a charity dog show

    I’d never heard of her until Hammond drooled all over her on Top Gear. Then I checked out her work, and it turns out she’s quite the talented singer. Too bad the stuff she chooses to sing sucks.

    1. Bongs? She’s giving away bongs?

    2. Beaming Joss Stone

      Thanks, sarcasmic! I’d almost forgotten about Screaming Lord Sutch!

      1. I’ve actually got that disk at home.

      1. She could put a woody on a statue.


        1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBH8o8XXnVM

          Joss singing Son of a Preacher Man in her Bambi looking barefoot style.

          1. I don’t think legs can get any nicer than that.

            1. She is hot. I have never heard of her. She is what Taylor Swift thinks she is.

  10. The one-time Chinese political star Bo Xilai has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power.

    If only we could do this to Peter King and Chuck Schumer.

    1. Why stop there?

  11. Her mouth says “no” but her eyes say “sexhadi.”

    The ongoing civil war in Syria is being felt beyond the Syrian borders. In neighboring countries like Iraq, Syrian fighting can be felt most acutely in the strain of hosting thousands of refugees. In Israel, the threat of a broader conflict transcending Syria’s borders looms large. Syrian conflict, however, isn’t just affecting its immediate neighbors in the Middle East ? it’s also affecting the country’s more distant neighbors in North Africa, perhaps none more strangely than Tunisia, where recent reports tell of Tunisian women traveling all the way to Syria to wage what some media outlets have, with an abiding faith in lurid headlines, dubbed a “sex jihad.”

    1. I agree with Instapundit on this. The rumor is that this is a myth started by the Tunisian government to get their jihadists to go to Syria, where they are likely to die.

      1. Honestly, that’s not a bad strategy.

        1. It is not at all. This is what the Saudis have been doing for decades.

          1. +69 virgins

          2. It’s the real reason that shrub invaded Iraq.

        2. That’s why I think Gen. Sisi should have waited at least a month or so before unseating Morsi, because a top cleric was urging radical Egyptians to volunteer to fight in Syria.

      2. That is absolutely genius if true. And when has a government ever done anything that competent?

      3. In Generation Kill, the Marines would often encounter, and swiftly kill, groups of young guys who had come from other Middle Eastern countries to fight the great Satan. They were less than fully prepared, to put it mildly, and were sometimes wearing designer clothes and driving fancy cars.

        I figured it was just a sad by-product of the high unemployment in the region and Saddam’s offer of a reward to the young men’s families if they came and fought. But maybe the people in the countries they left were actually glad to be rid of them.

        1. All of the above. And that was happening from the very beginning in Iraq. The war in Iraq was very much a honey pot for people who would have been causing trouble elsewhere.

        2. It was funny how so often those hadjis were entirely out of their league. One tactic which somehow they didn’t stop soon enough was to shoot rounds at the Marines then retreat to a building with a lot of open area around it. They obviously expected the Marines to attack on foot across those open fields. I guess they saw it on a bunch of movies and thought it made sense.

          The Marines would just keep an eye out to be sure the hadjis didn’t slip out then call in artillery or air support to bomb the building to rubble.

          They called those buildings “Allah’s waiting room”.

    2. I misread the headline the first stime, and thought her eyes were saying “sexhack”.

      Somebody posted about this on Friday, I think, because I made the joke that these ladies got their 72 virgins. And people actually liked that joke, amazingly enough.

      1. What is amazing about it? It was a good joke.

        1. I’m just engaging in a bit of self-deprecating humor.

          Besides, most of you bitch about how I complain about slideshow lists, people who abuse apostrophes, antisocial networking stuff slowing the site down, and people reposting the same stuff that was posted in a previous day’s AM Links. 🙂

  12. Where to look!? Ke$ha flashes her bum and thighs in leotard… (which has a dangerously plunging neckline for good measure)

    *paging Barfman*

    1. I went Cosmic Bowling last weekend and there for the first time ever I heard a Ke$sha song, something about crazy kids or crazy people (in the video really plays up the drinking pee angle too).

      I am saddened to admit that I actually kinda liked the song, and I don’t usually like dance music.

      1. I don’t know enough about her music to say anything either way. If her songs are good then they’re good. I just think she’s a disgusting person. But disgusting people can make good music.

      2. Ir’s pop. It’s designed to make you like it. I feel the same way with some Katy Perry tunes despite myself.

        1. Or the Gaga creature. Poker Face is a good tune. I don’t care what anyone says.

          1. Yup.

      3. Was it the duet with Iggy Pop?

  13. Students At USC: Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Totally Deserved, But Can’t Explain Why
    …In a video interview with Katherine Timpf of Campus Reform, USC students expressed confidence that Obama was still worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize he won just a few months after taking office in 2009.

    “I’m a huge Obama fan and yes, I think he does,” said one female student.

    But when asked what Obama had done to promote peace, she confessed she couldn’t think of any examples.

    Another student said she supported everything that he was doing. His very existence was creating peace, she said.

    “I just feel like in general being a good guy, it’s just creating a lot more peace and like, mellow,” she said. “The fact that he is for the people creates peace in and of itself.”…

    1. That’s pretty much the reason he was elected twice, so at least she’s about average in political understanding.

    2. Not starting any new wars looks good these days.

      And that is a sad fact.

      1. That’s the criteria? I should have a fucking Nobel then.

      2. That’s not for a lack of trying Buttplug.

      3. Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Otto von Bismarck. He’s done a huge favor for whoever is president next. If he or she just isn’t as incompetent he/she will go down as one of the great leaders of our country. If he/she manages to actually make a few decent decisions, we’re talking about the next Abe Lincoln.

    3. Like, mellow?

      1. Obama is like totally chill man. Puts out all kinds of positive waves that help the world.

        And just think, last I looked USC was a fairly selective private school. These kids are among the best and brightest. Generation retard. The liberals have succeeded in producing a generation so stupid, they don’t have the language or thinking ability to object.

        1. Generation retard.

          oh fuck off, John. You can hear this kind of unthinking dumbness across history from people. This isn’t unique, your penchant for starting a GENERATION WARZ notwithstanding.

          1. I am not that old. And I get it that generalizations about generations are not true. But good God there seem to be so many examples of kids just not being able to think and just emoting. The link above is embarrassing. I wouldn’t even count the people in it as liberals. Being liberal requires at least having some kind of world view and thought process. They seem to have none. They just emote. Something is seriously wrong.

            1. Being liberal requires at least having some kind of world view and thought process.

              No it doesn’t.

              They just emote.

              Yes. That’s what liberals do. They know what they feel, and no amount of facts, reason, or logic is going to change it.

          2. I’m not taking sides, but I will inject someone else who went to USC: Ezra Klein.

            GO BANANASLUGS!

            1. One of the greatest mascot names in college sports.

            2. UCSC makes USC look like the University of Libertopia.

              And fuck you for saying that Ezra Klein went to USC. That idiot went to UCLA. Not surprising he’s a Bruin. Don’t blame that one on us

              1. He went to both. He transferred to UCLA. They wanted him that bad.

                1. SCSC. Sorry. Maybe you assholes should get some more letters to play with in your socialist college nonsense. 🙂

                  1. Hey at least we’re a private school (I realize most private schools take public money in some form, but the point remains nonetheless).

        2. If you’re 25 and all you remember are the Bushpigs then Obama has to look good to you.

          1. I started becoming politically aware with Ford….O! stinks on ice. Many of them have.

          2. BUSHPIG!!!

            Let it out shreek. Apparently even the seizure meds they give you are not effective. Very sad.

          3. I’m 26, and don’t think that. But I am capable of thinking outside of TEAM and FREE STUFF!!!!

            We are not all Obama butt boys like you Shriek.

            1. FREE STUFF is just another wingneck talking point. Bush gave more stuff away.

              Obamaphones, food stamp program, contraception as part of insurance coverage – et al – all predated Obama quite a bit.

              Now health insurance subsidies can be considered free stuff – but the poor get them anyway via cost shifting that we all pay.

              Bush gave away $10,000 per home purchase – let that rub your GOP ass raw for once.

              And remember – I am not a Team guy – I just won’t forgive the GOP for a long time.

              Also, I am smarter than you are. And probably was at 26 too.

              1. Don’t forget the Obamaguns.

              2. If you have to tell people that you’re smart… odds are, you’re probably not.

              3. Please show me where I said one positive thing about Bush, Smart Guy.

                I am not a Team guy

                Hahahahaha good one Shriek.

              4. Now health insurance subsidies can be considered free stuff – but the poor get them anyway via cost shifting that we all pay.

                And remember – I am not a Team guy – I just won’t forgive the GOP for a long time.

                This is a clear contradiction. You just pooh-poohed a clear giveaway by your boy, most likely because of his partisan affiliation.

                Bush gave away $10,000 per home purchase – let that rub your GOP ass raw for once.

                Bush and a Democratic Congress. Also, it was only for first home purchases, the giveaway for repeat buyers was added in Obama’s first term. It was still stupid, but not as severe as you imply ($7.5k vs. $10k, much less volume).

                1. So you admit that the FREE STUFF thing is mostly Team Red Bullshit since they do most of it?

                  1. No partisan affiliations, but you never say anything critical of a Democrat, and certainly nothing critical of Obama. Maybe we should nail down a commonly-accepted definition for the word, “partisan.”

                    Also, an easy tell about your affiliation is the fact that responsibility for policies you don’t like follows party, not office. If something bad happens, it’s either a Republican president or a Republican Congress. If good, it’s wherever the Dems have a controlling interest. You can’t ignore the fact that, most of the time and certainly over any period of four years, our government is split between both big parties, not unless you have no real interest in being nonpartisan. You can’t say that Obama has no culpability for policies he’s “inherited” when, six years in, he’s doing the same things or worse than his predecessor.

      2. If you saw how she was dressed, you would not be shocked.

      1. Exactly. I attended a public hearing last month. The city council was considering taking over the electric power grid. Okay, fair enough, glad you had a hearing.

        Well this one woman gets up, says she’s a community organizer and goes on and on about how the city should take over the grid because she feels that we need social justice and opportunity and jobs on the northside.

        And I’m like, what the fuck does social justice have to do with electricity? We already pretty much give oit to poor people for free via several programs.

        Stupid cow.

    4. And those are highly edumacated kids from elite families.

    5. I go to USC. It doesn’t surprise me that they found people like this here. USC is actually relatively conservative by California standards (and even moreso historically), but of course that still means we’re a fairly liberal school. And even the conservative kids aren’t necessarily all that knowledgeable when it comes to politics. I feel like that’s something that’s seems to be generally true of pretty much any group in this country.

    6. Cult of personality.

    7. “I just feel like in general being a good guy, it’s just creating a lot more peace and like, mellow,” she said. “The fact that he is for the people creates peace in and of itself.”…

      Gotta agree with John on this one… I went to early-90’s everyone-gets-in college and I don’t recall hearing a fellow student utter something so utterly brain-dead.

  14. Egyptian arrested for naming donkey after general

    See, this is what makes America great. Here, someone can name his dog “BO” after THE PRESIDENT and not be arrested.

    1. Is this just a set-up to the Egyptian Jay Leno saying “we have far too much respect for donkeys in this country?”

      A side note: SNL cast member Jay Pharoah seems uniquely suited to be the Egyptian Jay Leno.

      1. But can he walk the walk?

        1. You just had to ruin everything, didn’t you?

          1. oh whey oh

    2. Just don’t put on an Obama mask and expect to keep your rodeo clown job.

      1. IIRC, the clown was not *arrested*, so — completely different.

  15. Holy shit, I’m getting fucked like a hiker under STEVE SMITH in both the Jsub Memorial fanatasy league and the pick ’em. BTW, the Browns let down AP’s daughter by beating her daddy’s team. Jesus, yesterday was a clusterfuck of mediocrity.

      1. The Browns managed to fuck-up losing yesterday. The Browns are like “your mom” jokes: always, and I mean always, hilarious.

        1. Your mom is always hilarious….


        2. Best joke I saw yesterday:

          The only team tanking properly is the Redskins, and they dont have a 1st round pick to tank for.

          1. The Giants are working on it though.

    1. I’m only two games back in the Reason league despite having picked the NY Giants to win all three of their games.

      Lesson learned. Their stock has sunk to an all-time low even with a grade A QB.

      1. The Giants O-line is non-existent. They’ll be lucky to go 7-9 this year.

      2. I agree. The Giants suck beyond anything I was prepared for. I did not think Dallas would be the powerhouse of the NFC East.

        1. Put the ‘Boys in any other division, and they’re nobody’s powerhouse.

          Although they did look good yesterday.

    2. My one fantasy team has posted 65 points in back to back weeks now. I am fucked.

      And I apologize to anyone who may be putting a gun in their mouth because we’re talking fantasy teams.

      1. I got one league where my first 4 picks were (not in order) Tom Brady, Ray Rice, Reggie Bush, and Roddy White. Even worse the scoring system here KILLS the QB for throwing incompletions (QB, earn points for completes passes and loses points for incompletes, a 66% completion rate would cancel each other out to 0 net points).

        First two weeks I got killed, this week I benched everyone of them and I’m actually winning.

        1. That is the worst scoring system for a qb I’ve heard of.

          1. Well the qb’s get all the normal categories but I did screw up the settings on these 2 categories when I set up the league, it was supposed to be 0 points at 50% completion, not 66%

        2. My problem is my team is all around awful.

          We start 3 WRs. All 3 scored 4.4 yesterday.

    3. I put up one of the worst weeks ever and still beat you going away, Brett. I expected better from you! 🙂

      1. My team is the NYG of the Jsub League. I look forward to relegation.

    4. It was a hell of a week for the underdogs. I got creamed (although I still manage to hold 9th place in the Reason pick ’em, and I’m only 3 games out. Plenty of time.)

    1. after posting the first photo of herself in which she wears a tight orange slip dress, she says she felt like she wanted to vomit.

      Well, vomit is beautiful, too.

    2. 30 days of dieting and exercising was yet another alternative…

      1. That would have actually involved doing something more strenuous than shoving snack cakes into her piehole.

        On the plus side, the “fat acceptance” goons will eat themselves into the grave. On the negative side, they’re going to expect everyone to cover their healthcare needs up to that point.

  16. ‘It’s free food – it’s awesome!’: Unemployed beach bum uses food stamps to eat like a king on lobster and sushi – and has no plans of getting a job

    29-year-old Jason Greenslate is given $200 in food stamps a month despite his not even attempting to find a job
    He has no job, surfs and drinks when he wakes up every afternoon and has no intentions of finding employment anytime in the near future – yet, he eats lobster or gourmet sushi everyday.
    Of his lifestyle, Greenslate says, ‘I don’t feel like a bum. I pull hot chicks, drive nice cars, dress nice and wear the most baddest jewelry in the world.’


    You gotta read this shit. It makes you want to stab a fork into someone’s eye.

    1. This is the Onion, right?

      1. Worse. Fox. Er, uh, I mean Faux.

    2. Fox news had a 2 night special with that scumbag getting a ton of face time. It feels like a huge troll.

      1. The 15 minutes of fame will probably help him do even better with the bimbos who want to eat free sushi with a surfer dude.

        1. He must still live with his parents. $200 in food stamps is all he needs.

      2. I hope that motherfucker gets eaten by a Great White.

      1. Because not giving is taking and not taking is giving.

      2. Holy shit, how racist is calling that stuff “Teabonics”!?

      3. It never occurred to the maker that we support food stamp cuts AND salary cuts.

    3. This has to be common, because I know people exactly like that. Haven’t worked in years, no plans to work, and bragging about having so much food, including lobster, filet, and other foods that are not cheap, that they have to feed part of it to their dogs and still have to throw out a lot.

      It’s sickening those of us working are financing this sort of warped thing, just so crooked politicians can stay in office.

  17. KU professor who wished death on NRA members’ kids is punished? with paid leave
    …”I have had conversations with the university and have agreed to this action ? an administrative leave with pay ? in light of the abusive email threats I and others have received. It is in it the best interests and peace of mind of our students that I remove myself from the situation and let cooler heads prevail. It is unfortunate that my comments have been deliberately distorted. I know what I meant. Unfortunately, this is a topic that generates more heat than light. I don’t think any further comment would be appropriate at this time.”…

    1. I guess Dunphy was right that it’s not just the cops who get this benefit of the doubt.


    2. Yeah, the agressor playing the victim card. Real classy.

    3. “I have reluctantly agreed to accept this punishment of a paid vacation.”

    4. The professor sounds like a twit. But I can’t say he is any worse than people who send threatening emails to people they are pissed at.

      1. Probably not, but when you call for the murder of innocent children due to the fact that you hate the TEAM their parents belong to, it’s a bit naive to expect that there won’t be some fallout.

  18. Climate scientists urged to cover up slow in global warming, it is claimed
    …Climate sceptics have used the lull in surface warming since 1998 to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming by burning fossil fuels and cutting down CO2-absorbing forests. …

    Row over IPCC report as nations ‘try to hide lack of climate change’

    1. Last thing I read on that said they’re pushing the hypothesis that global warming is causing the water at the bottom of the oceans to warm up. That’s right. Cold rises and heat sinks.

      1. “..That’s right. Cold rises and heat sinks.”

        It was prophesized in some Mayan calendar somewhere. Dogs and cats, living together…

      2. Devil’s advocate, if the upper layers were warm enough, conduction would carry the heat downward as the lower layers acted as a heat sink for the surface.

        There isn’t enough evidence that the temperature in the upper layers creates a high enough differential to do this as of now.

        1. There are a set of currents that do mix across thermoclines, thus the Pacific Current Decadal Oscillation (PCDO) and ACDO and other observed phenomena where clearly warm water is transferred to the deeper ocean and vice-versa. It has to be so due to the laws of physics that govern heat exchange.

          One of the things you would expect if the only path for energy was to deep ocean is a falloff in total cyclonic energy. One of the things you would expect if energy was moving from the depths to the surface would be more cyclonic activity because hurricanes and typhoons is how excess energy in the surface layer of water is moved to the upper atmosphere. Low cyclonic energy would be an indication that there is not a large disparity between the surface layer energy and the atmosphere.

          Personally I think that the giant unlicensed fusion reactor in the sky putting out significantly less energy for about a decade probably will prove to be the primary driver, but I am willing to be proven wrong.

          1. Thanks, I’m not an oceanographer, and was working mostly from low-level physics courses I’d taken. I couldn’t even remember the term ‘thermocline’ which I hear mostly in how it does wierd things with sonar returns.

            1. Oceanographers use terms wrong, too. They use the word diffusion when they are really talking about convection. I had a ChemE PhD and an Oceanographer PhD almost get in a fist-fight at a bar over that one.

              1. A Chemical Engineering PhD and a an Oceanography PhD walk into a bar. The bartender says?

          2. See: upwelling.

          3. We need a sun tax. We want to tax air, so why not sun light? Everyone can just get a meter on their house, and then pay a monthly fee for their fair share of the sun.

          4. I think that the giant unlicensed fusion reactor in the sky putting out significantly less energy for about a decade probably will prove to be the primary driver

            So you are saying that what the Neanderthal knew? The “giant ball of fire” in the sky is the most important factor in climate?

        2. Actually, there’s an interesting paper out there where some guys spent weeks on a boat near the the straits between the islands of New Zealand taking detailed observations of the thermal/salinity profile as a function of depth. What they observed where huge waves of cold water roiling under the warm water, and when the cold waves broke, they mixed the cold water into the depths.

          This sort of mechanical flow could mix warm water down into the depths. However, the warming is disappearing into the deep oceans theory is very speculative; given how poorly observed the oceans were (the good records start within the past 15 years, it will be a few decades before humanity has enough data to be able to look at real trends.

          1. Isn’t “the ocean absorbed the heat” just another way of saying “the earth, because it is covered in huge amounts of water, has a very large specific heat and thus is very hard to warm”? And if that is the case, I think that makes AGW, even if true, much less of an immediate problem.

            1. Another very good point!

              The specific heat of air is ~ 1.0 kJ/(kg K) (it varies significantly with temp and pressure and moisture levels) with a total mass of 5 E18 kg. Thus to heat the entire atmosphere by one degree K you would need 5E18 kJ of energy.

              The specific heat of seawater is ~ 3.9 kJ/(kg K) with a total mass of 1.4E21 kg of mass. To heat the entire oceans one degree K you would need 5.5E21 kJ of energy.

              Basically, it requires 1000 times the energy. Of course this is horribly crude, what matters are slices of the atmosphere and the ocean, not the whole enchiladas, but it can give a first order sense of the impacts.

      3. Interesting physical anomaly- Water has a peak density at 4degC, so below that temperature, cold rises and heat sinks (and much of the water below 1000m is at 4degC or cooler).

        The fun counter-intuitive result of the deep ocean heating up is that it acts to lower sea levels. So why is this a bad thing?

  19. In the request section of my Last Will and Testament I ask the Minnesota Vikings serve as my pallbearers…


    1. How do you lose a home game to a crappy team with a replacement QB and RB?

      1. Christian Ponder and no pass rush is my guess.

        1. Tim Tebow is available I hear.

          1. He must have fucked Elway’s daughter and not called her back. That’s the only explanation for him being effectively black-balled when so many teams suck so bad.

            1. My understanding is that he let his conditioning go to shit. He’s not going to be NFL ready before December even if he gets serious.

              The dude really needs to go away some place and get his shit together or move on and find a new profession.

              1. I’d like to see some evidence for that. To me, that sounds like a pat ESPN-produced answer.

            2. That and the film of him throwing the football.

  20. I often think the effect of a CEO is overrated. But I think Steve Jobs might be the exception. Apple, whatever its faults always understood the aesthetics of technology better than anyone. Even their products that failed always looked great. I think that more than anything is how thye got such a cult following.

    That all ended with the latest version of the IPhone OS. It is the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life. It makes my eyes hurt to look at it. It is like someone hacked your phone and rebooted it in Windows safe mode. It is just horrible. And worse, it is just like a Microsoft product in that it randomly changes the interface for no apparent gain in functionality. Oh you are used to doing it this way, too bad, you have to do it this way now not because this way is better but because some asshole in the company decided things need to change. That is classic Microsoft and the kind of thing Apple tended to avoid.

    Whatever his flaws, I can’t believe for a moment Jobs would have let something this ugly go out as the OS on their flagship product. The fact that it happened, tells me the entire company is in a lot of trouble. Any company that has people in charge who think that looks good or is a good idea, is in a lot of trouble.

    1. I often think the effect of a CEO is overrated. But I think Steve Jobs might be the exception.

      Wasn’t Jobs also one of the founders? I think that’s the difference.

      1. Him and Wozniak. And yeah that makes a difference. It is amazing how much the death of one guy can change a company. I am not a member of the Apple cult. I just own an Iphone. I can’t believe that Apple would ever put out an ugly product. A bad or an overrated product? Sure. But never an ugly one. Until now that is.

      2. More often than not the people who found a company end up sidelined once the company gets huge. In that respect Jobs was an exception.

        1. He was sidelined. And after Apple crashed, he came back.

        2. That is true. But the two Google guys are backing Eric Schmidt out.

    2. What, you don’t like swiping left to delete? I thought that was a game-changer.

      1. Swiping is evil, almost as bad as swooping.

        1. And it’s irritating that more and more web-sites seem to be optimizing themselves for the people who use fondle-screen technology that requires swiping and such.

    3. I agree. I like some things about the new OS, but god it mostly looks awful. I cannot understand some of the changes that have been made.

      1. Looking cool has always been the hallmark of Apple. It is as if George Clooney decided to grow a mullet.

          1. HOLY SHIT!

        1. “It is as if George Clooney decided to grow a mullet.”

          Thomas L. Friedman, is that you posting as John all this time?

          1. In all seriousness, what about that statement makes you think of Friedman? I love to make fun of his writing. But I am not seeing it here.

            1. If you have to ask…

              1. Yes I do. And that is not something Friedman would write. If Friedman wrote it, it would be much longer and much more personal. Like this

                I was recently on a plane flying to the Davos conference and the two people sitting next to me were the billionaire owner of a string of hair dressing salons in Mumbei and George Clooney. The three of us had a long conversation in the first class cabin of the new Air Bus 380 and had a long conversation about the flatness of global style…

                Now that is Friedman.

          2. Lobsters are bugs.

            1. “Lobsters are bugs.”

              In the same sense that any long arm is an assault rifle.

              1. They’ve got lots of legs, antennae, and an exoskeleton. They’re bugs.

              2. We used to feed lobster to prisoners as a punishment. Rich idiots made it a ‘delicacy’.

                1. We used to feed lobster to prisoners as a punishment. Rich idiots made it a ‘delicacy’.

                  This is not even wrong.

                  1. Long ago, lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans used them to fertilize their fields and to bait their hooks for fishing. In colonial times, lobsters were considered “poverty food.” They were harvested from tidal pools and served to children, to prisoners, and to indentured servants, who exchanged their passage to America for seven years of service to their sponsors. In Massachusetts, some of the servants finally rebelled. They had it put into their contracts that they would not be forced to eat lobster more than three times a week.


                    1. Now, if only that attidue could return, and people would stop pushing those bugs as ‘luxury’ items, I’d be happier.

                    2. I hope you recognize that the fact that lobster was fed to prisoners does not mean that it was fed to them *as punishment*. Moreover, it was not ‘rich idiots’ who made it a delicacy – delicacies exist in places where there isn’t a lot of that thing. So in flyover states, there is no lobster. On the coasts, they pay $3 an ear for shitty corn.

                    3. I guess New York isn’t coastal enough to suffer from that malignance, since all the corn I see is grown locally (except the canned corn), so no one regards it as anything but a “not sure if this is a vegitable or grain” semi-staple food.

                      Delicacy is always a term of derision from me – eating something that should never be regarded as food, let alone expensive food. Just because it costs a lot to ship sea bugs to Chicago does not make them any more worth eating.

                      When the prisoners are on the record begging for something else, it’s a punitive food. Especially in the time before the coddling of the incarcerated.

                    4. On the coasts, they pay $3 an ear for shitty corn.

                      I’m on the coast and I get locally grown corn for like fifty cents an ear. I could also get bugs for $3/lb off the boat if I wanted. But I don’t.

                    5. On the coasts, they pay $3 an ear for shitty corn

                      What coast are you talking about? Corn is cheap and good here in Maryland.

                    6. I get 10 for a dollar on the west coast.

                  2. It’s all in the preparation. I imagine that prison lobster wasn’t broiled gently and served with lemon and drawn butter. Not to mention that it wasn’t considered something you ate. Tomatoes were eschewed for a while, too, which is totally evil, if understandable given it being a kind of nightshade.

                    Lobsters are in the same phylum as cockroaches, for the record, but it’s a damned big phylum. Arthropoda includes all crustaceans, in fact.

                    1. Arthropods also land on the side of the plate as “something I don’t want to eat if I can avoid it.”

                    2. An awful lot of good eats are in that phylum–crabs, shrimp, and lobsters, for instance.

                    3. That explains why I hate all of them.

                    4. What Pro L said.

                    5. Rolly Pollys are arthropods too.

                      And Many bugs actually taste LIKE lobster. I will put almost anything in my mouth at least once. I am an adventurous eater. I can’t wait to try durian. My wife tried it and said it wasn’t that bad…she must have had a head cold.

                    6. Ohh and for the record, you could poach my shoes in butter and i would probably still eat them.

                      I poached the most boring of proteins once, the lowly chicken breast, in butter. DAMN it was good. But not worth wasting the butter.

                    7. I thought about getting some when I was in KL, but the smell makes it hard to eat anywhere–not allowed to eat it in your hotel, restaurants don’t generally serve it (at least, none I went to), etc.

                    8. You can stop at street venders all around KL. It is like eating some sort of superfood pudding. Feels like you could live off the stuff. Pretty entertaining, but not a food I would seek out.

                      Also, apparently mixing with alcohol will form so much gas as to be potentially dangerous in your GI tract.

                    9. I must’ve just had bad luck. I talked to a street vendor about eating some, and he told me I could buy it and go somewhere else to eat it.

                    10. Hello, sailor!

                    11. You have a strange definition of “Good Eats”. Yes, I have had them, and I classed them as “only if there’s nothing else available”.

                    12. I’d say yours is the strange one. Oh well, more shrimp and crab for me.

                    13. I have a strange definition? I don’t think I’m going far afield in suggesting that crustaceans are popular and, of course, frequently used in haute cuisine.

                      Not that you have to like them. De gustibus non est disputandum.

                2. And it’s selling at the docks for about $2.20/lb right now, but restaurants still charge you a fortune for it.

                  1. I went to Maine when I was in college, and lobster cost not a whole lot less than that. We had it for lunch while I was there, and I flew back with four for the family for less than $10.

                3. The rich idiots were the ones who didn’t eat it themselves because they were tied to the idea that certain things were fit food for the upper classes.

                  Is it really so hard to say “I don’t like lobster”?

            2. Lobsters are bugs

              Then shrimp and crabs are bugs, too. I always thought they were crustaceans.

              Either way, I’m still eating them.

              1. It’s not entirely accurate to call them bugs. They’re arthropods. That’s a huge phylum. Yes, it includes spiders and insects, but those aren’t in the same subphylum as the crustaceans.

                1. Bugs organs are supported in a fluid, not a solid tissue. I am pretty sure that the inside of a lobster, crab, shrimp is more like muscle than the insides of bugs.

            3. What’s wrong with eating bugs?

            4. cockroach of the sea

            5. So what if Lobsters are bugs? They’re delicious bugs.

    4. I concur.

      Here’s the deal: I acknowledge that what you might call “minimalist taste” has no claim to genuine superiority of taste.

      For a very long time, high taste (and class is what determines taste in the end) tended towards the baroque. The whole “muted colors, lots of black, simple lines, no ornamentation” thing is a very recent phenomenon as far as high taste goes.

      But it’s the only thing I’ve ever known, and I’m not letting it go. Whether it’s arbitrary or not, I embrace it.

      And in one download that took about 20 minutes, Apple went from aspiring to high taste to vulgar taste. They threw away everything in one update.

      This Hello Kitty shit has got to die.

      I hate my phone now.

      1. I think minimalist fits very well with technological devices. It would be real hard to do a baroque phone and it would be ridiculous even if you came up with one. The other thing is that ornamentation often interferes with functionality, which is most of the beauty of high tech devices. As cool looking as some of the things Steam Punk artists dream up, you would never want your device to actually look like that if you had any plans of using it.

        So minimalism really fits with high technology, and I say this as someone who loathes it in virtually any other context.

          1. Not baroque enough, I want something like a vox unit from 40K.

          2. I like my smart phone. I like being able to have an mp3 player and a phone in one device.

            1. I like having a camera on the phone to take pictures of the kid, and Tetris for when I’m taking a shit. Other than that I’d be happy with a Jitterbug.

              1. The camera is nice too. But yeah, absent the camera and music, what is the point?

                1. I have a $15 Walmart phone and a $175 netbook that I suspect will do more than your smartphone does, except for the part about causing you to worry about losing it.

                  1. I can’t put a netbook in my front pocket or take it with me when I run.

        1. Also the genius of google.

          White page with a box.

          Results are clear without clutter.

          1. And drudge. Druge looks exactly the same today that it did in 1998 when it was breaking the Monica story.

            Companies in other fields are loath to change the look of their product. They will do it gradually or not at all. Tech companies for some reason seem to think that the look and functionality of their product must change with every update. It is utter foolishness.

            To give the best known example, Microsoft makes every new version of Word function differently than the last and thus infuriates all of their customers as they spend hours and aggravation relearning the program. There is no reason for that. No other company would ever do that to their product. It would like if Ford decided that on its 2014 model year cars the gas peddle was going to be on the left and engine has to be started by pushing on the horn. I would love to know what about the culture of technology companies produces this lunacy.

            1. They believe that theirs is the industry of change and that nothing could have reached an ‘optimal’ level, so they are changing for the sake of change because it is ‘their mark’ on the product and naturally must be an impovement. Nevermind that Word Processing was perfected in the 80s and such.

              It’s a cultural mindset: there is no such thing as an incremental improvement, only a quantum leap!.

            2. It isnt the IT people.

              Its the marketing people. If they asked the geeks, everything would look like google.

        2. I guess someone needs to tell Apple if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it.

          *drops mic, walks off stage*

          1. Cogsworth here clearly has children.

          2. Hiyooooooo!!

        3. Windows 8 (and the new Office) has also gone the minimalist route – everything is flat and gray now. And ugly as shit. If it wasn’t for certain niceties for developers, I would go back to 7.

    5. I dislike about 95% of the look/feel, but the Control Center is awesome.

      1. So, should I not install iOS 7 on my iPad, then?

        1. If you have an original iPad like me, its not an option. More seriously, I think the photo management stuff is probably worth the ugly on iPad if you use it for taking/showing photos to people.

          1. I have an iPad 2 and don’t really use it for photos.

            1. I don’t know then. It’s ugly, but it functions fine. People seem to either love it or hate it. My wife loves it, I don’t. But it works just fine.

              1. I didn’t rush to install it just because I like to let others find the flaws in the update first. I guess we’ll have to install it at some point.

    6. They tanked the first time he left the company too.

      I agree that in their case, he was a major driving force.

    7. I don’t think the effect of a CEO is overrated at all. A good leader can make an enormous difference.

      1. Most, however, are only good at self-aggrandizement and are not actually ‘good leaders’.

        1. Yes, I agree with this. It’s partially due to the media and even analysts trying to make a company’s “story” about the CEO. PR departments within the companies are guilty of this, too.

          I’d say that in the lion’s share of companies, the CEO is grossly overpaid and not terribly critical to the business’ success. They can make things worse much more than they can change a company’s inertia, for good or for ill. And, with much shorter CEO tenures these days, whatever they do to temporarily boost the financials can come at the expense of future success.

          That all said, the conventional wisdom is that CEOs are of massive importance and have to be paid like they’re living gods. That’s the market, and that’s reality. Don’t do it, and the cheap CEO you have will go somewhere else, and investors will have a fit in the interim.

          1. The CEO is responsible for choosing an executive team that can accomplish the organization goals. S/He sets the tone, the objectives, directions, etc…

            I’ve seen indifferent CEO’s and good ones. Huge difference.

            1. Most CEOS inherit their executives. A company had better be a disaster if a CEO comes in and ousts a sitting executive committee.

              I’m not saying they’re not important. They’re just not as important or central to a company’s success as we’ve been led to believe. It’s often a different matter, of course, when that CEO is a founder and not a hired gun.

              1. My experience is that its about a 3 year process to get the CEO’s leadership team in place. The ones who don’t fit usually get performance reviews and raises below what they expect until they move on.

                1. Our relatively new CEO just finished that process in under 2 years. Some were just given the boot – some gradually phased out with nice parting gifts.

          2. Hrmmm, how about a clause in the cheap CEO’s contract requiring a minimum time at the company and a payment to the company of the difference in compensation between their pay at the company and what they get should they jump ship for another firm before the end of the minimum term. A sort of reverse golden parachute.

    8. Thank you John — someone said what I was feeling after “upgrading” to IOS 7 this weekend. The previous version worked fine and looked great — clean and professional. This new version looks like it was designed by a team of 7th grade girls.

  21. Poland confiscates half of all private pension funds. All of Washington take furious notes, send messages of admiration and congratulations.


    1. people joining the pension system in the future would not be obliged to pay into the private part of the system.

      Alrighty, then.

    2. The worst part of Poland confiscating half the private pension funds is the reason they are doing it. They have borrowed and spent all the money they can but seizing private money gives a boost to their assets so that they can borrow more money. It’s as if a penniless alcoholic stole a bottle of liquor and instead of drinking it he used it as collateral for a loan to buy two bottles of liquor.

      1. That’s good.

      2. They have borrowed and spent all the money they can but seizing private money gives a boost to their assets so that they can borrow more money.

        We are what maybe a year or two from this happening in California? Five years from it happening to the federal government?

      3. Why dio you hate penniless alcoholics, Jerryskids?

    3. Poland just took a note out of the Peronists’ bag of tricks.

  22. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-G…..ammer-Cruz

    Top DC Republicans sending out op research to media on Ted Cruz. Wow are they scum. And worse than being scum, they are losers. They would rather lose than stand up. I have no doubt that they rationalize this sort of behavior as being necessary to save the Republican party from being taken over by crazies and lead to its ruin.

    1. Hm. And they wonder why the base didn’t turn out for Mitt Romney.

        1. Or Dole.

          For that matter, W. would have lost as well if the Dems hadn’t run such terrible candidates.

    2. John, it has been, since at least the end of the Nixon presidency, the Washington people against the Outlanders, regardless of party. Reid and McDonnell have more in common than McDonnell and Cruz.

      1. Yep, and when the lords leave Congress they always stay on in DC in some high paid government related position.

        1. Yep, and when the lords leave Congress they always stay on in DC in some high paid government related position

          Yep. Once you become one of the ruling elite royalty, you are set for life. You’ll just get moved around from one super high paying and totally unnecessary position to another.

          This is why Nancy Pelosi said there is nothing to cut in the federal budget. How can they keep expanding the royal family without more money to support all of them?

          We’re headed towards a real life version of the Hunger Games.

          1. Patricians are a bitch

    3. These “Top DC Republicans” and their ilk are on the verge of political extinction and they’re too fucking stupid to even know it.

      1. From your lips to FSM’s noodly ears.

      2. They don’t care, Mike, they only want to stay in power, that’s their only goal. They’re all progressives, neocons, or just crooks, hiding behind a GOP label, and there is no difference between them and the dems, except for their rhetoric, about which they are not serious, at all.

        Watch what they do to Rand Paul in 2016.

    4. Or they’re actually progressive shitweasles that can only get elected if an R is after their name.

      1. Or they’re actually progressive shitweasles that can only get elected if an R is after their name.


  23. Has anybody set up a 529 plan for their kid? One concern of mine is that it seems like the state government could just up and take it at any moment, at least in Pennsylvania. Not paying taxes on the gains is nice, but most of the plans seem to require portfolio fees, which isn’t so nice.

    1. Yes.

      One concern of mine is that it seems like the state government could just up and take it at any moment, at least in Pennsylvania.

      Isn’t PA’s administered by Vanguard?

    2. I’m starting this investigation as well. Where did you start and how much does state law matter?

      1. You live in Florida right? Since there is no state tax benefit, you can choose whatever state plan you want to invest in.

        Utah is generally considered to have the best 529s.

      2. Basically I’ve looked at Schwab’s since I already have a relationship with them. Theirs is a Kansas 529, whatever that means.

        Pennsylvania has two options, neither of which seem to have much information.

        1. PA does let you deduct up to $28,000 if you are married per year. That’s a big deduction (if you can actually invest that much) but when your tax rate is only 3.07% it doesn’t save that much in tax.

          So, you may be better off going outside of PA. I think you want to avoid Kansas though.

        2. States with income taxes generally provide you a deduction at the state level if you invest in that state’s plan. It becomes an additional part of the tax benefit analysis – do your state tax savings make up for any difference in a particular state’s return on investment?

          1. 3.07% just isn’t that big of a deal. And I imagine I still have to pay the 2% local tax (thanks Pennsylvania…) on the money.

    3. I have one.

      We have been putting $300 a month into it like clockwork since he was born.

      The fees don’t seem too ridiculous and the yields have been OK, considering the market since 2006.

      Confiscation is always a concern, I suppose. But my bigger concern is higher ed nationalization. I’ll save all this money and do the right thing, and in ten more years some future looter will declare that it’s not fair that my kid has money to go to college and the kids whose parents didn’t defer any consumption don’t. So they’ll just hand out huge checks for college, but only if you have no money saved.

      The moment they do that, I’m a fucking putz and moron loser sucker for having ever saved a penny. I could practically lease a Lexus for what I save for my kid’s education, and I can see them punking me on that in the end. I can easily see it.

      1. That’s another thing – the current increase in tuition can’t possibly continue or nobody will be able to afford college. I am pretty damn comfortable but I don’t see myself being able to afford Cornell for my kids the way we’d like no matter what I do.

        But right now my wife is maxing out her 401k plan so it’s not like we don’t have some wiggle room.

        1. Well, you can “afford” college if you put yourself in hock to the tune of $200,000.

        2. Until they start confiscating 401k plans.

          1. That’s why I don’t have one.

            1. Just watch the Roth IRA’s. They supposedly charge the tax upfront and are then tax free. They will go for these first, because of all the “untaxed profits”. As soon as this happens GET THE FUCK OUT!

      2. That’s already the way it works.

    4. Yes, I use BrightStart.

  24. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24163244

    Navy Yard SWAT team told to stand down during shooting spree. WTF? Is it possible they didn’t want to interrupt the shooting in hopes of getting a really big body count to use in the gun control debates?

    1. Allow me: WDATPDIM?

    2. No, the clusterfuck has a more pedestrian explanation.

      The Capitol Police don’t have jurisdiction over the Navy Yard.

      The commander told them to not enter a place that they don’t have jurisdiction. I can think of two possibilities:

      1) They thought the attack in the Navy Yard was a diversionary attack and wanted to keep the team in reserve.

      2) They said, “OMG Out of Jurizdiction?!? My butt haz expozure!!!!111!!!”

      I doubt they instantly came up with the evil plot of “Hey mass shooting going on, let’s pump up the body count for great justice!”

      1. I was kidding when I made the above suggestion. And now that you say that, I can guarantee you it was number 2. And I don’t blame them for standing down. If you don’t have jurisdiction, you don’t have sovereign immunity or any authority to be there. A Capitol Police officer at the Navy Yard is, with the lone exception of being able to arrest for felonies committed in his presence, no different than you or I. So, if the SWAT team goes over and accidentally shoots the wrong guy, they have no SI to cover themselves. Had I been their lawyer, I would have advised against going over there.

        1. Aka – it was another gang’s turf.

          1. Meaning they might actually be held accountable for fucking up. And no one wants that.

          2. Even though they were better trained for the situation at hand.

        2. And I don’t blame them for standing down.

          I do.

          If you don’t have jurisdiction, you don’t have sovereign immunity or any authority to be there.

          Boo hoo. Go in as a citizen to do the right thing and take your chances, then. “Oh, I let people die because I didn’t have sovereign immunity” doesn’t impress me.

          1. Sure RC. Lets let Law Enforcement go out and do the right thing with no regard to what their actual authorities and jurisdiction is. Good luck with that.

            1. I’m OK with law enforcement doing the right thing any time, any place, when they have the same exposure as ordinary proles, John. That includes making citizen’s arrests and acting in self-defense when they are out of their jurisdiction.

              I find it appalling that a group of heavily armed (and, let’s be generous, highly trained) men would simply sit on their hands while people are being gunned down because they won’t do what any decent human being would do unless they get special protection.

              1. Sure and they will only disregard the laws about jurisdiction and authority when it is really important. As I said, good luck with that.

                1. I know, its fantasyland, but if cops had to live with the same laws as the rest of us, I don’t see a problem with them “disregarding” jurisdiction and authority when doing so would mean that they are functioning as citizens, with the right every citizen has to make arrests and engage in armed self-defense.

                  I think we are in agreement that, given current cops and cop culture, they will refuse to do even the most obvious, moral, and decent thing unless they are given special treatment.

  25. The NYT finally breaks the news to its retarded readers that Obamacare has one drawback; if you don’t ration by price, you ration by restricting services.

    Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama’s health care law. But they rarely mention one big reason: many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.

    From California to Illinois to New Hampshire, and in many states in between, insurers are driving down premiums by restricting the number of providers who will treat patients in their new health plans.

    When insurance marketplaces open on Oct. 1, most of those shopping for coverage will be low- and moderate-income people for whom price is paramount. To hold down costs, insurers say, they have created smaller networks of doctors and hospitals than are typically found in commercial insurance. And those health care providers will, in many cases, be paid less than what they have been receiving from commercial insurers.

    Sorry, no link since Reason won’t accept NYT links.

    1. I’ve heard rumblings my wife’s insurance will kick me off because I have it offered through my work. That will make this go from an academic nuisance to pitchforks-and-torches really fast for me.

      1. The biggest lie Democrats told themselves during the run up to Obamacare was that few people were happy with their health care. That was totally untrue. The vast majority of Americans had insurance. They may have said in polls that they wanted the system to change, but that was only because Democrats had convinced them that the system would change without affecting their personal level of care. Remember the whole “if you like your plan you can keep it nonsense”.

        The chickens are going to come home to roost on that lie in the next year. The majority of Americans are going to see their real standard of living reduced in a very noticeable way. It is going to be a bloodbath. Democrats should be screaming to delay this thing.

        1. One wonders what rabbit the Dems are going to pull out of the hat to try avoiding the chicken bloodbath.

          It can’t be Syria. It can’t be gun control.

          1. Pensions/401k/etc nationalization.

            1. Please explain that, Spoonman.

              I can’t see how stealing (more) money is going to stop the trainwreck.

              1. It’s unfair that some people save for their retirements and some don’t. Thus, nationalization. For fairness.

                Also 401ks are evil Wall Street corporationy rich people demons.

                It won’t accomplish anything, but since when has the Silly Party been interested in results?

                1. As a distraction from Obamacare, which is what I thought you meant by pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

                  1. OK, thanks, but I think it would just add fuel to the fire. “Fairness” may be a kind of distraction, but mostly to folks who won’t be voting in the mid-terms.

                    1. The “fairness” argument only works if people think someone else’ money will be used to make things fair. If making things fair involves making things worse for them personally, fairness doesn’t quite have the same resonance.

                      The genius of prog programs up until Obamacare is that they have managed to totally shield the cost of paying for them. So they were effectively selling free ponies. Well, the costs of Obamacare are going to obvious, attributable and widespread. No other prog program has ever been that way.

                    2. Yep, American style welfare is concentrated benefits with diffuse costs; and large dollops of debt bridging the gag. But Obamacare is the opposite; concentrated costs and no benefits.

                    3. “Yep, American style welfare is concentrated benefits with diffuse costs; and large dollops of debt bridging the gag.”

                      It really is comedy whwn you think about it.

          2. They’ll pull Obama sole trick and blame the evil republicans for all the problems.

            I give them a 1 in 3 chance of it working.

        2. What people hated were 8% average annual premium increases and then rescission when a major sickness hit them.

          1. Fuck off sockpuppet.

          2. Rescission when someone got sick is a myth.

            Rescission when someone lied about being healthy is simple fairness. Lying on an insurance application is fraud, after all.

      2. If you like your insurance, you’ll get to keep it.

        We’re from the government, we’re here to help.


        1. If you like your insurance, you’ll get to keep it.

          Barber: “Want your sideburns?”

          Client: “Yes.”

          Barber: “Catch.”

        2. I’m keeping mine.

          I notice that Home Depot is dumping their part time “insurance” which had a $5000 maximum payout cap on it.

          They are doing their lackeys and favor.

          1. Rah! Rah! Go TEAM go!

            /TEAM DERP cheerleader

      3. I have to admit Czech socialized health insurance is a pretty good deal. I have to pay it in full since I’m self-employed, costs ~$60/month. They keep their costs down by paying doctors and other staff pretty low wages, amazingly low by US standards. And they aren’t exactly on the cutting edge I imagine, either.

        1. That is how all the socialized medicine countries do it.

          Docs in the US exist on extortion by emergency – also know as “gouging” in the free market.

          1. I have not had a medical emergency since I broke my thumb getting hit by a pitch in little league.

            But I’ve had knee surgery and dermatological surgery on a nonemergency basis since then.

            I think we define emergency differently.

            Cancer treatment, for example, is not an emergency.

            1. Me – emergency appendectomy, emergency abdominal blockage surgery caused by scar tissue from that first surgery, and two severely broken bone surgeries from athletic accidents.

              Net total – over $90,000 in 2012 dollars.

              And I am considered healthy.

              1. emergency abdominal blockage surgery

                IOW he was dangerously full of shit.

                When are they going to surgically remove your head from your anus?

              2. Ninety thousand clams spent and you’re still full of shit.

                What a waste…

          2. I’m kicking myself for responding but here goes.

            Docs in the US make a lot of money because their supply is kept artificially low by the AMA cartel. Along with doing stupid things like essentially requiring an undergrad degree. Why does being a doctor require a college degree?

            I think there are many other reasons though, beyond the salaries of doctors for the cost of healthcare in the US, I’m sure people like RC Dean could pontificate on them.

            It also seems that countries like the Czech Republic get to free ride off of technology and research pioneered in the US.

            1. All logical factors.

              There are more though.

            2. I’m sure people like RC Dean could pontificate on them

              Don’t mind if I do.

              Hospitals especially, but also doctors offices, absorb enormous deadweight costs from compliance with the volumes and volumes of regulations.

    2. “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

      ? Thomas Sowell

      1. semi OT: Remember “Law of Price” guy? He was a stitch.

          1. Man, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

            1. An asshole by any other name is still Randian.

              1. Uh, OK.

  26. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po…..-powerful/

    You get the feeling that Peter King started jerking off when he heard about the mall terrorist attack in Kenya.

    1. Of course, King likes terrorism. At least when it’s committed by the Irish Catholics.

    2. I think it is just a matter of time before someone does something like this in the US. The two clowns in Boston could have killed a lot more people with this method than they did by setting off bombs.

      You would want to do it in a state like New York or New Jersey with totally barbaric gun laws. That way you would have no worries of anyone fighting back. If you have even two, but better yet five or ten, well armed and motivated terrorists, walking into a mall and just shooting people is probably your best line of attack, if your goal is to die and to create as much terror as possible.

      In a place like New Jersey, the people won’t be armed and the cops are unlikely to have the guts to come in after you. They will just stand around outside until you run out of bullets.

      1. I doubt anyone would want to go to any Mall that had the security measures to foil an attack like this. Sadly, even a few armed citizens – if allowed to carry guns in said mall – would be pretty powerless against a group of shooters.

        1. No mall that I know of has the security measures to foil an attack by several well armed and determined terrorists. Mall cops didn’t sign up for that shit.

          Yes, the best way to defend against such is an armed populace. I can shoot the mall cops. They have uniforms and I know where they are. But I am fucked if say 10% of the people in the mall are armed. I have no idea who they are and they can lie and wait and ambush me and do all sorts of things to ruin my day.

          1. “Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho.”

          2. In New Hampshire, where I live, I would guess your 10% figure is just about right. People just don’t understand that it’s a Good Thing when people have the means and ability to defend themselves.

          3. But I am fucked if say 10% of the people in the mall are armed.

            You’re even fucked if only 1 or 2% of the people in the mall are armed.

        2. Sadly, even a few armed citizens – if allowed to carry guns in said mall – would be pretty powerless against a group of shooters.

          Powerless? No. They might not be enough to win, but sometimes it’s not about winning, it’s about making the bastards remember your name.

          Friend of a friend died in a home invasion in Texas. They carried him out of his house in a bag, but they carried out two of the three shitheads as well.

          If I ever got caught up in one of those things, I know I’d rather die with the slide locked back on an empty mag then cowering in a corner somewhere.

          1. Absolutely.

            Sorry about the friend of the friend. Here is the thing with a home invasion, don’t confront them. That is too dangerous. Get into a room with a gun and wait on them, preferably with a mattress or some kind of cover. Walking into a room with someone armed waiting to do you harm is pretty much suicide. Unless you have been home invaded by a group of Rangers, your invaders are going to have a hard time getting you out of that room and doing any harm to you.

      2. I’m thinking a New York highway exit megachurch is the way to go.

        No guns, three exits, 1500 people, lots of women and children.

        All Christians to boot.

        Those roadside churches should be to Islamic terrorists what the Little League World Series is to Catholic priests.

        1. That would be a good one, although in upstate they might actually have guns.

          We are fortunate in our enemies. Islamists are not fucking bright. They will try such an attack in suburban Houston or somewhere and what was planned to be the biggest terror attack since 911 will end up being a portrayed as a hate crime where five innocent Muslims where murdered by armed redneck fundies.

          1. I now have a vision of Joel Osteen whipping out a tricked-out Bushmaster AR-15, popping 3 terrorists while his ushers take out 2 more, and go back to preaching prosperity with a smile before the death rattles have ceased. Although the former Summit is not suburban Houston.

          2. We are fortunate in our enemies. Islamists are not fucking bright.

            Actually, I think this is inherent to what the U.S. is. Let’s assume ad arguendo that every claim the islamists make against American Hegemony is true, an intelligent person can still prosper and work with the U.S. Sure Egypt was run by real bastards, but an intelligent person could prosper and have a comfortable living, travel abroad, etc.

            Now, let’s compare that to the places that Islamists rule. They suck. Everyone is miserable. The Islamists ban so much shit that everything is on the black market. They have to execute people are horrific levels to keep order and enforce their laws. Intelligent people are generally repelled by the rules and princples of Islamism.

            I honestly think that Islamist ideology is selecting for idiots. Kind of a strong derpomorphic principle if you will.

            1. It selects for idiots and sociopaths angry about the world not recognizing their genius. Radical ideologies of any sort always attract a certain sort of person. That person usually has a way inflated sense of their own importance, a poor ability to succeed in the world, and a desire to be a part of something larger that will recognize their genius.

              The biggest killers in the last 200 years have all been third rate artists or intellectuals who never forgave the world for not recognizing their genius.

              1. I agree completely.

                But there are/were really smart commies, really smart christian fundamentalists, pretty smart Nazis, really smart New Dealers etc.

                I haven’t heard of any genius Islamists… I could be ignorant of their existence and hence full of shit, but I suspect that Islamism is so fucking small-minded, murderous, simplistic, and inhuman that only average to stupid people are attracted to it.

                1. I wouldn’t put Christian fundementalists on the same level as Nazis or commies. Maybe New Dealers, but even that is a stretch.

                  Maybe I missed it when the Baptists put those millions of people in camps and ovens.

                  1. That’s my point!!!!!

                    Baptists don’t put people in ovens (although I have no idea how many people – if any – they massacred in the last 200 years) An intelligent person who is attracted to Baptism is far less likely to run across something that makes him ask if he’s hitched his intellectual cart to a bad horse.

                    Before they were putting people in ovens, there was a period where the Nazis looked cool to a lot of people. The commies still manage to look cool to some people despite their horrific death camp networks and bodycounts.

                    I argue that Islamism is so noxious that any person with half a brain will be repelled by it.

    3. I recall vividly going to a mall in Kuala Lumpur and seeing a guard (not in uniform, incidentally), sitting in a chair, holding a shotgun.

      1. Was it a rocking chair? (Because that was the image that came to mind)

        1. I don’t think so. I remember that the guy was overweight and looked more like someone who should be committing crimes than preventing them.

      2. When I was in Istanbul in 2001 (early in the year) I was quite surprised and discomfited to see lots of police walking around with MP5s. A pistol on a cop’s belt is one thing. Submachine guns at low ready is quite another.

        1. I was at a Kaiserslautern 1FCK v Herth BSC soccer match in 1997 – groups of cops (8-10) with giant dogs and serious assault rifles. Of course, the locals in Kaiserslautern feared the incoming Berliners like Attila’s Horde reborn.

  27. Navy Yard SWAT team told to stand down during shooting spree.

    I’m much more inclined to believe they refused to enter a situation where they were likely to encounter a proficient adversary willing to shoot back.

    1. The NFL is a “non-profit”? No shit? They pay their commission something like $27 million a year.

      1. It means the company doesn’t make a profit, not that the people don’t profit from their association with it.

        1. I am not sure what non-profit means in this context. Any company can pay out its “profits” in the form of high salaries for its insiders and show zero profit or even a loss. Of course those salaries are taxed as personal income, but there isn’t any corporate income tax to be paid.

          1. More or less, it means that there are no shareholders.

          2. According to Wikipedia:

            The National Football League is an unincorporated nonprofit 501(c)(6) association, meaning its league office is not subject to income tax because it does not make a profit. In contrast, each individual team is subject to tax because they make a profit.[28] The NFL considers itself a trade association made up of and financed by its 32 member teams.

            1. But it is really a meaningless distinction. If you took that status away from the NFL< the league office would just distribute everything out to its employees and franchises and show a zero profit and still not pay any taxes.

              1. Non profit status gives entities the ability to acquire and hold more property than they otherwise would be able to because property is purchased with after tax retained earnings.

                I don’t know the extent that the NFL has taken advantage of that situation – could be a little could be a lot.

      2. And since the NFL cannot get too creative with compensation, a 27 million w-2 would generate a lot of tax liability.

  28. http://www.reuters.com/article…..LD20130923

    (Reuters) – Apple Inc said it sold 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models in their first three days on the market, the most successful iPhone launch ever.

    1. You don’t think there’s an iCult out there?

      1. I wonder how many were sold to people who don’t make a “living wage?”

        1. Everyone should have a smartphone, ’tis a basic human right.

      2. Hey Ted, at 9 million people i think cult no longer applies. What is your cutoff? I think they produce a good product and people are enthralled by it.

        Except for me and the 5c/s…I am rather angry now and refuse to upgrade to ios7 and refuse to purchase a new 5…but I am one man.

  29. The one-time Chinese political star Bo Xilai has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power.

    So I was reading some background on this last night, and this was hilarious:

    The Chongqing propaganda office said Mr Wang had been “overworked” and would be taking “vacation-style therapy”.

    The country’s vast and vastly cynical internet community immediately added the term to its growing list of Communist Party doublespeak.

    “Let’s continue: Consoling-style rape, harmony-style looting, environmental-style murder, scientific-style theft,” said one of more than 50,000 micro blog comments on the new terms that appeared within a day, according to the China Digital Times.

    Good ol’ CCP. I’m pretty sure “consoling-style rape” is the opposite of what Warty does, though.


  30. http://abovethelaw.com/2013/09…..-shooting/

    Interesting article on the Navy Yard shooting. I am starting to wonder about the side effects of psychiatric drugs. There have always been crazy people. And even in the old days of easy involuntary commitment, not all or even most of them were institutionalized. Yet, there seems to have been very few of them who went totally berserk in such public and destructive ways the way the shootings in Aurora and Newtown and now the Navy Yard did. It seems like about once a year or so someone fitting this profile and on some kind of psychiatric meds does something like this.

    It is a shame the liberals are so happy to use dead bodies in the gun control debate and conservatives are so quick to advocate involuntary commitment. I really wonder if the real problem are these drugs. Maybe we should stop medicating people so much. Sometimes the medication just produces someone like shreek. But other times it seems to do something worse.

    1. There are millions of people on psychiatric drugs. They’re ripe for criticism on many fronts, but this is not one of them.

      1. Just because a side effect is rare, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It could be that maybe in one out of every million patients, you get this kind of result. I don’t know. No one does. And worse, I suspect the makers of these drugs and the psychiatry community in general doesn’t want to know.

        1. Sure, it *could* happen. But that’s an extremely low bar to pass.

        2. Even assuming you’re right, people should have the right to ingest what they want to ingest.

          1. Sure. But they are only ingesting these things because doctors are telling them it will make them better and in some cases courts are ordering them to take them as a condition of remaining free.

            Moreover, you are free to take what you like, but the person that sells you the stuff has an obligation to explain to you the risks.

          2. Just because we are or should be free to take what we like, doesn’t mean that doctors shouldn’t be concerned about the side effects of the medicines they are giving people.

          3. And people should be free to eat crap. That doesn’t mean it isn’t crap. Nor does it mean the government isn’t complicit in feeding the obesity epidemic with its idiotic food pyramid and war on SFAs.

        3. Tylenol kills 500 people a year.

          1. Curious, how many of those people are trying to die by Tylenol?

            1. It won’t now. They mandated a lower dosage per pill, so now no one will overdose.

    2. There is no “problem” here as far as something to be prevented. These things are going to happen. Period. They can’t be prevented because one out of three hundred million people are going to do something crazy every once in a while. That’s just the way it is.

      Best thing to do is to allow people the means to defend themselves instead of creating all these gun free zones target rich environments for these lone wackos.

      1. But they didn’t happen in the past with the same kind of frequency they are happening now. There is something to that. Sure these things will happen. But they are happening more often. And the reason for it has nothing to do with guns nor commitment policies. We didn’t get a rash of mass shootings in the 1970s when they closed down the state hospitals. We are getting them at a rate of about one a year in the early 21st Century. Something is going on. But no one seems to want to look because they are so intent on using the bodies to score political points.

        1. But they didn’t happen in the past with the same kind of frequency they are happening now.

          The facts say otherwise.


          Shootings spend more time in the news than they used to, but they really aren’t more common.

          1. That graph only goes back to 1982. I am talking about before these meds were prescribed. I want to see the numbers going back to say 1920.

            1. I think laws restricting self defense have played more of a part than the meds. Back before gun free zones, a shooter would have to worry about people shooting back. Not so much anymore.

              1. That is a good point as well. All of these shootings have taken place in places where guns are not allowed. The shooters clearly look for that.

        2. I think being a nations of immigrants, America has a larger share of mentally unstable people per capita. I also think it has a larger share of socially isolated people.

          1. I think Japan has a larger share of socially isolated people (though we may be disagreeing on what exactly “socially isolated” means).

        3. they didn’t happen in the past with the same kind of frequency they are happening now.

          FBI crime statistics disagree. As our population ages violent crime has been going down. Young men between the ages of 17 and 28 commit 75% of all violent crime. As young men continue to make up a smaller percentage of the population, violent crime will go down.

          It simply seems like it is more common because of the vast increase in the reporting of it. More news coverage does not equal more crime.

          1. Overall crime statistics say nothing about this issue. This is about one particular and generally rare kind of crime. The overall murder rate doesn’t say anything about this issue. So the FBI crime statistic don’t disagree at all.

  31. “The United States Supreme Court has two personalities. In the vast majority of cases on its docket, those involving criminal law, business regulation, statutory interpretation, freedom of speech, procedure, jurisdiction, and other technical but important legal questions, the Supreme Court acts like a court of law?a good one. The justices achieve a remarkable degree of consensus and craft opinions that are clear, persuasive, and well grounded in text, history, and precedent. This is true even in hard cases, where there are good arguments on both sides. No one will agree with every decision, but no fair-minded observer could doubt that decisions are based on conscientious legal reasoning.

    “Then there are the hot-button ideological cases. This term they centered on same-sex marriage, affirmative action, and voting rights enforcement. In these cases, the Court seems to lose its bearings. The justices split into predictable warring camps, liberals against conservatives, with Justice Anthony ?Kennedy’s vote usually determining the outcome. The opinions in these cases are often failures of legal craft. Passion?not law?tends to govern outcomes. Legal analysis is weak, sometimes embarrassingly so.”


  32. “consoling-style rape”

    Is that what American cops call it?

  33. http://thetimes-tribune.com/ne…..-1.1555334

    As an alternative plan, the city also is considering a sale of the Scranton Sewer Authority, city officials said.

    Could the unions instead sell the sewer authority out from under the city?

    “I haven’t given it a moment’s thought. But if that’s where I’ve got to go to get the money, that’s what I’ve got to do,” Mr. Jennings said.

    “You go for the big assets first. Why would I go for ballpoint pens? Why would I not start with the most valuable assets.”

    Taxes that are collected also are an asset that perhaps could be levied by the unions, he said.

    After $21M judgement, fire and police unions picking over Scranton corpse. Why the hell has that place not filed bankruptcy yet?

    1. It would be nice if someone would ever hold union leadership responsible for screwing their members. Getting your members a great pension doesn’t do them any good if doing so bankrupts their employer.

      1. Apparently the PA Supreme Court took BK off the table for Harrisburg so Scranton is up shit creek which is the largest creek in PA.

        1. They can’t print their own money. If they take all of the taxes to pay the pensions, everyone will leave the city and there will not be anymore taxes. The money is not there and those pensioners are not getting paid.

          Ultimately, they fucked themselves by being greedy and short sighted. But their union leaders certainly enabled them and didn’t act in anyway in their best interests.

  34. Muslim Brotherhood banned in Egypt.

    Good. Those people need to be treated like the Thugees in India were. Here’s hoping they get wiped out.

  35. God, the Dexter season finale was a giant piece of shit. At least Ray Donovan had a good finale and it’s been renewed.

    In other news, GTA V is amazing. That is all.

    1. I’m going to be surly towards GTA V until it has a PC release.

      1. I’m too impatient for the PC release, sadly. I imagine it’ll come out six months to a year from now.

      2. Me too. No way will I play 1st-ish person games on a console. Mouse and keyboard are necessary.

    2. Dexter has pretty much been shit since Trinity left the scene.

      1. Pretty much. I liked parts of Season 7, though.

  36. Tylenol kills 500 people a year.

    Yeah, but those deaths are necessary and justified, because we cannot allow unrestricted access to effective nonlethal pain medication which might cause pleasurable sensations in some people.

    1. That is right. People might take those things and drive. I have kids. You will understand when you have kids.

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