A.M. Links: Rep. Rogers Concerned About Western Jihadists in Syria, Hawaii Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill, Chinese Communists Want Markets To Play "Decisive Role" in Resource Allocation

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Credit: davric/wikimedia
  • Officials in Ohio have denied a death row inmate's request to have his organs donated to his relatives, saying that he made the request too late.
  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is concerned about the number of Western jihadists fighting in Syria, who could return to North America or Europe to launch attacks.
  • Opium production in Afghanistan is at a record high.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is cosponsoring a bill which would force insurance companies to reinstate health plans that were canceled because of Obamacare.
  • Hawaii's Senate has passed a bill legalizing gay marriage.
  • China's Communist Party has agreed that markets should play a "decisive role" in allocating resources.

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  1. Opium production in Afghanistan is at a record high.

    So an actual shooting war doesn’t stop that stuff any better than a fake war on drugs here at home. Go figure.

    1. I think Feeney had a bit too much to remember how to do the alt-text.

      1. I saw poppies growing like that growing on the Mexican border in Imperial County California. Even the backdrop was much the same.

        Hmmm…

        1. I actually live in Imperial County California and have witnessed the same thing. I have been told that they are grown for seed only… I’m not sure if they could be harvested for opium production?

          1. As long as workers aren’t out there making little cuts on the pods and collecting the dried juice, they aren’t being cultivated for opium, just for poppy seeds, which makes them okay, I guess.

            It is completely different from growing hemp, the mere sight of which turns impressionable youth into reefer crazed murder machines, even if there isn’t enough THC in the stuff to give your great-grandma a buzz.

  2. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is concerned about the number of Western jihadists fighting in Syria, who could return to North America or Europe to launch attacks.

    Get some Jihawg Ammo, stat.

      1. “South Fork Industries… created a new line of pork-laced bullets, which they call Jihawg Ammo, so they can be used as a ‘defensive deterrent to those who violently act in the name of Islam.'”

        OK. Problem. here’s the thing =

        “The manufacturers believe that this act will keep any Muslims shot with the bullets from going to heaven.”

        No.

        Or = if they do, then the fucking *manufacturers* are just as Islamist as they people getting shot at! I mean…if they actually *believe* baloney-bullets prevent souls from entering paradise… the whole “souls”, “paradise” and “Holyness = Pork Free” shit is already being taken for granted as *real*…

        The statement implies that there’s some kind of metaphysical multidimensional reality at work, where there’s already a REAL Christian heaven, and a REAL Islamic heaven (not in the same neighborhood, presumably), and that Christian believers can shoot muslims and effectively prevent them from entering “their” heaven.

        It gets even more confusing a certain point, because the fact is that it can’t even rely on Muslim’s *beliefs* (faith) producing the necessary metaphysical results… because how the fuck is a muslim *supposed to know* the bullet that just went through his skull was pork-laced? Lacking some major marketing campaign informing muslim enemies of our pork-laden bullets, they provide no effective deterrent effect at all.

        Serious questions raised here.

        1. …and yes, I was already thinking about the classic case of the 1857 rebellion of Muslim & Hindu sepoys in india when the rumour spread that the enfield cartridges had been greased with (either) pork or cow fat… which AFAIK was an apocryphal explanation, but one which stuck as a symbolic story of how the West ultimately wants to undermine Non-Christian nations…

          And which definitely makes for a great modern product-marketing gimmick.

          1. Depleted uranium rounds contaminate everyone equally.

  3. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is cosponsoring a bill which would force insurance companies to reinstate health plans…

    She hates it when the incentives she’s created produce results.

    1. The insurance companies should simply refuse to be jerked around. When *everything* is “the law of the land”, ….

    2. But she LOVES it when the State “forces” companies to do things. And stupidly assumes that it is even possible.

      1. Yeah, is this even possible? Call me crazy, but I doubt you can unfuck a fuckup this big by decree.

        1. “We *deem* it unfuckedup!”

        2. Of course not, but it gives them the ability to blame the insurance companies for following their law.

        3. Not really. If they reinstate the policies they’ll be offering a product that isn’t in compliance with the law.

      2. Yes, she will hate the consequences of this latest attempt at moving the chess pieces. It’s a vicious circle.

    3. Go figure. The solution to coercion is more coercion.

      1. It’s coercion all the way down?

    4. From a political perspective this is a rational and wise and popular move. Here’s the narrative:

      You know who’s to blame? Big, Evil Insurance Companies. Also: Intransigent, Ideological Republicans.

      But never us white-as-the-driven-snow, compassionate, incontinent Democrats.

      I swear to God, if she and her entire family drowned in a Tsunami it would still be better than she deserves. That awful cunt.

    5. I’m confused, aren’t the plans she’s trying to reinstate like being told you’re buying a car and being given a box with wheels drawn on?Why does DiFi hate people with substandard plans?

  4. Meanwhile in Australia:

    Enraged commuter headbutts moving cars

    The scene unfolded after the man crashed his car into an unoccupied Volkswagen sitting in the emergency lane, according to Perth Now.

    He then got out of his car and began jumping on and headbutting other vehicles, according to several eye witnesses.

    Police were called, and the man was taken to a local hospital for observation.

    No word yet if drugs or alcohol were involved. The man does have a history of mental health problems, police told WAToday.

    1. Australia: Making Florida look like a sane place

    2. Well if didn’t have a history of mental health problems before, he has one now.

      1. IIRC she’s on the other side of the continent.

  5. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is concerned about the number of Western jihadists fighting in Syria, who could return to North America or Europe to launch attacks.

    So there’s our excuse to get involved in every skirmish, anywhere in the world, permanently, so long as there’s a “War on Terror” ™ going on?

    1. ANYONE could go ANYWHERE and attack ANYONE at ANYTIME. Something must be done!

    2. It’s also their justification for doing even more domestic surveillance.

  6. Would you eat a McRib after seeing this? Unappetizing picture of frozen sandwich sweeps the internet

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..nalds.html
    I think I’ve tried that disgusting sandwich twice, and both times my teeth crunched on bits of bone. *barf*

    1. 16 year old me loved those sandwiches.

      36 year old me constantly wonders what 16 year old me was thinking about many things. Including that.

      1. Agreed. Well, 34 year old me, but I don’t forsee that changing.

    2. Not after, and not before.

    3. Yours had bone in it? Back when I was working at McDonald’s (as a dumb teenager, as was the tradition back then) I tasted one of those things without the sauce. It was basically a formed sausage patty.

      1. Last year I tried one for the first time since working there in high school, and yeah I crunched on a bit of bone. Just like I did the last time I tried one when I worked there.

      2. I used to answer the drive-thru with “Welcome to McDonalds, can I dick you daughter please?” Nobody ever caught on.

        1. Meow would you like that prepared, sir?

          1. Meow that’s funny!

        2. They generally kept me in the back… away from the customers. Working back there you learn things that will make sure you don’t eat the food ever again. 20 years later and I may be able to feel the pain of burning my hands again.

          1. The worst part of working fast food, to me, was the film of grease vapors that condensed on every exposed part of my skin. It got to the point where I stopped showering before work because it would be completely undone within 15 minutes of the start of my shift. The grease condenses in every pore, in your nose, and even in your ears. The goo that I cleaned out of my ears several times a semester when working fast food was amazing. Imagine what your lungs look like after that.

          2. I worked at Pizza Hut for two weeks when I was 19 and I still don’t eat there, and I didn’t even see anything gross (well, nothing gross foodwise, anyway.)

    4. I could never eat these after seeing the Simpson’s episode about the Ribwich and Krusty when asked about the animal its made from says “”Think smaller, and more legs.”

        1. McRoach. Millipedes are too pricy.

            1. +1 radioactive wasteland

    5. I had one last year for the first time since maybe high school and I thought it tasted even better than I remembered.

      Probably just me, but I think its one of the better fast food items available.

      1. Burger King’s french fry burger is awesome. Seriously. Whoever thought of putting a few fries on a Whopper Jr and charging a buck deserves a Nobel prize.

        1. Give credit where credit is due. In Pittsburgh people have been putting fries on sandwiches since the beginning of time.

          1. For a dollar?

          2. Hey now! Don’t forget the New Orleans treat, the French-fry po’ boy; French bread (from Leidenheimers natch’) with fries, & cheese slathered in debris gravy. Or the original from England, the chip butty; French-fries on toasted, buttered white bread.

        2. I think in Istanbul was the place where they had French bread, pastor (gyro meat) and French fries all together. That’s a wee slice o’ heaven, right there.

            1. That’s nobody’s business but the Turks!

      2. Burger King’s version of the “McRib” is pretty good. I hate McDonald’s McRib, though. Too squishy.

    6. If McD’s wants to make a killing, they need to bring the fried apple pies back on a limited-time basis. I’d be eating those things every fucking day.

      1. No shit. Those were the best.

      2. Caution: filling may be hot!

        1. Those little bubbles of oil made it a giant dessert minefield.

        2. Hot doesn’t describe the temperature of that filling. You could weld steel with that stuff.

          1. But so good. (Tasty cinnamon flaky first bite, then) “Ow! OW! It burns! Must keep eating!”

            Damn, that takes me back.

      3. They are gone?

        Im pretty sure my McDs still has them.

        1. They haven’t had fried pies in twenty years. Oh fuck. I’m old.

        2. Unless you’re outside the U.S., I’m pretty sure they do not.

          1. I’m heading to Brewer at some point.

            http://www.ccytsao.com/friedapplepie.htm

            1. That list is woefully outdated, unfortunately. I’ve tried to use it to no avail.

              1. Maybe I won’t, then. Brewer is quite a drive.

                1. You could call ahead, I suppose.

            2. And most of them are “substitutes”. No bueno.

            3. You’re from Maine?

          2. I read an article the other day about McDs losing their core customer base because they a re focused too much on the coffee beverages instead of the food that people like.

          3. That’s why I still remember eating them as late as the early 2000’s. Didn’t realize that was only outside the US.

        3. I have seen the fried apple pies relatively recently. I was so excited when I tried one. I was indeed as hot as everyone claims.

          Am I a bad person that I prefer the baked one, though?

          1. I suppose it’s normal to prefer whichever one you tried first.

          2. You’re the world’s greatest monster. More monstery than Brett, even.

        4. They’re baked now, not fried.

    7. I’ve never even considered trying a McRib. The thing looks disgusting. In addition, hearing people’s stories about bone chunks here, confirms I will never eat one unless I’m destitute and dumpster diving. Unexpected bone chips have turned me off of a number of foods. I find it intolerable.

      1. The one time I found a bone shard inside a can of chunky soup stopped me from eating that brand ever again.

        1. I’ve eaten a McRib maybe twice in my life, but I often get bone chunks in a big mac or quarter pounder.

    8. Why the hell not?

      Lots of frozen foods look like hell when frozen, doesn’t make them any worse to eat

    9. I’ve never liked those disgusting things.

    10. It’s a frozen formed patty of pork–what’s it supposed to look like?

      Cooked on the standard McD griddle and left without all the sauce and ephemera, the meat tastes surprisingly close to basic sparerib meat.

  7. Animal lovers! Hilarious photographs show just how much people awkwardly adore their beloved pets

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..-pets.html
    Not sure which one I like better. The frightened kid with a bird on her head, or the pet sloth waving at the camera.

    1. Rooster-man was a cool photo.

      1. Subtext: I’ve got a huge cock

    2. Now I want an ocelot. Even more.

      1. “We’ve gotta stop and get him some toys. Its like Meowschwitz in there.”

    3. Does the computer geek with the bird on his arm have his arm resting on a copy of Thomas Sowell’s Knowledge and Decisions?

      1. Also Conceived in Liberty.

    4. The dog behind the girl is the biggest Terrier I’ve ever seen.

  8. Officials in Ohio have denied a death row inmate’s request to have his organs donated to his relatives, saying that he made the request too late.

    Anyway, it doesn’t count if all of the convict doesn’t die.

    1. LOL

      “All I wanted wanted was *closure*!”

    2. Fringe has taught me that these organs could most likely be used to communicate with the dead convict and that would be in clear violation of the death penalty.

      1. I learned the same thing from The Simpsons

        1. They were of course referencing silent movies.

          Or, if you don’t care for German expressionist silent movies, you can watch the Drew Barrymore-less version of Mad Love.

        2. You’re under arrest for killing Moe Szyslak and Apu Nahasa… pasa… Moe. Just Moe.

    3. They are just concerned about creating 5 or 6 more killers, possessed by a murderer’s donated organs.

  9. Who’s the leggiest of them all? Lily Collins and Karlie Kloss compete for attention at the Glamour Awards in daring gowns

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..gowns.html
    Phil Collins got one hot daughter.

    1. So yes to Lily Collins, no to Scarlett Johansson?

      1. For some reason my not fully-caffeinated brain read those comments as Tree Rollins and Artis Gilmore. Both were pretty leggy.

      2. I never said no to SJ. Just that there’s something odd about her face. Others agreed with me.

        1. I googled Lily Collins, so I see there are better photos of her out there. She looked rough to me in the DM link.

    2. Yeah, but I wonder how she’ll look after she goes bald when she’s older…

    3. How the fuck did Lena Dunham get invited to this thing? That’s an unflattering ensemble she has on… even for her.

  10. Bar Refaeli shows off her blemish-free bikini body in a striking pink two-piece… after undergoing op to remove a microscopic mole

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..-mole.html
    I’ll be in my bunk.

    1. microscopic mole

      Nice band name.

      1. Remove the Microscopic mole is even better.

  11. Ex-Bank Executive May Face Death in Vietnam Fraud Trial

    The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City may hand down the death penalty for Vu Quoc Hao, the former general director of Agribank Financial Leasing Co. (FLKO) No. 2, who is charged with embezzling 531 billion dong ($25 million) of state property, the official Vietnam News reported yesterday. Dang Van Hai, the former chairman of a construction company, also faces the death penalty in the case, the newspaper said.

    The trial comes as the government seeks to shore up Vietnamese banks saddled with Southeast Asia’s highest rate of bad debt and turn around an economy that grew last year at the slowest pace since 1999. The central bank governor vowed to crack down on violations by groups of shareholders working against banking reforms last year.

    hmmm… perhaps we should have some law changes here

    1. A few years back a similar story came out of China (I think) and many of our left-leaning friends in this country seized on it as a model to punish the “perpetrators” of 2008.

      1. Do you mean all the people who took on mortgages they couldn’t afford or the people that held guns to their heads and made them do it?

        1. The latter. As I remember, the suggestion was aimed at the usual suspects: bankers, AIG execs, etc.

    2. “embezzling 531 billion dong”

      Wow…that is a lot of dong.

  12. IT professionals say great deal of time spent fixing problems brought on by high level company executives visiting pornographic websites

    http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/2…..c-websites

    1. Should have warned me it was dogs defecating.

      I wouldn’t mind if you’d sugarfreed the link.

      1. ALWAYS hover over links before clicking.

      2. It’s better than their usual shit.

    2. Why do I want to see pics of Amanda Marcotte talking.

  13. PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Kate Moss the Playboy Bunny: First glimpse of supermodel on her dare-to-bare 40th birthday shoot

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..tures.html
    I hope they got the extended warranty on the airbrush. They’re gonna need it.

  14. “Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is cosponsoring a bill which would force insurance companies to reinstate health plans that were canceled because of Obamacare.”

    Yeah, Feinstein, the correct amount of tweaking may be only one tweak away.

    They’re just flailing at this point, and it’s going to get worse.

    1. Twerking is a funny word right now in American pop culture. Maybe they can try twerking the law?

    2. So…force caused them the current problems, so they will employ force to fix it?

      1. They… have to bring balance to the force?

        Darth Feinstein?

    3. It’s tweaks all the way down!

    4. And at the same price? I doubt it.

      You know how much extra legal manpower these insurance companies will need to prove every single year that the illegal plans they are managing that don’t cover mental health and abortions are simply reinstated plans and NOT plans sold after the law went into effect?

      They have no idea how much worse they are going to make things.

      1. Just call it Directive 10-289.

      2. In an ideal world it would be a simple matter to simply reinstate the old policies word for word. If someone thinks it’s different have them run the old policy and the new policy through a document compare program (I think high-end word processors do this) and if no differences, then the policies are identical.

        The insurance companies would do well to limit the reinstatement window to as short a period as possible; after that if you haven’t exercised your reinstate option you’re SOL.

        But, yeah, this is going to be a legal nightmare since the government will be forcing the companies to offer policies which are otherwise illegal under ACA.

        Nothing in this post should be construed as support for ACA. This is going to be an albatross around their necks for a good long time.

        1. And once they open up the ACA for revision, I think they open up the whole ACA for revision.

          I suspect the only things off the table in terms of revising ObamaCare is the Medicaid expansion and the prohibition against using preexisting conditions to exclude policy holders.

          But once the Democrats in the Senate open ObamaCare up to revision, everything else is probably negotiable–including the unpopular individual mandate.

          1. Plus kids on parents’ insurance until 26.

      3. LAW OF THE LAND

  15. One fired, three suspended after undercover health care video

    The Urban League of Greater Dallas fired one person and suspended three others after a video from a conservative activist reportedly showed the workers encouraging health care applicants to lie.

    An edited video was released Monday that seemingly shows so-called health care Navigators encouraging people to lie on forms signing up for health care to get better rates.

    The video was released by Project Veritas, which was started by conservative activist James O’Keefe. O’Keefe gained notoriety for videos in 2009 that eventually brought down ACORN and was also arrested in 2010 for attempting to bug the phones in the office of Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu for a different project.

    1. Good, they’ve gotten rid of all the bad apples. Too bad that O’Keefe happened to stumble onto the only Urban League workers who were acting like this, it unfairly taints the whole organization.

    2. How does this ‘bug the phones’ thing still have legs? The whole point of the thing was that they were checking the phones because Landrieu never answered or retuened calls.

      No one was bugging anything.

  16. China’s Communist Party has agreed that markets should play a “decisive role” in allocating resources.

    If only our ruling party felt the same.

    1. Obama promptly denounced them as Teathuglicans.

    2. Is there nowhere in this world that the Kochtopus doesn’t have it’s tentacles of corruption firmly inserted?

      1. Is there any Japanese Koch Brothers tentacle porn? Rule 34 says there should be, but I’m not doing the google search.

  17. On the nose: Meet the ‘Nasal Rangers’ whose job is to weed out marijuana smells and issue odor violations
    Colorado has seen a rise in ‘Nasal Rangers’ ever since voters legalized marijuana last November
    The passing of Amendment 64 meant investigating ‘pot smells’ was no longer a police matter but one for the Department of Environmental Health
    The officers use a ‘Nasal Ranger’ device, which straps onto their nose, to determine if a smell is beyond the acceptable legal parameters
    The Rangers say there job is to locate pot growers breaking the law and not bust people smoking in the privacy of their home
    Denver council continues to debate making the smell of marijuana a public crime

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..tions.html
    Just when you thought you’d hit peak derp, along come the odor police.

    1. I don’t smoke myself, but I rather enjoy the smell of it. These Nasal Rangers are offending my olfactory.

      1. Wait seriously?

        Pot smells almost as bad as cooking Indian food which is only slightly above dogshit

        1. “almost as bad as cooking Indian food which is only slightly above dogshit”

          *swings gauntlet*

          We meet at dawn. I shall bring a matched set of cannon.

          1. I was with him up until that. Though the smell of curry permeates everything around it (says the guy with two separate Indian families living near him). If anything, his comment’s applicable to some of Thai cooking. I love Thai food, but man, shrimp paste is not the most pleasant stuff to smell while it’s cooking.

            1. Mmmm, fish sauce.

          2. It should be noted: I am only referring to the overwhelming odor produced by cooking such food, especially in closed spaces like an apartment building.

            Eating the food however is a different thing altogether, some of it is quite yummy

  18. U.S. border agents who stripped four ‘marijuana smugglers’ and force-fed them their own drugs before making them walk back to Mexico on a cold night are jailed
    Dario Castillo and Ramon Zuniga convicted of violating men’s civil rights
    Ordered the suspects to remove clothes down to their pants and T-shirts
    Castillo put the removed clothing and their food on a fire he had started

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

    Castillo’s attorney said in court papers that his client wasn’t motivated by animosity toward people who enter the country illegally but rather acted overzealously based on his opposition to illegal drugs.

    Well I guess that makes it OK.

  19. World’s oldest creature is revealed to be 507-year-old shellfish called Ming ? until scientists KILLED it by opening it up to check its age
    Scientists initially thought the clam, named Ming, was 405 years old
    Mistake was made as scientists couldn’t clearly see Ming’s growth rings
    Researchers claim the creature could help unlock the secrets to a long life

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci…..lfish.html

    1. Pro L laughs at their feeble efforts.

      1. They tried opening him up to count the rings, but his skin was impenetrable.

        1. Just like Fer Diad of the Ulster Cycle! C?chulainn found that that you have to penetrate him through his “rear portal” with your spear, G?e Bolg, at which the barbs will spread through his body killing him. You should be able to open him up after that.

          I suppose this is probably not the best solution for you, AD. I’ll see if I can come up with something else.

    2. Researchers claim had hoped the creature could help unlock the secrets to a long life

      FTFY

      1. Unfortunately, the secret turned out to be “be a clam.”

        1. You couldn’t pay me to try to get into a clam that old.

    3. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle says, “Don’t fucking look at me = it was their idea”

    4. Researchers claim the creature could help unlock the secrets to a long life

      SECRET #1 = STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM SCIENTISTS

  20. Obama’s Promise of “Competition” in Obamacare: Also False

    “In the vast majority of states, the number of insurers competing in the state’s exchange is actually less than the number of carriers that previously sold individual market policies in the state,” Senger reveals in a new report.

    That’s right?unsurprisingly, Obamacare made another problem worse.

    In Alabama?the state the President mentioned with concern in 2009?about 96 percent of that state’s counties will have only one insurer offering coverage in the exchange. This means the residents in those counties will have no choice of insurer in the exchange.

    It’s a Marketplace!

    1. Even in the states where there are multiple insurers, they all have to offer pretty much identical policies.

      1. MARKET FAYLYUR!!!

      2. When the exchanges were still far off, I kept asking people to explain how they were supposed to help things. When I managed to get any answer, it was “competition”, but I could never get an answer to my follow up point that the rules for what was “acceptable” made most competition impossible.

      3. But we said the magic word “market”. How can it not be a market? The President said it was going to be.

  21. Larry Flynt supports ACLU effort to spare the life of a convicted multiple murderer – who shot and paralyzed Flynt back in 1978. The ACLU (and Flynt) want to discover the identity of an anesthesiologist who is supposed to help with the execution (allegedly in violation of professional standards)

    Flynt: “I find it totally absurd that a government that forbids killing is allowed to use that same crime as punishment. But, until the death penalty is abolished, the public has a right to know the details about how the state plans to execute people on its behalf.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..8076.story

    1. I find it totally absurd that a government that forbids killing is allowed to use that same crime as punishment.

      I wonder if he finds it totally absurd that a government that forbids kidnapping is allowed to use that same crime as a punishment.

      1. I’m sympathetic to the anti-death penalty crowd, but they so frequently make awful arguments.

        1. The only argument you need is that the state fucks up sometimes and kills an innocent person. That’s reason enough alone to end the practice.

      2. Also, the state doesnt forbid killing.

        Its perfectly fine, in the right circumstances.

        Its murder the state forbids.

      3. At the end of the article:

        “In all the years since the shooting, I have never come face-to-face with Franklin. I would love an hour in a room with him and a pair of wire-cutters and pliers, so I could inflict the same damage on him that he inflicted on me,” Flynt wrote.

        “But, I do not want to kill him, nor do I want to see him die.”

        1. Torture. So that would be Bush’s fault?

          1. Not his fault this time, instead his greatest achievement in the eyes of Flynt.

      4. The problem is that all crime is defined as violation of statute (something inherent with positive law), or crimes against the state.
        i.e. it’s never “Larry Flint vs Joseph Franklin” but rather ” vs Joseph Franklin”

        The argument, which he does make (see Certified Public Asskicker above), is that he should be the one who gets a say on how to handle his attacker, not the state.

        1. edit: i.e. it’s never “Larry Flint vs Joseph Franklin” but rather “{the state} vs Joseph Franklin”

        2. Yeah but in this case he’s not being put to death for what he did to Flint but for the murders of other victims.

        3. There is, though, a collective interest in locking a murderer away so he can’t do any more damage.

  22. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is concerned about the number of Western jihadists fighting in Syria, who could return to North America or Europe to launch attacks.

    Yeah well since we have a half dozen or so unimaginably intrusive domestic surveillance agencies, he should feel confidant that nothing at all would happen … unless of course he is doubting the efficacy of these programs and will stand up for their defunding, right? Right?

  23. OMg, so RacistTS!

    Dems learn to love ‘dark money’

    Quick! What’s the first thing you think of when you hear about shadowy “dark money” groups trying to sway elections?

    We’re guessing conservative powerbrokers like Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers come to mind. And there’s a good reason for that: the right was responsible for the vast majority of dark money spent during last year’s election cycle.

    But this time around, things may be different. It’s very early days yet, but liberal dark money groups have outspent conservative ones by well over two to one this year. The about-face suggests that progressives may be accommodating to the political spending free-for-all of the post-Citizens-United era by holding their noses and learning to play the game.

    1. by holding their noses and learning to play the game.

      Oh please. Proglodytes never objected to money in politics. They objected to conservative money in politics.

      1. Just like they never objected to Obama abandoning the Presidential financing system so he could outspend both McCain and Romney

        1. Obama is possibly the first president to manage to break a campaign promise while still campaigning.

    2. It’s MSNBC. They are outraged that the Supreme Court and the right wing has forced progs to abandon their purity and grudgingly engage in distasteful practice for the common good, as opposed to conservatives using the same practices in evil ways.

      “Look what you made me do, Tina!”

  24. At 9:05 AM, this story had this headline on cnn.com: “New Heat on Health Care Law Democrats Losing Patience With Obamacare Woes”.

    Schadenfreude!

    1. Sigh… I even previewed. The headline for the story is on cnn.com’s front page.

  25. New book claims that an aerial bomb attack on the Vatican in 1943 was the work of the Italian fascist government who thought Vatican Radio was aiding the Allies

    http://beforeitsnews.com/chris…..um=twitter

  26. Does this violate the NAP? Discuss amongst yourselves

    Summary of the story at the link above: Local politician in New Zealand is getting crank messages from some woman on his cell phone. One of them has the number left with caller ID, so the politician publishes the number, and tells people to call it and leave the woman crank messages:

    “So if you are bored feel free to send her abusive messages or do a crank call, its obviously what she’s into,” (sic) his post read as he included the number. “Don’t hold back, she doesn’t.”

    It turns out the phone doesn’t belong to the woman, but to a man who supposedly ran for mayor previously.

    Politicians deserve abuse, so I’m having trouble feeling sympathy for either side.

    1. Speech is not aggression, generally. You don’t have to answer, you don’t have to listen to the messages. You have the ability to to require callers to enter a passcode before ringing your phone or leaving a message (this is a telco-provided optional service where I live, YMMV in NZ).

  27. Troubled HealthCare.gov unlikely to work fully by end of November

    Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project.

    The insurance exchange is balking when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use it at the same time ? about half its intended capacity, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal information. And CGI Federal, the main contractor that built the site, has succeeded in repairing only about six of every 10 of the defects it has addressed so far.

  28. Fine, leave the alt-text to me:

    “Poppies… Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeeep. Now they’ll sleeeeep! “

  29. Tennessee authorities prosecute snake-handler who is featured on a reality show

    http://www.religionnews.com/20…..ign=Buffer

    1. “Reality” needs to be in sneer quotes.

    2. Jenna Gray-Hildenbrand, assistant professor of religious studies at Middle Tennessee State University, said state officials passed the law because they felt public safety outweighed religious liberty when it came to snake handling.

      Well, as long as they feel it’s the right thing to do, then I guess it’s ok.

  30. Orgasm for dummies: Neuroscience explains why sex feels good

    Pleasures help us learn. In animals, food or juices are commonly used as rewards. In the same way that food can be paired with something neutral to make Pavlov’s dogs salivate to bells and whistles, sex can be associated with neutral objects. This association is one way that fetishes develop. In the 1960s, researchers exposed young men to sexually arousing images along with knee-high boots. After the exposure, these men found boots sexually arousing. Linking sex to neutral things may be especially powerful during adolescence when our brains and behaviors are being molded by sex hormones. This phenomenon explains in part why fetishes can seem bizarre to people who do not share the fetish. It is the intrinsic neutrality of the fetish object that makes it seem so strange if you have not had the experience of pairing it with the pleasure of sex.

    mmm…knee-high boots *slobbers*

    1. I’m pretty sure my thing with red hair is because two of the hot girls in my high school class were redheads on the dance team who would often walk around in their leotards.

      1. I wound up hooking up with an ex I hadn’t seen in twenty years. It was a great little fling, but I came to a terrible conclusion. Every single stupid fetish I have, from long black hair to fishnets, originated with her. She was the god damn patient zero in my messed up sex drive.

  31. China’s Communist Party has agreed that markets should play a “decisive role” in allocating resources.

    Thomas Friedman’s head assplodes.

  32. “Gnostic sunset: Strife in Syria and Iraq driving out Mandaeans, the last surviving followers of John the Baptist

    “Stephen Starr, Special to National Post | 10/08/13 6:34 PM ET

    “Having fled Iraq’s sectarian strife, Mandaeans ? a millennia-old Gnostic religion whose members style themselves the followers of St. John the Baptist ? are today being forced out of Syria at the barrel of a gun.

    “In the last few weeks, Mandaean families have escaped Syria amid a spate of bombings in a district of the capital Damascus that once served as temporary relief from the horrors of life in Iraq.”

    http://life.nationalpost.com/2…..e-baptist/

    1. “Gnostic sunset: Strife in Syria and Iraq driving out Mandaeans, the last surviving followers of John the Baptist

      What’s their secret to a 2000-year life?

  33. Cambridge pensioner fed up with cyclists poured dog mess over man’s head

    She swung the bag of faeces at Michael Ramage, the director of studies for architecture at Sidney Sussex College, as she believed he was cycling too close to her.

    She then held up the bag to allow the contents to spill over the American-born lecturer as he tried to pass her on a path on September 12, said prosecutor Paul Brown.

    Miss Currall, a former secretary at the British embassy in Washington, followed up her attack by calling him “a big bully” and saying: “Go cry to your mummy”.

    1. I want her to be my gramma.

      1. Me too. If there is a bigger breed of douchebag than cyclists, I am hard pressed to think of it.

        1. Why is that?

          1. Primarily their failure to follow the rules of the road.

            Stop signs and red light apply to you too, dumbasses.

          2. What Rob said. And I have nothing against bicycles. I own one myself. But there is a certain breed of aggressive asshole cyclist out there.

            They are the types that demand car lanes be shut off to make bike lanes even though it is cars via gas taxes who pay for the roads. If people want bike lanes, start taxing cyclists so they pay their share.

            1. So, cyclists are just like other people on the road? Not all of them follow the rules and that makes the entire population a bunch of assholes? That is some magic logic.

              1. Restoras, I get what you’re saying, but you need to ask yourself how it is cyclists acquired this reputation. It didn’t just come out of thin air.

                1. The proportion of cyclists that treat traffic laws as a faint suggestion is just a wee bit higher than the proportion of motorists that do.

                  And fuck Critical Mass with a rusty chainsaw. Or the railroad tie bumper on Bubba’s ’78 Ford F250; that works too.

                  1. And fuck these fuckers.

                    1. Yes KK, I can get behind that.

                2. Oh I don’t disagree Neo. But at least where I live the problem isn’t always the cyclists – it’s equally the aggressive asshole drivers that get annoyed because they have to slowdown and avoid an obstacle that will, at most, delay them for about 30 seconds. And, again at least where I live and ride, the majority of cyclists go out of their way to obey the rules of the road so that they don’t get hit by a car.

                  It’s really just another manifestation of the entitlement culture – for aggressive asshole drivers and agressive asshole cyclists.

              2. No, they are worse as a group. One out of every ten drivers is an asshole. I would say one out of every two or three cyclist is an asshole. It is just true. As Kochtopus points out, this reputation didn’t come out of thin air.

                1. Well you can beleive what you want John but unless you have evidence to support it I am not sure that cyclists have any more proclivity to assholishness than any other group. Now, the fact that you live in DC may be a contributing factor, I’ll grant you that.

                  1. My evidence is my own eyes. I drive a lot and at least in Washington a good portion of cyclists are assholes. And I am not alone in making this observation.

                    1. Right, which is why I granted you the DC Asshole Exception.

                    2. I think its a city/rural split.

                      City cyclists tend to be assholes, the bigger the city, the bigger the assholery, as far as I can tell.

                      Rural cyclists are generally cool and get abused by redneck drivers.

                    3. Robc, I would believe that. I never experienced any of the bikers being assholes in Vermont. Though I’m not sure if it’s because of the people, or the situation (i.e. fewer stops/intersections and no parked cars to worry about).

                    4. I think Rob is right. There is an asshole culture to big city cycling. And the asshole is never the guy in shorts riding somewhere. It is always the guy all geared up like his is Lance Armstrong and nearly always a male.

                      There is this smug, I am better than everyone because I am not driving an evil car, culture combined with a particularly pathetic form of masculinity running through these guys. They will do some dickish move and cut you off and force you to just miss running them down and then flip you off or yell at you because you dared not get out of their way. Most of them just need their asses kicked before they get themselves really hurt and leave some driver with the responsibility for killing or really hurting someone on their conscience.


                    5. John|11.13.13 @ 10:39AM|#

                      I think Rob is right. There is an asshole culture to big city cycling.

                      Big Time.

                      Even dudes who’ve never been Bike Messengers develop Bike Messenger Dickwad-attitudes after a while. Being a ‘bike guy’ means you’re physically superior to the pedestrians and morally superior to drivers.

                      Everyone is in THEIR way.

                    6. That is something I hadn’t considered robc. As I live in a more rural area this may be a more accurate assessment. For what it’s worth I’d never ride in an urban environment.

                    7. My experience in Boston also suggests that as awful as Masshole drivers are, Masshole bikers are even worse.

                      Especially at the red light and stop signs.

                    8. I just did three years in NoVa, and while most of the cyclists I encountered were shockingly careless about their personal safety it was the drivers who had me fear for my life.

                    9. I’ve never understood this assessment of NoVA driving. I find driving in NoVA singularly genteel and non-stressful, even at rush hour and in heavy traffic.

                    10. I’ve lived in more parts of the country than the average person has, and they all have their unique driving problems. DC takes the worst from all of them and puts them together. People there drive with a special sense of entitlement; the only thing that matters is that they get where they’re going and the hell with everyone else.

                    11. I’ve never understood this assessment of NoVA driving. I find driving in NoVA singularly genteel and non-stressful, even at rush hour and in heavy traffic.

                      Are you being sarcastic? Or maybe you’re a native to the area and don’t have much experience with the rest of the country?

                      Seriously? Driving inside the beltway is the most stressful driving I’ve ever had to do. And I’ve driven a Winnebago through Dallas rush hour. Partly, it’s the way the streets are incredibly asininely set up, but mostly it’s the self entitled assholes who don’t have a healthy respect for the laws of physics.

                    12. Nope. Lived in Alexandria for 13 years. Lived in DC for 10 years before that. Compared to MD, DC, NJ, NY, PA, Miami, and Los Angeles (all places I’ve driven), driving in NoVA is nice. People let you merge, there are rarely blaring horns, and people generally use their turn signals correctly.

                    13. Compared to MD, DC, NJ, NY, PA, Miami, and Los Angeles (all places I’ve driven), driving in NoVA is nice

                      That’s like saying “compared to Warty, an evening with STEVE SMITH is downright enjoyable.”

                    14. Say what you will about LA, but we are good about letting you merge, the problem with LA driving is that you have to do way too much of it to get anywhere and we have a lot of awful east coast transplants here. San Fran drivers are much more aggressive than LA drivers when it comes to preventing merging (and fuck Boston drivers, I will NEVER drive in Boston again).

                      That being said, we should never be allowed to drive anywhere else. We’re way too aggressive in the friendly states and too timid in places like Boston.

                    15. Agreed. LA traffic is only hellish due to the sheer number of cars on the road at one time. LA drivers are more courteous than most big cities.

                      Drivers inside the beltway of DC, though… I once had a guy try to merge INTO the 16 ft box truck I was driving and then honk and flip me off for being in his way. I’ve seen drivers accelerate to close gaps in traffic while people are trying to merge, etc, etc, etc. It’s the entire attitude of that area. It’s a ME ME ME, I’m the most important human to ever exist attitude.

                      Nobody is willing to give any ground so nobody goes anywhere.

                      Kinda sums up all of the DC area.

                    16. You may be falling victim to some sort of cognitive bias. You will encounter hundreds or thousands of drivers on a commute. Even if 5% or less of drivers are assholes, you are going to encounter enough assholes that each incident is mundane and easily forgotten. On the other hand, you will likely encounter only a handful of cyclists. Encountering an asshole will be fairly rare, unusual, and remembered.

                    17. I drive a lot and at least in Washington

                      As in DC? If so, do you also routinely end up behind someone who decides it’s a great idea to do 15-20 in a 30 mph zone? and there’s no way to get around them. and when they finally make a fucking turn they take all fucking day to do it. I want flamethrowers on the front of my care to combat them.

          3. Cyclists are low status.

            They are poor, drunk, and worst of all weird.

            That ties them with homeless people.

            People like dumping on others with low status.

            On the web as on the road, it’s best to ignore the assholes.

            1. Huh. Most of the ones I hate have bikes that cost as much as my used truck.

    2. Funny – I was read this today and totally agreed.
      http://freebeacon.com/blog/bic…..-terrible/

  34. To the Jewish Cabal, my sympathies:

    NY knish factory fire leads to nationwide shortage

    A fire at a factory billed as the world’s biggest maker of knishes has created nationwide shock and oy for those who can’t seem to find the Jewish treats anywhere.

    Kvetching has been going on at delis, diners, food carts and groceries since the 6-week-long shortage began, but lovers of the square, fried, doughy pillows of pureed potatoes may not have to go without much longer. The factory promises an end to the knish crunch by Thanksgiving, which coincides with the start of Hanukkah.

    1. This is why I have always felt sorry for Jews, they get “square, fried, doughy pillows of pureed potatoes” and I get bacon.

      1. Knishes are awesome. However, the good thing about being a Jew that doesn’t keep Kosher is that I get both knishes AND bacon!

      2. Ah, but there’s nothing preventing you from eating knishes, with bacon if you so choose.

    2. The factory promises an end to the knish crunch by Thanksgiving, which coincides with the start of Hanukkah.

      They had better.

      1. Will you have a Menurkey to celebrate this most auspicious coincidence?

  35. City on wheels offers “new employment and living opportunities”.

    Suck on *that*, Mad Max!

    1. Just finished reading “Saturn’s Children” by Charles Stross. He had a similar structure on Mercury that kept a city in the twilight at the speed of planetary rotation. (More importantly his main character was a sex-bot.)

      1. The only redeeming feature of Alastair Reynolds’s conclusion to the Revelation Space trilogy is the depiction of the gigantic tracked cathedral that endlessly follows a moon around the equator of an ice ball planet. That was cool. The rest of the book? Shit.

  36. propaganda? hardly.

    Anti-Communist propaganda is more awesome than any horror movie poster

    Horror movies and Weird Tales magazine have given us some beautiful, spooky and unnerving works of art. But if you really want a dose of scary brilliance? Check out the posters that warned people of the evils of Communism. These are scarier, and more beautiful, than pretty much any horror art you’ve seen.

    1. Oh, look… they have one these dipshits:

      StarfarerUVincze Mikl?s21L
      A pox on the houses of both private and state capitalism; except for isolated instances like revolutionary Spain and Venezuela, socialism has yet to be tried on any large scale. Thursday 6:52pm

      Mr-HermateeowishUStarfarer11L
      It’s working out great for Venezuela, isn’t it? Rounded up the dissidents, shut down the TV stations if they don’t parrot the government’s line, shortages of everything, murder rate shot through the stratosphere…wow, who could have seen that coming? Thursday 8:02pm

      StarfarerUMr-Hermateeowish1L
      The Venezuelan working class seems to like it for the most part, so non-Venezuelan ignorance to the contrary is irrelevant. Friday 8:27am

      1. Millions of dead from partially trying it? Jesus f. christ, they’re broken.

      2. i09 is a Gawker site. Of course it has dipshits like that.

        One of the many reasons I hate Gawker is that they destroyed Deadspin and i09, which used to be really great sites.

        1. Even Kotaku used to be tolerable. Now they have to run at least one “OMG TEH SEXISM!” article every week.

        2. Deadspin, and quality of its commenters, pretty much died when Leitch left the site. It’s gotten worse ever since that commie dipshit Tommy Craggs took over as chief editor.

          Their commenters used to have an awesome hate-fest with Jizzebel’s commenters.

      3. Southern white people seem to like Jim Crow for the most part, so Yankee ignorance ot the contrary is irrelevant.

        Fixed it for you dumb ass.

      4. SmorgasborgUVincze Mikl?s141L
        I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Fuck communism. Seriously.

        A lot of these posters are dated and goofy, but you will never, ever get me to buy the argument that communism and socialism are better than capitalism. I will take it any day of the week. I know a lot of people here on Gawker disagree, but I do not believe communism and socialism are good methods of governance. Thursday 5:20pm

        Vulcan Has No MoonUSmorgasborg71L
        Capitalism is better? Really? Colonialism is the unholy parent of Capitalism and Globalism is it’s bastard child. Ask the indigenous people who were enslaved, murdered, and robbed of their lands were “because they weren’t really using it” and “we’re doing them a favor civilizing them” if they think Capitalism is so effing wonderful. Or better yet, ask the Russians if they hate Communism. Wait, I’ve got that answer for you: A majority of Russians wish for the “good old days” of the USSR.

        http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/wor… Thursday 5:36pm

        1. Yeah, capitalist countries are the only countries to ever be imperialist. It’s not like the era of European colonialism started before the development of economies that could accurately be described as “capitalist,” it’s not like imperialism has been something that states had been doing for thousands of years prior, and it’s not like communist countries of the 20th century committed many instances of imperialist aggression.

          And ask the Ukrainians how much they want communism back. It’s hardly as if Russia has some free-market economy not still dominated by the government. And most Russians also support outlawing homosexuality, so I guess that’s ok, too?

      5. North Korea is probably the most purely socialist country ever. Cuba runs a close second. Their scales are large enough to assess the merits of socialism.

        Revolutionary Spain? I’m sure that lots of Spaniards pine for the good old days.

        1. I’ve recently become drinking buddies with my neighbor’s father; at a meeting of our HOA, he found out I’m an anarchist and came over to interrogate me to find out if I was “a real anarchist or collectivist scum”. Turns out, he was a teenage member of the CNT and fought alongside Buenaventura Durruti. His stories of the forced march to Madrid, where they used home made armored cars to fight off Franco’s crack Moroccan troops, had me in tears. He hates Communists far more than he hates fascists because the commies betrayed the Spanish people.

          1. Now thats fucking cool!

          2. Jesus, how old is this dude?

            1. He celebrated his 96th birthday last August. He was an apprentice stonemason in Barcelona when Franco staged the coup and immigrated to the US in 1950 where he started a nice brick and stoneworking company in Long Island. He is now retired, recently confined to a wheelchair but still tough as nails. He is the fellow who turned me on to Jam?n ib?rico before it was legal in the US.

    2. Other than the Dutch Nazi poster, these seem to be accurate representations. My only objection is that they aren’t severe enough.

      And the Scott towels ad that employers should have clean facilities so their workers don’t become socialists – that seems perfectly defensible. Socialism thrives on capitalistic abuses.

      1. Scot used to run whimsical ads on various theme to promote their restroom paper products. This one was just following an advertising theme that sought to educate managers that it was in their business interest to have tidy restrooms stocked with high-quality Scot paper products.

      2. Pretty much.

        And there are two Nazi posters in there.

    3. The washroom one was the best by far.

  37. Lipidologists have all but figured out the cure, meanwhile Cardiologists just want to expand the treatment.

    70 million Americans should take Statins

    1. It really is incredible to think how much harm has been done by the scientific fraud known as the Lipid Hypothesis. A perfect example of why government should not go anywhere near science.

    2. luckily Statins have no side-effects. Yep, completely harmless to mess with the liver to reduce cholesterol levels.

      1. Hell, we should put it in the water supply.

        1. Ha, I only saw the article because it was shared on FB with a facetious comment about adding it to the water

    3. Well, I’m pretty sure the statin patents are expiring in the next 5 years, so we have to get as much as we can before they are as cheap as aspirin.

      1. Heh, I read that as “patients” the first 2 times.

  38. Innocent man commits suicide after paedophile accusation

    A man falsely accused of historical child abuse leapt to his death from a bridge, an inquest heard.

    Graham Smith, 56, was accused last November of sexually abusing a young girl more than 20 years ago.

    Police exonerated him but the dad-of-one became depressed.

    His brother Michael told the hearing in Hull: “He became a hermit.”

    1. http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk…..story.html

      Better article on it. Very sad.

      Who accused him of it? What happened to them, if anything?

  39. Liberals’ investment drives Tesla’s survival

    But Tesla’s corporate fate is ultimately less interesting than the fact that so many people, especially progressives, have become so deeply invested in it ? politically and psychologically, if not financially.

    Tesla epitomizes the mutation of modern American liberalism. Once an ideology whose central concern was the plight of lunch-bucket working stiffs and oppressed minorities, liberalism is increasingly about environmentalism and related “quality of life” issues.

    Framing such long-term challenges as climate change in apocalyptic terms, many “blue” Americans focus more on technocratic environmental fixes ? solar energy, electric cars ? than on practical solutions to the here-and-now issues of the middle class. Instead of coal miners and steelworkers, 21st-century progressives exalt Silicon Valley’s young men (and women) in a hurry, urging taxpayer financing for their “green” business plans.

    1. Modern liberals love them some corporate welfare.

    2. Immaculate Trouser posted this in PM links:

      Matty Yglesias Responds

    3. Why do people join the mafia or drug gangs and make money the hard way when you can just start a “green” company and steal it from liberals with no risk of death or imprisonment?

      1. Why do people join the mafia or drug gangs and make money the hard way when you can just start a “green” company and steal it from liberals taxpayers with no risk of death or imprisonment?

        1. That too. But stealing it from taxpayers requires paying off politicians. Tesla doesn’t even have to do that. They can just relieve brain dead progs of their money, no political buyoff needed.

  40. SEALS ordered to removed Gadsden type patch from uniforms.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/279…..-uniforms/

    1. Isn’t there a reason they’re called “uniforms”?

      1. Because they are all the same would be my guess.

        1. But aren’t they allowed a certain amount of “flair”?

    2. If you’re bad-assed enough, uniformity is only really a suggestion… Seriously, god forbid you ever correct a pilot or a snake eater, particularly overseas of a uniform “issue”.

      1. I believe what he is talking about is a change to official uniform standards because the traditional Gadsden symbol is now “radical”.

        1. The Gadsden symbol is a taunt against tyranny. So, yeah, I understand why the Obama Administration does not like it. It’s a rational decision to discontinue use of the Gadsden symbol by the military.

          1. This past summer I was visiting some of the sites in Boston. I was amused to see Gadsen Flag coffee mugs at the USS Constitution. I wonder if they will be removed from the gift shop?

            1. I’ve heard “Patriots” used in a derogatory way to describe conservatives.

              1. “heard”?? I could sworn the libs have locked it into their lexicon and playbook

    3. It’s worse than that. That flag is known as the “First Navy Jack,” since, as you might have guessed, it was one of the first flags of the US Navy. Also known as the flag flown from the jackstaff of every ship in port. (This is a recent change, they brought it back after 2001 to replace the union jack (which in the US refers to the quadrant of the US flag that has the stars).) So basically if the story is to be believed a flag that is as old as the Navy is too radical for the Navy.

  41. I think this is a different story from one that was posted about a week ago:

    School District lifts ban on T-shirts honoring girl who died

  42. Last night I watched One Day in September, concerning the Munich Olympics and the Israeli hostages.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Day_in_September

    First Takeaway: It’s no wonder the Germans lost WW2. A two hour stand-off with terrorists – who are pretty much out in the open and only armed with AK-47s and a few grenades? No armored cars ordered until too late? No overwhelming force response. etc etc etc

    1. I think it’s more the Willy Brandt administration to blame.

    2. The episode of Seconds from Disaster on this event was also really good. They had some dude take a fresh look at what went down.

    3. They lost WW2 because they didn’t have enough submarines at the start of the war.

      1. They invaded Russia.

        If they had been willing to split Europe with the USSR the western front gets a lot more difficult.

        1. If they knock England out of the war first (as was the original plan) and then train all their resources on Russia I think Russia loses.

          No Murmansk Convoy.

          Germany also didn’t have a strategic bombing capability that would have been useful on the Eastern Front.

          1. The US history texts do not cover the huge impact of US Lend-Lease assistance to the USSR throughout the war. Without it, the USSR had no chance but retreat like Russia did before Napoleon’s advance. I doubt that Germany would have been more successful than Napoleon in the long run.

            1. They would have. Without lend lease the Germans would have taken the Caucuses and all of that oil. The German Army was not Napoleon. It didn’t live off the land.

              1. Hell, all Hitler had to do was attack Moscow instead of trying to encircle the Russian 6th army. Had he conquered Moscow, then there’s no Murmansk convoy, and the Russians have to retreat to the Urals. Their food situation is fucked, because then the Ukraine is then in German hands.

                If he wanted to win, Hitler should have also made Japan join the war against Russia part of the deal before he declared war on the US. Instead, he just agreed to declare war.

                Kind of reminds me of Obama – real good at being a politician, pretty incompetent at pretty much everything else, despite massive delusions of grandeur.

          2. Hard to invade England with the non-existent amphibious capability the Germans had at the time. As much as I thought Sandhurst was a bunch of homers when they gamed out Sea Lion in the 70s and concluded the U.K. would win handily, I don’t think they’re wrong. I’m not sure if a giant version of the invasion of Crete might not have worked though.

            But yeah, no England means no U.S. getting involved—I think we’d have treated a Nazi-USSR throwdown like Reagan’s Administration treated the Iran-Iraq War—and then I think Germany ‘wins’. Instead of the incompetent and not very expansionistic Soviet Evil Empire, we’d get a more-competent aggressively expansionistic Nazi one. Great…

            1. I mean, look at how much the Germans botched the invasion of Norway, and how much of their navy it took to achieve even those modest goals, and see how much of an expansion invading the U.K. would have been.

              1. In the long run, an Authoritarian Socialist Empire made up of Nazi’s would probably have suffered the same fate as the USSR, if not a bit sooner.

            2. No invasion would have been necessary IF (love this game) Germany had had the 300 submarines they planned to have at the start.

              1. I think you get there faster if the Dunkirk pocket had been reduced by panzers, with the BEF captured, instead of letting Goering try to bomb it into submission. 338k casualties, along with some nifty diplomacy—“We don’t care about you, Britain, or your colonies. Just stay out of the way as we take down Russia. It’s not like you really liked France anyway.”—would have gone a long way towards convincing the U.K. that they could have sat this one out.

                Then again, you have the famous quote from Churchill saying that the only thing that really frightened him was the U-boat peril.

                1. That’s a good point about Dunkirk. If all those men were captured it would have been a devastating blow, and to morale at home as well.

        2. They allied with Japan.

          Hitler didn’t want war with the US, but was committed by treaty with Japan. The guy was a moron. Once 1940s US got into the fray he got his ass handed to him in less time than Kathleen Sebelius can build a website.

          1. Hitler didn’t want war with the US, but was committed by treaty with Japan.

            Not really, he considered the US a belligerent before Pearl Harbor, because of our openly aiding the British.

            1. I don’t see how those statements conflict. There’s a threshold of support for your enemy below which you can turn a blind eye toward – we’re not going to war with Iran despite their open support for terrorist groups, for example. Supplies, while unquestionably important, are not troops.

              1. I’ve never understood why Ribbentrop and Hitler felt themselves bound to declare war on the U.S. Who gives a shit what treaty they had with Japan? Why not treat it like he ended up treating the Non-Aggression Pact with the USSR? What, exactly, did Germany ever get out of their alliance with Japan?

                In fact, if Hitler had come out and denigrated the Pearl Harbor attack, and offered the U.S. Germany’s help, I wonder what the response would have been?

                Good thing though that they eventually did decide to declare war on the U.S.

                1. What, exactly, did Germany ever get out of their alliance with Japan?

                  Japan kept promising to open a 2nd front against the Soviet Union in the east – including taking Vladivostok.

                  Which they never did and had no intention of doing so.

                  Fun fact, some US aid to the soviet union went through Vladivostok unmolested by the Japanese all through the war.

                  1. Which they never did and had no intention of doing so.

                    Getting a taste of Zhukov and Soviet armor will do that. Even if they did take Vladivostok, they’re still a hell of a long way away from influencing the fighting in European Russia. And if this guy’s to be believed, the Japanese threat of invasion wasn’t even tying down that many Soviet divisions to begin with. Though 14 divisions is hardly paltry.

                  2. That’s because the Japanese utterly lacked the capability to fight the Soviets. The Red Army shredded the Japanese in Manchuria during a pre-war conflict, and then the Reds actually got better while the Japanese stagnated. China was consuming them over the course of the whole war – they couldn’t even afford to invade Australia.

                    1. That’s because the Japanese utterly lacked the capability to fight the Soviets. The Red Army shredded the Japanese in Manchuria during a pre-war conflict,

                      Yep, although those divisions were moved to the German front – they were what saved Moscow in December 41.

                      A Japanese attack in Siberia in early 42 is one of the great what ifs of the war.

                    2. Yep, although those divisions were moved to the German front – they were what saved Moscow in December 41.

                      Read the second link in my 11:01 am post. He does a decent job of taking down that idea, which, admittedly, I had thought was the case before I read him. Evidently, the Soviets just had the Mother of all mobilizations and generated the winter ’41 reinforcements from entirely new divisions, not from some pool of Siberian infantry.

                      A Japanese attack in Siberia in early 42 is one of the great what ifs of the war.

                      I love counterfactuals as much as the next guy, but I think the IJA gets curbstomped if they try that. Maybe if the Red Army lets a Budenny ‘lead’ their Siberian forces into yet another giant encirclement, but I doubt it. I think the giant supply lines would have been an invasion’s undoing. Plus, even if they win, now what? Are they seriously going to attack down the TransSiberian Railway, and if so, to where?

                    3. “A Japanese attack in Siberia in early 42 is one of the great what ifs of the war.”

                      I don’t think they could have stretched that far. They could barely hold down China as it was. They were the inferior by far to the US and the USSR in training, tactics, equipment, and logistics. All I see happening is some rump detachment of Soviets smashing whatever the Japanese send (if even that – there was plenty of space for the Soviets to trade for time) and the Pacific war ending that much more quickly.

                    4. I’m laughing at Xenocles and I simulposting a lot of the same things.

                      Another interesting what-if for Japan is: what if, instead of the ass-kicking they took at Midway, they instead sank all of the U.S. carriers w/o taking any losses of their own? And after that, offered the U.S. an armistice, with the promise of maybe getting the Philippines back or letting them go independent? Does the U.S. take them up on the offer, especially as a defeat like that conceivably means that Hawaii’s up for grabs, the USN is down to two carriers (Saratoga and Wasp), and the IJN looks utterly unstoppable? Yes, we know now that Japan had no way to realistically invade Hawaii, not with those supply lines, but didn’t it look a lot different in June 1942?

                    5. That double-posting is funny.

                      Even with a loss at Midway, the industrial tide was turning by then. The shipyards would be cranking out warships at a crazy pace really soon. I think Nimitz took the gamble at Midway because the intel was so strongly in his favor and because even if he lost it wouldn’t be long before they could overwhelm the Japanese numerically.

                      Even taking Midway would have been a classic tar baby situation for the Japanese. Supplying an airfield there would be a nightmare, and it was in range of the level bombers on Oahu.

                      My guess is that the US would have strung the Japanese along in any talks that happened until they finally had their stick back. Then the war goes as it actually did.

              2. http://www.militaryphotos.net/…..ted-States

                From Hitler’s declaration of war:

                1. The United States was hurting Germany diplomatically and aiding German enemies, especially Britain, by supplying them with war material.
                2. The United States and the FDR administration were secretly run by Jews and therefore a threat.
                3. American ships had been ordered to attack German submarines on sight and had attacked several of them, and American warships had seized German merchant vessels on the high seas. According to the declaration, “The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.”
                4. FDR planned to attack Germany and Italy in 1943.

                1. Your last point is interesting. I wonder how FDR felt he was going to be able to get the public will for an invasion of Europe, absent a declaration of war by Germany? Although, he managed to weather the, “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars,” whopper. If that isn’t the largest lie ever told by a Presidential candidate, it’s close.

                  1 and 3 were absolutely the case though, although the Germans had a point. Why should the U.K. blockade of Germany be sacrosanct, but the German blockade of the U.K. was somehow this hideous evil?

                2. That’s a political document. When you write those you choose the facts that support the point you want to make. What I’m saying is that declaring war on the US was a choice. It was justifiable in some ways for the reasons cited – clearly the US favored their enemy in the conflict – but it could also have been ignored. Ignoring it may well have been the better choice – at least for a while, as you deal with the more pressing issues like your war with the USSR.

                  Or you could even spin it like Grey Ghost said. Why not take the opportunity to denounce the unspeakable act of Japanese aggression and reassure everyone that your defensive pact with them has nothing to do with this new war? FDR had been pushing a Europe first approach for years by then and that may well have gutted his political efforts.

        3. The real fuckup was not focusing on and taking Moscow in the first months of the war, which they totally could have done, had they focused on the central front instead of capturing the Ukraine.

          The communists had spent the preceding 20 years centralizing everything in Moscow, taking it would have been the equivalent of a head shot to a zombie.

          1. Their treatment of Russian POW’s and civilians was kind of a problem too.

            In the first months of the war German Invaders were treated as liberators by Russians they encountered, then word of Nazi’s rounding people up and torturing/killing them started to leak out and the resolve of Russians to fight stiffened up

            1. Right, the Nazis were thoroughly evil bastards that let their hatred for ‘inferiors’ get in the way of their war effort.

              Another example is late in the war, fall of 44 I think, where Speer requested and was denied a pause in the final solution to focus more resources on the war effort.

              The Nazi high command literally cared more about the ‘final solution’ than they did about winning the war.

              1. And consumer goods. IIRC, the German economy didn’t really get on a “wartime” footing, with rationing, etc…until sometime in 1944. By which time it was too late, of course.

    4. The German police team on the aircraft that was supposed to ambush the terrorists took a vote and decided to go home instead. We had done a hell of a job disarming the Germans after WWII.

      Afterwards, they formed GSG 9 to deal with these situations.

      1. The German police team on the aircraft that was supposed to ambush the terrorists took a vote and decided to go home instead.

        I don’t remember enough of the details to know if you’re serious about this, but officer safety!

        1. I’m serious. They said “fuck this” (in German) and left without telling the snipers outside the plane that they were on their own.

        2. That is what happened, among many other things (miscounting the number of terrorists, broadcasting their plans on TV, etc.)

        3. The wiki on the entire event goes into some detail about the rescue. It’s darkly hilarious how bad the Germans fucked the whole thing up. Setting up their own snipers in the line of fire of other snipers (which resulted in a nasty bit of blue-on-blue), the team in the aircraft just walking off and not telling anyone, sniping with fucking iron-sighted G3s—at 10:15 P.M!—it’s absolutely amazing how bad they were.

          Didn’t take them long to get their shit together though.

    5. Second take away????

  43. http://www.slate.com/articles/…..t_was.html

    “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” That was the promise Barack Obama made to insured Americans when stumping for his signature health insurance overhaul back in 2009 and 2010. It’s a promise that’s coming back to sting him now that it isn’t coming true. It was an irresponsible promise, a cowardly cave-in to focus-group findings that it was what Americans wanted to hear.

    1. I read something related to this yesterday. It’s really amazing how folks on the left continue to believe in the Obama myth. He is not really responsible for anything that goes wrong. A few years back another lefty made the argument that people were unhappy with O b/c he was so much smarter than the rest of us, it caused him to think so far ahead that we didn’t understand. Truly, we are not worthy.

      1. For them, the alternative is to say, “forget everything I’ve written in my career, I was wrong, but I’ve seen the light!”

        Very few people will do that.

    2. Notice t he bait and switch they are trying. The problem is not that the signature Prog initiative of the last 50 years is destroying the health care system and causing millions of people untold harm. The problem is that some asshole who can’t run for office anymore told a lie.

      Fuck you slate.

      1. Don’t forget the veiled blame towards the “focus-groups”, they made him do it.

        1. And if these new policies really were better and not a complete disaster, no one would care that he lied. The lie only matters because of the disaster.

  44. Numbers for October show system is “capable of handling large volumes of users”.

    1. They’re preparing for the post-Obamacare future where a bullet to the head is the best treatment available.

  45. NYT invents phrase “incorrect promise” especially for Obama.

    1. There’s no sugarcoating it — Obama SugarFreed the promise.

        1. I was waiting for you to notice.

          Sorry, it was “incorrect terminology” that should be tweaked.

    2. There is no sugarcoating it, the contortions are amazing.

  46. Grand jury in my city finds that police followed none of their policies in beating woman’s face in during DUI stop, officers and supervisors lied in their written reports, yet returns no indictments.

    “While we would have preferred that the officers who battered Ms. West had been indicted, this is clearly an indictment of the Tallahassee Police Department and their failure to follow their own policies,” Conrad said. “And that to me is damning. While Ms. West may not get justice in criminal court, I guess it will be up to me to make sure she gets justice in civil court. And at the end of the day, I’ll make sure she does.”

    TPD’s internal affairs investigation is expected to be complete in the next week, said Officer David Northway, spokesman for the police department. He said nearly 30 people have been interviewed as part of the investigation.

    Meggs [State’s Attorney: BL], when asked whether the officers involved should be fired or allowed to return to work, said that was a decision for the department. He said, however, he hopes TPD follows the recommendations.

    1. Surely you’re not claiming there’s a double standard for these brave heroes?

      1. There is a double standard – cops get punished more harshly than average citizens!!

        /Dunphy stand-in

    2. Interesting apparently any sequence of open bracket – B – close bracket triggers a bolding.

      [ test B test]Bold[/b] Not bold?

      1. No. Huh. maybe I did put a bold in there.

        1. Boldly go, Brett.

  47. Coptic bishop denounces Western Anglicans for their deviations from Christian teaching, urges Anglicans in the Global South to resist

    “I want to share with you a saying of Saint Anthony the Great, the father of monasticism. This great Egyptian saint said, “There will come a day when the mad people will look at the normal people and say, ‘Look at these mad people because they are not like us.'” I think this prophecy has been fulfilled in our day and age. Abnormality has become the new normality. Certain factions of the Christian Church are becoming desensitized to the truth of the Gospel. I call it the frog in the kettle syndrome.”

    http://www.virtueonline.org/po…..oOOqCf9ypo

    1. There is a great New Yorker cartoon that shows two old Manhattanite ladies sitting in the pews of an Episcopal Church. At the alter the minister is about to stab a young woman through the heart. The caption reads “if they change one more think, I am outta here”.

      1. That’s actually kind of funny.

        1. Sometimes the New Yorker cartoons are. Not often, but once in a while.

    2. I call it the frog in the kettle syndrome.

      Glenn Beck PROVES it’s time to retire this metaphor.

      HILARIOUS

    1. Can the alumni sue her for cheapening their degrees?

    2. I think you SugarFreed the link.

    3. A link that might explain what’s going on here:

      College for the Cognitively Disabled has been promoted for quite some time.

      There’s even a website promoting the concept.

  48. Obamacare girl finally found, and she’s not an American citizen.

    Since the October 1st launch of the Affordable Care Act website there has been no Frequently Asked Question more frequently asked than “who is that girl?”

    Thanks to the intrepid shoe-leather work of the folks at ABC News, we finally have our answer: A married mother of one from Colombia who is not technically an American citizen.

    Adriana (last name withheld by ABC), a permanent resident who has lived in the US for the past six years with her husband and (now) 21-month-old son, told the news outlet she never set out to be the face of American healthcare reform ? she just wanted some free family photos.

    After reaching out to a “contact” at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Adriana was told the photoshoot would be arranged if she agreed to let the resulting portraits be used to promote Obamacare.

    1. She is cute. Not surprising she is Colombian. The seem to have discontinued production of unattractive women sometime in the 70s.

    2. I thought the smiling young woman on the website was Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.

      1. She’s my Canadian girlfriend.

  49. NY Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy sues over 40 companies she claims are responsible for her lung cancer.

    “…the suit alleges she was exposed to trace amounts of asbestos because her father and brothers worked as boilermakers in U.S. Navy yards and power plants.

    “The papers filed by Weitz & Luxenberg omit a relevant detail: McCarthy has smoked for some 40 years.”

    McCarthy’s attorney in the *Post*: “”It has been conclusively proven that cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure act synergistically to cause lung cancer. There is no doubt, scientifically, that in addition to exposure to asbestos dust, smoking played a role.” He says the rate of lung cancer in smokers who also were exposed to asbestos has been shown to be 4,000 percent or more higher than the rate in smokers who were not exposed to asbestos.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/ar…..ed-lawsuit

    1. Of course we only know that asbestos and smoking causes lung cancer because the people who smoked or were exposed to asbestos have higher rates. That means that the people, like this woman, who were not directly exposed have lower rates. If they didn’t, we never would have figured out the connection.

    2. …the suit alleges she was exposed to trace amounts of asbestos

      Homeopathy for the win!

    3. Were I those companies, I would request every single bar, restaurant, and grocery receipt and medical record in her possession. Punitive discovery should be the cost of a lawsuit.

    4. Couldn’t happen to a nicer lady.

      Weitz & Luxenberg

      The scummiest of bags, there. Same law firm that keeps NY Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver on retainer. W&L essentially has veto power over any piece of legislation in the state.

  50. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is cosponsoring a bill which would force insurance companies to reinstate health plans that were canceled because of Obamacare.

    Does anyone besides me that this is the equivalent of passing a law banning the manufacture and sale of cars, and then after all the factories have been disassembled, passing a law decreeing that more cars immediately be made available for sale?

    Maybe from outside of an industry it looks like all they have to do is keep taking people’s checks, but it’s not that simple.

    1. “Whatever is not forbidden is compulsory”

    2. It is not quite that bad. But it is close. I don’t see what you do about cases where the carrier just left the state. Do you force them to go back? And even if you change the conditions of the contract back, that doesn’t fix the problem of all of the people who lost their doctors.

      It will take more than this to fix this mess. And more importantly, if you effectively repeal all of the mandates, what does that do to the rest of the Act? Would Obama even sign such a bill? If he won’t, that will leave Democrats campaigning next year against that rat bastard in the White House. I am not sure that will work out so well.

      1. Those policies are probably gone, the software to administer and bill them gone, and the State Departments of Insurance probably have not reviewed and approved anything like those policies because they would not comply with Obamacare.

        Fluffy’s analogy is right. The industry doesn’t even have the 50 permits they would need to start rebuilding the factory.

        1. the software to administer and bill them gone

          I would imagine that due diligence would require them to keep backups somewhere. Which doesn’t mean it would be easy to re-implement.

        2. Since those policies are in effect until 12/31, I think that’s highly unlikely.

          No policies have been cancelled yet–they are GOING to be cancelled.

      2. It is not quite that bad. But it is close. I don’t see what you do about cases where the carrier just left the state. Do you force them to go back? And even if you change the conditions of the contract back, that doesn’t fix the problem of all of the people who lost their doctors.

        It sounds easy if you’ve never had to do any work in your life. I’m sure to Feinstein, the insurance plan is the brochure for the plan. “Hey, they still have plenty of brochures, right?”

        Me, I think of all the work that supports each plan, particularly in a heavily regulated area like insurance. I’m sure each of those plans requires segregated funds, an investment plan, an investment review and grade, bonds and reinsurance, state filings and approvals, and so on to the tune of 1000s of man hours – man hours that were not invested this year, because the plans were ending.

        Feinstein is fucking Caligula if she thinks she can snap her fingers and undo her last bad decision and turn 1/7th of the economy on a dime for her electoral convenience.

        1. They won’t come back immediately. You are right, every policy has to be priced. And that is not something you just do by waving a wand. But, they do reprice insurance ever year. So you could go back to the old policies next year probably.

        2. that doesn’t fix the problem of all of the people who lost their doctors

          Oh, I’m sure they can pass a law to cover that, too. Right?

          /snark

        3. It’s just another scam, they pass this ‘fix’ and them blame the dastardly insurance companies for not immediately reinstating the cancelled policies.

          1. If the insurance companies don’t comply, they’d have to prosecute or regulate them into compliance. That would turn real messy, real quick.

    3. And then they can penaltax the car company for disobeying the law banning the manufacture of cars! Brilliant!

    4. passing a law decreeing that more cars immediately be made available for sale

      Technically, they demanding that the exact same cars are produced as well.

      The only thing left is for us to drink their tears.

      1. Yes, but we all know where this is ultimately headed. The gordian knot, having been sliced, can never be re-assembled. We’re going to see full-on “single payer”.

        Excuse me. [Trundles off to vomitorium]

        1. Oh, yeah. [vomits up delicious tears]

    5. Yep. ObamaCare reality is more surreal than an Ayn Rand novel. And the characters are more one-dimensional.

    6. “Fluffy|11.13.13 @ 9:49AM|#

      Does anyone besides me that this is the equivalent of passing a law banning the manufacture and sale of cars, and then after all the factories have been disassembled, passing a law decreeing that more cars immediately be made available for sale?

      Unlike john, I do think it is that bad.

      Reason being is that the State regulators who approve policies for marketing/sale require as much as a year to vet/approve policies, and then they need to get buy-in from the service providers…

      … I don’t see how you tee-up the entire national healthcare industry to entirely reform itself to adapt to the forthcoming regulatory environment…. then suddenly tell them WAIT!!! not yet! Go back!

      (*I am probably not the only one having a flashback to some girl…)

      The problem with “laws” is that you can change things on paper as fast as you want = the assumption that these changes can be reflected in reality in any reasonable time-frame is a dangerous one.

      Obama was right about one thing when he said YOU CAN NOT STOP THIS.

      He just thought that was a good feature. Whoops.

  51. NY Times supportive article on minimum income.

    Thoughts?

    1. I have become convinced after time spent close to the operations of a state government that a minimum income system, while of course morally abhorrent (blah blah blah rest of SLD), would be a vast improvement on our current system of managing income transfers incrementally with payments for food, housing, health care, etc.

      The social welfare bureaucracy, and the thousands of little “Commission on this-and-that” organizations that the federal government funds via the states is the real class enemy. Not the poor. We must concentrate on destroying our genuine class enemies FIRST – namely, anyone who works for the states or the federal government in any capacity outside of law enforcement, the judiciary, and defense.

      Even if that means more fraud. And even if that means more freeloaders.

      Destroy the head count of the state FIRST. Then we’ll clean up whatever mess we make with the guaranteed minimum income later.

      1. I agree. Minimum income will be a royal clusterfuck absent a thorough unwinding of the regulatory and welfare states, but it might be a necessary prerequisite to get to that point.

      2. You are right. The problem is that bureaucracies by necessity operate by rules. But actually helping someone is a very tough and individualized thing. Is giving someone money the right thing to do? Sometimes but other times it is just enabling bad behaviors and they need to hit rock bottom to get better. Bureaucracies can’t make individualized and fact specific decisions. So creating a bureaucracy with the purpose of helping people is always going to do more harm that good. It is the same reason socialized health bureaucracies are always so monstrous. All of these bureaucracies don’t help anyone, except by blind luck and more often than not produce insane or outright evil results.

        So if you really want the government to help people, take the bureaucracy out of it and just send out checks. That is the best you can hope to do. Think about it, the one welfare program that has ever accomplished its goal is Social Security. Love it or hate it, old people are much less poor today than they were before. That is because Social Security basically just sends out checks and doesn’t try to “help”.

        1. And every one of those social workers is a class warrior for the state.

          Think it’s gauche to lose leftist terms from a century ago to refer to what they are?

          It’s not. It’s the right nomenclature.

          1. I agree that, as you propose, a direct income subsidy without the social welfare bureaucratic gatekeeping / management agencies would be preferable to the current regime.

            The social welfare workers are class warriors for the state. Just don’t tell me that law enforcement, the military and the judiciary are not warriors for the state.

          2. Bureaucrats are like anyone else, they are always going to take the path of least resistance and they are always going to look for matrices of success that are easily obtainable and measurable with no regardless of their connection with reality. So what you end up is a group of people who fuck with the well meaning clients because they are the easiest the screw with and leave the hard core cases alone and who create this Potemkin village of “success” measured by going through various motions like “seeing a counselor” or “visiting a doctor” that are easy to enforce and count but don’t result in any good being done.

      3. Good reasoning. I wonder what a path to this in the US would look like. How do you end agencies at the same time? Seems even more problematic than ending income tax in favor of VAT.

        I will be watching Switzerland closely, though I think a lot of their welfare state exists at the Canton level.

      4. I don’t think we should underestimate the impact of people’s imaginations on our world.

        There are already too many freeloaders out there who imagine that society owes them a living.

        I’d rather give them free food. Give them free government health clinics–where you don’t even have to have Medicaid, just show up and it’s free.

        Anything but a free income. That’s almost worse than the idea that I owe the government a portion of my income–specifically because I earned it.

        1. “free food. Give them free government health clinics”

          There you are inserting your values into other peoples’ lives. But it is not you deciding what values get inserted, it is a beauracracy of people and an indirect lawmaking process. These things have led to the current system where countless goals get pursued sometimes in multiple conflicting ways.

          Say your goal is to have the state make lives better. Do you get better results by allowing a beauracracy to choose values or by allowing individuals to pursue their own values?

          1. My goal is to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid.

            I don’t want to give away free anything, but if they’re going to give away free stuff over my objection, at least they could do it in a way that doesn’t require hundreds of thousands of government bureaucrats–millions if you add in all the bureaucrats at the state level administering these programs.

            Hell, the whole purpose of ObamaCare (though not publicly stated) is to try to mute the effect of forcing providers to give Medicaid and Medicare patients healthcare below cost–and let them gouge insurers to make up for the difference. Get rid of Medicare and Medicaid, and at least you get rid of all that market distortion in private health insurance markets.

            So, anyway, yeah, I’d rather not give away free anything, but if we’re going to give away free stuff anyway, I’d rather not have millions of government bureaucrats administering the program, and I’d rather not suffer the market distortions in the insurance market.

            You build free clinics and leave the private providers free to refuse Medicare and Medicaid patients, and a lot of the problems we’re seeing in healthcare go away.

      5. Public assistance needs to be brought back to the local level. Let it come from property taxes. Bring back embarrassing food stamps instead of a debit card. Make those on aid look into the eyes of the property tax payers who are paying their bills. Shame works.

        1. Also, private assistance.

          In my experience (small city) the food stamp recipients tend to shop at stores in low-income neighborhoods so there’s no stigma to using them when everyone else is.

        2. “Public assistance needs to be brought back to the local level. Let it come from property taxes.”

          They’ll never go for that in Detroit and elsewhere.

          How’s Detroit going to raise property taxes?

          …and talk about urban flight all over again. I’m not saying that isn’t the way it should be, but I don’t think politicians with big urban areas in their state are going to support that.

      6. Agree 100%.

        Besides, welfare is the least destructive type of government spending. I’d be ecstatic if we kept welfare, even at higher levels, whilst destroying the regulatory apparatus.

      7. That was pretty much Milton Friedman’s view.

    2. It’s better than our current Welfare State. But I don’t see it ever happening, since the Welfare State will be right back as soon as the news features some deadbeat who spent all his money on tricking out his car can’t make the rent or some single mother can’t support her 5 illegitimate children.

      1. Re: Jordan,

        It [Mimimun Income] is better than our current Welfare State.

        No, it can’t be better. A minimum income subsidy raises the disutility of labor enough to warrant an even higher wage than what employers would have to pay sans a minimum income.

        There may be some that feel this cannot be correct since everybody would receive the same subsidy, so the playing field is the same, but remember that we’re talking about decisions at the margin, and once you receive a stipend without employing any of your time to acquire it, your free time becomes much more valuable. It would be the same as if in every single auction a “good samaritan” gives each seller $100.00 that they can use as a reserve and then tells all buyers about that reserve. Think now what will happen to all the bids.

        Welfare is never that uniform and minimum wage laws can be circumvented through under-the-table cash payments. A minimum income policy would be perfectly uniform and impervious to black market workarounds, thus minimum income will be far more destructive to an economy than any of those other interventions in the market.

        1. You might be right about that. I’ll have to think about it some.

          One thing though,if we ever tried ths insane idea,, is the amount of money that is distributed to everybody has to be tied to something like the GDP. So that the professional check collectors view their politcans more like fund managers and less like sugar daddies.

    3. Zero is a good place to start.

    4. The immediate advantage would be the transparency issue. Right now we have thousands of different programs on the state and national level that some people know how to use, and others don’t. You cut one program and you’re hurting the poor, according to the press….no matter how stupid the program is. You also have the people who were on welfare turning to disability, which doesn’t allow you to transition from being on the dole to returning to work without losing your benefits.

      Honestly, at this point you’re not going to get rid of the welfare state. By making a minimum income, you cut out massive bureaucratic bloat, and make it easy for people to see just exactly how much we’re paying for social welfare. It would allow us to have more honest discussions of it moving forward. Make it less than minimum wage, and you give folks the incentive to work rather than claiming their children are disabled, or otherwise gaming the system.

      1. And strategically, it’s not the poor who make up the actual political structure supporting statism electorally.

        Oh, they show up and vote for handouts, but they’re not the actual infrastructure.

        The “Outer Party” infrastructure of the left is made up of social workers, fake social workers getting paid by nonprofits funded by grants, and academics.

        We can’t get at the academics – yet – but we can sure as hell gut the first two groups by destroying their reason to draw a paycheck.

        When they don’t get to have fake-o sinecure jobs pushing paper and going to meaningless meetings and seminars, they’ll have a lot less time and energy to devote to our enslavement.

        1. We can’t get at the academics – yet –

          Sure we can.

          Declare class war on them – turn their bullshit back on them. First target all those fat endowments – tax the fuck out of them – for the poor or course.

          Second, make student debt dischargable in bankruptcy, with a provision to claw back some of the money owed from the institution that granted the petitioner’s degree.

          1. Never give a nickel to your alma mater. She a statist whore, and doesn’t deserve your benevolence.

    5. Re: Protagoromus,

      NY Times supportive article on minimum income.

      They can support anything they want as long as the paper does it with its own money, otherwise they can go fuck themselves.

      “Minimum income” is nothing more than another way of saying “The Dole”

      1. Yeah, of course. I am not interested in starting a new country with The Dole. The interesting possibility here is replacing The Doles managed by The Dolts with The Dole.

        If progs want to put their weight behind that, we should push hard before they realize they will make most of the structures of state they love obsolete.

        1. I think it’s similar to my idea of pushing for a single payer legal system. It uses their own weapons against them. There’s a joy in that.

  52. London Metropolitan Police Rule UK Spy’s Death “Accidental

    Body was found stuffed in a padlocked sports bag in his apartment. The London Coroner had ruled last year that the man had been likely “unlawfully killed.”

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said he was satisfied it was “theoretically possible” Mr Williams could have padlocked the bag from the inside, although “many questions remain unanswered” as to the circumstances of his death.

  53. China’s Communist Party has agreed that markets should play a “decisive role” in allocating resources.

    Racists!

    1. Sorry, that should be “LACISTS!”!

  54. Women. Shooting little birdies and bonding in primal luxury.

    * DCC
    * NYC

    I find these women abhorrent.

    NYT commenters won’t let you down.

    —–

    Why are these people compelled to portray themselves as actors in some grandiose opera of self-exploration? They’re as bunch of wealthy, overprivileged women on vacation, for crying out loud. They’re having a great time, and good for them.

    1. And, that shotgun isn’t just going to go off. So props for safe handling.

      1. Have you ever heard the word “wields” used to describe carrying a gun over your shoulder, with the break action open?

        1. Not unless I’m trying to get a little extra force on a buttstroke by letting the action swing closed.

    2. bunch of wealthy, overprivileged women on vacation

      Did you see the size the rock on that bitch’s finger?

  55. * Richard
    * NYC

    Hunting is barbaric and unquestionably constitutes animal cruelty. The animals suffer horribly. The women featured in this article should consider the atrocities they are committing against other living beings. These animals have every right to live their lives as we do or our pets do. The life changes and crises these women are experiencing back home provide no justification for their horrific actions.

    Boohoohoo, Mommy. Why did Bambi’s daddy have to die?

    1. But the slaughter house in contrast is totally different. I don’t hunt because it is kind of boring and I freely admit I just don’t have the stomach for killing animals myself. But since I eat meat, it would be a bit rich for me to call those who do immoral.

      1. The idea that the animals suffer horribly is a bit rich too. They live entirely natural lives, exactly as they would without hunting, until a couple minutes before they die. Even less, if you’re a good shot.

        1. Yeah, dying a natural death in the wild means either being eaten, getting sick and dying, or starving to death. A quick death via shotgun pellet sounds a lot more humane. But these people have never been in nature and think the city park is nature. Thus they have no idea how cruel nature actually is.

    2. We need to stop all the animals from torturing and killing each other! It’s cruel! Derp derp derp, Rchard from NYC

      1. That’s not true. He taught a lion to eat tofu.

    3. “NYC” that says it all.

      I will give this person a partial pass on his self-righteousness if he’s vegetarian or vegan. Doesn’t make him right but at least he’s not being hypocritical.

    4. Is this quote supposed to be sarcastic? or trolling?

    1. So did they ban you from the entire chain for life or just that particular hotel?

      1. They would never be able to catch me.

    1. No such thing as a pit bull.

      I have a boxer/bull terrier mix. I wouldn’t want to get on his bad side, but being part boxer I am not sure he has one. He could definitely rip off a limb if he wanted to do so.

  56. a minimum income system, while of course morally abhorrent (blah blah blah rest of SLD), would be a vast improvement on our current system of managing income transfers incrementally with payments for food, housing, health care, etc.

    Eliminating the horrific inefficiency and lost motion of those programs would be a huge benefit.

  57. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is concerned about the number of Western jihadists fighting in Syria, who could return to North America or Europe to launch attacks.

    And this was a guy who was arguing a couple of months ago that we should be arming the and providing them air support.

    Sigh. Please tell me we’ve reached peak derp.

    1. Those guys fighting and hopefully dying in Syria as opposed to here sounds pretty good to me.

  58. But in reality you’d never get rid of the social worker positions.

    Also, the principle* is abhorrent.

    Also, also this system would be fine until enough people decided to go on the dole. At some point there would be nobody to grow food, run the water plants, etc. Granted, many european countries have had welfare on demand since the mid twentieth century and only now is a tipping point being reached in one country – Greece. So, yeah, it would work short term, but you’d ultimately sacrifice principal to kick the can down the road.

    (*)Got the right spelling, for once.

    1. The idea, of course, would be to make that minimum income low enough that it will get you by, still kind of suck. Though I’m not sure that would be able to stick, as people would constantly clamoring to raise it to “help the poor”.

      It also might help solve the problem if it was automatic, and not just “on demand”. By which I mean, everyone gets it regardless of income. That would limit the incentive to stop working in order to qualify for the money.

      1. My idea would be to get rid of all forms of social services, SS, medicare, federal student loans, the lot. Then give every person in America a check for say $10,000 every year from the time they are 18. That would cost about a trillion or so a year. If you want to live on your 10K and smoke crack, have fun. If you want to work and save your 10K for retirement, good for you. Whatever you want to do. But understand if you piss it away no one will be there to help you.

        It sounds crazy but it would be less expensive that what we do now and would probably produce a lot of good. A lot of responsible hard working people would get a real head start in life and do better than they do now. And the bums will still be bums, but they always will be.

        1. For one, we would be able to do that much more simply and efficiently than the current programs.

        2. Really, really have to solve the immigration problem then though. And whatever our solution became, we’d have to actually enforce it.

          1. Limit it to resident citizens. The naturalization process is restricted and byzantine enough already to keep the growth of the dependent population through migration in check.

          2. You could just make it contingent on citizenship, or at least permanent residency.

    2. You would just have to set the income low enough that it still paid to work. You absolutely right that the bureaucracy wouldn’t go away. We would just end up with the minimum income and the bureaucracy, which is worse than what we have now.

  59. “Chinese Communists Want Markets To Play “Decisive Role” in Resource Allocation”
    Could we get Obo to speak with these guys? His policies on medical care sure would improve.

  60. Re: Jordan,

    It [Mimimun Income] is better than our current Welfare State.

    No, it can’t be better. A minimum income subsidy raises the disutility of labor enough to warrant an even higher wage than what employers would have to pay sans a minimum income.

    There may be some that feel this cannot be correct since everybody would receive the same subsidy, so the playing field is the same, but remember that we’re talking about decisions at the margin, and once you receive a stipend without employing any of your time to acquire it, your free time becomes much more valuable. It would be the same as if in every single auction a “good samaritan” gives each seller $100.00 that they can use as a reserve and then tells all buyers about that reserve. Think now what will happen to all the bids.

    Welfare is never that uniform and minimum wage laws can be circumvented through under-the-table cash payments. A minimum income policy would be perfectly uniform and impervious to black market workarounds, thus minimum income will be far more destructive to an economy than any of those other interventions in the market.

    1. We are one of two countries in the world, Eratria is the other I think, who tax their ex pats. We don’t allow tax exile. You can move to another country, avail yourselves of none of the services of this government, and those fuckers want their money. It is absolutely one of the most backward and barbaric things we do.

      1. And every prog I’ve ever mentioned this to is wholeheartedly in support of it.

        TAX EVADURZ! UNPATRIOTIC! DEEEEEEEEEERP!

        1. I want a President with the courage to pardon any and all people convicted of “tax evasion/fraud”.

        2. But I thought Europe was so enlightened and the example we should follow? Mention that no other industrialized country, including sacred places like Sweden do this sort of thing.

          1. I did. They don’t care.

            1. You should ask your prog friends why don’t we just outright enslave rich people?

          2. I mention that countries like Sweden and the Netherlands (countries they love) effectively have school voucher systems and they just don’t want to hear it.

    2. “Why are you making us tax you, Tina?”

    3. Why if everyone did this we’d all be living in a post apocalyptic desert fighting over whatever scraps of technology and gasoline remain

      1. You think I don’t know the law? Wasn’t it me who wrote it? And I say that this man has broken the law. Right or wrong, we had a deal.

  61. Not unless I’m trying to get a little extra force on a buttstroke by letting the action swing closed.

    NTTAWWT

    1. I was gonna ask about that. But decided what he doesin the privacy of his own bedroom is none of my business anyways.

    2. What else do you call it when you mash somebody with the end of the stock opposite the barrel?

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